Follow the worm down the ear…

I love to take my morning coffee out on the front porch swing to Just Be in the present moment.  I brewed some french vanilla the other morning, settled into my attitude of gratitude, but had a song stuck in my head.

90% of people experience such earworms, also know as Involuntary Musical Imagery.  It bothers some people, but I usually just go with it…listening to my memory play like a stereo.

The song in question that day was Eli’s Comin’ by 3 Dog Night…girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide, girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide…hide your heart now…  As the jukebox in my head played, I thought…that Laura Nyro was such a great songwriter… what all did she write? …

the music switched to “and when I die…and when I’m dead, dead and gone” …what was the name of that group?  oh, yeah, Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  While the tinny piano and cowbell from that version played in the background, I began to sort through Nyro’s discography…soon the music became a medley of Fifth Dimension songs…come on down to the stone soul picnic… i got the wedding bell blues..ain’t that sweet-eyed blindness good to me… 

I stayed there for a while, letting those songs play in the background while I looked around at the patch of blue sky I could see through the trees, noticed the birds and squirrels were going about their morning rituals.

Suddenly, the songs were back with a nagging question…what’s that one that goes come on people… I brought full focus back to Laura Nyro’s discography… didn’t Barbra Streisand do one of her songs? Yes..going down to stoney end, I never wanted to go…cradle me, mama, cradle me again..  not the song I was looking for, but still worth remembering…  I expanded to come on people, come on children, let’s go down to the ?jordan? river… I could hear the piano…but could get no farther..The not-remembering finally got to me and I came in to the computer and looked it up.

It was covered by the Fifth Dimension and that youtube video is a wonder of 60’s bright bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and awkward dance moves.  But it was the artist herself, Laura Nyro, sitting at the piano and exuding the feeling of this powerful song that most moved me.

Step into the Wayback machine of black-and-white TV, watch this Vietnam war protest song that offers great wisdom…maybe get it stuck in your head.

It’s called Save the Country

Laura Nyro was 49 when she died in 1997.  She was so brilliant and if you don’t know her work, you’ll do yourself some good to listen to her albums.

May all of your earworms be inspiring…

Peace

 

Weekly Wrap-up

Here’s a quick wrap-up of the Porch Project that morphed into the Porch-and-Patio-and-Gate Project.  I think it’s pretty impressive, even though the 6 weeks it took was 2 longer than the 4 I had allotted.

I learned peaceful patience, but that’s a project that never ends…

The garden is transforming from summer to fall.  I brought in the last of the tomatoes and made a big greek salad.  Today I’ll bring in the last of the bell peppers and chop them for freezing.  Meanwhile, the broccoli is burley and the cauliflower is,um, climbing? calling? where’s my alliterative skill?  It’s all growing…

Watching the hurricane slowly wreak havoc on the east coast, I feel very grateful to have a beautiful week ahead to finish up summer.

Peace

Remembering that day…

17 years ago…what a different world it was.  I managed to get in a call to my daughter, living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as soon as I heard that a plane had hit the Twin Towers…her voice broke as she told me she was okay, that another had hit, that Eric had already left for the day and that she was determined to go to her doctors appointment… I told her to stay home, but she didn’t.  Her doctor never made it across the bridge that morning, but the doctor I worked for kept me busy, didn’t allow me to watch the TV in the waiting room, and let me close the door of my office and weep.

Whether you considered NYC a rat-infested garbage heap or the Emerald City, on That Day, we were all New Yorkers…  I wish it didn’t take Tragedy to bring our country together… but even then you could see the schism forming…When I got home and could talk to them, my mom and sister both decried Melissa’s presence in the city at all –“why is she even in that godless place?”

Melissa has lived in New York for nearly 19 years now, raising her children, pursuing her singing, and working her day-job well into the night.  I have made at least 40 or so round-trips, have walked Manhattan Island from stem to stern, have adopted the apartment up on 102nd as my home-away-from-home.  The people there are friendly, hugging and blowing those little air-kisses around both my ears when they greet me.  I wade into the fountains at Washington Square, or sit in Central Park and notice that children play just the same there as anywhere else.  I visit the museums, drink coffee at the diners, ride the bus or subway with a little help from my friends. I didn’t expect to love it so much, and still wish it was closer physically to the Acres…

That day, that day… I begged her to come home…  She refused…   I am so awed by her strength, by her conviction that The City was where she was supposed to be.  (I believe Eric would not have caught his cancer “in time” if he had been living in Eville) (I believe my grand-daughters are receiving a world-class education because she didn’t listen to my pleas)  When people ask me, and they inevitably do, how they “make it” there, I just shrug.  They make it on Faith…because God Is in that place, leading them along and making sure they always have enough.

