Saturday, August 25, 2007

Two Bucks

At 7:30 a.m., getting a little watering done in the yard, I'm playing the piano and singing some tunes in between sips of coffee, when I see a deer crossing the street in front of my house. But this was not the doe nor fawns I've been seeing all summer. It was a 3-point buck. It wandered to my neighbor's front yard and joined its 4-point friend. They casually ate apples that had fallen on the ground, and passing drivers seemed not to notice nor even slow down to look. I had enough time to find my camera and batteries to snap a few shots (albeit through a window), but missed the 4-point and only got the two of them as they disappeared over the hill into the gully.

Every time I think about how much work it is to take care of my big yard and house, I am rewarded with some of nature's best surprises--it is all worthwhile.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oooo, Baby, Baby

Tonight Celia, Pat and I saw Linda Ronstadt on concert at Symphony Hall. We started the evening early at Caffe Molise dining on the patio since the weather was so moderate, a live jazz band playing, great food, a little wine, and wonderful friends and conversation. We had a toast to best friends. It was hard to leave and make our way to the concert, but leave we did. And what a concert it was. She started out with one of my personal favorites, "What's New", from her Nelson Riddle days and then did half of the program from the Great American Songbook era, followed by her rock and roll hits: Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me; Ooo Baby, Baby, and others, ending with Blue Bayou, and an encore with Desperado. It was a perfect evening all the way around.

Tomorrow Celia and I are starting a mosaic project. Off to bed now as we are starting early in the morning.

I have to remember, I stashed some money to buy a new guitar. I miss my old acoustic guitar I gave to my son. I really need one. I wonder if I'll be able to remember the Linda Ronstadt tunes I used to do like Desperado and You're No Good. I have kept that money stashed for over a year in case I needed it for something else, but maybe the time has come to buy the guitar. I feel inspired after that concert.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


What a lovely evening it started out to be. The sunset was all reds and golds, rain clouds gathered toward the east, occasional flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. Too nice to spend indoors. Covered patios are made for this weather and I went outside to sit in the coolness of a light rain turned downpour and thought about recent events in my life.

I have met a man who has brought happiness back into my life. He meets my initial criteria of "nice", "intelligent", "playful", but he's so much more. He challenges me, he makes me think, he pampers me without suffocating. Our time spent together is fun and we don't ask much more of it right now. Both are awaiting divorces to be final - we know we're in the rebound zone. But he is in California attending his daughter's wedding, and I must admit I miss the company of my new, dear friend.

I sipped the beverage and looked out at the flashing lightning to the east, the waning sunset to the west, when a movement caught my eye at the edge of the patio. I looked. Just at the edge by the gutter downspout, where the deck meets the patio and the ground drops precipitously away, I thought I saw an animal in the dark. In less than a second I focused clearly on black with dual white stripes. I screamed, I told it to get out of here (I did!)! I gauged the distance from my comfy lounge chair to the back door, triangulated by the distance to the skunk. I hesitated no longer, made a run for the door, and then collapsed on the floor laughing at myself. I turned on the patio lights, but my visitor had gone.

What a lovely night this has been. If this isn't nice, what is!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Having a social life can interfere with taking care of the loves in my yard. Poor things. I'm taking a day off work today to take care of some neglected yard work. Then it's fun with my new friend this weekend. I'm so used to filling up my time with house and yard work, that I'm having to figure out how to balance all of that now so I can enjoy my new-found social life.

How nice it is to meet someone so nice, so kind, so intelligent. And he tells me he plays a mean game of Scrabble. We'll see about that . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mailbox Success

It thrills me to solve a problem that I don't necessarily have the skills for. When I took the mailbox off it's wood mount, I discovered more problems. Besides the fact the the wood was too wide, it was also being held in by what looked at first like a very large bolt, but by the time I got it out, turned out to be one of those huge 9-inch spikes we used to build our railroad tie walls. I was using the wrench at first and progress was slow until I noticed there were no threads on the thing. So I pried as far as I could with the claw hammer, and then just pulled and twisted from the top holding on with the wrench. It let loose and came out. With everything disassembled, it was a fairly easy matter to cut a new piece of wood to the proper length (I bought pine so the screws would go in more easily), attach it to the bottom of the mailbox, and then mount the whole thing to the post using the angle brackets I had already mounted to the post. That mailbox is not going anywhere now! Now I think I will go back to the store and get some new letters and numbers to identify the box. Whew it was hot out there. I'm going to cool down first.

