Thursday’s Theme Music

Summer’s prelude to summer in Ashlandia has settled into a new weather routine. Blue sky. Plentiful sunshine. Cool, 50s to 60s F, in the morning. Rising to high 70s, low 80s by mid-afternoon. Roll in some clouds. Cue the thunder. Spark some lightning. Now, turn on the rain. Repeat for a few hours.

This is Thursday, June 8, 2023. Yesterday afternoon and evening on the storms squatting on Ashlandia. The climax was a twenty minute deluge of big drops, dense, falling fast and hard. What’s striking about all this lightning (couldn’t resist), thunder, and rain is that it’s so rare for Ashlandia, especially of this intensity, duration, and repetition. But it’s been a growing trend in the last several years. It could be part of a larger cycle and we all just don’t live long enough to experience it, so it strikes us as odd. But it’s also a continuation of an odd weather year.

The cats aren’t pleased. The weather even brought Tucker in, who is usually indifferent to these things. Papi, though, decided the best place to be was with us in a lit room, awakening, waiting, ready to run, and willing to be comforted. Tucker decided that he’d be wherever Papi was.

We’re seeing a lot of deer on our street this week. Two bucks strolling up the street the other evening. Three or four deer — or maybe the same few again and again — wandering around our house and across the street at the neighbors. Well, no recent cougar sightings in our vicinity, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I stood in the front doorway last night, protected by the porch, to watch the rain. Not just watch, but breathe in the fresh petrichor, and enjoy the sounds. Lightning frequently flashed to enliven the experience. As I stood there, The Neurons fired up a 1981 song by The Rolling Stones, “Waiting On A Friend”. Song is still in the morning mental music stream. The Neurons made a good choice. The storm broke me out of my normal routines. The smells and sounds also made me nostalgic for similar times experienced around the world from different phases of life where I was waiting for a friend to arrive as part of our plans to go off somewhere.

Stay positive, and enjoy Thursday as only you can. I have coffee, so I’m pleased for the moment, sipping hot brew, windows breathing in cool air on my back, sunshine slinking around the house, cats wandering in and out to give news updates. Here’s the tune. Love the video’s end, when the band gets up to play in that tiny, tiny space. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

A cool spring morning, 65F, has settled on Ashlandia, where the men have beards and the children are above average. It’s May 20, 2023, a quiet morning. Activities are slowly cranking up. Summer unofficially started for many in the United States, kicked off the by somber sales, cookouts, and celebrations associated with Memorial Day. The needle on the thermometer will get tugged up into the upper seventies, and might even broach the 80s. As difficult to predict as whether the Biden-McCarthy debt limit bill will be passed.

There have been no more cougar signs in our sliver of Ashlandia. Papi and Tucker are still kept inside at night. Papi no like. He was better last night. Surprise, I fed him midnight-ish, which induced him to wash and sleep. Clever of me, isn’t it? I don’t know. He’s smart enough to manipulate me with what he’s learned.

My wife and I grilled out yesterday. Nada fancy. Portabella ‘shrooms, onions, asper-grass, squash, and red peppers, along with Impossible Burgers, our plant-based meat sub., coleslaw, and ranch style beans from a can. All were excellent. I’m not a great griller – my BIL and ex-BIL are both superb in that skill – but I muddle through. Yesterday’s muddle turned out great.

The Neurons have inserted “The Long Run” by The Eagles out of 1979 into the morning mental music stream. This is a direct result from reading political news and some personal projects underway. As so many frequently ask, “What’s going to happen? Will this work? What’s going to be the outcome?” To which frequently comes, “We’ll find out in the long run.”

Stay pos. Try to treat yourself better. Coffee drinking is underway, freshly brewed, black, untouched by cream or sugar, just the way it should be. Brekkie — oatmeal with cranberries, topped with granola — has also been completed. The cats have eaten and washed, and are now sunning. Here’s the music. Cheers

Monday’s Wandering Thought

A customer was ahead of him in the coffee shop. As he waited for his turn, he began writing in his head. Phantom writing, some call it. The main character had apparently awakened and had a lot to say about who he was and what was going on.

“Hi, what can I get for you?” the barista asked.

Panic. Where was he? Oh, yeah, coffee shop. What did he want? Coffee! He stammered out his order and then apologized, explaining, “Sorry, I was off in another world.”

That comment cracked him up.

Wonder if the baristas think him a little odd?

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Delicious weather in Ashlandia today. Spring at its best. 67 F at the mo, 75% humidity. 88 F expected later, and thunderstorms. Yesterday was delightful, too, relaxing, comforting, an invitation to sit and enjoy yourself for a while. It’s so floofriendly. Tucker has settled but open doors and happy weather invites Papi to prance in and out. He steals up to me, stares up, gets an ear rub from moi, then dashes out, only to return. Sometimes I chase and hide, which he loves doing.

The election is over. We await the outcome. 15-214, which absorbed our attention and discussion, is predictably tight but votes are still being counted.

Today’s music fell into my lap. I’d been sent a video link about tiny computers a teacher was asking my beer group to buy for their class. This video was off to the right. “Two of Us” from 1969 is by the Beatles. The song is pretty lazy but I enjoyed the footage of the lads from Liverpool and others laughing, joking, talking. Nostalgia caught The Neurons, so here we are.

And the coffee has arrived to great cheering from the body and its various elements. Most vociferous cheering is heard from the brain, where neurons are stamping their feet, chanting, “Coffee, coffee, coffee.” The foot stamping is off-putting to the ears, who are gesturing with annoyance at the brain. But in general, it’s a festive air.

Stay pos. Assess, adjust, advance. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

It’s a little before 8 AM. It was already light as a cloudy day by 5 AM as the sunrise cruises closer to 5:30 AM. Floofs are fed Breakfast is et. 68 F outside, sunny, humidity of 54%, light breeze, warm but cool. Today’s high will be 83F. We did reach 93 in moi’s yard yesterday. It’s May 15, 2023. Under pretense of reminding me, my wife reminds herself, the guest room window will be replaced tomorrow, 3 PM. The guy, Chris, came 30 minutes early last time, so be ready 30 minutes early. Right, got it, I answer, once, twice, thrice, half-listening as I read.

The coffee has been poured. French roast. Smells woody, earthy, wonderful. Went onto the sun soaked back patio and sniffed it a bit as the breeze played and the cats washed.

I took a magnesium citrate this morning. Calf cramps, you know, walking, exercising, yard work, sweating. The Neurons immediately began playing “White Rabbit” by a group called Jefferson Airplane. Coming out in 1967, this psychedelic song worried Mom about what her eleven-year-old son was hearing.

The first sip of coffee has been sampled. As good as expected. Ready for more.

Stay pos. Carpe Monday. Time to imbibe more coffee. Maybe do the Wordle. Or shower and clean up. Or read? No, wait, today is food and friends deliveries.

Here’s the music. I’m off! Cheers

Wednesday’s Wandering Thoughts

My wife exercises three mornings a week. Been doing this since we moved to Ashlandia in 2005. Friendships have developed through the years. A coffee clatch after class — which I call the zoo — was added a decade ago.

Today, she came in and handed me half a package of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate espresso beans.

“Where’d you get these?” I asked.

“Deborah. She said she can’t stop eating them so she’s giving them away. Everyone took what they wanted and told me to take those home to you.”

“That’s kind of her.” I sampled three.

OMG good. I understand Deborah’s decision. The damn things are addictive.

Wednesday’s Wandering Thought

We’re such individuals. Not just from one another but from what we were when we were younger.

I used to be aghast that someone didn’t like chocolate. Or ‘don’t care for sweets’. Dad is one of those.

I could understand why people didn’t like coffee, beer, or alcohol generally, between flavors and effects. Now I see, as I age, how my taste buds and preferences have morphed through my decades. I still enjoy chocolate, beer, coffee, etc., but things taste sweeter or saltier to me.

Life. Takes so long to learn and understand, and then things change.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

“I love the smell of snow in the spring. It reminds me of winter.”

Yes, snow continues in Ashlandia’s April on Wednesday, Apil 19, 2023. Just another inch. Sort of fun, interesting, and unsettling for the cats, who firmly believe winter was supposedly over and sunshine was expected to be ruling. They go and seek it each day in their own way. Papi the young ginger fellow dashes out, finds the sun disappointing and dashes back in. Not trusting just one result, he duplicates his efforts at least three or four times to validate his findings.

Tucker, the black and white low-haired dude with the thick layers and big paws, strolls out, takes the sun he finds, tests the air with his nose and then grooms in the sun until a nap takes over.

Here in Ashlandia, where the coffee is made of ground roasted beans and boiling water, sunshine arrived without an entourage at 6:23 AM and will abandon our valley before eight PM strikes. If it doesn’t get out in time, the sun turns into a car shaped like a pumpkin and stays in Ashlandia giving floof rides. Weather scribes tell us — drum roll — it’s 30 F now, will reach about 50 F, and we can expect rain. Not much change from the last few days.

Today’s theme music is by Bob Marley and comes via The Neurons to the morning mental music stream from a streaming TV experience called Ted Lasso. “Three Little Birds” was released in 1980. I felt like a relaxing and hopeful song was essential for what could be a hump day for so many people.

Stay pos. Take a coffee break now and then. Think I’ll take one now. Here’s the music. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Hearing the pursuit, we ran hard. “In here,” Pretzel shouted on my left. I twisted, planted my foot and made the cut, following him into a small path.

We crowded in panting like the sprinters we’d been. “What is this?” Maylie asked.

“I think it’s a time machine,” C-Jean said.

Don’t know about the rest but I did a mental, oh shit. “Don’t touch anything. We got to get out of here.”

“Oops,” Pharslei said.

The machine vibrated for two seconds. Ping, it said, like we were a done nuked meal.

“Where are we?” Maylie asked.

“Not where,” Pretzel said. “When. Time machine, itz. When are we?”

Sunday, April 23, 2016, it said. “Shit,” someone said.

The numbers blinked. April 20, 1623. Still Sunday. “I’m going to go see,” Pretzel announced.

“No,” I said, “Hold up.” That was the last I saw of him, though, going out that door.

Last I saw of any of them. Machine now said, April 16, 2023.

I left the booth. It vanished behind me. Tepid sunshine washed my face. Mostly I saw cloud layering like stacked grays. Still seemed like Ashlandia’s green deep valley, at least.

The Neurons have filled the morning mental music stream with “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”. Went with the Kinks’ original song from ’65. Fit with my state of mind. Shopping this morning, it seemed like such a dirge. Everyone shopper I eyed semed to be thinking, “I wish I was anywhere else.” Shopping has never been a leisure pursuit for me but it kicked my thinking down a memory path which lodged up against the question, where have all the good times gone? Follow up was, what constituted a good time?

Stay pos. I know, sometimes it’s touch. Feels like the world is on your shoulders, and it’s putting on more weight every second. Coffee helps me. Coffee; it’s what’s for breakfast.

Here’s the music. Cheers

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