Monday, September 24, 2018

Good News – and a Happy, Superstitious Camper

Autumn has arrived in the northern hemisphere. Hallelujah! I could swear it has translated into my immediate better fortune regarding minor annoyances.

For starters, Tilly is unlikely to have a urinary tract infection. The vet mainly wants to see kidney functionality. Testing for a UTI is just routine.

Whew! My wild imagination ran away with me again.

In other good news, if she does happen to be infected there is a onetime antibiotic injection our veterinary often uses in cats. She expressed utmost confidence in a good outcome without ill side effects.

Now, our pet sitters can schedule treatment if necessary. We’ll just reimburse them for any expenditures and time. We shall see.

Now, as for my antique eyeglass frames, the prognosis seemed grim as of yesterday afternoon. The optical technician appeared ready to cry giving me the news that she could not help me. But she did refer me to a specialist.

Specialist, indeed. His business is called Special Eyes. Specialize. Get it? This gal hoped he could weld my frames back together.

Anyway, this morning’s call to the taciturn specialist gave me neither hope nor despair. He advised me to visit his shop soon as possible and he would take a look.

I practically flew out the door.

Well, he got the job done. Hurray! As a blessed side note I spent more time driving back and forth, traversing two separate Ohio counties, than waiting at either establishment.

You Were Right, Lisa, I Shared This Image in August :)
The cost for my frame repair? $20!

I was in awe, and beyond grateful. He didn’t crack a smile, but I could tell he enjoys his trade. Not only did he explain the work when finished but showed me a piece from his collection of antique frames that he thought I described over the phone.

(mine are cooler, I think, though I didn’t say anything)

Come to think of it, I wonder if he would have sold me an item from his collection had the repair been impossible but my lenses fit. Who can say?
There is way more going on under the decorative fa├žade here than imaginable to a layman, by the way. The craftsman explained creating a hidden pin from among spare parts that fits somehow through a sort of U shaped clip I never saw.

I don’t know. I’m just thrilled at the results.

How is your day going?


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reframing My Attitude

Little trials seem to just keep coming our way. Now our cat Tilly might have a urinary tract infection. It’s to be diagnosed the day we leave for a trip. I have no idea how we will handle things, though I will ask about an antibiotic shot when we go in to the vet’s office, what risks there are and expectations on the outcome for a geriatric feline.

Meanwhile, I’m reminding myself we are blessed in countless ways. For one, Tilly’s thyroid is responding well to the new dosage (pills she will, at least mostly, miss while we are gone ~sigh~).

We also have caring and capable pet sitters who charge affordable prices. Jezebel hides, but Tilly adores them. Unfortunately, the couple refuses to hand feed any cat pills after a mean fellow almost tore off her thumb.

I can’t say I blame her. It’s our wish Tilly will gulp down a pill with some food as she did this morning on the days they visit.

There’s more.

Yesterday afternoon I may have jinxed myself. Driving home from a late lunch, I told my partner how happy it’s made me to find these bifocal reading/driving lenses working out. Well, later that evening the frames failed.

It seems a screw broke or got stripped, perhaps from over-tightening. That left lens needed to be reseated shortly after I got them because a wrong angle within the frame distorted the fit.

Have I mentioned my frames are antiques?

Wish me luck on getting them repaired. Otherwise, I may end up wearing an old pair of underpowered reading glasses on our travels. These computer reading lenses provide a way too fuzzy view at any distance.

What are you up to this week?


Monday, September 17, 2018

Summer Bounty – An Accounting of Blessings

In my human frailty, I have done quite a bit of complaining this season. And granted, I’m still beyond ready for the onset of autumn, but I thought it time to readdress and assess some of the bountiful goodness.

For one, I’ve (most weeks) achieved a good deal of rewrites. Today I’m having fun reworking “The Wolf at Your Door”. I plan to contribute toward the incomplete ending before closing down for the evening .

