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Although the honor was not sought, three months ago I received a field promotion (literally) to Head Gardener at the Jarlsberg Estate. This is a task for which I was entirely unprepared, although I'd done grunt work in the gardens for years under expert supervision.
I've been doing my best to tend to everything and I've been surprised and delighted at the number of bushes, grasses, and flowers that have bloomed and blossomed because Kathy knew to plant things that rather magically come back year after year even if an idiot is left in charge.
Mind you, I don't know the names of almost any of these colorful visitors but bit by bit I'm learning about them. And while I've never been an enthusiastic gardener, I've always appreciated Kathy's landscaping...and darned if I'm not getting a bit of satisfaction (and sunlight and exercise) by trying to keep everything from going to hell.
So far, so good - and it cheers me every time I look out on all of these colors.
Speaking of colors, we've all been seeing a lot of rainbows in popular media lately in honor of Pride Month. And hopefully to no one's surprise here, I'm fully supportive of the occasion and the folks this month is all about. As the cliche goes, some of my best friends (and best readers) are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and almost all of them have walked a hard road to get to where we are today.
To be clear, I'm not celebrating drag queens in kids' classrooms (although I'm a fan of drag queen / country music artist Trixie Mattel, who says his/her performances are only for the over-18 crowd) nor do I support making a public spectacle of private sexual behavior no matter what team you're playing for.
But I'm pushing 70 and just lost the love of my life. And I think true commitment to another person, body and soul, is a rare and beautiful thing. So I just want everybody to be who they are, to love who they want, and to treat others with caring and respect. That's something anyone can be proud of during Pride Month.
This week (Wednesday to be exact) sees another big change coming to the Jarlsberg household: I'm cutting the cable. Despite having NO premium channels, my most recent bill came in at $192 (and adding insult to injury, the provider is adding another $2.99/month charge to send your bill on paper).
I'm done watching network or cable news from anyone (I get my news from the Wall Street Journal and the Scott Adams podcast) and I haven't watched a network entertainment show in years. Kathy and I greatly enjoyed "Jeopardy!" because we turned it into a drinking game and exercise in improv comedy, but it would be sad just to watch by myself.
Mind you, I'm not going cold turkey on television - I've got subscriptions to Amazon Prime and Netflix, I've discovered that I get the various networks (and more) live and in high-def using a small indoor TV antenna, and while playing around with my "smart" LG television last night I discovered something called "LG channels" which supplies 179 streaming channels for free (albeit with commercials, like broadcast TV).
My new service package will keep my landline phone (yes, I'm the last holdout), increase my Internet speed by a factor of five, and save me about $120 a month. And if I'm unable to TIVO Democrat kangaroo court proceedings, well, I'll just have to live with it.