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Elsa's Bed

Elsa’s Soothing Dog Bed

Elsa-our-little-rescue dog has been with us for over a year now.  She is much calmer and follows us even without a leash.  She has discovered the safety of “home-sweet-home” too and runs for it at the sound of a gunshot (hunting season just over here in rural Virginia), or thunder.

I have been searching for a safe place inside home-sweet-home, where Elsa can go to snuggle up and deal with her anxieties.  Voila!  We now have a “soothing dog bed” which is a soft fluffy thing that even I would like to cuddle in.

I think it must feel like a great big hug!

Elsa still runs for home when she’s scared, but now she has a Soothing Bed to hug her to sleep.

 

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I do love shiny things and I am

not even embarassed to admit it.

Things that glitter and glow like diamonds, sequins, twinkling lights, cut glass, shiny makeup, gemstones, or anything with a glint will receive my full attention.

But rarely is there a shiny thing that is not only glittery, but elegant and practical too.

And of course today’s story is about a charmingly small Christmas gift from a great friend (Pam).  Pam also loves shiny things.

The little object of this tale is a “crystalline pen” made by Swarovski!  It’s center is filled with tiny little crystals that shine in different lights.  I keep it right where I can see it too.  And occasionally a deep sigh can be heard across the room.  It is a sigh of contentment.

20180124_141622.jpg 20180124_141443.jpg20180124_141103.jpg

Because this sparkling object is not only wonderful to look at,

but is also a smooth and silky writing pen.

And it has a thumbs-free rubber stylus at one end

Did you know I used to be able to type 70 words per minute on a manual typewriter?

And 100 words per minute on an electric typewriter (does anyone remember those?).

But I am woefully clumsy when it comes to texting on a cell phone!

Result:  Typos!  Great Big Ugly Typos!

Forefinger-texting doesn’t work for me because the typos are so horrendous nobody can decipher the mesHvs7& (see what I mean?).

Enter:  The Swarovski Magical Pen.

This wonderful little thing is a real problem solver and a Senior’s Answer to keeping up with social media’s high speed demands.

Like who can match the maddening two-thumb expert young-uns who probably exceed 100 words per minute just before they run into a wall or fall down the stairs?

It’s the stylus I now love…. that little eraser-like thing at one end of my wondrous little pen.

The stylus is like a miniature thumb

and is just the right size for error free cell phone typing.

Now if they would only invent a pen that has twin stylus-es styl-eye? at one end to work like the kids using two thumbs.

Maybe I will write a letter to Swaovski!

In the meantime, thank you Pam for this sweet little gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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string-cheese

I never liked string cheese.

The name, itself, is off-putting don’t you think?  String equates to “stringy” which sounds tasteless and hard to chew.  I think I tried it once but found it as described – tasteless and stringy.

 

However, my son and the 3 grandgirls were visiting this holiday and brought a giant package of organic string cheese which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

“I don’t think I like string cheese,” I said.

“Oh, Grammy – try it.”

I proceeded to chomp down on the end of my stick thing.

“Noooo.  You don’t eat string cheese like that,” rang in the 3 grandgirls.  “Peel off a skinny string and savor the flavor.”

And yes, I am now a string-cheese fan!

I suppose I look young eating it too – savvy and in-the-know you know.

Isn’t it wonderful the things we learn from the young?

From en.wikipedia.org :

String cheese came to prominence following the market crash of 1929. Families desperate for cheese would take discarded cheeses from the aristocrats of the time. They would divide the cheese into sticks. The individual families would then take the sticks and break them into long strings to give to each of their many children. Children would often ask to be given their “string of cheese,” which was eventually shortened to string cheese when cheese manufacturers began selling the product after the U.S. economy recovered.

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Photo from Amazon.com

RANDOM RANTS – AGAIN

It’s Friday and the sane people in my life are recording normal weeks.

How I envy you all y’all.

Well, my own week started off nicely with a dog visitor who earned a place in our hearts in about five minutes.

Then a friend and I went exploring around Clifton Forge way in Virginia.  And that was fun too.

BUT MIDWEEK WAS A DIFFERENT STORY!

 Mid-week was UPGRADE-TO-HDTV-TIME and my excitement knew no bounds.  That’s “High Definition Television” in case you do not deal in initials.  Anyway, I was looking forward to a clearer, brighter, more magnificent television picture.

Isn’t technology grand?

A nice Direct TV man named Joe arrived and trotted around from room to room, messing with the the grandgirls’ little sets in the back, then messing with the big television in Bill’s secret lair, and finally getting to my just-the-right-size set.   When Joe was done, all sets were in brilliant High Definition.  Could life’s little upgrades be this simple?  Ha!

A Dark Television

black tv

Joe was gone about an hour when Bill’s big television went dark.  Blank.  Totally unresponsive.  Did we do something wrong?  No.  Bill simply left the set on, was away for a few minutes and when he returned there was no television access.

No DVD Access

In that same hour, I lost all DVD capability on my just-the-right-size set.  Never mind watching a Netflix disc.

