Tag Archives: Erma Bombeck

More Meanderings on a Monday

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”  ~Erma Bombeck

No Stress

Well it’s Monday again and now that I am ‘retired’ it is just like any other day.

Mondays have been blamed for many things including comparatively minor things like absenteeism and major things like a school shooting.

The song “I don’t like Mondays” was written by Bob Geldorf and became a number one hit in the UK for the Boomtown Rats.  Geldorf has said that he wrote the song after reading a report about 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer,   On 29 January 1979 Spencer opened fire from her house across the street at children playing in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California.  She killed the headmaster and the custodian and injured eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime and her full explanation for her actions was “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”

I have never been pushed to act in this way even on the occasions when Monday and another working week loomed.  I admit to having occasionally considered a Monday morning “sickie” but quickly dismissed this because as we all know this is the first hint of problem drinking or drug taking.

What else is lurking in this brain on this Monday?

No SPAMWe all hate SPAM but what I hate as much is finding comments made by regular readers and commenters sitting in my Spam folder.  And I really hate that comments I make end up in someone else’s spam folder.

I spent one whole day last week playing catch up – reading and commenting on your blogs and felt very pleased with myself until none of my comments would appear on your blogs.  Perhaps because I made so many comments Akismet thought I was a spammer.  May I ask you to please open your spam box to see if my non-spam comments are lurking there.

Recently Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation wrote about this and it is clear that I am not the only one to suffer this way.  I have written to both Akismet and WordPress as Elizabeth suggests and am awaiting an answer.  In the meantime, I do hope that you will check your spam box.

French onion soup

Image via Wikipedia

Today the sun shone but it was more like an autumn day than a late summer day.  So after working with my Real Estate Agent friend, we went off for lunch and each had a steaming bowl of French Onion Soup at a local French bakery/cafe.

It was exactly what was needed after a busy morning and certainly set me up for the follow up things I had to do in the afternoon.

cup of latte

Then a call from my daughter found me having a cup of coffee at a coffee shop near her office.  She is so busy that I usually have to make an appointment to see her but today she had time and so did I.  As an added bonus I got to see my two youngest grandchildren, 14 and 12 years old, known by and to their Granma as Darling No 3 and Darling No 4.

Earlier my daughter had told me about her youngest son.  He had been badly behaved yesterday and she had set him a task to clean the inside of the car in retribution.  He didn’t do this and so she took away his mobile phone and told me that he was grounded until his 15th birthday.

It was such a funny tale and improved with her telling of it.  His final riposte was that he was reporting her to the police and she would end up in court for stealing his phone.  Apparently he had bought the phone and so in his mind, she couldn’t take it from him.  I laughed so much as she told me the story that the tears ran down my cheeks and I arrived at my friend’s house to work with mascara runs down my face.  What a good look for a Monday!

So nothing really changes.  I remember the same kind of discussion and penalty (not of course a mobile phone but some other thing necessary to his well-being) when my son was that age.  Children continue to back themselves into a corner that they can’t get out of and it’s only as they grow a little older that they see what they are doing.

So another Monday comes to a close.  And tomorrow we start all over again.

Summer 2012

Barometer

Look where it is pointing

We know it is summer.  Our calendars tell us so but the weather is anything but summery.  But wait – we have had four good days in a row.  Sunshine, mild (not hot) temperatures, no rain and no wind.  So yes it is summer.

I read the following on www.newzealand.com:

Summer in New Zealand means sizzling barbecues and salads, sauvignon blanc, swimming at the beach, and long lazy days at the bach or crib – Kiwi for a holiday home.

Well that is certainly what we expect but unfortunately this year it hasn’t materialised.  The site goes on to say:

From December to February, New Zealand is alive with the sound of crickets, and not just the insect variety. As soon as the weather warms up, Kiwis vacate the cities and head to baches, campgrounds and holiday resorts up and down the country.

Christmas is a time for relaxed al fresco dining, and the weeks leading up to it and those following are celebrated in Kiwi style.  I wrote about this in an earlier blog.

Wine and cheese

Image Dreamstime free

So you can expect to see an influx of Kiwis/New Zealanders in the northern hemisphere during your summer,  After all we have most certainly missed out here.

And just because I liked her and love her books –

If life is a bowl of cherries what am I doing in the pits.
Erma Bombeck.

Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

Saturday afternoon ironing someone else’s sheets

My second favorite household chore is ironing.
My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed
until I faint.  ~Erma Bombeck

I have a hard and fast rule that sheets that are bought by me for use in this house MUST NOT NEED IRONING.  So what am I doing on this summer, Saturday afternoon? Ironing.

I have told you that one of the things I do is assist my real Estate Agent friend in her business.  Apart from selling RE she also manages investment apartments for her clients.  This week we have to prepare an apartment for lease and as she is away for a few days R & R in Sydney, Australia, I said I would do the basics for her.  This entailed making an inventory, making up the beds, setting up the bathroom etc.  Of course, it also meant that I had to check the state of  the bed linen and bathroom towels etc.

I can’t imagine what happened to the original bedlinen – it was gone, but in its place was several packets of new linen.  So this is what I have laundered and am ironing this afternoon.

At present the towels are rolling around in the tumble dryer and fortunately don’t need to be ironed.

Lotte

Do you have my lead?

So now I am off to type the inventory and then go for a walk -yes a walk after so long – with my small companion, Lotte.

But before I go, I would like to share this with you.  I just received it from an American friend who lives in Paris.  I am not envious of her choice of city in which to live – well, not very much. Click here to watch the video is of a one year old baby playing ping pong.  I hope you enjoy it too!

A visit to the Doctor

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died”
Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996

After a disturbed night of coughing, tossing and turning I give in.  As I have been urged to,  I call the doctor’s office to make an appointment.

