Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!

Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!
Excursion & HHR tow car in Tucson

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sepia Saturday 254 Wading the waters 1975

Back after a long absence with a couple 1975 photos, from which  color is fading.  We took many camping trips over the years, especially while Steve was growing up because we wanted him to see a lot of the country.  In 1975, living in California,  we were on our way to the Calgary Stampede in Canada to meet friends who had gone a week ahead of us.  One of our stops was at Flathead Lake Montana where there had been overly abundant rain and lots of flooding.  However, this made for good swimming weather and as I recall it was mighty hot so we welcomed the chance to dip in and cool off. 

 I must have been quenching my thirst as well because you will see, I merely stepped in with glass in hand, ice clinking.  Steve was all of 11 years old at the time and  helped me wade out before he swam off.  Not sure where Jerry was while this happened, likely he was taking the photos from back onshore.  I don't know whose dog observed nor who the tube floater in the upper left corner was...nor what Steve found to  maneuver with later in the water after helping Mom


OK Mom, I've got ya

One of my chubbier times, drink in hand



Now what's this?
This is my  return to Sepia where we can share our photos to match the prompt or not.  I will enjoy reconnecting with everyone...it's been awhile but we have been travelling. To see what others have matched or not to this week's prompt, go here
http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2014/11/sepia-saturday-254-15-november-2014.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Different days different views and first snowfall

Dinah Washington sang it 

I just learned while googling that this was originally a Mexican folk song,  Who knew that?  The most successful early recording with English lyrics was in 1934 by the Dorsey BrothersDinah Washington won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with this song. Her version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and earned her first top ten Pop hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Just yesterday a rose in bloom faded but still blooming
This morning from the front window
What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours....you may know the song that suits  today..because yesterday while grey and cold at 44 some degrees I was outside shivering while pruning and pulling out geraniums and marigolds...today, I have stayed in mostly because overnight Mama Nature, that elusive old bag who rejoices when she rolls up her sleeves and releases various tricks onto the likes of us, dusted our area with white, about an inch or so of the stuff, just as we had been warned. Just what I did not want and I know sure it could'a been worse and more of it, but this is just too darned early for snow for me!  It's not yet my birthday and even growing up in Pennsylvania I never remember snow before my annual celebration. This is just why I was hesitant to move to Minnesota although I thank our lucky stars and  saints daily that we escaped from California, where we always thought we would stay the rest of our days. Not to be as with so many plans we thought we had made, but then there have been many mighty better turns too.  

Jerry grinding leaves to mulch rosebeds

I've spent today  on domestic chores and at the computer catching up on lots of information and financial work instead of my Y yoga class and the body building strength weight class I had planned to add today.. more weight bearing interval training...But no kidding, yesterday Jerry was grinding leaves to mulch the rose garden.  I said not to bother surely the weather prediction would be wrong!  Bah!  I was wrong and it is a good thing he persisted.  So the rose bed went from a coating of brown leaf mulch to a bed of white blanket overnight...with the pink ballerina bush protesting, "hey, what's with the mulch, can't you see I've still got my blooms going here?" 

Rose garden mulching
Rose garden view from our front window about 7:30 this AM

Some day soon I will share here some photos from our two week cruise to the North Atlantic Canadian ports, most of which  has already been on Facebook in real time.  It was a great trip, gorgeous weather, beautiful fall colors and more.  But for nowa big pot of chili is calling to  have cornbread accompany it and so off the keyboard again after a long absence.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The other day I was hungry after zumba class while out and about on shopping errands; there was a time I'd have driven straight to the nearest Culver's for a frozen custard, but that habit is long gone as I keep myself slimmed and trim.  My snck of choice is always pretzels but the Shopko had none, lots of other chips but I  prefer pretzels which are low to no fat.   I  was really feeling like I needed something to eat and spoted a bag of chocolate Cracker Jack.  I loved Cracker Jack as a kid and  amassed quit a collection of those little prizes that came inside the box.  The back of the bag said, "You loved Cracker Jack as a kid! ...There's always a prize unside... So open a bag and you'll feel like a kid again." I looked and was pleased to see only .5 fat grams in 1/2 cup and only 110 calories, so that was my hunger appeasement.  I don't know how many years it has been since I  last ate Cracker Jack.  

