On my way to work this morning, I heard a story on the radio about an incandescent light bulb that was lit in 1901 and is still burning.

A photo of the Centennial Light Bulb pendant light in Livermore, California. This photo was taken in 2016.

In 1901, my maternal grandmother was 5 years old. My paternal grandfather hadn’t been born, and wouldn’t be for another 2 years.

However, here’s something contemporaneous with that 1901 light bulb: Walt Disney was born.

Can’t you picture a cartoon light bulb appearing over Walt Disney’s head time and time and time and time again over the course of his life as he had one idea after another? I think that light bulb would look remarkably like this light bulb that was born the same time he was.


Sink, Sank, Sunk

Saturday has become my favorite day for blogging. Last week, one of my readers told me that reading the Saturday post was “like we were sitting together having a chat and a cuppa.” That’s such a huge compliment!

On Saturdays I’ve given myself permission to blather using the Stream of Consciousness prompt given by Linda Hill. This week that prompt is: sink/sank/sunk

So let me update you on my kitchen sink. I called the plumber a few months ago. He came. He saw. He fixed. Sort of. A slow drip still exists. It’s not leaking behind or under the sink. It’s just drip…………………….drip………………………….dripping. Should I call the plumber again? Let’s just say it isn’t annoying enough for me to do that. Yet.

My heart sank one day at work this week when I learned of a mistake I had made. It wasn’t a clerical error or something that involved money or something silly like that. It involved feelings. I had hurt someone’s feelings in a terrible way. I apologized — twice — but the damage is done. As unfeeling as some people may think I am — I mean, I DO operate in a logic brain most of the time, and hold my feelings pretty close to me — I also care INTENSELY about feelings.

AND, as unfeeling as some people may think I am, on this occasion, I turned to a co-worker and literally cried on her shoulder. When I first went to her office and started crying, she said, “I can’t tell if you are kidding or if these are real tears.” I don’t think she had seen me cry before.

I assured her the tears were real.

After about half an hour of listening to me, she grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s take a walk outside.”

It’s amazing what fresh air and sunshine can do for the soul — especially the hurting soul.

While I was apologizing to the person I had hurt, she said to me, “I don’t even want to come to work anymore.”

Same, sister, same.

But I have a co-worker who has my back. She understands what happened and why. That’s worth a WHOLE LOT.

And I have tulips at my desk at work.

So when I walk through the door going through the sink-sank-sunk emotions of I-don’t-want-to-be-here, I see the tulips and they lift my heart.

Blather · family · Life

Saturday Blather

I should have taken pictures last weekend — at the very least, a photograph of the big stick we moved into the storage unit.

Yep, we stored a stick. It’s actually a tall dried stalk of bamboo.

“It’s a staff,” Mary said.

Someone had given it to her. It was cool. She said all that, too.

I agree. It was kind of cool. But when I saw the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday — stick — it hit me that we had stored a stick.

I’m sure there are worse things out there in storage units. I don’t even want to think about that.

But photographs from my road trip last week were limited to one, which I’ll share in a sec.

I drove to Virginia to pick up her from college. Last year, when it came to moving out, there had been tears. Not the I’m-sad-that-I’m-leaving-school variety. More the I’m-overwhelmed-with-this-process variety.

Packing up and moving is a tough business, don’t you think?

But we successfully emptied the dorm room, stored some stuff in a shared storage unit (including a stick/staff), loaded up the car, and headed home. Without any tears.

I didn’t take a single picture of that process. In fact, I only took one photo — I promise, I’ll share it soon, but it’s really nothing great so don’t build up your hopes.

I wish I had taken a picture of the view from the stables. The school has a riding program, and one of the storage unit sharers was up at the stable when we went to get the key.

First, I love horses. Such beautiful animals. We visited some of the horses in the barn, then Mary’s friend walked us out and pointed out some in the pastures. Beautiful, beautiful animals out grazing in beautiful Virginia fields. The fields were dotted with trees leafing out, flowers blooming, and horse nibbling at the grass while swishing away the flies with their long beautiful tails. I really should have taken a photograph.

Here’s a photograph (nope, still not the one) documenting my early love of horses. I think I was three years old.

And here’s another one (still not the one) showing my continued love of horses. I was maybe ten years old?

