Category: Articles

Birthday Gift

This fabulous coat belonged to my great aunt Ruth. She was an interesting woman, what I remember most about her is her heavily rouged cheeks, little pillbox hats and her boyfriend. I think his name was Bill? Anyway, at family gatherings he used to always give me a dollar and tell me not to spend it all in one place. Even in high school I remember him giving me a dollar.

With my passion for green, my mom and her sisters decided that this great green coat should be mine. So for my birthday they had it cleaned and had a new collar made for it (it’s fake fur).

I love it! I haven’t been able to wear it anywhere yet, but you can bet that come next fall I’ll be wearing it all the time. The only bummer is that while Ruth was tall for her generation, she had shorter arms than I do. So before fall gets here I need to take it to the local tailor and see if he can add cuffs to match the collar and make the sleeves about 2″ longer.

All in a rush

I know I’ve been talking about spring forever, but today was a day that made it feel like we’re skipping straight from early spring to summer. They predicted 85, but I don’t think we quite made it. In a matter of hours it feels like everything has sprung.

The mint in the pot from last year grew literally 6 inches today. The hostas jumped up and said hello. The birds suddenly discovered the new feeders we put out. The broccoli is standing up proud and the lettuce is starting to look like more than a couple of leaves.

After work we met friends at the Conway Tavern about 15 miles north of here. It’s one of my favorite bars. The kind that welcomes kids, yuppies and Harley riders alike. They’ve got some of the best burgers around and the beer is always cold. We sat on the patio in the warmth of early evening with spring flowers blooming all around.

We drove home on country roads at sunset. And all the fields that were bare and cold just a few short weeks ago have now been turned and prepped for planting. The dairy cows have been allowed back out onto pasture. And the lambs are no longer so freshly cute, already starting to look more like sheep than babies.

I’ve been waiting and waiting to plant the tomatoes and today they spent a second day on the front porch. Tomorrow afternoon into the ground they go and I expect that they’ll start to shoot up in a matter of days. Although I’m burying them pretty deep to promote root growth so perhaps it won’t be so obvious.

Summer is so close now that I can taste it and I can’t wait!

Bad Pet Mama

Sometimes life gets so busy that it’s easy to miss the little details.

About 5 weeks after we moved Sterling (our 11 year old cat) started peeing in the closest where his litter box was. Not in the box, but on the carpet near it. He hasn’t used a litter box regularly for years, preferring to go outside, but with the move he’d decided to be more of an indoor cat and I was humoring him. I thought it was because I’d bought a different litter trying to be eco-friendly. So on my way out the door to go to Vegas I asked Mike to go buy some Tidy Cat and some Nature’s Miracle. I assumed that that would fix it.

Nope. He proceeded to keep peeing in the closest, so I moved his litter box from the closest in my home office to under the desk. Not an ideal spot, but I figured that he’d start going outside again when the weather got nicer. Then he started peeing under the other half of my L-shaped desk. I locked him out of the office and moved his box onto the tile in the bathroom. I thought, okay problem solved. And it was, for about 4 days.

In the meantime I remembered that years ago when we lived in an apartment we’d had this problem and it turned out that he had a urinary tract infection. So just in case I made him a vet appointment for today. By this morning we’d been pee-on-carpet free for several days and I almost canceled the appointment. Then he peed in the hallway while I was getting dressed and I caught him. Bad cat!

So off to the vet we went this afternoon. Turns out that poor Sterling has another raging UTI, likely brought on by the stress of moving. And he’s been suffering for almost a month. Poor baby! Bad pet mama!

Luckily he’s now on big doses of antibiotics for 10 days and an anti-inflammatory for the next few days. Hopefully he’ll feel better soon. Now we just have to get the last of the cat pee out of the carpet…

Urban Farming in New York

On a lighter note, and in keeping with Denise’s comment, here’s another articlefrom the NY Times. If people can figure out how to farm on vacant lots in New York, Brooklyn and Detroit, I guess there’s just no excuse for the rest of us.

It inspires me to see communities pulling together to grow the produce they want and need in areas that are often considered food deserts.

Are We Ready to Hear it?

Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.

I don’t always agree with Thomas Friedman, but I almost always respect what he has to say and how well thought out it is. I don’t even agree with his entire editorial, but I do agree with what he said above.

We are living on borrowed time and we are deluding ourselves. We, as a country, seem to believe that we can go on the same way forever. That what matters most is what we want, that what happens in the rest of the world is interesting but not that important. That the food crisis that is perhaps just beginning is happening “somewhere else” but that it won’t affect us here. That paying $4 a gallon is unfair and something that can be fixed by repealing gas taxes. That we shouldn’t have to change our behavior or our daily habits, but instead the world should be forced to conform to our expectations.

What happened to us? When did we lose touch with the very values that made us a “great nation” to begin with? When did we lose sight of the fact that hard work and frugality and generosity go hand in hand to make us the nation we once were and want to be still.

Why can’t we see?