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Tuesday, August 22, 2017


My neighbor called me, on her way out of the park. “I just saw Joe with a stack of pink folders and said ‘Hey, where’s mine? I want to come to the party, too.’” Joe told her they were citations, and he had none for her, but one for her neighbor, which would be me.

I retrieved the bag from my doorknob, and it is a citation, for unwhipped weeds. How petty. Three unrectified citations equal an eviction. Thirty days to fix it. I stomped off for an inspection, and made it around the building without my cane. Laura mowed on Sunday, and, frankly, I didn’t see a problem.

On the other side I met Dan, the maintenance man, mowing at top speed. I flagged him down and asked where my problem is. Poor fellow, he’s flustered. He’s out mowing everyone’s lawn at top speed (Joe delivered forty odd citations.) I asked him “What?” And he replied “Those women!” I told him to be sure he went down and around my place, too, through the previously verboten side yard that now is well established.

Back in the house, I collected my library book to return, my car keys and my curiosity, and went to the office, via the mail box (all junk). Theresa, the big boss, came out, and I said “Hey, what’s going on?” It seems that “corporate”, which is one above her boss, Bob, the regional vice president who was nailed for drains recently, will be here “sometime in September,” and she’s starting early.

I asked where my weeds needed whipped. “Behind your shed,” she responded, sharply.   Inquiring minds do wonder who climbed down the very steep hill behind the shed to observe the weeds, but did not become an inquiring mouth. “Three citations and you’re out,” came even more sharply. “Out of my hands.”

When Laura came in from school, I inquired, and she confessed she has been very lax of late, especially with Kathy, the neighbor. Laura’s being sucked down the damn social media rat hole again. Over the summer she lost phone privileges, and is twelve hours on, twelve off since school started.

Sadly, I realized she has her nose stuck in the computer when she’s phoneless, inhaling that social drama. I could deal with it, if she handled her end of the bargain and took care of the grass. I pointed out to her that we’re both down a blind alley now, with no place to go and keep her in the school district.

Laura is at “hands on the wheel” driver’s ed tonight. It was a pretty, blue kind of day, but that citation sure kicked the karma out of it.

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!