Sunday, May 25, 2014

His Priorities

There is a new window blind to be used on our dining room window. It’s 72” wide. While it is unwieldy, it isn’t heavy. I purposefully bought a light, vinyl one. Some of them were too heavy for me to handle, and I didn’t know if he would be feel like putting it up.

Mr. Fixit, as he was lying in bed because he was so tired just from taking a shower, said that he was going to put the blind up tomorrow. I said I would ask someone for help with it or do it myself.

“I have put up blinds before, but I may need you to hold up one end while I work on the opposite end. Oh, and I may need a little instruction for using your Craftsman’s drill.”

After a moment (First I saw a look of dismay fleetingly cross his face and then the cogs turning in his mind), he said, “That drill is too heavy for you to use.”

“You forget—I am the person who carries a purse that heavy enough to give a strong man a hernia.”

Too heavy, my eye! I don’t think he wants me touching his drill.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Today in South Carolina News

The following was reported on WYFF Channel 4 News in Greenville, SC.

“A man who was not in good humor smacked an ice-cream truck driver with a fudge bar in a dispute over correct change after his daughter bought the frozen confection, said police.

The vendor gave officers a description of the man and the white truck she said he used for a getaway vehicle. The police report did not say whether he took the fudge bar with him.”

I don’t know who actually wrote this item, but I think it’s a hoot!

Good Vibrations

I’m not a person whose phone in the center of her life. In fact, until recently, I only knew where the phone was maybe 50% of the time.

Today when Mr. Fixit and I were in the doctor’s office he put his phone on “vibrate.” He punched about 20 keys to do this. I turned mine completely off. He asked me why I didn’t put it on vibrate. I said, “You punched about 20 keys; I punched one.” The truth is I don’t know how to turn on the vibrate function.

When we left the doctor’s office, neither one of us thought to check the phones. We were discussing the information we had been given. When we stepped into the house, Mr. Fixit remembered and checked his. “Jason (our son) called.”

I said, “Uh-oh, if he called mine, too, he’s probably wondering where we are. I’m surprised he not standing at the front door.”

By that time, My Fixit returned his call. He asked Jason where he was. I heard from about half-way across the room, “I’m almost to your house. Where were you?!”

When he arrived I received a lecture about checking my phone and turning it on and putting it on “vibrate.” I told him about Dad pushing about 20 buttons to accomplish this, and I told him it was too much trouble. I said, “Why doesn’t it have a button to push once to vibrate?”

He said, “It does.” He showed us both the right button to push. He said that when he had more time he was coming over to give me a tutorial on my phone that I’ve had for five years. I think that was his best eye-roll yet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Were They Thinking?

Today has not been a good day. In fact, it’s been a crappy day. I need a little distraction.

Since we no longer have Directv, I have very few shows available to me. Tuesdays are one of the few nights I watch tv if my reception is good enough. I found out there is a Judge Judy show on instead of “NCIS.” I need my “NCIS!” Argh!

That's kicking a person when she's down!

Monday, May 19, 2014

An Alternate Universe?

Has the world tilted on its axis and someone forgot to tell me? Perhaps I have been swept into a loony parallel universe? Something’s going on, that’s for sure.

Item 1 – For all those who have pooh-poohed the idea of major climate change, consider this.

The weather in South Carolina from the middle of April until about November  is hot, humid, and just plain uncomfortable. Some (like me) would say it can be unbearable. Even though we have had a couple of 90+ degrees days, Friday night it was so cold that Mr. Fixit turned on the heat again. It has been coming on all weekend. Keep in mind that this is mid-May. Usually by this time Lucy’s Rules for Summer have been implemented and I am bitching and moaning about sweat.

The past winter was so cold that I had to wear jackets, mittens, and earmuffs. Usually I can make do with just sweaters. It gets cold for a few days, but this winter the cold lasted for months. I was glad to see spring come.

So, if you have any doubt that  the icecaps are melting, the fact that it is cold enough in SC to have the heat on in mid-May should at least induce the climate change skeptics to reconsider and start supporting environmental policies that could help the situation.

Item 2 – In Mississippi, some ultra-conservative feloniously entered a nursing care facility to take video (or pictures) of the bed-ridden wife of an opposing politico for some reason. I have tried to imagine what was going on in this disturbed mind. What was his desired result? Did he expect the voters to vote against a man because his wife is incapacitated?What was his reasoning? (Story reported in most major news outlets.)

Item 3 – Again on the political scene. An Arizona congressional candidate said that 99% of the mass shootings have been done by Democrats. Wh-a-a-t? How did he come up with that one? Honestly—have you ever read in any news account of any of these horrendous acts the political affiliation of the perpetrator? (Story reported in the NY Daily news and many other news outlets and internet sources.)

