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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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

709 North Strong Street and the midnight dash.

I know I speak of my formative years in Nickerson as mostly happy, but there was something lacking.  While the majority of the homes in town contained running water and indoor "facilities" the sewer system and the running water had not yet reached our little street.  The running water consisted of a pump in the kitchen, a pipe that led from the sink to the wall where there was a hole that let the water run onto the ground out back.  We had Muscovy ducks which were very happy with this method of ridding our selves of waste water.  Ducks like water and they could always be found in the middle of the mess.  That is what ducks do.  Interesting note here; to my knowledge Muscovy is the only domesticated duck that is able to fly.  At least I think that is right.  I had 37 ducks of different breeds here on South Road several years back and only the Muscovy could fly, which they did with amazing regularity right up to roost on my air conditioning unit.  Nasty damn things.

Any way, that was the set up for the running water in our house.  Bathroom facilities were an entirely different matter.  That little job was taken care of out the back door and down the path to the little wooden shack that was perched over a deep hole.  The cool porcelain of city bathrooms was replaced by a wooden bench with a hole cut in it and the white roll of "toilet tissue" gave way to the Sears catalog.  Sometimes it was a Montgomery Ward.  Sears was favored for it's absorption, well all the pages except the ones which were colored because they were slick.   Oh, and sometimes we were real lucky and had a corn harvest that produced soft corn cobs, but that was never.  And there was always the danger of  "picking up a sliver " if one moved the wrong way while on "the throne."  That combined with my fear of dark places and black widow spiders was enough to keep me in a paranoid state most of the time and my bowels in a locked state. Those are just some of the hazards of life in poverty Ville.

Using of the facilities in the daylight was one thing, but at night it was an entirely different matter.  Living in the country brings a whole new set of problems.  First, there were no street lights on Strong Street, or the next street over, or the highway either.  Flashlights were unheard of at our house.  There was a kerosene lantern which we could use if we could find matches.  Now I want you to know that no way in hell was I going out to that God forsaken place alone, and neither would any of the other kids.  The river was not far away and sometimes we could hear a cougar or mountain lion calling.  I think there might have been a panther at one time or maybe a panther was a cougar.  Coyotes yipping in the field behind the outhouse was a regular occurrence.  Mother assured us that coyotes were more afraid of us then we were of them, but I was not sure about that!

So I learned early to not drink a bunch of water before I went to bed and thus maybe avoid that trip in the middle of the night.  I think the sisters found it easier to wet the bed than walk that lonely walk.  It seemed like it was a very long ways to the bathroom, but reflecting back, I do not think it was that far.  I think it might have been 60 feet, but it sure seemed a lot farther to my little body.  If there was a moon then the shadows scared me, and if I had the lantern the shadows scared me.  If an owl hooted then right there was the end of the trip!  If I could stay on the path it was alright, but if I veered to the left just a tad I was in a cactus.  If I strayed to the right I was in the chicken fence.  I do recall how bright the moon used to be out there in the middle of the night.  And the stars!  There were millions of them.  I could pick out the big dipper and the little dipper.  I look at the sky at night now and it is very pale.  I am glad I have those memories.  Kenny and I were in Utah once and lived in a campground.  I could see the stars then.  I wish I could go back there and appreciate it.  The Utah sky is bigger than the Kansas sky.

So, anyway, there you have the drawback to the Strong Street life.  But, I survived.  I know there are some of you that are reading this that think how horrible that was, but it really wasn't that bad.  It was an inconvenience for sure, but it was what it was.  I am very glad that I have indoor plumbing now because I am terrified of the dark.  I have a night light in the bathroom and if I leave something in the car, it will have to keep until morning.  I do not think there is anywhere left in this world where there is not indoor plumbing, but if there is, I do not want to go there.

As I write this, I can see that path in my mind.  I remember the neighbors had a concrete floor in their outhouse.  Hank Windgate did not have a door.  The Ayers family just had a tin tub with a hole in it over a bigger hole.  So all things considered, I guess we had it pretty good.  My daughter, Debbie, has a saying that seems apropos here:  "What doesn't kill you or make you bleed, will make you strong."  So there you go!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Until death us do part.

That used to be in the wedding vows.  Let me see if I can actually remember those vows.  "I, Louella Beth (insert last name here) do take thee, so and so, to be my wedded husband, to love, honor, cherish  and OBEY, in sickness and in health , forsaking all others and cleaving only unto thee till death us do part."  Or something like that.  Now you should know that every time I took those vows, I really meant them.  At least at the time.  As I recall, the vows kind of changed over the years and when I married Kenny, the ceremony consisted of a retired minister in an assisted living, his wife in the next room asleep and Kenny and myself.  Oh, yeah and the handing of a $20 bill which he quickly pocketed.

