Welcome to the

Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

About Me

My photo
Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Altered are Altered

The biology teacher in me is not really happy because three chromosomes should be represented exactly and only one is. Bill's Dad gave him the exact y-chromosome and they are the same in my layout. But the x from my Dad should be exact for me--the closest I could come was a similar one outlined in yellow--and the x from Bill to our daughter should be the same. The rest are all scrambled eggs--which X did Bill get from his Mom, which did I get from my Mom and which did I give the kid? It gets even funnier if you look at the chromosomes in my starting generation and wonder who gave them what? All in all--we are our ancestors, sort of! We are our ancestors, altered! And isn't that fun????

Friday, May 29, 2009

AA's are giving me a headache!

My daughter asked us the other night how it was that one of her dearest friends is so petite when the girl's sibs are tall. ( We are retired science teachers--I taught biology,for goodness sakes! Genetics, however, went right over her head in high school!) Biting our academic tongues we merely pointed out that the girl's father is rather on the short side. "Yes," said she, irritated(aren't children ALWAYS irritated with their thick-headed parental units?) " but he is the father of the other four kids!"
"True," we replied calmly "but their mother is not hers and their mother is considerably taller than the Dad!"
"Well," harruphed the irritated one "her mother is also taller than he!"
Obviously, the obvious was not providing a satisfactory answer. The male parent then inquired"would you like us to do the genetics thing--you know the genes on the chromosomes and various possible combinations, including the variables introduced by the presence of two different mothers?"
He is always so much better at ending the conversation without escalation than I--that's one of the reasons I keep him, I guess.
With total disdain for us both, she sighed,gave a resounding "NO!" stomped upstairs muttering "nothing is ever simple around here!"
We shook our heads and went on with our lives, knowing it really is because her Dad is short.
BUT, that conversation gave me an idea for this week's theme--that and the Altered Ancestor's book on Inpire Me Thursday's website. Sooo, today I'm going to try to make a scrapbook page that will show our darling the altered ancestors that is SHE. Have only her grandparents and us to work with but it should work out.
Please come back in a few days to see how it turns out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

An American Observance( I think)

Today is Memorial Day here in the US and ,while many folks are just grateful for an extra day off from work,some are thinking of loved ones who have died or been injured in the service of our country. Such loss is not unique to us Americans. Many men and women worldwide have suffered in the military.

In my case, though father and brothers and uncles have served in the Navy, we have been fortunate enough not to have had them serve during wartime. Purely by luck they were either too young or too old to serve during those periods. I've known others who have not been as lucky and today, more than usual, I think of them and their families.

It is overwhelming to walk some of the Civil War battlefields that exist here and to imagine the events that took place a mere 140 years ago. It is even more overwhelming to walk in one of the National Cemetaries and look upon row after row of white stones. If, by some magic, the dead were able to rise and walk that place even momentarily the numbers would compare to an audience at a concert! Unbelieveable and daunting.

So today I thank all of you who have served their countries--US AND others. I'd like to believe that war will some day be obsolete but I don't believe it---being human we will always find some reason to disagree and there will always be those who feel war is the only way to go. I'm not being judgemental, nor am I a pacifist. On the other hand I am not a warmonger. Despite our rationality, anger and discord will rise and lives will be lost.

Let's just remember the ones we've lost so far and pray for them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Warrior

He lifted his pseudopod slightly---was that a popping he'd heard, like a child playing with that packing stuff? Had it been followed by a snicker of triumph? Did he detect a slight catch and roughness in the soft ebb and flow of the air around him? Listening a moment longer he decided he was just a bit jumpy. There'd been talk of contagion between his hostess and her family for several days now but no signs of invasion so far. Silently he lowered and extended his pod--oozing along the smooth, glistening, warm, moist, gently moving walls of his post.

He passed several other soldiers and quietly asked if they had encountered anything unusual. Only one thought there had been a slight shudder earlier but things seemed normal otherwise. Suddenly, there was a short rapid expulsion of air and moisture and several of the troops were carried rapidly out of the chamber by its force. Then he noticed that the walls appeared to be sweating more than usual and the moisture was becoming somewhat stickier. Calling to the fellows nearest him, he started around a narrow passage to the next chamber. As they continued through another explosive rush of air almost carried him upward toward the outer world. Becoming alarmed he urged the men to follow him more closely and he attempted to increase his speed. He did not want to allow himself to panic but he knew that he had to explore every chamber of this structure. Somewhere, he feared, danger was brewing.

As they continued,stealthily, through the convoluted corridors the sticky seepage of the walls thickened, making it more difficult to slide their way along the passages. Soon, they began to see clusters of viral remains stuck to the now deepening effluent. His soma began to pulse and he realized that the sounds he heard coming from the farthest chambers were the separation noises of the rods in the throes of asexual euphoria. Although he now knew what to expect ,the sight of the brilliant red walls of the invaders' camp stunned him.

