Letters to WYA 11

Holy Thursday WYA! And Holy whatever late date in April it’s suddenly become!

I almost posted a picture of a blackberry mandarin salad (with spinach and bits of feta cheese and other awesome stuff but I don’t remember where I copied it from so you will have to wait for me to make one myself and take my own pic to see that delightful dish. The bunny wins at cute anyway.

Way back in my elementary school days when letter writing was popular (writing with a pen on paper and mailing things in envelopes that didn’t yet require postal codes) I had a teacher who gave us a letter writing assignment. Easy peasy I thought, because I loved to write letters. The only stipulation was that for this letter to a random friend we could not start off with “Dear So and So, How are you? I am fine.” I was stumped. That’s exactly how all my letters began. It was as carved in stone for me as the fact that all good stories began with ”Once upon a time”. Why was she making us change things? I don’t know what I finally came up with, but I know my brain hurt trying to think of something and it definitely wasn’t “Holy Thursday!”

Anyway, I do hope you are well and it is perfectly fine for you to assume that I am also well. All is not necessarily well with the world, but hopefully there are people smarter than us working on that. I’m not sure my letter writing skills have progressed much over the years, but no teacher will scribble all over this effort with a red pen so I don’t care.

Today we got some new outdoor solar lights for the front walkway and whatever other surprising places W decides to put them. There’s just eight of them so he can’t go too crazy.

I got the best news a few days ago about our farm house where we grew up! The sister who lives the closest to it shared with the other two of us that the house is being restored, and she and her family were lucky enough to have the current owner give them a tour of the house to show them what he has done. It sounds absolutely delightful! I think all of us had resigned ourselves to the probability of it going to ruin. The property was put up for sale this last time with the house as a tear-down. We are so happy that someone saw the possibilities and decided to save it. It’s hard to imagine the amount of work it needed right down to the bare bones. The plumbing and heating and wiring would all have had to be modernized. What a huge undertaking. Anyone who takes on this kind of project to preserve a bit of history deserves all the accolades. It’s a lovely quiet spot in the country, surrounded by land that is still farmed but owned by someone else, and the place is no doubt still filled with happy memories. No one can renovate those away, can they? I wish him nothing but the best.

Speaking of bunnies, which we really haven’t been but whatever, we are now, there’s a jack rabbit in our neighbourhood who runs across our front lawn several times a day, both directions, no set schedule that I can discern. On his own bunny time doing rabbity stuff.

I don’t think I retained many of the letter writing rules from that long ago class. Unless one of them was to flit around from subject to subject for no apparent reason.

So I don’t know where this week went or why the month disappeared in such a hurry, but here we are. Salads, solar lights, farm houses, jack rabbits and letters to a friend, all taken care of for this Thursday. Quite possibly forever if we’re lucky. That’s how you sum up all the random unrelated things so it sounds like you had a plan. I hope you’ve been taking notes, although I promise there will be no test later.

Have a good one WYA.

Letters to WYA 10

Hey there WYA, what’s up?

Here’s hoping you don’t feel ignored or anything, it’s just that I’ve become immersed in Neil Gaiman’s ’American Gods’ (the book, following my watching of the t.v. series). Seems kind of a backwards way to go about things, but there’s bound to be differences and various opinions about which one (the book or the series) was better either way. A book can make a character’s thoughts clear by telling you what they are, while an actor must portray a lot of what’s going on inside his head with facial expressions and nuances of speech, both of which a reader has to infer. So it’s a toss up really. They are both telling a story, and stories get boggled about in the telling.

Everybody does it with stories I think. Embellishes or skips over bits depending on their audience. Except for a person I worked with years ago who could tell a story from beginning to end and then repeat it to another co-worker word for word. Nothing added, nothing left out. She was a lovely person except for that. It was exhausting to listen to everything three times over. Once she related an entire heated argument between her daughter and her son-in-law including what both of them said and exactly how they said it. The argument happened in her home while she was at work. So either she had a spy cam or she took her daughter’s version and imagined the rest. I don’t know if that’s a weird talent or a curse.

