About Buffy

In another life I was a grade school band director. I still think of myself as a teacher despite the fact that it's been almost three decades since I was in the classroom. I've been the office for my husband's masonry company, cared for my mother for 20 years, and think of myself now as a quilter. Retirement, what retirement??!

Busy Bees

Oddly, Dear Husband has been the busiest bee here.  He gets up and starts a load of laundry, has some breakfast and then begins opening boxes.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen or watching him work.  I wondered if he would complain that it seemed I was leaving all the work to him.  I was simply stymied.  There was no place to put anything!

I opened two boxes of Tupperware and Rubbermaid items.  I had one shelf in the kitchen filled with disposable plastic boxes.  I put ALL the plastic on the counters and started matching containers with tops.  I am amazed at how much I was able to put back into the cabinet once it was organized. (I can hear my sister laughing at that! :-) )  There were  a few items I didn’t have room for, and they will be stored on shelving in the garage.  The rest went either into a box for a garage sale, or into the recycling.

We went shopping last week and finally found the shelving we needed at The Container Store.  Part of it was installed on Thursday.  We have two guest rooms on the north end of the house.  We put shelving into both bedroom closets, leaving room for hanging clothes.  I began opening boxes of china, glasses and kitchen equipment today, putting them on the new shelving.

After some discussion, we decided to buy one more section of Swedish Shelving from Williams Sonoma.  That will be set up in the small eating area past the kitchen counter.  Cookbooks, the blender, food processor and mixer will go on those shelves.  They’ll be at hand, without taking up counter space.

We’ve ordered a custom made bookshelf for the bedroom.  It’s the only bookshelf planned for the first floor other than the shelving in the kitchen for cookbooks, and is fairly large.   We need to shop for carpeting in the bedroom before that bookshelf is delivered.  And then, I hope to buy a loveseat to finish the room.

The painter has been here and painted the living room, dining room and kitchen.  In the second week of October, he’ll return to finish our bedroom and bath and paint the laundry room.  It’s all beginning to pull together.  Bit by bit.

Gratitude

Recently a friend challenged me to take the gratitude trial.  I was to list three things I was thankful for each day, for five days.  It’s a pretty small effort.  Most of us can find fifteen things for which we are grateful.  I accepted the challenge and completed it.  I passed the test on to two of my sisters and a friend.

What I found was that I have a LOT to be grateful for.  I was surprised when I started typing  my thoughts down for Facebook.  Everyone addresses this differently.  I’ve seen one word responses, such as “chocolate,” and I’ve seen paragraphs describing a mother’s love for each of her daughters. Everyone responds to this differently, but each of them must stop and think about the quality of their life before they can answer.

I’m a list maker.  I spend a lot of time listing what needs to be done, and fretting when something on the list keeps getting carried over.  I am an impatient person, and I want to resolve issues NOW!  I was surprised that many of the things for which I m grateful are those which have come to me over time: having lived to the age of 65, having three lovely grandgirls and a grandson,  having a roof over my head and a place to lay my head at night.  Yes, I like chocolate, too, but it seemed that it was the big things in my life that came to me first.

I’m fortunate to have an established exercise class which gets me up and running three days a week.  I’ve been going to that class for so long that the members feel like family to me, and I’ve taken two of my sisters, and a niece to the class. Now that Dear Husband has retired, he goes with me to class.  A dozen or so of the members babysat my indoor plants while we were between houses.  How’s THAT for friendship!

I also participate in a small group that makes  lapquilts for those in need.  I consider those ladies to be friends, too, and would do anything they need.  We only meet once a month, but we keep in touch by e-mail, and I’m astonished at how hard they work.  I love it when I see their names pop up in my mail.

I think I may continue listing three things for which I am grateful for a while. I’m interested to see where this will take me. I know it sounds a bit hokey, but I encourage you to give it a try.  You might learn something about yourself in the process!

#!$*& Squirrel

Last Thursday, I spent the better part of the day on my hands and knees planting iris from our previous home, as well as three plants my sister gave us as a house-warming gift.  I discovered that the dirt here is the pits.  It’s heavy clay filled with pebbles from house construction.  I pulled the heavy layer of mulch back, and dug holes large enough to accommodate three chunks of iris, added bonemeal and a little potting soil and nestled them into their new homes.

We left for a wedding in Cleveland the following day.  I hoped the weather would be kind to the plants because I really want to have this bit of my previous gardens follow us to the new house.

Monday night, Dear Husband was grilling our dinner and commented that some of the plants had been disrupted.  I said I’d take a look at it, and forgot about it.  The next morning, my sister was here to help unload the POD, and she said, “Look at that squirrel!  He just pulled that plant out and is rolling around with it!”   Sure enough.  It had pulled the plant right out of the ground, and when it realized it wasn’t tasty, ran off to do some more damage.

Every single plant that I had put into the ground had been ripped out!  I’ve re-planted them, but I think I need  to spray them with a red pepper spray to discourage visitors.  A friend on Facebook suggested scattering mothballs.

