I’m for the Birds

It’s a cold 45 degrees this morning, but walking weather for my husband. He’s been gone for a while, so perhaps it isn’t as cold as I think. He’ll return just as I start to fret that he has been gone too long.

He has bird company. Sunday past, robins carpeted the front lawn, tugging and pulling frantically to unearth worms. They seemed ravenous. Today there is a finch eyeing her last year’s nest as she perches in the sleeping dogwood by the kitchen window. She chases off other birds interested in usurping the ideal location, sheltered from weather, and hidden from the street. Last year she clutched four times. This is her well established territory.

This morning the resident lonesome dove cooed outside my bedroom door. I’m glad to see her. In a day or two she’ll present a twig or two for my inspection, before she begins to construct this year’s abode. I take comfort in her constancy. This is her place and she protects her territory with ease.

I’m pleased to see no tree or roof damage from the weekend’s heavy blow. My house is quite sound, but this storm made itself known and listening to its marauding around the perimeter and tearing down the wind tunnel between me and my neighbor gave me a solid flavor of the power of air moving at 50 mph and higher. North of us, my friends at Bay saw downed trees and power lines. Here at the lower edge of the storm, we were spared and entertained, but never in danger.

Time for hot soup and a sandwich so I’d best get to the kitchen. The walker is home and hungry. He is back to normal and carries a single impediment from his stroke, so mild as to not be noticeable unless you knew him from his twenties.

This month we’ll celebrate 59 years of marriage, humble and thankful for our time together. Looking back across that time, we know we are blessed with perseverance, patience and enough love and good times to keep on truckin’. Grace is a magical thing. We have learned that life just is. It brings whatever it brings. Ours is to stay true to the path marked out for us, and to be diligent and thankful about walking it together. To keep making space for each other, to tolerate our idiosyncrasies and to know full well we are still up to the task, for therein lie all the rewards.


I don’t have any. So many passwords, such zealous attempts by websites to protect my privacy is defeating in the extreme. I can see the point in protecting my bank account(s). I get that it is prudent to conceal my true identity, but from myself? Come on. I still know who I am. Apparently the walls I throw up to protect that are very high, and for that I am grateful. But much of the time now I’m shut out of the privilege to access myself. It has become nearly impossible to prove that I am truly me.

For the younger generation, this seems to be easy peasy. I did the senior thing and made a list of my many identities and put them in a book so that I could eliminate the challenge of who I am to what organization. Pretty tricky, so long as I remember where I hid the book. I admit that I lack Sherlock’s skill for solving the mysteries I have apparently created concerning my identity, which is why the answers to this convoluted puzzle are now hieroglyphic to myself.

Unfortunately, the other household resident was not clued in, so I lack a backup brain to decipher this code, which makes accessing my bank account more than a challenge, and elevated it to downright irritating. See, most seniors blank periodically, and many, like me, do that with shocking regularity.

By the time I unraveled the current mystery, I forgot why I needed to in the first place. I’ve been at this since 5:30 this morning. I located my handy dandy book of notes addressing this dilemma and discovered that the guaranteed notes I made make no sense.

In the doing this morning, I discovered that the voice (s) on the other end of my call exhibited endless patience while trying to sort exactly what my problem is/was, and chuckled when I said age might be a factor. Well. They will eventually have their day. All, both male and female, worked to untangle me and I could make several corrective notes to explain my old ones to myself. They won’t make sense by next week either, but they will, and did, get me to my goal today.

I am ready for spring and resent “teaser” days that promise but deliver only more snow. Yes, I know, an inch or two should be easy to tolerate, but I plead age to be excused for some degrees of  intolerance. I want spring! Now. I should be grateful for the brilliant morning sun, for the chirping of birds scouting for places to build scraggly nests, knowing their sense of timing for spring beats mine hands down. I am a bit disgusted with myself because I know full well this winter hardly comes up to “challenge”. I begin to understand why elders move to Florida. Warmth and sunshine have a definite charm and lure me, at least in my mind. But how would I convince all those near and dear to come with?

So I am thankful for the patience of others willing to sort me, and for that bright light in the morning sky, and breathing with ease, accompanied by a hearty appetite which I’m about to satisfy. While I miss the agility of my 30 yr old, well recalled body, I’ll take what I’ve got and be thankful I can still type, run the stairs, remember why I’m in the car and where I’m going….though once I get there I’m not quite sure why…look: I should be grateful I can still find the keys, remember to stop for gas, and hope that tomorrow will afford the same.

You, though, should be glad you are not my banker. Or my editor. Or my daughter.

I should endeavor to be more faithful to this nonsense blog, which I actually enjoy, and I make promises to myself with regularity and good intentions. But by now you can tell I’m pretty slipshod. Blame it on the muse.



