Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Water For Life

Weather and washing and wishes are thine,
Always you're slipping and sliding through time,
Three dippers baptize, storms keep us humble,
Earth washes seaward, 
Rocks wear and tumble.

Pathway to everywhere, transport and power,
Lake, ocean, river all change by the hour,
Animals drink deep and green tendrils tether
Nature's bright
Energy binds us

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ten On Tuesday: 8/26/15

1. Our Widows group met yesternight. Unfortunately we have a new member; her husband died suddenly about a month ago. I loved it that the women who are only two years into their grieving did most of the comforting. Exactly what I hoped would happen. We are up to nine members now.
I have made some sorry decisions during the past five years but starting that group was not one of them. Whew.

2.  The guy who was hired to do the landscaping in front of my house received a call from me today: "Have you forgotten me?" Yes, he had. Ugh! "Which day next week can I expect you to be here: Tuesday or Wednesday?" (Tips from my lawyer daughter: give them a choice of days. Pin them down.)

3.  My sister, Ann, and two of her grands were here for four + days last week-end…well, here and at Dad's. They made Sandplum jelly and Apricot jam; something that had needed doing for years. We keep the plums frozen until the time is right.  Sandplums were huge and plentiful this year, due to a rainy May.  The jelly is jewel red and lip-smackin' delicious. It will be fantastic on English muffins on cold winter mornings. During our miles and miles of driving last week-end we listened to Sousa Marches, with the volume cranked up and everyone singing along. Hooray for ringing trumpets, high flying piccolos and snare drums on the cadence!

4.  Ann, two of her grandkids, Audra and her boys, Everett and I visited the Science Museum of Oklahoma on Monday. There is no better place for play/learning in OKC, in my opinion. When I'm in charge of the littlest boys, I usually manage to lose them at least three or four times in there because I am so interested in the exhibits myself. This time I only lost E once (sorry Abbey) but I managed to lose my sister, who is older than I am, twice. (In her defense: that was the day the stock market went haywire and she was busily checking her phone all afternoon.) Still…..

5.  The cool temperatures continue to hold during morning hours but we are back into the 90s by afternoon. My friend from AZ says it has been a pleasant 105 degrees out there these past few days. A little perspective always helps.

6. I received a gold star at the dentist's office today. ; )  My dentist was a student of mine years ago. I love to see him twice a year, even if he is doing his dentist thing. He's very good.

7.  Today was also the day I went to Dillard's to buy new shirts for school. No, I'm not teaching, but it is a tradition. New beginnings are one of the joys of life. (It also may or may not have been retail therapy.)

8.  I have a carpet surprise in the works. I'll let you know, if all goes as planned.

9.  This evening I sat outside and serenaded nature with some guitar songs.  During one song, whose main idea is : Everything is Holy now, a brown hummingbird flew in front of me, then perched on a twig, listening, until the end of the song. Oh my, such a precious "green minute". I hope he liked my singing as much as I liked his listening presence.

10. I had hoped the grandkids would enjoy tricycling down my new ramp from the house to the driveway. I am happy to report they certainly do. They are fearless on their trikes and manage to navigate the curves with great skill. Yes! I hope no one breaks an arm…or worse. So far we've had only a couple of crashes and no blood. No blood on the driveway is a good thing.

11.  Swimming at the lake continues to be deliciously therapeutic for body and soul. (Hmmm…retail therapy, swimming therapy, Sousa March therapy. Maybe I should seek professional help….Or maybe music, water and new clothes have given me all the help I need. (It would help if the front yard could stop looking so much like a mud slide and a little more like a garden.)


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another Rain! Whoopee!

