Keys

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I have one set of keys. Car, remote car starter, house and mailbox on two key chains hooked together.  That’s it. I like to hang them up at the door so I will remember to never leave home without them.

All the rest of the keys and other hanging things belong to W. Except for my spare set of car keys, but he uses them and I never do, so they don’t count as being mine.

This is what our mess of keys looked like before I got all ambitious this weekend and made new key holders.

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The bottom board is something I put together years ago when I first started painting. It is made from a drawer front, weighs a ton, and was hung up on one center nail. If you didn’t hang your keys just right it went off-balance and either hung crookedly or fell off the wall. Once it went down the basement steps. Funny how you put up with annoying things for a ridiculously long time and then one day just decide to do something about them.

My daughter has offered to paint our house interior, and although I was contemplating updating the guest room/library first, now I think we should start with the back door entrance.  Taking these three junky things off the wall was a start.  Putting up NEW junky things will probably get me in trouble.

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W thinks it’s funny that there are so many hooks.  So I asked him to identify all the important hanging things we’ve been looking at every day for a dog’s age if not longer.  We have handcuff keys!  No handcuffs anywhere, but we are prepared if they suddenly turn up.  He used to be a wildlife enforcement officer, in case you’re thinking the handcuff thing might have a slightly more kinky explanation.  There are several key chains with no keys on them, keys we believe might be for one of the filing cabinets, some which could be for padlocks, and several about which we do not have a flying clue.

One of these key holders will go in our garage sale, probably with miscellaneous mystery keys included. I only did the second one because the first one didn’t have room for everything.  Keys are like plastic containers with no lids, or lids that don’t fit on anything.  The day after you throw them out you discover you need them for something.

So they get to hang there for a while and I will tackle another junk corner somewhere else. In other exciting news, our dishwasher door has a broken spring and falls like a lead weight if we let it go, so we went searching for the appliance book to see if parts are still available for it and threw out a dozen booklets for things we no longer have.  The dishwasher is 18 years old!  Today is my son’s birthday and he is 40!  Reverse those two statements in order of importance.

My point is, what is the point?  Okay, I admit I don’t really have a point today.  Except maybe to advise you to take stock of all your keys.  Make the mystery ones into a decorative wall hanging.  Give your grown children something to roll their eyes at.  Then if anyone wants to know how you spent your weekend you can make them sorry they asked.

Sharing My World 41

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Proof that our winters here are seven months long.

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #49

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

I would like to have someone deposit a billion dollars in to my bank account with no strings attached, anonymously, tax free.  I believe that would make me deliriously happy.  Even though people say money can’t buy happiness.  Don’t you think it might be fun to test that theory and find out for yourself?  And see how long it would take to give the bulk of it away to people and causes you cared about?

But that’s probably asking for too much.  A gift certificate to Michael’s would be good too.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

Deep purple with silver stars scattered all over the place.  It would be like sleeping in outer space.  Imagine a realtor trying to sell your house  totally flipping out about it.  At the moment it is a flat and rather boring creamy shade of pale yellow.  My whole house is a tribute to the colour yellow.  I have no idea why exactly, but yellow paint and I have this thing going on.  I pair it up with red, or blue, or orange, or brown, and it takes on all kinds of different characters.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

I do not like snow, never have and never will.  But I have always lived where there is lots of it for months at a time and have never experienced a winter without it so I don’t know if I would prefer it that way or not.  What in the world would I complain about all winter if there wasn’t any snow?

This year, so far, we have very little.  Yesterday it rained.  Christmas without snow will be weird if it happens.  But I have never been one to complain about weird.

Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes, or a week without a change of clothes, but be able to bathe?

This is one of those crazy “this or that” questions where you don’t want to choose either one, because they are both equally disgusting.  Why must there be only two choices?  Why can’t we play “this, that, or the other thing”?

Okay, never mind, I will play along.  The biggest thing I hate about camping is never feeling clean if there is no way to have a hot shower every day.  I am much nicer to people when I’m clean.  So no change of clothes for a week seems like the lesser evil to me.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

For one reason or another (maybe it’s connected to the lack of snow) there seems to be an amazing absence of pressure about all things Christmas for me this year.  The grandkids will be off skiing.  I’ve had cards on my desk for weeks but no ambition to sign and send them.  We put up a little artificial tree and outside lights on a timer and hung some junk on the doors and put some ornaments around the fireplace. I don’t want to do any Christmas baking because it’s all sugary crap that’s not good for anyone.  My sugars will go berserk if I have too many cranberries with my turkey.  So bah humbug, I guess.

