Archive forMay, 2010

Keeping a tan

I’m nicely bronze when we’re in Florida. Not burned, not dried out, just nicely tanned. I love the look and even my dermatologist said we do something right, so I would love to keep that look twelve months a year.

For most of my life, I have lived in Michigan. Pasty white was the color of all skin ten months out of the year. We would tan a little in July and August before the tan started fading and we went back to no-color.

Now that John and I spend our winters in Florida and live in the pool, we are both a lovely, healthy tan at least six months of the year. I use sunscreen to avoid burning, I never lay out in the sun, but instead we stay in the shade and let the reflected sun tan us gently.

But after listening to all the discussions on TV about the dangers to skin of even being just moderately tan, I’ve decided to try using a “self-tanner.” It supposed to be a chemical alternative to the sun but your skin is supposed to look naturally tan without the possibility of sun damage.

Although I haven’t tried it all that long (about 10 days), I can’t see any difference. I don’t look gloriously healthy, and I don’t really like the smell.

I’ll keep trying. I spent my $$$’s to buy this product so I’ll give it a fair trial, but it doesn’t seem to work. I use it every day, often twice a day, on my face. The rest of my body is still nicely tanned from our time in Florida, so it doesn’t need the extra color, but since I have always used a SPF 30 in my daily face make-up regime, my face is totally untanned. The rest of me may look bronzed, but my face is “Michigan white.”

So I’m trying to match face to body. I read the reviews and Jergens seemed to have a reliable, relatively inexpensive product, but it has failed me. My face is still pasty Great Lakes no-color.

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Flexible Travel Plans

We’re undecided. The weather here is grand but next week in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it probably won’t break 60 (which is a tad cool).

Tomorrow here, he’s supposed to be over 90!!

Our plans were to leave for the U.P. immediately after the north-bound Memorial Day traffic had died down (which would be Sunday or Monday), but looking ahead, we see the weather in the U.P. isn’t going to be warm or sunny early next week. (Temperatures from Monday on range from a high of 65 to a low of 61. (Little temperature variance but all below average.) So we’re waiting to decide when to head north. There’s no rush. I would be happy to just stay home, but I know that we need to look in on our property (which was supposed to be a long-term investment in our future but we haven’t visited since 2008.

It now looks like Thursday the 3rd would work out ok and we’ll stay up north five days to a week. It won’t be hot, but acceptable. We don’t really need to be home until June 18th when we hold a Sub-Strings practice. We’re very flexible.


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I’m trying to become a Florida resident. We figure at least one of us should be able to vote in the Sunshine state. I want to be prepared with all the paper work completed before we head to Florida in September.

I have been reading up on residency requirements. I will need to file a “Declaration of Domicile.” One would think that means I will declare that we have a home and we/I live there a majority of the time. But here’s what I ran into. Talk about gibberish this is it!! (and if you don’t believe I quoted it exactly, you can check here and scoll to item 4 which is what is quoted below:

Section 222.17 Manifesting and evidencing domicile in Florida.-

(4) Any person who shall have been or who shall be domiciled in a state other than the State of Florida, and who has or who may have a place of abode within the State of Florida, or who has or may do or perform other acts within the State of Florida, which independently of the actual intention of such person respecting his or her domicile might be taken to indicate that such person is or may intend to be or become domiciled in the State of Florida, and if such person desires to maintain or continue his or her domicile in such state other than the State of Florida, the person may manifest and evidence his or her permanent domicile and intention to permanently maintain and continue his or her domicile in such state other than the State of Florida, by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court in any county in the State of Florida in which the person may have a place of abode or in which the person may have done or performed such acts which independently may indicate that he or she is or may intend to be or become domiciled in the State of Florida, a sworn statement that the person’s domicile is in such state other than the State of Florida, as the case may be, naming such state where he or she is domiciled and stating that he or she intends to permanently continue and maintain his or her domicile in such other state so named in said sworn statement. Such sworn statement shall also contain a declaration that the person making the same is at the time of the making of such statement a bona fide resident of such state other than the State of Florida, and shall set forth therein his or her place of abode within the State of Florida, if any. Such sworn statement may contain such other and further facts with reference to any acts done or performed by such person which such person desires or intends not to be construed as evidencing any intention to establish his or her domicile within the State of Florida.

