Monday, May 28, 2018

Blue Velvet

A recent post by Fran, at Being Me, hit a familiar note for me. She writes of her hall carpet and the demands it makes on her time.

          I too thought a dark blue carpet would be a great idea. How could something the shade of indigo show dirt? And I was right. In all the years that I had it, it appeared grime free. For all we knew, there was enough soil lurking deep in our rug’s lush roots to re-sod the entire Oklahoma dust bowl.

          What I hadn’t factored in was my orange cat, or the fact the woman of the house (who shall remain nameless) also has shedding tendencies. There was also the day-to-day traffic back and forth through the house and to the upstairs, trailing string, threads, and whatever else failed to fall off in the kitchen on the way.

Then there’s the fact that the carpet was the path to the laundry area in the basement, the household lint headquarters. On banner days, a forgotten tissue would transform in the wash into flakes of confetti that would drift down merrily behind us as we carried our baskets upstairs.

On the plus side, one year when I was painting the front door the same shade, I spilled the entire can and no one was the wiser. ( When home projects bring on the blues )

The rug’s superhuman Magneto-like grip on the flotsam and jetsam of our lives drove me at first to kneel on the floor and scrub with the small hand attachment on my vacuum. That lost its charm pretty quickly and next came a massive – and expensive - upright vac so powerful that for safety I put the cats outside when I used it.

After 15 or so years of dealing with either constant vacuuming or living with a floor crosshatched with lint, fibers, and string, the final irony was that when we moved this year, we pulled the whole thing up to lure buyers with the pristine hardwood floors beneath.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Trails, tinkles, and tarts

We began our Memorial Day weekend at a nearby reservoir, which has a very manageable bike/walking path that runs through the woods and beside the water in spots.

          I like it much better than more popular trails – unlike in Northampton and Amherst, I’m not dodging skateboarders and herds of families with kids that wander across the path or come teetering toward you. Having only learned to ride a bike as an adult, I’m not all that confident myself and appreciate an empty lane for my own teetering.

        There were a few patches of fisherpeople.

          Banks of ferns.

          And reminders that if I fell, to go for the asphalt instead of these three-leaved dangers.

          My afternoon was more mundane, with a trip to the garden/pet supply place where fortunately, no one spotted Mamie shamelessly peeing on the floor. 
(No photos - I was busy quickly shuffling us off to some other part of the store)
          But the evening proved that you never quite know how life is going to work out. 
Who would have ever thought that this new care-free condo life would also come with my own rhubarb patch (thank you, previous owners) that I could harvest for a tasty rustic tart. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Learning Curve

Last week was my maiden voyage with a local women’s golf league. Not pretty.

Monday, May 21, 2018


          I remember sitting in my grandparents’ living room in Oklahoma, probably on a Saturday morning when there was no school or perhaps on a hot summer afternoon, mesmerized by yet another Tarzan movie. 1961 television didn’t have much to choose from in comparison to today’s offerings, but I was perfectly happy. Those old serials were just fine with me – Tarzan, Roy Rogers, the Thin Man movies. It probably had little to do with the family lore of one of my cousins having swum with Johnny Weismuller, but Tarzan was a favorite.

          Maybe because of this, a child, gorillas were often in the back of my mind. It probably didn’t help that my older sister made me sleep closer to the window in our shared room, “if the gorillas come, they’ll get you first.”

          Another dark fascination was lava, even if I was unlikely to encounter much in Arlington, Virginia, where I grew up, or Tulsa, when we moved to my grandparents’. Those natives in Tarzan's world, or alternatively, hapless explorers, were always crashing through the jungle, a searing river of lava right at their heels.

          Here in Massachusetts, I couldn’t be much farther from current events in Hawaii unless I chartered a boat but I’m still captivated. And apparently we have a whole new vocabulary to go with it.

          Laze: “lava” and haze” - a mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and fine volcanic glass specks created when erupting lava reacts with seawater,

          Vog:  a hazy mix of sulfur dioxide, aerosols, moisture and dust, with fine particles.

          Lumb: a lava bomb, a projectile lump of lava

          And lately another concern just occurred to me when I realized that Kilauea kicked into action on May 3rd, the day my sweet little twin granddaughters were born. For their parents’ sake, I hope this isn’t a portent of the level of excitement in the years ahead.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018

(Grand)Mother's Day Thoughts

I remember my tree – a holly. Last time I saw it, in my twenties, it was taller than me, which now that I think about it, was probably always the case. My grandfather had planted it in his Tulsa backyard when I was born, so the tree already had a head start.
          When each successive grandson was born, we planted a tree in each one’s honor in the yard at our house. A flowering cherry for Gerry, a peach for Gabe (which actually produced peaches, although the squirrels always beat us to them), and a Japanese maple for Eli. Sadly, we left them behind (trees, not grandsons!) when we moved, but at least we planted them in the front of the yard so it will still be possible for us to drive over and check on their progress.

          Now here we are in Condo Land, with brand-new twin grandgirls. We do have a generous backyard and a couple of flowerbeds, but anything as large as a tree would need board approval since all land is really common ground.
What to do? Guerrilla gardening with a midnight raid of shovels and baby trees?
I was thinking that since we’re now on the girly side of things, how about a couple of frilly azaleas up against the woods?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Double the Fun

Life here is cooking along, each day with those small moments in the way life can be.

Friday, May 4, 2018