Our house is still upside down until we can get rid of all the post hip surgery stuff that takes up so much room.  I can’t remember a Christmas when we’ve been off to a doctor’s appointment on the 23rd of December, so that will be a first.  Then we are hoping W gets the ok to drive again and we can get back to our version of normal.

And that’s all she wrote for another who knows how many days of relaxing and putting things off and getting very little done.  It’s a good life, even without the billion dollar birthday.

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Art du Jour 77

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For something that started out looking very much like a baby quilt, this turned out okay in the end.
First there was the design and drawing. Look at me being all precise and disciplined and using a ruler.
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All those little squares were boring so I changed a few of them, added random colours from my box of acrylic tubes, realized my sail boat is impressionistic rather than realistic, and then sat back and looked at this for a long time.
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Then it was cut and paste time, with this result.
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This morning I finally finished it, adding layers and some shading and bits of chaos here and there lest anyone think this might be meant to depict smooth sailing.  It was much too clean and organized.  There will be none of that in this house.
It’s a lovely sunny warm Monday here. It’s also my daughter’s birthday which means another July is winding down. Hope your day is beautiful.

The Twelfth Day of June

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I have always been insanely jealous of my sisters hair.  Well maybe not insanely because I can go for several days at a time without even thinking about it.  Okay, insanely is probably pretty accurate.

Today is her birthday. She was born on Thursday the 12th.  When I was old enough to realize the significance of my own Friday the 13th birthday I decided to never forgive her for arriving a day early.  Although it may have been a relief for our mother.  I don’t know, I never asked her.

Anyway, back to the hair.  Hers was blonde.  It was curly.  It framed her cherubic little face in perfectly natural ringlets and waves.  My own poker straight dark hair showed every chop of the scissors, flat and boyish and boring in comparison.

Not much has changed in sixty years.  Except that I inherited our dads family trait of going grey early.  I like to think it’s silvery and I wish for it to some day be as white as my aunts and uncles.  Whatever, grey is grey.   With no hair coloring help whatsoever, Mom kept the color in her hair for a lot longer.  And my sister (with a little help) is doing that too. Now she has lots of blonde streaks and highlights in her waves and curls.

W asked me one time why I didn’t let my hair grow longer like my sisters.  I fought off the urge to grab him by the neck and choke him while yelling that he should grow back his bald spot and then we’d talk.  Because, you know, that would have been childish.  Instead I patiently explained that our hair is completely different and that mine would not look the same.  At all.  So shut up about the hair.

Yes, insanely is looking more accurate by the minute.

On our holiday my sister let her hair dry naturally and then gave it a quick brush and it looked perfect.  For the rest of the day.  I blew mine dry because if I don’t all the cowlicks show.  I put gel in it because if I don’t it’s about as thick as the wispy hair on a two-year old.  Normally I would use my brush curling iron to add some body but I was afraid I’d blow up or burn out our adapter and not be able to charge our more important things like camera batteries and I-Pads.  So I spritzed it all over with hair spray and called it done.  It looked good for approximately ten minutes every day, and then reverted back to exactly how it looked upon emerging from the shower.

I love my sister to death.  I want her hair.  I will die with this one fervent wish never granted.  I hope she has a happy birthday.  I hope she appreciates her beautiful hair.  It’s way past time for me to get over this and let it go.  I don’t think I ever will.

How insane is that.

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I don't normally have Fridays off, but when I do, not everyone can keep up with me.

I don’t normally have Fridays off, but when I do, not everyone can keep up with me.

Sometimes things to talk about come in the mail or mysteriously surface during a clean-up and neither will leave your head until you forcibly remove them.  At least that’s been my experience.  For today.  Tomorrow could be another whole ball of wax. (Where did that strange expression come from? I tried looking it up, but it seems no one can agree on its exact origin and after reading the third or fourth educated guess I lost interest.)

