Friday, May 31, 2013

Names

Walking up to Main Street from my house for the parade last Monday made me think about the common term we use here for areas of the village. I was going "upstreet" and later, "downhook". If I were going to the Fire House I would have been heading "below the bridge" to Cedar Street. If I were going "up Newtown" as opposed to "downtown" I would have been heading toward the high school. And of course my grandfather would have said he was "going on to" Montauk, as though it were an island unto itself. Over time meanings change and we can hear the difference when our older generation talks.

I'm fascinated with the way our vernacular develops and we refer to things in specific ways. We have "local" language, which is where those terms fit, there is "national" language, which only Americans really "get", like references to Uncle Sam or Rosie the Riveter. And there is also "family" language which is unique to each of our own families and comes from the way children pronounce words or say cute things. I referred to that recently when I talked about my daughter exclaiming that it was "froggy" outside. Other memorable ones for me are "hangleburger" which is the way my nephew referred to hamburgers, and "washer shameen" which was my son's version of  "washing machine". We still occasionally use those terms at my house.

I've always known I was not an "upstreeter" and I've never considered myself a "Bonacker" although everyone who was born and raised in East Hampton after the 1950s seems to think they are. But no matter what part of East Hampton one comes from there's a label for them - some kinder than others. Labels are not aways good things. But sometimes, when walking "upstreet" for the Memorial Day parade, it feels good to have a sense of place.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Flight

May has flown by in an unbelievable fashion for me and while I'm sure it had as much to do with my schedule as anything else, I'm always amazed at how certain months pass so quickly.

I've no doubt that May is always a month that hurries by though, because its the month we have to do so much preparation for the coming season. That said, I still haven't finished planting my outdoor pots or cleared away the "winter" from inside the house (like putting away the heavy afghans that lay across the backs of couches and chairs all winter to deal with the chill inside as well as out). But - I know it will be done by the end of this week. I keep telling myself that this is the real Memorial Day weekend coming up! It always used to be the last weekend! That's why the sun is shining on us now, of course!

Well whichever weekend you call Memorial Day, the traditional one or the modern one, the summer is starting now. The weather has finally warmed up, the yards and decks are cleaned and trimmed, and all of East Hampton is ready for action. Hopefully June doesn't fly by quite as quickly as May did.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reflecting

Days like Memorial Day always cause us to spend time reflecting on some of the more somber things in life, like service, and honor, and duty. Our military people are amazing in this day and age - volunteering to be our front line and protect what we love in our country.

My father always discounted his heroism, despite the fact that he won a bronze star for it in WWII. When questioned about his actions he would explain that a officer came into the barn his comrades were holed up in, somewhere in a little village in France, and asked for two volunteers to help evacuate a makeshift hospital which was being shelled with mortars. He said he and another were the closest to the door, so they stood up and went, evacuating over twenty injured soldiers from the building, under attack the whole time. He would shrug his shoulders and indicate that it was no big deal - it was what you did. Accidental hero's. It was a generation of accidental hero's.

But today's soldiers are a different breed - they volunteer for it. They aren't drafted, or pressed into service - they do it willingly. Although I am a huge supporter and participant in community service and volunteerism, I'm not sure I could ever do what they do, laying their lives on the line for people I don't even know.

Of course its more complicated than that. I know they volunteer, not for me, or other faceless people, but for an ideal that we call America. It's an ideal that we all hold dear and strive for in many different ways in our lives. No one more bravely than the men and women in uniform.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crazy

This past weekend was crazier than usual, with cold temperatures and rainy weather. The sun did not appear until Sunday and it was still windy then. Monday was our only nice day, which was nice for our traditional cook-out and, of course, the parade, but other than that the weekend was a bit of a wash.

I didn't mind it really. I had very few places to go and was happy to sit at home puttering around with cooking and cleaning and sitting to read or watch TV. Sometimes its nice to have unexpected down time - like a snow storm in the winter - and the rain provided that nicely.

