Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Think I'm there....

26 SIGNS THAT YOU'VE ALREADY GROWN UP....pretty old as Internet viral goodies go. I got as far back as 2002 without finding an author, so whoever you are? Thanks for the giggle and groan!

1. Your potted plants stay alive. In my case, that is largely because over the years I have learned which plants will tolerate being forgotten, rarely being repotted, and just about never fertilized. There are a surprising number of this kind of plant out there.

2. Having sex in a twin-sized bed is absurd. Well, I have never tried to have coitus is such a spot, but snugging works. Sleeping, alas, does not. We once took a vacation on Mexican trains, which were then maintained by the government mainly for the poor. First class was 60 seats, for which they sold about 75 tickets and kids rode free, with two bathrooms, only one of which would be working when the train started out. Second class was essentially a cattle car. We went Pullman Class, which means you get to have your own compartment with two beds, a private (and working) toilet, a little leather bladed fan that works only when the train is in motion, and about a zillion wall switches. Instructions for all of it are on the wall in English, which would be no help to most Spanish speaking folks, but didn't matter since only two of them will likely work. Different ones in each compartment. Anyway, the point of this diversion was to describe the beds, typical pull down berths (the Mexican train cars those days were all 1920-40s US RR equipment, held together by thick layers of paint) and came with specific instructions, to wit: only one adult and two children, or two adults and one child, per berth. We decided the average Mexican rail passenger must be considerably smaller than we were!

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge. Never did keep beer there. Did keep damp linen napkins and table clothes prior to ironing them. Dead Rats (a refrigerator cookie dough) and cloth covered bowls of friendship bread batter. Bag of tulip bulbs being cooled prior to planting. Oh. And the occasional petri dish of algae, or maybe a few body parts from dissection labs... Do you know, now I think on it, I never had much trouble with house guests snacking out of my fridge.

4. 6 am is when you get up, not when you go to sleep. Never an issue for me, as I was never a night owl. Only been awake all night on a few occasions: like when my son was born. And once when we spent the night in the airport at Tel Aviv, where they do not let you sleep.

5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator. Gasp! Don't you just hate that? Well, maybe if you can still remember all the words, it would be all right...........

6. You carry an umbrella. You watch the weather channel. Heh, some of the best shows on TV were on the Weather Channel, forget the weather! And generally, you can go for most of an hour before you are treated to a close up of murder being done.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hookup and breakup. Not so sure of that. Ever hear of swinging 60s? Seems to make better tax sense to hookup as a senior citizen, these days. Not going there. Two husbands are enough! Definitely have no patience with live ins in looser arrangements, or even revolving doors. Of course, I still have one of those husbands, so it is not an issue. Yet.

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 7. In whose world? I'm female. We don't get vacations! Get real, here: chores are everywhere. Only place you can be where you haven't any to speak of is a convalescent hospital...and I don't have the money for that! However, retirement has the bonus of being able to schedule when and how those chores get done...and being able to turn over and snuggle/doze off again when you wake up in the morning.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as 'dressed up.' Sure they do! And way more comfortable than heels and stockings, not to mention ties. Hey, remembering to put on some lipstick is serious dress up these days!

10. You're the one calling the police because those darn kids next door don't know how to turn down the stereo. Well, only because they can't figure out what to say to the 911 operator when Beethoven rocks the building from our place... What is more difficult to handle is those poor, deaf kids driving around with their car stereos cranked up enough to blow cows out of their lane. (Doesn't work on deer, alas. More on that another time.)

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you. Hmmmm. Shocking thing is that I am the oldest of my relatives still kicking. No, wait, I think there is one cousin still out there. None of my relatives told me that kind of joke, though there is some anecdotal evidence that I lacked the humor gene necessary to actually get the joke. My Dad used to tease me about how long it took me to get the point... But hey, is it my fault I didn't find out till college that his signature signoff as he went out the door, Hasta bananas, Buenos torpedos, wasn't Spanish?

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore. True. I've switched to A&W. Or Steak'n'Shake. Hey, a hot date these days is a bacon double cheeseburger & fries, followed by a trip to the new library (in a rare and clever example of civic planning, it's a block down the street).

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up. Former is true. Don't know about the latter, as we have not bought a new car. Last three have been used and we paid cash. (That should tell you right there how old we are!!)

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's. Not applicable. No dog. No cat. Don't wanna be the one who has to walk them in what the weather around here is all year long. And have never lived with critters larger than a Budgie indoors with me 24/7. Not sure I could take the smell. When I did have cats and dogs, they lived mostly outdoors. I did not have to clean up their poop. I did, however, make their food from scratch. I still do for my birds.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt. Hey, sitting on the couch for any length of time makes my back hurt! And my feet swell. And requires strange noises in order to hoist myself up therefrom...

16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 pm. Never did. Didn't need to stay awake late at night.

