Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I should update you about The Farm...

Maybe "should" is too strong...

But regardless, I WILL update you on The Farm, whether you want to know or not -- because you should know where your food comes from, and because I want to write about something, and this is all that's happening around here.

All winter, the workers were out there laboring to turn this:

...into this.

And that's all finished now...
and the weather has actually begun to behave according to the calendar, which says "SPRING".

Although, it seems a bit flaky about it.

Anyway, The Farmer is out in the field, because after all the pruning and tying, there is a lot of this stuff on the ground.

Pruned out canes...they need to go!

So The Farmer is out with the cane chopper.

It's quite the machine. One pass and the canes are obliterated...

...and once again it is tidy between the rows.

It's time...the buds are swelling, and busting out, wanting to grow.

Hope Spring isn't too flaky,
or maybe that Winter isn't too reluctant to go...
like last year.

Already, things are behind the usual schedule. Hopefully, April and May will be better than they were last year, and we won't have to pick berries during the Fair. We don't need to set late start & finish records again this year.

Besides, couldn't we all use some more days like we had last week?

And when they come back, I want to spend them as Daisie does...She knows how to enjoy Spring, that dog!

But I think I'll need a lounge chair.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chick Flickery...

I went to a chick flick Thursday night. The Farmer was still out of town, and it was a good night for a girls' night out, so I got to go to dinner and a chick flick with the girlfriends.

I usually eschew chick flicks because I don't like to have my emotions manipulated to a point where I find myself thinking: "Oh...it's so sad that they are both married to other people. They should be together..." or "Leave Mr. Responsible -- you need to go with the Charming Cad because he's so romantic..." or, worst of all, "Now THERE'S the kind of guy every husband should be...full of romance EVERY DAY..."


Chick flicks are not equal to real life...but so many of us want them to be...and as a result, they foster a lot of discontent. Being vulnerable to, and fundamentally opposed to, discontent, I avoid the risk.

I rarely read chick lit either...same reasons.

But I can handle the rare exposure to emotional manipulation, and mostly, I wanted to spend the evening with the girlfriends so I went and saw "The Vow".

And I thought Rachel McAdams didn't make a realistic traumatic brain injury victim -- but she sure is a cutie pie, sweetheart kind of gal.  And Channing Tatum was a good representation of the requisite hunk, and was pretty consistent in his portrayal of a forgotten husband. As much as I could pick their performances apart, I admit that they did a good enough job of manipulating my emotions that I felt incredibly sad thinking about how TBI can obliterate a loving relationship. Truly, a tragedy.

But for me, the best line of the movie belonged to Jessica Lange, who portrayed Paige's (Rachel McAdams) mother when she said something like: "...I chose to stay with him because of all the things he did right, instead of leaving him for one thing he did wrong..." A perspective unusual to chick flickery, and so refreshing to note it present in the story.

I left the theater not feeling too bad about the hours I spent there...A good message was gleaned, perhaps more than one.

But that will be it for chick flicks for me for a while...I wonder if the girlfriends might want to go see "Act of Valor" next...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I'm feeling it...very, very fusty.

And by fusty, I mean Webster's definition #3: "rigidly old-fashioned and reactionary". And big on the reactionary...

This is all very appropriate as Webster's definition #1 is: "impaired by age or dampness".

And that's it! This endless damp winter is making me fusty, very fusty.

Well, that, and a lack of character...

But anyway, I am trying to control my fustiness, and was sorely tested yesterday when I spent a few hours on the phone trying to straighten out a billing error. SEVEN phone calls, 3 of which were disconnected as I was transferred to another department...apparently there is a department especially for disconnecting particularly pesky calls. That's okay...I was just hoping I could tell my story from the beginning again because I just love going over it, especially with people for whom English is a second language. (Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of you for learning English -- good on ya! -- but PLEASE slow down...)

The best part was that, after all that, the problem was not solved. After many hours of being on the phone, I had figured out exactly what had happened to cause the problem, but since I was not schooled on their procedures and protocols, my suggested solution was moot, and suspect, it seemed. They needed to investigate and verify...

If the problem didn't involve two hundred dollars, I would gladly have accepted defeat, and gone on my way, happy to pay the price for NOT having to call there again...But TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS??


