Masking for a friend

Crossing the finish line

I am so close to resolving my window shade problem.

For several months, I battled Hunter Douglas and Home Depot for replacement of defective shades.

Four of the five shades fell apart and could not be repaired.

I paid a workman to take them down and bought temporary paper shades to cover my windows and protect my furniture and hardwood floors from the blazing sun.

So, instead of custom shades from Hunter Douglas in my living room, I had paper shades. Really sad!

Continue reading “Crossing the finish line”

Beans

I love black beans.   

I  buy small containers of black beans from a local Cuban restaurant. 

They are  good but expensive.  Plus, the restaurant is far away, adding the feeling of a pilgrimage to buy them.  

I could eat one container in one sitting, but I stretch the beans by adding them to burritos, salads, or rice.  Sometimes, I do eat them plain.  They are so good.  

Yesterday I decided I would break the cycle and cook my own black beans from scratch.

Dried organic black turtle beans sell for $3.99 a pound at my grocer, less than the cost of one small container of cooked beans.  

I approach this with trepidation. 

I have not had good luck cooking black beans.   Probably too much liquid or too little attention to the beans as they cooked resulting in mushy, flavorless beans.

To begin this rustic cooking journey, I measured one cup of dried beans and soaked them overnight in the refrigerator.  

This morning I rinsed them and tossed any questionable beans.  

While the beans drained in a colander, I toasted cumin, smoked Spanish paprika and a few chili flakes for less than a minute.   The smell was incredible.

Then I added the beans and water, bringing them to a boil.

Now they are simmering with the lid halfway over the pot, a compromise to covering or not covering the pot.   

Wish me luck!

A little spirit

A true story.

A five-year old girl grabbed her Dad’s whiskey and tried to gulp it down like the cowboys do in the westerns.

Furious, her Dad yelled, “Don’t spit it out! Swallow it!”

With tears in her eyes, she choked it down, gagging and crying.

Not a nice Dad in my opinion.

The little girl is now a grown woman with grown sons of her own.

She is a great mother.

Her Dad was always tough with his three children.

He was still alive when she told me this story. More than once I witnessed him being mean to his children and grandchildren.

I was not intimidated by him and found the presence of mind not to respond when he tried to bait me.

But when he was mean to my children, I put on my boxing gloves.

I stood up and went over to my children. I took them each by the hand.

I ignored the old man.

I spoke loudly and firmly to my little boys. I told them that he was a bully and that they should ignore him.

Having said that, I glared at the old man. He said nothing.

Even to this day my grown sons will laugh about the time Mom “took on this old man”.

It was a departure from everything I had been taught about treating my elders with respect.

Years later, thinking about his behavior still makes me angry.

My friend never had a good relationship with her father.

She is a wonderful artist and a really kind person.

A small victory

Another foggy cold morning.

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee enticed me from my warm bed.

It felt wonderful to enjoy a cup of hot coffee while sitting in front of the fire in my living room.   It was still dark outside and so quiet. 

A long leisurely morning was not in the cards as I had to leave early for the gym.

Driving there I noticed that my tire pressure readings were 32 per tire.  

I know very little about tire pressure but I was nervous because 35 is the recommended tire pressure.  I could just see me with a blow-out waiting for AAA on a really cold morning.  

Also, I had planned a quick jaunt down the freeway later in the morning so this had to be resolved before I left home again.  

At the gym my trainer worked me very hard as she was leaving for Japan for a couple of weeks.  This took my mind off the problem.

Back in the car, one tire pressure had risen to 33…some improvement.  Still, this was not enough to risk driving on the freeway. 

So, driving home from the gym, I stopped by the local Shell station.  As the attendant filled my tank, I asked her if she could help me put pressure in my tires.  A skill not in my repertoire!

Long story short, she was so gracious and helped me fill all of the tires.  I learned how to use the machine…easy peasy!   I was so grateful to her!  I felt so empowered!

This was a little victory that had a big impact on my day.  It was a joy to drive knowing that my tires were fully inflated!

~Photo from Pexels.com~ This is not me. I dressed in warm layers and sensible shoes on this cold day.

What’s the big deal?

What’s so hard about wearing a mask?

I wear one while exercising at the gym.

I wear one dining in a restaurant until my food is served.

I wear one in my drawing class.

Wherever I go, I am happy to do my part.

I don’t like wearing a mask but I accept wearing it for the greater good.

I wish everyone else felt the same.

My black hole

You don’t have to be a physicist to identify a black hole.

Nor do you have to be a scientist to deal with one.

All that is needed is determination and resolve.

I think. I hope.

Continue reading “My black hole”

A small investment

My thanks to the kind person who wrote this note.

P.S.

This is the rest of the story for those who read my “Pretty Cool” post.

The Google Assistant worked perfectly.

It made my restaurant reservation for the correct time, date and number of people. I could not have done it better myself.

The young person who showed me to my table was amused that I was nervous about a computer-generated transaction.

Oh well.

And no, Google did not pay. Darn it!

Pretty cool…

I am blown away by the fact that I made dinner reservations tonight with my Google Assistant.

Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com

I told Google the name of the restaurant, how many people, the date and time.

Google did the rest. I received updates every fifteen minutes informing me that they had not been able to reach the restaurant but would keep trying.

Finally, within an hour, I received an email from Google confirming my reservation.

I was impressed.

Tomorrow night will be the test.

Hopefully everything will go well.

If so, I will feel comfortable using the Google Assistant for other appointments. No more waiting on hold!

Brave new world!