17. Dinner and a movie = the whole date instead of the beginning of one. Yep! Definitely a hot date = steak done just exactly right by dear husband, a good movie in front of the wood stove, a snuggle and some snickering (never mind the groaning when trying to get up to stagger off to bedtime). Now, if we leave home for said date, it would most likely be the afore-mentioned double bacon cheeseburger and visit to one of 17 local libraries...

18. MTV News is no longer your primary source for information. Sorry. Guess I never was that young.

19. You go to the drugstore for Ibuprofen and antacids, not condoms and pregnancy test kits. Boy, guess I was never young enough for those, either! I'm beginning to feel too old for this test.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer 'pretty good stuff.' Not applicable. Never drank wine. However, in other areas, this is very much true. For instance, not just any candy or soft drink will do, these days.

21. You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time. Nope. Not sure that I ever did after high school. Rather have leftover pizza, or steak, or chicken, than cereal. Nowadays, it is usually homemade soups, which require no thinking to pour into a bowl and nuke in the microwave. Add a home made roll or toasted bread, and there's a meal that required few working brain cells to prepare. Fixing eggs would be far too hazardous before the blood sugar is up!

22. Grocery lists are longer than macaroni & cheese, diet Pepsi and Ding Dongs. True. But Mac & cheese was never there, nor the Ding Dongs, by the time I was old enough to be making the list.

23. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again." Not applicable. But "Why did I think I could work on my taxes for 6 hours straight" and "What was I thinking, digging the sumac out of the garden; I'm not 20 any more!" are common exclamations. (The noises necessary to help sit or rise again from a chair do not count as exclamations. They are tools.)

24. Over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work. Define work... I never played games until I retired. Cross my heart. Now we are beginning a business in the virtual world, Second Life. Some people still think SL is a game, so, um, is it work if it makes a living? Scarier still: is it taxable income if it never leaves the virtual environment?

25. You don't drink at home to save money before going to a bar. Never did. But I do sometimes snack before going out to dinner with family or friends, as their taste in restaurants runs to slightly more expensive places than A&W....

26. You read this entire list looking for one sign that doesn't apply to you. True. And even the ones whose specifics didn't apply, had applicable issues at heart. Sigh.

Guess I'm going to have to figure out what I'm going to be now that I'm grown up.

But, surely, if I put it off long enough, won't I be able to get out of it??

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blast from the Past?

Yesterday I cleaned the oven. For the first time in ... decades.

No, really, apart from wiping down the shelves and door window, I have not cleaned an oven in over 30 years. We built our house in 1976, including a self-cleaning oven of the 'continuous' sort -- which meant you didn't have to use oven cleansers or the fume inducing self-clean cycle. Just keep the window clean. Then, we moved to Michigan, first to apartment with gas oven, then to apartment with brand new self-cleaning (which again, I never initiated, not being able to handle the fumes of super heated oven coating).

So having to get down on my knees and try to remember even how to go about reaching all the parts was a challenge. Found a nice, non-smelly oven cleaner (Easy Off low odor) that really does the job! And on a cold oven, so not even any hot oven fumes. Looks pretty good for a 40 year old piece of equipment, if I do say so myself...
Of course, I'm 'toast' today. This morning was so stiff I could barely move, and complaining and whiny with pain and sheer exhaustion. Couldn't figure it out. Then remembered all that time clambering into the innards, on my hands and knees, no less!

Well, no wonder I'm stiff and cranky, LOL. But maybe this will help loosen me up? Hope so, since we are continuing to live here, and I will probably need to clean it in the future..... Sigh.

Every day I'm finding new reasons to justify hiring housekeepers. Never could understand the need when I was younger....

Meanwhile, it is Spring! See? Enid's Jack-in-the-Pulpit spikes coming up:
And those little green leaves? Those are wild geranium, which I rescued from muddy tracter track and stuck in the basket with the Jacks. Next to bloom after the Spring Beauties and rue anemone, it will keep blooming for a couple months -- sometimes all the way into Fall in the garden. They last the longest of the spring wildflowers.

Are we happy Winter is behind us??*

*Obviously a rhetorical question.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Did You know...

...that a woman opened the new age of communication in 1844?

Me, either. Seems that Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, and his good friend, Henry L. Ellsworth (son of Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth) had been trying since 1838 to get a $30,000 grant from congress to finance a trial telegraph line between Washington DC and Baltimore .

The bill eventually passed but not until the last five minutes of the 1843-44 session. Talk about a cliff hanger! Guess they didn't have money to invest in a good lobbyist...

Henry's seventeen year old daughter, Annie Ellsworth Smith, carried the news to Professor Morse the next morning, and he promised that she would send the first message. Imagine her dilemma! Her mother suggested the words from the Psalm, "What hath God wrought?" and history was made on May 23rd, in 1844.

"What hath God wrought? Well, he wrought a 1844!"*

* from the parody, 1844, by Chris Ruhe (? Can't find my copy of the words from 1967 or thereabouts. Anybody?)

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