It satisfied my  hunger pangs but somehow it's not the same, well nothing tastes the same as it did when I was a kid but this was not all that bad.  However, remember Cracker Jacks came with peanuts, no more or at least not this bag of chocolate Jack.  I don't know it that's to keep the price which give me a break was $1.49 for this  4 ounce bag, but considering  that all other snack foods are just as much or more, so it went.  Maybe they leave out peanuts  because some folks today have allergies?  

After I got home and no I had not eaten the entire bag, just a few bites likely  that 1/2 cup, I couldn't wait to see the prize.  My anticipation was quashed when I found this tiny  1" + piece of paper with a sticker!  A sticker with red socks!  What kind of prize is that?  Now I did not feel like a kid again at all, where is my plastic trinket?  Ptooey!  Well I suppose kids today would not care, they are too busy on their pods, pads, swiping and would consider plastic gizmo a dud, or an insult.  But for  crying out loud,Frito Lay could surely spring for something more than a sticker.  Well maybe not.  But for a quick lower fat snack it was not bad, despite the false advertising.  It did not make me feel like a kid.  No way no how.   No nuts, no toy!

This is most minor in line with all the not so good news we've had nearly continuously  over the last couple weeks.  The passing of dear friend Geoff back home in Oregon, the cancer diagnosis of another local friend, MS diagnosis of that friend's wife (the dearest couple around town), and now hospitalization of my PA pal.   Surely good news will come about soon.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  This is why I know I am going to live to be  a very old lady, God does not want to answer my "Why this?  Why?  What were you thinking?"   I was in the Dollar Store yesterday and a woman stopped to talk to me, I have decided I must have a magnet across my face that says, "hit me with your bad news, why not?"  She wanted to talk and there I was, she shared that she was on her way to her best friend's funeral, her friend had battled and been cancer free for  6 sears but it returned with an aggressive fatal vengeance and death came within a month, her friend was only 53.  She said with tears that they usually went to lunch on Fridays and then stopped at the Dollar Store and Goodwill and so here she was on the way to bury her friend.  I gave her my condolences and told her to keep the good memories.  What more to say?. 

We depart Monday for PA where my friend is going to be fine, with her new pacemaker, totally unexpected but isn't life that way.....we never know. This is why I have no tolerance for the Facebook whiners; recently a cousin and another friend  have  removed themselves from FB.  They said, "too much BS drama."  So true.  And so looking forward  to a  great time back home visiting with friends.  That means I must get off this computer and get clothes out to the coach.  We roll out eastward Monday,   When we return we will have only a week to get ready for our  October cruise.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

BLOG on hiatus for busy times

4th of July rose blooms beneath cleome
We have not been on vacation but the blog has to be.  I have so little time to sit at keyboard and right now outside activities predominate with daily weeding, hauling, etc.  It has been a lovely summer of weather than cannot be beat.  Here in MN people say we have two seasons, winter and road construction and indeed this year it is an orange cone world as many highways and by ways are under repair, replacement or major disruptive reconstructive surgery.   

A couple weeks ago it came right  to our neighborhood as our main access street from this cul de sac was pulverized.  A new pipeline, sidewalk and new road are imminent and we are to believe it will be accomplished by  the start of school, but I am of the seeing is believing perspective on that.   Again  more info and daily progress are on Facebook which is easy to do from my phone and does not take  butt in chair time at keyboard. 
at the bottom of our So. 14th access street

