Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Forgot

I hope that I am just tired and somewhat stressed over the whole selling/moving thing.  I am wearing myself out with going downstairs to get something, having to go back upstairs to remember what it was I wanted, going down again to get whatever it was, and then going back up to use it.

I am running out of patience with my lack of focus.  I was glad to come across this information:

Keeping Your Memory Sharp

People with some forgetfulness can use a variety of techniques that may help them stay healthy and maintain their memory and mental skills. Here are some tips:

Plan tasks, make “to do” lists, and use memory aids like notes and calendars. Some people find they remember things better if they mentally connect them to other meaningful things, such as a familiar name, song, book, or TV show.

Develop interests or hobbies and stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

Engage in physical activity and exercise. Several studies have associated exercise (such as walking) with better brain function, although more research is needed to say for sure whether exercise can help to maintain brain function or prevent or delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Limit alcohol use. Although some studies suggest that moderate alcohol use has health benefits, heavy or binge drinking over time can cause memory loss and permanent brain damage.

Find activities, such as exercise or a hobby, to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. If these feelings last for a long time, talk with your doctor.

I know that there are some of you out there who could remind me that my memory was never a strong point.  Keep it to yourselves!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Failing Fall

This was the weekend of the annual Harvest Festival in town--also the Burlington Book Fair.  The Harvest Festival is usually a big draw for tourists and usually the fall color is doing its best to give us picture postcards of small town New England.

This year the weather has been much warmer for longer than usual.  They are saying that has delayed the fall leaf turning.

Not much in the way of real fall color here...

but there is a clear blue sky!

I baked a pie, but it was a blueberry pie, not an apple pie, as is my usual autumn ritual to mark the passing of the seasons.

In keeping with the failing of fall theme, this was a very soupy pie although it tastes like blueberries.

I was undaunted and tried a creative recipe for Saturday night dinner--a pizza crust made with cauliflower, egg, and parmesan cheese.  It wasn't exactly pizza, but it was not bad.  My son did say that had I put pepperoni and sausage on top, no one would know the crust was cauliflower.  This, however, was a completely vegetarian version with tomato, yellow peppers, onion, and black olives.
I will make it again--saving it for the Meatless Monday rotation.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Packing Up

Have I mentioned that I will be moving?  The closing on my house will be October 30 in the morning and then the closing on the condo I am buying will be that afternoon.  I am not exactly sure how the moving piece is gonna work out but I know that I have to say good-bye to loads of stuff.

Here I am saying goodbye to my craft room.
I should probably write an article about downsizing when I am through with this cause I am pretty sure I am going to be learning it the hard way.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Morning Decision

I have been faced with so many decisions lately.

This morning it was shall I have French toast or a waffle for Sunday morning breakfast?
I ended up making my French toast in the waffle maker and that's how I will make it from now on.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Out It Goes

I packed up "hazardous waste" for the collection taking place this weekend.  It's a free service of our waste management district!

You might have thought I was a construction worker.  Paint cans, used oil, and all kinds of gunky stuff that Mike used out in the garage filled the back end of my car.  (Keep in mind I drive a Prius though.) Then I filled it again for the  regular recycle and ReUse room, plus two bags of trash. The second trip this week!

I asked my next door neighbor to come over on Thursday.  He loaded up all the kindling wood and took it away.  Well, I helped him.  They are both in their 80's and heat with wood, a lot of which he still cuts himself.

My house has two garden sheds, and the garage alone is literally the same square footage as the condo I am moving into, with a small, one car garage.  It will be quite the exercise in downsizing!

One of the prospective buyers that looked at the house wanted to know about whether or not there was storage in the attic.  Well, there is over the garage, but I told my realtor that if someone was dissatisfied with the amount of storage in this house they should seek therapy for a hoarding disorder.

