Thursday, May 29, 2008

Talk Thursday: A Day In The Life Of Arlo the Tank

A day, why minimize, let me tell you a story. The most frightening moment of my life came at about 1am February 10th, 2004. Terrifying moments filled with loud crying – me, loud baying – my mom, and mass confusion – my jet lagged breeders, who’d just returned from a trip to Germany. It began as a routine event, the first puppy – me, moved into position in the birth canal and then nothing. The first puppy – me, was stuck as stuck could be and that is about the time the baying began.

Later retellings let me know the vet, thirty five miles away in Wilsonville, had been called and was speeding his way north to aid the chain of events. But at the time I didn’t know or even know what that all meant, I just knew I was stuck between the proverbial pelvic bone and a hard spot. The vet, a kindly soul with manly hands, arrived in time to pull, I mean tug me out, and the other seven puppies followed in a somewhat chaotic and rapid fashion. I, on the other hand, was forgotten in the rush of chaos and….ugh, goo.

Forgotten that is until the recounting left everyone positive one pup was missing – me. At about the same time the vet and jetlagged breeders noted the highly agitated yelping coming from somewhere from the bowels of the couch. Apparently I’d found a nice, quiet place that offered up a safe, dark cushy haven in the storming rage of the night. Yes, folks I’d crawled under the near by sofa and up into its underbelly. The only thing missing was mom and that promising teat.

I spent months being teased for having big feet, big ears, and big feet. Did I mention I have big feet? They call me Arlo the Tank. I’ve no idea why, it’s just words. Now, excuse me there are some flowers that need grazed.

Arlo (as in Guthrie) the Tank (as in incidental)

Monday, May 26, 2008

'tunias and Hummingbirds

I know, colour me boring, another middle aged woman who loves gardening. So predictable.

I set a pretty aggressive goal for myself this weekend, plant fifty plus dollars of annuals and perennials on a weekend that was already full. Voila! Goal accomplished. The Tulips have been dead-headed, and the first wave of ‘tunias planted in their place. My plan this year is to plant new ‘tunias every two weeks, so I am planting spars so I have room to fill in.

I also bought more Lupin, more snapdragons, some sweet alyssum, and some French Marigold. I love gardening, even though it starts out with three weekends of weeding in one garden. That’s a lot of aggression worked out.

Every third weekend we have Burp for the whole weekend, therefore our middle daughter comes on Sunday afternoon to pick him up. This week Psam brought her new boy friend, a very likeable guy, home to meet us. He had no qualms about meeting Ducky, but I guess he was pretty scared of me, so I feed him lots of pop, charmed him, and then became very weird looking when I thought I saw a wasp nest…. Or something… in my butterfly bush. I guess I became very animated when I realized… Oh Mi Gawd there is a hummingbird nest in my butterfly bush.

And sometimes when you are watching it, a portion of it will begin to quiver. So incredibly kewl. Psam noticed this at first when she saw it moving just below the neck. By the time I got there it was beating in the middle, this afternoon towards the bottom. I am enthralled. Of course from a safe distance for the nest.

And just for Tewkes, a peek at my shampooed baskets.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Tulips say, Adieu.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love gardening…hate the little snakies that come with it, but love gardening.

The tulips are fading, the chain tree is leafing out and the chains are beginning to get some color. I need more lupin and snapdragons. I still have some more gay feathers to plant. And I am in search for one specific type of lavender that I have no clue what it is. And my fern around my new garden bench died, they must be replaced.

I was going to go to the nursery today and buy some petunias to replace the tulips. Tomorrow will be soon enough. Ducky likes his lily garden so well that he wants to cut a matching tulip/petunia bed on the other side of the walk (really he wants a second lily garden.) Which makes me think,
hmmmmm, maybe I’ll put another chain tree in.

I had jokingly said, “We could put in a Spanish plaza and a splashy water fountain.” Really I was being facetious. Now he is thinking a second lily garden. Well at least that chain tree won’t be alone.

Personally, I am thinking he could finish his little fence and weed eat the forest.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Talk Thrusday: Behind These Eyes

Sid thank you for a topic that really challenged me. I thought it would be easy, after three false starts I realized the error of my thinking.

Behind These Eyes

Curiosity seeks from behind these eyes
watching, peeking,
searching, seeking,
never resting,
never bored
always looking
for something more

Intelligence lurks behind these eyes
looking, reading
reaching, needing
ever soaking
ever learning
answers rife
to questions burning.

Lust smolders behind these eyes
gorging on your
hips and thighs
desiring thrust
desiring lips
oh run rampant
my fingers tips.

Wisdom grows behind these eyes
seeing, gleaning
gathering, weighing,
sagely quiet
sagely calm
learning what
to say not wrong.

Tired I am behind these eyes
working, tending,
healing, mending,
souls need
souls freed
in loving peace
I do believe.

Fulfilled I am behind these eyes
giving, laughing,
loving, breathing
sharing steps
sharing strife
memories made
on the road of life.

© 22 May 2008 Calista Cates

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Ass In Elephant’s Clothing

It’s Primary day in Oregon, a totally vote by mail state, I’ve held on to my ballot now for two weeks. Why? Because, I am the procrastinator from hell. But voting is far too important to put off, my voice in an election, until never.

What has bugged me for decades is an election or party races being called by political pundits and the media weeks, even months, before everyone has cast their ballot. Drives me crazy. Why? Because, in essence it says my puny little vote in Oregon is redundant, worthless, a waste of my effort. This constant yammering about who is ALREADY the party candidate under cuts all my efforts to keep my husband voting.

Or actually from signing his voting envelop, because truth be told, I fill out his ballot and he just signs it. Oh, it’s not that I cast my wishes for him, I just listen to what he wants, and then force him to sign.

This year is a monumental election year, not only are the Democratic candidates the focal point for their politics, but one, if you hadn’t noticed, is a serious female contender, and the other a serious black contender. I fight labels and I hope that some day female and black won’t even be mentioned to delineate candidates, but this year it is hallmark.

My daughter called me in an emotional state this morning. I was thinking it was because she was still recovering from having her gallbladder removed, but no it was because she’d just cast her ballot in a monumental vote. Thinking back on her fourteen years of voting she said she’d never been as excited by the possibilities, before our nation, as she is today. That, and the joys of finally losing the weed that infests the White House. We talk a lot about gardening,

I have been a registered Republican since I was eighteen. I know, you’re mind boggled. I have never, will never, vote the Republican ticket, every thing Republican is repugnant to me. So why am I registered Republican? Because I come from Republican parents…AND I’M A PROCRASTINATOR from hell.

I think all the time about registering Independent, but never in time to act. Registering Independent will block me from voting party candidates in the primaries, and thereby robbing myself of endless entertainment at writing in Barrack Obama as my candidate vote on my Republican Primary Ballot.

Some days it just pays to get up.

Oregon State Primary Election Results


Monday, May 19, 2008

Rhody Fun On 101

I know I’ve been errant this past week or so, it happens every May. Florence holds the second largest festival in the state, I’m mean really doesn’t a beautiful Rhododendron make you want to party and parade?

My task? To take the hundred, or so entries, and make them into a script. This year they invited me to the parade committee meeting where they organize the entries into a comprehensive list of pages that create order out of mass confusion. This year’s parade had fewer miss placed entries, more communication.

After spending a week writing, rewriting, reordering, and a frustrated bout of crying…or two festival weekend kicked off. I worked Saturday morning my normal airshift. Then spent the rest of the day touring town, talking about the festival from different location. My favorite event..

The Rhody Show N’ Shine

The very first car I saw immediately reminded me of Sid and Scott.

Well Scott specifically and his brand new toy…will someday look just like this.

Except this is a '59...and Pink.

Then I found a 1957 Chevy Belaire that reminded my of my very first car…which was actually a 1958 Chevy Belaire that was two tone cream over root beer.

I am a paint job junkie…much better than drugs. Flames seem to be the rage in classic cars. But I love those paint jobs where there is so much clear coat that you seem to fall into the paint job when staring right on. My favorite Black Cherry, but there are a few blues and greens that capture my heart.

Muscle cars are a must.