We have been granted a reprieve from the heat these past several days, giving me the opportunity to do a little work in the gardens. It was past time. What I really need is someone with a good right arm to come along and cut these saplings out of ….well, everywhere.  We have a new climbing rope wall for the treehouse, so that project is coming along. No, stop asking please, no zip line. These kiddos are too small for that. The Grands are back in school and I am expecting visitors from the East this evening or tomorrow.  We should have a fun week-end, although I plan on slipping away for some singing with friends one evening.
     This noon I invited myself to lunch with some very nice retired teachers from Hennessey. (I was eating alone and one of them, Verna, was a friend of a friend so I joined the group.) We had great fun remembering things about the years when we all taught school. None of us wished we were back there beginning a new year for the umpteenth time, but we all agreed we would if we needed to. I, for one, am ready for other things.
    The landscapers have not returned to work their magic on the front of the house (tap, tap, tap goes the foot). Bigger jobs calling, no doubt. I will give them a shout out and pin down a date. They are a slippery bunch. I admit, it is a little wet to be working in the dirt today, since we had a two inch rain night before last. Two inches, can you believe it? All the gardens are full of rejoicing and new growth. At last count we had 23 birdhouse gourds growing on our vines. I am so excited to know we will have plenty to decorate through the year. They make cute ghosts for Halloween and chubby little Santas for Christmas; good art projects for little hands.
   Speaking of birds, the Red Tailed Hawks have been back in the area and filling the cool air with their plaintive cry. That sound, and the high chip, chip of the Hummingbirds called me out onto the porch earlier this morning.  The Hummingbirds were scolding me for letting their feeders go bone dry. I am so sorry, my sweet little friends. Sometimes they will fly right up to my face in order to remind me of my duties to them.  There are thousands of 4 o'clocks out in the gardens so I know they aren't starving, just a little spoiled. We are at the end of the season of Cicadas. Oh, there are some still rattling away now and then but the trees aren't full of the sound anymore. Most of them have laid their eggs in the earth and waved a fond farewell by this time.  That is my sign that it is time to transplant Iris, if I want to do that this year. I do.
     This a wonderful time of year for star-gazing and I have been studying my constellation books again. Making sure I know where they can be found at this time of the year. It always pays to review before finding yourself outside in the dark trying to sort all of them  into respective groups.  We are always moving so they are not in the same space for long. Its loads of fun. I would love to have your company, if you think you would enjoy it sometime. Let me know.
      No big news from here. I think I'll take advantage of the unbelievably beautiful weather and have a read on the porch swing. Life is good.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Newsy News

    The black-stockinged Orb spiders are busy creating amazing webs throughout the gardens. I have run into them numerous times already.  (If only I could get the picture from the early Tarzan shows out of my mind. The one where that explorer stumbles into a giant spider web and is quickly wrapped up and sucked dry by the mammoth spider. )
This year the webs are larger than normal, for some reason. The web we found this morning was easily two feet across and yes, the spider was equally impressive.  We tossed a small grasshopper into the web so we could watch what ensued. All went as expected. The Signs which point to the final few weeks of Summer are all around us now: Orb Spiders, the Perseids, a smattering of yellow leaves among the green on the cotton woods along the drive, the scent of Curly-Cup Gum weed growing along the roadsides, grasshoppers.
     Seldom do the signs align for good viewing of the Perseids meteor shower. Many years there is too much moonlight. Sometimes there are clouds, or a haze of dust from fieldwork, or smoke from wildfires somewhere to the southwest of us. Sometimes, rarely, it is raining. But this year was one of those years when everything was 'practically perfect in every way' as they say in Mary Poppins. There were even a few late season fireflies winging lazily around the cemetery, gently decorating the time during which no meteors were visible. (Yes, I watch the meteor showers from the cemetery on top of the hill. You don't?)  I saw many long arcs, falling north to south mostly, a starry night with heavenly fireworks and no moon. Great stuff! The only thing that wasn't perfect was that no one else was there on the blanket to watch with me. That's okay, I had a long quiet visit with Danny. He didn't have much to say, which was to be expected. I had lots to tell him, so it worked out fine. He always was good listener. :) I stayed out watching past midnight on the 13th, so it was actually his birthday by the time I packed up and headed to the house.

