Last week I called to get our propane tanks filled up. (We have the main tank which is large and then a small one to bring heat to our shop.) It took me a full 20 minutes to get through the phone tree and then answer all the questions of the person in the call center.
I know that these are hard-working people, but I don’t understand why the people who TRAIN them can’t emphasize speaking in a straight-forward, simple manner as clearly as possible. (My husband hangs up immediately when he figures out he’s talking with someone in another country. He cannot understand them and quickly loses his temper.) I’m better, but I still get very frustrated at the canned speeches the workers must follow. The accent is heavy – with the em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LAB-ble and they ‘shotgun’ the canned stuff, understandably saying it as quickly as possible to get it over with. By the time I realize they have finished the canned stuff and finally asked a question, it’s hard to tune back in. Anyhow, by the time I finished ordering a fill-up for both tanks, I was exhausted.
The guy with the propane came yesterday. My husband went out to monitor the fill up. When he came back in, he was frowning. The guy only filled up the small tank for the shop. He said he hadn’t been authorized to fill up our main tank, so he couldn’t. We would have to call in again.
I gritted my teeth and called back yesterday. I have now ordered a fill up on the main tank (I THINK) and we have to wait another week.
Something that used to be so simple – a 5 minute call once a year – is now quite a challenge with the ‘improvements’ the company has made.
We’re about to put this month to bed and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m hoping we’ll get a cool-down soon – with more than a tease of rain chances – so I can enjoy being outside again.
Even though my scales are still laughing at me, I saw improvement this morning. I found a new snack – 1 oz of Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds with Sea Salt. The 1 oz is about 28 almonds. 170 calories. Filling and delicious. I’m enjoying them with a bottle of water after my yoga practice (DAY 47).
When we leave for errands today, we’ll change out our mailbox decoration. This scarecrow helps us welcome hopefully cooler weather with open arms.
I’m going to concentrate on my bookshelves in our bedroom today. I’ve moved a bunch of books out of there into the guest room, plus gathered a grocery bag of books to donate to the library. Today I’ll see if there is more to donate and then clean the shelves and reorganize the books.
I’m feeling pretty good right now. I just finished cleaning my kitchen fridge.
This one looks a lot like ours, except the outside of ours is black.
I took everything out, took out and scrubbed all the drawers, wiped everything down with a bleach-based cleaner, then went through everything, throwing away outdated stuff, ‘old’ stuff, and – I have to admit – stinky or gooey stuff.
I’m now using the pull-out drawer that runs all the way across the bottom for the few meats and more cheeses that we have. I’m using the two drawers above for fresh produce – one for salad and cooking veggies and the other for fresh fruit.
It’s easy to see where things are without having to dig down, and – nicely – it’s easy to reach things and get them out without any difficulty.
My husband came in to get a drink while I was working and said, “Wow.”
I LOVE this! Every time I see his face I want to hug him.
We are just back from taking our trash for the week down to the bottom of the driveway, getting our mail, and relocating Raccoon # 8 this morning. My husband said he’s the biggest one we’ve ever caught. It was almost more than he could do to get the humane trap with the raccoon into the back of the truck. He said he thought the raccoon weighed 20 to 25 pounds. He was very quiet, almost resigned – so we don’t know if he’s one we’ve caught before, who was basically saying, “Oh, S _ _ t” rather than freaking out that he’d been caught. My husband has now sprayed off the deck and refilled bird feeders.
When we got the mail this morning, there was a package. My husband had quietly ordered another bottle of foaming soap for me. The timing was perfect because I used the very last of the bottle Linda gave me this morning and was wondering if I would be able to find more. What a wonderful surprise! :0)
My next challenge of the morning was using my phone. I punched in my password, but the phone wouldn’t take it for some reason. I tried several times, but no go. I finally got on my computer, trying to find some help. I decided to try ONE MORE TIME before starting to fill out the forms online for help. It worked. Did I tell you I hate technology?
The day has barely started and I feel as if I’ve put in an entire day!
THING ONE – I got rid of stuff from our kitchen and pantry fridges in preparation for some deep cleaning and reorganizing. We’re not eating NEAR as much meat these days and we’re eating LOTS more veggies and fruit, so we need to rethink storage of fresh food for the kitchen fridge and ingredients for a different style of cooking in the pantry fridge.
