There has to be a blog in here somewhere. I don’t like to go three days without another post. So – the weather will get colder not just because days are getting shorter but because cold air is sweeping across the oceans. Blogs can be about prophecy or those events that will probably come to pass. Geologists or whoever monitors such things tell us that colder than we should have this time of year is coming. And it will probably be drier than other years. Anyway I told you that I have my warm fleece boots setting by the door so I am ready. Last night rain fell so I expected ice today but that did not happen. There is much dust on my Hyundai that I had better rinse off before a frost. That takes work but must be done. When finished I can blog another one.
Archive for November, 2011
Freethought attendance was sparse this morning, Dave with the white goatee, Frank, Jim Williams, Jesse, Alma Williams with a parting reminder to Jim when he left early that there were clothes in the dryer. As if he better well know what to do with them. Otherwise the overall discussion was interesting about Schirmer and what to think about him. That had to do with the US congress and whether decent folks would ever dominate again. Obama came up in the question about Medicare and social security. Jesse has all the answers which is rather pathetic. I had to go for oranges and kleenex on the way and got home around 2 pm. The bright sunshine really hurt my eyeballs so I squinted all the way home. Clouds have since taken over. I guess wind and more rain are in store according to Mike and El Nineo. I have a thank you to write to Alice Schupp for the pictures of Jean, Emil and Roger she sent after Jean died. In what there is left of Sunday I plan to hunker down and work on an outline of the November novel. Nancy said she was going to try for the fifty thousand word challenge this year. We are looking forward to next August and Oxnard and Alex and Beth’s wedding. Always good things to look forward to. The knitty gritty everyday stuff we just do.
One thing about October rains and November winds is that leaves have no hope of clinging to my trees. Like me they are always ready to take a trip. So they aim for the ground. My six foot high cedar fence positively corrals them and prevents their touring down the streets. I do have a leaf rake. It is in no way mechanical. Until I place my hands just so on the long handle and put my back to it, the idiot just leans against the shed undaunted. It takes considerable work for the long spines to pull leaves into piles. It’s me doing the pulling. The spines take great glee in catching on the shrubs which are also leafless. I look with great desire upon the box of wooden matches, wondering how, or even if, I can put the leaves up in smoke without setting the entire world on fire. With much huffing, groaning, and gritting of teeth (not to mention the four letter sounds that are emitted from unlovely feminine lips) I lift the sugar makers into the yard waste bin – that’s the green one. That bin must be dragged out to the curb. The city will no way step on to my property to get the bin. If I forget to put it at the curb, the green thing sets on my lot as if it has taken roots. I should be dancing a pirouette that all I have to do is load and deliver. Up to my knees in leaves, that’s the scene under the bright blue November skies. Hey, give more Thanksgiving – some years at this time I have been up to my knees in snow.
I lucked out this holiday. No turkey to roast. No guests to clean after. And I brought home a box of leftovers that are now simmering in my crock pot on which I will be feasting for several days. I have yet to add carrots to the “stew” of turkey and vegetables I had on hand. I have much more praise for a feast that I had no effort in preparing. I even got a chauffeured ride to and from the event. No need to prepare dinner for a day or two. That ought to spoil me but good. Shoot! I didn’t even get a piece of pumpkin pie. Oh well, there are other holidays ahead.
Weather changed dramatically over night from freezing to balmy because of a quirk of nature that has been given the name of a salmon or Native American Indian tribe – Chinook. Regarding weather, it is a warm wind made so because it blows into North America from over the Caribbean. Mike will have the atmospheric details if you must know. However it eased warm temperatures over Richland. What a treat in the Thanksgiving weekend of November! The breeze that brought it in gusted from zero to fifteen miles and that sort of air movement affects my ears. I wondered if I had an ear infection. When I spoke with Dr Nancy that I thought I should go to an ear doctor she thought I could save time and money if I simply took a decongestant so off I trotted to pick up Children’s Dimetapp. I take four teaspoons every four hours. The grape flavored stuff I got (only thing on the shelf) tastes sweet as well as bitter. Awful. Well it is better than stuff my mother concocted. So far I have swallowed to doses which made me some what dizzy. I opted to stay away from my liberally drinking friends because I do not want to be known as a dizzy driver. Similiar to a dizzy blond. Oh maybe not. But I sit beside my faithful computer and whine my heart out. You see my fingers ache, my butt aches, my legs ache, my biceps ache. Belly ache. I guess maybe I am a belly ache – r. My eyes ache too from trying to make sense of a blog in the making. Just poke the publish button and let cyberspace take charge or step into my sun room and listen to the wind blow. Some choices!
The nippy air bites my eyeballs and makes me catch my breath. My right ear aches. My throat is sore also on the right side. Earlier I had a feeling of nausea and for me that is most rare. I don’t need a case of flu at this time of the year nor at this time of my life. I shun annual flu shots because when I got them I got sick with flu. My contemporaries informed me that they got their shots last week. If it wasn’t such a morbid list I would site the statistics that in old folks lung congestion becomes pneumonia that opens an exit door. I take note. I am no longer a vibrant young thing. Mother had a tonic she used on sick animals. She would prepare a mixture of vinegar, pepper and other common household items, pour it down their throats and keep them on their feet, walking, walking, walking. They got well. Mom’s tonic might be for me. Let’s see – red pepper, vinegar, and other stuff I don’t have on hand. Maybe not. The public clinic opens at eight tomorrow. I will go and bite the bullet.