Saturday’s Show n’ Shine and the evening’s Classic Car Cruise through Old Town Florence was just the perfect diversion needed before Sunday’s parade.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Talk Thursday: Beloved What Do You See

Beloved, what do you see of the future? Do you see blackened epitaphs, charred by the machines of weak egos emboldened by power? Do you see hatred dividing the world, pitting country against creed, birth against colour, religion against faith, ideology branding others as blind, men raising their voices, hands, and inventions in war to conquer all so they can be right? Is it bleak when you dare to think of the world we shall nurture our children into?

Beloved when you think to bring knowledge to our children, is it with open eyes? Is it with open heart that you will teach to embrace the other side? Is it with acceptance that diversity binds us, that oneness divides us? That hatred poisons, and elite ignorance kills all it touches?

Beloved when you look at me do you see an agenda? A stupid old woman lost in the ages? Do you see someone out of touch, with unrealistic dreams, or do you see the paths that lead me here? Each step, one that had to be, leading to the next, leading to here, leading to you?

Beloved please look to the future and see many tomorrows, where one by one we embrace what is different, thrive on the fruits of each other’s labors in shared wealth and calm. Do you see a world that cares?

Beloved, close not your eyes, lift up your head. Please tell me you too can see a world tired of the machinations of impotent men, that you see legions standing up to division, hatred, and greed? Just please don’t give up, it starts with one. Continues with two. Strengthens with three. And it goes on. The good fruits may not come while we still breathe on this plane, but if we don’t try it won’t come at all. Apathy and acceptance are death. Action and determination are seeds fueled by conviction to be better than the past.

Beloved, please look at me and see good; a woman who cares and hasn’t grown weary of the battles. But when I do please bolster me, nurture my soul and resolve, so I will continue to work towards a better place for our children’s children, knowing our seeds will blossom in the tomorrows.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Chocolate Crisis!

As you know Ducky and I are on diets. He has consistently lost three pounds a week for three weeks running, and is two pounds down this week with weigh-in not coming up until Sunday night (for him). I on the other hand lost two pounds the first week, two pounds the second week, went strict vegetarian last week and upped my Cross Trainer time by five minutes a day and lost NADA!

I was so discouraged, and craving chocolate, that I told Ducky I was going to eat an ear off his bunny.

“Dude, Easter was like, so March. Off Bugs already.”

But I found some resistance to offing the Bunny.


Those kewl little foil covered Dove chocolate eggs that I filled his Easter basket with. Yes, those and some of the little, itty bitty speckled malted milk eggs were still hanging around (but they give me indigestion, so they were safe.) I grabbed about six Dove eggs from inside the teacup where I’d stashed them (so they wouldn’t be a temptation) and thought they’d be great at staving off suicide by chocolate. The foil I found was very resistant to my attempts to eat said chocolate.

So now I have a new use for the picky end of my Dental Flosser. Picking at the ends of the foil to free the egg.

Next year I’m buying foiless chocolate eggs.


Now I’m going to go polish my lamp

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Despite Me the Flowers Survived... So Far

So when I got into the hot tub the wine was warmer than the water. I kid you not, well okay I exagerate an itty bit, the hot tub was at 89, the wine was red at room temperature. So I didn't stay in long. Sunday afternoon we drained the hot tub, moved it a foot west and a foot north to please the electrical inspector and then refilled it. The water is now 103. Ahhhh.

The baskets, despite having been bathed exhuberantly early in their life, are doing quite well thank you. The flowers are still on the Bacopa, the Lobelia is still up right and still seemingly wanting to bud.

Maybe my lily, er I mean Ducky's lily garden won't be a bust after all. Aren't the green and white tulips kewl?


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Some Days You Should Be The Doer, and Some Days The DON’T DO IT AT ALL-ER

Some days it doesn’t pay to get out of bed, except this morning I had an airshift, so I guess technically I got paid to get out of bed, way early. At least the airshift part went right.

Like everyone else I experienced grocery shock at the supermarket this morning. If it is a super market, shouldn’t I have a super time shopping? Only the bottom line was super, a bit worse than last week, I’m sure a worse to be surpassed next week. Ducky and I have been on a diet, eating less, healthier, and actually getting our geriatric butts on the cross trainer. So I was in deep shock when I paid $80 this morning for fruits and vegetables. Okay, Arlo refuses to go strictly vegetarian so there was a chub of dog food for him (and even it has peas and carrots in it.) wow! Grocery Shock.

