My son Akili sent me a video of a cat flushing the toilet. No, not a tidy cat, an obsessive compulsive cat. The story behind the video claims that a couple had a huge water bill and couldn’t figure out what was leaking until one day one of them stayed home from work and discovered that little pussycat had an obsession with flushing the toilet and batting at the water vortex as it went down. The cat was flushing the toilet over and over again all day long for entertainment. If you want to see this in action, here’s the address of the video download: water-leak.wmvMy Ella doesn’t get off on flushing the toilet, but she’s a very smart kitty. In our old house, she figured out how to put her claw around the edge of the screen door and let herself in and out of the kitchen. She taught her sister how to do it too. In the new house we have a sliding screen door. She figured out how to bump it with her head until it moves just enough for her to get her claw around it and open it. Her sister hasn’t worked that out yet. So she has to wait for Ella to open the door and let her in.
Friday, July 25, 2008
OK, another moving story. For as long as I could remember, Ron had a long metal pole with a heap of metal bells on it in his closet. I never asked. I picked my battles. Every once in a while I’d move the stupid thing to get to something else. But I was good. I never suggested he get rid of it. I wasn’t even sure how it worked, anyway. I figured he had a sentimental attachment to it. He never played the bells. On moving day, during his final moments in his bedroom, as he was throwing things on the truck half-packed, Ron waved this heap of bells in my direction and with great annoyance demanded, “Can we throw this thing out? How long are you going to keep it? And what the hell is it, anyway?” I stopped dead in my tracks. “That’s not mine,” I told him, “I have no idea where it came from or what it is. I thought it was yours. It’s in your closet.” Apparently he thought I had put it in his closet. Must have been hell’s bells.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So we invited the neighbors over for lemonade and cookies on Sunday afternoon. There are about a dozen houses on the circle where our new house is located. I left an invitation in every box. I made Crystal Light sugar-free lemonade. Ron thought that was a really bad idea. I pointed out that most of our neighbors are retired (probably on a diet) and would appreciate sugar-free lemonade. “Yeah,” he said, “but you’re serving it with cookies loaded with butter and sugar.” Oh well. Ron says I should have invited the neighbors for “Fresca and cookies” so they’d have some idea of what they were getting into. I imagine them down the road telling others “Ron and Amy are lovely people, but if they ever invite you over for lemonade, just say ‘no’.” As it turned out, the entire event was surprising. Our neighbors have not met each other! People who have lived on this little circle for over 20 years were introducing themselves to one another. Afterward, Ron and I could not get over this. What happens in the suburbs? People don’t communicate? They all thanked us profusely for bringing everyone together. Now I feel like I moved to the Twilight Zone.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I sometimes wish I could run my car on water now that the price of gas is so high. But it turns out that water might be more expensive than gas! I read the following list in an e-zine and it caught my attention. It provides a calculation of the price per gallon for a variety of substances. I must say that I have not done any research into confirmation of these listed prices. Have a look.
Diet Snapple 16 oz @ $1.29 = $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz @ $1.19 = $9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz @ $1.59 = $10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray 16 oz @ $1.25 = $10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz @ $3.15 = $33.60 per gallon
Vick's Nyquil 6 oz @ $8.35 = $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz @ $3.85 = $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout 7 oz @ $1.39 = $25.42 per gallon
Scope 1.5 oz @ $0.99 = $84.48 per gallon
Evian water 9 oz @ $1.49 = $21.19 per gallon (and consumers don't even know the source of this water)
The cost of printers’ ink (as in book printing) is $5,200 a gallon
Aren’t you glad your car doesn't run on Evian, Scope, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or (worst of all) printer’s ink?!
Friday, July 11, 2008
On the day of our move, Ron spent the morning disassembling our pedestal bed and the evening reassembling it. He had help from our darling sons, but a significant challenge to the reassembly process was the fact that we couldn’t find all the internal bed boards. They looked like shelving so I combed the house and garage for shelving and sure enough found the boards (rather late in the evening I might add) leaning against a stack of loose shelves. We were highly motivated to put the bed back together as we were exhausted and wanted to go to sleep. When Ron was ready to screw in the headboard, he needed many hands to hold everything in place. The boys and I held up different sections. I found myself balancing a heavy bed piece, trying to hold it steady, while squished in a corner between a dresser, a book shelf, and a stack of boxes. Suddenly, my mischievous cat, Ella, turned up seeking affection. She gives little “love bites” when she wants to be petted. She started nipping my ankles! To make matters worse, I thought this was so funny that I could not stop laughing. I’m lucky I didn’t drop the whole bed on my foot. Or someone else’s foot. Ron was not amused. He doesn’t like that cat, but that’s another story. On that night, my cat-impaired husband was my hero as he and his trusty Makita drill finally managed to assemble the bed so I could go to sleep.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It was actually to Ron’s benefit that he misplaced his underwear because had he put any in the washing machine during our first couple of days at the Villa, they probably would have shrunk. Here’s why. I would not be parted from my Fisher Paykel washing machine so I brought it with me. The other appliances were all hooked up when we got here. Ron had to connect the washer. Not too complicated. Plug it in, connect the water lines. Somehow he swapped the hot and cold lines. It took me a few loads of laundry to realize that hot was cold and cold was hot. Ron swapped them back. So far this house has not supported the concept of laundry. This week the dryer stopped working. Sudi and Ron betook (is that a word?) themselves to the laundry room (hooray, we have one now) and bumbled around for a couple of minutes. Then I heard the dryer start. “Yay,” I called from the kitchen, “I married a genius.” Sudi called back, “Not. I figured that one out, not Dad.” Sudi discovered the knob was cracked. He took it off and turned the stem underneath with a hammer claw. New knob on order. I have to say that I am just not used to living here yet. I feel like I'm renting someone else's beach house and I keep wondering what all my stuff is doing here. Luckily I have not yet stumbled into the laundry room while looking for the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We have been in the Villa two weeks and I think it’s about time for me to get back in the saddle. So begins the moving stories series. Let me tell you about the day of the move, on which my organizationally impaired husband finally packed his bedroom. Thank goodness for the assistance of our sons. The night before the move, Akili spent hours going through shopping bags of cassette tapes, sorting, putting tapes in cases, and weeding out tapes that were completely shot. Meanwhile, Sudi removed CD shelving and boxed up videotapes in Ron’s office. On the day of the move, both sons helped Ron throw things in boxes, ripping items off the shelves in his closet and emptying the drawers in his dresser. Foot bath, photo equipment, art work, skis, hot air balloon, canoe, digital fishing pole. Ron found two boxes at the back of that closet that he had brought from Berkeley 17 years ago and had never opened (taped shut). He threw them on the truck. If you haven’t used it in 17 years, do you need it? He was emptying dresser drawers into boxes when the movers demanded the dresser. At the Villa, his old dresser came off the truck and went into the garage because I gave Ron my dresser and took the spare one from the back closet for myself. The morning after the move, Yael asked her dad if he could find his underwear. She was joking. He was not when he replied that he couldn’t. And the washing machine was not hooked up yet. It took him 48 hours to remember that he had not finished clearing out the dresser before it went on the truck. In the garage he found his underwear in the abandoned dresser.