And unbelievably, more casualties were vying for attention:

The radio in the car went dead.  Huh?

Bill’s Krazy Kindle lost its internet connection,

and our smart stupid home phones went into answering machine mode

while we were saying “Hello.”

TECHNOLOGY = COMPLICATIONS = STRESS

Back to the HDTV problem – We spent hours looking at wires, talking, analyzing, comparing, arguing, studying, and finally calling for help.  In other words we were sagging with nervous exhaustion.

You can guess that we called the company to COME BACK – PLEASE COME BACK!

THIS IS ALL TOO COMPLICATED!

WE GIVE UP!

HELLLLLLLP!

This morning a very nice HDTV man named Jody arrived.

  • He took one look at the back of Bill’s big set and said, “Your power cord is not attached.”  He attached it and everything works fine.  Brilliant picture!  Hurrah!
  • Then Jody took one look at the back of my set and said, “Your DVD player is not attached.”  He attached it and everything works fine.
  • And the High Definition stuff is perfectly beautiful too!  Hurrah!

Jody was here five minutes, solved the major issues with two plug-ins and deserves “my hero accolades.”

I am sorry to say he could not help with stupid home phones, car radios, or Kindle connections, but I have a feeling something somewhere is not attached.  Restrain your comments please!

Here’s hoping y’all have had a satisfyingly calm and collected week of fun and frolic, minus the stresses and strains of modern technology.

And if you decide to call me and I don’t answer, leave a message because even if I am here, something is not attached.

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Extraordinary Staircases from AD Features : Architectural Digest www.architecturaldigest.com  Water Mill, New York staircase

Extraordinary Staircases from AD Features : Architectural Digest
http://www.architecturaldigest.com
Water Mill, New York staircase

More on Stairs.

I am preoccupied with stairs.

Oh elegance!

When I was a young girl with ah, so many longings, I yearned for  a splendid home of my own – a home with a sweeping spiral staircase!

As a new bride I harbored dreams of  the mansions featured in magazines like Architectural Digest – gorgeous homes of the rich and famous with circular staircases leading to enormous bed/sitting rooms, with silken draperies, libraries, and the artwork of the masters on the walls.

And my yearning for such a home was always punctuated by the impressive, inspirational, sumptuous spiral stairs.

And would you believe I finally did get what I wished for?

Have you ever seen the GEICO commercial about a guy who meets a genie and makes a wish for a million bucks.  And that’s what he gets – a million male deer?

My wish was exactly like that.  The genie appeared in the form of Bill (my singularly brilliant spouse) and he magically produced a spiral staircase for the house of my dreams.

The stairs are spiral all right, and they are

metal,

not particularly elegant,

slightly rickety,

 even dangerous

(particularly in lightning storms),

frightening to those who fear heights,

and the railing is similar to a stiff rubber hose!

Bill is a Civil Engineer who spent a lifetime building roads (not houses), but he knows all about blueprints and measurements and since he is a highway man, getting from one point to another.  The point is, his design plan worked.

We do have a lovely, much beloved, mostly one level, mostly comfortable, unpretentious home.  Bill designed it – drew out the plans and everything.  AND THERE IS A UTILITY ROOM IN THE BASEMENT.

Evidently, the most utilitarian way down to the utility room was to install a pre-fabricated metal set of winding scares stairs.

AND YES, BILL MADE MY WISH COME TRUE AND I DO HAVE THAT SPIRAL STAIRCASE!

It is not a million bucks, and certainly not a mansion, but who can complain with a literal wish coming true?

Spiral Stairs 2

Spiral Stairs 1

Eeeeeeek!!!!!!

 

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Wall calendarI am among the ranks of the world’s most paranoid planners who keep calendars and more calendars.

There is a calendar in my purse (super private),

a calendar on the kitchen wall (semi-private),

another for “quick viewing” on the refrigerator (reference only),

a calendar on my cell phone (for an emergency),

and a desk calendar bedside (seriously private).

There are actual “plans” and appointments written on the desk calendar, the purse calendar, and the one on the kitchen wall.

And if there are changes, I have to erase/mark out/change all three of the above.

Lately I have changed ALL THREE of the write-in “planning” calendars over and over.Desk Calendar

  1. A friend planned to visit us  for 10 days in August but cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
  2. Postponed a lunch date with a group of ladies since the main attraction cancelled due to stomach flu.
  3. Eye doctor’s office called to cancel an appointment.
  4. My niece is coming for a weekend with her dog, Noche. Hurrah! So far, so good.
  5. Cousins booked to visit on another weekend. No threats so far.
  6. Son coming some time soon and then again some time later, yet to be defined.  Sooner or later means possible restructuring the calendars!
  7. The bathroom floor was to be replaced last weekend, but date now re-arranged.  Will my niece be here then? There are no guarantees anymore. Purse Calendar
  8. What about the dental check up scheduled for tomorrow and a haircut the next day?  “Up for grabs.”
  9. Erasers are being worn down changing appointments!

