Oct 062021
 

October 6, 2021 — About 10 p.m. last evening, I flushed the commode after doing my duty in the master bathroom. The water in the basin rose unexpectedly and spilled over the top of the rim. I jumped back to avoid getting wet, and the forty-foot tether of oxygen tubing that is my constant friend pulled the metal. vertical, toilet paper holder over and ruined four rolls of Cottonelle. (No cheap stuff for Mama.)

After the flooding ceased, I flushed again. I had my trusty plunger in hand and jumped into the delightful task of plunging before the water got too high again. I was successful, but there was already water all over the floor. The red chenille bathroom rug became the Lake Titicaca under my feet.

I moved the scales, a laundry basket, and the trash can to the adjacent master bedroom.

I had to mop the tile floor immediately, and I went to the closet for my Swiffer (used for emergencies.)  The twice-a-month housekeepers bring mops and soap. Unfortunately, like most cleaning products in this house, the Swiffer was long dead, batteries corroded in their little nest.

I yelled for Herman to go to the garage and bring me a bucket and a mop.  I grabbed the Spic and Span from the laundry closet. Thankfully, we had what looked like three brand-new boxes, unopened.

Herman took forever. I heard him coming up the basement stairs, breathing heavily. He carried our yellow plastic mop buck

See the source image

et and wringer, which he had already filled with water.

I’m not going to argue with him when he’s trying to help me, but I might have put the water in after climbing the stairs.

I cannot explain the mind of mortal man.

The water in the bucket was cold and looked dingy, though Herman said he cleaned out the bucket before dragging it from the furnace room in the bowels of the house. It’s too heavy for me to lift. He instructed me to add the Spic and Span, which I did after adding hot water from the tap.

I mopped the room. Herman said he would dump the dirty mop bucket water in his bathtub just yards away.

In anticipation of the bi-weekly housekeepers’ visit, he had just completed his laundry, and I was about to do mine. The housekeepers were due to visit a day from now. Our motto: “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” There were laundry baskets all over the floor in the bedroom. I made a path for him.

He wound the big yellow bucket and wringer through the path, me jumping out of the way with my plastic tubing in tow. The bucket of water flipped on its side at the lip between the bedroom floor and the hallway floor, expelling the cold, dirty mop water back into the bedroom and out into the hallway, edging close to my office, the exercise room, and the laundry closet.

I had used the clean towels for Niagara Falls # 1. We had no choice but to use my dirty laundry to soak up the water.

Thankfully, my pandemic wardrobe absorbs well – sweatpants and black t-shirts.  Sublime pride rose in my chest that my 44DD bras were particularly good soakers.

Now, eight loads of laundry later, I’m thrilled to have clean floors and clean clothes. Retirement is grand.

 

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Jul 092021
 

July 9, 2021 — We anticipate summer forever and then it seems to rush by. A friend told me that her grandchildren return to school in less than a month.  Returning to school in early August is a silly thing.  Why do children need to spend half their summer in school?  When I was a kid  (there it is, old person lingo) we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day.  Of course, there was no air conditioning, and that was a big part of it.  Still, on the East Coast, many children do not return to school until mid-September.  This feels right to me.

In truth, it is not summer I highly anticipate.  It is spring.  In southwestern Indiana, summer means ozone days and chunky air. My home sits smack dab in the middle of five coal-fired plants, that are noted for polluting the air.  Combine that with the humidity of the Ohio River Valley, and summer can be daunting.  With my lung disease, I don’t go out much in the summer.

This summer has seemed strange to me,  but not nearly as strange and quiet as the Great Summer of Lockdown 2020, but different.  On one hand, we are delighted that things seem to be opening back up  But everyone seems confused.  On my one trip out of the house since Monday, I went to the local Post Office.  A  small sign on the plastic window  stated, “Masks are required inside the lobby.”  Which lobby?  The outer lobby?  Or this one where the sign is?  Did I miss the sign on the outer door?

I am fully vaccinated.  What should I do?  But I also have several health conditions and I’m not a teenager anymore.  (I’m 37, two years younger than Jack Benny, a name which also dates me.)

Yesterday Pfizer announced that those individuals who received its MRNA vaccine would likely need a booster within six months of their last dose.  Wow.  How will this be managed?  Will folks who received the Moderna jab, also an MRNA vaccine, also get a this shot?  And what about those who received one shot?  What will the tiny sign on the PO window say, “For those of you who have not received your third booster if you had two shots, please mask up.” Huh?

And the Big Elephant in the American room that I’ve not yet mentioned are those people who refuse the shot.  Imagine that all over the world, people are clammering for vaccines.  We’re so fat and sassy in this country that many people are just blowing it off like it is nothing.  I have news for you.  If there’s any virus left anywhere in the world, it is coming for you if we don’t vaccinate.  Remember from the old commercial:  It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature.  And, frankly, you can’t.  You can run but you cannot hide.

So, months into the pandemic, we are still in a holding pattern.  Or are we?  A relative who drove to Indiana from Chicago this morning told me that, “Chicago traffic is back.”  Everyone — it seems — is going everywhere again.  And that’s how the soup was made before.

I will likely wear a mask out in public for the foreseeable future.  We will mostly stay at home, thankful for hobbies than engage our minds and spirits, and be awfully careful. What is your plan?

 

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Jun 292021
 

July 29, 2021 — I’m happy to report at 39 plus many, many years, I can still learn.

The reason I still learn is that I still make mistakes.

AllowSee the source image me to elucidate. That’s a good example. The word elucidate should be avoided at all costs. The phrase avoided at all costs should be avoided at all costs. That’s a cliche.

Allow me to share my idiotic choices that turned into terrible ideas.

  1.  I ordered a giveaway for 100 Kindle books and posted it on social media before the giveaway actually started.  This made people mad because it took them down a broken elevator shaft when they clicked the beautiful button.  Mad people don’t want to buy your book.  Lesson learned:  read the fine print before you start promoting.
  2. I learned mail merge and purchased a list of bookstore owners. The whole experience involved several mistakes.  Lessons learned:  First, vet the list you are buying.  People who own bookstores that are only for children, LGBTQ, or mystery lovers do not want to sell your Midwestern history book. Second, make sure you know how many outgoing emails your e-mail can send at one time.  Hint: It’s not 2900.  Mine is THREE HUNDRED.  Yes, 3-0-0-.  When you start receiving multiple “undeliverable” emails back to your Inbox, congratulations.  You’ve made several Big Boo-Boos and should be thwacked on the head.
  3. For my next mail merge, I decided to test on a certain list of public librarians from out of state.  Lesson learned:  make sure the email is attached to the mail merge or send out something blank. So that’s what I did.  However, the good news is that I accomplished this no-mail merge on the same day as the first mail merge.  (See above.)  So all the librarian emails came back as “undeliverable.”  I doubt if there will be too many Virginia librarians purchasing my book for their collection.
  4. I posted a note on social media noting that the Kindle book is available.  Lessons learned: do not post anything on social media when you are tired.  When I checked it, I found I had posted a picture of the Moen shower head I want to buy for the basement.  I feel very fortunate, however, as we are also getting a new commode for the downstairs bathroom.  Readers probably don’t wish to see either—showerhead above not an actual one, but freebie one from Wikicommons.  

In my late twenties, I worked for a man who graduated from Annapolis.  He would greet us each morning with a Navy saying, “Another day in which to excel.”  So, we will try again tomorrow, one small indie writer against the machine.

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