Monday, March 30, 2015

Can Openers

More than 20 years ago, Jason gave me for Mother’s Day an electric can opener that mounted under the cabinet. It has a bag slitter (is that a word?), a thing to open pull tabs on cans, and a lid remover that worked on even the smallest jars or bottles. I loved that little amenity. It was made by  Presto. I think he must have paid less that $20.00 for it because he was working at McDonald’s. That little handy-dandy appliance lasted until just a couple of weeks ago. I certainly received value for his dollars.

I began shopping at my usual stores. It’s very hard to find those under-the-counter models now. We even drove about 70 miles to look for the Black and Decker store to see if they carried them. The store is no longer there.

I then checked on line. Black and Decker does make the UTC model, but there is a little problem for me. I found one for $39.95 but it just opened cans. I really wanted that jar lid twister-offer. It did have a knife sharpener though. And it is black.

I checked a little further along. the prices ranged from $119.99 to $439.95. $439.95 for a can opener? Who pays $439.95 for a can opener? And it didn’t even have the twist off lid thing.

I was about to go back to the manual kind, but we found a free standing electric one that looked like it wouldn’t flip over. Of course, it is now taking up counter space that is already lacking. And it doesn’t have the lid twister-offer thing. Well, it has one, but it only works on jars the size of a mayo jar and you still have to use brute strength to remove the screw top.  But it does open cans, and it’s easier to clean than the old one. ( I had to get my screw driver out  and take the old one to pieces to clean it.) And it cost less than $20.00!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Not Much Happening (Thank Goodness!)

Baseball season is in full swing. We have one grandson who plays on the high school team, one who plays Rec League, and one who is playing soccer. The first few high school games were incredibly cold. Saturday there was a rec league game, and Mr. Fixit and I came home with sunburns.

The weather has warmed up a lot. I’ll have to start using the AC pretty soon. The daffodils are just about gone, but the forsythia is beautiful. We have a few little grape hyacinths. We haven’t planted anything for a number of years. The lilac bush is just beginning to leaf, and the Bradford pear trees are changing from white to green. Spring also brings yard cleanup. I’m not crazy about that job either. I do a little every day. I have cooking and laundry so I can seem to accomplish anything in the yard.

Mr. Fixit is doing well. He is still working for our older son almost every day.

I’m still walking and dieting. I can’t get past this plateau with my weight. It’s discouraging.

I recently cancelled our Netflix. They were doing things with our deliveries. I miss it though. Maybe I’ll try their streaming service for a while to see what’s available. Mr. Fixit likes old westerns, and I enjoy film noir of the 40’s and 50’s, BBC programming, and PBS Masterpiece. I was watching a lot of that programming on Youtube but the production companies are blocking a lot of the shows.

I’m still knitting. There is something calming doing the same repetitive stitches. While doing that I listen to audio books ffrom the library.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Case of the Missing Book

Last Tuesday when we went to Mr. Fixit’s appointment with the oncologist I took a hardcover library book with me. (I always have a book in some form or the other with me whether is is hardcover, paperback, or electronic.) I was at sixes and sevens because we were getting scan results. When we were called in I must have laid the book on the end table in the waiting room.

When I discovered the book missing, I called the office, but it had closed. The next morning I called and asked the receptionist if anyone had found it, and she said no. I was doing errands this morning and stopped by the office again to ask about it before going to the library to pay for it. I checked the little book corner at the doctor’s office, but it wasn’t there.

I was a angry with myself for losing it, and I was a little angry because it appears someone just walked off with it. (It is clearly marked the property of  Pickens County Library System.) I had only read a few pages; I had been on the “Hold” list for a long time.

As I was driving home, I was thinking how surprised I was that someone had taken it. After all, it was in a doctor’s office where people must come to terms with their very serious conditions. To put it bluntly, most are facing their own mortality. I  thought, “Whoever took that book could be facing St. Peter soon. Would they want to have to explain to St. Pete that they had swiped a book?” I wouldn’t, that’s for sure.

Then after reveling in my indignation, something else occurred to me. Perhaps the person who took the book took it to read while receiving their chemotherapy. I imagine the last thing on one’s mind in this circumstance would be returning a book. Then I felt mean and petty.

I went to the library, paid the $27.00 for the book. The library has the replacement cost of the book, and maybe someone had something to take their mind off the treatment. I prefer thinking that it helped pass the time for someone. I’m not p.o.ed any longer.

The librarian put me back on the “request and hold” list for the book.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Eastern Bluebird PhotoYellow-bellied Sapsucker PhotoAmerican Robin PhotoImage result for cardinal bird

Even though our weather forecasters are predicting 4 to 6 inches of snow this evening, I spotted these kinds of birds while I was walking this morning in 35 degree temperature. Of course, robins and cardinals stay here through the winter. The bluebirds disappear in winter but I don’t know that they migrate. The yellow bellied sapsucker is a welcome sight. They have been scarce in our yard since the maple tree was cut down.

They are a nice reminder that spring is near.

(Bluebirds are my favorites.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015



Today’s World

Are we seeing a return for ethical behavior in our world? It seems no one lies anymore, they simply “misstate*.” It lays my fears to rest because I had come to the conclusion that politicians and bureaucrats were all liars. Maybe the world isn’t going to hell in a hand basket after all if no one lies.

*VA Secretary Robert MacDonald is to “misstate.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quirks or OCD

When do quirks become OCD behavior?

For the last couple of years I find myself counting. No, I don’t count the lines on the sidewalk, but I realize I’m counting the pieces as I slice celery or carrots.

When I’m knitting I count stitches. I will be in the middle of a run of stitches which I wouldn’t normally have to count. When knitting you will often have sections that are measured by the inch, not the stitch. Sometimes I find that I start counting from the number one in the middle of a row or a round. Oddly, I also notice I sometimes count by 2’s—not every two stitches but for each stitch.

In the morning I divide my egg into eight pieces, the bacon into eight bites, and the toast into four pieces. I take four bites from each little section of toast to cover the taste and texture of the egg and bacon. I take a bite  of egg, bacon, and two little bites of toast and then take a slurp of tea to wash it down. (I really dislike eggs.)I eat breakfast with the efficiency of a robotic assembly line. The remaining two pieces of toast are eaten as I finish my tea.

I don’t want to get into the teeth brushing counting ritual. It’s quite involved and weird. Today I realized I was counting the flatware as I emptied the dishwasher.

Sometimes all that counting makes me nuts. Is this a result of aging or am I losing my mind? Hmmm. . .