Annual Despise

I didn’t get the windows done.

Instead, I conquered the annual “That Which I Despise.”

In record time due to:

  1. It actually being a bi-annual event.
  2. A lovely friend willing to haul me out some mulch.

I skipped 2020 with absolutely zero guilt. COVID, and none of the box stores who were just beginning delivery were willing to ship soil or mulch. I’m generally not a fan of gardening, unless it bears salsa.

Last fall, I determinedly dug up the interlocking brick border and moved each about 2 inches further in, toward the building, so there’s be future less to tend.  I also took a good number of bulbs from my oft-trampled only true floral bed. The damage really irked me at first. But, what else is a child supposed to do without siblings or much outdoor supervision? Permitting use of the imagination is a much more important investment, anyway. It’s also a convenient  reason not to attempt to weed amongst wreckage.

The other south-side bed has been mulch, weeds and two obnoxious prickerly bushes.  I’ve tried to kill them three times. Seriously. Chopping as mercilessly as the greenery would gladly prick me, I poured multiple helpings of all-natural, safe for pets, liquid weed killer down the stumpy gullets.

The stubborn regrowth hadn’t gotten very far, when the mulch angel stopped by. A little side comment about how much I really dislike those maroon-ish meanies, prompted an immediate, “I’ll take them.”

To which I promptly replied, “Let me go grab you a shovel.”

I also pulled up two white grocery sacks, a pruner, hand rake and gloves. Happy-to see-holes devoid of dangerous thorns inspired a fiendish grin. Then, What I thought were wild-spreading, brightly beautiful purple-flowered weeds were actually flowering bulbs of some sort. A hefty number of those departed, too.

After that, the only thing left to do, was to thickly cover the rest of the space with dark brown clumps of moist wood chips. My precise method?  Dump a bag, smooth it out. Move on.

I did. I dumped a bag and a half into the two split beds leading up to my real front porch. I did take care to kind of paw some away from plants that I know are plants. Yellow daffodils, orange lilies. I also invested a few moments trimming that something-piney half-bare tree-like thing that lives to the right of a living room window. Probably not the right season to prune it, but every time the wind blows, it stretches an awkward, arm-like branch into my couch-view. It’s especially alarming at night.

From there, I rounded the corner to my new-two-years-ago railroad tie garden space that has yet to become one. I did mostly succeed in deceasing an odd, low-low-to-the-ground viny, yellow and green thing. My friend asked what the lone clump of greenery was. I don’t know, but it sort of resembles daffodil sprouts. Only thinner. I mercifully gave them breathing room, and dumped the rest of half bag I was holding.

Hostas are hardy enough that even I can’t accidentally kill them. Even when, say I didn’t forget to clip the tendrils and cut them back before the first Michigan frost. In my defense, the frost came early and I hadn’t been engaged in caring.

“Do you think I need to clear out all the dead stuff?” It was a hopefully inquiry. The hope was that the answer would be, “No.” Unfortunately, I was, as expected, informed that it would be a good idea.  

That was a quick go, too. A couple of handfuls of dry, brittle, bud branches and leftover fall foliage was all it took. Again, I considerately brushed away bits from just sprouting buried shoots. I’m particularly fond of hardly-ever-need-water and ever-expanding Hostas.

So, maybe I do have a little landscaping desire buried deep within. Maybe, I’ll indoor-pot some poblanos next to the already potted cat grass.

Quote for the Week:

practi-procrasti-patience

Spring is that short-lived lovely feeling of sunshine and short-sleeves heralding the sad state of your view and the odd sense of satisfaction you know will be yours once you do what’s gotta be done.

Windows.

Smothered in low nose prints inside, sheeted with right-off-the-tree rained down dirt on the outside.

Lodged remnants of last fall’s floaty yellow helicopter pods are merely mushy brown now, and apparently insanely attractive to egg-laying creepy crawlies.

Ugh.

Don’t know why this year seems so much worse. It’s a good thing I’ve got the Costco-sized double-pack of Q-tips in my possession, along with a super-sized bottle of Dawn and 2 jugs of white vinegar.

I happen to have an unhappy abundance of COVID-panic paper towels Amazon sweetly ‘suggested’ as a substitute for my normal brand. Biodegradable, quite akin to the instantly self-dissolving single-ply ‘I-might-have-just-as-well-used-my-right-hand’ tissues I was not fond of in my youth.

