A Taste of Summer

Ahhhh…the weather has been superb the last couple of days, hitting 75 here today! And it’s supposed to approach 80 degrees tomorrow!  I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but I really do think that winter is behind us now.  (If it snows next week I will cry!) I even went out and bought some seeds and gladiola bulbs for planting.

Yes, I’m psyched that summer is coming!  I’m looking forward to so many things, gardening, poolside bbq’s and hanging by the bonfire on Saturday nights.  I’m looking forward to taking the dogs to the beach to run, to walking in the rails looking for birds, and to fishing from the canoe as I float around the lake.  But most of all I am just plain looking forward to sunshine and summer time happiness!

Everything has been going really well lately, I’m quite pleased with life at the moment.  I’ve been super relaxed all weekend, catching up on some much needed sleep and just doing my things as I felt like doing them.  Usually on weekends I will push myself to do a  bunch of work around here, but this last weekend I took the weekend OFF.  I did play around on the computer some, worked on my newsletter and online stuff a bit.  I find that stuff to be very relaxing, so I didn’t count it as work.  Yes, I deserved a complete weekend of ME time and I made it happen.

I have reset my privacy settings on a couple of my online accounts, and made them tighter in security.  Unless you are on an approved friends list now you’ll no longer be able to see most of my posts, unless I choose to post something publically.  Had to do this to block a stalker, and probably more than one.  I have come to the conclusion that stalkers are just a fact of life when you are on the internet.  And usually you’ll find that they have multiple accounts so they can continue to stalk you after you block one.  But hey, I’m not going to sweat it.  If these trolls have nothing better to do than follow me around the internet then let them have their fun.  Who am I to deny someone anyway? haha, I must be hella interesting to some people.  I’ll block what I am able to, and call it good.  I can’t be bothered to do the full IP address type of blocking at the moment.  That may have to come in the future.

I got my new camera working, the batteries arrived in the mail from Ebay a couple of days ago.  I’ve only got $20 invested in this little camera, it’s a Nikon Coolpix S560  10mp digital camera.  I like it because it’s very small and easily fits into my pocket for me to carry around.

Here are a couple of pics I took with it just to test it out.

Not bad for a $20 camera!  I’m going to be doing a bunch of things around the house and in town over the next couple of days, while I am off, and will try to post more pics now that I have this camera to work with here.

Tomorrow I am going to be preparing seeds for planting, soaking the morning glory seeds, and starting other seeds in containers inside the house.  It’s still not quite time to do any outside planting except for bulbs – which I have a bunch of to plant as well.  I have quite a few seeds to start, and also a bunch to sow directly into the soil when the time comes.  I’m thinking that the gardens will look pretty darned good this year!  Plus I’ve been doing much more methodical planning of them this time around, being my second season with my home here.  Yes, the place will look great!

Last night we had a huge fire here.  The old State Street Saloon in downtown Portsmouth caught fire and it turned into a major inferno.  Eventually the buildings actually collapsed and it has created quite a mess in downtown.  Here are some photos:

I used to hang out at the State Street Saloon back in the day, when I used to drink.  It was always a great bar and also had great food.  Played many, many games of pool there with my old friends.  While I haven’t frequented the place in quite a few years now, it will be a little weird to drive by there and not even see the buildings anymore.  It’s going to be a major loss for the downtown area overall.  I am planning to take a drive into downtown tomorrow to check out the scene for myself, and get some more photos.  They’re not sure what caused the fire, but think that it started in the back end of the kitchen on the first floor.  I heard that they may not be able to ever really know because the destruction is so complete.  Most of the roads around it are closed until they can haul all of the debris away and get the area cleaned up and safe once again.  Fire is so devastating.  Thankfully no one was injured or killed.  And there were 17 people living in apartments in the buildings, so it’s quite a miracle that none were hurt.

I have lots to say about the current goings on here in the US, and about the US attacking Syria, but I am going to hold off for now.  Things are still developing, and the Russians are becoming more conplicit every day.  I’ll spare you my political rantings tonight.  🙂

Be kind.  Peace.  ~MB

 

 

 

 

Most Prized Possession

Things we treasure is the topic of the Writing 101 assignment from The Daily Post here on WordPress.  

I’ve wracked my brain for what single item it is that is my most prized possession.  I’ve looked around my house, and thought about what if I were to have a major fire and would lose everything but what I could carry, what would it be that I would juggle out the door on that single trip?  

One answer is quite simple.  My beloved dog Nola. For obvious reasons; like she’s my daily companion, and she loves me as unconditionally as I love her.  Her support to me in times of struggle over the last 6 years that we’ve been together has been enormous.  This Butch has definitely got a very soft heart when it comes to animals! 

I have said before I thought that you could only get one “once in a lifetime” dog in your life, but I was very wrong, as I have had TWO!  Before Nola I had a dog for 17 years named Jock.  He was a Welch Corgi cross with Beagle I believe, and he was the most intelligent, loyal and affectionate dog.  His bravery and loyalty were bar-none the best in a dog I have ever seen.  There were times with him that I had that were just incredible.  At Lake Altus in Oklahoma he would swim into the middle of the lake in search of me as I was out there tubing with my friends in the 30 foot deep water.  He was left at bars, and found his way home, and he was always there for me, right to the bitter end.  I sent Jock over the Rainbow Bridge in 1999, before even my first summer on the farm.  Seventeen years after finding him in a shelter in Lawton Oklahoma when I was stationed there with the US Army.  He was the only dog who did not bark when I entered the enclosures.  That was the dog for me.  He was well groomed, nails trimmed and healthy, so someone in the military probably had to leave him at the shelter for some reason he probably did not even understand.  That first day he jumped right into my Chevy pick up truck and took up his residence next to me for the next seventeen years.  I loved that dog so very  much.  

At the end of his life he could not see or hear very well, and he tried desperately to stay very close to me for security. It was very hard making that final, kind decision to let him go and it gives me chills now to think about it.  But there was a peace in me after it was done, I knew I had done right by that dog.  I adopted him, cared for him, loved him, and fished with him endlessly.  In the end I stayed with him until he was ready to go and let me know it, then I made that hardest of all decisions that a pet owner has promised to make one day.  When you adopt a pet you vow that you will do what is always best for them, and the end decision is done with that in mind.  Yes, he’s probably still waiting on Rainbow Bridge for me along with Susie, the Westie that I had in high school who was also a very devoted dog.  

Yes, Nola is my most prized possession, although I don’t really consider her a “possession” as much as a companion, a cheerleader and a dog that just lives to make me happy.She asks nothing more from me than to be with me constantly, watching over every move that I make.  If I move from one room to another in the house, that dog follows and settles in to a new spot from which she can watch over me.  I am just so lucky to have her and to get another “once in a lifetime” companion dog.  

So, besides the dog what would I save?  I have a teddy bear that I have had since I was a baby, and he’s my most prized material object.  He’s traveled with me around the world and back (much like both my dogs!) and he’s done duty in some harsh climates in the USA and Europe.  When I was stationed in the European theater I played softball for the Army.  It was lucky and very easy duty and I loved it.  Playing ball at that time was my life.  (My shoulders are paying for it today!)  And that bear would accompany our team to every away game, and would sit the bench in the home games.  My grandmother, who I lost when I was 10 years old, had sewn silver metal button eyes on him when his assigned plastic eyes fell off from over-loving.  I drew a paint mouth on him at around the same time.  He has notches cut out of his ears from being “tagged” in recreations of episodes of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, a game and a show that I loved as a child.  All of my stuffed animals had shaved spots for tags on their ears.  Teddy still has his.    He has a voice box at one time, but his tummy is sewn up thanks again to my Nana, and his legs are of different lengths, as are his arms from where the padding wore out.  Teddy is worn and patched; loved and cherished still today.  

Other than Nola and Teddy, I would grab the envelope of important papers out of my dresser draw, my address book and my laptop which is full of vital information and is my lifeline to my writing.  Everything else can be replaced or has no significant value.  Sure there are things like photo books and little significant items, but remember it’s a fire and I have one trip in to gather everything I can carry.  I am counting on Nola running herself out of the door as I follow with the above items.  I would make sure she was out before I would even hold on to the other things.  Sometimes in life it’s not a significant item that is your most treasured, but a significant soul.  I feel that I am responsible for Nola’s soul and because she has given me that privilege I will always protect her first.  

 

Restlessness…oh, and Flowers!

I find myself sleepless tonight; restless and irritated from within for some reason.  Perhaps it’s my new schedule from just getting back to work 4 days a week.  My mind just seems full of things that are needing to be done, and I feel the list just growing.  Generally I can re-settle myself when I awake in the middle of the night, but tonight I just cannot seem to find that peace that precedes the passage into a nice slumber.  When I did sleep earlier, I dreamed of being lost and not having my cell phone and not understanding which direction to go in to get back to where I needed to be….I understand the meaning of the dream, and it’s true…I am pushing myself to get back to where I need to be; to find that inner peace again and to have love within arms reach.  Funny how dreams can do that kind of stuff with your sub-conscious thoughts.  

