Electricity

a electricity comic

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Today I am grateful for electricity, especially because we didn’t have any since midnight and still had none when I got up at 7:15.   The AC went off and I got hot at around 2 so I got up to use the bathroom and walked into a wall.  No little night lights guiding my way.  Yikes.

 

In the morning I tried to get on line to check it out because I have a laptop, but never got the system backup battery that’s been beeping in the basement for six months, because I thought I didn’t need it.  Ha-ha.

 

Tried to use the phone to call and see what’s up and. . .well, you know that backup battery?  Yup.  Phone out, too.

 

Used my dying cell to go on Facebook to ask if anyone knew what the deal was and only one clever friend responded with great wit and humor but no facts.  Sounds like the government except for the wit and humor part.

 

I asked SIRI for the number of PECO and they gave me a song and dance.  Really.  Soft shoe. . .or maybe tap, but no number.  Finally I got a little smarter and used my GPS on the phone and they gave me the Philadelphia location of PECO and number, so I called before the cell died, too.

 

Yes, you have a power outage.  Gee thanks.  I didn’t know that already.  Forty-one homes are affected.  That pretty much means my development I think.  And it is expected to be fixed by 1:30.  Good.

 

I lit the gas stove with a starter match thingy and boiled water for my tea, then slapped some peanut butter and honey on a sandwich thin.  Breakfast!  By the time I left to go to the Y there was a crew at the entrance to our development working on it.  I thanked them profusely.

 

Then I got to thinking.  We are not in the middle of a heat wave.  I am not wet.  I’m not in Texas living in a shelter.  My house hasn’t been flooded.  I’m not ripping off wallboard and throwing everything I own out on the front lawn.  Nor am I in the Caribbean or Florida, bracing for the next disaster.  This is a little inconvenience.  That’s all.

 

Nothing like a power outage to remind you how grateful you are for electricity. . .and how sad you are for the people who don’t have any.  It came back minutes after I left.  There’s will be out months.

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Two Perspectives

a Welcome to my World book cover (2)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Today I am grateful for two perspectives.  When I was in Sheboygan the last time, a fairly new friend, Marianne Helm, gave me a copy of “Welcome to My World” (Two Perspectives on One Life Lived), the book she wrote.  I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t read it until yesterday, while sitting outside on a beautiful day.  The timing was perfect for me, because I was sliding into a vortex and a little confused about how to pull myself out.

 

In one section of the book she requests that you write two stories, (Yesterday’s Adventure and Yesterday’s Misery) one with a positive, hopeful, cheerful perspective and the other hopeless, negative and cranky.  Cranky is my word, not hers, because I find negative people cranky.  Although sometimes when I write from my cranky voice I think I’m quite funny.  Just ask me.

 

Here’s my take on her writing exercise.  Don’t read one unless you have time to read the other or you’ll miss the point.

 

Perspective One

I am thrilled to log into Facebook each day!  Someone is always posting pictures of themselves in new hairstyles, or with their grandchildren, or sharing how much weight they lost, or pictures of them on fantastic trips to exotic lands.  What fun!

 

Just the trips alone are enough to brighten my day.  This year I’ve traveled to Germany, Italy, Morocco and Tangier.  Plus I am currently wending my way through Greece, all through the travels of my Facebook friends.  My feet never get sore and it is so much fun that sometimes I do a little research on a country where someone is visiting just to keep up.  The pictures remind me how lucky I am to be alive in this beautiful world.

 

I’m a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, but not in the way that others are “lifetime”.  My lifetime means I’ll be going there forever.  Ha-ha!  It’s always encouraging to hear about someone else’s success with weight loss and learn how they managed to conquer the demon scale.  If they share tips and recipes, it’s even better.

 

I don’t get to see all of my grandchildren very often so it’s always a pleasure to see the little ones of others, especially now, when they are all scrubbed up and ready for their first day of school.  Just adorable.  Children are our future.  Everyone’s children.

 

Someone posted a picture of a couple of women near my age, with multi-colored, pink and purple hair!  I loved it!  They looked like Easter eggs.  Festive and fun.  I think I might do some pink tips on my own gray spikes.  Wouldn’t that be cute?  I’ll keep you posted.

 

So, thank you Facebook friends for brightening my days.  You are appreciated.

 

 

Perspective Two

I’m sick of Facebook.  Maybe it’s time to quit it altogether.  If I see one more picture of someone old woman like me, with pink or purple hair, I’ll barf.  I mean act your age.  Do you think you’re a teenager again? Grow up, the whole lot of you.

