How Long Will They Stay, or, If It Doesn’t Bring You Joy, Set It Free

Over the last few years there have been a bunch of articles.

Actually quite a few articles, so I’ll be lazy and not look for them.

One after another says that when the Boomer goes into the Home, the Millennial doesn’t want “It”.

“It” being “Brown Furniture”.  It’s also the Great Generation’s China that the Boomer inherited as well as a long list of things that they can’t be bothered with.

I’ve come to realize that those Millennials are making a whole lot of sense.

You see, last weekend we went to Ikea. You know the place?  Giant box of a store filled with right-sized food, furniture that you build yourself, and everything is named by throwing a dart at a Swedish Telephone Book?  I am rather fond of Ikea, and the clean lines on the furniture and the names and the possibility of getting some of those awesome cookies at the end is all part of the fun.

Besides being given a Poang Rocking Chair that I am enjoying very much, we got a China Cabinet.  I’ve been trained to call them a Tallboy, but that could just be my own warped version of English so pay me never mind.

It took all weekend to get the mother-lode of boxes into the house, opened, proofread, and then assembled.  The tallboy is taller than I am so it is truly tall.

To get this beast of a piece of white furniture where it is needed, we had to clear out the old cabinet of its glassware.

Now, Husvik the Tallboy, and Poang the Rocker live in my dining room.

This was where I realized the wisdom of the Millennial.

I was confronted with my glassware from when I was in my first apartment.  Some glasses leftover from when I was a child.  Some more glasses that I pulled out of the landscaping over the years.

Rather a lot of glassware.  In fact so much so that we began to pile it and all the Onesie-Twosie oddball glasses into a low box.

After considering how to get rid of all that strange one off and two off drink-ware, I merely moved the box out to the front of the property.

After all, how much of this stuff can you use at any given moment?   We have never had an actual party in this house, despite knowing that it was the party house on the block before my boring self moved in.

Swimming pool and Dry Bar not withstanding.

So how did it go?  The box is still out in front of the house.  I’m going to keep putting it out in the morning, and picking it up at night until it is gone or the next trash day happens.

Stay tuned, Fellow Babies, Stay tuned!

So I waited.  The box went out there at 8 in the morning.  Mind you, I live on a street with a fair amount of foot traffic.  People walk from apartments and day rentals to the Shops and Restaurants here all day long.

Lunch came.

Box Stayed.

Mid afternoon crash happened.  Not too happy about that Nod-Off but blood sugar and high metabolism will do that to an athlete.

Box stayed.

Dinner hour hit.  I walked Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM).

Came home and the box was still there.

I stood up to close the blinds and was told that I should just close the blinds and ignore it.  We just don’t want a box of potential missiles to reside on the driveway over night.

It turns out that in the first half hour of night, someone came by and moved my weird mismatched glasses on to their new home.

No more Crown Royal Old Fashioned Glasses.

No more Highball Glasses.

Gone is the cut glass goblet (singular, all the rest suffered deceleration trauma over the years).

Even the “extra” glass that came from a Bag Of Crap that once blinked from LEDs in the bottom of it.

Goodnight Glasses, er Moon!

Bye Bye!  With my blessings.

Now if I can just get rid of those plastic tubs of weird stuff in the back room… Hmmm.  Maybe a handful a day… I wonder if I can get away with that?

Once upon a time, a guy had dementia. What was I writing again?

I had some pretty good professors when I went to University.  Some of them were intensely engaging, and they kept me interested.

My favorite one was in Economics, a basic knowledge of which will help you realize how much, er, Nonsense you are being fed by the people who you voted in.

I can absolutely see him making a speech like this one.

And just think!  You don’t have to pay $100 a Credit Hour to hear it!

 

Marketing concepts.

Professor at college explaining marketing concepts to Students:

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. “Marry me!” – That’s Direct Marketing”

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: “He’s very rich. “Marry him.” -That’s Advertising”

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: “Hi, I’m very rich. “Marry me – That’s Telemarketing”

You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door (of the car) for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: “By the way, I’m rich. Will you “Marry Me?” – That’s Public Relations

You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says:”You are very rich! “Can you marry ! me?” – That’s Brand Recognition

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. – “That’s Customer Feedback”

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” And she introduces you to her husband. – “That’s demand and supply gap”

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tell her: “I’m rich. Will you marry me?” and she
goes with him – “That’s competition eating into your market share”

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: “I’m rich, Marry me!” your wife arrives. – “That’s restriction for entering new markets”

Happy New Year 2020

All done with Amateur Night I see?

