I saw a cute saying this afternoon. It said, “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”
Perhaps you have lost the future you always thought would be yours. Maybe you now live in a place you never expected or you are facing situations that you’ve never had to contemplate, like toilets that won’t stop running or carpenter bees that threaten the stability of your front porch or doors you can’t open or doors that won’t close or or or.
Friends, this, too shall pass. You will get back up on your feet, emotionally and personally. Hang in there. You can’t imagine what’s in store in the future, but hold on.
I saw a picture taken of me in early January. The signs of stress were all over my face. I looked tired, beaten down, exhausted. I kinda looked like someone getting ready to “view the body,” as I often say.
Then I saw a photo that was taken today. It was amazing. What a transformation! I looked relaxed, had a broad smile, and (if I may say so) looked ten years younger. What a difference four months had made.
It reminded me of a lovely widow I have known for years. Before her grouchy hubby died suddenly, you rarely saw her smile. After he passed, she lost 20 years off of her face. She has never remarried, though she did date for a while.
What are you holding onto that you are afraid will change? Let is go, if at all possible. Change is not always bad. Sometimes it can be very good.
This coming Sunday morning, I will be on WLNI, finishing my first interview (which was started last weekend) with radio and television host Andre Whitehead.
If you would like to listen live, it can be found at WLNI.com at 8 am. This was my first venture into a long conversation, and was seen via television twice last weekend, along with the first half of our conversation. for a first endeavor, the feedback was fairly positive. I would covet your feedback on this continuation of that conversation.
So far, the most popular part of the first discussion was the story about how I killed a mouse that was trapped in a mousetrap in my garage.
I am available for interviews in your area, if you are relatively close to Virginia, and would love the opportunity to share about my book Suddenly Single. I am also available for church conferences on singleness.
If you would like more information, please post a comment herein and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I told this story on the radio and television show this past weekend and thought you might enjoy it.
You know those weird sounds that you have been hearing, the ones that sound like scratching? Do you sometimes find strange brown turds on your countertops? Have you ever found Christmas ornament boxes full of destroyed, formerly stringed ornaments? Have you ever reached into a cardboard box that you had in the shed and saw something move out of the corner of your eye?
My dear, you have mice (or, at the very least, mouse). Keep in mind that these critters are very fertile and letting one live with you can lead to your having a whole colony of mice. You need to get rid of them ASAP.
There are various ways of doing this; we have effectively used baited traps in our garage and basement. The upside is that the traps can be baited with peanut butter; the bad news is that you have to get rid of the mouse after you catch it and it may still be alive, just stuck.
When a mouse threatened the sanity of my time working in our garage a few years back, we put out a snare, only to find that the mouse survived the entrapment. When the little critter showed up for the peanut butter feast, my hubby was out of town, so I managed to get the mouse and trap into the middle of the garage, covered it with a layer of cardboard (to protect my tires), and drove back and forth over the covered mouse until there were no more signs of life underneath.
I then swept the entire contraption outside and moved the car back into the now-mouse-free space. The deceased rodent thoughtfully remained under the cardboard until my husband returned home, though it might have looked a bit odd to the neighbors.
I don’t mean to hurt the feelings of mouse-lovers everywhere but this did rid my house of the problem at hand. And, no, his name wasn’t Mickey.
Today, I would like to share some fuzzy numbers with you.
Now, folks, I am not the world’s greatest mathematician, though I am the daughter of one and the mother of a certain young man who called calculus and “Easy A” in college, but I am still relatively good at basic math skills.
Case in point: Two days ago, my next door neighbor, who I only know by her first name, came knocking on my front door. She invited herself in and sat on my couch, where she proceeded to tell me a tale of woe.
It seems those nasty folks at the power company had turned off her power because she hadn’t paid her bill. For quite some time. However, there was a way I could help her.
She wanted to borrow $421.00. She would give me $300 the next day, after she got paid by her employer. There was no reference to any additional payment, so I guess that she was willing to borrow $421 from me, with the understanding that $300 would settle her debt. Since the problem that led to her nonpayment still existed, I would have an opportunity to share in this type of money scheme in future months.
When I declined the opportunity, she asked me how much money I did have. I allowed that I might be able to rustle up $200 in cash, but that I needed it for my own bills. I did offer to “carry her around” to three churches, to see if they would pay her bill out of their benevolence funds. She agreed to be carried.
No such luck with the churches. It was after hours, so they were all closed for the day.
During our trip around town, she said that $200 would do for now, and she would pay me back $100. I commented that, while I sympathized with her, I was not willing to do that. It seemed to me that, in the first case, she was willing to pay back 71% of the money owed me but, just a few minutes later, she was only willing to pay back 50%.
Things went downhill from there. She then suggested I give her one of my credit cards. What????? It seemed that she thought I should not only pay her bill (without the smallest suggestion that anything would ever be paid back), but that she would be able to shop at my expense, until the card was maxed out. Seems you never need to pay back credit cards, in case you were wondering, or the person who owns them.
So, my question for you is this: Are people really this nuts when it comes to money, or is it just me?????
I would pay tribute to this mathematical genius by name but, sadly, I don’t know it. However, if you would like to pay her bill, let me know and I can walk over and give her your number. The good Lord knows, she isn’t good at them.
I will be appearing on Andre Whitehead’s radio and television shows this weekend. Here is the information on dates and times:
This weekend we’ll introduce you to an author, educator and blogger discussing becoming “Suddenly Single!” You just have to meet Sheri Dean Parmelee on TV Sat 7am WGNT/27 in Tidewater, Sun 9am on CW Central VA. Sheri will also be on our Radio show Sun 8am atWLNI.com.
Smoke Detectors that have Detected Smoke: Dinner is Served
Sometimes smoke detectors signal their displeasure by going off. This can mean several things: your house is on fire, your candles are burning down, or your home’s heating system is burning off dust because you just switched it from air conditioning to heat.
It could also mean that dinner is ready. At my house, it is usually the latter. If you have not recently changed over from air conditioning to heat and you aren’t cooking or burning candles, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND CALL 911.
[Note: It is good to have your HVAC system checked regularly; this can prevent the heart-stopping sound that occurs when your detector goes off unexpectedly.]
Candle safety is also vitally important. Many folks are changing to the fake-flame candles, but others still prefer to have an open flame. (I find that a candle can cover up the smell of burning meals; my ex-hubby used to say that he could tell in advance what dinner would be like by the size of the candle burning when he got home from work. If the big one was going, he would offer to take me out to eat.)
If you use old-fashioned candles, keep the wicks trimmed to ¼ inch, do not keep them burning more hours than their width in diameter, and never, ever leave them burning unattended.
When a smoke detector goes off due to burning food (but without a fire), there are several ways to stop the alarm. One is to wave paper near the detector, until the noise stops.
Please note that you may also need to open the windows and doors and turn on a fan. You can also take the detector down and throw it in the yard (this is my sister-in-law’s preferred approach).
Please resist the temptation to hit the detector with a hammer. While this may work short-term, the end result will be the sudden need to replace the now-destroyed detector. It will, however, solve your immediate problem. Unless, of course, your detector is wired into the house, as I mentioned earlier.
Just recently, I happened to walk past a gal who was heading towards the cutest little yellow Volkswagen bug. As she approached the car, she pushed the wrong button on her key- apparently she was trying to unlock the door but she hit the car alarm button instead. She finally managed to get the alarm stopped and proceeded to get into her car.
I could immediately tell that she was not used to the car, a manual rather than automatic transmission, as she stripped the gears (which made a horrid racket, especially at 6 am) while trying to get the car in gear.
As she put her foot on the brake, I noticed that her back left brake light was out. When she drove past me, I waved her down to tell her. She responded that she had just gotten her car the night before and was still learning what everything was for.
She immediately sped off before I could tell her that there was not a special button for the left rear brake; her brake light was not working and she needed to get it fixed before she got stopped by a police officer or had an accident.
Ladies, there are buttons for many things in your car, but a single brake light is not one of them.
If someone tells you that a brake light is out, there is no magic button to push to make it come back on. The light will need to be replaced or looked at by someone who knows something about cars.
While we are on the topic of driving manual transmission cars, she needed someone to teach her how to operate the vehicle before she was under the pressure of “I’m late to work.”
Additionally, the best time to learn how to drive a car with manual transmission is not on the way to work when you are ahead of a school bus full of kids and stopped at a traffic light that turns green. Stalling your car numerous times in front of a bus driver who wants to drop off some noisy children will not endear you to that individual. Once again, this is the voice of experience. Don’t ask.
