Totally not in the mood to write

which is not to say I’m not ticked off about a variety stuff.  Some of which has served as a reminder to myself to mind my own business. And going forward, the only unsolicited advice I will ever give to anyone is: you know yourself better than anyone else does, do what’s best for you.

And that said, what’s the best and/or most useful advice you’ve ever been given?


I hate getting up

early in the morning. It makes for a very long day. Yesterday I spent most of the day abed because I felt awful, the side effects of the second Shingrix shot laid me out!  I cannot even remember the last time I felt bad enough to spend the day in bed. Lying down for so long hurts my back, of course sitting for too long hurts my back as does standing too long or walking too far. Too long and too far are relative – for me they are short periods of time and distance.

There are days of the week when I must be up early and those, of course, are the days when I haven’t had enough sleep. This morning is not one of those days, I had enough sleep but I didn’t have to be up early.


I have no chores to do today besides washing dishes and making dinner. Of course I could clean something major – like walls or windows, well windows aren’t major really, maybe I will do those later. Meh.

I’m waiting for my husband to change out the litter box before I take a shower and dress – that’s one of his weekly chores. I do the daily scooping, he does the once a week total clean out and replace. I think we may be one of the last cat owners who still use clay kitty litter rather than the clumping kid.

Some folks expressed a lack of confidence in the various vaccines now available to adults – like the shingles vaccine. We had the original vaccine some years ago, now there is the new one which is much more effective but it requires 2 shots within a 6 month period. And yes, the side effects of the new shots are quite uncomfortable but from what I read shingles is one nasty little disease (is disease the right word? Condition, maybe?)

I’m not big on medications or doctors or the medical industry in general but I do tend to take advantage of these vaccines. We have had the pneumococcal vaccine, essential for my husband who has COPD, and close to essential for me having had pneumonia many times in my life. And yes, we get the super senior flu shot every year. A lot of folks say that is a waste because they get the flu anyway, okay your choice but neither my husband nor I have gotten the flu in years – at least not since we have been getting flu shots. So – I’ll take them – all the vaccines they’ve got. Even, and most especially, since they don’t cost me anything – neither money nor much time since we get all our shots at the grocery store pharmacy. How convenient is that!

I am totally bored. With nothing really to do today. The weather is, per usual, sucky. It’s not warm but it is super humid and sticky and I’m going to have to close the windows and put the a/c on. While I feel a whole lot better than I did yesterday, my stomach is still upset, and I’m still a little achy but not enough to keep me from doing whatever it is that I want to do.

Thing is – there is nothing I want to do.


The Least is First

Yesterday I offered up some bits and bobs of scribbles that were bits and bobs of poems. I speculated on the possibility of turning them into something worthwhile.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I frown on the pumpkin spice epidemic. I wish the CDC would look into it, it’s out of control. A friend posted gleefully on FB that she found pumpkin spice hand soap and dish soap – will this never end?

With that in mind, I decided that I would start with the least of the bits and bobs (I do like saying that…) and while this is hardly great literature, I think it’s fun.

Pumpkin Spice
by Grace St.Clair

I double checked, it’s August still
Yet scrolling down my Facebook wall
It seems I’m wrong, it’s really Fall.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – nice.
Cloves and allspice – maybe not,
Still, in pie it hits the spot.

Coffee, sure, that’s de rigueur
But sprays and soaps and lotions, Yikes
The world seems made of pumpkin spice.

Old fashioned folks like me protest!
Pumpkin spice in pie is best,
Please leave it out of all the rest.

Bits and pieces

I was flipping through a notebook, going for an empty page to scribble down a birthday poem and paused to read previous scribbles.

Here they are. Only a few were dated, none are complete…

On a day when the pain is too much
And the promise of sun and Spring is broken,
When the chill in the air is the chill in your brain
And you find yourself wearing the dress with the stain.

They mostly seem to be bits and pieces of poems. I write poems longhand, pen and paper. Here’s one that has an actual date..

A day like any other
Waken at an unseemly hour
For others, but not for me ~

Then there is an essay type thing which I think I turned into a blog post. And if it is the post I think it is, no one understood what I was talking about anyway, so ~

Aha- I found a poem from 5/4/15 that I actually did post – you can find it HERE.

