Becky’s chosen a cheery topic for her April Squares challenge: anything bright, however you interpret it!
Earlier today, we took a walk and I noticed my neighbor, Gail, had been out for a spin in her red Mustang – her “lady toy” – because it was sitting in the driveway.
My own car is in our driveway (we only have a one-car garage), and today, looking at the sun reflected on the hood, I saw not one, but TWO suns! How did that happen?!
On a sadder note, our fitness director quit, and her last day was Tuesday. Several residents from our community lined the street in front of the gatehouse to say good-bye. Although she was crying (her mood wasn’t bright and sunny), her car certainly is – mustard yellow?
Share Your World Meets Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter can speak to snakes. If you were able to have conversations with any one animal, what animal would you like to speak to? What would be the topic of your first conversation? I would talk to my cat. I often wonder what she is thinking and how she really sees her human friends and caretakers. Our first conversation would be what she dreams about. Sometimes she makes funny noises in her sleep so I’m wondering if she’s chasing a squirrel or a bird in dreamland.
The portraits in Hogwarts dormitories can talk. If your graduation portrait could speak to people passing it by, what would it tell them? I don’t have a graduation portrait.
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger use the Pollyjuice Potion for finding new clues for the happenings at Hogwarts. (The Pollyjuice Potion is a magic potion that allows your body to form into that of another and live their life for a few hours.) If you could transform into another being, who would you chose to be? What would you hope to learn? Once again, I would like to be a cat for one day to see what it’s like. I could really relax if I had no cares at all and could spend 16 hours a day sleeping. I think after one day, though, it would get boring. Cats can’t read!! And their food is gross!
4. There was a flooding in the girl’s bathroom where Moaning Myrtle resides. Whathas been the most dangerous (or comical) ‘flooding’ where you reside? The Des Plaines River has always been prone to flooding, but since they built the deep tunnel (large diameter pipes underground), it isn’t as much of an issue. However, the city still gets flooded in heavy rainstorms. The local government puts up signs warning people of the flooded areas. One of my son’s girlfriends once drove right through a flooded road. She felt good about getting through the flooded area, but needless to say, her car was ruined.
The worst sort of “flood” we had in our house in Des Plaines was when the sewer backed up. The sump pump couldn’t handle the amount of rain and so the basement got flooded with sewage. Anything that was on the floor was ruined.
Mundane or “Muggle” Questions:
(Serious one which is rather creepy): How do you think you’ll die? IF you do think about it? I do think about it, actually. I want to die in my sleep at an old age. Doesn’t everybody? I get scared sometimes when flying in turbulence and during landing. Last year, I had a panic attack while driving. I suddenly realized I was in a machine going at a relatively fast speed and all around me were other people in equally “dangerous” machines – it was shortly after my son totaled his car, so it was probably for that reason that I panicked. So I do sometimes think I will die in some sort of crash but I really hope not. I might die when traveling – maybe there will be a terrorist attack. Or I could cross the street and get hit by a truck – who knows? That’s the good thing about death – most people don’t know when or how it will happen, so we just go on living our lives, which is what we should do.
What’s the best on-line screen name you’ve seen? “Best might mean the oddest. I have no idea.
What’s invisible that you wish people could see? Dark matter. It would be interesting to see how much dark matter there is in the universe compared to matter we can see.
If over time you replace parts on a car, at what point does it stop being the same car you bought? How many parts do you need to replace to make it a new car? I don’t replace a lot of parts in my cars, except batteries, tires, and so forth. I would consider it the same car no matter how many parts are replaced as long as when I get in it, it feels the same inside and its body is the same. I don’t think about cars very much. I love my car and it has a “pet” name I’ve given it, but that is the extent of my attachment to it.
This is a tough one to write about, since my favorite season is summer – it would be a lot easier to list 5 things I LOVE about summer. But since this is Dr. Tanya’s topic for her 5 Things challenge, this week, here goes…
1. Humidity – I would love to live in a drier climate. It can be a mild day, but I still sweat due to the high humidity here in Midwestern USA!
2. Extreme heat – temperatures in upper 80s and above. I just have to stay inside an air conditioned house in those conditions. I admit, though, that I didn’t mind it while traveling in Europe last year during a heat wave – maybe it’s less humid or maybe I was just having too much fun to care!
