Unexpected Guests

Bats

At 2:43 am I was awoken by the sound of whirring wings.  Once you’ve had a bat in the house you never forget that sound.  What really blew my mind is there were two!  That is a first in the 20 years we have lived here.  Usually every year there is one or two bats but two at once?  Well that is a first.

This is why I keep my bedroom door opened just enough to let the cat in and out.  And she can squeeze through a small crack in the doorway.  From now on it will be closed.  I don’t mind bats, just not whizzing above my head and crashing into walls.  They have a tendency to try and hang on in a corner then fall.  Of course right on my head!  So no.  No bats allowed!

Fortunately these two were smart and figured out that the window was open.  I could hear them buzzing between the screen and window glass as they climbed up looking for a way out.  I just closed the window and trapped them inside.

Above is how they look right now.  Earlier I took the screen out of the bottom so they can escape tonight when they are ready.  Like I said, I like bats but bats belong outside.

Perhaps they think I am their leader as this is what my nightshirt says…

batman

 

 

Poland

Flowers between the tracks

Last month I spent 9 days in Poland.  My mother, when she found out, could only say “Why Poland?  All they have is concentration camps!”

I laugh now that the tables have turned a little between us.  You see years ago she went to visit her sister in Oklahoma.  When she came back I asked her if it was flat and dry and she looked at me like I had three heads and exclaimed “No!”

Well I am sorry but all those John Wayne movies set in Oklahoma showed flat and dry!  How am I to know any better?  How as a kid am I to know these were filmed in CA or UT or AZ?  We never went on vacation anywhere but to Grandma’s house so I’m sorry I am ignorant but look in the mirror as to why.  It isn’t like I didn’t beg to drive 6 hours in any other direction but north!

So why Poland?  First off I live in a town (not a native…been here 20 years this month) that was founded by Poles and named after the area they came from.  We are sister cities with this big city in Poland and sometimes I wonder what they think of our one bar, one post office and nothing else town.

Secondly I had gotten a postcard from Poland that showed mountains, a lake and an orange glow from the sun through the fog and it was mind blowing!  Poland had mountains!  And spots of beauty!  I was intrigued.

Thirdly I found out an Auschwitz survivor takes tours over there and tells her story.  The tour also includes the Jewish Quarter, Płaszów, Birkenau, Zakopane, a tour of the salt mine, a feast at the Jewish Museum and plenty of free time to wander freely through Krakow.

It was exceptional!  A once in a lifetime experience.  This was my first real vacation ever and I fell in love with Poland.  I want to go back and explore the central and northern parts then go to the Czech Republic for starters.  I have a deep yearning to explore eastern Europe and now that I realize I can maneuver myself, people in other countries are fun, interesting and helpful and life there is in full color (only kidding here but as a kid I used to think the world back then was in black and white!) I want to go back.

So that is my plan, to either find someone to travel with or go on my own and explore.  In the meantime I am learning simple basic Polish and saving my pennies.  I need to return…

Above photo is of the train tracks outside of Birkenau.  I found it disturbing that wildflowers were growing in the tracks and on the grounds of the camps.  It is like a betrayal to the people who perished there.  It shouldn’t be beautiful.  But then I thought this is how they would like it.  Not muddy and smelly and ash of their kinfolk floating in the air and covering everything in a fine dust.  But it makes it unreal that such horrors happened there.  Until you get off the beaten path and away from the people.  Then hug that big tree that may have been there as a witness.  Look at the old dried up rose woven around a strand of rusty barbed wire.

At the time, even as tears streamed down my face I didn’t realize what an impact these places had on me.  I am still processing it and I find myself being a quieter and more thoughtful person who still can’t find the words to describe it.  You have to experience it for yourself and most likely more than once.

Auschwitz Rose

 

Fifty

expectations

Almost five years ago I turned fifty.  For me this was my first real milestone birthday…you know, the one people kinda’ freak out over?  I anticipated a little bit of a celebration of some sort which was my first mistake.

When my good friend turned fifty she had a big party and was so proud to become a Red Hat Lady.  Is that still a thing?  I’m thinking not.  We made a big deal out of it and it was fun!

When my husband turned fifty we went to a Green Bay Packer game!  Talk about a way to celebrate, especially us lifetime Wisconsinites.  It was a big deal!

When it came my turn there was nothing.  I mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g.  No red hat.  No party.  Not even going out to eat.  Nothing.  I didn’t even get a birthday card from my mother or a Happy Birthday from my husband.  And no, he didn’t forget.  He always remembers, he just chooses to ignore it.  My one friend who would have understood my disappointment is dead.  Wow, what a let down and an eye opener.

I realized in the scheme of things I wasn’t as important as I thought I was.  I realized if I wanted a party I’d better throw it myself.  I decided then and there to start living for me and not relying on anyone else to step up to make me feel special.  From now on I’m doing as I want and if someone does something for me it will be a true surprise.

Even this old dog can learn new tricks:).
Fifty

Changes

There are a lot of changes happening.  The hardest is the loss of my friend to leukemia.  After 8 months she succumbed.  I cannot believe such a vibrant person is gone, just like that.  Her celebration of life will be on her birthday in August.

In 10 days I will be on my first overseas trip.  My biggest worry are my feet and legs.  I have purchased how many pair of shoes for this trip to find the one pair that will cut it.  So far I may have a winner that will lessen the pain.

Then the biggest and longest range change is I bought a puppy.  Not just any puppy but a Blue Heeler puppy.  It has been almost three years since I lost my beloved Australian Shepherd and I said no more dogs.  But last January a customer asked if I’d be interested in a pup.  I know his dogs and they are super nice, well rounded and love people so I said keep me on the list.  Well last Saturday he brought me out a puppy and it was instant love.  So after work I went back, played with the puppies and picked mine out.  I have named him Zip (he was already named back in January) and after my trip he will be coming home and my life will never be the same.

A dog is a 15 yr. commitment and I will be 70 when it is time for Zip to go.  I hope we both live that long…

Zip at 5 weeks
Zip at 5 Weeks

My Grandmother’s Eyes

Photo on 6-5-16 at 3.12 PM

Today I am working at the antique store I have a booth at.   It was very busy this morning but now has died down.  I have 1 1/2 hours to go before I can close up.  I wandered around and looked at stuff, played on the computer, wrote the last post’s haiku on a chalkboard for sale and took this photo.

When I loaded it I thought something looked familiar.  Besides it is me of course.  I see my Dad’s mother in my face.  I can’t pinpoint what it is but she is there.  I’ve gotten a glimpse of her in my face before.

I am happy to see my face isn’t so round anymore.  I have lost 45# since last August with more to go.  I don’t wear glasses.  These are my cheap Walmart readers.  They give me balance and definition I think.

My hair is like wire and I don’t color it.  I’m pretty fortunate that the gray has sprinkled itself pretty even throughout.  I sometimes ask the hairdresser what it looks like.  They always say good but then what are they going to say.  I hope they are honest, not that it would matter.  I’m an old hippie chick that believes in nature taking its course and accepting that.

Last month I bought my first full length mirror.  I just stood in front of it nude, then with panties and bra.  Man, when did I get so old?  And wrinkly?  It isn’t horrible.  It is my reality.  I don’t plan on doing a bikini calendar anytime soon.  Promise!

The last time I actually looked at myself like that was 30 years ago when I was 120# (I was 5’11”).

I had gained a lot of weight with kids and the stress of a husband who…well, we won’t get into that.  Let’s just say it’s complicated.  I got that from the internet.

Last August I moved out of our bedroom to the room upstairs.   He snores, I had hot flashes.  I am the type who needs my own space.  He is the type that is constantly in my space.  We mix like oil and water these days.

Just like that 45# fell off me.  Honestly I didn’t even try.  I was shocked.  I am embarrassed every time someone asks me what I am doing.  I mean, nothing really.  Besides now sleeping and walking away to my room when I don’t want to deal with my husband anymore.

I did join our local fitness center to get in better shape for my upcoming trip to Poland.  I am taking my son as a graduation gift so it is a big chunk of change.  I don’t want to be the one holding everyone up.  I have a long way to go physically and only a month to get there.  I have arthritis and sitting in a car delivering mail has my back screwed up.  And my ankle.

I went to my Dr.  I don’t think she listened at all.  She put me on prednisone for 6 days for “plantar fasciitis” which is not what it is.  But what do I know, right?  Maybe it can be irritated through the ankle.  Drugs helped but once done it was back.

Last week, through total desperation, I went to a chiropractor for the first time.  I told him our mission is to get me walking good in a month.  He is a miracle worker!  I hadn’t felt that good in 2 years!  I will be going back often to build up on the progress.  But for the first time since booking this trip I am allowing myself to get excited.

Prankster

Today one of my customers played a prank on me.  It was hilarious.  You see, I deliver mail and he rigged his box up that when I opened it a skunk came flying out at me!  It was actually a mitten made of skunk.  He had it attached to the latch with two rubber bands.  It startled me, that is for sure.  He was disappointed that I didn’t scream.  Ha!  I told him I’m not a screamer but it certainly gave my heart a start, LOL.

This is what goofy 50 something Trump supporters do.   Hell, we have to have fun or what is the sense of being here?

Ponder the Sky

DSCN0153

Sky. A strange small word for something so immense and for the most part, taken for granted. Do any of us truly understand that great expanse that is above us?

Origin of the word, sky-

Middle English (also in the plural denoting clouds): from Old Norse ský ‘cloud.’ The verb dates from the early 19th century

Just ponder on it for a minute.  In the black of night the sky has millions of stars, the moon, and planets beyond the human eye.  How small we are in relation to it all.  Yet here in our own little world we think the universe revolves around each of us.  Oh how wrong we are.  We are here and gone in a blink of an eye.

This same sky hovered over our ancestors and if all goes well, future generations.  This same sky is seen by you on the other side of the world. It has seen war, drought, celebration, life and death. We are all in this together under this great mixture of gas molecules we call atmosphere.

And if it is gone so are we.

Sky

Abandoned Art

Art Abandonment

Well lookie here!  It is my lucky day!  After YEARS of doing art abandonment myself I finally FOUND a piece!  It was at the library and is a painted tile of a flower with a hanger on back.  Very cool.  I wanted to record it and then I will release it into the wild for someone else to find.  What fun!!!