Jerrold George Walter Edward Aldrich

Lucius Annaeus Seneca - Life, if well lived, is long...
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Jerry, to his friends, was born on July 23, 1920 and died on August 4, 1969. If he were still alive today, he would be 100 years old. He was born in Wesley, Iowa at a time when it was common for young boys to wear knickers and knee socks and lace-up ankle-high boots.

He sported a bowl cut much like Moe of the Three Stooges. He looked a little like Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious mascot of Mad Magazine. He had a wickedly impish grin and it was a rare treat to see it.

Later in life, he was a huge fan of the Three Stooges and slapstick humor in general. He’d sit in front of our small television set on Saturday mornings and laugh out loud at Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.

He served in World War II as a reconnaissance photographer. He would lie in the belly of an airplane and take photographs of the islands and any distinguishing features of the Pacific Ocean. My sister and I have maps printed on silk with indelible inks that were made from his photographs.

He worked for the government all of his life. He didn’t make a lot of money, but he seemed to be fulfilled by what he did. He was a quality control engineer overseeing government contracts with private sector companies that produced missiles and missile delivery systems. In the 1960s that was a big deal.

He was very smart. He taught himself calculus as it related to quality control. He was so good at it that he taught a night course at a local community college.

He was also bigoted. And not terribly tolerant of views outside of his own.

He was never wrong. Even when I could prove to him that he was wrong, he would never admit it.

He was a hard man and a stern father. I’m not sure he knew the meaning of the term “unconditional love.”

He had high standards. He applied them to himself and to others. I always felt that I never quite measured up.

He saw a lot of changes in his short lifetime. He thought of himself as a man of science and he delighted in every new thing that came along. He lived just long enough to see the first men to land on the moon. There wasn’t much that thrilled him, but that sure did.

He was an aficionado of stereo sound. He had a great system in which he took much pride. But he tended toward what some today might call elevator music. We had every album the Ray Coniff orchestra and singers put out. He wouldn’t let my sister and me listen to the Beatles. But he bought us every Monkees album that came out, sometimes the very day that it was released.

He continued to be a photography nut after his service. He had an 8mm movie camera and a light bar for it. He had several reflex cameras and knew how to get the most out of all of it. We had a slide projector, movie projector and a screen. We’d all sometimes sit for hours looking at times long past.

I still miss him. He’s been gone from my life for almost 51 years. He never saw me fall in love and get married. He never got to use a cell phone (he would have loved that) or a personal computer (probably would have loved that even more). I have no idea what he would make of today’s Internet. Shoot, it still amazes me from time to time.

Shortly before he died, in a lucid moment which were becoming fewer and fewer as his brain was invaded by the cancer, he told me that his only regret about dying was that he was leaving us to fend for ourselves. At the time, it made me cry. But today, I think he wasn’t giving us enough credit. It was hard for a while. I won’t say it wasn’t. But Mom, my sister and I did just fine.

The day he died, I thought the world had ended. I didn’t know who I was without my dad in my life. I didn’t know who I was supposed to be. But I got it figured out. Because as critical as he was of everything I did, he also constantly told me that I could do anything I set my mind to. I owe him a lot for that.

Despite how difficult it was to be a daughter of Jerrold George Walter Edward Aldrich, I loved him deeply and unreservedly.

So here’s to you, Dad, on the 100th anniversary of your birth. Thanks for all you taught me. Thanks for being my dad.

Creativity

Maddie is a small, brown dog. She is easily lost to sight in tall, dry grass. So I like to “dress” her in bright colors to make it easier to spot her if she gets away from me. Plus, I just like bright colors.

I don’t just write.

I have a number of other outlets for my creative spirit. I like to crochet. I just finished making a new leash for Maddie. My sister doesn’t know it yet, but I am making an afghan for her. Well, I suppose she knows it now. She likes greens and browns together. Hopefully, she will like these particular greens and browns.

Hey, Sis! Hope you like it.

