The Landline

Another week done gone, this one just so-so.  I got my nails and hairs done, thank goodness.  I started to post a daily picture over at instagram, just a little experiment to see if I can start the habit of using that app more.

But if you really want to know, it’s been a tough time mentally.  My sleep is off.  That is the first indicator that I’m going into a spell…  For several days I woke up irritable and all day paced around feeling that vague “something is wrong” feeling.  I have completely torn apart the downstairs, rearranging Everything, then moved upstairs to start there pulling things out.   Casey’s out doing his thing, but he’s used to having to stop and help me move the piano, or a table or two…  Now that everything is moved, I don’t like it and want it back the way it was, but I Know that’s pushing the old man’s limits.   I’ve taken a few meds and have got my sleep back, but the mess I’ve made with all this re-arranging is Real…

It’s time to re-up our cable contract, and we had long ago decided to discontinue our landline.  The only people who call us on that line are trying to sell me something, especially aarp and medicare supplements.  There are just a couple of others who don’t have my cell #, I guess, but we don’t even check who’s calling anymore and there is no answering machine.  Next Wednesday we switch to a much better deal, sans phone.

That may be what triggered this hypomania…  I’ve been having flashbacks of all the years that the phone was my best friend.

As a teen-ager, I was often alone at the dusseldorf prison (home) and spent hours on the phone.  My aunt Joyce, inspired by my addiction,  commented that they should invent a phone that I could just put in my pocket.  Way ahead of her time.

A Quick Call

I was so alone, and nuts, as a single mom:  up all night smoking, pacing, calling up friends who were awake, too.  I worked 3rd shift at the hospital once, talking on the phone to my girlfriend (who was working 3rd shift also) from 1-4am every night to stay awake.

My Mom and sister and I would kill days with our arguing, and hanging up on each other was a regular occurrence.  You just can’t do that with a cell phone…  However violently you hit the little red button, it just doesn’t take the place of a slam that can be heard across the room…

Don’t forget the drunk-dialing years…

Soo many stories… We thought we were the Jetsons when they came out with push-button phones, but I stayed with rotary quite a while, honing my excellent speed-dialing skills.  We added 50ft cords so we didn’t have to stop talking to pee.  No answering machines, so if you missed the call, forget it.  Busy signals were the rudest sounds in the world.  When we first got “cordless” phones, they were giant…

About 15 years ago I learned from another Joyce to “go to the Throne before you go to the phone”  and it changed me.  I stopped telling all my problems, stopped talking about them, and it helped diminish them.  As I cleaned up my thinking, I also quit listening to stories people would tell me about other people–it’s called gossip– and that cost me some friends.  Of course, religion and politics, which I used to discuss quite freely, are taboo — and that cost me some friends, too.  So what’s to talk about on the phone?  What Did we talk about for all those hours???

I have 3 out-of-town friends (including Aunt Shirley) that I call “just to talk”, but that’s it, folks.  Melissa and I try to work in an hour here and there when we can, and Michael gets frequent short calls.   Who knew such an important part of my early adulthood would be so obsolete…  Makes me kinda sad…

Anyway, that’s last week…  Can you believe school starts this week here in Eville?   My friend Kathy and her daughter and grandson are coming to Southern Illinois sometime this week, so I’ll either make a trip to Carmi, or they will visit Sonnystone, or maybe both!  The Bluegrass Festival is going on the 9-10th over in Henderson, and I’d like to bring over a lawnchair and listen to some folk music.  I’ll have my phone with me at all times…!

Peace

 

Finishing up July…

It’s been just over a week since the house emptied out, though we did have Olivia and Samantha on Thursday.  Mostly we’ve been putting the house back in order and trying to make the best of the garden.  Weather went from hellishly humid to pleasant, but only enough rain to stir the dust up.  You can catch up on the garden at Growing Every Season.

