Saturday, May 28, 2016


Within days of my return, the lilacs came out and have been scenting the air at my back door.
Three weeks is about their max and they are quickly fading now.

But peonies that were barely visible three weeks ago are getting ready for their show in June.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Joy of a Clean Oven

Are you ready for this?  Because this will seriously change your life!

Oh, no wait.  This is just a sign that I spend far too much time browsing household tips on Pinterest.  If every little tip promising to change my life actually did, I would certainly not even recognize myself in the mirror each morning.

I wouldn't be able to cope with that. As it is, I am often startled beyond words to look in the bathroom mirror and see my mother staring back at me.  I have to turn around quick to see if she is there.

By the way, my favorite are the pins that pop up  on my home feed--Secrets of People Whose Houses are Always Clean.  Can you guess the secret? DUH...they clean every day.  I think that even an intractable horder knows that deep down inside. 

None of which is what I set out to share this morning.

When I got back from Florida there were two big blobs of black carbony gunk on the floor of the oven.   I can't blame Kevin as he uses the oven solely for baking bread.  No, these blobs were left over from the family Christmas dinner when I prepared and served roast beef.  That was just before I left for Florida so I didn't deal with it at the time.

Now my oven has a self cleaning feature, but except for those two blobs, the oven was fine with a wipe down.  I sprayed the blobs with my homemade oven cleaner--vinegar, baking soda, and a drop of dish detergent.  I sprayed in the morning and again in the afternoon and then again before I went to bed.  I sprayed them the next morning and then forgot about them for a day or two.

When I remembered again, I looked in the oven and say that the blobs were not so blobby.  I wiped the floor of the oven with a paper towel.  No scrubbing and rubbing, just a swipe with a wet paper towel.  Rinse. Done!

Ick, ick, ick!

It didn't change my life, but clean does make me happy.  We take our joy where we can find it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Yet another failure of our public schools?

We are not taught classes on character qualities and ideals, love and relationships, or even conscious communication in our school systems, miserably at relationships and marriage so it's no wonder why we fail so miserably at relationships and marriage. --Bess O'Connor, Ayurvedic and Holistic Health Practitioner
This quote just made me angry when I read it.  It only lasted for about thirty seconds, but I can get my gorge to rise again just by looking at it.

Really are we to assume that the only place anyone learns anything, especially about life in the real world, is in school?

Maybe the article had something useful to say, but I was too prejudiced by this bit in the introduction that I struggled to keep an open mind.

I guess I still have work to do on acceptance and a non-judgemental attitude.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Watching Grace and Frankie

I didn't exactly binge watch the second season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix.  I spaced it out, savoring each episode.  Still, I am in withdrawal.

If you have not seen it, it stars Jane Fonda as Grace and Lily Tomlin as Frankie.
Their husbands of forty years were partners in a law firm, and apparently, partners in another sense as well.  When same sex marriage is legalized in California, the husbands confess to an on-going affair with each other and announce that they are seeking divorces so that they can finally marry and share a life together.

Grace and Frankie are devastated.  Although they were never close, never had anything in common, they end up living together and trying to adjust to lives they had never planned on living.

I really love the show.  This season dealt with infidelity, unexpected illness, assisted suicide, sex and dating in one's seventies, an adopted child seeking out his birth mother, substance use and abuse, and just the stuff of life and family relationships.

The thirteen episodes were just not enough for me.

Here is a trailer of the first season.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Life in VT

Well, I am "home."  I have spent a week looking for my stuff.  I accused my son of hiding everything on me, but I do know that I just had to relearn where I put things.  I only spent six weeks in the new condo before leaving for the winter--which, yes, really does extend into May here in VT sometimes.

I went outside without my winter jacket for the first time today.

I worked on some May birthday cards:
Watercolor by moi.

Punch and die

In spite of the fact that I have been shivering for a week, it does look like spring around here.  The crab apple trees are lovely.

I am not sure what this is but the blooms are pretty,
like cherry blossoms.

I was missing my herb garden so I bought a planter for the deck and filled it.

And I cannot believe that my calendar jottings are going into June already!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why I Practice Yoga

I still walk for exercise and (when in Florida) ride my bike, but lately my exercise of choice is yoga.

That is certainly not because I am so flexible that I can twist and bend and stand on my head.  I started taking yoga exactly because my muscles are tight and inflexible.  Slowly, I do notice changes.  I am a little more flexible now.

For me, the biggest benefit has been just being more aware of my body and how it moves through space.  I think about standing tall and keeping my head up.  My posture is better.  My breathing is deeper.  My balance--well, not perfect, but I do recover if I trip instead of falling.  I don't have significant aches and pains.

I have tried different types of yoga.  Some types are physically challenging and others are very calming, relaxing, and restorative.  I have found that I really like the tranquil feeling after practicing.  There is a good balance between the physical and mental--has to be good for body and mind.

And I do love the trappings--the chimes, the essential oils, the Hindu symbols and music, Tibetan singing bowls, the chanting, the Sanskrit names for the poses, the talk of chakras. There is a spirituality that appeals to me on a deeply metaphorical level.

Finally, let's face it, the clothes are really comfy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dream Breakthrough!

A recurring dream is one in which I am wandering a huge college campus either

  1. knowing I do not have enough time to get to the class in the first place, but being beset with obstacles along the way,
  2. not knowing the location of the location of the class,
  3. arriving at the classroom only to find the class has been moved somewhere else.
It is always a math class.  I am always worried that never being able to find the class will result in a big, fat F on my grade report.

Classic fear of failure dream.  Not exactly a nightmare, but unsettling nonetheless.

Well, the other night, I dreamed that I actually got to the math class and met the professor who agreed that he would give me another chance.  Then I sat down and all the students were working on very simple math problems.

with apologies to math teachers everywhere


For the record, I did very well in high school math classes.  The only math I took in college was statistics, once as undergraduate and once as graduate student. Statistics is just about how to use math to manipulate information and I am glad I learned about it.