Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lilies Galore!

Writing has be...well none existant for me these days. Why because my lily garden bloomth...

And I am busy laying pavers in the hot tub area, while Ducky prepares a new wind / privacy screen between the hot tub and the backyard...

Next up will be a new lily garden across the paver walk from the "old" lily garden.

While the new lily garden will have...duh! lilies, it will also have herbs, more cutting flowers, a blue stone walk, bench, chain tree and instead of a birdhouse, a solar birdbath fountain.

Life is good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lillies, Lillies, Lillies

It is finally happening, after most of a year worrying the lillies are beginning to bloom. This was the first one on Thursday morning.

By Friday morning I had two lillies beginning to bloom...

Oh they are sommmme gorgous, it was so very worth the wait.

More pictures to come...maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Talk Thursday: Teeming

People, for all time, have been moving into untamed wilderness areas, get this, teeming with wildlife. Imagine that. Reports of coyotes snatching dogs, cats, even attempting to snatch small children out of parks and front yards is becoming more frequent. And the domesticated morons raise eyes and voices in idiotic outrage that they’re not being protected, “How can this happen?”


When I was little and in Sunday school stories of missionaries in the darkest of Africa (isn’t that hysterical I always think of Africa as full of hot sunshine) being threatened by lions in the wilds of that foreign land. Totally logical events in my suburban life way of thinking. But thirty-six years ago I moved from Los Angeles to Oregon, I totally expected it to be teeming with wildlife. I am a birdwatcher; living on the edge of the boonies is heaven. We have bears, raccoons, chattering squirrels, chipmunks, and I’ve lost a cat to a coyote in my front yard. I often find a buck grazing in my parking space Saturday mornings when I come to work.

If I move farther out you end up with all the above, maybe a herd of elk in your garden, bobcats, and mountain lions stalking your goats. I live in somewhat rural Oregon; I moved in to their territory, I expect them.

My friend Sparks moved up North Fork and has reoccurring battles with Antlered Rats… his term not mine. Area neighbors have battled Elk for years, one guy ingeniously wired a washing machine drum to a trip wire to scare said elk out of his garden. It worked well, but afterwards he had to replace his fence. I think Keith found it across the creek and up the hill sometime later.

One morning Ducky was trapped inside the house, because the largest bear I’ve ever seen (easily 300 pounds) was standing in our front yard at 4am. It was a Tuesday morning, and the new idiot in the neighborhood had left her garbage out over night for pick up. Personally I would have just walked – quickly to my truck, but Ducky called the cops and waited out the bear…who thankfully left before the cops arrived, bears turned in are targeted for extinction. Our neighbor does not leave her can out overnight anymore. I have quit filling my bird feeder, because I don’t want the bears to fall prey. I love and respect my wildlife, when I can capture a picture or dozen, I do, but I don’t purposely feed them.

In the last two weeks, between Reedsport and Yachats (40 miles of coastal forest teeming with bears) twelve have been killed, because they have become a threat to the tourons who’ve moved to rural Oregon from LA, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix looking for their personal Nirvana. Said tourons (tourist-morons, a new word courtesy of Tewkes) with roots have put up their bird feeders and realized, “Oh, mi God look at the cute bears and raccoons. They’re going to starve. I’ll be a good Girl Scout and put out these nice apples and Wonderbread for them.” Girl Scouts know you don’t feed the animals. Now the bears, just like Yogi, want more, because as we all know, it’s not over until the fat bear burps.

Now hungry / lazy bears, not finding a hand out, are trying to get into sliding glass doors, kitchen windows, the front doors from whence the Wonderbread had arrived like manna.
And before you ask, no they can’t be relocated. Bears relocated (and Elk too) trek the long miles back from whence they came. So, please be kind and don’t love the bears to death.


Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm a Solar Monster...in the making

My, er, I mean Ducky’s Lily garden is on the verge of blooming. Each week I fall more in love with the garden, and Ducky falls more and more out of love with mowing the lawn. The fact we mow my mom’s acre of lawn every Wednesday night, has probably helped facilitate this disillusionment with grass.
Now we’re in lust with the idea of creating a second garden opposite the walk from the lily garden. I’ve been rallying for a bench and birdbath; Ducky is rallying against the birdbath, but has suggested – several times, a fountain. When I originally suggested a fountain opposite the lily garden I was joking, with this plaza/California mission plaza surrounding a fountain (minus the mission) in mind. I truly thought that he would know I was joking.

Apparently not.

We have an energy guzzling hot tub (really it’s not that bad, our bill is still below $90 in the winter.) So I really want a green water feature, minus the algae and mosquitoes. During a break this afternoon, I Googled Solar Powered Water Features. Wow! I am sooo getting a solar powered fountain (or two.) They are beautiful, water music green.

So now the problem is which to get? I like this one for the garden. Paired with a bench, a chain tree, and a garden it should cap off my personal oasis.

The hot tub area has always been a “no grow” area for grass. Ducky got our steps in from the deck to the tub. Now I am wrapping a paver walk around it. But you know the lawn just next to the hot tub on the backyard side is kind of crappy and since the neighbor killed my rose fence there is no privacy. Ducky is going to build a privacy/wind screen, but noooo, I want a pseudo arbor complete with Wisteria – so why don’t I paver all the way to the screen? It creates less dead grass to mow (and water.) And, oh kewl, the need for another solar powered water feature – or three. Because wouldn’t this look lovely, here ↑.

I’m on my way, Ducky’s on board for the garden fountain. Kewl, me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

T’isn’t The Season

First, my mother’s Maple tree is turning red. Second, the first back to school sales insert arrived in this morning’s Siuslaw News. My head is spinning. Normally this would harbor no ill thoughts for me, except it’s JULY 12th. My lilies haven’t even bloomed. I’ve not had a chance to spring and now Mother Nature and the advertising calendar are stealing summer from me?

Except for a trip to Portland for our oldest daughter’s wedding, our vacation is going to be a stay-cation. The upside is I will get some projects done; the down side is we save gas and airline dollars. Okay, so there is no down side. But school shopping already? Ouch.

I don’t have a school age kid, so I won’t find myself placing extra neon post-its in the shopping basket for my desk. No, cool gel pens; no glittery, ombre’d, character embellished pencils; no psychedelic book covers – bummer days.

Hours can be spent at the nursery pondering which annuals, bulbs, perennials, and bamboo for my yard. Hours can be spent toting pavers from pallets to pick up bed, truck to back yard. Whereas some women can spend hours drooling over shoes, purses, and lipsticks - I will spend life times dreaming at the nursery and on the post-it note aisle (you have noted that at Staples post-its have their own section, right?)

I will lament having to make a choice,”Hot pink or neon green? (When in truth I want them both,) Ah what the heck, they’re just post-it notes. Hearts (rapid head bobbing) or stars? (heavy hmmms,) Ah, what the heck, they’re just post-it notes.”

And the envelope aisle? Have you seen the plastic envelopes with the stringie tie things? I have been doing more and more sales in the last two years. The plastic sheet size envelopes are perfect for the Oregon weather. Bright blues, kiwis, and the little black envelop that is a must for every smart business woman (pearls are optional – ah what the heck, ditch the pearls, this is Oregon.) My clients must like them too, because I never get them back.

Kewl, I’ll buy more.

Now hearts or stars?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Circle Game

It was early December, and suddenly at the age of twelve I wanted to start volunteering at the local nursing facility. Looking back I have no understanding of why I decided this, how the thought even came to me, I mean crap I was twelve. But it did and one afternoon I dressed nicely and walked my butt the two or three blocks to Mirada Hills Convalescent and Rehabilitation Hospital and applied for Candy Striper. Except, they didn’t have Candy Stripers.

