Can Life Get Better Than This? Really?

I’ve never been one to push my kids to accomplish all I didn’t – I pushed hard on what would help them and some things, I just figured, by the time they were in high school,

“Not a Priority for You?  Okay – Not a Priority for Me….”

On other things ( like contact sports with Permission To Play slips to be signed, on great urging from child units, because they were so hepped up over it all and in a fervor to go to war without any mortar rounds or even good padding, I would read through the small print… read the entire document, which, once you strip out the legalese, basically says,

“Your child can get devastating injuries, be paralyzed, in a coma or dead – by signing, you agree to not sue anyone remotely involved with promotion or engagement of contact sports, and agree that even if rules are broken and people don’t keep their word or cheat, you won’t do anything that might hurt another after your child is broken on the field of battle…”

Yes – next fall, you get the Athletic permission slips, read them well – Cuz basically (to my mind) when you look into that hopeful, shining, inspired face – that turns into sour, “Oh-Gawd-Here-Comes-Another-Humankind-Life-Lecture-From-Mom-Just-Look-Interested-And-Serious-and-Committed-for-1-hour-and-she’ll-sign-on-the-dotted-line” look….

Sigh – Today, I really feel free – free to be the parent/friend I always wanted to be!  My son is Graduated!  Scholarships and Diploma in Hand!  And will be soon safely nestled at UCCS for his Freshman year – to fully learn AND Experience College Life!!

He will have a job – we have yet to set up his bookkeeping/budgeting software on his computer and he’ll probably take his older brother’s advice to put on his interested face look, and say, “Thanks Mom!  Wow!  This is great!  Thank you (kiss, kiss) you’re a great mom!” and 2.5 seconds later, at his friend’s house say, “I don’t know…she was talking about budgets and entering and tracking to see where money goes, and savings and paying off high interest debt first – I don’t know – I zoned out after the first 3 seconds….Soon!  I shall be FREE and DO WHATEVER I WANT!!!”

It’s okay – Nature of the (human) beast – Funny – we are so damn smart/evolved and yet, do you think a young male lion cub with his milk teeth not even matured says, “What does the HE know?   I’m gonna eat first, I’m hungry and who cares?”   🙂

Ummm…Yeah – Lessons from Human History and Nature is what I’ve bored my son’s to tears with for frickin’ YEARS!!!

Do You seriously know what kind of dedication it takes to keep talking when you know no one is listening or caring?

A Lot – 🙂

Sometimes, folks don’t listen, cuz they didn’t listen to your special circumstances and chose to give you BS advice that is about the same worth as pouring Everclear liquor on a fire, in hopes of putting it out – – 🙂

Other times, the advice given doesn’t represent or acknowledge the Universe you have chosen to live in, and so, you think, “Whaddya Know?!?”

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”  Albert Einstein

It’s All Relative – –

On the other hand – in the quiet times – when Life pushes me around, surprises me with challenges or seems bent on bringing me to my knees –

Yes, in the quiet times of soul wracked, I hear – the wisdom of my ancestors – my parents – I observe the 1,001 kindnesses given to me by those who gave what they could, I remember lines from the Bible, great scientists, authors and others from a myriad walks of Life –

And I rarely fail to find an answer – maybe not the ‘Perfect Answer”…

But I always find the answer that gives me Hope – to get up and do what needs to be done for one more day –

To recognize all the gifts given to me and mine in a thousand different ways over the years –

And, tonight, after graduation …and the community party for Mom’s Retirement/Son’s Graduation – after a long weekend I didn’t think my body or mind would hold up for, even with nearly a year of prior planning – 🙂  (I did that before the stroke – it’s 1000 times worse addiction, now…:) )

I am Happy –

A full day visiting with those who babysat me –

Who then introduced me to out-of-town relatives, “And then she babysat my kids and my son babysat her son – “

The Business teacher I had in High School who shares my birthday, Aug. 13th, who picked up the opening I gave him and said, “Well, yes, we share the day, but she is the older one…” And how everyone laughed when I said, in my worn-out to a nubbin, Elmer Fudd since-stroke voice, “I remember when Larry was this big” and made the same hand gestures as I did when asking younger than me community members about what they captured during their latest fishing trip – –

I have been called on not ever living further than 100 miles from where I grew up – recently – which isn’t true – I’ve never lived abroad – but I’ve lived in different states, cities, worked a variety of jobs/industries –

And I just got to say, I returned home to what works – really and what doesn’t work?  Well, I’m invested in sticking around, signing up and finding solutions however I can serve –

Cuz seriously – Tonight?   As I rub my newly learned essential oils in, and rest my over-wrought body/mind from the recent frenzy?

It Doesn’t get any better than This!

Son launched into his new life – time spent with those who know you well – all your quirks, foibles and down-right hard-ass ways –

Those who forgive you when you’re not at your best and rejoice when you gain enough ground to say, “Ya know, maybe I could curl my hair, let Mom take me shopping for girl clothes and put make-up on  – Just for this weekend – – it won’t kill me…”

But this weekend… when I knew I wasn’t clod-hopping around in jeans and men’s workshirts snagged from the clearance rack –

Well…I remembered what it felt like to be Female – not sure, just yet, if I’ll make it a habit (ya know, I spent good $ on my workboots – just like I spent good $ on waitress and nursing shoes – ya got to take care of your feet, ya know, else everything else eventually falls apart…)

And So, Here’s the Picture of Me

I’m not photogenic and hate any picture taken of me – some people say how pretty I am and I just laugh – cuz I know it’s because I’m Funny (looks ain’t everything, ya know) and make ’em laugh – – or because when they tell me their story, I focus on them and shut the rest of the world out – and care –

That’s why, to my mind, I’m pretty – not because of pictures (which you will see…soon…)

Sigh, but the only pictures I have to show you of the Poppy bed that has POPPED!  from 4 blooms to over 30 in a short 4 days, has me, in dressed up, girly mode, with hair curled, make-up, etc., and… welll…sigh….I still don’t even have a pic of me on my Facebook page – cuz I look so bad in pics –

Pictures never show how I see myself – except when someone takes candids of me laughing, talking, listening or dancing – then I see in the photo the ME I recognize –

The rest of the time?

