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Showing posts from May, 2012

Something beautiful


No, not World Wrestling Federation. (I bet some of you didn't know that's what those letters stood for, once upon a time, am I right?)

On the last day of May – NaBloPoMo's "Play" month – I'm going to write briefly about a game. Imagine that, I'm sticking to the theme.

I downloaded Words With Friends to my phone a few days ago. (Is there some way to find out exactly when you installed things? If there is, I haven't figured it out. As I frequently remark, my phone is much smarter than I am!) My cousin challenged me to a game, and I began playing.

I don't remember how I learned she had started a game with me, but I noticed that two other people also had, several days previously, and that (apparently) because I'd never responded, they automatically won.

That they won without a move on my part doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I didn't know about the games. I'm not sure how one gets notified. Am I supposed to do something with …

May 30 - Your personality

Well, the garden got smaller yesterday …

but the soil got better.

As I was heading out to get the tiller out of the shed, the phone rang. My horse-loving neighbor had a pile of manure mixed with sawdust for me. I'd thought she wasn't going to have any this spring (she's been spreading it across her pasture as soon as they clean the barn, to cut down on flies), but she saved a day's worth for me.

My neighbor is very thoughtful like that.

So instead of tilling and planting, I spent the morning shoveling you-know-what. And it was EXACTLY enough to cover the remaining unplanted, unmulched ground. I only have one full bale of straw left, and no cardboard, but I can take my time now that the manure is down.

It won't be long before the garlic is ready to harvest, so there will be an empty bed for green beans, probably, or cucumbers maybe. Something that will mature well before the first frost.

I'm supposed to capture my personality in the photoaday project today. Look for a picture of the river later on … I …

May 29 - A number

So far, so good …

Meaning no more pain.

My right foot has had some numbness for several years now, some kind of nerve damage according to my real doctor (yes, I have one, but I have crappy insurance which is why I always consult Dr. Google first). The numbness seems worse after that painful episode Sunday evening, but that could be just my imagination. Your comments have been helpful, and it's good to know so many of you cared enough to say something.

(Usually I don't want advice, but this time I'm open to all suggestions. I'd love to know there are options out there other than BLOOD CLOT or ANEURYSM or DEATH BY LAZING IN A CHAIR.)

I took it easy yesterday. In fact, I went back to bed around 9 a.m. and actually fell asleep for a while. This is something I never-ever-ever do. Worked at the garden center in the afternoon, made a delicious chicken stir-fry for dinner and pretty much did a whole lotta nuthin'.

Which is probably just what I needed to do.

Today I'm going to till the o…

May 28 - The weather today

Dr. Google isn't much help

Before I explain the cryptic title of today's post, let me say how thrilled – thrilled – I am to have not gained a zillion pounds last week and weekend. Beginning with the unexpected restaurant meal Wednesday, when the power was out, I ate in restaurants four consecutive nights. Two of those meals ended with dessert. This morning I weigh one pound more than my lowest for the year, and 10 pounds less than January 1. In addition to thrilled, I'm shocked.

I've been super-busy in the garden. All 31 bags of barn-floor straw have been spread in the garden. There's a smallish section that is still open – I didn't have enough cardboard to cover it – and I'm going to till the hell out of it and plant something there. The edamame is beginning to burst through the dirt, the tomato plants look great. We have way too many zucchini plants at the garden center so I brought some of those home and put them in the ground, along with some paprika peppers, the fruits of which are …

May 27 - Something sweet

May 26 - 12:00

May 25 - Unusual

Happy birthday ...

to ME! Running way late this morning, that's what happens when you decide you have to comment on everyone's Facebook messages. Heh.

Anyway, I hope I feel more like writing next week. I've just not been in the mood lately, I'm sure y'all can tell.

My husband's mother's cousins are descending this weekend. Average age is about 82. A friend said it sounded like God's waiting room. Should be, um, interesting.

Last year I came up with 60 things about me (spread out over several days). Maybe I'll think of one more new one to post later. Or not! Heh.

May 24 - Something new

May he stay …

forever young.

