Goodbye Spring: Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky, NOT

Purple petunias in terra cotta pot as seen in humid, hazy light. No filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

With a hat tip to Jimi Hendrix, I’d like to share with you, my gentle readers, that this has not been a wonderful spring.  This makes me sad because I love late spring.

It’s my second favorite time of year. Oh yes it is.

However this year, to continue quoting Jimi, “Lately things they don’t seem the same, Acting funny, but I don’t know why.”

Which is me alluding to the fact that all it does around here is rain.

Soggy parsley.

I’m talking inches of rain, daily. Flash flooding. Mudslides. Slippery sidewalks.

Overwatered pots of formerly beautiful geraniums and petunias, now looking like death warmed over.

Pots of herbs so wet they are existing in a weird soggy stasis, looking pathetic.

Sad basil.

In the parlance of ye olde weather forecasters who claim to know why we’ve had this excessive, soul-sucking rain: there’ve been “numerous ripples of energy” that have brought more rain showers and thunderstorms to the region than are normal.

Uh huh. That’s nice.

However, be that as it may, while the rain continues unabated I’ll just contemplate “am I happy or in misery” while I’m stuck inside the house today in my own version of a caffeinated, irritable, non-psychedelic purple gray haze.

Me happy. NOT.

Stone steps down to terrace as seen in humid, hazy light. Again, no filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

Last Week Was Ridiculous, Therefore I Shall Whine About It Here

INTRODUCTION

Doorbell after being shown who is boss.

Last week was a troublesome one for me.  It was rascally and I got scattered and I lost focus on my one word of the year, streamlined.

I had dreams of getting it together last week, doing the things on my to-do list in a smooth and centered way like the organized lady of the list I long to be.  But the Universe scoffed and instead, beleaguered by annoying things, I was distracted me from my true purpose.

THE WHINING PART

Nothing bad happened, only small RIDICULOUS annoying things happened that began to slow me down and wear on my very last nerve.  Here is a list of those annoying things:

• tornado warning with winds gusting to 60 mph that took down a piece of our house’s gutter;

• smoke detector battery went chirpy during the day when I was here by myself, without anyone to spot me to climb on a ladder to change the battery, so the smoke detector sang all stinking day;

• the water department turned off the water to this subdivision because of a nearby traffic accident, thus in one day our water was off for 6 hours, on for 2 hours, then off again for 4 hours;

• landscape crew arrived without advance warning to do spring cleanup, then piled mulch in such a way as to trap my car inside the garage;

• laundry service lost one of Z-D’s shirts and told me such when the delivery man came to the front door, handed me the laundered unlost shirts and asked me if I could tell him which shirt was missing… as if I pay any attention to Z-D’s extensive collection of mostly white or pale blue button-down Oxford cloth dress shirts;  and finally

• doorbell got stuck on meaning that the button, after being pushed in, connected with the bell box that rang its melodious ding, then the bell box started to buzz… loudly and ceaselessly… until I got a screwdriver and dismantled the doorbell separating the wires to make the stupid thing be quiet.

AND IN CONCLUSION

Pretty hot pink geranium harbinger of better days.

At this point, if I were an inspirational sort of blogger, I’d share with you a pithy lesson, succinctly put, so that you might learn from my experiences too and say to yourselves: what a wise Bean is Ally for sharing her troubles here and showing us, through her example, how to live better lives.

However, I’ve no such conclusion to this post.

Other than to say, I guess, it’s rather empowering to acknowledge setbacks, complain about them, then get over your sorry self while you carry on with another week as if you’ve got it all together.

We’ll see about that. Won’t we?

In Which I Prattle On About Ivy, Donating Furniture To Charity, And Tuesday

I’m feeling lighthearted and warm today.

Hence I shall show you the above photo of two pots of ivy immediately after they had a shower in the kitchen sink. One is silver bells ivy, the other is jubilee ivy.

I can’t tell you which is which but I like ivy, and I especially like these two varieties because they have great names and are easy to grow.

That, my friends, is a win-win.

May you heart be like holly and your words be like ivy.

[An Irish blessing, not sure if I got it quite right, but you get the idea.]

Anyhoo, the real reason I’m in a great mood today is that once again I’m waiting for St. Vincent de Paul to get here to pick-up some furniture that we’re donating to them.

Everything but the kitchen sink.

[A nice idiom that lends itself to this post.]

Slowly, ever so slowly, we are divesting ourselves of that which we don’t need but someone else can use.

Another win-win, I believe.

Thus I’ll end this jotting-style post in which I prove that I can and will show up on Tuesdays. Because unlike most of the peoples I know, I like Tuesdays.

Having been born on one.

Tuesday’s child is full of grace.

[A childhood poem, one line remembered.]

So be it with me. What’s up with you?

The One About Unexpectedly Making A Noteworthy Mess In The Kitchen

Don’t do this.

I can’t say for certain that I created my worst kitchen mess ever, but I can say that what I did was so far beyond my usual kitchen messes that it is worthy of note.

And belongs on my Top Five Biggest Kitchen Messes Ever List.

If I had such a list.  But I don’t.

Here’s what I did. 

I got the wok out and put it on the cooktop because I was getting ready to stir-fry some vegetables for dinner. 

Then I grabbed the canola oil from the shelf and opened a new 32 fl.oz. bottle.  

Made of flimsy plastic.

I went to pour some oil into the wok but I lost control of the lightweight, squishy, poorly designed, this-is-really-not-my-fault bottle.  Thus I ended up pouring canola oil:

  • into the wok; 
  • onto the cooktop; 
  • onto the granite counter beside the cooktop; 
  • into the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter; and last but not least 
  • onto and into the wooden knife holder, filled with knives, sitting beside the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter beside the cooktop.

Say good-bye to half a bottle of oil.

