Posts Tagged ‘life’

Woke up at 4:45 this morning and thought about the past year. Was I a good daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend? I do think I get a gold star as grandma, the easiest and best role!  And I really did consciously try to think about others first. Good grief, at my age I still have to work on that.

As for my job, who knows what will happen over the next year. As we slowly sink into obsolescence we’re all thinking of options. I’ve been here for 25 years and can’t crank up enthusiasm for doing anything else. Where does a third generation (non-reporter) newspaper person go?

Job interviews? Ugh.  But how to keep a roof over our heads on my retirement check for several years until Social Security kicks in?

Just take one day at a time. Do what I can to keep us going.  Be grateful for my wonderful family and decent health.

Enjoy the ink on my fingers while I can.

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August was bad for me and my garden. It was miserably hot and humid. Early in the month I lost my corn crop to corn borers, pulled up gasping tomato plants, and left the beans and peppers to struggle on alone.

I abandoned them throughout all of September until the Friday morning before our monthly community garden meeting. I wanted to start fresh for the fall crop plus not look like the totally neglectful gardener I was. I harvested a mini-mountain of peppers, a meal’s worth of beans, then yanked out the plants. I pulled out the old irrigation tape because it was dried to the cracking point and nibbled on by settlers of the new mouse village.

Saturday morning, during a quick walk-through with a community gardening expert, I learned that (1) tilling the soil (2) dumping in bags of steer manure and (3) tilling the soil again would be the best next steps.

I pondered schlepping seven heavy bags of manure from store to car to garden in 100-degree heat, then hand-digging them in. Then pondered how I could get the soil ready in time to plant without me keeling over.

First lesson: Community gardening is a great thing. The mom, dad and two kids with the plot next to me were also pulling out their plants and preparing to till. Except at least one of them knew how to run the gas tiller available to all of us. I must have looked rather pathetic sweatily poking at my plot because the woman politely suggested that her husband could till my plot after he did theirs. Yes!

The tiller wouldn’t start so the husband said he’d go to Ace Hardware to buy a spark plug. Again, wife to the rescue. “Why don’t you go with him and buy your steer manure so we can till that in too?”

I kinda wanted to throw in the trowel and go take a shower. But I’m a trooper, albeit an old and out of shape trooper, so even though I was exhausted and melting I said YES!

On to Ace with neighbor-husband and tiller. While he spent time with a clerk figuring out which spark plug to buy, then putting it in the tiller to test, I asked the cashier for seven bags of steer manure so I could start lugging it out to the van.

Second lesson: Always go to Ace, not one of those giant box stores. A very pleasant clerk went and got the bags, wheeled them to the van, and loaded them for me.

Then the entire plot neighbor family helped carry them to my garden and till them in.

For someone who isn’t used to asking for help, getting so much of it in one morning was wonderful. There’s definitely more to this gardening thing than just vegetables.

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heavenly day

I think heaven happened one day last fall when my grandson was over for the afternoon. We were playing outside,  under the mesquite tree. He gathered twigs and sticks that had fallen and we spent hours “planting” a forest across the yard with them. It was one of those wonderful desert days, sun and cool breeze and birds full of things to say…I had been under a lot of stress for months and not feeling well because of it, but all of a sudden I realized that on that day, under that tree with my lovely grandson, I was having a perfect day.   I took a deep breath, went back to our work, and spent the rest of the afternoon paying attention to every glorious moment.

Sometimes memories are tucked into songs like flowers pressed in a book. Whenever I hear Patty Griffin sing this song my feeling from that day is released like a fragrance. In the video she says this is her first love song, and that she wrote it for her dog. But it’s an all-purpose love song, especially when you’re lucky enough to have had a Heavenly Day.

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my father’s hands

My grandson tried to unscrew the legs from a stool today, so I took him to my father’s toolshed and we found jars of nails and screws. I got him a short length of a 2 x4, my dad’s hammer, and some screwdrivers. We spent the rest of the day screwing in regular and phillips screws (righty-tighty lefty-loosey) and pounding in different size nails (“Oh my doodness, look, a little tiny baby nail!”)

The hammer is heavy, but he pounded until his little arm was wobbly with the weight. He looks like he’ll have my dad’s big hands. We used to call them “carpenter’s hands.” I wish my dad could have been the one teaching him about tools, and rides in wheelbarrows…

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Came home to another big pile of branches and brush, this time parked in my driveway near the gate so my car ends up farther away from the house looking like it can’t decide if it’s coming or going. SO FRUSTRATED that when I finally get the yard cleaned up after years of it running amok, the handyman had trimmed, trimmed, and I mean trimmed the chilean mesquite tree. Am I being too subtle? After he whacked the crap out of the tree and left me the remains.

I realized it would take about three months to get it all into my weekly trash container and I’m not hauling groceries from my car to the house in 110 degrees one inch more than I have to, so I called the city’s environmental something something…the garbage picker uppers. Discovered you can schedule your own personal “bulky pick-up” cheaper than hiring someone!

I know we’re supposed to be angry at the city for raising garbage fees again, but I’ll let it go this time. I love my bulky pick ups.

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oofs and ooves

If it’s one hoof but two hooves, why not one roof and two rooves? Maybe because roove is a word that means something else. According to the Oxford English dictionary, the noun roove is “a burr for a rivet.” Which is logical because to roove is to rivet, or to rub or knock against the roof. My house is getting a new roof, and the roofers are rooving loudly.

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Wore my blue “be the change you want to be in the world” tee shirt to the community garden meeting Saturday.  Somebody read the words out loud, and the elderly master gardener sitting nearby yelled,  “Well, get to it!”

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