Thursday, September 19, 2013

To Every Thing There Is A Season--My Version Of Ecclesiastes 3

How breathless and incredulous do you find yourselves to be that it is beyond mid-September already?  This was the most Unsatisfying Summer of them all.  It was dreadfully uncooperative on a variety of fronts:  weather, tomato production, Good Hair Days, and hormones.  And something, something is growing unabated in my yard that will not be hindered nor killed.  We had to engage a Lawn Service just so that the locals would stop running past our house.
It's time, then, for a little End Of Summer Housekeeping here at the Dept.  Just a few little Natters and Nits to sweep out; a bit of Polishing Up to do to get ready for Fall.
1. The Island Of Misfit Stuff. Last weekend was the Big Garage Sale at my brother's lakehouse in Amish country.  Sadly, it was not an extravaganza.  This was due mostly to the unrelenting rain of Day One.  It not only ruined sales, it ruined my cute navy Marc Jacobs flats.  I did sell our canoe, however, so that was good.  St. Patsy had her very own table of goods, and sales were brisk, especially for the "handmade" dreamcatchers sent to her by her adopted Indian kids from the reservation.  Still unsold are my black lace negligee, my Where's Waldo kids' sleeping bag, and my various framed art prints.  All of those have been in multiple sales now, with the sleeping bag leading the league with six.  That's okay, considering my brother has a Joe Namath suit in there that has seen ten sales.  Both items are priced at four bucks.  Bets on which goes first.
2. Is It Just Me? You know, I carried eight, eight-foot tables laden with merchandise (assisted by my brother) in and out of that garage numerous times.  We carried a seventeen-foot aluminum canoe several times in rain- and dew-soaked grass (once down a hill), and lifted and carried the boxes repacked with the unsold merchandise, and I was fine.  Was I sore? Oh, hell.  But a few days later, as I was in my chair, taking care of emails, my foot apparently fell asleep, and I didn't realize it.  When I stood up, it buckled and I rolled my ankle. It's all swelled up and hurts like hell.  Did I cry like a big baby?  Oh, you know that I did.  I felt--and feel--like a huge idiot.  Can you imagine?  "What happened to your ankle, Nance?"  Um, I stood up.
3.  Hey, Look Me Over!  Probably you've noticed a different look here at the Dept. of Nance.  Blogger very unceremoniously nudged me to update my blog to one of their new layouts.  I'm still tweaking it here and there (thanks again, Ortizzle!) to refine its look.  Please email me or leave a comment here if there is something you notice that's awry, or something you particularly like or dislike.  It will help in future iterations or over at The Tie Report, which is next on my To Do List.  As always, I appreciate your comments, feedback, and criticism.  For right now, I am simply echoing the little favicon--that martini that shows up in your browser tab next to the name of my blog--for my design.  I am not a big fan of blue or green, but it was a quick design motif I could grab. 
4.  One Of Our Own.  I'm sure that many of you have wondered where Nancy, our jolliest of commenters, has been.  We haven't heard much from her as of late, and she has been missed, I know.  She will be telling the story of her absence at her own Elderblog site on Friday, 20 September.  If you haven't ever been there, please plan on spending some time in her archives.  Her stories are short and very like O.Henry's--they often have a twist of the unexpected.  The best part is, all of them are true stories from her own life, which has been one of varied experience and much history.  Here is the link; go and read some Nancy!
Sigh.  Despite its balkiness, I'm a bit sad to see Summer take its leave.  "The cukes are almost done!" warns my friend at the farm stand.  "So are the tomatoes.  Eggplant's coming in hard right now.  But the beans...," she frowns a little and shakes her head.  I already know.  My basil is almost over, and so are my chives. Already there are hard squashes like acorns, delicata, and my favourite, butternut, at the stands.  Mums are there, too, like grandmotherly cushions of colour.  Chubby cabbages nudge onions.  Knobby potatoes settle in.
Autumn begins a sort of settling overall.  There is a pervading restfulness that quells the riot of Summer.  It's quieter, more reflective.  Are you still in Summer Mode?  Have any Natters or Nits to unload and spiff up your headspace?  Sweep them out in Comments.
post header image found here


  1. I don't know how to break this to you, but the favicon is gone, at least on my browser. :( I always envied you that, but not enough to figure out how to add something similar to my own place on the internet.

