Archive for the ‘The Ol’ Curmudgeon’ Category

The Ol’ Curmudgeon had an angioplasty (stent placed in his heart) on February 25. He was feeling miserable for about 2 months before he finally admitted he needed some help. Following the angioplasty, he was feeling much better. On March 24, he had his post-procedure appointment with the cardiologist, and was given a full release to go back to work full time. The next day he was “RIFFed.” This is where a company uses the “reduction in force” (RIF) excuse to lay someone or people off.

Since then, he’s started having cardiac symptoms again – flutters, chest discomfort, out of breath, bone weariness. Finally got him to go in again, and he is now on a Holter Monitor for 48 hours (assuming we can keep his electrodes on). I’m hoping that this is mainly stress, but with an injured ticker, it pays to be careful.

He has been without cigarettes for 5 days, now, too. I’m proud of him for that, but I know it is adding to his stress. While the symptoms he is having are NOT in anyway related to any reported effects/side-effects of Chantix(r) or nicotine withdrawal, they all can be related to stress and worry – both of which he is experiencing on many levels. So, I’m hoping and praying that these symptoms are simply that – stress and worry – and that once we rule-out the cardiac thingies, that we can address his stress and worry.

I’m wishing I could go back to work. But I’m too old and I’m too disabled. I wouldn’t last more than a day going to a hospital, working and coming home. Yet, I feel guilty that I’m not taking care of the Ol’ Curmudgeon. I keep thinking there is SOMETHING I should be able to do.

We say the Akathist to St. Xenia together, and we each pray privately. But we are “pulling back” from things. We are withdrawn from each other in some ways. I don’t want to worry him, so I don’t tell him some things. He doesn’t want to worry me, so he doesn’t tell me some things. We don’t go anywhere. We don’t make phone calls. We are simply pulling back from many things.

Now, however, it’s time for us to reach out, so I’m reaching out in this way

If any of y’all out in reader-land are so inclined, please add “Theodore” to your prayers: for his health, for his life, for a job. If you are interested, I will be posting the Akathist to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg on my Angelfire website in the next day or so. Check back for the URL.

Lord, have mercy!

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When I was a child, My little Gam didn’t make cookies or cakes very often – mostly around Thanksgiving or Christmas. Occasionally for birthday, but usually, birthday cakes were from Mrs. Rhodes’ bakery. She would occasionally make custard or pudding, too. Each of those efforts, though would mean the same thing – licking the bowl!

There is nothing so lovely as licking the bowl! scraping the bits  and leavings of the mixings off the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spoon or a rubber scraper, then licking them off. I spent many a happy period of time NOT getting into trouble while licking the bowl – and the spoon and the scraper!

In recent months, the Ol’ Curmudgeon has started making cookies. He makes really good cookies! Raisin Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and my very favorite, Christmas  Cookies – which he kindly makes for me all year round!

I guess it was about the 4th time he made cookies he offered me the mixer beater. We have a lovely Kitchen Aid mixer he got for me when I was still able to cook regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed licking the beater and told him so.

Now, each time he makes cookies, he lets me lick the beater – and the scraper and the bowl and, in the case of some cookies, the scoop. There is something about it that makes me feel loved. I said so this afternoon as I was licking the bowl, beater, scraper and scoop from his latest foray into oatmeal cookie baking – and NOT getting into trouble :).

His reply: “Yep.  Why do you think I give ’em to you?”

Love – ain’t it grand?

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The Three Musketeers (aka the kids) know what that means! Achtung! Das Haus VIL be Cleant!!

Right now, he is re-organizing and ruthlessly throwing away things in the library – which had become the proverbial junk room – “just put it in the library and I’ll deal with it later.” Well, “Later” has come!

He totes things into the garage (which is under the house) (he moved my car) and as he gets it filled around the edges, I go down, sit in a chair and say either “toss” or “eBay” or “keep.” A few things go into the “ask the kids if they want this – it’s still useful” group.

We just went through a few boxes I hadn’t looked into for over 7 years. We had never unpacked them when we moved here! I know, Fly-Lady would say toss it all. BUT! How can I throw away the old copies of the Journal of Irreproducible Results?! They are worth a bit on eBay, but I like going through them. I just couldn’t find them for 7 years!!

