Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"A house is not a home...and a door is still a door..."

Remember that song? Dionne Warwick and Luther Vandross both sang it...written by Burt Bacharach. I'm using a little poetic license as the line was actually, "a chair is still a chair...even when there's no one sitting there." But, this short blog is about us getting a new front door.

I am sentimental (I cry over Hallmark commercials)...I think that's been evident in past blogs, but I have been experiencing a melancholy moment or two over replacing our front doors. Don't get me wrong...they really needed replacing. We moved into this house when our daughters were in preschool and first grade. The poor old doors showed their age. After 30+ years of hanging Christmas wreaths and taping an occasional note to delivery people, the scars were many and deep. They had been revarnished, but they definitely didn't add to our "curb appeal".

So Joe and I started looking at other people's doors. You don't realize how many styles of front doors there are until you start looking. Then, when we found a style we liked, we couldn't believe how expensive doors are (did I say it was 30+ years since we'd bought doors?). So we went to a small hardware store on Coast Highway in Encinitas and started looking through books. We settled on a pair we liked and then contacted people to give us bids on staining and installing.

That began an odyssey of "ooops"...the first contractor pointed out that Joe had ordered two 3' doors and our opening is only 5'....that was 12 inches too much door!! Luckily, the order hadn't been placed, but it required another trip to Encinitas to find a different design. It was a happy mistake since the 30" doors are even nicer than the original 36" ones. We made arrangements for the installation with one contractor and staining by another after they were hung.

That's when the melancholy set in. Joe put the old doors out at the curb to be picked up by the trash. Too late, I realized I hadn't taken a "last picture" of them. Then I thought about all of the guests we greeted at that portal; the back to school photographs taken there; the prom night photos; greeting the girls and their husbands when they came to visit (one particular visit when Jackie and Neal walked in the door stating they had to check some video Neal had shot and then put in a video of their first ultrasound....Joe thought there was something wrong with the picture...I just cried!). More recently, I pictured three bundles of energy running through the front doors, through the house and into the backyard to check out the frogs in our pond.

Anyway, it seemed very unceremonial to just toss those doors at the curb. They protected us from the elements and kept us safe from harm for three decades and I am grateful to them. So this blog is my way of acknowledging their participation in the story of "us" and of welcoming the new guardians of our gate. It is likely that someday these doors will protect another family...I'll print this out and put it with the title so they will know how important they are. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

5 Days Later...I get to retire my broom...

Just a quick update. Doctor said the prednisone would make me grouchy, jumpy, and irritable for about 5 days. Well, the five days is up and I can't discern a difference yet, but it's early. Guess I can park my broom and go back to regular forms of transportation.

I forgot one important aspect of the rule I posted in the earlier blog this week: if you're going to give husband a hint about upcoming storms on the horizon in the text of your blog, be sure you insist he reads it first before you make reference to it hoping for a smile in response.

Yup, when I snapped about something, I said, "I warned you about this. I'm going to be more than usually cranky for a few days. Didn't you read my blog?"

Husband's reply: "So now we have to communicate through your blog?" Ooops! Guess I need to go back to the drawing board.

End of saga: seeing my feelings had been hurt, penitent husband read the blog and came in and gave me a hug. He complimented the blog and all is forgiven.

May take a break from the norm for the next post and give my opinion on the new "Survivor". I am a reality tv junkie and particularly like "Survivor". With the "geezers" against the "gorgeous" it has the possibility of creating a polarized fan base...age discrimination anyone? Comments on the main blog are leaning that way for sure. (I've unsubscribed.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

"A License to Complain"

It's been almost two weeks since I posted and I have a good excuse. I have been coughing nonstop. It started as a slight cold with a runny nose. Then came the cough and it wasn't pretty (will spare the details) so I called my doctor. There has been whooping cough going around in San Diego so I was concerned. He prescribed a Z-pac of antibiotics. Finished the 5 days of that and still kept coughing. Everywhere I went people would look at me as though I was Typhoid Mary. I didn't feel particularly bad so didn't stay locked up in the house. I instinctively knew I wasn't "contagious" since there was no fever and I didn't experience any pain. Just a wracking cough. I've gone through copious numbers of cough drops...they didn't really help and the aftertaste is there all the time.

