Tuesday, March 30, 2010

nice and smooth

I see my doctor this morning for my medical release to return to full duty (aka retirement). You might think I was preparing for a date...shower, shave my legs, fix my hair. Anyway. Just before I got in the shower, I grabbed a box with a sample razor, one of those that come in the newspaper periodically. I already had my glasses off, and as I've noted before, I'm practically blind in the shower without them.

I lathered up, and started pulling the razor up my calf. Nice and smooth, I thought. No pull. Must be a good brand. I proceeded to the other leg, and my underarms, and then I happened to think...did I take off the little protective plastic that covers the blade?

Maybe I ought to check into that surgery that makes glasses unnecessary.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

You can tell spring has sprung, that's for sure. Up and down the block for the past couple of weeks, lawns have been mowed, and weeds whacked. Each weekend finds more of the yards nice and neat and trim. Well...this week I decided I better get something done before I get kicked out of here.

Truthfully I've about decided that this year I'd like to just have someone do it every couple of weeks, and I can putz around with some planting areas. But it needed mowing now.
Yesterday I pulled the trusty Toro out to crank it up and give it a go, but it's get-up-and-go had got up and went. Probably didn't help that I added last season's gas to it, and didn't check the oil (in the "add" range) till after the first cranking effort . I headed down to Home Depot, and after wandering around trying to figure out what I needed, pushed the help button. This nice lady in the orange vest came to my assistance...maybe not quite my age, but I'd say on this side of 50. That made me feel better. I told her I was trying to find the right oil for my poor old mower. Knowledgeable as she is, she asked how long it had been since I'd put oil in or changed it. At my sheepish look, she led me to the right area, and suggested a maintenance kit. "You probably need this," as she pulled off the package with the motor oil, spark plug, and filter.

"You think this is something I can do," I asked. She reassured me that it should be in my range of capability. "Spark plug too?" She asked if I had the socket or whatever it is to remove the spark plug, and when I asked what it looked like, pulled down the right package.

I got home, emptied out the old gas, took care of the oil (notice I didn't say "change" the oil) by adding enough to get to the okay line, and changed out the filter. I'm really proud of that part. Yes, if I'd have known how simple it was to do, the poor mower wouldn't have gone 5 years with the same one. I pulled it off, and cleaned up the little housing really well before I put the new one back on. Looks pretty pathetic, I know.

Then I got to the spark plug. After I looked in the manual and on the instruction sheet for about 5 minutes, I figured out where it was. Got the little rubber thing pulled to the side, put on the spark plug remover socket thing, and gave it the old "uumph". Nothing. As I recited the mantra of "righty tighty, lefty loosy" to make sure I was heading in the right direction, I tried again. Still nothing. I tried standing on it. Other than bending the allen wrench that is used for leverage, still nothing.

"Hmph!" At that point, I put the rubber thing back on the spark plug, primed the gas, and cranked 'er up. And she started! That spark plug is going to wait till one of the boys is around and they can change it out.

I didn't get any edging done, that will wait till another day, but at least the season's first mowing is over with. And I don't have to duck my head in shame every time I pull in the driveway, hoping no one sees me.

I know, I know, you're saying "let's see the mowed lawn". With the edges still shaggy, don't know that you can tell a difference, but I can. And I've got some weed killer, thanks to my knowledgeable HD associate, that I can put out whenever this wind quits blowing.
I'd say it's about nap-thirty time. Catch you later.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

my muse has been missing

I don't know what's been happening lately, but I think my muse must have taken a vacation. Let's see if by taking the first step and putting down the first words, I can write.

The last month or so has been a bit different around here. We had snow around the 10th or 12th of February, which caused power outages, and now, March 20th, it's snowing again! Crazy. Liz and family stayed here 2 or 3 nights during the outage, and I have to say I enjoyed the company. David and Lily put together a snowman, and the Scrabble game got dusted off and a few games played (I discovered a worthy opponent in David). I even had to add his name to the perpetual Scrabble trophy, and bring it to the front.

Now about this Scrabble trophy. About 20 years ago, Robert was still young enough to enjoy some Sunday afternoon games with me. As his skills improved, I bought a trophy, and had it inscribed as
Perpetual Trophy
The guidelines were that 2 wins out of 3 games entitled the winner to have his/her name on the trophy. We went all out, and the names were written on little recipe cards trimmed to 2" x 3". Two holes were punched in the top, and yarn was looped through. If you won, your card came to the front. For many years, the only names were mine, Robert, and Nolene. Regardless of who won, it stayed at my house, on my mantle. Over the years and through the course of a couple of moves, it landed on a shelf in the closet. Rather sad, but such is life. Fortunately, the power outage gave new life to the trophy, and it's seeing daylight again. Who knows how long David's name will stay to the front, let's hope it doesn't take too terribly long for me to get a chance at rotation.

Haven't done a lot of sewing lately, but I did get this little pillow case for a travel pillow put together from fabric my BSS (bis secret sister) sent me. I'll be making another one before too long. I have a trip to Idaho planned in early summer, and brother Carl is going with me. We'll be taking a few days along the way to enjoy some sights and do some geocaching.

One other thing...brother-in-law Troy is in the hospital. Appreciate any prayers on his behalf.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

we have a new cacher

Nolene and I took Elise out today and introduced her to geocaching. Well, as much as one can do from an infant car seat. The first one we weren't able to lock in on, so had to take a "did not find" on it, but we persevered on the next, and find it we did.

For all the excitement of seeing her first cache, her reaction seemed to be along the lines of....I'll just keep on holding onto my rattle, thanks...
That's ok, she'll catch the enthusiasm one of these days.