Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Sunday Five: Easter Sunday

Happy Easter to those who observe. 

1: Did the Easter Bunny visit you this year? 

2: Do you eat a chocolate bunny ears first, tail first, feet first? 

3: Did you grow up with easter egg hunts? 

4: Did you decorate eggs this year? 

5: Who is more frightening the Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny! 

My Answers: 

1: Did the Easter Bunny visit you this year? There seems to be basket of goodies. 

2: Do you eat a chocolate bunny ears first, tail first, feet first?  Ears first, I am not a barbarian. 

3: Did you grow up with easter egg hunts?  No, a curiosity of why you would hide the eggs. 

4: Did you decorate eggs this year? No

5: Who is more frightening the Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny!  This bunny looked friendly cruising the mall the other day, looking for his next victim. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday Morning Post: No One Wants To Talk About It

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for an article on practicing law, when the judge is exhibiting signs of a decline in neurocognitive ability.  In other words what to do when the judge has Alzheimer's.  I have talked with a few attorney over the years who have had this experience and were calling looking for advice on how to deal with it.  I have known a couple of judges, who had colleagues on the bench with dementia, and struggled to find a way forward.   

I had sources this should be an easy one to write. Either to get one of the attorneys who has experienced this first hand to write about it, or to get them to tell me their stories on the record, and I could write the article.  When I started asking about writing an article, no one wanted to write it, no one wanted to talk to me about it.  

I never had this experience.  I had a judge (who died about 17 years ago) who didn't believe the rules of evidence applied in his courtroom, and a judge who took perverse pleasure is starting 10:00 AM motion hour, 15 or 20 minutes early and postponing ruling until next week, if both attorneys were not in the courtroom when the clerk called the case.  He used this to make his early tee time at the golf course on pretty spring days. You just learned to drag opposing counsel into that courtroom a few minutes early if it was a bright sunny day. But I never had a judge who seemed to lack cognitive ability (luckily.) 

I have been surprised by those who have lived through a judge who was staying on the bench beyond their best by date, and won't talk about it, but not really.  The last thing you want to do is have the judge dislike you before you file the first pleading or open your mouth in court.  

There are things that can be done. All states have a lawyer's assistance committee, and any lawyer or judge who appears to be impaired in their ability to practice can be reported anonymously.  

Judges and Court Clerks can manage the docket so that the impaired judge has little or no work to do. There is a case here in the Federal Circuit where this has been done, and the offended judge has sued. (She gets paid, but has virtually no work assigned to her.) 

Attorneys can avoid that Court, or file motions to transfer their case to another court.  

Dementia is not an easy subject to get people to talk about.  I asked a Doctor who does research on Alzheimer's if his patients admitted to him that something had changed long before they came to see him? His answer was the vast majority knew something was wrong and where terrified by the changes, leading to deep denial.  But it is a topic we need to talk about.  Ten percent of adults by age 70 experience a decline in cognitive ability.  By age 90 about one-third of adults experience a measurable decline in cognitive ability. 

Just because the judge rules against you, does not mean the judge is demented, or biased.  Half of the people in every case lose.  But if the judge is openly forgetful, confused, or disoriented there needs to be a review process.  We can't rely on persons living with dementia to self report, or voluntarily remove themselves from positions of risk.   

Friday, March 29, 2024

Foodie Friday: Floki SIngle Malt

Single malts are made from malted barley, most are made in Scotland, Ireland and Japan. The grain is malted barley, barley that has been sprouted and then baked to stop the growth.  The spouting releases sugars, malting or baking stops the changes and leaves the sugars to be converted to alcohol.  Some Scottish and Irish whiskys feature malt baked with peat. Iceland has no peat, this one is malted with dried sheep dung aka, sheep shit.  

The aroma is grain and dried hay.  The flavor is smokey, with moderate wood. It is a novelty item, worth drinking.  On my scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being Jim Beam (I wouldn't wash out a birdcage with that swill) and 10 being unattainable perfect.  I would give this a 7.  It is worth drinking, but not something I will go out of my way to save. 

