14 June 2017

Compartmentalizing

image borrowed from the internet. not my basement.

Well, it's how we get through this world isn't it?  If you can't box shit up to deal with later, you'll never make it out of the house.  The trick is to open the boxes and deal with the contents, instead of shoving them into the basement for forever.  I know you feel me on this; don't pretend you don't!

Good thing I'll have some time to ponder, coming up here.  It'll be time well spent.

But, for the here and now, I'm busy.  Mostly busy at work, finishing up and getting stuff ready to be handed off.  Training the new person.  Emptying my office.  You know.  All that. I've been there for 23 years... I brought home a lot of stuff!  Oh, I have to tell you this: I was walking down the hall to a meeting yesterday and looked down.  I realized that I was wearing my gardening shoes instead of my office shoes!  And, naturally, I had just taken home my spare office shoes that lived in a desk drawer, just the weekend before.  Figures.  Made me laugh, actually.

My niece is going home to Virginia on the 30th.  The whole 'living with Grampy and going to college' thing didn't work out.  Directly as a result of my brother's animosity.  I'm not sure how to deal with him, going forward.  He is poisoning our dad against us.  I'm hanging in there because I don't want my dad to forget that his other two children love him.

Back to the niece, unfortunately her family is coming during the last week of June.  It's the last week of my employment and I know I will be busy.  And, there are a couple of happy hours scheduled that week for after work as well, so I can be sure that I'll be getting home late.  I know that they can entertain themselves, but I wanted to be able to see the rest of the family while they were here.  Plus, there might very well be drama and I want to be available to put out the fire.  That's what the middle-child-only-girl tends to do.  This one, anyway.

Meanwhile, it's still pretty cool and damp and cloudy here.  This weekend is our Pride celebration and, fingers crossed, it's supposed to be sunny.  I sure hope so!  If not, we've got rain gear.  :-)

Ok.  That's it for now.  I've got to go be efficient.




09 June 2017

What the hailing holey heck?

It's Portland, people!  Holy Hey Zeus!

I don't understand what is happening in my city.  I can't wrap my head around the sharp escalation in terror, fear, violence.

Two weeks ago (although it feels like the day before yesterday), two men died and another was gravely injured at the hands of a white supremacist terrorist on a public train in my city.  During the afternoon commute.  On a regular Friday.  Crazy broke free of the bonds containing it and tore a vicious and bloody hole in my neighborhood.  My actual neighborhood.  It's my dad's transit stop, and just one stop away from mine.

Crazy.  That's a handy excuse.  We hear that all the time from the gun rights people - 'It's not the gun.  There isn't enough mental health help for these poor (white) people.'  Fuck that.  This guy used a knife.  And, I also don't want to hear the bullshit from the prisoner rights people.  'He was radicalized in prison, it's the environment, it's not his fault.'  Fuck that.  It's a personal choice to pick up a weapon and kill someone when your life is not in jeopardy.  So, fuck all that; fuck those bullshit excuses, fuck you to the people who would normalize this action.  This is not normal.

We are all stunned.  Gobsmacked.  Reeling.  Disbelieving and incredulous.  How could this happen here?  Portland is so mellow, so laid back, so easy going.  Ha.  That's just the image.  Thanks, Portlandia!  (Disclaimer: they are often spot on.)  The seedy underbelly of Portland is white, ugly, and racist.  There.  I said it.  There are a lot of creepy and scary people around here.

And, the level of violence is escalating.  The fringe is emboldened and they are acting out on what had only been fantasies before.  A train conductor beaten up, a woman held up at gun point at my local park, stabbings, mob violence.  A bomb threat today at the transit center where the two men died.  Holy fucking whatever!

It's Portland, people!  Stop it!

I'm trying my best to be a force for good, but it is damned difficult in these times.

Feeling besieged,
e

24 May 2017

How is May almost over???

Hey Women,

How has spring been treating you?  Have you had some sun and flowers and green grass?  Have you had long pleasant evenings sitting on the porch with the neighbors, sipping a cool glass of something?  I hope so.  I have.  Doesn’t it feel good?

Here’s my catch up:

The countdown to retirement is on!  Still feeling a trifle ambivalent, but doing it anyway.  There have been some mornings that I have felt quite resentful at having to go in.  Ha!  Soon.  Very, very soon.  In fact, it’s 25 work days (counting my work from home days).  Yikes!  I’d better keep scanning!

So, T and I finally cashed out our vacation fund and went to Hawai’i.  We spent a week on Maui and had a really good time.  We got along surprisingly well!  We did a few things, but mostly hung out and relaxed.  It was very pleasant.  She might have roped me into a deal where I end up with a tattoo… I breathed a sigh of relief when all of the clean and reputable places in Lahaina were booked up.  If it happens, and I wouldn’t be adamantly opposed to it, a small image of a sea turtle, possibly on the inside of my calf.  If it ever happens.  I really wish we had seen one while we were snorkeling.  We saw plenty of fish, and we saw the turtles all the time coming up for air while grazing on the reef.  And, while they were in the same area that we were snorkeling, at the same time, we never saw one through our masks.  But, we still felt like we were swimming in their back yard.

I’m going to have to postpone my car trip.  I’ve got to sort out a better vehicle.  My car is a 1999 Audi.  I bought it from my sister in law for $2000 a year or two ago.  I’ve had to shell out for a couple of repairs, and I’m afraid there’s just a whole lot more of that in this car’s future.  It’s a decent small car and I rarely drive, so it has served me well enough.  I have taken it to Seattle a couple of times, but it’s had a couple of issues since then so I’m thinking that it might be just an around town car now. 

Speaking of Seattle, my niece and I are going up for a baseball game with Zoe next week!  Fun!  We are taking the train up on Friday, doing some touristy stuff in Seattle and then taking an express bus to the east side.  Zoe will pick us up and will spend the night at her house.  Then, her town is having it’s ‘town celebration’ that weekend so we will hang out there and see what there is to see.  Saturday evening is the baseball game – Mariners vs the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Mariners have been playing so badly!  I hope none of you saw that game we lost that was something like 10 to 1.  Ugh.  So. Bad.  So, yes, after the game we’ll go back to Zoe’s, spend the night, have her take us to Seattle the next day and take the train home.  It will be a good weekend away.  T is not coming.  We’ll have to spend some time with Z’s husband, but it’ll be fine. 

I haven’t gotten any gardening done this spring.  All I’ve done is pull weeds.  I know that I could still put some veggies in, if I bought some starts, but I think I’ll let the garden lie fallow this year.  Maybe I’ll plant a nitrogen fixing cover crop.  I’ve got garlic growing, leftovers from the last harvest.  I’ve got blueberries and raspberries and huckleberries and herbs.  Thyme, chives, rosemary.  And I’ve got two plentiful rhubarbs.  But, I have a lot of empty space in my raised beds.

Hey, I actually had some other stuff to say, but I have to go over to my dad’s house.  It’s Wednesday night – that’s what we do!  So, I’m going to go ahead and post this nonsense, because you know how I am.  If I procrastinate at all, it just doesn’t happen.


Thanks for reading, friends!





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!