Tag Archives: Random

Things to Do When it’s 115° outside

1. Bring your cat or dog in! Now!

2. Tell your friend in San Diego that her 90s weather is the crisper, compared to your Eastern Washington prairie’s seething 115°.

3. Brave the mere heat and take an evidential photo of what you told your friend in San Diego.


4. If relevant to your circumstances, watch your cat napping and take a moment to be very thankful for central air conditioning.



Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos, Seasons, Weather

A powerless morning reclaimed

We get up at 5 a.m. At 5:10 this morning, our electricity went out. Lights, microwave, bathroom fan, washer and dryer (today is laundry day)–virtually every component of our typical routine. I called our power company and responded with my keyboard to the bot’s questions. Was it our house only, or the whole neighborhood? I pressed “2” for the latter.

I am blessed that my  resourceful husband is a true Renaissance genius. He hooked up our generator so I could use the microwave to thaw my bread and cook my egg. He set up our gas camp stove so I could make my coffee (he had already made his before the power shut down). It was already sunny and warm outdoors, and we ate in the garden, aka Effieland, with Effie.

The power outage affected some 130 homes, all across the valley. Happily, power was restored around 7:00 a.m. The outage lasted just over two hours. I don’t know the cause, but I would speculate that the heat has urged inordinately heavy use of air conditioning.

It was fun having the camp stove on the patio and eating in the garden. I would enjoy having our breakfast in the garden more often, even if our electricity provider gets its act together.



Filed under Action & Being, Home Life

A missive gone postal

I printed a selfie that my husband took of the two of us at Dworshak Lake when we were there fishing last week. I think it is the best photo ever taken of us, and I printed an 8 x 10 and mailed it to my mum-in-law, who lives in the small, artsy town of Aurora, Oregon.  I mailed it in a 9” x 12” manila envelope, certified mail with tracking, from our local post office in southeastern Washington State. I included a note of thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful trove she sent for my birthday.

A tracking email informed me the envelope had left our local post office. Today I received a notification of formidable progress. My mum-in-law’s mail had arrived at the post office. In Atlanta, Georgia.

Oregon zip codes begin with 9. Georgia zip codes begin with 3. I live 365 miles from Aurora, and 2,386 miles from Atlanta.

I called our local post office, presented the facts, and asked how these things happen. The clerk posited that my envelope piggy-backed onto another piece of mail and wound up on the wrong plane. She said Atlanta would put it on another plane and send it on to the addressee, probably making delivery  a day later. I thought that she might be a bit over-optimistic, but the content is, after all, replaceable; the photo is in both my and my husband’s computers.

I called my mum-in-law and told her I didn’t want her to think I was remiss in posting a thank-you card, and the fact that her card was sent to Atlanta. She thought it was wonderfully funny, and appraised the situation in her usual way, “All is in divine order,” and this time she added, “And it makes me laugh, too!” Her buoyancy is one reason I love her so much.


Filed under Action & Being, Weird

Effie and Peter

Effie was cross that so much rain was falling; she wanted to be outdoors, but that is where the rain was. I put her favorite music in our faithful old CD player. Peter Hurford’s performance of Bach’s organ preludes, fugues, toccatas, fantasias, a passacaglia, and other beautiful seventeenth-century hits soon had her transfixed.

Our first lilac bush is blooming, and my desire to photograph it through the window was thwarted; even our covered deck was under siege of wind-driven rain, and I honestly was not motivated to be out in it with my camera. The music, a mug of green tea, and Effie blissfully absorbed provided composure sufficient to the day.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Superwife and the recalcatrant dryer

Due to cold, windy weather over the past several weeks, and the blessing of recent warming, I was obliged to add three jackets to today’s laundry load, which meant two loads instead of the usual one.  The washer and dryer had only to deal with usual, normal loads.

On the first go-around, there was a problem, something unrelated to the laundry loads that was uniquely annoying–as in, “We have a problem, Houston!”

The dryer, which was by no means overloaded, nor was its load unbalanced, was squeaking in loud protest on every round. Its joyful noise even defied smacking. I decided something in the dryer’s internal life might be out of balance, and I actually lifted it from the bottom, first one side, then the other. Both brought relief from the squeak, but no one from the Legion of Super Heroes was free to come and hold it up for the next two hours.

I retrieved a butter carton from our recycling basket, cut and folded two squares, and placed one under each of the dryer’s forefeet. The squeak stopped. My husband will probably come up with a permanent solution when he gets home, like adorable little matchwood boot lifts. Meanwhile, I await my invitation to join the LSH.


Filed under Action & Being, Home Life

Safely out of the canal zone

I’ve had a sinus infection for going on two weeks. If that were not enough, an old pain in one of my teeth returned, right at the site of the root canal my dentist performed five years ago. I aced the procedure, but had zero desire for a replay.

Thursday afternoon, after two days of throbbing, I called my dentist’s office and explained the return of the pain. The sympathetic receptionist worked me in for an appointment Monday. The office is closed Friday, and she told me I should not hesitate to call my dentist on his cell phone Friday if the pain became unmanageable. He would come in to the office with an assistant and check out the problem.

I knew that. My dentist is a superior being. He once met my husband and me at his office, the evening of Memorial Day. He drafted his son-in-law to assist him.

Today is Friday. I awoke to an ancient memory. I have had this pain before. It’s some kind of knack with me, to get sinus infections; I have had a lot of them. The maxillary sinuses have a nerve relay indistinguishably near the back teeth, where my root canal was done.

I checked my back teeth in the mirror. Aha! My gums in the canal zone were significantly inflamed. The connection light finally switched on.

