a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I am no longer a soccer mom

Aren't the soccer moms the ones that drive mini vans?

Forgive me if you are (were) a soccer mom and drove (drives) a mini van.

I drove a mini van since 1989.  Is there an intervention for such a thing?

Two Chevy Astro vans and an Oldsmobile Silhouette.

The Oldsmobile Silhouette was purchased August 28, 1999.  It was a necessary purchase, one we didn't want to make, but the newly paid off 1996 Chevy Astro van had been totalled 18 days prior (not my fault).

The Silhouette was 17 years old with 93,695 miles on it.  It got a lot of driving when the kids were going to school, this activity, that activity. This vacation. This move. This son learning how to drive. This son taking it when his car was broken down.  You know the story.

The last few years it barely got driven. There were times when we lived in Prescott before we moved to Phoenix that it didn't get driven for 2-3 weeks at a time. The battery would go dead during those times but always started with a charge.

It needed work, but it still got you around for short distances. I rejoiced that it made the drive from Prescott to Phoenix without breaking down.

It was the last connection with that silly corgi of ours. He had many a car ride in it and had journeyed from Montana to Southern California in it, several places in Southern California too.  It still had corgi hair in it (a gift that keeps on giving, even when you vacuum diligently).

But alas.

Time to let it go.

We needed another reliable vehicle. Hubby drives 50 miles one way to work. His Nissan Versa is great and good on gas, but it was time to get another vehicle to drive on the weekends to give the Versa a bit of a rest.

It was time to say goodbye to the Silhouette.

Hubby did his research and based on what he thought we needed, he thought the Nissan Rogue was a good thing to buy.

He did a lot of research on prices, models, etc.

We went to the dealership this past Saturday. Prepared to get the deal we wanted. We had printed paperwork of what the car was going for, the abundance of cars in the dealership, and the fact that the Rogue which had a previous selling day of 51 days went up to 71 days.

We got an inexperienced sales person. Three weeks into the job. He learned a lot in the negotiations. We were his first car sold there at the dealership. He remarked he wished he had worn a tie that day because I guess it is customary for a salesman to cut his tie when making his first car sale. A delightful young man. I wish him and his family well.

We got a really great deal. Thankful to hubby for his research and his negotiations. I stay out of it. I tell him "you do your thing" (after all that is what he does for a living) and I tell him "when its time to walk, you let me know and I'll be right behind you." I knew we needed a car but I didn't want a car payment so if he said "its time to go" I would have been right there behind him.

What I didn't realize was how sentimental I would be towards the Silhouette. Cleaning it out Saturday morning before we went in, I saw the bits of a corgi's fur. And then I remembered so many wonderful memories of that van. My kids grew up in that van. Seventeen years. Low mileage. At the dealership they were amazed at the condition of it and the low mileage.

I cried a few tears and said to our salesman when we got there "I changed my mind" (We had been in the previous week to look at Rogues and do some fact finding).

It was a good vehicle. It never left me stranded and it needed minor repairs.

This Rogue potentially could be the last vehicle we purchase. Its sobering.  But if we keep it as long as the Silhouette, it really very well could be.

And the car payment really isn't that bad.

And it rides similar to the van.

Now I just have to drive it more.

Working at home, I never drive. But it will be the weekend vehicle and if I need to run an errand during the week.  I would imagine it too will have low mileage during its life.

Goodbye van. Thank you for being so faithful to us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

the couch

I admit I snore.  I admit I don't know when I'm snoring when I'm asleep, but I do know I snore.  Have you ever awakened yourself because of your snoring? Yep, that's me.

I admit hubby snores. When we had the corgi, he snored too. Son used to comment he would come home late at night and walk down the hall to the bedrooms and hear 3 distinct snorers.

Fact of life.

We snore.

Most nights I can "endure" hubby's snoring. Most nights he can't endure my snoring. The secret for him is getting to sleep before I start snoring. The secret for me is to be asleep soundly before he starts snoring.

We have a backup plan. The couch in the den. It is somewhat comfortable but it is the farthest room from the bedroom, i.e., less noisy snoring.

I wake up in the middle of the night and look over and hubby is not in bed. I'm thinking "my snoring" which is usually confirmed the next morning. Some rare days he'll have trouble sleeping for other reasons.

He'll wake up in the middle of the night and look over and sure enough I'm not in bed and he'll think "snoring" which is confirmed more than not in the morning, though sometimes insomnia will get the best of me and I'll just give up and go to the couch rather than toss and turn in bed and disrupt him.

I wonder what would happen if we ever fought over the couch, i.e., we both arrived at the conclusion we needed out of the bed at the same time. Thankfully there is a love seat and couch out there. It could work.

I sleep on the couch, albeit not the most restful of sleep. I wake up a bit, check the time and my tablet and then try to fall back to sleep. Some nights I'm successful, other nights I'm not.

I often wonder why babies and young children resist a nap. Wouldn't  you love to have the opportunity to take a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day and not have to worry about responsibilities? I know I would. Work would frown on it though.

I would take it in a heartbeat.

One day we'll have to replace the couch. It has seen better days.

