Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Making The Best Of The Nice Day

Hubby Tony is one week removed from ankle surgery. The accident was on November 5 and (except for medical visits) since that time he's stayed at home and kept his leg propped up on a pile of pillows. He has his next doctor visit in a week and a half, so until then it will be more of the same.

Yesterday was heavy winter coat weather. Today the forecast called for a high close to 60 degrees. Before I left the house to go to the church and cook lunch I moved one of the kitchen chairs out to the deck so Tony could maneuver outside and sit if he wanted t.

I wore my lightweight winter coat, but by the time I was finished no coat was necessary. When I got home I saw the deck door was open. Tony was sitting on the chair and using his knee walker as a leg prop. The sun hadn't made it to that side of the building yet, and it was still a little chilly, but Tony was wearing a light jacket and seemed to be enjoying the outdoor sounds. 

We chatted for a few minutes and then I left for my walking errand-going to the post office to get postage for a volunteer mailing job Tony was doing. Tony headed to the bedroom to take a nap. I left the house with a long sleeved t-shirt and a scarf around my neck. Halfway to the post office I removed the scarf and marveled at how nice it was.

At the post office I picked out Mighty Mississippi commemorative stamps. The sheet of ten stamps had a photo of each of the states that abut the banks. I took the long way back home, and ran into a lot of other people who were out walking. There were also quite a few people doing yard work.

When I arrived back home I noticed that the deck was now in the sun. Tony and Jackson the Cat were laying together on the bed, but Tony got up and went back outside. I brought out another chair and sat with him.  Three of the building neighbors were outside. We said hello to them all, had a more extended conversation with the person who lives directly underneath us, and then just chatted. 

At this time of year it doesn't take long to go from pleasant to not so outside, and that was the case today. As soon as the sun went behind the trees across the street the temperature dropped and it was time to go inside. 

Five years ago today: Mother Of The Wedding Dressing

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

What Is Your Response?

I'm signed up with a couple of survey companies. One of them is Esearch. Every few weeks I get an email with an invitation to complete one of their projects. Today's message said that the data gathered from the survey would benefit a 'National TV Game Show'.

There were several pages of questions, each requiring a short written answer. The topics were things like "Name Something Children Wear, But Adults Don’t" or "Name A Gift You Would Not Like To Get From A Secret Santa". I was making my way down the list when I came to a question that mentioned Steve Harvey, and all of a sudden the light bulb in my head went on. Steve Harvey is the host of Family Feud, I wondered if I would be one of the '100 people asked for a responses to a question' for the show.


I'll eventually get $1 deposited into my PayPal account for my efforts, but knowing that I may have helped shape one tiny moment of a TV show was even more satisfying than the payment. 

Five years ago today: Cat On Rag

Sunday, November 26, 2023

I'll Never Know What Happened

This afternoon I left the house to run a couple of errands. The first stop was the grocery store, which is the anchor tenant in a small strip mall. The other stores are to the right and across the parking. The lot was very busy, and I had to drive almost to the end of a row before I found a space in the row next to the strip mall shops.

The car next to mine had the passenger door wide open, but the vehicle was unoccupied. I looked around and didn't see anyone who might have come from the car. There are a couple of fast food places in the strip; maybe the driver and passenger rushed in and the passenger forgot to close their door?

I was in too much of a hurry to think about the issue any more. I walked across the parking lot to the post office and dropped off some envelopes, then came back and did my grocery shopping. I was probably gone about 20 minutes. When I returned to my vehicle the next-door car passenger door was still open.

This time I decided to take action. I looked up the municipality's non-emergency public safety number, called, and explained the situation. The dispatcher asked for my name and the number I was calling from, then said they would contact an officer.

I left and went to Sam's Club. Counting driving, parking, shopping, and checkout time I was there for a little under a half hour. On the way home I was nosy enough to swing back by the grocery store lot. The car was still there, but this time the passenger door was closed.

I'll never know what happened.

Five years ago today: Packages On Porch

Friday, November 24, 2023

Thanksgiving Friday

One of the worst things to come out of Hubby Tony's broken ankle accident was that we had to cancel our  trip to California to see the kids and grandkids. Then I put plans for Thanksgiving on hold because we didn't know exactly when his surgery would happen. In the end we had a very low-key Day After Surgery day. The main dish was a 'Bob's Barbecue' brand smoked turkey breast from a local grocery store. It was accompanied by boxed stuffing, twice-baked sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, and apple pie gifted to us by the Realtors we worked with when we sold the house/bought the condo.

