Everything posted by Donstar
Prices are nuts! Yesterday I spent much of the day shopping for a few household items and came home with nothing. The items were either out of stock or ridiculously priced. Falling gas prices took away some of the grief but they are still very high! I had no idea that this is what the "new normal" would look like but I'm glad I was shopping for wants and not needs! ...Not a day goes by that I don't take time to appreciate how fortunate I am to be in a position to grumble about such things!
Often I watch the news and feel overwhelmed by the global crap taking place. The Ukraine situation is deplorable. Last night on YouTube I stumbled upon a WWI training film on taking down a tank. I thought some of the footage resembles the barbaric actions of this current crisis. It was awful a 100 years ago! On a lighter note, I was in a local clinic yesterday waiting to have some blood tests. While sitting, I observed a front desk staff member patiently and compassionately helping an Ukrainian refugee sort through her required paperwork. I can't fathom the struggle this individual has recently gone through and I was overcome with appreciation on the treatment she was receiving. I know you're supposed to respect the privacy of other patients but it was impossible not to see and hear this exchange. When the employee had the patient all sorted out and on her way, I went over to the counter, apologized for eavesdropping, and then thanked her and gave kudos for handling this patient with such care and respect. I hope I made her day a little better because she sure brightened mine!
Yes, thanks. We checked for any covenants or bylaws that may get in our way. We have an eagle eyed neighbor who will point out anything that she feels is inconsistent with all of the other homes on the block. She actually did speak to us after she noticed it and made the backhanded comment that there is nothing stopping us. We explained to her that we made every effort to keep it discrete and we will not leave clothes hanging when dry. She was more supportive when we explained that we were making an effort to reduce our environmental footprint. Telling her that we soiled her pristine view to save a few dollars would have put her in attack mode!
Our "cost of living" is growing faster than our covid fireside planning sessions predicted. We are certainly not suffering but have to do things smarter to achieve our goals. As an example, we recently had five extra people living in our home for 10 days. We budgeted accordingly for food and entertainment but were shocked by the spike in our electricity bill. We determined our electric clothes dryer and hot water heater to be the main culprits. We also realized that this unplanned expenditure will be an everyday occurrence if or when we transition to a Silverado EV! We want to setup some solar panels to reduce cost and dependance on the power company but the initial expense would take too long to recoup. On Friday my wife and I brainstormed ways to reduce electrical consumption without shuffling the savings elsewhere. After about two minutes we came up with a ridiculously simple, cheap and effective way to make a noticeable reduction in our electrical usage. On Saturday, I installed a clothesline from our back porch to the back fence. We've already done three loads of laundry with no dryer. (Stiff towels brought back childhood memories!) There was a time when clotheslines were frowned upon in urban neighbourhoods but our new "Solar Dryer" has received positive attention.
Exactly! Most of us who make it to our senior years appreciate that there were some very lucky moments along the way! Now that we made it this far, we better take advantage of what we've learned! You won't find me on the roof of my house because I know first hand what happens when you accidently take the fast way down the ladder. I'm certain my body wouldn't be as forgiving as it was twenty years ago!
My Doctor of many years retired last year. There is a shortage of family Doctors so I now have to rely on seeking care from whoever is available at a clinic. I am luckier than most as I've had the time to schedule my appointments in such a way as to see the same clinic Doctor for my past few visits. It is proving to be advantageous to see new Doctors as they bring fresh ideas to deal with ongoing issues. Like Karnut, I have learned to be careful with trigger words! I don't withhold information but I am careful!
We picked up my sister and brother-in-law from the airport last night. They came back from a post Covid three week trip to Europe. My wife and I discussed making an effort to follow Covid protocols at the facility beforehand which included wearing masks. Our intentions were as good as the proverbial sticking your finger in the ocean hoping to leave a dent. The masks came off early with hugs and close talk rampant. I woke up this morning feeling like I'd misbehaved at a party last night. I don't blame anyone but myself. However this incident reinforces my support for Covid protocols in public venues for I am human. ( I am not seeking a discussion on mandates). Most of us who have made it to our senior years know there is some good luck required and there is no need for unnecessary risks!
