Saturday, April 10, 2021
Friday, April 9, 2021
Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
That time of year has rolled around again. I watch as many Academy Award nominees as I can.
This week my choice was Nomadland (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Hulu, but it's available in theaters).Nominated for Best Picture (the list of producers includes Frances McDormand and Best Actress (McDormand); Best Cinematography (Joshua James Richards); and Director, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay (all for Zhao), Nomadland is the kind of movie that's beautiful without showing off.
Fern's (McDormand) husband has died. They lived in a company house in a company town. She has to leave and has no job.
So she buys a van she names Vanguard and takes to the road, living simply and working where she can. She meets others who are nomads, such as Dave, played by David Strathairn––the only other name actor in the movie. The rest of the nomads are played by real nomads, with Linda May as a standout.
Nomadland isn't filled with tropes. Fern and Dave become friends, but no big romance develops with him saving her. Fern has an opportunity to take a dog that someone else left behind, but it's not a drama with Fern saving the dog and the dog saving Fern.
Instead, Fern listens and learns from the nomads. Yes, the movie is about loss and loneliness, but more important, it's about the gain of human connections and the comfort of people helping each other.
Nomadland is a great movie.
Infinities of love,
Update: British Academy Film Awards have been announced. Nomadland won Best Film; Zhao won Best Director; McDormand won Best Actress. Nomadland deserves the awards.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
When I moved to Florida I was surprised by all the lizards running around outside.
Then I was really surprised when the lizards sometimes came in the house.
So I made a deal with them. If they didn't come inside, then I wouldn't kill them.
They didn't keep their end of the deal. So I sucked them up with the vacuum cleaner (not a good idea because they stink stank stunk), or I stabbed them with a fork.
Eventually I gave up and learned to appreciate the sight of a lizard sunning himself on a window sill or darting around the living room.
About a month ago, this guy turned up:
I took the living room curtains down to wash them, and there he was on the back of a curtain. I shook him off because I didn't want him fooling around in the washing machine.
He ran off to live in a closet in the foyer, but came out occasionally to torture Franklin and Penelope, who longed to remove his little lizard head.
Today, though, I found his corpse. Lizards usually like to die under the piano, but my lizard friend was right in the middle of the living room. We had become such close friends. He was a quiet companion. I tossed him out the front door.
Farewell, dear friend.
Infinities of love,
Monday, April 5, 2021
Inspired by those of you who garden and/or have houseplants, I acquired some new plants. They face great peril and possible death in their journey with me. Get ready because this post will be a long one with lots of photos and some questions. I welcome your plant care advice.
The two rose bushes were here when I bought the house. I don't have to do anything to them. They bloom frequently.
A week ago I made additions to the backyard.The petunias are cute. The lily is beautiful and gives off a great scent. I can smell it when I sit on the deck. I don't know if I gave the lily enough potting soil. It's not complaining so far.
If I do something different with the lily, then will it be happier? Should it be in a bigger pot? Would it like another lily next door for company or is it fine having petunias as a neighbor?
I didn't photograph two other additions that are next to the roses. I planted something I can't remember the name of, and also have some flowers described as DROP & GROW. So I dropped and watered, but will they grow?
If the stuff I planted comes up, I'll let you know. I might take photos of the dropped flowers so you can tell me what to do to make them grow. They didn't want their picture taken a few days ago.
I don't know what else to add to the backyard. I'd like to have some raised beds à la Two Men And A Little Farm, but Lowe's doesn't seem to have pre-built raised beds and I am definitely not good at construction.
I also want to add some pretty flowers to the front of the house. What grows well in the shade? I have flower boxes under some of the windows, but don't know what to put in them. Maybe they should wait until I have new windows.
Next, I now have houseplants. They are all supposed to prefer indirect lighting.
We begin with the orchid.
The pot it came in is a pretty lavender, but it's small. Should I re-pot it?
A plastic clip holds the orchid to the stick to give it good posture, but should I remove the clip and the stick?
Would it prefer living in the front yard?
Next, meet anthurium. Its red flowers (are they flowers?) coordinate well with the red pot.
I'm not worried about it unless you tell me why I should be.
