The Past Three Days

Over the past three days …

  • I crocheted beads on little gloves for little girls
  • attended a cantata at Warren Community Fellowship Church during which 32 choir members from 3 area churches gave us an incredible performance
  • Diane sustained a potentially fatal mixer injury when her mixer jumped off it’s stand, in the midst of a mixing frenzy, and hit the floor causing very moist spice cake mix to leap from the bowl scattering it all over the kitchen, and causing Diane to whip around real fast to see what was going on, wrenching her back
  • I helped pick out, deliver, erect, and string lights on the Christmas Tree for church
  • I cleaned off my work bench
  • attended the annual TVCC Christmas Party at Finley’s Funeral Parlor
  • had lunch at Fultano’s Pizza joint in Scappoose after church service
  • fixed Diane’s Mom’s Christmas Lights and sustained a potentially fatal injury in the process when I tripped on a rock and slammed into the house

If you’re OK with just highlights, you can stop now because the remainder of this missive is just detail.

Crocheting – yes, I’m “that” guy. I crochet. My Aunt Bert taught me how when I was 8-years-old and I’ve done it off and on ever since. I’ve made lots of doilies, a few table clothes, afghans and scarves. Oh, I make snow people, too. Lately, the activity of choice has been crocheting pretty beads on little gloves for little girls. This is the year for home-made things for Christmas. We’ve talked about doing that for years but it never seemed to happen. Until now. I’m finding that it’s something I should have been doing for years. It’s fun.

The Cantata at Warren Community Fellowship Church was great. As mentioned above, there were 32 singers from 3 area churches. Three of them are singing with our church for our Christmas Eve service. They are Marion, Crystal, and Tiffany, three generations of their family. All have incredible voices but Tiffany, the youngest, tops them all with her vibrant, crystal clear soprano. And, she plays the flute and works at Starbucks. A unique array of talents. Tiffany’s Mom, Crystal, is our choir director for the second year in a row since Nancy retired from that job. We only have 12 voices in our choir, and wouldn’t be able to do a cantata, but we have fun just the same. That, and we sing Hosianna, a traditional Swedish tune, in Swedish. Acapella, too.

The Fatal Mixer Injury was particularly interesting. Diane was making an upside-down fresh apple cake to share at the Saturday evening TVCC Christmas Party. During the course of making this tasty treat she said she turned her back on the mixer for just a couple of seconds. That’s all it took for the mixer to skip a beat and leap to its death on the kitchen floor. Cake batter flew everywhere. Startled by the noise, Diane jerked around to investigate and wrenched her tender back. I was in the East Wing of the house and heard the crash, but not the scream, so didn’t bother investigating. I hear noises all the time so they don’t startle me much. Especially when they don’t happen right next to me. By the time I made my way to the kitchen it was all cleaned up and the mixer was on the counter. I received a synopsis of the events which ended with news of the mixer’s demise. Curious, I plugged the mixer in, turned it on, and was treated to a lot of nasty grinding noises causing me to quickly turn it off. I took it to the basement and dismantled it discovering that a critical element was busted and needed to be replaced. With the help of a quick internet search I found and ordered the necessary part. It’s on the way.

The Church Christmas Tree was donated by Rod and Sandy who own a tree farm and go to our church. A month or so ago it was determined that Saturday, the 14th would be the day a group of Bethany Men would go get the tree. At 0950 I arrived. Bill was already there. We only had to wait a short time before David appeared with the pickup needed to transport the tree. Bill and I led David to the farm then went to select the tree. Fortunately, for Bill and I, there was a beautiful tree, already cut, leaning against a post near the entrance. Our job was done so all we had to do was get it back to the church. Once there Bill and I herded the 15′ tree from the truck into the church and got it installed in the incredibly heavy tree stand, then installed the angel and all the lights we could find. Considering our job done, we left to pursue other endeavors for the remainder of the day. I went home and cleaned off my work bench.

My Workbench has been the source of much grief to me over the years so I decided enough was enough and just had to clean it. At this point in time, all 17′ 2″ of it are mostly bare, awaiting my undivided attention to dismantle and rebuild it in a more useful configuration. First, 17’2″ is just too long for a reasonable work bench. That, and it’s too tall to work at for any length of time. So, I’m going to dismantle it and nail it back together. Also, all of the surface boards are bolted down with screws so the top isn’t flat. I didn’t notice that until I removed everything. We’ve been in the house since 2007 so I’m sure you can see how I might forget what that horizontal area looked like after six years. It’s been covered with ‘stuff’ for that long. Doing this will involve the use of some very sharp, powerful tools. I’ll try to remember and take pictures and I’ll let you know how it goes if I can still type when it’s all over.

The Annual TVCC Christmas Party is always a raucous affair where we have more fun than legally allowed by old people. TVCC stands for the Tualatin Valley Cruiser Club which has been around since the PT Cruisers debuted in 2000. Diane and I are charter members of the TVCC and participated as club officers for many years. Over the years the club became more about people than PT Cruisers and many life-long friendships were forged during that time. Diane and I have attended almost every Christmas celebration that has been held in various locations throughout the greater Portland Metro area until we finally got settled in at Finleys Sunset Hills Mortuary. It’s a very large facility near the Portland Zoo and has two advantages over past venues: 1) It’s free because one of our members runs the place, and 2) The neighbors don’t complain about the noise. Steve’s the member who facilitated this arrangement and we are all very appreciative.

Fultano’s Pizza you’ve heard about before. It’s a relatively new joint in Scappoose that we’ve visited a few times in the past and we’re very happy with the service and food. Yesterday, after church, that’s where we went with Diane’s Mom, Jean. It was her turn to pay so we picked a place a little higher on the food chart above McDonald’s or Taco Bell. The wisdom of our choice was reaffirmed, once again

Mom’s Christmas Lights were a topic of discussion on the way home so while Diane and Jean hunkered down in their chairs, I went back out into the cold to play with electricity. I knew what the problem was that caused them to stop working so it was an easy fix. One of those tiny little fuses in the pronged end of the cord overloaded and blew it’s brains out. That’s why fuses are surrounded by glass – so their brains won’t splatter all over like Diane’s cake mix did. That would be awful. I knew where Jean hid the spares so replaced one of the two in the first string of lights and, viola! They all lit up, just like I knew they would. The lights are on a lace leaf maple tree so it looks like a huge umbrella when the lights work. During the process of curing the problem I went under the umbrella portion, where I can stand erect, so I could get to the fuses. After replacing the blown one, I tripped over a large rock, stumbled about 2 steps, then slammed into the house with my right shoulder. My main thought was that if the house hadn’t been there I would have fallen flat on my face and problem broke something. Thankfully, the house was there and broke my fall so that the only thing injured was my shoulder and neck. I deemed it to be a temporary injury that had potentially fatal results at the onset of the events leading up to the crash. Later, Diane said she heard the crash but thought it was a car door, or something, so stayed wrapped up in her chair not feeling an urgent need to investigate. I think that was pay back for me not investigating the mixer crash event. That’s fair. When done, I returned to the house innards, to warmth, and sat in a rocking chair to rest, recover, and visit a bit before we headed home. About that time, the lights went out again so I think I’m just going to stuff a piece of gum wrapper in the fuse slot and call it good.

Now it’s Monday morning and I revel, again, in the reality that I do not have to get up to do anything, or go anywhere, unless Diane wants me to. If you must travel to work today, I bless you all with a safe trip there and home again. I can do that. Bless people. We all can, actually. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a nice gesture and, when it does work we can say, “I did that!”

Now it’s time for my morning nap.

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