Tag Archives: home

So, did you ever do this? (Of course you did.)

I just found  this roasting pan (absolutely eligible for a middle school chemistry project) in my oven, where I seem to have stashed it two weeks ago. The counter was crowded and I was preparing dinner.

Bet you’ve done that, haven’t you. Come on . . .



My turn at Drama Queen? Brief.

I was just starting to enjoy this . . . the ‘oh let me do that’, the ‘we’ll go to the store for you’. Sweet. But . . . a phone call from the radiologist just now delivers a final verdict, the good news they say.

The fractured elbow is not fractured. So roll up the ace bandages, off with the splint. No plaster of paris appointment in my morning.

And I had just mastered ‘sweeping’ the lanai with the leaf blower. Which, by the way, is how I shall do it forevermore.


It beats a covered wagon, but still . . .

California to Florida? Five hours in the air – perfectly acceptable, in fact a marvel.

18 Hours of air and airport time over two days for that trip –  oh my aching back. (I did accept, indeed quietly and with grace, that on the first flight a 300 pound man chose the middle seat to my left. It happens.)

Grapefruit-Tree-CareAnd so today is about fresh air, newspapers, red grapefruit from my tree and a lot of coffee brewed my way. Plus a nap. And some strawberries I think.

Gobble, gobble y’all

This year I feel especially fortunate. More of my family is here in town – in fact, another brother and a nephew have become neighbors.  The young’un and his wife have been visiting since they were children to see grandparents So this has always been a part of ‘home’ to them.

I’m also grateful that both David Frum and David Brooks have begun using – and not in a nice way – the phrase ‘conservative-entertainment media complex’. 

(Pictured is one of the two pumpkin pies I made this morning. Came out pretty good I think; there’s an apple/cranberry yet to go.)

Happy T’day and please, please, stay away from Black Friday. I worry about injuries. 


Busy, unbloggy

A retired person like my esteemed self is not supposed to be overwhelmed with what we once called ‘work’. But I am.

It’s not the house or yard or other personal projects. It’s the damn volunteer affiliations, where I regularly over-commit, not yet having learned the obvious lesson.

And so I have my piles again, each demanding attention. There’s the newsletter for one board I’m on. And for that board, because I’m now able to remotely access the organization’s servers, I’m suddenly the go-to person for membership and other miscellaneous information as well.

There’s the unfinished grant application for the beach trust where, even though I’m no longer a Trustee (term limited), I seem to have become an ‘advisor’. As such – lucky me! – I get to do a lot of what I did as a Trustee – at least the responsibility no longer rest with me.

So, like Bart Simpson, it’s to the blackboard for me: must learn to say ‘no’. must learn to say ‘no’. must learn to . . .

And then perhaps some ice cream. It all looks better after some ice cream.

Plus the world out there offends me. And it sucks too. So there.

Two things I’m no good at

Carving meat and scooping ice cream.

That is all.

Hi Santa: I have just the spot in my kitchen for one of these. Wink, wink.

Still lite blogging and unbloggy anyway. But there is this . . .

. . . from Las Vegas’ 8 News NOW: “Trump to make ‘major announcement’ on presidential race” He still thinks we care. I think that’s kind of cute.

In other newz, my new shiny silver laptop arrived today as did my all legal-like, brand spanking new Office 10 Professional Suite. Tomorrow is a big day as my digital life finally will come off life support and be born anew.

And once it does . .  I will immediately and completely re-organize every single thing in my life to absolute perfection, put everything I own in the right place, rearrange the contents of the bookshelves as they always should have been,  begin blogging on a strict schedule (probably after my 45 rigorous minutes on the elliptical – and the protein shake), never again handle a piece of paper more than once, and feel secure in the certainty that I will never ever misplace anything again. Ever.

Ah, the power of the new ‘puter.


Many Mondays suck

Today has not been a good day. I have not liked today at all.

Only one thing went as it was supposed to –  I managed to arrive home with a Christmas tree.

The tree however is probably tainted by virtue of being ‘of today’ . . . so I won’t be surprised in the morning when I find it looks like this.

