Tuesday, June 28, 2011


LINUS LEFT US. It was this past Saturday he packed his bags and went to stay with an Amish family for the remainder of his visit to the U.S.

On Friday evening, his last one with us, The Yard Man and I took him shopping at the local mall.
"My grandmother wants me to buy clothes while I am here," he had told us."They don't cost so much as in Germany."

But our first stop was the Apple store, where Linus perused the ipods and ipads and... truthfully, I don't know what all he and The Yard Man looked at. I sneaked out for a little side trip to the shoe store!

Then the H&M store was where the two of them headed for clothing. Linus had informed us that they have H&M stores in Germany; he would be better able to compare prices there.

When I met up with them again, Linus had already made most of his purchases. "He's a good shopper!" The Yard Man explained. "He knows what he likes, and he thinks about the price and makes decisions quickly."

We got home, and Linus laid his new purchases out on the floor. About the bright turquoise pants and the light turquoise shirt, he laughed ruefully. "Why did I get these? I have so much of this color at home!" It's one of his favorite colors. He told us that, and then laughed again, "It's okay, I can wear these sometimes!"

He was such a pleasure to have around. The Yard Man and I are missing him!
Each day when I read the paper, I look in the comics section to see if Linus is there.


Monday, June 27, 2011



BUT STILL ringing in my ears is the bluegrass music from the concert in the park last night. The birthday party prior to the concert was icing on the cake...er, uh...m&m's on the cake! The ice cream cake, that would be!

And gathered around the picnic tables that we had pushed together--

Ahh--true wealth!


Sunday, June 26, 2011


for days and days.*
Maybe it's time I mend my ways.


*actually, only days (one plural),
but I had to use another 'days' for the
sound of it; and you may think, Reader Dear, I could have woven in
'daze' or
' or
maybe 'strays.'
Or umpteen words from 'decays' to 'frappes.'
But--(what did I just tell you?!)--
I am filled with malaise!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


JUST IN CASE MY REFRIGERATOR has been heavy on your mind, Dear Reader, this is a short message to relax and reassure you: Everything's cool!

New technician. New Adaptive Defroster. Newly cleaned fridge now working as good as new (fervent new wish, anyway)!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


crashing through the county circa two-fifteen with its full load of bells and whistles.

Quite fabulous!

(***now video enhanced)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



And two hair dryers. I dilly-dallied around in my kitchen while the service man poked and prodded and did various ectomies. While the cooling coils were thawed of their ice buildup, he explained the problem, researched the availability of the needed part, fiddled around for another half hour and then marched out the door with a promise to be back on Thursday.

When he had first told me it may take a week or two for the part to come in, I had groaned a piteous groan and put my head down on the kitchen table. "I can't handle this," I told him.
He laughed a somewhat nervous laugh. "Well," he said. "You can go ahead and use the refrigerator in the meantime. It will run."

"What? Oh my goodness-- Hallelujah!" I exclaimed, my demeanor doing a spin.

Of course, when he was gone and I scanned the counters overflowing with the fridge's ex-contents, and contemplated the cleaning, reassembling and re-stocking that was not just an optional chore, I kind of wanted to put my own head in the freezer.

Just to cool down, of course.


Monday, June 20, 2011


THE ANIMALS WERE HAPPY. They feasted on three raw pork chops and a whole half pound of pepperoni. The pepperoni was in little circles, its intended fate to be atop a pizza for the yard man and Linus.

Yes, indeed, the refrigerator was on the fritz! If I'd have been quick on the draw--quick on perception; taken fast action; basically, you know, had different circumstances, and-or been a different person--I may have been able to save those chops and the other recently purchased meat. The various containers of leftovers, the mayo, all the questionable food that got dumped--it may have been rescued.

However, despite the ill health of the refrigerator and ensuing chore of dealing with all that food in its bowels, the day was redeemed by mitigating circumstances: Very Relaxed Lunch.* Father's Day cook-out for supper.** Another excellent concert at the park.***

And, yes--the Fat Cats were astonished at their
good fortunate! The chickens clucking
Ode to Fridge!






Sunday, June 19, 2011


THIS MAY BE THE STRAW, DEAR READER. I'm sincerely hoping it is not. But there is a distinct possibility that it is: The one, you know, that will break the camel's back.
It remains to be seen.

Late this afternoon my yard man was pulling things from the refrigerator to do some grilling. "Wow," he said, "It's not very cold in there." He was speaking about the depths of the fridge.

"Hmm, I mused, "the freezer's sure been doing its job lately--freezing all the ice cream brick hard. But I didn't notice any change in the fridge." However, I quickly joined him in an investigation and found it to be true--instead of a chilly reception, we were met with what appeared to be lukewarm conditions.

The yard man carried his tray of fixin's out to the grill and carried on with his Father's Day meal preparation. I turned the dial to "colder" and hoped for the best.


Friday, June 17, 2011


I'VE GOT SOMEBODY YOU MUST MEET, Reader Dear. (And yes, I promised you a picture of him nearly a week ago!)

