Archive for June, 2018

Muddling Through

Many years ago, HE took a travelling job with Florida East Coast Railway. We talked about it, and although it wouldn’t be a piece of cake with our husband and father gone through the week and home only on the weekends, the job was a good one, so we would muddle through. I muddled through half of the first day, until I discovered that while I was at work, our dog killed two rats in the back yard and rolled in the remains of her conquests. Let’s just agree that 90 degree Florida heat and the entrails of dead rats do not make a pleasant combination. I buried the victims, scrubbed the dog, scrubbed myself, and felt a bit of pride that I was able to handle the type of crisis that I usually would call HIM to do. I had this. Yes, day two was going fine and dandy until I got home from work and discovered that the dog had dug up the corpses and rolled in the mess again. Let’s just agree once more, without all the gory details, that rat guts on the second day in 90 degree heat smell neither fine nor dandy. HE no longer works out of town, but we do occasionally take separate vacations. HE has a bucket list which includes watching a baseball game in every stadium in the good old USA. Although I like baseball, I don’t like it THAT much, so I am staying home with Barney the Chihuahua and 16 elderly laying hens. (Don’t tell HIM, but it is really a vacation for me, too.) I wasn’t worried. There are no rats around here, the mice don’t usually move in until fall, and my only job besides my regular job is to drive to our cabin and turn on the bilge pump in the boat in case it rains. The road to get there is one of those “minimum maintenance” Forestry roads, which really means NO maintenance, but I can make it with my all wheel drive unless it is really wet. Waving goodbye the morning he left, I headed for the necessary room and back to my bed. Except…the toilet broke. Not the first day or even the first hour, but the first minute he was gone. Just my luck. Thankfully, I know how to turn off the water and we have a second bathroom. Heck, we even have an outhouse in the back yard, and they don’t break…do they? No worries here. No worries except that ever since HE left, the heavens have opened up every day and we have had torrential rains. The lightening and thunder each night makes Barney bark, and I have had little sleep. The bilge pump has been run and will need to be run again soon. The road to the cabin is a sea of slippery muck and deep potholes, and I’m afraid to look in the basement because I know it will be wet, which will involve more work. I hope HIS vacation is going well. Mine? Not so great, but thanks for asking. Don’t worry though, I’m muddling through.

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Admittedly, we watch a lot of television. We have four TVs in our house. Yes, four. Don’t judge. Three are of the flat screen variety, and one old dinosaur in the guest bedroom is fat instead of flat and has both a VCR and DVD player in his belly. When we purchased it, it was top of the line. It is now pretty close to the bottom and will soon be replaced by something called a Smart TV. Apparently, a Smart TV is a hybrid TV that is a cross between a TV and a computer. It allows you to use apps and stream movies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it baked and spit out a pizza on movie night. I am of that certain age who remembers the TV repairman coming to our house, or at least, carrying the “guts” of the black and white console TV in to the repair shop. Some families even had a huge console in their living room that had a TV, HiFi record player, and even a bar inside! Talk about kitschy. Televisions today are more or less disposable, and really, not that expensive. Our camper, which is kind of kitschy itself since it practically screams the style and colors of the 1990’s, came with two TVs. Both are small, boxy, and practically useless, since neither is digital and each would require a converter box to even get regular channels, which here in the north woods would number about two. A friend gave us a smaller used flat screen television to replace them, but no matter how I tried, the screen stayed locked on channel two. Are you counting? We are now up to SEVEN TVs, and you can add one more, as I just bought number eight yesterday. Number eight will replace numbers five, six, and seven in the camper. It is not a Smart TV, but by adding a little module attached to the plug in the back, it miraculously becomes one. I know this, not because I’m smart, but because I asked for directions. Sadly, gone are the days when you can plug it in, attach a cable or antenna wire, and turn it on. I now had to add a Smart Antenna that sticks on the window as well as the little miracle module, figure out how everything worked, and program in all my passwords for everything as well as scan for local channels. (Zero, since I am parked in the trees.) After blood, sweat, and a few naughty words, I was done, and it only took one weekend afternoon and half of another! I was tempted to stay in the camper and watch a little TV, but the sun was shining, and only a crazy woman would spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon sitting in a camper in her driveway watching TV, right? OK, I stayed for just one program, and frankly, was kind of waiting for it to mix me a cocktail . After all that, I deserved it.

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The F Words

I was going to write this column yesterday, but was just too feckless. The cold and rainy weather following last week’s hot and humid days only proved that Mother Nature is a fickle female. The damp chill made me want to curl up in bed with the heated mattress pad at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, kind of like those frigid, freezing winter days of not so long ago. Instead, I made a fantastic and flavorful pot of soup, and as I chopped vegetables, fantasized about life in general. Well, that and watched reruns of Judge Judy. We are, for the most part, living the dream, and are very fortunate, but to be fair, a little more money and a little less work would be fantastic. Fairly recently, I turned sixty years old, with the years between my forties and fifties seeming to flash by in an instant. Sixty. How the heck did that happen? What words starting with F can describe sixty? Formidable? Frolicsome? Foxy? I doubt it. Sixty is too old to be fetching and too young to be flamboyant or flashy. I’ll save that for my 90’s. In my sixties, I would like to be fair, friendly, flexible, and forgiving. All of that while flourishing as a famous author who writes fascinating stories about an old Farm Woman who solves mysteries while raising chickens and making fabulous soups. Not out of her chickens, of course. How’s that for a funny flight of imagination? I should make soup more often.

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