I also like to make jewelry. My husband does too. We are fortunate to have a walk-out basement and we have tricked it out as a jewelry making shop. There is also a ping pong table down there that we need to use more often.

I love agate. It comes in so many colors and forms. This is a Montana agate. It’s an alluvial agate found in the Yellowstone River. The faceted stone is a plagioclase. The rest is sterling silver and copper.

We are both silversmiths and lapidaries (cutters and polishers of stone); although we don’t do faceting. Mostly we make cabochons. When my husband wants a faceted stone for something he is making, he buys it. But just about every cabochon in anything we make, we have cut and polished laboriously by hand.

One of Bernd’s more recent creations. It’s a garnet druse (lots of small crystals on a substrate). He made the setting from round wire and set three sapphires on the bail and a small diamond near the bottom.
This is another of Bernd’s pieces. Made from hammered round wire with an amethyst and a peridot.

I also do stringing, pearl knotting, and wire wrapping. I make a lot of my own findings (jump rings, clasps and the like) and I’ve made of lot of chain. Chain making can be a pain, but it’s worth it. Especially when you can’t find the perfect chain ready-made for a necklace or bracelet.

Here is a clasp I made from sterling silver sheet and round wire.

My husband also does watercolors. I’ve written a bit about that in the past.

I’ve heard some people say that they are not creative at all. I think those people are judging themselves harshly and ignoring the areas in which they do actually display creativity. The act of creating something doesn’t have to produce a painting to hang on the wall or a sculpture to set in a garden. You don’t have to have a novel written and complete to hold in your hand to be considered creative.

Creativity can be on a grand scale sometimes. But it’s also in the small things that a person does on a daily basis. Simply putting a meal together is an act of creation. If it is pleasing to look at as well as tasty, well there you go.

Arranging the furniture in your living room well doesn’t rely only on functionality; it also requires an artistic sense. It doesn’t matter if it works well if the arrangement doesn’t also please the senses. Aesthetics are involved in how you place the chairs, sofas and tables. This requires creativity.

Sewing a garment. Knitting a sock. Building a birdhouse. These are all acts of creation. And not just because you have made something. You had to envision the item. You had to conceive its execution. You had to bring it into existence. You had to dream it up and then make it real.

Beyond that, there is creating and enriching environment. Or making a peaceful spot to spend a few rejuvenating minutes.

I think we are all, each and every one of us, creative. I think it is as essential to living as is breathing. I believe we are at our best when we are thinking creatively; challenging our minds to come up with something new or something beautiful or something useful. Creating a better way to do a task also qualifies.

What have you created today? I bet you can think of at least half a dozen things if you give it a try.

Would the World be a Better Place without Mosquitoes?

nozzlenolen.com

In a poll of one, me, the answer would be a resounding “yes.” At least on the surface. But when I think about it for a moment, maybe not.

Mosquitoes are flies. They belong to the order Diptera; DI (two) plus PTERA (wing). They are distinguished from most other insects by the number of wings that they have, most insects having four wings altogether. Well except for the beetles where one set of wings is chitonized and protects the other set of wings. And then there are the Hemiptera in which only half of the one set of wings is hardened. Well, actually that’s mainly in the suborder Heteroptera. But I digress.

This is a fly trying to look like a bee, but note the one set of wings. janemming.com
Bee Terms — B.A.S.C.
A true bee. beekeeprsassociationofsoutherncalifornia.org

I don’t much like the Hemiptera either. They mostly have piercing mouthparts and can impart a nasty and painful “bite.” I know from experience. Been there. Done that. Don’t ever want to do it again.

Order Hemiptera Suborder Heteroptera | ENT 425 – General Entomology
Saw this Heteroptera on a plant in my front yard the other day. genent.cals.ncsu.edu

Actually, I don’t much like any kind of fly either. Horse flies are nasty. Their bites really hurt. But at least I’m not allergic to them. Some people are though.

