Cattails In the Corner

15 08 2018

Cattails in the corner

As promised – the photo of the cattails growing in the northwest corner where the two retaining walls meet. There is a small crack between the concrete walls and the asphalt paving and a constant seep of water. We think there might be a natural spring finding an outlet as there are a lot of them along this ridge, once part of an ancient lake shore. Lots of clay and sand on the slope of the ridge which faces mostly east and runs north and south. These popped up this spring. No sign of the brown cattails themselves yet but it’s the first year for them and they might not even be cattails, we’re not sure.Whatever they are they’re a good six feet tall and there are dragonflies that like to visit and sit on them.

There are some elderberry plants down in the “alley”, a cottonwood sapling, several well-grown trees-of-heaven (which need to be removed as they’ve grown into the electric lines), burdock, thistle and other weedy growth which has made the “alley” pretty much impassible. It’s city property but they don’t bother with it and won’t unless there are complaints. Not many people ever see it so there’s not much likelihood it’ll change. It would make a nice place for raised beds full of vegetables along with a few flowers, if someone wanted to make the effort to clean it up and tend that kind of garden as it’s sheltered between a high concrete retaining wall and the rear wall of a commercial building with no rear doors and only opens on the south end, there’s a fence, trees and bushes on the north end, and good full sun most of the day.

 

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Good-bye, Facebook

17 07 2018

I will be closing my account with Facebook. I strongly disagree with Mr. Zuckerberg about “privacy is a social norm of the past”, especially as he seems to protect HIS privacy. The rest of us are not comfortable with having our personal information flying loose on the breeze. A recent post on Dick Eastman’s “Privacy Blog” is well worth the read. He makes a couple of recommendations about alternative social sites and having taken a look at both, MeWe [which I likely will be subscribing to very soon] and Idka [also a distinct possibility]. I like being able to see photos of my friends and family members, seeing the occasional video and posting odd bits of news myself. I do not like the unwanted, uninteresting and annoying advertising Facebook plasters on my page. I do not care for the fact that as far as Facebook is concerned, my information is free for their taking and sale to anyone, anywhere and damn the consequences to me. I invite my family, friends and readers to join me in leaving Facebook. Mr. Eastman is quite right, I’m voting with my “feet” by walking away from Facebook, closing my account with them, deleting as much of my information from their site as possible and leaving them in the dust. They ABUSED the trust placed in them and that leaves them most deserving of whatever consequences they will face with the loss of business. They make NO attempt to keep underage users off the site which means that the information of underage users is also available to those who have no business accessing it.

I will be posting this same article on my other blogs as well.





Please Read

10 06 2018

Please read this article by Roberta Estes.  

If you or anyone you know is dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide, this is important. Roberta has been there, she is not a medical or mental health professional, simply a person who had dealt with the realities of these issues.





Nothing in particular

13 01 2018

Today is sunny and cold. We did not get the amount of snow that had been forecast – fortunately, so the driveway and front walk are passable.

The spouse is cooking, I don’t much now, did for years and years and when it was down to the two of us it got to the point I got tired of the complaints and “retired” from the kitchen.

Turns out it was probably a good thing since I was not the one doing the grocery shopping, the lists provided were either forgotten or ignored and when plans for a dish or meal were left in shambles without the required ingredients there was cause for complaint. So now the spouse continues to do the shopping but only gets a few items I request – usually while wandering the store while on the phone with me and that’s usually rather comic.

“I’m in the bread aisle.”

“Grab a loaf of pumpernickel.”

“I’m past there.”

“Go back and grab one. It’s not like you’re across the store.”

“Okay, got it.”

Long silence with store and cart noises for a minute or so.

“I was thinking.”

“Okay, and?”

“Rolls.”

“What?”

“Rolls, I forgot to grab them.”

“Are you still in the bread aisle?”

“No, I have to go back.”

And on through the store he goes, going back to various aisles even though he keeps saying he doesn’t want to go back.

“Did you get the things I asked for?”

“Not yet.”

“You’ll have to go back to get them.”

“I don’t feel like it.”

“Then why didn’t you get them while you were where the items were?”

“I was talking to you.”

“No, you weren’t. Most of the time you weren’t on the phone, it was sitting in the cart. I could hear the wheel squeak and the canned music in the background.”

“I was thinking.”

“Please, would you go get those items?”

“Oh, all right. I’ll be home soon.”

There are variants on the phone calls from the stores. Sometimes they are more spouse thinking out loud than conversations, I only have to grunt once in awhile for those and they usually occur while spouse is in a home improvement store hunting for some small part or fastener. I used to go along on those expeditions, they were long, the whole place had to be traversed several times. I can’t walk and stand that long anymore and the last time I used the electric cart it took three of them and hours to get done and decided it was silly to go with him anymore. So now it’s virtual, sort of, since he can’t send me video (thank heavens).

A lot of work still going on around the building, it keeps spouse busy and out of trouble, except for his home improvement store expeditions – they take even longer when he’s alone. I just heard the car leave – know where he’s off to.

 

 

 





A New Year

6 01 2018

I am glad 2017 is gone. It was another year of huge losses, frustration and promises by others unkept. I’ve done my part, tried to secure employment which didn’t happen (it seems that my age and appearance are a major factor, which, as I see it, shouldn’t matter a damn), lost everything in the storage units (which included family heirlooms, household goods, my library – everything) and am still without any kind of medical or dental care or income – such fun.

