Monday, March 23, 2009

General Ramblings

I haven’t done a rambling post lately… It’s time to get things off my chest.

This morning when I went out with the dog, I noticed the crescent waning moon just above the eastern horizon. The sliver will appear again, in a few days, in the evening sky above the western horizon. I miss living in the desert where the skies were always clear. When my daughter was three, she’d look out right after dark and when the moon was new would run through the house shouting, “The moon is back, the moon is back.”

The songbirds are back. A sign of spring, more reliable than even the calendar, are the birds singing in the predawn hours. I first noticed them about a week ago.

If I’m not mistaken, there was a fawn in the field behind the house this morning… Maybe it’s time to throw a baby shower and put out some flowers, allowing the deer a change in diet. They sure did a number on the low branches of the evergreens this winter. Our deer enjoy a sheltered life, without any predators. They must have signed a peace accord with my dog, for he no longer chases them and they no longer run. They coexist. And because they stay within the city limits, they’re safe from the hunter’s crosshairs. The deer have even learned how to invade their only other serious predator, the automobile. Now, when crossing the highway, they stop, look and listen better than most 2nd graders.

I’ve had a sextant for a number of years, an unexpected gift from a friend. I’d once mentioned that I’d love to learn how to navigate with a sextant and then he found this one at a garage sale. For years, it has sat on a bookcase. My daughter has been asking me about it, so we spent time this weekend learning how it works. I got the jest of it figured out (meaning I think I can find my latitude at noon). I can’t imagine using it to determine my location at sea, on a boat that’s bobbing around.

Yesterday morning I had a dream that included my parents. They were at some unfamiliar place, which reminded me of Montreat, North Carolina. They were standing outside a stone-building. I came up to them and they were talking to strangers. My mom was going on and on, bragging about me. It felt so good to hear her praise. This morning, I was reading about how many adults struggle to know that they are cherished or loved by their parents and how they live their lives trying to please their parents. I can’t say that was me. Although I did not always do what my mother wanted me to do, I remember how she was always proud of me. She once saw a photo of me in the newspaper. I was in my mid-20s and making a presentation and she wrote me to say she was proud of me even though she has a hard time understanding that I’m now grown. I’ve often heard her brag about me to friends and when I woke up, I realized that it felt good to once again hear her praise. It’s been a few years since I heard it. Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing. These days she mostly doesn’t even know me. Some days she doesn’t even know my dad.

And to end on an "up note," it was nice to see our President picking Carolina to go all the way in the NCAA tournament. I hope he does as well as he did with the Superbowl!
After comments from Lisa and Murf, I decided to add the above picture of a sextant. I was afraid some of you were thinking I was talking about a mobile bordello--a sex tent--or something along that vein.


  1. I am very excited about the signs of spring and am looking forward to hiking new areas. Alzheimer's is a truly terrible thing and I am sorry your family is having to face it.

  2. How wonderful it must have been to dream of your mom in her better days... so often our thoughts before bed make our dreams more about the here and now.

    My mom doesn't brag about my brothers and me. She mostly tells stupid jokes about how ugly her kids are and thinks it's funny.

    Okay, I have to go look up sextant so I know what it is... feeling a bit stupid right now. I'm gonna go get me sum edukashun...

  3. It's good of you to keep the deer protected. I think hunting is a funny business. Like in Oregon the hunters wait for the elk license eagerly and then freezing their butts of in some sub-zero temperatures with a thousand other hunters just to hunt an elk (but usually come home empty handed). Why can't they just sit and wait by the sign that says "Elk Xing"? :)

    My ma is Asian, which means she only tells me how lousy I am. Now my sister is doing that to her daughter my niece. What a vicious cycle it is. So I've to break the cycle by telling my niece that I'm proud of her, I am actually, though she can be a real pain sometimes :)

  4. You can't use a word like 'sextant' willy nilly. Especially when you include your daughter in the story. I'm assuming this must be some sort of compass and you're not talking to your daughter about the birds and the bees?

  5. Sage, my mom didn't know me in the last 6 months of her life and it hurt so badly. I know how you feel to dream of her praise.

    I sure hope Obama is right!