Video: Close up footage shows a horsefly feasting on human blood ...
Horsefly biting a human. dailymail.co.uk
The horse-fly has returned to the UK - here's everything you need ...
This is kind of what a mosquito bite does to me, but this is actually a horsefly bite. nottinghampost.com

Okay, back to mosquitoes. I am moved to write about them because both my husband and I have recently received a number of mosquito bites. There are some 3,500 different species of mosquito. As far as I’m concerned that’s about 3,499 too many.

Only the female mosquitoes bite. To produce and lay their eggs, they need the blood of vertebrates (that includes all mammals and birds, reptiles, amphibians and some fish) and certain invertebrates; mainly arthropods:  Insects (you know what those are), myriapods (centipedes and millipedes), arachnids (spiders, mites and scorpions), and crustaceans (you know what those are too).

The mosquito’s saliva (which contains an anticoagulant) is transferred to the host during a bite. This is what causes the itchy rash (and also transfers disease vectors). Some people are more allergic to the mosquito’s saliva than others. I’m one of those unlucky people. To add insult to injury, I also seem to be very attractive to the little menaces.

When we lived in California, it was the other way around than it is now. My husband was more allergic and more attractive (he’s still more attractive, but that’s another story) than I was. Or maybe it’s just the difference between Arizonan mosquitoes and Californian mosquitoes.

And it seems like the mosquitoes here are smaller, quieter and just generally stealthier than those we had in California. Not a happy situation for me.

Every year it’s the same thing. I get bit. The area turns bright red and swells up like crazy. If it’s over a bone and the swelling has nowhere to go, say on my forehead, it looks like someone hit me in the head with a bat minus the bruising.

In a couple of days, the swelling is still there, but the bite site has blistered. The blisters burst on their own and then the whole thing is a weepy crusty mess for several days. To top it all off, it itches so badly that I want to rip my skin off and touching it in any way (like to apply some nice soothing anti-histamine cream or some numbing lidocaine ointment) hurts so much I almost can’t do it.

And then there are the mosquito-vectored diseases to worry about. It is claimed that half of the people that have ever lived have died from diseases from mosquito bites. More conservative estimates place the death toll at something more like 5%. That’s still a lot of people.

So if there is anyone who would benefit from the sudden and very welcome vanishing of all mosquitoes from this earth, it would be me.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats | Arizona Highways
Mexican free-tailed bat. arizonahighways.com

But. We have a large population of large, brown Mexican bats in our area. They winter in Mexico and every spring they come back here. They rely on the mosquitoes and other flying insects for their three square meals a day. There are also a huge number of birds that eat the mosquitoes. I’ve even seen hummingbirds plucking mosquitoes and gnats out of the air.

lansingwbu.blogspot.com

 I’ve seen lizards snap them up (hear me cheering “Go, lizard! Go!”). Dragonfly nymphs eat the mosquito nymphs as do trout and other fishes along with any mosquito landing upon the water to lay her eggs. So a large part of the ecosystem relies on those nasty little flies for their livelihoods.

Here’s an interesting tidbit. Adult mosquitoes of both sexes eat nectar, aphid honeydew and plant juices in order to keep their metabolic processes ticking over. In the process, they help pollinate flowers. There are no plants that rely solely on mosquitoes for pollination, but they do make a contribution to the production of food.

photographytalk.com

So I guess we are stuck with them for now. And the answer to the question in the title is a solid “no.” Dang.

Weird Words, Part 12

definition of the word catawampus
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1972 edition

Bumfuzzle

I like the way this word sounds. I can’t recall ever using it in a conversation, but one day I might. You never know. Apparently, I’d be in good company. Read on.

I looked for it in my 1972 edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, but it was not listed. So my guess was that it is a fairly recent addition into the English language or what passes for it here in the United States. Who knows what the Brits think of our mangling of their fine language. Anyway, my guess turned out to be wrong. Story of my life.

