Tuesday, February 27, 2018

signs of spring in February


  • I'm feeling some renewal of my urge to purge. The pile of empty boxes and the stuff on the shelves in the basement are calling to me. I run out of gas in the winter...probably starts about November but I don't really feel it until January. I always blame it on the lack of sunshine and maybe that's it. Or maybe I'm just lazy.
  • I can hear birds singing outside the window. Cardinals have been calling since January but this is a new sound. Lots of birds at the feeder and the squirrels are ravenous. And mangy looking.
  • You're either walking on dry pavement or ice. Nothing in between. It's ten degrees over night then rapidly goes up to forty. That makes for lots of meltage and lots of slippery. Walk like a penguin.
  • I get a few ideas about home improvements, DIY stuff, you know. I usually loathe that stuff but if I can figure out a was to make life easier, well...I'm all about that as the kids say. My current idea is to have a row of hooks installed on the south wall in my living room so we can hang our bags and purses there instead of piling them on the floor and the bench which is what we do now and which looks like hell. Like this. Only lower and without the shelf.

  • I'm thinking about the gardens and our plot in the community garden. I'm curious to see if all my new hostas and ferns made it through the winter. We have a twenty-square foot plot at the community garden and I have been researching what to plant. Planning is not my forte so I need advice. I always over-buy...dirt, then pots, then plants. Elliot wants to grow peanuts but peppers, beans, and peas are my priorities. 
  • Winter clothes are starting to feel itchy and uncomfortable. Mittens are easily lost because I need them in the morning and by afternoon, I don't. My heavy wool coat is too heavy and too warm. Yesterday I pushed the stroller to the community center in my heavy coat and almost had to strip once I got there. Wool socks are too warm. Yay t-shirts! Yay sneakers!
  • Thoughts of winter foods are disappearing over the horizon. Chili and meatloaf and heavy soup doesn't sound a bit good. We're yearning for burgers on the grill, smoked ribs, and fresh strawberries.
  • Woodrow is feeling the call of the wild. He spends a lot of time perched on the table behind the couch, eyeing the birds and squirrels. Every time a door opens, even if he is sound asleep with his paw over his eyes, he bolts for the door.
  • Our neighbors are seen outside without a snow shovel in hand! Sometimes an ice buster but it doesn't happen overnight, you know.
  • You need to warm your car up in the morning but by afternoon, you can turn it off and open the window if you aren't going too fast.
There you go. I could probably think of a few more, but I have to go to work. Go out in the sunshine today, my friends!


Monday, February 19, 2018

is it the memory that fails?

We braved the icy roads this morning to take Gus for his grooming. (I had to point out that we go to a lot more money and expense to have our dog groomed than we do ourselves.) Then, because the cupboards are bare we headed to Mankato to buy groceries.

My list making habits are constantly changing based on HyVee marketing. Currently, I browse the print ads and make a list on a notebook, but I also use my phone to make a list and download coupons. The problem with that is my phone has to be out and visible.

This morning we finished our shopping, loaded the groceries in the trunk, I put the cart away, and down the road we went. I was digging in my purse for my phone. Calmly, then frantically. There were only two places it could be...on the checkout counter or in the cart. We find the cart corral and I find my cart...and there's my phone sitting in the freezing rain and snow. Good thing I didn't wait until I got home to look for it. Sigh.

I have kind of a day off today (after the morning fiasco) and there are many things rolling around my head that I could do. The problem is that when I have time to do them I don't feel like doing them. But here goes. To the kitchen I go.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday psychosis

I'm sure I've written about this before...Sunday psychosis. When we were fresh out of college and the working life stretched out endlessly into the future, my good friend Mike talked about the dread of Monday as Sunday psychosis. He said it was so bad he would see amoebas. I'm not sure exactly what he meant but we thought it was hilarious. Still do.

I dislike writing more than two sentences on an electronic device. I see kids type with two thumbs and they seem to be pretty fast, but I'm a one-finger typist on a device, something my typing teachers railed against.

My computer gave me a couple signs that something was amiss. Black screen? Unrecognizable language? So...I'm lounging in the tub, late on a Sunday morning, typing my blog post on my iPad. Sigh.

I've done a couple of the necessary things today like scoop the cat liter and get dressed but now I'm kind of done. Regis got my computer back on the rails. He says we should plan ahead for it going kerplooey, as it surely will one of these days. I love a desktop computer and could easily do without an iPad. I don't read on it anymore so it's really just a fancy way to play Scrabble.

It's gray and sloppy outside. Regis washed my car for me in the middle of the night but I went through one puddle and woosh...the end of that.

I had a drawing lesson this afternoon but that didn't inspire me much either.

I wish someone would invite us to dinner.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

time passing


Many things have been conspiring lately to force me to recognize just how fast time goes. Other people's children who I thought were still small enough to ride in strollers are off to high school, or college. I see high school friends of mine have children in their forties and some of them are great grandparents. And then there is Ella.

Ella was my first granddaughter and I was waiting in the hall the day she was born. I heard her first cries and I wept. She had food allergies as a tiny baby that caused her much misery. We would stare at her little sleeping face and talk about how sweet she was, but when she woke up and started to howl, our eyes bugged out and we froze.

Then she was a little girl who liked to play with makeup, dress up fancy in long dresses, hats, and jewelry. She loved the camera. She loved to bake and cook. She loved to read books in bed.

Suddenly (to me) she is 12 and she wears heels when we go out for dinner. I'm shuffling along in flat, fur-lined boots and she comes down the snowy sidewalk in 4-inch heels. She's almost as tall as I am and she's pretty self-sufficient.

The past two days she came to the Arts Center with me and learned the docent duties...how to open the doors and turn the lights on, how to check the mail box in the alley, how to empty trash and recycling, how to keep track of guests in the gallery and in the clay studio. The Square POS, which has caused no end of consternation among our older staff was a snap for her. Less than five minutes and no instruction and she had it down. She was amazed that I was amazed.

Alex and Elliot turn ten this month. Easton is almost walking. Zoey has dance recitals and walks to school by herself. The two babies, Sully and Natalie, are doing something new every time we see them.

It's wonderful and it's scary.

I talk to my friends and to Regis about how we don't feel old, but I guess we kind of are. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Goodbye to George


For the first time in 14 and a 1/2 years I woke up and it was so quiet. An unnatural quiet. I was used to having George greet me with a wag of his tail and a check of his food dish. Yesterday was a very sad day for me as I had to have George put to sleep. He had been having some kidney problems and each day was a challenge to know what to feed him. I managed for 3 1/2 months to keep him fairly healthy and happy.


My friend Judy and I went to pick up George on a rainy night in Sacred Heart, Minnesota in 2003. My husband thought we should have a dog and he had fallen in love with Deb's little Yorkie. He enjoyed George very much during the time he was so ill; George was a wonderful diversion for him. Estle passed away in 2004, but did love his little pet and George was a great companion for him. George was a darling puppy, he weighed only 21/2 pounds, but quickly grew into a ferocious little guard dog of 7 pounds. Beware if you rang the doorbell or walked past our house with another dog who easily outweighed George by 90 pounds. He would bound out the door or off the patio and nip at the big dog's heels. He was protecting his family and their property from any and all invaders.


He was a typical terrier. He did not like a to wear a collar or be restrained in any way. What he did he did on his terms. He liked to jump up and sit on my lap while I read or watched television. I f he did not think I was petting him enough he would reach out a little paw and pat my hand so I would continue petting him.


As I said before , getting him to east something was a challenge. The past months he had Spagetti O's, tuna fish, cat food, dog food, soup. cottage cheese, donut holes and anything I was having for dinner.


One week he slept for two days and did not eat anything, so I thought this is it. I called the Vet and made and appointment to have him put down. On the third day he got up, proceeded to eat and seemed to do well.I cancelled the Vet call and she told me, " I didn't feel like getting up those gloomy days either", and remember George is in his 90's.


Saturday night he paced in circles and would tip over and I knew it was time to let go. I called the Vet on Sunday morning and she told me if I could get him there in a half hour she would take care of him. She had her bags packed and was ready to go to Sioux Falls for a few days. Luckily my daughter was with me this weekend , so she drove and also took George into the clinic where the Vet gave him a shot. Teresa held him and she said he just went to sleep very peacefully. We took him home to Canby and my friend Gerry Gingles dug a grave for George in my flower bed. He placed a piece of concrete garden art on top of the grave and very gently wound vines around the statue. Judy Larson brought a rose and placed it on his grave. Such good friends


I miss my little George, but know it was kinder to let him go than to keep alive and suffer. Goodbye little Georgie. I love you and miss you.


A short epilogue:
Sunday morning when I got up, my house was a mess. Things tipped over and pee pads scattered. George was sleeping peacefully, but had evidently had somehow turned the Roomba on by accident. So George had the last laugh; he was innocent. It was that darn Roomba that made the mess.

Shirley Saum

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

fat cat


Fat Cat. I took Woodrow to the vet at 11:00 yesterday. He had a rabies shot but the focus of the visit was on his weight. The vet suggested a reduced calorie food as we’ve already cut back on treats, follow feeding guidelines, and he no longer gets tuna at noon. In spite of all this, he gained two pounds. I brought him home and left the low cal food on the counter. Regis came home a couple hours later to find a bag of caramels ripped open and strewn around the living room. What the.

Woody is a fussy eater. I doubt he ate any caramels. It was definitely an act of rebellion.

And it wasn't Gus because Gus never gets into things. If there is food on a table right in front of him, he might rest his nose within inches, but he won’t touch it.

They have been known to work together. We came home once to find an Egg McMuffin wrapper on the floor. Gus wouldn't take something off the counter and Woody wouldn't eat it so it was a mystery. We finally figured out that Woody knocked it to the floor and Gus ate it. Devious little pals.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

upside down at the park

Upside down

Easton likes to look at things upside down. Here he is demonstrating by hanging over my lap at the Rock Bend Folk Festival, just getting a new perspective on the huge crowd of funky people. It's a really good idea, the upside down version of the world. When you start to get a little glum or grumpy, tip your head and look at things in a new way.

The park was filled to the brim yesterday. Many vendors (which I will look at more closely today), wonderful music, good friends and family, food and drink. A bee took a bath in Regis's beer and fast little bugger that he was, managed to bite him on the end of his tongue before being spat out upon the grass. Other than that, a good time was had by all.

We're going back today because there's more music that we love: The Frye, City Mouse, Everett Smithson, Erik Koskinen. It must be what heaven is like...good music in the sunshine surrounded by all this hippiness. Peace and love, man.