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Finished clearing the Freeze killed veg out of the yard AND cleaned the gutters, including the plugged downspout on my neighbor's property(we're row houses). It's a bit annoying to have someone almost 20 yrs younger and athletic avoid cleaning it. After 4 months, I did it myself afer I tried to shame hime into doing it by going over to his house with my walker/zimmer and asking if it was OK for me to do it.
Someone's Mother forgot some stuff she was supposed to teach him or he just didn't listen. I'm up on a creaky ladder with my balance problem while he is literally cleaning his car! Didn't even say thank you.....
The 'Ugli' got a bit of Freeze damage and has lost about a quarter of it's leaves. The much hardier Yuzu....not a mark. Hope the damage doesn't mess with the Blooming next month.

Ice! Ice! Baby;>!

Well, the Freeze was deeper than the Weather-dweebs said it was. Today I took out the plants I'd stored in the shed and many had freeze damage. Luckily, none were killed. Sadly, most of the Nun's Orchid flowerstalks were. The others are later blooming so they should throw off the leaf damage and do ok later. Those outside? It won't be until a week or two(just for this Freeze and we should get at least one more good one this Winter)to tell whether they've been killed to the roots or just leaf and stem/branch damage(older parts usually do better).
It was a nice surprise, however that a couple of the holiday cacti decided to bloom. Gives you Hope;>....
I usually don't review or recommend non-Heathen Spiritual books but this collection of stories of the Shinto Saint Kurozumi Munetada is so, well uplifting(esp after the last couple of weeks;>).
Kurozumi was considered a living Kami during his lifetime and today has shrines dedicated to him about Japan. A devotee of Amaterazu Ohmikami, their Sun Goddess, he spent his life lecturing people how to live a Good, Respectful and Happy life by making deep connections with the Kami. Many(if not most) show a wonderfully dry sense of humor(like when he convinces a hyperchondriachal society matron with a persistent "headache" to keep watch for the symptoms of a new disease which "cured" her "headaches";>)....
Uplifting and funny. What more can you ask for to put your Mind into a Good space before bed;>!
Occasionally, a book series comes along that is like the finest junkfood....once you start, you can't until it's finished;>. The Kurtherian Gambit books are just that.
The books start with the central character Bethany Anne going from a black ops operative with a couple months to life to her becoming the Empress of the Etheric Empire;>.
The universe of this Urban Fantasy/Military Sci Fi series is one of actively competing species all fearful of the godlike Kutherians. They are divided into two philosophies; The Five Clans who ORIGINALLY had a "Prime Directive" attitude toward other species and The Seven who are pretty much the Shadows from Babylon 5;>. The 7 genetically uplift species and pit them together as Bethany Anne quaintly(and accurately)describes as "interplanetary cockfights". The "combat" them, the 5 seek out species in the 7's way and do the same(for their protection". The 7 have had a base on Earth for more than a millennia. The 5 sent a scout ship about the Viking Period which is shot down. The pilot captured a peasant and attempted to "upgrade" him. It didn't go well or get finished and the escaped and contagious(the nanites hadn't been programed to remain with their host)and thus was born our Vampires. You can guess where our Shapeshifters came from;>.
Fun, Funny and an easy read(the main characters keep reminding the scientists that:
They're "just" Grunts
Can kill them with a single finger

The saddest thing about the series is that it's pretty sure close to how our planet's gov'ts would respond to a group that's keeping tech from them because they're prepping for an invasion by the galaxies....


Well, we THOUGHT this had been the best family Xmas in many yrs.....until we found my brother's and his wife's gifts from us stuffed under the wipers of the car the next day. No warning at all there was a problem.
So, Chuck and I had a talk and we've decided no matter what, after Dad dies, we're moving to the nearest city with decent public transportation that we could afford a small 1BR or loft that allows cats.
16 yrs putting up with Passive-Aggressive BS for the sake of family is more than doing one's duty.

Yule/Mother's Night...

For a number of yr's I've been switching up Alfablot and Disablot on Winter's Night and Yule. Probably those yr's in Wicca and CR making me think of Samhain as "Female";>. This yr Alfablot was 1st and Mother's Night was just held. I think I'm going to "stick" with this since it's certainly more "Nordic" and while I'm not the "Lore Nazi" I used to be, it's always sort of Bugged me when I did Alfablot in December....
Anywho, I was Bloting on ACTUAL Winter Solstice, one of maybe 3 times I've done that in 3 and a half decades! I'm at the Ancestors portion and I "EEEP!" when something bumps the back of my leg. I SWEAR that I "Heard" giggles;>. One of our cats had pushed the door open and wanted to check out what I was up to. I put him back in and as I began agan I stated "Some of you probably had cats....so you Understand."....

"The Talk".....

It's how I label that conversation that all couples reaching, as a British Comic once put, "That Tender Lady Time of Life" should have....what happens when.
Ours is more complicated with Chuck's Head Injury. Not that he doesn't Understand, it's that until recently the problems with my family instigated unintentionally by my mother made the consequences of me Passing 1st twist my stomach.
Now that my SIL knows that what Mom told her about Chuck SUPPOSEDLY to make them more likely to help get me to move back here wasn't true(well, about HIM;>)and Chuck knows that she knows, much of the BS between them is gone. For her anyways. Chuck sadly still has scars so he still has Trust Issues with her, which is understandable.
If He Passes 1st there's no problems, other than my Sadness. If I do, My family will take care of the Cremation and I really don't want a funeral. Just take my down to the beach and sprinkle. Then the "fun" begins"....
Until yesterday, he had it in his mind that they were going to "lock him up". I had talked to them and their plan is to find him a retirement or group home. When I explained that it was "More like 'Waiting for God' than 'One Flies' over the Coo Coo's nest" he calmed down. I even told him if he wished they'd find him a place back in his hometown of Philly. Both he and I feel better now.
It's been one of my biggest stresses and now that, at least at the moment everything's going well I don't have to be.
About THIS. January's only a couple week's away;>

ME! ME! ME;>!

One thing that yesterday's semi-rant did was focus my thoughts. I've been "In Service" most of my life. As a kid, helping with my grandparents(Grand Duffys and Grandma Jefferson)and as an adult as a Nurse. Then, of course being a child of Nun-run Catholic school Guilt trips I got involved with Environmental, Social Justice and Health Movements. I taught what I'd learned Spiritually to those Interested and up to 5 yrs ago I was on the local health dept's Patient Advisory Board. Then came last month.
Now, I'm finally admitting it: I'm a tired old Queen with Health Issues on Disability. It's OK to let folks Do or Not Do the Work not completed. I've Done Enough.
So, 2017 is going to be the Yr of Me. I'm going to take care of myself and my loved ones and leave the rest of the World up to, well the rest of the World;>.
I'm finally Retiring;>.....


A couple days ago I realized that I was Feeling an Unusual Emotion for someone whose pic is under the Ares section of Astrology books;>. The events esp of the last two months an those that even has made it through my "Cold Turkey" on News should have sent my on at least a rant....but hasn't.
Maybe the books I've been reading lately had something to do with it; those on Saints of Daoism and Shinto. Could be anything but probably the "last straw" was finding out that LITERALLY our votes(for at least President here in the States) doesn't count. At that moment I Agreed with the Trumpers,"Let It Burn".
I hadn't realized until a couple days ago that that Feeling had such an effect. Part of it is that for the majority of my Life, I've been Living it in "Service"....usually fighting just to do that. I had to fight my folks to go to Nursing School. Fought: aids, Inequality Issues, Environmental Issues, etc. That Moment of Illumination showed me that The Old Man was Right....AGAIN;>. Once before while wailing on my "Pity Pot" He asked me if I'd done "it all" Unconditionally. When I said I had He told me, "Well, there you go.". With this I'm oddly in a very Buddhist state of Mind. The "World" is no longer my business. As St Stan of 'South Park' once said, "Don't Care. Don't Care. DON'T CARE!";>. From now on my Energy goes to our little family, esp to ME for a change;>!
The PTB wanted the World to be this way. So Mote It Be.

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells......

"Winter Is Coming";>! Bout frikk'n time. Tomorrow(unless the front moves faster than expected) I'll be "dragg'n" in all the (sub)tropical into the shedto protect them from Freezing. It's only supposed to be Freezing for a couple days which means I'll be "dragg'n" them back out by the 1st of next week. BLAUGH!
My Persimmon has finished dropping it's Apricot-coloured leaves...always a good sign of Fall LITERALLY ending;>! My Spring bulbs are all planted as are the Hardy Annuals that'll germinate and grow slowly during the warmer days to burst into flower in Spring or early Summer.
Discovered much to my disgust that I was right about the source of the gutter "waterfall"...the downspout for that section is in my neighbor's yard and is PLUGGED. I can reach from the to[p of a ladder to it's gutter drain but it's too packed for me to get much out AND using a dryer duct cleaning tool couldn't either. I'm going to have to ask him to either do it himself or let me go into his yard and dismantle the "s" section where the majority of the plug probably IS. I HATE dealing with neighbors about such things. So many take it as accusation of poor maintenance instead of just crap that just happens. Oh well.