It is clearly the start of the season. I was on ambulance duty Sunday night and got very little sleep, with typical "summer season" calls. There was a small child, a drunk, and a victim of violence - in this case domestic. We can go months without these types of calls, but not in the summer! It seems as though the warm weather, the crowds and the hard work all locals are faced with bring out the worst in people. It was the first of many long night for EMS on the East End.

And its only the beginning....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I have celebrated Memorial Day the exact same way for over 60 years now. It's a bit startling to even write that. The years do move by quickly.

It's fun to see new places and do new things and I still haven't lost my spirit of adventure. But at the same time, there is comfort in tradition, in the familiar, in the normal. For me, Memorial Day represents the latter.

Every year when I was a child we walked to the parade and stood near the end of the route to see the regular marchers: military, little leaguers, girl scouts, fire departments, etc. Then we stood at the mill to listen to the message from a local dignitary, salute the flag for the Star Spangled Banner, and somberly remember those that never returned, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. And every year we walked back home to have the first official cook-out of the season with friends and family.

Few details have changed. This year I'll walk up alone to stand with the village officials while the other family gathers nearer the mill. Then I'll sit up front and watch from a different angle, still moved by the words spoken and the ceremonial details. Then I'll walk home and everything will be  as it was, with family joining us for hamburgers and hot dogs - and maybe some baseball across the street. Or frisbee. Or dodge ball.

When I made the potato salad this weekend I felt my mother's hands around mine. When I grabbed the plates out of the cabinet I remembered her doing the same thing. When my husband works the grill I'll remember my father standing in the same place, doing his part. The players have changed but those that are gone will be right there with us, and the memories remain strong and comforting in this traditional Memorial Day here in East Hampton.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Return trip

Coming home from Hampton Bays was a whole other experience this week.

By the time I came home the fog had totally lifted. But there was another enemy afoot - traffic.

Of course it was the Thursday of Memorial Day weekend so it should not have been a surprise...but still! I was OK until I got into Southampton and that's where reality hit. At the Princess Diner there was complete gridlock. No one could turn onto Montauk Highway from County Road 39. I turned right and skipped the backup until I merged onto Montauk Highway in Water Mill and then I was stuck in it until I could get back to a southern route. Slowly we crept along until I got to Bridgehampton and then I headed south again.

It was a bit of a shock since its been months since I took that way home and as always, change has happened. Where homes once stood there are huge holes in the ground. Where small houses once resided, larger versions have emerged as additions have been added here and there. Everywhere there seemed to be construction vehicles.

It's still beautiful along the southern way home from Southampton but I worry about the open fields disappearing slowly, bit by bit, year by year. How sad will it be when there are nothing but giant houses lining the streets? My East End is slowly changing. And not all change is for the better.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Frog

Thursday I drove to Hampton Bays and the fog was a thick as soup all the way. I always take the back roads over, which may have been a mistake that day, but I prefer it to the highway. Even shrouded in fog the scenery is nicer!

Once I got to the outer edges of Hampton Bays the visibility was really bad as the road snakes alongside the water. On the section where the guard rail along the road literally drops to the water, I couldn't see past the rail at all. For all I could see there could ave been condos there instead of beachfront. It was eerie.

Driving was not difficult though as there was little traffic and I was meandering slowly along. Of course the entire trip I kept hearing my then-three-year-old in my head saying (as she looked out the window one morning many years ago) "Mommy - its froggy out there!" As is often the case when our children invent new words or use them is adorable ways, that has always stuck with me and the fog is forever "frog" to me. And it was indeed a very froggy day on Thursday...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Official

We we've reached the official summer season as of today. Ready or not, here they come!

Four years ago I was in the midst of chemotherapy so I'm not complaining about the onslaught of people this weekend. Feeling good and being able to lead a normal life is such a gift and I will never again take that for granted. Not to say life is a bowl of jello - there are still disappointments and griefs in my life and no one's is perfect. But the gift I was given along with my cancer diagnosis was that of perspective. Never again will I complain about the little things. And even the griefs have their positive side - they make me know I'm alive.

So the crowds are coming and for the next four months we'll be sharing out little piece of heaven with them. We'll alter our schedules to account for traffic and we'll change the times we shop for groceries, but by and large life goes on - thankfully - as always. I've lived here my entire life so I think by now I've adjusted to the seasonal nature of my home!

And I can't blame anyone for wanting to share in what we have. How can you resent anyone for appreciating something you love?

So...here we go - hanging on to our hats!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Frenzy

You can feel the frenzy building now as the holiday approaches. There seems to be a rush to get to the grocery tore, the hardware store, the pharmacy - all the locals are busy stocking up to avoid going out over the weekend and all those arriving are trying to stock their pantries and sheds for the season. It' a bit crazy out there.

We try to stick close to home during busy summer weekends, especially the holiday ones, and we will do the same starting tomorrow. We have plenty of food, and the stores open early so in a pinch we'll beat out the crowds when we must. The outdoor furniture is cleaned and ready for us and I'm hoping for some nice warm days to enjoy out there on the patio. A cook-out might just be in the plans as well. And of course, the annual Memorial Day parade on Monday, which I don't think I've ever missed. It's a family tradition that started generations before I entered the scene.

The season is upon us. I hope we are ready.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May?

It seems as though the months are a little confused. We barely had any rain in April but here we are in May and everyday this week they have called for some rain. If it didn't rain on us directly it rained around us, just north or just west - and sometimes we had showers here.

The plants need the rain so it a good thing. But with the holiday weekend coming it would be nice to see the sun come out! There are always lots of plans over Memorial Day and this year is no different. We need lots of sun to kick the summer off right! I'm hoping we get it.

Well the rain is cleansing and everything feels fresh after a light rain - and it certainly is not as bad as a a drenching rain, although once in awhile that's not a bad thing either. Rain is the stuff that life is made of and we need it. As long as its over for the weekend I think we'll be OK!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Baseball

We've been attending a lot of Little League games lately. Both our grandsons are on teams so there is no shortage of opportunity.

It's fun to watch the kid as they mature and learn the game. The youngest was 7 last year and his team barely knew which way to run around the bases. This year they have a much better grip on the game and although balls are overthrown and bats swung too often, they are starting to look like a baseball team.

Then there is the oldest boy whose 10 this year and his team  really playing good ball. They know where the play is, they throw accurately, cover each other well, and its fun to watch.

Seeing how much better the play is in just a few years makes me already looking forward to the potential for high school baseball games in only a few years. I'm hoping one of them is still into baseball then because I think I'll enjoy watching as much now as I did when their grandfather...and uncles..played. And the circle of life continues...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finally

Well it's finally official now - the weather has changed! For the first time this season I left the houselast week on my morning walk with only a short-sleeved tee shirt!

All winter I head out in the dark at 6:30 every morning with a friend, dressed in heavy sweat pants and lined sweatshirt, along with gloves to keep the hands warm. As the seasons change the attire also changes, and the past weeks I've been wearing a lighter weight jacket over a long-sleeved shirt. Aerobic walking outside is tricky because you have to start out cold because once you've been walking quickly for ten minutes you warm up pretty well and by the time you're done you're sweating profusely in your winter wear.

So actually being able to leave the house in a summer tee is a big change. I felt lighter and freer than I had in many months. At 6:30am the sun is shining brightly, the birds are singing, and now, we're dressed for summer.

Of course I'm still throwing on a light jacket or sweater later in the day, but for the morning walk at least - it summer now!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Numbers

I am not a numbers person. I always did well in math, but I never enjoyed it. I don't like looking at a page full of numbers and whenever I attend a board meeting of any kind and we discuss the finances, my eyes glaze over a little bit. I have to really concentrate on the discussion, following the columns of numbers up and down, deciphering "YTD" and "BOH" and all the other things that go along with the numbers game.

One of my least favorite things is keeping track of the finances in our house. My husband, who is much better with numbers than I am, used to pay all the bills and keep the checkbook, but his laid back attitude about paying on time and avoiding financing fees drove me crazy so I do it myself now and I hate it.

Thankfully online banking has made the job a bit easier, as I no longer need to worry about balancing my checkbook the way I used to, but I still need to keep checking our account and following the numbers and sometimes just looking at the page to see which bills have been paid and how much is left in each account makes me crazy. I hate numbers.

