Tuesday, May 31, 2016

goodbye to May

With yesterday as Memorial Day, we were graced with a three-day weekend.  It was WONDERFUL!!  Even though I only completed perhaps less than 30% of the tasks on my list, significant progress was made.  One task in particular that I’m always eager to get out of the way, is scrubbing down the screened porch so we can sit out there…as if I ever sit out there anymore…but I will be doing more of that this summer.  In fact, I could sit out there and work – we have power and Wi-Fi…all the necessities of work life right there in the midst of Mother Nature (not quite Mother Nature, but not far from it).  The porch and furniture is now free from dead bugs, bird droppings, cat and dog fur, and pollen (at east for now).  I’ve set my plants out there, and now realize I must buy a plant stand that will survive the great outdoors.  There are too many plants to set on the porch floor.  I am bringing home one very tall corn plant, one large spider plant, and two big philodendrons from work this month.  Those will go on the porch as well.  It’s going to be like a jungle!!! 


Glad to have this out of my kitchen!!  It takes up lots of space.  
I planted stuff all weekend.  The garden has beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, and cabbage.  For all my gardening readers who want more detail (you know who you are), we are growing Mountaineer half runners (beans), Silver Queen (corn), Marketmore (cukes), California Wonder (bell peppers), Hungarian Wax (banana peppers), Better Boy and Celebrity (tomatoes), and Bravo (cabbage).  Sadly, the cabbage is doing piss poor and there is nothing to cheer about if you saw the sickly plants.  I think we waited too late and it’s just too hot for them.  

Out there in the corner of the vegetable garden, I planted some zinnias and tall snapdragons.  Someone insists we need to cut down trees because our garden is shaded too much.  He whines so much about it, that I plant that corner in sun-loving flowers because he insists vegetables won’t grow there.  Silly city boy.  That’s fine.  I’ll grow pretty flowers to cut for bouquets, but I can’t really bring myself to cut them when they pretty.  While I was down low to the ground tonight planting my flowers, I saw this little reptilian cutie watching me.  He had dug a whole under the bean fence that is closest to my “shady” corner.  Someone will probably want to remove him, but I will advocate strongly for him to stay.  Turtles eat bugs (and I hate tomatoes, so he can have all of them that he wants).   

I never saw him blink

I planted flowers in pots and strawberry jars for the porch.  I also ripped out a whole row of overcrowded day lilies that were growing across the front of the house.  They are lovely when they bloom, but I haven’t seen one bloom in several years.  The deer eat all the buds before they open.  In place of the day lilies, I planted impatiens.  I think there may be too much sun for them to do well…we will see. 

I gave my poor succulent garden a revamp.  One plant survived well and one is still barely hanging on.  I put three new specimens in it.  I love it!!!  I want to add some more over the summer. 

More to come...

Someone and I took Gracie for a walk out to Greenbo earlier last week – the sky was overcast and the water like glass.  I have to get my kayak out soon.  Tomorrow is June and adventure is calling my name.  Green is my favorite color. 

My kayak wants to be over there

Earlier this month, just two days before our brother’s birthday, Mike and I visited the cemetery and set a gravestone for our brother.  I had no idea how heavy a chunk of granite is.  The concrete slab underneath was even heavier than the stone.  How very odd it was to see it there on the ground amongst all our other family members – a gravestone for our brother.  It was kind of like a family reunion. 

not forgotten

Thursday, May 26, 2016

working the plan

25 working days.

It’s getting real that I’m quitting my job.  As many times as I’ve run the numbers with my financial advisors, as many times as they’ve assured me I can pay the bills, it freaks me out to think about giving up the paycheck.  The idea of depending on Someone to pay bills if we fall on hard times is completely unfathomable.  It's not in my nature to depend on somebody for money.  

 The other night, I had a bad dream.  It wasn’t even like my typical bad dreams – nobody died and there were no snakes.  In fact, it started out good.  In my dream, Someone, me, Erin, Emily, Sarah, and Sarah’s "man friend" were going out to go to dinner to celebrate my retirement.  For some weird reason, we were going to the Chimney Corner, a little restaurant in town that has been there for over 100 years.  The food there is expensive and not even that great; I haven’t been in there for at least 20 years.  Anyway, this particular day (in my dream), they were having a buffet and the line of people waiting to get in was backed up all the way outside the restaurant, out to the street.  Someone said, “Hey we’ll go on in and get us a table – there’s no need for all of us to wait in line.”  I agreed and they all went inside.  It finally came my turn to pay.  The cashier said, “That’ll be $650 dollars.”  I about choked, but handed her my credit card without question and paid.  Inside the restaurant, it was packed and noisy.  I wandered all  around the restaurant (which seemed enormous compared to how it is in real life) and never saw a familiar face.  Eventually I concluded they must be outside waiting for a table, so I went out the back door. Sure enough, they were all standing around outside.  Someone said, “Where the hell have you been?  We already ate and have been waiting here for an hour.”  

