Thursday, August 08, 2019

I'm In A Mood: The Good, The Bad, And The Blues

Today finds me restless and a little bit fussy. I might have to go to Target just to feel smug about all the Back-to-School stuff on display.

But then I'd see all the Halloween candy and Christmas decorations and get snarky and irritated, so forget it.

Here are

Some Things I'm Cranky About

1. I'm sick of air conditioning.
2. I'm tired of figuring out dinner.
3. Cat Hair--holy effing crap.
4. No good tomatoes anyplace.
5. republicans.

You all get it, right? This summer has been a nightmare of heat and humidity, and while we're all Thankful for our AC, what wouldn't we give to shut it off and have open windows? For once? It's a goddam Hostage Crisis here at the Dept. My brain is like oatmeal from being entombed in here--cat hair covered oatmeal. Thanks to Number 5, my complaints are ridiculous, I know.

Yet, there is Gladness, too. Here are

Some Things I'm Happy About

1. I'm growing lovely basil in the herb garden.
2. We had a terrific trip up to Niagara-on-the-Lake last month.
3. Our wine cellar is restocked (and then some).
4. I'm reading like a maniac.
5. And doing crosswords in ink.

Last summer, my herb garden suffered from whitefly and some mystery ailment that spotted the basil leaves and left holes all over them. This year, better plants and the high heat/humidity are a boon to my pesto production. For those of you interested in the book "Before We Were Yours", I enjoyed it a great deal. It's a novel based upon true events. I disliked the alternating narrators/time frames construct, but it built suspense (there is a bit of the mystery element in here, too). I do recommend it. (As I do the wine from the Niagara-on-the-Lake and Twenty Valley/Bench regions.)

Oh, I would be remiss if I did not mention

This Thing I'm Sad About

Toni Morrison, who was born and raised in the same town I was, died this week. To say she was a brilliant writer is to damn with faint praise. I was lucky enough to meet her many, many years ago when I was a student teacher. She came to her alma mater, Lorain High School, for a special assembly, and thoughtful people there arranged for me to say hello. I remain in awe of her talent and her knowledge of writing. She was a writer's writer; her books are art. They make her immortal.

Now you...
Is summertime losing its charm for you? Share some Goods, Bads, and Blues of your own. Or, as always, just chat about these in Comments.



  1. The Good: Our basil is growing this summer, too. As is the parsley and lemon balm, but the tarragon and rosemary are just about goners. Every summer it's a grand experiment to see who makes it and who doesn't. You'd think that herbs would just grow consistently, wouldn't you?

    The Bad: We used to live in Dayton and would go to the Oregon District for drinks and for the restaurants. To see that neighborhood on TV as the scene of a mass shooting is difficult for me. I hope that this tragedy is the last one, but... *shakes head in sadness*

    The Blues: Summer has wornout its welcome. I am ready for Autumn temps and beauty. And some decent local apples. I miss good apples.

    1. Ally Bean--My rosemary is in a funk, too! Good to know it's Not Just Me.

      Having a personal connection to the tragedy in Dayton makes it much more poignant and brings it down to a more intimate level. There is a grief there that is very real. I'm sorry. And a level of frustration that is hurtful, too.

      I'm becoming impatient with Summer, at least this one. It's overbearing. But I'm remembering last Summer, the Endless One, when we were still in the dreadful heat in the first week of October. Let's hope there's not a repeat of that. And bring on The Good Apples, yes. Oh, yes.

  2. I cannot grow tomatoes to save my life, but we have some beautiful ones at the Farmers Market. It was hot here for awhile, and I was sick and tired of the A/C as well, so I know just what you mean. Then the fog came in (Hurrah!!!) and now it is low 80s and beautiful for a few days at least. Which isn’t as good for the tomatoes as the hot weather is, but it is better for overall comfort and my electric bill.

    Toni Morrison is indeed a master and a genius. I suppose I should say was, but since I still have her books, and they still touch me, I will stick with is. How amazing to have met her!

