Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm bound and determined!!!

Yes I am!  I'm bound and determined today is the day I am going to devote to filing.  This is something I should have done months ago.  You know what I'm talking about, the binding up of 2015 files as I prepared the necessary papers for tax purposes.  Some of those files I simply threw away at that time; while others (the ones some say you should save for 7 years...some forever) I carefully stapled together and placed in a manila folder to be filed...someday.  Well, that folder is still on my desk, along with an additional white and green folder marked H & R Block which also now needs to be filed.

A few days ago I WAS going to file everything in these folders; I even moved them across the room to the file boxes they were going to go into. They laid there all day, as I got sidetracked updating my 2016 monthly personal budget. It seems I had neglected this chore so long that the pile of weekly receipts had grown so high it had flopped over. Since I was devoting the day to filing this seemed like the easier part of that activity. It was easily accomplished. I was encouraged to move along, right?

Not so much!  It seems one thing led to another...the dog needed to go out.  The phone needed to be answered, the mail needed to be retrieved, etc, etc. Swish, the day was done.  Around 11 PM I finally got back to the office to turn off the computer and there....exactly where I had left them in the morning were the files I intended to file.  I picked them up and put them back on the desk.  They have been there ever since.

That's why I have devoted today to filing; I AM going to file all those files.  I don't care how boring and uninteresting this job is, today is the day, I am going to file those files. I'm getting ready right now.  Really! Seriously! Absolutely!

Maybe?????

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gemme a"C",

gemme a "R", gemee a "A-N-K-Y!!! Cranky, cranky, yessiree...that would be...little ole' meee!!!!!

I don't know, maybe I just got out of bed on the wrong side.  No, I know that's not true because I was cranky last night, too. I snapped at everybody.  I was growling around the place like nobody's business. Frankie told me to "Take a pill." She then grabbed Muse took her to their room and slammed the door.

Poor Zorro then had to bare the wrath of my 'snit'.  Oh, he was such a pest, up and down off the sofa wanting to go out...in and out, in and out.  Grrr, that got so frustrating and time consuming. I've no idea what his problem was but I felt I could not ignore his pleading in case he would have an indoor accident.  Finally at bedtime, as he began our bedtime snuggle, chatty, pet-a-thon I apologized profusely.

I did eventually 'take a pill', turned out the light and immediately fell asleep.  And, a good night's sleep it was.

Now you would think after having a wonderful slumber I would have awakened this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Sigh.  Sadly that did not happen, for some unexplained reason I was still very, very cranky. Frankie and Muse refuse to be in the same room with me, while Zorro is afraid to peek his head out from under his sofa blanket. Surprisingly, CC seems to be the only one who understands my mood. She curled up on my chest and began to purr.  She actually looked me in the eye.  She even gave me kisses, not only on my cheek...but my lips.

Gasp!

You don't suppose she thinks I'm going over to her side?  Cats are so, so...oh my...aloof, standoffish, detached, uninterested, uncaring, self-centered, egotistical, CRANKY. At the moment she is the only one to have any interest in me whatsoever.  Whoa buddy, that's kind of scary.

Wait a minute!  I just have to get a grip, shake those grey clouds out of my grey matter and move on. What I need is to get one of those perky little songs stuck in my head.  Perhaps one like "Put on a Happy Face"....yep that's the ticket, 'I'm gonna spread sunshine all over the place and put on a happy face'. 'Gemme' a "H" gemme a "A", gemme' "P-P-Y"! Happy, happy yessiree, that is what I'm gonna' beeeee!

That's all from Ramblings......................................have a nice day!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Where the heck...



...did last week go?

I've come to the conclusion I am probably the best time waster in the whole wide world.  Seriously, I looked around the place this morning and can't remember a single thing I did; nor find one thing of significance accomplished. Seriously.  That made me terribly embarrassed.

I confess I have made the excuse that the weather (some days) was too lovely to be indoors and that soaking up natural vitamin D was important, that should not excuse I wasted a lot of time sitting on my 'keester' nose buried in a book doing nothing. Instead I should have been working in my Zazzle Store, I should have been making 'thinking of you' cards to send to my friends, I should have been cooking nourishing meals for my quirky family, I should have changed my bed linens.  Did I do any of those things?  Those things would have been memorable.

It was not until this morning I realized just how un-memorable the week had been until I finally got around to checking what was new on Facebook and in my e-mail.  I was shocked to find I had ignored both badly, all week.  Even worse, when I checked my blog I could not believe my last entry was dated April 19th. I was shocked.  How can that be?  It was at point I tried to figure out where the week went, and what the heck I had done...I mean the actual "look, see what I did" kind of things.

