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Archive for March, 2013

flamegunYou’d think I’d learn, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  While friends in the Midwest and along the East Coast have been inundated with inclement weather, I’ve been bragging about the easy winter we had here on the island: no snow, and winds so spare I forgot they were ever an issue.  Well, let that be a lesson.  The wind came whipping through the trees this past week bringing a heavy dose of rain and hail, and soaking 60 cubic feet of mulch waiting for me.   To top off my arrogance, I woke up to snow this morning; big flakes of the white stuff coming down.  Snow.   To some, a thing of beauty.  To me, as you know if you’ve been reading along, it’s my nemesis; that element of nature that I have yet to make friends with.  Oh, it’s pretty, but so is the moth I saw on a National Geographic special whose proboscis when inserted into your tear duct renders you blind.  And don’t think I’m not on the lookout for those winged wonders; even if they’re only found in some remote rain forest in a country I can’t name; like today’s spring snowfall, they’ll sneak up on you when you least expect it.

And it’s not like the weather websites are any help.  SEVERE WEATHER ALERT screamed out from one, but when I highlighted the “Read More” prompt to find out what that ALERT might be, it came up blank.  As I watched the snow fall, I tried to recall everything Tom Trimbath (this is where I’d insert that handy link to Tom’s site, but it’s still AWOL) had warned us to have at hand, and in our cars, in case of  an emergency, but only two items came to mind that made sense: chocolate and whiskey. whiskey

So, here I sit this afternoon, the sun having melted my nemesis, slightly drunk and my nervous system jacked up on chocolate.  Employing this particular emergency kit, I may just make peace with snow after all.  *Clink*

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Grass_backThe wind is blowing like it has something to say, but I don’t have time to listen.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and that means it’s time for the first mow of the season.  You can ask me why that’s so, but let’s save each other some time…I have no idea.  Speaking of no idea…I was all set to do some fancy foot work here at Greetings from Coupeville and when revisiting Bob-K-down-in-Florida’s latest correspondence (as promised in my last post), I was going to link “gutter cleaning” to the post I did way back in August of 2011 to refresh your memory.  But someone has moved that little picture of the link from where it used to be and now I am more than befuddled.  Normally, I would call my friend Tess, who is a wizard when it comes to all things linky, but Tess has just returned from many days of silent meditation and I don’t want to be the one to make her crack.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah, mowing.  Now, my regular readers (okay, perhaps the “s” in “reader” isn’t necessary, but I’m feeling the luck of the Irish, though, I’m not Irish…well, maybe just a hair of a leprechaun).  I’m not sure how to end that sentence, so I’ll just move on.  Did I mention I took some allergy medication before sitting down to write this?  If I stop mid-sentence, don’t be alarmed, I’ve simply dozed off.

As you know, I sometimes have limited success with my power equipment starting up on the first try, second, third; sometimes right up to the sound of my shoulder dislocating from yanking on that pulley gizmo.  Who thought that was a good idea?  However, today (and again, I’m assuming it has something to do with the wearin’ of the green) my lawnmower started up without me having to resort to “You piece of $(#%*@#!”  And I was off and running.  Let me be clear for any new readers.  When I say “off and running” I mean that literally.grass_riding_lawn_mowers_expensive

Oh, I’ve seen these fancy riding mowers around the island, but I take pride in the fact I can still push my Toro up and down the slopes of  the jeoruwoer euroepqeupq eupeupqeur perupqrepuj 43kjmpw.  (Oh, sorry, meds just kicked in.)  Anyway, when I work on the property for the first time after a long winter’s nap, I find what I simply call “missing parts.”  Missing parts could be anything from part of an old screwdriver, maybe the handle of saw; today it appeared to be a leg with a bit of fur still attached.  I can’t swear that’s what it was because after tapping it with my foot, it broke away from whatever it was attached to, the rest of which appeared to be buried under a log, and I broke away from the scene of the crime.  I’ll go back tomorrow and tape off the area and wait for the ground to dry out (we  usually have that day in August when it’s dry for 24 hours) and I’ll examine the remains more closely.  No I won’t.  This is what’s going to happen: I’m going to forget about it and one day I’m going to reach down to pull the weeds that have grown around it, hiding it from my view, and when my hand comes up with a patch of weeds and a rabbit’s foot, I’m going to scream like a girl.  And then I will bury the “missing parts” in the “volesoleum,” an area I’ve created for critters who have met their demise.

So, there you have it.  I’ve survived another winter here on the island, and I’ve got my fourth annual First Mow of the Season under my belt.

Bob K down in Florida, good luck with your Gutter Clutter Buster advertising campaign.  And if anyone knows what WordPress did with that link doohickey, be sure to drop me a line.

The image of grass can be found at:
www.athleat.co.uk/grass-fed-beef.html

The photo of the riding mower can be found at:
www.squawkfox.com/2009/06/17/grass-cut-lawn-care-costs/

Where frugal living is sexy, delicious, and fun.  (Who knew?)

 

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singer_5Swan song” A metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement.

Before I share the happenings of late here in Coupeville, I wanted to alert those of you reading my posts who might be of a “certain age” (those of you who cart around mercury in your teeth, receive the dreaded AARP cards several times a week, and whose joints could use a good shot of WD-40) to be prepared for a phrase your doctor may soon use, as mine did on the day of my annual physical.

