Home | Posts RSS | Comments RSS | Login


Sunday, June 30, 2013
Swept up about two dozen this morning, before I went to work at 8:00 a.m. Which was really not all that bad, but where do the dang things keep coming from? I picked up several more when I got home this afternoon: by putting down a small card, like recipe size, in front of one, right along the intended path, and the nearly brainless thing kept walking. So, of course, when it got mostly on the little card, I took it to the bathroom and made a deposit. But as soon as I could literally turn around, and walk six steps back to the kitchen: two more!

And there seems to be a crunchy, curled up one in every corner I look at. Anywhere two walls or kitchen cabinets run together to make a  90 degree angle, there is a little curly-cue rolled up, waiting for me to get the broom out. Which I do, every morning - but wonder how much longer this is going to go on? 

I am very thankful from frequent afternoon showers that create enough rain I don't have to get out and water each day - but think that the high humidity/moisture level might be part of the reason they seem to reproduce endlessly. And while I am sweeping up dozens of millipedes each morning, there is the random little deceased rolly-polly, curled up in a miniscule sphere, looking like a prehistoric punctuation mark. Going into the water with the prolific millipedes, kayaking down the rapids of the Chattahoochee.

everything I know about Publix...

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Actually, everything anyone would want to know about the chain of supermarkets with just over 1,000 stores is to be found by Google-ing and reading wiki-pedia. Which is where I got most of my info., at least the part that has not been implanted firmly in my brain over the past fifteen years. What was that movie where the guy had to write all the hints/clues on his person with a sharpie (or did he get tatoo'ed?) after his short-term memory shorted out?? I do not have the Publix logo permanently inked on my person....

Anyway, in the process of trying to discover what the current price is for stock, I read much more than I ever wanted to know about the company. Started by Mr. George Jenkins, in WinterHaven FL, back in the early '30's and remarkably successful despite the ongoing financial crisis of a nationwide economic depression. Now all over the southeast, and just edging into North Carolina after spreading into GA, AL, SC and TN.

The company decided for itself (probably not really random, but we'uns are not privy to the reasoning of the Board of Directors) it would pay dividends semi-annually, beginning this year. So the funds all the stockholder/associates had come to expect in June, are now paid half in June and half at the end of the year.
I just got the June fund, and deposited it in the bank, due to having decided to no longer fritter it away. I am remarkably adept at frittering, but think I should start plowing it back into more stock instead. So I got the form and completed it, to purchase as much as I could with the dividend amount I received for the stock I already own.

And discovered that today is pretty much the last day of this time frame to purchase. So had to run to the store with my form and check to try to get my envelope on the truck that will deliver goods, and return to the warehouse tonight. The envelope has to be marked received by June 30, and it's too late to put in the USPS. So I hope it gets on the truck, and someone somewhere will stamp it 'received' tomorrow, so the company will accept my request and let me purchase more shares during the 'open window' for buying.

Oh - Company is completely employee owned, and stock is not traded on the stock exchange/open market. Only employees/associates and Board members can purchase/own; if you decide to sell, you have to offer it back to Publix.There are a gazillion shares out there - I have some that split 1-5 several years ago. Nine facilities scattered over the southeast that produce the Publix branded products - everything from baked goods to milk/ice cream.

pot-luck dinner + memories...

I went with my friend P. to the monthly dinner we usually attend. It was at a large UMC Uptown. How I ended up with a dish to take is a story in itself, as it has been so long since I cooked anything I barely know the way around my own kitchen. I took mac-n-cheese, and she had a casserole that was mostly onions.

She said it was made from a recipe I gave her some time ago, so I must have cooked and took it to a potluck dinner at some point, and shared the 'how-to' part. Her proof  as to the origin was that it was on an index card in my hand-writing:  impossible to deny. Mac-n-cheese is so mundane, my casserole dish was not even empty when I went to retrieve it, but the dish she took with Vidalia Onion Pie was practically licked clean. I know because I went back for more and there was hardly a crumb left. I'm not even sure she would have had to wash it when she got home!

For some reason, she had the recipe with her, I guess to show me that it was not another we had talked about, that had rice listed as' the secret ingredient'. Several people stopped by our table and inquired about it - receiving the reply that it is so easy, you don't really need the written recipe to make it: just an idea of what to put together.

They wanted a copy nonetheless, so I said: let me write it down for you. I know what a sweet thing it is to be looking for a particular card in my file, and thumb through the frayed edges of so many index cards that have other people's handwriting on them. The group at my table immediately chimed in in full agreement, obviously being women who cherish the 'personal' quality of seeing handwriting from a specific individual when making a dish that has a certain sentiment attached. So I wrote the recipe for Vidalia Onion Pie out twice for people who wanted to have the particulars. And put my name and the date up in the right hand top corner, so when/if they make it, they will definitely think of me!

So, with a tip of the hat to the Pioneer Woman, here is the recipe:

Vidalia Onion Pie

1 cup saltine cracker crumbs + 1/4 c. melted oleo, mixed, used to line pie plate
3 cups or more of thinly sliced Vidalia onions + 2 Tablespoons oleo - saute till tender, spoon over crackers.
2eggs, 3/4 cup milk, salt and pepper to taste, mix well, pour over onions
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheese, sprinkle over top
Bake 350, about 45 min., Test with knife blade for doneness.
She made a much larger casserole, with lots more onions, but said the only other thing she increased was putting more cheese on top. With all the salt in the crackers, I'd go light on seasonings, just add pepper.

The really neat part is that the copy of the recipe I have on an index card in my file, came from my grandmother B. Sadly it is not in her handwriting, but I put her name on it when I copied, so I know whereof it originated.. And suspect she found it, many years ago, printed as the 'recipe of the week', in the Georgia Dept. of Ag. weekly newspaper: Market Bulletin.


The current invasion of things creeping across my kitchen floor numbers around four dozen. They have already been disposed of, thinking (if something that size can actually process info. to reach a conclusion?) they were signing up for Toad's Wild Ride, and surprised by ending up on the Titanic, sans iceberg, as they went swirling into the Great Beyond.

I'm still baffled, but seem to be coping fairly well. I mistookenly thought that the body count would be decreasing, but that appears to Not be the case. Now I am wondering if the weather is a factor, as we have had frequent showers here, with thunder-babies rolling in during the afternoons, and downpours accompanying all the stratospheric activity. Do they love to misbehave and multiply in the damp? Obviously! When you think of the outdoor environment in which they thrive - damp, dark, dank leaf mulch - as well as the bag of mulch I purchased to fill in the recently planted bed by the front door.

yeah... that's what we are...

Friday, June 28, 2013
I went to Walmart after dark, to exchange the kind of wet cat food they do not like, for the kind they do. They are highly opinionated, and expressed in no uncertain terms their concerns about me buying the wrong kind. It was completely unacceptable, and I stand corrected.

While I was there, I put another $20 on a card to go across the parking lot and buy gas for ten cents cheaper - and about fifteen cents cheaper than any place nearby. And about twenty cents cheaper than everything I saw when I drove to Valdosta and back this week.

When I was walking out of the store, and noticed: yet another person who deliberately got 'dressed up' in their sleepwear to go shopping, I had a little light bulb come on over my head. So I came straight home to let you know about my brilliance. I've been gnashing my teeth for months, if not years, observing people who go to the grocery store in pajamas, or most any other attire that makes me think "their mama don't know" what they are out in public looking line. I have yet to stop any of these people and actually accost them with the question: 'Does your mama know?', but find myself getting closer and closer to confronting. Probably only holding on to the thinnest thread of self-control, due to thinking of how thoroughly mortified my children would be, if I got arrested for making such a huge scene.

When I saw that girl, who was probably ten or twelve, she was actually with her family. Which means they  apparently approved her shopping 'costume', consisting of one piece, full coverage, but skin-tight pajama outfit. Hopefully she had just sort of outgrown it? But I suddenly realized that I took my own personal family shopping in their pj's when they were small. They would take baths, get pajamas, or oversized T-shirt  nighties, put on little homemade flannel bathrobes, with bears or cats, or trains printed all over. And we would go to the grocery store.

With the little orange and yellow plastic shopping carts, that had a basket just big enough to hold two cans of beans. It was a really big deal. And long before the era of wallyworld, to say nothing of this current 'style' (term very loosely applied) of wearing underwear for outerwear and sleepwear out in public. So there! Look how Fashion Forward we were twenty-five years ago... 'way out ahead of the curve! How cool is that?

it was most 'disadvantageous'....

I'm not even sure that is a valid construction. I was pondering the subject matter, and thinking it might just be something I made up to accurately describe the circumstance... So I went to check with the overly wordy Thesaurus and discover that there are any number of excellent substitutes that can be used as replacements - all of which adequately provide enough understanding without you having had the actual experience. So...

I'd taken all the boxes that would easily cram into the back of my car, that seems to be used as a pick-up truck/hauler-arounder on a frequent basis. With a plan to go and start sorting through fifty years of accumulated toxins: agricultural chemicals, insecticides, fungicides, along with numerous cans, jar and bottles with no identifying marks half filled with suspicious, jelled substances. Plus lots of cans of paint of various sizes and colors, and sufficent solvents to clean up any mess they might make. An assortment of remedies for problems I have never even heard of....

It was my intention to bring all that misc. back here, so I could take it to the semi-annual recycling day for hazardous materials the city and a local non-profit sponsor. (They also will take prescription meds, and give to public safety officials, probably the DEA for disposing, on a periodic basis.) I got it boxed up, and put in my car... never thinking that inhaling deadly fumes confined to a small space could be hallucinigenic.(sp?). I had to ride all the way home for three hours with all my windows cracked open, and the air going to try to keep the toxic fumes at bay. Or at least keep them far enough behind my person that I would not be guilty of 'inhaling a controlled substance'...

I find that words like: untimely, awkward, inopportune, inconvenient, annoying, troublesome, and bothersome could all be applied - especially when I realize the boxes of 'bothersome' chemicals are sitting in the carport, fumigating the area there. Where they will be until I can find out when the next recycling event for haz-mat will occur and load the 'troublesome' assortment back into my car to dispose. We are nothing if not 'discommoded' by the rank odor of the stuff that must be some sort of insecticide. I unintentionally put my  bag  of personal stuff on top of that particular box when I was loading up to travel yesterday afternoon. And debated about stopping to gag any number of times on the drive.

So when I came in, not only was my person saturated with the 'annoying' odor, my bag was also. And I heard: 'What is That Awful Smell?' At first, I thought he was referring to Me! But eventually decided it was in reference to the aroma coming from my 'disadvantageous' travel supplies. We really need airing out.


Missed a day of the Round-up on Thursday morning, but think I got caught up with a little broom work last night when I got home from s. GA. So I feel like I started with a clean slate/floor this morning - and was surprised to see over a dozen on the kitchen floor. Come to think of it: I am always surprised to see little wiggly things industriously making their way across the floor, baffled as to how a locked door does not seem to cause even the slightest hesitation. Which, I suppose, should be a lesson to us all about the liklihood of having a bad B & E experience when we so obliviously think we are safely tucked away in our homes. With only puny little locks and great espanses of thin, clean, transparent substances for protection, we foolishly think ourselves impervious to both the elements and greedy invaders.

About half of the little wriggly things had given up the ghost, so I had to get the broom out and try to sweep faster than the rest of them could crawl away in a dozen different directions. Noticing how amazingly fast all those wee legs can motivate - and how remarkably speedy they are at putting the whole thing in reverse. I can sweep a pile up in the dust pan, walk about eight steps to the bathroom, and shake them off, and by the time I walk back into the kitchen - a matter of several seconds - there will be six more, appearing like they are traveling in twelve directions. 

If there are only a couple, I will get a piece of paper and put it down on the floor for them to walk on, and when I have two or three - the maximum I can handle without the broom to 'wrangle' them back from the edge, in the bowl they go. But as soon as I dump and return to the kitchen, they have somehow reproduced their busy little selves and there will be three more while my back is turned. The 'count' this morning started off at twelve and is now up to twenty. With the likelihood of going higher when I walk back down the hall. Fortunately they are not actual rabbits chewing the legs off the furniture... but they seem to have babies at about the same speed.

latest report from 'shirt-tail on fire' person...

Thursday, June 27, 2013
I had been pondering this quandry for several days and surprised when it sort of resolved itself. I knew I was going to south GA on Thursday, and needed to be in Valdosta at 11:30.. But could not decide whether I'd be better served going really late on Wednesday night, and driving in the dark, weary and bleary-eyed. Or to go early on Thursday, and then have to get up early the next day to drive three hours before going to work.

It all worked out when I discovered I could leave home earlier than expected on Wednesday afternoon: the pot-luck supper I'd planned for was cancelled.  So not only was I able to load up and get away in a timely manner, but I already have my dish prepared for the dinner on Friday night. Unintentionally.

Completely out of character for me is the fact that I was actually prepared for the meal, had my 'covered dish' ready to heat and haul; had spent time in the kitchen cooking up a large batch of made from scratch mac-n-cheese. I probably should not be admitting this: but never in my oh-cook-of-vast-experience life have I made it Not From A Box. I'd been wanting, wishing, craving some really, really good, authentic, genuine, truly home-made mac-n-cheese, and perusing recipes - but had yet to satisfy the craving.

I Know I should not be admitting this: but I made some several weeks ago that was so awful the only way it was consumed  was by the addition of spaghetti sauce. It was That Bad. And sad too, for all the expense, time, effort and stirring that went into the preparation.

I got off the road by dark on Wednesday, and got up this morning to do a bit of bush-whacking in the sadly neglected, overgrown yard. I did not get the first mosquito bite, for which I am very thankful. Skin-so-soft works great. But those dang gnats were so bad, I could hardly see to saw and chop. And you should have seen me, dancing around in the yard every time I would see another grasshopper that needed stomping on, so they will not be reproducing in droves next spring.

Went over to Valdosta to take care of business, and visit a bit. Then got back on the road. I had boxed up a mystery, smelly assortment of cans, bottle, jars containing a wide variety of who-knows-what, found on a shelf in the workshop. Gotta be lots of haz-mat items in anything that smells that foul. And the rank odor followed me all the way home, since I put all the boxes in my car to bring for the city to recycle. There is an opportunity a couple of times each year for people to deliver old cans of paint, ag. chemicals, solvents, oil, etc. to the recycling facility. So I will stack it in the carport to be odiferious until time to take for disposal.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013
After mopping the floor yesterday, I somehow had the idea that the invasion was over. I guess partially due to not seeing any 'active' ones when I had the mop in hand. Apparently convinced that if they are not still wiggling - the end is in sight.

Wrong. When I went in the kitchen this morning, there were sixteen moving about, in random directions, but appearing to all have a destination in mind, focused on some internal guidance system that directed dozens of legs to go forth.  Sadly, they did not know they were all headed to the 'water ride' that would take them circling around and around into the unknown. Sort of a combination of the Lazy River and Space Mountain.

Along with the newest crop of millipedes, I also swept up three roly-poly bugs and two miscellaneous that I could not identify. The good news there: they were already deceased. I do not like roaches At All, but have long ago made peace with the knowledge they are a fact of life for a house that is so surrounded with trees and leaf mulch. I can tolerate the idea that they will eventually figure out how to get in the house, especially when the weather changes from anything to something else: hot to cold, wet to dry - whatever motivates a cockroach.  But as long as the ones I am seeing inside are dead, I don't mind the corpses. Just don't want to find them where we are in a co-habitation situation. Ick to that.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I got up this morning, prepared to sweep and mop the kitchen floor. I only found about a dozen of the little creepy crawlies, and most of them were no longer doing either. I got the sweeping part done, and completely lost interest in a clean house - so decided to put it off till later.

In the sweeping enthusiasm, decided to clean the bathroom too: and found a half dozen millipedes in the tub! Oh, ick! Most were history, but there were a couple who still had enough energy and enthusiasm to get themselves onto the dustpan - never suspecting they were in for the Ride of Their Lives when they were dumped into the toilet. More fun than the Log Flume at Six Flags?

occupational hazard?

When I went to work on Sunday I was supposed to be there from 9 till 3, with a thirty minute break. After the dust settled, I was there from 9 till 5, with no break: I kept thinking 'I am going home', but it took all that time to get finished. And I didn't really get everything done that needed doing - I just got to the point that I'd had enough and could  not do any more.

Pretty much 'same song, second verse' today. I went in at 8, and thought I was going to leave at 12, but that did not happen. I worked all morning in the prep area, and then had to put out warehouse shipment, plus more that came onFedEx truck from wholesale floral supply company in Atlanta. Plus getting some very thirsty plants watered. So it was 3 before I clocked out. And, as usual, did not get done everything that needed attention.

I am fully expecting to a stern 'talking to' as a result of always staying much longer than the time I am scheduled for. But when the choice is completing the work or walking off and leaving things un-done that need to be taken care of, I always seem to end up tipping over onto the 'conscientious' end of the scale. I don't know if any of my fellow employees feel like they don't really have enough time to take care of everything that needs doing. It could be that they are super-aware and constantly reminded of the fact that the company does not want to be paying anyone for over forty hours a week. That would not be a problem on my paycheck: I usually have less than twenty, unless it's a major holiday (and not so likely with that, until Feb. 14 comes around again.).

There in no doubt in my mind I should be expecting a conversation with my department manager. He will talk about the fact that I seem to always have several more hours on my time card/pay check than he has allotted me in any given week. I know the different departments have labor 'budgets', are tasked with figuring out how to best use the number of hours they have to work with. So it's just a matter of time before my name comes up on the radar as being one who is forcing the 'time budget' out of whack.

It's problematic: do a good job, no matter how long it takes vs. half-hearted, and get out of there on schedule? Hazards of doing a good job, I guess? Conscientious and diligent is not all it's cracked up to be...

another un-invited 'guest'

Monday, June 24, 2013
I am always a little on edge when I leave home. Always a little fearful as a result of being 'out of pocket'. Especially if the distance from home gets so great that I could not get back in just a few hours. There is some constant anxiety about the situation at home, and concern for health issues that seems to create a constant feeling of dreaded 'might and maybe' occurring. Especially since I am leaving a chronic worry wart with excessive time to dredge up all manner of creative worst-case scenarios.Without a sounding board that will talk him down off that  particular ledge/cliff/invented crisis he as created out of thin air..

We are having some of that. I got home yesterday, after four days away, and I found a man who had become miserable... some of which can be attributed to chronic worrying. But mostly legitimate, as things evolved in the course of the day. I had to go to work at 9:00, and should have left  at 3:00. But it was 5:00 before I clocked out. So after being away for four days, for all practical purposes: that was day number five.

He told me before I left for work on Sunday morning, that he was in a lot of pain in his mid-section, stomach and abdomen, and had been self-diagnosing as diverticulitis. And taking some antibiotic he just happened to have handy for a cure.  Not unlikely for a man who is so non-compliant and completely oblivious to doctor's suggestions about what he should not be putting in his mouth. As well as... how to best describe a man who has not had a productive experience in the bathroom in several days??

Later, after I returned from work inquiring, he reported he had medicated with over the counter pain killers. I reminded him he has some much more powerful drugs available for various aching parts - but again: he is a guy. Who is not prone to take drugs unless the wording on the Rx bottle indicates: Take This Like This. And then assumes that is the 'cure-all' so he can go along blissfully un-compliant with the spoken advice.

And then it got to be bed time, and he said: come in here and look at this.... which I did with trepidation. He had a classic case, textbook illustration variety of Shingles.  As soon as I looked, I knew. Naturally, being the person who has had the shingles immunization, I had to ask: 'did you get the shingles shot?' And equally to be expected: he did not.

