Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strange Mourning

My friend and neighbor died the tenth of this month.  I can't believe it has been two weeks.  Maybe it hasn't, I've lost touch with a lot of things.

This past Wednesday, I watched a show we watched together for the last two or three years, Survivor.  And then I watched the other shows that came on afterwards, or rather they were on in the background.

The day he died, a girl was visiting new next door neighbor, and she was 'home alone' and came out, and we started working in the garden.  Turns out she has taken landscaping, not so much horticultural, as drainage, water landscaping, out in California.  So we went back and forth moving things in the small 6 x 4 ft plot.  There were miniature roses left behind in small hanging containers by a family temporarily here, and used to make them feel at home before he either deployed, or was injured.  Of the ten, four lived, and found homes (roses, I am speaking of).  Actually  I now have to separate the roses more or else pull the yarrow elsewhere. Roses need air flow and to not be crowded.

She did a lovely job, and we rambled from topic to topic.  I don't think she necessarily would have shared some of the things she did if she hadn't felt like I would hear.  Thank god she wasn't so overly sensitive that she allowed me to clarify.  It was a day long affair of gardening, eating, smoking, etc.  And, she was perfect for a couple of hats I had that she loved.  She loved the Vagabond one, and I knew no one whose hair color was more perfect, or had that gamin look.  Oh, and she loves cornflower blue, so off went that shawl, a coffee cup, and something else.  I love it, too, but when you have too much of what you love, it is great finding another home.

There is a lot more I could say about the day, and what I heard, and I know it was as 'bad as it gets' for her.  My friend that died had just such an extensive trauma, different, but defining to the personality, and yet with such ways of caring and grace that I know he brought with him from his hometown in western Pennsylvania.  His suffering is over as they say.  There is more I could say about the hospice worker who arrived in the morning, and what happened, and I will say I was awaken by pounding on the door to arrive with a trio of people who had all arrived, and me with no coffee, and two hours sleep,  and it was a 'blow your mind' experience.  I backed right out of there.

But I have been coming and going on limited gas, controlling myself tightly, a list and an itinerary, a reason to be away.  But today I realized how much stress there had been having him see me come and go and knowing he could not go anywhere.  I checked constantly, and made what I could.  We had spent the last two Thanksgivings and Christmases together.  They came out surprisingly well, but that whole experience needs its own blog.

So, less guilty about coming and going, and it wasn't him that put that on me.  I just know I am free.  And because the weather was good, I am grateful for getting the garden set up, as I can't do it after April 1.  Too hot for me and my multiple schlerosis.  I will enjoy the moonflowers this year, to some extent, although my sense of smell hasn't totally come back.  The Amarylis are popping up, and the pansy's have been moved to shade.

I borrowed a neighbors lopper and trimmed out those things that come over the sidewalk and could pierce either me, the little Hellion, or anyone else.  I have to clean up the branches tomorrow.  My neighbors love to see me work, leave the stuff in a pile, and talk about me until it is all cleaned up.  They are turncoats all the way, but soon I will try to join up with the MS group, have other people to talk to, and I will just come and go and nod to the 'noodniks,' as my father would have said.  I need to look up that word now that the computer is back on.

And, a beautiful piece of music to listen to, An Accordion and Duduk on YouTube.  Here is link.  I don't know how to embed.  They are having a fine time making beautiful music. Click Here:

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Little Ribbon called Vichy Plaid

First things first.  Out today to check my balance in acct.  Enough for 4 gallons of gas and a pack of cigs.  (yes, I know you are disappointed in this news!.  I have cut down to 2 per cent of what I used to smoke.  Progress. Tending to the dying puts one into a 'smoke them if you've got 'em' situation.  Then you pretty yourself up and carry-on.  I take this advice from a book I cherish,  and I don't have it at hand, but it was approximately How to Abandon Ship, by The Merchant Seaman's Assoc. published sometime in the early '40's due to the loss of so many merchant ships off the Virginia and Carolina coasts and elsewhere, during WWII, Atlantic Branch of the World's Big River.  The book has been a guide in my life and I cherished it until I swapped it for a high quality 'blouse' of the expeditionary type that 'breathed' and blocked sun and insects.  I think you can read it on line at some historical site.)

Boy, that was a long parenthetical aside, and I am going to carry-on and maybe correct the spelling later.(I did, and guess what word.)  Oh, forget it.  Tomorrow is another day!.  Anyway, I stopped in, 'up to no good' at a fabric shop to check out the rushing ribbon for the 'little' Hellion.  I perused the ribbons and found lots of options, and settled on the best 'over the moon' option.  Then in my pirouetting to keep my balance, on point, I had rotated to a stop and what did I see before me - a ribbon that looked like 'family.'  I didn't cry out, but I probably did utter something like 'Oh!' and bought one yard.

