Saturday, April 18, 2015

Found It!

Shortly after posting the prior post I found a plastic shoe-box-size container that I had moved all of my seeds into sitting on the top shelf of my closet way up in the dark with the spider webs and dust to keep it company. I opened it, noted most of the seeds are now years old, went outside and scattered a bunch of seeds everywhere in my wildflower bed and raked them in gently and watered. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I then planted small potting containers of sunflower seeds as these get eaten by critters before they get a head start.  Some of the sunflowers we might give away at one of the garden events.  All of this stuff is now going into the ground here and there and anywhere, because the seeds are probably not viable. I certainly do not need to save them.  I have two packets of Forget-Me-Nots and most people know that these are hard to kill even with time.

I have resolved to empty this box and start fresh this fall.

We are now planning some more weeding and then maybe a sunset canoe trip from a nearby woodland park boat ramp. I will, of course, take the camera, and if I see anything worthwhile, I will share.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


My life is better and more normal these days. The meeting in the previous post was a terrific experience.  Yes, I did get a great night's sleep for a change as I was exhausted upon my return.  I met some new and interesting people and found I have much in common with them. The only downer is that few people ate my soybean salad.   I always try to bring something vegan and healthy, but the chile, pulled pork, baked beans, cakes and pies all seemed to be the favorites, as usual.  Next year I am bringing fudge---or some really decadent pie.  Screw it!

I spent today looking for my file container of seeds.  I keep in storage folders and plastic vials with seeds collected from last year and new packets from the seed exchange a while back.  I opened the portable carrier that was labeled "Seeds and Plants" and not a single seed was inside!  All my notes and plant information and plant stakes were there...but not a single packet or container of seeds?  I know that I cleaned out the old seeds last year, but am totally lost about where I put the new stuff that I got from the seed exchange.  I am also missing a batch of plastic vials that may or may not have seeds?

I looked into another file carrier that had a lot of travel brochures, maps, notes, etc.  AND another carrier that has some older files.  As an elder it is easy for me to get distracted, so, I spent the better part of the day sorting through this old stuff.  I actually had old pay statements and evaluation reviews from my last job!  What a fun time I had shredding those files for the compost pile in the garden!  I threw away a number of items that were dated regarding national and state parks and hotels we had visited, saved some of the old stuff from trips (Jamaica, Ireland) as memories, and made newly labeled file folders for it all.  What a good girl am I. 

Still I cannot find my seeds!

I was going out tonight for dinner and then maybe buy some seeds, but I gave in and have made mole' chicken, friend rice and leftover green beans and we will stay at home. We have never seen House of Cards (the American version) and maybe we will watch two episodes of that.   Hubby is now water spraying the oyster flats of their winter growth and he will be both dirty and exhausted upon his return.  (Maybe he will remember to bring up some oysters for tomorrow's dinner!)  Thus dinner should be waiting for him...not a shower and trip to our local restaurant.

Oh, our osprey (Fred and Ethel) are having a rather risque old time and I will try to remember to post something about that on the next blog.  They returned close to St. Patrick's Day as they always do.  The photo below is not good as it was taken through a window on a rainy day...but you can see how drenched the poor thing was.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I do not know why age and aging are more on my mind these days.  April is spring and renewal and getting to start new things.  Yet, I am drawn to articles about aging, loss of faculties, changes in outlook and reduction in activities, and even poetry on dying.  Not in a depressing way, but in a thoughtful and curious way.

It does not help that every month or so I notice some new mark on aging in my body or my ability to do things.  I can still put on my pants standing up and I can still get up off the floor without too much difficulty...both actions which I hold close and dear as hallmarks of good health.

As a result of this gloomier mood, I have been more prone to avoid getting together with others unless they are family.  I used to be this way when I was middle-aged (decades ago), but it was just a light mood.  Now when I have a meeting to go to, as I do this evening, I really want to just stay home and curl up with a good book or TV British mystery and some hot tea.  The meeting is a "meet-and greet" for new members and almost everyone that shows up is a wonderful person!  We all have the same interests anyway! Yet, I am not eager to be in welcoming mode and small talk mode and eating a buffet of homemade goodies, for some reason.  It all seems like taking a 5 mile walk in the heat of the day.  I can do it; I know it is good for me; but I do not want to.

I wonder if this is a natural process as we age, because we have less energy and are less eager to think quickly.  I mean, if you looked at me, you would not see someone doddering or slow.  You might actually think that I look fairly good for my age and be impressed that I have many interests.  But maybe this process is to avoid being exposed to illness, avoiding energy draining talk, and preparing us for a time when we will naturally be less active and less conversational?  Of course, there are many elderly, like my husband, who live for "meet and greets" and who will hold audience with many at his deathbed.

Oddly enough, I just wrote on someone's blog that they should look forward to the challenges of getting out and about and not be so withdrawn when they complained of  avoiding going out to dinner with loved ones...little hypocrite that I am.

(I think I figured out how to change the font size in html with this template..not too old.)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Post It

Too busy to post something thoughtful or insightful...which, of course, is my style.  I currently have dirt under my fingernails from weeding the last two beds in the front yard and planting petunias and pansies in a few of the pots on the deck.

I have called two of the Master Gardener volunteers this week for their brief interview and will write up the notes on that when I  am done here.

Calling various handymen for repair work and have made a dent in the fix-it list.  Got our 9 (NINE) smoke alarms rewired, got the outlet to the freezer fixed so that we can now begin stocking it once again...perhaps with spring fruits and jams soon.

Reading Elizabeth Gilbert's "The Signature of All Things" and no matter how many reader blew off "Eat, Pray, Love" (which I read twice) I think this writer has a great talent and ability to write in different styles and I do like her ability to take me away from it all.

Now, I am resting on my laurels and read your blogs during this time.

I drop back, in a few days.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Being Honest(?) With Myself

My blog is anonymous and one of the reasons for that is this odd post below where I am sticking my neck out.

I remember a lecture about prejudice that I attended many years ago when I was "probably" in college.   A black man gave the lecture and one of the very first questions he asked was "Who in the room was racially prejudiced?"  A very few tentatively raised their hands before I cold even get the question around in my mind.  Then he went on to say that every single person in the room was prejudiced to some degree because of their background and experiences.  He included both black and white people in the room.  This was a new concept to me at that time; remember this was almost 50 years ago and I was very young and naive, which brings me to this past weekend.

Easter Sunday was a day my daughter had scheduled for one of her son's birthdays.  Her other son's birthday party was on the Saturday!  They were both born close to Easter.

Daughter selected a museum in Baltimore for the little guy and allowed him to invite his closest friend from preschool. Since my grandson had mentioned this friend a number of times, I was glad to have the opportunity to meet him.  The friend's family came as well...parents and their 2-year-old daughter.  We ate at a seafood chain restaurant and then spent time in the museum designed just for children.  Exhausting for us old types, but lots of fun as well with all the unusual physical activities. 

It was not until well into the afternoon that I realized I had been very careful of my behavior (internally) for most of the day.  The mother of this family was black and the father was white.  I realized that each time I approached their young boy to help or distract in an activity I was conscious of trying to be as 'politically correct' as possible.  Stupid and odd on my part, but I subconsciously kept making sure my actions were balanced and fair and "liberal" between the two four-year-old boys.  I did not want a hint of accidental prejudice to show!  I did not want to make some mistake.  This is a really odd feeling and I have no idea where it came from.  (No bleeding heart liberal comments please!)

I am not prejudiced.  At least I think (hope) I am not.  Then why was I so conscious of  the possibility of making a mistake?  I will honestly admit in my little old lady white world these days, unlike my younger years, I am not around black children very often.  I have a few adult black acquaintances at meetings, etc., but my life is so white bread. ( I am trying to change that with some new volunteer work which is not evolving as I hoped..not even getting off the ground.)

Am I too old for words?  Or am I just overly sensitive?  Am I a relic of the older generation that millennial types try to ignore??  Am I prejudiced and just don't know it?  If you are black, do you sometimes go through this when you are around white kids or is that too dumb a question?

