Set up, finally, but snow is looming

The first actual daffodil on Friday the 13th…

When I look at it, it looks like I did very little. Maybe I am just hard on myself?

We had three whole hours of ‘summer’ on Thursday before the winter set back in. The thermometer read seventy-five, which I almost did not believe but I did have to put on a pair of shorts, so hot it was outside.

Winter did set back in, dropping close to twenty degrees. That started happening mid-afternoon, all of a sudden we realized that we had to put warmer clothing on.

Luckily, the kids were able to enjoy the quick summer we had. We took them outside and I profited from this by yanking all of our patio furniture out of the garage and putting everything in place for the summer. I know it will snow again and it is actually predicted in a few days, but I needed to take advantage of the change in climate.

My work went smoothly, the only rub in the story was the set of three hanging, factory-look lamps by our chairs. Only one of the three lights was working and when I went to figure out what was up, I realized that one of the wires was not connected. I went to connect it, which should have been simple, but the electrical set up of this set was such that I ended up throwing the entire thing out, realizing that I could not make a safe hook up. I luckily had an extra in my collection and so I set it up instead.

The kids really had a ball; my only difficulty was my continued effort to stop the youngest from throwing stones in the pond. I had hoped to set that up, but it didn’t make the cut for my short time out of doors. I had thought that it would be warmer today, but so far it is low forties and I am not sure I am going to attack that issue.

Posted in Life in general, Seasonal Transition, Seasons, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Sickies with a touch of French

The little ones are over, the older of the two is not feeling great, having succumbed once again to a viral moment: a cold. She says she has ‘sickies.’

To ‘chill’ a bit, we are watching one of the Disney films I have purchased on EBay during the last few weeks. I now have quit the arsenal of Disney, assuredly more than we had when our boys were little.

Some of the films are on iTunes but the majority of them are either DVD or Blu-Ray.

One of the things I adore about the DVDs and Blu-Rays, and even iTunes, is that I can almost always put the films in French and attack the subconscious with language. The funny thing is that this soon to be four year old, usually wants them in French, unlike her cousins, and when I put it to her, she responded that she wanted it in French. “Veux-tu voir le film en français ou en anglais?” “I want to see it in French.”

As we have come to consensus, we are across the board making an effort to keep ‘screen time’ to a minimum, watching a movie or reading a children’s eBook in French, however, makes it more acceptable. Just now, she asked me to turn it into English since she did not understand. I paused the movie, explained that King Triton was concerned for Ariel’s safety since she wanted to spend time on land, or outside of the water. It is the usual parent and teenager scenario.

She seemed happy with my explanation and the movie goes on, in French.

I am so interested in seeing where this French experiment goes. The oldest granddaughter, at eight, is very able to decipher most everything I tell her. She still responds in English, which is expected. Her younger sister is my most resistant and yet there are times where she allows herself to understand and understands way more than I think. The third is almost never at a point of not understanding me and rarely asks for explanation. Finally, the two year old is seemingly as good at understanding French as English.

Thus explained is a ‘sickies’ kind of day with a touch of French.

Posted in French / français, Grandchildcare, Grandkids, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Candy Crush

My mind is all over the place. I suppose that this is nothing new.

It is sunny out and although it was appreciably warmer today, I realize that it was way colder than I had thought. I guess I want the warmer weather so badly that I can just no longer deal with winter.

Actually, it isn’t true, it is a bit of fake news as although, yes, I want spring and summer to come (I did buy pool passes yesterday), I really am not that upset about the winter. To be honest, the amount of time I spent shoveling was minimal. My outdoor work was quite little.

Anyway, my subject is one of shame, Candy Crush. I have not ever spoken of my secret addiction and frankly it is because I am playing a game on the Internet. It is more than that, however, I am not even good at it. That is the more embarrassing aspect of it.

I have been playing it for years and I am only in the lower end of the 400 level. Sad, I know.

I refuse to pay to win. I know that if I purchased the help that is there, buy the ‘help’ that they offer, that I would advance more quickly. Nonetheless, I refuse to do that. Why I keep playing is beyond me, but I must admit that I find it relaxing. Call me crazy!

Okay, I feel better now that I have come clean. Now, maybe doing so will mean that I will finally be able to move smoothly through the ranks of Candy Crush players and be on top of things.

I am going to ‘crush’ this!

Time will tell…

Posted in Candy Crush, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

I am just full of ‘Dawn and Vinegar’ today

I unfurl the Dawn and Vinegar infused paper toweling to work on the baked on grime.

A first attempt to see if it is ready to be scrubbed. Although this method works, it still demands some elbow grease.

Yes, I just cannot get enough of my new cleaning fluid, Dawn and Vinegar.

I told the kids about it and then found a really nice but clearly not nice looking anymore, baking sheet in the laundry room with paper toweling and a mixture of Dawn and vinegar, ‘marinating.’ I had not put it there, my son had, perhaps hoping I would take the pan and ‘run with it.’ I did.

At this point, although I normally follow a recipe for this, I just mixed the Dawn and Vinegar. My son pointed out to me that I was using Dawn 3, and that there is a Dawn 4. Dawn 4 would be more powerful in cleaning and breaking down grease.

I added some paper toweling to the baking pan, making sure that the edges of the pan were well covered. After an overnight stint of ‘marinating,’ I checked the pan and used a little elbow grease to see if it was working. It was. I added some vinegar and Dawn since it was starting to dry out.

This morning, several days later, I did some cleaning and spent about ten minutes on it. I did not completely clean it, but it is 90% cleaner than before and the only spots that are less than perfect are the junctures where the sides come in contact with the bottom.

The results are amazing. The key here is to not let it get this bad.

Posted in Cleaning, Cleanliness, Dawn and Vinegar, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment


This is what I saw on Monday morning from the office window.

Life gets more and more complicated.

Sometimes I think it is just because we are getting older and that there are more things to do.

Certainly, life has become more complicated in terms of Technology and the things that we have come to expect and maintain. We are no longer satisfied, for example, to just have a simple TV with one speaker, we need surround sound and when explosions occur on a TV program, we want to hear them sound as if they are real. Thus, to maintain this, there are times when we have to make sure that they are working. The remote, that when I was younger did not even exist, will turn on things and change channels. We don’t need to get up to turn things on or off. However, batteries do not last forever and we have to change them out. Am I complaining? No. I don’t miss the days of not being able to sit back and control something.

Even going to bed has become more of a complication. We are a bit older now and so there are more things to be done before we can get into bed. There are, perhaps, some meds to be taken; the teeth have to be attended to and carefully at that, since we have spent time paying for lack of proper care at the dentist’s office. We try to avoid looking older than we are so we might use this or that to ward off the aging process. Anyhow, when we are tired, sometimes it is just hard to settle for just washing our faces and getting into bed.

I don’t know why I settled on this topic, but it occurred to me when I looked out the window on this April day to see snow on the ground and even falling.

My morning is a bit more complicated because of this snow, that is for sure!

Posted in Aging, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment