Apartment

Aahhh, These Summer Mornings

Just me, my flowers, the occasional spider to watch the sunrise.

Just me, my flowers, the occasional spider to watch the sunrise.

Seems peaceful, doesn’t it?  Especially before I boot the laptop, read about the day’s atrocities and most current buffoonery of Trump.

Not this morning.  Yesterday was long and busy.  We’ve reached the portion of the summer where my anxiety begins to rise, knowing before I can weep Nerd Child will be waving goodbye, headed North to school, and I’ll be back to twelve trains a day shuffling Art Child back and forth.  Ridiculous, we still have weeks, but there you have it.  With Facebook friends all over the country and world, I’m already seeing the obligatory first day of school pics.  There should be a way to block those until Labor Day, don’t you think?

With so many guests this summer, I’ve gotten behind on keeping the apartment neat and organized.  Small space, lots of people in and out, packing, unpacking, beach bags galore and the general sloth of long hot days. Time to start getting it together, so I’m not in a complete panic in another two weeks.

Too late!

Man Child’s girlfriend, Miss Music, was here last week, came for a week after her band finished its tour.  Fun.  Except one morning, she was sitting on the couch with Art Child, turned to me and said, “Did you see that?”

“See what?”

A mouse.

In my apartment.

IN my apartment.

In MY apartment.

Sweet mother of fuck, nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my many, many years of NY living, I’ve never had a mouse in my apartment.  There was evidence of them in our last apartment before we moved in, so we filled every crack and hole we could find, and then put down glue traps just in case.  Big Senile Dog promptly got a glue trap stuck to his nose and each paw.  Good times.

I grew up near the water in Brooklyn, huge wharf rats could be seen regularly on the streets.  Yucky, but outside.  There was also a large population of feral cats, so mice weren’t such a thing, between the cats and the rats I’m guessing mice didn’t have a chance. I see rats all the time on the subway tracks.  Again, meh.  Part of NY life.

Back to the other morning.  We didn’t see anything, but we bought a few traps and put them down, Little Incredibly Dumb Dog only got 3 of them stuck to her, and they were much easier to remove than they had been for the big dog, because she’s used to being held to be groomed, and she’s got long hair.  Plus, not as dumb as I’d expect, she steered clear of them afterwards. Zero interest in the mouse itself.

No further mouse sightings, until a couple of nights ago, eating dinner and holy shit!  I saw a shadow fly over the living room floor.  That was no migraine floater.  The plan was to go shopping yesterday to restock on cleaning supplies and toiletries, both for the apartment and for Nerd Child to take to school.  Needless to say I picked up more mouse traps.

Got home, tore apart the living room, dining area, and kitchen, filled every hole around every pipe we could find, and laid 16 mouse traps.  When I say we, I mean Husband and Nerd Child, while Art Child and I steered clear and washed our hands every time those guys touched another trap.  I am not taking any chances.  I know, they’re a fact of life in NY, in most places, I guess, hence the city mouse/country mouse stories, but they’ve never been a fact in my personal space and I am not ok with sharing.  This apartment is crowded enough, thankyouverymuch. Nerd Child reminded me I’m against the death penalty.  Nope, only for two legged creatures.  Twitchy four legged ones need to be erased. Period.

You know how high my anxiety levels are now, right?  In case I needed a bit more, tonight is that open mic night reading.

So I got up, made coffee, went on the terrace, sat for a bit, and then prepared to sit at my desk.  One of the glue traps under the radiator worked.  But the critter was still alive, and had gotten two of my electrical cords stuck with it.  I woke Husband, went back to hiding on the terrace.  I was heroic enough to dispose of the whole thing, after it was bagged.

Yes, I took a pic of the mouse actually stuck to the trap, but I just can't bear looking at it again.

Yes, I took a pic of the mouse actually stuck to the trap, but I just can’t bear looking at it again.

The day has to go up from here, right?

Living in the Real World?