What I really need is a secretary. I need someone to pay my bills, give me an allowance, and let me know what's up in ten sentences or less. If I could find someone who would work for nothing I'd be a very happy camper....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lilacs

The lilacs are blooming. Glorious!

The lilacs are especially plentiful this year in my yard, and I'm not sure whether that's because I pruned them back last fall or because its just a good year all around for lilacs. But my bushes are lush and beautiful and I'm in heaven for at least a week while they're here.

Lilacs have the most amazing scent and when the weather is warm enough and the doors and windows are opened the smell permeates the house. I try to keep a huge fresh bunch on lilac branches on my kitchen table while they're blooming so I can catch the scent as I walk through the room. I usually use a large white pitcher because they look beautiful in something white.

Every year I look forward to the lilacs. And now they're here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mediums

I find the television show called "Long Island Medium" rather compelling.

I've always believed the people who debunk those who claim to talk to the dead, have ESP, or any other type of psychic "gift". I find it compelling, the idea that these people can do advanced research on their audiences and kow things the subjects would not expect them to know.

But this Theresa Caputo, the "Long Island Medium", has me taking a second look.

First of all she is a long way from what I would expect a seer to look and act like. She's such a Long Island girl! The hair, the make-up, the long, manicured nails, the accent - wow! Second of all, she seems so real! Is this an act? No idea. But she has me guessing.

And then, there's the way she approaches people in the grocery store or the local K-Mart. She could not possibly know these people or do research on them - how does she do it?

I think this woman might be the real thing. My mother would never believe it. But I think I do. I can't stop watching!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Creeping sun

Our days are lengthening nicely now, from the early morning sunlight to the late day shadows. I enjoy the early morning walks with the birds singing and the bright sun rising over the treetops. I also like the Little League games and being able to drive to evening meetings and events in daylight. Not being a good night driver is restricting and having daylight gives me much more freedom.

I find it so much easier to get up in the morning when the sun is up and the world is awake. At the same time its so much more difficult to wind down in the evening when daylight is calling! We can still work outside! We can still be productive! No reason to curl up on the couch and settle in for the night - it warm and light out there!

Sunlight is a mixed blessing. But right now its fun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Photos

Last weekend I sat through a program at the Historical Society that consisted of many old photos that are part of the collection. Most were from the Amagansett area and they were all simple, typical snapshots like you'd see in any photo album - not taken by a professional but taken by someone who wanted to remember a specific event or time or place - the kind we all have in our photo albums.

It made me realize that even the simplest photos are an important piece of our history. We saw hoes with no trees, where the business district could be seen from the far end of Hand Lane. How things ave changed!

I have no idea how long it will be before the photographs of today will be meaningful to someone for the things they'll show. But I do know that the things of my childhood are already interesting and the photos already tell a story of things past.  Photographs are an amazing peek at our past. A real gift.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buildings

Last weekend we attended our semi-annual Sons & Daughters of East Hampton meeting at the American Legion Hall in Amagansett. As always, there was a program, and this time it was about old buildings around town.

We saw slides projected on the screen of an amazing number of beautiful old buildings from East Hampton's history - some still standing and others long gone. Interestingly, many of them had been moved more than once in their history, like the Session House of the Presbyterian Church was began it's life where Cashmere Hampton now stands, then moved to the corner of David's Lane and Main Street, and then was moved once again to the rear of the church property. How these sizable buildings were moved is unimaginable to me, and why, considering the effort it must have taken, would they be moved such short distances, is the same. Why? And how? I am fascinated for sure.

Now days they tear down buildings around here like they're made of blocks and think nothing of starting over. How I long for the days when they were not only worth saving, but moving as well.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Special days

It's always a little crazy when birthdays and holidays converge. This weekend was one of those times.

My youngest son was born on May 13th. My dearest friend's birthday falls on May 12th. (If my son had been a girl he would have been named after her in some fashion) And Mother's Day is always the second Sunday of May which is often around the same time so every year this happens. This year my friend's birthday hit Mother's Day - some years its my son's. Now that the two special mother's in my life are gone its not as crazy as it used to be but there were years where it was difficult to get all the festivities in!

