Saturday, March 25, 2017

Feels Like Home

A year ago about now, before I set foot in this house in which I now reside, but had a solid offer on my house in South Dakota, I was busy perusing homes online. There was one house in particular that I could see myself living in. The basement was roomy and practical for Reid. An enclosed front porch was stealing my heart as well as the original oak flooring. The dining room boasted a fireplace and oak built-ins. There was even a perfect spot for my faux Tiffany light fixture there, just above where the table would be. I loved the kitchen. As I was standing at the stove this morning stirring my bubbling oatmeal, I was reminded of that house. It sold before I made the trip out here to buy this one so I was never able to see it in person. I have to say at this point, two months til the anniversary of moving in here, that the reality of this home has more than lived up to the fantasy of the one I only virtually toured. I think that's called wanting what you have. Which is far better than having what you want.

Friday, March 24, 2017

SciFi Kiddie Lit Nostalgia

It's not just a rumor, I was reading scifi way back in elementary school. I remember buying this paperback at the school book fair in either third or fourth grade. Yes, the printing press had been invented about two weeks earlier. So. I had on my mind the last week or so that I had read this weird book way back when about two boys who built a spaceship and went on an outer space adventure. And then I found it had recently come back from out-of-print obscurity! It was originally published in 1954. I ask you, how could I help myself? I bought a copy. I'll read it after I return from Margaret Atwood's dystopian future. I'm still waiting for my flying car.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fodder for Free

A couple of weeks ago, after a trip to my neighborhood King Soopers, I was in the midst of the unbagging and putting away portion of the task. Lurking in the bottom of one of the bags were a couple of laundry detergent pods. I figured the person ahead of me in line had been shorted them so I rolled up the bag and set them aside with the intention of returning them on my next trip. Which was today. When I got in line for customer service, there was only one person ahead of me who was currently being served. I was busy complimenting myself for my exquisite timing as a half dozen more people lined up behind me. The woman behind the counter gave me the stinkeye over her glasses and asked that I move back behind the sign until it was my turn. I half-smiled at her as I backed up a couple of feet. There was no line, or a sign that I could see indicating how far back I should be, so I stopped within a reasonable distance of the next person behind me in line. When my turn came up, I handed over the bag containing the detergent pods and explained what had happened. As she pulled them from the bag, she began shaking her head. These are samples we have been giving out, don't you want them? I replied, no, thank you, I don't use fabric softener. By this time she was scowling at me and waggling them at me. They're free! No thanks, I said once more and caught her in the act of a massive eye roll when I looked over my shoulder as I walked away. I sincerely hope that whomever ends up with the free samples enjoys them. If Ms Customer Service was having a bad day, that's understandable. If she has this sort of attitude in general, I hope she finds employment better suited to her sour demeanor. Mostly I just hope I never end up in her line again. Maybe it's just me. I'm a human lightening rod. Or as Reid is fond of saying, Mom, you're a bitch magnet. I remain convinced that as a writer, I need weird stuff to happen to me. So I have things to write about. It's a vicious cycle.


Shame on You, 45



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Evening

You try to avoid the fact even as it's asserting itself in your mind. What's about to happen is inevitable. You have an open bottle of Ravenswood shiraz. You have a bag of Reese's white chocolate peanut butter eggs in the fridge. It's time to watch Mama Mia! and sing along!

Poor Woman's GPS


I am not a Luddite. I enjoy electronic gadgets. But I do love maps. When I road-trip alone, I end up with numerous sticky notes on the dash for quick reference. Before I back out of the driveway, I examine maps, both online and the paper atlas variety, and write little notes to assist me in finding my destination. Often the acts of map reading and jotting down the information result in a pretty solid imprint on my brain, so the dashboard notes wind up being a backup system. Yes, I still sometimes miss turns and end up backtracking. But if travel comes off without a hitch, you don't have stories to tell. And road trips are all about the stories, if you ask me. I may be wandering, but I'm not necessarily lost.


On The Wall


I'm pretty happy with this new painting. It doesn't get lost in the space like the framed birds print, which is about a third the size of this canvas. I love the colors and how it suggests sailing ships without looking outright nautical. Which brings the count of boat motif items in my living and dining room area to five. I'm dangerously close to a theme here, so I need to draw the line at toss pillows with anchors on them. Or Jolly Roger flags. Steamer trunks? Somebody stop me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review, Release, Reset


Spring is here! It's time to plan the garden and clear the debris of Fall and Winter from the ground. May you find balance and peace as the light grows with each passing day.

Sprung!


