End of the week update


Photo by Ann Bowker

Here’s another place I could go for – forever. Wow. You can see I have been working too much lately.

The new system at work is going along nicely. I am doing it without too much complaining on my part. I run into a glitch about once a day (or less) which gets solved, and then I move on. It’s different, but it’s progress. And I can’t argue with progress.

I want that cottage above.

This picture reminds me of C.S. Lewis for some reason, even though it’s not taken in the same part of the country where he lived. It’s in Cumbria, much farther north.

Paul is out lobstering today. Hooray for employment again! This is his second day out this year, he went one day last week, too. It takes him an entire day to find, untangle, and renovate only 60 of his traps.  After not having pulled them for 3 months, in the wintertime, they are all over the place out there. Once he finds them all, baits them all up again, and the weather keeps getting warmer, he’ll be back to fulltime work in no time. It sure will be good to have a regular paycheck from him again. Good thing we’ve got me!

I’ve been to the lab this morning where I had to have blood drawn – always a fun thing to do at 7 a.m. Nothing by mouth after 7 last night – so I was cranky, and sleepy. I have a doctor’s appointment next week and my NP wanted to have the bloodwork in her hot little hands before I show up. Good thinking. I don’t want to make another trip unnecessarily.

Next weekend we are planning to do some garden clean-up. I’d do it myself but I’d be lame from all that exercise, so I will “help” Paul do it if we can find a nice day when he’s not out lobstering. Those days come few and far between once he has started up for the year, too.  A windy day is usually all I get out of him, and then when we rake, the leaves go flying down the street. No matter. It beats bagging them all up! The Salem Woods are around the corner, and they’ll probably blow right into that area. With any luck.

Time for lunch – work can just wait for an hour or two.




A place to rest my head


I don’t know about you, but the picture above looks like pure heaven to me.

If I had that house at the end of that lane to come home to every night, I’d be a happy soul.



Happy Birthday, Dad



(click pictures to enlarge)

 We had Paul’s Dad’s birthday party yesterday, a week late, but better late than never.  We had the most yummy carrot cake (above) you have ever tasted.  Mom gets her cakes at this super bakery in Danvers.  They can’t be beat.  And Dad had requested a carrot cake.  I brought small tubs of Haagen Daz (?) ice cream, coffee & pistachio, and we had a sandwich buffet of ham salad, turkey, Swiss cheese, fresh sandwich rolls, and chips (or crisps in other lands).


Dad went on and on about how we should come over to their place some night and stand in front of their large window and look out over the parking lot to see all the multicolored lights.  For some reason, he is really into seeing colored lights at night.  He says that the trees just get in the way!  I thought that was funny.  Normally, I ‘d rather see trees any day over man-made lights! 


I told him that he should turn out all the lights in the apartment and take a flashlight and point it out the window – sending Morse code signals out his window – and maybe if he did that each night at the same time, someone out there, amongst all those lights, would notice it and send back a message to him!


We all settled down with our food to their little pull-out table and had a very nice birthday lunch for Dad.  The sun was shining, it had only been spring for 3 days so far, and it was a perfectly lovely afternoon.  The four of us discussed all the topics we could think of before we had to put on our coats and head back to our menagerie to let the dogs out.


Happy Birthday, Dad.

A good time was had by all.







It’s a “type” of living

Way back when I was a schoolgirl, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, not too many people typed.  Now everyone types, so being a “typist” is nothing special.

But it didn’t always used to be that way.

I can remember vividly my first day in typing class, in high school.  I had a teacher called Mrs. Doliber.  She was ancient then.  My mother had her for a business class teacher back when SHE went to the same high school.  That’s the way it was in our town.  Your parents had all the same teachers you had.  Or else they went to school with your teachers. 

Anyway, I can remember exactly where I sat in typing class.  As usual, way in the back row.  I always picked the back row (when I had the opportunity to choose where to sit) because I was very shy and didn’t want to stick out.  I didn’t want anyone to call on my, either.  So I “hid” in the back row.

We had those ancient typewriters, like you see now in museums – the black clunky kind, manual typewriters, with white keys.  Each depression of a letter or number was quite an effort – and by the end of class, my fingers ached with all the exercise they were getting.  You developed finger muscles in those days. 

I still have good finger muscles, but they are a different type of muscle.  They don’t so much exert brute force onto the keys now, but they do go very fast over them but with a much lighter touch than they did back in the stone-age.  Back then, you really had to punch those suckers down hard to get a letter or number of print on the paper.

There was no such thing (yet) as correct-a-tape, let alone white-out.  If we made a mistake, we had to take out the page and erase it to the best of our abilities.  I got good at erasing things very neatly and cleanly.  Later, when I got more into typing specific things, we always used carbon paper to make copies.  There was no such thing as a copy machine back then.  You made copies by inserting carbon paper in front of however many pieces of paper you wanted for copies.  Sometimes if 10 copies were needed, the ones way in the back were quite blurred.

And if you made a mistake on multiple copy typing, oh my, it took FOR-EVER to erase every single copy… and of course, as you can imagine, erasing a carbon copy was definitely messy!  I always went home with black fingers and hands, and even black smudges on my blouses.

I remember the first day in typing class like it was yesterday, too.  Mrs. Doliber stood up there at the front of the class and told all of us non-believers that, whether or not we knew it now, some day our fingers would be flying over those keys!  Little did she know what was to come in the future.  Fingers flying over the keys of an old manual typewriter was quite a different story than it is today. 

A lot different.

