Tuesday, January 30, 2018

here comes the judge

I was kind of dreading having to get up in the wee hours to allow time to drive into the city 
during rush hour, find the parking garage and then the jury holding room, etc. But I did. 
Went through all the legalities and the swearing in and then the sitting and waiting. 
At least we were in a new place since the last time I was called to jury duty. 
A lovely waiting area with big windows overlooking the city and all kinds of places to wait: 
with TV, without, with noise, without, with computers, without, and so on.
And then my name is called. A trial is about to begin. Thirty of us into a jury pool to 
be selected for this particular criminal trial. I find it strange to see the lawyers 
(and the defendant) fully turned around to really study who we all are as we file in and 
take a seat. The first 12 are called and the rest of us breathe a little easier. I'm sure we're 
all thinking of all we have to do this week and how we don't have time to sit for a trial. 
The selection process takes a long time. There was a young mother who is 
nursing her baby and needs to pump every two hours. This is apparently not an 
adequate excuse.  But then it comes out that she had a bad experience with lack 
of trust in someone's word and insists she trusts no one. 
That clinches it and she is dismissed. 
My name is called to sit in her chair, #5. The questions fired at me are at sometimes 
hard, and so detailed; awkward to answer in front of a room full of strangers. But, actually, 
it is very interesting to hear about everyones' lives. Details you would never learn at first 
meeting, or probably the second or third. I am amazed how many have been victims of 
crimes--at least three had their cars stolen. After they settled on me, several others 
are replaced, and their replacements also replaced. The pool narrows down 
to just a few as they finally called one for the alternate. That person also is switched 
out a couple of times as shadows lengthen and we near 5 pm. 

After a long day we are dismissed and told to come back at 9:15 
the next morning, ready to sit for the trial and do our civic duty.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

symphony in blue

I use my hands a lot and they are showing their age and all the times
I should have used gloves but didn't.
Whether it's washing dishes, dusting, cooking, crocheting,
writing, folding clothes ... my hands often fly through the work
and I think of them as a symphony--of, well, activity!
My hands are a good indicator of the weather. As soon as the humidity
drops and the air gets drier, cracks in my thumbs show up.
I've learned two things in the last couple of years that have helped a lot.
I hate kitchen rubber gloves--seems no matter how long they are, I get water in them.
Or holes.
And lotion or vasoline at night with gloves on--can't do it.
So I've started using the same blue gloves I used as a nurse.
I keep some by the sink and try to wear them all the time when in water.
And I wear them when I'm cleaning or even folding laundry.
It protects my hands and the moisture formed inside the plastic helps!
The other tip I've learned is to use chapstick on those painful cracks.
Just pile it on especially before bed and the sting of the air on the cracks
disappears. It's a temporary solution but works for me!
We had a rare, but real live snow storm yesterday.
Everything was closed and we enjoyed a quiet day, sitting by a window 
when possible. The stillness and beauty was breathtaking.
This morning the world has a brilliance with the bright sun,
diamond-studded, though the photos don't quite show it.
Our temperatures will barely reach over 32, so melting will
occur but it could all refreeze tonight.
We are sticklers for tradition, and we almost always have
corn chowder on at least the first snow day of the year.
It's an old recipe, and we were doing this foolishness even back
when the kids were young and playing outside in their bread bag covered
sneakers and saran wrapped legs inside of jeans.

Friday, January 12, 2018

gadgetry and more

Apparently I'm not over my thrill of beautiful dishes. At a home store on this soggy morning 
these two pasta bowls were marked down to 3 each. I am guessing 
one of my attractions was because we used my birthday restaurant 
card last night on an amazing Italian restaurant 
(so I was still remembering pasta). And the blue---love that shade of blue. 

Of course the photos don't do the color justice. 
I found a dollar bill and my friend treated me to coffee 
when I expected to treat her, so I told the Gardener that 
all totaled it only cost me 3 for two.
But I made $20 more today too, so my bowls are totally free. 

I am loving the free online grocery pickup at our big box store. Oh my. It saves me probably 90 minutes.
I love, love how it works. Except today. I ordered yesterday and the 
Gardener did the pickup and I forgot to tell him I ordered a big batch of paper towels. 

They had to switch out an item. Usually that's OK but this time the switch wasn't satisfactory. So I called their 800 number wondering how to do a return and they told me to keep it and sent a refund to my credit card, as well as sending me a $5 coupon for my next shopping. About five minutes later I realized they had totally forgotten the paper towels but had charged me for them. I called again, and this time as well as the refund, I got a $15 dollar coupon with great apologies. I won't give up on them anytime soon. I know they are still working the kinks out of this new system. 
So there was my $20 profit.

I love kitchen gadgets and  I love this mini colander I found at WM. 
It fits inside or outside most cans, to drain the liquid. 
This week I found another use for it!
My sister sent me a couple of these from her grocery store. 
You squeeze and use to close the bread bag. 
Much easier than twisting the twist tie. 
But they weren't easy to find.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


If I could, I would stay home a lot.
I told our mentor girls that to me a wonderful day is one when I don't have to go anywhere.
Say that again? They looked at me like a deer in headlights.
I don't know if you feel the same, but I love being home.
I love feeling cozy and being surrounded by things 
that mean a lot to me.  And I'm never bored.
Forget cleaning and laundry,  I find far more interesting things to do.
1. Clean photos off my computer and phone.
2. Make some more SF photo albums.
3. My parent's "archives" have much more yet to go through and deal with.
4. Kitchen cupboards need cleaning out.
5. Files to sort through, downsizing to begin...
6. Oh, and to read a book would be wonderful.
7.  Make some cards, crochet, color a page from my coloring books, play the piano ...

You probably have similar lists.

I've read recently that the older we grow, the more
we need to get out, become involved in new things, etc. 
We know that. It makes sense.
I don't know if you're like this (I'm sure some of you are),
but I find if I have to go out, projects just don't get done that day.
I need a whole day at home to really dig in.

So when a friend suggests meeting for morning coffee;
or a young woman wants to have breakfast together;
or college students need a place to stay for a night or two;
or a sick person needs a meal; or its time to plan
for our next mentor gathering ...

I've learned to stop and consider before a quick response, but then, yes, yes, 
it's almost always "yes." Because I'm not getting any younger, and I'll
probably never have as much wisdom as I do now.
Not that I "impart" so much, mind you, but I know time is never
wasted when you spend it on others, sharing your life with them, lending them a
listening ear. Yes investing time in them. Very young or even the growing old.
The projects and hobbies can wait. 
This is time well spent.

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