Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jan and I were real city girls when we moved here.  An occasional raccoon in the trash was our total experience.  Here we had skunks in the front yard, fox (who moved into the front yard in broad daylight with their cubs the year the 17 year cicadas came popping out of the ground), hawks, coyotes, and our neighbor reporting Sasquatch in his woods across the street from us.  They have nothing on turkeys.

We would see the flock of turkeys down by the fire station, five miles north, then in the park five miles east, then somewhere else, until one day they were in our front yard.  We were invaded by wild turkeys.  We became turkey experts and learned they roost at dusk in the highest available spot.  We live on top of the hill.  They went even higher.  Our roof.  The turkey patriarch settled down each night on the studio chimney.

They got up at dawn, about the time the dogs went out and started their morning walk up the street.  Turkeys stand up, stretch, spread their wings and lift off.  Some lazy turkeys used the slope of the roof to gain lift momentum, sliding down as they lifted up.  We lost both front awnings to turkeys who misjudged the angle of the slope, went over the edge and through an awning.  Now we have metal awnings on the front, replacing the destroyed canvass awnings.

The turkeys went air born not to leave, but merely to get from the roof to the ground.  Once on the ground they walked up the street with Jan and the dogs.  Each morning she had a squawking, crowd behind her, beside her, in front of her, wings outspread, half running to keep up.  At the head of the street they would spread out in the field and not be heard from again until dusk.

Linda saw the turkeys at our house and said she needed a new turkey feather to put in her Shaker Woods hat.  “Not to worry,” said Tom, the hunter.  He was on medical leave at the time, foot in a cast from chasing a foolish dog into the neighbor’s horse corral and breaking something.  She and Tom were on the front porch. A turkey walked up the ramp, Tom leaned over and grabbed a handful of turkey tail feathers.  The turkey kept on walking, Tom kept on holding on.  The turkey dragged him across the porch, Linda holding him back for dear life as the turkey proceeded down the steps.  Tom balanced precariously on the edge. Linda holding him from going over the edge in his cast, yelling “Let Go Tom,” and the turkey kept on walking.  Tom let go.  Turkey lost no feathers.

Jan searched the internet for a solution and read that turkeys look for a place to roost at dusk.  Ah Ha.  If turkeys are not here at dusk, turkeys will not roost on our roof.   She rounded up half a dozen brooms and passed them out when the turkeys walked down the street as evening fell.  Even a broom to Tom, his leg in a cast.  The orders to her troops—no turkeys in the yard.  Turn them back.  Line forms at the street.  Don’t let them on the property.  Slow, steady, wait for the whites of their eyes.  Now men, present brooms, drive them back.  Up the street.  Up the street.  Up the street.  Don’t stop until it’s dusk!  In less than a week she had them roosting in our neighbor’s trees, where they could spy on Sasquatch.

Eventually the herd of turkeys moved on, we replaced the awnings and thought no more.  Until we had the roof replaced.  “Lady, do you know how much shit is on your roof?” 

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I wrote this originally around 2010. Remember Pearl, who lived in Minneapolis and rode the bus to work. The line is a link to her blog. A scroll through her comments is fun; how many people do you recall?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Holiday's over; back to work

Actually, that title is a joke. I wonder what most of the people here do all day. I wouldn't know what to do without work!

Someone sent me this cartoon; I wish I could remember and say thanks. Back in the day a Statie stopped me for "weaving". It was on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, between the last PA exit and the Ohio border. There is a series of low rolling hills in the median and a police car, or worse yet, a State Highway Patrol would use it for radar cover.

This incident was in my early days of exhibiting, and I drove a white panel van. I've come to learn this type of van was popular with drug transporters. Mine was full of totes with lids, holding all the weaving, plus 2x2 racks for display and more totes with "stuff" for the booth.

Nipping along at the speed limit, suddenly a flash of light blinded me. This man knew how to deflect it from the mirror into my eyes, from the windshield into my eyes. It was the most intense light I've ever encountered. Fortunately I had the road to myself at two or three in the morning, and when I could focus, I steered off the road.

The State Highway Patrol sauntered up and asked if I knew I was weaving. I answered that at the moment I was not. I asked to see his badge and ID, which he showed me through the window.  I displayed everything he requested the same way. He copied my info into a notebook and went back to his car to check it. 

When he returned he invited me to step out and come look at my plate with an expired sticker. He pushed the dumbest button. It was Memorial Day weekend. The plate expired on June 1st. The last thing I did the previous week was put on the new sticker and head for New York state. I held up the current registration, to which that little sticker is affixed, until removed and stuck on the plate.

There was more chat, in which I was invited several times to step out. Eventually he said I was getting a "warning for weaving". I would not lower the window for him, but did tell him to mail it. I encountered the officer one more time, but that's another whole story.

