Where oh where, are those seedlings?

Packets of seeds can be addictive. It seems so simple to put seeds in the ground when the little map on back says it is best and wait. Except, waiting can often go beyond the seedling should appear dates. The worst part of seed packets are the ones that don’t have an image of what the seedling may look like. I recall dozens of weeds I pulled up one summer. They had edgy looking leaves and white sap inside. Then, I saw one had bloomed and realised I was determinedly removing small red poppies I’d seeded in the spring. I’m pretty sure I know what many seedlings look like, but I planted 3 packages of cosmos in my iris bed and have not seen a single one. I pulled up quite a few little plants (see first photo below), but after online investigation, they were not cosmos. Not sure what they are!!! I’ve been dusting the taters and the green and yellow beans with diatomaceous earth because the bugs have been having hefty meals off those. Hoping the stuff ‘works’. I’m trying to be cautious where it is used because I don’t want to kill off ‘good’ bugs like ladybugs or butterflies or bees. It needs reapplied after being rained on (unless it dries out again), so anticipating something survives!! Some of the beans are barely an inch tall. I think the sweet peas I planted were sterile or died. The seeds, I mean!! The nasturtiums came up, but not a single sweet pea. Reseeded them again among the forget-me-nots. The orange poppy seems to be expressing my flower face perfectly!!!!!!

On the great side, however, my nursery purchased rosebush has flowers on it! It has been awhile since seeing them in person. It is a sharp, pokey plant with tiny scented flowers. It is also one of the few expensive plants purchased for this yard in EO. Most of them have been picked up from box stores or out of neighbor yards. The yew, cedar, juniper, and not so dwarf maple were purchased, too. But, those are trees, not what I consider a plant or bush!!

The funniest thing this week are the robins. There are many young ones, they have been out and about, so was certain sure they knew how to eat on their own. But, this parent was being worn out by the young! Was fortunate to be able to capture them through the kitchen window. I think I was being looked at, but work went on anyway!

The freezer was picked up, the last crate from AK was emptied and the stuff brought back (did get a mini storage to put some of the debris in. There is a table we brought back set up in it, too. It will be much easier to sort stuff in that little room than trying to find stuff scattered all over the in law house!), and discovered a night light I’d asked for!! Some of the stuff from the container are already being used. Like the saucepans and my shorts. Wore a summer dress today for about 3 hours. It was a perfect day for temps, but it didn’t last. The black clouds rushed in, temps dropped 20 degrees, and it poured and blew and rained! There was also thunder. Last night there was thunder and sheet lightning, but not sure if there was the latter today. Little Bear was listening to news from E. Washington and heard some little planes blew over! We didn’t get winds of that strength here, but YIKES!!!

I’ll leave you with my elephant light and then a video featuring a composer from more than one favorite movie.

Weather and Relevancy

This last couple of weeks has been beyond bizarre for the weather. We had chilly days with spots of torrential downpours and then ‘hotter than hollerin’ hell’ days (quote from a book about the Tillamook Burn and the hot summer before the fire), which brought our temps up to 100 F, followed by serious wind and now they have fallen back to the lower 60s. 

Little Bear had to move his rabbits to the basement at his grandma’s. The mister and fans weren’t doing enough for the furry four leggers. They went from yard bunnies to cave ones for several days. The guys went to a car show this last weekend when it was blowing. EO has a lot of dust and the car show was right next to a rodeo grounds that was being prepped. The Mercury still looked fairly nice, but the aged Toyota Land Cruiser with the Husqvarna in the bed was perfect! Old, rusty, well used rigs are always popular and the duo caused a lot of excitement. 

The poor garden is absolutely confused. Especially the cucumbers. One plant drowned and rotted away and the other one started to thrive, then the edges crisped, and one of the main stems broke almost completely away because of the wind. (I wonder if I could have taped it together, except bugs love hiding inside stuff like that…) The peas look fairly nice, the beans started to pop out of the ground (they also prefer heat), and the poppies danced away faster than Murdock dodging BA in an A-Team episode. (ok, that dates me, but I adored that silly show!!!) There are two colors in the yard. A pinkish white that just budded for the first time this summer and orange. The orange ones are in a spot that is too shaded, but they seem to do ok. (there is talk of trimming the trees back a bit in that area. Talk….) The pinkish white poppies burned to almost a crepe paper consistency in the heat. I managed to save a couple for a vase, but I must have done something wrong with the procedure..although, the orange one looks splendid. Poppies should be cut in the cool of the day, popped into a container of cool water and left in a cool area for several hours. Then, you cut the stems again and sear them with flame and then dunk them in just boiled water. I used to only do one of the heat sealing things, but the flowers never seemed to last very long. So, now I follow all the steps and things look like they work. (I shared orange flowers in my previous post) The pinkish white ones fell apart not even 36 hours later. Although, I did fall in love with the poppy ballerinas. Carefully dying in center stage (of the window), petals falling one by one from a delicate frock, and leaving this lone dancer to say goodbye in a swan song of beauty. 

