Sunday, May 31, 2015

Patience Please (with addendum)

There will be a slight delay in programming due to a computer glitch encountered this morning.  Please stay tuned.

A very frustrated management!

The day did not start well.  Being the creature of habit as I am, all mornings start with:  turn on computer first thing, make coffee, hand out treats to all house critters, take coffee back to computer, check email, check Facebook, read any comments on prior blogs, write daily blog entry, play 3 hands of solitaire, get dressed and go milk goats and let chickens into their pen.  Not today.

Steps one through four were on schedule.  And then.  My computer was either having a brain fart or a senior moment.  It failed to recognize me.  Not only did it not know me, it insisted that I live in Germantown, MD, and that I'd been transformed from Taurus to Capricorn (of course I read my horoscope, doesn't everyone?).  I edited the info to no avail and, in addition, computer did not want to give me my email and sent me in circles even when I assured it I was not a spy.  I followed all procedures which have slapped computer upside the head in the past, but nothing worked.  Okay, call the service provider.  Long wait on hold "due to unusually heavy demands."  Duh.  When the nice young man, Joshua, finally answered, he said that Hughes Net had made some substantial changes and that the previous client he'd helped ended their session needing "a lot of aspirins."  One hour and ten minutes on the phone later, only some of the problems had been fixed, mainly by backdooring one way or another.  My browser continued to elude.  Finally Joshua said he was turning me over to their home tech support group.  Whatever.  Home tech support group wanted $99 before they would even take my call.  Wrong answer to an already tight-jawed lady.  I severed our relationship immediately and went on to steps eight and nine of the morning routine.

The day has not gotten any better, but that's another story for another day.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


I am going to rename Poppy 'Lazarus.'  Over a month ago I was sure she was dead or dying.  She rallied.  Yesterday morning she was down and would not get up in the stall and I was again sure it was the end.  I started thinking of whom I could call to help me get the body out of the barn.  By the time I was finished with the last goat, my dear old duppty-dup was on her feet.  It took urging and guidance to get her outside, but she made it.  I checked on her periodically throughout the day and, if nothing else, she was still standing.  At nightfall, the goats were clustered together close to the barn, looking into the big pen.  Poppy was nowhere to be seen.  I figured this was it then.  The girls went into their stalls and I looked for Pops, calling her name over and over.  It was getting on toward dark when I saw the unmoving lump by the fence on the far side of the big pen.  So be it.  Too late by then, I would deal with it in the morning.  My friend Linda and I mourned Poppy's passing.

The weeds in both pens are very high and dry now.  I woke up worried about how I could get the little tractor down into the fields without starting a fire.  What to do?  I couldn't just leave her where she was.  I started thinking about calling a knacker, if there are any in this area or even any in the profession.  With great hesitation and a heavy heart, I walked out at first light today, hoping for inspiration.

And there was Poppy, on her feet and grazing.  Poppy, aka Lazarus.

Resurrection seemed to be the order of the day.  Fu Manchu, deader than a doornail, sprang to life as soon as the new battery was put in.  In keeping with KISS, I figured I'd start with a battery before sending him to the repair guy, and it worked!  Helper Dude weed-whacked all the overgrown areas and Fu and I mowed the side yards and the backyard.  All areas are turning brown with very little new growth, so Fu and I will get a rest.

I have mixed feelings today.

Friday, May 29, 2015

If Wishes Were...

My mother's frequent response when I would express some wish for (fill in the blanks with some childish desire) would generally be, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride."  This was the same mother who taught me to make a wish on the first star seen at evening.  She was strange that way.

I wish I were braver.  If I weren't such a scaredy-cat, I would have put the new battery in the lawn tractor myself.  Yesterday would have been a perfect day to mow the remaining yards.  However, I have a true fear of blowing up a battery by not putting cables on in the right order.  I'd asked Joe, the repairman, about it and he told me not to worry, there might be a few sparks but it would be okay.  A few sparks?!  That was enough for me to put in a call to Helper Dude.  He'll be here today and he can face whatever sparks may fly.  I'll be right there to call 911 if it blows up.

I wish I knew how I truly am perceived and why.  Telling my tale of woe with the cellphone data overuse, not one but three people responded with, "Well, you've got to stop surfing the web at midnight for porn."  Really, people?!  Do I honestly seem like a person who would do such a thing?  Don't answer that!

I wish I weren't such a cookie monster.  In an attempt to save me from myself, I portioned and bagged up cookies from the last baking and put them in the freezer.  It hasn't even been a week, but knowing I had a cookie stash was getting to me.  Lacking even a modicum of self-control, last night I pulled a bag out for dessert.  One was bag was good.  Two was better.  I wish I could get a grip.

I wish I would take my own good advice.  I know the consequences of getting to the barn late in hot weather.  It's not really "hot" in terms of what is to come, but a 15- to 20-degree jump in a couple of days seems pretty darned hot now.  So, of course, I dragged my feet getting started yesterday and paid the penalty in sweat.

I wish everyone the peace and beauty that comes at sundown.

And I wish beggars could ride.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Doesn't Pay

It doesn't pay to put the girls to bed early, as I did the day of the late-afternoon rain storm.  It just gives them more time to deposit manure that has to be cleaned out the next day.

It doesn't pay to dawdle in the morning once the weather turns hot.  Getting to the barn late means a  sweaty finish to the chores.

It doesn't pay to put me on a family plan with AT&T.  I'm about to lose my cellphone privileges.  It seems I, single-handedly, used 75% of the data minute allowance for the group in one month.  One would think I did nothing all day and night but play on the phone.  There has to be some sort of glitch in the system because the stats show a great deal of usage occurred at midnight.  I can guarantee that I do not, repeat not, use the cellphone much after dark, and certainly not at midnight.  It was with great shame and chagrin that I had to let Craig know (by text) I'd received such devastating news.  He didn't text back.  Kind to me and/or being slightly chicken to face his mother-in-law, he made Deb make the call after work.  Sounding much like every perp in custody, all I could say was, "I didn't do it!"  Or, if I did, I didn't know what I was doing.  Ignorance is no defense.  Deb was very gentle, reassuring me that they would check into the problem, but, in the meantime, she had me turn off everything on the phone but text, call, and message.  I'm back to basics.  At least they didn't take back the phone.  It pays to be penitent.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


No need to issue an Amber Alert.  The lost has been found as I came back on my own.  I did run away from home twice yesterday, once at dawn to take the trash down to the big road and again in the afternoon to get feed in Mt. Aukum.

