Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Conquering The Poets

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I heard the slam of the book as it hit the porch. Excited, I ran to the front door, lifted my newest treasure and tore the bubble wrap open with glee. My American Literature textbook had arrived and I looked forward to spending long hours reading the works of great authors like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. As I flipped through the pages, I felt a cold icy chill travel up my spine as I discovered that the textbook contained poems, lots of poems, millions of poems by authors such as Emily Dickinson, Anne Bradstreet and that really freaky Poe guy who wrote about a raven pecking at his window. I sat back in horror as I remembered the long, agonizing hours in high school that I spent hunched over Shakespeare’s iambic pentameters only to receive a dismal C in English Literature.

The disappointing experience I endured in high school led to a severe fear of all words strung together in a rhythmic pattern. As a child, I didn’t even read Dr. Seuss. I would rather have a root canal than read a poem. Poetry doesn’t make sense to me. And a lot of it doesn’t even rhyme! I was convinced that the poets were going to kick my butt. Again! But, I had no choice. I would have to rely on my instructor’s help; I would have to push aside my distaste for poetry, and I would have to gather the courage to explore and discover the beauty in the poet’s words. Only then would I be prepared to conquer those poets.

I relied on my instructor to show me the way. To lead me, like Moses led his people through the desert, through the labyrinth of metaphors, couplets and the confusing world of onomatopoeia. I depended on my instructor to provide the necessary resources, such as videos and audio tapes ease my way in learning to learn how to read poetry and the different techniques that different poets used. I also expected my instructor to nudge me in the right direction if I should run astray or stumble in the wrong direction during my travels through the course. My instructor did all that and I thank him for his patience as I bombarded him with endless questions.

But, I knew that I would also have to fulfill my role as a student to conquer those poets. I had to open my mind and push aside all my preconceptions about poetry. I had to recognize that my bias against this genre of writing was based solely on my high school experience. I knew that many people love poetry and that there are many authors out there who excel in taking their readers into unknown worlds such as: the aforementioned Dickinson, Bradstreet and don’t forget the crazy guy with the bird. I had to bury those memories and start with a clean slate if I was to have any hope of leaving this class with a respectable grade. Once I made the commitment to approach poetry with an open mind, I started to feel that I might have a chance to conquer my poetry demons and could actually do well in the class. I was amazed when I realized one day that I was not only understanding what I was reading, I was enjoying it.

However, my role as a student didn’t end with a commitment and a willingness to bury the hatchet when it came to reading poetry. I needed to go further than the techniques involved to truly appreciate and understand the words of the poets. I had to be willing to explore the world behind the words. I had to let my imagination fly as I watched the metaphors take wing and soar from the poets pens. I had to discover the world that the writers lived in by imagining I was looking through their eyes. Dickinson world was filled with flowers, her religious beliefs and she used metaphors to describe her feelings about the world around her. Bradstreet was a Puritan who wrote about her town, her family and the pleasures she took in the simple things in life. Poe, well, he was a very disturbed young man who put his dark thoughts into words and shared his pain, his fears and his scary nightmares with his readers. By digging deeper and discovering the poet’s personal worlds, I was better able to understand their works and the beauty behind their works.

In the end, due to the help and resources provided by my instructor, my commitment to approach the subject with an open mind and my willingness to take the extra journey of discovery to find just what inspired the poets, I was able to lasso a very respectable A+ in my American Literature course. I also left the course with a better understanding and appreciation for the writers of this genre and I no longer groan when I see a book a poems on the shelves of the local bookstore. I may never quote Keats to impress someone. But I can now speak with confidence when I say that if I was stranded on a desert island and only two books washed ashore, one being Stephen King’s newest novel and the other a book of works by Maya Angelou, I would not consider using the poetry book as kindling. That’s a sure sign that I’ve conquered those poets, don’t you agree?

I have to go now. There’s a huge, dark raven tapping on my sliding glass door. I think he has something to say.

 

 

10 Comments »

Just For Laughs

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Before I head off for my next class I thought I’d share some silly little things I’ve come across that made me laugh! Enjoy!

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Gonna miss him!

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Oh Yeah!!

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Hey, how did that picture of my beautiful granddaughter Elizabeth get in here?

Well, time to hit the books and study!

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Hope everyone has a smile filled week!

Love,

Cranky

4 Comments »

So Here’s How It Happened

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So, there I was. Standing next to my broken down car, while drivers honked and yelled “You’re blocking the lane,” I wiped the tears from my eyes as I was put on HOLD by AAA. How did this happen…what did I do wrong? How did my little red car become this mass of smoke and steam? I’ll tell you how! Because, I listened to THE MAN!

