Monday, July 28, 2003

I hate that the days are getting shorter and shorter. We live in a higher latitude than most of the US, and our days are very long in the summer. It gets light around 345 or 400 around Summer Solstice. It doesnt get totally dark until after 1030 PM. This allows me more bird watching time. I love watching the morning come alive. I love that I can get up make my coffe and enjoy the morning before everyone is up and running. I also love going to bed while the world winds down, and watching it get ever so slightly darker as the seconds roll by. Watching the animals bed down, The Hummingbirds running in for a late evening snake before bed. The Squirrels running up for the peanut that will allow them a midnight snack. and the Swainson's Thrush with his haunting melody telling everyone go to sleep.

I do however LOVE the Fall and Winter!! I do not do HEAT at all! I wait for storms to roll in, and the wind to howl. I LOVE IT!!! Unfortunately the days are really short in the winter. Light at 800, dark at 430! I would go to work in the dark, and get off in the dark, never seeing daylight except for the weekends. Hey!!! I can see it now....I'M RETIRED! :-)...

Saturday, July 26, 2003

LIFE is getting in the way of my retirement!!!! I started to work very part time at the playhouse, just to relieve JAnis while she goes on vacation. But to get trained, It took all day every day last week. Then I had rehersals for Arsenic and Old Lace, We were blocking so it was important to be there.

I did not get to spend much time on my deck at all. Today I plan on spending some time on it!!

I looked carefully at my Zuchinni plants and I actually have a few really tiny baby ones that the damn rabbit missed on his munching way through my garden. I wish to hell I could find where he is getting in and plug it up. I thought I had all the holes under the fence pugged, but must have missed one.

I still have to finish painting my office. I have the front half finished, but never got around to the back half. The house can wait until winter though. The weather has been just too darn good to be stuck in the house remodeling. Still have not finished the transition strips on the wood floor, and still have to paint and finish the living room. Then it is into my bedroom then the bathrooms. I have come to the conclusion that remodeling is ALWAYS a work in progress. You are never done, as by the time you finish the whole place, you have changed your mind about the color, or the style, etc. Or in my case, you procrastinate so long that the first part NEEDS to be repainted. Or you run out of money. Something...

I took Miss Bea Bunny to the Vet yesterday and had her spayed. She is not a very happy house bunny right now. She justs sits there looking at me as if to say "You mean nasty Bitch! I Hate you for making me hurt like this, MY TUMMY IS NAKED AND HURTS!" I got up several times in the night, because I was so worried about her. She hadn't eaten or drank any thing, and no bunny poops either. I was so afraid she would just sit there and die. I laid on the floor in front of her cage and talked to her for almost an hour at 300 this morning. She finally munched on a few rose petals, and liked the water off my finger, so I felt confident that she would live at least until morning, so I went back to bed. This will make her a much friendlier and healthier bunny, or so I have read. She just cant get out and play with the cats until she is healed though. They were all four sitting in front of her cage staring at her this morning. THey were commisserating with her I know, telling her, "Yeah, she did that to all of us...she is a real masochist!" But Hey!!! They did it to me too!!! now all of us are un productive!! At least in a sexual way...

Friday, July 18, 2003

What a WEEK!! After being retired for 4 months, and doing nothing, I am back in the saddle again. I am training to relieve Janis once or twice a month in the box office. So I have to work for a week to get all of this training. then I should have my own life back again. We also held auditions for Arsenic and Old Lace, this week, chose the cast had the first read through, and gave a chamber of commerce skit of this seasons schedule. I work behind the scenes because I get stage fright really really bad. Well I had to get up and speak about my show GODSPELL, for 5 minutes. My heart was beating fast, I was hyperventilating, and thought I was gonna pass out. I made it though. There is a real reason I do not go on stage and perform. NOOOOOOOO!!

I sat this afternoon and watched a train of squirrels go back and forth from the feeder to their woods. I put a whole bunch of peanuts in the shell on the feeder, and they are scarfing them down like crazy, Storing them up for the winter I assume. All of the baby finches are out also, they can fly and they can feed, but as soon as an adult bird hits the feeder, they start begging and chirpping and fluttering their wings. It is so cute. They will all be gone soon.

I am really tired tonite, so I think I shall go read a book. At least start one, and I know I will fall asleep soon. G'nite!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

started training at the Playhouse today. Janis is wanting some time off at the end of the month, so I will train to take her place. Only be 1 0r 2 days a month, but that is all I want right now. I worked long and hard for 38 years, Now I want to enjoy NOT having to work for awhile. Might have to soon enough if my Medicine keeps going up in price. (Shudder) We cast the play Arsenic and Old Lace last night, and two of our recently picked cast members declined the roles we had given them. Ungrateful bores!! So we went back to the drawing board. Still have a cast. Start read throughs tomorrow, oughta be funny!