He signed the license and said, "Well, for all intents and purposes you are married unless you want me to say something more?"

"Well, yeah.  but leave out that obey part and just say about him loving and cherishing me.  Oh, and bringing home the paycheck.  Leave out the part about me having to clean house and all that,  I'll cook but that is about it."  So he laughed and said that and then had  us sign .

The whole time spent with him was about six minutes, after which we stopped at the donut shop and had a donut for our wedding supper.  It was 15 degrees below zero when we passed the bank in Canon City that day.  But you know what?  That marriage worked!

It is now 35 years later and here I set.  Kenny has been gone 17 years. and it is like he is still here.  To put this in perspective, he occupied almost half of my life.  No other man can make that claim.   We thought alike.  We liked the same foods.  We both liked the same music.  We went fishing and I baited my own hook.  We had one serious disagreement (which was of course his fault.).  I did not have to wear makeup and whatever I made for supper was fine and if not, we went out to eat.  Time flies!

So anyway, I woke up this morning thinking on my life.  I think I am turning into a hermit.  I get up and kill time until bedtime.  Then I sleep until it is time to get up and do the whole thing again.  Ever once in a while I think I should start dating, but then I have a second thought that beats hell out of that first thought.  I dated one guy for a while, but sadly he succumbed to cancer.  Then there was a guy that was way younger than me, but he loved himself enough for both of us, so that one fizzled out.

Well, to get to the point of this missive, there is no point.  I am just kind of putting things in perspective in my life and I do that by poking the keys and reading what I wrote.  Life is good, and most importantly, the world is still turning.  I should, no doubt, go on a cruise or something, but I do not want to leave home.  I am going to crawl on an airplane on April 28th and fly to Dallas.  Getting on an airplane is something I swore I would never do, but here I am with my ticket in hand and the day approaching.  Sometimes we just have to do stuff because.  I guess that is what is known as making a bucket list.  So far, it is the only thing on my bucket list.  Perhaps if I make it to Dallas and back, I shall make a bucket list.  We will see.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Just a minute to vent.

My life is pretty cut and dried.  I do this and I do that and most of the time I am at home with the television on and it is always on channel 11.  It is on that channel for a reason.  Millionaire comes on in the morning, the news at noon, Jeopardy! at 3:00, and again at 6:30.  Well it seems that what I watch is not important, because for the past week I have been watching basketball.  Come on, people!

Now if I actually watched basketball, I would be thrilled, but I just gave you my list of what I watch.  If I wanted to watch basketball, I would buy into a cable company and do just that.  Now granted the little fellows hopping around out there on the court in their little shorts is a sight for these old eyes, but these eyes would much prefer to see Alex Trebec in his suit and tie!  I thrill to the intelligence shown in all those segment's and categories!  I am exposed to very little intelligent conversation here all alone, or at the grocery store, so Jeopardy! is my salvation.

Now if I were the only one who resents this, it might be different, but I am not.  Yesterday I set with my friends mom so he could do errands and I asked him if he watched basketball.  Nope.  I asked my friend Linda and she said nope.  It seems I do not have any friends in my circle who have to hurry home to watch basketball.  A few of them watch the Bronco's, but that is football and it is on Sunday afternoon usually.  I have been known to sleep through a few of those games.  Well, actually, I have been known to nap through Jeopardy! , but that is what I do.

So it is my television.  I bought it.  I pay the electric.  The waves come through the air to the little antennae in my window that I bought and taped up there, so why can't I just watch my little game show and not have to have hours of my time blocked off to basketball?  Or here is an idea.  The actual play time for a basketball game copied from a google site is...( 40 minutes of actual playing time, with 3 full time outs and 2-30 second time outs per team. This amounts to 48 minutes when added to playing time. most college games have 2 slated "tv timeouts" per half,...which can be several minutes each. that's another 8 minutes, totaling 56 minutes. )  I think they set aside 2 hours or more for each game.  Of course I realize that the sponsors need time to advertise the same thing over and over and over............

So if they would just cut to the meat of the game, I would not have to miss programs that I really like and I do not know if you have noticed or not, but you can always hear their shoes squeaking on the floor when they are running and stopping fast.  This makes napping a real pain in the ass as opposed to the sedate conversations on Jeopardy!

The point here is this, I am a consumer when I am awake.  I like to watch my game shows and resent having my day turned upside down because, well, just because.  Here is an idea.  Put the games on an alternate channel and leave my schedule alone.  I do not like basketball, nor football, and watching some guy whack a golf ball around for 3 or 4 hours is right up there with watching paint dry and definitely on my list of things not to do in this life.  

So there you go.  Fat chance I am going to see my Jeopardy! today and Lord only knows, I need that nap!