The Remote Problem

 

 Today’s the Day

Today is the day! I’m going to solve the remote problem. I have six remotes in my home. Only one works. It’s a long story, so I’ll try to make it short.

It was an ordinary day when the bedroom remote stopped working. Spectrum responded quickly and mailed a new remote. After using a magnifier to read the instructions I thought it best to phone and talk to a live representative. She was extremely helpful and concluded, since none of the ten LG television codes worked I needed a different, aka another, remote.   

In closing she asked, “Can you change the channels?”

“Yes, with the living room remote.” I responded and did.

However, when I returned to the living room and changed the channel, the guide went wacky. Yes, I tried rebooting and lots of other stuff. Nothing helped.      

“Described wacky,” said the next customer representative.

“When I press channel number 1060, 1103 appears and a prompt to subscribe or cancel” 

He sent me two more remotes before I could explain one was already on the way.

In the morning the television was magically restored form wacky to normal. I could change channels on both televisions successfully.

Until that evening, when wacky channel suffering returned.

Now I was yelling, “Do not send me a remote.”

After what felt like eternity this representative restored the old remote to normal in the living room and threatened to send a new box.

“Please don’t,” I pleaded.

“Why not?” he asked.

“The last time they replaced the box they had to rewire inside and outside my house.”

That was one week ago and we’re able to watch both TV’s by borrowing.

The first remote is working, the second remote stopped working, the third wouldn’t work and the next three may work if I can find the courage to try.

* * * just saying

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In the Way

In The Way

It is 10AM on the morning. I’ve been up since seven, read the newspaper, had breakfast, even exercised and showered. I’m dressed and headed to my office with a fresh cup of coffee to write when something gets in the way.

As I pulled my desk away from the wall, ever so slightly, to retrieve a slip of paper, the jewelry holder fell to the floor tangling the necklaces that dangled from her golden arms and stretched neck. I considered throwing the mess in the garbage, but the doll, a collectable figurine by Heriloom Edition was a gift from my mother who is now deceased.

Mercury Retrograde was at it again. I scooped her up, rested the damage on the bed and turned on my computer. I refused to be deterred. I didn’t take the detour, the roundabout way to writing.

Several days later I summoned the fortitude to untangle the numerous strands of necklaces, without yelling, screaming or cursing. There’s some real personal growth taking place here Dr. Trugillo. I remembered to count to ten, take deep breathes and do whatever else needed to behave sane. “I am an adult.” I repeated to myself again and again.

However, it was a reminder that retirement is highly over rated. You think you’re going to do what you want, go where you want, eat what you want . . . all your wants will be cared for.

But no, I wake up to new health challenges, world disasters or situations that need attention, daily.

Staying focused is a challenge. Should I wear a face mask again, get the booster vaccination before or after the flu shot? The increasing concerns make me dizzy and worn out. I wasn’t going to mention the remote situation, but will, briefly. Spectrum had to mail us four new remotes, none of which turn the bedroom TV on.

And then the guilt! I don’t have loved ones near the fires, fighting or returning from Afghanistan, in Ida’s path or battling covid,

But damn it, I’m going to have fun and be happy even if it kills me.

* * * just saying

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Big Feelings

Photo by Rodrigo Souza on Pexels.com

Big Feelings

People are angry. They are worried, anxious, nervous, and disappointed, all in public.

New statistics show a rapid rise in plane rage incidences. In a typical year, the FAA sees anywhere from 100 to 150 cases – only a fraction of those since this February, a reported 1,300 cases.

“These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusal to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. capitol,” said the FAA.

Gayle King quoted more alarming numbers; a jump from 300 cases to 4,000 on CBS This Morning Show and didn’t place blame, but pleaded with viewers to treat the Flight Attendant with respect.

It’s not fake news, violence has become a frequent response to discontent, regardless of the source.

In France, fans threw objects at soccer players; the situation escalated. Players and fans clashed resulting in cancellation of the game.

Factor in the debate over wearing protective face masks in schools . . . well, Chicken Little might be right. The sky appears to be falling.

In CBS This Morning interview, Grover and Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop, said, “It’s because we have big feelings.”

They were talking about children, however, agreed the approach can be applied to all human beings.

“Children don’t have words to identify their feelings,” said Dr. Truglio.  