I just look old, haggard, tired, etc…. LOL

But here ya go – if you just weren’t satisfied with pictures of my feet/injured knee – LOL

(This is so hard!…  Do you know how many cousins I have who could have had a modeling career if they wanted?!?…. )

Okay – BUT!  If you gasp and throw up, just focus on the robust rhubarb, the beautiful Irises and Poppies – seriously!  Their beauty will calm your soul and spirit in a nano-second!!  🙂

This is what I see in me and the world around me – while I appreciate those who just are natural beauties – who are really great at the whole make-up/gew-gaw/fashionista thingees (they bring grace and beauty to life…) I just never saw that as my slot to fill here – so why pretend?

But promise, once I get the miter saw/saw horses and wood working projects going – if anyone is around to take a pic and post, I will BE PROUD of those pics –

(Sorry – Mother Nature and her Children Plants are so beautiful, who the heck wants to look at humans?   LOL – Been watching biographies of Frank Lloyd Wright (excellent artiste, some work to do in other areas, me thinks) but yes, I’ve been soaking up by osmosis, every night, his biographies – – cuz ya know – he built to be in tune, serve those that inhabited, etc.    He did have a gift – even if he really dropped the ball, elsewhere….

I have rambled on – because nothing is ever not connected to at least 25 other things – 🙂

Just trying to ease back into actually writing for me – and now, after trying to encapsulate and share so many things from the last 48 hours – well – – I’m going to go read, hit the Likey-Like button and try mightily to not get hung up after 7 posts, because I had to write a 500+ word of gratitude post or questioning post, or advice/suggestion comment for the first 7 in my reader (yes, I work back from latest published, I do believe – and sometimes get hung up in the joy of experiencing your work…  🙂

Picture of wild poppies from one in 2013 to many
I’m smiling in my heart over graduation and the beauty of the day – but posing for picture – so, I don’t look like I’m smiling…
I thought about, "Check out the saved Rhubarb!  The Irises Thinned!  The Poppies Saved/Protected!  Isn't this AWESOME!" and thus, I look like I'm smiling a bit more!!  LOL
I thought about, “Check out the saved Rhubarb! The Irises Thinned! The Poppies Saved/Protected! Isn’t this AWESOME!” and thus, I look like I’m smiling a bit more!! LOL

LUV ya all – and realized – the only ‘spam friend requests I get’ on social media don’t have a face attached – sigh – hair curled, make-up on – might as well start feeding the online repository to feed the face recognition software for the modern world – – LOL

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The Good, The Bad and The Ludicrous

Ya know, I picked out my blog tagline oh-so-long-ago – – and funny, how I just keep livin’ up to it – and thought, the recent months and a ‘drop-in to say hi’ to my bloggy pals was the perfect opportunity to use the title, yet again….

The Good:

  • I have girl clothes purchased, nails properly painted, hair products/implements to curl said hair (my mom loves it curled…), professional Fixing of bangs I’ve cut myself for… a year?  two?  When was the last time?  Surely not that long ago…  I should be able to show up to graduation/retirement festivities without embarrassing anyone…
  • Food/Drink, decorations and plan for party – organized, packed and ready to go – as long as I don’t spill coffee or black cherry lemonade on my white pants while setting up, I should be able to carry the party off without too much shenanigans –
  • Spring has come into full bloom here and each day as I venture outdoors to run here, there or yonder for a heavy week of ‘going/doing’, I am reminded and blessed by the calm serenity and beauty of things engaged in ‘being’:
My beloved, inherited with place, purple & white heirloom to place Irises - the Western bed has bloomed!
My beloved, inherited with place, purple & white heirlooms – the Western bed has bloomed 3 weeks+ after the eastern, transplanted bed!
The transplanted away from propane tank Rhubarb seems to like being neighbor with Irises - and Irises don't complain about lack of harvesting of bounty - :)
The transplanted away from propane tank Rhubarb seems to like being neighbor with Irises – and Irises don’t complain about lack of harvesting of bounty – 🙂
Ah, Poppy... who I called Dad - thanks for your quiet, calming visits as I send our best loved off to their new adventures - I do miss you so - and the Wild Poppies have become messengers for me, from you - Love and miss You! :)
Ah, Poppy… who I called Dad – thanks for your quiet, calming visits as I send our best loved off to their new adventures – I do miss you so – and the Wild Poppies have become messengers for me, from you – Love and miss You! 🙂

The Bad

Okay, so surely, SURELY, you are impressed with the bounty of existing wild stock that I have simply preserved/protected, right?  Well….Here’s how out of control things have gotten here…I’m so behind on outdoor/indoor projects that my arse is in front of me – 🙂

The Up Close shots are prettier, eh? I Swear! I didn't airbrush the close-ups AND, not so pretty when you see how far behind I am on basic mowing/clean-up activities.... :)
The Up Close shots are prettier, eh? I Swear! I didn’t airbrush the close-ups AND, not so pretty when you see how far behind I am on basic mowing/weeding/clean-up activities…. 🙂
Pile of one area, of living room, since electrical re-wiring job started - Seriously, My Mom Would KILL Me if she knew I posted how I was living....
Pile of one area, of living room, since electrical re-wiring job started – Seriously, My Mom Would KILL Me if she knew I posted publicly the state of my house….Shh!  Don’t tell!  (she doesn’t read my blog, so safe – though, I might share on Facebook, and so, someone sure to tell her…  😀  I like to live on the edge, I tell ya….
What?!? Background shows electrical in progress, foreground shows the mixing area for essential oil recipes (remember? I vowed to get started on learning that art this year?) for: sprained knees, allergies, spring colds, viral bronchitis, face wash/moisturizer for over 40 skin, anti-bacteria, viral and fungi + flea/tick/nourishing spray 'smell goody' for dog who loves fresh compost/mulch/sitting in rain/rolling in snow... sigh... :)
What?!? Background shows electrical in progress, foreground shows the mixing area for essential oil recipes (remember? I vowed to get started on learning that art this year?) for: sprained knees, allergies, spring colds, viral bronchitis, face wash/moisturizer for over 40 skin, shampoo/body soap, dishwashing, counter wiping, mixes for diffusers, air fresheners, anti-bacteria, viral and fungi + flea/tick/nourishing spray ‘smell goody’ for dog who loves fresh compost/mulch/sitting in rain/rolling in snow… sigh… 🙂  And, long, but I didn’t even list all the combinations I’ve tried the past 2 months – Just now adding Tagetes and Clove to knee rub MADE HUGE DIFFERENCE! 🙂
Not really sure if this is good or bad... Only shows up on rhubarby when bounty hasn't been harvested sufficiently - ah well - last years baby transplant that shot up same 'bloom' was VERY prolific this spring - so lettin' em do their own thing - feel free to make fun of me - :)
Not really sure if this is good or bad… Only shows up on rhubarb when bounty hasn’t been harvested sufficiently – ah well – last years baby transplant that shot up same ‘bloom’ was VERY prolific this spring – so lettin’ em do their own thing – feel free to make fun of me – FOR heaven’s sake!  Ya know how much rhubarb I’ve sent out into the neighborhood??! 🙂

