Monday, August 14, 2017

Weather Thou Goest in Portland, Seattle, or....


Public Service Announcement

On Friday, 25 August 2017 at 7p.m. Inklings Book Store in
Yakima will host a poetry reading of: (drum roll, please!) the
world renown poets Lynn M. Knapp and Thomas A. Hubbard.
These two poets have graciously allowed me to read with them,
so if you're in the Yakima area, Come On Down! (or up or over or whatever).

On Saturday, 26 August 2017, we will be reading at Eternity
Wines in Walla Walla at 2 p.m., and then at 7 p.m. at Adventures
Underground in Richland. All three venues will offer an open mic
at the end of the reading, so grab your favorite poem and come join
us for an evening of fun, possible frivolity, and great poetry!

Oh, and bring money. Books will be available for purchase (and signing).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Hoo boy! We finally have blue sky and considerably cooler temps. It's been a long couple of weeks of 24/7 smoke and haze, and triple digit, or near triple digit, weather. Sunday morning we had a bit of wet fall from the sky, and then a nice breeze came along and moved all the smoke, haze, and or clouds somewhere else. Our highs for the next few days will be in the 80s. At the moment ( 0600 Monday morning) it is 55F outside.

Years ago, on a first date, the gentleman asked me what my favorite season was. I had to think about that for a bit. Did I have a favorite season? I decided that no, I did not; I smiled and told him my favorite season was whatever one I was in.

It's true. I find things to like about each season, and try not to complain (at least not too much) about the heat of summer or the chill of winter. Or my electric bill for either. ;-)

When I was a kidlet, my Grandpa Skipper spoiled me pretty rotten, except when the news and weather came on the radio. Then woe unto whoever made noise of any kind. Even, perhaps especially, spoiled granddaughter. Years later, when I lived in Portland, Oregon, I remember my favorite DJ, Barney Keep, explain how to accurately forecast our weather. No one else could, so I paid attention. He said words to the effect, "Look out your window. If you can see Mt. Hood, carry your raincoat. If you can't see Mt. Hood, wear your raincoat." It was funny—but true. Our temperatures were temperate, with few major swings either up or down.

Portland, Oregon is one of the most difficult places to accurately forecast the weather. Or was before satellites. Portland Town gets weather systems from the Columbia Gorge, the Willamette Valley, and the Pacific Ocean all converging in that one location. NOAA & Co has come a long way in the predicting business since I was a kidlet ;-).

Many years after that, while I was still married to my Dearly Beloved Ex, he had the same attitude about the radio news & weather, and woe unto anyone, child or spouse, who dared to speak or make noise during those few minutes. We didn't live in Portland, and couldn't see the mountain, but we were close to Seattle, and had the same basic weather. One day, I smiled sweetly (damn near broke my face on that one!), and asked him why he had to hear the weather so religiously. He explained he needed to know how to dress for the day/evening/whatever. Still smiling, I told him to look out the living room window. If he could see the house across the street he should carry his raincoat. If he couldn't see the house across the street he should wear it. And if he really wanted total silence during the weather, to go listen to it in the car, the kids and I were not going to stop whatever we were doing to be quiet. Hmmm, do you suppose that's why he's my Dearly Beloved Ex?

Anyhow, I thought I'd pass along those words of wisdom in case you could use them. In the meantime, I use the NOAA site for the weather predictions in Kennewick. http://www.weather.gov Got into that habit of checking NOAA when I lived in Florida. We had those pesky things called Hurricanes down there. Much more important to know what's going on. This is an image of Hurricane Charley, just before the wall slammed into my home. I was home. Lemme tell ya, it was one heck of a ride!


This image blew in from the www.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sometimes, Life Happens



Public Service Announcement

On Friday, 25 August 2017 at 7p.m. Inklings Book Store in
Yakima will host a poetry reading of: (drum roll, please!) the
world renown poets Lynn M. Knapp and Thomas A. Hubbard.
These two poets have graciously allowed me to read with them,
so if you're in the Yakima area, Come On Down! (or up or over or whatever).

On Saturday, 26 August 2017, we will be reading at Eternity
Wines in Walla Walla at 2 p.m., and then at 7 p.m. at Adventures
Underground in Richland. All three venues will offer an open mic
at the end of the reading, so grab your favorite poem and come join
us for an evening of fun, possible frivolity, and great poetry!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

You may have noticed that I did not post an episode of Odds n Bods last week. That's because Life happened. It doesn't happen often in my corner of the world, but when it does, hoooo boy, I grab it and hang on! A brief run down is that I decided to get new windows installed. The old ones were no longer holding their seal, nor were they helping to keep the warm out (or in, whichever was appropriate), and they were aluminimumuumum framed. They were scheduled to be installed on Tue & Wed last week. In the meantime, I had to get everything away from the windows, and get all the valences (6) down, blinds (3) down, and I still can't put my head back without falling over. So Thu before the Glass Guys came, a sweet young man (my favorite daughter's favorite significant other) came over and took everything down for me, and helped me move heavy stuff. OK, I could live with the mess for a week or so.

And then a friend called and said he was coming through town and could we get together, so I had unexpected (well, expected, but with date to be determined). Of course, the date was determined to be when the house was an almost total disaster) so I had delightful company for a couple of days. A true gentleman, he ignored the mess.

And then, and then, along came the Glass Guys (go on, admit it. You thought it was gonna be and then along came Jones, didn't ya?*). They had a cancellation, could they come on Mon afternoon instead of Tue morning? They could. They were here a couple of hours and got the new slider installed, and the new living room window. They came back on Tuesday and finished installing the other 4 windows, and I now have new windows, all filled with argon gas that really keeps the summer out (and I'm assuming the winter out, too), vinyl frames, and my house is just about back together. My wallet is in shock, but hey, as Dolly Levi (Hello, Dolly) said, "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow."

Then my daughter's very nice SO came back on Thu, with Apprentice (his young son) and they put all the valences and curtain rods back. I decided to not put the blinds back as they were used primarily in a sad attempt to keep the heat out. Since I live on the second floor, I don't need them for privacy, I have curtains for that. ;-) I now have a 10ft vertical blind, an 8ft mini venetian blind, and an 8ft honeycomb blind in my dungeon. If any of you want them, they are free to a good home.

My office is on the west side of the condo. It gets very warm in the summer. No longer. The new windows make a huge difference! Same in the guest/sewing room, which is also on the west side. I can close the windows and let the sun shine and enjoy comfort. Aaaah, life is good ;-)

So there you have it. All the reasons I didn't get Odds n Bods posted last week. And thank you to those who noticed, missed it, and asked about it. It's nice to know I have a fan club. ;-)

*OK, for those of you who have a hankerin' to hear it again perhaps for the first time, here are George Jones & Johnny Paycheck singing "Along Came Jones." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB1yudBBQkQ

Monday, July 24, 2017

I May Never Eat Another Spud. Ever. Thanks, Andy Weir!

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, I finished reading one of the bestest books I've read in ages, The Martian –by Andy Weir. Oh! My! God! What a ride. (My review is here:  http://lenoragood.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-martian-by-andy-weir.html if you're interested). Thanks to Andy Weir, I may never eat another potato as long as I live. As I lazed on the sofa, recouping from being stranded on Mars and eating more spuds than I knew existed, I watched the news. That night was the 48th anniversary of our landing on the moon. Do you remember it? I do.

I was very pregnant 48 years ago, and had taken the bus from Portland to Taft, Oregon (now part of Lincoln City) and was spending a few days on the Siletz River with my grandparents in their travel trailer parked at Mick's Place (last time I was there, it was Coyote Rock). The Portland Oregonian newspaper had kindly published instructions so people could not only watch the moon landing, but could photograph it from their televisions. Bravo Oregonian!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6A72ufn3l4 about half-way through the video the horizon starts going up and down. Well, actually the horizon stayed put, the guys with the cameras were going up and down. Photo stolen from the web.

So there the Skipper and I were (Skipper was my grandfather) in their little trailer, with our tripods set up in the galley, cameras pointed at the exceptionally small and grainy tv (no dish, no cable). I watched the whole thing through my viewfinder. Did I mention I was pregnant? Very pregnant? Well, as Neil and Buzz cavorted about on the moon with their cameras, the horizon went down and up and down and up and.... It took a lot, but I managed to keep my stomach from going up and down and up and out and.... There I was, on an airless, waterless moon, and I was seasick!

What a thrill! What excitement! We were on the moon!!! First stop in space exploration. Mars, here we come, ready or not!

When I got home, I called my Auntie Marie and asked if she'd seen it. Oh, yes, she'd seen it. Like everyone else who could get to a tv, she was enthralled. She remembered when the Wright Brothers flew for the first time, and she told anyone who would listen that she would live to see men land on the moon. She could picture space flight, but in her wildest imagination, she never saw remote tv. She thought she'd live long enough to read about it in the paper, see an article on the evening news, she was totally gobsmacked that she actually got to SEE it.

I miss my Auntie Marie, a whole lot. But I'm kind of glad she didn't live to see the space programs killed. That would have been a huge disappointment, not to mention heart ache, for her (as it was for a lot of us). And thank our lucky stars we now have Elon Musk! And Neil deGrasse Tyson! And other visionaries!

In the meantime, I truly don't think I can ever eat another spud. While I watched the horizon move down and up on the tube, and managed to keep my dinner where it belonged 48 years ago, I had a really hard time surviving all those days by eating spuds while stranded on Mars for about 18 months last week. My least favorite veggie to begin with and by the time I finished the book, I really don't like them. If you haven't yet read The Martian, I strongly suggest you do. It's worth the read. Just don't start it at bedtime. (And poor Marc Watney didn't even have hot sauce to make those spuds palatable!)

A most special thanks to those of my friends who graciously let me have part of their life-time supply of exclamation marks for the writing and publication of this blog. No exclamation marks, or friends, were harmed during the process.


Monday, July 17, 2017

I Have Attained My Super Power (Are You Jealous?)

Remember when you were a kidlet, and played Let's Pretend with your friends? When my friends and I played cowboys and Indians, I was always the Indian, by my choice, not luck of the draw. And I did not always die, and if I did, I took a lot of White Eyes with me. Sometimes we pretended to be the King, sometimes the Knight—Slayer of Dragons, Rescuer of Fair Maidens. Because, when I was that age, dragons were still horrible beasts, and could not be ridden. Now, I would be Rider of Dragons, Rescuer of Fair Hunks.

And, of course, we would choose our super powers. Some of us could fly, leap tall buildings, throw a really yuge and heavy hammer, crash golden bracelets together—I became invisible. That was the super power I wanted: Invisibility.















Me, as I wanted to appear as a child

I wanted to be able to pick on Mrs. H when she was our substitute teacher (I didn't much care for her), throw chalk at her, clap the erasers together over her head. I wanted to stay up late and read my library books (we didn't have TV). I wanted to be able to listen in on forbidden conversations, catch spies, stop crime before it happened. I wanted to be invisible!

Now that I am in my 70s, have more silver in my hair than brown, I have attained my super power. Yes, indeed, I am invisible!

A few months ago, I tripped shortly after I exited my car, and down I went. Dame Fortune smiled upon me (well, maybe it was a grimace, but she at least saw me) and tilted my collapsing self to the sidewalk, not the parking lot. People drove by and didn't see me in my bright and multi-colored quilted jacket lumped on the sidewalk. People walked by me, stepped around me, and at best made unkind remarks about being drunk so early in the morning (it was 0800), or how I should sleep in a shelter instead of out where children could see. NOT ONE PERSON SAW ME as a human in distress.















Selfie of me, as seen today

Fortunately, once my stars (bright and multi-colored) receded back into the heavens, I was able to take an inventory of my bones and hide; none were broken, but I couldn't get up. (Yes, the commercial is true: Help! I've fallen and I can't get up.) There was nothing near that I could grab to pull myself up. I was doomed to spend the rest of my life on that cold concrete, a whimpering lump of unseen brightly clothed invisibility.

Finally, a young man, I'm guessing about 17 years old, who looked like he was on the varsity wrestling team walked by. I called to him and asked his help. He seemed surprised—he apparently did not know sidewalks could talk—but his eyes quickly saw it was a lump of brightly colored person on the sidewalk who called to him, and he came over, easily pulled me to a vertical position, ascertained I was, in fact, okay and not drunk, and walked away.

Well, surely that was a one-time deal, right? Wrong. The other day I went into my most favoritest store in the whole wide world to buy some office supplies. I have shopped in this store for a dozen years. I know many of the people by name. I could not find what I needed. I could not find an employee to help me. If I saw a worker bee over there, by the time I got to over there to ask help, said worker bee had flitted off to somewhere else. I stood around looking lost. Finally, I decided they couldn't see me, so I came home and ordered what I wanted from Amazon.com.

I have attained my super power, and it ain't as much phun as I thought it might be. I think I'll play Let's Pretend again, and be considerably younger!