More of ice and snow

I don’t know why, but this weather I find somewhat difficult. I don’t want to fall on the ice and I find that when you least expect it, you find ice. The other day, I slipped slightly as I was on our driveway and heading into the street. I have decided to be more proactive about correctly walking and doing my utmost not to take chances. Instead of attempting to walk on very icy, questionable sidewalks, I walk in the snow, isn’t that what boots are for anyway? Then there is the penguin walk I recently discovered, but that is another story.

I took a few moments today, before a well check up with my doctor, to put away the last bits of Christmas that we have, my mom’s ceramic Christmas tree and a few other things. Just as I thought of these, I remembered that I forgot something. In the bottom of the grandfather clock, the last decoration are awaiting my help: the little German wooden angels that play instruments and are led by a wooden angel bought for me by my father when I was quite young. The latter looks as if he is conducting the others and I placed them with a few small wooden trees in the base of the grandather clock. Of course I forgot them!

In order to facilate the melting of the driveway snow, I took a shovel to it and, in many cases, removing snow and ice from multiple locations, hopefully making it less likely to have ice slicks. So often, however, it doesn’t always work as we plan. I did this after coming home from the gym, where I went after my doctor’s appointment. My appointment was at 10:30 and I didn’t get in until 11:30. There were four people ahead of me, and as my doctor pointed out on her own, despite her good intentions at padding things so that if she gets behind, she won’t be too far behind, her patients managed to undo her planning. I realize as well that she has an older population that she is serving, which doesn’t help. I was out before noon.

I have tutoring in the late afternoon, and now that I have doctored, exercised, snow removed, put out the recycling and garbage. I guess I have had a busy day.

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Ice and snow

Ice! It is everywhere. I made a mistake and didn’t go out Saturday evening before going to bed to clean off the driveway, walk, and stoops. The snow melted enough and froze, The temps on Sunday are in the twenties, the mid-twenties, that is, and during the night, most of our driveway was plowed, but what was left has turned into a sheet of ice.

It is nice for our son with the plowing service as the winter has been less than lucrative for his business. We had a nice snow really early on and then…nada.

I debated walking Stewart, and as it turns out, the only place that I slipped was my own driveway. I almost turned him out in the backyard but in the end I didn’t want to have to deal with ‘pick up,’ if you know what I mean. In our area, I often see vans that advertise their ‘pick up’ service because North Shore people don’t want to deal with that.

I read that just a few hundred miles away, in my home town of Cleveland, that yesterday they had a day of 70 degree weather and broke records. Now, that is odd, especially when you consider that Cleveland and Chicago usually share the same weather.

This morning, I cleaned up the driveway, shoveled the area from our gate on, and then had breakfast, of course after walking Stewart. I went to the gym and did my time on the rowing machine, came home and folded laundry. I am enjoying a cup of Assam tea and then plan to do a little Hungarian, put away my laundry, and then, maybe read my book.

All in a day’s work. Meanwhile, I wonder what the weather will bring.

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Fakebook

These delicious cookies were sent by a new Facebook friend I have never met in person, Jean-Luc Maechling. Through a good friend, Martine Musslin (whose bakery made the cookies: bredele), we arranged a month homestay for the son of an Oakton colleague. Julian stayed in Jean-Luc’s home and travelled all over France.

Facebook has its good points and its bad points. I can forgive a lot of the bad, because we can overlook them. When people are ‘fakebooking’ it, we can just pass by the posts. I have issues with the political and borderline treasonous things that have been allowed and perpetrated, probably because of financial reasons. Let’s face facts, money always talks. My thoughts today border on the way that some people portray themselves in such positive ways on Facebook and seemingly lay claim to the fact that they are perfect.

It is okay to put nice things on Facebook, and frankly, given the evil world within which we live, that is a good thing. We need to be able to see cute things, important things, and maybe learn of what is going on. As with any sort of media, one has to be ready to take things with a grain of salt, and in this day and age, fact check.

