Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One way or another, they're gonna getcha...

I've been thinking lately.  With a certain feeling of impending paradigm shift I wonder: should I pull out of my 401K and pay down my mortgage instead, before the market really crashes and turns my supposed retirement savings into so much oatmeal?  Or should I just leave all that be and bide my time in anticipation of drastic inflation, when I'll be able to pay down the "real" value of my mortgage in surreal amounts (assuming I still have a job)?  Or should I cash out all accounts and relocate to an island nation, or add on to my house, or get a boob job, or install a few solar panels, or adopt a child, or play the Powerball with abandon, or take up hangliding, or start farming medicinal plants, or purchase a home entertainment system, or donate a few truckloads of canned soup to the hungry, or spend a decadent weekend in Monaco, or find a roommate, or get a Hummer, or build a greenhouse, or invest in bricks of gold, or buy a lifetime supply of toilet paper and chocolate and light bulbs, or just make due?  So many things for a working woman to consider.

In the meantime I need to get those damned mealybugs off of my African Violets and cook up some red lentil and coconut stew, among other things.  I've got a couple days off ahead, for which I am more than grateful, and I'm quite sure the economy will get along just fine without me...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Without a Doubt

Within the past week a small miracle has transpired: two pair of bright tiny green leaves sprang forth from my naked fig tree!  I suppose if you'd never seen its beautifully proportioned trunk and sueded branches covered by the deep curves of five-fingered sheltering leaves and tender wrinkled blushing fruits, and then watched it drop every last one to stand completely bare for months, you might not find this tremendously exciting, but to me it's a pretty big deal--and a sweet way to be welcomed home, after some time away.  Life changes so quickly... doesn't it?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


First real snowfall this morning...heavy, wet and sloppy, but who's complaining?  

I took it pretty well, but it came down pretty hard on my lilac... 

At least she cleared the sidewalk.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doin' that stuff that you do

So good to be up early and at home today.  This afternoon I took care of a number of small chores to get the place ready for winter, what with snows coming soon... I untied and unstaked the eggplant, tomatoes and peppers, and carried what remained to the compost heap.   A couple of the eggplants were so huge--like an inch in diameter and seriously 5 feet tall!--and so firmly rooted that I actually had to fork them out of the ground...crazy.  There's still a bit of broccoli to be had and a couple little side cabbages heading up, enough for a small stir-fry or so.  I raked a few leaves around, not really into it, but got them pushed over onto the gardens and empty spaces and what-not.  Secured a few loose cables that had come loose in one of the recent windstorms, coiled my inflexible but lead-free hose, cleaned out one of the clogged gutters (turns out that a five-foot person can actually do this with a six-foot step ladder, you just have to get up onto the step that says "Do Not Stand" or "Danger" or whatever), tidied up the walks, pulled a bunch of dead things (leaving a choice few for winter architecture) and migrated a number of sun-loving planter-bound annuals who have been hanging on, through this unseasonable warmth, into the house.  (If I can keep them alive until next Spring, I might feel a little better about having killed both of my two year olds--my lovely rosemary and bay laurel--but probably not).  I also decided, finally, to dig a hole in the northern fencerow for my witch alder, an enchanting little shrub of magnificent blossom, attractive geometry and remarkable hue, who I was lucky enough to get at half-price and spent a good time picking out from the crowd, but far too long a time deciding where to put in the ground... I must tell you, there's something truly poignant about placing a once-cared-for and now-dried-up tree into a cold damp hole on a warm winter day, as the sun is going down, while your radiohead out of nowhere starts playing "Love Me Tender".  It really did bring a tear to mine eye. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get another one next year, but the fact remains that I starved that little beauty, a real vibrant life of a few years, and yes I know it's not like I put a bullet through its head but really, where's the respect?  Where is the love?  I don't know.  I can only hope that there's some life left in it, yet.  And apparently my inner voice isn't all that worried about it, seeing as only few minutes later I'd already moved on, to knockin' me out wich ya voodoo.  (Huh.  I wonder if I still have that.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Best Seats In The House

Well, this year's show was a little strange... The story was rather loosely strung together--a bit of a stretch, you might say--and having not read the synopsis beforehand, I found myself genuinely perplexed about who and what was going on, much of the time.  While there were some outstanding effects (including a life-size steam engine, complete with live sparks flying from the wheelset), thrilling spectacles (like synchronized corde lisse, two stories up and illumined in white), magnificent illusions (such as Earth-shaking giant feet up to knees the height of the ceiling), as well as some good old merriment (larger than life pies, cakes and ice cream, dancing wildly), fantastic puppetry (The Terminator, fighting...a swarm of bees? with fire) and beautiful imagery (white sharks and luminescent jellyfish swimming the ocean night), overall the symbolism lacked the gravitas and perhaps duende of prior years. The music, however, was phenomenally good. And so were our seats, possibly the best I've had there, not least because of sharing a bale with two good friends, wrapped in each others' blankets and arms, warm as can be... It's not entirely a miracle that we found each other--one could argue that it was inevitable, I suppose--but after spending a good twenty minutes or so trailing around and surveying the scene(s), it was no small delight that I chanced to turn and find them standing by, having freshly arrived, nowhere at all near to the spot where we had intended to meet (exactly.)... Lovely.

It was a busy and energizing weekend, after a long and draining week.  I rolled out of bed early on Saturday morning and drove a good couple hours on the road south and home again, in pursuit of a long sought-after item... It was beautiful weather for driving, with bright sun wringing the last drops of color from the grasses and oaks of the Mississippi river valley, flooding my heart with memories of the savanna, while eagles overhead called to me to come up for air... In the afternoon, a session of Shiatsu set me up straight for the first time in weeks, and I spent the remainder of the day channeling the flow of my Chi into a costume design (having serendipitously found exactly what I needed at Savers after work on Friday).  After losing myself in the mirror for a few hours, I emerged transformed: half dead, half living, split down the middle, the effect of which was somewhat fascinating as well as slightly creepy:

It turned out to be an impressive costume year, giving rise to any number of ooohs and aaaahs and cheers, the most raucous of these ensuing upon the entry of Lego man, accompanied by the King of the Wild Things and their daughter Flavor Flav, but my personal favorite was--by far--my sister's PiƱata, painstakingly constructed of what could only have been thousands of inch-wide strips of bright crepe paper, each hand-rolled into a precious curl and then meticulously glued, one by one, in life-saver stripes, onto a bodysuit constructed from a pair of sweatpants and a hoody sewn together in perfect alignment, topped with a pair of uncannily proportioned yellow ears and a cute yellow snout, then finished off by her cute little roomie, in the classic sweat socks and the polka-dotted birthday hat, with the stripey beating stick to match.  Seriously, she must have put more hours into that outfit than I burned looking for a new sofa on craigslist--all time well spent, because her getup kicked ass in a way that few people are willing to even consider trying (much less capable of actually doing), and my new sofa (for which I went all the way there and back again the next day) is so totally fabulously exactly right, in every aspect, that it completely changed the character of my entire place within minutes of its arrival.  What a stroke of luck, and what an enormous comfort, literally. Yay!!

On another amazingly fortunate note, I found out over the weekend that my father had a very close call with a fallen tree while driving home during last week's windstorm--a near miss which went over the car but still crumpled the hood, shattered the windshield and dented the roof, after which he, in true Dad fashion, drove his beloved and still mechanically sound but now totaled Volvo wagon the last few miles home.  Holy.  I seem to recall saying out loud to myself, on my way home that night, that "I am really not at all interested in death by falling trees".  I'll stand by that statement, and I thank the lucky stars above for those split seconds (and Happy Birthday, btw.  We love you.)