Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tramp, tramp, tramp...

I guess I didn't have time to post yesterday.  I don't know where the day went.  I can't even, with any accuracy, tell you how I spent the 24 hours. 

Oh wait, I remember...I cleaned my house because I had Bible study yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday was the first day I used my electric vacuum on my new living room carpet.  I've got to tell you I was apprehensive about that.  I was hoping I had it securely anchored to the floor with duct tape, so the vacuum would not suck up the edges and ruin it before one of my creatures had the time to throw up on it.

I'm pleased to say the carpet held, the vacuum did no damage whatsoever, and I was pretty proud of it and myself. 

There has always been that conflict of whether, when cleaning, you dust first and then vacuum, or visa-versa.  I've learned with my 'famous name' vacuum, it doesn't matter, I HAVE to vacuum first, because, my vacuum has such a stream of exhaust air it has been known to blow magnet held papers off the side of my refrigerator, and towels right off the kitchen and bathroom racks.  I'm not kidding.

My dog, Zorro, hates the vacuum, he gets himself into such a state.  He dashes around the house, breathing hard, not knowing where to go to get away from the monster he perceives the vacuum to be.  I'm not sure why he behaves the way he does.  I've never, ever....not once...chased him with it, yet the minute I open the closet door to extract it his reaction is swift, and consistent.  "Le' me outta' here!"

I try to get the job done as quickly as I can.

Then, I've had an ant problem of late...again...this time it was pretty bad, because I had cooked myself some rhubarb sauce the other day, and forgot to turn the burner down on 'simmer'.  And, since I got (I always do) distracted and came back to the kitchen later, the broth from the sauce had boiled over the edge of the pot, down into the drip pan, over the edge of that, and down onto the floor.  Bummer...and what a mess.  I cleaned up the best I could and even pulled out the drawer beneath the oven to make sure I had wiped up all the spill-over.  It looked good. 

Next morning, I came out to feed the dog and there are ants on the counter, the stove top, and especially where the puddle of rhubarb broth had been on the floor.  I was appalled, I cleaned up again.  Next morning, more ants, although not as many.  Then, night before last, I went out to get myself an evening snack and there...marching across my dining area floor is an army of tiny black creatures, tramp, tramp, tramping over to the baseboard of my stove island and disappearing under the baseboard.  DAMN IT.

Grrrrrrrr.  I would have grabbed my ant spray to kill them, except for the fact I had already closed up the house, and I didn't want to breath toxic air all night.  So I grabbed my household cleaner, a combination of water and ammonia, and squirted it at the trail of ants.  To my delight, it did kill them...I scrubbed the floor....again. 

As I toddled off to bed, I thought perhaps I would have to cancel Bible study if I discovered in the morning ants had once more overtaken my kitchen, and I had to fumigate the place with deadly ant spray.

Fortunately, yesterday morning there were just few straggler ants lingering about.  They seem befuddled, not knowing where to go.  I was delighted, they were easy to squash beneath my forefinger.  I'm thinking they must have been hiding out of harms way when I went through my cleaning rampage, and when they emerged, there was no trace of their compradas, the scent of them obliterated.  Suckers!!!!!!!

So, it's no wonder why I couldn't remember what I did yesterday, it was all so...so...foreign.  I'd not cleaned house like that for months, and I was left a little befuddled myself. 

This morning, I'm delighted to report, there was not one single ant to be seen, anywhere.  Oh, I'm sure they are re-gathering in some dark, secluded place, and will be back.  But, next time I'll be ready, cause, I'll be clean.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Letting go, making peace and moving on.

There are times we have had to deal with great disappointments in our lives.  Trust me, some can be difficult to deal with, and holding on to a grudge can be satisfying...up to a point.  Then, time comes, it's just a heavy weight around your neck, I guess like an albatross.   It no longer has a purpose, but you don't want to be the one to 'cave' so to speak.

For a long time I held a grudge.  It was against Birdlady.  Man, the animosity I had for this woman went on for a couple of years.  I don't like using the word hate, so I won't but my dislike for this person was my albatross.  Every time I saw her while I was outside I would make a bee-line to my front door.  Not even wanting to look at a person is pretty bad don't you think?