Grover spoke about Headspace, a free app program for children and gave the following suggestions.

  • Deep Belly Breathes
  • Monster Meditation
  • Slow Down and Count to Four

“Well, I have big feeling, too. Dr. Truglio.

I’m having trouble finding the words to express them, and deep breathing is not helping.” I yelled at the television.

Dr. Truglio didn’t respond.

So, I screamed, “And counting to four sucks!”

“You’re the adult, try counting to ten!” she yelled back.

                                                   * * * *    just saying

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Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

“The planet Mercury rules communication in all forms—listening, writing, reading, speaking, and so on—as well as activities closely related to communication, like negotiations and contracts. It also rules travel, automobiles, shipping, and mail.” And according to my neighbor lots more; like air conditioner failure.

Three times a year, the planet Mercury appears to travel backward across the sky. It’s an illusion but nevertheless associated with confusion, delay and frustration. Hence the term Mercury Retrograde, AKA backwards, reverse or decline and might also be responsible for the nail stuck in my car tire.

Here’s what happened. After driving 600 miles, we arrived home to find our central AC shut down. My husband, Bob, tired and in crossword puzzle withdrawal, was on the brink of a melt own. So, I phoned for emergency service and spoke with another Bob who from the tone of his voice was equally fatigued, if not more. He explained he’d been on call in addition to working his regular job for the past ten day before asking, “Do you have a shop vac?”

“We used to.”

“The line is more than likely clogged and needs to be suctioned. It will take me at least one hour to get where you are and cost you at least $200 dollars.”

“Are you talking about this white pipe sticking out of the ground?” I asked.

He agreed to come, I hung up and immediately phoned my Mercury Retrograde neighbor and  shared what was going on.

“I have a shop vac! I’ll be right over,” she said.

Wearing a designer skort and sequined flip-flops, she arrived within minutes carrying the shop vac.

“My AC line got clogged and I had to pay big bucks for it to be repaired. So, I purchased this on Amazon,” she said kneeling on the wet grass.

My Bob came outside and I had the other Bob on the telephone explaining he didn’t have to come after all. Everyone wore smiles. Well, I couldn’t see the other Bob smiling, but I knew he was.

“Thank you, Johanna!”

Next morning, I figured new day, no problems and went about unpacking, doing the laundry, opening-up the mail, oblivious to Mercury Retrograde who was secretly hanging around.

Later in the day I was driving on route 95 when yellow alerts appear in the dashboard, the print too small for me to see, but soon discovered my right front tire was losing pressure quickly. Normal pressure is 33 to 35 this tire had 20 pounds of pressure, YIKES!

Turns out I had picked up a nail in my travels.

I didn’t have to consult my neighbor to know, “when Mercury is retrograde, try to remain flexible, patient, and understanding, allow extra time for travel, and avoid signing onto any new contracts that you’re unsure of. Double check your email responses and check in with reservations before you take that trip.”

                                               * * * * just saying

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Back In Florida

We’re Back

Sunrise Lake

We’ve returned to Florida after spending four weeks at Sunrise Lake in Milford, Pa., and an additional week in Delmar, New York, visiting family. We’d considered a trip to Yellowstone National Park to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, but due to health issues, upcoming medical procedures, and what not, put the trip on hold.  Twelve years ago, we retired to Florida and in retrospect would have made better snow birds. We wanted to escape the heat.

It rained frequently at the lake. The temperatures so cool, we jumped in the lake only once. But, our grand kids, daughter and old friends; well let me restate that, people who we’ve been friends with for a long time, visited. Although, they are truly old friends; we met when I was thirteen and been friends for sixty years.

Smoking cigarettes at Puffy’s Creek, (behind Martin’s house in Hensonville, N.Y) nobody thought we would be old, or still be friends. It rained cats and dogs when they visited, and we huddled on a covered screen porch laughing our heads off, trying not to get wet.

Our favorite restaurant in the area is the Walpack Inn. It’s hidden deep in the woods, In order to get there we crossed Dingman’s Ferry Bridge, one of three privately owned bridges in the United States. Twenty-four hours a day someone stands in the middle of the road collecting the one dollar toll (cash only) and says repeatedly, “Thank you. Have a nice day,” to motorists crossing the Delaware River into or from Sussex County, New Jersey, via Old Mine Road. It’s a narrow bumpy bridge and kind of like threading a needle.