City Streets

City Streets

The internet is aflame with gun arguments right now, impassioned and extreme on both sides.  On one site I’m a member of, I read a comment in defense of private citizens keeping themselves armed (without stricter regulations) to the effect of for those of us who don’t live in ivory towers…live in the real world…danger…needing a weapon…and a few cities were named, to make the point that (s)he was not referencing bucolic pastures or suburban houses made of ticky-tacky.  That specific comment really struck me, because as a city dweller I’ve always thought of this as an issue for those who don’t live in cities.  People living in wide open spaces who don’t have police and police stations within spitting distance, and of course, visions (fed by the media, no personal experience) of compounds populated by paranoid folks who don’t trust the commie gubmint.  Obviously there are criminals with guns here in the city, law enforcement officers, and those who work in the Diamond District, but nope, I don’t know of any neighbors who are campaigning to keep legal arsenals.

Several of my online friends who aren’t American have been asking me questions, all pretty much boiling down to a blend of what-the-fuck? why? guns? and America?

I touched on this in my last post, but I want to talk about this a bit more, and hope readers will join the conversation.  You’re welcome to agree or disagree with me, but no personal attacks or blanket slurs.  While Americans have a common bond by definition, our experiences of life in America–what constitutes the “real world,” varies greatly, and that plays a huge part in individual stances.

Maybe you grew up with inappropriate jokes about those who lived in the Bronx.  Or Detroit, or Chicago.  I grew up with inappropriate jokes about places in big sky country (is that a nickname for an actual place or an idea?), where the men were men and the sheep were nervous.  Shouldn’t we be past all that now?

You all know Mrs Fringe is a New Yawkah; born here, raised here, guessing I’ll collect social security here too.  I ride the subways every day.  I’m not wealthy, never have been.  When I was younger, I worked in downtown Brooklyn, when it was very, very different from the artsy, hipster paradise it is today.  Our office was next to the Brooklyn Arms Hotel, and every day on my way from the subway station, I’d feel the crack vials crunch under my feet while I rushed past the Brooklyn Arms Hotel (a particularly notorious welfare hotel) and hoped I didn’t get clipped in the head by something flying out a window–’cause that happened regularly.  Of course, I wasn’t first starting my day when I went into the office, that was after three hours of “field work,” which involved walking through neighborhoods that weren’t part of any tourist attractions, and visiting clients who weren’t particularly happy to see my smiling face at 7am.  Sometimes I was walking those streets at 1am, because of a late shift or an emergency–and trust me, this was long before New York was spit shined and spiffed up.  I’m not trying to glorify life in the city or America, there’s crime, there are problems, and yes, I’ve had a moment or ten where I’ve been frightened.

I don’t live in the roughest neighborhood, it’s one that’s been “gentrified.”  I’m not young, I remember when it wasn’t.  Gentrified in (most of) NY means there’s still a good mix of everyone–race, culture, and economics–sharing the same block and the same public schools.  Three kids, three elementary schools, and two of those elementary schools were classified as Title I schools.  Title I means there’s a high percentage of children who come from low-income families who qualify for free/reduced lunch.  If you’re unfamiliar, trust me, your income has to be pretty damned low for your kids to qualify for free lunch, and yes, here in Fringeland, we’ve had many years where our kiddos qualified because life.

On my block there are a mix of residences.  Google tells me one brownstone is on the market for $6 million dollars, average for the block and neighborhood.  Next to it is a housing project (yanno, the projects), there’s a small building that I think is a co-op (a very NY thing, you buy your apartment, but technically you own shares in the building, not your apartment, so everything you want or do–including the purchase of the place–has to be approved by the co-op board, generally a bunch of residents who take pleasure in agonizing over awning colors and making residents jump through as many hoops as possible), and there’s my building, which is part of a program from the 60’s/70’s designed to keep working class people in the city.  One block over starts the SROs and a couple of shelters.  Wikipedia says SROs are for one or two people, but I know plenty of families that live in those one room dwellings.  Regardless of which address they live in, I recognize most of the long term faces on the block and immediate neighborhood, and they recognize me, too.  We smile, nod, maybe say Happy Holidays. My family’s experience of America is quite different than that of the family in a brownstone up the street, and different again than that of a family in the projects.