So instead I became a Nightingale. Being only twelve they weren’t going to let me in except two things: first I turned thirteen (the acceptable age) in just two months, and secondly they didn’t have any Nightingales at the time – program yes, volunteers no. They let me in -now looking back, I wonder if they let me in thinking that I’d drop out after the first day. If so, they didn’t know me at all.

I remember the first requirement, after having the want, was to perform one hundred hours of Nightingale service. That was just to get my nametag. Two hundred hours to get my patch. No sweat, I did one hundred hours in two weeks time. I know pretty shocking right? I breathed, ate, and drank being a Nightingale. I had more than two hundred hours by the end of December. I think they were pretty shocked when I showed up on Christmas Eve, by Christmas day I doubt they were fazed by me.

All this despite the fact my very first patient died on me. Really, she died; I fainted the rest is history.

Mrs. Taylor must have been well into her nineties (but then I was twelve, what did I know?) my first duty was to feed her a late breakfast. That Saturday morning I’d dressed in a brown jumper and a pink plaid shirt, with a beige sweater (I know, one specific event all the way back in 1967, I remember exactly what I was wearing.) I wasn’t going to wear the sweater, (the jumper was made out of this incredibly heavy material) but my mom made me.

Major digression, poor Mrs. Taylor is starving by now. I slowly ladled runny eggs, pasty oatmeal, and this putrid puree stuff into her mouth, between dainty sips of her morning tea. Mrs. Taylor seemed like a really nice little old lady, she smiled and was patient with me when I went to fast. But suddenly she wasn’t feeling at all well, and damn, I was getting really hot. I excused myself to remove the sweater, picked up the spoon and tried to feed her another bit of egg. But she wasn’t having any of that. No, Mrs. Taylor wanted the nurse… just about the time the room started swimming for me. Picking up the call button, I rang for the nurse, excused myself again, walked to the doorway (I’m sure pretty much like a drunken sailor,) and passed out.

When I came to, Mrs. Taylor had expired and I had possibly the worst first day to start a career as a Nightingale. The urged me to go home, called my mom to come get me, but after less than an hour and one dead patient in my wake I was having none of going home. Two or three months later I earned my green striped jumper that signified I was a Nightingale. And by summer I’d earned my nursing cap.

Whether it was just filling room pitchers water with fresh water and ice or delivering and picking up meal trays I was eager to do it. I loved the patients, I loved the work, I loved being needed. These wonderful people with their cute stories and cherished pictures wanted me. But it was those same pictures that made my blood boil. I saw pictures of kids I went to school with, kids who never visited their grandparents, great grandparents. These people who lived just blocks or a few short miles away couldn’t come visit? These people, seemingly, looked forward to my smile, the flowers I sometimes brought with me, to my cookie cart, for just a hello. Before long I was recruiting more volunteers from my friends, and the program flourished. And that is not to say I take credit for that, I don’t, the job and the people just totally rocked. I worked there until just before I moved to Oregon, and never regretted a day.

Now you’re saying to yourself, “Nice story Cele, but get to the point.” Life is a circle, as I always say, where we’ve been is who we are. But it is also interesting at the points of our earlier life that lay a foundation for the points of our future life, hence the title of this blog “The Circle Game.” This afternoon while chatting with a woman I know at work, she mentioned she wanted to start a Candy Striper program at the hospital (she’s a busy person at the hospital, whom I adore.) I began rhapsodizing about how much I’d adored, loved, cherished my memories as a Nightingale.

After several questions, Di smiled at me and said, “You’re the one.”

She has wanted to start a Candy Striper program at Peace Harbor Hospital, but needed a volunteer mentor to work with these teenagers. She wasn’t about to start such a program until she had the right person, someone who’d been there and had a passion for it.