Monday...that day is so far in the past and so foggy it might as well not have happened.
Tuesday...well, it least it was not as foggy.
Wednesday...at least I can remember parts of it.  Two of my grand-kids spent the day here: they did some garden shopping and garden tending most of the day.  I bought some soil and we filled in an ankle twisting sidewalk hazard.  My grandson also bought 8 good sized planters and filled them with better grade soil so I can seed-plant veggies for the summer.  He also bought some starts of tomato and zucchini squash plants, too.  (I know I know, I should have only bought one of the zucchini's, but what if the one I bought died...I would have none.) (As it is, it appears all three are going to survive so come August I am going to be desperate to give squash away.  Get ready I will be leaving them on your doorstep.)  I then ordered pizza for lunch and sent the kiddos back to the store to buy some ornamental shrubs while we waited for the lunch delivery.  The ornamental shrubs are going to be lovely.  I ordered six white plastic urns for them to sit in.

Thursday...I decided no one was coming back to pressure wash around my unit so put all my patio things back where they belonged.  That took quite a while because I kind of pressure washed it myself using the 'jet' setting on my hose nozzle.  I also un-buried an exposed cable my grandson had temporarily buried under some bark dust so I would not trip over it and fall.  It seems as though FINALLY somebody is going to professionally take care of this hazard.  I am confident to say this because I saw guys in yellow vests using spray paint to point out where utilities are buried, and where the new cable is supposed to go. However, when the physical work will be done is still rather vague. Oh, and I ordered lots and lots of vegetable and flower seeds for the planters my grandson bought and some rhubarb and horseradish starts, too.

Friday...I woke to find my ornamental shrubs lying on their sides; the wind had blown them over.  I also discovered the rain had washed away some of the soil from my hazardous sidewalk corner. I was able to salvage most of soil, sweeping it back into the corner.  Then I spent most of the day resetting my shrubs upright as the wind kept knocking them over...and also stomping the new soil more tightly into the sidewalk corner. Originally I was going to buy a 24"x 24" concrete block for in the corner then changed my mind; I'm thinking perhaps the concrete block might have been a better fix...indeed, which is still an option.

Saturday...I actually DO REMEMBER yesterday.  The day started by going to my granddaughter's volley-ball game.  As when she was playing soccer, this was the first volley-ball game I had ever attended. Hmmm, is it actually a game, or is it a match?  Anyway, I found it interesting, fun and fast moving.  I'm kind of glad she finally made up her mind to play.  I can see this is a sport, if you are really interested in learning and becoming good at, you definitely should learn young.  I could see their main shortcoming was trying not to be afraid of the ball as it hurled in their direction.  It took me back to high school and the few times I played the game, I was terrified when that ball zoomed toward me.  I could also tell some of these 4/5th graders had the skill to be really good at volley-ball, and by the time they hit high school they will be good enough to play on their school's team.

After the game, the same quartet as last time headed north and to Ikea...yes...I did say Ikea.  We had to make a few returns and a few new purchases.  My granddaughter and I went one way, my daughter and grandson another...did we ever meet up again...NO.  We looked for them, they looked for us.  I hate to say it but after the third loop around all the departments I was pooped and this time it was me looking for a place to sit. Unfortunately, the place is built like a bomb shelter and we had no phone service so could not reach each other.  My granddaughter checked her facility map and discovered there should be phones by the entrance/exit and we headed there. There were no land-line phones (of course), but at least I finally got reception...unfortunately my daughter didn't. After the fourth try I finally got through. Now the only one missing was my granddaughter who went looking for her mom one more time. Remembering the rule of thumb, "If you are lost stay where you are.", I did exactly that so at least those that were LOST knew how to FIND me.

As I was returning our cart the cart corral, a young woman was just started toward the store, she asked me if it was a madhouse in there.  I told her yes, I could tell by her face she didn't really want to go in, but she told me she had promised her two daughters and young child already nestled in a stroller an outing, so she had no choice to proceed. I wished her luck!!!

Gluttons for punishment that we are we headed to the mall.  That's right I said 'MALL'.  It too was a madhouse.  Again, I hate to say this, by now I was even more pooped.  Well, actually what I said was, "Smart is the woman who stops shopping just before she drops."  We had a good laugh over that.  We finally headed home. It was a great afternoon.

There you have it my week in a nut shell.  I've come to the conclusion it isn't so much the fact I didn't do anything the first part of the week...I simply can't recall whatever the heck those things were. I guess I can chalk that up to old age.  If...I say 'if'...I write more frequently perhaps I will not be subject to old age block.  I can only hope, I can only hope.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bits of this and that.

Brooom, broooom, clunk, clunk

Yesterday was very interesting.  You just never know what's going to happen around here.  Each day is a new adventure.  Early in the morning the golf course lawn mower was doing its thing, which is always fun to watch.  The mower consists of a farmer's tractor with a humongous mower attached that flings the mowed grass into the air. Fascinating!  I watched the driver meticulously moving the mower up and down the first fairway and then went out of sight and then come close to mow the area between the first tee and the putting green.

