Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pink with Embarrassment

Mr. Fixit was having problems with his cell phone. It was several years old and would no longer hold a charge. Even though mine was a couple of years newer, I, too, was experiencing problems with mine holding a charge. We went to the phone store to see if we could get new batteries or to buy new phones.

Their tech guy took one look at Mr. Fixit’s scratched, battered phone and said that batteries for that phone were no longer available. I wonder if he saw the little “adjustment” that Mr. Fixit had made to it. There is a button on the side of the phone that changes the ring to vibrate. He would accidentally hit that button and miss phone calls. His solution to the problem was to put a glob of super glue on the button. He’s so clever. The tech said that the battery for my phone costs $37.00; he suggested it might be cheaper to purchase 2 new phones with a buy-one-get-one-free offer. I was a little p.o.’ed because I knew purchasing new phones would require us to sign a new contract. What a rip-off! We have been using the same company for years and years, and it seems unfair that we must be obligated for two years just because the phones have be to replaced. If one of us croaks during the contract period, the survivor is stuck with paying for two cell phones. At our age, that is a possibility. Changing providers isn’t possible since our family uses the same one, and there is unlimited minutes for cell-to-cell phones.

When the perky sales rep asked what kind of phones we wanted, I told her that we wanted basic phones. I explained that we didn’t need a phone that takes photos, connects to the internet, and is capable of downloading music and TV programs.

When we left the office, we were the proud owners of phones that take pictures, connect to the internet, and can download music and TV programs. The bottom line was that with the buy-one-get-one-free offer the two Razr phones were cheaper than buying two basic phones. Of course, there will be few pictures made, and I will never connect to the internet to download music because I don’t need to and I don’t want to.

The truth is I was seduced by the cute little pink phone I was shown. I am so embarrassed!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Case of the Missing Underwear

After several years of marriage, Mr. Fixit and I arrived at an equitable arrangement for the available drawer space. He has three drawers in the chest of drawers; the fourth drawer is mine for stuff that I don’t want to throw away but never use. I have the three drawers in the dresser for my things. I might add that it has been years since I looked in my drawer in the chest. We have also come to a satisfactory arrangement regarding the packing of suitcases. He packs his and I pack mine.

The summer of 2006 I was literally living out of a suitcase from April to August when my brother was dying. I would make the trip and stay in a motel while there. I would only come home when circumstances demanded or when I had to get away from the horror of watching my brother suffer. I made all the trips alone except the last one when Mr. Fixit went with me.

On that last day, we checked out of the motel before the funeral. Needless to say, I was very upset, and our clothes and other belongings were thrown carelessly into suitcases and even a few Wal-Mart plastic bags. We left immediately after the funeral. The next day we unpacked, and I did laundry.

Shortly after I thought I was short a few items—underwear, to be specific. I mentioned the fact to Mr. Fixit and asked him it he had come across the items when he was unpacking. He said that he would check his luggage again to see if it had been left packed. It wasn’t mentioned again for a couple of months when I told him that I had to buy new underwear because I couldn’t find the lost items and that meant I had to do laundry more often. He hinted that since I am advancing in years and my memory isn’t what it used to be that I was merely mistaken in the number of pairs of underwear I had. He almost had me convinced that I was nuts, but I distinctly remembered a pink pair and a beige pair that were nowhere to be found.

After applying for SS benefits, I was told that they needed my birth certificate and our marriage certificate. I never had my birth certificate, and I couldn't find the marriage certificate. After instituting a top-to-bottom search of the house for the missing marriage certificate, I opened the third drawer in the chest with some of my old things. There to my surprise I found the missing underwear.

“There’s my missing underwear! I knew I wasn’t crazy. You put them in there!” I accused.

“I don’t think so,” he replied. “You just don’t remember that you put it in there.”

“I may forget where I put the marriage certificate; I may forget where I put the car keys; I may forget to take my meds; I may forget to change my shoes, but I have never forgotten where I put my underwear!”

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Non-Blogger

This morning after leaving Wal-Mart, I was testier than usual. They could use my expertise to run their business more efficiently, but that’s a subject for another post.

I called Mr. Fixit and asked him if he wanted to go to a nearby town with me to purchase the item Wal-Mart didn’t have. My testiness only increased as I ranted about having to drive 20 miles to make my purchase and the heavy traffic only made it worse.

At a red light I pulled up behind a small pickup truck. The driver pulled away and was driving 45 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. Everyone was passing. Since I was the first car behind him I couldn’t move to the other lane because of the congestion. My usual fantasy of blowing crappy drivers off the road began. As I finally took my turn to pass, I pulled my .357 (my hand), pointed at the offending driver, and yelled pow! pow! pow! as I passed. (The driver couldn’t see it because I kept my hand low. I can be discrete when necessary.)

