Wednesday, May 25, 2011 the seat of your pants

I had someone hurl a vicious accusation at me the other day. As a matter of fact, it was at church! You’d think that in church, at least, you’d be safe from verbal assaults.

I took a week and one day off of work last week. (With weekends, that was ten glorious days of freedom. Well, not freedom…the whole point was to stay home and work around the house – mostly outside.) I had to go in for an hour on Monday to make sure everyone got paid, but after that I went to Wal-Mart and Lowe’s…and a really wonderful local nursery called Vineyards. I looked for bedding plants at Lowe’s, but was severely disappointed. Everything looked like it had been sitting there for six months. Vineyards is kind of expensive, but I know their plants are good…and since they have several large greenhouses you can find a lot of plants in a lot of varieties…all in various stages of growth.

I bought three lavender plants, four day lilies, a flat of purple alyssum, a flat of dusty miller and two flats of pink petunias, a couple of large bags of potting soil, and a new (kink-free) hose. (The one in the front yard is an absolute piece of crap – it kinks it you look at it cross-eyed.)

Fortunately, there are some perennials already doing their thing, and until about mid-June, early-July the bleeding hearts are beautiful. It's been too cold for all but one of the hostas, but the rest are peeking their little noses up and should be coming on soon.

Now I’m not a really enthusiastic gardener. I used to be. But that was before three knee surgeries and two degenerating disks in my back. I am forced to sit on my butt while planting. Kneeling is so much easier…because butt-walking around the flower bed can get pretty messy (not to mention incredibly stupid-looking). And since getting up from sitting on my butt nearly requires a block and tackle, I prefer to work in the yard when no one is watching. Hence, taking time off during the week…rather than putting on a Gong Show appearance for the entire neighborhood on Saturday.

I also had plans to stain the gates and clean out the Kitty Diva’s litter boxes. My neighbor was also going to start painting the trim.

The actual work part didn’t thrill me, but I was really looking forward to the end result…and feeling like I was pretty close to having the realtor do a walk-through prior to putting the house on the market.

So on Tuesday…it rained. And it rained on Wednesday. And Thursday. Oh, and it also rained on Friday.

Guess when it cleared up and got sunny? Yep, Saturday…and the Gong Show was on.

Okay, okay...I know it doesn't look like a lot got put in...but remember, it's "Butt Gardening." Much more difficult!

I managed to plant everything but the two flats of petunias. I’m really hoping to do those tonight, but it’s starting to cloud up again after a beautifully sunny, warm day. (Ah heck! I’m going to plant them tonight…come h*ll or high water! If I'm late (and muddy) for Book Club...oh well!)

You’re wondering where the verbal assault comes in. I mentioned to someone that I’d taken the week off to work in the yard. “Oh, so that's why it rained all week!!” I guess someone had to take the blame. You can’t really cuss out Mother Nature…she always gets even.

Oh crap, I think I just heard some thunder…

For now,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Four Years Later

Four years ago I never planned to be at home this weekend. Four years ago, in Hollywood and from the (then) CEO of Disney Studios, I found out they were going to make a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Everyone in our little pirate group was excited. Everyone assumed we would be doing the same thing in 2011 as we were doing then – getting together to celebrate Johnny, pirates and our incredible friendships…and having a blast doing it.

And the friendships were incredible…and pretty unlikely. We were quite a diverse group – different life experiences and circumstances, different ideologies, different religious backgrounds…but somehow we came together (over the internet) and something just clicked. It was actually quite amazing. There was a depth of feeling and kindred-ness and sisterhood. We supported each other through all the bumps in our individual roads...with laughter and with tears. We were able to get together (in various sub-sets…we were never once ALL together) in different places around the world.

I would love to say that everything was peaches and cream all the time…but it wasn’t. There were a few disputes…some hurt feelings…a couple of blow ups…and there really isn’t a “group” anymore. I mourned that loss for a very, very long time…beating myself up for a lot of the problems. Now I think I have healed and can look back and appreciate what happened for what it was – quite a magical confluence of individuals and time and purpose. We did have some really wonderful experiences together. Exciting things happened.

Some of us were able to sail on The Lady Washington (used as The Interceptor in the first pirate movie) all dressed up as pirates.

 Some of us were able to attend a casting call for the second and third movies.

Some got together for the Toronto Film Festival.

Some attended conventions together.

There were get-togethers in Oregon, Mississippi, Florida, Canada, Utah and two premieres in California. We were privileged to meet (and party with!) several of the actors from the films, and we held a few fundraisers for the charity of one of the actors.

And, as one of my co-workers once said, I achieved the "Mt. Everest of Johnny Depp-dom" when I got to see him and actually touch him, and thank him for what he'd done for me...for all of us.

Seriously magical. All in the space of just a few years’ time. And I suppose magical things don’t last long. That’s why they’re magical. And I think I've finally come to accept that.

I miss my friends. I miss the daily contact, the phone calls, the emails…I miss the excitement and the belonging. I miss the shivery anticipation of planning another trip, another party, another event. But I’m glad it all happened. I’m glad I was able to meet these wonderful women (and a couple of really terrific husbands) and get to know them. They made such a difference in my life.

And most of all I’m grateful for the Pirate who brought us together…even for a short time.

For now,