Monday, June 24, 2013

Another rainy day

After rain

Last week was totally humdrum, with absolutely nothing blogable happening.  I got most of my little task lists completed, but the big task was mowing the lawn.  I had timed myself doing it, and was surprised to find that the entire enterprise – from decision to do it to putting the lawnmower away again – took a grand twenty-six minutes.  Not much, eh?  You would think this infobit would spur me on, and reduce my reluctance to get moving on the task at hand, but such was not the case.  On the first scheduled lawn mowing day, I went out, looked things over, and decided that the grass was really not, after all, that tall, and it did not, in fact, need to be mowed quite yet.  Maybe in a day or two it would.  When the day or two passed, there was some other reason not to do it.  Perhaps I didn’t have time because more important activities loomed, or perhaps I was just too tired.  Another day wouldn’t matter.  Finally, I was getting really determined not to let another hour of procrastination elapse by without my grass being brought to submission. I got up, ready to work on it, but alas, it was raining.  Yesterday, once again, I had a full agenda which included mowing the lawn and going on an afternoon Camino walk with fellow parishioners.  Well, it was raining again.  Not much, but enough to discourage lawn mowing.  I was getting set to go on the walk when my darling girl called to see if I would like to go to a movie.  This is such a rare and precious event, that I dropped all else, hopped on my bike  and rode off to the cinema.  What fun!  And dinner afterward at our local!  I came home utterly knackered and collapsed into bed with a good book.  Today, however, I am determined! But wait – is that a drop of rain I see?  And it is awfully windy.  Hmmmmm! What to do?

 Update: I went out after writing the above, and it’s raining – sort of, anyway.  But enough to preclude any lawn mowing.  Tomorrow is another day, as you-know-who said. 

Further update:  It dried up a bit, and I actually did it. I had been also puttting off shopping, and finally having done that, I was inspired.  It look twenty minutes this time.  Was that worth a week and a half of guilt? Actually, it really was raining a lot of those days, so not really a week and a half of total guilt.  But on the rainy days, I fretted about having frittered away previous opportunities.  I love my new lawn mower!  Remind me about this when it is time to mow again.

Pina colada made by Becca  - one more temptation luring me away from lawn mowing. It was very yummy, and it was an effective deterrent to garden work. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Reminiscent Day

A reading déjà vu!  I went to a very tiny grammar school (thirteen in my eighth grade class.) There was, to compliment the tininess of the school, a tiny library, one shelf long, at the back of the classroom.  These were books we were encouraged to read during “quiet study time.” They were often read surreptitiously during math or catechism times as well.  Most of the books I read in the eighth grade, have faded into the mists of forgetfulness, but one from the little library which I remember reading was “The House of Seven Gables.”  It was delightfully creepy, slightly shocking, and I altogether loved it.  Since that one was so good, I also read its companion, “The Scarlet Letter.” This one I did not love so much.  You may find it difficult to believe, but even though in the eighth grade, I had only a vague concept of the true story of the birds and the bees.  Hence, “The Scarlet Letter” was both mysterious and shocking to me, and in great part incomprehensible.  Still, after all these years, it has stood out in my mind in ways that most of my other reading did not.  I have reread “The House of Seven Gables” several times, but never was really tempted to pick up “The Scarlet Letter” again.  At least not until recently,  after Rachael and I went to see Lillian Gish in the silent film, which was glorious.  It seemed like quite a different story than the one I had read so many years ago.  Well, I thought, that’s how movies often are - not really true to the original novel.  I loved the movie so much that I decided  I had better reread the book.  Well, here is a third version.  This is even less the book I read years ago.  Odd how a book can completely change its character when read later in life. 

Anyway, as I started reading it, I was transported back Sister Hilda Marie, the termagant who taught the eighth grade, her little library, and reading in the classroom while supposed to be doing other things.  Later that evening, at work during my break time,  I finished my current read-on-the-computer-during-workbreaks book, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel, and, casting about for my next workbreaks book, decided to reread the short stories from the start.  I opened up “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” and the first story was “The Red Headed League.”  Wow!  As I began to read, I was routed on another trip back to St. Thomas School.  This book was also in the library, and was my first introduction to Sherlock.  I remember being astonished by Sherlock, the whole idea of a Red Headed League, and delighting in the adventures with Holmes and Watson yet to come. Two trips down the same literary memory lane in one day.  I was thrilled and a not little creepified!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Remarkably Hideous Day

