Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday afternoon

Rain is pouring straight down, thunderous on the roof, and so dense that I can't really see through it. Heavy, solid water, pounding down on the ducks in the pond so that they are not actually swimming but just enduring its force with their heads down. I'd get off the water, if it were me, were I a duck -- and get under some shelter. And how is that goose doing on her nest?

I wish I had a camera that I could use -- I do, but can't use it -- to take a shot or so a day of my life. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Saturday, March 27, 2010




I feel the need to write this stuff down. I want to tell someone, but since it is not quite 8:30 on a Saturday morning, I don't want to interrupt anyone, or wake anyone up, and I do want to say this!

A few days ago, my son Joe called and got permission to have Nick spend the night. That was the day -- remember? -- that I came home and found that my apartment had been turned upside down by two stoned teenagers who thought they were so funny and clever, but then immediately after each funny/clever incident, forgot it and wandered off to do something else funny and clever. And then when they decided to leave, they just left, without turning off any lights or closing any drawers or putting any of their funny and clever things back where they got them. So I came home and found the obviously post-dope-session apartment. As I was stalking around, fuming to myself, putting thing after thing back where it went, I noticed a large blank and empty space on the top shelf of the hall bookcase. Where the boxed set of hardbound Tolkien sits. I looked around for it, feeling quite certain that it had been used like the other books still out on the dining room table, as a jump for a tech deck, but could not find it. Anywhere. And this apartment is quite small, so there aren't any places to hide a boxed set of books.

When I next saw Joe, which was at least 48 hours later, I asked him where this boxed set was. He denied all knowledge of it. I asked if anyone else had been in the house, other than Nick. He denied that, too, vehemently. "Then Nick has it," I said. Joe denied the possibility of this. I pointed out, that with only himself and Nick in the house, then ONE of them, at least, must know. He just looked at me blankly, and said, "Nope -- neither of us do."

Nope -- neither of us do. As though this FACT was going to dissolve because he just shook his head. No understanding of A plus B equals C, just thinking, "If I don't admit it, she can't do anything about it."

Okay -- so then he sold his truck and went off with a handful of money, which he certainly needs to pay at least some part of his bills. I haven't seen him since. And this morning, I was tidying up the house, and decided to pick up some of the garbage in the computer room, where Joe sleeps. And found, squirreled away behind a box, and under his covers, and squished behind the bookcase, to wit:

1. One 2-pound bag of raisins, opened and eaten from -- the second one of these he has taken into his room
2. A bag of very moldy bread, half eaten
3. Three mostly-eaten bags of chips
4. TWO half-empty 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor.

In my house,in my house,IN MY HOUSE!

And we have had the conversation about why he cannot drink, that it is, simply, illegal, and so therefore he cannot -- end of story, just like he has to have car insurance if he is going to drive -- and you know how well that worked out, right? -- many times! And quite recently, too.

But still, he just took these two bottles out of his backpack and left them on the floor in my house, hidden behind a wadded-up blanket, but very findable.

So what does that say about his attitude toward me? That I am just the mother, the one who feeds and comforts, but not the one who punishes? The one who knows the answers to questions, but is too stupid to move a blanket? The one who pays for the house but has no right to say what happens there?

I'm really, really angry about this! Help!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Monday...

...can't trust that day!

I do believe I've said that before.

It is a very fresh morning, very fresh, crisply washed, freshly rained-on, but bright and blue with brilliant, eye-popping white clouds trimming the pale blue sky. Lovely! A very Spring-like Spring!

The vivid green, newly-minted green, glowing green of newly sprouted bulbs is decorating the back patio, to add to all the newly sprung colors of Spring. And since the maintenance man was out there this past weekend with a compressor and a high-pressure washer, blasting moss and grime and all other dulling agents off the fence and the cement and the brickwork, it's very clean and bright out there! Very vivid!

Wait, wasn't that one of Digby's words? I have spoke!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A delicate silver rain

Sitting in Sully's, in the warm and comfortable space, sipping their extra good dark coffee and smelling french toast and maple syrup. Mmmmmmm -- I took my "morning walk" this morning, (calling it that to convince myself to take it every morning) and as I passed one of several houses with a daphne odora bush, I paused to control my swooning as the unbelievable aroma wafted around me. Then I snipped off a cluster of the heavenly-scented flowers and dropped them into my cleavage. Whence, every so often, I get a heated scent of the gods. It is SUCH an aroma! I do believe it is my favorite smell on earth. Yes, better than midnight honeysuckle; yes, better than baking apple pie.

