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Saturday, January 31, 2015
...in the produce dept. today. Standing in one place for four hours. Doing the demo. as a warm up for the football game tomorrow. I think it will be something really lame like baby carrots and ranch dip. I hope I will think about the last time I did this: standing for hours and hours. When I was practicing my balancing - got up to thirty seconds of being able to stand on one foot. Counting: oneMississippi, twoMississippi, threeMississippi, etc., etc.. And thinking about my granddaddy Benson.

When I was a kid, and he was making jokes -something that he did a lot, loved to tease. He would ask if we could spell that word, for the state and river. For a little person, it is a long word, and fairly difficult to spell, with all those duplications. So he would say: 'Oh, you know how to spell that: it's just big M, then little eye, then crooked letter, crooked letter, another eye, crooked letter, crooked letter, eye, hump-back, hump-back, eye.'

 I remember being completely baffled. Looking at him in wonder and astonishment. But eventually understood what he was saying, and cannot spell the word to this day without thinking of him. 

Now, when I am driving, arriving at an intersection with a stop sign, I apply the brake. I am trying to remember to come to a complete, total stop. Make myself count three seconds: oneMisssisippi, twoMississippi, threeMississippi, smiling to myself as I think of my grandpa. While I am looking to the left, to the right, and to the left again. Just like my dad taught me. Then proceed on my merry way.

thinking about doing...

... a thoroughly disliked chore. Cleaning windows. Something you really notice in this house, as most of the glass does not have anything covering it. Explaining, at least in part, why I am sitting here in: undershirt, work shirt, fleece vest, zipped up jacket, and still cold.

It has been so long (I should be embarrassed to admit, but anything is fodder for the blog) since I cleaned windows, I cannot remember when it last happened. I've been thinking about it for months (if not actual years - which, again, tells how long it has been since the task has been tackled). Every time I look out a window, covered with dust, cobwebs, trash that billows up from the 'mow-and-go' guys when they get out the leaf blowers. Makes me know it is time to get it done...

So though it does not really have an effect on cleanliness, yesterday I did get started. In a very small, but significant way. Peeling alarm service stickers off the glass. That were applied in November of 2013 after we were burgled. The house was built with wiring and an alarm system. That we rarely activated - to the point that it likely did not actually work. So after the burgling, TP had a 'friend' come and install a system that would work off a cell number. But it didn't. Due, according to the friend, to poor cell coverage in our area.

Sadly, in the months before this aggravating incident, we decided to end our land line service. Then had to go back with hat in hand to re-active to be able to use the expensive alarm system that is designed to alert a 24-7 service about intruders.  It is rarely turned on, seldom used, and generally set off by squirrels when he does activate it. I think the wind blowing might even cause it to report  suspicious activity to the service. Which will eventually cause him to have to pay for public safety coming by to check for 'alleged' wrong-doers.

I was trying to peel some of the alarm service stickers off glass. They are all over the house, and I think excessively so. But when you peel it off, only the colored part comes away, and you have to scrape, scrape, scrape, rest, then scrape some more to get the sticky part off with a razor blade. Which I was doing yesterday.

TP commented that he believed the warning stickers: 'This property protected by..." would dissuade would-be burgling.  Highly unlikely - as they could be in-and-out before the black-and-white shows up. They only took things they could put in their pockets when they busted in the front door in 2013. Sadly: we now have nothing of value. But that would  not stop someone having a desire to grab-and- run from thinking we're an excellent target.


...no, not quite yet. But I am starting to feel hopeful. Due to seeing some of the dozens of hyacinths planted out in the yard beginning to show color. I was digging a little hole in that expanding flower bed across the front of the house yesterday to plant several narcissus/paper-white bulbs. The ones that came (overpriced) from the Ace Hardware store in Decatur, given to me to 'force' in the dark, cold months when we can't even begin to hope for longer daylight hours, the promise of new life. I'd put a couple in a narrow vase, near a window to try to encourage - they did bloom. But the others were in the bottom of the 'fridge, with 'not onions' written all over the paper bag, and just never had a chance to put on growth and make fragrant flowers.

So I took them out yesterday, dug a little hole near the fence, and put them in the ground. They were already trying to grow - some wee little sprouts of green peeking out of the tops of the bulbs. And when I was out there, I saw several hyacinths, not even three inches tall. But wanting to bloom so desperately, all those little flower buds along the stems trying to come up out of the dark were opening: white, lavender, pink. Determined to do what their DNA was programmed for: be one of the earliest signs of spring.

So I thought: hmmm, I believe I should go inspect the forsythia plants, as they are one of the things you notice when everything else is bare, drab, colorless. But no blooms yet. Those are the ones that grow into huge bushes, completely barren of leaves in the winter, then suddenly you see this huge clump of brilliant yellow blooms. Tiny, smaller than your thumbnail, but hundreds of wee little bright blossoms, looking like a swarm of butterflies.

"Impossible", you say, "here in these cold days of winter?"  But eye-catching and startling in their brilliant 'school bus' shade of yellow. Sorry - not yet, but if it continues to be warm and sunny for the near future, I expect to start seeing forsythia putting on a show in the next week or two. If you might want to start some in your yard, let me know? I have lots and lots, and would love to share. It could become a mission: spread forsythia cheer over all the planet to have everyone smiling when they catch a glimpse of the unexpected brightly blooming shrub, turning SAD dull dispositions into smiles.

on this fine winter day...

