Sneaking Up On Sunday

Got Mom’s phone set up and all the phone book entries put in for her.  Thankfully, this phone has a “shared phone book.” If you put the listings in one handset, all the other handsets can get to them.  She had fewer than 50 entries, which was all the shared phone book would take, so that worked out all right.  The phone in her bedroom was connected by a four pronged plug as their bedroom still has that kind of phone jack.  I hate to tell you how long it’s been since telephones used that kind of a wall connection. The jack in my bedroom is still the old style.  The connection in the kitchen has been changed to the new kind, though. I suspect that happened when you couldn’t get phones anymore that would plug into that style of phone jack.  The one in what was my brother’s bedroom has been changed to the new style too.

One good thing about cordless phones.  Only the base unit has to be plugged into a phone jack, the one in the kitchen, as it happens.  The other two (or three or four) can be put in any room with an electrical outlet.  The old phone was mounted on the side of the cabinet.  Unfortunately, the way the wall mount for the base unit was on this new phone, once it was mounted,  my mom would have had to stand on a step stool to see to get her messages, so it had to be put down on the counter.  Mom wasn’t happy about it at the time, but I suspect she’ll warm to it.  Now that it’s down on the counter, she won’t have to go around to the other side of the breakfast bar to see if there are any messages, or to answer it.  It’s visible and reachable from either side of the breakfast bar.

Earlier this past evening, I hauled trash out to the dumpster, then stripped the bed and took them to the washer ready to wash after I took my shower and washed my hair.  The first load, sheets and towels, is in the dryer now and the second load, which is clothes, is in the washer washing.  My dirty clothes hamper is just the right size that when it is full, that is enough to make a full load in the washer.  It’s made from wood with inset wicker panels and has a bag made of heavy cloth hung inside it from two metal rods.  I bought it when I first moved in to the duplex.  It is sturdily made and has held up well.  Money well spent.

Rainy Thursday

Wednesday was payday, so after I daddysat while mom went to choir practice, I stopped off at Walmart and stocked up on all the things I can’t get at Market Street. They had all their stuff out for Tech’s back to school  — little dorm room refrigerators and single sheet sets, and Tech towels, and all that kind of stuff.  But they also had body pillows for $9 and a lap desk for the same price, so I got both. The lap desk will come in handy for transcribing work which I’m going to have to get busy and do because my dental insurance premium is due this month, and the body pillow I had got barfed on one time too many.  The filling is already lumpy and if I wash it one more time, it’ll be like sleeping with a bag of rolled up socks. Putting tennis balls in the dryer works for comforters, but pillows are too thick.  I suppose I could wash my Reeboks and put them in the dryer with the pillow, but I think I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns.  I’ve had it for over ten years and I think I’ve recouped my investment.

Walmart had a six-pack of 500 mL bottles of Gold Peak Sweet Tea.  I only bought it for the bottles.  The bottles are thick plastic with wide mouths and a substantial cap, and the labels come off without leaving a sticky place down the side of the bottle. They will work better for refillable water bottles than the kind of flimsy plastic bottles they sell water in.  Just a word of warning.  If you decide to try the Gold Peak Sweet Tea, it’s made with REAL SUGAR, which is to say, it’s about twice as sweet as I like it (44g of sugar in 500 mL, which is to say 15% of the US’s RDA of sugar).  It reminds me of how my dad used to drink iced tea.  It wasn’t sweet enough for him until about half an inch of sugar had settled out in the bottom of the glass.   Anyway, there’s only six bottles of it and if I load it down with ice, it’s drinkable.

This afternoon we had a right old thunder boomer, and it rained like sixty for about 20 minutes.  We even had chips of hail.  (Thank goodness the hail was no bigger than that.  We don’t have covered parking here!)  It was nice.  We need the moisture.

I downloaded the new beta version of Rhapsody 6.3. Although it’s slower than Christmas, it seems to work much better with the Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player than Rhapsody version 4, which is old, old, old.  For example, I could not get all 52 files of “Welcome to Night Vale” to upload from my PC to a version 4 playlist and was having to use Windows Media Player to download them to the MP3 player, but I was able to drag and drop all 52 files to the playlist I created in verson 6 and they downloaded just fine. Having a “Welcome to Night Vale” playlist in Rhapsody means I can access them from my Squeezebox internet radio and listen to them while I knit.

