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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LIGHT MY FIRE



Today was a day of decision. I made the decision to stay in bed till noon - in order to keep warm. It was 56 degrees in my house when I woke up.

Once I made the decision to get up and brave the chill in the air, I dressed warm and went out to run some errands. It was warm in my vehicle - I know that!

As one of those "three's" I wrote about recently, my friend Doug came over to investigate the reason why my fan would run in constant mode in my furnace. It was beautiful, warm and sunny out that week, so I had turned my heat off. I enjoyed those 70+ degree days and opened the windows to get warm fresh air.

After he fixed the temperature dial, which caused the fan to run constantly, we discussed the weather and how nice it was now that Spring had finally come and warm weather was upon us. However, I forgot - this is OHIO. Wait 5 minutes or so and the weather will change!

In order to save money for the upcoming summer, the decision was made to turn off the pilot light on the furnace, which he said would save me between $8 and $12 per month in unnecessary gas bills.

In the past two weeks or so, the temperature outside has fluctuated so greatly, it's been hard to keep up with. Some mornings were so cold in the house, that I piled on the blankets and curled up to keep warm. Since the kitchen was the coldest room, I rarely went out there, even to get something to eat. I did more snacking than eating!

As I said, today was decision day. Sometime after 5pm, I called Doug, who was eating a good home cooked meal at his mom's house, and asked him if he would be so kind as to stop by on his way home and save me from my chilled and sore joints - especially my bad knee. Of course, as I asked, he was laughing hard and getting a kick out of our past decision.

About a half hour later, Doug came walking into my garage, again laughing, and proceeded to LIGHT MY FIRE. I turned the thermostat to HEAT and within a short time, my house was warm and comfortable once again.

As Doug was leaving, his phone rang and he proceeded to tell the person on the other end that he was lighting a pilot light that he had turned off about three weeks ago, and chuckled about it. So I said, "At least I'll be a good story for you to tell all your friends for a while - glad to give you a good laugh!" I thanked him, we had a final laugh about the whole thing and now I'm not worried about waking up with my hands feeling like ice tomorrow morning.

Doug - you're a great guy and I'm so glad you could LIGHT MY FIRE. I needed a good laugh today! We're suppose to have frost overnight - and it had better be the last one! I WANT WARM WEATHER - and lots of SUNSHINE! And as a patient person, I WANT IT NOW!

Monday, April 26, 2010

APRIL



Its been a busy month. When the weather was nice, my dog and I took nice walks. When the rains came or it was chilly, I tried to get things done around the house.

A gravel walkway got finished - a task that needed to be done, but I sure couldn't have done it alone. Thanks to my helper (son), I can cross that item off my "to-do" list.

I went to a Democrat Club meeting and also got my Vote Builder class education. I even remembered to go vote in advance of election day, with no crowd or waiting.

I also started volunteering with a new group called Angels Awaiting Maternity Home, which will be helping young pregnant homeless women with their situation.

I got my grass seed put out all over the yard, my pansy's planted, a new gate yard decoration, flower beds cleaned out, the grass mowed, and the porch cleaned up, the place is looking pretty good right now.

Many items were collected and sorted from various areas around the house for two upcoming yard sales. So far one truck load was delivered, now working on packing a second load. I decided to get rid of a lot of extra "stuff" around here. No matter how much I gather up, I'm sure there will be plenty of "stuff" left for next time!

Except for the "water heater incident" and the water leak, which led to a plumber bill for a replacement, all-in-all, it was a pretty good month.

I'm looking forward to a sunny, warm month of May so the many flowers will bloom and brighten the outdoor scenery. Now that April is almost over, I'll start planning my schedule for May. It hasn't started yet, but already has three items in the first week. I am trying to keep busy, and taking things one day at a time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TECH BOY


A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers, "Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway."

Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo; then I set up a date via email with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe.

We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive.

As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

"You got Male!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

JIGSAW PUZZLE

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, “Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can’t figure out how to get it started.”

Her boyfriend asks, “What’s it supposed to be when it’s finished?” The blonde says, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a tiger.” Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, “First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger.”

