Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Are you doing anything special tonight? I'm not.

I never did, really. When I was younger I used to call this *Amateur Night.* Not a safe time to be out and about, with many people drinking to excess who usually don't.

It's not that your average *Pro Drinker* isn't dangerous. Nope. It's just that the amateurs are even less predictable.

So I may stay up to watch the ball drop - another time-honored activity! - or, I may fall asleep. I like to see the year change over. It's fun. Generally speaking, I just don't get extremely revved up about holidays. But I do like them.

Tonight I'm still awake and it's around 11:30 here in Florida. For now, I'm watching marathon reruns of To Catch a Predator. I love that show!

So...since I didn't write that long post describing what a unique and wonderful year this was - and it really was! - let's see if I can make the rounds and tell everyone *Happy New Year!!!* before that ball drops.



Sunday, December 30, 2007

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love My Orchids?

Having become singularly unfashionable in this, my Old Crone stage of life, I know nothing whatsoever of feng shui.

But reading this and that in other people's blogs and comments has reminded me of some things I used to know. Things in keeping, perhaps, with that feng shui approach.

Such as: It's important to surround myself with beauty. It's how I am. I'm happier that way.

There's nothing wrong with it, either.

Working along through the Great Paper Chase here, I decided to bring in some orchids as they bloomed. A certain Harvard study tells us that having blooming flowers, real ones, in our house makes us happier.

I definitely agree. And they were only talking about regular-type cut flowers.

Time to one-up old Harvard, there.

Yes. I know the antique fan got knocked a bit off kilter. It'll live. I love having it on the wall above my big wood work table. Especially with an orchid or two under it.

This flower spike is in a very nice stage of blooming. The oldest blossom (at the very top) is just folding up; the newest one (lower right) is still a bud.

Different orchids hold their flowers in very different ways. This one makes a flower spike (aka a raceme, or inflorescence), and its individual buds are borne on opposite sides of the raceme.

Every orchid I've ever seen has a face. A lovely little face, looking at us, often a bit shy.

They make excellent company.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

He's gone...

Yup. Walter's back on the road.

But he started off with a decent load, and Mr. Bank Account will be happy, at least.

Me, I've been under the weather for a little while now. Weak and fevery, and I'm not sure why. I'd love to say, --I'm going to hit the yard and plant some snapdragons! But it may not be in the cards for a few more days.

I'm more likely to be napping a lot, and attacking that paperwork again.

The Paper Chase Project is going well. I'm feeling ever so organized! Five years' worth of filing is almost done. I can actually put my hands on Important Pieces of Paper that I've been looking and looking for, sometimes from two or more years back. I even found the title to the car in there.

Keeping up with paperwork used to be the norm in my life. It took until this year to realize there might well be a connection between me falling down on the job, paperwork-wise, and when we lost our business. That happened in January 2003. And how far back do my unfiled papers go? 2003.

I've said before that I love reality. That's true. Part of reality is seeing one's own self as clearly as possible. Yet humans have a natural talent for self-deception.

Seeing inside ourselves, or seeing what's really going on in the world, often takes more effort, determination, and emotional toughness than we give it credit for.

I make it one of my highest priorities. Which doesn't mean I always achieve as much clear-sighted understanding of myself as I'd like.

Whatever the reason my perception was blocked, or perhaps just shaded, I'm glad I can see this better now. Losing the business was hugely gladdening, many ways. Freedom. I never wanted to work in it, wasn't supposed to, had to, and resented it.

But it was still a loss, and it looks like I didn't give that the credence I should have.

People. Grieve your losses. If you don't grieve your losses you can't let them go, you can't move on.

Amazing how peaceful these trays of nicely sorted little papers makes me feel.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

World War III?

Yes. Politics. A forum I venture into only rarely on this blog. And even now, I'll be brief. I'll leave out all the background, the nuances, the reasoning for my opinions on this subject.

Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, recently returned to her country after many years of exile. Her return was largely engineered by Condoleezza Rice. As a rival to President Musharraf, her presence there was controversial.

A few hours ago, she was killed in a suicide bombing outside her home. I have long admired this brave woman, and I mourn her loss.

I hope - I very much hope - I'm wrong about a potential consequence of this event.

Her murder will, at the very minimum, cause great unrest in Pakistan and other countries. Uncertainty and instability in worldwide financial markets is almost certain.

Worst of all, this may be the signal event that kicks off a World War III.

From time to time, I hear of books I'd like to read, but won't purchase new because I don't want royalties to accrue to the authors. Sometimes I can find them in our local libraries, or for sale as used books. I like to read viewpoints that are in opposition to mine; to understand those positions means, at the least, that I can argue my contrary position all the better.

One of those books was written by Osama bin Laden. I haven't read it. So I'm not able to personally vouch for the book's contents.

What I hear is this: His primary goal, as stated years ago in that book, was to set things in motion to engulf the US in World War III. If he could take action that would begin the next world war, he'd consider himself a success.

With any serial criminal - and it looks to me like that's a valid description of Bin Laden - it's wise to avoid letting them pull your strings. They are extremely manipulative people. Part of the work of profiling pioneers John Douglas and Robert Ressler of the FBI was geared toward learning how to manipulate the manipulator, for the purpose of capturing those criminals and preventing further crimes.

Roles become reversed; the hunter becomes the hunted, using proactive tactics rather than reactive ones. Time after time, experience has shown this strategy to be far more successful in capturing perpetrators of various types of serial crime. While I'd never pretend to be privy to the secret strategies of anyone's government, it's always seemed to me that most actions against Bin Laden and his ilk have been reactive, including in countries like Pakistan.

If Bin Laden's efforts to pull the strings of people all over the world have now succeeded, his victory will be a very bitter one indeed. Bitter for us, bitter for all lovers of peace and justice throughout the world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

:-O !!! It's 'XACTLY Like SANTA!!!

He's been spotted! New sightings are being reported as we speak!

In Atlanta.

In Valdosta, having a bit of a rest.

Passing Gainesville. That one always takes SOOOO long. Exits way far apart.

Then - THEN - he's past Yeehaw Junction!

And now?

Fort Pierce! The magical mile marker, only 100 miles till home!


'Scuse me. Gonna go put some chicken in the oven.

er, leave out some cookies and milk.

Baby Update! Walter Update! Merry Christmas!


Yes, I've been a bit preoccupied the last week or so. Seems to be going around, that.

The wee tiny kitten is home with his ecstatic mama and papa. much as I admire his pic up there, I guess it's time to let it move down. Make room for new ones. Besides, they've probably washed his face at least eighteen hundred times by now.

kmom tells me they said that baby cries in the night sometimes.
--But we're working on that,--they said. '-)

They also discerned that he doesn't like the dark. Whereupon his dad ran out to the store and bought a night light. Make said baby kitten feel better.

kmom is greatly enjoying all this. As are we all.

See, some of you get new babies in your families fairly often. For us, this is an exceedingly rare event. Of k's two sibs, only one of us - kbro - had children. Two. One is the lovely niece in question. The other, the excellent nephew, is of the firm opinion that he will remain childless.

So this little one is a very special baby to us, indeed.

I guess I need to wise up. These new babies keep catching me off guard. I think they aren't supposed to arrive until the stated Three Weeks from Now - then all of a sudden THEY'RE HERE!!! and I spring them upon you, all unawares.

I've become an Ex-Step Grandma and a Great Aunt all in the space of a few months. Gracious!

Walter asked for time home for Christmas. If the company found him a good long haul, he'd stay out on the road. He was just off work on a long unpaid leave, and his heart seems okay again, and we need the bucks. Not to mention, Christmas at home can be hard for him. He gets homesick for his family in Europe sometimes, and for Christmas, it can be easier for him to stay on the road.

But past experience has taught us there's little work available over Christmas. So he told his driver manager, --If you can find me a good long one, fine. If not, send me home.--

They got him a job to Atlanta, GA. Atlanta is still quite a distance from South Florida, although to us it feels like the back yard. Still...The fuel cost from Atlanta to home is significant.

I guess it's a sort of Christmas present. They couldn't find Walter a load to bring from Atlanta to South Florida. So they ordered him to deadhead home - no paying load, just an empty trailer. Ordered as follows: *Arrive home by 11PM 12/25/07!*

Yes SIR!