As I type this, I’m trying out the lap desk I got Wednesday night and it works great.  I’m all set to get busy next week.

I’ve been trying to get a sty at the outer corner of my left eye. I had them badly one summer as a child but I’ve rarely had them before or since.  I’m supposed to go pick up some antibiotic ointment at the VA tomorrow, which I will do on the way home from daddysitting.  I’ll be setting up mom’s phone for her when she gets home. I think they are going to work well for her.  They have black on white readouts, which are so much easier to see  than the black on dark amber readouts on her old phone.

Maybe a Rainy Monday, Or Not

Sunday, after I got home from daddysitting, I had a little nap and woke up about 7 o’clock with thoughts of supper.  I sat at the dining table (for once!), drank Coke Cola*, dipped seven layer dip with blue corn tortilla chips and did some rereading of Ten Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Years With Pogo.  Bliss.  

Monday, I decided I really need to turn some heels.  I have three pairs of socks that have been knitted to the point that heels need to be turned. The thing is, when I’m turning a heel, and especially when I get to the decreasing part, I have to pay strict attention to what I’m doing and follow the pattern carefully, row by row, or I mess it up.   And while I was checking the accuracy of my Fleegle heel pattern, I discovered how to purl a row without turning your work — by knitting backwards!  This is revolutionary.   I don’t mind purling a couple of stitches as part of a pattern, but I hate purling a whole row, like you have to do in stockinette stitch. It’s also great because when you’re doing two at a time socks, you have the two balls of yarn that you have to keep sorted, which really gets tricky when you’re doing the decrease part of the Fleegle heel. Not having to turn your work means you don’t spend time making sure your yarns don’t get twisted.  I’m teaching myself a technique where I hook the yarn over the needle with my right index finger, rather than pulling the yarn over with my index finger and thumb like she shows in the video.  It’s slow until I get the habit pattern laid down.  But, once I do, it will look so cool!

The internet is a wild and wonderful place. 

There was a thunder boomer symbol on my weather widget, but the sun was shining at the time I noticed it.  We had some thunder while I was having a late supper.  It rumbled and mumbled, but I didn’t look out to see if we got any rain with it. It was dark already, and I couldn’t tell unless I can see that the parking lot is wet.   If we did get any, we probably didn’t get much.  Upstairs has the roof, so I don’t hear it unless it’s coming down at an angle and hits a window.  The weather widget shows thunder boomers for Thursday and Friday.   Early days yet, though.

One of the family friends that came to my dad’s birthday was telling me about a knitting group she goes to that meets on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 at one of the branches of the City Library.  I’m of two minds about whether I want to go.  In the first place, that branch of the Library is halfway across town.  And then I’m supposed to start daddysitting on Wednesdays now, so that’s three days a week I’ve got to be out and about.  She mentioned something about knitting in the car like they were going on a trip.  I need to check with my mom to see if they’re out of town this week.  Don’t think I would want to show up at the Library for the knitting thing and not know anybody there.  A bit awkward.

I ordered mom that new phone Sunday and she had me get the extra handset for the bedroom.  I’m glad she decided to get the third handset.  There needs to be a phone she can hear in the bedroom, so if she’s back there with my dad, she doesn’t have to leave him to go answer the phone.  Also if my dad falls back there or something happens, she won’t have to leave him to go get a phone she can hear to call for help. Amazon swears it’ll be here Wednesday.  I’ll likely be setting it up while she’s at choir practice.  I’ll have to “transfer” her phone book, which is to say re-enter the names and numbers in the new phone.  Hopefully, it’ll have a feature like mine that once you enter the information in the phone book in one handset, you can send it to the other two. She’ll like being able to access that info from all three handsets.  They’ve had the phone they’ve got now so long that when one handset went out, the only replacement I could find was on Ebay, and that’s been years ago. No wonder the displays are burning out.  The way they build electronics anymore, it says something that they’ve lasted this long.

It’s the dark of the moon tonight.  Time for bed, I think.

* Texan for “Coca Cola”.

Milestones and Grocery Fails

 92nd BirthdayMy dad had his 92 birthday Thursday.  Mom had invited some family friends. Wine and cake were involved.  And munchies.

