Who is Juanita?

th    All my friends keep saying Jay had better die before me because he will never be able to figure out where all of our money is. That is to say, I do the budget, pay the bills, and decide on the credit cards, and, trust me, I have a very complicated system.

It all started because, I am dyslexic, which my friend April says I am not–she says I have a visual processing disorder (actually, it’s easier just to say I’m dyslexic. I mean, can’t I simplify even this?) Anyway, I decided, after we signed up for four extra credit cards on our 25th anniversary airplane trip to our cruise to the Caribbean, (they gave us free airline tickets) that since we were up to eight credit cards, and since I have this visual processing disorder, I would just use the eight cards as an accounting system. So I used each of the cards for a different category of purchase: Jay’s budget, My budget, travel, dining, business, household products, memberships, and business travel.  th-1

My CPA told me that was a fine system, however complex, if it worked for me.
So I created my Payment Grid, which on a monthly basis, I would fill out like a table to see the date, the balance, the payment made, the date due and which bank it would be paid from–Umm–forgot to mention that I also have five banks with several accounts in each, also in categories. *Sigh* The table also lists the last four digits of the credit cards (which amazingly I had memorized).

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That worked fine until the banks started sending us REPLACEMENT cards with different ending digits, and then also sending Jay and me different numbers if we were signers on the same cards–which we always are. That meant there were now SIXTEEN credit card numbers.

Now I look at my payment grid, and NONE of the original numbers are the same as when I started this seven years ago. I also tried showing Jay the grid once, hoping he would see it, say how clever it was, and want to study it. But, no. That did not appeal to him at all. Really, the reason bill paying fell to me early on in the marriage, was that this is not Jay’s bailiwick. He hates sitting still for the time it takes. We originally tried “the sitting at the table together paying bills routine,” and we would get about fifteen minutes into it and Jay would need to go to the kitchen for something, or check something in the backyard, or the garage–which meant, I would not be seeing him again for quite awhile, certainly not in that evening. I ended up finishing the bills myself. I got the message. “How about I just do this, honey?” which was fine with him.  couple-paying-bills

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So recently, I started thinking of all the pressure this system of mine puts on poor Jay to die first. I mean, I don’t want him to even have to think about doing that. So, because this system is degenerating, and because I have decided to simplify our finances so Jay doesn’t have to die at all, and because all the numbers are now on their third round of being REPLACED by the banks, and because we now use an American Express card which breaks down all purchases into categories for me, I am reducing the cards to a mere THREE: American Express, business and travel.
I still plan to do my payment grid for the three cards, and to break out all of the categories monthly to track spending. But, this is a whole lot simpler. Except I accidentally paid a couple of the EIGHT cards twice and have credit balances on them, so I can’t retire them quite yet. And I received yet ANOTHER replacement card for a card I haven’t used in months, so I don’t remember my ID and password to activate it online, so I will be able to put this card away again and NOT use it.

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I tried the online chat thing with Bank of America. That was a huge mistake. After the agent apologized for fifteen minutes and told me how much she understood my frustration, she still hadn’t even asked me the first security question.

I almost worked myself into apoplexy with this person after another ten minutes, when she started the process by asking me for my daughter’s social security number (she is NOT on any of our cards). Then she asked for information about someone named Juanita! I have nothing against Juanita, and at the risk of being politically incorrect, have NO IDEA who Juanita is. I assure you this is certainly no one in our family. So, why would a B of A employee ask me this? Wait. I know. It is for my protection. Security. Right. The system to protect me is so complicated and dysfunctional that if some criminal wants to get into my account, I am sure they can. BUT I CAN’T! I am locked out by all the so-called security measures, like not knowing who Juanita is, let alone what her relationship to my account is supposed to be.  th-5

I ended the chat and called B of A. A cordial, English-speaking young man answered, and we activated the dormant card in five minutes.

Do any of you see something wrong with this picture?

I think I need to simply my life some more and get B of A out of my life completely, before I keel over from sheer exhaustion at dealing with this new world of “protecting me” from myself.

(Reposted by popular request from July 24, 2011 on www.spinningstrawintogold.blogspot.com–my original blog)

Ramblings on the river – September 16

Trains, planes, boats, autos and trucks.

5058e6df6a629340   I imagined moving out of Bigelow to our river house would bring serene quiet. It’s not that Bigelow was noisy–but there are 750 residents in six buildings there, and you’re going to have noise.