Seriously – – who the heck lives this way?  and keeps their sanity?  REALLY?   Enquiring minds would like to know…  Cuz I gave up on saving my mind about a month ago….

The Ludicrous

  • Drove close friends/family crazy when the soon-to-graduate-son’s spring allergies turned into cold, turned into viral bronchitis – – Fortunately, the family doctor said, “Quit Freaking out about bacterial meningitis – He is okay – calm down – It will be okay – OK?”
  • Managed to mess up my knee AND catch the tail-wind of the viral bronchitis sweeping through the neighborhood – whether I actually show up with make-up on and hair curled to the weekend of festivities, is up for debate, just now…Seriously!  Do You Know How much time/energy you have to spend on that stuff?!? OK…maybe You Don’t – but lawd luv a lemon, I do…with dismal results…. 🙂
  • DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH GIRLY CLOTHES COST!?!  EVEN ON SALE?  WITH COUPON?!?  OMG!  I Could Have Bought enough spray/non-toxic insulation to snag the machine to install for discount for that!! (Not sure, really, still researching options…BUT it FEELS like I spent homestead/betterment for the world money on gew-gaws….   (Ahh.. well… my mom, with a big smile on her face, said, “Oh, Honey!  You have to get that one!” (part of the ‘haul of girl’s clothes, make-up, jewelry, etc., was financed as Mother’s Day present by Mom who hopes I don’t show up to festivities with hair in braid, hand-me down hiking boots (from son who outgrew ’em) and men’s sized workshirt that was 50 cents, on sale…..)
  • Funny – couldn’t find clip-on earrings, anywhere – (alas, so long since playing dress-up, I no longer have pierced ears… they have returned to their natural state – and figure I will gain some points with Mother Nature for gardening activities, if I leave well enough alone…) ahh well… I bought some on-sale rings to adorn the hands that are cut-up/scraped/scarred – – HEY!  It’s a compromise!

Yes, what a crazy spring of celebrations, expectations, fears, old wounds, preparations to meet fears, sending off, staying close to spirit-home…

But at the end of the day (month, quarter, year….)

Ain’t my rhubarb, flourishing poppies and irises purdy?  🙂   The rest will get taken care of when need be….And, afterall – I HAVE a PLUG-IN in my BATHROOM NOW!

The Up Close shots are prettier, eh? I Swear! I didn't airbrush the close-ups AND, not so pretty when you see how far behind I am on basic mowing/clean-up activities.... :)
Even when behind, my home grounds give me hope…
Yes, Yes...needs patching, moving of hand towel rack, re-caulking with brand that won't yellow - BUT I HAVE a PLUG-IN for hair dryer (and diffuser for healing of allergies/colds/viral stuff) in bathroom, now - how cool is that?
Yes, Yes…needs patching, moving of hand towel rack, re-caulking with brand that won’t yellow – BUT I HAVE a PLUG-IN for hair dryer (and diffuser for healing of allergies/colds/viral stuff) + plus air freshener!)  in bathroom, now – how cool is that?

And the child I love so much… The mom who gave me life and wisdom, are going to move from one phase of Life Adventure to a New One – The least I can do is to show up to bid them “Blessed Journey” with all my might – the weeding, cleaning, organizing, fixing can wait for later –

For Now and Always – They Are What Counts! 🙂

 

The Hard Way

This spring has been hard – I tried to brush it off, ignore it, pretend to be better than I really am, but it’s been hard –

THERE!  I said it Out Loud!

I Confess!

**********

For a myriad of reasons, for a myriad of converging happenstances – yes, I’m now at the point of holding on and flying by the seat of my pants in order to make it through the next few weeks –

Despite my best plans and actions geared towards Avoiding Precisely This Moment(s) – (this moments?  These moments?   OH! Curse the Gods of English grammar!  🙂 ) I find myself retreating into Que Sera, Sera – and holding on for the ride, and focusing on observing, rather than doing…

Since I’ve now given up the battle, in hopes of ‘winning the war’, as it were, I am going to retire into ‘what will be, will be (which is where I could have rested, to begin with, but Noo….I simply have to do all the Human Drama of planning and scrambling, in order to feel like I had a say in Fate, in the months leading up to Now, beforehand, in order to feel like, perhaps I’m master of me own destiny, doncha know – – is this a Neurotic thing?  Or American thing, I wonder?   🙂 …

Where was I?  Oh Yes…..

I have to share a video from one of my faves – the lyrics, which seem to be regarding lovers (ugh!  LOL!  You didn’t think I changed that much, just yet, did you?  Really?  Well, hope does spring eternal….) the lyrics, actually, speak to my heart, just like they always have – – do you think I’m addicted to ‘the hard way’ – because of my culture, faith, gender, nationality?  Nope –

I agree –

I do it cuz I’m human – and we all have our areas where we make things harder than we needed to –

But, oh, what we learn we we walk the path of the hard way – 🙂

🙂

 

Gimme a Break!

(This blog part of and in response to, Linda G. Hill’s “Give Me A Break!”, SoCS writing prompt/post:

I was a smoker – I quit, started, re-quit, started again, stopped again – I am at a point in life where I am perfectly okay dealing with my nicotine addiction, dialing it down enough to let lunches in summer of eggplant and tomatoes feed my inherited addiction – instead of reaching for one of horrible, awful, nasty, only-people-who-might-as-well-be-a-smoking-pedophile, might do to feed their nicotine addiction…

Yes, to me, it is that bad…   And it is surprising to folks who know me that I could describe my ‘addictive weakness’ this harshly, for they know, I would never wreak terror on a child with intent –

BUT…. This is what it feels like, as I’ve lived through a society that says,

“Let’s All Smoke!”