Mr. Fixit said, “You should be glad I don’t have a blog. If I did, I would write about this.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Official!

I’m OLD! Today we started the application process for my collecting Social Security benefits. My birthday is next month, but we didn’t think of applying until yesterday. It will be several months before the benefits actually begin. There is a hold-up. I can’t find my birth certificate or our marriage certificate. I’ve applied by mail for the certified copies of the documents. Kentucky, where I was born, says that it will take at least 30 days to process my request, and Connecticut, where we were married, says there is a large backlog of requests to be processed. Who knows how long it will take, but, at least I’ve started the ball rolling.

It is really strange how I feel emotionally. I know that I will soon be 62 years old; I know I have gray hair; I sometimes feel old physically. Mentally, I don’t feel old, but applying for Social Security makes it all too real. I don’t like this feeling!

I know that this is more that anyone really wants to know, but there is a point to the following story.

The only other time I felt old was when I was 36. The doctor told me that I should go off the pill for a while because I had been taking it for over 10 years. Mr. Fixit and I decided that we didn’t want any more children so I opted for spaying (I think the more PC terms is sterilization, but I’ve always thought of it as spaying.).

When I came home after the out-patient procedure, I was surprised at my feelings. I thought I would be happy, but as I was lying on the couch, I found myself becoming a bit depressed. More than a bit actually. I was pleased that I wouldn’t have to keep taking the pill, and I was pleased that I wouldn’t have to worry about pregnancy again. But I felt OLD! I can’t explain why I felt that way, but not being able to have children made me feel old. It took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have children any more.

Today when we came out of the SS office, I had the same feeling. Perhaps when I have received that first check, my depression will lift a little.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Levi - 19 months
He looks so grown up.

Little guys need a nap after doing
those handy-man chores,
but he's ready to resume as soon
as he wakes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Recommended Reading

My son, Ben, has a new blog.

It should be very interesting. He and his wife recently bought a trailer park. There have been a couple of funny encounters in the few weeks he has owned it. He said he felt like he was on an episode of "Cops."

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Yesterday at a Little League game a young woman was sitting in front of us. She appeared to be grading tests by elementary students. (The handwriting on the tests appeared to be of younger students.) I assume she is a teacher. In answer to someone’s question, she said, “He don’t like that.”

When we first moved here, our younger son brought home a note from the teacher. She wrote, “It is alright. . .” “Alright” is not a word.

Most of the teachers with whom I dealt while my sons were in school were competent, and I know that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but it seems to be that some need refresher courses in grammar and word usage.

Some kids who be in school don’t talk good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Sunday after services, Mr. Fixit’s church held a fund raiser. As he and the rest of the family were leaving, one of their friends offered them 3 large pizzas for $5.00 each. Mr. Fixit said he would buy one, and Ben said he would buy the other two. I guess in the process of leaving, Ben’s wife managed to keep all three pizzas. After Mr. Fixit arrived home, Ben called to tell him that since they were coming our way they would bring his pizza.

I was lying on the couch when the doorbell rang. Jason and his wife came in without the children. The first thing I asked was “Where are my grandchildren?” They said that Noah was visiting a friend and Owen was with Ben and they had come to pick him up. Okay, that sounded reasonable. A couple of minutes later, Ben stuck his head in the door and told his dad to come help bring in the pizzas; he said I should come to. I said, “Do you need help to bring in a pizza?” He said, “Just come on out.” I asked him as we walked out the door if he had bought a new car. He said, “Why did you ask that?” I replied, “I don’t think it takes all these people to bring in a pizza.”

As I rounded the house, I saw Ben’s wife with the video camera. I stopped dead in my tracks and took stock of the situation. There was the Blue Bomb, my car, Jason’s wife’s yellow X-Terra, Ben’s Excursion, and a strange shiny, black pick up in the driveway. I couldn’t locate the kids. I thought Ben had indeed bought a new vehicle. Then I noticed the big red bow on the hood of the truck. I was struck dumb! Mr. Fixit noticed the truck but didn’t say anything. Then the children all jumped up from the bed of the pickup. I think they were supposed to yell "Suprise!", but they forgot.

They bought us a new truck! It’s not actually new, but it’s new to us. Mr. Fixit broke down in tears.

They bought a truck from DIL’s stepfather and had it painted. It looks brand new, but it old enough that the property taxes won’t kill us. It’s perfect! The AC works, the gauges all work, and the headliner isn’t drooping. The windows don’t rattle, and it has an automatic transmission that won’t hurt my knees to drive it. Mr. Fixit particularly likes the power windows so that he doesn't have to listen to my smart remarks about the windows in the Blue Bomb. And it’s BIG!

They got a charge out of my posts of September 2 describing my adventures in the Blue Bomb while Mr. Fixit was away. They had already bought the truck for us.

We transferred the Blue Bomb back to the boys today. We had purchased it from Ben about 120,000 miles ago. Every family needs an old pickup truck to haul mulch, bricks, landscaping stone, lumber, etc. They can share.

Do we have great kids or what?

Thank you so much, family! You can’t know how grateful we are.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3:10 to Yuma, etc.

Today’s Houston Chronicle had several articles on the remake of “3:10 to Yuma.” For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would think they could improve on a classic. Hubris? Maybe the new one is terrific; I haven’t seen it. However, I know that the Glen Ford/Van Heflin version is one of the best movies of any genre that I have ever seen.

Included in the series of articles was a list of someone’s 10 favorites western. No credit was given to the list maker. They were:

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
“High Noon”
“True Grit”
“Pale Rider”
“Dances with Wolves”
“Lonesome Dove”
“Maverick” – the Mel Gibson Version

I agree with “Tombstone.” I have seen this several times. “Shane” and “High Noon” were snoozers for me. For some reason, I have never seen Butch and Sundance. “True Grit” doesn’t measure up to “The Cowboys” or “The Shootist.” While I like “Pale Rider,” I like “Hang’em High” and “Unforgiven” more. “Dances with Wolves” was far too long. I haven’t seen “Lonesome Dove” either. It was a mini-series, and I have watched very few mini-series. While I’ve tried to watch Mel Gibson as Maverick, I just can’t get into it.

My Favorites:


“3:10 to Yuma” – This is more a psychological drama than Western. The relationships are very interesting.

“The Magnificent Seven” – Wonderful cast and good plot

“The Cowboys” – Great story, John Wayne at his best, and Bruce Dern is the best at being the worst.

“Against a Crooked Sky” – I am probably the only person to remember this movie except the people who made it. Wonderful scenery and photography and good plot

“The White Buffalo” – This may not be a true Western, but more of a psuedo-historical piece

“Bad Girls” – Okay, I know that is a stretch for being anyone’s favorite. It’s very entertaining for me to see the ladies kick a little butt.

“The Missing” – Tommy Lee Jones at his craggiest best

“Broken Trail” – A Made for TV movie with Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. I love this movie!

“Hang’em High”- An Eastwood classic

Honorable Mention:

"The Outlaw Josey Wales" and “Invitation to a Gunfighter” (Yul Brynner, George Segal, and Janice Rule.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t mention the movie I’m watching now. It’s not exactly a classic – “The Alligator People” (1959, Beverly Garland and George MacReady).

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Plan Ahead

Driving to Wal-Mart in the truck was no problem. When I started out of the parking lot, I noticed the exit with the traffic light is slightly inclined. Since I am not that comfortable with the clutch on the truck, I was afraid I would let the truck roll backward and possibly hit the car behind me. I decided discretion is the better part of valor. I sat in the parking lot to plan my trip home. I finally thought of a way to get home without an incline at a stop sign or traffic light. I only had to drive about 7 miles out of my way.

He's Gone Again

Mr. Fixit is in Connecticut. He left yesterday morning at 7:00 am and arrived at 9:45 pm. He made very good time. Once again, Jason let him borrow the GPS. He was lost once, but the gadget put him back on track immediately. I don’t know how long he’ll stay.

He has quite a few family members there. His aunt, the family matriarch, is getting along in years and her husband died a couple of years ago. I think she is a bit depressed and lonely. She can’t get around very well, and I think she misses her independence. She lives with her daughter, but I would think it’s not the same as living in your own home. They built a separate suite on their house for her. She needs to have someone with her, but I know how she must feel. Getting old is hell!

He just called and said that it was cold there. Of course, if the temperature falls below 70 degrees, he thinks it’s cold. I forgot to remind him to take a jacket.

He drove the Buick and left me with the truck. Yesterday I had to go grocery shopping. As I left the driveway, I noticed that the needle on the gas gauge was below the “E”. I almost panicked until I remembered that it doesn’t work. When he called from the road, the first thing I asked him was how much gas was in the tank. He uses the trip odometer to tell him when to fill up. Then I turned on the AC; after a blast of hot air, I remembered the AC doesn’t work either. The clutch is weird, too, and it hurts my knee to use it. I told him I sprained my wrist cranking down the window. I tease him about not having power windows in the blue bomb. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to go out again until he gets home, but I need to go to the pharmacy. I shouldn’t complain; at least I have some sort of transportation.

I wasn’t very productive yesterday, and I don’t plan to be today although I should load the dishwasher. I read a book and a half yesterday, played on-line games, and watched old movies. Monday is soon enough to get back to housework.

Our heat wave seems to have ended, thank goodness! The temperature is below 80 now, with a high in the upper 80’s forecast for later in the day. It’s better than the l00’s we have had for the last month. Now all we need is a steady rain for a few days.