Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If you say you're going to do it...

Here's my rant--hypocritical though it may be.  Let me start with the hypocrisy.  I had agreed to provide food for an event in March.  Now, as it turns out, we will either be in or just leaving Hawaii on that date in March.  One of those plot shift kinds of things.  I have attempted to make the situation a little more tenable, but I feel terrible about agreeing to do something and then backing out.  That being said...
It was early last spring that we decided to have some repair work/painting done.  We contacted the company.  They came to look.  They gave us a bid.  They had another large job that they had to finish up first, and then they would do ours.  Apparently, the large job ran into some lengthy difficulties.  I contacted the contractor.  He assured me we were on the list.  I contacted him a month later.  He assured me we were on the list.  It is now the eve of the first day of October.  I attempted to contact him again tonight.  No answer.  Darn that caller ID thing.  Then it occurred to me.  He never mentioned what list we were on.  Hmmmm.
Early this summer, we decided to have a small paver walkway installed next to the garage.  We called a reputable company.  They said someone would give us a bid.  I called them again three weeks later.  Someone would give us a bid.  Two weeks later, I called again.  The contractor came to look and gave me a bid!  I accepted the bid.  The work would be done in the next two weeks.  Three weeks later, I call again.  This time, the original contact gave me the cell number of the contractor who had bid the job.  I called.  I believe he said he heard I had been nagging the original contact.  Hmmmm.  Three weeks ago, I called him again, and he wouldn't be there in the next week but the week after for sure.  Tonight, I contacted him again.  Day after tomorrow.  That would be October 2.  I am NOT holding my breath. 
Now, this is the thing.  I understand things come up.  I understand that complications can extend other projects.  I understand that my projects are probably quite small in terms of revenue production.  I understand all that.  DO NOT TELL ME YOU WILL DO SOMETHING AND THEN LEAVE ME HANGING!  I should have not needed to call (or nag).  I should have been kept in the loop in terms of time.  And by golly, that work should be done!  Annie may be right.  The sun WILL come up tomorrow.  But the painters and masons?  Probably not!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I know! I know! It's about time!

You may have noticed a lapse in daily entering.  I hope you noticed it!  We have been virtually incommunicado for the last three days.  Not a bad thing.  Rest, relaxation, and girth increase, but with no effective connectivity.  You would think with a few days off I would have a plethora of advice, observations and or bromides to offer.  Nope.  As I write, we are in the car headed home, and I am writing this in a note format because there a parts of South Dakota that seeming eschew effective signal strength.  Instead of the usual witty Bon mots and priceless wisdom, I will simply say thanks for waiting.  And the beat goes on!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thar's gold in them thar hills!

Absolutely still.  Dinner's done.  The pine trees odiferize the deck.  The deer have eaten their fill.  The turkeys have strutted their stuff.  And a calmness that comes only from the knowledge that there is NOTHING we have to do settles over us.  The computers may or may not connect.  The phone may or may not stay charged.  The batteries in the camera are fresh and new, and life is good!  My wish tonight for you?  May you understand that very calmness and know you are loved!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A frightening thought

A late September trek across the state of South Dakota gives one plenty of time for reflection, not to mention dozing!  Amazing how one can go from totally alert to totally unconscious in such a short span of time.  I almost missed the burros on the side of the road!  But surprisingly I digress.  I have grown to appreciate the trees of South Dakota, knowing that most of them are there by dint of human planning and toil.  They offer a much needed break from the endless prairie.  And of course, they are deciduously preparing for dormancy.  The colors range from drab to striking.  Now, the reflection part.  As life has often been likened to the changing seasons, I hope that now, in the early autumn of my years, my approach to winter will be as splendiferous as the brightest colors of leaves.  In preparation for my "Oh god, he's going to be hell in the home" winter season, with luck I can elicit a smile or two, a sudden intake of breath on behalf the of the casual observer, and provide a break from the mundane prairies of acceptable behavior!  Look out, world!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Adios, Elmer

Five years ago, Rooster Rush became a community contest.  Businesses decorated to welcome the out-of-state hunters (and their spending habits), and thanks to our CVB director, Elmer Fudge was born.  Dressed from head to foot in orange (relying on his AFO [affinity for orange] wardrobe), Elmer came to life to judge the competitors and distribute the anticipated prize...fudge.  It was an amazing run, with stunning participation and delightful competitors.  This year, Elmer would miss the week of competition, so realizing change is beneficial, decided to hang up his named orange hat.  Today, at his last event, he will honor those that make Watertown the amazing place it is.  In every way possible, it's been sweet!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eponymous post

On the road again!  This time, we're headed to an AARP event in Sioux Falls.  Of course, any trip to SF necessitates a stop at Sam's Club for something we obviously need but don't know it yet!  Yup!  Full cart.  The most exciting thing was gas.  $1.94 a gallon!  Wait.  What exactly does this say about my life and my excitement level.  Shut up.  That was rhetorical.  AARP.  Cheap gas.  Old age.  Thank god!  

