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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Retirement----Sort Of

To retire or not to retire. That is the question.

A few months ago, I made the big decision. After 20 plus years as a financial advisor and insurance agent, it was time to slow down and semi-retire. Semi- because I will still be keeping for a while my insurance business.

Semi retire because my husband is purchasing another business and I will be keeping books for his two businesses as well as our personal finances.


How did I make the decision? Time and Money.

1. We only have so much sand in our personal hourglass. At 60 I can see that there is more sand in the bottom than the top. It is time to enjoy the sand that I have left.

2. I'm going to be a Grandmother, for the first time. And goes by so fast. Do I want to spend my "sand" on shepherding my recalcitrant, balky and frankly ungrateful clients....OR do I want to spend time with my husband, grandchild, my daughter and her husband and my Father who just turned 82 (who also has a limited amount of sand left)

No contest. Family wins out.

3. Time. I haven't had time to do the things that I enjoy. Hobbies that I have let languish over the past 10 years of self employment. Cooking, Quilting, Painting, Gardening, Sewing, Knitting, playing my guitar. I am sooooo...looking forward to being able to exercise my artistic and creative side, instead of my analytical and managerial side.

4. Money. While most of my clients have done very well, even through this latest downturn and many have actually made money, I am just sick of dealing with everyone's problems. Holding hands. Trying to keep people from running off of the rails. Frankly.....I'm sick of most of my clients. One positive sign that it is time to quit.

5. Money. The fees and charges to doing business have gone up and up and up. A 25% increase next year for basic services from my Broker Dealer. Fees added to fees. Not to mention paperwork and compliance up the boo yang. Add in the office overhead, insurance etc. It was a no brainer.

So....I have moved my office to my husband's business. Upstairs above the workshop. Despite his whining that he is going to lose his 'man cave', he admits that it does look pretty nice, manly and .....bonus!!!.. I will be cleaning the office so that there aren't as many manly dead spiders, flies and cobwebs. Another bonus. I plan to set up a wet bar and get some nice recliners and a flat screen television so we can watch movies and just relax.


OMG. The pain of moving almost 10 years of office accumulation, files, supplies, decorations. And moving all of it UP a flight of stairs. I'll tell you one thing. After all these trips up and down the stairs carrying my end of the furniture and boxes of stuff......I will have buns of steel. Right now I feel like someone has kicked me in the rear.

Throwing away items. It is liberating!!. Anything to do with securites. Trash it. Have I looked at it in the last 2 years? Nope....trash it. How many of these pens, folders, whatevers do I really need? Trash half of them. Dumpsters full of trash.


So far, the adjustments to retirement has been a bit strange because we have been so busy with moving and repositioning.

First thing to deal with is the idea that "I don't have to be anyplace at any particular time". I don't have to get up and be in my office at 8:00 am. My time is going to be my own!. At first I felt like I was shirking something.

I don't have to get dressed up into work clothing, which is for me heels, suits or nice pants outfits. Looking forward to the transition into more casual, less make up, less jewelry styling......while being careful not to transition into slob.

Because my time is NOT structured and I don't have multitudes of client obligations, right now, I feel like I should be doing something else. Something constructive.

I know.......I'll bake some bread and settle on a new knitting project, open a bottle of wine and sit in the easy chair and listen to some Coletrane, while the Dumbplumber is busy with his latest book and nap.

Ahhhh.... retirement. I think I can learn to like you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm Jammin' ..Hope You Like Jammin' Too

You can feel Fall in the air. The mornings are crisp, cool and clear. Some of the trees have even begun to turn color. The fruit trees are loaded and people who have gardens are desperate to unload their excess onto anyone who will take squash, zucchini or anything else.

After our war with the robins and race to see who would get the cherries from the sour cherry tree....we won by the way.... we have been inundated with wild plums and peaches. Hating to see this bounty go to waste, I've been canning and jammin' (Bob Marley reference here)

Wild plums are something that you have to experience and are hard to explain just how fablulous they are.

Slightly smaller than ping pong balls, they are sour. Pucker your face sour. However, once made into a jam or jelly. They turn from reddish yellow sour balls into the best sweet and tart reddish orange jam. Some years we have a lot. Some years, not so much. It even varies from tree to tree. One tree will bloom and bear fruit, while the tree right next to it will be just a week behind or ahead on the blossom schedule and be barren. Timing is everything.