As a kid, I ran away from home any number of times.  I don't think my mother ever knew.  I would write a note explaining my latest grievances and put it under her pillow.  With a child's typical logic, I assumed no one would notice my absence and that she would just go to bed that night as usual.  We lived on the far outskirts of town and this was back in the day when kids could go outside without supervision and not show up until dusk anyhow.   I never left the block and certainly didn't want to miss dinner, so I would go back in the house and retrieve the note I'd left.  If Mother ever found one, she never said.

I'm going to run away again today, not because I want to but because I really have to get a new battery for Fu Manchu.  The weeds are growing faster than Iowa corn and I've got to get a grip or go to wrack and ruin.

Don't worry.  I'll be home before dark.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It Will Pass

Akin to a 24-hour flu, I was hit with a cooking bug yesterday.  Days of pulling chili verde and soups out of the freezer finally got to me.  I've got a very small crockpot, perfect for just a couple of boneless beef short ribs, and got them started early on.  Not exactly cooking, but it works for me.  Thinking of possible side dishes, it dawned on me that I'd not used the pasta machine in quite awhile.  Using the food processor, mixing the dough took only a matter of minutes.  Old-school pasta makers would probably cringe, but I'm perfectly willing to let the machine do the work instead of making a well in a mound of flour and mixing eggs and a touch of oil in by hand, and the cleanup is so much easier.  The dough needed to rest.  Still in the grip of the bug, baking cookies seemed the next step.  Oatmeal cookies with walnuts and dried cranberries are my favorite.  The house was perfumed with the aroma of braising short ribs, and the first batch of cookies had just come out of the oven when my milk customer arrived.  Not taking his eyes from the cooling goodies, and definitely not subtle, he asked, "Umm, what kind are they?"  I told him, waited a half-second (I'm mean that way), and asked if he'd like to try one.  "Well, I wouldn't say no."  As we talked, he hovered near the tray.  "Help yourself."  Reminding me very much of the squirrels, he packed cookies in and crumbs were falling from his lips.  I didn't blame him.  Who could resist fresh, warm cookies?  After he left, the rest of my afternoon was spent in a cloud of flour as I rolled out the pasta dough and cut it into fettuccini.  Being no saint, I also indulged in cookies.  Remember when your mother said, "Not now, you'll spoil your appetite"?  That's exactly what I did.  The short ribs were ready and the pasta ready to pop into a pot and I was full.  Well, I won't have to cook tonight.

The Silkie rooster, last of the little ones, died yesterday.  The Taj, the wonderful coop Craig and Deb built, is empty now.  I just loved the Silkies, fluffy and so unusual, but I don't think I'll add more.  However, the Taj and the reinforced pen won't go to waste.  The flock of layers is down to 13 now and I will undoubtedly get more chicks to raise next spring.  The reinforced Silkie pen will be perfect to transition the chicks when they're old enough to be put outside, and much, much easier on me than creeping into the dog run as I did last year.

I'm doing a systems check and find no urge to spend another day in the kitchen.  I do believe the cooking bug has passed.

It was a good day.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Narrow Escape

Whew, it was a close one!  I'd done the after-chores cool down.  I'd sat on the deck.  I'd watched a rerun or two on TV.  I was bored.  I was this close to picking up a dustrag when Bessie warned me that something was going on outside that needed our attention.  Of course, when we went out, there was nothing there.  She continues to hear and see things that are not there, but I give her the benefit of the doubt.  Luckily, however, while outside I noted a patch of weeds in the Spanish lavender that demanded pulling immediately.  I was saved!  The chickens were happy with the armload of weeds and I was happy just because.  A ready-made excuse like that doesn't come along every day. 

It was a good day.  Good dog, Bessie Anne!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


It was one of those days.  Colder inside the house than out, not much ambition to do much of anything.  It's only been a week and, can you believe it?, the furniture needs dusting again!  In my typical, well-practiced avoidance routine, I took Bess and we went out to sit on the deck.  Big puffy clouds floated overhead (I almost took a picture).  The bench was in sunlight and we listened to the sounds of nature and watched turkeys on parade.  If you're not going to do anything productive, the deck is the best place to do nothing.  About the time I was ready to go back in and face chores, the sky darkened, a stiff wind kicked up, and in the short while it took to walk from one end of the deck to the other, raindrops began to fall.  What the heck?  Instead of lagging behind as usual, Bessie picked up speed and beat me to the door.  Inside, the first bolts of lightning and rumble of thunder came.  Someone opened a fire hydrant in the heavens and rain poured down.  I ran around unplugging appliances, the lightning was that close.  Thinking of the goats, I supposed they'd be okay and the storm cell would pass quickly.  It didn't.  The deluge continued and I got worried.  It was a good two hours before their bedtime, but to leave them out in this would be cruel and unusual punishment and there was no sign of letup.  Gearing up, including Wellies, I went down to the barn.  All the girls were clumped together tightly in the small shed, terrified of the thunder, and it took some coaxing to get them to come out and around to go into their stalls.  The chickens had put themselves to bed so all that was needed was to shut doors.  Soaked to the skin, I changed clothes and looked around for a project to do in the house (besides dusting).

I'd made and either sold or given five wind chimes, and wanted one for myself.  Whenever I go down to the shop, I mash spoons, twist forks, and drill holes, so I had the supplies ready.  Beading and putting pieces together is a bit finicky and time consuming; a perfect rainy day project.  Of course, I'd no more than started when the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and the sun came out.

I knew when I saw these beads that they were what I wanted for my own chimes.

This shot was taken this morning.  It's where I think the chimes will live from now on under the covered portion of the deck, although I may decide to move them over where I can more easily see them from the dining room.

The sky is blue, not a cloud in sight.  But after yesterday....

Saturday, May 23, 2015


In cop parlance, BOLO is an acronym for Be On LookOut.

A quick aside here:  the Kids' dad was a peace officer.  A favorite story was that he was cruising slowly through a neighborhood when a little boy on the sidewalk hollered, "Hi, cop!"  Thinking to do a little PR, Jim stopped, backed up, and said, "Son, I'm not a cop.  I'm a policeman."  "Yeah?  Then why are you driving a cop car?"

