About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Georgie Eats Old Gray Rats and Paints Houses Yellow

I was visiting favored blogger Elisabeth and saw that she posted her rendition of a geography meme. I backtracked from her blog to see how/where the meme originated and to see how some other bloggers presented their versions."OK," thought I, "I am a woman who has been around the block a few times. This one is for me." And besides, I cannot look at the word "geography" without giggling. When I was a child in Catholic elementary school, spelling mattered, unlike today. Spelling comes pretty naturally to me, but some words were more difficult than others. "Geography" was such a word. My aunt Pat had always been spelling challenged, and the nuns in her generation were just as insistent upon proper spelling. Pat had made up jingles or reminders or prods to help her with certain words and she shared the one for "geography" with me: Georgie Eats Old Gray Rats and Paints Houses Yellow. But I digress. Here's my meme ~

You must begin your post with a geographical joke - Who is a penguin's favorite aunt? Aunt Arctica!

Then credit the geographical joke to the source - Sorry. I had to Google it. I'm not humorless, but I don't make up jokes and I didn't know any geography jokes.

Then in as few words as possible (that is very difficult for me!) - explain your earliest recollection/ awareness of the following:

Europe - In the same Catholic, elementary school we were joined by a new student, Elizabeth, from Germany. Sister showed us on the globe where Elizabeth was born. Who knew? I was 7.

America - I was born shortly after World War II. I knew at a very early age (preschool) that I lived in America and for that, I should be grateful and proud. Later I would learn to question some of that, but as a small child, that was imparted to me.

Africa - Same Catholic elementary school (yes, I did finally get out of elementary school): we studied about Egypt and the pharoahs. I made a diorama featuring a pyramid and camels, with beach sand representing the Sahara. One day, much later, I would visit Egypt.

Australia - Before I started school I had a book featuring kangaroos and koalas. My Granny always went farther than simply reading to me. She put the subject matter into context.

Asia - Several of my uncles had served in the Pacific in the War. Granny had the beautiful lacquered jewelry boxes and Japanese geisha dolls. Once again, that good woman pulled out the encyclopedia to show a 4-year-old where those gifts were made and purchased.

Then say what is your furthest point travelled - This made me snicker! North and South are pretty straightforward, but my east may be the reader's west, depending on where either of us is located. For the record, I'm in the western U.S. and that has always been my starting point.

North -
Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales, from where my ancestors hail.
South - The Panama Canal.
East -
West - Hawaii.

Longest time living in one place and where was it? Lemon Grove, California, a four-square-mile city completely surrounded by San Diego. Home of the big lemon! It was incorporated in 1977, the year I was married, and every bit of that charms me. I lived there 22 years, by far the longest period of time I was ever planted in one location.

Shortest time living in one place and where was it? Four weeks in Santa Barbara, California. What a pity! It is lovely and Lemon Grove is not.

Brief list of places lived , in rough order of appearance:
Mine cannot be brief. Behold! Cambria, LA, Salt Lake City, LA, Salt Lake City, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, LA, Inglewood, City of Commerce, Pomona, Santa Barbara, Glendale, Burbank, Bell, Las Vegas, Lemon Grove, Las Vegas. And that does not take into account that in some of those places, I lived in several different homes.

How many addresses have you had? I actually got out a pen and pad for this. How about at least 51 for certain!?! No wonder I'm so unstable!

In my ears right now: Well, it should be On the Road Again, as it seems that's where I've spent most of life except for the Lemon Grove idyll!

Something that charmed me: Ex and I had a very tiny house in Lemon Grove. Read t-i-n-y. As our income increased, he occasionally suggested we buy something better. I resisted. I pleaded with him to understand that I'd been moved around all of my life and I just wanted to sink some roots. He was tolerant. We were surprised by the arrival of Amber 20 years into our marriage, and babies require a lot of furniture and equipment. Now the house was inadequate to our needs. "Les, we need to buy something else." I resisted. Finally, it reached the point where we were going to have to nail any incoming furniture or appliances to the ceiling. That was still OK with me. "Mom, I can only have one friend over at a time. There's no place for us to play or sleep. I want to have a slumber party." I acquiesced. I lived in that house 16 years, and my daughter 8. The next home was fairly grand. But there the marriage collapsed and, once again, I moved on.


  1. The old gray rat, she ain't what she used to be!

  2. @ the Badger ~ You'll want to watch what you call me, Sir. Especially in public.

    Seriously, though, I'm glad you snapped that little sidewalk tableau. I've used it twice on the blog. Long live the BlackBerry camera feature!

  3. Hmm, Limes in Lemon Grove?

  4. I like this meme, but I'm not sure mine would be worth reading. I'll have to think about it. You really have been around a few blocks. Is Las Vegas IT for you? No more California? No more Sugarhouse?

  5. @ Tag ~ My friend you caught on, I believe. I was a lemony woman for years. We were active in that community. City Council, school board, Chamber of Commerce and more. For years my e-mail address had a reference to lemon zest. The reason I am LimesNow (plus you know me e-mail address and its lime-y reference) is that I'm no longer a lemon drop.

  6. @ Kasserole ~ While I always feel we don't know what's up around the bend, I feel pretty certain no more California. Its economy has gone to hell and I don't know that I think it will recover. My daughter isn't a child any longer, so she doesn't need me there. I am not perfectly matched to Las Vegas, but right now - just for today - I am perfectly matched to my job and my personal attachments here. I'll be here for the foreseeable future, at least.