Hard Labor

Today was far from an easy day. Right before getting into bed, I look at Lucy lying on the floor a short distance from the foot of my bed. She looks at me.

20160331_Lucy I look at Lucy. No words exchanged, but most of our communication is non verbal.

It’s not until I get into bed that she gets up and comes to the side of my bed. Okay, I’m ready now. Figures. Lucy likes to throw a Hail Mary and pull a Murphy on me. Figures. Still no words are spoken.

I get up and tap the bed. There’s a slight shift of weight, but paws don’t leave floor nor get on the bed. I tap again. Three times and nothing but a shuffle of Lovely Lucy weight. She really, really wants to jump, but she can’t convince her body to just do it.

And then I whisper in her ears, “You did it last night. You can do it again.” Weight moves from left from leg to right, there’s this plea in her brown eyes that ask for just a little extra help. I start to raise her upper body, and the finishes for me.

Front paws up. Hind legs firmly planted on the floor. This is when I get to do all of the work and lift her hundred pound body onto the bed.

Within a minute she’s snoring away. Loud and content.

On days where nothing seems to go right, it always goes right when I have another night with Lucy, my Lovely Labrador. I don’t know how many more we’ll have.

I shouldn’t say that the entire day was crappy. It started off on my own terms. I got to sleep late. I got to lounge in bed. I even got to lounge on the deck in the sun. I can’t even complain about the sunny drive out of Eugene, the half an hour drive wondering how things would go and would I play my cards right after all and have a fun day.

And then I take a wrong turn and my thirty minute drive extended into the late zone. I detest being late for work or for appointments, but it happens. Slow trucks. Road construction season is upon us.

I practically run to what looked like an entry way. Maybe it used to be before security required all the doors to be locked except for one. I wasn’t at the correct one, but there was an informative sign that told me to take the South Entrance. It’s after 11:30, so I have no clue which direction I was facing. I was asked that question already. There’s a door nearby and I’m thinking that for security sake, it didn’t make sense for a door so close be open, so I go to the left and peek around the building. There wasn’t one iota of information that confirmed I was going the right direction. No cars or entry way or sign of life. Just because I’m passing the doors close to my original starting point, I gave the doors a tug with a O please, but my instinct proved right and caused me to mutter a few curses under my breathe. I do hear sounds of life, so I continue my going to the right course of direction. Kids. Portable Potty. Three boys and a portable potty are a recipe for disaster. I watch as one small boy goes in the little plastic portable for only emerges will I ever go. And then I watch the other boys lunge towards it as if they were practicing football blocking skills. Has anyone ever tipped a kid over in that? I ask, drawing attention to myself. It was almost as if the kids came to attention. The thing hadn’t moved at all, but it’s possible it caused the kid to go about his business quicker than he expected.

The ugly bell that schools use to inform students that their freedom has been suspended on such a sunny day and it was time to line up and walk like sheep back into the classroom. I think there was a window in the classroom, but I don’t remember. As it turned out, if I had gone around to the left from my point of origin, I would have arrived at the Southern door quicker, but that poor lad may have jostled around with a probably stinky port-a-potty, and I can’t imagine that would have been good for his fragile psyche. Not at the middle school level.

And then that became the metaphor for my day. I was the one caught up in a plastic box as if I were a gerbil in a plastic ball, but with feces and urine and excrement and who knows what rolling around with me. Figuratively, I was rolling around in shit all day. Spoken. Sarcastic Twit-wit.

Two hours into the four-hour gig, I cancelled my future job at this school. It’s been a hard school for me, but every so often after I’ve had some wonderful energetic positive idea provoking interactions with kids, I think I can take on the world. Middlers? Oh, I got this. Just be me, my authentic easy-going self and all will be happily ever after.

Have you ever imagined standing in front of some sort of stampede. Young horses came to mind, but the more I think about it, it felt like large elephants were charging at me, and all the while hoards of flies are buzzing around. Dirt is kicking up in my face. I’m about to get pummeled. Actually, a quick flattening would have been more humane. Middlers are far from empathetic. They are more like Piranhas or sharks or both. Frenzy feast on the fallen substitute.

I was pitiful. I admit it. I begged for them to stop talking. Please, for my sanity, couldn’t you, won’t you please just stop. Just stop was my mantra. I learned Vladamir’s name and I think a girl by the name of Renee within seconds of the first class. The teacher had explained what I was doing and had wonderful lesson plans. Math. The Absolute Value. The kids had absolutely no values. and some of the off-the wall comments had my head spinning as if I were suddenly possessed.

One child, diligently with hand in the air like I had begged for them to do, said he had a comment rather than a question: Your head looks like a triangle. Okay, it was a math class, so at least he was in the right ball park, and I had been pulling my hair out of frustration. I’m surprised that I didn’t either pull my hair out or extend it a couple of inches.

I have not been this frustrated in a very long time. The room was packed; there was hardly any walking around space. Kind of reminded me of the international flight I was on last year. Maybe there was a first class upstairs, but I was definitely in for a bumpy ride.

On my way home, I bowled some of my aggravation out, but my body was tired and trampled. And at least there was still some more sunshine to be had on my deck where I could debrief and resettle my soul. I had to do something or there would be no way I would survive tomorrow’s day with more middlers, but at least this is a school that I’ve been to a few times or so and they didn’t eat me alive. They certainly won’t be a cakewalk, but different school district, different community makes a massive differences.

Boycott

Trump. I have been trying to boycott Mr. Pain in the Ass Trump, but I accidently caught a piece on The Rachel Maddow Show that showed Trump The Rump stating that women should be punished if they get an abortion after abortions become illegal in the United States. Chris pushed Trump to do some thinking on the spot. No one ever knows what the Assinater is going to say, not even the Trumpster himself. The Republicans cringe every time Don Juan Trump speaks, so cocky and bold and stupid. He will never say I don’t know or let me get back to you while I think about the best political statement to say.
In the New York Times, MATT FLEGENHEIMER and MAGGIE HABERMAN wrote an article, Donald Trump, Abortion Foe, Eyes ‘Punishment’ for Women, Then Recants.
“Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that women who seek abortions should be subject to “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States, further elevating Republican concerns that his explosive remarks about women could doom the party in the fall.”
We really should pity the fool. He doesn’t know what he is saying. He ought to be declared legally insane and unfit to be a nominee. He is a threat to others, a serious threat. The sad part is to think about his followers. He has the KKK and other white supremists supporting him. And how is this good for the country.
He says he wants to make the country great again, but he seems to want us to repeat the 1950s, maybe further back like before women suffragettes won the vote. Maybe go back to when only white property owners could vote.
He is a menace and must be stopped.

On My

Deck. On my comfy lounge chair on the deck. First evening spending time on the deck in quite a long time; months seems like years sometimes and years sometimes feel like months; playing in the greenhouse doesn’t count, but sitting in the afternoon where it’s warm and dry and breathtaking.

Aside from a cheer now and then from a distant baseball game, which is only a guess, I’m listening to birds. They are probably happier than I that the sun is out and hasn’t rained all week. It’s only Wednesday, this is when days feel like weeks and not weeks feeling like days; that was last week. It’s only sunny now because Spring Break was last week. Darn that Murphy. Murphy has a twisted sense of humor. Do you ever imagine what Murphy of the famed Murphy’s Law would look like? There must be a character and story in that idea. I’m sure Twilight Zone did something. The only Twilight Zone episode I recall was the one when a guy on a plane saw a ape-like creature outside on the plane and was ripping it a part. The plane was up in the air, and every time he got the stewardess, the beast would be gone. I don’t remember if the plane crashed or if the guy was carted off in a straight-jacket.

I hadn’t been a Twilight Zone fan originally, but I was schooled on the topic at Ithaca College. I know very well why the Rod Sterling went to that college and not to Cornell.

Back to more comforting things. Being on the deck in the sunshine and listening to birds. In a similar way of wanting to identify what grows around the Dome, I’d enjoy learning how to identify birds by not only what they look like, but their sounds. I hear quite a few more birds than I do see, though this morning I started the day off while gazing at a small brown-headed bird. I didn’t have my camera and knew that by the time I fished my cell out of my pocket, it would have flown away. I’m hoping that by the time I finish writing this, the name will surface. The information is somewhere. My filing system for memories isn’t so great; it’s one of the first birds that comes back.

Junco. No, the name didn’t announce itself. But it was the cover bird for small bird category. Maybe some have brown heads. Maybe I hadn’t had enough coffee. But this is a great picture off the internet.

 

30554749.OregonJunco03041j
Dark-eyed Junco 0304-1j Nile Nikon Coolpix 4500 ,Leica 77 Apo Televid 1/136s f/2.7 at 9.1mm iso100 full exif

I hope that I’m doing enough to give the photographer credit due. I would love to have the lens to take a picture like this. I’m dreaming now…

There’s comfort in listening to the birds; it’s as if they are singing around their day, though I know it’s more complicated and more business-like. A social life of a bird is serious. Does the species carry on for another generation or what.

Speaking of carrying on for another generation. The next two days I’ll be with middlers. When I interact with middle school boys, I wonder how our species has kept going for so long.

Dead Poet’s

Society. Today I showed three quarters of Dead Poet’s Society three times. Right before the worst part of the movie. I don’t remember how many times I have seen this movie, either in parts or  the entirety. The hazards of being a substitute teacher is having to see first and second halves, rarely the who enchilada. If I had seen it’s 1989 debut, which I doubt, I was already pushing thirty. I’m not sure if my high school age would have been able to cope with the severity of the film, especially with the reality of Robin Williams’ suicide.

I polled today’s high school students as to how many had seen Dead Poet’s, and the majority nodded or raised their hands, some even groaned. I heard from several that they had seen it their Freshman and Sophomore years at this same school. I don’t recall hearing anyone aside from me say that it was a really good movie.

In asking myself how many times have I seen this movie, I searched my computer. It does help to write things down because I had forgotten that I had shown the movie last year, just a few days shy of the exact date. The date was so close I double-checked that today isn’t Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Tuesday is the only thing the same. I had e-mailed my friend John:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Watching Dead Poet’s Society. Only by accident did I see the end yesterday. I had turned the movie on to make sure everything was hooked up and forgot to hit pause. So, when class started an hour and some later, I didn’t realize I had started the movie most of the way in. I gave the most dramatic aspect of the movie away as they saw the suicide. Maybe they didn’t understand who or what had happened.
So, yesterday I watched half the movie in one class and three quarters of the movie in the next class. The last class of the day watched the movie, Mona Lisa Smiles. I think I saw this several years ago. Today, new classes, I get to watch Dead Poet’s three quarters through again. No movie for the last class; they get to do a quiz and do some reading.
I wonder if there was a Dead Poet’s Society in which Thoreau was a founder. Possible. I wonder if this movie was based on a book.
“Thomas H. Schulman (born October 20, 1950 in Nashville) is an American screenwriter best known for his semi-autobiographical screenplay for Dead Poets Society. The film won the Best Screenplay Academy Award for 1989, and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Schulman)
I like the character development in Dead Poets. It saddens me that Robin Williams couldn’t think of another way to solve his mental torture.
A year has passed since I wrote that. Not one iota of memory has been jarred. How many memories don’t make it to the long-term parking? In many ways, I am doing my own social science experiment on me. There’s a good possibility that I have recorded every single time that I have watched Dead Poet’s Society since I was almost completely trained by 1984 or so. No, I have not read the book, but I’m thinking that I probably should. Maybe without even knowing it, I’m somehow paired with George Orwell. Or maybe not.
If I had written about seeing Dead Poets, I probably didn’t go too deep into the movie, looking at the movie and the characters. Character development doesn’t add much flavor. I didn’t realize that the movie was set in 1959. Nothing is coming to mind that would represent that era. Clothes, cars, poets, parents. The wild party that the was held at the rich football player’s home didn’t give me a ’59 flavor, but I wasn’t born until 1960, so what do I know?
I don’t hold onto names very well. I do a little better with the peopleI meet, but characters on the screen or in a book don’t stand much of a chance. In looking at Wikipedia, I am told:
“In 1959, shy Todd Anderson begins his senior year of high school at Welton Academy, an elite prep boarding school.
I never was sure where the school was located. I’m guessing New England. Fall. Birds flying South for the Winter. Snow. I don’t know how many states have a cave like the one the dead poet’s  met in. Thoreau probably studied in New England. I never got the impression that Todd was in his senior year. He was told he had big shoes to fill in that his older brother was the top of his class.
I did get the impression that Robert Lawrence Leonard AKA Robert Sean Leonard’s character, Neil Perry, was a good student, but not one that suggested he was Welton’s most promising of students.
I loved the way that Robin Williams’ character, Mr. Keating, Oh Captain My Captain, had the boys laughing and carrying on about poetry, and so quickly taking down their shields and defenses.
My favorite class to teach is Literature and film. I love the way the two forms of media fill in the gaps that each mode can’t offer. There’s extra dimensions. As I think about Dead Poet’s Society, I don’t think I would teach it to high schoolers. I’d worry that perhaps a wall or two would come down, which is great, but there’s be no structure or support for the other walls that are still standing.
What do you think?

Plant

Identification. Noclue032816

Yesterday’s blog caused curiosity, but I couldn’t find the name of this plant that is abundant on our property. Not in the woods, but in the open.

“This is the largest species of the carrot family in North America. The  genus is named for Hercules, who is reputed to have used these plants for medicine. Early in each year,  Native Americans peeled and ate the young sweet, aromatic leaf and  flower stalks.”

I classified this plant as a weed as it seems to taking over, but my search of weeds of the Pacific Northwest left my question unanswered.

Until today:

Common name: cow parsnip, pushki, indian celery 
Scientific name: Heracleum lanatum (also known as H. sphondylium and H. maximum) Plant family: Apiaceae

SI Exif
SI Exif

Beware. Even though there are web sites that say that this Indian Celery is edible, there also warnings of it not only being poisonous, but can cause horrible rashes caused by the “furanocoumarin, found in the sap and outer hairs of cow parsnip. Plants use the photo-toxic furanocoumarin to protect themselves from fungus attacks.”

“Cow parsnip is a valuable forage species for deer, elk, moose, and bear. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers in Idaho use cow parsnip as cover and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse use the black hawthorn/cow parsnip habitat type as escape cover, especially in the winter.”

I’ve never seen a yellow-bellied sapsucker, but I’ve not spent much time in Idaho.Yellow-belliedSapsucker

I’m not much of a bird fancier, but this woodpecker looks a lot like the Pileated Woodpecker, which I happened to be reading about the other day.Pileated woodpecker

Come to think of it, I’ve neither not seen  nor hear a woodpecker for a while.

birdsofafeather

Another Day in the Life of

Me. I guess I’ll continue this path until I either decide to follow someone else or make up a character. I know that Bex likes the photos. I’m not hearing from anyone else, though I get a few likes here and there. I’m still wondering if I could get more following with efficient categories and tags. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it. What do you think.

Ricky032816I always tell the dogs that we’re going for a walk. I’ll ask them, though they’ve never turned me down. Ricky’s my velcro dog and is the always the first to know a walk is about to happen.

Now that Spring break is over, the sun has chased away the rain, though a peak over my shoulder shows that there is a storm coming our way. I am working the next two days, so I’m going to bet that Murphy will cause it to be very sunny. One peak out the door, and I knew I had to go outside and get some fresh air and let the dogs romp.greatday032816

Ying Cat always seems to know where I am, and always enjoys walking with me and the dogs.Ying032816

I’m always pleased when Lucy opts to join us. Such a sweet soul.LovelyLucy032816

Noclue032816
Common name: cow parsnip, pushki, indian celery Scientific name: Heracleum lanatum (also known as H. sphondylium and H. maximum) Plant family: Apiaceae

Lucy’s casual pace does help me pause and snap pictures. I’d like to do some identifying of the flora and fauna on the property. I discovered that some of these plants are edible and some are poisonous.

