Friday, June 10, 2011

What Are These Crazy People Doing?

This is a picture I took of Crazy Sarah and Crazy Steve a few minutes ago.

You may be asking, “So just what exactly are they doing?”

Well, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait for my next post to find out!  (I know, I know.  You’re going to lose all kinds of sleep waiting for  the exciting answer.)


I want to thank all of you who chimed in with great comments and suggestions about possible ways to deal with the Great Stain Trauma Drama.   We are definitely going to put your suggestions to work because, as a couple of you said, the quilt is already ruined so it won’t hurt anything to try a few experimental things on it.

And speaking of comments, I also want to mention a comment on another topic that Karen left; she shared the link to a special website you might like to visit.  It has been recently started by a 15-year old girl who has terminal cancer; since she knows she doesn’t have long to live and has started a Bucket List. The number one thing on the list is, “To Make Everyone Sign Up To Be A Bone Marrow Donor.”

As Karen stated, reading this girl’s thoughts as she faces the end of her life is a good reminder for us to live each day to its fullest.

Life isn’t always perfect and sometimes it can be painful and disheartening and even devastating—but regardless of the heartache that it throws at us, it is still life. It is the only life we’ve been given. And having to deal with tough stuff means at least that we are alive.

If I had a choice between dying at fifteen or growing older and facing really difficult things in life?  I’d choose the tough stuff every single time.

Because life—even with all its sorrows and joys—is the greatest gift.  The fact that we wake up every morning with air in our lungs and strength in our bones is nothing less than a miracle. 

And you know something else?  Each one of us is terminal.  Each second that ticks by walks us one step closer to the place in the ground where our bodies will someday lie.

So write out your Bucket List.  Read it. Memorize it.  Do it. 

Because life is far too precious not to be fully lived.


Drop by Sarah's Spot to find out why this was a special week for her.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Transmission. And A Bad Thing.

Transmission Saga

Let me start with a quick update about the Saga of the Broken Pennsylvanian Transmission.

Earlier this week, the mechanic at the garage in Pennsylvania pulled out the transmission. And worked on it. And put it back in again.

And it still didn’t work.

Oh happy day.

Since he is a master mechanic and very serious about doing his job well, he was back and forth on the phone to GM about the problem all the way through the process. On the umpteenth phone call, he finally managed to wrangle out of them some sort of instructions that “they don’t tell everybody.” (What’s that all about?)

At any rate, he pulled the transmission back out, fixed it using their “secret instructions” and put it back in.

It works perfectly. And he’s only going to charge us $1,000 instead of $1,500 because GM is going to pick up the rest of the cost.

And so I booked a flight for Steve to fly from Norfolk to Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon. He’ll land at 8 pm, stay with his aunt and uncle (who have already picked up the car for him) and leave the next morning at 6 am to drive the car back home.

I begged (and pleaded) (and also beseeched) him to let me fly there and drive the car home myself because I love a long road trip, especially when it involves driving through splendid Pennsylvania scenery. He had no problem with me doing it except for the fact he didn’t want me being the one to drive a newly repaired transmission 600 miles by myself.

Which I know is wise. But I still am sorta sad about missing out on a road trip.

A Bad Thing

When Nathan graduated from college, part of our gift to him was the mattress and box spring from his room (which he has always loved) along with his bedspread, pillows, and matching curtains. Which meant that we were left with a guest bedroom that had a bed frame, but no mattress, box spring or bedspread.

And so when Nathan came home with us for a week after graduation, we purchased said items so that he would have somewhere to sleep. And also, so that our guests would have a place to sleep. Which it seems that most most guests expect when they come to one’s house.

So that was all fine. Not to mention dandy. Until. The Bad Thing happened.

A Bad Thing that involved a beige quilt . . .

And a red sweater . . .


. . . and a leaky water bottle.


Some of you may already be filling in the blanks as to what The Bad Thing is all about but just to be sure that you’ve done your blank-filling accurately, let me share a Few Bad Thing Details.

Tuesday morning, I went into the guest room formerly known as Nathan’s room and picked up a water bottle from the bed where I had casually tossed it the night before. I noticed that the side of the bottle seemed a little wet but I didn’t think a whole lot about it. I mean, a little leaking water never hurt anyone, did it?

