First World Problems Continue

Previously I wrote about a few issues that are considered first world problems. I share a few more today.

Ouch! Sharp stabbing pain pierces my back. I reach behind me, readjust the pillow, lean back, and ouch! again stabbing pain. Repeat previous procedure several more times. Thoroughly frustrated I pull the offending pillow out from behind me. I begin the search for that minuscule needle sharp feather. Aha! I found you! The offending feather is plucked from the pillow. The rest of the feathers get a fluffing before the pillow is positioned behind my back. I am concerned that by removing the errant feather, I will eventually have no feathers inside. I have tried poking the feather back, (while most of it is inside the pillow) but it just doesn’t work.

Half off all jeans the sign proclaimed. Good, I need a new pair, so the purchase is made. They are a darker blue than I’ve had before, so they are washed before wearning. I wear the new pair, love the new pair! What’s that? My light colored leather seat is turning blue. I return to the store with my tale of blue leather that is not supposed to be blue. Soak them in salt water the manager of the store advises me. Jeans are soaked in salt water for twenty-four hours. The leather is still turning blue. Sadly the jeans are returned. Now I have a black pair of jeans. I wonder, will my leather turn black?

We have two cars, one is keyless. Keyless is a lovely feature because you don’t have to get a key out to open doors or even start the car. You just need to be near the car and the doors unlock automatically. The problem arises when you have been driving the keyless car, those features become automatic actions. So why is the door not unlocking? Oh, that’s right, this car uses a key. I search through my purse to find the key so that I can get in. How annoying!

Once inside (whatever car) there is the issue of syncing your phone to the bluetooth system. I always forget until someone calls while I am driving and I discover that my phone is not the current phone on the bluetooth system. Why can’t the car manufacturers figure out how to make the system recognize the phone that is in the car?

So what first world problems have you had to deal with lately? By the way, my chair has been sinking as I’ve been typing.

Happy New Year!

A sigh of relief, I made it through another March challenge. Each year I wonder, will I be able to find something to write about e-v-e-r-y day? How can I find a topic that is new? Is this interesting? Will anyone come to read? How long can I keep doing this?

I looked back over my posts from this month and I discovered a few things. I return to familiar writing territories, such as: food (breakfast, Rueben, Ham Salad, pizza), shopping experiences (books, Sam’s), very trivial things (emails, 1st world problems, my space at conference, scarves). Mostly my format is narrative, but occasionally I create a poem with book titles, inspired by nature, or attempting a rhyme. Most posts contain a picture or two. My camera or phone is a form of a notebook, preserving a moment to put into words.

I’ve been inspired by so many of you and your stories. I never know if I will need a tissue to wipe a tear or pick myself off the floor from laughing. “Writing is data with a soul,” says Brene Brown. How true this is! We have created a lot of data this month.

Thank you for every comment. Your words mean the world to me. Comments are the sweet frosting on top of the cake.

I feel like a year of blogging ends at the end of March. April brings a new year of writing. Every year there are new writers to follow. It’s a new beginning. If I can do thirty-one days, I can do four a month. You can too! So Happy New Year to blogging the slices of our lives. Elsie will continue to write and read. Will you?

 

 

Problems

Have you been hearing the term first world problems? When I Googled the term I found this definition:  First World Problems are frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries. It is typically used as a tongue-in-cheek comedic device to make light of trivial inconveniences.

Lately I have been plagued with first world problems. Today I share a few.

Example 1: “There’s something wrong with the hot water heater again,” my husband tells me. Eventually warm water is flowing from the tap, but we are concerned. The water heater is ten years old, so we are living (or should I say bathing) on borrowed time (according to Consumer Reports).

We call to have someone look at it. It is not the water heater, but the recirculating pump that is not working right. However, after the examination, it seems to be working fine (for a few days). Dare I say we are spoiled, we want hot water within seconds after turning on the tap.

The pump is replaced along with the water heater. We decide to be proactive and not wait for disaster to strike.

Example 2: I take a bite, H-h-h-hot my mouth screams to my brain. My mouth is burned but I don’t realize it until I take a sip of my decaf coffee later that afternoon. It is not a sensation I enjoy. Wish I’d known the meat was heated before it was added to the grilled sandwich, thereby creating a molten hot filling, not just a warmed grilled sensation. Not complaining, just saying.

3. I am working at my desk. All of a sudden my chair sinks a fraction of an inch. Moments later, it sinks another fraction. Slip, slip, slip, slowly I sink lower and lower to the floor. I never know when the sinking will begin. It can go days, no slipping or I can be adjusting the height every fifteen minutes. Perhaps it is telling me I need to go on a diet.

These are minor inconveniences, but they sure are irritating. I guess I’m a victim of first world problems. I continue to discover more and more each day.

