Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Pinewood Derby

Oh my gosh, it was so crowded, you could barely move, so noisy you couldn't have a conversation across the table. The woman next to us coughed and coughed and coughed, while telling everyone how sick she'd been all last week. There was no place to move to and even if there was, there was no way to get to it. 

After 65 heats, William did not place. His response was "That's okay. I already got my trophy." (From placing first in his pack.)

I'm glad that he was so cheerful and cheering on his friends.

Now...if only we have not all picked up the Corona virus...

Friday, February 21, 2020

Harry Potter's Birthday.

William's birthday party is ready. He will be wearing his Harry Potter costume that his aunt Brittani gave him last fall, meeting his guests at the door and escorting them downstairs to the classroom at Hogwarts, which will be held in a properly dungeon like room in the basement of our church.

His mother will be dressed as Mrs. McGonigle.  We have a talking Sorting Hat to sort them into their houses.

The wands are done, and ready to be wrapped in kraft paper, tied with raffia. and labeled with the official Olivander Wands labels. Once they are sorted, each child will be presented with one custom made wand designed to their own special powers.

There will be a Spells Class where they will use their wands to do 'magic'. Waving their wands and yelling 'Nox!' will result in the room going dark. The light switch is outside of the room which makes it just about perfect. The lights will come on again when the wands are waved and they yell 'Lumos!'A remote controlled spider will wander in to disrupt the proceedings. They will use their wands to send him packing.

The Herbology class has them planting mandrakes, There will be quite a bit of screaming babies in the hall before the mandrakes get settled down enough to be brought into the classroom and gently planted in their little pots.

There is a game of quidditch to be played and the winner will take home a real Harry Potter trophy.

The Ministry of Magic has given unprecedented permission for muggles to have dragon eggs. (The dragons were a wonderful find!)

After an exciting time in the classroom, everyone will gather to celebrate Harry's birthday.  We will play Pin the Pig's Tail on Dudley and then do another spate of magic with their wands. Drinks will magically change colors and the candle flames will burn in color too.

At the end, everyone takes home their mandrakes, a dragon egg, a wand, a golden snitch and a box of Bertie Botts beans.

William has been purposely kept in the dark about most of the goings on. He has just enough hints to pique his curiosity.

I'm not sure he's going to make it until Sunday afternoon. We've still got the pinewood derby going on tomorrow, and a Dimache Gras party Sunday morning.

It's a big weekend.

Monday, February 17, 2020

JoJo Rabbit

I've got to find a place that is airing this movie: JoJo Rabbit. A friend went to see it, and was stunned. He said that when it ended, the theater erupted in applause. It received a spontaneous standing ovation. He said it was the most impossibly wise and wonderful movie he'd ever seen in his life.

Sunday, February 16, 2020


Tim is pretty excited. We're going to see Journey this summer. It's his favorite group. They're touring with the Pretenders, and that band is neither of our favorite groups. but seeing Journey will be exciting. Cool thing? Steve Perry is supposed to be the lead singer for this tour. Things change quickly in the world of rock and roll, but what an amazing thing that would be.

We're up to our armpits in putting together a Harry Potter birthday party, but will be back soon.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Pinewood Derby

Listening to his grandfather explain the principles of aerodynamics, William came up with a car design. It was very sleek, and it was cut out at a work shop. He brought it home to show his grandfather. Together they painted it metallic gold and they worked on getting the wheels just so. The final touch was borrowing the weights from his last year's car.

'Golden Speed' won each time it was raced. In the finals, the car came in first for all three heats, the speed coming in at slightly over 190 mph.

He's chuffed.

Two weeks from now, he and Golden Speed race outside the pack.

William Spends the Night

Since his mother has been laid off, it's been a couple of weeks now since William has slept over. I offered him an 'over-nighter' last night, and he was quite excited about it.

We ordered pizza, and had a lazy night watching him assemble a new Lego kit he'd been quite excited to get his hands on.

Tired from his first week back at a normal job, Tim went to bed early.  William and I found "Nanny McPhee". I'd never seen the movie. Neither had he.  It really was lovely. We both enjoyed it very much. As I tucked him into bed, I told him how much we had missed him. It was long past his bedtime and he was nearly asleep as soon as he became horizontal. He mumbled, rolled over and was out like a light.

We've woke up to quite a white world, a thick fluffy blanket of snow covering everything. Tim got up and shoveled out our driveway, and then got the walks at the rentals. William and I baked cookies. Sugar cookies which we used a glass to cut, and then turned them into yellow emoji cookies. We made a batch of peanut butter cookies and a batch of brownies. We arranged half of them on a platter for him to take home and share with his mother and Don, and half to stay here.

He's soaking in a bathtub of bubbles right now. He said, thoughtfully, "I missed you too."

We'll all meet up at the pinewood derby. He's very excited about his car design. We will see how it goes this year.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Anxious times

Today, a woman asked a question at work. I'm not sure what it was, but another woman came to help her. Before we knew what was happening, the questioner was yelling, really yelling.

She stormed across the room, raising her fists and yelling, and then, gritting her teeth, she marched back to her desk. 

The woman being screamed at demanded to know what the hell that was all about. 

She got no answer. 

We continued on working.

The woman works half days, and after she left, the woman shouted at said, "Did you SEE that?!" We all allowed that it was rather hard to miss. We all agreed she's an unhappy soul. I think that she's also afraid of losing her job. She's a widow, nearly ready to retire but not quite there yet.  It is a stressful time as we wait to see what happens next. 

After lunch, I was told that I could leave for the day, that there was no work.  So I did. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020


I find it interesting to listen to people talk at work. Today, a woman was talking about her new 'boyfriend'. She was pretty upset that he can't spell.

I listened as she went on. She wasn't trying to be snobby, but it really, REALLY bothered her to get a text from him. She related the discussion that they'd had about this topic. It seemed that he didn't take the criticism well.

I listened along with the rest of the room while she talked. I'm mean, this is a hard working girl. She always has more than one job. She likes nice things and she's willing to work for them.

Finally, I got nosy enough to ask the question, "How old is this guy?"

"42," she answered.

I said, "Well, I doubt he's going back to school..." and she agreed with me and reiterated that she's not trying to be a snob.

Someone pointed out that spelling is an issue with many people.

I pointed out that there are different kinds of intelligence, that I myself am a good speller. Tim, now, the man is NOT a speller. His brother explained it like so: "None of the H------- boys are good spellers.  That's why you see us pulling out our drivers licenses when we sign stuff. We want to make sure that we're spelling our names right."

The room laughed.

I continued. "Tim asks me how to spell stuff all the time. He doesn't read a thing unless it's a technical manual that teaches him how to do something he wants to know how to do. But really, the man is a genius. He's the kind of man who will invent a tool to test something on a car. He knows how to do just about everything and he's learned it by asking questions, watching videos, or reading. Spelling is not the only measure of intelligence.

The room agreed.

The girl pondered that, and then slowly agreed also.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


We have never bought a new car. We consider them a waste of money. We look for good low mileage used cars. Tim is quite a mechanic and he keep cars running. In the case of his car, he's kept it running a lot longer than I actually believe it should be.

Now that he is back to work, I worry. He drives an hour and 15 minutes to work every morning, and then back home at night. The worst part it that some of it is through some pretty remote area, along and through the Seneca nation, where there is often no cellphone service.

Driving home from work last night, I saw a car with a 'For Sale' sign on it. It was a Cadillac. He likes the old Cadillac he has now. I went home and waited for him, and when he came in, I pounced on him, dragging him right back out the door. He put up a bit of a fuss, but went. Probably curious to see what I found.

Anyways, when we pulled up, and read the sign, all protestations stopped. It was a very good price.  It was a very nice car. He got out and gave it a good going over. The guy explained that it would need new brakes and rotors to pass inspection. His mother just really didn't need to be driving any more.

They stood in the drizzle talking about the car. I heard Tim say, "Yeah. I'll buy it."

Never in our marriage have we BOTH had nice cars at the same time. We always have a 'good' car and the 'beater' or (as Tim calls it) "his work car". Now we both have 'good' cars.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hard Times

One of the benefits of 'hard times' is that sometimes you get a glimpse of a person's true nature.

One of my coworkers received bad news at the end of last week. She's a quiet person someone who does not talk a lot. She was demoted and took a pay cut. She was given the choice to take it or leave.

