Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Day 17

I am not Irish.

In fact, I am as far away from being Irish as you can get. My mom was Lithuanian. Agnes Zelonis is not an Irish name. As far as I know there is no Irish blood on her side of the family. I know, if I did a test I might be surprised by the results. Still, I consider myself half Lithuanian.

I am not Irish.

My father’s parents were immigrants. They came to America from the Ukraine region. Definitely not a highly Irish populated area. Believe me when I say that the broken English my grandparents spoke did not have a hint of Irish brogue to it.

I am not Irish.

We did not dine on corn beef and cabbage. My mom cooked good hearty artery clogging meals like bleenies, pierogi, haluski, and halupki. Not one of these has an Irish sounding name.

I am not Irish.

My wife, on the other hand, is totally Irish. With a name like Kathleen Ann it is almost a given. Her father, Thomas Elliott. had the fair skin that he passed on to her thus making summer sun time something that is not tolerable. Think lobster red after just short sun exposure.

I am not Irish.

Kathy’s mother was Marguerite Mc Geehan. Kathy’s grandmother was Winifred McHue. Need I say more? These certainly are not Italian names.

Today, I am Irish. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Halfway There

Day 16

Well, we made it halfway through the March Challenge. Let’s hear it for all of us.

Just as Wednesday is considered the hump day of the week I like to think of March 16 as the hump day of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. We have written, posted, and commented for 15 days. We have 15 more days of writing, posting, and commenting ahead of us. Today we sit right in the middle.

At the beginning of March, some of us, and by that I mean me, often wonder if we will make it through the month. Coming up with 31 different ideas can be pretty daunting if you don’t have a plan. Now, I only need 15 posts. That seems doable.

During those first 15 days excitement grows. We reconnect with old friends who take part in this challenge every year. We meet new friends who are doing this challenge for the first time. During the last 15 days bonds grow stronger through our writing and commenting. Inspiration from others gives us the push to try new formats of writing.

The first 15 days sometimes seem to go by slowly as we at times seem to push ourselves to write to get something in during the time frame of 24 hours. During the last 15 days we are in the habit of writing and feel a sense of loss if we don’t do a daily post.

So, as we start the downside of this writing journey let’s give ourselves a great big pat on the back. We deserve it. See you all at the finish line on March 31.

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Keeping It Simple

Day 15

Yesterday, as I wrote in my post, I decided to take it easy. I felt like I had good reasons for doing this. First of all, I went to bed late, at least for me, Saturday night. PBS ran Les Miserables, the 25th Anniversary concert. I have seen Les Miz several times. It is a show I don’t get tired of seeing or listening to.

I knew I wanted to watch it even though starting a 9:00 and running 3 1/2 hours because of breaks because it’s money time on PBS, it would end well after my usual bedtime of 10:30. I also know that with losing an hour of sleep I wouldn’t be much good for anything on Sunday.

I wanted simple to extend to all aspects of the day including dinner. I didn’t want to make anything that would take a lot of fuss to prepare. That is why I decided on a crock pot meal. Again, keeping it simple, I didn’t want anything that required a whole lot of prep time or ingredients.

I settled on a meal that only needed 4 ingredients and didn’t need any stove top browning or precooking of any kind. I had some chicken tenders in the freezer. I needed 2 pounds and I had 2 pounds. After defrosting the tenders I cut them into chunks. I like using the crock pot liners so I put one in and gave it a light spray of Pam. I placed the chicken chunks in a single layer on the bottom of the crock pot.

I measured out 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1 cup pineapple juice. Mixed them together in a 4 cup measuring cup, poured the mixture over the chicken, put the lid on the pot, and turned it on low.

Eight hours later dinner was ready. Served with rice and brussel sprouts as a vegetable dinner was ready with very little work thus keeping it simple. There is plenty left for a second meal during the week.

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A Quiet Sunday

Day 14

After doing some yard work during the week I thought I would just take it easy today. There is nothing pressing that needs to be done. There is no place I need to or want to go.