My yard man and I are completely charmed by Linus!
(It's pronounced LEE-nus, because he is German, you know). He's such a pleasant and agreeable fellow, readily giving his slightly shy smile and responding with "I sink so, yes," to most every request. Each day he gets up early and goes and helps the yard man with his many projects (most of which--while Linus has been here--have involved gardening or horses). Then in the evening, I get to ask Linus questions while we eat supper. He converses very well in English. If he can't think how to express something, he simply pulls out his technological assistant and looks it up; but he isn't stumped for a word very often.

This evening we ate supper at the picnic table.
When we were finished eating, we all read today's paper.
Linus said, "I have to see if Linus is in the paper today!"
But, alas, only Charlie Brown and Snoopy were there.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


AH, DEAR READER. TIME has not stood still here. No, it's been rushing right along. Before I knew it, large chunks disappeared forever in the fast-moving stream. It was an entire week ago that I traveled south to my childhood home, and lugged along back a load of nostalgia and stuff that got hung-up in the headwaters (mementos from my youth, that would be; things from the attic; forgotten semi-treasures from closets and drawers).

Such has been the rushing current of this past week that boxes and bags are still sitting neglected in corners of my kitchen. Unopened. Today I took a cloth and some wood polish and cleaned the wooden box that was crafted forty-some years ago in my dad's cabinet shop. It's sole purpose has now been fulfilled. (I'll entertain guesses).

If you can drift awhile in your peaceful canoe while I'm shooting the rapids, Reader Dear, I promise I'll let you watch the unpacking.


Monday, June 13, 2011


AARGH! I'M BREAKING DOWN under the weight of breakdowns. See this innocent-looking, demure little vacuum cleaner? Ha, lately it's got the devil in it! And, Dear Reader, if you suppose that my wireless router is as well-behaved as it appears, use some imagination!

If I wish to make use of the vacuum cleaner, it necessitates a certain manipulation of the electric-sucking cord in order to keep it running.
Dependent upon my ability to get it twisted a certain way with one hand as I steer with the other, the vacuum will power up about as often as it cuts off. By the time I've managed a quick buzz around the living room floor, my head is buzzing with words better left unspoken!

And then. Just to show me who's boss--keep me in my place, you know (huddled near the phone jack)--my wireless router has gone on strike. I may be saying this calmly, Dear Reader, but having to be tethered to a cord after so long roaming free is, well, it's... it's...AARRGHHH! (as I believe was previously expressed).

You're ho-humming? Just wait. There's more: The upstairs bath has suddenly decided to go dark. From force of habit, I continue to "turn on the light" each time I enter. Time after time I'm taken aback by the black.

Days are fine, you know. There is a window. But at night, the blackness rubs off on my psyche. (Grrrrr...when are we ever going to get an electrician over here to check this out?!!)

My laptop was acting like a spoiled brat today, and the car's been getting a little shaky. Whining a lot, too.*

*hmm, I'm the bad influence?


Sunday, June 12, 2011


Earlier a thunderstorm had rolled through the area,
threatening our chances of enjoying this concert.
But then the weather moved along and it was a
most lovely later, with a swelling moon
in the clearing sky.
Bonhomie abounded.
And drinks. And food.
And young people throwing frisbees,
and dancing to the music.

My yard man and I took our young friend Linus
with us (he's visiting from Germany; he's fifteen;
he's a handsome lad--I'll show you tomorrow).

At the end of the evening of music, after we'd climbed
into the car to go home, Linus
said, "Aha, lightening!"

"What?" exclaimed the yard man and I in unison.
"Did you see lightening?!" We'd just been relishing the clear night sky.

"Yes," said Linus in his endearing accent. "I've got a lightening bug!"

*"We don't have the lightening bugs in Germany," he said.**

**Hmm, Dear Reader. Did you know that? Neither did I!***

***It gave me a new appreciation for the glowing little
creatures of summer.****

****It gave me renewed appreciation for summer!*****

*****Ahhh, sweet summer!


Friday, June 10, 2011


DAY TWO OF THE TELLING. Which, as you know, Dear Reader (if you've actually been reading my blog) refers to Day Two of the CLEANING OUT. It's cleaning out of a dwelling of which I speak! It's the house that my father built when I was six years old, and it had been sitting forlornly stuffed with the paraphernalia of daily living--but no loving inhabitants--ever since my parents died, several years ago.

It's true, my siblings and I had already spent a day soon after our mother died divvying up the furniture and other large items; but there were still cupboards, closets, bookshelves, attic and basement filled with accoutrements and memorabilia with which we had yet to deal. And that's why we called for the enormous dumpster, and had both brothers' trucks at the ready for hauling what some might call junk (referred to as treasure by others, of course) to a thrift shop.