Tony spent the day on the couch with his leg elevated except when Son Donald came over for dinner. After we ate we played a game of Rummikub. Even though the meal was easy to put together I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch before it was time to go to bed.

Today was also low key. I try to stay away from stores on Black Friday, but in the morning I did a produce run and found out that grocery stores are a great place to shop the day after Thanksgiving. Mid afternoon I decided to go out for a walk, but wanted some type of purpose. I decided it would be interesting to head to the mall that's a fifteen minute stroll away.

Back when I worked at a mall Customer Service desk Black Friday morning was beyond crazy, but things died down a bit as the day went on. Without a car I wouldn't have to navigate the parking garage, and without a plan to buy anything I could do some great people watching.

I figured traffic turning into the mall would be heavy, but the gridlock I encountered surprised me. Then I noticed that there was some type of disturbance on the main road about a quarter of a mile away. I saw a patrol car with its lights on and a large group of people parading across the intersection. There were so many people the cars headed north couldn't go anywhere, and neither could the cars trying to exit the mall. When I reached the mall entrance there was a man waiting for the light to change. I asked him if he knew what the commotion was. He said he believed it was a pro-Palestine demonstration.

After the excitement outside, the inside of the mall was anticlimactic. I made one loop, then headed back home. As I exited the mall there was no sign of the earlier excitement.

Five years ago: Some liked it. Some left it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Let The Healing Begin

Today was Hubby Tony Ankle Surgery Day. (Whoo Hoo!)


The surgeon Tony chose is associated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital (colloquially called "Big Barnes") , a teaching hospital affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine. The huge campus is almost a half mile long and wide, and before Tony's ankle incident I never had any reason to go into any of the buildings. After two visits to the surgeon's office I knew how to navigate there, but today the directions were completely different.

Tony was the first procedure of the surgeon's day, and we were to be there two hours beforehand, so it was still dark when we left the house. However, the early hour meant there was no rush hour traffic to contend with. Both the parking process and navigating over the sky bridge to the building were easy. Despite the early hour everyone we interacted with was pleasant and polite.

The check in procedure went smoothly, and then an associate walked us back to the pre-op section. While waiting to go to the operating room Tony had a series of professionals stop by. There were a couple of nurses, several anesthesiologists (some full-fledged professionals, some in training), the surgeon and one of the fellows who would be assisting. 

When it was time they wheeled Tony off and directed me to the waiting area. I had a pager to provide  updates, and the surgeon called me at the end to let me know things went well. During my three-hour wait I killed time in the waiting room, walked around, and visited the cafeteria. I was excited to receive word when it was time to meet up with Tony in the post-op area. 

The post-op nurse gave me a set of instructions, as did the pharmacy tech who showed up with prescriptions. When it was time for Tony to leave I went to get the car. As soon as I pulled up to the entrance I saw Tony in a wheelchair by the front door, accompanied by a porter. The porter helped Tony into the car and we were free to go!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


I was recently introduced to the G.L.A.D. Technique, a method of highlighting the positive things that happen to me each each day. G.L.A.D. is an acronym for Gratitude, Learning, Accomplishment and Delighted. Each night before I go to bed I come up with at least one example in each category.
  • G stands for Gratitude, which is something I am thankful for today. The thing can be physical (food/water/a roof over my head) or spiritual (good health/positive relationships with other people/ meaningful activities).

  • L stands for Learned. This could be a new fact I learned, or something I learned about myself or another person.

  • A stands for Accomplishment. This can be an item I can cross off my to-do list (big or little), or an act of self-care (getting enough sleep/eating healthy meals/exercising).

  • D is for Delight. Things that made me smile or brought me joy, like something I observed in nature/great food/something funny that made me laugh out loud.

Some experiences could go into one or more of the categories, but each day each slot must be filled with something.

Five years ago today: A Tale Of Two Pies

Monday, November 20, 2023

Contribution And Cone

Scouting For Food is an annual program of the Boy Scouts of America that collects for for local food banks. It began in the Greater Saint Louis Area Council in 1985, but now it takes place all over the country. 

