Monday, July 31, 2017

Late July

As my birthday month wraps up, I have to say that it was a good one. From attending a rodeo to attending a concert at Red Rocks, I have to say I was suitably entertained. I had a lovely party! And Miss Andrea was here for a few days to help me celebrate. I bought a way cool hat. Really, I did. Eventually I'll post a photo. The icing on the cake was Reid becoming gainfully employed once more. I still choke a bit on the number sixty, but with any luck that will become easier. I do have eleven months to practice. On with summer! August, I am ready.

The Red Rocks Experience

So. I saw Lyle Lovett last week at Red Rocks. Excellent concert! Though if I had the ear of Mr. Lovett for just a moment, I'd complain just the teensiest bit about how many songs he gave up on the playlist for other band members and guests to perform.  By my estimate, he could have filled the air with another six or seven songs from his immense backlog of material. Which would have made me happy indeed. After all, I was there to hear him play his songs! And it was a little disappointing that he didn't close the show with his song, Closing Time, if only because the subject matter is so fitting. I think my favorite moments of the show were when various members of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the opening act, and other special guests, joined in for a couple of terrific jams. I have always loved NGDB, so many of their songs are part of my life's soundtrack. Then there was this surreal moment when they were performing their 1983 hit, Dance Little Jean. My mom also loved NGDB, and she would break out in the chorus of that song from time to time in my honor. My middle name is Jean, and she always seemed to connect my middle name with me more than my first name. I welled up with tears while they sang Dance Little Jean, and found that I was unconsciously fingering the bracelet I was wearing on my right arm. A beautiful silver bracelet that had been my mother's. At the song's conclusion, I applauded in appreciation for the sweet memory that it had brought up in me, and felt the bracelet break loose and fall to the ground. It was still light outside and I found it easily just in front of my seat. As I picked it up I noticed the clasp had broken. It was as though Edna was right there with me for a moment, and was letting me know she enjoyed the song, too. I believe that objects can take on the spirit and personality of their owners, something that can linger for years after owner and object have parted ways. Mom had personality to spare, and a little of it must have rubbed off during the numerous times she wore that bracelet. When I wear it, I feel a little like she's along for the ride. i really need to get it fixed.

Just When You Think...

You know how it is. You wait a long time for something, years even. And this thing, whatever it might be, takes on proportions in your mind that could maybe be unattainable. No matter how great the thing is once it arrives, it was so long anticipated with delight and fervor, that the experience itself is somehow anticlimactic. Not bad, certainly better than okay, but somehow diminished and surreal. Sort of in the same way that a juicy I told you so! just doesn't provide the satisfaction you thought it might. Maybe looking a little deeper within is where the answer lies. So there! moments seem to be tainted, if even only the tiniest bit, by bitterness and rancor. And that tiny bit of venom takes the shine off even a much anticipated, much longed for event. I just had a grownup moment. At this rate, I might just get there in another thirty years or so.

Ladies and Gents, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band

Opening act, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on stage.  

Special guest, mandolin player extraordinaire, Sam Bush.

Mr Lovett and his large band take the stage. Though, honestly, at this level of blur, it could be anyone.

Lyle Lovett, singer, guitar player, and fast dancer. Dances so fast he cannot be captured with a regular camera.

Maybe it's not just me. Even their press photo is a little out of focus. And I'm guessing this photographer was way closer than I was up in the 38th row.

Red Rocks

Yes, that is the Denver downtown skyline in the background.

Red Rocks to my left.

Red Rocks to my further left.

The people behind me may have paid a little less for their tickets, but they had to climb higher and breathe thinner air.

Pirate guy, or rather, a guy wearing a pirate themed tshirt in front of me.

Red rocks to my right.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Based on Your Taste in Music You’re Thirty-two! Share Your Result!

Not only is the age way off, though I'm deeply flattered, but the quiz also thinks I'm a bearded man who has an iPhone. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong on all counts. I must stop wasting two to three minutes per week on these dopey quizzes. Based on the answer for this one, they're totally bogus. Bordering on fake. Seriously, I don't have nearly that many granny hairs poking out of my chin.

A Long Time Ago... another college town, in another state, there was a curious boy who knew just what to do to see an image of a solar eclipse. Sigh. Sometimes I miss this little tow-headed guy. He turned out to be a pretty terrific grownup, though, so I'm glad I had so much time with him when he was growing up.

Move Along, Nothing Happening Here

I have submitted a poetry collection in a contest. There are cash prizes and opportunities for being published. Now all we can do is wait. That is all I will say. Now forget you read this. I already have. 

