Visiting Jackie’s Garden


 I enjoyed my stay in Spokane, Washington with my sisters. I got to visit Jackie’s Garden. It is even more gorgeous in person then it is on her blog.

Jackie had some daisies, my all-time favorite flower.

 Here is a gorgeous fox glove Bell in Caryl’s hand. She wanted to make certain I could see the inside pattern. I decided since Caryl liked the fox glove so much, I should take her picture with them. And Jackie came along and joined the fun.

So, here are three gorgeous flowers (and one obnoxious owl who joined the photo without permission).

When visiting Jackie’s yard, one needs to stop by the pond out front. T hand dug this pond for Jackie so that her Koi would also have a place to live once he and Jackie married. It was a case of “love me, love my fish” and T apparently did. These fish have a wonderful home. This photo shows Jackie on her knees by the pond petting the fish. When she knelt down and put her hand in the water they all darted over for their share of attention and petting.

Jackie’s secret garden also houses a church. Inside you will see that a couple of bees seeking sanctuary moved in and began remodeling the place. It turned out not to be much of a sanctuary after all. The place was bombed shortly after this photo was snapped, and long before they could finish the job and move in. What is the world coming to that not even a church is a safe haven?

Upon leaving Jackie’s Garden I traveled to Seattle Washington, and crossed Puget Sound in a ferry. I am now quite comfortable in our two bedroom apartment on the Friday Harbor Labratory UW campus. Pictures soon to follow.


 I didn’t get all of my packing done last night.  I worked until I was so punch drunk I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing.  I finally decided — with some prompting from OC (on the phone) — to get some sleep and hit it fresh in the morning.  I slept.  No, I over slept . So I came charging from my room ready to do battle … and for some reason I had left the vacuum cleaner right at the end of the hallway.  I whacked it with my little toe and neatly — okay, bloodily — removed the toenail.  Not a good start.

I finished packing in very good time. Then I went to the post office to mail several of the boxes to my sister — and the line stretched from breakfast to lunch.  Finally, packages mailed, I charged home to pack the car.  I figured that would take a lifetime, but the neighbor guy came over and did it in minutes.  After the car was packed I showered, put on clean clothes, turned in my keys, and hit the open road.  It was 1 p.m. — much later then I had planned to leave.

I made up a bit of time in the vast flatness that is Arizona.  The road is straight from horizon the horizon, so I just stepped down on the gas pedal.  There was another fellow in an even bigger hurry than I.  I was going 90 m.p.h. and he shot past me like I was standing still.  His haste made me rethink mine and I slowed down.  Even so, I passed him a couple of miles later and he was standing still — he’d stopped to look at some pretty blue flashing lights. 

 Right now I am in a motel just outside Salt Lake City, Utah — halfway to Spokane.  It was a long drive — 7.5 hours — and much of the route was being repaved, so we were routed to single file lines rolling too slow.  For a goodly portion of the drive into Salt Lake we actually traveled on the shoulder of the road.  Mile after mile — over an hour — of driving on the “wake up” strip.  My hands tingled from all the vibration in the steering wheel — and we won’t even talk about the noise …..   Driving in Salt Lake itself is actually a joy.  Even during rush hour the 10 lane freeway doesn’t get crowded.  The drivers were very courteous, too.  It was almost surreal.

After I checked into the motel — even before I unpacked the car –I went down the block to Applebee’s and had my only bite of food in almost 9 hours.  I ordered a steak, and ate like a vacuum cleaner.  I am not certain I didn’t munch the napkin.

Now I’m going to bed.


Going Postal

At the post office one should be able to POST things, right?


There is a postal sub-station about a half-mile from my house. I don’t do business there because the folks are surly, and if I have a question — or need them to weigh a package and determine proper postage — they snarl about it. So, I choose to drive further for better service.
I can drive two miles to a post office open only from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or I can drive 4 miles to one open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. During school I really didn’t have a choice. I had to go to the one four miles away because the other was closed by the time I got off work. That’s okay. The clerks at that station are fantastic. However, yesterday I had 11 eBay packages to ship and I wanted to get them out of my house and out of my way early, before I inadvertantly put them in with my storage stuff. Early meant the post office only two miles away.

