Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This week the major networks’ morning news shows have been featuring pieces describing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Every time I hear the warning signs, I think, “Yep, that’s me!”

The speed at which I read has decreased substantially over the past several years. The other morning when I finished my 30-odd minutes on the treadmill, it seemed that I had only read a couple of short chapters. When I tried to figure out my current reading rate doing the math in my head as I had been able to do previously, I had to sit down with a pencil and paper to discover how long it would take me to finish the book I was reading.

I “lose” words, too. I know what I want to say, but I can’t think of the appropriate word. This happens quite often.

Of course, it seems that I spend half of my time looking for things that I have put away.

I can’t seem to do more than one thing at the time. The other night before going to bed I went into the kitchen to take insulin and to pack Mr. Fixit’s lunch for the next day. The doctor has given me a different method of taking it that no longer involves syringes and small vials of the medicine. Anyway, the next morning as I was brushing my teeth, it occurred to me that I became so involved with the new insulin system that I forgot to make Mr. Fixit’s lunch.

My grandchildren often hear “. . . or whatever your name is” when I talk to them. I have to run through all their names until I come up with the right one.

Are these deficits caused by normal aging? Am I suffering from hypochondria? Is Alzheimer’s rearing its ugly head? I wish the morning shows would go on to another subject. At this point, for me, ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Case of the Missing Screwdriver

In the kitchen junk drawer, I keep small tools that I may need so that I don't have to run upstairs to my tool box every time I want to make a small repair. This morning I wanted to remove the light switch plates to wash them. I looked in the junk drawer for my small screwdriver, and I couldn't find it.

Hmmm...Who could have purloined my tiny screwdriver? Let's look at the problem logically. I didn't take it. Who are the other suspects? Well, there is only one other person who lives here and has, on occasion, used my tiny screwdriver. Would he put it some place other than back in the drawer? I'm sure he will say he always puts things in their proper places. So who could have done the nefarious deed? I'm sure Mr. Fixit will offer his usual solution when things come up missing--"Little Girl (the cat) did it!"


Mother’s Day was nice. The children took us out to dinner. I picked the restaurant; I always pick the same one. It has back rooms that will seat all eleven of us and allows the children to move around a bit without the need for cautioning them to be quiet and to be still. Of course, they aren’t allowed to run wild. They are well behaved even in a place like Appleby’s where the tables are packed so close together.

Ben gave me a new keyboard for the computer. My old one is kaput, and I don’t like the cordless one I was using. I couldn’t get the new one installed so he opened the remote assistance program, worked his magic, and now I’m working with a new keyboard and mouse. The remote assistance thingy is great. When you use the Windows remote assistance program, you must turn off all your security including firewalls and other stuff you even don’t know you have. The program he uses doesn’t require shutting down the safeguards.

I’ve started my spring-cleaning albeit a little late. I started in the kitchen washing the cupboards and the walls. It will take a couple of more days because of Mr. Fixit’s new schedule. They have asked him to work from 4:00 am to 1:00 pm every day except Fridays. Just about the time I finish my usual chores, it’s time to start lunch. I have maybe an hour and a half for the heavy-duty cleaning. I am wiped out by 3:00 in the afternoons, so if it doesn’t get done in the mornings, it doesn’t get done until the next day (or the next week, or maybe the next month). I Hate Housework!!!

When I woke up this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the sun shining. It seems like it has been raining for days. The best part is the lake levels are rising nicely. It makes the dreariness of cloudy, rainy days more palatable.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jury Duty Again

It seems that I am called for jury duty at least once a year. I have served in Municipal Court in our town, University Court for criminal matters connected Clemson University, and County Circuit Court. Yesterday I received a Qualification Questionnaire from the United States District Court of the District of South Carolina.

If I am called to serve, it could be in courts in either Greenville (45 minute drive), Columbia (2 ½ hour drive), Florence (5 hour drive), or Charleston (5 ½ hour drive).

If I am called, I can guess where I’ll be doing my civic duty. They say Charleston is a beautiful city, but I'd rather see it under different circumstances.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

There's More to Life than Matinees and Pots of Tea

A blogger, on the occasion of her 40th birthday, titled her post, “So This is 40.” Her post brought to mind a particular day when I was about 35 years old.

I was at the bank making the company’s deposit. I was feeling a bit put-upon. Normally, I loved my life; I loved being with the boys; I liked my job. But that morning I was thinking, “I am no longer Me. I’m Mr. Fixit’s wife, I’m Ben and Jason’s mom, I’m Stuart’s secretary. What has happened to Me?” My life seemed to be filled with karate, Little League baseball, Cub Scouts (I must have been the world’s worst den mother.), a full time job, keeping books for two companies in my “spare” time at home, and laundry and cooking.

I noticed the lady in line in front of me. She looked about 45, had on minimal make-up, and her jeans actually had creases. I was so impressed with those creases. My jeans never had creases; I was lucky to get them ironed. I was wearing a suit with a partially un-ironed blouse, full make-up, nylons and high heel shoes. There were many mornings when, after ironing clothes for the boys and putting creases in their jeans, I had neither the time nor the inclination to iron completely my own clothes. I learned a little trick; I only ironed the fronts, collars, and the cuffs on my blouses when I was wearing suits. Of course, I had to wear the jackets all day.