There was the laundry room directly under our first floor apartment. We knew every spin cycle and dryer roar.

The tenant above us walked around at night–who doesn’t–and we could hear her floor creak.

There were some times when drums, car radios, boom boxes and even the plaintive cry of a trumpet–reminiscent of Breakfast at Tiffany’s–invaded our quiet.  th

There were planes, cars, and trains, but they sounded faint most of the time–except if all windows were open in the summertime.

There were kids screeching, people calling out, and laughing parties.

But here in our new riverbank house, there are new sounds to get used to:

th-1    Crickets. These are really loud. After two nights, they didn’t seem as intrusive on sleep. Further research is needed to tell you if the pictured critter is a CT type.

Boats. We have a lot of motorboat traffic below us. The motorboats are further recognized, because in their wake, the waves along our shoreline sound almost oceanic for a few seconds. It’s kind of fun.  th-2

 

th-3    Planes. Now these are directly overhead to the point that one may start calculating the probability that one of these years, one may not be high enough over our heads. Hubby says very unlikely. Still, it gives pause. Mostly these are the landing path, which Hub says is the quieter plane. I can’t tell. A little scary.

Autos. There aren’t many autos coming down our dead end street, so we are always aware that when we hear a car, it is probably a neighbor or a visitor. That is kind of good.

Trains. Now these are directly across from our front door. I have learned to tell time by them. The Amtrak ones woosh by in a few seconds. The freight trains, at night, are much longer. I like trains. These sounds are kind of comforting, like meat loaf or mac and cheese.  I won’t mention the crash of freights carrying toxic chemicals. That won’t happen here.th-4

 

 

Unknown Trucks. I like knowing when UPS and FED EX and the mail are here. And I like knowing trash is being collected at 7:30am. I love waving to Max, our wonderful mail carrier, almost every day at 10am.

I suspect we will be getting more of these truck sounds as construction for the new transit center will begin soon. Also there may be condos beside us where woods currently are. Truck sounds will be accompanied by heavy equipment sounds. Not looking forward to these.

IMG_1365  Other than these sounds, it is pretty quiet here on the river.

Ramblings on the river – September 10

The peanut gallery (my daughter) wants to see the before and after pictures, so I will accommodate.

In case there is any confusion, the following are the BEFORE pictures. If I had the after ones, we wouldn’t be talking.

Here goes.

Our kitchen:

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Another angle of our kitchen:

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I KNOW, there’re are a lot of bottles there. Please read 100days-1000boxes, Day #2 for that story. It’s on MENU. Click on the boxes.

Our breakfast room:

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We face the river as we eat and keep telling ourselves the AFTER WILL BE WORTH IT!   Here’s a better look at what we stare at:

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My office and another section of our kitchen:

IMG_1247You guys do understand this is temporary, right?

OTHER parts of the kitchen–these are in our entry way where some of the old kitchen cabinets were just sitting there doing nothing. Can’t have that now, can we?

OK daughter dear. What do you think of our BEFORE kitchen? Let me tell you, it requires a lot of walking–around things like:

This is especially hard when sleepy or when breakfast seems to come early. But, we will survive.

Pot boil -September 8

Not having a kitchen is a challenge. Everyone says, “It’s an adventure. It will be like camping.”

Well, yes and no. When you are camping you know how many days you will be cooking over fire, or grills, or whatever the real campers do.   campfire

I always got disenchanted with the whole idea about the third day in, when I was ready for real food–you know, food with nutrients, food that is green and not brown and white.

But, I took on this river house adventure, thinking: “I have my George Foreman Grill, my crock pot, a microwave, and a propane grill.   th

Reality: Haven’t gotten up to trying the GFG. I look at the size of my crockpot, and then at the size of my little pawn shop refrigerator, and I think I had better not make that much food with no where to store the leftovers. As it is, I have to move the ketchup in the door column to get to the coconut milk every morning for Hubby’s homemade granola, which I had the presence of mind to make while still at Bigelow.

I didn’t have an  outlet for the microwave until a couple of days ago. Most of the outlets had to be off, while wiring was being accomplished.

And propane grill? Well that’s a man job, and my man is dead tired from a full time job and this huge house project, and I don’t have the heart to add dinner to that task list.

DSC03451-LouMaZi-Fried-Rice-Pot-of-rice-_1682x1274-1024x775   So I made a discovery. This little rice pot, which I seldom use, after realizing I could put a casserole of rice and water in the oven and not have to clean out sticky rice after the process, has become a great little pot.