I just got off the phone with him. He's taking a little break in Valdosta, GA, almost at the Florida line. He's moving along quite well.

kmom and kdad will come by to visit this morning, and I'll get to see my sweetheart by tonight. Whenever he gets here is fine by me.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here He Is.

This was originally published 12/20/07, 1:37 AM. I'm going to keep it up top for a while.

You know. So every time I pull up the blog, I can look at him again.
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Baby's Doing Better

I was so exhausted last night I couldn't sleep. And that's me, far away from the action, only a peripherally involved great aunt. I can only imagine what his mom and dad and the grands and the nephew are feeling!

I went to bed around 6am and woke up at 1:45. This time I didn't sleep with the telephone. I found a message from my nephew, B, on my answering machine, left there at 1:25. Perfect timing!

I'll paraphrase the message: --He is a beautiful baby. I just got back from the hospital, went to see him. He didn't have any more episodes over the night, with the breathing, so in all likelihood it was just him being, you know, new at the whole breathing thing and needing to figure some stuff out.

I had only one sip of espresso before I called him back.

The nephew says Mama asked the doc an important question, and the doc answered that there's no increased risk for SIDS. None.

It was nephew B's first in-person visit with the little one. B told me, just now, that where the baby's pix were good to see, they didn't have a noticeably powerful affect on him.

But sitting next to the baby in NICU? He said he could have just sat there for hours, looking at him.

Uncle B. Got a nice ring to it.

Uncle B. Aunt L.

I told him, --That baby will be one of the most loved babies around.





Okay. I'm not going to get too worked up over this, because from what I hear, the docs aren't.

But the little one is not going home so fast, after all.

He had a few episodes where he stopped breathing. So since he is small, and they need to watch him, he's going to stay in neonatal ICU for at least 48 hours.

He's had blood drawn, so they'll do a blood culture to check for infection. Do a scan. See an ENT to check for blockages or some other reason he'd have trouble breathing.

Like I said, everyone is taking it pretty calmly.

But I don't like it. Nope. Not a bit.

The good thing is this: The NICU nurse sits in a place where she's surrounded by little NICU babies. Several are arranged around her, not more than a couple feet away.

Nothing can possibly happen without it being noticed, and instantly.

That's a very good thing. Somehow, the idea of sending such a little baby home so fast seemed...optimistic to me. I don't like this: but still, I feel a little more comfortable this way, because I know he'll be watched intently, 24/7.

That won't be too hard on the nurses, either. I just got some pix of him, and that is one beautiful baby.

Just absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

That was FAST!!!

The excellent niece is the beaming happy new mother of a healthy baby boy, after only 4 hours of labor. (*whew!*)

He's 5# 10 oz., 19" long. Big enough to go home with his mom and dad; they don't need to keep him at the hospital.

A wee tiny precious little kitten.

My own wonderful nephew is now, himself, an uncle. When I asked him how it feels, he said it feels pretty darn good.

While I was talking to kmom, telling her I'd just heard about the birth, she got a call on the other phone from my brother, the new grandad. He told her the baby had arrived, and she said I'd just told her. Then he held the phone up to the baby, who *talked* to kmom - now a great-grandma! She got to hear that baby hollering, and said he has a great pair of lungs.

We are all ecstatic here. This is just,'s the cat's meow.

Speaking of Growing...WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!! TOMORROW!!!

Oh happiness!!!

Tomorrow, at 7am, my beautiful sweet brilliant shy niece is having a baby. This will make me a Grand Aunt, for the very first time.

I'm in such a tizzy I don't know where I put myself!

They don't know if it's a boy or a girl - they wanted to be surprised. The niece suspects a girl.

She's been doing bed rest for the last couple of weeks. Bear with me here, I know absolutely nothing of such things as pregnancy. What I've been told is that there's some stress test they give the baby, and it's not coming out quite like it should; then they do an ultrasound and everything seems fine. They were trying to hold out until January 7 or so, but they'd decided that if there was one more imperfect test, they'd go ahead and induce labor.