I have a niece that was born a couple days before Christmas. I don't envy her that. My own husband and daughter have birthdays that fall near or on Columbus Day, which can be nice since its a holiday with no obligations, but for those who are born near major holidays like Christmas it does become interesting.

All worked well this weekend and we managed to get everyone into the mix, but today is actually my son's birthday so all day, despite the fact that we've already had our official celebration, my heart and mind will be on him. It was - and is - a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ceci

Today is the birthday of my dearest friend whom I've known since I was in high school. Since it a special birthday, her family had a surprise party for her yesterday and we enjoyed getting to celebrate her life.

Being able to spend time talking and thinking about somebody who's important in your life is a gift because it gives us a chance to slow down and remember. All week I was thinking about her and our experiences together - all the special memories I have of our special relationship. It's one of those relationships that  makes our lives special - a person who's been through the good and the bad with us and helped us endure the toughest of times.

There are some people in our lives that we cannot imagine life without and for me, she is one of them. She's helped me cope with the worst of times and helped me enjoy the best of them.

Happy Birthday my friend. I hope we get to celebrate many more together.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Grandma

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and that got me to thinking about my grandmother the other day. I remembered things I did with her, like baking and craft type things, and how much I enjoyed singing while she played the piano.

My grandmothers were both old fashioned ladies who never wore pants or sneakers, always dresses and heels. My mother's mother was especially proud of that fact, and even at the end of her life she had difficulty accepting anything in the way of clothing that was outside that arena, including a full girdle/bra combination that I cannot even believe she could breathe in.

I occasionally catch the movie "Peggy Sue Got Married" on one of the movie channels and I always love watching that "time travel" type story. Peggy Sue, the title character, hits her head and wakes up back in the late 1950s as a high school senior dating her future husband. Without going in to great detail, it's a nice story with a happy ending, but the one scene that always touches me deeply is this one: Peggy Sue is in the kitchen with her mother, getting ready to leave for school or something, when the phone rings. (Of course we see her as the forty-year-old Peggy Sue but she is supposed to be the teen aged one.) Anyway, she casually grabs the phone and says "Hello" and unexpectedly hears her grandmother's voice say "Hi Peggy Sue - how are you honey?" and she melts into a puddle right before our eyes in a brilliant bit of acting, and in a small, incredulous voice and tears in her eyes she says "Grandma?". She then listens to her grandmother's voice with all the poignancy of a middle-aged woman suddenly able to have a conversation with her long-gone beloved grandmother. It touches my heart every time.

What a gift it would be to be able to have a conversation with our absent mothers and grandmothers every year on Mother's Day. Now that would be a day to celebrate.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Heat

I had to turn on the heat the other day. I couldn't believe it! In May! It went against everything in my being to do it because I never have the heat on in May, but I had people coming over and I was afraid they would be freezing. So I flipped the switch on the furnace and the radiators warmed up in no time. Nothing like old fashioned cast iron radiators!

It still doesn't feel like May yet to me. It's not cold enough for a coat, but it's still chilly enough to need a sweater and I'm sure that any day now it will suddenly be 90 degrees out there. Oh I'm longing for Spring! I want nights in the 50s and days in the low 70s! I want short sleeves and gentle breezes. And I don't want to turn the heat on until October or November!

The sun has been shining nicely lately and the sky is a beautiful blue, but whatever it is that controls the temperature hasn't quite gotten the message that its time to be warm. Soon, I hope....soon.....

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fences

I've  never been a big fan of fences.

Well, let me say this: I like pretty picket fences and nice split rail fences. I don't like big, view blocking, stockade, chain link, or panel fencing. I don't like anything that makes me feel as though I'm being "kept out" or "kept in". Even big hedges can be intimidating to me.

But I'm fascinated with the fences along Main Street here in East Hampton. Because they are beautiful in their variety and have historic significance.