Friday, January 30, 2015
.. a bit windy, but bright and sunny and pleasant, I was out walking. Time on my hands, plus trying to walk several miles every day I am not on my feets in the retail world. When out there on the north side of town, in the shopping area, with lots of well known stores from Haverty's Furniture to Hobby Lobby.  Nearly a mile from one to the other, along the strip where places like Old Navy, Sears, BedBath&Beyond, eateries, multiplex movie theaters are located.

While I was burning calories, and putting in the time, I encountered a friend who is on staff at church. With his wife and two small blond girls. One of the little ones had some birthday money so they were headed towards Toys-R-Us. We stopped and spoke on the side walk, in front of the store, and I told them: about how my girls, when little, would beg to go to there. Not especially to make a purchase, but to look at Barbies. Hold, admire, inspect every Barbie in the store. Willing to devote hours to all the Barbie accessories ever invented. Houses, cars, boy-friends, little sisters - all things Barbie. I would agree to go, and just getting in the store must have been it's own reward. I don't recall being pestered to make a purchase, though I am sure if they had money to spend, it quickly evaporated once we got in the store.

What I do remember is being so unwilling to go, and devote my time to the interminable wait while they lusted after all things Barbie that it was a huge deal when we went. And only if I had something to read to stave off boredom. So I could sit, on that hard linoleum floor, and read my book. While away the time while they were completely engrossed in examining every outfit of every color, and every imaginable accessory stamped with Barbie.

highly amusing...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
... a little blurb I heard on the radio last week. When I was driving to Valdosta, in that time of day when there is nothing worth listening to on public radio. So I was scrolling through the FM stations, trying to pick up something that was not full of advertising. It was mostly preaching or (at the other end of the scale) rap/mysoginistic stuff  that made me think I would enjoy the silence.

But this ad. came on, from some commercial outfit in south GA, I don't even recall what they were trying to sell. But it was so funny, I laughed out loud.. The voice on the radio said:

"If you are from the north, all the stories will start with 'once upon a time', but when you live down south, the first thing you will hear, after the screen door slams,  is: 'Hey, Y'all! You ain't never gonna believe this'..."

just a bit of FYI...

Monday, January 26, 2015
...for anyone who lives on plastic. Which is most everyone I know, and probably the majority of the people in the civilized parts of the world. Those same people who think the world will come to an end if they don't continually have the cell phone within arm's reach, and promptly check every incoming message.

Here's an update on that awful, horrible, aggravating, irritating, annoying experience with the useless credit card in TN on Saturday. After it was denied the second time, and I called again, talking to a service rep., then her supervisor, who said 'you can't talk to My supervisor. She will not accept incoming calls.' If you want, I can give her your number and she will call back in 24-48 hours. So I said: 'Great! Please do that'.

Well... she didn't. She did call me back as I was leaving work at nearly eight o'clock tonight, well past the forty eight hour mark. Obviously taking care of all the little inconsequential 'to do' things on her list before making a call to a thoroughly irate customer.  I told her how surprised I was that the original call to resolve the issue, with me paying the entire balance on the credit card was insufficient to allow me to effectively swipe the card as payment. Her prissy response: 'that's not something we routinely do - tell customers that their cards are no good'. Of course not: who wants to listen to a response about  that from fuming, frustrated credit card users? On the phone, but so upset you could almost see the steam coming out of their ears, like cartoon characters....

She asked me if I had questioned the original rep. to inquire if I could use the card. Of course not: why would I have paid it off in full, and think it would not swipe? It never occurred to me to ask, or consider the possibility that I would  agree to paying the full amount of the balance and still not have a functioning card.

So I said: 'Who can I talk to about this?' She gave me the name and mailing address for the company president. Oddly enough, the address is for a town in TN, where this unraveling fiasco started.

Who I wrote a polite, well-worded letter to and will expect a 'form letter' as a response. Saying We are So Sorry You had a problem. And if there is anything we can do in the future, please let us know.
Which brings up my original statement about this: Well, @#$%.

home again...

... from my travels. Spent most of the morning helping with some routine housekeeping tasks. The sort of endless things that happen in homes with small children or pets: a floor that never stays clean and wash/dry cycles that seem endless. In a house with an amazing corgi that is continually shedding in massive quantities: leaving a trail of frizzly little hairs that come together due to static in little wads that roll across the floor like tumbleweeds in western states.

And, really big deal: we cleaned out all the rabbit poop in the bathtub, that has been accumulating from the bunny family that has been living in there for two weeks. Not the most fun I ever had, and sadly - by the time we got it all wiped out, and the box full of nine babies put back, the mom had started making more poo. (And pee'd before we could even get the nesting box all piled up with little ones back into the tub.)

Went to the corner chain drug store to print some photos of furniture I had taken last week when I was in south GA. If anyone out there is interested, there are some really nice pieces waiting for a good home. I am not smart enough to send the pix., but if you want a bed room, with twin beds, two three drawer chests, a night stand, and desk/shelving I would even figure out some way to deliver. Just to get it gone. Also several upholstered chairs, a beautiful hand made dining table and china cabinet.

I guess I could get my tech support to put some of the photos on here?