Blowing it off. Delaying. Ignoring. Hiding. Hey. It’s a spring day in February, a taste of what is to come, a frolic time, playing hooky, putting off. I’m for that, never mind that I actually did have a plan for today. In a large box in the pantry is a gift to myself. It sits waiting for me, filled with all the possible necessaries to perform creative cookery. My whole 59 year long marriage has been filled with pieces/parts with no nesting, matching or graduated sizes of anything cook worthy. Worse, the uneven heat, the poorly balanced pots and pans with hot spots etc., while not deterring me from near- pro skills, didn’t help much in the way of guarantees of outcome. It is very late to remedy that, but hey, I might live to be a centenarian. After lunching with friends yesterday, I took notes from one of them whose mother is 106. Years, that is. So I could be cooking for another couple of decades. Chewing would be the more questionable effort.

Today I stole time from that endeavor to learn a bit more computing, and then improved my Lumosity skills, a little brain fun which I enjoy. And, not yet ready to make room for the pro set of cooking tools, I’m practicing my word skills. Lunch, then a short walk, and finally to the work at hand. Then I should road test at least one of the new toys and make something delish for dinner, though I sorely want to return to Bonefish Grill where I had the best fish and chips this side of UK, yesterday. Didn’t think that was possible. Good company, great food, what could be better!

Best get about my chore, knowing I’ll be so glad I got that done. I’m a really poor organizer, but an orderly cook, especially with the aging brain….did I add the vanilla? milk? eggs? If I don’t put items away after adding, I can’t recall if I did. So what’s missing from the counter can be assumed to be in the pot.

The resident hawk has a chick who heralds the world most of the day. Still in the nest, it calls for Mama’s bounty. In a couple of weeks she’ll teach it to spiral and before he knows it, he’ll go hunting with her. Another cycle begins. But first, more snow in the forecast. Really. 74 degrees today, 35 tomorrow. Well, it’s Ohio, even here in tropical Medina.

I’m not a gardener, at least in any deliberate way. Chirping at the table was happy noise from my friends who are happy to see tall shoots of daffs and tulips in their gardens and borders. I haven’t even looked. Sure. I planted stuff, and despite my careless attempts, bulb things grow. In today’s warmth, I’ll go look. Not quite time for the periwinkles, but the dogwood has set its buds and look to be plentiful after last year’s skimpy production. I don’t want you to think I don’t enjoy Spring’s new dressing. It’s just that I’m a passive participant. Jumping in today will only make tomorrow’s snow the cause of my despair seem blizzard-like. I start looking for spring way ahead of time, and tomorrow will only aggravate that ongoing condition. I’ll be thankful for the day but won’t put much stock in it.

This time each year I recall a hound’s tooth check in the fabric of my too small winter coat, its sleeves creeping toward my elbows, its lapels flapping in the wind as I skated the sidewalks of my new town, knobby knees pinking in the cold. That memory is ever with me as winter bows to spring.

Once I had a DOG

This has not been a very challenging winter, weatherwise. I’ve not been snowed in, nor have I had to cancel an activity because I’m a chicken driving in snow and ice. I haven’t had to walk on slippery sidewalks nor crunched my way across heavily salted surfaces. But I detest this winter. Why is that?

I’ve never been a recreational snow bunny, hot for ski trails and tobogganing. I’m more the hot chocolate for breakfast type when finally I leave the messy  bed nest. I can get excited about hot buttered rum ( not a myth ) by the fire while watching the snow fall outside. That’s my idea of playing in the snow. It dilutes a snow storm to a spectator sport, but I’m okay with that.

I’m more of a looker. Snowfall is beautiful while it’s, well, falling.  I love the mysterious silence of it in the dark, the quiet crunch of it beneath my boots. How I used to frolic in the moonlight with my gorgeous big black standard poodle, an animal ecstatic about the stuff, yipping in short loud barks, expressing pure joy, his blackness bold against acres of white. In the morning, as the slope behind my back door was ice-caked, he’d slide all the way to the bottom and need to be carried back up the grade. My husband obliged. That man never wanted a pet. By the time I was done, we had one child, one dog, and two Siamese cats. We had one huge Saint Bernard for about five minutes when even I saw that was really pushing the limit. We got him from the SPCA. We sent him back, with apologies. The cats were so terrified they shed their pelts to a great degree and shuddered beneath beds.

The dog lived fifteen happy years, twice the usual length of life for that breed. I credit his active life style. A standard poodle has only two speeds: crazy fast, and sound asleep. Because we had an Olympic size pool, he swam three seasons out of four. Fit and fast, there was never a dull moment at our house. He’s been gone more than a quarter century now, and I still miss him. Ridiculous. I never had another pet and while sometimes I wish I had, it’s very late to consider another, and never again that breed. I’m not up to it.