I don’t have much time for sunlight, so I think I’ll go back out there and do some yard work.home032816

Too Many

Books. I am reading too many books. I’m on chapter four of Leashed (Going to the Dogs Book 1) by Zoe Dawson. I have no memory of this book at all, so I’ll have to start from the beginning.

What is worse than not remembering what a book was about that I just barely had started is not having a recollection of a book that I finished. According to my Kindle page and my Goodreads, I finished The Crystal Crypt by Philip K. Dick. There’s not a glimmering fraction of a memory.

The cover of Leashed didn’t draw me to the book except that it’s got what looks to be a very large dog on the cover. My brain is not letting me remember anything. Great Dane perhaps.

“A woman’s laughter drifted into the hall as Callie Lassiiter trudged home. She glared at Owen McKay’s door as she slipped her key into the lock of her trendy Tribeca loft. Sounded like Owen was having much more fun on his date than she’d had on hers.”

I remember starting this book, but the memory is vague. I try to find things I can tack names and places to. I think I had a student named Callie. Nothing is solidifying. At the military school, cadets were called by their last name. I have a recollection that she was in a bad car accident, but had dropped out of WLA by then. Sweet kid. Talked to her and her mom a lot, like constantly, trying to get her to walk a better path. At least do some of her homework.

I’ve got a couple of McKay names from the past. There had been a McKay’s grocery store. One was practically in my back yard. I used the store as if it were my fridge. Great meat counter. I am not sure if I have a memory of a face behind the counter; he was really nice. Header_McKays

During that life where I bowled all the time, I knew Jim and Mary McKay. She was as short as he was tall. Very nice people. Worked hard at the game. I’m thinking that they bickered all of the time, but I don’t really know if this is true.

The only Tribeca I know is a Subaru but that’s not going to help me picture a trendy loft, though I have a loft in my house.

Callie’s dating disaster’s is not something I can compare. I’d have to go back twenty-eight years to recall my last date.

At least Zoe Dawson, the author of the book I am re-reading with the help from this blog, has been using her thesaurus to describe how bad Callie’s dating has been. Disaster. Fiasco.

It didn’t help that she was dating a guy who was doing an impersonation of an Amoeba. I enjoyed seeing Amoeba’s and what’s that other common microscopic critter to study in science?amoebaBegan with a P. Maybe a protosomething. I remember, upon seeing the picture, pseudopod and cytoplasm and of course nucleus. Protozoa.protozoa1306682022093 I wasn’t too far out. Even in high school, someone always laughed when anyone said Phagocytosis.So much for maturity. But I did remember that’s how cellular critters ate their food.Phagocytosis_--_amoeba

So far, I can’t relate to Callie Lassiter. Bad boy junkie. She’s trying to avoid men with an edge, whatever that means.

It must take her a long time to get a door open as she continues to listen to laughter tinkling. “The laughter tinkled.” Tinkle is not a word that I would use to describe anything, not even if I wrote about my character peeing. When was the last time a character you read or wrote even used the bathroom?

Callie’s next-door neighbor, Owen McKay, “was gorgeous; of course he would date high-quality arm candy, never a girl next-door type.” She does live in a high falooting fancy-pants place, so maybe she’s hotter than she lets us believe.

Jack is her Great Dane. The dog who graced the cover of the book, Leashed. I’m only writing it again to help me remember the title. I’m not even off of page one and the title has started to fade.

Now I can relate except my dogs jump up on me when they greet me at the door or greet anyone. Sometimes Abby and Lucy try to go between my legs at the same time. Ricky pushes them aside so he can get all of the attention. Every day, every moment of his life, he reminds me that he was abused. It doesn’t matter that he’s been spoiled by me for more years than he was abused and neglected.

Of course the main character’s dog can sit; she owns the business, “Sit Happens,” an obedience and dog training business.

I am having a hard time hearing her next-door neighbor, as classy as he is, comparing Jack’s great Danenesss to that of a Pinto. I’m thinking that he’s too young to know that Ford car. My sister had one; her ex had one.

I want to call the guy Clive Owen, but I think thats’ a name of an author or perhaps a character from somewhere else. Owen McKay just doesn’t fit. Maybe that was his dad’s name. He studies her, but gives us no clues as to what she looks like, but as her bad boy meter sounds the alarm, “he had on a black crew neck sweater and a pair of sinfully tight black leather pants, accentuating narrow hips and hard, strong-looking thighs. His come-hither eyes traveled slowly over her.” What year is the story taking place in? I have never worn leather pants.

She must have just met the guy for her to not know he also had a Dane. Of course, his dog has to be a female. Of course her name is Jill. Coincidences happen all the time. Does she have to use the word bitch to describe his dog?

Hot-fudge-sundae laugh.

Jack, usually a well-behaved dog, refuses to listen to Callie and within a paragraph, Callie and Owen are tangled in leashes. I suspect it’s not going to be long before the characters are tangled in sheets. I dare the book to not be so predictable. Week in the knees. I’ll press on.

How do you lose two Great Danes in the city? I lost my dog Kahlua a few times in Boston and panicked. I didn’t know if it were true that people from the China Town area ate dog or were my friends at the New England Medical Center messing with me.

When I read, “he was wearing a light coat and an air of detachment that effectively obliterated her budding fantasies” I hear my writing instructors say over and over to show and not tell the reader. Was it his eye contact or lack of eye contact that created the air of detachment? Was it the fact that before the Danes took off, there was a female laughter that had been tinkling and that his date was going much better than her boring one.

Does the # mean new day? Callie is getting her mail, Jack is obeying her and not acting crazy like he was when he first saw Jill. A conversation between two women at their mailboxes has me confused. I don’t know who the women are and neither does Callie as she doesn’t talk to either of them. Maybe this is my cue to take my own dogs for a walk, a real one.

It’s the Clothes that Make a

person. There’s a pattern that runs through my family when it comes to clothes. A common thread on my father’s side.

My father, Richard Walter Honthumb, and my Grandfather Beno Honthumb, were textile merchandisers. I was trying to think of a cute way to say they peddled men’s and boys clothing. I didn’t learn until my later years that women’s and men’s clothes button on the opposite side. Did you know that? Something to do with women being dressed in the early years.

Irma Honthumb, my grandfather’s sister, probably sewed, but her daughter, Vera Huppé Maxwell, sewed her way into the Smithsonian Museum. Vera’s dad had an amazing name. Bernard Alexander Felix Von Huppé. There’s something missing like the the third or some stately title.

I met my famous cousin once; my dad took us to visit her in New York. Chances are I wasn’t allowed to wear clothes of my choice, but stuffed into some getup that I hated.

It seems as though I detesting dresses or girl clothes from the get go. My mom got around the Weston Public School system dress code by making me culottes. Looks like a skirt, but feels like shorts.

By the mid sixties, rules and social norms relaxed enough to let women wear pants, but God forbid don’t go without a bra or you would be called a Feminist. The dreaded F word. I think the other word was said more liberally in our house.

I briefly thought about going into the military, but not only were women limited in what they could do, but their uniforms were awful. Skirts. That stupid tie that’s more like a ribbon around a show-dog. Ick.

Air Force’s only female deployed command chief credits small town upbringing, past experience for successful career
Chief Master Sgt. Suzan K. Sangster, command chief master sergeant for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr./Released)

When I started working at a military-style school, Willamette Leadership Academy, it was a dream come true, at least around the clothes and the hair. I could get away with a very short hair cut. My hair wasn’t long enough for putting it up, and in order to model regulation, I kept it short.

class-afemalefullThe higher ups would have preferred that I wore the Class-A outfit, which wouldn’t have been too bad if I could have gotten away with a baseball cap. Military is all about covers. Why they call a hat a cover, I have no clue. Maybe that’s what you hold onto when bombs and bullets come your way. The cover that went with the Class-A uniform made me look like a little child impersonating a pilot or Jackie Gleason as a bus driver. For a while, I did have the choice of looking like a old-fashioned stewardess or was ready to sell donuts. I liked to put it on sideways.

Since encouragement of what I wear had little effect, I went the BDU route. Battle Dress Uniform. Pickle Uniform.All green. As a little kid, I would have loved all of those pockets, but my main problem was keeping all of those pockets buttoned, especially the back pockets, but if someone is looking at my ass, they shouldn’t be, so who cares if they are buttoned or not. It’s not like a buttoned pocket is going to be safer than an unbuttoned pocket. It’s all about appearance and being tidy. Having the discipline to stay neat.

Now that I’m back into a “normal” classroom, I wear whatever moves me that particular day. If I get a chance to teach Physical Education, I’ve got the sweats waiting. Oregon still has me in sweatshirts and sweaters.

When I was in high school, I didn’t like field hockey, not just because of the skirts, but you could only hit the ball on one side of the stick, and hockey was so much better. Lacrosse had the same outfit as field hockey, but in college I learned that if I were a goalie, I could wear sweats. Bring it on.

The most surprising dress code came when I started to bowl professionally. Walking shorts were bad enough, but I was required to wear panty hose. I think they have changed the rules by now. If my comeback comes about, I’ll find out, but it will take me a year or two to get back the swing.

Cyphochilus

Earlier today I was reading a blurb in January 2015 ASK Magazine about a small white beetle from southeast Asia. If you don’t want to read about this incredible  whiter than white beetle, check on the YouTube:

This not very big beetle has large implications for the future just because of the brightness of its whiteness.

070118161742_1_540x360Before working at The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, I hadn’t given paper much thought, but I learned how hard and how expensive it is to create white paper. The cost that concerns me most is the price we pay with the amount of chemicals used to create white paper or anything that’s white.

“At one 200th of a millimetre thick, its scales are ten times thinner than a human hair. Industrial mineral coatings, such as those used on high quality paper, plastics and in some paints, would need to be twice as thick to be as white.” – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118161742.htm

Taking a closer look at something so small, so thin, the potentials are amazingly large, perhaps even too big to confine. White paper or textiles. Whiter teeth. Expand those ideas to white light sources. I never imagined that it could be possible to reduce energy consumption because of a beetle.

cyphochilus2This puts a different spin on the Beatles White Album.

If I had a Cyphochilus, I might name her Cindy or Simon. I read that they have adapted to blend in with fungus, so I would come to the conclusion that perhaps they eat fungi. And I would be wrong. The Cyphochilus eats sugar cane. I suppose it all depends on how much sugar cane it needs would determine if the Scarab type beetle is a pest and a farmer’s nightmare.

 

 

An Afternoon of

Multitasking. I’ve got the University of Oregon men’s basketball game on the old, but massive television. They’ve not been in the elite eight since 2007, which isn’t how I would have written it since two thousand and seven was’t that long ago. Sometimes media makes makes time seem older than it really is, though it’s all about how I perceive it. There’s more drama if a team hasn’t done something in a long time.

But the way the Ducks are playing against the number two seeded Oklahoma Sooners, it doesn’t look like they want to go to the final four. They steam rollered Duke, but the Sooners have the Duck’s number. I wasn’t watching the game when the mighty Ducks whooped the Blue Devils. Maybe I shouldn’t be watching the game. Maybe it’s my fault they are losing. Are you superstitious? I am. Sort of. If the Ducks continue to not rebound and continue to turn the ball over, like they just did again, I’m going to lose interest and multi-tasking won’t bed an issue.

While watching the game, blogging about watching the game, I’m considering adding magazine reading to the list. I recently subscribed to Texture. I’ve not taken advantage of all the magazines I could be reading once a month. I’ve never read ASK before. Arts and Sciences for Kids. Ages seven to ten is right in my wheelhouse. January 2015 is on my tablet just waiting for my eyes. Tame the Flame. Cover picture looks very inviting.

cyphbeetlev3A clear indication that the Ducks sub par performance has altered how much attention I spend when I am more interested in the Cyphochilus Beetle. Fifteen point deficit isn’t really that much in basketball, but the Ducks have looked awful from the get go. The white Cyphochilus Beetle intrigues me to read more, especially in how light deflects to give a beetle the pristine whiteness. Aphids are probably the only white bug I have ever seen, but I doubt it is even allowed to compare a Cyphochilus with an Aphid; they must be in different social circles with their hard shell and certain number of legs and other classifying body parts.

If the Ducks can at least cut the deficit to a single digit, I may unmute the elevation, but for now Chyphochilus get my sort of undivided attention. I have never thought about how insects get their color.

Chyphochilus. The more often I write and see the beetle name, the longer I will hold onto the name. Mostly I have seen it dissected in two. Chypo and Chilus. Neither part have stuck yet. It won’t be a horrible loss if my brain just refuses the information. Defensive slam to keep new information from entering the already crowded and overstuff brain. I feel like one of those overstuffed chairs that the fabric no longer can hold the contents back and things start to leak out.

This is why I write. I write to remember or try to remember. An Alley Oop by the Ducks did catch my attention, so I’m not totally cold-shouldering them. The Ducks are not playing like a number one seed. Maybe they are just tired after Thursday’s game.CyphochilusCool looking beetle that does something that most beetles can’t do with their scales, though I would think being white against green wouldn’t prevent other things from eating them. Maybe they have some special beetle power to keep from being eaten. Maybe they taste bad.

I love the internet; the internet can help me go down all sorts of rabbit holes to get further and further away from the basketball game.

Cyphochilus insulanus Moser:
An amazing example of evolutionary crypsis.

Cyphochilus is a genus of Melolonthinae that occurs in Southeast Asia. It is suggested that the beetle’s white dorsal coloration has evolved to mimic local white fungi as a form of crypsis or camouflage while it feeds on sugar cane.
I suppose a white on white picture wouldn’t be so good. It’s superpower is it’s evolutionary revolutionary ability. Now I’m going to have to read about chitin, not to be confused with Chitlin. Cyphochilus have these complicated scale things called chitin which is described as, “arranged in a think, messy net instead of a neat pattern.” Messy works for me. Hey, maybe I have discovered that I have been a Cyphochilus Insulanus Moser in a previous life. Why not? I’ve been a parakeet. Probably a dog a few times. Maybe a cat.
What really intrigues me is how scientists are trying to duplicate the whiteness to make brighter whites for paint and paper.
Moving on  from the ASK magazine, I’m reading about the Cyphochilus in

The Beetle That’s Whiter Than Paper

August 19, 2014 | by Janet Fang

bright white beetle in http://www.iflscience.com

I have never heard of Iflscience, but it looks like a worthy rabbit hole to explore since the Sooners are hogging the ball and not sharing with the ducks, not letting them cut into the thirteen point deficit and actually letting Oklahoma extend the lead. What’s with this? Is this the same team that man-handled the defending National Champions?
I enjoy being able to read about the Cyphochilus in a kids’ magazine and then turn around and  read about them in a scholarly magazine where I mostly just gloss over the words:
“Bright colors in the wild are produced for a variety of purposes, from camouflage to mate choice. For our eyes to perceive color, pigments like melanin in penguins and carotene in flamingos absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others. To appear white however, all wavelengths of light must be reflected equally. “Current technology is not able to produce a coating as white as these beetles can in such a thin layer,” Silvia Vignolini from University of Cambridge explains in a news release.”
There aren’t any words that I don’t understand in the above paragraph, but  it’s a harder concept for my brain to handle. I’m feeling kind of like the Dung Beetle that rolls a piece of shit around until it needs it. Guess I’m doing the same thing with this little ball of knowledge that I know will not stick. The name Cyphochilus still hasn’t adhered to anything yet. The Ducks and I are running out of time. The consequences are about equal; it’s been great that the University of Oregon men’s basketball got to the Elite Eight and would have been amazing for them to get to the final  four, but it won’t have an impact on my life. If I never do remember the name of the cyphochilus beetle, it’s as inconsequential.
“Their coloration is achieved by exploiting the geometry of a dense and complex network of chitin — the same protein found in mollusk shells, insect exoskeletons, and the cell walls of fungi. These chitin filaments are just a few billionths of a meter thick, much thinner than paper. Over years and years of evolution, the beetles developed a compressed chitin network that’s “directionally-dependent” (or anisotropic), allowing high intensities of reflected light for all colors at the same time in one direction, while using very little material. This is what makes them appear so vividly white.”
My interest in the basketball game fades quickly as my interest in the Cyphochilus beetle increases. I find this so fascinating.cyphochilus1

Flat out

Scattered. My wants and desires are having a taffy pull with my shoulds and guilt. When I think about the reading I want to do, the kitchen speaks up, reminding me that it’s been too long. I don’t even like hanging out in the kitchen, and that’s one of my favorite places.

I want to write, which obviously has won over the carpets and floors that are metamorphosing before my very eyes. The dogs don’t seem to care and since guests are no longer welcome, that’s probably why I’m continuing to write.

Soon I’ll have to shift my operations from the loft to the basement. I want to watch the University of Oregon Ducks take on Oklahoma. I think. I know UO hasn’t been in the elite eight in a long time. And I don’t even know who they are playing to get a sense of their historical pedigree. I wonder why they changed from the Tall Timbers to the Ducks. Fighting Ducks? We love our Ducks. We even are proud of the Beavers, as long as they are not playing the Ducks and it’s more of a state support. I sometimes stretch my allegiance to all of Pac-12 when our collegiate division needs support.

At least for the next few hours while I watch basketball, I won’t have much of a debate on how I should spend my Saturday afternoon.

123 Pictures

The last time I uploaded or downloaded photographs from my Canon to my laptop was one hundred and twenty-three pictures ago. Roughly two days. Could be less. Not more. I love to take pictures. One of these days I’ll figure out how to take a picture while I am taking a picture, especially if I am in some strange position. Flowers and mushrooms and raindrops have me squatting in yoga-esque postures that are helping and hindering my back. I need to figure out how to involve my core in picture taking. Sucking it in for a hundred and twenty-three times might make a difference.peekaboo032516

Once I put the Canon camera around my neck, I’m never sure what I’ll take a picture of. Sometimes I don’t even look and shoot from my hip; but usually quick-drawing only  gets me wasted shots.

missed
Great example of shooting from the hip and missing the target.

Yes, we love Gatorade. I like the yellow and Sylvia likes the red; She was forced to buy more.  After a few days of hard labor in the yard, I was so desperate that I polished off her red stuff. I’ve never been a Tropical Punch fan.

clouds032516Another stupendous day for a walk. The dogs and I had found the window of opportunity and we took it, though the opening was large enough to be more like a barn door opening.

dogtriangle032516If I were playing Charades with the dogs, I’d have to guess Triangle.

I recently re-read Watership Down and in the book, the Rabbits tended to use tree roots as as a structurally safe place to dig a warren. I wonder if moles and other digging critters do the same thing. Ricky has been excavating near a few trees. This one he’s very intent on getting something.digging032516

The only time Sir Ricky doesn’t listen to his mum is when he’s hunting or protecting me from something. He doesn’t discriminate; nothing is too large or too small. Just the other day he scared a fly out of the room; it did come back, but Ricky’s intention was good, and he’ll keep trying to eat it.

I look forward to our dog-cat walk. Ying may detest her real sister Yang, but she loves the Lovely Lucy.sisters032516 Walking buddies.

I probably could do a blog just on the various ways Ricky’s ears express themselves:

Ricky032516
Faster than a Speeding Train
flyingnun032516
Flying Nun

From the looks of it, our walk was going to be abridged. Getting wet wasn’t on my agenda for the day.Ominous clouds032516At least I have Oregon Grape flowers to balance out the moody grey clouds.Oregongrape032516Some odd sound got Abby’s attention.Abster032516Well, this walk has been a lot of fun to share, but now that the “barn” in in view, it’s time to put the horse away.dome032516

Virginia Woolf Once Said

that there’s always something to write about. I’m extending that with there’s always a photo to be taken.

With all of the rain we’ve been having, it seems like a crime to not go outside when the sun appears, even if there are grey clouds on the horizon. This is a breath-taking day of sun and blue sky.Spectacular day032416

I do not take this little slice of heaven on earth for granted. Every tree, every blade of grass I thank the Gods and Goddesses for this opportunity. I could walk the same path every day and never get sick of it. There always seems to be something different. Some things are the same, but it’s a different day and I have a different attitude.holly032416I’ve been calling this splash of yellow Holly; the leaves are a dead ringer for Holly. But then this picture in my mind of Oregon Grape floated to the surface. I am feeling so proud to have the State Flower on our land. I will never let Sylvia and her Kabota come near this.

tallgrass032416I do appreciate the Orange Tractor, Sylvia’s pride and joy. I appreciate not having to mow anymore. We don’t even own a human-powered lawn mower that works. The electric one became yard art.(Most of  the walk around the property is well worn. Eudora Welty comes to mind. A little bit of Robert Frost. Walking in the woods has always been refreshing.forked path032416Mainly I live a simple life and have simple needs. Sylvia. Dogs. Woods. Walks. I wish all the things I have in my life  were free, though nothing really is free.

Can’t forget Ying.Ying032416

Does grass with rain drops count as Flora or Fauna? In my quest to capture the essence of rain with my camera, I’m coming up short. Now I’m thinking that I want a better lens so I can capture the essence of a rain drop. I love it when the yard sparkles as if there were diamonds and other gems spread out. grass032416

Translation is lost.

For someone who thought summers were painfully boring while growing up, boredom is a foreign emotion. Mushrooms fascinate me.mushroom032416

And here comes Ricky.Ricky032416 He’s such a goofball. And then it is time to head for the barn and get ready for a few outings. I have to support my friends who are roller derby gals. And then later on, supporting my friend Carol in her latest play directing.treesanddome032416

The Importance of

Friendship. Maybe it’s the Social Science experiment I’ve been doing on Facebook and start to feel a sense of delusion with people, but all I have to do is think about all of the people that have been a part of my team, this marathon called Life, and the sun comes out and the grey sky leaves.

Yesterday I wrote about my very first friend, Jon Clifton. Has it been since 1988 since I have had communication with him? The pace of time has increased exponentially. There’s a correlation between how fast time moves and how old a person is. My running joke since turning fifty-five is I want to make the next half of my life better than the first half. Who knows maybe I’ll have a new back and make it to 112.

The thing that I most enjoy about writing is that in ten or twenty years, I could potentially be reading what I wrote. I can go back to about 1983 and read what I was doing. I have lots of things that go back even earlier.

I love to reminisce about the past. Lately I’ve been thinking about the little dead-end road I grew up on. I have this far-fetched fantasy of buying the old house that my dad built back in the 1950s. Today I discovered it’s  for sale:77 Pinecroft Road

5 Beds | 4 Bath | 2,884 Sq.ft

$1,274,000 (Est. Value)

Thomas Wolfe was correct in saying that you can’t go home again. The little house on 77 Pinecroft Road isn’t close to the same house. A couple of years ago, I went back and peeked  around the corner into the backyard and they had filled in the pool. I cherished the pool even though when the movie Jaws first came out, I was afraid to swim alone. I’ve always had a great imagination.

I also have hopes that by writing and reaching out to people, I can get some questions answered. I’ve got a lot of them.

Will Jon Clifton ever write or contact me  even though I’m in contact with his brother Jed and sister Sarah. I doubt it.

As I have stated over and over, and you can relate, memories are slippery and hard to hold onto. I don’t know how many things are true that I remember or I just make things up; they just feel like memories. Foggy memories. Memories in the Mist. Maybe that’s the working title.

Gayland Gates, a tow-headed little boy lived down the road from me on Pinecroft Road in Weston, Massachusetts. Farm house with a coral. I don’t remember a horse. I remember the severe slope of their lawn around their house. There may have been swings in the back.

Mostly I remember stuffing all of my pockets with things to trade with Gayland. I always dressed with as many pockets as possible; plaid and stripes were a forbidden fashion combination back in the 60s. Joan Harrison remembers how old we were when Gayland died of Leukemia.

I remember that Gayland and I were riding our bikes around their yard, annoying Gordie Gates, Gayland’s older brother who was mowing. Somehow Gayland while doing a trick on his bike, fell off and got his heel cut off from the lawnmower. I remember searching in the grass for it so it could be sewn back on.

My misty memory is that while in the hospital with his missing heel, and I don’t remember if it was found and re-attached, doctors discovered his leukemia. At that time, they couldn’t do much. The Gates kept the news away from the kids in the neighborhood. I just remember being told that he couldn’t play.

I think that the kids traipsing to their door got to be too much, and they moved away. It wasn’t until later that I learned that he had died. Maybe I saw the obituary. I don’t remember. I might have been eight perhaps.

I have this vague recollection that Mr. Gates came back several years later and talked to a group of us who were studying Kubler Ross and her amazing work on death and dying.

I would love to get in touch with the Gates. Gordan Gates  wasn’t that many years older than I. I don’t remember any other names.

Maybe Not a Walk to

Remember. Today’s walk may not end up in the greatest hits, but it was a good walk just the same.attention032316

Day three, technically speaking, of my Spring Break. Today’s been a nice and easy day. Played with the dogs indoors when it was too chilly or too rainy to go outside or I was feeling too lazy.

When I am feeling especially Lazy and the dogs have energy, I send Abby on missions. Find the Whuba was supposed to save me a trip up the stairs, but Abby found Whuba, but didn’t come downstairs with it.

Getwhubba032316The first time I asked Abby for the Whuba, she came down with the purple bone, which had been Ricky’s favorite.purple bone032316Abby has a way of stealing the other dogs’ toys, especially when they have recently played with them. After some coaxing, Abby did finally bring Whuba downstairs.purple whuba032316Kong Whuba has outlasted most dog toys and has tolerated a lot of tug of wars. None of those pictures came out, and I didn’t feel like throwing in something blurry.

Eventually, we did take a walk.walk032316Sometimes I forget how beautiful our property is. Here comes Lucy…here she comes032316I can’t help but wonder how many more walks this old gal has in her. I had to call her to join us.

Once again, it doesn’t take much to cause me to stop and pause. Maybe I just needed an excuse to rest.like sunshine032316Yesteray it was the clouds. Today, the weeds.

I don’t know what the loud noise was from, but I had to reassure Ricky that everything was okay. The noise wasn’t bothering Ying in the least.respondingtosounds032316

mypack032316My pack with Ying the in the Alpha slot. There’s so much to smell and look at on our walks even though we go over the same area every day.

I can’t quite read Ying’s expression. Maybe she knows that we’re near the end of the walk.Ying032316One of these days I’ll blog about the friendship between Ying and Abby.bestbuds032316

 

Three reasons for

Friendship. According to someone, there are three reasons for friendships.

Perhaps someone can tell me where this quote came from:

friends

I had changed the meaning quite a bit when I focused on the reasons for friendships rather than three kinds of friends.

I have had so many amazing friendships along the way that if I attempted to write about them all, I’d be writing for a very long time.

My very first friendship lasted several seasons and had many reasons, though I’ve not thought about them for a while. And as I write this and re-write this, reasons I hadn’t even thought of will come to the surface.

To remember the last time I saw or talked to Jon Clifton, I’d have to do some serious memory digging. Might have been our tenth year Weston High School reunion. Class of 1978.

1988 wasn’t a good year for me. I was in the middle of a fifteen-month chemotherapy regimen, so I don’t imaging that I looked so great. It was a lifetime or two ago that I weighed ninety-nine pounds and wasn’t sure which direction my life was going.

I probably hadn’t seen Jon since our high school graduation, and even then we didn’t see much of each other. I had seen him at his mom’s funeral, my God-Mother, Barbara Clifton. Barbara Travis Clifton. Took extra digging to get her maiden name. As I vaguely recall the Travis family were important founders of Weston.

JonClifton082614

Stacey Clifton, I hope it’s okay that I stole your picture from your Facebook page. You can tell me to take it down if need be.

I’m sure as I excavate the memories of my long-ago friendship, I’m sure new reasons will rise to the surface. I can’t even say that it’s been a long time since I have thought about my first-time friendship. I think about it quite often. The entire Clifton Clan played a big role in my formative years.

Maybe some of my questions can be answered.

I don’t know how my parents met Jon’s parents. Probably something to do with a boat. Maybe Art Clifton and my dad both belonged to the Charles River Yacht Club, though I can’t imagine Mr. C being a member of a Yacht Club. I think my dad and he had invested in a boat together.

Jon was born six days after me. I don’t know why Barbara Clifton was my Godmother. Jodie Wetmore was my other Godmother. Milton Monroe was my Godfather. The Monroe family will have to be a different blog.

I don’t have any memories of my crib buddy, but for perhaps eight or nine or even later, Jon Clifton and I were inseparable. One of my dad’s punishments were to ban me from walking the hill between my house and the Clifton house. Hill Top and Pinecroft was a short drive, but the shortcut up the well-worn path was just minutes, especially going down the hill. That path is burned into my memory since I walked it so often. Too bad I don’t have any pictures of it. I don’t even have any pictures of Jon and I.

We were young when we formed the Blue Birds. Drum and drums. I don’t remember if I played an instrument. We wrote our own songs and we performed to his parents, and they listened patiently and applauded loudly.

We played whiffle ball constantly. Jon, Jed, and I played against each other. We had tournaments with pennants and T-shirts with numbers. Again, Art and Barbara cheered us on.

I learned how to throw. Whether it was a baseball or a football or what, we did it, and all year round. Football in the winter was the best since I could lay out for a catch and not worry that the ground would hurt. Laying out for a catch off of the diving board into the pool at my house was a lot of fun as well.

In order for me to keep up with the Clifton boys, I would throw so hard that my shoulder would subluxate. It didn’t stay out of joint for very long and didn’t hurt that much, but I found that I could throw even farther. (Bex let me know if I have the wrong farther. Is it Further?)

I know that our friendship existed when I was twelve. Another memory seared into my brain. I was twelve. November football. Night football was always a challenge, but there were floodlights at the Cliftons to give us some extra play time. I somehow caught the tip of a football in my eye. I probably even managed to hold onto the ball. But it was my good eye and as a result, veins ruptured. Immediately, we went next door to the Barconia’s. (I’m not sure of the spelling of that name, but he happened to be a eye doctor.)

Without the use of my left eye, I am legally blind. It didn’t look like I had done any serious damage, but I was bandaged up to let the swelling go down.

When I was twelve, I didn’t have much patience and tended to explode if things didn’t go my way, and this memory haunts me. My mom and I were fighting. She was trying to help me with my homework since I couldn’t see. Maybe I didn’t have any patience because she had it all. She was so patient with me.

November something 1972. Might have been a Tuesday. Richard Nixon was in the process of being re-elected. My dad was glued to the television on his desk. Little black and white set. He was as connected to that thing as I am with the internet.

I popped in to find out how much longer my mom needed a break from me, and she told me to get my dad. She didn’t say anything else. I ran the few steps from her bedside to my dad’s office, relaying the request. Find out what she wants was his response.

Back and forth I ponged. Until she said she was sick and needed a doctor. I don’t think she said anything about having a heart attack.

As I said, this memory is forever seared into my brain. Doctors. Ambulances. Running around. Deb had been babysitting for a doctor. There were a few in the neighborhood. Dr. Bartels probably came.

Just like humpty-dumpty, there wasn’t any way to put her back together again. I don’t know if she even made it to the hospital.

