I came of age in the sixties, when it was all the rage to be un-patriotic. It felt like blinders had come off for the first time; we didn’t want to accept the perfect glowing images we had grown up with but were seeing America in all its stark reality. This got ugly fast, of course. Vietnam vets got the brutal end of this, as if risking life and limb wasn’t enough, but you had to put up with immature folks back home ridiculing you for your service.
Then the pendulum swung back after 911. In shoring up our solidarity we reverted back to flags and flag decals everywhere, freedom fries in the congressional cafeteria and presidents decried if they didn’t have their flag pin in their lapel every time they stepped out.
I feel smack in the middle of this spectrum. Having traveled quite a bit, I feel quite strongly that there are few places where I would prefer to live. Religious struggles, authoritarian regimes, overly controlling policies (think.. it’s a crime to spit out your gum), racism/sexism practically built into the system – all of these things make me think I’ll just stay here, thank you very much. On the other side of this fence is my feeling of disquiet about our current political crisis; it’s embarrassing when I travel. (Except when I go to London, as their problems are pretty overwhelming right now as well so they’re not as quick to judge.)
But in general, I’m glad to be an American and will fly my big flag this weekend and stick my little flags out in the front garden. No picnics or parades, but a quiet weekend of gardening and weeding and thinking of those who have fallen for me.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Two years ago this month we hit 5,000 followers on the Trail. So I thought I do some stat updates:
Total # of views: 858,848
Total # of comments: 146,681
Most active recent day: March 22, 2019 (That Ole Devil Moon – VS)
Most active day and time: Tuesday, 8 a.m.
Most viewed post: R.I.P. Tom Keith – November 1, 2011
Most commented posts:
Chores & the Great Depression (182) – Jacque’s
Finding the Back Roads (180) – BiR’s
Banished Words (180) – also BiR’s
Top recent commenters: PJ, BiR, tim, Renee, VS, Linda, Steve
Today we have folks viewing from: US, India, Netherlands, UK, UAE, Canada, Kenya, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Nothing earthshaking, I just thought this was all very interesting.
Anybody have a question to go with our stats?
When I am over my head at work, making lunch in the morning is not something I want to spend a lot of time on. That’s why I try to cook on the weekends, so that there are leftovers that can be quickly scooped into containers for lunch. Yesterday morning there wasn’t much to choose from but there were four different take-out containers from last week, each with a bit left: Vegetable Fried Rice, Sticky White Rice, Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, Egg Foo Yung. I dumped all of them into one container, mostly thinking it was the best I could do and resigning myself to a lunch that would be mediocre at best.
But it was great. I stirred it all together, warmed it up in the microwave and it was a big comfort at lunchtime. Not quite macaroni & cheese, or pizza, but close!
Do you have a surprising mash-up in your life?
I don’t remember when I used to know everything, although I’m pretty sure I had a moment of that in my earlier life. I’m guessing about when I was 24? In the last week:
YA: What kind of flower is this?
VS: It’s a daisy.
YA: No it’s not. It says “gerbera”.
VS: That’s a type of daisy.
YA: No it’s not.
VS: (while showing her a website) Yes, it is.
YA: (while walking away). I don’t think so.
YA: Why are there 2 separate bags of chocolate chips.
VS: One is milk chocolate and one is semi-sweet
YA: Why would anybody want a semi-sweet chocolate chip
VS: Because most folks don’t want to overwhelm their dessert w/ sweetness. They are the most popular of the chocolate chips
YA: That’s not true
VS: Yes, it is.
YA: How do you know?
VS: Because I’ve stood in the baking aisle a million times and seen five times more shelf space given to semi-sweet. And I’ve seen a bzillion recipes that call for semi-sweet and not nearly as many calling for milk chocolate or white chocolate
YA: (under breath grumbling)
VS: Did you want to put parchment down before you put the batter in?
VS: It makes it easier to get the bars out and easier to clean up? Cut it down so it just fits in the pan but doesn’t crumple up in the corners.
VS: Because if it’s crumpled in the corners, the batter gets in there and bakes.
YA: Well, then you just pull the paper off.
VS: If the batter bakes in the crumples, it won’t pull off neatly.
When did you realize you didn’t actually know everything?
This is a picture of Nimue, trying to squeeze her way into my t-shirt drawer. She is a little too chubby for the amount of space. The photo is a little fuzzy because her tail was lashing back and forth pretty vigorously as she tried to get unstuck.
Do you have a favorite cozy space?
The last time I took Brekke (my car) into the dealership for an oil change, the attendant came to me saying that I needed new tires. He mentioned that there was a sale on tires but that the coupon would run out in two days. When I asked if the coupon could be extended (since I didn’t have time that night), he said yes it could and said I should call him the next day to set up the appointment. After I got home I did some research of my own on average tire wear and tear. Then the next day I did the penny test. Abraham Lincoln showed me the tires were just fine. I never called the dealership back.
So when the “change oil” indicator lit up on Tuesday, I was interested to see what would happen. When I took Brekke in, would they see a note from January about tires and remind me? Would they use the tire rotation as a reason to suggest again that I needed new tires?
But nothing. They did the oil change and the annual inspection, including the tire rotation. Not one single word about the tires. Sigh. Unfortunately I know that many service folks in big car dealerships get rewarded for upselling products and service. Now I’m stuck knowing that my service guy in January was just trying to make a sale, thinking that an older single woman would easily be persuaded that she needed new tires, even if she didn’t.
I am used to being overlooked and not taken seriously when technology is concerned in the wide world, despite the fact that I am considered a guru at my job. Young sales people look at my graying hair and my admittedly frumpy weekend clothing and often make the assumption that I don’t have any knowledge or buying power and I get fairly poor service. It pisses me off but it’s never been quite as blatant as this.
So what do I do now? Should I call the dealership and complain?
Photo credit: Bru-nO
As someone with a garden, I’ve railed in the past again weeds, especially Creeping Charlie. So when I saw the above headline on the BBC last week, I got a little excited.
The story turned out to be about a farmer in Australia who has been advocating “natural sequence farming” which at its core seems to be allowing nature do more of what nature does when we don’t interfere. It’s about a system to hang onto water and also about letting weeds be in some places so they can soak up carbon dioxide. I’m seriously simplifying this.
It doesn’t look like “natural sequence farming” will work at my house which means unfortunately I don’t think I can use climate change as a reason to let weeds take over my garden. Rats.
What do you have too much of that you wish could help combat evil?