A couple weeks ago, they estimated the baby weighed 4.6 pounds. They're at 38 weeks now, so full term. Maybe the baby's gained some weight the last two weeks. With any luck, tomorrow we'll know.

Our family is made up of all small people. Me, I'm all of 5' 2" or so. Depending on the bun, of course. kmom is the tallest lady at 5' 4". kdad is, I think, 5'6? We all have tiny little ears and hands and feet. When I get dental work done, they have to use pediatric tools. Same with the niece. When I get my annual lady doc visit, they never tire of telling me with surprise and amusement: --Did you know your uterus is only 6 centimeters?!? As. If. HMPH!!! --Well it's a PERFECTLY good one-- I always tell them. --Good things come in small packages.

My birth weight was 6# 4 oz. Some might consider that low, but hey. For the k family it's perfectly normal.

Now: Only thing is, the nephew-in-law is this big giant guy, like maybe 7 feet tall. He's the only one I've ever known who can reach the top of the towel rack in our bathroom without a stool or anything. When he stayed for a visit a few years back, he was great to have around when I was putting away clean laundry and dishes.

OH!!! I can't stand it!!!

The excellent nephew and I have decided not to trouble our hearts over the baby's stress tests and the bed rest and all that. There's nothing we can possibly do to help, and since the doctors themselves can't really predict if it even means anything, all the googling and phone calling in the world won't give us the answer, either.

They induce labor at 7am. After that, it takes as long as Nature intends. The niece isn't having an epidural. She says she's more nervous about getting stuck that way than about the pain of labor.

Back when I lived in New Orleans, my close friends included a man, C, who fell in love with a little baby growing in the belly of...I always forget if it was his sister or sister-in-law. Anyway, they lived close by, and he loved talking to the little one as it grew. He'd put his mouth right up on mama's belly and talk to the baby inside, day after day.

A few hours after that child was born, when the family came into the room to visit and meet the new arrival, C talked to the baby again. And that little brand new baby recognized his voice.

All the docs and nurses, the staff in the room, and the visitors too, saw it. The baby moved its head toward C, and an expression of utter recognition came across its face. I heard this story told in front of others who were there, and they clearly meant it when they said they saw it too.

So tonight I called the lovely niece. I told her it was hard not to call her after I found out she was on bed rest, but I figured if she was supposed to rest, perhaps I better not be waking her up with phone calls, right? She said she was getting too many calls, she loved to talk to everyone but those several calls she got every day were too much. So I said I was glad I waited, then. She said, --Oh, but you can call anytime!-- You can see why I say she's very sweet, that girl.

She sounds happy and excited and calm, all at once. She sounds...ready. Perfectly ready.

And she told me she's been talking to that baby since the very beginning, and the father-to-be has too. I told her, Watch the face, then. See if that baby recognizes your voices.

And take a picture of your belly too. Ten or twenty or thirty years from now, you'll be so glad you did.

Oh dear God above. I don't know how in the world I can get to sleep tonight.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How's That Garden Growing?


Er, sort of embarrassingly shaggy lately. Messy, untrimmed, a bit weedy. That's why I haven't put many garden pix up lately.


Given this slogging-about-with-Comcast business, and the terrible winter storms too many of you are experiencing, I'll go ahead and put some up. Mess and all. You can make with the clicky and everything.

Lucky you! ;-)

Just before I left for the Northwoods last spring, I mulched my front yard gardens within an inch of their lives. We'd had a longstanding drought and watering restrictions, and since I didn't know how long I'd be gone, I wanted the plants as protected from drought as possible.

So I raked off the old pine bark nuggets, and laid in at least two or three inches of half-composted yard trimming-type mulch, laid out a simple watering hose irrigation system, and then topped everything off with fresh pine bark nuggets.

I don't water or fertilize the way many people do. For one thing, I think it's less healthy for the plants and the environment, both. For another, most of the usual methods are wasteful of either water or compostable stuff. Last but not least, it requires a type of physical effort I can't put into it. I'm very strong and love to work hard - but that falls between bouts of comatose sleeps for days or even months. Whatever I grow must sustain itself when I'm abed.