The house next door is being sold to a couple with a pair of littles. Ages 2 and 4 or is it 3 and 5?? Anyway, the owner and I were talking through the fence (she JUST noticed I’d put marbles in the holes in the fence!) about being irrelevant. She’s a year from retiring as a science teacher, her kids are both in a different state, she is finally getting her mom’s house sold (Tex died about two years before mom), and she’s feeling displaced. (she was teaching college classes online, not sure if she’s still doing that. She had issues with one online course she had to take before she could teach. The college insisted she couldn’t enroll until she sent them her vaccination records!! She sent them, but she was disgusted because it took her a while to find them.) I absolutely get where she’s coming from. It is so hard to not be needed anymore except as a cook, dishwasher, and house keeper. Even the garden is not entirely mine to manage. (Although,The Craftsman IS the son of a farmer and grew up in a farming community and knows a lot more than this Alaskan.) I miss being alone on a lake or in a place where being alone is the norm. Being alone in a busy town when living with a kid and a spouse seems backwards. I did so much in AK and here, I can only do what is expected. I know what happens if I try to do more. It gets redone ‘properly’ or I start something hoping it will galvanise someone into doing more and it stagnates (such as digging up the bulbs along the sidewalk so the walk and porch can be replaced. I dug up a section and found out they are now going to wait a while before doing the walk). They are going to get the freezer I researched and got the numbers for The Craftsman to call, so he could purchase one. They tried last week, but he forgot to let them know he was going to be there at 530 and they had closed early.  

Piffle and nose crinkle. Reckon this gal just needs to remember to be content where she is and be thankful for the small things in the world. Like chocolate chips or poppy seeds that become plants with beautiful flowers or spoons to eat ice cream with! And roses. This plant is AMAZING this summer!!!! (won’t bring any of these little blooms inside, though. Aphids are also small things, ones I’m not thankful for!)

Hot Days and Butterflies

It is the first of June and it is HOT! Temps outside are already in the low 90’s F and it isn’t even noon yet. Days like this, I really miss being in AK. (although, being able to take a short shower this morning and wash clothes without leaving is a definite plus!) Little Bear came home briefly to turn on the mister and the fan, to help keep the rabbits cool. Even the birds like the mister. I’ve seen small birds fly near and sit under it. The Craftsman spied a bird the other day sitting on a sprinkler. EO heat means everyone wants to keep cool! Moses goes outside to sit in the sun, but am not so sure he’ll relish that today. I’ll let him out, but betting he’ll return fairly fast! Baking old bones is lovely (I can attest to that!!) at lower temps, hotter ones might dry up the poor aged dear kitty. Mittens, however, is enjoying the sunshine!

Was going to tuck my tornado pink geranium into a pot today, but will wait til it is cooler outside. Was also annoyed the pot has an odd crack in it! It won’t compromise the pot and the crack is inside, but I wish I’d seen it before purchasing! 

The painted lady butterflies are the coolest thing that has happened the last few days. I was startled to find so many bloggers who share raising these insects, so won’t inundate you with too much information. The link is for the best site I visited. I started with 7 in the little container of specialised goo. It seems odd to just leave them to their caterpillar lives in the small lidded jar, but it works. I was a bit worried with how much the caterpillars bothered the ones who made their chrysalids, but that’s life in a tiny house! The caterpillars grow and eventually make a ‘j’ shape. This is their resting time before they make their personal chrysalis. Only one caterpillar didn’t manage. It was the tiniest caterpillar and it was so sad. It got into an itty bitty ‘j’ and then it was like it didn’t have enough oomph to do anything else and hung there in a lower case ‘l’. It was all alone by this time and just couldn’t go on. 