Immediately, he dispatched some of his men to the barracks to muster reinforcements. The others he ordered to stretch their bodies to the limit, until the middle pinched in and the one became two. In the process, chemicals were released to neutralize those of the maniacally reproducing foe. Over and over again, he and his men stretched and divided, hoping against hope to form a battle unit large enough to overcome the enemy which had a head start. As his numbers increased he assigned some to diffuse through the walls and spread out within his hostess, starting fires as they went to increase the temperature of the surroundings. This he knew would start to destroy the weaker among the rods. He also ordered others to begin the engulfing, though he knew this meant death to his men as well. He thought fleetingly of the kamikazes of that far off country he'd read about in his youth. But, the battle he was waging did not leave much time for nostalgia,nor for regret. His mission was to overcome the threatening horde and save his hostess.

As the frantic reproduction on both sides continued there was a sudden cataclasmic eruption and pieces of the now thickened lining of the walls were pulled away, along with the bodies of his dead--bloated with the bodies of engulfed rods. White, and yellowish and green in death. Slimy with the coating of the chamber, they were explosively carried upward and out of sight. On and on the battle raged. The eruptions came more frequently. The heat became unbearable to him and his men as well as to the still splitting rods.

And then, as quickly as it had begun, the battle slowed and almost ceased. The air was fetid and moist and its flow in and out of the chamber was ragged. But for the moment there was a respite and he took that moment to assess the damage. His forces were reduced but word came that help was on the way. Other messages informed him that the men on the periphery were unscathed and able to keep the fires going without interference. Just as he was about to doze for a few minutes the second in command came to inform him that he had a visitor. Sal, from the hostess, wanted to see him. He had to put him off--he couldn't have any interference now. The battle had not truly begun and he needed to keep total command until he felt the tide turn in his favor. And so, his lieutenant was ordered to stall Sal.

Stretching for one last split before resting he was infuriated to find Sal pushing his way into his space. Sal demanded that the fires be tamped down and said he'd been sent by the hostess to do just that. He countered that the heat was necessary to weaken the invader but Sal argued back that it was weakening the hostess as well. " She cannot eat, nothing she drinks stays down" he declared. " Besides, it is because of her that you have this quiet! She sent NyQie to calm the walls." Looking around he realized that in his fatigue he had not noticed the blue green tinge of the thin wash now beginning to cover the walls. " If you don't let us do our work--we few that she has sent so far--she will only send more and your men will not be able to stop us putting out the fires. At least let us damp them down and reduce the heat so she is somewhat comfortable. Look around you, your men are being slowed by this intense temperature." Wearily, he agreed.

Soon after Sal's departure the new recruits arrived en masse. He shook his head in sorrow. Some of them were so young they didn't even have their central control rooms fully developed. Yet, here they were starting to engulf and to discharge neutralizing liquids almost without order. Another spasm pulled some of them upward almost as soon as they arrived--dying already and not yet full to bursting with rods. He joined the fray and once more the chaos of battle became the only reality. On and on it went --periods of frenzy, periods of quiet. After what seemed an eternity the horde was subdued. The weary remains of his force returned to the barracks. He gave his lieutenant and others of the routine patrol time to relax. Fresh recruits who had not been needed when the battle raged arrived to clean up the remains of the fallen of both sides.

He wearily found a corner out of the way and observed the carnage. Sorrow for the lost mingled with satisfaction at a job well done. He wondered how much longer he would survive these attacks but knew that he would be ready to lead when the next one came. And it would.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Try Poetry!

Oh,Graceful Petals
So Snowy,Fragrant,Lovely
White Apple Blossoms

I just got so inpired by the other Haiku posted I had to give it a sophmoric try! My first, so be kind,please!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Promise of Spring

A first visit to Mystic, Ct for our 25th wedding anniversary, we took a walk around the village to help digest our oysters on the half shell. We found a lovely garden to walk through and as we neared the exit we walked beneath this lovely magnolia in bloom...One of the first blossoms in New England and so welcome after the long,snowy winter of short days. As I looked up through the branches I saw that they formed a lovely frame for the stained glass window of the Church, whose garden it graced. It seemed so lovely I just had to save it to my digital camera's memory card to bring up on rainy days like to day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I think of you often although you have been gone more than half my life.
You never met my husband;nor held your granddaughter.
I feel you near me at times and yet, at other times, I wonder if Dad was right:
There is no afterlife, we live on in our children and theirs.
That may be true--so much of me is like you--some things I really love and others which drive me crazy in me as much as they drove me nuts in you!
You were the glue that held us all together.
You would be 108 now and I wonder what you would have been like as you aged.
I miss you and wish I could share so many thoughts and worries and joys with you.
Happy Mother's Day, I love you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And Then There is One

We start out as one--alone in the womb--but soon we join THE FAMILY--parents who coo and sing and love and feed and clean and nurture. The circle grows--siblings,aunts,uncles,cousins --maybe grandparents. We go into the world and acquire friends who are like family and their families become part of the extended family. Some of us get married or form a particular bond with a specific partner and adopt that person's family as our own. Perhaps, with that partner we add children and the circle becomes huge and the support of it and the burden of it and the stress of it all keeps us going. Far too soon the circle begins to grow smaller as the elders start off on new journeys --to another place? The younger ones move on as well, to other places and to other "families". Until the circle is completed and once more we are just one!