Monday, October 19, 2009

what happened?

Friday I got a notice from my gastroenterologist to remind me that one of those "procedures' is due. In order to get the whole thing rolling, I was to contact the office voice mail, leave my name addy and DOB. Eventually they will send me a packet of information and someone very soon after that (oh boy ohboy) will contact me and set up the date. The letter, which was dated October 6th, arrived on the 16th. Only ten days. Not bad, for a town 20 miles away.

In all of this I will apparently have no contact with anyone involved for any reason at all until they call me, and no contact whatsoever with anyone physically until the driveby surgery, where the Gastro guy comes by says hi, I'm your surgeon, and twenty minutes later Im wheeled out of the operating room, jiggled awake, bundled into the car, and sent home. This is not what I call a fuzzy warm moment.

I had a regular physician type doctor for ten years or more, never met him. I did all my doctor stuff with his PA, and she has been around for so long on many papers she is referred to as MD. Two years ago the doctor I have never met left the practice, (I found out through a third party), and a new doctor has taken his place. I still havent met him, and I still work with the same PA.

At least I see the dentist face to face.

When did doctors start doing this? Im not sure I like it, but it does pave the way for robotics in the future, when you never seen any live folks at all, just robotic arms and scalpels and hypodermics. Press one for yes and two for no. Leave your name, number and DOB at the sound of the beep and one of our AI assistants will contact you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


yep. just a bit, a flurry, really, drifting down over my as-yet-unshedded wood (what's left of it, actually), but totally unnecessary. Im trying pretend it hasnt happened. It's not working.

Friday, October 16, 2009

time killers

there are a bunch of these in this collection, all of them challenging, but the first one is the most fun

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garden Wish Books

White Flower Farm catalog (the winter houseplant edition) arrived yesterday, and while I really don't much care for amaryllis and over-sized winter blooms, it's still fun to look at. and WFF is one of those rare breeds of flower catalogs that I save forever, since they not only tell you what they have, but throw in huge amounts of garden information along the way.

However, WFF and I have been having a running battle over what zone Im in. They live in what is, to me, a relatively warm climate in Connecticut, the lower end of zone 5. We live in what is designated on zone maps as the upper end of zone 5. Now the problem comes because we also live 1100 feet above sea level, and that flings us right into a pretty good imitation of zone 4.

I dutifully scratch out Zone 5 on the order blank, and write in 4. They cheerfully inform me that they have my order, and my plants will arrive in plenty of time to plant before the frosts set in. In Zone 5. I have planted bulbs in ground turning to permafrost, shrubs that had to sit in my front hall growing and sulking in early November because there is six inches of snow out there...they apologize, and send me new fall plants the next year as replacements. For zone 5.

The day before the first blizzard of the year.

Now I buy locally.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A winter to grow on

I understand the pressure squirrels and other fuzzy critters must feel this time of year. Gotta get it DONE before snow, yessir.

Breaking up the garden, digging out old, less than interesting flowers in favor of "let's try something new" gives you time to reflect, to think back a bit and forward a lot as to what you'd like to see there. I've been rooting out the 6 foot high African daisies that have taken over half of my long garden, one clump at a time, to the detriment of anything that tries to compete.

I wanted a place to plant potatoes next year, and have planned on a temporary raised bed of old compost there, since they did so well where I had them, in just that kind of soil. But potatoes are hungry beasts, and you have to keep moving them around, to keep them happy. The local wisdom says, 'new ground', and the gardener's best friend, the feed and grain store, says, sulfur powder. Seems to work. And while the ground rests from twenty years of African daisies, i can give some thought as to what I want in there year after next.

We do always seem, as gardeners, to be looking a season ahead, a year ahead, and sometimes, wiht biennials, two years foward. Next year, we say, we'll plant day lilies between those stones, a kind of rock garden. Or maybe something low growing and spreading. And there's no hurry, you have all winter to change your mind. And of course by spring, while you dig for the summer garden, you're planning for next fall, and thinking about the wood you'll need to get in, and where you will put the bulbs next fall when you have to divide them.

I guess we never live in the season we live through.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Love in the Time of Cholera

well, I got through that one. Im not sure that I liked it all that much, but it was readable, had some lovely passages about love and aging and sex; the difficulty for me is dealing with the Latino/South American sensibility, which is very different from mine. I finally realized that the only way to do this is to just let go of comparing apples and mangoes, and concentrate on the mangoes.

I'm pleased that I read it, but I will probably not be digging into it again any time soon. Some books are like that.

Time to strap on the camera and heavy jacket and go for a walk in what's left of the good weather.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Games come and go

I am a closet online games addict. There has always been a game of some sort running on the computer, from the early days of Rogue and Hack, and a friend's excellent text games of Uunkulia, on through the classics like Eye of the Beholder and Lands of Lore. Now there are these wonderful online downloadables, with graphics ranging from topdown stick figures with bad scenery to the amazing graphics of Worlds of Warcraft. I've been playing this one for over a year, daily. What I like about it is that it never builds false fronts on its characters or its buildings. You can travel, literally, to the edge of whatever world you're on, and over, and yes you can die.

This last month I gave up my place in the game, having realized that for me, for now, it's just not what I want to do. Maybe a few months into winter, or next spring, it will seem new again, but just now I wanted to try something else.

and true to their policies, the Blizzard people let you step out of the contract but not out of the game. They keep your characters and levels intact, and if you want to come back later, well, they will be delighted to see you.

They play fair with their customers, on screen and off, and it shows.

It's been a part of my online life for a very long time, as these things go, and I miss it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reading Room October

Finished off two Anne Tyler books this past week, The Clock Winder (which was strange in that way so many books about southern families are), and Saint Maybe, better than I thought it would be at the beginning. I"ve been ducking Anne Tyler books for years, I have no idea why; she writes well, everything fits together, but I just could not take down one of her books and read it. Maybe I had to grow up to them.

Started Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera, but it seems (or I do, at any rate) to be descending into a place where I have difficulty following, or comprehending. I understand the mindset of the South American culture is very different from ours, and that may be part of the problem. I'll soldier on a bit longer, this may just be a slow place in a good book.

Not all books are good, not all good books are good for the same reasons, or for the same people, and what one person raves about, someone else will hurl across the room, half finished.

One reason I hesitate to loan books or recommend them if somebody else has to spend money on an unknown quantity.

And a nice day, the ash trees are turning that bronze/purple color, and the rock maples in the front yard have started their color shift from top to bottom. Tis time, I believe.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sabbaday Falls

at the top of the falls

at the bottom

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Entirely too many mountains

Friday we took off again, heading north to the Kankamaugus (the "u" is pronounced "n" for some reason) Highway. My mother-in-law has wanted to see it again, after a very long time, so we made the trip hers. We stopped at a place called Sabbaday Falls, which is far more interesting than we thought it might be, and hiked up in. Not a hike-hike with rock steps and such, but a nicely graded trail. On the marker it says 0.3 miles. Someone musta been using a straight edge on that map, it felt a lot more like .5 in both directions. But even at nearly 89 she did the whole walk, never wavered once.
We also explored a place imaginitively named "Rocky Gorge" which is coincidentally just across the highway from "Big Rock". We decided that must have been overload for whoever was naming stuff that week, or all the really cool unpronounceable Indian names had been used up.

By noon I was ready to head back home, my mother-in-law said she'd had all she'd come for and we both voted down a proposal to "see the notches" which would have added at least another hour to an already long ride back. Next time, dear, we can see the Notches.
this image is Lake Chocura, the side without the mountain in it. What I call 'jigsaw' photos, the kind with entirely too much sky, water, and trees...