Finally went back to doctor today and I have "bronchial asthma"...non-contagious. (Thank goodness since I have been around a lot of people...more on that later.) Prescription to get rid of the cough is prednisone...and the side effects: irritability, insomnia, jumpiness (his word), and increased appetite!!

GREAT! I am going to eat myself to match the size of my refrigerator and be a bitch! Lucky me...and poor Joe!

But, wait a minute: is it so bad? Hmmmm...does this mean if I snap at some real or imagined "slight" precipitated by something Joe says or does, it's not my's the drug??

My timing couldn't be worse. Joe went to the annual Tailhook Convention in Sparks, Nevada. He and 15 former Navy buddies all played golf for three days and, I'm sure, imbibed a few bottles of "Fighter Pilot Red" produced by another Navy buddy at his Bella Luna Winery. If I'd gone to the doctor on Wednesday of last week, the four or five days of irritability would be ending today instead of beginning.

This is the first time in over a year that Joe has gone on one of his "guys only" getaways. He hasn't been fishing since the wonderful trip to Canada for salmon...plank cooked on the barbeque was the BEST I've ever eaten! But, I of the things I miss from pre-retirement days was the occasional business trip that would take him away just long enough for me to miss him and be glad to see him when he returned. Tailhook was going to provide that and with no dinners to plan or schedules to keep, I had a couple of getaways planned for myself. I had an overnight at Harrah's Rincon and was going to have a spa treatment, but by the time I got there and got checked in, I was too tired and just had a good dinner and went to sleep. I played bingo on Saturday and Sunday but got lots of glares from fellow players as my hacking interrupted their concentration.

So.....Joe just called from a town just north of Victorville...about four hours away. My "rule" for this blog is: if you have to take a medication that is going to alter your personality (or aggravate tendencies that are already there....such as in my case), try to plan it around your significant other's vacation...and if that isn't possible, keep your sense of humor and warn him/her in advance to put on the emotional armor and smile a lot (that's what I just did when he called).
Next blog: I'll let you know if the rule works!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CAPture and TRADE

A little late this week…I’ve got a cold. (That’s my “in-advance” excuse if this blog isn’t my best.

I “retired” again yesterday. That’s what it’s like after three months of working part- and full-time in Admissions & Records at the college I retired from. It’s wonderful to see everyone, but it’s really, really nice to return to my “retired life”.

I’ve given lots of thought to my subject today and I risk getting into “rant” territory, but I’m compelled to write it anyway. Do you understand what “Cap and Trade” will mean to all of us retirees? I thought I did, but on closer scrutiny, it will negatively impact not only us as retirees, but certainly our children when they “inherit”.

First, because I needed to educate myself on this TAX, I went to the following websites:

HR2454 American Clean Energy & Security Act:

I will sum them up for you: What would you say if I told you that the majority of the “green” jobs our President is promising as a result of “Cap and Trade” will be a kind of “energy compliance Gestapo” to inspect your home and tell you what you have to do to meet the government’s standards (based on “fuzzy science” at best)? And what if I said, you wouldn’t be able to sell your house without getting it retrofitted to meet their standards? And what if I said, you will be taxed every year with a license “fee” for the privilege of letting the government examine your home and tell you what you have to change? These “inspectors” will allow you to place a sticker on your window telling the world you have met their standards. These “home license fees” could come to more than your present locally-controlled property taxes.

Are they kidding? Here’s where the “rant” would start, but I am going to restrain myself and just let you go to the links above and decide for yourself. I have just one closing statement on the subject. It’s not surprising it is called “Cap” and “Trade”. The government is going to CAPture your hard-earned money and TRADE it to someone who doesn’t have what you have. It is not even well-disguised…it is redistribution of wealth (read: socialism), which is what our current Democratic Congress relies on to be re-elected. That’s what’s being traded: your money for the vote of someone the government will give it to.

I don’t think it’s necessary, but I will put a rule at the end of this blog: If that doesn’t sound like democracy to you, perhaps you’ll consider sending a message to the “CAPtors” in November?