Greetings, you lovely six! Rip Van Blogger here, awake from my writing siesta and ready to….
To be honest, after following the news as closely as I am of late, I’m inclined just to crawl back in bed and pull a blanket firmly over my head. Are you like me? (say yes please). Do you start an article about the atrocities being inflicted in Ukraine, only to stop reading after about three paragraphs? Two paragraphs? I can’t blame you if that’s the case.
For me, it all stems from a sense of utter frustration along with a deep feeling of helplessness. The images are heartbreaking and certainly deserve our attention and action. While I usually make my lone call for generous solidarity from our collective wallets at the end of a post, I’ll do so now here at the top. I do this because those persnickety bean counters at this blog’s HQ inform me that my readers begin to head for the exits somewhere around paragraph six, those ungrateful gits. I’m speaking of my HQ staff, not you, dear readers.
So please join me in donating needed funds to assist with the massive refugee crisis caused by Russia’s brutal invasion. I’ve chosen the International Rescue Committee. A click on their “One-Time Donation” tab and choosing “other” will allow you to make a monetary amount of your own choice, if you so wish. As I write this, estimates are that there are approximately 9.8 million Ukrainians displaced by the war.
Do pull up a chair. Let’s catch up, shall we? When we last convened together, before I suddenly took a rather sudden hiatus, we were all staring at yet another holiday season with social distancing and more mask wearing. I do hope all of you have made it through the seasonal tidings safely.
Unfortunately in late January, I succumbed to a visit from Mr. Omicron himself. He wasn’t invited, but he made himself present by inflicting a persistent headache and a low-grade fever on me. It lasted about four days. Somehow through sheer luck, or probably the fact that I was jettisoned to the guest room, Gorgeous never caught it. With her safety in mind, our dinners were choreographed similar to how Vladimir Putin sits at tables with his own visitors. I am obviously grateful in how the two vaccine doses and one booster allowed my encounter with covid to be a relatively mild one.
With “version one” of omicron plummeting here in the U.S., and “version two” allegedly warming up for an upcoming summer tour (tickets and dates TBA), we’ve availed of ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy freedoms again. On that score, it was especially heartening recently to run into a familiar face at our gym. He and I were regular pre-pandemic kibitzers at the elliptical machines, briefly solving the world’s problems as an excuse to avoid getting onto the next phases of our daily workouts. I literally hadn’t seen him since March of 2020, and so it was wonderful to catch-up in person again.
And speaking of the gym, I now I have a new enemy at each visit: a dastardly invention called the “endless rope.” It always wins, I know that much.
The major news, however, is that we are finally about to have our poor kitchen renovated. Our 2021 turned into a year in which an untold number of contractors completely ignored our appeals for help. At one point, two adjacent condo neighbors of ours who were also looking to renovate, lured a contractor to each of our homes one September morning in an effort to create a “package deal” of sorts. The guy visited all three of us, charmed at each location with a boatload of ideas, and subsequently ghosted everyone with no further contact or follow up. Such was our luck for nearly the entire year.
Thankfully, our own perseverance paid off in the end. In December we signed a contract with the husband of an interior decorator we had used for our living room a few years ago. Work is scheduled to start on the kitchen in early May.
Because of supply chain problems, it was strongly recommended that we order our new appliances well ahead of time. When I asked our contractor if he could be more specific, he said “Well, now [December] would be a good time” So immediately after the start of the year, we ordered everything.
The stove, refrigerator, built-in microwave, and dishwasher have all arrived, and the washer-dryer combo is scheduled to be delivered later this week. Ironically, the new kitchen sink, about which bad jokes are potentially boundless for someone like myself, is being held for us at the stone and countertop shop. A pity because I could have done so much with that one, too.
In the meantime, things are a little, well, awkward at the moment as we settle in each evening to get comfortable:
Looking forward towards summer and a completed kitchen, it still remains hard to really wrap our heads around any kind of plans involving traveling to visit with friends or family. My personal feeling is that we’re always just a new variant away from everything changing again, plus getting on a plane still sounds like an experience I’m willing to put off for another year or so. We do have a milestone anniversary coming up in December, however, and those credit card award points for appliance purchases should to be used for something after all. So we’ll ponder that a bit.
Before closing, I do wish to mention the passing of fellow blogger Cordelia earlier this year. Her posts, which often chronicled her brave battles with both depression and breast cancer, remain as testaments to how we can face such challenges with grace, beauty, and the best of the human spirit. Gorgeous and I were fortunate to have a tiny bit of long-distance contact with her over the last few years. I recommend her two books, “In Bloom” and “Well Done Me,” the latter published just before she entered hospice care.
Until next time…