Saturday, July 14, 2018

Finding the Mute Button

Lately, social media and the news make me feel like....


Okay, except for the nice "average citizen" in England yesterday 
who told an NPR reporter during a man-on-the-street-interview,
 "We actually love Americans.  We love all of you... but one."

So today, think I'll take a break.  Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

In Honor of George Washington and his friends

Today makes me want to give a standing ovation to the only U.S. President who was voted in unanimously, gave a 3 minute Inauguration speech, refused both a salary and the title of King, and gave America a good start.  

Nobody's perfect, but at least his heart was in the right place and he made decisions based on facts.  He may be the only President I wish I could've met.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Good bye my friend

In Oct. 2016, I shared how our old pecan tree, affectionately known as "The Old Gal" had barely survived a hurricane.  With the help of neighbors we got her back upright March 31, 2017.  Read about it here.

This spring, half of her sprung to life.  The right side, which had dug into the ground as if tunneling away from the storm, never did completely heal.  About a month later, Hubby noticed something odd.  Sawdust. Coming out of the tree.  Hubby looked chagrined and said something about wood boring beetles.

I nodded.  And felt slightly queasy.  Yet I, she of hope-springs-eternal, believed the rest of the Old Gal would triumph.  I'll admit to talking to her when I take the dog out or just before getting in my car to go to work.  

Sadly, even hope and TLC can't always save a tree.

Last week, the side with cute green leaves slowly turned brown.  And yep, we found sawdust coming out of the "good" side. She's still tall, but she's no longer proud.


As I sat on the steps last night, the dog wandering around watering the lawn, I'll admit a few tears fell.  After all, I'm the one who always told people, "We bought the tree and the house came with it."  The fact that a buzzard likes to roost on the top branch seems like insult to injury.  So yeah, I yelled at him last night to get the hell out of my tree!  The bird stared at me...the dog stared at me...and I yelled at the bird again until he flew off.  He circled round to come back but I stared at him so hard, he changed his mind.

That's when I saw it.

Hubby told me that at the base of the Old Gal is one of her "children" which has sprung up.  We will dig up that kid and nurture her until time to plant next year.  Yes, right in the same spot.  For now, the Old Gal will be my living lightning rod and will remain standing until at least summer is over.

Hubby said he hopes that some day, 300 years from now, someone looks up at a huge pecan tree out front and wonders where she came from.  In fact, he even said we should put everything in a journal so that someday, when we're dead and gone, whoever lives here will know she put up a good fight....and left a piece of herself behind.  That way, she really can live forever.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Remembering Dad

While I was doing Family Tree research on a newspaper website during my vacation, I came across this article I'd written about my Dad.   They printed it the week before Father's Day and I framed a copy, which he kept in his office...and made everyone read.   He's been gone since 1995 but I can STILL hear all those sounds.  Thanks Dad...memories do last longer than socks, ties or underwear.  ;)

If anyone wants to actually read it, let me know and I'll send you the pdf file.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Oh dear, Blog....part 2

Okay, so I thought it was smooth sailing after the alarm was fixed last Monday.  After all, no more false alarms and water was staying in the pipes rather than imitating bubbling, natural springs.  About the worse thing was Alarm Tech #2 telling Hubby that Tech #1 had no business making quotes on an updated system, as that's why they have Salesmen.

My dear Blog, never let your guard down when it comes to mechanical things.

Two days later I was at my desk when my cell phone rang.  I glanced at the screen and it said, "Alarm Company".  Puzzled, I answered and the woman began in that soft, soothing tone, "This is your alarm company.  We've received a silent panic alarm at your residence and we've been unable to reach your husband.  Law enforcement has been notified."

In my head I heard, "WHAT!?!?!"

Instead I said politely,"Thank you.  I'll try to reach him myself."  She thanked me and we hung up.

