Wednesday, September 29, 2010

They're Out To Get Me!

Several days ago a very big white commercial truck ran a stop sign and used me and my van as a "stop cut". In non wood carving lingo, that means the large white commercial truck hit me. While the accident did not hurt me or my wife, it did result in considerable damage to the van. But since the accident I have noticed several cars pull out in front of me to the point where I had to slam on the brakes. I've noticed several more run stop signs. Maybe I am just more aware, but it sure seems they're out to get me.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

On patrol - Off to school!

As I sat with my 73rd cup of coffee this morning I observed the kids moving up the lane to the school bus stop at the main road. The image reminded me of a squad of troopers humpin their rucks on patrol. Course they'd be technocolor instead of camouflaged, and I'd be viewing them through the wrong end of the binoculars. Kindergarden, 2nd and 3rd graders. Back packs larger then than they are, water bottle holders flapin, several complete with boonie hats. What a scene. And I'll bet it's repeated all over the country every week day.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Been absent a bit. Been under the weather a bit. Been overworked a bit. Getting old a bit too.

I am convinced that there exists in each of our lives, certain points where we change. If we can remember these points, and the conditions that existed at the specific time, we can identify specifically when our bodies/mind had changes foisted on them them. I can identify three of these moments.

First, my current condition. One week ago from this past Sunday I provided wood carving demonstrations for a bunch of kids. As a result of this activity, I became infested with some "Kid Cooties" Cooties of the bad cold type. Colds are nothing new to me, or any of us. But up until this last "cold" I would be over the cold in a few days. It's now going on the second week and I am still not over this cold. Sore throat, headache, muscle soreness all over, snot and flem (green) from nose and throat, hives, the works. Yet another signal that my body has changed into being old.

Second condition, was when my legs gave out. Several months ago my son-in-law asked for my help in assisting him install cable to additional rooms in our house. This installation involved "snaking some cable from the basement up to the second floor. To achieve this we used a "snake". We ran into all sorts obstacles and interference pulling this cable. My assistance started and ended with running up and down the steps from the basement to the second floor about 100 times. At about the 50th trip my knees and legs started putting up an argument. The next day it was clear that my body had given me yet another signal that I was old. It was a correct signal, as my legs have never recovered.

Third condition, was when my arms, legs, and back gave out. Several months ago I was playing on the floor with one of the flower girls from next door. She climbed on my shoulders. I tried to get up to my feet. Couldn't do it. I had been able to achieve this minor feat at any time....up until then. Yet another signal; you're old.

I have not been able to come back from these life altering events. I am wondering if this "cold" will result in the same type of thing. An omen if what's to come.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flower Girls at Play???

While sitting on the swing on the patio, with a pocket knife carving some little 5 minute owls, I could not help hearing lots of commotion from the next door back yard. The Flower Girls were on their trampoline. I can only see the very top of the trampoline because of the bushes and trees. Actually I can only see the girls when they are jumping and at the very top of their jump. Not only were they jumping but they were screaming, yelling, and even whining. I walked over to find out what was going on. When the girls saw me they got off the trampoline and came running. Greeted me like they'd not seen me in weeks. I asked them. "What in the world all the commotion was"? They answered, "We were just trying to kill each other". And it sounded like it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cable Guys!

Old TV died. Bought a new TV. I have cable. I have HD. I have a VCR/DVD. I have an A/B switcher so I can tape one show while watching another. Called Cable company to install new TV and hookup everything so it works. For $19.95, it's called a stress preventer. Cable guy comes like he's supposed to, when he's supposed to. Puts new cables in, changes out a few connections. I ask hime if everything will work the same as before. He says yes it will. I say even with the A/B switch? He says yes. Then he's out of here.

TV works fine. I throw the old remote into the box with the 37 others that I have accumulated over the years.

Go to watch a tape. NO WORKEE! Call cable company. Listen to 10 minutes of advertizing. Talk to a technician. Who asks my problem. He says you can't do that with the equipment I have. I say BS! Send another technician to make it do what it always has done. That's just tape a TV program and watch it later......

I know I'm old. I know I don't listen well. I know I don't follow instructions. I know I have to pay others to do this kind of stuff....


I am waiting for the second technician to arrive,

I am calm!

OPPS! he's here.

Finally a good one. He actually explained and demonstrated everything to me. Made me demonstrate it all back to him. Went to the truck to do the paperwork. Came back and made me redemonstrate again. Then asked if I had any additional questions. He was so damn good I al,most asked him for a stock tip. Maybe I just looked stupid, but I sure appreciated his instructional manner......

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Secret Hiding Places"

Me, "Honey, We have any more pretzels"? Answer, "Yes, on the floor in the back hall closet, between the red sweatshirt and the tan jacket on hangers". Dang! she was right.

Question, "Can you bring down the shampoo in the blue capped bottle, under the bathroom sink, beside the white capped shampoo, which is to the right on the left hand door, on the bottom shelf"? Me (after going right to the shampoo she wants), "Sure". I don't have a clue how she does this, as there are 37 different shampoo bottles under the bathroom sink.

Question, " Can you go to the basement freezer and bring a can of frozen OJ up to thaw? It's on the top shelf of the door, on the right hand side". It was.

