Friday, January 27, 2012
This morning I was snuggled under my down comforter waiting for the alarm to go off because why would Nana get out of bed early? The spouse comes into the bedroom and announces "We were robbed again and this time they took the white pickup."
The spouse keeps his vehicle keys in the shop. You remember the shop? It's the building that was robbed in December that we added a fancy new keypad entry device to prevent further break-ins. This time the thief broke in the window. The perpetrator took his/her time deciding which vehicle to steal. He took the spouse's "retirement" pickup. We purchased it last year so that when the spouse retired and gave up his company pickup, he would have a truck because you can't live in eastern Oregon without a truck. It wouldn't be manly!
The thief also took the spouse's new i-phone. He called my brother-in-law at 4:00 A.M. and when asked who it was, he replied "Who do you think it is, faggot?" Great, I wonder how many of the spouse's friends and customers got phone calls like that from his phone number?
The pick-up has On-star, but we never continued the subscription because we live in a small town and never get lost. We thought that On-star could help to recover the vehicle. Nope, they don't help unless you have an active subscription. They wouldn't turn off the engine.
I'm building some serious rage against "them." Today "them" seems to encompass thieves and everyone plotting against my serenity. I'm reserving some of my irritation for On-Star.
When I left home this morning the spouse was still talking to the sheriff.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I haven't seen my grandchildren since Thanksgiving. We stayed home in Oregon this December and they spent the holidays with their parents and other grandparents in Texas. I plan to go to Austin to visit them during their spring break in March.
I talk to them on the phone a few times a week. Megan's first question is always "When are you coming, Nana?" Last week I told her I needed to check my calendar and talk to her mom to decide on a good time. On Sunday her first question was, "Nana, did you check your calendar?"
I hadn't checked my calendar. Having just paid December bills, I had vowed to cut back on extravagances. Flying to Texas every eight weeks is an extravagance. I'm going to Italy with my daughter in April...another extravagance. But then on the phone with my daughter I hear those little voices chanting in the background, "I wanna talk to Nana, I wanna talk to Nana." So today when Megan asked "When are you coming Nana?" I told her I was coming next weekend.
Life is too short to say no to grandchildren!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
We've lived in our current house for almost twenty years. We bought it because it is one of the few places in Hermiston that has a view. Our three acres back up to the Umatilla River and a park. Our backyard looks over the river to the Hermiston Butte. We have neighbors on either side of us at a comfortable distance. It's quiet, but not isolated. It's a quick few minutes drive into town (if you don't get stopped at the light at the Mormon Church!)
We rarely lock the doors...usually only when we're going out of town. Last year when we went to San Diego for Christmas we had to search the house to find a key so we could lock the doors. We've never had a problem.
At Thanksgiving we went to Austin to see the grandchildren. We didn't have to search for a key because our son stayed home. Sometime while we were gone the spouse's workshop was robbed. We have no idea when it happened. When we first got home the spouse thought that he had just misplaced his binoculars. After several days of looking in all the places that he might have left them, he realized that he was missing a lot of other things too. When you look at the list of things that he knows are missing, you might wonder how he didn't know immediately that he had been robbed. But, in his defense, the shop is a large building separate from the house and it is filled from floor to ceiling with his tools and toys, including a 28 foot sailboat on a trailer, a refrigerator for beer, cable TV, wood stove, metal lathe, reloading bench, gun safe and wood working bench.
We were fortunate that the majority of the spouse's really pricey toys were in his gun safe. This has been an expensive lesson for us, but we've learned to recognize when the Universe is sending us a message. We don't need another lesson to learn that times have changed and even in small towns we have to lock our doors and not be so trusting. But I can't help but be sad that our trusting way of life is changing. We have a new doorknob with keypad entry installed on the shop door. After trying it out for a week, we've ordered additional knobs to install on the house exterior doors.
The new doorknobs lock automatically. To open the door you have to enter the access code on the keypad. Now every time I take out the trash I'll need to type in a code to get back in the house. Running back in the house for something I have forgotten will take a little longer. Remembering the new code...now that will be the real challenge.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The other day I wrote a list of things that I was enjoying. That got me thinking that an easy post to write would be the stuff that I wasn’t so happy about. In all honesty, it was much harder to come up with this list. Retirement must be agreeing with me!
1. Winter: Don’t tell me that it’s unusually warm or that it hasn’t even snowed yet. It’s still freaking cold! The mid-thirties is not balmy. The only good thing about winter is that there aren’t many bugs or snakes.
2. Extreme Couponing: Have you seen this program on TLC? It’s all about people who use coupons to stockpile massive quantities of food and toiletries without paying for them. These people proudly show off their hoard of body wash, Tabasco sauce, or toilet paper that they stack under the beds of their children, in their dining room, or on shelving units built all around their living rooms. They get all this stuff because “it’s free” with coupons, even though they can’t possibly use it all. While I love a good sale and I use coupons myself, this program glorifies behavior that borders on compulsive. I wonder how many of these families will go on to appear on Hoarders.
3. Presidential Campaigning: I’m already tired of the 2012 presidential election. Last week Newt Gingrich called the house every evening just before dinner and I don’t even live in Iowa or New Hampshire. (The spouse is a registered republican.) I hang up on Newt and never pass his message on to the spouse. It’s only January and it is disheartening to think that we’ve got eleven months of these robo-calls and negative TV ads before we finally vote.
4. Going to the dentist: I spent the morning in the chair at the dentist. I broke a tooth over Christmas eating caramel corn. These days every trip to the dentist is never just a check-up or a simple filling. Pretty soon I won’t have any natural teeth left. I have more crowns than the queen!
5. Exercise: I know I need more exercise and now that I’m retired I can no longer claim that I’m too busy. Now I complain that it’s too cold…and last summer, it was too hot!
I really had trouble coming up with five things I didn’t like, but I did think of some new things to add to my like list.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
1. West Side Story: playing now at Keller Auditorium in Portland. Crisp, clear voices and wonderful dancers. This is an excellent production. My only regret is that there isn’t a sing-a-long performance. I couldn’t dance-along, but I sure know all the words to “I Feel Pretty.” If you get a chance to see this, don’t miss it. Today is the last day in Portland, but it will open in Seattle on the 10th.
2. Domino’s Stuffed Cheesy Bread: After the 200 mile drive home from West Side Story I needed dinner and Domino’s was on the way home. The cheesy bread is all the best parts of pizza without the sauce and toppings. Bread and cheese…what’s not to love? I heated up the leftovers for breakfast!
3. My new down comforter: You know I can’t resist those 50% off the sale price deals at Macy’s. I bought a Ralph Lauren king sized down comforter for less than $70.00. Now we have two down comforters on our bed. Have you noticed that a king size comforter fits great on the bed when there’s no one in the bed? Once two people are in bed, the comforter isn’t large enough to hang over both sides of the bed. It was usually my butt that was hanging out in the freezing night air! Now we’ve got two over-lapping comforters and Nana has a warm butt. Believe me, life is better for everyone when Nana has a warm butt!
4. Christmas is over: I went to the mall to get a haircut last week and I could easily stroll through the stores. The crowds are gone. The spouse is back at work and I get the house to myself for a few hours a day. I enjoy Christmas, but I think I enjoy the after-Christmas lull even more.
5. Grandchildren: You had to know that I couldn’t possibly write a list of favorite things without including my grandchildren. I called them from Portland while I was shopping to find out what I was authorized to buy for them. As much as I love shopping for them, I always check in with their mother to find out what they need. Nana got the okay to buy leggings and “bootiful jammies.” On the phone the first question my granddaughter asked me was “When are you coming, Nana?” It’s nice to be wanted!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
If it wasn't for the Blog Anniversary counter over on the right, I probably wouldn't have realized that it was time to celebrate another blog anniversary. Two years ago I made the commitment to myself to blog for at least three months...and here it is two years later and I'm still at it. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me. Becoming a member of the blogging community has been a great experience. Although we have never met, I feel like I have friends all over the globe. You have all taught me so much, and I am proud to be a member of the blogging community.
So, now that I've done this for two years, I guess I'll keep at it...
What's in store for the third year of Benchmark 60?
It's probably time to do some remodeling and upgrade my tired decor. I also want to try and publish on a regular schedule. Even though I know how to use that automatic publishing feature, I don't often use it. I'm making a commitment to myself to publish at least once a week. (Yeah, I know that's a kind of wishy-washy goal, but I'm retired and don't have to meet state benchmarks!) Stay tuned for the changes.
There's one last change. I recently was offered an opportunity to host a give away on my blog. (Wow! Someone offered me free stuff just for blogging!) I thought that it would be fun to celebrate the start of my third year with my first contest. So in the next week or so I'll be posting about how you can win a copy of My Memories Suite, digital scrapbook software that lets you easily create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards and calendars.
I'm looking forward to new adventures in 2012 and I'm so glad that you're along for the ride! Happy New Year!