I experimented one day, putting in the brown rice and water, and then adding frozen peas (which I have to use to make room in the tiny freezer), and a filet of wild salmon. Twenty minutes later I had a really tasty one-pot meal, all ready for serving. And, how did I clean it without hot water? I used the Chinese cooking trick of returning the sticky mess to the heat source with a little more water added to the pot, and presto, there it was, boiled rice easily scraped off the bottom of the pot.

We repeated this meal a couple of times. Then I tried oatmeal in the pot for a breakfast. Excellent. Almost like home. Added nuts and cinnamon and coconut milk. Got the sticky oats off the pan bottom same way as the rice.  th-2

Tonight, I am really pushing the rice pot. I put in rice, water, a can of black beans, and a market pre-cooked meatball, broken up–and some cheese. We shall see. I will let you know tomorrow. Of course all of this would be better in a real kitchen. Stay tuned.

But, I am certainly grateful for the just right sized little pot, where a one-pot meal has been exactly what this happy camper needed.

September 7

Breaking news!! The manifold, which has been soldered, re-solderered, pressure tested, re-pressure tested, and all of that more than three times IS FINISHED! PRESSURE TESTED. DOES NOT LEAK.

YAY!!!!!!!!! HUBBY.

NO MORE LOOP HOT WATER.

Real, permanent, manifold hot water!!  IMG_1237

Oh the joy of a shower in our new home.

Thank you Jay. Thank you God. I am walking on…well hot water.

 

September 7

Today is a banner day, as they say. We now have hot water, thanks to my brilliant hubby who decided to work on the manifold repair AFTER “looping” some plumbing to give us hot water upstairs and down.  I joined the local gym on a trial pass–$7 for 7 days so I could have a hot water shower instead of my Grannie spit bath. I had to pretend I was there to work out on the treadmill for 20 minutes–which didn’t really hurt me. But I got my shower–2 days before this wonderful day.IMG_1219

 

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????    When we pictured ourselves in our river house, we were thinking of drinking our morning coffee on the deck, off our sparkling kitchen.

Of course, when we pictured this, we hand’t been in the house, hadn’t seen much besides the deck, and didn’t have any idea that after four and a half months, having hot water would far outweigh our dream of sparkling anything.

And, OK, this couple isn’t us, isn’t that picture we dreamed, or even the picture we are. We’re not ready for photos. We are tired.

We are still in the early stages of renovation. It is sometimes discouraging. But as our cabinet vendor, Norm, pointed out.

“Yes, you are working hard, and it is very hard. But when you are finished, you will not just have a house like every other house. You will have a house on the river.”

This is really our view. It is worth it.IMG_1365

We try to keep that in mind. And it does help to arise to the river view, cup of coffee in hand, on the deck and outside of the room which still has no walls, no ceilings, no floors and certainly no sparkling kitchen–yet. But it will.

Ramblings on the river – August 31 – September 6

It’s September and there will be no more Loft Life. In November 2009 we left Hotel Life, still chronicled on www.spinningstrawintogold.blogspot.com, and moved into our loft apartment at Bigelow Commons. We enjoyed our almost five years there immensely.  5058e5af7145a247

But, life moves on, and so have we. So now Spinning will be about Ramblings on the river–our little river house on the Connecticut River, where life in New England continues. We have gone from Hotel Life, to Loft Life, to River Life–with great adventures in all of these places, but, I hope, the best yet to come as we enjoy our beautiful view and the blessings of life on a river.

On one of our walks last fall, while living at Bigelow, I said I wanted to walk to see the river–which I knew to be about a mile up Pearl Street. My hub said, “Why don’t we go down under the railroad bridge and see it at a different point!”

“There’s no river there,” I said in my true-to-ignorance confidence.”

“Follow me,” hub said, and I do and I did.  IMG_0679

On our walk to the other river (really the same one, but a direction I never knew existed), we found Jay’s river, and a whole lot more. We found a few houses, one of which had a large foreclosure sign on it.

We got curious. I went on Zillow, that trusty, but untrustworthy, site, and found out a little more about it.

Then I called the bank. The house was in litigation.

I followed up from time to time, praying that somehow it would come onto the market about the time our house in Illinois was going to sell. At the time, we had renters, wonderful renters, who we hoped would want to buy our Illinois home.

In February, they kindly gave us way advance notice that they would not be renewing their lease of five years. Sad.

