I Has A Sad

[Yes, I’m using LOLspeak here.  Your point?]

Viva de la Vega, my longtime desktop computer & faithful sidekick, is retiring today.  The photos on yesterday’s post were the last items that I needed from her to create something for this blog.

For the last eight years she and I have been constant companions.  BFF, if you will.  I adore her… her smaller, cozy screen… her slow way of uploading photos… the clickety-clack of her keyboard… even the crazy, unpredictable way her wired mouse works.

However, now that Coraline is on the scene, Viva de la Vega is headed for a lovely retirement upstairs in the un-bedroom where she can live out her days in a little out-of-the-way niche on top of an old chest of drawers.  We’ll be able to use her to listen to online music– or to play a few hands of solitaire or hearts.

She’ll be at home there, I’m sure.  And I’ll visit her from time to time.  But I still can’t help feeling a touch bittersweet about this change.

So long, my friend.  I’ll miss you.

*sigh*

Our New Entry System Is Here

Two weeks ago we had our new front door [oops, I mean] entry system installed.  We like it very much.  I can already tell that it is going to save us money on energy costs.  [More about our decision to get a new door here.]

We both find it pretty to look at– and to look through.  Neither one of us has ever lived in a house with beveled glass, so this is new to us.  Pretty, pretty.

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Knock, knock!  Look at the satin nickel hardware on our door.  No more ugly, worn-out, formerly shiny brass.  For this alone, I give thanks.

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Hey, look at what I can see standing inside the house and looking out through the sidelights.

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And then, there’s this view above the door.

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And this funky view through some of the beveled glass on the sidelights.

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And finally, just so you know, here’s what I’m looking at through the glass outside the front door.

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For Us, November Is HOA Month

I would never of thought that I’d end up living in suburbia.

I’d say I’m more of a city chick– or maybe an old neighborhood near the city chick– or even a historical preservation district in a suburb of a city chick.  But not a suburban babe [as my cousin calls me].

Yet, I’m here and I like it.  Chalk one up to my ability to adapt.  And chalk another one up to my ability to be amused by what goes on around here.

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November is when we have our annual Mom Trails HOA meeting.  It’s not mandatory that everyone go to the meeting, and we don’t go.  It is mandatory that everyone vote via a paper ballot that is sent to us in the snail mail.  You check your choices for the board members;  say “yes” or ”no” regarding neighborhood issues;  and can add some comments, if you are so inclined.  Then you send the ballot back to the HOA.

Pretty standard stuff.

Choosing board members is easy.  Very few people want to be on the board, so those who do want to do it seem to be sincere.  We’ve been happy with just about everything that the board has done since we moved here.  Consequently, we rarely have had any comments to add to the comment section of the ballot.

Things are good, as far as we can tell.

The voting gets more interesting on the “yes” or “no” questions.  This is where I get to see what my neighbors are worrying about this year.  And, for once, I think that these people are really asking us to decide on something of value to the whole community– rather than the more personal, backstabbing issues that sometimes show up on the ballot.

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So, what are we voting on here in Mom Trails this year?  Glad you asked.  We are deciding two things.

√  First, we are deciding whether it is appropriate to hang large, non-US flags on our property;  and where said flags of all sorts, if allowed, will be hung.

Personally, I don’t care what flag you hang in front of your house.  What I care about is how you hang it.  That is, don’t hang your large flag from the back of your mailbox post with the flag pointing back toward the house.  It is, in my understanding, an insult to whatever the flag is representing;  and, as I am driving down the street, it hides from my view whoever might be standing on the other side it.  

Not smart.

√  And second, we are deciding if we will upgrade our standard, township-issue, green background/white lettering street signs to something more stylish.  Something that will coordinate with our black, historically accurate, reproduction gaslight-style street lights.

Now this is an issue that makes sense to me.  Our boring green street signs are difficult to see because they fade into the lawns that surround them.  Plus they’re ho-hum.  Our street lights, on the other hand, look great and are distinct;  you notice them.  So, it seems to me that by changing the street signs to coordinate with the street lights we will be able to see our street signs [finally] and add some style [aka resale value] to our subdivision.  

Win-win.