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command…
 Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Right Now

Peace

 

 

The latest News …

My boy-child had a birthday on Monday, so he had to endure the perfunctory re-telling of his Birth from the point of view of the loins from which he sprung…  He loves it.  We met up for breakfast, then we took the girls with us to plan and execute a !Surprise! party for their Daddy.

With little effort, the days have calmed into peace. My restlessness has been replaced by restfulness. There is no list, but plenty of work gets done..  The songbirds are begging to be watched and that burly squirrel that’s been stealing my tomatoes stares me down as he walks the fence like a tightrope.  The double shepherd’s hook carries matching red feeders that have  attracted hordes of whirring hummingbirds that kamikaze in and out of the nearby magnolia.  We floated around the pool on a couple of the hottest days, snoozing in the sweltering humidity.

Then the rains came!  This was our first opportunity to sit out on the new porch and watch a storm.  From the center, you can see the tree limbs, heavy with rain, swirling and bending to the will of the winds within the wind…  The steady rains that followed the storm have made lakes in the yard and driven the deer to the higher ground…

 

Today the temperatures have plummeted to upper 60’s!!. It’s so chilly that I feel like making chili..! and it’s Perfect weather for curling up in a comfy chair and diving into a book.  Recently I picked up a couple of books that I’ve been “reading” for the last couple of months and finished them.  Now I’m going through my to-be-read list and getting back into the groove, escaping this world with characters created by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Alexander McCall Smith.

And that’s the news around here, folks, that Peace has invaded the Acres like kudzu and I’m just holding still, breathing it all in and breathing out a fog of gratitude.

Peace

 

What’s Happening…

Lots of changes here at the Acres last week…

Remember last year when I moved my “office” upstairs and was so happy to have a room of my own?  Remember how just as I finished dragging all my books and such up there, I re-injured my piriformis and went through weeks of incapacitating pain, necessitating no stairs?  Then Winter came and we hunkered down in front of the fireplace so we moved the “office” stuff back downstairs?  So I tired of that and moved everything around again and didn’t like it?  Well, I fixed the whole problem with a sweet little desk from the consignment shop.  When I first looked at it, I thought it seemed shabby, then realized it would match my decor completely.

In the meantime, I was still struggling with the computer connection.

I bought (and returned) 2 modems before I picked up one from WOW so that if it went wrong they couldn’t blame that for the problem, which I was now convinced was outside on the line.  Sure enough, their modem was in and out, also, so within a week, a service dude came out.  He replaced an old piece of equipment on the line that they no longer used, fixed something that was cracked, put in a new splitter, and arranged for another guy to come out Tuesday just to check the tippy-top of the poles so make sure no squirrels have been chewing on them.   After months -months!- of frustration, thinking it was something I did, I’m so relieved to have the problem diagnosed as not-me, and especially that it is fixed..!

Did you watch the funerals of Aretha and John McCain?

Both were such Great Church…wonderful sermons and liturgies, Fantastic music.  I hope that the message underlying the ceremonies, especially of Senator McCain’s, is resonating in the hearts of All.  It was such a contrast to the Circus that came to town with the person who was absent from the funerals…

Seriously, thousands of people follow these rallies,  setting up their wares out front like the fall festival.  Only the lovers are allowed near, and carrying a sign or wearing a tee shirt or hat with a message that disagrees with him or his policies is all it takes for you to be denied access and relegated to a spot a couple of blocks away. If you were carrying my sign, “We are All One” you would have to go to the protester section, even though the message is not Anti- and you Definitely weren’t allowed inside…  So the advance people (like the one that did not allow a reporter to take pictures of the police dragging away a peaceful protester), the groupies, and the local (and state) pols are the only ones allowed up close.  This is despite the fact that when he visited before as a candidate, there was only one arrest…after this lady was asked to go the protester section and she mooned the cops as she left…

picture from 2016

While she doesn’t express my exact sentiments either, I was appalled to see that people right here in my hometown chanted “lock her up” — geez, did you get the memo that she lost?   Even worse, national news outlets asked many of the people who were allowed to be around the venue about John McCain and many of them responded that he was no hero !!   This is why I am a recluse…

Recently we had a lady from our homeowners insurance come out and do some sort of inspection of our property.  On Friday a letter arrived informing us that we have to 1) get a locking ladder for our un-fenced pool; 2) have our fireplace insert inspected.