The nurseries are slow to stock annuals this year, because it’s snowed twice since April 15th; frost out day for the Central Oregon Coast—April 15th. We’re lucky if we get snow once a year, but twice since mid April, well the nurseries already lost their first stock of annuals. I guess I can understand their reluctance to move too fast to stock anew. So my lily garden, er I mean Ducky’s lily garden is a bit slow getting color to it.

That can’t keep me from getting my baskets done, albeit late, but done none the same. So today I bought some Bacopa, trailing Lobelia, white Allisum, even some Geraniums for my pots. Okay I did buy a Lavateria, some Lupin, and Snapdragon’s for the Lily garden. But whether I should touch them is in question. After having taken down last year’s brown, petrified Bacopa baskets I hung three new ones, removed the old potting soil and copra so I could paint the old baskets black. Three baskets later I realized I’d painted my right index finger a better coated shade of Krylon semi gloss black than the baskets.

I grabbed the Vita Start off the shelf, poured about a healthy tablespoon into my half gallon pitcher and went to nourish my new plants. Since Ducky and I added the new room I’ve used a left over bucket of wall mud for an improvised stepping stool. It’s stood me well for all these five years. I heaved it over to the part of the deck nearest the first basket stepped on my trusty bucket, and the lid collapsed under my considerable girth. Of course I was wearing my new jeans, my best boots, and a look of frustration. I pulled my foot out of the mud; my boot stayed stuck.

I set down my pitcher of Vita start, rolled up my left pant leg to keep the wall mud from getting everywhere else and unwedged my favorite left boot from out of the bucket of five year old wall mud. I spent the next fifteen minutes cleaning wall mud out of every crack, crevise, and stitching hole in my best boots. Teach me to be down to one pair, thank heavens I wasn’t wearing my moccasins.

After this set back I tempted the fates of the gods by actually using a step ladder. Dividing the half gallon of Vita Start between the three, I gave the new baskets a good healthy wetting. Then I began getting out my windchimes (my deck is kind of a temple to the wind gods) and actually got them hung, well five out of six, without much incident. Playing it safe I put the ladder back in the garage, no need to tempt fate more than necessary. My day was looking up.

Right up to the moment I went to put away my pitcher and Vita Start and realized I just dowsed my brand new Bacopa and Lobelia baskets with carpet cleaner. I shit you not. Now I know that a little bit of soap is good in plant water, but carpet cleaner? I grabbed my half gallon pitcher rinsed it.REALLY.DAMN.GOOD. Dug the ladder back out of the garage and drown my new baskets with clear, clean water. Please send good healing thoughts for my plants.

Now I am off to recuperate from my day with a glass of merlot and a hot tub.

Watch this spot, just incase it goes awry.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Talk Thursday - It’s Tailored Made To Fit

It’s the place I made, carved out of nowhere with words, emotions, my truths and opinions on the world through my eyes. Built in hues of lush opinionated greens. Truthed in simple words, complex thoughts, and my love. Free to all, open to diversity, shut to hate.

It is populated with people who feel a connection, a kindred response to the words in which I have carved this nitch. They consider my words and thoughts, feast on my pictures of flowers and bears, smile at stories of my past that have led to what I have become. People, who drink in who I am and come back for more.

They are on my journey with me. Sharing of themselves, challenging my ideas, my ideals, my values, and offer up their own. Who shape my consciousness with their individual ness and collective presence. A rainbow of talented beings who, on another plane, wear bodies of each shape, hue, and intelligence; on this plane they shine forth in pure and healing brilliant auras of purple and white. Soaring in skies of blue, yellow, and gray. Then again walking realms of concrete and clay, light and night, and all that is between infrared and ultra violet.

They are happy, passionate, sad, and haunted. They are human and brave, weak and alone, seekers and finders, lovers and rejoicers of life. They are my friends, of like mind, my kindred souls, my extended family, the binders of my world. They make me complete and make the interenet home.