Saturday, September 29, 2012

Extreme Tact and Cool

Extreme tact. What is extreme tact? This is tact that goes so far beyond being tactful that it begs the question, "Why the hell didn't you just and so?" This morning, after staying up until 4:00 a.m., my mother decided to get up at 9:30 a.m. Me, sleeping on the sofa, sort of woke up and realized she was up and went back to sleep. At 11:30 a.m. I finally began to wake up, and moved around a bit. My mother, keying on this, sang out to the living room, "Gayle? Have you had breakfast yet?"

So, to save myself from thinking this is tact going beyond the point of stupidity, I have to remind myself it is coming from a woman with no mind power. She's sat for 2 hours not more than 4 feet from me sound asleep on the sofa, and she asks, "Have you had breakfast yet?"

I know I have the tact of a door knob. My husband has worked with me for 20 years to improve this fault. He still needs to remind me of it. But, seriously, what the hell is wrong with simply saying, "Gayle, honey, I'm really hungry. Would you mind getting us some breakfast?"

So it's finally cooled down in our neighborhood. Of course, it's taken thunderstorms to bring the cool front in. Then you're confronted with opening the house up to fresh air plus also opening it up to living inside a humidifier. After all my complaining about the horrendous heat wave through the last 5 months, you'd think I'd be pleased with a break in the temperature. It would simply have been nice if it came without the wet blanket.

There's a commercial airing on while I watch "Morning Joe" that is driving me nuts. It's a commercial by Shell, the oil company. It screams "Who is the target audience?"  Is this not just blatant propaganda? Why are they trying to sell the American public on their broad approach to energy solutions by crowing about their program in Brazil of making ethanol from sugar cane? Think, people, let's just cut down more rain forest, plant another mono-culture to strip the earth of nutrients and pay lots of peasants next to nothing to  keep Shell as one of the most profitable companies on the earth?

Floor plans really affect how well I house-keep and do tasks. I bring this up because in this house the laundry is far separated from the rest of the living area, and I find myself totally bogged down in laundry. When you're doing laundry for someone who needs clothes washed of urine both morning and night, it becomes a real chore. It doesn't matter how hard you try to catch it, there are always clothes with urine on them.

In our apartment in Memphis and our last house in Harriman, I never ever had a problem with laundry. I know it's because in both of those places, the laundry is/was right off of the kitchen which is/was also right off of the living area. So doing laundry never separated me from watching TV with Max or cooking, i.e., the center of our lives. There was absolutely no problem with getting up and taking clothes out of the dryer before wrinkles for the next century set in. In this house, the laundry is stuck way off in the back of the house, and it's almost worse than pulling teeth to make me get up and get clothes out of the dryer in a timely fashion.

In this vein, I will never ever buy a house that has the kitchen separate from the living area of the house. If I do manage to inherit this house, the first thing on my renovating list is replacing the kitchen. The kitchen in this house is so far from the living area that you might as well be on Pluto. Who wants to be stuck back in the kitchen when the rest of life is going on in another part of the house?

As far as books go, I'm on my annual relistening to all the books in my library. So many of them are comfort books; the next level is enjoyable, and the next level is historical or political. As with comfort food, I find myself listening to the comfort books over and over again. Next I go through the enjoyable and occasionally I go through the history and political ones. Then I pray for my renewal time to come up on audible.

Recently I've gone through all of the Tamora Pierce books - Alanna, Wild Magic, Circle of Magic, and Trickster's books. Before that I downloaded a new Patricia Cornwell book. Now I'm working on David Weber and John Ringo's "March" series. Just finished "March Upcountry" and am on "March to the Seas" right now.

On a video note, my favorite BBC historian/archaeologists have a new series out "Wartime Farm." Click here to watch. These are Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn. This series is about living in England during WWII. Those of us in the United States are mostly sadly uneducated about what happened in England before the U.S. became involved in that war. We've no idea of the hardships of rationing, the problems of feeding an island, and the results of bombings on our major cities. We danced in close to the end of the war and didn't endure the 5 long years the Brits did as a hold out on next to a continent overrun by Nazis.

Ms. Goodman is a "domestic" historian, and I don't quite know what specialty Langlands and Ginn fall under. However, they have been doing the most fantastic series which has aired on BBC TV.

The trio agrees to live for a period of time, usually a year, in a specific time and live life as people in those times would have lived.  So far I'm aware of their "Tales of the Green Valley," living in Wales during the 1620s, it's spin-off "A Tudor Christmas," a "Victorian Farm" (which I'm rewatching here), it's spin-off a "Victorian Pharmacy,", and an "Edwardian Farm."  Can't recommend these shows enough.

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