It's a hard decision. I understand that there will be job cuts. I have watched people come back from receiving the news that they are laid off. Some are pretty upset. I am married. I have someone to help me shoulder the burden. Between the two of us we have been very adept at navigating hard times. Not everyone has that safe place to fall back into.

In any case, my coworker took the news of her demotion with quiet dignity. Yesterday, it was announced. She now will work one of the same jobs that I do. She stood quietly with a calm face as the news was announced.

At the end of the day, I saw her walking out with a grim look, carrying a box of desk things. I stopped and waited for her. She looked quizzically at me. She's not a person that I talk to a lot. We don't travel in overlapping circles most of the time.

I said, "I just wanted to tell you that I really think you are a class act. I know this is tough."

She looked at me surprised. Then her face crumpled a little. "Thank you for saying that. It means a lot. This is awful." We walked across a virtually empty parking lot talking quietly. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020


Stupor Bowl Sunday...and I was able to miss most of it. If anybody wants to talk about who won the game, I'm claiming a win here.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Spice of Life

Our new keyboard came today. Tim helpfully pointed out that it has drain holes in the bottom. In 20+ years, I've never spilled anything on the keyboard. I don't plan on putting those helpful drain holes to any sort of a test. I'm still kind of surprised at my carelessness.

Oh. PS despite my avowals not to buy anything old unless I absolutely needed it, I did decide that I absolutely needed these:
I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. You can't really tell from the picture, but the bottles are milk glass, art deco styled. The plastic tray had me a little concerned (as to properly ascertaining their age) but I really wanted them. They match perfectly with my kitchen. 

So I bought 'em. And drove an hour to get them. And paid $20 for them. 

I couldn't wait to show my sister, so we stopped in on the way back home. She guessed them from the '50s. I felt they were late 30s. We started googling our little hearts out in a sisterly competitive sort of way. 

Here's the down-low. They are Griffith spice bottles. The company began selling spices in fancy bottles in 1939. The racks were made of plastic until 1942, when the war started. At that point, they began to make the racks out of wood. I can even buy replacement labels for them. For all Tim's initial grumbling, they are a popular little item and $20 was a good deal. 

But, nothing else. I absolutely don't need anything else. I just got this house hoed out and I don't need to start accumulating again. 

Except when I find my dream stove. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

At work yesterday, a woman came out of a side office. There was a lot of concerned whispering. I heard the word 'Bloomberg' and then 'That can't be good'.

Later, I looked up the Bloomberg report and discovered that the company has a $400 million loan and another $200 million loan. They went on to say that the company does not seem to have a clear plan to meet these responsibilities. They gave our company a 'distressed' rating and forecast massive reorganization.

I did a little more looking. Our stock has not paid shareholders dividends for over a year.

S & P has issued a report downgrading our credit ratings.

We've had a second series of layoffs.

Nothing to do but wait and see what happens next.

Dumb Stuff

I've been really dragging behind lately. Exhausted. Yesterday morning I got up at 4 AM, brewed my coffee, and wandered out to the computer for my normal ease-into-the-day routine.

And dumped a whole cup of cappuccino into the keyboard.

I proved to myself I don't need to drink coffee to wake up.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Grandma Stuff

Being a grandmother to Iris is different from being a grandmother to William. William is local, and I see him pretty much daily. We talk about what is on his mind. He shows me his art. I know what he likes, what he doesn't like, his quirks, and his sense of humor. I KNOW him.

Iris is far away. I don't see her regularly, although her lovely mama is very good about sending me videos and pictures.

We saw her in early November. We had five precious days with her last week.

I got to 'learn' her. She loves to color. We took her an easel. She communicates easily, although she is signing for most of it. There are signs for 'more', for 'please', for 'stop', for 'color', 'hungry', etc. She takes people by the hand and leads them around, showing them the things that matter to her. She loves to be read to and is at the stage that the pictures matter. If there is a picture of a cat, she knows it's a cat. She recognized a rubber ducky and knows she has one in the bathroom upstairs. If you say 'nice and cozy', she picks up her soft blanky and gets a pillow from the couch and tucks herself in. She likes to tumble and she likes to move. She loves to play "Where's my eye?" or "Where's my nose?" Her baby shark puzzle is a big favorite. She likes to sing. She loves her dogs. She loves routine.