It is hard to find.  In Iceland wine and distilled spirits are only sold through government stores.  We looked there, nothing.  I found this in the shop at the airport (you can't change planes, enter or exit the airport in Reykjavik without going through duty free) that is where I found it.  Interestingly you can buy duty free in Iceland either when arriving or leaving the country.  I don't recall what I paid, probably over $50 and under $75.  

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Thursday Ramble: Finding my way in the world

I am sometimes asked how I ended up working in law and aging.  And it was a bit of a curious path. 

I worked in the homebuilding industry for 15 years before going to law school.  My thought was that I would practice real estate, construction defects, planning, zoning, and land use law.  In law school I was a property law geek, reading everything on the topic I could get my hands on. 

I could hardly get an interview with the firms that practiced in those areas of the law.  I was older and experienced, they seemed to be looking for young and teachable.  

The law school required 30 hours of volunteer service to graduate.  The summer between first and second year, I volunteered at the local legal aid office.  About my second day there, someone said answer the phone while I go look for a file.  The first phone call started with "you have got to help me they are trying to take away my lion."  The lion was her housepet. Code enforcement was demanding something more than a screen door, as kitty was now about 250 pounds.  

The office did a lot of family law, and domestic violence work.  I spent days searching for a clear answer to a vexing question.  "Is a waiver of parental rights in an adoption, valid, if the waiver is a condition of a plea bargain in a criminal case?"  At that time, there was no clear answer.  The criminal case, was a sexual assault on the child who was subject of the adoption - the man had raped his child.  The facts in many of the child custody cases were stomach turning.  More than once, my recommendation was neither of these two people should have anything to do with raising a child.   Not an answer that they liked.  

I determined that I never wanted to practice family law. 

There was an attorney in the office who only represented clients age 60 and older.  The issues were different.  A mix of simple estate planning, advance health care directives, powers of attorney, debt collection, Medicare, Medicaid, a little landlord tenant law. The clients were nicer, and the attorney took me under her wing, gave me interesting projects, and took me along to meet with clients, and go to court.  

I fell in love with the work.  

That volunteer time, led to a paid clerkship, that led to a job, that led to a job, that ended were I am today.   

Looking back, there were parts of the work I enjoyed, offset by drudgery and needless administrative battles.  Maybe this is the stages of grief after a major life change, but at the moment, I am not sure I liked what I did very much.  I am certainly not itching to return to it.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

My World of Wonders, aka, The Wednesday Ws end of March 2024 edition

What about the owl?  Yes he is alive, he is unable to fly due to an injury and is in a rescue center in a regional park. My grandfather had a stuffed owl, it creeped everyone out, and was tossed when I was about 10 years old.  I wouldn't touch it.  I wish I had it today.  

Where have I been? Potomac Overlook Park, a german bakery, a walk along the Potomac, a walk in Huntley Meadows, a walk in the swamp at Dyke Marsh, a walk in DC to see the Cherry Blossom festival, the gym for a walk when the weather was cool and wet.  

What have I accomplished?  We finished the travel plans for May, booking the last couple of hotels, and prepped and started work on the April consulting project.  Made hotel reservations for a meeting in Chicago the first week in August.  Finished a painting and started the next one. 

What have I been reading?  Lots, a fun little book, "The Secret Life of Cows." 

Who have a talked with? My sweet bear, my middle brother, Doc Spo, and strangers.  

What made me smile this week? I traded emails with an old friend in Florida, someone I had worked with over 25 years ago. She has been in poor health, it was great to hear that she is going okay. 

What did I think and hesitate to blog about?  Princess Catherine's video talking about her diagnosis and treatment for cancer.  I wish her and her family a full recovery.  The press office waited far too long to tell the world what was happening.  When she said "I do" and entered into public life, she made a commitment to the public.  That does not mean she can't have a private life, but something major that impacts her ability to carry out her public duties becomes a public matter. If she doesn't want it to be, she needs to step back from a public role.  Waiting this long, led to needless and apparently nasty speculation.  The public relations staff did a terrible job, and let this fester far to long.  There is a balance that would have maintained her dignity, while stopping the needless gossip.  My public relations professor would have failed the press office staff (he had been of PR for Coca Cola before entering academe.)  