Last session, I kept some things he didn’t want me to keep, and he started sounding like Bluto in Popeye. That low, basso profundo growwwwlll. He face gets red. He sighs a lot. I do, too. But we don’t fight. He loves me, “warts and all,” as I love him – “warts and all.”
We will start going through the books shortly. I’m supposed to go down each shelf and pull at least 1/3 of them for recycling at The Book Nook – the local trade-it-in-for- credit, used-book store. “One Third! You’ve got to be kidding!!” I said. He just gave me that Ol’ Curmudgeonly fishy-glare and said, dangerously quietly, “One. Third. Period.”

I’m going to be a total nervous wreck by the time he goes back to work. On January 3, 2008. Four days before he takes time off for Nativity. Old Calendar.Pray for me . . .

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!! Glory to God for All Things!

Including the Ol’ Curmudgeon on a cleaning rampage!

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My Ol’ Curmudgeon came home last night! My world has turned “right side up” again!

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Just commented on the Blog of my Ol’ Curmudgeon who is a pretty good cook. A while back, with his permission, I posted his recipe for barbecued ribs on a recipe website, and they featured it in this week’s newsletter!!

OR use the tiny URL:
It will get you there, too!

I’m rather proud of him – or can you figure that out??? LOLOL!

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The Ol’ Curmudgeon once sed to an old friend:

The schools don’t know what to do with those of us who are only highly intelligent without the divine spark of genius. We usually got whatever concept was being taught the first time, and the teachers just wanted us to siddown and shuddup while they went over the same damn thing 10 more times for the dummies. We would be bored to tears at that point. Mostly we would just tune out and miss the next concept because we were off in la-la-land (either dreaming or reading a hidden book). Sometime we (or at least I) would misbehave in class when we (I) just could not stand it anymore. That doesn’t get one points with the teacher or the dummies. Back in the day – after you left – it also got me into bad company and some really bad behavior.

What kills us in life is that there are so many interesting (and easy) things to learn and do that it is impossible to stay with any one thing for long. I get interested in things, learn them from books/doing/talking to others. Then I master (or nearly master) the thing at hand, teach it to others, get bored, and move on to the next fascinating aspect of God’s universe. I know Herself does the same, I remember you as quite similar. Sometimes, we come back to an earlier love and revisit time and time again over a period of years. Sometimes, it is just enough to know how the interest works.

Turtlemom3 then sed:

Yep – the Ol’ Curmdgeon is right on. I was fortunate in grade school to be in a school that was the “practice grounds” for students from the U of GA and several other schools of education (back when that meant something). I was stimulated with unique experimental tests and activities. I made adequate grades – A’s and B’s mostly with D’s and one F in – penmanship!! I didn’t misbehave very much. Punishment was NOT FUN. And, besides, I’m a gurl. We tend to be more socialized earlier than boys. Yeah, I got into trouble about talking too much – I recall one time in particular in high school during a test. I got tickled by one of the questions (on Shakespeare) and “had to share” my amusement with the girl in front of me – sending her into matching gales of laughter. We were both taken out of the room and made to take the rest of the test on opposite sides of an empty class room. The amusement? the word “dark” – don’t ask me why, now, I can’t remember. But it still make me grin and occasionally giggle.

That’s another aspect of intelligence – we often are able to find amusement in things the hoi polloi find puzzling.

Yep, I got into “bad” company and bad behavior, too. ‘Nuff sed ’bout that!

Stuff is interesting and easy to learn. And once (nearly) mastered, I, too, am ready to go on to something new and interesting and *different!* I guess The Ol’ Curmudgeon and I understand each other very well as to that aspect of things. We each cheer the other on in our new interests.

The daughter-person is similar, but she is simply into different things. Her underlying passion is sewing and designing clothes, but last year she took tap dancing, and this year she and her husband and their son are taking Tae Kwon Do and she’s taking ballet. She’s almost 39, and rediscovering the things we tried to expose her to as a child. She is ever interesting. Youngest son is both highly intelligent and well focused. So he is on the road to great success. Oldest son is a wonderful, and very intelligent human being – but without much focus or direction!! He keeps starting things and then not following through with them. Has to do with his ADHD. Some get over it, some do not.