It was work for her, but both she and they needed to celebrate.  She needed to be around people and have fun, and visit with people who make sense when they talk and who can carry on a conversation.  They needed to be there for this milestone in the life of a long-time friend.

The day of the party was not one of my Dad’s better days.  Periodically, he becomes restless; he becomes disoriented; he responds to internal stimuli (hallucinations, delusions); he can’t sleep.  He will suddenly decide he needs to get up and go to the bathroom, yet once he gets there, nothing happens.  He’ll do this maybe 10 times over a several hour period, but it quickly becomes obvious that he is not responding to a real need to urinate.  He’ll spontaneously begin talking about some real event that happened in the past.  What he’s saying will be factual and accurate, but apropos of nothing and unrelated to anything that’s going on around him. These will be interspersed with what are obviously responses to internal stimuli.

He had been having one such episode for the 48 hour period leading into and following his party — For example, during the party, he spontaneously announced that he couldn’t drink his beer because some guy had picked it up and was drinking it.  Nobody at the party was drinking beer, including him.  He complained about the man who was fixing the TV, wishing he would get it fixed and leave, but again, it was during the party, there was nothing wrong with the TV and there was no repairman, etc. I was interested to note how people responded when he did this.  They found it embarrassing and disturbing — and who wouldn’t be disturbed to note one’s friend of many years behaving in an irrational manner.  They didn’t quite know how to deal with it.  (Neither does my mom.)

Apart from the fact that these periods wear my mom out because his restlessness prevents her from sleeping, and she has to be ever alert that he doesn’t try to get up and fall, she finds them disturbing — which they are.  She doesn’t deal with his dementia well. She keeps trying to reason with him, and you can’t.  He doesn’t know that his responses are not appropriate to what’s happening around him.  He doesn’t know he’s not making sense. He’s had probably hundreds of tiny strokes, and a couple not so tiny ones, and his brain is short circuiting.  You just have to calmly respond in a topically appropriate way and let it go.  The one key thing — and it can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re trying to do it on not enough sleep — is to stay calm and be patient.  If you become irritated, exasperated, impatient or start trying to reason with them, they don’t understand your response.  They can become upset, bewildered, agitated or fearful, or any or all of the above.   When he complained about the TV repairmen, an appropriate response would have been to remark, “They’re almost done. They’ll be leaving in a minute.”  He didn’t know he was responding to internal stimuli.  To be told you’re delusional or hallucinating, even when you are, can be confusing and upsetting.  The realization that you may be unable to tell the difference between what is really happening and what is a delusion or a hallucination is a profoundly disturbing and frightening idea, especially to a man who’s been through a war.  If you can’t tell what’s real, how can you keep yourself safe?  Everything I’ve read on the subject stresses over and over again the need for calmness, patience and reassurance in dealing with someone with dementia.

One of the ladies at the party had learned earlier in the day that she had won a victory in her 18+ month fight with breast cancer and was now cancer free, but she had been practically beside herself with fear and dread leading up to getting her results, and she told me she didn’t dare announce her news because she was so very, very relieved by it that she didn’t trust herself to talk about it without bursting into tears and crying hysterically — Mom asked her about it but I had to head her off with, “One joy at a time, mom.” I’ve been aware for some time that our friend has anxiety issues.  I’m used to dealing with those.  My BFF has suffered since a child with chronic anxiety.  (She tends to ruminate and “what if” herself into a sort of paralysis.)  Our family friend had been dreading her test results for days.  When you  “what if” and ruminate on it like that, you can really scare yourself into a state.  She has called me up on several occasions to read me her doctor’s reports and ask me to explain them to her.  Really what she wants is someone who will take the time to explain things to her in a way she can understand and give her reassurance.  (Health care practitioners rarely have the time and almost never have the training to do that.) But that’s what friends are for, no?  I walked our friend out to her car, told her to go home, have a good cry, then have some ice cream.   Crying really does help.  The tears help clear stress toxins from the body.  And ice cream always makes things better.  And cake.

