Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some people tell me

I talk too much about my yard. Do I? Probably so. I'll try to cut back.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You'd a thought it was Saturday

I got so much done today. After a full day at the computer, I washed two cars, mowed the lawn, visited a lawyer, did some shopping, watered the thyme, washed some new stemware, and played I don't know how many Scrabulous moves. Though I'm a little flakey at this point and twice in the same game clicked "Challenge" instead of "Play Word". Getting a little wobbly with the mouse. But my very nice partner was understanding and passed his turn so as to give me another chance. Hehe. I'd better call it a day. I'm so excited with how nice the yard is looking. And the mowing was surprisingly easy. Mower started on the first pull, and I needed no resting. Still things to do, but may as well save something for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Caught in the act

I knew I had another gopher. It'd been a few weeks since I saw a new mound of dirt, but there was a small one on the hill yesterday. I didn't get right on it and sure enough, this morning there was another small one next to it. I didn't wait to finish my cup of coffee - I grabbed my gopher bait and ran out the door. From my patio, I saw the little guy was just in the act of making this tunnel, and dirt was flying out as I watched. Then a sweet little face peered out, saw me, and ducked out of sight. Sweet huh? I work too damn hard in my yard, to turn it over to these destructive fellows. He has to die. I put some pellets down the very accessible burrow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting things done

The roof will be finished today. They moved the Dish to put down shingles and remounted it, and I've lost most of my channels in the process. It's been a good test to see if I can live with just local channels - that's about all I have. I think I'll cancel the Dish - too busy for TV.

The yard is getting better every day. With the dumpster here, I was able to get rid of the tree limbs and cut more from the pfitzers. Since the city doesn't pick up tree limbs anymore, this was lucky for me. If I had a little more time, I'd clean out the garage too. Maybe I can get them to leave it one more day. I'll take advantage. Big danger now is nails, staples, and huge tacks. Stepped on one in my hiking boots and the tack went all the way through the thick sole. Need to watch carefully in the driveway.

I'll soon be ready for bark to be delivered. Been digging up errant mytle, tenacious volunteer grass, and, of course, weeds. And there are dozens of tulips just about to bloom. Hoping the deer don't get them first. Once the bark is down, two-thirds of the yard will be fairly low maintenance.

Feeling a little tender-hearted today thinking of my friends. My sick friend has a remarkable devoted loving husband by her side. I begin to realize how important that is. My dear friend has a tough time ahead.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Into every life . . .

Isn't it true that every time you start feeling sorry for yourself over petty, insignificant things, life gives you a kick in the behind to remind you how good your life really is.

In high school we were Vick, Hass, Beck. We'd been friends from way back in elementary school. Since then, we've each had our troubles and challenges, but Vick seemed to have more than her fair share. She's been sick for many years now, wheelchair bound, heavily medicated. And now we learn she has yet another terrible illness.

There is no point asking why. Life simply isn't fair, and troubles don't get doled out to each of us in equal proportions.

Today Celia (Hass) and I will go see our friend Vick in the hospital and wish there was some way we could share our own good health with her. But at least hope to lend her some strength and encouragement with our love and support.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

Thinking of our very Mexican evening, the strolling singers, and of men who only say Perhaps.

La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)

Every Sunday at 10 a.m., Rosita in Los Angeles, calls her son Carlitos in Mexico. The movie opens on Carlitos' 9th birthday with a tender conversation.

La Misma Luna, a story about a Mexican mother and son separated for four years while she works illegally in Los Angeles, sending money home to support Carlitos and his grandmother, and saving towards the day Carlitos can join her. The story is perhaps a gentle telling of the dangers of crossing the border, constant fear of discovery by the INS, the sorrow of family separations that are not easily solved, and the problems of work and compensation in the U.S. I say gentle, because I think the harsh reality of such situations would be difficult for us to watch.

(Spoilers ahead)

When Carlitos' grandmother dies, he decides to take matters into his own hands and find his way to his mother. The trip across the border at El Paso is harrowing. Making his way from there to Los Angeles seems truly impossible. But Carlitos learns quickly and finds people to help him. On his journey, he finds his real father in Tucson whom he has never seen, but who is so touched by his little boy, he promises to take him to LA to find his mother. But the father fails to show up, and Carolitos must rely on the unlikely companion Enrique (the character who makes the greatest sacrifice after all).

Rosita, in the meantime, unaware of what is happening with her little boy, loses one of her two jobs, this one cleaning house for a wealthy but heartless woman who fires her on a whim and refuses to pay her a final check, pointing out that Rosita, after all, has no legal recourse. Unable to find another job, and weary of the struggle and separation from her son, Rosita deides to return to Mexico. Her close friend then convinces her to marry Paco who has legal papers and can allow her to remain in the U.S. She finally agrees, but backs out at the last minute, and the kind-hearted Paco agrees to take her to the bus where she boards, headed for El Paso.

The movie's ending takes you by surprise and will surely bring tears to your eyes. The audience burst into spontaneous applause, which is quite rare indeed at a movie theater.

