Mom in the House
My new roommate, my mother, is doing well with her transition to a new home. I’ve become better adapted to a new way of doing things and of looking at the world. I’m more or less accustomed to not finding things where I last put them. I almost, ALMOST, look forward to the scavenger hunt that greets me after a day of mom’s organizing the kitchen drawers and emptying the dishwasher. There are days when after finally locating a kitchen implement, I just have to say, “Now that’s odd.”
She continues to attend her bridge group three times a week at the Senior Center across the street. It’s such a convenience! And given that she regularly shops at their thrift store and brings home bags of stuff, she isn’t too troubled by her short walk back home lugging bags of clothing, household goods and fabric. I see the fabric and say, “For someone who hates to sew, that’s a lot of work you’ve got for yourself there.”
The episode with the Senior Center Stalker is over, thankfully. He’s moved on, with some angry urging of my own and a talk with the center’s manager as well. The stalker is a different version of the disparaged “sugar daddy.” His shtick was to gather up free baked goods provided by a local grocery store and bestow them on my mom. This, at a time when I’ve given up white flour! He’s nothing more than a “gluten daddy.” I think that for a while, his attention, albeit annoying, bolstered my mom’s spirits. But she finally realized that being single isn’t that bad. All it takes is one bread-toting stalker to make a person appreciate living with a few Boston Terriers.
Mom takes good care of me, too. She still doesn’t cook much, but she’s an enormously appreciative eater. She often makes my bed after I’ve gone to work. I have the cleanest floors in the city. Thanks to the mail order catalogs that arrive daily, I’ve got every kitchen gadget ever created. Some of them, like the worthless avocado slicer, went back to the thrift shop after one try.
She insists that I never mind her and just carry on with my numerous and frequent social engagements. I’m still trying to convince her that I have none. Perhaps she’s finally caught on to that, because the other day she tried to force me on the mail delivery dude.
“Get out there! Go take the mail from him! He’s so good looking!”
News on the Work Front
We’re all preparing for a massive reshuffling of cubicle spaces at the end of September. I haven’t gained even a fraction of additional ceiling tiles, so I’ve begun downsizing. Yesterday, while going through my cube space, I discovered that I had become an office supply glutton. I have enough staples and my mom has enough fabric, that I could attach a strip of it around the earth’s equator. And who needs that many binder clips? How much binding can a person do in one 8-hour workday? My felt tip pen addiction needs attention, too. And what am I doing with Liquid Paper?
“Nature is Hostile”
My sister and I saw a black bear a week ago while we were on a hike in the foothills. It was a thoroughly unexpected and astonishing sight. We watched the bear until it disappeared around the hill and then we continued on our hike. It’s only now that I recall finding the foothills strangely quiet that morning. We came upon the bear at the end of our hike. It had lumbered down a frequently traveled hill and into the woods next to the trail we were on. Fortunately, the sheriffs, amassed at that bend in the trail, urged us to get along. Eventually, the bear was captured and transferred to a more remote location, likely to be some other hiker’s adrenaline rush.
Before that exciting event happened, I was stung by a bee while working in the garden. A day later, part of my hand had swelled to a painful, throbbing mass. And then, soon after, the itching began. There isn’t a more annoying injury than one that itches and is painful. Itchy pain—it’ll keep you up at night.
Dog Eats 16 Rocks And Lives To Bark About It. Or, Off To A Rocky Start. Or, Dumb As A Dog Of Rocks.
In Minnesota the other week, a seven-year-old golden retriever named Gordon developed a taste for river rocks and ate 16 of them from his owner’s garden. The owner finally noticed some changes in his normally happy-go-lucky pet. I know how I feel after a large, heavy meal, so I can imagine how sluggish Gordon must have been. Fortunately, the owner acted wisely and took Gordon to the vet. Dr. Jeff Yu, the vet, performed a two-hour long surgery that saved Gordon’s life. “You don’t see too many dogs eat this many rocks usually,” Yu commented. “Most dogs will stop after one or two, but Gordon certainly had quite the hankering.”
The pet rocks are on display at the owner’s house, safely away from the dog’s reach.
The only thing that would have made this story funnier would be finding out the dog’s name is Rocky.
Trying to be Healthy Hurts
I enjoy grains. They offer tastiness and bulk in a nicely packaged nutritious bundle. One particular type, quinoa, has become a favorite among health-food types in the last couple of years because it has super food qualities. It’s also toxic to my guts. Quinoa comes coated with a naturally occurring substance called saponin. Cooks recommend that you rinse the quinoa several times to rid it. Unfortunately, for some of us, there’s no way to rinse off enough of it to avoid the stabbing pains that come from sensitivity to the grain’s coating. So, after several bouts of gut-wrenching wrenching, I’ve given up on quinoa. That’s very sad. It’s delicious, nutritious, and I’m one of the few people on the planet who can pronounce the word correctly.
The use of chemical warfare in Syria is a tragedy and an abomination. I have no doubt at all that it was Assad’s decision to murder his citizens this way. The crisis has also unfortunately become a comedy, with our politicians as actors, beginning with their whining and complaining about President Obama’s political handling of Syria’s unrest and civil war. Now they have to put up or shut up. They want to weigh in? Watch this thing unfold, people. Remember, a large majority of Congress who can’t stand our President—those are Republicans in case you’ve forgotten—are motivated primarily by getting re-elected. I’ll bet you their panties are in a nasty little bundle over how to play this particular political game. We’ll see. I don’t expect much adult behavior from them. I don’t expect to see a rational decision. I do expect to see a ton of nauseating political posturing. As far as our President—I can’t blame him for his waffling on the issue of how to respond to Assad’s use of chemical weapons. He saw what Parliament did to Cameron. He lost the support of our most loyal partner on the world stage. What a difficult, difficult presidency.
I’ve been out of touch a lot lately. I’ve been working on a complicated freelance illustration for a lovely client. I finally finished it this morning. I’ve begun preparing for life after I quit the job I have. Someone will inherit a ton of useless office supplies after I leave.