Anyway, what got me thinking about that ancient history? You bring out the bizarre in me WYA. Speaking of bizarre, I think W loves running lawn mowers more than any other activity on earth. The original Lawn Ranger. It’s a beautiful sunny day, there are still swatches of snow here and there, the grass is still looking brown and dead, but he is OUT THERE going over the yard for the umpteenth time this ”spring”, in between snow dumps of course. Those days are for snow blowing, quick before it melts. The neighbours appear to have given up staring at him and seem to accept that he is just looney toons. He says he is sucking up all the mulch which he already sucked the life out of in the fall. I told him he is disturbing and destroying new insect life and he does not care. Some days he wheels the lawn mowers (YES we have TWO of them) out of the garage and lets them sun themselves in the driveway. You can probably appreciate why I believe I am the more sane half of this partnership.

Last night the little handle broke on the sprayer attachment on our kitchen taps. It didn’t work well anyway, but now it is useless and W has promised to replace it. It must be at least second on his list of priorities for the day. Whereas I don’t even have a list, so one point for W.

I think it’s time for another coffee to be consumed in the sunshine. Didn’t need a list for that important activity. I watched a video of a ’human bird feeder’ where someone held a handful of bird seed and sat completely motionless until a bird landed for a snack. I can sit that still, no problem. Containing my excitement if a bird actually appeared would take some serious skill and concentration, which I probably lack. Plus what if my coffee spilled.

Hope your day, like the one Jazzy and friends are enjoying, is colourful and sweet.

Love from moi.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

These guys are NOT under the stairs. Some of them live in an upstairs closet now.

Having stumbled upon an old post I wrote in 2015 about cleaning my fridge, a delightful new person I have just met ( elliethompson.uk )was so impressed by a job well done that she asked me if I had any inspiration to offer for organizing a cupboard under the stairs. (The post is called ”Some Days Are Like This” in case curiosity gets the better of you) Apparently I am very bad at remembering how to do links.
But I have so many thoughts to share on all of this! None of them are particularly inspirational, but hey, it’s unrealistic to try to be brilliant all the time. A fridge post missed the mark I think. But I digress. Thoughts in random order of importance.

  • Questioning my grip on sanity for ever believing random strangers or more specifically anyone on earth would want to see the inside of my fridge. Most of the time even I don’t want to see it.
  • I don’t have that fridge anymore. It finally died after a couple of months worth of death rattles, and we got a slightly smaller one with the freezer compartment on the bottom. So what was the actual point of doing all that cleaning, right?
  • I feel so sad for people living in houses which don’t have under the stairs cupboards. Although I’m sure they probably have other such storage areas needing Herculean efforts of reorganization. If they don’t then what does that say about their grip on reality. I mean seriously what is a storage cupboard even for if you can’t pack a ton of clutter into it and close the door and eventually erase the fact that it exists from your memory.
  • And finally, I am NOT a reliable source for advice on any kind of cupboard cleaning. I arrange mine for convenience for me and confusion for everyone else. Fridges have an interior light so it’s hard to ignore what’s happening in there. And relatively easy to find what you’re looking for. Most cupboards are dark inside and used primarily for hiding away the junk you don’t really need or use or are tired of looking at, so opening a cupboard could be a colossal waste of time for everyone involved. Not to mention hazardous to all your levels of well being. (If you have never opened a high cupboard door and had things fall out on your head, you probably aren’t maximizing the space.

Our under the stairs storage area is a little cold room filled with so many things, if Harry Potter lived here he would not only have to sleep standing up but also risk freezing to death. Last summer when we revamped the basement the cupboard under the stairs got a thorough rearranging done. All I was trying to accomplish was filling up every square centimetre with basement things to clear the spaces we had to paint. It’s a bit like a Tetris puzzle in there. I would feel bad messing with that. Plus if W asks where something is I tell him it must be in the store room knowing how unlikely it is that he will ever venture inside that hell hole to search for anything.