Even if I only look within my building, there’s a mix of skin colors, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds; I know of at least ten different languages spoken within these bricks, twelve different religions, atheists–likely more, this is NY, we don’t talk personal religion all that much.  Multicultural is a fact of life here, not a talking point, and definitely not something that strikes fear in my heart.  So what’s my point?

We’ve got a lot of questions that need to be discussed and examined, but more guns can’t possibly be the answer.  If your experience of America is different than mine, that’s part of what makes America what it is.  It doesn’t invalidate my experience any more than mine invalidates yours.  Let’s talk about what’s real, what it is to live in x city, x suburb, x town; talk about it based on real life experiences, not phantoms of what could happen based on shadows and misdirection.  Maybe you’d be afraid if you found yourself on a subway platform at 1am and saw a few of my neighbors waiting for the 2 train.  I’m pretty sure I’d piss my pants if I found myself faced with a bear in the woods.  Hell, I run into the house when I’m visiting friends in New Jersey and a deer steps into their backyard.  But my world is still real, thankyouverymuch.  Real city, real New Yawk, real America.  There have been quite a few times where I wished I had cab fare, but I never wished for a gun.

First Time for Everything

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Labor Day weekend, the last hoo-rah of summer.  I really, really wanted to squeeze in one more beach day, and not over the three day weekend, because the sand is impossibly crowded on these days. Greedy, right?  I have enjoyed quite a few beach days this summer, all of them lovely, was at the NJ beach for an afternoon earlier in the week and of course, an entire week of vacationing on the beach down south.  But, one more on “my” beach in Brooklyn sounded irresistible, especially because Man Child is here.  He hasn’t been able to enjoy many beach days over the last few years, and I’m enjoying spending some days with him before he flies off overseas.

Of course I noticed the clouds as Art Child, Man Child and I walked to the subway, but there was no hint of rain, nothing that seemed threatening, we had actually gotten out of the apartment by 10am (we’d get good spots near the water!) and when you’re lying on the sand a few clouds can offer a bit of respite from the sun.  And of course it was windy when we got off the train, but the weather is always a bit different when you’re actually on the beach.  Besides, I kind of like those days, where it’s just me and the other diehards.

Oh.My.God.  It was a fucking sandstorm on the beaches of south Brooklyn.  First, we teamed up and wrestled the wind to get our towels down. We laid them close together, so we could pool bags and flip-flops to keep them anchored.  Man Child’s went first, and by the time we secured all four corners, the towel was half covered in sand.  He didn’t even try to lie down, went into the water instead. Art Child and I threw ourselves down on our respective towels as soon as we got them down, in an attempt to keep them from flying away, and trying to block the sand from our eyes. I grew up on that beach, and I can honestly say I have never experienced this amount of sand pelting everything and everyone outside of a November pre-rainstorm.

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At first it was kind of funny.  Go to the beach, she said, it’ll be fun, she said.  Man Child lasted about three minutes in the water, it was bizarrely cold for August. Give it a few minutes, surely it will blow over.  Art Child was huddled on her towel, shirt completely wrapped around her head, while Man Child and I laughed, chewed sand, spit sand, and waited.  Inside of 30 minutes, there wasn’t a centimeter on any of us that hadn’t been exfoliated, including my throat and eyeballs.  If you’ve never experienced it, crunchy contact lenses aren’t a rejuvenating sensation. Art Child was now shivering, so we decided it just didn’t make sense to stay, made a futile attempt to shake the sand off our stuff,  and packed up. Ten minutes waiting for the train, another hour and twenty minutes home.