The others, however, did well. One chrysalis fell and I wasn’t sure it would survive, but it was the very first one to emerge!! I let that one go because it was being annoying and not figuring out how to eat. The little plastic container filled with sugar water didn’t appear to be what it wanted! At any rate, a bit after the first one emerged, 3 more entered the world! I was trying to keep my eyes on them to witness an emergence, but sheesh! It is a lot like a down sleeping bag in a stuff sack. It is all crammed in there and with the first breach, it seems to explode into being! On Memorial Day, I did, however, get to watch one finally. It was incredible and I admit to getting a bit teary.

I was watching the three because we were planning on releasing them in the evening after Grandma came to visit (she was impressed with the whole idea of raising butterflies). While I was looking in the mesh container, I saw one of the two remaining chrysalids moving. A tiny leg waved around, a couple more showed up, you could see the body of the butterfly humping and squirming to get out, and finally it could crawl onto the mesh. The wings were about the size of one of my trimmed pinky nails! It wasn’t doing as well as the other butterflies. The others emerged and climbed to the top of the enclosure in less than a minute. This one had all sorts of trouble and fell to the bottom of the container several times, crumpling its wings. The butterflies have a red goo (not blood) called Meconium that is a waste product from the change that makes a mess wherever they sit for the first day or so. They also need to move to get their limbs and wings strong. It was amazing seeing almost transparent legs become threadlike appendages and today, 24 hours after it emerged, the painted lady looks like it might be ok. 

One chrysalis turned coal black and after the last one emerged, I looked it over. I’m not sure why it died, but it was really and truly dead. The company guarantees 3, I think, and I ended up with 5. 

Oh dear! Had no idea I was going to write for so long. Aren’t you glad I didn’t take you through every step of development?!? Did laugh at one website I visited. The site called the butterflies ‘organisms’ and suggested they be kept in captivity until their death, after which you contact a local organisation for proper disposal! I’m more fond of setting things free. And so, we did and will. All in all, I’m super glad I purchased the caterpillars and will definitely do it again.

Still am having a lot of trouble with this chromebook. This post has taken me almost 2 hours!! I’m also not sure how to ‘shrink’ photos to load smaller images. Will leave you with a pretty I had to take last night. Poppies and their reflections.

Friday night and I’m in front of a keyboard!

I’ll be jiggered, I’m able to type while being offline! Not sure why or how, but will not look gift horses in the mouth! Tomorrow the caterpillars are supposed to start their change into butterflies (OK, just noticed something. Being offline won’t fix spelling or underline words that may or may not be accurate. Such as jiggered or caterpillers. Yup, as soon as I got online, many words were marked!). They also need temps between 68 and 78 F, but this week has been in the lower 60’s. With house temps in the middle. (The house is not very warm, except in later summer. Nice because it is a cooler home downstairs and not nice because when outside is 80 F, upstairs is an oven and downstairs is finally almost nice. I prefer 70F for a house temp!) And the very last caterpillar is hanging in the j shape, so soon it will make a sleeping bag and emerge in a few days as a butterfly. I made a mistake and mentioned to Little Bear that the caterpillars might emerge this weekend. He laughed and said that would be a neat trick to NOT change. Although, in retrospect, many of us do that. We hide in a place that looks safe and emerge as the same person that hid. Thankfully, more of us go into a safe hiding place where we can think and grow into something even more lovely than we already are. One of the lovely changes this spring is my purple shamrock. Was convinced it was dead, a few leaves showed up, and now look at it! 

Speaking of Little Bear, he’s not well. The right side of his abdomen aches and at first the doctor thought it might be appendix. After looking at him and poking around, it was decided he needed an ultrasound on his gall bladder. Well, that looked fine, but it seems there are spots of fat on his liver. So, we will try to change his diet a bit for the next two weeks and see if that helps his pain. It is horrid being a mom and seeing he hurts and knowing, at this point, there is nothing that can be done unless he does it for himself. I said we’d try to change his diet, but it will be his choice. I usually serve good foods, but he loads them up with condiments and has two platefuls. His ice cream servings are crazy! Anyway, we are thankful it isn’t anything that may need operated on. Had to laugh at him, though. The doctor told him if the pain gets worse to visit the ER and they will do a CT scan. He looked at the bill for the ultrasound and said there was no way he was going to visit an Emergency Room (or as it is called in the Hospital where mum was, Emergency Department or ED) because that bill would be ridiculous. He’s right on the cost, though. He hasn’t been to work for two days and I drove him to his blood draw today. The lab department gave him a kit to use for stool and urine. He was even less impressed with that. I wasn’t when he said the stool sample could be frozen and the urine kept in the fridge!!!!! YIKES!!! 

