Friday, August 27, 2010

Importance of being Important

Appointment this morning to once again thump my body back into the shape it was meant to be, but over short periods of time forgets.  Doc D (chiropractor) asked me what I was having done to my home after I informed Doc D I had not been in earlier due to house repairs.

I elaborated on having sliding door and all windows it wasn't I loved lots of light and one could never have too many contractors build houses like nothing will ever need window crew having to tape front windows and smash them to smithereens to twist out the frames, due to placement of brick.

Doc D said he knew exactly what I was talking he also loved lots of light and lots of windows...had a huge bay window, all three panels towering from floor to high built in 1905...all windows made on sight when house was constructed, so no two windows were the same dimensions...each of the 48 replacement windows in his home had to be specially ordered.

I think the conversation kind of went nowhere after that, as my brain had a head on collision with that number 48.  I couldn't even fathom how large a place had to be to hold all that glass...the words poor, failure, peon, nobody, so out-of-my-league eating at my and my minuscule shack of !!!7!!! windows.

So its back to talking dogs on visits to Doc D, cause even though Doc D's dog is "Gary Cooper", I can match that one by adding to Dustin dog the last name of "Hoffman".  So there...nah, nah, nah nah nah. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weeds and Such

Ever watch a garden come to life early in the spring?  Overnight an explosion of green, and winter's barren stillness so serene, almost lifeless, is lost, only a memory.  Everything plant is competing for the same piece of real estate, tardiness smothered by aggression, good guys challenged by bad guys.  Exotic grass - the Cosa Nostra of all things green - muscles its way into every part of the yard until its non-subtle nature rats it out, and we are resigned to packing the Roundup to give the legit guys a fighting chance.

It's a dog eat dog world out there.  Lawn mower and weed whacker in action, yard be tame.  Lawn mower and weed whacker on vacation, yard be evil.  This year my lovely piece of real estate is so totally out of control...a run-for-your-life massive mess of mangled jungle.  Doc swears he has only my best interests at heart, but it's clearly quite evident, he either has his own gardener or a yard of cement.

!No yard work! he yard work I promise...resigning myself to implementing his orders 100%.  Those pesty weeds full of indignation, thumb their noses at my consternation, and make my yard their last destination.

!!Can't stand it!! I cry, fist shaking at sky, must bandage eyes tight, together tape legs, cuff hands to the chair, and check out of my head...cause I said what I meant and I meant what I said, I'm sticking to doc's orders 100%.

Never till now, in all of my years, has the prospect of next winter made me smile ear to ear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Bag Lady

An upbeat tale of bagworm that even possible?  Here goes...

Days bagging bagworms...many, MANY days bagging bagworms.  Seven plastic dishpans of those munchin, crunchin, hoggy little beasties.  I'm beginning to feel a little guilty about all this death and destruction, but the thought of my half dead juniper of hefty proportions turning into a brown, dead juniper of hefty proportions convinces me I am on the right track. Plucked them little suckers like pickin blackberries from the vine...fingers, hands, arms, poked and cut, nights of itching and scratching, and juniper still covered with those dangling dang cones from hell.

To not poison juniper berry eating birds, I read up on those little bags of destruction as I am clueless of their history.  What luck!  Natural predators - tiny parasitic wasps smart gardeners love with a passion, their attractor being flowers of the aster varieties. Not so lucky...other natural predators are humans crazy enough to pick them little suckers hours on end until legs and fingers cramp, backs ache, and bodies are afire with itching; and any worm in its sleeping bag that's missed......well, let's just say one has to admire the tenacity of this glutinous caterpillar.

If those 7,000 (conservative estimate) bagworm abodes had remained unpicked, if 1000 (fair estimate) eggs had been laid in each of those 7,000 bags, then 7,000,000 would be in a feeding frenzy come next spring.  Oh! My! God!  Securing loan to buy out every nursery's stock of native asters this fall to squeeze into every square inch of real estate that's mine.  Satellite images of thereabouts come next summer...view that square lot of solid, vivid, eye blinding purple and you'll know the true location of little fourth acre gardens.   

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Occasional Soul Mate

My brain takes a holiday anytime it has to deal with too much repetitious cooking, so I've been known to rise up out of sheer boredom and host dinner gatherings based totally around untried and untested recipes.

This feat works fantastically with husband, as he would rather eat a triple charred, reduced to ashes dusting of steak than, "heaven forbid", toss a meal into that receptacle of garbage containment.

99% of time intuition spares me the embarrassment of somehow working my dog into the reason for the calamity, the other 1 % gives a ready made topic for the next gathering.

United-forever-after to Meat and Spud Guy with a delectable bottle of Del Monte catsup as his mistress and a veggie vocabulary of just green beans and corn (is corn really a veggie?), has proven to somehow over the years have more advantages than disadvantages.

If he can anyway swallow it, the meal is declared a success - I guess if he couldn't it would be a failure - but he thinks I am a cooking genius swallowing everything I place before him.

Me - swooning over a hunk of coveted soft, buttery, hint of nuttiness Sonoma Jack Cheese...he just doesn't get it. Sargento, Kraft, Velveeta, all a good eat he critiques. 

Besciamella, bearnaise, veloute, gravy is gravy again he critiques. Me - giddy with delight at prospect of prosciutto and cantaloupe...why does this ham and melon cost so much, he asks?

Credit must be given where credit is due. Veggie vocabulary has expanded into the low double digits, catsup gathers dust in pantry, and spuds are seldom on menu. Always cleans his plate like a very good boy, and just this year he managed to move beyond the tomato sauce offerings on my most favorite Italian restaurant menu.

Now that is cause for a drunken celebration 22 years in the making. Another 22 years and he might just become my companion connoisseur of delightful escapades. Sigh...I wonder if my taste buds will even be working by then...

Ummmmmmmmm cantaloupe...
Dang! No prosciutto!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bad Girl

Eating's a treat, I'm told by those at my table, the few times I still venture into the realm of gourmet cooking. Hard to believe as I sit staring at this computer trying to conjure up a tale of kitchen wit and woe, and a Marie Callender's frozen pot pie, micro-waved to perfection, is sitting in front of me half eaten. Cooking over half a century. Egads!!! No, I don't have one foot in the grave...not yet anyway.

Cooking school experience was mom's kitchen and a Betty Crocker Childern's Cookbook. Tasks too easy...nine year old bored...on to the real thing...Betty Crocker Cookbook for the not so young. Self taught, as mom never ventured into the trials and tribulations of teaching a child to master the kitchen, I craved recipes that would elicit ooooozs and aaaaahs from my captive audience (no escape was allowed from the dinner table).

Somewhere in time my cooking skills began to match Mom's and she, realizing she had a good thing going for herself, made me the household cook. Although I think now days this might be looked upon as indentured servitude, back then it was just "I'm glad I have a child that I don't have to myself...hallelujah!" Routine was always dinner first, then the rest of my life.

Never went shopping for ingredients. I was expected to create meals out of thin air...whatever was in the fridge and pantry. The ticket to a meal conjured up this way is to have a brain exploding with creativity. Excelling so well at dinners of magical origins, I eventually was allowed to have a small shopping list of my own.

This arrangement soon became an incredible chore of enormous proportions that I was never allowed to escape from until my eighteenth year when I began to live mostly on my own. Perhaps this explains the fondness of that twisted memory I have never been able to let go of after all these years.

Loving challenge of cake decorating, and because this talent was both my expression of love and a way to be loved, I announced to mom that her birthday cake that year would be created by me. It would be a poppy seed cake with lemon icing, mom's favorite.

Electric mixer came at a later period, worse luck, when mom inherited her mother's mixer; sooooo...with jaw clinched tight, arm aching, and large spoon in hand, I beat that cake mix for what seemed like an eternity counting from one to 300...I think...not quite sure anymore how many strokes mom deemed sufficient to equal the box instructions for an electric mixer.

Carefully filling prepared cake pans, baking with one eye always on the oven, I had to create the most absolutely perfect cake ever baked. It was for had to be perfect. Cake layers plopping out of inverted cake pans onto wire cooling racks set on the burners of the gas stove...wax paper circles removed...I was free to enjoy life as the cakes cooled to room temperature.

!!! HORRIFIED !!! That's the feeling I remember engulfing my whole being when I stood at that stove, removing cooled cake layers from stove top. Burners below were encrusted and clogged with what seemed like a ton of raw gooey cake batter that leaked out of bottoms of the not-quite-cooked-all-the-way-through cake layers.

Mom spent more than an hour of her birthday cleaning all that gunk away from the burners and burner holes. I was never punished, reprimanded, nothing was ever said. I cannot recall any other time I was ever allowed to get away with murder over a mistake of this magnitude.

This one time it truly was the thought that counted more to mom, I guess, than that nightmare aftermath she had to endure. I never, ever, a thousand times a thousand, undercooked anything ever, no time, anytime again for the rest of my life.

It is kind of a fond memory with me now...I am such a bad girl.

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Four handfuls of dirt,
fistful of crumbled leaves,
throw in some tiny pebbles,
add water and gently mix,
round shaped, flattened balls,
sun baked to perfection.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Glasses of Wine

Two glasses of wine and I'm thinking about marriage. Let me re-phrase that...the only marriage in my thoughts tonight is my own. I have been known to hate the concept of marriage, but I also know I like having the other half to complete me. Such a mishmash of feelings.

Husband at Afghanistan address and I find myself saving his beginning sentences left for me on the answer machine before I hurriedly pick up his calls. I have been known to wait a few seconds to see what choice things he is going to say as he begins the message. Editing all those bits and pieces, I save the ones that are gems to my heart. So many at one time, I finally had to delete them to make room for the next batch.

I play my answer machine medley whenever I miss him too much...I play it a lot.
  • Yo's your lovin man on the line.
  • Hellooooo, buenos dais or buenos noches, or buenos night time.
  • You're not available at this time? Are you at the vet? Well, you could be at the vet. Are you at home? ...I guess not. Well, I'll call later on this afternoon...have a good day...or good night...sleep you...bye, bye.
  • This is Vic ____ the man, the legend. Are you home yet? You still at the vet? Did you have to shoot Dustin?
  • Hey babe, you there? It doesn't soooooound like it. Well, your email says you would probably be out anyway, so I figured I would give a call and see if you were. Tell Mr. Dustin I said I hope he checks out okay today. He's not going to die anytime soon, or anything like that, 'cause he's such a little hillbilly. You guys have a pleasant evening. Love you guys.
  •'s Sunday night and you should be available.
  • Good eeeeevening. It's your man from killer Kandahar on the phone.
  • This is Victor _ _____ calling Yvonne _ _____...Are you there? Are you there? (long pause) Hmmmmm...are you outside?
  • Yooooo. Your sugar daddy's on the line.
I know...crazy...but I love it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Picture Perfect

Round, plump,
beautiful, hefty butterball -
British Shorthair overtones,
adorable icy green eyes
with golden highlight -
sensitive demure soul,
a shadow passing by,
feet pounding lightly -

rambunctious purrs
with squeaky edges -
big paws when happy
massaging air,
claws extended -
klepto cat in youth,
penchant for pens,
reading glasses and keys -
pill addiction later years
nabbing all he spied,
stopped only shortly by
foaming cranberry mouth -
a face to fall in love with
over and over again.

A sad day in the burbs when a feline of rock solid commanding stature, clearly born to lead (in his own mind perhaps, but still he IS of commanding stature), is relegated to the life of going nowhere faster than a mosquito zeroing in on its next meal.

My poor's dealt him a miserable hand of cards. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong circumstances...he lives lower than low, end of line, rock bottom, kaput in the pecking order of our feline trio. Never mind that hefty cat is big enough to take them both out if he so chooses... he still remains a sweet paunchy cat of little concern to the other two.

An insatiable desire to secure his piece of real estate amid the other two's territory has created in him a monstrous appetite to claim all within his sight, whether a chunk, a small portion, or a teeny tiny tidbit of minuscule value, as his and his alone.

