Wednesday, May 20, 2015

no good deed goes unpunished

We have always been very generous in letting family and friends use our condo at the beach.  I like to have people there so if something goes wrong I'll know right away and not when I arrive to find that all the food in the fridge has rotted.  But occasionally that comes back to bite you.  This past spring break an extended family member (very extended) asked to use the condo for a family spring break trip.  I said "Certainly, Have a great time."  Mom, Dad, and three kids.  So teenage girl kid is angry one day and jerks her bathing suit off the little trellis I have on the porch for drying wet suits and towels and although the trellis is attached to the wall she manages to angrily pull it so hard is comes away from the wall and pushes a hole in the screen.  A small hole but a hole nonetheless.  And I do not want to live with a hole in my screen.  So they offer to pay for the repair.   I'm certain that they had no idea that the repair would be a major event and $240.  It's a big deal because the electric hurricane shutters had to be removed and reinstalled to be able to pull the screens.  I made the arrangements for the screen repair and while my dad was visiting the condo the repair got done.

Now, I think everything is good until I get the phone call from my dad this morning.  One of the shutters on the porch closed as usual but on the other one the motor runs but the shutter does not close.  I said "Don't worry about it.  I'll call the man who repaired the screen to see if maybe it got off the track when he was working."  This is the best case scenario because if the shutter is actually broken it is illegal for them to repair it as no longer meets building code and I'll have to have it replaced with new shutters that meet current code .  The hole in the screen then will cost me about $10,000.

Hopefully my repair person can go to the condo tomorrow to look it over.  Luckily I do trust him to be honest in his assessment.  I've used him for lots of jobs and he's always been very good and had fair prices for his work.  But because he is so honest I know that if it is actually broken he won't break the law and go ahead and fix it.  He doesn't do new installs of shutters so it isn't any incentive for him to not tell the truth to sell me new shutters.  At this point all I can do is shudder when I think about it.
You gotta love it when you call your 93 year old father on the phone while he is on vacation and he tells you he just got a pedicure and that "they did a pretty good job."  Now I'm off to get my mani/pedi so I can keep up.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

While reading the Washington Post this morning  (Dear commencement speakers of 2015: You look fabulous!) I had a revelation on the fundamental difference between what makes a conservative and what makes a liberal. This article referenced two books,  "The World is Waiting For You:  Graduation Speeches to Live By From Activists, Writers, and Visionaries" and "Remembering Who We Are:  A Treasure of Conservative Commencement Addresses."  This pretty much sums it up - Liberals see the possibilities while conservatives are afraid of losing what they have.  Looking forward vs looking backward.

It plays out even in the workplace.  I remember clearly a large and very risky project we were undertaking.  One of the other management team members would talk to me asking "What if we fail?"  and I kept replying "What if we succeed? "  And he was never really convinced.  And he changed jobs and left the project.  And we succeeded to great acclaim!

We need to reframe this fundamental difference somehow so that the conservatives are less afraid of loss and failure and more able to see the possibilities.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The list


  • Monday, May 18 - Pharmacy @ 9 am, commissary  - buy COFFEE!
  • Tuesday, May 19 - LaV to Walter Reed
  • Wednesday, May 20 - Get stuff ready for Providence trip - Gift for Sarah, and hostess gift for her dad.  Maybe my latest shipment of wine for him?    Yes.   Daddy arrives back from Florida.  do laundry, etc.  mani/pedi, library
  • Thursday, May 21 - Groceries, etc for Daddy.  mow lawn, pick up dry cleaning, tailor
  • Friday, May 22 - Drive to Providence
  • Weekend FUN!
  • Tuesday, May, 26 - Drive home
  • Wednesday, May 27 - Daddy groceries, etc. Mow lawn,  Laundry, etc.   Pack and go to Judy's for house party.  Take wine and cheese etc.  Don't forget blowup bed and sheets, blankets and bathing suit!.  Call for shuttle for June 3.
  • Thursday, May 28 - Party with friends.  Fancy lunch.  Sleep over
  • Friday, May 29 -  Opthalmalogist appointment 8:15 am!   Stop back by Judy's to get my stuff.
  • Saturday, May 30 - Pool opens!  
  • Sunday, May 31 - Daddy breakfast
  • Monday, June 1 - Clean house, daddy shopping, etc
  • Tuesday, June 2 - NOTHING PLANNED!  Get ready to leave for Florida.  MOW LAWN
  • Wednesday, June 3 - Cocoa Beach!


Monday, May 11, 2015

My Mother's Day gift was a visit from my son.  He has a new job as a sales representative for a marine hardware wholesale company and his territory at its very southern reaches includes the D.C. area.  He had sales calls set up in Annapolis for this week so he arrived Saturday for a visit.  He had no idea that it was Mother's Day when he arranged this but he gets my credit anyway.  We had a nice quick visit and it is such a treat to my father to have him around.  They are both sailors and talk for hours about stuff that I do not understand.  My son is so lovingly patient with my father and treats all these conversations as though they are the most important things in the world.
Grandson and Grandfather  at Washington Sailing Marina - Two sailors talking sailing

Monday, May 04, 2015

Take a deep breath. Let it go.

I'm not sure how to characterize my weekend.  Maybe just to say I am enjoying the silence of Monday.  My good friend arrived Friday and we enjoyed many hours of chatting and catching up on children and families and reminiscences of periods of our life together.  Or maybe best to say I listened to her talk about her children and her family and her life, current and past.   She remembers every slight, every perceived insult, every bad thing that ever happened to her.  She constantly makes herself relive the pain and revive old grievances.  It is exhausting and painful for her and exhausting for me.  

We have been friends for 40 years and I imagine I, too, have insulted or offended her at some time or other but apparently I can be forgiven but I have never seen anyone hold on to so much hurt.  So many times this weekend I want to hold her hands and say "Take a deep breath.  Now, let it go."  The most important thing I have learned in my 60+ years is that you just have to 'let it go'.  If not, the only person who suffers is you.

Namaste.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A dear friend is visiting me this weekend.  Well, not actually visiting me, but staying with me while she attends a Viennese Waltz extravaganza.  She lived in DC for many, many years - actually her whole working life - so she doesn't need the grand tour of the city or to be entertained which is nice. My conundrum for this visit is that she has become a vegan.  She never had any vegetarian or vegan tendencies until she visited her adult daughter a few years ago.  The daughter has been vegan for a long, long time. It started as an attention getting step when she wanted to make her mother crazy but she continued long past her mother caring what she ate.

I figured I could provide vegan meals while she is here as many things are vegetable based and I can just leave off the meat course.  So, the menu is:  Friday night - Spaghetti Squash Primavera (excellent!  I'll just leave the cheese topping off the casserole); Saturday breakfast - fruit, bagels, cereal with not-real milk); Saturday night - black beans and rice (have in the freezer from Noche Buena) with plantains and salad.  Snacks are corn chips, salsa, guacamole, hummus, celery, etc.

When researching for my menus I realized that 1) many vegan/vegetarian things are "pretend" meat products, and 2) almond milk is an ecological disaster. The more I thought about the vegan movement the less I could appreciate someone adopting this life choice.  I could far more, and do support efforts for humane treatment of animals but, let's face it, they are food.  Animals eat animals, just try offering a lion a kale salad.  And turns out chickens fed a totally vegetarian diet will peck one another to death because of lack of essential nutrients.  And don't get me started on almond milk.  It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a glass of almond milk!  and one glass of almond milk has minimal protein so it doesn't even have good nutritional value.  Just drink a glass of water and you and the earth would be better off.