Sunday, March 16, 2008

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zippity-ay...

Oh, what a gorgeous spring day we are having here. Today started out cloudy but the sun came out around lunchtime, so we've had big billowy clouds and blue skies all afternoon. Warm, but not too warm. A perfect day, though not windy enough to suit Todd. I can hear him out in the garage sanding away on something, though, so he sounds happy enough!

We've been home puttering contentedly all day. I've been working my way through the laundry, and I gave Todd a badly-needed haircut this morning. I'm so proud of how my hair-cutting skills have developed--no more side-of-the-head bald spots!

We had tuna sandwiches and salad and grapes and Girl Scout cookies for lunch, and then I headed out to work my way through the big flower bed out front.

I have been putting off dealing with this front bed since last fall. I let it get all overgrown in the late summer, and then I didn't have the desire (or the arm strength) to clean it out. I've been staring at it guiltily since New Year's, and when you figure that it's the first thing I see when I enter or leave the house, or look out the front windows...that's a lot of guilty staring!

Friday something clicked and I went out and spent about an hour working my way down the bed, pulling out all the dead plants, trimming the dead growth off the perennials, and raking out the dead leaves. That got me about a third of the way done, and I quit early so my arm wouldn't hurt too much. This afternoon I spent a couple more hours at it, and now almost everything is cleaned out and ready to grow and for new plants to be added. Now my arm and shoulder hurt!

But three-four weeks of physical therapy and home exercises have definitely strengthened the muscles, and I think gardening in small chunks will be very do-able. I had my last physical therapy visit on Friday, and I'm supposed to try to keep from reaching over my head, and keep up with the exercises, and then if it's not substantially better in a couple months, then I'll head back to the orthopedist and decide where to go from there.

Thursday night we were taking a walk around the neighborhood and spotted two paper boxes by the curb, each one filled with a giant clump of daisy plants (with a sign scribbled on a bit of cardboard that said "daisies".) So when we finished our walk, we drove back over and hauled them home. So another part of my gardening tasks involved dividing the clumps and arranging them around. I also pulled some stray tubers off the daisies that I planted last year and re-distributed them around the bed. I think this summer will be daisy-riffic, to coin a phrase. I'm so curious to see what color the freebie daisies will be! The leaves are a little different than the ones I planted last year.

I've been in a sour mood the past few days because of following some of the political stories that are going on right now, and then when I was working out in the garden, I just was so in the moment, listening to a mockingbird on the neighbor's chimney, looking at the new growth on my established plants, spotting earthworms, cleaning and was so enjoyable. Then I came inside and opened the laptop to write this post, and the browser window was open to a news site, and seeing it made that sour feeling poke its head up again. So the solution seems pretty obvious--no more politics! At least not for a while. Spring is too pretty to pollute it with all our human garbage, don't you think?

Tomorrow I'll see if I can get some good pictures of some of the baby leaves and shoots.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam going into downtown Chicago . Nothing is moving north or south. Suddenly a man knocks on his window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, ‘What happened, what’s the hold up?’ “Terrorists have kidnapped President Bush and Vice President Cheney,” the man answers.

He continues, “They are asking for a $10 million ransom. Otherwise, they are going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection.”

The driver asks, “On average, how much is everyone giving?”

“About a gallon.”


I want to laugh at this joke, but it's getting harder and harder to find the humor in our national debacle. Still, I'm in for a gallon.

Truth, and siding, for sale.

So I'm downstairs this morning, tidying up the kitchen, eating a nice late breakfast, just getting ready to sit down with a cup of tea for a minute, and then I spot them out the window, coming up the street.

The Jehovah's Witnesses.

At least I assume they're Jehovah's Witnesses--three African-American ladies, nicely dressed, a couple of them pushing strollers. They were through here a couple of weeks ago and I hid then, too.

Yes, I drop what I'm doing in mid-tea sip, close the front door which is standing wide open, and pop upstairs so they can't spot me through the windows, ignoring their knocks.

I have lived in many different neighborhoods in my adult life, and never have I been subjected to as much prosetylization (is that a word? Blogger says no) as in this neighborhood. If it's not the Witnesses, it's the Mormons, and if it's not the Mormons, it's the home improvement companies. What is it about this neighborhood that makes these people think I might be even remotely open to buying their religion or their storm windows?

There's enough daylight crime in this town that I've simply stopped answering the door when I'm home alone unless someone I know is standing there. But it still feels like an invasion of privacy when they come up on my porch and can see me through my front door and windows unless I run and hide.

What's the solution? It's so irritating!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Como se llama?

Just poking my head in to say...there's only one reason I wish I'd had kids. Not for the companionship or the joy of knowing my genes will carry on forever, or the hours of potty training, homework and driver's ed.

I wish I'd had kids so I could have named them. I have some strong opinions on weird made-up names, and I always felt that parenthood would be my chance to strike a blow for nice, normal, pretty, traditional names.

(I know my name isn't exactly traditional, but I do think it's normal and pretty. Now my parents did make up my sister's name, as far as I can tell: Jenita. I think it's pretty, too, and maybe not totally normal, but not crazy, either! And at least they didn't give it one of those semi-literate spellings that are all the rage nowadays. Today my poor sister would be named JyNee'tah or something worse.)

Anyway, I stumbled across this site the other day and it's given me such reading pleasure I thought I'd pass it along:

Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing