Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Odds 'n Ends

Just thinking...
Today was a classic scene from an Edgar Allan Poe tale: dark and dreary; cold and windy; rainy and desolate. Heavy rains set in late this afternoon, accompanied by thunder and lightning. After several trips to the basement to check on the sump pump, I realized that things were OK down there. We're a bit paranoid after the infamous "broken-sump-pump/new-carpet-incident" back in February. So I decided that today would be a great one to attend to some of those nagging little "jobs" around here.

Since I'm limiting the number of trips I make each day in my trusty Ford Ranger due to the price of gas eclipsing the four dollar mark, I have had lots of time to get those "odds 'n ends" taken care of. For example, I got brave and changed the 9-volt battery in our smoke/carbon monoxide alarm. I was even able to test it out and was happy to hear the piercing squeal of it's warning sound. Now, it should be good for another several months.

Next, I added a 40-pound bag of potassium chloride to our water treatment system before concocting a tasty crock pot recipe for tonight's dinner. (No, there was no potassium chloride in the recipe!) I called it "Creamy Salsa Chicken," although it wasn't all that creamy! (It did have a can of cream of mushroom soup in it, though!) It was one of those recipes where I used whatever I had left in the fridge and the pantry--thus the chunky black bean and corn salsa! I must say, it turned out rather good over the mashed potatoes I fixed.

Following these grueling tasks, I read a short story by John Updike titled "A Sense of Shelter." I remember reading it way back in the day at Kent State in an American Literature class. I always enjoyed the Updike stuff--especially the short stories and his Rabbit Angstrom series. Then I started "A Dog's Tale" by Mark Twain, one I had never read before. And, of course, this activity got me reminiscing about my years at KSU (1968-73) and I began to wish I'd worked harder in some of my classes. But there's that old "Hind Sight" adage again.


So I changed gears once more and watched Jeopardy!, a daily ritual around here. By then my crock pot "delight" was cooking away and nearing "eating stage." I even had plans to try to sit down at my MacBook and try to resume work on my book--the one that's been on "hiatus" for a few weeks now--but that just wasn't going to happen. And so I started watching the White Sox, who would lose another game tonight. Then there was the last-ditch effort by the Blackhawks to stay alive in the playoffs against Vancouver. The Hawks won, so there'll be at least one more game Thursday night.


With that done, I read the latest newsletter from Homer Hickam. I found his words about the loss of a couple of his furry friends recently to be very comforting in light of our own loss of Casey. I think his words helped me get my compass re-adjusted and myself pointed in the right direction once more. 


Finally, I've found my way into my office. I've called up my Blog site and am determined to put together this post before I do another thing. On the iPod Nano I listen to George Strait singing about the "seashores of old Mexico" and even some nostalgic hauntings of Jimmy Webb's A Tramp Shining (1968):

She's called me again
And I've taken all my old forgotten dreams out of the closet
To put them on.
I have found my crumbling crown
Lying where I tossed it
I thought that I had lost it
But here I am, A Tramp Shining...

And so the storms have passed on to the east. I just heard the sump pump kick on in the basement just below my office where I sit and write this. That's a comfort after all of the rain we had tonight.

 The day was good. Tomorrow sits out there with promises to fulfill...

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