Just bid adu – that should be goodbye in French – for another month – March – one of the months that have 31 days. Recall the rhyme “Thirty days hath September, April June and November. All the rest have 31 excepting February, which has 28. Well usually that is, except for leap year like this one, when it has 29. It seems that in reckoning sun time a year is really a bit longer than 365 days and to catch up, Poop Gregory, I think the culprit was, added an extra day, why in February, I don’t know, but there it is. Today began with warm sunshine and I sat with my first cup of morning coffee in my cedar rocker (it has to stay outside) to enjoy the coffee and the sun. I was dressed and wrapped in my bathrobe because the temperature was a seasonably 45 F and not sunbathing weather. Nice, though. I went in to get lunch and clouds rolled in and rained on the situation. I withdrew to my sunroom. No raking wet weeds in the crushed rock! I am such a whimp. A squirrel went tippy toe on the top of the cedar fence. A big fluffy white cat stalked it having a tough time balancing on the top edge of the half inch boards. No end to the animal show in my back yard. I appreciate my sunroom at either end of the day.
Archive for March, 2012
The sun shone warmly on my Adirondack rocker this morning and I took advantage of the situation by snugging my spine up to the hard cedar boards in an ongoing effort to keep the bone nearest to my head from buckling and become the base for a widow’s hump. In exercise sessions years past at Battelle we were urged to stand against a wall with the spine pressed straight and firmly held for a few minutes then released. The instructor suggested this exercise become a daily habit that would allow maximum space for the lungs to expand for intake of oxygen and subsequently encourage a need to push old air out. My Dad had for years encouraged all us kids to do that. A straight back was important as far as he was concerned simply because that’s the way people should stand. I have to practice that exercise in the house many times to get in out of the weather – rain today fell again negating need for garden hoses. I did a bit of raking along the front sidewalk and will have to work more diligently to prevent a lawn developing on the crushed rock. Clouds rolled in and a shower had dampened my world and I can sit in my sun room with my PC on my lap as I look out at the happy green plants. Each bit of growth a plant puts out is not considered aging, however aging is what it is. Grass gets cut off, and doesn’t grow to its full potential but roots keep growing and a lawn of sorts results. What a great time I have just watching the grass grow, not to mention seeing the developing blossoms of yellow daffodils and yellow tulips and blue, pink and white hyacinths.
The hole I dug in which to plant my newly acquired pink rose bush produced more river rocks that underlay my entire yard and I raked them with my garden rake to separate them from the dirt. Good thing I needed a fair sized hole for the bush because the dirt was really packed and had to be loosened with my steel bar jammed and twisted. I didn’t really need that kind of exercise but to get the job done it had to be. In the past I hauled the harvested rocks out to a pile by the back fence but today I balked at the extra work and simply raked them in an artistic ring around the flower bed. Even river rock looks pretty when wet. The effort required a time of laid back rest and I sat down with my mail that included a brochure for the annual AHA meeting, this June in New Orleans. While toying with the idea of the trip that had a side attraction of a sternwheeler cruise, I thought back to the 600 miles I cruised from St Louis to St Paul in 2003 in commemoration of the 100 years of the National Wildlife Refuge System. In New Orleans the cruise will be a lot shorter but still on a paddle boat. I pulled out the photo record of the past trip and remembered it fondly. Whether or not I have the energy or desire to go to the AHA meeting and participate in the offered cruise, I have yet to decide. For one thing I have never been to New Orleans yet it is where the water from the Mississippi River, The Father of Waters, pours into the gulf of Mexico after flowing some twenty three hundred miles from little Lake Itasca near Hackensack where I was born. Sounds like a trip I could weave into a novel.
Timeout while I catch my breath after digging a hole and planting a pink tea rose, promising 58 petals on a full blown blossom. I had picked up the plant (silly me) from a close out rack at Fred Meyer’s last week and it had lain on the front step in the cool shadow until I returned from Freethought this morning. I decided rather than watch it dry up, I would plant it. So I did. then Tim called and we talked about our routines and he was off to do his laundry. I have nothing much to do but watch the grass grow and count crows that seem to make a meal from an occasional road kill. Those birds appear to be multiplying but I see no evidence of nests in the shelter belt so they must go somewhere else. Long ago crows were handy for target practice but no guns allowed in the city and the birds have flight shows squawking and flying high. Looks like fun, if you ask me. If they begin to be a bother, I will rethink that soon enough.
My house got chilly overnight with all heat off and windows open. Good for sleeping, though. One of these days the usual sun will break through and make me feel at home again. Fresh coffee helps. Warms me from the inside. Nancy filled five large leaf bags yesterday, hard tiresome job but, oh, how much improved the yard looks. Still more to do. However I can do that over time because I am going nowhere for the next months. I shouldn’t sound so sure of myself. I have been known to drive off for greener pastures on a whim so we shall see, what we shall see.
This evening I watched the third and last video of Lord of the Rings, of which I seem to never tire. Earlier I rode along with Nancy while she filled up on Costco gas and Jerry’s muffins. A couple of old Canadian men who couldn’t seem to figure out how to make their credit card work held up in the gas line for over twenty minutes, an interesting comic interlude. More cars from Canada filling up than Americans, reflecting better gas prices on this side of the border. Rain falls in various quantities, sometimes heavily, mostly simply steady. I did not walk to the falls this morning, lazy, not a difficult habit to fall into, but not a sensible one. I picked up the book The Da Vinci Code and after the first two chapters it hasn’t grabbed my interest as I expected but I got several free books from Bellingham library – paperbacks – that suffice for “falling-asleep” reading. I get chilled when I sit too long in the living room so I crawl into my warm bed to read by nine pm. My new Hoover vacuum cleaner is in Nancy’s “boot” which she is going to initiate on my carpet when she gets me home, probably tomorrow. I have ideas about more shrubs along my front walk. And I am looking forward to that as well as settling back into my own warm house.
Walmart was our destination today and I expected to shop. However I saw nothing that interested me. Neither did Nancy. Jerry bought two pair of shoes and a wrist watch that pleased him. Skies remain cloudy and I think they will release water for the remainder of the day and tomorrow as well. The wind is blowing but not as strong as yesterday. Upon checking the pass conditions Nancy thought we might start for Richland around noonish tomorrow. Whenever is fine with me. I expect to purchase several shrubs which she will help me plant as well as mapping the front yard with intent to redesign the plantings there. I’ve enjoyed my stay here but home is where the heart is and I will be happy to return.
Even long time residents of Bellingham shake their heads at the three inch blanket of snow covering lawns and rooftops this morning. Whatever is snow doing in town? Nevertheless, there it is. All over. Looking from the inside out the scene is lovely. More so because I do not have to go into it. Good thing I got a walk on the path toward Whatcom Falls yesterday and also that we got grocery shopping out of the way. Means we can eat foods of our choice in comfort. Snow at this altitude assures more at the level of Snoqualmie through which we will have to pass to get me back to Richland and that means putting off the trip until the roads clear and dry up. I have no pressing appointments to meet and can enjoy good visiting! Lasting snow is limited to the mountain tops.
On my early morning walk I was buffeted by hard winds on my way in Whatcom Park. I went only as far as the first stairway, not being well dressed to go any farther. I wear ear muffs at home when temperature is freezing or below. The path was dry regardless that rain had fallen for the past 48 hours. I hadn’t done a morning walk, or any walk at all to speak of and it took but a short distance to get me to puffing. I must get back into the swing of things or get fat and lazy. Short branches littered the path but I did not move any. I leave that to Park maintenance. High winds have been forecast for another 24 hours therefore more stuff will fall. Deciduous trees have no buds yet so their leaves are not a problem. Distant tree tops sway no matter that they are bare sticks. They take part in the exotic ballet just for the fun of it.
Tom and Tim made the decision to get together at Nancy and Jerry’s in Bellingham on March 10 around six pm. Tom brought Morgan and Tim brought Laurel. Very wonderful visit. (Dan was in Oxnard, CA and Mike was in Oregon. Some folks have to stay home and mind the store.) We had green pea soup, snacked on crackers, nuts, cheese and olives. All the while visiting and generally making crumbs. Nancy had vacuumed with my new Hoover just to be sure it was working properly. I bought it (with Jerry’s Kohl discount which I must pay back). It will go to Richland with me this week where it will be much used and thoroughly appreciated. I haven’t had a new vacuum cleaner for years and none this powerful so my desert dust will be sucked up and enclosed in throw away bags never to be breathed again. Oh happy day! Nancy picked me up last week so unless she plans to keep me she will have to take me home. I plan to settle in for several days and we will wait for a nice travel day on Snoqualmie Pass. Nice to be free to come and go on a whim. And then not have to drive!!!