Sunday, November 19, 2017

First Thing This Morning


Missy Molly plopped herself down in my path for her first morning purrrr! and petting. Pretty Molly.

"Mew! Where do think you're going? I want breakfast."

"I want to do this first," I said, opening the back door to the chilly morning. I leaned out the door, talked into the air, and watched for poofs of cold breath to float away. Nothing.

"Good," I said, opening the door wider. Molly scurried to the south and I limped to the north with a bucket full of dumb cane. Dieffenbachia to some.

A few weeks ago, I finally took the overgrown dumb cane out of its pot. Wowza, I tell you. The plant's thick tangled roots completely filled the medium-sized pot. Sorry guy. It is the sole descendant of the original plant that the Husband received as a gift in the mid-1970s.

From this successor of a dieffenbachia, I pulled apart about a dozen more descendants. I also snapped pieces from two or three tall stalks to try growing more that way. With luck and care, we may have a whole lot of healthy dumb canes in the near future.

As for Molly? She let me pot one pot with cuttings before shepherding me into the house to give her breakfast. 



Friday, November 17, 2017

So I Am.


One thing about not being out there, being visible, being noticeable, being memorable. People forget that you're there. Until you're not there and someone asks, "Where the heck is the person who sweated this small stuff?"

SO UNFAILINGLY RELIABLE. I'd rather not have that on my tombstone. Shudder.

You might as well etch this beneath my name—DRUDGE.

Yes, yes, I know that the world can't run without us drudges. Did I say I abhor being a drudge? If I had, I would've done something about it long time ago. I would've taken the other path. Each and every time.

I cannot imagine myself as a high maintenance diva. Maybe in a parallel universe I am. Heaven help those people.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Beatles!


The Beatles!

Need I say more? I didn't think so.

"We are just a band that made it very big. That's all," said John Lennon on Disc 1 of The Beatles Anthology.

I'm glad The Beatles happened during my lifetime, in particular, my youth.

John and Ringo were born in 1940, Paul in 1942, and George in 1943. They had a child's memory of WWII. In spite of (or because of) all the harsh stuff they may have experienced as children, they gave us beautiful lyrics and music. Thank you, The Beatles!

By the way, have you heard their version of Besame Mucho from their younger years. Just put a pair of velvet pants on Paul. Gosh.







Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Molly the Cat's ABC Wednesday Movie for the Letter S


Something good, happy, nice, and wonderful is developing in our home. I can't put my finger on it. Just feels like it. Purrrrrrr.

Miss Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005)
Setting: Any bucolic town USA (movie was shot in the Pasadena and Glendale area)

Frank (played by Robert Carlyle) is a grieving widower who gets passed on a dangerous mountainous road by happy guy Steve (performed by John Goodman). Minutes later Frank catches up to Steve who somehow crashed on a wide portion of the road. Frank keeps Steve talking while waiting for the ambulance and during the ambulance ride. Steve tells him about being a kid in love with Lisa and taking ballroom dance classes from Miss Hotchkiss. Young Steve and Lisa promised each other that they would meet on a certain day in the distant future at Miss Hotchkiss' school, which was where adult Steve had been heading.

Steve got Frank to promise to go to the school and tell Lisa that he tried to get there. Frank does. Before he knows it, the current Miss Hotchkiss (daughter of the original Miss Hotchkiss) is teaching Frank how to dance. With each new partner, Franks asks if she is Lisa. No Lisa.

Widower Frank is part of a support group of grieving husbands. At the meeting after that dance class, some of his group notices that Frank is different somehow. Frank tells the group that he's taking dance classes. Surprised and envious looks. Purrrrrrrrr.

With each dance class, Frank works out more of his grieving. How does that happen? What happens to the support group? Does Frank ever find Lisa? What happened to Steve, by the way? What about Miss Hotchkiss and her school?




A note from Su-sieee! Mac: It's time for ABC Wednesday. The letter is S. Click here to check out what bloggers from around the world have written with the letter. Thank you,  ABCW team!

Go Without Me


Yesterday, I said I was no longer interested in going to Mars.

Not that I've been offered the opportunity.

I love the idea of traveling through space and exploring Mars.

The problem is. . .me.

