Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's a Boy!

We have a new baby in the family! Steven and Simone's second son was born this morning three weeks early. But doing very well. 6 lbs. 14 oz. Mom is having some pain as a result of a c-section delivery. I got to hold him when he was just minutes old. What a tiny little miracle. There is nothing more thrilling than the birth of a baby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Robin Developments

Things are happening at the robin's nest. Papa robin has made an appearance and is bringing food to mom. Then both parents perch on the edge of the nest and peer in at the contents. I'm sure some hatching must be starting although I haven't heard any little peeps yet. The male robin is becoming aggressive towards me. He made a diving pass at me accompanied by loud chirping as I was hoeing weeds in the front yard at least 50 feet away from the nest. I've seen scrub jays do that to cats, but I've never seen a robin threaten a human.

The weeding went well, but I had hoped to get more done today. My list was too ambitious. But I am now exercising an abundance of caution--wearing gloves, watching where I step, stand, sit, where I put my tools and don't carry them with sharp edges facing me. I've become very aware of how reckless I am when working outside. Inside, too. How many times have I just about slipped on the top step going downstairs carrying something large. Now I pause at the top and check where the step is. I know more women my age who have fallen down the stairs. And I keep my cell phone in my pocket, just in case.

More weeding tomorrow. But I am actually making progress. And so many things are starting to bloom. Hot days ahead. I guess I'm through planting for now unless things cool down again.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cache Valley

If Utah is an island in the greater world, Cache Valley is yet an island within an island. A protected valley, lush and green compared to the rest of the Wasatch Front, and an undiscovered gem for many in this state. That is when it comes to a beautiful environment, clean air, and wide open spaces. Politically, Cache Valley is as conservative as they come.

Mom and Dad were born and raised in Cache Valley--Dad in Newton and later in Logan, mom in Logan. We visited the Newton cemetery yesterday. The majority of people planted there are my relatives including my grandmother and grandfather Griffin, and uncle Nolan. But the Griffins, Jenkins, and Christensens--all ancestors of mine--are prominent throughout the tiny cemetery. Dad's farm sits up on the hillside visible from the cemetery -- pretty much visible from anywhere in Newton. There is no culinary water to the land, just a stream. A farmer rents the land and raises crops like safflower or alfalfa. Dad's cousin has a pheasant hunting club that encroaches on the land, and dad allows it. We did see two spectacular rooster pheasants yesterday on our drive. Some developers have offered dad money for the land. One day it will become desirable for homebuilding, but not yet, and dad is not interested in selling. I think he always thought one of the Griffin kids would take over farming the land. He knows now it's not going to happen.

Mom took pictures of each of the headstones, and then we headed for Richmond where we found Lamont and Florence's graves and took more pictures of headstones.

Last stop was Logan cemetery where we had a hard time finding Vera and had to consult the directory. We found her and took one last picture. I found it odd we were taking pictures of headstones, but my parents are getting old and eccentric, and I guess it is important to them for some reason. These were all my dad's immediate family. We didn't make it to the Ogden cemetery where mom's mother and dad are buried. I may take a trip up there tomorrow just to visit those graves. Grandma and Grandpa Chamberlin were two of the most influential and important people in my young life. I was only 10 when grandpa died. Grandma lived to be nearly 80 but had to work hard her entire life to survive. She was truly an example of grace and beauty on the outside, while strong, self-sufficient, and resilient inside.

Some of the happiest times of my childhood were spent in Logan, wandering the safe streets with my sister and cousin, exploring the AC (agricultural college which is now USU) just blocks away from Grandma Griffin's. Even in Ogden we didn't have the freedom we had in Logan. Walking was our preferred mode of transportation. I loved the deep gutters that were always running full with water, featuring little bridges for each driveway so the water could pass under. That cold clear water was great for wading or sailing leaf boats, against our parents' strict rules. I loved the tiny shops we found tucked incongruously mid-block in the middle of residential neighborhoods, and where you could buy groceries and penny candy. I loved the shady parks with the big trees providing a canopy and escape from the heat. Logan was Mayberry RFD and a paradise for kids lucky enough to spend some of their time there.

