Friday, April 29, 2011


I had no intention of being a fan of the Royal Wedding.  I had avoided all the pre-programs and super guessing games and standard analysis and while I am not against happiness for this lovely couple...I really, really, really had no interest.

This morning I wandered downstairs to exercise (no applause as I haven't exercised in over a week) and flipped on the TV as I cannot run on the elliptical without some distraction.  I HATE aerobic exercise.  I had been watching a movie weeks ago on this channel and here at 5:30 in the morning... in my basement...what should I see... but the wedding procession just getting underway.  Since I was already on the running machine and had begun to work up a rhythm, I left the channel running.

It soon became fascinating.  All  the pomp and circumstance was captivating.  Even that old, cold Queen who had long ago given it up for England looked so lovely and warm.  No big grins on her face and no indication she was happy about this day...but she wore a lovely golden yellow and did allow a few royal smiles.  The sis almost outshone the bride with that lovely gown and the children were almost American in their desire for decorum to be over and done with already.

I heard that the wording had been changed to gender neutral...but they still went through the symbolism of the father giving away the bride as if she was property....or as if he had spent substantial time in raising her while her mother stood in silver gray in the background as mothers have done for centuries.  You know, the one who did the cooking, bathing, diapering?

The boys choir and the adult choir were stunning and the sermon to the couple was warm and intelligent, and all almost made me desire to get back into church attendance except there are no choirs or church bells of this magnificence in my neck of the woods.

AND I have to confess that I did tear up several times when I saw the love and excitement that the British citizens (all around the world) had for this beautiful couple.  I have to admit that this was the best reality show I have seen in a long time and I do wish them a lifetime of happiness and perhaps more important lots of good luck.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

No Tornadoes, No Complaint

All we got was some very nasty winds and torrential downpours...but it was enough to dislodge these two tulip trees.  One had been damaged in the building of the house 5 years ago, but we thought the other was pretty healthy.  Notice that it missed the compost corral but did knock aside the bat house.  AND more money to fix that damn deer fence...AGAIN!  At least I am safe and my house is safe.  I will not complain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So Where Is She?

So where in the heck has Tabor been?  Hiding under a rock waiting for a rain along with that garden snail?

No.  Perhaps she has been busy growing mushrooms...although she was sure she planted ageratum in this tray of annuals?

She has been busy keeping the many tomato plants alive in their containers for the plant sale coming up in a few weeks.

She has been dragging hoses from one side of the yard to the other.  She has been busy lifting heavy bags of potting soil and dumping the soil into various containers.

The on the odd hour she has been admiring the one or two planters that slept through the winter and put on their own spring show with absolutely no help from her!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Can I Say?

What a strange feeling for someone who has been known for talking too actually, factually, and tactually run out of things to write.

I could write about my inability to fit with Easter, although I have tried for decades to believe in this.  It just ain't gonna happen and writing about it will only alienate those for whom it is a deeply important personal time.  I could write about needing a Manners Manual for what to do when your family wants you to come for Easter and in the middle of the day they are planning on going to mass.  ( I was baptized Catholic but raised myself as a Methodist and raised my children the same.)  Now I am just a spiritual wanderer, happy when others pray for me, but not expecting any miracles.

I could write about the tease and temptress that spring is.  Going from 49F in the midday to 80F on another midday and me doing a plant dance of covering and then uncovering and then watering and then sheltering from too much rain all the little plants that I want to survive this year.  They are pushing their leaves against their plastic lids!!

I could write a long treatise on my plant ignorance having learned two days ago at a training session that sugar maple trees are most foolish to plant in the mid-Atlantic as Maine is even having problems keeping them alive as the weather warms more each year.

I could write about how I miss my husband but now that I have less than a week until he returns, I am a little sad about losing my independent days and the freedom of odd meals and even odder mealtimes.

Or, I could just be lazy and say I have nothing to write about!  Your turn.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Green Thursday Thoughts #34

As Kermit the frog has said:  "It's not easy being green."  Humans are finding this out more and more each day.

1.  The ozone hole above the earth is the smallest since 2006 and may disappear by 2050 which is a long time from now.  I probably won't be alive then.

