Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Pause of Paws


Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap. . . .

Molly the Cat stopped and quickly turned towards the sound of the noise.

She watched a big bear of a teenage boy running on the sidewalk across the street.

Where was Molly several minutes beforehand when a noise behind me caught my attention. I watched a young man roll down the street on his skateboard holding to the leash of his running big bear of a dog.

Mornings are wonderful around here.

It's the letter P today on ABC Wednesday. Click here to check what other bloggers from around the world are writing, por favore signoras e signores. Thanks, ABCW team!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Okey-Dokey


"Tell me everything will be all right," I said to the Husband.

"Everything will be all right," he said.

I like to be reassured now and then.

Molly the Cat looked over at me. "Everything will be Okay, Lady." Purrrrrrrrrrr.



It's a day late for ABC Wednesday. Better late than never. Click here to check out the participants. Thanks, ABCW team! 

Oh, the theme this week is the letter O.
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Own Mustard "Field"


Wild mustard greens is one of my favorite foods. I like to sauté the greens in garlic and soy sauce. Add a bit of bacon grease, if I feel like being fancy. Yummm.

When I was a kid, it was common for the Daddy to pull our car beside an orchard or field full of wild mustard. The parents got out to collect bunches of greens, while I wandered about, gazing and doing who knows what.

These days I wouldn't gather any wild mustard unless I knew the property owner and was assured that the property is certified organic.

Last year, the Husband and I decided to grow our own mustard "field", not only for food but also to help put nutrients back into the soil. We purchased a pound of mustard seeds online, but sowed about a third of the bag. Toss is more precise. In December, I tossed the seeds willy-nilly into the backyard.

Today it's a mini jungle of green and yellow back there. Some of the mustard plants are nearly five feet tall. I read that these plants can grow between six and 20 feet. Do you think?

With all the mustard plants, we've only eaten greens three times. Domesticated mustard greens are not as flavorable as the wild stuff. But, who knows maybe next year's crop will be closer in taste.

I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to join in and/or to read other participants from around the world. Thank you, Our World team.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

A VHS-Tape Planter


The VHS tapes have been staring at me in the living room for more than a month. It could even be two months. I think that was the last time the Husband and I opened a bunch of boxes from storage to determine what to use, keep, throw, donate, recycle, maybe repurpose, or maybe sell. I think these VHS tapes are ones that I thought we might be able to sell online one day.

This morning I finally did something with 12 of the VHS tapes. I bound them together with duct tape to make two walls for a bottomless planter. That's it in the photo. Pretty cool, huh?

The planter would've been made of all VHS tapes, but I didn't have enough tapes. Fortunately, I kept the doors of a small cabinet, which fell apart last year, for the other two walls.

I figure the pretty flowers will take the focus away from the funky taping. Maybe later I'll pretty up the planter with color or simply put something beside the taped VHS-tape side.

It feels good to make something!

Today I'm hooking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG.  Click here to check other participants, or to join in yourself. Thanks, Jesh!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mornings with the Supervisor


Molly the Cat leads me out the front door before breakfast most mornings.

"Go see what needs to be done," she telepathically prompts me as she begins her patrol of the perimeter.

"No cats here," she sniffs. "Ooooh, ladybug."

I check out new flower seed sprouts, note what sprouts need to be thinned and where I might replant them, bend over and pull up weeds, and so forth and so on.

Sometimes the Molly's and my morning routine lasts a few minutes, especially when it's cold or rainy. "Forget this," says Molly when she quickly does an about-face several feet from the front door.

Other times, we're out there for an hour or so, weeding, planting, digging, watering and whatever this heart pleases. Now and then Molly circles me to make sure I'm doing a decent job.

What I like the most is looking up from my task and seeing Molly lying near by, eyes closed and body purring in the the sun bubbles. I feel like I'm doing the same.

There are those days when Molly patiently sits by the front door, urging me in her mews, "Come on, Lady, let's go in already. The Husband made coffee."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Moodiness.


I'm sulking.

As in my teenage-self sulk, which was playing my guitar all Sunday afternoon, singing Flowers on the Wall, Elusive Butterfly, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and other angst songs, in the living room.