And as for yikes. Opted to wear my pretty red bra today and good Lord is it uncomfortable!! I must have gained acres of weight since I purchased it in fall of ‘19!!! I now know why tank tops are preferable. I’m also a tad nervous about removing it since my continuous glucose sensor is on the back of my arm and it was a pain getting the straps over it to put the thing on. Crazy?? Yes. 

And I’ll leave you this weekend with a crazy bit of fun, I give you ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Next Tuesday is a day set aside to celebrate this fun author and his works. I’ve already gotten a pot of purple petunias in a blue bowl (not going to drop them, though!!) and would serve pizza for dinner that night, but we had pizza last Tuesday! Follow the link and see what is going on for folks who keep their towels handy and know the answer to the secret of the universe. (Four.) Please enjoy this great tune from the movie intro and YouTube: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

A New Book Favorite and Mom’s Day

Have been reading an old book by Kate Douglas Wiggin….. No, not Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, but one that pulls part of the story from the fanciful and yet incredibly fun and wise story of Kingsley’s Water Babies. This book is called ‘Mother Carey’s Chickens.’ Mrs. Carey is recently widowed and she and her family gained the nicknames of Mother Carey and chickens from The Water Babies. After Father Carey (actual family name) dies, Mother Carey and her chickens move to embrace a different sort of life in a new neighborhood. The family grows and has a multitude of experiences, yet the mother is the one who must hold all together and be both mother and father to her children and help other good birds to find the way home. (another allusion to Water Babies) Much of this book is quotable and often the quotes are pulled from elsewhere. I particularly loved this one, ‘No whimpering, madam! You can’t have the joys of motherhood without some of its pangs. Think of your blessings and don’t be a coward!” 

In another scene Mrs. Carey recalls a verse from somewhere, she knows not where, that also struck me as opportune for mom’s day. ‘You can glad your child or grieve it! You can trust it or deceive it; When all’s done, Beneath God’s sun, You can only love and leave it.’ (Not that I liked calling children ‘it’ so often, but it does rhyme better!!!)

Another character shared his philosophy with the readers, thusly. “The way I look at it,” he said, “this world’s all the world we’ll git till we git to the next one: an’ we might’s as well smile on it, ‘s frown! You git your piece o’ life an’ you make what you can of it; that’s the idee!” 

In one of the last chapters of the book, Mother Carey shares a verse with her family that is taken up as a life motto by some of her chickens. And it is a good one. “And all the bars at which we fret, that seem to prison and control, are but the doors of daring set ajar before the soul.” 

All in all, I’m glad I opted to pick up this particular story. It is old fashioned and may annoy modern readers, but for me, it was great fun. I’d prefer it in paper since mom’s kindle doesn’t appear to have a feature the ipad did. I highlighted and bookmarked selections, but in order to find them, I need to ‘turn’ pages to see where they are! On the ipad, there was a spot for ‘selections’ and it had highlights and notes and bookmarks. One of the most interesting bits for me was to actually see how this author’s writing complimented the time when it was written. Olive isn’t fond of men and wants to paint, Julia is a bit of a snob and learns to be kind, Gilly or Gilbert learns how going to college isn’t the most important thing for a male to do, Nancy writes and is the one everyone loves unselfishly as she loves others, and she finds possible romance, but the story ends before that romance is fulfilled.

I’m also reading Water Babies (May have mentioned that earlier) and it is fun noticing where the two books mesh. 

Finishing the book about the family before and after mom’s day week was uplifting, entertaining, and a joy. I could relate to Mrs. Carey and the characters. Looking at the babies in this house (the new kits-bunnies) and the caterpillars I ordered, I can see how the one will eventually help feed us and the other will fly out into the world to share beauty it has no idea it holds. Each small promise can grow anywhere.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve finally figured out how to add photos to things. It is rather laborious for this gal, but we’ll see what happens when I finally get time to actually post this particular thought. It is time to get myself offline (the only way to effectively type. I can do it offline, but if I walk off and leave it for a bit, I get kicked off the document and need to go back online to get it! Plus, spell check isn’t as efficient offline.), make dinner, and hope my glucose goes down after the rash of cute little chocolate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I made…and ate several of! Also think I need an updated mouse, this one seems to not want to work well with the old laptop or this chromebook.