Dinner is in the crock pot so it will be ready for 6:00. My blog for the day is written and posted. I will keep checking back throughout the day to read the posts of those who post after me. There is nothing going on this week that demands attention.

Oh, yes, Kathy does have a dentist appointment on Tuesday and then we do need to go to Wal-Mart to pick up some pills. But that is only one day.

I almost forgot that I have a zoom meeting I need to get ready for on Wednesday. I guess I need to take some time today to write up an agenda for the meeting since I am running is. Now where did I put my notes for the meeting.

One more thing, on Saturday we go for our second Covid vaccine shot. It is a two hour drive which means a total of four hours driving plus a half hour of sitting after the shot. Here’s hoping the weather will cooperate because as of now Thursday and Friday look a bit iffy. Can’t worry about the weather today. Things change day to day.

But as I said, there is nothing going on today so I will just take it slowly and quietly.

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A Patch of Color (Hopefully)

Day 13

We were out the other day because one of us needed a prescription refill. (Hey, that’s the major reasor we go out these days.) Anyway, as we were walking around Wal-Mart a flash of color hit our eyes. We were walking by the flower seeds display.

I am the first to admit that my thumb is about as green as a robin’s red breast, but I still like seeing splashes of color in our yard during the summer. We already had some packets of seeds at home, but a few more would not hurt. Anyhow, we wound up buying a few more packets.

My garden planning is not very scientific. I put seeds in the ground and keep my fingers crossed that they will take off and grow. I will say that for 30 years this process has worked for me.

I do like to make sure that I plant the taller growing flowers in the back and gradually reduce the height as I get to the front. Because of my expert gardening skills I am always amazed by which flowers put in an appearance. Even with this haphazard growing system, I always end up with a colorful patch in my front yard.

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Another Day Outside

Day 12

Yesterday I wrote about what I heard while I was outside. Today thought I would write about what I saw.

Once hidden from sight.
Furry buds now face the sun.
Pussy willows bloom.
Answering the call
of voices only they  hear.
Welcome to the world.
A yard once covered
With a white blanket of snow.
Banquet now for birds.




Once a busy place.
Lots of comings and goings.
Empty nest syndrome.

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Sounds of Silence

Day 11

As I mentioned earlier this week, with the sun shining and warmer temperatures I went outside yesterday to do some yard work. I was surprised that there were not as many downed limbs as there had been other years. I like being out in the backyard. It is peaceful.

There was a slight breeze carrying the sounds of nature to me as I worked. It really was relaxing

Sounds of Nature

As I work picking up branches and limbs
Downed by winter winds and heavy snows
I am calmed by the sounds of nature.

Do I hear birds in the trees 
Discussing the events of the day?
No, I hear the cars and trucks 
Zooming down the road in front of our house.

Do I hear the geese flying overhead
as they journey northward?
No, I hear the neighbor's truck, the one with the bad muffler
that he parks in his driveway but keeps it running.

Do I hear the sounds of the kids playing basketball
in the park across the street?
No, I hear our neighbor's father using his earth mover 
to even out the road between our houses.

As I work in the yard
picking up limbs and branches
The sounds of nature
assault my ears.

(At least the lawn mowers haven't started yet.)

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Not My Post

Day 10

Asked! Ha. Do you call withholding one’s food (It is my snack between breakfast and lunch. Very important meal.) until he writes something asking? I call it inhumane treatment of animals. Someone should report this guy.

It is a good thing that I am so easy going and harbor no resentment. (Just wait until he’s trying to sleep tonight.) Well, at least he has the computer set up for me.

I guess I had better sit down and get started.

Where should I begin to tell the story of how great a love can be? Sorry, my mind wandered for a moment. Well, the other day I walked into the living room when I noticed a spot on the rug? No matter what you think, I didn’t leave it. What was it? I know it wasn’t there five minutes ago when I passed this exact spot on my way out to the litter box. Oops. TMI. Anyway, I went to investigate. I was all set to pounce on it when suddenly it moved to a different spot. What’s going on?