To go on re. BOLO:  I think the hummingbirds must post lookouts.  There will be not one hummer in sight when I go out to refill their bottles.  As soon as I get to the deck rail, one will zoom in, make a quick recon, and suddenly the air is filled with tiny birds clicking and demanding that I hurry up!  Morning or evening, it matters not.  "She's here, She's here!"  (In my mind, all creatures call me She.)

I am continually on the lookout for one thing or another.  Just now I am watching for coyotes.  The beastie boys are singing at night and we've already had one disastrous encounter.  Warmer weather brings out the rattlesnakes, and I walk with my head down, watching where my feet are going.  I am so grateful that Craig cut back the tall weeds on the slope where Bessie goes.  Even with her failing eyesight, I think she could see a snake out in the open now.  By the way, I forgot to give credit last weekend to Clay for trimming the hedge in front of the house.  It had gotten pretty higgledy-piggledy and now is neat and tidy.  If I were looking, I might find a bird's nest in there now that there are no outdoor cats in residence.

Ralph wanders back and forth in the living room, exactly like someone at a crowded mall driving around and looking for a parking spot.  He'd like to sit on my lap, too, but rarely finds an empty place.

Completely off track, Fu Manchu is named after a lyric in a country/western song, "Live Like You Were Dying," written and sung by Tim McGraw:  "I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu."  Riding Fu as he bucks over ruts and into squirrel holes is as close to bull riding as I'll ever get.

I'm always on the lookout for spectacular sunsets, and am so often rewarded and am compelled to share.

It was a good day.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Oh Well

The first thing I saw on morning walkabout yesterday was a pair of very pregnant does browsing down in the east meadow at the edge of the woods.  From now on, I'll be on the lookout for when they appear with their fawns.

Deck plants have no patience.  Rain was in the forecast but the plants would just not wait.  They sat in their pots yesterday, gasping dramatically and limp, insisting that they be watered now.  Begrudging every drop, I pulled out the hose and gave them all a drink.  One good thing, they all show gratitude by perking up and standing straight.

With possible precipitation predicted, I thought to get at least one more yard mowed.  Fu Manchu thought otherwise.  Why, oh why, do mechanical things choose precisely the wrong time to turn on me?  I treat Fu well, feed him lots of fuel and as much oil as he needs, give him a shower and a rest after work, and I got nothing in return yesterday.  Wiggling wires and bouncing on the seat to adjust connections got no results.  (Go ahead, I laughed at that picture myself.)  I'm thinking, hoping, that he just needs a new battery.

Today I awoke to the sound of "60% chance of rain" dripping off the roof.  It didn't last long, but there was enough to settle the dust.

Somehow the blankety-blank ground squirrel got into the cage and ate the last bud from the Tropicana rose.  I am bereft.  This same stupid squirrel is defeating his own purpose (and mine) by coming onto the deck and eating the flowers of the strawberry plants.  My mouth had watered in anticipation of the fruit that was to come, but for naught.  I catch sight of the little booger as he comes creepy-crawling, making his selections.  I don't know where he got the idea that I am providing an all-you-can-eat buffet, but he is certainly taking advantage of free meals.

Tom and Jerry continue to repel invaders in the truck bumpers, when they should concentrate on the young male who proudly parades around with his harem of two.  The young tom's chest beard is only a short goatee, nothing like the five- or six-inch growth on the older guys.

Last night's sunset showed a perfect glowing orb in a pastel sky.

Squirrel and Fu Manchu notwithstanding, it was a good day.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I saw a jackrabbit, long ears and long legs, leisurely making his way down the drive yesterday.  Once upon a time there were dozens of bunnies that would meet for coffee klatches in the side yard of a morning, but I've not sighted one in a long, long time.

The bats are back!  I saw the first ones flitting around the oaks a night or two ago as I was coming back up at dusk after putting the girls to bed.  For once, Google has let me down.  I don't know and can't seem to find out where the bats go when they're not here.  I just know how happy it makes me to see them.

It's a little unnerving to look into the goat pen and see disembodied heads, as Cindy appears here.  It's not that the weeds are that high, only about mid-shin, but the girls have dug wallows where they like to lie and the foxtails surround them.

Sending gifts and cards late is a tradition between my son Pete and me.  (I mailed his Christmas cookies last month.)  I was a little alarmed yesterday when I saw a small Penske moving truck coming up the drive.  Sure the driver had gotten himself lost, I went out to give directions.  He was rummaging in the truck and came out with a package addressed only to "Mom."  When the Kids were still home, I'd get mail addressed to "The Wild Bunch."  I guess my reputation precedes me.  Why the FedEx guy was driving a Penske truck...well, only FedEx knows.  I've been using a very good wallet that Pete had given me probably 20-plus years ago and it was showing signs of wear.  He replaced it with a new, sleek and fashionable model.  I got a laugh as I was transferring stuff in the old wallet to the new.  I never lie about my age, but weight is a different matter.  Thank goodness DMV doesn't have a scale for verification when they ask for weight on a driver's license.  For the first time in I don't know when I saw that I am only three pounds over the wishful-thinking number I'd put down way back when.  Pete and I talked last evening and we agreed there is something poignant about disposing of a familiar, old, used wallet.  It seems so unkind to just pitch it in the trash.  Ah, well.

Who knows what I'll see today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Workout Of The Day

WODs seem to be the thing to do these days.  I have relatives that are fanatics about their fitness programs, and their efforts show and are to be applauded.  I am so far out of that loop I could be in orbit.  I had to look up what WOD (Workout of the Day) meant.  However, I do have a plan and am working on it.

Bessie Anne's insistent need to be in my lap at all times was becoming wearing.  Giving in every time was only reinforcing that behavior and it had to stop.  I've been working on retraining her, using hand signals or a head shake to deny her access.  I get the accusing, puppy-dog eyes and the big sighs, but she doesn't push the issue anymore and goes to find a chair or couch to lie on.  She has a dog bed with a comfy blanket right by my feet, but it's not as satisfactory as people furniture.  Bess has not been banned completely; she's still allowed lap privileges several times a day or evening, but it's at my invitation.  I am happier.  She's coping.

I seem to be capable, body or spirit, of only one big chore a day anymore.  Given the glorious weather yesterday after the gloom and spat of rain of the day before, I tackled mowing the west field.  The side and back yards also need mowing, but after an hour or so bouncing and jouncing on Fu in the afternoon, the decision was made to hold those workouts for another day.  Reminiscent of riding a horse, the trick is to keep the spine loose.  Tighten up and you'll bust your butt.  One WOD is my limit.