This was the mid nineties. I had a cell phone; one of the first on the road. When he came up I held it up for him to see and pointed to the screen, to which I had keyed 911. I said if I anticipated trouble, I would press send. He said, "Ma'am, I am 911" and I replied "There are bigger 911's than you!"

I've devoted so many paragraphs to this, here's one more. He shined that effing light into every window, looking at the sealed totes. "What's in the totes, Ma'am" 

"My stuff." My stuff took up an hour of his time not gaining access. The next time I was stopped, several years later, I cheerfully pulled lids and explained what they were looking at. That was the first weekend after 9/11 and every van (and auto) going to an art show in America was searched. 

My neighbors at one show made fountains. They took the precaution of switching out the red gasoline containers in which they carried the water to be pumped for bonafide blue water containers. They did have to empty them and find water inside the venue.

There's an old adventure for you!

I finished my red towels yesterday, and have the blue cobalt bobbins wound and ready to weave. There should be one more run of towels and then I'll have to warp again. Here's my shelf of towels. You can see them even better at

And, finally, my curtains came.

I like these. Dale is coming to put up the rods and help with a couple other tasks. I met Dale at Shelly's little celebration for earning her Master of Science, Nursing.(l).

All that's left to get is the cat. I met another resident who has an old cat, for the "good company." Her cat is a middle teen.


Monday, November 21, 2022

The quarter repository

Last week the left over quarters fit in the other quarter bottle, or else I just left them on the sewing table. Today I stood patiently in line, looking at rejected cards as other players passed them to me, and handing out cards if anyone wanted a specific one. I see many people have "lucky" cards, and also see they don't consistently play the same "lucky" card. The card I've played every time is No. 24. That's the little control number in the bottom right. I also sit at the head table with my back to the rest of the room. That way I don't get involved in any silly horsing around.

The table was off to a bad start. There were quiet little bingos around the room, but nothing for the four of us. Then Rose had a bingo, and Mary Lou had two. Nothing for Joan or Joanne, and we were down to the jackpot. We each paid in our dollar. Then I said to the caller, "Listen, Joan and I don't want to split this pot. Just one winner, OK." The room cracked up; Joan agreed, and we started on the last game, cover the board.

I try not to look at other cards in play. Bad form. Though if you all start with 25 chips, and other players are down to the chip in their hand, it's for sure you're all waiting for one number. Joan and I each had one chip. The caller called my number and I said "Bingo!" I took a lot of good natured ribbing as I put the pot straight into the cloth carrier on the walker and left to wash my hands of dirty quarters. Another good day.

I sat at a new table for dinner, Rosie's table. Some time ago Rose asked if I still was interested in moving when one of their table went home. That turned out to be today, so off I went to a new group of women.

Toward the end of dinner, the phone rang. I ignored it. A few minutes later it rang again. It was Laura, telling me there was a piece of mail for me and she and Kay would like to deliver it and visit a bit. I explained the building is locked at five and it was later than that, I knew. Laura said Yes, it was later, and they were out front and couldn't get in. I told her to hold tight, I'd send someone and be out. I sent a kitchen helper and followed in her wake.

When I arrived in the lobby, Robin from the kitchen was gone and Kay and Laura were sitting in the lobby. I told them I was pleased with my move. They asked about recreation and I said I was more involved with weaving, but was having a good time at Bingo. Bingo! 

I scooped a handful from the cloth basket and poured them into Laura's hands. Out came a second handful. I had Laura pour them in her hoodie pocket and fished out the rest, plus the glass bottle. I emptied the loose coins and half the bottle into her hands. When she stood up, her stomach sagged. 

She filled me in on her plans for her junior year, next year. Very interesting. I'll fill you in soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

I have no excuse, really, but here's why I haven't checked in much lately

I fell one of the first nights here and spent several hours in the emergency room. It cost me a new pair of glasses, and I hate them. They are not adjusted snugly enough to stay on my face or straight enough to keep my vision clear. I need to get back to the optometrist shop to have them adjusted again. Actually, this would be a good week to go; not much on the calendar except Thanksgiving. I guess I'll make every effort to do that.

There have been no interesting pictures of the side yard this week. It has either rained or snowed most of the week and the side yard has looked pretty shabby. Men have been down there, looking around in the rain and working the one day there was no precipitation and the mud was more stable. A great long trench has been dug way to the front of the area. I'm waiting to see if they lay more drainage pipes or more footers.

I am gaining a reputation at bingo, and it's not good, I fear. We play three times a week, twice for quarters and once for weekend script to the bistro. I've collected close to ten paper dollars to spend on pizza. The quarter game may be the death of me.

We play several games for a quarter a game per player, winner takes the pot. The last game is "cover the card" and costs five dollars to play. I have won at least one bingo game every week and I've won two "cover the card" games in the four weeks I've played. I've lived here eight weeks, but was flat on my back sick for three weeks and busy straightening up the first week.