We were planning on waiting until Spring to put up the rest of the fencing around the pool, but decided to go ahead and finish it now since the locking ladder is dumb and expensive.  We made an appointment for the chimney sweep, but Burt and the boys can’t be here for a couple of weeks…

I’m excited about the gate, of course, but we had planned to run off in the trailer next week and now that’s on hold.  Probably okay, as the hothot days continue to demand constant attention to my plants…

Tomorrow is my son’s 37th birthday and I’m going to bake some cupcakes tonight for frosting tomorrow when his girls spend the day with us.  Shh…it’s a surprise.

Peace

 

 

The Garden is Back !!

I was only going to put out some more green beans, but I didn’t have very many left, so I set out for the co-op to purchase some.  Whilst there, I was romanced by the green growing in 6-packs out front…enticed by the oregon sugar pod pea-seeds inside and gave up without a fight.  I bought a half-pound of blue lake bush beans, an 1/8 lb of the peas, 6 each of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, along with 6 swiss chard for pretty.  I put the peas around cages, something new for me, and planted 3 12-foot rows of beans along with a small bed of beets and radishes.  I’ll get the spinach in later, maybe…

 

 

I got them all in the ground just in time for a full day of rain !!   Yes, you read that correctly:  it rained All Day on Thursday!!  What treat it was to have the high temperature only 69 and enough water to green everything up again.  We are back to summer now and the moisture is all sweat, but I’m okay with that, too.  So are the plants.

Speaking of treats, Trump is visiting our burg this week.  I am in a quandary…should I leave town and put up the force-field around the Acres so no residual cooties can seep in?  Should I get out my Great sign and join the local protesters?  Should I get some press credentials for The News and try to meet Bob Acosta?  I’m kinda leaning toward the latter, but still considering options…   Ideas?  I have heard that there are “outside” groups that will be protesting, and I admit I’m a little scared that our local Trumpers will get nasty with them.  This area is Wayyy Trumpy, I must tell you, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the local churches have their services there so they can get close to their Idol.  However, our local felons love him also, and much prefer the 2nd amendment to the first…  Still, Bob Acosta…

We took a walk down the path to the Thoughtful spot this morning.  It’s always changing down there…trees and limbs fall willy-nilly, landing where they will, and each morning the sunshine dapples the leaves…

The Thoughtful Spot

Peace

 

 

Today’s News…

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary on Wednesday with a stroll down Memory Lane.  It seems like a lifetime ago that I walked down the aisle of Old North with 5-year-old Melissa as my maid-of-honor to join our lives with Casey.   I wrote in 2011…

….”still married after all these years…through the happy and the sad, the exciting and the boring, the easy days and the difficult nights,  we’ve melded our minds into a working partnership of supportive independence. “

In 2010 we celebrated our 30th at a Garrison Keillor “Summer of Love” Show up at Connor Prairie.  I wrote about it Here…

Probably my best effort was the post of 2014… Wedding Anniversary Edition

We were at Disney for our 35th celebration…

 Anyway, you know I think he’s great (and he is) and he adores me (and he should)…  Starting our 39th year married, we wouldn’t change a thing…

I’ve been having internet connection problems all week…  We were having problems before we changed cable companies and since I was using the old company’s modem/router, I thought I’d be smart and buy a new modem and hook it to my old router.  I am smart, but I’m still having the problem with the signal randomly going out and coming back on.  It is aggravating.  We are honing in on the problem, but I’m trying to do it without a visit from my son, just to show we can.  He only  has to answer the phone 5-6 times daily…hmm…he might want to make a service call and get me to stop bugging him.  He doesn’t read this blog, though, so this is just between me and you…

Who does read this blog?  I’ll take this opportunity to thank you all for showing up for today’s news…  There’s not much to report…

The porch was newly-completed just in time for rain, but we hadn’t yet caulked the seams on the roof.  As we watched the rain, we realized that the flat section was too flat and water was pooling in several areas.  Damn.  While we spent the next 2 rainy days observing, Casey developed a plan.  He had to take that side back off and do a little engineering to give it some slant, pitch, grade–whatever–and then put it back on and caulk it.  After another trip to Menard’s, he used the rainy days to paint and engineer, timing it perfectly to remove and replace when the rain stopped.  It’s done…  It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so we’ll see, but it Looks like it will work much better…

 

The internet signal has been lost and found 3 (now 4)(now 5)(now 6)  times since I started writing this post.  I’m gonna go work with the modem…

Peace