Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Amazing Occasions

Hubby Tony and I got home yesterday from a magnificent nine day trip. The time away was divided into three distinct parts.

On the Saturday before Easter we flew to Dallas. That night DIL Ie entered the Catholic church during the Easter Vigil. In total, there were 30 Catechumens (non-baptized individuals) and Candidates (people who were baptized in the Catholic church or another Christian community who had not received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation). The beautiful ceremony started at sundown and went for almost three hours.

We spent Easter day with Son Tony and Ie. Early Monday morning Ie took us to the airport for the next leg of our journey. This time were in the air for just under two hours. When the plane touched down, the pilot welcomed us to San Jose, California.  It was time to hang out with this guy and his parents!

We were at Son Brian and DIL Nicole's house for four days. During that time we got to shadow on a day care pick up and drop off, and attend a "Take Your Child to Work Day" event at Nicole's company. One day Tony and I took an ambitious walk to the San Jose Rose Garden to see what was blooming. At the end of the day my phone app told me I had walked slightly over 17,000 steps.

On Friday morning Tony picked up a rental car for the third chunk of the trip. We drove out of the Bay Area and over the mountains to Turlock, in the California Central Valley. Later in the day we practiced for the big event that took place Saturday morning...the wedding of Tony and Ie.

Photos and the reception took place on the grounds of a nearby lavender farm. The outdoor venue had comfortable,casual seating areas scattered about, yard games, and plenty of space for the children to run around. There were long wooden farm dining tables arranged next to a covered porch area. While the sun was up huge market umbrellas shaded the tables, but as it got dark the staff moved the umbrellas away, and the white lights strung in the nearby trees came on. The porch area turned into a dance floor (which was very popular). At the end of the night all of the guests got a long sparkler and made an arch for the new bride and groom to run through.

On Sunday we returned to Brian and Nicole's for one more night. This time Son Donald was there, too. The three of us left Monday morning for the flight back to St. Louis.

Five years ago today: International Jazz Day

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Joys Of Modern Air Travel (NOT)

Son Donald is scheduled to fly this afternoon. The ticket that he bought back in late January left St. Louis early in the afternoon for a four-hour nonstop flight, and got him to his destination in time for dinner. It also fit the schedule of the people who were picking him up at the airport.

Yesterday he got a text from the airline saying that flight was cancelled. It offered several alternate options, but the most attractive one was already filled up by time Donald got to the company's website. He chose the next-most attractive option. It leaves approximately the same time as his original flight, but now he has two legs to contend with, and a two-hour layover in between. In addition, his ride from the airport had to re-arrange their schedule in order to be available for him.

Five years ago today: Sheet Snob

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Did You Know?

Oxford University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium,, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Five years ago today: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure (Part 2)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter 2019

I hope your day is filled with family, friends, food, and fun. And chocolate.


Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I'm saving you for very last
Because I love you best.
I'll only take a nibble
From the tip of your ear
And one bite from the other side
So that you won't look queer.
Yum, you're so delicious!
I didn't mean to eat
Your chocolate tail till Tuesday.
Ooops! There go your feet!
I wonder how your back tastes
With all that chocolate hair.
I never thought your tummy
Was only filled with air!
Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I'm saving you for very last
Because I love you best.

~~Bobbie Katz 

Five years ago today: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

Thursday, April 18, 2019

To Put It Another Way...

According to the Days Calculator at Time and Date I am:
  • 22,013 days old
  • Or 723 months, 8 days
  • Or 1,902,009,600 seconds
  • Or 528,336 hours
  • Or 22,014 days
  • Or 3144 weeks and 6 days
  • Or 6031.23% of a common year
Anyway you put it, the totals are pretty staggering.

Five years ago today: Superstar

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nice Try...But It Didn't Work!

Even though Son Donald has moved out of the house he still occasionally gets mail here. Recently the carrier put this official-looking envelope in the mailbox:

Personal information changed to protect the innocent.

I took a picture of the envelope and sent it to Donald, asking him what he wanted me to do. Some time later he responded and asked me to open it. Inside was a Sample Transportation Certificate of Title and an invitation to come to a sale at the dealership where he bought his last car.

Donald said I could put this 'important' letter straight into the recycling bin. I did.

Five years ago today: Random Thoughts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's Spring, Dagnabbit!

Last week the temperatures reached 80°, so I opened up the house and enjoyed the fresh air and sounds of nature. But Winter has decided it wasn't quite ready to leave. Last night a big cold front and rainstorm came though, so I closed up the house and turned the furnace back on. This morning when it was time to leave for church the temperature was a chilly 37°, and my phone app told me it actually felt like 32°.

However, it's almost the middle of April, and after my first taste of springy clothes I had no desire to go back to dark colors and heavy leather shoes. I dug around in my closet and found a pair of light-colored pants, which I paired with a long sleeved tee shirt and an ecru sweater with lace insets.

I even went out on a limb and wore a pair of spring shoes. They might be leather, but they're covered with tiny perforations.

When I got out of the car at church, I noticed there were a few sleet pellets mixed in with the rain. A couple of them managed to fall through the holes in the shoes (and I started regretting my decision), but that just made me hustle into the building a little faster than normal.

Five years ago today: Bloomin' Delicious

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Veggie Dog

Yesterday Christine wrote about trying the new IKEA vegetarian hot dog. I didn't know that such a thing existed, but filed her information away for future reference.  Much to my surprise, today I ended up with some jobs that took me right next to the store. Of course I had to check out their veggie dog! After my jobs were finished I drove into the huge IKEA lot, which was very empty at lunchtime on Thursday.