I do love this place, but I have found, in my walking, that there are several other small and unprotruberant restaurants in my neighborhood. One at least that I had not ever noticed before -- some sort of bar and grill, on Main, I think. They do serve breakfast, so that makes three breakfast places all within easy walking! PRET-ty cool. Until I try the As-Yet-Unnamed-Place, though, Sully's is still the best!

The walking that I've been doing -- so far just on weekends, since I'm leaving for work more than an hour early these days, but that won't be for very long -- doesn't tire my body out the way I was expecting it to do. It just tires my calves, which really do hurt (BING! lightbulb just went on re: charleyhorses!) and makes me very thirsty. I don't remember getting thirsty in my walks on the beach. But that could also be because the air there is so very full of moisture. 'Course, here I'm walking beside a river, so... But I guess an ocean, with the constant moving of the water, would dispell a lot more into the air. Anyway, whatever. Perhaps the calves thing is just that I'm fatter and heavier, and in much worse shape.

Well, Joe. The whole Joe thing is getting both easier and harder to bear. Easier because he really is a good boy, a wanting-to-please boy, (underneath, WAY underneath!) and because I know he will be leaving soon. And harder because he is just such a little shithead! And because I know he is leaving soon!

He and Nick came home one night -- Joe called and got permission to bring Nick home to spend the night for some reason, can't remember why, but anyway -- they were both drunk and stoned when they got here, and woke up and got stoned again. And then went somewhere. So when I got home from work, I found my sweet little apartment, tidy and welcoming as it always is when I come home to it, nearly unrecognizable. They had stolen one of the goose eggs from the nest and then left it out on the deck, had dropped several cigarette butts out there, had thrown the pillows from the couch on the floor, and the stack of bills from the table on the floor, and had mashed a banana into the mouth of the little china hippo, and turned the Headless Nude upside down and leaned her against the wall, had pushed my reading books off the ottoman and pulled several records out of the stacks and CDs from the drawer, had made macaroni and cheese and eaten some of from my special black-and-white teacup, but left several bites and a fork still in it, and several servings still in the pot. They had also eaten several frozen yogurts and a couple of frozen cheeseburgers, cuz the wrappers were all on the counter and floor in the kitchen. The salt shaker was taped to the top of a cardboard box which was lying on the table. It just didn't seem possible that they could have done all this ridiculous mischief and then forgotten it so completely as to leave the house with it all still there.

AND! Joe called me the other night, and asked if I had found his wallet, whcih he had left in the car. I said yes. He then asked me to bring it to him, along with ten dollars. (This is the day after he had admitted to me that he had spent an additional $20 of my money that I had told him to leave on the table for me.) I asked him what he needed this additional money for, and he said promptly, "I'm going to buy alcohol with it." I said, "No." He replied in a very no-nonsense voice, "And why not?" I said, "Joe, are you drunk right now?" And he hung up.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Today I got an e-mail from my sister Ruth, which is lovely, and always makes me very happy, especially since a) she is in Germany for a year, and b) she was on a trip-within-the-trip to Portuagal, and didn't have computer access.

And then seconds later, I got a message from my older sister Sarah! Who lives in Mexico, and from whom I had not heard for more than a year! She had just discovered the last e-mail that I had sent her, which had somehow gotten lost for (say it with me now) more than a year. Amazing!


Okay, here's the scoop.

Last night I stopped at the Salvation Army on my way home from work. I was kind of cross, since Joe had asked me to pick him up at Nick's on my way home, and I had tried to, but he had then gone to sleep and hadn't come to the door. Even though I had warned him specifically about this, when I called as I was leaving the office to say I would be there in fifteen minutes! So I stood there ringing the bell repeatedly, all to no avail. ARGH!


So. I had stopped at Salvation Army, and was tooling around my usual sites within its doors -- glass and china, picture frames, books and sweaters. I found a piece or two of china and a little box of small spools of thread of many colors. And then I found a sweater set -- a truly beautiful one, the color of golden brown sugar, with long cable diamonds running down the front. A two-piece set, and they wanted to charge me for each piece separately, so the set cost almost fifteen dollars, but still -- I will get many many days of wear from this set, and it's even a little too big for me, and so very pretty! So, in my estimation, completely worth it.


