May, Glorious May

I’ll be the first to say–and the Juniors Halls will be the second, third, and fourth to add–that I have a few teensy, weensy flaws. And maybe a couple bad habits.

But unlike most folks who may have developed some bad habits over the last, say, 14 months, I stuck with the same old bad habits. Eating way too many chips–oh my word, have you tried the BLT potato chip from Lay’s? SO good!–and staying up way too late. (Mostly reading. So I think that could really go either way on the good/bad scale.)

BUT I also stuck with my good habits, which included singing. Singing pretty loud while I clean up or just…um, yeah… singing loudly. (Though I’m well aware that the Junior Halls may put this habit in the bad category or list it as a flaw. And to that I say, pfffft.)

Anyway, the point is, I was ready, friends. When I got the call that choir was starting back–CHOIR! ON SUNDAY MORNING! LIVE AND IN PERSON!–my vocal cords were thoroughly stretched. I may not have remembered every note I was supposed to be singing in the song choices but I could hit the notes (once I figured ’em out). It was glorious!

Well, maybe not too glorious for the poor Choir Director but honestly, I think he was so happy to be back with us that he happily put up with the likes of me singing all the wrong notes (loudly).

So in this lovely month of May when vaccinated people or people with natural immunity are reaching higher and higher numbers, I’m celebrating by singing extra loudly. Though I promise to tone it down a bit come Sunday ’cause the Junior Halls are right. Singing loudly when everyone else is not is just obnoxious.

(Also on the subject of bad habits, you can check out more of mine over at The Muffin where I share a few tips in “The Bad Habits You Need to Break to Be a Good Writer.” And happy May, y’all!)

The Old Good News/Bad News Thing

Back in the day when the Junior Halls were in school, there was always that moment when they walked in the door and hope still existed. But invariably one of them would open his mouth (because let’s be real here, it was always one of the male Junior Halls) and say, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Also invariably, the good news would also turn out to be bad news, slightly dressed up.

Not to be sexist but I wonder if that’s more of a male thing? Because Big Brother will often send me texts of the good news/bad news variety when it comes to the house we co-own at the beach. And I always wonder if he understands how the good news/bad news thing works.

The latest bit of a situation involved a raccoon in the attic. There is no way to spin a raccoon in the attic in a positive light. And how did the raccoon get in the attic? He (or she) punched a hole through the soffit outside the screen porch, and just for good measure, said raccoon clawed its way through the screen on the porch, too, and had a little look see out there.

So torn up screen, a hole in the soffit, and a frisky raccoon on the loose. You may be wondering where the good news was in this scenario; I was, too. Apparently, the good news was that we had a pest control company that had a critter-getter guy and he’d come out and set a trap for the raccoon. You may also be wondering what sort of bait is used to catch a raccoon.

I don’t know about other places where raccoons are running wild but here, they use fancy cat food for bait. Which was sort of funny to me since there are a TON of feral cats around here (to catch the rats). Not surprisingly, every morning, there’d be a cat in the trap. Until finally, two weeks later, there was a raccoon in the trap! Good news for us, very bad news for the raccoon.

Then, and coincidentally, our AC was not working. That is very bad news when the temps get up to the 90s no matter what kind of ocean breeze you may have. And I suspected that it really wasn’t much of a coincidence that we had AC problems and a raccoon-in-the-attic problem since as you may have guessed, all the duct work is in the attic.

Sure enough, as bad news goes, one of the ducts had been shredded by the raccoon. But the good news is, we found out that a few of the ducts weren’t connected to the main duct. And the even better news is that as HVAC system repairs go, sealing a few ducts and replacing a bit of a raccoon-shredded duct is not a big deal. And we might have never realized that our air was going up into the attic if the raccoon hadn’t showed up.

So the raccoon in the attic turned out to be about the best news ever. And that, Big Brother, is how you spin a good news/bad news story.

P.S. Which brings me to my latest Muffin post, Good News/Bad News. So if you’d like a little writing inspiration for those times when you get bad news, take a look. Also, I have a picture of the raccoon proof but I can’t remember how to get an image in my post. And the bad news is, I’ve hit my quota for the day on the thinking and such. The good news is, I’ll just do something here that may not make any sense but you’ll see the raccoon tracks. You’re welcome.

What Happened to February?

If a month, say February, for example, has only 28 days, one can’t be blamed if one is sipping on a cuppa and glances over at the calendar to see March staring in one’s face and realizes one has completely skipped the monthly post on one’s personal blog.

So let’s just move on as if nothing’s amiss here. But February did seem to dash by. Or maybe that’s just me? I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and/or organizing around the old Hall House AND listening to a lot of music whilst doing so and time has just flown! Also, I think perhaps I owe the dearly departed Mister Man an apology.

See, that man would sit in his office working, blasting his rock ‘n roll favorites way beyond the air waves of that room. Now, I like rock ‘n roll as much as the next person. Maybe more since I worked in radio back in the day. BUT.

There is a time and place for listening to Iron Butterfly and it’s not when one’s writer wife is trying to think up the next brilliant Great American Novel. Or even the next blog post for the Muffin.

It’s not that Mister Man set out to purposefully sabotage my great thoughts. It’s just that music was a necessary soundtrack for his work and so when I would (nicely) ask him to shut off the &*^& music, he would argue (nicely) that I should go elsewhere to work. Things would not so nicely escalate and eventually, he’d turn down the music a smidge because he was after all, working and actually making money, and apparently that carried more weight.

Whatever. The point is, since the first of the year and my Major Cleaning and Organizing Frenzy, I’ve found that listening to music has been very conducive to getting the work done and keeping me in a very fine mood. And certain work (such as emptying kitchen cabinets) requires ABBA, whilst other work, say writing this here post, requires Kris Kristofferson. And for optimum efficiency, the music must…well, blast throughout the house.

So, sorry, Mister Man, I get it now. And you can get all caught up with my February brilliant thoughts over at the Muffin. There’s Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign (and I’m working away on that manuscript! You’ll get it when you read the post.) and Letting Go of the SPECTACULAR.

(And thanks, Mister Man and Kris Kristofferson, for inspiring this February post. You heard me. February. You want to argue, take it up with the Calendar Powers That Be.)