Closed casket, open bar…

Theodore Roosevelt NP, July 4, 1997

Started on the annual July 4th party planning today. The question is how many people can I get in the Old Bat Cave. Especially old people who need chairs. The answer is 4 or 5. But that ain’t happening. It will be twice that many. I have spots for 6 people to sit in chairs. But, I can get the house to send up 4 or 6 uncomfortable chairs.

Yesterday, my chaplain buddy, Steven, introduced me to the “closed casket, open bar” funeral service. Well, today, here at The Asylum – it was done one better. “no funeral, open bar”.

Lots of outstanding food, and a fine selection of beers. 

Guess it isn’t too soon to start planning my memorial party. It will be held in the bar – not the art gallery. My photo books can be stacked on a table and after the party – they can go directly to the trash bin.

Today I made my annual visit to the Asylum Clinic – I had to answer 20 questions to prove that I was still able to live in my apartment. As usual, I muffed the “what is your address” question and “what is today’s date”.

Note to self: say the address out loud and check the date on the phone next year before the quiz.

Only Happy Things Today!

Regular size Snickers Bars in the office candy jar today!

You can not believe how much joy these Snickers Bars spread around our corner of the hospital today.

My hybrid Echinacea is doing fantastic this summer.

This Echinacea is in my wildchild garden box – safely out of bunny’s way. I will leave them to go to seed – they will attract American GoldFinches. 

See your bunny and raise 3 kangaroos.

A friend from Austrailia sent a picture from her family’s cemetery in Perth. Kangaroos are way cooler than bunnies and squirrels. 

Played Hooky Today.

Senator Byrd

This afternoon, I went for a walk around Columbia Gardens Cemetery. For years, it was a part of our life. I went for a walk there 4 or 5 times a week and Carlton rode his bike there every day – weather permitting. 

Carlton was great friends with the gravediggers and when I told them he had died they were extremely interested in who had the body and what was going to happen to it. They offered to find a nice place – off the books – to stash his ashes. But, he was slated for Kailua Bay. 

Guess he doesn’t drive anymore!

Carlton and I both liked Senator Byrd – I especially like the fact that the Distinguished Gentleman from the not so great state of West Virginia didn’t want to be buried in WVA. Heck, I didn’t want to be born there. But, no one asked for my opinion.

Nice to see that Virgil still gets his Miller High Lite.

Someone always sees to it that Virgil always has a Miller High Lite handy.

This new guy has a nice real plant and a fine plastic flamingo.

Carlton and I both loved this cemetery. In the US at least, cemeteries were the first city “parks”. And Columbia Gardens continues this tradition.

And they have rabbits.

Note to Carlton: Checked out the old building. The Daves are still there. And, there is still the hole in the facade under our bedroom window where the starlings nest. And, the rent would still be more than I am paying here. Not to mention utilities and food. And maid service. 

Rabbits 3, Old Bat 0

What was left of the Echinacea

The dastardly bunny snapped off the entire thing. At least it ate all the leaves. I

In theory, I could spray everything that bunnies eat with some noxious tasting goop. But, every time it rained, or I watered – the goop would be gone and the salad bar would be open again. 

We do have foxes. I shall hope that one moves in. An elderly fox. This is an old folks asylum. 

Continuing to revisit old sci-fi… just about finished with Lucifer’s Hammer a 1977 post-apocalypse tome by  Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I like the old post-apocalypse books better than the new ones. Fewer zombies.

Another Rainy Day…

StormTrooper Guards Chair Voting Ballot Box.

Not much interest in voting for your most favorite uncomfortable chair today. Had to deploy the Stormtrooper to guard the ballot box. Vote Early and Often.

No work in the fields today – but I noticed that the weeds have enjoyed the rain. Tomorrow. 

weed lot – week 8 – the “best” part.
weed lot – week 8 – the milkweed part.
I will never be able to look at the plant again.

Funny story about the purple clematis – strolling around the grounds after dinner the other night one of our residents referred to this as the chlamydia vine. Well… and I don’t think he misspoke – I think that is what he thought it was. We had a good laugh at his expense. He said that hereinafter he would call it the “C” vine – least he make the same mistake again.

Rainy Day

The inmates get to vote on which chair they like best.

Today’s big event at The Asylum is the chair election. We get to vote on which uncomfortable chair we like best. Then the warden will purchase 500 of the cheapest version.  Perhaps I have become a little cynical in my dotage. 

Spent the entire rainy day making a little 25-minute slideshow from some of my bee and butterfly pictures that I have taken around the Asylum grounds over these last 30 odd months. I put it up on a TV outside our mail room. I don’t expect anyone to watch the entire thing – so – I wasn’t very selective. 

Pupa form of the ladybug.

This almost ladybug was not in the slideshow. Snapped it the other day with Shamu 2. 


Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice Sunrise – 2018 – looking out of the Old Bat Cave

Hard to believe that we are at the Summer Solstice already. A little walking, almost no work, went to the monthly Asylum Management meeting. Any meeting that starts with a guy saying – I have a Powerpoint presentation for you today – and then he reads to slides to us – you know that is a waste of time. 

The fun part is Q&A. Sort of like a budget version of the fine British institution: Prime Minister’s Question Time. 

Most snarky question: Are we supposed to have hot water all day or only at certain times?

Most spoiled brat question: Why should be expected to stick our arm out of our car to gain access to the parking garage?

I plan to devote some serious time to this:

I really don’t care, do u?

What is that woman thinking? She should be channeling Florence Harding, not Marie Antoinette.   

I hope she is telling us that she doesn’t care what the Orange Lord thinks. And that she really does care about small kids in big cages. 


The people who live across the street seem to have a lot more fun than we do.

I think school must finally be out in Arlington County.

Old Carlton Photos…

Yep, that’s my Carlton.
Kahikolu Church
Surreal Sofa up Kaiwaihi way
Enjoying our digs at The Continental

These are all from 2009-2010 range. I have about 1,000 photos of Carlton in my collection. From smallkidtime up to the one I took of him before they took him away on that sad Friday afternoon. 

My body was feeling the years today – so, I didn’t ask much of it. Small walk, small work in the gardens. Then I messed around with my photos. And, cleaned out my medicine cabinet. Something about having a friend die suddenly that focuses the mind on “death cleaning”. I started with the easiest place. The medicine cabinet. Next up – under the bathroom sink. 

Rumor has it that there are softshell crabs on tap for dinner again tonight. Super eggs florentine for breakfast this morning. At this rate, I see elastic waist clothes in my future! 

Another day in the Trump-land comes to a close…

On a happier note – the wild child garden box is busting out all over with flowers.

Tomorrow’s gardening chores: a little weeding in the weed lot and staking up the garden box. 

The Orange Lord. He is winning. He is wearing me down. I am becoming inured to his behaviour. I find myself hoping that if I just close my eyes it will all go away. As a dear sister friend says – Hope is not a plan. 

So what exactly can one little old lady do? I’ll let you know if I ever figure this one out. 

My county has been stolen by a reality tv star. I am so glad Carlton did not live to see this. He would not have been surprised. He would have said, have you forgotten The St Louis? How about Manzanar? And Bloody Sunday? 

Well it is summer now!

According to Alexa, it is still 90° at 8PM. But the Asylum Sisters that were eating tonight decided that we could eat outside. 

Post dInner watering

There is something slightly Zen about watering with a finely balanced old tin watering can. After a dinner of crab cakes and beer on the patio. Life really isn’t too shabby at The Asylum.

Bee and Swamp Milkweed. Taken with Shamu 2 – Pixel XL 2

I am still amazed at the quality of the images from the Google phone. 


Stokes Aster

And, the mysterious lavender-ish flowers have been identified as Stokes Aster. It is really more blue-ish than in this image. Had lots of goldern light for the picture and I didn’t try to counter it in processing. Stokes Aster is apparently an altogether fine native plant that just grows. My kind of plant. Unfortunately, I just have one. But fortunately, I have one. 


Unresolved discontent . . .

My Birthday Dinner – With my asylum sisters. Ah hui hou, Peg…

We have had lots of celebratory meals around Table 100 in the Jefferson Dining Room here at the Asylum. Now missing The Reverend Doctor Peg. I am pretty certain that Peg is currently at her final destination – making sure that there is a place at her table for all of us.  Nonbelievers, Unitarians, Catholics, one and all. 

Today, I muddled around. Suffering from one of Carlton’s imaginary maladays – unresolved discontent. Brought on, I am sure by the unexpected death of a treasured friend. Plan on snapping out of this funk real soon. 

Where the bee was!

Wasn’t able to catch any good bug shots today either.

Weed and Ant

And finally, the weed lot and garden box report.

Weed Lot – week 7
Weed Lot – week 7
garden box – week 7


Cabbage White Butterfly

I shouldn’t be surprised when one of my friends ends up on life support so her family can come for a last goodbye. I live in an old folks asylum. Nobody gets out alive. 

But still, yesterday at about 1345 I hoisted a hefty rollaboard out of car and yelled “bon voyage” to a friend. By bed time she was in an ICU in St Louis on life support. And, now we are just waiting for the final text message. 

Nobody is promised tomorrow. All of the Asylum Sisterhood are rechecking final doomsday planning to be sure everything is in order. 

I was sort of mopey about this turn of events all day and dealt with it in a mature manner. I took pictures.

first flying insect of 2018

And I filled in the Emergency data on Shamu 2. 

Oh, and the new stool I got yesterday – it is living in the closet for now.