Friday, June 29, 2007

Everybody's got somebody to lean on

I was looking for some Roy Orbison on YouTube and ran across one of my favorites from the Traveling Wilburys. Isn't this great? When you just feel like crying, Roy Orbison is good company. But somehow, listening to the Wilburys cheers me up. I miss Roy. I miss George Harrison. Yes, that's Dylan and Tom Petty and that other guy whom I can never remember. I always imagine these guys, each wildly succcessful in their own right, getting this little band together just for the fun of it. They look like they are having fun. I didn't like them as well after Roy died. But do so like this album. Never tire of it.

UPDATE: Disregard that last statement. I came back for another listen and discovered this great tune as well without Roy. Note the guitar in the empty rocking chair and the picture of Roy. A bit touching. (Later update, that's actually Roy singing when they show the rocking chair.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Be sure to notice it

In his 1997 book, "Timequake", Kurt Vonnegut says, "My uncle,Alex Vonnegut . . . taught me something very important. He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery, or fishing and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door.

Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: 'If this isn't nice, what is?'"

As I sat on my deck today in the cool breezes of morning before sunrise, getting some water on my yard, reviewing some legal documents, and drinking coffee, a little brown and white bunny unexpectedly hopped across the road to my neighbor's house across the street, nibbled a little grass there, and then moved on. We don't get bunnies or even wild rabbits here much. If this isn't nice, what is?

I walked around my yard to see all the new things blooming this week, my hybrid day lilies, some black-eyed susans, and my very favorite bee balm looking like little bursts of red fireworks. If this isn't nice, what is?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Things Fall Apart

Maybe it's just me, but things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. My lawyer is out of town and his paralegal not only couldn't find the documents I dropped off two months ago, he couldn't find my file at all. I think I made a very poor choice of lawyers.

Doug officially informed Jeff he had to be out of the townhouse by August 1st, so Jeff and Brittany will probably be moving in with me soon. Doug's verbal promise to sell him the townhouse is all off. So Doug is not just a bad person, he's officially evil now putting his stepson and granddaughter out of their home so his lazy, good-for-nothing niece can move in and live rent free, so he can stop supporting her since he is planning on getting married and setting up a new houshold soon. So many people have to be hurt for his caprices.

I called Doug's old friend Art and told him the situation--even details I share with very few people--and he was shocked. I don't want him to get involved or take sides, but I just wanted to ask some questions about when they were kids growing up together. He was helpful, kind, supportive, and understanding, and I'm so glad I called him. I wish I had done that months ago. Talking with him helped me get some clarity on a couple of issues. Art was Doug's friend first, but he has also been a good friend to me for a lot of years, and I shouldn't have hesitated to call him.

I can see I need to take charge of my legal case and do all I can myself to have my ducks in a row in the next week. I have a feeling things are not going to work out so well financially for me and I am very distressed about it. But I also want this to be ended once and for all. Sleep is elusive these days, so I think I'll vaccuum now and do some laundry. Eventually I'll be tired enough to fall asleep. TGIF in a half hour. I can get through another day of work and then it's the weekend.

I feel so sad. As I said, when I first started this blog:

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Of all the things I've lost in my life, I miss my mind the most

Independence Day soon. Two weeks from today is the day after my mediation. My brain is officially on auto-pilot. I keep looking for documents I need and can't find. I think I already gave them to my lawyer, but surely I kept copies. I was on such a roll yesterday and got through all my responses to interrogs and prod of docs, but finding all the docs, that is becoming the challenge. I had a surprisingly productive day at work today, and even made a list of things to do tonight. I'm getting the watering done but nothing else. Ah well, in two weeks, one way or the other, I hope at least my mental faculties will return

Monday, June 18, 2007


I didn't know what gophers looked like until I saw one - this morning. In fact, I didn't know at first what it was. It almost looked like a mouse, but a little bigger and with a funny face. We made eye contact, it looked at me, hesitated for a couple of seconds and then it appeared to dive into the dirt as if it were water. And it struck me, I was looking at one of those little pests that leave piles of sand where they burrow in my yard. I had expected something more like the size of a squirrel, judging from the ambitious burrowing they do. It's amazing to see how fast they can disappear into the ground. This guy will have to die. I do have some gopher bait and will have to use it. They are far to destructive to allow them to stay.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Good Saturday

It was an amazingly productive day. Started early watering, weeding -- the deer did more nibbling last night. Quit weeding when it got hot and then went back to it at 7 p.m. I can't believe how much I got done. Also planted some verbena in little pots for the bakers rack on the patio. Even managed to pay a visit to mom and dad in Ogden.

The picture below is from today. the one above is a week or so ago. The purple speedwell Royal Candle is gorgeous, you can almost see the blanket flower on the right that is also blooming its heart out right now, and the yellow coreopsis on the left. Also Russian Sage and some other things, but I'm excited about that bee balm in center front, it will be blooming soon.

