Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008

I Do Not Abhor a Vacuum

Sound the trumpets! Stop the presses! I have vacuumed!
Amazing, isn’t it? A chore I took for granted for so many years, and now that I’m old(er) and ill, it’s a triumph of will and physical recovery. Yay! I was able to vacuum up all those pesky little pieces of paper that fall from the shredder onto the floor when I empty the basket into the recycling bag! I can see the rug again.
Then, while I was at it, I whisked over the major walkways: front door, living room, kitchen, big bedroom; and finally, my ultimate goal: the pieces of hair on the master bathroom carpet from that impromptu trim I gave myself yesterday. No, I don’t know why the bathroom is carpeted. Seemed like an iffy idea to me, but there it is.
And now I’m exhausted, dizzy and weak, and am paying attention to those responses to the workout and I am stopping.
Some of my friends would howl at me for doing this chore – the ones who have been telling me not to blow my recovery by overdoing. Another friend, who doesn’t seem to grasp that I have really been seriously ill, would be pleased that I have done something productive for a change.
These diametrically opposing views give me the strong hint that I’d better pay attention to what I need and what’s right for me, because the opinions of others will vary.
Last night I got back to typing up my old essays for the first time since we moved last October. The plan has been to put together a collection in a book, and offer it for sale, the idea being that we have some retirement income to supplement the inadequate Social Security for which we will eventually qualify. I have been too sick – too exhausted, not to mention the chest pains – for the last four months to do a keystroke of this productive activity. Everything I used to do has gone by the wayside, except for writing my column. Other than that, I’ve been resting and knitting and occasionally making dinner. I’ve been looking at the unpacked boxes, and watching the birds feeding on the back porch.
Birds feeding on the back porch: Oregon juncos are the great majority by far. Spotted Towhees come in second, and Steller’s Jays. And gray squirrels. Occasionally a crow comes by and chases everyone else away, but crows are too smart and too wary and as soon as someone moves inside the house and it detects the movement, it flies away. Then the songbirds flock back.
I have seen house finches and perhaps purple finches, pine siskins, house sparrows, maybe a chickadee, and either a fox sparrow or a song sparrow. It didn’t stick around long enough for me to make a positive ID. I keep meaning to bring my binoculars in from the car so I can take a closer look at the feeder’s visitors.
I enjoy watching them. It’s a good pastime for a person recovering from mononucleosis, as I am, and I feel like I’m learning something, which is a good thing at any age.
It was 31 degrees F out on the back porch this morning, and the deck was an ice rink. Thank heavens for the 3-tab roofing panels that the previous occupants put down. Last night at midnight I tuned into the Northwest News Channel to check up on how cold it was, and noted that over in Ephrata, about six miles from where my cousin Nancy lives, it was 2 degrees F. Some other places were in the minuses. Yep. The Northwest is definitely in the deep freeze.
And as long as it is, I’ll stay inside and cook up some stews and soups to warm the inner person. And type up a couple more essays. And for a good time, check out this website my sister-in-law Barbara forwarded to me this morning:

HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam . Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands . HEMA also has stores in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Germany . In June of this year, HEMA was sold to British investment company Lion Capital. Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.

This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer.


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