Happy birthday to my favorite entertainer, songwriter, poet and musician – Bob Dylan is 71 today!

So easy to remember his birthday, when it is 10 years and one day before mine. Heh.

So yesterday was a very long day, and I came home from work in a heavy downpour to find the power was out. My husband and I went to a the local Chinese restaurant for dinner. We're going out for dinner tonight, to celebrate my birthday.

We're going out for dinner tomorrow, the first day of his mother's family reunion, and we're going out for dinner with the clan on Saturday, as well.

I will be well and truly SICK of restaurants by the time Sunday gets here.

Today, though, I will play Bob Dylan music and enjoy a day off and get ready to greet age 61 with grace.

May 23 - Technology

May 22 - Pink

My favorite color!

Good morning, sunshine!

It rained overnight (thank you, Mother Nature, for watering the garden and plants for me) and the prediction is for more rain and even flash flooding here in southern West Virginia today.

But we early risers got a glimpse of the sun before it slipped back behind the clouds:

I've been spot-checking my weight occasionally this month and am delighted and baffled by a four-pound loss. I said I was done with the struggle, and I am. And four pounds in less than a month isn't all that amazing, but for me, well, it is.

I've been having homemade yogurt with a little strawberry jam, sprinkled with chia seeds, for breakfast almost every morning. Lunch is usually something left over from dinner or a PB&J. Dinner is whatever I can make that's fast and relatively healthful. No time for snacking and I don't usually eat anything after dinner. So food has been pretty normal, and the only time I'm hungry is four or five hours after the last time I ate.

Imagine that.

All I…

May 21 - Where you stand

Two ideas for today's photo prompt came to mind, so I went ahead and interpreted both of them.

Monday? Again? Already?

I need a wife, I really do. Or a time management course. Or a clone. Or Molly Maids.

What I don't need is One. More. Commitment.

I knew I was going to be busy beyond belief this spring, but I truly had no idea how that was going to look. Or feel. Well, I'm here to tell you it looks like hell – laundry gets washed, dried and folded but never seems to make it back into a dresser drawer. My floors desperately need cleaning, it's a good thing no one ever just "drops in" out here in the Middle of Nowhere. The pile of unread magazines is three months high and ready to slip off the undusted end table where they landed when I had to make room on the table to eat dinner.

How does it feel? I hate feeling this disorganized and behind. This weekend would have been a great time to do a little catching up, but I was gone all day Saturday and spent yesterday working in the yard. Not the garden, as I would have preferred. I mowed and mowed and mowed. And then I whacked weeds and…

My motto …

from years ago was this:

I haven't lived like that in a long time, years, actually, but I find myself, lately, going there again. I think I've learned that some risks are worth taking, while it's fine to let others go.
Something has come up, something I can't really write about yet, but I'm throwing up this post as a teaser. And a reminder to myself that, while living on the edge usually ended in disaster – back in the day – it didn't always. Combined with a bit of maturity, the willingness to ask for help and advice and a spirit of cooperation, it might actually end up being pretty comfortable over here.

May 20 - Something you can't live without

May 19 - A favourite place

May 18 - Something you made

Finally enough strawberries to actually eat!

Today is the next to the last day of National Women's Health Week here in the United States. My husband is a psychiatrist, and his e-mails this week have been focusing on women's mental health.

I could use a little mental health these days. Heh.

Actually (don't you love it when little kids say 'actually?' All of my grandchildren have, so far, gone through an actually stage) the day is starting off on a bright note, with fresh strawberries from my garden topping my Shredded Wheat. I'm excited to write a little reaping-and-eating news, since there isn't much knitting (still working on the endless blue stockinette pullover) and there's NO running.

(Two of our Amish neighbors grow strawberries as a crop to sell, and neither of their gardens are doing well at all. I think our non-winter followed by a cold snap confused them. This might be all I get from the few plants I have.)

My intentional activity yesterday included baking two batches of brownies working …

May 17 - Snack

It's kinda froggy out here

Typical May morning again – dense fog, birdsong, multiple cups of coffee, new photo app on the phone.

