Saturday, March 19, 2011

Go Figure, Sigmund

Do you remember your dreams? I rarely do. Sometimes when I wake in the night I think I have to remember that one! But it's usually gone when I wake up or soon after. I seem to be remembering more lately. Age? Menopause? Both?

Do you ever wake from an interesting or pleasant dream and try to go back to sleep to keep it going? I remember last night's and I tried to go back to sleep to continue it. I really wanted to know what happened!

Paul and I were driving through New York City and then, somehow, I was out of the car, walking and he had driven off. I don't think we were fighting or that he threw me out of the car because I was happy. Or maybe he did and I was still happy.

I had a bag, like a canvas bag, with me at first but later it was a backpack. I also started out with my long-gone cat, Tigger. She began walking with me and then was in the backpack with her head sticking out. Later it was Lucy, the Jack Russell Terror.

I started walking though a neighborhood that seemed Middle-Eastern. The sidewalks were full of people in chairs, walking and standing. There was no where to walk so I walked in the street. Eventually I came to a sidewalk along a grassy area but not a park.

That's when the cat and the backpack seemed to appear. I remember looking down the street and thinking I live on this street in Rhode Island. All I have to do is follow it home.

Soon friends Phil and Linda appeared and walked with me for a while. Then they were gone. My cell phone was in my pocket but I had the ringer turned off. Later I listened to several messages from Paul. He was freaking out wondering where I was.

That's where I woke up.

It wasn't until I began writing this post that I thought about a very strange coincidence. I read every night just before sleep, and I have been reading The Little Book by Seldon Edwards. The story is about a man mysteriously transported from 1988 San Francisco to 1897 Vienna.

Sometimes I also read in the night when I wake up and can't get back to sleep. I did that last night. Just before I went back to sleep for the second time, the character in the book had just met Sigmund Freud. Freud is well known for his theory about interpretation of dreams. Part of his theory is that all dreams are forms of "wish fulfillment." There has been no mention in the story yet of his book The Interpretation of Dreams, but I still thought my recollection of my dream was a strange coincidence.

Cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charlie's Not the Only One Who Needs An Intervention

I was in a car accident today. An 85-year-old lady backed into me in the parking lot of the library. I only learned how old she was when I went to the police to report it and they ran her plate.

I am not anti-old people. Hopefully I'll get there one day. I just hope I won't be driving myself there. I hope that I'll know when it's time to stop driving

When I realized she had hit me, I got out of my car and stepped in front of her so she couldn't drive away. In retrospect that probably wasn't too smart, but it was obvious she didn't have a clue she had hit me. She left a pretty good scrape on my bumper. When I walked around her car looking for the damage, there were so many scrapes, dents and dings it was difficult.

She was so frail she could barely speak. She was doing the old hand over hand steering which is fine if you're going 5 mph. She also wasn't interested in giving me her name or any info. When I asked if she had insurance she said no. When I asked again she said her son takes care of all that. So why doesn't her son realize she may no longer be a safe driver? How could they not know?

Twice she said she had her backup lights on. I told her I was stopped. It was obvious she was driving away, through me or my car. She kept saying she really had to go and pick up her great granddaughter.

She left and I drove to the police station. I felt a little foolish when I said some old lady backed into me in the library parking lot. The officer at the window sort of gave me the "you're kidding me, right, lady?" look. I asked him, suppose she decided to file a report? Couldn't I be accused of leaving the scene of an accident?

I wrote out the report, and was told to call my insurance agent. I wasn't happy thinking I would have to put the claim for the damage through my insurance and may be on the hook for the repairs if they can't determine who she is insured with. The officer looked up her plate number and told me she was born in 1926.

It was story time at the library. What if a mother with a baby in a stroller and a toddler stopped behind this lady's car? Or if she was putting the stroller in the trunk of her car? It might be time to hang up the keys before she does more damage than a scrape on a bumper.

This is a time when the saying the child becomes the parent comes to mind. Taking the keys away from an elderly parent may be one of the most difficult things a child ever does. My mother willingly gave up driving when it was time, so I was fortunate. We were also fortunate that she came to that decision before something tragic happened. But I remember her car had a few dings and scrapes, too.

It's likely this lady's family will never know of this little mishap. I just hope they don't get a call one day saying she has hurt herself, another family or worse.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Come to Mama

This little beauty, a Nissan 370Z Touring model, is for sale down the street from me.

