Isolation Report: letter from the bunker

Today a new box of Ziploc bags fell from a high shelf in the pantry and struck me on the cheek.

Yesterday I watched a cluster of four baby centipedes march through my dining room. They didn’t make it.


Also yesterday, I made myself a face mask out of a white cotton napkin which I acquired on my last first class trip on Continental. When I put it on to go out for milk, I looked like I was being smothered by an old school baby diaper.

That is all.

Palm Tree People

Here’s the problem: I’m a Gemini.

I’m at the beginning of Year 3 of trying to perfect my backyard plantings. The Sky Pencil Hollies that I had such hopes for haven’t lived up to my dream – some are spindly and some have died. Turns out they’re susceptible to fungus. A few are doing well so it would be a shame to rip them out just because their brothers committed the crime of Not Thriving against me.

They’re in a full sun location outside the pool screen. So I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I came to the conclusion that I could replace the center cluster with a dwarf palm tree. After some agonizing I decided on a Pygmy Date Palm, despite the internet tut- tutting  of cold weather sensitivity and some serious spikes on the fronds.

And lo and behold, during Florida’s First Spring last week, I was meandering around the Walmart garden section and saw a rolling stand full of beautiful palms, fresh off the truck  including 2 PDPs. For cheap. So I immediately found a nice young Walmart worker who carted the thing around for me and put it in the cargo compartment of my car and brought it home. The cargo compartment hasn’t recovered yet.

pdpHow very beautiful it is. Soft, delicate fronds gently waving in a light breeze (+ those spikes) , attractive shade of green, contained growth, and just the right size for the space. I set it out in the sun and now , after several days of staring at it, I find it to be … unsatisfactory. It has 4 trunks and I really would prefer 3.

Because I’m a Gemini. (impulsiveness, followed by regret)

So what I need to know from you palm tree people is this: can I simply saw one trunk off? Is that asking for trouble? I found this in an on-line version of a newspaper article: nc

… but you know, the internet. Filled with people repeating misinformation or outright making things up*. If you’ve ever tried a recipe that exists only on the internet or one of Martha Stewart’s anywhere, you know that’s true.

So, Palm Tree People – is that true? If yes, then what happens next? Do I have to paint the raw spot, to prevent a portal for rot, like you do with a deciduous tree in the northeast? Or is it just saw, plant, go?

*I confess in the name of comedy, I have been known to make things up. But not because of laziness – all in the name of humor! Just recently, I was inspired by the #Megxit drama going on and for the benefit of my like-minded colleagues in the UK Twitter world, I made a clever photoshop.  Very clever, if I do say so myself. When I say “like-minded”, I mean anti-Meghaneers who believe MM has no sentimentality and that she will soon be out of cash money after the big split with Buckingham Palace and her future divorce from the sad prince. Anyway, UK tweeters took my little photo as truth and a wave of outrage began to spread among the group. I tell you, those people would never make it in the world of US political tweeting.

it’s funny, right?



Sad Pink Pussy Hats

Of all the major events swirling around right now, you know what is the most under reported situation of all? It’s those pink pussy hats that were all the rage not so long ago.

What a time that was! The knitting needle market exploded and sisters across the land helped each other become part of the movement by teaching each other how to knit or by knitting hats for those who could not master that simple domestic art. The struggle for pink yarn was real.

Now those beloved hats languish in the back of sock drawers and the bottom of Goodwill bags all across the land, pushed out of fashion by the Next Big Thing. Now the Women’s March 2020 has no immediately recognizable symbol to flash around on the evening news. For some reason the vagina suits never really caught on, except for those same few souls who trot out the old costumes year after year.

Frankly – and this is something commonly acknowledged but rarely spoken out loud – the Women’s March lost a lot of it’s luster once it became passé  to wear the pink pussy hats. Will there be a similarly powerful replacement this year? A good guess will be whatever Meghan Markle shows up wearing. Maybe a crocheted tiara to honor Meghan’s terrible time struggling against sexism inside the royal bubbles across the UK? (That was a joke – turns out it’s a real thing.)

ccYes, I can see how that would be widely embraced. Who among us hasn’t felt at one time or another that we deserve royal treatment instead of being crushed by the patriarchal thumb of the Oppressor of the Moment? always wanted to wear a crown? Heck, I’d wear one. And I wouldn’t even to wait for the Woman’s March to roll around. I might wear it to the Price Chopper or to renew the car wash. The impact of wearing a scathing symbol of female oppression to those locations would have the same benefit as wearing it to the above-mentioned annual jamboree.

Anyway, let’s all have a quiet moment of reflection for the pink pussy hat and the mass hypnosis of the thousands who believed in them until somebody instructed them not to.

Too Soon?

I’ve been completely consumed with the #Megxit and #Harryvederci drama going on for the last week or so. In fact, I’ve been on the fringes of a little Twitter gang of anti-Meghaneers for quite a while. It’s all fun and games for the most part, but every now and then the British-American cultural divide puts the skids on the fun.

Today for instance, in the wake of the enormous disappointment that the queen didn’t immediately shove them both outside the palace gates to fend for themselves 100%, I took a mild part in the flurry sadness and of woeful predictions. I posted this and some people took it seriously.


For reference: That Aquamarine Ring Harry Gave Meghan
So IDK. Either I’m better than I thought myself to be or worse than I thought myself to be.

Also, if you haven’t seen this, you should.

Wither The Comedy Historians?

In real life, I’m considered to be hilariously entertaining. Or I would be if anybody understood what I was talking about 90% of the time. Here’s two killer examples:

  1. As part of my responsibility for the local Friends of the Library, I recently opened a post office box. You can choose the size of the box but not the number or the location. Imagine how happy I was to be assigned to box number 549. *pause for reaction* I thought everyone, if they didn’t immediately outright bust out into a Junior Samples imitation, would at least smile. Even when I explain it to people, they just look back at me and blink. Come on, people.



2. We use a pool blanket in the cooler months here at the Florida-Georgia line. It keeps the heat in so we can swim when the air temp is reasonable, thus extending swim season by two months on each end. At first, we tried to manually wrangle it from a loose pile at the end of the pool. It was a two-man job and a big hassle that only lasted about a week.  Then we invested in a long reel to smoothly put it on and take it off . This was a big improvement and made it a reasonable thing for one person to do it but still wasn’t the ideal process. There was a lot of walking back and forth to adjust it if you tried to do it alone. So my engineer husband got some tow rope and grommets and put them at each end of the blanket and life was tremendously improved. No waiting for a partner to make the job easy, falls into place without a lot of fuss and hilariously entertaining.

What?, you say*.

Yes. Every time one of us walks along the edge of the pool using the rope to guide the forward movement of the blanket, I sing Erie Canal. Out loud. I can’t help it. It’s so so funny and yet NO ONE EVER THINKS SO BUT ME.

I don’t think this is an age gap thing as much as it’s a unfamiliarity with American trivia. Not that the Erie Canal itself was trivial.  I guess I mean head of of stuff unnecessary for modern life.

The failure of others to be able to immediately recall  the lyrics and tune is a big disappointment to me. Where are my people? Why did I have to be the one to stage this particular comedy? Why must I continue to perform this gem for an audience of one (myself)? The only comfort in this entire exercise is that at least I appreciate myself.

The comparison is especially effective as the blanket moves near the end of the pool and you have to hold both ropes to gee and haw it into final placement.  Sadly, my model refused to pose as a mule skinner for this shot. Maybe another time. 


* This is another  bit of absolute hilarity that you would have had to be in a certain time and place to understand how easily I can amuse myself.)

what you say