He takes her hand and says, “Second, I want you to relax. Let’s have a nice cup of tea, and then …” He sighed……..

“Let’s put all the Frosted Flakes back in the box…….”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

TECHNOLOGY




Three women, two younger, and one senior citizen, were sitting naked in a sauna. Suddenly there was a beeping sound. The young woman pressed her forearm and the beep stopped.

The others looked at her questioningly.

“That was my pager”, she said. I have a microchip under the skin of my arm.

A few minutes later, a phone rang. The second young woman lifted her palm to her ear. When she finished, she explained, “that was my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand.”

The older woman felt very low tech. Not to be out done, she decided she had to do something just as impressive. She stepped out of the sauna and went to the bathroom. She returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her rear end. The others raised their eyebrows and stared at her.

The older woman finally said……… “Well, will you look at that… I’m getting a fax!!”

Friday, April 16, 2010

SNORING SOLUTION


Four guys were at deer camp. They had to bunk two to a room. No one wanted to room with Daryl because he snored so badly. They decided it wasn’t fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

The first guy slept with Daryl and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot. The other two said, “Man, what happened to you?” He said, “Daryl snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night.”

The next night it was the second guy’s turn. In the morning, same thing, hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot. The other two said, “Man, what happened to you? You look awful!” He said, “Man, that Daryl shakes the roof. I sat up and watched him all night.”

The third night was Frank’s turn. Frank was a big burly ex-football player; a man’s man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright eyed and bushy-tailed. “Good morning,” he said. The other two couldn’t believe it!

He looked rested and wide awake. They asked, “Man, what happened?”

He said, “Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Daryl into bed, patted his butt and kissed him good night. Daryl sat up and watched me all night.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

HOSPITAL TECHNOLOGY


A lady came to the hospital to visit a friend. She had not been in a hospital for several years and felt uneasy, not knowing about all the new technology. A technician followed her onto the elevator, wheeling a large, intimidating looking machine with tubes and wires and dials.

“Boy, would I hate to be hooked up to that thing,” she said.

“So would I,” replied the technician. “It’s a floor-cleaning machine.”

Friday, April 9, 2010

SOFTBALL IN HEAVEN


Two 90-year-old women, Rose and Barb, had been friends all of their lives.

When it was clear that Rose was dying, Barb visited her every day. One day Barb said, "Rose, we both loved playing women’s softball all our lives, and we played all through high school. Please do me one favor, when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there’s women’s softball there."

Rose looked up at Barb from her deathbed, "Barb, you’ve been my best friend for many years. If it’s at all possible, I’ll do this favor for you."

Shortly after that, Rose passed on.

At midnight a couple of nights later, Barb was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her, "Barb, Barb."

"Who is it?" asked Barb, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Barb — it’s me, Rose."

"You’re not Rose. Rose just died."

"I’m telling you, it’s me, Rose," insisted the voice.

"Rose! Where are you?"

"In Heaven," replied Rose. "I have some really good news and a little bad news."

"Tell me the good news first," said Barb.

"The good news," Rose said, "is that there’s softball in Heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here too. Better than that, we’re all young again. Better still, it’s always springtime and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired."

"That’s fantastic," said Barb. "It’s beyond my wildest dreams! So what’s the bad news?"

"You’re pitching Tuesday."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A LOVE FOR FISHING


Two men are fishing in a boat under a bridge, as a funeral procession started to cross the bridge. Then one of the fishermen stands up, removes his cap and bows his head.

After the procession has crossed the bridge, the man puts on his cap, picks up his rod and reel, and continues fishing.

The other fisherman says, "That was really touching, man. I didn't know you had it in you."

Then the first guy says, "Well, I guess it was the right thing to do, after all, I was married to her for 40 years.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A HEARING PROBLEM?


An elderly gentleman of 85 feared his wife was getting hard of hearing.

So one day he called her doctor to make an appointment to have her hearing checked. The doctor made an appointment for a hearing test in two weeks, and said meanwhile there’s a simple informal test the husband could do to give the doctor some idea of the state of her problem.

"Here’s what you do,” said the doctor, “start out about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.”