Except — I arrive at the post office, struggle in with my 11 packages — stand in line where everyone can clearly see me — and finally get to the window. The clerk says, “How may I help you?”

I say, “I’d like to mail these.”

The clerk says, “We don’t accept mail here.”

I look pointedly at the red, white and blue US MAIL sign. The clerk blushes. “I query, “These is a post office, yes?”

The clerk nods. “Yes, ma’am, but only for outgoing mail. We are a general delivery post office.”

“Don’t you think you should have a sign or two to that effect?”

The clerk shrugged and shook his head. “Everybody just knows.”

“Apparently not everybody,” I say as I walk away.

The woman behind me stepped forward. “I’d like to buy a book of “Forever” stamps.”

The clerk responded, “I’m sorry, we don’t sell stamps here.”

A fellow further back in line said, “Can I get a change of address form?”

Nope. All you can do is pick up any mail you had put on hold or sent care of general delivery.  Period.  But you have to stand in line for 35 minutes to discover that little gem.

Sneaky Flies Away

This is Sneaky. He is moving to Europe. Since he’s a little fella, he can’t fly all the way to Europe on his own, so he’s going with the help of the postal service. He was somewhat fearful and dubious about this venture, and to tell you the truth so was I. He needs to be treated like delicate porcelain — because he is.

First, I made him a cozy little nest out of bubble wrap inside a cozy little box. Next, I bundled the cozy little box in bubble wrap, and inserted it into a box just a tad bit bigger. Finally, I wrapped the whole thing in a bit of brown shipping paper and a lot of packing tape.

Using mental telepathy (dragons can do that), Sneaky assured me that he is quite comfortable. Then he settled down to hiberate, which will conserve his oxygen supply and keep him from getting hungry. Sneaky voiced one more tiny worry: he wondered what if, when he gets to Europe, his new companion can’t get the boxes open? I assured him that wouldn’t happen ….

Too Much

At the end of each work day I am so tired, it is all I can do to drag myself into the house and package the eBay products that sold during the day. Then I list a few more — and suddenly the evening is shot and I am crawling into bed for a few hours sleep before something jerks me awake.

Sunday afternoon I stumbled into my room for a nap. My head hurt. My eyes burned. I needed sleep.

I fell across my bed and collapsed. Fifteen minutes later I heard shouting and cursing. It sounded close. Too close. In my yard close. I rolled off the bed and looked out the window. Some dude was trying to climb the chain-link fence that surrounds my backyard. It’s a low fence and I think he would have made it easily if it weren’t for the two cops holding on to him.

They lifted the guy off the fence and spread him across the hood of my car. Lovely. They spent about an hour in my driveway before they tucked him in their car and rolled away. After that I couldn’t get to sleep. Every little noise would jerk me to wakefulness, and I had terrifying dreams.

Monday at school we had the annual 5th grade barbecue. Hot dogs, sodas, kickball and 104F heat. I drug my butt home to a huge number of sales — that’s not a complaint, but I had to work rather then rest — and no air conditioning. I called the office and they had someone here within 20 minutes. He looked at the swamp cooler and told me it was an easy fix. All it needed was a new drive belt. That was the good news. The bad news was, he didn’t have one and since it was after 5, he couldn’t get one until morning.

So, I suffered through packaging and listing in 104F temps with no air. Luckily I do have a small unit in my bedroom window and it kept my bedroom cool enough that I could sleep — but again I had those horrid dreams. Cops, sirens, screaming, guns — I don’t need to watch TV, it’s all right there behind my eye-lids.

I need sleep. I need rest. I need school to be over.

Today we had the practice culmination ceremony. Traditionally at the end of the program I take the mic and introduce the outgoing students to their parents as next year’s sixth graders, and the graduating class of ____ (add seven to the current date). Today — at practice — I stepped up to the mic, had the kids stand and face where the audience will be — and couldn’t speak. My throat closed up. Tears filmed my eyes. I realized there is no way I am going to be able to do this for real on Thursday without seriously crying.

Usually the year end ceremony makes me a bit misty, but this is for real. This is good-bye. They won’t be bopping into my room next year to sit on the table and tell me about life in sixth grade. I won’t be there.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am looking very much forward to the next phase in my life, but while looking so earnestly ahead, I forgot how very much I hate saying good-bye.