Even during that extended absence, almost everything in the yard thrived like crazy. I lost almost nothing. The watering system was never used.

This corner of Walter's western garden is a favorite among some of the neighborhood dog walkers. We all love this jade plant, even without flowers. This is its first bloom, and to make up for lost time, it's making two flower spikes instead of one.

I try to keep things from getting too jungly. But here, shaggy as it is, you can probably make out another flame lily vine, starting in the lower left center. The other ones finished blooming for now. The vines themselves are so delicate and pretty, I don't mind at all that they're coming up all over the yard.

Here's a pachypodium - an *elephant's foot,* related to the Madagascar palms we like to grow. It got way too much nutrition and water, discouraging blooms, so I put it in a pot under the eaves. It was a big fat barrel of a plant before that. It's slowwwwwllly shrinking. Maybe in another year or so it'll bloom for me again. The flowers are brilliant yellow on a long stalk.

All you spider fans will probably recognize this as an argiope. They make a wonderful pattern in the middle of their web.

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Orchids and Stuff

Lately, the orchid tree has burst into one of its most profuse blooming episodes ever. This weekend my neighbors D&D (across the street) told me they'd been checking out other orchid trees in the neighborhood. They say mine is the healthiest one around. --Why?, they ask. --All that micronutrient and stuff you use? --Heh! Nope. I dunno, really. I haven't *happy juiced* that tree in eight years.

Orchid trees get messy. They drop leaves all over, and flower petals too. Bugs chew the leaves up. Before they drop off the tree, the leaves get yellowed and icky looking.

Walter and kdad most decidedly do NOT like the orchid tree, for precisely those reasons.

But boy oh boy. If you like a lot of flowers, and a tree that grows fast, shading your house in just a few years? Lovely arching branches you can train to hang over a path? You can't beat a Hong Kong orchid tree for all that.

Not to mention: This particular tree has a heart to it, one that just won't quit. After Wilma destroyed so much of our vegetation, this tree became a quiet neighborhood talisman. It didn't look like it could possibly survive the damage it took. But it not only survived, it grew back so fast, and burst into such riotous bloom, that people would walk their dogs down this street over and over just to look at it - sometimes with tears in their eyes. It meant something to us, watching the orchid tree come back amidst the devastation all around us and others.

So I decided to post some pix of this tree from its tiny childhood, through Wilma, and today. But first, I'll take a little walk around some of the flowers in bloom now.

The bamboo orchids are blooming, sweet faces and postures on these. I've branched out here: before the last few years, I could never grow orchids in the ground. The epiphytes, the ones you put on the sides of trees or mounted on bark, were the only ones I could manage to grow. Now I have several terrestrials, and so far they're doing well. One yellow ground orchid that I planted just before I left last spring didn't survive my absence - my bad, there. It was one of the few plants I lost. I should have left it in a pot until I could tend it better.

The desert rose is in bloom. Behind it, to either side of the base of the triangle palm, are more terrestrial orchids showing purple flowers. These are from our old friend Burke.

The orchid in the middle, here, is a very splotchy-colored one. I got this at Home Depot or Walmart, one of the cheap *no-names* they sell there. It's not pedigreed. But it sure is pretty.

This is not an orchid, but another Euphorbia lactea of some sort, a hurricane rescue. It's blooming. Profusely. Yes. Those little yellow things are its flowers. They're the silliest looking flowers around. Every time I look at them I have to laugh.

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Orchid Tree Baby Pix

When we bought this house in 1996, it was the second ugliest house on the block. So very ugly I swore I'd never live there...

But Walter knew. It's one of the only times he ever made a prediction about our lives, and he was adamant in his prediction. Also he was right. We bought it, and it was one of the best things we ever did.

The real *before* pix are pretty hideous. Here, at least, you can tell I'm trying to do something with the place. The front of the house has been painted, the wood front porch replaced with my St. Joe brick, and the queen palm and ponytail are planted (far right).

And! So is the orchid tree. See the two stick-type little trees in front of the house? It's the one on the right. It even has flowers.

I've cleared out all the grass now, except for the swale in front. The planting areas have been dug WAY deep, and the sand mixed with peat and compost. The cats found this process extremely interesting. The neighbors did too...most of them, anyway. A few found it extremely annoying, but hey.