I don’t know if my friendship withered away right after. It probably had run its course, its seasons. I know that I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without the Cliftons. Jed, Sarah and Jon.Cliftons1962

Word Hound

“In 1939, a congressman called the campaign contributions in question “political immorality and skullduggery that should not be tolerated.”
Before reading, Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Sensible Supreme Court Choice BY LINCOLN CAPLAN in the New Yorker, I had never seen the word skullduggery before. Now I am trying to work it into my vernacular. That might be pushing it.
Can skullduggery fit in bowling?  Bad bowling perhaps? Skullduggery and splits seem to fit. That was until I learned the definition. Verbal misrepresentation. Donald Weasel Trump comes to mind. The Republicans and their childish refusal to even entertain President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination fits in the skulduggery category. (I have learned that two l’s ate optional.)

Ingredients for a

Perfect walk. The first thing I do before stepping out doors is to round the troops and ask them if they interested in a walk.Ricky032216 It didn’t take much to get the Rickster’s attention. Lucyreacts032216Lovely Lucy is always on board for a walk; she may not walk as quickly as she used to, but she rarely turns a walk down.abby032216I try to tell Abby the Labby Number Nine last as she has a tendency of jumping up on me until we start walking.

This was our second attempt at walking. Rain postponement. But then a small window opened up.breakinweather032216The clouds were putting on quite a show.clouds032216I am easily entertained.

Of course, a walk would not be complete with out Ying. She somehow always learns that we are walking.Ying032216 I was pleased to see that the Fawn Lily was still upright and hadn’t been stepped on or eaten.fawnlily032216

It felt so nice to be outside walking in the fresh air.blueskyandsun032216

This is the reason I need a new lens.neednewlens032216Yes, the tree is beautiful against the blue sky, but I really wanted to capture the bird…I don’t have any problem capturing the clouds.moreclouds032216 Since I paused to take pictures, Abby thought it was a perfect time to play tug of war with Ricky’s collar.Abbytugsricky032216 He’s too much of a gentleman to stoop so low, but nothing stops Abby from being a brat. Speaking of, Abby is telling me that it is past their dinner time.

Three Forms of

Lounging. Today I have managed to lounge three different ways.  It is vital to my well-being to get in a variety of lounging positions. Almost as important as servings of veggies. Maybe more. If hops and Malt count. I  will reconsider my position.
Speaking of l.p’s, vinyl are antiquated,  so lounge position has taken over the lp nickname. Why L and not V. V.P. will probably be used for another hundred years.
Lounging on my old lady sleep number bed that reclines is a favorite l.p. Photo will have to come later.
Green lounge chair in the basement in front of old, but massive, television is also my favorite l.p.
The current lp is up there at the top of the list. Bath tub. Hotish water. Lots of Bubbles. Water and Chocolate for nutrition. Doesn’t get much better on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

image

Recipe for a

Good vacation. Yesterday was a chase errand day. DMV. Bank. Sports Clip for a haircut, BiMart for a list of all of the drugs I have taken this year. Too many pages. Might want to do some changing of eating lifestyle.

MeandYang on 3-22-16 at 12.09 PM

Both vacation days have started with a late start to the day. Lounging in bed is one of my favorite activities. I will say that I am the most successful, but it doesn’t pay so good.

Yesterday I did take a almost two hour bath and had a head massage while getting my hair cut, so it wasn’t all about standing in lines. The DMV was almost a wasted trip as I failed to bring my passport of birth certificate, but I had a nice chat with the person at the counter. I did pass my vision test. She made my day by telling me that when I turn fifty, I’ll have to get a vision test. Maybe she was being nice since she was obviously looking at my birthdate. We even talked about Hawaii, so not a wasted opportunity to socialize.

My lap top failed to recharge last night, forcing me to return to my bed and lounge some more, though I was reclined and spent time writing.

I wish it weren’t raining, but I have a cute little green house that I can putter. It’s still too chilly to get most seeds willing to come out of their warm shells. Peas mostly, but they don’t take much to be motivated to sprout. I planted some herb seeds as well as flowers. I tend to only grow veggies, but I’d like to see more color in my garden. I was just realizing that the California Poppies that used to Spring up all over my yard haven’t made much of a splash lately. I probably crowded them out with  the ground cover that has gone crazy on the hillside. I should thank the rain as it keeps me inside.

20160322_Ricky032215Kicking back in my green comfy, even though I have to share it with Ricky, is an ingredient that has to be used in large doses.

And baseball. By watching the game between the Tampa Rays and the Cuban National Team, I’m watching history. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were at the game. Derek Jeter got quite a bit of President time.

The Rays gave the president a game Jersey, appropriately numbered 44. Jackie Robinson trained in Cuba before breaking the color barrier. They had a great interview with his wife. Ninety-two-years old.

To think that young Cubans playing baseball in the states without having to defect and never seeing their families again. There were many players on this trip that hadn’t been back in too long a time. The sacrifice is steep.

Maybe if the sun comes out, I’ll take a walk with the dogs outside, though I may get a hankering to do that even if it is raining.

But maybe another long hot bath calls me. A good vacation recipe requires a lot of flexibility and maybes.

 

My relationship with

Hair. My relationship with my hair has been interesting and varied, though I’m suspicious about the interesting part.

Hair is just hair. Most of time time I could care less what it looked like, this was evident in my younger years as my long hair became almost as unruly as I was. Tangles and snarls and shrieks was a daily ritual.

When my dad agreed to let me get my hair cut, I was so excited, but our definitions of what constituted a hair cut was cold water on my fire.

Even though most of the time hair is just something that gets in my eyes and irritates me, I don’t take a head of hair for granted. In 1988 during a fifteen month chemotherapy treatment, I lost my hair a few times. The first time shook me to the core. Self-consciousness plagued me. My dad offered to buy me a wig, but no amount of persuasion could convince me to abandon my hats. When visiting with my dad, I got used to not going out.

Sometimes I am able to have fun with my hair. The other day I posted a picture of myself with my hair going all which ever way.

That picture motivated me to get a hair cut. Since I don’t really care about looks, I tend to go to fast-food hair cutting places. Super Cuts. Drop in.

As a cruised a strip mall on West eleventh, I discovered a Sports Cut. I didn’t let the For Men stop me at the door, though I did ask if they did cut female hair. I have been turned away before for having the wrong gender of hair, as if there is a difference.

Deana laughed and reassured me that women do frequent Sports Clips. I will say that I enjoyed watching basketball while she cut my hair. High and tight. I learned that phrase while teaching at the military-style school, Willamette Leadership Academy. It was time for a different look.

me on 3-21-16 at 5.36 PM #2And then the most amazing thing happened. Because I was a first time customer, I was given the deluxe package. After the cut, we went into another room, darkened and stimulus free. As she washed my hair, the chair massaged my back. Warm towels were placed on my face as she massaged my scalp. I hadn’t felt so pampered. What an amazing experience.MVP-Header---No-Massage-01

 

Maybe Not a Walk to

Remember, but it was a good walk just the same.

todayswalk032016After my hour and a half walk, my body told me that it was time to walk around the property. There was a break in the rain, so I got lucky. I also got lucky in that Sylvia agreed to walk with the dogs and I. I had to run back into the house and grab my camera; I’m trying to remember to take it wherever I go.Sylvia032016

Ricky was ready when I announced that we were going for a walk. He’s such a sweet boy. I hope that with a change of kibble, his hot spots will go away; he is very food sensitive.Ricky032016

Ying must have been outside; she tends to join me on all of our dry weather walks. If it does rain on us, Ying will continue to walk, but she’ll meow the entire time. I assume she’s complaining.Ying032016 I had to show Sylvia the strawberries, raspberries, and artichokes that I planted. Sylviasheds032016 Sylvia was going to bail when it start to rain, but not only did it stop almost immediately, but she got too warm and had to shed some layers. This was a special treat.

Sylviaslant032016The only problem with walking with Sylvia is that she has to visit every tree she has planted, so the going can be slower than a walking pace. While she was gazing at something, the dogs played with a frisbee. It took me about seven shots to get this one:rickyabbyfrisbee032016Sylvia planted a dozen or two trees on the property. Was it fourteen years ago?Sylvia's trees032016I think there are three different trees in this shot. The ones to the right might be across the strew and are humongous. I can’t tell from this shot.

dome032016 And into the woods we walked. I never tire of walking our property.threetrees032016Hopefully my readers feel the same. I try to not feel discouraged when I look at all of the work that needs to be done. Brambles to be removed. Sylvia wants to use the tractor, but I want to make sure she doesn’t mow down wild roses, which is probably not the correct name, maybe they are primroses; I also want to protect the fern from the Kabota. Kobota? Which is it Sylvia?blackberries032016Unfortunately, poison oak is sprouting up. Last time I cleaned up some brush, I ended up with poison oak on my face. I’ll have to be more careful when I tend to this stuff. poisonoaksprout032016 I can never get sick of seeing Daffodils, especially the ones that pop up in areas that were planted about fifty years ago or more. Persistent bulbs.practicallywilddaffys032016 This picture reminds me that I have tools to put away. I will probably get drenched, but I am running out of daylight.Garden032016

 

Bath for

Me. Since my Fentinol patch expired three days ago,  I can take a Bath before I have Sylvia put another on. (Please excuse the phonetic spelling. I am writing this on my phone and don’t want to risk losing this to find the correct spelling. Not a big deal.) It is a good thing she dates them with a Sharpie. I thought she just changed it Friday. Nope.
I lavish in days when there is absolutely nothing on the schedule except feed the dogs. A long soak will do my back some good. Maybe some day this hot tub will be more than yard art.
I could easily be in the tub for an hour or more. The fan goes off in forty-five minutes, but that may not be enough time.  With all that I have stashed in the loft bathroom, I will be more than content.
Water, which I  am consciously drinking more water,  but the action isn’t in my routine yet. Coffee with creamer.  I will pay the price later when I can’t sleep, but it is comfort food. As long as I drink more water than coffee, I think all is good.
You’re probably thinking good for what. I am back up to 150 in this roller coaster ride of weight and want to take inventory of what I am doing and not doing.
Sierra, my new Nutritionist, will look at my food journal the next time I see her.
Will a food journal keep me from eating Reisen chocolate carmel chews? I ate a few during Joy Hainsworth’s memorial service yesterday.
One candy is forty calories. A serving is four pieces.
I am counting calories, but I would not say I am on a diet.
I recently added an application that allows me to monitor my intake and exercise, or lack of it, using my phone or my Samsung Gear Watch. It only took me close to a year to finally get a charger for it. It seems silly that the Verizon store sells the watches but not the charger.
In addition to candy,  I have sunflower seeds. I know it is softball season when I crave seeds in the shell. One at a time i eat and spit. If indoors I don’t spit. None of you had the image of me spitting indoors did you? Seeds are so much better than chew. That stuff is disgusting. Never have had the desire to try it. Icky. Cigars disgust me even more. Pipes, on the other hand, I like the aroma.
A quarter cup is 190 calories. I would have to find out how many seeds fit in my Red Sox coat pocket and measure that way.
I don’t know how many minutes I have left on the timer, but this blog feels done for now.
It just clicked off. I feel an overtime is due.

Now that I have

settled into somewhat of a steady schedule of taking my meds and see my acupuncturist every couple of weeks, I’m starting to think about bowling more. Yesterday I practiced four games. I do not remember the last time I practiced.

I’ve got this idea of wanting to see how good I could get if I really wanted to and was willing to invest the time.

My body, especially my back, is asking my brain if it were possible to doing this without going hog wild.

A long time ago, about a life-time, I could easily bowl a hundred games in a week. Twenty-something games at one time. It didn’t take long when I bowled by myself. I had a 300 at Emerald lanes in the afternoon while practicing. It probably took me five minutes or less. Two lanes crossed. Two balls. I never stopped. A group of high schoolers were impressed. I probably got a readout as that was my first one and I was so thrilled I could have screamed, but I didn’t. It didn’t count for anything but self satisfaction. Lots of work had paid off.

Could I do it again? I’ve been social bowling for many years. Once a month my competitive fervor wakes up to bowl a Firs Trio. I notice that my back hurts a lot more after this tournament since I’m putting more into my shot.

I hate to lose. I was a horrible bowler when I first started in the 80s. I threw a backup ball, and since bowling is biased against backup throws, I worked hard at eliminating that habit. Later on, and especially now, I love throwing a back-up ball on the left side, though mostly for split conversions that are almost impossible from either side.

Last night I had a 4-9 split, and the shot I threw was a decent shot.

The most common split is the dreaded 7-10 split. I take one hundred percent responsibility for leave the monster as it always the result of a poorly executed throw. As I was scouring the internet for a picture of the 4-9 split, one that I don’t get on my case. I didn’t find a picture but I did learn something.

Splits and certain pins have certain names. Five-Seven-Ten is called the Sour Apple for some reason. It doesn’t happen that often. Bowling establishments used to hand out a card welcoming you to the Sour Apple Club. I probably still have mine. But this is when Bowling places were called Bowling Alleys, but they changed their name to house or establishment in an attempt to clean the sport up.

Bowlers, for the most part, are a different breed of animal.

But back to the main purpose of this blog. To share my new found knowledge. There may even be a bonus fact.

I didn’t know that the Sour Apple is called the Three Wise Men. Probably a regional thing as I have never heard that phrase and I have been to a lot of bowling places all over, though I do try to not allow Jibber Jabber enter my mind, especially if I am serious. Tuning everything out is the hardest thing, but so critical. It doesn’t take much to throw a crappy shot and lose the game in that last inning. I did that last Sunday and have felt terrible ever since.

hqdefault

Bonus fact. I did not know that the 8-10 split, another one of those hated unfair spares. Typically it’s a great ball that just doesn’t get the pins careening enough. I used to break pencils when I left 8-10. People would hide their pencils. My friend Kathi once gave me a fistful of pencils for my birthday.

But i didn’t know that the 8-10 is not called the Oh Shit ball, but the Cincinnati. Maybe only people in Ohio say this. Maybe people who don’t like Cincinnati.

Cincinnati (7–9 or 8–10)

This is similar to the 7–10, as they are both splits with pins on the back row of the deck. It is also just about as difficult to convert. However, it is possible to slide the 9 or 8-pin into the 7 or 10 pin, but there is only a 0.05 inch (1 mm) margin of error.

I have a lot of

work to do. I have a lot of work to do. Maybe this week break, which rather defeats the purpose of a break, but gardening is only physically exhausting. My brain, on the other hand, revitalizes. Maybe it has something to do with getting my hands dirty. You’ll just have to take my word for it. When I was a child, I was told that I could grow a garden under my nails. I tried a few times, but never succeeded. I was very successful as getting my nails dirty and keeping them away. It took me quite a few years to learn that it’s not socially acceptable to not to bathe. And then it took me even longer to realize that even after showering, it’s not socially acceptable to have dirty finger nails. I took a shower? What else do you want me to do?

my hands on 3-18-16 at 3.14 PM

I’m surprised that my high school year book doesn’t say I was nicknamed Pigpen. Snoopy was my favorite Peanuts character, but I resembled Pigpen. Every where I walked, a dust storm followed. Every room I touched became a disaster. I was hurricane quick.

My mom and I had an unspoken agreement about my being a slob. I would play in my room and spread every today every which way. While I was at school, my mom would clean my room. I thought this was a amicable relationship. I don’t ever recall hearing my mom tell me to clean my room or get mad at me for not cleaning my room. In fact, I have no recollection of ever cleaning my room for the first twelve years of my life.

Is that why I am such a lousy housekeeper? I would much rather write, read, play with the dogs, garden than clean the house. No one is going to be coming over for  while. I have too much yard work to do.Worktodo2016

Making the Best of

The sunshine. I’m writing this on the deck.

Me on 3-18-16 at 2.00 PM

This is the expression of a teacher who started Spring Break. I clocked off at noon, but stayed extra because they were the sweetest group of fifth graders that I have met, and I’ve been to quite a few elementary schools in Eugene and Springfield.  Dos Rios Two Rivers Elementary School is the best school. You kids rock!!!