But Logan has changed and not necessarily for the better. The old neighborhoods are still lovely with the old houses almost untouched, with wide streets, big yards and tall shady trees. But North Logan has adopted a sprawl approach to growth, downtown Logan has terrible traffic congestion, 4th North lacks any sign of its old former beauty, now all alsphalt, concrete and fast food.

Cache Valley resisted growth and change for decades, preferring to remain a quiet, sheltered farming community. But that has changed, and a lack of good planning is allowing development to ruin what was beautiful about that valley. I find it sad that people with such a strong tie to the land have so little respect for their own beautiful environment.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I'm getting back to my regular self again. Got a little sleep and I do feel better. I went out and finished weeding the parking strip and got a good start on the upper hill. After being out of commission for a couple of days, it's nice to make some progress again. Everything is looking so pretty in the yard. Tonight a small hawk landed on the light pole by the day lilies and scared all the little birds half to death. But he left without wreaking any havoc.

Tomorrow I'm driving mom and dad to Newton. They are getting too old to drive that far and I know dad in particular wants to go see the family farm. I don't think mom wants to visit the cemeteries, but she's going along anyway. We're having lunch at Maddox on the way home. I'll be home early enough to get some housework done in the afternoon and maybe watch a movie Saturday night. Maybe I'll invite Brittany and Kevin over to spend the night too.

Three day weekend! Yay!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small Wonder

Title: Small Wonder
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Rating: *****

Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite contemporary author. It’s only appropriate to launch this site with a review of her book. She has a new, non-fiction book out, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.” But I’ll leave that particular review for one of our other contributors, and choose instead for my topic one of her collections of essays, “Small Wonder”.

Many of us came across Kingsolver by way of her fiction, filled with characters and story lines that grabbed you from the first page and stayed with you long after the book ended. Starting with the heart-tugging “The Bean Trees”, I worked my way through all of her fiction. My favorite remains “The Poisonwood Bible”, being a girl who grew up in a rather fanatical religious environment myself. But it was Kingsolver’s collections of essays that gave me a whole new level of appreciation for the depth of her knowledge and work.

On September 25, 2001, following the terrible events of 9-11, Barbara published an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “And Our Flag Was Still There.” It was intended to be an expression of her own patriotism while at the same time concern about the war toward which we were inevitably headed. Little did she anticipate the furor that would follow her heartfelt and patriotic words.

The backlash from the right-wing punditocracy was fierce. Barbara became a target of the ultra-conservative, pro-war attack machine, accused of being friendly to our enemies and unpatriotic. There was, at the time (understandably), a hysteria across the country, and people were being caught up in the “them and us” scenarios being fed to us by our government. Remember “Wanted Dead or Alive”? Or the deck of “52 Most Wanted”? Barbara even earned the 73rd spot on Bernard Goldberg's list of “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America”. Goldberg says, “In an op-ed she re-tells how she reluctantly let her daughter wear red-white-and-blue after 9/11 because, "the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia . . . Who are we calling terrorists here?"

Well, that’s not exactly what she said. Her words were both taken out of context, and some words conveniently omitted to make a point. But those who misrepresented her words appear foolish when the full text is read:

"Patriotism seems to be falling to whoever claims it loudest, and we're left struggling to find a definition in a clamor of reaction. This is what I'm hearing: Patriotism opposes the lone representative of democracy who was brave enough to vote her conscience instead of following an angry mob. (Several others have confessed they wanted to vote the same way, but chickened out.) Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth who've spent years learning our culture and contributing their talents to our economy. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder? Who are we calling terrorists here? Outsiders can destroy airplanes and buildings, but it is only we, the people, who have the power to demolish our own ideals. "

She was right. Some of us recognized it at the time, and more of us see it now – now that it’s well known we were lied into a war of aggression (not pre-emption), a war that had nothing to do with 9-11.

“And Our Flag Was Still There” became the anchor for her new (at the time) book of essays, “Small Wonder.” It is powerful and moving. You must read the entire essay to truly understand the genuine patriotism in her message.