To

“We can Smoke when we are Drinking, but probably not good to do all the time…”

To

“OMG!  This stuff is bad for you!!  What were you THINKING!  Stop!  NOW!

To

“I don’t know why this is a big thing – I smoked for awhile, gave it up and I’m fine – you just lack Self-Discipline…”

To

“Look, Mommy!  That woman is smoking… (in clearly designated smoker’s area so I don’t destroy everyone else….)   “She’s a bad person, right, Mommy?”   (Mommy, after quick dirty look indicating how I’m one step from becoming (insert your favorite villain from history or movies, replies…), “Yes, Honey, She is a Bad Person!   Don’t ever be around people like her!  They will Kill You with their …(didn’t here the rest, because she was all but pulling the small child’s arm socket out of the shoulder joint in hurry-scurry to get away from bad influences…but I suspect, you must not come into contact with me, because I used to smoke, and could revert at anytime, therefore, I am pure Evil….)

**************

Like all things, that touch a chord in me, and I feel the need to respond to, in order to address the complaints from one side, with the needs of another, and try to find the happy medium for healthy living, compassion and fellowship, I list out the following bullet points – both on past and latest research, AND what you can do to find that common middle ground/compromise with someone you love to be around BUT you just cannot find the Great Divide Mid-Point on the Smoking Issue – :)”

**************

Factoids (listed in oldest, to newest information, received by this grey matter….)

  • My Grandfather was a Kentuckey, and later, Southern Ohio Tobacco Farmer, He Smoked
  • My Dad was warned to not start, because hard to stop, by HIS dad, but did, none the less…
  • Ceremonial use of wild plants from the family of plants with Latin name ‘nicotania’ somewhere in them, didn’t seem to be a big problem, any more than chewing on cocoa leaves to handle high elevations, energize and stave off hunger were for native peoples – UNTIL!  Modern Chemistry said, “OK….we got the Active Ingredient!!! WE KNOW!   It’s Nicotine (cigarettes) and (hmmm… since I’m not a cocaine addict…not sure what to tell ya….) BUT!  Congratulations to US!   We can know manufacture in the lab or isolate the “Good Stuff” that makes people feel better and treats a myriad of health problems, just by extracting/purifying/isolating the Active Ingredient…!)  (My experiential research tells me to say… “Um…NO….Not Really….Try Again…..”
  • MY Tobacco Growing for Cash Crop Grandfather told me in my youth (before I ever smoked…) “Don’t Smoke, BUT, that’s useless – didn’t work with your Dad, so IF YOU do! Grow your own, cure it the way I told you, purchase a quality made pipe and smoke it that way – company processed tobacco, pre-rolled cigarettes, the papers they use, the s**t they put in the ‘filters” – THAT will kill ya sooner than the tobacco will…(he was in his 70s and retired and quit smoking because he didn’t grow his own anymore – not sure how many years he fought the Grumpy Demon – but, he could turn off his hearing aide and pretend he didn’t hear irritating folks – that does help, ALOT! Just Saying….)
  • As a child, I had Asthma – I hated riding home in winter time, when dad kept the windows up to keep the ‘children warm’ but had to smoke, all the same – When I became a parent, I don’t care how cold everyone got (I bundled ’em up) If a day planned where vehicle smoking was a likelihood, the windows were down – even in blizzards/white-outs – just saying….)
  • The first time I smoked, I felt a small feeling of elation and well being (nope, I didn’t get sick…)
  • Over the next 6 months, I went from 3-4 on the weekends – to one a day, after work – to one in the morning when I had only 4 hours worth of sleep between end-of-shift and start of class – and…welllll.. yeah, it morphed on, from there…
  • When I started working, there was a designated break area for smokers – and you could spend your law-mandated time in that area 3 times a day – AND if your work was done, your sidework caught up, and area in good order, you could take a quick ‘smoke-break’ there on your way back from a bathroom break without getting into trouble – – seriously – until I worked a sit-down/desk job, I had never smoked an entire cigarette at one sitting in my life – I lit, inhaled 2-3 puffs, carefully stubbed out and laid in MY labeled ashtray to re-light later –
  • I worked from 13 years of age, on, in arenas with women who started smoking because smokers were the only ones who got breaks during a 9 – 16 hour shift (OMG! – They HAD to all be seriously dehydrated, too!  Just Saying….Have you SEEN the side effects of Dehydration?   Coupled with Sleep Deprivation, Serial Killer in the Making…Just Saying….)

So, now that I’ve shared some prior hurts/experiences/etc. over being a smoker in a society that morphed from “Everyone Smokes, why aren’t you?” to “OMG!  YOU EVIL!  Get Away!” perceptions – when I’m technically a Nicotine Afficiando (Addict) – I’m not even going to post the Factoids on Research – Lord Knows, I have quite a few times before AND I’ve Blogged about my various journeys in quitting cold-turkey, quitting via help of FDA approved, Dr., prescribed pharmaceuticals (Heck!  I had quit for nearly 4 years, and a mis-diagnosis of Depression, with 3 days worth of prescribed medicine sent me right back to the pacifier of cigarettes/nicotine and a further black mark, in my mind, over Big Pharma – 🙂

So I won’t bore you, further – search any keywords re: nicotine, e-cigs, nicotine, etc., with the addition of ‘ballybin.wordpress.com” and you’ll have reading material –

BUT, I must share the irony:

  • YES!  I’m a Nicotine Addict – in our society = THAT’s OK!  As long as I ain’t polluting their air with tobacco – and not encouraging their 9 year old to pick up a hookah or e-cig….
  • YES! I never weaned myself down to 0 nicotine in my own made e-cig juice – I got down to mixing 6 mg equivalent into a bottle of e-juice that filled my e-cig for 3 months or more – no matter how many eggplants I planted/harvested/fixed to new recipes – no matter how much I incorporated raw tomatoes into my diet, I still got antsy –
  • After a Decade of trying to quit, being quit or re-quitting, I’d like to say, I think I know more about my physiological addiction, need for a calm mind than you do – and, quite frankly, I am fairly confident I feed my addiction in the best way I know how without making my children starve or freeze, due to no food in the house, or the gas/electric turned off for failure to pay, due to: new car payments, gambling, extracurricular activities, more new clothes than I could wear out in a lifetime, shopping for s**t I don’t need and buying s**t I won’t use in this lifetime, dining out at food service that makes me ill, because ‘that’s where everyone will be, you have to come!”, etc., etc., etc.,

Nope, I still get torqued off over this Smoking Debate – If every smoker (legal if you’re of age, to buy/pay taxes on) quits tomorrow – the s**t you are addicted to, to ease your soul and keep you sane may just be taxed heavily in order to make up for the lost revenue – –

Here’s My List of Things to Tax, in Lieu of Tobacco Products:

Chocolate (whaddya I care?  I crave chocolate about once a decade and I’ll pay the damn tax…  Granted, those of you who love dark, bitter, no sugar, cream or anything else added dark chocolate lovers, should get a free pass – because, in small amounts, it is good for you – Everyone else?  You are increasing our National HealthCare, Even Losers Can’t Die from Poor Life Choices, System – Say goodbye to your store bought, American made Chocolate bars –

Twinkies – I LOVE TWINKIES!  I’ll Pay $2 in taxes per box!  Seriously!   I only indulge once in a blue moon – whadda I care if you eat a box a day?

Alcohol – Ramp that crap up (granted, we imbibers are already carrying a big share of the deficit, BUT – shouldn’t that just encourage us all to grow the goods in our urban backyard and make our own healthy brews/tonics/fermented beverages?  Seriously?  Love the Microbrewery rennaissaince going on – but then, that’s just me…  One of my son’s friends is taking agricultural classes and a brewmaster class next year – busy sourcing plants to have a variety of ingredients for him to choose from next winter/spring for his final – – LOL

All Cosmetics/Fashionable Clothes – Doesn’t have to be a big tax – for health sake/cultural uses, you really ought to replace purchased cosmetics every 2 weeks to 1 year time frame, and completely refresh your wardrobe every season – small percentage should make up the deficit if you just tax the hell out of pharmaceutical grade nicotine OR make it legal to Grow/Cure your own for home use AND/OR make purchase of pre-rolled cigarettes or papers high taxed –

(…Cuz ya know… that chemical/nasty smell that really has gotten to you these past few years?  Well, yes, that’s the fire-retardent papers that are federally mandated – seems to many smokers were burning themselves because they fell asleep – so we must keep the smokers safe while making the rest of you non-smokers nauseated from the smell and toxic from the chemicals – HEY!  I didn’t come up with this plan!   Don’t Blame Me….)

🙂

P.S. Forgive the typos, harshness, tangents – I just participated in a topic posted for SoCS by Linda G Hill, and been bloggy pals with her, long enough, I figure, she’ll see my good points, forgive my failings and say, “Oh?  Are you actually writing again?” and we’ll all have a good laugh – – 🙂

Linda – my house is a purified and essential oiled and being modified to get rid of 9 months of smoking back indoors (during a fail) – You ever find yourself nearby, If I fall off the wagon, I will go outdoors in my own home, to ease your comfort – I would never, ever, expect to smoke in your smoke free car, home, work place – – LOL – I have found ways to wash/neutralize the smell off me if I dare to smoke 150 yards away in the designated smoker’s area with a high wind blowing the stink off me –

BUT! If ever I fall of the wagon, will you kindly ask, “I’m really allergic to smoke, what needs to happen in order for me to enjoy an evening at your place, chatting, breaking bread and having fun?” instead of, “Well!  You should just quit smoking and if you do that, then I don’t care what else you do for me, or how hard you try – it’s never good enough – until I KNOW You have QUIT forever and never go back, fall off the wagon, etc….”

Think there needs to be a club, for the Nic Addicts, right?

I’m thinking ASS is a good one – “Association of Slipped Smoker’s” – – It will double in meaning for all the Holier than Though Quitters who want to judge those quitters/sliders coming up behind them – – LOL

Thanks for the thought/prompt/blog post, Linda G!  Ya Know I enjoy your take on the world – and left this as is, without asking permission to fix/re-write to be kinder – I hope you understand that I trust you to take the ‘tongue in cheek, mixed in with old hurts/anger’ stuff that came out while I did SoCS – cuz seriously?  Your cyber relationship, chat-time, etc., more important to me as a connection than talking about my addictions and raising awareness….LOL 🙂

Just In Case…

If the National Weather Service is right on target, I’d better share with you what’s been going on this spring, before it’s covered by a blanket of snow…

Also my way of letting you know, I’m still alive and haven’t killed my self yet, through clumsiness…  🙂

Ya know, I DID finally get my power tools AND the “replace-old-wiring in house project continues on….

Me + Power Tools + Electricity = Massive Danger for anyone in a 5 mile radius!  🙂

*************

This isn’t really a photo montage – cuz, seriously, my photos don’t immediately share the ‘words’ I think ya ought to know – so, while I won’t ACTUALLY write 1,000 words per photo – each one has a story (and keep an eye out, cuz some of them even share with you some really cool WordPress Family Bloggers, you might just want to check out, if  you like visiting here….)

Ready?

Here we Go!

Forecast:

Tonight…Rainfall will become widespread on the Plains together with isolated thunderstorms, possibly lingering until midnight.  Precipitation will start out as rain or a rain-snow mix during the evening in the foothills, then change over to a wet snow by midnight with several inches of wet snow possible by morning…

Here?

My body-pain-barometer (which kicks in when I can’t go regularly to acupuncture and actually fix stuff I messed up….) told me, (1) cold-rainy-drizzle storm system moved out around 2pm today…

(HEY!  I feel better – lookee here! I can walk right…sorta…)

… and the next one arrived around 4:16pm

(oh, wait…maybe not quite yet….)

Yes!  I own my own traveling barometer system that travels without need of special boxes or padding to protect hi-tech equipment!  See?  How useful being out of balance can be?

Thus….

