Friday, March 23, 2018

ROUTINE (A Five-Minute Friday Post)

There are two ways to look at the word "routine."

To many people, routine means an ordinary, dull, blah, boring, fenced-in, mind-numbing rut.

But to me, routine, or rather, MY routine, is freeing!

Things that are "routine" don't take any thought, like brushing your teeth.  If I had to decide to brush my teeth every day, I'd go crazy!  And probably lose all my teeth in the bargain, because I really don't WANT to brush my teeth - how boring!!!  I'd rather do something FUN!

My routines keep my mind free for other things, fun things, creative energies, REAL decisions!  It's like writing a sonnet.  There are certain rules - a certain number of lines, a particular rhyme scheme, a specific number of syllables per line.  Some people would say that's restrictive, but it actually helps the creative process.  You have to come up with something to say, but you have to fit it into all the required parameters.  It forces you to express yourself clearly and succinctly.

My routines keep the everyday stuff running in the background so I'm free to branch out in other directions.

Routine - please, fence me in, and take me away!


This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday link-up.  Today's writing prompt was "ROUTINE."  For more information on Five-Minute Friday, click here.

PROVIDE (A Five-Minute Friday Post)

Provide was LAST week's writing prompt, but I was driving home from Florida.  I decided to go ahead and write to it - VERY late!

In Acts 2, after Pentecost, the disciples and other believers came together and shared in common what they had - food, money, clothing - providing for everyone in the group.  Isn't that at least a part of what Christian care is about?  Shouldn't we take care of physical as well as spiritual needs?  After all, it's hard to think about the spiritual when you're hungry, cold, or homeless.

My church's organic farm, where I help take care of our little herd of chickens, provides fresh vegetables to a local food pantry and for a free community meal the church has every Thursday evening for anyone who shows up.  No preaching, just a shared meal.  Each family is also given a half dozen eggs (from "my" chickens).  Kids can choose a book to take home - for keeps!

Some of the church women make "ugly quilts" from old quilts, comforters, blankets, and sheets, which are then given to different community agencies to provide to homeless people.

In the fall, a group from our church goes to Guatemala to work in a native Mayan village.  One year they dug a well to provide clean water for the village.  Another year, they built a clinic.

When I really consider the different things our local church provides, I'm amazed and awed.  And what's most amazing, I'm part of it!


This post was supposed to be part of the Five-Minute Friday link-up, but I was too late!  This writing prompt was "PROVIDE."  For more information on Five-Minute Friday, click here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Heat is ON!

We recently experienced a typical home owner's emergency.

I intended to clean and fill the cats' drinking fountain and food bowls. What a mess they'd left! A puddle of water all around on the floor and under the mat that sits under the bowls and fountain. But no water ON the mat. Hmmmm... A mystery.

I got out a stack of old towels I keep for soaking up messes and threw some down. There! All gone! But wait. More water. What the heck?

It appeared to be coming from under the water heater. Just a little.

More towels. I texted That Man at work. I couldn't turn off the intake valve (I still have grip strength issues from the hand surgery), and The Boy had the flu and was completely useless.

That Man replied and asked whether I was sure it was the water heater. Well, there was MORE water on the floor, coming faster, and it was definitely WARM. I was using all the old towels I had in a crazy kind of relay - sopping up water with half of the towels, while running the other half through a spin cycle in the washing machine, then swapping them out. 

So he drove home to turn off the water and drain the heater, then returned to work.

I did some online research of a Big Box Hardware Store to get some idea of water heaters' costs, features, capacities, and exterior measurements. We had a 40-gallon heater, and the ones I saw online were the exact same dimensions as the one we had. No problem! Just call a plumber and have him install a new one. Should be an easy in and out, and take about an hour or two.

So I called, told them the size heater we needed, and they said he'd come out the next day.

The plumber arrived on time, removed the old water heater, said he'd have to braze some new copper pipe to get everything to connect, then came in and announced they had loaded "the wrong water heater" in his truck, so he had to send someone out to the distributor to get the right one.

Several hours later, here he comes in with a water heater on a hand truck. It was HUGE. Way taller than the old one.

"Wait, wait, wait!" I cried. "What is this? How big is this thing?"

Forty gallons.

"You're kidding me, right? This looks more like fifty!"

No, it's forty.

Then he explained that the shorter heater's diameter wouldn't allow it to fit in our allotted space.

I said I'd looked online and there were a whole slew of 40-gallon water heaters with the old one's exact dimensions.

Oh, those aren't as high quality as this one. It had more insulation, blah, blah, blah.

Then why have I never heard of that brand, and why does it only have a 6-year warranty? The old one had a 9-year warranty, and the ones online have 9- and 12-year warranties, and I've heard of those brands.

I just couldn't swallow that, said so, and didn't let him install it. I called That Man at work, and he talked to the plumber's supervisor, and aborted the process.  He's the BEST.

So I got back online, ordered a water heater from The Big Box Hardware Store, picked it up, and got it home before That Man arrived. After three more trips to TBBHS for assorted fittings, we had a water heater again, installed by us.

That extra copper pipe the plumber had added was too tall for the shorter forty-gallon heater, and just right for the monster he had brought in, which just happened to have the exact same exterior dimensions as the FIFTY-gallon heater I actually bought.

So we got a 12-year warranty instead of six, a 50-gallon capacity instead of forty, had hot water the next morning, and saved $600.00.

I think it was worth staying up until 2:00 in the morning to finish.

TIRED! (A Five-Minute Friday Post)

I'm TIRED -  mentally, emotionally, and physically.

That Girl and her husband are buying a house and she constantly calls with questions, updates, ramblings, yadda, yadda, yadda.  My ears are tired!!!

I've just arrived in Florida.  I drove the whole way from Indiana over the course of two days.  My behind is tired!!!  And my legs are tired - of not moving!  On the way down, a truck threw a rock into my windshield, so now I have to think about taking care of THAT when I get home.  My brain is tired!

That Man is racing this weekend and next, and he's having all kinds of issues and he keeps texting me - my eyes and thumbs are tired!!!  He'll be joining me here tomorrow - YAY!  I know he'll be tired, too.

Right now, there is so much going on in our lives that it's hard to NOT be tired.

You'd think with my having recently re-TIRED that I wouldn't BE tired, but right now I AM.

Part of it is that I'm way busier than I expected to be.  There's not as much downtime as you'd think.

I got a chance to see my sister and my niece, and my cousin and his wife, on the way here.  So that slowed down my travel, but it gave me some MUCH needed time out of the driver's seat.  Those were nice breaks.

When I was working full time, I was REALLY tired.  Tired of commuting to my office, tired of not having any time to accomplish things in the evening, tired of not having much energy to do even fun things.  Just plain TIRED.  And I was too tired to even sleep well.  That's definitely unexpected!  Thoughts would circle my brain, doing laps and laps and laps like race cars at the Indy 500.  Nothing got decided or resolved, but the thoughts just kept racing around and around.

When the kids were young, I was plenty tired.  Working full time, playing Mom-taxi, teaching Sunday School, leading Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and all the other things parents do for their kids.

At least all these tireds I have are ONLY TEMPORARY!


This post is my first for the Five-Minute Friday link-up.  Today's writing prompt was "TIRED."  For more information on Five-Minute Friday, click here.