Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Gentle Slap in the Face (6WS)

When you go into a store--thrift shop, used furniture,  etc--and discover that the mixer/serving dishes/utensils you bought as a bride have now been upgraded to "Vintage".

When an old classmate recognizes you and you not only have no idea who he/she is (even when they introduce themselves) and you realize that  he/she thinks you're someone else...even when you introduce yourself back, and they say, "no you're not"--and now you are suddenly in a world of alternate universes

The books you loved as a child are now in the category online of  "collector's items"

Everyone you went to school with, were a bridesmaid for, or you threw baby showers for, is a grandparent.  They are suddenly old.   Too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This is charming

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The new memory

As we get older our memory becomes a strange and wondrous experience. Today I was once more confronted, for some reason, with what appears to be a periodic 'cleansing" by Google to make sure we are all where we should be and not someone else.  When this happens I quietly go to pieces, because I know a terrible thing is going to happen.

You see, I have about 80 skillion email addies at Yahoo, and have over the years been adding and removing them as the tides turn and the weather changes.

One of them I use in here.

Easy, right?  heh

I also have two email addresses for Google.  One of them I use in here.

When I am asked, on occasion, to sign in rather than just hit the button and begin posting,  the panic starts to prickle down my spine.  Which one oh my which one is it...

So I dab at one, and it says, 'your  password was changed three months ago. is this true?" and they ask me to verify it. [see paragraph 2.]  If you hit the wrong one you are asked to reset your password and the first time it went swimmingly until I was asked to sign in here with it and  realized that I had forgotten to write it down...

Finally I found one that would work, after being told repeatedly that Google now keeps track of your passwords and you cannot, simply cannot use that again, its already in use on another account.   It gets better.

After carefully writing this down and having it approved you are asked to present a verification email address in case of lord alone knows what,  which means another search for another yahoo address and another password and finally, an hour later and (should have been a five minute event) i have a new password, and this time I took a screen shot and saved it in my photo program...

I just hope I can remember what name I used to save it under.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Frozen Lakes

   The first heavy autumn rain soon became a week-long torrent, and then two more unexpected weeks of it; a steady numbing downpour that invaded their souls, filling the otherwise silent rooms with the sound of  a river rushing through a ravine.  Leaving the house was nearly impossible--Katy said it was like swimming through a waterfall, the radio reminding anyone listening to head for higher ground, as the autumn floods were rampant and getting worse as streams further north began to rise and join the swollen rivers in the valleys that surrounded them.   

   After the power went out on the first weekend they slowly began to revert to a rhythm much like that of their not so distant ancestors--eat, tend the fireplaces, sleep, read; turn on the generator just long enough to keep the freezer and refrigerator cold.  The radio stopped working, and they finally understood that the stations were no longer broadcasting. 

   Long unused board games and dusty decks of cards were unearthed and the days were filled with Monopoly, Parcheesi, Gin Rummy, and Chess.  There was plenty of food and fuel for the present but, aware of long term possibilities, they instinctively meted out their supplies carefully--"good time to go on a diet" they agreed, laughing a bit too hard...

   After the rains stopped and the sun reluctantly came out they waited, like Noah's Ark inhabitants, until  the waters abated a bit and the road became a passable if not driveable road again;  living on the highest point of land meant flooding was ordinarily from the ground up, and as Peter said more than once, if we flood, the rest of the world is in trouble.

   The road of course was impassable in a vehicle, so they ventured out on foot to see what had happened to the valley; without even a telephone for communication they had been utterly isolated for almost the entire three weeks--even the cell phones had stopped working, and they were simply unprepared for what met them halfway to the end of the long steep driveway.

   They saw trees bent and broken, uprooted, floating in a glistening lake of brown water that glowed serenely in the sunlight. Houses along where the main road had been were gone,  although here and there stubborn chimneys were still showing above the stinking water, and debris still contained dead animals, floating bodies, household possessions buoyant enough to float. 

