Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Year - A Snippet

I was due on the 29th of February.  G'ma tried to reason with me, but her body betrayed us and I came two days early.  I've always regretted that.

Eighteen was a wonderful age.  

Perhaps I can incorporate that feeling into my intention to live this year with lighthearted energy.  They do seem to go together.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

What Is That?

I didn't realize that construction skills would be necessary when I began Grandma's Garden.  

Today I struggled with the waterproof, 100 gallon, storage chest with cushion.  They sent me eight screws; I could only find use for six of them.  This might have concerned me, but they were the last parts in the instructions and after arguing with the clip in plastic sides for about an hour I wasn't interested in continuing the conversation.

I was dealing with attaching the hinge when kindergarten arrived.  I wasn't my usual welcoming self, so most of them stayed on the playground.  There were a lot of first and second graders who tried to help me solve the problem, which was resolved when the third graders entered the picture.

I was sitting on the old bench, admiring my work.  

What's that?

Hmmmmm, thought I.  

What does it look like?

Silence.  Bewildered looks. I started to laugh.  It wasn't disguised.  It was obvbiously a box.  It didn't occur to me that they were really asking how we'd be using it.

I had some fun suggesting that it was a banana peel.... a third grader.... and by then we were all laughing pretty hard, and continued to laugh as others came through the gate and wondered just like they did.  

Each group eventually got around to what would be stored and why were there screws lying on the bottom (cf paragraph 2) and what would we do with the bench that was chained to the fence and what was that cushion all about?

It was all about this:

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Happy BIrthday to Me


Little Cuter says I am not elderly, not in my 70's.  Mid-eighties might be another story..... but why go there right now?  

John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Taylor, a favorite cousin, and I all share this birthdate.  It comes at a lull in the holiday calendar and right in the middle of the snowbirds' season.  Many friends come to town; I consider them all birthday gifts.

We'll go to dinner with the usual suspects at a 40 year old Italian restaurant none of us have ever tried.  It has unlimited garlic bread.  Elastic waist pants will be in order.

I've had ecards and physical cards and pre-birthday texts.  I'll go to Prince tomorrow and get some birthday hugs (these things have a way of becomng known, it seems) after a birthday breakfast with Taos Bubbe.  

72 is starting out quite well.

Monday, February 26, 2024

She Gets Me

JannyLou came for a visit this weekend.  Fast Eddie had a cold (not COVID; he kept testing just to be sure) so he stayed home.  It was old home week without one quarter of us; somehow, we made do.

She had plans with her sorority sisters on Friday night, so she breezed in and out, taking a garage door clicker so she could return at her leisure.  It was fun saying Don't be late and Drive carefully and, my favorite reminder of Little Cuter's time at home during college, TBG wondering Do you have cash?

The kid went back to college with a roll of twenties, because Dad kept offering them to me.

We stayed up to be sure she got home okay.... well, we stayed out in the living room after 10pm..... and she came home with the smile you get after spending time with people who've known you since college.

She spent the next morning with a bestie, dining out for lunch and bringing home Costco steaks and country bread for dinner.  I wouldn't let her help with dinner preparations.  I wanted her to feel like a guest.... even though she kept insisting that she wasn't a guest at all.

Dr. K  and Not Kathy came over for dinner and conversation and laughing and catching up.  It reminded me of what I lost when our neighbors moved to Phoenix - a blending of my friends, hearing old stories through new ears, reaffirming the fact that we are not alone in our outlook or beliefs.  There are others out there if we can find them.

She left this morning after french toast and strawberries for breakfast and a walk across the street to see what the new-since-she-moved-neighbors are doing to their 12.5 acre spread.  

There seems to have been a house or two behind the overgrown vegetation, untended for the seventeen years we've lived here.

And now she's gone and the house is empty again.  I like the people who bought her house, I really do.  But it just isn't the same as having JannyLou nearby.


I didn't know what to do with the two asides indented up there.  Parentheses seemed bulky.  Adding them to the paragraph was equally awkward.  So, I made up my own construction.  I hope you like it.

Friday, February 23, 2024

An Outbreak of Stupidity

I usually like going to Whole Foods.  That wasn't how I felt today.

I managed to find a cart without a napkin or a crumpled wax paper wrap or a tissue wedged in the corner.  

The produce section is under construction and nothing was where it was supposed to be.  

There was a mass of humanity blocking every aisle.  No one was touching the fruits or veggies.  They were just standing there, talking, making it impossible for me to reach the tarragon and the shallots.  When I finally got to them, the shallots were buried beneath discarded skins.  

There was no broccolini.

There was a poodle, on a leash, without any indication that he was a service animal.  Just a dog, out for a walk in my grocery store.  His human had him on a long leash.  This was not conducive to the smooth locomotion of carts.

The fresh pizza was congealed, frightening, and suspicious looking.  I turned toward the newly displayed pre-sliced packs of turkey breast as a more viable option to bring home for lunch.  The woman who placed them was being very precise and I admired her dedication to the task.

They offer two kinds, smoked and oven baked.  The distinctions are marked on the labels, which the worker bee had placed face down in the cold box.  In order to figure out what was where, I had to turn over package after package.  They weren't in any real order.

At the checkout lane (I avoid the self check outs when humans are available), a group of 5 adult men who should have known better were chatting up a storm.  They weren't checking out.  They were talking, standing in a loose, large circle, completely blocking the two open lanes. They were happy to move once I wondered aloud if they were in line, but what were they doing there in the first place?

The parking lot is a nightmare.  Avoiding being sideswiped is barely possible.  Today was no exception, with someone careening into the lane the UV and I were occupying, not thinking that another car might actually be on the road.  

My shocked face was visible through our open windows.  His unrepeatable comment was totally unwarranted.  Unlike him,  I had stopped to check the intersection before barreling through.  

I spent a few minutes wondering what kind of new car I'd get to replace the one I wish he had totalled. Then the light changed and I fled the scene.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Happy Birthday, George

Here, once again, is my somewhat annual rant about President's Day.  Just like last year, I didn't realize it was President's Day.  I was too wrapped up in the terrifying notion that the former guy might be the next guy to pay attention.  Here in Arizona, we have Rodeo Weekend this Thursday and Friday so schools remained open.  It may have been a Legal Holiday, but my trash was picked up right on schedule.

I'm not the only sentient being who is struck by the strangeness of it all.  NPR told me that February 22nd had been a Federal Holiday from 1879 all the way through until 1968 when Congress standardized almost  all the Federal Holidays and George ended up with the 3rd Monday in February.... which will always be before his actual date of birth... and, as long as I'm ranting, will always be after Abe's on the 12th.

I'm all for celebrating your Birthday Month, but that's just plain ridiculous.  

Here's the rest of the rant, reprinted and slightly edited.


Mary Ball Washington gave birth to a boy child on February 22, 1732. Unlike many of the stories surrounding this man (think cherry trees and coins across the Potomac and standing up in an open boat as it crossed the Delaware) this is an indisputable fact.

Mary was not in labor on the third Monday of February.  She produced her child on a specific day - the 22nd day of February.  His birthdate didn't move around according to the federal holiday calendar.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln met her second son, Abraham, on the 12th of this month.  Like Mrs. Washington before her, she was not in labor on an indeterminate day sometime in the middle of the month.  It occurred on a certain day, a day formerly commemorated by school children and mail carriers alike.

Alas and alack, these fine gentlemen have been conflated into Presidents and their birthdays combined into a generic celebration designed primarily to afford employees the opportunity for a 3-day weekend in the middle of the winter. What was wrong with the old system, I wonder?  As an elementary school kid I looked forward to those random days off in the middle of the month.  One day, breaking up the routine.  One celebration for each president - pennies examined on the 12th, leadership and lying (not) on the 22nd.