I deduced that the pain had nothing to do with my teeth or the root canal, but was due to sinus inflammation. The throbbing subsided within half an hour after taking an anti-inflammatory combo of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

I’m still trying to decide whether to take consolation from the theory that, at this point in life, my teeth are better than my memory.


Filed under Action & Being, Health, Reflections

Spring is here, and my PTSD is melting

Effie’s sunshine greeting far exceeds the melting point of PTSD.

At last I am gaining perspective. It’s still weak, but I am coming around to believing that an auto accident a year ago in which no one was significantly hurt (except for a torn tendon in my right elbow that hurt for nine months; and Grünhilde, my Audi and a veritable member of the family, who was totaled) is not a sufficient reason to torque my worldview downward.

With the help of God through His Word, and my husband, my pastor and Effie, now on therapy cat duty (as she probably always has been), I am able to concede that every driver on the road is not specifically out to harm me.

Particular noteworthy Bible verses coalesced in my attention sphere this morning.

“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4

(All verses above are from the New King James Version (NKJV), © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)


Filed under Action & Being, Effie, Faith, Reflections

How I Foil Chronic Unwanted Phone Calls

Even my 2010 pre-smart phone can do it. Phone rings. I see it is not a number I have put in my phone, and those are limited to family, friends, and people with whom I have a business relationship. Caller leaves no voicemail.

I save the number to my list of contacts under the contact name dna1 – dna8 so far (dna stands for “do not answer”). My phone holds five numbers per contact: business, home, two cells, and fax. I have so far assigned five numbers each to dna1 – dna8. 40 dolts go unheard! I imagine a dna9 will ring soon, and I’ll have room for four more numbers under that contact. Each dna contact is assigned my phone’s best ringtone: No Ring. Soundless. I would not even know the dna called, but for the vibe, which is brief and innocuous. Dna also shows up in Recent Calls.

I presume dna people are persistent, and their proliferation may be due to their acquiring more and more numbers. It doesn’t matter. Each will only be heard once, and it will not be answered.

I find my method preferable to the National Do Not Call list. For one thing, they require your phone number and email address to register. I may be cynical, but I have to wonder to whom they sell these. My other reason is reliable hearsay, that people who register say they receive more unsolicited calls than ever.

The method I use to silence unwanted calls has worked well enough for me to want to pass it on. Every scrap of peace we can get seems very important these days.




Filed under Technology

The Great Fishing the Rain Challenge

It was a wonderfully wet Wednesday, and my husband was able to come home at 3:30. It gave us a little more than an hour to go fishing before dinner. According to our weather station, the rain was a tendency, not a condition. Rain was likely, but not yet. Not until we arrived at the pond.

We had the cynical foresight to arrive in full rain gear. One fellow, looking cold in a light denim jacket, passed us on the trail on his way back to his car. In his hand we could see a large trout in a plastic bag. This looked promising.

And it was, only the fish were smarter now. Their senior comrade had been captured. He had probably diddled on the line and failed to disengage from the skillfully played hook. Timing is everything for fish and fisherman.

I had two diddlers, a fairly large trout and a slightly smaller one. Vic had two as well, both medium size. One of my lure shoppers jumped in a sweeping arc to make his escape. The other simply let go, probably  having only nuzzled the hook, somehow avoiding the barbs. Trout are canny.

After dinner we spent the rest of the evening drying our clothes and my rain-resistant parka and urethane-coated heavy nylon backpack. But hey, that’s just another aspect of  the challenges of fishing: fishing the rain.

A good time was had by all.



Filed under Action & Being, Fishing, Nature, Seasons, Weather

Effie explores Franck’s Trois Chorals…and a Dove Believed Dead

My husband was playing César Franck’s Trois Chorals pour Grand Orgue last evening, as Effie listened attentively. Her movements engaged strikingly with the peaceable profundity of the music. She seems truly to enjoy classical music, and we are happy she is able to enjoy it with us in silent absorption.

My Dad has such clever fingers, but only ten. I have 16 clever toes. . . I bet I could do that!

I know I can figure this out. . .

Ooooh! This music makes butterflies fly in my heart!

Let’s do this all the time, okay?

I just need those things his fingers are on to be a little higher.

I heard a “Thunk!” against the house this afternoon, and raced to the window overlooking Effieland to check on Effie. She was fine, looking neutrally at a mourning dove on its back. The pitiable bird, as many of its peers have done on every side of the house, had crashed into the side of the house next to Effieland, and hit the ground, landing on its back.

I was sure the dove was dead, and I was pleased Effie was not shredding and/or consuming the poor thing. . I did not want her to eat any bird, alive or dead, and become a bird killer. Initially she left this one alone.

I checked again several minutes later, and Effie was sniffing the bird. I went out and brought her into the house.

As I was wrapping up my task of vacuuming, I checked on the bird again through the window. It was still on its back, but now it was also raising and lowering its feet. I reckoned it was in death throes. I went out with a plastic bag to remove the dead bird and dispose of it so Effie would not attempt to eat it. Bad bird-killer habits come from eating birds dead or alive. But Effie had ignored a sparrow that crashed and died in Effieland not long ago.

I lifted the dove with my Nitrile-gloved hand to put its body in the bag. The dove immediately righted itself and hobbled, then walked; then it flapped and finally flew to the fence, landed on the ground, and walked through a normal wire fence hole.

I was elated; and I was more stunned than the dove had been, just moments earlier.  Effie was wide-eyed, but she did not chase the dove. I love my cat for that.


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Birds, Cats, Effie, Photos