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WonderWoman

I am Woman!

I feel superbly smug this day.

Things were freezing on my computer you know, resulting in panic. I turned the computer off, walked away and came back, opened the lid.  But Argggh!  A dark screen!

A convincing inner voice said, “You really did it now.  You wrecked the computer.   Don’t touch anything else or you are doomed.”  But wait!  I forgot to push the little  button that opens the screen.  And Voila!  It all works again and everything that was frozen is thawed!

I feel superbly smug this day.  Mystery solved.

Be Brave!

My son was counselling me on how to operate Windows 10.  “Be brave, “he said, “Be willing to try different things.  Don’t be afraid to push buttons.  You can always undo what you have done.” Without his calm and expert advice, this blog would not exist.

The last time I was brave I deleted the cache on my cell phone and managed to put it in a deep freeze of protest.    There were no calls in or out and no emails either – just a dead phone.  Thankfully, things are now restored to normal.

calmclearcache

But I have reverted to a timid, cowering techie convinced that all connections will be severed if I push the wrong buttons.

Mismatched Eyebrows

O.K.  I admit I still want to look beautiful, even at a venerable old age.  I thought that was accomplished this morning, so while Bill was out bush hogging (that means mowing big overgrown fields with a big overgrown mower) (and I knew it was safe to indulge in self fantasy), I took a few selfies.

Selfie Eyebrows

The glasses helped to eliminate soften wrinkles but if you look closely enough, one eyebrow is light and one is dark!  Arrrrgh!

Looking beautiful at a venerable old age is a challenge if you can’t see straight enough to make your eyebrows match up.

Naked Desperation

I just read a book about organizing one’s things.  Starting with clothing, the idea is to hold and touch each piece you own to determine if you love it or not.  If you FEEL something is wrong and you FEEL you don’t love a piece of clothing, either discard it or put it in the donation pile.

I did it!  You can’t imagine the liberated feeling there is to this exercise!

But now the problem is, I don’t have anything to wear!

I have always said, “My husband wouldn’t notice if I went out naked.”  Now is his chance to prove me wrong.

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My favorite stories are about survival.

Like tales about the plague or hurricanes are just wonderful.

Surely there must be germs of experience in such doomsday revelations to help one through life’s most pressing challenges.

But the latest survival information I discovered is even more direct.  A rather obscure article I read recently gave explicit instructions on imaging to deal with life problems.  Evidently you can think your way into surviving anything by simply writing a thought, shredding it, and then discarding what you wrote!

Doesn’t that make some logical sense?

Presumably, the image of trashing a problem like the plague (after you reduce it to little paper bits) will make the whole thing go away.  I’m sure they never thought of imaging in the days of death-by-plague, but we have definitely come a long way since then haven’t we?

Anyway, as instructed, I now spend 15 to 30 minutes a day writing down every thought and then shredding and discarding each thought, one by one.

The waste basket is full of bits of  note paper .

And in the last few days noticeable patterns emerged.

PATTERNS:

  1. Reminders.

    “Buy milk.”

    “Get graduation cards for J and K.”

    “Call Kit.”

    (Do you see any correlation to eradicating a serious problem in such thoughts? Well I wrote them down anyway and did the dastardly shredding.)

  2. Questions.

    “When will my friend be moving back to this area?”

    “Should I order pot holders online?”

    (So far there have been no subliminal answers. Maybe I am thinking of this exercise like it’s a Ouiga Board.)

  3. Wishes.

    “I wish I had a dog.”

    “Wish I didn’t have to cook dinner tonight.”

    “I wish I was thin.”

    (Now wouldn’t that be something if I could tear up the last wish and begin to lose weight?  I did notice I skipped the after-lunch cookie today!)

CONCLUSIONS:

  • This exercise is fun.
  • I don’t think it has any intrinsic value but will let you know if I ever feel problem free.
  • Maybe the exercise can be tailored to address specific problems.  Like one day you shred only those thoughts that are about wishes.
  • Or maybe it is like writing a letter to Santa, who will read the list and come forth with all the goodies
  • I don’t see any signs that my expected longevity is extended.
  • So much for shredding problems.
  • And so much for survival.

And my last thought was/is in the Reminder category, “Don’t forget to buy a whole bunch of scratch pads because you are running out of shredding-paper.”

Now maybe THAT is a solveable problem except I shredded the reminder and will probably forget what I was trying to remember.

 

 

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cartoon-clock-clip-art-clipart-free-clipart-OFP7yV-clipartI am Afraid of Clocks.

Maybe it is because I missed the second grade class when Mrs. Weinberg taught us how to tell time.

I was an asthmatic kid who could be “absent” for days and happened to be home listening to Stella Dallas on the radio (anyone remember that soap?).

Who knew those few stolen days would be the cause of a lifelong handicap?

Anyway, when I did return to school, Mrs. M gave a private lesson which went like this, “It’s easy.  Just count 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes around the clock.”

And no, I had not yet heard the lyrics to Rock Around the Clock yet.  Elvis may not have even been born!

And from then on, when the big hand made it to the left side, I could not tell you what time it was.

Still can’t.

I tend to simply hold up my wristwatch to strangers who ask, “Pardon me, do you have the time?”

A Clock Allergy?

I think there is something wrong with my blood flow or energy fields.  Inevitably the watch on my wrist winds up (pun intended) to be about 10 minutes fast.  That’s as the big hand goes “5, 10, 15, 20.”

Rushing through life is what I call it.  Think of all the time lost with just those regular ten minute skipped intervals.

And of course, Setting Clocks is a Challenge.

We just had a very brief power outage – enough to make all the timepieces in the house flash in outrage.

The kitchen stove clock is important for making dinners so I inhaled deeply and poked and pushed buttons until there was a positive response.

Hopefully I did not set off the “self clean” option instead.  It’s  always guess work with no guarantees.

The bedroom clock on the dresser isn’t too hard but continues it’s yearly flashing warning “low battery.”  I never listen since that clock is permanently plugged into the wall and the dresser is too heavy to pull it out far enough from the plug.

The bedroom clock on the dresser has been low batteried since 1998.

There is another bedroom clock that flashes on the ceiling and tells how cold it is outside too.  It is the only clock in the house that resets itself except for the battery operated one in the living room that is eternally dependable.

Maybe getting rid of all but the latter two would be the sane thing to do.

Unless you know of a second grade class teacher who would allow a senior citizen to audit the segment on telling time?

Time Changes are Annoying.

The car clock is the MOST intimidating and takes immense courage for me to go at it.  Somehow it gets done (husbands help) but for now I would rather count out loud.

Let’s see….. it’s 10:15 AM on the dashboard, which means it’s really 11:15 AM now because it was 10:15 AM before the time change.

Who needs to change settings anyway?

Good thing the car clock is digital or I would have to be counting,“Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty” and if the big hand is in the wrong place you would never get the right time.

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Pedometer 1

The final indignity that has opted me out of modern gadgetry was an old reliable pedometer that finally ran out of batteries .

And of course, no one could figure out how to open the battery box.

Maybe it was frozen in shock at how few steps I walked in the last five years.

I mourned that little pedometer and somehow knew a substitute would require a Masters’ Degree in Programming and hours of frustration to get up and running walking.

Forced to buy a new pedometer- three or four new ones  to be exact- they all challenged my intelligence.

It’s not that I’m not intelligent.  I used to be considered a bright child.

But that was in the good old days when life was simple.  There were no huge technological innovations calculated to make things easier.

Life was easy enough with Off and On switches you might have to get up for.

But I am ranting.

Even after hours of reading and re-reading I could not decipher the directions to all the new pedometers stacking up in a secret hiding place reserved for storing complicated gadgets.

Asking for help, as you may know, is humiliating.

But trying one last time, I ordered a supposedly SIMPLE  PEDOMETER that “is operational right out of the box!”

Really?

I could hardly contain my excitement when it came – a simple little drop-in-your-pocket pedometer with great big Easy Read Numbers and a little pull-tag.

I pulled the tag (according to the directions) and it was ready to go!  No intelligence required!

But where were the instructions to program calories burned, body mass indexes, breaths per minute, miles consumed, muscle contractions, levels of perspiration, or all that other irrelevant stuff?  Not there.  What a relief!

All I ever wanted to know was STEPS!

And, although I hardly believe it, this little gadget ONLY REGISTERS STEPS!

No need to purchase another 550 page book on Pedometers for Dummies (I wonder if there really is such a book)!  I already have Computers for Dummies, Windows 10 for Dummies, and Office for Dummies, plus a few more.

“By golly,” as they used to say in the good old days, when I was intelligent,  “Someone has figured out how to regress to simpler times.”  Kudos to the inventor of this precious little Steps Only Pedometer!

And  now maybe I can fool the world into thinking I have a Master’s Degree in Programming.

Why can’t everything else be this easy?

Why do I always have to pull out the directions for my self cleaning oven?

Shouldn’t I just be able to hit “Clean??

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Random Randoms from Virginia

It was the week that was.

It was the week we found a mushroom growing in Bill’s den.

And it started with a Plumber who repaired a leaky pipe inside the wall and then found mold growing under the house.

And that led to a Carpenter who removed a large area of carpet and subflooring.

And that led to an Insurance Adjuster who found more mold in the adjoining bathroom.

And that led to a Mold Expert who verified the mold spread.

And so the Carpenter returned to tear up and replace the affected bathroom floor.

And all of that led to a Painter who repainted the den,

which led to a Cleaning Service coming tomorrow to tackle embedded sawdust.

