Monday, March 23, 2015

It's gonna be....

.....a long day.  New floor in bathroom and vapor barrier under house.  Sigh.

Friday, March 20, 2015

So, sorry.

As you know I'm in the process of (not just thinking about) but actually putting my home on the market (AGAIN).  My new Realtor is 100 degrees different from my first and most of my time is spent working on the house getting it ready to put on the market, hopefully late next week.  As a result I have very little time for work, or for writing, or for even finding time to eat what with people in and out of my house at all hours.

As for my blog it has been badly neglected.  I hope you will bear with me and continue to check for a new entry.  I will be back, I promise.  In the meantime I'm trying to keep my wits about me, I think I'm doing pretty well...mostly...oh, there are times I'm reduced to a puddle of tears but I pick myself up, dry myself off and carry on.

I've come to believe moving goes much better when you are younger, although the stress is exactly the same, youth seems to float with the current, while I on the other hand want to reach out for a branch and hang on.

What an adventure.  I will keep you posted as I have the time.  Thanks for hanging on with me to my precarious branch I appreciate it more than you know.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Where has the time gone?

After being thrown into such a tizzy last week over the fact I have been out of high school for 60 years I have lost all track of time.  Frankie says I've been "bouncing off the walls"...her words not mine.

Actually she's right. I'm getting closer and closer to making that 'big change' in my life and some days I'm really upbeat and ready, while some days my heart flutters and I find I want to breathe into a paper bag.  I'm glad Frankie is here, she's the yin to my yang.

Over the last couple of years I've been reading my I-Ching and horoscope and the particular website I visit has been pretty darn accurate in keeping me grounded.  Seriously, it's as though they know me on a personal basis and after I check out my daily read I often sigh with relief.  Take today's reading:

"The good news is that you are on the receiving end of more encouragement now than you dreamed possible. However, the bad news is everyone seems to have an agenda that's different from yours. You would love to embrace their support, but you don't want to alter your plans for any reason. Although there's no quick solution to this dilemma, it's best to graciously accept the assistance rather than to fearfully push it away. Thankfully, the full story will come out sooner than you expect, clearing the air once and for all."

Considering the changes I want to make for myself and my little family, today's reading has some mysterious connotations I don't quite understand...yet.  I feel as though I'm about to start a boulder rolling down a steep hill and envision that boulder bouncing out of control hitting trees, road signs, other boulders as it picks up speed careening to the bottom of the hill.  I'm running as fast and hard as I can behind it screaming "Look out!"  "Get out of the way!"

Ain't I too old for this kind of nonsense?  Shouldn't I be lounging in the sun somewhere feet up, with some kind of exotic drink that has an umbrella and wedge of pineapple floating on top?  Sigh.

I guess not.  Instead I'm thinking about selling my home and moving into a retirement community where somebody will take care of me, Frankie, Zorro and CC as well.

Frankie's standing here looking over my shoulder, leaning against my chair causing it to shudder. She says I'm not chasing the boulder...I am the boulder.  She's the one screaming "Look out!"  "Get out of the way!"  See, I told you she's the yin to my yang.  I think I'm going to let her be in control.

Meantime, I'll try to take it day by day and let my future unfold however it should.  As my reading said this morning.  "Thankfully, the full story will come out...sooner than you expect"  Let's hope I'm up to the challenge.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Well, that's depressing!

I enjoy my trek to my mailbox every day, I don't care what the weather is, I simply look forward to whatever surprise lies within...usually.  I like glossy catalogs, local mailers with coupons and yes, I confess even bills (most of the time).  Zorro enjoys the jaunt out to the mailbox as well and bounds up and down the front yard next to the curb. 

I frequently put the mail on the front stoop and spend a little time pulling weeds or perhaps trimming a shrub or two.  It's the kind of exercise that's good for my soul.

Yesterday the trip was not as delightful as usual.  There was one piece of mail and before I pulled it from the dark interior of the box I could tell it was not a catalog, local mailer or even a bill. This appeared to be (hold on to your boot straps) an actual letter, the envelope had actual handwriting on it.  Be still my heart.

I recognized the return name and address; it was of an old friend.  Uh-oh I think to myself, this can't be good news.  Heart pounding and breath quickening I hastily and messily ripped the envelope open.  I wish I hadn't bothered.  The letter started thusly.

"Dear Friends,

We graduated from high school 60 years ago!!!  Amazing!!"

(Gasp, cough, sputter, cough, choke, choke, gasp, sputter, sputter.)

"Our celebration will be on Saturday, September 12."