Once they realized there was a plan behind all the mess and digging, they came around.

Here, the front yard walkways are finished, and the planting areas mulched. In the front two sections are a Christmas palm from the back yard, and a triangle palm next section to the right.

Remember the orchid tree? It's still there. The tiny stick tree actually has a bit of bushiness to it now, and under it are a bed of rhoeos (aka Moses in the Boat, oyster plant, etc.).

Fast forward to several years later. The nasty asphalt driveway is gone, replaced with St. Joe Brick during the infamous Driveway Paving Incident. The vegetation has matured. This pic was taken in summer, 2005.

And the orchid tree? I've carefully shaped it over the years. The branch structure is beautiful, and the trunk almost a foot thick. It towers over the house, and has branches arching over the walkways. They go over your head and dangle down to the ground on the other side of the walkway. When it's in flower, it's as if the tree is holding bouquets to you, beautiful flowers with a delicate gentle sweet fragrance, right at nose level as you walk the paths.

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Then It Came Crashing Down...

You know the story. She huffed and she puffed and so forth. Live-blogging the hurricane, I watched as the queen palm inched her way down, agonizingly slowly. I signed off, saying the trees were about to come through the front window.

The queen palm came down on the orchid tree, and together they crashed onto the roof. Not through the window, however.

Instead, they hung precariously over the front door. Part of the mess was held in place by this orchid tree branch. Every time I tried to go in or out the front door it wobbled. In the opinion of FEMA Dave, however, this did not constitute a safety hazard.

It's hard to make out what's happening from the pix, as opposed to video, so here's a different angle. Some of the branches have been cleared; what's still there is dying. After the first week or so, the downed green vegetation started to turn, to brown or rot.

And yet? This orchid, from our friend Burke, was hanging off a branch of the orchid tree.

It's a vanda. That's a type of orchid that usually dies if one messes around with its roots. Orchids are amazingly sturdy plants; they can often take a lot of abuse - but vandas just hate to get messed with.

I couldn't even find it for days. Finally I did, and dug it out of the huge mess of debris, tossed it aside, then hung it up somewhere. It stayed there, ignored and uncared for. Then one day I walked out to do more of the endless cleanup and saw it had not only survived, but burst into bloom.

As if Burke was saying *hello!* to us, grinning that big grin he had...

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Hacked Within an Inch of its LIfe

Walter came home from the road to help. A guy with a chainsaw came by. We all worked and hacked and sawed and hauled branches around. The buzz of chainsaws and generators was everywhere, everywhere, endlessly. Power was off for a good month across the street; we got very lucky, being on the same grid as the fire station, and were switched on again after only eight days. But since most folks didn't get the juice back on for a very long time, the sound of generators went on forever.

Some of the mess has been cleared away, so here you can see how the queen palm split the trunk of the orchid tree right down the middle. Whatever was left above the split had to go: it's just not healthy wood. Some trees could come back on the split wood, but it would be more vulnerable to pests and disease there. It's not worth the risk to leave it on the tree.

Chainsaw Man has taken down the broken wood...

and all that's left is about five feet of trunk, with one large stub of a branch to the side.

I left a thin branch on it too, sticking up to the right. It looked silly. I did not care. It was a healthy piece and so it stayed.

But would it live?

Wilma struck October 24, 2005. By November 20, 2005, the orchid tree had made some leaves.

I tell you these things as if it's nothing. Our dead friend Burke's orchid, blooming instead of dying. This tree growing leaves.

For people numbed for weeks and months with shock, post traumatic stress on the face of everyone you see, working and straining, trying to figure out how to live without fuel or power or water, with everything you'd worked so hard for smashed, and the trees and flowers you nurtured and loved torn and twisted and dead, while we're fiercely determined to stay cheerful and work hard and remember how much worse it could be - To see these things, flowers blooming and leaves growing, it meant something to us.

It made us cry, over and over. Sad and glad. Surprised that something could make us feel anything at all any more. Stunned that we could feel a thrill of hope over something so insignificant as a flower and some leaves.

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Grow! Grow!





