Friday, January 1, 2021

Persnickety Lemon moves from a condo to a house


I bought a lemon tree this past spring and set it on my condo balcony where it grew taller and and blossomed. It wasn't thrilled when I brought it inside just before the first frost. I noticed it was beset with white fly, and so sprayed it with sulfur in my condo bathtub. Twice. It protested. 

Then I protested, deciding condo life was not for me for a myriad of reasons. My brother M. didn't seem surprised when I told him. "You need dirt," he said. My daughter C. said that I was one of those people who just need to be "in charge of my shit." Okay. 

So Persnickety Lemon and I moved. Moving is never fun. Moving during a pandemic is fraught with complications.

I stood on the balcony while the movers took everything away. I opened all the windows in the new house while the movers brought the things inside. Persnickety Lemon does not have a parka and was not happy about the open windows on moving day. Or the open windows the day the painters came.

I am not happy that my furniture is way too big for this little 1950s house and that the dining room table fills the whole main room and the only place for a couch is in the basement. But I'm going to make some changes. And Persnickety Lemon is going to get some new leaves.

There are many things to like here.

Like the sunrise in my picture window.

And my utterly charming backyard with its sturdy shed. I can see that red door from my bedroom window, and it looks like a beacon of possibility.

Happy 2021 to you. I wish you good health.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Squirrels of the Future

 I've never really liked squirrels. When I was a kid we had a next-door neighbor who fed the squirrels in her yard. She fed them Dubuque, Iowa's very fine Betty Jane candies. I can see her out there in her flowered housecoat with a box of chocolates, a squirrel eating out her hand. It seemed like things could take a turn at any moment, and I didn't want to witness it. 

My very first house in L.A. had a pecan tree. We never harvested a single pecan. My daughters, however did enjoy watching the squirrels strip it bare. They'd sit at our kitchen table and laugh out loud at the squirrels' ridiculous gymnastics. I was less than thrilled. I wanted to make something with those homegrown pecans.

Post divorce, the very first place I ever owned by myself, I had an apricot tree. That first apricot I harvested was the best apricot I've ever eaten. It was the last apricot I enjoyed from that tree. The squirrels also ate my lovely ruffled pink hibiscus. 

I tried everything. Bird netting. Cayenne. Nothing worked.

When it came time to move my mother in with me, I sold that place and bought a house that fit her needs. There were no squirrels there by the ocean. Until after DJT was elected. Then things changed. I gave those interlopers names--Evil Bannon and Kelly Ann. They pigged out on the bird seed and destroyed my geraniums.

Minneapolis is overrun with squirrels. Last year I saw a pure white one. On my walk the other day I watched the fat one at the top of this post for quite awhile. Do you know why he/she is fat? Because they're planning for the future. That's right. The future. That squirrel knows it's going to get cold. There'll be less to eat in our snowy landscape. Calories will harder to find. So the squirrels are chowing down. So they'll survive. Because they think there will be a future to survive for. I love that squirrel and all of their fat friends. I love the idea of planning for the future.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

I'm just F-ing beside myself. You are too, right?


The news, the news, the news. What if we are on a rocket going backwards? Do we want the rocket to safely splash down in the 1950s, say--or do we want it to explode in mid-air? I'm asking. 

I made the mail art card above for a dear loved one. The king lying under the rock in the lower right hand corner might have been too subtle of a choice. 

Last night the wind roared for hours in Minneapolis. I've lived here in this building for 17 months. The wind last night howled like a monster and shook the things on our balconies.

This is what I see from my balcony at night. Like other things I've more or less taken for granted, it too is in the process of disappearing. A new building is going up. Every day, this vista is one day closer to gone.

This is this week's collage. When I can't follow a thought long enough to write, I cut up paper and make things.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Win Lose Draw

This is what the Mississippi River looked like in my neighborhood today as it experienced its scheduled drawdown. I think I read somewhere that it's so the infrastructure of the locks and dams can be inspected. Meanwhile there were flocks of gulls and human onlookers. Many people seemed to be treasure hunting.


I watched a crew of workers pull bikes and scooters out of the muck with ropes and hooks.

There was an immense tangle of stuff, including the metal box below. The workers tried for a few minutes to open it--to no avail. The whole situation seemed bleak to me despite the volunteers from the park service talking with visitors about the river and its original configuration before the sawmills, and the flour mills, and the shoring up of the ruined falls. All the while, the evidence of current stupidity and ruination is poking up from the mud. Hundreds of plastic water bottles, trash of every imaginable kind, including the Nice Ride rental bikes and the rental scooters that are a plague for pedestrians on city sidewalks. The pile above represents only five minutes or so of work. I suppose this went on for hours. We're a disaster, we humans. 

I hope someone found treasure. Gold, or silver, or a box of something precious. 

When I got home I opened the bill from my kidney procedure. 20,800 and some dollars--not including the doctor's visits and the testing beforehand. Because I have a Medicare Advantage plan that I pay 99 dollars a month for, all but 250.00 dollars of that was covered. I'll bet our president's care for his Covid hospitalization totaled a quarter of a million. It's disgusting that so many people do not have decent health care or insurance of any kind--especially during a pandemic. These United States are so far into the muck, I fear we may never get out. 

BUT I have cast my ballot. And I do hope for change.