I'm so happy I got an Android when it was time to replace my BlackBerry. The only advantage of the BB is the keyboard – I'm an excellent typist on a computer, typewriter or BB keyboard, but my skills are CRAP on a touchscreen. It's not just the size of the keyboard, either. My typing skills are equally atrocious on the Nook Color.

This photo of distant fog and close-up peonies was taken using an app called One Man With A Camera. When you start with this app you first select a camera and then select a filter and then take your shot. I'd prefer taking the shot first and then running through the various effects, like Instagram, but this is fun, too. (I tried searching for an image to alter after I opened the app but didn't see how to accomplish it.)

In this picture, I love how the flowers mimics the treeline. I did NOT plan that, in fact I just now noticed it, after l…

May 26 - What You're Reading

There are no words

Or at least there weren't many yesterday. Did you miss me? But here's a few for today.

The family drama is firing up again, from a different angle this time. I just want to run away sometimes. Thank goodness for Tuesdays, when I get to go to jail. Heh. (For anyone new here, I volunteer at a federal women's prison every Tuesday evening, where I am privileged to learn so very much from the inmates I work with.)

Besides, running away doesn't solve the problem, it just creates new ones. Like where's Debbi? And why isn't she here making dinner?

Moving on …

As I was leaving the house yesterday to go to jail, the phone rang. It was my son, with the unhappy news that my little granddaughter had broken her right arm. She's not quite five and it happened at preschool. It could have been much worse, as she fell from one of those tall climbing things. She's quite scraped up and some of her front teeth are loose, so she'll be going to the dentist today instead o…

May 15 - Love

May 14 - Grass

Crash landing

After weeks of nearly nonstop work/activity/busy-ness/chores/STUFF happening all the time, yesterday was just one of those days. I missed my mother, and regret to this day what a crappy daughter I was to her. I was a crappy mother, as well, but the children have forgiven me, even when I sometimes can't let go of it.

It was supposed to rain yesterday, but by mid-morning it hadn't yet and the things I've recently planted – rhubarb and bleeding hearts and stevia, lemon balm – were a little droopy, so I dragged the hose out and watered everything. It started raining a couple hours later. OF COURSE.

The only other "work" I did yesterday was to print the reminder post cards for this week's Democratic women's meeting. That's it! I played a lot of solitaire (on the phone and on the computer) and Scrabble (on the Nook), read a couple magazines, and pretty much did a whole lotta nuthin'.

I work at the garden center this afternoon. It's drizzly and cool …

May 13 - Mum

Garden FAIL!

Well, I worked outside nearly all day yesterday, but did NOT, as promised, get everything weeded and planted.

I can see the lettuce again. Yay! And half of the row of snow peas. That was it for the weeding, and I consider that a spectacular fail. As I said yesterday, I'm an A-to-Z kinda girl, and for me to not finish a row … well, something must be wrong.

After putting 50 tomato plants in the ground (which meant digging 50 holes and dumping compost into each of them first), I realized the best use of my remaining time yesterday afternoon would be to mow the field grass. Because it's going to rain today. Since the grass was already tall enough to bale (kidding! almost!), I knew I had to quit playing in the dirt and start riding around on the mower.

Mowing (and weeding, actually) offer instant gratification – all you have to do is look behind you to see you're making progress. Wouldn't it be great if losing weight were that easy?

Two and a half hours later it was time to…

May 12 - something that makes you happy

May mornings

My husband loves May mornings in the southern West Virginia hills. Many of them are shrouded in fog and most are cloaked with dew. The birdsong is lovely, especially when the robins and bluebirds and doves first start tweeting.

I've grown to love May mornings, as well. Actually, I love all mornings. I've always been a lark. Even as a teen I rarely slept 'til noon and about the only time you'll find me in bed past 6 a.m. is when I'm sick.

The sky this morning was stunning, with pink clouds (seriously!) punctuating the early, soft-blue sky. My mother used to say it was "sky-blue pink" outside. She wasn't an especially poetic woman, but I remember her saying that, and hope I always do.

