Tuesday, October 25, 2011
...Margaret Hamilton in 'The Wizard of Oz,' and paraphrasing her penultimate words as she melts: Whatta day, whatta day--!
Early out for the haircut. This is for Chris:
Courtesy of MugShotzRUs. As I had said, it isn't all that different from the last time, but eh. I live with it.
Time for a news sandwich. (That's the technique aides used with Gordon Brown when he was PM - give him some good news - 'Your approval ratings are up' - deliver some bad news - 'Your party is dumping you like a hot potato' - followed by more good news - 'You won't have to worry about those dopey pictures of you showing up on TV anymore.')
I weigh myself every day, first thing in the morning, without fail. I record it once a week - Sundays - because if I record it more frequently it's up, down, up, static, down, up, down, plateau... you know how it goes. If there's only a slight change, like, say, two-tenths of a pound, it might register on the ticker but doesn't show up as any kind of real loss: no banners, no congrats, that kind of thing.
Which is fine. EYE know what it is, where it was, and what it's doing, which at the end of the day is all that matters.
But today, for the first time in... well, I don't know. At least five years, but more likely twenty. Or something like that.
For the first time in years, I'm under 150. That's why I recorded it on a Tuesday, and that's why I'm happy with good news.
Now for the bad news: I've done something to my shoulder. Painful (not screaming agony painful but nuisance-miserable painful) and very inconvenient, as I'm right-handed and - yep, you guessed it - it's my right shoulder. I'm resting my forearm on the desk in order to type. I know that's not ideal, but at least I don't have to move my shoulder to do that. But I might not be at the computer much for the next few days.
A small slice of good news: I have an appointment with Doogette Howser tomorrow (you know, She of The Revolving-Door Physicians' Office). The appointment was made last week as our neighbor* the orthopaedic surgeon is going to check out my knee. With the NHS, step #1 is to have your family doctor refer you to a specialist. Step #2 is an appointment with said specialist, with steps #3 and #4 being (most likely, at least in this case) x-rays and an MRI.
*He's going to become my new best friend. He just doesn't know it yet.
The timing being what it is (aheh) I'll have Doogette check my shoulder and see if she can determine something other than arthritis. Wonder if the MRI can be extended from shoulder to knee...?
Teabag Wisdom of the Day: Find the true source of happiness. Ah, yes. If only it were that easy.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
The road goes ever on and on...
Monday, October 24, 2011
...not as in playing the game of tag.
Remember a few weeks ago I said that one of the herbal teas I drink has short, nifty sayings on the tags? That one was 'Be a lighthouse,' which I thought pithy.
Today's is 'Life ends - love is endless.' Sort of syrupy, I guess, but not bad for a throwaway.
It brought to mind the British remembrance service held in London on 9/11. Next to the American Embassy is a memorial garden, where a small pavilion has been erected housing plaques with the names of British victims. Over the portico is engraved 'Grief is the price we pay for love.'
I had forgotten (and maybe some of you remember) that the quote is from a message the Queen sent to NYC shortly after the attacks.
While looking up the source for the quote I came across an article which stated 'There is also a memorial stone bearing American author Henry Van Dyke's poem "For Katrina's Sun-Dial"... which was read at the first memorial service [in Westminster Abbey, November 2001] for those killed in 9/11.'
Last Thursday I quoted another piece by Henry Van Dyke, the one I've come to call 'Van Dyke's Elegy.' I hadn't realized - didn't remember at all, though I'd probably heard about it at the time the memorial garden in Grosvenor Square was dedicated - that it was also a Van Dyke piece chosen as a tribute.
For Katrina's Sun-Dial
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice.
But for those who Love,
Time is not.
* * *
Henry must've been quite a fella.
When drifting through the internet, so often (for me, at any rate) way leads on to way. Starting with a quirky little teabag, I've come full circle, back to an author I'd scarcely heard of. Serendipity indeed.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
...but I have truly run out of time. It's late, another bizzy day tomorrow, and as Vonnegut said, so it goes.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
...and the (ivy) vines, it's a jungle out there.
We hit a lucky spate of good weather today so we caught up with some of the yardwork. Earlier this week there was a tiny window of rainlessness in which we were able to make hay while the sun shone - that is, we mowed the grass* for what I hope will be the final time of the season.
*Some of you Northerners may be a bit surprised to find we needed to mow in mid-October, especially if you consider we're sort of on a latitude with the southern part of Hudson's Bay. I was surprised to see palm trees in England. They don't grow very tall here in the northwest corner, but grow they do, and you will find them fairly often.
