June 4, 2022 – Space Cadet

Hello, my friends! Yes!! I’m back!!! For how long, you ask? Honestly, I have no idea! For some inexplicable reason, I have resisted returning to the ‘blogging zone’. I’m not sure if I put too much pressure on myself by setting the ‘blog for 365 days straight’ goal and burned myself out on writing or whether I felt I simply had nothing more to say, at least anything of interest. Nevertheless, I have taken a rather longer-than-expected hiatus from sharing my perspective on things (aka ‘blogging’), and my conscience/inner voice or however you want to refer to that part of our psyche that ‘nudges’ us from time to time when we’re not doing what we should, let me just tell you…it’s to blame! It has nudged me so many times that the upper part of my left arm has become slightly dented. What can I say? Sometimes it takes a lot to get my attention. By the way, for you folks who have joined me recently, don’t take me at my word too literally. I tend to use a lot of euphemisms and/or mean things figuratively. Oh! Speaking of you folks who have joined me recently, I must warn you, you may want to reconsider.

I know of no other way to say it than to tell you in no uncertain terms that I have become a certifiable ‘space cadet’. I think a few (by that, I mean A LOT) of my brain cells became dislodged while I was driving cross country (making the ‘big move’) last September and set off for new horizons. Likely, dodging the occasional pothole and tumbleweed played a part. I cannot tell you how, where or when they (the suspect brain cells) exited my body but it’s clear that a significant amount are missing. The only thing that seems to make sense is that after they escaped the confines of my body, they must have landed on the floorboards of my vehicle and when I stopped to fill up my gas tank or use the restroom, I unknowingly (and regrettably) kicked them onto the gravel or pavement of whichever Conoco or Texaco or Sinclair station I pulled into. Where they happened to end up is a complete mystery to me. All I know is that they can be in one of five states and considering the cost of gas these days, I’m not going to retrace my steps to try and recover them. It’d cost a fortune! As much as I miss my brain cells, I’ve decided to ‘make do’ with those that remain. And I have to tell you, they are not pulling their weight! I have been more than disappointed in their lackluster performance!!

Need an example? Oh, my friends, I have more than a few!! Just this past weekend, I made one blunder after another. As it happens, we’d been invited to a dear friend’s 60th birthday party. We’ve known him for well over 20 years but know little about him as he’s a rather private person. Blunder number one occurred before we even arrived at the party. Yep, like a total space cadet, I left his birthday gift (which I had painstakingly chosen and wrapped with care) on the hall tree in the entryway to our home. When I set it on the hall tree, I absolutely knew that there’d be no way I’d forget it. It was right beside my coat and purse, only a knucklehead would leave it behind, right? Sigh. It took about 10 miles before I realized what I had done. “Oh, crap!” I said aloud as I sat in the passenger seat. My husband was ‘in the zone’ in the driver’s seat, hands on the wheel and foot pressed firmly on the gas pedal, steadily watching the road as we sailed along the freeway at 80 miles per hour. “What?” he replied. “Did you grab the present on the way out the door?” I asked rather sheepishly. “No,” he answered, “I thought you got it.” “I thought I did, too, but I just checked the front and back seats and I don’t see it,” I responded.

I really wish that was my only blunder that day but I made another one, and it was far worse. Would you like to know what’s more insulting than being asked if you’re pregnant when you’re just fat? I can say that because it’s happened to me more than once; twice by the owners of restaurants we frequented. What’s that about anyway?! What I can tell you is that if you’re a restauranteur, that’s a sure-fire way to scare off ‘regulars’. I never returned to either restaurant where the ‘verboten’ question was asked. Alas, I’ve gone off track. Sorry about that. What was I talking about again? Oh, yes…that’s right….’blunders’. Ok, I’m going to get right to the point because I don’t want to leave you in suspense any longer. What I did that was a HUGE faux pas was ask the birthday boy’s sister if she was his mother. Oh, yes! I did indeed! Oh my goodness, what was I thinking??!! Oh, wait…clearly, I was NOT thinking. It was yet another case of ‘open mouth, insert foot’ syndrome, something I’ve ‘suffered’ from for many years. It’s not surprising she was slightly ‘icy’ towards me for the remainder of the evening.

If only I’d made those two blunders but there were more, unfortunately. Fortunately, they were not as egregious. And as much as I’d like to say they’re the only things I’ve done of late that seemed rather ‘dopey’, they’re not. There have been countless times. Where to begin? When I think back to shortly after we moved into our home, even I cannot wrap my head around why I did what I did. It was a simple task I had set out to do, shampoo the carpet in the livingroom. It was dirty and needed a good cleaning. How hard could it possibly be? I’ve cleaned the carpet at least a dozen times (or more) in our other homes so it should have been pretty easy. Not so much! After removing the soap dispenser and filling it up, I placed it back on the machine. Simple enough. I then pressed the ‘on’ button. Something wasn’t adding up, however. After making several ‘passes’ over the carpet, I noticed something was off. It just didn’t ‘appear’ as it normally did. I shut off the power to the shampooer and decided to take a closer look. For some odd reason, the carpet was completely dry! Huh? It didn’t seem to make any sense.

