On the Balance

Trying hard to adjust to the new digs.

It’s not just that it’s smaller. In fact, that isn’t such a big deal since I only used a portion of the space I had before. It’s not just that it’s dingier. That is a bigger deal. And I’m not enjoying the additional noise of an apartment complex.

Right now, though, I’m struggling mostly with how low or high my air conditioning should be set to maintain the optimum comfort while still keeping my electric bill low. I have no idea what temperature I should set it at. The recommended temp is 78 degrees, but that is proving to be simply too warm and somewhat oppressive. So I turned it one degree cooler, which is still pretty warm, but I’m not willing to go any lower. Not today, at least. Not until I see my electric bill and know the consequences.

That sort of adjustment is simply part of moving and learning how things work in the new home. As for the rest of it, I may never fully get comfortable with this new space–I was spoiled in the old one.

The cats, in particular Mimi, seem to be adapting to the change fairly well. Mimi has settled in somewhat permanently on the bedroom windowsill, which is comfortably wide and overlooks a large tree and a grassy area with plenty of squirrels and birds. I’ve pulled up the blinds and put some café curtains in to maintain my privacy. Walter hasn’t quite found his spot, although he does like to hide under my comforter, not knowing that the Walter-shaped lump gives him away.

I’m looking for good in the rest of my life to balance out the discomfort I feel here. I have a decent job with great benefits. My car is in good shape (knock wood). I have healthy, happy cats (again, knock wood). Most of all, I have the support of my family no matter what is happening in my life.

After all I’ve been through in the last ten years, overall I have to say I’m in a decent spot. Certainly far better than where I was six, seven or eight years ago. So I’m grateful. On the balance, things are good.

So I’m looking at the balance and remembering how good it is these days.


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Ah, Moving Part II

Oh wow, I’ve moved.

The movers came last Friday. That part went smoothly and aside from losing the knob to my floor lamp, there was no damage to any of my highly valuable personal goods. (Okay, “highly valuable” is a subjective term and one I use here a bit facetiously).

The cats are adjusting. I have no idea how they feel about our much smaller home, but I guess they’ll get used to it. Mimi is quite curious about the wide open spaces outside the front door, and I’m constantly having to block her from running out. Walter has taken to hiding under my comforter, which is really cute because I think he believes he’s hidden. The lump on the bed gives him away.

I suppose I’m adjusting as well. I’m not thrilled with the new place, but now it’s home so I’m determined to make the best of it. I’ve got the living room and bedroom pretty much set up, with pictures on the wall, books on the bookcases and a few cat toys strewn about.

It’s the second bedroom that’s a nightmare. The room is wall to wall boxes. Well, okay, there’s a path to walk around the perimeter of the room, and to be clear, it’s not a very big room. But still in all, most of my worldly goods are in there waiting for me to dig them out. My desk is buried under those boxes as well, and that’s a problem, because despite its name a laptop is easier to use on a solid surface. Slouching on the sofa as I am now has multiple drawbacks.

Change can be hard, and this situation is difficult for me. I didn’t want to move out of the old place (further explanation about that can be found here). My new apartment is actually quite old, not in a charming way but in an outdated, faux paneling way. The cabinets are cheap and worn. Those in the bathroom are so bad it’s unreal, so I may paint them. You’re not supposed to do that, but seriously, the consequences are likely to be minor. I may not get my deposit back, but they keep eighty percent of it anyhow for cleaning. I’d paint the cabinets a neutral color that would go with the flooring. Yes, I’m justifying.

But like I said, I’m determined to make the best of this situation and look for the good. The cats have window sills they can perch on to watch the birds and the squirrels outside. I’m closer to work, closer, really, to the hub of this area. This complex seems to be quiet, and my unit is on the end of the row of apartments, looking out over a wooded area. I’m processing the change, and will come out better for it.


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Ollie & Lena–A Love Story

Any cat lover (and I know several of you follow my blog) will appreciate the story of Ollie and Lena. Thanks to Amy for sharing. Click on “view original post” to see the video.

Insights From The Edge

The premier of LotusLand TV, a Punt On Point Media production. LotusLand TV is a channel dedicated to raising awareness about the rescue and fostering of cats. Saving a life, changes your own. The love you give to a cat, he returns 7-fold.

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Hair’s to You

Girl in black gloves mixes hair dye in a bowl

The latest run on household supplies? Apparently it’s hair color, and as someone who covers up my gray roots on a regular basis, I get it. I haven’t yet bought any hair color–dying my own hair scares me after a few failed attempts several years ago–but I can see it getting to that point.