What amazing tale of woe do you have, related to car issues? I would love to hear your story.
Do you remember the gorgeous Farrah Fawcett, who went by Farrah Fawcett-Majors when she was married to that hunk, Lee Majors, aka the Six Million Dollar Man? How about June Allyson, who had very short bangs and spent the bulk of her time in later years pitching Depends (for her mother, of course!)? (June was 88 when she died, and I bet they were for her, but I digress.)
Well, both of the ladies had bangs, though I would argue that Farrah wore them better. Shoot, Farrah wore everything better, even when she wasn’t wearing much. But I digress again. What does this have to do with being suddenly single or unexpectedly unmarried? Quite a bit, actually.
When you are sitting in church or at a play or in the movie theater and everyone is with his or her significant other and you aren’t, you may feel like you didn’t get the memo on the current trends in hair or dress.
You know, you are sitting there with your June Allyson bangs, round collared white shirt, and poodle skirt, and here comes Farrah in the latest style of totally cool on the arm of Ryan O’Neal or Lee Majors in their respective heydays. And you are anything but cool. My word, you aren’t even slightly chilly.
What do you do? Hang in there. The saying “This, too, shall pass” might seem trite, but it will. Now this doesn’t mean that Lee or Ryan is going to come your way anytime soon, but it does mean that you can be comfortable in who you are right now. (I’ve got news: Time has not been particularly kind to either man, so take heart!)
Be who you are right now. Work on whatever needs adjustment and find a new hairdresser, if the current one cuts your bangs like June’s cut hers (was that ever cool???) You are somebody special. And you are going to make it!
Remarriage is not for everyone. I know some widowers, widows, and divorced folks who are very happy remaining “blessedly single.” Maybe they have been so traumatized by what happened to them that they have no desire to walk down the aisle again.
But what about those people who were so happily married that they are eager to repeat what, for them, was a wonderful experience? More power to them. The thing is, we shouldn’t judge anyone for his or her decision regarding remarriage.
One caveat: This withholding of judgment does not apply to someone who left his or her spouse for greener pastures. If that person cheated on his or her spouse, then all bets are off.
I had the opportunity to spend some time recently with an elderly couple whose spouses died. They had known each other many years before and re-connected through Facebook. They had both been blessed with many years of happiness with their first spouses and had wonderful children and grandchildren, but were now in the position to find one another again. And they did.
It was a blessing to be with them and it was a wonderful testimony to how great remarriage after losing a great spouse can be. My own grandmother buried her first hubby due to cancer and she married a widower several years later, giving her two daughters a wonderful step-father. Her teen-aged daughters absolutely adored their step-father, who took them all into his home and made a wonderful life for them.
So, if you’re up for it, go for it. And let’s congratulate those who make that choice but let’s not judge those who decide differently.
What is your experience with the remarriage question?
It’s that time of year again- time to get mowing the lawn before it completely hides your house.
There are some hard and fast rules when mowing the lawn, including wearing eye and ear protection and dressing appropriately. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, long sleeves, and a hat in order to protect yourself from bugs, flying debris, and sunburn.
Mow your lawn when it is dry and avoid mowing in the heat of the day. Remove any debris that is laying around in the yard, such as sticks, stones, branches, and the like.
Do not run over the debris with the lawn mower. It will not improve the condition of your lawn mower blade. Do not remove anything that is trapped in your mower blades while the mower is running. Keep your hands out of the way or you could get pulled into the blades.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions on using your mower; the owner’s manual should also offer instructions on how to mow your specific type of grass. For example, St. Augustine grass in Florida will be mowed differently from the occasional sprigs of grass (surrounded by weeds and red clay) that we find in Virginia. Someone mowed my grass earlier this week, using a weed wacker. The lawn looks like it, but yard care is included in my rent and I don’t mow lawns. Beggars can’t be choosers, as they say.
Over time, you should vary the direction in which you mow, so that your lawn will not grow solely in one direction or another. Keep the mower blades sharp and always mow in a forward direction.
Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated as you mow. This is kind of like shoveling snow: it’s easy to get dehydrated while doing both. It’s important that you not.
I hope this helps as you face another season of lawn maintenance!