Par for the course, I ‘summoned’ my husband to get his take on why things weren’t adding up. It took him less than five seconds to advise me that I hadn’t added any water. Apparently, for a shampooer to work correctly, just adding soap is not enough. Water is also essential. Why am I telling you this? To spare you from feeling like a complete idiot (just in case you decide to take the initiative to shampoo your carpet). And since I’m giving advice, another thing you should keep in mind, which is completely unrelated, is how to properly heat up food in the microwave. Ordinarily, most people place food on a plate or in a bowl, open the microwave door and set ‘said food’ inside, cover it up with a ‘splash guard’ (I don’t know what they’re officially called so I’m going to use that term), close the door, set the cooking time and press ‘start’. I, on the other hand, prefer to do things differently. What I really love to do is place food on a plate or in a bowl, become distracted, set the cooking time on the microwave and press ‘start’. When I eventually notice that the microwave is on and the food is still setting on the counter, I hardly even blink any more because it’s happened so many times.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. I have so many ‘space cadet’ stories to share that we could be here for weeks if I were to indulge you. However, since I just glanced at the clock and it’s shockingly 6:37 in the morning (and I have yet to go to bed), I’d better wrap this up. Before I go, I did want to thank all of you folks that stuck around despite my lengthy ‘sabbatical’. And for those of you who recently ‘tuned in’, thank you as well. I’m going to try and be more realistic about how often I can blog this time around. I have yet to determine what will work for me but once a week sounds much more ‘doable’ than every single day. Making that commitment really took the wind out of my sails. Anyway, I’ll try to show up when I can and hopefully provide you with some amusement (at my expense). It’s important, especially with the way the world and humanity is at the moment, to find a reason to smile. If I can provide some comic relief and bring a bit of levity to this planet, I’m all for it. Much joy and many blessings to you and yours. Oh! Just in case no one’s ever told you that it’s unwise to place chunks of Styrofoam in the food processor and then add it to joint compound (to patch the popcorn ceiling), DON’T DO IT! Until we meet again…

P.S. Despite my effort to catch any spelling or grammatical errors, I may have missed one or two. Please don’t hold it against me. If I knew how, I’d insert a ‘wink’ emoji after that statement, but I don’t know how as I’m sort-of old and technologically challenged.

September 28, 2021 – The Grand Finale?

Don’t ask me how, but a complete calendar year has passed since I began my ‘blogging adventure’. Before I started, I put ‘safeguards’ in place to ensure anonymity. Because most of my family members have a few screws loose, I didn’t want any of them getting wind of what I was writing and sue my pants off. I love my pants, they fit really well, so putting them in jeopardy is completely unacceptable. Let me tell you, trying to remain anonymous and staying under the radar has been quite challenging. I think I’ve been successful at accomplishing this but I wouldn’t be surprised if I got careless and slipped at some point along the way. One of the ‘safeguards’ I implemented was never using anyone’s actual name, just ‘made up’ ones. You’d think it’d be easy to come up with aliases for others but it isn’t necessarily. What I found most difficult was trying to remember the aliases I used once they were assigned. The initial theme for the aliases was ‘animals’ and I did pretty well (to a degree). My oldest sister was ‘Stallion’, and my oldest brother ‘The Kraken’.

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September 27, 2021 – Photo

My husband and I had an opportunity to stroll around the park where I used to take my kids when it was time for ‘senior photos’. I remember it fondly and I think it’s the ‘go to’ place in town to take photos because it seemed like every other person we passed was a fellow shutterbug. It was a less-than-ideal day for pictures but I captured a few images I thought were worth hanging on to. The one I decided to feature today includes an old pavilion (which I used back in the day as a nice backdrop when taking pictures of my kids for their yearbooks). I chose this image (over the rest) because I like the fluffy clouds in the sky as well as the reflection of the trees on the water. Enjoy!

September 26, 2021 – The Number Two

I feel compelled to write about ‘the number two’ today for a variety of reasons, the primary reason being that I only have two more days left in my commitment to publish something daily on my blog and then I’ll have successfully finished out the year. Now, if you’re anything like me, when you read the title of today’s blog, you probably thought I’d be writing all about the mechanisms of the human body, including how it eliminates waste. Which, when you think about it, is really quite amazing. Of course, that discussion would likely have been followed by several paragraphs about all the different types of waste people excrete depending on what they’ve eaten (too much or too little fiber) or what ailment they’re experiencing (stomach flu vs. diabetes). And because I touched on those subcategories under the main category of ‘the number two’, it would be completely unacceptable to not then discuss the numerous ways we, as humans, go about ‘this process’.

