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Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer’s almost gone, winter’s coming on

I had a sad look at the pink mandevilla this weekend. I love flower gardens but can neither make nor maintain one. Mandevilla to the rescue, and thank you to Laura, who lifted the pots onto the hooks and continues to lift the watering can.

Early June
The pink mandevilla is fading back. Its leaves are yellow, its blossoms drooping. Sunday Beth admired it as she left and reminisced about a fellow staff member at the plant who brought in his pink and yellow mandevilla every fall, to hang in a window and winter over. It’s a safe bet there are no cats in the plant.

Late August
For two summers I’ve hung the white mandevilla by the house. I remember last year’s plant was stunning, and so is this year’s plant. I believe it was up until we hung the pine greens wreath in November, and watched a nuthatch liberate pine seeds from the pine cones.

The yellow mandevilla is this year’s sleeper. It absconded so quickly with the railing that pig’s nasturtium completely slipped my mind. Next year, pig. Seasons go round; next year will be the same.

Except, next year there will be no eclipse. Our view begins in ten minutes. The sun is bright, the sky the least bit overcast. It’s hot (still summer!), and no one is out. Our partial solar eclipse will be at its maximum at 2:30 and over at four. 

I turned on the TV and found ABC, and probably most of America, is following the eclipse. It just past totality on the west coast.  I do hope the schools are viewing; the event is spectacular. Now I wonder how dark we will become in an hour. 

PostScript: The band practices outdoors, and was allowed out, with the admonishment not to look up. Some had glasses and shared them around. Mostly, according to Laura, they joked about President Trump looking up.

Friday, August 18, 2017


John McCain: “It’s like a game of Whack-a-Mole.” That was a long time ago, when GW was still in charge of the war in Iraq. The metaphor never goes away. This started out to be a not too serious piece, about disappearing statues. I was going to toss in the stock market and Durham, North Carolina, although the last could be more serious than an impromptu dance party. I tabbed over to Google news to check up on Durham, and the headliner is Steve Bannon, shown the door. Talk about Whack-A-Mole.

Back at home, we have our own clear and hold strategy under question. I went to lunch today, a perk of being old and unemployed, and willing to confront the vagaries of the stock market. We went to another branch of the same chain as yesterday, and I was momentarily puzzled by the same menu as yesterday in what was a different city. Strange pictures pass through a traumatic bran injury.

Deb got iced coffee, with milk. When the waiter set it on the table, I was fascinated by the color of white milk descending through black coffee. “Don’t touch that,” I admonished her while I reached for my camera. But she did, and the colors muddied a little. Never mind; it’s still pretty.

Then I learned the eclipse glasses we turned up, after diligent searching, have been recalled. It was in the local newspaper, and already emailed to all Acme card holders. I bought four pair at a buck ninety nine each, so it will behoove me to fish the receipt from the unbalanced receipt glass and go to Acme this weekend.  That’s like another lunch with someone I like.

The eclipse itself has been recalled in part of the Hudson School District. I realized Laura would be in school on a historic day, and suggested she ask if they would be allowed to go look, with approved glasses. Yesterday she reported No, the students would not be permitted to view any part of the eclipse during school hours. However, the middle and elementary grades would be permitted, she reported. Considering we no longer have authentic glasses, I suppose I can wait out the truth of this information with careless confidence.

On the way home I saw the scene below, except with the workman’s boots extended from the back of the van. It was a wonderful scene, and I wanted it captured for my repertoire. Being in federal offense country, I opted to turn around in the Boy Scout property and come back for the picture. When I pulled in, the poor fellow flew out of the truck and dropped his cigarette. “I wish you were still sitting in the back of the van with only your boots sticking out.”

“No, m’am.  I could be in trouble for that.”

This is a helluva mess some misguided voters got us into. Go to the polls in November!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Four way stops and other discrepancies

Do you take those tests on Facebook? I am addicted. “Only 5% can correctly spell these top misspelled words. Can you?” I take the test. I can spell the top misspelled words. Frankly, I’ve always considered the tests fake, because I pass them.

The other day I took a driver’s test. I’m zipping along on those nice, green “Correct Answer” and clicking on “Next Question”, when I got one wrong. I do that occasionally. But how to proceed at a four way stop?  Hello. Everyone knows you keep pulling away in rotation. Everyone who stopped ahead of you goes, then you go, and so on, forever and ever at the four way stop by my house.

Not so. This is the Federal, US of A Law: everyone stops. Everyone leaves, in order. But, if two cars stop simultaneously, the car to the left yields to the car to the right. This is not the law at my four way stop, that controls plant traffic from the west, two high schools from the south, and regular people from the north and east. Everyone always knows who stopped before them, and we just go on, so we can go home. And I got it wrong because two cars might stop at the same time. Impossible. Rational people always work out this stuff.

I must look at the doodads on my phone for the microphone for recording. Today I worked my way into high cotton country to have lunch with Ruth. I was listening to an incredible discussion on PRI on the week’s events. All I had to take notes, while navigating the twists and turns of the Adirondack foothills, was the little scrap of paper with the restaurant’s address.

Perusing the notes this afternoon, I spent far too much time translating “listop” into “dystopian.” I must look into this. I recall Hamilton and Emily read nothing else, though I migrated Emily into decent biographies and autobiographies around her senior year. Laura’s genre is dystopian, and I didn’t make a dent in ninth grade. Maybe this year. Maybe it’s a phase. There’s more world to look forward to as each year of high school is in the rear view mirror.

And, I read our side of the aisle is drafting articles of impeachment over Trump’s lack of morality in handling of Charlottesville. That’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks. I wish they’d wait for a much more substantial issue. Russia, for instance. It’s not that much longer.

You know I like pictures with posts. I thought I'd ask the wait person to take a picture of Ruth and me, at lunch. But, my parking meter was running dry, and Chagrin Falls has police on scooters who do nothing but monitor meters. Just so no one is confused over who is who, I'm on the left and Ruth on the right in the top picture on my side bar.

Finally, it’s raining, and my rain barrel has a wide open mouth and an empty belly.