The short definition for it is to confuse, perplex or fluster according to merriam-webster.com. Looking at that just now, webster strikes me as a little bit odd. Could a person who makes great use of the Internet be called a webster? So I had to look up the name. It’s a boy’s name, English in origin, and as you might guess it means “weaver.”

If you ask Google if bumfuzzle is a real word, you get this from dictionary.com:  To bumfuzzle is to confuse or fluster. Bumfuzzle is most often used in the dialect of the Southern United States. It is colloquial, meaning it is typically used in informal conversation. It is very similar to bamboozle, and may be derived from it.

Slate.com ran a story in October of 1999 in which it mentioned that Bill Clinton had said that the Republican budget passed by the House, which he intended to veto, “totally bumfuzzled” the American voters on the topic of whether or not Social Security funds would be tapped for current spending. I don’t recall what happened at that time, but I’d bet the answer was “yes.”

In any case, what Slate was reporting was actually from Chatterbox and they quoted a passage from the American Heritage Dictionary (not my edition, obviously):  The American Heritage dictionary says that bumfuzzle, apparently used chiefly in the southern United States, means “to confuse,” and probably derives from some combination of “bamboozle,” “fuddle,” and “fuzzy.”

Most sources agree that the word first came into use around 1900 (so why isn’t it in my 1972 edition?). Other sources link it to a British word, bumf (a shortened form of bumfodder meaning toilet paper). With that, Chatterbox went on to wonder whether or not Clinton was slyly using the word bumfuzzle to say that the Republican budget was just so much toilet paper.

Cattywampus

This is another great weird word that I don’t recall having used in everyday conversation. As usual, I went straight to my dictionary first. It indicated that cattywampus is a variant of catawampus. Catawampus, it said, means cater-cornered or slantwise. It also listed as a second meaning evil or malicious. I’ve never had the impression that the word had anything to do with evil. Mostly, I’ve felt it meant off kilter (kilter comes from kelter which is an English dialect word meaning good health or good condition) or in disarray.

Once again, Internet to the rescue.

I liked what yourdictionary.com had to say about cattywampus:   The definition of cattywampus, often spelled catawampus, is not lined up or not arranged correctly, or diagonally. An example of something cattywampus are the positions of the items on the top of a coffee table after a two year old has been playing with them and moving them around. Or maybe they are acquainted with my husband.

But if you ask for the definition of catawampus instead of cattywampus, you get something quite different. According to merriam-webster.com the first definition is something that is fierce, savage, or destructive. The second definition is askew, awry, cater-cornered. Both are listed as dialectical.

Etymonline suggest that the word is a combination of two relatively archaic words: cater and wampish.

The first, cater, means to set or move diagonally. Wampish is a Scottish word that basically means to wriggle, twist or swerve about.

Cattywampus, in any of its spellings is older than Bumfuzzle by about half a century. It was first used as an adverb (catawampusly) around 1834 and then as a noun around 1843 where it appears as a name for an imaginary hobgoblin or fright, perhaps influenced by catamount.

Collywobbles

My old and obviously out of date dictionary had this word in it also. It defines collywobbles as a pain in the bowels or stomach, a bellyache. My ancient dictionary suggests it might be from New Latin cholera morbus, the disease cholera, and influenced by colic and wobble.

In horses, colic describes a number of symptoms of distress usually centered in the horse’s intestines. When I had a horse, I had to call the vet out on a number of occasions when she colicked really badly. My dictionary defines colic this way: acute, paroxysmal pain in the abdomen caused by spasm, obstruction, or distention of any of the hollow viscera. That definition doesn’t really do justice to the kind of pain my horse exhibited.

Wobble is defined thusly: to move erratically from side to side; to tremble or quaver; to shake, as a voice; to waver or vacillate in one’s opinions, feelings, or the like.