 It all contributes to major time spent getting around and about so that my morning trips to the Y for my continuing physical activities consume the full morning.  If I plan errands I pack a change of clothes, shower there and then be on my way...sometimes I even take along my snack lunch because I will not be coming home in between.   I spend a lot of time driving cross town and around the "long way" to avoid the primary construction sites when I can.  The interstate I 90  nearby is under reconstruction across the Mississippi and will take two years to complete.  That said, I have been very nervous about where lanes merge and ever thankful to my guardian angels  whenever I drove there.  About a month ago a fatal accident confirmed my fears about construction zones and to avoid them..  A young man on his way to work was killed on the interstate that morning  as someone stopped to allow cars to access the interstate....what kind of idiot stops on the interstate?  Apparently some person thinking they were being kind to oncoming traffic, but none the less an idiot  who does not comprehend the meaning of "yield."  A tragedy occurred as traffic tried to stop and a construction dump truck loaded could not but ran over the last car which burst into flames.  Tragedy for all involved including the truck driver who now must live with that memory...the accident kept the interstate closed most of that day.  So I now avoid it altogether and go the extra 5 miles or so through La Crosse; actually I am astonished we have not had more accidents through that area with summer traffic and people who are either ignorant or illiterate or both and pay no attention to slower speeds or signs.  But I did not mean to get on that soapbox because I would continue a diatribe--why post speed limit signs when no one pays attention?  And why  not enforce speed limits, it certainly would generate revenue if enforced but again no consequences to refusal to comply means no change in behavior. 
Glory of sunset, doesn't it look like the
tree is smiling?

But what I checked in to say is business continues busily here....and the little time I have at keyboard is spent on trying to maintain our financial info as well as planning and pondering our October two week cruise  from Newark, NJ up around Maine, to ports there, Nova Scotia, Halifax, Quebec n return.    So far I have avoided being pulled into the county jury but am under a 4 month "notice."  Fortunately they have excused me and blocked out our travels,  the weeks in September when we will be in PA and who knows where else, our October cruise and our November departure for parts south, we hope.  But August so far I have not been chosen to appear.  I find this a major intrusion into life and will not be an amenable juror at the inconvenience. 

So this is all GLW&CDR (good Lord willing and creek don't rise) because as we are reminded life holds no promises, surprises can happen and well we plan and something changes it.  Meantime, see ya' on Facebook which continues to be my keep in touch mode these days.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Technology has not simplified life but neglect it at your peril

I have no photo of our first home PC  but it was an IBM and kind of looked
like this photo I  found on line...
    I remember our first home personal computer, clunker that it was with old floppy disks that really did flop, then replaced by floppy hard disks and finally wonder of wonders CD's and so it went, improvements all the time until today we have  plug ins and USB's and the Cloud for all that information storage.  That first home computer made me think we had the very world at typing fingertips and each information upgrade  requires adaptation and learning, just like life.  

Over the years I have kept up with techy changes computer, smartphone, tablet, laptop and you name it because it was essential in my career and then I  never wanted to be left behind in the dust, an anachronism as happens to many people too quickly now.  I have an old friend in CA who was  such a disaster with computers in the office way back when, all she could do was use them as a word processor and then barely;  she was the tech support staff's nightmare, she will know who she is when or if she reads this, but it is doubtful she ever will as she has become left behind for various reasons.  Today I tell her it is easier to reach her cross country by smoke signals because all she uses is phone and even then her old obsolete cell phone which she claims to carry around in her pocket at her home  where she is confined is always on the charger. Forget texting, she  doesn't know how or can't or won't learn.  Besides lacking time to really sit and  talk with her, I cannot begin to fill her in on day to day issues such as I can post on Facebook, another place she does not access. I advised her oh how many years back when she retired to enroll in adult education or community college courses on computer usage, at least software usage but she never did and has  gotten farther and farther behind until there is no catching up for her.  In many ways she reminds  me of my departed MIL who spent the last 60 years of her life living in the past, she neer kept pace with anything.  

Uncle Carl at 92 tackles  technology.  The little boy
wonders, oh will I ever get it back from him?
My late elderlies were behind the times but were quite satisfied with where they were but Uncle Carl maintained interest in any and everything despite declining mental capacity, when a  little boy allowed him to  use his mobile at the assisted living center, Carl did not want to give it back.  He was fascinated by first my digital camera and let alone the smart phones.