   The silence was complete, except for the sound of water moving steadily and firmly past them, and now and then a tree giving up its muddy struggle with gravity;   no one spoke--they finally turned, stunned, and struggled up the devastated road toward the house and warmth and the reality of a shrinking food supply, dwindling fuel, and a winter, if they survived that long, of frozen lakes. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

one of those darned observer dreams (6WS)

the observer/reporter for a plane crash,  as a voice over:  "the parents had refused the baby seat for their 6 month old child--when the plane crashed, it was the one thing that saved the baby's life, since the spot where it would have been firmly strapped in was directly under a luggage holder, which dropped all its luggage onto the spot where the baby, pinned by the seat, would have been crushed.

As it was, it had been thrown out of the mother's arms and rolled--or crawled--under the seat in front of it, protected and safe. The parents were killed by the falling luggage.  The baby's angry cries were detected by a flight attendant who had been commandeered to search for any signs of life--she found the child, slightly bloodied but mostly just angry and hungry--the attendant had just given birth to a child a month previous and without even thinking  took the child to a secluded place, opened her tunic, and nursed it.  Fifteen minutes later someone found them, nestled against a pile of lumber and rubble, content with each other and ignoring the disaster around them. "

and then the camera moves back to show one small woman nursing a small baby while workers continue the search for more casualties...

These are the oddest dreams,  this is probably the fourth in a series. They all seem to encompass humanity, a newpaper article being read which turns into a visual and a voice over--this one took the form of a news reporter and a movie type image not of the crash but of the aftermath...

And if I record  it fast enough, it comes back nearly verbatim.  =)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What I Miss That Cannot Be Regained (whine alert)

The photo negatives my mother threw away in her last year--all the negatives that covered 80 years in the family--just dumped.  Her excuse?  "I didn't think  you wanted them...';

I'm the last one alive in this branch of the family and there is no one left to draw on for duplicates of any of them.  The only photos I have now are the ones that were in albums that she gave me one year. She had no idea why I would even want them,

silly, perhaps,  but I miss the paper dolls of mine she threw away, telling me they were being given to a little girl who didnt have any.  I realize now my mother did not give things away, she took them to the dump.

I miss the Fantastic Four (first six issues) she convinced me to get rid of.  I hadnt learned yet to not listen to her, lol  Her reasoning, I was too old for them.  uh huh.

I miss the pump organ she dismantled and hauled to the barn one day when I was in school. For years if I got down flat on my belly on the barn floor I could see the  ivory keys glinting on the ground under the barn..  Her excuse?  "I didnt think you cared, you NEVER play it..." (only every day, Mother)

All the letters she and my dad wrote to each other before they were married. I never read them, out of a sense of  privacy, but I knew they were in the attic...'were' being the operative word there.

I had a ton of GoldenBooks as a kid (the good ones, not the Disney knock offs they have now) and they mysteriously disappeared too.  Probably the same invisible little girl got those too.

All the jigsaw puzzles, comic books, coloring books, toys, dolls, childrens books, games... Her excuse?  yep.

It was as if she was erasing me from her life,  one thing at a time.  She did it with my dad's stuff too, come to think of it,  when I cleaned out the house before  it was sold there wasnt a single invoice,  letter, ledger, nothing left to show he had ever existed.

Yes, this is whining.  I'll try not to do it again.  But there are times when the only way through a puzzle is just that, straight through it and out the other side.  None of this can be changed, made right, or brought back.  I may come to terms with that eventually, or not at all.   What is really scary, her sister did the same thing (my birthmother, btw),  threw away or dumped all the family photos in HER life,  anything she had. I never did see those.  She even threw me away by dumping me on her sister. Oh, hot potato time, lol.  My husband once said, its a wonder you can form full sentences, and he may be right.  

