Random Observations

*It is really hard to meditate when you are chewing peppermint gum. Tucking it under your tongue doesn’t work, too minty.

*Does it still count as vacuuming if your spouse moves the vacuum over the floor but doesn’t actually pick up any dirt because he didn’t empty the over full basket or clean the filter clogged with dog hair?

*I have recently learned that it is much better to pluck my eyebrows with my reading glasses on.

*Best milkshake flavor ever? Chocolate covered strawberry!

*Why do needlepoint kits have the yarn colors all glommed together? I am trying to picture the kits being put together and I must confess my imagination fails me.

Well, that’s it for today, I have yarn to separate.

Preparing for the Storm (Photo Friday)

I am a weather geek so living in southern Arizona is rather boring. Ninety percent of the weather is hot and sunny. We do have winter and summer monsoon seasons but they have been pretty tame most years since I have lived here. This winter we have actually been having winter. Well, as wintry as it can get here. But still, it is exciting to have a reason to watch the weather channel. And be able to wear my sweaters.

My son was off from school Wed thru Friday this week. We had planned on going camping at Madera Canyon but changed our minds when we saw cold and rain and snow in the forecast. Tuesday night we had a hard freeze, temps down in the twenties. So Tuesday is when the ‘inclement weather’ work began.

I picked all the lemons and a few oranges on Tuesday.

We left the lemon tree all covered up as it is supposed to be below freezing again Friday night.

On Wednesday my son and I took advantage of the sunny day and went to the library. Books and UNO are hunkering down requirements.

Thursday morning I got up in great anticipation of a foul weather day. An 80% chance of rain, wind gusts up to 40mph. I continued to work preparing to hunker down.

First order of business was to make cookies. In case the power goes out. (The power has never gone out here, but still, one wants to be prepared.) Oatmeal cookies so they are suitable for breakfast if required.

Oatmeal Gorp cookies. These have dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, toasted pecans and toffee bits.
I dug out my flannel granny nightgown.  I haven’t worn this in years!

Now it is 4:00p on Thursday. It is finally beginning to rain! And there is wind spattering the rain against the window. (See picture at the top.) I just want to sit here and stare out the window! (And that is exactly what I am going to do after I set this post up for publishing in the morning.)

Raindrops are falling on my patio!

The plan is to post photos next Friday of whatever weather we get tomorrow (today for you).

Keep your focus!

Paint Chip Poetry (Grays and Blues)

I didn’t participate in this week’s 99 word flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch. The topic didn’t grab me. But I still felt like writing something and realized I hadn’t done a paint chip poem in awhile. I chose grays and a touch of blue in honor of actually having winter this year. Rain today and tomorrow, maybe even a little snow mixed in, how exciting!

Without further ado here is my poem. The paint chip words are bolded:

No blue suede shoes today

I thought looking out the window 

The wild blue yonder

 hidden by a steely gray mass of 

cumulonimbus clouds  

I was loath to leave my cozy castle

for the harsh outside world

 but bills must be paid 

 I headed to my skyscraper office

happy to not see the scary gargoyle on the corner 

hidden from view 

by the torrents of rain falling from the sky

With no warning

the icy rain

changed to snow 

and the whole outlook of my day changed

I lingered on the sidewalk glad to be caught out in the

floating feathers of snowflakes

Flash Fiction (Signs)

To be honest this week’s 99 word flash fiction for Carrot Ranch isn’t totally fictional. To a certain degree these are both real events that I experienced.

Part I: ‘For Sale’ (True Love)

‘For Sale’.  The sign had been in front of the colonial with the lovely porch for months. This cold February morning there was a second sign: ‘Open House’.  

She walked slowly through the entire house: gleaming woodwork, an eat-in kitchen with a bay window looking over the backyard, a claw foot tub. It was too perfect. Her heart shouted she was home.

She felt herself start to tremble as she took the flyer from the real estate agent and glanced at the price.  “I’ll take it” she heard herself say as her head chimed in to match her heart.

Part II: ‘Stop Sign’ (Also True Love)

One balmy evening I sat on my front porch watching the fireflies appear in the gloaming.  A woman ran the stop sign at the corner and hit another car. A low impact crash: crumpled metal and shattered plastic bits but no one hurt. 

She must have lived nearby, her husband arrived quickly. The first thing he did was ask if she was hurt.  She started to cry and said, “I am so stupid.”  Her husband replied,  “I know you are but I need to know you are okay first.”  I laughed softly in the growing darkness.  Well, wouldn’t you?

The Good, the Bad and the Not Too Ugly

The Good

I decided my son really needed to start helping more around the house. We have tried out different chores, all met with complaining and avoidance. Because I am struggling to get through the evenings these days I decided he needed to do the dinner dishes. Period. No arguing allowed. And guess what? He actually likes doing the dinner dishes! And he does a really good job. Go figure.

The Bad

Because the moving gracefully into menopause thing isn’t happening I have decided I want to try hormone replacement. Since before Christmas it has been very hard to get a lot done. Even things I want to do I find it hard to find the energy and interest for. I went and saw my primary doctor but she wants me to see a GYN and I couldn’t get an appointment until the first week of March. I tell myself it’s just four weeks, but it sort of feels like forever.

Before

The Not Too Ugly

My wonderful dog Sherlock is 14 1/2 years old and pretty spry and rather deaf. I decided last year that spending all those hours at the groomer’s was getting to be a bit much for him. So I tried a mobile pet groomer and it seemed to go okay. But when she came back before Christmas he wouldn’t go with her. He actually growled at her, something I have never seen him do before. So he didn’t get bathed or clipped.

And now it is February and he is crazy stinky and shaggy. It didn’t help that he fell in the pool two weeks ago.

I am pretty sure the problem is with that one groomer and I thought about trying a different mobile groomer but felt uneasy. So I decided to try and do the job myself. Now we have given him numerous baths but I had never clipped him myself. So I did what every person does who wants to learn something these days: I watched a few YouTube videos.

And then I took him to Dirty Dawgz, a great self-service dog washing place. The owner was crazy helpful. She helped me figure out what blade to use, made sure I knew how to do it and when she wasn’t busy came over and helped me do the more difficult areas.

My dog behaved wonderfully but it was still a very long process. After two hours we both had had enough. I forgot to do his tail and he wouldn’t let me do his feet but he is a lot less furry and he can see again. (I am going to try and trim him up a bit more with scissors this weekend).

I would totally do this again but I would take my spouse next time. It was too hard trying to keep Sherlock standing with one hand under his belly and only having one hand to do the clipping. And hopefully he would be less furry next time, he has a very thick coat that took multiple passes with the clippers. Because he has to be completely dry to clip I would also think about bathing him one day and clipping him the next. It took forever to dry him because of all that thick fur and I had to get him dry all the way through.

Both Sherlock and I are pretty happy, he was all frisky when I brought him home, obviously happy to be able to see again. (Though he completely crashed out the next day!) And I was thrilled that I wanted to pet and cuddle him again. That was some good bonding time with the grooming too, lots of chatting and nose kisses.

After

So there you have it, the good, the bad and the cutie pie!

Flash Fiction (Sea Mist)

From the 99 word flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch.

Everyday for fifty-two years she went for a morning walk.  No matter the season or the weather. Three miles. First alone, then with her partner, now alone again. 

She loved all the weather she encountered, it made her feel alive.  This morning a soft gray sea mist spilled over onto the beach, curling her white hair.

She tried not to play favorites, enjoying what each day gave her but secretly she liked the fog the best. Maybe because it was the rarest. Maybe because it softened the day.  Or maybe because it obscured the fact that she was alone.