This year I made two batches of wild plum jam. We gave most of it away as gifts and ate it all up.

Peaches Galore

My husband oversees some properties that are owned by absentee landlords. This year one of the peach trees was loaded, almost to the breaking point, with small peaches. Since no one is going to be coming up to use the fruit, we get to harvest it when we can. From the peaches I made Peach Jam, Sour Cherry Peach Jam and Peach Barbeque Sauce. There were so many peaches we gave over half of them away to other ladies (gluttons for punishment) who also like to cook and can.

These are just a few of the jars of the different jams. All in all about 4 dozen jars.

I love the jewel tones they have when the light shines through. Almost like a stained glass window in a church. The miracle of being able to preserve the bounty of summer and fall and enjoy throughout the cold winters.

In the freezer are still more peaches and sour cherries.

As if this all wasn't enough. I have a friend who's husband made a huge and I mean huge over an acre garden. She has loaded me up with green beans. So.....spicy garlic dilled beans.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Shameless Plug: My Daughter's Website

Here is a shameless plug for my daughter's website.

Expecting Chic It is all about being pregnant and still retaining the ability to dress well, stylishly and inexpensively.

The internet is wonderful. Not only do we get to communicate by the magic of the Net, I can view her blog daily.

Am I a proud Mother and future Grandmother? betcha.

Yikes!! A Virus Has Attacked the DumbPlumber

Be careful out there boys and girls. It is an ugly ugly world.

As I type, my poor husband is sitting,on the couch,in deep dark dungeon, pouting and angry because his laptop has been attacked by a particularly nasty virus. One of those fake alerts that hijack the computer and pretend that you are infected so that you will accidentally download their software which further infects the computer. The computer is literally unusable now. No programs will work. If connected to the Internet, it hijacks the browser and sends us to the website were we are enticed (yeah right real enticing) to buy their fucking software. I can't use the existing virus software because the virus has disabled that too.

These things are nasty nasty nasty. They originate in overseas locations. Dumbplumber says if he could find these %$#&*^*!! guys he'd string them up by the balls and slowly carve out their eyes.

I blame myself partly because I didn't upgrade his virus software to Kaspersky, which I use and really like. (Recommend to everyone.)

His main computer use consists of things like typing word documents and posting to his blog; suring news sites like Drudge, Instapundit, Lucianne and looking for car parts. No porno.....he swears, and I believe him. I keep warning him NOT to open jokes and attachments from his friends (which probably do count as porno). However, the broke dick lame virus software that he was using was supposed to pre scan for this....evidently not. we get to take the computer to the repair/technician. No problem, right? NO! A big problem because in our rural area, we don't have computer techs. The one guy that we were using is in the middle of a personal meltdown and ugly divorce, child custody battle and is becoming rather unhinged. The closest place for computer repair is about 80 miles away. I get the privilege of driving about 160 miles to take the laptop to either "The Geek Squad" or some other technician. Now "I" want to hang someone up by the balls.

The alternative is to have the Dumbplumber stewing and pouting for a week or go now!! He says: that without his computer, he feels like Hannibal Lector in a straight jacket and with a grill on his teeth.

On my way!!


I remembered that one of my friends has a teenaged son who is a total computer geek. With a phone call and some instructions, we were able to fix the problem without having to drive OR spend a lot of money. A $50 referral fee is in order. Woo Hoo. Dumbplumber is doing a happy dance

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Buzzard Update

Well, the buzzards have taken off for other trees. We succeeded in discouraging them by sitting on the deck, drinking scotch, talking and listening to loud old rock and roll music. They evidently don't like Led Zepplin or Chicago. Also a few wacks from a pellet gun sort of helped them to get the hint.

I'm feeling better now that I have learned that the plague of frogs wasn't just in my office. On the other hand.....maybe I should be worried about the entire town?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ominous Portents

I'm not a superstitious person. Black cats crossing my path...."Here kitty kitty". Breaking a mirror...."Damn, now I have to buy another one". Friday the 13th...."Whatever"

However, in the last 3 days some very weird things have happened.

First. The huge juniper tree that is next to our house has been full of turkey buzzards. I don't mean one or two, but more like 10 to 20. They have never roosted in this tree. They just sit there staring, and when they see us, lazilly fly off and circle around and around over the river below. Creepy.