That’s when I woke up. 

What was that dream about?  The money?  The money!  $650 for dinner?? 

Our house has fallen to total ruin with all the hours I’ve worked since January.  Someone has no interest in the condition or cleanliness of our living environment, and he has no intentions or ambition to help.  He’s always been that way, so it’s just who he is.  You live with what you marry; and accept faults to keep things peaceful.  


I’ve been telling myself (since January) that I’m working myself to death so that I can amass enough $$$$ to pay for some new flooring, furniture, and repairs.  Right now, we’re in desperate need to get our gutters cleaned out and the porch roof either patched or replaced.  We have trees and weeds growing tall in the gutters – that’s how bad they are.  To make matters even worse, the last few evenings when I got home from work, a squirrel family was sitting on the roof eating out of them.  I love squirrels, but damn them for that.  Is it not bad enough to see a forest growing out of the gutters without having squirrels dining out of them as well?  I’ve called three different people who advertise they do roofing and gutter cleaning.  None have even returned my calls.  I’m to the point, it’s like just name your price and I’ll pay.  Just come and get it done, PLEASE! 

Last night, I bought a new screen door for our porch – the old one has rotted, is broken and hanging by one hinge.  The reviews on the new door say it’s shit, but it’ll definitely be an improvement over the old door.  It has a pet entrance so perhaps Gracie and Molly won’t destroy it as quickly as they did the old one.  Once the door is up, I will scrub down the porch and set my plants outside.  With the door broken, the birds come in and make a huge mess.  Maybe I’ll get some new porch furniture this summer when it’s discounted.  The old stuff is duct-taped together in places and looks pretty crappy.  

Last night, also, I bought a tall cabinet and a book shelf for my office space (aka dining room).  This weekend is a 3-day holiday and a light-work one in terms of my classes at University #2.  The dining room is my main task.  Someone gave me the go-ahead to sell his big old table.  It’s a solid walnut antique that he bought cheap in an estate sale, but we have no chairs for it, we’ve only used it a few times, and it stays piled up with junk.  It’s going to a consignment store as soon as I clear it off, wipe the dust off, and find somebody to help me load it into my van (hopefully Emily's boyfriend and Emily).  It’s not an ugly table – in fact, I paid to have it refinished after Someone and I married.  Then at some point, Emily scratched her name into the top of it.  She went through a destructive phase (very destructive phase) in her preschool years. 

So now I have many tasks waiting - furniture to assemble and a major decluttering effort (in just one room - my office space - for now).  AND….flowers to plant.  I have four flats waiting, and seeds.  It’s going to be an awesome weekend!!!  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

through the looking glass

44 days.

I found myself staring out the window this morning, and contemplating what I might be doing on a Monday morning once my time is up in that place (that place…my corporate job).  The world outside my office window is lush and green after a weekend of hard rain. The leaves are shiny in the sunlight, shiny for now because the rain washed the pollen off them.  After a few dry days, they will not reflect light as much as today.
It’s finals week at University #1.  My final exams are online and students have until 1 PM today to take their exams.  Wrapping up (but tonight will be killer to finalize grades). 

Sunday, because I had a some free time, Someone and I took Gracie out to Greenbo Lake for a walk.  There were only a few people out there because of all the nasty weather.  The sky threatened rain with fat gray low-hanging clouds and thunder rumbling in the distance. We were walking along a creek bank.  Someone let Gracie drag him down over the bank to the edge of the creek so she could wade in the water – Gracie loves the water.  I was up above, higher up, and strolled ahead.  I stopped and turned around to see what man and dog were doing – they were in the same place.  I stood there facing the creek, watching them a bit, then turned my head to see what was ahead on up the creek.  In my peripheral vision, something moved.  I looked down on the ground, not more than 4 feet from where I standing, there lay a pile of writhing brown snakes of various sizes on top of a large flat rock. The species and exact number – no idea.  Poisonous or not – no idea.  Perhaps it was a mama and babies. I saw fat and thin snake coils.  I shrieked and jumped back. They all scattered and slithered down into the rocks.  Hopefully they were garter snakes or water snakes or some harmless kind, but there are plenty of copperheads out there.  Snakes creep me out.  I’m grateful I did not step on them.

Life is outside the window, or rather, my new life is out there. It’s going to be really good!  When I was a kid, oftentimes I stood in front of a mirror and imagined my life in the reflected world.  Surely that was a better place on that side than the real world, at least in my imagination, this was true.  The world outside my office window is not imaginary.  It’s the real deal.  It’s time to make phone calls and get the ball rolling.