Saturday, June 9, 2018

Head games


I’ve played golf for a while...since I was maybe in my mid-twenties.  I had no interest in the game until I went to work for Big Oil, and actually not until I began working with the pipeline folks who took golf very seriously.  Pipeline was mostly a men’s work group.  Working in IT, of course, even that was probably 80% men in those days.  But once assigned and dedicated to work on pipeline applications, I can only think of a hand-full of women who worked in that group.  As such, because nearly every group-wide meeting involved an afternoon of golf with beer followed by a day-long meeting, I learned to play golf.

Once I became reasonably skilled with the game, I LOVED to play golf.  In fact, I was a golf addict once upon a time.  I played every opportunity and even played competitively on an amateur level.  During a several-year period in my life, I hung with a group of women – like eight of us, who played several times a week together for years.  Those were good times.  We had a blast because we played strictly for fun and socializing.  Men might “pretend” to play that way, but men are just too competitive to play like that.  Like, you rarely see a woman get mad and throw a golf club on the course, but men do it all the time.  (That’s not to insinuate that we women don’t say our fair share of cuss words). 

It never rains here (and other myths)

One thing I know is that golf is a head game.  If you’re mind isn’t on the game, you won’t be able to play worth a shit.  If you start thinking negatively (like about a bad shot you just made), it’s going to screw up your next shot.  If you’re thinking about anything other than where you want the ball to go when you strike it, chances are good that the ball will find itself somewhere difficult or unfortunate.  One of the fun things about golf is pure luck.  For example, when you hit a ball that hits a tree squarely – well that’s unfortunate because obviously you’re trying to avoid obstacles.  More often than not, the ball hits the tree and goes somewhere awful.  But sometimes, good fortune smiles on you – you hit a tree and the ball ricochets off the branches and lands two feet from the pin, or somewhere near the green at least.  That’s what makes the game fun. 

Someone and I were playing golf this evening.  It was getting late, nearly 7:45 PM so the sun was almost below the hills.  We were on the 17th tee and could see something unusual in the fairway.  It was obviously an animal – we realized it was a skunk.  The fairway is fairly narrow and the skunk seemed to be meandering around in the area where we normally hit what either one of us would consider to be a decent drive.  We had nobody behind us so we waited several minutes to see if the skunk would move on...it didn’t.  Finally, Someone hit his drive and it landed a good 50 yards beyond the skunk in the middle of the fairway.  He was pleased and told me that if I hit into the skunk, I should take the cart and he would wait by the cart path.  I busted a marvelous drive, one of my best of the day, that rolled well beyond Someone’s ball (beyond Mr. Skunk) and stopped about 30 yards from the green.   The skunk ran off when it heard us coming – I will say it looked healthy with a beautiful coat – not like the scraggly ones we see in town.  Based on our drives on that hole, the skunk brought us extraordinary luck, or perhaps it just gave us incentive and reason to focus on our game.        

Thursday, May 31, 2018

randomly rambling


This is a photo of my lunch today.  The lettuce and radish were fresh from my garden, picked no more than 15 minutes before consumption.  The carrots were from the grocery store, because my carrots need about another 40 days in the ground.  It’s OK, they are coming along nicely.  My salad was delicious, by the way.



On Facebook, people post all sorts of food porn.  Not only food that they’ve ordered in a restaurant, but also recipes that show delectable (decadent?)  deserts.  I don’t often take pictures of food I’m going to eat, but sometimes I take photos of something I’ve just baked that turned out well.  It never looks as good in the photo as it does in real life.  I suppose that’s true with most things...although with picture editing, we can enhance the appearance of some things (better than real life).  I don’t edit photos, but perhaps it would be a useful skill.

I planted flowers in pots yesterday.  I enjoy doing that.  In my imagination, the little plants are thanking me for freeing them from the tight plastic tubs they are trapped in when they are sold at the nursery.  Their roots will have space to grow, and their leaves will have room to spread out and breathe.  In my imagination it’s all good, but there’s a nagging worry in my mind that they might not be pleased with their new environment.  Like, maybe they know they need more sun and space for optimum health than what I’ve provided or planned for.  They’re thinking, what the hell?  Do you expect me to bloom here?  We will see...perhaps they are more grateful than I’ve given them credit for. Perhaps humans are much more critical than plants (and other animals). 