On a weekend in mid-November Scouts distribute plastic bags with instructions to fill them with non-perishable food and put them out the next weekend for pick up. After the bags are picked up the food gets sorted, packed up and delivered to local food banks. 

We've lived in our condo for three years, and I've learned that the Scouts don't deliver bags to the apartment-style building. Two weekends ago I was out walking and saw a group of Cub Scouts putting bags on front doors. Several adults were standing on the sidewalk supervising the group, and I asked them for a bag

This past weekend was the bag pick-up, but I knew that wouldn't happen. Instead, I researched drop-off locations and found out that both a local grocery store (Dierberg's) and a fast-food restaurant (Lion's Choice) were accepting bags. The closest branches of both were a little over a mile from my house, and right across Manchester Road from each other. 

I'm at Dierberg's on a regular basis, so I decided that Lion's Choice would be a nice change of pace. And as an added bonus, while I was there I treated myself to a 50-cent mini cone.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

When I bought my wallet I chose it for its size, the number of slots for cards, and the fact it had a nice window compartment for my driver's license. It wasn't until I got home and started putting my things in that I realized the license compartment was a little tight and if the card was inserted all the way in it was a struggle to remove it.

I solved the issue by trying to remember to leave the license sticking out a little bit, but every once in a while I would forget. Recently someone needed to see the card, and when they watched me struggle to get it out asked if they could show me a trick to make it easier. I agreed.

The trick couldn't have been easier. They just used a small piece of scotch tape to make a pull tab.

The tab makes it very easy to pull the license out when I need it.

 Five years ago: Does It Click?

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dance Party In The Pool

 Last night I was searching through the group fitness classes at my local YMCA when I came across something new to me - Aqua Zumba. I've taken pool-based classes and I've taken dance-based classes. I would have never thought to combine the two. I decided to sign up and see what it was all about.

The description on the app said the class:

"Combines high energy and motivating music with a mixture of body sculpting dance. Perform fun, invigorating moves while you use the resistance of water to get a cardio conditioning and body toning workout"

I showed up on the pool deck five minutes before the class started. There were several women already in the water, and another getting ready to get in. I asked her if the class required any special equipment and she said it did not. She also said it was a lot of fun.

Things started right on time. I recognized the instructor from a conventional Zumba class. She stood on the deck and demonstrated the steps as we followed along in the water. The sound track was a traditional Zumba mix of Latin and international music. The pace of the dances was slower because of the water resistance, but it was still challenging. Because of the water resistance I was able to move around easier in the pool than I would have on land. 

At the end of the class I was nicely winded and could tell I had exercised.

Clipart Library

 Five years ago: A Lovely Way To Spend A Day

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Giving Is More Rewarding Than Taking

There was once a pizza delivery driver named Sam. Every shift he would take the orders that he knew would gain him the highest tips.

Open Clip Art
One day Sam was asked to take a pizza to an address he had never been to. When he arrived he saw it was a small house with a tattered yard. Sam was disappointed, because he knew he wouldn’t make a good tip at this house.

He knocked on the door and when a man answered Sam gave the man his small cheese pizza. Just as he had expected, the man gave him only one dollar as a tip. “I’m so sorry, this dollar is all I have" said the man.

Sam was frustrated that he had driven so far for such a small tip, but what happened next surprised him. The man turned around and called his children to the door.

“Hey, kids,” said the man “Do any of you have anything we can give to this nice man for bringing us our pizza?” One by one, the man’s children stepped forward and emptied their pockets. The man handed Sam all that change.

Sam was overwhelmed by the generosity of this family. When he got back to the restaurant, Sam made three large pizzas, two large orders of wings, and three orders of bread sticks. He paid the food himself, then took all of it back to the house that he had just been to. 

When the man opened his front door and saw that what Sam had brought he burst into tears and said “I wish there was some way I could repay you for all of this!” 

“No,” insisted Sam. “In fact...” Sam reached into his pocket and pulled out the tip the family had given him. He handed the dollar and change back to the man and said, “Keep the change.”

~~Author Unknown~~

 Five years ago: A First Time For Everything

Monday, November 13, 2023


Hubby Tony had an appointment this morning to check on the status of his broken ankle. Unfortunately, the surgeon announced that it's still too swollen for surgery, so the procedure is on hold until (hopefully) next week.