Maintaining the flexibility, endurance, and stamina to deal with number one conceits is getting tougher for me. Let's face it in nearly all workplaces, there's always one. I'm beyond the point of putting up with that kind of misery, day in and day out on the job. Imagine doing that in close quarters 24 hours a day through infinity and beyond.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Trying Different Things


As I settled back to read a few more pages of a novel around 11 o'clock the other night, after spending an hour or so doodling and drawing sugar canes, peppermint canes, and walking canes, I realized that I was doing different things.  (Canes are not easy to draw, by the way.)

I am actually looking for things to do, different things to try because I am. . .giggle. . .retired.

There are some things I'm no longer interested in trying
. . . hang gliding
. . .roller skating
. . . hiking the Pacific Crest trail
. . .driving a big rig cross country, toot-toot
. . .going to Mars

Yup, no longer interested in making those dreams come true. 

One of the things I have been doing is painting. I did that watercolor in the photo up there. What do you think: Does it remind you of granite mountains? Maybe somewhere in the Sierra Nevada?



Monday, November 13, 2017

Three Legs


In the past year, I've used the Mama's cane more than the Mama ever did in her 20+ years of owning it.

The Mama didn't believe in using canes. She said, "The more you use it, the more old you are."

I eventually learned to shrug off her ignoring the helpful tool as one of the Mama's vanity things. She may be ancient but heck if she was going to look it.

It was painful to watch the Mama slowly get up from a seated position, wobble immediately (because damn if she was going to stand still for a moment or two) into a walk, then oh so slowly make her way to her destination, using walls and furniture to help push herself forward. But, by golly, she got where she wanted on her accord. And, that was what was important and dignified for her.

As for me. . .how do I feel about using the cane?

As a young thing, I would get infuriated at drivers who paid no mind to pedestrians in the cross walk. Sometimes when I had my own close calls, I thought that when I'm an old lady I'd have a cane, whether I needed it or not, so I could whack on car hoods or bumpers of impertinent drivers.

The cane is a tool to help one be a bit more mobile. I get that now. I don't need it all the time, only when my knees scream out "Hello! Help please!"

So far I haven't touched a car with the cane.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

It's C-c-o-l-d?


The season has begun of Brrrr, Cold. 

Yet Molly the Cat and I let the bright blue sky fool us.

I'll sit outside if I darn well please, says Molly the Cat crouched very low to the ground.

Me. I'm wearing shorts and t-shirt and wandering around without socks and shoes. Giggle.


 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gardening is Part of Me


Do I garden because I love it? Is gardening something that's simply in my genes?

In her last years, the Mama would sit in her garden or at the kitchen table and ask, "Who will take care of the garden when I die?"

"Don't worry," I would tell her.

That's what I liked about the Mama. She didn't ever ask me to tend to her garden when she was gone. She didn't want me to feel obligated.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Painting Rocks


Last month I was introduced to rock painting. Another creative outlet for me.  It's a good thing our back yard is full of rocks and there are a lot of places that I can border with them. I wonder though if the rocks mind being painted.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Lesson from the Persimmon Tree


Hundreds of persimmon buds, then hundreds of persimmon babies fell this year that I didn't think we would have much of a crop.

I was wrong.

The persimmon tree has taught me that we never know what will be.



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Molly the Cat's ABC Wednesday Movie for the Letter R


Today's movie is about "So what that I'm an old person and screw you for thinking so." Pause. "I'm doing it anyway."

My Humans are those kind of people. At least I think so and they think so. That's all that counts. Purrrrrrrr.

Redwood Highway (2013)
Setting: Oregon

Marie lives in a retirement facility in southern Oregon. She has been invited to her granddaughter's wedding on the Oregon coast about 80 miles away. Because Marie is a difficult woman, meaning she and her kids have major friction, she can't get a ride there. So what else can the old coot do but sneak out one morning with her backpack and fishing pole and start walking up the Redwood Highway. Road trip!

Is Marie a experienced hiker? What does her family do when they find out she's gone from the facility? Does Marie's orneriness get ironed out by the people she meets on the way? Does she meet someone who may be her true love? What caused her to be such an unhappy lady in the first place?





A note from Su-sieee! Mac: The letter R is the theme for this week's ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out what bloggers from around the world have written with the letter. Thank you,  ABCW team!

Glitter Beach


This drawing started with some free styling with glitter pens. La la la. . . 
 
