4 Assorted What-Not’s

First, I have a coffee stain on my favorite white t-shirt. Any suggestions on how to get it out? I mean, besides soaking it in Polident?

Second, I came home this evening to find my front door standing wide open. I approached with extreme caution. Both my cats were sitting in the doorway looking at me, and since they are the spooky type, I surmised all was well. Still, I stuck my hand in the door and turned on the light, and gave the place as careful a look as I could from outside. I cautiously entered, moved from room to room and found all as it should be.

Since I am the only one with a key to my place I must surmise I left without locking my door. I went outside this afternoon with the intent to leave, saw a bunch of trash in my yard, cleaned it up, and then got in my car and drove away. You know, the leaving without locking my door thing never could have happened if a certain gentleman hadn’t thoughtfully fixed the doorknob latch. You see, the door used to not stay closed unless it was locked. Twice now I have thought the door locked — because it was closed — and it wasn’t.

Third, when one thing goes wrong Murphy steps in and all H breaks loose! My keyboard died about a month ago and the tech guy at school gave me another. That is because this comp belongs to the school, so the repairs belong to the school, too. Except tonight I poured avocado salsa on the new keyboard, giving it severe indigestion, right in the middle of composing this post. I just returned from Wal-Mart with a $9.00 keyboard. I don’t think that Mr. B. would believe I wore out a brand new keyboard that fast. I believe Murphy was invited by the same gentleman who fixed my door, since he asked me just the other day the price of maintaining a “free” machine. I told him there was none!

Fourth, I had to go to the doctor today for my annual EKG and breathing test (asthma and CPAP related). Of course they tell you nothing, so I’ll have no results until after I see the Doc in a couple of weeks. However, for the first time since moving to this sand cloud, I made the breath meter register full scale. It took three tries, but I did it! Yay for regular exercise!

As I was leaving the doc’s office, I stopped at the pay window. The lady asked me why I was there. I showed her my paperwork, and she said I was free to go. I thought that was strange. I said, “Are you sure?”

She said, “Yes, ma’am.” So, I put my checkbook back in my purse, and almost made it to the elevator when I heard my name echo down the hall. I turned. A poor little huffing and puffing nurse said, “We need you to come back.”

I returned to the window with my checkbook in hand. The lady said, “You owe a $25.00 co-pay.”

I responded, “I thought so.”

She demanded, “Then why didn’t you say something?”

I said, “You didn’t seem to want my money, and to tell you the truth, I’m not all that eager to give it away.”

The lady behind the window didn’t think I was funny, but the people in the waiting room had a good chuckle.

More Weather Woes

I am certain I have written these words before: there was no heat in my classroom today. Unfortunately, Vegas’ uncharacteristic cold snap broke water pipes in 62 schools, so our lack of heat wasn’t today’s priority. It may not be tomorrow’s priority, either.

We taught three 5th grade classes — approximately 75 kids — in Ms. J’s classroom today. The kids were surprisingly well behaved. Not even one argument ensued. There is no way 75 of last year’s 5th graders could have spent 2.5 hours together in a 40’x40′ room without at least two fist fights.

We are supposed to start our high stakes 5th grade Writing Proficiency testing tomorrow morning. No heat is a serious handicap, so we’ll probably bump the test to a later date. Moving the testing date is a serious handicap as well. The kids are anxious and ready. Delays will sap their confidence. This year’s kids are the best writers I’ve ever had. I would like them to have every advantage to help them prove it.

Update: 12:07 p.m. — the heat is on. The test will commence at 1:00 p.m.

Record Low Temps

I have a house guest come to visit me in Las Vegas, the land of sun and fun — Murphy, he of Murphy’s Law — came with. The last couple of days there has been very little sun. This morning we woke to frozen pipes. No showers. No teeth brushing. Nada. We went out to breakfast — not so much for the food, but for the toilet flushing.

Tonight the pipes are wrapped, and the furthest faucet from the water main has been left to drip. Showers are mandatory before noon tomorrow. We have to be at the church by eight.


Some days you’re the windshield;
Some days you’re the bug.

Today I thought I was the bug.

First there’s the weather. The storm didn’t break and it is impossibly humid here. At 105* it is like living in a pressure cooker. I stepped out of the shower and could not dry off! I finally gave up the towel and went in the livingroom and stood in front of the fan.

The swamp cooler — which works on evaporation — doesn’t help much when it is humid. The air is already saturated so when it is pulled into the cooler it doesn’t soak up any of the cold water — not that the water is cold anyway. My pipes here are above ground and hotter than that really hot place (sorry, can’t write it, my sister will faint).

So — off I go to Home Depot to buy a real air conditioner before the cats and I die. The good news is, there is a sale on air conditioners. Yay! I grab one, pay for it and take it home.

Once home the phone rings. A friend. We talk FOREVER. The neighbor comes over to see if I have the air conditioner set up. She stays FOREVER. I cook and eat my dinner while blogging (no gravy). After dinner I finally get to the air conditioner.

Imagine my surprise when I open the box and find an air conditioner — in PIECES. Not only that, the grills are dusty, and the pads are obviously used.

I grabbed the receipt. I hefted the box and lugged it back out to my car. I drove to Home Depot. I took the box from my car, hefted it into a cart and wheeled it to the return stand.

A fresh-faced cutie-boy maybe 20 years old sees me coming and starts shaking his head. I notice his badge says MANAGER. He greets me with a bright smile and says cheerfully, “Sorry. No exchanges or refunds today.”

I smile back and tell him, “Then you’d better go ahead and dial 911 right now.”

He roars laughing. Then he says, “Okay, Lady, I guess you’re serious. Whatcha got in the box?” When he looked in the box he quit smiling and looked at me in surprise. He looked at my reciept again. He says, “Who did this? These are returns!” He looks the box over, mutters something about morons, and puts a big red routing tag on the top.

In no time at all I was out the door and on my way home with a brand new — intact — air conditioner. The cats and I like it so far.

So, I guess that means I was the windshield.