Why do we accumulate so much stuff?  I have been gradually getting rid of stuff for the past several years and I am still overwhelmed by the task of preparing to move.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


THE fog comes 
on little cat feet. 
It sits looking 
over harbor and city 
on silent haunches         5
and then moves on. 

Carl Sandburg                                            

No harbor or city here, so in this case the fog hovers over the meadow in early morning.  How else would we know it is September?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Scotia Island

I was invited for my friend's get away weekend in the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  We stayed on a privately owned island for four days.  It might as well have been a weekend in heaven. 

There were two couples and myself.  Plenty of room!

Gorgeous when the sun was shining,
but even during the rainy day it was cozy.  We played games and watched a movie.  We visited both Boldt and Singer Castles.

We kayaked and used the paddle boat around the island.

We had time on the boat and my friend got to water ski--her favorite.

The fresh air made sleeping a treat, too.  And there was plenty of opportunity for ice cream.  Even retired people need a vacation sometimes!  Especially retired people who are selling a house and moving.

Thank you wonderful friends!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Heck of a Bargain

I went into Claire's in the mall the other day to buy some nail polish for my granddaughter.  I bought some sparkly green and some purple.  While I was picking out the colors a clerk-in-training came over to tell me that there was a promotion going on--"everything in the store is buy one, get one for five dollars."

I thanked her and smiled to myself, thinking that was not such a great promotion when I was looking at an item that cost $4.50 each.  I made my selection and went to pay.

The newby clerk rang up my purchase and then she turned to the guy who was training her in complete dismay.  "It didn't ring up $5!?!"  We both simultaneously pointed out that the price was only $4.50.  "But that's sooo confusing!  You said it's buy one get one for $5."  And the lightbulb just did not come on at all.  Good grief.

This is another kind of snarky judgement thing I try to keep myself away from, but...

I just heard about Donald Trump making comments about Carly Fiorina's face.
Now he claims he was talking about persona, not looks.  I don't know why we should give him the benefit of the doubt on this, but, fair enough, I would not vote for her based on "persona."  

This is what kills me though...because Donald Trump has a history of remarking on women's looks...does he actually believe that he is all that attractive?  Does he own a mirror?  I think that here is a case where money clouds the vision.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Can Do it Myself

There are many projects involved in selling a house.

My house was built in the late 1960's and codes were different then.  Now I cannot sell without protecting any outlet that is within six feet of a water source with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.  And my breaker panels had double taps.  I don't know what they are but they must be addressed by an electrician.  Never mind that I could continue to live here without this stuff and no one will care if I electrocute myself.

My smoke detector is inadequate.  I need to put in a minimum of two smoke and CO detectors that are photoelectric.  It is not that I mind doing this, it is just that who knew my own family was at such risk all this time.

The underground oil tank has to be dug up and the soil tested and cleaned of any contamination.  I did know about that hazard, but it has to be done before I can close on the house.  I should not have filled it in the spring.

And of course there are those jobs that need to get done anyway--a chimney cleaning and a septic tank pump out.  And a dozen those other little, ever present problems like a sticky window or an old water stain that needs painting.

Stripping wallpaper and painting the walls was relatively easy, I am thinking as I find myself getting slightly overwhelmed by the to do list.

The building inspector told me the house was in excellent shape.  I am certainly very glad he did not shake his head and say something along the lines of "You're not afraid to live here, lady?"

I have taken on some of the small jobs.  I re-caulked the tub.  I grouted a loose tile in the entryway.  Today I did something daring.  I got out a ladder and an electric screwdriver and I mounted the two smoke/CO detectors.

 I was able to simply screw one in to where the old ion based one was located.
The second one involved screwing in those expanding anchor bolts first, but I did it.  I had on my Rosie the Riveter clothes today!

I was so impressed with myself that I went out in the driveway with a regular screwdriver and I rigged up a new attachment for the backup camera on my car. I was mad because I had been to three different auto parts places, including the dealership and no one did anything more helpful than shrug their shoulders.  