While making dinner Little Bear was surprised to hear me say, ‘There’s too much thyme.‘ Of course, he heard ‘time‘ and that is something I rarely have too much of when making dinner and yes, it spilled into the meat.

Not too old to learn new tricks, probably!

Piffle. Typed the title too soon! Put that title in the google doc and then popped offline to write the document and found I had to go back online to tell the document site that I wanted to work offline! But, it was managed and now I will wait for the hub contraption so I can add in pictures from out and about the yard and life in the PNW. (and the dryer just finished, naturally, so will go and fold clothes for a bit.) And after being off the chromebook for a while, I could not get into the document to do anything. Had to go BACK online. Am so very very thankful I didn’t have this in AK. With the spotty unreliable internet up there, I’d never gotten anything done on the internet. (and my laptop journal will go back to basic paper and pen.) So, reckon it isn’t being too old, it is getting used to new tricks (like using the highlight action to delete a phrase instead of back spacing one space at a time or I should say TRYING to use the highlighting feature since I can get it to work sometimes and not others.) and learning completely new ones. 

Little Bear is finally using his bicycle to go to work, after he comes home for lunch (he feels it is too ‘cold’ to ride in the morning still!). I’m rather glad he’s doing this, he tends to not care much for exercise that doesn’t involve hiking in the woods every so often or walking around the grocery store or mowing for his grandma. For years, we’ve been suggesting he do this and we live only a few blocks from his job, so it isn’t like it is a lot of work. He isn’t even confronted with much of an incline on his short journey! New things are often good things.  

But, the most awesome, amazing, coolest bit of knowledge today was in cooking. I adore cooking, it is such a good feeling knowing food I made is filling tummies and stimulating taste buds. Made cinnamon/sugar pretzels for Easter (not sure which thumb drive has those photos–or if they got to a thumb drive!) and a type of Reese’s bar that I had to use ground up honey nut Cheerios in, since I ran out of graham crackers (did I ever share why those were invented? Constantly makes me laugh, especially as May is one of those ‘national’ celebrations for the ‘self abuse’ the preacher was trying to curb!!). Cooking the wild turkey was a definite stretch in learning new things and wanted to use the last of the half I had cooked with rice. While looking for a not quite Spanish rice recipe, I found an article about using rice. The author shared she often had mixed results making rice and finally realised why. She wasn’t cooking it properly each time because not all rice is the same! I was stunned. I always cook my rice the same way and some dinners have crunchy rice and (why on EARTH did spell check change the word ‘others’ to ‘clothes’????) others are perfect. It seems I buy white rice that isn’t all the same..and I’ve sometimes been known to mix it in the rice bin in the cupboard. So, since I have no idea what kind of rice is on the shelf, I’ll cook it and if it is crunchy, I’ll know and add more liquid. Not because it is not done because the machine is off, but because I had no idea different rices needed different amounts of liquid. (am pretty sure GH is falling off her chair in giggles)  

Now, if only The Craftsman would find time to fix the dishwasher. Although, that is whining. He’s been busy doing stuff outside and washing dishes by hand isn’t that horrid. You just need to organise the job and it doesn’t usually take more than a half hour from start to finish. (speaking of whining, I am going to get 6 or more inches cut off my hair next time I get it done. I finally mentioned something and both men in the family responded. TCM: “I thought something looked different the other day.” LB: “I wasn’t sure, but thought dad probably had done it sometime.” I had 5 inches removed in early April!

April’s About Done

It’s been a busy month. Little Bear took some super photos of critters the two weekends he was out camping. (the second weekend he was hunting) and I’ll try to add those in. This infernal machine is still driving me nuts, but I’ll have to manage. Must admit, when I was out shopping for plants, I went a tad mad since I was frustrated. They are all tucked into their garden beds to grow or not grow as they will and I’m still unimpressed with Chromebooks. 