Final Celebration for March

Here we are back to Saturday and time to celebrate moments of the week. This week has found me staying close to home. I’ve been able to:

  • start mornings slowly. sipping coffee while reading and commenting on slices
  • sort accumulated papers to recycle  or organize in binders
  • pick up tax papers (no big bill 🙂 )
  • make a new dessert (to celebrate no tax bill)
  • try two new dinner recipes (from Pinterest)
  • putter around my office rearranging some shelves
  • clear my blotter calendar of many post-its attached to the surface
A fresh page to begin collecting notes.

A fresh page to begin collecting notes.

Don’t look too closely at the blotter. It is from 2011. I don’t really use it for a calendar, but more for protection of my desk. It also is a great place to jot notes. After I looked through all the post-its attached, I removed the written on month of April. Now I have a clean slate to write on for the rest of this year. At this rate, the blotter will last me another eight years.

While cleaning off part of my desk I opened a notebook to discover I had a collection of a few quotes. I’d forgotten I’d jotted these down. So I will leave you with a couple of thoughts to ponder as you celebrate all your accomplishments this week.

“Good people bring out the good in other people.”

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”

Have a great week!

Slice of Life

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Wednesday’s writing workout, rhyming nonfiction (link to the post) from Teaching Authors blog sparked a thought. Friday is poetry day in the blog world. I wonder if I can do this? What could my nonfiction topic be? How about Slice of Life? Writing in rhyming couplets is not so easy. I am thankful for my Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary to help me through several revisions as I chose words.

Small moments you share

Family and friends, beware!

When a tale’s well told

The words become precious as gold.

This month you discovered a new topic or two,

When March is over, are you through?

Tuesdays call for more

You can do it, writing is no longer a chore!

This month you learned writing is fun,

 Never say, “I’m done.”

Instead say, “I’ve just begun!”

 

 

Ham Salad

Are you a meat salad eater? As a child, I don’t remember ever having a sandwich made from chopped meat and assorted crunchy additions.

Tuna sandwiches were bread spread with Miracle Whip and canned tuna set on top, maybe a lettuce leaf was included. There was no such thing as chicken salad. If you had a chicken sandwich it was sliced chicken meat on buttered bread (sounds a bit dry doesn’t it?). Ham was another sandwich choice, but it was slices of ham on Miracle Whip (we called it mayonnaise, little did I know that was not mayonnaise). Now with the ham you probably got a slice of cheese. That was all I knew about sandwiches with meat.

Years later, I mean I was an adult, before I knew of the tastes of chicken salad, tuna salad, and ham salad as options for sandwiches. So now when we have ham, the leftovers will be ground up and a ham salad is created.

What do you put in ham salad? I tend to add and add until the bowl is brimming. There might be hard boiled eggs, celery, sweet pickle relish, some finely chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, perhaps a dab of horseradish sauce, and of course, Miracle Whip. Any or all ingredients will find its way into my ham salad. It’s never the same twice.

Often I will bring my mom some of the food I fix for dinner. This way she gets some variety and she doesn’t have to cook. I mentioned to my mom that I was going to bring over some food and ham salad was one of the items I named.

“You don’t have to put so much into the ham salad,” she tells me.

I’m confused, “What do you mean? It’s not ham salad if I don’t put in celery, relish, and other stuff.” What I’m figuring out from this conversation is she doesn’t like my ham salad.

“What if I just bring you the ground ham, and you can put in whatever you like,” I suggest.

That would be perfect. So now I’m wondering, what constitutes ham salad?

Tax Time

Question of the day: Will I owe money to IRS or do they owe me money? Keep reading to find out.

At 6:20 p.m. my cell phone rings. I look to see who the caller is but only the number shows. As it rings I study the number, do I know this number? It is in my area code, so it is local. I answer. It is the accountant’s office, our taxes are ready to be picked up. No clue if it is good news or bad news. “Great,” I say, “I will come over tomorrow and pick them up.”

I am not too worried, whatever it is I know that we will be able to handle it. My husband, on the other hand, continues to fret. “This is going to be expensive. I know we are going to have a massive tax bill.” He is concerned because he had a few part time jobs last year and no taxes were taken out. I understand his concern, but still I don’t think he made that much that it should be an issue.

I used to do our taxes. First I just muddled through on my own, then I began using Turbo Tax, which made it much easier. But as time went on and our circumstances changed, I had more and more difficulty understanding where to put what number with Turbo Tax. My stress level would rise as I watched the numbers on the computer grow. We always owed money and that was after paying extra taxes quarterly. The spring was never joyful.

Finally I had enough. We found an accountant to take over this onerous task. The tax story changed when he took over. We began getting money back. We paid less and less on the quarterly tax. Now tax time is not such a terrible time. I happily fill in the worksheet, stack receipts, and turn it over to him. A few weeks later, I get the call. Now spring is joyful, especially when we don’t have a huge tax bill. Once again, the accountant knew where to put the numbers and they came out in our favor. No taxes due! A refund will be deposited in our checking account. Now that’s good news!

To celebrate taxes I made Chocolate Peanut Butter

A Pinterest find, I think I will keep it, yum!

A Pinterest find, I think I will keep it, yum!

Cheesecake Cookie Bars for dessert. Who would of thought there’d be reasons to celebrate tax time? I hope you have good news on your taxes too.