I hope The Ol’ Curmudgeon continues to be satisfied with woodworking and cooking / bread baking for the rest of his life – OR that he finds something equally interesting and fulfilling. His incredible intelligence needs challenges!

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I was sent a really funny URL by Riverdaughter! If you plug in a URL, it will bring up a copy of the page in one of several funny dialects. Well, I couldn’t resist. After all, here at the Pond humor is a greatly valued quality!!

So, I dialectized one of the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s Blogs – the one about How to Fry a Potato, Revised – into Swedish Chef dialect. Enjoy!!

Hoo tu fry a putetu – Refeesed
Oogoost 30t, 2007 by mtreeggs

I hed a reeder send in a cumment. Um de hur de hur de hur. Fella’s veb neme-a is juhnpoolstefensun. He-a hes hees oovn fuud blug und is vell vurt zee reedeeng. Effter tryeeng hees methud I hefe-a cume-a up veet zee fullooeeng refeesiun, surt ooff a cumbu betveee my furst methud und hees. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Guud reeders ere-a a neeceness, und thees oone-a ves a reel jooel.

Thees veell geefe-a yuoor fuud Nezee feets. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Tuoogh. Zeey’re-a guud. Bork bork bork!

OoK, vhet us Emereecun types cell French Freees prubebly ceme-a frum Belgeeoom sumoohere-a in zee 18t centoory; geefe-a a teke-a a decede-a oor tvu. Iferybudy in zee vurld hes hed a fry, joost ebuoot. Um de hur de hur de hur. Must ooff zee oones yuoo get frum zee fest fuud jueents ere-a joost gruss. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Pruperly prepered, zeey a cooleenery deleeght. Um de hur de hur de hur.

Tu pruperly prepere-a zeese-a leettle-a deleeghts tekes a beet mure-a iffffurt thun is epperent oon zee soorffece-a. Su, get yuoor best cuukeeng cep oon und let’s gu get ‘im. Fur sterters, use-a guud grede-a putetues. Um gesh dee bork, bork! My sooggesshuns ere-a Idehus, Roossets, oor Yookun Gulds. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Vheck zeem up intu ¼” streeps. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Yuoo cun skeen zeem oor nut es yuoor teste-a deectetes. Um gesh dee bork, bork! I leeke-a zee skeens oon. Bork bork bork! Tredeeshun in thees cuoontry is peeled. Bork bork bork! Yuoo cun elsu meke-a zeem a beet theenner fur shuestreeng style-a, oor theecker fur “hume-a freees” style-a. Tu my teste-a theen is better thun theeck. Yuoor meeleege-a mey fery. Bork bork bork!

Oonce-a yuoo’fe-a gut zeem chupped up yuoo need tu mufe-a feurly qooeeckly oor ploonge-a zeem intu un ice-a bet. Putetues lefft ixpused tu eur detereeurete-a repeedly. Bork bork bork! Iff yuoo du zee ice-a veter suek, dry zeem vell oon a peper tooel joost beffure-a cuuleeng. Veter und hut ooeel is a nu guud cumbu.

Yuoo cun use-a a cest irun deep fryer oor un ilectreec skeellet. Um de hur de hur de hur. Zee ilectreec skeellet is a beet ieseeer tu cuntrul temperetoore-a. Iff yuoo use-a a fryer zeen use-a a zeermumeter. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Temperetoore-a is creeticel. Poot inuoogh ooeel tu meke-a a deep fry pusseeble-a, boot leefe-a luts ooff ruum et zee tup, it veell fuem up vhee zee spoods ere-a edded. Bork bork bork! Noo – vhet keend ooff ooeel is up tu yuoo, yuoo joost need a smuke-a pueent less thun 400°. Peunoot ooeel is guud, oor uny oozeer testeless, heelthy ooeel. Noo iff yuoo ere-a reedy tu shuut zee fuud Nezee und vunt joost glureeuoos teste-a, use-a lerd oor beeff fet, vheech ves vhet ves ooreeginelly used. Bork bork bork! Zeese-a veell be-a zee must vunderffool teste-a thet yuoo ifer hed. Bork bork bork! Yuoor chulesterul duesn’t gu up qooeete-a es fer es yuoo mey theenk iff yuoo cuuk zeem reeght. Um de hur de hur de hur.