Of course, when you came to the end of a row of typing, you had to manually shift it up a row with your left hand.  That meant you were always taking your left hand up off the “home row” of keys and having to hunt them up again.  And, one of the most important things to know was just WHERE to end the row of words.  You had to know how to hyphenate words back in those days.  Because you wanted to squeeze every possible word onto a line, and if there were only room for four characters left, and you had an 8-character word, well — you’d better look it up (or know it in your head) as to where the hyphen went. 

So that’s how I learned how to type.  The old fashioned way.  Without looking at the keys.  I am amazed at the people today who type with two fingers, looking down at the keys the whole time.  They do an incredible job getting so many words, lines, pages of manuscript typed up that way.  I often wonder if anyone learns touch typing anymore.  I’ve been out of school for so long, that I just don’t know. 

I do love the way a computer makes life for a typist so much easier.  I can remember the first time I discovered “word-wrap” at the ends of sentences.  Oh what a joy!  Not to have to decide where to break up a word anymore.

I have no idea how I got onto this subject.  Typing is usually up in the front of my brain, most days, though.  Since that’s all I do most every day.   Type.  Type. Type.  And type some more.

I’m sitting here, at 8:35 in the evening, still typing.  I began typing here in this very same spot at 7 this morning and here it is 13.5 hours later, and I’m still at it.  Oh, I did take a few breaks, in fact, a few long breaks – to go to the office, and to prepare dinner, etc. 

I guess I’ll just be typing til I’m in my grave.  I can’t imagine living without typing. It’s like breathing in and breathing out to me. 





After the snow

We got a whollop last night, in the snow category.  Winter did not want to just fade off into the sunset, but rather he wanted to make a blazing exit so we’d not forget him.  I call this storm (one of only two we really had all winter) the “Dad’s Birthday storm” – the other one being the “Valentine’s Day storm.” 

We never had “the party” – it’s been postponed until next weekend.  Mom(in-law) is having a hip problem and is going for a CT scan on Monday to see if they can locate the cause of her pain.  So she wasn’t up for a party today.  But we did drive over there anyway, and gave Dad his pressies.  Next week we’ll do the supper and yummy carrot cake (which is being held in abeyance in their freezer until then) and, of course, the ice cream. 

It snowed  most of the day yesterday, and by the time I’d planned to go to bed (9 p.m.) the snow had built up outside to a point where I couldn’t open the front storm door.  So Paul had to go out and shovel off the front porch, and make a little pathway in the front garden area for the dogs. 

Emmalee was funny.  She’s a Tennessee belle and this is her first New England winter.  Since we haven’t had much in the way of snow at all this year, it’s all pretty new to her.  She is never sure just what to DO in it.  Whitby just plunges into it, and ends up making snow-angels in the snow (she does!)  She plops onto her back and sticks all four feet up in the air and does her “aerobic exercises” in the snow.  I wish I was quicker with the camera – but I’m not.  I just stand there and giggle at her – she is a snow-bunny, and once Emma sees what fun Whitby is having, she joins in the fun,  runing all over the front garden, up to her elbows in snow.

Sometime in the night, the rain came.  It rained til morning, and I thought we’d wake and find it all washed away.  Instead, it’s still there, but it’s a few inches of slush now, not fluffy snow, and Paul said it’s the heaviest snow he has ever put shovel to. 

We don’t “do” snowblowers here.  It’s the old fashioned manual show-shovel for this family (well, Paul).  I do a little here and there, but am fearful of back problems cropping up so don’t overdo.  Paul does the minimum, as well.  He’s already hit the 60 year mark and in fact he’s heading toward 62 this summer.  I think, at that age, it’s time to take it a little easier around the house.  It’s amazing how many chores there are with a house to maintain, and after 60, they all seem much more difficult for some reason.

So now we have to look forward to a birthday party with cake and ice cream in a week’s time. 

~ ~ ~  

Meanwhile, this is the week that I begin my new phase of work.  My 21st century style of working.  Should be interesting.

Work is calling my name here now, so I think I’ll get a head start on it and type for a few hours before suppertime. 

Stay well, friends.



One last hurrah

Just when you thought it was safe to call it spring, here comes Old Man Winter again, rearing his ugly head.

I had planned a birthday party for my father-in-law today.  But now I’m going to have to cancel it – postponed until at least tomorrow.  We are in for some snow, and it’s predicted to be hitting us hard at exactly the same time that we had planned to drive over to their place for the party.  Originally, it was going to be held here, but with snow coming, I changed it to their place.  We could go out in it, freeze our butts off, shovel the driveway, etc. – not them. 

But the more I think about it, the more I’d rather stay put today, safe and warm in our cottage, getting my Friday work all typed up and then, tomorrow, if the snow has stopped, and the predicted heavy rain has started (hopefully washing all the white stuff away), we’ll have the party.

We’re bringing the main meal, and they are bringing the dessert.  And I hear Paul’s Dad has requested a carrot cake – which pleases all of us equally. 

I’ll be making what my mother-in-law calls “American Chop Suey.”  Kind of a mish mash of cooked pasta (I bought small sea-shell pasta for this dish) mixed up with some meat sauce cooked with vegetables such as celery, pepper, onion, etc.  A one dish meal.  Might make some garlic bread to go with it.

~ ~

As you may remember, I was having a bit of a crisis the other night.  Panic had creeped into my psyche, and I had visions of not being able to accomplish my work next week when we go from old-fashioned to new-fangled all at once.  But I got the whole situation straightened out over the phone the other day, and things seem to be on-line now to proceed.

I hope.

~ ~

So here we go again, about 5 inches of snow predicted for our area today, with heavy rains coming on the heels of it  tomorrow.  I’m hoping that, by Sunday, the rain will have completely eliminated the snow and we can go back to calling it Spring, again.  p>