It was a nice sunny day, and Tony hadn't been out of the condo since last Monday, so instead of coming straight home I did a couple of errands. Tony enjoyed sitting in the car while I popped in and out of the stores. When we got home I had a little over an hour before leaving again to head to the church to cook dinner for the priests.

After such a busy morning I wanted to put together an easy meal. Yesterday's breakfast had included waffles, and had I put the leftovers in the refrigerator. Leftovers are rarely eaten, so the waffles were my inspiration ingredient for an entree of chicken and waffles. At the grocery store I picked up chicken fingers from the deli and a bags of cole slaw mix and frozen french fries for side dishes.

At the parish office I stopped to turn in the receipts to the office and then headed to the kitchen to put the food away. I opened up the refrigerator and discovered that most of the leftover waffles were gone. Bummer!

I switched gears. Dinner ended up being the chicken and french fries, cole slaw, a small casserole of mac and cheese, and a couple of cornbread muffins I found in the freezer. At the end of the meal all of the food was gone except for some mac and cheese. As I put the casserole in the refrigerator I wondered if it would be there or gone when I showed up on Wednesday for staff lunch?

Five years ago: Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Toasty Toes

Hubby Tony can't have surgery on his broken ankle until the swelling goes down. He has an appointment on Monday morning to assess the progress, but until then he's been sitting and laying with his leg propped up on a stack of pillows.

His splint goes most of the way up his leg, but his toes are exposed to the elements. It's been a little chilly in the house, and those exposed toes were getting cold. There was no way we could get a sock over the splint, bur I found a simple pattern for an elasticized fleece cover on the internet that would work. The only problem was that I didn't have any pieces of fleece in my fabric stash.

On my way to church I stopped into a thrift store to see if they might have any remnants. They did not, but I brought home a knit sock cap. Eventually I'll put some elastic around the top but for right now it does the job.

 Five years ago: Floating And Flashing

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Don't Leaf It Alone

The temperature around here has been quitethe roller coaster....from a high of 49°F on the first day of November to a record-setting high of 84°F yesterday. 

Yesterday afternoon I walked to the bank. By the time I got home I was sweaty and out of sorts. But a front came through overnight and today both the high and low temperatures were completely normal (a high of 58° and a low of 40°).

Hubby Tony's broken ankle is causing him to stay around the house with his leg on a pile of pillows. Mid-afternoon I realized I needed a couple of ingredients for dinner and decided to walk up to the grocery and get them. I asked Tony if he needed anything while I was out. He didn't.

Today's breeze was nicely brisk. It was also strong enough to blow many of the remaining leaves off the trees. The subdivision next to ours is filled with mature trees, which meant that many of the sidewalks and yards were covered with thick layers of dead foliage.

At first I just enjoyed the crunching sound as I walked through the layers, but then I wondered how hard it would be to scoot some of the layers together to make a small pile to stomp through. Using the side of my foot. it turned out to be surprisingly easy. Thirty seconds later the leaves were moved from a couple of spots to reveal the grass underneath. When my pile was ready I tramped from one side to the other and back again. Then I continued on my errand as if nothing had happened. 

Five years ago: Arcane Ancestry

Monday, November 6, 2023

Darn It!

This past weekend was one of the four fellowship business meetings I attend each year. Hubby Tony also has a part at the spring and fall events, so Friday afternoon we drove halfway across the state to a resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Saturday the meeting started mid-morning, had a nice long break for lunch, and concluded at dinner time. The meeting resumed Sunday morning and wrapped up at noon.

Time "fell back" Saturday night, and it was nice to see brightness in the sky when I rolled out of bed. After an in-room breakfast of bagels and cream cheese Tony and I packed up our things, checked out of the room, and then stowed everything in the car. There was an hour before we the meeting started, so we decided to take a walk through the resort grounds.

This resort is built on a series of rolling hills. We picked the first street past the hotel, following it up to the top, then turned to the left. A lot of the area is still undeveloped and very peaceful. When it was time to turn back we decided to take a smaller path instead of the road. 

Halfway down the first hill Tony slipped and fell. He couldn't get up, so I walked back to the hotel for help. The desk manager got a golf cart and we drove back to the area. With the manager's assistance Tony got himself on the back of the cart and we rode back to the hotel. 