I was sadly examining a favorite grey, white, red and green sweater I had knitted, and was finding that a wretched moth had eaten up most of the grey parts, leaving me with a useless and ugly wad of yarn.  Just then, I heard a tap, tap on the door, woke up and was relieved to realize that I was having a bad dream.  Knowing that it was Rebecca ready to go for our morning run, and thinking that perhaps she had not brought her key, I staggered down to let her in.  In a haze, I made us tea and got my ugly running outfit on. I always gasp, moan, and complain about my suffering for our whole run.  It is, I suppose, a good kind of suffering.  But suffering nonetheless.  Afterward, I had errands to do, and noble Rebecca agreed to go with me to keep me company, despite having many tasks of her own. Margaret wanted to come too, and I had misgivings about that, but she was pathetic, and we let her come along. Our errands took us through a construction area in Chinatown on and shortly after we passed through the construction, we heard a “chunkita, chunkita,” sound coming from the rear of the car.  I pulled over to check the tires, but they looked okay.  We went on our way, and as we went, the chunkita waxed and waned.  Rebecca was nervously visualizing the axel breaking, and I was sadly visualizing spending lots of money on car repairs.  We decided to go to Hilltop gas station and see if they could diagnose the problem.  They immediately diagnosed a flat tire.  Margaret, who loves Hilltop because it means a dog cookie, was thrilled, but Rebecca and I were not.  It would take about a half hour for them to get to it.  Aaargh!  My milk would get sour.  They said I could leave it in their refrigerator, so we deposited it among their lunches, gathered up Margaret and Rebecca’s groceries and staggered off, laden like little pack mules, to Rebecca’s house to have a cup of tea and wait out the half hour. 

We still had an errand or two, so we returned, got the car with its fixed tire, and proceeded on with our shopping.  As we went down the road, we both felt that we were still hearing a subtle “chunkita, chunkita.”  We went to the bank and the pharmacy and then made our way back to Hilltop. Margaret was ecstatic.  Two visits to dog cookie heaven in one day!  The fellow who had helped with front tire heard the “chunkita, chunkita” as we drove in, this time from a rear tire.  It had a huge big unbelievable thing stuck in it.  Double aargh!  But, once again, they fixed it. I delivered Becca to her house, returned home myself, and feeling that I needed comfort, sought out a secret cache of Cadbury’s Eggs that I had bought on sale after Easter.  I had one, and it made me feel a little better, so I had another and it made me feel sick.  Really sick.  I took to my bed and inwardly cursing myself for being a piggy, and whining about my upset tummy.  A nap did not really help. Margaret, on the other hand, was having as marvelous a day as I was having a horrible one.  Two visits to Hilltop and than an afternoon in bed with Mom.  What could be better?  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Fun, Fun, Fun Day in the Sun

My friend Laura, recently retired and hence the object of much envy, has long wanted me to come visit her in West Seattle, instead of her always visiting on this side of the water.  But, alas, the drive across that awful bridge is just too daunting unless I have Rebecca along for moral support. So, wanting to get together with Laura and to explore some of fabulous West Seattle, I rode the bus across the even more terrifying Alaska Way viaduct.  The danger there is earthquakes, as the viaduct is reputed to be on its last legs.  The least tremor and it will go crashing to the ground, crushing all within crushing distance.  Awful indeed, but less immediate than the horror of changing lanes on that frightful bridge.  The bus was a pretty yellow and red, super fast, direct one and got me there in minutes.   We started our adventure at Mexican restaurant where I ordered a too giant burrito that I was unable to finish (and hence felt guilty about – I am such a good Catholic – always feeling guilty about something.)  But I had no trouble gulping down the yummy horchata, a most delightful Mexican summer treat.

Our true intent was not really lunch, but a walk in Lincoln Park,  through the forest and along the beach. The first thing I did was to lose my glasses, but Laura and St. Anthony worked together as we retraced our steps, and Laura found them. Had she not, it would have been particularly distressing as it would have been the second pair of glasses I had lost in two days – the first pair having gone missing in my premier glasses-losing place, the Cathedral. 

Laura found my glasses by this rose bush
I believe that the last time I visited a West Seattle beach was an evening when I was about eleven years old.  I came with my grandmother, several great aunts – her sisters - and a then youthful Aunt Dakki. The beach was a narrow one, surrounded by deep forest, and reached by a dirt road, and in its remote position, quite deserted, except for us. There was the huge trailer of a logging truck parked nearby, and logs floating along the water’s edge.  I fancied myself a mighty lumberjack as I danced from log to log, risking a splash and a salty dip. Everyone was certain that I would fall in and get wet and dirty. Then - Oh dear!  My grandmother, had to go to the bathroom.  The only private place seemed to be under the logging truck.  So under it she crept.  When she emerged, the back of her coat had the greasy imprint of the underbelly of a logging truck on it.  This adventure remained a family story for years, and Dakki still occasionally refers to it.  Everyone, including my grandmother, thought it was funny, but if it had been my coat, I would have been sad.  I was relieved, however, not to be the one to have gotten dirty, despite their dire predictions.

Afterward, we had tea and coffee at this adorable person's coffee shop.
 She waited vigilantly under our table for a crumb of biscotti to drop,