I’m happy to say that my blood pressure while waiting  in a doctor’s office was a glowing 118/74; my cholesterol reading was exemplary, as was my glucose.   Once the nurse left, I waited patiently in my paper gown for the doctor, and was feeling pretty darn spiffy for a gal my age.  I even daydreamed about taking up a whole new career, something that would allow me to kick up my heels.

English_painter_Mc_Cutcheon

And then the doctor arrived,  and my daydream of a  new career took a  nose dive from the balance beam as we went through the list of preventive tests and procedures I’ve had over the years.  Boomers get ready, because one day very soon your doctor is going to say, “We’ll perform that procedure today and then you won’t have to have it again for three years, and that one WILL BE YOUR FINAL EXAM!” WTF?! as the highly evolved Twitterverse would ask!  Since my hearing remains stellar, I didn’t ask her to repeat what she said for a couple of reasons: If I heard her correctly, I sure as shootin’ did want her to repeat it, and if I hadn’t heard her correctly, I couldn’t afford hearing aids.

“But wait!” I say, dear readers.  My visit with my doctor was even more eventful.  It just so happens that for the week prior to my exam I was having intestinal pain.  After a quick poke around of my abdomen (at which point I was thinking: why bother if I’ve only got one exam left), my doctor determined that I needed to have a CT scan of said abdomen STAT!  Now, unbeknownst to you, until now, I once had a very bad reaction to the light-up-your-insides iodine they use for these tests.  This much I remember when I’m asked if I have any allergies to medication.  Not a problem, my doctor told me, they’ll just do the scan without it.  How cool is that, I thought, until the doctor once again snatched up my dignity.  “We’ll just have you use barium sulfate.”  Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at these situations, I had been fasting for my blood work, so there was no turning back.  I waited in reception area while they brewed up my private batch of BS (if the shoe fits) and lo and behold, there was an elderly woman drinking her first bottle of BS.   Let me rephrase that…she was sipping it as if it was some fine cognac, but her face registered “cheap hooch.”  Anyone who has ever had to take BS knows it’s not a sipping brew; best to “chug it” as the kids in my day used to say. beer (No, this is not one of my high school boyfriends.  He’s far too dressed up.)

As I was handed my own private reserve of BS, the technician, as if I was buying a fine wine, told me it was better chilled.  This immediately alerted me to the fact that this young woman had never experienced BS.  Cold BS does not a difference make from room temp BS.  It’s all BS.

Now, I’m one of those people who wants to know what kind of reaction I might have when I take a medication.  I never read the first warnings in the pamphlet, no, I immediately skip to the rare, but gravely severe reactions listed: swelling of tongue, loss of eyesight, stroke, death.  These are the things I focus on.  When I got my shingles vaccination over at Walgreen’s last year, the pharmacist gave me the warning pamphlet, and I immediately scrolled down to the gravest reactions I might have: shortness of breath, constriction of airway passage.  These are concerns that need answers.  “So,” I asked, “if I were going to have a reaction, in what time frame would that reaction take place?”  To which the pharmacist replied, “Within 30 minutes.”  Doable, I thought.  There’s enough crap in Walgreen’s for me to paw while I wait to see if I’m going to circle the drain.  Somewhere around the adult diaper section, I swear I felt my throat constrict and I became light-headed.  Perhaps it was just the thought of wearing adult diapers, but I wasn’t going to take a chance, and spent the remainder of my thirty minute window of adverse opportunity within shouting distance of the pharmacist.  I share my “idiotsyncrasy” (as my friend David calls it) with you so you know why I raked my doctor’s assistant over the “what’s the worst thing that can happen” coals before leaving.   Once home, I did as instructed: I chugged my first pint, stopping only once to grab some air.   An hour later I downed the second round, leaving a bit in the bottle as instructed to take with me.  One never knows when one is going to crave a little BS.

I survived the CT scan, but that “final exam” remark was still sitting in my craw, so I knew it was time to head down the pier. I can always count on my guys down at the coffee shop to give it to me straight, so I asked if any of their doctors had ever slapped them up side the head with the news that a particular medical exam would be their final exam.  Wow! You’d a thunk I asked them to cut their fishing lines with a thirty pound King on their hook.  In fact, a few pushed their chairs back as if some unwelcome entity had just invaded their inner circle, carrying an  unknown malady. devilgirl

After a series of harrumphs, and some serious throat clearing akin to that of a TB ward, I realized I had crossed over into the unspeakable territory known as “Final Exam Syndrome.”   I didn’t pursue the topic any further, and quickly changed the subject to the pros and cons of using 600 feet of extension cord.

Oh, I see it’s almost 3:00 a.m. I was going to tell you all about Mussel Fest and how not  even the wild wind and rain could keep the out-of-town folks from heading to Coupeville for  the festivities, but I’m tuckered out from yammerin’ on and on about my trip to the doctor.  But before I go, I wanted to tell you I heard from Bob Kay down in Florida, the inventor of the Gutter Cluster Buster.  You might remember I did a piece on a gutter cleaning gadget that I purchased and Bob wrote to me to tell me about his invention.  Oh, see, I’ve started to yak again.  Next time, I’ll tell you what Bob had to say in his note.

Big thanks for the animation to :http://www.free-animations.co.uk/music/singers/singer_1.html
And wipwapweb.com for the rest of the photos that grace this post

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