October 2016









10/29/16:
Well, Jay continues with some coughing. It is better than it was earlier in the week but still not good. So far, luckily, I have not gotten it.

We have had showers this last week, but not deluges like the week before and the temperature has remained moderate. I hadn't done yard work for a few days because it wiped me out but I did 20 minutes last evening and am ok enough today.

Tuesday I am driving down to Edmonds and then Carrie will drive from there. We are going to Yakima for a psychiatric evaluation for her disability hearing. We will stay there 2 nights and return Thursday. I have left my schedule the week afterwards free except for a massage so I can recover.

I did get my ballot completed and sent in. Lord help us.

I have been receiving Social Security Disability for two years so my Medicare started this month. I don't even have to wait until I'm 65 to get old... Jay turns 65 towards the end of November so we will be in sync Medicare-wise.

I had planned on working until full Social Security retirement age and then maybe working part-time until 70. So much for plans. After being given no other options despite asking for alternatives, I was given an antibiotic in a class I had a previous allergic reaction with by the ARNP covering for my doctor in early 2012, and I have never recovered my health. It did not even occur to me until a year or two later that I should have just left her office and driven up to the walk-in clinic by the hospital and seen a real MD, one who would have been happy to prescribe me an antibiotic from a class I had not had a previous reaction to. Those sinus/ear infections are great, clouding the mind so much you fall prey to poor medical practitioners... Watch out!

So much for all that. I hope the next week or so is calmer and that national politics settles down so that a non-Fascist, Hillary, gets elected. Ciao!

Destiny. It was just a grand term for something you could do nothing about. When life said to you, "And so," you nodded, and called it destiny.— Julian Barnes, THE NOISE OF TIME


10/23/16:
We have had a lot of rain this month but the last 2 days have been dry and the temp has gone back up into the 50s during the day and has not gone below 40 at night. The river has gone up but is not too high for all the rain, having been so low for so long. Amazingly I ran across some daffodil leaves sticking up in a front flower bed yesterday. Weird.

I would say I'm pooped but don't want to bore you, so I won't... I was trying to think of what to say and Jay said I should write about Trump because that would energize me. Whatever. I was looking for a picture to post and ran across the animation to the left and thought "oh well, guess it will be Trump". Yes, bully Butch from Our Gang is a spitting image and it links to an editorial cartoon about whining...

Jay has a cold but has not stayed home from work. When he talks much he starts coughing but hopefully it will fade away soon. Dermatology gave me a new prescription for a topical medication for my skin lupus which I hope will get it in better control as its flaring makes my fatigue worse too. I even had to change to a different ring Jay gave me instead of my wedding rings for a bit because they were tighter and making a lupus spot there too.

We have gotten our ballots, which Washington does by mail, and Jay finished his yesterday. I will get mine done in the next day or two. Let's hope democracy, as opposed to fascism, wins or at least keeps chugging along.

Let's hope for a quiet week with less coughing and less rain... ciao!

You can't go around hoping that most people have sterling moral characters. The most you can hope for is that people will pretend that they do.— Fran Lebowitz


10/10/16:
Lord help us. My body aches and I am tired, even when I wake up.

We went to Edmonds Saturday (50 minutes south of here) for a Dr. John concert. We met Carrie for dinner beforehand and had a nice visit. The photo to the left is of Dr. John last year at the Songwriters' Hall of Fame awards and it links to his youtube music.

Dr. John turned 76 this year. He walks with 2 canes but has the stamina to play 3 nights in a row in different Washington cities this last weekend. He was accompanied by a great trombone player; a very good concert.

We drove home in a downpour and the trip was enough to wear me out. I have had an exacerbation of my skin lupus and it seems to be making my fatigue worse, or vice versa, for the last couple of weeks.

It has been cool and wet here but the sun came out yesterday and today. Enough for now, I am pooped! Enjoy the excerpt from a recent reading, ciao!