Later that day, Steve walked into the guest room to look for something and said, “Um, Becky. Why is there a big pink stain on the bedspread? It’s right beside this red sweater that was lying there.”

I thought about the leaky water bottle. That had been lying right on top of the red sweater. And I got a really bad sinkin’ feeling.

Sure enough. When I walked over to look, I saw a Bad Thing. A Very Bad Thing.

I saw this.



That water bottle, lying on the red sweater, must have done a slow leak the entire night because the bed and the sweater were soaked. And of course, it couldn’t have been a nice beige or white sweater that I threw on the bed—no, it had to be a RED sweater. A red sweater that leaked color.


Now mind you, this was not a quilt that we had bought at a thrift store fifteen years ago and had gotten plenty of use out of. No, this quilt was only three weeks old and purchased from a real store. And while it wasn’t the most expensive thing out there, it wasn’t overly cheap either because it came with a bed skirt, matching throw pillows, a coordinating blanket and pillow shams. And did I mention it was only three weeks old?


Although the quilt is machine washable, I took it to the dry cleaners to see if they had any advice. After two employees had stood for a few minutes looking at the quilt mournfully and clucking their tongues in unison they basically said, “That stain is not going to come out.”

But I took it to the Laundromat anyway, found a large capacity machine and gave it a whirl.

And guess what?

The stain didn’t come out. At all.

I guess our only option at this point is to hit some thrift stores and try to find a plain-ish, beige-ish, tan-ish quilt that will sort of tie in with all the accoutrements that we bought with the set.

Sighs of sympathy are welcome. Not to mention appreciated.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Too Old To Be Middle Aged

Well, our Monday night gig went pretty well.   Since we haven’t done that sort of thing in a very long time, it was definitely a (fun) step out of our comfort zone.

A couple hours before we left, Steve was rockin’ and groovin’ in the kitchen practicing his bass line.  Even though the whole house was shaking (he likes it loud!) it was cool having a real live (cute!)  bass player in the house.



When we got to the venue, the Good Life Gourmet . . .


. . .  I realized that I had forgotten to bring a basket along to put our bargain CD’s in.  I asked the owner of the place if he had a basket anywhere that I could borrow.

Now usually when you ask someone a question like that, there is a long pause while he or she thinks about Possible And/Or Probable Basket Locations.  But this guy didn’t even hesitate.  He said, “Yes, I have a basket you can borrow.”

And when he showed me this,  I just had to laugh.    


It was a really cool place that sold wonderful food (and food gifts) and was full of beautiful spots everywhere I looked.



Getting tuned up for evening.


Sitting contemplatively, trying to deal with a last minute case of nerves.


Here are a few shots from the evening taken by someone in attendance.  The lighting was a bit weird which made it hard to get real clear pictures but at any any rate, here are “The Middle Aged Minstrels” in all their glory.






So that was our big, scary event of the week.  We survived, we had fun . . .  and we went home exhausted. 

I think I’m too old to be middle aged.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday Evening. Scary Evening.

Sunday Evening

Last night, Sarah and I took a Sunday stroll on the downtown waterfront. I had my small camera stuck in my purse so at the last minute I told her we should snap some pictures of each other. The pictures aren’t real great because I—unknowingly—had the camera on a weird setting but we still had a fun mother/daughter time!









Scary Evening

Tonight is kind of a scary evening for me because we’re doing a little concert in a coffee house in Kill Devil Hills. Although we used to do 180 concerts a year for 16 years, it’s been a long time since we’ve done that sort of thing. My vocal chords are feeling a bit “iffy” and the smoke in the air is not making my lungs happy. Plus, I haven’t sung most of our songs in many years.

But hey, it’ll be fun anyway. In fact, if there’s one thing Steve and I learned during our Road Years, it was to enjoy our mistakes and not get too stressed out over them. So with that in mind, tonight should be chock full of, um, enjoyment!

(If you’re in the area, we’ll be at the Good Life Eatery at Mile Post 4.5 on the Croatan Hwy. The event is from 7-8 pm; we’ll start singing about 7:15.)