Saturday, May 30, 2015

Camp fire girl

I just fired up the barbecue and now I'm waiting for it to get nice and hot so I can grill some meat. The smell of the smoke made me remember about 25-30 years ago when I used to go camping with the singles group from my church. We camped a lot at Big Sur. (I lived in California at that time.) It was nice to camp with a big group like that, because I had very little preparation to do. I frequently volunteered to organize the camping. I would hold a meeting at my home and go through what needed to be done and bought, and various people would volunteer. Then I was done until it was time to throw my sleeping bag and some clothes in the car and head out there. Often I carpooled, so I didn't even have to drive. All I had to do was sit by the fire, drink wine, and enjoy myself. I did help with cooking and cleanup, of course. During the day, we would go hiking. Back then I was fit and trim. Those were good times.

Driving Mr. Doggy

It's such a beautiful day in Western Washington, I took my parents for a drive to Birch Bay. My dog was with us, and he was so excited/nervous to be in the car that he panted loudly and incessantly for the duration of the drive.

He was in the back seat with my dad but would frequently put his front paws on the center console between the front seats so that his face was between me and my mom. Panting loudly and incessantly.

Sometimes I would try to push him back with my hand or elbow him back with my arm, but that doesn't help with the driving, so a few times I just turned my head and blew in his face. Dogs don't like that. He would retreat for a little while. Eventually, when I just turned my head even without blowing at him, he would wince and draw back.

I remember when Ellen Degeneres did stand-up, she said (approximately), "My dog hates it when I blow in his face. You know who else hates it? My grandmother." Ba-dum ching. Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Shoe box

I now have a bench by my door. It's for me to sit on while I put on and take off my shoes. I ordered it quite a few weeks ago, and it arrived disassembled in a big box. On Memorial Day, when my family were over, I was going to say I put it together with the help of my sister-in-law and niece, but it would be more correct to say I watched while my sister-in-law and niece put it together.

Here it is.

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I have been vacuuming the area this morning. Lots of dirt and grass clippings get tracked in.

There's more. The bench seat is hinged, and when you open it - voila! - there is space to store my shoes. I vacuumed the shoes, too, before putting them in the box.

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Previously, all my shoes were scattered around the entrance area, just ready to trip the unwary as they entered. The less frequently worn shoes were dusty and, again, grass clippings and dirt abounded. Now it's all tidy. As a college friend of mine would say, "I'm such a Becky Home Ecky."

P.S. That's a new rug, too, that you see the corner of.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Oh, deer

This morning as I was driving in to work (southbound on the Guide Meridian, for locals), as I was in the outskirts of Bellingham, a deer ran across the road right in front of my car. I had to tap the brakes to avoid him (her? no antlers). That's the third time I've seen a deer in Bellingham. The other two times were well within city limits, once by Barkley Village (before the movie theaters were built) and once on Orleans, between Alabama and Sunset. That time, the deer was grazing on someone's front yard.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nature scenes

The Washington Post has an article Just looking at nature can help your brain work better, study finds. Science is always discovering what literature has taught for centuries. Here is Jane Austen, in her novel, Mansfield Park:

Fanny agreed to it, and had the pleasure ... of having his eyes soon turned, like hers, towards the scene without, where all that was solemn, and soothing, and lovely, appeared in the brilliancy of an unclouded night, and the contrast of the deep shade of the woods. Fanny spoke her feelings. “Here’s harmony!” said she; “here’s repose! Here’s what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what poetry only can attempt to describe! Here’s what may tranquillise every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.”

Thursday, May 21, 2015

So sensitive

I mowed the lawn this evening after I got home from work. It was a pleasant job in many ways, as the grass is cool and the air was warm. However. After I was a little more than half done, the flying grass clippings and dirt triggered my allergies. My sinuses filled. I sneezed to the right and I sneezed to the left. I snorted in an unfeminine manner.

By the time I finished mowing and came inside, my eyes were streaming, my nose was congested, and my skin was itchy. I hurried to gather supplies then blew my nose repeatedly, put allergy eye drops in my eyes, squirted fluticasone up each nostril, and took a drugstore-brand Benadryl. I told myself that if I did not feel better in 20 minutes, I would take another pill. Thankfully, I did feel better.

I should go to bed early tonight. With the aid of the antihistamine, I should fall asleep quickly.

The life of a delicate flower is not an easy one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A pleasant afternoon

Some days you go out on your deck on a sunny afternoon to pot flowers. You bring your little dog for company. You're wearing a vest because you're chilly. After a while, you take off your vest and hang it over the back of your chair. It's warm out. Eventually, you take a break and sit in a lounging chair. You watch your dog as he wanders around, sniffing the air and objects, trying out different places to lie down in the sun or in the shade. Sometimes he stops and looks at you, just to see if you're okay and if you're okay with what he's doing.

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Yesterday was such a day.

The plant he's looking through is a type of flower you've never had before this spring. You bought it because the colors were so rich and deep.

What is the name of that plant? You find the tag.

The Latin name is easily forgettable, but the folk name is amusing: "ladies' purses."

A plane flies overhead in the clear air.

It leaves a condensation trail in the blue sky.