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The Orchid Tree, These Days

It's come a long way, hasn't it?

I took this pic around 12/14/07.

Here it is today in all its shaggy, messy glory. The branches are so laden with flowers they were blocking access to the front door. The holiday season is not a good time to block access to the mailbox. Especially when the bees are buzzing around the flowers like mad.

So, even in the midst of the Great Paperwork Project plus the Scrap Metal and Other Important Endeavors - it was time for my baby to get a trim. Here's how it looks from the driveway, next to the house.

I wish you could smell them.

At night, opening the front door, here's what I saw.

It's okay for me to have to duck around the branches. I don't mind, and I know how to be careful around bees. But it was a bit unwelcoming to others, so I went at it, and it's under better control now. I mean, you can sort of see the house again.

I don't care how much of a mess it makes, or how bad it looks when the leaves are all chewed up and yellowed. I love my orchid tree and I always will.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Thank You, Everyone! I Am Still Fine. Not Moping. Not Cleaning.

Please excuse my absence. I'm having one of those OOPS moments.

See, much as I'd rather have my guy here at home, we've lived this way for years and years. I get over the mopes pretty quick. Talking on our cell phones all the time helps. A lot.

This was something entirely different.

I've had a running dispute with Comcast for quite some time. Consequently, I didn't pay that way incorrect cable bill.

So they finally shut off my internet. Not the cable TV. Go figure.

Rather than burden you with all the gory details - this is something most of us suffer through from time to time - I'll just say it looks like it's finally sort of resolved. As a courtesy, they turned my internet service back on for the weekend.

Come Monday, my updated bill will be in their computer. You know. The REAL one, not the $327 balance the jerks said I owe.

However...the legitimate amount will still be a fair chunk of change.

This may mean I'll be briefly off the air again after Monday. We're still a bit short on funds. So if I disappear again for a few days - DON'T WORRY!

I'm just adrift in Comcastland.

We'll be okay. Walter's back at work now, earning money again. Me, I've been working on several things myself. One is scrapping stacks of metals I have hanging around the yard here. That's brought in about $120, yay! and more to come. A few other projects will pay off soon too.

So please do NOT hit that PayPal button! If you do I'll be afraid to grouse about being broke, and I like doing that from time to time.

If everyone is good and behaves themselves, I'll try to cram in as much posting and pix as I can. Just to sort of stock us all up for a little while. You may see my IP racing through your blogs at illegal speeds too.

For now, I'm tired but happy. Back on the air is always nice. Fighting the good fight has wrung me out. It's bedtime.

Sleep well, dear readers. I'll catch up with you quick as can be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

*Thank You, Pretty Lady! I'm Okay.

But Walter's gone, so I've been moping a bit.

Just after he left, I had a housecleaning fit.

"I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair..."
--Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, from South Pacific

I've never been much of a fan of musicals, but I can relate to those lyrics.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Only a Real Man...

...can tell, with one glance into his woman's eyes, that she's smack dab in the middle of a full-blown food-gasm.


So it was only goat cheese.

Goat cheese on toasted pumpernickel. Black Russian rye.

But oh my Lord! WHAT a goat cheese.

It was like a cross between cream cheese and feta. Smooth as all get-out, creamy as can be. But with this slightly sharp after bite...

I was dancing around the kitchen, eyes cast towards the heavens, humming deep in my throat, mmm! mmm! mmmmm!!! Was there more? He'd only got a small bit, at some astronomical price. Just to see what it might do to me.

When we ladies are very lucky, here's another thing that Real Man may do. He may simply watch us. Learn about the things that can trigger that response, then bring us small offerings of exquisite taste.

It's a bit like some beautiful male birds, in courtship, who bring food to the female bird of their desires. They want her to see that they pay attention to her needs, and to her wants as well. That they're both true lovers and true providers to her as a prospective mate-for-life, to the family they both hope to build, even just a family of two...

He'd already offered me the rest of one half the chunk of cheese on his plate. He was looking deep into my eyes and grinning, all satisfied with himself. As well he should be.

And then he told me there was a another piece just as big, back in the fridge, and if I wanted it, I was welcome to have it all.


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