One fact, which is undeniable and which I really do not fear, is that my world is becoming far more plural each day.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Please Tell Me This is Over

You know how they say that things come in threes?  I am beginning to think they come in 33s.  Our nightmare began when we left for Florida to escape winter last month.  On the way out the door Hubby noticed that the keys to our other car were hanging on the key rack just inside the garage door.  He thought it would be prudent to move these elsewhere in case someone did break into the house.  The keys sitting there would give them easy access to stealing the car.  I was busy loading stuff into the other car and said "ok" casually over my shoulder on the way out the door.

Upon our return almost three weeks later, Hubby comes up to me and asks where he hid the keys!  I explained that I did not even see which room he went back into as I was loading the car.  Well, it is now almost a month later and while we have torn the house apart we have not found this second set of keys which will take $500 to replace!

The week after our return hubby's car starts acting up in that it refuses to lock.  The lock on this car was an add-on many years ago when we lived in the apartment and the landlord's son tried to break into the car destroying the lock.  We got a brand new system that worked (somewhat) for years.  Last year we replaced both keys to the tune of several hundred dollars, and now, this year, once again we had a key problem.  Hubby took the car up to a company that fixes locks in cars and they had to replace the entire system (computer chip and all) and we now have two NEW keys for that car!  I would tell you how much it cost,but hubby won't tell me!

Yesterday, after driving hubby to the town up north to pick up his newly re-configured car, I came home and went to unlock the garage door to the house  It is a bit tricky and you have to remember to always turn it to the left and NEVER to the right or the key sticks and you can neither unlock nor get your get back out.  Well, I was hungry, had to go to the bathroom, etc. and completely turned the key the wrong way and was stuck!

We have a hidden key around the back of the house at the patio door and I hurriedly headed in that direction down the hill toward the river side of the house and pulled the key out of its hiding place and put it into the french door lock and TA also stuck and would not turn or unlock the patio door, no matter how much I jigged or jagged!  I was seriously thinking of going to pee in the trees but walked once more back up to the garage and fiddled with that door again and luckily it broke free of its stasis and I got it unlocked and went inside!

Is there some universal key god that is punishing me for some sin I have committed this year?  And what can I do to repent and end this expensive nightmare?  You may remember in a prior post that I have been trying to hire someone to fix the front door latch as well since the front door fails to close correctly and therefore makes it hard to turn the deadbolt with that key.  There must be some bad spell about keeping things in or keeping them out that has been cast my way.

(Oh, I almost left out that they lost hubby's luggage (over 4 days and waiting) on his trip to the tiny island school in the Caribbean last week where there were NO stores and where he had only one pair of underwear.  I also almost forgot to throw into this mess that the breaker outlet failed in the basement for on our chest freezer resulting in the loss of hundreds of dollars of food yesterday!  Good luck has to be around the corner....right?)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Story Time

Still struggling with this short story assignment.  Each time I listen to a writing lesson I try to incorporate what I have learned and the darn story takes off in a slightly different direction.  As it pulls away, some threads get broken until what I have left is a rather frayed compilation of words and I must go back and repair paragraphs, scenes or dialogue so that it appears to belong to the story.  Each day I admire more those bloggers I read who can write fiction so well on their blog...and elsewhere.

On the good days my analogy is that colors start flowing into each other making magnificent new colors I had not seen emerging, but then I cannot corral the flow into the direction that I want it to go and I have some mosaic that is a free-formed artwork instead of a structured story.

The story does not have the contemporary energy that I find in stories I like to read.  My problem is that when I started to write this I was sort of in the genre of Virginia Wolfe because that had been the example given in the lesson.  Lord knows, I am not Virginia Wolfe but the rhythm and flow had been set, so just like a Yoga exercise I am going to stretch in that direction and hope that I do not fall over and break something along the way.

At least I am secure in that I now seem to have found an ending that I like and therefore my path is a bit clearer. The photo above is much like my story...poorly framed and poorly cropped right now.