So far, my goal to collect “firsts” has been mostly fun and has led to places, people, activities or whatever that I will most likely or have already do again.
Comparison shopping for a particular product’s features and prices from more than one store or vendor can be achieved with a few keystrokes. No need to drive from store to store, mall to mall. From the comfort of my air conditioned, cozy home comparing is a breeze.
The search was for an upholstery cleaning machine. It began in person at Walmart. There were three possibilities on the shelf. A quick mental note of price, features, manufacturer and I was ready to begin the internet investigative comparison. Naturally, the on-line search began with Walmart. The selection and prices were the same – free shipping. The added benefit of consumer reviews was helpful.
The search continued t0 www.bissell.com Bissell. On their site another machine had a steam feature, which appealed to my Mrs. Clean personality. The major drawback was that it would not be shipped for several weeks. That particular model is not available in stores. Upon further investigation and posted reviews of the steam feature, it turned out that was not as good as I thought it could be.
After an inordinate number of hours searching models, I narrowed it down to ‘Little Green.’ Stage two of the search included other on-line options, K Mart, Best Buy, Overstock, QVC, Bed, Bath & Beyond and any distracting pop-up that took me off my mission to simply compare prices. In retrospect, I could have just picked up the box at Walmart when initially spotted and saved hours of on-line research.
Walmart had ‘Little Green’ in stock and the best price. But, as I put the box into the shopping cart, I had the satisfaction of knowing that I purchased this product with confidence. The box says its perfect for households with Kids and Pets. My kids are adults on their own and my pets are fading memories. The furniture purchased from consignment shops may or may not have had kids or pets. I got it covered either way.
As I started the process with ‘Little Green’ it was a revelation worthy of forehead slapping proportion. Struggling to stabilize the loose, plump back cushions the head of the cleaner scrapped across…a zipper. Duh! I swear I looked for zippers before. They covers washed and dried quite nicely in the laundry! The seat cushions also have zippers, but removing them was too much of a fight. Since I had ‘Little Green’ all juiced up anyway…
I slept that night with a sense of accomplishment mixed with disbelief (zippers!) only after checking the other pieces of furniture for the same zipped up convenience.
Since I have retired, there seems to be little time to read newspaper, magazines or even my favorite authors. I think it is because I lost any sense of being guided by a schedule. On the rare occasion that I pick up a Sunday paper, it may take several days to weed through the sections. Some items of interest have passed by the time I see them listed. One tiny ad caught my attention. A singles group meets for dinner every Monday same time same spot – open invitation.
The time was fast approaching when I saw the ad. Decision made, I drove over and found the group seated along the windows in a long row of tables pushed together. Most seats were taken with members. I found a seat, introductions made within ear shot of each other. Let’s just say that even the promise of free pie each Monday is not enough to lure me back. Did it. Check.
Two of my gal pals at the creek convinced me to try internet dating. I looked at a couple of sites and took advantage of the free introductory offer. I made selections from drop down menus, wrote a small addendum to my profile and logged off. The next day I had some “visits” to my profile. Some profiles had pictures while others did not. The profile most compatible (in my estimation) did not. I perused profiles and punched a couple of “flirts” on profiles which piqued my curiosity.
After communicating through the website, the candidate gave me his e-mail address. Communication continued; we share similar interests. Lunch date set up. My terms, my choice, very public place, my own car etc. He described himself as did I. It serves no purpose to be cruel but were I to provide a physical description I would keep it simple. I simply could not determine if he had upper teeth or not. It was simply clear that he had rheumy eyes, watery with a borderline viral looking discharge. His years simply took a toll on his ability to walk more than a few yards without resting. He simply loves to talk. And talk. And talk some more. I finished my lunch while his plate was simply full. Half way into the monologue he paused long enough for me to ask, “So, when did your marriage end?”
His reply simplified my decision to walk away, “It didn’t.” He was simply looking for someone/someplace to watch his extensive collection of DVDs that his wife doesn’t enjoy. Simply no way that will be me or my place. Done it. Ok. I’ll consider another chance, but no picture, no dice. I’ve been advised to make a list of what I would want, if I really wanted, in a man. Indicating areas/characteristics/qualities that I’m unwilling to compromise. The list is long and simply little room for negotiating.
Have you ever heard of a gutter garden? Okay, I made it up but I had one until a couple of days ago. My good gal pal, Betty is (simply) a I can do woman who truly enjoys working in her yard. So much so that she brought her edger over to my yard! I asked her advice on how to remove the crops from my gutter garden. I thought that I could simply use an extension handle on the garden with high pressure water nozzle and clean everything out.
I was simple wrong. We (Betty) plotted a plan of attack. A ladder was involved and she has one; but she didn’t feel it was necessary to worry her husband that our garden work would require a ladder. We borrowed one from the club house. I’m younger (although inexperienced) so figured I’d climb the ladder. She would have none of that. I’m also stronger, better to anchor the ladder for her. Okay. The first of the three growths proved to be the one with the most established roots. Betty started tugging and grunting and warning me not to look up. Of course I looked up – only for a second. Fermented organic mulched goop started to rain from the gutter in sizable chunks. Finally, Betty freed the beast. It’s root section was as wide as the gutter base and about two feet long. Betty and the ladder were covered in organic decay . The other two crops were less entrenched but still had to be freed with a lot of effort.
Betty is not tall; she was unable to see what else lurks in the gutter. She gave me the number of a gutter cleaner who recently de-clogged matter from her gutters. I just now remembered to call…
Our gutter garden caper did cause at least two cars to slow down at gawk! We now know who one of the drivers was, but I will protect his identity and leave it at that. Betty’s spouse was better off in the dark about the ladder until she was safely on the ground and home.
We were planning to kayak again yesterday, but I had been up in the middle of the night trying to prepare my new under water (in case it fell in) camera. Directions read (rarely – but I had to); batteries inserted after finally getting the door open, memory card in place, power on! None of the other buttons worked! Couldn’t capture anything still or video or switch modes. Unable to turn it off. I simply had to not so simply open the battery hatch and power down by disconnecting.
The plan was for Betty to call the outfitters at seven a.m. to check water conditions and weather and reserve a double kayak. When she called me with ETA, I groggily reached for the phone, knocked it to the floor – truly a dropped call. It took a couple of repeated attempts before we finally connected. Betty could tell my heart wasn’t in it nor was I awake, so we postponed. Later that day the news reported trouble on the bridge we would have needed to cross. Simply a coincidence?