Another situation that will require work has arisen at night, a WON, as it were.  It's a given that I have a community bed, sharing with Bess, Ralph, and Celeste.  Most of the time, Bessie sleeps on her pillow and the cats sleep at the end, sometimes by my feet.  On the coldest nights, Bess has moved closer for warmth; no problem.  It's a queen-size bed, plenty of room for all one would think, but one would be wrong.  I've been waking up cramped and stiff because Bess, probably in retaliation for my lap rejection during the day, has been sleeping on top of me after pushing me over to my allotted six inches, and the cats are on top of my feet.  There truly is such a thing as too much togetherness.  I don't have a plan of corrective action yet.  I'm working on it.

This backlit unusual cloud formation looks to me like something out of "Ghostbusters."  (Can't help myself, I'm addicted to sunsets.) 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

War And Peace

The day began benignly.  Overnight, the jasmine under the window had burst into bloom and that heavenly scent wafting into the bedroom.  There was no hint of what was in store.

Going out to feed and milk, I found Tom and Jerry engaged in a noisy fight with the invaders they're sure are hiding in the shiny bumpers of the truck.  With loud war cries, Tom took the front and Jerry took the back (or maybe vice versa, it's hard to tell), striking blows at their reflections in the chrome.  Bess normally ignores the big birds but when she'd had enough, she charged in like the cavalry to call a halt.  In what sounded much like The Terminator, Tom and Jerry muttered, "We'll be ba-a-ck," and headed for the chow line.

Down in the barn, I fought off a persistent ground squirrel who did not want to wait for the grain I put down for the furry ones before I leave.  He wanted breakfast now!  The mouse population has grown so that two piles of chow on either side of the room are necessary.  Squirrel first approached the pile on the right.  I squirted him with the ammo I had at hand.  Again.  And again.  I thought I'd won the skirmish, but no.  Squirrel did an end sneak and came up on my left, not a foot from my foot, close enough to slap.  In fact, I darned near did a couple of times, persistent little booger, but I did win that battle for the moment.

The closer I got to the house as I slogged up the hill, buckets in hand, I could hear the chickens in a panic.  Bess, with her poor hearing, missed the call to battle.  Having so recently lost Ginger, I had a pretty good idea of the cause of pandemonium.  Thanks to Craig's hard labor, there was nowhere for the coyote to hide for a sneak attack when she came back for seconds.  Since I don't "pack heat," my only weapon was my voice and I bellowed at the enemy who stood by the pen fence as if she wondered where I'd come from.  Bessie did hear me, caught sight of the coyote,and took off like a bullet, chasing her down into the woods.  In dog years, Bessie Anne is older than I and two things worried me.  If the coyote was protecting pups on her own turf the fight could get ugly, and two, Bess could have a heart attack from unaccustomed exercise.  I, personally, no longer go down into the woods because I'd never make it back up the hill.  I could follow Bess's barking and knew she'd gone as far as the low meadow.  It was quite awhile before my old girl came home, flopped in front of the wood stove, and lay there panting.  She strained a hind leg and it took the rest of the day to work it out.  I could applaud her valor, if not her good sense.

Ralph and Celeste had fought like cats and dogs, well, like cats and cats, most of the morning.  They finally reached an uneasy detente, together but apart.

I left the war zone and made a quick into town, hoping that hostilities would not break out in my absence.

There was a brief period of rain in the afternoon and then the skies cleared, leaving peace as the sun went down.

What a day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

No Comparison

Without "before" pictures, it might be difficult to appreciate the "after" pictures and the tremendous improvements made by the work crew on Saturday.  I talked about all they did, and this is show-and-tell.  This is one of the storm doors installed.  Putting up this particular door involved removing all the siding first before the door could go on and required Larry's expertise.  Gale force winds had blown the two doors completely off the hinges and rain was coming in to soak the floors and feed, so it goes without saying how much the new doors are appreciated.

Craig's arms must have been ready to fall off.  He used a weed-whacker all day long in areas where I could not take the lawn tractor.  He cleared the slope behind the pens in the "orchard" nearly down to the woods, behind the house, and on and on.  It all looks so good!

What Deb cleared by hand in one day would have taken me weeks to pull, and I wouldn't have been able to walk afterward.  We agreed it's not the getting down, it's the getting back up that is the killer.  The pain is in the legs and buttocks. I don't know how she could walk at the end of day.   Now that the lavender plants are visible again, she's given me the inspiration to complete the job.  But not in one day!

I believe it was Nimrod (his biker moniker) who replaced the panel in the goat barn roof.  Work on the barn is always a two-person job.  The girls want to be involved and try to climb the ladder, knock the ladder over, and chew tools.  One person does the work, one person plays goalie.  The clear panels keep the barn from being a cave and let me see what I'm doing in there.  This panel had completely shattered and rain and snow poured in, fortunately not over any of the girls' stalls, but made a mess in the small feed storage area.

Since I stayed in the kitchen, I'm not sure who did what and would hate not to give credit where due, so I hope to be forgiven for omissions.  Jester, Nimrod, Bird, Cuffs, and Stick did whatever needed doing.  Meat had come up with the bunch from Freed Spirits, but had to leave for another "do."  In case one wonders, Dave is known as Bam Bam.  I know Dave and one or two others cleaned the chimney and gutters, and Dawn and Jennifer swept the mess off the deck.  Dave and Bird put the storm door on the feed shed.  Clay chopped the blackberry vines that were taking over under the deck and loaded his truck with junk and trash for a dump run.  All the guys and gals moved like a well-oiled machine from one job to another.  I didn't notice until yesterday that some unknown good fairy had completely restocked the porch firewood rack.  I mention just those I know can claim a task as their own, but only Deb and Craig worked alone.  The rest of the worker bees went where needed.  I truly believe my Kids, born and 'dopted, are beyond comparison.

As a final treat, the icing on the cake as it were, a third peony opened on Saturday.  This one is a deep cerise.