I did do that. One time, during a pause, the Mama called out from the kitchen, "Are you done now?"

hahahahaha.

The poor Mama. She was a saint to endure two or more hours of my off-key singing and probably out-of-tune guitar.

Okay. Focus. Back to the subject I began.

I'm sulking.

I don't want to do this not-a-hysterical operation even though I know it's a preventative measure that may let me live the full life that I'm meant to have.

Don't worry. It will happen. In three weeks, I'll no longer have a reproductive system. I'm way beyond baby-producing time so my fist-size of a womb with attaching tubes and ovaries will be no more.

I've never given birth. I wanted five kids. Maybe I have them in parallel universes. One can dream. 

I wonder if I'll be a bit depressed after the surgery. When I had all four wisdom teeth pulled, I was blue for a couple of days over my missing four needless teeth. I felt like something was taken from me.

A long time ago, the thumb of my Auntie Dee (not her real name) got infected. She didn't want to go to the doctor because she was afraid he might amputate it and then she would die without all her body parts. The pain eventually got unbearable so Auntie Dee saw the doctor. She didn't lose her thumb.

I admit that thought about wanting to die with all my parts crossed my mind. If there is such a thing as reincarnation would I come back as a male in my next life because I don't have my xx parts?

Jibber jabbering like this has talked me out of a sulky mood. There you go. I'm done now.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Not.


I'm creating a structure at the sidewalk end of our front yard. Not a fence.

Just look at it. What creature could that evolving spiderness-of-a-something keep off our property?

Giggle. Hmmm, maybe that's something I ought not to giggle about.

I'm making this not-a-fence out of skinny branches of the fruit trees we pruned a few months ago, as well as from the second-time-with-The-Mama era. I'm not kidding. You can find all sizes of branches in our yard that I'd say were at last 10 years old. Some lie on the ground waiting for their time to become something helpful, such as the stakes holding up the boards that the Mama put around her flower and vegetable beds.

Have I digressed? Doesn't matter. :-)

That's my story for the letter N, this week's theme of ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the participants from around the world. How cool is that? Thanks, ABCW team!




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Seeking Distraction


It's past noon and I haven't done what I said I would do today.

But, I did make apple scones for breakfast and went out to the front yard with Molly the Cat to deadhead daisies and pull some weeds. Now I'm writing about it all.

All distractions from filling out income tax forms.

Doing the taxes should take less than two hours. I already did a first pass last month to get an idea of the damage to our checkbook. So, no big deal, right?

I'm listening to the Full Sail album by Loggins & Messina in hopes that it will get me into the mood. Yes, right after I imagine myself snorkeling in Hawaii.  Ah, such pretty fishes. 



I'm linking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh of Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Not a Hysterical Report



If I had written this post several days ago, I may have been called it Hysterical Report. Actually, I thought about renaming this blog to The Hysterical Report. I'm glad I waited. I'd rather not be hysterical about anything.

I am on a new adventure. No. I take that back, it's not new. After 12 years, this adventure's path has come into the foreground. It's simply not a good idea to let the grass grow over this path anymore.

My in-my-face-but-not-hysterical-adventure is an upcoming hysterectomy. Da-dah!

Oh-oh, did I lose you? Come back when you can wrap your head around the concept of a hysterectomy. It took me awhile. I realize it helps for me to write about it.

Yesterday afternoon I got a chest x-ray, one of my three pre-op things to do. The other two are an EKG (next week) and several blood tests (a week before the operation). Did you happen to flash on the Operation board game, by the way?

Because I did the X-rays in town, I repeated myself a lot to the lab receptionist and the X-ray Lady about faxing the X-rays to the Gynecologist-Oncologist's office several cities away. Only after this conversation with the X-ray Lady did I confident that the results will be faxed.

"What kind of surgery are you doing?" asked the X-ray Lady.

"Hysterectomy," I answered. 

"We still have to do that?" she asked, which got me wondering if she was in menopausal mode.

"They found precancerous cells."

"Oh."