As they say in the comics: 'later that same day'...'and, meanwhile, back at the pass'...

He said he did not sleep at all last night, due to pain in his mid-section. The really angry looking, fiercely red rash has spread from his sternum to mid-back, just like all the photos you will see when you google up Shingles. He got tired of tossing and turning, not able to even lie on his left side, could not get comfortable, but reports he saw some really good TV while he was awake in the wee hours. I told him he needed to try to get into the doctor's office, even if he had to tell them he would gladly sit and wait as long as necessary. They would not go home and leave him sitting there in the dark, as might happen if he went to the ER and they changed shifts, while he sat on the gurney in the little cubicle. Separated from the adjacent crisis by a curtain.

He made the call to family practice office as soon as they opened and surprisingly got an appt.to see a PA, so we went at10:30 (and waited an hour - but thankful to be seen at all on such short notice.) Plan B would have been to try to get into the dermatologist, which he thought was a great idea, but I nixed. I don't think dermatology practice would have done much for someone with a virus, and internal problems, anything below the surface.

We have painkillers and anti-viral Rx. He took some of the industrial strength acetaminophen (the one with the controlled substance that makes you both drowsy and constipated) and is catching up on lost sleep.

this is Not a millipede update - or even a 'round up'...

I know you are standing by, anxiously hopping from one foot to the other, in complete suspense, awaiting the latest news flash of the ongoing saga of The Millipede Invasion. Remember those news-reels where the little guy in the cap and oversized messenger bag is standing on the bustling street corner, holding up the newspaper with still damp ink: "Extra! Extra! Read All About It!" in an ear-grating, high-pitched voice that will not be ignored.

That's not me.

But I do have a smidgen of information to share in reference to the ongoing battle with broom and dustpan. There are three in the bathtub, two deceased, one climbing on the sides of the tub. There were three, actively wiggling, ones on the kitchen floor, and numerous little crispy, crunchy curli-cues, scattered randomly about, where they slowed to a standstill and breathed their last gasp. I was so weary when I got home from Publix last night, I had no interest in housework what-so-ever. Did not care to sweep or even think. But there are probably only a couple of dozen of them, in various stages of decrepit-ness or morbidity in the kitchen, plus whatever number chose to find other locations to demise in private.

I think it's really over...so maybe my theory about seasonal-ness has some merit. Guess we could google that...

Saturday's adventures down the rabbit hole... day 4 (6-22-13)

Sunday, June 23, 2013
We got up fairly early again, even though Saturday morning is the traditional 'sleep in' day for the working world. Because:

A) P.'s friend K. had offered to give us a ride into town so the co-worker/people who were leaving, driving, back to east TN, could take the computer along for a road trip. She did not want to haul it through TSA, take a chance on damaging it in transit, so when she found her cohort was driving, the computer hitched a ride to meet her at the Convention Center when we got there on Wednesday.

B) Those trains we had been 'commuting' on for the past three days were out of service on the weekend. Only the one that would take us to and from the area where we were 'living', so that put a minor glitch in our travels. There are five different commuter trains that zip along, mostly underground, around town, traveling all around the suburbs, to the outer edges of the DC boundaries. And - just our luck, with a bit of Murphey's Law thrown in, the one we needed to get us back and forth from the stop nearest K. was on the 'out of service' line: working on tracks, or escalators, or re-doing tiles on platform, or lighting, or whatever... There were shuttle buses that would pick up at the last functioning stop, and jump you to the next functioning stop, or dump you in the parking lot of the non-functioning stops.

But since K. so kindly offered, and P. accepted, we got a ride down to the hotel near the convention center, where we passed off the computer - then off to a day of sightseeing. K. told about a street market on the south-side of town, with lots of local vendors who would be there on the weekend, displaying crafts. Under dozens of little pop-up canopies, we saw: handmade cutting boards, wooden outdoor furniture, clothing, art, lots of jewelry, and a huge thrift market I knew we did not need to even glance at: don't look or you will get lured in, tempted to buy stuff you will have to take back through TSA. Bought a souvenir print of a watercolor of the Capitol, and a gift for the person who got up to take us to the airport at the crack 'o' dawn on Wed.

Then went back into downtown, monuments area. We'd decided to get a one-day pass on those big double-decker buses that offer lots of stops, and opportunity to see all the memorials, highlights of the city with occasional commentary/guides or recorded messages to provide some tidbits/trivia/info. about scenes as you drive by. We took the bus in circles numerous times, occasionally on purpose, and often accidentally.  Went to Arlington Cemetery, and got directions for finding a site she wanted to take a photo of, walked a couple of  miles to get there/back to the bus stop. Somebody got really sunburned sitting on the top of the bus!

We knew getting back to pick up our luggage would likely be a hassle, and confusing with buses substituting for the trains we had mostly, pretty much, generally figured out how to access to our advantage.Wandering through neighborhoods, taking us places we had not been, and did not want to go, using time we did not have to squander. So after all that mess, and we got our suitcases, rolled back down the hill to the Metro that had become a bus stop instead of train station, prayed (how appropriate: kneeling buses!) that we were getting on the bus to go to the end of the Metro line, where we would get back on the shuttle bus to Baltimore.

That plan did not entirely work out, and we ended up taking a (holy cow!) $45 taxi ride from Greenbelt, on the northeast edge of District of Columbia, to the airport in Baltimore. Probably got there quicker than the bus driver would have done, as we whizzed along on country, two-lane, back roads that took us through the USDA testing facilities... lots of farm land, planted with crops, and dozens of very sturdy (government issue-quality) brick buildings with huge identifying numbers prominently placed for easy identification. They (gov't) love to count, number, keep score, re-count, evaluate, analyze, juggle, crunch, question, wiggle, etc.. making the statistics come out to confirm what ever they wanted to prove.

The reason for the overpriced ride: anxiety about getting to the gate before they closed the Delta door at BWI. We got boarding passes printed, trekked to the farthest reaches (Murphey again - the gate you need to be at is always the one that is the greatest distance away from point A) and got there in ample time to get the 7:00 flight to ATL. Uneventful. Hoping that arriving a few minutes early would get a space on an earlier shuttle to Chattanooga - but no such luck. We both left ATL about 10:00 p.m., going in different directions: P. to TN, and me, with rappers, saggers, partiers, creatures of the night on the Marta to Underground.

All tracks cross at Five Points, below the surface. Population on trains pretty thin by that time of night, which could be a good or bad thing. I got off, and checked with a guy wearing a shirt that said 'security', and could have been a casual passer-by, thug, or legitimate - to be sure down there, in the rabbit hole, in the dark, with no sense of direction - I was getting on the one that was going east.

I finally came up for air in downtown Decatur, dragging a reluctant suitcase.That will likely be replaced before I go anywhere that requires taking more clothing than overnight. It kicked and bucked and stalled any number of times over our adventure, almost as if those tiny little solid plastic wheels could have a flat. I have pulled that little fiend up the last flight of stairs it is traveling with me!

I hauled a hard back library book all the way to Washington and back, and nearly got it finished. I had to make myself stop reading several times, to make it 'last' all the way home. And got so immersed last night, I stayed up too late - crazy since I knew I would be waking up at 5:30, and had to drive home. And go to work today.

Sunday morning, reporting in... from Columbus

I got up in Decatur at about 4:45 a.m., put on my clothes, and drove back to Columbus this morning. I was so weary I went straight to bed, hoping for a nice lengthy nap - knowing I had to be at work at 9:00, but convinced my brain would alert me in plenty of time to get going.

I think I may have slept for eight or nine minutes.

And have a load of clothes in the wash, dressed for work, and need to be walking out the door right now.

So I will give details when I get home tonight. But just reporting that I am back safely returned from travels. And the next entry will reverse time, so I can catch up with Saturday activities...

Friday, day 3 (6-21-13)

Friday, June 21, 2013
We had to get up and start out early to get to the first break out session at 9:00. We went back to the little deli we found that would feed us a quick breakfast and went our separate ways. Some to do learn about volunteerism, and some to roam the streets... I wrote a half dozen postcards, then asked the at the Info. desk to find where to deposit mail.

I did a bit of exploring and found: a neat little Japanese garden hidden inside a building. A post office in the belly of a hotel. A convenience store (I would say curb store but it was two levels below the surface) underground, where they sold postcards for thirty five cents, instead of a dollar at Walgreens. A Walgreens that only sells food and drinks... until you go upstairs where you can get your face done, and buy all manner of overpriced HBA, or downstairs for Rx and OTC. At street level, all you see is a wall of coolers with cold beverages, and rows and rows of food items, mostly snacky stuff. A really neat church, that looks like it has been growing right there on that plot of land for hundreds of years. A pretty little walking-mall, where the city has closed off a street and installed nearly full-sized ginko trees in some huge planters, along with annuals, and lots of benches for weary feets, business lunch people, tourists to R & R.

Met back up with my traveling buddy when she got finished with Wrap-up/Ending session, and we went to Chinatown for lunch. Then back down into the Rabbit Hole to get a train and come out near the Newseum, where we spent the afternoon, wandering, reading, being indoctrinated about First Amendment rights. Our feets are tired, so we headed back to home base, where we await K. coming in from her daily work, and we will go out to eat someplace she recommends.

K. also recommends a 'market' that we will go to in the morning, just to see what's there... and probably back into the Mall area to do a bit more sightseeing. I have wanted to visit the National Museum of Native Americans since it opened several years ago, partially as a result of reading articles in the Smithsonian magazine that has been coming to my house for years. Maybe we will do that, and walk on the Mall, see some of the memorials. I noticed scaffolding all the way to the pointy top of the Washington Monument, so I guess repair work is still being done after earthquake damage?

Thursday, Day 2 (6-20-13)

We pondered what time she would have to get up to get ready, on the train, and back to the Con. Ctr. for her session, and ended up leaving K's long after that time. But got there with plenty to spare. It seems the Metro has extra trains running during peak hours, so they come by more often, and we some how made up the time spent lolly-gagging getting ready to leave the house.

