Archive for October, 2009


Brrrrr. That was the temperature in the North Carolina mountains last weekend. We had been checking the weather forecast every day before we left so we were prepared. Kinda. We brought all the requisite cold weather gear. Bruce even insisted I go buy some rainboots — thankfully, I did. They weren’t just for keeping out the rain, I discovered, but they also kept my feet warm too. It’s miserable to sit around with cold feet. And — at a music festival, there is obviously lots of sitting around time. We had better tent neighbors than last spring. These people knew to go to sleep at night. Last spring they wanted to talk all night and fight at 3 AM. (Too much brew, perhaps?) Anyway, we’re always amazed that the tent actually does hold in some warmth. Which you don’t know until you compare it to the outside temp. One night, I had to take my reading light and book inside my sleeping bag to snuggle down and read. A bit like being under the covers and reading after “lights out”when I was a kid. It was easy to pack up when we left the music festival campsite. We were wearing most of our clothes.

The last night in the mountains we did have the presence of mind to stay in our favorite lodge, down the road from my brother, rather than try to camp. By then we were ready for a warm bathroom and a steaming shower and a friendly restaurant across the road. We got to visit my niece, Michele, who has moved near her dad and step-mom, with her two little ones. Hugh’s house was jumping with all sorts of critters — both two and four legged on a cold, blustery night. It was a great visit. I’m glad we’ll get to see more of family in the future.

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Rainy Mondays

I used to hate rainy Monday mornings. I was trying to get geared up for a new school week and the buses were always late and the kids hyper because three drops of rain hit them at the edge of the sheltered walkway, but, of course, their feet were wet because they wore sandals, hence there were puddles on the floor of my classroom. Ir was just a messy miserable day.

Not any more. Annie and I got hack from the vet before the heavy rain hit. My plants are on the deck getting rinsed off and watered. Annie is in her crate with her head on her toy rabbit/pillow, sleeping off her shots and I’m blogging from the comfort of the daybed on the screened porch. Ginger is keeping a spot on the sofa nice and warm and Bruce is back in the study being productive.

I vowed when I retired that rain and Mondays deserved chocolate bonbons and a tall cup of coffee and a stint on the porch. I’m honoring my promise to myself. Publix moved their Brach’s candy display from a side aisle right next to the milk and eggs, so Kathy is sure not to forget an occasional bag. The Pumpkin Spice coffee is perking and the porch is cozy as the rain pelts the aluminum roof.

I grew up with a mother who loved porches. Almost all the houses she lived in had one and they had chairs out there that were well used. When we bought this house with a deck around almost two sides of the house, the real estate agent explained how functional they were. However, one side got too much sun and, therefore, was way too hot during the day. The first Christmas after Dale’s death I treated myself to a porch — turned that hot deck area into a screened porch with ceiling fans and electrical outlets and a shelf down one long side for plants and things. It now has a daybed, two end tables, three rocking chairs and a table for meals. We use it almost all year round. Money very well spent. I’m only sorry mother never got to enjoy it. On the other hand, I’d have to share the daybed. . . .

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Annie and Other Things

This morning we played a rousing game of “fetch the water bottle that makes the crinkly sound and will pop out of my mouth if I squeeze too hard.” The toy is certainly the right price. We’re still waiting for her bladder, shall we say, to mature. She’s fine in her crate at night, but the living room seems to be fair game. Annie thinks it’s just indoor grass. She is now double the size she was when Bruce first found her. Soon she will be too big to perch on my lap. She is almost as tall as Ginger, which isn’t saying much. When they were younger the boys would brag when suddenly they were eye to eye with me. My response was “Honey, there are pygmies as tall as your mother.”

I love fall. The cooler nights, yet warm days. Someone could probably predict the time of year by just taking notice of my purchases at the grocery store. Chai, flavored coffee, apple strudel, sweet potatoes. I even eye-balled the pumpkins. I don’t carve them anymore. I have a ceramic one that is cuter and doesn’t rot on the front step. However, if the price is right, I might spring for one. I might even spring for a pot of mums. I actually have a pot that I’ve gotten to re-bloom from last year. “They” say they won’t do that, but I’ve found “they” don’t aways know of what they speak.

We’re off to LEAF again next week. Time to restock our camping boxes and gather up all our supplies. Bruce is busily airing out the tent and I’m airing out the sleeping bags and pillows since we’ve not used them since May. The weather prediction for Black Mountain, NC is for showers while we’re there — and not the hot ones in the bathhouse. Oh well, that’s why we own rain jackets.

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