Anyway, after waiting all week for it, an invoice/receipt arrived at last in the mail today.  I am sharing part of it here because I think it’s pretty exciting.

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If all goes well, I will be celebrating my May 13th birthday in Athens this year.  Santorini is one of the places my brother visited and loved and thought he would like to return to see again some day but he never got the chance.  So this trip is a family holiday to remember him.  Good Gawd, look at all those island ferry transfers across the deep dark sea.  I hope they make good wine in Greece.

The other thing I’m sharing surfaced from a filing cabinet, in a file folder labeled ‘recipes’.  Who in the world prints off random recipes from the internet and files them away and ignores them for a decade?  Never mind, we already know the answer to that.  Inside this folder I also found a copy of a Christmas letter written by our cats in 1997, a three-fold religious pamphlet and a letter from a fitness spa, but there was something else in there even MORE interesting.  I can picture you rolling your eyes and sighing but sorry, that’s not going to stop me.  Here are the amazing printed words I found with no title and no explanation.

In another younger day I could dream the time away
In the universe inside my room
And the world was really mine from June until September
And if it wasn’t really so I was lucky not to know
And I was lucky not to wonder why
Because the summer time is all that I remember

A summer fly was buzzin’ every night when I was young
In the gentle world my child-like senses knew
And the world was just my cousin
And the wind was just the tongue
In the voice my lonely moments listened to

And I look at me today all the dreams have gone away
And I’m where I never thought I would be
Seeing things I never thought I would see happening to me
And I lay awake at night til the darkness turns to light
Hearing voices calling out my name
Droning over and again the same message to me

Crying who’s your partner, who’s your darlin’, who’s your baby now?
Who wakes up at night to pull you in
But it don’t matter, you’ll just make her lonely anyhow
I don’t know why you even try to win

At first I thought it was a poem but then I remembered it’s the lyrics to a song and went searching for it on YouTube.  It’s amazing what’s on that site and the stuff that comes up and how much time can go flying by while you’re sitting on the living room couch with your I-Pad and a gigantic cup of coffee.

If you don’t know this song but like the words and the kind of sad and dreamy way they sound in your head, I think you’re going to love the music.  There was some method to my madness, writing it down and putting it away in safekeeping to be discovered again on some very distant future Friday off.

Vignette For A November Birthday

New Baby Girl

My brother is twelve, I am nine, and my little sister is six.  We are playing a noisy board game at the kitchen table, waiting for our parents to come home with the new baby.  My brother is appalled that it’s just another girl when he so fervently wished for a brother.  I’m happy I’ll no longer be the only middle child, and excited to help look after her.  We don’t know how Ann feels about the situation because she hasn’t said much, but we are about to find out.

We think it’s odd when there’s a loud knocking on the farmhouse door.  If it’s our parents surely they would walk right in, and we aren’t expecting any other visitors.  Ann jumps up and runs to investigate.  We hear the door open and immediately slam shut.  Who was it? Who was there? we ask her.  She plunks herself back down, frowns and folds her arms.  NOBODY, she says.

But the door is opened up again and mom and dad are suddenly there in the hallway in their winter coats, stomping the snow off their boots.  They’ve apparently had second thoughts about the planned surprise grand entrance in which all of us were supposed to let them in with a warm welcome and open arms.  They come into the kitchen and Mom carefully unwraps her big pink bundle so that my brother and I can have our first peek at the new arrival.  Ann is looking quite cross and kicking the table leg.

Why did you say it was nobody? Don’t you want to see the baby? Oh, look, she’s all red and wrinkly and she has lots of black hair!  Come see her, she’s so cute!

Ann still refuses to budge.  THAT BABY IS NOT SITTING AT MY PLACE AT THE TABLE she announces.  I roll my eyes. Her place at the table is beside our dad.  She refuses to sit anywhere else.  I tell her it will be months before the baby is big enough to sit anywhere and wonder why she’s being a brat.

But Dad gives her a big bear hug and tells her she has nothing at all to worry about.  No one but our little Annie gets to sit in that very special place. Her arms unfold and the hint of a smile crosses her face as she relents, and leans in to look at her tiny rival for the very first time.  She tells the baby she’s sorry about the door.

But she will never give in about her place at the table.  Never.  We can all see the firm resolution written all over her stern little face.