Not every morning is a good morning

Some mornings were just not meant to be. Allow me to share:

  1. Went to a local Senior center (second attempt – they’re closed a lot) to donate/drop off some very expensive drugs (immunosuppressant type that belonged to my brother-in-law-with-the-new-heart because he’d been put on new meds just prior to moving to San Francisco. THEY NO LONGER TAKE THEM.
  2. Stopped at the very fine Mobil station on my corner which is the nicest and least tacky of the convenience stores. Polite staff, wear uniforms, clean as a whistle and the best coffee in town. Was told by clerk that THEY’VE BEEN SOLD TO 7-11.
  3. Headed off to a jeweler (also second attempt) to have an earing repaired and perhaps have my ears re-pierced. CLOSED FOR THE DAY.
  4. While there noticed a satellite Post Office. Thought “oh I wish I had that envelope with misc old stamps with me – I could go in and exchange them for current first class denomination“. PASSED UP ON THE POST OFFICE STOP.
  5. Crossed the street to Salvation Army thinking they might know who takes donations of drugs. They don’t.  SUGGESTED SENIOR CENTER.
  6. While there, rummaging in my tote bag, noticed that in fact I did have those old stamps with me. Returned to the little Post Office and got in line. THEY DON’T TAKE THEM THERE – GO TO MAIN POST OFFICE.
  7. Had originally planned time at an outdoor event after my errands, but it began to rain heavily so I just headed home, where I am now condemned to share the air with . . .
  8. . . . the oven, which had been set to auto-clean just before I left the house. Since I’m home way too early, I reflect on my BAD TIMING.

So I am home, in the rain (okay, blessed rain) with coffee and a paper, smelling the oven,  and wondering what Tuesday has against me.

I haz a sad



A favorite tree, a tree which has for years been the source of my western summer shade and thus much beloved, is coming down. When the work began this morning I assumed an ordinary periodic raising of the canopy –  then I noticed  noise had been going on too long. So I stepped out – and it’s nearly gone.

This was one of a set of banyan/ficus type trees – both of them about 70 feet high. They bestow grace upon the neighborhood; I hope only one of the two is coming down. But I am afraid.

Nothing is forever.

UPDATE: The tree was taken down because my neighbor (tree was on his property) is going solar. He’s an electrical contractor and knows what he’s doing; his goal is to use the public electric utility only as a ‘backup’. There will be a full array of panels on his roof, so the tree had to go. Ah well . . . .  wonder what it’ll look like?

Day One didn’t kill me; girding for Day Two

Buy me!

Yard merchantizering is hard, especially on the feet. As expected, the first shopper was standing in my driveway at 7:38 am for an advertised 9 am start. Of course this isn’t Macy’s – the buyer knows I just want to get this shit out of the house and the buyer is correct. At 7:45 am I was taking his money.  And it didn’t slow down till around 11 am. Then fits and starts until 3 pm when I started breaking down from today’s activity, getting everything back into the carport behind the gates.

For almost all of those hours, stalwart friend Elaine stood by saving me from myself and reminding me that the point is to sell this stuff, not to convince that nice lady she should look into joining a seniors entertainment troupe I’m familiar with (I saw her potential right way, after we sang a few songs!).

I then fed myself, showered myself, rested myself and began reorganizing the remnants so I can go from zero to sixty at whatever ungodly hour my public calls tomorrow morning. And I need another shower.

But the coffee is set up, the clothes are laid out, and the alarm clock and cell phone have been instructed to make noise, lots of it, in the dismal hours.

Just poppped  in to say hi. Play nice.

I got MagicJack, I got MagicJack, I got Magic . . .

I’ve had ‘get MagicJack‘ on my to-do list for far longer than pride will allow me to admit. A long time. But I finally managed to stop by Radio Shack and acquire one.

For someone who’s lived with only a cell phone in a neighborhood with a capricious signal and a house with that gets all moody about microwaves, it’s liberating. I’m not one who spends much time on the phone so the cell has really been enough – except for those moments when I really need to  make a call at my desk, no matter how many bars show on the phone.

