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A Nice Surprise


A surprise, by nature, is an unexpected happening.

We do not know what the future brings.

What wasn’t there the year before

Now warms you to your inner core.

How did it get there? I do not know.

It isn’t something that I sowed.

Was it carried by the wind?Was it dropped by a passing bird?

Maybe a squirrel, but that’s absurd.

No matter how I’m glad it’s there.

In this neighborhood it’s nothing rare.

So I will enjoy it while it’s here.

And hope it returns for a visit next year.



I did not plant any seeds this year and we didn’t have these last year.




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As teachers asking questions is second nature to us.  It is how we get our students to think, to reason, to look at possibilities they may not have thought of exploring.

Sometimes these questions have a specific answer.  What was IT in A Wrinkle in Time?  We need to recall details.

Other times there is no specific answer.  Why was IT not destroyed at the end of the book?  We want our students to come up with their own ideas and defend their reasoning behind that choice.

Questioning doesn’t stop just because we leave the classroom.  As adults we still seek answers to questions we have.  Sometimes the answers are clear.  Sometimes these questions have no obvious answer, at least not to me.  So, if any of you have an answer to any of these questions please let me know.

1.  Why is it that on the interstate someone passes me at as high rate of speed a quarter mile from an exit, gets back in front of me, and slows down only to get off at the approaching exit?

2.  Why is it that the person with the shrillest voice who is always a flat or sharp away from the note being sung the loudest in a group.

3. Why is there always one person in church who when reciting the Our Father or any other prayer is always two or three words ahead of the congregation and why is this person always sitting behind me?

4.  Why does the printer always run out of ink or paper when I only need five more copies?

5.  Why does plastic wrap always stick tightly to itself but not  to the dish I am trying to cover?

6.  Since we are on things that stick, why is it that those sticky price labels placed on bakery items not stick to the plastic container but form a hard and fast bond with the inside of the plastic grocery bag?

7.  Why do things break at night when there is nothing you can do about it until the next day?I

8.  Why do gas prices seem to come down the day after I fill my tank?

9.  Why  do the cats pick the middle of the night to wake  me up with the sound of a furball?

10.  Why do people hang up just as I answer the phone?



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Gathering Information


Although it seems like there is time I know it will be here before I know it.  I have to be ready.  It is not too soon to start.  I am talking about our trip out west th attend our nephew’s wedding in Sonoma, California.

Last week Kathy and I stopped in the AAA office to start gathering some information.  We spoke to the lady at the counter and she suggested that we go back to the map section and talk to Deb.  That’s what we did.

We told Deb what we planned to do, but we had no idea as to where to begin or how to go about it.  I did tell her that we would like to take the northern route out and then return by the southern route.

Deb got us a US map and we checked highways.  We all agreed that the most direct way to get out would be to travel Interstate 80.  That goes right to where we need to be.



Coming home Deb suggested we take I-40 and hook up with I-83.  That looks good to me.  Deb then asked us where we would like to stop along the way.  She said that they could and would make arrangements for us.  My answer was that we didn’t know because we don’t know what kinds of attractions, if any, are along the way.

To help us out Deb gave us maps of all of the state’s we would be passing through along the northern  route.  She suggested we look them over and then come back with a plan.  Triple A would then map out the route for us.  This is what we are now in the process of doing.  When we go back with our plans we can pick up maps for the trip home and start the process again.



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Waiting, Just Anticipating


Sometimes things just come to a standstill.  Something needs to be done but it can’t until something else is done first. That thing can’t be done because it is dependent on something else being completed.

That is where we stand with our kitchen today.  We can’t get the backsplash put up until the counter top is installed.  The counter top can’t be measured until all of the base cabinets are in place.  All of the base cabinets are in place except one.  The wrong size was ordered and delivered.

In a way I guess we had something to do with that.  You see, at the last minute when we talked with our designer for the last time before signing all of the papers we decided to go with angled corner cabinets like what we had instead of a 90 degree angle that she had planned.

It was no big deal.  It did mean a few alterations in the design because the 45 degree angled cabinets are a bit bigger.  That meant that some of the other cabinet sized had to be adjusted.  Apparently all corrections were made except for one cabinet.  The one that was ordered and sent is too big for the space designated for it.

Our contractor contacted the store and the correct size cabinet was ordered.  However, it will take three to four weeks for that replacement to get here so that means our contractor can’t finish the flooring until the cabinet is in place.  We cant have the people come to measure for the counter top because all cabinets need to be in place for a accurate measurement.  The backsplash can’t be put up until the counter top is installed.

There are still the lights to be installed and ceiling cracks to be fixed but that is a one to two day job.

So, as for now our kitchen remodel is on hold.c1


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Kitchen Remodel #2


Tony, our contractor, and his son, Chris, worked on our kitchen three days last week so I though I would post an update.

Wednesday was devoted to deconstructing the kitchen.  All cabinets had to be removed.  Since the house is around 40 years old this process took longer than normal.  You see, the cabinets we had were built in place.  They were not just units screwed into the wall.  This meant using hammers, crowbars, chisels, and of course a sledge hammer to knock off the counter top.

When Tony removed the one corner base cabinet he found something that I can honestly say he didn’t expect to find and neither did I. In the open space between the back of the cabinet and the wall were these two items.


How they got there I do not know.  I can only guess that when the house was originally built the workers got thirsty and had no place to throw the empty cans.  I guess they didn’t recycle back then.

Anyway, after a full day of ripping and smashing all the cabinets were out and some of the new ones were checked to make sure they were the right color and that they were in good shape.