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Yin and Yang

Truly, a gorgeous September day.  Warm.  Breezy.  So much so, the air conditioner is running.  Cool.  Literally.  Unfortunately, preparing for the Drama Study Club dinner tomorrow evening, I need to proof some sourdough bread.  It needs a warm place.  Can't set it outside.  Can't kill the yeast in the oven.  Solution.  Turn the electric heat up in the bathroom and shut the door.  72 delightful degrees in most of the house.  85 in the bathroom!  It gives me cause to pause.  Isn't that what life is all about?  Finding the comfort level for the most part, but getting a little heat occasionally!  So far, I've been lucky.  While the heat at times has been uncomfortable, the end result has often been positive.  Too much of the same just doesn't cut it.  Especially if you want good bread!!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

salacious conversations

So....what do two retired school teachers talk about walking to breakfast?  This morning?  Grammar.  Specifically, is it "1/3 is..." or "1/3 are..."?  Since both are usually followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with "of", my grammar background would say "is".  But clearly, in most cases, that simply doesn't sound good.  Example.  "1/3 of the people is not caring about this."  Totally wrong.  It has to be "1/3 of the people are not caring about this."  Of course, you wouldn't say "1/3 of the pie are gone."  At least, I hope you wouldn't.  Now, of course, the world would not change, nor would gravity reverse its hold if the answer to this question remained unknown.  And truthfully, when breakfast was 1/3 gone, I had forgotten the question.  However, as I was 2/3 asleep in front of the television, like a niggling itch, it reared its ugly head.  Google.  After several tries and an amazing number of mathematical responses, I did find the answer.  It came right after the suggestion to reword the question so you didn't have to worry!  Example.  "Who could possibly give a rat's rump whether it's 'is' or 'are'"?  And better still, "Who ate the pie?"  For those of you drooling for the answer, it's simple.  Break the rule.  If the object of the preposition is singular, use "is".  If it is plural, use "are".  And if you wonder where the title of this opus comes from, consider what you are thinking I should have done with the question in the first place!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

It's the shxxx (rhymes with its!)--literally

Nothing says good weekend morning better than discovering your house now comes with an indoor pool!  Washed a load of clothes only to discover that gravity had discontinued its planned natural state, and the washing water, along with some natural brown coloration, had decided to flow backward.  It's a miracle.  Here's the surprise.  When I call the plumber, I get a recording.  If this is a plumbing emergency (well, it was to me!), please dial 2.  I dial 2.  Another soothing voice says, for a plumbing emergency, please dial 4.  I dial 4.  I get a recording.  A recording!  (Note to self--sure glad this group doesn't work for 911!)  No response.  I move the washer.  I have one of those snake things.  I can't even get it down the hole.  (See previous messages on mechanical abilities!)  I call again.  I press 2.  I press 4.  The voice returns to the original message.  I press 2.  I press 4.  The voice returns to the original message.  Not matching the soothing nature of the voice on the line, I exercise my vast knowledge of expletives.  Didn't help.  Now I have two alternatives.  I can wait for the return call or learn the breast stroke.  Or, I could exercise an out-of-the-box alternative.  I could drink my breakfast!  The OOTB choice is becoming more appealing.  But then I would have to pee.  The neighbors might object to me using the back yard!  Expletive not deleted!  Enjoy your day, flush once for me, and know you are loved!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hands on