There was no time for a weekend away (not that G'ma and Daddooooo could have afforded to take us anyplace anyhow) and there was no competition between students for who went the furthest and had the most fun.  It was an opportunity to go sledding at Bethpage (the Black Course was used for many things in my youth; this was the best of them) or to meet friends at the bowling alley and then walk to Smiles (our precursor to a 5-and-dime) where we cruised the aisles until our parents picked us up.

It was grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon on the side, eaten on paper plates and accompanied by the admonition Don't Tell Daddy since the bacon was not exactly kosher and he cared a lot more than did G'ma.  There were snow forts to be built, snowball fights to be fought, snow men to be built. The entire neighborhood roamed from front yard to front yard, creating and tumbling and finding warmth and drinks and the occasional bathroom in whichever house we happened to be in front of when the need arose.

And now?  Now President's Day is always an event.  It's a long weekend for which plans must be made.  It has no intrinsic meaning, no relationship to George or Abe or any of their colleagues.  Their faces are used to advertise white sales and car sales and furniture sales.  What began as tributes to great men has devolved into spending opportunities for the masses.

Am I bitter?  You bet.  A day off followed by another one 10 days later.... what better way to combat the winter doldrums than that?  A random day, a day to cuddle under the blankets with your sweetie or to do all that laundry that interfered with your weekend plans and so still sits in the basket, mocking you.  A day to explore the neighborhood and have lunch in that place you've driven by 100 times before..... a day just to be.

Sometimes, when I was a girl really was better.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

An Irrefutable Argument

It is true that there are those who've drunk the MAGA kool aid and are just waiting for the poison to seep into the rest of us.  There are those who will not listen, and that is sad. 

But for those who might have a small chink in their armor, maybe because they love you, and who might be willing to listen and think about what you're saying,  you might try this:

The State of New York found that your guy is unqualified to do conduct business unless two, separate monitors sign off on the deal.  He cannot write a check unless it is cleared by different entities, each of whom is endowed with total oversight of the man's affairs.

If the State of New York thinks he's not to be trusted with his own business affairs,  why would you trust him with the country's spending, budgeting, forecasting?  These are your tax dollars he's spending.... or grifting.

That's the kind and loving way of saying what I heard in a cascading series of talking heads following the lead.  That's herea;

So, the man needs a babysitter.  Actually, two babysitters because he's such a bad boy.  Can't trust him with a marker, let alone a checkbook.

Mommy, may I?  What a massive blow to his ego.  He's built his brand on being a brilliant business man when all he's done is make stuff up.  

He can't be trusted with his own checkbook.  Why in the world would anyone trust him with ours?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A Bee is Buzzing

Do you play Spelling Bee in the NYTimes Games app? It's six letters surrounding a seventh in the center. The idea is to make as many words (4 letters or more) using the outer letters as many times as you want, but always including the center layer.

The game gives you mottivation along the way, letting you move from Good Start to Moving Up, Nice, Good, Great, Amazing, and Genius. SIR and I share our scores when we hit Genius, which is more often than not. It's a lovely way to occupy my brain while washing dishes or folding laundry. I move the letters around in my head, surprising myself when a word pops up. As we've commented more than once, this is sometimes an all day game.

The Times gives you hints in The Spelling Bee Forum. It also heads that column every day with a different picture of bees, sent in by readers. Today, while deep watering my Meyer Lemon tree, the one that decided to set blooms after every other lemon tree in the land has produced its entire crop, I saw an opportunity to joihn their ranks.

The smell was deliciously sweet. The bees were everywhere, though they moved away from wherever I chose to stand. I figured that out after a while and stood still. This is what came into view

There's more deeper in there.

If I get really deep, there's even more.

Okay, I'll just put my whole self in there and turn over and revel in it.