But now it is a safe comfort in the middle of a sleepless snore filled night.

And are you a snorer?

Its okay, confess it if you are.

You are among friends.

No one will judge.

You'll be welcomed either way.

Even if you wake me up with your snoring.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Duckie stopped shining his special light, memorial service on Friday

Duckie was a good duck.  He did his job, and he did it well.  He was to swim around the swimming pool and dispense chlorine as chlorine needed to be dispensed.

He was always there on time. Worked his 24/7 shift and did it without complaint.

He smiled when it was hot.

He smiled when it was extremely hot.

He just smiled.

He had a friend, Sharkie, (thermometer) who sometimes they got along and sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they would be side by side, but sometimes they would be on opposite sides. There are pictures of them together, but Sharkie is too distraught to give permission for me to share them. He rather remember Duckie as Duckie.....before the end happened.

Duckie glowed at night. He enjoyed shinining his light in a pool that needed to be illuminated. He was happy to serve others. It was at night that I think he particularly smiled.

But then, horrors! How could it happen?

Duckie slipped from our midst. We were out one night and it was getting dark. Duckie should have glowed, yet he remained dark. He should have shined, but no light was shining.

We looked at each other.

And realized Duckie was gone.

No longer would we enjoy his bright smile. No longer would he bring us joy.

He was just a shell of the duck he used to be.

Still holding chlorine.

But forever dimmed.


We will miss that duck. But in honor of his faithful service we won't replace him until the coming spring. We will respect that he needs to continue to float around the pool faithfully doing what he does best.

He will always be our first duck and our favorite duck here where we live.

We will always remember him fondly.

If you want to participate in his memorial service, please accompany us this coming Friday at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, bring chlorine tablets. I think he would appreciate that.

And with his passing, I fear too our summer swimming days are over. I thought we would be swimming later in the year. The spirit is willing but perhaps the flesh is too timid. I must admit, I'm chicken. I love warm temps for the pool (88 plus degrees). My last time swimming was a few weeks ago. Hubby braved it last week when it dropped to 78 degrees for a few days. Son and step grand daughter went in yesterday at 82 degrees. The nights are cooling down.

Time to perhaps close the pool until the next season.....though son thinks maybe just a few more weeks.....but he is braver than me.

In the meantime......fondly remember Duckie; and his illuminated light. We will too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Would you respect the sign??

Time for your (honest) opinions/experiences.  

You all know that I work from ____________

Yes, home if you guessed the answer.

You all know I'm paid on ___________

Yes, production.

Two for two, I bet some of you are 100% at this point of the quiz. But wait, there's more! 

So what would be two of my main distractions to working? (Not counting Facebook because that's not really a distraction, I keep on it for family and I do my blog reading before work and in the evening).

My two biggest distractions would be _______ and _________

Phone and people ringing the doorbell.

Now in my case, the phone is not a distraction.  I do not pick it up except for hubby, son, DIL, and my work. I keep it short and sweet too with those I talk to because time is _________.


So now that we are in Phoenix, we are being baraged by a lot of door to door salesmen. Windows, house painting, solar (that was my funnest one. He had the audacity to try to sell his product while he was looking down at his cell phone the entire time......hmmm.....and I'm going to buy your product because of???????) He even had more of an audacity when he came a week later to follow up and he still was looking down at his cell phone.  I politely said "no thank you" but did offer him water. (Its my standard thing, I'll say "no" but will offer them water, its hot here most of the year).

When we lived in Prescott, we lived in (tough question, worth 50 extra points if we were counting points) a __________ community.

Gated!! Yea!! I know some of you got that one.

We never had door to door salesmen.  When we were in the San Diego area, when people came to the door I would tell them I didn't own the house (which wasn't a lie because technically I didn't own the house, it was in hubby's name).

Now I own the house and I don't live in a gated community.

And one by one all solicitors seem to come to our door.

And another bonus question.  If you have been reading my blog for a bit, you know that I work by a ___________ that directly faces the __________ and the _____________ across the street.

(window, street, neighbors) Give yourself an extra 100 points if you got that right.

Okay, so now I'm at the point of my whole post. Thanks for sticking with me.

Do "No Solicitation" signs work??? We were thinking of putting one up, but are they effective?? Would it keep the Jehovah Witnesses away?? (Honestly, its nice they evangelize but "no I'm busy, I'm working, I can't talk") should be a sign that yes, I'm busy, I'm working, I can't talk. I saw them coming the other day and closed my blinds so they couldn't see in and see me and then when they rang the doorbell I felt guilty so I had to get the door.

Would I still get the door if there was a sign there?

I've never put up a "No Solicitation" sign.  

Have you??

Really want to know your opinions either way and its okay if you do enjoy the door to door salesmen. I know they are just out there to do their job, but so am I when I'm trying to work.


Comment away........

Monday, September 19, 2016

When I Realized I am Old

I love to read.  There were periods in my life when I read less, periods when I read more.  There were times I could not put the book down even if it meant I would be tired the next day. If you are a reader, you know exactly what I mean.