Plus, since she is the neighborhood Queen, I was never quite sure if (in her mind) she thought I was doing something unlawful to harm, or disturb neighborhood, and turn me in to the authorities (again).  As a result, I steered as clear of her as I could.  But, as I say an albatross around the neck gets pretty heavy, so last year, one morning, I simply said 'hello' to her while she and her husband were out for their morning constitutional.  Suddenly, my albatross was gone.  Whew, it felt super good to have that weight gone.

As a result, the 'hello' grew into short sentences, "How are you?"  "Nice day isn't it?"  And so on.  Then this morning I was out with Zorro at the same time Birdlady and husband were walking home from their daily ritual. 

To my surprise, she said, "Say, I have a question for you."

Really?  (Should I be afraid?  What had I done now?)

I was flabbergasted.  Actually, she had a question about an unpaved street that abuts their property and wanted to know if I knew any history about the street and whether it had ever been vacated.  I didn't.  She said the city wants to pave it, with the homes lining the unpaved section sharing the expense of the paving.  She was appalled, and said their share alone would be in the two hundred thousand dollar range.  I was not surprised.  When our section of street was paved, we too had to bear some of the expense, which we did over the years on our taxes. 

Obviously, things have not changed, but the expense of paving has.  Now, she indicated to me that "...those of 'us' on the street 'we' (meaning 'me' and my neighbors) would also have to share the expense".  Hmmm, well, that's a new wrinkle.  But, since she is the neighborhood Queen, I'm gonna' let her do her thing.  This could take years to work out...I could be dead and gone before it's resolved.  She's not about to give up her albatrosses, I think she enjoys carrying them and this street paving thing is just another necklace.

Anyway, during the years she was my albatross, I refused to share my rhubarb with her, and this morning, I asked her is she would like some, and she said yes.  I gave her several stocks, she said she's going to make jelly.  I hope it turns out to be yummy. 

In the meantime, I'm sure glad I've let go, made peace and moved on.   My heart is light.

Monday, April 21, 2014

one a penny, two a penny

Yesterday I was just finishing 'prissing up', when my phone rang.  It was my next door neighbor telling me she had left 'a little something' for me on my patio table. 

It was a couple of Hot Cross Buns.

Oh, I do so enjoy Hot Cross Buns and I told her so.  Not that I'm a connoisseur or anything like that.  But, a good Hot Cross Bun is...well, there are no words to describe it.  It's all in the taste.  I've had some that are so over-loaded with citron the taste is overwhelming, some are so dry they are difficult to swallow without a good strong mug of coffee to go with them and some are so-so.  There are, of course, some that have been pretty darn good, and when I find some of them, I buy several containers at a time and put them in my freezer for the future.  I do this because Hot Cross Buns are only available for a very short time, Easter, to be exact.

So, when my neighbor told me she had left some on my patio, I was ecstatic.  She told me another neighbor had told her about a bakery that made 'the "best"' Hot Cross Buns in the world, which caused my gift giving neighbor to get into her car, and dash to the bakery and buy some.  And, as an Easter treat for me she was sharing.  I was over-joyed, and thanked her profusely...very, very profusely.  I hurriedly finished dressing and practically fell all over myself, Zorro, CC and Frankie to reach the goodies first.

There they were, two Hot Cross Buns, in a zip-lock bag...I scooped it up. Oh, my gosh...these buns were so fresh, they were still warm.  I stepped inside the morning room and pulled the screen shut, opened the bag, pulled out a bun, and took a bite.

Oh,

my

goodness

gracious

me.

Mmmmmmmm.


Mmmmmmmm.


Mmmmmmmm.

Now,  I was pretty sure I was mmmmmming out loud, but didn't realize I really was until yesterday afternoon, when I saw my neighbor transplanting some plants and I stepped outside to thank her again.  It was then she told me she had heard me.  Mmmmmmmmming.  (I was just slightly embarrassed.)

Anyway, I told her I still had the second one and didn't know whether to eat or save it for some future time.  I think I probably would have saved it, except that shortly after that conversation I got a call from my sister and I told her my Hot Cross Bun story, and she said I should eat it, because if I kept it for some other time it would 'not taste the same'.  I realized she was right.

So,

I

ate

it.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 


Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What to do, what to do

Okay, it's a normal Saturday.  I'm in my scrounges, doing laundry, I'm in the garage, lookin' around.  Earlier in the week I moved some stuff around out there, and moved a small yellow storage cabinet out onto the patio.  It has summer patio stuff stored in it and I figure later this summer I will paint it, the same orange color as the trim on my house put feet under it to get it off the concrete, and make it a permanent outside year-round piece of furniture.  It's all good.

So, this morning 'lookin' round the garage, I see all this open space in my personally constructed cardboard laundry room.

Hmmm, I says to myself, hmmm.  What can I do with this open space.  I know, I'll build some free standing shelves.  I've always saved bits of leftover lumber from construction projects and figure I've got to have some pieces that will work to make shelves.  Oh, I do, I DO. 

And, so construction began with a top and the two sides.   Yeah, yeah, I whacked my thumb a few times...well...maybe more than that and I broke my right hand thumbnail.

It's all good, it's all good, I didn't need that nail anyway...but I have to confess the thumb its self is not looking very good either.  There was a lot of 'damnin' and
's--tin', going on.  But I persevered.  I added a middle shelf.  It's leans a tiny bit, but not enough stuff rolls off of it.  I wasn't sure about making a bottom shelf, because you never know when your washer is going to go 'belly up" and you have an indoor swimming pool.  However, I discovered my beautiful shelf wobbled quite a bit, and it is after all top heavy, so I knew I had to at least put a brace across the bottom for stability.  Which I did.

Oh, my poor thumb.  It's not black and blue yet but typing is making it hurt like a son of a gun.  I'm telling ya' I'm not cut out for this kind of job.  The brace is working(somewhat) but not good...really.  Mostly because I ran out of lumber...Although I know there is a garden stake in my garage somewhere...cause I just put it there yesterday...and it would work great...but I can't find the darn thing.

So, as I say the brace sways, because I had to use three small piece of lumber to go across the bottom of the shelves, and I know that missing stake is just the right size to hold the three pieces together.  But, since that has disappeared I used left-over pieces of cork, from an old bulletin board as the brace.  Yeah, yeah, have yourself a good laugh...I did too.  If the shelf does not fall over I know I will eventually find the stake and use that instead of the cork, it's all good, it's all good.

Here's the best part...just like my dad and my husband, they built things to last and last and last.  Same thing holds true for me and my brand new shelving.  By the time I was done I could hardly stand it up it weighs so much.  I sincerely hope if it does fall over, my darling dog and cat are not under it.

But, no worries, it's good, it's all good.

And When I am Old I Will Wear Purple

As you all know...I'm losing my hair...yes, it's getting so thin I've actually stopped coloring my hair, thinking perhaps after years, and years, and YEARS of abusing my hair, maybe its had enough chemicals.  Maybe, if I left the natural color come back, so would my hair.  Sigh.  It is not coming back.

So, I thought maybe all the brushing I do with such a hard bristled bush might be my problem, as a result, I've stopped brushing and gone to combing my hair...I'll let you know how that works out.

Also, I've mentioned here that I'm considering buying some wigs.  Marilyn Monroe Blond, Auburn, Raven Black, Copper Penny Red, Silver grey, and Pink (for my alter ego).  I've been wig shopping with a friend and I know there are hundreds of styles out there, so I know I will find exactly what I want, length, curls, waves, etc.  I'm saving my pennies for this shopping spree, oh, it's going to be so much fun.

And, the best part is going to be, you'll never know exactly which Sandra you will see on any given day, and will always be surprised.   Maybe I'll browse the antique stores to see if I can come up with accessories to match the wigs.  Perhaps a long shiny black and silver cigarette holder on the day I wear my pink one.  And lots of 'sparklies', for when I wear the one that's Raven Black, or Hollywood sunglasses when I feel like being Marilyn Monroe.  Ohhhhh, the possibilities are endless.

However, this morning one of my favorite poems has been circling round and round my brain, and I'm going to post it here, just 'cause a cause' I can.


Warning
by Jenny Joseph

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes. 
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. 
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Edited by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press--Watsonville, California 1987

Now, you might be wondering what all this has to do with my losing my hair.  Here's the thing.  When the day comes I actually go to buy myself my wonderful collection of wigs, I'm not going to buy a pink one...it's going to be purple...because I'm an old woman and therefore, I can.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Days Are Here Again

This little ditty has been running through my mind today.  No, it was not like yesterday's dream song.  This is simply a happy little song that goes, (I think) something like this:

"Happy days are here again, the skies above are clear again;
So, let's sing a song of cheer again, happy days are here again."