There was plenty of chatter when I won the second big pot. Eventually I remarked I needed it to refill my quarter jar, a little jar that filled to the top holds about twenty dollars in quarters. That isn't what they wanted to hear. All over the room people raised little containers, shaking the quarters. "I had ten little medicine bottles of quarters when I moved here, five years ago, and now I have one!"

I promised to sing the same sad song when I began losing!

Friday, November 11, 2022

A really sad development

Thursday was a lovely day. I had to go out for that horrid pulmonary function test. I seem to have done well enough, though there were no "standards" indicated. We'll see. 

Shortly after I was back, a light rain began to fall. The day before there was a little rain. The scaffolding went up another layer to probably about eight feet, and blocks were raised to the new platform, but there seemed to be dissension on the site. 

The rain continued and the crew did not want to work. Supervisors eventually appeared and walked the new platform and indicated work was to continue.

The workers were grudgingly unloading the blocks on the platform at eight feet and someone started the concrete mixer, but the workers at eight feet raised some kind of protest at the load of blocks to be unloaded on the fourth side of the platform and the loader took them back to the pile of blocks.

The crew left; the only work accomplished the entire day was the laying of what I took to be the gas line. That didn't begin until well after noon, although that contractor was there at 7 a.m. in the morning, and waited more than an hour for any crew to appear.

Bringing us to this morning. Joanne, who must know everything, was at the window in her nightgown. The scene stunned me. Take a peek:

I've finally decided this structure is an elevator shaft and they really are building more two story units. Blocks are missing. Much of some walls are missing. There is no question it has rained all night. I know nothing about the structural integrity of wet concrete, but I bet all those kids in the crew did, and were arguing strongly for the current lack of structural integrity.

Here are flags for gas (yellow) and the orange flags are water, I think. That pipe in the center left is old and not structurally sound.

Another picture of general wetness. Whoever buttoned up the site last did a questionable job. The concrete isn't covered; neither is the pile of sand. 

Around noon today, still in the drizzling rain, one of the contractor vans appeared and a white haired man with an expensive short beard and moustache eventually got out into the rain, took that shovel jammed into the sand pile and began trenching out to the service road on the right hand side of the picture. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Curiouser and curiouser

When I woke, hours ago (it's four in the afternoon and soon I must go to supper), from my bed I could see a framework going up around one of the foundations. It was some time before I retrieved my glasses and took a real look. It probably was close to ten. Here's what I saw:

I cannot imagine, but I'll keep my eye on it. Don't want anything going wrong out there.

My day was the usual busy. I ate breakfast, did a load of laundry, wove a couple more bobbins, put the laundry in to dry, ate lunch, retrieved the laundry and folded it. Stacked it neatly in the rolling crate and then laid down to take a nap.

Naps are self regulating. If there is nothing important going on downstairs, I don't bother to wake up until I do. Today was scrabble, and I've joined in from time to time, but my scrabble abilities need a lot of re-honing. So I didn't make any effort to wake up and just did.

I put away the laundry, and then spent an age trying to edit this photo, which included altogether too much windows. Speaking of windows, the curtains are on order and the hardware is in. I'm putting off talking to John about installing the hardware. No sense in stirring sleeping dogs until the curtains are delivered.

He seems to be unhappy with me. My last request was installation of new towel racks I bought. This involved a lot of "be right back(!)" and huffy exiting for more equipment. When he finally left I went in the bathroom to look and saw I must rehang towels.

When I pulled the second towel over its bar, the top of the rack slid out of the wall, pulling out the screwed in plugs. I stopped at once and gave myself the rest of the day to think about it. Eventually I rounded up my lovely Gorilla Glue and trusty hammer and deposited them in the bathroom to await the proper moment.

The next morning I applied dabs of glue to the two recalcitrant plugs, and gave each a mighty thump back into the wall. One morning later I gave the rack a substantial pull and feeling only resistance, I rehung the towels and took a shower.

That was a week or more ago. I would like to give John plenty of time to forget about the job before he sets out on curtain rods I may need to figure out how to repair.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Almost back on my feet

It's nice to sit here and type, not attacked by a fit of coughing! Enough of that; no more sick talking. I still can doze off for half an hour. My life has been fairly circumscribed, this quarantining business. But, no one can be bothered by the coughing or suffer from contagion.

I have accomplished very little. The orange towels are off and mostly hemmed. I have a lovely red up to weave next. Other than that, I've spent my time deleting political emails, unread, and sleeping.

Curtains were the furthest thing from my mind last August, when I moved in, but are growing more and more dear to my mind every day. About five o'clock the cold air begins to roll off those three lovely windows. When the weather gets colder, there will be cold air twenty four hours a day.

I'm looking out at a lovely winter sunset now, but I'll be happy to be drawing my curtains over it. I'm enjoying the building down below, too. Eventually all the work being done looked too scanty for buildings, so I asked what's going on. Apparently they are building a game court. That will be interesting watching, too.

I've been some time finding this little to talk about, so I'll leave you with the sunset and see you next time.