This May morning will – WILL – find me in the garden, as soon as it warms up just an eentsy bit more. I hope to get everything weeded and planted today, and it will take most of the day to do it. I'm promising myself I will take some breaks and then get right back to i…

May 11 - Kitchen

May the Eleventh be with you, as well

A week ago today I wrote about the birth of my daughter. Today is my son's birthday, and it wasn't nearly as traumatic as was hers.

Back in the olden days of obstetrics doctors figured once you've had a C-section you would always have one. Also back in the day, we good little mothers didn't question our doctors. And so it was that on May 10, 1973, I stopped by my Weight Watchers meeting on my way to the hospital, where I was admitted and scheduled for surgery the next morning.
The nice thing about a planned C-section is you can have your bags packed and your legs shaved before you head for the hospital. Then again, C-sections are major surgeries and the recovery was a lot longer. I was in the hospital for eight days – can you believe it? Who stays in the hospital for eight days for a C-section in the 21st century? My son was there an additional day because he had jaundice; he spent most of his nursery time under a bilirubin light.
Another thing doctors did back in the day…

May 10 – A favourite word

It's a beautiful morning

Apologies in advance if you're going to be hearing the Rascals' version of today's post title All. Day. Long. (I hate earworms, too.)

Thankfully, the derision by the national media I expected over the spectacular primary showing by a federal inmate over a sitting President was kept to a minimum. Perhaps they realize it's politically incorrect to point out the stereotypical hillbilly mentality.

What I didn't expect was the complete dearth of opinion from the local outlets. There were no opinion pieces in the paper and the local news stations ignored the issue completely. Maybe the thinking is if they ignore it, it will go away. Somehow I think racism doesn't just "go away."

Gingerzingi, I loved your comment. (I love everyone's comments, but to read that someone thought the whole thing was a joke … ah, one can only wish it were so.)

Time to move on. Fair warning, though: As a devoted Democrat and president of the local Dem women's group, expect …

May 9 – Something you do every day

The morning after

Before I get started on what happened here in the Mountain State's voting booths yesterday, let me commiserate for a moment with my brothers and sisters in North Carolina, which became the 31st state to constitutionally declare a marital union to be between a man and a woman. The amendment reaches much farther than that, however. I'm so sorry for my friends who live and work and sleep there.

It's tough to be a left-wing, pinko, socialist, liberal, forward-thinking commie rat in West Virginia.

Now, I'm not quite all of those things. Yet. But I do wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Democratic politics, and I still think it's possible to turn West Virginia blue in November.

Then again …

Who is this Keith Judd, you ask, and what was he doing on the West Virginia ballot?

Judd currently resides in Beaumont, Texas. He will be a guest of the state of Texas, at Texarkana Federal Correctional Institute, until June, 2013, and he has been there for more than 15 years a…

May 8 - A smell you adore

The second most important day of the year

It's Primary Election Day here in West Virginia. Those of you who live in Indiana and North Carolina get to vote today, as well. It's a hugely important day in NC, as Amendment One goes to the voters. There's no question I would be voting against it, if I lived in the Tarheel State. It's a bad bill, brought to the voters by overzealous (GOP) legislators who think it's just dandy to peek into your bedroom or crash your wedding reception.
They should mind their own business and quit effing around with the state Constitution.
We Mountaineers are 59 percent Democrat and 29 percent Republican, but you wouldn't know it looking at the last three Presidential elections. Only one Democrat Congressman (mine!) remains in the state. Of our two U.S. Senators, one is a solid Democrat with a lot of seniority (he's not up for re-election this cycle) and the other is a freshman moderate Dem (some call him a  DINO – Democrat In Name Only) hoping to be elected to his first f…

May 7 - Someone that inspires you

Too pretty to go to the gym

I'm heading out for a walk, a real, live, honest-to-goodness, intentional walk as soon as I hit the Publish button on this. I haven't walked for several days, but a nudge from a friend is getting me going.

