Release the Kraken!

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I wanted to cry, “Release the Kraken!” this morning.

The Kraken!

The Kraken!

Spanish moss

I had intentions of pulling weeds in the front and back yard, but I knew I had to trim the bushes a little bit too. I didn’t want to lug out the hedge trimmers and extension cord. It was already hot out this morning! So I found the pruning shears my husband had unearthed during his garage-clean a couple of weeks ago and went out front.

I trimmed the very pointy holly hedges that bracket the front porch then looked at the live oak tree on the corner of the property. It was lush and lovely and draping low now over the sidewalk and street. *sigh* So off I went.

Being a little bit shorter than average (ha!) I had to reach up and pull down the branches I wanted to clip. I went along, getting a nice little pile going as I made certain no one would lose an eye cutting the grass or walking on the sidewalk, and then thought I’d attack the Kraken. Spanish moss, for those of you unaware of the resemblance to the mythical beast. I trimmed and snipped and then reached up to release a branch killed some time before by the moss and barely hanging on. Aargh! Moss and dirt and bark rained down on me!

I brushed off and finished the job, cursing under my breath since kids were walking by on their way to school, and finished the weeding. So that’s done. And the next time the tree needs trimming? My husband can do it.

Release the Kraken!

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The dwarfs need a new foreman

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Yeah, I think the dwarfs need a new foreman.

New Foreman Needed.

New Foreman Needed.

There’s a small house I pass every time I drive to my daughter’s house. It’s under construction and set on a big plot of land, in a thick copse of trees between two even bigger plots of land. The houses on the adjoining lots are large, sprawling even. The house in question? It’s a teeny little thing that looks like Snow White’s cottage.

Seriously, this house has the steeply peaked roofs and the cozy gables. Deeply shadowed eaves and the requisite fireplace. Here’s the thing. The fireplace chimney is framed to be curvy as it reaches for the sky. Charming? Yes, it’s very adorable. And looks very much like the dwarfs’ cottage. I live in Central Florida, the land of Walt Disney World. There are houses dotting the whole landscape here and there that look like they could have sprung right out of the first reel of a Disney cartoon. In fact, Give Kids The World Village is filled with these charming buildings to help sick kids and their families forget their troubles for a little while. I’d love to see this particular little cottage in our neck of the woods finished.

This house seems to be at the same state of construction since I first took note of it in February. Oh, I see trucks parked outside sometimes. And the door was open once. Just the other day, ladders leaned against the front and back of the house. And yet, nothing seems to be happening.

I remarked to my daughter, “That’s what happens when you make Sleepy the foreman.” She replied with, “Yeah, everyone knows the foreman needs to be Doc!”

The place is very cute, though. I admit I wouldn’t mind staying there, as long as forest creatures do the housework!

 

Lawn Mower Angst

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I willingly endured lawn mower angst this morning. Ah, Florida in May! Steamy hot like summer yet spring love bugs buzzing around your face.

Lawn demands

Lawn demands

I really don’t mind cutting the grass. Too much, lol. There’s just something about the constant demands of the job! Even as I’m doing it I’m thinking that it will have to be cut again next week. Oh, and the trimming and edging has to be done, too. Grr.

I always worry that there won’t be enough gas in the lawn mower before I start. And then I worry that the gas can won’t have any gas in it and I don’t want to put that can in my pretty little beetle! Yuck! But the biggest worry? The biggest pain in the *ss? Starting the darn thing.

Now, we have a very reliable mower that we’ve had for over 10 years. But you see, I’m short. There’s something to the speed and pull of the cord that I can’t seem to master. I’m sure it has something to do with the angle and I can’t achieve it on the first, second or even third pull! I hop when I pull, lol. I hop and shove the mower away as I pull and eventually I can get the thing to grumble to life. Then off I go!

So tomorrow I’ll trim and edge. It’s going to rain this afternoon, so I’ll take the reprieve. My shoulder hurts from pulling on the cord over a dozen times and my hands are still tingling from holding so tight to the bar thingie that keeps the mower from running me over if I trip and fall. And you know what?

I get to do it again next week. Unless I can talk my son-in-law into doing it, lol.

Jingle All The Way!

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I ran at night again, wearing bells so I would jingle all the way! Our little “town” had its winter festival over the weekend, but I didn’t get a chance to explore the booths. As it was, the snow machine broke so there was no snow. Oh, did I mention we live in Central Florida? The promise of snow is a really big thing. So the snow was a no-show. But the main attraction for me wasn’t the snow or the ice or the slides. No. It was the 5K run to benefit the high school cross country team. And guess what? I took first place in my age and gender!

Harmony Christma5K!

Harmony Christma5K!

Now, this is my first anything in any race ever. My pace isn’t blistering by any means. It’s right around 10 minutes per mile. I’m psyched about that, though. Considering when I started running a year ago it was closer to 14! But back to the night run.