What news story stunned me? A container ship hitting a bridge that collapsed in Baltimore.  I have driven across that bridge.  

What am I listening to? Japanese Zen Music at the moment. 

What made me giggle this week? Brenda's Beaver Needs a Barber. I hope the video works for you.  


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Travel Tuesday: Cherry Blossom Season in Washington DC

Back in 1912 the Mayor of Tokyo gave the city of Washington, DC 3,000 cherry trees. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the legacy of that gift. 
Living here, makes it easy to see the peak of the bloom.  The peak is hard to predict.  The peak bloom has happened as early as March 15th, and as late as April 15th. When depends on the weather, how cold the winter was, and when consistently warm weather arrives.  A week of weather in the 70's and the bloom can go from bud to peak bloom.  An extended cold wet period can delay the bloom by weeks.  The peak bloom can last a few days, or a couple of weeks. Again it depends on the weather.  Cool and dry, and the bloom lasts longer.  A hard freeze, or snow, or sustained high winds and the bloom will drop, two or three days of hot weather (70's or even 80 f) and the leaves will break and push the bloom off.  

The crowds are large, and slow stopping at random every few feet to ooo an ahh, and snap another photo.  Don't be in a rush.  It is uncrowded and very spectacular just after sunrise in the morning.  Be prepared to walk a lot, the nearest subway station is Smithsonian at about 1/2 a mile away.  

Known as "Stumpy" this is one of the original trees, a hollow stump of the original tree that still manages to put out a nice bloom.  A section of seawall is sinking and collapsing and must be rebuilt, about 150 trees will be removed to make this possible, this is Stumpy's last bloom, it is in the section that will be removed after this weeks bloom. 

Entrance to the FDR Memorial 


Monday, March 25, 2024

Moody Monday: Looking at the World

As time goes by in this new normal for me, I am looking at the world in new ways. 

I am comfortable with staying up a little later, and sleeping a little later.  I find myself reading blogs, and writing a little, until 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning and feeling fine with that. 

I am exploring new places, finding new parks. 

I am feeling stronger, climbing hills is getting easier, though my knees are not getting any younger.  

I find myself feeling grateful for all that I have. 

I am planning for the future, maybe too much, when will I be home? I am doing things I want to do, while I am able to go and do. I know that someday travel will become more difficult, and someday will end.  

I wonder what will be the last great adventure.  I don't know, but I will do everything I can to make it comfortable and fun. 

So how is my mood? Better, very good for the most part.   

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Sunday Five: Bears and other Critters

 1: Have you seen a bear in the wild? 

2: What was the last "wild" animal you saw? 

3: What animal would you like to see in the wild? 

4: Do you have any irrational fears of wild animals? 

5: Where did I find this sign, take a wild guess? 

My answers: 

1: Have you seen a bear in the wild? Several times in the Blue Ridge Mountains, seeing a bear was on my bucket list. 

2: What was the last "wild" animal you saw?  A month or so ago I was coming home after a wildly delayed train trip, and a fox crossed the street in front of me as I was coming up the hill toward home. 

3: What animal would you like to see in the wild? A penguin. 

4: Do you have any irrational fears of wild animals? I have gotten over the one I had, and that was flying birds.  

5: Where did I find this sign, take a wild guess? I will reveal the answer after reading your answers. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Saturday Morning Post: Magazines

 Magazines as we knew and loved them, are largely another thing of the past. I was in a large bookstore recently, and took at look at the magazines on offer. There are a handful of the old reliables, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, but they are a shadow of their glory days. The weeklies are poorly printed on the cheapest of paper, monthlies a little better, but often thin and flimsy.  Advertising is way off from what it was 25 years ago.  

And many of the standards are gone, Popular Photography, Flying, Gourmet, and many others.  

Yes there are a lot of offerings, but looking closely most are "special editions."  Really soft cover books, or Zines. With focussed topics, they are aimed at an entirely different audience than the journals of yesteryear.  The venerable National Geographic Society announced this past year eliminating the last of their staff photographer/reporter positions.  Everything they publish will be produced by freelancers.  50 years ago when I was finishing school, the dream job for a young photographer was NGS, they would hand you an American Express card, a bag full of Nikons and free you to send in the most amazing stories from around the globe.  Having that financial backing allowed their journalists to spend weeks, months, sometimes years telling the story of the world.   

This is a market driven change. Advertising dollars have moved to targeted online marketing.  Printing and distribution costs have risen faster than revenues, leading to cost cutting. Journalism has changed, with the 24 hour instant new cycle.  Back in the late 1960's my mother worked for a local newspaper, all of their costs were covered by income from classified ads. Classified advertising has entirely disappeared. Display advertising has been replaced by targeted ads. (That are not always well targeted, why does Macys send me advertisement for women's clothing? A waste of electrons.)   

So what do we have in place of it?  Websites, Blogs and social media. Random Rambles and my Saturday Morning Posts. What is lacking is often old school journalistic ethics.  

Friday, March 22, 2024

Foodie Friday: Cooking and Mushrooms

 I remember the first time I had sauteed mushrooms, there was a Steak and Ale restaurant at the intersection of SR 50 and SR 436 in Orlando (SE corner of the intersection). They were finished with red wine. 

They really are simple to make. 

The ingredients are:





Clean the mushrooms, I wash them, trim as needed and slice. 

Saute in butter, on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning as they brown.  If needed add more butter. 

When cooked, add a splash of brandy and allow it to cook off.  

Simple as that, the biggest challenge is being patient enough to allow them to cook without burning.  

The Cooktop. 

I learned to cook on a gas cooktop, when I was in middle school we started spending winters in Florida, and the house in Florida didn't have gas service, I adjusted to cooking on electric resistance coils. There were a couple of varieties of them, the General Electric Calrod was the best, they were wound tighter and heated faster. They were always a pain to control, they take longer to get hot, they take longer to cool off, and the drip trays were a major pain to clean.  I often replaced the drip trays rather than trying to clean them after a major boil over.  

When I bought the condo it had the original early 1980's GE cooktop.  One morning I was in the kitchen, when it went brrrrttttt, put up a puff of smoke, and the lights went out.  The nearly 40 year old control unit had shorted out.  

I replaced it with a ceramic or glass cooktop that was really resistance coils under glass.  The smooth surface was easier to clean than the drip pans, but it had to be cleaned every time you used it, it had the same delays in heating and cooling, within a year the top started to discolor.  I hated it. 

When we replaced the kitchen, the first appliance guy showed us the magic of induction cooktops.  These use magnetic fields to make the pan hot, not the surface of the cooktop. They heat fast, as fast or faster than gas, and cool off as fast or faster than gas.  The top wipes clean, after 18 months of using it, it shines up as well as the day it came out of the box.  The pans need to be magnetic, I parted with a few aluminum bottom pans, and the last of the Revere Ware copper bottom pans.  I prefer stainless steel cookware. I love cooking on it. In the high rise, gas was not an option, and even if it was after using Induction, I don't think I would go back.  This is much easier to clean than gas.  

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Thursday Ramble: Canada Geese

Sharon over at Phoenix Daily Photo posted the other day about Canada Geese nesting in her neighborhood, it reminded me of a story from back in my homebuilding days. 

I had built two homes side by side for the same family.  Dr. and Dr. lived in the larger one, Docs parents and two college age children/grandchildren lived in the other one.  Doc's parents were not from around here, didn't speak a word of English and still had a lot of "the old country" in them.  They had a spectacular garden and shared vegetables with the neighbors.  The houses backed up onto a 10 acre man made lake. 

I got a call in the office one day, Grandma had been duck hunting around the lake, with a 22 rifle.  She is a very good and careful shot. As Doc explained, ammunition was expensive and Mom didn't want to mess up the bird.  Doc explained to Mom, that she couldn't shoot guns in a built up area, I think she took the guns away and locked them in a closet in the big house.  

A week or so later, I get another phone call from the neighbors.  Grandma is duck hunting again, with a 9 iron, a golf club.  I talked with the police, and the game warden, it was in season, she had a permit, she was not breaking any laws.  Doc shrugged her shoulders and said, "you can take the person out of the old country, but you can't take the old country out of the person."  I was told that the duck dumplings were amazing. 

I remember when I met Dr. and Dr.  I made the mistake of referring to them as Dr. and Mrs., and was corrected that it was Dr. and Dr.. She paid cash for both houses.  I never made this mistake a second time.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

My World of Wonders, aka The Wednesday Ws March 20, 2024

Where have I been? A couple of walks in Old Town Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, and Piscataway Park - on the Maryland side across the Potomac River from Mt. Vernon. On Saturday we went for a walk and lunch at Gadsbys Tavern , we hosted lunch there when we got married.  

What has pleased me this week?  A large number of comments several days in a row.  It is always nice to hear from people. 

What have I accomplished?  I booked the last of the train tickets for a May adventure, I had been working on it for a while, and kept getting a message that more trains would be available soon.  I signed up for a notice when additional trains were available (SCNF) and I did get an email.  The French train reservations system is easy to navigate and user friendly for those living outside of France (England, Spain and Italy should look at this model.) 

What is new?  I had my hair cut last Friday, it needed it.  I went someplace new, our stylist disappeared and this week the salon we had been using announced they are closing after almost 30 years.  The cut looks good. My hair has a strange texture and is not easy to cut well.  

What am I reading? Lots, currently "About Us" a collection of essays by persons with disabilities published in the New York Times. Next up after that are a couple of novels.  

When is the next adventure? The first week in April I am going to Cincinnati, Ohio for a consulting job.  I will have a few hours free on the first day, I may slip over the Art center. 

Who have I talked with?  I had a call with the team for the Ohio project, and a board meeting for my former employer. I called my middle brother. 

What else did I get done? I filed out taxes and middle brother's taxes.  TurboTax is getting more and more of a pain to use.  

Who deserves a slap this week?  One of our neighbors apparently had an early flight on Saturday.  The Taxi pulled up out front for a 6:30 AM pickup and set idling right under my bedroom window until 6:38, then there were loud voices as the neighbor emerged and talked with taxi driver.  2 out of 5 slaps.  Don't keep the taxi waiting, and if you are waiting, turn your engine off.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Travel Tuesday : Mt Vernon

The Lower Garden, the kitchen garden. 

A riding chair, George often toured the estate riding in one of these. 

Heritage sheep make the thier home on the estate. 

This is new this spring, I hope it is a sign that chickens are returning to the estate. 

 Mt. Vernon was home for George Washington, the first President of the United States.  He inherited the estate from his older brother.  It was home when he was President, and he retired here after his time as President.  He died in the house, a week after having dinner with the Fairfax family, here on the hill that I live on.  

Monday, March 18, 2024

Moody Monday: Deep Memories


Happy 67th Birthday to my sister Karen. 

I was in kindergarten the first time my family visited the Grand Canyon, and we returned again a year later, both times we were there on March 18th. The date is enshrined in family history, it is my sister's birthday.  The memories are distant, and reinforced by slides and movie film of those early visits.  The photo above is from one of the Kodachrome slides my father took during those visits.  

A few things that stand out in my memory from those early visits. The first view of the canyon, you never forget it.  A gift shop operated by American Indians near the south rim.  I remember shopping there, buying picture postcards that I still have, a huge oversized pencil, and a beaded belt. I remember at the end of the road, a stone building with a shop in it, and a warm wood fire in a fireplace.  I remember cuddling onto a fur throw next to an Indian, I was very comfortable, my mother was a little freaked out.  And dinner in the dining room at the El Tovar hotel, a couple of tables over was a table of astronauts. They were in the Canyon studying geology, in preparation for landing on the moon.  I was too shy to go over and say Hi, my oldest brother was not shy. 

