Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Break Through

I took a step toward conquering my dread fear of all things electrical.  A small step.

I have been helping my friend Ginnie move/downsize.  She was getting rid of this lamp.  It didn't work, but it could be fixed.  She thought my son might like it for his new place.

It's a Scatchard Pottery lamp.  I thought maybe I wanted it for the spare room once Kevin moves out!

I made a trip to the Home Depot nearby and purchased a new bulb socket.  I found a number of how-to videos on You Tube.  I picked one that seemed very
clear and worked as I watched, pausing where needed.

Success!  I plugged the lamp in and gingerly turned it on.  I saw light!  No crackling, no sparks, no massive shock setting me on my bum!  Damn, I was proud of myself.

For $4 and an investment of less than an hour (including watching videos, but not running to the store) I have a really nice Vermont lamp.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


This past week I noticed that the night light in the convenience half-bath downstairs was out. Hmm, I thought to myself, time to change that bulb.
Of course, I didn't get around to it right away, but the next day I was going to dry my hair and the hair dryer remained silent. Then I noticed that the little light on the electric toothbrush charger was out.

I plugged the hair dryer into the outlet by the second sink.  Nothing.  I took it downstairs and again, nothing.  Every other plug and switch seemed to be working.  What other explanation could there be?  The bathroom wiring was shot, the wires were frayed and disintegrating, about to cause a major fire.

Have I ever mentioned the fact that I have an irrational fear of electricity?  I swear I was killed by lightning in a previous life.

After several minutes of panic, I thought to check the circuit breaker box. Everything looked okay. I saw the new outlets in the kitchen which all had GFCI buttons.  The bathroom outlets had not been updated but I figured there must be
a GFCI for them somewhere.  I looked in the circuit breaker box again and found a switch marked GFCI.  I summoned all my courage and poked at that switch (very tentatively, I am sure, because of that irrational fear of electricity).  Nothing happened.

I returned to my theory about a life destroying fire about to burst through the bathroom walls.  I called an electrician in a state of panic.  He came right away.

He was here for maybe twenty minutes in total.  He showed how to operate a circuit breaker switch -- you have to turn it to off and then on.  I paid him $140 and went to dry my hair.

Lesson learned.  Expensive lesson, but learned.

Friday, August 5, 2016


We went to the Ringling Museum of Art on Monday.

The next day we were in the pool and a woman asked about what we were doing and I mentioned the trip to the art museum.  She looked at my grandson and commented "Well, THAT must have been boring!"

In fact, not at all.  Both of the kids were very much attentive and appreciative, very much enjoying the experience and making serious observations.  I would not have taken them if I thought it would be otherwise.

My grandson continues to paint when he is not in the pool or the Gulf.  The trip actually had the influence of turning his effort toward human figure.

(after statue of David)

(after Asian art exhibit)

This is amazing to me because a year ago he could not hold a pencil in his hand.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Vacation

So many kids are heading back to school already, but my grandchildren are enjoying two weeks vacation on the Florida beaches.

The water temperature is about body inching myself in like in the lake.  And the kids, especially Dane, are in the water like a flash but it seems it is the wet that lures them, not the temperature.  Warm or cool, water is water.

We went to the North Jetty Beach in Nokomis after dinner at a seafood restaurant the other night.  The children ordered a hamburger and chicken fingers, which kind of defeated the purpose (but I keep trying, without success to expand their palates, so that means I am insane).  It was too early
 for the sunset -- seniors and children go for the early bird specials.

But I did get a photo of the sunset when we got home.

Thunderstorms happen most evenings.

We went back for swimming the next day and we saw a mama manatee with a calf!  They came very close to the shore where we were swimming.  What a treat that was!

Saturday was more rainy than not.  We skipped the beach and went to the Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota.
My grandchildren are major cat lovers.  It was really very interesting to see just how "cat like" behavior really is across species.

There were other animals as well.  We saw bears, alligators, monkeys, koi fish, lemurs, parrots, lions, tigers, a bob cat, a Florida panther, llamas, goats, and chickens.  

Liger, lion and tiger mix, named Mia.

I have to say this was an educational experience because Dane got on the computer as soon as we got home to do research on endangered species.  His questions are endless.

But I LOVE Google.  "How old would Leonardo DaVinci be ifs he was still alive?" Well Google the year of his birth and subtract that from 2016 and you can figure that out. 

Google it  has become my go-to response.

We went to Siesta Key.  The sign says it is the #1 beach in the USA.  I forgot to take a picture but the sand is white and powdery.  Kristen bought a shirt so I guess that will have to be the proof that we have been there.  Being #1 means that the rest of the visiting population is there so it is a "did that once" kind of thing.  There are some advantages to an off-season visit.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Make America Great Again!

You know, like it was when the country was founded on equality for all.  All property owning, white Protestant males, that is.  Do you doubt that is exactly what is meant by that slogan?

I wonder of native Americans are thumping their heads and thinking, "We shoulda built a wall!!!"

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Changing things up

I have no idea why Blogger no longer updates my posts on reading lists out there adjust writing a post seems to be a trial these days, what with the cursor disappearing at random times and the key board seeming to lock up in a willy-nilly kind of way.

But it was an excuse for me to just start a new blog with a slightly different focus.  It is here and also posts to my Facebook page.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Strawberry Season

It's strawberry season in Vermont.

Such a brief time frame, but oh those delicious, sweet strawberries!

My friend Donna called me this morning and asked if I wanted to go strawberry picking with her.  She had heard it was a good year.  Big berries fill up the boxes faster.

Now to the task of cleaning and freezing.  Mostly they will be used for smoothies, one of my go-to lunches.  But I will have to maybe find a recipe for a strawberry daiquiri too.