 

So many people post pictures of their kids or grandkids that it drives me nuts.  Who cares?  My grandkids barely know I’m alive so why should I have to hear about which kid is going to school where?  I don’t, that’s for sure.  Try getting a life of your own for a change!

 

They should make an icon of a “bitch-slap” so I can send it to the next person who brags about how they lost weight eating eye-of-newt five times a day, or by going lactose or gluten free when they don’t even have issues indicating they should.  Boring!  I’ve lost a bunch of weight!  It found me again so many times that my sagging boobs have whiplash.  Just wait, it’ll all backfire on them, too.  And keep your stupid recipes to yourself, too.  Half the stuff you post tastes like crap anyway.  Idiots.

 

By now you can tell that most of Facebook is irritating to me these days, but the thing that pisses me off the most is all of the pictures of vacations.  I can barely afford to go to the grocery store, yet my “friends” are flying off to some exotic land.  I think they do it just to brag about how rich and wonderful they are.  Show offs.   Why don’t they come right out and tell me I’m loser I am because I can’t do it, too?  “Eating dinner and sharing a bottle of red, on a plaza overlooking the sea in Greece.”   Blah, blah, blah! Kiss mine.  As if I’d want to go to Greece!  If I want to see ruins all I have to do is look in the mirror. Hah!  All I care about is the floor under my feet and the roof over my head and don’t give a crap about your travels. Stop posting that shit.

 

Yeah, I’m quitting Facebook.  That’s it.  I’ve decided.  I’m not even going to make an announcement about it.  Let’s see if anyone notices I’m gone.  As if.

 

Summary

So that’s the writing exercise.  Are you going to try it, too?  How did I do?  Did the first story make you feel light and positive?  I almost got a cavity, but I feel that way a lot because I really do try daily, even hourly, to hold onto the positive.  It just feels good.

 

Did the second make you want to stick a fork in your eye?  It sure did me.  I can’t be around sour people with negative energy because they suck the life out of me, especially when it’s me who is the downer.   It’s hard to get away from yourself.  Yuk.

 

Both perspectives reminded me that when he was a teenager, one of our daughters told her son, “Every day you have a choice.  Is it going to be a good day, or a bad day?  Just remember it IS a choice.”  I love that.

 

What choice will you make?

 

(To purchase “Welcome to My World” (Two Perspectives on One Life Lived), by Marianne R. Helm,

go to www.TwoPerspectivesProject.com )

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College Care Packages

Monday, September 04, 2017

Today I am grateful for college care packages.  Our oldest granddaughter, Anja, is now living in a dorm at Chestnut Hill College.

 

How can this be?  Wasn’t it yesterday I painted her tiny fingers and toenails with her favorite pink and she said, “Thank you, Grandma” twenty times, as each digit turned color?  Weren’t we at Grandparents Day with her Poppy and Nan, just yesterday? Her Poppy, whom we lost a few years ago would be so proud of who she is becoming!  Good gene pool!  Ours and theirs.

 

Now the precious face with the dimples, which I requested when her mom was pregnant and she complied, are in college.  Just that fast!   I have always believed that kids who go to college should stay there through the weekends for at least a month before coming home.  I don’t think you adjust to your life where you are as easily if you are trying to live in two locations, so I was pleased when I texted Anja to see when we could take her to lunch and drop off our college care packages and learned she’d be there through the long Labor Day weekend.

 

We had a blast.  She is without makeup and that hair is barely contained, yet I love it.  Her grace and savvy manners are genuine and contagious.  She turns heads with her height, posture and beauty, yet giggles like a five-year-old when telling a story about how thrilled she already is with her Art History class, when those around her are rolling their eyes in boredom.  It is obvious to anyone who meets her that she is totally comfortable in her own skin.

 

After twisting on the roads around her campus a few times, we picked her up from her dorm, took her to lunch, helped her carry up the goodies, saw the dorm room, then got out of Dodge! This isn’t our first rodeo with college kids. The trick is to leave them before they wish you had never come.  Then leave them alone.  Don’t call/text every day or even every week.  Trust me, they’ll call you. . .especially when they need another care package.

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Himself has a Girlfriend

Himself looking at cleavage

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Today I am grateful that Himself has a girlfriend.  Look, sometimes I’d bring in sistah wives if I could.  I don’t need a maid, I need a wife.  She can go around closing cabinet drawers and wiping the bread crumbs into the sink from two inches away.  And let her listen to the countless “What?  You were mumbling” comments I hear all day long.