I hope I am not too sore tomorrow. The fifth graders were playing dodgeball. Since there were three other teachers, I opted to play. The teacher did a great time mixing up various renditions that I had never heard of. Pop up dodgeball. Aerial strike dodgeball. And then the version I know that probably is called: the old-fashioned dodgeball. I’m grateful that they use lightweight dodge balls so no one can get hurt, though I did hit hard enough in the face that my glasses went flying; they survived better than me. I was fine. I wanted to know who hit me, but there were 34 kids on the other side of the black line in the gym. My class versus the other teacher’s class. I only had them for half a day and I still consider room 23 my class.

Side not. I gotta get on my soap box for a minute or two. Even with 34 amazing and wonderful  kids, how in George McGovern can a teacher give enough individual attention to kids, and kids still need that one-on-one. I think they act act because they don’t get enough “Look at me and don’t look at anyone else” time.

When I am in an elementary class, by the end of the day I feel like I am pulling taffy at the same time I am playing whack-a-mole. I’m not doing very well in either activity. The other fifth grade class also has 34 students, and I don’t think she has a student teacher. I would bet that these teachers might be looking forward to a week off more than I. But come to think of it, when I taught full-time, I don’t recall breaks being a complete break. There was a break from the kid energy, but there is always planning and grading and revising for the rest of the school year. I think we’re more than half-way done with the school year, and typically the days start to speed up, unless it is really sunny out. Then Murphy has a way of slowing the day down, but rainy days make the day go quickly. At least for me.

Usually I have to work hard at getting my 10,000 steps in a day. Sometimes bowling three games doesn’t even do it. But today, today I was at my target before noon. I walked around the room a lot and hardly ever sat still, and there were two teachers in the room, and I was still running.  Today I had an opportunity to work with an amazing soon-to-be licensed teacher. Ms. Healey, and I’m not sure if that’s your spelling, if you ever read this, you are already a fantastic teacher. Go Pacific University!

Where was I? I had about three or four blog ideas. I’m trying hard to stick to just one so none of you get whiplash.

The Deck. March Break. Sun in the forecast. Bowling tonight. I cannot think of how my day could get any better. I would wish that my back would stop hurting. I just did some gardening, planting three artichokes. Or was it two? I’ll find out soon enough.

I will have to write more lately. I have a reservation for a nap just about now. (The nap got vetoed in exchange for the second blog of the day, and one that is revised heavily. That doesn’t happen that often.) Time for more gardening.

Popeye

I’m a history nut. I love it when I see how events in history fit together. Daniel James Brown in his book, The Boys in the Boat, weaves all sorts of historical nuggets together. I dj_brown_boys_boat_0expect to read about Hitler and his henchmen, but I never expected to be reminded that Popeye was introduced to the silver screen during this time. Joe, one of the principal crew members for the University of Washington unbelievable team, had to scrape together enough money to take his fiancé, Joyce, to the movies. Earlier the team had a pathetic outing and Joe wrote in his scrapbook, “I yam disgusted.”popeye

The first I heard of crew was while I was at Ithaca College. Those dedicated Bombers, and the same was true for the Cornell students on the other hill, did a lot of running before rowing the Cayuga.

Brown does an unbelievable job keeping my interest with the little tangents he goes on, explaining when and how a rowing “spectacle” between the Americans on the boat, American Star and some Brits from a visiting British warship on the boat, Certain Death. Instead of eight men in a boat, there were half as many.  The War of 1812 was still on the minds of many people. I had forgotten that the White House had been on fire. The residual feelings of hostility against the British people came out in droves to watch thhistory_rowinge race. Fifty thousand to one hundred thousand people were said to come out and watch the very first rowing race. The idea caught on and rowing clubs started popping up. Harvard and Yale were the first two American collegiate teams to race.

One of the things that I most like about Boys in the Boat is that even in the worst of circumstances, it will get better. Joe Rantz is an example of a kid being short-changed so many times along the way, but hope and perseverance kept him aloft.

There are so many things that I take for granted, such as electricity. During this time period electricity and indoor plumbing weren’t available to everyone. If I could go back in time, I would love to see Franklin D. Roosevelt deliver his speech about the benefits of the Grand Coulee Dam. One hundred and Seventy-five million dollars went a lot further back then, but  the benefits were wocoulee2rth so much more. This quote sums it up:

“Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental—the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together.”

 

 

Why do men

Why do men think Facebook is dating site. I tend to give everyone equal opportunity to become Facebook Friends, 3,810. Reminds me of pin ball. Since I don’t get out anymore, Facebook points will have to do.

What has developed has been a social science experiment. Why do men hit on women via Facebook. The patterns are unsettling. Of course, I don’t know who is behind the icon, the photo; it could be the same person over and over.

This is the third draft of this blog, I’ve added some guys since they keep jumping in. I’m sure eventually I’ll bore of the game, but right now it seems no harm no foul. They are giving me something to write about, and it’s not like I don’t tell them.

Today’s unsuspecting soul, perhaps meaningful, perhaps not, I don’t know intentions:

Anthony Arguello

Chat Conversation Start
You’re friends on Facebook
Works at Pecos, New Mexico8:07PM
“Hi.”
“Hello.”
“How are you”
“Well, you?”

The conversation started off rather tame. I wasn’t helping the conversation. It didn’t take long for Mr Anthony Arguello to turn the heat up after I said Excellent:

“I like older women”
“Good for you. I like older women, too. In fact, i have had the same one for 28 years. How old were you 28 years ago?”
If I had thought about it longer, I would have said that since it takes men so much longer to mature, going for a younger man would be asking for trouble. He’s not even ripe yet.
“5”
I’m not doing the math. I can’t count that high.
“Wow. Guess you will have to bark up another tree. If I ever went for younger, it still would not be you. Sorry.”
“I be ur cowboy”
 Okay folks. Could someone tell me what this means? The fellow must be desperate as he doesn’t give up.
” U are pretty lady”
I don’t remember the last time I was referred to as a lady. I could care less if he thought I were pretty, cute, adorable, the best thing since Sliced Bread. But if someone can’t take the time you write You or Your, I’m not interested. Maybe he can’t spell these words.
“I don’t know what you being my cowboy. If I am going to ride something, it’s going to be a horse. Do you not understand the concept of No Thank you. Time to move along little doggie.”
Persistent bugger:
“U have fun with me”
“It seems to be so many men’s fantasy to turn a Lesbian into a heterosexual. I don’t cheat. I’m married. Maybe I would have fun with you. But I’m never going to find out.”
And Crude:
“I’m (Bleep) and big”
 “I appreciate you giving me something to blog about, but since I’m a teacher and I keep a G rated Blog, I gotta say Hasta La Vista.” ( I apologize for my phonetic Spanish. Maybe Friday at Dos Rios Elementary School, I can re-learn how to say good bye.
But he doesn’t give up:
U want (bleep)
“I’m bored. Have a good life. There are plenty of other women; maybe you can find someone as desperate as yourself.”
I keep throwing zingers at him. But he must be bored.
After he tries to impress me with an abbreviated description of his stature, which is probably the exact opposite of reality, I replied:
“I have a Masters in Education. I prefer to hang out with people who can write complete sentences.”
I don’t get too many chances to hurl insults at complete strangers. It is, giving me something to write about, so I will say he’s being useful even in a superficial way.
For every three of his words, some even spelled correctly, I write six times as many and in less time:
“I also like to hang out with people who can carry on an intelligent conversation and since most of your intelligence is below the waist, this really is a waste of time.”
Desperate people will say anything:
“Give me a chance with you k”
 “I’ve got some reading to do. Maybe some reading would do you some good. Certainly couldn’t hurt at this point.”
In fact, maybe I ought to give him my blog address so he can read about himself.
As I said earlier, I really appreciate you giving me food for thought and something to blog about. Here’s my blog address so if you want to read my blog about you.

I started this blog last week, not realizing that I would be adding to it. I am starting to feel boredom creep in.

I hate to discriminate a gender, but when I add women I don’t know, I don’t get an email five seconds later, but I have been forced toI stop adding men who have just a  few friends in common. Some of the friends in common are other questionable men.

And then the scientist in me kicks in and asks, Is there a connection here? What’s going on? How can I help stop the harassment. It’s almost like bullying except I ask for it. Maybe Facebook would do something. I do block most of the guys eventually. After I have collected the data.

Maybe there are people who are intrigued at this phenomenon and are intrigued, but I suppose my own curiosity will have to suffice. So many questions.

Why would these younger men be contacting a middle-age woman. The challenge? I’m now believing they are just trying to rattle my cage. The most recent of fellows is using a different strategy. I’ve not quite figured him out yet. I thought I would throw the conversation in here. I ignored his hellos, but he was persistent. Four tries before I lied and told him I was away from my computer. I am never away from any of the devices that keeps me plugged into the electronic world. It’s too bad the internet can’t feed me my vegetables and fruits while I am at it; I would be so healthy if that were the case.

New guy on the hook.  Mr. Dennis Drake. I may just jump down the rabbit hole and see where this conversation leads:

Chat Conversation Start
You’re friends on Facebook
TUE 4:10PM
hello
hello
TUE 5:38PM

hi

TUE 6:46PM

hi
TUE 9:23PM
Sorry, I’ve been away from my computer.
1:13PM
ok hello how are you doing
 Great. I’m not a chatty person, so chances are I’ll seldom reply. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

No response for a while. My Social Science experiment will have to wait; perhaps I was able to steer Mr. Drake in a different direction. I ought to at least tell him that I am a Duck Fan.

(A day or two later and Mr. Drake is back. I thought that giving him a cold shoulder would chase him away. Nope. There must be a script somewhere that tells these guys what to say; the dialogue, the questions are almost identical.

Dennis Drake

 9:47AM
hello
Hello again.
how are you doing
I’m doing very well.
ok what are you up too
Writing. Blogging about why do men think Faceook is a dating site. You?

Darren  continued the conversation, so even after saying I was going to blog about him in a roundabout way, he didn’t flinch.

dont know any thing about that ok
where are you from ?
At least you are giving me something to blog about. I appreciate this.
ok
 how old are you and where are you fro?
Maybe there’s a language barrier between Derek and myself. I haven’t answered any of his questions, but he’s got his head down and he’s adamant.
He’s not a bad looking guy, though it’s too bad the plane can’t bite his head off: Probably time to turn the life support off of this FBF.
10406693_113298289066677_479353944992697392_n

 

Several days ago, I hd this unfortunate conversation. I ended up blocking the blockhead after he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I’ve been deleting friendship requests of men who have no friends in common. But I don’t feel comfortable discriminating a segment of the population based on gender alone. The picture of the guy and his daughter is what caused me to put out one feeler, but this is some of the conversation.

OnlineMRUK TROY ALVIN

Works at Mta Enterprises

Lives in Denver, Colorado

12:13PM

“Hi and thanks very much for accepting my friends request….”
I was up front right from the beginning in my response.
“I was reluctant. I’ve been deleting requests from males that I have no friends in common with. Nine out of ten times, the guys hit on me and that’s not what I use Facebook for. I’m not trolling for a partner. So, if a friendship is what you seek, we’ll proceed. Anything else, we’ll go our separate ways.”
Perhaps since I was upfront of what I was looking for, it made this conversation easier. Maybe. There are a few red flags that are popping up in my brain. His response to my up front and honest statement:
“okay my dear we can be good friend s my dear, and how are you doing today and hope you are in good health and condition over there?.”
I’m a bit oversensitive, but the words like dear or good friend. Now my questions, dear readers, is would someone from Colorado ask about the weather and use the phrase over there? Maybe I’ll ask him where he is from and see if he confirms his Facebook page…
Of course, I can’t just ask question when I start writing:
“We could start by being friends. It takes a while for me to warm up to strange men; sometimes I never do. I’m tired. A good friend died and her memorial was yesterday. It’s raining hard, so it’s a good day to stay inside and read/write/play with my dogs. Where do you live?”
He did confirm his residency is in Colorado, but I never let me guard down. Just because he says this, it doesn’t mean it’s not a ruse. A one-dimensional relationship is all that this is. t didn’t tell him to drop the dear; it’s not that big of a deal; it’s just not my favorite term of endearment. Sometimes I’m more sensitive to names than other times. I used to be offended when I  was referred to as a guy, but I don’t like gal either. Sometimes I’ll ask students what they would like to be called as a group. I had one group of middlers that wanted to be called peeps, so I did. When we studied US history, I said we the Peeps instead of We the People.
Yesterday, one of my fellow Soromundi Lesbian Choir of Eugene member’s kept grumbling about being called a guy. Every time she would mutter about her not being a guy. She probably wasn’t the only one in the fifty-eight of us to be disappointed, but she was the only one I heard since she was sitting right next to me.
Back to the conversation. In response to my question of where he hails from. (I don’t know if that’s the correct form for that statement. Bex will let me know if I’ve messed up, won’t you?) He responded
“i reside here in Denver,Colorado and how about you my dear?”
Most of the time, people who ask me for a Facebook friendship tend to look at my Facebook page to figure out who I am, but it’s the trollers who tend to look at a photo and proceed without knowing a thing about me. Everything about me is on my Facebook page. If only the fishermen would take a second to look, they would realize they are fishing in the wrong pond. But maybe there’s a challenge. Maybe he knows I’m a lesbian, but likes to think he can persuade me to join the other team. Never have. Never will. And I don’t say never very often. I basically responded in a polite way:
 “Perhaps you should take a gander at my Facebook page, but I live in Eugene. I had hoped to garden today, but it is pouring. How is your weather?”
“very well my dear and happy sunday, i went to church with my daughter today?…
 Another red flag. He doesn’t answer my question about the weather. I’m assuming Colorado has some interesting weather happening. Snow perhaps. And why in the world would he end his statement with a question mark. Slip maybe. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I want to include a picture of his beautiful daughter, but out of respect to her privacy, I’m withholding that. but I tell him,
“Your daughter is very pretty. Is her mom not in the picture?”
“no my dear i lost her mom 5 years ago due to breast can and ever since then it has been me and my lovely daughter and she has been my joy and she is so brilliant my dear…”
I haven’t quite decided if this is red flag territory. He’s not the first guy who has contacted me and given me the same story. Is it a story or is it for real?
 “I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom when I was twelve, so I can relate to what your daughter has experienced. She is lucky to have you.”
“yes my dear and me too i have been single for some time now since i lost mu late wife and it is really not easy been a single dad my dear…..”
 By this time, I’m getting sick of the dear; talk about pouring it on. I ask him.
“Just out of curiosity, do you always use the word dear so much. I wouldn’t mind if that part of our conversation changed. I also wanted to let you know that I have included some of our conversation in my blog. You are looking a lot better than the other bloke who friended me, but I ended up blocking him.”
The dears do stop, but then lots of red flags went up with his response:
“okay so tell me are you married and do you have kids Susan?…”
Does it always have to go to this question and so quickly. I mentioned to him that I too had lost my mother when I was young, but he didn’t touch that statement. I told him to read my Facebook, but he either couldn’t be bothered or what.
I should at least tell him that his name will be in my blog and see if there’s a problem.
“Read my Facebook page. You can also read my blog. I use conversations like this for blogging material:.”
And the Saga continues. I accepted this guy’s friendship request and within a minute he started a conversation, but he didn’t hesitate and threw me loaded questions immediately.
Chat Conversation Start
You’re friends on Facebook
Lives in Asagı Nazilli, Aydin, Turkey
6:11PM
thx xxx
sure.
hows u
I’m doing spectacular.
u lesbian ?
You are quick.
what
Maybe not.
lesbian ?
?
susan
I got distracted. Sorry.
u lesbian or bi ?
I don’t discuss private matters with people I don’t know.