The most annoying thing I learned, garden wise, was that lily of the valley are invasive in (as far as I understand) Eastern Oregon, thus many places don’t sell them. Out of the many bulbs..no, they are pips, I think…Anyway, many have been planted in the yard over the years and noticed this spring there are 6 pairs of green leaves and ONE stalk with three bells. Apparently they are invasive everywhere except where I put them. So, found many other plants to put my cash on. The planned list was a bit ignored, but all in all, it was a great deal of fun. There were at least three that should have been discounted, but weren’t. The little things were scrawny and had been frosted earlier. My rescuing heart took them in at the price asked anyway! I rarely buy spring ‘bagged’ bulbs or plants because they often are icky when you open the bags. 

So, the ones on the list that were purchased included a pink phlox that was super tiny (hope it survives!), two daisy plants that were not Alaska Shasta ones, but will do until the seeds eventually come up and bloom on their own (Mayhap the different types will mingle and make a stronger variety!), a bleeding heart (one of the puny plants, must have bled out!), and two parsley starts (rabbits love parsley and at 1.49 a bunch for treats, it seemed logical to try to grow some.). The other plants I found were a purple columbine, an herb called bee balm (wanted one that spread and trailed, this one gets tall, but after looking at it and putting it back more than once, figured I should buy it.), a creeping white and green leaved variegated plant called red Nancy (just because!), a super fun little thing that is considered a ‘steppable’ or a plant you can walk on called ‘lipstick strawberry’ (between you and me, stepping on a strawberry is not a good idea!), and one I saw and had to buy because it has always intrigued me. It is called a Lenten Rose and is often spendy. They were on sale (probably because Lent was over) and so, it is now in the yard. The plants have kind of an ivy looking leaf and thick stems and pale green full flowers. Also purchased cucumber and a spindly pink geranium (must have been in a pink mood…although, it was near the April full moon and that is called a pink moon…), those plants will need to wait a bit to go outside. The days have been super warm and yesterday was in the 80s, but not going to risk it yet. A week ago we were still dropping into the 30’s at night. 

Inside Kris. Well, she’s going to pay more attention to the beauty that is in front of her instead of wishing for the gorgeous moon. In fact, while watching the full moon clear the horizon, thought about exactly that. The black branches of a tree were obscuring the bright globe, but yet, those branches were also lovely and a heck of a lot closer. I still very much want the moon, can moon dream, but know that moon isn’t in my foreseeable future. (And now I want to cry! Silly.)

Annoying Tech

Well, am not sure about this. After a ton of research, I purchased a chromebook and by golly, it is NOT what I thought it was going to be like. About the best thing, so far, is being able to type easily! (which is one of the main reasons new technology was needed) However, at this time anything in photos will most likely need stored in a storage thingy. (VERY useful word. Not like a ding-a-ling, but handy! NOTE: that reminds me of a favorite song of my dad’s where a ding-a-ling is handy, but I digress…) Apparently google is removing any future storage features for pictures. Finally figured out how to work offline on documents (hopefully!), so that is also a good thing. Nose crinkle. This may not have spell checker and I will need to see if that is only online or is something I can download for free. Reckon a great many words will need fixed once I go back online! (Funny story from college. A friend was using one of those fancy spell checking typewriters and he was furious at how often the thing beeped at him. He knew he was spelling certain words correctly since he had carefully copied them down, but the machine didn’t like them. Finally had to tell him he was typing up a paper for a biology class and most of the words he wanted to use were not in the machine’s ‘vocabulary’.) 

One of the things that makes me so mad about this machine is how it is so different from my old laptop with chromebook tendencies. Differences I didn’t discover until getting it sorted. Oh well, change is a good thing. Or so we are often told!! This one also doesn’t have backlit keys, that feature was on the machine I was looking for that the man in the store insisted wasn’t available and that this one would do all of the same things.(stupid salesperson!! They also sold me a device I’m returning and ordering online. A kind of usb SD contraption.) Did learn the HP Chromebook x360 has several different models and the one I ended up with is NOT what I was looking for. Seriously wanted the other keyboard!  