You have hopefully made it home safe without any ahem “legal” problems.

Yeah, we don’t particularly like it when people imbibe and drive.  It’s become less and less socially acceptable to do so during my lifetime.

I will say that the town doesn’t look like it was picked up and dropped after that party that started a block and a half away just after sunset and lasted until after midnight.

Supposedly the fireworks that freaked my dog out until he lost control of his bowels at the front door had ended around 2 AM.

He may be a McNab SuperDog (TM) but Rack is in the majority of dogs that simply don’t fathom why people need to celebrate turning the page on the calendar by using explosive devices long past the point where they ceased to be entertaining.

I’ll be doing an extra laundry today.

And obviously, this happens more than once a year.

So take down the old calendar.  My new one for 2020 is already on the door, and I don’t see that I need another one, perfectly.

Pun Intended.

If you will excuse me I have to “spatch” a chicken for lunch.  We found a Lemon Spatch Cooked Skillet Chicken recipe and apparently I am the little old lady with the technique.  Spatching a chicken is cutting it along the ribcage to be able to flatten it out.  You can do it with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, but I think I just may grab the electric sawsall and pretend that I’ll be doing some heavy construction instead of preparing a tasty meal.

So may your chickens be spatched, your dog be not freaked out, and your new year be bright and shiny and in focus.

Happy New Year 2020, where ever you may be reading this.

Propagating Bougainvillea – Two Months Later

It may sound strange to you if you live in an area where the temperatures are closer to freezing, or below, instead of being a Beach Day in the middle of December, but I did manage to catch the season right for planting.

In October.

When I went to propagate the Bougainvillea, it was because the vines were being eaten away by Subterranean Termites.

We get those termites here in South Florida, and protecting things here requires creating a toxic soup barrier around your house.

I expect that the Bougainvillea arbor that is the “mother plant” is just outside of the Toxic Soup Zone.

These vines are as thick as my thighs in some places, and I have very large thighs as I am an inline skater who considers a 2200 calorie workout “light”.  But these vines were also eaten to the point where I may lose the plant in a year or so.

They wobble freely on their roots.

I trimmed off random sections of the older growth to start new plants.

Half of them began putting out tiny leaves, the others sat there looking like dead sticks.

Since this is my life, weirdness ensued.

The ones with the tiny leaves either died or went dormant.   I will leave these alone in my highly watered propagation pots.

However the ones with no growth on them began to sprout leaves and some are already blooming.  On a two month old cutting.  In a pot.

I find it strange too.

My expected date of planting is the first day of Spring, March 21.  It is currently (looks at my watch) December 10th.

So I have more time to grow.

The Sticks not withstanding, are fine.  The ones that have gone “dormant” or have died will have until March to make up their flowery mind whether to live or to be turned into mulch.

In the interim I have high hopes for some cuttings that I made from the mother plants that were new growth.   Yes, in December, these things are putting out new shoots.

They are in the “nursery pots” and are not drying up like some of the other cuttings have been, so who knows.

I’m also nursing 55 Rosemary cuttings and none of them have decided to curl up and die yet.  We will be using them for ground cover.  Ground cover you can use to make a pizza or spaghetti sauce.

March, being three months away, gives me time to obsess and wait to see what survives.

 

All that Rosemary came from what a good friend of mine in Atlanta described as “One of those sad little xmas trees that they try to guilt you into buying at the supermarket”.

 

I’ve been told that I truly need to stop doing this though.  I’m seriously running out of space.  Just this morning, I snipped what I thought was a twig.  Finger thickness branch was cut off the salmon bougainvillea.

 

By the time I got that “twig” to the ground, it had pulled off two other “twigs” with it and was over six feet long.  Two meters of nasty bitey thorn filled branches.