What does that say????? I can’t believe the double-talk! Maybe our attorney can figure it out tomorrow.

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Sax Cure? (notice that in the first word it was an “a” not an “e”)

John had a CT scan and went to his pulmonologist Monday. She ran a breathing test which showed he’s improved considerably. The other great thing, the breathing test showed that a portion of his lung damage is still “reversible.”

He had a couple of new meds including a Symbicort inhaler and allergy meds added to what he was taking.

But we are wondering, how much of John’s improvement is a result of the medicines he’s been on and how much is because he’s learned to use his diaphragm to help him breath. His friend, George, was a music teacher, and he gave John a saxaphone and some basic instructions which included implementation of his diaphragm. When John used those techniques Monday, his scores soared.

He’s breathing better, but it may be because of the “sax cure.” When he mentioned that to the doctor’s assistant, she misheard and thought he’d said “sex.”

That might also work, but for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a saxaphone appears to help.

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Sad state of affairs

As you who follow this blog know, I include a lot about our trips to Florida, our trips to the U.P. and everything else we do.

I’ve been warned that I may be putting our residence(s) at risk by saying when we’re going to be gone. I guess that’s true, but I’d hate to think that I have to be secretive about what we’re doing. Heck, folks have always known the events we attend. We’re pretty visible. When we go to the dulcimer festival, yup, our house is empty.

What folks don’t know is that our neighbors are very conscious of our comings and goings. We have neighbors both in Florida and Michigan. They watch our places for us. And I think I’m going to look into a security company. it might be worth it for peace of mind.

I’d hate to have to avoid references to our locations. I love writing about geckos in Florida, and sitting by our lake in Michigan. I love to chronicle our trips up and down I-75. Yes, that tells readers where we are, but I don’t want to stop.

I think I’ll go call a security company. Sad, isn’t it?

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Wow Weather

It’s 73 degrees and breezy right now (10:00 a.m.). Predictions are for the high 80’s which is a tad hot for May in Michigan, but I’m NOT going to complain.

Yesterday John and I bought over-sized gravity lounge chairs to put on our deck so we can stretch out. I had purchased some huge plush beach towels which I have use to throw over the chairs so they are extra comfy.

I love the outdoors in Florida, especially under an umbrella seated near the pool. Why not here near our lake? I need to give it a chance. Of course there is a big difference. In Florida we go to the pool and enjoy the interaction with other folks. Here we’re isolated, but with a book and the wonderful weather, it should be lovely.

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Where’d my butt go?

It has warmed up here in Michigan and I’ve been dressing for the warmer weather with shorts and yesterday a swim suit.

Yesterday I noticed I’ve lost my butt. My weight hasn’t gone down, but I’m flat on the backside.

It’s no mystery. I found out where it’s gone. It’s pushed from back to front. I now have a belly in place of the butt.

Is this what happens to all 68 year old ladies? I could buy a pair of those “padded” panties but in a bathing suit the butt pads might absorb more water and having a butt one time and not another might not give the right impression … Naw!!!

Oh, well, as long as I suck it in (the belly) and stand facing folks, maybe no one will notice.

And my arms… they’re changing too. It’s like the skin is getting looser.

Old age definitely has some disadvantages but I am actually happier at 68 than I was 30 years ago. Guess I have to take the good with the bad.

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Domain Disaster

Yesterday I tried to access my website,, but I couldn’t. A call to Bluehost, my hosting company, confirmed that their server was having problems. When it didn’t come back up, I was informed that everything had been deleted from all of my sites. Bluehost worked to get everything running from back-ups and soon I saw that it was restored, but on further examination, I found everything was out-of-date by about a week.

I try to update my websites frequently. Any work I’d done over the past week or so had reverted to the older version. Thankfully I always try to save copies on my computer (and do back-ups of those files). It took a couple of hours, to update the affected sites:,, sharons-blog,, and I had to resort to restores from my trash can in a couple of instances but it appears everything is now working.

I did lose my email. Only mail since December, 2010, was included in the restored data. I generally save incoming mail on my computer, but sent mail is more difficult because of problems with the provider of my internet services.

Friday Update:
I discovered that the back-up which Bluehost loaded was older than I’d thought. Some parts of my website were restored to the middle of March!!! I have been working to get everything current. I hope anyone who discovers missing photos or out-of-date information, will let me know. It’s been a nightmare!

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Confessions of an “eBay Addict”

Earlier this week I wrote about my purchases on eBay. I gave lots of shopping hints. After I wrote that post, I started thinking about the great stuff that’s available on eBay and yesterday I went shopping.

I don’t do it often, but I’ve really let my eBay “addiction” take over. I took advantage of some fantastic deals and I’m sure I’ll be really happy with them.
The first purchase yesterday was a top with crochet accents (on the left). It was described as “CHICO’S green print w/ crocheted trim TOP.” Chico’s are pricy high-end items ranging in price from $70-$100. I spent $9.99 plus shipping. $4.08 in shipping. This is the one item I probably wouldn’t bid on, if I had it to do again. It is cute, but I could do without it.
Too Sexy Top
The second item was a tank top with a built in bra. (I haven’t included a photo because it’s pretty bland.) I’d been looking for an item like this for quite a while. I actually bid on this one early in the day and went with a bid that I hoped would win. The auction wasn’t up until evening. I had forgotten that I’d bid, and when I won it, I was pleasantly surprised. I got it for the minimum bid. This “tank top” or “cami” is a Carol Wior. I am sure I’ll love it and I got it for a bargain price of $9.99 with shipping of $5.00. I love camis with built in bras, that this one looks like it’ll be great. I have generally paid about $30 for one with a true bra built in (but not of this quality). Many times they are listed for more than $50.

The next item a little skimpy crocheted top (shown above at the right). It’s unique and all open work with the exception of the bra area, where it’s lined. Really a cute vintage item. I was looking at various items, and stumbled across this one. I got it for $4.25 but paid $5.95 for shipping. It was a bargain. Hope it fits. Sometimes these vintage items are hard to gauge and until I see it, I won’t know what will work “under it.”

carnation vintage top
The next item (shown on the left) was my big splurge but I’m sure it’s the one I’ll be happiest with long-term. It’s new but vintage (meaning it was stored away by a store or manufacturer for years.) It’s by a top crochet designer, “Lim.” Those items are always unique and high quality. The top’s design is called “Carnation” and it’s obvious why. There are lovely dimensional carnations. It’s truly a work of art. I did go over-board and spent $42.99 and the shipping was $4.95. The top is one of those that, had I lost out, always been remorseful. I’m glad I got it. This is a wonderful addition to my wardrobe.

Cute Suit!
The last item was one I bought late last night. It’s a bathing suit by Carol Wior and it’s cute cute cute, and “new with tags.” I started bidding when it was going for something like $14. I wanted it so I’d have another swim suit here in Michigan. I ended up paying $26.55 plus $3.48 shipping. Carol Wior makes the highest quality swimwear I’ve found. These suits sell on QVC for as much as $115 plus shipping, so I shopped wisely.

My items came to a total of $93.77 plus $23.46 in shipping. Did I get bargains? Yes!! Could I have spent that much just on one of the items? Yes!!

But now I’m having “buyers remorse.” I don’t usually go that over-board. My excuse, I wasn’t feeling well so I spent my time looking. I stumbled across those items and the rest is history. Actually I computed a rough total for what I’d have spent if I’d purchased these items the conventional way and I estimate at least $400 value. John doesn’t know I’ve purchased all these items. I’ll gradually let him know. He would never complain, and he feels I’m a great shopper.

I do have one pending auction. I bid on two pair of new-in-the-box SAS sandals with about 2″ heels. One pair is white, the other wine. My top bid is $15.99 (shipping will be $8). The two pair of sandals had a “Buy it Now” price of $60. The bidding stands at $10.01. The auction is up at 11:00 tonight. Since I bought so many items yesterday, I really would just as soon lose this one, but it is a great bargain. I will not raise my bid, no matter what happens.

The shoes I mentioned in my post earlier this week arrived today. They will be perfect, once I break them in. Glad I bought them because the ones they are replacing are shot, but I hope John isn’t keeping score.

Will I go on a shopping spree again soon? No, it’ll be months before I’ll feel I can even venture into eBay. I went over-board yesterday!



May 19, 2010

I fessed up to John. He knows what I spent. His attitude: “Hope you will enjoy everything.” He’s pleased.

Thank goodness for a great guy!

May 16, 2010

Everything except the swim suit has arrived. I love every item. There isn’t anything I wish I hadn’t bid on. Every purchase was better than I had imagined. The little crocheted top I refer to as “skimpy” was extra cute. The “carnation” top fabulous. The Chico’s top nice. The cami with built in bra is what I’d been looking for at three times the price I paid.

Love eBay!!


May 29, 2010

Got the bathing suit. It is WOW!! It’s the best I have. Carol Wior swim suits are better constructed than any others I’ve seen. They’re all fully lined, with extra layers in all the right places. They feel more secure and better built. They squish you in where you want to be squished and let you blossom where it’s nice to look more expansive.

So glad I bought it. For $26.55 plus $3.48 shipping, it’s a wonderful buy. If I went to a store, there’s no way I’d expect being able to buy suit like this for under $30! (Actually I wouldn’t expect a suit like this in a store for under $100 (probably more.) It’s better than I’ve ever witnessed anywhere else.

I am so pleased with my recent eBay purchases. I may have spent close to $100, but I would defy anyone to go to stores and buy items like that for less than three times what I spent… probably more, if they could be found. It’s great fun to know you are wearing true bargains.

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Hints for Shopping on eBay

Friends can’t believe that I buy most of my clothes on eBay. The trick is to buy “new” and stick with brands you have purchased before so you know how they fit.

I’m comfortable buying most anything on eBay. For instance I buy all my swim suits on eBay but usually I buy only the brand names I know because suits within a brand usually fit the same way. I love the Carol Wior swimsuits. They are fully lined and keep their elasticity after lots of time in the pool. I know what style suits me best, so buying a swim suit on line is definitely possible. Gottex styles also appeal to me, but they aren’t fully lined and sometimes they run smaller. I have several Miraclesuits, but find they eventually lose elasticity.

Things to watch for when shopping on eBay

I would recommend that before you bid on shorts or slacks, you do your homework. I suggest you spend some time shopping in stores and write down how different brands fit you. Shop for those same brands and styles on eBay. Restrict yourself to only those you’ve tried on. You will probably be able to get them for less than half price (sometimes as little is $.99) so it’s worth a little extra effort. (Create “searches” so you are notified when someone lists your favorites in your size.)

But the other method of finding a good fit for shorts or slacks is to measure a pair which you currently own to know exactly what size fits you best. Then request the exact measurements of the item for sale. Often the eBay listing won’t include this information, but ask the seller to lay the item flat and measure hip, waist, and the rise. (Rise is especially important and often forgotten.) Take into consideration the fabric. If the slacks you measure have stretch and you love them, don’t think a similarly measured pair with no stretch will work.

Do not shop by size unless you know how the brand fits you and even then, ask for measurements. I have made the mistake twice of going with a name brand in “my size” but not checking the measurements. In these two cases I was disappointed, the brand was one I had purchased but it was mis-marked. I should have asked measurements and I would have realized they weren’t true to size. Note: Often the seller has been able to buy the item cheaply because the size is wrong. Using measurements, you will find that the measurements will vary as much as three sizes.

And don’t be turned off because you need a larger size. I’m looking at a cute top on eBay which is a “large.” I usually wear medium, but this one says, “It is a size Large which fits a 36″ bust size. Fabric is stretchy, so it can easily fit a size up or down.” I would bet I’d need a “large.” Measurements are the key.

I said, “buy new,” but there are exceptions. I have purchased lots of crocheted tops that were pre-owned. If the item is clean and in good condition, it is often a good way to go. I wouldn’t recommend buying used knitted items but crocheted items of rayon or cotton seem to look like new longer. Many of the items which are listed as crocheted are actually knitted or even worse, they are created of fabric to look like crocheting. (Crocheting is an art form using a hook and yarn or thread. It can not be done by machine while knitting can be machine made.)

EBay is especially good for matching items that you love in your wardrobe. Example: I had purchased some capris on sale at Kohl’s which I loved. Unfortunately the next season that style was replaced by other styles I didn’t like as well. So I went on eBay and shopped by brand. It was easy to spot the style which I liked. I was able to buy them in several different colors. I knew how they’d fit. Right now I’m hoping to find some Koret capris which I already have but I’d like to duplicate in other colors.

Shoes are often great buys on eBay. Buy new. Shoes are pretty standardized in size. Generally a size 7N is a 7N. I have just purchased pair of shoes to replace some which I’ve worn out. They have served me well. I spotted some very similar (same brand) on eBay so I bought them. They haven’t arrived yet but I’m sure I’ll be happy.

With sandals, I have shopped by brand and style. Since I have very narrow feet, I usually try to buy only those with heel straps.

What wouldn’t I buy on eBay? I wouldn’t recommend flash drives from Hong Kong or any other foreign country. If you find a 128 GB flash drive at an unbelievable price, resist the urge to order it. It’ll come packaged to look like it’s a name-brand, but it probably won’t work.

Recently I bought some nice sized fresh-water pearl earrings for $.99 from China. I figured I wouldn’t be out much if they weren’t nice, but they are very attractive! Just make sure you buy from a seller with decent feedback. There is one pearl seller with nearly 5,000 sales in 12 months and only ONE dissatisfied customer. A string of freshwater pearls for under $10 is a bargain.

Be sure you watch shipping costs. If you get a great price, but pay high shipping, it’s no bargain.

Electronics can also be found at remarkable prices, but before you buy on eBay, google that same product and see how much it will cost and make sure it’s just what you want. Once you know what you want, often you’ll find an online price that is lower than on eBay. (I just found a battery for my new video camera at an unbelievable price. They were also available on eBay, but more expensive.)

I suggest that you create saved searches on eBay and check them every day. Don’t expect to find the perfect item immediately.

eBay is extremely safe. (I got a full refund for the flash drive which I bought from Hong Kong.) Always use Paypal. It’ll make refunds much easier.

I have also looked at items on (Haven’t purchased from them but especially used musical instruments appear to be good deals. Again, check shipping costs – they seem high on this site.

I have purchased many items which have been great deals on eBay. I purchased a service for 12 lovely Pfaltzcraft stainless 18/8 for about $50. Hand made Christmas placemats and table runner for about $15. I’ve purchased lovely handmade afghans, cellphones, cellphone batteries, my favorite perfume, bras. musical instruments, instrument tuners, glassware. I’m always looking for a bargain.

Have I been burned by a bad seller or a bum deal? Once I bought an HP printer which ended up not being what was described. I got my money back. Same is true of a cellphone which was advertised as new but had been set up with someone else’s passwords. EBay has gotten better about refunds. A month or two ago, I bought a flash drive which didn’t work and had my money back the same day I complained.