Used mom’s kindle to find information on how to use this new tech and discovered an article that made me laugh. Basically, the author didn’t like how technology often makes you ‘play in their garden with their toys’. Apple, Kindle, Google, and more do exactly that. You need their apps and their storage and each of those things usually cost. As Little Bear once said, ‘Why would I pay for storage when I can put what I want in a device of my own and use it from there? It is like paying for a mini storage unit downtown that I only need a couple of things from a few boxes.’ Then, I remembered something the kid said about how the US pays for more storage units in a year than they spend at Mc Donald’s and Starbucks combined!!! My Samsung cell phone that doesn’t always work has the storage full because it has a stupid google storage for photos and then the Samsung photos as well. If you delete the ones in the google app, you also end up losing the ones in the other app. Their garden, their toys. Piffle. 

Also have tried finding videos to assist me and the first one I chose was obviously from a person who works for Chromebook. He gave 10 tips on how to use your new Chromebook that basically boiled down to each tip being, ‘it is super simple, just try it and see if it works’ for anything from usb devices to navigation inside the device. He did make sure to reiterate how important it was to have a gmail address. Not sure what term he called it, but he implied the address was like it was a passport to anything you will do or need on a chromebook. So, in light of just trying it, the single usb port does work with my aged mouse and the photos on thumb drives. (the chromebook I’d thought I wanted had more ports, too.

Will close this rant out with the song that used to make my dad laugh. YouTube to the rescue, again. (Chuck Berry has a lot of fun with this song during this ’72 show.)

Probably

Good news? Recently had a mammogram and it was determined an ultrasound was needed. The testing was done and the information was immediately sent to the radiologist, who said it looked good and to come back in 6 months. Well, when the report got to me via the mail, it read, and this is a final quote from the bits of diagnostic info sent on, “Impression: Probably benign. Recommend unilateral right mammogram in 6 months.” Probably. Seriously, after ages of schooling, one might anticipate a more decisive response!! So, for the next few months I will dance through the days, hoping the probability is really negative! 

The lasagna gardens were a success. So was the rabbit litter under the cages! You can see one of the gardens has a lot of grass. (of the two, only one had litter added to it) It is, probably, barley, and elsewhere is a cut green for the bunnies. Except, since this is in a garden with daffodils, which are toxic, we are not taking any from this area. Just in case a stem is sliced and the juices end up on the cutters or in the rest of the greens. They like the tulips, but we don’t want to risk the buns getting something that might probably poison them. 

March is often the month of chills and shine, but this year it appears April is more apt for that weather. No April showers, just night temps of 19 degrees F and cool windy days of mostly sunshine. The first night it dropped, leaving many flowers sprawled in the beds. A bit like tipped over well dressed drunks. Usually, the daffodils have a lot of juice in their stems. A thick clear liquid that drips from the hollow stalks when cut. After the freeze, it almost seemed like the daffodil stems were hollow. A few perked up when the sun came out, thankfully. The rest, well, they were picked up gently and removed from the gardens. My kitchen is now full of vases filled with April gold and a smidge of reds. Should have picked the hyacinth, too. Those resemble  something that could probably be found in the extreme back of the crisper bin of the fridge after several months. EWWWWW! Not looking forward to culling those from the garden. Slimy stalks are not fun, but they will return to the earth and add to the soil as mulch. Turns out the juice in the stems evaporates when they get super cold (science stuff) and the heavier stems can’t lift up as easily when they warm during the day, so they look ‘tired‘.

Haven’t gotten my new laptop/chromebook up and running yet. It isn’t looking as easy to use as this older technology. Older technology that is probably about ready to give up the ghost! This post is being written up in google docs, which I have never used before. It is definitely different. Have been trying to transfer documents from word to google docs and sheesh! Not only do people have trouble getting along in our world, but technology is just as snooty. The one thing I’m looking forward to with the new laptop is checking emails. This machine often skips and deletes something other than the one slated to be deleted or opens other messages than desired or freezes, so haven’t been there in a while. 

Managed to squeeze in a haircut Monday last. It was not done quite like I wanted, but it will probably be ok. Thankfully, hair usually grows. My CGM is being wonky. The company is sending me a new sensor, but even the tech help thinks the problem might be in the monitor. Haven’t heard from Strider in a few days, but he’s got chicks and a GF and both of those take up a lot of time. (plus his house that almost caught fire last month and was torn up by the inspector and now needs repairs) Moses isn’t looking good. He’s a frail, deaf, unkempt aged kitty cat who sleeps a lot. Am taking a lot of photos of the orange kitty…

However, I found a western swallowtail chrysalis that is now inside waiting to emerge. (hopefully!) Planted the common milkweed seeds in hopes of growth and western monarchs and am in the midst of getting the laundry completed for this extra long week in the middle of April. PHEW!