It seems that back in the colonial days of this place the livestock was all allowed to graze in the center of the green which was bordered by homes on both sides. The center area also served as the travel path which eventually became Main Street. Homeowners erected fences to keep the livestock out of their gardens and front yards. Over time those early crude wooden fences began to take on variety and character, from simple split rails to fancy victorians. And today they continue to display that variety and beauty - not to keep out eyes and strangers but to continue the tradition of fences along the major thruway of this village.

From the simplest to the most ornate, the fences along Main Street bring a wonderful sense of history and charm to our town.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Drawers

How is it that the drawers in my house seem to act like magnets for all sorts of things?

Last weekend I emptied my sock drawer. I'll freely admit its been a couple years since I've done that, but still - I was amazed at the things I found. There were a couple shirts in the bottom - where did they come from? And when did I get them and why? A total puzzle - I don't even remember either one of them.

Then there were socks in the bottom that hadn't seen the light of day in a long, long time. The elastic was "crunchy". Clearly, my sock drawer is too deep! I'm thinking perhaps I should exchange a shallower drawer and use this one for something else. I mean, how could I fill a shopping bag with old, stretched out socks that hadn't been used in such a long time? After all, one only needs a dozen pairs of socks, even in the deep of winter!

Perhaps its time to re-assign things to drawers in my room. But that seems like such a burden. In the spirit of Scarlette O'Hara, I guess I'll think about that tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In the yard

There's something so sweet about this time of the year. We luxuriate in the sunshine, enjoying the warmth and the beauty of the skies, and we love working outside.

It will only be a month or so before the heat and humidity will make it a huge chore to weed the garden or mow the lawn. But this past weekend the temperature was perfect, the sun was bright and gave everything that brilliant Spring glow, and you couldn't help but want to get outside and accomplish something.

So now the outdoor furniture is cleaned and ready to welcome a human with a good book in hand, or a few people with hors d'ourves and cocktails to share. The deck is devoid of the collection of leaves that found their way there over the winter, and the lawn is mowed. And suddenly it seems as though the house is much bigger and life is now sunny and comfortable.

Spring is a wonderful time of the year...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Names


I've never known anyone personally whose name was "May" but I like it as a girl's name. Which reminds me of another book I once read as a child.

It was a chapter book so I must have been in 4th grade at least, but I don't remember the name of the book or the general story. All I remember about it is that there were twelve children in the family and each was named after a month. I don't remember whether or not they were born in the months they were named for, but I remember thinking how cool it would be to named after the month you were born in.

Of course, some months lend themselves better than others as far as  names go. Some are already used regularly: April, May, and June. And there are unusual names that occasionally show up, like "Christmas" - not a month but a specific time of year. I had a friend growing up who was named "Christmas" because she was born December 25th. Everyone called her "Chrissy", of course. And I have to admit that if I were to have had a baby on Christmas I think I would have called her "Holly", not "Christmas". But of course, to each his own.

The more interesting months in the book I read as a child were "January" and "February". Their nicknames were "Jan" and "Feb". Hummmm. "Jan" I get but "Feb"? Not so much.

Anyway - these are the kinds of things I think about when the month of May comes around...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Goals

I like to set goals for myself. I find it a good way to get things done and know I'm moving forward, making progress in various areas. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew though.

I decided at Christmas this year that I would set a goal of knitting a sweater for each of my nine grandchildren before the year is out. Yikes.

So I chose a simple pattern that wasn't too complicated. And then I let each of the kids chose the yarn they wanted from the color chart. I ordered the yarn for the first five and decided to start with the largest sizes and work my way down, knowing that otherwise I was liable to get the small ones done and feel too overwhelmed to do the big ones. I know myself too well.

I only just completed the second one. I'm not on a good schedule. But I'm not allowing myself to be discouraged because these two are for pre-teens and are pretty big. The next two are a size smaller but then I get to much smaller children and I anticipate that as I near the end things will go quickly.

I hope to see this goal through. If I do I'll be sure and post a picture of all nine of them in their sweaters because that will be a good day....

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Success

So far I've had limited success in my great clean-out project. The attic is a big win - clean and empty - and I love it. However, I definitely need help in the other areas.