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he’s in the living room. He says to himself, “I’m about 40 feet away, let’s see what happens.”

Then in a normal tone he asks, "Honey, what’s for supper?” No response. So the husband moved to the other end of the room, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, “Honey, what’s for supper?” Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, “Honey, what’s for supper?” Again he gets no response. So he walks up to the kitchen door, only 10 feet away. “Honey, what’s for supper?” Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her. “Honey, what’s for supper?”

“Damn it Earl, for the fifth time, CHICKEN!”

Monday, April 5, 2010

ALWAYS IN THREES


Over the years, I have always found the old saying to be correct - things always come in threes. I have had my share of threes, but the most recent left me laughing and crying at the same time.

A couple months ago when it was so very cold, I learned the hard way that there was no vent cover on the garage side of my house. The one in back and bedroom side were also missing. Those 3 vents allow air to circulate in the crawl space under the house in the summer (they are to be closed in winter). The house was built in 1968 and there are no basements in this neighborhood. The cold wind was whipping around one day as I tried to do laundry. No water would come out of the pipe, just a humming sound when I turned the washer on. I patiently waited until the next day to try again. Same humming. I knew it was not my washer, so I reluctantly called a plumber. He went into the crawl space and thawed a pipe under the floor in the laundry room. When that didn't totally correct the water flow, he tore the lower part of my wall apart behind my washer. He cut away the panelling, took his fist to the plaster, and I had a big ugly hole in the wall. But he got the pipes thawed out and water again flowed into the washer. He collected his fee and left. I had to repair the wall. I purchased pipe insulation, a piece of wall insulation, and a can of spray foam insulation to fill up the hole. My son moved the washer back out of the way and between us, we filled and patched the hole. A workman next door cut a scrap of wood for that vent so I would not get a refreeze. The other 2 vents are still left uncovered (need to get 2 more cut now). Number one had struck, what would come next?

About two weeks ago, I walked into the kitchen and thought I heard a water sound. I have an ice maker and the old refrigerator does make water noises now and then. I also have the door water and ice dispenser. As I went to wipe my hands on a towel on my counter, I notice the towel was soaking wet. After taking almost everything off that small side of the counter the water began to gush and continue to flow onto the countertop as I watched. I immediately knew what to do - turn off the water. I found the valve to the line that fills the reservoir in the freezer and turned it off. It's attached to the regular water line under the sink, so it did not affect my faucet. When my son came over a few days later, he pulled the refrigerator out and found the plastic tubing that carries water up from the reservoir to the ice maker was sheared off, broke, not just unplugged. No glueing that back together. So I have no ice maker anymore. I'll have to live with plastic ice trays now! Number two...what could come next?

It was such a nice warm day out last week, and the next day was even hotter. I got out my jean shorts (I'm a jeans type person) and turned off the heat feature on my thermostat. Why have the heat on when it was so nice out? However, the fan kept running, and running, and running. After two days of hearing that fan run and run, I tried to flip the thermostat a few times, with no luck. So again, with great realization that number THREE might be staring me in the face, I called my friend, the heating/ac man. He's so great, he was there within the hour. He took the furnace cover off and adjusted the silver dial and the fan quit blowing. Of course, because I always want to know more, I asked him why, etc. Being very knowledgeable, he gave me the complete workings of that "gizmo" that makes the fan come on to cool the inside of the heater when the pilot is on. After a short discussion, and realization that Spring was right around the corner, we made the decision to turn off the pilot light and save me the extra cost of gas during the warm months. I don't turn my heat on until it gets really cold, about November, because of the high cost of gas. And I never run my air conditioning until the temperature gets above 85 or 90 outside. I just use a fan to circulate the air (that's what fixed income will do to you!). Born and raised in Ohio, but I never liked snow all that much. I guess living in the south for 23 years spoiled me to warm weather. The repairman also said that the "gizmo" needs more adjustment as it gets older and wears out. Therefore, we have put it on our calendar for late October for him to come back, replace the old part, and relight my pilot light for winter. Afterall, it's the original furnace from 1968, but works darn good for its age - like me.

Let's hope my THREES have come and gone and I can relax for a while. Even though I have a GREAT plumber, and heating repairman, I can't afford to keep them on staff! But, I CAN afford a few new ice trays at the dollar store!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

DUMB AND DUMBER

An item from Charles Pierce of Newton, Mass.

Back in 1998, I wrote a piece about John McCain for Esquire. Now, 12 years later, I am witness to his final degradation as a serious public person. Granted, this has been a long time in the making, ever since wheneer it was that he decided he wanted to be president more than he wanted to be, well, sane. The 2008 campaign was an extended tour of the swamp wherein reside his various grudges, pretensions, and poisonous ill-will toward anyone who didn't recognize his Green Room-endowed right to run the country. He sold himself to all the people who'd immolated his well-loved 2000 campaign. He violated the campaign law that bore his name. He said that, in retrospect, he wouldn't have voted for the half-sensible immigration-reform law he'd proposed. Then, in his biggest bow to the Nervous Hospital that the base of his party had become, he picked an ambitious, half-bright goober from Alaska to run with him, made her a star to people who should not be trusted to cut their own meat, and then, when her innate clownishness had made her (and him) such a laughing stock that the Republican ticket lost in places like Indiana to a black man whose middle name was "Hussein," he sent his remaining loyalists out to emphasize (anonymously) that his running mate was even dumber than the rest of us imagined.

He then walked back to the Senate and engaged in a prolonged temper tantrum that culminated in his announcement last week that he was so insulted by health-care reform that he would hereafter decline to do his job any more -- a refutation of his old "Country First" slogan that was so obviously hilarious that even Harry Reid noticed. Meanwhile, back home, he was being primaried to within an inch of his life anyway by J.D. Hayworth, a former sportscaster who went on to a brief, Abramoff-enriched career as the dimmest bulb in the congressional chandelier. So, here I sit, today, in Arizona, and not eight miles from this computer. John McCain has flown in Sarah Palin to be the featured speaker at a rally that he hopes will push him to victory over a guy whom even all the other congressional dumbasses thought was a box of rocks. She's endorsing him but, at the rally, HE'S introducing her, and all I can think of is a paraphrase of the late, great Dr. Thompson's memorable vale to the cursed 1972 campaign;

"Jesus, how low do you have to stoop in this country if you want to almost be president?"

A reply from Stephen Carver of Los Angeles

Regarding your CAP article, the Republicans want nothing less than America to fail. Rush said it first and said it loudest, but that seems to be their strategy. They seem to believe that if we fail as a nation, then they can be seen as the knight in shining armor (which is how they still view Reagan) coming in to save the day and the country. HOW they would do this, what policies they will use, they never seem to have an answer for (except fewer taxes for rich people).


Written in The Nation, a news paper and online service

Friday, April 2, 2010

A HEALTHCARE STORY

From the Huffpo Investigations Fund:

Heather Galeotti was hit by a car and rushed to the hospital, where she lay in a coma in the intensive care unit. Her health insurance company, Kaiser Permanente, told her family that she was covered through her father's group plan. But five months later, they received a letter from Kaiser. Her policy had been retroactively terminated and they owed more than $4 million in hospital bills.

It's a hole in the health care reform bill that was never discussed. The new bill bans retroactive decisions by insurers in policies sold to individuals, except in cases of fraud. However, as it stands the ban would not apply to group policies, such as the one held by the Galeotti family, which cover some 150 million Americans. Why? Because most experts think it can't happen. This case, reported for the first time at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, shows that -- even in the group market -- people might be vulnerable.

This story came to the Huffington Post Investigative Fund through its citizen journalism project, which seeks to shed light on the inner workings of the insurance industry. Former and current employees at Kaiser responded to the Fund's online requests for help from insiders. Their tips led the Investigative Fund to identify the Galeotti family and obtain records of the case, including internal Kaiser e-mails.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME

My friend Sue shared this with me and its worth repeating:

There is one HERO in the U.S. Senate and his name is Sherrod Brown from Ohio. Senator Brown REFUSES to accept the Health Care granted to him as a Senator UNTIL all Americans have the same kind of coverage.

The Idea

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."