Anyway, I had been hoping to get away to Asheville and meet up with some cousins and see Michael Franti, but babysitting duties called and we were just too tuckered out to load up and travel.  I was there in spirit, though…

 

I was a little grumpy about it, but Casey started right in with a Major Project, one we’ve been talking about for ages.

You see, you have to step out of our kitchen door and walk about 15 feet to our laundry room.  This can be a real pain in the ass.  We built on a screen porch, then built a kind of walkway between the porch and the door, but over the years, it has proved to be less than adequate.   We’ve stared and figured a dozen different ways to make it work, and recently agreed just how it should be done.

 

In the end, it will be like a greenhouse, but right now it looks pretty shabby.  I’m excited to have it done before winter, but it will take at least a month of Casey obsessing…

…which added to my grumpiness, since we’ll have to stay home the whole month.  Not that there isn’t plenty to do just eating tomatoes…and there are no less than a dozen bell peppers that need to be harvested,

 

 

 

So the old wise woke woman sat down and made a list of things to do around Eville, places to visit that I haven’t seen in a while, or upcoming events.  I was rather surprised that there is so much to do!  I also listed the activities I love to pursue in solitude:  playing the piano, practicing yoga, reading, writing, and listening to music and singing along with my favorite songs.   There’s some good cooking and grilling to be done this time of year, as well.

August is going to be a sort of on-the-road-retreat kind of month…  Never a Dull Moment…

 

Peace

 

In the middle of the pouring rain…

Whew!  The summer-like weather has kept us Outside mingling our work and relaxation.  I’ve been away from the keyboard more and more as I rely on my phone for my internet fixes.

Just as the humidity was becoming unbearable, the rains have arrived.  I awoke to the rhythm of a straight-down-pour, almost invisible to my sleepy eyes.  I’ve spent the last week watering the gardens first thing every morning, so this was welcome.  As I was checking my a.m. routine folder, I heard a pop–or was it a plop?  I am the worst at following sound, always swearing it’s over there when it’s really over There, but it picked up speed and I was able to spot it about 9 feet away:  a leak from the roof.  Casey was still snoozing, so he got a rude awakening.  I put a pan under the leak and he went upstairs to check it out and place a pan up there.  Nothing can be done until the rains stop in a few days.  It’s always something, ya know?

The roses have obsessed me.  I think they will be all right (next year), but it has driven me crazy that they sit right in the front of the house, a testament to my poor gardening skills; they also look rather dead, no leaves at all.  Last year I experienced a similar Rose Disaster and so I had 4 “extra” over in the north garden that were unaffected by the slugs.  I angsted and angsted, hampered by my sick need to keep things symmetrical, and finally came up with a solution.  It involved moving all but 2 of the uglies, putting the 4 extras in, and filling in with daisies.  I’m Still not happy with the 2 that I left, but not nearly as obsessed.

Oddly, the one off by itself on the south side is just beautiful, no doubt due to my superior gardening skills!!

We had the Jr. girls over on Memorial Day, which just happened to be Michael and Jessica’s 13th (!!) wedding anniversary.    The grandies and I went to the zoo in the morning.  The afternoon was spent in the pool.  The happy couple joined us for supper.

When I get too anxious over my gardens and responsibilities, I like to take a walk down to the woods, sit in my thoughtful spot,  and admire Mother Nature’s work…it’s definitely not symmetrical, but its chaos is beautiful…

 

Peace

 

 

Sunday’s Sermon

Did you watch the Royal Wedding?  I tuned in about 45 minutes before the ceremony, box of tissues nearby.  What I saw was sooo much Love radiating from St. George Chapel that it oozed through my television screen.  After a day of grief and frustration, trying not to be angry, it was More than a Breath of Fresh Air.

You probably know that I have been a Prince Charles Fangirl since I was 11.  Before you say it, I never thought much of Di, so don’t go there.  The boys, William and Harry, I have practically raised…err..you know what I mean.  The Queen and her Duke have always enthralled me, way before “The Crown”.  No surprise that I have been intrigued with an American marrying into the Family.  It appears to me that Ms. Meghan Markle is seriously the Real Deal.  I loved Everything about the wedding–the Music, the Dresses, the Preacher, the fairy-tale ride in the carriage.  It was simply splendid.