Without fear of contradiction, I say it was a most excellent day.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Home Invasion

I've had a list of chores on my board for some time, stuff I either needed help with or stuff I couldn't do myself.  (Ever since I got myself stuck on the roof, I've been forbidden to climb up there again.)  The first members of this gang of worker bees showed up at 9 a.m. and Deb and Craig went right to work.  Let me be perfectly clear about this:  I did not organize this group, nor was I in charge.  My son Dave gathered this motley crew and was the main ramrod, not that anyone needed pushing.  They seemed to have self-assigned tasks and there was no slacking.  Clay drove up next, followed by Larry and my granddaughter Taylor.  Lastly, Dave and my boys (I'm the official Club Momma), members of Freed Spirits Motorcycle Club, and their ladies roared up the drive on their Harleys.  Between them all, they weeded and weed-whacked, cleaned gutters and chimney, swept a winter's worth of leaves and repaired the deck, installed two new storm doors, filled (and I mean filled!) a truck with accumulated trash for the dump, put in a new panel on the barn roof, and tamped in t-post markers for a water line and to fix a sagging pig garden fence.  There's probably more, but I'm already on gratitude overload.  The club provided the fixings and the only thing I had to do all day was cook fajitas for this hungry wild bunch.  What a joy to cook for a crowd again!  Just for the heck of it, I also made a freezer of homemade fresh strawberry ice cream.  From the kitchen, I could hear laughing (the Farview Farm sound track) and teasing and the sound of drills and hammers.  What these Kids accomplished in a matter of hours...well, need I say more?

The weather had been perfect all day, and then the clouds came over and a cold wind kicked up and it was time for the bikers to get their tailpipes home.  Deb, Craig, and Clay stayed to watch the Preakness race, and then they too left for a well-deserved rest.  Me, I walked around and looked in wonder at all that had been done.  My cup runneth over.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Doggone It

I noticed when I walked down to the goat barn that Ginger wasn't pacing in front of the chicken pen as she usually does, waiting for me to open the gate, but once in awhile she'd be on the trail of a juicy bug and I'd have to wait for her.  I was uneasy, but not too concerned.  The last remnants of rain clouds made for a beautiful sunset and took my attention.

Since Bessie's hearing has gone wonky, she misses when a truck comes up the drive or someone is knocking.  I can't tell how many times she'd hear things that wouldn't be there, but I'd always go to the door to show her that all was okay.  Yesterday I was on a telephone call when Bess started barking and I ignored her.  This time it was not a false alarm.  After the goats, I went on giving nighttime treats and putting the little kids to bed, still looking for Ginger, when I saw Bess nosing on the slope behind the pen.  I can assume it was a coyote that took my littlest girl.  The trail of feathers led down to the woods.  It is the time of year for the pups to be born and a mom was probably looking for food.  Ginger was easy pickings.  I had explained the dangers to her and she chose not to listen.  I thought I'd helped protect her by having Helper Dude cut back the tall weeds that would hide a hunter.  I knew she could fly and there were plenty of hidey holes for her to escape.  I am really going to miss the patter of little feet behind me and hearing her tell tales of her daily doings.  She had a short life, but a happy one.

Friday, May 15, 2015

No Manual Available

There are self-help books on nearly every subject under the sun written by people who profess to know more than you, but I've yet to see any literature on aging.  I'm not talking about health matters or choosing a senior living home, I'm talking about how to act, look, and dress.  We tell teenagers to "act like an adult" (good luck with that).  At the opposite end of the spectrum now, I'm tired of acting like an adult.  There is great liberation in being silly, wearing funny hats, doing a little dance step in the aisle at the grocery store when the Muzak moves me, smiling at people for no good reason, wearing trademark bibbies instead of a housedress, milking goats when I should probably be crocheting doilies, and, in general, doing whatever I please.  I eat whenever I'm hungry, sleep whenever I'm tired, and never run out of opinions to voice.  My circumspect, staid parents would undoubtedly be appalled.  Oh well.  Since there is no manual to follow, I'll march to my offbeat drummer.  Anyone who gives me strange looks can just put it down to, "Well, she's old," and cut me some slack.  When I turned 25, thinking that was a lovely, mature age, my niece (all of 6 years younger) called and said, "Twenty-five, a quarter of a century old.  I can remember when you were young!"  That pretty much popped my balloon.  Thankfully, she did not comment yesterday when I turned three-quarters of a century!  How time does fly.  I received so many notes, cards, and phone calls from those dear to me, that was cause enough for celebration.

Even Fu Manchu was on board yesterday and we got the front yard mowed before it started raining.  Given current conditions, even the rain was a gift.  With any luck, however, it will dry off by tomorrow when the work crew comes up.  Two weekends in a row with my Kids is worth more than gold.  Inga continues to improve and that makes me happy.

It was a good day, a very, very good day.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


After the woes of the day before, yesterday was a huge sigh of relief, beginning with Inga.  Evidently my plan of treatment was working because the wound in her udder did not break open.  I was able to very gently milk out the injured side without causing a leak.  (I won't save her milk until she is completely healed.)  I think the salve is a big help as it keeps the cut from forming a hard scab.  The skin of the udder has to be so flexible to stretch as the bag fills.  I believe my supposition was right in that Inga seems very leery of being around Tess now.  I hope that was a lesson learned; it's not an experience I'd want either of us to repeat.

In early afternoon, Joe came to pick up the lawn tractor.  At $75 an hour, I had been in the doldrums watching dollar signs fly past in anticipation of getting Fu Manchu running again, but it couldn't be helped.  Joe had the ramp down on his trailer, ready to load up.  As I walked out, I jokingly said that if the tractor would start for him, I'd shoot the damn thing.  And wouldn't you know that he fiddled with a couple of wires and the damn thing fired right up.  Why didn't I take engine repair instead of welding classes?  The battery cables were loose and the connections need cleaning, and that was the whole, so easily fixed problem.  I asked what the call-out fee was, so willing to pay as it would be so much less than a repair bill.  Joe said that if the owner wanted to charge me, he'd call.  He didn't call.  As if that weren't enough, Joe, by himself, took the storm door out of the truck and put it under shelter for me.  I almost wept.

If it hadn't been really cold and very windy, I would have leapt on the mower and done the deed, but....  (Any excuse is a good one!)

It was a very good day.  Even the sunset was golden.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Not So Great

Yesterday wasn't one of the best.  I remembered just in the nick of time that it was Tuesday, threw on my clothes, threw the trash bags in the back of the truck (didn't bother with the barrel) and Bess and I raced down the road to wait for Trash Guy when he finished with the winery next door.  I had a dead chicken in the bag, so I couldn't hold off a week.  It might be a gross thought, but given the life span of chickens, there's naught else to do.  Even ten acres aren't enough to bury every one that dies.

