Saturday, June 05, 2010

Two historical movies

I attended the showings of two movies tonight at the Lawrence Arts Center.  One of them was a documentary about Mariachi Estrella, an all female mariachi band.  Interviews with surviving members of the original group and family told how they got started, a little about each of them and then the tragedy.  In 1981, the band was about to perform at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City when a skywalk collapsed, killing four of the seven band members.

The second movie one was, "The Only Good Indian".  It was a 2009 Sundance selection and filmed in Kansas.  Familiar locations included Fort Larned, Monument Rocks, Topeka State Hospital, former Menninger's,  and lots of Flint Hills.  It was about how young Native American children were removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools, with Haskell being the one named in the film.  It was a powerful story. It is out on DVD and has been showing on Showtime. 

There was a discussion afterwards with the director, also interesting.  He told how low budget films such as this look at locations nearby and work them into the story.   I saw the name of a cousin of my son-in-law mentioned in the credits.  I believe it was something about mounted police.

We also attended the Civil War reenactment today.  More about that later.

Friday, June 04, 2010

One year ago today,

it was business as usual according to my posts at that time.  We were fishing, visiting friends and tending garden.

June 4th, 2009, was just four days after changing my description under my picture on the blog to “Retired” Rural Letter Carrier.

I used to have a side job in the USPS as a rural carrier trainer.  While I loved to drive my route, see customers, enjoy the four seasons and wildlife, the training job was challenging.   I used to tell the new hires when they left the class not to get discouraged as it might take a year for them to feel at home with a new route.  Learning the routine will be fast, but settling in and knowing the “little things” takes longer.

Well, the same may be said about my retirement.  A fast year has slipped by.  I’m happy.  Retirement is great. I know the routine.

I am now “at home” with the little things, too.  Here are a few:

Staying fit still takes will power, no matter if there is more time to exercise.  In that regard, I’m still trying to just get started.

I feel better if our house and my office is a little better organized.  Something I struggled with when working.  I’ll never be perfect in that regard—immaculate does not describe me.

We like eating our main meal earlier so we now have dinner at 12:00 noon when possible.

I have still have not learned to do my “work” during the day and relax in the evenings.  However, last winter that fire was nice in the evenings so maybe it’s just the Kansas summer daytime heat waning that gets us out to the garden and yard till dark.

We do not travel a lot, but more than when we both worked.  We take a couple week plus trips a year and a lot of one or two nighters.  I do more extra things like library book groups and a class here and there that interests me.  I do enjoy that a lot.

We have an immaculate garden, even if I say so myself.    I actually look forward to grabbing my hoe and attacking weeds.

I do miss the mail route and especially my friends at the post office.  I see them fairly often and will never tire of hearing the latest PO news.  Without a doubt, the USPS is changing especially if we no longer enjoy Saturday delivery.

Finally, though, and most importantly,  one of the reasons I retired when I did is to enjoy our grandchildren.  We try to make it to Colorado more often and now that summer is here, I will see our local three more often too.  One hope is my legacy will be that I was a good Nana, more than I was a good rural mail carrier.  And I do feel more at home now,  not only with the little things, but the little ones too.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mushrooms in my Christmas Cactus

IMG_6918_picnik Definitely I did a double take when I happened by this cactus in the livingroom several days ago.  First thought was that someone had played a trick on me.  They are so perfect, they hardly look real.  

Then I wondered what they were.  I have a book that lists mushrooms, but they seem to all look alike.  At first I thought it was the deadly Amanita.  After studying further, I am sure it is a Yellow Lepiota.   According to this web site, one would have to eat a bunch of them to get sick.  He also said the spores are most likely in the potting soil and will not harm the houseplant. 

What a great surprise, though.  They are beautiful.  However, I suspect I am watering my Christmas Cactus too much. 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Deviated by Sandy Nelson

I spent time today researching another topic then got side tracked by Sandy Nelson.

A blogger I follow asked for suggestions of great drum solos.  The comments included a lot of popular songs with drums in the background.  I thought she wanted solos.   Finally someone mentioned this song:

The Surfaris Wipe Out

Still, my favorite drummer in high school was Sandy Nelson.  I have his first LP album.  These two songs may be his most popular. 

Sandy Nelson “Let There be Drums”  and “Teen Beat

Didn’t have to be on the beach, I listened to these songs on the farm— 50 years ago. 

Several people suggested Iron Butterfly’s “In a Godda Da Vida”   What?  Don’t agree there. Here it is anyway  for you 70s people.

Ventures?  They did Wipe Out too.  Surfaris were the first.  Here is “Pipeline” though.  I consider it more instrumental than drums.

Any others old or new?

Monday, May 31, 2010

So Much for that

10:45 and thinking about getting ready for bed.  Dawns on me  the bedding is on the clothesline.  Go out to fetch it.  Feet get wet from dew.

Sheets are wet again.  Start to take them off the line.  Notice something odd.  Fireflies trapped between the sheets making it look like tiny lights flashing.

Shake sheets vigorously to get bugs out and drop one on the damp grass.  Pick it up and continued to shake now to get wet grass clippings off.  Mosquitoes now bombarding so slapping myself. 

Tramp back into the house with wet feet, wet sheets,  bugs on sheets and me.  Now itching while drying sheets and cooking bugs in dryer.

Note to self:  buy a second set of sheets