Friday, April 28, 2017

Happy Birthday, Newport Blue Pearl!

File this under, how could have I forgotten what day this is? Today marks ten years since I drove my brand new Outback home. She has ninety-eight thousand and some miles on her. We have been on many adventures together, as far south and east as Atlanta, Georgia, and as far north and west as Seattle, Washington. A rock flung by a large truck on my last leg into Tucson last month made a new windshield necessary, but she is mostly original parts. I will drive this car til I have to leave her by the side of the road, or until gasoline becomes obsolete, whichever comes first. Here's to the next ten years and the next ninety-eight thousand or so miles!


My Top Two Pictorial Responses to Actions of the Current Administration in Washington




Lucy Explains it All For You


Don't believe her, Charlie Brown! She's talking voo-doo economics! Trickle down is a lie! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Impatient Patient

Yesterday was Monday. I do enjoy stating the obvious. Just before 11am, I heard a bloodcurdling scream from downstairs. The scream was emanating from my son. Who had just skewered his left index finger with an ice pick. Naturally, his intention was to break up the chunk of ice with the ice pick. But his finger got in the way. He came upstairs and when I saw the pointy end of the implement protruding from the bottom side of his finger, two things happened. Firstly, I was struck with a wave of nausea. Secondly, I made the decision that this was beyond the expertise of Doctor Mom. At the moment I was still in my jammies.


After calling Sarah from next door for her best recommendation as to where to go, she proceeded to give me directions to the local hospital ER. After hurriedly dressing and grabbing my purse, Reid, accessorized with the ice pick and wearing his slippers, and I got in the car. Sarah's directions were excellent, peppered with landmarks and delivered calmly. Once we arrived and were checked in, we were ushered to trauma room 13. Which is festively painted in an underwater theme. 


Holy crap, yes, the ice pick went all the way through. I told Reid he'd probably need a tetanus shot. He calmly looked down at the spike through his finger and assured me he wasn't afraid of needles.


The efficient and professional ER staff at Northern Colorado Medical Center took care of things, well, efficiently and professionally. I'm thinking of placing the ice pick in a glass display box with an appropriate placard explaining its significance. Reid has been relegated to using ice trays that don't require the use of a menacing tool. The final bill from the hospital is yet to be determined. The total was over $3000. I did not faint. The estimated cost after insurance came to over $500 after I made a down payment of fifty bucks. Which brings up one of the biggest problems with how our health care is parceled out in this country, networks. That truly horrible and random invention of the insurance companies. When my son presented himself to me injured and in need of professional care the last thing on my mind was to do an internet search and then call around to verify which area trauma center accepted the insurance coverage that he possesses. I'm just grateful his injury wasn't life threatening. We'll see how this all shakes down. All I know is, when anyone is sick or injured, all they want is the medical care that will fix them up and get them well again. Networks and copays are the last thing on anyone's mind. And I'm certain health care professionals, the doctors and nurses and other clinicians who tend to the needs of patients, would rather just get down to doing the work they are trained to do rather than deal with the restrictions and vagaries of the business side of things. The best thing about yesterday was the copay on the antibiotic prescription, an astonishing fifty cents. Fifty cents. The worst thing, other than Reid getting injured, was the fearful thought of what if. What if he wasn't insured and didn't have access to the care he needed? We're all right for the time being, but a year from now when his father turns 65 and becomes eligible for Medicare, Reid will turn 26 and will have to find health coverage on his own. If the ACA is dismantled by the current administration in Washington, his coverage may abruptly end with the arrival of 2018. Even the optimist in me doesn't believe that this country's health care delivery system will be fixed by then. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bling


Reid's $3000 bracelet.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

There is Room


Life isn't pie. In a way that's unfortunate. Because pie is wonderful. But I digress. Just because someone else gets what they need doesn't mean that you won't get what you need. You don't need to be desperate or jealous or stingy and grab for that last piece before someone else gets there. Another pie will show up and maybe it will be preferable. Maybe even your favorite. There is room. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Turn Your Brain On


Science Day, Earth Day. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. If we want to survive, we need this Earth. She doesn't need us. Science is the key.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's Still Poetry Month...

Yes, children, another poem by moi. In honor of Pluto's retrograde and the fact that I was rudely awakened to cat poop on the rug in the sunroom this morning, let's face our fears, and stinky messes, and get on with it.


Fearless 101

Embrace your darkest fear,
Invite her in for tea.
Look into those hideous eyes,
So bleak, so cold, so near.
Don't leave him lurking on the horizon,
That future imagining so real.
Examine your nightmare in the light of day!
You'll find it's your shoulder that he cries on.
Don't soften to her tearful pleas!
Ignore the lies he speaks!
Nurture your inner warrior with love.
Confront the pain, it's confidence that frees.