The new pilots are learning how to land on a carrier deck this week. THey wait until dark, which up this high in the latitudes is 10:00 PM and then they make their circles, round and round the area, landing briefly on the field and then take off again really fast. They call that "bouncing". It is very loud and annoying especially when you are trying to relax and get to sleep. They are needed though, and they are protecting me so I can sleep safely, so "QUIT YOUR BITCHING, MARY LOU!" The new ones are realy bad, because they keep hitting the "gas pedal"and making whomping noises over and over.

Well I made an appointment with the bunny doctor, to see Miss Bea on Friday. Then we shall see if she needs to be fixed. I think so, but the receptionist had never heard of that. Makes me wonder how many bunnies he sees. All I have read says that females NEED to be fixed or they will get ovarian cancer. I dont want that, and I really dont want more bunnies. But then I dont have but one female, so...duh...

Monday, July 14, 2003

It appears that we might be having June's weather in July! Usually June is very wet and unsettled. Thunderstorms, rain, rain and more rain. The strawberries have a tendancy to rot, the Little League Tournaments get rained out, over and over again. THis June was absolutely Gorgeous!! no rain, no thunderstorms, brown grass, and all of the tournaments went through just fine.

Here we are in Mid July, and it is cool, cloudy, dark, and about ready to get wet. Lord knows we need it. I would love to have it RAIN! Big bloppy, wet rain drops. A good soaking rain. The midwest and Southeast has been getting hit pretty hard, but we are as dry as a firecracker! The Madrona trees along Madrona Way are stressed and some are dying. They tolerate dryness pretty well, but this is far beyond a little dry. The past few years have had unusual dry patterns. I know, I know, I bitched about the gray and wet this spring, but with all the rain we had, we STILL were under our normal rainfall.

The cats are all perched on their own respective windowsills, soaking up the cool refreshing air, and wishing I was the type of MOM that would let them go outside. (too bad, too many nasty Coyotes out there that LOVE kitty for lunch!) My kitties are window kitties, and NEVER go outside. If by chance they do escape, by pushing a screen out in the middle of the night, they immediately run to my bedroom window and scream, until I wake up and let them back in. Boy do they purr then. "MOMMIE! You'll never guess what I saw out there! There are really scary things out there. Please fix my screen so I can sit in the window again." A slave to my animals. Yep, that's me. I mentioned to Chemystery that I spoiled my pets, she responded with a sarcastic, "Mom, you spoil every one around you!" harumph!! Well, that is my job!!

I still am wondering where the birds all went. I hear the doves in the trees, but dont see them en mass at the feeders. And my woodpeckers are all gone, presumably pecking at bugs in a dead tree. The Juncos are still here, but I doubt that they ever leave. I hear a Swainson's thrush in the woods. but he is so shy, I never get to see him. I do love his voice though.

I planted a mass of petunias around my vegetable garden. (or what WILL be my vegetable garden, once I get all my house projects done) and with the flowers came a bonus I never expected. BUTTERFLIES! Well, Guess I need to start cultivating butterfly flowers along with the hummingbird poseys. Although they seem to prefer the same ones. SCORE!!! :-)

First round of Auditions for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE was last night. For once, we actually had enough men try out that we should be able to select a great cast. Only one auditioned for Mortimer though, and He wasn't exactly what I had in mind. It is very hard though, because I keep seeing Cary Grant in that role,. and can't quit comparing the two. Another round tonite, and then selection, so maybe someone will show up and surprise us.

I have got to start working on GODSPELL also. Need to get the Staff congealed, and start advance planning for publicity. this is gonna be really a hard sell in this town. It is soooooo traditional, Dutch, Presbyterian, old school. A lot of the members refuse to have anything to do with this show. What a shame. It was created in the 70's by John-Michael Tebelak, after going to an Easter Service and coming away lost. He thought there had to be a better way to get the word of the Lord out. He appealed to his generation, (70's, hippies, flower children) and came away with a fabulous Show. Stephen Schwartz added some really great music, and away we go. Now there are more and more churches that realize that in order to survive, they need to change with the generations. Hopefully we will be able to appeal to those for our audience. Even if you are not a very religious person, It is a great show, and the music is addicting, I find myself singing songs from it all day long.

IT is almost 10:30 so I had better get my big behind up and busy, I now have to plan my day, as I have things to do other than being RETIRED! shoot. CHORES!!! Laundry!!! CATBOX!!!! :-(

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Way back in March when I was blogging hard and heavy with the Iraq War, I was up all night, for fear that if I slept, something bad would happen. I was reading every war blog there was, on both sides of the fence, to try and form my own opinions on what was really going on. It was really getting to me. I was stressed out anyway because I was so newly retired from such a high stress job, and did not know how to let go and relax. I was looking at all the blogs I could find, bookmarking some that deserved another look and skimming over others that weren't worth the ether they were using. One such blog I wrote about in my archives as a calm in the storm. I decided that he was refreshing, no war, no politics to speak of, and he watched birds! I started following his blog, and was quite sad that it looked like he had just given it up, presumably to finish working on his house. Well He is back, and I am glad. I think you all would enjoy Colin's blog Journal in the Heartland He walks all over Scotland, and chronicles his journeys. Very interesting.