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The actual meeting isn’t until later in the month– and because no one on the board seems to know anything about updating our official Mom Trails website– I won’t know what has happened for a while after that.  One day, sometime in early December, we’ll receive a snail mail letter telling us the news.

And then, we will think no more about the HOA for another year.

Let’s Get It Started In Here

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NaBloPoMo 2011

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Guess what I’ve decided to do.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait while you figure it out.

[HINT: look to your right and read the details on the big square.  Click on it, if you so choose.]

Yes, I’ve joined something.

[I know… it’s not like me, the free-spirit, to get involved in anything organized.]

And the something that I’ve joined is National Blog Post Month– informally known as NaBloPoMo.

[Cute nickname, huh?  It’s fun to say really fast as you type it.  Don’t judge me… we all make our fun where we find it.]

So, what does this really mean?

[If you’ve read this far down the page, then you must be a skoosh curious about what I’m up to this time.]

It means that I’ll be posting to this blog every day in November.  Contributing as much flapdoodle and twaddle to the blogosphere as I can.

[Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  A challenge.  An adventure.  A way to make bloggy friends.  Plus,  for a limited time only, “Glorious Madness.”]

So for the next thirty days, I’ll write.  You’ll read.  And we’ll chat in the comments below.

[Any questions?]

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Autumn, Attitude Adjustment, And Ambush Journalism

Here’s what I’ve thought about this week.  Brought to you by the letter “A.”

•  Loving.  Now that it’s mid-autumn, the leaves on the trees behind our house are at their best.  In fact, this year, the wettest year ever on record, the trees look stunning.  There are more show-off colors among the leaves–shimmery gold, crimson red;  less dreary colors like rusty orange & dried-up grayish brown.  Amazing, really, how letting go is so pretty.  A lesson for all of us who hold grudges and keep objects long after their usefulness has passed.  Move on, people.  Let it go.

*Amen*

•  Laughing.  I’ve always been one to drink whatever alcoholic beverage is set in front of me [the exception being rum which I hate].  I loathe being perceived as fussy.  Yet, thinking back about our very social summer, I’ve realized that the parties/dinners/events where I had the most fun were the very ones where I did not drink any wine.  At all.

This got me wondering why I even drink the stuff to begin with.  I don’t like the taste of wine all that much and it often makes me itch.  What I decided is that I drink wine because I have this notion that it is good for me.  And I drink wine because I am polite.

My logic– such as it is— goes something like this: in the Bible, Jesus made wine and the party continued.  So, by drinking the stuff without complaint I don’t offend Jesus & I’m not a party pooper.  In theory, this seems like a win-win. But in practice it just sets me up to do something I don’t really want to do– which is drink wine.

Pity Jesus didn’t turn the water into a fifth of bourbon– or a few bottles of beer.  Then I’d have no problem at all.

*Capiche?*

•  Learning.  I was watching CNN the other morning.  The conversation was about “ambush journalism.”  I’d not heard of this term before.  It means that through deception and aggressive behavior a journalist inserts himself or herself into a situation hoping to provoke controversy by launching into a series of challenging questions. Apparently, some guy did this with VP Biden earlier this week, and Biden refused to take it.  Biden fired back with: “Don’t screw with me.  Let’s look at the facts.” 

Politics aside, I’m with the VP on this one.  Hassling people is not a substitute for journalistic inquiry;  it’s just stupid, attention seeking behavior.  In fact, it seems to me that if journalists want to continue to have access to our political leaders, then they need to grow up, use some common sense & not engage is such antics.  Bad dog, no biscuit.

*Meh*

Love, Dreams & Color Schemes

“A house is made of walls and beams;  a home is built with love and dreams.”

I.

Take a quiz.  Learn something useful.  Reflect upon how pretty these colors are.  Remind self that we are perfectly happy with the colors that we’ve got going on in our home now.  Save this just in case.

II.

Take another quiz.  Enjoy the questions.  Agree with the results [minus the nonsense about mixing patterns].  Decide that I like thinking of myself as Bohemian Casual— a more refined way of saying “free spirit.”

III.

Take a third and last quiz.  Like that the questions are all photos.  Agree with the results– especially the part about “peaceful coexistence of seemingly unrelated elements.”  Reflect upon how this phrase makes “eclectic mess” sound stylish.