I'm going to submit them to the paper.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Georgia On My Mind

James Patterson books are easy ways to pass a lazy day.  I found myself re-reading Cross Down today, realizing a few short chapters in that I remembered the basic outline of the plot but that I didn't mind spending time with those characters again.

It's a plot revolving around a coup.  Hate groups on all sides are encouraged and supported.  Martial law and loss of basic freedoms are the plan.  It felt remarkably real.

Television seems to be revolving around a coup, too.  With the majority of prospective Republican voters telling pollsters they are committed to returning him to jail, the Lying Liar turned his minions onto Fani Willis.  Not satisfied with attempting to steal the choice made by Georgia voters, not satisfied with defaming election workers and sticking his friends with the bill (cf Rudy Guiliani owing $148 million to satisfy the judgment), he decided to take a big bite out of the whole enchilada - he went after Fani Willis.

I was never quite sure what the charges were.  There was some peculiarity in the hiring of one of the prosecutors, something about his relationship with Ms. Willis.  I felt like Mr. 20 - ignorant of the facts but sure there was something there.  

I mean, really, how could it get this far if there weren't something to prove.  The prosecutors were trying to show that there were financial kickbacks going from one to the other, and that her hiring decision was based on a long term love affair.  I was never certain about the money allegations, nor did I understand exactly what's wrong with hiring a lover if he's qualified for the job?

That last question was answered by a retired Georgia judge who testified that he turned down that very job because of security concerns.... and because I wasn't going to make a lot of money.

I didn't think civil servants made enough to bribe one another or do whatever nefarious financial shenanigans were being alleged.  The more I listened, the more sexist and racist it sounded.  No black woman could be able to take fancy vacations on her own dime; she must have traded sexual favors for the privilege of traveling.  

Wade, who testified before Willis, said the pair split their expenses when traveling because the district attorney is an “independent, proud woman” who insisted on paying her own way. He said Willis used cash to pay him back — which she confirmed — though he did not deposit the cash. (The Hill)

That left the prosecution aghast.  Who has all that money lying around the house?

Enter daddy, John Clifford Floyd III, a former Black Panther, a defense lawyer, and no stranger to the courtroom.

Echoing Willis’s own testimony, Floyd said Friday that he told his daughter growing up to always keep six months cash in her home, describing the practice as “a Black thing.” 

So we have the Trumpian mafia going after a successful woman whose cultural mores were shaped by forces fueled by the Lying Liar and his ilk.  Trust the banks?  Trust a corporation?  Trust anything but your own self and those you love?  Hardly.

I was anxious when this whole thing started.  I hope the presiding judge heard the testimony the way that I did.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Rewatching an Old Favorite

If you haven't seen My Man Godfrey, now would be a good time take it out of the library or Google how to watch it for free.  It's one of our favorite movies; our Top Ten list has about twenty entries so don't ask me to be more specific. But for a put a smile on your face experience, there are few films that match it.

Really.  Just look at these two:

the criterion collection

He's delighted with her.  She's seeing through the grime.  They're surprised with what's there.

Carol Lombard pouts better than anyone in movies.

William Powell does superior and disdainful and kind just as well.  

He and Carole Lombard, the charmingly ditzy rich girl who hires him as her family's butler, were recently divorced after a two year marriage when he insisted that she be cast opposite him in the film. 

Knowing that, I paid special attention to how they looked at one another.

That's an iconic irreconcilable differences but yes, I know you are adorable and you know it, too moment.  It needs no words.  It just is what it is.

We often refer to A Perfect Movie - one that could not be improved upon by a casting or scripting or directing or musical or sets or or or ..... change.  Think To Have and Have Not and Princess Bride .... and My Man Godfrey

Thursday, February 15, 2024


We were randomly flipping channels.  ESPN was wrapping up coverage of the Chiefs' Super Bowl parade and celebration. It was perfect background noise to the far more interesting conversation we were having.

Then the picture changed.  The reporting changed.  The venue was different but the words were the same.  People were running.  Sirens were blaring.  Stretchers.  Police.  Sobbing survivors.  

Bright sunshine and ambulances.  After a while I couldn't take any more.  

What's on ESPN?

This is ESPN.

That was how we came to listen to Marcus Spears wondering if this is who we are as a people, and concluding that it is.

No place is safe was a constant refrain, as if that were a new concept.

Hug those you love.  Tomorrow is not promised.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentines Day

I spent the last few months watching mothers with their daughters and missing my own Mommy.  Finding this old post was like finding a hug. 

Happy Valentines Day from my heart to yours.  


This happened on Valentines weekend 12 years ago.   I remember it as if it were today. 

Shockingly, G'ma was willing to forgo her post-prandial nap and accompany me to Target.  I hustled her into the car before she could change her mind.  We admired the clouds and she told me I was driving too fast and not stopping for the yellow lights and following too closely and she was my mother again, except for the clacking dentures. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

There was an electric cart in the unloading area next to the handicapped parking space and it was calling her name.  She's still got left and right implanted in her memory bank, so directionality wasn't an issue.  She took a turn or two too closely, but the t-shirts didn't seem to mind the little bit of sway she put into their hangars.  Humans managed to get out of her way, and her enjoyment of the scene washed away frowns before they could be formed.  We chose Valentines Day cards and bought mini-packs of tissues for her purse and we giggled over but didn't purchase any of the soft pink socks with hearts that were tempting me at the register.  Sorry, Little Cuter........

Pie wasn't nearly enough lunch for me, so I suggested ice cream.  "Drive faster!" was her reply, so I did.  There's a new Dairy Queen in the neighbrohood and that's where we headed, $5.01 bringing us her sundae (all chocolate....did you really have to ask?) and my strawberry milkshake and more napkins than we needed.

Sitting there in the parking lot, sipping whipped cream and watching chocolate sauce melt into chocolate soft serve, feeling the warm breeze on my bare arms, I was 10 years old again, in the drive-thru with Mommy.

It felt really really good.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The Second Half (and more)

The Kansas City Chiefs may not have as deep a bench as the 49'ers' but they do have Patrick Mahomes.

San Francisco kicked a field goal.  KC scored a touchdown.  The last man drafted took is team into overtime, but lost to a once in a generation talent.

It's hard to feel too sad.
Queen T went all out in the decor for their first Super Bowl Party.  There were babies and sports fans and many, many balloons.  And there was this:
I'd say she wins for creative presentation.
The sun was shining and the air was crisp and clean after some night time  rain.  There's still snow on the Pusch Ridge, even on the west facing slopes.  Long sleeves keep me warm enough, though sometimes a long cotton scarf needs to wrap around my neck for perfect comfort.

Tomorrow morning, Taos Bubbe and I will be doing yoga outside at Tohono Chul Botanical Garden.

Yes, I'm reveling in being outdoors in February without special equipment.
Grandma's Garden is fecund.

Radishes.  Lettuces.  Scallions.  

We had salad on the fly, harvested from our garden and our buckets and cut with Grandma's garden shears into tiny pieces so everyone could have a taste.

We also introduced those new to the garden to scallions, and their super power - extreme bad breath.

It was a good day.

Monday, February 12, 2024

I Watched the Super Bowl

I watched the Super Bowl so you didn't have to.  These are my thoughts as they unfold.
Yes, Taylor Swift is there.  She's wearing a black top with spaghetti straps.  
Did you see that?  It was really funny.  

That was my reminder that the commercials are going to be the best part of the evening.  
There was, as always, the Adoration of America.  It being the Super Bowl and all, there were not one, not two, but three songs.

I should know more about Lift Every Voice and Sing.