When I got home, I was laying the set out to look at it and gloat over it. And, as I spread the cardigan out on the bed, something sparkling caught my eye as it rolled out onto the quilt. And guess what it was?

It was a diamond ring.

Perhaps not real diamonds, it could be cubic zirconia -- feels fairly light for the size of it -- and that's another thing about it -- it's also slightly too big for me! So I'm wearing it on the second finger of my hand, not even the ring finger.

But there it was! In the pocket of a sweater that I bought at the SALVATION ARMY!


I mean, it's like a stupid scene in a poorly-written movie, too good to be true in several different directions at once!

Ten smallish diamonds, in a gentle curve, in a gold-tone setting. Really just as beautiful as my wedding ring was.

But not my wedding ring! A very pretty ring, and TOTALLY FREE!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sometimes Fifteen a Day: Or, the Generation Gap

Well, Nameless Agent strikes again, but this time it's an agent that I really like! And I feel slightly guilty for posting this post about him, but it's too good to pass up. I think, anyway. And anyway, he is far too elderly and unaware to find this and read it. Not that he isn't an intelligent human, he is, and knows his job. It's just that the whole technological world has pretty much passed him by.


This past Saturday, I am at the Second Saturday class, and during the break, Nameless Agent comes up to me. We exchange greetings, and then he says, in an undertone, with his hand on my elbow, as though this is a private matter, which he is asking me as a special favor:

Nameless Agent: "When you send out these e-mails, you know, with things like class schedules, would it be too much to ask for you to put (Name of Company Being Withheld By Request) on them?"

Me: You mean in the subject line?

Nameless: "...well, on them where I can see it?"

Me: "...Sure, no problem. I'd be glad to."

NA: "Because it's just too hard for me to tell, with my eyesight, and all, which e-mails are important. I just delete them all, unless I can see that they are actually to me. I mean, you know," and here he lowers his voice even more to make sure I get this, "sometimes I get fifteen messages A DAY."

! ! ! !

"Allergies, allergies...

...something's living on my skin!/ Doctor, please, doctor, please/ open up, it's me again!"

I took a Benadryl this morning,and a few hours later I am overwhelmed with sleepiness. Fortunately, (or unfortunately) there is no one in the office today, and the phone has only rung once. Course, it's only ten-thirty -- things could heat up later, but right now, I could lie down under my desk and sleep.

Not that I will, you understand. But I COULD.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Question re: Geese

Now that the nest has five eggs in it, (very tempting they are, too!) and is still right there on the roof, it causes me to wonder. If they do hatch (which seems sort of up-in-the-air at this point -- no pun intended) how will the goslings get down off the roof and into the water? I mean -- I know a baby owl or vulture is of course raised to flying age in the nest up at the very top of a raggedy old snag. Even robins are taught to fly from high up. But ducks and geese, I've always seen waddling down to the water and learning, first of all, to swim.

So? Perhaps I should just eat the eggs now and save their parents the heartbreak of seeing their babies die, one right after the other, from a ten-foot tumble!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Big Ol' Goose Egg

Joe called me at work today. Quite excited.

"Guess what, Mom!"

"Well, what?'

"I went out on our balcony to shake the mud out of my clothes so I could wash 'em, you know? And one of the geese ATTACKED me!"

Me: (skeptical) "Really? Attacked you?"

Joe: "Yup! And you wanna know why?"

Me: "Oh, yes, I'm dying to know why!"

Joe: "Because there's an EGG!"


Joe: "An EGG! An enormous one! An enormous egg, just sitting there on the roof of the patio below our deck! Just sitting there!"

And there is. The mother goose was sitting on it when I got home, so all I saw was her smooth back and lovely feathers as she craned her neck around to look warningly and threateningly at us.

Friday Already

Yes, it is -- a grey, chilly day, drenched in rain, and spray, and other manifestations of water. They are predicting a sunny Sunday, however. Which would be a very good day to go and visit my parental units. I should call them and see if they are going to be home.

"...besame, besame mucho..." I do like this song. It's funny to translate it and see how it loses its flavor! "Kiss me, kiss me a lot..." Not much there!