A couple weeks later I pulled out the crayons.

Yesterday I took a photo of the drawing and played with it in Photoshop.  Voila!

Now to find space for the drawing on the refrigerator.





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Looking for a Fight?


Warning: This is a grumpy story that happened this past summer in front of one of my happy places. The encounter did not sour me on continuing my visits, but for a moment after the event I felt like what's the use of living when people like that guy we met is alive.

I was parallel parking into a tight spot in front of the library where a whole lot of children and their parents were lined up in front of the bookmobile. The kids were signing up for a how-many-books-do-I-want-to-read-this-summer type of program. The car in front of me hung over its rear parking mark and the car behind me was nearly up to its front parking mark. As I turned off the engine, the Husband and I heard a very angry "HEY!"

We looked over to see a man standing against the building, his arms crossed, glaring at us. "Are you talking to us?" the Husband asked.

"You hit my car!" the middle-aged man shouted.

"We did not," said the Husband. "We would've heard it or felt it if we did."

"You hit my car!"

I peered around the Husband. "Excuse me. Are you saying I hit your car?"

"Yes! You hit my car!"

"I did not," I said. "I would've felt it or heard it."

"You hit my car!"

The Husband and I got out of the car. The Husband and the guy started arguing. "Calm down," I said to both of them. I looked at his front bumper. "I did not hit your car. Look, there's nothing there."

Still in angry mode, the guy said, "There doesn't have to be anything there just because you hit my car."

Huh?  I could have lightly touched it, but I didn't think so. I was within inches of his car and to his eyes I hit it.

"I'm sorry. But I did not hit your car." (Why do I always apologize for something I didn't do.) I noticed that our car hung over the parking mark, so I went back into the car to move it forward a bit. When I got out of the car again, the man was still angrily whining about his car being hit. The Husband continually repeated firmly, "We didn't hit your car."

"Yes you did!"

"What do you want?" asked the Husband and me in unison. I added, "Do you want my arm?"

The man rushed away into the crowd of children and parents who didn't seem to have paid attention to us, thank goodness.

The Husband and I walked into the library. When I said I wanted to look around, the Husband said he would wait for me outside. Later he told me it was to make sure that man didn't try anything stupid. I found the Husband standing with one of the library technicians, both watching the man go hurriedly back to his car and get in. Not wanting another confrontation, the Husband and I waited until he sped away, which was within seconds.

"He didn't look disabled to me," said the Husband. "I didn't see any placard on his dashboard."

"He had a disabled license plate," I said. "He could have a disability not visible, or maybe it's for someone else in his family."

The Husband thought the guy was gunning for a fight.

The guy didn't have a new car, although it was much newer than ours. It wasn't shiny and polished from hours of love and care, but it was less dusty and grimy than our old fart of a car. He was probably 15 to 20 years younger than us, which was to our advantage if he was one who simply has to strike out at people who he thinks offended him.

I have to wonder what was he going to do? Hit an old man and an old woman. If he didn't have an audience of children and parents, I wouldn't put it pass him. For that, I am grateful, considering what horror could have happened.



Monday, November 6, 2017

What I Don't Want to Do Right Now


Find out what the monthly amount for my health insurance premium will be next year.  Shudder.

I think the worse so that if it's not worse, then all the better. When the Husband tells me we received a bill in the mail, I say something like "How much—$2,503.18?" Of course it isn't. It never is. Well, untrue. We paid at last two bills like that for my not-so-hysterical surgery last May.

Now, I'm back to thinking about health insurance. Being older and now having pre-existing conditions, I'd be crazy not to have health insurance. Shudder.
 


Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Start of an Indoor Jungle


A long time ago when I was a young single thing living in the City, one of the things I enjoyed was creating a jungle in my apartment. On Sunday mornings, my church was the house plant section of Cost Plus down by Fisherman's Wharf. Wandering around philodendrons, umbrella trees, and ficus plants, oh my. Pothos, rubber plants, and ivies, such oxygen heaven. I didn't always go home with plants, but when I did it was with the small ones that cost less than two bucks each. With houseplants you can get a lot with a very slim pocketbook.