The last time I bought some of those was about 6 years ago. There’s a box or possibly two left in supply. They’re really just for grown-up looks and fancy guests, I guess.  

Lazed in the last of the 6 PM incoming ray, communing with my sun-squinting cats, was when all of this presented itself so nicely. I know it’ll be delightful to have sparkly windows and dispose of those leaf-nested winged-type critters.

Being practical, I wasn’t planning on doing anything just then. Hey, I was planning, not procrastinating. More lounging lead to other conclusions.

I’m not fond of my current living room set-up. Swapping the office and the bedroom left no room for my reading recliner anywhere else, but there. It’s an awkward, bulky, comfy, often-used non-stylish, unmatched chair. I’m ready for the seasonal switch, but it’s not going to be that easy.

Because, I also gained a piece of furniture bought a while back. It’s been living in a friend’s house for a year or so. Grand Prix’s aren’t great bargain-haul haulers.  Now, one of those new mid-size Bronco’s would do. Not just, yet, though. The GP’s still running just fine.

Sitting there contemplating all this, I realized I’m kind of unhappy with my previously too-well-loved to give it up sitting room suite. The familiar urge to change something – fast – swelled into immediate need. Unfortunately, my ultra-regular go-to for a fast, refreshing fix, is a hair-over.

I’ve sort of nixed that nonsense. There’s a lot less than there usually is because I got rid of most of what was left, already.

Considered color – maybe that pretty antique blue (that last time turned out chlorinated pool turquoise green.) Maybe, I should try boxed grey, again. That pretty much did nothing, except add a little shine. Brad Mondo says you’ve gotta bleach first or you’ll end up with a dishwater-dirty mop. Not a verbatim quote. I’m more or less paraphrasing from a conglomerate of 2 AM, I’m not sleeping, hair-color-gone-wrong videos.

You know, if I’ve gotta bleach, maybe I should just… bleach. Of course, I’d have to tackle my brows, too.

Nah, I’m still waiting for the sparkly take-over. They’re coming in. Slowly.

Procrastination I mean, Patience, may pay off.

Quote for the Week:

an unnecessary option

compulsively feeding the

short-term parking meter interrupting life

instead of pulling away

living, long-term, no charge

ghosted self, self-affectioned

in this moment

offering an ending thought,

lightning illumination on

an unnecessary option

treading

one foot only

one foot in front of the other

of going nowhere.

comfort chosen sluggish soles,

shuffled rough roads wearing

that path, owning only

serenely scored expensive ruts

worn deep enough for imagination

to safely ignore the danger in

rim-limited views

just a bit longer, til

paid in full with absolutely no allowance

for aiming for horizons

this sort of thing comes faster

short and short of faith.

Quote for the Week:

Phantom Hair

Honesty is such a simple word.
It’s mostly what I need from me.

Sharing with much sarcasm and self-love.


I did it.

In a rather radical move (for me), I maskedly braved Meijer Sunday morning.

It was time. More than a year later, I made the purposeful trek to the walk-in hair joint that, thanks to COVID, isn’t really a walk in joint anymore.

I called first to see how that works. It’s register online and wait in your car for the 5 minute warning.

When I signed up, the wait was a reasonable 30 minutes. 3 miles and 8 minutes later, I clicked the “I’m here'” icon to see that the new estimate was 70 minutes.

So, I unparked, drove around the corner to Kohls to pick up the labor-of-love order I placed Saturday night at 2 am. I had a fantastic savings layering perfectly planned. So, I was disappointed when only 3  out of 5 items that were indicated as available at my store for pick-up found their way into my trunk.

Lessoned learned. Read the whole email not just the “Your order is ready,” subject. Because then, you can call the store and ask if there is mini chopper avail in any other color since the color you chose was now sold out. There was, but there was no saving my obliterated savings.

Layering FYI was: Spent $84, saved $79, expected $20 Kohl’s cash and a $5 reward which I would combine with my $5 anniversary voucher to purchase a $30 insert for my Instant Pot. I sadly paid $64, with no perks.

I considered the go-inside, return, grab appliance and re-buy contortions the desk clerk offered, but in the end, just headed back to the market lot to watch the hairy-ing countdown meter do its thing.