So when I come in to the office and find a snotty little note written by a person of obviously limited intelligence, what would be the very best sort of response? My response was to laugh, but what would be the very best, for everyone involved?

The note, which is from Nameless Agent, of course, says (and I quote) "Please add legal size paper to the machine, I almost never come to the office, and when I come the machine has no paper!"

There really isn't a best answer to that, is there? Because what Nameless Agent needs from it (obscure, I'm afraid) is not going to be compatible with what I need -- to laugh and shake my head, and not allow myself to be even mildly annoyed with her wooly thinking. Since, come on -- the number of times she is in the office has nothing to do with whether or not there is paper in the printer -- nor does it add even slightly to the distress-level of the absence of legal-sized paper. But obviously to her it does!

I've taped it to the wall of my desk, and I grin every time I look up and see it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So, I'm wondering if this can be a symptom of something, because it has never happened to me like this before, and yet it rings a faint bell in my memory, as though I've heard of it. You see, lately, I've had quite a lot of charleyhorses gripping the muscles of my calves -- can't actually remember whether it's always the same leg, or both legs. Anyway, stretching does not always help and it's fairly annoying and kind of painful, but no serious big deal. But last night I had an ENORMOUS charleyhorse, a huge, crippling, dreadfully painful charleyhorse that had my left leg twisted up like a pretzel. I was unable to get it to let go, and although I sat up in bed, I couldn't stand up at first, because for a minute or two I was unable to put any weight on it. When I could, I went lurching through the house, limping like a pirate on his wooden leg, and crashing into the frame of each doorway I passed through.

When I returned to bed, I dreamed a complicated and distressing dream which I now cannot remember very well, but which was all about the crippled-up leg I had! So it had re-cramped itself in my sleep. And then this morning when I woke, it was painful and untrustworthy.

'Course, it's fine now, only a little bit sore, but more like I was hiking yesterday, not like the aftermath of a charleyhorse.

So, is this a result of being old? Or fat? Or a stroke victim? Or a gallbladder patient? Or WHAT?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring in Spite of the Snow

So this morning when I got up into my empty house (smiling upon realizing, as I do every morning when the house is empty -- what kind of a mother does that make me?) and went into the kitchen to make my morning coffee, I looked out the window into a perfectly well-lit view. No shadows, no lingering hints of darkness anywhere. The earth has tilted just enough on its axis for the sun to pass over this particular spot about an hour or so earlier than when I first moved in. Spring is really coming, and this in spite of the recent snow. Now the water is sparkling with the morning light on the ripples, caused by the splashing of many ducks and geese, taking their morning baths and showing off to one another.

I do love this kitchen window -- it does improve even the task of washing my son's dishes. Which, you must understand, are always left half full, and then hidden in the computer room, so that an easy wash becomes a muttering, splashing struggle.

He is doing better, though -- his tantrums are less lengthy, and this last one was superseded by a complete understanding of who was really at fault and how entirely this was true.

But I am still SO MUCH happier in the apartment when I am alone in it! Or, I should say, when he is not in it with me. This gives me an even greater enjoyment of its beauty and appointments -- not unlike the old Aesop's Fable of the family in the tiny house with all their animals inside with them. When they are all out, the house is huge and luxurious -- so my lovely little isle of peace and plenty is even more beautiful when the only noise in it is made by me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Love Dean Martin

9:09 in the morning, and I'm sitting drinking good coffee and listening to Dean singing that everybody loves somebody sometimes. Even though this is such an overplayed number that even the few opening notes causes an automatic lurch of disgust, it's actually a pretty good song if you actually listen. Anyway, its Dino, for crying out loud. I mean.

Because I read in someone else's blog about a ruptured appendix and weeks of hospitalization with all kinds of horrific complications make me remember my own case with amazed gratitude combined with horror. You know? I mean it ruptured at least ten years before I had it taken out -- remember that weekend that Beth Ann came and brought her little entourage to sleep on my floor? Yeah, that's right -- but apparently only enough to leak a slow drip of poison into my system -- enough to make me sick every morning upon arising, and give me an enormous build-up of scar tissue. Remember the doctor? "About as big as a Campbell's soup can and a half," holding his hands out in a bulging kidney shape. Shaking his head in amazement.

Pause while I listen to that man sing.... mmmm.

