Random 5 for July 23 – Peacefulness, landscaping projects, money, noise, locusts

My pachysandra cuttings growing roots! There are 200 of them!

Slow news week – Nothing much going on. I was attacked by another tick but I caught it just after it attached. No news there. I had the natural “Get it off! Get it off!” reflex but I was alone so I had to do it myself and there was no sympathy.

So what am I up to? – In this stinking heat we decided to do a landscape project. How dumb is that? We had half dead juniper groundcover in an area that was too shady. We’re replacing with pachysandra. The price of ‘pachy’ has doubled since I last bought it. Being the tightwad I am about those things I decided to try to root some from my existing supply. Hope it works.

Speaking of being a tightwad – There are things that I’m not a tightwad about. Everything cats (except toys – they don’t play with toys you paid money for), Starbucks, shoes and face stuff guaranteed (GUARANTEED) to make you look younger. What’s your downfall?

How much fun can you have? – We went to dinner with another couple and were seated between two “party” groups. One was only four women but they were very, very loud. The other was a party of 15 or so at a large table. That number means noise. I couldn’t hear or think. Our server couldn’t hear our order. One of our group went to the table of four who were directly in back of us and ask if they could take it down a notch. I vacillated between cheering him on and being mortified. Part of the trouble is the construction of the place. We were seated under an alcove with a reverb that rivaled a rock band. The other problem was one of the group had a laugh that required noise blocking ear protection. They were done with their dinner and left shortly afterward. I hoped we didn’t throw a wet blanket on their evening. What would you do?

The sounds of summer – The locusts started their mating song. When they sing in the trees I am transported back to the summers of my youth. I don’t understand the connection but it happens. I get a very calm, safe feeling when I hear them. I feel loved and happy. Damn! Never thought insects could do that.

So how was your week?

Author’s note: Not everyone feels the same way I do about locusts. Here is a post from Ron Walker, one of my blogging friends about his up front and personal experience which resulted in a locust in the house.

 

 

55 thoughts on “Random 5 for July 23 – Peacefulness, landscaping projects, money, noise, locusts

  1. I admit to not being overly careful with spending and I attribute it to being brought up in a “have not” home. It’s interesting how different people can have different reactions to being brought up poor. My husband is very frugal while I’m more carefree-enjoy-today-tomorrow-may-never-come.
    Thankfully my common sense and financial background never allows me to stray too far out of the boundaries.
    I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but I’m in charge of all our household spending and even though Husband rarely complains about my spending, I occasionally chide him that he needs to use a crowbar on his wallet.

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  2. At dinner I might have asked to have my table move to a quieter spot but I don’t know if that was possible without a wait. I don’t have a problem with people enjoying themselves when their out but when you cross the line of being respectful of those around you something needs to be done. Maybe speaking with the waiter or manager and having them speak with that table might have helped but I’m sure they’d prefer not to because it would cost ten future business. Tough call.

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    • Cats, especially older cats, can get expensive. I like to keep mine healthy so they get vaccines and regular checkups. Three including young Gracie, have had dental work (cha-ching, cha-ching). Fortunately they didn’t need braces and I won’t be sending them to college.

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  3. I’ve been out of town for a family wedding, and we traveled by train. For me the big PLUS about the train is the quiet environment and the hum of the rails. I think the sound does for me what you describe with the locusts. There’s something like a lullaby in it for me. I really react negatively to restaurants that are too loud. I wouldn’t have approached another table, but only because I’m a coward. We’ve been doing some major landscaping–in really nasty heat. I don’t have a good answer for why we do this to ourselves. But I hope your project succeeds well!

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  4. The cutting should work. It’s so darn hot now that I look out the window to see what plant needs minor attention, plan my move, then dart out to clip/rearrange quickly before charging back inside. Molly just rolls her eyes from the couch about weird human activities.
    I hate loud loud eateries – always have. People just don’t seem to understand inside voices any more…cell phones don’t help ( Why is it people seem to turn the volume up when they are on cell phones? People used to excuse themselves and go outside, but not any more. )

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  5. Don’t complain about “nothing happening”. In South Africa, its a huge relief when we have a week (hardly ever, I might add) when ‘nothing happens.’ Noise? really difficult, as one grows older & hearing not so good any more. I would have asked the manager to intervene.

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  6. There is a big moth in my house right now! The cats and I tried to get it, but it folded itself up very small someplace! But ticks, yikes. We were just with my mom and ended up taking her golf cart through the woods to see the tree that was planted in memory of my father. The gardener and I were fraidy cats about the ticks because we’re not used to them. And I heard that deer flies ALSO cause lyme disease!

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  7. I’ve called myself a miser, whereas skinflint goes too far The dictionary says skinflint is not a very nice word to describe someone. Thrifty and frugal are more complimentary. My wallet tends to fly open for computers, tablets, and phones. Lower tech gadgets can squeeze money out of me easily, too. I had to laugh at myself recently. I wouldn’t part with money to buy disposable aluminum pans in case we went to a neighborhood potluck supper.

