- The kale started growing again. We’d grown and harvested it. Well, my wife, really. I helped buy supplies. Provided extra hands as needed. The kale took off initially, then wilted under a combined attack – heat, insects, sun. Wife battled on, then clipped it back. Per her orders, I moved its planter off the patio. I put them in the bush’s shade. Matter of convenience. Surprise: the kale is back. Hasn’t been watered since harvest two plus weeks ago, so she began watering it. It seems to like that shady spot.
- Tomatoes are doing well. Great to go out and pluck tomatoes as required. Ditto, the squash. Romaine is all gone, though. Sad face.
- Did some wardrobe culling. My wife’s simplify switch suddenly turned on. Ergo, I am expected to participate. Out went five bags of clothing between her and me. Two bags of books. Book sellers aren’t buying. Those like Powell’s who buy wouldn’t accept these books. The books are too worn. A bag of shoes. Old blender.
- Culling is a serious matter. Embarrassing, too. How much do I need? Well, I’m sixty-five. Things have been acquired for different eras and their needs. Much of it is from my suit and marketing days. Yes, wore suits. Did trade shows. Visited customer sites. Also required for when I returned to company headquarters. That was my U.S. Surgical Days. I worked in California. Headquarters was in Connecticut. Tyco acquired us. Talk about a crazy time. Yeah, time to get rid of those shirts. The ties were already gone. I left Tyco in 1999. Still did marketing work after that for a period for another startup involved with coping with peripheral and coronary chronic total occlusions. It was going under so I went on to Network ICE in 2000, where suits were no longer required.
- Also departing my wardrobe were my jockstraps, sweat bands, and racquetball gloves. Haven’t played in two decades. There it all was, buried at the drawer’s bottom, waiting for daylight.
- Purged underwear, too. I had enough underwear, I found, to go without washing them for fifty days. Why so many? Well, a large number was undies which no longer fit. Good-bye, I told them. Blew them a kiss. Now I have enough for twenty days. Don’t judge me. I judge myself enough for all of us.
- Ten belts were surrendered. All leather. Browns, tans, blacks, burgundy. Tested first. I could see where I wore them. What holes were utilized. Usually the third or fourth. The test today was that the belt must reach at least the second hole. The results amazed me. I generally couldn’t get the tip to the buckle. I had no idea that leather would shrink so much. Only four belts now remain. Black, brown, fancy, and plain.
- Catching up on the wildfire news in the U.S. west. Bootleg Fire still burns. Sixty percent contained. 420,000 acres. Drought is spreading. Deepening. Lightning strikes are causing more fires. I turn to other world news. Move beyond the Olympics. Past the spiking — again — COVID-19 numbers. Past the tales of regretful vaccine hesitant folks who are woke after suffering themselves or losing someone close. On to Europe, where Italy, Greece, and Turkey are evacuating tourists due to wildfires. It’s a hot, hot, hot world, and it’s getting hotter.
- Absorbing how much floofitude is on exhibit by a cat’s encounter with a spider or cob web. We have loads of them. Webs, that is, not cats. Just have three cats. Probably have so many webs because we have a strict no-kill spider policy. It’s an unending chore cleaning webs out of corners and from ceilings, walls, patio, porch, and garage. Spiders love throwing up webs. I opened the living room patio door this morning. Stepped out. Breathed in. Considered the browning landscape. Then turned to return inside. Walked straight into a web. Some spider must have seen the door open and hurried a dragline across there.
- The cats have different reactions to webs. Papi, aka Youngblood, the Ginger Blade, and Meep, is the youngest and most graceful. When he encounters a web, he immediately backs away and goes around it. Boo, our large-size bedroom panther with the small velvet paws, hurries through the web while shaking his head. Tucker, the big black and white alpha cat, stops, shakes his head, washes, and then shoulders on. I’ve witnessed this several times over the months — seriously, the number of webs and how quickly they emerge staggers me — spiders are productive little critters — and I’m certain about my assessment on the cats’ behavior.
- Writing has been entertaining. Yes, that’s the term I’ll employ. Absorbing will work as well. I’ve gone surprising places with the story. Then pause as I think, oh, WTF, and ponder the direction. I keep telling myself, just get out of your own way, fool. Don’t overthink anything. Just write. That works. Just need to hurdle myself. An interesting noir style has emerged. So I have a science fiction mystery thriller noir going.
- Got my coffee. The day’s second cup. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Then I’ll go clean off spider webs. Cheers
Floofpitulate (floofinition) – To give in to an animal or to accept an animal’s choice or decision.
In use: “He wanted to get up but the cat wanted to remain in his lap, so he floofpitulated and took a nap.”
It was a strange and strong blur of a dream, if that makes sense. In a crowd. Seems like I was going somewhere, following the crowd, like we were heading into a concert or amusement park. Currents of excitement. Streams of chatter and laughter. I’m with others in my party, half-listening but tuned out of them, mostly just there, impatiently queuing, moving forward with halting, shuffling steps. But I don’t mind. I’m going forward. The destination is almost in view ahead. Fresh air. Forested hills and low mountains cup us in a bowl from what I see. Late afternoon blue sky. Darkening but still daylight, cruising toward night. Warm but cooling.
Odd. Saw myself from a perspective down below. Looking up. Perspective focused on me. Following me through the crowd.
Then, interrupted. Discover hands before me. Three? Four? They’re closed into fists. Open. Colors are on the palm. Paper? Red. Blue. Yellow. Purple. Voice says, “Choose your color.”
I’m confused. Try backing away. Wonder where my people are. Who this person is. Why I’m being asked to choose. He persists. I’m blocked in by the crowd. Can’t get away from him. Never see anything of him but his hands holding these colors.
French blue. Sunflower yellow. Apple red. Bright purple. It calls me. I point at it. “Purple.”
6:04, 8:30, 8/1/2021, 96. These are the numbers defining the day’s parameters. Sunrise in the AM, sunset in the PM, the first day of August, and another high forecast for the upper nineties. Little leery of that last. Said the same yesterday. Next thing I know, I glance at the thermometer and it’s claiming 108. Checked with Alexa. She assured me it was only 101.
Yes, it’s Sunday but things are little changed. Awoke with a cat eyeing me. Purring. Kneading. Drooling. Hungry, I suspected. Or possessed. I tried to pretend I wasn’t awake. He tapped my cheek with a claw. Rubbed against my nose. Hand. Smiled.
Well, I thought it was a smile. Looking into his eyes, I began singing “Space Age Love Song” to him. A Flock of Seagulls. 1982. “I saw your eyes. You made me smile. For a little while I was falling in love.”
The cat — this is Tucker, he of the long and thick black and white fur, large white paws, and helter-skelter curvaceous whiskers — dropped his smile. Frowned. Changed his gaze to, “I’m hungry and you’re singing? What’s wrong with you?” It all worked out. I turned away. He remained patient. Spoke up with a rusty, drawling meow laced with purring trills. Knew I’d crumble.
Here’s the music. Watch the video. Admire the hair. Note the style. Shake your head and tell yourself, “My, how things have changed.” Stay positive, test neg., wear a mask as needed and don’t be stupid or complacent about it, and get the vax if you’ve not done so, if you can. Cheers