Next. Yesterday when I came into my office, the floor was full of tiny frogs, some in a state of dessication and others hoping around. Ewwww. I swept up the dead guys and took the live ones outside into the bushes. Today. The same thing. FROGS!

Should I be worried? Anyone have a Gideon's Bible handy?

Wait..... They told me there was to be no math!!

Remember when you were in school and you were forced to take math... Algebra, Geometry... and you said to your snotty teenage self...."When am I ever going to need THIS stuff?" and dug in your heels and you did just the minimal amount of work to get by.

Well, if you ever plan to be a quilter: or actually to be a carpenter or any other building type of trade, you are going to need those skills. Quilting and especially piece work is all about math and geometry.

Since I have all these scraps of fabric to use, I want to make a small baby quilt for the pending GRANDSON. Something that he can lay on and that they can use as a wall hanging later. I've been informed that the baby's room will be in bright primary colors so I've settled on this pattern?

Cool. So I download the pattern and instructions from Easy peasy pattern. Just make strips of fabric from the scraps using the rotary cutter and sew together.

Unfortunately, there is a snag. The quilt is too small given the size of strips in the pattern. Each block is 7 inches. All I have to do is figure what size I want the finished quilt to be and enlarge the block and enlarge the strips. No problemo. Right?

Each block is 7 strips wide

Each strip is cut with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. SO then, if I want a 12 inch block then I divide by 7 and add 1/2 inch to each piece. 2.2142857 inches. Hmmmm that isn't going to work.

Ok. 10 inch blocks. 10/7 +.5 = 1.9285714 yikes. Too much math.

Ah... Screw it. I'll just have to wing it!! Cut the strips 2.25 inches and end up with a finished strip 1.75 inches.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sorting the Colors


All the fabric has been ironed.

This is just some of the different colors in prints. (See The DumbPlumber in the background? Getting ready for work.) There are many more bins. Quilters are NOT hoarders.....really we aren't.....I keep repeating to myself.

Next step is to sort all of it down by color and hue.

I was really surprised at the amount of fabric. Some very large pieces of yardage and some teeny tiny scraps that I had saved. Ironing piece by piece it was like a time capsule of my life. A piece left over from a dress I made for my daugher when she was 5 years old. A scrap from a tropical print dress I had made for myself 8 years ago. Pieces where I could see the shapes that were cut out when I was making baby grab balls to sell. Odds and ends of fabric from wall hangings that I had made years and years ago.

I also discovered some fabulous fabric that I had completely forgotten about. Oooooh. Nice.

Now to get to work and actually make something!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back in the Quilting Saddle Again

Quilting used to be a passion of mine and for some reason about 8 years ago, I just set it all aside. Now, with impending arrival of a grandchild it seemed to be time to break out the fabric, sewing machine, quilt magazines, books and all the other stuff.

I've hung onto all of these craft magazines and stuff for years and years. Everytime, my husband has to lend his strong back to moving them, he suggests that perhaps now might be a good time to get rid of these things. "ARE YOU INSANE!!" I respond and make some suggestions about lightening up his stash of tools in the shop. "ARE YOU INSANE" he responds. It's a Mexican stand off.

One small problem. The fabric had been stored in our pumphouse and last year we had a flood that soaked all the boxes and boxes of fabric. I had to throw it all into the washer to clean and dry. The result......a big jumble of all sizes, shapes and colors of fabrics.

Just like any other craft or job, you need to have all of your materials and tools in order before you can even begin. This means, hour and hours of ironing and sorting fabrics. Tedious, boring but necessary.

Under the everything old is new again label is the discovery that while my quiliting was in cold storage, technology has been marching on. New techniques, new tools, new ways of assembling. I feel like the Rip VanWinkle auto mechanic who fell asleep in the 1960's and woke up to cars that are computerized electronic marvels that take a whole new set of skills to work upon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

War With The Robins

Our war with the robins, who are aptly named Turdus Migratorius begins this time of year each year. The little turds are greedy gluttons.

spot the yard art?

Some years we have cherries. Some years we don't. This year we had a LOT of cherries and it was a race between us and the robins on who was going to get them first.

