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.

collage · Life

Puss and Boots

What happens when you look at a bunch of different prompts for the day? You end up with some dumb jokes and an overcrowded collage.

Doodlewash art prompt: Boots
What do you do with someone who can’t learn to tie their shoelaces?
Send them to boot camp.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Restore
I read about a temple for a giant sea cow.
My faith in huge manatee has been restored.

Word of the Day Challenge: Accumulate
When women reach a certain age, they start accumulating cats.
This is known as many-paws.

I went to work at 6 AM. Sometime in the afternoon, I noticed I had two different shoes on. Same shoe brand, but one is leather and one isn’t. I wore them all day. Still have them on. It’s been that kind of day.

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?

A to Z Blogging Challenge · Blather · Life

A-to-Z Theme

There was an occasional blogger
Who was something of a slogger
She decided to see
If she could go A-to-Z
Using finish-my-limerick fodder

It looks like I missed the Theme Reveal for the A-to-Z Challenge. I read March 12-18 as INCLUDING March 18 — which is today. When I went to the site though, it said that the theme reveal was closed.

I’m learning to take these things in stride.

Seriously, does it really matter? Does anyone really care what my theme is?

The older I get, the more I realize how few things there are that really matter.

The self-portrait exercise (from my Lenten devotional) was meant to force an eye to the basics, to the things that really matter. My 15-second self-portrait could have been drawn by any child who recognizes those basics: eyes, nose, mouth, hair.

In my room, I often stare at the row of portraits that my parents had done of their five children. The boys are all looking off to the right. My sister and I are looking at the artist. Mine is the only one with a tilt to the head.

I do that still — tilt my head. When I realize it, I upright it. I like to think, though, that the head tilt is a listening posture. Listening, and trying to understand. I do that, too.

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday word is “tape.” In my room, I often also stare at the many things I have taped here and there. On the back of the door. On the wall. I even have something taped on a piece of artwork to cover a place it’s damaged and to remind of a poem that the picture brings to mind.

Tape is a handy-dandy thing.

Back to my theme-reveal. I realized that limericks neatly fit the 23 word limit I’ve given myself most days. Especially if I let YOU finish it. Also, there’s no ache in writing a limerick. They’re light and silly. I have enough struggles in my days that I thought, maybe a month of silly — with an occasional collage thrown in — would be fun.

So starting April 1, I’ll post the first four lines of a limerick, and you can tape your answer on to finish it. The A-to-Z part will be the name of the person in the limerick. For example, “A” might begin “There once was a man named Arnold” — but I can’t really think of anything that rhymes with Arnold, can you?

And even though I missed the theme reveal, I’m revealing it today, because, you know, it doesn’t really matter. Right?