Now and then the Mama gave me a houseplant to take home after a weekend visit. I don't know how many times she sent me home with a ti plant. "They're good luck," she said. The ti plants never made it, which I realize now is because I lived in very cold apartments. I wore a heavy sweater or snuggled under blankets and pillows rather than turn on inefficient wall heaters.

Once, sometimes twice, a year, I would repot and propagate those plants that needed them. Over time, my indoor jungle grew and grew.

When I met the Husband, I was happy to see that his apartment was a jungle, too. Yes, indeed, our first home together was a wonderland full of houseplants and books.

About 21 years later, we still have a few descendants of our joint jungle. In the last 14 years, many of the houseplants got destroyed by ants, and some by me forgetting to water them. 

The last few months, my desire to have an indoor jungle has awakened again. I'm remembering that Tuesday is the water day. As for the ants, I'm hoping upon hope they don't find their way indoors ever again. The other day, while at the hardware store, I purchased two small houseplants that already had offshoots which means we now have five new ones. Hurrah!


I'm sharing at All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh of Artworks from Jesh StG. Check out the other bloggers by clicking here.

It's day 11 of my quest to complete 365 days of Talking Story, my personal challenge. Yaaay!



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Moving Things Around


That picture exemplifies a good reason why the Husband and I don't like to move things in the office.

Yesterday, I finally repotted the umbrella plant that has been crying for a bigger pot for a couple of years. Yaay!

We decided that the better place for the plant was in the corner by the window next to the Husband's desk. There wasn't much stuff on the corner table but there was quite a lot of stuff on the floor to get to that corner table. Much of that stuff got dumped on the floor next to my desk.

I try not to look down.




Friday, November 3, 2017

Did I Tell You that Our Molly Talks?


The Husband I have taken to conversing with Molly the Cat, responding as her in what we each imagine is her sweet, cute high-pitched voice.

"You don't like your food," one of us humans says.

"No," says Molly the Cat.

"We try to find something you would like to eat."

"Phiff."

"You used to eat it."

"Then you haven't found what I like to eat."

I'm sure that if she wasn't so polite, Molly would've added "have you?"



Thursday, November 2, 2017

There's Talking. . .and There's Talking


I talk to myself.

When I catch myself talking to myself I ask myself, "Have I gone crazy now?"

Okay. Here's the unedited answer, "I'm talking to myself."



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Molly the Cat's ABC Wednesday Movie for the Letter Q


According to the Missus Lady, if you asked the Mama, who I knew as the Tiny Old Lady, "What have you been doing?" and she happened to be very tired, she would answer, "I have been to see the queen."

I miss the Little Old Lady. Mewwwwwww

Queen of Katwe (2016)
Setting: Katwe, a slum in the city of Kampala Uganda

This movie is based on the life of Phiona Matessi, an Ugandan chess queen. This young woman won several junior chess championships in Uganda, as well as represented the country in four Chess Olympiads, which are tournaments with teams from various countries. What is very inspiring about Phiona's story is that the odds were quite high against her learning to play chess when you consider her circumstances. Mewwww.

Phiona and her family lived in a large slum called Katwe. When she was nine years old, she had to leave school because her father had died and the family could no longer afford to send her to school. She was also needed to help care for her younger siblings. (The Tiny Old Lady has a similar story.), as well as help bring in money, which Phiona did by selling maize.

One day, Phiona followed her brother to an after-school program in which children were playing chess. The program's director invited Phiona to sit down and learn to play the game. She picked up the game quickly and soon she challenged and won the best chess player in the program. The program's director thought that Phiona, and the other top players, had the talent and skill to do well in an upcoming chess tournament, but first he had to convince the tournament that the children of Katwe were worthy to compete with schoolchildren who did not live in slums.

How was the director able to get Phiona and the others into their first chess tournament? How did Phiona do? How did Phiona's mother react to Phiona playing chess?




A note from Su-sieee! Mac: The letter Q is the theme for this week's ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out what bloggers from around the world have written with the letter. Thank you,  ABCW team!

Important Numbers


I wonder if a day will come when I no longer remember these numbers.

44 — The number of the first address I recall.

242 — Our family's P.O. box when we lived at #44.

711 — The number of the first house that the family owned. Not rented.

637-4735— The first phone number that I memorized. It went to a black phone. At first it was ME(rcury)7 4735.  That phone number went with us from #44 to #711.

What first important numbers do you remember?