America the Beautiful is a wonderful song.  Unfortunately, I couldn't watch or listen.  The singer was unkempt, which would have been bad enough, but his face was covered with tattoos.  Who decided to normalize that during the Super Bowl. (Yes, I'm being judgemental)

By the time they got around to Reba McIntyre and The Star Spangled Banner all I could feel was relief.
He gets us runs ads that I'm glad to watch.
The website is worth a look.
There are many famous people in unusual situations, disarmingly while hawking products I can rarely remember.  Christopher Walken and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito have fun with their accents.  Messi plays with a soccer ball on the beach.  

Walken was selling BMW's, Messi a beer on tap, and it's only because the commercial makes fun of Arnold's inability to pronounce neighbor that I remembered it was for State Farm.
The first quarter ended 0-0.  

There were turnovers and incomplete passes and nothing to make my 9'ers fans happy,
Carl Weathers appeared in a commercial, which ran his dates as the final frame.  

I don't remember the product; I felt good about it, though.
The second quarter featured passes, long and precise, from both quarterbacks.  Some were caught.  Fumbles and near fumbles, intentional grounding, a torn achilles from excessive celebrating on the sidelines - not everyone was having a great day.

It's a violent sport, but slapping your opponent on the helmet while staring him down is frowned upon, especially by the referee standing next to you.  When that gives your opponent ten yards and an automatic first down, setting up a trick play l lisand a touch down, it's time for the defense to have a talk.
There's a new soda, called Poppi.  It comes in very colorful cans.

RFKjr made a terrifyingly effective ad, repeating KENNEDY over and over and over again, in song and print hearkening back to the '60's.
The half ended with San Francisco ahead of the Chiefs, 10-3.
I'm sure I'll listen to Usher's half time show, and we'll watch the second half.  But I'm hungry for chicken chili and it's hard to type and eat dinner.

I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Harvesting Our Bounty

It's been a long time coming.  

The hard frost in early January

killed our just ready to ripen tomatoes.  I've been pointing out the frozen remains to everyone who wonders where the snacks are hiding.  Frozen too were our basil, both the purple and the sweet; the lemon grass we were used to sucking on; and the bell pepper which was slowly moving from flower to fruit.
But today, after what seemed like forever, all of this happened.
This scholar was very precise in her planting, adhering to the depth and distance recommendations. That is a serious carrot.  That radish is not misshapen.  She was rightfully proud.

Those who were less persnickety about seed placement created this messy root system and laughably unhappy carrots.

Intertwined was not the only physical difference which was (quite excitedly) brought to my attention.  These three carrots, 
from three different hanging buckets, led to inquiries about location, access to sunlight, competition from other seedlings in the same bucket, and precision in following the sowing directions.

Those were their questions, not mine.  They looked to one another for answers before they asked me what I thought.  
They shared their produce, taking a taste even though they knew they didn't like it, but relishing the challenge I posed:  Have you ever tasted a radish you grew yourself, from seed?

It was a wonderful day to be a big kid in Grandma's Garden..... especially to be a 70-something big kid.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

My Baby Was Sick

She tested positive after FlapJilly's test turned red immediately.  They were both under quarantine and the boys were left to fend for themselves.  SIR kept his girls supplied with food and beverage, while they turned the shower into a spa experience with essential oils in the steamy air.  

My girl likes her alone time, but she thrives in the bosom of her family.  Going a full day without snuggles from Giblet is painful; anticipating and then living through day after day of that separation wass heartbreaking.  She was tired and she was bored and she was sick.  Not desperately sick, but day after day not getting better sick.

And her mommy was 2000 miles away.

This is the time when GRANDMA should spring to action.  Deliveries of chicken soup with matzoh balls......with just the right amount of spring when you bite into them.  Cooking them dinner so the boys can focus on one another and not the missing half of their family.  Cleaning and laundry and all the tasks that with two adults are manageable can be handled so attention can be given where it is most needed.