    1. forecasters (ha ha) here keep saying we're getting rid of the humidity, but it never seems to happen. I'll let you know.

      Because of the June downpours, we never had a strawberry season here. And the tomatoes are all tasteless so far. I get better tomatoes at the grocery store--the Campari ones.

      When I was writing this, I kept referring to Toni Morrison in the present tense, too. I think it was for the same reason. I hesitated with which tense to use! I like your reasoning.

  3. The only reason summer hasn't lost its charm for me is because that means fall arrives which is the a season I like the least. But I get your reasons for being tired of it. I hate the AC running, too. And Republicans! I'm right there with you on that one. I had lunch with a Trump fan today and I'm so frustrated that he sees him SO different than I do and he blames the media for Trump's "bad image." FOX news Cool-Aide all the way.

    I can't call myself a fan of Toni Morrison but I understand how widely loved she was/is and how important in the world of literature she was.

    1. Jean--I think you are the only person I currently know who likes fall the least. And you live in Michigan, which has some of the most stunning fall foliage. But to each her own, for sure.

      The fans of 45* are a frustrating bunch who see what they want. And only watch Faux News, I'm certain, so they get a skewed, provincial view of things. It's absolutely astonishing. An alternate universe, really.

      Toni Morrison is not easy to read. She is a crafter of the language. And aside from her writing, what she stood for and made her life about is also part of her legacy.

  4. Good Bad and blues! love this them Nance.
    Good: My old cowboy boots from Mexico will get resoled. They felt so much better on my feet than my quasi-new fat baby boots.
    Bad: Moody around 2 pm daily. Blaming the damn beta blocker which i am now OFF
    Blues: Summer is not over and it is going too fast for me. Starting to count the days until Zach goes to Mexico.

    1. kathy b--Gosh, I don't know where I would even take any shoes to get resoled around here! Lucky you, to have that service nearby.

      I'm glad that you got your meds and overall health concerns straightened out. Having gone through that myself, I know it's a frustrating scenario. (I get chilly every day around 4pm! No idea what to blame that on.)

      Summer is zipping by, and I don't like to wish any time away. It's all so precious, of course. I know you'll miss Zach, but are glad he's going to a place where he will be much happier.

  5. Things I’m Cranky About…
    *The heat. (The ‘feels like’ temp today was 108 degrees.)
    *Having to learn new technology with zero time to do it in.
    *Not finding the source of tiny little brown bugs that keep appearing on my kitchen counter.

    Things I’m happy about…
    *I am surviving the summer, and it hasn’t been easy.
    *Tomatoes! I found some nice Roma tomatoes today, and it’s Gazapacho time!
    *I just found a long lost gift card and used it to buy a couple of caprichos at Nordstrom Rack.

    Things I’m sad (and very angry) about…
    *Assault weapons not being banned.
    *A little girl who lost both of her parents in a Walmart in El Paso and asked her family if the ‘bad man was coming back to shoot her.’
    *Another little girl who cried and cried and asked the president to let her parents come home and not leave the children with ‘cryingness’.
    *Every single M*ther F*cker responsible for the above. Starting with El Gran Hijo de Puta in the White House. #EndPoliticalRant

    1. P.S. "Gazapacho" = TYPO, of course. = GAZPACHO. (And I have a great recipe if you like it!)

    2. Ortizzle--Brown bugs and NOT ants? No matter. This is great stuff. Finding the source would be optimal, but this stuff will keep them away from...everywhere.

      Your "Sad/Angries" are covered in my #5. republicans. They are the authors of all of this. They have allowed all manner of inhumanity and ruin to occur while they have the time to pack courts with conservative judges. Period.

      So glad you found a gift card! I get excited finding things like that--money in a jacket pocket, gift card in an old box, etc. That definitely means you can get something capricious and fun.