I’m not really sure how putting colic and wobble together get you to the more accepted meaning (according to numerous online sources) of intense anxiety or nervousness particularly with stomach queasiness. I will say though that I have upon occasion been so frightened as to feel a looseness in my intestines that was not at all pleasant. So maybe it does track.

As for the origin of the word, most sources agree that it is a combination of colic and wobble. But phrases.org.uk has this to say: Colly is an English dialect word meaning coal dust. Blackbirds were hence known as colly birds. … Colly-wobbles could have derived from indisposition caused by breathing coal dust. It is more likely that this is a nonsense word formed from colic and wobble.

Ultimately, no one is really certain how the word came about.

So, here I sit, a bit bumfuzzled about the origins of the word collywobbles and wondering if this post has gone totally cattywampus.

Ask versus Request

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1972 edition, lists the word “ask” and only a verb. I haven’t looked in a newer print dictionary. Maybe I should do that.

When did that happen? Am I the only one who thinks it’s odd? How did a very solid verb seemingly suddenly become a noun? And why? Especially when we’ve always had a perfectly fine noun for that very thing.

I’m talking about two words: ask and request.

Being the kind of person that I am, I decided to do a little research. I love the Internet.

I requested the definition of the word “ask” to begin with. The first definition given listed it as a verb, which in my mind it is and shall forever be only and solely that. Call me old-fashioned.

And, yes, I am stubborn too. Although, I don’t have a problem with adding new words into the English language. And yes, I know that language is fluid and changes by usage. Okay, so yeah. This is a pet peeve of mine.

Along with listing “ask” as a verb, the online source I looked at also listed a definition of it as a noun with the notation that it is only used that way in the good old United States of America. Specifically it said “a request, especially for a donation.” And the example, “It was an awkward ask for more funding,” was given. And see, even Microsoft Word doesn’t want anyone to use “ask” in that way. When I typed in the quote of the example, MS Word underscored the word “ask” with a green line. The program didn’t really know what to do with it. It thought it should be “asks.”

I’m sorry, but I’m never going to get onboard with using “ask” in this way.

Request would seem to me to be more than adequate. It is both a verb and a noun. Always has been. Why do we need to misappropriate the word “ask” when we already have “request?”

I would like to note that in the definitions for both the verb request and the noun request, the issue of politeness was addressed:  “an act of asking politely or formally for something” for the noun and “politely or formally ask for” for the verb.

That alone recommends to me that using “request” instead of “ask” is a much better choice. I think that relationships of all kinds can always use a little more politeness. Don’t you?

The Re-release of Millie

I finally finished fixing the errors in “Millie’s Adventures in Time.” This time around, I had the help of my sister, Debbie Todd, who made note of all the typos, wrong words, and grammatical errors that she noticed.

She then sent them to me in an email and I implemented 95% of them. In some cases, I let a word stand as I had written it. But for the most part, her suggestions were spot on and helped to improve the story. I’m very grateful to my sister for her help.

I was put on to the fact that the first edition had a lot of errors by a friend who bought the paperback and read it. She told me there were a lot of mistakes. I was totally disheartened to hear that. My husband and I had spent so much time reading and re-reading the manuscript that we were sure we had found them all. Hah! I should have known better.

It wasn’t hubris. It was just lack of experience with this sort of thing. I know now how easy it is to miss all the little problems.

Another friend, Chris Woods, read it and mentioned I had a problem with tenses. He said I kind of mushed them all together, sometimes in the same paragraph.

Because of how I chose to tell the story, I let a lot of the mush of tenses stand. But there were a few places where I did straighten them out … more or less. I was grateful for the heads up about that and so when I read the novel again (this time from a hard copy), I kept it in mind and was able to make the necessary changes.

I’ve uploaded it to Kindle Direct Publishing. The eBook is live again, but the paperback version is still in review as I write this. Hopefully, it won’t take as long to go live this time as it did last time. Also, hopefully, it won’t take as long for the two versions to link on Amazon.