Emily moved out of her college apartment and has added all sorts of new clutter for me to deal with.  Most of it is now stacked in the basement...as if the basement needed more crap.  She will be taking it when she moves out again, in two or three years.  We will manage.  It is hard to deal with because Someone tends to be a hoarder.  My tendency is to be a minimalist.  Like, I don’t like lots of knick-knacks and stuff collecting dust.  I detest junk mail and magazines laying around.  My preference is to keep important papers filed. I hate small kitchen appliances that set around on the counter tops.  Also, I hate to have more supplies on hand than we can use in a three-month period. 

Someone stockpiles (aka - hoards).  I’m pretty sure we will never have to buy another light bulb in my lifetime.  When LED bulbs first came out, they were expensive.  We only had a few, but as soon as the price dropped, Someone went nuts.  I had to remind him SEVERAL TIMES to please not buy any more lightbulbs.  We have an entire shelf in the closet devoted to lightbulbs.  We also currently have a paper towel collection, air freshener collection, laundry soap collection, and a peanut butter collection.  We probably will not need to buy any of these for at least 18 months.  It’s nice to not run out, but it’s a lot of stuff in the house.  Someone likes to shop, especially when he can find a good deal. 

So, the real reason this blog post is happening tonight is that there is something important that needs doing, but I don’t want to do it.  Don’t misunderstand; I want it done in the worst way.  I’ve been putting it off for MONTHS now.  MONTHS!  And look at the time.  I will post this and go straight to bed so that I can get an early start on this important thing tomorrow.    

Friday, May 25, 2018

welcome summer


I’ve been way too busy lately for somebody who considers herself to be semi-retired.  I’m pretty sure I logged 50 hours last week (in three days) – I was trying to catch up with my classes and get ahead before Someone and I took a mini-vacation (Thursday through Sunday).  Then when we arrived back home Sunday afternoon, I dug deep into the rut to catch up work that came in while I was gone, plus opened a new session for University #2. 

Much has happened since my last blog post.  Erin and Emily graduated.  I’m a proud mama as you might guess.  Both graduated with honors and both will start graduate schools in August.  Someone and Someone’s parents attended Emily’s graduation in Morehead, and Sarah and I attended Erin’s in Louisville.  I hated that I couldn’t attend both, but on the drive home from Louisville, we stopped for lunch (still well over an hour away from Morehead) and watched the live cast of Emily’s graduation on Sarah’s phone (which has a bigger screen than my phone).  We got to hear Emily’s name called and see her walk across stage for a brief second or so.  It was better than nothing, but it made me sad that I couldn’t be there. 

Evening after graduation - Emily and Erin let me take photos of them
And then they got all goofie
   
Silly girls

I don’t think a girls’ vacation is in the plans for this summer...it’s on my mind to take one but corralling three girls for a few days in one place is nearly impossible.  I might wait until fall and rent a cabin at Natural Bridge State Park, inviting any girls who can make it.  It’s a place I’ve been wanting to see, and it should be beautiful when the leaves change.        

I don’t have seasonal allergies, which is a blessing because many people in the Ohio Valley suffer horribly with allergies.  A few days ago, I took Gracie out for her usual walk.  It looked like rain but I thought we had plenty of time to get a walk in.  Well no...we got about a mile from the car and all hell broke loose.  The sky blackened, thunder rumbled, and then the wind came.  So much wind!  Wind carrying more pollen than you can imagine.  As a contact lens wearer, my eyes felt like rocks had blown into my eyes.  My nose felt liked I snorted cotton balls, and so then I began breathing through my mouth which made things even worse.  I started coughing and sneezing and wheezing.  Gracie did too.  We were both miserable and grateful to get back inside the car.  Gracie and I are still coughing.  It kind of feels like a summer cold now...hopefully it will pass quickly.  

Someone and I visited Williamsburg, Virginia last weekend.  It’s a long story about how we happened to go there, but it was supposed to be a 3-day golfing vacation.  I booked it several years ago.  Our travel dates were flexible; however, I waited until the vacation deal would expire (at the end of May), so it became a use it or lose it situation.  As luck would have it, it poured rain the whole time we were there.  Fortunately, it was showers during the day and thunderstorms at night, so we were able to walk around and see things with our umbrellas.  What I liked most of all were all the flower and vegetable gardens.  Most houses there in historic Williamsburg section have gardens in the front or side yards where people can admire them.  

