Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PROCRASTINATION PUMPKIN


I confess I am a procrastinator.  I take my time getting things done. Looks like it has finally paid off. Late November in 2014, when I decorated the front porch for Christmas, I still had pumpkins sitting on the stoop.  I was going to throw them away, but they were in excellent shape, not a bit of  rot. So I kept them. But I did not let them stay on the porch. I moved them because I was afraid my neighbors might make snide remarks, seeing my autumn decorations mixed in with my Christmas display. Yes, it’s silly to worry about what other people think, but I admit I do. Because I have mobility issues I couldn’t carry the pumpkins too far. So, I ended up putting them, a few feet away. It was at the edge of my flowerbed, out of sight, from the street, but visible to me on the patio... so I could still enjoy them, until the snow flew. And it is there… they resided all winter long, gradually disappearing into the deep, dark ground, they rested on. I could never make the time to put them in the garbage heap. Out of sight, out of mind… I never thought about these pumpkins again, until yesterday. Because of all the rain we’ve been getting here, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit out on our patio this summer. But the sun was shining, so yesterday I did. Even though my yard is a mess and my flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds... It was beautiful out there, listening to the birds chirp. While I was practicing the ancient art of Boketto... suddenly my eyes focused on some yellow flowers. They were in the middle of a plethora of vines, I knew I never planted. It gradually dawned on me, what they were. The seeds from the pumpkins that had decomposed last winter, had apparently germinated. Flowers and vines were everywhere. Soon pumpkins would be sprouting. Mother Nature is full of surprises, isn’t she? I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be pumpkins growing in my flowerbed, this year.  I am so excited about the notion of having my own homegrown pumpkins, I can think of nothing else. While my fingers are crossed that this delightful orange fruit will arrive just in time for Halloween... I realize it will probably happen much, much sooner. I pray they survive the bugs and varmints that will attack. This is Mother Nature's garden project not mine, so whatever happens, happens. I will not interfere. I'm hoping for a successful outcome, though. In the end, I wonder how many pumpkins these vines will yield?  From where I sit, even one… from this random occurrence, will be cause for celebration… don’t you think? "No more store bought pumpkins for me," she said to herself, optimistically. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN?


When I got a subscription to Prevention and Oprah magazines, I didn't realize the headaches it would cause, down the road.  While I enjoyed the publications at hand... I decided I no longer wanted either one of these magazines, at the end of the year. So, I didn't renew. But… because they had my credit card number, they took it upon themselves to renew for me, automatically. I was upset when I found out what they had done. I tried to cancel the new subscriptions. This was no easy feat, since I had unsuspectingly ordered the magazines from a third party, and not the magazines themselves. Finding the third party contact information was near impossible, since I had no idea who those companies were. And the magazines claimed not to know either. So I was going around in circles until I contacted the bank. They told me they could not undo the charges. They said too much time had lapsed… since the transactions occurred and I had discovered it. So, it appeared I had no recourse and was going to be out the money. I thought... what a racket these magazine folks had going on. They were making money doing something, somewhat underhanded, hoping people don’t notice. But, all hope was not lost, for me. The bank was able to give me the name of the third party who charged the credit card. At this point, I handed the problem off to my husband. I was convinced I’d make no headway if I tried. The information the bank provided, enabled him to contact the third party sellers. Unfortunately, instead of human intervention… this company automated their response, to any and all inquiries. They put my husband through a maze of prerecorded questions and answers… that seemingly did not allow, for a reversal of the renewed subscription. He was stuck in limbo… until he found a tiny crack in their veneer, by pushing this button or that… managing to painstakingly navigate his away around their automated system, until they had no choice, but to issue the refund and cancel the subscription. It took almost 2 hours on the phone to do this. I kid you not. But in the end, mission accomplished, without ever talking to another human being. The moral of this story is this… if an item you purchased, comes up for renewal or an upgrade in the future, that you do not want, BEWARE. You will forget that it does. Giving a company your credit card information... allows them to also use it, a year or two, later… unbeknownst to you. The charge will slip through on your bank statement, unless you are vigilant. Then, you may get stuck in a revolving door, like I did, with no way out. Unless you get lucky and catch them at their own game.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CELEBRATE DAD


Time to be true to yourself.


If you're in the mood...
Do a little work around the house.


Binge Watch a little TV.


Make something to eat
out on the grill.


 Then spend the rest of the day
RELAXING.

"A truly rich man is one
 whose children 
run into his arms,
 even when his wallet is empty."

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
to my hubby, my dad, my brother,
my son-in-law
and all my blog buddies. 