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  8. I’m a tightwad when it comes to anything that takes too much research to find the best price. It just feels to me like you could spend too much of your life trying to save money. My favorite thrifty technique is: Don’t buy too much.

    I don’t like to tell people to pipe down. The thing is, some people have loud voices all the time, and their voices carry. I’ve noticed people talking at another table who seem to be hearing each other, but I can’t hear one at all and the other is plain as day. I’ve asked a waiter to seat us at another table several times, mainly because the spot is too cold. But if that option is available, I would probably do it because of noisy neighbors too.

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    • I often ask to be reseated because of drafts but I usually do that right away. I usually request a quiet corner in my reservations too. The hostess knows the most quiet places to sit. You are right about some people having loud voices. There was a drop soffit over our table (and the noisy one too) and the noise seemed to hang in there an amplify.

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  9. I would have asked the manager if I did anything at all. Being in public places I look at as a roll of the dice, but I do avoid crowds and crowded times.

    I remember being on vacation down south when the locusts were out and they creeped me out completely! They were everywhere! Couldn’t walk down the sidewalk without stepping on them–awk! Glad somebody has fond memories of them. 😉

    I am frugal and practical (tightwad) about all the stuff you “have” to buy. I want to spend less there so I have a little more to spend on fun stuff. To me–the fun stuff is the cat, of course (also not toys except for string type toys and she has several)–anything to do with writing (pens, inks, journals, stationery)–and all kinds of art & craft supplies. Those are my weaknesses since childhood. This year I also save up for the first flower boxes I have had in about 40 years. That’s a fun thing, too. Food for the soul, baby! 😉

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  10. I dislike the term “tightwad” and prefer to go with “frugal!” Granted I hang onto money like a tightwad but I prefer to describe myself in a more erudite way. “Tightwad” makes me think “old” while “frugal” makes me think “smart.” I want to be smart. 😉

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    • Ok! Sounds good to me. Better than penny pincher. “Old” usually precedes tightwad. I worked with a guy who was cheap. He called himself parsimonious but he would do things like take a doggie bag home for his kids if someone brought in cookies or candy for the office. We called him a cheapskate. Of course he never ever treated.

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  11. Yeah, I’d have asked the waiter/manager to ask the party to tone it down a bit. I’m not a gardener so I definitely would go the less expensive route with the planting. Usually the only sounds I hear at night are planes and trains, living in between the airport and the train station. As for spending my money, concerts have to be the number one on my list. Scrapbook supplies too 🙂

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    • Our waitress wouldn’t have had the courage to do it but perhaps the hostess. Or we would have been told us that they had finished dining and would be soon leaving. We have been looking at homes to downsize so we have become very in tune with the noise at a property. Despite the fact that we are near the hospital and the medavac helicopters are often overhead and there is a busy highway nearby, we don’t hear it. Perhaps the brain phases out the routine sounds (although those damn helicopters are noisy!) Concerts, yes!

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  12. Hi Kate. For a slow news week, you do write some interesting little vignettes! Thanks for this post. In answer to your questions – I wish that I was more of a tightwad than I am. I’m not sure when my brain is going to catch up to the reality that I’ve retired and truly can’t afford to be spending money on art. I love going on studio tours and buying things – pottery, silk, paintings – from the artists. I’ve purchased several stone sculptures from a Zimbabwean outdoor gallery near me. Aargh. I vacillate between being happy that I’m surrounding myself with beauty and supporting the arts, and despair that I’m adding to my debt rather than my savings.
    As to your other question, I would have been like your friend and asked the group to take it down a notch. Although I probably would have asked the waiter or the manager to deliver that message because I would have been steamed and not wanting to share that intensity with the poor, unsuspecting group. Obliviousness to the needs, or even existence, of others is one of my pet peeves. If the manager didn’t want to deliver the message, I’d have been asking to be moved. If the restaurant wants to support party groups, great. But squeezing your group between two parties so that you can’t have a conversation or even place your order is beyond the pale. My humble opinion. I’m feeling steamed just thinking about your experience. Gotta go meditate.

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    • The restaurant seating was tricky as the person making the reservations specified where she wanted to sit (thinking it would be a quiet area). Unfortunately, they put the big parties back there. We have gotten to the point where we don’t do Fridays at restaurants anymore. Locally that is the biggest night for restaurants. Even bigger than Saturdays. I don’t know why noise isn’t taken into consideration when they build/renovate them. A restaurant burned down a few years back. They rebuilt a beautiful place but acoustically it is a nightmare. They are looking for materials to absorb noise. If you are attracting a young crowd, perhaps you want noisy which means lively. For eating, I’d rather be able to hear the server. Ah art! I don’t have anymore space for it. When I was young I liked to collect things too. Now some of my favorite things reside in my closet.

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    • August was always a magic time for me as a child. It was always hot enough to go swimming (or my pathetic attempt at it) and we had the least rainfall. Picnics, people on porches, all good until that last week when I got my school assignments.

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