Day 2 was devoted to getting the wall cabinets in place.  While Tony got the rest of the cabinets out of their boxes Chris had the fun job of collapsing the boxes so that they could be taken over to the recycling center.  He then had to take the doors off of the cabinets.  It took all day, but by the end of the workday on Thursday our wall cabinets were in place, minus their doors.





Friday the base cabinets were put in place and most doors were put back on.  In the midst of this work our flooring. lights, stove vent, and back splash were delivered.  When the guy brought them he asked where we would like them.  Because the cabinets were in place we now had room for these  things.  So I told him.  Oh no.  This is an outside delivery only.  He can put them on the driveway but that is it.  It it up to us to get them inside.  They didn’t tell me this when they called with a delivery day and time.  Luckily Tony and Chris were there and we got everything in.

There was one slight glitch with the cabinets.  At the last minute, we decided to change the corner base cabinets from angled cabinets to diagonal cabinets.  It was no big problem except it did change the dimensions of some of the other base cabinets.  One was not changed on the order so we now have a cabinet that is too big for the space set aside for it.  Tony called Home Depot and Taylor got right on it.  A new cabinet was ordered and placed on rush order.  The one that is too big is just sitting in the middle of the floor.




In case you are wondering, the small upper cabinets will not be getting doors.  We are going to use them as display areas.  Kathy has some Hall china and pitchers that were her grandmother’s.  We also have a collection of cookie jars.  We figure we can change what is displayed as we get tired of looking at them.

We will see how things go this week and I will post another update next week.



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Kitchen Remodel #1

8a3cc-11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI once heard someone say that the kitchen holds the most stuff and is the hardest to pack.  After this week I agree.  A few posts ago I wrote that we were remodeling out kitchen.  Well, last week our contractor called and said he would be here tomorrow at 9:30 to start.  That meant I had one week to empty out all of the cabinets and drawers, clean off the top of the counters, and get everything off the walls.  I also had appointments I had to keep, as well as do the regular weekly things around the house such as cut the grass.

Well, I finally finished an hour  ago.  Wasn’t sure I really felt like writing anything, posting it, and then commenting, but I also felt like Tuesday wouldn’t be complete unless I did.  So here is a short summary of what has been happening.

A week and a half ago I got a call from the cabinet company.  Our cabinets were ready and they would be delivered in two days.  That meant cleaning out the dining room to make room for them.

Aren’t they lovely?

I must say the Ned and Molly really like them.

On to packing.  I had our grocery store save boxes for me and they were real good about doing so.  I got around 40 boxes from them and used every single one.  If you were to look at our living room right now, I am not showing a picture, you would think two hoarders lived in this house.

I did have help packing so things did go quickly. The utensil drawer was a snap to pack with some help.


The empty drawer also makes a good place to do some personal cleaning.


We did get it cleaned.


Onto the top cabinets.  It took some doing, but i got them emptied.  I labeled the boxes so I would know what was in them and put them in places where I hope I can find what I need when I need it.

Our kitchen right now looks like Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Even Dustin couldn’t find anything.

Ned didn’t have much luck either.


Will they survive this remodel?  Will we survive this remodel?  Update next Tuesday.


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Mid-Week Getaway


If you have been reading my posts for a bit you know that Kathy and I like to spend out birthdays in New York taking in a matinee, having dinner, seeing an evening show and staying the night.  This happens in August since we are both Leos.  On rare occasions we will take a second trip if something interesting is going on.

Well, last Wednesday we took a trip.  A few months ago I received a mailing about a new musical that was soon going to open on Broadway.  It was Summer: the Donna Summer Musical.  Take into account that Kathy and I dated during the disco era and that we were both fans of the Queen of Disco, there was no way we were not going to go see this show.  I already had our tickets for August so it looks like another trip had to be planned.

First thing I had to so was see when we wanted to go and if tickets were available.  I knew it would be a Wednesday and it would by once spring was in full force.  I didn’t want to chance snowy or icy weather.

Luck was on our side.  I found two tickets, Row J, on the aisle for the 2:00 show.  I grabbed them.  Now it was decision time.  Did we want to just go for the day, see the show, have dinner and come home home or did we want to try for a second show for the evening and stay the night?  Tough decision.  Of course I wanted to see a second show and spend the night.  Now, what should that second show be?

It is no secret that I am a fan of musicals.  There are many good ones playing that I haven’t seen.  However, there was one show, a non-musical, that had caught my attention and I really wanted to see especially since it is closing in August: The Play That Goes Wrong.

There happened to be two tickets in Row B, on the aisle for the 7:00 show that same Wednesday.  I took them.  We were set.  Now I just needed train tickets and dinner reservations.  I do like traveling Amtrak.  Dinner reservations were made at Cielo at the Mayfair.  All things were in place so last Wednesday we went.

A little bit about the shows.  If you are young you might not know who Donna Summer was.  If you are around my age you know her and her music from hits like Love to Love You Baby, I Feel Love, Hot Stuff, and Bad Girls to She Works Hard for the Money, Heaven Knows, and MacArthur Park.  The list goes on

After seeing the show I had just one word to describe it, “Wow!”  The three actresses who played her at different stages of her life were terrific.  The audience was dancing at their seats.  Even if you are not familiar with Donna Summer and her music I would highly recommend this show.

On the other hand, the second show had us falling out of our seats we were laughing so much.  There is a ten minute clip on you tube you can check out if you wish just search for The Play That Goes Wrong.  The title says it all.  A community theater is putting on a murder mystery and anything and everything that can go wrong does.  I don’t remember laughing so hard.  Too bad the show is closing in August.

Here are some pics.





To end with, here is a little taste of what is coming up in August.



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