Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dusting up

Having in the past year assumed personal responsibility for keeping my home clean, i.e. vacuumed, dusted and mopped, I have been attentive to those ads for "wetjets" and fluffy dusters. None of these ads, however, had prepared me for fluffy dusters that shed clumps of fluff as you dust, or for dusting cloths which simply move the dust into bunches and pile it into corners of the dusted surface. And my use of the wetjet has sent me back to my trusty mop for clean floors.

My final word on cleaning materials: Use the tried and tested and familiar forms. The other stuff, probably made in China, is worthless, no matter how many mops you've watched weeping in their seats as their cabs pulled away from the curb. Don't believe everything (anything?) you see on TV.

A bright start to a new day

Spectacular sunrise this morning. Beautiful sunny day in the valley. I sympathize with my friends at home, as well as my cousin and her family in Oklahoma City. This is a wild winter, and I absolutely believe we should be paying more attention to the climatic changes that may account for this awful weather around the country. But that would be politics, and, as I noted earlier, I've given up on those.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blog hiatus

I seem to have taken an unannounced hiatus from writing this irrelevant occasional account of life as I see it. No excuses, really. I just developed inertia, or, perhaps, a paucity of inspiration - although that has seldom prevented me from blathering on about myself in the past. Scanning my consciousness for inspiration, I look at subjects like politics, or dogs, or me.

I'm tired of politics and have concluded that, other than continually sending money, which I'm constantly being asked to do, there is really nothing I can do to affect public policy decisions - at least nothing that I'm willing to expend my energy doing. My Aunt Mildred, I know, regularly calls the offices of her U.S. Senators (McCain and Kyl - conservatives) and advises them of the positions they should be taking and things they should be doing to make good things happen for the people of Arizona. I could do that, but, luckily for me, my U.S. Senators, Klobuchar and Franken, are doing pretty much what I voted for them to do. Nor can I fault my U.S. Representative, Keith Ellison. All that's left for me is to scream and howl at the TV screen when Representative Boehnhead or Bachmaniac or Senator McComical or the like natter on about why they should continue to do nothing for the people because every idea proposed by Obama is useless or wrongheaded or too liberal or too expensive. I thought things like helping people get jobs and giving tax credits for small businesses were among the things the conservatives claimed should be addressed. What do I know?

More personally, I am enjoying getting to know the very welcoming and pleasant choir members at Trinity Cathedral and, just as happily, I'm enjoying singing with Erik Goldstrom, our new music director/organist, etc. Many years singing in Episcopal church choirs have introduced me to most of the music we're working on, easing my self-consciousness at singing with people I don't know very well. Luckily too, I did not lose my voice a week after arriving here, as I did last year. I also await news of the hiring of a new music director at St. Paul's in Minneapolis.

The weather in my southern home has been cooler than it was last year, with a week of clouds and rain, even storms, just recently. This is good, as rain is always needed here in the desert, and not so good, as I had hoped to lie in my outdoor chaise for long hours enjoying the sunshine and warmth and laughing at the dogs chasing each other around the yard - but that will come.

In about three months I will be home again to a, hopefully, glorious and, certainly, welcome spring. Meanwhile, I think with sympathy of my friends enduring the awful cold and snow and ice. The brightest news I have from home is that my dear friend is home from surgery and rehab for her hip replacement and is looking forward to a less painful and more normal day to day life. The Lord works through strong wills and healing hands.

Other than one small outbreak of aggression and a couple of possibly pulled muscles, all of my Bostons are doing fine. My Vickie, aged 10, has had some left rear and right front leg muscle "cramps" - at least that's what they seemed to be. One morning I found her trying to walk on her left front and right rear legs only. It was sad and a little amusing. Yoyo, whose eyes tell me she's sorry, but . . ., initiated another aggressive attack on my Princess, so my attempt to create a more open, normal life was quashed. If she could talk, I know Yo would say, "I'm sorry, Mom, but I just don't like her." And Princess would say, "Keep that bitch away from me. She terrifies me." So we adjust and all is peaceful again.