25 Buffalo Berry, 25 Wild Roses, 2 Bartlet Pears and 1 50% of Boxwood that looks fine (sing to the 12 Days of Christmas! It's Fun!)
25 Buffalo Berry, 25 Wild Roses, 2 Bartlet Pears and 1 clearance shelf Boxwood that looks fine (Sing to the 12 Days of Christmas! It’s Fun!)

On Front porch, man-child moved the items ‘to be planted’, as soon as I can, that might not survive the drop in temp/storm front, even on the protected southern side, (the pears have survived 2 snow storms, right next to the warm stucco of home and radiating heat from tire fence, but – – just in case….)

Second Year Transplant Areas of Existing Plants

Next, we move on to the East side of the house, where 2 Autumns’ ago, I thinned the original Iris bed on the western side, and didn’t quite have enough to plant the full eastern area – fortunately, the southeast side has flourished, and should be able to thin and fill in the northeast side this coming fall….

Transplanted 8 or 9, if memory serves - my garden journal from 2013 not easily accessible just yet....
Transplanted 8 or 9, if memory serves – my garden journal from 2013 not easily accessible just yet….my house stacks of moveable boxes/piles for rewiring project…

 

North east side got 2 plants and this fall, will have some siblings join 'em...
North east side got 2 plants and this fall, will have some siblings join ’em, from thinned western & southeastern areas. Yes, the fine grass at edge is what I planted – green further to the right of pic is weeds where I failed – 🙂
And a close up to see Purple and White Kissed By Rain -
A close up to see Purple and White Kissed By Rain –

Here’s the original iris bed, complete with transplanted (to get moved away from the Propane tank) growing rhubarb:

OldAndNew
Original saved/thinned Iris bed, with transplanted from 25 feet away, rhubarb plants…and tough prairie grass that defies all weeding/natural weed suppression strategies – just need to learn to live with it, plan with it me thinks..  🙂

I have given rhubarb to 3 neighbors so far – saving some for Mom to make and gift rhubarb pies (she is hoping to find time to bake – she works at a K-12 school, ya know – busy, busy, just now…) and hoping I can harvest a few more before summer hits – WOW!

I thought I damaged the plants by being stingy last spring in harvesting and too busy last fall to call and remind folks to stop by and get some from fall crop – been wondering all winter how that was going to turn out….

Why, you ask, am I’m not preserving?  Alas, I like Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam – and 3 years running, still don’t have a strawberry bed – BUT I have a NEW PLAN for this YEAR!!  🙂  Plus, cooking duties at lowest point possible with household in disarray – 🙂  “Sooo… what crockpot meal, broiler in toaster oven or cold cereal do you prefer?”   is the refrain these past few weeks – as one room, by one room is wired to break out 3 breakers into 10 – 🙂

The good news is, I will soon have a plug-in for my hair-dryer (just the roots, ya know…) in the bathroom, instead of using a far end of the kitchen/laundry area for such activities – (right over the root cellar door that is sized the same as the cellar door Dorothy in Wizard of Oz tried to make it to at the beginning of the movie…. yes, I live in a 100+ year old home and it has been an expanding from 1 room to enclose nearby areas work in progress over the past century…   🙂

And, lest you think me bragging on saved, conserved, existing abundance, let me show you the picture of  not yet trimmed native grass and how I still have failed to get ALL the rhubarb moved to it’s new plot:

Rhubarb in fence/next to propane tank - Note to self: Move next Fall....
Rhubarb in fence/next to propane tank – Note to self: Move next Fall….

Let’s see, now what?

Oh yes…

The old, big lilac bush on the southeast corner survived 2 snow storms and is bravely carrying on…

I'm astonished to have any blossoms at all, but, keeping my fingers crossed for over night...
I’m astonished to have any blossoms at all, but, keeping my fingers crossed for over night…

The aforementioned Ye Olde Lilac bush supplied edge seedlings that were transplanted August of 2013, to form a barrier between high summer heat retreat for two-leggeds on the the north side of the house, and open Colorado sunny sky for further square-foot gardening beds –

Despite my neglect of weeding/irrigating activities, lilac seedlings are really filling in nicely from the single stalks transplanted…. 🙂  Thank You Patty!!!

Um...yes, there's a story about the end caps - - :)
Um…yes, there’s a story about the end caps – – 🙂

At each end of transplanted lilacs, were the ‘houses’ built for two inherited cottonwood seedlings my friend gave me – they didn’t take off with my lazy permaculture ways, and so, they are being weeded free by stacked special planting mediums (Yes, I’ve blown through the 3 dumptrucks of garden dirt delivered – on F250 load more and I should be done with ‘top build’ stuff), and I will plant the aforementioned Bartlett Pears on each end, instead –

Let us hope I’m not making a mistake…. 🙂

Pretty Native Flourishing

Close-Up
Close-Up

This pretty, low-growing, plays nicely with other’s, ground cover, which shoots up lovely purple spikes each July/August, reminds me of Lupine.  When I arrived here (2013), it was growing in a 2 sq foot area of the Northwest side of the house.  Through thoughtful weeding and casual neglect, it has continued to spread and though last year’s roofing/stucco projects and this spring’s need for stable platform to stand on while switching out the electric meter/breaker box means it’s taken a hit in the lower section of picture, it has successfully spread down the entire north side, and even traveled west, and looks like it might just snuff out the last bit of bindweed that still lurks around the propane tank/fence – it has also traveled north to aclimate the tires I put in place that couldn’t save 2 years of growing Holly attempts – The Bishop’s and Vinca plants gifted 2 years ago by my friend Patty continue to spread on the northeast side and hold their own against spreading ground cover and native grasses…

Go Forth and Prosper, Pretty Purple, Well-Mannered plant!
Go Forth and Prosper, Pretty Purple, Well-Mannered plant!

Last Year’s Bare-root Seedling Projects (100 plants – periphery/boundaries)

Alas, for a myriad of human reasons, both my own and others’ actions, last summer got away from me – between lack of irrigation and then rains that really blessed weeds, I lost all my sand cherries – 8 of my 25 Golden Currants and all but 4 of my 25 chokecherries –

Not to worry – Got some Buffalo Berry and more Wild Roses to fill in – cuz, that’s what was available in stock through my local Conservation Center this year.  (Psst…you can’t see in first picture, but they are nestled in behind the Bartlett Pears on front porch – I figured all the emigrants could keep each other company….)

