My Week: Living at the North Pole

I got up earlier than I’d planned but later than I do through the week. Before too long, I had a load of laundry in the wash and had done all of my routine well before DD called. She called closer to the usual time than she has since they’ve been in the PNW. We had a good visit but shorter than most.

It was cold today so I hung my things around the house. I’d let them spin thoroughly so it didn’t take them long to dry.

I forgot to post these pictures last week. They show the handiwork of a couple of us in the office. I think my part was easier than hers. I did the cutting and she did the spraying and glittering.

This one shows most of the snowflakes but you might get dizzy looking at it:

An angled shot

You’ll notice the mirror on the far wall of the lobby. That’s our “window on the world”. When it was renovated, the decorator was going to put up a picture with non-reflective glass and we asked her not to. The picture was how we saw anyone coming in the front door. She did one better. She put up the mirror and it works perfectly.

From the office into the lobby

Here is a shot into the office:

Looking into the office

Several people have stopped and asked where we bought the snowflakes (some call them stars). I’ve offered to teach them how to make them but they want us to do the work. I don’t THINK so!

That’s where I spend most of my waking hours. The cave I share with another person is off to the right. Our office is one of several windowless offices. I can think of six at the moment. At least there are doors.

Guess I should get to bed soon. Tomorrow is another day.

This is the first year I haven’t thought about DH on his birthday. It was yesterday but I didn’t remember it until this morning. I’d remembered it the night before but not during the day. Maybe I’m making progress…

When I was getting my lunch together to take to work I glanced out the window over the kitchen sink and there was the most beautiful male cardinal. I watched it until it moved out of my line of sight. Neat!

It looked as though it had snowed a little more last night but it didn’t lay on the ground. There was ice here and there. I wore my London Fog to work. Mother’s scarf completed my wintertime outfit.

I really really was able to get out both morning and afternoon to walk. One of the nursing home employees has predicted I’m going to get sick and die from getting out in the cold and walking. I told her I used to go out in sub-zero temperatures in Nebraska and I’m still alive. It was 44 according to time and temperature this morning and 49 this afternoon. The sun came out for a little while, even.

I called the organ repairman and he was concerned about the clicks. He asked if it could be heard by the people in the front row. They could probably be heard by the ones in the back but I told him yes, for sure. I know I could hear them now and then after I padded the keys.

Do you get as much junk mail as I do? I count “junk” as anything I haven’t asked for or isn’t personal. I’ve started fighting back. Whenever I get something I don’t want, I write “Refused” on it and put it back in the mailbox. If there is an address it can be sent to, I write “Refused—Return to sender”. If I wanted to take the time I could put “Return to sender/Address unknown/No such number/No such zone”. Maybe I should print some labels and keep them in the car. That would save time. If we all start sending stuff back, maybe the companies will get our drift and quit killing so many trees unnecessarily. Just a thought.

My neighbor needed me to take care of some paperwork for her so I went over tonight and did that. She’s going to look about a phone line to replace the one that’s been here for 10 years. I’m going to rule out that as being the problem behind my slow connection speeds.

It was rainy and messy all day today. I didn’t even attempt getting out to walk. Neither did I try walking inside again. That just doesn’t work. Wish there was a treadmill in the hospital that the employees could use but nope.

My coat and long john britches came. They’ll feel good on the cold days.

A week ago today was when the produce man was in town. I hope he comes back soon. My cucumbers are just about gone in more ways than one.

It’s supposed to rain more tonight. It seems pretty light right now.

I could tell it was warmer when I got up this morning. It was in the low 50s outside. It must’ve rained hard after I went to sleep because the rain gauge showed 3.25″ when I left the house.

The sun was out full force with just a few clouds floating around. I still make good use of the coat, though. The wind was blowing so hard it knocked me sideways once. I did my three rounds this morning but only one this afternoon.

It fell to me to be the bank/post office person today. There wasn’t any mail to take this afternoon when I left at 3. I wanted to get over the mountain to pick up my oranges and get groceries then get home at a reasonable hour. I’ve decided against buying any more wintertime tomatoes. I’ll stick with Camparis until homegrown ones come in again unless there are some really really tempting ones around. The produce place definitely bombed in the tomato department. $1.79 a lub?? I don’t THINK so! (Note from later in the week—the ones at Save A Lot were $2.79. No savings there!)

I got 80 count navel oranges this time. They looked good until I got part way down in the box and there was one that was thoroughly rotten. I won’t say anything if that’s the only casualty I have. (Another note—I got navels because I was tired of fighting with so many seeds. The navel oranges have about as many seeds as the others. People who love fruit with seeds would welcome them!)