What a good sport!  He posed in the rain so I could take this photo  :)
  
A marvelous vegetable garden
A beautiful border of foxgloves
Beautiful poppies
Governor's Palace - we toured the inside.  Long rows of catalpa trees (blooming) on both sides of the green
In the garden behind the palace
A magical place

Yesterday, I visited two greenhouses and purchased what I thought would be enough flowers and vegetables (now I know it was not enough).  Today, I set out tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and egg plants in the big garden (we already have cabbage and broccoli growing).  Someone still needs to plant corn and beans...when he’s damn good and ready.  He likes to wait so that nothing is ready to pick until August.  God forbid that I should plant the sacred seeds before he wants them planted.  Fine – he can do it.  My raised bed has radishes that are ready to pick now, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.  My sweet peas are just starting to sprout.  I can’t wait until they start twining up the trellis and put out spectacular, sweetly-scented BLOOMS (I am hopeful). Sometime this weekend, I’ll plant flowers in pots, and zinnias and snapdragons in the big garden for cutting – weather permitting, of course.

I love planting and gardening.  It’s a wonderfully mindless thing to do.  When I was a kid, I hated working in the garden.  It was boring and nothing but a dreary chore to me.  Now that I’m an old woman with one foot in the grave, I love it.  (Honestly, I’m not quite old-age yet...and I don’t think the grave is in the same county...or maybe that’s just denial on my part).    

It feels like summer.  AT LAST!!  Once I’ve taken the kayak out, it will be official.  Next week?  Next week!   

Friday, May 4, 2018

off the rails

KyLady has gone a bit off the rails lately.  If you remember that dress in a prior post (the one that I was going to wear to Sarah’s wedding), I didn’t wear it.  In fact, it’s still hanging in my closet with tags on it.  I like it, so maybe I’ll wear it to Someone’s niece’s wedding in late May rather than returning it.  

Then, there’s this “rustic trellis” project I started and was so excited about in my last post.  Nope!  Not happening.  I bought a large planter and then decided the trellis was too damn big for it.  Even cut down to size, it’s still too big and heavy.  I think the best bet is to just use a small trellis that I already have and that’ll be my sweet pea attempt for 2018.  And by the way, KyLady has still not started the seeds yet.

KyLady is usually as reliable as the tides, or clockwork, or death and taxes, or some such very reliable thing.  But lately, not so much. 

On a happier note, the raised bed is planted with two kinds of lettuce, carrots, radishes, and Brussels sprouts.  In the big garden, we have cabbage and broccoli planted.  Next week, I’ll visit the greenhouse and buy some flowers (annuals) to put in pots and in the garden for cutting flowers.  I have favorites, so it seems like that’s all I ever plant and nothing else...maybe that’s not a bad thing.  It’s also time to get my hummingbird feeder out.  I love spring!  It’s finally here. 

University #1 had their graduation ceremony tonight.  This year, I didn’t go.  I wanted to, but they didn’t announce the keynote speaker and that’s the main reason I go.  I watched the ceremony on the live stream and was glad I didn’t go.  What a total disappointment!  There was no keynote speaker.  It’s really not fair for the graduates to have such a crappy ceremony.  As the camera panned over the faculty and honored guests section, there were MANY empty chairs.  There have been lots of lay-offs at University #1 (and across all the state universities in Kentucky)...I suppose morale is really bad and nobody wanted to attend. 

Erin and Emily will graduate a week from tomorrow (Saturday).  I am excited for both of them, and proud (of course).  What a lucky mother I am to have such brilliant, talented daughters (all of them).  Emily’s robe has been hanging in my doorway for several weeks now...to remind me to press it for her.  Erin will not even get hers until late next week.  I can’t wait to see it!  Emily’s school colors are blue and gold (at Morehead State); whereas Erin’s are red and black (at University of Louisville).  They will look very different.  Someone and his parents are attending Emily’s graduation.  Sarah and I are attending Erin’s.  I HATE that I can’t be at both of them.  Both girls have been accepted into graduate programs.  Emily will go to Marshall University and be...a buffalo?...they are the Thundering Herd.  Erin will stay at Louisville and remain a cardinal.

Emily's regalia

I scrubbed the winter filth off the screened porch on Thursday and carried all the plants out of my kitchen.  The plants are delighted to be outside where they have fresh air and space to spread their leaves freely.  All will be fertilized with the next watering and they will surely take off.  I am delighted to have my kitchen back to livable condition.  With all those plants in there, it's a bit suffocating, like a jungle...we only have a narrow path to walk through the kitchen, and space for only two people to sit at the table.  The kitchen looks so bare now...I think it’s given me a bit of postpartum depression.  But not for long; I’m already adjusting to the extra space. 