 Most people become old because they lose interest, have no curiosity and moreover stop learning. Some people have no interest in  learning ever and are satisfied to remain where they are in time.   I have an old school friend in PA, an educated man, an attorney who is helpless with computers, who relies on his adult son to show him what to do and who now suffers  the consequences of ignorance at not being able to access Bar communications  quickly on line. He's been dragged kicking and screaming and lamenting the  whole way.   Recently he sent me a Facebook request which prompted my phone call to him, could it be really?  Nah, he was trying to  read something and clicked onto his son's account and how could he get out of it?  I tried to talk him through it over the phone to no avail.  Our CA DIL and son are averse and uncurious about Facebook that she  will not approach it and discourages others including grand daughter who now avoids it.  Some of this I suspect is because of proclivity to hunker and hover and cling to family; she works in a business office and at least  has email and can text, but seldom does so. A person who is happy in her own cocoon and sees no need for technology I suppose. Different examples of people who  are out of the techy loop and who knows if they are better off for it?.    

Now I have another challenge activating webcam and or Skype account because grandson in CA has requested to chat live.  I was embarrassed to say I had not used it on any of our devices yet.  I know it will not be that difficult but I find myself almost dreading yet, another change another choice another challenge.  And then I remember the left behinds and know I will not join them. I will master that too. 

This cruise port, the first to be built in New Jersey in 40 years, provides the perfect setting to the beginning or end of any voyage. From the vantage point of the deck, you can look out over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and all of lower Manhattan. - See more at: http://www.celebritycruises.com/destinations/canada-new-england#sthash.vGTQWZmS.dpuf
Today though I started to write about how technology has really not simplified life, at least from my perspective. Life holds changes in many forms and technology today is a big one.   We have a  two week cruise planned in October from New Jersey up through and around Maine. Nova Scotia, Halifax, Quebec and return and I have been  using the online check in service with Celebrity Cruise lines to enter the necessary data as directed by our travel agent.  Holy cow, life was easier in the past when the travel agents handled it, did  what they needed to do, paperwork  arrived, we packed and off we went.  Nope, 3 hours this afternoon of my time and of course I no sooner completed one section than another required other information that was not here by my desktop, but was upstairs, and so it went.  I have a  lot of financial work to catch up on too as I keep our records on the Quicken system and am a couple months behind because I have not had time to sit at the keyboard. And you know I have not been blogging.  

Technology really doesn't make life easier I am convinced but has added a  new level of complication and busyness.  Today my smartphone creates chaos by anticipating what it thinks I want to text or enter and then does so, I usually do not catch these changes some of which may be hysterically comical though some of which are nonsensical which then necessitates post correction and editing afterwards.  Gone are the days of proof readers or particular spellers and all that stuff, here we are with swypos and devices that think they know what we want to say.  It's rather annoying but we are into technology.

October 2014 cruise itinerary
And the October cruise which should be an adventure aboard the Celebrity Summit, concierge class with verandah stateroom and all the top amenities will have me  at computer determining what off shore experiences to choose. After last years tour to Alaska I vowed never again to have a tour day arranged and herded  by others, so I am  working that out for us on my time.  Ahh it's great to have the devices to do this at home, or is it?  Otherwise, could I  gain personal assistance from an agent who could do the keyboard work, but  would it be at my convenience? Such is the price we pay for wanting to do things ourselves and there we have it with our own technology and time.  And lack of time. 

To learn more about our  cruise and Celebrity Summit, see this linkhttp://www.beyondships.com/Celebrity-Summit-Tour-1.html

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stella HEY STELLA

Stlla d'oro lilly
It's that time of year when the lillies are in bloom...this year our Stella d'Oros bloomed ahead of the other lillies, most years it is opposite.  Nevertheless each year when I first see her golden bursts I recall A Streetcar Named Desire and Marlon Brando's character Stanley's anguish cry, "Stella, HEY Stella! Stella!" And the echoes of the  angry woman who wants her to leave him, "she ain't comin' down so you just as well not call"   That raw scene is an opposite contrast to  the beauty of this golden lilly but Stanley's  tantrum after he rages with abuse is what comes to my mind every year when the golden lillies appear in masse.. 