I do love the effortless way the music just pours out of him -- he opens his mouth and it slips right out with no push. As high and as low as he wants, hitting the notes when he wants to and wandering around in their general vicinity when he wants to, and hitting all the decorative little grace notes without the slightest error.. and also so funny and so handsome and such a great actor ! I mean it's not surprising that he turned into a human version of a greek god. It would have been surprising if he had just been a humble, ordinary man who married once and had several kids and was a good dad.

Okay, mild little indulgence in worship over.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Oscar Goes to...

Watched the Academy Awards show last night with Mickey and Cynthia and Katie. It was enjoyable, but not exciting, and I wasn't wowed or horrified or any kind of impressed with what anyone was wearing. Nobody was wearing any kind of gorgeous outfit, male or female, nor was anyone doing anything Bjorn-like and wearing a dead bird wrapped around them. So no good clothes sniping. Which was kind of the point of watching, for me at least, since this year I hadn't seen any of the movies! Wow -- what an amazing thing to say, for grown-up me. I used to watch a minimum of a movie a week! Sometimes more like three! But now, sigh, I'm just not in a place to do it. However! I'm looking for that to change. In just a few months my finances will be completely settled, and I will have smaller bills (much smaller!) and be able to afford a movie ticket once a week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Near-Death Experience

Once again I have narrowly escaped -- bum, bum, bum -- death by log truck! (quieter and quieter -- log truck, log truck, log truck!)

True. This is the second time that I have barely missed being killed, munched, splattered flat as the proverbial pancake (and which proverb is that?) and yet this time it did not bother me. I did not have to pull over to the side of the highway and breath in huge ragged gasps that didn't seem to give me anything like enough oxygen, until I calmed down.

Driving in to work, merging on to 205, and speeding up as I came down the on-ramp, to reach freeway speeds, only to come right up on the tail of a small pickup which had learned driving at the School of Opposite, and had slowed down to nearly stopping at the end of the ramp. As I braked hard, I looked quickly to my left, to see if I could whip around him, and saw the log truck barreling down beside me. As it passed, I was ready to snap my wheel and skid around this ridiculous little standing-still pickup. Something caught my eye, though, up in the high left corner, and I paused momentarily to assess it -- just long enough to realize that there was a long straight hitch between the truck and the trailer it was pulling, also full of logs. I would have been extremely flattened. Squashed beyond even identification.

I thought about this as I drove peacefully in to work, and found that my heart had not even accelerated. I wasn't concerned bodily at all. Hardly even mentally.

Whereas! The first time I took on a log truck and barely escaped with my life, it shattered me to the point of being incapable of driving. This was the second day I had a license, and I was driving over to the Farm to visit Mom and Dad. Driving east on Hwy 14, I came up behind a slow sedan driving up a fairly steep hill, and I pulled into (what I thought was) the fast lane to pass them. As I passed them, humming merrily to myself, I looked over and smiled at the elderly couple who were both staring at me, in absolute horror. I pulled back over in front of them just as I topped the rise, and just as an enormous log truck, full to the brim with enormous logs came charging over the hill top in the lane I had just that second left. It was a two-lane highway, and I had just narrowly, narrowly missed a terrible, horrible death.

Whew! Even thinking about it makes me anxious. Not this time, though. Wonder why?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I swear I'm not making this up

And I quote:

Telephone: Riiiing!

Me: Good afternoon, Company Name, this is Elisabeth!

Nameless Agent: Oh, hi -- this is Nameless Agent. I have a question.

Me: (patiently) Yes?

Nameless Agent: Do I have to fill out this paperwork for a Short Sale if I'm not doing a Short Sale?

Me: ...Uh, no...

N.A.: No? I don't have to fill out this paperwork?

Me: Not unless you ARE doing a Short Sale...

N.A.: Oh, I'm not! I'm really not!

Me: Then no, you don't.

N.A.: I don't? Are you sure?

? ? ? ? ?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring is Really Coming

My morning window faces west, and is pretty hemmed in by trees and mountains anyway, so it was with surprise that I looked out this morning at pink and yellow stripes on the pale, pale blue sky. This is the first morning I've seen that! It was quite light outside, at six-thirty, no shadows or pockets of dark anywhere, first time I've noticed that, too.

And daffodils are blooming EVERYWHERE!