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Friday, April 25, 2008

Extreme Makeover

It is finished! Leroy rolled the last coat of "Blushing Tan" paint on the living room walls last night and this morning I put everything back in place. Here's the new look. Scroll down to see how it looked before anything was done. I want to put a border at the top yet whenever I find something I like.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Look

The weather this week is gorgeous. It's sunny and in the 70s, making it warm enough to open windows. This is just the kind of weather I was waiting for to do some painting in the living room. Yes, the living room. After 40 years of the same paneling, the time has come for an extreme makeover. Last summer we tore the paneling off the front hall and had it replaced with drywall. I would have liked to do the whole living room, but that was more than His Highness would allow. I thought maybe in a couple years we will finish the job, but in the end decided I am willing to compromise and just apply a couple coats of paint.
I started yesterday and it will take me all week. The old paneling is so porous it takes two coats of primer and two coats of the color. It is the same color we painted the hall last summer. This is how it looked at noon today with the job about half done.
We are a house divided. He thinks it was fine the way it was and I voted for change. What do you think? Shall I go on or scrape it all off again?

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Model

Kaden Michael, son of Jay & Marilyn Martin (fourth son, fifth child), born on April 17, at 9:27 am, weighed 6lbs 2 oz. and was 20 1/2" long.
Since he was 5 1/2 weeks early, he is still in the NICU at Ephrata Hospital. He is doing very well, is off oxygen, IV and feeding tubes. He is a little jaundice and is under light for treatment. We are hoping that he will be able to come home this week!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Signs Of The Times

Yesterday I went to Lancaster for another raid of the courthouse and was shocked to find things had changed since I was there the last time a couple weeks ago. All of the shelves where the deed books were kept are now empty! The index books and the files with the microfeche of the oldest deeds are still in the same place. But everything else has been transferred to files which must be viewed on their website.
I knew they were working on putting everything on-line, but I didn't expect them to pull the books off the shelves. What about the people who do not have high-speed Internet service in their homes? There is a computer in the deed room people can use, but there is only ONE computer. And those who are not computer literate wind up using a lot of time to try look up something they could find in minutes in the books. To make it worse, the indexes are not yet on-line. You cannot find a deed unless you know the exact number of the deed you want to see. The only way to find the number is to go to the courthouse and look at the indexes. I think they were a little hasty in pulling the books off the shelves before the indexes are on-line.
I guess they consider this progress and protection of valuable documents. In a way, it will be more convenient to look at deeds in the comfort of my own home, but I still think it is sad. A page on a computer screen cannot compete with the smell of old paper and the feeling of touching the past you get when you open a big old ledger to read a handwritten document.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Sprung

Spring has sprung!
The grass is a lovely shade of green.
Daffodils are in full bloom.
The buds on the cherry tree are bursting out so fast you can almost see it happen.
I finished housecleaning the upstairs this morning.
I went barefoot outside for the first time this year.
The windows are open to let fresh air into the house.
And the neighbor came and plowed the garden this afternoon.
All those things are unmistakeable signs spring has returned. The forecast says cooler weather will return by the end of the weekend, but its neck is broken and spring will come back in triumph. Sometimes it seems spring has a hard time coming through, but it always wins eventually. There has never yet been a year with twelve months of winter.
All you folks north of us, take heart. Spring is on the way. Last weekend I was in Virginia. Their grass was as green then as ours is now. It took about five days for spring to get from Harrisonburg to here. Maybe that will help you figure out how long you have to wait yet.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Writer's Conference

I went to Harrisonburg, VA on Thursday for a Writer's Conference which was held on Friday and Saturday. I've been there many times in the last 30-plus years I've been writing but missed it the last two years. I had a good time renewing friendships with other writers as well as Ralph & Evelyn Landes who provided bed and breakfast.
Writer's Conference is geared more to beginning writers, but it is always stimulating to discuss ideas and projects with other writers. One of the workshop leaders said, "You are not a failure as long as you keep trying." I needed to hear that, as I am rather discouraged with the project I tackled this winter. I took along the results of my winter's labor and gave it to the chairman of the Book Committee. If it is not worth anything, I have spent enough time on it. If they think I should go on, I will plug away.
The most disappointing thing about the trip was being within sight of the Rockingham County courthouse but not able to go there to look for some missing papers from 1810. The person who solves the physics problem that prevents people from being two places at once will be the world's richest man.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Senior Citizen

I've done it! When I went to Dutchway for groceries this morning, I got a Senior card so I can take advantage of the discount they give to age 60-and-above shoppers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I qualified on a certain day last December but it takes time to adjust to this Senior Citizen thing.
As I drove home, I reflected on the change in the cards I carry in my wallet. When I was married, the only cards in my wallet were my identification card and driver's license. We had no credit or debit cards. The first of those took up residence around 1975. I added a library card when I took the children to the public library every week. When the bakery at Dutchway started giving a free cookie to card-holding children under 12, I carried a cookie card. That card has long since disappeared and is now replaced with my Senior card.
The contents of my purse has changed over the years too. It used to hold diapers and pacifiers. Now it contains a scissors and thimble. At least I'm not to the prescription drugs and magnifying glass stage yet! So I'll count my blessings and continue to consider myself middle-aged (ok, on the high end of middle-age) even though the Senior Citizen label is pasted on me. The greed for saving a buck overcame my vanity and I am now a certified card-carrying Senior Citizen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ups and Downs

We all go through ups and downs in our lives, but sometimes when the downs come too thick and fast. This is one of those times.
Last Thursday the gas pump died in Gerald's truck. I had to go pick him up at the end of his clinical. A friend of his helped him haul the truck home but he did not have time to work on it. That evening Leroy's blood pressure spiked to over 200 and his heartbeat was slow. Gerald called the Dr. and then hauled Leroy in to the ER. The remedy was a new medication, but they wound up spending a couple hours of precious time in the ER.
Gerald's other truck had a hole in the gas tank and was also out of commission. So he drove our car to school and work on Friday. He is at a critical point in the semester and did not have time to fix either truck, but took time anyway. He took the gas tank from the most recently died truck and put it on the other one. But something was not put together right and it still leaked so that it was not safe to drive.
Leroy said on Sunday that he feels he should return the favor Gerald did him and help get his truck fixed. He could drive our car the beginning of the week but by Thursday I need it to go to Writer's Conference in Virginia. But Monday morning Leroy sprained his ankle at work and wound up on crutches unable to do a thing about the truck.
Things seemed to be going from bad to worse with one down after another. But today things are looking up. Dale came and fixed Gerald's truck. Although he was not able to go to work today, Leroy's ankle feels better. He is able to get around with the crutches Gene had in his attic. Thank God for sons who are willing and able to bail us out of our jams! We need every one!