Not Cool

What kind of HVAC repair guy shows up, cuts wires in the condenser unit while you're not looking, tells you your AC has been vandalized, leaves the service panel off with wires and parts strewn about, and then says two of his guys will be back in a couple of hours to fix it? You guessed it! The shitty kind. My skeptical red flag was flying high. I was thinking, what kind of idiot would sneak up close to my house, in plain view through the patio door, remove the service panel on the inside corner closest to the house, expertly and neatly clip the wires that have the least juice coursing through them, then yank the wires running into the house, replace the service panel, and be on his merry way? An idiot with knowledge of AC systems with a sick sense of humor and more stealth than a ninja, that would be my guess. Oh, and, yes, you're right. The shitty guy's employees never showed up. The shitty guy never called me to apologize. I expect they probably saw the terrific HVAC guy's truck out in front of my house and thought better of stopping to check on the situation. Sue knows all the great service people in the area, and she gave me her HVAC guy's number. He showed up and had the AC back in service in about half an hour. And didn't charge me a dime. The thing is, he knows the shitty guy and the sort of antics he has engaged in. If the shitty guy ever shows up or calls, I'll tell him where to send the payment for fixing my AC. What a jerk.

Happy Plants

Purple Coneflowers

Gerbera Daisy

Begonias in a Pink Flamingo Planter

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Speaking of Hats...

Hats created by Little Millinery Shop on the Prairie. 

Gone are the days when you weren't considered properly dressed to go out in public unless you were wearing a hat. Please meet South Dakota spinsters, Julia and Anna Anderson. They were the sisters of my ex-husband's maternal grandfather. I believe this photo was made sometime in the nineteen-teens. Yes, if you did the math, that is approximately one hundred years ago. I have no idea if the fancy hats and coats were their own garments or if they were provided by the photography studio. All I know is, these are really freaking great hats.  

The Ya-ya Sisterhood of the Northern Plains.

If I am not mistaken, this is a posse of wild, reckless teenage girls on their senior trip in 1949. That is my mother, Edna, on the left. An earlier, more innocent version of Thelma & Louise, they were looking for a little excitement in South Dakota's Black Hills upon graduating from high school in Alamo, North Dakota. Mom is wearing a white hat, so I'm guessing she fell in with a bad crowd of black-hat-sporting wayward girls and fell under their influence. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I'll stop at three movie references. You're welcome.

My New Favorite Word

Also, the outfits. These are some pretty fab metal mesh dresses. And the phallic helmets. I wish we could see the shoes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I have been to the dentist. Because I'm a grownup and do grownup things. Also because it's been over two years. And since it's a new practice trying to establish regular patients, I had an exam and cleaning for the bargain price of sixty bucks. They took lots of x-rays and digital pics of my teeth. Even one of those fancy orbital x-rays that I had to remove my glasses and all five earrings for. Everything is fine except I have a tiny cavity. Which means I need to do another grownup thing. Shop for dental insurance. If you ask me, it's much more fun to shop for shoes.

My Fairy Garden

If you will recall, last summer I had just one pot of flowers for the fairies to play in. Well, so many showed up I had to give them a larger space.

In the southeast corner of the backyard, under the cloud tree, which has turned out to be some sort of apple tree, is the location.

The tiny house with a stepping-stone path has returned from last year.

It's important to put up a sign and give them a place to sit and rest so they know they're welcome.

We have a pond. I expect they'll be asking for a boat, now, and possibly tiny fishing rods to catch the fairy fish within it. There will be a strict catch-and-release policy. 

With fairies about, inevitably a witch will show up, so I thought she would need a house, too.

Be careful what you wish for when tossing a coin into the well!

Colorful, light scattering, wind whirlies provide a festive mood. They were given to me by my neighbor, Sarah. She understands the importance of fun.

Oh, The Tomatoes!

My tomato thicket.

Baby heirloom with blossoms.

