Friday, May 25, 2018


from last night

Ordinarily the cats are kept in at night, with outdoor privileges only during daylight    Charlie has discovered that if he leaps up and wraps himself around the door latch and jiggles it, it will swing open and he can 'escape'.   It's a heavy wooden door, but then, Charlie is 14 lbs of determination.


It is nearly 11 PM and I am waiting for him to return from his grounds patrol.  When he comes back in,  the latch will be blocked, and tomorrow I'll be putting a drop hook on the door, something  I should have done the last time he tried this. Sigh.

There does seem to be a bit of a turf war over the cat door, which is clear plastic, so they can see each other through it. Last night I noticed Toby, who has never learned to use it, was whapping away at it.  Turns out Charlie was on the other side, trying to get in. 

 Shakes head. staggers off.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thirteen Things to drive a burglar crazy

Just for fun, I like to dream up different ways to make a burglar very very nervous...use separately or in combination.

1.  Take two old spoons, and hang them by a string over a nail on the inside of the entry door.  Make sure the spoons can hit each other when the door opens.  They have a reverb that goes on forEVER.

2.  If you're going away for a few days spread a thin coat of marbles on the entryway floor

3.  Tiny bells on every door, way up high

4.  A tape recording of a small dog saying, "wuf" and then a voice upstairs saying, "did you hear something?"

5.  A switch that, when activated after dark, turns on the lights in the room for about 5 seconds, and then turns them out.  Lather, rinse, repeat at varying intervals.

6.  Open the door, close the door behind you, and it locks.  Then you hear the sound of a growly dog padding along...

7.  wind chimes. Everyone LOVES windchimes. Not.  Hang one of the more offensive ones (the kind with a huge reverb) directly on the inside of the door. Any door.

8.  strategically place squeaky toys in front of all the doors.  many many toys.

9. rig up a trip wire that, when hit or crossed, alerts the local police, and  releases a veritable blizzard of small bits of paper...

10. there is always the pail over the door filled with the beverage of your choice...

11.  A trip wire that activates a recording of Black Sabbath.  Loud.  Very very loud.  Neighbors tend to notice stuff like that.

12.  Big damp sponges on the floor. NO one likes to step on big damp Somethings in the dark.  "oh my god, was WAS that...yeeewww"

13. Coat all the doorknobs with vaseline

New Thursday13

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maple Forest

If you look very closely at this, you can see a LOT of faint brownish reddish leaf pairs, all over the place.  This is what  a future Maple Forest looks like. On my front lawn.  (that's  Charlie, inspecting the lawn)

Two years ago we had the second year of a two year drought, the deep-down kind that no one really paid a lot of attention to, as far as weather pundits were concerned:  rivers dried up, everyone had brown lawns, and even (and most horrifying to me) 100 year old trees were wilting, literally wilting, by July. Very little snow cover, no fall rains, no spring rains.   Last  year was closer to normal, and the old Rock Maple in my front yard recovered, somewhat.  We had fall rains, lotta snow, spring rains. 

We never bothered, for two years, to mow the grass.  It went to seed and the birds loved it.

This year I decided it might be a good idea to start mowing again, since we seem to be having a normal if cold spring.  This is what I found, all over the yard where the maples are.  It's a patch maybe 50ft. by 50ft, and there's another on the other side of the driveway as well. 

I said to my husband, if we had had to go away from here for three or four years,  we would be coming back to a yard literally crammed with three foot high maples...

I think I figured it out.  When a mature tree is stressed, as these were,  they produce early seeds and drop them, Thousands.  It's a way of ensuring that this tree, by golly, will at least have babies.   Last year they sprouted into two-prong seedlings,  and I didnt see 'em because I didn't mow. 
Yesterday I hit this spot and I thought, oookay...what IS this.   It's quite pretty,  until you realize what they will turn into very quickly, lol. 

The big old maple survives, still.  I suspect it will outlast us.  I surely hope so.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Don't misunderstand me but...

I will be eternally grateful when this wedding tomorrow is truly over and the happy couple are safely off to wherever they are going to...

I love that Meghan and Harry thing,  they are adorable, and seem to always be having such a good time in each other's company. The main thing being, they are so far down the list to be future monarch material  they are pretty much off the hook, royal behavior-wise...but I just want it over,  so we can go back to where were.   Wherever that was.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

one is the loneliest number... T13

two step

two cents worth

two by two

two part  harmony

two of a kind

it takes two to tango



two left feet

two timer

goody two shoes

two bit

Tea for Two

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I've posted this before,  and now and then
(now, especially) it seems like a good idea
to repost it.  Just because.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Look Closely (T13)

Not the blossom
but the leaf that opens
with the unborn fruit  inside

Monday, May 7, 2018

how much is that doggie in the window

Sometimes you go into a pet store,  and can successfully ignore all the barky waggy puppies, until at one point you hear a short sharp YIP and turn around to see a small dog boring holes into the back of your head.  he KNOWS he's got you. 
You walk away, all the way to the door, and you can still hear that one YIP, and see that face.  And you go home with a dog you didn't know you needed.