2.  Our recent budget bill passed by the U.S. Congress included the highly relevant removal of protection against shooting gray wolves.

3.  If you were giving out the 2011 Environmental Hero award I am sure that the actress, Darryl Hannah, would not be the person who would first come to mind...but she is getting the award.

4. In my neighborhood several folks leave on porch lights which I can see blazing the woods as I crawl into bed each evening.  These lights would not discourage robbers as there are many dark corner windows for them to explore.  I suggest we turn off all our outside lights at night to reduce light pollution which is a huge tragedy on this planet.

5.  The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to reduce mercury emissions from coal plants by 91%. According to some politicians this would be too expensive for coal plants to implement.   I think it would be too expensive for baby lungs NOT to implement.

6.  Pollution for the copper mine chosen to produce metal for the medals awarded at the 2012 London Olympics is responsible for up to 200 premature deaths each year.  Sort of takes the edge off of the reason for the Olympics.

7.  In 2006 Brazil and Peru agreed to construct five dams throughout Peru, selling most of the power to energy hungry Brazil which has reduced its poverty rate to 15.3%.  Most of these dams will be built in the heart of the last rain forests in the world creating cities and new highways and jobs into the heart of the green.

8.  Kit foxes living in cities in California have a diet richer in corn products than their more rural cousins...probably due to corn syrup...i.e. junk food from trash.

9. Earth Week is almost about using cloth for wrapping your Easter Gifts?  Turning off all lights at night?  Not using so many paper towels or turning off the continual rinse water when washing dishes?

10.  I did not know about this group!

11.  If you have children you might do one or two of these this week.

12.  The good side of rising gas prices is that we will be forced to pay for a fossil fuel at its real value.  Of course, those on fixed incomes and those who are poor will learn this lesson in an unfair way.

13.  When you go shopping today, look for things you need and not things you want, and please remember that there is no more away to throw it!

Pauline Hit the Nail On the Head

Actually Pauline hit the nail on the head with my prior post.  It was more the way my time was being jerked around by a broken car, broken appointments and no one to commiserate with!  I like being alone, but know it is not good to lead the life of a hermit in this day and age and force myself to get out the door and go somewhere.  I just wish other people and things would respect my time!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No One Cares That You Had Oatmeal for Breakfast

The kind of thoughts that the title above reflect have been tossing and tumbling about in my feeble brain this past week.   They are annoyingly self pitying and self centered.  Perhaps it is because I have been alone for weeks, perhaps it is because my step-nephew who was in the area called for a visit and then never showed nor called back, perhaps it is because my son has told me two weekends in a row that he is coming to visit and then cancels the day before, perhaps it is because my daughter is spending spring break with the in-laws at the beach, perhaps it is because my 12-year-old car is beginning to abandon me...perhaps it is because I do not have a dog.  (Of course, there is always the very real and more perfect danger that I could get used to and really like this hermetic and vacuum packed existence.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Can Fool Dumb People All of the Time

American college students, bored housewives, and elderly couples without a life are now in mourning across the country.  Afternoons will soon be filled with the reality of "real" lives instead of the drama of soap operas.  No, I do not really care.  I was addicted to soaps back in college and later when stuck staying at home with babies.  This was kind of stupid watching these serial dramas, since it was all that romance and hot body action that resulted in my being confined at home with diapers, humans that could not yet talk, and slow afternoons that were perfect for soap operas in the first place.

Now it is my understanding that today's economics have driven the daytime entertainment programming industry in a new direction so that now Americans will be watching real people 'act' out their lives instead of actors telling stories written by writers.  These 'real' people will be lousy at their jobs because their lives are filled with strife, arguments, sex, break-ups, alcohol, self-doubt, and all while wearing impractical clothes in the worst taste possible.  But some of these 'real' people will break out into more than 15 minutes of fame.  And if their enhanced cleavage holds up, and their hair stays thick and their mouth doesn't betray them, they may even get to give a college graduation address or two or perhaps write a book on why we should not make all the mistakes they have made in their pathetic little lives...sorry, my must be my envy.  Their public advice will not be free, but it will certainly not be worth what they are paid.  They will make six figure incomes while teachers and fire fighters and policemen and soldiers who lead honest lives will struggle to put food on the table.  Daytime reality stars will tell boring stories while real writers will struggle for the attention span of mediocre American minds on independent channels.  But the primary point is that reality stars will not make the humongous salaries of real actors (like that wonderful talent Charlie Sheen who milked his production studio dry...must have been that union he belonged to.)