 

The truth is that he’s not pissing me off very much these days, except for the moans and grunts because the sciatica is still with him.  A further truth is that I wanted to write about something else this morning but the blasted picture wouldn’t download so I had to settle for this.  You’ll have to, too.

 

I’m saving my full-rant for when that stupid picture is available, so I’m not writing anymore, lest I spend my energies erroneously.  For now, enjoy the pic of Himself with his new girlfriend, whose cleavage is higher, if not bigger than my own!

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People With Brains

set top box plug connection.jpg

Friday, September 01, 2017

Today I am grateful for people with brains.  Especially if they are in Verizon Tech Support.  But boy, it takes a lot of digging around to find them.  Yes, my friends, as a total distraction to the hurricane and our elected officials tripping over their own tongues every day, I was given the gift of calling tech support.  (Drumroll, please!)

 

After four tries to get a human, my head splits open and a shrieking monster pops out.

 

Me: REPRESENTATIVE!  REPRESENTATIVE!  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE GIVE ME A LIVE PERSON!!!!!!

Them:  Your call is very important to us. Please push 1 if you want Verizon equipment,   Push 2 to cancel your Verizon equipment, push 3 to implode your TV, push 4 to get tech support which you will never really get (haha), push 5 to create an international incident, push 6 to. . .oh hell we figured you’d hang up by now.  We don’t really have a 6 (haha).

Me:  Support!  Support!  Representative!  A human.  I want a human!!!

Them:  I did not understand your response.  Let’s try again.  Push. . .

Me:  Push this!  (obscene gesture)

Them:  I’m sorry, I still did not understand you.  Let me get someone to help you.

Me:  Why didn’t I think of that?

Roxanne:  Hello, my name is Roxanne, from Delaware, can I have your phone number, Verizon number, age, weight, age and weights of your children and any pets you might have and the exact date you began service with us and a list of your medications?

Me:  I’m at my wit’s end, Roxanne.  I’ve already talked with Anthony from Syracuse, Nicole from Trenton and Betty from Biloxi.  Anthony from Syracuse thought he had a fix for my problem. . .but no.

Roxanne:  I’m going to try and help you.

Me:  I might need more help than even you can give.  Can you get us a new election?

Roxanne:  Haha.  What is your Verizon question?

 

I spent a half an hour explaining to her that Anthony from Syracuse was going to fix our multi-room DVR situation by sending us three new set-top-boxes that all we’d have to do is disconnect the old and plug the new in.  Except the back of the main one is completely different from the old and the plugs don’t go in.

 

After another half hour, Roxanne from Delaware determines that the wrong box was sent.  She spends twenty minutes explaining how I can upgrade to the tune of $50, which she would waive.  Except I’d have to pay another $24 a month.

 

Me:  Roxanne, let me explain something to you.  I’m not getting the services I’m already paying for. Why would I pay more to continue to not get what I’m already paying for?  No thanks.  You should be paying me back for services I’m not getting.

Roxanne:  I understand, but I have to offer it to you.  Why did you get the new boxes.

 

I explain. . .again. . .how we are supposed to be able to record in one room, then play in another.  Multi-room DVR.  I have gained so much knowledge, yet not quite enough, that I am ready to work for them.

 

Roxanne:  I can show you how to re-boot.

Me:  Roxanne, I can show YOU how to re-boot!  I’ve done it a billion times.  I don’t even have to think about it anymore.  I can recite the process like singing Happy Birthday.

Roxanne:  Did Anthony run a diagnostic on your old box?

Me:  Sounds like a personal question, Roxanne.

Roxanne:  Ha-ha.  (But I don’t think she thinks I’m very funny.)

Me:  No, he didn’t.  Just sent three new ones, but I didn’t know I’d lose all of my recorded stuff and have plugs dangling all over because the back is different.

Roxanne:  Would you mind reconnecting your old box so that I can run a diagnostic?

Me:  How much time do you have?

 

Himself was already plenty pissed from sciatica and our last call to tech support and trying to watch some sporting thing in the other room.  Roxanne said she’d wait so I got him.  “Roxanne wants you to re-attach the old box so she can run a diagnostic,” I said, backing out of the room before the explosion.  I held the flashlight.  He cursed.  Roxanne got an education on the elderly.

 

Diagnostic run.  Old box is in better shape than the new piece-o-shit so we left it at that.  Then Roxanne from Delaware got us the money off I expected from Anthony from Syracuse but he wasn’t able to make it happen.  I love people with brains.  When they use them.