I have been back to the Canyon twice as an adult.  The first time in the middle 1980's. I had been in Scottsdale for a sales training program, rented a car and drove up and spent the night.  And about a dozen years ago, in the late spring, I had been at the Equal Justice Conference in Phoenix, and drove up and spent a couple of nights.  I have a couple of scanned slides from the 1980's trip. From the last visit I have a couple of prints, the digital files were all lost in a hard drive failure - I started running backup drives after that. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The Sunday Five: Creativity

1: Do you have music playing while you work, write, or create? 

2: Are you a visual or a verbal person? 

3: Do you draw, sketch or doodle? 

4: What inspires you?

5: Do you get more wound up by things that make you happy, or things that make you angry, or do both turn your creative or communicative crank? 

My Answers: 

1: Do you have music playing while you work, write, or create?  Almost always, if the room is quiet, I will turn music on. 

2: Are you a visual or a verbal person? If you meet me, I talk to much, but I am a visual learner. 

3: Do you draw, sketch or doodle? Not much. 

4: What inspires you? Things I see, things I read, 

5: Do you get more wound up by things that make you happy, or things that make you angry, or do both turn your creative or communicative crank? Both wind me up, I try to let the anger dissipate on it's own without letting it into my work. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Satruday Morning Post - Spring has Sprung

Spring 2024 is here. The early flowers are blooming, the bees are out foraging.  

The pink blooming shrub/tree is always early. There are several of them here on Mount Eagle, they have a delicate sweet scent.  The Yellow is Forsythia, always an early bloomer.  There was one near the house I grew up in - in Michigan it would bloom in April, or May.  The espaliered fruit is against a sunny wall out at Mt. Vernon. I asked the gardener if he thought the blooms stand a chance of maturing into fruit, and he said he thinks so.  There are many signs that we are past the hard freeze risk. Though my grandfather always said, the risk is there until the leaves on the oak trees are as big as a squirrel's ear.  

The bees are out at Mt. Vernon, there are half a dozen hives tucked in the trees off of the great meadow.  I walked around the back of it a week ago, I had never taken the long way around before.  Having been raised with bees in the backyard, I knew to keep my distance. I am surprised these appear to be 8 frame hives.  Dad scrapped out the last of the 8 frame stock back in the 1970's running all 10 or 12 frame.  Apparently 8 frame has come back in style.  

More sunshine each day, and the trees are starting to burst into leaf, it is a wonderful time of the year.  

Friday, March 15, 2024

Foodie Friday: Good Bourbon

I won't rival Ralfy with his single malt reviews, but at times, I may make a comment on an exceptionally good whiskey.  I also won't waffle on nearly as long as he does.  

This is a six year old, small batch, single barrel, from a distillery I had never heard of.  Their production is small, and distribution is limited to a dozen or states.  It has a deep rich flavor, with a lot of dark cherry aftertone. It is a sweeter bourbon, not a lot of spice or bite to it. Oak does not dominate as it can with many older agings. It is a sipper, not a mixer (it would be a shame to mix this in a cocktail, it is destined to be sipped.) On a scale of 0-10, with 0 being Jim Beam, and 10 being impossibly good.  I would give this a sold 8. It is far above average. It is expensive at a little over $100.    

I picked this up in the shop inside the airport in Louisville, Kentucky.  Kentucky changed the law to allow liquor stores inside of security in the three commercial airports. Meaning you can slide it in your carry-on as long as you don't have to clear security again on your way home.  If you have the opportunity, you want to try this one. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Thursday Ramble: Observations

A couple of weeks ago J and I visited the National Gallery of Art, I was moving through at a leisurely pace, meaning I was about two rooms ahead of J, so I sat down for a couple of minutes to let him catch up.  I looked around the room, saw the painting above and immediately though, "that is Salisbury Cathedral", the spire is unique. If I hadn't traveled as much as I have, I probably wouldn't have recognized the feature in this English Landscape.  We stayed at a small hotel next to the Cricket Field in Salisbury, taking the local bus out to Stonehenge the next morning. It was out first trip to England together.  The Cathedral has an original of the Magna Carta, at the time we were there (over 25 years ago) it was in a side chapel, in a plywood box, with a plastic cover with a simple hasp and padlock.  This was a few years before another copy sold for tens-of-millions of pounds.  The Salisbury Magna Carta toured the United States about a decade ago, I saw it in a museum, in a bullet proof case with inch thick glass protecting it.  

