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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A good week and it's only Tuesday

I've mentioned from time to time how inbred is my valley; these folks live here generation on end, and the Hatfields and McCoys have nothing on how long a grudge can be nursed. So, long story short, one fellow got mad at another and made a public record request for what amounted to seven hundred pages of personnel records and time records on a fishing expedition to prove who knows what. I hoped our legal counsel would tell me I could say it was too broad, but he tapped his finger on the letterhead of a very high power, big city attorney and said give them everything.

Now my artificial hip has been bothering me for the last several months, not to mention a back that does not tolerate standing, so I wasn't too happy. However, what's good for the goose is good for the gander or somesuch; I did file a FOIA in March against the federal government for wage information, got it (in May!), and have used it to my ends, so karma says return the favor. I enlisted two young women I know to tote boxes from storage and we set to yesterday.

Laura had box lifting and staple pulling duty, Emily ran the copier and I stood and restapled my copies back together. The high power fisherman get their 3" of paper loose; better hope they don't drop it on the way out the door. Now, that is petty (of me).

But a long day of standing and stapling and walking papers back to Laura to refile and heave on a shelf and I was barely walking. Thank goodness my long ago scheduled appointment with the orthopedist was today. I was convinced he would tell me a tune up was needed and I was working out why I couldn't see him again until after I go to Ann's later this month.

As I sat in the waiting room an extra hour waiting for the appointment I walked a friend through turning the heel of her first sock. I'm so proud of her, and she's so pleased with herself. Then off to x-ray my thirteen year old fake hip, and see the doctor I haven't seen in almost that long. He's getting so grey. My hip is perfect; I had a bursa. Son of a gun. A shot of cortisone dead center in the little bastid and I was out the door.

I went to pick up Emily from her sketching class with Mrs. P, and the thirty five steps to her studio were not daunting tonight! Here's what Emily is up to:



I said "Oh, look, prickly pears."
Shame on me; they're bing cherries.


But there's a story with her other sketch tonight. A couple of weekends ago she helped Linda at a show in Columbus. A man stopped in the booth, indicated he was deaf and said he was asking for donations for a baseball team for deaf young men. Emily said he did not speak as well as my niece, who is deaf, but she got the gist of it. She answered back in sign language, and they had a little conversation. 

He was surprised and pleased she knew enough sign to get by, plus the alphabet, to spell what she couldn't say, and will study it another year in high school. I am so pleased I told her to look into sign for the rest of her foreign language requirement and that the high school both offers it and counts it toward foreign language credits.




Emily and Mrs. P discussing how a hand looks.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

3.5" of rain passed through


East window


Northwest window


 The outdoor water bowl--south side of the house


A birdbath in the oak tree


Puddles, puddles, puddles


World's coolest rain gauge looks a bit too smug


Down, but not out


Dripping wet


Five finch here, under the overhang, and  a goldfinch behind


A nosh before it begins again.


The weather maps show about as much more to come tonight and tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Front yard week in review

A fat robin getting lunch together for the kids at home.


Chipmunk standoff!
See the interloper, top right...


Closing in...


This is your opportunity to leave, while I'm not looking at you!

They went at each other and were gone, faster than my camera.


Down garden row.
Three years on it's my turn to thin out plant groups.


A cone flower.


There has been three quarters inch of rain since rain gauge installation.
A deluge is predicted for the weekend.


Raspberries by the fourth of July.
Right on schedule.


The purple flower whose name I don't remember,
except it's not lupine.


Finally, the mystery plant no one claims.
Laura tells me it's not a safflower, because she's pulled more than a few safflower sprouts.


It's flowers still point down. If it's a weed, there surely will be a lot more next year.




Monday, June 22, 2015

Ode to Jerr-Dans


If you’re an ordinary motorist who needed a flat changed or a battery jumped, the call to AAA for help probably was answered by a fellow in a specially outfitted car, or a tow truck. If you’re an exhibitor at an art show and the van lets you down coming or going,  you tell the AAA operator to send a Jerr-Dan because your vehicle weighs eight or nine thousand pounds, is extended, and is going nowhere on the end of a hook.