Yeah. We don't think of grey-haired postmenopausal women as needing hysterectomies. Certainly, not I. My Gyn-Doc wanted me to get a hysterectomy 12 years ago when the biopsy of a uterine polyp showed the cells to be in a state of complex hyperplasia with atypia. Untreated, there was a good risk of me getting cancer. Not having health insurance, I needed to find another route. So the Gyn-Doc put me on birth control pills for several months which chased that condition away and, until this year, the pathology results of subsequence polyps reported benign cells. Yaay!

I went 12 years before complex hyperplasia with atypia reared itself up again.  Only this time a pathologist said I had "precancerous cells" and that meant my Gyn-Doc put her foot down. The only treatment was a hysterectomy. 

Not totally convinced, I took the Gyn-Doc's referral and met with the Gyn-Oncologist Doc over a week ago. I thought he would take another sample to double check that I got the same result. Nope. The Gyn-Onc Doc said that during the hysterectomy he would take another biospy. The lab results I have were good to go by, he said. Oh.

Then he convinced me I wanted this hysterectomy. He drew two lines on a piece of paper. The left column was Good, the middle, Precancer, and the right, Cancer. In the middle column, he wrote I, II, and III. He circled III and said, "That is you."  He wrote 40-50%. "That is the risk of developing cancer," he said. He paused, then continued, "There is no hard line between precancerous and cancer."

In other words, I could develop cancer, I could not. I could already have cancerous cells growing. That latter thought sunk in quite quickly and deeply. Now having affordable health insurance (thank you, President Obama), I did not have a reasonable excuse to dilly dally about shall I take the risk, or shan't I.

I'm slated for a laparoscopic hysterectomy in 34 days. The Gyn-Onc Doc will use da Vinci robotic technology. That's cool, don't you think? I almost want to be awake to watch. Gyn-Onc Doc suggested I look it up on You Tube instead.

So there you go. Stay tuned to more of my trying-not-to-be-hysterical adventure.

Joyful joy, joy, and joy.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Mama's Roses in Bloom


A year ago, this day, we buried the Mama.

"I already have a place," the Mama said. "With your father. They saved me a space on top of him."

Always a forward thinker, as well as practical-minded, the Mama bought a dual burial grave site when arrangements were made for the Daddy in 1982. He was buried in the Veterans section in the cemetery a few miles away from the house. The section was new, so the Daddy scored a front row seat, beneath a big old shade tree that was planted in the same year as the Daddy. I'm sure the Mama was pleased with where her bones are resting. In life, the Mama liked to watch people go by.

When I had to arrange all the funeral stuff last year, I was very thankful that the Mama took care of the burial site. I was also grateful that after 34 years the mortuary had a pristine paid-in-full record of that transaction.

I hope the Mama's spirit is having loads of fun and laughter soaring through the Universe at beyond warp speed.  I have no doubt that she skims by us.

Today, I'm sure, the Mama is smiling at her roses.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

M is for Our Molly


These evenings, one of Molly the Cat's favorite perches, after consuming a bunch of dental treats, is her post that sits on top of a coffee table. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

I think if the girl could talk, she'd tell me to stop with the camera already.  Murrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


 It's the letter M at ABC Wednesday. Click here for more M posts. Thanks, ABCW team!





Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Mama


Today marks the anniversary of the first year of the Mama's spirit roaming through the universe.

This photo was taken a week before the Mama's final adventure of life begun. I'm glad that the Husband, Molly the Cat, and I got to go through that last amazing trip with the Mama. One of these days I'll tell the tale.

Sweet cheers to the Mama!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Starting Veggie Seeds


I feel like a mad agronomist (as in mad scientist). Also, a mad farmer. This morning I started vegetable seeds indoors. If these seeds take, I guess we're having a vegetable garden.

This is the first time I'm trying this pre-spouting step. Usually, I throw the seeds in the ground. Comme ci, comme ça. (Showing off the little French I recall from one semester of Francais.)

I don't know what got into me this morning. Maybe it was wondering what to do with the several hundred tiny paper cups that are in the closet. You know how that is. You can't find the package of paper cups that you thought you bought so you figured you didn't buy them. So, you go buy a package and a few days later, voilå, there is that first package of paper cups.

What seeds did I plant?

Sitting in that orange container are 16 tiny cups of bean seeds. The seeds are from the Mama's last vegetable garden in 2015. They're quite tiny because of that year's drought. I'm guessing they're long beans, as I didn't bother to label the bag.