Okay, I did get on Amazon to buy some root cover-up after I couldn’t find any in local stores or Walmart.com. Amazon carries it, but is temporarily out of my color (medium brown). So I placed my order and just have to hope it comes in before my current supply runs out. It’s the temporary powder, nothing fancy, so I can see why it’s so popular. You just brush it on and voilà! You’re ready to go.

Hearing about the run on hair color makes me think once again about my stylist. She’s an all-American success story, having started out at her Aveda salon as a receptionist and moving up until she and her husband bought the salon. They’ve maintained its success, and I have no doubt there are dozens of women and men anxious for her doors to open up again. But what’s happening in the meantime?

I realize the economic security bill that was recently passed includes help for small business owners, but I have no idea if it’s enough. Our governor is as cautious as any and won’t allow hair salons to open up again until it’s safe (however you determine that fact). In the meantime, we’re all getting shaggier and grayer.

So hair’s to your health, the health of the economy and the health of the American spirit. There’s a lot of confusion, a lot of unknowns, a lot of fear. Hang in there.


Photo Credit: © COPYCATS–stock.adobe.com

Five Classic Films to Watch While You’re Cooped Up at Home

Looking for fresh ideas of movies to watch during this time of home confinement? Here are five of my favorite escapes in film. I’ve reviewed all of them on my other blog, Classic for a Reason. I’ve linked to those reviews, but here’s a brief description of each film below. These are all available to rent (or some, watch free) on Amazon Prime and YouTube. Enjoy!

The Palm Beach Story

Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Claudette Colbert The Palm Beach Story
Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor and Claudette Colbert work through the confusion of their relationships.

Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry (Claudette Colbert) Jeffers have hit a stalemate in their marriage: they are seemingly better friends than lovers, his business is floundering and she’s bored with the whole situation. He hasn’t given up, but she has, and one day she leaves for Palm Beach to get a divorce and find a wealthy man who not only can support her in the way she feels she deserves, but also provide the financing for Tom’s entrepreneurial project.

As fate would have it, on the train to Palm Beach, she meets just that man, John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee). In the meantime, thanks to a generous benefactor, Tom has flown to meet Gerry and stop her from divorcing him. Instead, he’s greeted by John, Gerry, and John’s flighty, oft-married sister, Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor).

The sparks fly and romance begins as Tom and Gerry face the truth about their marriage.

My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard, William Powell starring in My Man Godfrey 1936
Wealthy Carole Lombard introduces down-and-out bum William Powell to her society friends.

Society elite Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard) and her sister Cornelia (Gail Patrick) are seeking a “forgotten man” as part of a scavenger hunt, and come upon Godfrey Smith (William Powell) living at a city dump. The two women are on separate teams, and Cornelia is the first to offer Godfrey five dollars if he’ll help her win the prize. Her offer is met with a shove into a pile of ashes, and Irene decides it’s best to walk away as well.

But Godfrey, after talking to the flighty Irene, chooses to help her win the scavenger hunt and triumph over her sister. To her delight, he denounces the group of wealthy citizens applauding him after her team’s victory is declared. She offers him a job as the family’s butler, which he graciously accepts.

But Godfrey isn’t just any butler, and Irene begins to fall for him, something Cornelia cannot abide.

How to Marry a Millionaire

Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall - How to Marry a Millionaire
Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall model for a local millionaire.

Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall), recently divorced, has joined with fellow models Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable) and Pola DeBevoise (Marilyn Monroe) to lease a high-class apartment for a year. Schatze, perhaps more than the others, is determined to bait and catch a millionaire, not the “gas station jockeys” she typically falls for.

The situation is looking bleak when J. D. Hanley (William Powell), a widower of indisputable wealth, begins courting Schatze. While she’s genuinely fond of the older gentleman, she’s also being pursued by charming Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell) a man she’s quite certain is too poor to be considered.

In the meantime, good natured Loco finds herself falling for a man she believes to be well off, but in fact, is merely a park ranger. Pola, who can’t see a foot in front of herself without her glasses, literally bumps into the man of her dreams, someone with an odd connection to all three women.

How the women resolve what they’re seeking with what they’re finding is as fun and classy as the film’s three stars.

Libeled Lady

Loy, Powell, Harlow, Tracy Libeled Lady
Myrna Loy and William Powell are confronted by Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy.

Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow) is set to marry Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) when he discovers his tell-all front page story about a socialite, Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy), is false and she’s set to sue the newspaper for the astronomical amount of $5 million dollars (keep in mind, this is 1936).

Figuring the best way out of the situation is to turn the heiress into the homewrecker the paper reported her to be, Haggerty hires Bill Chandler (William Powell) to lure her into a compromising situation with a married man.