Planning is supposed to save time right? Reworking three calendars is beginning to be time consuming, must be done in pencil due to all the radical changes, and aggravation prompting a nervous tic.

Therefore, I have devised an entirely new and competely radical change in plans.

I now plan to cease planning things and only keep one calendar – for planning purposes!

The question is, “Which one?”

How many calendars do YOU have?

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SilhouetteI have been on a “diet” most of my life and am always shocked at how many different approaches there are to achieving a slim profile.   I think my slimmest profile was probably at birth because the search for a foolproof diet has never ended.

Well imagine my delight when looking through a box of old memories I stumbled upon forgotten words of wisdom from my long-departed mother.  The yellowed crackly piece of paper inspired my imagination.  I had found a long lost treasure on how to lose weight.

Talk about excited!

I was so thrilled I immediately began retyping the whole thing – for you, my friends, who may also be in search of a diet with a guarantee. And I graciously accept your words of gratitude (in advance) for sharing this with you now.

A WEIGHT LOSS DIET GUARANTEED TO WORK

BECAUSE MY WISE OLD MOM ONCE TOLD ME SO:

Monday

Breakfast – Weak tea.

Lunch – One bouillon cube, half cup diluted water.

Dinner – One pigeon thigh, 3 ounces prune juice (gargle only).

Tuesday

Breakfast – Scraped crumbs of burnt toast.

Lunch – One doughnut hole without sugar, one glass dehydrated water.

Dinner – One fish egg – shad or sturgeon (minced).

Wednesday

Breakfast – Shredded egg shell skins.

Lunch – Belly button from navel orange.

Dinner – 3 eyes from Irish potatoes (diced).

Thursday

Breakfast – Half ounce strained unflavored jello with one peeled grape.

Lunch – Half dozen poppy seeds.

Dinner – Bee’s knees and mosquito knuckles sauté with vinegar.

Friday

Breakfast – Two lobster antennae.

Lunch – One guppy fin.

Dinner – Fillet of soft shelled crab claw.

Saturday

Breakfast – Four chopped banana seeds.

Lunch – Broiled butterfly liver.

Dinner – Jellyfish vertebrae a la bookbinder.

Sunday

Breakfast – Pickled hummingbird tongues.

Lunch – Prime ribs of tadpole and aroma of empty custard pie plate.

Dinner – Tossed paprika and clover leaf (one).

Notice:  All meals to be eaten under microscope to avoid extra portions.

Good luck with this diet my friends.

You have now met my Mom, whose sense of humor was one of her most remarkable traits.

She is long gone to her better place, but comes back to me in strange and wonderful ways.

Silhouette of successful weight loss figure from www.fatlossmentality.com .

 

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lady at computer clip artBill said we needed an oil change (before driving to Jessica’s graduation) and he finally remembered to call our friendly auto repair folks.  They were “closed from Thursday to Monday.”  Time was tight but  he waited and called again.

“We are all booked up today,” they said. “Bring it in and leave it overnight and we’ll work on it tomorrow.”

Ho hum.  Nothing new.  Frustrating.

But, that got me thinking.

I keep forgetting to call my hair dresser too, even though I am beginning to resemble Big Foot. 

And now it is late at night and the salon is closed.

I wish I could book an appointment right now, while I am on the computer writing this post.

Or I wish I could have done it earlier from my mobile phone, when we were out to dinner.

But of course, that’s just dreaming  because after hours around here, everything in town is closed.

Ah – but it turns out, I can book appointments after hours.

I can actually do all that.

Or I could – if my favorite businesses had online appointment options. booknow button

Actually, there is a world of instant online appointment scheduling out there.   Many businesses across the country offer it, and many people like me are enjoying it.

Only I’m not enjoying it yet!

I did find an interesting site/service for business owners though, called ScheduleYa.

I’m not a business owner of course, but I sure would like to share this site with my hairdresser.

It’s a Book Now system offered to local businesses anywhere in the country – for free.

The ScheduleYa website promises it only takes minutes for a business to set up an online Book Now button for easy appointment scheduling.

The thing is, where I live, near the magical town of Lexington, Virginia, most businesses do not have online reservations.

Do you have online booking options in your town?

Have you ever used a Book Now button to make an online appointment?

The whole thing is new to me, but I know I wish we had it.

So, I plan to share ScheduleYa (via this post, FB, and Twitter) with some of the places around here that require appointments:

  • beauty salons,
  • massage therapists
  • reflexologists
  • chiropractors,
  • pool maintenance companies,
  • electricians,
  • plumbers,
  • lawn service contractors,
  • auto repair shops,
  • local realtors,
  • dentists.

Maybe they will check out the free ScheduleYa option and will see the great value in service to their customers, a time-saver addition for their staff, and even a marketing tool for their businesses.

And maybe if only one of my favorites begins, the others will follow and we will all “be in business”.

A working ScheduleYa “Book Now” site:

JBC Tire -ScheduleYaSample

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