Without further ado, I should just show you the picture I took last weekend. Honestly, this is the problem with Stream of Consciousness writing. You start off thinking that you’re going one place and then you end up in another place entirely.

We had just loaded up the car and Mary had run in for one check. I was waiting outside the dorm and started to read the plaque there. It was from 1955 when the dorm was built. The reason I took the picture was to remind me of how far we’ve come. At this all women’s college in 1955, all the married women on the plaque are swallowed up by their husbands’ names. The unmarried women still have their first names. The married ones do not.

To me, that feels sad — that namelessness.

But we’re making progress, aren’t we?

I have a name — and I like it when people call me by name. Most of the time.

Sometimes it’s unnerving when people know my name and I don’t know theirs.

A woman stopped me the other day when I was getting ice cream with Mary. She said, “You’re Sally, aren’t you?”

I have no idea who she was. She knew me from my work with the senior programming I’ve been doing.

But this has nothing to do with sticks. Or horses.

Not that it has to, of course. I’m just blathering at this point.

I should end now.


Stream of Consciousness Blather

True story: I’m overwhelmed, overanxious, overtired and pretty much over this post every day business.

This morning, from my tiny room in an AirBnB with questionable internet, I wrote a 700+ word post baring my soul about some of my over-anxiety and overwhelmed-ness.

Then, my daughter messaged me. She was ready to be picked up from her college dorm so we could drop a few more things in the storage unit before we began the long drive home. I quickly read through my stream-of-consciousness blather, added a few tags, and hit “Publish.” The spinny-thing started spinning.

It gave me a minute to read through it all again. Whew! That’s pretty raw! I thought, but I had already hit “Publish.” Too late. But the spinny-thing was still spinning.

I brought my stuff to the car — everything except my computer, that is. I came back in to check on the status of my post. Had it published? Well, the spinny-thing was still spinning.

I stared at it, re-read the post, thought Oof! I don’t know how this person or that person will react to it!

I used the bathroom — I had a long drive ahead of me. I checked the computer. Guess what? Yep, the spinny-thing was still spinning.

Okay, time to reload, I thought. I hit the reload button.

“Changes you made may not be saved,”my computer said.

I decided to take my chances. I hit reload again.

Everything disappeared.


I’m pretty sure that sometimes technology errors save us from ourselves.

I drove 9 hours and thought about that more than once. Some things are best kept private.

Life is still overwhelming and I’m still overanxious. I’m definitely overtired.

But I’ll keep plugging away at posting every day.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Blather · Music

Music from My Childhood

Last night I went with one of my sons and his wife and daughter to a concert by Le Vent du Nord, a French-Canadian folk music group from Quebec. It now ranks among the few times I wished I had stuck with French instead of switching to Latin in high school.

Side note: our French teacher taught us by having us memorize dialogues in French. To date, I have yet to say to ANYBODY, “Regarde cette belle neige com el tombe,” whereas Latin words seem to commonly crop up/creep in. Caveat emptor, cogito ergo sum, and all that.

Such joy on that stage! Oh my goodness! Laughter doesn’t need a language any more than music does.

When one of the band members first pulled out his accordion, I was transported back to Bosnia 2017, when one of men there had started playing his accordion after dinner and soon everyone was singing along. I told my daughter-in-law about that experience and she had had a similar one in Switzerland. I have yet to go to dinner at anyone’s house in the USA, have someone start playing the accordion and people start singing along.

When I saw Linda Hill Stream of Consciousness prompt for this week — “a song from your childhood” — I immediately thought of an album, not a single song. If I had to choose a single song, it would be The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” which is the first song I distinctly remember hearing and wanting to hear over and over. I was four years old when that came out.

The album from my childhood that I thought of was an album of folk music my father gave me when I was in 5th grade. It was assorted artists and assorted songs. Do I distinctly remember any of the songs? No. Well, I do remember “Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder” but it certainly wasn’t my favorite song on the album. It’s kind of a strange song, if you know it. When they listed the ingredients of the chowder, it went something like, “Ice cream, cold cream, benzene, gasoline, soup beans, string beans, floating all around. Sponge cake, beef steak, mistake, stomach ache, egg puffs, ear muffs, begging to be found…” Clearly I listened to it waaaay too many times. And, like I said, it wasn’t my favorite song.