I will boastfully say that I never raised my voice, but I will admit that I told each representative that this was my 4th, 5th, 6th call of the day. I made sure that they knew I had been disconnected multiple times...and they were, without exception, very apologetic. Finally, on calls 6 & 7, I found a couple of competent and articulate reps who could understand the problem, and explain why they couldn't fix it without further investigation. And I am thankful for them...And I don't hate any of the others...

But I HATE THE SYSTEM! Whatever happened to the days when you had a billing system that was plain and simple, and you didn't have to make multiple transactions to do one thing...and when the customer called you made it YOUR problem to fix, not theirs...and you didn't put them on hold while you researched...you actually called them back...GRRRRRRRRR!

The only reasonable thing to do was take it out on The Farmer...After all, it was he who caused the problem by returning a defective phone, and actually expecting that they would efficiently process the refund so we could get our 200 DOLLARS back. Foolish, trusting man...What was he thinking when he did this?

Despite enduring an assault of fustiness, and huffiness, The Farmer graciously suggested that we go out for dinner since I had spent so much time on the phone that afternoon.

Perhaps he is not so foolish after all...and likely, he is more merciful than I deserve -- though it was easy for him to do so as today he flew to Washington DC for a few more days of meetings. Four days of freedom from the Fusty Farmer's Wife...Hmmm, maybe that's why he actually left on time this morning...

Maybe I better work on that character stuff...

It's a cinch that the weather isn't changing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Look to the ant, thou sluggard...

I finally did something around here...And for me, it was pretty big...like "the monkey's off my back" big.

I finished my 2009 Family Album! {insert musical fanfare, balloon release, and confetti}

I know, I know...it's 2012. Mas vale tarde que nunca, I say to you! Senorita Adela taught me that, and it means better late than never.

And, it is true.

But -- putting together an album 3 years after the fact just gets harder and harder...Details fade, things get disorganized, and one becomes less motivated the longer it goes...which leads one to the truth that "promptly" is better than "never" AND "late".

But finally, finally! I pushed on through and got 'er done! After all, some details are best left forgotten, and some memories grow in importance after the fact, and so what if you get your Christmas celebrations out of order!...At least the history is in the book...

At least that's what I tell myself.

2009 was a momentous year...It took TWO volumes...Two BIG volumes...Probably the fault of having a wedding take place...and always the fault of a author who suffers from Verbosity.

I'm sure that's a condition...so is Randy.

Anyway, there was a little bittersweet mixed in with this endeavor as I am undecided whether I will ever do paper scrapbooks again...I think that digital is calling my name, though I am not looking forward to the learning curve...Decisions, decisions.

I think I feel a little procrastination coming on...Time to re-read Proverbs!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nothing is so addictive...

It's been a few days since I have posted, and it's all the fault of nothing.

Since The Farmer came back, and I could relax from my boogeyman hypervigilance, I have done nothing. And nothing is so addictive. Once you start doing nothing, you just want to do it all day long...all weekend long, in this case.

You wake up in the morning longing to do nothing. After you are forced to do something, like feed yourself, all you can think about is doing nothing...and so it goes through the day.

I got Caitlin to join me, and The Farmer did too. Of course, he had the excuse of jet lag.

We had the excuse of being close to someone with jet lag...good enough.

So I haven't written a blog post...and besides I've done nothing to write about.

Or have I?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Imagination: Part 2...

At 3:00 AM this morning, I heard Daisie whimper, and then whimper again.

My early experiences with Daisie’s nighttime whimpers established that, were I to avoid a disaster, it was best to jump out of bed and rush her out the door. However, her credibility had become imperfect as the last few times I rushed her out the door only to find I have accommodated a nighttime romp and tracking excursion. I don’t appreciate standing at the door for 15 minutes wondering where she went, and when she might come back so I can go back to bed.

So I decided to ignore her…until my imagination kicked in.

Considering that recently someone had used our truck as a homeless shelter,while being a suspected fugitive, and The Farmer is in the Other Washington, it didn’t take long. No way was I going to let Daisie out that back door! I could just see The Bad Guy taking advantage of the door opening to get inside…And if he didn’t to that, likely he would take Daisie hostage to get in…

What to do? What to do?