Instead, I ordered flowers and popsicles and cheese from Whole Foods to be delivered once SIR was home from school drop off.  I chatted on a kids' messenger service with Flap Jilly, amusing us both, reminding me of the hours she and I spent together during Pandemica.  

But this time there are vaccines and boosters and Paxlovid for the grown ups, which makes it less scary. It does not bring us any closer.  I felt the distance in every fibre of my being.  All I could do was shop.  

Their Amazon Wish Lists are depleted - books and comfy pj pants and leggos and yahtzee and scrabble and a comfy blanket - and I'm still too far away.  Instead of bringing them homemade baked goods I'm DoorDashing my way to parenthood.

She's a grown woman.  She's competent.  She's responsible.  She's my little girl and I wanted to be there, masked and gowned if needed, catering to her every need like I did when we sere separated not by miles but by steps.

And y'know what's the nicest part of all?  She likes it.

I am not smothering her.  I am mothering her...... even if it has to be from afar.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Big Kids in Grandma's Garden

An entirely new set of boys were in the garden today.  They found an empy 5 gallon pot that, apparently, required an immediate infusion of soil from the digging bed.  No one was quite sure what they were going to do once it was full.  They were purposeful and polite.  I let them be. 
We decided to fill the new raised gardens with the remains of last summer's soil delivery.  It was a dirty job (Oh no! You're dirty and you're working in the garden.  What a surprise!) so the boys in the back kept their hands clean for eating garden grown lettuce.  
These three were relentless.  Discovering the most efficient method of transferring the soil from the pallet on the ground to the bed above, breaking the clods in the bed so the roots could move unimpeded, needing no adult presence except when the compliments became too infrequent.  
This scholar was determined to have the surface present an even face to its public.
She approached it from every angle.
Do we think they are having any fun at all?

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

I'm Fed Up

91 criminal and civil indictments have been handed down against the man.  

Jurors have watched him up close and personal and have spanked him to the tune of $83.7 million dollars.  

The Senate took up the MAGA fold's challenge and came together on a bipartisan bill funding our various proxy wars and addressing the border issue in a way sure to anger the left.  Progress on immigration under the current administration is anathema to the presumptive Republican nominee so the Speaker of the House declared that the legislation is DOA in the House.

The fact that our economy is doing quite well thank you very much is, apparently, due to the fact that he's predicted to win in 2024.  

There's so much to unpack there. 

Steve Bannon had a plan to break the government and he found a willing stooge to front for him.  A man with no moral center, with a toddler's sense of entitlement, someone who does not understand the concept of respect, a fountain of word salad that keeps costing him money (E. Jean Carroll should consider him an annuity is my favorite so far), a man motivated by applause and adoration (his versionof loyalty) - that's the perfect person to put up in front of people who had had enough of a black man  running and winning and then that awful woman thinking she could do the job and anyway maybe we didn't need a politician but a business man and we know he's successful because he had a tv show.

I'm fed up.

If someone who supports him can explain any of that, I'm ready to listen.  Until then, I am done, sated, filled to the brim with trying to figure it out myself.  These people just don't like America.

Monday, February 5, 2024

This Is The End

There's only one football game left.  The sports channels (and there are many of them, in case you live a blissful life and are unaware of the nonsense television provides) have been playing old Super Bowls and biographies of current and past players on the 49ers and the Chiefs. They are analyzing why Dak Prescott (Dallas QB) is this that and the other, even though he led his team to a loss in the run up to the big game. 

Thankfully, no one is that concerned about Taylor Swift. They seem to be leaving that outrage to Fox News, which has decided that that she is a Democratic plant, designed to sway people to love the Chiefs and vote for Biden.  

I, too, am missing the connections there, but that's the MAGA crowd for you - seeking controversy where there is none.  I guess a fairy tale love story is more than their listeners can handle.  Personally, I am enchanted by the young Prince scholars who are cheering for Tay-Tay's boyfriend's team, even if they don't know his name, or the team's name, and some of them have to pause before they remember the sport.

