Cider Press Hill

Sunday afternoon opera and stuff

Sunday, 3:24 pm

By Kate

Apr

19

2009

sunny

I have never been known by my love of opera, but here I sit watching/listening to Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and I’m loving it. The villain is so deliciously villainy. The heroine is so tragic. And the hero is so...so...emphatically tenor-y. And while the heroine lies on center stage in a full faint, the villain and hero sing all about killing each other with their swords. It’s sort of an afterthought that anyone pays attention to the tragic lady who is being driven mad by her grasping, greedy brother. I hope the villain (brother) gets his! Sometimes, I do like opera!
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So, yesterday I joined the gym. It’s a newish one in town called Planet Fitness. This gym has two major things going for it—there is easy parking and the membership is $10 a month. It’s close to my house, too. And the hours are great. So, I’ve signed up and I have a one hour get-together with the personal trainer on Thursday to get me set up on the weight machines. They’re new and a little different, so I’d like some instruction before I start using them. The instruction comes with with membership, so I’m taking advantage of it. Meanwhile, I can use the stair steppers or bikes or treadmills or free weights.

As I understand it, this particular gym franchise got its start, close-by, in New Hampshire. It was designed for the regular everyday person. No showing off appreciated or encouraged at these gyms. And there is a prohibition against grunting and dropping weights or acting like a prima donna. That cracks me up. I’ve been to gyms where both men and women behave that way and it is annoying. And a serious plea for attention. When I’m at the gym, I’m suffering enough on my own, I don’t need to share someone else’s suffering, too. We’ll see. All I care about is getting to those weight machines.
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Oh my, the operatic heroine just went certifiably bonkers and stabbed her bridegroom while singing beautifully. It’s not easy being an opera star, is it?



 

Dreams indeed

Wednesday, 7:04 pm

By Kate

Apr

15

2009

partly cloudy

I’m sure nearly everyone connected to the outside world has heard of this by today, if not seen the video. That whole Susan Boyle and Britain’s Got Talent thing. It’s a British television program similar to our American Idol and even has dear Simon sitting in judgement there, too. Anyway. this has been on the news here at least a couple of times today and I finally settled in to watch Susan Boyle’s performance to see what all the fuss was about.

Well. Here is the video. It’s priceless. It’s really special, I think. I’m not one to usually go all mushy over these sorts of things, but this one kind of chokes me up. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that she sings one of my all time favorite songs from Les Miserables and sends it sailing out of the auditorium on iridescent beams. No, that didn’t hurt at all.

Do yourself a favor and watch this video. It’ll make your day if you haven’t seen it before. If you have, well, you’ve also probably watched it about 30 times today, too. There is something so appealing about this woman. And apparently she is the real deal who pulled that song from the very depths of her heart. I hope to hear more of her voice if it’s as consistently fabulous as her debut suggests. She gave me chills.



 

A noble job

Tuesday, 11:31 am

By Kate

Apr

14

2009

sunny

Outside there hangs a wreath beside my front door. I’m not speedy when it comes to changing my wreaths for the seasons. The one hanging there is a bit wintry, although not Christmasy. I was going to replace it yesterday with something spring-ish, but thought I’d take the cautious approach this year. You may or may not recall that last year I yanked the wreath off the wall and scattered little bird eggs in the process. Yesterday I walked around the wreath and looked for tell-tale signs of a little bird nest. And I found one.

So, I climbed up on the porch railing and peered over into the nest to see what was in it. Four tiny bluish speckled eggs, that’s what’s in it. And the two purple finch parents were hovering in a nearby bush having a shrieking fit. I climbed back down and went back in the house. They calmed down and came back within a couple of minutes.

I missed the wreath exchange date, again. I’m also thinking it might be time to replace the winter wreath. Although I think the little birds are very charming and sweet and I’m glad to provide them a place to build a nest, I’m not too crazy about bringing a well-used nest into the house, to store until next winter, when I have two little birds of my own. So, I think that’s it for my winter wreath. It’s a bit long in the tooth anyway. I hope it does a good job of protecting the baby birds during its last year in service.



 

The strangest thing

Saturday, 9:18 pm

By Kate

Apr

11

2009

partly cloudy

This afternoon, I noticed my across the street neighbor out doing yard work in the rain. And it struck me as kind of a good idea. I decided to go out, too, with my brand new heavy duty steel rake. I raked and raked and raked...all those dead grass areas in the yard. I roughed up the soil and got it all nice and ready for some grass seed. I was warm enough and it didn’t rain on me too much. In fact, it pretty much stopped raining while I was out there. I should have guessed.

