Two Leaders I Disagree With

Today was a big day for two men I have little respect for, Boris Johnson and 45. Brexit took effect and the U.K. left the EU today. I am not sure Johnson and the Brxiteirs really have a handle on how this is going to workout for the U.K. in the end it might end up being the Ununited kingdom as Scotland might finally say we are going to take it anymore to England and Ireland might reunify and do the same to England. That would leave England with little ‘ole Wales and that is just not much of a Kingdom.

Be careful what you wished for Johnson. You might be making yourselves less and less relevant and not have the bargaining power to play with the big boys. It all makes me so sad as I love a lot about the U.K. as I lived and worked there for years, but taking your ball and going home may mean you don’t have anyone to play with.

Then there is the Senate who is not going to do their job and have a real trial and call witnesses. The Senate has laid down for Trump further allowing his out of control power to grow.

He was not going to get removed from office through impeachment because the Republican Senators were too afraid of Trump and his bullying ways, but they should have at least heard Bolton.

Two men I have little respect for have succeeded, but just for today. Things can change.


Shay, The Fellowship Dog

Shay has had a big week at Church. See, Church is her favorite place. If we are at home and I ask her if she wants to go out she usually just looks at me and won’t budge. If I say, “Do you want to go to church?” She runs down stairs to the garage door and keeps jumping until I open the door.

This week Shay has gotten to attend a Fellowship Hall building committee meeting Monday, another meeting with Chris, our pastor and Sharon our business manager yesterday and then today a building meeting with the hardware rep and architects.

Shay’s entrance into the mission center is pure exuberance. She bounds into Sharon’s office and greets her then turns to go back to the front desk to see Barb Schmidt since they are two of her favorites. If there are any church members in the halls she will gladly stop and say hello, never refusing a snuggle or pat on the head.

Today a bible study was going on in the parlor and Shay decided to join them for a while. Saundra Atkins was particularly happy to have her there. Shay roams the main floor of the mission center going from meeting to meeting spreading joy. Thank goodness Westminster is a dog friendly church since Shay is going about without me as I am in a meeting.

She usually comes to me when she has said hello to everyone and jumps in my lap and puts her head on the conference room table. This is her main position in Ways and Means meetings. If only she could go to a church services. I think she would very much like to hear the choir and would gladly go to the front for the children’s message.

For now she is just going to have to remain a committee member and head fellowship dog and greater.


Seven Month Kitchen Re-do Done

A year ago I decided I was going to paint my seventy year old knotty pine cabinets. This under taking was not taken lightly. I thought about it for years. I Love the layout of my kitchen and especially liked my seventy year old stainless steel counters. My appliances are great so I did not want to tear my whole kitchen up.

All this being the case I decided that I was capable of painting my cabinets myself. I waited until the fewest people were going to be home and on July 1, mere moments after putting Carter on a flight to London for her summer study I was dismantling my kitchen. It took me fourteen full days to do the job.

I waited until I had finished painting before I began my search for a new back splash. I needed to see what the white looked like first. So, in the middle of July, I began my search for a new back splash. It took only a few weeks before I found a tile I loved. Hand made in California meant it was going to take a while to get it.

It took over six months. Just before Christmas my wonderful tile guy, Jim Parker called and said it was in, but he couldn’t come until this week. It was worth the wait. Jim, his brother Rudy and other workers descended on my house and today they finally finished grouting and cleaning my new tile. My kitchen is done and I have to say I am thrilled with how it turned out.

Next up the front hallway wall paper. I am going to have to spend some time thinking about this one. Seven months seems about right.


Carter’s Good Deed

It’s a rare January weeknight that Russ and I go out to dinner, but the St. James just reopened after being closed for nine months due to the gas leak explosion and we have missed her. If you are a fan of the St. James it is exactly the same so run on over for dinner.

While Russ and I were seated I got a FaceTime call from Carter so I took it. I know it’s rude to answer your phone in a restaurant, but we were in a very private corner and the noise level was loud enough that no one knew I was on the phone.

This is how the conversation started.

“Nothing is wrong, but I made my first 911 call tonight.”

Thank god I taught her well enough to start with “nothing is wrong” otherwise I would have been a wreck.

Turns out that as Carter was walking home from work she witnessed two young men in a Honda hit a parked car hard enough that it pulled their bumper off. Carter reported that they got out of their car and looked like they we going to leave a note, but decided not to and picked their bumper up and put it in the back seat, sticking out of the open window and drove off. Carter took note of their license number. I asked her if she wrote it down and she said, “I didn’t have to it was 1ABC69.” They were young men after all.

Two other people walking on the street witnessed this and Carter, being a law abiding citizen was outraged for the poor owner of the parked car, whom she does not know. She dialed 311 which is the non-emergency police number and the operator told her that she needed to hang up and call 911 like she won the crime reporting lottery.

Since this happened right in front of her building Carter went into her apartment and called 911 and reported the crime. The dispatcher took the information and told Carter to write a note and tell the owner what she saw and that Carter had reported it and the owner needed to call the police and report the hit and run also.

Carter sent me a photo of the note she left on the car. I am proud of my madam-law-and-order child. It would be easy to just ignore the whole thing as a bystander, and not consider how horrible it is going to be for the car owner when they come out and find their wrecked car.