Here’s the Western Line, with gaps between live chokecherry survivors, almost weeded to be ready to accept a low-growing, drought-resistant, nitrogen fixing, perennial ground cover on each side of the slope and stick more bare-root seedlings in, with 1 foot perimeter of weed barrier covered by pea gravel – (the newspaper/pea gravel stuff didn’t work that well – so try, try again! But seriously, would you guess there are tractor/bus tires under that mound?  And yes, the moisture retention in middle is Great!  Why do you think the weeds overcame my seedlings?  Oh, yes, I mineralized the soil…too….Ooops! ):

Oops! Better Planning/Care, this year....
Oops! Better Planning/Care, this year….

And here’s some pics of the Wild Roses on South side to form back drop for garlic, welsh onions (perennials) with successional crops of annual flowers and different lettuce varieties – funny how the ones that got weeded/protected for moisture retention (the rubber mulch didn’t work that great) don’t look as good as the ones I need to re-weed – – sigh – – work in progress:

YES! Durnit!! There is stinkin' bindweed there....
YES! Durnit!! There is stinkin’ bindweed there….
Southwest corner - gets a breeze from Northwest winds - whether this accounts for smaller foliage or if the stinkin' weeds help more than I thought, I don't know....YET!
Southwest corner – gets a breeze from Northwest winds – whether this accounts for smaller foliage or if the stinkin’ weeds help more than I thought, I don’t know….YET!

And The Perennial Jerusalem Artichokes Appeared, Finally!

Last fall, I thinned the Jerusalem Artichoke bed on the west side, after leaving it to it’s own devices for two years – been frantic, afraid I didn’t do it right – but apparently, did it better than I thought, cuz seriously, I only re-planted 12 bulbs – – LOL – either I lost track of time (likely) or it’s been an overall cooler spring…Alas, they have showed up in their own time – and made a note and will compare whenever I unearth my past year journals…. 🙂

It's True - You never get ALL of them harvested... Plant where you are okay with them prospering!!
It’s True – You never get ALL of them harvested… Plant where you are okay with them prospering!!

Poppies have Prospered!

I have carefully protected an area between the irises/rhubarb and the gifted daylillies, (placed next to existing soapweed, currant suckers), to let the one wild poppy of the first year do it’s thing – with little interference other than weeding to give it a chance and no weed/grass barriers to protect seedlings.

This spring, I counted 36 of them – here’s what has happened since August 2013, from one wild poppy:

From one to many - Yea!
From one to many – Yea!

Native grass, ever hardy, has been cleared by helping hands, will be seeding this non-irrigated, hot area, with gold and burgundy amaranth, and leaving in clover and perhaps scattering some other perennials for pretty roadside picture all season – 🙂  Will keep you posted… 🙂  Maybe, one day, I can get that centerpiece from upcycled left-overs installed for eye-catching piece – for now, it waits by a back shed till I can get the growing things figured out….

The Tulip Bulbs in their second year, have survived Thumper the Rabbit and his pals this year – sorry I didn’t snap pics to capture the purple and white blooms (I did enjoy looking at them, even though I didn’t grab the camera – does that count for anything?  And the one inherited yellow one that is just a rebel and does it’s own thing….Outside the rock border and in midst of high native grass – Ya gotta love it’s Spirit.

Granted, my elderly, master gardener neighbor, drily commented the tulips were saved because they were well camouflaged by the native grass I hadn’t trimmed/eradicated/etc. – – for me, who cares?  They survived, this year!

Thumper's Purple Blossoms he prefers over greens - that he didn't find this year...
Thumper’s Purple Blossoms he prefers over greens – that he didn’t find this year… They are now past their prime…Sorry – will try again, next spring, to get you a great picture!

Okay – first bloggy buddy share, though he will either cry OR shame me for the below pic (check out A Northeastern Ohio Garden to view how Daylilly growing should be done – – properly – – – ), but I confess – the daylillies seem to be thriving, even though my newspaper and mulch layers, which has been cleaned out twice, annually now, and clipped close to ground mid-season, ever since their transplant to my homestead, still have failed to stop tough prairie grass:

Look for the wider, lighter green leaves - and yes, I got blooms after the first year - AND...yes, I will re-think my life choices - - :)
Look for the wider, lighter green leaves – and yes, I got blooms after the first year – AND…yes, I will re-think my life choices regarding weeding/mulching- – 🙂

The inherited, growing on it’s own with no help from me, whatsoever, other than mowing/weed-whipping activities, Currant bush is already in flower – maybe I ought to just leave it alone – I probably better – else I’ll kill it with my helping hand….

Does just fine with me ignoring it - - Guess that should tell me something...
Does just fine with me ignoring it – – Guess that should tell me something…

Big Plans for Southside this Year

Remember when the southside of the house was graded to run water back towards the foundation and looked like this:

Southside - Ditch to be dug for blocks
Southside – Ditch to be dug for blocks

Well, raised beds in, southern rammed earth tire fence in, and ordered the infrastructure pieces (that I couldn’t up-cycle to do what I need), at spring sale, which was big enough savings to allow for delivery on pallets (more cost effective than multiple runs by me in my truck), and conveniently placed right near the work area – 🙂

Patio stones, paving stones and multitude of various sized gravels for small areas/cedar trim for separating areas - YES!
Patio stones, paving stones and multitude of various sized gravels for small areas/cedar trim for separating areas – YES!
Various Cements (concientiously extra wrapped/sealed by delivery guy - cuz remodel meant no room to store inside - front walk, glow in the dark garden art and clean sand for various uses, Plus - all the cedar/pvc to make beds/hail protection + converting cold-frame/greenhouse/seed starting infrastructure for 4-season gardening - YES! I will post pics when this and the box full of elbows, tees, wire and removable plastic are put together - - :)
Various Cements (concientiously extra wrapped/sealed by delivery guy – cuz remodel meant no room to store inside – front walk, glow in the dark garden art/markers and clean sand for various uses, Plus – all the cedar/pvc to make beds/hail protection + converting cold-frame/greenhouse/seed starting infrastructure for 4-season gardening – YES! I will post pics when this and the box full of elbows, tees, wire and removable plastic are put together – – 🙂

The Ludicrous…

I think I probably lost the 4 grape plants I ordered – southside placement, nestled in behind concrete blocks, still didn’t save them from surprise snow storm 2 –  Will have to research and/or plant and wait to see whether they are totally dead or not –

After a productive week, I managed to over-do my left side leg muscles that support my knee working, so I’ve had to take it easy the past 2 days for it to heal – Funny how there was no immediate indication I had just really messed something up – fortunately – sharp pain during a step made me stop, get supporting aide while I hopped about 50 feet into house, removed clothing and said, “Hmmm…that’s puffing up pretty quickly, eh? GAWD NO!  STOP!  DON’T DIG YOUR FINGERS INTO TO CHECK THERE!!!”