"So we sent her to school in red, white and blue, because it felt to her like something she could do to help people who are hurting. And because my wise husband put a hand on my arm and said, 'You can't let hateful people steal the flag from us.'"

Many of the essays in “Small Wonder” appeared previously in print in other venues, and some were updated to reflect current times and subsequent events. They cover a wide range of topics, some humorous, some serious, but all with an important message. It is a collection well worth reading, and I do highly recommend it.

Also see the Barbara Kingsolver web site.

I'm So Tired, I Haven't Slept a Wink

I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink.
-John Lennon

I think I have been running at full steam for too long now and I need a break. After my finger smashing incident yesterday, I went to bed early and fell asleep quickly, but then woke up many times throughout the night and finally got up to stay at 4 a.m. I kept thinking about what would happen if I was really injured and laid up for awhile. Who would take care of things for me? Who would take care of me? I want everyone to know how independent I am, but I am just one minor accident away from everything going to ruin.

I work hard because I have too. If I don't do it, it won't get done. And it must get done. But I'm not simply tired. I'm exhausted. I don't sleep a lot and I don't sleep well. And small accidents like the one yesterday have been happening to me all week. Maybe it's a wakeup call to be more careful, to slow down, to let some things slide. Maybe I'm not the super woman I think I am.

But I have to be. If I don't do it, it won't get done. But I'm so tired.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ow, ow, ow!

I smashed my finger. I dropped a big rock on it. When pulling weeds in the parking strip, it's easier to get the weeds out by the roots if you move the rocks out of the way. But this one was too big for me, and I didn't have on gloves. It slipped and my finger was smashed between two rocks Ow! :(

I saw immediately I had quite a serious cut, so, being a mom all these years, I knew just what to do. Clean it, pour on some hydrogen peroxide, apply pressure until the bleeding stopped, then bandaid and ice. It still hurts a bit and it's ugly, but I think I'll live. And notice - I'm typing.

I wasn't sure just how serious this was or whether I would need stitches. And the first thing I thought about was "how am I going to type -- or play piano -- or work in my yard?!" And it's my right hand. But I am, in fact, typing. However, I think I'll stop now and let it rest. Remember the "RICE" first aid rule:


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Set the Wayback Machine to 1964

Filled up the tank tonight and it was $47!!! After mowing the lawn, I felt like driving around and enjoying the cool evening, but after the cost of that fillup, I decided to save the gas and enjoy the evening on my deck.

I thought about 1964. Larry and Judy and Hank and I would pool our quarters and put gas in Larry's 1958 Ford convertible. Gas was between 24.9 and 29.9. We'd often get just 50 cents or a dollar's worth. Then we'd drive around in the hot summer nights with the top down, Jude and Lar in the front, Hank and I in the back. Sometimes we'd go to the drive-in movie. If we had no money, we'd go park by the North Ogden gravel pits and make out. Or we'd drive up Ogden Canyon and around Pine View Dam, maybe come back over North Ogden Pass. Once we went out to Plain City and Lar showed us what the Ford could do on a long straight country road. That scared Jude and me and we refused to ever do it again. But, the fresh summer air was exhilerating, we were 16, and it was entertainment enough just to drive around with our friends until it was time to go home. We didn't have much money, but we didn't need much--just a dollar's worth of gas.

The price of gas has certainly taken the joy out of joyrides. But it's for the best. It's way past time we started figuring out alternatives.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Avenue Montainge

I took myself out to a movie yesterday. A girl can only work so long in the yard, after all. It was a French movie, "Avenue Montainge", at the Broadway. My friend, Celia, said it was the best movie she has seen this year. And it lived up to her review. It's a story of a handful of separate individuals in Paris, all at turning points, beginnings and endings in their lives, whose paths cross for various reasons. The stories are beautifully interwoven and told both with joy and melancholy, true to the French style.

As I watched the characters in the movie facing the transitions in their lives, I realized how much this reflected my own life at the moment. And I had a bit of a revelation: I can no longer take the skaterbug skim-across-the-surface approach to my feelings about my pending divorce. It's time to deal with my feelings directly and honestly.