I have been busy cleaning out flower beds. They've been let go at least eleven years (that's how long I've been here) and for however many years before that. I remembered to take a couple of pictures before I started, oh, I guess two weeks ago:
See all that 'grass' in the foreground? Weeds.
You can see in this shot that it was just chock-full of ...stuff. Grass, weeds, nettles,* even a couple of saplings (which we saved and moved to better places). Two hollies and a fair-sized tree that planted themselves have been left in place, the hollies because they were in good positions toward the back of the bed, the tree because it was too big to move and (fortunately) had also planted itself toward the back.
*There were no nettles in the British Isles until the Romans brought them in. Why? Medicinal herb. And of course they ran riot and now infest everywhere. I had no familiarity with the things before I moved here other than from the old fairy tale about the swans. At any rate, I grabbed a bunch of weeds the other day (and yes, I was wearing gardening gloves) only to find I'd grabbed a nettle - ouch! So now I wear two pairs of gloves at the same time. Gah.
All the other flower beds (of which there are several) are smaller and I've been able to get to those a little at a time.
I have more to do in the large one, but the weeds and overgrowth are gone, the saplings have been moved, the bamboo has been trimmed back - oh, I wasn't kidding about the bamboo. We have some half-dozen stands of it around the yard.
Now, don't get me wrong. I like bamboo. It's just exotic enough and tall enough to add some interest to the yard. The problem is, it takes over. I mean, literally, it takes over. The root system spreads like mad and makes a tough fibrous network under the soil. If you don't keep after it constantly, trimming back shoots as they appear, you will have several 'satellites' of bamboo running out from the parent plants. That would be fine if what you wanted was a large stand of bamboo, and only bamboo - it will choke out everything else.
Tackling it after it's spread the root system is another story. I pitchforked. I spaded. I dug. I hoed. I did everything I knew to do to try to cut the roots and at least loosen the soil a little. Nothing doing. It's there to stay. Factor in the ivy vines - which also form some kind of tightly-woven root network under the surface - and there's no hope of actually digging in the flower bed.
When I finished at lunchtime I meant to take pictures for 'after,' since I had the 'before' shots. I was tired. Still am tired. And of course I forgot. If the weather's nice tomorrow I will try to remember to take them. Otherwise, take my word for it: there's little greenery to be seen, you can actually see the rich, black dirt, and I need to find a way to plant something in there.
I had considered a mass of daffodils, but they will be on their way out by the time the house is starting to draw viewers (at least, I HOPE it's going to draw viewers), and I don't think a bed of wilting daffodil leaves and flower stalks will look all that appealing.
I thought about tulips, but... same problem. This bed isn't quite shady enough for bluebells, besides which having planted 400 of the little suckers in the last week or two, I don't want to do yet more bluebells.
Most of all, with the netting of wire roots (well, they're tough enough to be wire!) only a couple inches below the surface of the soil, I'd be hard-pressed to dig down and plant any sizable bulbs anyway.
I thought about something like begonias, which will require getting some plants in the spring. Stepson #1's girlfriend voted for roses, but she doesn't know I have a black thumb. (Do I ever. I think I can kill just about any plant going, if it requires even a modicum of care.) We even had a brief discussion today about something like cherry tomatoes, just for the halibut. (Hah.) That won't work, though. Not enough sun.
Maybe I'll just broadcast some seeds, like English wildflowers. Except then I'm worried it will look weedy and untended, and didn't I just break my back to make it look weedless and tended?
Eh. It will have to wait till next March or April for a decision.
Meanwhile, that's me done, so - goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Friday, October 21, 2011
...now why can't I manage that more often?
I was glad to have an uneventful day after the drama of yesterday. It was lovely, but also emotional, so the calm was welcome.
Today was just a round of household chores with a few little things (letters, both cyber and snail) thrown in. Had a good long chat with my son today, about how he's doing in math, my daughter-in-law's new part-time job, his continuing problems with high cholesterol, and some reminiscing about his great-grandmother. I enjoy the adulthoods of my children as much as I enjoyed their childhoods. It's becoming cliche, but - I am indeed blessed.
We're starting to do some winterizing so got some of that done today. Tomorrow is forecast to be decent weather, and if it is I plan to go out and finish clearing the last flower-bed. Deo volente.
Since we went out for supper last night I kept things low-key for our meals today. The weather is definitely colder. I'm glad to have hot lunches when it's chilly, so it was chicken-veggie soup with cannellini beans. I added a little Tabasco to warm it up but good, lol.
And that's it. I'm toddling off. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
p.s. Thank you all for your kind words on yesterday's blog. Means more than I can say...
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