Monday, January 28, 2008

A New Book

When Mr. Fixit retired from his regular job, I knew that sacrifices had to made. I don’t mind not having my nails and hair done. I don’t mind not having a daily newspaper delivered. I don’t mind waiting for things or even knowing that there are some things that are no longer in the budget. The one thing I miss terribly is not having the means to buy books whenever I want. Now I visit my library more often, and occasionally I buy discounted paperbacks. I have been rereading the books on my shelves. Even if I read a book a day, I have enough books for ten years. I probably won’t live long enough to read them all.

I have to admit that I probably spent more on books in a year than I spent on clothes. I was a member of the Mystery Guild book club for years. On my monthly visits to Sam’s, I always found a least one hardcover book and one or two paperbacks that I just couldn’t pass up. A trip to Wal-Mart always included browsing in the book department. Every month or so I would go to my favorite used bookstore and leave with 15 or 20 paperbacks. I never traded in my old books; it would have been like trading in my children. Books-a-Million was also one of my favorite haunts.

Now that I have my social security check I bought a hardcover book Saturday. Yea! I chose "T is for Trespass" by Sue Grafton. The main plot line dealt with elder abuse; a sub-plot dealt with a child molester--one end of the spectrum to the other. It was quite disturbing. It made it seem so easy to isolate a person, to make him/her completely dependent, then to steal his possessions and even his life. Scary stuff!

After I finish reading all of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels, I think I’ll dig out the alphabet books by Ms. Grafton and visit with Kinsey for a few weeks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dirty Tricks

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Last night I heard a short piece on the news about a man making political calls about Sen. Clinton. The calls originate in Texas. I didn’t understand how bad the recorded calls were until this morning when I received one of the very offensive calls. It was vile and malicious with comments about her sexual conduct with the late Vince Foster and every other man in Washington. She was even accused of cruelty to animals. The call was so awful I hung up.

The worst part of the whole thing is that aside from the one little item on one television station last night, there is not one mention this morning about the calls in our local news media. There was nothing in the State news, and certainly nothing in the national news.

Our primary is this coming Saturday. I had made up my mind for whom I was going to vote. After this call, I may change my mind. One lady interviewed on the news last night said that she was going to vote for Sen. Clinton because of the viciousness of the call. I may do the same thing. BTW, I don't for one minute believe that either of the other two major Democratic candidates had anything to do with this call.

I am appalled that there is such hatefulness in this world. The man making the call is one sick puppy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

In My World

B-r-r-r-r! It’s cold here in SC! We even had a little snow last week—about three inches. It was mostly gone the next day. The temp went up to 55. The next day the cold returned.When I got up this morning about 6:30, it was 10 degrees. Now that’s cold.

It was so cold, in fact, that we had a water pipe burst. If it had to happen, it happened in the best way possible. It was a spigot outdoors, and Mr. Fixit heard it pop and turned off the water at the street before a gazillion gallons of expensive water poured into the yard.It took him only about an hour to fix it. It was a long hour for him though; it was so cold.

We have sleet and freezing rain forecast for tonight. Snow I can deal with, but I hate ice storms. I hope it passes quickly. The children commute so I worry about them on the roads.

Owen and Noah were with us a few days last week. Noah had a nasty virus that’s going around. His birthday was the 17th; he’s 8 years old now. They had his party Saturday at a place call Slide Guys. They have those giant blowup slides and bouncy things for the children to play on/in. All the little boys loved it.

Noah and Owen were in the back seat of the car bickering as brothers will do sometimes. I said to Mr. Fixit, “Who does that you remind you of?” He immediately said, “Ben and Jason when they were that age.” Yep.

The newest brotherly insult: Noah said, “Grammie, Owen said I was boring.” Owen said, “Well, you are boring.”

I finally joined the rest of the world and joined Net Flix. It’s great! If the mailperson comes early in the day, we watch the film and return it the same day. The company receives it the next day and sends out the next one on our list the same day. We get the new movies the day after. That’s a short turn-around time.

I felt like I’d found a treasure trove when I looked at their offerings from the BBC and A & E. They have tons of British mysteries—the Jack Frost series, Brother Cadfael, Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple, Wire in the Blood, Cracker, Hamish Macbeth, etc. I can hardly wait every other day for the mail to arrive.I haven’t actually received any yet because I ordered Mr. Fixit some of his favorites first and one or two for the grandchildren. Maybe I’ll get one this week.

Snow Pictures: Levi doesn't look like he's having much fun. Bella tried to make a snow angel, but most of the snow had melted before she made it outside. Cole made a snowboard ramp.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Little Election Humor

The phone rang; caller i.d. indicated “Unknown Caller.” I answered.

Caller: “My name is Jackie and I’m calling for the South Carolina Democratic Committee. Are you going to vote for Obama, Clinton, or Edwards in the primary election?”

Me: “Yes.” I laughed.

I heard about 5 seconds of total silence and then a bit of grudging chuckling from Jackie.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I would prefer not to tell you how I’m going to vote.”

Jackie: “Uh, okay, thanks.”

Isn’t voting still considered private?

Is it just me or. . .

are those glow in the dark crosses in cemeteries completely creepy?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It Wasn't Even Gift Wrapped

In November, Mr. Fixit’s big television in the living room blew. He began watching the 13-inch set that had been in the kitchen. I offered him the 19-inch that I watch in the computer room, but he said it was too much trouble to disconnect the components; he just sat very close to the screen on the little set. We put the huge, 27-inch set on the floor in the living room.

The day after Christmas we took advantage of the sales and purchased a new television. He got a very nice 37-inch HD TV that gets a wonderful picture. It has a thin screen so it is very light. No, we didn’t pay extra to Directv to get the HD channels because we would have had to lease or purchase a HD receiver plus pay the extra monthly fee. Not only do the sets cost the earth, you have to pay through the nose for all the things needed to get the HD channels.

In the meantime, the old set just sat in the living room floor. The thing weighs a ton. It took the two of us to get it from the entertainment center to the floor. Mr. Fixit has been working or the weather was bad so it sat there until today. He loaded it onto a hand-truck and I helped him get it out the front door and down the front steps. We were going to take it to the recycling center, but we couldn’t lift it into the pickup. He suggested that we leave it on the street for the city to take.

Our little town has very stringent rules regarding garbage pickup. All garbage must be in plastic bags. All bags must be in the city-issued garbage container. If your container is full and you put just a plastic bag beside it, they won’t pick up any of your garbage. In order to have the city pick up big items like appliances or furniture, you must call and ask them to pick it up. They then will pick up the items within a few days. If you don’t call, your old fridge could sit there for years like a lawn ornament.

After he placed the TV at the end of the driveway, I tried to call City Hall with no success. Apparently, there was a problem with their phone system. Mr. Fixit decided to go to Wal-Mart. He was gone maybe 45 minutes. When he came in, he said, “Wow, that was fast. The TV is gone.” I told him that I wasn’t able to make arrangements for the pick-up of the TV; someone else must have taken it.

I feel sorry for the person who took it. They probably suffered a hernia lifting a heavy television that doesn’t work.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008