Painless install and so far, so good. I now have two working cordless phones (resurrected from a closet at friend Ed’s – thanks Ed), voice mail, caller ID – all the usuals – unlimited of course because it’s through my cable. And it’s $20 a year. Quite remarkable actually.

Get your season on!

The food was very fine, the company was even better – and I saw Christmas lights all the way home tonight. Dear elvis, let’s slow down please.

As for the poor benighted souls who now consider it their patriotic duty to trample each other at the malls and big box stores tomorrow –  I wish they’d consider a leisurely breakfast instead.

Meanwhile, I actually found myself thinking about some Christmas wreaths, and how to put lights on one of them, so it can hang on my new carport gate. Yikes. I haz met the enemy and it is me.

(Attention liberals: Don’t y’all forget to oil up your weapons – it’s nearly time for us to pick up those arms and go once again into the breach in  our never ending War on Christmas!)

Oh yeah, the finished pool

Any long time reader (Ed, Susie, Elaine) will recall I did a lot of updating and popsted pix as I was building my p0ol last spring. I never did manage to post any pix of the completed job. So here.

Annoying, at the least

The weather. It is teh suck. After a really lovely early onset Fall here summer returned with a vengeance about four days ago. Perhaps this is the Florida version of what in Connecticut we called “Indian Summer”. But I’ve never experienced it here before.

Now, following a brief period of resistance I switched the AC back on Tuesday night accepting that a second sleepless night – when a remedy was at hand – would serve me ill. And it’s still on today.

An almost fearful glance at the weather forecast just now reassures me that my world returns to its proper place by Saturday.

Thank you elvis.

And I hear it’s snowing in the Dakotas. So it’s proper that summer just be over!

UPDATE: I am aware that – annoyed or not – I, like you dear reader, are fortunate indeed. We can shelter from whatever Mama don’t-mess-with-me throws at us. And we haven’t had any volcanoes or earthquakes here, so . . .

Okay: back up there, back up

It’s another catchup day here in the Moe household. Delayed and deferred paperwork is the main thing on the menu.

I also plan to arrange online back up for my hard drive. I’ve been living dangerously for too long. I think I signed up for Mozy some time ago but abandoned it – and uninstalled it – because I wanted to use the free version and there wasn’t enough storage. Or it was a pain to pick and choose what to back up. It was my intention at that time to go back and sign up for one of the paid services, but I didn’t get around to it.

So that’s on my agenda today. Any thoughts? (Ed will say get an external drive, but I’ve decided I really really want back up some place far away.)

I broke the drought. Me!

Yesterday I took my car to the Jiffy Clean. First time in ages; a bit of a treat. I chose yesterday because the weatherman told me  ‘no rain in sight this week’. And because I believed him.

Usually my car lives in a carport; at present however, the carport is being used as the staging area for the reorganization going on inside the house. But that’s fine because the weatherman told me  ‘no rain in sight this week’ and I believed him.

So naturally it’s raining this morning. Not a strong steady rain which would be fine; instead it’s that weak sister that’s barely a drizzle. The kind with big slow drops that you can almost hear as they individually land on the car, there to sit till they evaporate. And the car will dry with spots all over it. And this happened because the weatherman told me  ‘no rain in sight this week’. And because I believed him.

The convergence of these events do have an upside. I guess my life is headed back to normal.

The house comes together

There is light at the end of the very long tunnel that’s surrounded me for too many weeks. Movers were engaged last week and brought down the few pieces of furniture I wanted from my parents’ home and places have been found for them.

The combination of multiple trips to Goodwill and the addition of seven new [to me] substantial drawers has freed spaces that previously were jammed – I now have a closet for office supplies and another actually shows some floor space:

We all know how nice closets look when first set up; I’ll enjoy the order while it lasts. A few pieces of furniture and a favorite lamp came to live here as well:

It’s strange to see these things in my house. I will of course get used to them. But for now, it’s an event which I am recording here. For no particular other reason.