And strangely enough,  I do the same thing with my own stuff, now.  And  I find myself inching toward all the school papers my husband;'s mother faithfully saved, year by year, and when I do reach that stage I always ask first, and he always says, "I want to save them" I do try to honor that, ignoring that genetic Need to Throw Things Away...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015


which is where I seem to be right now

ad on a local radio station which always reminds me of how the other 99% of the world lives

"our house was so drafty and cold  all last winter it was like living in a refrigerator.  Why we had to wear two sweaters just to keep warm... "   Poor babies. they couldnt just wear long underwear and slipper socks and a scarf and maybe a nice heavy down vest like the rest of us???

I know we are on the other side of winter here, because no matter how cold it really is at any given moment,  or how high the snow is, we keep forgetting to feed the fiyahs.  They get restarted a LOT now.    I would say that psychologically wintah is ovah.  Now if we could just convince the weather gods.
The light suddenly seems different.  The sun now rises way over there instead of directly across the field, and of course its been sliding northward for 2 1/2 months, we just havent noticed.  And in a very few days it will be the first of spring.  (fist pump)  

When I was a little girl one of my favorite books was one of Robert Louis Stevenson's, with charming 30s type pictures of little boys and girls playing with hoops and kittens and such...and one which always puzzled me--the poem for March (or spring, anyway) showed a little girl on a swing, green grass all around her, and she is wearing a little girl dress and a sweater...
I had no knowledge of Britain  or different climates, and it was very hard to relate to that little girl on her swing,  wearing only summery clothes outside in March...

Sorry about the lack of anything in here,  i think im in brain freeze right now.  no promises, no guarantees.  Ill leave the cookie jar here and the coffee urn. help yourselves in the meantime


Monday, March 2, 2015

For Harvey

                                                            rose and bee balm

                                                              mammoth dill

                                                                monarch butterfly

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

snow sculpture

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh =) (6WS)

Proof reading this before it went public might have helped, lol
(then again, maybe it was...)

Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm fine, thanks, just fine

Went to the dentist yesterday,  a minor filling. The dental assistant was pleasant,  maybe in her frowzy mid-fifties,  very talkative, which I like.  After the filling, the dentist left and Maggie tried to help me up out of the chair. 'I'm fine," I said, struggling to overcome Bad Back Wonky Hip syndrome,  reaching for my purse. She hurried to get it for me, and hovered, I swear, hovered, over me...
She kept asking if I were okay, if  I needed help, was I dizzy--and she continued to hover like an officious hummingbird, ready to grab me if I staggered.

I suddenly felt like a fragile old lady.

When I finally managed to break free and get out of the room, she was right at my elbow, and once or twice I could feel her trying to take my granny elbow and steer me.  I said, you're on my blind side,  I can't see you, so forgive me if I walk into you...

She accompanied me to the office and told everyone there what a good patient I had been, in a slightly raised kindergarten voice,  and finally left.  She did ask once more if I was going to be all right and I assured her I was fine, just fine.

And now I understand what a disservice we do to older people by insisting they be as old as we think or insist they are. It unsettles them to be regarded as too old to move without help,  to have their freedoms restricted by the young and nervous,  to be asked continually if they feel okay...I'm fine, really.  Just fine.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just sayin'

-17 degrees Fahrenheit
-27.2  degrees Celsius
245.9  degrees Kelvin
-21.7 degrees Reaumur
442.67 degrees Rankine

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Man

Friday, February 6, 2015

Something for a Snowy Saturday Morning (6WS)

Sat and watched this whole thing,  learned a neat new way
to take tight corners, too...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last week

Monday afternoon in the kitchen, and I could hear water gushing from somewhere and the well pump (which is in the cellar not in the well) running, but not the water tank. The gush was under the sink, where a pipe had come apart at a joint and was trying very hard to turn my kitchen floor into the next flood plain.  oh yes. all under the sink, the insulation, the dishes, the newspaper we used for insulation, the rugs...

Couldnt turn the water off, the levers are meant to be hammered, not turned, apparently.  and the pump  is running and running...couldnt close the  water faucets down cellar, they need superhuman strength or orangutan blood to operate...and the water is running and running...