I would have seen that movie with my grandma, Rose who loved the movies and who  saved her money so that every Sunday after mass and dinner off we went downtown to one of our three theaters. Sometimes we would see 2 movies in an afternoon because her brother Bill was a projectionist at the local Liberty theater and he would likely get us in free. That left money for me to be sure to see a technicolor cowboys and Indians, which were my faves.    I grew to like movies as much as she did and perhaps this one is not for children but it did not harm nor traumatize me.  My Baba would  talk to the screen, "that's right you bum, she ain't coming back to you..."  Many other in the audience did the same back then but I do not recall anyone being annoyed by another's comment, people had similar to the same values and thought alike back then.  Simpler central times where all was not bared to the world for judgement and rehashing.  

If you are unfamiliar with this Elia Kazan 1952  black and white movie with Kim Hunter too it is   based on the Tennessee Williams' play, I have a link here.  Be aware there is a Verizon commercial  before the clip is featured.  http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/294987/Streetcar-NamedDesire-A-Movie-Clip-Stella-.html     
One clump of our Stella's
From the same movie there is the bitter death monologue that Blance du Bois  unleashes to Stella in frustration beyond..." ,I took the blows on my face and my body! All those deaths! The long parade to the graveyard. Father, Mother, Margaret that dreadful way. So big with it, she couldn’t be put in a coffin, but had to be burned like rubbish! You came just in time for funerals Stella. And funerals are pretty compared to death. Funerals are quiet, but deaths not always. Sometimes their breathing is hoarse, sometimes it rattles, sometimes they cry out to you, "Don’t let me go!" Even the old sometimes say it- "Don't let me go". As if you could stop them! Funerals are quiet, with pretty flowers. And oh, what lovely boxes they pack you away in! Unless you were there at the bed when they cried out "Hold me" you'd never suspect there was struggle for breath and bleeding. You didn't dream, but I saw! Saw! And now you sit there telling me with your eyes that I let the place go. How in hell do you think all that sickness and dying was paid for? Death is expensive Miss Stella! And old Cousin Jessie, right after Margaret's, hers! The Grim Reaper put his tent up on our doorstep! Stella, Belle Reve was his headquarters. Honey, that's how it slipped through my fingers. Which of them left us a fortune? Which of them left us a cent of insurance even? Only poor Jessie- one hundred to pay for her coffin. That was it Stella! And I with my pitiful salary at the school! Yes, accuse me! Sit there and stare at me, thinking I let the place go. I let the place go! Where were you Stella? In bed with your Polack!"
1945 Mom & Stella Janosky holding me

The name Stella is seldom heard today but when I grew up it was common around western Pennsylvania and in the Polish families and .  There was at least one Stella in every family, the one I recall most in ours was my grandma's niece, Stella Janosky who was Mary and Tommy's daughter and a close cousin of Mom's and Aunt Jinx.  Stella never married and worked at Pittsburgh Plate Glass; she and Aunt Jinx did many things together because they were both single working ladies who lived with their parents, old maids they were called back then.  But Aunt Jinx married Uncle John later in life and that may have been the end of their times hanging out together.  By then I was into my own self as a new teenager and I seldom saw Stella, it was as though she faded from the scene as my scene changed around my school life and activities. .  

Recently I have met several young women names Alice and Lois, two more old names, but no Stella's.  Still I wonder, whatever became of that old name?   

Monday, June 30, 2014

Long and short of it, short on time, life's too short, so am I.

500 coaches t Goshen Fairgrounds RV Rally,
we are here. Jerry hooking us up
Bloggers catch up,,,finally so you say...Yes, we are back  a couple weeks now, from a  grand time at the RV trip to the annual Fleetwood Motor Coach Association's RV Rally in Goshen Indiana where we had a great time gathering with friends as we do annually somewhere in the country. Friends we see only once a year, all Fleetood owners and all retirees.. This year the rally location switched from initial plans in DuQuoin, IL to Goshen where we gathered two years ago and because of the scheduling changes the Rally was combined with the Midwest Great Lakes gathering of the  Family Motor Coach Association of which we are also members.  Yes we enjoyed ourselves and then some, but  we all agreed we prefer to have our annual Fleetwood gatherings restricted to just Fleetwood members.  No more combos, too many people. Perhaps we are snobby, well we have lived long enough and worked long enough to be so....we all agreed we prefer exclusion with ourselves, co Fleetwooders, it's only once a year after all; most of us are retirees or empty nesters and not into kids about, different with Family, we though  are on our adult playtime. 

Walking path at Hickory Hollow RV

On our way there and returning we stopped overnight at a nice RV spot, where we have stopped before,  Hickory Hollow in Utica Illinois off interstate I 80, a lovely peaceful spot with  access for our rig, all hook ups,  as well as wooded areas dandy for walking and hiking.   I felt  quite smug that I had avoided any mosquito bites  with my wooded walks, until the next day when I had those tell tale red welts  on my shoulders, I never  felt nor saw them so I have  decided these are the sneakiest mosquitoes I have ever encountered.  We live in MN where the skeeter is the state bird!  Very visible and we all know their presence while the buggers at Hickory are stealth biters. 

This time we ate at a local Utical IL restaurant, Joy & Ed's, a 53 year old family run place...outstanding food everything is home made.  I enjoyed the very best fried chicken there and that includes the delicacies in the south it was not greasy and simple with merely a  dredging in flour I believe.   I have some other photos and tales of the abandoned area nearby which I investigated this trip, but another time.

Another road path at Hickory Hollow RV


More IN Amish country near Goshen
Most of the rally activities I have covered and shared daily on Facebook so I  will not repeat them here, but the Rally was tops.  While there we went directly to the Lambright Factory, an Amish business which makes the world famous leather wall hugger  recliners which we  wanted to replace the two euro recliners with separate  hassocks currently in our motor home. 

Surprisingly I found a website for Lambrights..our GPS could not find it  but we could easily in the back roads of the countryside....the place is Amish and while we had a nice visit with Verne, the Amish owner and  the next day when we  returned with a check for payment,  because he does not do credit cards, as he said, without apology, he is old school.  Although he was willing to wait for us to return home and mail him a check, it was an easy  drive there and back through the countryside. We write so few checks that we really forgot to take along the check book.   The next day was another sale for them as our friends from AZ, Gene &; Irmie  also drove there for a look and purchased the same for their coach.  Here is a lnk to a website with their  information, http://issuu.com/shopach/docs/lcc-catalog  Ours are the cream colored leather on page 17 of the catalog; I ordered the side computer table for mine but Jerry decided he did not need that.  We shall see, he will likely wish he had later. 
Our friend Irmie, German, who lives in AZ with her
 retired USArmy hubby Gene. She is
 trying out the recliner style which we bought.
 Another customer walking behind.


 Our current ones are definitely for taller people and we have decided they are just not for us shorties, we feel like our heads are pushed forward at an uncomfortable angle when we lounge in them.  We  thought the vendor would be at the Rally but not so, and the others were not what we wanted  so we drove the short distance to the site and our custom built order will be shipped to our home late July, custom dura leather.  Jerry will have to install them himself as well as remove the two existing. 


Me with  Lambrights windchimes
I was fascinated with the huge windchimes, another business Verne had which he has since sold.  The tones from these are almost mystical.  I am considering ordering a smaller set to replace the old chimes we have here at home.  


Geoff & Marci out for breakfast
at Perkins last day of their visit. 
Only  home a couple days with the 6 loads of  laundry caught up when our friends Geoff and Marci arrived.  They live in Oregon now but had been to Mackinac Island, MI for several days and drove over to  visit us.  Their first time here and it was wonderful although very bittersweet because Geoff has a malignant brain tumor, so far the  surgery and chemo have bought him time, but  it's all too short.  Their visit and time...so much can happen in such a short time. Marci and I go way back to 1973 when we both began our careers with Ca state government in the same office.  
Jerry hooking up at Hickory Hollow RV

Jerry had his first cataract surgery Thursday and will have the  2nd eye done July 11, so it's busy here for me as I swing yet again into my Nurse Cratchitt or  Ratchet mode, giving him eye drops 3 each, 5 minutes apart 4 times a day.  Of all things he  simply cannot put drops into his own eye and is the blinkingest with the upper lid; it is a challenging experience to go through and one alien to me as I used to wear contact lenses.  Back then he could not understand how I could poke things into and out of my eyes because he is absolutely averse to anything nearing his eye.  He has already noticed  very improved vision in the right eye post surgery commenting on the brightness of colors and how he has an easier time reading while his cataracts were not that bad and could have waited under normal circumstances, he insisted they be fixed so he would be in best shape driving our big rig.  . 

We have been besieged with rain & wind storms and while I do love a good storm, enough already. We have been blessed not with the big trees down as has happened elsewhere and across the river in La Crosse.   Of course this keeps us green and lush but just now the power blinked and I thought I might have lost some of this post.  Fortunately not, so I best publish and get off here.  Dinner tonite on the stove simmering  is a pot of refrigerator soup--that's what I call the clean up, when it all goes into a soup-- some left over pork roast, a partial burger left over cooked into broth, tomatoes, fresh corn off the cob, shredded cabbage, kale, basil, onions, celery, peppers and whatever other tidbits are in the refrigerator including some cold pasta.  I have been hungry for this and with the darkened skies and wet afternoon it will be a great evening meal.   Not sure who will read this as I have been blog absent for awhile and likely that will continue.  I have ideas but no time to sit and post...sigh, what happened, when I retired I was supposed to have all the time in the world, hah, surely you jest,  time is too short...

 Maybe the Amish are right, keep it simple you can't take it with you.


Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.     Henry Van Dyke

  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Busy time of year out doors

One bleeding heart bush in the back flower box
It has been all  about spring time outside chores galore; this year as Jerry has recuperated from his April back surgery I was  left to my own on all weeding, mulch removal, trimming and garden flower bed clean up.  Rounds 1 and 2 accomplished but continuance mode is now in effect. Bird feeding is full speed ahead as the orioles have returned, the grape jelly feeders.  I have shown them before on this blog and although they were off to a late start this delayed spring, when we thought winter would never leave, they have been consuming the  32 ounce jars of Welch's Grape Jelly which we  buy at Sam's at the rate of two jars per week.  They have a delightful song and watching the young newly hatched at the jelly feeder is a lot of amusement right out the kitchen window.  In the photo below two orioles at their jellly house feeder while a gold finch sits  aside.  This year the red headed wood pecker and finches as well as occasional warblers have tried to snag some jelly but the orioles are quite defensive of their territory.  They bicker among themselves so do not tolerate any other species, except for the woodpecker who merely shows "my beak is bigger than yours so don't start with me."  

Orioles at their jelly house finch aside May 7.
I enjoy working outside but find that I don't want to spend as much time at it.  Instead with my morning work out trips to the YMCA, Zumba class and yoga, the morning is usually gone.  I would rather continue my physical fitness path adding a morning  walk.  Then by afternoon there are errands to run, appointments for hair cuts or medical, shopping to do, more social activities and then well, the  day is gone and we approach dinner time. My neighbor Diane,  who just returned from winter in AZ,  and I discussed how we are wanting more play time and less to do time. You get the drift, the day is gone. This has eliminated most computer time other than Facebook and email and newspaper reads all of  which I can do handily and  directly from my smart phone and tablet.  So the blog has been absent and looks like it may well continue to be for a time.  While Facebook is so handy allowing a quick photo post, there is  neither time nor space for me to ramble there about whatever  thoughts are fleeting, but it will have to do. It facilitates quick contact amongst multitudes of friends and family, cousins, nieces, nephews all who can merely click on their smart phones or iphones as well.  