It feels good to have finally finished the updating of “Millie’s Adventures in Time.” Did we catch all the errors? Probably not. But at least Millie is now better than it was. That’s all I can ask for.

Now I can begin working on the sequel again.

If You can Afford It

Taken with my Fuji FinePix digital camera

Here’s my advice. If you can afford it, absolutely go with a professional proofreading service. Also, seriously consider having your novel professionally edited.

Most people advise that you have your manuscript edited first. Typically, editors have the power to change just about anything up to eliminating whole paragraphs. Ultimately, the final product is more readable than previously. This has always given me cause to pause and consider. When I make a piece of jewelry, I don’t want someone to come along and change something about it. I feel somewhat the same way about what I write. But, in reality, it’s a moot point for me.

In any case, proof reading is the final step that ensures a “perfect” document.

So, given all that …

A few days ago, I finished proof reading … again … “Millie’s Adventures in Time.” Then I had to go into the formatted digital copy and fix all the mistakes and make all the edits.

Because I was reading my author’s copy (I just love writing that I’m an author), and the print-on-demand version has a blank page (page 347) that I could not fix in the original version (hopefully, in the second edition that will magically fix itself but probably not) no matter what I did, the two versions don’t match up and I had to re-re-reread the digital version from page 347 on while trying to keep in mind the edits I wanted to make. Was not fun.

Once I did that, though, I went through the whole manuscript once more while looking at all the grammar snafus that the Microsoft Word program so conveniently underscores in green. Most of what it found was sentence fragments that, for the most part, I let stand.

I just finished that yesterday. I could have uploaded the new version (it has a note in the front matter that it is a second edition), but I am waiting to hear more from my sister. She is a wiz at grammar and found some uses of pronouns that I needed to correct. She said she would make note of any others that she found. She still works for a living and doesn’t have a lot of spare time so it might be a while.

It’s a convenient excuse.

Because I let go of it the first time before it was really ready, I have all sorts of worries about it not being ready this time either. Especially since I found a couple typos while looking through it for the grammar errors. Bummer.

This is why people hire professionals to do this. And why you should if you can afford it. Wish I had the money for that.

In any case, it should be out in its corrected, if not perfected, form before the end of July.

Proofreading (v.) We do it best after we've hit send.: Blank Lined ...

Bonfire’s Mom Writes

Bonfire likes to sit on the window sill with the grass that we grow for him. He doesn’t always eat it. He just likes to be near it.

The Maddie in the title of my blog is our dog. But we also have a cat named Bonfire. He came with that name. We couldn’t seem to change it. We tried. But nothing else would stick.

We got him in late November of 2012 shortly after we had to put our previous cat, Winnie, to rest. He was an indeterminate age and had a sister that the woman who was giving up Bonfire had decided to keep.

Bonfire, she said, was not getting along with her new cattle dog. Bonfire, she said, was having litter box issues because of the dog. Bonfire, she said, had seasonal allergies.

As it turned out, Bonfire has elimination issues that had, most likely, nothing to do with the dog. Especially since I later found out that Bonfire spent a great deal of time in the garage where the litter box was located and the dog rarely went in the garage. Bonfire still likes garages and asks to go out into ours almost every day. I leave the windows of my Jeep open so he can climb inside and take a nap on the blanket in the cargo area.

Also as it turned out, Bonfire has chronic rhinitis and sneezes everywhere all of the time. And the litter box problem is actually a chronic elimination problem that we had been managing with psyllium but have had to rethink recently. Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind the unflavored Miralax we are now putting in his wet food.

The woman who had him before us is something of a control freak. Her house was immaculate. I’m sure the snot flying everywhere disturbed her a great deal. That more than anything else probably prompted her to wish to re-home him.

She also had him declawed. The vet who did it botched the job. From the top, his feet look more normal than the feet of most cats who have been declawed, but the vet did not remove enough of the first joint and the claws grew back completely deformed and awkwardly.