There is a lot of pain involved in that, and grief too. And shock. I have learned things about my husband I never knew, and would never have believed before now. What seemed like a happy marriage to me was hell to him and then became hell for us both. I'm only beginning to understand all the reasons why. In the past three years, I reached the point of wanting this divorce on three different occasions, and twice I thought it was important to try to resolve the problems and to get through the tough time together-- "better or worse" and all that. But I finally realized he was only waiting for me to be able to end the marriage, as it had ended for him long before and he was only playing a part to please other people. I never knew the secrets and lies, I never knew how he suffered, though near the end, there was serious depression. Now, he tells people he has never been happier in his life.

That's hard to take.

So I'm wrapped up in my own life now, figuring out what that is and who I am again. I feel sad a lot of the time, but I don't say I "am" sad. "Am"is a state of being, and my state of being is not sad. I also feel happy a lot of the time. I'm starting to realize a sense of freedom. My nature is to find solutions, make things better, be hopeful. I have been treading water for nine months since initiating the legal part of this, and it looks like we have a couple more months before everything is worked out. I don't know why it takes so long or is so difficult.

Some years ago Oprah had a couple of seasons of shows on the theme "Change Your Life." I took to that idea so wholeheartedly and literally, that I was able to start making some significant changes and improvements in my home and myself. I never understood why my husband allowed things to fall into disrepair in our home, why he didn't seem to care. Now I understand better. Little by little I changed every room in the house and then moved on to the outdoors. I quit my job that was sucking the life out of me, and took a job that was easy and allowed me to have a life. I took several classes in Qigong which truly helped me find comfort and internal peace through meditation-type practice. I learned I was harboring a lot of pain within myself and I found a way of letting go of it. It was all preparing me for this time when I would need to take care of the house and yard alone, and would need to find strength within myself like I have never needed before.

Like the characters in the movie, the road divides here for me and I have to choose a path to take. I have been thinking I want to embark on a time of some intense serious writing. Not just blogging, not just writing instruction manuals. But another project that has been on my mind for a long time. I think its time has come. But first I need to get finished with the legal part of this ordeal. I'm taking back my maiden name, for reasons I may or may not explain later. But it's important to me now to change my name. And when the judge says it is final, I will finally be free from this limbo.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Vinca aka Myrtle

What I said about Wisteria, applies also to Vinca or Myrtle, whatever you prefer to call it. I love it, but watch out, or those vines will take over your yard!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mrs. Robin

The robins love my yard this year and I know why. Everywhere I dig, I find fat, juicy worms. I have at least one nest now. I thought it was a decoy nest as when I first saw it, there were no eggs in it. But the past two mornings, Mrs. Robin has been tending to it and sitting on it. Whenever I'm working in the yard, one or two robins are nearby keeping tabs on me. I thought there was a nest in the pine tree, and maybe there is a second one there--there are at least a half dozen robins hanging out in my yard. But the first nest is situated on a thick branch of the apple tree right at the corner of my deck just at eye level. Now I'm going to have to be very cautious about using my deck, my patio, and even my back door until those eggs are hatched--assuming those are eggs she's sitting on. I rarely see a cat roaming outside anymore, but that branch would be very vulnerable to cats or any other climbing critters such as raccoons. Oh dear, Mrs. Robin may not have chosen the best location.

The scrub jays are making a racket in my rain gutters this morning. What's that all about?! The finches are joining me in groups of three or so, enjoying the freshly-filled feeders. As are the crowds of noisy quail and the pairs of chortling doves. No chickadees yet this morning, but they'll be here. I have seen no sign of the grosbeaks yet this year. It's probably a little early for them.

The birds are my pets. They are wild and aloof like cats, but they know this is home.

UPDATE: Just sitting in the dining room having coffee and watching Mrs. Robin, when I heard (I have the windows all open this morning) a bird song I didn't recognize. Then the most brilliantly-colored western tanager landed in my apple tree along with his dowdy but charming mate. A tiff ensued with Mrs. Robin as to who could be in the apple tree, and Mrs. Robin won. What a thrill! It's been awhile since I had a western tanager in my yard.