We have several cherry trees on the property. Some sweet and this tree which produces fabulous sour cherries in enormous quantities. The issue is that until they are fairly ripe, they are really really sour. Once they are ripe we have a window of about 5 days to get them before the little Turdus do.

So.....I've been picking and picking and picking cherries. Then pitting and pitting and pitting.

I feel like Forest Gump. Cherry jam, cherry jelly, cherry syrup, cherry cobbler, cherry ice-cream, cherry pies and bags and bags of frozen pitted cherries.

At least the rotten robins didn't get the lion's share this year.

Next......blackberries. I really am a glutton for punishment.

Friday, July 09, 2010

So....What Happens If California Goes Bankrupt?

California, like many many States, like the Federal Government and like many Citizens, is teettering on the edge of bankruptcy. Unlike the citizens who have to make some hard decisions about what to buy, what to eat, if they can keep their house, if they can keep their car..... the California Legislature refuses to cut back or scale down any of the ridiculous pipe dream projects that the brain dead liberal voters shoved through the referendem process and through the legislature.

They refuse to cut back on entitlement programs, on top heavy beaurocries, on expensive state vehicles for everyone, parties, junkets, useless building projects, redundant departments....>HUGE pension and benefit packages. Nothing. They just refuse. Head in the sand. La lalalalala.

So, my hubby (The Dumbplumber) and I were saying. So what? What if California goes bankrupt and can't pay its bills. How will this affect us. We decided...not that much.

What could happen

Cal Trans will have to lay off workers

  • Instead of 6 guys leaning on shovels, there will be 3.

  • They don't fix the roads here in our rural area anyway so for several years we shouldn't see many problems. Too bad for the cities.

  • When it snows, we have to plow our own roads anyway and all of us have 4x4 capability.

  • We might be in trouble in the winter for food delivery to the grocery stores. But, not to worry. I have the Armageddon Pantry and there are plenty of people with chickens, rabbits, cattle, sheep, goats and large gardens for seasonal vegetables and fruits.

The Highway Patrol won't have time to try to hassle people for not wearing seat belts, cracked windshields and trailer ball infractions. The donut and coffee shops might suffer...but sooooo?

The local Countie Mounties won't be able to patrol our area. Oh...wait....they don't anyway. We have one guy on duty at night for a several hundred square miles area. We are on our own now. How much worse can it get?

Maybe the welfare queens and druggies getting welfare and rent subsidies will either have to get freaking jobs or better yet....move back to East LA where they came from. The truly needy will be helped by our existing support groups of the Food Pantry, Churches and Fraternal Organizations like the Lions and Masons.
The schools may have to lay off some personnel. They will threaten us with the teachers being laid off. Notice that they never get rid of administrative people. However, since they don't teach much now anyway and most teachers are not all that educated in the first place, I think the gap can be filled in with qualified volunteers. We have a plethora of retirees who obtained their educations before the liberals dumbed down the education system.
The local DMV and County regulatory offices may have to close or be pared down. Big deal. They aren't open all the time anyway and mostly exist to make our lives a pain. Maybe now we can build that storage shed without having to pay through the nose for inspections and permits and be annoyed with stupid regulations. Like...... are there any butterflies that breed in the area that you want to build. Seriously. That is one of the studies you have to do before building.
Garbage service. Don't have any available here.
Recycling centers. You must be joking
Water. I'll use my well like everyone else does....thanks.
Fire Department: all volunteers not supported by the county, although they do get some small portion of the property tax rolls.
Cal Fire: Well, now this IS one that I would miss. If we have a forest fire we do use the California Dept of Forestry fire crews. On the other hand, since the Federal Government has seen fit to lock away much of our lands from us and instituted the 'roadless' rule, maybe we should just let the Feds take over this also. Most of our fires are lightening caused. What did the Indians do about fires before the 'white man stole his land'. Nothing. Let'em burn. Guess this is what we will have to do also.
Power. Well, one of the largest hydro facilities is right next door, so to speak, and we have people who have already volunteered to "divert the grid" if push comes to shove. Plus there are several private bio mass power plants that can be "localized" and solar arrays and some wind power farms.
Of course, California, instead of reducing costs, lowering payroll by paring back on useless and redundant positions, policing the welfare rolls and getting illegals off the system and off of our backs.....the Legislature will try to raise taxes even more driving more businesses out of the State or underground. That will be bad because some people may have to move out of State and towns will suffer through a declining population and declining amount of money circulating in the economy. Cash will be king and barter transactions will increase.
So. Go bankrupt California. Not much will change for me. Since the State of California doesn't do much for me now other than take my money .....I'm not going to miss it.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Just When You Think All Is Lost

Just when you think all is lost. That people are so jaded with life. That people have turned inward to avoid interacting with others. Something beautiful breaks out and brings wonderment and joy to the faces of the unsuspecting bystanders.

