Monthly Archives: August 2019

Summer lights (and sounds)

I love summer. I also love anything that makes things just a bit more special.  Year-round I keep a small set of “icicle” lights strung from a high shelf. They’re on a timer from 6:30pm to 10pm. I also have a set of small lantern-style lights I bought from Amazon several years ago. Initially I put the lantern lights outside for summer but they got dirty and junk like pine needles collected in them (this possibility hadn’t occurred to me before putting them out with the elements). I cleaned them up but didn’t put them outside again and for awhile I wasn’t sure quite what to do with them since they’re decidedly seasonal-looking. Earlier in the summer I got the idea to attach them to the extension cord on the white icicle lights with the timer (and string them across the beam) so that all summer these two lovely sets of lights came on each evening together. I’m afraid my tablet camerea doesn’t do the bright, warm colors justice but here’s photos anyway. This is a panorama shot:IMG_20190826_185825_pan_kindlephoto-18211535.jpg

Here’s the year-round icicle lights in their perfect place:IMG_20190826_190012_kindlephoto-7251011.jpg

Also, very recently I hung chimes in the center of the room and two oscillating fans make them jingle. It’s a lovely sound.IMG_20190826_190135_kindlephoto-7177417

Saying the right thing at the right time

I have peeves. One of them is people who don’t control their dogs in public. My state has a leash law. My community has a leash law. Still, I routinely encounter dog owners with their pets off-leash in public spaces. (Even leashes aren’t a cure-all when the owner isn’t paying attention and/or lets the lead on the leash out way past the point they can control or monitor their dog. Sometimes owner & dog are so far apart I don’t initially realize there’s a leash between them, and when I do, it doesn’t fully win my confidence.😕)

The people who let their dogs off the leash usually have “reasons” why having their dog off-leash is okay: He/she is friendly. He/she doesn’t like leashes. I only took the leash off momentarily for “x” reason. No one else was here. My dog likes to run free. My dog likes to go in the water. He/she always comes when I call. My dog wants to say hello. It’s a good/obedient dog. It’s never bit me. It’s never bit anyone. He/she is old. Dogs should be allowed to run around. My dog wants to play. Dogs have rights too. And, if the owners don’t have one of the aforementioned or other reasons at the ready, they can always trot out the bon mot supposedly intended to put anyone taking issue with their illegal behavior unequivocally in their place: You must hate dogs.😣

I was out for an early morning walk. I was moving at a good clip along a public sidewalk in a residential area and saw a black guy (this becomes relevant) standing off to the left in a grassy area. When he saw me (a white lady) he picked up his pace, in my general but not exact direction. As I came closer I saw, previously obscured by shrubbery, a large, scary-looking dog off-leash with a thick chain collar (choke chain?) around its neck. On seeing the dog, I quickly stepped out into the street, at which point the guy, leash in hand, grabbed the dog, offering a reassuring comment to me, something along the lines of, “He won’t bother you.”

I kept walking but said, firmly and not smiling, “It should be leashed all the time. It’s the law.” As the distance between me and the dog owner grew, he retorted, “I see white people with their dogs off leash.”

I know you’re not supposed to argue with strangers. I know it’s best to let some (most?) things go. I know I was tired and not in a great mood. But in an instant, that instant, I loudly called over my shoulder exactly what I was thinking, no filters, no hesitation,

“It’s the law for the white people too!”

What was he going to say to that? Nothing in the moment.

This encounter irked me on more than one level but I am so glad I said what I did. It was the sort of thing you (I) usually think up after the fact when grumbling to one’s self, “I should have just said X“.

Later on in my walk (I was on a 4-mile loop) I saw the guy and his now leashed dog, but at a distance. I had no intentions of interacting again nor would I ever. Arguing with strangers is unwise, I get that. I had my moment. I’ll steer clear (and keep my mouth shut) should our paths cross. A civil nod if it’s appropriate maybe.

Finally, as a last thought, I googled the phrase I uttered and did not find it.

Come on back in to my garden!

Two years ago in August I gave a photo show on the blog of my garden. I’m not going to repeat that, just a few updates. Some people drag out pictures of their kids, grandkids, or pets to show off; I trot out my plants.