As you can imagine the spilled 16 fl. oz. of oil immediately began to spread across the cooktop and the granite counter, dribbling down the front of the cabinets, leaving puddles of oil on the floor.  

This, you expect.

And, of course, the oil got inside the utensil crock, pooling in the bottom, where it stayed until I washed the crock and everything in it.  

Again, this is what you expect. 

But the big surprise is that once the oil covered the outside of wooden knife holder, it quickly oozed into the knife slots.  There, in an instant, the oil was absorbed into those slots in such a way as to make the wooden knife holder, that suddenly had begun to smell like mold, about as un-washable and un-usable as anything I’ve ever seen destroyed in a kitchen.

This sort of mess I did not expect.

So there you have it, another story in which my life is not as idyllic as one might hope.  A story, in fact, that lends itself to me asking you a question, my gentle readers:

What’s the biggest cooking &/or baking mess you’ve made in the kitchen?

It Was A Jammies Day, Meant For Bookworms

Dear Diary,

We never got the predicted deep snow, but we did get the frigid temps.  And because we could, Zen-Den and I spent Sunday at home going nowhere.

He watched football on TV.

I read.

In fact, I finished one novel, The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.

[I don’t do book reviews on this blog.  Instead I’ll tell you that I enjoyed this historical fiction novel because it had unique characters, a predictable but interesting plot, and explained the history of women spies during WWI, something I knew nothing about.]

Then I pulled out an Agatha Raisin mystery by M.C. Beaton because I wanted a lightweight British cozy mystery to while away the rest of the day.

As one does when one is me.

I admit I looked outside and contemplated walking into the screened-in porch to brush off the snow from the winter furniture, but that seemed like too. much. effort. for a woman in her jammies all day.

[Plus, that furniture is teak which is supposed to weather the elements so that it can develop a rich gray patina and show a little character.]  

And that, Dear Diary, is about all there is to say about Sunday instant.

I’m hoping that the temps will get up into the 20s today so I can comfortably go for a walk outside, but if not I’ll keep reading.

Up next in my TBR stack is Beartown by Fredrik Backman, so you know I’ll be enjoying the book in front of me.  Thus I say fear not, for I shall keep myself entertained while avoiding inclement weather.

Yours truly,

Ally Bean

The One About The Neighbors: What Will Be, What Isn’t Anymore, And What Is

Neighbor’s dead tree with turkey vultures [or turkey buzzards, pick your nomenclature]: I don’t like this.
WHAT WILL BE:

“Come and listen to my story bout a man named Jed, Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed…”  

Remember The Beverly Hillbillies? And remember their theme song?

Of course you do.

Well, that’s the song that’s been stuck in brain this past weekend.

Why?

I know not for sure other than Thanksgiving is about hospitality– and somehow seeing turkey vultures lounging above our property on the neighbor’s dead tree, that leans precariously in the direction of our screened-in porch, put the tune in my mind.

I don’t know that Jed Clampett shot turkey vultures, but it seems like something he’d have done.  I do know that the dead tree will eventually fall.  Fingers crossed, not on our roof.

So there’s that.

• • •

Neighbor’s empty backyard: I like this.

WHAT ISN’T ANYMORE:

“Well the first thing you know Jed’s a millionaire, Kinfolk said Jed move away from there…”

And speaking of neighbors I’ve taken the liberty of sharing with you, my gentle readers, a photograph of their empty backyard.  A backyard that is free from a huge, formerly well-used, swing set that is no longer there.

While I admit that the kids playing on the swing set were hilarious and the squirrels frolicking on the swing set were total goofballs, I’m happy that it’s gone from my view.

The neighbor kids are old enough to drive now and the swing set has disappeared, presumably to some other backyard where it’ll be loved as much as it was here.

Change happens, eh?

• • •

Neighbor’s wistful cat: I like him.

WHAT IS:

“You’re all invited back again to this locality, To have a heaping helping of their hospitality…”  

And finally while I’m on the topic of neighbors, here is a photo of their black and white kitty cat as seen on a foggy morning.

I don’t know his name, but he occasionally likes to sit under one of our trees.  He’s a natural, knowing how to pose for the camera– and takes a darned good picture.

He’s not destructive, just inquisitive, and not afraid to hang out in our yard when so moved by his need for a little peace and quiet away from kids and dogs.

I can understand.

• • •

Questions of the Day

{ answer whichever question OR questions strike your fancy }

  1. So what’s up with your neighbors?  Any of their trees poised to fall on your house? Anything missing from their yards? Any of their pets enjoying a respite in your yard?
  2. Can you sing The Beverly Hillbillies theme song from memory like I can?  How about Gilligan’s Island theme song?  Or The Flintstone’s theme song? 
  3. Do you believe I could get any more rambling and random than I have in this post?  And how does that make you feel?

Unexpected Entertainment: A Tale Of Grocery Shopping, One Little Girl, & Live Music

A bit of humor just in time for your holiday grocery shopping…

Imagine you’re a little girl about 7 years old.

It’s Sunday noon after church so you have on your best clothes: dress, tights, Mary Janes.  Your hair is pulled into two pigtails, one of which is higher than the other, and there are bows on your pigtails because… PRETTY.

You and your dad are shopping in Kroger, the new one with the huge 2-story foyer that has dramatic lights and large windows– and amazing acoustics.

As you leave the store, going through the foyer to the parking lot, you’re standing on the back of the wheeled metal shopping cart, being pushed along by your dad.

You have energy.

In spades.

Thus when you and your dad set foot in the foyer on your way to the parking lot you ask him: Now?

With a sheepish look on his face, as he glances at all the other adults in the foyer, he says: Yes.

At which time you, a wiggly little human being, start singing LOUDLY with gusto and joy.  Which one of the following five  songs did you sing?

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