I also started 2 cups of sugar pea seeds and four cups of bittermelon seeds, all from the Mama's last garden.

Let me not forget the five cups each of tomato, pepper, and squash seeds from organic vegetables that we ate last year. Yup, whenever I liked how a fruit looked, I'd put a bunch of its seeds into one of three tiny paper cups on the kitchen counter. It'll be one grand surprise to see what kind of tomatoes, peppers, and squashes pop up. 

By the way, did you see Molly the Cat in the above photo? She decided that I needed a supervisor, because, after all, I was using her table. Molly, in fact, interrupted her morning nap to monitor my work. She even watched me clear the table when I was done with my planting. I'm glad she did. I found pepper seeds still stuck to their stem that I couldn't bring myself to throw away.

"What shall I do with these seeds?" I asked Molly the Cat.

She gave me her knowing look.

Of course! Stick them in the nearest pot. If they grow, they grow. If they don't, well nothing lost. The Mama taught me well.

Arrows point to the pepper stems.

I'm linking this post with two lovely weekly memes. I hope you check them out.
  • All Seasons is hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Thanks, Jesh!

  • Our World Tuesday is hosted by a group of bloggers from around the world. Thank you, Our World Tuesday team!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keeping Out the Birdies and Kitties

Click here if you'd like to see how the former lawn has progressed.
From last Thursday to Monday morning, I've been playing in the front yard, changing more of the looks of the former lawn. You see, the weather predictors said that rain is a coming. (And it has!) So, of course, I needed to take advantage of the rain. I dug, hoed, and pulled patched of turf and sowed wildflower seeds. The Husband also got in the fun and dug holes for the Mama's roses that were getting nowhere anymore in their pots.


One of the dilemmas of creating flower plots in the front yard is trying to keep the birdies from eating the seeds and the kitties (not Molly the Cat) from turning the plots into their personal latrines.

No problem. The Mama taught me a good enough solution.

We took the branches that we pruned from the fruit trees last winter and criss-crossed them across the flower plots. Voici, voilå!


With sun, rain, and good fortune, all will be in bloom by the end of April.

It's ABC Wednesday time. Click here to check out what other participants are posting about the letter K. Thank you, ABCW team!



Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring 2017

The Mama's purple daisies.
Molly the Cat was right (See yesterday's post).

Primavera. Earrach. Jaro. Molla. Musum semi. Spring!

Our first late afternoon of Spring began with a gentle rain. I got a few plants and a bunch of seeds into the ground just in time. Hurrah!

Here's a little bit of what Spring looks like around our house.

Asian pear blossom.

Volunteer lupine.

Domesticated mustard (not at all tasty like wild mustard).

Check out what's going on with other bloggers around the world at Our World Tuesday. Here's the link. Happy Spring, One and All!




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring is Around the Corner


"I'm going around the corner," said Molly. "That's where I'll find Spring."

Molly and I are linking up with All Seasons, a fun weekly meme hosted by Jesh who blogs at Artworks from JeshSTG. Click here to check out her blog and the meme.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Random Memory #1: Heading Home


I spied with my little eye a wife trimming hairs out of her husband's nostrils in front of the Hotel that once was on the corner of Sutter and Powell Streets in San Francisco. I was sitting on the #2 Sutter bus heading westerly home on a sunny day.

Hahahaha! This 30+ year mental image still gets me laughing.

The couple was probably in their late 50s and early 60s. I pegged them for tourists, but they could've been native-born San Franciscans. I simply loved how they were comfortable with each other.

I like to think the Husband and I are comfortable old farts like that couple was.

And, yes. I've trimmed the Husband's nose hairs. But only in the privacy of our home and only when I cut his curly locks and bristly (not grizzly) beard. So far.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Just.


When I saw the episode of Grace and Frankie, an original Netflix series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, in which Frankie (Lily) mentions her diary and Grace (Jane) responds with "Your bullshit diary where you write in the air?", I thought that's how I've mostly been blogging the last 11 months. Unlike Frankie, I mentally write the words.

Have you seen Grace and Frankie by the way? In a nutshell it's about two vibrant women in their 70s who suddenly become roommates because their husbands announced they are gay, been having a secret relationship with each other for years, and want a divorce from Grace and Frankie because so that they can married. A mouthful, huh?