In desperation he rubs his face with a vengeance on everything within his's mine...It's Mine...IT'S MINE! Uck! Smells of Zoe...rub, rub, rub...double uck! uck!! Smells of Jesse...rub, rub, rub rub rub...EL DESTRUCTO EXTRAORDINAIRE.

His mission, to destroy evidence of all but himself, has been known to topple beverage glasses, send cereal bowls smashing to the floor, scatter utensils to far corners of counter, disengage items from human hands, scoot paper products into thin air, unlucky-rotates shelf figurines in multi-directions, lucky-rotates shelf figurines to the edge and beyond, microwave engages for 9 seconds, radio blaring from on-button pushed, computer closes down unexpectedly, eye glasses on floor becoming doggie toy......COME ON!!! ALRIGHT ALREADY!!!

But still...despite all this...I do feel for could I not...that beautiful round face...I am his to command...bodyguard elite..."NO" from the depths of hell...Zoe and Jesse perfect angels...repaying his tab...jet engine roaring purrs...his all too brief bedtime tease.

You're letting him get away with murder, girl...sigh...I know...sigh...looking in mirror...sigh...what the hell...what's on my forehead...I need my glasses... oh my god!

S - U - C - K - E - R!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Trekking Poles

Why do I do what I do, and do it so well? Those brimming with optimism see this as the beginning of a tale quite positive. Those of a pessimistic nature know all too well that this tale could be of the totally opposite variety. Gather around all you light hearted and dark hearted souls, for this is a tale of a woman and a man and a pair of extravagantly costly, coveted, super duper LEKI Thermolite Aargon XL Anti-Shock Trekking Poles.

Older age is not old age, older age is not old age, older age is not old age, older age is not old age, older age is not old age...I wonder how many times I have to tell myself this before my body agrees. Hiking's in my blood. Did it growing up. Did it grown up. To not hike does not register.

It hit me like a gulp of sour milk from the carton, that day when I stood up by the edge of my bed and my feet said to sit back down. Older over night. Much older over night. Determination saw me through the hikes after that, but determination unfortunately does not make a newer body out of an older body...worse luck.

Not wanting to sell my soul to the devil, I had to come up with an alternate plan. Canes - geezes - old people stuff......oh look!!! - trekking poles - young people stuff. Wow!!!Price is not for the faint of heart! Ooooouch! Long story short...birthday gift from husband, flabbergasted but wanting to create delight...TREKKING POLES!!!

I get to hike with my husband. I want to hike with my husband. Talking to oneself on solo hikes sucks! First problem...husband walks so fast, I'm left talking to myself anyway. Second matter how much I plead, he has no lower gears for walking. Third problem...I'm not always my best friend.

Managed not to lose sight of him on canyon walk to falls. He was always waiting over the next ridge for me on the prairie walk. The look easy, piece-of-cake paved trail around the lake was my undoing. It is amazing what determination with a pair of trekking poles can make you accomplish.

In the beginning I managed to keep up with husband quite easily, but he just couldn't stay in low gear any longer and began to accelerate. Cripes!!! Longer strides and accelerated pushing of myself with trekking poles...okay caught up with husband again. Not being able to stay in second gear any longer husband began to accelerate even more.

Cripes! Cripes! Double Cripes!!! Started putting both trekking poles ahead of me and propelling myself with magnificent pushes like a skier pushing and flying off the downhill jump. Wow!!! Catching up with husband again. Oh my god!!! Husband shifting into overdrive and disappearing down the path.

Now, at this point, anyone who likes themselves would slow down and talk to themselves for the rest of the journey. But I, since evidently I wasn't my best friend that day, proceeded to propel myself at an even more magnificent speed, and I swear my feet lifted off the ground and I flew the rest of the way to trails end. All seemed well that night...

And now for the rest of the story.

Who knew therapy for hip problems could last for such a long time. While chiropractor (who by now is considered a member of our family), vacationed in Argentina, I pondered on how much of that trip in paradise I funded.

He encourages me to push, push, he says the day I quit being active will be curtains for me. Personally I think he has another vacation in mind. I now believe only an idiot would have pursued the most imperfect choice I came up with to bond with husband.

Sigh......I hate being an idiot.

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