ENJOY

Sunday, June 14, 2015

ROAD HOUSE DRIVING


The other day, I looked death in the eye, and cheated it… by some fast thinking. What happened was this. I was rounding a curve on a narrow stretch of road between my house and the lake. I was headed to the water’s edge for some much needed solace. It had started to drizzle. So the road was slick. I was traveling in accordance with the speed limit, so I wasn’t overly concerned. Then… out of the blue, I saw something that shook me to my core, and damn near gave me a heart attack. Coming straight towards me, hogging the entire road, with no room to spare, was a house. You heard me, a house.  A ranch house… sitting on top of a flatbed truck, overhanging on all sides, obviously too big for this mode of transport. I saw no customary warning vehicle in front of it, to give me a heads up... this monstrosity was there. All my eyes could focus on, was just this big house… headed right at me, going faster than the speed of light. It looked like it might tip over on top of me, if it did not hit me first. Suddenly, I saw my life flash before my eyes. A line from an old Mary Chapin Carpenter song came to mind.  “Everything can change in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re the windshield. One minute you’re the bug.”  I looked for someplace to go. There was only one option, the grassy berm. So… with seconds to spare, I jerked my car in that direction, hard right, skidding to a complete stop. Then, I held my breath and mumbled a prayer. I was certain the end was here. The car vibrated and I clung to the seat. The house missed me by a hair. It was that close. I sat there for a moment taking in what had just happened. It was surreal. That driver’s load and reckless behavior had almost gotten me killed. Shaken, but still alive… I pulled away and continued on to the lake. I needed to decompress. I had just been spared and I was going to make the most of it… starting right then and there. The road is dangerous. Do not take it for granted. Defensive driving saves lives. PRACTICE it, religiously. PS) Further down that road… where it became a double hwy… was another house, similar to the one I had had a close encounter with. It was sitting there waiting to make that perilous journey around that same narrow curve. I prayed nobody got in it's way. I pulled over and snapped a photo… because seeing is believing. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

THE CAT CAME BACK (UPDATE)

DARA TODAY
Happy and Healthy

We never thought we would stop feeling guilty for putting Dara through surgery. All did not go according to plan in our cat’s recovery process. Immediately following the operation she was a total wreck. She couldn't walk without wobbling and falling down. Her eyes were filled with sadness. We were filled with regret. Her long wispy whiskers had been reduced to stubble. Her sister was mad at her for no darn reason. It seemed nothing would be alright ever again. The week after surgery, Dara decided her stitches were itching, and she needed to scratch them. So she rubbed her head, on anything and everything that would give her relief. It got so bad she rubbed a spot raw on her face. We were told we were going to have to put one of those cone things on her head if she did not stop. As per the Vet's instructions we used Neosporin on the area that was sore. Dara would then rub her paw all over it, removing the medication. It became a battle of wits. It took time but the cat finally made progress. Slowly over the next two weeks, she healed. At long last, we thought we were in the home stretch. Unfortunately her sister Mira got in the act. A day or two... before Dara’s stitches were to be removed by the Veterinarian… Mira used her little kitty cat teeth, to dig into Dara’s face and extract half of the stitches herself. There was a bloody mess. Dara was upset. We were upset. Mira was in the doghouse. We cleaned up the wound. Some of the stitches remained. The Vet cut them off and told us Dara would be fine. A month has passed since the whole tumor ordeal began. We’re glad it’s all over. Dara is still a bit lopsided because her whiskers haven’t completely grown back. But...her hair has, where the tumor once was. She is a tough cookie, our Dara. She survived this (and so did we).Finally she is acting like her old self. That old spark has been reignited and she's back to being ornery. We count our blessings. The outcome could have been much worse. We want to say thank you for all your love and support out there in BlogLand. Could not have done it without you. Dara says thank you too. She wants you to know, 'cats really do have nine lives'. And she's getting on with hers. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A LIBRARY, AN OLD HOUSE AND PEONIES


Years ago… our oldest daughter (and boyfriend) rented a rambling old  house with lovely flowerbeds, in the heart of downtown, adjacent to a small library. My husband and I used to marvel at the architecture of the house, compared to the antiseptic modern look of the library. The woodwork inside this house was exquisite. It transported you back in time. My daughter wanted to live there forever. Unfortunately, she was told the lease was up, because the home owner had decided to sell the old house, to the library. It seemed the library wanted more parking spaces for their facility… and planned to bulldoze this relic of the past, into oblivion… and then blacktop the empty lot. This was heartbreaking. All of us were saddened that the house would be no more. Some of the old doors and hardware were salvaged. But I wondered what would happen to all the gorgeous plants and flowers surrounding the house’s foundation. I was told they would be plowed under. This upset me more than you can possibly know. I asked my daughter if I could dig up a few of the peonies. I had heard they were originally put in, when the house was built… back in the 1930’s or 1940’s. That meant they were very old and had a rich history. In my mind, transplanting them somewhere else, would preserve the memory of the house. She said the owner didn’t want anything touched. I thought it was an atrocity. My husband knew I was losing sleep over this and made a suggestion. We’d plan a  covert operation, the two of us,  to save the plants. So that is exactly what we did. Dressed like cat burglars, under the guise of darkness, armed with shovels and plastic bags we rescued 4 peony plants, the day before the demolition. It was exhilarating to be able to pull off such a feat. We hid them out of sight for a week, anticipating all hell to break loose. But it never did. Nobody ever noticed they were missing. So… these precious plants were placed in our flowerbed, with love and tenderness. Unfortunately, only two of the peonies survived. We felt guilty that we had taken them from their native soil. We confessed what we had done… but our daughter had moved on and didn’t seem to care. Twenty years has passed. Our flowerbed in now overgrown and neglected. It makes me sad to see it in such disrepair. But despite that… these beautiful, resilient peony plants… still open their pretty, fragrant heads, every spring… hidden among all the weeds. They bring us great joy, and remind us, of a house, in our daughter's history that will always live on, in our hearts.


PS) Pictures of the old house 
 are buried in a box 
somewhere in the attic.
Could not find them at this time.