it gets dark so early now

Kind of a strange day, upsetting and peaceful at the same time. I slept past noon (well, I was up reading until very late, or early)—I probably would’ve slept until 3:00 but Ginger nudged me awake. Nothing like a cold wet doggie nose to open one’s eyes—much better than my alarm clock. She won’t go downstairs (usually) until I do. She was probably hungry. I don’t know why she does that—Stanley is usually downstairs long before I am.

But I guess I got enough sleep. I was feeling pleasant, happy to see that a check we’ve been waiting for arrived (oh joy, I can pay some bills now), cranking up the ‘puter to check email, got my coffee ... then Stanley said, “Alice is back in the hospital.” Blood clots in the lungs? Fluid around the heart? We will go to see her on Sunday afternoon, I think, unless she tells us not to. She had a CT scan, which is how the blood clots were found. I hope she knows more about what’s going on tomorrow but I suspect they won’t be able to tell her anything until at least Monday. She’s in Norwalk Hospital, which I loathe almost as much as I loathe Bridgeport Hospital. So I’m pretty upset about that.

maple by the potting shed
(click to enlarge)
We worked in the yard again today. This week, a lot of the rest of the leaves came down. The catalpas are still clinging to half of the dead slabs of leather-like leaves that clunk when they fall. Stanley blew the newest layers of fallen leaves into a pile that is getting huge. I guess he plans on shredding them soon. I planted some more bulbs: tulips and irises and some lilies, mainly. I have more to go tomorrow. It was about 55 degrees out so it wasn’t so bad; it is supposed to be a little warmer Sunday. I have until Tuesday to get the rest in—if I’m running out of time I will plant them in the container garden and move them next year. We still have to get the new rosebush in and one more arborvitae.

This photo was taken on November 2, which was about peak around here. Which was about 10-14 days late this year. This shows the maple next to the potting shed. Right now, the shed is boarded up because the cretins at the middleschool next door to us kept breaking out the windows, and Stanley uses it to store stuff, tools and what’s left of old furniture and other junque. It mostly grows mildew and mold—I can’t even go in it without feeling like I’m suffocating unless the door has been open for a while. Next year, I would like to open up the windows and clean it out and really use it as a garden shed. It’s a pretty area back there, though there is a tree falling over that we need to get rid of. I think if we used it more, it would discourage the teeny boppers from using the area behind it as a trysting spot (the joke’s on them when they get poison ivy!)

This evening, we didn’t do much of anything. I made a big pot of stew, and did some laundry, and Stanley scouted out some music (my current obsession is My Morning Jacket, whom I saw on Late Night with Craig Ferguson a few days ago).

We watched Masters of Horror, which was nasty and not all that good tonight. The movie was “Dance of the Dead” by Tobe Hooper. It didn’t scare me as much as it grossed me out. Why is it that in a post-apocalyptic world, there are still plenty of cigarettes and gasoline and factory-made gadgets for injecting the latest street drugs? Oh, and dentists. Must be they stop charging for dental work. And never run out of the stuff that makes your teeth so white. Oh, and beauticians all survive, too, and mousse must last forever.

Next week’s movie is by Dario Argento, one of my favorite horror directors. Last week’s was pretty decent: “Dreams in a Witch-House,” directed by Stuart Gordon, a Lovecraft story. The first was “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road,” directed by Don Coscarelli, which was a variation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Speaking of apocalypse ... saw Nightline last night where Koppel gamely tried to get a straight answer about how we should prepare for the allegedly impending bird flu pandemic—and couldn’t get an answer no matter how many ways he asked. The HHS guy said they’re meeting to come up with plans, and then going on a dog and pony show to present these plans to cities and states. Very frustrating—I just want a checklist. What will we need to have on hand if it should hit, say, Connecticut and everyone has to be quarantined for, say, a month? It’s not like we haven’t gone through this before in this country. I told Stanley after we watched it that I would stockpile enough beans and soup and creature food to last a month. He just thinks I’m nuts for worrying about it, I think. But then, I’m the one that’s squirreling money away for our retirement, so I guess it’s my job ...

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