This morning the temperatures were in the mid 70’s and the humidity was in the  low-60% range, a brisk breeze and lots of sunshine inspired me to go out for a walk. Haven’t been able to do the outside walking thing since the middle of June!



If you remember my photos from the Spring you might recall that azaleas are ubiquitous in NoVA but that’s not the only bit of vegetation that is everywhere – crepe myrtles rival azaleas for “Oh my god, they are everywhere!”  I realize there are folks who are not fond of them, fortunately I am not one of those people. I like crepe myrtles, we have mostly pink ones but they come in white and a lilac color.


We also have roundabouts which are maintained nicely with crepe myrtles as the center piece



Last year some of the upscale townhouse communities planted great gooey gobs of red coleus, and then they dug them up when the season changed and planted something else. But still some survived, they are so pretty…



What are these things?

And then is one condo community that is anything but upscale. Lovely grounds that are not kept up at all, which is so sad. The property starts at the corner of a major traffic intersection and this morning it looked like this


Now those look like hydrangeas to me and I’ve never seen them before! I don’t know when it was planted but those are some big snowballs! Or maybe, they are some other kind of shrub. Flowers, trees – love ’em but I know jack-all about them.

Convector Units

modine-c_thumbnailThese are what provide heat and air conditioning in my  apartment building. A friend called them ‘hotel’ units. I doubt they use this method in new buildings. They are quite noisy especially when you turn the fan to medium or high but when positioned properly in the room they are quite efficient. Unfortunately for us the one in the living/dining room is in one corner of a large area so only one part of the room gets heated or cooled. It’s not bad in the Winter but in the Summer in the dining area you sweat and in the living room area you shiver and it’s just annoying.

But here’s the thing – it’s not really an air conditioner. I don’t really understand but I’m told that there are big ‘chillers’ on the roof of the building. Air is drawn into the chillers, cooled, and then sent through the building. Also the building has an ‘air exchange’ system.

So – the problem. When the temperatures are somewhat low, say in the 70’s or even 80’s but the humidity is super high, like in the 90%, to get the air conditioning affect you have to put the thermostat to like 68 to get any cool air.

And there is something about the outside air temperature the governs whether you will get any heat or a/c at all. When the outside air temperature is 60 degrees these things will not generate heat or a/c.

I do not understand this. Also, they tell me with the air exchange system a venting system for bathrooms and kitchens is not need, so someone please tell me why my bathrooms are musty and moldy.  I will tell you this system brings other people’s smells into my apartment, like right through the vents and there is a film of grey dust on everything in my bathrooms.

So many things not to like about living in an apartment but when you are old, and stairs are not practicable anymore, and neither is house maintenance (even tho you can always find someone to pay to do all that) apartments are convenient. I spent most of my adult life living in apartments and it never bothered me but nothing beats living in your own house where you are in control of everything.

Oh I do like being in control of my environment and then again I also like limitless hot water and someone who signs for all my packages and feeling very, very safe.


So something a bit more cheery today?

I was gonna talk about the handy-dandy household items that I love because they make my life easier but, hey do you need a list of stuff? You can find your own handy-dandy things, just remember Amazon is not the be all and end all of on-line shopping.

I will say that all things Mrs. Meyer’s are the cat’s pajamas and there are lots of places on-line to get them at very reasonable prices. I prefer the lemon-verbena scent myself, so does my husband and so do the cats but hey that’s us.

And then there are all things Oxo.  Do you ever wonder whether designers actually ever used the items they are designing? I’ve never bought an Oxo product that was badly designed, they seem to know how human beings actually function in the real world.  You can get Oxo products anywhere, and everywhere, and seriously if you need a potato peeler or a garlic crusher or a thingy to keep your sponges neat and tidy by your sink – look for Oxo products.

Which reminds me, I wonder if they make mops? I guess I will just hop over to their site and see, and if they do then I will have to noodle around the interwebs to find a place to buy one…

Oh yeah, I bought that talking pet app and I made my first one – it’s a little wonky but this is just the most fun…

Sat Aug 11 2018

Definition of asocial
: not social: such as
a : rejecting or lacking the capacity for social interaction

Definition of antisocial
1 : averse to the society of others : unsociable.

Definition of unsociable
1 : having or showing a disinclination for social activity.

I am all of the above. I am lacking and rejecting while being averse and showing a definite disinclination.