Nowadays, I belong to several ebook sites that send daily emails of reduced ebooks for sale or even free books. I try to get as many free books as I can, but there are those occasional (okay frequent) books that get my attention and I end up purchasing them. Thankfully they mostly cost $2.00 and change so that's not too bad. Sometimes I put a moratorium on books "no more books until I read all I have on my tablet" and then someone does a review of a book that looks fascinating and then, of course, you know the rest of that story.

I just a few days ago finished a book In the Quiet by Eliza Henry Jones. It is based in Australia and usually books out of the country are not my usual reading, but this sounded like an interesting plot so I purchased it. The story is written in first person with the person narrating who is dead, but she sees her family, friends, etc., coping with her dead over a period of time, plus she relates incidents from her past in the book.  It was well written and I enjoyed it a lot.  Thought provoking at times too.

What got me though at the end of the book it had the usual credits and acknowledgements that books do and had a little bit about the author.  She was born in 1990. That made her as of this year (whenever her birthday) 26 years old. Son was born in 1989.

She wrote this really well written book sometime before she was 26 years old (book published in 2015). Whether she self published or not, she got a book published in her 20's. I don't know statistics, but I wonder how often that occurs.

And that's when I realized how old I am.

I don't really know the ages of some of the authors I read. I know there are some that are older than me like Danielle Steele (don't judge me, she's a quick easy read and as a mom with young kids you could read her books and still keep an eye on your toddler, preschooler, etc., and still keep up with the plot) and Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen.

How did I get old so quick?

Do you wonder that too?

Have you read a good book lately? (I'm almost afraid to ask that question because it might be one more that I'll have to add to my ever growing "to be read" stack.")

Saturday, September 10, 2016

le'ts have some fun for a change

Its been so dark and dreary here that it is time to have some fun.  

Amazingly, because I have absolutely no idea how time could have flown like it did, next month hubby and me will be married 36 years.  That's virtually impossible when you consider I'm only 40 (right).......the truth is, it truly will be 36 years.

So the other night after dinner, sitting at the table, we started playing the "best and worst" game that sometimes we play.

It goes like this.

Best meal ever.

Worst meal ever.

Best vacation ever.

Worst vacation ever.

Best place we lived.

Worse place we lived.

Best decision we made.

Worst decision we made.

You get the picture.

So, let's all play. 

Here's the categories:

Advice Given
Advice Dispensed
Car Bought
Hotel Stayed At
Time of Your Life
School Year
Spouse (assuming you were married more than one time)
Place Lived

Pick any of those above in the categories and just say either the best or the worst of that particular category.  It doesn't have to be a long explanation.

For instance

Best book - To Kill a Mockingbird 

Worst placed lived - Santa Fe, New Mexico

You can expound upon it if you want or just give a brief answer or a long one if you want to.

I think it will be fun to read people's responses, don't you??

I'll go first (after it, it is my idea we play) No prizes rewarded, just lots of fun

Best Vacation:  May 2005, Washington, DC. Hubby, me, son. We had just gotten through a particularly bad time.  School was done for the year.  Visited my sister and her family and my mom.  Brother and his family were there for 2 days of our visit so we all got together.  During our week there we rode the Metro (loved it), explored Washington, DC, saw many of the Smithsonian museums, ate too much, walked a lot, had a blast of a time.  And I was skinny at the time, so that was an added bonus :)

Your turn......

Come on, play along.....

You know you want too.......

Thursday, September 8, 2016

in other news

So while I await what will happen (see last post), life goes on.  Thank you for all your kind words and prayers.  I dearly love you all.  We have such a great blogging community, don't we??  We might not meet face to face, but we are here for each other.  Thick and thin.  Good or bad.  Happy or sad.  We sit behind our keyboards, our smart phones, our tablets.  And we read, we comment, we pray, we worry, we laugh.  We are united.

A few of us are lucky and have met fellow bloggers.  I've met four and I've been richly blessed by meeting them face to face.  

I tell a "stranger" things I might not tell my own family.  I pour out my heart through the keyboard and you guys LOVE me and SUPPORT me and say you will be there for me and I know you will.

I love God's timing even when it doesn't make sense.  I got transferred to another account at work last week. I have to relearn things, different format, different terminology.  I have less time to stew and a lot of time to try to get it right and do what I'm supposed to do.  What was once effortless is a bit of a stretch now to produce what I need to produce.  It has made me focus less on what is going on and more on work production for the hours I'm "chained" to the keyboard.

Truly I am chained to it.  Paid production.  I must produce if I'm going to be paid.  Every time I take my hands off that keyboard during my shift, I'm losing money.  I don't take phone calls unless it is family members and then I limit my time on the calls unless it is an emergency.  I don't take other calls and door to door salesmen rarely get more than 3 words from me.  Though I did have a salesman the other day trying to sell solar and then had the audacity to look at his cell phone the whole time he was talking to me.  I don't think he's closing the deal with us..... Just saying......

In other news, life does go on and we will survive.  We will trust, we will wait in expectation.  We won't give up.

What is the alternative if we do?

I'm not sure I want to know what that is.

So amid the tears and the pain, we continue on.

Each and everyone of us.

Because that is what we do.

I love you all.