Bella Rum

Life on the Pasture


I got my hair cut yesterday. Francine is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She and her husband were Catholic when they were young, and he went to seminary. In their twenties, they both fell away from religion. They have three kids: two girls (16 and 17) and a little boy (5). Francine is about the age of my son (42) and very attractive. She owns the salon, and her husband owns a local pizza place. They both work hard, and I suspect they’ve done well.

A very young woman was at the reception desk, and she was cute as anyone could possibly be. I didn’t interact with her much when I arrived. Francine called me back almost immediately, but when I left, she took my money. Her slothful movements and bored expression said that she wanted to be anywhere but there. No one but a teenager can look that bored with life. When I asked a question, she answered as if it was a big bother, and she never gave me eye contact. I felt as if she was doing me a favor to take my money. One thing was clear, she didn’t care if she kept this job or not.

It took me a few hours after I got home to realize she must be Francine’s daughter. That explains her behavior AND why she still has a job. She did not want to be there, but her mother did want her to be there. She was sulking. I’m not sure who was winning the battle, but kids usually win. They are committed and gifted at beating the parent into submission. LOL

I bet anything that she’s her daughter. Ha. I’m going to ask at my next appointment. Kids! I bet she would never act that way if she was working for someone other than a parent. Her mother should put a nanny cam on her.

In about five years, she will be a lovely young woman; no traces of the indolent, spoiled teenager will remain.

When my son was a teenager, we kept a sign on the refrigerator door that read, “Teenagers: Tired of being harassed by your parents? ACT NOW! Move out, get a job, and pay your own bills while you still know everything.

A bit harsh? Perhaps, but it definitely has some truth to it. He’ll need it for his fridge in a couple of years.

Nowadays, our refrigerator offers different information. How soon life does change.


Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

Because rain was expected on Saturday, and because old retirees are flexible, my niece’s moving day was changed to Friday. It’s a good thing because it rained buckets on Saturday. When we arrived, she was drying one last load of clothes.

Her next-door neighbor Mike popped in unexpectedly and helped H move the washer and dryer. He seemed like such a nice guy, and he was a lot of help. He and his wife are expecting their first baby. Crystal said they’ve been great neighbors for six years, always helping her with things around the house that would be difficult for a single woman. She repaid them with pots of soup and spaghetti sauce. They both begged her not to move.

When they started to move the washer and dryer, Mike called to her, “Crystal, what do you want to do with these?” She’d left a few panties in the utility room. She was so embarrassed. After a few exclamations of “Oh, my God!” she apologized. Good-naturedly, he said they weren’t the first panties he’d seen. We all laughed and moved on.

Crystal called last night and said, “Auntie, Mike texted me, saying he’d like to see me, that he’d like to take me to lunch” (he works from home, and his wife works during the day). She texted him back, told him no, and reminded him that he was married and about to have a baby. He texted her again, reiterating that he’d like to see her and hoped she’d reconsider. She ignored him.

One other thing: she’s a lovely and fit 52, and he’s in his early 30s. She said she lived there for six years, and he was never anything but polite and gentlemanly. She never felt any weird vibes from him. Nothing. I would never have pegged him for a hound either, but a hound he is.

I told her that her life is exciting, but exhausting. The only drama around here is what’s for dinner, what will we plant in the yard?

Dinner tonight: Chicken Under Brick

Plantings: impatient plants, hostas, coral bells, ferns, bleeding heart, zinnia seeds…

Fact: Bella Rum wears 100% cotton grandma panties.


My Niece’s Move, My Brother’s Knee Surgery, H’s Niece, My Cousin, Doctor Visit

I’m at home today, so I thought I’d jog the blog muscle a little. Our life has picked up the pace recently.

As they come on the market, we’ve done a few drive-bys on houses in my niece’s price range, and we’re helping her move the last of her things to her storage unit on Saturday. It’s amazing how much easier it is to move if you have the time to do it. She started early since she isn’t waiting for a close date on another house. We helped her last Saturday and the Saturday before that. We finished before noon both times. A few big things remain: a wardrobe, sofa, washer and dryer. They will be a little awkward, but shouldn’t take long. A friend of her’s will help H, and H has ramps and a dolly and a hand truck, and straps. He is very good at this. My niece is so much fun to be around. I will be glad when she finds a house. She’s as picky as I am. So…

My brother has severe arthritis. One of his hips was replaced 17 years ago at age 53 (he needed it long before he did it). The other was replaced 14 years ago. They both need to be replaced again. Both of his knees are shot, so his doctor asked him where he wanted to begin. He chose his left knee. That was three weeks ago. He and H are the same age. My brother seems so much older.

I went to Marshall’s a few days ago, and hit the jackpot on tops. That never happens. I’ve complained that I don’t look like I’ve lost any weight. My DIL and niece both told me that my clothes were too big. I hate to buy clothes while I’m still losing, but I have nothing that fits and we’re going on vacation soon. I think I went a little crazy because when I tried things on in the dressing room, I could see a big difference. Not there yet, but progress. It felt good. I found white and black linen pants in my closet that I didn’t take to Goodwill, and that was helpful.