I thought your comment was simply stating the obvious and I responded by telling a short personal story. I may sound convoluted but there is a lot of past wrongs being dealt with from the settlement of our country. It can lead to political or cultural discussions that I don't want here. If I provide factual, personal observations, nobody should be offended or triggered to go political. The message related to this thread's topic is the amount of Covid Spare time I've spent applying my past experiences to optimize the making of future memories. You, like me, have more time spent in the past than we have in our futures. We definitely don't want or need to repeat previous mistakes!
On Sunday my brother sent out a picture of our childhood family home being prepared for demolition. The news came as a surprise. The subsequent upset running through family emails was considerable. The house hasn't been in our family for decades and it was subsequently used as a rental investment. It was in poor condition and it wasn't a particularly well built house when it was new. It took me some effort to convince the most upset family members that it's the memories that they value and nobody can take those away. This story demonstrated the wonderful way our memories embellish things and events of the past. We sometimes strive for past ways or things that best stay as memories.
Looking back through today's lenses is what we do. "Hindsight is 20/20" Sometimes this can be pleasant and other times it can be painful. We did or didn't do something with information available to us at the time. I worked part time for a heating company during my teens and early twenties. My tasks included tearing out old asbestos wrapped duct work and applying asbestos strips to the joints of the replacement ducts. Cutting register holes through asbestos embedded floor tiles and/or plaster was also a frequent task. Sometimes the dust was so thick we had to step outside for some fresh air (and a smoke!) This is terrible when viewed through today's knowledge. I didn't like this part of the job at the time because it was very dirty, not because of the airborne asbestos fibers. However, I get regular checkups and value the lifelong skills and friendships I made at my first job. During the past two years my wife and I took care of matters within our control to make the best out of the future years we have together. Our conversations always centered around our current physical, mental and financial status with the future reduction of these resources in our planning. We didn't allocate any of our precious time to reclaim our past.
Months ago I stopped organizing boxes of pictures and memorabilia as it is mentally exhausting. The past is fun to visit because we save pictures and documents of the good times. We naturally embellish the good old days which inevitably sparks an emotional reaction. The reality is that the past is past and the good old days weren't so good at the time. Our country is currently looking at the picture albums of bad things of the past which also sparks raw emotions. I think it's time to put our country's memorabilia back on the shelf and move forward. Replacing old pictures doesn't change history. I understand why we are removing place names and monuments that alienate a group of people. However, replacing them with words and/or items that alienate others fuels any divisiveness. I took my family to our favorite park and to my old school. Both were renamed in words that required a pronunciation guide. I am fine with the English translation of these new names and promoting inclusiveness. But, using written words that the majority do not understand is not inclusive. Covid gave us all a shake up. Routines and expectations were thrown out the window. Those who spend their time fighting for the past were hit hard. We just had family stay with us for ten days. The old days came up a few times. The grandkids were amused with hearing childhood stories of their father and grandparents. However, the best times were finding new experiences for all of us to enjoy! I didn't dust off the checker board once, but my computer is burgeoning with new pictures and games!
Our visiting family left this morning and now my computer time doesn't have to be spent surveying and populating inhabitable planets throughout the galaxy. I will continue to work on mastering Stellaris but at my own pace! Spare time or boredom aren't issues when playing such a complex game! It wasn't long ago when I was concerned about children and electronic devices. However, living with three children for the past 10 days has shown me how technology can enhance and support a healthy lifestyle.
He is familiar with Hearts of Iron IV and agrees it is a good game. The WWII theme would probably make it a better choice for me! I definitely see where this level of game play will gobble up many hours of time. In the right circumstances this is time well spent as the brain gets a lot of exercise! A few years ago I was concerned about the amount of time this grandchild spent "playing" on his computer but my views have changed. He does not let his passion for gaming to overpower his social, intellectual and physical development. I don't think I could be as disciplined and hope that I manage to stay at my current level of interest! I am more of an "Oregon Trail" level of gamer.
Then there is hope! I did pay $12cdn which well worth the bonding time. I know that Stellaris is one of those games that will continue to offer and charge for add-ons but I won't be following this path! I will make an effort to "appreciate" the basics, but I do prefer easier free games with immediate gratification.
Thanks for the caution. I know we have put ourselves at increased risk of exposure but everyone is healthy and aware. Yesterday my teen grandson downloaded a game on my computer that he thought I'd like. "Stellaris" is the name. An hour or two was spent trying to get me in a position of grasping the gist of what I needed to do to play independently. I suspect my background in gaming is far too inadequate to grasp the beginner's level of this game. The fun for me is working with refining my grandson's teaching skills and testing his patience. My understanding/appreciation/respect of a "gamers" world grew to a whole new level. He does this in his spare time but still manages to be an A student and a young athlete. He laughed when I mentioned the term "spare time" because he doesn't have any. This is a good thing because idle time and teen years can be worrisome!
Tonight my oldest son and his family arrive from Texas after three days of driving. This will be the first in-person contact with any of our children/grandchildren since Jan. 2020. If this scenario was taking place 30 years ago, when my kids were the age of my grandchildren now, I'd be very unsettled. As it is, technology has kept us very close. Sure we're going to be ecstatic when they hit our driveway but it won't be full of shocks and surprises. I had to laugh yesterday because we had three texters constantly updating us from my son's YukonXL while on route. I believe a positive outcome of the Covid experience is people making a greater effort to communicate. We have missed several routine visits with our children but we've talked more than ever before!
The passing of a loved pet is a most difficult experience. I am truly sorry, diyer2. The one mantra I keep repeating at such times is, "Remember the good times". It doesn't remove the pain but the happy memories will eventually overpower the sadness as your pet crosses the "Rainbow Bridge". RainbowBridge.com Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author unknown...
I spent a lot of time during Covid sorting through old photos, film, and documents of the past. I even found my parents' citizenship documents! Reminiscing about the past sparks a whole gamut of emotions. If we're lucky, our memories are happy and we refer to the past as the good old days. The happy times in the past also had major personal and global strife. Wishing for (or taking) it back, begs the question of to when? Yes, going back to a twenty year old body with your current brain may reap some personal empowerment but it won't be nirvana. We can all enjoy our respective country's celebration in a positive light, today. We have a hell of a lot to appreciate!
I thought I was able to drive prior to being old enough but chose formal lessons. The incentive of reduced insurance premiums for driving school completion motivated me to receive additional training. I also spent time guiding from the passenger seat with my wife and three kids but they all enrolled in a driving school. Schools have the resources and trained instructors who are not emotionally connected with the driver. They teach you how to operate and navigate a car as well as all of the current strategies to keep you safe while operating a vehicle. My father was a licensed plumber and over the years I've done most household plumbing tasks. I am confident that I have the tools and skills to do the plumbing for an entire house. However, I don't know what I don't know so I will always call a plumber for anything beyond the most basic DIY tasks!
We received pictures yesterday of a grandchild taking a driving lesson on his parents' High Country. This was cute and supports the continuous and real time communication I mentioned in my previous post. After the initial grandparent comments I wondered why these pictures didn't show a compact sized driving school car? During my uncommitted time I often surf through YouTube. The other day I watched a few called something like, "Idiots behind the wheel". These were dash cam or other devices capturing car accidents. Some are unfortunate accidents but too many are a result of poor driving. We all develop poor/lazy driving habits and should not be passing these on to our kids. I went back to Driving School for my motorcycle endorsement at 60 years old. I went to class confident that I was professionally trained with 44 years of experience. If you haven't had a "refresher" in awhile you may be shocked at what you don't know. I was!
Our Texan family will be arriving next week for a visit. This will be the first time we've been together since Jan. 2020. We are very excited but not in the same way as if this was 40 years ago. Technology has made a huge impact on long distance communication and relationships. Those of us who have spent time as adults before home computers appreciate the difference. I know a person in her 70's who has shunned personal computers and cell phones to this day. Spending time with her reinforces my appreciation for being connected!
I wrote a letter and attached it to a Birthday card yesterday morning. Later in the day I took it to a mailbox in hopes it will arrive in time. I am sure that the novelty of receiving a handwritten letter in the mail will be viewed as a gift by the recipient. It should because it took considerable time and effort! The fact that dropping a card in the mail has morphed into such an event during my adult life reflects how rapidly change happens, However this is also an example of how the time we've freed up gets gobbled up!
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