In the Garden of Harmony

In our garden, we not only have herbs and vegetables, but harmony with our animal visitors. One of our garden plots is exclusively for the bird feeder, and we get to enjoy all the birds and their songs. Every morning when the Crankee Yankee and I sit on the front porch with our first cups of coffee, we enjoy watching the birds, squirrels and the odd rabbit who like to feast on our bird feeder. Loads of seeds fall to the ground, so everyone gets a bite. Every so often I toss a few baby carrots in there for the rabbits.

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal often show up; she in her modest olive green and gray garb, with touches of red, and he in his glorious red feathers. He always lets her feed before he does; a real gentleman.

The birds with their young are fun to watch. The young ones are certainly able by now to catch and eat bugs or peck the ground for seeds, but they still squawk to their moms to come feed them.

The squirrels climb up on the wooden ladder to the bird feeder. The Crankee Yankee has thoughtfully put up a wooden board for them to sit on while pulling out all the sunflower seeds in the feeder. Ocasionally they have a pushy-pushy fight, and one jumps down to the ground (where lie plenty of seeds) and lets the other one drain the feeder.

The one shy little rabbit from across the road now knows that he can get both seeds and carrots on the feeding plot. He first looks for the carrots I leave for him, and he will munch contentedly on one at a time. When finished, he hops back across the road, full and happy.

It is truly harmony on a small scale. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we humans could interact so easily?


Stop “Correcting” Library Books!

I don’t know about you, but it bugs the hell out of me to see someone’s pencilled (or, Heaven forbid; INKED) corrections in library books. It’s bad enough to do this with a pencil, but some idiots think it’s ok to do this in ink. Honestly, it makes my blood boil when I see that some self-righteous so-and-so has decided to become a published book’s editor.

Seriously, what possible good does this do? If you have a beef with something amiss (or what someone may think is amiss) in a published book, then contact the publisher or the author. “Correcting” a library book serves absolutely no purpose except to piss off readers like me. If they are going to do that, why don’t they sign their name and address so we can thank them (insert snarky grin here). What in the world gives anyone the right to deface a library book?!

In the past, I have angrily rubbed out these “corrections” where pencil was used. But now they are using pens which don’t come off. Doing this annoying self-editing in a library book is a lot like someone giving you a tattoo in your sleep. Once it’s there, it’s there for good.

If you have paid for and now own a book, go right ahead and color or correct or paint it purple for all anyone cares; it’s yours to do with as you choose. But making “corrections” in a library book is criminal in my book.

Is It Just Me?

When I was growing up, the house rules included these:

  • When you’re done using something, put it back where it came from.
  • If you borrow somebody’s something, bring it back in pristine condition.
  • If you use the kitchen scissors that live in the crock by the stove, put them back in the crock by the stove when you’re finished.
  • When you use the one and only ruler in the house that belongs in the office, put it back where you found it.
  • When you make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, clean up the crumbs, put the lids back on the peanut butter and jelly glasses and put them back where you found them.
  • If you use the last of the butter in the butter dish, clean up the butter dish and put in a new stick of butter.
  • If you drink the last tonic water (or whatever), replace it with a new one. Do NOT leave the empty bottle in the refrigerator. Seriously.
  • If you made a mess anywhere, clean it up. We are not your servants.
  • If you have squeezed out the very last of the toothpaste, get off your lazy ass and replace it with a new one. Sheesh.
  • If you leave the very last sheet of toilet paper on the roll, go get a new roll and put it on the spindle. Use that last bit of toilet paper to blot your lipstick. Think it through: how would you like to just barely make it to the bathroom, and then realize that you only have one little sheet on the roll with which to clean up?

Of course, I could go on and on about this, but you get the gist. We are what we grew up with, and when we find that person we fall in love with and marry, we often get “sticker shock.” We realize that the other person may not have been raised with the same rules we did. Or, if they did, they somehow forgot them.

I don’t like to be “that harpy” that bitches and moans about the other half who commits some or all of the above house rules. I wish I had a dime for each time I muttered “really? You couldn’t possibly put a new stick of butter in the butter dish instead of leaving me one lousy smear?!”

But life goes on, oblah-di, oblah-dah. The amazing Jews have the perfect word for this: “Oy vey!”



Garden Grace and Gratitude

We in New England had a very wet April and early May this year, which meant that we could not plant our garden until late May. We were finally able to plant, and now things are coming along well. Usually by this time we’d be harvesting tomatoes, peppers, peas, summer squash, broccoli and three kinds of lettuce. But that’s New England for you; you never know exactly how the seasons will go.

Of course, we attract visitors. The Crankee Yankee always makes neat metal cages around the tall produce; tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and peas. The birds love to perch on the cages and chatter to each other. The baby birds are really old enough now to get their own food, but they still pester their parents to feed them. They are loud and persistant, but aren’t all babies?

There is a small bunny who often hops across the road to our garden, and he likes eating the birdseed that falls down from our feeder. I tossed him a few baby carrots, and he seemed pretty pleased about that. The squirrels love the birdseed, too. The Crankee Yankee kindly made a wooden platform for the wild life to sit on while eating the bird seed, so everyone’s happy. All that wild life feeding in the garden amuse the cats. It’s kitty TV for them, and they have ringside seats.

There is something so satisfying about a garden. Well, of course there are all the dang weeds to yank up, and they grow like crazy. But that’s how it goes; it’s part and parcel of the unique joys of gardening. It is a pure pleasure to eat a salad made from your own tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. As we always plant too much, our freezer will soon be packed. How wonderful it is to enjoy spaghetti sauce made from our own tomatoes in the deep of winter!

My grandmother always had a garden, and I’d like to think that she is approving of ours.


Happy 4th of July!

As we are all celebrating the 4th of July today, let us not forget how America began. No other country on this planet has the freedoms and liberties we enjoy. Our founding fathers made sure that America was a country like no other, with liberty and justice for all.

While we celebrate today, let us not forget how we got here. Today is a day to remember those who fought and died to keep us free. Sadly, history is not being taught in way too many schools. If we know and respect our history, we will understand how precious our freedoms are. If we don’t, we risk of losing everything our founding fathers and so many others fought for.

Enjoy the 4th and let us never forget.

America’s REAL Crack Problem

We have all heard about illicit drugs and opioids and how terrible they are and how addicting they are. However, the Crankee Yankee and I witnessed a serious crack problem while having lunch yesterday at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants.

However, our lunch yesterday was anything but normal. We were just about finishing up when a very portly older man came in to have lunch. He went up to the buffet to fill his plate, and that’s when we (plus a table of four older guys next to us) saw America’s REAL crack problem.

The portly man had suspenders on which were much too long in the back. His saggy pants and too long suspenders allowed a generous view of his upper butt crack. The four guys beside our table were killing themselves laughing, and I’m not proud of this, but we were as well. The poor guy had no idea he was flashing everyone in the restaurant.

I wish that I were that kind and compassionate person who could go up to him and tell him about his crack problem—but sadly I was laughing so hard I could barely stand up. I am positive that, when I finally make my way to the pearly gates of Heaven that some avenging angel will tell me what a terrible person I was. I’ll probably be forced to flash my own butt crack for all eternity…