H is making noises again about climbing to the top of the huge tree in the front yard, and getting rid of a bad limb. I over heard him telling my son. It’s too high for him to reach with his pole trimmer.

We ran into H’s niece in Marshall’s. That was a delightful experience. I haven’t seen her in years. She’s as beautiful as ever, inside and out. H’s sister-in-law is turning 80 soon, and she invited us to a dinner for her. She told us that H’s 82-year-old brother (her father) injured himself while on a ladder replacing a window on the second floor. The window was resting in the frame but not attached when it fell, shattered and cut him badly in several places. There was an ER visit. It must run in the family.

A cousin I haven’t heard from in years called me yesterday. We caught up on family that I haven’t seen in ages. She told me that one of my cousins, while working on the roof of his barn, fell and broke his pelvis, one arm, and a few other things. His cell phone was at the top of the ladder. He had to climb back up the ladder to call for help. His recovery was lengthy and laborious. Can you imagine?

I went to my doctor Tuesday. She was pleased because I’d lost another 10 pounds since my last visit. A new nurse was shadowing the other nurse to learn the routine. She was showing her my info in the computer. She quickly went down a list of things, and all I caught was “fall risk assessment.” It made me feel old for a minute, but I know how much better I feel. I think it’s my cousin’s, H’s brother’s and H’s fall risks that need assessing, thank you very much.

A Beautiful and Productive Day

It was a beautiful day yesterday. It put me in the mood to work outside.
One of my irises that we brought from our last house bloomed. Love that wine color. My coral bells are still thinking about blooming. It was one of those days that begs you to come out and play. I washed the winter off all the lawn chairs and the table and its four chairs and even the cover on H’s grill.  I bought some wave petunias and a couple of geraniums at Home Depot (where else?) to plant in a pot at the front door. I haven’t gotten the pot yet. I hope to get that at Home Goods later today. I’ll do it after my 6-month doctor appointment. I’m going to put impatiens in those two turquoise planters up there. We get a lot of shade in the backyard. My niece gave me the red reclining chair. She didn’t want to take it to her next house (?).

No sooner than I finished cleaning all the chairs and came inside for a break, the wind started blowing like mad. I ran outside to save a little foam pillow that was a headrest for the red chair. I’d taken it out of its cover (which I’d washed and hung on a tree branch) and placed it on the red chair. Just as I stepped out the door the rain came pouring down, the wind collapsed the red chair, and lifted the foam pillow and took it away. It went airborne, then bounced, then went airborne again, then bounced … I went after it like I was chasing a dog off its leash – with speed, purpose and determination! What a spectacle. I was lucky it didn’t go over the fence because my determination wanes at fences. That pillow would be wherever Porch Pup’s St. Patrick’s Day flowers are. They blew out of his basket and haven’t been spotted since.

Easter Porch Pup

Porch Pup in his Easter Attire

His ensemble lasted all of 10 seconds after she arrived.

What ever you celebrate, Porch Pub wishes all of you a happy day!

Looking at Houses

After three practically sleepless nights in a row, I slept eight straight hours last night. Oh, my! What a difference that makes. Life is so much easier when you sleep.

Boy, did I ever have fun yesterday. I love spending time with my niece. We helped her move some of her things. When we finished unloading and moving it all into the storage unit, she showed us the stats on a house that was in her price range. She had more “moving” things to do so H and I did a ride-by for her. It was a charming little house: good roof, good neighborhood (which isn’t always true in her price range), large deck in the back, and lovingly maintained.

The photos of the inside were even better.

I called her and told her to drop everything and get her realtor to book a showing for her. She called her realtor, but it had gone under contract that day. It was only on the market two days. Things are flying off the market especially well-maintained and updated homes.

In the afternoon, we looked at two other houses with her. One was very much like the one we rode by, but it had not been lovingly maintained or updated, and the lot was a difficult one – especially for a single woman – with a steep bank in the backyard. It would be difficult for even a young man.

I love looking at houses. It’s even more fun when I don’t have to buy one. I will compulsively look online at everything that hits the market in her price range until she finds something.

Yellow in the Pasture Again

Insomnia! It gets tiresome. This is the third night in a row that I’ve had to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Sleeping is a job for me.

We’re meeting at my niece’s house this morning to help her move more of her things to a storage unit. Her closing is coming quickly, but she still hasn’t found a house. She isn’t very happy about that, but she has a place to stay until she finds something. We helped her last week, too, and a couple of her friends helped. It went fast – only a few hours. Her house is small, she doesn’t have a ton of stuff, and she’s organized. She had already staged all the boxes and small things at the front door. We’ll finish up next week. Not having to do all of it in one day makes it much easier. H is a fantastic mover. That man loves to work. That kind of thing never changes in a person. My son is the same way.

We made reservations for our vacation yesterday. The most obnoxious woman answered the phone. Maybe she was having a bad day. I ended up making the reservations online, which is what I should have done to begin with. I usually enjoy vacation once I get there, but H loves it. He’s a fun person to vacation with.