But getting back to the lady. . .The teller greeted her by name and asked her what she had planned for the day. The lady said, “I think I’ll have lunch at Friendly’s (a regional coffee shop chain in New England) and then go to a matinee.” At that moment, I found something to aspire to. When I was 45, my children would be on their own and maybe I wouldn’t have to work anymore. I had no ambition to become vice president of the company; I worked not for fulfillment, but for the money. I didn’t want to travel. When I was 45, I would have time to go to a matinee, to have a tuna salad sandwich and a pot of tea of Friendly’s, and time to be Me. I wanted it more than anything at that moment.

No, I never realized my little dream of matinees and pots of tea. Time and circumstance have changed. I have no desire to attend a matinee by myself and you couldn’t find a pot of hot tea in South Carolina if your life depended on it. It doesn’t seem important now. I’ve raised two great sons who have gifted us with wonderful grandchildren, Mr. Fixit and I was in reasonably good health, and we are blessed in many ways. I’m happy Mr. Fixit and I have lunch together almost every day and we are able to occasionally watch a movie in the afternoon on DVD.

It just seems funny that I remember that moment in time so many years ago, and I remember the feelings so vividly. I can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laundry Baskets - Another Facet of my Exciting Life

Some years ago my doctor noticed a “blip” on my EKG. He suggested that I take a regular aspirin daily. Some time later, I noticed bruises appearing on various parts of my body that I couldn’t account for. I assume that the aspirin and the bruising were connected because after my new doctor recommended the low dose aspirin, the problem has abated somewhat.

One unusual place for bruising was at my waist on my left side. The bruises would be 3 or 4 inches long and were bright red before they faded to that sickly yellow. I finally figured out how I was getting the bruises. My laundry basket was the culprit. When I carry laundry up and down the steps, I hold the basket with my left hand and brace it at my waist. I need the right hand to hold on to the handrail. The basket was causing the bruising.

When I needed a new basket a short time ago, I went to Wal-Mart for a medium sized one. They didn’t have one, of course; it seems that Wal-Mart has a problem with re-stocking their shelves. K-Mart is not one of my favorite places; in fact, I shop there as a last resort. When I couldn’t find one at any other store, I caved in, went to K-Mart, and found this.

This is absolutely the best laundry basket I have ever had. It’s easy to handle and it’s the perfect size. This particular basket holds 1.25 bushels. There are different sizes available in this hip-hugging style. I haven’t had one bruise since I started using this basket a few weeks ago.

I really do dislike shopping at K-Mart. All their stores smell funny to me, the people who work there are harder to find than associates at Wal-Mart, I can’t see that their prices are any lower than Wal-Mart, and they never have enough registers open. I do concede that they often have items that I need when I can’t find them anywhere else.

(It just struck me as I re-read this post—I sure do lead an exciting life. I just spent almost an hour taking a picture, downloading it, and writing this post in praise of a laundry basket. Most people blog about interesting things they do or places they’ve been. Me? I write about laundry baskets.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just Leave It Alone

For many, many years I have been using Corelle dishes. They are practically indestructible, and I like their plain Winter White set because, let’s face it, I’m a bland person. I have had three different sets over the years with only two broken items. I dropped a heavy glass on a cereal bowl, and we won’t talk about what happened to the other piece except to say I broke it. I stopped using two of the sets simply because I was tired of looking at them.

When this line of tableware first hit the market, the cups were a conventional teacup design. Then came this design with the Winter White.

The cups are not the prettiest ones I've ever seen, but I love them because I have never had enough cupboard space, and these cups stack so well due to the design of their handles.

Recently I noticed that one cup had a sliver missing from the rim. I suspect it happened in the dishwasher. There is a Corelle outlet store in Commerce, Georgia, and I thought I would be able to find a replacement cup. I also looked in several other outlet malls, but apparently someone at Corelle decided that these dainty, stackable cups should be replaced by mug-style cups.

Someone came up with this good idea and then couldn’t let well enough alone.

While I’m complaining, I would also like to know what in the world the makers of Dawn dishwashing liquid have done to this formerly very good product. The selling point of the detergent was that the suds would last through all the dishes to the last greasy pan. It was true; the suds did last.

I hand-wash the plastic stuff like those disposable food storage containers and the pots and pans. Until recently, one squirt of the liquid did the job. Now, after all the plastic has been washed I have to add more detergent.

Why, so often, is the new, improved product worse than the old version? My suggestion to the manufacturers is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Monday, May 4, 2009

Concerts, Baseball, and Parties

It was a very busy weekend for us. Friday night we had made plans to go to Noah’s baseball game and Owen’s football game. Ben called early in the afternoon to let us know that Cole would be playing in a concert at school. We went to the concert because Cole has decided that he doesn’t want to continue with band next year when he goes to high school; it was to be his last concert. The performances were terrific!

Cole also had a baseball tournament Saturday and Sunday. His team won the first game of the Saturday games. He didn’t play in the second game because Bella’s birthday party was scheduled for 4:00 pm; the game started at 3:15 pm.

The birthday party was held at a horse farm. All the kids loved it even though it rained a little. They were able to tour the stables and to ride the horses. There must have been 30 or 40 animals there—everything from Clyvesdales to donkeys. The highlight of the day for the kids was when one of the Clyvesdales opened his stall and took an unplanned, unsupervised stroll. The children thought is was great. The workers didn't think it was funny.

Isabella, The Birthday Girl

Bella on the Horse

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Baseball continued on Sunday. We sat through a couple of rain showers and Mr. Fixit and I brought home sunburns. Weird weather! After Cole’s team won the tourney, they were presented with rings instead of the usual trophies. The young men loved them. Ben is the scorekeeper for the team; he will get a ring, too.