Got off at the Con. Ctr. stop and asked the Answer Man where to find some breakfast. Wandered  out into the streets and found a little deli, with sidewalk tables where we had a bit to eat. I had a bagel  with gobs of cream cheese. Something I would have a huge chunk of guilt eating if at home - but it was so yum. Went back to the Con. Ctr. (actually named for a man who was William E. Washington  -so calling it the Washington Convention Center is really appropriate.)

P. met up with the other three people she was to present the session with, and they had a little time hash out the details of who goes where, and how their different parts would mesh together. I was amazed at how smoothly all the pieces fit as they did their parts. Though they had not met prior to the gathering here in DC, I am sure there has been any number of emails and calls between them to discuss the sequence of the different segments they had prepared - it appeared to be seamless when it came from the four different individuals.

That P. is so smart and capable. I knew that, and have been so pleased to be related to her, proud of her accomplishments, skills and abilities. But to see her in action, taking charge, appearing so confident and unflappable, able to adapt to less-that-ideal circumstances and still look cool, calm and collected: wow!

Her cohort from the office in Chattanooga had some knowledge of the area, from having been employed with a non-profit in VA some years ago. So she was the one who suggested we go to a very nice sit-down restaurant to celebrate the Big Sigh of Relief they all felt when their session was successfully wrapped up. So the six of us trotted off down Seventh Ave. to Clydes' and lunched. Did I have a beer? Yes I think I did. And later mentioned that I had had more beer, consumed greater quantities of alcohol in the preceding
twenty-four hours than in the past twenty-four days. Have I possibly been lead astray? Hmmmm....

With the afternoon free, and some comfy shoes in my backpack, we trekked through Museums. I got to see most of the stuff I missed the previous day when returning to the American Art and Portrait Gallery... some beautiful historic stuff, and some that I could not honestly call 'art', but no one asked my opinion before they purchased and hung it on the walls. Some were more of what the experts call 'installations', three dimensional things that would take up a whole room, or videos that filled a wall - so I guess I need to expand my definition of  'art' and catch up with these modern times?

Then on to the Natural History Museum, where we viewed the requisite enormous whale in Under the Sea exhibit, huge elephant in the rotunda, still standing there for over fifty years. And the Hope Diamond, along with a gazillion other gem stones and minerals. Plus hundreds of skeletons of various mammals from pocket mouse, to extinct creatures of the dino. era. Then took a stroll through the Sculpture Garden - cool, peaceful, shady. A really strange sculpture of a huge tree made of shiny chrome.

.We went to a conference sponsored reception in the building that was years ago, a Carnegie Library, and is now apparently, available for rentals as an event center. So had finger foods for our evening meal, and consumed a bit more alcohol. I would like to plead my case as having been lead astray, with that glass of wine. I am not really a wine drinker, but had to make an exception, since it was free to anyone who had an invite to the reception - which I somehow did, even though I have been a party crasher since I left Georgia.

Wednesday, day 1 ( 6-19-13)

Actually it starts on Tuesday afternoon, when I drove up to Decatur to spend the night. And got up to get to the airport at 6:30 for a 7:30 flight. The lay of the land and process of getting from the front door to the concourses has completely changed. It has not been that long since I last took off from ATL, but I guess they continually change stuff around to keep us on our toes.

I was pretty impressed with myself for remembering to pull out my little zip-bag with liquids and put it in the bin for inspection. But still got 'pulled over' when I forgot about the ink-pen in my back pocket. And when it was pointed out to me, about having something suspicious, and I checked, to pull it out - then they said since I had been back in my own pockets, I had to be checked for hazardous materials.So I was given the opportunity to be handled/frisked and/haz-mat'ed in order tobe approved for travel by  TSA. And all this up-close-and-personal inspection before seven o'clock in the morning.

We were properly boarded and had an unventful flight to BWI. Found the shuttle that takes travelers (for $6) to the outmost stop on the Greenline, where you can board a commuter train for in-town. We were deposited at the train station, to be confounded by the ticket purchasing procedure.As you study the confusing info. on the ticket machine, it appears that you have to pretty much buy a blank ticket, then decide how much you want to load your card with, depending on length of stay, and desire for travelling around the city...

My smart travel organizer figured it out, without even asking anyone. We bought tickets, got on the train ,to get to the stop where we walked three blocks, dragging suitcases. to the home of P's friend who kindly opened her door and let us in. Thank you, so much: K.

Deposited our luggage and headed back to the trains to go into the Washington Convention Center, for P. to check in, meet with cohorts and come up with a plan of action for the session they will present this morning (and actually Meet Face to Face for the first time.) P. had plans to go to the convocation of the convention, so I was left to wander... always a risky proposition: but, (here's the A-ha) I went to the Answer Desk, talked to a man who has them ALL and got a city map. He told me how to walk over to the nearest intersection and down the street to get to... guess what? A museum. You are Not Surprised??

I spent several hours in the American Art Museum, that includes the American portrait gallery. Interesting.  I had to make myself quit. Went back up Seventh Ave.  blocks and accidently discovered the big ornate entrance to the several block area that is Chinatown. And on to the Convention Center, where I was to await P. when the Opening Session ended.

We talked about going to find something Chinese to eat before getting back on the train, and walked down the street, ended up going into an Irish pub near that big ornate gate, and having beer and a bit to eat. With my handy dandy map, we discovered an entrance to the Metro system just across the street, so went down in the Rabbit Hole and onto a train to head out. P. is learning how to negotiate the trains, and I am learning how to  keep her in my line of sight.

accidental tour of local USPS facilities...

Monday, June 17, 2013
You should be thankful (as am I) that I can find the humor in the mundane. Many trivial events of my day have become fodder for your amusement, as I sit here trying to type with a cat in my lap. And today will be no different: as will be testified by repeated trips to the Post office.

I've been corresponding, as all three of you who read this know, with a person who is deployed to Afghanistan. Her parents live down the street here in Midland, and gave me her address. I lobbied my Wed. night comm. group to gather interesting odds and ends to send her a box of useful items, and put it in the mail about a month ago. I got a card from her last week, saying how much she and all her cohorts enjoyed all the misc. that we sent: notecards, coloring books and pencils, hard candy, granola bars, like 'Christmas in June'.

I basically just paid for the postage to mail the one-size-fits box, and was delighted with getting a response, note of thanks.I was so pleased to get real, actual correspondence (a lesson if you will take it???) I went to the Just A Buck store and got more cards, candy, bubble gum, and had another package ready to mail today. So that was on my To-Do list when running around town.

I planned to go to my family practice doctor's office last week to pick up the order for lab work, to take my blood my-own-self instead of having to pay the staff at doctor's for their time and a good poke to draw several vials to send for testing. Nothing important, or urgent, just time to get it done, as the appt. was made six months ago. But I forgot to go the end of the week, then left town for opportunities for entertainment far more enjoyable than getting poked with a needle and drained.

So I had to go this morning to the north side of town, get the order, get across town to the lab, without eating or having my morning cup of 'coffee-flavored milk' I routinely enjoy. All on an unhappily empty stomach, so the blood would be taken in the 'fasting' mode. There is a branch postoffice (Fortson) a couple of blocks away, that I planned to go to to mail package to APO address. But it was 8:30, and the sign said 'open at 9:00'.

I went on to the lab, hoping to not cool my heels half the morning in the waiting room, and was quite surprised to be in and out in fifteen minutes. Went to another nearby post office (Beallwood), where there were six or more people standing in line. I wouln't wait.

Then went to church to return the clean kitchen towels I had bleached, washed, dried, folded. And went to the main post office on Milgen - where I didn't want to go, because there is Always a line at least a dozen people long. But... much to my amazement, there was only one person ahead of me. So I got in and out in short order, after doing the Muscogee County Postal Tour.

I'd really expected to a long line at the GMF/main building, which would cause me to end up at the (closely guarded secret) branch I go to out on County Line Road in Midland: which would have made Post Office Official Stop #4, if you are still counting.. There is never a line, might have to wait for the person who works the desk if he has wandered into the back sorting room - but never to the extent of exasperated sighs, drumming fingers, tapping toes. I try to not tell anyone about this hidden gem - so when I do go, the line won't be forever (like the stamps are!), with forty people hanging out the door.

summertime = swimming pools

I went swimming for the first time in nearly a year last Saturday.

I went to church on Friday night, for a special event. When I saw my friend, who has a membership in her neighborhood pool, I asked if I could come over and wet my toe. She reportedly gets in the pool every day, after excessive (!) bike riding (any amount is excessive in my opinion: I think she rides about six miles each day.)

As I was driving over to the pool, it occurred to me that it has been so long since I have put on a suit, I should have checked the bag that has been riding around in my car for over a year, with all the equipment used for such an activity. I got there and thought: what if I don't actually have a swimsuit in the car? I would have felt really foolish, especially after inviting myself.

I did find a suit, only to discover it has been such a long 'dry spell', it is the one I had on last July.  When I was at a place where we had to 'check out' towels, and would be charged replacement costs if they were not returned. I had put the little paper bracelet we had to wear to prove we were approved/legitimate swimmers on the strap of my suit. It was quite waterproof, as it is still tenaciously clinging there.

She said come over about 9:00, which I knew I would not do, as it would be too chilly for my idea of fun. So I dragged over there about 9:45, and forced myself to jump in. As expected, I was not at all ready for the temperature of the water, so it was probably like seeing the video in reverse - with me backing out as fast as humanly possible. After a short period of shivering and chattering teeth, I tried again, swimming for about thirty minutes, then getting out to enjoy a bit of global warming and solar energy absorption.

I will take a peek out the window and check the weather, and maybe go back today, to get the rest of the rust off  my joints, and practice more, now that I have discovered I didn't forget how. I will need the skill when I go to Miss. in early July.

the exitement is over....

This is probably the last new flash about the millipedes.I guess their reproductive urges have finally dwindled down to a trickle. When I walked through the kitchen this morning there were only two that I noticed in passing... I didn't even stop to get the broom and do battle. They obviously don't realize how little time they have to eat a few crumbs before curling up and getting crispy.

If all they are capable of is looking for a mate, and enjoying the 'condemned man's last meal', they won't be around long...suffering the fate of the well-known passenger pigeon. I will go and sweep,flush, to eliminate the natural urges of the two remaining in captivity and hopefully put an end to the swarming that has been going on in my kitchen for days. I guess I'd rather have millipedes than think about something far worse - and destructive. You know if you see what you surmise must be flying ants, you probably have something munching away on the wood in your house. So it could have been much worse...

I remember one year when we had this amazing problem with ladybugs: they were everywhere! It was much too late in the year for bugs to be reproducing and I was completely baffled. Then realized they must have gotten a free ride when I brought in house plants that had summered in the back yard. I guess there was a colony that had taken up residence in a hanging basket, planned on a long nap, then came indoors where the weather was much more temperate. Upon discovering the perfect climate for amorous behavior, they raised their families in my bedroom: walls, floor, windows. I don't recall actually seeing any in bedding, so I guess they don't have the brain capacity to think of that sort of comfort. They were all over the house: little moving dots on all the walls and ceilings. And eventually we found dozens of little crispy corpses to sweep up, when they could not get outside to escape (and freeze, as it was cold weather they mistakenly reproduced in.)

and, Oh, yes... P.S.: I did eventually get the broom and sweep up the little crunchy things...

girl scouting opportunities...

Sunday, June 16, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, when I had was involved with that proverbial Barrel of Monkeys, during my week of amusement at Girl Scout Day Camp, I learned about a wonderful travel opportunity from a fellow volunteer. She went on a trip to the Galopagos  Islands with a group of scouts. I am so jealous. I would have loved to do that. The story had some hairy moments, involving being held up in customs, and passport problems... but the idea of traveling and going with young excited, enthusiastic girls to see places they have never been sounds like such good fun.

This fellow-adult-scout told me about looking for travel opportunities on the GSUSA website, and I did.Oddly, my P. went on one of this trips when she was in high school, and it somehow never occurred to me to think that they would need adults to go with the scouts. I coulda been having fun all this time, and didn't know!
So I went to the national website and looked for 'destinations' (that used to be 'wider ops' when I had people of scouting age.) Found a really interesting trip in North GA that happens in July, involving riding horses. Right up my alley!  The requirements include being 'comfortable around horses', being able to walk 1-3 miles a day, and being able to stay with girls (which includes, I suspect, being a referee - something I have plenty of experience with...) and having a current driver's license. Hot dog! I can do all that!
Sadly they don't need any more adults.  Dang. I requested/offered to be considered  part of 'plan B'/backup in case someone drops out, or falls off the face of the earth between now and the end of July...

I was told I should fill out an app. as a volunteer with the Atlanta Scout council in order to get myself in their system. Something I would have to do to participate in anything that was planned/sponsored by that council.
I just went to the www.atlgs.org site and started to fill out the info. I could not 'submit' because I did not list a county of preference as my choice of location to volunteer, then they wanted to know which school I would be going to when assisting with scouting events. Sadly - I was not in a position to be 100% truthful. When I looked at my choices and had to pick from a county in north central Georgia, the most likely was obviously Dekalb, so whatever: ...you might as well go ahead and agree to donate yourself to Decatur Elementary School. 

The dang thing would not accept my app. unless I provided a county and a school. I'm sure it has to do with funding/head count/statistical analysis - but it's sort of problematic for me, not living in that area, and obviously not actually donating my time to a particular school as a volunteer. I wish I had not been compelled to make stuff up.When 'Dekalb' and 'Decatur Elementary School' became my preferences, I knew it wasn't precisely above board.

I hope lying/a slight prevarication on the app. does not mean that I don't pass the background check. I'm already a bit paranoid, and probably not getting off to a very illustrious start here...

if you think you are tired of reading about it...

Saturday, June 15, 2013
... I am even more weary of the clean up. I was very (mistakenly) optimistic the problem was slowly resolving itself... when I walked into the kitchen today. There were only about four dozen of the little stinkers, most of whom I would like to believe were leftovers. Still curled up on the floor, due to my lack of enthusiasm for sweeping up the late, great swarm from Friday. So I got out my broom and dustpan, with the best intentions of sluicing the diminishing numbers in the usual fashion. But it seems like everytime I would go to the bathroom, and give 'em a 'burial at sea', so to speak, and get back to the kitchen with dustpan in hand, there would be several more than had, literally, come out of the woodwork.

I started with believing there were less than fifty, lying in various stages of death, but consistently in the same rigid pose: curled into a tightly wound concentric circle.But kept coming back to face a new infestation happily legging it across the tiles. When all was said and done (and that has not actually occurred just yet!) I'd have to estimate the grand total for today closer to 75.

This reminding me of the time I had a running count/score of mice I used slash marks, done in chalk, on the side of the little feed house in the back yard. I was keeping the big, (probably 100 pounds) burlap bag of sweet feed, along with bales of hay and sundry pieces of tack/saddle/blanket in the little window-less, door-less house to keep it all out of the weather. Which was easy pickings for both food and housing for little furry creatures. And certainly not rodent proof with no coverings on door way or window openings to prevent entry.

My dad gave me a mouse trap, with a quick lesson in: don't put your fingers here.  I set and emptied my little wooden trap at least once a day for weeks. You've heard the expression of something 'reproducing like rabbits'? You can imagine how prolific mice can be... I think I was well up into the high teens or twenties before I got to the place I could empty the trap faster than they could get their children weaned and onto solid food. I think my brother was the one who was so amused by my score-keeping he took a photo of the slash-marks I was using for score keeping. It was serious business at the time - before I became completely befuddled by higher math and abstractions of algebra. In all liklihood I would have better luck today (my bank statement just came) if I was doing my 'figger'in' on the side of the barn with chalk instead of using pencil, paper, calculator.

the invasion continues...

Friday, June 14, 2013
I am so sick and tired of this crunchy millipede mess, I did not even sweep them up today. But it gives me the heebie-jeebies (another prime Choppy-ism) to step on one, curled up on the kitchen floor. So I will have to grit my teeth and sweep them all up tomorrow - the dead and the un-dead together. Maybe even mop to get rid of all the evidence.

I wish there was some sort of magic cure-all, mystery chemical. I could put it in the mop water that would create some sort of monumental barrier, like the soldiers in WWI who dug the trenches to protect themselves from the opposing forces, that would keep the creepy crawlies out of the house. Someone asked 'what about the Orkin man?', my response was: 'I am the Orkin man', and I don't have any answers. So if you have any suggestions - please let me hear?

this will make you sad...

I have recently had daughters tell me of friends who have had problems with carrying pregnancies to full term. I can't imagine that heartache, of beginning to make plans for increasing a family by one, and having to accept that it is not going to happen the way you had expected. There have been other people in my life, many years ago, who had similar misery, with beginning a pregnancy and having it terminate early on.

It makes me sad to think of these young people, who have already gotten to the point, though just a number of weeks into the process, who suddenly find that all those hopes and dreams have come to an end. The possibilities of new life, having an addition to make a couple a threesome, unexpectedly vanishing. Even though you can rationalize and want to believe that 'everything happens for a reason' and think that 'nothing in life is random' - it is distressing to know of these smart, healthy, capable, conscientious young women so devastated by heartwrenching loss.

It makes me so sad for them, to have had such great optimism, and be looking forward into a future that suddenly feels like a shipwreck. Previously carrying the joy of expecting a new person to come into the world, filled with such amazing life and liveliness - and have hopes dashed, and plans come undone. Having patiently waited 'to be sure' then sharing happy news with friends and family, and now that bright promise fades.... Knowing they are grieving, suffering a loss just a surely as losing a loved one of many years - but not knowing how to grieve for what they never had.

an amusing surprise....

I am a person who advertises that I do not like surprises. The Unexpected is Not for Me. So I was not expecting to find a box by my front door, left there by the USPS, when I got home on Friday afternoon. I guess in truth, I can't say that what was in the box came as a surprise, because as soon as I read the return address, and knew who it came from, I knew what was in the box. But a delight to receive.  As well as so thoroughly amusing, as I smile while typing.

When I went to VA in April to visit family members, it was so early in the spring there that things already past blooming were in their full glory. I enjoyed seeing plants in the landscape, as well as native things growing in unexpected places. Did I tell you that I have figured out the difference between weeds and wildflowers? It's the same as what the realtors tell you about where to buy: location, location, location. If the plants are deliberately placed, carefully cultivated and conscientiously nurtured - they are a beauty-filled garden of earthly delights. But when they spread voraciously, untended, unwelcome, uninvited, invading in unwanted places, then they are weeds.

So - a couple of days when I was up in the mid-Atlantic states, I took off on little rambles through the neighborhood, just looking around, observing the flora, some planted, some natives, but lots of colorful blooms. And noticed one house in a new development that had bluebird boxes, oddly mounted on: vertical lengths of PVC pipe. The thought of using PVC piping as a post had never crossed my mind though I know that many uses other than moving liquids from place to place occur. Like all that pool/lawn furniture that is made of PVC. And utility/work trucks that have large diameter lengths mounted on the body/bed, with both ends capped, to transport whatever tools, rolls of material/paper that will fit inside. And the time I got a long piece, about two inches in diameter, had it sliced into twelve inch lengths and used it to help kids roll out clay when teaching a hand-building ceramics class.

So this homeowner, whose lot I casually walked past, had used long, really long screws, to attach wooden bird nesting boxes to vertical pieces of plastic pipe. Which was pretty ingenious, especially if you happen to have post-hole diggers to put the pipe upright. I was so impressed with out-of-the-box thinking I sort of strolled up in the yard to closely investigate. And reported my discovery to my brother, whereupon we discussed at length the mounting process.  And how to attach the box to the plastic pipe, then where in my yard the invitees might best be happy enough to set up housekeeping and raise a family.