More baby 'maters.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Glamorous Life

Yes, it's been over a week. Yes, I've been busy. The neverending yard work. Though the yard is looking much better. Plants are where they ought to be. Weeds are still where they oughtn't be, but that's the nature of weeds. Last week, naturally in the middle of a heat wave, the air conditioning went kaput. Then there was getting it fixed. Which shouldn't be an interesting story, but, oddly, is. In between those things, Reid has been busy interviewing for a job and getting hired. Go, Reid! Today was his first day of training. Then I had some goof-off time playing trivia at Syntax and trotting down to Red Rocks for a concert. I have been having issues with my computer shutting down due to heat problems so I was researching cooling platforms. Today I deployed my new Massive V20 Notebook Cooler With Large 200mm LED Fan*. Really. That's the name. It was rated well and glows with a pretty blue light. For fifteen bucks, it seems to be doing the job although I still need the bullet fan aimed at the back to increase air flow. Plus I'm putting together a poetry contest submission which I hope to send off before the end of the month. When August arrives I shall focus on stripping the peeling paint off the deck so it can be sanded and repainted. It's not a very big deck. And it gets a whole month! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. How was your week?

*Did that description remind anyone else of Marvin the Martian's Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator? Bet it does now...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Yo-Ho-Ho And a Bottle!

Of rum, children, in case you hadn't guessed. The bottle of rum to the left, a light, sweet, Brazilian variety that is particularly well-suited for the making of caipirinhas, was given to me by a man who wished to demonstrate his affection for me. Also likely to prove that he had paid attention to things that I mentioned I enjoy and earn brownie points. That was three years ago. I am no longer interested in this man. As far as the friends with benefits arrangement goes, he has proven to be spectacular in the, ahem, benefits part but abysmally lacking as far as the friends component is concerned. Now we move on to the bottle of rum on the right. A spiced variety sporting a deep-sea, pirate-y theme. The Kraken arrived on my birthday. It was presented to me, in a gift bag!, by a man I can't for the world figure out, so I have decided to just go with it. This was a man that I wavered on inviting in the first place, then considered removing him from the invitation because in this newfangled electronic age, I could see that he had not yet perused it, then the next thing I knew he had accepted. We met a year ago and it seems he has been a bit of a hermit over the winter. He flirts mercilessly with me on Facebook and says witty, mildly inappropriate things to me in person. He stuck around for champagne and pound cake with lemon sorbet and strawberries. I have no idea what any of this means. Or how it may turn out. All I know is, a couple of fellows I have been interested in romantically have given me a bottle of rum. The first is out of the picture, the current one baffles me. Do I have to wait for a third guy bearing rum to complete that whole three-times-the-charm thing? I'm not going to give this any more thought. I am, however, in the market for spiced rum drink recipes. If you have a favorite, do share it in the comments. Release the Kraken!

The Plant That Wouldn't Die

Okay, so I've had this poinsettia for a while. Over five years by my count, I even successfully moved it here from South Dakota. And it has bloomed for me at least twice in that time. The problem is, it wasn't happy here. I couldn't find a suitable place for it and I think it got too much light, or too little light inside the house. It was shedding leaves right and left and I eventually gave up on it. I set the pitiful poinsettia outside sometime last spring, first on the deck just outside the patio door. Eventually it ended up over by the garden shed where it was mostly in the shade the last couple of months. On Saturday I was outside watering the garden and pulling my contingent of weeds and making an effort to neaten things up. I picked up the poinsettia in its blue pot thinking I should dump the contents in the compost. Upon closer examination, i could see it was growing leaves!

Sprouting from the ends of the previously thought dead branches we have new growth!

This is one plucky plant. When you consider my brownish thumb, I figured it was done for when I set it out in the chilly spring air.

The previously pitiful, now plucky plant has a spot in the shade where it gets some afternoon sun. Depending on further improvement, it may get to come back in the house. In the meantime, we'll see what water and sunshine accomplish.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tasty Tea

I'm a half Southern girl. My father successfully taught my Norwegian mom how to brew sweet tea to his liking, and in the summer, that was the beverage served at supper time. I loved the stuff, but have never quite figured out how to make it nor have I found a bottled version that is as delish. Until now, that is! Gold Peak sweet tea tastes like my childhood. I have been guzzling it like nobody's business in this heat. I do enjoy it with fresh lemon, which is something that probably flies in the face of the grand Southern tradition that is sweet tea. I've never been a slave to tradition, though, and I'm not giving up the lemon. Even if I'm committing an act of defilement. 

Happy and Not So

This is what I would call a happy pot of geraniums. It resides on my front steps on the west side of the house. Geraniums have been my go-to flower for hot, sunny areas. They are resistant to my brown thumb, are dependable and cheery.

