When I wrote my first book: “To Pap, With Love” — I had high hopes. I thought I would sell many copies myself. I applied for an Illinois Sales Tax number, so that I would be legal, and able to report my income. I hate to admit that I was mistaken. Since the book was of limited interest, the sales were also limited. I have learned that it has helped many people and has a life of its own, moving from place to place. It is still available on line. As is my second book, “Journey With Me.” Although of wider interest, it didn’t generate income.
For over five years I have filled out the State Sales tax form. Some years I have had no problems. Other years, a phone call was needed. I was happy last year when I noticed the number was expiring. Then I received a new license. It was renewed! WHY? I’m not making any money, no sales to report, no tax to share. I wrote another reminder and put it in my calendar.
The first week of January, I went on line to fill out the form. I had limited success. I found the correct form. But I was unsuccessful in filling it out. Then the page closed and I couldn’t get it back. It was the weekend. I decided a phone call was in order.
Today was the day to fill out the form. I found the page to log in. My name and the password didn’t match. I wasn’t sure where the problem lay. Did I use capitals in my name? How about spaces? I requested that my user name be verified. On to the password. Still no luck. I asked for a new password. Then I found a note where I had changed my password. By this time, the computer locked me out. Too many attempts had been made.
Thankfully I had a phone number to call. The recorded announcement said my call would be answered in two minutes. Sounded good, didn’t live up to the message. But I stayed on the line. Thankfully I did. When I explained my problem to the live person on the phone, she asked if I wanted to cancel my license.
DID I? You bet. She cancelled it as of 2016. No forms to fill out this year, or next year. YEAH!
Terry helped me with my query. I had high hopes when she answered the phone. And I was RIGHT! I ALWAYS ENJOY “HELP”!
My sister-in-law’s husband passed in December. His death was expected. He had battled with health issues for many years and was ready to go home. In the hospital again, he mentioned to his family that he was tired of living. They listened to his request and disconnected his breathing apparatus.
January brought another death in the family. This time it was another sister-in-law’s husband who passed. He was in his 80’s, battled diabetes and other health issues for years. Problems intensified suddenly, leading to hospitalization and a passing. Both of the deaths were back East. Weather conditions made it difficult for us to travel.
Death usually comes to our family in threes. When we came home from visiting our youngest daughter, a friend phoned. She is 84, and in the hospital. A blood clot in her lungs after Christmas required medical attention. She told me that there were no open beds in her hospital. She asked me if I knew her husband was in the hospital also. I had to admit the I was unaware. No one had phoned me. Her husband had a touch of the flu, and possibly either a stroke or a heart attack. Because of their advanced age and health conditions, they have a health care worker who didn’t like the color on his face and phoned their daughter. My friend was hoping to come home on Sunday. She will be on an expensive blood thinner for a year. Her husband had an artery opened to improve his blood flow. I’m not sure when he will be released.
About that time I realized that there had been two recent deaths in the family. I can’t say I was waiting for number three, but I wasn’t surprised when my phone rang and announced another passing. This time it was a friend from the camper. She was 98 years young. Even though she had lost some of her vision, she was active at Light House for the Blind, listened to books, exercised and remained as active as she could.
A fall caused a rapid decline in her health. She didn’t want to go to a hospital so her family arranged for 24 hour hospice in their home. Even though her funeral was closer, our unpredictable weather dictated a card sent rather than a trip.
Since the last two deaths were within two days, I told someone that they were having a party in heaven. I don’t want to admit that I’m getting older too. But I’m paying more attention to weather conditions than I used too.
I really didn’t think I could draw, let alone paint. Growing up, I wasn’t often found with a pen or pencil in my hand, sketching something or doodling. I don’t think that I took time to play. I knew that an uncle attended the Art Institute in Chicago, an uncle in Sweden painted as did one of my cousins. I knew there was artistic talent in my family, I just didn’t know that I had some. Then our campground had a bring your body and we will provide materials and instruction to paint a picture. I had the time and signed up for the experience. I was amazed at the painting that was produced. It still hangs in our room addition at the camper. I also realized that I had fun and wanted to explore painting in oil.
I purchased many books, containing pictures that I liked — with instructions, and produced many canvases. At the time I was working. I was so pleased with some of them that I took them to work and sold a few. A fellow worker liked a painting I did of Moonlit waves against the rocks. She planned to take it to Sweden with her. After a few years, life became busy and I stopped painting. My family has been suggesting that I take up a paint brush again.