Uh-oh, the motor of the tractor started to sound peculiar.  I think to myself 'this isn't good'.  The machine managed to get to the front of my patio and D-I-E-D.  He got it going but it died again and again.  I guess he must have called somebody because within a few minutes one of the other workers showed up in a golf cart/repair cart...at least the guy had tools. They set to work.  Puttt, putttt, clunk. Puttt, puttt, clunk. Time after time they would get the tractor moving, only to have it die. The farthest it would go was about the length of a football field.

So it went for a couple of hours I think.  Finally they got it going well enough to get it off the course and to where the machine goes 'nite-nite' each day.  I went about my business of yard work thanks to the wonderful, beautiful, warm weather.  I had just finished and was getting ready to water my plants when I heard the sound of a motor, lo, around the corner of my building appeared the tractor with mower attached.  I smiled at the operator, waved and gave him a big thumbs up.  He grinned and gave a thumbs up back.

By the way, there has been no word as to when anyone will come back to finish pressure washing our building. Personally I don't think anybody is going to.  However, I won't put all my patio furniture back until Saturday, since the last day for the washing is supposed to be Friday.  I do have two chairs sitting out there but if work does begin on our building I can hurriedly fold them up and out of the way.

At the moment I'm working hard to get chores done this morning so I can sit out and enjoy what is turning out to be another glorious spring day.  I hear tomorrow it is going to be much cooler and cloudy so I must, as farmers say "Make hay while the sun shines."  Not that I will be outdoors working by any means; I did that yesterday.

I was surprised this morning to see some swallows swooping and diving around the golf course, it was silly of me to think they would not show up.  What better place to find insects, lots and lots of insects. Living so close to a school when I lived in Portland every year I watched the swallows make their homes all along the building where the roof overhung the side of the building.  The swallows would dive bomb us as we walked through the grass stirring up the bugs as we went.  It was amazing how close they could come yet never make physical contact with us. They are amazing creatures.

Millie and Maynard do not come back as frequently these days. I guess their family has grown and is gone so they are free to roam until next mating season.  I wish them well for the summer but hope I will see them again (if) they choose to winter here at the course.

So, dear friends that's about it for today; all I've got is just bits of this and that.  I simply cannot contain myself any longer.  I've got to go enjoy the out of doors, "Come on Zorro...let's go for a walk."

Sunday, April 17, 2016

So...

Frankie and I are sitting on the patio, I'm almost done with my philosophical book while Frankie is reading some sort of 'Girly' magazine. She harrumphs to get my attention.

I look up from my book as she is pulling her glasses down to the tip of her nose. My mind immediate gets that "Warning, warning Will Robinson" signal because I have no idea what's coming next.

Frankie: "So," she asks, "What would it take to make you 'date-able'?"
Me:  "To be forty years younger I guess and maybe a new wardrobe, perhaps millions of dollars."

Frankie is laughing so hard she rolls out of her patio chair onto the indoor/outdoor carpeting.  When she finally catches her breath she says, "Well, I didn't expect that for an answer."

Me:  "Why not?"
Frankie: Well, the survey says things that make a woman 'date-able' are things like being demure, kind, and use good English, avoiding slang. Apparently it's also important to be a good listener.  You should have interesting hobbies, be up on current events, and also be physically active; belonging to a fitness center is a big plus."

I'm mortified, I had no idea what the dumb survey wanted as answers. I think I possess most of those qualities...well...except for the belonging to a fitness center stuff.  Still, My answers were true. Especially the part about having millions of dollars...what guy wouldn't date a board 'er broad no matter how old she was if she had millions in the bank.

Frankie:  "You want to re-think your answers?"
Me:  "No."
Frankie:  "Could you 'splain"?

Me:  "First I don't feel I need to defend myself because I spoke the truth. If I DID want to be 'date-able' I WOULD need a whole new wardrobe as mine consists mostly of sweats, slacks, sweaters and long sleeve tops. (No guy wants to look at Old Woman's arm wobble.)  And, if I did have millions of dollars in the bank do you really think I would spend them on a man...I think not.

Frankie opens her mouth to speak...

Me:  (Holding up a finger for silence.)  "Buppp, buppp, buppp. I would however be spending my millions on myself and family, oh, and of course you, Muse, CC and Zorro.  I might even have a Lear Jet ready to lease on a moment's notice to carry myself and others on long weekend jaunts hither and yon if wanting to go hither and yon was what we wanted to do.  And, as for going back forty years in my life.  I don't think so.  My life's been pretty darn good and I see no need for a 'do over'.

Frankie remains unusually silent.

Me:  "Besides Frankie, if I went back forty years there would be no you, there would be no Muse, there would be no us."

Frankie was suddenly eager to close the magazine and change the topic of conversation.  "So what's for dinner?"