In truth I was blown away, almost started crying. Wow, I am incredibly honored, scared, and wow. I need to discuss this with Ducky, but wow, what an opportunity to give back to my community, even in a small way, and it’s something I loved so dearly.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Another 50 Things Meme

Sid was inspired by Romach, I was inspired by Romach’s naked tatooed guy…mmmm baby. Okay, this is a simple meme of 50 questions and answers.

Here we go.

  1. What do you add to your coffee? Nada
  2. What are you reading now? Blogs, and editing a YA book by Peggy Tibbetts
  3. Do you own a gun? 44mm Glock
  4. Are you registered to vote? Yes, but someday I will change my affiliation. Although repling to the National Republican Party surveys are always fun. Now I have to open that damn caucus thingie. Go Obama!
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No. I’ve got a great doctor.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love hotdogs, especially blackened over a campfire (or burn on my Barbecue)
  7. Favorite Christmas Song? “O Holy Night”
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee, hot and black.
  9. Can you do push ups? Still? Ouch I’m not sure I want to try.
  10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? Ronnie of the beautiful blue eyes.
  11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery? My birthstone. My parents gave it to me for my 16th birthday (family tradition)
  12. Favorite hobby? Writing and gardening.
  13. Do you work with people who idolize you? No, ha ha I think they like me though.
  14. Do you have ADD? No, do you want to talk OCD?
  15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I lack self confidence.
  16. What’s your Middle name? Calista
  17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. Wayne is going crazy on the radio with Independence day trivia, I know that answer, and Burp is coming for the weekend.
  18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Three oyster shooters (oh mi god they were good and spicy)
  19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Coffee, water, Bengal Spice herbal tea.
  20. Current worry right now? What me worry?
  21. What side do you dress to? People dress to a side? Oh mi god that’s that right / left thingie right? I dress to the south.
  22. Favorite place to be? In my hot tub with my Duck.
  23. How did you bring in the New Year? Snoring, breathing through my mouth, facing north with drool running out of my mouth (just guessing)
  24. Where would you like to go? England, Ireland, Australia
  25. Name three people who will complete this. People who enjoy Meme's and if you do let me know so I can go read it.
  26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? everyones
  27. What color shirt are you wearing? Bathrobe – gray and silver sorta
  28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. Cotton always
  29. Can you whistle? Don’t laugh Sid. I can two finger whistle (without the fingers – very very well) regular whistling, not so good.
  30. Favorite colors(s)? Green and cinnamon.
  31. Could you be a pirate? Ahoy, thar matey! (was I convincing?)
  32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower.
  33. Favorite girls name? Sydney
  34. Favorite boy’s name? I’m not sure.
  35. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets, but I have a kleenex in my bra. Although Sid and Steve will probably remember the cellphone in my bra.
  36. Last thing that made you laugh? Burp telling me it was McDonald’s night.
  37. Best bed sheets as a child? Our sheets were all white.
  38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I broke my tail bone playing softball when I lived in Germany. It had been raining and I played catcher, I went after a foul ball and slide on the grass, landed on the ball. But we got her out. I went on to play seven more innings. I couldn’t sit for months.
  39. Do you love where you live? Absolutely.
  40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three
  41. Who is your loudest friend? My sister – Pinecone – it’s a family thing, we’re all pretty loud.
  42. How many dogs do you have? One, Arlo the Tank.
  43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Not that I know of.
  44. What are the most fun things you ever did? Hmmmm, Parasailing (until I broke my foot.) Water fights (both as a child and as an adult)
  45. What are your favorite books? The Lord Of The Ring – JRR Tolkien, The Stand – Stephen King, The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
  46. What is your favorite candy? Seafoam, Peanut Butter M&M’s, black licorice, and chocolate.
  47. Favorite Team? U of O Ducks.
  48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? I won’t be having a funeral.
  49. What were you doing at 12 AM? See answer 23, I’m sure drooling was involved along with a hot flash.
  50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Get the phone, get the phone.

