Keeping Up With The {Energy Conscious} Joneses

We’re getting a new front door– or more accurately: a new Entry System.

[One must use the jargon that one encounters when one is working with individuals in a new and different industry, mustn’t one?]

Three times during the last few week we met here at the house with the sales rep from the door and window store.  While our windows are fine, our front door is older, wooden, and because of sun exposure, impossible to keep properly refinished.  Many of our neighbors have replaced their Entry Systems with more energy-efficient/visually pleasing doors and sidelights.  So after talking with the sales rep, we decided to do the same thing.

Our new Entry System will be a six-panel American cherry-stained fiberglass door with no glass in it.  Half sidelights and an arched transom with beveled glass and gluechip glass complete the Entry System.  Pretty and private.

Of course, it’ll be weeks until this door is made;  having a special order arched transom slows production down a bit.  And then who knows how long after that until the door can be installed.

Nothing is fast in the world of home improvement.  But that’s probably a good thing.  It gives me more time to practice saying Entry System out loud– without rolling my eyes as I say it.  Lord knows, I wouldn’t want to use the wrong term for our new front door.  😉

The “7 Things About Me” Meme

I saw this meme at Sweet Tea.  I thought that it looked like a fun “dog days of summer I have nothing else to say because my brain is fried” kind of post.

I’m to list 7 random things about myself… add this button to my post… and then invite other bloggers to do the same thing.  Consider yourself invited.

~ ~ • ~ ~

1.  I like mushrooms and pineapple on my pizza.  Don’t judge.  It’s good.  Zen-Den refers to it as “dessert” pizza.

2.  I stood in line at Starbucks behind Peter Frampton one day.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but later when I saw his photo in the newspaper I realized that the handsome, pleasant Englishman in front of me, who everyone in the shop was looking at, was Peter Frampton.

3.  I love to go for walks in city parks.  Movement +  people watching = entertainment. Throw in a few inquisitive dogs on a leash and I’m smiling for hours after I finish walking.

4.  I like palm trees.  They are happy trees.  When I see them in real life I know that I’m on vacation.  When I see them in photos I remember that I was on vacation– near happy trees– having a good time.

5.  I don’t like pastel pink.  I like fuchsia, dark pink, or honeysuckle;  these shades of pink have some zing to them.  But pastel pink makes me anxious and irritable.  It’s too demure and passive for me.

6.  I think that social media is lots of fun, but that too many people take it way too seriously.  Lighten up, people.  Live from your heart, not from your FB friend count.

7.  I have narrow feet.  Finding shoes that fit is difficult and always has been.  For me, when it comes to shoes, it’s not about getting what I want– as much as taking what I’m given.

Oh, You’ve Got To Have Friends

I found this photo when I was going through some boxes of stuff that I’ve dragged around with me for years.  I’ve been in an organizing mood of late.  Most of the stuff in the boxes was of no value, but this photo– well, it’s a classic.  Worthy of note.

It’s a photograph of my third grade class.  I’m the girl in the middle of the front row holding my hands behind my back.  With long blonde hair.  Sporting a lovely pair of cat eye spectacles.  Tres chic!

Looking at this photo I have no idea why I’m not wearing a cute little plaid dress like the other girls.  I had lots of them, but for some reason I’m standing there in a shapeless jumper.  My mother worked when I was a kid, so maybe this was the only outfit that was clean that day for me to wear.  That could be it.  Or maybe I forgot that it was photo day and put the jumper on instead of something cute.  That’s probably more like it.

I have good memories of third grade.  Mrs. Bosh, our teacher, was enthusiastic and fun. The kids in my class were silly and goofy and friendly.  I remember adoring arithmetic & science, and that we did the coolest art projects.  I remember despising spelling tests, while thoroughly enjoying music class.

I also remember receiving my first Nancy Drew book that year.  It was a birthday present from the girl on the end of the front row nearest to the teacher.  I still have the book in fact.

But what I remember the most about third grade is that we played lots of games on the playground– and we included everyone.  No cliques.  No clubs.  No snobs.  That’s what was coming our way in fourth grade.

Of course, we didn’t know that yet when this photo was taken.  We were still just a bunch of happy kids.  Friends.  Wearing our best clothes and smiling for the camera.

A Suburban Moral Dilemma

As I sit here typing this post I’m watching our neighbor’s sprinkler system water their lawn.  Putting aside the fact that it is midday and the sun is at its hottest while the sprinkler system waters their lawn, I’ve found myself in a bit of a moral dilemma.  The sort of dilemma that an observant, kind-hearted person, such as myself, could only find herself in.

Here’s the deal.  We don’t have an automated lawn watering system.  I am our watering system– complete with hoses, oscillating sprinklers, and a decidedly lethargic approach to lawn care.  I water when the spirit moves me and in a random pattern when I get around to it.

Our neighbors, on the other hand, have a perfectly positioned, professionally maintained sprinkler system that evenly and consistently waters their grass.  Or at least that’s what the neighbors, who are never here at midday, think is happening.

The reality is that the men who positioned the sprinkler heads have sent the water shooting into a tree and a wall, which is causing the water to bounce back into small portions of our lawn instead of evenly watering the neighbor’s lawn.

Now the angelic [do good] part of my being is saying that I really should go over to the neighbor’s house and tell them that their sprinkler system is amiss… that their professionals have made a mistake or two when positioning the sprinkler heads.

But the devilish [lazy butt] part of my being is shouting “yes! less lawn for me to water” and resists making the effort to tell the neighbors what’s really going on with their lawn… figuring that it is up to them to monitor their own property.

So there you have it, my gentle readers.  A moral dilemma.  In a non-friendly suburb.  Noted by me because I pay attention.

What say ‘ye?  Do I tell them, or not?

I’ve Been Sorted And So Can You

I was googling some Shakespeare quotes when I noticed the word: “Enneagram.”  Immediately, from the cobwebby corners of my mind, I remembered sitting in a regional staff meeting 20 years ago. We were being forced to happily taking a tediously long marvelously in-depth psychological test to decide which one of The Nine Enneagram Archetypes we might be.

We had a new boss and this was her way of getting to know us.

Curious as ever (and as a tribute to one of the more unique bosses I ever worked with), I clicked on the link where I found this simple little test: The Quick Enneagram Sorting Test.  So I took it.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Especially after I figured out that there were only two questions (three-parts each) to answer.

The results of my test told me that there was an 80% chance that I was one of the following three archetypes.

I agree with the results in theory.  I would add that I think that I behave differently in different contexts.  Everyone does.  Which means that I’m probably a mix of all three archetypes– in different proportions– at all times– depending on where I am standing on the earth.

Type Three: The Achiever The Success-Oriented, Efficient Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
Type Five: The Investigator The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
Type Seven: The Enthusiast The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

###

I invite you to take the test and get sorted, too.  See what it says about you.  And if you feel like it, you can share your results below in comments or on your blog.  We’d love to know who you really are.  

###

Rambling Thoughts From A Sleepless Night

~ I rarely have insomnia, but last night I did not sleep.  Too hot and humid outside.  Too noisy and AC-y inside.  I just couldn’t get comfy, so… 

•  I got up and surfed the internet until the battery in my notebook died– which was 2.25 hours.  I decided to go back to many of the new-to-me blogs where I’ve left comments over the past few months.  It takes quite a bit of focus and prayer for me to reach out to strangers and leave them a comment.  I know that comments are a good way of making friends in the blogosphere and I want to have more bloggy friends.  So I take a deep breath, write something sincere, and push “publish.”

It’s not easy for me, but I do it.

Checking back to see how well-received my comments were, I discovered that 40% of the new-to-me bloggers responded back to me – yeah!  40% of the new-to-me bloggers said nothing – hmm?  And 20% of the new-to-me bloggers didn’t even allow my comment to show up on their blogs – ouch!

•  After the battery went dead in my notebook I just wandered around the inside of the house in the dark, looking out the windows at nature and moonlight and total stillness.  I like doing this because it centers me in the moment, encourages me to look within.  I used to always get up early to do this, but fell out of the habit at some point.

While I was moseying around I got thinking about my health.  I’ve just finished a battery of annual tests and am quite healthy, thank you very much.  The only issue is that my cholesterol is a bit high.

Just something more to be aware of, I guess.

As I don’t know of anyone who eats meat who doesn’t have slightly elevated cholesterol, I’m rather “whatever” about this fact.  I figure that some small changes in my diet and a bit more exercise will fix this issue.  I avoid pharmaceuticals at all costs, so I will take on the challenge of making myself better all by myself.  No pills for me, says the doctor’s daughter.

•  Around 5:30 a.m. I decided it was time to make a pot of coffee and get on with the day.  After the elixir of life brewed, I poured myself a large mug of it and went outside to sit on the deck.  Morning was just starting to grace the sky with streaky, pink clouds and yellowish bursts of weak sunlight.  There were bats flying around everywhere– and birds chirping about something of [presumably] birdy importance.

I like our deck because it looks into the forest prime evil primeval
that leads to the ravine behind our house.  But this morning I was a bit wistful as I looked at the natural mess that is back there.  In a couple of weeks, we will have a new backyard.

Change is good.  And inevitable when you live on a hillside.

The backyard project will put in place a poured concrete landscaping wall.  Then about 28 tons of dirt will be hauled in to level off some of the land.  After that, the landscapers will plant lots of bushes in a visually pleasing, manicured way– which will transform our backyard into a more useable, but decidedly less rustic, place to be.

~ I’ve got nothing more to add to this post.  Morning is here and I’m ready to get on with my day.  I kind of wonder how productive I’ll be today, but figure that I’ll give it my best shot.  Some days “good enough” is the new “perfect.”