I have actually thought about running “classes” in Florida for folks who want to understand how to shop successfully on eBay. Might be a good idea, but then I’d be competing with these folks for the “hot items.”

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I did it again!!

Why why why do I continue to embarrass myself when dealing with the most legendary dulcimer player ever, Paul Van Arsdale?

In 2008, I got a call from a sweet older gentleman who said he was interested in attending our Evart Funfest. He didn’t identify himself and of course I had no idea who I was speaking with. We talked at length and I gave him the whole sales pitch about how he should attend and how there’d be lots of workshops that he could take. He could take a dobro or even a harmonica class.

“I already play the dulcimer,” he said softly. “I’m Paul Van Arsdale.”

I was speechless. I stumbled and stammered. I said, I’d do anything I could to help with his visit. Eventually, with the help of Bill Robinson, his good friend, we got his trip all straightened out and everything went smoothly. He loved his visit, and we adored him!!

Now, here it is 2010. Back about January, Bill Robinson contacted me and said that Paul wanted to return to our event. I assured Bill that I’d get Paul a room, and plans proceeded.

This a.m. I received a message that read:

“hi sharon, the days are quickly passing by to the evart festival. If you
have a confirmation number for the room for paul & myself if possible i
would like to have it. Just a reminder we will be arriving on wednesday
but we are departing saturday morning. thank you, bill….”

Because all of my dealings have been with Bill Robinson, I assumed the “Bill” who’d written the message was Bill Robinson. It wasn’t. It was Bill Van Arsdale. (I didn’t notice his email address which was wvanarsdale@… )

I replied back. I knew the motel was holding two separate rooms so I suggested that he (meaning Bill Robinson) should contact the motel and get things straightened out.

After I’d sent the message it hit me!

Paul Van Arsdale’s son is also Bill. He’d accompanied Paul in 2008. The message I’d replied to had gone to Bill Van Arsdale NOT Bill Robinson as I’d thought.


I immediately wrote a second message to Bill Van Arsdale and said, “Disregard the earlier message. I thought I was writing to Bill Robinson.”

I feel so dumb!!

I hadn’t noticed the email address. I had just assumed the message was from Bill Robinson. (Why didn’t he refer to Paul as “Dad” or sign his message Bill Van Arsdale?) I should have known because Bill Robinson never does email.

I’m feeling so incredibly stupid!!

The second message explained that the room is all set and gave the details, but that first message will totally confuse Bill Van Arsdale. (I’ll call him tonight.)

Just too many Bills.


Bill Robinson called me today and I told him what I’d done yesterday (above). He’s still laughing.

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Games people play

I’m an ancient “gamer.” I love word games and some number games. I was a Sudoku player before it became fashionable. I used to subscribe to word puzzle magazines and there were always one or two of those Sudoku-like games, but they had an extra challenge. As with Sudoku, you had to arrange 1-9 to fit in the nine horizontal rows, nine vertical columns, the nine small squares, but with those magazine puzzles, you also had to fit in two 1-9 diagonals.

In the 1980’s I had a little battery operated hand-held game which I played non-stop but I don’t know where it is. I’m not even sure how it worked, but I remember you had to guess the order of the numbers. As you guessed, your guesses added up. The object was to figure out the number, in the fewest possible guesses. When I had my brain tumor removed, that was the first thing I tried. It was my way of proving to myself that I was still as “sharp” as prior to the surgery.

I went through a period of time when I did “logic” puzzles. They really require concentration, and no-interruptions. I find them more frustrating that comforting.

I’ve never liked the word seek puzzles. They are just a matter of locating words that are “hidden” among other letters. They don’t hold my attention.

I find myself drawn to Bookworm (on Yahoo games), and games that came with my computer: Hearts, Solitaire, Freecell and Minesweeper. I’ve improved at Minesweeper but I’m only an average player with the other games. Freecell continues to challenge me.