The pasture is yellow with buttercups again. Winter has finally been clubbed into submission. H pulled out my big turquoise planters a few days ago. Soon I will fill them with something pretty. The hostas and columbine and peonies are up. All must be well.

Mind Monsters and Blue Apron Comes to an End

I woke at 2:00 am this morning and never went back to sleep. I checked today to see if the moon was full last night. It was… 100% full. There you have it.  My mind wouldn’t turn off. That’s never good. Next thing I know, the mind monsters show up. I’ve learned to get up and busy my mind with something else. Most of the time that shoves them out of my head, and I can pretend that life will always be this good. I don’t tell you often enough how fortunate I am, and how much I realize it.

Let’s close out these Blue Apron posts. I’ve abused you enough.

Photo found on Google Images

We made our last two meals from Blue Apron this week. A few days ago, we made Chicken Under a “Brick.”  It’s cooked in olive oil in a non-stick frying pan on top of the stove. The instructions said to put water in a sauce pan, and sit it on top of the chicken (in lieu of a brick I guess), but…

there were two bricks in the garage that I’ve saved for years, and moved with us to each new house. One was from the foundation of my grandfather’s house after it burned down. The other was from the original Sand Castle Hotel in Myrtle Beach where we vacationed when we were younger. The lady who managed the Sand Castle saved it for us when it was demolished. H wrapped them in foil, put them in a cast iron pan, and placed them on top of the chicken. Voilà!

Spinach pizza was our very last Blue Apron meal. Another pic from Google. That’s pretty much what ours looked like.

I’d never made homemade pizza. It was way delicious, but someone at Blue Apron forgot to put the pizza dough in the box. Oops. We used Stefano’s Pizza Dough from Food Lion. It was good and easy to work with. They have a website with a video. 

We went to a play on Sunday afternoon. Most of my clothes are casual. I only have one or two “good” outfits. A lot of older people attend the Sunday matinées. Every time I go to the theater, I think I need to shop for new clothes. Where do these ladies find these great outfits? Maybe I should consider walking into a brick & mortar store, and trying things on. What a novel idea.

Lunch, Refrigerators, Washers and HVAC

Patsy will be here around noon for lunch. The refrigerator repair guy is here now. H is in there talking to him. The guy is telling him all about it. H loves this stuff. He wants a play-by-play if possible. I just want an ice maker that makes ice and doesn’t leak. This is the fourth time we’ve had him out here. Instead of repairing the old one, he is replacing it with a new one this time. Let’s hope this one works for more than 18 months.

Oh, and the washer wouldn’t do its cycle this morning. It kept making funny noises. I cancelled the load and started all over, and it worked the second time. Fingers crossed.

Lunch is as simple as it gets. Grilled ham and cheese sandwich, potato chips for Patsy (not us), and lemon thins and coffee for dessert. The only time I eat bread anymore is when I’m with someone else for lunch. I splurge.

My DIL just texted that the HVAC guys are at her house to install a new heating/ac unit, AND it’s the kids’ first day of spring break. So she’ll have those guys and three kids all day. That right there puts my mean-reds’ post into perspective. What’s a little itchy eye and a headache? Absolutely nuthin’.

Honestly? Do you know anyone whose junk breaks down more often than ours?


The Mean Reds

The sky is dark and low. The horizon looks heartless and powerful. I can hear the rumblings in the distance, like pilings being pound into the ground. So dark. A storm is brewing outside and inside, too. I’ve been out of sorts ever since I got out of bed this morning. Don’t really know why. I guess it’s just a case of the mean reds, as Holly Golightly would say. I came in here just to give H a break. He’s finding busy stuff to do until I regain my equanimity. I don’t blame him. I would avoid me, too… if I could.

My eye is bothering me: burning and itching. I don’t think it’s a thing more than simple dryness, plus it is that time of year. I’ve applied Systane drops to my left eye about six times this morning. It’s so hard not to roll my lower lid down and scratch it with a toothbrush. I tried a warm compress instead, and that seems to have helped. We dry out so much as we age, like dehydrated fruit. If someone asked me for advice (which they wouldn’t) about aging, I’d tell them to floss and lubricate. 

The packaging for our brown eggs from Blue Apron.
They arrived in tact. 

We had the most incredible dinner last night, kale and white cheddar quesadillas (with eggs and radishes). I wouldn’t have put that combination together in a lifetime, and I didn’t expect it to be that good. Boy, but it was. We’ve enjoyed the Blue Apron experiment more than I even expected. I’ve eaten far more greens (vitamin K helps with clotting) recently because we chose a couple of meals that included serious K greens. A couple of weeks ago, my INR indicated that my blood was too thin, but after eating all that K, my lab work was perfect on Tuesday.

Patsy is coming for lunch tomorrow. We’re helping my niece move some of her things to storage on Saturday, and we’re going to a play on Sunday. It looks to be a busy few days, all positive things.

I guess I’ve written myself out of the mean reds. I’m feeling better. So I’ll leave you here.