Sunday, August 26, 2018


My life has become disjointed.  It seems to be full of disparate themes these days that make me feel just a bit off kilter.

I saw Mama Mia Part II recently and various ABBA songs keep running through my head at odd times of the day. I like ABBA so there could be worse songs drilling a beat in my brain.  Is it a premonition that the phrases "take a chance on me" and "SOS" are the constants?

I cut myself (again) while chopping garden veggies the other day and now two tips of my fingers are sore when I use the keyboard to type. I try to keep the knives sharpened, but they are getting old.

I am reading "The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever Happiness." It is a well-written story, but the kind of story that haunts you with sadness as you finish each chapter.

I have mixed a weed-killer formula of vinegar, Epsom salts and dish soap to kill my weeds while protecting the river. I spray this along paths and where crabgrass has grown over the drains or into the bricks. It took me all day to find where I had left the large bag of salts. I looked in the garage, the laundry room and even under the bathroom sink until eventually finding the bag under the kitchen sink of all places!

I washed all the windows on the outside with one of those Windex spraying tools resulting in a sore shoulder and stiff neck.  It also helped me see more clearly how the inside of the windows is covered in a pale film of dirt. I guess I have to start on those next and do the "wash on-wash off" Karate dance.  The whole time I did this I kept thinking of rain against the windows of friends in Hawaii as the hurricane just missed them.

We lost our large fig tree and now the new ones we planted a few years ago are just starting to come into figs.  Hubby is eating most of them as snacks when he mows the lawn so there will not be much of a harvest this year. They are Celeste figs and seem to taste better than the other ones we had.

John McCain lost his battle this week and I am struggling with the sadness of losing his balanced and fair voice in the Congress. He was one of the few that admitted he made mistakes. The Republicans are now free to fully lose their way.

The DNC, on the other hand, have changed their rules in dealing with Superdelegates in order to appeal to Millennials.    Time will tell.

I have tried to be more regular with my exercise (elliptical and free weights) which results in my Fitbit telling me I am not meeting the 10,000 steps each day.  Nothing more annoying than wiping the sweat from your brow and your Fitbit asking if you are up for a stroll!  I wonder if I will be alive when this technology really tells us how we are doing.

And perhaps the most annoying is that it is 2:59 in the morning as I write this.  A full moon usually means insomnia for me.  I  do not have to be anywhere today, so may take a nap after lunch.  Here is hoping I get back on track sooner rather than later.  Maybe some meditation and breathing exercises?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Quiet Evenings Return

It is mid-August and the osprey have left their nest which sits so empty and quiet on the water. The mother osprey no longer scolds me when I cross the dock. I can see the family of three some evenings teaching their single offspring how to soar above the river and then dip their talons across the mirrored surface before surging up into the blue once again and perching on an overhanging snag. Soon they will be heading south for the winter.

The wren nest is also empty as they must have learned to fly while we were visiting in the city. Grandchildren are back home wrapping up the last few weeks of summer camp. Our company have all finished with their vacations and are now back home across the Pacific ocean. The house is now quiet of much activity and busy meal preparation. Children's games and toys are slowly being returned to their cupboards, sheets are washed. We have some leftovers to finish eating and that leaves me time to wander to the water's edge for sunsets once again at days end as the sun moves around into a center stage position. We can even catch a sunset down in the village when it crosses the bridge.

Sighing with gratitude.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Just Pondering the Near Time Ahead

It has been a long three weeks of August. The first week I had company, caught a cold, and got the oldest grandson for a few days. The second week I got the youngest grandson who kept us busy with wanting to do something most of the day including kayaking and a 10 mile bike  ride. Although, I will admit we binge-watched "Merlin" on Netflix and he did make it through two seasons and loved it. The characters were uplifting and real. I always like how Britain uses all ages in its series. 

