Sunday, September 30, 2012
Sunday morning once again. Cats fighting over a turn at the window and a sunrise over the valley, third cup of coffee almost gone. Pondering caffeine today. Wondering whether it would be a good thing to cut back on or quit altogether, but I just don't know. I enjoy coffee.
In the market yesterday I bought a caffeine free tea. The name on it, Tension Tamer, drew me in immediately. Also a nice quote from Lao Tzu on the box. "Without even going out of the door, one can know the whole world." All that is nice, but what does it taste like?
The first ingredient is something called Eleuthero, which I never heard of. In the Blendmaster's Notes... it is described as an Asian herb popular because of the sense of calm and well being it imparts. If you believe the box, there is also a nice assortment of peppermint, cinnamon, ginger and licorice, but also, strangely, catnip. In Tea?
Hmmm. I tasted this concoction and it is drinkable. Not something to jump up and down about, and not something I'd drop coffee for right this moment, but I won't throw it away. That's a pretty half hearted endorsement.
Also pondering how much simpler life would be if the cats understood the word No. I asked Sweet Pea if she knew what no meant, and her skeptical look communicated quite clearly "No."
Sunday, September 23, 2012
September has to be the fastest month there is. One week to go and it seems it just started. My freak balsam is still blooming. It is beautiful. I am going to harvest seeds from it to see if I can grow huge ones again next year. It wasn't even in full bloom when I took this photo.
This week was a peaceful one. I managed to read all of Teacher Man, the third in the Frank McCourt series. I enjoy listening to him talk so I searched out some YouTube clips. I would have loved his classes. His second two books, can't compare to Angela's Ashes, but they are still worth reading if you enjoy his style and his stories.
It's foggy over the valley this morning. The temps went into the 40's last night and I fired up the cat mat for Coco on the porch. It still works. It only has the heat of a small watt bulb but it gives comfort to her old bones. The two inside cats still hate each other, but love me more. They will sit on either side of me in bed while I read now. But never together. I still put them in cages for the night though. Sambo howls like I am taking her to her death. It is actually kind of funny now. The same routine every night. Howling the whole way down the cellar steps, then I stick her in the cage and she runs to the far end and hisses at me. All is forgiven the next day and we start over.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
One of those gorgeous days. I spent just about all of today outside. Perfect temps, low humidity, blue sky, music, a lawn chair and the cat. It's a rare day that I do absolutely nothing other than cook dinner. Nothing. And I'm lovin' it.
Probably a good thing I took it easy today. I got the sore throat that is going around. I'm sucking on a Hall's cough drop as I type. The progression everyone else has taken is this: Sore throat, then fatigue, a head cold, then onward to the chest. People at work hacking and snorting all week. I am hoping that with luck, maybe I can stop this thing dead at the sore throat stage just by refusing to be sick. We'll see how I do.
I finished Tis, the second of the three Frank McCourt books. I ordered Teacher Man today and also a book by his brother called A Monk Swimming. (blessed art thou a MONK'S SWIMMIN...) I heard his brother is quite the character and it is full of some pretty good stories in his life.
September is half over. Sheesh. Looking for winter boots online today. It got depressing and I quit. I'll wait till October. I really don't feel like buying boots right now. Maybe winter won't come again this year.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Celebrating another trip around the sun. Tomorrow I'll be 48 years old. I'll celebrate today and eat things I shouldn't and spending time with friends and family. I looked in the mirror today and had the strangest thought come into my head. What if, say 30 years ago someone could have shown me that reflection and said, this is how you are going to look at 48? What would I have thought?
Or, if I could speak to that 18 year old, with all this wisdom of experience, just for five minutes, what would I say? Trite as it sounds, I would tell her, don't be afraid. You can do anything. Oh, and buy Microsoft! But sell it before the dot.com bubble breaks. Then buy APPLE!
September is here. Temps in the 50's last night. "Fall" clouds in the sky this morning. Sunflowers still doing their best to cheer up the fading garden, but the other flowers are fading fast. I gave up on weeding all together. It is what it is.
Huge puffy mushrooms in the damp back yard. Wonder if they are poisonous. My they spring up fast.
One day nothing, next day as big as a baseball. I remember an old friend who used to pick the same sheepshead mushroom off the same tree every year. I tried some once on a steak. It was tough and not really that great. I couldn't get the sight of the bugs floating down the drain when he cleaned it out of my head either.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Serious rain yesterday. My prize two and a half foot balsam is sprawled on the driveway with a 4 foot amaranthys drooped on top of it. Sunflowers leaning to the left, bushes of crackerjack marigolds doubled over a low fence. Worst for last: 16 foot castor bean stalk with huge leaves, now bent like an old man, pulling out the tomato stake behind it. More rain to come.
Thankfully the power stayed on. No computer problems. TV is okay to watch golf today.
Musing about things I learned this week. A new respect for abject poverty, while reading Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. Growing up in the Irish slums eating bread and tea and pretty much that was it. Living in squalor, babies dying of pneumonia. Little lives lost. I picked up "Tis" the sequel to the first novel. It is also a good read. Now I am out of the slums and into the Army Now... McCourt's memoir takes a very different turn in the second novel. No longer life lived through the eyes of a child. The language is a bit colorful, but rings true. McCourt is a great storyteller. This book begins with his adventure coming to America as a young man, struggles with his Catholicism, and years in the Army. I see me picking up Teacher Man, the third book, in the near future.
Seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan this week reminds me how fragile everything is. Breaks my heart to see people lose everything, just like that. Puts my flower loss in perspective.
On politics this week...Paul Ryan didn't run a marathon in under three hours. I knew it was BS when I heard it. He lies when the truth is better. His whole speech the other night should have been rated "pants on fire." The five biggest lies are found here. And this isn't partisan BS. These are clear lies or omissions that interfere with the truth. It is pure cynicism to count on people being stupid.
The whole Clint Eastwood thing was just Bizarre. The Daily Show was all over it. It was a gift to the comedy writers. An angry, old white man with seven kids to five women, talking to a chair. He came across like Grandpa Simpson.