Today I was in the Salvation Army store;  not really looking to buy,  and I passed a rack of men's jackets.  Hanging on the very end of the rack was a well used, well kept  blue/purple/green plaid  (you know the color) work jacket, with a fleece lining.  Cuffs a bit worn, but when I put it on I realized they were too long and I'd probably have to cut them off.   Somewhere in the back of my head, I heard that puppy. YIP.

I put it back on the hanger.  Moved on and inspected the furniture, the curtains, the used books, the dresses, the shoes.  was working my way down the last aisle to the checkout counter,  and I heard that YIP again.  The tail was wagging, and oh, those eyes...

It's a bit narrow across the front, but I don't need to button it, and yeah, the sleeves will need to be shortened, badly.  But it isn't every day you can buy a well loved well used Abercrombie and Fitch work jacket for $6...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

It just keeps getting better and better

It appears that our fearless leader has reached a new level
 (I shall leave it up to you to decide which one) by selecting
 Dr. Oz, mr. snakeoil  personified,  to be his newest appointee.

Words fail me.  Then again I'm barely surprised, just frightened.  What's next?  Oprah as Supreme Court candidate?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What we've lost (T13)

1. typewriters/ribbons/ink
2. SLR cameras/film
3. spelling
4. encyclopedias
5. letters
6. slide rules/calculators
7. free tv
8. door to door salesmen
9. dial phones
10. mail order catalogues
11. bookstores
12. vinyl records
13. polaroid cameras

does anyone else notice the connecting link between most  of these?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Small Things

The sun has been out for three whole days.  So have we, racing the predicted rain, cutting cordwood, picking up what needs to be gotten undercover...and just enjoying the sun, the need to shed that coat, those gloves, that extra layer of whatever.  Oh, yeah. Sweat.  😅

On a much smaller note, all the aching, dreadful inactivity of this past winter had begun to take it's toll.  The first time in six months that I was able (or even wanted)  to walk across the yard without snowshoes or winter clothes, I was stunned to see how quickly old lady muscles lose their tone.  But the little voice inside kept saying, patiently,  'muscle memory, muscle memory' and by yesterday I was almost up to speed, at least moving, if not lifting, which is a big part of what we do around here, daily.   But that will come too.

The jonquils are up, and the flowers  are nearly ready to open.  And in the yard, there are patches of green here and there and vigorous bird song at the edge of the woods. I  thought about the lawn mower, briefly,  but held my breath and the thought went away.   Not yet.

I've been away, mentally, I guess.  Not a lot to write about, not a lot going on.  Most of the winter has been spent in a kind of mental/dysfunctional swirl,  and I've been reading voraciously.  I went through 38 of the DiscWorld books in three  months. Finally got to read the last two, Snuff and Raising Steam  which are each a tour de force, difficult, funny, powerfully moving.  Now Im working my way through Anne Perry, the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, which appeals to me less than the Inspector Monk books,  but are still worth the effort.

And one small small thing that probably only another cat person will appreciate:  for the first time in probably 8 years, yesterday my little tiger cat Toby walked past me (walked, not galloped) and as he passed my chair, his tail went up in greeting.  He has always been afraid of humans, and up until this year would rapidly leave any room we entered.  I ache to think what his life was like before coming here...but he is slowly, slowly, coming to accept us as basically harmless (and damn fine door openers), and yesterday there was that little salute with the tail.  We gettin' there.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Annnd today we dressed for the frozen north and an unheated barn, to learn about grafting scions (the part you will, with luck, get apples from some day) to root stock (the tiny wildly rooted bit of apple branch).   I didn't take any photos because it was cold, cold, and a shaking camera just doesn't cut it...

We each got to prepare the root stock and mate it with the scion, and  taped it nice and snug.  The two future wonderful trees are now sitting in our cellar, waiting for summer.

This is an excellent article for anyone interested:

Sunday, April 8, 2018


fifty years ago, more or less, we  had 'our own" marches; against poverty, racial inequality, the War,  almost anything.  The time was ready for it, and young people marched.

I've been looking at the videos and long shots of the marches over the past year,  hundreds of thousands of people, marching steadily,  firmly.

A year or so ago I said to my husband, we haven't seen a decent protest march since the 60s or 70s.  It's time.  There's been enough stupid behavior over the past few years, and these kids, these young people, are doing the only thing they know how to do.    It's impressive, and moving.   But two differences here: most of these kids are just that, kids. Thoughtful, angry, kids.  And so far there has been no violence between protesters and police. 