So there was a bluebird nesting box waiting for me from VA on Thursday afternoon. With a two page letter of instructions for mounting.  Complete with the kind of detailed diagrams that you would expect an engineer to provide. So very amusing. And so like the engineer:  he being the guy who was raised by a man who felt very strongly 'if you are going to do it, do it Right the first time'.

I clearly remember looking at my dad, in his latter years, sitting in a chair, wondering 'what is going on?' And having him respond that he was thinking. It was so evident that he was pondering some daily conundrum, working out a solution in his brain before putting his feet and hands into motion.  And hearing my mom say that he was happiest when 'something was broke and needed fixing'.

so... what's going on in Decatur???

I drove up to visit Ms. Seldom Seen. A beloved cousin I rarely see, who has been living the life of the City Mouse for several years. And now she is moving away, to a new job in a different town, so will be even more 'Ms. Seldom Seen'. But then again - maybe not so....

She will be living in the same town as my pen-pal who I try to visit once a month. So even though she will be residing at a greater distance, it could happen, just maybe, perhaps, I might see her more often than I do now: when she is only two hours away! I'd emailed to ask if I could come and spend a/the day to help with sorting/packing, and she replied she would be having a guest from out of town, but would love to see me if we could get together to share a meal. Moving away from the city the end of the month, and starting with new employer in July.

We met for early dinner: my cousin Ms. SS, accompanied by her friend, M.E., who was in town visiting for several days. Though we were both raised in a family where the evening meal was 'supper', in this modern world, don't really know the Proper Designation for that which we ate between five and six o'clock, especially due to the fact that: though there was plenty of Eating, there was no actual 'meal' involved! Has 'supper' got lost to political correctness, or maybe just a piece of vanishing vernacular, gradually sinking into the southern swamps to be forever lost, banished from common usage? I'll sure miss all those tomato and mayo. sandwiches, as well as chicken salad served on a bed of lettuce with a big glass of cold hyper-sweet iced tea.... things that are my definition of supper!

We had wonderful appetizers, consisting of my fav-o-rite thing on the menu: bruschetta. My taste buds go on strike when it rotates off, due to not being properly 'seasonal'. Some of us had warm brie and toast, and others just pigged out on the freshly chopped tomato-mix on toast, topped with warm fresh mozzarella.  We might have been imbibing just a wee bit, and gotten the least bit out of hand. At one point I believe I admitted to being a little 'mouthy', which was due to two glasses of beer.

I had the best intentions of following up the appetizer sin with a big bowl of salad greens... when along comes this immoral plate full of: french fries topped with oh-my-gosh melted pimento cheese and bacon!  It could not have been worse if we had requested bacon ice cream.  While putting more in my mouth, I kept saying: take that away!  And then there was this dessert I had been warned about: (thankfully it came as a very small (extremely rich) single serving with three spoons) raspberry cheesecake with shortbread crust and a huge mountain of whipped cream on top. Yep. That's it.  

So... what's going on in Decatur: eating. Hmmm.... what's for breakfast?

Friday morning

When I went to work at 8:00 a.m., I thought I would be done at noon, but found myself on the schedule until 2:00, which worked out well, as there was no way I could get it done in four hours.  Not what I had expected, or agreed to when asked if I was available to come in when I was there on Tuesday, but thankful for the time, as I know there are weeks coming up when I will be lucky to get on the schedule for one day, and honestly: getting a paycheck for four or five hours is hardly worth getting up and replacing my pj's with the green Publix shirt.

Then when I got there, and discovered the game plan altered, I also found that those aggravating fresh fruit parfaits are on sale this week. Tedious, time-consuming, requiring lots of prep in the form of washing, slicing up a whole flat of strawberries before you can even start assembly. Just very time consuming - when I had expected to leave at noon.I left at the appointed time, in a hurry to get home, gather up my travel bag (which stays packed, as you can imagine!) and get on the road.

IF I had the whole afternoon off, there would have been all the time in the world getting my shirt-tail flapping-self organized. Maybe even a load of wash, or a bit of bathroom cleaning, before leaving home. To get in the road and be in Decatur long before the quitting time of three million people who would be charging along at death-defying speeds on the twelve lane highways.  I have long thought that one needs to be safely off the streets in the metropolis before 3 pm, which is the 'witching hour' for a dreadful increase in vehicle congestion, both on the swirling interstate highways and stop and go/traffic-light congested surface roads. It was 5 o'clock before I got off the perimeter and headed into town (on a street that was only seven lanes across instead of twelve!) but surprised by the fact that nothing was completely clogged up, immobile at rush hour...

Or maybe it was just due to my slipping in under the radar? Or maybe I was heading In when everyone else was heading Out? Or maybe all the hellacious snarls were on the north side of town and I was on the south? Or maybe I will get it sucked into a black hole of immobility when I am headed out on a hot  Friday afternoon with the other three million who want to go someplace cool for the weekend?

more offensive millipede info...

I had to sweep up about three dozen of them on Friday morning  - which sounds highly unpleasant and quite objectionable. But if you put it in perspective of steadily declining numbers it means that for whatever reason either a) they are not coming in my kitchen to greet me at the crack of dawn, or b) they are no longer so prolifically reproducing they overflow from the great outdoors...???

Either  way - having only several dozen of the nasty little things wiggling their way across the tiles and throughout the rest of the house is a good thing! I never did get myself organized enough to go to the store for some industrial strength bug spray, after my two attempts at minimizing with what I had on hand. So perhaps there is some sort of 'cycle' they go through, like the Nineteen Year Cicadas I've been hearing about in the media? I'd have to wonder if the cicadas spend so long resting underground because they are so slow to mature into adults? And in a great leap of my overactive imagination, would then wonder if the swarm I have been trying to eliminate on my kitchen floor, due to size, will cycle around again in a few months - or "see ya' same time next year"?

If there is anything positive to be found in all the creepy things creeping around, it is that I have been remarkably motivated to sweep the floor on a regular basis - something that does not otherwise occur frequently at my house. There was a time many years ago when it would get swept and mopped at intervals - but that was back in the era of feeling like it was so sticky it would pull my socks off when I walked in without shoes. When there were little people with sippy cups and marginal coordination that would allow only limited success in the act of getting liquids into the body.

I won't precisely state that same problem is coming around again, but there is someone there who persists in sitting on a wooden stool, eating a meal off the kitchen counter, and generally leaving a trail from the plate to mouth. Sadly vision and possibly motor skills are beginning to decline and possibly his aim is not as good as it used to be.  Which brings about the need for more vigilance with cleaning, and clearly a necessity for greater frequency in routine maintenance... as my standards have noticeably slipped with only two people in the house.  I'm getting quite skilled at overlooking: dust, grit, bug corpses, dust bunnies, clumps of black cat hair, empty iced tea cups casually left on the floor beside the recliner

deceased millipedes are crunchy...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I went to south GA on Tuesday afternoon, so did not have to joy-filled opportunity to sweep the kitchen floor this morning. I don't know how many there were at the crack of dawn. I do know that when I came in late this afternoon, I swept up a couple dozen that were already curli-cued and thoroughly dead. I put them through 'water torture' (with a quick flush) just to be certain they won't be the ones I will be sweeping up on the morrow.

I went to sit with P. at the dining table while he was eating. And noticed several more on the floor there. He asked me what a dark (moving) spot on the wall could be, and since I've been gone out of town, while he has been here inhabiting the house, I asked him what he thought? He finally got up and went to inspect, with a paper napkin in his hand. While I was hoping he would not make a nasty spot on the wall - he got close enough to decide it was a pair of lady bugs - one of which was obviously not a 'lady' as he said they were mating. I insisted he not disturb them. But allowed as how, had they been millipedes I would encourage interrupting their amorous behavior.

Later when I went to pick up the curled up millipedes, and look for the ladybugs he said where on the floor to put them outside, I could not find the loving pair. And then looked on a chair leg, to find a red spider? So I guess what he thought was a pair of bugs doing the nasty, was really a two-part arachnid instead. I am sure I did not want to touch it, so hope it did not invite his girlfriend in with him to set up housekeeping under our dining room table.

another update on millipede reproduction

Monday, June 10, 2013
I think just maybe, I possibly might have the upper hand: I only swept about fifty today. But honestly, did not have to gumption to go out the front door and see what sort of population explosion has occurred around the door frame. I noticed a mushroom, really interesting: big round flat red top, growing in the mulch in that corner bed that never gets full sun, so I have obviously been doing an excellent job of keeping it well watered.

I've decided to put all the ones, deceased or still wiggling, I get up off the floor into the basin of water previously described. I know I'm not being 'Water wise', with all that flushing to eliminate the little Home Invaders, so I thought about putting some water in a jar and dumping them there - but the idea of a jar full of things I would like to never see again - just sitting around in my kitchen is more distasteful than a few extra flushes.

Looked for some alternative bug spray when we were at wallyworld yesterday, and did not see anything that might be more appropriate than the inappropriate (and generally ineffective) ones I have already tried. I'll go to Tractor Supply today: if they don't have it, I'm sure they'll say 'you don't need it'. Which is a major untruth, as I know those dang creepy-crawlies are still out there in the mulch, misbehaving and industriously  procreating like...frogs? rabbits? millipedes?

puttering around wallyworld...

Sunday, June 9, 2013
There are people who are so opposed to conglomerate discounters that they will drive right past wallyworld to shop other places. I personally know someone who has said 'No' to WalMart, adamantly refusing to give the Low Price Leader any business. Point well taken. But it is a pretty good place to go and mostly, usually get everything on the list with one stop.