One of these days I will haul everything out of there and, armed with boxes and garbage bags, begin the great purge. Today is not that day though. Today I have to watch the snow melting in the sunshine. We actually had a snowfall warning yesterday! These Christmas morning simulations are quite tiresome in April. The moisture will be good for the grass I heard some cheery moron remark.

Do you have an under the stairs no mans land? Want to talk about it? I am all ears. Please let me know I am not alone.

Letters to WYA 9

Any Animal Can Rock Some Crazy Stripes

Well WYA, here I am again. Never at a loss for vague randomness put into paragraphs.

I’ve recently finished watching ”American Gods” on Prime. Three seasons no less! Pretty sure it makes my top ten list of bizarre things I’ve binge-watched. It’s based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman, so you know it’s going to be weird in a really good way. I am now compelled to get the book to see what’s different and possibly better explained because holy hell it was a whack of craziness. And didn’t end satisfactorily at all. The series was cancelled after season three but there’s a lot of loose ends and dangling characters left to sort out. I hate it when I know I’m on the last episode and fully expecting everything to resolve and it doesn’t.

In other non exciting news, the neighbours across the street from us had a gigantic tree removed. A branch was broken on it by one of the big snow removal vehicles a couple of months ago. It caught on the top of it somehow as they were going by scraping the road, and the branch came down and blocked a driveway. The tree was right beside the sidewalk, and so big that there was over hang on the road. So the county people had to come and chop up the branch and remove it. Then I guess the neighbours decided to get rid of the whole colossally big tree. It took the better part of a day, and a lot of that when they got down to the stump trying to chainsaw it. I don’t think chainsaw is supposed to be a verb, but they were definitely chainsawing for a long time and still left a monstrous mound of wood for stump grinders to work on next. It’s all a very noisy process because most of the wood is fed into a chipper. Whatever is too big for that they can either haul away or leave for the owner for firewood. Looks like they’ve opted to dispose of it themselves, because it’s all piled up in front of their storage shed. Maybe they’re going to build a log cabin. It looks possible from the amount of lumber. Or make a hundred bazillion toothpicks.

Something has gone wrong with the steering in my car so we are waiting for a couple of weeks for a replacement part for it. I would love to go into ridiculous detail about this but I had a hard time getting all the tree facts straight so not going to attempt a mechanical explanation for anything. The car runs but doesn’t feel right. The professionals can deal with it.

Well I’m off to order a book for my Kindle and actually pay money for it to find out what happens to the American Gods. Normally I order nothing but the freebies through Book Bub or The Fussy Librarian because I’m a cheapskate and feel bad that I have so many real books already that some poor sod is going to have to deal with when I’m gone because I cannot make myself get rid of any of them. Gasp. Out of breath after that run on sentence.

Hope you are enjoying spring weather wherever you are! Still deceptively cold here with a forecast of snow. Excellent book reading weather though, so there’s that.

Letters to WYA 8

Friends on Facebook post lovely steal-able stuff

Hello my friend!

Today I left the house! And it wasn’t just to take some garbage out or shake the carpet runner at the back door. Or bring in a delivered parcel from Amazon. Although that’s just sticking my arm out the door if they haven’t been too creative about where they left it, like in the empty flower pot. That one was a puzzler for a minute or two. It’s a breezy sunshiny day but still bitterly cold. Bone chilling really because it fools you by looking so pleasant that you don’t put on enough clothes before you venture out.

We got e-mails from our accountant this morning to tell us our tax returns are done. He gave us all kinds of links and portals and options to download and view and pay, and then, having obviously dealt with old fogeys before, said if we were not comfortable with all the rigamarole to call his office and arrange to come in and sign things in person. So W gave him a call and said we’d be happy to sign in person so we don’t screw anything up digitally. I don’t know, that made me laugh, because between the two of us we can definitely do digital screw ups.