Times have changed. My husband has emphysema and the scent of oil and turpentine would not be beneficial. I thought acrylic paint might be an option. Years ago I knew how to mix oil paint and how to blend colors. I had a good idea of how to accomplish a painting. Acrylic is different. First, it dries quickly. That can be an advantage, but not when the paint dries on the pallet or on the canvas too quickly.
Since I have remembered how I taught myself to paint before, I have picked up a couple of books. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time investigating the artists information or they don’t have what I need. My first concern is how to keep the paint usable on the pallet. The various books haven’t dwelt on that subject.
Thankfully, I have “friends in high places.” They might be involved in my picking up a paint brush again. Yesterday I stopped at Half Price Books for a cup of coffee. I wanted to check books on a writer I’m enjoying at the moment. Did they have any of her books? No! But entering the store, a display on painting caught my interest and I found a book on Acrylic painting that might have the information that I’m looking for. The date on the price tag shows that it is a recent acquire. The book looks promising and came home with me. I’m hoping to begin reading it soon. I have paints, I have canvas — now I have a book that might help me with the task. Once I have the basics, I might be ready for the more advanced books.
Two last thoughts — Christmas presents — I have TWO new paintings to put up on our walls. The artists were both my granddaughter and grandson. Our grandson read a story he is writing. I was impressed not only by the story, but also his imagination. It was well written! Perfect gifts for a proud gramma!
I hope my title didn’t give you cause for concern. The descending of stuff wasn’t outside — snow or rocks or mud. The slides occurred in our freezers. ALL OF THEM — the upstairs refrigerator, the downstairs refrigerator and the upright freezer. Normally I feel the freedom to get rid of stuff when our cash flow is on the positive side. Sadly, at the moment, I’m watching our pennies. BUT being in danger every time I opened a freezer door had the desired effect. I searched through each shelf and discarded items that were really old.
I hate to admit it, but I found one item from 2010. Thankfully it was only one item — most were of more recent dates. I didn’t list everything I tossed, nor did I list everything that I saved. I promised myself that I wouldn’t stock pile as much stuff again. I found many of my favorite proteins that thankfully were still new enough to eat. I found bag after bag of individual bags of soup. TWENTY FOUR servings in all — most were beef lentil or minestrone all from 2017. I vowed that I wouldn’t make any more soup until my stock was down. EXCEPT I don’t have any chicken soup. Evidently, that is my go to when I’m feeling a cold coming on. I found fish — salmon, tilipia, shrimp and cat fish. We are eating more fish, so everything I found was current. Two bags were hidden behind other stuff. I’m glad that they surfaced. I also found fish burgers that I had forgotten about. They were on sale, buy one, get one free. I had good intentions, not great follow through.
I didn’t find any pot roast, nor a stock pile of ground beef. Evidently I use the beef quickly. I found a lot of chicken — whole bird, chicken breasts and thighs except for the whole bird, the rest were boneless and skinless and current. Evidently I also use a lot of chicken.
Now I have room to freeze leftovers from the holidays. I have room to freeze cookies. I have room to add more to my stockpile. I won’t have a landslide each time I open a freezer drawer. Hopefully I will REMEMBER to only buy the supplies I’ve run out of — until Spring comes again and we head out to the camper. Then, unless I have a list — I’ll forget AGAIN!
I have noticed that my memory isn’t as good as it was when I was younger. Either the cracks are getting bigger or more stuff is falling through. I’m in trouble when it comes to money — paying bills, remembering to write down debit charges, etc. I panicked recently when I discovered that I forgot to deduct our insurance from the checkbook. Luckily we had the money in there to cover it.
Balancing the checkbook is always a chore. I have money hidden to cover small mistakes. Recently I had to use some of it and the new balance didn’t reflect the subtraction. I didn’t believe the new amount. Thankfully this month the balance is more in line to what I thought it was.
I’m sure I don’t need to mention all the times I lose my glasses or my cell phone. When I misplace money it is even worse. I write myself notes to help me remember where I have put stuff. Especially if it is something I don’t use regularly. I always remember the old place not the new one.
Thankfully I have “friends in high places.” I don’t depend on them but I’ll yell for “help” if I feel the need. And often they help when asked or when they know I need it.
Yesterday morning — I planned to heat water in the tea kettle for tea. The burner wouldn’t light. As a matter of fact, NONE of the burners on the stove would light. I asked my husband to work magic and fix the stove. Before he did,I asked my husband if he wanted to go out for breakfast. We don’t go out often but it just felt like something to do. I even decided to put on a long dress. I seldom wear a skirt or a dress not to mention a long one. I even put on earrings. Most unusual!