Then it totally disappeared. I must have scared it. That will show that spot who rules this house.

These people I live with can be real slobs. They just leave things on the floor. I could easily trip over them or even crawl into them.

Around noon the mail came. I was expecting my copy of Fluffy’s Felines (don’t tell this guy that I subscribe). I wanted to go through the mail before he had a chance to just in case it was there. It wasn’t.

After I checked the mail it was time for my exercise routine. Staying in shape and looking this good requires some effort. Somehow a stupid ball got trapped in this contraption and I can’t seem to get it out. That thing beside it is not the trapped ball just in case you were wondering.

This exercising makes me hungry so I thought I would put something on the stove to warm. Just want to take the chill off of it. I hate waiting for food to warm.

I don’t like to talk about my ailments, but once I had an eye infection and needed to go to the doctor. The nerve of her. She gave me some drops, which weren’t bad, but then she had one of her staff put this thing around my head to keep me from scratching it. Oh the shame of it all.

Sometimes this guy I live with thinks he is being cute. He dangles something in front of me. At first glance I think it is some kind of food. After all, shouldn’t it be? When I go to investigate he pulls it away and makes me jump to see what it is, It is not food. He laughs. He thinks it’s funny. I don’t. More cruel treatment of animals if you ask me.

Did I mention that I live with two other housemates besides this guy and his wife? Well, I do. Most of the time I can tolerate them. I just show them who is boss. Occasionally they become a bit annoying and I need to find a place just to get away. This works well for me. It is up and out of the way.

Well, I think that is all I want to say for now. I hope he is happy. I am exhausted. I think I will go take a nap. No one had better disturb me.

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Enjoying Sunshine and Warmth

Day 9

According to the weatherman, the next two days are to be sunny with highs in the 60’s. I am ready. The question now becomes, how will I spend these days. I know some time will be spent writing a post for the March Challenge and commenting on what others have written, but I also need to get out and enjoy the days.

I could go for a walk. The park is across the street from us and is a perfect place for walking. I could take a walk around the community just to see what is going on.

More likely, though, I will spend the time in the backyard. With the winds of winter and spring we always lose a few branches from the trees in the backyard. Even though it is not yet time to mow the lawn, these must be picked up before the mower comes out.

Another thing I can do is get out the rake. Our neighbor plows the road (dirt) beside our house and pushes some snowbanks onto our property. I am not complaining because I am glad he does this. However, some stones get moved along with the snow and they need to be picked up before the mower comes out. The rake works well for getting them back where they belong.

So, with something lighter than a heavy winter coat I think I will make the best of this weather gift and begin to get the yard summer ready.

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August, 1951

Day 8

August, 1951 is very dear to me. On the 4th, I entered the world. This is no major event to anyone outside my family, but that is OK. Sometimes when I am bored (rarely) or when I am looking for ideas for things to write about during the March challenge (often), I like to do searches for things of little interest to most people.

This is such a post. What were things like back in 1951? What were some of the issues facing my parents back then? How was their lifestyle affected by the cost of things. Well, here are some things I found out (these are all averages):

In 1951 a new house cost $9,000.00 In 2021 the cost of a new house is $100.00 – $200.00 per square foot.

In 1951 the price of gas was $0.19 per gallon. In 2021 the price of gas is $2.74.

In 1951 the cost of a new car was $1,500.00. In 2021 the cost of a new car is $36,000.00.

In 1951 a loaf of bread cost $0.16. In 2021 a loaf of bread costs $1.00 (store brand white bread).

In 1951 a pound of ground meat costs $0.50. In 2021 a pound of ground meat costs $3.28.

In 1951 eggs cost $0.24 per dozen. In 2021 eggs cost $1.09 per dozen.

In 1951 a pound of bacon costs $0.52. In 2021 a pound of bacon costs $5.49 a pound.

In 1951 baby diapers (cotton) cost $2.79. In 2021 baby diapers (cotton) cost $15.00.

In 1951 the average wage was $3,510.00. In 2018 the average wage is $87.864.00.

So, what were prices like the year you were born?

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