    Sorry about your ankle, and your shoes. Both situations are crummy. I love cute shoes, and I hate it when they get ruined.

    You're selling a neglige at a yard sale? Makes me think, why would someone buy a used neglige? Hmmm.

    People keep saying fall is here, and I am sure they're right, but it tends to get to us kind of late. We've had yet another mild summer (not complaining, because hot dry weather is worse to me than damp cold weather, though not as horrid as hot humid weather, which is why I live on this side of the Rockies. Though as I prefer cool, not sure why I don't live in the Pacific Northwest with my family). A cool summer is good for the electric bill, but bad for the tomatoes. It has not been a banner year for them at all. I'm sure we'll get at least one more heat wave before we're done, though. I remember the year I moved to San Francisco, it was 102 in October.

    I am one of those annoying people who likes all of the seasons, as long as it doesn't go into triple digits. I like the relaxing aspect of summer, since we do have a student in the house. I like the crisp mornings and warm afternoons of Autumn and Spring. And I adore the rain. Likely because we don't get much, and my hair is STRAIGHT, and rain makes it flat, but not frizzy.

  2. Anonymous1:56 AM

    My poor friend Hannah, who I know from circus classes, broke her ankle while walking down a stair. Yes, a singular stair. There are lots of other, more interesting ways she could have broken it ("I was swinging on the trapeze, and when I jumped and turned around, my ankle got caught in the rope..."), but she did so in one of the most embarrassing ways.

    She took three months off from work, but she returned to her circus classes less than a week after the accident. Priorities.

    - Mikey G.

  3. realprof's fractured ankle occurred when he was carefully stepping over the large elder dog who just. won't. move. and missed his footing. My broken humerus was caused when I picked up the adolescent giant puppy's leash just as he took out after a bunny. (We dispensed with the immobilizer on Wednesday, and realprof hopes to graduate from the big black Velcro boot to a normal shoe next week). Anyway, no shortage of ridiculous ways to hurt oneself.

    I have only two comments on the new format: the font seems a little small, but then, I'm old; and I always loved the term "brainstorms" for "comments".

  4. fauxprof--I enlarged the font a day or so ago. I think it's right back to where it used to be. I'll check again.

    It was not my intention to change "brainstorms", and that is what my template still says it is. I don't know why it keeps coming up as "comments." I'll keep troubleshooting it, and hopefully it will be back.

    I'm very glad to hear that you and realprof are almost all back to normal. Certainly you have not told people the actual way you both got hurt. Say "We got hurt in wingwalking class" or "It really WAS our last rodeo!" Something like that.

    emengee--See, now. This Hannah has to do the same thing I just preached to the profs. No one wants to hear a dull, mundane injury story ("I stood up"; "I stepped on a stair.") No. They crave stories like "It happened in trapeze class" and "I forgot to put the car in Park, and I was running alongside it down the driveway and...". Or, "I was trying to grab a water taxi in the Philippines, and it pulled away from the dock before I had my other leg in." Like THAT.

    J@jj--I don't find such people annoying at all. I like three of the four seasons myself.

    What browser are you using? I'm using IE Something, and my little favicon is right there. I hope to holy hell that I'm not the only one who can see it.

    Encouraged by the string of cool days we put together, and the fact that it's September, I switched my closet over to Fall/Winter. Naturally, today it got up to 88 with very high humidity. I've lived here long enough to know that we can still have high temps in October, but it irks me to think about wearing shorts in September or October. I could envision living in a more temperate climate like the PacNoW, but the damp! It might kill me.

    Now, about that nighty. Dearest, it is in impeccable shape and lovely. And we have a very good reputation for clean goods at our sale. My mother sold two bras. My brother sold a mattress set. You would be surprised what people will buy. Bathing suits, even. We sell it all, and they buy it. EVENTUALLY. LOL.

  5. I have the latest Firefox and also do not see the favicon. :-(

    Fall is my favorite time of year, but in Southern California, it doesn't really start until November. September and October can be brutally hot, and are often the worst times for fires. But November 1st I love. No holidays yet, a crisp snap to the air, and the possibility of rain, which I adore. Horses are always happier when it's cooler, so everyone wins.