My own worst enemy

The last few weeks have been tumultuous and the blog is not the only personal endeavor that’s been sidelined. But I awoke today to a full unencumbered day stretching in front of me, inviting me to do some serious catching up. I jumped right in – after brewing the coffee and gobbling my Special K, I dug in. I began bringing things in from the lanai to the house, back to their proper places. And – as I said many, many days ago, everything that needs it gets washed before re-admittance to the inner realms. With that in mind I closed the sink drain and began filling it with warm soapy water. It’s a big sink; filling it takes a while. And I do get distracted.

The sink filled. The kitchen – counters and floors – filled. The path to the side door filled. The path to the front door and half the living room too. There were waves.

One thing was on my side. A Goodwill pile, neglected during this period, still sat in the laundry room. With many small cotton rugs (bathroom and the throw type) having entered the elder years, awaited disposition. And next to that pile, another – of the newer fresher (and more  absorbent!) variety, awaiting laundering.  (Actually two things were on my side; my floors are terrazzo.)

The floors are now dry. And the driveway is itself carpeted, lined with little rugs (pool towels too) so soppy wet, so filled to every fiber of their being with water, they were too heavy to pull more than one at a time.

And now, if I can avoid tripping over my own feet, I shall continue with my day as planned.

Blogging will be light

Painting and affiliated projects forced me off line for nearly two days but I’m happily plugged in again at home.  (Blogging on alien wi fi didn’t work for me.) While I do have the plugs in the wall now, my brain isn’t back in gear and blogging will be light for a while. Furniture continues to move,  shelves need to be filled, possessions need to be retrieved from friend’s garage, an office has to be reimagined and reassembled.

My lonely blog

Big and busy week here as painting is happening throughout house except for bathroom. Today is prep by me, and the painter comes tomorrow morning – at some ungodly hour which makes me very unhappy but so it is in the world of busy people, of which he is one.

Just did a few hours with local teenager and his truck moving artwork, books and other small stuff out of the way and into a friend’s garage for the duration. The books – which I’ve been stuffing everywhere since my current bookshelves filled up a few years ago – were a bit of a shock since I thought I’d kept it under control by regularly carting books to Goodwill. Perhaps what’s happening is I take a book to Goodwill, forget I ever owned it, and a year later thrill upon finding it, this book I wanted to own. I have no better explanation so now Ken must be engaged to install more bookcases.

And when he is done, it all comes back into the house. Friends Ed and Steve will assist with the rehanging of artwork and mirrors and anything that goes on walls.

And meanwhile, my blog time is falling victim to the project. I’ll post pictures when it’s all done!

The morning after

All restraints were abandoned yesterday as blog birthday celebrations sucked up the available energy in this part of Florida. Endless celebrations – a morning swim, hours wrestling with stubborn paperwork, a few unpleasant words with the too-old-to-be-alive father, cookies, a delicious omelet (arugula should be in every omelets), two episodes – two episodes – of NOVA. An altogether hedonistic and exhausting day. Which is the only excuse you’re getting for no posts on the day itself.

In August! In Florida!

We’ve had so much rain – four days pretty much non-stop – and so little sun this week, temperatures dropped to the point where last night it was much cooler outside than it was inside. So I ran around and opened all the windows and sliders, turned the AC off  (in August! in Florida!) and slept in a house full of fresh air and a lively little breeze.  Short-lived, but joyful. The house is closed up again; things were a little tacky this morning but what the hell. It was so worth it. A beautiful night.

The pool is near to overflowing and the water is approaching c-o-l-d. In August! In Florida!

That said, the sun is out for a while, the thermometer is moving back up and the deep summer doldrums seem to be upon me . . . feeling quite unbloggy. So lite posting until my mood alters.

Meanwhile consider this – as the body count goes up – today is the 322nd day of the ninth year of the war in Afghanistan.

This is just exhausting

Here’s how to wind down on a summer night in Southwest Florida . . .