UPDATE 2: It's evening and I spoke too soon earlier. I saw the male black-headed grosbeak tonight at the feeders. A spectacularly colored bird, about the size of a robin, with a distinctive dipping flight. I didn't see the Mrs., but I'm sure she's around too. In the meantime, Mrs. Robin has tolerated my ins and outs fairly well, flying off a short distance to keep watch and then returning when she felt safe. I decided to watch the sunset from the living room tonight and allow her some peace on her nest. I so want to peek at the eggs, but I don't want to scare her and cause her to abandon them.

Photo credit Western Tanager: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Photo credit Black-Headed Grosbeak: E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Wisteria bushes are like teenagers: you need to give them boundaries and then strictly enforce those boundaries, or the kids and vines will get all out of control. I want to train my old wisteria to be a tree. I've spent two evenings pruning and cleaning underneath and now have a semblance of a tree-looking plant. The vines were running everywhere and the leaves underneath were inches deep. I kept wondering if there might be a snake in there. There wasn't. I will now need to find some way of supporting the flimsy vines to form a more upright growth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Satin Dolls Reunion

The Satin Dolls are getting together for a little reunion party and private performance in August. Floyd sent a rehearsal CD and now I need to get serious about practicing. That hour and a half I spend every day commuting is great for practice, but it does get looks from other drivers.

The CD is a "minus" track with instrumentals only. I sing the alto part and it's a lot easier to sing alto when you have at least one other part with which to harmonize. But I'll practice a bit with the music at home before I hit the road. My recent singing has been lazy, easy, in a low range. But I'll be taking a solo in "Stormy Weather" that reaches the top of my range, so I'd better be ready for it.

We are no longer the energetic cute young (30 and 40-something) things we were when we originally performed together. But the reunion will be great fun and our audience will be just friends and family, so it will be a receptive, appreciative crowd. In those days, we wore black satin dresses most of the time, but we had one very sexy red costume that brought out the 'wild' in some of us! No idea what we're wearing at the reunion.

Soprano Gina, Second Corene, Alto Becky with the fabulous, incomparable Floyd on keyboards, we had a great sound, specializing in swing and jazz of the 30's and 40's, and every now and then throwing in more contemporary songs, like my favorite solo, "Come In From the Rain". We'll never have the voices we had back then, we can only hope to stay on key, in time, and in harmony now. But regardless of all that, I just can't wait to see my old friends again!

Maybe she's older, which wigs me
Over her shoulder she digs me.
Out cattin'
My Satin Doll.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More on love

Yesterday I told someone I loved my car. That's not quite true. I really like it -- a lot-- but it's just a machine and I don't love love it. I do think there are some inanimate objects you can love, however. My house, my yard, my piano. Not entirely inanimate either. The house breathes, keeps me warm, cool, cozy, safe. I fear it also moves, being a house built upon sand, after all, in the North Salt Lake hills. I'm watching closely.

The piano resonates with tones I strike, and responds to the most subtle of technique. I have a particular attraction to those 88 black and whites. But I'm oft unfaithful: I find it hard to walk past any piano without touching the keys.

The yard is truly a living, growing thing. Unlike the house and piano, which I own and control, the yard owns me--I am its servant. But it rewards me generously. It amazes me as I watch things grow and change weekly from spring through fall and even throughout the winter. It supplies me with bird song from morning until night and a variety of wild life. Oh yes, like a petulant child, it insists on growing back weeds that I'm sure I just pulled up yesterday. I do think I got some of the Griffin farmer genes after all.


Scatter my ashes in my garden
so I can be near my loves.
Say a few honest words, sing a gentle song,
join hands in a cirle of flesh.
Please tell some stories about me
making you laugh. I love to make you laugh.
When I've had time to settle, and green
gathers into buds, remember I love blossoms
bursting in spring. As the season ripens
remember my persistent passion.
And if you come in my garden
on an August afternoon
pluck a bright red globe,
let juice run down your chin and the seeds
stick to your cheek. When I'm dead
I want folks to smile and say..."That Patti,
she sure is some tomato!"

by Patti Tana
From "When I am OLD WOMAN I Shall Wear Purple"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just Another day in paradise

The Janke's took me out to dinner tonight to thank me for doing their web site. Good dinner and good company. We had to make it an early one so they could go watch their daughter's soccer game, so I had daylight time left to do yard work.

