It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Dan Antion at No Facilities invited Robbie and me over as his guests. We’re having fun talking about poetry and things. Come on over to join our chat. I’ll see you there!
Today is a poetry day
I should open with a poem
But I got zip
Still, bonus points are on the line
Stream of Consciousness Saturday
Robbie and Miriam have poems
Not here - in the anthology
Me? Nada - zilch!
“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘zip, zero, zilch.’ Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!”
If you follow my blog, you know I like poetry and I appreciate the work of poets. I have always had an interest in poetry, but only through the friends I’ve made blogging have I gotten to know poets. I have said it numerous times, but poets are the true artists in the writing world. The make…
The prompt for Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “a rainy day.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “a rainy day.”
I took the first two photos today (January 17, 2022).
“It’s going to be a rainy day!” Hubby peeked out of the window. He gazed at the flat, gray sky backdropping the trees in the front yard.
“I hope it will pour for a few days.” I turned my head in the same direction.
“I’ll turn off the sprinklers,” he said.
“Yeah. There’s no sun to evaporate the moisture in the air. We can turn them back on if the rain didn’t breakthrough.”
“The clouds seem to be darker in the distance above the mountain. It looks like the rain started already.” He continued to examine the pattern of the sky.
“Did you watch the 10-day weather forecast?” I was curious.
“Yes, it said it will rain tonight. The storm will come in by the third day and have steady rain for two more days.” He glanced at me occasionally as he continued his examination.
“That’s wonderful! Remember? We had heavy rain several weeks straight a few years ago. The Naval orange tree loved it and soaked up every bit of the water. We had hundreds of juicy oranges that year.” That thought made my mouth water.
“Oh, now you remind me of collecting small bottles. I’ll squeeze the juice and freeze it. We had juice enough for four months in some good harvesting year.”
“You saved many 16oz peanut bottles. They are the good size bottles to stack up in the freezer.”
“That’s right. I’ll buy more peanuts,” he said.
“To have more bottles.”
“Do you want to eat more peanuts to save enough bottles for the juice? If we have about 1,000 oranges, 8 oranges to make 16oz of juice, you will eat 125 bottles of peanuts.”
“Might as well. That way, all the bottles are the same size.” He tried to convince himself.
“We’ll have a good harvest of the plums this year with the pouring rain. The year we had juicy oranges was the same year we had full loads of plums on both trees.” I recalled.
“Didn’t you give away many plums?” Hubby turned around to walk toward the back patio door.
“I did. They ripened almost all at once. I couldn’t pick them fast enough. I tried to leave them on the tree as long as I could and ate as many as I could each day. They get soft when continue to ripen. But I like firm plums.”
“I ate two or three a day. They were sweet, and that was all I could eat.”
“I know you worry about the blood sugar. Plums are full of fiber, which helps slow down a blood sugar spike after you eat carbs. Don’t worry about eating more of them this year.”
“You put a lot of in the refrigerator last year.” Hubby looked out the glass patio door.
“I tried to keep them from getting soft too fast. Out of curiosity, I tallied them as I picked. We got 1,100 plums from two trees. Even the new tree yielded many plums. The rain surely contributed to the abundance. The good timing of the plum blossom was an important factor as well. We had many blossoms last year, but it rained right after that and didn’t give the bees a chance to pollinate.”
“We don’t know how much rain we get this year.”
“The plum trees will blossom next month. I saw the bees are hovering all over the clovers on the slope. They’ll be ready to work.”
“The trees have a good soak so far. You may have a good harvest again.”
“I made four jars of low sugar plum jam last time, but we didn’t use it fast enough. It started molding after a few weeks. I had to throw it away.” I saved the jars, though.
“I don’t eat toast often enough to use the jam.”
“I know. I must do something this year to save the plums.”
“I remember my friends in Oregon used an electric dehydration machine to make dry fruits. I could get one and dry the plums.”
“How much is a dehydration machine?”
“A 10-tray dehydration machine is about $200. I can get a smaller one, but it’ll take forever to dry 1,000 plum,” I said.
“Well, I don’t know. Let’s think about it and talk more about the peanuts and the dehydration machine some other time. Let’s see if it’s going to be pouring the rest of the winter.” He walked toward his new Rolls Royce recliner.
The cover has latches on the two sides of the screen and the two sides of the keyboard. It looks like a large box when it’s closed (latched). There is a handle to carry it to make it portable. I believe the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) was 2.5 MHz, 64K RAM, and it had a 9” green phosphor screen display with text only. It has a 5 ½ “floppy disk drive. It used the MS-DOS/PC DOS Microsoft programming languages.
There were so many codes that I don’t think anyone would have them memorized. But the codes were above and below the keyboard.
I worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in downtown Los Angeles in the 1980s. But I wanted to go into education, so I was at California State University, Los Angeles, to get my Childhood Development Credential, and continued to get the Educational Administration Credential.
My ex worked for an airline in the Dallas Headquarters. He worked from Wednesday to Sunday and had Monday and Tuesday off. He wanted me to fly to Dallas every weekend and come back to LA On Sunday, then he flew to Dallas on Tuesday night.
I left the Rehabilitation Center at 4:00 p.m. every week and drove to LA International Airport carrying the heavy metal case computer. It was very sturdy. Frequently, there were no empty seats in the waiting area at the gate. I sat on the computer reading while waiting for boarding the plane.
He came back to LA after six months when the airline was about to cease to operate. I remember we replaced the computer with a Compaq Portable computer. It was not as heavy. It still runs on the MS-DOS program language. The codes came in a strip like a ruler that I put in front of the keyboard.
When I look at my keyboard at the present, I see the first row of keys is from F1 to F12, but you can also use Control + for that key to do shortcuts. The MS-DOS also used the F1-F? for shortcuts.
As far as the printer, we had a dot matrix printer with the sprocket-fed fan-fold paper used to move through the machines!
I should write a post about my first typewriter before the first computer! Okay, another time!
The prompt from Linda G. Hill for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “resolve.”
I don’t sit down to write my New Year’s resolutions. I resolve to do most of the things I had done in 2021 and try to do them better in 2022. In fact, there were too many interruptions in 2021. It wasn’t a good year to accomplish things I wanted to do. I had better years than that of the last year. I expect a better year in 2022.
Let me just say that whatever I do, I keep my basic values in mind which are: family, fitness, fun, friends, and finance. There are many subcategories in the area of fun.
My family always comes first. I have resumed my schedule of visiting my daughter’s family every six weeks.
It’s important for me to be close to my granddaughters. I remember starting a new family with a baby with no relatives to help. It was the most stressful time for me. During one particular year when Mercy was a baby, I started my first-year full-time teaching at the Los Angeles Unified School District and doing full-time (12 units) studies of Child Development at California State University, Los Angeles. Three full-time jobs all at once. I was a rehabilitation counselor prior to that and just switched over to education. I didn’t want to lose my teaching opportunity and didn’t want to wait any longer to finish school. Of course, my baby was most important.
I never want Mercy to have a stressful experience like mine. I always encourage her that if she could afford it, do one thing at a time. The Covid turned out to be a blessing to her in that she didn’t work during her pregnancy. She stayed home to take care of baby Nora for sixteen months. Right now, she is working part-time on the days when Autumn and Nora go to school.
My husband wants to get together with some of his siblings once a month. Most of them live 40 miles from us. They are coming our way to meet this month and we’ll go to them to meet next month. We’re also talking about taking a family vacation to Australia and New Zealand.
I see fitness as a way of life. When my dad came to the US to visit us at the age of 84, he got up at 6:00 a.m. The first thing he did was to stretch for half an hour.
I have been going to the gym, swimming, walking in the neighborhood, or on the trail consistently for years and years. My husband and I started working out together two days a week since his retirement in 2016. There were interruptions during the pandemic. But we resumed going back to the gym several months ago.
We do some modifications to the workout. We keep our routine of using the different machines, the number of sets, and the duration of time (such as walking on the treadmill) but reduce the intensity or weight. As we’re getting older, it takes longer to recover from the sore muscles.
There are many things I do for fun which include reading, writing, blogging, painting, gardening, photographing, singing, learning, and traveling. I always say it would take three parallel lifetimes to fully enjoy my hobbies.
I raised 20 Monarch butterflies in 2021. I’m ready to do it again this summer. The milkweed should grow nicely and hopefully, I’ll have a better way to set up the butterfly cages.
The Chorale group didn’t meet most part of 2021 but resumed meeting to sing with masks on later in the fall. I’ll continue to sing in this group.
I haven’t done watercolor painting for a while. I may pick up the watercolor painting at least for one quarter during 2022.
Hopefully, my husband and I will take one trip this year. We wanted to go to Banff, Canada last August but the border was closed. We may consider going sometime this year.
It’s important for me to keep in touch with my friends.
The pandemic wasn’t too helpful in this area with the social distancing requirement and the gathering restriction. I hope to get together with friends even when we meet outdoors.
Financial independence means freedom.
I don’t have the impulse to buy things. I only buy what I need, not just what I want.
My husband and I just went through stacks of old documents when doing decluttering. It reminded me of the number of times I refinanced our current home and the previous two homes. Whenever the interest rate went down, I refinanced the homes. Prior to refinancing, I created a spreadsheet to calculate the total interest paid during the financing periods.
I know it takes money to save money or make money. I count it as a blessing to use my resources to save money and have extra money to put in the stock account to make a little money.
How do I do it? Here is an example:
Family is the top priority. It’s the motivation behind what I do every day.
I exercise (fitness) regularly, keeping in mind that I need to be strong and healthy in order to be with my granddaughters as often as we want. I can’t be with them if I’m sick.
I follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines carefully to avoid contracting the virus, even when it means reducing the social contact with my friends.
I try to reduce unnecessary expenses (finance) to have more money to travel every six weeks to see my granddaughters.
TheFriday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “if.” Linda invited usto start our post with the word “If.”
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If I had a bigger garden, I would plantmore fruit trees and vegetables.
I have a good size garden and am grateful for all the flowers in my garden. My picture folder showed my garden was barren in 2003. I planted the flowers and trees a few at a time for the last eighteen years. I set a mental budget for gardening and didn’t spend too much money each year. Probably I spent the most this summer when I replaced many annual to perennial flowers.
Flowersin My Garden
I also tried to see what grows well in my garden. Some part of my garden gets full sun all day, while other part gets either the morning sun or evening sun. After we planted the Cypress trees in the backyard, they block the sun in the winter as the earth tilted.
Another factor about gardening is the soil and watering system. Hubby is in charge of the sprinkler system. He also takes care of the lawn while I take care of the flowers. He installed the sprinklers according to the needs of the lawn. As a result, some flowers get too much water, and some don’t get enough water. Well, I have to improvise and make change now and then. I don’t mind doing that. What I did was to plant the flowers that need more water in the areas that have more sprinkler heads and planted the flowers that don’t need so much water in the areas further from the sprinkler heads. Of course, I could ask him to add sprinkler heads in some areas.
I started with one patch of Lily of the Nile (African Lily). African lily can withstand drought because of its large, fleshy roots. Roots spread and fresh shoots grow. I transplant them on several spots and the sixty feet wide slopes in the back yard behind the retaining wall, spaced them every eight feet in eight patches. The photo below is in the front yard.
When we renovated the front yard, I bought ten rose bushes, and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Then I felt in love with the white iceberg roses and bought ten bushes.
Throughout the years, I planted different flowers. As mentioned above, I experimented with the kinds that do well in my garden. The flowers above and below included in this post are what I currently have.
Year-round: Geranium, Hibiscus, Pentas, Periwinkle (Vinca) Lantana, and Snapdragon
Spring: Freesia (yellow and purple) and Clover
Summer: Daylily and Sunflower
Winter: Cyclamen and Camelia
I have planted the bulbs for Daffodil and Iris, hope to see the flowers next year.
So far, I have two plum trees, one apple tree, and one orange tree. We hope to plant a dwarf lemon tree, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are invasive, so I need more planning before planting them.
I planted kale, orange and green bell pepper, and squash. They are not ready to harvest yet. I love to grow more vegetables if I had a bigger garden.