Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Yesterday, I slept until 8:30.  Today, I was up before 6.  Both nights I went to bed at my usual 10:00 and had the usual bout of tossing and turning before I fell asleep and again at around 2.

The funny thing is that I worked at the library on Monday.  The librarian is getting her summer reading programs nailed down.  I have been helping her make sample crafts that she can show when she does a presentation at area pre-schools and the elementary schools.

So I have made buckets out of old jeans and mixed up cement to make flower pots.  Monday I painted rocks to look like a penguin and a strawberry, mixed more cement (this time with color added) for three more pots, and cut out pigs.  Lots of pigs and poster board patterns for piggy banks.

Obviously it exhausted me.

On Tuesday, I worked in the garden.  There are so many perennials that have been in need of dividing for some time now.  I worked for hours, digging and pulling and replanting.  I edged a good portion of the front garden bed.  I was tired in that pure physical kind of way, but I woke up early and feeling so refreshed.  Obviously, I needed the physicality of all that effort.

It seems like spring has been slow around here this year.  This has actually worked to my advantage.  I have been able to get to those things needing division and replanting before everything is up and getting out of hand and too overwhelming.  I feel that I accomplished something and that feels good.
Even though, right now the garden does look more like an exploded mine field than a flower bed.

I liked this post from the Herb Gardener this morning.

Today I will get my car fixed.  Did I mention that I backed into a dumpster in the drive at my daughter's place?  Ouch!  My grand son had to get out to look after the cracking and crunching sound.
"Oh, that's horrible," he said.  "Will Mike be mad at you?"

I really didn't think it was all that horrible until I took it to the dealer's collision center for an estimate--over $500.  This is the replacement piece of plastic:

 The estimate included all kinds of detail (.2 hr. labor to unscrew the each bolt on the door hinge) and they said they would need the car for two days.  Mike wasn't mad at me so much, but he was quite outraged at the estimate.

So he took it to a friend of his who dabbed some paint on a few scratches from a bottle that resembled black nail polish.  "You order the part online and I'll put on...should take about 20 minutes." 

Tell me big corporations aren't ruining this country.  It pays to support the small, independent businesses.  At least it paid me--getting the job done for a quarter of the first estimate.

Also, I talked to my insurance agent.  They would have paid half, but he advised me against making a claim in case I had an accident that required--oh, say--$7000 worth of repairs in the next three years.  Then, with two claims, my premiums would go way up.  Well, I hate to gamble that nothing bad will happen even though I don't really plan on having a serious accident.  I hate insurance--it's such a lose-lose situation for the customer.

Anyway, I am happy that the car is fixed.


  1. So glad your days have been so full, and you feeling a sense of accomplishment! That's awful about the car, but I know it's so true. I would much rather give my business to small independent places who treat you fairly. Good luck with it.

  2. I also do not like insurance companies. What good does it do to have insurance if you're cautioned not to use it or the rates will go up. Grrrrrr

    1. For me, it started when I got dental insurance. I would pay $15 for a hygiene visit--expensive in those days--but as soon as dental insurance was invented, WOW did the cost go up!

  3. We need a strong leader to protect consumer rights in Congress!! Everything today is a rip-off unless you are willing to attempt it yourself. It helps to have do-it-yourselfers, as friends.

    1. A friend of mine was just today telling me she used to think DIY was a brand name that was undercutting the competition. I am fortunate in having small business, independent business people as friends and relatives for computers, carpentry, and plumbing. My husband has lots of mechanical/electrical skill and lots of like minded associates.

  4. Insurance companies make me mad too!! Almost afraid to put in a claim for fear the rates will go up. And the rates go up anyway. What's up with that.

  5. Gardening really does give you that good tired feeling doesn't it.
    So glad you found someone who didn't feel it necessary to gouge you to fix your car. My ins guy told me the same thing a while back. I think they do that to keep you from filing but I haven't the nerve to test it.

  6. Well thank goodness you only bagged the plastic trim. Lot of glass near by. Car repair and insurance is like all other things, a racket.

    My car has a filter for the ventilation system. The dealers will often run specials. Change cabin filter 50% off: $49.95. The filter cost $12 and takes me about 3 minutes to change. The only tool you need is a flashlight. They need to make money too, but to charge 100 bucks to change a filter? Back in the 60s when I worked in a gas station we would have installed the filter for free and probably made a 10 to 20% mark up on the part.

    1. That is what really got me...the parsing out the few minutes it would take to unscrew a bolt, cover the window for pointing a minor scratch, etc.
      Honestly, I retired early not because I was tired of teaching middle schoolers. It was the Medicaid paperwork we had to do--getting a doctor's okay for educational programs (excuse me???) and then parsing time for billing purposes--no rounding to the less than the hundredth's place. It was totally fine if mere high school graduates were actually interacting with students while I, with several degrees and 30 years of experience, was spending my time doing paperwork.
      Don't get me started!

  7. I like your gardening stories much better than insurance stories -- they are just never any fun. Glad your car is fixed!

  8. I picked up on your sleep patterns. I hate it when I can't get to sleep. Tossing and turning from 10;00 TO 2;00 would do me in! I heard that if you haven't been able to fall asleep in 30 minutes, you should get up and something not too stimulating for a while and then try again. I have done this occasionally, but I always worry that I am just prolonging the sleeplessness, since I'm sure to not fall asleep when I'm not even in bed.
    Why is it that i can fall asleep in my recliner in the evening, and then stay awake when I go to bed.
    Fortunately this pattern comes in waves, and then goes away.

    1. Physical exercise definitely helps with getting to sleep at night. I like to listen to our all night phone-in local radio station, sometimes quite good listening. I usually doze off with the tiny earpieces still in my ears - sometimes wake up on and off all night and listen again. I've got used to this. Like it a lot. Bad habit though really.

  9. You are a busy, busy lady. The kids and the flowers will thank you.

  10. I can't get over how much you're getting done. You are so very busy. I feel like I'm not organizing myself well enough. You are so good to donate your time at the library like that. I've got scratches on our car that we're just letting go rather than deal with insurance or the high cost of repair work.


I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.