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All posts for the month June, 2017

The Battle With Light

Published June 29, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

woman-with-head-under-pillow-on-bed

 

Summer days mean more sun. Sometimes, depending on where you live, you may be trying to sleep while the sun is still shining. Other times it means everything in your house has a damn light on it. That is an issue all year ’round.

When did manufacturers decide everything needs a light to tell us if it’s on? Some have a light to tell us it’s off. Some have light to tell us it’s in ‘sleep’ mode. WHY?!?! Are we suddenly so stupid we need a light to tell us all this?

Because I live with a roommate in tiny (crappy) apartment, most of my stuff is in my room. This includes my TV, a small dehumidifier, my clock, my iPod speaker station, my laptop and a couple of power strips to help keep the electronics safe.

They all have a damn light.

The TV has a blue light to tell me it’s on. I guess the picture on the screen just isn’t enough to get that point across. That blue light changes to a red light to tell me it’s off, because the lack of a picture on the screen isn’t enough to tell me I turned it off. That light is about an inch and half long. It is very, very bright in a dark room. I now have a stack of decorative boxes to move in front the light at night. Otherwise I feel like Sauron is watching me all night.

The small dehumidifier also has two lights. A green on to tell you it’s on – the light humming sound just isn’t enough of a clue – and yellow light to tell you it’s full and needs empty. Both of these lights are tiny, but they are the brightest damn LED’s I have ever seen. The green light lights up the room almost enough to read by. Is this supposed to be a signal to all other dehumidifiers? Why does it need to be so bright? I solved this one by painting over the green light with black nail polish.

My laptop has a light on the front to tell me it’s on, plus a light on the power cord to tell me it’s plugged in. The cord light changes colours depending on if it’s fully charged or charging. Not only does it have a light on the top of the plug, but also on the bottom of the plug. I have no idea why there a light on the bottom of the plug. The front light pulses when the lid is closed. Why? Why can’t it just dim down a bit? So now there is a bit of paper taped over the front light. I cover the charging cord light with the belt from my bathrobe (The lappy sits on a small table near my closet at night. The robe hangs on the closet door).

My old digital clock had a dial on the back so the display could be dimmed. The one I have now doesn’t have that feature. I can turn it away from my face and let it be a nightlight. It isn’t so bright that it lights up the room like beacon. I just wish more clocks were made with the option to dim the display.

Thankfully, both power strips are hidden away and the lights on those are not an issue.

My iPod speaker/player is the only one that is sensible. When I turn it on, the front plate lights up to tell me it’s on, and where it is set (iPod or radio). When I turn it off, all the lights turn off. Glory hallelujah!

Why have I declared war on all this light? Because all that light makes tough for me to sleep, especially on nights I am having trouble getting to the actual sleeping part.

All that light may also prevent your body from fully resting.  You may be sleeping, but your body is still on some sort of alert due to the lights. Yup, there is science behind that. This why some people wake up when a bright light shines in their face.

Me? I just want to sleep. Without all the lights.

 

Foot Care, Hair Cuts and Cars

Published June 18, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

The days keep rolling by. I’ve figured out the best way to care for my feet, gotten a new haircut, and finally got the full estimate on the car. It’s quite the 2 weeks!

My feet continue to complain about the sudden uptick in the work they are expected to do. I am on my feet all day at work. I rarely sit down for anything, and rarely take breaks. I’d rather just work. Since I have to walk to and from work, this means my feet work harder than they have for long time. They need a little extra care and attention.

After some trial and error, I found shoe inserts that work for my feet. I’m not sure when shoe manufacturers decided that support and padding was just too much to deal with, but it leaves those of us who wear the shoes having make them support our feet properly. Even high-end athletic shoes have nothing inside them to support the foot. It seems like a lot of money for a fancy shell with a logo on it. I also remembered epsom salt. Epsom salt is wonderful for sore muscles and exhausted feet. I found if I soak my feet, they recover faster, and are ready the next days pounding.

I got my hair cut. Well, technically, I got all my hairs cut. Cutting just one wouldn’t really show, now would it? I was letting my hair grow out from a short cut. I had gotten it almost even all the way ’round. It was in a bob above my shoulders, but it was a pain. It was messy and in my way. It never really looked nice. I know, that is all part of growing hair out. I’ve had long hair. I’ve had long, long hair. But this time, the awkward growing out phase just wasn’t something I was up for. I also remember what I do with long hair – nothing. I pretty pull it back, braid it and that’s it. I rarely wear down because it gets in my way. So I end up with long hair no one sees because I keep it braided all the time.

So why have long hair?

Now it’s short and fun. I  think I need the top a wee bit shorter, but I can wear it spiky, or messy, or blown dry and combed smooth. It also makes using my fun colours easier.   (I have some washable bright colours for my hair I use from time to time)

And I finally got the final estimate on my car. With a little help, I’ll get that paid for and have a car again in about a week. They gave me the worst case scenario estimate, so it may come down a little in the end. They are also taking advantage of the torn apart car to replace some parts that are due, or almost due, for replacement. All in all, my car ought to be very close to as good as new as it can get.