On his right front paw, the claws came out of the bottom of the toe leather on the middle two toes. You know, the pads on the bottom of his feet. On his left foot, they came out between the two middle toes. Bonfire has constant discomfort while walking. But it doesn’t stop him jumping off counter tops and the like.

Bernd and I discussed having the situation surgically remedied. We talked about it a lot. We researched it. In the end, we decided it would be more disruptive to Bonfire than leaving things as they were.

He also has an eating disorder. He won’t eat by himself. Either Bernd or I have to stand next to him while he eats. It’s the end result of a long list of changes in his behavior and how we subsequently treated him that began with an unfortunate and very painful (for my husband and me) encounter with a small Arizona King snake. Never try to pick up a cat when he is that extremely agitated.

What this all adds up to is a cat that is very difficult, in many ways, to manage.

Bonfire is the most affectionate cat that we have ever had. He is more like a dog than a cat. He wants to spend time near to us. He sleeps in bed with us, along with Maddie. He loves his dog and often climbs into chairs with her. She’s not nearly as enamored of him as he is of her however.

I love the morning light the best.

He loves to go outside. But we can’t let him out on his own. He’s an indoor cat that fancies himself to be a wildcat. He has no idea how to defend himself. He has no fear of anything. Dogs don’t bother him. Even before we got Maddie, dogs didn’t faze him. Not even really big ones.

Loud noises are a bother to him but they don’t scare him. He loves people. He’s a total idiot about how to care for himself outside the house.

Bonfire hates cameras but he is very photogenic.

So I go out with him and we wander around the yard. This morning, he settled down in one of his favorite spots under the birch tree in our front yard. The light was just right and I thought he looked so pretty and fine that I had to take a couple of photographs of him.

My blog is named for Maddie. But that doesn’t mean I love her more than I love Bonfire. Maddie has few faults and I love her unconditionally, but the lack of faults does make it easier. Bonfire has many issues, but I love him despite all of them. Even when he sneezes in my face at 1:00 a.m., waking me from a sound and peaceful sleep.

So. Here you go, Bonfire. This one is for you.

He’s basically a black cat with luminous green eyes. As he has aged, he has developed some dark chocolaty brown areas. He also has a white patch between his two front legs and a white patch between his rear legs.

I’m Annoyed

Not Being Annoyed is a Splendid Art - A Colorful Riot
acolorfulriot.com

There are a lot of things that annoy me. Honestly, I’d like to think of myself as a tolerant person. But the truth probably lies somewhere between those two statements. Maybe, sadly, a little closer to the first one.

Officer in school chokehold video fired - BBC News
bbc.com

Yes, police brutality is a problem. Yes, it’s been a problem for a long time. Yes there should be something done about it. No, I don’t know what to do about it. I acknowledge that I don’t have the answers and that an opinion without a solution is basically worthless, but that’s never stopped me having opinions.

Protests are fine as long as you know what it is you are protesting. Are all these people congregating unlawfully really sure what they are so angry about? Are they upset that it seems that black lives don’t matter? Or are they upset about police brutality? Because the latter is perpetrated upon all the various races. Or are they just upset at how police treat people of color and could care less about how the police treat the other races? Because if they really cared, their signs would be about the brutality and not black lives. That’s my opinion.

And all these people congregating to protest are risking spreading the corona virus, or catching it. Stupid.

So many protests begin with a desire to be peaceful but end up not remaining that way. Mobs of people have a track record of behaving badly. Anonymity and escalation of anger by close proximity are always going to create trouble. People should seriously think twice about engaging in such activity. Especially now with Covid-19 the problem that it is.

In the state of Arizona, since lessening some of the restrictions and with the gathering of protesters, there has been a one day increase of over a thousand confirmed Covid-19 cases.

I’m sorry, but looting is not a form of protest. Looting is a crime, pure and simple. The people doing the looting are using the protests as an excuse to behave badly. Very badly.