When I got groceries Friday, I shopped at a grocery store that also has several stations where you can buy freshly prepared food to take home, including what I would call a “cafeteria line.” I treated myself to some of their roast brisket.  The fellow cut it for me, then passed it over to the register operator to weigh, ring up and put a price tag on, which she did left-handed.  This does not seem like a big deal until you consider that she wasn’t just left handed.  She did not have a right hand.  She had lost her right arm at the elbow.  Of course it makes sense to have a dedicated register person on the cafeteria line.  It  makes things run more smoothly and efficiently than they would if the servers each had to ring up their own things.  Not only does it save the server from having to do a lot of walking back and forth, it shortens the wait time for each customer, so more customers get served more quickly.   This young lady was personable and competent, and her job could easily be done one-handed.  I need to call the store and tell them how I appreciate them hiring her and that their willingness to do so favorably disposes me toward their store.

Unfortunately, I forgot my list when I went shopping so I didn’t get about half the things I needed, but next week, I start daddysitting on Wednesday evenings while my mom goes to choir practice, and Walmart is on my way home.

Friday, my mom asked me to fix the LED display on her cordless phone because she can’t read it.  I can’t fix it.  It’s not fixable. She’s had the durn things so long the display is burning out. The rechargeable batteries are going out on her, too.   Also, the only way she can hear the phone is to put it on speaker phone.  But I did some research on the internet and I’ve found her just what she needs.  Now if I can just convince her to get it.  Really, it would be worth the money to have a phone she can read the caller ID on and hear.  The fewer sources of aggravation she has in her life right now, the better.  She needs to get a third handset to put by her bed.  The phone she has by her bed now uses a four prong plug to plug into the wall like they used in the 1960’s. (I don’t even know why she still has it.  She can’t hear it.)  She also needs a new alarm clock because the one she’s using is part of this vintage phone thing she’s using (yeah, I know.), and the display is going wonky.  I’ve got a little digital alarm clock I’m going to bring over for her.  If I do convince her to get the new phone, I’ll set it up for her and transfer her phone book and everything.  She’s got a birthday coming up.  She needs to give herself a birthday present.

We Are Not Amused

When I went to get my mail today, there were two keys in the mailbox with the mail.  This is not unusual.  Because of the size of the apartment’s individual mailboxes, when the USPS brings you a package that is too big for your mailbox, the mail carrier places it in one of five very large boxes and puts the key to that box in your mailbox.  When you get your mail, you take the numbered key and open the big mailbox it goes to and get your package.  Once you open the big box, you can’t take its key out of the lock again, so you just leave it. I had ordered two books (how unusual for me!) and they were in packages that wouldn’t fit in my mailbox. I didn’t pick up my mail yesterday, so evidently one package was delivered yesterday and the other delivered today (otherwise, the carrier would just have put both packages in the same big box).

I opened one box, got my book, and then opened the second box.  behind the package at the back of the box was a tin of sardines in the kind of tin that has a peel off lid with a pull tab on it.  The tab had been pulled up just far enough to break the seal on the tin.  Thankfully, the sardines were packed in water, but even so, after having sat there inside the metal mailbox  in 90+F/30+C heat for at least a couple of hours, they were a bit, shall we say, fragrant?  The only person who could have put it in there was the mail carrier because they’re the only ones who have the keys to the mail boxes.   I was understandably bewildered, disgruntled and offended by this.  Needless to say, I called the USPS and reported it.

Now that I think about it, there were two cans of sardines sitting on top of the oversize mail boxes when I went to get my mail Monday.  They were stacked atop a “Lost Cats” poster someone had taped to the top of it.  They were both unopened then, though.  I wonder if somebody else got one in the mail?

In other news, today’s earworm is brought to you by The Riders In the Sky. (They’re one of those groups you know but you don’t know you know.  They performed a song for the film “Toy Story 2“)  Whoever put this video together used vintage cuts from the old TV show “Rawhide” including some featuring a very young Clint Eastwood.

Anyway, the little incident at the mailbox kinda bummed me out.  I’m going to knit and watch BBC “History Cold Case” videos on YoutTube.



A Quarter Past Tuesday

I mentioned in the last post about how I had become aware of a sense of the days drawing in, and was having those autumnal urges to knit.  It appears I am not alone.  Mama Soule has also been feeling the need for knitting to be in hand, and so has Tales of Simple Days.

Kind of in preparation for winter, I’ve spent the past couple of hours searching out internet radio stations that mostly play ambient and/or “meditation” music and putting them in Winamp.  I will go down the list of new ones and listen to each one for at least an hour, and at the first sign of a commercial, off they go.  A station ident is OK, if it doesn’t happen too frequently — like more than once an hour.