Item 4 – Karl Rove. . .oh, forget it. This one is simply too. . .

Everything seems to be a little off-kilter to me; but, then again, maybe it’s me who is…Nuts!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Music and Joy

This week has been musical for us. Both Owen, our fifth grader, and Bella, our sixth grader, participated in their schools’ final choral concerts. Both were great; I love these things! There were differences between the two groups though. Perhaps it is the ages or the teachers’ desired results.

It just happened that both choruses performed two of the same songs—“Don’t Stop Believing” and “Happy.”  The 400 or so students at Bella’s middle school were so good. The talent these children exhibited left me breathless.

Owen and his 4th and 5th grade classmates (40 or 50 perhaps) weren’t quite as polished as the middle school, but they, and the audience, has tons of fun during those two songs in particular. At the beginning of “Don’t Stop Believing” I suggested to our son that we start a little flash mob. He didn’t go for that one.When the chorus started clapping their hands during “Happy,” the audience (parents and many grandparents) joined in and clapped with them. Everyone was really into it. There was joy in that cafeteria Monday night!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Am I Missing?

Yesterday’s topic on “Times Goes By” was “How It Is to Be Old.” I read the comments with increasing wonderment and awe, and the feeling that I am out of step with “happy”  old people. And I am very envious of those who commented.

Most wrote of having time to savor and relish the simple things in life, marriages that get better, more wisdom, emotional mellowing, tranquility, self-awareness,  the lessening of responsibilities and obligations, more patience, and less angst in general.

To me having time, wisdom, tranquility,  patience, fewer responsibilities are beyond my reach. I never have enough time to do all the things that should be done. The only wisdom I have developed came when I thought about my own past mistakes. I don’t think I want to share my past mistakes with anyone if I try to impart my wisdom to others. Tranquility is elusive. It’s more than elusive; I think sometimes it’s purposefully hiding from me. The responsibilities are onerous. Self-awareness? I don’t have time or even the inclination for self-reflection. If I did do a little reflection,I might not like what I see. And angst—I didn’t really know how tough things can get sometimes. Believe me, I know it now as time gets even shorter. Being mellow isn’t me either. This getting old business is the cause of several of my private, mini-breakdowns. The financial outlook alone is very worrisome. Sometimes it feels as if a financial catastrophe is just waiting to pounce.

Do I still savor the simple things in life? Of course, I do. The grace of a hawk circling in the sky, knowing that my grandchildren are excelling, walking on the beach at sunset and hearing the lapping on the waves on the shore. I just threw in the beach stuff. I hate the beach and sand in uncomfortable places. Reading is a pleasure though I find I have less patience for long, protracted plots. I also have very little patience with rude, crude, loud,and wishy-washy people. I have much less patience than I did when I was young. I cherish the small amount of time I have alone, but I wouldn’t want to have an abundance of alone-time.

Am I unhappy? I don’t think so, but after some reflection, I’m not sure I’m happy either by some standards. (I knew reflection wasn’t a good idea.) I just keep on keeping on and do the best that I can. I’m not quite ready for the alternative.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Can’t Win for Losing

Several days ago, our local weather forecasters began predicting the storms that devastated the Midwest and parts of the deep South could enter our area. The storms didn’t happen here. Thank God!

Today one of our channels published an explanation of “why they were wrong.” The explanation was cogent, outlined the scientific reasons the storm had passed us, and explained the difficulty predicting the vagaries of the weather.

Most of the people who commented on the news story were irate that the forecast had been wrong. The station’s news story was seen as CYA instead of the explanation it was meant to be. The station was accused of hyping the dangers for  some murky reasons that I didn’t quite understand.

The consensus of the negative commenters was that the station should have stressed the fact that it was possible for the storms to miss us, thereby negating the need for cancellation of some activities. (The station didn’t cancel the activities; that decision was made by people other than the tv broadcasters and their meteorologists.)

I would guess that 95% of the comments were negative. What did these people want? Did they want the death and destruction to descend upon us as it did in other locations? If the weather people had downplayed the danger of the storms and they had hit with the ferocity that wreaked havoc as they did in other places, the commenters would have been blaming the tv stations saying that the station should have issued stronger warnings.

Instead of thanking God, Mother Nature, or  the whatever cosmic force they may believe exists, they seem like they can hardly wait to spew the most virulent, hateful opinions they can even though we were blessed. It almost makes me feel sorry for them; they must be very unhappy people.

One further thought—modern technology has made weather forecasting more accurate. In fact, it seems to me that the predictions are right far more often than they are wrong.