Archive for February, 2010

Is it over?

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The rain gently fell. Clouds deep gray looking for all the world settling in for the day. I reflected from a comfortable chair in my sunroom, certainly a misnomer on this day for lack of sun but I was looking forward to coffee and a tasty breakfast. Despite the clouds the day would be rosy or so I thought and I readily welcomed the day. The feeling that settled in my gut shortly thereafter was most unwelcome. The pain nearly brought me to my knees. Luckily I was at the sink and rested my head until the feeling passed. What was most unusual was the nausea that followed. Liquid poured into my mouth from my glands. No bile. I felt really sick. Breathe deeply. Relax. Mounted birds in my car must be returned to the refuge. The birds were a display I took to the Jason Lee Elementary school in Richland as part of their Science Extravaganza. The school is a few blocks across town from where I live and because it was after eight in the evening and raining I parked at home for the night. But I could not leave the birds in my car all day so settle down, dear stomach, I have a mission to accomplish. I was able to dress and return the valuable items to the education building where they belong. The trip is only thirty miles but I held a plastic barf bag handy just in case. I undressed, took pink medicine and crawled into bed where my system managed to recover during a two hour nap. I was weary and laid back in my easy chair. My entire body felt as though pressed into the chair by enormous weights. Hours later I am beginning to feel normal. That was an experience I would prefer not to have again.


nauseous, bellyache, taxidermy,


Friday, February 26th, 2010



That is all I can say about the past twenty four hours. I registered at Columbia Basin College (CBC) and paid a student fee which gives me access to the college library and counseling. I spent some time with the counselor to explore courses and goals. She suggested that I go for sociology and psychology books before I invest in classes. That pleased me no end because I am not much of a student. I got five related books in my public library and find them extremely interesting. Later from suggestions received at the refuge I began to reorganize my McNary website. The sun has been bright and lured me into my back porch. I looked with envy at the wide window I brought years ago from the old Ed Center building and thought of my handyman Douglas do-right. Within fifteen minutes of my call he arrived to begin the installation. It is secured in place and tomorrow he will finish the caulking and trim. I tossed the carpet therefore I must shop for a new piece. There is just end to the work I create for myself.


window, porch, sociology, psychology, handyman,

Dig, not dream

Friday, February 26th, 2010


What a pleasure and yes a comfort to sit in my sunroom, a.k.a back porch, on such a bright sunny day. Not that I do not enjoy the scene under any distribution of those coagulated puffs of water vapor from the same vantage point. After having my handyman install a large used window in the solid wall of my back porch I exiled the carpet so heavily laden with fine grains of desert soil to the garbage bin and sent it off to enrich the city’s landfill. A full ninety degrees of my backyard now comes into view. The conifer trees are delightfully green all year around. The flowering shrubs enliven the scene with colorful stems, buds, and blossoms according to the season. A limited area immediately in front of my new vision is unfortunately void of flora. Well except for grass, a boring lawn cover which also unfortunately requires taming, actually cutting off literally below the knees, to remove cover for encroaching felines that wish to settle in and prey upon unsuspecting songbirds. Besides I dislike tall green little blades tickling my knees whenever I choose to sojourn in the backyard. Would colorful plants enliven the view? My creative vision conjured flowers of many colors like those of Joseph’s biblical coat. What a wonderful idea! Except I haven’t the power to make them magically appear. Off to the plant nursery. Whoops. Those plants are in pots no less. Can they be left on the back porch? If so they would not survive. Well then, I have given myself a physical task to be performed before I can sit down and perform the mental appreciation of my vision. No matter how lovely the thoughts, real life just isn’t simple.


window, handyman, sun-room, grass, vision, clouds, dreams,

Soak up sun

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Optimism found me out in the sun, never mind the temperature was less than fifty degrees. After having a week of clouds I squinted into the bright sunshine when I returned from the library at one pm. How could I possibly sit at the computer? Well I did not. There are many more leaves to rake and so I did. And to take most advantage I stripped down to as few clothes as the temperature warranted and spent several hours raking and soaking. My jawbones ached as they always do when I breathe chilly air through my mouth which I often do while hard at work. I filled the yard waste bin, never mind that it should have been on the sidewalk before seven am. So I am a week ahead, the bin is full for next Wednesday. Furthermore there are piles ready to fill it again. If tomorrow is sunny I can soak up more sun. No work required.

Clear the air

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Something had to be done. Outdoor temperature is below comfortable so I can’t keep doors and windows open. How then am I to get fresh air? Artificial air fresheners are not under consideration. So what is there? Should I go to the source of real air? Oxygen comes from plants, but you knew that. So I will bring plants inside. Before purchasing I looked at the plants in my own yard. Spearmint, yarrow, sage – come to mind because while I weed among them their scent appeals to me. Why not indoors? I potted those and others that are odorless but will deliver oxygen as well. Every windowsill and other open shelf now harbors chlorophyll laden leaves that will enrich the air I breathe. I may buy a potted tree that can be later planted outdoors but for now the only cost was for the pots they were removed to. What effect they have on the air may be minimal but their presence makes me feel good, clearer air or not.

What smell?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Ever wonder what it would be like if you had no sense of smell? It’s tough enough to wake up from an otherwise great night’s sleep with one sinus stuffed and the odor of fresh-brewed coffee drifting in the air but think of pleasure missed if one could not smell at all. Fresh baked bread and roasting ribs bring on happy thoughts with the aroma. Those alone make me glad I can smell. But necessary for survival?  Oh no. Still I might survive a fire because I got the first smell of smoke, or escape other dangers by recognizing gas vapor, or exhaust fumes. When I opened the door of my house after having been away for three weeks, the odor that rushed out to welcome me for an instant made me wish I couldn’t smell. The building was put together in 1945 of post WWII lumber and plywood that while aging as wood should, also exudes an unwholesome odor, not poisonous to be sure but unpleasant nonetheless.  Nothing I can do about it. Air freshener can not mask it. Nothing can be injected into the wood to erase it. I sleep in an unheated room with an open window and avoid it. But these first days of spring when all nature marches forward to procreate, the pollen from over sexed plants decides to reside in my nostrils and close off what little sense of smell I have on the best of days.

Worth a laugh?

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Well it is laughable anyway, working frantically to get the leaves into the garbage can for the next pickup. As if they won’t wait another week. After all it has been four months since the trees shook them off, and more than two months since capricious winds brought them dancing into my yard. I shouldn’t fuss. At least I don’t have to chop them off with a big machete like Danny did last week in trimming dead fronds off his palm trees. Took lots of energy for me to rake wet leaves into piles and lift them up over the rim of the yard waste can I pay the city many dollars a month to haul to the land fill. They are just maple and sycamore leaves as big as my hand or more. Compared to those palm fronds they are like grains of sand. I think Danny had six fronds to put in his yard waste bin. And that is when I laughed. Right there in my front yard I laughed right out loud. Never dawned on me that my neighbors might think I’d gone berserk. They’ve seen me up on my roof cutting overhanging limbs off my big Douglas Fir and raking gravel in the driveway. Never ever laughing like a hyena or a jackass. Well tough. I put my hand up to my ear and laughed into a cell phone. They couldn’t tell I was talking to my wrist. I barked brisk orders to my secretary like the business men did at the airport. That was worth a laugh.

Will wishing do the trick

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

When I stay in homes of my children I can sit indoors, watch the rain, (or sunshine) and enjoy the flora and fauna. That means there are windows or patio doors to look out of. In my home that is not so, except for the front window where I can watch traffic passing by. Well at least that’s action. How nice it would be to have a lookout into my backyard. Well I do have the screen door from which I can keep tabs on my wonderful trees and other flora as well as the fauna – neighborhood cats and my own squirrels. One scampered around the walnut tree this morning when I walked out as Richland’s 20% chance of rain sprinkled my glasses. The feisty rodent peeked around my walnut tree near the ground where it has nuts buried, until I spoke to it. Then it glided up the tree like a sting ray and galloped across branches into the pine trees in the shelter belt. What a wealth of scenery I can view through that narrow door! I would like a better view of the remainder of the yard. How could I have more window space? I do have a 5 by 3-foot window in the shed out back, just standing there desolate and lonely. It should be in one of the walls in my back porch (if that floor space qualifies as a porch) where I could have the extra viewing I wish for. OK. I will estimate the 2×4’s needed to install that window then contact my handyman, Douglas do-right in the Crocodile Dundee hat, to find out if he does installation. That will have to wait for a work day. Meanwhile I keep my fingers crossed, hoping wishes can come true.

Just No Place

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

There is just no place like home. No doubt about it. I had a wonderful three weeks in sunny Oxnard, California. Well every day was not sunny. Some days were more than cloudy. They were wet. Like a steady rain wet. But not like some rainy places I’ve been. Montgomery, Alabama, for instance. Wooooeeee. Clouds there really knew how to rain one day. Couldn’t see the car across the parking lot from the store entrance. And just to be sure I would feel welcomed home, rain fell when I landed in Richland. I suspect it rained all night although I only stayed up to sort the mail that piled up while I was gone. I did not stay up to record rain data. I woke early and cuddled back into bed on Saturday. That’s a day to sleep in, right? Oh no not this Saturday. It was the second Saturday and that means a special day at McNary National Wildlife Refuge Education Center. Actually that was the reason I couldn’t stay longer in Oxnard. February 13 was the national bird count day. Forty folks came to view, count and verify fourteen bird species as well as the number of individual birds within each specie. Sounds like a heck of a job. Would have been tiresome and boring if it wasn’t so much fun. I mean really. And without goodies as rewards either. Parents had to drag their kids away after I locked the doors. On second Saturdays volunteers keep the Center open from 9am to noon and I am a stickler about those hours. If visitors come at ten minutes to closing they get ten minutes in the building. No more. Just like a bank or any business. I had stuff at home to do. Even with the clouds I was in the front yard cutting off the old plant growth so the fresh green shoots will look their best. My neighbor brought over several packages of frozen hash brown potatoes because she saw me outside. She works at Lamb Weston and brings potatoes home. I don’t know when I will get them eaten. If I’m smart (and that’s never been proven) I will ration them to keep a trim waistline. And there are weeds to take and leaves to rake and rugs to shake. There is just no place like home.

Bag the Sun

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The sky is so blue and the sun is so warm. I clutch the day close to my chest. Tomorrow I go north to Richland and while I may see the same sun it will not be as bright. I may not see it at all. Richland has a history of cloudy winters and spring is still a few months away. I get weather on my laptop so I know the temperature there drops to near freezing at night. Daytime temperatures rarely get up as high as the overnight temperature here in Oxnard. But it is home so I will endure. While I pack my new shorts and T’s and sandals, I try to pack in a little sunshine. The bag bulges as if I did capture sunbeams. If they leak out while in flight, so be it. But I’m not about to give up the vision very quickly. I will hold on ’til the real thing comes shining through.