I swear I saw her wipe a tear from her eye.




Saturday, April 16, 2016

Okay, I confess.

Yes, I have a confession to make.  I've never fully escaped from my Henry David Thoreau phase.  I think I've mentioned that phase of my life a few times here in my blog.  Years ago (and for several years) I read some of his works and I decided I wanted to emulate him.  I bought stenographers tablets to take notes, pencils to draw illustrations and eventually; as this project grew I began to add specimens of things I discovered in my neighborhood.

When I first started this project was kind of like being in kindergarten, very 'finger paint' and 'block printing', but by the time I finished years later I had six Steno Notebooks filled with information, artwork and specimens of the marvelous things I discovered in my front/back yards and surrounding neighborhood.  I also had four of the largest binders I could purchase filled with flower, plant and insect specimens all of which bulged at the seams by the time this project was completed.

I dissected flowers and pine cones, studied the life spans of some insects as they went from pupa to adulthood.  Just about every day I looked at things through what I hoped would have been Thoreau's eyes.  I think he once wrote something along the line of 'Most of us see only what we look at, and miss a great deal, to truly see you must perceive that at which you are looking.'  For instance, we look at a Queen Anne's Lace flower and see that it is large, round and creamy white.  But if you take the time to perceive you will see a Queen Anne's Lace flower is flat topped, umbrella like and made up of tiny, lacy clusters of white flowers with one tiny purple flower in the center.  It smells of carrot, which of course, the plant is known to be.  If you follow the flower through its life cycle your will find as it matures the flower browns and curls up into a tight ball so that come August it has a bountiful amount of seeds that will easily propagate the next spring.

Through my Thoreau years I learned that nature is filled with the unusual, the unique, and the surprising yes, from the microscopic to the gigantic Redwood NATURE IS AMAZING. Thoreau came flooding back to me this morning as Zorro and I were walking to my mailbox. I found myself actually seeing the magnificent colors of the Rhododendrons, fiery red, baby blanket pink, and amethyst purple.  I thought of him as I examined seedlings of pines, maples, flowering cherries and fir trees as each one tempted me to uproot and transplant them into pots.  I marveled at the dandelions inching up through cracks in the pavement their sunny yellow flowers smiling up at me.

Yes, I confess, I go a little bonkers when it comes to nature.  I simply can't help myself and I have to thank Thoreau for being such a wonderful teacher, because without his knowledge and love of nature I would still be walking through life looking but not really seeing.

Thanks Henry David.


Friday, April 15, 2016

What...a...mess




I may have mentioned the complex I live in sent a notice to all of us stating they were going to "preform necessary cleaning of our property".  I was told by longtime residents this meant pressure washing of the gutters and buildings as well as cleaning of the roofs.  I didn't (don't) have a problem with that.  I was also told that our building has always been the first to get done and we could once again make our patios livable.  Right!!!!!

Well, our building did not get done first, and I had everything from my patios stored in corners of my apartment.  Finally on Wednesday they began work on our building.  What a mess!  They started with the upper parking lot and buildings which meant a lot of the debris they washed off (up there) splashed over the edge of the wall and down, down, down to my lower level.  Yuck.  Taking the dog out meant I had to avoid certain areas so we would not get drenched.

Late morning they began working the lower level.  I could hear a funny noise and I peeked out to find a guy using a very large kind of 'wet/washer' on the sidewalk.  You know the kind of commercial floor wash/polishers they use in office buildings, this machine was like that, only larger and it spewed soapy water e-v-e-r-y w-h-e-r-e.  During this process they also washed my front/back patio. Thank goodness I took their heed and removed everything, that machine made the concrete look almost newly poured.

At some point someone was also on the roof, and suddenly an avalanche of old oak leaves fell to the ground...shoot, I thought I was done with those.

Finally in the afternoon they got around to pressure washing the front/back of the building.  They did a terrific job except now I'm going to have to wash the windows and wipe down the screen doors because of all the water streaks left behind.  However, by the end of the day I was also able to remove the patio furniture from my dining area and make things right on the front/back patio.

I was optimistic they would do the back/front yesterday, but the inclement weather brought the cleanup to a halt.  At the same time that dang inclement weather also brought with it wind that in turn had me picking up oak leaves off the sidewalk and patio all-day-long.  That's life I guess.

Today I'm hoping they will come back and finish up the building.  I'm eager to get my patio furniture out of my living room and back where it belongs as I'm eager to enjoy leisure hours out of doors. Especially since the weather is supposed to turn and the temperatures gradually inch back up into the high 70's and low 80's.  I can see me now with book, libation and contented pup soaking up the fresh air and sounds of spring, and that's the good life.

Needless to say this has been a topsy-turvy week, a very wet, soggy topsy-turvy week.  I just want my normal back, I like normal.