How I Named My Blog

Being a poet and an occasional pun-ster, the "Not on the Road" title is multi-layered. First, it was a response to old Jack K's "On the Road," since I'm definitely not he. Also, I've moved around a bit throughout my life (like in the last two and a half years!), and I'm sick of being ON the road. And of course, being an animal lover and very active in dog rescue work, I don't like seeing animals, wild or domestic ON the road, dead or alive.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Further frustrations in the pursuit of simplicity

It's hard to pursue simplicity in a complicated world. How many times have I said that in the last 3 years? How about the last 3 weeks?

The grass and the ground finally dry out sufficiently for me to mow, and I nearly accomplished the feat, but somewhere along in the midst of the backyard, complexity made it's nasty move on simplicity once again. (Dairy goats. I know I need to get a pair of dairy goats.) SOMETHING of a mechanical nature when awry, and I can hear it rattling in the assembly, and the mower goes no more. I was nearly finished!

So now a stretch in the backyard and the area in front of the fence along the road remains unmowed.

If anyone is interested in spending money on a health club membership, you can pay me and come mow my lawn. That's enough exercise for anyone pursuing basic fitness. You'll need to bring your own mower though. I've 'bout had it with this beast.

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's going to be a busy day!

I've already been out stacking firewood. The fellows from the tree removal company were so nice, and they not only lassoed the limb that attacked the house on Wednesday, they cut it up into short pieces for me.

Actually, every single person who has been out to deal with the various aspects of the damage has been so nice and helpful! Shelby Energy was here within minutes of when I called them. Unfortunately, with more rain last evening, the dead elm can't be removed just yet. When the moss on it is wet, it's like Gorilla Glue in the equipment, so we have to wait until things dry out a bit.

The sun is trying to come out, and supposedly we're to have decent weather today, and sunny and 80 degrees on Sunday. I can get out and poop--er scoop and then even MOW! With all this rain, the grass has been growing like it's on steroids, but it's been so soggy, there's no way it can be mowed. Some sunshine and breeze will work wonders.

I have a mountain of work to tackle today. The bread dough has been fermenting all night, so it's ready to be kneaded and set to rise in the bread pans. Am starting the "remodeling" in the Sitting Room -- pulling nails, filling holes, sanding, washing walls and woodwork, all in preparation for painting. And I have a mountain of laundry to catch up on! With line drying, I've only had use of the lines in the laundry room/dog room, so laundry has been slow going. Today will be a good day to get the washing dried outdoors.

Of course when one line dries laundry, that means the drudgery of ironing. I'll chalk it up to part of my exercise plan. And it's cheaper to use an electric iron than it is to run an electric clothes dryer. My last electric bill was $28. Yeeee ha! I'm very careful with my energy usage.

I'm stuck at home waiting for the folks who are going to repair the hole in the house today anyway, so I'll put that time to good use. Now, if I can just keep from getting one of those headaches like the one that zapped me yesterday. I think there was just TOO MUCH happening and my brain blew a fuse.

And if it really is sunny and 80 degrees tomorrow, it's HAPPY DOG BATH DAY! Dougall and Murphy (nee Monkey -- his adoptor in Maryland is re-naming him Murphy) are both blowing coat and look positively disreputable! Definitely time for baths and mega brushing.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inevitable

INEVITABLE


The large limb lounges along the west side of the house
leaving wires dangling close to the ground and a wound
open to the pathogens of rain, insects and nest-seeking birds.
Of course one deluge after the next fell in succession
with western winds driving water into the attic
saturating insulation, coating anything electrical.
I harvest fallen siding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Evacuation of Sulphur, KY

The rain doesn't seem inclined to cease. NWS tells us it's just not "normal" for the Kentuck, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers ALL to be at flood stage at the same time. Well, no kidding. It's also not normal to get 24 inches of rain in two weeks time. Thank heavens it's not snow.

Now we hear that the dam that creates Lake Jericho (northeast of Louisville) is crumbling, and when it lets go, the community of Sulphur, KY will be sloshed away in a Kentucky tsunami. This will be worse than the Licking River disaster of 1997.

Along the Ohio River, the tiny berg of West Point, KY has already been evacuated. They've been through this before; Sulphur has not.