That week was followed by three days with granddaughter  at our house where we played with photography a bit (she says she loves photography but not sure she loves the patience and details required. )  I also supervised her  exercises to get ready for Cheer leading  Camp.  She did 250 jumping jacks and high knee runs interrupted by push-ups for another count of  250.  I got  tired just counting!  She has a really lovely well-muscled body.   We also binge watched the new season of  "Anne With an  E...Anne of  Green Gables."  That is so  well done that she was completely enthralled  and  truly upset when the character, Cole, left. Avon Lea..and we left home had to head up here.  (Her parents have Netflix, so she can watch the ending.)  Then we drove her back home to here in the suburbs outside  the city.  We are being chauffeurs  in taking her to cheer leading  sessions the rest of this week while  also sitting the  oldest grandson  who now has a  little  cold.  The busy life of a  family!

We will  celebrate a birthday of the grand-girl and our  48th wedding anniversary on Thursday evening, and then, hopefully, head home on Friday evening after doing some more chauffeuring during the  day.

It will  be a strange time in the coming week with no child obligations  and only gardening  and housecleaning to do.   It is always like a mini-childless time similar to when my children  headed  off to college and I had  only a job to distract and fill  my days followed by quiet evenings  and  an even  quieter dinner.  Like everything in this world it requires some adjustment.  It just seems in  retirement you have more  time to ponder over the  adjustments being made and less to  distract you.  It seems to bring a magnifying glass  to the  ever creeping end of times ahead.

I am not saying this with huge sadness, but more a realistic view as to how  to adjust so  these final years are more carefully planned.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Kayak Lessons

We have the youngest of the grands for a week and I become somewhat bipolar in making sure they have something fun with which to build a memory and also making sure they are left alone to just vegetate as their summer weeks are usually filled with travel and camps and heavy scheduled time. Yesterday was Kayak lesson day which put Grandpa in his sweet spot. I guess the photographer also enjoyed this!

He is a bit of a water bug, so not afraid to get out on the river.

He practiced strokes while we held the kayak by rope. Then we got into the canoe and he stroked around us while we held on to the rope, then we let him go.

We paddled just around the point and found our selected beach was a bit gone at high tide.  It was still walkable and they got out to rest for a while.

I stayed in the canoe and took photos of the late summer fruited trees against the setting sunlight.

And I watched the kayak bob on the colored water.

The older male taught the younger male how to cast and as luck would have it we got a nice 8-inch perch to add to our crab dinner that night!

It is always a miracle when everything goes perfectly!

Friday, August 03, 2018

Some Days It Is Like Walking Through the Looking Glass

I have my HVAC annually maintained, but this year I skipped the winter check and when spring arrived the spring maintenance team found several issues.  The company explained they could replace some parts but with no guarantees as to how long this 12-year-old unit would continue to function.  I agreed and weeks later they sent us a repairman.

We are old people and my husband loves chatting.  So, as we showed this pearshaped 40-year-old to the basement we talked about house structure, property taxes, maintaining yards.  The man worked for about an hour on both the inside unit and the outside unit and then he told us that the concern for the loss of Freon was not an issue and we would at least not have to pay for that expensive replacement.

As he was preparing the bill at the kitchen table, the man brought the subject around to how divided our country was over politics.  We agreed but left it at that.  Then he began to talk about conspiracy theories.  We smiled and said that many people were easy to dupe if they wanted to believe something was true, but as a former librarian researcher (me) and a former science researcher (Hubby) we felt comfortable in finding the facts we needed to make decisions.

He continued talking and brought up the moon landing and how he wondered how it could possibly be true if that flag was flying in the photos where there is no atmosphere.  My mouth fell open briefly and then I said I had never considered that and I thought it was unrolled stiff plastic because scientists knew it would be limp---NASA knows more about the atmosphere than anyone I know. ( I had to later Google this flag issue to realize that there are people who think the whole moon landing was fake!)  Then he went on about flat-earthers' arguments and I began to get a creepy feeling that he was one of them.  

As he was collecting his tools he went on to tell us a story about his grade-school stepson who was being bullied in school and how he was teaching him martial arts at home.  When I asked why he did not bring the bullying to the Principal's attention, he said the bully was a black kid and they would not do anything because they were afraid of it being a racial call.  I had to take his word for it but was suspicious since he had been so strange in his deductive reasoning in all the prior conversations.

At least you do not have to be smart about conspiracy theories to fix the AC because he must have done what was needed since we have had cool air inside all this month!  (Yes, I do live in one of "those" counties, lord help me.)