I turn up at the appointed time, 11.45 am and am told to take a seat.  I am in a  house in the village converted to a health centre.  It is an old house, well old by our standards, with polished wood floors, a central passage and doors leading off both sides.

I take a seat and for the next 45 minutes, I sit idly thumbing through an out of date magazine and looking at the others waiting.  There is an older couple, he with a walking cane and she obviously taking care of him.  They seem to know the only other person in the room, a woman probably mid-thirties.  She doesn’t seem to be waiting to see a doctor and indeed, when the man’s name is called she tells the couple she will wait until they come out.

Meantime, staff come and go; people come and go.  The receptionist leaves for lunch and her place is taken by a nurse.  She is the one who removed the stitches after I tried to cut off my thumb.  That’s another story for another time.

A staff member (because she was wearing a name tag) appears in the waiting room and walks over to the young woman and they enter into a discussion as to who should pick up the girls from school and take them to practice.  It’s agreed that the staff member will pick them up and they will all meet later after practice.

A couple of young girls arrive and only one stays.  It is spring here but not warm although they don’t notice that they are barely dressed for the weather.   The one who stays is called into the doctor’s consulting room and still I wait.

A mother and her young child come out of a consulting room; have a brief conversation with the nurse/receptionist and after saying they will be back tomorrow, leave.

A child is crying in one of the consulting rooms, a young man comes out with his arm bandaged and the elderly couple appear.  They meet up with the young woman who has waited for them, and all leave together.

If I had been feeling better I would have played my usual waiting game.  When waiting in airports, grocery checkout lines or waiting for friends, I make up stories about the people I am watching.  People-watching is one of my favourite games.  But this is an opportunity missed today.

And at last it is my turn.  A charming young man appears.  Well he certainly doesn’t look old enough to be a doctor and leads me through to his consulting room.  Because I have been sitting in his waiting room for 45 minutes loudly coughing and choking, he doesn’t have to ask why I am there.  He proceeds to tell me that it is the flu.  How can that be I ask when I had the flu injection at the beginning of the winter.  This is a strain that they knew nothing about,  It is rife and resistant to the shot I had earlier.  Great.

He is only just getting over this flu himself.  He tells me the cough will last for about 3 weeks.  How long have I had it – one week?  OK, then I should expect it to be around for another two.

We talk about the operas that I saw last week.  A double billing by the NZ Opera Company and billed Cav &Pag (Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci).  A truly magnificent show during which I managed not to cough too often and too loudly.  And then he told me about WOW (the World of Wearable Arts show) that he had seen last week.  Only then, does he decide to take my temperature, listen to my lungs etc etc.

He writes me a prescription for a steroid, an antibiotic and some linctus to ease the throat and help the cough.  Then I am out of there.  45 minutes waiting and 15 minutes consultation.

But I know why the wait was so long.  He is really a charming young man and he likes to talk with his patients and get to know them.  His comment to me was that looking at my file he saw that I didn’t go to the doctor often.  And over the past three years had been twice with broken bones.  Can’t fool that nice guy.

Then off to the pharmacy where I had another 20 minutes wait.  I just couldn’t wait to get back home.  I was exhausted after my morning doing nothing.

I started with Erma Bombeck and will finish this post with a quote that bears no relation to the theme of this post.  Put it down to a hard day achieving nothing.

“Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world”
Bette Midler

Red Shoes

If only I was still able to wear those heels!

Driving Test No 3

Well, now to the third driving test.

Takapuna NZ

Takapuna, NZ

We had returned to live in Takapuna permanently and therefore, were required to obtain a valid New Zealand licence.  I applied and was given a date and time to attend the test.  The road rules are/were virtually the same as those in the UK and so I was all set.

Except that I forgot.  The children had left for school, husband had gone to the office and I was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee when I remembered.  A hurried bath (I didn’t shower then as time was never an issue) and off to the testing station.

Fortunately, husband had taken my Mustang that day leaving me his car.  I didn’t think I could take my test in a left-hand drive car when here in New Zealand we drive on the left.

Ford Mustang

1969 Mustang Mach 1.  Photographed in Montreal via Wikipedia. Mine was exactly the same colour et al.

I was given a short oral test by a very pleasant young man and then told to wait for the driving tester to arrive.

At that time, the NZ police force was split into two distinct sections – the police and the traffic police.  So all those employed at the testing centre were employed by the Traffic Department or were traffic police.

Police motor cycle

The door opened and out hobbled a young man in uniform, with one leg and one arm in plaster.  Traffic police used motorcycles and he had been involved in an accident and crushed his left leg and left arm.

He greeted me cheerfully and we set off for the car.  No elevator in the building and we had to go down one flight of stairs.  I had quite a wait at the foot of the stairs while he made his laborious way down.  He had to stop when he reached the bottom, not only to get his breath back but also to overcome the pain.

A good start to another driving test!

We went to the car whereupon he asked me to drive around the block. His comment was that as I had been driving in three countries over a period of ten years, there was little he could ask me to do that I hadn’t already done.  So again once around the block; back to the testing centre where he signed the form and I was presented with my NZ Driver’s Licence.

And that is the final time I have to sit a driving test.  Oh, I forgot.  Here one has to reapply for a licence at age 75 and then according to the NZ Transport Agency the following applies:-

“Once you turn 75 there are a few changes to the process for renewing your driver licence:

  • your new licence will be valid for only two to five years
  • the renewal fees are lower – because you’re renewing your licence more often
  • you need to present a medical certificate each time you apply
  • if recommended by your doctor, you will have to sit a 30-minute On-road Safety Test.”

So watch this space.  Wonder what will happen when I reach 75.

“Seize the moment.
Think of all the women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

  Erma Bombeck