Really? Is this guy for real? Why do men think Facebook is a site for picking women up. Or maybe I ought to think about why do I think it isn’t. I’m going to have to start to be very discriminating. Maybe it’s a language barrier, but this guy didn’t understand goodbye.

can i ask somethin

?

I don’t view Facebook as a place to pick up sexual partners. I’m going to have to say no to guys since Sex seems to be the only thing on your mind. Goodbye. Have a good life.
can i ask somethin
Goodbye
At least it is easy to delete and block people.
There doesn’t seem to be an end to men adding to my social experiment. This one, started last week. I’ve been ignoring him.
Chat Conversation Start
You’re friends on Facebook
Lives in Alabaster, Alabama

MAR 12TH, 7:07PM

hello darling..How are you doing??Hope you doing good…..am Moore I was doing through my search and I found your profile very interesting and attractive…I will very much happy and excited I get to know more about you…If you interested to know more about me too..you can text me…….hope to hear from you soon..kisses and hugs..be safe

 Don’t get too excited. I am not excited.
what happen?life is too short than not to be happy with it
how are u pretty?
I am happy. What gave you the impression? You are not my Knight in shining armor. Maybe you should bark up another tree.
i will really love to be one
i will love to get to know u
Look. If you had spent rhirty seconds looking at my Facebook page, we would not be having this assinine conversation. Or maybe i am having a monologue. Do you understand yet or do i have to spell things out.
im not ge tting that
maybe you make it straight known to me
I AM GAY and TAken. Clear?
Fantastic. I was starting to worry about intelligence.
have alot of gay as friend
Awesome.
where u from?
Read my facebook. Everything you want to know is there.

8:29PM

Hello….how are u today?seems u kind of busy or u don’t wanna talk
I don’t really like talking to people I don’t know.
Chat Conversation End
Seen 8:58pm

Maybe that’s the end of that conversation.

I’m definitely done with this experiment. I think it is more about people enjoying tormenting other people, men especially to women. This is just another form of abuse. I sure hate to think in terms of stereotypes, especially when I really don’t know if any of these guys are real. Have you ever had this happen to you? I’m sure most of you would say no; they aren’t as compulsive as I about collecting Facebook Friends and certainly don’t accept people they don’t know, male or female.

But I have met quite a quite a few very interesting friends that were complete strangers, male and female; so it’s not like I’m cutting off the other gender, so to speak. My good friend Jeff and I have known each other for many years, and I met him on a bowling chat group. We bowled a few National tournaments together. I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Boys in the

Boat. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is the book that my every third Thursday of the Month Book Club is reading. The book I should be reading.It’s not that I don’t like the bTheBoysintheBoatook. I like the book a lot, but I’ve been spending more time writing than reading. I suppose if I want to encourage reading, I could write about what I am reading.

Daniel James Brown interviewed Joe Rantz, a neighbor; the only thing that separated Brown from Rantz was a field and a split rail fence and wet woods. Anything with a lot of rain in it makes me feel at home.

Boys was published in 2013. I don’t know what year it was that Brown visited Rantz, but Rantz was on his deathbed.

The fence that Daniel climbed over to get to Rantz’s daughter’s house had not only been built by Rantz in his mid seventies, but Rantz had felled/fallen/whatever the trees. Two thousand, two hundred and forty-four linear feet of pasture fence.

JoeRantzThe author said that he knew only two things about Joe before the interview. In addition to the fence-building tidbit, he also knew that Joe and his teammates blew the world out of the water when these University of Washington young me won the 1936 Olympic Medal, snatching it away from Hitler, making a huge impact on history. To read about someone who saw Hitler first-hand is almost like meeting someone who saw Hitler first-hand; it’s the closest I’ll ever come.

1936Olympics

My father’s family was German. My recollection is that Beno Honthumb was the last born and the first born in America; he was the last attempt at having a boy to carry on the family name. After my dad’s death, there are no more males to carry on the name in the entire world, at least from what my sisters and I have figured out. No other Honthumb has popped up. We did discover a cousin in California, but her grandmother, Vera was one of my grandfather’s sisters. Do I have that correct? I’m sure someone will try to straighten me out.

This story fascinates me, especially with the different back stories. Joe. His teammates. Hitler and his behind the scenes scheming and cheating to win no matter what the cost.

I don’t know much about the history of the west, at least not the history of Washington in 1933. The world wasn’t a happy place and Seattle was the epitome of this feeling.

Hooverville

HOOVERVILLES IN SEATTLE

The stock market crash in October 1929 helped trigger a devastating depression that dominated the Northwest for nearly a decade. The economic downturn gradually affected more and more people. Mortgage foreclosures, delinquent taxes, and sharply rising unemployment were the experiences of many. Between 1929 and 1933, a hundred thousand businesses failed across the nation. Racial minorities, women, and the unskilled were the first to lose their jobs. By the time President Hoover left office in 1933, 13 million were unemployed, about 25% of the work force. Some unemployed became transients, searching for jobs and food. In Seattle, unemployment was 11% in April 1930, rising to 26% by January 1935.

The dichotomy of the rise of Germany and fall of America during this time is mind-boggling, and still  we managed to take the Gold right out of Adolf’s greedy little hands. What blows my mind away even more so is to think that right now in the United States Political Platform, Donald Trump is giving history a re-do. I am hoping and praying that eventually voters will wake up and smell the java and prevent history from repeating itself. Ignorance is not bliss. Back in the 30s, they really thought that cigarettes were good for you. They had proof. Most of the World Series champions, the Giants, smoked.

But we know better. Don’t we?

Time to settle back and do some serious reading. This may be the first book since I joined this nameless book club many months ago where I’ve not finished the book.

UWashcrew1930s

What If Every

What if every word I write. Every picture I take. Are perfect. Doesn’t matter if my sentences are really sentences. I suspect that most readers could care less and don’t even pay attention to punctuation. Would you care if I lower-cased that would? Word won’t let me. If I felt a little surge, I bet I could reprogram myself from even making that mistake ever again or to not care one way or the other. I think I’ll pick the latter.

I love it when journal entries become blogs. Now the question will be able to nurture this to the end. I probably have six to  a dozen starts of blogs sitting in my draft box. It’s much easier to store stories on the computer than in a draw or a box. My stories lost drawer space a while back after an inch or two accumulated. Out of misuse, they were delegated to a box. I have no guess as to how many stories are in the boxes.

I’m not sure what or who inspired the walk outside. Sometimes it’s my watch that tells me if I have ben sitting still too long. There’s this look that Abby the Labby Number Nine gives me that is mesmerizing and I have no choice but to go outside or at least walk around the house. With rooms connecting, I can walk around in circles upstairs and down. There are days that it’s just too cold and or too wet to go. Most of the time if the temperatures aren’t bad and it’s wet, I’ll still go out. I can’t tolerate the cold; goes right to my back.

I told the dogs that we were going for a walk and I let them out from the kitchen door. Lovely Lucy is starting to struggle with stairs. I though I was ready to put my shoes on, but I wasn’t. There were so many things I needed. Camera. Walk up stairs to Loft. It was only then that I realized that I left it down in the basement. Two flights. Back up a flight to start walk. Nope, I wanted to eat two tangerines on the walk. I left them in my coat from a previous attempt to eat them. I didn’t leave my Boston Red Sox coat in the hallway like I always do. I realize it was up in the loft. Up a flight.

The tangerines are still in my coat pocket and about two hours has passed.

yang031616I needed to get something fro the basement, but I can’t remember. On my way back through the playroom/study/storage facility/exercise room. Of course I had to stop off and say hello to Yang. Our paths don’t cross as often as her sister.

dreamingof?031116

Ying probably has a ten to one ratio over her sister Yang in photos. Ying is typically always nearby; she may think she’s a dog or perhaps she has just accepted her inner dog. She walks with us regardless of the weather. If I am in the garden, she’s there as well.

Ying091015

The other night I realized that most of my cats are feral cats. I used to think that their mother’s were feral, but I’ve done nothing to extinguish the feralness out of kittens. Usually I get them too young, but they are in desperate need of home since they were removed from their wild mom’s too early. They become attached to me, and I become their  nurturer.

I have noticed that wild turkey hens making this popping noise like a beacon to direct the chicks. Homing device after being scattered. Unfortunately, my dogs have scattered peahen from the chicks. After getting dogs inside, I have been able to sit and listen to the peahen collect her wee ones.

(I need a picture of a turkey chick. I went back to my pictures two to three times, but every time I switched programs, I would forget what I was looking for. I think I need to make myself remember more things. Memory issues have always plagued me, but my brain is as much out of shape as my body. I don’t think it will hurt quite as much to get my brain back into shape as it will my body.)

A half an hour, at least, has slipped by with distractions and I never even got off my butt. Internet. Searching for App for a food log. I told my new nutritionist I would start a food log, but my phone is maxed out of memory and I need to spend time purging. And then I had to check Facebook and reply to some comments. I loved all of the birthday wishes I got and it’s going to take me a month or so to reply to every one. I’m determined to reply to everyone, even the people I don’t know.

My intention for leaving this blog and going to Facebook was to get a picture of a turkey or a hen that I took. I could have cheated and snagged a photo off of the internet, but I know I took some; I just haven’t figured out where the photos are; they mind not even be on this computer, but they should be on Facebook.

birds060612

This isn’t quite what I was looking for, but it will have to be a placeholder until I can track the photos down. I have a rough idea of what they look like, but only mentally. This also a reminder and a universe seed that I really want a telephoto lens for my digital Canon Camera. And that reminds me that I better get my keister down to the DMV to get a mug shot taken. I wonder what the grace period is.

Ricky031616

You might not remember, or perhaps your memory is better than mine, but this blog started off as a story about going for a walk with the dogs. I had let them out and then I got distracted walking here and there. Ricky was the only one who had come inside via the dog door to figure out what my problem was.

Come on. Ricky is so patient with me.

Rickykitchen031616

Mostly I was employing avoidance tactics. I have learned a lot in my dozen years of teaching. My window of walking in the dry opposed to the wet had closed. Curtains drawn. I could hear the rain.

abby031616

It took several pictures to get the perfect tilt. Each time I asked Abby a question, her head tilted a few degrees. Do you want to go for a walk was the question. They had already gotten a car trip this morning when I went for acupuncture treatment. Not a far trip, but Abby is even satisfied with riding from one end of the driveway to the house, and our drive is not very long at all. She always greets me at the fence, and after opening the fence, I tell her to get into the car. I prefer that I’m driving the Subaru, the official dog car, but I have let go of the rule that dogs aren’t allowed in the Mini Cooper. I’ll have to remember to only wear jeans or black pants when I drive the Mini.

I want to photograph rain.

clouds031616

clouds and dark  sky doesn’t mean rain. I was still under cover when I took this shot.wetneedles031616 Fir or Pine? Still doesn’t capture what I mean by rain. It’s probably not a good idea to take my camera out in the rain, but I’ve been too overprotective.wet031616Wet still doesn’t do it. I think I’ll give up.boatshedyard031616Instead, it was time to just take the plunge and walk in the rain. When I get into a pool I tend to jump in, if jumping is allowed or if think I can get away with it without getting into trouble. How about you? do you use the steps or do you get totally wet first? I suppose it does depend upon the temperature of the water. I can’t imagine doing the Polar Plunge. Have you ever done the plunge. Do they have the opposite, like jumping into a Jacuzzi? I could do that on a daily basis.yingtubbing031116Maybe one of these days…

Abby:ricky031116This just proves that I was wrong about every single picture being a keeper. Do you agree or disagree?

fungus?031616I haven’t the slightest idea what this is. Comes of of trees, but it’s not moss or mushroom. Can you help me identify this? Sometimes I take pictures while waiting for Lucy to catch up, and sometimes she ends up waiting for me when something catches my attention.

wetgrass031616I never give up. What happens doesn’t make What Is.Abby031616Abby makes it so I don’t get too serious and too philosophical. Abby can be so cute that it doesn’t matter if it is raining or not. Unfortunately, I have created a little monster who experiences separation anxiety when I leave. Sylvia can no longer let her out into the yard when I am not home as Abby will immediately climb the fence or gate and leave. If I am home, I can leave the front gate wide open and she will not go anywhere. This is a new phenomenon, but it’s a very scary one; Sylvia has to walk with her now or keep her in the house. ballintallgrass031616How many days of sun do we need to get the tractor out for a run around the yard. It’s probably getting a bit stir-crazy.

Lucy031616Lovely Lucy. It took a little bit of prodding to keep her walking. She didn’t act like she was in pain. I should find out why she’s got such a need to eat grass. Do you know why? Something must be missing in her diet.

Today I saw a nutritionist about my diet. I have to start a food journal; that shouldn’t be hard. I’ve only eaten a chicken apple sausage to go with my two cups of coffee. I’m just not hungry.

leafandclover031616leafandclover031616

When I have music in my ear or a camera around my neck, I forget about the rain. So, the only problem is that my camera is getting slightly wet. I’m easily entertained some times.

wildplum031616Do you think that that photo should be cropped? I was too lazy. I’m trying to hold onto that philosophy of every photo having worth, though for every picture I post, I probably skip seven.

yellowholly031616Hollyflower031616

Maybe I have answered my own question. Maybe the Red Berry is just the result of the yellow flower? That’s my guess. Thank you Sylvia for correcting my spelling. I do not have a Holy Tree.

deerdogpath031616When it stops raining, I’ll get the good ole gas powered metal-bladed weedwhacker out and create more paths, but until then I’ll have to continue on the deerdoghuman well-worn path. Dorothy something. Who wrote a story about a well-worn path? No, I’m not talking about the path not taken. I’m not thinking of Robert Frost. newpaths031616If I don’t keep the blackberry brambles in control, These paths will close up like a wound. I can’t use these paths with the dogs until I get the new shoots and debris raked up. Thorns and paws don’t agree with each other.

rickyabby031616It is very hard for me to get action pictures of the dogs. Can you tell me what I need to do differently? Is it the shutter speed? I have the letters ISO in my head, but I don’t know if these letters have anything to do with film speed. When I took 35 mm pictures, I played around with different film, but how do I do that with digital? I tend to rely on point and shoot, but I have manual choices that I sometimes play with.

Triadofdogs031616

mystery031616

Can you help me identify some things growing on our property? Perhaps I should invite people over for a walking tour of the new growth. I love this time of year when growth is springing up.IMG_0855IMG_0856

Rickycamo031616Can you spot the dog?

mudpawprint031616

The end. Responses would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

I Don’t Wake Up Without

Without Coffee. I’m not sure if I have tried this before today, and may never do it again. It’s my birthday; I might as well experiment on A Day in the Life of Me. But me not having a lot of coffee might not be a good thing. We’ll see how long the experiment can last.

I begin every day bargaining. Bargaining Time. Guess who usually wins? I try every day to get the upper hand, but Time always kicks my butt.

I always give myself lots of time between the time my alarm goes off and the time I need to get up. Negotiating takes time. In a way it’s like my body and brain are doing most of the communicating. Where Time figures in, I’m not sure yet. Maybe I’ll have that figured out by the end of this blog, but there’s also the more likely idea that I won’t remember what this blog started off with, but I’m sure you are getting used to this. I’m finally get used to the way my brain works, but it’s taken me fifty-six years to the day. Almost minute.

I have to do some math. If I was born at two something in the afternoon in Boston, and it’s three something Pacific Time.  Pacific Coast Time. Subtract three hours. Yes, my brain is working at this level today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. It’s just noon, so I have two more hours to be born. I will be so done with this blog by then; I have a short attention span these days. Gotta work with what I have on a particular day.

I’m so happy that I gave myself a four-day weekend for my birthday present. There’s nothing more precious these days than time. That’s pretty much all I need these days. I’m as content as I have ever been.

Now, if I could only get my back to be content. Between teaching  some hard students last week, Sunday’s eight-game bowling tournament, and running out of my scripts, I was rather miserable this morning. Beyond miserable. This didn’t make me want to get out of bed. Negotiation time. I have this down to a science.

First I have to look at the have-to’s. Can I get away without taking a shower. If I am seeing people, this is always a yes. After bowling eight games this was a definitely YES. I think after bowling eight games, and I poured my heart and soul and my entire body into almost every single shot, I become a bowling ball. I roll out of bed a day after bowling. On good days I slither out of bed. I have not had a jump out of bed morning in many years. Can’t remember when.

Well, I do get close to jumping out of bed after I have seen my most excellent pain specialist Lisa Albanese. For my local peeps, if you need a chronic pain specialist, Lisa is the person to go to.

SoulDanceWellness.com

Many hours have passed since I started this blog. other writing obligations got in my way, and I took the dogs out for a walk in the rain. Between Lisa’s touch and my moving around to keep from being stiff, I am feeling better. Still doing my Tim Conway old man character.

dafs031416

Usually I don’t walk in the rain, but I am glad I did. There are some daffys that I always forget about because they are in the middle of blackberry brambles. I can’t get too close to them. Not now anyway. One of these days. I have a lot of brambles to get rid of.

Lucy was a little reluctant to walk, but I managed to get her going in the right direction.

Lucy031416

I have to admit that it wasn’t raining when I started the walk. I probably would have stayed inside if it were raining. There were a few times I had to tuck under cover and hide my camera.

mushroom031416

Just in case you can’t tell what this, the mushrooms are flourishing in the rain and damp days.

Even though it did start to rain shortly after our walk started, I still managed to take over ninety pictures. Maybe 92.

trees031416.jgp

The entire property is bursting with growth and activity. I’m going to skip most of the pictures and go right to my favorite.

I think this the beginning of a wild lily or something like this. Sometimes I get to see them bloom, but they don’t last very long. Between deer and dogs. I don’t know if Ii can transfer them to safer parts, like my garden; until I figure that out, they will try to survive in the middle of the path.

wildlily?031416

Earlier today one of my besets friends apologized for not reading my blog, and I sore up and down that it was okay. It really is. Maybe one of these days she’ll at least take a peak.

My goal is to have at least a thousand words before I give up on the blog. I’ve not drank any more caffeine, so my experiment is working. This will help since I have to get up too early to work with fifth graders at a really hard school. I’m taking Wednesday of to recover and see Lisa again. Maybe by Thursday I’ll be walking normal, or at least as normal as I can get.

leftoverflowers031416

leftover flowers from a tree that I can’t name. There are too many plants and other floral and fauna things that I can’t name.

holy031416

I do, however, know holy when I see it. I have a lot of it. I think the plants with red berries are female and the yellow are male, but maybe they are just two different species. What do I know. Am I at a thousand words yet? Thirty to go.

tree031416

sometimes I look at something that looks very interesting so I take a picture, but then when I get the pictures into the computer, I can’t remember what it was that made the picture interesting.

Eleven words over.

 

Bowling

20160313_bowlingballsBalls. I really want a new bowling ball. Maybe two. Ideally three. I’ve been giving them away, but all of my equipment is old.

SilencerOne of the balls I’m using today for the Firs Trio, a Track Silence is sixteen years old. It’s served me well over the years. For a while, I was on aSilencercore
streak of getting track balls. I probably still have a few of them. I don’t know why I bought a Track Enforcer; according to the reviews, it’s not much different from the Silencer, but back sixteen years ago, I was buying a new ball about once a month.

“The Assassin features the Track Power Rev core with their state of the art modified, multi-colored ProTracktion coverstock. The ball has the same hook potential as the Enforcer (off the charts) with a different look on the lanes.”

AssassinI don’t have the slightest idea what happened to the Track. I tend to give them away to junior bowlers or friends.

StormTraumaThe lanes have changed enough that I’ve switched to a Storm. Storm what? Trauma. How could I forget the name of my grape-scented bowling ball. The Trauma is a year younger than the Tracks. Since I bowled a 219 with the Trauma, I’ll use it again, but we’ve moved lanes, from 23 & 24 to 13 & 14, and that could make a world of difference.

It doesn’t help that I get different advice from different  people. George McPherson, a amazing bowler and driller has suggested the Brunswick Melee, but I’m more of a HellRaiser, but that’s a different company. Sort of. DV8 brand is also made by Brunswick. Right now my choices bounce between the Brutal Nightmare and a Grudge  Strike out the Nightmare; they aren’t making them anymore. I suppose this helps me out as long as I stop looking at bowling balls. There are so many. I’d like to think that I had another 300 in me, but it’s just so hard to tell.hellraiser

 

Only

Photographs. My friend Bex has challenged me to write a blog that only has photos and no text. Obviously, this is going to be a challenge for me.

Before some of you get too far into this blog, beware of some disturbing images that some of you would prefer to pass at. Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you to stop now…

Yingabsorbed031116I don’t know what Ying was so engrossed in looking at, but I took a lot of pictures of her, talking to her, getting closer and closer, but she refused to turn and look at me.

Ying.2.031116I guess I’ll have to have another blog without any text…Now that Spring has sprung, it’s become hunting season for her. Her vigilance has been productive. This is what I found the other day. Ying’s donation to the food supply.

20160309_?critterAt first I thought this lump in the middle of the living room was the hedgehog squeaky toy, but it was just a shade smaller.

Usually Ying eats what she catches, but for some reason she felt like sharing this catch; maybe she didn’t kill it and something else did or perhaps she was able to catch it because it was about to die from something else.

I felt bad for this perhaps pregnant whatever? It sure was big.

I looked it all over and didn’t see any wounds. The only clue to its demise was his or her mouth.

20160309_critter?Maybe one of my readers can help me identify my visitor.

Back to Ying. As I crept closer to Ying, she refused to take her eyes off of the green grass. She had to be ready to pounce just in case.

Ying3.031116I skipped some pictures just to move the story along quicker. It wasn’t until I was close enough to touch Ying that I broke her trance.

almostthereying.031116

Each step I took, I took a snapshot and was so thankful for the invention of digital photography. I would have had to change rolls in my 35mm. With every step, I said Ying’s name and made a chirping noise that I make to get her attention. It took a lot of cat whispering to finally get her to look at me.

Ying's green eyes.031116

I have fallen in love with

This pup. I have truly fallen in love with this puppy.

I have always been a sucker for a cute face; it’s my biggest temptation.

pup031216“I found this beautiful puppy today. He is about 10-12 weeks old 17.5 lbs. He’s an American Bull Dog mix. No chip. Please share and help me find a great home for him. He is super sweet and playful.”

I know I take a chance every time I look at Facebook to get distracted, but this face is so worth getting distracted.

Ivette Brown posted that she found this adorable baby boy dog two days ago. Maybe since he’s so amazingly cute she’s already found a home for him.

https://www.facebook.com/ivette.brown.10?fref=nf

I’m still learning how to get links in. My sister Pam shared this darling picture. Did she know how much his eyes were going to grab my heart strings?

20160312_rickyabbyReality: I have three dogs. Two of which are high maintenance. Abby is becoming higher maintenance as she gets older instead of the other way around. Lucy is so low maintenance that I remind myself that this is the time to give her the most attention. Ricky and Abby aren’t liking this at all. Perhaps this is why Abby leaves the property after I leave for work. Ricky and Abby hardly ever leave my side when I am home.

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please someone wonderful adopt this blue-eyed wonder. If that doesn’t happen, maybe my list of things that I want for my birthday has  grown to five things. Thursday there was only three things on my list. I’ll start my Bucket List after my birthday Monday.

While I watched a Percussion Ensemble perform a song, Tusk, at Lane Community College, I realized that I want a drum set. A drum pad and book won’t due. I already have a pair of drumsticks. I don’t think the fact that they are 44 years old should mean anything, though I may not want to risk breaking them.

Second thing on my list is a beginning drum book.

Sylvia asked me if I wanted lessons to go with, and I said no.  I just want to jam with my favorite songs as I teach myself.

The Third thing from Thursday’s list is a game jersey of David Ortiz. I don’t know which is going to be a bigger price tag. David’s retiring this year and I  want to commemorate the time he’s given to Boston. I don’t need a shirt that he’s worn, a replica would be perfect, but it’s got to be the real McCoy. I have a Fisk shirt that I cherish. Carlton Fisk was one of my favorite players. I got real lucky when I had a chance to play softball with his sister, Janet Miller. What a sweetheart. Rick Miller, her husband and outfielder for the Red Sox was also an amazing person. So down to earth. I should add that I was extremely lucky with that Wayland Savages team since I also got to be teammates with Cheri or Sherry Gedman. Her husband was a Red Sox catcher. But the husbands didn’t matter because the women were amazing players and amazing people. I’ll never forget these experiences. I wish I hadn’t lost touch with them.

Now I’ve forgotten what the new item I wanted to add to the list…

THIS PUPPY. If he’s not adopted, I want him for my fifth birthday present. I’ll be forced to open a Doggy Day care with four dogs.

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of

Me. This is really the only topic that I am close to being an expert, and after 55.9 years, I’m realizing I have so much more to learn. Sounds like fun.

Ying031116Today was a day that I didn’t want to go outside. Looks of grey and wet discouraged me, but Ying coaxed me outside. I was worried that she was going to fall off the deck railing, but there’s no need to underestimate her balancing ability. Ying a-Ling can be a Ding-a-Ling if given the right motivation.

After a long, almost hour long hot bath, I put on rain pants and an old Northeastern Sweathershirt. I don’t know if I stole it from Phyllis Kossak or if she gave it to me. That was at least one life time ago.

Yes, it was wet and rainy, but it wasn’t cold as I walked around the property with the dogs while eating tangerines, throwing the peels in the blackberries for the birds to enjoy. I’m glad that I had my camera as there is a lot of flowering and growing and changing activity out there.

raspberry031116The new raspberries that I planted a few weeks ago or so are thriving in the wet. Strawberries as well. I’ve not had any more gardening motivation aside from planting seeds in my greenhouse.

appleblossoms031116With all of the white petals on the ground from the apple, plum, and Hawthorne trees, it looks like it has snowed. The littlest flower can be so beautiful. I hope I got lucky with some pictures. I often don’t know if the fifty to a hundred shots are good or bad until I download them. Gone are the days when you have to worry about making 24 to 36 perfect pictures, though when I went black and white, I could take more chances on the cost of film and developing, especially when I learned to develop them myself.

I was taking so many pictures that I was constantly looking up and down. Everything seemed to call out to me to “Look at me.”

somesortshroom031116Mushrooms remind me to think about symmetry and how perfect even the most imperfect  mushroom can be. I took a class with a guy at Lane Community College. I think he’s last name was Freeman; edible botany. I learned so much. I didn’t learn much about mushrooms so I consider them all poisonous.

I am thanking my lucky stars that I get to see my pain specialist. Lisa Albanese is the best. Looks like I get another great present on my birthday. It’s been so long since I have seen her that my back is a bit on the grouchy side, and after an eight-game tournament Sunday, I’ll be more than ready to see her Monday.

daffy031116I love the splash of yellow that the daffy’s bring. This generation is probably in it’s 50th year; I didn’t plant them. The people who lived in a farmhouse on the property a long time ago did before the house burned down. Someday I ought to do some research.

plum031116I thought I was going to take a nap on my day off, but I have read, written, blogged, emailed, face booked, bathed, walked, photographed, and played with dogs. In a couple of hours I’ll add bowling to the repertoire.

I had hoped to get to a thousand words in this blog, but since pictures are worth a thousand words, I’m way past my goal.

perchedYing031116

 

Little

Libraries. Today’s price increase notice from the Eugene Sort of Public Library reminds me why it is important for me to build a little neighborhood library and share my vast collection.

I don’t live in the City of Eugene, but my neighbors across the street are in the zoning. Good news, bad news. I can burn, they can’t. I could do target practice, they can’t, but I don’t care to. I can’t get a free library card from the Dome’s address. And today I learned how much the price is going up:

“Hello!
We are writing today to non-residents with Eugene Public Library cards to let you know in advance that the price of non-resident cards will increase on April 1.
If you like, you can renew your card now at the current price by visiting any Eugene Public Library location through March 31.
You are welcome to renew now regardless of the expiration date for your current card. We will extend your card’s expiration date to add the pre-paid time. (You can check expiration date and other account information here.)
Starting April 1, non-resident cards will cost $20 for one month, $40 for three months, $70 for six months, and $130 for one year.”
Wasn’t their salutation so nice and friendly. There are plenty of families that can’t afford that hundred and some bucks. Do they have a program for low-income and seniors? I’m reminding myself that I’m getting onto those lists of services. I might as well take advantage of them while I can.
For most of my life I have always looked younger than my years, but I think they are catching up with me.
Last night I was at a community college concert. I was sitting near a University of Oregon trumpet player who was enjoying watching her boyfriend play in the band.
I asked her if she had ever heard of the Last of the Mohicans. Vaguely familiar was her response. Very nice young woman. She asked me if I had a “child” playing in the college band. When the concert ended, I acted every ounce the age she thought I was. Stiff.
After the concert, our paths crossed again while I was waiting for Sylvia and she waited for her boyfriend. That’s where she asked me that question. Okay, if my son or daughter were 18 or 19, that buys me some aging time, especially if I had the child young.
In a way, I did have a child in the concert. My relationship with Sylvia is at the half-way mark. Next Monday I will officially have been with her for half of my life. That’s a scary thought, though the scariest is knowing our chances of having 28 more years is unlikely. Eighteen years is possible, but that’s all conjecture. How’s our health going to be. I’m slowing down as quickly as Lucy. I don’t like feeling my age.

Rumble

Rumble Friday, even though it’s only Thursday. Maybe it ought to be Ramble Friday instead. And no, it’s still not Friday. But it is MY Friday. My Monday will be a Sunday. Get it? Today is my Friday, so I’ll have Saturday, Sunday, which really should be Friday, Saturday. Then I’ll have another Saturday, Sunday because Sunday will be Saturday and Monday will be Sunday. Okay? For those who need an interpretation: I am taking tomorrow and Monday off; this is my birthday present to myself. I really deserve the week, but I just have to hold on for another week before a week to recover.

Subbing an entire week is exhausting. I’m exhausted now and I’m exhausted and it’s only Thursday. To top that off. Monday I had one class with seniors. An hour and a half and that was my day. Tuesday the pace picked up a bit and I had some squirrels. I keep thinking that they were middle schoolers, but they were in actuality high schoolers, some at the senior level. Sad statement. Second period kicked it out of the park in the worst behavior I have ever seen. I was exhausted. I told my friend that perhaps next time I’ll just sub third and fourth. She laughed at me.

I came back the next day, just yesterday and they beat me up. Psychologically it was like playing whack-a-mole except I’m not allowed to do any whacking. I think they ought to let at least substitutes that option. Not that I generally do, but every so often….

At least yesterday was just a half a day and I could recover before today. I knew I was going to need all of my mustard and every condiment possible to handle these sweet, lovable, wanna shake ’em silly first-graders. Different town. Different School district.

I have so much more patience with first graders than I do high schoolers, but sometimes I have to remind myself that they still need to be held accountable. Last week I had today’s class and they walked all over me. By the time I got home, I was inside out. I had so much stimulus buzzing from all of the motion and talking and crying and problems and drama. It’s constant.

Yesterday’s high schoolers who were out of control reminded myself on what kind of teacher I aim to be. I want to be fair. I want to be  consistent. I want to be patient and not jump to any conclusion. I want to hear both sides of the story. I want to remind myself that I can’t always be right and if I fess up, the kids will as well. I want to model the behavior I expect from the kids. I want to be trusting, and it is this that gets me into trouble, especially at the high school class. I automatically trust that when I tell a high schooler that they can go to the bathroom, they won’t disappear for more than a half an hour; and when she came back, right before class ended to get her backpack; she swore up and down that she was in the bathroom the whole time but she was very upset. It’s possible that the two girls who went looking for her lied and they didn’t check all of the girls’ bathrooms. Anything is possible.