Breakfast Out

Sunday evening, my husband and I realized that we didn’t have to be anywhere on Monday. That realization brought big smiles to our faces. “You want to go out for breakfast?” he asked me.

“Definitely!” I responded.

There’s a little breakfast/lunch place that we love to visit. Some would refer to it as “a hole in the wall” kind of place. Weekends are crazy busy there. People wait for an hour to get in and have a bit of comfort breakfast food.

On Monday there is no wait, we have our choice in seating. I chose the booth (wrong choice for me, read on for reason). We settle in, coffee comes quickly. I notice my usual choice is the special today, $1 off. I am tempted by the cinnamon swirled French toast, but stay with my usual. Two eggs over easy, sausage links, hash browns, plus a biscuit smothered in white sausage gravy will fill me up until dinnertime.

As we wait, sipping coffee, I notice there is a cold draft blowing on my right leg. I reach down to check if it is true or am I imagining. Yes, there is a definite draft blowing. I tell my husband about this cold air, he feels nothing. Maybe it is a draft from the windows at the booth behind me. Must be, I figure. This is an old building.

My food arrives, eating distracts me from the uncomfortable feeling from the cold draft. Once I finish, I am again noticing this cold air. I move over on the booth seat. It’s a little better. Wait, the air is following me. I move over more, if I move again I will be sitting on the floor.

My husband looks under the table. There is a vent on the floor, next to the wall. Someone has placed a magazine over the vent to block the air flow. It has been shifted, allowing air to escape. Apparently they did not like the arctic blast blowing against their leg either. With my toe, I readjust the magazine. The polar blast subsided. I sure wish I’d figured this out earlier. Next time I won’t select this booth, but if there is cold air blowing, I will look for the source rather than endure it.

photo 2 (6)

Gailey’s, where we love to go for breakfast.

Lunch

“If I get a pizza for dinner, could I put it in the refrigerator of the kitchen, so I will have my lunch for tomorrow?” I asked the girl at the motel registration desk.

“No problem, we can do that,” she responded back to me.

“If I order a small pizza, will I have enough to make a lunch tomorrow?” I ask the waitress in the pizza place.

“Absolutely, you will have plenty for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow,” is the response to my question.

The pizza is delicious! I smile when I think of my lunch tomorrow. Once I return to the motel, I hand over the pizza leftovers to the desk clerk. She labels the outside with my room number. Casually I think to myself that is probably not necessary. After all, how many guests make a request like this? I head to my room where I spend the evening reading slices and commenting.

The next morning, I wander down for breakfast. As I am eating, I am keeping an eye out for the person who can retrieve my pizza before I return to my room. Breakfast is finished, no person around. The door is open to the kitchen (labeled Employees Only), but I quickly pop in to grab my pizza. Hmmm, no pizza in the fridge. I step out quickly, I don’t want to look through the other appliances there.

I approach the desk and explain that they have my pizza in their fridge, could she get it for me? Sure, no problem. I follow her to the kitchen, she looks in the fridge. She looks at me puzzled. Then her face changes, she heads back to the desk. I’m thinking this is not a good sign. She hands me a card and says, “There was a little mix up last night.”

I open the card to read: “Your pizza was mistakenly taken for an associate treat. Please accept my apology. Very embarrassed.” It was signed by the employee and there was a twenty dollar bill inside.

I handed the money back to the girl and told her to return the money. She apologized profusely, I assured her it was no big deal.

Inside, I was extremely disappointed that my lunch was consumed by someone other than me. But I also had to laugh, I’m sure this lady was horrified by what she had done. Perhaps she will look a little closer at the food in the fridge next time.

Now the Work Begins

Yesterday I celebrated the fact that I am officially starting my summer vacation period. (Sorry, I don’t mean to rub it in to all of you still facing 9+ weeks in the school year.) I have fulfilled my scheduled days of working in schools for this year. (Let’s face it, you don’t want/need PD in the last quarter of the year.)

However, that does not mean I will not be working. I just won’t be working and getting a paycheck. My husband would be quick to inform you that my office is a disaster. I can’t argue that he is not correct.

I come home from one school, set their papers aside and immediately plunge into preparation for the next school. Somehow the piles have grown and been pushed from one side of the room to the other.

This may not look like much, but each folder has 5 sections and there are papers in each section.

This may not look like much, but each folder has 5 sections and there are papers in each section.

Now, I have time to sort, file, toss, and/or reorganize the massive amounts of papers and books I have accumulated throughout the year. Vacation fun won’t begin until the piles have been tamed and put back into their places. The up side is I can attack this task leisurely, no pressure to be finished in a day or even a week.

Once this task is put to bed, my vacation will start. I may dig out my beads and begin to play with creating a mess of a different type. Or perhaps I will find my stamping materials to create a year of cards. I could begin to read some of the books that I’ve been stacking on my credenza (if the sun shines warms the patio, this will be my first choice). Oh the possibilities multiply, but first I must tackle the paper. (I am not a procrastinator!)