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Sunday, April 29, 2018

What is in that bush?!

I am setting here in Dallas in my bedroom (but I think if I am not here it could be anyone's bedroom, not just mine.) and outside the window is a bush and in the bush is a mother bird and at least 2 babies.  The babies are fully feathered and hopping around from twig to twig.  Mother just flew in and crammed something down the little birds throat.  He does not look very happy about it, but mother knows best!  I am afraid to get my camera because if the flash scares the little fellow he may lose his grip and fall to the ground.  Sam told he there is a cat that hangs out around here and we all know what cats are good for don't we?  Well actually, they are good for several things, but I am talking here about their eating of the birds and such.

(Side note here.  Right now at my house there us a mouse running loose that my Icarus brought in and turned loose for  me to catch.  See, she loves me and knows I am incapable of catching my own mouse so she is trying to make it easier for me.  I am hoping that by being gone for almost 2 weeks, she will be mad enough at me that she will will not care if I starve.  We will see how that goes!)

It is amazing to think that probably 30 days ago this little bird was just popping out of an egg maybe an inch in diameter or less.  And now he has all is feathers and a very big beak for the mother to cram food into.  She just came and did it again.  I am sorry, but if that was my baby I would not feed it!  It actually tries to fight her off when she comes.  I do not see the other bird, so either it flew away or the cat carried it off for breakfast.  Oh, never mind!  They are right there side by side so mother is feeding them at the same time.

It is amazing how nature works, isn't it?  Birds do not appear to be very smart, but this bird has managed to hatch out at least 2 babies and kept them out of the cat's mouth long enough that soon they will fly away and start their own nest somewhere.  If they do not fly away today it is going to surprise me.

Oh, oh!  Sam is home.  I better go clean up my mess before he sees it!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hello, Dallas!

Well, this morning bright and early, I crawled on a Boeing 737-800 Jet and less than 2 hours later, I was landing in Dallas, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado was back in the rear view mirror.  I have lived 76 years and never even been tempted to leave the ground, but here I am!  When I got off the airplane, I still had no idea where I was and yet Sam found me before I could figure it out.  And then he scooped my suitcase off the carousel and we were headed across Dallas to his house.  7 1/2 hours after I left the house, I have traveled what would have taken me 14 hours to drive, ate a granola bar, had a nap and am on my second glass of water.

So what I have dreaded for all of my life has turned out to be a really cool adventure.  There is something about soaring way high above the earth that is very humbling.  To just be able to look out the window and see the tiny little world down below, is an adventure that can not be told, but has to be experienced.  Something about looking down on the clouds makes one feel infinitesimal.  I had made up my mind that I would just do it and that is what I did.  I had many people give me pointers on flying, but I knew it would have to be done to know for myself.

Oh, when the plane was taxing down the runway and it began to shudder a little and the guy in the seat next to me said, "No, that is not normal" I did know a little moment of panic, but then I remembered what Gayle's husband said about it being much like a car ride only way bigger and there would be some turbulence, I relaxed.  I figured about the worst that could happen was a fiery crash, but hell, when you are my age something is going to get  me and it might as well be a newsworthy event.   But here I am.  Sam had all the work of booking it, and paying for it, all I had to do was get on board and I am very glad I did.  For that I thank him.

I have a book at home by a photographer named Wark that is all aerial photos and I now know what they look like in real time.  There are many circles in Colorado and Oklahoma that I have no idea what they are.  I saw dried up rivers and lakes and reservoirs that I never knew existed.  Lot of farmland all green and growing.  So tonight I shall go to bed in Texas and instead of visions of sugar plums, I shall have vistas of clouds and mountains.  As for flying, I wish I had tried this back when I was young.  I might have been a bird! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

An exercise in futility.

Mother called a lot of the things I did "an exercise in futility" and she was right on things like holding a marriage together, hoping for a raise, cleaning house with 5 kids under the age of 6, and she was usually right.  Now let me tell you what the biggest "exercise in futility" is in my world today.  It is that damned email.

When I open AOL a cheerful voice announces "You've got mail!"  It is such a cheerful voice and I never cease to open said mail box.  I run the cursor down the list and click on the first one that is an actual email from someone I know.  Early in the morning it is not unusual to have 45 or 50 emails and maybe 2 will be real communications from a real person.  I deal with those and then go to any that says  "Paypal", "Etsy" or "ebay".  Paypal will be an order and Etsy is usually a question and ebay requires some sort of action.  These days orders are a rarity.  AOL sorts my email and puts a lot of it in the spam folder.  I look at that list and click the "delete all" button.  Then comes the part that pisses me off.

I go back to the original mail list and look at the first one.  I open it and it is from some vitamin company.  Now if I simply delete it, they think I like to read their crap and the send me more.  Learned my lesson the hard way on that!  So I go to the bottom of their spiel and click the "unsubscribe" button.  It pisses me off that I have to unsubscribe to something that I never subscribed to in the first place, but that is beside the point.  I click on "unsubscribe" and if the gods are smiling on me I get the "sorry to see you go your name has been removed."  That is in an ideal world.  More often than not I get one of the following:

"We are sorry to lose you.  Please update the reason you are leaving." which is a pain in my keester.

Or a simple "you are unsubscribe ."  That is good.

But the one that sends me through the roof is the one that pops up and says: "You must prove you are not a robot."  Then there is a set of pictures. "Choose the pictures with cars."  I do that.  "Choose the pictures with street signs."  I do that.  "Chose the pictures with store fronts."  It is at this point that I loose it.

I have been know to write scathing letters telling them that no way in hell do I need Viagra or whatever they are wanting to sell me and hit the send button.  On those occasions I immediately hear the click on AOL that means I have mail and it is to say that my missive has been returned because that mail box is not a reply address.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

So now here I set wasting time telling you things you already know.  The cat is on my lap digging her claws in the tender part of my legs and bumping my chin with her head and the mailbox is continuing to open and close over on the open screen under this one.

So there you go.  My bitching for the day.  A definite exercise in futility if I ever saw one!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It must be spring.

I was setting at the computer today and I felt something brush my hair.  Now since I live alone here with a cat and a dog, something brushing past my head is cause to make me become alert.  Sure enough, a little Sparrow landed on the shadowbox on the wall by my desk.  I opened the front door and tried to shoo him that way, but he did not understand.  Of course Icarus was helping me since she had brought him in with hopes of him being supper for her.  I finally got him herded into a place where I could drop a dish towel over him and carry him outside.  I found him a nice place inside an evergreen where he could safely get his bearings before flying back to his family.  

I do not know why that silly cat becomes a hunter in the Spring of the year or maybe it is the birds are young and not wise to the ways of cats and are more easily caught.  Now the wind is whistling through a window that is not quite shut and scaring me.  I guess maybe I am a little paranoid because I went out to Los Pobres for lunch with my friends out there and on the way home I got to thinking about that little white line in the middle of the road.  Life is sort of like that line.  As long as I stay on my side and the car coming towards me stays on the other side, we are both good to go and will pass by never really seeing each other at all.  But if one of us were to cross that line we would both suffer.  Life is like that.  As long as I do the things expected of me and you do the things expected of you, we will never have a problem.  We drift through life never really knowing the people we see on a daily basis and then one day, we are gone.  

Some times I think maybe I am lonely, but I do not want to change my life to incorporate another human into it.  I go to bed when I am tired and get up when I am through sleeping.  If there were another person here, I would need to take their needs into consideration.  I eat what I want, when I want and rarely close the door when I shower.  I may get up at 3:30 AM or sleep till 6:00.  I have been known to eat lunch in my pajamas's and sometimes the sink is full of dirty dishes and the laundry covers the floor in the bathroom.  I do not always answer the phone just because it rings.

So, this is my mood tonight.  Needless to say, I do not like the wind.  I have never really seen a use for it,  but then nobody really asked me, did they?

Monday, April 16, 2018

My bleeding heart.

There was one thing my mother always had growing in a shady part of her yard and that was a Bleeding Heart plant.  I never quite figured out how that worked, but I know I bought her several over the years.  Every time I wanted to get her something she expressed a desire for a Bleeding Heart.  The preschool at our church was having a plant sale a couple weeks back and I just could not resist.  One Bleeding Heart.  Right now it is residing in the refrigerator because it is not quite planting time.  Over  the years I have planted a couple in my yard, but they are no longer there whether it is because I neglected to water them or mowed them off or what, but I shall try again.  I seem to have the same luck as my mother on keeping things alive!
I do not know how many years my mother has been gone, but I never see a Bleeding Heart that I do not think of her.   I know my fascination with the plant is tied to her, but what was it that drew her to the plant?  I do not remember grandma having one in her yard.  She had Spearmint.  Lots of Spearmint.  I remember that because it was right under the window of the room where they slept and there were big spiders that lived in the Spearmint patch.  I used to live in fear of the spiders coming in, walking across the grandma's and coming into the room where I slept.

I had Catnip growing here over the septic tank.  That stuff really spreads.  I never really seen the cat in it, but some times Charmin or Boots would act very weird.  I planted Poppy's there once.  They were double and they were lavender.  Those were nice, but when they reseeded themselves they came back as single red Poppy's and then they died out.  Once when we were in Grand Junction Joe Fisher picked me a bread sack full of Apricots from a tree up on the BLM land.  I made jam out of them and threw the seeds out over the septic tank and they all came up next Spring.  I planted several in the yard and planted 12 over at Kenny's  mom's house.  Now 25 years later those are all died out except one behind my house.  It has bores and I have to trim it on the side closest to the house every summer so it does not rub the roof.  I am thinking at the rate I am trimming this side that soon it will be hanging over in the field next door and I will not have a tree anymore.  I am hoping I can get one more harvest so I can grow more trees and next time plant them away from the house.

Of course there was a time when I had 68 Hybrid Tea Roses growing in my yard.  The kids used to give me a bush every Mother's Day and when I had 10 kids total it did not take long to fill up the yard.  Course roses need fed every month and pruned every time they bloom and I am basically lazy, so here I now set with 5 that I do nothing with and they just refuse to die.  So I am going to plant a Bleeding Heart.  Not sure if I will do that before I go to Texas or wait.  I can hear the weather lady down on the television yapping about a coming snow storm.  I hate to pay $14.00 for something just to let it freeze.

Well, the sun is up now and it is time to get around and do something constructive.  Or not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

My information has been compromised!

What a friggin' surprise!  For the record, my facebook info in nominal at best.  They have my name and they know I am a Liberal.  Now stop and think about this for a moment.  When I had my gas turned on, I gave them my name, address, phone number, my next of kin, an emergency contact and my SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.  Same with the electric, phone, kids info at school, any job I applied for, my drivers license, bank accounts, credit apps, prescriptions, doctors office, insurance policies,  and any one else who comes in contact with me.  And I am supposed to be worried because facebook knows I am a liberal!  Come on people!

Zuckerberg is in session now being quizzed and drug through the wringer to see if he knows something about me that they don't.  Let her rip, Mark!  Throw me under the bus.  You do not need to waste time protecting me because the Government is burrowed into our daily lives up to their eyebrows.  They do not give a rats ass about anything except that they can keep track of us.  Oh, I am sure by now they know I am a born and bred liberal democrat, and if not it is because they really don't care about us peons that live a day to day existence, trying to make ends meet and keep a potato in the pot for later in the day.  Their big deal is to try to figure out a way to get that $.47 interest on my savings account that I made last year.

The thing about Facebook or any other social media is people get on there to tell anyone who will listen all about themselves and then if some one reads it they have an idea what their political leanings are.  Every day I get calls from insurance company's and car warranty places, and credit card offers.  Now they all know what kind of car and the year of said car and have a price quote at the ready.  Did I call them and tell them what I drove and give them my phone number?  No I did not, and yet they have all that at their fingertips.  Who sold me down the river?  Not facebook that is for sure.

And here is something that really upsets me.  My husband has been dead for 18 years and yet he gets phone calls from salesmen who are shocked to learn of his demise.  How old are these contact lists that are being sold to someone for a price?  I tried to get his name off the bank account, but that is not happening either.    I guess the point I am making is what does it matter that someone stole my info from facebook?  It has been out there for years  and will no doubt still be out there when I am pushing up the daisies in some distant future.

I did not panic and quit facebook and probably will not change anything I do.  So, relax, Mark Zuckerberg, I am not leaving you and you do not need to tell me you are sorry.  You are just another human that is going to be chastised so we forget for a few days what an asshole we elected to the oval office.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Corky was a dancing fool!

