Thursday, July 02, 2015

Random

Life is good here.  Summer means long evenings on the back porch, meals made of whatever can be concocted from what's in the refrigerator, and a general laziness that suits my nature.  Projects get postponed until winter when we will have to be stuck in the house (at which point they get postponed again because wouldn't summer be a much better time to do all this work?)

Last week was wonderful, and dreadful.  The Supreme Court decisions confirmed that in the end, it will all be fine.  But the horrible shooting in the Charleston church and now re-fighting the Civil War is so depressing.  As are the comments about heritage of the Confederate flag and the 1-man, 1-woman comments about gay marriage from some of my friends.  I keep breathing deep and reminding myself that they are far more likely to to change their minds if I lead them by example than if I scold them.  Lots of deep breathing involved.

My daughter and her partner have started a new adventure in Cleveland where they have both landed spectacular jobs!  My daughter is a research scientist at Cleveland Clinic and the Learner College of Medicine, and her partner is with the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.  At least when we are old and sick we will have good resources for medical care!  They found a perfect apartment (although it is so small they had to carefully read the Mari Kondo book on the Magic of Tidying Up!) and it is in a neighborhood they are beginning to love.  Walk to coffee, walk to restaurants and bars, a beautiful city park at the the end of the street, and 2 miles from work!   They are finally settling in for the long term as these are "real" jobs and they are planning to make Cleveland their home.

Son and dear girlfriend are on a good path.  She is still looking for a permanent job but he now has a job that can support both of them until she finds a job in her field.  He travels all the time for work - they told him it would be a least 50% travel and this first year he anticipates more like 80% - and then has regattas every weekend.  Lovely girlfriend is also traveling with her current job so they only occasionally find that they are both at home at the same time.  They are in tune with one another, and both grew up in households where you learned to be independent so this works for them.

I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks at the beach and then 3+ weeks in Spain.  I can tell my father is a bit concerned about my schedule as he keeps asking me when I am leaving and how long I'll be gone.  He has a perfectly good memory so I think it is his way of expressing concern that I'm going to be gone "too long".  He will be fine while I'm gone as he has his girlfriend and his activities to keep him busy, and he'll be on vacation one of the weeks I'm in Spain.  He will not, however, have someone available to fix the TV remote when he screws it up so that is probably his biggest worry.

My flowers in the front of the house look like crap.  I plant stuff and then half of it dies, then I try to fill in with things and half of them die.  Add to that the fact that I have no good idea of what to plant and the heights listed on the plant tags and how tall they actually get are apparently totally unrelated measurements.  Two plants, both said 12-18 inches tall on the tag, one plant is now at least 3 feet tall and the other one is about 6-8 inches tall.  I'm giving into the randomness finally and if you stand on the sidewalk in front of the house and squint it looks ok,   And if you happen to know what kind of flower this is, please let me know.


Help!  What kind of flower is this?  (and please excuse the bird shit on the wall.)

Monday, June 01, 2015

Busy busy

I have had a whirlwind couple of weeks which have been just delightful!   Over Memorial Day weekend we went to Providence to attend the Master's graduation of "the lovely Sarah", our son's girlfriend.  It was a full weekend of celebration and parties.  Friday night dinner, Saturday night cookout, Sunday graduation and multiple parties, and then Monday was a lazy day to recover.  We were invited to spend the entire weekend with Sarah's father at his home in Onset, a wonderful place on the water where we could appreciate the full New England coast experience.  What a wonderful treat!

Home for less than 24 hours and I had a "ladies slumber party" at the home of a friend.  These are friends who do not live close enough for lunch so we try to make some time to see each other a couple of times a year.  This time we gathered at the home that had the pool so we sat and enjoyed the good weather, had an elegant lunch at a fancy restaurant and caught up with each other's lives. Two nights there and then back home where I got ready for....

..... the retirement party for a very close friend.  It was a wonderful celebration where all the family and friends attended and we had tons of food and wonderful weather for lots of outside seating and a real tribute to his career..

Now I'm getting ready to leave for two weeks at the beach to recover but I just sent invites for a party at the beach since we are having trouble fitting in separate dinners with friends when we come down. So the invite went out for our small group and I've started to plan the menu;  Barbecue sandwiches, corn salad, potato salad, cole slaw (because who in their right mind would eat a BBQ sandwich without cole slaw on it?), chips/dip, beer, wine, soda and some signature punch (lemon based?), and cookies for dessert.  Easy peasy!

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