  6. Kontan, the other sign of spring has to do with my sinuses--that's not as exciting. It is a terrible disease

    Lisa, you're the one with the dreams of sailing off after the sun--what happens if your GPS goes out?

    Mother Hen, if the herd gets any larger, we're going to have some illegal hunting, nothing is safe (plant wise)

    Murf, I put up a photo so you wouldn't have the wrong ideas...

    Kenju, Go Carolina!

  7. lol. fortunately the gps has never gone out... and fortunately it wasn't up to me to navigate if it had. ;)

    I see you clarified a bit.

  8. Oh, I'm so jealous that you got to see a fawn! Its seems like such a long time since I've seen one in real life. I used to see them all the time in Boulder.

    I'm so sorry about your mom these days, Sage. I can't even imagine how hard that must be.

    Have I told you before that when I was a young 'un I used to think that the sliver moon was God smiling at me? I really did. ...and sometimes I still do.

  9. What an adorable story about your daughter!!!!

    It's Memphis. NC isn't gonna win it all, but good try.

  10. Yes, Sage the signs of Spring is very cool. I enjoyed so many deer back in Ohio! Thr trouble there was that their habitat was being eroded by suburban sprawl!

  11. Just imagine, the Portuguese found and mapped their way to China and back using that particular gadget.

  12. Damn. I so thought you were talking about a sex tent. But then, I'm glad it wasn't THAT that you were showing your daughter how it works. ;)

  13. I've always wanted to learn how to use a sextant even though I never plan to be on the high seas anytime soon.

    I didn't think they were very accurate on land unless possible out on the plains of eastern Wyoming because our topography is too much to determine a horizon line. I suppose you just guess and come close.

  14. The moon is back- that's great. I like Stephanie's imagination too. Sometimes it seems like rambling clears the air a bit. I'm glad you see your Mom and remember the good days. My Dad's gone now, but I saw some of the same challenges.

  15. I had forgotten all about the sextent I have had for how long I don't know! I will give it to my 12 years-old nephew. I or my brother will teach him how to use it. I have a feeling I will be designated that work!

    Hope, my nephew does not assume I am gifting him a sex tent!

  16. Lisa, the photo was for you and Murf!

    Stephanie, great to see you back in blogland! I like the image of God smiling via a cresent moon.

    TC, not only is our basketball better than Memphis, so is our barbecue!

    Michael, actually there are more deer around today than ever before--they like the more open areas that come from development and also from farming

    Walking guy, Yeah, that little gadget has been pretty useful in times past

    Fantasy Life... You too? Lol

    Ed, I just get it as close as I can imagine for the horizon. There are ones with artifical horizons, I'm not quite sure how they work, but they'd be nice when you have a low fog

    Beau, "I recall her excitement every time I see a new moon

    Gautami, as a math teacher, you'd make a great tutor!

  17. Alzheimer's is truly "The Long 'Good-bye.'" I feel fortunate that my Mom, who will turn 80 this year, is still spry enough to live alone and drive herself around town.

    BTW, did your sextant come with a list of tables for solar elevation on the days of the year?


  18. when the outside birds chirp in the morning, my parrotlet chirps back to them. I hope he's not calling on them to rescue him.

  19. Very interesting.:)
    Yes, I sent a greeting via shelfari.

  20. if I were to start my life all over again I would be on a ship somewhere using that very instrument. :)

  21. Thanks for introducing the word, Sextant. Strange name for a navigational device...if that's what it is.

    I love how once upon a time your little girl ran in the house announcing the moon was back. :)

    Sounds like you have some pretty smart deer out in your neck of the woods.

    The story about your mom was touching. I hope you see much more of her good days.

  22. Randall, no, it was a garage sale item and wouldn't be acurate as there I'm sure the arm has been knocked off. I got my info on it from the web.

    Diane, I'm glad that your "caged bird" sings :)

    Venus/Mary, thanks!

    Red Star, does your wife swim?

    Scarlet, the sextant refers to a 1/6th of a circle--which is the ark along the bottom which you read to discover the angle of heavenly bodies in the sky.

  23. Don't feel bad about the sextant. It was only a few years ago I figured out how to work the scales at the doctor's office.