      No gazpacho for me, thank you. Like iced coffee, a cold soup it needs to be heated up!

  6. The good: the basil AND the parsley. The electric company finally took down the big tree they've been promising to take (it was supposed to go in February). So now we can take a vacation, if we want. I got a great (cheap!) haircut this evening.

    The bad: CAT HAIR!!!!! We lost our shedding comb in the move from Orlando. I haven't been able to find a small enough one in two years. Found one tonight. (I swear I combed 8 lbs. of hair off a 7 lb. cat. He got a lovely duck dinner as a reward for letting me comb him.)

    The Sad --- that I truly fear the democrats will implode and we will have four more years of inane tweeting and race baiting.

    1. Dee--Oh, I fear the same thing. I began fearing it once I saw the field expanding exponentially. It's ridiculous. Even this early.

      Cat hair--I got a Furminator. It's wonderful, but even with that, Piper sheds constantly and continually (he's an obese orange marmalade). I take an entire cat off him every other day. Marlowe (long hair, part Maine Coon) hates to be brushed, prone to mats, doesn't shed as much, but hers floats everywhere. THESE ARE MY LAST CATS EVER.

      Go on vacation! (From the cat hair!) Enjoy yourselves.

  7. The Good: I can *feel* Fall in the air...and the light is different (darker later in the a.m., darker earlier in the p.m.). Fall is my most favorite season. And, we are planning our Fall vacation - soon!!

    The Bad: Still hot, still running the AC units. Like you, I want windows open and fresh air.

    Blue: Just the usual (republicans). Tiresome.

    1. Vera--I will take your word for it as a Fall Seer that the season is imminent. I just want drier air.

      We got a respite today from the heat and humidity! It's currently 75 with a northwest breeze that is light and cool. I'm all opened up and am shocked at how noisy everything seems. BUT I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

      With you on tiresome republican same old same old. Ugh.

  8. The Bad: I've never been a fall fan either - because even though I'm a present moment person, my brain skips right through fall to winter as soon as the days start getting dark sooner. But since moving to NC I'm a little better about it, winter not being quite the bear that it was in Ohio. On another note, I got food poisoning yesterday (my Own Damn Fault) so I feel a little "tender" today.

    The Good: The Braves (woo hoo!), Dr. M is slowly getting better, and I LOVE my new job.

    Blue: I'm (slowly) reading a book on the Enneagram & I think I'm a 9, which is kind of depressing. On the other hand, any tool that will snap me out of my current funk will be worth the drudgery of navel-gazing. Also, republicans.

    1. Bug--I understand that sentiment about fall being a harbinger of winter, but I try to embrace fall for itself. Did you ever think of it as the season that holds off winter? PERSPECTIVE! LOL.

      You're the third person I've heard of this week to have food poisoning! What the heck is happening?

      So glad you love your new job. I still like to think of you as a BigWig there.

      I took the Enneagram test online and I am a 1. I was a little taken aback by that assessment, but reading the description...yep, pretty much.

  9. The Bad: The weather. I've gotten to the point where when it's not as humid, I take it as a win. Even though it is still too stupidly hot, and I hate everyone. Also, Republicans. And too many Democrats running - it needs to be winnowed down - NOW.

    The Good: It's Friday. I can be away from my co-workers for 2 entire days. Also, I'm getting a hair cut this weekend and that always is a bonus.

    The Blues: I'm tired of worrying about money. Not to do extra things, just to pay the bills.

    1. Bridget--Same here: if I can walk outdoors and not feel like I'm in a bowl of soup, GOOD DAY! And I think I've refused to capitalize republicans now for about 6 years, so that tells you my sentiments at a glance.

      I'm sorry that your coworkers make your workplace (which to me seems like it would be awesome) such a trial. The people you work with can make or break your job, especially if it's a small staff.

      Yeah, money. The people who say money doesn't buy happiness are idiots. Money certainly does. It gives you the space in which to BE happy. That's just the facts.