Being back in the working world is feeling really good.  My spirits are higher, and I look forward to getting out each morning, then getting home in the mid-afternoon hours.  I’m only working a 4 hour shift, but after so long being idle; without work, I am having an adjustment period.  The drives to and from work are the best part, I love seeing all of the Spring growth, the flowers blooming and trees budding. And it’s fun to pass all of the landmarks, the parks, various businesses, new businesses that I hadn’t noticed before, and just to be driving through the world with a destination.  

When I return home little Nola about turns herself inside out with complete and utter joy of seeing me.  It’s like I had been gone for a week after only 5 hours!  She wiggles and yips, with a mouthful of one of her stuffed toys, which she offers to whoever comes in the door as a sort of welcoming gift – although you cannot TOUCH the gift, you must just admire it and pet the dog!  Oh..and thank her for it of course!  She’s so sweet, and so devoted to me.  I just don’t know what I would ever do without the little bugger.  She brings such peace and joy to my heart.  And she epitomizes the very meaning of “unconditional love” for me.  

So I am sure I will settle into a routine here with work and my home projects and chores.  I just have to be patient with myself and the world, and let things ease into a regular pattern.  AT this point I rise at about 6:30am generally, and get Jared at 6:50am from his house two doors down.  He comes here in the mornings when his sisters go to school, we have breakfast, him cereal and me coffee.  Then we watch Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George morning shows on MPBN and NHPTV networks.  At 7:55am we put on our shoes, coats when needed, and head down to the bus stop at the back entrance to our neighborhood.  Nola LOVES to go with us, and is often the best alarm as to when it’s time to go.  She will begin to prance around and yap, like “hey, it’s time for a walk! The bus is coming soon!”  The three of us have a nice 5 minute walk to the bus stop and await the arrival of the big yellow school bus to whisk Jared off to his Kindergarten classroom.  Yes, it’s pretty regimented every morning Monday through Friday.  I then walk home with Nola and we have some more coffee, Nola eats her breakfast and I watch the morning news and weather while puttering around the house doing mundane – but necessary – house chores.  At 9am I shower and dress, pull my stuff together and kiss Nola good-bye as she glares at me from the back of the couch.  She doesn’t like that part – me leaving that is!  But she’s good and she seems to know that I am leaving and she can’t go along on those trips out.  Yes, we will settle into a routine, I am sure of it.

I am anxious to do more work on my yard and gardens.  Hopefully the Mantis tiller I dropped off to Evan at the machine shop will be repaired and ready for this weekend.  It would just be so much easier to use that than to kill myself doing it by hand!  I mounted 3 more railing boxes along the porch railings, in the best spots for mostly sun all day, this afternoon after work.  Now i just need to fill them with potting soil and get some pretty flowering plants to fill them with this weekend.  I also picked up 3 more large round pots today from Mom and may use those to plant some of the morning glories in, then set them in between the railing bays of the porch and train the plants to trail along the lattice work of the porch.  I love gardening.  I may not be an expert at it, but I give it one hell of a college try.  I read, research, study and think about every thing I am planing and doing out there.  Right now I am anxiously awaiting the sprouting of the grass seed that I planted 2 weeks ago during the drought.  It rained 4.79 inches on Monday…thus the ground is now very saturated and I am expecting with a little more sunshine and warm weather that the seed will germinate and if I carefully fertilize and care for it then I should have a nice lawn by later this summer.  The dirt I am working with to plant in is pretty gravelly and sandy, but I’m trying to make the best of it and have used a good Scott’s Starter Fertilizer already along with the seed.  Hell, the dandelions are coming in prolifically!  THOSE must GO.  I am going to pull alot of them with the weed puller – it’s important to get the whole long root on those or they just re-grow, and I am also going to get some weed killer for them.  I would like a nice lush carpet of GRASS, not just a green spot of various weeds!  

I also picked up a cute little old wooden wheel barrow that I am going to make into a planter for the front lawn.  It’s going to be very cute when finished!  Perhaps this weekend I will have the money for the plants for that as well.  Getting started with your gardens, lawns, and planters is the expensive part!  I try to pick a lot of perennial plants, so they will come up year after year and cut the cost in the future.  I’ve also got Nasturtium seeds and Morning Glory seeds germinating under wet paper towels in the house that will go into some of the planters I mentioned earlier.  Both will re-seed themselves to a large degree.

ImageImage