My day pretty much consisted of correcting students for talking out, not raising their hand, keeping hands and feet to self; I don’t know how many times I talked about taking care of yourself. Follow the rules and let me follow those who don’t follow the the rules. The kids are great about creating examples for me to use.

So and so was doing something he wasn’t supposed to. Maybe picking his nose 9they are, after all at this wonderful age). Another little boy was telling me what rule so and so was breaking. I turned to the second boy and asked him if he were in charge of so and so or that rule. They do have jobs, so I wanted to make sure. No, he said. Your job and everyone else’s job is to only take care of themselves. I could have used a hammer for that concept.

We practiced those things a lot today. Sometimes I’ll ask a student why were they talking or why did they shove another student or why did the “cutted”? Cutted is a first grade word.  Most of the time when I ask them why they are doing the wrong thing that they are doing, they can’t tell me or they shrug their shoulders and say they don’t know. And they probably don’t. It really hasn’t been that long since these little beings were past the out of sight, out of mind phase. Their little brains have so much growing to do.

And yet, yesterday’s high-schoolers and today’s first-graders reminded me that all kids need boundaries and consistency and high expectations AS WELL AS patience.

Today’s first half of the day was rough. I must have used every single patient cell in my body before lunch. So much behavior issues and tears and yelling. I can handle so much stimulus before my body starts to over heat. I’m kind of like the pencil sharpener of the teacher I was subbing for. Too many pencils make her pencil sharpener heat up and it stops. Can’t use it for the rest of the day. I need to figure out how to get out of work like the sharpener. Good thing she doesn’t have one of the reliable and dependable hand-cranked one. Some things shouldn’t be replaced. I have not met very many electric sharpeners that I like; they can’t take it in the elementary schools; maybe in higher grades when ink is used.

By the time I got to lunch, I was spent. I limped into the staff lounge. Two women were chatting. I was ready to burst since that was my first break and I’d been hydrating with coffee all morning, so I dashed into the washroom. The women were talking about a woman in the school. When one of them said that she was surprised that this woman had  an education yet alone a masters, I thought a few things. Was it a teacher or EA or a substitute or regular staff. Or was it me. I always lean that way in thought for some reason.

I hoped they weren’t talking about me since I was just on the other side of a piece of plywood, so I made a statement like: “Are you having trouble with a teacher?” I wanted to say me, but I didn’t have the nerve. Oh no, they quickly said; one left the room suddenly. The other said that I was really good. We all have our good and bad days. I’m lucky today is is one of those good days.

But I’m still  exhausted. The last half an hour wasn’t the best and really got my heart skipping. I had my kiddos outside with an extra recess and it was time to pull them inside; it also was just about to pour; we had just such a little window. Anyway, all of the kids, but one are coming into the classroom. The one that is running away is immediately out of sight. I have twenty-somelthing kids in the classroom and one who knows where. One boy  offers to run so and so down and bring him in. What choice do I have?

The chaser-after comes back and says he doesn’t know where so and so is. Now I’m panicked. I’m walking into the classroom, heading for the phone when so and so waltzes through the front door. Where the F’ing did you go I wanted to yell. I didn’t. I had some patience cells stored up for emergency. Calmly I kneeled down and asked him where he went. To the office. Did you know that you have to tell me where you are going? I forgot was his response.

Purposeful

Play. Mrs. Parker, my Nursery School teacher, described my mental activity as “Her play is purposeful, she sets herself to work well. She has an unusually long span of attention, especially working with clay. Susan has a good memory, is quite imaginative as shown by her clay work.”

Good Puritan work ethics. Certainly can’t have play motivated by fun, can we? It takes me a long time to have fun for the sake of having fun.Most of the time, I read books with the purpose of reading great works and classics or I’m convinced reading will help me become a better writer. I have to work at reading for pure pleasure.

Bowling was one of those activities that went from being fun and light-hearted to lots of work and not so much fun. I felt like the character in Rocking Horse Winner. Great D.H. Laurence short  story. The pressure to do better and better was mostly self-imposed, but often times my dad would ask me not how well did I bowl, but how much money did I make.

I pushed myself and did fairly well in a short amount of time, but I didn’t have the neither the constitution or the financial backing to strike it rich on the National Tour. I tried. I even cowed down to the idiotic dress codes. It was a joke to make me wear walking shorts and panty-hose. I don’t think I ever went a tournament without holes and runs and I just let them be. I emphasized that there wasn’t anything in the rules about holes. I really wanted to wear them on my head, as I didn’t recall reading anything about what part of the body, the pantyhose had to be worn.

The Ladies Professional Tour tried to do a makeover. The men had the Professional Bowlers Association, so the women switched to Professional Women’s Bowlers Association. The pay disparity  was so severe that to compare a woman’s earnings, you had to compare her career total to a man’s yearly winnings. But it’s not like we gave up. Women showed up no matter what just to get a chance to compete.

My career didn’t last very long, but I had some amazing experiences. My first national tour stop I got to bowl with Carol Gianotti-Block. Carol was on fire that year and earned bowler of the year. Chances are strong that Carolyn Dorin Ballard doesn’t remember me, but I’ll never forget how nice she was to me, though I think my personal favorite was the approachable Tish Johnson.

Bowling was like my clay work. Once I set my mind to doing something,and have a purpose, my attention span is lengthy. Maybe one of these days I can translate that to writing.

Grand

Slam. Just a few days ago, Sunday, my choir, Soromundi Lesbian Choir of Eugene, and I sang a benefit concert at Lane Community College. It had been a year or two since I had sung there and I had forgotten how much fun singing in the concert.

My shining moment came while we were singing a song about being a Tree. It’s a cute song that took a long time for me to fall in love with it. There’s a part where the tree prays that if it were to fall down, it wanted to be turned into baseball bats. Louisville Slugger bats hitting home runs.

During tech I got the idea of taking advantage of being in the front row. Usually I tried to hide, but this time I wanted it to be different. I warned the people around me that I would be swinging for the benches and I better make sure I don’t punch the person to my right and then smack the person on my left. They were the only ones I told. I didn’t tell Sylvia. If she hadn’t seen the video of me doing it, she wouldn’t have known. Even though she was right behind me, she was so fixated on Lisa, as she should be, that she didn’t see anything else.

Not me. I was watching the home run I hit go over the Green Monster. (That’s Fenway Park for you non-baseball readers.)

It wasn’t just a typical homer. It was a Grand Slam. Not only was it a Grand Slam, but it was during the World Series. And not only was during the World Series, but it was the seventh game. The final game, and that game was almost over. The ninth inning. The bottom of the ninth inning. My team is down a run or how about three runs. Bases were loaded. Ducks on the Pond was the softball language I learned.

I was working the count. Three balls and two strikes. Did I mention that there were already two outs? I felt confident. And when that last pitch came in, it looked like a beach ball. I hit the sweet spot of the ball and bat and knew it was gone.

At the concert, the only thing I couldn’t do was run the bases, but I’m so out of shape, there wasn’t enough time in the concert for me to do my home run trot. I’m glad I was limited to just the swing.

Hey, Sylvia. If you comment on this blog, I’ll cook Mac and Cheese.

 

Paper

Trail. I have an amazing paper trail of my life. In a three ring notebook, I have a note in my mom’s handwriting that says I got a DT Vaccination January 1961. I was ten months old. I’m guessing that DT is short for Diptheria, but I can’t even spell it.

If there have been studies on how well do students do if they are in the same school system from pre-Kindergarten to graduation, I’d love to see the studies because I can’t think of anything better, especially when the school district is small and there’s lots and lots of documentation.

After I graduated from Weston High School in 1978, the kindest and warmest person in the world, as well the butt-kicker, gave me a thick folder of my school records. I don’t have all of my reports, but I have the ones I can read or used to be able to read. The ink from the ditto machines don’t have a long shelf-life, so each time I re-look, they are getting fainter and fainter, but then again so am I. I can only hope that the ink vanishes before me.

My first school report was after I had been in school for two months. I was four years old and eighteen months. Mrs. Parker, and I remember her name from 1964, remember the house and location. I want to say Conant Avenue, but I’m not confident on that piece of data. A little bridge is in the road on the way to her nursery school. I have no clue what’s under the bridge. Maybe Railroad tracks.

There are things in this record that I heard over and over with the way I was treated, not necessarily voiced ideas and am convinced steered me in various directions. And Maybe this is what is wrong with the school system the way it is now.

I don’t know how many kids were in my Nursery School class, but as I look at her strong cursive writing, she invested a lot of time writing this special report just for me, and for all the others, just for them. How many teachers today have seen such a beautiful example of teacher monitoring. In the Physical category Mrs. Parker wrote,

“Small for age, slender, blonde hair and smiling blue eyes, soft tone of voice, happy and expressive, average speed moving. Susan is moderately active, runs, swings, rides tricycles, has good control of large muscles. She has good control of small muscles for her age.”

With this kind of report, I would think that we would know a lot about child abuse and neglect. My eye smiled for the first twelve years of my life.

It’s too bad there’s already been a book about Everything important I learned in life, I learned in Kindergarten except I could have trumped him. I learned so much from Mrs. Parker. I could not have asked for a better person to work with before my personality solidified. Less Pliable might be a better way to say it.

When it came to my attitude toward routines, and this has been a major big deal in my life, Mrs. Parker wrote:

“Susan shows a good attitude towards routines. She enjoys mid-morning snack, of juice and crackers, eats several crackers, drinks more than one small cup of juice. Susan Has fairly good rests.”

She even goes on to confirm that I had a normal bathroom attitude. I wonder if any of my classmates had something different. I can’t imagine what it would be. Maybe I wasn’t shy about asking.

Routines haven’t always been my friend. I resisted them for the longest time, but now that I’m soon to be fifty-six, I’m realizing how critical routines are to me. I’m the kid that freaks if something changes in the routine. I hold onto routine way longer than what is good for me at time. I probably started hating my job at The Register-Guard probably a good two months into my career as a Clerk-Typest B. Way over qualified. I should have bailed out when Jim Godbold told me that I had a better chance of being sent to a welder’s class than a writing class. He was never one to mince words.

This job was really the first job that I thought I could create a career out of. I had a degree in English but nothing in education. When I got my degree in the mail, I almost wanted to hang it in the bathroom just in case.

Maybe I could do something in journalism as if it were that easy a job to pop into. I learned quickly that I wouldn’t be popping anywhere. At first I didn’t believe what was told to me over and over about Clerks and News Aide’s never making it as a reporter or copy editor. I signed up for a Lane Community College class in journalism. That didn’t matter. I took a class, also at LCC, in Pagemaker as the paper was just started to shift from manual laying out the paper to using a computer. I wanted to be useful.

Instead, I spent four hours a day in the Features department writing wedding and anniversary announcements. In my ten years, I never came close to being able to write obituaries; that was a job higher than my lowly Clerk status.

The R.G. introduced me to true pecking order. Mostly I experienced the difference between the Publisher and the Newsroom. The expenses were lavish for that section of the paper, behind heavy glass doors. Probably the closest thing to experiencing royalty that I’ll ever touch.

Each department bickered like siblings. Was the Features department better than the newsroom; the sports didn’t really care what anyone thought of them. Most of the people I met and were closest to were the sports folks, mostly guys. When Conrad, the Sports Editor died suddenly, I cried. Still do and that’s been many years. He was always willing to hear me rant about how there’s not enough coverage for women. Why do they send everyone to cover an away football game, but don’t send anyone to cover the women’s basketball game that is also away.

And since I was the resident bowling pro for the RG, I made sure that scores got into the paper. In the good old days you could follow bowlers from week to week when Fran would publish the Community Page. I got my fifteen seconds of fame when I bowled a 300. Of course the paper had to do an article about me. But they didn’t have to, and didn’t, write about my winning the Oregon Queen’s Tournament. The what? They asked.

The second half of my day, and I did this job for ten years, was to cut out articles using a ruler out of the paper and then pasting those stories into books. Books would be sent off and pictures of my art were photographed and put on display. I was such an amazing artist that for as long as microfiche is around, and who knows it might have died years ago, my art will be around. Most of the time I managed to keep all of the paragraphs pointing in the right direction or that I didn’t leave a paragraph on the floor. But talk about mind-numbing. I wasn’t even allowed to answer the phone. Sue Boyd, I do believe, hated me from day one. She certainly treated me that way. Sometimes I would bug out in the middle of the day and bowl off some steam down at Emerald Lanes. It didn’t take me that long to bowl twenty games, but though by then I needed a shower.

The RG allowed me to do my bowling thing. I could take long weekends to head north and south for tournaments; it also provided me with enough of an income where I could afford new bowling balls, entry fees, and travel expenses.

My career after clerking cut into bowling so severely that I gave up bowling to become a teacher. The Master’s program left me no time to practice. I wasn’t away from the sport that long, but it took me several years to change my mindset of being really competitive to having fun.

Lately I have been thinking about flipping the coin again and spend more time bowling than teaching, though I’m sure my back would protest and loud and vehemently. But now that I have learned about my compulsive nature, maybe I could actually bowl without being driven to bowl a hundred games a week and bowl in every single tournament that’s happening. Maybe I could practice just a little? Maybe I could get into one or two tournaments in addition to my once every second Sunday Firs Bowl Tournament.

Or Maybe I should start writing the bowling stories that I have been saving.

Contigency

Plans. When I think about what needs to happen after I die, the contingency planes depend on whether I die first or if Sylvia dies first. Who gets the dome. The dogs. The cats. The cars.

Even though I’m eleven years younger than Sylvia, at least for another ten days, my body is about ten years older, at least. My body’s has the status of being like a seventy-year-old for at least ten years.

Due to being proactive in my health care, I stopped losing inches. They haven’t developed a treatment to give me bone density, but I can at least stop from being the incredible shrinking woman. Here I come Gram. Soon, we will be the same height.

Back pain seems to be getting worse. The only thing doctors seem to prescribe are different drugs. Morphine. Oxycotin, the patch with whatever. When I keep this stuff in my system, my back does okay until I push it just a little too much and then not an entire month’s supply can put me out of my misery. No wonder I’m so tired. Pain is tiring. Side effects of drugs is tiring.

I have a hard time imagine what I would be like in twelve years. Regardless, I ought to make a contingency plan just in case I died in twelve hours, twelve days, twelve months, or twelve years.

If I were to die before Sylvia, the first thing I would have to is come up with a plan for the cats. Sylvia hates the cats, and they aren’t big fans of her either. Want to see a magic trick. I can make any of my cats disappear. Sylvia walks into the room and every cat will disappear. I think Catsby is the only one who doesn’t  run away from Sylvia or from anyone.

To give Sylvia some credit, my cats would disappear regardless of who walked into the room. They just don’t like other people. All, except for Catsby, are from feral mothers. They bonded to only me.

In a way, this would make adoption easier. They don’t like the other cats in the house either. They like the dogs, especially Ying. Her sister does rub up against the dogs, until Abby the Brat chases them. But Abby’s a brat to the other dogs and to me.

It would take people who have experienced feral cats. I can’t imagine that they could be outdoor cats for a while; they would probably just flip out and run and get lost. Yang hardly leaves the house. Ying would have a hard time. She’s used to walking with me and the dogs. Catsby probably wouldn’t flip out. Maybe he could be reunited with his original owner before he discovered the dome’s cat door. Has it been ten years yet?

So, how about it folks. I need one to four people who are willing to take my cats off of Sylvia’s hands just in case I do before Sylvia?

I hope that this contingency plan will have to be constantly redeveloped for the next 18 years. Sylvia and I ought to be able to make it that far, but just in case….