We started from the town center and headed out toward the far lake. Just like I do for my longer runs. It’s really weird to run it at night, though. The race started at 6 and it was dark. Really dark. We have those darn dark-sky compliant streetlights that really don’t cast much light on the road, either. But, with so many people running with so many bells tied to them getting lost wasn’t a problem!

I had bells on my head, wearing a silly elf hat. Bells on my shoes, courtesy of the organizers. It was a lot of fun. We hung around later for the awards, but I was certain I wasn’t going to get a darn thing. I was stunned. First place among women 50 and over! Yes, I’m 50. But I was a whole two minutes faster than the chick who came in behind me so ha!

I’m really proud of my daughter, though. She took first in her age, first overall for women over 18 and third over-over-all! She’s my coach, by the way. And she’s tough, all 100 pounds of her.

So I run now. I run in races. I win races. Jingle all the way, baby!

World Through a Peephole

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I view my world through a peephole. At least for the time-being.

peephole

Here’s the story. Our house is being painted. Two days ago the paint guys showed up and started the prep work. Cracks filled, peeling paint scraped away, bushes, trees, windows and sliding doors covered with plastic. There’s the crux of the thing. That thick, cloudy plastic.

That afternoon, after the guys partially sprayed the first coat on the back of the house, the rains started. Now, here in Central Florida we get the afternoon rains. They come fast and leave just as quickly. But that day the rain stayed and stayed. To the tune of about three inches before it finally stopped some time during the night.

So okay. I expected work to resume the next day. Did it? No, because the rains came again! In the morning, of all things. That just does not happen! Back to my view.

Everything is covered with plastic for the third day. The only way to see outside is through the peephole in the front door. The cats sit by the windows and slider, perplexed looks on their faces as they peer at the cloudy plastic. My grandson hears the garbage truck coming, his favorite thing, and goes to the window hoping to see it. Nope. Nothing is visible. The peephole isn’t for him, though. We open the front door and he catches a fleeting glance of the green and yellow truck turning the corner.

Today more rain is expected. The peephole continues to be my view to the outside world. I guess I’ll have to adjust to this new narrow view. And maybe, just maybe, the sun will come out tomorrow!

I Drive Slow During Love Bug Season

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I drive slow during love bug season. Yes, how romantic they are. Flying around coupled together until they procreate or die trying. Never mind that they get on your clothes, into your house and nothing else on earth eats them.

Love Bugs

Love Bugs

It’s taken me a few seasons–not as many years, since the nasty things have TWO seasons a year!–but I’ve figured out how to minimize the carnage smeared on the front half of my car.

On my many drives throughout Central Florida during the spring and fall, I’ve discovered the optimum ramming speed for love bugs. Generally, they spatter and gum up your windshield etc. if you drive faster than about 47 to 52 miles an hour. Depending on wind conditions, of course. Now, these are not hard and fast rules, but I set my cruise control at 50 on the dot and that definitely minimizes the amount of debugging I’ll have to do later. The bugs usually swoop up and over my windshield without making impact. For the most part.

So I have to allow a few extra minutes to get where I’m going. For me, it’s a small price to pay. Do you know the dryer sheet trick? Well, it’s a lifesaver but if you have dozens instead of hundreds of the things on your car the clean-up process takes much less time.

Now, I’ve managed to adapt. How about the love bugs meet me half way? Adapt to fly ten feet higher than you normally do! You’ll avoid catastrophe, finish what you, ahem, started, and deflect the endless ire of residents and visitors alike.

How about it?

The Magic of Pumpkin Potpourri

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Okay, pumpkin potpourri isn’t really magic. Or is it?

Pumpkin Potpourri

Pumpkin Potpourri

I’m up in New England visiting family and eager to make this long-distance thing work. My husband is currently up here for work while I am in Central Florida. He goes where his company needs him, usually for a year or more at a time, before they kindly request he go put out fires at another location. No worries maritally, though. We’re only separated geographically!

So I’m spending a couple of weeks hopping back and forth between visiting my parents and sister and staying in my husband’s new and incredibly bland apartment. This place has absolutely no warmth whatsoever. Last night we went to one of my favorite holiday-themed stores which shall remain nameless. Found the usual goodies and a few surprises. A bag of only chocolate (all chocolate!) tootsie pops. Cheap bottle of olive oil. Pans so I can cook and feel somewhat at home here. Then I saw it. A big honkin’ bag of pumpkin-scented potpourri.

I bought a cutesy little basket to put it in but it was the spicy, cinnamony scent of the slightly ugly combination of seed pods, bark and little green fuzzy things (what are those, anyway?) that made me feel like this could be a little bit like home away from home. We bought a table and chairs too and, yes, the basket full of autumn sits in the center. I can smell it from my laptop now, and it really makes a difference.

Scent is very powerful. Do you have a favorite scent that evokes warm, comfy feelings in you? Share, please!