  • load dishwasher and turn it on
  • step out onto lanai, strip stark nekkid and slide into the pool
  • float
  • look at sky (and whatever stars manage to show themselves through the ambient light of 14 million people)
  • dry off just a bit, come inside wearing towel and slippers
  • pour a drink, sit down and settle in for the Daily Show.

Better put the shades on

It is annual feel-good day for the house. The stalwart Ken – thorough and hard working as always – has been pressure cleaning it for nearly four hours and has a distance to go. Mine is a small house and it has an old-time concrete tile roof. It’s a good roof to have in hurricane country – it weighs a ton. But it’s white. Or supposed to be. So the down side of having this otherwise fine roof is the slow loss over the year, of  its, well, its white. Which is why Ken will spend so long on the job.

While the forces of water and muscle and bleach are at work outside, I am plowing through files inside. My recycle bin tomorrow morning will be heavy with discarded paper, some of it three-year old email exchanges I printed because they seemed important. I look at them now and am embarassed that I ever thought so.

The wrong start to summer

For no discernible reason, my printer simply stopped working this morning. I used it last night. I’ve never had a single problem with it. It’s two years old, so warranties are a memory. (PLUS I just spent real money on the large super saver ink cartridges).

So what’s up with that? It will not turn on. Every plug and cable has been examined, plugged and unplugged. The HP’ diagnosis tool has been exhausted.

It’s an HP Photsmart C4480 All-in-One  and I need it to work!



The pool is blue water! It’s still a bit murky – there are more chemicals to come.  This morning, for the first time, I watched raindrops scattered across the water. It was quite beautiful.

A random thought about protesters – yesterday and today:

YESTERDAY: The marchers and screamers and sign makers of the Vietnam era were mostly young. It began as a student protest. For them it was about creating a future.

TODAY: The Tea Party is composed of  people middle aged and older. For them, it’s about returning to a mythical past, some even to a 1950’s sitcom that never was. (caveat: the demographic appears to be changing as the movement grows although youth is still a very small segment.)

In both, the fringes make the most noise. Yesterday’s marchers changed the country. Will today’s do the same?

Also, today is the 219th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan. Every day, it feels more like Vietnam.

Good morning

The new pool is almost ready. There is a lot to learn yet about using all the equipment and maintaining the ‘right pH”. Last night I lay in bed listening to the running hose filling the pool for the first time.

And I worried; worried that the water might overflow while I slept; worried that the hose might twist itself as hoses do and drown the other areas of the lanai. Turning it off was not recommended since the water is untreated and still full of minerals – I was warned that standing water below the tiles could leaving a permanent line all around the inside of the pool. So I only turned it down – to a trickle.

Still I worried, waking every few hours to go have a look. Given the trickle, the change in water level wasn’t even discernable but the tossing and turning went on. I am a worrier.

But the sun came up! And the pool did not overflow! I turned the hose back to gush and just now have turned it OFF. The water level has reached the tiles and the body of the interior is safe from mineral stains.

My water is well water, drawn directly from the Florida Aquifer so water from the hose is untreated. The sulpher content is high; until the sunshine does its job – which it will in four to five hours –  the scent of sulpher will prevail. And until the first ‘shock treatment’ is applied, the water will continue to  look like well water, a little brown.

None of that has diminished my pleasure at seeing the pool there, imagining more pleasant summer days. And thinking about watching skies and stars from a quiet, safe place in the night.

Even as I think about Afghanistan, where it is the 218th day of the ninth year of the war.

Speaking of the future . . .

  • If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.*

Some silly talking head on FOX (natch) was suggesting yesterday that the Gulf oil leak couldn’t be that bad, because fish weren’t washing up on the beach. There are no fish in that part of the Gulf. Nothing is living there. It’s called the Dead Zone.

Dead Zone - Gulf of Mexico

Things don’t look particularly promising with efforts to cap the well. Everyone says “plan for the worst and hope for the best”. And here in my neighborhood, we’re planning. And praying (even deists pray – and I’m never sure if I’m a deist, an atheist or better described as simply secular).

Memeorandum directed me to *this story today at National Geographic.