Now the only thing missing is summer weather.

 

 

 

Life Without Wheels

Published June 9, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Feet

It has been close to three weeks since my car decided enough was enough and ceased to function. I am still sorting out what needs to be done to fix it and how much it will cost. At present, it looks be about $2,000 to make it a real car again. If only money truly grew on trees. *sigh*

But this isn’t about that.

I am lucky. I live in small town close most everything I need and I work about 5 blocks from home. I can walk. I bought a rain coat to keep dry on the many rainy days. I have good shoes with supportive insoles to keep my feet mostly happy. I am healthy enough to walk without it being a struggle. I even have one of those little wheeled carts for shopping trips.

Even if my car was working, I would still walk to work on nice days. I did that years ago when I lived a few blocks from work. The walk let me shake off the day and reset.  But walking when you want to walk is a little different from when you have to walk. Some days I rather not make the walk, but now, I have no choice. So I walk. No matter what the weather.

I walked to the grocery store with my little cart and did my shopping. This was fine on nice day. This would not be fine on cold day in the rain and screaming wind. I have new respect for the people who this all year – especially by choice.

I can get food and get to work. I can get to the touristy downtown shops, but not to the Dollar Store or Goodwill unless I take the bus. I can’t get to my favourite fabric shop, or even the not-so-great fabric shop unless I take the bus, or get a ride from someone. The issue with the bus, is the bus system here stinks and is expensive. One route only runs on weekdays, the other only on weekends. Seriously, it is cheaper for me to drive my car than ride the bus to Goodwill.

My little car gets an average of 27 miles to the gallon. Gasoline here is about $2.65 a gallon. The Dollar Store and Goodwill are in the same mall, about 10 miles up the road. The bus fare is $3.00 one way. That route is a weekday only route. My favourite fabric shop is even closer, only in the other direction. That is $1.00 fare one way, but that route only runs on weekends and I work weekends.

Mostly I miss being able to go where I want to go when I want to go. When I get a ride, I don’t want to ask to go to multiple places. I don’t ask to drive through the coffee stand for a fancy blended tea. I don’t get to wander into yard sales, or stop at funny little hole-in-wall shops. You just don’t ask someone to drive you all over the county. They are doing you a favour, and they may not want to doing that favour all damn day.

With a little luck I’ll have my car back in few weeks. I am hoping the lessons learned during this time of the feet will stick, and I will keep walking to the places I can walk to.

At least until the weather turns cold and wet.

 

 

The New Job Is A Sweet One

Published June 5, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

candy

I started my new job on the very last day of May.  My uniform consists of a tee-shirt and jeans, or black pants. They aren’t too picky as long you are clean and presentable. The only reason I need to wear the tee shirt is that I am on the floor all day.

I am working at sweets shop. We sell ice cream, cotton candy, candied apples, fudge, dipped Twinkies, dipped Pringles, dipped Oreo cookies and CANDY. Loads and loads of CANDY.

Sweet.

The candied apples, fudge, truffles, dipped items and such are all made on the premises. It is all fresh. They even make their waffle cones. There is a huge variety of fudge flavours that include cookie dough, pistachio and cookies and cream. Maybe one day I’ll write them all down for you. The candied apples come in several varieties from plain old caramel to rolled in mini M&M’s. Some are dipped in chocolate with a fancy drizzle on them.

And then there is the candy.

There is bulk wrapped candy sold by the pound, there is bulk loose candy sold by the pound. Love French Burnt Peanuts? We got ’em in bulk. Love Pixie Sticks? We got ’em in bulk. There is also well over 20 different kinds of salt water taffy in bulk.

We have a lot of the ‘old school’ candies as well – Cow Tails, Abba Zabba, Charleston Chew (3 flavours), Sugar Daddy, Sugar Babies, Long John, Zagnut, Bottle Caps. Chick-o-Stick, candy cigarettes, bubble gum cigars… the list goes on and on.

We also have a lot of international candies. Chocolates from Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, and Switzerland (to name a few).

And an entire section of theater box candy.

I had a customer ask me what we had that she wouldn’t find in grocery store. She was a little over whelmed as I showed her what we had. I’m pretty sure she found things no one would find in a typical grocery store.

My job is to keep it stocked and the merchandise facing the proper way. I also put things back in their proper places. On busy days I can simple continue to make my rounds, picking up strays and stocking the popular items. I can do this for 5 hours and never sit down.

It’s fun work. I like the customers. Who isn’t happy in candy shop? We get a grumpy kid once in while, but it’s a candy shop and the grumpies soon pass. Yeah, they still do crappy things from time to time, like fill a bag with different taffy flavours and then abandon the bag, but that isn’t too awful (yeah, we sort them back into the bins because they are all wrapped). But for the most part everyone who comes in is happy and amazed. They see candy from their childhood. Who can’t crack a smile remembering when they pretend smoked candy cigarettes?

I feel as though I deserve a job I like after the string of disasters I’ve had the past year. I finally found a job I like.

A sweet job.