The new deck, finished within a single week (!), turned out very nice. For the first time we can remember, it’s a safe and attractive structure. We’ll just have to get some of the lumber painted or stained to protect it from the elements once the green has bleached away.
Composite Floorboards Should Hold Up Better

At Last We Have Safe, Comfortable Stairs!
I’ve mentioned gardening numerous times. Stashed in our freezer are bags and bags of processed tomatoes ready for stews and casseroles or chili alongside others loaded with roasted jalapenos and parboiled chard. We also have leftover West African peanut stew and, as of yesterday, several servings of homemade tomato basil bisque ready to defrost. My next task is to cook up Buffalo chicken chili with some refrigerated fresh tomatoes and freeze half of that. I like having plenty of meals on hand.

If you think the above looks like fortune cookies, check out how I managed to freeze individual packets of the thin bisque without inconvenience or mess. Ice cube trays are so useful, even though my experiment in freezing cubes of fresh herbs didn’t work out so well. The soup bagged up quite nicely. I’m pleased with having thought to try this.

Three Bowls Full Ready to Go
Yesterday we shut down two of three Earthbox gardening containers for winter (tomatoes and rainbow chard). We’ll harvest the hot pepper plants in the next day or so. Once dehydrated, the spicy Thai dragon pods will fulfill our recipe needs for a couple of years.

There may still be some marglobe tomatoes to harvest ripe from the corner patch. We’ll see what the weather does. Those plants grew taller than my five foot two inch self and just look at my colander full! How beautiful are these tasty globes?

Prettiest Tomatoes We Have Ever Grown
Also, potatoes! We shall see how these little purple guys cook up. They will be part of dinner tonight.
A New Experiment Using Potato Growing Bags - !
And while my heart goes out to all those who have or will face hurricanes this season, I’m thrilled to know my favorite vacation destination (more home away from home, really) has weathered quite well. We look forward to returning to the Kill Devil Hills region of North Carolina’s Outer Banks yet this year.

Our Beets (Upper Right) Were Disappointing
But Who Wants Fried Green Tomatoes?
Last but not least, Palaye Royale is about to drop their sophomore release “Boom Boom Room: Side B”. I’ll be seeing them live in November, too. That should be fun.

PR's Underwater Album Cover Shot
Now the question remains, what should we plant in place of Thai dragon peppers next spring?


Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Never Ending Summer

I’m grateful for this summer’s bounty. We preserved so many cucumbers and tomatoes it isn’t funny. There are years’ worth of Thai dragon hot peppers yet to harvest and dry.

That’s not happening today.

We planned to do it. But first I set out to mow the front lawn. SO decided it high time to weed whack the edges of same patch of grass.

All went swimmingly at first. He had the courtesy to halt his efforts whenever I neared with the lawnmower.

At first. You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Finished cutting grass, I wheeled the mower onto a shady patch of concrete to reattach the recalcitrant grass chute, which I gave up trying to reinstall in the midst of my job. All of a sudden, I feel pain in the back of my head, as if someone threw a handful of pebbles at me.

Or hornets attacked.

I stood, whipped around, and backed up in one movement. There stood my dear husband, just a few feet away, industriously edging the driveway.

Near where I had knelt moments before.

Screaming, “Hey!” didn’t even register. I stomped into the garage, threw my gloves on the shelf, kicked my shoes into their usual corner near the door, and left him to put everything away.

I’m so done with this summer’s sweat and painful little indignities. And still the grass grows. The back is so high we should just get a goat.

I’m going to drown my sorrows in pictures of pretty musicians. Meanwhile, my husband did a nice job and apologized for the mistake.

Left to Right:
Sebastian Danzig, Remington Leith, and Emerson Barrett
of Palaye Royale

Would you hire someone for yard work if you could?

Here is a Bonus for My Cat Loving Friends
Drummer Emerson Barrett's Zen Moment


Friday, September 14, 2018

A Deserved Dressing Down?

This morning my partner gave me a serious glower over a simple observation. ~grin~ I apologize in advance (especially to Liz A.) but I have to share that exchange. I’ll let you decide if the response was deserved or not.

All I did was look out our bedroom window to check on this beautiful orb-weaver web and say, “Oh, look. The spider grabbed a protein shake on the fly.”


Whether I deserved a frown in reply or not, I have noticed tremendous proliferation of life this summer. Dragon- and butterflies in particular flitter about everywhere I go. Yesterday yet another fishing spider appeared in my basement. This one is a smaller male but still formidable looking.

I have decided that comforting old adage told me by my parents is a lie. That thing is not more afraid of me than I am of it. Wish me luck he’s moved on before my next laundry day.

Do you see lots of insects during a typical summer?


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lessons Learned – and Some Fun Facts

It’s important to keep learning at any age. Whether it be from a little research, some mistake, or an achievement, we need to take something new out of every day. Otherwise we stagnate as intellectual creatures.

It seems that I learned a lot this summer. Some lessons were bittersweet, others comical, and one downright painful.

Here are a few:

Do not grow four cucumber plants unless you want upwards of eighty pickle jars.

Almost everyone in our socio-economic network likes dill pickles.

Do not stare solely at the ground while mowing the lawn – some aggressive hornets nest high.

Bread and butter pickles really are tasty alone on a slice of bread with a little butter.

Aphids are even creepier than I thought (thanks Lisa – you can read her fascinating blog post here).

Make sure the mechanic received the unusual car part you ordered before driving twenty minutes one way for the (now useless) appointment.

Loofah sponges are derived from a fully ripe Asian fruit from the cucumber family, which is edible when harvested young.

Marglobe tomatoes are as picture perfect pretty as they are delicious.

A certain toilet cleaning tablet with Braille printed on the label doesn’t work as advertised (maybe Brian had a valid point when he asked, “If you were blind how would you know if it cleaned the toilet or not?”).

Marglobe tomato plants produce a lot of fruit.

Every United States president in the history of this nation has had siblings.

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia is the scientific name for ‘brain freeze’.

People get more amusing with their beloved pets every day.

I could go on and on. It seems better to wrap things up and let everyone get on with their day. ~grin~ I hope you are having a lovely week.

Did you now every bottle Snapple brand tea includes a fun factoid printed inside the lid?

Sweet Sandee of Comedy Plus linked this on her Happy Tuesday blog hop. You can find others below. I think we can all use a smile on this momentous 9/11 anniversary.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Decked Out

We are blessed to live in a home without a mortgage, which we paid off some time ago. But as most adults know, the maintenance never ends. We have shelled out thousands and thousands of dollars over the summer months trying to get this brick house sealed against water damage in our often rain-soaked part of the Midwestern United States.

This week we are getting rid of an eyesore that we’ve lived with for twenty-five years, the original second story deck. I look forward to having a solid, safe, attractive structure that might actually inspire us to use it - rare (inviting) weather permitting.

The contractors are dedicated and trustworthy by everything I’ve seen. They show up when they say and work hard while here.

Day One!
I will be glad when they are done and gone.

So will Jezebel the cat. Like me, she prefers peace and solitude. There isn’t a quiet room in this house right now. I’m in the closest thing to that, where it only sounds instead of feels like the building is being ripped apart. The cellar isn’t even immune, as the support beams travel most of the way through the home, between the main and underground levels to conduct vibrations throughout.

Door to Our Kitchen - A Room With a View?

This morning in the kitchen the floor shuddered under my feet with the equipment being used on the other side of the wall. I kid you not.

Meanwhile, poor Jezebel chooses to hide under our bed all day, across the hall from where I’m sitting now. Not a good idea.

Unfortunately for her, there is an industrial sized generator rumbling between our house and the neighbor’s. That beast is what drove me out of bed this morning.

Do you have any major projects going on this month?