Big Sis

Thursday, June 01, 2023

My childhood mentor and big sister, Elaine, was born on May 31, but always celebrated this date as her birthday. I never knew why she insisted on that, but it’s just one of many head-scratchers she insisted on for reasons known only to herself.

Although Elaine passed away nearly four years ago, she’s always big in my memories. Back in the day and often as my stand-in mother, her guidance was opinionated, independent, and creative. I adopted many of Elaine’s passions and like her figured out how to make them work for me.

Later and toward the anniversary of her passing in late November when she’s in my mind’s forefront, I’ll write more about her. Meanwhile, Happy Birthday, Elaine!

Dear Friends: I’m due at work by 6 a.m. and now must start moving. Diana

May & Maybe

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Oh my gosh, this month has flown past. So will June, which will take us to the year’s halfway point. We recognize that as people age, they perceive that time passes faster. These days to me, time flies even faster and as if on steroids.

Maybe that’s related to the distance between one’s birth year and the present time. Our learning, experience, and awareness histories are major in information processing.

Passing time speed might be related to communication technologies, immediately updating our awareness of local and wide-world events. Rapid daily and hourly communications alter perceptions, including our sense of time.

Instant global communications have us processing new information over short timelines, shifting our perceptions daily and hourly. Thus, speedier mental processing may affect how we feel time passing. To me, now flying faster and as if on steroids.

Dear Friends: All this to say, to May, “Goodbye month!” Diana


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Busy day today. It feels good to have accomplished many routine chores earlier than usual. I’ve fed the horses, chickens, and my goat; penned my elderly chicken outside, and she’s digging for bugs; got Peaches busy with a banana; and have the garden hose set to watering. All good, and ahead, my farrier is coming to trim hoofs, and early this afternoon, via Facetime, a visit with my forever friend who lives in Kansas City.

At last, Central Oregon’s all too brief spring has arrived. These days are lovely, with young plants looking like they’re thriving and thousands of birds feeding newborns or tending to eggs near hatching. Now’s the time for being out and getting ahead of summer’s heat soon to arrive. I assume most locals agree because they’re transforming HD’s Garden Department into the store’s highest-grossing unit.

I have today and tomorrow off. After charging my most powerful camera’s battery, I’ll find places with cool spring sights and capture them. Achieving the best images will be as easy as merely looking around.

All those and much more are what’s to love about spring!

Dear Friends: Have a wonderful day! Diana


Monday, May 29, 2023

Happy Memorial Day! I’m scheduled to work and must be there at 5 a.m. One good part will be becoming free in the late morning and returning home; another is that this afternoon’s weather should be beautiful.

About remembering on this day. I have over time, lost important family members. My grandmother, father, mother, and two older sisters. I cannot visit their graves because my father and sister are in Kansas City, and my grandmother and mother are in Los Angeles.

When mom passed the timing was when I couldn’t have anticipated ever leaving LA, which eventually happened. The last to pass was my middle sister, who during her final years was in my care. Her ashes are in Central Oregon.

Today, I reflect on these five, wishing to sit beside their resting places to remember and reflect. Memorial Days mightily invite such wishes, but more mildly so does every day.

Today borrowing from Jewish Tradition, I will light memorial candles. Over several days their flames will beckon my conscious mind to remember and reflect. This feels doable and satisfying.

Dear Friends: However you choose to recognize today, make it a memorial one. Diana

Musical Interlude

Saturday, May 27, 2023

I have a new headset cranked up with my music. Some might consider my musical preferences old, but I find them outstanding. There’s the one and only Ella Fitzgerald, in Berlin (1963), “The Lost Tapes”; and another wonder, Nina Simone, her uniquely passionate music. Yuji Wang, an exciting young artist and a tiny slip of a being, is an accomplished, powerful pianist.

I enjoy great artistry and particularly now, to refocus from having to succeed in a retail environment. Events at work are going well, and now I must pay my dues by being patient and working productively.

I believe that focusing on artistry offers a soothing effect and offsets other high needs. Turning excess energy into artistic activities, like picture taking and poetry writing, should lose me little and gain me lots.

Gee, now it’s 4 a.m., and I must clock in by 6 a.m. Up early and writing are practing for tomorrow’s awful 5 a.m. clock-in target.

Dear Friends: Staying cool and calm for a while is a high personal goal. Diana

Work Day

Saturday, May 27, 2023

I brought home a battery-operated air inflator to ease checking air pressures in tires. The inflator I’ve been using is fine but requires positioning my vehicle near an electrical source. Now, a handy battery will make the job doable anywhere.

Yesterday, in tools, I learned from customers. One woman seeking a drill and a spade bit planned to remove the slate front from her fireplace. Yes, she knew exactly how to do it, understood both tools and method, and planned to perform the work herself. She was inspiring.

The pros were kind to me, although I struggled often to grasp what they might be asking for. Most folks kindly explained what they needed and why. My efforts improved as I became more familiar with the area’s layout and tool placements. My hours of effort zipped nonstop, and it seems that HD will let me work as many hours as I want.

The bottom line is that having direct customer contact makes working in retail more fun. Hours pass quickly and there are opportunities to learn and achieve. All those fine for my purposes.

This day is another early-in, and now I’m pressured to start getting ready, to feed the horses and leave.

Dear Friends: Today will be beautiful for being outside and doing anything pleasing. Diana

Birthday Gal

Friday, May 26, 2023

Regardless of how much I wish to ignore my birthdays, some friends remember the day. I tried keeping yesterday on the ordinary side receiving greetings felt good. Good gravy, even the HD people were telling me Happy Birthday. It felt good to be getting rid of the Garden watering job.

What didn’t feel good was suffering the aftereffects of a root canal. My jaw throbbed all of yesterday afternoon and kept me mostly awake and unhappy last night. Today it’s less awful, but since I’m starting a new role in HDm, it’s wise not to call in sick. So ibuprofen, here I come.

Last evening, I was in the process of self-medicating with vodka when one of my longest-time friends, Linda, called. We’ve talked infrequently since she moved to California a few years ago. Catching up again not only felt good but engaged my brain enough to refocus it away from the painful jaw.

Long ago, Linda became my mentor. She pushed me hard to go to school, and I did, because saying no to Linda was and still is useless. She was correct in that I benefitted from learning and achieved a careet beyond my wildest dreams. She ultimately was key to my decision to move to Central Oregon. Here, we often met over lunch or dinner to share mutual ideas and interests. When she moved away, our irreplaceable heart-to-heart discussions became few and last night’s conversation was sweet.

More about all this later, because I’m due in Tools very soon. More early mornings!

Dear Friends: I value you all, and here’s a global thanks for remembering my birthday. Diana


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Early to work again for a final day in the Garden Department and tasked to water flowers and trees. Tomorrow, and early again, I’ll start working with the folks in Tools & Hardware.

My old Jeep has been spiffed up with new treads–a set of all-terrain snowflakes. These tires hold the vehicle higher than its former road tires. I am relearning how to climb into the driver’s seat. The Jeep now handles differently because the snowflakes have a surprising grip on the road. Starting out, that gripping makes me pause. However, all the differences are good, and I’ll get used to them.

I must get ready to go and clock-in on time this early workday.

Dear Friends: Today, immediately after work, I’ll be on the receiving end of a root canal! Diana

I’m late, I’m late

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Can’t believe this morning that I forgot to write a blog. Well, half-forgot, just enough to fall out of the routine. Actually, I awoke early and got busy “doing.” Fed the horses right away, and afterward in my garden, watered and planted, and was walking Peaches when the “missing blog” hit me.

I know everybody’s tired of reading about Chase, but to extend the possibilities, I am working with him. He’s separated from his buddies and going with me whenever possible. Yesterday, I took him to a BLM with a canal, which that big time swimmer loves. His first time out and roaming free as a single with me, he started exploring with caution, his hackles up and avoiding the water. After a quarter mile, he appeared relaxed, and even began having fun. Eventually, he took the plunge and swam in the water’s flow. Then he started playing. The thing is, he never got out of my sight, stayed right with me through about a mile and a half hike.

At one point, a jogger coming toward us put the dog into a protective mode, but he did listen when I stopped his tendency toward aggressiveness. This one person dog may become very protective, which I like and don’t like. Certainly, I’ll sleep well through nighttimes, knowing he’s on alert; but in general, he must accept the presence of others.

Today, he’s wearing an e-collar, to reinforce exciting occasions that require leaving “things” alone. Like this morning. I was feeding the horses while Chase was trying to play with them. He ignored my “No’s,” and so, immediately became kenneled. I am anticipating the collar will help make him respond to “No.”

So, with this, we get the drift and enough about Chase. I’ll let my attention go elsewhere. Tomorrow’s my last day in HD’s Garden Department; on Friday, I’ll report to Tools and Hardware.

Dear Friends: This loving mutt might not find another good home; so, I’ll keep trying. Diana


Ranger, in his most active days!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

My 14-month-old puppy, Chase, is about the same size as my most elderly dog, Ranger, a hound-mix. Ranger is thirteen and somewhat arthritic. These two have lived together since Chase was eight weeks old. As Chase has grown, he occasionally has tampered with Ranger’s weaknesses. Yesterday, out of what seemed the clear blue, Chase attacked the elderly dog viciously. My housemate, closest to them, struggled mightily to pull Chase off. To the pup’s credit, he didn’t directly battle her, but earned another check mark, this one huge, against living in this household.

Around midnight, I allowed the dogs outside briefly, with Chase out separately. Before letting Chase inside, I set up a baby gate that would separate Ranger. Immediately inside again, Chase approached the gate and Ranger with hackles up. I deeply understand Chase’s one-track mind, and knowing he might knock away the gate, ordered him into a crate.

Here’s the upshot: My young male dog is loyal and people-friendly; he’s also capable of escaping almost any fenced area and of relentlessly attacking a long-time, older. weaker male companion. Finally, I must face that Chase’s inherited Rottweiler/Shepherd genes include some highly admirable and, for me, too challenging to live with.

For the time being, as I weigh whether to keep Chase, he’ll be separated from the pack and in the stand-alone kennel that he’s not escaped so far.

Dear Friends: I’m devasted that this cute puppy’s evolving story is discounting trust and happiness. Diana