These old folks have just returned from a trip to grocery shop. Completely out of character, for the guy who is securing his outer perimeter and re-checking to be sure all the doors are locked well before dark. We ate first, then left the house about eight  o'clock. Only time he is out in the dark is if persuaded to go to a movie, and always, somehow surprised that the sun went down 'unexpectedly', when he was in the theater...

I usually get odds and ends when I am at work two or three days a week, but I'd been composing/compiling a list for several weeks, something worth a trip to get resolved. And now that we are out of cat food, and cannot go to bed without knowing that there is 1) milk, 2) toilet paper, 3) cat food in the house, I said we might as well go and get it all squared away. The above abbreviated list contains things that I have learned you do not want to wake up in a house - without. I've been stockpiling #2 for some time, so we'll  not run short there, but we were actually out of #1 and #3. I don't want to be the one to have to tell the cats, who have likely been up and mumbling for hours by the time someone opens the door, that there is Nothing To Eat. I need to be confident there is some fishy flavored treat available to distribute when I get up, so I have to make sure we are well supplied before I get in bed.

P. totters across the parking lot and gets in a little elec. cart, to peruse every single aisle, so he won't miss a thing. I don't know if it is because I work in a grocery store, or I don't like to shop, or maybe just that my feets hurt so badly I want to cry after being on them for eight hours - but cruising up and down and up and down and up and down has zero appeal to me. I go for specific things on my list.. I know where to find what I need, and then go to where I know he will show up, prop up and wait for him to inspect every item at eye level to the left and right. He found beef jerky (loaded with salt and preservatives), diet Coke (minus nutritional value) V-8 juice drinks (loaded with sugar), cashew nuts (loaded with fat and salt) and a giant economy size bag of Hershey's Kisses(no details necessary for this one). He will probably say he bought the Hershey's for me - and I don't even like milk chocolate!

Saturday... the rest of the story...

Me being the one who inadvertently over-committed myself to various activities, fortunately not precisely at at the same time, but a bit close for comfort: had to get up early to make a great big, huge cut flower arrangement that I chose to Not make on Friday night. I'd generously offered to do this big decorative piece for the opening reception of the Artist's Guild Annual Show, and had to get it ready to travel on Saturday afternoon. I have this big silver urn that is perfect for occasions when someone needs something gaudy and grand in the way of cut flowers, won as a prize at a golf tournament in 1987, and never actually used to chill a bottle of champagne.

I'd bought over forty dollars worth of cut flowers Thursday afternoon, and knew it had to get done on Friday, as I was committed to the garden party most all of Saturday. But when I spent the day having 'way too much fun with the Girl Scouts all of Friday, there was nothing left of me to be able to put the flowers in the urn on Friday night. So... I was up at 6:00 on Sat., getting that done, to be ready to take downtown to the CSU Art Department gallery for the reception. I also knew it would not fit in my car! So I had asked Amy, who was the very anxious organizer of the show, to let it ride in her van. She came by and got the flowers at 4:00 and drove us down to Uptown.

I know Amy is delighted it is over. Since I don't 'do art' any more, I did not have anything in the show, and did a lot of hanging around until the food was gone, which is pretty much the only reason the crowd left at 8:00. I wondered if we would have to turn out the lights to make them all leave - especially when I discover that the Artist's Guild is not only footing a $2100 bill for the buffet of finger foods catered by the monopoly-owning Aramark, but also paid for alcoholic beverages: by the glass. I am still simmering about that. The idea of an 'open bar' is a mistake for any number of reasons... and having the strapped-for-cash Guild pay for passers-by to imbibe is inexcusable and absurd.

Any way - it went well, and 'a good time was had by all'. I was barely able to flop into bed when Amy brought me home at 9:00. And had to get up and go to work at 10:00 on Sunday. So I'm going to bed now.

Saturday's activities....

I knew it would be 'a day filled with opportunities', as I was the one who Over-Committed myself.

Over recent years, I have been a volunteer 'hostess' at various residences in the city, when the Keep Columbus Beautiful organization would sponsor the annual Tour of Gardens. It gives the citizens who are willing to purchase a ticket a peek into spaces that are normally considered private property and not generally viewed by the general public. Even though the average passers-by might drive down a side street and get a peek into some tidy, well groomed outdoor living space, we don't usually invade to the point of strolling through most back yards to inspect the flora.

I've seen some beauty-filled gardens, even though I have never actually done the 'tour'. There are usually ten or  more different private spaces open to the public each year, in the spring, when things are gloriously blooming. As the 'hostess' working an assigned shift, out in the sauna-like heat of middle Georgia, when my assignment is done, and the next 'hostess/sitter' comes to relieve me, I'm generally ready to go home to my own little peaceful space. So I have yet to take advantage of the opportunity to stroll through the other delights that are part of the seasonal tour.

Yesterday, I was at a home in a neighborhood with some houses well over one hundred years old. I think the house I spent 5 1/2 hours walking around was right at 100, with many old growth trees that were obviously there when the land was cleared. Some beautiful old long-leaf pines, and a huge, wonderfully aromatic old magnolia tree. The delightful sweetly scented, lemon-y odor of magnolia blooms filled the air, and traveled across the neighborhood on a pleasantly wafting breeze. The home owners had planted dozens and dozens of specimen daylilies in a wide arc across the sunlight backyard, that will continue to provide bright color all summer long. They have an amazing assortment of camellia bushes that must be gorgeous in the early part of the year, when they are gloriously blooming in January and February. The other plantings that were most eye-catching in early June were hydrangeas: some native oak-leaf in full glory, with some of the cone shaped blooms beginning to turn that dark magenta red they show as they mature. A huge bed of the old fashioned blue 'mop-head' hydrangeas that require so much water, they were beginning to droop by mid-day, but still a bright. colorful addition to the landscape. Another large clump of the newer 'lace cap' hydrangeas out by the street, that would be a delightful glimpse of summer to anyone driving by or walking the neighborhood.

They also had lots of lush ferns, some planted in the landscaping, and some in pots. (I am a fool for ferns, and admittedly had a terrible case of 'hydrangea lust' by the time I left at the end of the tour hours on Saturday.) Brightly colored eye-catching annuals planted in containers all around, stratgecially placed around the property, and in window boxes, adding bright touches of white, purple, pink. Expansive Confederate jasmine vine growing on supports in an almost arbor like fashion, twining all across the back of the house, providing more wonderful southern smells as you walk around the corner, following your nose, searching for the source.

The gardening 'secret' I discovered, while walking around in the charming environment, enjoying the benefits of someone else's labor: don't work yourself to death planting season stuff. Put in lots of long blooming perennials, shrubs like the hydrangeas that hold blooms, even though they have faded, for months, or the dwarf gardenias that seem like they bloom all summer. Then put some brightly blooming annuals in containers, that you strategically place around as eye-candy. The brilliant colors of the annuals, when they are well fed and watered will draw your eye to reds, yellows, purples when you spot them in window boxes or pots of cascading blooms and filler on terraces, patios, decks, steps leading into other areas. You don't invest so much money in the seasonal things that peter out in massed plantings over the months, plus you don't invest your poor aching back in getting them in the ground - most window boxes are at a manageable height, and containers can be raised for ease of planting.

It was a delight. I wish I'd had the time to see some of the other gardens, but knew I had other plans for the rest of my day. The Tour continues today, but I have to be at work at 10:00.

most recent update on millipede invasion

I feel like I might have been mysteriously transported to Area 54 (or was that 57?), anyway, it's pretty dang  mysterious... I've talked to several people who garden, are somewhat knowledgeable about things that can be problematic when they get in flowering plants or vegetables. No one has ever experienced anything even remotely similar to this inexplicable population explosion. Especially Me! If they manners to keep themselves outside, I think I could mostly ingnore their re-population activities, but when they are coming in the house and doing their XXX rated business, that is taking things a bit too far. Take into consideration: they are Not Invited Guests.

It's been going on for a week, and does not seem to be improving. Today, when I went in the kitchen to make my morning cup of 'coffe-flavored milk', having completely forgotten about my early morning activities of recent days. But was immediately reminded about chores involving a broom and dustpan, as the floor was once again practically swarming with millipedes. And same story, second verse: as soon as I would sweep up, turn around, there would be more - impossibly fast for something that just creeps along, at a turtle pace (even though they have hundreds of legs! I guess for the little inch long stinker, it probably feels like lightening speed?)

This is not exaggeration - I am pretty sure I swept up at least a hundred, and every time I go back down the hall, there are several more little squiggles industriously moving across the tiles. So, rather than get the broom out for three, I get a sheet of paper, and bend over to invite them to their doom. After they walk themselves up on the paper, I take it to the bathroom, tap briskly on the edge of the seat, watch them fall in and tell the newest captives "practice your backstroke".

Guess what? They can't swim. You'd think that something with that many appendages would not have a problem getting from Key West to Cuba in record time, especially in flat water, with no turbulence.. But no! they do make an effort, but perhaps just not smart enough to figure they could get to shallow water, and out of the wetness. (Consider the size brain something the diameter of a piece of yard must have, and not more than an inch long?) They don't actually have a whole lot of time to practice the various strokes one learns in Beginning Swim Class, as it soon become so turbulent that they: disappear!

Fair warning: if you are planning a trip down to the Gulf Coast, along the Florida panhandle, be aware there will be a large group of millipedes sunning themselves on the beach, with fruity little drinks in hand/foot. The biggest family reunion in the history of Apalachicola Bay will be out in force, enjoying the deviled eggs, fried chicken and watermelon.

second update on milipede invasion...

Friday, June 7, 2013
There were only several dozen on the kitchen floor this morning.  So I swept and dumped them outside, only three times today.

And only about two hundred on the door facing, when I went outside to look. Which makes me think the population might possibly may be decreasing somewhat...

I thought I would give the 'Raid Roach and Ant' spray a try...fortunately there are no children or pets to worry about in the house, so hope that the third round of spraying is more effective than the first two.

Where can all these creepy crawlies be coming from - are they having a family reunion?