Some of my lovelies
SPACE!!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

life is happening NOW


I’ve been wanting to write something in my blog lately, but life has been busy.  In fact, even now, I should be working because...God knows...

But no, it’s after 10 and I’m going to blow off the rest of the evening with something that is not playing mindless games on my iPad.  Damn that iPad.  It sucks hours of my life away and I love it.  What a wonderful horrible invention. 

So, Miss Sarah got herself married on April 7th.  It was a beautiful wedding.  Everything seemed to go smoothly (at least from my perspective).  The church where the wedding was held is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever stepped foot in.  We don’t make churches like that anymore – beautiful gigantic stained-glass windows, lots of ornate wood with architectural accents like arches and pillars and statues.  It’s exciting to think that now I have a son-in-law...which makes me a mother-in-law.  I don’t want to be a bad one.  I have friends with bad mother-in-laws.  I’ve had two mother-in-laws and both are wonderful people.  I’m grateful. 

Sarah, Emily, and Erin.  My lovelies.
I’m also grateful that winter seems to have finally given up.  It’s not really warm yet, but at least we’ve not seen any snow flurries for a few weeks.  Yesterday, I planted cabbage and broccoli in the big garden, and Brussels sprouts in my raised bed.  As soon as I get things caught up with University #2, I’m going to plant lettuce, carrots, and radishes in my raised bed, and peppers and tomatoes in the big garden.  Someone and I got into a bit of an argument about the big garden.  It’s a long story...not for tonight.  Let’s just say Someone and I have very different thought processes.  His are bewildering to me sometimes.   

I have in mind to build a rustic trellis and plant sweet peas around it.  In my imagination, the trellis is covered with beautiful vines of delightfully-scented pink,white, and lavender flowers...just as they are shown (and promised) in the seed catalogs.  Here is what I have constructed so far. 

Imagination is needed (lots of it)

I would call it about 2% complete.  Less than 2% if you also account for preparing a site for it and whatever that entails.  In my imagination, we have a level sunny spot with all the sod removed and some sort of stone boundary around it...with at least 40 lily of the valley planted underneath as ground cover...it works in my imagination, trust me.  The sweet peas are annuals and won’t start sprouting until mid-May.  The lily of the valley will bloom mid-May, then just be leaves (maybe 10 inches tall or so) for the rest of the year – ground cover – a place for snakes to lay around.  Lilies of the valley will keep weeds and grass from growing under the trellis.  It will be good...if it works...if I actually finish it.  

The violets this year are magnificent.  I’ve been picking small bouquets of them every few days.  When I was a kid, I’d pick huge bouquets of them.  I wonder how anyone has the patience for that?  They wilt quickly, unfortunately.  I LOVE violets, and lily of the valley, and spring.

Welcome spring violets

Parting is such sweet sorrow.  University #1 is winding down.  This is our last week of classes and next week is final exams.  This is the time of year when I really enjoy my students.  By this time, I know their names and more about them.  We aren’t strangers anymore.  They are friendlier to me by now and we have more fun in the classroom as compared to the beginning of the semester.  And just when things get really good, it’s time to say good-bye.  Nothing good lasts forever, it seems.     

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Two weeks - count down


Sarah is getting married in two weeks from today!!  This morning, Emily went to the mall with me and together, we found a dress.  It was wonderful to have somebody come with me to collaborate, judge, zip/unzip, and fetch different sizes.  We both liked the dress I finally selected, although if I could wave a magic wand, my dress would be green or teal.  The blue is springy, at least.  Hopefully, spring will be here to stay in two weeks.  This dress is pictured on a tall, leggy model.  On me, the dress hits me at the upper half of my knee caps.  I have a white shrug to wear with it...and a string of pearls...I’m good to go.  Well, other than shoes.  I have navy blue shoes, but I might go get nude-color, same color as the model, but a different style.  I can’t deal with straps around my ankles.  They look nice, but they bug me way too much. 

My mother-of-bride dress

If Sarah’s daddy were alive, I think he would really like Sarah’s fiancé.  They are alike in many ways (good ways). Her fiancé’s father has also passed away; they have that in common.  What this means for their children is that they will not have grandfathers alive that they can meet.  I suppose it’s not that unusual these days, particularly because people wait longer to start families.  It seems odd to me because I knew my grandparents and great-grandparents pretty well.  (It seems that I am already planning a family for Sarah 😊).  

My father's mother's parents - they lived until I was 12 or 13 years old. 

I have plenty to do, but here I sit writing a blog post.  My alarm was set to go off at 8:15 this morning, but Someone got up early to go to his exercise class.  He got ready to go (making lots of noise), and then decided to go back to bed.  He slid back into bed and was quickly sawing the logs, but I was already thoroughly awake by that point.  It’s a great luxury to lay in bed doing nothing at all...molly lay atop of me purring loudly, and Gracie was stretched out beside me on her back, giving me the paw every time I stopped scratching her belly.  That might have been the main reason I didn’t go back to sleep.

Miss Molly likes to snuggle

Last weekend, Someone had a bad stomach bug.  Not wanting the catch the nastiness, I moved to the spare bedroom where we only have a twin-size bed (the room is very small).  Gracie insisted on sharing the bed with me, which left little room for either one of us.  Needless to say, it’s good to be back into my own bed.  I snapped this photo one morning – Gracie had not moved when I got up – you can see how she takes her half of the bed.  It’s kind of like that every night.  Someone and I start off the night with Gracie curled up tightly on the foot of the bed.  By morning, she has 50% of the bed in the middle and Someone and I have a few inches on each side.  We are all cozy, to say the least.  More times than not, Molly wants to share my part of the bed at some point during the night.  I am an animal magnet.

Gracie "sharing" the bed

My seeds arrived and are waiting to be planted...it’s a bit too early, but for a while there, I contemplated putting a few into the ground.  I have two kinds of lettuce, carrots, radishes, and onions for my raised bed.  I will go buy some Brussels sprouts and eggplant plants from the nursery to put in there as well when it opens for the season.  Someone is not a fan, but too bad.  The raised bed is my thing.  We also have the bigger garden where he can plant his beloved corn, beans, and tomatoes, and I plant cabbage and green peppers (and flowers for cutting).  This year, I’m going to try to grow sweet peas again.  They smell wonderful and are pretty...hopefully this year will be successful.

A box of hope and dreams
     

Monday, March 5, 2018

more procrastination


Today is Sarah’s birthday.  It seems like not that long ago that she was born, but time speeds and now she is an adult woman who will be married in another month.  I’m happy for her.  It’s a gigantic step to lock oneself into a huge legal commitment, but she and her fiancé have had plenty of time to think it through and I believe they are ready...only nobody can really be ready, can they?  It’s similar to having kids.  No matter how much you want them and think you can handle them, you really can’t imagine the impact until they’re here and you have to deal with whatever they bring.

Happy birthday dear Sarah

I am on break from University #1 this week.  I have grand plans for decluttering the house and cleaning.  Today, I got up and boxed up some stuff to take to the City Mission.  It’s piled in the downstairs foyer...waiting for me to haul it.  From there, I took to the great outdoors (today is sunny and cool), and fertilized the apple and cherry trees in our yard.  It takes 30 fertilizer stakes to feed four trees.  The cherry trees are dying...perhaps we’ll get another year or two out of them.  They are rotting; the soil has too much clay and the drainage is not good enough.  When the cherry trees die, perhaps I’ll plant a pear tree, or another apple.

While outside, I cut some daffodils – just the ones with bent stems.  When the stems get a crimp, the blossoms will just lay on the ground and shrivel.  I leave the ones that are drooping; sometimes they revive and stand up again.  We’ve had unusually warm weather than caused them to bloom, but the last two nights have been below freezing.  Someone gave me a dozen red roses on February 22nd – the anniversary of the day we met in person.  They are losing their pizazz, but they’re still pretty.  He always remembers the date, perhaps so that I don’t forget.

Roses from Someone, and daffodils from my garden

  
I sat down at my computer just now to work on my CV.  I can’t even bring myself to open the file.  After reading the news, I decided to write in my blog.  I agreed to teach a summer class (all online) for University #1, and I’m on schedule to teach four classes for them in fall.  There was discussion to eliminate the course I teach, but apparently, they are offering it for at least another year.  Still, with two girls starting graduate school this year, KYLady could use a higher paying job.  KYLady is just her own worst enemy sometimes.  Open the damn file, damn it!! 



And now look at the time!  Gracie should have her walk on this beautiful sunny afternoon.  Perhaps the CV will happen tonight.