Finally, we have bamboo, which advertises itself as a good feng shui plant.I'm sure I should repot the bamboo, but how big should its pot be for maximum happiness?
It came with pretty, decorative stones around it. Will I need to add more of those to a larger pot for its topmost pleasure? I can't imagine it would like plain gravel, but I don't want to pay for rocks, albeit attractive ones.
So many questions and concerns, yet I'm eager to bring more flowers into my life. I await your responses, Gentle Gardeners.
Infinities of love,
Monday, March 29, 2021
Happy Monday, My Friends:
A quick message: The letter I received that said I'm ineligible for help from the victim compensation fund was SENT IN ERROR. I'm relieved, yet frustrated.
This isn't the first problem I've encountered during this journey.
I have to spend the afternoon contacting all the healthcare providers to let them know about the Florida statute that says victims aren't supposed to have co-pays or payments toward their deductibles––something that should have been dealt with at the time of my emergency room visits.
When that's done, I look forward to reading your blog posts and commenting on them.
Thank you for your kindness and your support.
YOU ARE THE BEST!
Infinities of love,
Friday, March 26, 2021
Today is not a happy day. Today is not a good day. I'm quite upset.
Today is my son's birthday. He is now 41 years old. An alcoholic. User of cocaine. Abuser, emotionally and physically. Great when he's not drunk and hideous when he is. Went to rehab for six months and then started drinking again immediately. Knew the police wouldn't make him leave my house no matter how many times I asked for help. Eleven inches taller than I am and outweighs me. Locked up because he's the attacker, which I've told a few of you or confirmed for others, and the rest of you probably suspected it.
He's the giver of the gift that keeps on giving because I'm still filling out papers and dealing with problems. The latest is that I've been deemed ineligible for assistance from the victim compensation fund, according to a letter from the office of Ashley Moody, Attorney General State of Florida.
After jumping through hoops and filling out forms and sending them copies of detailed medical bills along with the case number and the name of the state's attorney and doing everything I'm supposed to do, I've been informed "there is no proof that a compensable domestic violence crime occurred." I guess FELONY ASSAULT isn't serious enough.
The first notice I received about the fund said I was eligible. The second notice said I'm eligible but I had to provide a copy of a letter to my health insurance company and all healthcare providers billing me because of two emergency room visits that a Florida statute forbids co-pays or payments toward a deductible for victims of crimes.
So I called the health insurance "concierge" to ask the best way of getting the letter to them. The person who answered was unfriendly to say the least and didn't seem to believe that such a statute existed, but I found out how to email the letter to them, which I had to do through My Page on their site, where attaching the letter proved somewhat difficult. Then I received emails back from the concierge dept. that were accusatory and impolite.
Finally I received information about calling in a different dept. I spoke to someone in the other dept. yesterday. She was polite, empathetic, and helpful. Because my (COBRA) insurance is from a large corporation, they might not have to obey the mandate in Florida. The kind person is working on it. I still have to contact all the healthcare providers, who are in this area, yet somehow don't know about the statute. They've never had to deal with a victim of a violent crime before?
But every time I have to deal with what happened, it's hard. It's worse when people are rude. It's even worse when they demonstrate no empathy.
Oh, and I'm also ineligible because I didn't provide proof of relocation expenses.
I didn't relocate.
So now I have to open yet another gift from my son and continue with the mission to make people aware of the statute and failing a reasonable response from the healthcare providers, I have to appeal the decision relating to the victim compensation fund.
I am so overwhelming tired at this moment.
All I want to do is sleep, but I have to carry on because I am not the person who should pay the bills.
Hi, Every Buddy! Hi! Hi! Hi!
I gots to tell ya, I had a bad day. Mom gave me that shower she'd been saying I needed. She said I was stinky. That was ridicurous. I stunk good.
She called me to the backyard. I knew what was up. She had the shampoo and the hose with the special shower thing on the end.
I stood still because I'm a cooperative kinda dog, but I didn't like it.
The worst part is always when Mom lifts up my tail and washes my bottom.
It's so embarrassin'.
When the humiliation was over, she dried me with a towel, but she said I was too wet to go in the house! I had to stay on the deck. That hurted my feelings.
So I licked myself dry.