I suppose, like reading, game playing can be considered a tremendous waste of time, but I’ve heard that stimulation of this type keeps away alzheimers.

Now I’m wondering where my little hand-held game is. Last time I saw it, it was in storage area, but I should pull it out and see if it still mesmerizes me.

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More rainy, cool weather

I talk about the weather a lot but it seems to control my life. I want to get outside and take in some fresh air but it’s been a really cold spring.

My favorite pass time is to take a book and read it outside. In Florida that means sitting under an umbrella near the pool, where we can see friends, and get in and out of the water to control our body temp. This spring in Michigan, the weather hasn’t been cooperating. Today it’s raining and in the mid 40’s. (We might get two inches of precipitation.)

So what can I do inside that will give me a feeling of accomplishment?

How about my promise to clean a room a day? Well…. I’m bad, really bad. I need to get disciplined. I should start with the guest area. It’s a mess. (We stored lots of stuff there when our new floors were being installed.)

But will I do it? It’s not fun. I am not really interested. Somehow housecleaning “accomplishments” don’t do it for me.

Maid. I need a maid! I need a housecleaning service.

I admire folks who have shiny houses and I’ve seen folks who love to clean, but that’s not me. And it doesn’t rub off on me. I want to be better, but I’m too old to re-train.

I’ll try.

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Unimportant observations


Today is Mother’s Day and John is going to take me out for dinner. It’s about 50 degrees. I’ll just wear a pair of slacks and a cute top. On my feet I’ll have sandals. Yup, despite the temperature I wear sandals.

Most of the time I’m barefoot when I’m in the house. It’s always been that way (winter or summer). Now that we’re in Florida during the winter months, I am barefoot even more. And when I wear shoes, they are almost always sandals. In fact, I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I wear regular shoes in a year. (Of course, at fancy dress-up ball or when we perform dressed-up I’ll reluctantly wear shoes.)

I have a good excuse. Our doctor friend, Dr. Doug, recommended a couple years ago that I wear sandals whenever possible to help my broken toe heal. The toe is now fine, but sandals have become my primary foot attire.

So today I’ll wear cute sandals. Glad it’s not snowing.


Shiny floors

I love our Brazilian cherry floors. We have noticed that they show the dust more than carpeting did. Especially with a white haired dog, it’s tough to keep the floors dust/hair free. We bought a little rechargeable carpet sweeper. No suction, just brushes that pick it up. It’s a handy little gaget.

For keeping it shiny, I use a damp terry cloth towel and buff it when I see a spot.

And speaking of shiny floors, I love my Swiffer Wetjet for the vinyl floors in the kitchen and bathrooms both here and in Florida. I wouldn’t use the Wetjet on wood (unless maybe with the new woodcare liquid jet fluid), but a Wetjet is sure is better than an old mop (and it smells nicer).


I have been putting off the start of the “scheduling of the workshops” for our big fesitval. I’m just not in the “concentrate hard” mood. I am kind of in a funky don’t-care wanna-be-lazy mood.


Cleaning Out

I’ve decided to get rid of my old computer which is in the “computer room.” I haven’t turned it on for about a year so it’s time to re-gain the space. I need to purge everything that’s on it. I sure don’t want to leave anything on it that could be recovered by someone else. Once it’s been reformatted, I’ll put up a “free for pick-up” Craigs List ad. I’ll even give it away with a print stand (which could be used as a small computer desk.)


Trillium Time

When I think of our place in the Upper Peninsula, I think in terms of what flowers are blooming. Right now the trilliums would be in bloom and the tiny dwarf lake iris. They’re beautiful, but it would also be black fly and wood-tick season.

We’ll wait about three weeks to go up. We’ll probably still hit the bugs, but they shouldn’t be as bad as right now.

In late summer (July-August), we enjoy wild raspberries and beautiful showy lady’s slippers. These are protected, delicate, rare, wild orchids.

Come to think of it, it would be wiser to wait until July. But since we didn’t make it up there in 2009, we are anxious to get up there and see if the place in intact.

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One of those days

Today in Michigan is “one of those days.” It’s too cold to dream of spending time outdoors and there’s a chill that seems to seep in. I’d like to build a big fire in the fireplace and feel cozy, but it’s really too windy and damp to build a fire. (The draft in the fireplace wouldn’t work well.) And since it’s rained for a couple days, the wood, which is outside, would be wet.

It’s “one of those days” which I dread when we leave Florida. I know there’ll be a few like this and they stick in your memory. It’s predicted that there’ll be a few snowflakes over the weekend.

We are both bored. We’ve talked about going “out to dinner” tonight, but John mentioned a big pot of chili and that sounds better than bundling up and going out.

I wish we had stayed in Florida an extra month. It’s 90+ in Sun City Center. That’s not “too hot” because we’d be at the pool.

I have work I could be doing.

I should get busy scheduling the workshops for the big festival in July. (Here’s the list of classes I’ll be arranging over 3 days – 8 hours a day with 9 areas simultaneously.) The past few days I’ve been getting everything ready to begin the process, but it only works if I can “shut out” all the distractions and I know that’s not today.

I sure don’t want to do house cleaning.

It’s just a lazy day.

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Beyond springtime

I mentioned in my last post how it was “springtime in Michigan” but obviously the date on the calendar doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spring. This weekend in Michigan it’s supposed to be winter again. The U.P. will have major snowfall. We had thought about going to our place in the U.P. but it looks like this was a good weekend to stay home.

Tomorrow we perform for a Mothers’ Day party at “the Pines,” a senior citizen complex. It should be a fun time for our dulcimer club. Our friends, the Conklins, will be attending and we’ll have a “good group.”

I hope John enjoys tomorrow. He’s gone through a few days of depression because of his health.

I admire his strength of spirit, but sometimes it’s hard to keep it up. Yesterday the FDA rejected approval of the first drug to treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis patients. It’s a disappointment.

Today I worked cleaning the kitchen. Is it spotless? No, but it’s better. I deep cleaned the major appliances (dishwasher, range, microwave, refrigerator). Stainless appliances are lots harder to keep looking flawlessly clean than I ever imagined — much, much, much harder than the old stuff we had before. I’m sure it’ll take another day or two before I feel that room is really up to snuff because there’s more that needs to be done, but I’ve got a good start.

I have explained that I hate housekeeping/cleaning but if I take small steps, I’ll get it done.

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The leaves are popping out, tulips are in bloom, redbud is actually past it’s prime, the geese with their two fluffy babies are strutting across our yard and John can hardly keep up with the growth of grass. It’s springtime in Michigan.

Unfortunately it’s been really windy so it’s hard to enjoy the great outdoors. Yesterday it got into the mid-70’s but the wind was terrific. Maybe this afternoon it’ll be nicer.

But in Michigan, weather is always changeable. It’s supposed to get down to 32 degrees Sunday morning!

I’ve been trying to master my new JVC HD video camera. It’s taken me a couple of days, but I think I understand it a bit better. Even though I was flustered, I like that sort of thing.

Finally I was successful posting a tune from the Original Dulcimer Players Club meeting: “Soldiers Joy” as played at May 1st ODPC meeting. I also moved all of the videos I’ve taken since March when I got the camera to my computer.

For some folks Spring cleaning is part of this season. My house could definitely benefit from a Spring shakedown, but I hate housework. Wish I had a maid. Some folks get great pleasure from a shiny house and I do too, but NOT if I have to do the cleaning. Since no one else is going to do it, I guess I should get busy. I am going to turn a new leaf. I vow to at least give one or two rooms per day a good cleaning.

Who am I kidding?? I’ve made a vow, but if it works like my promise to lose weight, I won’t be successful. It does look good when I put it down in writing, but I am not very good at sticking to my plans. Nevertheless I’ll try….Tomorrow.

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