Friday, July 29, 2011

BEWARE OF STRANGERS AT DOOR


Recently there was an incident, locally, that gave me cause to pause. An elderly woman, not much older than my husband, answered her front door. The young man that stood before her wanted to use her telephone. She politely told him he couldn’t and proceeded to shut the door. He barged in, beating her to a pulp and began ransacking her house, stealing what he could carry. Luckily the poor lady escaped with her life, bloody and bruised. The moral to this story is not to answer the door to strangers. I’m in tune with this philosophy. The other day, around 2:30 in the afternoon, my doorbell rang. I peaked through the blinds, outside. It was a couple of young guys in an old dilapidated red truck, whose attire had seen better days. One of them was leaning on my doorbell for sport. My 35 year old daughter wanted to answer it. I insisted she didn’t. After about 10 minutes there was silence. So I assumed he left with his buddy. I slowly opened my door to check, just in time to see the pair of them... speed away, laughing. I wondered what was so funny?  Good Riddance. No doubt they were looking for work. Since I only hire help, I know something about, they were out of luck. I thought this was the end of the story. I was wrong. It was garbage day at my house and the can was still out at the curb.  I had heard the trash collector’s truck come by earlier that morning, so I knew it was empty. Usually I let my husband get it, but I thought I’d be nice and do it for him. Meanwhile, my daughter was leaving for the store. She anxiously called me from her cellphone on her way to her car. She gave me a heads up about what I’d find at the end of my driveway. I went out to see for myself. Sitting there on the curb, next to the trashcan was a large empty box of Contractor Crack Sealant and a half full bucket of gravel. Inside the can were a couple of big bags, stuffed with what I assumed were empty containers from McDonalds. Also on the side of the road was a pile of dead tree branches.  I live in a nice residential neighborhood. The township would pick up the branches, but what about the garbage? I couldn’t believe it.The guys in the red truck had indeed left their calling card. No wonder they were laughing. Their trash was in my front yard and in my garbage can. The NERVE of some people. I wanted to call the police... my husband said not to. He told me... I would be overreacting. I want to know... how are you supposed to react... to such a thing? Seriously. Tell me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CARTOON & TOMATO SOUP HEADBOARDS

I am a terrible traveler. All the packing and lugging of suitcases is just too much trouble. I hate it. When my husband worked for a large corporation, years ago… I would accompany him on most all of his business trips. Back then, we lived out of suitcases. I was in my twenties. It was great fun. I found joy in each stop made. I embraced the fancy décor of the room or suite I was in, and made myself right at home. But with no access to a car, after he left for his meetings… I would have to make casual conversation when the maid showed up. Talk about awkward. Then I would spend the rest of my days lounging around the pool, ordering room service and watching cable TV. (this was before we had it at home) I know. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Later, in the evenings… my hubby and I would explore, the sights and sounds, of whatever town we happened to be in. It was a good life. But traveling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It gets boring after a while. And I get bored easily…. not to mention the fact, I hate being cooped up. So I stopped going with him. I said it was to tend to the children and their needs. The truth was, I had had enough of motels. Once the kids grew up and left the house… guess what? I found myself back on the road with my husband. Older this time around, I found the pleasure in each opportunity. Living in motels became a way of life. But when that big corporate job ended… due to age discrimination… my husband scrambled to find a new one. It took a while, but he eventually found a position with a small startup company. They didn’t have the money to be gallivanting all over the country… so business trips, like the ones he was accustomed to, faded from memory. That is until recently. With a product now ready for market… my husband has begun to travel for his job, once again. A few weeks ago he had to go to Wisconsin for business. He asked me to tag along. I graciously declined. It’s a good thing. It was near impossible for him to find a room. Everywhere he looked was booked solid. He ended up staying in Menomonee Falls. It’s within driving distance to Milwaukee. The Radisson Hotel there was new. They had a room available and they were running a special deal if you booked it online. AMAZINGLY… their rates were cheaper than most of the other places, he had looked at. Because rooms were scarce elsewhere… he jumped at this one before someone else gobbled it up. Beggars can’t be choosers. Poor baby. No roughing it, like we do at home. I was jealous. The Radisson. Should have gone with him. On the other hand… he was surprised at what he found in the room. The décor was unlike anything he had ever seen in all his years of traveling. Think Andy Warhol. Pictures of Tomato Soup Cans, Movie Posters and Cartoons decorated the headboards. Modern lamps, unusual faucets and contemporary carpet completed the look. According to the hotel, the decor had an URBAN theme. I’m glad I didn’t go. I would have felt like a fish out of water in that atmosphere. I want to feel like I’m in a home away from home when I travel. I need the setting to be comfy, cozy. This URBAN stuff would have made me feel a tad bit uncomfortable. The hubby on the other hand… hunkered down for his stay on the company dime and got to like it. What do you think?

