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went to work...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
... this morning at 7 a.m., and thought that it almost felt like a mini-vacation, after having to set my alarm for four to be at work by 5 o'clock the day before. But ended up being there until 5:30, and still did not get it all done. I am sure it will be right there tomorrow, with no one having taken up the slack to get done all that needs to be accomplished.

I have noticed that the bird nest I reported on weeks ago is still inhabited. So have to wonder what happened to the eggs and family she tried to hatch and raise that would have matured by now. Upon closer inspection, the nest appears to have been renovated, enlarged with added moss, spider webs and other scavenged materials. So nosy me: I had to get the ladder and take a peek.

I am so curious to know what happened. There are more eggs. Four. I am pretty sure the first clutch had five, so I know this is not the same batch that would have never hatched. Even though that is possible, as the newly enlarged nest is higher enough that there might possibly be the unhatched ones hidden below. But I prefer to think that first laying was successful, the babies have fledged and literally left the nest. I might remember that the ones I peered over the edge to observe weeks ago were light blue, and these looked almost white, actually probably an 'eggshell' color. Ha.

She flew away when she saw me headed towards the front door with my step ladder. And made disapproving noises the whole time I was standing on tip-toe peeking in. Saying: tch, tch, tch, tch, which we can assume means in bird-speak you should mind your own business.

there used to be...

Monday, May 22, 2017
...someone who lived here that would store clean clothes in a pile in the laundry basket. When she needed something to wear, she would spritz the severely wrinkled item with a water mister bottle and toss it in the dryer to de-wrinkle-ify. I guess she still does that, can't say for sure. But I do know the clothes that come out of the dryer at her house go in a big pile on a bed, awaiting folding and putting away. She saves that chore for me, as I tell her I think 'folding is good therapy'. Ostensibly she has never been in need of any therapy!

I was thinking of her today, when I was sorting baskets of dirty stuff to start a load of wash. The Man Who Lives Here does not do laundry. Not washing or folding to put away. I will occasionally leave a tidy pile of clean items to go in his dresser that he can deposit while sitting on the edge of the bed. The baskets are in the floor of the closet, where clothing is tossed when taken off in the evening.

For some reason I could not find a ugly green shirt to put on this morning as I was preparing to go to work. And looked in the dirty laundry basket, where there were two of my work shirts. For the first time ever I my life I took a dirty shirt out of the basket and put it on. It really wasn't dirty, just smelled like the stuff I cut up all day at work: watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple.

I cannot in all my life recall ever doing that. See how good I am getting at telling on myself? It is funny and a little strange, right?

after working all day...

... putting in eight hours on my poor tired feets, I went on a farm tour yesterday. A friend who is all about organics, compassion for animals that are human food, and being mindful of the environment asked me to go along. A family farm in south Alabama that is  mostly pecan orchard. They sell free range eggs, granola, and homemade yogurt at the street market in Uptown on Saturday mornings.

The friend, C., discovered the family offers a walking tour twice a year, and she wanted to go. This is the same person who told me about the eagle workshop at White Oak Farm in south GA back in January. Which was very educational, provided the attendees with an abundance of information to share. So, even though I had very tired bones and feets, I planned to go on Sunday. It was equally interesting and informative.

The farm is primarily planted in trees that produce nuts - a number of different varieties. More than I ever wanted to know about the complicated life of a nut bearing tree. They also have chickens and cows. The cows graze beneath the trees, provide natural fertilizer and also provide milk and beef that they sell. The chickens come along behind the beeves or dairy cows, scratch and break up the droppings, and will lay eggs any place they happen to be when the urge occurs: trees, briars, seat of the farm truck when the door is left open, laundry basket, porch chairs.

They also have bees, lots of bees. But do not sell much honey as most is used in the making of their granola. We were not offered a sample, but my friend said it should be a controlled substance. I assume all the other people on the tour, eighteen or so, had purchased goods from the family at the Saturday market. Which would make them knowldgeable about their home-grown, farm-fresh products, which lured them on to the humid, hot, gnat-y farm. To walk through the shady pastures of fifty year old pecan trees, carefully avoiding cow-patties and bee hives on a Sunday afternoon.

It was all most educational. Even though I grew up in a fairly rural area, hearing about farm life makes it obvious I am a city kid. I am definitely a wuss and not at all ready for the existence of those that provide the things we consume. I am all the more appreciative of people who love the land they live on and choose to farm, use their resources wisely and be good stewards of the earth.

here's what happened...

Sunday, May 21, 2017
... when people gave me pecans and I thought I should not 'look a gift horse in the mouth'. I tried to get them cracked to use in baking or just eating. Adding to homemade version of party mix (without pretzels) is always a tasty treat. Toasted with some butter and salt is better than candy.

My friend in SC gave me some nuts from his tree, a year and a half ago. Not this past fall, but the one before that. He blamed the neighborhood squirrels for poor showing/ He was convinced the little tree climbers had gotten most of them and left little for him to find when they fall on the ground. I might have received what amounted to enough to half fill a gallon jar.