In any case, I got out my big bag of grass seed. It’s the kind of seed that’s incapsulated by fertilizer and some other green gunk that does something useful. I took handsful and broadcast it across the bare spots. I ended up using the entire bag (about 5 pounds) and got what looks like pretty good coverage along both sides of the driveway. I can hope that this time the grass might grow. I can hope really, really hard.

And, of course, a little bit of rain would help a lot, too. Now, I’ve been the one moaning about all the rain in the forecast. And complaining about rainy days, one after the other. Where was I with my grass seed while all that was going on? Huh? I don’t know.

Now that my grass seed is planted, the forecast is barren of rain for the next 10 days. Does it not just figure?

There was the most beautiful red and pink sunset tonight. It was absolutely gorgeous and it said, “ha, ha, ha, ha...sailor’s delight tomorrow, kiddo. You snooze you lose. Shoulda planted that grass seed two weeks ago. That’ll teach you to put things off.”

Nah, the sunset didn’t really speak to me. But if it could have, that’s what it would have said.



 

Lovely spring day.

Thursday, 5:56 pm

By Kate

Apr

09

2009

sunny

Today was just about as perfect a spring day as a day can possibly get. All blue skies, warm sunshine, mild temperatures in the mid-60s, and no sea breeze. Perfection. I spent the entire afternoon outside raking and cleaning up flower beds and picking up twigs and sticks...and stomping mole holes full of dirt. I don’t know why I bothered with that. They’ll just dig themselves out by morning.

I have quite the mole infestation. I found holes dug in the yard all over the place. They are mole holes. No doubt about it. And I’m not too thrilled. I must have an entire family of them including grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, along with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins. They have made a mess and I am more than happy to bring my rake and pitchfork crashing into their world.

It’s really a sign, though, isn’t it? This yard needs a dog. I might, too.

There are green shoots poking up all over the place today. And the lilacs are very close to bursting into bloom—which, I think, is a bit early. My redbud trees also show signs of life and they, too, are close to bursting out into something. I have no idea whether they’ll give me flowers for the first time this year or just leaves, but they’re about to pop out with something. I’ll take anything they want to give me. They haven’t died on me yet. That’s a big bonus right there.

As hard is it is for me to get two trees growing in the front of my house, I noticed this afternoon that there about 100 or so volunteer maple seedlings that have just sprouted. If I didn’t do another thing out there, I’d have the beginnings of a hardwood forest in my front yard. It’s so tempting. I suppose I’ll let one or two grow and try to transplant them later.

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In other news....I think that I’m losing my mind.

I’ve lost 3 Netflix movies. I know that they were in their red envelopes and I know that I had them ready to return (finally), but when I went out a little while ago, I couldn’t find them. I turned the house upside down looking for them and they simply are not in a place where I can find them. Which is to say, I could have put them someplace while I was putting something else away during my cleaning frenzy this week. Things like that have happened before. On the other hand, I was thinking I’d already left them in the car to drop off at the mailbox the next time I was near one...but they weren’t in the car either.

So, either I’ve put them away really, really well and won’t run across them for a couple of months until I open just the right drawer or I did leave them in the car and someone took ‘em. I wouldn’t discount either option so I’m about ready to admit defeat and tell Netflix I lost the darned things and pay for them. If they turn up, well, I guess I get to add three movies to my library.

Where in the world would have I have tucked three bright red envelopes? I even checked in the fridge. My house is really not that large. It’s so baffling.



 

What came over me?

Tuesday, 8:21 pm

By Kate

Apr

07

2009

overcast

Well, it’s not as if anything exciting is going on in my life recently. And I haven’t even paid attention to the news or the blogs for the past couple of days. I’m assuming everything is still holding together out there. I attribute it to cabin fever, a lot of rain, and having a cold.

I’ve been awfully busy coughing, hacking, sneezing, sniffling, croaking like a frog, etc. It’s sort of entertaining to see what new noise tomorrow will bring. Ah well. I must be almost all better because I started cleaning this morning and never seemed to stop until this evening. Considering the time I spent, it seems like I should have gotten more done, but done is done and crossed off the list, so not to complain.

Today I:

washed, folded, and put away 3 loads of laundry
washed, dried, and re-hung curtains
Scrubbed stove and underneath top
scrubbed microwave oven
vacuum cleaned & dusted downstairs
washed a couple of walls
washed ceiling fan and blades
cleaned picture frames hanging on walls
cleaned bird cage
went grocery shopping…

and bought a bottle of Pinot Noir, which I am finally, at this moment, sitting down to sip.

I don’t what has come over me. I couldn’t sit still today. I had to clean stuff. I’m still not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that this doesn’t happen all that often. Maybe it’ll happen again tomorrow. Anyway, I’m done in and I’m going to go watch a movie and snuggle into some freshly washed pink sheets and pillowcases which smell like Downy and make me very, very happy.



 

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