On Saturday, April 24th, the Opera Company of Philadelphia teamed up with the Reading Terminal Market Italian Festival for a large-scale "Flash Opera" event! Over 30 members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus and principal cast members of LA TRAVIATA performed the famed "Brindisi" in the aisles of Reading Terminal Market, entertaining hundreds of Philadelphians, and proving that the perfect accompaniment for all things Italian is a little Verdi!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Swimming in the Past

Lately I've been reminiscing about things in the past. Maybe it is my age...."young, young" my hubby and I always chant when we think about it. But face it. No spring chickens we.

Maybe it is the times we are living in, where we see the America of our youth changing, not to the good, and we see it slipping away. I imagine my parents thought the same thing in the 60's and my grandparents in the 30's. Its a generational thing.

Maybe it is that I'm going to be a Grandmother for the first time and now I'm thinking even more seriously about the next generation and wonder what his/her childhood memories will be like. The idea that Hip Hop music may be the "Oldies" of the future for my grandchild is unsettling.

About the Grandmother thing. YAY!!!! Awesome. I can hardly wait. And I plan to post more about that later.

This post is about reminiscing about the past, so back to my meandering thoughts. On another blog the conversation turned to swimming and which is better. The Ocean or Lakes. I say Ocean is better.

I grew up mostly in California and swimming as children in the summertime was where ever our parents took us.

We learned to swim in summer programs at the local high school. Every day of the week over many summers we would be dropped off for an hour of swimming lessons. Starting with madly kicking our way from one end of the pool to the other behind floaty boards to eventually being able to master the butterfly stroke. Then we would have a lunch break where the pool closed for an hour. My brother and I would walk across the street to the small Mom and Pop grocery store on the corner. We would suppliment our bag lunch with sodas, pretzles, ice cream bars and for my brother the latest edition of The Green Lantern or other comic to add to his collection.

After lunch we would go back and swim for another couple of hours for open swimming. This is when all the kids in the area would ride their bikes in from all over the neighborhoods or their parents would drop them off, pay 50 cents or so to swim. Then we would play and frolic in the water and the sun for hours.

Imagine it compared to today. NO sunscreen, resulting in massive sunburns. No adult supervision other than a few lifeguards. Kids playing and yes bullying, pushing, shoving, dunking without hovering parents or other adults to interfere in the fun. Freely able to wander around the neighborhood. Buy junk food if we wanted. Today parents who allowed these sort of things would be arrested for child abuse. However, we as children LOVED it.

I became quite a good swimmer and was on swim team in high school.

Occasionally, on a weekend, my parents would take us to a company picnic at a local reservoir. Those were fun times but the swimming was terrible. This is where I got my distaste of lake swimming. The only way to swim was to wade out through the weeds, muck and who knows what that your feet could feel on the bottom of the lake until you got out to where you could actually swim for any distance.... if you watched out for boats.

The Ocean is where the real swimming and best summer swimming memories lie for me. As a teen growing up in California if you didn't surf, body surf or at least go to the beach and hang with your friends who surfed, you were a nerd. That word didn't exist then, but the concept sure did.

Beach Boys, Jan and Dean. Hot summer sun at the beach. Cool cars cruising the main in the balmy California summer nights. Clean hot beach sand. The boardwalk with the carnival atmosphere, rides, more junk food.