I think that album was like a packet of assorted wildflower seeds that was sown in my heart and took root. Goodness, I love folk music. It is my absolute favorite.

These days, I listen to Scottish folk music all the time. If you walk into my office, you may hear a little skirl of bagpipes playing softly in the background or some sad homesick song about Scotland.

I loved the Québécois music I heard last night. In fact, let me end my blather with a song from Le Vent du Nord, “Ma Louise.”

Check out the foot-tapping guy in the background. I could have listened to that all night.

All I understood was “Au revoir, ma Louise.” I looked up the translation of all the lyrics. Of course, it’s a sad song with happy music.

A to Z Blogging Challenge · Blather · collage · Writing

Finish My Limerick – Y

There once was a snail named Yoda
Whose slime was a written code(ah)
“In the goo, my words are —
Crunch me not, oh large car”

YES! The finish line is in sight!

I feel like I’ve been running a marathon.

Or maybe a biathlon.

Or triathlon.

The multi-event races are probably a better depiction of my month of April.

So. Many. Things.

I chose to participate in the A-to-Z Challenge — which involved posting through the month of April using a different letter of the alphabet for each day. April 1 was A. Today, April 29 is Y. For the challenge, I chose to write four lines of a limerick and ask my readers to finish the limerick.

Like an idiot, I thought, I’ll collage every day, too. A collage to go with each unfinished limerick I post.

Each collage takes time.

And they started to feel forced.

For me, art needs to kind of happen.

When I sit down to intentionally create something, it generally looks like crap. BUT, when I sit down and start to play with the various images I’ve already cut out, something different happens. I suppose, it could still look like crap, but the process is definitely more satisfying.

Take my superglued tiara princess of yesterday. Here’s the process of how she came to be:

  • The letter X. I searched for names that begin with X. When I saw Xaviera, I thought of a tiara. That was the seed.
  • I looked through what I had with princesses and tiaras, but all those darn tiaras were sitting firmly entrenched on the princesses’ heads —
  • SUPER GLUE! — Actually, I thought of Ramona Quimby making a crown for herself out of burdocks. I remember reading that to my kids and KNOWING that had I thought of that at age 8, I would most certainly have done it.
  • From there, I went to the idea of princess whose crown kept slipping, and like Ramona, didn’t think through the consequences of her solution.
  • Where would the princess be after that? I suppose she would have gone to see the royal physician to get it removed. I found a picture that I could use as background for a doctor’s office.
  • I labeled the blank tube “Super Glue.” Sure she would have brought the tube with her to show the doctor.
  • I labeled the book Stupid Things We Do. I wanted to write Stupid Things People Do but didn’t have enough space. Surely the royal physician would have had to pull out a book like that for a reference before he tackled the problem at hand.

Today’s limerick proved to be a problem because once I settle on Yoda, I wanted to use Yoda-speak, but my mind couldn’t twist the words around appropriately. I felt like I was in a yoga class with pretzel people.

So anyway — this month I had those two things going on — limericks and collages — and then life kept happening, too.

Work — busy, busy, busy.

Church — must write the minutes to a meeting that happened two weeks ago!

Taxes were in the middle of the month — yes, I procrastinated.

The grass is growing — must figure out my mowing dilemma.

Life keeps chugging along.

The good news is that two things will finish up tomorrow — limericks and collages.

This blather has been brought to you by Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

A to Z Blogging Challenge · Blather · collage

Finish My Limerick – S

There once was a woman named Sally
Who dreamed of going to Denali
Or to the moon
In a hot air balloon

To be honest, I don’t dream of going to Denali. Two of my children have been there and I guess it’s pretty amazing, but, for whatever reason, it doesn’t make my top ten

Top ten places I want to visit — off the top of my head, of course, because today is Saturday and I try to do Stream of Consciousness blather writing. Today’s prompt: scene. Each of these places is scenic. Does that count?

  1. Scotland — I could easily break it down into a bunch of places.
    • Edinburgh
    • The Shetlands
    • The Highlands
    • The Borders
    • The Western Isles — specifically Iona to see the abbey
  2. Cornwall — especially the Coastal Path
  3. Nice — I’ve been reading about Matisse and I really want to visit the Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse)
  4. Copenhagen — yes, I’ve been there, but I want to go again. Same for the next three:
  5. Fjords in Norway
  6. Bosnia
  7. Dubrovnik
  8. Rome — I hear there’s a little history there.
  9. Jerusalem
  10. The Great Wall of China

What a wacky list, right? Some are sites, some are cities, and some are countries. Some I’ve been to, some I never have, some I never will.

