TAKE THE REST, BUT LEAVE THE COFFEE – Marilyn Armstrong

We went to the eye doctor today and we’re glad to know that although he needs glasses (bifocals), he can see 20-20 with glasses and the prescription has been the same for four years. So even if his eyes are no longer those of a fighter pilot, they work.

Even without glasses, he can see a solid 20-40 which is good enough for most stuff including driving, most of the time.

Bonnie barked me into wakefulness at around 5 this morning. While I was in the kitchen, I noticed Garry had forgotten to put up the morning coffee. No big deal. I can put up the coffee.

Except he hadn’t actually looked into the machine in a long time. Under the brewing thingie was about a month of coffee muck. I cleaned out the machine, but this morning, it would not brew anymore. Some small plastic item that controls the drip mechanism had died in my cleaning frenzy.

Oh, world, you have destroyed my digestion and my spine is deteriorating (though the new meds really ARE better). You gave me cancer twice, but my hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is more or less under control. One of my dogs is dying. Our blood pressure is peaking. Climate change is battering our house and this country has become a trench of evil. And the Red Sox won’t be anybody’s champions this year.


PLEASE! DON’T TAKE AWAY MY COFFEE!
I’LL DEAL WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, BUT I NEED MY COFFEE.


Tea won’t do the job and I don’t care how many people in England think it’s grand.

COUNTRY GARDENS BETWEEN STORMS – Marilyn Armstrong

AMELIORATING AND JUDICIOUS WILD PLANTING OF FLOWERS IN THE TINY TOWN OF UXBRIDGE

Our lawns are essentially wild,, too. I can’t turn on the hose because that pipe broke a few years ago and I haven’t figured out where to attach the new hose, (there’s a spout somewhere, but where?) — and so the hose is still in its original box in the basement.

Watering is hardly an issue. We are wet enough for several thousand lawns.

In the spring, the back lawn is covered with dandelions, wild violets, and Mayflowers. I love the yellow and blue combination. I won’t let anyone cut it until after they have all died back. Half our “front” garden is full of Asters, Columbine, Spiderwort, Solomon’s Seal. and Daylilies culled from the roads and woods. Other than the Roses and a big old-fashioned white Rhododendron that came before we moved in, all the other things we planted disappeared.

I think we have ONE remaining tulip and an azalea that’s too shady to bloom much. About twice a year, my son mows everything and hits the giant forsythia with an electric hedge cutter. Otherwise, it is what it is. Wild thing overtaking wild thing. Right now, it’s Jimson Weed with its bright purple berries (it came out of nowhere, but we have had a lot of birds and they bring seeds).

Jimson weed

We rarely go into the garden for recreation but we do occasionally hang out on the deck which is falling down. The bird feeders will go back up at the end of the month. I can’t wait until November. I want my birds back.

The dogs own the front yard and it looks like a site on which they shoot missiles. Garry cleans the pathway to the house, but otherwise, it’s pretty ripe. The other 4 acres are woods. These days, almost entirely oak behind the house and a 50-50 mix of sugar maple, oak, and our one and only decorative tree, the Japanese maple culled from my cousin’s crop (he has many).

This year, the wild grape vines are covering everything and growing insanely fast, too. As is the Bitterroot which is a transplant from somewhere else. Not on this continent.

There are a few miniature Korean lilacs I planted 20 years ago and are growing, but I have trouble finding them between the bigger trees.  Our only, very beaten and battered (and aging) lilac that is the size of a medium-size maple still throws up a few flowers. I need a very long lens to find the few we get and those are way up at the top of the tree.

Few people have much in the way of gardens. It’s dark from the canopy of oaks which shade out most other trees. We had ash and maple and we do have a fair growth of sassafras — but only along the edge of the woods.

A million kinds of grasping vines fighting for dominance. The rain has changed that. Last year it was wild morning glory which at least had a few flowers, but this year, it’s those huge grapevines. They have grown so tall they cover some of the mid-size oak trees.
I have ONE really well-grown maple right in front of my house which I treasure because it’s the only place on the property (other than the Japanese maple) that gives me real color.

Sunshine and oak trees

The deep green of the oaks become a golden bronze late in the season (November, usually) and the few remaining Ash change to bright yellow — usually now — but the rain has changed it so there is NO color anywhere.

At least I don’t have to worry about mowing because there’s no lawn. There was — for a single season — a back lawn after we had our backyard flattened and seeded, but the following year, after a wild and crazy winter of blizzards and brutally low temperatures, the wildflowers came back and the grass gave up.

It’s easier in the country. No one expects a big floral show (but a great ripening of tomatoes will bring admiring neighbors from near and far), so if you have a few daffodils and daylilies, that’s fine.

Everyone has one or more dogs. If you listen, you can always hear one barking. Occasionally, in the evening, they all get a good solid group bark going. It’s the Canine Earphone Collective. Free. No devices needed. That’s how dogs keep in touch, pass along the gossip, and let all the other canines know what’s happening out here in the never-ever lands beyond the city and suburban borders.