There was an old tennis ball in the back yard.  I thought it might have been a dog toy that came over the fence.  Now, I think it might have been for squirrel re-training.  If I’d had it nearby when I saw that miserable rodent, I would have winged it right at it!

ICQ

I have reconnected with a friend recently whom I  met in my “chatting” days, ten and more years ago.  I was very new to using the computer as social media, and friends directed me to a program called “ICQ.”   You could say that this was a fore-runner of Facebook.  You were assigned a number, and you could share it with friends if you wanted to converse electronically.

Today, as I was working in the office, going through boxes of STUFF, I came across a notebook with information including ICQ numbers and nicknames.  So, for QT, here’s a list of names that should be a blast from the past!

Ghoster, Angie, Cali, Janie, Night Stryke, BuDmaNN, Buck, FireNIce, 6 pack, birdie, Brown Eyes, Contessa, cookie monster, blackadder, Darlene, DeSade, DocH, Dr. Morpheus, Highlander, TickleMeErnie, Fantasy, Fox, hayla, Huckfinn, JeanieUK, Jet, Lady Jade, Lady Gweniver, LaLady, Lexi, Lynda, Clark Kent, Male, Me2, Mountain Man, Damm, niner9r, Ray, Ruby, Rudder, Skydyvr, son, StrawberryNcream, Stretch, Sugar, suzieq, Sylvie, tessa,Tex20, TIgress, WildCat, Rachel, and DorieNRod.

I have Ghoster, Buck, Fox and his wife, Allison, Jet, suzieq, tessa and Tex20 on Facebook.  I believe at least one of our friends on this list has passed away, perhaps more.  It’s been so long since I talked to anyone on ICQ that I don’t know if it even exists any longer.

QT, I hope these names brought you some pleasant memories.

 

Moving Day #2

Or maybe that’s Moving Day # 4.  The van lines moved us to our new home on August 4th and we have been moving things around, and in place since then.  Tomorrow, the POD company will be delivering the last of our belongings.  They will move a sixteen foot long POD onto our driveway, and we will spend the next couple of days decanting it into our garage.

Most of what is in the POD we boxed up 16 months go when we first put our home on the market.  There are at least fifty boxes of books, and two sets of china in the pod.  Beyond some kitchen things and some winter clothes, I actually don’t remember what else we will find.  THAT tells you that we should be able to part with a lot of what will be delivered.

The food processor, the blender, a very large box (or two) of yarn and the china.  Oh, and a curtain rod for one of my quilts.  That’s what I hope I’ll find!

I’ll be back when we finish the unloading.

Family Wedding

Dear Husband and I have just returned from a family wedding that was absolutely wonderful!  We traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, a place I had never visited.  More than one entire floor of a hotel was reserved for family and friends for the weekend.  Most of the visitors stayed through this morning, but we opted to return on Sunday.  We need to be ready for the last delivery of our belongings, and didn’t want to be caught in the Labor Day traffic.

The groom’s parents hosted a party following the rehearsal, Friday night.  Usually rehearsal dinners are limited to those in the wedding but this party was open to anyone who was in town for the wedding.  It was wonderful to be able to catch up with family and meet people soon to be a part of our family.  The groomsmen got together and did a humorous presentation of the groom’s life for the past six years that had everyone laughing.  They had a life-sized cut-out of the bride and groom, and moved it around the college campus and other sites to tell the story.

Saturday morning was devoted to shopping and hair appointments.  Later in the day we were shuttled to a private club for the wedding and reception.  The location was beautiful, the ceremony touching.  The entire wedding party was lovely, from the flower girls on up to the grandparents of the bride and groom!

There was a choice of sea bass or file mignon for dinner.  My favorite veggie, green beans, were served steamed, whole!  While the meal was wonderful, watching the kids dance was even better!  I’m used to seeing bodies move to music, but what was interesting about this group was that they were dancing to the lyrics!  You could see their bodies responding to certain phrases, or accenting words.  It was fascinating to watch.  It also made me wish I knew ALL the lyrics! lol  Lucky for me, there were a lot of oldies on the play list.

We rode a shuttle back to the hotel and crashed around midnight.  Sunday morning we were invited to brunch at the home of the parents of the bride.  Their gardens are fabulous!    We strolled through them before sitting down to eat and found several plants I couldn’t identify. They had TWO very functional veggie gardens, mostly blocked from view by shrubs, annuals and perennials.  What  a treat!

We chatted with our extended family, caught some hugs, and were on our way.  DH drove the entire day, letting me chat with him or read, as the mood struck.  We stopped every 90 miles or so to get out and stretch.  This time, we chose not to have a meal, which made the trip go a little faster.  Kudos to the Ohio service areas, which are exceptional!  I discovered plastic cups of strawberries to go at one kiosk, and snapped them up.

Our blessings go out to the entire family but especially to my great-nephew and his bride!  Congratulations!

Mid-Atlantic States

This morning, as I was doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, the question arose as to which state was at the bottom edge of the Mid-Atlantic states.  We weren’t sure if it was North Carolina, or Virginia.  I went to Wikipedia for information.