Daisie was no help. Her behavior confirmed to me that she was not in need of a duty run. She continued to whine, and pace, and LOOK OUT THE WINDOWS. I was spooked – and at the same time I was SO tired. Please! Can we reschedule this crisis? I’m just too tired, and the house is cold, and my bed was warm…

 In lieu of a better weapon, I clutched my cell phone, ready to dial…And then recalled my recurring dream that I can’t dial 911…it always comes out 119, or 919, or 191 when danger is imminent…I tried to shake off the memory, and prepare my fingers for the deed.

 Daisie kept acting upset and wouldn’t respond to my efforts to calm her. We sat in the dark, so I could see what might show up at the window…Daisie came to sit with me, then went back to pacing, and then tried using the ultimate communication of boxer disapproval: she backed away from me. This is so typical of boxer manipulation: look you in the eye, ears up, make a demand for action (“I want to go out!”), lack of response results in the ultimate rejection. (“You won’t let me out? I’ll show you – I’ll back up right out of this room! Take that!”) It reinforced my fear that dear Daisie would not be much for protection in a crisis. (“Hey, Bad Guy! Take that! I’m BACKING up…”)

I could not imagine what purpose could be served by letting my dog out when The Bad Guy might be present, so I was unmoved by her display. We made another round of the windows, trying to catch a glimpse of whatever was out there. Thankfully, there was a full moon, so it was easy to see…I tried to reason with myself, realizing that Daisie would be just as upset if a cat, or rabbit, or dog had passed by in the night, as if a human had. Even so, she didn’t need to go out a-chasing in the middle of the night. Nope, whining or not, she was staying in with me.

And then Daisie decided to play dirty…She let fly with a gaseous emission that dissolved my conviction that she was not in need of a duty run. Whew! My mind was full of conflict! My nose was full of pain! Bad Guy outside or HazMat incident inside…

What to do? What to do?

Another stink-bomb swayed the verdict…Daisie was going out!

I opened the door only wide enough for her to squeeze through, and immediately became of aware of her gaseous duplicity when she ran around the deck and into the flowerbed, nose to the ground and disappeared into the dark.

And I didn’t see her again for 20 minutes…But I was feeling somewhat relieved that since she didn’t head for the truck, or the shop, or the horse shed, she wasn’t after a human. Likely, some critter had caught her attention, and she felt that she must protect her territory from invasion…

At the expense of my sleep and mental well-being…

When she showed up at the back door, she was all exorcized of her intruder angst, and happily requested a biscuit in payment for her night’s work. I gave it to her, just glad to know that the whining had ended, the threat was likely imagined, and my warm bed would soon be occupied.

I did check the flowerbeds for footprints this morning…and they were all of the animal type. So today we are going to review what constitutes the need for an intruder alert…

I don’t think it will help, especially with two occupants of this house having such good imaginations.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March is coming in like a LION...

...a REALLY gorgeous lion!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Looking good in the Other Washington...

The Farmer is in the other Washington this week; his 10th annual trip as part of a delegation representing the Northwest Small Fruit Research Center.  The Center is funded with grants from the government and is under USDA oversight, so each year the delegation goes to visit PNW Senators and Congressmen to report on how last year’s money was used, and their plans for this year. The Center is appreciated by most of the Congressmen and Senators as an efficient and productive user of the funds granted. Randy, though not usually a fan of government funding, also appreciates the opportunity the Center provides for smaller industries to combine their efforts for an enhanced result. It’s a pretty good set-up for a government operation.

Over the years, each one of us in the family has had the opportunity to accompany him on a trip, and enjoy the history and excitement of Washington DC. The boys went with Randy while they were students, and had the privilege of joining him in his meetings with the Senators and Congressmen. We can give this experience credit for Jess’ continuing interest and pursuit of politics.

Or maybe we can blame it on that trip…

This all sounds rather heady, and wonderful – and though it has been an experience we feel blessed to have enjoyed, there is a dark side…

What is The Farmer going to wear?!

At the outset, we were made aware that the usual uniform of Levi’s with Carhartt jacket would not suffice. We had to buy dress clothes, more specifically, a SUIT!

Considering that at that time, we had in our possession one sport coat that was shared between The Farmer, and my brother-in-law – and heaven forbid that they had to attend the same wedding or funeral – it was a steep learning curve.