She also has a wonderful sense of humor. I screwed up my face at her, and she stared in amazement. Then she screwed up her little face. We both laughed. I stuck out my tongue. She stuck out hers. I blinked my eyes, I'm sure you get the picture. She thought this was the funniest thing ever. The following night at the dinner table, we were all talking and Iris was happily feeding herself. (She's surprisingly adept with her little fork.) I happened to catch of glimpse of Iris trying to catch my eye around the side of a large table centerpiece. When I looked at her, she made a face. I made one back. We both laughed.

5 precious days. I came away feeling like I got a chance to get to know her. My grandma heart is full and happy.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Strange Stuff.

Some very troubling signs that things are going very wrong at work. I've been transferred to another department, and am glad for it. My own department is so slow that nobody had to report Friday or this week. More layoffs are scheduled.

I keep my head down and I work, but it is hard not to feel like these events are very bad omens.

Thursday was the day that they told people that more layoffs were scheduled. They also said that no one can request vacation time on the days that people are sent home due to lack of work.  I left work at the end of the day. The place seemed eerily empty.

When I got home, Tim was not there, but it is sometimes like that. He's rewiring the house we just got. I started preparing supper and when I heard him coming in, I said, "Hey, things are looking a lot more dicey at work..." and began to tell him the details.

He said, "Take the layoff. If you get a chance, take the layoff." I turned to him in surprise. He stood there holding a piece of paper with a strange look on his face.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Nothing, he answered. "I went to the post office to pick up a registered letter. Dresser-Rand has called me back to work."

The man took a voluntary lay-off over four years ago, to see how we would fare on one paycheck. He's wanted to go back and get another year under his belt before retirement, because it will boost his pension, but when he's bid on jobs, he hasn't gotten them. We just took it as a sign that God wanted him doing what he was doing.

Evidently, God wants him to do something else right now.

In talking about it, I won't take a voluntary layoff. I'll ride this horse until it drops. Then I'll decide what to do. It will be very nice to have extra money to tuck away while we wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Good Stuff

When you don't see a 17 month old for two months, it's like you're meeting a whole new kid. We're headed to Blandon for 5 days and I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tough Stuff

William has a little friend at church. Her name is Clarabella.  Clarabella sits with us pretty regularly since both her parents are involved in the music program during the services. She and William send each other little notes. They share their toys. They whisper back and forth. She is a year younger than William, but she's no shrinking violet, this gal. Clarabella explained to William that he is her boyfriend and that this means he can't have any other girlfriend but her. 

He didn't seem to have a problem with that. 

She's a fourth generation church member. Her great grandmother's handwriting still appears on the organizational cards in the church kitchen. Her grandparents are members. So are her parents. 

Her grandfather has been ill for some time now, very ill. He's an extremely quiet man. He dealt with his illness in a very quiet way. He worked for the same company I did. Not long ago, I was shocked to make a call and find myself speaking with him. I'd have never guessed he was still working. 

As time passed, he seemed to get even quieter. I'd see him at coffee hour nursing his cup of coffee and looking exhausted, though he always was able to muster a cheerful word. 

William has had her Christmas gifts, but Clarabella has not been in church. Her father ducks out after the service. I haven't seen her grandparents since Christmas. 

Last Sunday, while peace was passed, I finally got up the nerve to ask the woman in the pew behind me if she'd had any word on the old gentleman. She said that she'd seen them at the hospital. She looked at me and said, "I wouldn't have recognized him if his wife hadn't been there. He's lost so much weight." 

The man has been stick thin for months now. I honestly couldn't imagine him any skinnier. 

During the prayers of the people, I offered up a silent prayer in my heart for Kurt and his family. At the end of the litany, the priest stepped forward to tell us that Kurt was dying. There was an audible gasp from us all as he offered up the prayer for the dying. 

By the end of our service, he was gone from this world. 

We got a little card for William to send to Clarabella. When we gave it to him, he signed it without comment. We addressed it for him. He stuck the stamp on. 

"Thank you, William, I said. "I'm sure that she'll be glad to get this." He looked at me with a very solemn face. "Can we stop talking about this?" he said, and he quickly left the room to scramble up on the couch next to his own grandpa. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Men Stuff

Saturday, Tim said, "Let's go to Kane after lunch. I want to show you an antique store."