Inside my head, I told my own silent panic alarm to back down.  It quivered silently. This was a first.   We've never had a silent panic alarm go out.  You see, I'm number 4 on the list of numbers to call.  That means they'd tried the house, Hubby's Shop and his cell phone with no luck.  Now the man is as bad as a teenager when it comes to his cell phone...I'm not sure he ever turns it off.  Taking a deep breath to give internal panic something else to do, I began calling numbers.  

Home.  No answer.  Casually left message, "Hey, what's going on?  Alarm company called me and you have help on the way."  Cell phone....left same voice message.  Hey, maybe he's in the Shop since the Alarm Salesman's suppose to show today to upgrade our system.  Sure it's before opening time, but that's when he'd want a salesman there.  No answer.  Wow, that must be some sales pitch.

Round two.  Call the house.  No answer.  Well, considering what time it is, he's probably in the shower.  But just in case....call Cell phone and Shop.  Nothing.

Ten minutes have passed.  Round three.  Call house.  Nothing.  Leave message in a more urgent tone, "Silent panic alarm went off.  Where are you?"  Cell phone....didn't even bother to leave message.  Shop phone...,"I don't know what's going on, but I'm on my way home!"

This would probably seem like a good plan if I lived in the same town I worked.  There's over 20 miles between home and office.  But something was off.  And being the always prepared girl scout that I am, inside an evil whisper noted, "What if his hip went out and he fell...and used the key fob alarm to summon help?  Obviously he's nowhere near a phone."

So I calmly call our Main office and explain as quickly as possible that I'm concerned something might have happened to Hubby and I would ask my Tai Chi class to leave.  The Office Manager later told me I was so calm that she didn't realize how serious it was until I called back later.  Gave same explanation to class and they hustled out the door, content to finish outside while threatening me if I sped.

Hey, I actually put my car on cruise control so I didn't get a lead foot.  As I silently, then loudly, cursed the truck 4 vehicles ahead of me doing 35 mph on a road with nothing but curves, I tried one more round of calls.  Nothing.  I then called Hubby's pal, who's with the responding department, in hopes he could at least go check until either a Deputy or I arrived.  His phone just rang...and rang...and rang.  I didn't hear a voice mail prompt, so I hung up.  Clear of the idiot driver, I was ready to test hyper speed when the phone rang.

Hubby.

And I answered with a sweet, loving, "Where the hell are you!?  And are you okay?"
By the time he finished explaining, I feared we'd both get arrested for murder.

Turns out Bourbon the Lab, lover of all things wet, had found a mud puddle.  So Hubby left the cell phone in the house to give the dog a bath.  Then another Alarm Tech, (#3) pulled up to upgrade our system.  Salesman never showed but Hubby just figured someone got their wires crossed and assumed we wanted the upgrade as soon as possible.  He put the dog in the house, but didn't grab his phone.  The machine in the house is the only one we've ever had that doesn't BEEP when there's a message.  

Hubby was standing in the yard with Tech #3 when a Sheriff's Deputy pulled up.  Hubby was puzzled, even more so when the Tech checked his watch and said, "10 minutes.  Not a bad response time."

When Hubby questioned that, the mystery was solved.  Tech #3 said, "Oh, I activated the silent panic button to see what the response time for local law enforcement was.  That was pretty good."   

Thankfully Hubby knew the Deputy.  As the officer walked up, Hubby asked the Tech why he hadn't been informed of the test.  The Tech insinuated this was more "real".  It was then Hubby discovered that the Tech hadn't even called the Alarm Company!   Which is when he dashed back into the house to find messages from me that went from everyday jovial to borderline panic.

I think Hubby chewed the kid out...in front of the Deputy.  I went one step further and wrote the phone company.  We've done business with them for 38 years and they're great!  But they contract this type of work out.  You don't know you have idiots working for you if no one mentions it.  I sent a copy to the Sheriff too, with a cover letter thanking him for the quick response time that none of us had known was coming.  He's a new sheriff and things have improved on his watch.  Thought he should know I recognized that.