His intelligence was staggering, his manipulative skills guaranteed I’d always be catching up. We went to obedience class together, where with regularity he’d make a complete ass of me. He was bored out of his mind there. Simon walked off lead at six months of age. I thought to compete in obedience trials with him but my instructor said don’t because he’d perform flawlessly only when he felt like it. That turned out to be true, and since being an ass in the charge of a dog was beneath my dignity, and since he took no pleasure in something so mundane, there was no point.

We ran in verdant fields of tall grass, chasing rabbits for fun, and enjoyed each other for seventeen years. He kept me fit and fast, too. My daughter said he was my boy and while he was a pesky substitute for a brother, she missed him when he was gone. He felt she’d deserted him first, off to college without him.

Do you know, I’m still tempted when I see a standard, which is often in my neighborhood where there are more than three to admire and befriend. Those dogs take good care of their people. There is something so wholesome about babies in prams, and toddlers clutching their moms, with happy poodles prancing along side in afternoon sun. I admire and fuss, and know them by name. It’s a hard resistance, given that just down the road there is a world famous breeder and his partner. I admire their progeny from afar, wistful and full of longing. That will have to suffice.



Rioting at Berkley? Am I in a time warp? It would appear we are never going to grow up. Tantrums have erupted again as the child’s method of hoping to get his own way. The bad news this time is that the majority vote still wins in these United States and kicking walls in and setting fires are no more effective today than on any other. The right to protest gives no right to burn down the property of others and negates any possibility of giving attention to objections about who is President, duly elected by the people, not tolerance for anarchy. Peaceful better be the operative word. I know, two syllables is difficult for the miniminded. Get a clue. The election of President Trump is legitimate. This is how we select our leaders. Get over it or find yourself some place where you will be happier. Those are your choices. But you have another. Next election work harder to win your candidate. But first you need to seriously consider how you failed this time. For now, President Trump is our leader. Get behind him. The nation did that for Obama for two terms. The party of Democrats is failing the nation with its hissy fit. Republicans set them a better example while we tolerated eight years of an abysmal leader, however much loved by his constituency. That is how democracies work. Anarchy brings nothing to the table. Nor do tantrums from poor losers.

Today protestors can be crazier than yesterday. Today the Leftloonery is calling for our military to do the sensible thing and overthrow “our crazy dictator” Trump. That ilk is insane. Begging for a coup is a well thought out strategy, oh yeah sure because impeachment takes forever and a day. Guns, too are bad cuz not politically correct. Where are your heads? Up where? I think miscreants might think to petition Maduro or Beijing to do a proper job. Better yet, move there.

While thinking about it, figure out the lies you have bought into, the immaturity of today’s anarchists, the thinking that destroying and demanding is acceptable or effective. Behaving like three year olds who can’t get their way is hardly effective in any world.

Our liberal left is wide eyed staring while watching UK ignore the message Labour and its predictable failure. Best be taking notes.


Talk about controlling! The gatekeepers at wordpress seem to thing I’m a secret agent and this user is holding top secret data! I hardly need all that much protection, but thank you very much. I think. I wonder what the point is. Very little of my life is secret and not of it is of the top kind. Unless I’m the Manchurian Candidate and don’t know I’ve been programmed. How do I find that out if no one and nothing can identify me for myself?

How ridiculous is this? I’ve been away from my computer for weeks and it has forgotten me and all my passwords. How’s that work?

With the passage of time, the election of a new President (elect) and the usual squirrely stuff that appears whether I want it or not, on my computer and my phone, I think to pull all the wires and plugs that allow invasion to my world and just do the hibernation thingy.

I’ve lost my computer guru to my husband and while I share her, he does not reciprocate so I’m winging it on my own. Which means I’m lost in these here woods. Goodness knows what I’ve scrambled or disconnected or deleted.

In passing, she said to look at my updates. Updates? What updates? Where do they hang out?

I don’t even have time for this today. And not much interest. The last of autumn beckons so I’m not going to dither further. I’ll check back in next week to see if anyone at all is reading me. Hmmm?

Well. It’s Monday

And by now, having jerked my way through finding my password etc., I no longer recall what I’m doing at this site, no clue what was on my mind, and even knowing it is Monday, and breakfast time, I must say that, beyond the frustration, I no longer care. I do have better things to do, like finding my lost earring. Or something. You might think I’m trying to get into Fort Knox.

I’m off to find that better thing before winter assails my senses.


Oh, to see clearly!