Statement: When you to the grocery store, don't forget to get a can of peanuts. The last trip to the store yielded no can of peanuts. I walked up and down every row, but after a few minutes every can looked the same. There's trouble, when there's no peanuts at home. I said "they must have run out of peanuts". No buying that excuse. Here's the answer: You'll find the peanuts in the first row past the soft drinks; to the right when you face the pharmacy counter, about two thirds down on the top shelf. Dang! right again. I bought four cans.

About now, I was wondering about replenishing the supply of gummy bears. But I remembered that there are several hiding places for the gummy bears. Hiding these became a necessity when the Flower Girls came visiting. They have always been able to scope the candy out.

I am finding out where lots of stuff resides here at home......

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Continuing Nurse Ratched Adventures!

I am now experiencing a reoccurring nightmare. This nightmare stars my wife, who in the nightmare, has grown to like (make that enjoy); my new role.

Prepare and deliver to her, three meals per day.
Deliver two snacks per day.
Make sure we do not run out of Cheetos and Pepsi.
Make her toast following instructions and specifications more detailed than the engineering plans for the hydrogen bomb.
Do the dishes after each meal,
Do the wash.
Do my own ironing.
Fold the laundrey and put it where it belongs.
Do the shopping. Be aware of and use all coupons.
Answer all telephone calls.
Restock the bathrooms with toilet paper.
Anticipate the need for food items prior to actually needing them.
Plan the night meal earlier enough to take what is needed out of the freezer to thaw.
Carry the walker up and down the stairs each time she goes up and down the stairs.
Find things that she has placed in a cabinet, pantry, in a box, or on a shelf.
Sort the mail, throw out the crap, and give her the bills. This I gladly do. I don't ever want to know what things cost, and how much we spend.

Egads, I'm not made of the same stuff she is. Few men could do the day to day work that their wife does. Heal baby heal!

One Good Thing About Modern Things!

Our old TV set began its death throes yesterday. After I got over the fact that it was at least 12 years old, I realized it was time to replace. Got on the Internet and determined what the highest rated TV set was. Measured the space in the cabinet where the set must fit. Decided that the largest TV set that I could fit into the space was a 32" set. Got back on the Internet at PRICE GRABBER and found out what the best price was, and printed it out. Took off to BEST BUY and purchased a new 32" set, for the same low price that I had found on the Internet.

Now here's the good thing about new/modern technology. The new TV set in the box weighs about the same as a folding chair. I had to get the help of a much younger and stronger neighbor to help me remove the old set from the cabinet. There's probably a 100 pound difference......Now lets see how long the new set lasts..

Monday, September 6, 2010

Keep Your Eyes Open - For Good Free Machines!

If you're like me, you just cannot pass on a free sewing machine. If you ever are told that "my old machine just doesn't work anymore", or "they wouldn't give me anything on trade in", or "I found this in moms basement"; if the machine is offered - TAKE IT!
This model 4552 SINGER was offered to our class at the senior center. The owner said it didn't work, and if we couldn't get to sew, just throw it away. I took it and tried it out. Well it sewed, but the stitch was so bad, I could see why it was offered. But I remembered somewhere reading that the first thing to do when attempting to "fix" a sewing machine was to clean it. After that, return all settings to as near to zero as practical. Put a proper new needle in and be sure it is correctly set. Thread the machine with new thread, according to the instruction manual. Instruction manuals are available on the Internet. Begin to sew a test piece of folded fabric. Inspect the stitches, and adjust the tensions as necessary.
Through experience I have found out that the above actions will return most old sewing machines to service.
This older SINGER model 4552 now lays down a near perfect stitch.......and it was free.

A New Appreciation!

I have always realized that keeping up a house was work. I will however fess up and say that at times I wondered why some thing had to be done like they did. I always knew my wife went shopping, clipped coupons, saved money by shopping sales, never ran out of the things needed to keep the place working. But I gotta tell you, I never realized just how difficult the total job is. Doing the big things is hard enough, but all the little things that make the big things happen are a whole nother thing. And there is just the two of us. How moms with a family continue to manage is beyond me. Here's just a sampling of what I mean:

Toilet paper: Making sure there are spare rolls in the bathrooms - at all times! That's even more important than replacing the rolls on the dispenser.

Bread: Breads bread to me, but someone I know requires fresh baked bakery bread. I still have not mastered the secret of buying two loafs at a time and splitting them and triple bagging smaller bags, and freezing them to prevent molding. I still wonder why my cheap bread will last for weeks without molding and wife's only four days.

While we're on the bread thing, I never realized that making toast was such a detailed art. How much easier can it be to make toast, add butter and jam? I learned that the toast must be just so dark (well not dark at all, just one and a half shades darker than white, but hot and a wee bit crispy). All the top surface of the bread MUST be covered with butter. The butter must be of a required consistency, that is only achieved when taken out of the icebox for 30 minutes at room temperature of 70 degrees. The thickness of the butter must be correct too, but so far I don't know what that is. I just keep adding more. I am sure I'll be told when I have enough. The jam is not a big deal. I think it's the butter that is critical.

House and out side plants and flowers: Why do they die when either over watered or under watered?

I'm tired, gotta rest.

Thirty minute nap later!

I now know how/why my underware is always clean and in the drawer.
I now know that the orange juice does not automatically get made when it needs to.
I know you have to plan ahead for meals and thaw frozen stuff.
I now realize that if you don't sweep the floor on a regular basis you'll need a shovel.
I understand that if dishes are left overnight it's harder to wash them in the morning.

I could go on and on about all the little things around the house that my wife always did, that I never gave a whole lot of thought to. I'm learning!