If I get any spare bougainvillea I’ll let people know.  FOB My Front Porch.  I never have any luck giving anything away but I will make the offers.

That Gardening Bug.  I guess really it is “Landscaping” because I’m rapidly approaching an industrial scale.  It gets under your skin and makes you feel like you’re doing something productive.

Guess what?  You are.

 

Tired of Belly Rubs? Use a Sock on your McNab SuperDog(TM)

(oops, forgot a title)

Every night it seems to be our routine.

Find some sitcoms after dinner.  There are plenty both on local broadcast TV and on the web.

Wonderfully silly and surreal TV shows about Ditzy Farm Wives with a Pig that is smarter than you are.  Women who once moved to Minneapolis where it was cold and she thought she’d “Keep Better” but now is giving Noo Yawk its “Last Chance”.  RCMP Mounties in Chicago with a deaf wolf solving crimes.

Ahh they don’t make TV like that now do they?

Sheldon and Leonard or Rachel and Ross aside that is.

Being the tall and Rangy type, my arms and legs go all over the place.  I illegally put my right leg up on the arm of the couch where I have created a divot.  I really shouldn’t do that but if I don’t Mr Dog can’t get back to his corner.

That corner.  It has the foam rubber from an Ikea Poang Chair wrapped in a synthetic blanket.  It’s his bed.  He lays on it, sometimes.  He lays next to it, sometimes.  Other times he melts off the side in some weird origami pattern bent like a sausage and flattened out.

It’s the life of having a working dog in a suburban home.

I don’t think I could do this with a pure bred Border Collie.  They’re wonderful dogs, but when old Alexander McNab made the breed that I favor, McNab Dog, he bred out the twitchiness and the extreme need to be doing something NOW! at any moment.

While the people on the farms where the McNab was originally created for will scream “He’s a Working Dog!  He should be on a FARM”, I am proof that one size does not fit all.

Besides, I am constantly reading about McNabs who decided that life on the farm may be kind of laid back but not for them.

I swear I’m going to go out to California where these dogs are common, drive around with the roof off my Jeep and if one jumps in for a ride, I won’t try too hard to find it’s home.

They walk off and find their way to other farms or into homes and these amazingly adaptable creatures do well.

My own Dog Of A Lifetime has a job.  It’s Me.  Living here near the shops and the tourists, he’s able to get a lot of mental stimulation that a lifetime of chasing sheep will never give him.

The only weird affect he seems to be developing is he has chosen guarding as his job.

You see, wherever I am, I must be watched.  If the UPS Truck (or Fed E-Arrow-X) comes by he grumbles.  I’m still trying to teach him that the Postie is our Friend but he’s not buying it.

At night when I’m watching Lisa “plug in an 8” and blow out the “electricical”, Rack is resting under my hand.  I’m giving him belly rubs with that hand and he’s happy.

Dreaming happy dreams where his tail wags, maybe dreaming of running through his wormhole to visit the other realm where Rack is King of the McNabs, or just wandering behind the hedges to have a little peace away from the loud diesel trucks that are servicing the shops.

It’s all good, it’s all waggable, he’s a happy soul that rests next to his job.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But I do get tired from time to time and have to take my hand back.

That is when we discovered something curious.  I can use a sock.

No, seriously.  If he goes into that trance like state, where he’s awake but not really, I can place a sock or two across his belly that is exposed and the weight of the hosiery does just enough.

He thinks I’m still petting the belly that he exposes like a light switch lighting the dark, and I get to shake blood back into my hand and wind my automatic diver’s watch a little bit.

Yes, living in Florida with a pool, having a diver’s watch is important since you just might get knocked into the pool.  When Rack gets charging around those corners out there, he’s been known to fly over the water and into that wormhole where I have been knocked into the deep end once or twice.

Got to work on that there, Cow Dog!

When he finally comes fully aware that he’s been duped, we start that cycle again.  Arnold the Pig is grunting on the TV or we’re visiting with that Mighty Fine Woman, Kate at the hotel near the tracks.  Rack is guilting me to rub his belly again.

All are happy, all are well in our little land of domesticity.

Would not have it any other way!