I hope that Mr. 1ABC69 realizes how having such a stupid vanity plate got him in trouble as well as leaving the scene of an accident.


Never Forget

Today was the day my back splash I have been waiting seven months for was installed. It’s not actually done. It is all up with spacers still between the tiles. The grouting will happen Wednesday and that is when I will actually unveil the whole thing.

I hired a great tile guy who came today with his brother, his cousin and a helper named Jorge. Jorge did all the heavy lifting and toting back and forth to the trucks, mixing the mortar. The four of them worked from 8-3 to get the job done. This is one reason I decided to hire a professional rather than do it myself. After fourteen days of painting I can only imagine how long it would have taken to tile by myself. Plus, I am afraid of the tile saw.

After cleaning my office while they tiled I finally game myself a break and went to work on my giant ass puzzle. I was sitting in our big room listening to the tile guys talk while I searched for the missing piece. Jorge, who is from a Mexico, was talking about going to a soccer match. One of the old white guys asked him if his father was going to go with him. Jorge said, “No, he is too afraid.”

The white guys said, “What, that’s crazy.”

Jorge didn’t say anything else about it that I could hear and they all worked silently for a while.

I got to thinking how terrifying it must be to be in this country as a foreigner right now. Later I was watching the news about this being the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. An old Jewish couple who both survived the camp and later met and married were being interviewed. The woman talked about how they emigrated to America and the feeling they had when they saw the Statue of Liberty. She talked about how this was the greatest county.

I do believe that we have the capacity to be that same country again, but not in the Make America Great Again theme. We are a country of immigrants and we should not forget it. We are stronger when we are diverse. No one should be afraid to go to a soccer match. No one should live in the shadows.

The tile guys needed Jorge. He made their work go easier. They could concentrate on what they did best because Jorge was here.

We can never forget Auschwitz and how a duly elected official was able to wipe out 11 million innocent people while others stood by. It can happen again as long as we allow our government to put children in cages. We can never forget and keep our eyes open now. No one should be invisible.


Surprise Grout Cleaning

I can’t remember exactly when Russ and I redid our master bathroom. For years we suffered with the original 1950’s Grey tile, tub and double sinks. The sinks were big, but had no storage as they were Grey porcelain on silver metal legs. Russ wanted us to do a major bathroom renovation and increase our footprint. I thought there was a more conservative way that did not mean I had to lose my closet.

I went about designing a glass shower with no curtain and getting two smaller square bowl sinks that I put on top of a narrow wood console. The faucet came out of the wall so the sinks could be snug against the wall. These few changes made our tiny master more livable and I have been happy with it for the last fifteen or sixteen years.

In all that time we have had the original grout in the shower. It has held up great, but I am always on the search for the best cleaning product to keep the grout white. The caulking on the edge is my worst nemesis. It has yellowed and I think it is time to pull it out and redo it. My tile man who is coming tomorrow to do the kitchen does not want anything to do with the caulking.

Today in my regular cleaning of the bathroom I tried a new way to clean the caulk, which has yellowed, Oxi -Clean. Yes, the stuff I use in the laundry. I made it into a paste and put it on the caulk on the edges of the shower floor. I was trying to get that caulk a little closer to the white grout color, but that too had yellows, just not as much. After scrubbing the edges with an old tooth brush I rinsed the shower floor. To my surprise the Oxi that had been on the edges flowed over the grout on the floor and whitened the grout without any scrubbing.

I am still going to have to remove the old caulking and re-caulk, but the floor looks brand new. It was just a mistake that I stumbled upon this, but if you want to clean old grout try Oxi-Clean. And no, Oxi-clean isn’t paying me a cent for this, but they really should advertise it.


Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s my Mom’s 82nd birthday. She won’t mind my telling how old she is because she looks damn good for her age, but then again she has always looked good.

Unfortunately she is not feeling well on her big day as she has been sick all week. Please send prayers for a quick recovery. She isn’t good laying low. It means she can not do all the things that keep her the most active person her age. She can’t paint or play bridge or walk the mile long farm road which are things she does everyday if she can. It’s too cold to swim, which she does everyday when it’s warm.

She can read one of the many library books she has sitting by her bed. She can’t stand to ever buy a book when you can get it for free from the library. Since it’s Saturday she can’t watch the stock market and make some trades. But if she feels up to it she can always iron. She has a strong feeling that she was an upstairs maid in a past life for she loves to wash and iron.

I find this hysterical since she ruined a load of my clothes when I was a child and told me, “If you don’t want that to happen again you should wash your own clothes.” I did after that, but she could have just told me it was time for me to do my own laundry. I did not inherit the love of washing and ironing so she may be right about her past life. I must have been the cook in my past life.

Mom, does not like to use punctuation or capitals when emailing or texting. Except for using a comma as an apostrophe, but never as a comma. This is hilarious to me because she is such a grammar freak.

So Happy Birthday to my Mom. I used a lot of capitals there just because she wouldn’t. I also used an apostrophe as an apostrophe, just to remind her that it comes on a standard keyboard. I wish you many more years of painting, bridge, a bull market and all the best books to be in stock at the library.