My husband just told me that somewhere, he didn’t remember where, a black policeman responded to a call about looting and the looters shot him and the black policeman died. I’d like to know the race(s) of the people doing the looting. Because if there were any black people in that group, then that was so supremely stupid as to be beyond belief.

These looters are harming others. They are harming their communities. So very stupid.

If you want all of humanity to behave humanely and with tolerance, then unfortunately, you can’t tolerate or condone in any way the behavior of these looters no matter what sort of spin the looters might try to put on it.

And as far as I’m concerned, all life matters.

And not just human life. All of it. Period.

Everything we do affects everything and everyone around us.

Everyone needs to remember that. Always.

Which is why I’ve had so many second thoughts about posting this. But in the end, my annoyance has won out.

Thanks for “listening.”

Tidying Up

Newly refinished bathroom cabinets. Bernd did a really great job. They look so nice.

We have oak cabinetry throughout our house. There have been times in the past when I got so tired of all the oak that I wanted to paint it all.

The interior doors are all cheap hollow core, but they are sheathed in real oak. And the door frames are oak as well. Adds up to a lot of oak.

A few years ago, I got so tired of the darkness of all that oak that I did paint the interior doors … but not the frames.

The doors to our bedroom and utility room. Imagine how dark that corner would be if the doors were still the natural oak. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ll admit I can be a bit silly about some things.

In any case, we’ve been in this house since November of 1993. It was completed in the middle of 1991. The cabinets have seen a lot of use and have badly needed some work for quite a while now.

Enter the corona virus and my husband out of work and they are finally getting the attention that they need.

Bet you’re wondering where this is all going. I sometimes have trouble getting to the point. My husband is often heard to say some version of “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can you get to the point?” It will usually be accompanied by a “hurry up” gesture of some sort.

My husband is not the tidiest person. He’s not dirty. He’s just a bit messy. Well, maybe more than a bit.

He has a fair amount of trouble with his attention. He’ll use something, stop using it, put it down and totally forget where he put it down because he was already thinking about something else. Things end up willy-nilly all over the house with little regard for where they actually belong. Yes, I have more than a little bit of that obsessive/compulsive disorder people like to talk about.

Plus, he just doesn’t have the same need to see things are orderly that I do. He has three drawers in our bathroom for all his stuff. They are always a total mess. Since some of “his” stuff is also stuff that I sometimes need to use, it makes finding that stuff really difficult.

Refinishing the cabinetry to the rescue.

In order to refinish the drawer fronts, he had to empty the drawers. He’s put everything back into them and for the time being anyway, they are all neat and orderly.

I wonder how long they will stay that way.

Okay. Yes. These are the insides of drawers and nobody sees them. Right? But I see them. When we were moving from the condo we rented, while buying this house, to this house, some friends helped us. We were pulling the drawers out of the bureau to make it lighter and one of them commented on how orderly all the drawers were, especially my lingerie drawer. I commented that it’s the only way I can easily find what I want when I want it. She said she just digs through her drawer until she finds what she is looking for. I shuddered at the thought.

This is our flatware drawer. With Bernd home 24/7, I have to straighten it out several times a day. I know what you’re thinking and it’s not very flattering. Sigh.

I’m sure that my husband doesn’t really care how the inside of his drawers look. That sounds kind of funny now that I reread it. Drawers being an old way of referring to underwear. I’m sure that he doesn’t mind digging through his drawers until he finds what he wants. Oh. That’s sounds kind of funny too.

On the other hand, he found some things he didn’t know he had. He also found multiples of things. As in bought it again and again because he didn’t know he had it. Sigh.

I am enjoying having my husband home 24/7. Really. No, really. But some things just aren’t as orderly as they might be otherwise. I never thought I’d be this person. So like my mom was. But disarray preys on my mind. Clutter makes me uncomfortable. As if the clutter is in my mind.

I like open spaces and clear counter tops. I like everything in its place.

Heave a big sigh for my husband.