Thursday, September 17, 2009

Need To Do List

This morning I am facing the inevitable list of "things I need to get done" before I can leave on a much needed vacation from my "real" life. Today. On the eve of the day of my birth (day). On my way to work.

I have shrubs to plant. I have clothes to wash and iron. I have a fridge to fill with food for G to reheat and eat while I am gone. And I have NO time to do any of this. Yesterday. I wasted yesterday. I did tons of errands but no shrub planting or cooking.

I have a decision to make. Do I let it all go? Do I just go to work today and ignore everything clattering away on the edges of my brain. Little things calling my name. Do Me. Do Me. What about Me?

Right now I need a shower, a packed lunch and to get in the car and leave for work by 11:20. In one hour. And it's cold outside. So I need to figure out a cold weather outfit. I tend to wear the same clothes (washed daily) everyday. It simplifies things until there is a weather change and then it gets a bit complicated (as I have gained weight since the last season of cold or warm or hot weather) So, we play, what fits. Takes time. Which I don't have. Why am I blogging???

I am going to stop at the market tomorrow and get meat for a huge meatloaf and make a vat of mashed potatoes. Perhaps some stuffed shells in Marinara. And a pot of Garden Chowder tonight with what I have in the crisper. I still have to write my class notes for the Houseplants class on Saturday. And if we're not busy, I'm going home early. To plant shrubs.

Today my bowl is full of nagging issues. I need to let it go. Take my shower. Make my lunch salad. Work today is all about moving shrubs around the Nursery area. Nice dirty work.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Chocolate Cake. I have no idea what we'll be eating for dinner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Celebrating Our Anniversary

On the day after. We decided to have dinner out today (a mutual day off) instead of yesterday. Forty One years. Holy Crap! as a coworker said. G's anniversary gift got quite a few laughs also. I bought him the large container of Deer Fence spray. Very stinky.

I got to do something sweet yesterday while "cleaning" up the perennials. A and I were working and she asked how G & I met. It was very nice to remember those first moments with a person. We met on Spring Break in Florida and spent a few days out in the Keys sleeping under a "bowl" of stars on the beach. A asked if G felt the same about it. I thought for awhile and then replied that G has always had a picture of the camper on that beach in the Keys on his desk. So I think he does think about how and when we met. Wasn't that lovely? Better than any gift from a store.

Today we were out the door early. I had to go to the title company to have documents notarized for the sale of the Ohio house, drop things off at the resale shop, stop at library, banks, UPS, Town office to register my car (the one in storage), Staples and then the bakery to order a birthday cake for Friday for myself. I'm taking it to work with me Friday to share with my co workers. Chocolate Chocolate. I got a Carrot Cake for G for our anniversary.

We still need to do a bit of grocery shopping and buy coffee beans for K. And go out for dinner. G and Riley are out having a walk in the woods. G walks. Riley runs. Off leash. Riley comes home exhausted, wet and dirty. And very happy.

G is going to go collect all the branches I cut on Monday and pile them in the burn pile area. Then we'll go get the coffee for K. I should be digging holes for more plants but I'm clean and want to stay that way. I have books to read (2) and West Wing to watch and then Top Chef. I made more sugar free Jello for the remainder of the week. Raspberry. I may have a bite or two of the Carrot Cake (if G is willing to share).

I have 22 signed up for the Houseplant class on Saturday. Oy!

My bowl today is filled with sweet memories.

Monday, September 14, 2009

In The Weeds, Literally

I started the day with a plan. I was going to plant a few of the bargain basement shrubs I got from work. In order to do that, I had to cut brush, dig up grass, dig holes, get filthy and eventually, plant A shrub. A. One.

I also got out my pruning saw and went to town on the crab apple that I have wanted to PRUNE for years. I take 30% off, but it's never enough, and I have to WAIT for it to grow so I can prune it again. This time I just went ahead and removed all the lower branches. It looks better. Not what I want, yet. I'll have to wait again.

I have pulled up so much grass. My arms are tired. and I was hoping G was coming home earlier than usual so he could haul all the debris away. Guess not. so now that I've had another cup of lukewarm coffee, I will return to the front yard and collect all my debris.

And the mess by the front steps is staggering. Weeds. Weeds. Weeds. The poor little Hostas! (I just had to go look this plant up in the book, because I couldn't remember it's name, and I have known it's name for over 20 years). I'm beginning to worry about these incidents of not knowing what something is named or how a word is spelled. Do you think it's a memory problem or Alzheimer's? I DID recognize Hosta's name as soon as I saw it. That's a good sign, I think.

Anyway, aside for questioning my mental abilities, I just want to be finished with my work for the day and take a shower and be clean. We're having pizza for dinner tonight. Pepperoni for G and vegetables for me. I was going to make dessert but G bought cake for work today. It's been six months since he was made manager of his tiny McDonald's. He bought a Red Velvet Chocolate Cake for the managers. And something for me. I was going to mention our anniversary tomorrow but I'm sure he has forgotten it, as he always does, and if I said anything he would go nuts trying to buy something in addition to whatever he bought at the bakery.

West Wing was on this morning and I had seen the first but not the one after. It seems like new people are arriving and I worry about who might be leaving. 2003 episodes. Rob Lowe is gone. I wish I had seen the first year. I think I started watching at 2001 and it must have begun in 2000. Oh, well.

Back to the weeds, bugs and dirt.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Prayer for the Dog Who Died Today

A coworker had brought his dog to work today. He thought he had the car windows up far enough but the dog got out of the car. And came inside the building, looking for his person.

Ed is 87 years old. Daisy 10 or 11. She had just been groomed. Ed walked the dog back out front, where I was working, and over to his car. Traffic on the road was heavy. When I looked up, Ed was getting something out of his car trunk or putting something in so I assumed the dog was already in the car.

Then I heard the thunk and saw her body fly across the road and land in the ditch.

I ran into the building, unable to see for the tears running down my face, begging someone to come outside and help. Customers stopped their cars and kept Ed from walking out into the road and getting hit by a car himself. I could have helped Ed, but I knew I couldn't go to the side of the dog. And I think I panicked.

One of my co workers helped Ed cross the road and I watched as he leaned over to touch Daisy. To see if she was still alive. She was. Soon she was lifted onto a tray and driven to the animal hospital about 5 minutes away. Where my sweet Riley was safe at day care.

Daisy died a short time later. Three co workers took Ed and Daisy home and stayed with them for awhile. Because that's the way it should be.

Safe passage, Daisy. We'll watch over Ed, for you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Watching the grass grow

There are times when we must just watch the grass grow. While I wasn't paying attention this sick little ivy has sprouted so many new leaves. Today I will remember to bring home the systemic to help it recover even more leaves. I don't know what it's previous owner did or didn't do to injure it so, but I am giving it a second chance.

I found that I could do all those daily chores yesterday and still savor the day. On my walk with Riley I noticed all the grasshoppers (so many), the little caterpillar Riley was sniffing, and one lone RED Maple leaf which I placed in my pocket. I also waited while the dog smelled things--taking those moments to watch the blue September sky with the faint shadow of the moon riding high. My empty bowl was soon filled with beauty.

I ate food, yesterday, that had lots of bulk and fiber. Today I was rewarded with regularity. My "bowls" are now empty. LOL. The dog breeder always said the puppies needed to empty their bowls and finally I realized she wasn't talking about bowls. It still makes me laugh.

I am working in the afternoon today, leaving for work soon, and I will be working outside in the tree and shrub side of the business (where I can't find anything). I will TRY to be helpful for the sake of the customers. I did spend time learning to find arborvite on Tuesday. And blueberries and winterberry. I also found the viburnum. Now, I can only hope they weren't moved yesterday to a new place. And we have mums to sort and restock. And water. It'll be a good day. There is a Zen to the watering of shrubs and trees. The standing and waiting for them to get a good drink. And we may have some tomatoes to pick for lunch.

Watch the grass grow. Fill your bowl today with natural beauty.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

09- 09- 09

And it's a Wednesday. Potent. Portent. (foreshadowing a coming event) Potential. In every way a very powerful day, today. And a beautiful day. Sunshine and cooler temperatures.

I have a number of mundane tasks to accomplish on this Wednesday. Checks to write, bills to pay, groceries to buy, dog to walk, books to pick up at the library and finally dinner to prepare. Nothing that I actually want to do today.

My friend sent an email this morning and she is going for her daily walk and then sitting outside and reading. She has created an outdoor room and goes there as often as possible with her breakfast (coffee and a banana) and reads. She has read her way through two series of books that I know of. I did this once upon a time. One winter. I read books and ate grilled cheese and pickle sandwiches. I would read a book straight through. Then turn back to the first page and begin again. All day long and into the night. I was seriously depressed. My friend isn't depressed. Isn't it interesting that two people could do the same thing for such different emotional reasons? She is happy. I was not.

Each work day, I drive past a house with a For Sale/Sale Pending sign out front. It seems like it has been that way longer than my house in Ohio has been Sale Pending. I watch for any sign that the house is changing hands. I wonder if my house in Ohio will change hands. My agent in Ohio says things may take longer than September 18. She mentions praying but says I shouldn't postpone my vacation plans. Whatever will be, will be. I remain pessimistically optimistic. All the work on the house waits for final mortgage approval. Then they will begin. So there are a number of people waiting, along with me.

Today I am not as welcoming of what is being placed in my "empty bowl". But, then, I believe even Zen monks have to learn to be accepting of what is placed in their empty bowls. Accept and be nourished by what is placed in the bowl each day. Acceptance.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Zen of Today

How shall I spend this Monday? Contemplating the simple pleasures of a cool September morning with my dog. Enjoying a bowl of warm oatmeal and a cup of strong coffee while I type this post. Standing, wrapped in my red robe, on the back stoop and "seeing" the lush green freshly mowed lawn, the product of a wet, cool summer. Planting "five dollar" rhododendrons in the side yard with dreams of them someday reaching 20 feet. Enjoying the Purple Queen Cleome and planning to buy more next spring.

Simple pleasures. Taking the time to just be still and look and enjoy this one moment, this one day, fully.

I could be making a long list of "things to do" today, but I want to have a better day than that. I want to feel my way through the day, as it progresses. Right now it is cool and silent. A good time to read or write in my journal. G is at work. Riley is watching the front lawn. I would like to choose the path not taken rather than the familiar one. I would like to be an empty bowl. Open to whatever comes.

Later, as the day warms, I want to open windows and clear the air in the rooms which have been closed all summer, unused, neglected. My studio. There are unfinished fragments of work scattered over the work table, sewing table and even the chair. I feel the need to remove everything pinned to the walls, clear the floor of piled boxes of fabric and supplies, make way for something waiting to be made.

I want to be ready. Open to possibilities. Ready to catch ideas as they appear because once lost, they can't be retrieved.

The sun has arrived. The day is warming. I am open to whatever comes my way. I will say "yes" to life today. That is the zen of today.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Letting Go

Of negative thinking. Today is Friday. Just about every Friday in August I had a message on the answering machine or computer from my real estate agent in Ohio. The first time she said "I have good news and bad news". Usually the good news was that there was NO MORE bad news. After the bad news.

No one called today. Good News. Letting go of the negative.

I got my hair cut yesterday. The oddest haircutting experience of my adult life. No straight lines. Just snipping here and there. My hair follows the curve of my head. Follows the way my hair grows sideways, in circles, forward. I have washed it twice and toweled it dry and it's exactly the same as it was when she finished cutting. The back view is stunning. I need someone to take a picture for you. I'm not as excited about the front view. The cut seems too short for a woman carrying the weight I am carrying. I would feel much better at my lower weight. Letting go of control of my hair. It is what it is.

I notified my employer that I would be gone on vacation for two weeks at the end of this month. NOW he is wondering if I will be teaching classes etc for the upcoming Saturdays. I decided to "just go" on vacation and not over think it. I know I need time with my friend K to just talk and not have to explain myself. That's the way it is with old time friends. Just letting go and saying whatever you need to say.

G and I have had the third Chicken Enchilada meal this evening. First day it was just the enchiladas. Second day I served them with fresh salsa. Tonight with fresh guacamole. The salsa was the best version. I think we'll have pizza tomorrow. It was very nice to not have to cook after a long, hot day at work. I was happy to come home and shower and read the mail and newspaper. G was in charge of nuking the food. I let go of even the reheating of dinner.

I have decided to just "settle" for the 33 inch refrigerator that fits in the kitchen space. Letting go of my desire for a 36 inch large size model. There are only two people living here. Why do I need such a big refrigerator? No reason. My appliance salesperson co worker recommends the LG Trio with the ten year warranty. Bottom freezer with ice maker. French doors. I need to go see it in person. I have even started shopping every two or three days for whatever I need instead of buying heaps of food and then not cooking it. Less need for the larger size. Indeed.

I have Disc One of Season Two of Mad Men to watch. I think I saw some of them when AMC ran Mad Men all day long and I got hooked on the series. I saw four or five episodes. I have to go now and start watching. I have to return the disc before 9 pm Saturday. Now I will be letting go of you!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

September 2nd

I tried to download a picture but the computer just kept spooling for the time it took me to take a shower, so I canceled. And it wasn't that great a picture anyway.

Today I had a lunch date with a friend. Instead of our usual eggplant Parmesan restaurant, we tried a new restaurant in town. Sort of a "pub". Bar Food. I ordered the Caesar Salad and the Onion Soup. Now I know ALL I need to know about this new place. My friend got the Vegetable Foccacia and she was happy with her meal. I guess, If I return, I'll stick with the sandwich and fries. They had lots of beer and wine. In fact, that's probably what they sell the most. And the food is just for after you've had a few drinks.

I threw (literally) some semi defrosted chicken and chicken broth into the crock pot overnight. I use the crock pot out on the three season porch so the house doesn't smell like food cooking all night. And after lunch, I picked up the remaining ingredients for Chicken Enchiladas. This is a "gut buster" of a recipe. The flour tortillas are 150 calories each, empty. Add chicken, cheese and sour cream plus a can of cream of mushroom soup and we are talking about serious calories. But it is delicious. And it will take us DAYS to finish. I will most likely have a huge salad alongside my Enchilada. I like to have something huge to eat off of when I have to work three days straight. No cooking until Sunday.

September has begun. The weather here in Maine is delightful. Cool nights. Warm days. And the lending (courier) services at the local libraries has sprung back into action. We have NEW books. And I can read. I got my eyeglasses re-adjusted today at my favorite place. I actually couldn't see anything correctly after the tech at my eye doctor's office "adjusted" them. Makes me wonder about my eye doctor.

I've started in on Season Two of Mad Men. And West Wing is back on Bravo this week. I watched three WW episodes yesterday, I did miss them! Even though they were blurry due to the eye glasses. Top Chef tonight. And what day is Project Runway?

I went to the local appliance store (the place that repairs things). I want to buy a new refrigerator. And why not buy from the people I'm going to call to fix it if it breaks? Loew's and Home Depot won't come to my house. They'll give me an 800 number. Sears will make me wait a couple of weeks for a repair. These guys are here the next day.

So. The opening in this "custom kitchen" of mine is neither here nor there. Not 36 inches wide. And that's how wide the best fridges are. The 33 inch wide fridges aren't that interesting.

Everything in this kitchen is nailed and glued together. It was all built here on site. The side of the desk I'm sitting at is the side wall of the fridge space. And the dish cupboard is up against the other side. 35 by 69. That's the exact opening. And a cupboard with crown molding overhead. Every wall is fully built with cabinets. No open spaces. I could put the new fridge out on the sunporch. Wouldn't that be special.

I asked about a drop in range. Burners and oven to replace the drop in I have now. And I want gas (propane). Viking. Wolf. Serious Cooking Power. And a pop up vent system. Guess what. No one makes a drop in. And I didn't want to remodel the whole kitchen just to get new appliances. Shit. So that wasn't fun and I don't have a new fridge and I won't be getting the drop in of my dreams. What good is money if you can't buy stuff?

Time to eat.