I was very surprised to find that New York, and West Virginia are included in the Mid-Atlantic states.  Personally I would have sent New York off with Connecticut, Rhode Island and the rest, and I see West Virginia as the lead to the Midwest.

Then I read this paragraph:

“The Mid-Atlantic is a relatively affluent region of the nation, having 43 of the 100 highest-income counties in the nation based on median household income and 33 of the top 100 based on per capita income. Most of the Mid-Atlantic states rank among the 15 highest-income states in the nation by median household income and per capita income.”

Although it shouldn’t, those statistics astonish me.  I thought the wealth of the nation was much more evenly distributed, but apparently, there are just pockets of wealth where there are large cities, such as Chicago, Denver, L.A. or San Francisco and their suburbs.

I think these statistics show that those who gravitate toward government most likely haven’t a clue about the nation’s distress.  They  live among the wealthy and probably assume that everyone has problems similar to theirs: should we buy a new BMW van for the family, or where will we go for vacation this year.

What Enron and the banks and automobile industry did to the wealthy is a far cry from what happened to those who were already living on the edge, and were hurt through the actions of others.  It’s not a question of should we buy a new car, but, can we afford a car at all.

I am no longer confident that a person who has less than several million in assets can get elected to the federal government.  I don’t know how to persuade the government that they need to focus on the issues of poverty at home, and I’m very concerned that they have eroded the financial base of the middle class.

I’m feeling very pessimistic this morning, and I’d like some good news about our government.  Does anyone have any?

Diagramming Sentences

I visited Facebook this morning and found a post by one of my nieces showing a diagram of the opening sentence of Franz Kaftka’s “Metamorphosis.”  In the post she asked if her readers remembered diagramming sentences.  I do!

Actually, I find that diagramming sentences helps to provide clarity of thought when you are writing.  I rarely do it any longer, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to resume the practice.

What astonished me was that the National Council of Teachers of English announced in 1985 that they feel diagramming is a “deterrent to the improvement of students’ speaking and writing.”  Wouldn’t you think that anything that promoted clarity in the use of language would be beneficial?

I was not an English teacher, but I disagree with their opinion.

Shades

One of the things that persuaded me to buy our “new” house was the color on the walls.  The previous owner had painted them in what I think of as “Tuscan” shades, or, mostly warm earth tones.  Of course, we looked at the condition of the house, the neighborhood, the garden, the utilities, and location, but I loved the warm colors.

I have a favorite house painter.  He painted and stained our last house, painting the entire inside at least twice.  He’s a gentleman, is pleasant to converse with, and never leaves a mess behind.  He’s generally right on time or even early, and his prices are in keeping with the state of the economy.  We’ve had a relationship for easily 25 years and he does a fine job!  Could a tradesman have a better reference than that?

The painter came yesterday to try to determine just what colors we needed to start painting the public areas of the house and our bedroom suite.  I want the house repainted, using as close to the same colors as possible.  The highest ceilings in the living room and dining room are a soft white.  In the living room the upper walls are a warmer shade.  We’ve been calling it “linen” for want of a better description.  The lower walls of the living room, and the bottom 3 1/2 – 4 feet of the foyer are an old gold, but a pale shade, rather than what you might  think of as a Renaissance “Olde Gold.”  The dining room looks like it’s been kissed by the sun, a lovely pale, pale shade of what’s in the living room, and that color continues on into the kitchen. The trim is all white, and our bedroom has white ceilings and the palest of green shades on the walls. This green is more of a mint, or related distantly to a spruce, than the yellower greens, like lime or celery.  I think that comes to five colors plus the white for the trim.

I was concerned about scheduling problems.  The painter has been on vacation the past two weeks, and will be going away again in September.  I want to look for furniture, and once the furniture is in, it will be more difficult to paint.  Lucky for me, it’s rainy and terribly humid outside today.  Our painter was rained out of an outside job, so he was able to get color samples and start the sitting room part of our bedroom.  I think we spent an hour talking with him about colors, before he went off to buy paint.

I’ll be able to look for the bookcases for the sitting room, and decide which books to keep, and then our painter will return in mid-September to finish the job.  Getting this little bit started makes me feel as though we are moving forward.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Expert

It is good to have an expert as a friend.  In this case, my friend is an expert at all things electronic.  Dear Husband has been trying to get things hooked up in the office and we’ve run into one problem after another.  He’s worked away, diligently, but some of the problems have seemed overwhelming.

So, yesterday, I sent a wail for help to My-Friend-The-Expert.  He called right away  and said that they had some time today, so we arranged for a mid-morning visit.  His wife is one of my quilting buddies. She came along for the ride and helped me to unpack my quilt fabric, while Dear Husband and MFTE worked in the office.  He got the sound to work on one computer, hooked another up to the internet resolved one mouse and one keyboard problem, made a printer recognize a third computer, and discovered why another printer was sending strange messages (it was damaged when it was delivered).  He also talked to two televisions to get the remotes to play nice.

Now, I told him that I wanted to HIRE him.  He was happy to be taken to lunch.  We went to Famous Dave’s.  I think there will be more dining out in the near future! lol

Thank God for those people who understand how all this STUFF works!