An end of an era: the tea kettle

Strangely, the whistle is missing, but this tea kettle performed really well for a long time.

It is the end of an era.

The family tea kettle finally bit the dust. The tea kettle that graced my mother’s tiny kitchen in Parma, that moved there with her from Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, a tea kettle that had probably been around in the time of my father, and possibly purchased with his help, finally sprung a leak.

It is truly a major loss in some ways. In another, it is just time moving on.

My parents had little money. My dad could have gone to college; he had a full scholarship to what is now John Carroll University, but his dad wanted him to go to work. My parents saved up their money and tried to buy the best that they could buy and some of their pots and pans are still around, they bought stainless steel before anyone had a clue about its worth.

This tea kettle was a tank.

We have been through a lot of tea kettles and this one saved us when the other ones quickly passed away.

It finally sprung a leak. MK pulled out the tray beneath our stove burners and it was loaded with water. We couldn’t figure out why. Then, after a look at the tea kettle, it had a hole. I doubt that there is any way to fix it.

My dad died in 1959. He and my mom were married in 1945. I am guessing that they had it when I was a kid and I am almost 70.

Wow! Not too many appliances manage that kind of lasting power.

RIP, tea kettle, we will miss you and that great whistle you had!

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Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving, and old Technology

Yes, this year it is going to be a weird Thanksgiving. It will be the three of us. Mary Kay, our son, and I shall be alone together and apparently I am making a good-sized turkey. I still don’t have it, another son is picking it up for us. Despite the fact that we shall be few in number, we shall have a big turkey and be able to share the meat and the stuffing with the other family members.

The one thing that I have noticed this season is that people are putting up Christmas decorations way earlier than normal. I cannot tell you how many homes I have seen with trees up, but more importantly, with wreaths, Christmas lights, and other decorations. Even malbor has a major Christmas wreath thing going, what with his sign for being inclusive, and kind, etc.

The weather is not really that cold, although in the morning, it has been below freezing. It quickly moves upward. The dahlia living next to the house is mysteriously alive.

In Technology, I am replacing my 2013 MacBookPro with a new one. I have been having more and more issues with it. A few years ago, I had a problem with the touchpad and had to resort to a mouse. That was no big issue. Of late, I realized that the battery could not hold a charge. I was just going to get it replaced, but found out that due to its age, Apple was no longer doing that. I therefore had to keep it plugged in when doing Zoom. Then, periodically, I fall out of or cannot get into Zoom. The problem there is, that although no one tells you, you can Zoom from your iPad but you don’t have breakout rooms.

Okay, time for a new MacBookPro. When I worked at New Trier, there was always help with buying software, discounts, and even computer buys. As an adjunct at a community college, not only are you not treated well, there is no help whatsoever for software or device purchase. In fact, the Help Desk doesn’t even respond to questions of help. I put in a message regarding Breakout rooms and got a resounding ‘no answer.’

Okay, enough of this, time for a dog walk.

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A chill weekend

I awakened early and came downstairs after some quick flexibility exercises and did the window open and close routine in these Pandemic times to air out the house.

It is 32 degrees outside.

Rather than do our usual dog walk before tutoring, I opted for a mug of coffee, then breakfast, and then we shall go to Daniel Wright Woods with Stewart on a leash.

As it turns out, our plans morphed into something different. We ended up having lunch and then we took Stewie for a nice walk in the area. Then we came back and played Canasta, MK trouncing me in the first set and then I came back in the second. It brings back memories of my youth when, for some reason, canasta was a staple in the game-book. That was the main card game besides War and Solitaire. We also played tons of board games like Monopoly and such.

The weather outside was cold and there were rumors of rain and possibly snow, but it does not look that way at all.

Stewie was less than happy when he got stiffed by the situation and he only got one walk instead of two. I hit the rowing machine instead of taking him out again.

I am thrilled to have my rowing machine back. I was used to using the rowing machine at the gym but clearly that is not possible these days. I am not willing to deal with the risk factor.

Sunday found me catching up on the news, reading the Trib, The New York Times, and the Week. I walked the dog, once with MK and once without.

A relaxing day.

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Stewart and the croon

Yes, Poor Stewart.

We came back from a nice walk and MK was playing the piano. For Stewart, hearing piano music always sets him to crooning. He cannot help himself; he moans; he howls; he drives MK nuts. She cannot stand it.

For a long time, we thought he was unhappy but I think we finally came to the realization that he is, in fact, happy. Nonetheless, we have gotten creative to give MK piano time. She took piano lessons for some twelve years as a kid and recently, Pandemically, decided to take some refresher lessons. Not that she can’t play because she can pick up a book of music and play immediately, but she decided on some technique lessons.

One thing she found out is that she hates the metronome, something that I had purchased in the late 70s when I took piano from Susan Arron at New Trier High School. I would have lessons during a free period in the Music Building of the school.

Anway, Stewart and I came home from our walk (strategically planned) and even before entering the house, Stewart was crooning. More often than not, when even hearing piano music on the radio or from our Sonos system, he gets to singing.

Aside from that, it was a music day because we decided that my 2008 Subaru needs a better sound system. So, we are going to have installed a sound system that will, besides providing much better sound, also allow me to make phone calls using the system.

I am excited about that.

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A socially distanced dinner with the grandgirls in the time of Pandemic

The girls were ecstatic.

We had decided that on Thursday, that we would put on our masks, get in the car, and go to SuperDawg in neighboring Wheeling.

We did.

The weather went along with it.

We ordered while in the car and when it came, we went to the adjacent picnic tables. We could have eaten in the car, but the weather was in the 50s by then.

We had an amazing time. It was early, yet the sun had gone down.

MK had gone to their house earlier as our son had a Zoom call and he was not feeling his best as he had pulled his back out. MK came back with the girls and they played in the back yard with Stewart while I finished up on the rowing machine, which I had newly brought back from my son and daughter-in-law’s house. No gym for me so luckily I still have my Concept2 Rowing machine. Walking the dog twice a day and rowing for at least twenty minutes.

I finished up, showered, put on my mask, and off we went. We had dinner at SuperDawg, and because we were disappointed by an ice cream dessert that had been had the last time at SuperDawg, we stopped at Culver’s for the granddaughter.

Masks, having a lengthier beard and an attempt at a handlebar moustache poses questions for that. I luckily have found a wonderful mask that allows for the beard and just purchased another for a bearded gent from Spain. I cannot wait for my new mascarilla.

It was a wonderful dinner, but even better to be able to spend time with the grandchildren. This is time that disappears oh so fast as they grow like weeds. I am so thankful that I get to see these two fine young ladies as they are growing up.

If only we didn’t have this complicated situation with the Pandemic.

It is Day 251, Week 36 of our Confinement. We have never really come out of our Confinement. We have been to Trader Joe’s, but no other grocery store. We have deliveries. We have not eaten inside a restaurant in all that time. We do some take out, but that is it.

Life has changed.

Moderna and Pfizer talk about a vaccine. That remains to be seen. There is still more time needed before that starts being used.

Meanwhile, we wait. Government is in chaos, our viral situation is out of control, but let’s not panic. I think the president in command (note the small letter p) wants that. We need to be patient, but diligent, and ride this storm out.

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