I sprayed deer repellent on everything that's blooming. Hope that little devil goes and eats in someone else's yard tonight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ratcheting up the stress levels

I have mediation in three weeks. I have more interrogatories and requests for documents to respond to by the end of June. I am noticing a loss of focus, always feeling distracted. Every mental task takes twice the effort. Sleeplessness at night, and then I keep falling asleep during the day. I'm forgetting to make lists that keep me on task. I realize these next three weeks will be about as tough as anything so far.

The other day while channel surfing, I saw this X-wives show. It was mostly silly and maudlin, but the life coach they had said one thing I know to be true: No-one is coming to rescue you.

Even with a lawyer on my side, supportive friends and family, too, I know the person who will ultimately get me through this, is me.

But imagine, if we get things settled on July 3rd, then July 4th truly will be independence day for me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Too slow with the camera

The sun was just setting when the dog went a bit crazy. I looked out the window and saw a young deer feasting on the sunflower seeds in my lowest bird feeder. Brazen hussy! In broad evening light, right next to a busy street with cars and noisy motorcycles flying by. She couldn't resist the tasty treat. This was surely the same youngster that ate the tops off of all my pansies a couple of nights ago. I sprayed deer repellent on the remaining blooms, and it seems to have deterred her.

I restrained myself from running outside and scaring her off. She was just doing what deer do. I had my camera right next to me when I got up to look out the windows, but unfortunately didn't take it with me, and didn't want to miss watching the deer - so no picture. Maybe next time. I think this young lady will be back.

The Jane Austen Book Club

Title: The Jane Austen BookClub
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Rating: **

I love books about book groups. I saw this on best seller lists for some time and watched for it to be out in paperback. I finally picked up the book on the "Buy 2 get 1 free" table at Barnes and Noble. I must say all three books proved to be equally disappointing.

This was a story of a group of women and one man who formed a book group in order to read the complete works of Jane Austen. Now I like Jane Austen just fine for light reading, and as the story unfolded I thought maybe this author was writing a parody with her own one-dimensional characters and slow plot. But as the story progressed, I had the sad realization that what it was was simple mediocre writing. And the last straw was when she confused "affect" and "effect". Pg 160, "Being rich doesn't effect the wanting . . ." No writer worth her salt would do that.

The author tells the story in an omniscient voice most of the time; therefore, able to reveal the thoughts of all her characters. However, once in awhile she disconcertingly drops a little comment directly to the reader. Pg 111, "Some bird had shat on the windshield . . . she drove home while peering around a large continent--Greece maybe or Greenland. Using the water and wipers would only make things worse. None of the driving was freeway, and she had mirrors, so it wasn't really as reckless as it sounded." Sounded? To whom? I was sort of like a corny play where the actor stage-whispers an observation to the audience. And suddenly i am no longer a voyeur on their world, I realize the author is quite aware of my presence.

If you can look past the flaws, this book is fine for light reading, but I recommend checking it out from the library. It's not one you'll want to own. But remember, this is only my opinion as it was on the New York Times bestseller list, so somebody liked it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The end of the pansies

The dog kept barking all night, but she seemed fine, so I just kept telling her to be quiet and go back to sleep. Now I know what she was barking at: the deer. They finished off all but a few stragglers on my pansies last night. My lovely flower bed is decimated. I should have realized the dog was barking for a reason.

But the deer did not touch a single one of my drought-tolerant perenniels. So today I'll head down to the nursery and get perenniels and plant in amongst my pansies. Some of the pansies will bloom again and some of the perenniels will bloom this year. And next year it will be nothing but perenniels. That's a smart way to go anyway.

While weeding yesterday, I uncovered three volunteer yuccas in an area where I had a yucca garden many years ago. Last year I had one volunteer, but when I transplanted it, it turned completely brown. I'm not sure if it will come back. I'll have to read up on how to transplant yuccas as these three new ones will not survive amongst the myrtle/vinca. Myrtle trumps everything.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Wow! That is great store. My friend, Celia, and I spent a couple of hours there. She had a list, I was just looking and getting ideas. I think my ex will be taking all my furniture in August when he sets up his new household. But that's fine. I agreed to that as I wanted only to keep my piano. Now I'm excited about the old furniture going as I can change the entire style of my house and furnish it just to suit me! I saw so many thing I liked today, but I will want to spend time looking further to get a good cohesive idea of what I want. With lunch and then chatting on her deck, my day with Celia lasted six hours.

Celia and I have known each other since 3rd grade, grew up just a few blocks apart and were best friends all through school. But then as adults we were separated for 30 years. And now that she's back in Utah, we are thrilled to be so close. The amazing thing is how parallel our lives have been all this time. It's almost like we have a little of one another's brains and we think so much alike--loving books, birds, decorating, foreign movies, eclectic restaurants. We have read the same books, followed the same authors, even when we were out of touch for so long. How wonderful it is to have her back her at a time when I really need a friend like her.

Friday, June 8, 2007


What with the weather this week, the dog, and the baby arriving early, my former efficient routine is all upside down. But instead of yard work tomorrow morning, I'm going to IKEA with my friend. She thinks I need to see it. I think so, too. So what am I doing blogging after 11 p.m. Bed. Now.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A social whirl

For the last two days at least. Last night went out with the "Reel Women", my foreign film group, had great Thai food at a restaurant called Paw-something, and then returned to one of the women's homes to watch David Lean's first movie, "Brief Encounter", 1947, with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. A bittersweet post-war romance. My friend Celia organized this group of five, and this is just our third month going, but I think it's proving to be a lot of fun.