I have been wondering since I got up this morning just how it was this song writer was so possessed with his day's happiness he wanted to tell the world about it.  It sounds at though he/she had just come through a very bad time, or series of events.  My thinking being maybe it was written just after the Great Depression, and the country was breathing a great sigh of relief. 

Well, you know me, and thanks to the wealth of information at my fingertips I had to find out...and here we go again.
 
Thanks to Wikipedia, I've learned the song was written and copyrighted in 1929, by two gentlemen I never even heard of until this morning.  A man named Milton Ager who wrote the music and Jack Yeller, who provided the lyrics.  Supposedly the song was recorded by the Leo Reisman Orchestra with some guy I've also never heard of (Lou Levin) providing the vocal. 

Apparently, "Happy Days Are Here Again" seemed to strike a cord for just about every occasion, and there is a long list of films, in which the song can be heard.  It first appeared in a 1930 film titled 'Chasing Rainbows', in which the song concluded the picture, in what film historian Edwin Bradley described as a "pull-out-all-the-stops Technicolor finale, against a Great War Armistice show-within-a-show backdrop."[

This film was followed by another film in 1936 with the same name, "Happy Days Are Here Again."

Perhaps the song is best remembered as the campaign song of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's successful run for president in 1932, and who's new deals and programs  did indeed bring the country out of it's Great Depression.  Happy Days were in deed, "Here Again."

Over the years this ditty has been sung by many entertainers in the style in which it was written, happy and upbeat.  However, there was one entertainer who defied convention and rather than singing the song at the pace it was intended, sang it slowly and so expressively, today it remains an outstanding rendition.  This entertainer's name is none other than Ms. Barbra Streisand.  I, in particular remember seeing it on television, preformed in her format, with another singing icon as a duet with the one and only Judy Garland...on the Judy Garland Show...it was a show stopper. 

So long sad times
Go long bad times
We are rid of you at last


Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past


Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let's sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again


Altogether shout it now
There's no one
Who can doubt it now
So let's tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again


Your cares and troubles are gone
There'll be no more from now on
From now on ...


Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So, Let's sing a song of cheer again


Happy times
Happy nights
Happy days
Are here again!


Wishing you a Happy Day today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I had a dream

Don't you just hate it when you are having a dream at the exact time you are being awakened and all you can remember is what happened in the dream at that exact moment.

That happened to me this morning.  Grrrrrrr.

I know the dream was longer, because the rest of it is in the grey clouds of my foggy brain and try as I might I can't walk it out of them.

So, here's what I do remember.

I'm in one of those giant Super Grocery Stores.  I was with somebody, but suddenly realize I'm quite alone.  I'm pushing a shopping cart.  I can see other people shopping.

Parts of the Super Grocery Store are being remodeled, and kind of dark.  I'm walking into the light at the back of the store.   I need margarine (I actually do, by the way).  And, there in the brightly lit corner I see the dairy products department, I head for it.

It's Christmas time, the store is not decorated, but maybe there is canned music in the background.  Anyway, I seem to be singing (not out loud) along with a Christmas Song, and I'm mouthing the line "Hang a shiny star upon the highest bough, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now." 

It is at this exact moment I wake up, and I'm filled with sorrow.  I mean with is weighing on me like a cinder block, I feel like crying.  What the heck?

Here's the thing.  I want to know what this dream meant.  Am I going to be alone this Christmas...every Christmas there after?  Does it mean something sorrowful is going to happen soon?  Or does it mean nothing at all?

I often wonder about unfinished dreams.  Like the ones I have when I seem to be lost and I'm trying desperately to get home.  Or, like the one this morning, does it mean I'm destined to be alone.  Or did it mean if I had walked to the 'light' and gotten there, I'd have died?  Or, about the ones where I'm trying to get home, if I actually reach 'home', would I die?  Is that why the dreams stop so abruptly, because it's not my time 'to go'?

Oh, the pondering.  In the meantime, I'm shaking off the feeling of sorrow, and "Hang a shiny star upon the highest bough..." is slowly fading away.  I guess it's a good thing I've lots to do today and my mind won't have time to dwell on my dream.

"...so, have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now."