I put a hoodie over my sweatshirt for the 10 minute drive, instantly froze solid between the back door and the garage, and was just starting to thaw out as we arrived back home. Seriously I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating much. Okay well maybe a smidgen. Probably should get out more so I’m not such a drama queen about it.

In my search for silly questions I believe I have discovered the best one ever. At least it’s going to be pretty hard to top.

If you were a doll, what accessories would you be sold with?

Hahaha! And what would I be called? Pre-dementia Barbie? I would be wearing a sweat shirt and black yoga pants and come with a change of clothes exactly the same as the original outfit! There would be a giant water bottle and an IPad and great huge wooly socks. And several coffee mugs. That could be the item you can buy separately and collect, all shapes and sizes and colours. I cannot imagine why this doll would not immediately become a best seller and make me insanely rich.

I just noticed a pair of mallards flying over our front yard and landing across the street in the neighbour’s yard under their bird feeders! It makes me so happy to see them back again. We had a pair frequent our back yard for a few springs, but I guess the birdseed is tastier across the road. Warmer weather must be on the way.

Until next time, much love.

Letters to WYA 7

Dear WYA

No talk of garbage bins today, I promise! It’s 20 degrees Celsius here and I have opened up a couple of windows and gotten quite light headed with all the fresh air. Or maybe that was caused by my fourth cup of coffee. Whatever, my mood is close to the way I feel at the beach, freaked out by all that water but loving the sand and the sunshine and the squawking of the gulls.

And will you look at this!

Wordle 293 2/6

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Magnificent! (That’s what the game said) (it could have said ”you have horse shoes up your ass” and I would have accepted that as well.

I’ve been remiss with the questions lately, so let’s do some catching up.

Did you eat your crusts as a child? Yes, I did. Being kind of a little weirdo, I thought the crusts were the very best part of a sandwich and would ask for the bread ends for super crunchy toast. Dad used to recite this little poem for us:

Last night I left a crust under my plate.

I thought nobody would see it there.

But, when it got dark and late

And I was all snugged in my bed,

I saw that very same old crust

Come creeping over my bed.

“Don’t you ever do that again!”

“I never will” I said.

It did not scare me one little bit.

Are you a fan of musicals? OMG I love them, the cheesier the better. How fun would real life be if you could just suddenly burst into a song and dance number to get your point across without someone calling security?

How do you take your coffee? In a restaurant or getting take-out I like it black. At home I use sugar free french vanilla cream. I have some sugar free syrups to make iced coffee and today would be a perfect day for one of those if I wasn’t already over caffeinated and in danger of spontaneously performing a couple of songs from Grease or Mama Mia, alarming the neighbours. W probably wouldn’t even notice.

I thought about cleaning some windows today. Didn’t even come close to actually doing it. For all we know it could snow tomorrow. This time of year the weather is all over the place. You take it as it comes and make the best of it.

Happy trails ’til we meet again. I could sing that for you if you want….

Letters to WYA 6

Some ferly little creatures

Happy Thursday WYA my friend.

The other day, quite by accident, I learned an interesting new word. My scrabble/words with friends play often consists of taking the letters I have and arranging them randomly in different spots to see if the game accepts them. So if you’re playing me and have never heard of the word I just used, chances are I haven’t either because it was just a lucky stab in the dark. It’s not like I actually know the names of all the obscure monetary units in countries on the other side of the world. I also was unfamiliar with the word ”ferly” (my spell check isn’t liking it much either).

Definition of ferly

noun, plural fer·lies.

something unusual, strange, or causing wonder or terror.

astonishment; wonder.

adjective

unexpected; strange; unusual.

So there you go. It kind of defines itself. But how to use it in a sentence? Time travel to the late 1300’s I guess.

As on a May morning, on Malvern hills, / Me befell a ferly of fairy, methought. (WILLIAM LANGLAND (C1330–C1400), THE VISION OF PIERS PLOWMAN, 1360–99)

Totally clear now, right? Not confident this word will catch on in my every day vocabulary, but might make a good guess word for Wordle, unless even Wordle has never heard of it.

This afternoon I sat outside in the sunshine for awhile, listening to the crows and the magpies natter at each other. I paid slightly less attention to W who thinks we should have a down spout from the fence-side corner of the garage roof with some sort of contraption that carries rain water running along the fence until it’s beyond the back door because sometimes a puddle of water accumulates there around the door mat. I wondered how that would work with the big garbage bins beside the garage and he said let’s move them down the driveway beside the chimney. Our driveway is super narrow where the chimney sticks out from the house and now with two bins sticking out a little beyond that it’s going to be even more ferly getting in and out without taking off your passenger side mirror. Stay to the fence side to avoid the bins and then edge over the other way to avoid the downspout thing (which may never materialize) But we will see what happens! I think the first person to have an issue with this new arrangement will be W backing his truck out. Anyway I will enjoy the backyard without giant garbage bins for as long as this lasts.

What ferly things are going on in your life these days? I’m venturing a guess that whatever it is probably will put fewer people to sleep than my current major driveway event. Update tomorrow!

Letters to WYA 5

Distantly related giraffes

Hello Again WYA!

Isn’t it funny how we can write about day to day things as they happen in great detail regardless of their importance or relevance and then happily skip over a year of our lives with a sentence or two? I did a lot of crocheting during my long blogging hiatus. Many round and oval rugs, then a bunch of blankets, hats, slippers, a disastrous pair of mitts, a sweater that has half an arm left to finish. It’s around here somewhere. My life is full of fits and starts and short lived obsessions.

Eventually I reached the point where I was drowning in left over yarn and thus began my “random stuffed things” phase. There are so many pictures of dolls and bunnies and teddies perhaps I’ll share them with you over my next few letters – the good, the bad and the ugly. Lucky you, hey? Just be glad you weren’t one of the many, many recipients of the fruits of my creative blitz.

In other exciting news, I own some possessed appliances. This curse I have goes all the way back to my Friday the 13th birthdate, because what the hell, might as well put the blame somewhere.

Several years ago I went through maybe four (I lost count) microwaves in a startlingly short period of time. I would pick up a new one at the store and bring it home to die. Touch wood the current one has stuck it out for a couple of years now without appearing to have a death wish.

My first Kuerig coffee machine burned out it’s water pump when I tried to clean it. Glutton for punishment that I am I also tried to clean the second one only to have it clog up and stop working as well, but W was able to take it apart, disconnect the water hoses, blow the blockage out and put it back together and get it working again. Amazing! Meanwhile, having no faith in him at all, I already had a new one on the go because life without a working Kuerig is no life at all.

This morning I DID NOT clean my coffee machine, having learned that doing so is really bad luck, and the stupid thing quit on me anyway. Lights on, nobody home. So I hauled out the old one that W had repaired. It was a bit dusty but still works just fine.

I turned K #2 upside down over the sink and sprayed hot water in and around the place where the brewed coffee comes out and a lot of grunge and brown water drained out from somewhere. Cleaned out the water intake, refilled the reservoir, tried it again, and this time the water heating thing came on (Yay!) but the water wouldn’t pump. I shook it, clunked it around on the counter a bit, gave it a gentle pounding, felt like swearing at it but pleaded shamelessly with it instead and then left it alone and unplugged so it could think about what it did. Or didn’t do. I’m sure this is exactly what small appliance repair people use as their modus operandi before quoting you a ridiculous amount of money to try other things.

The poor thing, obviously very over worked and under cleaned apparently just needed it’s own little hiatus. I decided to give it another try this afternoon and it went through it’s little coffee brewing cycle without a hitch. I just don’t even know what to say anymore.

Treat your small appliances with respect I guess. You never know when they might turn all pouty and sulky and shut themselves down for awhile. Can full out attacking you be far behind?