Still working on whittling down my chore list. It's very satisfying to cross those items off. Yesterday I finished up the blackberries. I poked the canes through the fence so they'll grow UP instead of out, and found a few blossoms. I just hope the birds don't beat me to the fruit.

I work from noon to 4 today, so I'll have time to weed and mulch around the apple trees after my walk. One more crossed-off THING!

For Winnie, who asked if growing celery is hard: Yes it is, I've never gotten more than a few puny stalks from my attempts. I'm not sure what the secret is. But I keep trying anyway. My most successful "crops" are oregano and dill. Both have self-seeded for several years now. I have a long border of oregano along a brick sidewalk in fr…

May 6 - You

Y'all are the BEST!

Not that I needed the validation or anything, but it was lovely to read your supportive and uplifting comments yesterday. It was, indeed, a down day, and those happen every once in a while. I made the best of it, and will continue to do everything I can to eat healthfully, move gracefully and with intention (doesn't that sound all yoga-y?) and shoo those negative thoughts from my mind. With your help, of course. THANK YOU.

After I published yesterday's post I went to the drugstore for generic Claritin and an allergy eye drop, to treat whatEVER the hell happened to my eye on Friday at the garden center. I was standing at the potting bench, moving petunia plugs into larger pots, when suddenly my right eye began swelling. It was quite dramatic, actually, everyone there noticed it. I washed it out with clear, cold water and hoped for the best, but that best wasn't good enough. I needed an anti-allergy arsenal, because whatever it was was quickly spreading to the left eye.


May 5 - Bird

I know I said it wasn't going to be about the struggle

Several days ago I wrote a sort of manifesto for my one thousandth post, some blather about moving on, escaping from the prison of food, I'm more than my weight, blah, blah, blah. I've been doing pretty well not bringing up the subject one way or the other.

But I gotta tell you, it's hard to not focus on something that gets in your way every. damned. day.

And it's especially hard when, now that I'm much more active than I've been all winter, the number on the scale is creeping upward.

I would have expected the opposite. Wouldn't you?

I recently ordered a couple nice pairs of capris in a size smaller than I wore last summer. Last summer's capris are very baggy and I'm constantly fussing with them. The new ones came, I tried them on, they were a little snug. But I thought to myself that it wouldn't take long before I'd be able to wear them comfortably. At the rate I'm going, it's going to take, um, forever.

So I'm discouraged this …

May 4 - Fun

May the Fourth be with you …

Forty-two years ago, at about this time of the morning, I woke up in labor. Twelve hours later I was wheeled into an operating room, where my firstborn was delivered by C-section.

My dad, who was in the Ohio Air National Guard, was testing for his private pilot's license as I struggled to deliver his granddaughter. He also was on alert, due to the situation at Kent State that led up to the events of that day. (He was not called up for active duty, thankfully.)

I wasn't politically active at that time. Had I been, I might have been in Kent protesting Nixon's invasion of Cambodia. My life took a different turn and there I was, almost 19, a baby having a baby.

That baby, 42 years later, amazes me. She's raising two children, working full-time and going to law school. She's bright, witty, savvy, pretty, energized and organized. She's a good example for me and for everyone who knows her, especially those children.

Happy birthday, H!

I managed to incorporate quite a …

May 3 - Something You Wore Today

A typical – and an atypical – day

I pinned this to Pinterest the other day:

And this is what I wrote about it:
Actually, here's a list of what my husband thinks I should do most days (he thinks I overextend myself). Wonder what he'd think if I actually DID nothing all day?!
He really does tell me I need to slow down, take a day off, just do nothing all day (mostly because that's what he does all day. Mostly.)

Well, spring has sprung and there's much to do. My typical day starts around 6 a.m., which is my natural get-up time. I let the dog out, make coffee, fire up the computer, check e-mail, Facebook and Pinterest, write to both of you and then read what y'all have written. Then I either go to work at the garden center (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) or go to work here at home.

If I work at the garden center, I still have to get something out for dinner, pack a lunch, throw a load of laundry in, and wipe down the bathroom and the kitchen sink before I leave. Work means getting my hands dirty, lots of…