Watching these reality shows will emphasize the worst behaviors and character flaws that can be found in our society.  They will be excellent examples of what not to do if you are watching with your teenagers.  Real reality would be boring to watch as it might involve intelligent people with mature ideas and cooperative relationships muddle through their days.  "Reality television' is an oxymoron like Fox's "Fair and Balanced" news programs.

For all of those who think American culture is now stagnating in a swamp of mediocre stimulation, it gives me no pleasure to agree with you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Survey or Was It?

Let us say that you have a local bank where you do most of your business.  Let us say that after the bad news on banks in years past, you really like this bank because it did not get bad press.  You like this bank because it provides good service and is conveniently located in both your town and also in the grocery where you shop.

Let us say that after numerous phone calls, from a phone number ID of Pittsburgh, PA which you did not recognize, you decide to finally answer the phone.  Let us say that the call is from the marketing headquarters of your bank and they really, really, really, really love your patronage and want to survey you as one of their favored customers.   (No, neither of your accounts is in the 6 figures.)  They want to know what it is that you like about their bank, and what it is that you don't like, and what you would recommend for better service to you, their valued customer.  I suggested higher interest rates which brought a chuckle on the other end.

Now answer me this question:

Why after this 8 ( golly it seemed like 20) minute phone call which you had to break off yourself with a false excuse, do you now know that the bank interviewer is 38, has a girlfriend, they are Redskins fans, they both love to garden, he will use your term 'therapeutic' in relation to gardening if you don't mind(?), they never buy tomatoes from the store...although the farmer's market can sometimes provide a decent tomato, the interviewer's mother is 70, both he and his mother lost a chunk of money in the market crash (through investments with Leighman Brothers), after which he fired his investment counselor, and as a final tidbit of info, he is now concerned because his mother is on a fixed income? Why is he telling me this?!!  I am not a Chatty Kathy, so I did not pull this out of him.  As a matter of fact, I barely got a word in edgewise except for answering a rare question or two.  As I stood impatiently talking to this man and staring out my front window, I almost thought it was a joke and that I was part of some 'you got punked' show expecting Brad Pitt to show up at my door cell phone in hand and big grin on his face.  Fat chance.

After several commiserating comments on my part which I was able to make while the interviewer took a breath, I then insisted I HAD to go.  He responds with, "Well, I still have several more questions to ask you.  Perhaps I can call you back later or in a few days?"  (Not in your wildest wet dreams, kiddo.)  With a smile in your voice you recommend he do that and then hang up the phone and make a promise to yourself not to answer any more phone calls with the ID Pittsburgh, PA.  (I now wonder if he was trying to get personal information out of me and this wasn't a bank call after all?  He did find out that I like to garden and I am not a Redskins fan.)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Do You Like Egg Salad?

I have been alone since the fifth of the month and will be alone until the end of April.  My husband is thousands of miles away attempting to start a business.  It is a long shot, but since it has become the project that helps him get out of bed each morning, I am letting him fly with the goals (not gulls).  I personally think the project has a snowballs chance in hell of going anywhere, because it has a large philanthropic component and not a serious profit motive and is being done in a foreign country.  He put in some money he made from working on a special project years ago.  He has a partner that is more than matching this money.  Tens of thousands of dollars (not hundreds of thousands which are really needed to start any business) and I see the money disappearing into the air.  This is their last ditch effort after several years of planning, negotiating, talking, getting permits, etc.  My husband is not a business man, he is a scientist and a dreamer.

If it is successful he will have to travel at least three times a year and be away for weeks at a time.  I do not worry about my loneliness; although I don't like being alone that much, I am adaptable.  I worry about an old man flying in a plane for 15 hours at a time!  I worry about his wanting me to go with him on some of these trips.  I have no desire to sit in an apartment in a remote village far from my home with little to do.  A week of photography and then I want to come home.  I want to garden and be with grandchildren.  I worry about the work this house and yard need.

