Monthly Archives: September 2019

“THUMP”

So there’s this tree right outside my window. I like it fine. Over the years, though, it has grown closer and closer to my window and when it’s leafed out, it makes me feel a little claustrophobic. Also, and more significantly, due to the decreased distance, squirrels – at least one if not more – began to jump from the tree to the roof. When they first started doing this, I didn’t know what it was and found the “thump” sound alarming: What was that? I didn’t much enjoy the squirrel-jumping and was concerned that one day one might get the idea to jump to my window ledge and chew its way through the screen instead (this is not wildly far-fetched; not once but twice in my life, in two other places I lived, a squirrel chewed its way in through a window screen and came on in).

Last year I got the idea to stick a weed-whacker out the window and trim the tree myself (that’s how close it was). This actually worked fairly well so far as opening up a little space but it made no impression on the squirrels who continued jumping to the roof without concern.  This week I was able to borrow a “pole trimmer” to stick out the window and trim the tree which I did yesterday.  The trimmer allowed me to do a much better job eliminating limbs too close to the house. I was very pleased with the results. I figured that when a squirrel came along he’d think twice about attempting the jump now and likely turn back around and go another way.

That’s not what happened. Here’s my shabby & quick artist’s rendering of how it was before I used the pole trimmer to trim the tree.

IMG_20190927_092806_1_kindlephoto-207979

Here’s what happened after I trimmed the tree. The squirrel is NOT turning tail but as of last evening, still jumping, only now it is flying further through the air as it jumps, therefore increasing the sound when it lands on the roof. I created the setting for a squirrel projectile.

IMG_20190927_093405_kindlephoto-168103

Morning awards event (Bargain Style)

This past Friday I went to an awards ceremony/breakfast meeting. I was there as a supportive attendee not an award recipient but it still warranted a decent outfit. The morning was cool but temps were going to heat up later and no doubt there’d be (too much) air conditioning inside the venue (I was right on that score). i wanted to dress appropriately for the conservative-leaning environment – no short, tight dresses 😉 – but still look like me.

I have a beautiful red, long-sleeve Asian style top (not sure what the style is called) that I found many years ago at a church rummage sale but have had few occasions to wear. I’m sure I paid only $1 or $2 for it, a great find. When I found the top it had “matching” black pants but they were short & oddly baggy, not matching me at all so I left them behind. I was amazed that the top, labeled R & M Richards by Karen Kwong, fit as well as it did, with long enough sleeves and fabric that didn’t pull too tightly across my back or shoulders; i.e. I could move freely. To add extra warmth I wore a skinny strapped, fitted black tank top underneath (which I took off after the event so I wouldn’t be too hot outside).

The pull-on style pants I matched the top with are Joe Benbasset in medium, which I found at Ross about two years ago for under $10. Made of Rayon, Nylon & Spandex, they are very comfortable and jet black which is perfect. I’ve slightly altered the pants just a bit by hand-sewing at the hips seams because, as medium-rise pull-on pants, they tended to slide down (irritating holy hell out of me). The slight change made them just right  (a size small in these would probably have been too small/short) and now they stay up without tugging.

I initially wanted to wear black sandals to complete the theme – they looked good! – but it was just too cold in the morning so I went with Easy Spirit flat black ankle boots (a thrift find). Black dress shoes would have worked but currently I have none (black Keds i tried didn’t look right – not that I thought they would). September is a tad early for boots but with long pants the “boot” part wouldn’t show anyway.

I didn’t have time to snap morning pictures and later in the day my hair had been subjected to the 70mph highway winds on the ride home with the honoree (we had the windows down). You’ll see I went with the only earrings I own that have a vaguely Eastern style and added two gold butterfly clips above my ear and on the middle of the braid. I promise my hair was more kempt when the day started – I think when you wear a hair style like this it needs to be sharp and crisp, very polished.

 

Short Thought 242 (“black face”)

When I was a child and saw old movies with people in “black face” I didn’t understand what they were supposed to be. The clearly unnatural face color, cartoonishly drawn-on red lips, and perhaps most of all, the behavior portayed, didn’t jibe with anything I recognized. While the immediate area I lived in didn’t have a lot of black people, the large neighboring city did, but they appeared brown to me, and were nothing like the movie characters. I was genuinely puzzled and it wasn’t until I was older that I understood what the movie people in “black face” were supposed to be but even then it still didn’t make sense. 

Who to believe?

Some people think I’m brilliant. Some assume I’m stupid or of average intelligence at best. Some people think I’m funny. Some don’t get my humor at all. Some people are obsessed with me. Some don’t know I exist. Some people think I’m very talented and some don’t see anything special about me. Some people think I’m sexy and some look right past me. Some people think I’m difficult and some find me agreeable.