It was great to visit with everyone and I had mixed emotions and quite grumpy leaving Delmar at 6AM on a Monday for the 584-mile drive to Roanoke, VA. I’d not slept well the night before. However we made good time and got in bed early.

The next day we were on the road by 7AM., traveling Route 81, a scenic parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Around 9:30 AM we stopped in Hillsville, Virginia for gas; to use the restrooms, and buy the newspaper. Bob reads the paper and does crossword the puzzle while I drive. We are not back on the road five minutes when he announced there is no crossword puzzle in The Carroll News which he paid one dollar for and the paper was dated August 4th, several days ago. It’s a weekly publication.

But there was news of interest.

The 85th Old Fiddlers’ Convention, held at Felts Park for six nights was expected to draw 50,000 to 60,000 people from all fifty states and several foreign countries. The paper reported the big controversy over face masks in schools, but there was no debate at the convention; no one wore a mask.

New material at the Carroll County Public Library was another headline. The list of new books, videos and CDs was extensive, diverse and took up several pages. There are six branches however, who was getting what book was left out.

The paper, more than likely, reflected what was important in the community

It was a the poignant story highlighting the Golden Girls return to work at Blue Ridge Designs that enthralled me.

Blue Ridge Design’s Golden Girls, Rubye Edwards, Cathie Grimes, Carol Montgomery, Sue Worrell

Look at the smiles! These women in their eighties, work part time at Blue Ridge Designs. Rubye retired at 87 and returned to work at 88 saying, “It’s an easy job and better than sitting at home.”They re-sticker UPC hang tags for garments. Sue Worrell believes in the “Move it or lose it,” health approach and after work went home to make 10 pints of blackberry jelly. Cathie Grimes does it for “The money!” Carol Montgomery said, “I’m still working because I don’t like staying home.”

We arrived home early and thought our re-entry would be easy. However, we were not in the door an hour when the air conditioner stopped working.

* * * * just saying

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A Self Help Look

The Self Help Look

I’ve thought of writing a self-help series to help myself deal with life and aging. You know something along the lines of; tips on how to get out of a chair or remembering where you’ve parked, and planned to hit the ground running on New Years’ Day.

Today is the first day of the year and the first day of the rest of your life would be the break out sentence. It’s catchy enough don’t you think?

The next day, I woke up thinking; every day is the first day of the rest of your life and readers might be bored. So, I switched to Today is the first day of the end of your life. I thought this funny and was amused with myself. After all, as my golfer husband says, “We’re on the back nine headed to the 18th hole.”

Would readers enjoy my black humor? I needed help and more than likely, unable to help myself. So, I put the self-help series on hold.

Then I found a pair of lost earrings and felt lucky. Perhaps I would focus on a series about luck. The lucky feeling continued when Bernie Sander’s mitten picture was plastered across the news.

Aren’t we lucky to have people like him to lighten the mood?

Perhaps I can help myself. I could call it The Aging Alphabet Series; A is for Attitude, B is for Brain Power, C is for Constipation, D is for Dementia, etc.  

. . . just saying

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Out with The Old In with The New

Guardian Service Cookware vs Target’s Made By Design

 

Out with The Old/In with The New

Aunt Connie believed aluminum cookware a culprit to dementia and or Alzheimer disease. She was next in line to inherit the Guardian Service pots and didn’t want them. Consequently, they were brought to me. I was more concerned with displeasing my mother-in-law than forgetfulness, so I cooked with them, for many years.

As advertised these hammered aluminum pots are indestructible and still highly coveted. Guardian Service has their own website and the collectable pots are for sale on eBay.

So, even thinking about replacing the Dutch Oven felt like abandoning a childhood friend. Nevertheless, I went shopping. But similar ceramic pots were heavier than what I was replacing. The new pot, Made by Designs, is a ceramic non-stick stockpot purchased at Target. It is light weight, easy to clean, oven safe, and reasonably price at forty dollars. I bought the damn pot but came home feeling guilty and happy.

Online, I discovered there are several songs with the title Out with the old in with the new. All were maudlin and depressing. I was still conflicted. Perhaps this was about change.

Change is difficult because change triggers fear and the natural instinct to fight or flee. The information and research done on the topic is extensive but to sum it up; in the aging brain, the parts that light up during a deemed deviation/change are not unlike encountering something life threatening. So, replacing an old pot can signal the alarm of a house invasion.

After mulling it over for a few days I came up with a compromise. The new pot will get the easy to reach spot in the kitchen cabinet, but I won’t throw out or give away the old valuable Guardian Dutch Oven, yet.

I’ll put it on a garage shelf and see how much I miss it.

. . . Just saying

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Blursday A New Weekday

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Blursday . . .

Well, we survived 2020 and the holiday season has ended. So, it is time to look ahead, in spite of the pandemic. Not to what was previously called normal, because like the printing press, the corona virus has changed the world, remember both originated in China.

We look forward to everyone getting vaccinated, and no talk of the corona virus.

Thankfully, since 1976, Lake Superior State University compiles an annual Banished Words List, “to uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating.”

2021 Banished Word List

  1. COVID-19 (COVID, coronavirus, Rona)
  2. Social distancing
  3. We’re all in this together
  4. In an abundance of caution (various phrasings)
  5. In these uncertain times (various phrasings)
  6. Pivot 
  7. Unprecedented
  8. Karen 
  9. Sus
  10. I know, right?

You may have heard about that horrible incident in Central Park with the woman named Karen, and why it is on the list. But Pivot and Sus? I had to look up. I personally think the expression whatever should have been included.  

The word Blursday, is a horse of a different color. Rumor has it, the word is irritating and trending for the 2022 list.

Defined as: An unspecified day; the loss of the ability to track one’s week because of the knockdown effect on time. For many people, the pandemic has created a long period of time without their daily work and school schedule. Without a schedule, it has become hard to remember which day it is”

Hard to remember what day it is? Wait until they are my age.

However, the days of social distancing, frequently hand washing, and isolation won’t disappear fast. It takes time for the body to build immunity after the vaccination and two shots are required.

So, what are we going to do in the mean time?

We’ve already installed a blind on the glass sliders, swapped out a two-bowl sink for a one bowl. Connected a filtration system, upgraded the irrigation system, improved the landscaping and had the outside of the house painted. The picture above is our front door painted in the new color, Cyberspace.

I guess I could clean out the closets or finish my first novel.

. . . just saying 

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Chilly In Florida

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It’s cold in Florida. So cold I had to bring my Christmas cactus inside. The wind howled through the front window reminding me of our home in Newton New Jersey. Each window of the one hundred plus Victorian had it own melody, some more big brass than others.

We planned to drive north for the holiday, but my husband woke up with the stomach flu and I rushed him to the emergency room. The good news? It wasn’t the corona virus.

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We changed plans. We’ve had to do so many times and I’ve gotten good at doing it.

Christmas Eve Lemon Chicken Soup

I thought, of all the past Christmas gatherings, which one would I choose to have again. Well the obvious one is when our children were little.

Christmas 1977

Our daughter, Janine, her personality shining through.

Tony reading with Santa.

However, the year there was a blizzard was special.

Both our kids were home for the holidays, and many family members were expected for Christmas dinner. It started snowing in the morning, lightly. Then became blinding throughout the day. Around midnight we watched the flakes morph into large snowflakes, the ones we cut out of paper and hung on a tree. It became quiet. The quiet that had a noise of its own. We made angels in the snow and ate dinner in our pajamas.

It’s the Christmas I picture, again and again.

Every person, young and old, will remember this Christmas, the pandemic Christmas. Probably for what they didn’t get to do, and that will make it special.

. . . . just saying

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Photo Challenge

This is the last picture I took with my cell. We swapped out the mirrors in the master bath for mirrored medicine cabinets. I sent a photo of them to a consignment store.

Brian, at Bushboy’s World had the great idea of posting the last photo of each month from his SD card and phone. He offers no explanation and does no editing.

Lots of us have joined in, sharing our own last photos.

Here’s what to do if you’d like to join in as well:

1. Post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for July 2020.
2. No editing – who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like or the subject matter didn’t cooperate.
3. You don’t have to have any explanations, just the photo will do
4. Create a Pingback to Brian’s post or link in the comments
5. Tag “The Last Photo”