If it is successful he can make a little money.  We do not need a little money.  Although with inflation just around the corner and with the government blase about releasing/overseeing the controls on investment regulations, we may need that money as a cushion after all.  I keep thinking it can go towards my grandchildren's education or my son's house someday.  (Rumor has it that the market is priming for another big dip.)

As you can see, I have much ambivalence about this whole thing that has been five years in the planning and is now coming to a head.  I kept pretending it was not going anywhere, but I misjudged my husband's stubbornness, as I have most of our married life.  These are the last years of our lives together and my energizer bunny of a husband is not comfortable retiring and watching the sunset.  Therefore, he should be allowed to live his life the way he wants...but  while I have eagerly followed him all over the world in previous times, I no longer want to do that either.  Do I dare hope that it fails and that he finds working here in the community rewarding?   I must teeter on this wall for at least the length of another a year.  Are those eggshells I see on the ground below me?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Thoughts #33...Thirteen Things I Learned in March

1.  Both men and women taste the same according to cannibals.  (Equality at last!)
2.  Republican State Representative Alan Hale from Montana thinks the drunk driving laws in his state are both draconian and adversely impact small businesses.  He wants the DUI laws repealed. ( Montana roads are NOT that empty.  I wish all these idiots had a country/state all to themselves.)
3.  Children who are the happiest, are the most likely to use drugs or alcohol to excess.  Children who face at least some stress in their lives are not.  (Remember these are likely percentages...not certainties.  The study was mentioned in David Brooks recent book.)
4.  Only 10% of children are actually born on their predicted due date.
5.  Daffodils do not always increase in numbers and naturalize, at least in my yard.  :-(
6.  One community has tried to ban a child who is allergic to peanuts from their school.  They want the child home-schooled so they can feed their children peanut products in lunches.  (Really!  Is the most creative they can be in solving this problem?)
7.  In a recent interview by Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump began to question whether Obama was actually born in this country, and O'Reilly, to his credit, indicated he thought it was a stupid argument.  (He (THE DON) will never run for president because he will actually have to turn over his finances to be managed by someone else, but he will always say outrageous stuff because he is an attention sump.)
8.  If you are short on topics for dinner conversation perhaps you might want to discuss this statistical data and its meaning for your dinner guests.
9.  Or here where I learned that Indonesia has the highest number of twitter users on the planet.
10.  Japan first tried cement on the leak and then went to shredded paper and sawdust...does this have a familiar ring to anyone?
11.  This spring I got a third grandchild and this gal had triplets.  For live camera action, go here.  The nest weighs over a ton!
12.  This is an inspiring self-publishing story.
13.  I learned this month that even good writers (those far better than I) have concerns about their abilities to write.  I try to re-read my posts a few times before putting them up.  Typos and grammatical errors still squeak through, but my over-sized ego will survive when I see the mess ups.  Fortunately, I do not have to make my living at this.

(As a post script I cannot believe that lawyers (and others) with six figure salaries and excellent health care programs cannot get their act together and solve this budget issue!  Shutting down the government is a bigger mess than most people can comprehend.  One tiny effect is that federal libraries have significant gaps in their research subscriptions proving this.  The next time that Food and Drug scientist is looking for that unique study and has to wait several weeks to get the article Faxed to the office, let's hope it wasn't about something you ate.)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of her own.

Once again Tabor's world has shifted dramatically, not with the agony or pain of an earthquake, but with the dramatic entrance of a new life. Grandchild number three arrived at the very end of March into this lovely family.  Already Tabor follows this tiny face and eyes and actions as if this was a delicate needlework tapestry.  Since she cannot see the big picture, yet, she will focus on the details.

Who will this new person be? How will he fit in with the solid and established family unit?  Will he be the exotic and unique flower in this garden of love, or will he be the magnificent oak that spreads and overshadows all with his living energy, or will he fit in comfortably like a perfectly shaped shrub, unnoticed until we turn to check on him.  Daddy wants an athlete, mommy wants a loving child, and the grandparents want a healthy and happy child.  Can he meet all these expectations?

Within 24 hours he was trying, with much success, to lift his head when held against my shoulder, and therefore, I already know he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.