They had bought a little foreclosure, and were going to be moving in June.

So we put the Illinois house on the market on March 1, 2014 and guess what? Of course. That is the exact time when our little Connecticut foreclosure hit the market.  Home Front

But, we pounced. We loved the view. There were many, many things we didn’t know if we liked, but we loved the view.

Our house in Illinois didn’t sell, and didn’t sell, and didn’t sell. We lowered the price and put in more and more upgrades, which made me more than a little concerned. We were bleeding money.

But we hired a Realtor, after realizing the Freddie Mac Realtor would NOT BE A GOOD IDEA for us to use. Boy am I glad I got that little tip. Thank you Kathleen!!

After winning the bidding war, our offer on the River House was accepted. We set closing for May 1. The Freddie Mac Realtor, who was not a very nice person, managed to create drama where there was no drama–things like ignoring attachments on emails and claiming she had never received them. She yelled at people, threatened people, and generally reacted to everything as though she were some sort of victim, while in reality, she was creating her own messes and making life for the rest of us very, very stressful.

But in the end, two weeks later, we did close on the house, with “as is” strongly emphasized.  But we now had three house payments, all with utilities, maintenance and other expenses attached.

We were bleeding money. Did I already say that?

I cashed in my retirement and we prepared for what my hub said would be an adventure. Oh how right he was. Maybe not the adventure he had imagined. He tends to imagine things going smoothly. They never do.

We were held up another two weeks starting work on the house, because we had to move all of his stuff out of a kind friend’s garage. That took time, and energy. And at the front end of our house project, we didn’t really comprehend what a month’s delay would cost us later.

Then we had to apply for a building permit. That took another two weeks. Luckily that two weeks perfectly coincided with  a business trip to California. So even though the delay was still costing dearly in time, at least we were in sunny California.  Unknown-2

Now we are into September. We moved out of our apartment August 31. We have now been living in the River House, upstairs where there is running water (barely running and cold only), electricity, and a working toilet. I thank God every day for this.  IMG_0661

I also thank God that late August, we finally got an offer on our Illinois house. God is good.

But work on the first floor of the River House,  where we eventually intend to live is very, very slow.  IMG_1361

I will explain.  IMG_1237

 

 

…to be continued.

It’s not easy being green

I’ve always been into chopping. (See March 2009 post: Food at my former site www.spinningstrawintogold.blogspot.com). But, what I am chopping these days has become life changing.

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I owe a great debt to Victoria Boutenko and her book, Green for Life. It’s rare that a book truly changes lives–thinking, beliefs, behavior, which of course is always changed by beliefs and thinking.

Victoria starts by explaining that greens and vegetables are not synonymous. I know this it seems obvious, but getting my 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the prescription for health, was not mostly greens up until now, and very difficult to achieve.

I would get a head of lettuce and see it as three or four salad sides to accompany larger portions of meat and starch.

Now I see a head of lettuce and wonder whether I will need a second one to make my breakfast and lunch quart+ for the green smoothie, along with cucumber, berries, wheat grass, flax seeds, coconut juice, lemon (with rind) and maybe mint and ginger. And, that’s just Monday. I vary the greens, as Victoria suggests, sometimes adding a whole apple, orange (with rind) or a whole pear instead of berries–making green smoothies more green than purple. I usually need either banana or avocado for emulsifying.

th-1Wheat grass. OK, how many of you say to your friends, I need some wheat grass, then find them scurrying back to their kitchens to get you wheat berries and potting soil they have hanging around, so you can grow your own? I have friends like that.
I did tell you in my Feng Shui post (same original blogspot site, January 2012) that I tend to kill green things. This time I killed dirt! This is not easy. It was one of those muggy days, when I thought I was literally dying. My heart was skipping beats; I was listless, drained.

My husband came home and suggested maybe I turn on the air conditioning.

I said, “You think that could be it?”

It was.

I didn’t die, but the dirt Barb gave me in plastic containers with lids, did. Humidity created awful mold, so I had to throw the soil out and start again. I’m happy to report my wheat grass is growing, however timidly, and isn’t dead yet.

th-3Barb has also introduced me to sorrel, French breakfast radishes, with their greens, and bloody baron with golden beets. These exotic greens add wonderful flavor and color to smoothies, and sometimes I just enjoy them by themselves with some citrus and balsamic dressing, red onions, and tomatoes.

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In addition to being grateful to Barb, I’m grateful to Linda and Rainbow. They’ve known about the healing properties of greens way longer than I have. I did have to back off the spirulina Linda gave me, because in my usual zeal for new discoveries, I put a heaping tablespoon of the really, really green stuff, into my blender–which did I mention is a BlendTec ($350 on sale at Costco)–and that was not wise. I broke out in a horrible eczema which finally disappeared.  No recurrence since, and I have since added spiralina with no ill effects.

The consensus is that I created a giant detox, which, along with my pound plus of greens, my body reacted to suddenly. So caution: go easy at first.

I realize I’m not sounding like an advertisement for the green smoothie life, but really, I am completely sold on it. My body now craves greens, as though I had not been giving her enough of this “live” food. My cravings for other foods–chips, bread, potatoes, meat, has seriously diminished. Unless I begin to eat these items, I don’t want them. It’s as though my body literally cries out for real food with a desperation that warns me never to return to my old food desert ways.

I am losing weight, I am feeling healthy, my skin is glowing and I am sleeping through the night most of the time–all because I have turned over breakfast and lunch to the greens. I usually eat a regular dinner with my husband, but my portions are less, because I’m just not hungry.   th-4
I know we all age and die eventually, but we can stem some of the worst effects of aging with nutrients that our bodies need to fight off free radicals, oxidation, and other environmental enemies of living a ripe old age with robust health. (Have you seen the YouTube Salsa video of Ginger Rogers dancing, at 92, with her grandson? I’ll bet she does the greens.)

As a testimony to my enthusiasm, other friends are trying green smoothies, and liking them. Some need their smoothies colder, some more reddish or purple, and one claimed she does better if her glass isn’t clear, so she won’t see the green. But, if they can heal asthma and allergies, and get off medication from other life-threatening diseases that now are under control with diet and lifestyle changes, I will feel so happy to have had an influence.  It’s not all about weight.  It’s about health.

This lifestyle isn’t simple. Unless you’re in California or Manhattan, you’re not likely to find wheat grass-, flax seed-supplemented green smoothies on the menu when you’re out of your own kitchen.
The minute I leave for two days, go back to the highly salted, oiled and processed foods out there, I gain weight back. The good news, and I believe a testimony to the power of greens, when I return to a quart of smoothie per day, I lose it again.

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It took 15 years for me to break the weight barrier I’ve now pushed through in weeks. And the best part is the energy and feel better element. I love these smoothies, delicious and filling. With their miraculous healing power–who wouldn’t want them?
Hey, don’t knock ‘em until you’ve tried ‘em!

Connections

I should have known complications were on my itinerary when my son-in-law questioned my wisdom in booking three connections from Windsor Locks, CT to Burbank, CA.

“I’m trying to fly into a closer airport so you don’t have to drive to LAX,” I defended.

On a previous trip he had requested I do this. But, I think he believed I could do it in no more than two airplane connections. And, that was before he had spent three years getting used to California freeways. You do get used to the freeway crawl, believe it or not.

Anyway, the trip out found me delayed in Newark, which added three hours to an already long ten hour day in flight and in airports. That meant I got to Burbank at 8:30pm, instead of 5:30pm. Oh well.

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After a lovely five-day visit with my daughters, including a Culver City lunch patio lunch at Tender Greens, with all three,

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and some wonderful excursions with my youngest, which included good old California cuisine, Japanese boba tea (or as the newbies would call it, bubble tea), a cheese shop in Topanga Canyon where celebrity sightings have been known to happen, a macron shop in Beverly Hills, we made a trip to the gym to celebrate my youngest’s new membership. We skipped the cold pressed smoothie-juice bars. You know while Southern Californians are deciding on which type of smoothie shop to visit, we in New England are trying to find somewhere that actually makes healthful smoothies. The pickings are slim, as they say.    stack_multi_ribbonl

I

also had a wonderful

picHomeSunday starting at Bel Air Presbyterian Church where the memorable guest preacher was Carlo Campo, President of Regent University in Virginia, and followed later by a fantastic dinner at Fleming’s, of lamb chops and a berries and cream dessert.

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Anyhoo, back to airplanes, it was on my plan for a red eye back home where I began to agree with son-in-law. Maybe it was my daughter’s scolding on the way to leg one of three, at Burbank, “Mom, don’t ever do this again. We will drive to L.A.”

I was early for my 6:00 pm flight from Burbank to San Francisco. Finally, we boarded at 5:30 pm, sat on the tarmac, apparently waiting for something or someone. About fifteen minutes after boarding the pilot came on the P.A. “Not good news,” he said.