Then someone else gave me a few more: just enough to fill a quart zipper bag. Together, the nuts might have weighed four pounds, maybe less. When I took them to the nut-cracking place back in the fall, the guys at the hardware store said they would have to charge me eight dollars. That is the minimum charge for five pounds of nuts. It was not worth five bucks to me. I said Thank You and left with my pecans still in the bag.

Sent them to another store where they would not crack them because they were so small. The report is their machine was not set up to crack small pecans. What?  The bag of nuts has been sitting in my carport for months, or  riding around in my car. Waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.

One morning recently, when lying in bed, waiting for the alarm to go off, I decided I would just give them to the local wildlife. Be Gone With You! But did not want to do anything that would encourage squirrels to hang around more than they do. Or make them think the food supply around here is so steady and generous they should invite the relatives to come for a visit, maybe move into the neighborhood.

When I went to do a  volunteer job yesterday morning, I took my nuts, and dumped the whole bag out under a tree. I hope the squirrels up in Harris County have found them and are enjoying the buffet. I was ready for the nuts to be out of my life. And thought dumping them some place that far from home was an excellent idea.

about that 'board appointment' ...

Saturday, May 20, 2017
... as a public figure. I am well on my way to becoming a politician! Not. But the whole idea of me being on a semi-NGO board that makes decisions affecting the public and quality of life in our community is so unlikely. Being that person who much prefers to be stirring the pots on the stove, working the serving line, or sweeping the floor rather than be in the limelight.

An explanation of how this came to be reminds me of a story I have greatly enjoyed telling over the years. Heard from, or maybe just about, a former Presbyterian and fellow church goer. He was reportedly hanging around in the parking lot after a committee meeting. The group was discussing some issues that had been brought up during their 'official' gathering in the building, but several continued the conversation as they left to go to their vehicles.

Standing there, facing one another, thinking out-loud, pondering and considering the questions and concerns raised before they adjourned. Someone said something along the lines of' we need a 'volunteer', possibly wondering who they might find to do some research or legwork and report back to the group at their next scheduled meet. This friend said he looked up, during the give and take conversation, only to discover everyone else had taken a big step back - leaving him as the unintended 'volunteer'.

He claimed to not have actually offered to do the work, but when he realized what had just occurred he understood he was 'it'. The guy who would take on the extra responsibility to investigate and be prepared to make the report. Inadvertently, unintentionally becoming what I recently heard referred to as 'volun-told'.

you might find amusing...

...  my unlikely appointment as a board member of a local non-profit organization. The Keep Columbus Beautiful foundation has been operational for many years, under the auspices of the city government. My assumption is that board members must be approved by the city, as I had to fill out a brief questionnaire. Between volunteering myself all over town, and this laborious process with the courts, I have been thoroughly vetted. Background checked, inspected, historically investigated, back molars approved, dust-bunnies counted.

It started with an email on the local list serve about the current representative from our end of the county being replaced as he has completed his term. I said: 'hmmm... I could do that.' So I volunteered. Found out who to contact, and gave her a call. The director of KCB is someone I have known for years, since she was employed by GSUSA, so I can already call her by her first name. She seemed to think I would be ok, nominating myself.  Apparently no one else was jumping up and down for the position. I'm it!

I had to complete a form online, providing basic info about residence, how to contact me. We will see if I pass the muster and actually become participant in good standing. Probably no more complicated in depth than being able to fog a mirror. A body with a discernible heart beat and interest in betterment of our community. I think I can manage those qualifications pretty well.

might be wondering....

... what happens next? Now that we've been to probate and a decision has occurred. You will be as surprised as we were to discover: nothing. We are not precisely in a holding pattern or stuck in a stalemate. But also unable to move forward. We cannot yet exercise politeness and good manners, kindly ask the auntie to possibly consider the idea that she would voluntarily be willing to relocate to assisted living. Suggest that she agreeably accept the knowledge she is unable to live independently, caring for her basic needs.

The cousin has broached the subject many times, plainly stating the auntie would be less confused, lonely, feeling displaced or lost. All those things she struggles with now, when she balks about the idea of someplace she could get decent meals, could be resolved. She currently refuses to consider relocating in order to be around other people and socialize, while incessantly calling (from her home phone) friends and family to say she is alone and does not know where she is. Plus if she were to move, there would be staff to manage meds. which she cannot handle when she is alone, at home by herself.

We are awaiting documents from the court. The person who is appointed/deemed trustworthy to handle the financial affairs of another/incapacitated individual must be bonded. I wrote another whopping big check on Wednesday for my bond. Handed it over to the attorney standing in the parking lot of the judicial building in Valdosta. He was to take it to get the bond issued, return to probate with proof. Until the bond is accepted by the court, nothing happens. And the bond cannot be issued until the court has granted conservator ship. Sounds like 'the chicken or the egg' story to me.

If things went as planned, that has occurred. The court will then proceed (at the speed of that aircraft carrier making a U-turn) to issue documents. A letter that would be proof of the judge's decision to grant family members access to the auntie's financial resources. Necessary to better understand her situation and make a decision about her future.

 In all likelihood she will be moving. Under much duress, as you know how un-fond she is of the person who will then proceed to apply persuasion about a change. Her 'Not Favorite' will be kindly politely requesting her to 'please dear' get in the car and let's take a ride.