I am a fan of Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant.  That's the moniker given to the last man chosen in the NFL Draft.  As San Francisco's quarterbacks fell, the third stringer, hoping only to be on the practise squad, has become a Super Bowl starting quarterback.  He's grateful to God for his talents and opportunities, but I am grateful to the GM who decided to add him to the roster.

I've been able to read many books since the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl.  TBG is happy to rewatch the NFC Championship Game.... and rewatch... and rewatch... which lets me snuggle on the end of the couch, close enough for rubs, my hearing aids on the table, my book illuminated by the light my boy bought for me.

Abraham Verghese's The Covenant of Water, all 736 pages of it, was much better company than grown men throwing a ball and crashing into one another at alarming speeds.  It's a wonderful story, folding back on itself and surprisingly predictable, in hindsight.  There are no loose ends, just hopeful possibilities, when the book ends.  

The Spy Coast read more like a television script than a novel, not surprising since Tess Gerritson's Rizzoli and Isles novels made there way onto the little screen years ago (and they haven't been the same since).  

I caught up on my Substack threads (subscribe to Sherman Alexie if you do nothing else today), enjoying Joyce Vance and Heather Richardson taking the time to do the work so that I don't have to immerse myself in the drama.  

Soon televised football will be a thing of the past, and I'll get my tv and my husband back.  For now, I'm enjoying the solitude, with a little bit of company on the side.

Friday, February 2, 2024

It Snuck Up On Me

 February did, that is.  

I've been operating in a first month of the new year mode.  I began the year with all my usual good intentions.  I was going to clean this out and move those inside and finally give all that away.  It was January, a good time to sweep out the old and make room for the new.

Well, none of that happened.  

Logistics played a big part. It's hard to reorganize when five are occupying space normally used by two.  But that excuse has been lame for a long time.  Those blankets are still piled up on the bed.

I wasn't worried.  It was still January.  I had plenty of time. 

And then it wasn't and I didn't.  

Not that it matters.  It will get done when it gets done.  The pressing problems have been addressed - the cardboard boxes have been recycled;  the holiday decorations are boxed and on shelves; our inventory has been restocked.  Why I feel the need to have spent the last four weeks doing more than I did is a mystery to me.

I'm trying to be nicer to myself this year.  I think I'll start by letting go of the feeling that I'm behind.  I'm just recalibrating the time line to suit current conditions.  

I feel better already.

Thursday, February 1, 2024


The pretty etched plastic lamps have the plugs on the wrong side.  I sit them in the window, not on a counter.  The cords intrude on my view and I can't turn them around.


Our torchiers are from the last century.  They've always been temperamental, refusing to turn on or off, flickering for no reason at all.  But they are beautiful and when they work their light is exactly what and where we want it to be.  So we unplug it because it won't turnoff otherwise, and gently tap it because turning the on off switch makes it tremble.


The old fashioned bubbler lights I bought for TBG's Xmas this year were lovingly packed away in the original, well-engineered box by Queen T.  She was meticulous, gently winding the wires, careful not to bend the cardboard inserts.  I watched, imagining HoneyBunny in my place, watching her doing the same thing, twenty, thirty, forty years from now.


Big Cuter found an attractive, rechargeable, well priced, light weight reading lamp on Wayfair.  It doesn't work at the bedside; its arm is not long enough to bend wide enough to reach my book, even if I scooch all the way over to the very edge of the bed.  On the couch, though, it sits primly on the arm rest, casting a bright light on the book in my lap, defeating the designers who neglected to put an electric outlet on the middle of the floor.


I was up before the sun and the bedroom window was full of the moon and a bright but not blinding light that felt like a warm blanket wrapped around my shoulders.  I stood there, in the middle of the room, watching and feeling the rotation in the celestial glow.  Overwrought?  Absolutely.  But in that moment I was one with the goddess.