At the moment I have two functioning coffee machines on my counter. Even though they are both no doubt still possessed by some evil demon, this makes me deliriously happy. Yeah, it doesn’t take much. Enjoying my umpteenth cup of coffee for today. Life is good.

Letters to WYA 4

It’s a lovely windy afternoon here in suburbia land where the snow mould spores are flying about in the air giving me yet another excellent reason for staying inside with the little air purifier slogging away. I have many other excuses too numerous to get into all at once. I prefer plucking a random one out of my head as required.

Instead of staring off into space while I wait for bunny time (only a hard core Hay Day addict will appreciate what a real and serious thing that is) I am breaking my ”no blogging on Tuesdays” rule because I am bored and thought you might like to experience the ennui with me. See how I’m always thinking of you?

I have also been thinking about song lyrics.

Love is but a song we sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

I read those words thinking they were quite lovely and having no clue they came from the Get Together song by Youngbloods from the sixties.

… Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now

Yeah! that one. Those four lines are the ones they repeat over and over thus the only lyrics and tune that stuck in my head. For over 50 years shockingly enough. Anyway I googled the rest of the lyrics to discover they’re quite lovely too.

… Some may come and some may go
He will surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

… If you hear the song I sing
You will understand,
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command

Well that filled up a lovely bunch of space with not too much effort. Now for the real test – a couple of questions requiring actual thinking on our part.

What gets you fired up?

What do you do to deal with stress?

I get fired up by idiotic tweets posted by insane morons. I deal with the stress by getting the hell off Twitter.

Hmmmmph. Too easy. I will try harder next time, promise. And I will try harder to smile on my brother and love one another, right now. If I can’t do that there’s always the block button, right? Have a stress-free rest of the day, however you make it happen.

Letters to WYA 3

Good Morning WYA

Do you rise and shine? Or do you stumble your way to the bathroom, eyes averted from the mirror and the frightening sight of whatever degree of bed head you’ve managed to achieve over night?

I have days where I roll out of bed simply to see if I’m able to do it without help. Or because some limb or other develops a sudden bed related cramp from my big waking up stretch. I can be motivated by curiosity about the weather. Or the promise of coffee. That’s a big one. The latest thing that gets me moving is Wordle by the New York Times. It’s a great way to get your brain in gear.

There is a new puzzle daily, so they have anticipation working for them, since you can’t play it all day and get sick of it. I’m pretty sure I would do that if I could and ruin it for myself. Only once has Wordle annoyed me so far, and that was the first time I played it having misread the instructions. Easier to be upset with the game than myself, right? You start with your own random five letter word and the game lets you know by colouring in the squares which letters are wrong, which ones are right but in the wrong spot, and which ones are bang on. You have six guesses to solve it. I suggest you don’t get the colours mixed up if you want to have any hope in hell of getting the right answer. This is what you can share on Twitter if you feel like it without giving away the answer.

Wordle 288 4/6

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🟨⬛⬛🟩🟩
⬛⬛🟩🟩🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Anyway it’s challenging and fun and it keeps my old brain functioning. Sometimes I also do the word quizzes on the Merriam Webster Dictionary App. They can make me feel super intelligent. They can also make me wonder just how many functioning brain cells I’m actually working with.

My sister told me about another Wordle-like game called Canuckle. It’s the same thing with a Canadian vibe. The answers are Canada-related words like bison, polar and leafs. She was using ‘moose’ as her starting word knowing for sure that one would surface eventually, got tired of it, tried a different one…. and that’s the day moose was the right answer. Kind of funny if you find that sort of eye rolling situation amusing. Which we both did. We are SO related to each other.

Question time! Only silly ones allowed!

What is the worst thing you’ve ever stepped in with your bare feet? What is the worst thing you could fill a piñata with?

I’m answering ‘cat barf’ to both those questions.

May we all not have to deal with that disgusting stuff in any way at all today. Have a good one.