I am now tweaking the placement and spray of sprinkler heads. I want to eliminate any watering of concrete or bark where nothing is planted. I'm getting pretty good at splicing the pipes, and now I can find the part I need with just one trip to Ace Hardware. Tonight I stocked up on the most common pieces to save future trips. Oh, and I bought a garden gnome while at Ace. Actually it's two gnomes playing checkers. They were too cute to resist. Tucked them under one of the park benches. The grandkids will love them.

Glad I didn't throw out those old stone pots. All three have penstemon and black-eyed susans coming up. The penstemon already have little lavendar blooms. I arranged them near a sprinkler that mostly serves the trees, and turned them so the crumbling sides don't show. Pulled some weeds and added a couple of those solar landscape lights. Looks pretty nice.

In a future post I'm going to do some pics of the areas of the yard. I have traditional grass in front, then woodsy xeriscaping on the east, and in the back a warm Tuscan-ish area, up the hill, lots of ground cover and weeds that await my attention next.

Now I'm doing some laundry, winding down, sipping an adult beverage and listening to Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook, wonderful music of the 30's and 40's. Oh yes, had a good day at work. However, spoke to my lawyer today and he is going in for a heart procedure tomorrow. He feels he will be back to work by Wednesday. If that's true, that would be amazing. But I feel terrible he was working on my case on the weekend. I hope everything goes all right for him tomorrow.

Too busy to be lonely today, but still think about the future and wonder if there will be another man in my life sometime. It seems so unlikely.

Oh, too much writing today. Must. Stop. Good-night.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to Me

Jenn is coming over at 1 for lunch and bringing her new boyfriend. I'm looking forward to meeting him. She seems to really like him. Jeff and Steve and their families will probably be over later in the day. So the morning is mine. I'll get the rest of the plants in the ground. I've finally decided where to put the zinnias. The snapdragons are not doing well. I think it was too hot where I planted them. I got a cutting from mom's 50-year old rose bush that was started from a cutting from Grandma Griffin's rose bush in Logan. I love those roses. I hope I can get it to root.

I'm thinking of dropping Dish TV and the newspaper. I watch so little TV, so even $65 a month seems like such waste. And I read all my news online. The newspapers just stack up until I take them to the recycling bin. I like the Sunday ads, but even those I could live without--they just make me want to spend money. Maybe in the fall I'll get signed up for TV again. Anyway,Dish TV refuses to take my ex-husband's name off of the account even though my credit card is paying for it, so cancelling altogether will solve that problem for me.

Well, let's see how I do getting those plants in the ground. It is so lovely and cool out this morning, and all the birds are making quite a racket.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Update

Well the repair on the sprinkler pipe held, and the watering is done. Had a nice visit with mom and dad. My lawyer dropped off some papers at my house today. I can't believe he was working on Saturday. I'm cancelling my Yahoo account. That was a crazy idea.

Some successes

The sprinkler line is fixed (well, we'll know for sure when I can run some water through it), and the lawn is mown, though it nearly killed me today. I spent too much time fiddling around with things indoors this morning, and when I finally started the lawnmower, it was noon--the hottest time of day, not smart. Those hills are pretty steep, and my lawnmower doesn't have power drive, so I have to PUSH! Had to rest four times, but I got it done in 45 minutes. This is only my third time mowing the lawn, and my time has been consistent. I won't trim now until after it cools down this evening. I had to wind new trimmer string on the reel - first time for that, but it seemed pretty easy. If it works, I'll know I did it right. And the whole yard wants a good drink of water.

I decided to put off the car inspection until next week. Mother's Day weekend is too busy with all the visiting. I think I'll go visit mom this afternoon, and try to be home by six so I can start watering and trimming, and maybe even planting.