Except when I’m not.

Sometimes I crave, need, desire social interaction. But not often, and having not been in such a situation for such a long time I don’t know how I would react to it. I think, after all this time spent in isolation, I would have an anxiety attack of major proportions. Total meltdown. Probably wouldn’t know how to act or interact.

When I was out and about in the world on a daily basis, you know like going to work everyday, I avoided social interaction outside of work because it was all too much and I needed to be alone and away.

Which is not to say I didn’t go out dancing when I needed to, certainly I was an avid museum and theater goer, happy wanderer – but I museumed, theatered and wandered alone – coping with the proximity to other humans beings as best I could.

I often question my lack of need for friends, family. I know folks who chase these concepts. I have no sense of family, and while I like to think I have been a friend I can’t honestly say I have ever had a friend. Acquaintances, of course but never anyone I would define as a friend, someone you could depend on, someone you trust, someone more than an acquaintance. My goodness, how does one define ‘friend’ in the truest, deepest sense of the word?

People tell you family is ‘blood’ or nowadays, DNA. Nope. I am sure there are great gooey gobs of people who share my DNA in a close correlation, some I’ve never met, and some I wish I hadn’t met, and mostly people I don’t care to meet again, or ever. Yeah, so what – DNA – that doesn’t make a family, that’s just science. I’ve never been part of a family in the social/emotional sort of way and I can honestly say I don’t miss it, which is why I have to wonder about me. Why don’t I miss having/belonging to a family? Why don’t I pursue friends and sociability?

The world at large makes me aware that I don’t value, no value is not the right word, that I have no concept, is that the word, of family. I just draw a complete blank, I cannot visualize what that is or means. Ehh.

I do like to observe people, and talk to people and interact with people, on a limited basis. I usually enjoy it, I don’t seek it out and yet not having it on a regular basis makes me miss it – a bit.

I think I want to connect with people but I don’t want anyone getting too close, physically – oh please do not get physically close, or emotionally.

The fact that I am even aware of all this confuses me.

“Things you many not know about me” she said facetiously.

1. I’m a bit of a control freak. It’s not that my way is the only right way but it’s what works for me and in close quarters I want it done my way. Out in the great big wide world, do it whatever the hell way you want, if it doesn’t impact me immediately or directly then I don’t care. Knock yourself out.

2. I’d rather do it myself. Now that seems part of #1 doesn’t it? And to a degree it is. If what I am doing, want, or need done, is dependent on someone else doing their bit first – whoa, so NOT comfortable with that because that means I have to trust that this other someone (or someones) are actually going to do what they are supposed to, when they are supposed to, and do it right. Yeah, no. How often does that actually happen? I’d rather do it myself – all of it, whenever possible. And when it isn’t possible? I will micromanage to within an inch of everyone’s sanity.

3. Continuing on with this theme: I trust no one. And nothing. Everything and everyone will fail you. And you will fail others. It’s the nature of the beast. Don’t take it too personally, unless it was done deliberately and purposefully and with malice aforethought. And always plan accordingly.

4. I hate compromise. It’s the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. And I don’t like that I had to learn it.

5. Contrary to popular belief, I do not make snap decisions. What others see as a snap decision has often been years (years!) in the making. But once decided, then I want it done and over with NOW.

6. I change my mind. Often. Usually after careful consideration and much research. Why oh why must people say “But you once said…” Yeah, and now I have changed my mind. I’m not the one who perceives me as infallible or inflexible, that’s on other people. I know what I know and if you prove me wrong, or offer me a realistic and reasonable alternative – I’ll take it. And sometimes, you know, I just change my mind. Pfft!

7. I’m the first one to say “I’m wrong” “I made a mistake” “I’m sorry” but only if those things are true. And hoo-boy, have they been true more times than I care to count.

8. And when I’m right, I’m right, and nothing and no one can shake me. Or move me. Or change my mind.

9. I can hold a grudge longer and harder and tighter than a bulldog with a bone.

10. Oddly enough that was how my father once described me, as a bulldog, but in relation to what he saw as my persistence – if I wanted something badly enough I got it, eventually, one way or the other, come hell or high water.

11. I do care what people think of me, even tho I say I don’t. When I was young it often (too often) impacted what I did, said or how I acted. Now – not so much. Now I edit what I say or do, not for the fact that someone might not think well of me but rather, do I really need to get up someone’s nose about something of little or no importance. And most things I encounter in my life are of little or no importance.

