The State of the UnionThere weren't any fisticuffs at the State of the Union address earlier this week. If my last post gave the impression that I was hoping for rowdiness in the House Chamber, I didn't make myself clear. I honestly wasn't hoping for flying fists - but if such had ensued - I wanted a front row seat, perverse human that I am. The news people have been babbling about Obama's speech for three days now, but I can't think of much to say about it. I believe Obama thought that if he told the real honest-to-goodness condition of the country, it would scare us all to death; so he decided to deliver a pie-in-the-sky speech about how he would like things to be without revealing much of a plan for achieving those things. I felt a little like a teenager whose dad says, "Your future is so important to me! I envision a college education and a new car for you;" and the whole time dad is talking I know he's broke and out of a job.
I went to town this morning to run some errands. I noticed something I hadn't noticed before - an official state road department sign on the side of the road - "Drinking Water Protection Area." It seems to me that official signs are usually where they are to influence behavior. All the typical traffic signs tell us what we're supposed to do - stop, yield, slow down, etc. And of course, some signs identify public buildings so that - if we're looking for City Hall - we'll know when we find it. But what are we supposed to make of a sign that says "Drinking Water Protection Area?" There's no reservoir anywhere around so I can't see that the sign is identifying anything, and I can't see how it's supposed to influence behavior. Unless . . . maybe the message is, "If you've got to go, don't do it here - just keep on down the road to McDonald's where there's a restroom."
Are cows supposed to be having babies in January? I thought calves came along in the spring. No matter - as I drove past the pasture down the road this morning, there they were - two of the cutest little black and white calves, running and frolicking in and out among the very serious grown-up cows. I'll swear, I think I could almost tell which one was their mother. She had that look that all mothers get sooner or later. You know, the look that says, "These kids are driving me crazy."
Somebody asked me the other day if I thought our horses like the cold weather. I don't think the cold temperatures bother them. After all, we're in Louisiana, not Montana. What bothers them is not having any good green grass to graze on. They're well supplied with hay, but horses are built for grazing and they get downright bored when the grazing is not good. This morning, when I looked out in the pasture, Fay and Tesoro were laying down - sunning themselves. Rocky was stretched out flat on his side and stayed still so long, I wondered if he had kicked the bucket. I stepped out on the side porch and whistled and shouted and called him by name. He lifted his head and looked at me as if to say, "What? What do you want me to be doing in this God forsaken desert?"
Some of my pen pals must think I'm dead. For two months after my knee surgery, letter writing was out of the question. Pain medication makes you sleepy and even if you're awake, English composition is not your strong suit. As soon as I was off the pain medication it was time to start all the holiday preparations - which explains why there are at least fifteen letters in my "to answer" bin. I answered two yesterday - on the computer. When you're a fountain pen afficionado, it's a bit of a come-down to send computer letters. And thereby hangs a tale. I'm right handed, but a few years ago my right thumb started trembling whenever I grasped something small - like a pen. Needless to say, it's hard to write a decent hand when your thumb is shaking. The doctor assured me that the shaking is due to basal joint arthritis and not any serious disease. I reasoned that - since I have two hands - I'd just write with the other one. It was 2007 when I started writing with my left hand. The script I'm producing now looks much better than it did when I started. I'm comfortable holding a pen with my left hand - the initial awkwardness is gone, thank goodness. But I haven't developed any speed, and sometimes I just don't have the patience to write a long letter with my left hand. Thank goodness I have a love affair with technology and console myself with a wide variety of cool computer fonts and neat clip art.