Saturday, May 6, 2017

As I Live and Breathe

Neither sneezes, coughs, headaches, nor drippy nose shall stay my hands from their dedicated mission of sharing unnecessary bits of mail trivia in a Saturday post. So here goes.

Our new neighbors smoke. Like trains run on coal and chimneys stoked to within their limit. They park right along the fence beneath my willow--the willow I love, and don't mind sharing since their back yard is bare. If there are children, and there are two, then let them enjoy the dancing leaves and their shade. At least they no longer scream and wave their arms to chase off the birds the way their father taught them. But I am allergic to cigarette smoke. It triggers asthma. I itch, my skin burns, my eyes itch, throw in a sore throat, ear aches, blurred vision, sneezes, a cough, and a runny nose that's drips quicker than I can catch with a Kleenex.

We are forced to take refuge inside when "they" come outside. Smoke pours over the fence, through the slats, and is swept up on each blessed breeze. It happens before I can grab my books, pens, paper, camera, canteen, and whatever else I'm enjoying, and scrabble inside. Hives must be dealt with but not before scratching  brings out the dark side in me--that wishes . . .   The neighbor behind us lets their Doberman out when they're too rowdy, and when too much smoke chokes them out. She has a strong set of lungs but not much deters a nicotine addict from getting their fix on. Such is life in suburbia.

So here I sit, upstairs. looking through the window of my imagined tower, longing for my patio, the birds and fresh air. JC is on his way home with Benadryl; the prescription antihistamine makes me sleep, makes my skin dry, and I miss out on too much when I'm zonked. But everything happens for a reason. Right? I'm getting an early jump on my Saturday post. I've read at least an hour's worth of lovely blog posts from fine writers, and I have a quiet house--meaning Minuet isn't parked outside my door, screaming and scratching to be let in. Never mind. She just heard the JC disarm the alarm, so she's telling him how her day went before he's even inside. She's one of the best watch cats ever.

No way could I sleep without sharing these links to what might very well be one of the books of the year. I mean, what's a letter without a stamp, huh? So let us read about "how stamps have intercepted historical events." Read the excerpts first! Amazon is so good about giving us a tease, and I'd buy this. What do you think?

No? Then perhaps this gem might be more to your liking? The excerpt whets my interest. Did you know that back in the day peons such as ourselves were not allowed to use the "official post?" No? Well read this:  Only the most highly born Egyptians could send mail through the official post." Well how do you like them apples scrolls? Um, tablets? 

King Darius, of Persia copied his orders onto wax tablets and entrusted them to his postmen. "Nothing mortal moves so fast as these Persian messengers, marveled the Greek Historian Herodotus. These men will not be hindered from accomplishing at their best speed the distance which they have to do, either by snow, or rain, or heat, or by darkness of night." Every stamp tells a story but so did Herodotus. Okay, I'll buy this one too. 

The Romans improved on the Persian system, then the . . . wait a minute. Hold your mail chariots and horses. Horses and chariots? Which came first, the horse or the chariot? Never mind. Did you know kings and queens could not read and bragged about it? Oh, read on dear people! Read on!

Although another letter went out I must pen at least a handful to pare down my mail debtor's pile of lovelies. I'm doing my best to craft  appropriate appreciative responses because the recipients deserve nothing less. I'll show you what I mean. Very soon; then perhaps you will understand. I have some of the best pen friends on the planet. And I got to use my first succulent stamp! Holly hooray! 

Oops! Make that two mails. And do you ever associate the color pink with the month of May? I always see green. Hmm.

Said the spider to the fly, "Gotcha!" Or is it the other way around? Who's eating whom? Neither moved when I went in for a close-up, so how can I tell? And what are the little things with wings on the stem? They seem to love these.

Okay, I'm off for a lie-down with the April issue of The Simple Things. Here it is May and we're just getting around to April, but I want to read how to belong and find serenity at the same time. That pen looks just like one I have in my pen punch, and those stamps made me butt heads with the screen when I leaned in to see if I could make out the postmark. Why is beyond my ken seeing as how the magazine is behind me. *sigh* Must be a lack of oxygen to my smoke stifled brain. But wait. Is there such a  thing as a handbook for happiness? No matter. Enjoy your Sunday.


  1. I'm sorry about your neighbors. We live in an apartment and have the same issues. I try to be tolerant/respectful but we can't store things in certain places in the house because they smoke there. It's really frustrating.

    1. I'm sorry about your neighbors too. Last night I read that there are anti-smoking laws in place for apartments and condos, depending on which state you live in, that protect non-smokers. Our neighbors have two young children.

      The neighbors behind us barbecue more than anyone in the neighborhood, so there's that smoke too, and they have a large screen television on the patio that's too loud. I'm learning Spanish for free by listening to the tele novas. :) We have another Lil Ricky around the corner. Alexis has taken up the trumpet. I cannot seem to escape this circle of Infernal Aggravation we're caught up in. What happened to peace, quiet, and fresh air?

      Mars is beginning to look good, but it would be my luck to discover Martians live on smoke, only after I volunteer to be a pioneer. :D

      Hang in there.

  2. unfortunately I have a smoker next door to me too she wont smoke in her house she smokes on her porch which finds its way to my deck and I must say I will go inside because it aggravates my asthma as well . disgusting habit I must say and they leave their butts everywhere ugh ,,,,I'm tired of picking them up !!! at least she does not do anything worse than that but I agree it is bad . stay well my dear and I love the flowers. My garden is doing very well and I'm happy I will post photos when all blooms out and is in full swing .

    1. I sorry to know you have the same problem. I feel sorry for your neighbor too. Addiction is a monster. We should be able to enjoy our back yard though.

      I almost bought the same flower at a nursery. JC was determined that the plant was a weed but I fought for its life. My reward makes it worthwhile. They look like stained glass in sunlight; flies love them which is a mystery. That spider really did eat that fly. Nature tells me a new story every day.

      I look forward to seeing photos of your garden. I'm sure it's beautiful. My sunflowers are the size of a salad plate. The lesser ones are being devoured by the birds.

      Enjoy your space. Be well.