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September 25, 2021 – Photo

I think I’m cursed when it comes to cell phone cameras! I don’t understand, but half the time I use the camera option on my cell phone, when I get a good look at the photo, it’s all distorted and resembles a painting. Since that’s what I used tonight to get ‘the shot’, I guess it’ll have to do. I happened upon this squirrel when I stepped out into my father-in-law’s backyard. He’d been dining on hickory nuts (the squirrel, not my father-in-law) and started to ‘squawk’ at me out of annoyance when I began to inch closer in order to get a decent shot. The title of this photo is ‘Give me some space’.

September 24, 2021 – Highs and Lows

My friends, I feel like I’ve been on an emotional thrill ride that has yet to conclude. Ever since my husband and I made the decision to move, I have experienced (far too many to count) exhilarating, take-your-breath-away highs and disappointing, mind-numbing lows. With family matters alone, we have both dealt with difficult situations involving our moms. Both our moms (my biological mom, his stepmom) suffer(ed) from dementia. Fortunately, I still have my mom, even though half the time she doesn’t know who the hell I am, but my husband lost his altogether. It’s strange to think her funeral was only a week ago. Since we arrived, there have been some joyous moments which have helped offset the loss. By coming here, my husband has been reunited with his family, and we’ve both been reunited with our son. On the other hand, we have left our daughter behind, as well as my family. I cannot say I miss my family much (apart from my brother ‘Clover’), but I definitely miss my daughter.

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September 23, 2021 – Photo

This is a photo I took while visiting a local botanical gardens back in June. If I had the means, I would replicate what I saw there in my own backyard. I had two beautiful fountains that I had to leave behind at my old house, but I wish I had been able to bring them with me. They were far too big and heavy to transport, however. There is nothing quite as soothing as sitting amongst so much beauty. It’s a transformative experience. I intend to make our new backyard (on a very limited budget) into an inviting and tranquil space. With any luck, I’ll be able to acquire what I need through end-of-season sales as well as thrift stores and Craigslist. I believe it’s possible, but it may take some time. It doesn’t hurt to dream, right?

September 22, 2021 – Sorting out the details.

Boy, buying a home is nothing like any other transaction. My mom used to say, “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” I think the same could be said for buying a house. It will test you in every possible way, and if it doesn’t break you, consider yourself lucky. I thought my husband and I were going to kill each other today because we’ve been so stressed out by the process. I think a lot has to do with ‘living in limbo’ and no longer having a set schedule. We’ve been in this weird transitional space and it’s beginning to take its toll. My husband told me this evening that he feels ‘jipped’. “Just like last time we bought a house,” he said, “You got everything that you wanted and I got nothing. All I asked for was a shop and I didn’t even get that.” He’s right, of course (sort of). The house doesn’t currently have a shop, but that doesn’t mean that one cannot be added in the future. “With what money?” my husband asked when I made the suggestion, “The money we could have used to build a shop is now going to be spent replacing the roof.”

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September 21, 2021 – Photo

I took this photo several years ago for a ‘study of glass’ segment in my photography class. It reminds me of when I was stationed in Germany a hundred or so years ago. Ok, I might have exaggerated the timeline a bit, but it sure feels like it was a hundred years ago. When I was stationed there, Weinfests were a regular thing. It was a great way for each region to market the different wines they developed from the local grape crops. If you attend enough of them, it’s easy to end up with quite the collection of these little sampler glasses. Personally, I’m not a fan of wine (unless it’s diluted with Sprite or 7-up). It’s for this reason my collection only consists of three glasses. I wish I had a few more, I absolutely love the unique illustrations on each one!

September 20, 2021 – When the stars align.

I had every intention of writing about ‘anticipation’ tonight, but things didn’t turn out as planned. With little hope, we submitted our offer (for the house I fell in love with) to the seller this afternoon. I also included a ‘love letter’ (a letter letting the seller know how much we love the house). Our realtor had indicated that the offer and letter wouldn’t be reviewed until late tomorrow morning. I envisioned a night of tossing and turning and fretting and hoping and praying and worrying and wondering. Despite what I was told, the seller decided to review the offers early. I really didn’t think we had a chance in hell because we were up against 6 other families, but to my surprise, we got it! WE GOT IT!!!!!!! Our realtor called as we were driving down the highway and teased us by asking if we were willing to increase our bid. My husband and I weren’t willing to go a cent over our initial offer and thought it was ‘game over’ at that point, and then our realtor started to giggle and said, “It’s yours!” Can you believe it? I can’t! Someone pinch me!!

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