Perhaps, in defense of the people who truly make their Facebook situation one that is mainly ‘Fakebook,’ we all want to put ourselves out there not showing our dirty laundry. We want to put the bright part of our days. It makes us feel better. I guess what I am getting at here is that there are people who, when you talk to them might, for example, constantly complain about this or that in their lives. Then on Fakebook, they display the objects of their harangues as ideal people and situations that are totally the opposite of what we know to be true. I suppose that perhaps in doing so, people are trying to repaint a situation that is unpleasant to them, and maybe in doing so, some of it will actually stick to reality.

I guess that all of this is a bit of, perhaps we should all be more careful when we are posting on Facebook. I go back and forth in my head as to the importance or the evils of Facebook. Via Facebook, I have reconnected with more than one individual from my past, several of whom I thought were forever lost to me. I then see the less satisfying side of Facebook, where evil and fake news are being disseminated. It all makes me go back and forth with either staying on or getting off of Facebook. Time will answer that question.

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A Bruder kind of truck day!

A day with the grandson is always a delight. Not that it isn’t with the granddaughters, because there is also nothing like that. It is just after having had three sons, and then three granddaughters, we are all having a good time with the youngest progeny, a chill, warm, loving, young man.

He came over to our house with his new Bruder cement truck, something that he had really wanted for Christmas, didn’t get it then, and then his father, our son, picked it up at a Farm Store for half price. He brought it over in the morning and worried about not having it to take home all day long. As we were at his martial arts class, going in, he said, « Where’s my cement truck? »

I remember loving a certain toy like that, it all takes me back. I remember a Tonka metal pick up truck that I had and experienced countless hours of fun. There is nothing like that.

So when he arrived, we wondered what we could add to the magical cement truck situation to add into the fun. I located our marbles that we have usually used with our old (from our own boys) marble works set, that our grandson loves so much. We started him young on it, giving him six marbles and watching very carefully that we got them all back at the end of the play. Now, we don’t need to be as concerned, yet we still watch carefully. Now, it is more of an issue to not have marbles all over the house for those of us over sixty to fall on, lol. Truly, however, that is no laughing matter.

He got those marbles and placed them in the mixer of the cement truck and had an enormously good time. I gave him a funnel, had to explain what it was, and he used it to put some of the marbles in the mixer. Some of them, clearly, were too large to go through. We former teachers are always looking for some sort of creative, new learning situation. To ‘rein in’ the marbles, we have a huge baking sheet with sides that he was able to play on. He enjoyed the marbles rolling around on that as well.

The whole day was, other than a break to draw cards for all of the family members, a cement truck play day. What a fun day it was!

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Put downs come in many forms

The winds outside are blowing and the land seems to be screaming as the weather transitions from warm to cold.

We all know the people who need to sing their own praises or that of their own families. We all know of people like this and they come in different forms. Bragging can be simple and clear with nary a hidden agenda or it can be done in such a way as to add to someone’s ego without necessarily appearing to be actual bragging.

Human beings are fascinating creatures and as we all know, capable of doing both good and evil. We do, as human beings, need to take more note of those good things that are done by so many. Too often, the evil seems to outshine the good in terms of being newsworthy, something that we see in the media. Again, it is important that we hear about the good. The danger is that there are those who constantly need to indulge in this curious form of self-aggrandizement.

Clearly, there is the verbal method of doing this and people who are involved in this as their modus operandi are often not the favorite of others. There are those people who have indulged in Christmas letters, and here I need to be careful to explain that there are those ‘Christmas letters’ that serve a great purpose in giving us info about the lives of our friends and acquaintances and yet others that are nothing more than a written and image ridden brag sheet. It is terrible to say that in our ‘Christmas Card basket’ that we have a collection of both.

The social media is the latest area where this interesting form of bragging has blossomed. Again, it is good to know of the good that our friends and their families are involved in, but there is a fine line between posting this information for ‘bragging’ purposes, which is sometimes done under the guise of being proud. We should be proud of these things, but some of us have a ‘hobby’ of trying to look better than the average joe.

Most of us don’t talk about the people who do this. To be honest, some of those who do this are not even aware they are doing so. Nonetheless, they only ‘publicize’ the noteworthy info and make others think that their lives and families are perfect and unfettered by normal issues of growing up and making some less than great choices.

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