IMG_1694IMG_1691One of the kitties found their “spider” toy, which is really just a stuffed ball about the size of a tennis ball with string legs.  Don’t know where it’s been hiding all this time, or which one actually found it, but the white one was playing with it and parading about the house with it in his mouth singing the “Mighty Hunter” song.  He’s so funny when he does that.  I’ve got the rest of the balls of yarn (which are the kind I’m using for the triangular shawl I’m making) in a bag in a basket.  It’s sitting down in front of the end table where my printer is.  A while ago, the white one came caroling in and dropped the “spider” into the basket wanting me to throw it for him.  I threw it four or five times for him trying to get a picture of him carrying it around in his mouth, but he was too fast for me.  Now we’re playing guess what I’m whining about now.

Somebody at that jive outfit I work for has “reached out to me personally” to offer me a $10 bonus to use their jive text editor.  I’ll use it once just to get the $10 bucks, but I already know I won’t like it.  I’ve already got a bunch of text editing macros and a bunch of autocorrect short cuts set up in Word.  Probably this afternoon is when I’ll do the file and get my bonus. I’ve played around with it, but I’ve never actually done a job with their text editor, which is why I suspect they’re offering me money.  It won’t save me time because if I started using it instead of Word, it would take weeks to get all my autocorrect entries transferred over because you can’t download your autocorrect file from Microsoft Word and upload it to their jive text editor. I’d just have to stop and do them one at a time as I tried to use them and they didn’t work. And it would be a pain in the butt not to have my text editing macros (capitalize the next letter, go back and capitalize the first letter of the last word then hop back to where I was, go back one word and put a comma then hop back to where I was, go back one word, put a period, space and capitalize the next word, then hop back to where I was., etc.).   I know why they want us to use it.  Because when we use Word, we store customer files on our computers.  They want to maintain control of the material and fix it where we can’t store files on our own machines and have to store them on their servers.   Besides that, their text editor has built in software for playing back audio using a foot pedal, and I’ve already spent money on the Express Scribe program to play the audio using a foot pedal.  They;re trying the carrot first.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before they start using a stick and require us to use their jive in-browser text editor.

Thoughts, Musings and The Turning of the Year

Highs are predicted to be in the 90’s F/30’s C all week and yet my thoughts are turning autumnal —  I’m thinking about settling in with a knitting pattern on my reader’s table, my internet radio set on one of my favorite stations, and knitting something which, unless that something you’re knitting is small like a sock or hat or mittens, is not a summer activity here in the flatlands.   I do have three pairs of socks that need the heels turned.  I’m using a two-at-a-time, toe-up sock pattern, so “turning the heel” involves both socks.  Interestingly, I’m using the exact same pattern — same number of stitches in every case — to knit all three pairs, but one pair is fingering baby yarn on size 2 needles for a baby due in three months, one is 3-ply baby yarn on size 3 needles for a 9-month-old baby, and the other is bulky yarn on size 10 needles for me.  I need to get a move on and finish all three pairs.

We’re in the Dog Days of summer, named for Sirius, the dog star.  This is typically the hottest and driest part of the summer, good weather for cutting hay, and harvesting grain.  Cotton harvest will be starting here directly. The days are slowly but surely drawing in, and it will be sock weather before you know it. Tomorrow will be three months in the new digs, for those keeping score.

In other news, AT&T sent me a bill for the billing period 07/04-08/04 indicating an “adjustment” of $5 credit, and showing my account as zeroed out.  I think we’re done thumbing our noses and going nanner-nanner at each other now.

The black cat is rather put out at the moment because the white one has been lying atop the chest by the office window, which is “his” spot.  Swats have been exchanged and the black one is sulking down by the bookcase. Yesterday, the black one got perturbed with the grey one who was quite innocently crouched on the window sill of that window, not even touching any part of the chest, not hurting anybody.  I’ve learned not to interfere in these such situations as he minds while I’m looking, but he gets back at her later when I’m not around. He’s such a little thug.  Update: The white cat wasn’t up there ten minutes, when he got leisurely to his feet, hopped down and came strolling over to “his” spot under my desk.  Such a look he got from the black one.

2014_08_18-03Nuts.  All this thinking about cooler weather and snuggling up to knit.  I couldn’t stand it.  I’ve got a knitting pattern on my right-hand screen, WordPress tuned to this blog on the left-hand screen, and Another Planet internet radio station playing on Winamp. The famous orange glass ashtray is on the left-hand corner of my desk and I’m working on a triangular shawl using a plum-colored 2-ply acrylic sport yarn, from a pattern I just made up in honor of my learning how to do a garter tab. The pattern is below, in case you’re interested.

2014_08_18-01I’ve not finished it yet, so I don’t have a picture of what it looks like finished, but here’s what it looks like right now.  It’s one of those “whatever” patterns that you don’t have to go out and buy specific yarns for.  You can use whatever you’ve got.  Since I haven’t finished it yet, I don’t know how much yarn it takes, though, so you’re on your own there.  When I do finish the article, I’ll picture it, what yarn I used, what needles I used, and how much it took.

Garter Tab Right Triangles Shawl

Materials: A 36-inch double-pointed/circular needle, size of choice; 2 stitch markers, Yarn of choice.

If you use large needles and thin thread, such as fingering yarn, it will have a lacy look. If you use a bulky yarn on small needles, it will be nice and thick. Or you can use a needle size apropos to the size yarn. You could knit this on straight, single-pointed needles, but it’s easier to work with if you use the flexible circular double pointed needles.

Note: This is actually three patterns in one. The original pattern gives you a garter stitch border with two garter stitch right triangles with a garter stitch single-stitch line between them. The [Alternate pattern: ] gives you a garter stitch long edge with two stockinette right triangles with a stockinette stitch single-stitch line between them. The [Second alternate pattern: ] gives a garter stitch long border, stockinette right triangles with a garter stitch single-stitch line between them.

K = Knit
P = Purl
yo = yarn over.
# = put stitch marker here.

Garter Stitch Tab:
1. Cast on 3 stitches
2. Knit 6 rows
3. Turn work 90 degrees clockwise, increase 1 in each of the 3 “purl ridges” along the side of the work. (total 6 stitches).
4. Turn work 90 degrees clockwise, increase 1 in each of the 3 cast on stitches. (total 9 stitches)

The Rest Of The Shawl:
1. K3, yo, #, *K1*, yo, #, K1, #, yo, *K1,* #, yo, K3.
2. *K*. (total 13 stitches)
…[Alternate pattern: K3, *P*, K3.]
…[Second alternate pattern: K3, *P*, #, K1, #, *P*, K3.]
3. K3, yo, *K3*, yo, K1, yo, *K3,* yo, K3.
4. *K*. (total 17 stitches)
…[Alternate pattern: K3, *P*, K3.]
…[Second alternate pattern: K3, *P*, #, K1, #, *P*, K3.]
5. K3, yo, *K5*, yo, K1, yo, *K5,* yo, K3.
6. *K*. (total 21 stitches)
…[Alternate pattern: K3, *P*, K3.]
…[Second alternate pattern: K3, *P*, #, K1, #, *P*, K3.]
7. K3, yo, *K7*, yo, K1, yo, *K7,* yo, K3.
8. *K* (total 25 stitches)
…[Alternate pattern: K3, *P*, K3.]
…[Second alternate pattern: K3, *P*, #, K1, #, *P*, K3.]
9. K3, yo, *K*, yo, #, K1, #, yo, *K*, yo, K3.
10. *K*.
…[Alternate pattern: K3, *P*, K3.]
…[Second alternate pattern: K3, *P*, #, K1, #, *P*, K3.]
11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until the shawl is as big as you want it.
12. Bind off knit-wise.

The famous orange glass ash tray.


That Time Machine Called “Memory”

Dealing with role reversals and coming to terms with time.  My dad turns 92 next week. I spent all Friday morning with him.  Mom goes to the beauty “saloon” on Fridays, then she shops groceries and picks up prescriptions as necessary.  Today, she also had to get her yearly bone density test (She’s about to turn 90 herself) so I was there longer than usual.  After she came back, she realized she needed to get her car license sticker, and nipped off to do that while I was there.