The two big jobs are my bedroom and the office. The bedroom need to have every drawer and closet emptied, sorted and re-done. It's overwhelming because its been years since I've done it. The sock drawer no longer closes without poking and pushing them in until it finally slides in, for instance. I know there are socks in the bottom of that drawer that haven't seen the light of day - or the bottom of my feet - in years. I haven't even started in there yet.

The office was re-organized only a year ago with the help of my daughter, but again, its a big job. Because this time I'm going to empty and throw out more than organize and it needs to be done. I need the space for other things.

I started that job last week when I spent an hour going through the double file cabinet. I threw out records like tax returns going back 8, 9, and 10 years, and files on vendors  used when I was running a small business out of the house. It took a long time to go through every file, page by page in some instances, and I threw lots of stuff into garbage bags but I also piled some things to re-organize on the desk top. And that's where they remain.

Now I know that one always makes a bigger mess before getting things put back together again, but without spending an entire day out there its going to be a long process and a lot of mess to get there.

I'm enjoying the success of the attic and I'm bemoaning the failure to achieved the same elsewhere.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The calendar

Sometimes I look at the calendar as the enemy. At others I love it.

I use a weekly calendar that sits on my kitchen counter. When its open it displays one week at a time with large spaces for each day so I can fill in my schedule. I try not to look too far ahead, only turning pages forward when I need to fill in a scheduled item and then turning right back to the present week. I find it less stressful not to look too far ahead.

About Friday of every week I turn the page ahead to the next week to check it out. That way I have an idea of how busy I'm going to be and can prepare myself mentally for whatever lies ahead. But I never turn it for good before Sunday because I don't want to begin the week ahead of time. For me, its all about mental games....

Some Sundays are dreadful. I turn the page and see notes and times on every day of the next week, sometimes four and five things on each one. On really good Sundays I turn the page and there in front of my is at least one nice, white space - a free day! These are the times I love my calendar.

Today is Friday so went and peeked at next week and so far it looks like a good week - busy enough to feel productive but not so busy there's no time open to sit and enjoy a beautiful Spring day or have lunch with a friend. I'm already looking forward to it....and crossing my fingers that it stays that way...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Food

I've really been trying to eat healthier. I mean, in the past when I dieted, I simply ate less food. But now, I'm trying to eat good food.

So what I mean by that is I've increased my consumption of fruits and vegetables (and I hate vegetables) and have tried very hard not to eat sugar or high fats, which are two of my favorite things in the world to ingest.

So, I fill up my fridge with cut up fruits and lots of good things to eat, and I work hard on only eating the best things - organic, pure, whole foods. I really do try. And I do really well for days on end - weeks even - and then something always happens. I have to got to a dinner somewhere and have no control over the menu,for instance, or I attend a function with the most enticing desserts. And it seems as though all my good intentions go right out the window.

I assumed that as long as the good days outnumbered the bad, I would lose weight and feel better.Somehow that hasn't seemed to happen. And I find myself thinking about weight loss surgery. Which always brings me back to the same conclusion: if I had surgery I'd have to follow a rigorous diet. So why can't I just avoid the really nasty part of it all - the part where they slice you open and mess with your insides - and follow the diet, achieving the same result with less pain and danger?

Why indeed?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May

May definitely changes things. No longer are we in early Spring - we're full blown Spring now. And May is a wonderful month.

My weeping cherry is gorgeous. I love that the most of all my trees and its a really good size now so I love to see it blossom. The only sad thing is that it doesn't last long and I hate it when those pretty pink blossoms fall to the ground and die. They're incredibly delicate and lacy when they first pop open and I look for them all over the village, where there are some spectacular specimens.

The pink dogwood is nearly ready to open up and that is equally pretty when it does. It seems as though every week in May welcome a new flower and each of them gets their moment in the spotlight. I'm glad they don''t all come out at once because that would be like sensory overload. This way I can appreciate each in its day.

I'm waiting for my irises to bloom. That's another of my favorite, fleeting moments. Spring is here and all of nature knows it.