I remember how proud I was six years ago when I first laid eyes on my precious little bug of a car. It was shiny, it smelled good, it ran like a top and it still had a warranty. Fast forward six years and the little red car was still the apple of my eye. Sure, it had a few dings and some of the love bugs that smashed into the bumper and hood became imbedded for life. But, it was mine and I was so proud the day I made the last payment and received the title. It was finally mine after six years of soul sucking payments!

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I never worried about the little things, such as windshield wiper fluid, oil or other silly little things that made cars go Vroom..Vroom. MY MAN took care of those details, or so I thought. He laid down the law when I first got the car. NO ONE except THE MAN was supposed to open the hood and fiddle with this part and that without his supervision. I followed the LAWS OF MAN to a T…so why was I now on the side of the road unable to find that thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up?

Of course, after a fifteen minute conversation with the AAA representative and finding that a tow truck would be on it’s way in a timely manner (one or two hours minimum since “It is Memorial Day…we’re pretty busy!”) I phoned THE MAN and informed him I was on the side of the road, dodging irate drivers, and needed his assistance.

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A half hour later I was soaked to the skin in sweat and ready to shoot the next person who honked their horn to let me know my car was in their way. No one stopped to see if they could help me push the car into a safer location. They were too busy yelling at me to open my hood so cars could see that my little red bug was broken down. I did manage to get the hood up after pulling out the manual and locating the thing-a-ma-jingy and I eventually located my Hazard lights to warn drivers. I had reached the limit of what I knew to do with a broken down car and awaited the arrival of THE MAN!

I almost wept with relief when he finally arrived with a bucket of water.

“What happened?” he asked.

“I don’t know! It was kind of chugging as I drove and then when I got off the exit, it exploded!”

“When’s the last time you put water in it?”

WHAT! Hold on! Isn’t that THE MAN’S job? I don’t even know which of the strange containers under the hood holds water. I didn’t need to know such things, because THE MAN was taking care of maintaining my car. Right?

No, my friends, as in any situation when dealing with THE MAN, I was now subjected to a litany of sins I had committed prior to having my car decide to do a rather admirable imitation of an erupting volcano. I was supposed to check something called the temperature gauge. I was supposed to notify THE MAN the second that the car didn’t act right (yeah, okay, I’ll call from the highway and say “Hey, my car’s chugging a bit” while deep in three lane traffic traveling at 75 miles or more.) I was supposed to check the fluids periodically.

As much as I wanted to throttle THE MAN, I held back since there were far too many witnesses.

I answered my phone, shaking with rage and heard the AAA representative ask me if I was in a safe place until the tow truck could arrive.

“I am,” I told her, “But I’m not sure about THE MAN!”

Eventually, as days went by with my car in the shop receiving a new engine, THE MAN admitted to not fulfilling his duties in maintaining my car. I admitted that I was silly to trust the care of my car to someone else. I have now learned how to check the water, oil and more importantly the location of the thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up. Balance has been restored in the house and the little red car is once again parked in the driveway after costing a couple of thousand dollars to repair.

Yesterday, I noticed that the air conditioning unit has now become inoperable. It shoots out hot air faster than a furnace. I think I’ll wait a few days to tell THE MAN. I’m sure it’s my fault the damn thing is broken!

I have decided that if my car bites the dust I’m going to convert to an alternate, cheap and easier to maintain mode of transportation.

horse for sale

Just saying,

Cranky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments »

Preparing for a Trip to the Emergency Room

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Its two a.m. and your belly is killing you. The pain you’ve ignored all day is now so severe that you must make that dreaded trip to the emergency room. Before you rush out the door, cramped over in agony, you might want to take the time to collect the necessary items you’ll need for this excursion into the hallowed halls of medicine.

First, make sure you have clean undies on. Hospital gowns always have broken ties that leave your butt waving in the wind. A clean pair of unholy undies are a must if you want to retain a modicum of modesty. Guys, you might want to rethink your choice of going “Commando” and slip on a pair of whitie tighties.

Next, grab the list of medicines that you currently take on a daily basis. Make sure the list includes what each medication is for, the dosage and how many times a day you take them. Be sure to include any over the counter drugs you have been using to try to settle that stomach. This list is crucial to speeding up the triage process by at least 15 to 20 minutes. If you don’t have a list prepared, grab a bag and throw the medications in.