The dogs are served at the Bistro area next to the checkouts. When the associate took my order, she asked if I wanted it topped as it was in the photo with spicy mustard, pickled red cabbage, and roasted onions. I did.

The veggie dog is made with a mix of kale, red lentils, carrots, and ginger. It was more like a cylindrical veggie patty, with no casing like a traditional hot dog. But it was good. The toppings gave it a nice crunch. The sandwich was on the small size, so I was happy I had some vegetables and fruit with me in the car to supplement it.

Five years ago today: Who Wants To Dance?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Soggy Soles

Over the weekend I stopped by an estate sale and left with a pair of barely worn canvas mule tennis shoes. (It was the second day of the sale, and everything was half priced. My purchase only set me back a dollar. Such a deal!) The comfortable bright pink shoes had laces like a normal pair, but because they didn't have a back it was easy to just slide them on. They also had a nicely cushioned footbed and decent arch support.

Before I wore the shoes, I threw them in the washer and set them in the sun to dry. At the end of the day I brought the shoes inside and placed them in the closet.

Today I was meeting a friend for tea and a chat. The weather was spring-like, and I decided to wear my new sneaks. I put them on right before I left the house, walked into the garage, and sat down in the car. The stop lights were all going my way. When I realized I was going to be a little early to my friend's house, I decided to stop at a grocery store along the way and use the rest room.

As I entered the store I realized that my shoes felt funny, but didn't think anything of it. However, on the way out of the store I realized that they felt wet. And by the time I got to my car I was squishing! Those soft, padded footbeds really held the water. By the time I got to my destination my feet were pretty miserable.

I saw that my friend was going barefoot, so I slipped my shoes off and put them in a patch of sun on her back deck. Two and a half hours later when I left they were pretty much dry, and my trip home was much more comfortable.

Five years ago today: Humm....us

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Fix

My recent car issue (a blinking 'D' light on the Drive Indicator) turned out to be a transmission sensor. The shop had to order the part, which will be delivered next Tuesday or Wednesday. When it arrives they'll let me know. Until then, the mechanic said I could drive the car without any issues.

That's easier said than done for me. Any type of dashboard light sends me into a tizzy. Even though I logically know there's not a problem, any time I look down and see something flashing I get anxious. Illogical, but that's the way it is.

I have too much to do to go car-less for the next few days. Hubby Tony suggested I could cover up the Drive light with a piece of tape. I thought that was a great idea, but went one step further and found a bird sticker, which also adds a bit of Spring to the dashboard.

Before and after
Five years ago today: Happy Or Sad?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Get Pumping

When Hubby Tony left for work today he asked me what my day was about. I told him the only definite was a trip to the gym, but then I had a whole slew of errands that needed to get done...and a few that I wanted to do. We laughed about how the day would quickly fill up. An hour later, I was a third of the way to the gym when the 'D' light on the dashboard started blinking. I doubled back to the repair shop, dropped off the car, and got a ride home. All of a sudden I had a home bound day.

I hadn't showered yet, so I decided to get some house work done before I cleaned myself up. I used the step stool to dust all the high places I can't reach from the ground, used the same rag to remove the dust bunnies and cat hair from the front hall and dining room floors, then swept the kitchen floor and cleaned up a couple of coffee drip stains.

It felt good to be moving, but my cleaning didn't take the place of the Body Pump class I would have done at the gym. I'm motivated to get things toned up; Son Tony's wedding will be here before I know it, and the last time I tried on my dress it was a little tight. Suddenly inspiration hit, and I wondered if I could find a video online that would substitute for my aborted trip to the gym. Turns out that YouTube had dozens of options for me.
(If you're not familiar with Body Pump, it's a poplar group weight lifting class. An instructor in the front of the room leads you through ten choreographed sections, each the length of a song. After the warm up song there are tracks for legs, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, core, and then a cool down. You do a lot of exercise repetitions with lighter weights. And when the hour is over you're thrilled to be able to put all of your equipment away.)
But before I could start the video, I had to come up with equipment to use. My gym has all the necessary barbells, plates, steps, and mats. The only barbell in this house is a seriously heavy one that Son Donald left when he moved out, and weight plates that are 15 pounds or heavier. (By comparison, I use a bar that's about 4 pounds and plates that are 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds.) However, I improvised with a set of three pound plates, a set of six pound hand weights, and no bar. I chose to rough it and lay on the floor instead of using a step and mat.

I set my laptop on the kitchen counter, except when I was doing the tracks that involved laying down. Then I put it on the floor next to me so I could see it better. The instructor did a good job of calling out the exercises as they came around, and the video was very easy to follow. I'd like to say that I completed the whole thing as enthusiastically as I would at the gym, but the main reason I do group classes is for the extra motivation and the shame of quitting early. Since I didn't have that I cut a few corners, but at the end my muscles were just sore enough I could tell they had worked. That was good enough for me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Walk On

I didn't know that today was National Walking Day until my city's parks department told me about a promotion they were having in honor of the day. All you had to do is walk three laps around the track (a mile) at the main city park, and you'd be entered into a drawing for prizes.

During the Park Office hours they had snacks and water available. Hubby Tony and I didn't make it to the park until after dinner, but they had also made accommodations for people like us. After we finished we took pictures of each other standing by the park walking trails information board, then emailed them to the City's Recreation Supervisor so we could still be entered into the drawing.

The weather was nice, and Tony and I probably would have walked anyway, but it was nice to get recognized for doing it.

Five years ago today: Elderly Exercise