      I've been out to the lake three days this week, swimming. Swimming is good therapy for my shoulder and for my mind as well. I love the water.  Freestyle (what we used to call the American Crawl) is the only stroke that has suffered due to the surgery. I can't quite get the arm lifted up and over without pain yet.  I've adjusted and added more roll to the left. It seems to work but I can't do it for very long.  The backstroke is a little tricky too.
     Audra and I worked with Zane on his freestyle and underwater swimming technique quite a bit because:
#1. He really wants to be able to do cannonballs off the dock without the life jacket on and isn't allowed to until he can swim up and out of the deep water after he splashes down.
 #2. He needs to be able to swim so he won't sink to the murky depths.
       Probably by next summer he will be able to (maybe yes, maybe no). He is more interested in learning how to do the Butterfly than Freestyle or anything else, truth be told.  First things first, Kiddo. Little Rowan (age 2) has mastered standing neck deep in the lake and slowly squatting down under the water, mouth shut, eyes open. He then slowly stands up, smiles, and says, "I not drowning." I admit it sort of creeps me out because that's how kids look when they are, in fact, drowning. They silently slip under the water with their eyes open and don't come back up.

     I have started back to work at the Spice Shop, a little bit. I work as long as I can and listen to my shoulder for cues as to when to stop doing what I'm doing. There are lots of different things I can do there so I can switch it up. I've missed the interaction with the customers, the employees and Able and Kari. It's good to be back. The shop has its big Three Year Anniversary coming up on the 19th of September (yes, there will be the annual pie baking contest, so be thinking about it. Pictured here are last years winners, Sandina and Bob with Able.) Shortly thereafter, following a wedding anniversary and several important October Birthdays, the Holiday season begins. Yeehaw! The tiger is becoming restless.
Many thanks to those of you who faithfully stop by and read the blog. Writers need readers. Yes, we love to write, but it helps when we believe someone is reading along. Peace and happiness to all of you, from the three of us: Me, Myself and I. "Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel." James Taylor. That's good advice if I ever heard good advice.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Poem: August Tradition

Come, my friend,
away from the clatter and clutter of life.
Come join me in the quiet of a summer night
with a white smile of moon sailing above.

Bring nothing but yourself.
Leave behind all that weighs upon you.
Take my hand as we climb the high hill
through weary, rustling weeds and grass,
breathing the scent of Summer's final days.
On the open hilltop, in a warm breeze,
we will lie down upon my tattered quilt
and watch the lights arc and fall across
the infinite darkness which surrounds.

There is nowhere I would rather be
than under those stars, in the August air,
with you.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ten On Tuesday: 8/11/15

1. Happy Birthday to cousins and birthday buddies, Jessie and Kat. Our August group of birthdays includes: Michelle, Maggie, Alice, Danny, Jessie, Kat, Allison, and Joel. Who did I forget?

2.  I've been having fun with my Grands in The City this week. Also worked a few hours of three different days at the spice shop.  It went well this time.  Four hours seems to be the limit for my shoulder so far.  I haven't seen any of my OKC non-family friends in too long.

3.  Come on, heat dome, move on out of here. We're all sick to death of the oven effect.

4.  I had to take a step back from working puzzles.  The last one I worked was completed in one sitting. When I finally stood up I could hardly walk. Really Deb? Just walk away and don't look back.

5.  Missed American Ninja Warrior this evening, sadly. My daughter doesn't have television; excuse me? Hope it wasn't Vegas.

6.  I seem to have successfully fallen off the therapy wagon already. I only managed to get it done once a day this week and two days flew past without anything except working with it, no stretches. Ridiculous. Get used to disappointment.

7.  Summer = Sweet corn + watermelon+ fresh tomatoes + yellow squash+ swimming at the lake+ picking sand plums+ locust and lightning bugs+ scorpion and the teapot in the southern sky, and lots of reading time. Oh Yeah!

8.  I love it that Brendan and I sit and discuss the books we're reading now. So cool! He taught me how to play Mine Craft yesterday. I can add that to my resume now. Boom.

9.  I need some art work, a bookcase, and a little clutter in my room at Abbey's to make it my own. It'll happen, just give it time.

10.  I have set the Pandora station on my phone to Sousa Marches. It syncs to my car and I hear marches all the way back and forth to the farm. Wow.  I love to switch my listening from the melody to the countermelodies and then to the percussion and back again. What fun! It's a good thing I have cruise control or I would probably get tickets right and left. Heard a version of Stars and Stripes today that was unimaginably fast; fastest I had ever heard it played. Did the piccolos or the trombones have any trouble? No sir, they did not. The U.S. Marine Band played it like it was simple as pie.