Noo get thet ooeel tu a steedy 240° und iese-a smell betches in. Bork bork bork! Dun’t lued su mooch thet zeey steeck tugezeer oor looer zee temperetoore-a ooff zee ooeel. Mufe-a zeem eruoond ifery noo und zeen su zeey dun’t steeck tugezeer. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Nefer meend zee teeme-a, joost fry unteel zeey fluet und zeen pooll zeem oooot – joost meke-a soore-a zeey dun’t broon. Bork bork bork! Vhee zeey fluet zeey shuoold steell be-a vheete-a und hefe-a guttee neece-a und leemp. Vhet ve-a ere-a dueeng is joost bueeling zee veter oooot ooff zee innerds veethuoot cuukeeng zee ooooterds. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Iff zee ooootseede-a gets brooned ve-a cunnut mufe-a uny mure-a veter oooot ooff zee inseede-a und it veell get suggy. Bork bork bork! Pooll zeem oooot veet a slutted spuun oor keetchee speeder und ley zeem oon peper tooels oor peper secks oor a reck tu dreeen. Bork bork bork! Du thees 10 meenootes tu 2 huoors eheed ooff teeme-a.

Vhee yuoo ere-a reedy tu feenish, jeck zee temp up tu 350°. Oonce-a egeeen cuuk in smell betches. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Thees teeme-a yuoo ere-a eeeming fur a guldee broon. Bork bork bork! Edd selt, pepper, deell, oor vhetefer speeces yuoo leeke-a zee secund yuoo teke-a zeem frum zee pun tu zee dreeening peper oor reck. Iff yuoo’fe-a dune-a iferytheeng reeght zeey veell be-a leeght, nun-greesy, creesp ooootseede-a und eury inseede-a veet a vunderffool teste-a.

A reelly guud gu-veet is tu melt a steeck ooff bootter, a cuoople-a ooff clufes ooff smeshed und chupped gerleec, veet vhetefer herbs yuoo leeke-a. Deell oor persley cumes tu meend. Bork bork bork! Joost cumbeene-a und heet unteel zee flefurs cume-a tugezeer. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Dun’t fry zee stooffff. Unyvey, dreezzle-a thees oofer zee freees joost beffure-a serfeeng. Nu, it duesn’t meke-a zeem tuu greesy iff yuoo gut zeem cuuked reeght tu stert veet.


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Here at Turtle Rock, I often am enjoying basking so much I don’t start work as soon as I should – then I end up being in a very big hurry and stressed with it.

The Orthodox Church Fathers call procrastination Sloth, Negligence, and Laziness, spiritual afflictions that affect our perception of and relationship to God. They rob us of our proper orientation toward God. If allowed to progress, these afflictions will lead to akidia – listlessness and soul death! So simple procrastination has many very serious implications.

My procrastination is often due to unrealistic expectations of my self and my work. “Oh, it won’t take that long! I don’t need to start it for (2, 6, 24) hours!” Finally, I sit down to do it, realize how big a job it really is, and start to panic. This can lead to carelessness in my work – I try to work too rapidly.

So I struggle each day with procrastination. I have help from The Ol’ Curmudgeon, who will often remind me that I have certain tasks hanging over my head. I am grateful for this, but I realize there are times when he isn’t here – on a business trip or at work – and I don’t have the reminder. So I need to remind myself. My computer has lists, pop-ups, alarms – and, sadly, I have become able to ignore them all. Continual struggle with this is my lot. I’ve worked on it for years, and I see a long road of struggle with it ahead of me.

The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, said every day during Great Lent, is instructive:

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartededness, lust of power and idle thoughts

But give, rather, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant

Yea, O Lord and King,  grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for Holy art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen

I often feel the need to say this prayer when it isn’t even Great Lent.

Turtles may not be hares, but we at least need to start at the same time!

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