What is a Woman?

Just finished an anthology of women’s literature called ‘A Jury of Her Peers’ by Elaine Showalter. The title is also a work by Susan Glaspell.  Am not going to give you reviews on the book or story, I’ll probably refer back to the anthology often. It has made me aware of so many facets of women’s literature I’d not known or even thought of. The last chapter shares how in the 90’s women authors were not constrained by the parameters of the past and could write freely. Yet, many of us women remain in bondage of many kinds.  

Was reading an article, before it annoyed me and made me wonder why I was reading it. It was about women’s fashion and what NOT to wear or do in fashion as an older woman. What to stay away from because it would peg you as ‘old’ or ‘living in the past’ or even (dare we suggest such a thing!) ‘unfashionable’!! From how to not wear makeup from plucking eyebrows (Will remove stray ones, but those odd shaped designs are seriously odd!) to powdery caked on layers. Hairstyles that are ‘too long’ and past your butt to bouffant ‘up scaled’ Farrah Fawcett designs. Then, there were accessories. Apparently the handbag is not cool. Although, the photo made me just wonder. What on earth would a person carry around a tiny hand sized bag for? It might hold your ID and perhaps a tampon, but not a whole lot more. My personal carryall is just that. It is a small backpack I’ve carted around for almost a decade and it is starting to fall apart. (searching online has made me aware that they are truly not in vogue anymore.) My bag can carry paper books, a tablet, spoons (at least two), a pair of socks, assorted coinage, supplies for diabetes, meds headaches, and tummy aches, at least one tiny notebook, assorted writing utensils from sharpies (in purple) to pens and pencils, it can hold a camera, my cell phone, an address book, a small zipper pouch with important stuff like med lists and emergency numbers, my wallet with all sorts of things, including my eldest son’s high school id (I know, completely useless, but fun), needles and thread and safety pins, assorted bandages for minor wounds, and rocks I’ve found that are dear to me. Am pretty positive this bag would be considered totally bad fashion.

Clothes were a huge topic in this list of fashion faux pas photos. Floral or animal prints are bad when you are older, baggy clothes are ok if you wear a tighter top or bottom half to offset the bag. Pastels were viewed as something older women need to steer far away from. They are for younger women, who aren’t washed out by them or look like they are grasping their youth. Capri or shortened pants are a very big no no, since they make one look very short and wide. (the author suggests skirts, and probably has no idea how horrid it is when your legs stick together when it is hot outside) Skirts are a good idea, but not jersey fabrics or dresses or long skirts or too short ones. The latter make you look legless or like you are grabbing for a youth you missed and the former tend to mold to the body and reveal lumps everywhere. Like jeggings and tights. Older women should stay away from those because they reveal way too much. Turtle necks and long sleeves are bad unless the weather warrants them because people wonder what might be hiding and a turtle neck can make you look neckless. Speaking of, big and loud accessories such as flamboyant necklaces or earrings or bracelets should be limited. Agreed, Coco Chanel suggested looking in the mirror and removing one item of jewelry and it makes sense. However, tossing brooches out with the garage sale stuff is sad (I love pins, don’t wear them, but I do adore them!). Finally, the author arrived at shiny tights (hose are a complete waste of time for a woman of any age). If an older lady needs tights, they should not be in a nude color. Dark colors or black. About this time, I exed out of the article and deleted the history!!

While I was reading the last of Elaine’s anthology, I realized, why do I need to follow some fashion guru on what I can or cannot wear? Why do I need to follow what someone else wants to be the person I am? So often today many of us are confronted with ‘don’t do this or wear this or act this way’ because someone will be upset. Often in the anthology, it seemed that an author from one period was ostracized in later years for what they were writing. Over and over women were tied to a way of life, writing, living that was stifling creativity and being. Many of those women committed suicide to escape.

Women still are being stifled. Some of us have been able to break free of conventions and restraint, and for those who have, they embrace the freedom they have earned in spite of cost. Family and friends look askance at that freedom. Well-meaning folks criticize our choices and yet, is it realistic to toss what others think out and only promote self and personal desires to achieve and be? The book, ‘The Feminine Mystique‘ talks about this for American women. I wonder if it is the same all over the world?

Is that what the phrase means, ‘It’s lonely at the top’?