Husband is out plowing, by the time he got back I'm on the porch in wet slippers waving at him.  Actually waving is really too mild: "gesticulating wildly" might be closer to the truth

He had all he could do to stop the Niagara Falls  under the sink, all he could do to turn the main switches off down cellar...

Some things you just know are going to happen. Last month for no particular reason I bought a new clothesline that I really didn't need yet , and earlier in the fall two good ten quart pails, of the sort suitable for carrying water from a well.  And I have had a 1 gallon jug of drinking water in the fridge, something i never do.

So while he figured out What Went Wrong and What To Do Until theDoctor Comes,  I  hunted down the two shiny new pails, the old blue well pail with the fishing sinker on it, and then made my knotted well rope. Old habits have a kind of muscle memory,  ain't it grand.  Got the dug well cover off and sure enough, there's water down there.                                                          

makes you want to run right out and haul water, don't it

Half an hour later we have water in the house, if not in the faucets.  He's got his owner's manuals out, and I'm trying to adjust to the very real possiblity of no faucets for maybe a week or more.  I'm spoiled, that's what it is...and while he turned pages and made funny noises I mopped up the water on the floor, moved the wet papers and rugs and such to a place where they could drip silently,  and pulled all the stuff out of the cupboards.    By Tuesday  he had a new faucet in place, new piping, and i am in awe. 18 hours without water and it was as if a switch had been shut down.  I kept turning it on, watching the water flow, feeling  like Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The icicles on my mother's roof (6WS)

Harvey asked me a really good question today:  How has age changed you? How has your thinking changed?

Had to stop and think about that for a bit,  since time moves faster for all of us, as we discover there is less in front to discover and more in back to remember.

I seem to have stopped writing. Not totally, but it no longer seems to have a presence in my life. Now and then one gets away from me, but for the most part they don't dominate the way they did.  Yeah.

Some days its all  memory,  some days its 'where did I put the scissors" and by the time you find them you've forgotten why you needed them and when you do remember, you 've lost the scissors again

I make a sandwich, the phone rings and I wander away to answer it,  then off to start a project,  and an hour later come back to the kitchen to find that the cat has made himself a sandwich and is just now licking up the last of the crumbs...

Tell the doctor about the wandering memory and he goes straight into denial, "You do NOT have memory loss!"  and slams that door shut...

But getting older has forced me to move a bit more slowly, and in doing so I find a joy in pauses:  watching a flight of geese, walking through those trees, seeing  it  become something other, something that will outlast us.  And knowing that I have less time than I had, and that dark wall looms closer every year,  
I'm less willing to assign importance to things that I cant change.

Years ago we had one of those high snow winters,  and Mother was sliding into her dotage, but still  in her own home. One night she called me, terribly distraught, wanted me to come over and "do something" about the icicles that lined the front of the house like prison bars. She was afraid they'd break off and damage the windows.  The fact that we were having yet another storm and her front lawn was already four feet deep in snow wasn't important, and she started the "if you loved me' thing.  Finally she said, "at least you could help me worry!" and hung up.

  I refuse to worry about icicles I can't reach,  or events that will change whether I'm here or not.

Thanks,  Harvey.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Damage Control

Sometimes you will see a delicate piece of glassware slide off the table and out of reach, and all you can do is watch as, incredibly, it bounces when it hits the floor, and only on the second bounce actually shatters.
And you think, if only I had been there to catch it --although I've always wondered if it wasn't already broken but didn't know it yet, and possibly the damage was  already done, as it shattered in your hands.

There are also times when a friend does the same thing, slides out of his life imperceptibly,  and you work to save him, with nets and love and hands holding his--but he eludes your grasp, and like that glassware, hits the floor a second time, and shatters as thoroughly.

You knew the damage was already there;  saving him would  have been saving something that had broken but not yet shattered, a long time ago