Over the weekend Emily helped Linda at the Worthington Art Festival, a suburb north of Columbus, Ohio. On the way to the motel after setting up Linda realized her van was not shifting properly. She left it at the motel for the weekend, and she and Emily hitched to the show with fellow exhibitors. She drove in to the show on Sunday, they packed up Sunday night, and Linda called Triple A. She asked them to be there at seven; they arrived about ten.

The driver put her van on the Jerr-Dan and drove the two of them two hundred miles back to Columbiana. He put them down at Linda’s mechanic’s garage, they hitched another ride to her house at two a.m., and all ended well with a new transmission line.

It was Emily’s first Jerr-Dan adventure, and she asked me about some of my more memorable Jerr-Dan moments. In truth, I only came home on a Jerr-Dan once, but did have a ride on a Jerr-Dan to a garage that replaced my radiator on the way to a show.

I have seen exhibitors arrive at a show on a Jerr-Dan, unload their van and send it on to a garage for repairs while they put on their show. That probably sums up the fortitude of every exhibitor I know. The show always goes on.

Ann and I had a Jerr-Dan angel pull up behind us, on Interstate 84 in the Catskills in New York State. We were leaving the New Paltz spring show some Memorial Day Monday. It was still very light out. I was passing a semi on a two lane section when there was an explosion and a tire blew at seventy miles an hour. The noise confused Ann, but I knew, and quit passing the truck and got to the berm when the truck was clear. “Blew a tire,” I told her, and got out to assess the damage.

I was on the phone with AAA shortly, and the operator told me it would be several hours; we were in a very isolated piece of upstate New York just for starters, and it was the holiday weekend. Just then a Jerr-Dan pulled in behind us. “Never mind,” I told the operator. “He’s here already.”

An elderly fellow climbed down, we unloaded the van to the extent of accessing the spare. He changed the tire, we reloaded the van and I asked him how much I owed him. “Nothing, m’am,” he assured me. He was retired and spent his spare time cruising the interstate in his Jerr-Dan, looking out for trouble to fix.

Ann came round the back with a tin of her oatmeal cookies and insisted he take a couple. He did, ate one, reached back in the can for a couple more, and then said, “Now, I’m going to follow you girls to the next exit and I want you to pull into the service station there. That spare tire is low; I’ll fill it up and check all your tires and send you along. I’ll need to charge you a couple more cookies.”


Friday, June 19, 2015

Thespian redeux

Borrowed freely from my Facebook feed,
this year's troupe of actors, assembled and actorly.


Laura's first skit was a scene from Finian's Rainbow.
She's the sharecropper there on the right, waiting for the curtain to rise.


Getting "what for" from a very small lass.


The dastardly sheriff and the corrupt senator.


Pay up the taxes or lose the land.


Not enough money!


Saved by leprechaun gold. 


And a partnership is formed.
The end.


The closing battle. Because there must be a mighty battle at the end.
The airy fairy group on the left; the sturdy peasantry center, the whiny young king and his young mother; the yeomen, and the narrator, center front.
Still looking for Laura. 


Looking for grey sneakers.


Not here.


Not here.


Not here.


Ah, ha. Last on the left.


The battle begins. She lays low one sturdy peasant and engages a yeoman.


Still battling the yeoman, heedless of another with a broad sword.
Curtains for Miss Airy Fairy.


The narrator, surveying the carnage.
Nothing to do except pick up the fallen crown and put it on his own head.


Except--the whiny child prince and his young mother only feigned death.
The End.


Taking their bows.


Same time, same place, next year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chasing my elusive chipmunk

There have been outdoor cats here since I moved in.
A neighborhood cat makes his way through on occasion,
but Purrl, our last outdoor cat, gave up the chase last year.

Our chipmunk population has boomed to three we know of.


They frequent the safflower seeds on the ground.
If two or more approach simultaneously,
they chest butt each other off in the field,
in their best Alvin and the Chipmunks routine.


They move faster than 1/60th of a second, that's for sure.
Left with a pair of house finches.


Stuffing, stuffing, stuffing its little cheeks.



Not its best angle; missing that wide-eyed innocence.


Sharing with a juvenile cardinal and a finch.


You can't see me.


You can't see me, I think.


You can't see me, can you?
Pfffttt...gone.