Is it needless to say, this is all putting a very wet blanket on the Kentucky Derby Festival. While the weather is to clear by Friday giving us "partly cloudy" predictions for Friday for the running of The Oaks for fillies and then for the Kentucky Derby itself on Saturday, I do have grim predictions for the conditions of the infamous "Infield" area of Churchill Downs. The party crowd that inhabits the Infield for The Oaks and the Derby is known for dealing with soggy bottoms in the past, I'm not sure kayaks and skiffs will be allowed past gate security despite the obvious need this year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I hate cars. Oh, it's personal, most definitely. But in the U.S., if you don't live in a metropolitan area, then you don't have "public transportation." I love being out in the country, so having wheels is an absolute necessity. But cars need maintenance and the occasional costly repair. So right now I'm staring at a BIG repair bill because someone who did a repair right before I acquired the car didn't do it correctly. Not only does the repair have to be re-done, but the problem caused by the poorly done repair caused further damage. Oh, this hits the budget hard. Fancy vehicles aren't my thing. I'm into PRACTICAL. Just something reliable to get me where I absolutely need to go. And with the current gasoline prices, I sometimes go for a week or more without leaving the property. I walk up to a neighbor's to visit, so it's not like I'm isolated. I'm busy writing, working, caring for the dogs (my own and my rescues). Sometimes the biggest trip is a run to the feed store 4 miles away. But when the wheels fail, and when a repair is expensive, . . . it sure does put me out of sorts. How often I think of a horse and buggy. Yes, horses too have their expenses, and I'd be constantly worried about something that would cause a whopper veterinary bill. It's just costly to get from Point A to Point B, no matter how one looks at it. And with the way people drive their cars and trucks on these back roads, being in a horse-drawn conveiance isn't necessarily safe! I think of Miss Eliza Bennett walking 3 miles to visit her sister who was ill. My problem is, if I walked 3 miles, I wouldn't have gotten to any place to do errands! No store, no library, no post office. Yes, just getting where one MUST go occasionally costs money. A sad state of affairs.

Learnng to Pace Oneself

Those of us with chronic pain issues have to LEARN to pace ourselves, and for many of us, it's not a quick study. You feel good at the moment, so you get on a roll. In the back of your mind, you're thinking, "I really ought to quit now," but you get into the "just one more thing" mode, and finally, you KNOW you're going to be paying for it. Yesterday I decided to deal with the broadleaf weed thingies that produce cockle burrs. Ugly weeds they are, and I don't like the burrs either. They get caught in the dogs' coats, in my clothes, etc. Well, I just got going, and kept going, and I'd see one more thing that needed to be done. By bedtime, I knew I was in trouble. Slapped on a pain patch at lower neck/upper back when I went to bed, and took all my meds like a good girl. Woke at 1 a.m. in abject misery. Dosed again and zoned off and on until I had to get up at 6 a.m., but oh boy, am I paying for being so all fired productive yesterday! When will I learn to be happy with having accomplished a little? When will I learn to say, "That's enough for today. There's always tomorrow?" You'd think pain would be a very powerful negative reinforcer from a behavioral standpoint. What would old B. F. Skinner have to say about this? He'd probably accuse those of us who are slow to catch on of actually having masochistic tendencies, but he'd be wrong. We don't like pain, we just dislike being unproductive even more!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sinus Valley Blues

"Spring has sprung,
the pollen's great.
I now have got
a big headsche."

Much as I love spring and all the blooming things, the Ohio River Valley has the well-earned moniker of "Sinus Valley." It's a college fund for the kids of ENT docs. My FACE hurts -- those sinuses above and below the eyes. I want to just go hide in the dark with a hot pack on my face.

And I MUST be getting old. Growing up, I never understood why Aunt Ces and Uncle Mike went to AZ every winter and Aunt Dude and Uncle Luke headed for FL. NOW I understand. I'm sick of 7 mos. of cold weather every year, and I'm from New England originally! The growing season in KY is short enough with our last "frost free" date as May 9. We have been known to have sleet on Derby Day here in KY. I remember 1985 in particular. You just don't set your tomato plants until after May 9 unless you're into gambling.

Maybe the next time I move, I should just head farther south. I wonder if the growing season is 2 weeks longer down in Somerset, KY? I know folks down that way. Every now and then, New England calls to me, especially the ocean of my heritage, but yeeesh! Not after the winter those folks just experienced. Things were bad enough just south of the Ohio River.

And I was stuck in that crazy house with the furnace that didn't heat but did eat 200 KWH of power A DAY. The landlady said she'd rather pay the electric bills for me than pay to repair the furnace, so she got the huge bills, and I froze my tail feathers off! Some days it didn't even get to 50 degrees in that cave. Now I'm in a house with a functional furnace, replacement windows and good insulation! What a concept!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When life throws you curve balls . . .

. . . you duck and run, and for 2 years that's what I've been doing -- ducking and running from some really nasty and unexpected curve balls.

But now, I am definitely NOT on the road anymore, and am settling in on a remote country road in northeat Henry County, KY. Wendell Berry lives about a mile from me, so I think I've moved into a fine neighborhood. I have also landed in the midst of some splendid neighbors, absolutely wonderful people!

The dogs are happy, though this morning was a little stressful for Possum, one of my Setters. There was an entire flock of wild turkeys in Ronnie and Nancy's cow pasture across the road. I put Possum out to go potty, and the poor dear didn't know if she should poop or point. Wally and Marley ended up being rescue because they (in the vernacular) "won't huhhhhnt," so the turkeys were not an issue for them.

We had around 4 inches of rain on Tuesday, so the ground is still too soggy for me to resume gardening, but I have a stack of alterations to do for a friend, and that will keep me busy today, along with continuing the work of a mejor editing job on Keith's Keep, the young adult historical novel I completed writing some years ago. And this evening I'll hammer out another chapter in Petros, a novel I'm writing about a family in north central Kentucky during the early 1930s. (The historian in me has loved the research.)