Tag Archive | global warming

What’s going on?

This year started out crazy in January with Mother’s surgery and my step-father’s horrific death. Many days I find myself wondering if this craziness is the new permanent state of affairs and asking “what’s going on?”

At the macro level, sometimes I feel like I’ve landed in Bizarro World.

Remember Bizarro World Superman comics from a simpler time?

Remember Bizarro World Superman comics from a simpler time?

This isn’t even a major election year, but the political climate in our state and in the country just keeps getting worse, something that didn’t seem possible.

Unrest in the world keeps mounting. Rivers and oceans are rising and wildfires are raging. And what’s up with that storm last night? Arkansas is starting to feel like beachfront property weather-wise.

What’s going on? Have we passed the tipping point for things to be righted? Did we learn nothing from Marvin Gaye? The Vietnam War? The non-weapons of mass destruction and the melting polar ice cap?

Sigh. We do what we can in our daily lives and carry on as best we can. But we need to do better. Our grandchildren deserve it.

OK, I just put my soapbox away – I try to keep it out of this blog. But some days it’s tough.

What’s not tough is finding reasons to keep trying to make things better and to focus on the here and now. We have five of them 7 and younger.

Now, on to what’s going on at the micro level.

• John and I have finally become Bluth-heads. For years Ben and Liz told me how good it was, but we just recently started watching the old Arrested Development on Netflix. Yeah, kids, you were right.

Not only that, but we binge watch.

• And I’ve been staying up too late reading, still. We did stop watching The Daily Show and Colbert Report in bed, especially since our first-generation HD television has turned into black-and-white with a shrinking picture. I won’t tell you what I’m reading yet, though I will say after finishing Bruce, I binge-read a bunch of magazines that had stacked up. We’ll talk more books later. And we’ll save movies for another time soon, too.

• The grandkids keep us hopping and happy.

• And we’ve had more major changes in the house of late. Our upstairs floors are in the process of being sanded – we contracted Zaio’s Hardwood Floor Specialties to do the work – and will soon be polyurethaned. Hallelujah! Right now it’s sawdust central, but you can see how it will look from John’s prior handywork in my office.

Still needs baseboards and more coats of paint, but you can tell how it will look.

Still needs baseboards and more coats of paint, but you can tell how it will look.

After the walls were finished (sheetrock and paint) a while back, John's dream of a large mirror to reflect the double-helix stairs became reality.

After the walls were finished (sheetrock and paint) a while back, John’s dream of a large mirror to reflect the double-helix stairs became reality.

A glimpse of what's to come very soon!

A glimpse of what’s to come very soon!

Zuzu models the new floors. You can tell by the ears she's not so sure about her Vanna White skills. (I think she did just fine.)

Zuzu models the new floors. You can tell by the ears she’s not so sure about her Vanna White skills. (I think she did just fine.)

• Once again I’ve gone much longer between posts than intended. Part of that is because I work from home (I blog over at TheBerniceGarden.org, too, a real pleasure), in addition to having a busy life. But part of it is that I seem to be losing some steam. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the crazy year.

Maybe it’s the 58th birthday approaching in September.

Pooh. Anyway, I’ve got lots of things on my Lolly Diaries agenda.

• One last thing that’s going on: My nephew is in jail once again. He’s been a Crisco-coated eel for 16 years, slipping out of tights spots and sliding through cracks in the system. This time no one’s bailed him out and, though no one expects miracles, hope does spring eternal.

We know he belongs there, but it hurts. My heart aches for my sister and the fact that Mother has cried her eyes out makes me want to punch said nephew real hard. He was a loved child. Sometimes things just turn out crazy.

You’d never guess it to look at any of us, which is a good reminder not to judge people or make assumptions. Life is hard for everyone, and you never really know what’s going on.

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We’re having a heatwave …

I try to stay away from politics in this blog, I really do. And those who know me well know how hard that is. But whichever side of the fence you live on, you’ll have to admit we’re having a heat wave.

A tropical heat wave.

A scary heat wave. Dangerous heat wave, especially if you’re of the older persuasion.

Mother was overcome by heat last Sunday after spending all day outside at a Lollar family reunion on Beaver Lake. (Julia and I were sweltering at the Bernice Garden farmers market, so I wasn’t there). Sunday night, she had what mimicked a heart attack from dehydration, and, as it turns out, pneumonia.

Scary heat lead to a scary few days in the hospital. She’s much better, but not well, and now we’re preparing to leave for cooler climes, but an emotional heat wave in the Yakima Valley of Washington, where John’s mother is having a crisis of her own.

Such is the life of a baby boomer these days, those of us lucky enough to still have a parent or two. Hard to leave a sick one, but what can you do?

Unlike Mother and me, who will tell anything if it could possibly help someone else, John and his mother are a bit more private, so I’ll just say his sister Kitty sent a distress call and we’re flying out in the morning.

Fortunately we couldn’t ask for a better dog- and house-sitting crew. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now for a few random thoughts from a heat-addled brain.

• Isn’t it time for the nay-sayers to admit global warming is real? I remember being ever so concerned as a teenager about the hole in the ozone layer and what the future held. This week brought an ozone warning just about everyday. I could literally see the air yesterday as Julia and I downed bottle after bottle of Mountain Valley Water to survive the insane heat at the Argenta Farmers Market.

You can’t argue with science. It’s time to admit Al Gore was right. And if you don’t already, please follow Jack Johnson’s and Curious George’s advice: Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Every little bit helps. And we need all the help we can get. Eat local. Grow your own if you can. Drive less. You know the drill.

Tomatoes from our garden. Hard work but so worth it. Just hope they survive the heat.

• Please look out for your old folks in this heat. It’s so easy to get overheated and dehydrated. If you’re older than about 70, that can mean disaster or death in a heartbeat, or lack thereof.

Bring your pets in and keep them watered. They can burn out quickly too.

• Julia and I are getting a real education in how strange humans can be. We really don’t mind if you don’t want to buy our stuff. It’s a free country, but our products aren’t. You don’t have to tell us why you don’t want an apron, how quickly your dog could destroy a toy or that you think something’s too expensive.

We don’t mind you looking and walking away – seriously. But we do find it a bit odd when you feel compelled to insult us. Fortunately, we follow The Four Agreements and don’t take anything personally. Or make assumptions. 

Whatever. We just find it strangely interesting and eye-opening.

• But this heatwave is not interesting at all. And I’m afraid it may be more eye-opening than we’d all like to think. Wildfires in Arkansas?

•We won the homestead lottery with our new, darling young neighbors next door. We didn’t think we could stand losing Willie and Doris, who’d lived there close to 40 years when they decided they were of the age to downsize, but we struck gold with our neighborhood newbies.

John and I couldn’t be happier about being the old folks next door.

John’s zinnia’s have survived the heat so far.

Not fun in the summertime

When you’re an almost-10-month-old, 80-pound-or-so, long-haired, mostly black German Shepherd, 100+-degree days are no fun. It’s too hot to go walking with Mom and Dad and too hot to play in the backyard.

Zuzu’s been really bored in this heat, miserable, panting and desperate for fun. Tess, the thin blonde that she is, will occasionally go sunbathe in the backyard. Zuzu gets as close to the air conditioner as she can. She does play with balls and other toys in the house, but that’s not really enough to let off the steam a giant puppy builds up quickly.

Consequently, Zuzu’s done a couple of big naughties lately. For one thing, she recently got John’s embarrassingly expensive glasses off the TV tray where he left them after the second WWC game, exactly eye-level for Zu. I found them the next day on the floor by the living room dog throne, and they didn’t look too good.

When John tried them on, they sat diagonally across his face – he looked like a “No” sign, minus the red – before breaking apart. His replacement glasses are a $100 pair from Success Vision; no need to invest in another good pair until puppyhood is over. (In Zuzu’s defense, Tess ate lots of cheap reading glasses I left around the house when she was young. It’s a common phenomenon.) Plus he had to get them quickly so he could watch the Women’s World Cup Final.

Last night I came in from having dinner with Rhonda. John was in the shower, but Zuzu and Tess gave me their typical exuberant greetings. Zuzu, in particular, acted like I’d returned from the land of the lost. After soothing her and petting Tess, I noticed a muddy planter in the living room surrounded by quite a mess. When I saw that the flimsy store planter said “Gardenia” on it,  I knew what she’d done and ran out back to find the destruction. In the almost dark, I had no luck. John said he’d looked everywhere for the plant earlier in the evening to see if he could save it, but Zuzu had hidden it well.

Sometime in the night, Zuzu slipped out the doggie door, retrieved the gardenia from its hiding place and brought it in the living room where she must have shaken it as hard as she could for quite a while. We had dirt on top of furniture all over the room, but mostly it looked like it had snowed potting soil on our antique Turkish rug. At least it was very dry dirt.

Luckily for the dogs, they have old parents who think most things they do are cute. John  started vacuuming while I got the dirt off the furniture and out of the other rooms. Zuzu had her usual battle with the vacuum, which is always exciting for her – she literally lifts it off the ground with her teeth then jumps back and growls. And barks and barks and barks. But by mid morning, she was flat on the floor and pitiful again.

Who can stay mad at that face?

This afternoon, though, Dad had a great idea! He got out Jude’s old wading pool and filled it with tepid water, and big little Zuzu was in splash heaven for a while. I looked out the window to see her spinning in circles in the little pool and ran for the camera, but as she’s still freaky about having her picture taken, it took quite a while to get anything shot.

Ooh, that feels good.

At least on the hottest day on record in Little Rock, (global warming, people. It’s real. It’s really real.), Zuzu got a cool treat. We all need one; if this heat doesn’t break soon, well, just fill in your own images or metaphors.

The local weather service’s announcement on KUAR of 118 degrees* being the hottest day ever isn’t an interesting fact. It’s downright spooky.

*The  National Weather service announced the high as 114 at 2:40 p.m. in Little Rock, but a sign in NLR reported 119 degrees at 3:30.