Wednesday, June 29, 2016

(Not Too) Risky

Today I'm participating in the Six Words compilation over at Coach Daddy.  This month's prompt was:
"June is National Safety Month. Tell us about something you did decidedly unsafe – in six words. It could be from any time in your life. Think “Rode Big Wheel off garage roof,” or “Wore Georgia gear in Florida section.”
It was a hard prompt, because I'm not much of a physical risk taker. (You should go check out some of the other responses. Those people are real daredevils!)  However, Eli's invitation brought up a long-forgotten memory from my childhood. 

I was nine or ten, and had been gifted with a pair of Sears white high-top roller skates. The first thing I did after putting them on was skate over to the house of a friend who lived a couple of blocks away. It was hard work, because the street inclined up and her house was at the top.

My friend admired my skates, then put hers on and suggested we skate down the hill. Down sounded better than up, so I agreed. After a couple of round trips, she wondered out loud if it would be possible to do the same thing backwards.  Remember how I told you I wasn't a risk taker?  She was so confident that it wouldn't be hard to do that somehow she talked me into doing it first.

Going past the first house wasn't too bad, but then I started gathering speed. However, before things got out of control instinct kicked in and I started doing an exaggerated snowplow, spreading my legs out and pointing my heels together.  It took me the distance of another house to start slowing down, but I managed to come to a stop without losing face (or falling on it).

End of story.

Five years ago today: Ooh! Shiny!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shred It

Over the past week Hubby Tony has been making a renewed effort to rid our office of unneeded papers.  I've been his right-hand woman on the project.

We've tackled portions of the job several times.  This round it was a pile of bank statements (from our current bank, and a smaller pile from a previous incarnation of the same bank) and investment company statements.  Altogether, there was about five years worth of papers taking up valuable space in a file cabinet drawer.  Starting with the bank statements, Tony divided the pile in half.  We scanned through each one to make sure there wasn't anything important on it, then it went into the shredding pile.

Our shredder works well, but slowly. It says it can handle six sheets at a time, but depending on the thickness of the paper you get better results if you only feed piles of two or three.  I set the machine on top of the kitchen island, with the pile of papers next to it.  It didn't take me long to get into a rhythm.   I took a break approximately every five minutes so the shredder didn't overheat.  When the shredder bin filled up I'd transfer the mess into a paper bag, packing the shreds down.  When it was packed to the brim I'd close it up, throw it in the recycling bin, and start a new bag.

After the bank statements, Tony tackled a backlog of statements from past 401(k) plans he participated in.  Some of these had colorful logos, graphs, or charts, which lent a little accent to the boring white shreds.  The last thing to go was a pile of checks, which added a large pop of color to the pile. 

Two days and three large bags of paper later the project is done.  Until the next time we decide to tackle it.

Five years ago today: My First Day

Saturday, June 25, 2016


It's been very hot and dry around here this month, but tonight as Hubby Tony and I got in the car to go to church the sky darkened and the wind started to pick up; we agreed it would be wonderful if we got some much needed rain.  As we pulled into the parking lot it started looking more and more ominous, and as we entered the sanctuary a flash of lightening caused the electricity to flash off for a few seconds.

The Gospel reading for the week was Luke's account of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. The deacon read the section about the group not being welcomed into a Samaritan village, and then James' and John's reaction to the event (they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?") As soon as the last word left his mouth there was a loud BOOM from a thunderclap.  The entire congregation broke up, and it took the priest quite some time to pull himself together. He was still chuckling as he started his homily.

(Sadly, the thunder was the highlight of the weather event.  We got a couple of sprinkles but the big rain never came.)

Five years ago today: I Am The Luckiest Person In The World

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In The Pink

All other things being equal, why not let the Internet tell you what to wear?

When I got home from the gym today I had an email from a jewelry store telling me that today was National Pink Day. Of course they wanted me to shop (and buy) their fancy (and expensive) pieces, but instead I just ran with the idea of wearing a pink shirt.

Five years ago today: Audio Walking

Monday, June 20, 2016


Happy First Day of Summer 2016!

According to my phone weather app the sun rose at 5:06 am and will set at 8:29 pm (with the last light at 9:01 pm). The actual solstice (when the sun’s rays reached their northernmost position) occurred in my area at 5:34 p.m.   I was eating dinner, and I paused to raise my glass of ice water to the beginning of the new season. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Garage Door Woes

Friday night Hubby Tony and I had a night that didn't quite work out the way we thought it would.  Right after he got home from work he changed his clothes, grabbed a baseball cap and a water bottle, and we left the house. First we dropped his car off so he could have some service done the next day, then we walked a half mile down Manchester to Joey B's restaurant for dinner.  The restaurant is only about a mile and a half from the house, so after dinner we worked on getting our steps for the day by walking home.

During the walk we had a nice time catching up on what had gone on during the week, but the temperature was in mid-80s and by the time we turned onto our street I was hot and tired. My feet hurt and I was looking forward to a big bowl of frozen watermelon on the couch in front of the TV. As we walked up the driveway it occurred to me we'd been having some problems with the garage opener keypad and neither one of us had brought a house key. Sure enough, when I tried putting in the code nothing happened. Then Tony tried and got the same result.