How about you? What’s on your list of places to see?

A to Z Blogging Challenge · Blather · collage

Finish My Limerick – M

There once was a man named Moveable
(I’ve seen his grave — so that’s proveable)
He never settled down
’til he was six feet underground

Ah, Saturday — aka Blatherday — time for my weekly monologue of nothing but blather.

To the best of my knowledge, Moveable Jones does NOT exist.

I recently got back the results of my ancestry DNA and found that I have a distant relative named Experience. That just got me thinking about unusual names.

Can you imagine holding a wee newborn baby in your arms and naming him or her Experience? (For the record, it was a her.) Was the thought going through the new parents’ minds, Whoa! That was an experience! ? Or, was it more of a prayer/blessing — Please, Lord, let this new little person experience life in all the very best ways?

I have a friend who, on giving birth to baby number six or seven, said the midwife announced the sex of the baby and asked if they had a name picked out. She looked at her husband and asked, “Do we?” He replied, “Dewey. Hmm — hadn’t thought about that name.”

This was the same dad who also wanted to give one of his children the middle name “Longtoes” because the child was born with — you can probably guess — long toes. The mom nixed that one, although I think it could have been a great conversation starter.

I read about Experience in my family tree and had a thousand questions. What was she called for short? Experience is quite a mouthful when calling someone in for dinner, or scolding someone when they didn’t do their chores. Also, that’s a long name for a tombstone. Did she like the name? Did she consider naming a child the same thing? Or had she learned from — oh, never mind.

But, Moveable. The stories I could make up. A mom giving birth while part of a wagon train in the mid-1800’s, looking at the newborn and saying, “I’m sure glad you’re moveable.” And it took.

Or, a family living through one of those droughts that wreaked havoc on settlers. The child was born. The mom or dad looked out the window at tumbleweed blowing past, and said to the baby, “May you grow up to live anywhere but this God-forsaken place,” and assigned him the moniker.

Or how about a flood situation — where the family has to get out quickly before, during, or after the birth.

All the stories I can think of involve a family in a tough situation, right?

Some wealthy estate owner would never name a child Moveable. They would give him four or five names to signify the depth of the family roots. John James Michael Henry the third or fourth or fifth. Longtoes would never be suggested.

My children follow the traditional pattern: first name, middle name, last name. The names are mostly run-of-the-mill. No strange spellings or made-up names. No adjective names. Just names that I loved for one reason or another.

One daughter complains about her “old” name. “Everybody has a grandmother or great-aunt with my name,” she has told me. For the record, I had a grandmother with that name.

Two sons go by middle names instead of their first names — and that’s on me. We gave them their names, but chose to call them by their middle name. Don’t ask me why. I think I know, but whatever.

Do you have any good name stories?

A to Z Blogging Challenge · Blather · collage

Finish My Limerick – G

There once was a guy named Greg
Who had a thing on his leg
(A thing??! Please explain!)
Well, it was kind of arcane –

According to Merriam-Webster, arcane means “known or knowable to only a few people: SECRET”

Kind of makes you wonder about Greg’s leg, right?

Today is Saturday — Blather-day — the day of the week when I give myself permission to blather away about whatever nonsense pops into my head using Linda Hill’s Stream-of-Consciousness writing prompt. This week it’s: “starts with gen.” Find a word that starts with “gen” and use it in your post. 

The first word that came to mind when I read the prompt was generative because one of my sons had recently used it in a conversation multiple times. I didn’t want to sound foolish and say, “I’m not sure I know what that means.” I could guess what it means, based on context and possible root words, but I could still be totally wrong.

Like arcane. Until I looked up the definition, I would have defined it more along the lines of archaic, which means old, old-fashioned, or not in common use anymore. And I would have been wrong.

I’m glad I looked it up.

Which I did after I stuck in a limerick because it rhymed.

Well, that, plus I genuinely wanted to know what it meant.