I am still in temporary quarters, preparing to move to more temporary quarters downstairs when the apartment is ready. I was told at the beginning of 2017 that we would be in a house, permanently, before the middle of the year – didn’t happen. Not because I didn’t work toward it, I did, it wasn’t something that I really had any kind of influence over in the first place, all of it was in the hands of other people.

I don’t think it’s easy for others to understand that when a person is physically disabled, they lose a lot of their autonomy, they are overlooked, ignored, passed over regardless of their education, gifts, skills or whatever, they’re “different”. Things have gotten better generally for physically disabled people but there are still a lot of jobs that are simply beyond my physical abilities and there doesn’t seem to be a point to trying to get a job it is not possible for me to do physically. I had an acquaintance tell me that I should volunteer at a soup kitchen, which I wouldn’t mind, but the staff said when I called to ask about it that there wouldn’t be much point, I’d have to be able to stand for at least a couple of hours (not something I can do, no matter how much I might want to). Should I even mention trying the “work-at-home” scams? I tried the transcription thing but it certainly wasn’t something that would afford a viable income, not even “pin-money”. The audio was generally wretchedly unintelligible, and there was a lot of jargon and crosstalk, it took 5 hours to “earn” $1.86.  I type fast enough, it just wasn’t possible to understand enough of what was said to transcribe it.

However, I’m investigating some other options, there’s got to be something that will generate an income and that is within my physical limitations. I’m hoping that 2018 will see us in a house, permanently. I’m deeply grateful for the temporary quarters, I can’t say I even want to think about where I and my spouse would’ve been otherwise. We’ve had food, heat and electricity, a functional bathroom, a place to sleep and keep what possessions we’ve got left, a place for our elderly dog, a way to cook and wash dishes and laundry, great blessings indeed. So maybe 2018 will be better all around.

 

 

 





Unexpected Problems

14 04 2017

These last several days have been very busy for my spouse. We had a considerable problem that had to be tended to quickly, which it was. Last week half the roof on the building we’re living in literally lifted up and folded back on itself during the afternoon which wasn’t really all that windy. It sounded like someone fell down the interior stairwell, except no one did – I looked all around the building to see what caused the noise, found nothing. I did tell my spouse about it. There was another search and again nothing to see. Later in the day we had rain, not as much thunder and lightning as forecast but plenty of rain, steady, soaking rain. Around 1700 hrs. we heard a steady drip which was quickly located in the bathroom and a trip up to see the upstairs neighbor by my spouse. We found it odd that it was dripping on the second floor but not the third which is right under the roof, accompanied by a comment that it was probably a pipe and would be a pain to fix because it would mean tearing out a wall or ceiling. About 1815 hrs. the other neighbor on the same floor came over to say they were getting water dripping in their apartment which information I relayed to my spouse, and which elicited another groan. There was a visit to the neighbor and my spouse again went up to see the third floor neighbor who was not home at that point. A knock on the door at 1900 hrs. was the third floor neighbor asking me to come up and see the drips, I went up and it was more than drips, it was a stream of water coming out of the living room ceiling. Spouse came up only minutes later and the mops, buckets and long night of emptying buckets, pots and plastic garbage cans was started, on all three floors on one side of the building.

The next day my spouse got the ladder up to the third floor porch and opened the scuttle to the roof. We had talked about it and figured the patch that had recently been put on a small leak had failed. I was told a short while later that it was far more than a failed patch. The northeast corner of the roof had just pulled up, folded back on itself and basically left about a quarter of the building with no protection from the rain. Spouse and helper were off to get the necessary materials to fix the problem. It did stop raining before they were up there to see the damage, at least the easily visible damage. The third floor neighbor had gone out around noon and I was working on the computer when there was a loud WHUMP!!! and the building shook. I called my spouse who called the building owner and third floor neighbor, both on their way here. Most of the ceiling had come down in the bedroom and some in the living room. So the clean-up was started.

Materials came and the roof was fixed over the following couple days. I was told the contractor who did the job about 4-5 years ago had chintzed on materials, used nails far too short, not overlapped the roofing material properly and the whole works was like someone had only used thumbtacks instead of nails to hold the roofing material down. There was a lot of upset for the owner, who is very good about seeing to maintenance and repairs.

Yesterday there was the removal of the remaining ceiling in that apartment and I was told the insulation was still just sodden. The mess cleared up and the replacement of the ceiling and upper part of two walls taken in hand, they will probably have the drywall up and ready for primer by the end of the day today.

This last week or so was one of lots of extra work, unexpected expense and some aggravation for both the owner and upstairs neighbor. Both, however, are aware of the fact that no matter how well you take care of sometimes unexpected problems can occur. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow things will be back to a more normal footing around here.





Middle of March

15 03 2017

Somehow it’s the middle of March. We have snow, enough to prevent getting out of the driveway and down the hill, it’s too slippery. We watched a car from further up the hill slide and almost slide into the big condo building. There is melting where the sun hits and things should be passable tomorrow, which with warmer temperatures will increase the melting. We do have the beginnings of the “glacier” on the front sidewalk again. Wherever the water is coming from it comes up over the edge of the sidewalk and flows across it, which when cold enough grows the sheet of ice that turns into the “glacier”.

I am looking forward to spring.