THING TWO – I moved a BUNCH of books from my bookshelves in my bedroom to the guest room, gathering books to donate to the library for their fund-raising book sale as I go.
Both projects are pretty large ones, so I’m trying to do something definitive on each one every day until the projects are finished.
For some unknown reason, I had my life-long repeating nightmare last night. I’m late, lost, and I can’t get where I’m going. There is no one to help me, no one to ask. I just keep rushing around. The location changes, but the awful feelings are the same.
Happily, I have an antidote to my nightmare. I got up (my husband was already up and downstairs) so I took a long shower and dressed slowly. By the time I came downstairs, my heart had stopped racing and I could mostly calmly tell my husband about my nightmare (on a trip in a humongous hotel this time.) He loves me in spite of my weirdness. :0)
My scales were a bit less snarky this morning, so that’s encouraging. And I’m on DAY 45 of my daily yoga practice! I now spend 30-45 minutes stretching in all directions. Amber, our 95 pound dog, and Abby, our cat, ‘help’ me with my practice in various ways each day. Sometimes Abby comes and decides to sit on my stomach while I’m stretched out on my back, trying to do several beginning stretches. When I laugh and push her to the side, she moves to my feet, where she tries to make a ‘nest.’ Amber either steps on me on her way to ‘wherever,’ or oozes up to me, snuffling my ear. When I start to laugh, she goes nuts, turning upside down, with her feet in the air, biting her foot, or trying to get as close to me as she can. My husband sits in his recliner, either smirking at me and my predicament or ignoring us, reading his Kindle.
I gathered another grocery bag of books yesterday I’ll donate to the library. I’ll continue doing a bit of book re-organizing today. I’m moving some books to the guest room shelves. That will give me space in the shelves on my side of the bedroom for my main collection.
I’m gathering trash to put out tomorrow, so I’ll use the opportunity to do a clean out of the fridges and a small reorganization while I’m at it. Since we’ve changed from low-carb Keto eating to a more Mediterranean style of eating, our storage needs in the fridge are different. I’ll do a bunch of cleaning and decide how to better store our stuff.
I spend time each day finding new things to share with you here. I truly love finding things I think are terrific and sharing them. There is never enough time to find even a fraction of all the talented people on our planet. It’s so inspiring to find some of them.
It’s Monday. It’s almost the end of August. It MIGHT rain here today. I hope YOUR Monday is at least as good as mine. :0)
Each window represents a different profession, Above is THE ARTIST, in this case a musician. Below from left are THE BAKERS, THE SEAMSTRESS, THE ARTIST, THE HERBALIST (OR HEALER) and THE CARE PROVIDER .Each is 12″ high by 8″ wide.
This true story was sent to me by a dear friend. I had never seen it and want to share.
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.
All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”
No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.
He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked.
We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.
While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.
We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland, to have it checked out.
We promised to give more information after landing in Gander.There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM!… that’s 11:00 AM EST.
There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.
After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.” Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground Control in Gander told us to stay put.
The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.
In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.
Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in D.C. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.
Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.
We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 P.M., Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.
Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately, we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.
About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th, a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.
After that, we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.
We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.
Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.
Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.
Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls,lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.
ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.” Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.
Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility.There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.
Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.
Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.
Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.
Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.
It was absolutely incredible.
When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise.Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.
Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
And then a very unusual thing happened.
One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike.He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.
“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers.When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!
“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.
As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in their college education.
“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.
It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”
“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.
August 2022 is almost a thing of the past. Time is whizzing past my head at an astonishing speed and the year will be gone if I blink. I spend too much time being upset at what is going on in the world around me, helpless to do much, if anything, to stop it. I find myself grateful for all the things I have to insulate me from too much grief.
Listening to music, playing in my art room, reading books, talking with friends, gardening and time to myself all help me deal with what is going on around me. If I can’t FIX what’s happening, at least I can make it so I’m not contributing to it. I have more than enough to handle in my OWN little world.
I hope that you, also, have things that help you cope.
I read this book yesterday. I would LIKE to believe that Tyler Henry is, indeed, a medium and that he CAN be a conduit for people. I will remain skeptical until I can get my OWN reading by him, and that won’t happen. It is an interesting book. I was hard-pressed to put it down yesterday. I felt a push to read what he had to say. I will probably read it again soon, more slowly, trying to digest some of the profound things he said. A lot to think about. I will also get his second book, Here & Hereafter, when it becomes more affordable.
