[ kluhts ]
There you have it. Just in case you weren't familiar with the term, "Klutz", there is the official definition. And, I don't know this for certain, but it's possible, that if you look the word up in certain dictionaries, it shows a photo of me.
I cannot deny it. It's true. It must be typed right on my DNA because from the very beginning of my life, if there was something to drop, or bang into, or trip over (and sometimes even if there wasn't anything visible to the eye to trip over), I was the person who did it. Yup, it was me.
My parents tried to help me, they did, bless their hearts. The only thing they could think of, other than creating a padded outfit for me to wear, was to enroll me in ballet class. I actually loved the class. I loved the music, the pretty little pink tutu and even the exercises. The problem was that I, ummm how do I say this politely? I sucked at it. I did. While the other little girls gracefully glided across the floor, I lumbered much like an ox or perhaps a bear. My classmates smoothly and delicately floated their arms from one position to another. I accidentally smacked the person next to me in the face. Ballerinas did pretty little jumps that were gazelle-like. I stumbled and tripped and crashed into the mirrors. sigh. The saying in our house was that I was capable of tripping over the colours in a rug.
Eventually I learned to live with my own clumsiness. It was just another Sam-fact. I have blue eyes, I love to read, I am clumsy. Just another thing on the list. On the plus side, I will say that because I am so very accident prone, I have developed great reflexes. I may bumble and fumble and drop or nearly drop an item, but very often I can also catch it before it hits the floor (or counter top or whatever). When I stumble or trip, I usually can right myself. It's not graceful or pretty, but I rarely hit the ground. Because I have made a tremendous effort to do so, I have become much better about being aware of my surroundings and as a result, almost never walk into posts or poles or other solid objects anymore! Rather proud of that.
But there are those other times of course when the cup or plate does smash into a zillion irretrievable pieces, or cake does smush into oblivion on the floor or I do carry the bruise(s) from smacking into the coffee table or door frame on my way past. It happens. Tim is so accustomed to hearing it from his office at this point that upon hearing a crash or a thump he only calls out, "everything ok?" and if I said "Yup" (which is the usual) that is the end of things. He no longer races out, heart pounding, to come to the rescue. But then, we've been married a long time. :)
But I outdid myself recently. Something Klutz related but new has been added to my repertoire. How exciting.
I was ironing. Not an unusual occurrence for me. I've done it a zillion or so times and with only very minor burns as a result. Normally, twice a week I tackle the pile so as to keep it manageable. Normally I have the TV on while I iron but this time, it was such a small pile that I didn't bother. I did, however, have to keep at least half an eye on the kittyboys as they think that the dancing ironing cord is the most fascinating thing ever and I didn't want them pulling the iron down on top of themselves. So I suppose I was a little bit distracted. But I do not blame them. At all. No this was all on me.
I had just finished up a pair of slacks and was about to move on to a blouse. I settled the blouse into the position I wanted on the ironing board and I reached for the iron, while also checking to see where those cat-rascals were and somehow, instead of grasping the iron, I merely poked the iron with my finger tips.
Can you picture that? Here I am thinking that I am going to be grabbing the iron handle, but instead I completely miss the handle and my fingers, with the same amount of force necessary to grasp the handle, poked iron just above the handle.
As a result, I essentially pushed the iron off the ironing board and onto the floor. Well not the actual tile floor but the area rug on the tile floor. Dang. I couldn't even use my super powers of clumsy recovery becoz I was on the wrong side of the ironing board!
I gasped in horror, raced around the board and picked the iron up but, alas, it was too late.
There is now an iron shaped impression permanently imprinted into our area rug damnit. An impression that cannot be fluffed out.. You know what I mean, if a piece of furniture - say a chair leg - were to sit for any period of time on a rug and you decide to move the chair, there remains an impression of that chair leg in the rug even after the chair is no longer there. But if you fluff it a bit, rake the area with your finger tips and vacuum it in multiple directions, usually the impression disappears. This one ain't goin' nowhere.
I stood there, iron in hand, looking at the damaged carpet and then looked at the iron. It was as bad as the carpet.
Initially I thought the iron could be saved. I waited until it cooled and then using a scrubbie worked for quite some time on it but alas. It could not be salvaged.
Eventually Tim poked his head out of the office and I told him what happened. He looked at the rug and said that if it bothered me, he would turn the rug so that the ironed part was under the sofa. But that he agreed, the iron was toast and he returned to his office to order me a new one.
This is the thing about us Klutzes. We don't mean to be, but we can be expensive to have around. It helps if the people in our lives understand that we cannot help being the way we are. Most of us really and truly, genuinely and honestly, do take great efforts to NOT drop, crash into, trip, break. We do! I use two hands to hold anything breakable, I try to move slowly, carefully and purposefully, to be ever vigilant! But still, things happen.
If you have a Klutz in your family, you understand. And I know it's hard being the person witnessing the destruction and disaster that follows in our wake. But I guarantee you, it's even harder being the person who caused it. This is just a little plea for understanding ;) If you like, you can consider this a Public Service Announcement. I will gladly serve as the poster child for kultz's anonymous. Although, come to think of it, if I'm the poster child, I'm no longer anonymous am I. Well you know what I mean.
Have a terrific rest of this year if you please. There are only a few days left and then suddenly it'll be 2024! Be safe and have fun and be kind to the klutzes in your life :)
Merry Day after Christmas to all of you!! Hope your holiday was absolutely perfect ;)
We were busier than normal this Holiday season. I worked more than usual at the museum, for one thing. Apparently there is a lot of flu and Covid and lord knows what other germies lurking around and people are getting sick! Poor babies. So coverage was needed! The museum gift shop, by the way, was madly busy! It's as if we were only just this year discovered as a place to shop for cool stuff.
Tim and I actually went to one Christmas Party this year too! It's unusual, for us, but we are big fans of the people who threw the party and already were familiar with everyone else who was invited so that was lovely. It was just a little dessert bash so it was easy to knock out a few batches of brownies to bring along (everyone brought dessert by the way, not just me). The wife of the hosting couple, Debbie, is so very artistic and creative and just has that perfect eye for decorating. Their home looks like something out of a magazine as did they Christmas Tree! Wow! It was gorgeous! So we had a very nice time, chatting, admiring, eating goodies and sitting around their firepit. Our hostess provided everyone with take away boxes and we were encouraged to load up on the goodies for the very short walk home. It was a lovely evening.
On Saturday, we had our annual Christmas before Christmas with Joy and Bob. It was at their place this year. The building they live in is called, The Vue. And this is the View from the Vue:
We ate and talked and laughed and talked and played Christmas Trivia and talked and then went on a Trolley Ride to see lights! Woohoo!
The Trolley joined the steady line of cars winding through area neighborhoods that are seriously into Christmas! Wow! Some folks are really creative and festive! I cannot imagine how much time and effort was invested in some of the displays! I don't even want to think about their electric bills and so I won't. I only took a few photos. here are two:
Sunday we relaxed a lot but also took a walk over to the arboretum to admire our own local Christmas decorations during the day! Another day we will go over at night to see it lit up. I will do a different post on just the arboretum except one picture so we can all admire the museum where I work in the background.
Yesterday, Christmas Day, we woke up late, relaxed some more, then headed over to spend part of the day with some dear friends. We talked and laughed, we admired their tree and their gifts, we ate some really good food and played with their kitties. And obviously, we had a wonderful time! By the time we got back, it was naptime for us. Maybe too much good food? Very Likely!! We also made it a point to stop by the jetty. It rained nearly all day so it was a gloomy, wet and cooler than normal Christmas Day which did not dampen our enthusiasm at all.
2023 was a terrific Christmas Season all the way through, top to bottom, side to side and beginning to end. Hope to hear that yours was the same.
Merry Day after Christmas Everybody!
This past Monday, Dec 18th, was our 30th Anniversary. Thirty Years! Wow! That is really something to celebrate!
The photo on the left we took the evening of our 30th Annivesary. We had spent the day doing various chores and projects and at some point we took a very lovely walk. Tim originally wanted to take me out some place nice to celebrate, but by the time the dinnerish hour had rolled around, we were tired and not especially hungry so instead we did a quick trip to a drive- thru for some very bad fast food to celebrate. It was quiet and simple and perfect.
The photo on the right was our wedding day. Our vows had just been shared in front of the Christmas tree in my tiny little apartment in Connecticut. There were 13 other people in attendance besides us. Tim looked so snazzy in his dress blues and I wore a yummy silk velvet dress I picked up on a super sale rack at the local mall. Very few people believed that we would last a year. Bets were taken. They were wrong.
You can tell from the photos how much we've both changed. I mean come on, thirty years have gone by. Of course we've changed! Life has happened. Since then we've lived in 3 different states and 5 different addresses. Tim has had 5 different jobs and I have had 4 different paying gigs and at least 5 different volunteer positions. All three of the boys grew up, moved multiple times, had numerous different jobs and met the perfect women to share their lives with.
Tim and I both said a final goodbye to all of our wonderful parents and many beloved pets. We have travelled to so many wonderful places and had amazing experiences. We have shared moments of great joy and excitement and consoled each other through terribles losses. There have been scary medical moments and wonderful surprises.
Every mountain that we've had to climb, we climbed together. We helped each other over the tough parts, propped each other up when we were too tired, and walked side by side through the easier terrain. We don't agree about everything, nor should we. We each have our own opinions, thoughts, perspectives and interests. But we respect each other so we compromise sometimes and occasionally just have to agree to disagree.
We share a lot of the same interests and tastes but not all which is part of what keeps things interesting. I will watch his movies that seem to be largely things blowing up and he will watch my time travelling/historic/romances which seems to be my genres of choice. I have gone to sports events with him and at least attempted to follow the goings on and he has taken me to art exhibits and patiently stood by while I was mesmerized. He chooses crazy, spicy and sometimes unfathomable food from the menu while I stick to the same boring stuff I always choose and while we may gently tease one another about those things, we are never mean spirited about it.
Together we are rock solid and dependable. My late Mother-In-Law once told us that we were the two most boring people she ever knew. LOL. She was right. We are not very exciting I suppose but we are a constant in the Universe. Fire is hot, Water is wet and Sam & Tim are together.
Mostly what we are is happy. We are content, we are comfortable, we are goofy, we are us. We laugh a lot every day. We take care of each other in innumerable little ways all day, every day. And we communicate which is one of the most important things in any successful relationship.
So here's to us. Thirty Wonderful Years Together! Here's to Another Thirty! Hey, it could happen. My great grandmother lived to be 106 years old! It's good to have a goal :)
Hey look ya'll! I got the lights up! Woohoo!
I wasn't sure if I was going to bother or not this year. I didn't last year, or the year before. And I told myself, I didn't care. What do I care ifthere are lights up on the house or not?
It 's really easy for me to talk myself out of putting up lights. So many genuinely good reason. 1) we have no small children to create Christmas Magic for 2) The jump in the already outrageous electric bill 3) Ladders. Ladders all by themselves is a reason to not do pretty much anything as far as I am concerned. 4) fear of falling. I am clumsy. That is just a fact. I always have been, I always will be. But after my fall and subsequent broken arm last year I have become far more cautious about potential falls.
And then one day last week, I stood outside assessing the no-lights situation and decided that I was going to put them up. I don't know why I changed my mind, but there it is. No lights has suddenly become absolutely of course lights. Because I know myself, I had to do it immediately, before I changed my mind. So I rooted around the utility room until I found the lights which is a good step one. Then I hauled out the step ladder and got to work.
Naturally it took much longer and was far more problematic than anticipated. That is just how these thing work. But I was remarkably patient with both myself and the project throughout. And that is new. I like it, but it's definitely new for me.
Luckily, our first Christmas here, I was smart enough to buy a bunch of those Command strips suitable for outside use. And also fortunately, completely unlike the inside command strips that didn't last, the outside ones seem to be eternal. Awesome. All I had to do was to follow the path of command strips! This was going to be done in no time at all. Hah! Why do I ever say those things out loud?
The path led one light string from the outside socket over the door an along the eaves on the south end of the house. So there I went, untangling as I went patiently putting up one teensy bit at a time, bravely climbing to the top of the step ladder for each one, then climbing down, moving the ladder over and doing it again. Until I realized two things, one: The hedge is in my way. There is a hedge beneath the set of double windows on that end of the house and the step ladder isn't tall enough to bridge over it and yet is too big to squeeze against the house and I am far too short to try to reach over the hedge if the ladder is in front of it. Dang! And two: The light bulbs hang downwards and every time someone opens the front door, the lights dangle between the screen door and the actual door preventing the screen from closing. What the actual heck ??
Was this a problem before? How did I solve it? So I had to stop and think a minute. Then I recalled two important things. One: that the original lights were very teensy and didn't block the screen door. Two: That Tim helped me that first year and we used a real ladder, not a step ladder. So I made an executive decision. No lights on that part of the front of the house. Done. This turned out to be an excellent decision later.
So I took down everythingI had already put up. Up and down the step ladder, move the ladder over and again until I was back at the starting point. All lights from this moment forward will be placed only on the north end of the house. I made the necessary proclamation and began to do that very thing. Once again, slowly, one tiny section at a time. Things went smoothly until I ran up against this:
.The sail shade. The above is just a stock photo of sail shade by the way, not ours We have just one. It is triangular and the long end runs right along the edge of the overhang to protect the front of the house and my plants from being fried all summer long. It is stretch very tautly, as it should be and as such, is immovable. I was hoping that I could just slip my hand in the admittedly very small space between the sail shade and the roof line but alas, nope. So I tried reaching over the sail shade from the other side but once again, fail. It's too far! I cannot reach. Ratz. That sail shade is going to have to come down.
So down it came and them I was able to put lights up all along the edge of the house. Then I wrapped them around the pillars of the wall outside of the courtyard and draped them pillar to pillar which also took multiple tries to get it even. But at least I could reach without a ladder. Hurrah! Finally it was done! I was very pleased with myself. Right up until I switched the lights on and found that the middle string was burnt out. Dang!
Back up on the ladder I went and took down that middle string. Luckily since I did NOT battle the lights into place on the South end, I had one extra string of lights to replace the non-working ones. Up they went, (up and down the ladder again) but eventually it was truly done this time and when I switched them on, they lit right up! Hurrah!
Of course now the sail shade needed to go back up. Back up on the ladder I went but it turned out that I don't have the upper body strength necessary to pull it taut while turning the - what's that thing called? Some sort of screw I suppose? Anyway, I couldn't do it and poor Tim was enlisted to take care of that.
Still it was done and I was so pleased with the results. Honestly it wasn't that difficult, just time consuming and very ladder-ish. That night we came out after dark to admire it and I realized that if I looked closely I could see the lights on the Christmas tree through the kitchen window:
But wait, something didn't look quite right. So I looked even more closely at the Christmas tree lights:
Do you see it? The middle string of lights on the Christmas tree are out too. Dagnabit! LOLOLOL One more project!
Up next? Christmas Cards! We are a little behind but that is Next on the Christmas Gotta do list!
I don't know how it works at your house, of course, but at our house, the stuff necessary to wrap gifts is all over the dang place. The tape and scissors of course are carefully hidden on my desk so that they do not get lost. I am happy to lend them out whenever someone needs them, but I prefer them to be returned directly to me so that I can put them where they belong. That way I am positive where they are when I need them next.
Ribbons starts out all nice and neat and tidy on their little cardboards rolls but as soon as I open the package and use it, it's like the thread in my sewing box. Ishkabibble! It's a tangled mess which I shove into a plastic shopping bag. It looks a little like those permanent tangles of tree lights. The bows, which I buy cheapcheap usually at the dollar store come in a huge cellophane bag. Once opened, the cellophane is fairly useless (and it tears if you look at it too hard) so the bows are transferred to a plastic shopping bag. The two shopping bags are stuffed into an underbed storage container.
This container usually also holds all previously used but still in good shape wrapping material such as gift bags, untorn wrapping paper (carefully smoothed and folded), bows, tissue paper (also carefully smoothed and folded) and any other bits and pieces that I've collected through the year. Whatever doesn't fit (and there is always stuff that doesn't fit) like various sized boxes, the remainder is yet another plastic shopping bag (do I get points for upcycling?) and the whole thing is put anywhere it fits. And that's everything.
Well all of it except the actual rolls of wrapping paper! The rolls do not fit the underbed storage box dang it. So those get tucked into the back corners of various closets where they slowly somehow start to unwrap themselves (the ones that have been already opened I mean). They fray a little on the edges and get creases and collect dust but basically it seemsto work ok. Or at least it worked until the kittyboys came to live here. They found the wrapping paper rolls and fell instantly in love. While we were blissfully snoozing in the night, they were shredding and tearing and frolicking with paper! The least amount of damage were some light fang marks. Sigh.
So this year on my annual stop at the dollar store, we bought 3 new rolls of paper, rescued as much as possible from one other roll (the rest were too damaged to save) and I vowed to keep everything in the guest room closet AND keep that door closed at all times! Which is super easy to say but less easy to do. Y'see, we actually use that closet.
This is a small house and storage is always at a premium. The floor steamer and the vacuum cleaner are in that closet as is my Pilates mat and ball. We keep our jackets and wintery clothes in there too. Which is to say that particular closet door gets opened every single day at least once, usually far more often. And sometimes I forget. My bad.
So in short, I suppose even though my methodology is messy, it's the system we have been using for gift wrap storage. And it mostly works. Sort of. Usually. Sometimes.
Well, earlier this week, Tim surprised me with a wonderous thing! New Storage made specifically for wrapping paraphernalia! Be still my beating heart. I am in love!~
First of all, the wrapping paper rolls fit! Withh room to spare! Shocking!
And there is plenty of room leftover for ribbons, bows and other random wrapping related stuff! Woohoo!
Tim also ordered these:
Do you recognize these? You may have to think a number of years back but.....I'm pretty sure you know what they are. Ok, does this help?
Slapbands! Remember those? Kids drove adults crazy with them. They were awesome. What does that have to do with gift wrap stuff you ask? Well here you go:
It keeps the wrapping paper rolls closed! Brilliant! Love this!
I was so happy to fill this storage container up! It all fit. Every single bit of it fits! So tickled with this. Once it was zippered closed the next question was where on earth was I going to keep it? Once again, the guest room was the answer. It fits just a sweet as can be under the bed:
Colour me happy! Clearly Tim knows the secret to keeping me happy. Storage Solutions! Now I'm excited about wrapping gifts! And I know the kittyboys will be overjoyed to help. Oh dear. That's a whole other disaster waiting to happen. They want to help me do everything I do! Recently when I was making biscuits, Brysco kept trying to get up on the counter top to help me. I would put him down, he would jump back up whereupon he sniffed the recipe, the flour container (which made him sneeze) and the box of baking powder. Then he knocked the measuring spoons on the floor.
"Brysco" I said patiently, "This recipe does not call for fur. You gotta get down" So I put him on the floor and he jumped back up on the counter over and over. Finally we compromised and he sat in the barstool chair and watched.
They are like this with everything we do all day long. Most of the time it's not a huge issue, usually it's actually fun. But somehow I think that helping wrap Christmas gifts isn't going to be one of the fun ones. Funny, yes, fun no. Useful no. Helpful, no.
But that'll be the topic of some future post, I'm sure.
In the meantime, I am DELIGHTED with my wrapping stuff storage box! Woohoo! Thank you Tim!
Last week we took the kittyboys to the vet for the first time. Well, it was our first time of taking them. Obviously, they had both seen a vet before at least twice. Once when they were scooped up in the feral kitty neutering round up (and then set free again) and the second time when they were captured once more and taken to the shelter. So it's not like the concept was entirely unfamiliar to them.
But since Tim and I had never experienced a vet visit with these two particular cats before, we just weren't sure how it was going to go.
Shortly after we brought the boys home to live with us, we hunted around to find a local vet for them, the same way when Tim and I moved some place new we would find doctors for us. We did some online research and asked around too. We ended up choosing a vet whose office is right here, on island who had great reviews. When I called to ask them if they were taking new patients, they suggested a "well patient" visit which is also how it usually works with people.
Since both Brysco and Wyatt were a little traumatized by their early lives, we wanted to take particular care to make the experience as easy as possible for all of us! So we really thought this through. Joy made the excellent suggestion that perhaps a few days prior to the appointment we get out the carriers and leave them open for the kitties to check out. Tim took it a step further and decided to bring out the carriers at the same time as the Christmas decorations, so it was not a whole separate new thing. We left the carriers on the floor, near the tree, wide open for inspection.
To our great surprise, we often found them napping or just resting in their little "houses". Awesome! These carriers are obviously kitty approved.
As the day of the appointment drew near, I think our biggest concern was Wyatt. Of the two he would certainly be voted, most spicey kitty. Even now, two months after adoption, he still does not like to be picked up and definitely still has "no touchy!" moments. I kept thinking, what happens if he behaves so badly that the vet cannot deal with him. Would we get fired as patients? Would the staff have to don protective garments to care for him? Should I sign us all up now for post-appointment transfusions?
Friday arrived and I played with the boys extra hard trying to wear them out. We got smart and closed as many doors in the house as possible, thus limiting the number of possible hiding places. When it was time to start loading us all up, to my surprise, Wyatt was already napping in the carrier so it was just a matter of zipping the door closed. Whew! That was a bit of luck.
Brysco on the other hand, who witnessed the zipping, had to be captured and stuffed into the carrier whereupon he freaked out! That was a surprise. Really didn't expect it of sweet, easy going Brysco! First it was just crying. The most plaintive, tragic, dramatic kitty cries you ever heard. I picked up both carriers, softly talking, reassuringly (I hoped) to them both and walked toward the front door. I had to set the carriers down a moment while Tim put on his shoes and grab his keys and wallet. Meanwhile Wyatt quietly watched out the mesh sides on the carrier. Brysco tossed and turned and thumped around so hard that he knocked the carrier (and therefore himself) on it's side. Oh dear. I righted him and we all headed outside.
We buckled them into the backseat and ourselves into the front seat and set off. It was a blessedly short drive as we were serenaded the entire drive. Tim drove, I tried to comfort and Brysco attempted to dig his way out of his carrier while Wyatt watched with great interest. (most likely in case Brysco was successful at breaking out). Oh my! Where did our gentle Bryso disappear to? Geez Brysco!
Luckily, we were whisked into the exam room straight away and told to let the boys out. All we had to do was unzip and Brysco was off like a shot. He prowled around the room like a crime scene detective. Wyatt, meanwhile, had to be physically removed from the carrier and set on the exam table.
The vet tech, wisely, allowed them a few moments to re-orient themselves to a new environment. While Tim filled out some paperwork, Brysco showed off his athleticism by jumping back and forth repeatedly from the exam table to the countertop. Calm down buddy! Wyatt, on the other hand, found and opened the door to what turned out to be the towel cabinet and climbed inside to hide.
The vet tech did the rudimentary exam on Brysco first. He didn't actually enjoy it of course, but he tolerated it better than expected. Wyatt had to be fished out of the cabinet for his exam and once released went right back to nesting in the towels.
Once the doctor came in, things progressed quickly. He handled them both easily and comfortably, professionally and kindly. All the things that you want of a veterinarian. He proclaimed them both very healthy and told us that we were doing everything right. He also trimmed their nails so quickly and efficiently that they boys barely knew it happened. Goals.
Once it was all over, we loaded those kittyboys back into their carriers Very easily. Once again, Brysco was the opera singer on the way back and, like before, he thrashed around inside his carrier like a fish on a line. Once we opened the carriers to let them out, silence reigned again. They looked around, in surprise. They were back home! We gave them treats and pets and they took reallllly long naps.
By evening, they were back to playing under the Christmas tree so I suppose any residual vet visit trauma was negligible. Brysco was back to being his sweetiepie self and Wyatt was a little more trusting, a little warmer than before. Hmmm interesting.
Maybe all the drama was because they thought they were leaving us and didn't want to go? That's flattering :) At any rate, they now know for sure, that this is their home, we are their people, and everybody is staying put. Brysco and Wyatt quickly and fully recovered.
Tim and I, on the other hand, were exhausted and relieved that it went much better than we feared.
First vet visit - check!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.