I had some errands I needed to run myself and the last one took me into an area of town very close to the house we lived in when I started school.  Because they had torn up the block of 34th Street between where I had just been and Quaker Avenue, which is the street I needed to turn south on, I turned down Orlando Avenue instead because I knew it would take me down to the corner of the park I used to walk through going home from elementary school (1st through 6th year of primary school).  The park is a big square, a city block wide east and west, bordered on the north by 40th Street and by 42nd Street on the south.  It’s bordered by Nashville Avenue on the east and Orlando on the west.*

MaedgenThe school I attended is located at the corner of Nashville and 44th Street.  I’d go up Nashville to the park, cut diagonally across it, which would bring me to the corner of 40th Street and Orlando. At that point, it was two blocks to the house of the neighbor lady who kept us after school.

As I was driving down the street toward the park, the first thing I noticed  were the trees.  There weren’t any trees to speak of back then.  Now there’s a whole row of them and they’re huge.  Then I realized just how long it’s been since I was a child of 6 walking across that park! I remember having to cross it during sand storms. The wind always seemed to blow out of the northwest and I had to fight it across that whole long diagonal, where there were no houses to provide a windbreak.   I remember when the little playground was built.  How many times I passed by that playground, and yet I never stopped to play there.  It never occurred to me to stop and play there.

I can memorize poems and lyrics without a problem, but I had the hardest time memorizing the multiplication tables.  We almost always had arithmetic homework to do (my worst subject), and I would flip to the back of the book and chant them in time to my steps as I walked home.**

Speaking of numbers, my bank has decided to switch from using Visa for their debit cards to using MasterCard.  One would have eventually been mailed to me, but I couldn’t stand the suspense, and since I had to make a deposit anyway, I got the new one while I waited.  The bank guy shredded my old Visa card.  Now I just have to keep straight which MasterCard debit card  goes with my bank account and which one goes with my Paypal account.

I did 67 minutes of dictation this afternoon after I got home.  I had planned to work anyway, but I lucked out.  We were being given an extra 7 cents a minute incentive pay because there were so many jobs that needed doing.  The way I feel, if I’m going to have to listen to something for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, I want it to be something interesting.  I was able to find some interesting ones, which is why I did so many minutes today.  Incentive or no, I’ll be working some tomorrow, too.  And at least two or three days next week.  Baby needs a filing cabinet.



*Our town is laid out on a grid –The east-west streets are numbered streets, with the numbers increasing the further south you go.  The north-south streets are Avenues in alphabetical order, A, B. C, and then the names of cities that have universities, again in alphabetical order.

** If God had wanted me to do math in my head, He wouldn’t have created calculators.

Another Whole Afternoon Derailed

2014_08_14-01Stayed up late reading, and didn’t get up Thursday until after 1 p.m.  Walked out to check the Littermaid, and it immediately (and ickily) became apparent that someone (I won’t mention any names, but his initials are The White Cat) had refunded a hairball and about half a bowl of water, and managed to hit all three throw rugs in the process — the red and brown rug their dishes are on, the leopard print litter trap rug, and the gold floral throw rug.  I ended up washing all three rugs, plus I had to wash the other gold one that’s in the entrance way to balance the load in the washing machine.

Now that I don’t have a clothes line anymore, I really need to get a drying rack.  It doesn’t do my dining room chairs any good to have wet rugs thrown over their backs to dry.  Between the toilet tank shenanigans Monday, and the upchuck event Thursday afternoon, that’s twice in one week they’ve had wet rugs thrown over their backs.  Of course, the bath mats and the throw rugs are all rubberized on their backs so it’s not like I’m draping wet cloth over them, but still.

So, I put the rugs in the washer and cleaned the floor underneath them, and then vacuumed the floor in the hallway and then out into the living room/entry-way area. Then I tended to the Littermaid, and emptied the trash can that I dump the Littermaid containers into, as well as the kitchen trash can.  By then I was all hot and sweaty, but the washer wasn’t done, so I fixed some cords on my desk so they hang off the side instead of down the back, and vacuumed the plywood, and vacuumed the cat hair off my recliner.  By then the washer was done and I hung out the rugs to dry, and went to take a shower and wash my hair.

I ran out of cat litter Wednesday night, and I realized that what was in there wasn’t going to last until Friday afternoon, so after my shower I went to Market Street to get another container of cat litter.  And that pretty much shot the whole afternoon, because it was after 6:00 when I got back from the store.

I’m going to work Friday night and Saturday, and try to work at least four days next week, because I want to get a filing cabinet.

And I’m out of magenta ink in my printer again.