"It seems easy, now, but can you imagine the first person who figured out how to represent something three-dimensional in two dimensions? How do you draw distance and time? And why go through the trouble? It's not like they didn't have enough to do. So why did they create maps?"

"Necessity," said Gamache.

Yes, but what drove that necessity?"

Gamache thought about it.

"Survival?"

"Exactly. Maps gave them control over their surroundings, for the first time ever. It showed how to get from one place to another. Its sounds simple now, but thousands of years ago it would have been an incredible feat of imagination and imagery. All maps are drawn as though looking down. From a bird's point of view. From their god's point of view. Imagine being the first person to think of that. To be able to wrap their minds around a perspective they've never seen. And then draw it. Incredible. And think of the advantage."

Gamache had never in his life thought of these things, but now he understood how a master tactician would revere maps...

They would be magic.

"It meant they could plan, they could strategize," said Charpentier. "They could see into the future. Where they were going. And what they'd find..."

— Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning


10/5/16:
We have had some rain and the nights have started to go down into the 40s. The cool nights have sweetened our grapes and the rain has caused some summer flowers to re-bloom while bringing on the fall colors.

The view out my kitchen window is of the back fence and last year I moved flowers there so I could look at them when I did dishes. Right now everything is fading fast except for the ever-blooming Gaillardia (which is also known as blanket flower but I call painted daisy) and the row of purple fall asters. The asters will fill out more as the month goes on. I took these photos today and the bright sun causes shadows and washes them out a bit.

Out front, along the drive where Jay parks, the large sedums have been green all spring/summer but in the fall the heads turn a wonderful brick red. I have 3 of them along the drive, under the edges of the fruit trees, and some in the bed next to the front porch.

So, there is the beginning of October in our yard. I have been extra pooped this week and have not worked in the yard for many days, but tonight I will try to work some more on moving plants in preparation for next year. We are going to Edmonds Saturday for a concert we have had tickets to for a while. We are going to go early so we can take Carrie out to eat.

I recently read an oral history book by Svetlana Alexievich called Secondhand Time, The Last of the Soviets. It is full of simply what people from all walks of life told her about their experiences of the fall of the Soviet Union. We will repeat the past over and over if we do not understand it.

In the nineties... yes, we were ecstatic; there's no way back to that naïveté. We thought that the choice had been made and that communism had been defeated forever. But it was only the beginning...

Twenty years have gone by... "don't try to scare us with your socialism," children tell their parents.

From a converstaion with a university professor: "At the end of the nineties, my students would laugh when I told them stories about the Soviet Union. They were sure that a new future awaited them. Now it's a different story... Today's students have truly seen and felt capitalism: the inequality, the poverty, the shameless wealth. They've witnessed the lives of their parents, who never got anyting out of the plundering of our country. And they're oriented toward radicalism. They dream of their own revolution, they wear red T-shirts with picture of Lenin and Che Guevara."

There's a new demand for everything Soviet. For the cult of Stalin. Half of the people between the ages of nineteen and thirty consider Stalin an "unrivaled political figure." A new cult of Stalin, in a country where he murdered at least as many people as Hitler?! Everything Soviet is back in style...

Old-fashioned ideas are back in style: the Great Empire, the "iron hand," the "special Russian path." They brought back the Soviet national anthem; there's a new Komsomol, only now it's called Nashi [The youth organization associated with Putin's political party, United Russia; the name means "Our People."]; there's a ruling party, and it runs the country by the Communist Party playbook; the Russian president is just as powerful as the general secretary used to be, which is to say he has absolute power. Instead of Marxism-Leninism, there's Russian Orthodoxy.

On the eve of the 1917 Revolution, Alexander Grin wrote, "And the future seems to have stopped standing in its proper place." Now, a hundred years later, the future is, once again, not where it ought to be. Our time comes to us secondhand.
— Svetlana Alexievich, SECONDHAND TIME, THE LAST OF THE SOVIETS


Jardot's World: October Edition, 2016


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