I'm always game for a trip. I like browsing. Since hoeing out the house, really, I don't feel the need to buy as often as I used to, but it's still fun to look.

It was a pretty day for a drive, and I drank my iced tea and watched the scenery going by, while visiting with Tim. I'll never quite understand why it is so hard to make the time to relax and talk, but when we get the moments, I savor them.

The store is my favorite kind of antique store, a place where people stop in just to hang out and talk. The owner was repairing some veneer. I watched him carefully. I've got a dresser I need to work on. Another man stood talking with him about WWII. Every now and again, one or the other of them would stop to settle an argument by looking something up on their phones.

At one point, one of them stopped to marvel that it was 2020. The guy said, "My wife is telling people we've been married for 50 years. We haven't. We've got a couple years to go."

The other said, "I'm right behind you. I've been married for 35 now."

The response came back, "Well, you'll always be behind me. You're not going to catch up." And he made a joking comment about wives.

The younger man laughed and quickly agreed, but followed it up with, "But don't you DARE tell her I said that, because I need that woman to stick around."

I burst out laughing right along with them.

As I wandered through the store, I found a set of moon glow dishes. I'd never seen them before. They really were gorgeous. But I have a set of peach luster dishes that are pretty too, so I decided to keep on moving. I saw a table I wanted, but couldn't figure out where I'd put it.  I'm really trying to be mindful about what I haul into the house.

Next thing I know, Tim's found a five gallon Quaker State Oil can, and just that quick, he's got that down and in heavy conversation with the two fellows in front of the store, about the fact that it is in excellent condition for an old oil can and some debate back and forth as they tried to figure out a general age for the item. It had a plastic cap, but Tim was convinced it was a replacement cap. He thought the can was much older. It went on for some time. Everyone had an opinion.

I don't think I'll ever understand men. The last time that we went to a store, Tim fell in love with the grill of an old Chevy truck, heavily chromed, with a spot where you fit the crank. He dragged that thing home too.  (It's huge) And now it is another oil can. So I asked him the same question that I ask myself every time I see something.

"So what are you going to do with that?"

The answer came back: "I'm putting it in my man cave."

That's one room I'll never have to worry about hoeing out, so I shut up and kept on browsing.

Tim's drawer

Tim has a drawer. It is the place where he tosses all his receipts. He writes on the back of them what it was for, and then, every year, just for grins and chuckles, he pull the drawer our, sits down on the sofa with the thing across his lap and begins to sort them, each on having it's own bag. Then I generally sit down at the computer and make a list for each category. Each category is clipped together and put in a gallon size zip lock, which then goes upstairs to the plastic tub which has been labeled for the year.

Every year we do this, right about this time.

This year, as Tim was going through the drawer, he pulled out a wedding shower card. He handed it to me.

It had been opened. It was signed "Mom and Tim" which narrows it down to one of my three. It had a $50 Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card in it.

Tim goes through that drawer ever single year. How he came to find a nearly 6 year old card in there this year I couldn't tell you.

A half hour later, he found a bank envelope with $60 in it.

I said, "Whatever you do, don't stop going through that drawer. It might be the answer to William's missing socks."

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Scenes from a Marriage

The cat and I were having a bit of a spat when Tim walked into the kitchen. He listened a minute and said, "So tell me again why we have a cat?"

I looked at him.

"You know, sometimes at 5:30 in the morning, I have the same question about husbands when I'm trying to get out the door to work and find that mine has taken my car keys...AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!"

Tim laughed and laughed.

The Alcoholic

Many years ago, I went to school with a girl whose parents were extremely well to do. She was in some of my classes, but she was certainly not in my circle. She was shipped off to a private school abruptly.

Later, I had cause to run across her father, old and frail by this time, in a nursing home. Talking to him was interesting. He was a drinker and could not drink in the nursing home. He was stubborn and non-compliant, but took a liking to me because I liked listening to his stories. (Disclaimer: I like listening to everyone's stories)

He told me about the company he owned and how his best workers were the 'pollacks and dagos'. They were craftsmen he told me, the backbone of his company. My own grandfather was one of his craftsman. That I know.

He talked about things that had no relevance to my own life, the social circles he moved in, name dropping and waiting for me to be impressed by that. I usually had to google these people when I got home, because, again, these people had no relevance to my life, but it was interesting. He told stories of his life at the country club, and various organizations that he had belonged to, about his work.