I have decided heaven on earth was hovering around our dwelling this afternoon.  It is Ki-Yi week.  For the uninformed, that is our homecoming tradition.  Coincidentally, it is often the time the reuninionites decide to come home.  One of those groups this weekend was the class of 85, or 30 years ago.  One of the students from that class has become and remained a good friend.  Hailing from Colorado, it's not often we get to see her.  So yesterday, we took the opportunity to join her and her parental units for lunch.  Great conversation and fellowship.  She is, by trade, a massage therapist, and invited us out for "massages at the lake"!  While the idea of an outdoor massage was indeed intriguing, I wasn't convinced it was for me.  Alas, the weather did not cooperate.  Instead, she offered to come into our home and do the massage.  If you didn't hear the rafters shake with my vociferous "YES!", I am surprised.  At three o'clock, she arrived, table and materials in hand, and we set up in the front porch--the only room with enough space for her to work without moving furniture.  (And by nature, I've always harbored a desire for exhibitionism!)  She goes to the kitchen, I strip down to my tidy whities and climb up on the table. What ensued was an amazing hour-plus deep massage.  I didn't quit smiling from the first foray on my neck and back to the last light tap of my feet.  (I'm pretty sure the paper boy who looked in hasn't quit smiling either!)  It was only then, for a brief second, that the smile faded from my face realizing it was over.  And I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO HOME!  I could revel in the relaxation!  Smelling a bit like lavender, I enjoyed supper with my bride and once I am done here, plan on continuing the relaxation in front of the television, totally planning on watching the inside of my eyelids! 
For years, I have maintained the only true way to teach and measure learning was hands-on.  Show me you can use what you are supposed to have learned.  Today, I learned an amazing way to share your gifts can be hands-on!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lessons from our first early morning Yoga

Breathe, Bill!
I have no upper arm strength.
Gravity affects my downward facing dog.
I rely on the kindness of strangers (Blanch, eat your heart out!)
I really like the part where you put the block under your butt and hang out!
Early morning is a far better time to do this.
Everything is better when you do it with the woman you love!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another milestone

It happened in the middle of the night.  I knew it was coming, but was quite sure it wouldn't happen until today.  Imagine my pleasure to discover this morning that over 50,000 people have at least opened one copy of my blog!  (That even allows for the number of times I've had to open one to remember what it said!)  To those of you who faithfully read the diatribes set before you, I thank you.  For those of you who have stumbled upon a blog or two, thanks for opening.  And to those of you who are searching in vain for literary merit, keep looking.  It could happen!  It would be a shame to miss it! 
And so begins the next half 100,000!  Know you are loved!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I don't think it was my idea.  But it was not without merit.  Our intent with the great niece and nephew is to make their birthdays something we enjoy together.  For Him, it was made simple by a plan (also I'm sure not mine!) which opened a savings account for him, and each birthday he gets money and as a group we go to the bank and deposit it.  Then he gets to choose where to go for lunch.  Easy peasy.  Now Her, who turned six today, is a different story.  Thematically, this was her "My Little Pony" birthday.  She had a party on Sunday, and got all sorts of pony stuff.  We decided instead of taking a chance on duplication, to give her money and take her shopping so she could get something she may have wanted but didn't get.  Her mother was extremely good in first establishing how much money she had and that she had to stay in budget.  Even I understood the explanation.  Then, Wal-mart.  Have you ever shopped with a six year old who wasn't told what she could buy?  DON'T!  We looked at toys, dolls, art supplies, toys, Legos, electronic animals, toys...until we found just the right one...a puppy that barked when you petted his head and came with a stethoscope so you could listen to his heart!  Yeah, like that existed when I got my slinky!  The smiles on the adult faces were amazing.  And then we walked by the dog that not only barked, but walked.  Oh my.  Six year old decision time.  Now this is the part that absolutely ALMOST convinced me we had made a good birthday decision.  She walked back over to the first barking dog and apologized because she had changed her mind!  Melted my heart.  "Bubbles" became a part of her family, and off for supper we go.  Understand, Bubbles needed batteries.  The smart thing to do would be to wait until they got home to put them in.  But no. (And this time I'm sure it was my decision!). Let's buy them now!  Bubbles has an amazingly annoying bark!
We survived!  It was a learning experience.  We'll do it again.  When she turns sixty!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The unexpected!

Due to an unfortunate circumstance (and I'm sure Larry would agree), we have made a couple trips to Ipswich in the last week.  On the way, we happened upon this nice little building on the south side of the road that was a company of some kind.  The first time past, I noticed it was James Valley something starting with Sc.  Since we were aware of James Valley Christian School, we opined that it might be their administrative building. On our way home, we passed the building again (at a speed that precluded careful reading) but thought it said James Valley Scents.  A bit unusual, but how nice...a small candle and sachet making place.  Of course, we were still uncertain that it said "scents", so on our way out today, we paid special attention to the sign.  Yup.  Scents.  But since we were on a schedule, we continued with our assumption.  Headed home, I decided to find out what kind of candles this place might make (always looking for gift ideas).  Here's what I found.