Politics, dogs and me - with gratitude for my friends and relatives who keep my life worthwhile. Perhaps a hiatus is not a bad idea now and then.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pat Robertson is a fool

Facebook has a new group for people to sign up to tell Pat Robertson to STFU. I would prefer to ask the media to stop giving Pat Robertson a stage. Does anyone care what idiotic ideas Scott Roeder (killer of Dr. George Tiller) would espouse if he were asked or allowed to publicize them? Would anyone care to hear specifically the views of James von Brunn (shooter at the Holocaust Museum, fortunately now deceased)? Why does the media repeat anything Pat Robertson says? For that matter, why do they report anything Sarah Palen says, but that is an argument for another day. Pat Robertson is irrelevant to the horrible tragedy in Haiti, so while it would be nice if he STFU, it would be more sensible if no one paid any attention to him.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fully Recovered

With a lot of help from Ibuprofin and, perhaps, from herbal tea (Gypsy Cold Remedy), I have recovered from my sinus and sore throat cold-like malady, with the exception of an awkward compulsive coughing and sneezing event in front of the congregation on Sunday morning. Gosh, I hate that. Starts with a tickle in the throat provoking uncontrollable coughing which only ends after a couple of sneezes and a very runny nose. Trying to accomplish all this without contaminating everyone around me or, worse yet, annoying them is a real challenge. Of course, you really didn't need/want to hear/read this information, but sometimes I'm compelled to share experiences just for the heck of it. I don't think I've ever promised to always be entertaining.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Filling your Prius at the Gas pump

I pulled up to wait for the pump at Costco behind a lady with a Prius. First she spent several minutes reading the instructions on the pump before deciding to run her card and take down the hose, which she pulled across the back of the car and inserted in what I assumed was the seldom needed gas tank opening on the other side of the car. Then she walked back to the pump to press the octane button, then back to pump the gas. At that point I moved over to the next pump and watched as the lady in front of me began making faces into her car window, sticking out her tongue and contorting her face for the amusement of ??? Perhaps a child, or a pet? I filled the tank and left, as the lady continued her happy entertainment. Aren't people fun to watch?

Now I'm home drinking my herbal cold remedy tea and looking forward to this evening's hot toddy - with lemon, brandy, water and honey. I'm going to milk this mild sinus flareup and sore throat for all it's worth.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Desert Botanical Garden

An outing all by myself is very different from an outing in which friends join me. It was ok, as I took lots of time to read signs and study what I was seeing. Bought a couple of books to help me understand the desert landscape and took some pictures to show off the blue sky and snowless landscape. I do appreciate solitude, but for outings, I think I enjoy having friends or family along much more. I'm trying to understand just what kind of life I can make for myself down here. Love my family, but I also need friends. I'll get there. Making new friends takes time and a willingness to try. Luckily, I have both.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The winter of 2010 is hell!

Actually, it's not bad if you happen to be in southern Arizona or southern California. Everywhere else seems to be confronting a major character-building experience this year.

Sharing a little (very little) of the pain of my fellow Minnesotans, I spent four days in Minneapolis in the subzero cold. At first I remembered how one just accepted what could not be changed and found ways to see it as "tolerable" or "survivable". And, of course, it is a dry cold, which like the Arizona heat in summer, is not as bad. That lasted until about my third necessary trip away from my toasty warm gas fireplace and home. At that point I remembered with startling clarity why I have a second home in Phoenix. Now, I'm back in the comfort of snowlessness and above freezing temperatures and have no intention of leaving here again until spring.

I do, however, continue to think sympathetically of my friends from Minnesota and other places as the whole country seems to be suffering from this winter's cold infusion. I personally believe that climate change issues probably have an impact on this unusual and unpleasant phenomenon, but I'm no expert. Just wondering why these cold masses are escaping from the Arctic circle into so many regions of the world, as described in the paper this morning. What formerly kept them up north where they belong and is now no longer doing so? Somebody's got some 'splaining to do, if you ask me.

Health coverage for abortion

Meditating on those "moral guardians" of women's bodies in the name of "life", I'm thinking of a deal to make on the health care bill. Here's my deal. If the bill excludes from government funding any payments for erectile dysfunction and male infertility treatment, then I will accept that it does not provide funding for a woman's abortion. If that trade off cannot be made, then abortion coverage should be available as is any other treatment for perfectly legal procedures. After all, fair's fair. You men, who never have to face the abortion issue personally, should surely see the justice in such a trade off.