coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weed 'em out

It's hard to keep up with the weeds in my perennial beds. The summers in Central Florida are long, hot and oppressively sunny. It is impossible for us to get out there between June 15 and October 15 and weed. Instead, we mulch heavily in spring and hope for the best until Halloween approaches. 

We've been trying to use pine straw mulch because it is natural, native, and good for our acid-loving plants. Okay, we do it because we're trying to be politically right-on. However, I'm finding it similar to using herbal meds for physical issues. It sounds good but just doesn't work. Getting rid of weeds may require a sturdier mulch, and more of it. I'm sorry to say this. I really wanted to be kind and gentle, but those weeds must go. Time to get serious.

We've had a ridiculous amount of rain in the past few months so our hopeful, once thick and massive cover of pine straw has broken down quickly. Weeds are not smothered, they poke through the straw. They seem to benefit from the pine straw as much as our azaleas do. They grow and multiply. We're going to have to dig out an entire bed of Louisiana iris to get to the weeds and start again. This time I'm going to spray the tubers with water to try and wash out the weed seeds before replanting. That'll show 'em, right? 

Weeding is a fight that may never be won, but must always be fought. 

Reminds me of politics. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

October in Central Florida

I'm too stressed and overwhelmed over the upcoming elections to write much these days.  However, I am enjoying October in Central Florida so I thought I'd share some photos from our farmer's market and Lake Apopka.  Later today we're going to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival at Disney World with our daughter and granddaughter. I may have more photos for you later this week. 

Pumpkins for sale at the farmer's market

The fishmonger at the market

Hot dog stand

Awapuhi Ginger for sale
Heron on the loop (bike) trail alongside Lake Apopka
egrets hanging out in a tree, spider lilies at the bottom

plant crud, looking down from a bridge

A small alligator, moving fast
I should know what this is, but I don't. It is a water plant.  Do you know the name?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Check yourself

Here's a great site to check voter registration deadlines, your voting status, and find your voting location regardless of state:

Voter registrations deadlines are early this week in most states.  If you haven't registered, please go online and do so ASAP.   It has never been more important to vote.  Go high. Vote as if your rights depended on it.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Get thyself to the polling station

With the televised Kavanaugh hearings it has become crystal clear that our wealthy, white, male ruling class is hell-bent on maintaining power and control. Luckily, we are determined to wrest that control from their bloody hands.

Bonfire of Republican Vanities

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What the heck?

For cryin' out loud, it happened again! 

I was out on a bike ride with my husband. He was way ahead of me, as per usual. I was huffing and puffing trying to catch up with him. Then a young couple on fast bikes passed me on my left. As they raced around me, the woman yelled to me "You are SO cute!!"  

WTH? Apparently I'm going to have to learn to live with this cute/adorable thing. This better not mean I will have to stop dancing at weddings or drinking martinis at downtown bars. Will doing all sorts of normal adult things put me at risk of standing out as "cute" now? I will be completely honest with you. It is making me a little self conscious.

I find it interesting that no one yells things like that out to my husband. He wears a pork pie hat when he rides. He also has yellow and green streamers flowing out of each end of his bike's handle bars, as if he were 6 years old. I have repeatedly told him those streamers are ridiculous, but he doesn't care. He actually IS the cutest thing you've ever seen, but strangers don't seem to feel they can yell inappropriate personal comments out to him.

Well, I have decided I will NOT give up biking just because other people are overcome by my elderly charms. I'm a chubby, gray haired baby boomer and I'm super damn cute. I also have an adorable bike. Get out of my way. I'm nearsighted.

Hers and His

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

If you've got it

I found a new hair stylist to cut my hair.  She is my daughter's stylist and I like her very much.  She does a good job, charges reasonable fees, and has purple hair.  She also has real artwork by real artists on her walls. It makes me happy just being in her salon, looking at all the colors. Unlike the chrome on white walk-in salons I've been going since I've been in Florida, this seems comfortable, edgy, and welcoming.

She told my daughter that she thought I was adorable. Adorable... I'm not sure I know what that means. It is not the first time I've been described that way by a young woman in recent years (i.e., since I got old). The day of my retirement party I wore leggings, a silky tunic top, and an asymmetrical light sweater. When I asked my younger colleague if I looked ridiculous, she said "No, I think you look adorable." That did not fill me with confidence, but I chose not to care. The party went on as planned.

The hateful old hag who lives deep inside me wants to look for ageism everywhere. She wants to disdain this as a backhanded compliment. The Good Colette, however, is thrilled and wonders how I can make being adorable work for me.  I mean if you've got it, flaunt it - right?

Any ideas?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

I am an inert mass

Some people have panic attacks, some have heart attacks.  I seem to have attacks of inertia. 

These quirky spells usually follow a period of extreme activity.  It is a pattern. I work like a crazy woman at something or other for a relatively long time, then I start forgetting to do important things because I'm overwhelmed.  I'm pretty sure this is my unconscious mind's way of telling me to slow down... and quickly, please. Which I then do as if I was slamming on the breaks. After that, I find it hard to do just about anything for a while.  I become inert. 

Here are the things that are way too much for me to do this morning:
  • finding a book to read
  • peeling boiled eggs
  • putting photos in my photo album
  • picking up my grandson's toys and putting them away
  • vacuuming the living room
  • taking my new flip flops out of the box
  • moving the cleaned clothes from the washer to the dryer
  • figuring out how to change the formatting of this list from bullet points back to normal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Peach Pie and Politics

I'm eating peach pie. My husband's pie crust is remarkable. We are a team; he makes the crust and I make the filling. I must confess this is my lunch today. It was either leftover pie or a salad - no contest! Actually, I am only pretending this is my lunch. I know for a fact I will eat that salad, too. 

While indulging, I am researching candidates for circuit and county judges. I have my mail-in-ballot for the Florida Democratic primary sitting on my desk, and I am trying to figure out some of the more arcane choices so I can finish up and mail it in. Florida's primary August 28.

I'm fairly certain who I will vote for as Governor, positive about Commissioner of Agriculture, and struggling with Attorney General. I love my U.S. Congresswoman, so will definitely be voting for her again. The judicial candidates and the school board elections are the tough ones for me, there is not nearly enough information available.

Florida has had Republican rule for 20 years. During that time they've controlled the Governorship, the State House and the State Senate. The Democrats got sloppy as a result, and became less effective at choosing and pushing good, competitive candidates...until now. We have a wealth of great candidates, many of them new. The Democratic party is being transformed by progressives entering the arena. Big changes are coming in Florida in November, unless Voldemort tampers with our elections from afar. It seems they are already trying. Shame on them!

And that, my friends, is why I am voting by mail. I want a copy of what I did. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It didn't rain at all on Saturday!!! 

Why would I say such a thing? Well, it has rained, and I mean POURED, every afternoon or evening for most of the summer. In trying to imagine a Florida summer afternoon rain shower, I would have you think of torrents, sheets, cats and dogs. We have to drain the pool by an inch or two a couple days each week so it doesn't overflow (and by "We" I mean my husband). 

This is the rainy season in Florida. Even though it didn't rain for an entire day, the ground is still squishy. There remain pools of water in low spots, and water rises in every nook and cranny. It is also the hottest time of the year. I am not complaining, not really...  I would still rather endure August in Florida than January in New York State. Anyway, it's hot, muggy, and messy here. 

In truth, I am in awe of (and in love with) Florida. I respect the harsh beauty. I avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. I battle primeval insects. I photograph alligator, egret, and ibis in the wild. Our back yard includes 4 palm trees despite their lack of shade. I grow canna lilies and banana trees. We have annual passes to Epcot (after 4). My county is blue. Actually it is Orange County, but you know what I mean. I relish the natural and cultural diversity one finds here.
I wear hats and slather myself with sunscreen, for crying out loud. This Florida place feels like home.

Oh Lord, I just heard some thunder. Which reminds me, I need to start stocking up on hurricane supplies. 

This is the kind of damage fire ants can wreak when you don't watch where you step

Friday, August 3, 2018

Scratching my head

Have you ever noticed that if you use certain words/names in your blog posts that the number of views in your stats from certain less than desirable countries rises dramatically?  I wonder how much these professional snoopers get paid to make the world a worse place to live in? 

I think we all know what we must do to fight injustice, evil, and lies.  Vote!