Monday, March 30, 2020

Rules From The Male Side

In this time of enforced quarantine, do you need some help seeing eye to eye with others in your house? If so, here are some rules from the male side. (Please note. These are all numbered #1 on purpose!)
  1. Men are not mind readers.
  1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
  1. Crying is blackmail.
  1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:
  • subtle hints do not work!
  • Strong hints do not work!
  • Obvious hints do not work!
  • Just say it!
  1. Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
  1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
  1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.
  1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
  1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
  1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
  1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we...
  1. Men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
  1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
  1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
  1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...really.
  1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football or motor sports.
  1. You have enough clothes.
  1. You have too many shoes.
  1. I am in shape. Round is a shape!
  1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight. But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping...
Pass this to as many men as you can - to give them a laugh...

Pass this to as many women as you can - to give them a bigger laugh, because it's true.

Five years ago today: Asparagus Tips

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Time Enough

Normally my calendar is jam packed with activities. Work, meetings, and volunteer commitments. Now in this strange new world we're living in all have been cancelled and I have a lot of time on my hands.

Hubby Tony is working from home, but without commuting time his business day is shorter. We've been taking a nice long walk every day the weather allows. That's really helped us investigate the neighborhood streets in our new neighborhood. But sometimes we walk with a purpose.

When I woke up this morning the ground was wet, but my phone app said the rain had stopped for a few hours. We needed some things from Aldi, so Tony and I decided to walk (a distance of eight-tenths of a mile-the majority of it straight north, with a short jog to the east). Before we left we each grabbed a bag from the stash in my car, and as we shopped in the store each of us got to decide just how much weight they wanted to carry home.

Rather than going back by the same route we walked a little farther east, then turned and went south until we got to a back entrance to our subdivision, where we turned east, making a large three-mile circle.

What would have been a fifteen minute in the car took about 90 minutes on foot. Because we could.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Adventures In Yoga, Virtually

Last week I had a great time playing LEGOs virtually. Today Grandson Jay and I had another play date, but this time we exercised together!

During one of our recent FaceTime calls Son Brian said that Jay enjoyed Cosmic Kids Yoga via YouTube videos. He wondered if it would be possible to do a video conference that included a video, and said he would investigate it.  Over the next few days Brian and I texted back and forth, and this afternoon I received an invitation and link to the conference website.

It took me a couple of tries to get everything up and running, but soon I was sharing my computer screen with Brian and Jay. After exchanging pleasantries Brian opened the YouTube page, and Jay picked one of the dozens of videos. We both rolled out our yoga mats, and Brian started the video. The video was on full screen, but I could see Jay in a small square on the right-hand side, and he could see me.

Before today, I was completely unfamiliar with Cosmic Kids. Jaime, the host, tells stories and weaves yoga poses into them. The session started with the "secret yoga code word", namaste. She led us through several traditional yoga poses, some jumping up and down, and finished with a short guided meditation, followed by the secret code word again. When the video was over Jay chose a second one. All together, we exercised for about a half hour.

So now I've built and exercised with Jay. I wonder what we'll come up with next?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Let There Be Light

Back in January when we moved into our new condo we knew that it was low on overhead lights. (The only ones were in the kitchen, dining room, and bathrooms). Neither Hubby Tony nor I are a fan of relying on lamps, so our first project in making the place our permanent home was having an electrician come and rectify the problem.

We got estimates and chose a company. We went to the hardware store and purchased ceiling fans with light kits for the family room and master bedroom, and a fixture for the spare bedroom. (The electrician was supplying the rest.) The service date he offered us was several weeks past the date we accepted the estimate, and then got pushed back an extra two weeks by an issue on his part. At that time I was looking forward to having the work completed this week.

However, as the day got closer I started to wonder if we were doing the right thing having someone come into our house. What if this electrician had been exposed to COVID-19? After talking it over with Tony we decided the condo was large enough to socially distance ourselves, and I could also disinfect any necessary surfaces after he left.

My fears were unfounded. The electrician walked in wearing gloves, and after a quick greeting and outlining of the order of the work he got started. Tony carried his things to the back bedroom and continued to work, and I moved from room to room as necessary. By the end of the day Tony's office had can lights in each corner of the room, and another can light over the fireplace provided a beautiful wash of light.

Today the rest of the lights were installed. The electrician also improved the switches in the kitchen so accent lights over the stove and sink could operate independently of the main fixture. Now I can walk into a room and flip a switch instead of fumbling with a lamp, which is much more convenient!

Five years ago today: Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

Sunday, March 22, 2020

I Am A Cat And I Sleep Wherever I Want

After we got up today Hubby Tony stripped the bed and I threw the sheets into the laundry. When they were clean and dry I carried them back into the bedroom, and I saw that Jackson the Cat had claimed the bed for his morning nap. I knew that Jackson would get up when it was time for his midday meal, so I folded the sheets and laid them on the dresser for later.

At the appropriate time I fed Jackson, but then I forgot the job waiting for me in the bedroom. By the time I got back there 45 minutes later Jackson was curled up on the top left corner of the mattress. I wanted to get the job done, so I figured that if I started the making process Jackson would get annoyed and leave.  I started by putting on three of the four fitted sheet corners. No response from the cat. I put the flat sheet on top of the fitted, tucked the bottom edge in, and added hospital corners. Still nothing. I added the blanket on top of the sheets, repeating the tucking in and cornering process. The cat woke up enough to give me the stink eye. Finally, I threw the bedspread over everything and shoved the bottom end between the mattress and footboard. I could tell Jackson was annoyed, but not annoyed enough to move.

I was here first!
I decided to capture the moment to send a text to the family. Just as I hit the Send button Jackson got up, stretched, and moved. Not enough, though.

Extra layers of bedding mean extra padding, right?

It took two hours until Jackson decided to get up. When I heard him move. I quickly swooped in and finished the bed. Jackson took the change in stride and settled in for his next nap in the spare bedroom.

Five years ago today: The $2.00 Bill I Tried To Spend

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Order Out - Eat In

For years Hubby Tony and I have a Date Night on Saturday. Now that there's just the two of us we often go to church, or schedule some other type of activity, but we always go out for some type of dinner. However, for social distancing purposes all restaurants are now closed except for carry-out business, so eating out is impossible to do.

I enjoy the break from cooking on Saturday night. We talked about where we wanted to get carry out, and decided on the Circa Pub and Grill, which specializes in classic St. Louis dishes. Part of the fun of going there is looking at the local memorabilia they have displayed on the walls, but that would have to wait until the next trip.

After looking at the menu Tony chose a pork steak dinner with sweet potato fries. I picked lasagna and a side of green beans. Both meals came with salad. The menu offered many options for salad dressing, but in my mind there was only one choice-the Mayfair.

From the restaurant website:
Our house (Mayfair) dressing is made with egg, celery, onion, and garlic, with an anchovy base. It was originally developed in 1935 at the Mayfair Hotel in downtown St. Louis. It was first served in the hotel's Mayfair Room, Missouri's first five-star restaurant.
Tony called in the order and went to pick it up. Before he left he changed into a business casual outfit, and I followed suit. I decided that even though we had to eat at home it could still be an event, so while Tony was gone I set the table with linens, china, glasses, and real silverware. I put battery-operated votive candles into holders and set them on the table.

When Tony returned with the food we put the salad into bowls. I tried to slide my lasagna onto the nice plate, but the piece was covered in a thick layer of sauce and two big blobs of the sauce dropped onto the tablecloth. Tony had better luck plating up his food. In the end we ended up sharing our meals half-and-half. Everything was tasty, and except for the lack of a waiter to bus the table I felt like I was at an actual restaurant.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Virtual Fun

Yesterday Hubby Tony and I were talking via FaceTime with Son Brian and DIL Nicole. They are trying to work from home with a three-year old and eight month old twins. Usually they have a nanny that comes in during the work week, but the twins had some kind of 'crud' and out of extra caution they had her stay home so she wouldn't catch anything. (I don't know how old the nanny is, but she has grown children, so she must be close to my age. The CDC says I'm old and need to be extra careful.)

I wondered out loud if Brian thought Grandson Jay would like to do a virtual activity with me, which might allow him to get some work done. I suggested we play LEGOs. Brian thought that might work, and we decided that I would text Brian mid-morning today.

After the call was over I went down to our storage locker, found the white tub of LEGO bricks my boys had accumulated over the years, and brought it up to the condo.

At the appointed time today I set up my iPad on the dining room table and waited for Brian's call. Normally Jay tends to freeze up when Tony or I talk to him during FaceTime calls, or he quickly leaves the room. Today he and Brian started out by dumping bags of DUPLOs and foam blocks out onto the floor.

I told Jay I was going to build a house. While he started playing with his things I would ask him questions about what type of brick I should use next. He'd ponder my question, then very quietly give me an answer. By the end of the session we were having a real conversation. Brian was in the background (hopefully) getting some work done, but he did occasionally join in the fun.

I couldn't believe how fast the time went, and after almost an hour and a half we ended the call. I hope there's a next time; I have some more building ideas I couldn't get to today.

Five years ago today: Cash Drawer Arrangement

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Suspended? I Barely Started!

Some time back I got a call from the local Census Bureau office and learned when and where my training would take place. As the training date grew closer, the COVID-19 situation grew more dire, and I kept expecting them to cancel the training. I even made a phone call to the office on Monday to inquire. A harried woman told me in so many words, don't call us we'll call you, and that I should show up as planned.

Tuesday was the first day of Enumerator training, which was held in the Council chambers of a nearby City Hall. The room was filled with rows of six foot folding tables. Each table had one chair placed behind it. On Wednesday the training moved to the city's Community Room down the hall, but we still followed the same social distancing seating.

On my way home Wednesday I received a call from the Census office telling me that all operations throughout the country had been suspended until at least April 1st. The associate verified that I had submitted my time cards so I could be paid for my work, then said the Bureau would call when they had more information.  Just like that my 2020 Census adventure came to a screeching halt.

Yesterday our household's official Census participation letter showed up in the mailbox. Today I filled it out. It seemed like the least I could do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Wearing Of The Green

This morning I put on a khaki green shirt and got out green shamrock necklaces. Even though in the strange new world we're living in it didn't feel like a day for celebrations, St. Patrick's Day only comes once a year.

Tony was working from home, and after I arranged a necklace around my neck I also put one on him. I actually had a commitment today (which I shall tell you about later in the week), and left the house earlier than I have in quite some time.

During my time out I didn't see very many people, and the ones I saw didn't look very cheerful.  Instead, they carefully distanced themselves as they went about their business.

The highlight of the day was dinner. Knowing I would have a busy day today I had cooked and sliced a corned beef brisket over the weekend. Tonight Tony used the broth to cook a combination of cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots. After dinner, we broke out mint chip ice cream-green, in honor of the day.

Five years ago today: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The New (Temporary) Normal

  • Events cancelled
  • Social distancing
  • Stores with shortened hours (or closed completely)
  • Schools closed and children home
  • Sports events cancelled
  • Carryout only restaurants
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages
  •  Welcome to CoronaWorld. 
    Both Hubby Tony and I were supposed to have out of town plans this weekend. Both events were cancelled, leaving us with two days with no planned activities.  I don't feel sick, and have no symptoms, and am already going stir crazy. Yesterday Tony completed the project at home he would have done at his meeting, and I cleaned my office, then spent too much time surfing the web. Last night we chose to go to church, then ate at a local restaurant (after verifying they were 'safe'). 
    Today I slept in, ate breakfast while reading the newspaper, and completed my weekly cleaning chores by 10 am. Then there was nothing that had to be done. It was very weird.  After lunch Hubby Tony made a trip to the pet supply store to stock up on food for Jackson the cat. I put on my heavy coat and took a walk, but the temperature was just above freezing and after 30 minutes I decided I had enough of the outside. 
    Tomorrow will be more of the same. I have to make a run to the grocery store, which should take about a half hour. Then I guess I'll see...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Wash Those Hands!