I think this photo is stunning. I almost expect the birds to move their heads! Incredible. Speaking of nature, we’ve seen deer on the way to town three days in a row. I’ve already told you about the doe and fawn we saw. Then, when I was on my way to my massage Thursday morning, there was a doe standing beside the road. She was by herself, or at least I didn’t see any other dear or fawns. I drove really slowly past her. She just looked at me. She was beautiful. Yesterday, on the way to Lunch Bunch, we saw a deer who gracefully jumped in a big arc over the road to the other side.
Today is DAY 43 of my daily yoga practice, trying to make it a HABIT. So far, I can say that my yoga practice takes priority over other activities each afternoon. I feel happy that I’m doing something good for myself.
I only found one ripe tomato on one of the plants in the niche planter beside the house yesterday, and it wasn’t in good shape. I’ll look again to see if there are any green ones that might ripen, but it looks like I’ll need to schedule pulling out of the tomato plants for the year. I will also schedule harvesting the sweet red onions – the last thing in our raised-bed square foot garden – soon. I might have to wait until next week to get these two things done, but they’re on my list.
My books don’t look this bad, but I haven’t really been careful about storing new books – and I have a bunch – plus we haven’t been donating books as we usually do, since our local library suspended their book sale fundraisers for about a year now. They just started accepting donations again, so I’m getting serious about going through my books, starting in my bedroom and working my way down, going through everything, gathering books for donations, reorganizing the rest. This is a big project, but I’ll just do what I can each day until it’s done. I’m lucky to have the ‘problem’ of more books than I can handle right now, and I need to share the wealth. :0)
We slept later this morning than usual. The conditions were perfect for great rest, but I was shocked at the clock when I woke up enough to care what time it was. I leaped up, threw on clothes and went down to let Amber out. She was patiently waiting, and I feel guilty we made her wait so long. I did our normal morning stuff, and then cut up stuff for a chef salad with chicken tonight, plus a peach for our dessert.
Amber and I tried to be quiet in the office to give my husband a chance to sleep longer. I was working at the computer when Amber started huffing and puffing and running around the way she does when she’s excited. My husband came down the stairs then.
We’re having a nice, sunny Saturday here. I hope you are enjoying yours, as well.
We have our typical plans for Friday – Lunch Bunch, maybe an errand or two out, and then a quiet rest-of- the-day at home. NICE.
Today is DAY 42 of my daily yoga practice. The practice isn’t a HABIT yet, but it IS a priority to work in each afternoon now. That’s progress. “My scales and me” (I give up on figuring out whether my grammar is correct here) are still in “feud” mode, but I’m starting to see a bit of light now. My problem is mid afternoon and middle of the night snacking. I’m trying to convince myself that raw veggies and dip are JUST THE THING, but it’s a hard sell. I’m also trying to walk around, drink a bunch of water, and determinedly go back to sleep, if possible, in the middle of the night, rather than to go downstairs. We’ll see.
I’m THINKING about pulling out the tomato plants in the two planters close to the house. The plants in ONE I know are finished. The other is still iffy. I’ll see this afternoon if it isn’t too hot.
I’ve always loved music, always amazed that hearing a song from when I was a teenager transports me back mentally and emotionally. I get up and dance – the years dropping away – when I hear one of my old songs. Sometimes I’m truly surprised after I finish and I see an old woman looking back at me in the mirror…
I play some of my favorite songs when I’m playing in my art room. It makes me feel that anything is possible, calming my soul so I can concentrate on enjoying colors and textures and ideas.
Music makes it possible for me to spend time on my elliptical trainer (though I haven’t done that for awhile.) I COULD play music when I’m doing my daily yoga session, but then I would have to wear earphones so I didn’t bother my husband.
My massage therapist plays wonderful background music that helps me relax while she finds all the sore spots and kneads them away.
Lately I’ve been watching and listening to videos on my computer of all the talent contests, delighted when someone’s voice makes me soar.
We bought two sets of new dishes while we were out. I’ve just finished washing them and putting them in the cabinet. They are Corelle, (you have to really work at it to chip or break them) so I will no longer have to bite my tongue when another piece bites the dust. We’ll pack up the old set of stoneware. I’ll call to see if our Veterans’ Thrift Store in Fort Smith is taking donations again now or not.