Tuesday, January 29, 2013


YESTERDAY, I rented to an eighty-year-old woman.  She signed the lease on a second-floor apartment, no less!  "She's really a young eighty!" her niece had told me, when the niece called to inquire about the place.  Never before have I leased an apartment to anyone over age sixty-five, so this was a land-lording first.  I'm well aware, Dear Reader, that I could have problems with someone so elderly.  But I don't expect to have boyfriend issues.  Or extra vehicles appearing in the parking lot.  I don't suspect there'll be loud parties.   Or smoking.  Or job loss.

Of course, I don't necessarily worry about these concerns with much younger renters, either.  For instance, I had a far younger tenant  who behaved like an angel.  Even more astonishing, she never reported a single complaint about the apartment!  She didn't call me at ten o'clock at night to tell me the spin cycle on her washer wouldn't work. She never had a word to say about any of the appliances, actually.  And nothing about the plumbing, either.  Or her neighbors.  Or the parking lot.  Or the rental increase.  When she vacated a few weeks ago, I was sorry to see her go.  Perhaps she was every bit as sorry to leave the place (Her mom and dad just whisked her away).

I found one of her socks while cleaning the empty apartment, and my expressions of delight at finding a tenant's left-behind underwear were by all means another land-lording first! (Ooooh!  So adorable!!)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

I AM JUST HAPPY, Viewer Dear, that the moon shadows are visible in the photograph.  Never mind they are blurry and necessitate an explanation. They are proof that the snow was like trillions of crystals (look closely, see the bits of sparkle?!), the moon nearly full!  It was breathtaking to climb out of the truck* and see the lacy pattern the tree limbs cast on the white ground cover!

*We had to take the vehicle best suited for the weather.  Silver Linings Playbook was the movie I had mentioned to The Yard Man, about mid-afternoon.  I wanted to see this film that won the Golden Globe award for Best Picture.  It seemed doubtful, however, we'd get last-minute tickets, seeing as how the movie'd gotten that wonderful acclaim.  And here it was, a weekend evening, and the picture so recently opened at the theater.  "We'll have to get there really early!" I said to the man, knowing how seldom we're ever able to actually do such a thing.

And then it snowed!
We had such a wide array of open seating from which to choose.
This rare and lovely display on the snow was my second silver lining!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013



Tonight's performance was by my two short actors, and The Yard Man and I didn't have to leave the comfort of our own home to enjoy the show!  The Small Actor* opened with a solo performance of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, which was followed by a piano duet by both celebrities.  After a few more collaborative numbers, it was apparent the musical styles of the two did not harmonize.  The Little Actor climbed from the piano bench in disgust.  "We're a rock band!" he exclaimed.
With that, he dropped to the floor and resumed his playing--but this time with the Fisher-Price parking garage.

 You can believe it, Reader Dear, it was not your usual mid-concert occurrence!  
The Small Actor seemed a bit nonplussed, but shortly continued on with his classical pieces.
Meanwhile, The Little Actor wheeled another car into the garage.

*(Small Actor happened to be in the area somewhat unexpectedly,
and left the area after the concert to
return to his southern Virginia home.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013


WE GOT INVITED TO supper and a concert, The Yard Man and I did.  Alas, no photos of the pizzas--the red one and the white one, the salad with pomegranate seeds, the coffee-flavored flan with whipped cream...(um, yum, the pleasant memory!) The friends who issued this invitation had other friends of theirs around their table, as well,  and so the evening was a feast of more than just food! The Yard Man and I gained five instant one-degree-of-separation friends.* As if that weren't enough, after the eating and drinking and conversing, the nine of us pushed our chairs back from the table, got into our coats, and were off to the theater.  It's where we had a fine time laughing and listening to the tunes of John Gorka!

When I say we laughed, Reader Dear, it was mostly at his between-song musings, which I anticipated as much as the music itself.  He's a funny guy!  And he played and sang such a wonderfully eclectic mix--everything from The Wayfaring Stranger to Prom Night in Pigtown (his original [as are a great majority of his songs] in which the pigs danced cheek to cheek).


If you get the chance, Dear Reader, you really must see John Gorka.** 
If you like folk music, his songs are bound to tickle your ears. And I know you'll laugh!

*The enemy of my enemy is my friend, they say.
But take my advice, Reader Dear--it's less stressful, more relaxing--make friends via friends!

**I'm sure he taught that landlord a lesson!
 (Too many of my tenants are trying to teach me)

Friday, January 18, 2013


AH, YOU'VE COME BACK! You've come back!*  (Sweet!)

You light up my 11:00 a.m. world just as I knew you would!
I'd be so happy to look you right in the face with my heartfelt thanks,

but I don't wish to go blind.

*I kind of had a feeling you would,
it's just the delay was driving me nuts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


OH, MY BIG ROUND roly-poly darling, how I miss you!  You've been gone far too long from my sight!

My 11:00 a.m. world is just not the same without you!  I've got to turn on every light in the house to cheer up.  Heck, I've got to turn on every light just to see where I'm going!  It's dark here without you.  It's dark!  Furthermore, I'm holed up inside drinking coffee.  I don't wish to go out because of the gloom, and there's so much I need to go out for!

I beg you.  I beseech you.
Please hurry back!
I've just got to see you tossing those golden rays once again!




Tuesday, January 15, 2013


IT'S A DENSE GRAY afternoon.  Just one more in a long line of gray afternoons.  As I scamper after the twisting and turning thoughts that are making their way through my brain, Reader Dear, I pounce upon this:  A scrap of the distant past!

It is seventh grade.  All of twelve years old, I've got a brand new transistor radio.  The Duke of Earl is a current hit.  Because I can listen to all the current hits now wherever I go, and do so with much regularity, I know this Gene Chandler song.  So when Mike, a pudgy adolescent classmate of mine, leans across my desk to sing, "Puke, puke, puke on Cheryl*," to the classmate on my right, I know exactly the why and the wherefore, and feel so fortunate to be in the know.  For Cheryl's sake, I  express great disgust at the sentiment!**

*We all say it "shurl"
 **Yet I'm also secretly tickled by the clever play of words, undoubtedly the
why and the wherefore of this fragment's long survival!  I don't know what on earth you're going to do with this tidbit, Reader Dear, but it seems quite doubtful to me that you're likely to ponder it decades from now on some cloudy afternoon!***
***Though one never knows!

Friday, January 11, 2013


ONCE AGAIN I'M saying it-- January is just SO predictable!

I mean, here it is, Friday night about half-way through the month, and here I am, at  The Christmas Sing (as I always am).
The house is full of the aunts and uncles and cousins and various other kin of The Yard Man (it always is).
The kin brought lots of food (they always do).
The songs we're singing are very old songs sung by previous generations no longer with us (we always sing these very same songs).
The singing is terrific (it always is).
This year the singing seems even more terrific than last year (it always does).
Uhm...see what I mean, Reader Dear--SO predictable!

(Even the cousin who's a Chinese resident came riding in on a smart phone once again, though Christmas Day had already faded one more day into the past for her than for the rest of us!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


READER DEAR, it appears my life is so full of encores!


Monday, January 7, 2013


SPEAKING OF SHOWS! WE (Pennsylvanians) are now in that week of January when every year the state puts on a show about farm animals and farm equipment and farm tools and food and crops produced on farms.  You may be surprised, Reader Dear,  to hear that we call it The Farm Show!                                                                     
I went to see it today with The Yard Man and my Little Actor.

It would be hard to say which of the three of us enjoyed the show more.  I was so fascinated by the creatures acting in this show.  (It featured a few with frightening features!)

The Little Actor, on the other hand, was enthralled by the large stage equipment!

And that Yard Man, he wanted to head straight for the refreshment area, where vendors were serving up edible cousins of the grunting* and crowing and bleating and lowing actors we'd just seen performing!

*Oh, oinking, for sure oinking!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I know that statement could be taken with a raised eyebrow,
Reader Dear, since I just finished rhapsodizing about a TV show.  But it's true  (That concert I watched a few days ago is held only once a year, after all.)
And if I hadn't gotten so much nudging from others--one daughter, one sister, three sisters-in-law, two very good friends, one stranger at the bank-- I might not have chalked up the two hours of watching tonight.  If the media hadn't waxed so eloquent over this new season; if I hadn't been invited to watch it on a wide-screen TV with five other women; if the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD FOR GOODNESS SAKE weren't watching it, I may have missed Downton Abbey!*

*OMG, what's going to happen to the place?!
What will the new husband do with his new windfall?!
Will that chap get out of jail?!
Will Edith get married?!**
** Er, it used to be that I seldom watched TV, Reader Dear.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I NEARLY FORGOT about that Austrian man who shows up for me every New Year's Day, waves his baton through the air, and whisks me off to other realms!  When I remembered him with a start,  I rushed into the living room and frantically turned on the TV!  I was ten minutes late to the concert!


 The next eighty minutes were the most marvelous highlight of my young new year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

AFTER WHAT SEEMED TO BE a long stretch of one holiday hoopla after another, I've tumbled rather suddenly straight into the New Year! (Sincerely hoping I'll find you here, too, Reader Dear!)   When I took a photo of today's Pork and Sauerkraut 2013 Celebratory Dinner, it struck me that this meal would be the final one of the holiday season!

Desserts at today's meal consisted of:
Freshly-homemade, lavishly-iced coconut cake
Freshly-homemade gingerbread cake with whipped cream accompaniment
Fruit salad
(And that, Dear Reader, was only the sweets.  It was as if everyone in The Yard Man's extended family knocked themselves out in a desperate attempt to trump the Christmas spread!  The sauerkraut was made from scratch! The pork melted in one's mouth!  The freshly baked baguettes made me vow I would set about getting myself a baguette pan of my own, and a baking stone, and ha-ha set aside four hours to bake some of this heavenly bread myself!  [And I haven't even stuffed your fancy with the stuffed mushrooms!])


In the last hours of the old year, The Yard Man and I attended a party where the sweetest sweet was the fellowship of long-standing friends (long-suffering, too! All that groaning and laughing at the oft-told jokes).  But of course, the hummus, and chili, and Hoppin' John*, and veggies, and shrimp, and fruit, and chocolates, and being on the winning dominoes team were all pretty swell as well!

*Something new to eat this new year! The culinary marvel who made this dish claims it's got to be eaten on New Year's eve if one wishes to have even the slightest amount of good luck in the brand new year!  (Dear Reader, how unlucky for you! [She only passed along the recipe today])
**A guy went to jail and discovered that when his fellow cons were whiling away the time together, someone would inevitably call out a number and everybody would laugh.  This happened again and again.  In private he asked his cell mate, who'd been there for years, "What's going on?" 
"Oh," said his cell mate, "we've all been here for  so long, we've heard all the jokes so often, we know 'em by heart!  We assigned a number to each joke, and now we just use the numbers."  The new guy thought about this for a while, and decided he'd give it a try.  The next time all the prisoners were together, he called out, "Number Five!"  ......There was not a snicker.  The guy was embarrassed, but he tried again, "Number Seven!" 
Once again, not a soul laughed.  
As soon as they had returned to their cell, the new guy turned to his cell mate, "What the #&%," he exclaimed. "How come nobody laughed?"
"Well...." replied the older guy, in an apologetic way,  "you know how it is with  jokes.  Some folks can tell 'em, and some can't!"***
*** "Number 4"