Besides being a well-done and a heartwarming story, the movie does help to illustrate the plight of Mexican nationals coming to the U.S. illegally seeking a better life both for themselves and family back home. It isn't the entire story, it's true, and there are many factors that make it not such a simple dilemma. But I for one couldn't help thinking how grateful I am that I am not faced with such difficulties and choices.
The five of us met at the theater and walked a few blocks to the Blue Iquana restaurant where we enjoyed some of the best Mexican food I've had in some time. With margaritas and pina coladas all around, strolling singers to entertain us, and our usual lively conversation, it was difficult to tear ourselves away and make our way back to the theater. Our evening together was another memorable one.

No live blogging today

It's 7:30 a.m., I overslept, had planned to be outside working by now. After a fabulous night out with the Reel Women, I feel happy, relaxed, and well-rested.

The roofers just arrived as promised. It's very noisy right above my head. No hiding out in the basement today. The weather is windy and not very nice but warm. So they will try to finish before the storm that's due in this evening. But I'm not worrying now. The roof is "buttoned up" as my dad likes to call it. All the tar paper and waterproofing is down. They did have to replace some of the plywood yesterday. They have already started on shingling. Plus the new vents which will make the attic less hot in the summer. Even if they don't finish today, the roof won't leak and they'll be able to finish early next week when things dry out.

Yesterday I was thinking I so needed a husband for times like this. But I managed to survive without one after all. Thank goodness for my wonderful friends who never fail to lift my spirits and encourage me and make me laugh when I need it.

So finish this cup of coffee and then I'm outside to work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A day like today calls for some Travelling Wilburys

Especially the late, great Roy Orbison. I just LOVE these guys! I'd like to know who the drummer is.
"Handle With Care"

"End of the Line" It's all right. (Heartbreaking to see the empty rocking chair and guitar for Roy, not to mention George Harrison.) You can tell these guys are having fun with this - can't help smiling.

The roof is coming down

UPDATE 3:00 One last post till after the movie. They are still delivering shingles. Not sure why it takes so long. Whoo-boy I hate having all that big machinery in my driveway. I'm going to start getting ready for a night out with my movie pals. The workers said they would be back in the morning, but they will be gone by the time I get home at 10-ish tonight anyway. I hope I picked out a good color of shingles! The owner will be here tomorrow too. I'll ask him to help me take down the swamp cooler thing before someone gets hurt. End of stream-of-consciousness writing for now.

UPDATE 2:00 Thank goodness they are cleaning up the mess now. I had a little talk with them to be careful around the flowers. They were very nice about it and removed the jacket from the vent to. Now the shingles are being delivered. I can't watch. Big trucks and machinery really intimidate me. Had a very bad experience when they delivered the big rocks for my landscaping, and I've never quite gotten over it. I'm hiding out in the basement. Rescue me!

UPDATE 1:45 What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. They've been gone to lunch for an hour and a half. I'm fearing colorless, odorless gas, carbon monoxide, as one of them left his jacket slung over the vent pipe from my furnace. I have turned off the furnace and opened all the windows. When are they coming back. Crap is blowing all over the place. I'll give them till 2 and then I call the owner. Okay, they're here. All is well, except I can't get that screw out to take down the swamp cooler vent inside. Breathe.

UPDATE 12:15 Didn't intend to do live blogging today, but it's just working out that way. I'm going back out to get some more of my work done. These guys really work hard. I think they've had one break since 8, and no lunch yet. The swamp cooler is down, and the inside part fell down on its own except for one screw that is still holding it up at one corner. I'll get a screwdriver and try to take it the rest of the way down so it doesn't just drop to the floor or on my head. Now I have a big hole in my hallway ceiling. The roofer already told me he wouldn't handle that part, that I would need to get someone to do it. I'll call Howd who just did sheet rock work for my son and has done so much remodeling for my friends. It's time to have him come talk to me about the kitchen too. It is suddenly quiet. Maybe it's lunch time.

UPDATE: 10:45 Worked outside for awhile and watched what was happening. Demolition is hard to take. My yard is such a mess. It looks like the plywood on the south side is wet so there has been water seeping under the shingles for awhile I think. Who knows what's been getting into my attic! I'll call the roofer and talk to him about it. He's not here, just his crew and a crew boss. I'm starting to think it would have been better for me to go to work today and not witness this. But I must be tough (it's days like today when I feel angry my ex isn't here to take care of this instead of me - no longer an option, Becky, go forward). They still have to take down the old swamp cooler. And cut new vents. I am literally shaking with the stress of it all. It's all right, it's all right, it's all right.

UPDATE: 9:15 The dumpster's here. I can't watch. It's big and orange and covered with gang graffiti. Nice look for my driveway. The noise continues on the roof. I plan to go outside and work in the yard in a little while. Not till 10. (Erg, I just looked out and I see shingles and stuff all over my flower beds. I need a hug.) It's all right, it's all right, it's all right.

