Back in the 1960s we had a TV program in the UK called The Good Old Days. My Dad liked to watch it but I absolutely hated it. People dressed like Victorian Londoners and the artist performed music-hall skits. Those days may have been good but only if you looked at them with romantic rose tinted glasses.
This came to mind today as we passed a beautiful old Church about a mile from our home. It’s as old as the town itself with the first building dating from 1810.
Last Friday when we were coming back from the shops we saw a whole class of little kids stomping around the graveyard. It was cold and wet and miserable.
Today we saw another group doing the same thing under beautiful blue skies.
Just the luck of the draw on the weather but will the kids remember their field trip differently if they were frozen or roasting?
Aaron did this same trip as a fourth grader just as all the local elementary school kids do.
They get to dress in keeping with the era. Aaron’s nineteenth century gear if truth be told was a Jack Sparrow costume pretending to be George Washington! I’d bought it at the Disney Store on a business trip to NYNY some time before and it served for Christmas and several Halloweens. Man that was such a good investment!
Anyway, today when we saw the kids waltzing around the Church yard Krishna and I talked about all they learn on the trip.
They’d learn about the work people did and maybe do a little bit too!
They’d face the facts that back in the day children were lucky if they went to school for a few years. They’d find that the average life span was much shorter and that infections we treat as nothing today could kill.
They’d also learn the names that were common in the area at the time and where the founders of the district came from. They’d find out what the people ate that they’d hunt and grow a lot of their own food and fish in the river and draw water from a well.
Might be fun to dress up and pretend but good lesson learned that we have so much to be thankful for today.
Blessing # 338 – Things we take for granted
This afternoon I said to Krishna that I should have stayed in bed today. There was just one calamity after another.
The most significant was that both the front and back yard hoses were left out all winter and have now ceased to the tap. I broke the back yard one trying to get it off. So instead of power hosing all the patio and porch I had to scrub it.
While Krishna was trying to work a miracle on the hose with WD40 I thought I’d take down the screens on the back windows and clean that stupid bit between screen and window.
How I wish I’d left it alone. What a mess and what a huge job to clean up years of grime that had accumulated over years. Note please that it is now CLEAN!
Throughout all this I kept thinking of a post from my friend Jackie this morning. She asked how many of us remembered backing books at school. Oh yes for sure I do and what secrets that backing could hide.
One dear friend from school days, who won’t be named, gave innocent names to books that contained quite lurid subjects. If I recall correctly Lady Chatterly’s Lover was disguised as Kidnapped.
Just like the gunk between the screen and window today no teacher would ever have been the wiser to the content of that book unless someone removed the cover. No one ever did but we had some biology lessons in English class!
Makes you wonder just how many things are hiding beneath the surface!
Blessing # 337 – Undercover
It’s the season for the farmers all around us to plant their corn and beans. Right at this minute they are in a dilemma as to what to do.
A large percentage of the soy they sow is exported to China but the tariff tightrope that is ticking means beans may yield no profit. In the past four years the price of a bushel has already fallen from sixteen to just eight dollars!
The posturing of the politicians is puzzling for many including me. Having lived in China, albeit a long time ago, one thing I know for sure is that there is a mighty bubble in that country that is ready to burst.
The number of buildings that go up and are never occupied must equal at least the capacity of the steel mills in the rust belt of the USA.
All the checks and balances of the global economy are scary but if China shakes it we will be an earthquake for all of us.
With the stock market plunging let’s hope the bears teeth don’t ever get too close to that bubble or we’ll be eating the beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Blessing # 336 – Commonwealth and Common Sense
Ohio can be prone to late frost so the rule is don’t plant annuals till Mother’s Day comes. Well the big day is here and I’m raring to go but it’s very nippy still.
My Mum was a great lover of marigolds. Each spring, in between the bushes, she’d fill the whole front garden with them that looked like a carpet in summer.
Maybe because of this overdose of orange from back then I’ve never been a great fan of marigolds until recently when I discovered that they are one of the few plants the deer don’t devour.
They also ward off other critters that might be known to nibble too. So this summer we’re going with the giant variety and will combine the marigold minefield with other deer detractors such as the pungent smelling salvia. Last year I had some success with mint as a deterrent and its back in profusion already. This is going to be a mighty fortress!
Benefits are not limited though to keeping the bucks back! Both marigolds and salvia should bring on the butterflies. To be sure we have plenty of flying colors a few coreopsis are going in too.
Now all there is to do is wait for the warmth to return and get digging.
For today though a snuggle with the furball is on the cards while Dad does dinner.
Blessing # 335 – Itchy Fingers
Today inside the prison where I volunteer a speaker talked about anger.
Its something that touches all of us at some time. Some have short fuses other simmer and then explode. The older I get the shorter my fuse has become.
We talked today about what you can do to help manage anger. The resounding consensus was that if you can you take some time out.
This made me think of one of my favorite confectionery products a chocolate coated biscuit called a Breakaway. We don’t have them here in the USA but in the UK they are a regular feature of the lunch box.
We all ate them at school and it was so relaxing and comforting to nibble off the chocolate all round the biscuit before biting into it. Truly a great stress relief.
This time out gives a moment of relaxation and a time to pause and think.
In dorms filled with hundreds of women a little break away alone is a luxury that’s difficult to find.
Maybe something that we who can should appreciate, practice and relish a little more.
Blessing # 335 – Time Alone
Our Dibley is celebrating his 11th birthday today. He has brought great joy to our lives and Aaron can hardly remember a time when he wasn’t around.
When he came home to us he was literally a furball and we stood on him so many times it’s a wonder he walks at all.
He chewed up many things from carpets to curtains. Once he even ate my friend Laura’s new pyjamas while she was wearing them. Now that he has matured he limits himself to shredding socks and taking BIG BALL for a walk.
What a well traveled furball he is. Born in France he rode in the car to Switzerland when he was just three months old.
He has also been on the channel tunnel train to England, seen Big Ben, crossed by boat from Scotland to Ireland and flown across the Atlantic in a jumbo jet all before he turned three.
Since then he has taken vacations in eighteen different states and was even once mistaken for the famous Bo Obama while strolling down the Mall in Washington DC.
A pampered pooch is an understatement! He is quite naughty and demanding when it comes to table manners and barking to get his treats.
He is currently something of a medical challenge too with his Cushing Syndrome. His doctor is working to stabilize that and he even got a birthday card from his animal clinic this morning.
We love him so much and are very grateful that he has been such an important part of our lives for all these years. May he have many more happy returns.
Blessing #334 – Fourpawed Family
Krishna is a very patient person and also a perfectionist. We are in many ways polar extremes.
A good example of this is when we are out shopping. He will examine details like sell by dates or the quality of each piece of produce whereas I’ll just grab and go.
At times this results in my being less than gracious. If I’m in a rush I can snap at Krishna to hurry up!
Patience though is really valuable when it comes to cooking and for sure this is why he has a reputation as a great chef. He takes the time to get the balance just right. Looking forward to my smoothie lunch that he’s blending right now. Made with his homemade yogurt, ripe mangos and bananas.
Patience is also critical in keeping books in any business. So while I was out yesterday he got to work preparing the inventory of all the little items we put up for sale.
Had I done this it would have been a very rough and ready scribble but what he has done is quite beautiful. It is almost a work of art. Priceless!
Blessing # 333 – Best Supporter
A few weeks ago at our Tuesday Morning Group we were talking about taking risk and « stepping out of the safety of our own boats »
Krishna and I are not adverse to adventure having moved around a lot but there has never been much risk associated with this as we were always well protected and taken care of by our employer.
Today we placed a bid on a little house in an area of Columbus that is the focus of revival. The area was a fine place in the 1920s but went through a very rough patch more recently. It has had a bad reputation but is progressively improving and the mayor is committed to turning it around.
Another item on my bucket list is to do a house flip. You may recall a few months ago we’d hoped to flip that big old Victorian house into a guest house. Well that was ambitious and fortunately perhaps fell through.
Just like starting small with the glass cabinet store what better place to start than with a cute cottage. There is only so much roof and only so many windows in need of change!
Best offers are due in by the end of today so we took the risk of going in a bit below asking price and we’ll know by Friday if we are successful.
As the house needs just about everything you can imagine done to it this will be a good testing ground for tradesmen.
With school holidays approaching I’ve an idea where they might find a strong young laborer to help and a slightly more mature apprentice painter too!
Blesssing # 332 – Stepping Out
A feeble fifth of what has been purchased over the past months was packed into the car today and taken to the shop for sale.
Felt a little guilt about this step. It’s a bit like the little piggy who went to market. How do you choose which goes first?
With Mothers Day this Sunday the selection was made on the basis of what might appeal to Mums. Since I didn’t have access to a focus group, and the friends I did ask didn’t answer me, more precisely this means what appeals to one Mum, me!
Krishna ever patient and helpful came along and helped set up. He deserves a medal. Must look out for one for him!
In spite of my pledge not to overload it the little glass case is now packed to the gills. Some pieces were too tall to squeeze in so they got pride of place on top.
It will be tempting to keep visiting to see if anything is moving but must resist. Have to learn that understanding the market takes time and when you have hundreds of people doing the same thing competition is stiff.
Better instead to feel content that this step has been taken and to prepare for the next major opportunity Fathers Day.
This is tough as all we ever buy poor Krishna is a book, whiskey or aftershave. Anyone with ideas on what Dads might like will be richly rewarded!
Blessing #331 – Bucket List Tick
P.S. the Pink Lightbulb is NOT Mine
Oh so very happy for Prince Harry and his beautiful Princess Meghan. Those of us who were on the planet in September 1997 cannot fail to remember that little twelve year old as he took that very long last walk with his beautiful Mum.
Now he has his own Princess and they have their own little baby Prince to take care of and what a special baby this is.
The first biracial baby in the British Royal family and the first eligible to one day be President of the United States should he choose.
As we heard this news we were sorting through the treasures accumulated over the past months. It was indeed laborious getting all the items sorted out. The news on the baby helped. You gotta get things in perspective!
Starting at nine and ending at seven it took a little more time than anticipated but the result was satisfying.
All we need to do now is watch and see how this baby grows up!
Blessing # 330 – New Life