This



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wakeful Dreaming

From three years ago, a memory:

The weather is crappy. My house is a mess. The laundry that requires doing has reached critical mass. I just got a submission rejection email. But none of this matters because I'm so stinking happy I don't recognize myself. And I'm pretty sure I'm awake.

Working on a repeat. In direct opposition to popular belief, lightening does, indeed, strike twice in the same place. Repeatedly, actually. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Swingset of My Discontent


Demolition of this fab play yard has begun. Last summer I offered it up to anyone who wanted to come and haul it away. No takers, and this has turned out to be a good thing. It is not coming apart easily. I thought it would come apart into its various components. You know, like a reasonable person had built it. Let's not go down that road. The good news is, much of it will be repurposed. The slide, climbing wall grips, the swing, and steering wheel have been removed and will be sold or given away. The climbing wall will turn into a potting bench to be located on the west side of the garden shed. The largest platform will be added onto the deck as a step down to the yard, and I expect the solar lights will be used on the corners. The stairs unit has got to have some fun application somewhere. Maybe tucked into a corner of the yard with some potted plants adorning it. The A-frame will remain in place and I hope it will work to string up the hammock. I'll need to improvise a fabric awning, I think, for daytime lounging in the shade. Even better, a vine covered pergola! As for the tire, it goes to the first brave soul who wants it. I see a tire swing in someone's future! Otherwise there's a landfill fee involved for moi. All I can say is, the guy who built this was fond of concrete footings. Serious concrete footings. Definitely theft proof.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Overload

In anticipation of yard work this summer, this afternoon I went off with the intention of purchasing a wheelbarrow. And then I didn't. As I stood in the gardening aisle there were just too many options. Close to ten, I think. Ranging in price from forty bucks for the bottom line molded plastic model up to two hundred smackers for the fancy-schmancy yard utility wagon with many variations in between. One wheel or two? Pneumatic or molded wheels? Plastic or steel bucket? Single handle or duals? Metal handles or wood? Too many decisions to make. I was seized by the paradox of choice. It totally pummeled me into submission. So I remain barrowless. Instead I bought flower and herb seeds and grabbed a paint sample. It seemed sad to come home empty-handed. I'll get back to you on how it goes hauling a haystack of bark chips without a wheelbarrow. 


Sunday, April 16, 2017

False Bunny


Edgar with headgear.
Another Easter, another back yard, another state.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Not Me!


Jill is more than expert at avoiding being photographed. This would be the summer version.


Winter version. You'd think she was in some sort of witness protection program. Or something.

Failing at Good Work


I love The Writer's Almanac. Everybody knows this. And if you didn't know, now you do. But I digress. I subscribe to it. It arrives in my email box every day, without fail. If you are not familiar with the format, Mr. Keillor gives a brief history lesson for the day including the birthdays of writers. He then reads a poem. Normally I'm leaning back with my eyes closed, a steaming cup of coffee under my nose, listening raptly. In the last couple of months there has been an annoying post script explaining how podcasts work or asking for a donation to keep the service going. Since this additional bit of business spoils the afterglow for me, I usually close the tab. I do understand that nothing is free. I am a sustaining member of public radio and just as often as not refuse the gift so my donation goes further for programming and other expenses. So. Today an ad for American Public Media, the entity that produces and distributes The Writer's Almanac, appears in my Facebook feed. Nice job targeting me, Facebook! I clicked. I became infatuated with this mug. I pictured myself sipping coffee from it whilst listening to The Writer's Almanac. Sigh. One more screen click informed me that APM would be expecting a minimum one-time contribution of sixty dollars to receive the mug. Ouch. I would have given up to thirty bucks for the mug. But sixty is simply out of reach for me. I think it's likely that others feel the same way. If the sixty dollar price point eliminates half of the potential contributors, and I just pulled that fraction out of the air for argument's sake, wouldn't they be just as much in the black asking for thirty bucks instead? Well, okay, no, simply because APM does send out the mug without charging for shipping so they would absorb that cost for twice as many donations. The thing is, a little goodwill goes a long way, certainly further than what appears as greed. I have a small budget to contribute to causes I believe in and entertainment I enjoy and parse that out carefully. But when I'm priced out at the get-go it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Sorry, American Public Media, you have lost this round.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Still Funny!



Wednesday Poetry Corner

It's been National Poetry Month for twelve days now. I'm surprised I held off this long. You can thank me later. Should you choose to continue reading, that which follows is a poem I wrote in 2005. Even though I had not yet met the the person this poem brought to mind today, the sentiment applies just the same.