On that first attempt, I recall going to JC Penney’s, certain that I could pull something together for him that would cost less than the Bon Marche’s $300 suits. After all, The Farmer was going to wear this stuff for 3 days out of the year…3 measly days! Why spend the money? I found pants, a shirt, tie & sport coat and sent The Farmer into the dressing room…

…and out came Forrest Gump, wearing The Farmer’s face.

Houston, we have a problem.

I hurriedly made adjustments that did not improve the situation. After a couple more attempts, we headed to the Bon Marche and bought a $300 suit…and some shirts, and some ties, and belt and shoes, etc…And were glad to pay it because The Farmer looked good, really good. {sigh of relief} And he felt good too. Maybe we can do this dress-up stuff…

Since then we have had to do some updates, and this being year 10, an update was needed again. So last weekend, (don’t want to rush things) we decided we had better go on the hunt. A new sport coat was needed, and the accompanying accoutrements…

Oh boy…

Once again, I was reluctant to spend the money…clothes for 3 days out of the year, and the rare 4th day for some infrequent occasion…So I tried, again, to make the selections, focusing on the sale items…

And tried again…and again…Forrest hadn’t shown up yet, but I feared he might be in the building.

So we headed over to Men’s Wearhouse and made the acquaintance of Mr. Keith, God bless him! He brought order to our confusion, and created 3 distinctly handsome looks with one jacket, three shirts, three pants, and three ties…and all of them would also coordinate with a sport coat (and just so you know we don’t share anymore) we already had at home…Amazing!

I bought all of it – even an extra tie. Not sure what I was thinking on that as there really are only 3 dress-up days so he will have to wait a year to wear one of them…A little delirious with relief, I guess. The ka-ching was long and loud, but I didn’t care. The deed was done. The Farmer would look respectable, and even dapper, I might add.

In fact, I just might like to be seen on his arm…

Someone want to invite us to a wedding this year?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh, Miss Madelyn...

Don't you just love that cheesy grin?

I had the privilege of spending a day with Miss Madelyn this week. Oh, she is a wonder! I had such fun listening to her dialogue as she played on her own. Such drama occurs with those Fisher Price Little People! I didn’t know that…

We established a kind of circuit of play throughout the day: First, the Hot Wheels cars must be rolled down the FP Main Street slide. Then we should play “Puh-day-doh” (play dough) with the dishes, after that it was time to choose our favorite colors from the tiny cars in the Rush Hour game. Next I had to teach her how to lengthen and shorten the dolly’s growing hair so she could do it all by herself. There were Little People to transport in the bus, and put in the playground, and they must also be put into the store all at the same time. And then we needed to play on the stairs, because Madelyn doesn’t have stairs at her house, and by-the-way, isn’t it time for a snack before we start the circuit all over again.

She’s a busy girl.

I really enjoyed her instructions on how to make “pasta noodles” with play dough…If you overdo the rolling you end up with a dreaded “snake”, and not a pasta noodle: REJECT! Start over, Auntie Les! We made cookies and meatballs, and pancakes. We cooked up a storm, and, of course, what started out as pink and green play dough eventually became a pretty even shade of gray…Amazing!

We were in the middle of discussing favorite colors when she suddenly gave me a rousing account of the animals she saw at the aquarium. Wide-eyed, she told me about a whale, the diver, the “shawks”, and a lot of Nemos there. Cousin Colby was there too… “You wemember Colby?” she asked. So cute!

My favorite quote of the day came after I had been trying to get some response out of her about the baby brother she will soon have…She didn’t have much to say about it as I prompted her through the day, but finally when I had mentioned to her something about “when you get your new baby…”, she burst out, “I have my baby!”  I was wondering if we were talking about the same baby or if she was thinking of her doll, so I asked, “Where is your baby?” She answered with more exasperation, “In Mom’s tummy!” It sounds like it’s just not news anymore. They already have their baby; Mom’s carrying it around, and that’s that.

What a fun little girl! She’s well-behaved, but definitely thinks for herself, and wants to do things independently. Love those (almost)3 year olds! The world is opening up to them, and they are busy figuring things out…

What a delightful day!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)