And of course, warm beer bought by that cool older guy or gal that you happened to know, liquor pilfered from the parent's stash. My parent's later told us, they knew all about it, but figured it was a part of growing up just as they did in the 40's. Rites of passage so to speak. As the 60's morphed into the 70's, beer morphed into other illegal recreational substances and the music morphed into Jefferson Airplane and The White Rabbit, Tower of Power and Bump City.......but enough about that. I'm about to be a Grandmother for God's sake. (smile)

Moving away from the coast to the Sierra Nevada mountians:
I loved to swim in the mountain rivers and streams. The Feather River, before they drowned it under a huge resevoir was wonderful. No crud on the bottom of the river. We would take an ice chest full of food, drinks and walk down steep trails and over flumes to get to the swimming holes and spend all day. You couldn't swim for any distance like I was used to doing, but the water was wonderful to float upon and dive into. Getting down to the river was a challenge. Getting back after a day of 'recreation' was even more so.

Crystal clear and very cold rushing water while the granite boulders were hot from the baking sun and would immediately soak up the wetness from your skin. There were deep pools between the rapids, where the water would be calm and clear. I would dive to the bottom and fluff up the sand and pick up gold nuggets and interesting rocks that had been hidden for years and years. I have a worn down ring that I wear every day that was made from those nuggets and a beautiful rock that I rescued from a deep pool. I've carried both of these with me for the last 30 years.

I look at the rock and imagine the millions of years it took to create it, polish it and wear it down. I imagine the trillions of gallons of water that carved it from a larger shape to what it is now. To me the rock represents time and endurance. Ah....time.

After they drowned the river, we would go swimming in the middle of the reservoir from houseboats or floating platforms anchored off shore. It was strange and slightly erie to think that our previous summer swimming holes were lurking 50 to 80 feet or more below our feet. Never to be seen again. Dark and now covered with silt. Existing only in our memories which will vanish when we do. No bottom anywhere. Just steep mountain sides on most of the rim of the lake.

The memories of swimming. I hardly swim anymore unless we are someplace where there is a pool or we are at the ocean where it is warm. Now when I go out in the sun to swim or to lounge around, sunscreen and hat are the norm. Probably too late to protect my skin from the hours and hours in the sun as a child and youth and young adult, but I wouldn't trade the memories for anything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Think I Love This Man

Shhhh. Don't tell my husband.

Seriously. We need Christie to run for President in 2012. He is exactly what the country needs. Conservative, articulate, common sense, take charge, unafraid.

I'm in awe of his extemporaneous speaking abilities. Notice, no teleprompter, unlike Obama who seems to be a robot reading from speeches prepared by someone else.

Christy puts together a coherent speech that has a beginning, crescendos to a high point and a powerful conclusion. He doesn't use a string of talking points put together like a string of beads. Sometimes I get the feeling that the politicians, Dems and Repubs, have a bowl with little balls in it, like you see at a bingo game, with talking points on each one. Pulling the balls out in random order and string them together to robotically spew the speech dujour.

When Christie speaks you get the feeling that these are things he knows, feels strongly about and understands. He tells a story and, as in this clip, has the audience hanging on his every word.

Hopefully, the American people are tired of pre-packaged political clone candidates that are groomed and controlled by slick handlers. The Hillbuzz guys call them whitebread mayonnaise and cucumber sandwich candidates.

Hopefully we will look beyond Christy's portly frame, his cow licked hair, his New Jersey accent, lack of expertly tailored clothing and see the character of a REAL leader who can pull us from the abyss.

So......shhhhhh. Don't tell my husband that I am in love with this man.....Oh. wait.....I just discovered that my husband is also in love too. Well, maybe not real love, but also wants him to run for President.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Teaching My Husband to Play the Guitar: What could go wrong?

I learned to play the guitar at a very young age and performed professionally for quite a few years. Here is a picture of me at 14 years old ------->

I kept on playing for fun and occasionally at fund raisers for my daughter's school, but gradually I let it get away from me and a few years ago sold my guitar because it was just sitting the case forlorn and neglected.

You know how that song don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. ? I started to miss my guitar. Finally my long suffering husband got tired of my whining and said "buy a new guitar and shut up". Well, not exactly like that but that was the gist of it.

It turns out that he has always wanted to play the guitar and his father's guitar has been sitting up in the office collecting dust for years. I AM the Dust Bunny Queen after all...dust...get it?


It also turns out that in my youth I taught guitar to children. So.....we get the bright idea! I'll take my new guitar, get some new strings for my hubby's inherited guitar and I'll teach him how to play.