Then tonight, I volunteered to babysit Kevin and newborn Brandon to give mom and dad a break and a chance to go out. It was pure pleasure sitting with the kids. The baby has to be one of the best babies I've ever seen. And Kevin is grandma's boy and we have so much fun together.

Poor doggie, I'm a bad dog sitter leaving her alone all day while I'm at work and then evenings too. So tonight I'm giving her extra attention and allowing her to sleep on the red couch which is her favorite not-allowed item of furniture.

Now, I need sleep too.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


After a year of separation and nine months of legal hassles, my lawyer finally called today with proposed dates for mediation. That's the first words of hope I've heard in a very long time. I am nervous and worried as my soon-to-be ex has a real pit bull lawyer and I have a nice old guy. Ex kicked my son out of his townhouse despite a promise of lease to buy, and I fear some dirty tricks up his sleeve to do with my house now. So the fight is probably not over, but I'm looking forward to getting to mediation at last.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Weeding and the 80/20 Rule

A former boss always touted the 80/20 rule, 80 percent of the gain comes from 20 percent of the effort, and 20 percent of the gain takes 80 percent of the effort. Weeding definitely falls under that rule for me. So I focus on the greater gain for the effort and, thus, some weeds are always left. Every single night I force myself to go out in the yard and do at least 15 minutes of weeding. Little by little I'm gaining on them.
Here's my early June low-water garden. In bloom are the blanket flowers, speedwell, dwarf daisies, two types of coreopsis, that red plant (I can't remember its name). About to bloom are the day lilies, agastache (hyssop), pin cushion plants, and lavendar. Later on we'll get the shasta daisies, the Russian sage, and the exquisite bee balm. I planted more agastache, bee balm, and pin cushions last Friday, and they are thriving despite a very hot day today. Finished blooming is the lovely pink chintz thyme.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wild Kingdom

The raccoons visited last night. I had a garbage bag half full of weeds lying near the deck and they ransacked it hoping for food I'm sure. My neighbor told me last week she saw a pack of them running from my yard a few days earlier. How do you get rid of raccoons?

Bad news, the robins are gone from the nest. Did the raccoons get the babies? There are still many robins hanging around in the yard, but none are going anywhere near that nest.

Walking the dog at 6 a.m. this morning, we surprised a young deer walking through the yard. The little chihuahua growled a bit and the deer bounded off. Then this afternoon while sitting on the patio with the dog, she growled a bit again and sure enough, this time two deer were standing by the apple tree.

And all the usual birds came to visit. They are enjoying the bird baths with fresh water every day.

Nice day overall. Got my windows washed outside and that alone makes me so happy. Edged all around the lawn And fixed the last remaining problem with my sprinkling system. Followed the To Do List and crossed things off. It is satisfying.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

FireDogLake's "Pull Up a Chair"

Christy at FireDogLake has a regular Saturday morning post, "Pull Up a Chair", in which she writes some personal thoughts and invites readers to follow with their own thoughts. The topic is as likely to be a current events issue as new birds visiting the feeders this morning. I formerly enjoyed my Saturday morning 'cuppa' with the fast repartee of witty and erudite commenters. But lately I'm in my yard early and I've been missing this favorite treat. Catching up tonight, I was surprised with a YouTube video of the Beatles doing "Help". That took me back. The Beatles never fail to remind me of that feeling of having my whole life ahead of me - so hopeful, believing all good things would come my way. The words of the song seemed appropriate: Now my life has changed in oh so many ways.

Commenter NZ Expat, now in KS says it better than I can:

As much as I come for political news, though, I need and want narrative and character, so I appreciate knowing that egregious goes to Russia for her passion of saving newborn’s lives. And knowing about TRex’s cats and I don’t mind (too much) waiting for him to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. And looseheadprop’s daughter’s fierce intelligence, and the legion of students that make music under ETeller’s tuteledge (and all of his amazing life). These wise and funny and caring people are not pundits, but far, far better. (oh, and all the recipes and gardening hints and specific ways in which people walk through their days - it is relevant and real. Observations here come through life, and not through the press releases and what one is “supposed” to think, according to the paymasters. It is quite a comfort to see the level of intelligence on this board and a good antidote to the anti-intellectualism of the White House and the Kansas Board of Education.)

Another Saturday Night

Got work done in the yard, did a little shopping, cared for my granddaughter's dog (staying with me for three weeks while they are on vacation), and spent a little time with the new mom and baby - tended the boys while mom slept and dad ran errands. They are doing very well. The baby is so sweet and so calm and easy - at least so far. I wish this dog was a little more calm. She's frisky and wants to play, but I'm more of a hold and pet the dog kind of person. I'll need to make more effort with her or she will be bored stiff at my house.

And now, bed. I'm exhausted.