Face it. No matter that December 21 is the first day of winter, the season has arrived, November or not. The temperature of 35 is not likely to raise as the high until late January. When I was a kid (here come the old folks tales) we were thrilled when the pond froze over and we strapped blades on our overshoes and skated on our own private “lake”. When ice freezes and I need my fleece lined knee-high boots, winter is here. And with boots like that I can venture out in twelve inches of snow in comfort (With other appropriate apparel). Maybe the snow will dry up and blow away but more will come and although the temperature will shakily vary from 28 F to 35, it is still winter. I will dress for it but forget the ice skates. The last time I went that route, I fell and broke my wrist. No thanks. Step carefully and stay upright. This is it for at least two months. The interim provides several holiday celebrations filled with friends and food. I wish for you to have the same. What a life!
As if I could stop it! Or would want to if I could. Snow is falling steadily and piling up a white carpet on surfaces cold enough to hold it – twigs, leaves, and branches. Very pretty. Especially since I can view it from my warm indoors. I went to McNary NWR yesterday when it was quiet. Oh, there was a gentle breeze across the pond from the northeast, harbinger of the cooler temperature of today. Oddly I felt no connection with the Refuge and I have no understanding of why that is. Visitors came and went quite impressed with the education center, several having visited when the displays were in an old farmhouse. That was a great many years past. One winter there was more than a foot of snow and I found a big bootprint with raccoon footprints as if the animal was avoiding the deep snow. I had not expected the animal to be out at all. None other were. I do not intend to go find out what animals might be wading through today’s snowfall. From indoors I can appreciate the white covering over all.
Not often do I look at the weather forecast on the Internet. To check highways if I want to travel. But when told rain is on the way I took my leaf rake in hand and filled my waste and garbage bins with the senescent sugar manufacturers. I prefer the moisture, what little that falls in Richland, to soak into the soil not lay in the open to evaporate. In no way did I complete the job, but made progress. Settled back in my recliner and napped. Beyond the window it was not rain but snow that settled on cold surfaces leaving a clean white film. Pretty, sure, and since it did not melt when it fell I was quite sure that winter had come to my house. It will not likely be a short visit, a day or so, but though it may evaporate more will follow and hang around until next year. Mid January I may see a thaw but for now out comes my boots, mittens and scarves in which I will bundle and trundle on about my business and recreation. If I grumble too much I will bring to mind the 15 foot snow banks of Minnesota days. Oh those dear dead days beyond recall.
Ever heard that old sailor’s chanty that starts with “Blow ye winds”? The northeast wind that blew across Richland this afternoon was a blustery challenge that made me wonder how such a wind would toss a boat about upon a broad expanse of water. I do not know who wrote this verse but the writer makes it sound like a rollicking adventure that the sailors looked forward to. The sea chanty goes like this:
Blow, Ye Winds
'Tis advertised in Boston,
New York and Buffalo,
Five hundred brave Americans,
A-whaling for to go, singing,
Chorus: Blow, ye winds in the morning,
And blow, ye winds, high-o!
Clear away your running gear,
And blow, ye winds, high-o!
2. They send you to New Bedford,
That famous whaling port,
And give you some land-sharks
To board and fit you out.
3. They send you to a boarding house,
There for a time to dwell;
The thieves they there are thicker
Than the other side of hell!
4. They tell you of the clipper ships
A-going in and out,
And say you'll take five hundred sperm
Before you're six months out.
5. It's now we're out to sea, my boys,
The wind comes on to blow;
One half the watch is sick on deck,
The other half below.
6. But as for the provisions,
We don't get half enough;
A little piece of stinking beef
And a blamed small bag of duff.
7. Now comes that damned old compass,
It will grieve your heart full sore.
For theirs is two and thirty points
And we have forty four.
8. Next comes the running rigging,
Which you're all supposed to know;
'Tis "Lay aloft, you son of a gun,
Or overboard you go!"
9. The coopers's at the vise bench,
A-making iron poles,
And the mate's upon the main hatch
A-cursing all our souls.
10. The Skipper's on the quarterdeck
A-squinting at the sails,
When up aloft the lookout sights
A school of whales.
11. "Now clear away the boats, my boys,
And after him we'll travel,
But if you get too near his fluke,
He'll kick you to the devil!"
12. Now we have got him turned up,
We tow him alongside;
We over with our blubber hooks,
And rob him of his hide.
13. Now the boat steerer overside
The tackle overhauls,
The Skipper's in the main-chains,
So loudly does he bawl!
14. Next comes the stowing down, my boys,
'Twill take both night and day,
And you'll all have fifty cents apiece
On the hundred and ninetieth lay.
15. Now we are bound into Tonbas,
That blasted whaling port,
And if you run away, my boys,
You surely will get caught.
16. Now we are bound into Tuckoona,
Full more in their power,
Where the skippers can buy the Consul up
For half a barrel of flour!
17. But now that our old ship is full
And we don't give a damn,
We'll bend on all our stu'nsails
And sail for Yankee land.
18. When we get home, our ship made fast,
And we get through our sailing,
A winding glass around we'll pass
And damn this blubber whaling!