And somehow in this week that was, the den and the bathroom are REPAIRED and hopefully MOLD FREE!

But we are still not done.  Must now find a carpet to replace the chopped up remains.

And that will lead to a Carpet Installer to begin the new week ahead.

What we have learned from our visiting Mold Expert:

Bleach does not kill mold.  It used to but it doesn’t any more.

From http://www.maids.com “To kill mold: Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Saturate the moldy surface completely and leave it to sit for ten minutes. Next, scrub the area to remove all of the mold and mold stains. And finally, wipe the surface down to remove residual mold and spores.”

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Mushroom Underside

Mushroom Underside

I was and am alarmed, embarrassed, and totally MORTIFIED!

On Saturday I discovered a mushroom growing in my spotlessly clean house!

A beautiful white opaque mushroom was happily embedded in the carpet at the baseboard in Bill’s office/den/t.v.room/napping place/man cave.

Admittedly a manly retreat like Bill’s might offer a peaceful atmosphere for a mushroom to grow up in, but why?

On first sight.

On first sight.

And why am I creating this post?   Maybe the mystery of the spores has addled my brain.

Because where I come from (muggy Florida), we had to be vigilant about preventing mold and mildew.  That means being spotlessly clean.  Keep a closet door closed too long in the era before air conditioning and you  inspired the growth of dreaded MOLD (stuff that is dangerous to one’s health)!

So I grew up learning to be spotlessly clean.  Please believe me. I am “spotlessly clean.”  There is also air conditioning now.  And really…… I am spotlessly clean.  I keep a spotlessly clean house.  That is the truth.  Really.  A mushroom growing in my house??????   Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

And so begins a journey of discovery about how a spotlessly clean house could nourish a lovely mushroom.

We called Bryan the Plumber first.

We love and admire Bryan anyway, but even more now because he came over right away early this Monday morning.

Bryan cut up the wall and identified a leaky pipe that was bringing fresh water to our master bath commode (via the den wall) and he replaced the pipe.  “That should stop the source of the moisture,” he said in his most reassuring voice.

New Pipe Replacement

New Pipe Replacement

I love reassurance but  rather prefer guarantees.

Bryan also identified a huge stand/pod/bevy? of mushrooms growing from our subfloor underneath the house!  Who knew there would be a whole FAMILY of mushrooms?  And under our house?

Note:  There is only so far I will go with spotless housekeeping.

And so, we called Dennis the Carpenter.

We already love Dennis too because he is coming right out tomorrow at 8AM!  Dennis will remove more drywall to inspect for further damage.  He will also remove a patch, a chunk or a whole area of carpeting to inspect the sub flooring and decide what next to do.

I expect Dennis will also be reassuring (without any guarantees).

We hope Dennis will inspect the sub flooring in the crawl space under the house too.

I have a new high regard for plumbers and carpenters for their brave and arduous work challenges.  But now I wish for a magic solution that will exterminate all those lovely mushrooms beneath the house.

All of this will be costly we think.

So we called our Insurance Company.

The insurance company gave us a Claim Number.  Evidently Claim Numbers matter but to me that means we have to wait in line.  And  soon they will assign an Adjuster.  Under the circumstances one of their claims agents told me they “understand the urgency” in getting things repaired even if it is done before the Adjuster can take a look.  They suggested I take lots of pictures.

Ah!  Pictures.  And I may as well do a blog post as a kind of documentary evidential piece to present to the Adjusters in our lives.

The saga of the Mushroom in the Man Cave will be continued.   Bill is temporarily carrying on manly activities in another room usually reserved for grandkids’ visits.  He doesn’t seem to mind the big stuffed puppy in the corner.

Meanwhile, if any of my blogging friends have words of wisdom to impart, or stories of such gruesome experiences, please share.

 

 

 

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The Hairy Tale:  

My sister-in-law,  Millie, was a beautician for 40 years!  One of her clients was a young girl whose hair was so long it was down to her waist.  She was always sickly and her parents worried.  Millie begged them to let her cut the girl’s hair and they finally agreed. Maybe you can guess what happened.  The young lady grew strong and healthy and Millie was even more convinced that long hair drains strength and energy from the body.

My hair has never been longer than my collar but I got a haircut this week!  It is very very short.  I wanted to look like a “mature” Joan Baez!  I brought a picture in to my beautician and asked her to perform a minor miracle.  She did the best she could.

All of a sudden I felt strong!

I walked 5,000 steps yesterday!   The Big Foot Boot is always nearby “just in case” but I like to think it is drooping and maybe even rusty for lack of use.

I am invincible!  I am woman!

And then I remembered Millie’s Hairy Tale.

I think I will keep my hair cut short.

Joan Baez Haircut

Photo of Joan Baez from The Week magazine, February 12, 2016 Vol. 16 Issue 757

 

 

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