Fervent Rainfall




The weatherman says
Rain
For where you are today
And I wonder if you'll wear a jacket
Or if you'll feel the cooling drops
Upon your neck
If you'll race for a door through a deluge
Or linger in a warm front shower
Eyes closed
Breathing deep the fresh air wetness
Nearly drowning in the sweetness
What would I give
To fall fast from a cloud
Chasing on a current
Touching gently on your skin
For just a moment
Would you sense
That it was me

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Down at Kohl's

1. I found four unscented ivory pillar candles on a clearance shelf. They were $2.99 each and with another 30% off, the final price was $2.10. Serious bargain!

2. I got in line at the checkout with my bargain candles. The woman in line ahead of me was digging in her purse. She pulled out a container of breath mints and offered me one. I said, no, thanks.

3. Did I have nasty breath? Was I encroaching into her space bubble so she would be aware of this? Did I unintentionally make eye contact and invite her interaction with me?

4. She had a number of items and offered twice to let me go ahead of her with my four bargain candles. I said, no, thanks.

5. I declined her offer of letting me cut in front of her mostly because she already had a pile of stuff on the counter and the nice young man had already started ringing up her purchase. 

6. I was beginning to regret not taking her line-cutting offer when the last thing she pulled from the bottom recesses of her cart was a Kohl's shopping bag. I thought she was going to attempt doing a return.

7. At this point I am amused, I can't imagine what else could possibly happen to further slow things down.

8. The woman ahead of me then pulls a pile, seriously, a preposterous pile of old Kohl's sales flyers and coupons from the bag and asks the nice young man to go through them to see if any are still valid.

9. Just then, another nice young man opened up another checkout and asked me if I'd like to be next. Well, naturally I said yes and was out the door while the other checkout line still had not advanced.

10. This shopping trip was made even more memorable by a woman with rainbow-dyed hair who left a wafting cloud of patchouli in her wake as she browsed the clearance racks in the junior department. I was happy to see that hippie culture is alive and well.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Restoration


A glass of wine. Thick, fluffy towels. A Margaret Atwood novel. A tubful of hot, fragrant water. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Birthday Boy


This is Erik. One of my favorite guys. He's a tiny bit older than me. We have known each other for over forty years. I'm not doing the math. Aren't we fabulous?

Waking Up


One lone grape hyacinth at the edge of the patio stones. Spring is full of surprises here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fortunate?


From paraphrasing Elvis to just plain lost in the translation. Fortune cookies ain't what they used to be. 


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Peachy


In other bloomin' news, not so many blossoms on the peach tree this spring. After last year's bumper crop she may be a bit tired. That's alright by me. We all need to take some time off now and again. 


Bloomin' News


So I have this humongous tree in my back yard. I thought it was an elm. Do elm trees bloom? I don't know. It's a mystery to me.


They are quite lovely. White with the tiniest blush of pink to them and a fuzzy yellow center. I expect some botanical research is in order.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Edna Method


I think we can file this under almost but not quite. I was employing my mother's method of hanging stuff on the wall, which is using existing nails already pounded into said wall. This was the procedure she used when we moved into a different domicile to hang pictures and other decorative items. Boiled down to its basic steps, The Edna Method is as follows. One, find a nail already in the wall. Step two, hang something on it. Generally, at least according to my eyes, little consideration was given to the final aesthetic effect of the placement. Often it worked out just fine, given that many people will center a hanging object on a wall, and when they leave the nail behind, it tends to be optimally placed. Sometimes it was just weird, though, with pictures hanging in seeming disarray, too close to the ceiling or ending up behind a door or blocked from view by a piece of furniture. Yesterday, in an homage to Mom while organizing the game room downstairs, I gave the Edna Method a shot. As you can see, it doesn't quite work. Some tweaking will be necessary. Unlike my mother, I'm fearless with a hammer and nails. Even though I use a level and measure the space carefully, I don't always hit the nail on the head where the nail ought to be. Which means I also am fearless with the use of wall spackle.


Just for fun, here is the previous incarnation of the room. This wall seems to demand a curvy metal adornment. I am complying, but do find it necessary to move some nails. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Red Shoe Magic

In the bonus material on the High Fidelity dvd, John Cusack talks about experiencing music biographically. I certainly do. There are songs, even entire albums, that are so closely synced with experiences that it's impossible for me to recall one without the other. Today's musical backdrop to preparing brunch was Neil Young's Harvest Moon. Which calls up beginnings, travel, and anticipation of what might be. Inspired by emotion and fueled by the resulting lack of sleep, sitting up late and writing poetry. Grateful that I can still be surprised. And despite my age and experience, astonished over feeling just as giddy and unprepared as I did when a teen. Contentment wrestles with passion until they collapse together restfully. And finally, the need to know becomes a known. And it turns out to be an almost familiar thing that was waiting within to be discovered all along. Indeed, there's no place like home.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Much More Than Zero


Tis one thing to be the fool, but quite another to be foolish. Celebrate today the child-like, free spirit that lives in your heart.