So what’s my point? If I look to other people to figure out how to see myself I’m screwed. Sure, I could just believe what’s positive or flattering but how genuine would that be? Not to mention that the way other people see YOU is often tied into how they see themselves. It’s commonly suggested that people respond to others’ perceived traits in relation to those same traits in themselves. If someone doesn’t like a particular trait in themselves chances are they won’t like it in you either (and the opposite as well). Then again, their perception of you could be based in their own histories; maybe you remind them of someone and they consciously or not attribute the other person’s characteristics to you. 

I guess you could opt to believe the things you hear most often, that is, from the most people. And there’s probably something to that, assuming those people come from various backgrounds or maybe just interact with you in various ways. If you have a tight clique and everyone in it agrees you have great style say, or are very honest, that’s not going to be as reliable information as the same feedback coming from a more diverse population. Still, while hearing the same things from a broad base of people is probably helpful or marginally indicative of your traits, it’s still not a sure thing. Maybe they’re all wrong!

This is an idea I’ve been chewing on for a little while and I’m sure I’m not done with it.

That’s not for you

Two days ago I saw a beautiful moth drinking from the hummingbird feeder. I’ve never seen that before. Yellow jackets and wasps, yes, but not larger, more appealing insects. I ran back inside to get my tablet to take a photo. To my surprise the black/orange/white colored moth was still there when I returned. However, I stupidly let the door slam behind me, spooking my winged friend who promptly took off, taking the photo opportunity with it.

Disappointed, I went back inside and only moments later saw this instead.

IMG_20190918_144221_kindlephoto-18517003

 

IMG_20190918_144221_kindlephoto-18699266

The little birds, especially the male goldfinches, prefer to drink out of the dirty “ant moat” on the hummingbird feeder instead of one of two clean water dishes I maintain year-round for the birds’ and squirrels’ drinking pleasure. (This makes me think of dogs that drink out of toilets instead of their nice water bowls.) Mr. Squirrel here – acting out I daresay – no doubt thought perhaps the birds were getting something good that he too would like.

Today I looked out the window, saw the lovely moth at the hummingbird feeder, ran for my tablet, and watched as a bee of some sort scared it, causing the moth to again vacate the feeder. This time I saw it fly around the yard in a herky-jerky moth fashion for a bit before disappearing.

Update: Here’s the moth a day later (where it flew after I, quiet & tip-toeing, still managed to scare it from the feeder).

IMG_20190921_094408_kindlephoto-526981

“Winter is coming”

IMG_20190918_065924_kindlephoto-337939.jpg

Over the past week I hauled home, sans vehicle, 16 28oz cans of Furmano’s tomatoes which means I now have a stash of 26. I take my tomatoes seriously. Besides, they’re on sale for $1. I used to buy the “Chunky Crushed” but somewhere along the way added ingredients included Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid and Xanthan Gum, and that’s a few too many additives for my pleasure. The “Crushed” variety, although thinner consistency 😢, merely has Citric Acid. Delicious Citric Acid! (I’m kind of kidding. Citric Acid is common and generally considered safe.) While I’m on it, “Diced” contain Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid but I rinse those before using. I stopped buying ready-made, jarred pasta sauces (too much salt & sugar) long ago and canned became my go-to. Furmano’s is tasty and regularly drops to $1 a can, so I stick mainly with them.

I guess I should mention I’ve never canned my own tomatoes and have no interest in starting. The memories of my mother spending days in the kitchen in hot, steamy summers working that scary pressure cooker remain strong. She’d be in a pretty foul mood and the whole enterprise appeared messy and chaotic. Also, um, the results, served up in future family dinners? They were not good, at least to my child self.😒

In the past I’ve made my own sauce from fresh tomatoes (which could be frozen instead of canned) but I really can’t get behind the reality that it takes 20 tomatoes or therabouts, to produce a measly cup of sauce. I don’t care for them odds. Don’t get me started on having to buy tomato paste in order not to have thin, watery sauce…

Two winters ago I shared my tomato stash which looked like this. I have (more) time on my hands in winter to do things like arrange my tomato cans into a pyramid for the purposes of this blog clearly.😁

IMG_20180212_101454_kindlephoto-26418376

If you think one thin, middle-aged woman could not eat all that, you’d be wrong, friends! (She did & then some.)

What led to this post other than the 16-can-purchase was finding the wood shelves they’re pictured on, curbside yesterday. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with them but since they were solidly built & real wood (not pressed board crap) I figured I should just grab them. They were a perfect fit for a spot in the kitchen and after I’d lined up the tomato cans and admired them the words “Winter is coming” sprang to mind. And so it is. But by god I’ll have 🍅.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Thought 241 (hoarding)

I dated a man who was a paper hoarder. He collected piles of newspapers and other stacks of various papers in his home, not sure what exactly, as I never looked closely.  Hoarding has deep roots in people’s psyches and I wasn’t about to try to “fix” this problem. I did however, offer the suggestion that he at least make one rule for himself, namely, not to pile papers on top of the stove. I can’t say he took my advice.