At home I found a little printed sticker on the ribbon (detail printed out by fancy new computer cash register!) The detail was "ruban vichy plaid ribbon".  And I put that in the computer, and, Voila!, was I surprised.  Click Here:

Are you back?  Surprising, huh?  Well, we did not sleep with the enemy, I can assure you.  I kept looking for the actual plaid, and then I found this, and I was stunned at the connection, because we could never handle any elastic near our skin, and all roughness was covered up, with ribbon.   I was just speaking of it to someone the other day. How we 'would have none of that' irritation, and now it seems I come by it in the blood!  Well, actually, if never a rough texture touches you, and each 'redness, or discomfort' must be addressed 'at once', you get this:  Click here:

I am going hunting for my ribbon, because I would love to use it in my blog, and I enjoy fingering it.  I'll be right back, maybe.....(8:40 - ...Still haven't found it but I feel like I am flying thru time and space.  The 'little' Hellion, when I tied a bow to turn a petite ladies batiste top into a 'ballerina's outfit', said something to me about Minnie Mouse, and Bows.  ...Oh, ...I am just going to make a call and find out.  (Tick tock.  Tick tock.   While we are waiting I found this,

I found it and tabbed and tabbed, so if it is going to be anywhere, it is here somewhere.

Well, it is definitely 'Claret" and the quote just came in from 'little' Hellion's mama: "There is no business like Bow Business"  Miss Minnie Mouse.  -  Too much.  I wonder if there is a video on you tube.  Wait a sec....No, Minnie must have just been quoting Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun, click here...

 I need a rest.  Went to get something from the car, and there is a Walt Disney sky out there with the two planets Venus and Jupiter out doing their amazing dance.  Hasn't been visible for four days.  Now I am going to fall asleep and not spend any time looking up with my eyes open.   Oh, well, later.  Oh, before I forget, check this out:  Tab down to "The Red Swallow"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wooden Clogs, Turkish Tea, & a Movie

Two days ago I drove to a thrift store  that had a pair of Dutch yellow wooden clogs.  They were still there and $5 less.  A week earlier I had tried to try them on. But, alas, they were a child's size.  The larger adult size, a natural wood, were way too big.
Earlier in the week I had remembered how we always celebrated multiple 'little Christmases', as children. Our father frequently got back from six months at sea the week before Christmas. With all the debriefing, (I am guessing here.) it wasn't until Christmas Eve that we were able to spend time with him.  Always there was a toddler that had no memory of him, and he spent a lot of time with the baby, and we watched. I now realize that destroyers and the submarines they hunted probably went home for Christmas as it was too cold in the Arctic for the  Russian subs to rise and recharge their batteries. So they would head to their home port, Dad would wish them well, and then head home to Norfolk.

So, Dad, being from a poor family, would have known of all the "little" Christmases around the world that would be celebrated after the American Christmas. Therefore, his father probably gave him little Christmases from every nation that he knew of.  In Chicago, there were Christmases of all nations to observe.  So, Daddy insisted we put our shoes by the front door for Dutch Christmas.  We would find a little something in them the next morning, usually some Dutch Chocolate, and a little jewelry pin he had picked up in some port during the deployment.

Maybe it was seeing the yellow clogs that made me understand all the little Christmases we had.  So, later in the week I thought how excited the Little Hellion, my 4 yr old niece whom I babysit on Fridays,   would be to find the Little Rat in a Yellow "Boat', and my little Columbo Monkey in the other 'yellow boat.'  Her father canoes, so she will think they are wooden canoes .She has been on 'still' water with her Daddy.  Then she will ask me to see William and Camo from NeverLand, the Hackney Horses we love on YouTube.  As of a little while ago there have been no recent videos up so we will go back and look at a couple of the early ones so we can both absorb the back story.

I found some Fairy wings and a green sleeveless basketball  T-shirt that a mother who deployed this week had left behind.  Belted,  the green T-shirt is the fairy's dress.  The mother had them in a box as she had sprayed silver glitter on the shirt. I separated the recyclables from the garbage and  I took the fairy outfit home with me.
When Hellie comes on Friday, she will see those Fairy Wings, and I will show her the green shirt and how it becomes the fairy dress.  She will be over the moon.  (There was a Fairy story book with it, too, a story about Hide and Seek)
This week I will be more prepared, and we will have a quiet time while we watch William and Camo on YouTube.  Then I will show her a video about Dutch wooden clogs.  And we will write a story about Rat and Colombo paddling away to safety in their magic yellow shoes.  I will let her take the Fairy outfit, and book home with her.  I will save the wooden shoes for Rat and Columbo to stay in.  She will not object.

Also we will watch a fabulous video a YouTube pal favorited.  It is a wonderful video about the way Turkish people serve and enjoy tea.  Here it is:

And I can't believe I found something absolutely magic.  A Dutch scientist famous for making boats out of Dutch wooden shoes.  Here is the link:  If I only knew how to copy the picture of him testing his wooden shoe.

And there is a movie, too!  The Tree of Wooden Clogs, here
I am going to watch it.  Some things must be just for the Great Auntie!  Not everything is for the Hellion!  But, I must be prepared for her visit.  Night Watch coffee!