He was especially proud that his daughter had been sent to the same boarding school that Jane Fonda attended. His daughter had been sent there after she developed an unhealthy interest in a boy deemed unsuitable by her mother.  I was always curious what made him unsuitable. Her older brothers were very wild in the school stories. I was cautioned against mingling with them. MY parents had found them unsuitable. I wanted to ask, but didn't. I may be nosy, but I try not to be rude.

 But I listened to those stories as I went about my work.

One day he asked me to come in and shut the door. He wanted me to come work for him in his home. He wanted out of the nursing home. He offered me $10 an hour, in a whisper, and cautioned me not to tell anyone else. He didn't want them to know how much I would be making.

I didn't laugh. I was making more than that already but in his mind he was offering me big bucks. I didn't take the job, because I couldn't imagine anything worse than being trapped in a work situation with a non-compliant alcoholic who would doubtless expect everything to be done as he wanted, not as he needed.

But it struck me as sad. This man has a fortune to his name and he was very proud of that and of his big home and of this things, but the reality of the situation was that he was in a nursing home and he couldn't come home because his wife could no longer handle his needs and, moreover, did not seem to want to. His family visited him every Sunday and every Sunday he tried to talk them into his plans. Every Sunday evening, he was very grumpy.

This frail old man still saw himself as a man to be reckoned with, a powerhouse, influential, a boss man. I thought it sad that he didn't seem to realize that times had changed.

Anyways, reading the paper, I saw that his son had received another DUI, after a life time of DUIs. At 64, he was finally given jail time.

I was actually present at one of his early DUIs. He was coming the wrong way down a four lane and hit a car filled with kids.  It was a bad accident, but luckily the injuries were minor. Still there were several children crying very hard and a pretty pissed off father, He strode over to where the driver was slumped behind the wheel, uninjured and not speaking coherently. It was a summer night and the guy was jerking on the car door trying to get it opened while he bellowed profanities. The police physically restrained him and threatened him with arrest. I was only 20 or so, but I couldn't help noticing their gentle handling of the drunk driver and I remembered thinking then, that 'this is what money gets you in this county'.

In the intervening 40 years, I've had no reason to see it otherwise. I've seen that man plenty of times. He always has money. He always knew me and greeted me like an old friend. I have no idea how this came to be. I was always cordial, but I never would have considered him a friend. I think it was more of a collector's instinct. Like his father before him, he was a name dropper. I was a writer for the local newspaper and so I made the cut, another name to be dropped.

In today's paper, I saw the name yet again and read what the judge had to say, about how his whole life had been one offense after another, multiple rehabs, multiple programs, multiple breaks given by the system, about the money the country had spent on him, about his own money spent on his rehab (it was his father's money. The old man had told me that himself.) After all these years, finally, the man is going to serve jail time.

An ordinary citizen of this town would have seen jail time by now, but at 64, this man is headed there for the first time.

I feel bad for him in a way.  Like his father before him, he lived his life not noticing that the world around him had changed. The heavy drinking and partying may have worked for the wealthy folks at the country club when his father was in his prime. It may have been accepted when he was a teenager in high school, but he didn't seem to notice that times had changed.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Just a Thing I Noticed

I think that there are two types of women in this world: Those who can artfully swing a wrap around themselves and cut quite a stylish figure. Then there are the folks like me who look like they stumbled out of bed wrapped in a blanket because they couldn't find their bathrobe.

...and another thing...

You know, long ago I heard the song Solsbury Hill, and I loved the lyrics of it. I always have.

Now, I don't want you to think that I spend a lot of time pondering this, but it occurred to me early on that this was the song I wanted playing at my funeral. Some day. Some far off day. WAAAAAAYYY off in the future.

The television was talking to itself the other day, and as I passed by, I heard it in perfect horror. MY. SONG. It is now a coffee commercial.


And now when I shuffle off this mortal coil, if my wishes are honored, those in attendance will smile and say, "Yeah. That woman did love her coffee."

Which of course would be true, but it wasn't what I was going for here.

But while we're on the subject, here's another one of those commercials. 

I've never seen this one before, but really, it feeds quite nicely into my funeral idea. People will envision me showing up to meet St. Peter with a coffee maker. They'll laugh and laugh.