The last time there were sit ins, violent non-violent behavior, and the police, sadly, reacted with billy clubs and fists and even shot a few.  They had never seen that  kind of protest, and I think it scared them.  I'm wondering if maybe many of these cops remembered their own parents or even grandparents marching,  and why.  And have been trained in the art of "powder-keg avoidance"...

The times, indeed, are  a-changin'.  They always do.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Showers...yeah, right

Since March 30 we have had two hearty 'snow showers", drenching rain, temps in the 20-30 degree range most nights,  last night I went to bed to the sound of snow hitting the windows, woke to torrential rain around 5 AM and a healthy thunderstorm going on, and now there's fog you could cut and stack for building blocks.
The snow on the kitchen roof (northside, where the sun never shines) had been reduced to a few frozen inches, now it's a full roof's worth of snow and ice and fog.

The twittering of arriving orioles, bluebirds and robins is now a muted ?.

Where the snow isn't, there's  mud, frozen or otherwise.

I love April. I really really do.  It seems to encompass all the other months worst days into one large package. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

He's a good man. He takes care of me

Been under the weather the past week or so, and today I thought maybe a touch of Ben & Jerry's ice cream would do the trick.  Nothing too fierce, maybe plain vanilla.  So when he went out, I had him pick me up a pint.  Problem is, of the myriad B&J flavors that our local WalMart carries, they had no vanilla. So he got what seemed to him to be a reasonable alternative. 

Vanilla Caramel Fudge.   It kinda climbs up over the edge of the carton and waves at you.  It makes Cherry Garcia look like diet food. 💫

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sometimes folks just don't hear themselves

Had to make a dr's appointment today,  only took three tries;  the third time I was greeted by a cheery young thing who took my vitals:  when I gave her my birth date (9/13/45) there was a short pause and then she said, most firmly,  "Nineteen Forty Five, right?"

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sort of a (late) T13

Last night I dreamt that Fred Astaire
was helping me stack firewood  💃

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ahem T13

thank you to Mr. L for the last minute idea

1. Day by Day
2. Boxing Day
3. Any Day Now
4. What a Day for a DayDream
5. Day of  Reckoning
6. Bank Holiday
7. Days in May
8. Days a Week
9. Day of Discovery
10. Show and Tell Day
11. Birthday
12. Days of Christmas
13. Billy Sunday

Go here for more T13s

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

And so it snows, tiddly pom, and so it blows, tiddly pom...

a measured 18" of snow, my husband's beloved Bobcat won't start, he can't get his Big Truck with plow to start, and he has just mushed out of here with his regular truck, making an awesome set of  1/2 mile long snow tracks all the way down.

he's a funny guy.  weather doesn't bother him, as long as he knows he can get out.  He was very close to panic this morning (I found out when I picked up the wrong shovel and we Had Words about it), because he gets a kind of wide ranging claustrophobia about this.  Some people cannot ride in elevators without tranquilizers, I seriously dislike guided  tours under boulders called "Fat Lady's Lament" and the lemon squeezer (hahahaha),  because the idea of being under one of those when the long awaited earthquake hits...

and he gets edgy if he thinks he can't get out of the driveway.  To be fair, if we can't get out, helpers can't get in, and the broken leg would just have to heal itself. I can understand his feeling.

So now at least he can get out. Probably. It's been a half hour, and I've not seen him walking back, so at least Down is an option.  In and UP may not be. Damn I love living here.

Im also putting off the idea of raking off the roof. I keep telling myself, hey, it's warmed up, maybe some of it will melt off and we can see out the upstairs windows again...then I think, hey, it's warmed up, I hope it doesnt drip  into the house....

Still snowing, by the way.

I see Steven Hawkings died today. How sad. He died, most appropriately, on Pi Day, which is also the anniversary of Einstein's birth, and was born in 1942 on the 300th anniversary of Gallileo's death

I suppose by now we could all, with a bit of digging,  find that everyone of us was born or will die on the anniversary of a major birth, death, or cataclysm, but it is an interesting bit to know.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

One more step

--And tomorrow we all arise in the dark, groggy, thinking, 'what...'  and realize, if we were good bunnies the previous night, it is now what time it's supposed to be and not what it was.

I rejoice in the later afternoon light, but mourn the loss of the morning light.

Some people just can't be pleased, can they.   I propose we do away with dark altogether, and that would wipe out the whole problem, right there.  😎

I just lost this entire week (6WS)

--and suddenly woke up to the fact last night that it was Friday and I had sailed through the entire week with only two memories of any anchorlike importance;  Thursday Thirteen, and Six word Saturday.  If I wasn't looking at those I'd still be wondering what month it was. Or what year.

I fear turning into my mother, who during her last days at home took to crossing off all the days of the new month when she turned over the calendar page.When asked why, she said, "So I won't have to worry about what day it is."