(Did I mention that the Master Craftsmen helping me with electric project is my prior teacher – who has put butterflies over gashes, wrapped cracked ribs and overall, just shakes his head over my tendencies towards injuries?…Yup – he was on hand, and told me what day I’d better go have it looked at if it ain’t better….so I’m covered…)

Just for New Bloggy Cat – whose daughter INVENTED the Self-Feet shot – Here’s a Self-Knee shot – (yes, I hobbled out in my skort in near-snow forming weather to take all these pics….and YES! I have gotten some tan lines this spring – I just ain’t gonna blind you with my white feet (I CANNOT garden barefoot – don’t have all the goatshead/burr plants eradicated – JUST YET!  🙂  And yes, it looks awful, but I still can make it into my size 8 jeans (not the pretend size 8, the size 8’s I wore long ago before we started playing with sizes to make ourselves feel good…although, they are work jeans – they are so old, they are getting frayed here and there – – LOL)

My My - is that a malformed carrot on the left or a knee? A sick cantaloupe?
My My – is that a malformed carrot on the left or a knee? A sick cantaloupe?  I am clumsy – my legs, arms, hands and any other area visible usually has bruises, cuts, scrapes or swelling on them, year round – which is the only reason I am not a fashion model – – (Yeah…right….) LOL

You Don’t Throw a Life Away Just Cuz It’s Banged Up Some….

Last pic – of one that does it’s thing, comes up each spring, puts forth beautiful peach colored blossoms bees love each summer and never needs any mollycoddling from me, other than initial rescuing from the ‘clearance’ rack and not arguing with the cashier who didn’t charge me for it, (in her words…)

“I’m just giving you this – it probably won’t make it” – –

Here’s the “Not Gonna Make It Babby” from 2 summers ago –

Seabiscuit wasn't suppose to be worth anything as a race horse, either... nor Secretariat, for that matter...
Seabiscuit wasn’t suppose to be worth anything as a race horse… nor Secretariat, for that matter…  – 🙂

So that’s what’s in the news, here.  What’s up with you?

Oh…right…I best be heading over and catching up on the reader news….Just as soon as I do my heat lamp/essential oil rub/elevation/wrapping of my knee – it’s about that time!

Hope you survived Friday 13th and make it through the full moon okay – I look around my life, read stories and I think of you – and can’t wait to share….wait a minute….

Gasp!  Full Moon this next weekend!!! – Now where are my long germination herb/flower seeds?!?  I think they need to go in the ground next this week…. if it ain’t snowing…best get them out…ya never know…(hobble out to seed storage area…)

Bye!   Thanks for posting & sharing, so I can catch up with you and your world catch-as-catch-can!  LUB – Tamrah Jo

I take some comfort in being a Lazy Liker…

The fit has hit the shan, here at BallyBin, as in:

  • Projects planned to be completed with hired help in March/April will most likely morph into June/July time frames
  • My house is one big remodeling, pile of emptied cupboard spaces stacks
  • Graduation & Retirements Loom
  • Move one off to college before mid-June
  • Move another off to retirement and freedom by 1st week of July
  • Find room in outer sheds/house to put 12 plastic crates of craft materials, quilting materials, keepsakes (seriously – I have 708 sq. feet to work with in a house – you minus 200 sq feet or so?  Well, apparently, I need to rethink my ‘yup, let’s save this’, pack rat ways – else, I will be found, partially decomposed under a pile of plastic crates while trying to find the immunization record from 16 years ago (apparently, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS!  IT HAS TO BE FILED WITH THE STATE POWERS THAT BE – but even the original Doctor’s office who gave the shots has no record on file for it – – at least that’s what the message left for me 3 days after I requested said proof, indicated….
  • Keep up with weeds/grass growing in wonderful spring moisture received, so I don’t have to hack my way through a jungle come June –

In Other Words

I’m screwed….

***********

All of which has sent me back to the philosophy I had nearly 3 decades ago…

“I can fly by the seat of my pants, unless you aren’t trying, too – then?  All bets are off – maybe I will, maybe I won’t…”

🙂

Funny, how the lackadaisical manner in which I used to live before I decided to grow up and be responsible serves me better than any of the other ‘plans’ I’ve tried out these past 2 years –

Rest Assured…I’m Not Griping/Blaming…

I’m simply laughing at myself – No matter where you go, there you are and wouldn’t ya know?

Where I was 3 decades ago would have served me better than where ME is at, today – the version of,

“If the system is good/fixed, If I plan, If I think before I do/propose a path – If I get agreement, if I get an okay, If I get a contract pored over by attorney’s – won’t life be golden?”

Nope – I’m going back to the old me – No, my life was still a version of Idiocy, even then – but at least, I had no one to blame, but myself – –

And mistakes were less expensive, too –

🙂

Ohhh… Wait… I titled Lazy Liker….

Um, yeah – when I have a moment to breathe, I’m so worn out/down, I’m going through hitting the “Like” button if it’s doable – and little else – just to let you know, I’m still here – I still take joy in reading/viewing your posts/art –

Somedays, seriously, you folks are the only thing that keeps me hopeful for a better morrow –

But so full of frustration and angst, I quite frankly, have allowed my frustration to seep into my comments – so, trying to be good – and kind – and I’m Lazy Liking and only letting it all hang out here – where you had to click and read for awhile before hitting the wall!

🙂

I ain’t perfect, but I do try to have some brake mechanisms on my flying pants – somewhere along the line….