So Blog, if you don't mind, I'm gonna try and live the rest of the week in as boring a fashion as I can.  Next time we'll have a fun chat.  I promise.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Dear Blog

I haven't deserted you.  Really.  I think about you often.  And fondly.  Truth is, sometimes 24 hours isn't long enough to get everything done. Don't give up on me.

You see, I'm a little sleep deprived at the moment.  The alarm went off Saturday morning at 1:30 a.m. with sirens loud enough for my friends to the north and across the pond to hear.  That meant Hubby's shop had been breached.  Note to self: when startled awake at the sound of emergency sirens, plant BOTH feet on the floor as you exit the bed.  One foot landings make the carpet runners next to the bed turn into surf boards.  Your left hip would like to advise that pinching the sciatic nerve does not catch criminals.  The good news was: no break in.  The bad news was the alarm then proceeded to malfunction and scream at 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.. 

Oh, did I mention Hubby walked out the door Saturday morning to discover the water gurgling from the ground wasn't a broken garden hose.  It was neither a hose nor a sudden "natural spring".  It was the pipe from pump house to house.  It created a small lake that made taking our chocolate lab Bourbon outside an impossible mission: he wondered why we kept going out the front door.  He's never met a puddle he doesn't want to embrace.  Stomp in.  Plop down and roll around in.

So that's one call to the Alarm folks, one call to the plumber.   The alarm guy comes that afternoon and fixes everything.  The plumber evidently was secluded in an unknown location.  Not just any plumber...a friend of Hubby's.  I feel nauseous and suddenly there is a sword running from butt, down my left leg and shooting out my ankle.  Next call to Mom: to tell her taking her out to lunch for Mother's Day has been postponed.  My ego officially hits the floor as our household's unofficial "theme song" plays in my head.  It's from an old t.v. show called "Hee Haw" and yep, it was as country cheesy as it sounds..  Evidently both of our Dads liked the stupid show because we both know it.  The song goes, "Doom, despair and agony on me.  Deep dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.  Doom, despair and agony on me."  (Even in my head, this is sung in a depressed, twang so southern Scarlett O'Hara would sound like a Yankee).    I apply ice and hope for the best.

Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. the alarm awakes us from a dead sleep by chirping like a mocking bird on steroids.  Something has gone awry.  I've talked to the nice lady, Pam, at the alarm response center so many times I feel like I should put her on my Christmas list.  She is amazed that I sound so cool.  Well, I was a Dispatcher once and I know if you talk slow, your voice won't jump five gears to the point you sound like Alvin the Chipmunk.   Plus, I've spent quite a bit of time on ice that day. 

Hubby cooks chicken to take to his Mom's as all three of his siblings are at her house for Mother's Day.  I send my regrets and grab an ice pack.  I knew she'd understand.  Not because I married the only boy in the family or because I can always be counted on. Nope, bad backs run in their family and she's had enough back surgery to feel sympathy for me.  Hubby comes back home later with enough food to feed an army.  Then the plumber calls.

Evidently, third time's the charm.  I get home Monday to hear that the alarm has been properly fixed.  I say properly because it turns out that the nice young man who seems to bathe in cologne, had fixed the wrong parts, therefore confusing the radio signals, which is why things were chirping and complaining.  The plumber showed up.  Natural spring gone.  Bourbon, however, found the new watering hole.  Hubby came around the corner and said the dog looked like he was made of mud.  He got a bath.  Hubby probably got high blood pressure and wet.

So my dear Blog, things have been coming at us hot and heavy.  Thankfully my body comes with a self adjusting mode: I can turn back and forth to make my back snap into it's God given position.  Nerve un-pinched, now just sore.  You know it's pretty bad when you can get on your own nerves.

Don't worry blog.  Think of it as you've been on vacation and now you can tell me all about it.  At least you don't have a theme song or the problems of the every day lowly human.  Be thankful.

NOTE: Oh man, I found the silly thing!  It even sounds depressed.