Now that's what I call interesting candles!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

How to make your meatloaf sexy!

Personally, I love meatloaf.  I have yet to meet a recipe that I didn't like.  But sexy?  I think not--at least, not until tonight.  My bride, in her search of the low carb extremes, came across this concept.  It WORKS!  Find yourself a decent size onion.  Cut the ends off.  Cut it in half.  Carefully peel away the layers, keeping the half layers together.  Since you are looking for individual serving sizes, you may not want the large outer layers or the inner layers.  Chop them and use them in your meatloaf!  Prepare your meatloaf as normal.  Make a ball the size of a ball that would fit in the completed onion layer and place it on the "bottom" half.  Place the "top half" over it.  Carefully wrap the onion ball with three strips of bacon, using toothpicks to secure the bacon.  Place on a lipped cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  When totally assembled, place in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm.  Remove and serve with sides of your choice (ours were sliced avacado and fresh tomato wedges.).  I'm tellin' ya, it's down right saxy!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


I have definitely decided.  If I am ever on the edge of life and death and you believe I might need a reason to reach for the former, simply put a batch of buns in the oven to bake.  The aroma alone will increase my need to stay around.  The anticipation of warm bread slathered with butter will embolden my spirits, and the knowledge that you cared enough to do this will most decidedly encourage me to leap from the throes of despondence, despair, and death into your arms--especially if you are holding the buns!  Two things should be painfully obvious.  As I write, there are buns in the oven, and it is lunchtime and my body says "Feed me!"  As I wait for the ding of the timer, I will simply let you know that you (like the buns) are loved!

Friday, September 11, 2015

a catch-up day

To say this week has been busy would be an understatement.  Likewise, to deny the emotional drainage would be foolish.  But we come from sturdy stock--resilient--invested.  Gloria Gaynor, eat your heart out--we shall Survive!  But oh, what a delight.  A day with nothing planned.  A day to take a five mile hike--to take Aunt Edith out for chocolate--to fix a meal--to buy dog food--to be ready for bed.  Mundanity!  Imagine spell check just said there is no such word.  There should be. For every once in a while, mundanity is a good thing!  Of course, like Cinderella at the ball, it probably ends at midnight.  The carriage (which has to be in the shop early tomorrow morning) will probably turn into a pumpkin.  The gorgeous gossamer dress my bride wore today turns into work jeans tomorrow.  Things MUST get done.  Places MUST be gone, but the memory of today will linger.  Like a difficult piece of music, enhancement often comes from a rest.  God bless mundanity!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Larry died yesterday.  He was my brother-in-law--my sister's husband.  He'd had some significant health issues in the past.  He just hadn't felt good all summer--couldn't put his finger (or the doctor's finger) on what was wrong.  He was getting cleaned up for a doctor's appointment, stepped out of the shower and died.  My sis was there and performed CPR until the ambulance got there, and since no one can die until the doctor says you have, they took him to the hospital in Aberdeen where he was pronounced.  That's probably more information than you need, but somehow it feels good to put it into words. 

Larry was not a man I might have sought out as a friend.  Had my sister never moved to Ipswich to teach, I would never have known him.  His interests were as varied and different as they could be from mine.  Yet I thank god for that move, for I got to know and love a man that loved and took care of my sister.  If something were broken, he could fix it.  Granted, it may not have been in a typical, professional way, but when it was done, it worked.  He was a collector of all sorts of interesting(?) things.  He collected and cared for my two nephews and niece!  He never lost the Oklahoman accent and never demonstrated he knew that can't was not pronounced caint, but he was a highly intelligent, quiet business man who saw to the needs of his customers and his friends.  My spousal unit summed him up in one lovable description.  Larry was "quirky".  Now you have to understand a word to use it, and since she married into our family.... 

Sometimes, a degree in speech/theater and English serves a purpose:
John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee. 

Larry was truly "everyman".  I grieve my sister's loss.  I grieve our family's loss.  Yesterday, the bell tolled for us!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm ready...

for bed!  It's been a fun, informative, tiring day.  It started with a new recipe early this morning.  (Plan to visit here tomorrow for the recipe!)  Since I am planning on teaching it tomorrow night, I thought it might be nice if I had at least made it once.  After a couple tweaks, I think it is ready.  Then it was breakfast with our aunt, a jaunt to Huron to do a presentation for 45 retired school employees (no x among them!), back home to make and frost individual carrot cakes for tomorrow's class, assemble the over-night sensation I worked on this morning, and make up some all meat bagels (Yup--you heard right!  I plan on demonstrating them with cream cheese on one side and egg salad on the other.)  After a quick rinse of the accumulation of dirty dishes, I decided they would hold until tomorrow (and since I'm in my basement kitchen, no one will be the wiser) and now, following a somewhat disappointing takey-out from Buffalo Wild Wings (could it be that I just don't like them?) I'm ready to call it a day.  Don't get me wrong.  As Catherine, the German teacher in my very first teacher school used to say, "I'm not bitching.  I'm just stating the facts."  And fact is...Yawn!

Monday, September 7, 2015

There'll be some changes made

I love South Dakota.  Sweatin' like an oldie one day, covering up like an oldie the next.  Truly infinite in its variety.  The only constant is the oldie!  This past weekend, I got a call from a former student wondering if I would stop in at their 10th reunion.  I was honored.  This would be the class to whom I gave my farewell address (called the commencement speech).  They looked great.  I learned a lot. And surprise of surprises, I told a joke.  (It was so nice to be able to tell a joke and not worry if I would get a parental call!)  While there, it struck me that they were young, but not really!  They had jobs.  They had families.  They had made significant decisions.  They were what they were supposed to be--functioning members of society!  And I?  I was proud!  If I had a part in that development, well, isn't that grand.  I know that if I did not, some other teacher did.  That's the beauty about the personalities of teachers.  They're all different, thank god, and there is someone there that for every student.  At least there should be.  But there won't, if we don't make some drastic changes--like make teaching a career to which to aspire.  Pay them.  Educate them.  Work for and with them.  The best and the brightest should be teaching the best and the brightest.  But it ain't gonna happen if there aren't (see title above!)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The sprinkler...OMG

American literature?  I can handle it.  Arithmetic functions?  I can do them.  Spatial reasoning?  I'm okay.  Mechanical anything?  FORGET IT!  That's why I bought the little square sprinkler with the rotating top.  All you do is place it and turn it on.  It's a god-send.  Oops.  It WAS a god-send.  The second one of the season is now defunct.  The little whirly thing on top that disseminates the water (see, I know disseminates but have no idea what the whirly thing is called!) popped off.  Second one this year.  That leaves the one that goes whooka whooka whooka and then goes back and goes whooka whooka whooka again.  I've figured out if you raise the little wire thingy connected to the top part of the sprinkler, it just goes whoosh in a big circle.  But sometimes, you want to only water a corner of the yard.  You then have to place the little wire thingy between the two guides and adjust the two guides so it only whookas so far.  I can even grasp this concept.  Unfortunately, I'm never sure from which direction the water will come, so invariably, when I turn it on, I get soaked.  Then you have to adjust the guides to be sure the water only goes where you want it.  Another soaking.  Eventually, however, I do manage to come close to the pattern I want.  Unfortunately, that's not the pattern for the whole yard.  So set and repeat.  Whooka, whooka, whooka...go change clothes.  Having finished the front yard, I DARE it to rain!!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain

telling me just what a fool I've been.  Here's the deal.  To celebrate the completion of the neighbor to the south's project and the completion of the neighbor to the north's project, we scheduled an outdoor "on the projects" wine and cheese get together.  The chairs are set to the north.  The patio has been cleaned to the south.  The wine is chilled, the cheese crisps, crisped.  All is right with the world.  Except for...
And those of you who follow this blog will understand the next phrase.  Plot shift!  We shall celebrate amazing friendships indoors and drink to the projects outdoors.  Salads, sandwiches, garden produce and a pie from the no-longer-apple-producing apple trees will sustain us.  And we will live to celebrate another day!  And listen to the rhythm.

Friday, September 4, 2015

There's something about a goal.

Ms. Lucy used to explain my behavior in this way.  "If he decided in the morning he were going to do it, by bedtime he would have!"  I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant as a compliment!  Remembering the things that I "did", I'm absolutely sure it wasn't meant as a compliment!  But it's hard to change what is obviously hard wired into one's DNA. 
All those trimmed branches were on the ground.  They needed to be chopped, trash canned, and removed.  We started early.  About half way through, there was thunder.  We continued.  With the rain imminent, I decided I should spread the fertilizer that I had found in the garage.  I get the spreader.  I adjust the spreader so it works.  I get the fertilizer.  Oops--it's a spring application with crab-ass pre-treatment.  Back goes the spreader.  Back to the project.  With the amazing help of my spousal unit, we finish the job, clean up, head inside, and it starts to rain.  Good timing and completing...a rare dual win!  The only thing left on my goals list today is a nap!  This too shall be done! 

It's summertime...and here's my rhyme!

The apple trees create a mess. I hit my head while mowing.
It's difficult to say the least the garden for to see.
So many problems do exist.  Solution?  It be showing.
Just go ahead and do the deed! Go out and chop some tree!

The weather it is very hot.  The sweat it's surely running.
The lower levels we do lop.  We work hard, he and she.
Why spend the time? Do it ourselves?  You ask with all your cunning.
When surely younger, stronger folk would do it for a fee.

I must admit I've asked myself, "Why not just be out, funning?"
But no!  The project calls our names.  The fates they do decree.
We gird our loins, we do the deed.  We could just be out sunning!
And on the project's second day, I meet up with a bee.

The tree's her home.  The apple's? Food!  Defend it what she's doing.
Just slightly up inside shorts leg where flesh it tender be
She plants her protest. Takes her stand.  This action I be ruing.
The stinger does intended job.  Resultant swell you see.

Now existential thoughts abound.  Some say result I'm earning
I have indeed attacked her ground. But by the by and by
A secret, nasty thought ensues.  You now will be discerning
Deep down on level oh so base...I'm glad that she will die!

You have to understand.  For the most part, I'm a live and let live sort of guy.  I won't bite you if you don't sting me.  Just seems reasonable.  But bees?  Ugh!  Oh well.  At least the neighbors will have some apple wood for their fire pit!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

le grande experimente

Several years ago, over my wife's luke warm acceptance, I purchased two Haraldson apple trees.  I like Haraldson apples.  I like apple pie.  The only problem was, you had to pick the apples and prepare the apples and store the apples and that was just two steps more than I really cared for.  Besides which, we only had an apple crop every other year.  But the trees grew.  And I trimmed.  And they grew.  This year, we had an amazing spring bloom on the trees.  If every bloom turned into an apple, we would have enough to feed the universe.  Well, maybe the block.  Anyhow, for some reason, this season the apples chose not to stay on the tree.  Every day I would pick up 50-100 apples.  Okay, says I.  Mother Nature knows best.  Apparently she was saving only the really good ones, and since there were so many....  Not necessarily so.  The ones on the tree were ugly, pocked, and apparently attractive to the birds and the bees (no, not the rabbit action I have referenced earlier--the real birds and bees.)  Uncle, says I.  And today, with great resolve (and absolutely no remorse!) the trees began there long trek to fireplace wood for the neighbors to the South.  Hot today.  Sultry.  Old am I.  Tire easily.  The denuding and destruction are obviously going to be a multi-day project.  But we got started.  After clearing a bunch of lower branches, I came across what can only be described as a freak of nature.  Picture the branches, gracefully reaching toward the sky.  Picture the a-symmetrical shape of the tree.  And then, if you can't picture it...
a right angle!  An honest to god, almost 90 degree right angle.  Now that was a branch with an attitude!  I liked it.  It will be a shame to cut it down.  Not!  But it did cause a little bit of conversation, and this is almost always a great thing.  Tomorrow, it may be fire wood.  Or the next day.  We'll see when the spirit and the body are in sync.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

There are everyday miracles to celebrate.

1.  While watering the neighbor's yard, the sprinkler path covered the new patio we finished last week.  Miracle #1--there were no standing puddles--anywhere on the patio.  Apparently, we approximated level!
2.  While preparing for supper tonight, Cath asked where the plastic plates we bought last week were.  With surety, I told her they were where they were supposed to be--under the black cupboard in the basement.  Miracle #2--they were!
3.  We ran out of mustard and ketchup.  Miracle #3--we had each in the pantry in the basement.
4.  While stealing one of the tomato slices I had just peeled and portioned, it slipped out of my hand.  Miracle #4--it landed back in the bowl.

And then, of course, there are the everyday antithesis.
1.  After baking a fresh batch of rolls, I was unable to avoid eating one, even though I am trying to lose a pound or two.
2.  I need to lose more than a pound or two.
3.  Wasps love indoors.
4.  So do flies, and if the one that is dive bombing me isn't careful, it's short life will be shorter!

I would say, in this particular moment, Miracles win!