Honestly, I could guess at generative. Something to do with growth or new growth or inspiring new growth?

[now leaving stream-of-consciousness writing to look up generative.]

Merriam-Webster says: having the power or function of generating, originating, producing, or reproducing. I wasn’t too far off.

Do you ever do that? Think you know what a word means, look it up and you’re wrong? Or, think you know what a word means, look it up and you’re right? Or, think you know what a word means and don’t look it up? Or, hear a word you don’t know and don’t ask or look it up because …. I don’t know!

Gosh, it’s so easy to look up meanings of words these days. I looked up generative on Google to get my above definition, but I just asked Siri what generative means — which took me all of 2 seconds — and she gave me a pretty thorough definition. Right on my phone! I don’t know why I didn’t do it immediately after I first heard the word.

I will need someone to explain to me that second definition. Or give me examples. That one means nothing to me.

I think it’s an arcane definition.

Like the thing on Greg’s leg — which is what I’m most curious about today. What do you think it is?

Blather · Life

The Last Thing I Emptied

That’s the prompt — the last thing I emptied.

Well, it wasn’t the plastic container under the kitchen sink, although I’ve been emptying it fairly often.

The kitchen sink has been dripping. I watched a Youtube video on how to fix it and bought the parts I needed. I was almost successful, but needed a little help.

But then it got worse.

A lot worse.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Now I turn the water off completely to the sink when I don’t need to use it. When I do need it, I turn it on and hear the dripping.

When I turn it off again, I empty the container.


My two youngest daughters were home on spring break this week. I hardly saw them, though. Full-time job, you know, plus I had something every day after work:

  • Monday: appointment
  • Tuesday: church meeting
  • Wednesday: Gave a talk to one of the local historical societies
  • Thursday: Sign language class at the library
  • Friday: Different sign language class via Zoom

I still fit in several walks with one daughter.

I made some favorite dinners: baked ziti, broccoli cavatelli, and a chili-like dish called Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet.

When I was making that last one, I found that I had run out of quinoa. I told the girls that I was doing a slight variation on that dish.

“What are you doing?” one asked.

“Skipping the quinoa,” I replied. I threw in handful of barley and hoped for the best. It was fine.

This morning, I said good-bye to one daughter who was driving herself back to school. Then I drove the other daughter to stay with her oldest sister before she flies back to college tomorrow. It was another long day for me.

The last thing I’ve emptied is me. My energy is gone.

I tip my hat to all you working women who for years and years have been working 40 hours a week outside the home. I’ve been a mostly stay-at-home mom. I know, I know — that’s work, too.

There’s something to be said, though, about getting up and dressed in the morning, and leaving the house every day.

There’s something to be said for working 8-9 hours away from home.

There’s something to be said for coming home to a dripping faucet.

On Friday when I got home, my daughters said, “The microwave is broken.” Sure enough, it wasn’t working.

I looked to see if the GFI had tripped on the outlet for the microwave. No GFI on that outlet.

I went to the basement to look at the breaker box. Everything looked okay. I flipped some switches back and forth, hoping that would do the trick. It didn’t.

I called the electrician.

Mind you, the last time I had called him it was because of a flickering light. I live in an old farm house and was sure something had nibbled the wires. He changed the lightbulb and solved the problem. He explained to me the likely cause for the flickering. I was embarrassed.

You can understand why I was reluctant to call, but I did. Our wi-fi was also on the same circuit as the microwave.

“Hi, this is Sally,” I said to his voicemail. After leaving him my phone number and address, I continued, “I don’t need you to change a light bulb today, but I’ve lost electricity to some things in my house –”

He picked up and cut me off. “I’m going to tell you what to do and I want you to follow these instructions. If it doesn’t work, you can call me back and I’ll come tomorrow.” He gave me some specific instructions and told me to call him back either way.

Suffice it to say, it worked. The microwave worked. The wifi worked. Everything worked.

I called the electrician back.

“Good job,” he said. “I’ll be sending your Junior Electrician certificate in the mail.”

“You really need to send me a bill,” I said. He wouldn’t let me pay him when he changed the lightbulb either.

He laughed. “No, I’m glad you got it. Call me, though, if you have more problems.”

I guess I’m really not empty. I’m full — with family and kind people in my life.

Do you think the plumber will be this nice if I call him?