Which, brings me back to the honesty part. I’m honestly just tired if it. I’m tired of pretending, so I freed myself in a way that will likely garner criticism and concern.

To quote the Post Malone feeling, in Feeling Whitney, “I’m done.” PM, btw, so rocked the Grammys. I’ll admit I sort of expected The Weeknd to pop-up cameo, but maybe the whole druid-choir thing is an across the board vibe these days. Anyway, props to Post. ❤ him.

I’m tired of pretending, hair. The stylist and I had a conversation. Grief, 100# added, 118# lost, nutrition issues, gut issues, plus gallbladder, hernia, and ‘thing’ removal surgeries. That last one was already 3 years ago, on the left side of my head. It’s become obvious. It’s never growing back.

The hesitation was a little amusing. “Are you sure?” She asked 3 times. Clippers set on 3. Scissor cut, slightly an1/8 of an inch longer on top, maybe.

It’s not a fashion statement, nor a look-at-me statement. Not political, and not really open for discussion. It’s just what I did so I could stop worrying about the wind lifting my comb-over into an oddly bad, bald-resulting mohawk. It’s just what I did to make myself feel better.

When done, my shearer announced surprise at how much more my new wgaf style seemed to match my personality. It only suits me because I am more comfortable. I’m no longer worrying about the doo-wop flipped out-curls at my neck. I don’t look younger without the straggly mullet part in back. I just look more at ease, because I am.

The question, “You’re an artist, aren’t you?” almost moved into an automatic snort and shrug of denial,. There hasn’t been much artistic in me for a while. But, empowered by ease, I decided to own it. It’s always been what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m grown up enough, so I said, “Yes, I am.”

Another one of those odd, maybe I should pay attention to this, universal alignments struck late last week. I lost my nose stud. Not a tragedy. I seriously, haven’t lost one in years, though. Last time was MRI related about 4 years ago. Forgot to take it out at home, so when I got to the hospital I stuck it in my wallet. Never to be seen again. Luckily, I had about 5 spares.

That was the scan that resulted in the surgery 3 years ago, because I put it off for a year/as long as possible. There’s something super creepy about having your ear unattached and the flesh on the side of your head pulled away from your skull. I needed some time to get used to that idea.

Last week, the 4 spares, became 3 spares. Happened again this week. 3 spares are now down to 2. I considered it might a sign that I maybe I should be outgrowing it.

Nah, I’ve decided it was more of a reminder to be a little louder about who I am.

Who I am is not comfortable with a shortage of spares. I’ve placed an order for a couple more.

No savings layering to be had, but the investment in myself seems worth it to me.

Quote for the Week:

PS. I have phantom hair. You can see it in person. I can see it in the mirror. Yet, every camera emphatically denies that there’s anything there. If you really want to not see it, DM me. LOL.

There Is a Limit.

Grief isn’t always an honorarium.

Too prolonged, it turns into a mortifying dishonor.

It’s horrifyingly self-heart-breaking to have to admit this. I’ve been wrong.   

I accepted well-meaning, short-term advice as eternally acceptable; permissive and long term.

Took it with no intention of delving below the surface or coming up for air.

I haven’t decided which is the more appropriate analogy.

Doesn’t matter, they’re each tired in their own way.

I believed, because I wanted to. Justified by unlimited sources, repeating: there is no time limit on grief.

Day-by-Day. Hour-by-Hour, Minute-by-Minute were my only mantras. Which one depended entirely on the ebb or swell of absurdities; my stagnant situation, gladly perceived as permanent. It’s been quite the convenience; playing deeply into the dark places that have never scared me.

I’ve never been that Martina McBride “Happy Girl.” Although, I recognize myself at the start of the story. As much as I embrace it as a feasible concept, that won’t ever be me.

I used to take part, maintaining a purposely limited social life. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I was afraid I’d miss something big or a faintly-possible someone special.

Farcical charades, short spurts of semi-forced enthusiasm are easier to maintain than enduring the long-lingering disappointment of others and constantly being called on saying, “No.”

COVID’s been a bit assistive in this.

I’m not any lonelier than I was before, and that’s my enraged point.

I’ve lost almost 15 years to grief.

I’ve self-excused and self-approved my lack of future vision by embracing, without investigation, a kindly-offered axiom, as an exalted right.

There is most definitely a time limit on overwhelming sorrow and debilitative grief, and you’re the only one who can set it.