Now we have a pot of not-so-happy geraniums. I can't figure out why they are all so unhappy in the hot, hot sun on the patio and deck on the east side of the house. I ignore them and water/weed/dead head them on the same schedule as the happy ones on the other side of the house. All I have to say is, there is enough sunshine to keep the tomatoes happy on this side of the house so there ought to be enough for these grumpy geraniums. Vladimir agrees. Not the guy in charge of Russia, my little gnomish guy on the table here. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lovely Thing

I cannot remember the last time I received birthday flowers. Which is why this is so much fun. Which reminds me, we have Rose, Lily, Violet, Daisy, Heather, Jasmine, and Iris out there as feminine monikers. Why not Carnation? Or Tulip? Petunia is right out unless you want to name your daughter after a cartoon pig. Though it seems perfectly suitable for a pet. But I digress. Birthday flowers totally rock. Thanks, Dakota!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Miss Andrea

Happy birthday to this girl. She is my sistah from anothah mothah. I just love her to pieces. Smooches.

Tuesday AM

So. I was out weeding and watering the garden. Pulled my daily allotment of weeds from the yard. Put in two new plants near the rock garden in the front and contemplated where the new solar landscape lights should be placed. Gave Newt treats and a tummy rub. Schmoozed with the houseguests before sending them off for a fun day in Denver. Answered the door and smiled patiently while the Jehovah's Witnesses on my stoop got around to telling me who they were. It's been a full morning.

Monday, July 10, 2017

I'm a Viking Princess

Posted to Facebook by my longtime best bud, L'Erik, this is my fave birthday greeting. 

Pondering the Number Sixty

1. Sixty candles is way too many to bother with. 

2. It may be possible to stick that many candles into a pan of cake batter and bake it with the heat created by those very candles.

3. Item #2 sounds a bit like a challenge, don't you think?

4. As soon as someone is rude enough to tell me that I do, in fact, look my age, I'm going to start padding the number.

5. I remember the phrase, goin' like sixty!, from my childhood. As if the notion of a car traveling a mile a minute was just too much to wrap your brain around.

6. Sixty is a highly divisible number, a stark contrast to my previous prime number age.

7. In reference to Item #6, a party guest remarked that, yes, 60 is a particularly slutty number.

8. In reference to Item #7, which I found amusing, I'm wondering if said party guest has hopes that as a 60yo, I might be interested in engaging in some slutty behavior with him.

9. In reference to Item #8, the answer is a solid yes.

10. Birthday month isn't over yet, so in addition to the lovely flowers I received today from the younger son's girlfriend, I look forward to more celebration!

Felines and Science

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sixty Arrives

So. I've been sixty for over an hour now. Seems to be working out okay. No essential body parts have fallen off. More later. I need a champagne refill.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Again With the Gorgeous Russian Ladies!

Just in case I may have been questioning my level of attractiveness, the Gorgeous Russian Ladies have made another appearance in my email inbox. I did not click to view profiles. I did, however, unsubscribe, which appears to work for approximately one month. Three lingering questions remain. Do these Russian dating website people think I'm a man? Are there a disproportional number of gorgeous lesbians residing in Russia? Or are things so awful and desperate in Russia that they are willing to play for either team? All I'm certain of is that I won't ask. some things are better left a mystery.

Absent Interlude Explained

It's been a few days. Did you miss me? You don't have to answer that. I've been busy, though, not lazy. Well, okay, a little lazy, but that's what vacation is for. I have racked up another 800 or so miles on the Outback odometer, attended a rodeo, though it was not my first, partaken in some delicious, authentic Danish cuisine, prepared by my new genuine Danish friend, Helle. I bought a hat. I have been positive-vibe-sending out into the universe. I have been astonished over how much a boy can grow in a year and suddenly be transformed into a young man. I have discovered that my local World Market does not carry wine and beer! How can it possibly be that I had not noticed that over multiple visits in the last year? Which means I have to find my fave sangria somewhere else, or become enamored of a new one. Please excuse me while I shop for party food and polish up the house for guests. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Birthday month has commenced! And I already got a card! Yesterday, before the official kick-off of birthday month. I do enjoy getting started early. Festivities already on the calendar are the arrival of Andrea, a little birthday soiree a week from tomorrow involving mimosas and pound cake with strawberries, and seeing Mr. Lovett with his Large Band. I'm not sure how I feel about sixty. Except to brush it off as merely a number. I'm practicing saying it, sort of like trying on a pair of shoes. Even though I have no choice about buying them. Sometimes you just have to make things fit, whether you want to or not. I'm taking these potential lemons and making raspberry lemonade. Which is delicious and spikeable. Pardon me while I go to the book of the face and put together an invitation. Of course you can come! Gifts are optional but most appreciated.