The banana war is over. One of my co-workers told me there were 19 cent a lub green ones at the used food store but I didn’t have time to stop. As it was, it was after dark when I got home and I still had to unload the car. BTW, she said they were that price on the weekend so she got some and they still weren’t ripe. I paid $.49 at Wally World.

It surely was nice to have a warm coat. I don’t know why I’ve crippled by without one for so long. It got COLD later on this afternoon.

The temperature was down to 18 this morning. Kinda chilly and with the wind blowing besides. I did get out and walk this morning—when it went from 32 to 33! Didn’t have time this afternoon before I was down to one registrar and me. That’s okay. I feel I did my duty.

I haven’t heard anything from the organ repairman. I hope he hasn’t forgotten about it or has gotten too busy to get here this week.

Beware! Don’t order anything from! I placed an order a week ago last Tuesday and paid by PayPal and haven’t heard ANYTHING from it. I’ve emailed but nothing. Nada. I’ll call them tomorrow. The sad thing is, I’ve ordered from them before and gotten excellent fruit with excellent service. I feel betrayed.

The gas station was closed when I went by this afternoon. It was after 5:30 so he may be closing earlier these short cold days. I’ll have to fill up tomorrow or I’ll be running on fumes before Monday. I hope everything is okay. He wasn’t well a few weeks ago and had to close.

I had a post all planned for tonight but didn’t get it together in time so I’ll try to do it for Sunday.

It isn’t often that I sit down and watch something from beginning to end but I did tonight. I’d recorded “Finding Buck McHenry” a long time ago. I figured I’d check it out. I’m not big on sports or baseball movies but it caught me right at the beginning and held my attention all the way through. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a good, wholesome story.

It got down to 15 degrees F. last night. BRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I was the bank/post office person today. One of the coldest days we’ve had so far. I did remember my new warm gloves and they helped. The produce man was in town, despite the cold. I didn’t stop. There’s nothing I need. The tomatoes I got from him were mushy, I have cucumbers and oranges so I’m good. I found out later he was there yesterday, too.

Well, I tried to get in touch with someone at Sierra Nevada Citrus but got voice mail. I left a message to either send the fruit or refund my money. (Note—see email in italics below.)

When I got back to the hospital I called the organ repairman and he was on his way. I told him when he got to the town just down the road to call me and I’d go unlock the church. He did and I did and that cut out my morning walk. Before he got there, I unloaded the Christmas decorations from the organ and took everything off, otherwise, too. I’d expected a much younger man. He’s probably older than I am. He had remarked before that organ repair is a nice avocation because he gets to work in quiet places with musical instruments. Maybe he’s retired, otherwise. Anyway, he had several questions for me so I stuck around and watched. He definitely knows what he’s doing. He gave me the bill for the other time and it was very reasonable. I wrote him a check and when I told him to bill me for today, he said, “Oh no! I’m done! I’m not charging for today.” He added that his work is guaranteed for a year and to let him know if anything goes wrong. He’d brought a bulb for the preset light that’s burned out but it wouldn’t work. He said bulb covers (one is missing) are rare as hen’s teeth but he’d keep his eyes open for them. He wanted me to play something before he left. He’d been talking about some of the amazing pianists and organists he’d come across in his business so I felt intimidated. I couldn’t play the bass notes with my running shoes on so I just played the manuals and went through “Follow Me” once. I tried to find something on youtube but came up empty. The best I could do are the lyrics:

By Ira Stamphill

I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care,
The burden on my weary back had bowed me to despair,
I oft complained to Jesus how folks were treating me,
And then I heard Him so so tenderly,
“My feet were also weary upon the Calv’ry road,
The cross became so heavy I fell beneath the load,
Be faithful weary pilgrim, the morning I can see,
Just lift your cross and follow close to me.”

“I work so hard for Jesus” I often boast and say,
“I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way,
I gave up fame and fortune; I’m worth a lot to thee,”
And then I heard Him gently say to me,
“I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross,
But now we’ll make the journey with your hand safe in mine,
So lift your cross and follow close to me.”

Oh Jesus if I die upon a foreign field someday
‘Twould be no more than love demands, no less could I repay,
“No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die,”
These are the words he gently spoke to me,
“If just a cup of water I place within your hand
Then just a cup of water is all that I demand,”
But if by death to living they can thy glory see,
I’ll take my cross and follow close to thee.

It’s a beautiful song. He didn’t comment.

By the time I got back to work, I was down to one registrar so no walking this afternoon, either. My bananas weren’t ripe enough for a smoothie so I ate them in between answering calls and tending to people at the window. Three bananas and two apples made up my lunch.