I posted a profile on Yahoo and already received some messages -- one rather nice one. Suddenly I realize, none of these men are going to want me! What was I thinking to sign up for this!? Well, I've decided a little correspondence can't hurt, and if it never turns into a date, that's okay. Sometimes just having a friend to write to, and to share stories and ideas with is enough. That nice one has a sense of humor and sounds intelligent and is willing to challenge my rather forceful opinions. All the right things so far. But I think I need to post a photo so these guys can eliminate me right away if my figure is an issue.

Well, I've rested long enough. Back to that To Do list.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fix the Sprinklers

Tomorrow is a busy Saturday so I'd better make this short. Gotta get the car inspected and snow tires removed. The yard needs much attention. I'll fix another sprinkler pipe, and mow the lawn. Later on I'll water. Also have about two dozen more plants to get into the ground, and the endless supply of weeds needs pulling. Later on I'll run up to Ogden to visit mom.

I never realized until recently that I could actually repair the sprinkler pipes myself. But it's easy. You need to know the size of pipe and fittings for the job, and you just cut a piece of pipe to the right length, paint the joining ends with primer and then glue (don't inhale). Then push them together and hold for 30 seconds. Then repeat for the other end of the piece, and repeat until all joints are glued. Screw in the sprinkler heads, using a riser if needed for height.

When you live alone, you find out you can handle a lot more than you could have imagined. First thing tomorrow I'll be digging a broken pipe and repairing it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Don't You Want Somebody to Love?

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies

Dont' you want somebody to love?
Don't you need somebody to love?
Wouldn't you love somebody to love?
You'd better find somebody to love.
-- Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane 1967

Ah yes, I remember 1967 -- the summer of love, wasn't it! I was a year out of high school and it was so easy then. Getting boyfriends I mean. Even at 30 after my first divorce, guys were plentiful. Now at 59, I don't know where they are, how to meet them, or if I even want to. But since my approximately 60%-ex husband has somebody to love, I should probably make an effort to get out there myself.

My friends don't want me to be alone and have lots of advice A couple say they found love on the internet. I'm skeptical about this online matchup thing, myself, but I decided to check it out.

I first looked at I chose not to make my own profile but just a profile of the man that interests me. The problem is, they don't ask the right questions for me. I found myself marking "Any" for question after question (honestly, I don't have a favorite body part). I said No to smoking, very liberal to politics, spiritual but not religious to religion. That's about it. The matches started showing up in my email immediately. Well, I don't want to be unkind, but 90% of those guys sound way too eager and desperate. At least half of them want me to know what great lovers they are (something tells me if you have to say it in your profile, there's reason to be concerned). Most of them want my body type to be slender, toned, athletic. Well that rules me out. And most are looking for women anywhere from 10 to 20 years younger than themselves. Oh yeah, and my non-smoking preference didn't seem to matter as they sent me smokers as well as non. They even sent a guy with conservative politics and listing "brainiacs" as a Turn Off. This isn't working out well at all.

My biggest peeve is the category Turn Ons and Turn Offs. First of all, I refuse to even consider a guy who checks off anything there. But I also have to laugh at their choices. Nearly 100% find thunderstorms and public displays of affection turn ons. Sure they do. And then there's the "brainiacs" response. Some call it a turn on, some a turn off. But I call it a term only appropriate for girls under 14. I think a woman my age would rather be considered smart or savvy - never a brainiac!

Well, I didn't find a single one that even interested me. So, I tried Yahoo Personals. This time there was no Turn Ons Turn Offs category, so that's an improvement. But pretty much everything else is the same. Every other day or so they email me some matches. Same old thing. In fact, some of the same guys! I don't think this is going to work out for me. I finally saw one that seemed rather normal and nice, but then I realized I was not willing to contact him. Absolutely not. So I guess that either means internet dating is not for me, or more likely, I'm just not ready to jump into this yet.

Another friend tells me I'll never find a boyfriend as I'm too independent and self-sufficient, and men need to be needed. Maybe so, but this is what I am, and I'm too old to play Let's Pretend. Luckily I have my house and yard to love as they take all my spare time and energy right now. More on that later.