The series revolve around Grace and Frankie coming to terms with suddenly being on their own after 30-40 years of marriage. It's also about the women becoming each other's main support, although they don't think much of each other's life style. Grace is an uptight former CEO of her own company while Frankie is an old hippie artist. There are also secondary stories about Bob (Grace's husband played by Martin Sheen) and Saul (Frankie's ex played by Sam Waterston), as well as the adult children of Grace and Bob and Frankie and Saul.  Another mouthful!

I love this show. The storyline. The subject matter—after all, how many TV shows feature older people in a not-so-schmaltzy way. The cast, wowza! One of the creators of the show is Marta Kauffman who also co-created Friends. Quality! And, lots of strong writing, I must add.

Okay. Enough about this show before I distract myself from my original intention of today's blog. If you want to know more about the series, check out the Grace and Frankie website or the Wikipedia article about the series.

My original intention? I began this post on Sunday. Today is Wednesday.

My original intention?

Focus, focus, Susie, my darling dear.

My original intention?

Just—in all senses of just—to let me know that I need to express. . .to articulate. . .to humor. . .to feel out loud what's inside my soul.

Just often sad.

That shall pass.

And, while it is passing, I shall do my best to write my thoughts via the keyboard rather than in the air.


It's ABC Wednesday. This was my J post. Click here to please check out other participants. Thank you ABCW Team!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Ilocano Tribe

Su-sieee! Mac, 1985.
It's the letter I at ABC Wednesday. My contribution is an edited post that I originally published on April 10, 2013. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!
In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon, known for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River, lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Havasu campground on the Havasupai Indian Reservation run by the Havasupai Tribe. (I have no idea if that's how it is today.)

Havasupai means people of the green blue water. And, yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green blue color when we were there.

To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or hiked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor.

I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was under my name so he and the office manager patiently waited for me to get there. The two men were talking when I entered the office. I immediately recognized the manager's voice. I had spoken to him over the phone a month earlier.

"Can you tell me if it will rain in April there?" I had asked.

"It's hard to say," the office manager had answered.

"Does it usually rain in April?" I had rephrased my question, thinking he didn't understand that I wanted a general idea of what the weather was like that time of year.

"Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it doesn't rain."

I had hung up from our conversation rather flustered. Years later, I realized how silly it was to ask about weather that has yet to happen.

"Hello," I said to the office manager, noticing that he looked at me oddly. I thought maybe I had something on my face.

Not much of a small talker, I got to the point. Pulling out my wallet, I asked, "How much do we pay?"

"Nothing," he said.

"Huh?"

"Nothing."

"You don't have a camping fee anymore?"

"For you, it's free."

"Free? Okay. Thank you."

"What tribe are you from?"

"Tribe?" I hesitated. The First Husband-to-be said later that he hoped I'd say 'The Ilocano tribe'.

"Uhm, I don't belong to any tribe. My parents are from the Philippines. They're Ilocanos."

The office manager looked disappointed.

"I don't mind paying," I said.

"That's okay," he said, shrugging. "We're all the same."

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hole.


Is a hole only round? Can't it be oval, triangular, hectagonal, or another shape?

Must a hole be whole? A whole hole. Couldn't it be partial?

Is a hole always black? Not green? Purple? Rainbow? If it's white, could we see it?

Could a hole by holey? We just can't see the multiple holes in a hole.

Finally, could there be such a thing as a holy, holey whole hole?


Now that you've had your fill of holes, head over to ABC Wednesday, where I've parked my link. It's a fun weekly meme with wonderful bloggers from around the world. Thanks, ABCW team, for hosting the letter H. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Guy of a Cloud


Do you see the cloud's brow, nose, and slight grin? It looks like a male profile, so I'm calling the cloud Guy.

Hey, Guy!

I saw Guy this morning as the Husband and I drove over to Freedom to buy Molly the Cat her food and stuff. (Yes, the Husband was behind the wheel.)

Perfect timing, I say. The letter G is the theme of this week's ABC Wednesday. Click here to see what other bloggers have shared.  Thanks, ABCW team!