Monday, July 6, 2015

Once Upon A Time

I wrote a long blogpost a few hours ago and then the computer ate it. Editing?

I don't have the heart to do it again so I'll just give you the bullet points.

Owners out of town for 24 days, 4 to go.

In that time we have had our flower cleaner quit, our driver tear ligaments in his ankle and massive amounts of rain fall both from the heavens and from our roof, close to the computers natch.

And not just one rainfall.

While we haven't been busy at work, we've been busy at work.

On the home front the Swiss intern arrived on the 3rd just in time to experience total hood immersion holiday style.

The party started around 4:00. I left at 11:pm, she came home at 2:00am and the stalwart rocked it until 5:30am.

We take the 4th of July very seriously around here.

She was amazed by the welcome; her calender is full, the neighbors are smitten. We hate to leave the block so when I show up with a  fairytale creature all long limbs, black hair and navy blue eyes, tatts and an accent....

Well let's just say my black bean/ brown rice salad was redundant.

I had already paid the price of admission.

So when shop owners return on Saturday and I get the hell outta dodge on Monday the 13th. the cats will have a built in babysitter, the neighbors will all be babysitting the babysitter and the garden will grow thick with weeds. ( outta dodge is off to Cape Cod and my friend Susan's house which contains the best guest room in the universe. Not to mention a stream of delicious food, 3 white doggies, proximity to lobster rolls and a perfect showerhead)

Weeds. That's the Brothers Grimm twist for you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Of A Tuesday

Just two more guests and I'm out of the Aibnb bizness till September.

The Italian guy left this morning about 8:15, giving me a few minutes to strip and remake bed before work.

I arrived home with time to spit polish room, add fresh flowers and give the bathroom and kitchen a shine. All this in 100 degree weather, with the window units laboring mightily to keep the house a cool 80degrees in the living room, 74 in the bedrooms.

The Italian guy turned off his airconditioner and the overhead fan saying it was too cold to sleep.

Italy I don't think so, I think he came from Hell. It's never been too cold in my casa.

Now I'm waiting for the Australian.

I'm pretty sure he will speak English unlike my guest of the last three nights.

Hard going for a communicator like myself. I finally downloaded the Translate app, which helped me immensely.

At least I could express my feelings about the USA/Columbia soccer match last night. Bon mots such as "they play dirty" flowed from my fingertips.

But no app was needed for Enrico and Lucy to communicate, it was love at first sight for him.

And even though Lucy is married I detected a lilt in her voice and a tilt of her head which made me suspicious.

Then I saw her tail disappearing into the guest room and I knew it was all over for Lucy and B. At least until the next time he comes over.

She has not learned this behavior from me, I promise.

Unless she has managed to find my dairies.

We are waiting for another storm to hit with winds up to 60 miles an hour and hail.

Oh joy. My backyard has just drained out from last Saturdays tropical storm.

Gus of course rushed out into the inferno as soon as I got home and will undoubtedly wait until he is ready to wring from the rain before I see him again.

Kids. What are you gonna do?

The sky is turning black, this will be my second guest to arrive in a Wizard of Oz fashion.

Gotta run, need to put my umbrella down and start the plaintive cries of "Gus, Gus" so often heard round da hood.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Life Can Be Both Wave And Particle*

Whew. Now I can finally write a blog post.

As I'm sure anyone who's been reading me for any length of time knows, when something big is brewing, I go into radio silence.

Wait, not necessarily true, sometimes I spill the beans before they're even cooked.

But if I'm not writing about what's happening, I'm not writing.

So last Monday I woke up to a bug, maybe a spider, maybe one of those damn flying ants, on my right breast, and when I went to shoo it away I felt a lump where there never was a lump before.

I poked, I prodded and I fell back to sleep.

When I awoke I went about my normal Monday morning, pulling weeds, feeding plants and letting the cats in and out.

It wasn't until I was dressed and ready to go out for lunch that I remembered my strange "dream".

So I poked and prodded again and found that same lump.

This was no dream.

I called my doctor, his office called me back.

By now I'm in a car with friends on our way to lunch.

I could have a breast exam in 2 hours.

We ate a messy lunch of lettuce wraps at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant then they dropped me off to go a little shopping.

I grabbed an iced latte and headed upstairs to see my gynecologist.

He examined me, wrote me a prescription for a comprehensive screening. This would start with a mammogram and go thru the circuit of ultra sound, MRI and a biopsy if necessary.

He asked if I drank a lot of coffee. When I brandished my latte at him, he suggested there may be a link between heavy caffeine consumption and benign fibroid cysts.

He said he didn't think I had to worry but I did the right thing by coming in immediately.

I made an appointment at the imaging center for Monday the 15th. And then I went about my business.

 Today, same friends, different lunch spot, we ate Thai.
They dropped me off and went shopping.

I entered the world of pink. Pink scrubs for the staff, pink tops for the patients. Even the key chain for our lockers was pink. It was aggressively pink.

I had a 3D mammogram, which despite more interesting pictures, hurts just as much.

A radiologist read the results and said all was well, they would send the report to my doctor. I could get dressed and go home.

Other women were told they could get dressed and go see the radiologist.

I felt very lucky. I cried a little as I changed out of the pink and into my white top.

I got an iced green tea with lemonade, my friends picked me up and away we drove.

It's so random, the way your life can change in one split second.

Or not.

xo J

*  Ellen Gilchrist


Monday, June 1, 2015

As Miss Pickering Would Say: Lately And In No Particular Order

I am alone in my house for the first time in weeks.

It's been raining since about 4:00 pm today, it started, it stopped  and then started again everytime I tried to leave the house to walk to the store.

Who cares, I have bowls of ice cold cherries, watermelon and cantaloupe, a pitcher of garden fresh ice mint tea and a lemon syrup.

They can wait for a new bag of crunchies.

I had a guest from Singapour via Morgantown, West Virginia who left this morning.

She was tall, thin and extremely elegant. As if Lucy suddenly became a person.

She's a poetess who just got her Masters in Creative Writing.

To hear her talk about demolition derbys and football games and pepperoni rolls, apparently the state food of West Virginia, was hilarious.

She had a beautiful accent reminincent of a 30's British movie star. She said it's her fake American accent.

I want one.

Meanwhile up in the attic was B. His new place around the corner wasn't available until yesterday so I said he was welcome to stay in the attic if he could make it work.

Several hours later it was clean and  organized, he built a tent like structure from the piles of textiles I have stashed up there, bought an air conditioner and an air mattress.

I think somewhere in the swirl of activity he and Lucy got married, at least I hope so because she moved up there with him too.

I told the next two Airbnb guests he was my nephew.

I don't know why. I didn't know how else to explain why a man married to a cat was in the attic.

So now it's just the 3 of us. Gus is soaked from the rain, Lucy's sulking cause her man did her wrong and I'm missing my griller.

But tomorrow Carlos (another Carlos) arrives, this one from Miami and the next chapter unfolds.

Born to host.

xo J

PS. Gratuitous squirrel picture.  I have never eaten a peach from my tree.

Public Enemy #1

Friday, May 29, 2015

And The Race Is On

Gun shop update.

The Cease and Desist petition now has over 2000 signatures. There is now a Let her Rip petition, or Open Gun Shop petition with numbers that rival ours.

If we had another empty space perhaps an abortion clinic could attempt to open, thus assuring constant strife on the block.

I gave a brief interview to a TV station.

Jane Winter, who works at the flower shop next door to the vacant storefront, said NOVA doesn't fit in to the strip mall that includes a restaurant, hair salon and nail salon.
"People come here for beauty, they come here for peace, they come here for a meal," she said. "If you want to open a gun shop, do it elsewhere."

Trust me when I say I look like hell in the clip, like Martha after a year in jail, so no link will be provided.

Meanwhile construction continues and the gun shop owner gave an interview to The Washington Times, a newspaper that has a different slant on things, to the right , to the right....

But life as we know it continues. Proms, weddings, graduations, births and deaths fill our days with flowers.

Weeds grow in my garden, strawberries are eaten, raspberries ripen, cats go in and out, the trellis is back up and the grapevine is reaching for the sky.

  I am searching online for a no guns tshirt in xsmall.

If I'm gonna walk the walk I'm going to do it in dubious style.

xo J


Monday, May 25, 2015

Little Shop Of Horrors

I don't know where to start. Should I write about the freaking flying ant invasion, the ginormous bee invasion, the mind numbing work of painting a trellis or the gun shop?

All horrifying but none as bad as the news that the space next to the flower shop has been leased to a gun shop.

The contractor told us. And then he told us again. I worried, talked to co workers, talked to tenants of other shops. We are located in small non picturesque strip mall with a frame store, a nail salon, a hair salon, a yoga studio and two restaurants. 

The next day I started writing emails, anonymously of course, even though my email address of flwjane led everybody right to the flower shop.

I was happy to be in the fight but trying to keep the shop owners out of it.

Suddenly a rep from Arlington County was in, out local news blog, reporter was in so many times he became a customer,
and as the word got out customers streamed in the door.

Many to say goodbye, they would not frequent a block that housed a gun shop.

As much as I couldn't blame them I saw my income leaving too.

Then the neighborhood list serves got into it and finally we had  a petition.

When I signed it there were 110 names, within 48 hours there were 1400 and it continues to grow.

The Washington Post has reported on this, the local TV news has reported, the landlord says he's cutting the lease but the new tenant has issued a statement saying he doesn't care what the community has to say, he's moving in this summer.

I don't know what I'll return to tomorrow. Hoping it's peace not war.

Guns and Roses will not be our next Valentine's special.

A move might be in our future.

The amazing thing to come out of this has been the community reaction and action.

Soccer and baby showers took a back seat to the future of our city, our street, our school children.

And for that I am grateful.

Peace be with you.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Week That Was

Notable dates in May thus far:

May 16th: first mosquitoes and first big rain arriving just in time to batten down the peonies and iris.

(Note to all of you, please remind me next March to cage my peonies. This is now on your shoulders).

May 13th: the date my favorite Airbnb guest arrived to stay for 6 nights while looking for permanent housing. Instant connection that will eventually end with him moving into house as full time house mate in November.

In the meantime I have room booked/being booked until July when an intern for Swiss TV will arrive to stay through August. Thus assuring cat care while I take a couple of weeks vacation.

B., the present guest has found a temporary rental around the corner until he goes to Quantico in August for 3 months training. He too will be visiting the cats while I'm (not) sunning on beaches.

He loves the hood and finds everyone so welcoming. I told him it (the hood) picks its people and for better or for worse he is one of the select.

 He's a cat guy, especially gingers, spent 4 years as a vet tech while in college, so hopefully will be able to help me get cats into cages for yearly vet visit ( previously GG's job) and made the mistake of telling me he was handy.

The equivalent of handing the keys to a candy store to a diabetic. I love handy.

May 12th: the day I had my stitches out and was released to garden. With the caveat I wear  a bandaid over site, and a ginormous hat. And no sun for a year. And no eating apples, picture here doctor stretching mouth very wide at least 5 times in succession to show me what not to do. Finally I told him thank god I was gay.

He told me the site looked good tho, like earthworms were at work.

May 11th: the day my friend and hairdresser went into shop on his Monday day off to do emergency surgery on my hair. Resuming life as a bobbed blonde hidden under huge hat.

May 10th: the day I wrote my last post and told you my day would be full of nada. Here to report I kept my promise. Though that led to a very busy Monday.

I will now insert gratuitous flower pic and head off to yoga. Looking forward to hearing about the week that was for you.

xo J