I bet the Preakness and I don’t want to talk about it…

Saturday even found us at the Old National Events Plaza to watch Olivia dance…She gets better every year!

Michael Curry, the current Bishop of the Episcopal Church, was the preacher at The Wedding.  He reminded me so much of Hutch, our pastor at Old North back in the 80’s.  He had a decidedly Black Church presentation, and some of the stiff-upper-lip Brits looked at him oddly, but his Message was Exquisite.   (He almost re-converted me, but I’m staying a None for a while.)  You should catch the sermon on YouTube when you have time and check out his style, but just in case you don’t, here’s the text of the best part…

That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.”

Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way.

Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way.

Imagine this tired old world where love is the way. When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive.

When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again.

When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook.

When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.

When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more.

When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children.

“Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well… like we are actually family.

When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.

My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.

And let me tell you something, old Solomon was right in the Old Testament: that’s fire.

He goes on to talk about how man’s “discovery” of fire changed, and continues to change, the world.  He concludes:

And he then went on to say that, if humanity ever captures the energy of love – it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.

Dr King was right: we must discover love – the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world, a new world.

My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

How about a Big Amen on that?  All you need is Love.  Love is All you need.  Spread it all around…

Peace

 

 

Driving into Springtime

Swing out
To Lake Nostalgia
Route 5 to Laughing Pines
Get off at Funway West
Drive into Springtime
Drive into Springtime

That’s the chorus of the song that’s been stuck in my head all week:  Springtime by Donald Fagan, from his album Kamakiriad.  It’s a regular seasonal song since 1993.

Still killing time waiting for a sustained show of warmer weather, on Monday I drove over to Southern Illinois (a very different beast than Northern Illinois) to visit with a couple of oldsters that I love.

Uncle Jr. is doing great the nursing home–even received the “Resident of the Month” award!

A new stop on the tour is Mt. Carmel, where a wonderful lady who was one of my mom’s best friends has been ensconced in an assisted living apartment for about a year now.  I “lost” her for a while last winter when she had a couple of bouts of pneumonia that resulted in her move.  She is happy enough in her new digs and as beautiful as ever at 90-years-young…

It was a decent day for a drive, but I had just started in with a bout of cold?allergies?  We’ll just call it an influx of Snot.  I had to cancel my dental appointment for Tuesday and am living on Allegra now with no end in sight.  >sigh<

I’ve been haunting my local plant markets, especially Ronnie’s (Variety Village), despairing that they would never return.  Thursday a.m. I arrived as they were unloading the trucks!!!   In addition to visiting with my seasonal friends, I bought up herbs, some perennials, and seeds.  I got 7 kinds of basil! some I’ve never heard of!

Friday morning we shopped at Hillside Gardens, where I prefer to get my veggies, and picked up some great-looking tomatoes and peppers to babysit.  Puh-leeze, I know I can’t plant them for a month, but I keep them on the porch and talk to them until the time arrives.  I can, however, plant some peas, and am ready…

Casey moved around and re-organized our “shed” (it’s the old 1931 garage-without-a-driveway) so that I could have a sunny, new spot for my gardening supplies… (windows still need to be washed)

Even though I feel like hell, I’ve got a much better Attitude of Gratitude for the blooms and buds that pay no attention to the weatherman, greeting me as I walk into the woods.  Wearing my workboots is thrilling!

The temps have plunged again, and we’re still keeping the fire going in the fireplace.  We’ll meet up with the Jrs at Denny’s and come back here to play this afternoon.

This week I’m going to get those peas planted, and those roses moved, and the daisies, and bring in the new soil for the garden beds so I can get the spinach and lettuce and beets and on and on.

For now, I just keep “Springtime” rolling through my mind…

Peace