Mission accomplished, I headed down to the barn.  Inga is always first up for milking.  Brushing her down, I noted that her hind leg and underbelly were damp.  Hmmm.  There is sometimes a pee-puddle in their stalls, but the girls rarely to never lie in those areas, so what was going on?  I found out soon enough and it wasn't good.  As soon as I touched the udder, milk poured from her left teat, and I mean poured.  Going around to that side, to my horror I found a tear in the bag above the teat that was leaking like Niagara.  Between the rock and the hard place, I had no choice but to milk out the right side, trying not to touch the left.  There had been no sign of injury the night before, so what could have happened?  There is nothing in her stall that could have caught her, and it didn't look like any animal bite.  Poor girl.  Wondering, wondering as I milked, it dawned on me that perhaps Tessie had gored Inga.  Because I milk only once a day, most milk production occurs overnight, hence no leakage in the evening.  I always use two buckets, so her milk could be kept separate and be disposed.  Using what I had on hand, I packed the wound with salve and used a spray antiseptic last night.  I am so hoping this will be self-healing, for both our sakes.

With the work crew coming on Saturday, I had to get one more storm door for the feed barn.  I called my favorite home-improvement store to be sure they had the right size in stock.  They did not and it would have to be special ordered with a delivery date well past my time frame.  Aarrgh.  I called another store in the other direction.  Yes!  They had one and would hold it for me.  This store and I have not had a good history and it was desperation that made me drive into town, a 40-mile round trip.  There must be new management because there was a lot of friendly, helpful employees (unlike past experience) and I was in and out with the door in no time.  The door is still in the back of the truck.  It took two guys to put it there, and only me to get it out.  Hmmm.

I was really, really glad to see the sun go down on what was a not-so-great day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Not For Sissies

When I say I'm going out to weed, I'm not talking about plucking a few dandelions.  Lions and tigers and bears could hide in the jungle in my yard.  I'm talking two-feet tall, back-to-back suckers with root balls that make you feel like you're setting the mainsail as you pull them out of the ground.  Interspersed are those dreadful weeds with hairy stems and little pointy auger seeds that poke holes in your hand.  Weeding up here ain't for wimps.  What the weatherman calls the delta breeze came through yesterday, gathering strength when it came up against the foothills until it was a real wind in the afternoon.  Still, it was too nice to stay indoors so Bess and I walked out.  I hadn't planned on weeding, I rarely do, but it's such a good excuse to stay out in the sunshine.  I have a wonderful pair of gardening gloves that I would wear if I gave it a little forethought.  This photo doesn't do justice to the knee-high pile of pulled weeds when I cried uncle.  My daughter laughs because I'm a very neat and tidy weed puller.  I like all the root ends facing the same direction.  An hour slipped by as I thought, "Just until I reach that rock," or, "I'll quit when the line is even."  I quit when I couldn't straighten up anymore.  The sad part is that I didn't even finish a third of the rock garden area, and there's still the herb garden and the lavender bed to pull.  Ah well, Scarlett, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Queen For A Day

Well, it just doesn't get much better.  I've got one foot in paradise whenever I'm with my Kids, and yesterday was no exception.  Deb, Craig, Dave, and Larry came up in early afternoon and it was, "Let the games begin!"  Pete and Clay called with loving good wishes, and both were missed.  The only failing in the day was that the Kids had not read page 72 in the Mother's Day Manual, the part that says Mother should win at poker.  Oh well.  All the Kids are natural comedians, and I've often said that Larry could out-Robin Robin Williams.  He was in rare form and I literally laughed until I cried.  My job is to play straight man, and more often the fall guy.  I wish I had a sound track of what went on around the table; it would go viral.  Instead of cooking, they'd brought huge platters of a variety of croissant sandwiches and cold shrimp, a cold fruit salad, chips, and (nom nom nom) a cheesecake!!  Gourmet fare and I didn't lift a finger.

For Bessie Anne, company means treats and she made the rounds, cadging from everyone.  I should say that these were her own goodies.  She will never beg at the table.  That's a no-no.  Ralph put in an appearance, going especially to Larry.  If it had not been for Larry, I would not have these feline characters.  Celeste did her disappearing act as usual, coming out of hiding when the last taillights turned onto the road.

My mother said that the more you love, the more you can love.  I truly don't know how I could love my children more.

It was a grand day!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Brush Off

Tom and Jerry (you'd have to be old enough to remember the cat and mouse cartoons) are two bachelor buddies who hang around together, eying the ladies and waiting for a meal.  They always show up for breakfast and then go for a stroll.  I see them here and there throughout the day, but in the afternoon they perch on the board fence (not easy for birds this size) in the shade of the oak in the side yard.

Back in the day, babysitters had not yet been invented or, if they had, my parents didn't get the word.  Consequently, I was taken everywhere my parents went.  Inveterate card players, they took me to many poker games at many houses and I went to sleep on strange beds, listening to the sound of chips clicking and cards being shuffled.  At Uncle Sox's house (his name was Winfred), my cousin Joanne, years older than I, entertained me by brushing my hair as we listened to the radio.  (No such thing as TV then.)  I loved this attention.  When my Kids were growing up, a good way to settle them down was to line them up on the couch with one on the floor and start a round-robin of hair brushing, each taking turns grooming one of the others.  It's a habit I can't break.  I keep a slicker brush by my chair.  Whichever animal ends up on my lap (and there's always one or more) gets brushed.  Every goat gets a brush off every morning.  I can't help myself.

The pink peony opened fully and has such a different face than the white.

As I was taking this shot for comparison, I saw that a butterfly had photo-bombed the picture.  I wasn't about to give him the brush off.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Just In Time

My peony bouquets are blooming just in time for Mother's Day.  There are two big white blossoms on the plant right next to these strawberry ice-cream pinks.  Gorgeous combo!

So far, so good with the cayenne pepper on the Tropicana.  At least the last remaining bud is still intact.  After the rain of the other day, I'm going to give the poor bedraggled rose another sprinkle.  Hey, whatever works.