And then there is the “work” page for Lin’s Christmas poem, y’all remember that one I know.

And then, oh my goodness – and unfinished scrap that was probably written around this time of the year, and given the previous dated pages, probably in 2015…


This morning the temperatures were in the mid 70’s and the humidity was in the  low-60% range, a brisk breeze and lots of sunshine inspired me to go out for a walk. Haven’t been able to do the outside walking thing since the middle of June!



If you remember my photos from the Spring you might recall that azaleas are ubiquitous in NoVA but that’s not the only bit of vegetation that is everywhere – crepe myrtles rival azaleas for “Oh my god, they are everywhere!”  I realize there are folks who are not fond of them, fortunately I am not one of those people. I like crepe myrtles, we have mostly pink ones but they come in white and a lilac color.


We also have roundabouts which are maintained nicely with crepe myrtles as the center piece



Last year some of the upscale townhouse communities planted great gooey gobs of red coleus, and then they dug them up when the season changed and planted something else. But still some survived, they are so pretty…



What are these things?

And then is one condo community that is anything but upscale. Lovely grounds that are not kept up at all, which is so sad. The property starts at the corner of a major traffic intersection and this morning it looked like this


Now those look like hydrangeas to me and I’ve never seen them before! I don’t know when it was planted but those are some big snowballs! Or maybe, they are some other kind of shrub. Flowers, trees – love ’em but I know jack-all about them.

Convector Units

modine-c_thumbnailThese are what provide heat and air conditioning in my  apartment building. A friend called them ‘hotel’ units. I doubt they use this method in new buildings. They are quite noisy especially when you turn the fan to medium or high but when positioned properly in the room they are quite efficient. Unfortunately for us the one in the living/dining room is in one corner of a large area so only one part of the room gets heated or cooled. It’s not bad in the Winter but in the Summer in the dining area you sweat and in the living room area you shiver and it’s just annoying.

But here’s the thing – it’s not really an air conditioner. I don’t really understand but I’m told that there are big ‘chillers’ on the roof of the building. Air is drawn into the chillers, cooled, and then sent through the building. Also the building has an ‘air exchange’ system.

So – the problem. When the temperatures are somewhat low, say in the 70’s or even 80’s but the humidity is super high, like in the 90%, to get the air conditioning affect you have to put the thermostat to like 68 to get any cool air.

And there is something about the outside air temperature the governs whether you will get any heat or a/c at all. When the outside air temperature is 60 degrees these things will not generate heat or a/c.

I do not understand this. Also, they tell me with the air exchange system a venting system for bathrooms and kitchens is not need, so someone please tell me why my bathrooms are musty and moldy.  I will tell you this system brings other people’s smells into my apartment, like right through the vents and there is a film of grey dust on everything in my bathrooms.

So many things not to like about living in an apartment but when you are old, and stairs are not practicable anymore, and neither is house maintenance (even tho you can always find someone to pay to do all that) apartments are convenient. I spent most of my adult life living in apartments and it never bothered me but nothing beats living in your own house where you are in control of everything.

Oh I do like being in control of my environment and then again I also like limitless hot water and someone who signs for all my packages and feeling very, very safe.


So something a bit more cheery today?

I was gonna talk about the handy-dandy household items that I love because they make my life easier but, hey do you need a list of stuff? You can find your own handy-dandy things, just remember Amazon is not the be all and end all of on-line shopping.

I will say that all things Mrs. Meyer’s are the cat’s pajamas and there are lots of places on-line to get them at very reasonable prices. I prefer the lemon-verbena scent myself, so does my husband and so do the cats but hey that’s us.

And then there are all things Oxo.  Do you ever wonder whether designers actually ever used the items they are designing? I’ve never bought an Oxo product that was badly designed, they seem to know how human beings actually function in the real world.  You can get Oxo products anywhere, and everywhere, and seriously if you need a potato peeler or a garlic crusher or a thingy to keep your sponges neat and tidy by your sink – look for Oxo products.

Which reminds me, I wonder if they make mops? I guess I will just hop over to their site and see, and if they do then I will have to noodle around the interwebs to find a place to buy one…

Oh yeah, I bought that talking pet app and I made my first one – it’s a little wonky but this is just the most fun…