For goodness sake, leave out the recreational drugs. However, after you have the physician sign a “Confidentiality” form, you can inform him that you smoke weed for medicinal purposes only. This is recommended to Cover Your Butt and avoid having cops standing outside your emergency room cubicle.

Now grab a list of all the surgeries you have ever had in your life and when they were performed. Be sure to include those tonsils, cataract or any reconstructive surgery if you’ve been lucky enough to afford some. Lifestyle lifts might not have an impact on your stomach but for some reason, medical professionals want to know all!

Before you even think about heading out the door, make sure that you have a valid identification with your picture on it and those very expensive medical insurance cards. Without them, you are nothing and you will spend a great deal of time at the registration desk trying to validate who you are.

Finally, grab that book you’ve been reading or a Kindle. This will make the long hours waiting to see a doctor easier to pass. Hospital magazines are well-known for being outdated and their televisions are usually preset to boring infomercials. You are already in pain, don’t risk adding to it.

Now that you have collected all the necessary items for your trip to the emergency room, wake up your nearest and dearest and let him (or her) drive to the hospital. You might think you can do this on your own, but if the doctors pump some really good painkillers into your veins, you are going to be Jell-O on your way home.

Good luck and I hope it’s just gas!

Cranky

 

6 Comments »

Have You Seen Me?

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This woman was last seen entering the hallowed halls of academia last October and she has not been heard from in months by her WordPress followers. Has she been abducted by aliens? Has she fallen into one of those infamous Florida sinkholes? Or, has she been sucked into the vortex of higher learning and is unable to find her way out?

Wait, is that the door to her Blog room opening! Yes, there she is. A little older, much wiser and now able to break free of those academic commitments long enough to say “Hey, y’all!”

Wow, it’s been a while, my friends! But, I am finally here and hope I will be able to blog more often now that I’ve gotten two semesters under my belt. It’s starting to get a little easier in school once I’ve gotten used to how things work and what instructors are looking for. So, I now have a little more time to blog and oh, how I have missed you all!

I guess a quick update is in order. I am doing well in my studies as I have received 7 A’s and one B (Biology kicked my proverbial butt!). I’ve made Dean’s list twice so far and have just been accepted into the Beta Xi Upsilon Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society! How about them apples? I am now an official College Nerd! Who would have thunk that at the age of 63 I can still keep up with the young’uns? Currently, my GPA is 3.83 but Math courses have yet to be conquered!

So far I have survived courses such as Biology, Environmental Science, Economics, Public Speaking and been introduced to Psychology 101 and American Literature. I am currently in English Comp 1 with English Comp 2 following next month. Every course has taught me something new and exciting (okay, Biology, not so much!) and that thirst for knowledge continues on. I’m getting closer to deciding what I’ll major in for my Bachelor’s degree and am determined to go all the way with a Doctorate Degree (if my ticker and teeth hold out long enough.)

On the personal side, Danny is doing well and the doctor’s  suspect that his Hepatitis C might be in remission! HALLELUJAH! He’s being retested in September so I’ve got my fingers crossed. Buddy is now over 100 pounds and rules the nest. He has turned into a wonderful companion and spends his day making the funniest faces! My kids are doing great! My granddaughter is now in the National Junior Honor Society and won Second Prize in the Florida State Science Fair. How about them apples!

I hate to say that my all of my writing time has been spent doing essays and papers for school. But, that’s okay since I’m sharpening my writing skills with every piece I write. It’s all about priorities right now and as long as I’m doing some type of writing, I’ll be okay! Although, I still sneak a peek at the stories I was working on before being shanghaied aboard the college train. And, more ideas are popping up daily, but for now, I just jot them down to work on at a later date.

So, how the hell have you all been? If you remember me, send me a comment! Let me know what’s new and exciting in your world. If you’re a new visitor, Welcome from a little old lady who is known to be “Cranky” at times but who loves her WordPress followers with a passion. I’m hoping I still have one or two left!

For now, I’ll sign off and hope to hear from all of y’all soon!

Love,

Cranky

 

48 Comments »

Sad News – Shirley Temple has passed away.

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Shirley Temple Black

1928 – 2014

I can’t stop the tears. I feel like I’ve lost a little sister. Shirley Temple Black passed away today at the age of 85. The world has lost a talented child star and a great lady who did so much good work in her lifetime.

She will be missed but I’m sure she’s tapping away with the angels and putting lots of animal crackers in her soup! RIP Shirley!

