Thursday, July 17, 2014

From the "Small World" Department

For about three weeks now, we have seen yellow jackets coming and going from an expansion joint between bricks, right beside our front door. I briefly considered spraying them myself, but after reading about them on the spray can and on the web, I decided it was best left to professionals. Yellow jackets, it seems, can get very angry when you disturb their nests. Since this one is up off the ground about 10 feet and requires a person to go down 12 steps to the ground, it would be nearly impossible for a person my age to get out of the way fast enough to dodge a stream of angry insects. 

We called the same pest control company we'd had experience with in our old home, and the guy came out this morning. Mr. K wished to speak to him, so I invited him in. After a few minutes conversation, we discovered that he is from NY, in a place not far from where Mr. K grew up and they have had some similar experiences. Both sang in school choirs, both sang at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the pest control guy went on to sing in the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera House, as well as singing for a Pope in Rome. He gave us a little example; singing a small part in Italian that he remembered.  How fun is that???  He has a beautiful baritone singing voice. 

Another interesting coincidence is that he also services a woman with our last name, and he asked if we were related to her. We are not, but her son and daughter-in-law live in our former neighborhood, and we met her about 3 years ago. He is scheduled to go to her home later today.  

He told us that he has been in Raleigh about 28-9 years, and I wanted to ask how (and why) he got into the pest control business, but there wasn't time. It made me think, however, of how judging a person by what they do (or how they look) makes one lose sight of the real person inside - and how interesting they can be, if you only take the time to look beyond first appearances. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Daughter's Birthday

From the time I was about 15, I knew what I would name a daughter. Shannon was my grandmother's maiden name, and I always thought it was lovely.  So when my first daughter was born on July 15, 1969, she became Shannon. She was a happy child, except for that one time when her great Aunt Lily pinched her cheeks once too often and Shannon stuck a fork in her hand.....LOL   She was a pretty baby; a very charming child and has grown into a beautiful woman, of whom we are most proud. The mother of four went to nursing school (while taking care of her four, a husband, his three, three dogs and two cats) and is now a cardiac nurse,  still in school and on her way to a grad degree.

Meanwhile, she has just bought a new home for herself and moved. We are proud of that, but we don't like that she is 70 miles away. Come August, three of her children will be in college, and only one remains home with her mom. We know it isn't easy, but we have faith in you!

Have a wonderful birthday, our darling daughter; it has always been and remains a pleasure to have you in our family!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Was Poking Around....

WalMart today and I always look at kitchen gadgets and implements, hoping to find something I can't live without that will make daily life easier. 

I saw some attractive bowls, and the advertising said it was a new Rachel Ray creation - a "garbage" bowl to sit on the counter top while you are chopping veggies, to hold the unwanted parts. Understand?  A bowl to hold the discarded parts of your veggies, so that "you won't have to make so many trips to the trash can." 

Whaaaaaat?  You need a special bowl for that??? One that costs $19.95 at WalMart and probably more at other stores?  I don't care how pretty it is, or that it has a non-slip base........can't you use just any old bowl? Or do what I do and drop them into the sink with the garbage disposal? Or move the trash can closer to the sink/counter where you chop???

Somebody please explain this?? 'Cause I sure don't get it. I searched for an image of the bowls so I could show you....and I came up with this. Check it out. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Last Four Days.....

were spent at my daughter and son-in-law's home; dog-sitting, while they trek north with 2 sons and a niece. They toured Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City and today they are in Hershey Park, PA. Our son was staying there too, and we enjoyed having his company, and that of his two beautiful daughters for a night.

We lounged (there was little else to do) and went to the pool and recreation complex  (a veritable Disney World) and enjoyed fabulous weather. The temperatures were in the 85-90 range, but with low, low humidity. (Too bad that didn't last, as today was a sauna/steam bath again.) But while it was low, the screened porch saw a lot of use, and the new wicker couch is the perfect place to read and doze under the gentle breezes from the ceiling fan. (If only the dog next door hadn't barked incessantly. )

I was very pleased to be able to come to the aid of our son; not once, but twice during our stay there. First, he needed to get as quickly as possible, a copy of his passport and driver's license, and email them to his daughter.  That is not usually a hard thing to do, but it was late Saturday, and a holiday weekend to boot. We had to drive back to our townhouse to do it, but my scanner/copier/printer came through like a champ and within 30 minutes, we did what was needed. I shudder to think how long that might have taken had I not had a scanner. 

Last night, our son drove up to the pool area to work out, and when he got back to his car, it wouldn't start. He has one of those automatic keys; it allowed him to open the car, but he couldn't drive it, and had to walk back home.  So, this morning, he went to the nearest dealership in my car, only to find that there is an extended warranty/recall on that problem and it would be repaired at no charge. Lucky guy!! He also found out that there is another recall on his car, having to do with the emissions system. They will repair that as well, and possibly save him some grief at his next auto inspection. The only trouble was that his car needed to be towed to the dealer. Now mama comes to the rescue - thanks to my yearly renewal of the AAA membership in April. I called, the tow truck came and there were no problems with it. Our son has been under a lot of stress lately, and I was very happy to be able to deal with some of his problems in a way that relieved stress for both of us. Thank Heaven for small favors!

We came home mid-afternoon and our grandson, who is staying with us for 6 weeks, was home from his trip to the beach for the long weekend. He helped me get everything off our deck and front stoop, as the power washers are coming tomorrow. I'm sitting in my den with 8 extra chairs and a table that seats 6, cushions, flower pots, umbrella and stand and metal fish and lizard. It is fairly crowded and I cannot wait until we can put it all back onto the deck!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

1964 ------ 2014

Fifty years ago today, we got married. No one thought it would last; least of all us. But we're still tolerating each other - LOL

Three wonderful children and six grandchildren  (plus two great step-kids) make it all worthwhile. It hasn't been a bed of roses; we've had our ups and downs, but I'd do it all over again, and I think he would too. 

We're going to celebrate at the end of the month, at the beach. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Nest Isn't Empty Anymore.....

and the "office" is now doubling as a bedroom.

Our older grandson is in summer school at NCSU, and since his mom and siblings moved to Pinehurst last week, he is bunking with grandma and grandpa until he goes back to school in August.

There have been a few changes.....LOL   

Food is being consumed in mass quantities, once again, reminding me of the days when my son lived at home. Hollow legs seem to be genetic in the males of our family, and this kid is no exception. I have never been much of a cook  (or enjoyed doing it)  but he seems not to mind that my output might be less than stellar. He has been here three days and I have been to the store twice, and I still have a list!

He's trying not to gain weight. At 6'5" and around 200 pounds, I doubt he has much to worry about. A runner, soccer player and summer landscaper; he expends enough energy to take care of the food he eats without packing on the pounds. He saw me add 1/2 cup of sugar to a large bowl of sliced strawberries and chided me for it. I told him that boys his age need some sugar and carbs, and he would not suffer much for a little sugar, after which he ate three bowls full. He does turn down desserts though, and I marvel at his willpower. 

After telling him to put his dirty clothes in a hamper and carry it up to the laundry when it's full, he informed me that he had been doing his own laundry since he was very young. The (s)mother in me did all my children's laundry until they left for college, but maybe his mom did the right thing in teaching her kids how to care for their own clothing and how to cook enough to feed themselves. 

The other changes involve turning off lights and locking doors; things which apparently, he was not taught - or the teaching didn't take hold. But he is a very good kid, and always has been, so a few lights and locks don't bother me. What will bother me is when he leaves to move to his first apartment in August. I will miss cooking for someone who so obviously enjoys it, and I will miss his handsome face, sweet smile and endearing habits. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014