Friday, day # 5

I missed out on 1/8 of the fun today - with a dental appt. at 8:00. But got there around 9, and they were amusingly happy to see me. As if I had been on a long, extended journey, and just returned from the south seas into the arms of my dearest friends... that's what spending four days with little kids will do! So happy just to see me show up: wish I could get just ten percent of that when I walk in the door at my house...

We played, we had sundry fun, we did the Yelling Game again - a wonderful remarkable way to burn off energy, but not for the faint-hearted or those with sensitive ears. They made these amazingly cheezy rings by threading several beads on wire and handing it back to me to wind the ends of the wire together. Possibly the most counter-productive activity I got involved with all week long. One of those 'kids are done in 45 seconds things', standing around waiting for me to get caught up. 

Then sort of STEM/science experiment where they had to build a 'bridge' out of a sheet of copy paper across two plastic cups and see how many pennies they could pile on before the bridge collapses. Interesting, but would be really neat with other kids who could come up with creative ways to reinforce the paper. We made ice cream in a bag, with milk, sugar, a dab of vanilla flavoring, and a lot of shaking the zip bag with salt and ice in it. Which I found to be an excellent experiment in tediousness. As is most bead threading if you use beads that are small enough to try the patience of any adult.

Closing ceremony: Mamas and Daddies were invited to come at 4:00. Girls got patches for their 'archery' experience (you can imagine how that went with little people about ten feet away from a target that was taller they some of the girls, shooting three foot long arrows). A second patch for learning about the planets when they played outer space bingo. Some sort of certificate for surviving a week of fun at the Little House - and were all gone by 4:30. The End of Day Camp. Thank You Very Much.

Thursday, day # 4

Thursday, June 6, 2013
I missed out on 1/2 of the fun, because I had to go to work. I went in at 7, and left at noon.

They were all so happy to see me... I never get that kind of reception when I walk in the door at home. I'm thinking of moving to the Little House at Lakebottom Park, as I hardly even get an acknowledgement when I come in with bags of groceries at my house. You'd think he would at least be impressed/excited about the food walking in the door.

It was raining, so the adults seemed to be going a bit crazy: which is a direct result of too much togetherness. When the rain stopped, Jollay took them out (the crowd has dwindled to fourteen kids), and showed them how to play the yelling game. She said she found it on the internet. She is a genius. You draw a line, or pick a line on the sidewalk as the starting point. Have them run at full tilt, as fast as the can go, yelling as loud as they can towards a certain point in the distance that you think is much too far to reach before they give out of breath. That's it. The one who gets the farthest is the winner. I think all the winner gets is bragging rights, plus a lot of competition from the others who want to get one step farther.

We did that about four times, they loved it: would still be out there doing it if we had  not made them stop.. I did it twice, mostly just to amuse the girls, and find I cannot run nearly as well as the average eight year old.And they thought my yelling was hilarious.

We sewed a few more buttons, and had a scout troop leader come in and talk to them about planets, space, the universe then play a game of 'space bingo' to reinforce what they had talked about. Kinda lame, I'm thinking, but know that a great deal of emphasis is placed on promoting the STEM stuff, so some sort of science/technology info., has been included every day.

update on millipede invasion...

When I went in the kitchen this morning, before daylight, I had completely forgotten about all the creepy crawlies that I swept up on Wednesday. a.m., so was not prepared for the population explosion that occurred overnight. I'd done a wee bit of buy-spraying, and did not think there would be any, much less dozens scootching around on the tiles when I got up. After forty, I quit trying to count them (most in constant motion - like trying count all the kids on a playground, or chickens in the barnyard), and got the broom and dustpan.

I got most, but realized they could crawl away faster than I could corral, so was willing to settle for 'most'.

I did get the bug spray out again, and gave the baseboards in the pantry another blast, and thought I should give another squirt across the threshold outside the front door. When I opened the door and walked out, turned around to spray, I discovered hundreds and hundreds of the little creeping willies literally surrounding the door facing: across the top, and down both sides. Ick.. They all got squirted, but I don't know if it was a 'productive' event, as I have not checked to see if there are hundreds of little curly-cued deceased millipedes lying out on the stoop.

I continue to be completely baffled as to where a gazillion millipedes could be coming from, unless there were some eggs (?is this how they reproduce?) in the mulch I put out when I replanted the area near the door, under the kitchen windows. As you might think, when they die, get dried out, they are somewhat crunchy. Ick. Where in the world could multiples of millipedes have come from, suddenly appearing in such remarkable quantity? Ick.

Wednesday, day #3

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
After all that milipede excitement before daylight, I got my sewing business together and in to the park at the Little House by soon after 8 a.m. About the same number of little people as previous days, all full of pep and ready for more activities.

Reminding me of all those years of being a worker for Vacation Bible School, when you spend hours and hours getting crafts ready, prepping everything you will have them do for the following day. Only to have three or four dozen kids finish the project in about 45 seconds and want to know: 'what are we going to do next?' Like they are thinking '...well, that was fun, now what?' After you spent days in the getting ready process, ppondering ideas that will be interesting and stimulating, but not over their ability to both grasp mentally, and manage to complete physically/mechanically with their limited motor skills. Then gathering up materials and doing all the stuff that would be too challenging for them in the allotted time, with craft-y projects squeezed in between other activities. Only to have them squirt out a whole bottle of Elmer's glue and create such a monumental mess in under five minutes., it takes the rest of the day to clean up.

So: we did the sewing cards, with marginal success. I forget about things like: they will un-thread the needle each time they pull on the thread. Something that happened to me as a beginner, and happens with everyone learning to sew, until you figure out how to pull with just enough tension, but not too much, when there is no knot at the end of the thread. I tried to show them how to use the 'needle threader', to get the yarn through the eye of the big plastic needle, again with only marginal success. I began to wonder if it is because they always have someone to turn to when 'I can't do this' occurs and whining sets in. Anyway - some did and some didn't. And some little fingers just weren't ready yet...

Then we tried button sewing, in small groups. Some did, while others choose the 'I can't do this' route. But the ones who did 'get it' and really caught on - were so pleased and proud of themselves, you could almost see the buttons popping back off! Almost as neat to watch as when you see them develop an idea, master a skill in the classroom at school, and have that bright expression on their faces like a light bulb coming on. Eyes wide with delight, and grins pasted across the face. How neat is that!

They wanted to do it again and again, faster than I could get the needles threaded. They put them in their bags/backpacks to go home, and show Mom what they had done at day camp. And the ones who didn't get to it, were sad, so we'll be practicing our button-sewing skills again tomorrow.

much too early for such strangeness...

I got up before 6:00 this  morning to get some stuff organized for going to day camp at the park. When I went in the kitchen, I noticed at least a half dozen little inch long milipedes crusing around on the tile floor. I got the broom and dust pan to sweep up, but since they were mostly alive, decided to open the front door and toss them instead of putting in the trash to have them climb out during the day.

After I closed the door, and put the broom back in the pantry, I turned around to find six or eight more little wormy things scooting along the tiles. So I swept them up too. And shook them out of the dustpan into the flower bed. And put my broom and dustpan away. Only to turn around and see more milipedes either scooching across the tiles or curled up in a little curli-cue. So I swept a third time, hoping that was all, and I could move on to my original organizing plan. Only to set them free, and look around to find more milipedes.

This is crazy! Are they reproducing faster than I can sweep, or using those multiple feets to sneak back in faster than I can sweep and put them out?  I got the bug spray out and gave a quick squirt along the bottom edge of the pantry and outside the front door, hoping to create a barricade to end the infestation. Or at least slow them down so I can get other things accomplished.

Having swept them up six times, it was time to quit, give up, admit defeat in order to 'drain the swamp' and move on with finding all my stuff to go to camp, so they could practice/learn to sew buttons. One of the things I wanted to get ready for little girls was making some 'sewing cards', with holes punched in index cards and yarn for them to thread through the holes, with big plastic needles. So here I am punching holes, and cutting yard to tie on the cards - and look down to see even more milipedes all over the floor! Arrggh. So I go to get the broom, highly frustrated and thoroughly aggravated, to sweep again. Only to discover that these milipedes are little bits of black and brown yard I had snipped and scattered: looking just right, the perfect size, color and shape of the dozens of milipedes I had been battling for half an hour!

I can explain that, somewhat...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I was out puttering around in the yard a week or so ago, and looked down at my feets to discover that I had on two different shoes. Not to worry... as you know - the joke is that I have another pair just like that in my closet. Ha,ha, ha. I was obviously taking photos of something that has since turned up on the blog, (thanks to a group effort), and with the camera in my hand, thought I should preserve the shoe foolishness  for posterity.

Obviously another example of what happens when a person gets dressed in the dark. And to tell the absolute truth, that is not the First Time something of this sort has occurred. Several years ago, when I had an early a.m. appointment at the Women's Health Center, I looked down as I was leaving and discovered a pair of clogs similar to what you see in the photo. And hoped no one else had noticed. Pretty much mortified by the idea that I would leave the house so inappropriately dressed. Which means Nothing anymore: after seeing people who appeared to be completely sane, and perfectly capable shopping - out there in public - in their pajamas, I occasionally remind myself I should not be surprised by Anything... but continue to be amazed.

As with the adult male I observed on Sunday, shopping for groceries. Wearing the top as well as the bottom half of a set of of red, plaid flannel p.j.'s. He was Most Definitely old enough to know better, so I guess he has been placidly observing the current style: as his children dress for bed and then go out the door, ignorantly accepting, and calmly deciding: it is 'appropriate' for everyone anymore...as Emily Post of refined taste/good manners spins in her grave...

And the last tale I will tell on myself: years ago, when kids were still in high school, and I had a job one day as a substitute teacher. I looked down at my feet in amazement,  halfway through the school day. Astounded to discover: although my sneakers were pretty much the same color and style - I had actually put on shoes from two different pair. Once again: at home what did I find in my  closet? Another set, just like the ones I was wearing, but for different feets!