Coming home from tai chi this morning, I saw - as I've seen on three separate occasions - a dad waiting for his son's school bus. Each time, dad was on his cell phone, and each time boy jumped off the bus to run to dad - who continued talking on his cell phone as he and son turned to walk home. No acknowledgment, no hug, no "could you hold on a minute, or could I call you back?" Just dad and son walking home from the bus stop with no conversation or contact. Expensive neighborhood, which doesn't mean anything, but dad needs to hang up and pay attention.
Listening to Rush this morning. His guest host was a guy by the name of Mark Davis, who I guess is a big radio hoo-hah in some place called "Texas." BUT! Mark Davis was talking about the level of discourse in today's America and how mean-spirited and hateful it has become. He was bemoaning the loss of the good old days, when people actually had interesting and informed and thoughtful and respectful debates over their differences! When people who believed differently could disagree without being disagreeable! When ad hominem attacks were unthinkable! When opposing points of view could be expressed without name-calling, perjoratives, or repeated use of the f-bomb! What made this so interesting to me (other than the oddity of hearing it expressed during Rush's time slot) was that I had just been thinking the very same thing! Mr. Davis lays today's sound-bite opinions mainly at the feet of newspapers and news magazines that invite comments by readers. And I don't think he's too far off the mark. And both conservatives and liberals indulge in all of the most egregious behaviors. He did lose me when he said that Rush's show never sinks into hatred or name-calling (sorry, Mark, I've heard it there myself), but his point was valid. At least to me. I wonder if he'll be invited back to host...
A couple of weekends ago, we had grandchildren overnight and one of them woke up with a bloody nose. A one-time event, but it was certainly traumatic for all concerned. Blood around the mouth of a toddler at 3:00 a.m. can be quite shocking, in case anyone ever asks! Fast-forward to last weekend when I finally remembered that some of that blood (not much, though) had splattered onto the white duvet that was on the bed. So, here's my little household tip, especially since I really didn't want to take the duvet off the comforter and wash, dry, and reassemble: Blood on whites comes off pretty darned well with hydrogen peroxide. After you've gotten as much as you can, rinse carefully with plain water and a clean washcloth; if any blood spots remain, use a Q-tip and your favorite chlorine bleach to just touch the remaining spots, rinsing again afterwards. I've never had it fail, and I've never had holes in linens from the bleach. The Q-tip keeps you from using too much bleach, and delivers just enough to remove the blood. Just don't forget to rinse (wipe off) with water and a clean washcloth!
Household Tip #2: Red wine can be removed from white dress shirts (I've done it), white carpeting (done that, too), and almost anything else by soaking the stain in a solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% liquid dish detergent such as Ivory - don't use detergents with color in them; use only white or clear, otherwise you'll likely have a whole new issue to deal with! It may take a day or two of soaking or some scrubbing if it's a particulary bad stain. And it's always best if you get to it right away. But it works, and I swear by it.
With the good example of my youngest son and his wife as my guide (not to mention a little boost from Michelle Obama), our neighbor and I are planting our vegetable garden this weekend. I've always wanted to grow veggies, but was afraid it was more the idea of it that appealed to me and that the actual execution would prove too much of a chore. By joining forces with a neighbor (as Ben and Briana have done), it will not only halve the labor, but increase the pride and enjoyment. Since both families consist of only two people (and half of my family isn't crazy about produce!), we've agreed that we will donate anything beyond our modest requirements to the local food bank.
Next week we're off to Europe! This week it seems that spring has well and truly arrived.