31 March 2017

Early Morning Discovery

I am out of English Muffins, and out of bread.  How the hell am I supposed to get to work without my coffee and toast???

Toasted Angel Food Cake.

It's true!  When the cupboard is bare, Mother Hubbard makes do with what is on hand.  This morning, that was a stale angel food cake bar.  It toasts nicely!  But, quickly!  

Two thin slices, spread with peanut butter, two (and a half) cups of coffee.  It'll do.

Hi Ho!

27 February 2017

Floral Report

It's February.  It's cold.  We had tiny snow pellets yesterday and an unkind wind today.  The pellets were called 'graupel', a German word, by the local weather people.  I looked that up online and it wasn't the actual atmospheric phenomenon that I experienced.  Suffice it to say, it has been cold, icy, and gray.  However, the days are getting longer (and marginally warmer) and the plants have their own timetable.

So, on with the Floral Report!

A couple of weeks ago I began seeing the signs.  Tiny piles of earth, pushed up, into the air.  Soil breaking, and pale tips emerging. Stirring.  Life is stirring, under the protective leaf cover.  Plant life, earthworms... stirring.

And then I smelled it.  The fragrant, sweet, seductive aroma of the sweetbox shrub.  The early bloomer, with such subtle flowers, that blasts glorious spring-promising perfume through the neighborhood.  Glory!  Spring Shall Rise Again!

Immediately following the glorious perfume of early spring, here come the snow drops. So clean and pristine looking.  Demure.  But, they are sharing the stage with the earliest of the crocus.  Purple, yellow, white, with dark green spiky-looking leaves, they are planted in drifts in yards in my neighborhood.  I'm usually seeing them closed up as I walk home, as they are diurnal and go to bed early.



In my yard, the daffodils are poking up, and the tulips.  Just barely, but they are gaining by the day.  There is also a lot more garlic than I was expecting in the front bed!  Maybe I'll get some big ones this time.  :-)

Spring in Portland is wonderful.  If you are cold and snow-bound (or just cold), I wish you warm temps; if you have been deluged with rain after years of drought, I wish you high water tables and low erosion; if you are yearning for Spring... I wish you could be here.  It would please your soul, I'm certain.

We are at the beginning of the season.  I'll try to keep you posted!

21 February 2017

Who said something about 2017?

‘Hello!!’

Knocks on the door.  Tentative.

‘Anybody here?!?’

Dusty around here, isn’t it?  Yeah.  Sorry about that.  I’ve been reading but not writing, obviously, and this little corner of the interweb has been neglected.  Again.  Sigh.  Sorry.

Moving on!

I really don’t have anything to report.  Did we March?  Yes, we did.  It was awesome.  I hope all the millions of people who marched that day will continue the grass roots effort to reclaim our country from the dangerous demagogues who have taken control.  I keep thinking of that Margaret Mead quote:

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.’

I feel discouraged that we have to fight these same damned fights all over again.  But, we will.  And, when I feel discouraged, I think about the black, gay, women friends that I have and…  yeah.  Let’s keep fighting.  Some people have never had the luxury of NOT fighting.

So, what else is going on?  Things are on a fairly even keel with T.  She was laid off in November and remains unemployed to date.  She is making a real effort to find a job but things are slow in her line of work.  It will pick up in a month or so…

This has been hard on her, of course.  And I am sympathetic to her situation.  But, truthfully, I’m glad that we are living apart.  The complaining and negativity would have tanked me, would have brought me so far down.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but I am certain that you both understand.

As it is, her family is at hand and they have taken up the slack.  They are so delighted to have her back in the neighborhood!  Her mom pops in frequently and does stuff like washes the dishes and straightens up.  It would drive me crazy but T likes it.  Most of the time.

What else?  I’ve had my niece over several times for meals or to spend the night.  She is homesick, and while I am not her nuclear family, I am at least a mom and I think she just needs a different energy sometimes.  We’ve had a good time hanging out.  I have shown her a couple of cooking tips and she can’t wait to cook for her family when she goes home for a visit.  It’s actually kind of funny, for being raised in this country, she and her siblings know very little about ‘typical’ American food!  Her mom is Ukrainian and my brother certainly never cooked, so she is more accustomed to a bowl of borsht and a plate of pelmenies than a hamburger and fries.  I showed her how to cook a butternut squash and a couple of chicken breasts in the same pan in the oven.  Ha!  So simple!  Simple is my only speed when it comes to cooking.  Fortunately, she has liked it all so far.

Let’s see…  the kidney donation thing is moving forward incrementally.  Lisa is active on the list again and the donor coordinator contacted me for some blood work.  The whole process is quite labyrinthine, but the fact that I work in a hospital that has a kidney transplant center will help.  I’ll be able to have some of the testing here.  First up, a blood draw for tissue typing.

I’m planning some stuff for when I retire (4 months, 1 week).  I’m 98% sure that this is the right thing to do, but I vacillate.  It’s kind of crazy, kind of scary.  I don’t know… do you think it’s crazy?  Retire and be poor but free, or keep working and kill my spirit slowly? I feel in my bones that it is the right decision.  I guess I’ll find out!

In an attempt to post *something* before another season slips by, I’ll end this here.  I hope you both are doing well and things are going your way!  Cheers, m’dears!