ALMOST 8:00 a.m.: As I write, they are up there ripping off shingles. I decided to take the day off work and keep an eye on things - just in case. So far they've needed me to answer one question, and that's what I thought would happen. So I'll just take the whole day off, play a little Scrabulous, work around the house and yard, and answer questions when I'm needed.

It is a scary vulnerable feeling to hear your roof being torn off. Imagine what it's like to hear that sound when it's a tornado doing the tearing off. Strange thought, no? By tomorrow evening I should have all new shingles.

Tonight, the Reel Women are going to dinner and a movie. I'll be ready for this outing for sure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

At last!

Got that damn Oldsmobile out of the driveway. It's only been sitting there about seven months. Needed to put a battery in it and managed to drive it to the shop without using turn signals as that kills the engine. Oh yes, it will be interesting to find out what's wrong with it.

I needed motivation and today I got it. The roofer said the dumpster will be delivered tomorrow and it would be best not to have the car there. I don't know why it took that for me to get motivated, but now it's done and . . .

Tomorrow I get a new roof! Not exactly what I want to spend my money on, but what I need.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why it snowed yesterday

My son, his wife and two little boys just returned from a trip to Brazil, bringing with them her brother and his new wife. The brother was here in the winter time just before the Olympics and has experienced snow and freezing cold. Not so his wife. She was tickled to pieces that although her first day here it was almost 80 degrees, the next day it snowed! Living as they do near the equator, the temps don't vary much year-round. So this is indeed a new experience. And here in Utah we are always happy to oblige those who'd like to see some snow for the first time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You've Really Got a Hold On Me

Some really great early Beatles.

A purple tulip!

UPDATE: It started out warm this morning, then turned cold and snowed this afternoon. Just lovely. I'm finally getting daffodils and the remaining tulips the deer didn't eat. The first tulip was purple - one of the ones I planted last fall. I can see more are on the way. And other bulbs I planted as well, some things I can't even name. My efforts weren't for naught after all. I'll try to get pics later today. It just lifts my spirits to see some spots of color in the yard. I so don't want to be working on the computer today - I want to be out in the yard, even despite the wind. As they say, nothing succeeds like success. It makes me so motivated to get working even harder to make it really lovely. Today after work I'm going to plant all that thyme I bought. It needs to be in the ground.

Ah, spring!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What to do

The bishop sent a guy by the house with a newsletter and greetings. He asked if needed help with anything as he had the young men who needed service projects. Now I used to participate in those service projects where we visited the elderly and did things around their yards. So this offer struck me on a couple of levels. 1) Am I now considered elderly and worthy of help from youngsters in the ward? 2) If I have no intention of going to church, is it wrong to accept help? And will this encourage them to think I might be open to returning? I don't want that. 3) Do I really want help? After all, I do like saying I take care of my huge yard all by myself. (Such a braggart, really!) Anyway, I mentioned that I'm gettiing some bark delivered in a few weeks and he offered to bring some boys by to help move it. Boy, that would sure be nice. It really would. But would I be accepting help on false pretenses? It's a dilemma. But the decision may now be out of my hands. If I get the bark delivered, they will probably just show up. *Sigh* What to do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Baby you can drive my car

My ex-husband was never interested much in cars except as a form of transportation. He was just as happy to take the bus. The men I’ve dated since becoming single again have been very much “car guys”. They wax fondly about cars they’ve owned, talk intelligently about classic and other special cars, comment on cars we see in passing. They enjoy the cars they drive and take good care of them. I’ve begun to gain an appreciation for cars myself. I’ve looked a couple of times at a cute little blue “Z” convertible on a lot in Bountiful. VERY cute. No I’m not serious about buying, but just thinking how fun it might be to own such a car.

Listening to my Beatles “Love” album, gave me a thought: a woman can probably tell how much a man loves/trusts/is committed to her by whether or not he will let her drive his car. So far, no-one I’ve dated has let me drive his car. But then I haven’t really asked. I think I will, though. It will be like a little test. :-)

(Yes, I know who reads my blog.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Wisteria Phase 2

I finished up phase 2 of the wisteria project, trimming all the visible ground runners and raking out the leaves. One more phase ought to do it. I'll have to dig for some of those runners that have buried themselves and will have a few more leaves to rake. And I need to try to figure out a way to get that thing more upright. I also re-reconfigured the adjoining flower bed, since the gophers reconfigured it for me earlier. It's looking much better. I moved some rocks from the backyard to build a small rock wall on the west side of the garden bordering the neighbor. That, too, looks pretty nice for my first attempt at rock arranging. I will be moving more rocks into that garden to break up the levels a bit as I find it too steep a slope for the flowers to do well.

Not much time for serious blogging these days what with the yard needing so much of my attention now.

And incidentally, as I'm cleaning up from the winter, I am amazed at all the trash people have tossed into my yard--everything from fast food containers, to doggy treat packages, to empty water bottles (not to mention cigarette butts and burned out bottle rockets). What is the matter with people? Ah well, nothing to do but clean it up.

But that's enough work for one day and now I'm off to spend the remainder of my weekend having some fun.