12. I will never be comfortable with people being nice to me, or saying nice things about me. I do think I am a fairly decent person but I am just not comfortable with other people saying so.

13. When I say I love ya to pieces, I really, really do because I love to love. But that does not mean you can hug me. Please do not hug me. Your need to hug does not supersede my need to not be hugged. Please be respectful of people’s feelings.

14. I did not allow myself to cry until I was in my mid-30’s. Now I cry all the time – when I’m happy, sad, see someone else cry, and most embarrassingly, when I am angry. I cry a lot. It is a good thing.

15. I forget nothing and I forgive nothing. The only thing one person can forgive another person is a monetary debt. We are each responsible for our own souls.

16. The best and most important lesson I ever learned? To say “NO” and to walk away and never look back.

I started out with the idea of this being amusing, it turned serious. So be it.

Kitty Pics (Yay!)

Miss Frankie Lulu was in such a mood this morning – all over the place and all over me, or rather anywhere I was…Something caught her attention outside.


I love her ize…


Because she is getting to be an old lady and her jumping skills have deteriorated a bit, I not only got her steps so she could get into the bed but I bought her this little step stool to get up on the couch. She doesn’t really use it for that but sometimes she just hops up on it and poses…


And then – Miss Frankie loves her baths, she is the cleanest cat ever. It’s almost mesmerizing watching a cat have a bath but then if you slow it down, wow, really cool. This little video clip will take you from normal to slow back to normal – kinda fun…



Let’s Start with the Light and Fluffy

Since we got rid of the car going to the library would be an arduous journey (or an expensive cab ride) so we are e-books only now. When it comes to borrowing an e-book, if it is not immediately available you can put it on ‘Hold” and wait your turn.  I’ve been anywhere from #3 to #75 (or higher) on the hold list. Often when I get the notice that the book has been automatically checked out to me it has been so long that I’ve forgotten why I even wanted it. These books fall into that category, starting with the light and fluffy:

“My Oxford Year” by Julia Whelan. It hadn’t taken many pages before I was thinking to myself “This reads like a rom-com movie”. After finishing the book I discovered that the book is a novelization of a screenplay. So there’s a turn of events, screenplay first, novel second. When, and if, the movie gets made I’ll skip it, having read the book. Why? Well I already have it set in my mind what the characters look and sound like so whoever they cast won’t match up and however good the movie might turn out to be I will be totally distracted and unengaged.

If you prefer movies to books, then wait for the movie. Despite this being a rom-com book, which I usually avoid, it is a good read. To quote the Kirkus Review “Whelan has created a beautiful, romantic story that focuses on big ideas—love, death, poetry, and what really matters in the end.” I was particularly taken with the poetry angle and the book sent me right to my copy of poems by William Butler Yeats and has me re-thinking Tennyson and Christina Rossetti.

Now on to the dark and dreary but un-put-down-able. Even tho these two books stressed me out and I had to stop reading periodically and take a breather, there was no way I was going to not finish them.

“The Perfect Nanny” by Leila Silimani. This was translated from the French and there was only one instance that registered as awkward for me. So – points for the writing (and translation.) The book opens with the end, so to speak. You know where this is all going and yet you follow along and somewhere in the back of your mind eerie, horror movie music is playing. It pulled me along, and in, and I got all stressed and nervy. I would close the book for a day or two before picking it up again, I had to finish it. I should tell you this is a ‘people’ book not so much a plot book.

And now for the last one – Hoo-Boy is this a doozy. This one had me on the edge of my seat, tense, anxious, slamming the book shut because I couldn’t take any more, lots of deep breaths before going back in.

“Sometimes I Lie” by Alice Feeney. Described as a psychological thriller, yup, because it sure messed with my psychological. And then, two-thirds into the book, a plot twist right out of nowhere that will rock you back and have you re-thinking everything you have read so far. And the ending will leave you hanging and wondering. Is it worth the read? Definitely. I might even read it again because knowing the ‘twist’ will put a whole new perspective on the story.

As per my usual book posts, the title of the book is a link to a professional review. I don’t know how to do book reviews, wouldn’t even know where to start, so I leave it to the ones who do. All I’m passing on is my reaction to the books. Take that as you will.