Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Maintenance--Part III

Arrrrgh, Reader Dear, I am sick and tired of expounding on all the ways in which I (and I'm assuming, you) must work at keeping order and some degree of cleanliness in my (your) everyday environment!  Truth be told, if there weren't so much maintenance involved, I'd have a lot more time to harangue about it all!  (Ironic, no?)

With that said, here's another whole category that begs for at least a small whine:
Alternate weather!  (It's my current reality,  Reader Dear, cannot be ignored!)
 No sooner does the Yard Man go out of town for several days, than the weather turns white and furious!  The weather cares not a whit that spring has so recently sprung! It completely disregards the fact that I have visited a gardening center and carried home potted sunshine to enhance my flower beds (though, thankfully, the flowers can wile their time inside and bring me degrees of happiness as we wait out the storm!)

The snowstorm laughs in my face,  taunting me with the fact that the Yard Man is not around to do the shoveling and shore up my shriveling fortitude! 

But, it's all well and good, Reader Dear.  A snow plow just roared past the house!
It's worthy of dancing a jig and throwing confetti,  the fact that my maintenance does not extend beyond the driveway!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Maintenance, Part II

HOUSING.  Aka, Shelter.
 Dear Reader, Part II in this spasm of blog posts focuses on the upkeep of the structure where one  (on a regular basis) attempts to stay warm and dry and able to sleep in relative comfort.  There is a wide spectrum on these types of dwellings, and a vast range of time involved to maintain them.  My assumption, Reader Dear, is that you're living in a house or apartment with at least three walls and a roof.  Oh, and a kitchen, living area, and bathroom.  Probably a bedroom or two.  Maybe a study or den.  How about an attic?  A basement?  A garage?  A laundry room?  Another bedroom?  An entryway?  Another bathroom?  A porch?  A patio?  Hmm, methinks you've got all kinds of systems--electrical, plumbing, venting, cords and cables and pipes of many kinds, a thermostat or two.

Now, there is the chance, of course, that you've got a landlord (please count your blessings!In fact, if you've got a good landlord, dance with glee!)  Even if you do have someone to whom you can toss your sticky problems (leaking water heater, clogged-up toilet, closet door falling off its track, mildew on the bathroom ceiling, roofing shingles and gutter spouts going awry...) I'm sure this landlord hopes and prays you've got a vacuum cleaner and that you use it!  Your landlord hopes there's a bottle of Spic-and-Span and a good degreaser under your kitchen sink (and some elbow grease to go with it).   But you're still getting off easy!

Here's my list of most-common maintenance woes (Reader Dear, they are only the ones that come rapidly to mind):

1.  Dirt on the floors!  The photo above depicts a mere TWO days' worth of real and actual dirt vacuumed from the kitchen and dining room floor of the home of Yard Man and me! (It's okay to gasp, Viewer Dear!  When I bought the new bag-less vacuum cleaner and emptied it for the first time, I nearly fainted!)
2.  Dust on the furniture!
3.  Dust-and-or-dirt on every surface within building!
4.  Grime at various spots (think: bathroom, kitchen, mud room (be you so fortunate to have one!)
5.  Upkeep of supplies and equipment for dealing with the above:  Vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets, toilet brushes, cleaning cloths, paper towels, soaps (specific to each task), sponges, plus an array of items one buys on impulse at the hardware store (because the writing on said product implies that cleaning will now be a "breeze"!)
6. Breakdown of equipment (as in: "This vacuum cleaner is no longer working right!  It randomly goes on and off, fails to pick up dirt!  What the heck do I do NOW?!" 
7.  Broken window blinds (all window treatments included).
8.  Leaking or broken water pipe and-or water faucet.
9.  Invasion of ants, bugs, beetles, rodents or any other unwelcome creatures into living space (Sorry, Dear Reader, humans not included on this list[as they must be dealt with in an altogether different and  [much] more difficult way!).
10.  Peeling paint, stains on carpets.
11.  Breakdown of appliances, already listed in previous post, with the addition of these options: Mixer, blender, coffee maker, hair dryer, computer, printer, phone, television...Reader Dear, what have I forgotten?

Moving along to the outdoor spaces.
12.  Roofing tiles missing.  Rapidly followed by: Leaking roof!
13.  Clogged gutter spouts.
14.  Peeling paint (and-or mold/mildew on siding)
15.  Outdoor faucet broken.
16.  Oh, and this one: (Hmm, how did this one come to mind?!) Should one happen to have an indoor fireplace--unknown creatures finding their way into stainless steel chimney [scratching, scampering around, attempting desperately to escape!]

Should one be caring for animals,  you've got another whole realm of categories (Which I refuse to go into, on the grounds that it would raise my blood pressure!)

Should one be so fortunate to possess even a tiny yard, grassy area, flower bed, or outdoor space, that is a great category on which to elaborate, and there is the large and demanding maintenance of whatever vehicles one might possess.  However, part II will end here, because, Reader Dear,

I've got some dirty laundry to consider! I've got a tenant with a new washing machine; it's not working right, she says!  I need to call the tax accountant's office, get to work on figures!  I've got to run to the drugstore for more meds! My car is patiently awaiting an oil change (I'm assuming patience, as there's been no real crankiness yet)  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Maintenance-Part I

First off, Reader Dear, I'm trying to maintain a blog.  I need to show up with a post every once in a while, so that your interest is piqued now and then.  Otherwise, interest will die.  Yes, facts are facts, and you read it correctly--I said die! (I have experience).

In addition to maintenance of the blog,  I've been thinking a great deal lately about the maintenance of all else.  Oh, so much else!   Let's start, Reader Dear, with the physical body, which
likely tops the list on time-consuming upkeep.

