Sunday, October 31, 2010

Seeing the season change

I don't mean the leaves. Around here, they are just as likely to turn red/yellow/orange and hang around for a month as they are to be green one evening and on the ground the next morning. In fact, that's what I think will happen to our gingko tree this year. Last fall, it was a literal traffic-stopping gold/yellow. This year--check the calendar, yes, almost November--there's nary a yellow leaf in sight. I'll go out to get the paper one morning soon and the tree will have simply shook off its covering overnight. A pity.

But I'm more likely to see a literal seasonal change in the laundry basket. In the summer, there's a load of towels and a load of light colored clothes, and always a small load of dark. Gradually, the balance shifts, like a pair of scales. A week ago, the light and dark were about equal. Today, the dark is winning. Our bare hall tree has two jackets on it so far. Soon, it'll be covered up because we're not very good about putting our jackets and coats back in the closet when we're going to need them again on our next outdoor venture.

And to top it off, the house has shifted. She rides the dark loam around here like a schooner on the high seas and she's shifted into winter mode. Doors which closed a month ago, now refuse. The shower leaks through its once-tight door.

The SS Sisk, riding high once again.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where does time fly to?

It's been a week since I posted. A week! Where did that week go?

My car had been in the shop and I had to return the rental and retrieve mine. We went to a play. Out to dinner. I drove into Dallas for a romance writers' meeting and then had lunch with the daughters-in-law and the grandest grandbabies--except they're growing up--drove home in an awful storm. Went to a wedding and a wonderful dinner/reception afterwards. Church. Jury panel call which took Monday morning but I wasn't chosen. Visited with my sister-in-law on her birthday. Tended to my dad's business Tuesday. Fantastic wine dinner in Dallas and spent the night last night. Home by 7:15 AM. (Quick night!) Fixed lunch. Played bridge. Have to watch the Rangers in Game 2 tonight.

And that's not counting cooking and laundry and a bit of gardening to make sure nothing dies before its time. Tomorrow is Canton Trade Days which I haven't been to since, probably, April. Fixing dinner Saturday night for friends. Breakfast at church Sunday.

I think I see my time flying. Wish I could catch it. Circle it up. Save it for days when I'm rushed. All those lazy afternoons of childhood spent doing basically nothing... I should have been bottling up the time so I could take it out now and enjoy it. Then again, perhaps the lesson is to enjoy the time as you go along, even if it is flying.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Theory Gone Awry

Every so often, my mind clicks into a different mode. It follows an aha-moment and I spend the free time of the next few days researching it. Sometimes it works and I've got a new course of action or way of thinking or more research to do. This time it didn't. My latest theory fizzled. But that doesn't mean we can't all learn from it.

I have a degree in chemistry which is relevant to the current discussion only because it shows a bit how I think: linearly. And I'm not afraid to fail in an experiment. Which this was.

Listening to a report on the nightly news about the President's family, I had my aha-moment. There are two daughters in the White House now. There were two before them. Then one before that. The elder Bush's children were all grown, as were the Reagan's, but the Carter's had a daughter. Nixon, two. Was there a link between being President and having daughters?


I printed out a list of Presidents and started a hunt for gender of children. Wikipedia makes it so easy. Under the political career highlights in the side bar, is the family info. It didn't take long and I had my answer.

No link. In fact, there are more sons. Some presidents had no biological children listed: Washington, Monroe, Jackson, WH Harrison, Cleveland, Harding. Others made up the difference: Tyler with 15 comes to mind or Hayes with 8.

But it was an interesting way to spend an hour and now you don't have to.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Squirrel that one away!

Yesterday morning, I'm having breakfast in the kitchen, eyeing the TV and attempting to keep cat Pyewacket from confiscating my cereal bowl milk until I'm finished with it. Loud boom and all the electricity is gone.

We have, alas, been there, done this before. It's a transformer outside the kitchen window. Dutifully, I find the phone number of the electric company, unplug all computer equipment less there be a surge later on, and find the one landline phone which doesn't need a current to dial. Electrical provider gives me the number of the delivery provider and as I'm dialing, I'm recording it. Might as well skip that step next time.