What could go wrong?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Landscape Game

I stumbled upon this web site American Digest and an interesting article about something called
The Landscape game. It consists of a series of questions that you are supposed to answer and will, according to the author, be revealing.

Here are my answers and I'm curious as to what they mean. I dream a lot and my dreams are very vivid and detailed. It will be interesting to see what others have posted or answered.

1) You are sleeping and you dream. Describe your dream.
My dream last night. I was part of a team of people competing against another team to decorate a room. The room was not described and there were no real rules so we had no idea what it was supposed to be. However, we did get a hint that it was supposed to be a bedroom.

The teams were given access to a warehouse of furniture and other accessories. (I've dreamed of this place many times and it is really cool because there are so many things to discover and find.) We choose several items. A bed, which is a hospital bed. We aren't really happy with this but it is the only bed in the place. Some chairs, very neat art deco light wood and a geometric blue print. Side tables, lamps and so on.

The moderator? or person in charge now gives us the particulars of the room and it is very weird. It is a narrow and long room. About 8 feet wide and 20 feet long. We are quite upset and irritated because now the stuff we selected might not work.

Suddenly I realize that we might be able to make use of the spaces within the walls of the room. and I ask the moderator if that is approved. Yes. So we make the beds (somehow we have a lot more material and the hospital bed is immaterial) inset into the wall on both sides of the end of the room. Twin beds that can fold up into the wall and when folded down meet together in the middle of the room with some fold out feet for stability. When the beds are folded up, the underside is decorative with pictures and paintings.

We realize that the end of the room has a dormer window and that there is a lot of room inside the walls on either side and we build in some dresser drawers and cupboards. So when the beds are folded up there is a clear path to the window seat in the dormer window.

The rest of the room is furnished with a seating arrangement with the art deco chairs a book case and the lamps.

I'm very satisfied with the result while still being ticked off about not knowing what the rules were in the first place.

2) You wake up in a house. The house can be anywhere within the world. Describe the house and where it is located in the world.

I wake up in a "dream house" meaning that I dream this place often. It has been part of agroup of recurring dreams for years. Somehow, and weirdly, it is very much like the house I live in now.

I don’t know where the house is. The house is located on a bluff, a rather steep bluff, overlooking a lake. It is difficult to get down to the lake but it is a great place to swim. The house is like a long low ranch house with many large windows facing the bluff and the view. Facing the view, the right hand side is the living quarters. The left hand side is the sleeping area. The interest of the house is the screened in porches/decks and area that goes down to the lake. There are neighbors but they don’t really matter much. The front out to the street is a long ways and fairly rural

3) When you wake up, what time is it?
8:00 am

4) You get up and go into the kitchen. What kind of kitchen is in this house?
A really great kitchen with a center island and seating on one side All the appliances and utensils. Ceramic counter top with a good dining area right off to the right. It feels like a slightly 70’s vibe, which is not what my real kitchen has. Attached to the kitchen is a dining area for casual dining. Off to the side is a more formal dining area attached to a large living room

5) You are going out for a walk. As you go to the door, you notice the trees around the house. How many are there and how are they placed in relation to the house?
More than five but not much more. They are Aspens and Maples. The trees are to the right shading the house as I leave because the driveway is to the left.

6) You are following a winding path of stones and sand, past rocks and dry reeds that rattle and hum in the breeze. You crest a rise and start down. Looking around you see, beside the path, a bowl which you pick up and carry with you. Describe the bowl.

A wooden bowl carved from a burl of wood. Maybe manzanita.

7) The path moves on past ruins, there are false turnings everywhere, but you move straight on. Beside the path you see a key which you pick up and carry with you. What is the key like?

Iron and really big like those from the 1800’s ornate and heavy.

8) The path moves out of a forest into the open. It grows hot. You find yourself at a body of water. What kind of body of water is it and what do you do when you come up to it?

A meandering stream that has created a deep pool shaded by more trees. The stream/river runs over many large rocks and the pool is deep and clear. I take off my clothes and swim.

9) You move on along the path and, after some time you come to a wall. What is the wall made of? What you do when you come to it?

Stones. Like an Irish fieldstone hand stacked fence covered with moss on the shady side. It is about 4 feet high. I lean on the top of the wall and look over the top.

10) What lies beyond the wall?

A pasture green and beautiful with cattle and sheep and with more stone fences in the distance