By Day Two, we had things well on the way to their various destinies. The dumpster was accruing cast-offs at a rapid rate, and likewise the 'things for donation' truck. According to the usual family dynamics--which were put into place by fate many years ago--two of the siblings called most of the shots, while the other two acquiesced. (The missing sis would have kowtowed as well, had she been able to be there.) And that's how we worked together through the sultry heat, my sister and I pulling open storage space filled with clothing and linens, papers (many, many papers) and photographs, photo albums and slides and old home movies, games and toys, medications and toiletries, decorative items, and...(aaagh...I'll have to admit, I can't enumerate it all); and meanwhile, my brothers and my Yard Man were feverishly emptying the basement.

The time flew by, and by Wednesday evening we'd filled the dumpster to the brim, sorted out and carted away most things of value (other than the kitchen accessories, wall of books on the living room bookshelves, and a few other small pockets of accumulation [we simply ran out of time]).

I'd have to say, in spite of my angst heading into this endeavor, I felt a sense of satisfaction upon locking the doors (last to leave) and heading home. Most folks would now call the house empty*.

*(My siblings and I, we thought of the house as "empty"
on the day my mother died.)


Thursday, June 9, 2011


I'VE WRAPPED UP A JOB of momentous proportions, Dear Reader! It's one that I have never, ever done before and will never, ever do again. After all---I've only ever had one set of parents, and they only ever lived in one house for the final fifty-one years of my dad's life and fifty-two years of my mom's. Yesterday and the day before, in Tidewater Virginia's sweltering heat, three of my siblings, my yard man and I relieved that house of its burden of STUFF.

In the attic, we tramped through more than half a century's worth of dust to carry antique boxes and bags to the front porch, where their contents could be perused, sorted, argued over, laughed at,* reminisced upon, pitched in the dumpster, loaded on a truck bound for the Goodwill store, or maneuvered into one or another sibling's personal stash.

After the attic, there was the basement (I'm ruing my lack of before-and-after photos--they'd be impressive!) Thank goodness for two brothers and my yard man to deal with the overwhelming array of tools! lumber! plumbing equipment! plumbing parts! woodworking equipment! appliances! materials and equipment for chair-caning, spinning, weaving! materials and equipment for the mending of almost any household object you could name! and...honestly, that basement was so clotted with stuff, I can't even enumerate all the categories under which it could all be listed!

That dumpster, which looked so vast when delivered to the site on Tuesday morning, didn't look so more-than-adequate by the end of Day One.

And that's where I'm going to leave you, Reader Dear--at the end of Day One (Tuesday evening, as you might know it). Because my yard man and I arose at four-thirty that morning. When we arrived at the old home place just ahead of the dumpster, my siblings were already hard at work and the degree of heat was still acceptably pleasant.

But by the time we decided to call it quits and take ourselves to a restaurant for supper, we were one hot, sweaty, filthy bunch! And it makes me tired just thinking about how tired we were!

So I'll have to tell you about Day Two on
Day Two of the Telling.
Is that okay with you,** Reader Dear?



**(Oft-expressed query on both Day One and Day Two, as in:
"I'm going to take this [desk accessory, hat of dad's, stack of old maps...]. Is that okay?"


Monday, June 6, 2011


OH ME, OH MY. I PUT SUCH high hope in that southern belle, and then she done me wrong! I'm working on my twang--writing the lyrics--humming the tune: this song will be a landlording first!

Do you recall, Dear Reader, my vacantly-waiting apartment (and how could you possibly forget, with my chat-chat-chattering?) Well, here I thought I'd found the perfect inhabitants; their current landlord told me, "you're gonna love them!" when I spoke with her. The keys were waiting to drop into their hands at 12:45 today.

And then they sashayed right out of the lease-signing with a phone message early this morning: "Sorry, we had the moving van partially packed, and were really looking forward to moving in. But the new boss called last night and informed us that the company will be moving to a new location in September. We knew of the possibility, but didn't know for sure... At your apartment the commute would be a little further than we'd like. We're ever so sorry. In fact, we're wringing our hands."

When I write the song, I'll make sure to mention the wringing of hands (I'm not saying whose) and the new lease agreement forlornly destined to the trash heap.

Have you got a fiddle, Dear Reader?
I need some help.


Saturday, June 4, 2011


Fall off the cliff , Reader Dear, for real.
(Although, it being merely proverbial, I suffered no long-term harm; I'm presently making my laborious way back, the long way around).

Now the holiday, it's just a memory; the heat segued back into silky, sensational spring; the hoped-for tenant was found (I can't say for sure, but this Georgia belle and her husband seem like a real catch). As for holding my Small Actor--
I'm still happily doing so!

I've been working at movie production, as well, whenever I get the chance.

I've got two new releases for you--one starring the Small Actor in a surfing role.
(I'm excited; he shows great promise in his acting career!)

And another which features (I'm tickled to say) BOTH of
my most popular actors. The Little Actor stars as a very young
man facing his first heartbreak. Meanwhile, the Small Actor takes
a supporting role, playing one who appears to be stealing the
affections rightfully due the Little Actor. *

*While this movie may leave you hanging just a bit (regrettably, I did not think through the closing scene), I can assure you, Dear Viewer--in the end, assurances of love were meted out to the Little Actor in sufficient measure to assuage his feelings of betrayal.