Back — now nearly 10 years ago — when we had our three long-eared hounds, they would sing in the morning. How I miss them! None of our current generation of dogs sing. No idea what DNA created El Duque , but the Scotties only sing if other dogs begin the chorus. Then they will yelp during appropriate moments in the finale.

THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS IN LIFE – Rich Paschall

Questions 67 & 68

Can this feeling that we have together
Ooh, suddenly exist between
Did this meeting of our minds together
Ooh, happen just today, somewhere?

Can you tell me, please don’t tell me
It really doesn’t matter anyhow

This song was the first single released from the 1969 debut album of Chicago the band, then known as The Chicago Transit Authority. Written by Robert Lamm, it was about a romantic relationship Lamm had from 1967 and 68, hence the title of the song.

The horn arrangement from James Pankow is different from their later efforts. Here they are playing throughout with no rests for the horn players.  It is a rock style like no other at that point in time.

After the band had some success with other singles, the tune was re-released in 1971 with I’m A Man on the “B-side.”

For more on the B-side, see “I’m A Man,” SERENPIPITY (teepee12.com) August 30, 2019.

HOW MUCH IS THREE-QUARTERS? – Marilyn Armstrong

I was out of lunch meat, so Garry went to the deli. It was Monday and they were out of everything except (sigh) turkey breast. Not my favorite, but I’m betting today is a delivery day.

Garry asked the newest lady at the counter for 3/4 of a pound of turkey breast.

Like a deer caught in headlights, she was lost. She could probably “do” a pound — or half a pound. But what was 3/4? She obviously didn’t recognize it as 75% of a pound, or even that it’s likely the line between the half pound and full pound markers.

Schools don’t teach math in any way that might be useful to those they have taught. They have gotten into systems so complicated that no one under 40 can do any math in their head. They need a calculator. Even to subtract one number from another. Oh, and they can’t count on their fingers.

Eventually, the boss stopped what he was doing and came over to rescue her.

Garry came home. He commented that there’s a scale and surely the young women (in her 20s) could tell that there was a line between half a pound and one pound and that would be the three-quarter, right?

Wrong. She doesn’t know that 3/4 (of one) = 75% (of one). Have you ever tried to explain to a clerk how to turn 99-cents into a dollar?

“Look, I’ll give you a penny and you can give me a dollar.”

“It says 99-cents.”

“So that means that if I give you a penny, you can give me a dollar.”

“It says 99-cents.”

This is because she doesn’t understand that 100 cents (pennies) equal one dollar. We are worried that our “below age 40” youngsters aren’t going to vote. I’m beginning to worry that they can’t think. Apparently, thinking is no longer taught in any school. So if you don’t get a head start at home with the whole “thinking” thing? You’re doomed.

Vote? If they don’t know that 99-cents plus a penny equal a dollar, how can we expect them to vote? Or have a grip on the issues? Or even know what kind of government we have or want?

IT’S CALLED STRESS – Marilyn Armstrong

According to my friend Cherrie, since you-know-who was elected, there has been a massive spike in national blood pressure levels. I was normal. Now I’m high — and running out of medications. Garry was normal and now, he is high too. Cherrie had such low blood pressure, they weren’t sure she was alive … and SHE has high BP.

Double smudge medications

I think it’s entirely possible that the reason Bonnie barks constantly is that she has been reading the news again. We have to hide all those copies of The New Yorker. They are too much for one small dog.

Square double-smudge normal medications

I was at the cardiologist today. I discovered my blood pressure is up and I’m exhausted, but it has nothing to do with my heart which is doing surprisingly well. In fact, as long as I get the battery changed regularly — about every 10 years (give or take a couple of years) — I could live forever. Is this good news or bad?

As for Bonnie, the vet says she’s a trifle demented. Who isn’t?

The cardiologist suggested owning a dog who never stops barking might have something to do with me being tired all the time. I just want the insurance company to pay our claim, for our dog to stop getting old and shouting at me, and for the prices on asthma meds to drop to something a mere mortal can pay.

On the upside of life, I totally love my car.

Lacking smudge

I suggested to my cardiologist maybe I could crawl into a warm, dark padded room and stay there until things get better. He said that was a GREAT idea and if I could figure out how to let him know. We all want a quiet, dark and well-padded room to live in.

My insurance company called to apologize for being rude but didn’t promise to fix the problem. Our mail isn’t showing up because we have a new mailman and anyway, apparently living in Uxbridge doesn’t put you on the fast-track of the USPS. Meanwhile, I’m waiting on stuff from the insurance company that presumably will give me a hint about how they plan to proceed with our claim. I’m not holding my breath, but I’d at least like to receive the material so I have some idea what I need to do next.

It’s raining again.

Bizarro’s Sunday Punnies #33

The good news? My heart has a few issues but if I manage to beat back the stress, the rest should be a piece of cake.

When your cardiologist thinks locking yourself in a closet until things get better is a good idea, you just KNOW stress has taken over.