Failure to communicate

So, October is here.  Which means I’ve been officially retired (the second time) for 3 months and here in Louisiana for about 6 weeks.  And what have I learned?  i’ve learned that retirement is wonderful, home ownership is so much more expensive than I thought, and that I cannot effectively communicate in my own country.

Example 1:  I purchased my pro stove, pro hood, dishwasher and washing machine from a local company.  They recommended an installer to make bring all my appliances to the house and hook them up.  I had to have 220v run for the convection oven, and since I wanted my laundry room moved to where it was originally in the house, 220v run for the washing machine.  The electrician came and fixed the electric for the oven, but told me to have the plumber in first.

It’s a beautiful range and hood – and I love them.  But look closely at the hood.  Notice how it doesn’t vent any where?  That is because the installer doesn’t “do” duct work.  So I still need to figure out who does duct work and have them come complete the job.

Example 2:  Plumber came out and while I thought they’d go under the house and reconnect the hot and cold water and the drain, I was wrong.  They said it would be better to come through where the “new” laundry room was located.  Here’s a professional plumbing job if there ever was one:

That is a hole in the wall in the pantry (previously the laundry room) and while you can’t see it here, behind that big pipe is the bath tub in one of the guest bathrooms.  The bit with the duct tape is my sorry attempt at trying to keep critters out of the house.

Example #3.  The electricians told me that whoever did the previous renovations cut the wires totally in the old laundry room, and this I can believe.  They said they’d run some conduit and I ASSUMED that the conduit would run to the laundry room and that they’d be able to somehow use the old outlets.  I was wrong.

My new extra outlets!

The new dryer outlet.

My new light – and one of my daughter said it looked like art and maybe it’d be fun to have more conduit ran in spokes coming from the light.  Sounds good to me.

I’d hoped to have the walls repainted before my furniture arrives (which is in 2 days so that isn’t happening).  I’ve tried color after color and can’t find anything I like.  The lighting is strange and every color looks like a different shade on each wall.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Wall 1with purples and yellow .  The light colors weren’t working so I thought I’d try dark…

Doesn’t work for me either.

One thing that is going well is that my Dad is installing my new surround sound system.  We have the holes drilled for the center speakers and the rear speakers.  So I have 4 holes in my walls like this one with wire coming out:

We still have to get the wires from the receiver, up through the walls behind the TV to the attic and then across to the holes and then the job will be done.  But it is harder than it sounds.  All of the interior walls are wall board OVER 1″ thick board, which is attached to 2x4s.  To it is slow going, but I am happy knowing the house is so well constructed.  (Note: the more recent renovations like the “new” laundry room are just dry wall attached to 2x4s.)

The older cat has just about had it:

And I’m sure you will all be delighted to hear that Bilbo Baggins didn’t die after all.  He’s alive and well in Bossier City, Louisiana where he opened a sports bar:

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying life!

Chronic Pain as a Disease

Several months ago I gave up conventional TV. I was tired with the programing, more tired of the insane advertisements. Now, don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed some of the programing and I haven’t entirely given up on television entertainment but I do now pick and choose what I watch and do it via the computer.

I have AppleTV and it allows me access to not only iTunes, but Netflix, YouTube and PodCasts (yes, I know that is an Apple product). On the computer I can chose to watch something on hulu, Amazon, and a variety of other platforms.

It’s strange, but I’ve discovered that I no longer care to watch many of the programs I used to enjoy. I listen to world news (in English) from many countries. It’s wonderful to have different perspectives of the same story! It’s also good to get a more global overview of what is going on than the local news, which I found very violent.

I am spending more and more time watching content on TedTalks. I love it! I am learning so much, and in such an entertaining manner. This morning after listening to BBC and NHK news I watched a couple of TedTalks clips. And one of them I found so interesting. I have fibromyalgia, which means my brain misinterprets signals from the nerves. The end result is that I live in pain every second of every day. I take medication to help the symptoms, and most days the pain is manageable. Somedays it is so intense that walking is nearly impossible and I spend those days in my gentle, soft bed trying to find a position where the pain eases up a bit. Most days I laugh and smile and carry on like millions of others – but this doesn’t mean I don’t hurt. It means that the pain is manageable. A hard concept for some.

So anyway, this morning I found a TedTalk by Elliot Krane who not only is an academic, but also a anesthesiologist and pediatrician. He spoke about chronic pain as a disease and why it happens. It helped me better understand what my body is doing. If you know anyone who endures chronic pain, please take the few minutes needed to watch this video. I am sure you will have a better understanding of what your friend or loved one is going through.


Today it is cloudy and rain is predicted.  My head hurts beyond belief and my tummy feels raw and upset (possibly related to the headache).

My laptop has crashed.  I think it is under warranty but I have to wait until Ms C is home tomorrow to read the serial number to report it.  The serial number is 
too small for me to read.


My desktop, which was repaired TWICE in January is functioning, but slow.  Perhaps the sign of an impending crash.


I need another external drive to back-up my 10K+ photos before I loose them.  I hadn’t backed up my Lightroom catalogue so I’ve lost all my photo processing 
unless we can get the laptop back up and running.


So, now I’m going to have a coffee and if that doesn’t help me to feel better — I’m crawling back into the bed.


Some days are good, others are not.  Today isn’t so hot.

And it is good…

Remember yesterday when I said I thought that the power of 3 would come into play over the next several weeks? Well, I didn’t have to wait long for it to happen! Today:

1. Found out that they WILL give me our June airline tickets early (generally they wait until 3 days prior to departure). Hopefully we’ll be able to get an upgrade.

2. In Nov 07 we signed up (and paid) for Ms C to have driving lessons. She was on the wait list. They called today and she’ll start class in May!

3. We got to leave work an hour early.

Things are looking up!!

Time is being stolen!!

Yep – it’s true. Time is being stolen. Well, perhaps that is just the way it feels. The past two days have contained a surprise each that I could well do without. Yesterday I learned that I’ll be going to a conference in May. Today I found out I have to go to another one the week before. Now – shouldn’t that be fun? Yes, if it wasn’t for the fact I’m retiring. In fact, I’ll be flying back to Okinawa on a Saturday with the packers arriving on the Monday (and moving into the hotel on that day too).

So in 3 weeks we go to Guam. 3 weeks after returning to Okinawa I’ll go to the US for 2 weeks. Then 3 weeks and 2 days after returning to Okinawa I’ll retire and we’ll fly out of here for good.

So much to do and so little time. The power of 3 will certainly come into play over the next few weeks!