So there are two “pins” in the cabin door, and one of them was missing. The pilot called to see if we could fly with one, and, I guess, was told that “the airplane has many parts, and we need all of them to fly.” I pictured the cabin door bursting open mid-flight, kind of like when the Muppets made their fly-through-the-air landing, and figured that being delayed would be a better option.

So we all deplaned from the regional jet, and stood in line to be re-booked, just in case, right!, they couldn’t get the part quickly. They couldn’t. I ended up on the shuttle to LAX to try to get my second connection,the red eye, to Newark.

Amazingly, even with a 10 pm flight from LAX to Newark, instead of a 6 pm one, from Burbank to San Fran, I DID make the connection. So this only made my 10 hours into fourteen hours. This is the house of cards result of my elaborate three connections.   71e9b57ff2f6465fffff8097ffffe904

But had this not happened, I would not have met John Fortune, a jazz-blues musician, originally from Haiti. I went to John’s website, www.john4tune.com and was delighted to listen to previews of his albums. I love Blues Jam from his Hand in Hand album. Check it out.

I was concerned about not making my Newark connection, but the shuttle driver assured me I would. He told me to relax. I asked his name, and he said it was Chris, but I pushed and got his real name, Hacheek. He was an Armenian Christian, and we had a lovely chat about Armenia and the faith there. He continued to tell me to relax, and I did make it on time, as he said I would, even with the extra stop to drop off John at his home.

All in all, I agree with Hacheek. It is best to just relax and enjoy the journey and all its serendipities, which really can be fun if you look at it that way.

Opposites attract…but

I think it is a testimony to God having a sense of humor that, to a person, we seem to choose someone as a mate who is our direct opposite in many important areas:

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I like cool crisp September weather and hate hot humid. My honey likes hot, humid summer weather, and the minute he sees 40 degrees F. on any gauge, he instantly goes into what I refer to as his annual winter depression.

“But, it’s not even freezing, I say. “But, it’s gonna be,” he replies. I think he relives his South Dakota ordeal of feeding the critters in sub-zero weather.

He says, “We should move to Florida,” and I say, “How about Maine. He says, “How about New Orleans;” I say, “Alaska!” We have for some reason agreed that someday it will the desert–so hot and not humid. We’ll try it. I love Montreal.

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On the same note, my sweetie piles up about six blankets (only three in summer) and I am kicking off my half’s three and swinging my leg out on top of the sheet to get cool–we’re still talking winter. They turn the heat on in our manufacturing building loft–central boiler room furnace–so we don’t even need to turn the heat on ourselves. He comes home and 20 seconds upon entering the apartment, he makes a bee-line for the thermostat to turn it up. I think the shivers runs in his family–maternal side.

Then there’s noise. He likes it. I like calm. He likes motorcycles. I like to go slow. He likes motors. I like quiet. He likes rock music (he is 90 percent deaf, so I think the drumbeat is all he can perceive). I like Chopin and Jewel’s lullaby’s.    IMG_0247293298f

He likes the smell of gasoline. I don’t think I even need to say, I don’t.

When we eat in a restaurant, I call him a fat magnet. He will peruse a menu filled with healthful choices, and opt for anything with sausage in it. And, even though he has agreed to our going more plant-based, he tries my quinoa casserole with roasted veggies and mozzarella cheese or goat cheese, and he says, “It’s really good. th-2Needs sausage.”

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This is by no means an exhaustive list. For instance, I can’t tell you the joy it brought hubby dear when I signed us up for a Groupon shooting lesson. He is a sharpshooter, and I never held a gun in my life–being a city girl. He grew up on a cattle ranch in South Dakota. Guns are just part of ranch life.

But I will never forget the light in his eyes when he watched me hit the target–with pretty good success for a first-timer. Maybe I’ll give you the whole story in another post.  marj

Suffice to say, we actually have very little in common. But after almost 32 years, we are more in love than on the first date. He says, “We live in amazement.”

So I ask you, Isn’t this proof of God’s sense of humor. This opposites thing forces us to compromise, which I suspect is the heartbeat of love and the path to unity. Left to ourselves, we would be, well, selfish.

So in the end, it’s a good thing we are paired with one who brings out our complete other, and who forces us to consider that the preferences of another are valid and valuable too.

I just wish we could move to Montreal. I would be okay with the six blankets.