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Sunflowers

Sunflowers.jpg

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today I am grateful for sunflowers.  I need to step back a bit today.  The morning news nearly did me in, so it’s time to take a break from everything.  Maybe I’ll bake cookies for my granddaughter in college, maybe not.  Maybe I’ll start a new book, maybe not.  Maybe I’ll vacuum, probably not.  I’ll ice my twisted back, make the bed, take a shower. . .and keep the news off.  Admirable goals?  Not so much.  But enough.  And there are always sunflowers.

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There’s No Place Like Home

a home with snoopy

Wednesday, August 29, 2017

Today I am grateful there’s no place like home.  Just think about that little quote from The Wizard of Oz.  “There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.”  Dorothy chanted while clicking her ruby slippers together.  Today I have a home.  Thousands, probably millions of people in Texas do not.  And it could get worse.

 

I have never been a news junky, but I think I might be turning into one.  Sometimes I have to stop.  Turn the TV off.  Go do something else.  Cook something.  Bake something.  Go someplace. . .just to get away from the unrelenting bad news, first it was in the political arena and now Hurricane Harvey.

 

This morning I watched Drew Griffen, from CNN pull some guy out of his white truck that was floating away.  Literally.  One other older guy who told his story cracked me up.  When the water started rising he called Chick Filet and said, “Send two chicken burritos with extra eggs. . .and a boat.”  The manager called her husband and sent him with his boat, which took their things.  The older man and his wife were rescued by jet skis.  Then he went back to get his wallet and wedding ring because it was bad enough he lost his house, he “didn’t want to lose his marriage, too.”  People are trying to maintain their sense of humor.  Good for them!  But how?  Now shelters are flooding and they have to evacuate again.  Hard to find the humor in that.

 

The sun is shining this morning in Texas, spreading a floodlight over the disaster.  It’s an interesting thing about disasters like this.  We were in the earthquake that hit in California many years ago, during the World Series playoffs.  That was before cell phones in every pocket and we had to wait in line to use a pay phone to call loved ones to tell them we were okay.  Power was out.  No TV’s.  We had only the car radio for meager information and had no idea how bad it was and how close the worst was.

 

I’m sure that those poor displaced folks have no clue how bad it really is.  They are in shock.  You can’t be dragged out of your house by a boat, with only the clothes on your back and not be in shock.  And if you have children you must maintain enough composure to not traumatize them forever. . .as if that is even possible.

 

They are going to need our kindness and support. Hey, I’ve been doing acts of kindness for over twenty years, long before it was in fashion, so I’m good with that.  I will do more and more, always.  I also have a great deal of empathy, which has left me a sobbing mess when I see people struggling so.  Any people.  All people.  Empathy is great until it hurts to the core, then it’s another story.

 

Himself and I had the conversation this morning.  He asked, “Would we take people in like that woman we saw who took 16 people in to her apartment?”  Yes.  We would!  And their pets. For as long as it took.  Would it be comfortable?  Probably not.  Would we do it anyway.  Yes.  Without a doubt.   And they’d get a magic show to boot!

 

I want to hop in the car right now and drive to Texas, scoop up a bunch and bring them home with me, like a litter of kittens.  I recognize how stupid that sounds.  I would only get in the way and intellectually, I know it.  Emotionally, not so much.  I think I might have to donate what the gas would have cost to get there, even if I have to throw it on the already bulging credit card.  I hope you do whatever you can, too.

 

Helplessness is a horrible feeling.  And so I handle it in the only way I know.  I write.  I write a lot.  I write my opinion, my thoughts, my fears, my joys in hopes that they touch someone and empower them.  But it really helps me to process, too.   It’s the best I can do right now because then I won’t feel hopeless. . .and that is much worse than helpless.

 

I look around at my house, tallying up how many people we could sleep comfortably, how many not so comfortably and how many on floor space, because it’s better than standing in waist deep water in the pouring rain, clutching your child and cat.

 

And while I’m doing the math, I’m looking around at my beautiful home and cherishing every single thing about it, even the buckling carpet, the in-need-of-paint-walls, and the cluttery mess.  I’m happy with the junk in drawers and the crap in bins I haven’t looked at since we moved here 14 years ago.

 

And I am appreciating every single person and every single thing in my life right now.  I hope that those displaced souls can get their lives, their homes back as soon as humanly possible, because there really is no place like home.  Especially if it’s yours.

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