Update:  Poppy is beating the odds and is still wobbling around.  She gimps herself up and down the slopes, but can move pretty fast if there is a treat in the offing.  It is with hesitation that I look over into her stall every morning, and a surprise when I see her head up.  Her breathing is labored, but somehow she keeps going.  It's not her time yet.

My Kids are coming up tomorrow, exclamation point and a big smiley face!  I've been instructed not to cook anything.  I won't know how to act.  One of my pleasures is working in the kitchen, listening to the Kids tell stories and laugh in the other room, sometimes throwing each other under the bus (I learn a lot this way).  However, if they want to treat me like a Queen, so be it.  If I hurry, I've still got time to dust.  Or not.

Friday, May 8, 2015


They say timing is everything.  Mine has been a little off lately.  This photo was taken of Honey being "welcomed" by Ralph the last time Camille came up.  Celeste had scooted down the hall at the first sound of Cam's quad coming up the drive, not to be seen again until she heard it leave.  Ralph, on the other hand, is definitely more social.  Honey seems to fascinate him.  He waits until Honey has gone through her "I'm so happy to be here, now give me a cookie!" phase and then comes out to watch what toys Honey takes from the toy basket and then lies beside her.  Honey has cats of her own at home and so tolerates his attentions willingly.

The early morning rain yesterday had been more of a mist so when I left for the barn I wore just a jacket, no hat.  With impeccable timing, real rain waited until I had the first girl up on the stand and had shut the playpen gate on the others.  A really strong wind blew in and rain started coming down in buckets.  Soggy goats came in one at a time, each complaining bitterly about the weather and my poor animal husbandry by locking them out of shelter.  Hey, I was getting soaked, too!  They could not have been less impressed.  Goats are very self-involved.

Waiting until it seemed the rain was over, I headed to town.  False hope, but I really can't whine.  It was dry while I made my stops, then turned toward home.  It began raining lightly before I'd even left Diamond Springs, and was pouring by the time I parked in my driveway.  Unloading the truck and packing the bags into the house was a wet affair.  Of course, the rain stopped just as I finished.  The only thing for which I had good timing was getting this shot of sunset.  Some days are like that.  We needed the rain, whenever it came.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Hear Laughter

There is a line in "Out Of Africa" that struck home with me.  "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans."  Helper Dude brought back the lawn tractor battery after 24 hours on a trickle charge.  It tested full strength.  Turned the key.  Nothing.  He even went home and got a heavy-duty, whiz-bang instant charger.  Turned the key.  Nothing.  Sigh.  I recently got my tax return and have been hoarding it, making wild and wonderful plans on how I would spend my riches after paying Tax Guy, etc.  So much for that.  There is a power tool repair shop close by that I have used before.  I called, knowing this is probably their busiest time of year as everyone and his brother is trying to clear property before fire season.  The nice man told me a couple of things to try and if they didn't help, he would schedule a pick up.  I tried.  They didn't work.  So, the earliest appointment would be two-and-a-half weeks out.  Sigh.  And then I talked to Camille.  Her mower had mysteriously quit on her, she'd made an appointment, and then her little tractor resurrected itself and has been running fine.  She had not canceled and said maybe the nice man would let me have her slot.  And he did!  Fu Manchu will go in for surgery next week.  And the money I'd hoped to spend frivolously will go with him.  Sigh.

I turned Helper Dude loose with his weed-whacker and he cleared huge areas of knee-high weeds, especially down the slope behind the chicken pen.  It's not that I go there often, but those weeds are perfect cover for coyotes and snakes.  I've watched the coyotes sneak up, hoping for a pot pie dinner.  (That's when I go get the gun.)  The weeds are also a fire hazard, and I feel a lot better now that they're gone.

I'm trying something new with the rose predator.  I sprinkled the Tropicana bush liberally with cayenne pepper.  With my luck of late, my squirrels will have a taste for something spicy, but it's worth a try.

Filling the hummer bottles for their evening meal, I saw these gorgeous cloud formations to the northeast.  We've been promised rain, and this looks hopeful.

A bit later, as I finished putting the girls to bed, there were even more promising clouds to the southeast, over toward Yosemite.

About 4:15 this morning, I was awakened by strobe lights visible behind my sleeping eyelids, followed by claps of thunder.  Counting "one Mississippi," I could tell the lightning wasn't close, but didn't want to take a chance so got up and unplugged the computer and we all went back to sleep.  So far, there has been negligible rain, but we can hope.

I'm planning to go to town today, but I'm afraid to say it out loud.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oh Phoo

The internet is my lifeline to the outside world, right up there with the cellphone.  When it goes kaphlooey, there is a moment of panic before depression sets in.  Access was a little wonky yesterday but I was able to baby talk the system and get it to work in the afternoon, but today all that came up was "Page cannot be displayed," and I was dead in the water.  Mario and I spent a good long while this morning as he tweaked this and that and finally got me up and running again.  Ta da!  Don't ask me what went wrong, Mario didn't know either, but one trial after another finally opened the door.

The lawn tractor has been in the infirmary.  It sits there and watches the weeds in the front yard grow higher and higher.  Helper Dude came and pulled the battery to put it on a slow charge.  It should be back today.  Fingers crossed.  It is so frustrating when mechanical things go on strike at the same time.

"I'm helping, Mom!"  Working in the walkway, pulling the last of those weeds (plenty more in other areas), each rootball loosened the soil.  Bessie Anne figured that if I that's what I wanted, she might not know why, but she was going to be mother's little helper and went along, digging shallow holes in the same area and spraying me with showers of dirt.  The weeds are gone, but now the walkway is pockmarked.  Win some, lose some.

In the losing category, I've lost most of the buds and all of the flowers on the Tropicana rose.  The blankety-blank ground squirrels have evidently found a way into the caged area, although I don't see any holes from underneath.  Maybe they're climbing over the top.  To add to my frustration, the little boogers have not touched any of the roses in the pig garden, only my favorite Tropicana right by the front door.  At any rate, the plant and I are devastated.  After checking with my friend Google, today I'm sprinkling the area with cayenne pepper.  Fingers crossed.

Sundown last evening appeared to be hiding behind a gauze scarf.  Ever changing, ever lovely.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sing A Song

Ta da!  The peonies are blooming!  They are such garden showoffs.  This ruffled beauty is the first to show her face, but quite a few of other new arrivals have big, ready-to-pop buds.  Unfortunately, not just the peonies are doing well.  Weeds, the everlasting bane of my life, are also sprouting, some nearly two feet tall in a week.  I'm beginning to walk in a perpetual crouch as I pull a pile every time I pass by.  Aarrgh.