The Silver Arrow grass plant gives me so much pleasure. I look at it every day. I posted earlier in the season how I’d stuffed the whole thing into a tomato cage to keep it from flopping over; that’s worked out quite well and for the first time in years I get to enjoy it upright. You can’t even really see the cage. My beloved butterfly bush died last year so the grass plant is now the clear star.

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Dollar Tree decor in the foreground😊

Here’s the four little Arborvitae trees two years ago. They are my “children” and I’m so very proud of them.😁

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Planted here (and helped by the curtain) to block a lousy view

And today. For reference the wood table (one blue, the other reddish) shown in each photo are roughly the same height.

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No more curtain; the middle trees are taller than me and blocking a bad view just fine all on their own

The end of the (hair) line

I’ve been growing my hair and was curious if I could, as a middle-aged woman, get it to two feet. I’ve noted before that not all long hair on older women is good hair; women’s hair changes with age, often becoming drier and/or breaking instead of growing. Our culture – as do many – says long hair is sexy & feminine so some women hang onto long hair that no longer flatters, whether they’re trying to look as they once did or the man in their life “likes long hair.” I mention all this to say I’m cognizant. I only want long hair if it looks good. These pictures help keep me honest!

UsIng a tape measure, I find that maybe the longest strands are 24″ but really, most of my hair is just shy of that particular marker. And not all of my hair was “along for the ride” so to say since it has layers and also the hair at the crown is different in that it’s a lot lighter than the rest of my hair and moreover, disinclined to grow. The in-the-mirror photos aren’t great but you can see the length more or less. On the left my ponytail is tied at the base of my neck and it’s tied higher up in the right photo.

I took these pictures now because I’m going to trim the ends a bit since I am satisfied with my little hair-growing experiment. It’s not as long as younger years but I didn’t expect that either; I’m not trying to compete with my thirty-year old self (not in this vein anyway). If you wonder how I could accomplish this much growth I have to say that I’m sure a good diet is a factor and also that I use no hair color or heat appliances. Because I’m outside a lot I often wear a hat and/or braid or style my hair in summer so it isn’t so exposed to the sun. (I tried a leave-in hair sunscreen a few years ago and it stunk so much I decided sun-baked hair was preferable.😐) I’ve been using Devacurl products for years, most importantly, One Condition, which I buy when the Amazon price drops to something I can mostly tolerate.

 

Short Thought 239

I should have run after the first time we played tennis and he had a tantrum when I won. But the thing is – and I still feel this clearly so many years later – in the initial seconds I watched his display on the opposite side of the net (but directed at me)  I thought he was joking. I didn’t believe he was genuinely acting that way after our fun-spirited game. But he meant it.  He was giving me a preview to his character and in time I’d pay for both not comprehending that and not possessing the gumption/forethought/sense to act on it.

…And two tv ads I can’t get enough of

I just wrote about two TV ads I hate so it’s equal time for recent ones I really like.

The ad showing all the unpleasantries of summer in rapid order is so clever. It’s a promo for McDonald’s – i.e., the premise is McDonald’s can always be counted on even when other aspects of summer fall short – but witty despite that possibly suspect claim. It goes by fast so multiple viewings have let me appreciate it more. I love that they’ve turned a canned notion, that everything about summer typically seen in commercials is just wonderful, on its head.

It’s not too recent but the Geico ad with the guy whose mother calls him on his cell at a rather inopportune moment in the midst of a big Bond-style chase slays me. The actress who plays the mother, complete with her shellacked hairdo is dead-on.  And what with the squirrels reference, well squirrels are inherently funny.

I appreciate good writing anywhere it’s found and both of these are ads are well crafted. Someone thought them up and wrote them. How tricky it must be to do anything original in advertising, anything genuinely amusing when so much has already been done.

I’ve only seen it once at this point but the other evening I caught an ad showing a variety of people filmed separately singing verses of the song Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn (I had to look up the singer/writer). I love that song, which originated in 1991 (geez, that long ago?!) and apparently I’m not alone. I’ve never been to Memphis and have no yearning to go but the song has a pure, timeless quality. Anyway, the ad is for Facebook groups and I guess there’s one for people who either like – or like to sing – that song. Who knew?