Colors of the Wind

Douglas Adams comments, through Ford Prefect, on the absurdity of humans’ penchant for daily discussing the weather. I don’t find it that strange–we’ve no fur and our surface to area volume ratio is pretty large, so our lives are constantly affected by the elements, no matter how much we shut ourselves inside all day.

The incessant daily discussion I’d like to opt out of is comments on the colors of my clothes.

(1) There are only 6 basic colors (indigo was selected to force categorization). And if you work at the same location I do, I see you 5 days a week. Chances are high we’re going to sometimes wear the same color on any given day.

(2) If I wear yellow in winter, it is unremarkable. If I wear yellow in spring: “My, don’t you look just like Spring!” Same for if I happen to wear all grey or black and the day is cloudy: “Goodness, we’re affected by the weather today, aren’t we?”

(3) Side bar on clothing types: It has been a standard female uniform for several years now to wear the following, only one or in combination: boots, a scarf, and a swingy cardigan. Wearing any of these, or any combination, of these, on the same day as anyone else is not remarkable. It’s called being female and being alive right now. Sorry I don’t live next to neat second-hand stores anymore so I can’t always pick out unique ensembles. Some days, I don’t want to have to think about what any of my clothes mean.

FYI here is a joke I never got to make: We didn’t take a family picture this year because this didn’t arrive in time:

starter pack

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Racemes, spikes, spikelets, spadixes

It makes a nice chant.

What am I more excited for, delphiniums or dianthus? Oh, who am I kidding, it’s delphiniums!


I long for foxgloves, but I won’t ever get them because of digitalis (and Agatha Christie). I also long for hibiscus (never broke ground last year), hollyhocks (next year!), lupines (tried in the back, too disappointed to try again soon), and poppies (I think I’m getting some again). Oh, and gladiolas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to know if you live in the woods

Your husband says, “You know what I saw that is the first sign of spring?” and your first two guesses are “bat” and “woodchuck” and the answer is “wolf spider” (in the garage, phew!).

close up ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Zen in the art of pruning fruit trees

The author of The Holistic Orchard talks about pruning trees as if it is a Zen activity. He says that some people just “get” it the first time they approach a tree with the shears.

The old plan...this area is tough on sweet cherries and apples (deer, cedar apple rust, frost)

The old plan…this area is tough on sweet cherries and apples (deer, cedar apple rust, frost)

I was delighted to discover that I am one of those people. I perched on the edge of the tree’s raised bed, looked down through the branches, and simply knew where the sunlight needed to go and which branches were in the way. I guess you could call it my first Zen experience, and I wasn’t even trying, but that’s sort of the point of Zen. Cut them at the collar, no branch should shade another, no water spouts, no suckers, nothing dead or broken. A direct appeal to my need to keep everything free of clutter, to have nothing unnamed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Muse

The muse–she is back.

I would shout it from the rooftops, but they’re rather chilly at the moment.

She’s back! She lives! I can finally BE again, after two years. This is now the third time she’s left, only to return in even more bountiful gifts. Where can we go now? I can’t wait to find out.

From–a neat site purveying works by Elizabeth E. Schuch.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

But…I *like* face moisturizers

For whatever reason, this is one Gilmore Girls scene that I’ve always remembered with perfect clarity:

Face creams, I like face creams. Can I say that, or is it some crude slang now? I call them creams. It makes me feel very Jean Harlow, and where is my turban and my floor-length tailored evening gown? I didn’t used to like them–in fact, I never even so much as washed my face (I was lucky and rather misguided; I thought it was so unnatural to put anything on your face, even soap).

You can put all your creams in the bin, though, even the wonderfully-scented and whipped Eclos made from apple stem cells, because facial oil will give you all the moisture and glow you’ve ever wanted (if you have the same skin type as I do). L’Oreal Age Perfect face oil smells fabulous.

I met a lovely mother in Nablus; she had a smooth, hardly-wrinkled face. She made us pat it. She put olive oil on it every day (her own oil made from her own olives–she gave us a bottle to take back with us). What a lovely lady, and what beautiful skin!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The One Kidney Club

Just replace stones with cysts. From the wonderfully cute comic The Awkward Yeti--check him out!

Just replace stones with cysts. From the wonderfully cute comic The Awkward Yeti–check him out!

At the end of January, I had X-rays taken of my thoracic region to determine if my chronic neck pain had a skeletal cause. The radiologist pointed out three peripheral calcifications in my left kidney area, so I then had a CT scan to learn more. More, it turns out, is 2 large cysts and a very small (or even never fully-formed?) atrophic left kidney (the other spot is a tiny cyst in the liver). The best news out of this was a perfectly normal right kidney (so no polycystic kidney disease–don’t even think about it) and “no solid masses.” However, I had a lot of insomnia until my appointment yesterday with the nephrologist, who jovially shooed us out of his office after a few minutes, saying this is most likely something I had since birth and benign.

I still have to see a urologist (fun fact: a nephrologist only works on kidney functions, and a urologist is a surgeon, even though it sounds like a nephrologist is all about kidneys and a urologist is about bladders & etc), who will probably want to remove it. I am okay with this, as cysts can turn evil, so why leave it inside to make bad choices with its life? My husband and I can have matching his and hers single kidneys.

Upon learning of my issue, my mom told me (for the first time) that when she was little, she had to have dialysis because her kidney was “hanging loose”; eventually, the doctors “tied the kidney to her ribs” and then she was fine. When I told this to the nephrologist, he had a lot of fish hooks and twine jokes, so maybe this wasn’t what happened? It was 60 years ago.

Another fun fact: the nephrologist got his medical license the year my husband was born.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment