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Goodbye, Summer [Sep. 21st, 2017|10:17 pm]
There was more than a bit of thunder this afternoon and evening, but I saw no rain at all. There was a bit of damp on everything when I went out back once about five o'clock, so something must have fallen, but I missed it. There might still be a bit of rain tonight, and there might be a bit of rain tomorrow, since the clouds are lingering, but I'm not counting on it. In fact I watered the back yard because some of the bushes were looking way too dry again.

The oak tree on the next block back is shedding more of its leaves. Its leaves block the view of the streetlight over there, and each night I see a bit more light coming through as more leaves have fallen. Soon it will be glaring all night every night, and won't be hidden again until the new oak leaves come out next spring. I keep hoping it will burn out and nobody will notice (but me) but I don't think that will happen. I'll be squinting every time I go out back all winter, except during power failures.

It will start warming up again on Saturday, and then we will have balmy weather for at least a week. It shouldn't get too hot— just high seventies and low eighties for highs, and lows mostly in the low sixties— so I'll be able to have the windows open a lot, and get lots of fresh air in the house, and I won't have to be hearing that furnace cycling on and off, devouring my money. Looks like ideal weather for early fall, in other words. Oh, and tomorrow is the autumnal equinox.

I won't be going shopping until Sunday this week. I don't think I'll run out of anything important, as long as I don't get extravagant with the milk. Donuts aren't important, are they? No, I guess not.
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Almost Equinox [Sep. 20th, 2017|10:59 pm]
The cold snap is quite snappy. It has been cloudy all day. There hasn't been any rain yet,though it looks like it could rain at any time, and I did here a few peals of thunder this evening. There's a chance of a thunderstorm after midnight, or perhaps tomorrow morning. It's supposed to drop down to 47 here tonight. Chilly. I have had to don a hoodie, and wear a jacket when I go outside to check on the feral cats.

The furnace is on, too, for the first time this year. I hope it doesn't stay too cold for too many days this month. I just got my bill for the last air conditioning binge,and I'd hate to have another big one because of a heating binge. The furnace skunked when I first turned it on, but has ceased to reek now, thank goodness.

But the cold has quieted the small crickets. That's both good an bad. I'm always so anxious to be rid of the noisy little buggers that I forget the one positive thing they do for me, which is drown out my tinnitus. Now I can hear the ringing in my ears again. Oh, well.

I'm having dinner late again, but it won't take long to fix because it's only soup. That's another one of the good things about the first cold nights of the year. I get to warm up with hot, tasty soup. It's a spicy southwestern style soup tonight, and there are tortillas to go with it. I might make a pan of cinnamon rolls to follow it, and let the extra heat from the oven supplement the furnace.

Now I'm hungry. I will go heat the soup and watch television.
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Nothing In Particular [Sep. 19th, 2017|09:34 pm]
Yesterday's impressive clouds, which were supposed to hang around today, didn't. Instead we had a scattering of fluffy little white things. Nice to look at, but not at all what I'd expected. Nevertheless, the forecast now says there is a possibility of rain tomorrow and Thursday. Not much of a possibility, topping out at around 35%, but it would be a nice change if we do get it. But first those clouds will have to beef up. To me it looks like they might need the cloud equivalent of steroids to do so.

Today was Talk Like a Pirate Day, but as nobody has been around but the cats it seemed rather pointless to do so. I don't think the cats can tell the difference. It might as well be Talk Like Cary Grant Day, or Talk Like Mae West Day, as far as they care. As long as they get fed, I doubt they care what I sound like. Aarrrrh.

Either there is some sort of irritant in the air or I'm coming down with a cold, as I've been sneezing all evening. Well, I believe it is ragweed season, so I shouldn't be surprised. If we get that rain any ragweed-induced sneezing should go away. If it doesn't, then it's probably a cold and I'll be eating a lot of soup. It's a good thing I stocked up on ramen.

Tuesdays are dull.
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Mild Again [Sep. 18th, 2017|10:59 pm]
An increasingly spectacular display of clouds kept the day from turning hot, and provided a somewhat colorful sunset, and now will keep the night milder than it otherwise would have been. I am fond of clouds as a rule, but especially approve of today's collection, which has proved so useful. The clouds are expected to persist tomorrow, and probably the next day, and the cooling they bring will be greater each day. Oddly, this foretaste of autumn will end when autumn itself arrives later this week, as it will warm up again for the weekend and even more after that.

Naturally so pleasant a day left me lazy and unfocused, and the condition has persisted tonight. Now I'm good for nothing but watching television, which I intend to go do now. And I do believe I forgot to eat dinner. On well, my ass is too fat anyway.
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Letting it Be [Sep. 17th, 2017|09:13 pm]
What shall I do with these remains? This scatter of dead leaves with which the brown lawn is astrew? This fading day? This season on the wane, like the moon that is yet to appear tonight? The ceaseless buzzing of the insects, so like the tatters of disintegrated words? The thoughts that flee and fly apart? The pale ghosts of intentions, now as dead as the fallen leaves? The days to come, growing fewer like those doomed leaves still clinging to the trees?

The sight of the leaves tonight's dark will swallow. The buzzing of the crickets will be softened by the growing chill, and then silenced by dawn. The disintegrated words, the fleeing thoughts, the ghostly intentions— these seem beyond hope. I will leave their fate to the diminishing days.

On one of those days I will pick up the rake and heap the fallen leaves, then bin them and send them away. More will come next year. Winter will kill the insects, but more will come next year. The seasons and the serial shapes of the moon, they always return, and need no assistance from me.

It is the things in my head I really don't know what to do with, or about. They are being taken as though by a wind that blows from some cosmic clock, while the leaves, the insects, the moon's phases, the days and nights, are tickings, fast or slow, but inevitable. So, too, will be the arcs of the rake when I heap those leaves. So, too, are my fingerfalls on the keyboard. Part of the mechanism, I count my own time's passage. But when I put aside the rake the leaves will continue to grow and fall. They will grow and fall uncounted ages. Maybe I'll join them.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Late [Sep. 16th, 2017|09:00 pm]
Another pleasant day running away from me. When deep winter comes I'll regret not having paid more attention to these few days. Too much time on the Internets, while the balmy afternoons passed.

And now there is about to be time spent watching English people murder one another on television while the cool evening turns chilly.
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Mild [Sep. 15th, 2017|08:41 pm]
It's getting dark so early now, I'm always surprised by the time. I don't know why I'm surprised, as I know that the autumnal equinox is only a week away, but there it is. It's totally inky outside, and not yet eight o'clock. It won't be long before I'll have to rush through my shopping to get home before nightfall— unless, of course, I can go earlier in the day, which is very unlikely to happen.

I didn't have to rush today, and I didn't have much to buy, so I got home in plenty of time to water the back yard while the sun was still up. Some of the bushes were looking pretty thirsty because I've not gotten around to them for a while. Others didn't seem to have minded the drought. The trumpet vine, a late bloomer, still has a few flowers on it, and it, like the jasmine, has developed some seed pods, but the trumpet vine's pods are much larger. They can be dried and planted, but you have to wear gloves when you handle them as the sap is toxic.

This was the first of three days in a row that ought to be very pleasant. I opened the windows early, left them open all day, and the house never overheated but only got moderately warm. I'll probably have to close the windows in a while since it will be getting down to around 60 tonight, but for now I'm enjoying the chill of the fresh air wafting through them. Tomorrow and Sunday are expected to be almost identical, and then Monday only slightly cooler.

Later next week it's supposed to drop below the seasonal norm for several days, as we will be on the edge of the weather system that will be bringing rain to the northwest. So far it seems unlikely that we'll be getting any rain yet ourselves. I would enjoy it if we did, but the guys working on repairing the Oroville Dam spillway that last year's torrential rains wrecked probably wouldn't. The target date for completion of that work is November first. I guess if it's best for everyone else I can wait that long, so I just won't try to influence the weather this year.

I think it's time to close the windows and conserve the day's warmth until tomorrow. I'll miss the fresh air, but at least I won't have to hear those annoying crickets buzzing at me.
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Forgotten [Sep. 14th, 2017|06:32 pm]
The day never got as warm as predicted. I believe this was thanks to an overcast that lingered until after four o'clock this afternoon. When the sun finally emerged it was too late for it to warm the air. Despite the persistent clouds I left the windows open all day, expecting the sun to appear soon. Oddly, when I woke up this morning the house was about 68 degrees, but it gradually declined until hitting a low of 66 by noon, though in the last couple of hours it inched back up to near 68.

68 is about how warm it got outside today. As a result, I expect I'll have to turn the furnace on sometime tonight, because it's going to be dropping into the high fifties. The leaky house will get too cold with so little leftover daytime heat to conserve.

But tomorrow will give me a chance to correct today's error, if the forecast is correct. It's supposed to get up to 79, which ought to be warm enough to get the house above 70, so I can avoid the furnace tomorrow night. But then it was supposed to have been 75 today, so maybe it won't happen. But if it does, and I can capture enough of that free heat, the next time I'm likely to need the furnace will be Monday night. It's supposed to be a mild weekend, at least by day. Nights are going to be getting quite autumnal.

I haven't yet heard if I'll be able to arrange to go shopping tomorrow, so I might be going Sunday. Friday would be good for shopping this week, as Safeway will be having soup cheap, and I need to start laying in a supply for when the really cold weather arrives, which won't be long now.

Right now I need to go out and deal with the feral cats' water bowls before it gets too dark. There was something else I was going to do, too, but I've totally forgotten what it was. Maybe I'm in for an unpleasant surprise when I remember. More likely the unpleasant surprise will be what causes me to remember. Or maybe it just isn't anything important, and I'll end up not only not ever remembering but forgetting I ever forgot. I've probably forgotten a lot of other stuff, too, but I just don't remember.
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Pleasant [Sep. 13th, 2017|09:59 pm]
Such a cool evening, and milder days ahead. Next week there is even a slight chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday. I do love a nice September rain, so I hope we get it. If not, at least it will be cool. In fact those days will be so cool and their nights so chilly that I might have to turn the furnace on in the evenings. What I'd like most is a mild autumn, with occasional rain, so I won't have to spend too much on gas for that furnace.

But then a few cold nights is what we need to get rid of those noisy little crickets. Once they are gone the nights will be peaceful again. A nocturnal silence is almost as delightful as a September rain. Also delightful is the smell of desiccation in the air from the brown and moribund grass. Now that summer is almost over I can appreciate it more. When it was hot I barely noticed it, but the cool night brings it through my open windows as fragrant in its way as spring's flowers.

I got a bit more sleep last night than I have recently, but not really enough, so I'll probably be nodding off in front of the television shortly. First I have to heat some dinner, though. I've got canned tamales from the Grocery Outlet, and some tortilla chips to crush under them and cheese to melt atop them. I hadn't bought canned tamales (not as bad as they sound) for years because they are too expensive (almost three dollars) for what they are, but then I discovered that Grocery Outlet has them for a buck and a half a can, so I'm having them about once a week until I get tired of them.

And there I've made myself hungry thinking about them, despite that late afternoon snack I had again. Time for dinner.
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Last of the Heat... I Hope [Sep. 12th, 2017|09:54 pm]
The good news is tomorrow's high temperature is supposed to be only five degrees above the temperature right now. The bad news is that the temperature right now is 77 degrees, which is too high for this late in the evening. Sometime after midnight it might get cool enough for me to turn off my air conditioner and open my windows and let fresh night air in, but right now I've got the house cooled down to 75, and I don't want to give it up.

For some reason I've been way less tolerant of heat for the last couple of days. It's a good thing this intolerance didn't come on until now, or I'd have had to spend a fortune on air conditioning this summer. I'm sure I've spent too much as it is. Was. Whatever.

Other good news is that the Internet connection hasn't been anywhere near as cranky today as it was yesterday. It's only cut out a few times, probably for no more than ten minutes altogether. At least as far as know. I've been nodding off again, and don't know for sure that the connection wasn't down during some of my catnaps.

The star jasmine in the back yard has sprouted its seed pods. They look like miniature green bean pods. I looked up how to plant them, but the Internets tell me it's kind of a hassle, and the plants are actually easier to propagate through cuttings. Some of the plants in my hedge died back over the last couple of years because I was giving them too little water during the drought.

They got more water this year, and some of the plants have sprouted new growth, but it's going to take years for them to recover and I'm thinking it might be better to supplement them with new plants in between the old ones. The hedge looks awful half dead, and it would be nice to have it looking good again. The feral cats would like that, too, as the hedge, which grows along a low chain link fence, forms a tunnel for them, as well as a shady place to nap and to hide. They've only got about fifteen feet of viable tunnel now, and they used to have above sixty.

The catnaps led to a late snack this afternoon, and I'm not hungry for dinner yet. I might just settle for a midnight snack of popcorn, if I'm hungry enough by then. It's way easier than cooking, and there will be only one dish to wash. But now I'm going to go see if there's anything on television. I can't remember what shows are on what nights anymore, and don't have anything I watch regularly on Tuesday evenings anyway. Looks like I've gotten too old for appointment TV. Hey, dis-appointment.
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