Travel changes us, we learn, we see, we observe.  

I was on a call recently and someone remarked about "unprecedented, record high interest rates."  I started to chuckle, and had to say. "I bought my first home in 1982, at a bargain first time home buyer discount interest rate of 13.5%, I am amused by people being baffled by 7% 30 year fixed rate mortgages." One of the other people on the call added, she graduated from law school in 1982, and her student loans were at 12%.  I am surprised by how short people's memories are, how little they know about the economic history of the country and the world.  These are good times, we have survived and thrived through much more challenging times. The anomaly was really the extremely low interest rates of the past decade.  

When did you buy your first home? 

I had to have my dipstick replaced.  The handle broke off. A replacement as ordered, came in overnight, and was changed out within minutes the next morning.  When I told J I was headed out to have my dipstick replaced, he had a much need laugh. 

How is your dipstick doing? 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

My World of Wonders, aka The Wednesday W's, 12 on 12 edition

What am I up to this week? I have long admired Blobby's 12 on 12 posts, 12 photos from the 12th of the month, posted on the following day. The timing worked for my Wednesday W's post this month, so here we are. 

Wake up time, I have found the time change much easier, now that my daily routine is not tied to arbitrary start and finish times.  I still think daylight savings time is a stupid idea, and should be stopped.  

What is for breakfast? Buttered toast, and iced coffee. Checking for and responding to comments on my blog, followed by reading and commenting on my daily read list.  A browse through the Washington Post online. The ceramic box on the right, I bought in a small art gallery on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida when I was a student at Rollins College.  I have used it to hold postage stamps, since first class postage was about 25-cents. 
Where do I find refuge each day? My shower.  We live in a high rise building, water, including hot water is supplied by the building, meaning that the hot water supply is virtually endless.  If I want to take a 15 or 20 minute shower, I never run out of hot water.  

Where have I been this week? Into the city for lunch and a wander, Winkler Botanical Preserve, the gym, Mt. Vernon a couple of times. This is my Daily Selfie post, Tuesday morning with the top down headed out to Mt. Vernon. 

What astounded me this week? Someone drove this to this parking lot. As I was headed down the George Washington Parkway toward Mt. Vernon, there was debris in the road from a blown tire, then sections of the wheel, then more tire debris, and this was in the parking lot at Mt. Vernon with a flatbed there trying to figure out how to load it. Scrapes in the pavement confirmed that it had been driven there in that condition.  If you are thinking, "how is that possible" your mind is in the right place. 
What did I do that was good for me? An hour or more of walking each day. On the 12th is was Mt Vernon, the long way around and down to the lower farm and back up the hill with only one short stop. 

What have I been eating? Grilled chicken sandwiches, a veggie and meatball soup, meatloaf, cheeseburgers, and on the 12th, a nice greek salad for lunch. 

What am I looking forward to? The spring lambs, I understand 9 have been born at Mt Vernon and will be moved the public areas in a couple of weeks.  The photo above the expectant fathers waiting pen. 

What have I been watching? I spend probably an hour a day watching YouTube, Billy at The Pethericks, Dan at Escape to Rural France, and a bunch of others when they post, Finnegan Chamberlin posted on Tuesday of this week, he is young and talented, I found him through a link from Angus at Bob and Sophie one of my daily blog reads.

What am I doing to be creative? I am painting again, I find it surprisingly relaxing.  I am running out of wall space.  


What did I try this week? I have had this one for about 10 months, sitting in the bottom of the cabinet, waiting for something special.  Well everyday is a special day, and it was time to open a bottle of single malt.  When we were going to Iceland last spring, Doc Spo urged me to buy this if I could find it.  I found it at the airport on the way home.  A review will show up as a Foodie Friday in a couple of weeks. 

What have I been reading? This is the second book this week, back to the library in the next couple of days.