My husband had cataracts removed mid October and the beginning of November. Yikes! I had NO idea this process is a time eater. The surgery facility is an hour away, the procedure takes ten minutes and the return home is another hour. The very next day? Do it again, post surgery, to be sure the site was not compromised. Or something. The drops regimen is equal to newborn feedings. Always, always something to do with the patient, who is astoundingly, well, patient! Q4h daily for two weeks. Time eater for sure. Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses even if you just pick up the mail, twenty feet from the garage. Wear this eye shield whenever you lay down. That requires applying the appliance, and the requisite applier. I was hoping for a sexy black eye patch, but no. This is a rubber edged screen so said husband can see through it. Another week of this and we are rewarded with only three times a day, for a week,  then two for another week, then one for the last week. All the while being stringent not to contaminate the eyes. This is extended by twice since we do one eye in a complete cycle, then return to surgery for the remaining eye. Repeat. So very little else gets done. We’re halfway through, with my husband weighing the wisdom of just doing one eye and settling. That’s just frustration. That’s not on.

There is an upside. The right eye, having been freed of its cataract, all drops summarily applied in the proper sequence, sees 20/20! I’d be telling the whole town, were it my sight,  dancing in the street and gleeful to be free of wearing glasses. But no. Not my low key husband. It is almost ho-hum to him. Nice but not special.

Glasses have adorned my face since I was ten years old. Blind as a bat without them, myopic with astigmatism, I grope around without them so I can cook without the on/off/on I’d have to do in order not to scorch everything, and lose the glasses umpteen times a day. And no, wearing them around my neck merely guarantees really messy clothes dressed with food detritus. Tell me I could forget wearing them and I’d be delirious.

The man of the house didn’t need glasses until well into his forties, and has a mild correction which renders him bat blind, at least in his mind. Being bat blind, I have little patience with his slight inconvenience, which of course makes me heartless with lack of sympathy. He could see to drive if he had to. Me? I can’t even find the car in the garage without my glasses.

Within the next few weeks we’ll be free of this exercise and life will resume with a schedule locked with only the mundane needs of the retired. For now we’ll be sure to vote tomorrow, hold our breath to see to whom we will be subjugated and hope we can survive them intact. I have my doubts. Never in my whole life can I recall a time when the choice seemed poor and poorer. I wish there was a box to check for no confidence. I have no kind words for either candidate. We get what we deserve. I mean, where do you think these candidates came from? I know of one whole single person who won’t be holding their nose through the procedure. That, I submit, is pathetic. My glasses, in this, are quite fogged.

The prodigal returns

Boy oh boy don’t walk away for very long! WordPress forgets you, can’t id you, ignores whatever you tell them, start over, Duhhhhh. Yes, I know the purpose is to know for sure I am who I say I am. Kidding??? In today’s world? I check in the morning when I wake up:

Me: Good morning, Barbie.

Me: who is this?

Me: Is that you, Barbie?


Me: Can you identify yourself to me?

Me: Uh, that looks like my navel, so yes. I’m me.

Me: What’s your password?

Really? It’s my bed. It’s my nightgown. It’s my navel. It’s my morning breath. I’d know this woman anywhere. Take my word for it. THIS IS ME.

This is ridiculous. I must prove to myself….MYSELF…that I am indeed who I say I am and need access to my own PC. This took me a half hour and I STILL don’t know which of the many passwords I was asked to change, is the key in. No wonder nothing works in this country. My mother would have typed in some totally unacceptable words, left a serious piece of her mind and then decide a very tall whiskey sour is infinitely more desirable than typing drivel to an unidentified audience, if in fact there is one.

Hey. She wasn’t always wrong. I did have something on my mind to say but I can’t recall what that was. I have not been here to tend to the stew of story in several weeks. Cataract surgery limits that activity and it isn’t my own eyes causing this short term fail. Those eyes are my husband’s. Tomorrow we’ll trek an hour out to the surgery unit and do the remaining eye. Today was the first day he could happily realize HE CAN SEE, not just the wall but what’s on the wall! So with the remaining eye repaired he should be stunned that earth has much more clarity. He rarely emits loud noises complete with exclamation marks, so this morning’s shout out was a real joy for me. He had no real understanding re how or what the surgery was. New lens? Really? Ohhhh yeah. Bye bye glasses. His right eye from the jump now sees 20/20. This time next week he’ll think Superman is alive, well and must be his twin. Cataracts are stealthy tricksters leaving little clue that vision is very slowly seeping  away. The miracle is that the new lens, of which he was totally unaware, gives him back perfect eyesight. His stroke, though, stole his peripheral vision, which he prays he’ll get back with this correction. Not likely. And there goes his ability to drive. For a man, that’s like prison. For his wife? You don’t want to know.