Wilton Manors At Sunrise

I have to admit, I really do like walking through this town before sunrise.

The time is quiet.  I-95 is only barely audible.  The trains aren’t necessarily here and if they are here, I can pretend they aren’t.

When I am not talking to Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), on a day like this with almost no breezes, all I am hearing are our footsteps and the ringing in my ears.

Thanks, Mom, all that aspirin you fed me left me a present.

I get to stargaze, and while I am looking up at the skies, sometimes I get to indulge myself.  This morning, since I am still trying to adjust to the time change to standard time, I lay in bed an extra half hour or so.  When I do finally get out there, the skies were no longer completely dark.  More of a purple.

Stepping outside, I let Rack walk to the front of the property so he could water His Rock.  I almost always look up and noticed that there were enough clouds out there to make things interesting.  Not quite yet, but later.

Rounding the block, Rack told me that he wanted a Short Walk by herding me one way.  A mere four tenths of a mile today.  Even though I have to break him of that habit, I could use the time to do other things.

We went down a residential street that had a good view of the skies toward the beach.

That is a good view once I stopped looking at what Rack was sniffing at.  I never did figure that out.

The skies were getting brighter and the sun was rising above the Bahamas at this point.  They really aren’t that far away from me.  When that happens, we get the undersides of our clouds lit up by the distant orange rays that are just beginning to peak up over the horizon.

Or so I tell myself.

Walking around the block I hear the neighbor ask “What-cha lookin’ at?”

“It’s a really pretty sunrise.  I’ll have to try to get a good picture of it!”

I may have ringing in my ears, but I have a very stable hand when it comes to photography.

“Good luck to you!  I have pools to take care of!”  As he went off looking for his pool scoop for the back of his pickup truck.

I walked down the block with my neck craned over my shoulder saying to nobody in particular “Yep!  I’m going to get that picture”.

I got a wag out of Rack for that.  He does that often.  Good, I have an excuse for talking and I’m not really talking to myself.

With light breezes and a pleasant temperature, this is why people live here.

It’s also why the Snowbirds come down here and drive stupidly on my roads.  Since it is currently snowing in the big cities up North like Philadelphia and will be in Boston, I’m thinking that the airplanes will be all full up very shortly.

Did you set your clocks back?

It’s that time again.  Here in Los Estados Unidos, we are setting our clocks back an hour in an effort to “save” daylight.

I am not fond of it.

Neither is my dog, Rack.

Personally I don’t care if it is 5AM when I get up, or 6AM.  I get up when I get up.

Here in Florida, they were going to make Daylight Savings Time permanent.  It was one of those non partisan things that the people in Tallahassee could decide on.  But with the gridlock that they have had in Washington since the Clinton Administration, nothing has happened about it.  It needs to be passed by the Federal Government apparently.

I think they’re preoccupied with getting some other trash taken out right now.

Regardless, I get up about the same time every day, gather myself and the dog up, and go for a mile walk before sunrise and will continue to do so.

See, there’s a lot of oddballs out there at that hour, along with the “early” dog walkers.

I have a nice conversation with the dog.  He does talk back, or at least responds with a hearty tail wag.  I have a Dog Directed wander around my block, or my neighborhood.  Do a little window shopping, and then come home for dog food, coffee, and breakfast.

I will say if they could Set It And Forget It, that would be great.   Make up your mind and set things right.

Won’t matter though.  Rack will be hungry at 5pm, er make that 4pm.  I’ll have to feed him when his time comes, regardless.

It’s like snipping an inch off a belt and attaching it to the other end and thinking you’ve saved something.

It also means that I have thirty clocks in this little 1200 sq foot (110 sq meter) house to set.

I’m not obsessively buying clocks, I simply don’t throw something out when it works. It takes decades for a clock to break and time pieces are a great “Guy Gift”.

I have one sitting on top of a shelf in my bathroom that was a give away back around 1984.  Chaz it says on the face.  Chaz was a brand of cologne that was mass marketed as a push to sell women’s cologne to men in the US.  It didn’t last all that long.

Reminds me, hey you get off my lawn, it’s too early for that!

Way too many clocks in this house.  Now I need to set some clocks, if you’ll excuse me…