I woke up this morning with Corky on my mind.  First let me go on record as saying it is always both a surprise and a pleasure to actually wake up.  It becomes more of a surprise as each year goes by.  But this morning I was thinking about Corky.  Must have dreamt about him, because he was very vivid.  Corky dates back to when I was 16 or 17 and still in high school.  I do not remember how I met him because I lived in Nickerson and he lived in Hutchinson which was 11 miles away and I had no car.  Now I can set here and try to guess how he came into my life or I can tell you about him. 

Corky was the coolest guy in the world.  He came with lots of friends and while he did not have a car, his friends did.  And he loved to dance.  And I loved to dance.  At that time there was a dance every Saturday night at the convention hall.  If you know your history, you have surely heard of Dick Clark and his "American Bandstand". (Now my facts and names and such may not be completely correct, but this is what I seem to recall.)  It was held back east in some big city and it was all the rage.  It was on television and all that.  So ours was held at the convention hall with some disc Jockey and to save the floor we all checked our shoes at the door and it was called a "sock hop".

Corky was always my dance partner and we were good.  One of his tricks was to face me and at the precise moment  he would cross his arms,  I would squat, he would step over me and some how I ended up behind him and we never missed a beat.  Another was to put our backs together and link elbows and he would lean forward which flipped me across his back and I lit on my feet facing him.  We did the stroll, and all kinds of things he learned on watching bandstand.  Several times we ended up winning for the evening.  It meant nothing, just that we were the winners.

Corky and I were a "couple".  Back then being a couple meant absolutely nothing, just that we danced together.  Then we decided to take it to the next level.  He borrowed his brothers car, we skipped school and went to Wichita to Joyland Amusement Park.  Being a school day, the place was deserted with us and a few other kids skipping school being the only ones there.  We rode the roller coaster.  We rode the Ferris wheel.  We walked in the hot sun.  We made a recording in a booth.  Then we rode the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel again.  The only thing left was the Roundup.  That is the round thing where you are strapped in standing up, spun around, and tilted on its side and that is when I threw up!  Luckily the operator saw what was happening and leveled the ride out quickly so the only one was lucky enough to have my vomit hit them in the face was me.  Corky was very caring and compassionate to me and decided maybe it was because we had not eaten, so he bought me a hot dog and we left Joyland, never to return.

Of course he got in trouble for skipping school as did I.  When the whole truth about our day came out, as the truth always will, we were both grounded.  Since we had no real emotional connection, and mileage being a detriment, we drifted apart.  We both found new friends.  Our dancing days were over, but I still have not forgotten Corky, or Joyland, or the sock hop at Convention Hall.

Hutchinson, Kansas is actually a very small town at heart.  Idle curiosity made me wonder what had become of Corky.  And Jimmy and other friends.  Most of my friends had married and led rather mundane lives, but some of my dance partners had remained single.  I had married and moved away, but moved back in 1967 with a string of children in tow.  I left Hutchinson again 10 years later for the fertile fields of Colorado and have been here ever since.

In 1980 the AIDS epidemic began.  It was known in the early years as "The Gay disease."  My very dear friend, Gibby, was one of the first to fall.  I took up the banner and became involved in the fight very early in the game.  I was to learn many years later that both Corky and Jimmy had been lost to that disease.  Such a waste of life.  The hate back then was palpable.  There was talk of "rounding up all the queers and locking them up" so they could not spread the disease.  What a lack of compassion! It took people like Rock Hudson dying and Elizabeth Taylor standing up in his memory to finally wake up our country. 

When December 1 was declared a day of remembrance for all the artists and actors lost to the disease, it was a giant step forward.  The first one held in Pueblo was attended by one man with AIDS and a woman who had lost her brother to AIDS.  It was at the Arts Center.  The next year I was there with 2 friends.  Now it is a very open celebration and is held at Rawlings Library on December 1.  Our little Pueblo AIDS Memorial Quilt hangs in the 4th floor for the month of December.  Quite a step from huddling in the shadows to this.  The quilt has been featured in the newspaper with full page coverage 2 times.  

I never made a panel for Corky or Jimmy.  I made one for Gibby.  

And there you have the workings of my mind this morning.  Damn!  I sure hope it rains soon.