Friday, April 9, 2021

Itchy Subject

 Kay's Musings are always a treat, but her post today gave me a topic just when I needed one. It was about mosquitoes or other little flying biters as yet unidentified.

I remembered a bit of doggerel floating in my brain for somewhere:

Wouldn't Noah have been wise

if he had swatted those two flies?

Can anyone really say they wouldn't wish the same for mosquitoes?

The mosquitoes in Vermont can be quite large and there are areas where are clouds of swarming, biting dive bombers that are nothing short of torture. I recall wet summers when they were a plague, making camping a total nightmare.

My most recent encounter with one of those swarms happened about three or four years ago.

When in Vermont, I attend meditation practice led my residents of a monastic academy They travel to Burlington on Sunday evenings and give dharma talks, guided meditations, and chanting at the Friends' Meeting House

This is a beautiful spot atop the hill overlooking Lake Champlain, an historic home of Mary Martha Fletcher with lovely grounds.  The links are for history buffs, nothing to do with this particular post.

So, back to Sunday night meditation a few years ago. It was a warm summer evening. Half way through the practice there is a walking meditation when people often go outside and silently walk through the garden. On this evening dusk hit about five minutes before the bell would ring to gather everyone back for sitting. 

Apparently mosquitoes have their own bell. A cloud rose up like a marauding army in full attack mode.

The pace of meditative walking sped up considerably.

There was no way for people to get back inside without opening the screen doors. Mosquitoes followed their blood feast right in.

There we were -- back to still sitting. Back to the expectation that we should be respecting all life. At the same time, painfully aware of mosquitoes landing on faces and bare arms. 

The monk continued with his guided meditation, but there was the ever so quiet slapping of hands agains skin from every corner of the room.

Namaste, little suckers!

Obviously a known problem:

Or it could be a practice in itself:

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Stray Thoughts

They do always ask this!

Think about this:

For the conspiracy theorists:

Ever have trouble making small talk? I do, but here's a good tip:

Some things are just inevitable with age:

I thought this was just plain funny:

Monday, April 5, 2021


 I had my second Pfizer vaccine on March 21.  The next day I didn't even have a sore arm.  I half wondered if that needle was empty but still it felt good to have that done. 

Nothing in my life changed. I went to the store but wore my mask as usual. My social activities continued via Zoom.

But then I woke up very early one morning with a not good feeling. That not good feeling grew into nausea and vomiting, chills, a slight fever, and the general feeling that I had been run over by a Mack truck. I finally fell asleep -- woke up knowing it was sunset by the way the light comes into the bedroom but honestly couldn't tell if was still Saturday or if I had slept right through until Sunday's sunset.

Those were the symptoms listed for possible side effects to the vaccine but they came ten days after it was administered. So I am confused -- delayed reaction or something else entirely? The fatigue is lingering three days in.

I have zero tolerance for feeling sick. It makes me angry. How dare my body betray me in this way!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Can't Think of a Title

 I am crap at judging space and distance, any kind of measurement.

I have a couple nice sets of nesting pyrex bowls with covers for leftovers. I am constantly choosing the wrong size -- overflowing a bowl that is too small or giving up refrigerator real estate with a bowl way too large.

I have had a quilt planned for months now. I have the material but it sits there waiting for me to finally get over my anxiety over doing the cutting. Measure twice and cut once? How about measure ten times and cut at least three times?

I once watched my brother putting down carpet for our mom. He cut to go around a doorframe without taking out his measure and it fit perfectly. How are we even related? Which one of us is the milkman's kid, Mom?

Obviously, parking my car is a huge scary burden for me.

I could not get my little Ford C-Max straight in parking space. I don't attempt parallel parking or backing into a space. Dane would get out of the car and laugh hysterically at the wonky angle of the car. Now I have a Ford Edge, a MUCH larger car. I swear I aim for the center of the two lines, but somehow my perception is off or the lines actually move. I don't know.

Yesterday I went to the vegetable market. It's a very busy place so even the farthest spaces get filled up sometimes. I saw a space open up in the last row and pulled into it. I saw that I was pretty far from the car on my left so I looked to the right and sure enough -- way to close and, worse, the driver was sitting in that car. I backed out and tried again. I fiddled around getting my bags and making sure I had my list before I got out of the car. 

When I headed toward the store I heard the other driver call out, "Thank you for your consideration." Oh no, was that sarcastic? Was an angry man going to rant at me for my lousy parking attempt? I turned around and he was smiling and waving. "Really, thank you for moving over and giving me the space. Most people would not have bothered."

Honestly, a couple of week ago I walked out of Walmart without whatever it was I went there for because people were SO cranky -- customers and staff both. It was hurting my soul. I thanked that man for his patience and his kind words and felt a little bit better about the human condition. makes me want to do better.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Rabbit Reminder

 As a reminder that Easter is near and spring is in the air, I had two little visitors.

This little one hopped around the driveway and then hid himself in a flower bed.

This one was very spooked and stayed huddled behind the hose pot all day.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Food for Body and Soul

 I have been harvesting cherry tomatoes every day. I'm thrilled because chipmunks ate all my tomatoes right off the vine last summer.

I bought this pepper at the farm market. I was just mesmerized by its colors. I think I annoyed another customer by standing there holding it my hands and just admiring it for probably longer than an ordinary pepper might warrant.

Of course it won't last so I sautéed it with mushroom. onion and tomatoes and had it with a sprinkle of melted cheese on a pita bread for my supper. So fresh and yummy.


You know how you buy something at Costco that you really like but then it disappears? I will shed tears if they stop selling this snack:

I know nothing about a keto diet, but this stuff is delicious and satisfies the crunch craving for me.


I baked this Florida citrus pie for PI day (3/14).

It's lemon and orange curd with meringue topping. I distributed it to neighbors so as not to sit in front the the tv with the pie on my lap and a big spoon in my hand. No one else had heard about pi day -- serious lack of math nerds around here.


Avocados are cheap around here right now.  I made myself a crispy tostado topped with avocado, shrimp, tomato salsa, and sour cream. I remembered enjoying this in a restaurant some years ago. It didn't disappoint made at home, so simple. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Robinson Preserve

 I had heard of Robinson Preserve as a safe place for hiking and biking. I decided it was time to check it out. I thought I had a pretty good idea of where it was and how to get there but I managed to miss a turn and get kind of lost. When I was sure I was back on track I was getting discouraged because I was not seeing any signs indicating the location.

Finally, I said to myself this is just not meant to be. I might as well turn around and go home. But I absolutely could not bring myself to turn around here:

I drove another half mile and the next drive off the main road was the entrance to the preserve. So it was meant to be!

This old house was scheduled for demolition to make way for citifying Bradenton. It was moved by barge to the Preserve and serves as the greeting and information center. It's called the Valentine House (after the family that owned it).

I did wish I had a kayak.

I climbed the tower.

The sky bridge to Tampa is in the distance.

The preserve is not a working saltern, but it does have the perfect ecological conditions for that.

A saltern is an area or installation for making salt. Salterns include modern salt-making works, as well as hypersaline waters that usually contain high concentrations of halophilic microorganisms, primarily haloarchaea but also other halophiles including algae and bacteria. Wikipedia

I made a loop around. There are so many trails to explore that I definitely want to go back there.

I did spend the afternoon being fascinated by the trees and other plants along the trail.


Palm and banyan hugging.


Maybe next time I will try the birders' trail.

Osprey nesting