With all the news coverage of COVID-19, it seems like every time I turn around I'm getting another reminder to wash my hands thoroughly. (With soap. For at least 20 seconds.)

If you're time challenged like I am, singing the song Happy Birthday twice takes about that long. But if you're as tired of singing that as I am, the site Wash Your Lyrics lets you enter a song title and artist, then generates a poster that pairs its lyrics with a 13-step hand washing routine.

I'll be singing 'Beat It" to those germs as I scrub away. What's your song?

Five years ago today: Cast Iron Skillet TLC

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Time Change Woes

So far I've had little benefit from 'springing forward' to Daylight Savings Time. It was nice to have more sunlight on Sunday night, but yesterday and today have been wet and dreary; when my alarm went off in the morning it was so dark it could have been mid-January. (And the storm didn't help.)

The time change usually doesn't bother me, but yesterday I walked around in a foggy haze. Today was a little bit better, but my energy level was still low and I didn't get around to most of the items on my To Do list.

The time change also seemed to confuse Jackson the cat. He wakes Hubby Tony up every morning for his breakfast. He's so predictable that Tony rarely sets an alarm. Yesterday they both got moving 45 minutes later than normal, causing Tony to scramble to get out the door in time.

Today the sun was behind the clouds again, and after dinner it was almost as dark as it would have been before the time change. However, the forecast says that the sun may be coming out tomorrow, which should go a far way towards showcasing the new time changes.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Blog Post Can Wait

I had just opened up my computer to compose a blog post when I heard the unmistakable sound of a FaceTime call coming in. There's only one person Hubby Tony and I regularly get calls from, so we knew it was time to drop everything and spend some time with these cuties (and their parents and big brother)

Checking out what Big Brother Jay is doing
While we talked with Son Brian, Tony and I also got to watch the twins enjoying their evening meal, and see their newfound peek-a-boo skills. It was heavenly!

Five years ago today: Winter Be Gone!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Very Red Sign Of Spring

Way back in January I popped into a shoe store, where on the clearance rack a pair of bright red canvas sneakers was waiting for me to try them on. They were very comfortable.  Even though they would be inappropriate for the cold, wet winter weather that would drag on for months their price was right (and I even had a birthday swag coupon for an additional five dollars off). The shoes came home with me.

Those shoes got boxed up and moved to the new condo, where they sat on the shelf until yesterday. As I was getting to leave the house I checked the forecast and saw that the temperatures were pretty spring-like, so the bright red canvas sneakers went out for their first adventure.

It was only running errands, so the bright red canvas sneakers might have been a little disappointed. I wasn't though. Even though the trip was mundane, every time I looked down at my new shoes it made me think of all the nice weather that will be coming.

Five years ago today: National Grammar Day

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Comments Made In 1957

These people had no idea what was coming...
  • When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon? Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.
  • I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies anymore. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying ‘damn’ in “Gone with the Wind,” it seems every new movie has either ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ in it.
  • If things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $20.
  • I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.
  • If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
  • Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2000 will only buy a used one.
  • If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.
  • Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?
  • Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail haircuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.
  • Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the president.
  • I read the other day some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.
  • I’m just afraid that Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.
  • The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
  • No one can afford to be sick anymore; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood.
  • If they think I’ll pay 50 cents for a haircut, forget it.
Five years ago today: Plays On Words