My old laptop has been getting too hot and shutting down from time to time. I went over and made sure neither of the two fans was binding and were freely turning. My theory is that the more powerful computers are made, the more resources certain sites will use and some of them are just too much for the poor little ‘puter. My friend and I were talking about the Facebook privacy changes and she said she wasn’t famous, anyway. I told her she was, too. I talk about her on here and that makes her famous, right?

The station was open this afternoon so I got the car filled up. I won’t have to worry about running out now. The owner told me it’s supposed to get colder tonight than it was last night so I’ll leave faucets dripping.

The other night, I accidentally turned off the power bar when I plugged in the water bed heater. When I felt how cool (not cold, thank goodness) the bed was, I thought the heater was done for and I’d have to buy another. It was a relief to find the cause. Just thinking about that nice warm bed is making me sleepy. I think I’ll climb in early tonight. Happy Sabbath!

Saturday night
It’s been a good day. I had a full organ to play at church and it was so nice not to have to play certain songs a certain way. I forgot at one point that it was really okay to play the lower manual and start an intro on the upper on a setting that was an octave too low. I realized what I’d done right away and rectified it.

And I was WARM! I wore my camisole, an insulated shirt over that with a Christmas shirt on top. Then, I put on my long john pants, two pairs of trouser socks, a slip and a long skirt. I had my new warm coat on (to travel) with a pair of warm gloves and Mother’s scarf I’d bought her years ago. When I was sitting in the pew, I put the scarf around my neck and the coat over my legs. It took awhile to put it all on but it was worth it.

The pastor is graduating Wednesday evening and I know he and his family think “FINALLY”! I’d like to go but there is no way. We have our annual office Christmas party that day and the church school’s program is the following night. I’m expected to bring food for the refreshments for after the program and I won’t have any other time to fix them but Wednesday night.

The church service was good today. Since I didn’t know what the hymns were until I got there, I was glad to see they were both easy ones. Of course, they had to sing lots of Christmas carols during the song services but I had a WHOLE organ to play them on!

There was a fellowship meal but I came on home. I hadn’t fixed anything to take and once in awhile is about all I can handle.

I was looking at my arugula patch on the way to the house this afternoon and I think it’s about done for. It lived through many a frost but I think several hard freezes have made it history. It was good while it lasted. I only wish I’d planted lots more than I did. I’ll remember next spring.

Now for an explanation of the deleted paragraph above. Tonight, I got this email:

I’ll be picking and shipping your fruit this week. I will email your tracking number for your package when I ship it. If the rain here moves out Sunday-Monday I should have your order out by Tuesday or Wednesday,

Robert Benik

Picked, Packed & Shipped the same day to your door!
22109 Ave 318
Exeter, CA 93221

I’m looking forward to getting it. It’s always wonderful fruit. Sorry I bad-mouthed them.

This is much too long again. I do hope that everyone has a safe and restful night tonight. And have a good week coming up!

9 Responses to My Week: Living at the North Pole

  1. Lila December 12, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Sorry, Tommie, but if mail is not first class, it does not go back to the sender. I’ve tried it at the post office. So maybe they just discard the ones you try to send back. At least that gets them out of your way.

    Beautiful snowflakes!

    • Tommie December 13, 2009 at 7:51 am #

      Yes, I used to have bags of STUFF/JUNK to dispose of but not so much any more. I’ve called or emailed several companies and told them to take my name off their mailing lists and one was nice enough to write back and tell me they would. I’d already garbaged their catalog so I couldn’t pass it on to someone else as they requested.

      I thought they turned out well, too!

  2. Mary Jane December 13, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Beautiful snowflakes! Your heavy garb sounds like another member of our family! I have told her that if she falls she won’t be able to get up.

    • Tommie December 13, 2009 at 11:10 am #

      Thanks! “Fortunely” mine is mostly lightweight but the layers make it warm.

  3. Lila December 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    Tommie, I hate to burst your bubble, but mail that is metered can never be returned to the sender, so the mail you thought you were returning probably just got trashed. I know, because I have tried it at the post office. Too bad! I’d like to do it, too.

    Beautiful snow flakes – good job!

    • Tommie December 13, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

      Guess telling me twice is better than none for both topics! At least I don’t have to deal with the junk mail if I give it back.

  4. Monica Rivas Jakka December 16, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Good to read your post Tommie. As ever, thanks for sharing. I love your humour and honesty.

    • Tommie December 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

      Thanks, Floop! I appreciate the kind words.

  5. Mushero January 20, 2013 at 2:34 am #

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