We went to Bellingham’s public library with different goals in mind. We had discussed cooperative actions especially noting insects in contrast to mammals but not limiting out take-out books to those subjects. Nancy’s list includes: The Compassionate Instinct; Cheating Monkeys and citizen bees; Honeybee democracy; The Altruism equation (seven scientists); Letters from the hive; and The super organism beauty and elegance. I was after examples of mystery writing: The Silent Places; Dark Fire; and Innocent Blood. I had explored the insect world when I taught at the McNary National Wildlife Education Center some years past. Not that our reading was mutually exclusive. Each could venture into the other’s list if we chose to compare. We certainly have the time to do so. I want to write mysteries and expect that the above would be good examples to examine. Results will be forthcoming when readings are complete.
Archive for September, 2012
Try as I might I cannot keep my attention on the upcoming election. I went with Nancy to shop for groceries. Bananas are at the top of the list. Jerry has those for breakfast. I like peaches, too, and we bought some. Oatmeal is an important part of my breakfast, for my heart’s health. Well I eat stuff I like but it helps if that stuff is good for me. I like bananas as fattening as they are. I must get out and run an extra distance to “wear” them off. My exercise schedule is very skimpy and I must correct that. Leaving fattening fruit out of my diet is OK but unless I burn more calories than I consume, not eating at all will not be the solution. A determined mind set is critical, bananas not withstanding. Get off my duff. Run off those calories.
Between TV news and reiterated highlights from Nancy, my brain is saturated with more politics in the last 24 hours than all last month. Hasn’t changed my mind either. I know what I know and that’s final. There is much to be said, however, about getting opinions from several sources. The proverbial horse’s mouth is not the end all, and that’s for sure. The value of many sources is that fools trip themselves. Facts are facts, and no matter the spin put on the subject, a person can ferret out the truth if they choose. A label often sets the base. The political party chosen by a candidate is important. The words and actions of that candidate must reflect the party’s ideals. I still like to compare my opinions with others I trust. An old Democrat who taught me a lot about politics said she voted Democrat even if she had to hold her nose because any Democrat was heads above candidates under any other label whether their beliefs exactly mirrored her own. There was exposure on radio, very little on TV. All was the personal handshake and look straight in the eyes. I hope to get insight into candidates but face to face remains the best.
Nancy took me shopping for some warmer pants. Mine were thin, she shivered as she felt them. At K-mart I bought two pair, one corduroy, one twill, both black, elastic waistband, but petite so no leg length adjustment required. And I assure you each pair is warmer than the tan quill I have been wearing. I bought a jacket yesterday, pink and fleece-like, on sale. Comfy and pretty. Now I am set for the chilly stay in Bellingham, the length of which I have not decided. Nancy made tuna sandwiches and I had a double slice accompanied with milk and a chocolate chip cookie. She is incommunicado for an hour or whatever she needs to fortify her energy level.
We looked over the accessories in the tool kit trying several on a practice chunk out on Nancy’s deck. Maybe inspiration will be forthcoming soon. Will no doubt be very much fun. Gil had offered to bring wood chunks. He has done pieces himself. Anyway I have a week or two and we will see what we shall see. I’ve only done carving with chisels and hammer and this power stuff will be a new adventure. High speed carving will take me where I have never gone before. Not like I could lose a finger or anything. (I hope).
Nancy took me shopping and I bought a new pair of shoes. They look like my old ones, but are black and shiny. Now I can walk straight again. She went for groceries really but keep Mom’s feet comfortable is top priority. What are kids for? I started on a new story. Tom suggested a story about my work at Hanford and I did begin but it will take a few more hours. I am intrigued by the possibility of an adventure in the Ottoman empire, slaves and such. Right now I am too chilly to concentrate. Time to crawl under warm blankets, probably for the night. Tomorrow I can begin to break in new footware.
My eighty-fifth birthday celebration was a great success. We met at the Sandcastle on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Nice motel. Just a sand walk away from the water. My feet sunk into the sand so one step was really two, as I said before. We all checked out this morning and I think every one is home by now. It seemed like a long drive, Nancy and Jerry brought me to Bellingham where I will stay for a week or maybe two depending on the weather. Rain here is tolerable but I would prefer sunshine, if you please. The breakers coming in from the west were fabulous to watch. One is much the same as the next and although I probably could have watched for hours, I did not have the luxury of another day. But it was wonderful. I loved it. Many pictures were taken and I will beg for copies of them from the camera operators. We arrived here around five PM and Jerry ordered fried chicken which we ate while it was hot. Sooooo good! My computer is set up on Nancy’s little table as usual and this is my first blog at this location, at this time. I am weary from the top of my head to the tips of my toes and because my bed is ready I will lie down with the intention to remembering the good stuff from those two days. I have several Earl Stanley Gardner’s books to peruse which will probably put me to sleep very soon. But I will try.
When asked where I would like to celebrate my birthday, I piped up “The Oregon Coast” and here I am in a motel “Sandcastle” sitting on the third floor facing the breakers coming in from the far Pacific. I walked in the warm sand yesterday. a wonderful experience. The walking was more difficult than I expected. My feet sunk into the sand and gave me no solid place to move ahead. Every step forward slipped back so the effort was actually a step and a half. In the soft sand my feet sunk in and required more energy for me to lift each one. I had thought I prepared beforehand by walking up and down steps. That surely must have helped but the sand was a challenge nevertheless. We all had gone to MO’s for lunch. The chowder was delicious. Nancy took us to the shops and I bought a balloon covered with butterflies that will spin and fly above my doorway. The All includes Tim, Laurel, Dan, Deb, Mike, June, Thomas and me. Now most of the All have gone horizontal and who knows how long they will nap? Except me. Thomas and Jerry are in deep conversation about computers. Still the breakers fascinate me, rolling over and over, beginning in ridges hundreds of feet into the horizon. I recall a painting class in watercolor I took many years ago when the technique was demonstrated. Perhaps when I get home I will revisit those lessons and recapture the magic.
I kid you not. I watched rats jump and play in Tom’s back yard. Tom is not amused and brought out a dish of lethal treats he got at the grocers last night for those rodents. Perhaps it will be four to five days for the picnic to work on their digestive systems but in due time Tom hopes to be rid of them. I hope the carcasses will stay in the happy home of the rats and dry out never to be seen again. Rats have been the scourge of humans from forever by getting aboard ship and living on sailor’s fare. Modern chemistry has made poison a delicious lure and the rats happily gorge themselves to death. Cruel and inhuman? OK, so rats aren’t human, mammals though they be, and will not be tolerated. Eradicated? There is that hope.
Just to work in the warm sun in Tom’s back yard was excuse enough for me to do away with grass and other weeds ingrown around the boxwood and special stuff beside what once was a fountain, a lovely focus in the cluster that surrounded a rhododendron, an apple tree and other assorted plantings. I pulled and hacked and had a wonderful time in the process. Tom carried away what I pulled and piled. Avery watered where I had worked and the area should look better when the roots get time to settle down. Tom admitted he had long term plans that will no doubt alter the present appearance in a big way but he would rather go slowly and have results to his liking than forge ahead willy-nilly. The backdrop between his lot and the street is a hedge of ten-foot laurel plants which to me look very fine but he has something else in mind and he feels that he has the time he wants to accomplish his goals. To me this indicates that he is here for the duration, that is for his lifetime, at least until Morgan gets somewhat settled in her life and she has dreams in place. Beyond that he will deal with whatever comes, whenever it comes. Good plan don’t you agree?