Less than 15 minutes later, a truck is at the side street (must have caught them going out the door) and I have electricity once again. I bounce out to give my thanks and find the serviceman kicking something in the street over to the curb.

"You need a BB gun," he tells me. "Too many squirrels."

Ah, yes, our usual problem. A bit of bare wire or a particularly clumsy squirrel, whichever, but the result is the same. Transformer tripped and squirrel dead.

"I can't argue with that," I tell him.

"Know anyone's hungry?" he asked with a malicious grin. "He's hot!"

I suppose that would be flash-fried?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good luck getting this back

In August, my food processor bowl broke doing charity work for the library Pumpkin Patch sale which was held this past Saturday. On the good news front, we sold all 100 jars of the red pepper relish said food processor was being used to make.

On the bad news front, it looked like it would cost as much--or more!--to replace just the bowl via eBay than it would to buy a new food processor. On the worst news front, my local Big Box no longer carried food processors. Juicers, yes. Traditional food processors, no.

It's not that I use it all that often, but when you need it, you need it.

My daughter-in-law Mary took pity on me. They'd received a lovely Kitchenaid food processor as a wedding gift and she had barely used it, preferring instead the little chopper she had. So she "loaned" it to me.

Heeheehee. I used it today and it was a champ. Maybe there is something to getting what you paid for. Or what someone paid for. This was not a cheap machine and it performed without a wiggle.

Good luck getting this back, girlfriend.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

The clothes basket

Growing up, my mother had several clothes baskets where we'd either collect the dirty clothes or dump the clean ones from the dryer. They were round and invariably avocado green. In fact, when I closed up my parents' house, I kept one. Round. Green.

My clothes basket is beige and rectangular. I find it holds more that way. And besides, it's usefulness increases with that shape.

This morning, I used it to take pies to a bazaar. Two pies fit on the bottom and since they were pecan pies, I could balance two cooling racks atop them. Then two more pies. They rode stably in the back of my car. I take casseroles to dinner/luncheon parties in my clothes basket. Towel in bottom, casserole next, wrap towel around. I'll ferry stuff up and down the stairs and out to the garage in my basket.

All this extra-curricular (for a clothes basket) activity might explain why one side handle decided to break. I wrapped strapping tape about it and it has held on for another year. It is now flexing, so I either need to add more tape or get a new basket.


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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The chaos that is my closet

It's that time of year again, when fall starts showing up, but summer lingers. Same thing happens in March/April, just in reverse. So while I have put away my white slacks, the rest of my closet looks like a second-hand store in need of rearrangement.

It's cold in the mornings, so a jacket has appeared on the hall tree. I've put away my sandals--except I needed them this afternoon. All my tanks are where they've been since May, but now my 3/4 sleeved blouses and tee shirts are beside them. I bought a new pair of jeans today--and a thin summery skirt. Things are getting crowded.

My closet will have a dual personality for a month, then I'll gut it up and decide that it's not going to be warm any more and "move the closet."

That usually guarantees a warm Thanksgiving.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

The 14th floor

From the 14th floor of a downtown Denver hotel, I can look into the office building across the street. According to the security guy at its front desk, it was built in 1928. I had wandered in to look at the beautiful art deco paintings on the walls. The building is obviously used; people were in and out of it constantly.

But the view from my 14th floor window shows something different. Two floors below are in renovation. I can watch the workers. The floor across from me looks inhabited, but... nothing has changed in three days.

A black sweater is still draped across a desk chair, as if the owner has just gone for a cup of coffee. Papers are stacked. There's a small fan in the window to circulate the air. (Not by the owner of the sweater.) There are pot plants everywhere: in the windows, on the shelves. I hope they're fake.

Why? Because there has been no movement for three days. Is it a museum piece, set up like it was at a not-too-distant past? Was everyone met at the door and handed their pink slip? Black sweater forgotten, the owner turned away? Then why are the lights on every night and day over this tableau?

Maybe it's all been forgotten. Maybe someone needs to come up the 14th floor of the hotel across the street and have a look.

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