Time for Tuesday night's destress yoga class.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fair Day

My daughter came yesterday.  She picked up a dresser that I was not using and would definitely not want to move to the new place.  In exchange, she left her son for the weekend.  He started third grade on August 26 and was already happy for the three-day weekend and a day at the Champlain Valley Fair.

Honestly, I was so dreading this fair day.  I didn't know how busy my life was going to be these past couple of weeks and I was kind of sorry I had mentioned it at the last visit.  But I had a grand time with my grandson.  I will admit it is a great deal easier to have just one child to concentrate on.  To me the fair is chaotic and way too loud on the midway (where he likes it the best).  We did have several grandma breaks for quiet time, but we also took full advantage of the crazy rides.  He is delightful company at this age and I really enjoyed time with him.

Although I don't care for the noise, put me in a tin bucket and mash my body with centrifugal force and I am a giggling kid like you wouldn't believe.  What I didn't enjoy was people making it obvious that I am much too old for this kind of activity:

Little kids: You are going on this ride too?

Ride attendant: Are you okay cause this ride is gonna go backwards now.

Random twenty-something guy passing the line: Ma'am (seriously!?) Are you really gonna go on that ride? Squeezes my shoulder, Well, good luck to you.

Ride attendant: Young lady, are you ready for this?

I asked Dane if he thought that last one was telling me I was too old for the ride (Zero Gravity) and Dane said he thought so but the guy didn't know me.  See why I love that kid?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

'Fessin' Up

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been XXX years since my last confession:

I mentioned my friend who has difficulty letting anything go.  I encourage her to get rid of things, but she resists and probably thinks something is wrong with me for passing things on so easily.  (I trash very little, but I do donate and pass things along.  It's easy to do here in  wear it out, use it up, make do New England.)

The other day she asked me if I saved old Christmas cards.  I said that I did not.  Now I have to confess that I found a whole stack of old Christmas cards as I was cleaning out some cupboards---just the fronts.  I use them to decorate Christmas presents.  I wrap in plain paper and then stick a pretty card front in the middle of the package.  Seriously--use it up--these look pretty, you can put the to: and from: in a corner, they pack ever so much more easily than bows if you send gifts in the mail.  And it is thrifty! (Sounding defensive?)

The weather is supposed to turn very hot and humid again.  Will I completely blow my Florida gal credentials if I admit that I am actually longing for some cool autumn nights?

Keep in mind that I have AC in Florida and a wimpy little fan in Vermont.

I reminded myself that everything happens for a reason.  I invited the universe to provide me with a place and I trust the universe.  No need for stress.

And then my face breaks out like a teenage girl's--just to let me know that a.) I have not spiritually evolved all that much and b.) the universe has a wicked sense of humor.

I read this thing on Facebook about how retirement was the fulfillment of every teen's dreams--one of the dreams being for clear, unblemished skin.  Seems unfair that I should still have breakouts, does it not???


I have an offer that I can accept and I hope that thing progress smoothly.  The next step for me is to start looking for my next home.

I went to a few open houses for fun this weekend.  The first three made me think, "Oh, no!  What have I done?"  The fourth place was absolutely gorgeous--although just as big as my house so putting the lie to downsizing--and also more than I really want to spend.  I was not discouraged in the end.  I really feel that I will find my space.

I also relaxed considerably.  I was so stressed about my house not being perfect.
HA!  Nobody's is...well that last townhouse that I viewed was pretty darn close.

I have started packing up some things.  I am NOT a last minute kind of person.  I am the type who, in school with a paper due, would not be able to write the paper at all if I let it go to the last day.  I am not energized by looming deadlines.

The packing up so far consists of making piles--Habitat for Humanity,  Goodwill, Reuse Shed, trash.   When I get all that stuff out of the way, I think I will feel lighter.

A friend says that she cannot make those kinds of piles.  Her piles are all some version of 'keep.'