  10. Cranky: My husband keeps the house so cool I wear winter clothing indoors. Then I must change when I go outside in the heat and humidity. Blah! I'm cranky about the frequent power surges in our area and the failure of the utility company to find the cause. And I'm cranky because it's August. August makes everyone rush toward fall with back-to-school and football. IT'S STILL SUMMER, FOLKS.

    Happy: I'm happy that I feel good and I'm happy we kept the housekeeping service in spite of the fact that I could manage without them now. I'm happy I can focus on books with complex plots and really enjoy reading again. I'm happy we still have marvelous summer veggies at local roadside farm markets. I'm especially hoppy that our two-year-old granddaughter is growing up healthy and filled with wonder as she absorbs the world around her.

    Sad: I'm sad about the way our government is so dysfunctional with many mean-spirited "leaders," bought and paid for by big business. (Thanks, SCOTUS) I'm sad about the way too many people seem to have accepted expressions of racism and prejudice of all kinds. I"m sad that nothing has been done to keep the Russians from affecting our elections. I'm sad that too many people care so little about the other people who share our planet. I'm sad the we have a President who resorts to childish taunts, name-calling and bullying when someone disagrees with him and who lies whenever he opens his mouth.

    1. NCmountainwoman--Heavens! I would be in pain if I had to function in a house that chilly. It would make me tense up my neck and shoulders so much that I'd be a mess. My sympathies. And I agree about rushing the seasons. It's as bad as the Xmas trees appearing in October.

      Ah, the Joy Of Reading! What a relatable Happiness you've shared here. And I'm off to search for Good Tomatoes tomorrow. Wish me luck.

      And your Sads? I am so very much With You (as you know).

  11. What are you reading? I’m loving trashy Novels at the moment (currently the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy). I joined an online reading group challenge just to get myself to read more and thus far I’ve got 26 books on the year, woot! This is what is currently making me happy...-Janina

    1. Nina! So nice to see you! I read, most recently, a couple of fiction books:
      Before We Were Yours
      Lost and Wanted.

      Before that, I read a poignant and moving memoir titled The Glass Castle
      and before that, I read a funny and touching memoir titled I Miss You when I Blink.

      Now I'm rereading a few of my nonfiction books here and there so I don't buy Jeff Bezos a new boat or something. LOL.

      How have you been? Hit up my email! It's been ages.

  12. I'm glad I found your Blog... that's about where my gladness is Today. I'm tired of the intense Heat, here in the Desert it's always stupid Hot, but this Year is breaking records daily, the other day we registered 127 as unofficial high, 120 Today! Perhaps I'm in a Mood too?

    1. Bohemian--Oh, thank you! I'm glad to Be Found!

      127, 120!? That's awfully's A Dry Heat, right? LOL.

  13. Things I am irritated about,
    bad drivers
    people who merge way after everyone else has, I think they feel entitled to not wait in line
    women who support trump, Kelly Ann was just in Tampa for an event of this name and it made me want to hurl
    heat and humidity
    trying to help a teacher understand my boy but offending her instead

    Things I am happy about
    plans to put into action to help my little one out
    talking to said teacher and explaining my reasoning to give her support and information....I hope she got it
    some time to crochet
    possible answers to my many, many migraines
    watching Little Buddy do about anything

    1. Mereknits--I share many of your irritations. Much of my Inner Joy and Serenity go right out the window when I am driving. It's so hard to share the road with such clueless and selfish people. I take it so personally that it's silly.

      Your Happies are truly happy! Communication with teachers is important; I always appreciated parents who took the time to let me know what was happening at home (as long as they didn't expect to use it as an excuse). The beginning of the year is such a harried and overwhleming time for teachers; I'm sure she was just tired, a bit overwrought, and feeling strained. She'll find out that you are supportive.

      I do so very much hope that your migraine answer brings the help you seek. As a fellow migraineur, I empathize. Even one less is a blessing.


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