20 Comments »

A Silent Hawk For Wordless Wednesday!

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Shhhh…I’m supposed to be studying! But, just wanted to send this in to Bastet for her Wordless Wednesday for this week! Back to the books!

Love,

Cranky

6 Comments »

A Look Back…A Look Ahead

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Well, slap me silly! I almost missed my anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I first stepped into the wonderful world of WordPress. And, oh what a year it’s been.

I remember sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for Danny’s name to be called (that’s what you do at doctor’s offices..you wait…you wait and you wait) when I overheard two women talking about a blog they both followed.

At the time, I had no idea what a blog was. It sort of sounded like some kind of alien communication device. My first instinct was to move further away from the two old bats but my curiosity got the better of me. Very politely I turned to them and asked “What the hell is a blog?”

They gave me a look that screamed “DUH” but I guess they felt sorry for me so they explained that blogs were used by different people in different ways. Some used them as a personal journal; some people used them to showcase their writings and some people just enjoyed reading them.

I was amazed! “There’s something besides “Matlock” reruns and playing stupid games on Facebook!” I thought to myself. “Who would have thunk it?” I ran home and fell right into the WordPress World.

Well, that was on January 27, 2013 and the rest is history (as they say). When I look back I am amazed at the difference WordPress and all you wonderful people have made in my life.

From the moment I stepped into WordPress, I was hooked. All of you out there have so much talent, so much to say and you do it so well! You inspire me and you motivated me to make the most out of the rest of my life.

The best words to describe this past year is UNBELIEVABLE! I’ve progressed so far in my writing (and been lucky enough to have numerous pieces published) just from learning from all of you!

So, what’s ahead? Well, as you might know, this geriatric old biddy is now a full time college student aiming for a degree in journalism. I’m still writing those short stories and getting closer to revising the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I still like it, but need the time to really sit down and work on it. Those damn short stories keep calling me and to tell the truth, they enable me to hone my skills in writing so I’m not worried! Plus, I have such a damn good time writing them!

How do I thank all of you? I have over a thousand followers now and in one short year, I’ve gotten over 20,000 views and almost 5,000 comments (okay, so half of that number are mine…picky..picky!) I’m chuffed! I’m honored! And, I am oh so grateful to all of you.

So, what’s up for Cranky in the next year? Who knows? And, that’s the exciting part! I’m not getting off this roller coaster…it’s too much fun and it certainly has put a skip in my step. I am working on time management so that I can do my schoolwork, keep up with my writing and still manage to keep in touch with all of you.

We’ll just have to take it one day at a time. But, what great days they will be! I just know it.

Love,

Cranky

15 Comments »

One Proud Grandma…One Great Day

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Okay, now that my horrible, horrible speech class is over I can finally get a post done! I really didn’t think that college would take up so much of my time but it’s too late now!

I’ve got three A’s under my belt and heading into biology! Last night I just glanced through the book and had to put it down. The pictures were pretty gruesome but I’d taken anatomy years ago, so c’mon birds and the bees, bring it on.

Danny and I are weathering the chilly weather here in Florida and anxiously waiting for tomorrow which should be the start of a week filled with sun and warmer temps. I have felt so bad for the people in the country getting hammered again and again with subzero temps, ice and snow! Now they know why southerners say “y’all come back now!”

So, the speech class is done and better weather is coming, so there’s been a lot of clapping going on. But, I am a Grandma, first and foremost so I must bring up the fact that my grandaughter, Elizabeth and her friend Camilla have, oh, how should I say this?

THEY ROCKED THE FLORIDA REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR! Oh yeah, they are going on to the State Science Fair and they are only in eighth grade!

The two traveled with Camilla’s family this summer and collected data in Costa Rica to compare with data collected in the U. S. I’m not sure what the project is about since I haven’t been able to see it yet (but I will). I know they put a lot of hard work into their project and I’m so proud, well, even Cranky has a big old grin on her face.

So, while I try to think of something to write about, I’d just like to present the 2014 FIRST PRIZE winners of the Florida Regional Science Fair. (Did I mention I’m proud?)

1557338_10200465848407817_1108972766_o(Clue: Elizabeth has blond hair!)

So, let’s put our hands together and give them a round of applause!

I’ll be back soon!

Cranky

14 Comments »

Another Legend Passes

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Pete Seeger wrote with a message and his message will live on many years after his death.  Rest in Peace, Pete! I know you’re forming a folk band among the angels right now!

There is a time…Turn, turn, turn!

2 Comments »

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