Just under the living room window there is a very spindly and nondescript shrub. I hacked it back a bit last fall to keep the tallest twigs from creaking on the glass when the wind kicked up. A couple of days ago I noticed that although there are very few leaves thus far, numerous yellow blossoms have sprouted. There is no discernible scent wafting from these flowers, but it is nice to see some color in this otherwise drab spring landscape. 
  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Things That Finished Today

1. My binge-watching of The West Wing. Just after midnight they inaugurated President Matthew V. Santos. I'm going to float through the next few days pretending that he actually is our President.

2. This morning I finished reading the second book in Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam Trilogy, The Year of The Flood. On to the third volume!

3. Winter! Today is the final full day of winter, at least so far as the calendar is concerned. Winterish weather is still a possibility, though, and I must say I have enjoyed the open windows temps these past few days.

Maybe I Have a Tiny Problem...

After realizing that I brought home four more wine glasses from my trip down to Arizona, maybe I do have a problem. Okay, I have some glassware. 


The corner cabinet in the kitchen has a glass front, a perfect place for storing and displaying shiny things. A ghostly image of Reid is reflected in the door. He was admonishing me at the time that I might be taking unintentional selfies while photographing my glassware. 


Let's open it up and take a look, shall we?


On the top shelf we find some fairly nondescript champagne flutes. The two slightly taller glasses are pink, so they're a teensy bit fancy.


The middle shelf is where the martini glasses reside. The St Clair Winery glasses have moved in with them. 


On the bottom shelf we find ourselves concerned with beer. Lots of fun, commemorative and branded glassware. Most of which were acquired in a completely legal and appropriate fashion.


We have moved on to the china cabinet in the dining room.


Though I was able to pare down my possessions by half prior to the move, I just couldn't part with any of the wine glasses. On the left, one of a set of eight, is a lovely all-purpose wine glass etched with flowers. Oh, and there are two champagne glasses that match them. Scored them at a rummage sale for under a buck a glass. Then we have some tall goblets with purple stems. A set of six was a birthday gift a number of years ago. Next up is one from a set of four beautifully etched wineglasses that sis Martine gave me nearly thirty years ago. Up front, the tiny etched crystal glass is one of a pair that I rescued from the garbage dumpster outside my apartment building circa 1979. I fill it and hand it over to guests that say they only want a small glass of wine. Behind that is one of five cut-glass champagne flutes that are slightly fancier than the ones in the kitchen. Second from the right is one from a set of eight. They are pretty darned fancy and reserved for sit-down dinners. On the right is one of three surviving smoked crystal goblets that were a wedding gift to my parents. I have two and Martine has one. Originally there were probably six or maybe eight of them.


Then there's the bar cart. Where we have a couple of very pretty wine glasses that don't get used much and four cut crystal on-the-rocks glasses. Which are for the serious sipping of your finer liquors. I think it's time for a self-imposed moratorium on the purchase of glassware. I'll let you know how long it lasts.  

Down at Home Goods

While visiting sis Martine, we found ourselves strolling through Home Goods. I always enjoy shopping there, but this trip was particularly fun.


Right in the front of the store, we found a humongous metal elephant sculpture! Well over six feet in height! Of course, I neglected to get a photo of this majestic piece of art, so the above pic is the closest I could find on the interwebs. The elephant at Home Goods, whom I have named Toby, was made of a filigree sort of steel, making it whimsical and see-through, not seeming quite so massive. I also noted that it was made up of several panels that were attached together with nuts and bolts, making it totally dissassemble-able and therefore could possibly fit in my car. I wanted it soooooo bad. I even considered taking out the store credit card to get ten percent off on the purchase. I eventually thought better of buying Toby, though I'm pretty sure The Bloggess would have snatched him up without blinking an eye. Mostly because it would have annoyed her husband, Victor, but also because she would see the value in having a fancy metal elephant sculpture out in the backyard. Mark my words, as soon as I have a book deal, I'm buying one. Home Goods had an other ginormous metal item in the store, a brassy and silver colored gazebo. I thought Martine should buy it for her cats. Forget the catio, the next big thing is the catzebo. 


And since I simply do not have enough glassware, I needed these two adorable little wine glasses. I bought them to facilitate drowning my sorrows over not bringing Toby home with me.

Clair, Patron Saint of Vino

Should you find yourself in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and you also find yourself peckish, do what I did. Take a good, long soak in the hotel hot tub to relax off the road dust, then toss on some fresh clothes and enjoy dinner at the St Clair Winery and Bistro. I had the salmon with lobster sauce and mixed grilled veggies accompanied by the recommended St Clair pinot grigio. Absolutely delish. After dinner, feeling the need to buy a souvenir, I settled on two pieces of signature stemware. Because I don't have enough glassware. Really. Well, okay, just not too much. Glassware. Stop judging me!


The friendly and accommodating young man behind the bar wrapped up the glasses for me, and as you can see, they made it back home in one piece. He also told me that their wines are marketed nationwide. All I have have to say is, I hope my neighborhood liquor store offers a selection of St Clair wines. If they don't, I will gently suggest that they do so.

Women to Emulate



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Success!


Pi(e) Day has been successfully observed. To the left we have the entree pie, a quiche with mushrooms, carmelized onion, spinach, and provolone cheese. To the right is dessert, a perfect peach pie with a lovely lattice top.


The peaches were harvested from the tree in my backyard last fall. They freeze quite beautifully though the texture suffers a bit. Not for eating as you would a fresh peach, but certainly work well in a pie or as jam. The Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer compliments both the savory and the sweet pies quite nicely. Pie for breakfast would seem to be in order for tomorrow.
  

Pie = π




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nerdy Tourism


The scale of the Very Large Array in New Mexico is impossible to describe. Twenty-seven radio satellite dishes arranged in a Y shape in the middle of nowhere to escape the distracting electronic noise of modern civilization. Each of those dishes is 82 feet in diameter and weighs 230 tons. This was snapped from about a mile away.


On the walking tour. The VLA is located in the high desert, about fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. At nearly 7000 feet in altitude, the sun is very intense. Those shiny orbs mounted on obelisks are a fancy sun dial.


More walking...


Closer to the sun dial. Zoom in on the largest orb, I'm reflected in there. Does this count as a selfie?


It's difficult to get all of them in one shot.


But I tried. Several times.


They let you get pretty close to one of them.


As close as I could get and still have the entire telescope in my viewfinder.


Looking straight up at the dish. The fence is about 20 yards from the base. There is a constant sixty hertz buzz going on.


While there are 27 radio telescopes working together listening to the sky at all times, they rotate out for maintenance. The 28th one is here in the shop for a tune-up and upgrades. For scale, take a look at the full size pickup that is parked at the lower left corner of the maintenance building.


This is the contraption they use to move the telescopes. They are situated on railroad tracks and the configuration is changed four times each year. Not your average furniture rearranging feat.

In Other Words

"...he became the idiot’s image of an intellectual, the coward’s image of a courageous man and the pauper’s image of a prosperous man."

Charles M. Blow, Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times, describing 45

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Meow Cow

Pardon my crappy phone camera pic. This is Holly. She is my new BFF. I think she has adopted me. Holly is an excellent cuddler. She also thinks my arm is delicious. Holly is being fostered by my dear little sis. If it wasn't for my grumpy old man cat, Newton, I would be taking Holly home with me. Maybe the next trip. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"L" Is For The Way You Look at Me

Carla, You are a combination of fun, happy and maturity. These letters describe, the amazing person that your are.

O is for the only one I see...everybody sing! I find it interesting that the first two photos are me in Halloween garb. These are all profile pics I've used on Facebook, and obviously the far right photo is not of me, it's of the 44th First Family. Also, I did not compose the caption, so please don't give me credit for it. Or blame for for how choppy it is. Thank you.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Good Things

Saturday afternoon. My car is all clean, armor-alled and vacuumed inside. Esperanza Spalding singing on A Prairie Home Companion. The bottle of Leinie's Honey Weiss in my hand. Windows are open. Sun is shining. Yard ideas are shaping up in my head. Spring feels as though it has sprung.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marching On

I'm no meteorologist, but you probably aren't either, so I'll just continue. With gentle breezes, sunshine, and a high temp of fifty, I have to say that March arrived in lamb's clothing on Colorado's Front Range today. And I most definitely shouldn't have purchased the package of thin Golden Oreos this afternoon. In a complete opposite effect to their name, they are not associated with being thin if you consume them irresponsibly. Which I did. I got carried away with the sunshine.


Wrong Number

Yesterday my phone rang. The number was from the town in South Dakota where I used to live. So I answered, thinking it might be someone I know, but don't have their number in my contacts. Even though that sly chick who is always warning me about the nonexistent problem with my credit card account has called from area code 605 before. A male voice asked for Lori. I said, pardon me, because the voice was a little threadbare. Again, a little clearer, he asked for Lori. I said, sorry, you have the wrong number. He apologized and we disconnected. Naturally I went straight for the internets to reverse-look-up the number. Ascension Lutheran Church had called me. On Shrove Tuesday. Wanting to chat with Lori. There must be a story here somewhere, but I can't find it.