Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Mid-last week, bobolinks and American goldfinches. This morning (at 5:00 a.m. on the wire outside the window), barn swallows.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Throwing down the proverbial sword.

I realized this morning that, after the goings-on of last year or so, I am tired. Tired, not so much physically, although that may be so as well, but emotionally. Just worn out, and with no patience or enthusiasm for even the slightest verbal fencing match. I hereby throw down my sword.

I'm considering having little cards printed up, (or, given the snow-covered state of the roads this morning, perhaps breaking out the Avery packet and printing my own), that will say something like the following:

"You're right. I am (check all that apply):
  • unreasonable
  • overly analytical
  • illogical
  • stingy
  • wasteful
  • selfish
  • stupid
  • belittling
  • plotting
  • manipulative
  • irresponsible
  • delusional
  • unhelpful
  • self-indulgent
  • thoughtless
  • untruthful
  • unappreciative
  • sloppy
  • disorganized
  • and just generally a bitch of the first water"
I shall have a pocketful of these cards - maybe even have little pencils to go with them, like you get at mini-golf places - and whenever someone starts to pick a fight with me or object to whatever I seem to be planning, instead of rising to the occasion I will simply hand them a card, smile politely, and drift off into the crowd.

And for anyone who is wondering what they can then do with the card - and then pencil - well, do I really need to explain?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Andy Rooney, November, and other stray thoughts

In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, this is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40:

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think. If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting. Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?', here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

You tell 'em, Andy. Thanks, Katrina - I missed that one. I don't usually watch 60 Minutes - if I'm in front of the TV at all, it's either cartoons, food, or football.

Everything the word "November" conjures up, we had today. Except sleet - somehow that missed us. But the dreary gray (grey?) raining yucky...all that we had. In spades.

I spent the majority of the day in bed. No, not sick. But I seem to be recuperating...I'm not even sure what from (ignore that nasty sentence structure, please - bear with me, here.) This has been one heck of a year - off the charts, stress-wise - and yes, there *are* charts for that sort of thing. Here's one: http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/Research/Psychosocial/notebook/PSS10.html
here's another one:

That one gave me a "category 5" stress measure - chance of serious illness within the next two years = 90% Category 5, like the Finger of God for tornadoes. Yeesh.

Great. Just great. *That* didn't add to the ol' stress measurement, now did it?

But reading about stress ( for everything you ever wanted to know about stress: http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/Research/Psychosocial/notebook/stress.html )
doesn't help us much. Neither does the advice to "meditate" (you have to say it with an Indian accent.)

I've just been sleeping - 10, 12 hours a day - soaking in the tub, taking tons of supplements, trying to lay off the sugar, wheat, alcohol and other baddies, and generally avoiding life whenever possible. I hang mostly with my dogs and cats - husband has a biological rhythm that is 180 degrees off mine - he's just getting up now, right as I'm getting ready for bed. But that's okay. I've been reading for pleasure, too; not even trying to learn anything, and usually I only read fiction during the summer.

And slowly, ever so slowly, with many "two steps forward, one step back", I seem to be recovering my balance. I do trust the process, and myself. And today is just the sort of day to lay low, stay warm, and...recover.

(and it didn't help my stress levels that I had to edit this three times - make it four times - to get those links to function!)

Monday, November 10, 2008


What happened to autumn? And were it not for Katrina, who sent me Halloween-in-a-Box, Samhain would have gone by virtually unnoticed as well. But now that it's officially WInter - to me, anyway, and others who find the old calendar more sensible as well as comforting - I'm trying to institute a few gentle changes.

There's a new look over at mumsananarchist. Would have been one here as well, only there are few choices at blogspot and none that I like nearly as well as I like this one. That's my main issue with blogspot - so few choices and none like the little mood characters. Anyway, over there will be for ruminating, alarums, diversions, and endless commentary on the passing scenery. Here will be for more personal chitchat. At least until I get bored with that format too.

So without further ado, today's personal chitchat:

I was going to go to the Y this morning and swim, really I was. I got plenty of sleep and even had dreams about swimming at the Y. Problem was, I failed to factor in the apparent consumption of something toxic. Spent the day in bed (the part that wasn't spent in the bathroom.) Still not feeling too tiptop.

But I am feeling abnormally psychic, even for me. Which is making me uncomfortable, to say the least. Black dogs circling, too.

And I miss the children.

And all the various lost but not forgotten. Even if they are only Over There and not actually gone. I miss having them around the table.

John took the opportunity of no wifely supervision to mess up his knee again, so he's bedridden for the forseeable future - or until I get tired of feeding fires and dogs, watching over Clowns, running errands, and generally stepping and fetching for all I'm worth, at which point he had best be healed.

Invalid. Interesting word and concept. First definition is of one who is sick or injured, but quick on its heels is the adjectival form with the general sense of unworthiness. Not fair to pick on a person when he's down.

I guess maybe we'd all better get some rest.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I like this.

Thanks, Katrina.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things that go bump in the night...

All right. Technically, it wasn't night yet and it didn't go bump. But still. John went in bathroom. Water in the sink turned on. He looked. Water in the sink turned off. He came out.



ps - this had better not have anything to do with the fact that I was homesick and looking up stuff about the Jersey Devil. No, I don't mean the hockey team. Nah. Probably more to do with all the work we've been doing around the house, and the fact that the kids are gone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some days you get the job, and some days the job gets you.

It's not always great being a one woman show. True, I do make a lousy employee, always thinking for myself and nonsense like that. And it's God's own truth that I hate being told what to do, even if it's what I would have done anyway. I like to stand or fall on my own, you know? I make as much money as I want, for the most part, between April and November - work as much or as little as I want to, then cruise through the rest of the winter...somehow. It does get a little dicey sometimes, but there's always a way to make things work. Not always absolutely on the up and up, maybe, but I prefer to think of it as fiscal creativity.

Then there are weeks like this one, where it rains every blessed day (and I loathe working in the rain - snow I don't care about, but I hate the sloshing around and mud everywhere and water constantly dripping in my face) and everything I come in contact with has thorns. I mean, come on. There are hundreds of plants to choose from, even up here in the frosty zone 4b, so why, WHY plant something with stupid thorns?? Especially the little bitty thorns that you can't even see, so you have to wait for them to FESTER and then eject themselves from your thumb.

(Incidentally, a synonym for fester is suppurate - to fill with pus. Kind of makes you wonder what on earth the motel folks were thinking when they named their chain.)

Roses are okay, despite the thorns. I guess. I'm not a rose person. People are, for the most part, either rabid rosarians or they just Aren't Rose People. No one really has a rose or two in with everything else. (Okay, I do - but they were there when I bought the house, and I just haven't gotten around to either selling or killing them yet.) But barberries! And flowering quinces! And giant "ornamental" thistles! Gah!

And customers who hire you for a full day to overhaul their garden, then come out at 10:00 and tell you that since "you charge *how* much?" you and your helper should really be going in about an hour. Yeah.

Or the one that asks you to draw up a plan for a new garden, and you spend all weekend doing just that, and calling around to check prices and availability and generally being a good little design person. And the client studies your design, then says no, that isn't really what they had in mind but thanks anyway. And three years later you just happen to drive past and see that they installed your design, tree for tree, themselves. We live and learn, I guess.

But on the good days, you spend all day doing gentle gardening (as opposed to eight hours with a pickax or a chainsaw, which also happens - on not-so-good days) as soft breezes blow and you get a nice tan and get to be the only 53 year old woman you know with visible triceps. Glug down some water, smile at the world and think "I actually get paid to do this."

This week, too, I saw both the smallest and I think the largest toads I've ever seen. The small one was maybe 3/8 of an inch long, the other day, in a garden. Quick li'l bugger. The large one was almost as big as my hand. He was sitting on the side of the road, and I never would have seen him if I hadn't scared him with the sound of the "big money Dodge" and seen him do that hunker down thing that frogs and toads do. I got out and helped him to the other side, to a safe place. That was today, and despite the wretched clay and rock "soil" we were working in, despite the rain, despite the crazy leave-early woman, that big toad alone was worth the price of admission.

So, yeah. Owl Hill and Owl Hill Organics. An independent contractor, up on the Hill.