Friday, July 15, 2011

A LAKE VIEW & ANNIVERSARY

We went to the lake to celebrate our anniversary.
Here are some images from our outing.
Old fashioned lamps, fresh flowers and pretty bird shaped salt and pepper shakers... were on every single table, at the restaurant... we ate lunch in. It was in an old Victorian house. (I forgot to take a picture of it)  We could have eaten out on the verandah... but, it was so hot outside, we opted for the air conditioning and romantic decor inside. We ordered crabcakes... covered in Remoulade Sauce. They were to die for. So scrumptious. I want to eat there everyday. The perfect location and atmosphere.

 The winds were calm, the sun was shining, temps were in the 80's. Everybody was out on the water having fun. Some were boating. Others were fishing. We were taking photos.

My hubby down at the docks on the water's edge.





More photos of the gorgeous sky and colorful boats.

A refreshing glass of water to quench our thirst before heading home. Love that lemon and sprig of fresh mint, per my request.

"Sunrise.Sunset. Swiftly flow the days..."

Friday, July 8, 2011

TIRED OF MEN'S WORK

When I went out to eat at Panera Bread last week... I noticed a roofing nail embedded in my back left tire. It wasn’t flat but it concerned me. I wondered where I had picked it up. Twice this year we had to have AAA come out to the house to fix flats in my husband’s van. Fortunately no emergencies were involved. In both cases they were able to put a plug in the tire to fix it. They can only do that if the foreign object is on the face of the tire where it hits the road. If the problem is in the sidewall of the tire, they can’t repair it. This back left tire could probably be plugged, but the tires have some serious miles on them. So rather than wait for a slow leak to develop from the puncture, we opted to just replace the tire. The local tire store didn’t have our kind in stock. According the manager of the place, the new tires would have to be special ordered. He couldn’t predict when they’d come in. But he’d give us a call. My husband couldn’t take off work, so the deal was, I’d have to handle it. My husband usually takes care of all car business. Inevitably when I handle such things... something always goes wrong... and my husband ends up getting a frantic call... usually at the most inopportune time... with me screaming, "HELP". But we were cautiously optimistic, this time, things would be pretty straightforward. So... when the tires finally came in... I took my van in at the designated time. They told me it would take approximately 45 minutes to do the job. First, they had to pull the old tires off the rear and toss them. Then, as per my husbands request… they would put the front tires on the back of the van, and the new tires on the front. This confused me, but made sense to all of them. Go figure. They told me to have a seat in the waiting room. It consisted of rows of uncomfortable folding chairs and tables scattered throughout their showroom. I was one of two women in the place. The rest were men. I felt like a fish in a fishbowl. On each table was an assortment of testosterone related reading material and nothing else. IMAGINE that? It made me a tad bit uncomfortable. Thank goodness for my Droid smartphone. I was easily able to access my Kindle and read something a bit more to my liking. Plus... it kept me occupied. I was surprised when the shop guy called my name and said they were finished. Thank goodness the time passed quickly. With the new tires... now on the van, I was able to go on my way, and leave this stifling environment behind. I'm TIRED of men's work.

Friday, July 1, 2011

THE CELL PHONE vs THE LAND-LINE

After he invented the telephone… it has been said that Alexander Graham Bell thought the contraption was a disruption. Therefore he did NOT have one in his office. I do not know if that is true, I read it somewhere online. But can you imagine what he would think today. We are connected at all times. We carry a telephone everywhere we go, disruption or not. When my daughter took out her land-line and opted for cellular service only, my husband applauded the move. He thinks having both is redundant and a big waste of money. He wants to do the same thing here at our house. And… I have my hands full keeping him from doing it. My arguments against it, are weak, at best. But one got his attention. I’m concerned my daughter took her land-line out because with two young children, at home... and just the cell phones in use, what happens in an emergency situation if both parents are gone with their phones. How do the kids call for help? It makes for a bad scenario if you ask me. I’m sure they have a contingency plan in place that I don’t know about, but still, it’s worrisome. The truth is I love my house phone. I’m not ready to give it up. The memories of talking to the operator to place a call, spending teenage years with the phone glued to my ear, endless holidays and special occasions celebrated with relatives from afar with the telephone cord stretched out as far as it could go… play in my head. Having it is like having a security blanket. I’ve always had it. The footprint of a land-line is larger than a cell phone. The keys are enormous. I can read it without my glasses. I know where it is… secured to the wall in the kitchen. Or sitting next to the bed in the bedroom. If the lights go out I don’t have to dig through my purse looking for it in the dark, which is where my cell phone would be. Furthermore, if the power goes out, the land-line still works. My cell phone might need to be charged and if I can’t do that, tell me what good are all the fancy things it does. So for now, I’m winning the war. The land-line stays. But my husband insists it is obsolete. When he decides to retire and we’re reduced to living on Social Security, things are going to have to change. He’s already told me, the house phone aka land-line will be the very first thing to go. So I guess I better get used to the idea. But I can tell you... the thought of it, doesn’t make me happy. Am I spoiled or what?