Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dust to dust--now with LOTSA LINKS!

Just here searching for a DA recap?  Here's the link for episode FIVE:

And just because I may not get a post done in time, here's the link for Episode SIX:

AND because I'm too busy working on these darn recaps to write a blog post, for crying out loud, here's the link for Episode SEVEN:

As always, thanks for coming back for more; we are so grateful that you like them.  Feel free to share!
Where to begin?  Do I just jump in and start writing about soup and paint and cats?  Well, okay!

Last year my fourteen year old furnace was diagnosed with a terminal illness so I reluctantly surrendered the inheritance my dad left me, which I had hoped to save for my looming old age, to buy a reliable new one.  I don't fully understand how an HVAC works, apparently, because I have always assumed it sucked in nice fresh breezy outside air through a filter, warmed it up or cooled it down per my command, and blew it out of the vents to keep me comfortable.  I was all wrong.  The gruesome truth is, it actually sucks crappy old oxygen-depleted air up through the return in the hall, makes it warmer or cooler, and sends it right back out into my house. No fresh air involved. How did I not know this?

Anyway, the new furnace does a fine job of keeping my house temperate, which for that price, it should.  But for reasons I can't explain, my house is easily three or four times dustier than it ever was while the old furnace was still alive. I'm the first to admit I'm only a marginally good housekeeper. I clean the surfaces in plain view often enough to avoid shame, but I don't do every area every time I pick up the duster.  And there are some odd spots that seldom get wiped at all. But I was used to the rate of accumulation, and it wasn't terrible.   So it took me a while to realize--there is MUCH MORE DUST than ever before.  Gray wisps dangle from the ceiling; furry caterpillars crawl on the edges of the fan blades; fat wads like mice scurry under every bed and chair; a scarf of gray covers every table, appliance, and shelf.  It looks like I moved out a decade ago and left everything to decay.  Gross!  Not only that, but our allergies are relentless--we sniffle, cough and blow around the clock.  More Gross!

The nice furnace checkup guy came and inspected everything and declared it to be in perfect order.  Was the old unit so asthmatic that it couldn't inhale enough air to use twice? Has a decade's accumulation of dust  finally reached critical mass?  And in case you're wondering, I [try to] change the filter in the return once a month.

Except for that time I forgot…triple GROSS!

Lillie was out of town this weekend and we couldn't get the finishing touches put on our DA recap, so I cleaned the daylights out of this house.  Up high--down low--I dusted and vacuumed it all.  My theory (probably not scientific, since my hypothesis may be full of holes) is that the less dust there is to suck back into the furnace, the less dust will come blowing back out of the vents.  The dust stops here! I'll report back in a month.

…after one trip around the ceiling and door tops

This photo of my AS NOT SEEN ON TV ceiling duster reminds me…I recently restacked my stacks. Over the fireplace, that needlepoint piece we found on the curb came out to the living room…

I  just now got brave enough to put twinkle lights back in the unused  fireplace (there was an accidental "real" fire  in there--the flue was blocked off,  and the gas flame got bumped to  "on" one night.  Epic!)

…and moving the hydrangea print (a gift) to the foyer wall, where it replaced the underwater painting by Lillie, which floated down the hall to her bathroom.  Every other  item on this wall is either thrifted, homemade, or passed down.  The clock was a wedding present. (There are still a couple of those around here.) Pinterest, or just poor?  You be the judge.

Here's how it looks now...

This was the original layout.  I guess there are a number of new things!  Anyway,  it's better now.

The rest of the living area still has a few Rubbermaid bins of Christmas junk and sewing projects and a carton slowly filling with Goodwill-bound crap I'm pulling from the kitchen cabinets…but I definitely smell spring cleaning in the air. Can't you?

Twofer!  Cats and decor.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No news, just a link!

I've shared on Facebook, but if you haven't seen this yet, here's the link to last Sunday's episode (the fourth one).  We're hard at work on number five!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Will blog for food

Just like regular people
Every time I think I've turned the corner and life will get easier, I'm wrong.  I readily admit that compared to many people's grim lives, mine is a walk in a sunny park--what I mean is, my tattered  financial and emotional life.  I'm unemployed between jobs again (after several temporary positions since last spring), and much too poor, which overshadows almost every other thought I have.  The minute I consider tapping out a little essay or relating a funny story, I'm overwhelmed with anxiety and regret--how can this be funny?  Why will that situation matter to anyone else?  And I click over to someone else's blog.  Someone whose blog is more clever, thoughtful, or creative than mine.  You know the one.

I see a lot of evidence that other, much more prolific, bloggers are calling it quits, and I think I understand their reasons.  Nobody should feel required to blog (that's the main difference between blogging and working), and we essentially write our own "rules", and for the most part, we don't get paid, which makes it easier to quit.  For me, a rather small-time writer with no sponsors or much of a fan base, blogging is like reading a book--I just feel SO MUCH BETTER when I have a book in progress, or when I've just published a post.  But then all the YOU REALLY SHOULD BE WORKING feelings flood in and I don't do either one.  My only [self-imposed] obligation is to be "readable"--whether that means funny, or insightful, or helpful.  I just want others to like what I write, and to come back for more.  And if all I am is a great big saddo, on-screen and off, I'm not particularly readable. I wouldn't read One-Note-Wanda's serial of endless pathos, would you?

How'd you like to be unemployed?
But then…a year into my exile, Downton Abbey came around again, a bright beacon after a dim and meager Christmas.  I've mentioned that Lillie and I abstained from watching the new season (available to sneaky Americans) in September, because we felt first we honestly should recap the final [silly] episode of the previous season, as we promised last winter.  And on Christmas Eve we hit publish, and then play, and away we went.  We now have three recaps ready to read and have watched up through episode seven, and are getting back in the groove with writing them.  It's a big fat juicy season so far, which keeps our minds off our mutual money troubles (Lillie was very unexpectedly [and unjustly, I believe] fired from HER bar job last Friday, and I admire her stoic ability to simultaneously type and cry.)  Between the two of us, we still babysit our two little not-exactly-relatives, ages one and three, which covers the groceries and phone bill, but there's always the mortgage, utilities, deferred medical care, and on and on…

Hi Mom

We'll really try to get the recap out every week (barring a sudden worsening of our mutual despair) and I intend to get a non-Downton post finished from time to time, until things shake out one way or another.  I miss it, and it makes me feel better, and I know you want to see more pictures of the cats.

Who wouldn't?

It also makes me feel better that it was Lillian, and not me, who was trying restlessly to nap after another night of sadsomnia, and spilled a tumbler of "whinin' wine" in her bed, on all the freshly laundered sheets and blankets and down the side onto the carpet.  Sippy cups.  Just saying.

A rather more literate pet than either of mine

For the latest DA recap, plus links to all the others, click here.

For the best DA cast self-spoof in the history of tv, click here (no spoilers in it, don't worry.)