This embarrassingly large collection of maintenance products spotted on a local bathroom shelf

There's NOURISHMENT--purchasing or growing food, opening the faucet (maintenance of a plumbing system!)  or buying bottled water.  Lots and lots of sub-categories exist here, obviously.

One must stock the cupboards and fridge--canning, freezing (necessary if one is growing all one's own food, numerous trips to the grocery or market if not); keep order in the cupboards and fridge and freezer (no small job depending on number and character of those sharing  cupboards and fridge and freezer); prepare the food for eating; serve the food for eating; clean-up after serving the food for eating (i.e. wash the dishes, collect the food scraps, clean the sink, store the leftovers, wipe the table, wipe the counters, clean the stove-top.....  I'm sorry, Reader Dear, I'm getting tired. I'm not hungry right now, either.

Next on the list:  SLEEP.  As in: beds, sheets, pillows, blankets (or possibly just a sleeping bag).   Whatever one's sleeping arrangements, there's some degree of maintenance involved.  And, Dear Reader, surely you realize that on occasion the tedious maintenance involves Nitey-Nite Tea and earplugs and slumber masks and white noise machines and numerous and sundry etcetera.

PHYSICAL EXERCISE.  "Twenty minutes a day, five days a week!" instructs my cardiologist with his "this-is-not-just-a-suggestion" voice.

Reader Dear, let's jog along over to a category which closely relates to care of the body--CLOTHING. If you are fortunate enough to have at least several changes of outfit, Reader Dear, then you understand that clothing entails no small bit of  time in obtaining and keeping it laundered and ready to wear.  Don't overlook the procurement and care of coats, jackets, scarves, gloves, hats, shoes, boots...Sigh.  I won't go any further into this category.  One could simply move south, I suppose.  I won't mention upkeep of appliances, if one wishes to avoid hand-laundering of all clothing.

I just changed my mind: I'm going to mention Appliances (those necessities of daily, modern living).
Even if all one's got is the bare necessities--Furnace, Water Heater, Refrigerator, Stove, Washer--there's an annoying chance one will spend more time than one would prefer on maintenance of these.  Of course, for many, the list goes on and on:  Air Conditioner, Dryer, Dishwasher, Microwave, Toaster, Roaster, Crockpot...once again, I must just call a halt.  And move on to: Shelter.

(I pause to vacuum the kitchen floor, and swat a fly)

Parts II, III, and perhaps IV, to follow


Sunday, February 25, 2018

We Were Driving Right by

the hospital, so The Yard Man suggested we should stop and visit his nephew, who had been admitted a few days earlier.  We weren't sure if the nephew was still in residence, but we parked in the hospital's parking garage, went into the lobby, and discovered that he'd been discharged.

"Well," said The Yard Man, "Since we're here at the hospital, why don't we go up to Intensive Care and see where you were hanging out last year today?" 

"Hmmm," I said, then, "Sure."

I have very few memories of my near month-long visit in the ICU.  I didn't know if another short visit  would elicit a shudder or not, but I was curious to find out.

Walking past the row of gurneys parked outside the door of the Intensive Care Unit gave me a brief quaking flashback, but once inside the door we spotted a nurse whom The Yard Man recognized immediately.  When he greeted her, and she turned and saw us walking toward her, her eyes opened wide.   

"Oh!" she said, "Oh!" as recognition dawned.
"I'm so happy to see you!" We hugged and tears filled her eyes and slipped down her cheeks. 
She gazed at me fondly and hugged me again.
Reader Dear, though I didn't know her well, I felt a loving connection, aware that she had cared for me as one would care for an infant!
There was a bit of fussing over me, then, by The Yard Man and this nurse, both of whom had been privy to the intricate details of my squeak-through-death's-door stay in ICU (basically, my visit in absentia).  Nay asked about the intervening year since she had seen me; she asked about my daughters and son, with whom she'd had plenty of interaction; she asked about my life story as it continues today.  When The Yard Man and I left, she said, "I am so happy that you came in! Thank you, thank you.  I'm going to tell the rest of the staff about this!"

And then she said, with heartfelt emotion, "You made my day!"

Oh, Dear Reader Dear, I am ready to give her full credit for my very survival!  Let me just say this about this loving little nurse:   "She made my day!"*


*and possibly years of them!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last Friday Night was a Cold One

in this area.  I don't know if it was what everyone would call a "three-dog night" or not*.

But, aha, that's what I got to call it. Lucky me!

Here's how it happened, Reader Dear.  The Yard Man and a bunch of his old buddies took their wives and went to a Three-Dog Night concert at a local theater.   There were fourteen of us (the group of friends with spouses) at the concert.  Good luck, again, as one of the friends has a brother who is manager of the theater where the concert was held; ergo, we got very good seats!

Now, the audience that filled the theater was predominantly a gray-haired lot, due to the fact that the performers themselves were already entertaining many of these same folks more than fifty years ago!
And, truly, it was amazing how advanced in years was that group on stage! how much stamina they possessed in spite of it!  how terrific they sounded! 

And the old crowd in the audience was enthusiastic, too!  Most of us were doing some degree of seat-dancing (you know, Reader Dear, body swaying, head swinging and limb-tapping to the beat!)  We shouted approval for each new-old song!

And, wow, there was even a musical number they meant to dedicate specifically to me (poor things, they just forgot [that night of the concert was the one-year anniversary of my death (just prior to the morning light)!])

After the concert, there was a get-together at the home of one of the friends and his wife.  The old buddies had planned a lavish spread of hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and drinks for the group, and they served them up admirably!  (So sorry for the lack of a photo, non-Viewer Dear.  It was impressive!)

All-in-all, this Three-Dog Night turned out to be a five-star evening!

*(Three-dog night. So cold you would need three dogs in bed with you to keep warm)