By the time I got to Bob's to pick him up tonite, he had taken a turn for the worse, and was not up to dinner. I left him there and came on back home. Chemystery was home, which surprised me, because she said she was going East of the Mountains to spend the weekend with her husband. TUrns out he was going to have to work all weekend, and as she said, "I am not going to drive 200 miles to sit in an unairconditioned house with the weather in the triple digits, while my husband is working on the towtruck all day." Can't say as I blame her. It is much cooler on this side of the Cascades. So she is sleeping and so was I, but now I'm wide awake. I hate it when I can't sleep. GRRRRRR guess I'll go read more of Nevada Barr's new book. G'nite

Friday, July 11, 2003

I am getting right into this retirement life!!! I woke up late today, 830, and fixed my coffee. The fog had not lifted quite yet, it was starting to recede off the hill and head back to the Sound. I could hear the ships with their fog horns blaring as they attempted to make the turn from the straight into admiralty inlet and on into Puget sound. The Pt Townsend Ferry tooted as it pulled in and I swear it was right THERE!! only three miles away as the crow flies, but if the tide was only a few hundred feet higher, it would have been in my driveway. I love listening to the deep whhoooots of the ships. it is so Peaceful. Yep. it really is.

The EA6-B's were in a different bouncing pattern this afternoon. They were taking off over the house for a change, usually they are landing over the house. Anyway, they did a hard left turn right over the house, I almost recognize the pilots. God they are getting younger and younger. I remember when I first started working on base, the Lt. and LtCdr's were older men, and I flirted with the single ones, Now I think I Burped the Captains and Admirals!!

Halleluia!! I think Robert is going to actually buy a new truck! His is only 20 years old and has 350,000 miles on it. and no paint. He came in with the primary paperwork. I talked him through getting a loan on line, and he should know the answer tomorrow. His application got kicked back because in the spot where you put how much you pay a month, he puts zero for his house payment, and for his mortgage balance he puts zero, and for all other loans he puts zero. So they think he is trying to hide something. Nope, just always paid cash for everything. Owns his home outright. strange dude. It is totally unamerican to be debt free. I at least have a mortgage.

Still no birds today. I hope it isnt because the dogs are scaring them away, I try to keep them away from the feeders. It just might be the heat. For July it is very hot and dry. Really unusual for us. No rain in almost a month. If it wasn't for the fog, we would have no precipitation.

GOtta run. Told Bob I would pick him up for dinner in 45 min. That was 30 minutes ago...oops.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Good grief Has it been THAT long since I blogged? Must be getting busy huh? I still have not finished painting the office. I still have not finished laying the bricks in the garden, I still have not finished weeding out the front beds. WHat the heck HAVE I done? Cleaned the kitchen, did the washing, CLEANED MY BEDROOM AND BATHROOM. No minor fete there, but it is done now.

I finally finished stuffing and colating 650 envelopes full of advertising and donation literature for the Playhouse. It is time to get the programs full for the next season. I volunteered. It's done. I tried licking the envelopes...NAH!! NY TON TUCK TO DA RUF OF MY MOUD> So I just decided that there had to be a better way. Went to Office Max and asked the girl if she had any envelope lickers...she stuck her tongue out at me!! Actually she had a very rudimentary tube with a sorry ass excuse for a sponge on the end of it. I bought it, but it was use-less. The playhouse has a really neat one, so yesterday I sat in the lobby for 2 hours "licking" envelopes. Now the fund drive is on it's way.

I am Asst, Directing ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, then Asst, directing OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, then I am Executive producing a one act play for a british gentleman. THE DOCK BRIEF. THEN I am Directing GODSPELL> NAh I'm not too busy... SHEESH

I actually cleaned Bea Bunny's cage out today. SHe is getting really bitchy. She wants to rearrange her cage, knock the litter into her food dish, move the hay around. I think I need to get her Fixed. They say she will be a much calmer house bunny once she is. Better call the bunny doc tomorrow and make an appointment for her.