We checked every door into the house. All were locked. Tony didn't like my suggestion to use a rock to break a window, so we had to come up with another plan.  I threw out that the keypad battery maybe needed to be replaced, so we walked to Walgreen's (adding another mile to our total).  Tony borrowed a screwdriver from a neighbor and we took the old battery out, installed the new one, and crossed our fingers as I punched in the code. Still nothing.

Son Donald had a house key, but he was at work for another four hours.  Our cat sitter has a key, so I called his cell phone. The call went to voice mail and I left a message. I called the cat sitter's mother at their house number and had to leave another message. By this point I was getting really grumpy. Just about the time I was ready to go break a window myself my cell phone rang. It was the cat sitter, saying his mom would be at the house with the key within 15 minutes.

While I waited I researched garage door keypads and figured out we might have a reprogramming issue.  The fix sounded easy--if you had access to the inside of the garage.  The cat sitter's mom was right on time, and both Tony and I thanked her profusely.  When I walked in the house the cats woke up from their nap and wanted to know if anything exciting had happened while we were gone.

The next morning it took us about 45 seconds to fix the keypad problem.  Even so, if I'm on foot it will be a while before I don't triple check to make sure I have a way to get back into the house before I leave.

Five years ago today: Dear Old Dad

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Same, But Different

Wednesday was Son Donald's birthday, but that night he had a commitment that wouldn't get him home until long after dinner.  I knew he'd be hungry when he arrived, so I asked him if he'd like me to fix something special that could be waiting for him to heat up.

I've lost track of how many years in a row he's requested Oven Fried Rice on his birthday, but I wasn't surprised when that's what he asked for this time.  However, we've been eating a lot of brown rice, so with his permission I changed things up and substituted barley.  I also added a bag of frozen edamame to give the dish a little more protein.

It wasn't bad, but the barley got a little dried out in the oven.  Next time I'll knock ten minutes off the baking time.

Five years ago today: Tea For Way More Than Two

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's The Monkees!

I turn up the radio every time I hear this song starting.  It's from The Monkees new album, Good Times!

Five years ago today: Evening Thought

Monday, June 13, 2016


Last week I had the opportunity to cross an items off my bucket list.  I got to shoot a gun.

Several days before the big event, I made an appointment with an instructor at a nearby indoor shooting range.  When I arrived for the session John was waiting for me.  I signed a waiver while he picked a pistol from the rental selection and put it inside a soft sided case.  He added a box of ammunition to the case and asked me to follow him.

Before I could enter the range, John walked me through the fundamentals of safe handgun handling and shooting procedures. First I learned about the rules of gun safety:
  • Always assume a gun is loaded
  • Always keep the gun muzzle in a safe direction
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until the gun sights are on the target
  • Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
Once he was sure I understood John introduced me to the Smith and Wesson M&P 22 semiautomatic compact I was going to use.  He demonstrated how to grip the gun (emphasizing the importance of keeping my thumbs out of the way of the gun recoiling slide), how to line up the front and rear sights with my dominant eye, and how to squeeze the trigger.  Next he showed me how to put the gun magazine in, take it back out, and put ammunition into the magazine. I learned how the ammunition feeds into the gun and where the brass comes out. 

After each section John asked if I had any questions, telling me that if I forgot anything when I was in the range area he'd be there to remind me. When he was sure I was ready he told me to choose my target from their selection. Many of the pages featured zombies or silhouette body torsos (which looked too much like a person to me), so I picked a sheet with six classic bulls-eyes.

It was time to enter the range area.  John said that my prescription glasses were adequate eye protection, but we both donned electronic ear muffs (so we could hear each other talk).  The range was behind two layers of doors.  When I entered the large room there was a faint smell of burnt powder. John set me up in a shooting lane, attaching my target to a hanger and moving it back seven yards.  Even through the gun magazine could hold ten bullets, he told me to start with five.  My hands were a little shaky as I loaded the bullets in the magazine and put the magazine in the gun.  Then John told me to go ahead and fire.

Not too bad for the first day
For a millisecond I wondered just what I thought I was doing, then excitement kicked in.  I did my best to hold the gun the way I had been shown, lined up the sights, took a deep breath, and slowly pulled the trigger.  There was a "bang", the gun recoiled against my hands, and then I could see a hole on the paper.  I did it! 

Two out of my first five rounds hit the target area.  Based on my results, John gave me some pointers and I'm happy to say that the second time all five hit the target!  I got better each time. By the  fourth round John had me putting all ten bullets into the magazine, and by the time my box of 50 shells was gone I even had two bulls-eyes.

When all the ammo had been used John showed me how to clean up the spent shells and where to dispose of them.  Before we left the range area he asked if I wanted to take the target home as a souvenir.

Of COURSE I did.

Five years ago today: Your Presence Is Requested

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Every. Stinking. Time

Today I was wearing my t-shirt from last August's Moonlight Ramble.

During the day it's easy for me to forget that all of the white portions of the circular logo glow in the dark.  However, when it gets dark every time I walk into an unlit room the phosphorescence still startles me. Wouldn't you think I'd be able to remember?

Five years ago today: You'll Never View Vacuuming The Same Way Again