We walk into our building, laugh with the security guard and super that it’s a good thing they didn’t come with us, go upstairs, and…can’t get inside.  For the first time in my entire life, I had locked myself out of my apartment.  If you’ve ever lived alone, you’re cautious about that kind of thing. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 18? 19?, lived alone for years, and in those years, often worked a swing shift.  You cannot ring the super or landlady’s bell at 2am and ask for them to let you in.  I guess those habits get ingrained, so in all these years, I’ve never locked myself out.  I also gave up on making sure anyone else had a copy of my keys.  Apparently when we switched apartments last year, we didn’t give the super the new keys either. We live in a large, post-war but not new building.  This means there’s no jimmying the lock with a credit card, bobby pin, or other MacGyveresque maneuver to break in.  No external fire escapes on these institutional-style buildings to be climbed.  Sure we’ve got a terrace, but it’s 16 floors up, the terraces don’t begin until the fourth floor, and shockingly enough, I am not Spiderman.  Hell, even if there was a way to climb up, it’s rare that I can get the windows open from the inside.  From the outside? Hah!

Husband had gone to work.  In New Jersey.  Friday, of Labor day weekend.  No way he could run back home to let us in, and ludicrous to think of taking the bus to NJ and back in sand-filled bathing suits so we could pick up the keys. It would have taken 6-7 hours roundtrip in holiday traffic.  He was going to be home in another 8 hours anyway.  So we went to Mother-In-Law’s.  Thankfully she was home and a good sport about the whole thing, though I suspect she was done with us by about the 6th hour. Husband was a mere hour and a half late getting back into the city, and we were home by midnight.

Speaking of midnight, the moon put on quite a show over this past week, and I was able to get a few good shots.  If anyone knows why it was so red/orange, I’d love to know, but in any case it was beautiful.

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Where Ya Been, Mrs Freckle Fringe?

After much agonizing and whining, I booked a vacation.  So yes, Fringeland moved south for a week, and I’m now back on the terrace.  This will be the first of several posts about, and pictures of, our trip. I didn’t post about it beforehand because of weirdness. First of all, it had been so long since we took a vacation, all I did was stress about it. Second, right after we booked it, obviously, the girl started to not do so well, so…more stress. Packing up for a road trip to a beach break is simple, right? A few bikinis, a few towels, comfy traveling clothes, and you’re done.  Not in Fringeland. We don’t go out often, and we vacation much less often, so when we’re away, I like to have some nice clothes for going out, and all the makeup I generally don’t wear, and the hair dryer and the straightening iron that I don’t end up using, and no less than four anti-frizz products to keep my hair weighed down in the humidity and breezes. Then there’s an entire small suitcase of meds for Husband and the girl. Yes, I want the comfy traveling clothes, but I also want to look decent, just in case. My version of “wear good underwear in case you get into an accident” is wear decent clothes in case the car breaks down, or someone gets sick and I end up needing to meet strange doctors in a strange hospital, or or or.  See what I mean? Stress! Sure it’s self inflicted, but I can’t help it, goes with the whole vivid imagination thing.  And maybe a dash of experience.

Man Child wasn’t able to come with us, but we were still a crowded vehicle; me, Husband, Art Child, Nerd Child, one of my godsons (Mr Goodheart), Mother-In-Law, and all our assorted crapola. We didn’t bring Little Incredibly Dumb Dog, because I didn’t book said vacation early enough, and all the affordable places within walking distance to the beach that were pet friendly were booked.  A huge, huge thank you to El Fab for taking care of my little beast, the container garden,  AND the tank. I literally took thousands of pictures while we were gone, it’s going to take a bit to sort through them all. My intention was to blog and post pics while away, but once we were there, I just didn’t want to. Sorry! So I’ll break up my pics and stories into a few posts, and put them up here as I sort them. In other words, warning: the next few Mrs Fringe posts will be photo intensive.  Maybe by the time I’ve finished I’ll have stopped sobbing because I want to go back and stay there–but I doubt it!

While on the road, we always stay in low-budget motels, whenever/wherever we are when we just have to crash. Gives us a little more leeway while we’re actually at our destination, and it seems like a waste of funds to spend more on a room you’re literally only going to sleep in. On the way down, we stayed in what must have been the worst (though not the least expensive) motel we’ve ever stayed in. The manager was friendly and chatty, though. He generously offered to give me a tea bag from his personal kitchen, asked Husband “is that a Mexican name?” (all Latino names = Mexican, right? sometimes, and sometimes Dominican, Spaniard, Puerto Rican, South American…), and while I was telling our crew to get out of the car and unload, he proceeded to tell Husband about the woman who had walked in behind us–as she was standing there–how she asked to see a room, used the bathroom while she was in said “clean” room, and was menstruating and now he had to clean up blood.  Thanks for sharing a bit of your life, buddy!

And now, pics from this too-grossly-funny to be believed motel, and the first morning on the beach.

Dinner?

Dinner?

Pets were allowed

Pets were allowed

Anyone care for a yellow, crusty washcloth? I bet no one steals their linens.

Anyone care for a yellow, crusty washcloth? I bet no one steals their linens.

Yesssss, going over the bridge to the island.

Yesssss, going over the bridge to the island.

I wouldn't mind one of these.

I wouldn’t mind one of these.

Even looks like a sigh of relief.

Even looks like a sigh of relief.

Though the island is only about 13 hours from where we live, and we planned to break it up into two days of traveling, we hit every traffic jam possible (seriously–at our first coffee and pee break, we tried to get back on the highway and it was completely shut down because of an accident) and so didn’t arrive until early evening of the second day.

I could spend all day looking at these live oaks, truly magnificent.

I could spend all day looking at these live oaks, truly magnificent.

Even in road trip stupor, it's impossible to get a bad shot of this sky.

Even in road trip stupor, it’s impossible to get a bad shot of this sky.

And now, the first sunrise. I was a bit late getting out there, but still caught some pretty shots.

And now, the first sunrise. I was a bit late getting out there, but still caught some pretty shots.

The dunes are protected and respected.

The dunes are protected and respected.

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Put your toes in, even at 6am the water is warm.

Put your toes in, even at 6am the water is warm.

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My little posing friend.

My little posing friend.

Still wondering why I’m sobbing about having to leave?

 

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Why go home when you can pass out right on the beach, errr, watch the sunrise?

Why go home when you can pass out right on the beach, errr, watch the sunrise?

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These seemed to be a beach/sand morning glory. Each morning at sunrise the buds were closed, by the time I came back out at 9am or so they were open.

These seemed to be a beach/sand morning glory. Each morning at sunrise the buds were closed, by the time I came back out at 9am or so they were open.

Thanks for the morning welcome song!

Thanks for the morning welcome song!

 

O Happy Day

Bluejay, a regular visitor to the terrace while I do my yoga.

Bluejay, a regular visitor to the terrace while I do my yoga.

My Nook is working again.  If I don’t try to use it outside, in sunlight.

I’ve been in a strange mood.  Not bad, not good, just feeling the urge to lie low.  For me, this means reading. Unfortunately, the Nook wasn’t working for about two weeks, which sent me into a panic. What will I do? How will I avoid all the thoughts I don’t want to think if I can’t get lost in fiction?  Will I start collecting paper books again, until the apartment looks like a home for wayward book mites?  No, whether the e-reader remains functional or not, that last is not an option.

I dumped/gave away a lot of stuff when we moved into this apartment.  Clothes, books, toys, junk.  It’s making me edgy now, to pay attention and see how easily clutter can begin accumulating again.  I’m trying. It should be easy, every other article on Facebook or HuffPo is about the beauty and advantages of minimalist living. If only the alternating posts weren’t about how to repurpose that old box/shoe/onion skin/takeout container.  I’m saying no.  I will not save magazines for a potential project, empty cans for funky shaped quick breads. I will not save things just in case.  I will not fill Pinterest boards with pictures of unique and inspiring objet d’art made from useless and likely moldy shit.  We’ve been in this apartment for 8? months now.  I haven’t missed one thing that I got rid of. Not even the once-great thermal bag with the mystery stains and torn lining I used to use for beach lunches.

The boys’ room…well.  When Nerd Child came home for the summer, he came with all his stuff.  Clothes for all seasons, bedding, towels, amps, guitars, cords and wires.  I don’t think he’s fully unpacked once since leaving for school three years ago.  Yah yah, a good mommy would go through it all for him.  I’m not that good. For as much as I got rid of, there are things I thought I had disposed of that have mysteriously reappeared. Little things, like the full sized electronic keyboard and stand. My bell rang a couple of weeks ago, and it was my mother in law, keyboard and stand in her shopping cart.  I had no idea it had ended up in her apartment.  Silly me assumed this item that hadn’t been used in ten years didn’t have a freaking LoJack in it. If I so much as open the door to that bedroom, the damned keyboard flips me the bird and blows a raspberry from beneath its Hefty bag comforter.  In its old spot, blocking what should be a path between the door and bed, propped across two suitcases and a wheeled duffel bag.

Happy Friday, Fringelings.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be reading, before the screen goes unresponsive again.

And Away We Go?

Lilies, a new love

Lilies, a new love

We all have those little things we do and/or buy to make life more pleasant, reduce the drudgery.  For me it’s my reef tank, and now my terrace container garden.  I’m enjoying watching the flowers and veggies grow, figure out what I’ve done wrong and what I’ll change next time. Do these things work?  It’s the small moments that add up to life.

I always say my tank is my beach house in a glass box.  And it is, sort of.  I can accept it as a replacement for my dream, but those LEDs don’t take the place of feeling the sun on my skin, doing water changes and suctioning cyanobacteria off the sandbed doesn’t replace feeling waves roll over my head.

LPS frag growing nicely

LPS frag growing nicely

Husband and I have been discussing the possibility of taking a vacation this summer.  We shouldn’t.  Financially, it isn’t a smart choice.  But from a psychological standpoint, oh, we all need it.  It’s been seven years since we last took a vacation.  Seven years.

Putting to the side the people and years when there is 0 money, 0 choice; everyone has their threshold.  Some people need to go away twice a year, others every year, every other year, every few years, or never.  When Husband and I got married, we didn’t expect there to ever be such long stretches with no vacation.   I didn’t expect us to go away every year, but maybe every 2 or 3. Fatigue and I have been friends for 13 years, and I’ve never seen him take a vacation, he’s never talked about feeling a need to get away. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t taken a vacation in his adult life. I’d like to be him, but I’m not.  By the fourth year of no real break/change in scenery, I’m feeling it.  Did I mention it’s been seven years?

I feel guilty because we never got the kids back to Disney World in that window of time where Man Child was still young and available enough to come with us, Nerd Child would relax and enjoy it, and Art Child was old enough to remember it.  We thought we’d be able to, but we couldn’t.  Disney is expensive.  Luckily, Husband and I both enjoy beach vacations best of all. Lucky because we enjoy the same relax and do nothing, and if you discount camping (no, just no), it’s the most budget-friendly way to go.

Husband is ready to say yes, let’s go, figure out the dates.  I’m angsting about the money.  Thinking about the small day trips and overnights that must happen this year for Nerd Child to visit colleges.  Time and money.  Thinking about the fact that Nerd Child does not enjoy the beach at all.  It isn’t a fun and relaxing vacation if one of us is miserable.

So I keep going onto the terrace, to find solace in the flowers and tomatoes.  I planted the seeds and bulbs, and they’re growing.

Another couple of nights and I think the moonflowers will begin to open, I can't wait.

Another couple of nights and I think the moonflowers will begin to open, I can’t wait.

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The summer daffodils I planted are even blooming.  We won’t talk about what happened to the zucchini.

The blooms are much smaller than regular daffodils.

The blooms are much smaller than regular daffodils.

I grew peas, successfully.

This morning I learned if you wait too long to pick it, the peas aren't as sweet.

This morning I learned if you wait too long to pick it, the peas lose their sweetness.

I can go on the terrace and smell lilies, come back into the apartment (an apartment we waited a long time for, that’s finally enough space, and cost a small fortune to make livable) and watch the jawfish as he makes funny faces at me from underneath the zoa covered rock.

zoanthids

zoanthids

It should be enough, shouldn’t it?  No medical crisis this year for anyone.  Art Child had pneumonia, but no hospital stay necessary.  I broke my everything, a painful, protracted nuisance but not a crisis. A garden on the terrace, an underwater garden in the tank, the absolute luxuries of a dishwasher and an extra half bathroom.  The oldest successfully graduated from college, the next one looking at colleges, and the youngest about to start high school.  I’m not torturing myself trying to find meaning that isn’t there in rejection letters.

I even canceled plans to attend a large, local reefing convention, because I knew if I went I’d be unable to resist temptation, and buy new frags.  But it isn’t just Husband eyeing the suitcase.

Spring From the Terrace

Ubiquitous NY bloom

Ubiquitous NY bloom

Sure things get caught in the trees year round, but in the spring, there’s a ragged plastic bag for every other tree.

Between my current limited mobility and my perpetually limited budget, I decided it was time to unpack the flower pots and containers, and revive my role as (urban) Farmer Fringe.  Ok, so maybe half the pots were just sitting out on the terrace, and hadn’t actually been emptied since I last used them two years ago.  I confirmed with friends who know how to garden and my special friend Mr Google that I could reuse the old dirt, mixing in new and some food. Fertilizer.  Whatever those little pellets are called. I used my little gardening tools (no, I don’t know their names either) and attacked the old dirt to loosen and aerate the old soil, and remove the long dead plants that I certainly should have removed long ago.  I always mix up perennials and annuals, so honestly I’ve never bothered to pay attention to which category I’ve planted.  The interesting part is that in one of the pots, I could tell what had been in there (nope, don’t remember what) was the type that could grow back, because the dirt was different. Once I got below the first few inches, the soil was darker, moist, and seemed live.  Is live the right word?  I’m thinking in reefing terms, like live sand.

A couple of months ago I had purchased some flower bulbs that I found on sale.  Husband drove Art Child and I to the big box store in the Bronx so I could get fresh soil without going broke,

I may need this to be a miracle.

I may need this to be a miracle.

and some seeds.

Appropriate for this zone? I dunno.

Appropriate for this zone? I dunno.

I also found this neatogroovycool seed starting kit.

On sale, it seemed worthwhile.

On sale, it seemed worthwhile.

I know myself well enough to know I’d never remember which seed I planted it which little pod, and I surely wouldn’t recognize the sprouts, so Art Child labeled Post-It flags for each square.

Unfortunately I didn't account for the havoc the moisture would play on the ink and the glue. Going to be sprout surprise!

Unfortunately I didn’t account for the havoc the moisture would play on the ink and the glue. Going to be sprout surprise!

Nor did I account for the energy and physical effort required to get the seeds and bulbs planted–even though I did all from a chair, and spread it out over three days. One of the bulbs planted needed to soak for a few hours before being planted. By the time they were ready, I couldn’t bend at all anymore, so I waited til the next day. Wow, do those things absorb water!  The next morning, they were unrecognizable.  It’s possible I planted them upside down.

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But look what’s happening now, a week and a half later!

Urban gardening at its finest

Urban gardening at its finest

One last photo, just because the other morning sunrise felt especially promising.

I will hold this moment in my head as I do battle with the PT exercises.

I will hold this moment in my head as I do battle with the PT exercises.

Ouch, Sloth-Style

Admit it, looks tempting.

Admit it, looks tempting.

I’m still adjusting to life with a dishwasher again.  This means that last night when I decided I was hungry and would make a sandwich, I planned said sandwich with the idea of using no dishes and slapping it together as quickly as possible so I’d be finished before the commercial break was over.

But the tomato looked so beautiful, I needed a couple of slices. Maybe not so much the tomato as the thought of the salt I’d now be justified in adding. Being lazy, in a hurry, and now jonesing at the prospect of Himalayan sea salt, I skipped the cutting board.  Picked the tomato up and began slicing.  I do things like this all the time (as long as Art Child isn’t watching, because I don’t want her to think this is a safe idea), never a problem.

Where, oh where have the band-aids gone?

Where, oh where have the band-aids gone?

 

I sliced right into my thumb.  Most little kitchen mishaps don’t involve more than rinsing my finger under some cold water for a couple of minutes, maybe some pressure with a paper towel. Most. Not a terrible cut, but in a bad spot, I bled for a good hour and had to toss the tomato.  Then I had to find the band-aids.  Applying pressure as I searched, I found gauze pads sized for cardio-thorassic surgery, plumbing tape, ace bandages, corn removers, face masks, dental floss.  Gave up, changed the paper towel–four times–threw a couple of slices of cheese on a piece of bread and finished watching the Housewives.

Went to bed, and saw the box of band-aids blowing me a big old Bronx cheer from Husband’s desk.

Today is a water change day for the tank.  I can’t put it off any more, as it is I’m two weeks behind.  Salt water is good for open wounds, right?

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The clowns were so cute this morning, cuddling in their little corner of the tank.  Now I’ll mess up their world by changing out water, filter media, and scraping the glass.

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Dreaming in Color

Pretties!

Pretties!

The room I grew up in looked like Walt Disney had projectile puked in technicolor.  That was more than a bit much, but I guess it had an influence. I do love color.  Not so much in the clothes I wear, but for accessorizing, and surrounding me in the apartment.  Just surprising pops of pretty. Fatigue surprised me last Friday Night Madness with the above bracelets.  Aren’t they cool?  They’re made of paper, an idea that I absolutely love.

It’s gray and blah outside, I swear the light snow coming down is slush. I just got back in from walking Little Incredibly Dumb Dog, where she cowered and shook her way down the block, unable to determine what was more terrifying–the super driving his little snow plow alongside us, or that horrible cold wet stuff under her feet.

But it is Friday, I’m looking forward to Friday Night Madness tonight, and I’m trying to get myself in the right mindset to grocery shop while staying within budget.  I can’t complain, because I got to the fish store the other day and got a few new critters for the tank.  Reefing can be a very expensive hobby, I stick to the cheaper fish and buy small, small frags.  They’ll grow into larger, full colonies–patience is key in this hobby anyway.

I got a pair of fish I wasn’t planning on, a little more aggressive than I wanted.  But when I saw the orange lips on that solorensis wrasse, and he had a mate with him, for an amazing price! I absolutely could not resist. I’m sharing photos of them below, happy with the livestock but unhappy that I still haven’t been able to figure out the best settings on the white balance when taking these photos.  The LED light make everything appear very blue in the pics, no matter how I try to balance the settings of the actual lights.  Still, take a tank tour with me, enjoy my pretties, creepy crawlies, and colors!

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It Is! Friday.

My week, in a tissue box.

My week, in a tissue box.

It’s been a long, disjointed week. Art Child has been sick, pneumonia.  Yah, good times.

We’ve pretty much been trapped in the apartment. One afternoon, I looked down from the balcony and saw this:

seemed perfect for the mood.

seemed perfect for the mood.

But then yesterday, the light was amazing.  Not a sunrise or a sunset, just a beautiful moment.

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So I took a long, long shower,

I'll be honest, I wished I could stay in the steam until next week.

I’ll be honest, I wished I could stay in the steam until next week.

 

and opened the file with that short story I’ve been staring at for months.  “Pigeons.”

I hope everyone has a happy Friday Night Madness.  I’ve given you a head start with the madness.    

Above, its own page labeled Fiction III will take you there.  One of these days I need to reorganize the pages, figure out a better way to lay out the shorts I’ve got here.