"Lola" is getting braver and braver around me. She doesnt run off the feeder when she sees me any more. Just doesnt want me getting too close. The Hummingbirds must be starting their migration back to Costa Rica, as they have not been draining the feeders at all lately, I went from filling 6 feeders twice a day to only filling 2 feeders once a week. I have been told that once their broods have fledged they head east of the Cascade range and fly south following the flowering plants. I am going to keep the feeders up for awhile though, some of them are trying to stay all year. My first hummer this year was February 27,

The Black Headed grosbeaks are getting sparser also. With all of the caterpillars out now, most of the birds are feeding on them. The doves and the sparrows and the finches are still here, the chickadees and the woodpeckers are gone for awhile. I miss them.. They will be back this winter. They like my peanut chip suet blocks!!

One of my favorite blogs is back up and writting again. Journal in the heartland. Colin in Scotland. He is a nature lover also, and he and his wife are remodeling their house. I like it.

Pureland Mountain is also back up again. I guess Blogger and him had some major malfunctions. Glad to see they are al worked out. WIll have to read and catch up on all he has done tomorrow with my coffee. Right now it's bedtime...But the Jets from the base are flying low, and bouncing again. Must have a bunch of new pilots trying to get their carrier landing qualifications in on the outlying field. Swell. Makes for great sleeping...NOT

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

I slept in today!!! wowser! Didn't get up until 9:00, but then I made my coffee and took it out to the deck and soaked up the rays until it got too hot, then rolled out the umbrella, and read the great book on grilling. As soon as the coffee was finished, and the great horned owl on the wall, hooted three times, I went in and got the strawberries out of the refer and started in again. Didn't get very far though because I was out of jelly jars. GRRRRRRR so get dressed, load the dogs into the car, and headed for Freeland. Ace only had 1 box of three different kinds, so I bought them and headed home. I really need to stock up on wide mouth 1/2 pint jars and pint jars. Gpt three batches of jam cooked and canned and now I'm out of sugar!! Can't win. Guess I will just freeze the rest whole and save them for mid winter strawberry shortcake. YUMMY.

I stirred the jam with the WOODEN SPOON again. It is really worn down on one side, from the years of being stirred with by right handed people. You look at something like that and really SEE it and then you think about the hands that are no longer here, that used to hold it. I KNOW it was used by my mother, and it MAY have even been used by my GRANDMOTHER. Now it is used by me, and if it lasts long enough, maybe by my daughter, where it might get worn out on the other side...she is left-handed.

Bob brought over 3 dozen oysters for July 4th's dinner. Yum.

Oops gotta go get the jam out....

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I am in the process of processing 25 lbs of fresh juicy sweet strawberries. I was kinda hoping Chemystery would come home and help me but she had other plans. (bed) My back is aching from standing, but the work will be worth it. I absolutely LOVE strawberries. These are right from the field today. I am freezing the good ones and making freezer jam out of the rest of them. So far I have 3 quarts of frozen berries and 9 pints of jam. Still have one more flat to go.

I splurged on a really neat umbrella for the deck. It is a very mechanical one, that bolts right to the deck, collapses down and ties in so the wind wont get it. And it hangs freely with the umbrella part, and covers almost 1/2 the deck. I was so thrilled when I saw it, and just knew that Bob would like it too. He came in and saw it and had a fit! He LOVED IT. The first thing that I have bought that he didnt bad mouth. He is a tinkerer, and wants to improve on EVERYTHING. This is the first thing that he liked just as it was. I was thrilled, really thrilled. The whole family came over and just at 2:00 THE RAIN CAME!! I opened the umbrella, and it covered everybody and the table too. It is going to be really great.

We still need to put the hand rails on the deck, but since it is only 2 1/2 feet off the ground, there isn't much rush. I enjoy sitting out there and soaking up the sun, and watching the wildlife. I even took my play out there to block act one. I had 6 easter egg candles standidng in as the cast, and I had sticky notes for the furniture, and I discovered that we need to talk about the set. I am not at all sure it will work as proposed. Too much running back and forth.

As I was making the jam tonight, I grabbed an old wooden spoon that must have been in Dad's gear. I was using it to stir the sure-jell, and an old memory popped into my head.

I was about 6 or 7 and we were in a very old kitchen. Mom was making fudge. Now back then we didn't have marshmallow cream, so Mom had to make it with sugar and hersheys cocoa. I remember her stirring and stirring the fudge with that wooden spoon. I was sitting on a kitchen stool, and watching carefully. I got to stir it in the beginning, before it got too hot and dangerous. I remember the feel of the spoon on the bottom of her wear-ever aluminum pot, and tonight that feeling came right up through the handle and into my hand. I remember her beating ang beating the fudge until it was glossy, and then pouring it into the pan to cool. I know that she always was upset because the fudge was always grainy, and crumbly, exactly the way my Dad and I loved it. I could never understand why she was so upset with it, we liked it and n't we the ones she made it for in the first place? I always got to lick the pan and scrap all of the fudge off of the sides. Wow, haven't made fudge like that in years. Probably turn out smooth and silky, just like she always wanted it to...