    I understand the mundane story behind spectacular injuries. It also works the other way around. Last December I got kicked across the barn aisle by one of my horses during a vet exam--full-on kick in the abdomen: call to 911, ambulance, ER, an MRI, the works. What did I have to show for it? A small bruise the size of a golf ball. That's it. Somehow the story is not QUITE as amazing if you don't have some serious battle scars to show for it. I guess you can never really win...

  6. I use firefox, and can't see it there. Tried safari, and there it is! So glad to see it back.

    I cracked a rib, barely, by falling off of a horse. Which sounds interesting, until you know that the horse was basically an old nag, going quite slowly, and I fell off as though in slow motion, into a pretty soft arena. Sigh. More interesting, perhaps, than standing up, but still. I wanted something more if I was going to go through so much pain.

  7. As long as we're telling injury stories.... before I retired from the Fire Dept, I had a fall off a ladder, at home, which continued down 4 stairs. How I didn't break anything I'll never know, bit I DID have a HUGE bruise down the side of one leg. I told people my wife beat me, it was less embarrassing.

  8. Silliyak--Oh, goodness! That IS a fall. I hope your wife is the type of woman wholly incapable of even yelling at you; that would make the story even better.

    j@jj--LOL. I love that you went through all of that just to see if my favicon was still around. Thank you, dearest. You are The Best!
    I am still jealous of you for your equestrienne activities. I do plan on someday soon riding a horse, but you are already doing it. AND SACRIFICING YOUR BODY IN ORDER TO! My hero.

    LaFF--Well, for heaven's sake. I completely agree with you RE that horse incident. I feel like you should at least have had reason for bedrest or something. Poor thing.

    I do love autumn's less humid air. Today is a full-on rainy day here, and it is miserable. Yesterday we unexpectedly reached 88--not a single forecaster saw it coming. And it was horridly humid. AGAIN, WHY DO I LIVE HERE? No huge fires, though.

    Tomorrow's forecast? 62 and sunny.

  9. Today here in the Bay Area we had a half inch of rain which is a record.
    I WISH my wife would yell. It would be better than the cold silence I've rec'd after a screwup.

  10. Here's my own little bits and pieces, Nance: I'm sorry to read about your ankle. Are you doing the fifteen minutes of cold followed by fifteen of heat, repeating until you can't stand either any longer? That and Advil every four hours always works for me. I don't need to seem either, however, after - get ready - falling off our kitchen step stool while polishing our cabinets during the wee hours of the morning Thursday. Luckily, I only seemed to have hit every surface (edge of Corian counter, brass handle of lower cupboard, the top of the step stool and then one of the legs as it flipped over while I flipped onto it) with three of my four limbs. Truly, it was an old lady fall, and the lumps and bruises are impressive, but I seem quite like myself for the most part! True, I am sad that I hadn't known you had a canoe for sale as M and I are in the market for one. Sigh...., and I guess I am the only one of your readers - albeit a comic sans fan - who is not a fan of your new format. I think the blue is hard on the eyes. Also, I regard you as a bastion of many things important to me, but your new format is just too damn playful. Forgive me, for I remain YOUR fan!

  11. I just got back from Cambodia and am trying to catch up on all of my blog reading (wifi in Cambodia=so slow I didn't have the patience to wait for anything to load. Plus I was drinking a lot of cocktails, if truth be told) so I probably wouldn't have even noticed the new format if you'd not mentioned it. I, for one, like the cocktails, and have no problem with the blue. I can deal with anything as long as it's not a super dark background with yellow text. I don't even try when people do that. As far as Autumn goes - it's still pretty dammed hot in Seoul, so I'm not getting the Autumn vibe yet - although there are more eggplants to be seen than usual. I'll get back to you in October on that. Congrats on your yard/garage sale, but let me just say I loathe them: I loathe setting up for them, I loathe setting the stuff up, and I loathe cleaning up afterwards. Thank God there's no way to do one here in Korea (no yard, no garage.) Hoping your ankle gets back to normal soon - I hurt myself constantly just by walking around and being alive, and I never have a good story. Ice/Ibuprofen/Elevation= good excuse to lie on the couch and read, too. ; )

  12. MsCaroline--Oh, I would never have a garage sale at my own home and by myself for the exact reasons you state. The bonuses of having the sale at my brother's lakehouse are that I am at a lovely setting, have his help, and see absolutely no one that I know. And I get some money for stuff I'd normally just donate or toss.

    I am smiling at your use of the word 'cocktail'. My son uses it also. I just use the catch-all term "drink" myself, but since I greatly appreciate the term 'cocktail', I now think I will start using it myself. Thank you for the concern re: my ankle; it is only a bit puffy now, and is improving daily.

    Bookster--Oh, for heaven's sake! Not only can I not recall the last time I "polished" anything, I can't recall the last time I was up and truly functioning during "the wee hours." What a horrid fall! I'm truly sorry to hear of it. Poor thing.

    I know I should have iced this ankle, but I couldn't bear to think of it. I get cold just eating ice cream. I elevated it and kept a shoe off of it for a day or two. Right now, it's only puffy directly below the ankle, but it is incredibly sore, especially if I do any stairs. It's the leg on which I had knee surgery, and it's thrown off my gait, resulting in a little knee pain, too. I'm sure the whole thing will resolve itself soon.

    I'm sorry that the new blog motif is a bit frisky for you, but that's exactly what I was going for. I wanted to spiff it up and look a little less stuffy. It won't change my content at all. I'll take a look at lightening the blue of the main body a little bit for you. I hesitate to even tell you what the font of the titles is called: Cherry Cream Soda. Sigh. The nice thing is that this template is really not that tough to work with, so I can change it around whenever I get tired of it.

    I'm way overdue to host you here. What happened? Where did our summer go? Let's try to get together soon: here, there, anywhere, even just for a quick cocktail!

    Silliyak--Ugh. I won't ever allow those here. Bad stuff. Like you, I'd rather have the yelling. At least there is some communication.

  13. Playful is good, and I don't think it changes the impact of what you write. I see it more as clean and fresh, with nothing frivolous about it at all.

    Now... if I dare to say anything else, here's something I learned in that famous class where HTML became my friend: Times New Roman and similar may be the preferred font for hard copy, but on computer screens, easy-reading is just the opposite. Two words: sans serif. Any of the simple ones would be fine: arial, calibri. From an aesthetic standpoint, I think it would also unify your new look. Just my two cents, as we are fond of saying where I work. :-)

    Hope your ankle is better! What a shock to stand up and immediately tumble over. I have had "weak ankles" all my life, and taken so many tumbles, all outside the privacy of my home, and made a total spectacle of myself, in addition to tossing books and papers all over the pavement. Never quite did a face plant, but came close, and definitely changed the shape of a pair of glasses forever, lol.

  14. P.S. — I can see your favicon with IE and Firefox. :-)

  15. Ortizzle--I thank you again for your input. I'm not sure I can give up my precious scholarly font in the post body, but I'll try and see how it looks to me.

    Ever since my knee surgery back in the 90s, I've had a huge fear of slipping on ice. I'm not sure why, since I still have the titanium screw in my rebuilt knee, but for some reason, I've connected the two, and I am scared to death of wintertime walking. I'm not a habitual fall-er, but I am a habitual veer-er. I cannot walk straight for too long without suddenly walking into my companion or off to the side of the walk. It's like I have a giant magnet in my head or something. LOL. I'm imagining you and me on a walk. Good heavens, that would be a real trip. Ha ha.

  16. Well, I also VEER. So we probably either knock heads after 2 steps or both end up being run over by a car after veering in the same wrong direction, lol.

  17. Oh I veer too! (I also can't draw in a straight line.) After my hip surgery I found myself extra leery of walking on ice. It's annoying because generally I don't like to go slow.

    We're in full-on fall mode here. Sigh. You know that fall is a gateway season for winter don't you? Ugh.

    I had to have surgery on my shoulder after carrying a child in a child carrier into church one Sunday. Now that's just SAD!

    Oh - & I'm using Chrome & I can see the favicon just fine. In fact, I just perused your whole sidebar & enjoyed it thoroughly :)

  18. Bug--Glad you can see the favicon on Chrome. Also glad that someone else besides me takes time with my sidebar. I change it every time I put up a post. Irritating that my subscribers don't get to see it.

    Do not say the W-word. What are you, some kind of a masochist? Or sadist? Or just all around badness? I heard someone on tv today start harping already about "It's only X number of days until****" (insert dreaded Major Overcommercialized Worky Holiday). I hate the whole idea, and do NOT appreciate the threats.

    Ortizzle--As much as I long to hang out with you, I truly fear it would be Dangerous.


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