By now I had sunk, actually slunk into the corner of my sofa, rapped my arms around my legs and went into shock.  60 years!!!  60 years!!! How the hell did that happen???  NOOOOOOO!!!!!!  60 years is for old people.  I'm not old people!  Maybe my classmates are...but I'm NOT old people.

I was in a tizzy.  I could feel a panic attack coming.  I dial my sister...answer, please answer.

Ring.

Ring. (Please be there.)

Ring! (Heart beating faster.)

Ring!!! (AHHHHHH!  Pick up!  Pick up!)

She finally answered her phone.  Oh, I laid it on thick; I tried to get her to tell me this was some kind of horrid error.  Surely, goodness and mercy I could not be out of school for (gulp) 60 years.  Please, please tell me this is not true.
She could not.

Eventually I calmed down enough to become coherent and after we reminisced for a while I was able to accept the fact the years have flown by. But accepting the fact I've been a graduate for sixty years is pretty overwhelming.  I can't help thinking about the woman in the commercial saying she didn't need one of those emergency buttons and says "They're for old people."  Surely the same holds true for my class reunion in September.  It is definitely for "old people".

Am I going to attend?  No.  I've done all the traveling I have ever wanted to do in my lifetime.  Plus, it is simply no fun flying any more, just going through the airport is more trouble than the trip is worth.  I'll be there in spirit though, and will look forward to follow up letters regarding who did attend, what they are doing, and where they are now.  


After yesterday's shock imagine how I'm going to react five years from now when I get another letter telling me the 65th reunion is about to happen.  Oh, brother, maybe...if the Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise...and I'm still in my right mind...I might go, just to see who's out living me.








Hummm, de, dummm.

I told Frankie I couldn't think of anything to write this morning.  She gave me a look. I'm not sure how to explain it, it was sort of like 'You've got to be kidding.', and 'What? You speechless'.  Then, without a word she turned and walked away.

Well, so much for support and caring.

Maybe I'll just ramble and see what tumbles out of the old noggin'.

Here's news.  My house was so warm this morning I didn't have to turn on any heat, the last time that happened was probably mid-November.  Funny thing is, I didn't realize I had not turned it on until I was halfway through my exercise program when I realize I'm starting to perspire and go to turn the heat off.  It must be close to spring.

My friend who lives in South Africa is in the States, she messaged me yesterday asking for my phone number as she is going to be here in Oregon next week.  I'm hoping she'll have a little time to come see me, but since she not going to be here long I'll be delighted with a simple phone call.  I do love that woman.

Speaking of phones.  Mine went berserk night before last.  I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend in PA, when the phone went dead.  I hate that I sit there for several seconds shouting hello, hello, helloooo, hellllooooooooooooo even though I know nobody is there.  I tried to call my friend back but got a busy signal and I figured she was trying to call me so I hung up.  I did not get a call-back.  I tried to dial her again, but instead of a dial tone I got beeping.  Uh-oh, that's not good, I thought perhaps she had not properly hung up her phone and the line was still open so I moved on to other things.  I knew eventually she would discover the problem and everything would be hunky-dory again.  In the meantime I moved on to other things.

Little did I know I was also without Internet access.  Well, that just sucked.  I went to bed grumbling and lay there contemplating how I would clear up this mess.  I had several scenarios in mind none of which appeared to have a simple solution.  I slept fitfully.  Guess what? When I awoke and tried to use the phone, all was well.  I gave The Man Upstairs a great big 'thank you' for that.  In conclusion, I guess my server was at fault...sometimes it's not good to be 'bundled'.

Then, yesterday I was getting ready for Bible study when I got a call my study partner was not going to be able to come.  Geeze, all my dusting and vacuuming was for naught.  Oh well.  We are going to study on Friday instead...I hope she does not think I'm going to dust and vacuum again....LOL.  I'll just walk around and give the furniture a good huff and puff, what dust blows off will have to do.

Finally, I'm still working on standing erect without using my hands for support. Sometimes it is quite easy while other times I simply can't get my butt off whatever seat I happen to be in.  I can't figure out what makes the difference.  Maybe I'm not concentrating hard enough.  However I'm not about to give up, it is getting more easy day by day.

Oh, remember I told you some time ago Bobby, my shield bug died?  Since the weather has been so wonderful I've had windows and doors open, and another bug somehow got into the house.  I didn't realize it until night before last when I was in bed working a crossword puzzle and I heard a bzzzzz.  I look down and there's a shield bug on my blanket.  Well, I don't mind one camping indoors over the winter, but it's time to start a family so no loitering allowed.  I scooped the rascal up, opened the front door and gently placed him on the stoop.  Silly bug.

There you have it, this is just a bunch of Ramblings of an Old Woman.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Beep, beep...look out world!!!!!


