Labor-Saving Devices

The most efficient labor-saving device is still money.
—Franklin Pierce Jones

I laughed out loud at this one, but is money a “device”? Would you use another word? Do you have a favorite labor-saving device?

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Snow Day

It snowed Thursday, and I had to clear 3-4 inches of snow off the car yesterday so I could drive to the Y. But it was light and fluffy so it was easy to do. I was surprised that the public schools and some organizations were closed because of it — the snow had stopped and the sun had already come out.

It was a different story up on the land. Andy had to put chains on to drive in and he had to plow. It was also windy — so much that at one point he couldn’t open the door of the truck until it stopped blowing so hard. That means he will have to plow again today because of the drifts.

It’s sunny again today with temperatures above freezing — winters could be a lot worse.

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Happy Birthday, Betty!

Betty White turns 98 today. Two years ago when asked for advice she said,

Enjoy life.

Accentuate the positive, not the negative.

It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say: “Hey, that was great!” It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.

Amen to that!

Of course when she was once asked what the secret to her longevity was she said,

Vodka and hot dogs, probably in that order.

I think I’ll pass on that one.

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If There Were Any Doubt…

that I have joined the ranks of the “very old” (80 or over), here’s a picture Kaitlin took New Year’s Eve:

About the coat — I was looking for a new parka, and when I first saw the coat I thought it was completely impractical if one wanted to do any work outside. But when we were walking from the car to the supermarket one night it dawned on me, my legs were cold! I no longer work outside so something covering my legs made a lot of sense. I’ve had it for four or five years now and it may not be elegant, but I love it.

About the hat — I bought it years ago and have seldom worn it because I have other hats I like better. I did take it on our last trip to see Kaitlin, Torben, and the pups because it was easy to pack in my suitcase. And I wore it up to the land on this last visit to keep Tempi from destroying a good hat.

A couple of years ago a gust of wind blew my hat off, and Tempi was ready to play. She grabbed it and ran to the other side of the house. I went after her and was relieved to see she hadn’t hurt it, so I said sweetly, “Drop it, Tempi. Drop it.” She did, then put a paw on the brim, grabbed the top with her mouth and yanked up.

Goodbye, little hat. Note to self, don’t wear good hats around Tempi.

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Unscented Soap

I laughed out loud at this picture. It’s true, we do use unscented soap and we don’t go out much, but we used unsecented soap even when we went dancing regularly.

Do you use scented soap and other products?

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No Fashion Here

Last night Andy looked at a rip developing around one knee of his pants. He said,

I don’t care what the fashion is, I’m going to toss these out and put on a new pair.

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Duct Fans

When we built the greenhouse we installed 12 ducts — six near the top of the wall, six near the bottom, to connect the air in the greenhouse to the small gap between the back of the heat-storing wall and the back wall of the structure. The idea was to warm the back of the heat-storing wall with warm air from the greenhouse.

Andy has now installed fans on shelves to blow air from the top of the greenhouse into the gap.

The system does seem to be putting some heat into the back of the heat-storing wall, and Andy is now working on electronics so he can more easily measure how much difference it’s making.

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The Goldilocks Zone

Happiness is a place between too much and too little.
—Finnish Proverb

Nowadays there’s term for that — the Goldilocks zone, when conditions are just right for thriving.

Andy, for the most part, is in the Goldilocks zone right now.

He’s enthusiastic about his project to raise the temperature of the heat-storing wall (more about that later), and it’s challenging enough to be absorbing but not overwhelming. Last fall when we were having the greenhouse built he had almost too much of a challenge because of all the thinking and decision-making he had to do. But it turned out well.

And if he didn’t have projects to be involved in it would be too little for him, he would go bonkers.

Where are you? Are there areas of your life where you have too much? Too little? Just right?

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Our Story-Telling Minds

Human minds were designed to make stories to explain what the world is like. Sometimes those stories work, sometimes they don’t.

Some railroad laborers who had never seen golf were working near a course one morning. They were intrigued by the game and spent a lot of time watching the players. They saw a golfer knock the ball into a rut and have a hard time extracting it. Then he hit into a sand trap and almost failed to get out.

Finally he had a good shot, and the ball trickled directly into the cup. Whereupon one of the workers who had watched the previ­ous difficulties said sympathetically, “Now mister, you are really in trouble.”

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