The front desk called an ambulance, who determined it would be a good idea to have the ankle looked at at the hospital. I followed the ambulance, then stayed in the waiting room while Tony went back to the emergency room. Eventually he found out he had a nasty break that would require surgery. The only good news was that the team at the hospital did a reduction on the break, then put a splint on it so Tony could go home after he had a quick lesson on using crutches.

Back at home, Tony managed to get up to the second floor of our condo building by sitting backwards on the steps and lifting himself up each. When he reached the condo I could tell he was beat. He spent the rest of the day on the recliner couch with pillows on the footrest to keep his foot elevated. Eventually he moved to laying on the bed with the same pillows.

This morning he called a surgeon's office right when they opened, and got an appointment for later in the day. Between seeing the doctor, getting diagnostic tests done, and having a new splint put on, we were there for several hours. Surgery can't be scheduled until the swelling in Tony's foot goes down, so we have our fingers crossed that we have happened  by next week's doctor visit.

Five years ago today: The End Is Here

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Beware of Spell Check

I've seen this poem floating around for quite a few years. Depending on which website you refer to, it was written by either Jerrold H. Zar, Margo Roark, Martha Snow, Bridgid Patrick, or Anonymous. If you have more definite information I'd appreciate if you'd share it so I can attribute appropriately.

Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer

I have a spelling checker.
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight four it to say
weather eye am wrong oar write;
it shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
it nose bee fore two long,
and eye can put the error rite;
it's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye ran this poem wright threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
such soft wear four pea seas,
and why eye mussed brake in two verse
buy which eye hope too pleas.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when I rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
And now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flair,
Their are no fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a ware.
Beecuz uv yoosing chequers
hour spelling mite decline,
and if we're lacks oar have a laps,
we wood bee maid too wine.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

 Five years ago: Don't Let The Bedbugs Bite

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

It's Good To Laugh At Yourself

You may remember that Wednesday is the day I cook lunch for the priests and office staff at a Catholic church. 

This has been a light work week. Monday morning I received a text from the associate priest, telling me that since the pastor wasn't available for dinner I didn't need to come in.

Because I wasn't there to do the advance work for Wednesday's meal, on Monday evening I went to the grocery store close to my house to see if I could find a lunch inspiration ingredient. The discount cooler had packages of ground chicken. A Google search for recipe ideas suggested I could use it to make white chicken chili.

The ground chicken was going to expire that day, meaning it would have to be used immediately or frozen. It didn't make sense to freeze it on Monday, then take it out to thaw on Tuesday, so I decided to do a little prep work at home by browning the meat in the oven before I froze it. 

Back at home, I started preheating the oven, then logged in using the online time clock system. When the meat was cooked I dumped it into a colander to drain off the fat, then transferred it to a freezer bag before I logged out.

 Last night I dumped dry navy beans into a Tupperware pitcher and added water so they could soak overnight.

In addition to Sundays, Roman Catholics in the United States observe six holy days of obligation. One of them is All Saints Day on November 1st, which made this morning extra busy. I packed my things in the car and left the house early for mass, then drove to the grocery store by the church where I purchased the rest of the ingredients for lunch (canned mild green chilies, chicken broth, a bunch of cilantro, sour cream, a bag of tortilla chips, lettuce mix and tomato for salad, and some Halloween-themed brownies for dessert from the clearance section).

When I turned into the church parking lot there were just a few cars visible. I parked in my normal spot, started walking up to the door, then saw a sign taped to the office door that said that the office was closed because of the holy day!

 I know that the church I attend is always closed on holy days, but because I wasn't there on Monday, somehow I didn't make the connection. Silly me!

 I drove back home and looked at all of my ingredients. Fortunately my frozen chicken was still rock hard and I threw it back in the freezer. I put the beans in a pot with fresh water and cooked them. Once they were cool I moved them back in the pitcher and put that in the freezer. 

All of the perishables went into the refrigerator. The produce won't last for a whole week, so we will use it up and next week I will personally purchase replacements. I briefly thought about freezing and reusing the dessert, but it would look a little silly to have something with a Halloween theme long after the holiday so I guess Hubby Tony and I will have to use those up too. 🤣