First, however, he has to marry Chandler off to his bride-to-be to make him the married man in question. Of course, nothing goes as it’s supposed to (how could it?). Gladys starts falling for Bill, who in turn is falling for the lovely Connie. There’s a smart and sassy ending that isn’t really an ending at all.

Sitting Pretty

Clifton Webb in Sitting Pretty
You’ve no doubt seen the greeting card with the baby with oatmeal on his head–it comes from this movie!

Harry (Robert Young) and Tacey (Maureen O’Hara) King have a day-to-day challenge in keeping a nanny for their three rambunctious boys. After the last woman quits without notice, Tacey places yet another ad, hoping to find the right young woman for the job.

When a Lynn Belvedere answers and later accepts her job offer, she believes she’s found that woman. Both Harry and Tacey are shocked when a bristling Mr. Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb) arrives at the door, and are further bewildered when he makes the disconcerting statement he doesn’t like children.

He does have a way with the boys, however, so the Kings keep him on, and eventually learn his kinder side. What they don’t know is his secret motive for moving in with a suburban family.

When the Kings—and the entire town they live in—discover the truth, it jeopardizes both home and profession.

A Matter of Faith–We’ll Get Through This

Sad to happy faces, with the emphasis on happy.

Trust. I do believe we’ll get through this.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. My dad once told me that whether times are good or times are bad we believe they’re always going to stay that way. Right now, times are bad. But we’ll get through this.

I’m lucky enough to still have a job, but I’m afraid that may not last. Business has slowed down considerably and we’re not sure when it will pick up again. The company is doing everything it can to keep us all employed, but there comes a point, right?

I have to move shortly, and now I fear the governor may call for a complete shut down, a total stay-at-home order, and that would mean movers wouldn’t be available. Even if I had a friend with a truck (which I don’t), there’s no way we could move all my worldly goods in the back of someone’s pickup.

But these are things that haven’t happened yet and maybe never will. If they do, I’ll have to deal with them then. I’m just a notorious worrier (got that from my mom). I do believe that whatever happens, I’ll get through it.

I’m not someone who has posters with inspirational sayings or Bible verses all over my home, but I do have faith. Lately, that faith has been tested, for reasons that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. It’s just that a lot of people have given me scientific or historical reasons for everything I believe in. Still, I have faith for the unknown. And let’s just say that faith is misguided. If it helps me, I’m keeping it.

These are uncertain times, uncertain in many ways because we’ve never dealt with anything like this before. It’s unclear how to navigate these murky waters.

But we’ll get through it. My prayers are with all those who are sick, all their loved ones, and the loved ones of those who have died.


Image credit: ©Worawut – stock.adobe.com

Reach Out

Not that I have any imminent concern, just a general one, but I have to say I wouldn’t do well in a quarantine. It’s felt a little like one this weekend. All my normal weekend activities, including church, were cancelled, and I can only watch so many episodes of “The Mothers-in-Law.”

I did watch Bishop Curry speak via YouTube at a service at the National Cathedral this morning, so I sort of got church in. Problem was, at the end of the service I really wanted to go into the parish hall and socialize. For those of you who don’t remember or know who Bishop Curry is, he’s the Episcopal church’s Presiding Bishop (chief mucky-muck), the one who spoke at at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. He’s a gifted speaker and it was a decent sermon, but I wouldn’t want to attend church like that every weekend.

Even as I write this I’m acutely aware of the people for whom an online service is the only way to participate in church. It makes me aware of how much care we need to give to the lonely. In the current climate, that may be difficult, but a card or letter may be an alternative, especially for the elderly for whom that kind of correspondence is familiar. If you know of a shut-in, please reach out now.

Maybe it’s not even a traditional shut-in. I know of a man who’s perfectly healthy, at least physically, but he doesn’t leave the city limits. Anything he can’t buy locally he orders online, with one recent exception. He needed new flooring, so his neighbor drove him to the bordering city to check that out. Keep in mind, these are small cities, each with a population under 50,000, and the city he lives in is primarily a bedroom community with little shopping besides grocery stores. I need to remember him and send a message on his Facebook page.

I know of another woman (and we all know someone like this) who’s caring for her elderly mother. She rarely gets out, in part because her mom mysteriously falls ill anytime my friend has a social engagement. I believe she’s reached her limit and has told her family that other plans need to be made for her mother’s care. Knowing what a challenge caretaking can be makes me wish I’d sent her more text messages.

So I guess there’s a silver lining in this coronavirus situation if it reminds me to reach out to those in need. Let me be a blessing in someone’s life.


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