If I trade in the lawn tractor, snow blower, and my change jar, do you think that would give it to me?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

An Easy Mistake

Two issues of Maxim magazine came in the mail last week addressed to Paul. Another arrived the next day.

Recently he found a postcard for a free subscription to Motor Trend magazine and mailed it. Motor Trend never appeared so maybe someone screwed up and sent Maxim. Yeah, whatever, I don't care. I turned 55 in January, the guy deserves some entertainment once in a while.

Can you imagine the problems such a mistake could cause in some houses. "Honest, honey, I ordered a subscription to People. I don't know how I got Playboy."

Or some woman orders Martha Stewart Living and here comes Maxim. That might be hard to explain, too.

You know inside the first few pages of a magazine where they tell you who the editor is? They often have a tagline below the banner. For example, Yankee Magazine's is New England's Magazine. Maxim's is Get to Know Us.

Nah, I'll pass. Paul, not so much.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Penny Here, a Penny There

I read an article about a North Carolina family that takes a break from spending any money during the month of February each year. Paul and I talked about it. I said I would like to give it a try for two weeks. I could tell by his expression he doubts I can do it.

Here's my plan:
  1. No trips to the grocery store. The family in the article set aside $10 a week for milk and fresh produce. I don't know where they are buying their fruit, vegetables and milk for $10. That seems impossible. Our milk is delivered weekly so I won't stop that. I might be able to manage the produce on $10 a week but it will take some pretty careful shopping, and blinders when I go into the grocery store.
  2. No dinners out. We can do that for two weeks with what is in the freezer and pantry. There might be a lot of macaroni going on but it's doable.
  3. No entertainment. We have been going to the movies once a month lately. We only have basic cable but we do subscribe to Netflix. Again, that's a monthly fee I can't turn off for two weeks.
  4. No shopping at all. For me, the original online shopper, that will require some reminding. I know I can do it.
  5. No gifts. Not even money. Sorry kids. I'll try to pick two weeks that doesn't include anyone's birthday.

That probably doesn't seem like such a difficult project for two weeks but I admit I run through Dunkin' Donuts pretty often for coffee and a bagel. I'll have to plan lunches better. And we do go out to eat once or twice a week which will stop.

We are both on the road for work, so we won't be able to limit our gas consumption for work but no dinners or movies out will cut down on travel.

One expense I won't cancel is my cleaning lady. Now I know you're thinking that should be something I can do without for two weeks but it's Ana's job. She has worked for us for a long time, and it wouldn't be fair to cut her income for two weeks. I always keep that in mind when we go away. If we're gone for two weeks, I pay her for one. She's never asked, I just do it.

We'll still pay mortgage and utilities but the money that seems to slip our hands, mine anyway, will stop there.

I'll let you know how I make out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Realtor's Best Friends

Here are some more apps on my iPhone that I'm having fun with.

I have three apps on my iPhone that I use in my real estate business.

The first one is the Flashlight app. Often I have to get a water meter reading in a dark part of someone's basement. If you don't have a flashlight to see the numbers on the meter, you're in trouble. The flashlight app uses the LED light on the phone and fills the screen with bright white light which is enough to be able to see in a dark corner of a basement or to read the water meter.

The next app that comes in handy is the compass. Often I'll have a buyer ask me which way a house faces. Sometimes it's obvious, others not. So I whip out my iPhone and check my compass. It also gives you coordinates of where you are and with a touch it will go to Google maps and show your location on a map and give you the option to use it as a GPS. There are several different options for a free compass app.

My father was a tool designer and retired from the Stanley Bostitch Company back in 1998. If Dad was here today to see the Stanley Bostitch level app on my iPhone he would be amazed. He would also have an iPhone with this app on it. He was always on the cutting edge of new technology. He had a GPS in their motor home long before anyone else had one. I use level app at home more than when I'm working. Yes, we have several levels around the house but this is so easy to use and so much more convenient than rummaging around in a tool box.

So these are three apps on my iPhone that help me out often at work.

This project is my own idea and I am receiving no compensation from anyone. I am in no way an expert on the use of this equipment or apps. Any additional info or corrections received from people will be considered and should anything be suggested that I feel is pertinent, I will gladly repost with corrections.

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