Monday, June 23, 2014

Perfectly Pleasant

I'm sitting on the sun porch. The screens are all open and the birds are making their usual evening racket. The air is filled with the scent of the herbs in pots hanging from the deck railing.  Yes, I actually use them for cooking. The temperature is just right: not too hot, not too cool, just perfectly pleasant. The kind of evening you read about in books by Willa Cather or F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

Too early for the frog and the toad sex chorus, but they'll join in soon enough. They make the strangest racket when they get started. Used to scare the kids when they were little. 

Speaking of toads, while I was mowing this afternoon, an enormous brown hoppy guy jumped up right in front the tractor then scooted under the air conditioner. It was a big ol' thing, a classic American toad, all puffed up and it splayed its legs out when it jumped. Kinda cool, actually. There were also more baby bunnies than I want to know about. At least a dozen jumped outta my way between the front, the back, and the side hills. They are so cute, but then they grow up to be big PITA rabbits who eat my flowers and that does not make me a happy person. 

And speaking of flowers, there is not exactly a bumper crop this year; the trees need serious trimming and I hate the thought of what it's gonna cost to get the tree surgeon and his elves out here. Last time, it was a serious chunk of change all so that a little ray of sun can reach the front garden which more closely resembles a rain forest than a perennial garden it's supposed to be.

And speaking of serious chunks of change, I have to replace the throne in the "powder room." That's the first floor guest bathroom for those of you who don't live in an over-sized barn like this one. It's the only not-white throne in the house. It's Innocent Blush. As is the sink. So the question rose, if I cannot get the same color, as it is being phased out, and have to change the color of the throne, do I have to change the sink...and if I'm doing that, why not bite the bullet and do the counter (it's only like 4' long) with a drop basin? Well, Home Depot to the rescue....they have the toilet in stock. Did you know the toilet seat is separate and costs like thirty bucks???????? I'm gonna see if the old one will fit. 

And speaking of things that need replacing, after 26 long, hard, disgusted years, the kitchen floor that Armstrong declared defective the first month we lived in the house, refused to replace, and subsequently destroyed by removing the top layer of acrylic in at attempt to convince me all I had to do was wax the damn finally going away. That's 77 square yards of floor including the laundry room that I have to figure out what to do with all by myself. (Apologies to Busy Timmy)

And speaking of other things I have to do all by myself, the window guy who is replacing the windows on the sun porch where I am sitting, mentioned the front right tire of the tractor was low. No prob! Just whip out the ol' air compressor.....only I cannot for the life of me remember how to turn it on, so I leave a message for Junior Son who knows all things mechanical, being a mechanical engineer and all, and gee, isn't this why we sent him to college? Nuthin. No response. Then I remembered he doesn't do phone any more, so I sent the following IM:

He called. He walked me through it and I now can turn on the air compressor all by myself. With a newly filled tire, I mowed the lawn and whilst doing so, disposed of half-eaten gosling in middle of back yard. No, I didn't chop it up with the blades. I got a shovel and delicately deposited the headless-footless carcass  in the weeds near the pond where the appropriate wildlife might handle it in a natural, yet discreet manner. 

If you haven't figured it out, I'm not complaining. I'm relishing the fact that I am upright and taking oxygen. Five years ago, this stuff woulda put me under. I never could have dealt with the toilet and the trees and the tires. But now, it's simply what I do. It's not special. it's not grand, it's living. It's getting up, going to work, putting food on the table and electricity in the sockets. It is what it is.

And while all this is going on, I am counting my blessings. I have a job, a house, a father-in-law who keeps me grounded, parents who even over 90 are there for me when I think I'm losing my way. I have a bro who makes me laugh, kids that think I'm just weird, and a couple of seriously close friends and relatives who discreetly prop me up when I am falling over. And I do occasionally want to fall over. Believe me when I tell you I know just how lucky, fortunate, blessed...if you must, and thankful I am. Seriously. Everyone should have the opportunities I have had. 
  • Everyone should have good parents....and if you don't, you should have the opportunity to overcome the set back by having good mentors and teachers. 
  • Everyone should have the opportunity to get the best education possible. That doesn't necessarily mean means learning to do what you love so you can love what you do and make a living wage at it. 
  • Everyone should be able to access decent health care, be able to make informed choices about their own bodies, and then have access to health facilities to act on those choices. 
  • Everyone should have a roof overhead. Children should be safe in their own beds.
  • Everyone who is a citizen of these here United States should have easy access to a polling place. 
  • Everyone who wants to come to America to participate in this grand experiment should have access to a route to make that happen. 
There is a reason lots of people want to sign on, and it's not to bomb the subways and the airports; it's to give themselves and their families a better life. And why not? They look out or up and see America as a place so different from their own that it's like a beacon. Of course, the gold is always shinier on the other side of the fence, but......

Watching the primaries in various states is not really lighting up the sky, is it? And Cantor's defeat in Virginia is not exactly a harbinger of good things to come. I'm not exactly buoyed by the idea they're running the same sponge cake against CongressClown Kline as last time. This is the guy who couldn't remember people in Mendota Heights knew how to color in the little ballot circles. 

Meanwhile, CongressClown Kline panders to the rural base out here, pretty much ignoring little ol' Mendota Heights with her manicured lawns and collection of SUVs. The clown likes to believe his entire district is rural.....dotted with giant tractors and combines., know, manly things

Speaking of tractors, while mowing today, I took a corner a teensy bit wide, knocked over the recycling bucket. All I could think was, "I've killed R2."

The joys of home ownership. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience them.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
See what happens when you're on the sun porch too long?
You ramble.


  1. Damn, girl, that's a pile of hassles all in one text message. Isn't a brand new toilet not coming with a seat just another racket that soaks your wallet !~! Did the old one fit? And what's another dead robot in the street ?~!

  2. These pleasant days lend themselves to such thoughts. I'll bite on the blessings thing:

    1) I am blessed to have a sister who has forgiven me for being jealous of her many gifts all these years and has not only embraced but encouraged me to move near her where I can make a life surrounded by cool people.

    2) I am blessed to have been able to have thirty years with a guy who, while often difficult, sometimes in the last year to the point of nearly driving me to consider suicide, really was my soulmate, had the same warped worldview that I had, and was gorgeous on top of all that. I am also blessed to have not known of the ticking time bomb that was his brain for all those years. And I am blessed (and so is he) that he was able in the end to pass without knowing it was happening and without pain and fear.

    3) I am blessed to have been able to find a job at age 53 for which I was manifestly unqualified, but which I learned to do well, and has provided a good retirement plan and good medical insurance. It's nearly killing me, but there's that.

    4) I am blessed to have bought my house in 1996 so I will walk away with a nice pocketful of cash.

    5) I am blessed that my mother wasn't going through one of her fits of writing us out of her will when she died.

    6) I am blessed with two adorable cats who give me a reason to get up in the morning when everything else seems futile.

    7) I am blessed with good neighbors who helped with snow removal in one case and stalwart friendship in another.

    7) And I am blessed by a few very good old friends and some wonderful new ones (like you!)