Which is another thing I wasn't going for.


My sister gave me a tiny planner book. I've never actually kept one before but decided it would be a very good thing for keeping track of things at church. Meetings. Stuff like that.

So today, flush with the resolution of a New Year, I went into church. I carefully wrote down when I was on to type the bulletins, when I was reading, when I was counting, when the annual meeting was. Etc.

And I was very proud of my organizational skills.

When I went to leave, I gathered up my things, but could not find that little planner book. It really is a little thing. Handy sized.

I looked all over. Under the pew. Around the pew. Behind the cushions. No sign of it.

I finally found it. I'd put the hymnal away with the tiny planner in it.

This does not bode well for my resolution, does it?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Tim's Retirement Plans.

One of the drawbacks of being married to Tim is that he listens to the ideas of other people and ponders them in his own mind.

After the doctor's wife approached him with the offer to buy the house we just bought telling him she wanted it for her kids and for an Air BnB when they weren't there.  Tim has been mulling it over.

After a long day at work, I was sitting curled up with a book in my newly undecorated house when Tim said, "I'm thinking of turning that house into an air BnB."

Me; (looking up from my book, surprised) "Why?"

"It's in a good location and it's right on the creek, and it's a cute little place and people pay more for renting one of these places than we'd make just charging monthly rent."

Me: "But you'd also have it setting empty during the time when no one was there. You'd also have to clean it every time a guest left, clean it from top to bottom."

Tim: "Yes."

Me: (knowing full well Tim's domestic inclinations) "I'm not doing it. I've got a full time job. I don't need another part time job. I'm also not interested in keeping the listing up and and scheduling."

Tim: "You spend a lot of time on the internet."

Me: "I'm not doing it, Tim. If you want to try it, it is on you. I'm 62 years old, and I want to retire. When I retire, I don't want to be tied down to an Air BnB."

Tim looks grumpy.

Me: "I have spent my whole life doing what I have had to do. I have worked hard, I have put off doing a lot of things that I've wanted to do because I felt like I owed it to you to let you grow your business. I'm tired of that life. When I am ready to retire, I want to be able to go to Dylan and Brittani's to spend time with Iris, or go to see Cara and Colin, where ever they are. I've been waiting to go to Australia forever.  I want to be able to do what I want to do instead of what I have to do."

I've got 2 years, 4 months and 17 days until retirement. I've got plans. Tim left his job over 3 years ago and has been (very successfully) working for himself. I have this idea that he's not ready to retire. He's got his own plans.

What happens next will be interesting.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Little House.

This last house we bought is kind of interesting. in the matter of days, someone asked him about buying the house. As is. That very minute. Tim didn't think he was serious, and he hasn't followed up, but his story was that his wife has a degenerative illness, the house is her mothers, and that they'd been waiting for it to go on the market so they could get it. It was important to him not only for the sentimental reasons, but because his wife can not longer go up and down stairs. They need a small house on one floor.

We discussed it. I try to stay out of Tim's business, because really, I make decisions based on emotion. This generally does not make good business sense.

The woman with the degenerative muscle issues is the sister of the person who sold us the house. We knew that they did not speak. We don't judge that. We've both got odd family situations of our own. But still. Since the money went to the state, it would have cost the power of attorney sister nothing at all to let it go to her sister. It actually seems sort of mean. However we understand that there are two sides to every story. Who even knows if the man's story is true?


So anyway, we've kept that in our hearts, making sure we are listening to God on this one. We haven't heard any more from the fellow who stopped in just a few days before Christmas. He told Tim they'd talk after Christmas.

This morning, Tim was walking down the street to the new house for a couple hours of work.

Two women were out walking and they stopped him. The doctor's wife wants to buy the house. They own a little house in the same block. Her plan was to purchase it for when her children came to stay and to use it as a B and B when the children are not there.

Interesting that the little house would attract so much attention.

Tim is rewiring it. They want it as is, but agree it would be great if the rewiring was completed. They have, however, their own ideas on remodeling so they want to purchase as is.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. If Tim didn't have this house to remodel, he could resume work on the Wayne St house. It would put building our retirement home that much closer.

The Truth Does Not Get Old.

"Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace."
―Alfred, Lord Tennyson