Sunday, November 30, 2008

Float On...

It was so nice to be home in our own bed last night, after three nights visiting my in-laws.  Not that their guest beds are uncomfortable, just nothing sleeps like your own bed.  

We got our first real snowfall today, so I decided it's time to switch over to flannel sheets.  I dutifully stripped off the comforter, bedspread (which we keep on the bed to protect the comforter from the cats,) and sheets.  As I was moving the bedspread, my hand detected something wet on it.  As a cat owner, I'm wondering if a kitty couldn't make the litter box, so I sniffed the cover (ewww, why would I do that?)  No kitty smell.  

Then I felt the side of the bed, and it was damp too.  Uh-oh.  Did I mention it is a soft-sided waterbed?  Yep, the mattress bladders inside finally gave way.  I did what anyone would do in this situation -yelled downstairs to Kilowatt "I think we have a problem."  

While I'm trying to figure out how to get the mattress pieces into the bathtub without getting my hardwood floor wet, Kilowatt is opening the bedroom window.  Did I mention our bedroom is on the 2nd floor (or 3rd, if you count the cellar, which in the back of the house is 3/4 exposed.)  He drains the water out the window, then flings the mattress out after it!  I am so glad we don't have neighbors who can see that side of the house.    

I had been thinking it was time for a new mattress, but I really didn't plan on getting one for Christmas, you know?  A quick look at our files show I bought this one in 1992 - yep, guess it is time for a new one.  A quick glance at the internet shows prices have tripled since 1992 - oh goody.  And the soonest we can get a new mattress delivered is Friday.

So until Friday, I'm sleeping on one of those inflatable guest mattresses that you put on the floor.  We've improved its comfort by putting it up on top of the base of our waterbed frame.  Of course, if I get too close to the edge I'll go flying off...and if this is improved comfort I'm not sure how anyone can sleep on one of these.  Maybe this is why no one comes to visit us:)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a bittersweet holiday - it marks the beginning of the hectic holiday season, the beginning of winter for us NorthEasterners, and a stark reminder that there's only two weeks left in the semester to complete projects that should be a lot farther along than they are.  But it also marks a day we traditionally spend with family, enjoying the Macy's parade on TV and laughing about Thanksgivings past.  

I woke up this morning thinking about everything I have to do today to prepare for the six hour hike to my in-laws.  It's cold out, I'm tired, you know the routine.  I visited our local paper's website for todays news.  All week, there's been a link at the top right of their page "tell us your positive thoughts as holidays approach."  And for a week now, there's been one entry there, from a woman who's husband has lost his job.  And that's it -- one entry in a city of over 100,000 with probably another 100,000 in the surrounding towns that read this paper.

That's not the whole story -- anyone who clicks on the comments link will see a note that 'no further comments are being taken on this story.'  But on the home page, it looks like no one in NH has any positive thoughts to express.

Well, I have a few positive thoughts, and since I can't comment there, I'll share them here.  This holiday, I'm thankful for:
~ my family
~ my friends, scattered though they are
~ living in a country where we are free to disagree with one another, and yet can come together in times or crisis
~ my faith.  After a semester of philosophy, I'm happy to have faith.
~ the sun.  It made an appearance today!
~ my cats.  They love me no matter what, and show that love by grooming me in my sleep (a whole post coming up on that topic soon.)
~ kids (not just my own.)  amazing how a couple of hours surrounded by the boundless energy of youth can make one feel ten years younger (or older, depending on one's attitude du jour.)


** Thanksgiving clipart from:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just one dollar

I heard on the radio today about a town in MA where the mayor (I believe it was) is asking everyone to donate $1 toward heating costs for those who otherwise couldn't afford to heat their homes.  Then I saw on the news that the local food banks are almost out of food.  

That got me to thinking, what if people would take the mayor's idea and carry it into other areas.  For example, if you work in a small office, and everyone donated just $1 per week (only $52 a year), then you could probably scrape up $500 or so for one charity, or spread it around a bit more and give 20 different charities $25.  Yes, everyone just give up one trip to the vending machine a week and improve the lives of others.  Or if this is too much trouble, how about designating one week during the holiday season as charity week, and ask everyone to throw in their spare change daily.  At the end of the week, take what you have collected to a local food pantry where you can help someone actually get a holiday meal.   

The holidays are coming, and winter is here.  Despite dropping oil prices, a lot of people still need our help as jobs disappear.  So, if you are lucky enough to be employed, and have enough money to buy food, clothing and shelter, why not start keeping an extra dollar in your purse/pocket at all times to drop in that Salvation Army pot this year.  Or use the convenience of the internet to donate a few dollars to a worthy cause or two.  Need an idea:  visit the NH Food Bank and participate in a virtual food drive.  

What you give doesn't have to be much - if every blogger out there just gives a few dollars to their favorite cause, we can make a big impact.  So, what cause will you choose this holiday season?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun Monday - Veteran's Day

I'm really late joining Fun Monday this week, but I think the topic is so worthy that I had to contribute.  Our host this week is Janis.  Her very timely assignment:
Since Next Tuesday is Veterans Day, I thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something patriotic.

My stepfather passed away two years ago.  He was a WWII veteran, an Army Laboratory Technician.     
Occasionally, when I was young, he would talk about the war.  I don't remember the specific stories, just the overall lesson that being in a war was a very tough way of life.  I know the war made an indelible impression on his life.   Maybe if I had listened closer to those stories, I would have understood him better.  

Veteran's Day is a tribute to him and all the others who have served our country.  Let us never forget the sacrifices made by so many, and do what we can to honor those.  Even those lucky enough to come home bring memories of the horrors of war with them that we can scarcely imagine.  Let us pause in our daily routines to say a special prayer of thanks for their sacrifice, and to remember those who are no longer with us.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voter Report from NH

It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm day in NH for this election.  I'm comfortable predicting we'll shatter voter turnout records today for our state at least.  The mood at the polls was unlike any I've seen in all my years of voting.  Despite the fact that whomever is elected faces major challenges, voters were excited to cast their ballots.  I didn't mind having to plan my trip to the polls to minimize traffic congestion and wait time - I think it is great to see such a high level of civic involvement.  Let's hope that the involvement doesn't end here!

My town did a great job - they were very well prepared for the turnout, which was quite heavy.  I voted at 3:30PM - not usually a real busy time - and the parking lot was full.  The high school had set up separate lanes for registered voters versus those registering today.  They had also set up extra voting booths and had people directing the traffic.  

A few high school students were doing exit surveys for their statistics class - this is quite normal for us, they do it every election.  And Kid's Vote was set up in the room next to the polling room.  

All in all the process went very smoothly, and we were in and out in 15 minutes or less.  Finding a place to park was the biggest challenge!