The new white curtains I had ordered for my bedroom were delivered Friday, so I think I will hang those up this afternoon. I should mow and trim the lawn, but I may let that go for a couple of days and get more done indoors. There's always so much to do.

I met someone very nice on the internet. Just the right sort of person really. We are just getting acquainted for now. Maybe we will meet for coffee or something. I think I would like that.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Authority Figures

I'm trying to fix the mailbox. The mailman left me a note because it is loose and twists around (the passing schoolchildren have helped it along). So I found some angle brackets and screws and attempted to secure it to the post. However, the box is mounted on a piece of flat wood so hard it might as well be concrete. I could barely make a dent with the drill and screws. The post itself was nice and soft and didn't even require pilot holes. So it's more secure than it was but still wobbly. I put some shims in to stabilize it temporarily and I'll have to go get a new piece of wood to mount it on.

It's funny I am a little afraid of the mailman and his terse note threatening to cease delivery of my mail if the box isn't fixed in one day. He's a sort of authority figure, I guess. One of those people you don't necessarily respect, but realize they have power over a piece of your life and you'd better do what they ask. So I wrote a little note back to him pleading for a day or two to get a permanent fix made, and hopefully the temp fix will be okay until then. So when I finish watering the yard, I'll be off to Home Depot looking for a piece of wood.

The yard has rebounded from the hot, dry weather but has entered the late summer stage early. I tried to catch a hummingbird in this picture but was both too late and too soon. I love seeing the hummingbirds. The Russian Sage and Agastache are now the stars of the show. There will be more and more deadheading to do now and things will start to die down. I still have one more deep purple plant that will bloom a little later if the deer haven't already eaten the buds.

I saw the little fawn again this morning. I watched a long time as she nibbled around the edges of my across-the-street neighbor's lawn. When cars drove past, she'd become alert but would not run away. She is very tame and not very afraid of things that should scare her.

Sometimes I feel that way myself. I find myself trusting and not paying attention to potential dangers, but nevertheless feeling an instinct under the surface that maybe I should run. Ah, I am world weary today. I think a half day in the yard will suffice and then I'll go visit my parents and see if I can help them with their computer.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I'm nothing if not flexible

Another change in plans. Just as I was ready to get the lawnmower out, here comes a storm. A lot of wind so far and about two drops of rain. Looked at the radar online and it looks like this cell dropped all its water on Tooele and Salt Lake and probably has little left for us -- just dust and wind. Oh well, the mowing will have to wait for another day. I'm going to the bookstore.

Change of Plans

I had planned to mow the lawn, fertilize, and then water this morning. However, the neighbors across the street are apparently having a yard sale and people have already started parking at my curb. Since mowing is a physical feat for me, I certainly don't want an audience. So I guess I'll move that project to this evening. That leaves my morning wide open for any other project I'd like. And even though I can't say it's what I'd like to do, I think I'll tackle the tall weeds on that upper level. It's high tiime.

I did manage to get all the flowers watered already, and startled a little fawn in my back yard. This was a tiny one, still with spots on her back. Oh so cute!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Breathe . . .

As sad as I felt yesterday, I still went outside and planted some new plants and worked around the yard. I have learned that hard physical work does wonders for one's mental health. And I can't allow myself to become depressed. Since I am the one person I depend on the most, I have to take care of myself.

My sister commented on my ability to cope and continue with work, home, and family responsibilities through this ordeal when many may have caved under the distressing and confusing circumstances. I told her part of what kept me going was the thought that this was an opportunity for me to show my adult children how you cope when life hands you a crisis. You don't fall apart, you walk bravely through the fire. Everyone must face difficult times in this life. If my sons and daughter and their spouses have gained strength themselves by watching me, if they are more prepared when they face their own serious trouble, then this effort was well worth it.