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The Patchwork Quilt

  My day timer these days is filled with this and that. A Meals On Wheels delivery for the Red Cross. A Seniors For Seniors companion caregiving visit. A Communities In Bloom meeting. A Seniors Wish event. Duty at the real estate office and perhaps a showing or two.  A brokerage Zoom meeting. And so on and so forth. Just like a beautiful patchwork quilt. A little of this, a little of that. It is something I have taken a long time to learn to relish. Something that has not come easy in the last few years, as I entered my sixth decade on this planet, most of which had been spent working full tilt at a full time job or two. I had learned young, from age 13 or so, that working meant money, and money meant freedom to some degree, to buy what you want and do what  you wish. And so, from babysitting to delivering the Sunday Sun newspaper, to dusting furniture to bagging plastic urine sample cups, to going to college to become a legal secretary and then back to co
Recent posts

The Collaborative Kitchen

  "My kitchen, my rules!" Such was the battle cry that came out of my mouth anytime I was making dinner. And so it came to pass that no one came to help me anymore. Sometimes they offered. "Is there anything I can do to help?" came the half hearted query. "No, it's alright!  It's almost ready!" I would always respond. Partially to allow company to continue kibbitzing. Partially to allow me to finish what I started. A meal from beginning to end. If someone so much as put the salad bowl on the table before I was ready, they got the sideways stink-eye glare from me. And of course, the unwritten rule was that whoever cooked didn't have to cleanup. So there was that. But awhile back I became obsessed with the Danish culture. They kept making the news headlines as one of the "Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World." What was their secret? What were they doing that no one else was doing? What did the Danes h

Mummy's Girl

 It will be my Mother's 91st birthday tomorrow. Would have been. She was born on Saturday May 20th, 1933. She died two years ago. She had just turned 89. I still miss her. I had a dream about her last night. I was visiting her in her nursing home. I was sorting some laundry for her. I didn't actually see her face. But I knew she was there. It would be fair to say we had some turbulence over the years. There were months we would go without talking to each other - some perceived slight taken way too far. It's funny what you remember. And what you don't. Our last tiff ended in early 2015. We hadn't spoken for several months before that. Turns out she had fallen, broken her hip, and wound up in the hospital. She had not called me. Nor my brother, Wayne. It was the hospital that finally called me directly; the social worker there determined to build a bridge, be the olive branch that was so desperately needed between a mother and h

Everyone Should Be In Sales

  I used to despise salespeople.   Always thought they were scheming in some way.   Never thought they were trustworthy individuals.   Always figured they were aiming to take or get something from me. But since I became a realtor 25 years ago, oh, how the tables have turned! The main goal of salespeople, I have learned, is to help people solve a problem.   If someone doesn't have a problem, you don't have a job! In real estate, a person may need a bigger home to accommodate more family.   A smaller home to accommodate less family.   Need to move because their job has been relocated.   Or need to sell their home because of a tragedy such as a death in the family, job loss, or a breakup. It's our job as real estate salespeople to help people solve their problems. In the retail world, a person may need a new cell phone or computer or television because theirs has broken or become outdated.   A new dress, suit, jacket or pair of shoes, because they h

Old Tech

 I can count on one hand the number of new tech items I have purchased in my lifetime. A desktop "Compaq" computer in the late '90's. A second desktop computer, a "Dell", in the mid-2000's. A new laptop "Acer" computer in the mid-2010's. And most recently, a laptop/tablet combo, a "Microsoft Surface Pro 7+" in late 2023. It was a floor/demo model that was on sale at Costco. I had driven all the other models into the ground; had them until the very end.  Their OS (operating systems) had all reached end of support and life.  They had all become grindingly slow and worryingly unreliable. It was them or me. After backing up all important documents and photos, they went to the great beyond. In the interim, I have taken on some scratch and dent computers and refurbished second hand models too. In the interest of upcycling, recycling, saving the economy and money too. Someone, a wise person, once said, you get what

The Kindness Of Strangers

  We were zooming northbound towards home, on the I-65 through Michigan, when the car's battery light came on. Then we noticed smoke billowing out the back. I thought for sure the batteries were on fire, as they are located in the trunk, and that we were all going to go up in smoke and flames right there on the highway. We immediately pulled off at the next exit, at a small town called Capac. We thankfully made it to the parking lot of a Love's Gas Station, complete with McDonald's, Chester's Chicken, and convenience store. There was a dark, rusty brown fluid leaking from the engine and pooling beside the curb. It looked like our car had popped a vein and was bleeding out. We didn't know what to do. There we were, just after 3 o'clock in the afternoon, virtually stranded in the parking lot at a Love's Gas Station. It was a freezing cold, windy, grey November day. We called our trusty friends, the CAA, or the AAA stateside. We had ju

Complicated Plastic

We love it. We hate it. We need it. We eschew it. It was first invented to help us. To help mankind to hold things, preserve things, carry things. In fact British scientist Alexander Parkes won a bronze medal back in 1862 at the International Exhibition in London, when he developed the first man-made plastic. But now, more than a century and a half later, it has become one of the most controversial inventions on the planet. We are now finding it in the oceans, reportedly in more quantities than there is marine life. Along once pristine and uninhabited island beaches. Midway Island Atoll for one, in the middle of nowhere. Situated in the North Pacific Ocean halfway between North America and Asia. The Atoll is home to the Battle of Midway National Memorial, a tribute to one of the most decisive battles of World War II. It is also home to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the world's largest albatross colony, and other wonders including sea turtles, dolphins, seals and fish.