You know how it is when you get a song locked in your head and it won't let go?  Google has become my new BFF.  For days I've been hearing just the first line of a sea shanty, What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor, and I even had that part wrong.  My thinking was that if I could remember the rest of the lyrics, the song would go away.  A few keystrokes and I had my answer.  Now I'm waiting to see if the song will go away.

The girls are in the process of getting their pedicures.  It's a four-day ordeal in that I trim one foot on each girl every day, the same hoof on each so I don't forget where I am.  One hoof is about all they'll stand still for, even the "good" girls.  Yesterday all had gone well with the rest of the herd and then Cindy was up. I was on the third foot, the left hind leg, and she fought me big time.  Trimming does not hurt, but goats don't like to stand on three legs.  They may be small, but they've got a kick like a mule and I'm working with very sharp, pointed shears.  I'd just wrestled her into position when my cellphone rang.  "Can't talk now, I'll call you back.  Bye!"  Didn't even look to see who it was.  That hoof wouldn't pass muster at a goat show, but it's better than it was.  Later, when my milk customer came, he asked, "So exactly what was it you were doing this morning?"  "Goat wrestling 101."  Pause.  "I see."

Pulling weeds (again) in the afternoon on an absolutely gorgeous day, I heard the sounds of spring on the mountain.  The song of chainsaws has been replaced with mowers and weed-whackers.

Monday, May 4, 2015

As Expected

I was so happy to see Dale Earnhardt, Jr., win the big race at Talladega.  He's not "my" driver (poor old Bowyer got wrecked in the last lap), but there's something so appealing about a guy who tries so hard and never says quit.

The day went pretty much as I thought it would.  Did barn chores, watched the race, went to the feed store, and filled the hummers' feeders.  It seems like every time I look out the window, those tiny birds have emptied the bottles again.  Two quarts a day are not enough and they're getting so bossy as to bang on the glass to get my attention and demand better service.  I'm always at someone's beck and call.  Turkeys holler under the oak to let me know they're ready for breakfast and what's the hold up, lady?  Chickens race to the fence when I pass by with buckets, saying they'd like some milk to go with their cereal.  Ralph and Celeste's feed bowl is up on a counter and they reach out and grab my shoulder when the kibble is getting low.  It goes without saying that Bessie Anne is a short, furry tyrant.  I've opened the door four times for her so far this morning and boosted her up on the bed thrice.

My dance card is filling up.  Dave and I have been talking about a work day to replace storm doors and repair the barn roof.  He has recruited some of his biker friends to come help the Club Momma in a couple of weeks.  Yesterday I found out that the whole famdamily will be coming up to join the crew, as well!  Not only that, my Kids will all be here next weekend for a play day.  This was not expected, but welcome? oh, you bet!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

And The Winner Is...

For me, this could be called The Lost Weekend.  No, nothing like the 1945 movie with Ray Milland, but when the Kentucky Derby runs on Saturday and NASCAR races at Talladega on Sunday, it's a sure bet not much will get done on Farview Farm.  That was the only sure bet for me, as I'd picked Firing Line to win in what has been called the longest four hours on TV for the fastest two minutes in racing.  I really was rooting for Gary Stevens and he rode a good race and made American Pharoah work for his money at the finish line, but no cigar for Gary.  Camille and Honey came up to watch the Run For the Roses.  She brought mint for the obligatory mint julep, but we did not wear fancy hats this year.  No one could have outdone Johnny Weir in that department.  Dave was watching the Derby at a favorite watering hole in the valley and texted, "Who IS that guy?!"  Now all eyes will turn to the Preakness on May 16 to see if Victor Espinoza will take the second jewel in the Triple Crown.

Yesterday I was thrilled by "And they're off!"  Today I'll be waiting to hear Darrell Waltrip yell, "Boogity boogity boogity, let's go racing!" 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Such A Deal

I've been in negotiations with an eleven-year-old girl and we finally came to an agreement.  She raises different breeds of rabbits to show and sell at the fair.  Some time back, I learned from her father that she was running out of space for her bunnies.  It so happens that some 20 years ago I bought an industrial 6-cage stacker on wheels.  The plan at the time was to raise angora rabbits for fur to spin.  The problem was that there was no way to keep bunnies cool in the heat of a Sacramento summer, so the plan was abandoned but the cages stayed on (remember, nothing gets thrown away).  We actually moved this contraption up here, where it has been sitting unused, lo, these many years.  I offered to give the cages free, but my friend refused, saying his daughter needed to know the value of things and that she would have to pay for the unit herself.  I call that good parenting.  A few weeks ago, I received a letter telling me of her interest.  It was a dear letter on hand-decorated paper, ending with, "Thank you for thinking this over."  I wrote back and quoted a very nominal fee for the cages "as is," but would give her a deal and knock down the price if she cleaned the stacker herself.  She called, and we agreed on the lower number.

Yesterday her Papa came with his truck to pick up the cages.  He said he was going to stop on the way home and use a power washer to clean them.  "Whoops, that wasn't our deal!"  "No, it's all good.  She gave me a pocket full of quarters to pay for it."  He laid out our agreed amount on the counter with her crumpled one-dollar bills.  She stuck to the letter of our deal.  It was a pleasure doing business.

It was a good day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Stand Up

"Stand up straight, shoulders back, chest out, tummy in!"  That's me, talking to me.  After the exertion of the day before, I had to remind myself to "Straighten up, woman, you're walking old."  Not everything I'd planned got done yesterday; some, but not all.  I'd like to say I rested on my laurels but, in truth, I sat on my rusty-dusty.  Some days are like that.

Some texting typos are hysterically funny, some make you go, "Huh?," and some are alarming.  A friend made a long, tiring, cross-country flight yesterday.  Waiting what I figured would be the appropriate length of time, given time changes, etc., I messaged her, "Home yet?"  Soon after, she replied, "Approaching hate now."  OMG!  This is a woman who pretty much rolls with the punches so for her to be that angry, imagining the worst I asked if she was okay.  She called me and we both got a laugh because what she'd intended was "Approaching gate now."  Gotta love technology.

Odd as it may seem, all those things I'd planned to do yesterday are still waiting.  Blame my broken magic wand.  Guess I'd best stand up and get'r done!