Last night I was watching a show on BBC America called "Mud, Sweat and Gears". Of course it's a show dealing with automobiles.  I get a real kick out of shows dealing with cars.  This one (I think) is pretty new and I was immediately hooked.  It involves two teams of three people pitted against each other.  They have to soup up clunkers and have to try to get their cars to survive three extreme tests. The car that loses gets blown up at the end of the show.

Anyway...last night as the show began, one of the teams happened to have close by a very strange looking car, and the presenter (the BBC word for host) was explaining to his team what the car was. It was one of the Google Mapping Vehicles.  I was fascinated.  It was white and bright green and had this humongous 'thing' on the roof that held cameras which apparently could take pictures in the round.  These vehicles have been going round the world, making a visual Atlas.

I use Google Maps a lot; I'm curious and want to see where people I know live.  And, after seeing one of Google's mapping vehicles I now understand how they got the pictures of intersections...the cameras mounted like a monstrosity on the roof of the vehicles simply panned around it in a constant and very smooth way.  Awesome!  But, here's the thing. How did I not see this vehicle when it was on my street?  It must have stopped at my intersection, stayed there for at least a minute, panning, before moving further up my street.  Seriously...it drove past my house...how did I miss that?  I'm quite aware this happened because I've been on Google Maps many, many times and I've seen my house.
 
Matter of fact, I've been many places using Google Maps check out places I've lived over the years and have seen them all except for one.  As close as I could come to that particular one is a few blocks away where I can see that intersection quite well.  I'd have never recognized it if I'd been dropped there by some alien vessel but thanks to Google Maps I would now.

What's fascinating about all of this is how small the world has become, and how close Google Maps can get me to where you live.  I can see your residence starting from outer space, zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in again until I can see your driveway, your car and almost peek in your living room window.  Is this an invasion of your and my privacy?  I suspect so.  I've been told there's a way to remove your home from the mapping, but I figure what's the use in that I'm sure Realtors already have it recorded in their records and I'm sure my County Tax Assessor's office does, too.

Shoot, once more I've digressed.  What this blog is really about is the Google Mapping Vehicles and how clever Google engineers, researchers and scientists were to come up with the whole system of mapping the world; it boggles my mind.  If you've never had the opportunity to discover these maps, you should.  It is amazing. The program is very easy to use and it will take you just about anywhere in the world you will probably never be able to go, and give you the next best thing to actually walking up to and knocking on your friend's or family's front door.  Try it, you’ll love it.

I'm very sorry I missed the mapping of my neighborhood, street and house.  Had I known Google was going to do that I would have stood in my front yard and waved to the world.  Imagine my image standing at my curb for the whole world to see, waving forever and ever, and ever.

Image result for google mapping vehicles

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vog???

Last week while checking one of my daily 'bookmarked' web sites I noticed a new word in the body of the copy.  It's a NASA website that everyday shows wonderful pictures of the planet we live on. Some days the pictures blow my mind.

Anyway, last week one of the pictures used the word 'vog', describing what looked like fog in the picture.  I figured it was probably a typo which is something I'm very familiar and let it go at that.

Then this morning the picture was of the Hawaiian Islands from space and superimposed on it was the word 'vog'.  Now I'm very curious what the heck is 'vog'? I scroll down to the article hoping I might discover what 'vog' is.  This time I got lucky.  First, it's not a typo. It is an actual something.

According to the article, 'vog' is a haze that is a combination of fog, smog and volcanic gas...in other words pollution.  According to the (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory) "Vog is scientifically defined as “a visible haze comprised of gas and an aerosol of tiny particles and acidic droplets, created when sulfur dioxide and other gases chemically interact with sunlight and atmospheric oxygen, moisture, and dust.”"  Wow, that sounds awful.

I decided to check my dictionary, which was published in 1999 to see if the word was listed there, it wasn't.  I'm not sure why, but that surprised me.  So I decided to delve into this vexing word 'vog'.

It is mentioned in Wikipedia, but strictly from a scientific observation. I wanted to know its origin. Of course this can't be 100% substantiated, but I learned there are at least two possibilities. One is that a Hawaiian Teruo 'Buddy' Watanabe coined the word as far back as 1965, while the other states Reginald "Reggie" Okamura used the word sometime during the mid 1980's.  I guess it doesn't matter who coined the word or when, apparently 'vog' has become a serious problem in Hawaii not only causing polluted skies but health issues as well.  So much for paradise.

I'm beginning to think there is no such place as paradise, some places have smog, some places have fog and now Hawaii has 'vog'.  I guess no matter where we live on this gigantic blue marble problems arise everywhere and maybe we need to work on the ones in our own little corner of it. It's time we had better do something...it's almost too late.