Tuesday, August 25, 2015

More Wildlife Adventures

As you can see, I just filled the peanut feeder outside my window. 
Sloppy, though, spilled some nut halves on the ground.  And before I'd even got back in to my desk chair --


Sunday, August 23, 2015

From today's journal

Sunday, August 23, 2015
Clearing out top bookshelves yesterday, ran into an old paperback of The Manchurian Candidate, and this morning after breakfast I stayed in bed reading it. What a fine writer!  Lately I can’t stand poor style – left two library books unfinished last week because the writers had tin ears, just too painful to read.  They were books with NYTimes reviews too, from reputable publishers. Richard Condon was one good writer, though-- having seen the movie on TV lately, fascinated to see how the book had been adapted.
Then instead of getting up for lunch I ate
back in bed while reading the paper.   Turned on TV again while finally getting dressed, and darned if they weren’t just starting the re-make of The Manchurian Candidate, so I got right back in bed and watched that one too.  It was confusing, so about 4 pm I finally got up and came out here to Wikipedia the remake and figure out what they’d done with the plot.  
There’s no point in getting dressed now, and come to think of it, this is another day when I haven’t spoken one word to anyone.  Mostly because I can’t think up meals or take him places, when Nathan is visiting I tell myself – and his mother – that  I’ll give him what one seldom has in life, some time with no one telling him when to go to bed or when to get up or when to eat or what to eat.  And then when I was there in bed with my Stauffers lunch, doing the Sunday cryptogram --high point of the week -- suddenly realized that’s what I have myself now.
Delightful day.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Excellent Advice

Sometimes this summer when I ask where an out-of-town visitor is off to, I get  "Same as I said this morning, I'm having lunch with my old friend ___." 
Frankly, I could do without the "as I already told you".  So I was pleased to find this poem, which suggests you respond "not impatiently, but with gentle calm."  And as this is supposed to be a blog about Old Ladies, I'm forwarding it to you.  We can assume it had even more resonance before being translated.  We knew the man was an artist, played piano, and authored a best-seller but did you know he was also a poet?  A real Renaissance man...

            The Mother

When your mother has grown older,
When her dear, faithful eyes
no longer see life as they once did,
When her feet, grown tired,
No longer want to carry her as she walks –

Then lend her your arm in support,
Escort her with happy pleasure.

The hour will come when, weeping, you
Must accompany her on her final walk.

And if she asks you something,
Then give her an answer.
And if she asks again, then speak!

 And if she asks yet again, respond to her,
Not impatiently, but with gentle calm.

And if she cannot understand you properly
Explain all to her happily.

The hour will come, the bitter hour,
When her mouth asks for nothing more.

               --Adolph Hitler, 1923

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stop By and Drop Off

First I should explain about OASIS -- it's an organization offering mini-courses to seniors.  That's where I heard those fascinating lectures about cemetaries I told you about some time ago -- matter of fact I've taught there myself, six sessions on Jane Austen.  The place has a paid supervisor whose title escapes me, but it's run pretty much by volunteers.  (The hourly pay for instructors, largely retired teachers, turns out to be pretty good, though.)
I've never found anyone there who knows what OASIS means.  I assume it's an acronym --  Older Americans,  Older American Seniors or some such?  Nor do I know where the funding comes from; I suspect places like the county's Office for the Aging.
At any rate, it occupies half a dozen rooms in the basement of an Art Deco building that once housed Sears Roebuck.  There's a long walk in from the parking lot, always a challenge these days, then the length of the building, escalators and the like.  So far, though, I've managed it.
Last Spring I registered for a five-session course on The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers, but it was over-subscribed and my check was returned.
Then last week the new brochure arrived.  I see they're repeating the most delightful title  -- I think maybe I wrote you about this -- Shop Before You Drop, which involves pre-planning one's funeral.  The bit of illustration on the right there accompanies the listing for that cemetary tour -- they're offering it again.  Great speaker; I'd listen to him recite the phone book. 
And they'll have the Fibonacci again! -- I hastened to put my registration and $38 in the mail immediately.  And a few days later, the phone rang.  For once I had  no trouble understanding the caller.  One of the volunteers said they could not complete my paperwork because I'd neglected to include a stamped self-addressed return envelope.
"You could mail me one," she said, "but that course fills up fast, so maybe you should come by today and drop it off."