We went out for breakfast and on the way to a hardware store our youngest daughter phoned. “Happy anniversary to you” she sang. WHAT? She was right! It was our wedding anniversary. Both my husband and I had forgotten.
Dressed up — out for breakfast — someone in high places had remembered and HELPED.
Just a note — That evening ALL of the burners on the stove lit.
I knew I had to renew my driver’s license, it had been four years since the last renewal. The day finally came when I received the notice in the mail. I had to take an eye test. When I was younger, the eye test was no problem. I can’t say that now. My eyes have aged as has the rest of my body.
I decided I would renew my license in the country. I wouldn’t have the long lines that are in the city. But I DELAYED going to take the test. First I wasn’t feeling well. I don’t know if it was food poisoning or the flu but my tummy didn’t like me. Then I realized that I was stressing about the test. Parts of my body were hurting. Time at the camper was getting short, if I wanted to take the test out there, I had to do it. Wednesday was the day.
The night before, I misplaced my prescription glasses. I looked everywhere — tables, chairs, bed, bathroom, floor — no luck. They are my reading glasses. As a last resort — I looked in our car. I FOUND my prescription reading glasses. They were sharing a glass case with my husband’s driving glasses which I wear. We were going shopping and I wore the glasses out side but changed them for driving glasses before we left.
Wednesday morning, I walked into a hanging cabinet door and almost knocked myself out. I was so tempted, so tempted to delay the vision test. But if I didn’t renew my license before my birthday, I would have to take more than a vision test to get a license.
I wish I could say the eye test was a piece of cake — no problem. But I don’t like to lie. At first, I tried the test without glasses on — Bad idea. I could read the top lines with no problem — lines 4 and 5 were a different story. My driver’s glasses allowed me to see the letters except for the right side. I had to go to a larger line. Perception test — right from left — oops. I have problems! Finally the young lady asked me to raise my hand when I saw it. I PASSED. Time for a picture — I didn’t smile. HORRIBLE picture! I don’t look gentle — I look mean — don’t mess with me!
I shared my sad story with a friend at the grocery store. He showed me his picture. I shared my sad story with an older woman from church. She had a similar experience but she told me it didn’t matter — SHE GOT HER LICENSE. Lesson learned!
Back in town — I shared my sad story with a couple of friends at the store. I showed them my photo — they got a very good laugh. Photo doesn’t matter — I got my license and shared laughter.
I know I have mentioned before that I’ve been delayed in what I am doing or planning to do. Often I’ve learned that being delayed prevented me from being in an accident or stopped on my journey. Often the delay causes me to think — “Do I REALLY WANT to do or go or spend?” Sometimes the delay causes me to change my plans. Sometimes the reason for the delay remains hidden.
Friday — at the camper — I experienced a delay. It started with a broken pot. I pulled it from the cupboard, the edge struck something and shattered into shards. One of my favorite pots, one I used often — not every meal but more than once a week. Not only broken pieces but shards to pick up. It took awhile, not only were they on the counter but escaped to the floor.
Once I finally cleaned up the mess, we were heading out for breakfast. Except — delayed again — my scooter was returned. The speedometer cable had broken and it had been picked up for repair. It was supposed to be back on Thursday but plans changed. Finally heading for breakfast, a half hour later. I saw an unusual sight outside the restaurant — a bicycle with bags strapped to its wheels towing a small trailer. I was intrigued. The bike belonged to Mr. Alan Thompson, a 68 year man who wanted to ride around the perimeter of the United States. He started in Ohio in 2015, made it as far as Portland when he returned home to rest for a year. He started again in 2017 in Portland and was finishing his ride. It was August but it felt like Fall, the temperature that morning was a balmy 55 degrees. I asked him if he spent the night in a motel to stay out of the cold. Thankfully he did. He was riding for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children. Both worthy causes.
Next appearing at the restaurant was a group from a classic car club. I started to chat with them but they had only taken a bathroom break and the gentleman was requested to rejoin the group. I didn’t even get a look at their old cars. My husband has an old car and we both were interested in the group. They were the Summer Knights Car Club — meeting at Buona Beef in Glendale Heights, Il.
Next taking a bathroom break was a group of police men and woman. They didn’t stay to eat either. I was glad that the man riding the bike had stopped for something to eat. I really enjoyed hearing his story. He wasn’t accepting money but I could make a donation at his website: usperimeterride. org — his blog or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It turned out to be a very interesting morning.