The back yard  is heavenly scented with the
lilacs in full bloom from Ms Kim
In my career days I pondered how much time I would have to do whatever I wanted when I retired.  Today I  realize I don't have all the time I thought I would. I envisioned a retirement of lounging, reading, etc, in reality the words of my late Aunt Jinx have arrived, "you will work more when you retire than you did while you worked."  How right she was, household chores, outside chores, appointments, financial record keeping, yikes, time consumers.  My neighbor and I were talking about downsizing, then we know we do not want to live in condos or apartments but neither do we want  to have demands distracting us from our adult play activities.  In this area there are many landscapers and lawnmowers for hire;  we have hired a college student to mow the lawns while Jerry avoids such activities for the time.  But must admit he is not doing the same quality of  work, Jerry   often would mow twice a week in this spring weather while the grass is growing heartily.  We wonder why Jarrett cannot figure out how much extra work he makes for himself because he scatters  lawn clippings and then must  go back around with his blower to get them off the walks and drive ways, where if he mowed the other direction the clippings would go directly into the lawns.  We watch and wonder, at this young man who is a college sophomore, getting educated but not gaining sense. He seems to be more interested in mowing and getting gone. I have an enormous pile of clippings and rose branches, tree limbs and the like piling up behind the garden that we have asked him about hauling off to the local dump, but so far no movement.  Usually Jerry would have done this but looks like it will wait until we return from our RV trip.  By the way Jerry has the motor coach out of its house and has spent  days  power washing it and getting it ready to roll.  
Our Excursion and Jerry tinkering
Saturday Jerry took to his  riding mower for the back hill side which was starting to look like a hayfield.  He was quite happy with himself.  I was more than annoyed when I returned from an estate sale where I purchased naught realizing their prices were too much for nothing I needed, while happy with myself for resisting adding to our accumulations, annoyed because  he was on the mower and further had taken the rototiller to the garden bed.  While tilling he removed some new peonies that I was nurturing, they had spread from the mother plants along the fence line.  This annoys me, he does not distinguish  between fora and weed , it all goes. 

Uprooted potentilla

Some mystery creature has been visiting at night and  uprooting newly planted things and then digging into the flower beds.  First it completely dug up a newly planted black eyed susan, leaving only a little  stem remaining across the back lawn. Days later it returned and uprooted a potentilla plant I had not yet put into the ground. Obviously it was not to its taste so it did not drag it off nor consume it.  I have  struck back with massive doses of crushed  hot red pepper flakes  in the beds, and that seems to discourage it.  But we shall see, others have  had the same problem. This has never happened before and is  getting on my last nerve.  It happens at night and we suspect a  raccoon, possum, weasel or the like.  

Mama robin perched atop rose bush  limb, ignoring the squawks                    
First robin  to leave the nest
 I am likely to replace the rose bushes that did not survive our awful  winter with other perennials, to simplify my gardening, eliminating the need for mulching over winter, removal of mulch in spring time and above all eliminating food sources for the nasty Japanese beetle that thrives on roses here.  I  just have much else to do and do not want to  be enslaved by my landscaping, much as I enjoy it. The robins who were nested atop the wreath outside our front door have hatched, the  birdies have flown off and we can remove the wreath and wash the siding stone...the first one to leave the nest was quite puzzled and squawked from the front stoop, "Mom, Mom now what?"  Mom merely looked the other way, unconcerned, "go get your own worms kid."  It's too bad some  human mothers do not  let their adult children grow and go, they could learn from the birds.  I wonder why some are such clingers creating a mutual lack of growth for the adult children and  lack of their own growth into something  beyond ever indulgent ever clinging parent hood. Maybe because I was raised to be independent and have always been so, I cannot  comprehend  all the  nonsense, but that's an essay for another time. 
Volunteer salsify

One last thing, the volunteer plant out back identified as salsify.  I left this to grow because I thought the  texture of the spiky leave interesting, lo a yellow flower and through Facebook, a friend identified it. The yellow flower opens in the morning but the pod enfolds it by afternoon.  I understand it is edible but so far I ma not tempted to eat it, merely enjoy the show. 

 This may  be  my update for several weeks, unlikely to have blog time  from the Goshen IN Fleetwood RV Rally. Looking forward to reuniting with friends  we see once a year from around the country.