Sid and Romach thank you for the Meme and insights.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Talk Thursday: Carry Your Flag

In the seventies it was bumper stickers – Save the Whales, Artesian are well Endowed/or Hung (depending on who was driving,) and Frodo Lives. In the eighties was T-shirts touting your favorite band, concert festival, and the beginning of a western world cognizant of global woes in song – celebs who banded together to sing for dollars to feed Ethiopia, support troops at war, and global awareness. The nineties were all about tree sitters and environmentalist that still hold true to their beliefs. And with a new millennium came a rainbow of magnetic ribbons and blogs; blogs that tout daily life, political stance, the need to read, write, be, and all things green.

How do you chose which flag to wave? Which to embrace? Which crowd has the loudest voice, the biggest fist, the most clout? I have no friggin’ clue and I don’t care – because I was taught to not run with the pack. I just know what I believe and that is what I stand by.

In America we are in a new political era. Women have run for president before. Geraldine Ferraro and Elizabeth Dole both were consider contenders for a whole fifteen minutes. This year Hiliary Rodham Clinton waged a respectable battle (until she sunk to old boy’s club tactics) for the Democratic Party presidential bid. And now we are on the eve of voting for the first black man to be his party’s nominee for president. All these thoughts made my daughter (Psam) cry as she filled out her mail in ballot this year during Oregon’s May Primary election. We are in a new era. Damn, I’m proud of that girl.

I applaud Americans; I love my country (best when it’s not run by the Republicans,) baseball, mom, and apple pie (berry, coconut cream, and lemon bars too.) I believe nothing is truly free, but freedoms are worth fighting for (our freedom – and thank heavens that hasn’t happened for a long time.) I don’t believe in scare tactics, making you think the same way I do. I believe in diversity.

In this election climate email smear campaigns have run rampant, slamming Barack Obama for being a Muslim (which should not even be considered… except for that prejudicial fear backed by the ignorant,) that he doesn’t place his hand over his heart during the national anthem (I don’t either,) that he hadn’t been wearing a flag pin (do you wear a flag lapel every day? No I didn’t think so,) and oh mi gosh a bunch of other stuff. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a big change – and that change is in the wind (thank you Dylan.)

Michelle Obama recently has been criticized for saying (and I paraphrase) that for the first time in her life she is really proud of her country. What is so friggin’ wrong about being truthful? About being ashamed of the actions of your countrymen, your leaders, your country’s history and aggressions?


I love America, but I remember that we have hated and destroyed the lives based on their religion, their skin, their potential at being different – communist – catholic – retarded / smart – or their sexual orientation. We are too often eager to point fingers, place blame, and allot inferior labels to take the focus off of our inadequacies and personal wrongs.

Today we are fighting a war for oil, destroying a country (and threatening another) because they don’t subscribe to the western world’s definition of the “right life” or and have a lot of oil. It’s time America gets over itself. I love my country, I will wave its flag proudly, but I will also fight against its wrongs – what a long list it is – and rejoice in its rights.

America, Happy Birthday, remember you were sought and founded on a belief that all men were created equal… over time. Okay, so “all” needed a broader definition, we’re still working on that.

So what is my personal flag? It is my belief that I need to be the best I can be; to stand true to the conviction that I am no less nor more important than the whole. I need to remember that my fellow man is neither less nor more than the whole. I can not expect another person to be fair, but that I must be fair. That life is too long to hold a grudge, far too long to be miserable, and far too short to not be happy. That it’s all relative; the important things are in your heart and your relationships, the materials things don’t mean jack in the long term of events. It is important to honor diversity in creed, ideology, religion, politics, application of all the above.

I am no better than my word and my honor.

I am blessed to be loved by those I love, cherished by people I cherish, and liked by people I like right back.

That I have a chance every day to prove all the above.

I may despair at the actions of others, at the actions of my country’s leaders, but I am still glad I am where I am, who I am, for as long as I am.