Monday, December 11, 2023

Moody Monday: Laugh, Cry, feel real emotions 25

Thirty odd years ago, when Sweet Bear and I first met, I was having a rough patch and he offered the following advice, "if you can't remember the last time you laughed, it has been too long." I knew he was a keeper at that point. Doc Spo says that watching an old Marx's Brothers Movie is often as helpful as a prescription, and cheaper, his favorite is Duck Soup.   

So wear the silly T-shirt, watch the comedy, or offbeat show.  You Tube is filled with short videos of classic comedians - I was watching those on the treadmill in the gym one morning recently, laughing out loud with headphones on so I didn't realize how loud I was.  A neighbor came over and said, I need to watch what you are watching. 

I get emotional watching movies, there are times when I feel so much better for having cried through a movie.  Maybe it is feeling, maybe it is chemistry, but at time I really need to re-watch "On Golden Pond" to feel what living a long and full life is all about.   

When life is boring, so something, see something, read something, hear something, that moves you.  It is good for you. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Sunday Five: Veggies 26

 1: What would you do with the turnips above? 

2: Do you cook cauliflower? 

3: Do you buy pre-sliced mushrooms or slice your own? 

4: Have you ever prepared Kohlrabi? 

5: Should an organic farm be using plastic totes? 

My answers: 

1: What would you do with the turnips above?  Just one, peeled and cubed added to a soup or stew. 

2: Do you cook cauliflower? I like it roasted or gratined. 

3: Do you buy pre-sliced mushrooms or slice your own? I slice my own, and think ill of people who are too lazy to slice a mushroom. 

4: Have you ever prepared Kohlrabi? I asked at the west end farmers market one day, and the advice was peel the outside, shred it like cabbage and make slaw, I did it is so good. 

5: Should an organic farm be using plastic totes? At least the totes are reusable, I would prefer wood. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Bonus question: What is weird about the image above? 

The spam filter is going nuts this today, I will rescue you as soon as I can.  All comments today have gone to spam.  Either Google is having a bad day, or the spammers are fighting back trying to get their garbage on our blogs.  

Saturday, December 09, 2023

The Saturday Morning Post: Useful or Useless Things I have Learned Along The Way 27

There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. I was wandering out at Mt Vernon and walked through this field in the lower farm,  It is about 200 feet wide and about 1,000 feet long, it is about 5 acres, every 217 feet at that width is an acre. I learned the 43,560 fact back in 1978 for a licensing exam, and it stuck. 

Accretion and discretion describe the gain or loss of property, when the property line is set by the a watercourse, and the course of the river or stream changes over time. Historically the border between Virginia and Maryland was the eastern shore of the Potomac River, that shore line moved, and Virginia filled in along the shore.  It was settled with a firm line by agreement.  This obscure rule made my father money when he sold the farm to the neighboring farmer. The buyer knew the creek had shifted and that technically we owned several acres of what had been his land.  He bought dad out for a premium, and surveyed the line setting it on solid land, and resold what was left a couple of years later.  

Most US States have marketable record title acts, that set a time limit on claims of ownership in land. In some states it is as short as seven years, and you snooze you lose.  A few states have no time limits, leading to some interesting litigation. One of my law school professors made a small fortune finding and litigating these claims. 

What do you know, that other might think is a useless fact? 



Friday, December 08, 2023

Fabulous Friday: Designer Brands 28

I no longer really care about fashion, I dress to make the best of what I have to work with, but not to impress.  Over the years I have owned some designer clothing and shoes.  All of it was flash.  Some of it was of superior quality, but much of it was just an expensive label sewed onto a good quality but not special item.  

Would you cross the street in the dark for Chanel? 

Thursday, December 07, 2023

The Thursday Ramble: Reach Out And Touch Someone 29

A dear blogger added me to his morning text list, every morning, when he should be getting another hour of sleep, he sends out a daily greeting to a list of friends and family.  And I reply, when I wake up, sometimes after I am at work.  Often with the selfie of the day.  When I visited my sister she got to talking.  After her husband died, one of his ex-es said we should stay in touch, you will need human contact, I will add you to my daily morning text messages. When I returned home, I added my sister to my morning list.  It is simple and easy to do.  

I send occasional, long chatty emails to people.  A couple of bloggers are on my list, people I have gotten to know.  Sometimes I get a short reply, sometimes a long reply, sometimes no reply. Really email is my favored way to communicate when we can't be in the same place.  

A couple of years ago, I tried sending letters, you know paper, envelopes, and postage stamps. I put them on my goal list for the year. I enjoyed writing them.  People indicated that they enjoyed receiving and reading them, but there were few if any responses in kind.  I hate to think that letter writing is dead, but it is certainly an endangered art form. 

I am not good at phone calls.  I ran a telephone hotline for ten years.  Over 12,000 times I answered the phone with "thank you for calling, please tell me all of your troubles" and I burned out. I cringe at the sound of a ringing phone. And honestly cell phones, smart phones, make lousy phones to hear and be heard on.  After 15 years, maybe a good therapist could help me overcome this.  

I was a latecomer to text messages.  And I am still not a big text user.  My sister lives on them, I check them maybe once or twice a day. 

We are all to often alone in the tree, looking for contact, looking to reach out and touch someone.  Send the text, send the email, make the call, meet someone for coffee or a drink.  Do it this week, make a habit of it.  

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

My World of Wonders aka The Wednesday Ws December 6, 2023. -30

What surprised the crap out of me? My office team, organized a surprise retirement party, with about 30 people saying kind things, and food, and a nice gift.  I had no clue, I went for a meeting and there were two dozen people in the room, and. dozen more online.  

Where have I been this week? The office, the optician, our first Friday dinner with LGBTQ neighbors, first Saturday community coffee, Kennedy Center, the gym, and a long walk or two.  

Who have I seen this week?  The team in the office, neighbors Elaine, Ruth, Anna, Susan, and Rafael - a quiet week.  

What did I spend money on? I paid for the cruise, coming up in the spring.

When am I taking a break for the Holiday? Starting on Friday December 22nd.  

What have I been watching? The Pethericks are reassembling a church organ,  landscaping at the chateau ruin, and Chris is starting another epic journey in Japan.

What is in balance this week? I am still getting some work done, I have a couple of project to wrap up, I am sending Erica a steady stream of how to do things emails, and I am becoming more relaxed about taking a break. I have gone the gym first thing in the morning and fitted the day's work in after it, rather than trying to squeeze the gym into what is left at the end of day's work.  Take care of yourself first. 

What am I thankful for this week? My sweet bear, and all of you. 

What pissed me off this week? The injustice of poverty programs designed to perpetuate poverty rather than give people a chance at financial security. 

Who deserves a big THANK YOU this week? I have received over 100 emails congratulating me on my retirement plans, and saying kind things about the work I have done.  Thank you to every one of them. 

What made the room laugh? I made a comment that I was going to enjoy becoming a grumpy old man, and they responded with laughter an "BECOME!"

What is the bargain of the week? NCL Cruise Line is moving a ship from Southampton to Miami in January, they are offering balcony cabins for like $650 per person, with an open bar.  12 nights at sea, no port calls.  If your schedule is flexible and you always wondered what two weeks a sea would be like, this is a bargain. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Travel Tuesday : Autumn Walk in Dyke Marsh 31

During Covid, Dyke Marsh became my refuge.  It is less than a mile as the eagle flies from home, on the shore of the Potomac River. There is a nice trail, out and back. I walked it over 300 times in one year. When I need to have a nice walk and some thinking time, it is my close by go to walk. It is pretty all of the year, the fall colors are especially nice.