3. Bugs, especially mosquitoes and stinging insects. This is the one thing that every summer brings, and one of the few things I don’t like about this season.
4. Excessive air conditioning – I realize it’s highly desirable to have air conditioning, but many buildings have cranked up the air conditioning so that I feel cold – after all, we are wearing summer clothes, we don’t want to freeze in a restaurant! Hotel rooms, too – I hate their air conditioning – it’s usually noisy and I don’t sleep well in air conditioned rooms.
5. Getting into a hot car that’s been sitting in the sun – I can open the windows a little bit and put a sunshade over the windshield while it is parked, but these things don’t help too much – and if I’ve left a water bottle in there, the water is warm, ugh!
In the past, at the top of my list would be “sunburn” – but I don’t get sunburned anymore. My lifestyle has changed and I tend to protect myself, if needed, with sunscreen, but mostly by wearing a hat! And I just don’t go lie on beaches anymore – skin cancer is too much of a risk!
It’s Monday once again and time for Melanie’s Share Your World! Her questions this week are all about criminal behavior we may have engaged in. (No, not serious stuff – just petty crime!)
Have you ever ‘dined and dashed” (i.e. eaten the meal and then run out the restaurant door without paying)?
Yes, but only by accident! My husband and I were eating at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. The proprietors there knew us because we ate there so often. My husband had to leave to go somewhere – I don’t remember where – and left me to pay the bill. At this place, usually we’d just go up to the cashier and they’d find our bill and we’d pay – rarely in those days did they bring the bill to the table ahead of time. I was finished eating and just lingering over the dregs of a margarita and no one was paying attention to me at that point. I was distracted, and just got up and left. Maybe I went to the restroom first, I don’t remember. I went home and forgot all about it until the next morning, when I woke up and realized, I had never paid for our meal!
So I dashed over there and confessed my sin sheepishly as I handed over my credit card. The young woman we knew pretty well must have realized I’d left without paying, because she had no trouble finding our bill – probably it had been found at the end of the evening when they reconciled the money and the receipts. She wasn’t mad at all – in fact, she laughed! We were regular customers and she knew we weren’t the kind of people to leave without paying so there were no hard feelings.
Have you ever been in a car accident and either left the scene of the accident (providing it was a fender bender and not serious) or denied culpability for causing it when you did, (if it were minor or serious)? Not exactly. I did leave the scene when I had to bump a couple of cars purposely to maneuver my way out of a tight spot.
I was substitute teaching in Chicago and was leaving the elementary school I had worked at that day, intending to drive to my tutoring job several miles farther into the city. That particular school had a fairly large parking lot, but even though I always arrived at least a half an hour early, there were usually very few parking spaces left – in fact, that day I got the last one. I did briefly wonder where latecomers were going to park, but that wasn’t my problem.
I got back to my car at the end of the day and saw that there was an SUV parked directly behind my car, blocking me in, because there were also cars parked on both sides of me. The SUV was illegally parked. I didn’t want to go back inside, so I called the office to tell them someone was blocking me in and could they please make an announcement for the person whose vehicle it was (I gave her the type of car, color, and license plate number) to come out and remove it? The office secretary said she would do so. I hung up and waited.
And waited. I kept looking at my watch – time passed and no one appeared. When there were only 15 minutes left before my tutoring session, I was really mad. The SUV was directly behind my car, but not behind the car to my left. So I started my car, turned the steering wheel, backed a little, then went forward a little, inching my way out of the tight spot. (It did cross my mind to slash the SUV’s tires or at least leave a note, but I didn’t.) In order to get out of the spot it was necessary for me to hit the cars on either side of me, which I did very gently, as well as the SUV, which I hit several times and made no effort to prevent damage – although it scratched my car too, I didn’t care by that point.
I felt proud of myself for figuring out how to maneuver my car out of that spot as I sped down the street toward my waiting tutoring students. I eventually gifted that car to my daughter and son-in-law, who still use it and it still runs beautifully. Every time I see the telltale scratches on the lower right hand side of the bumper, I still think about that day!
(Oldie which has been asked many times before) Have you ever found a wallet or purse or some money (over $20) in the street and just taken it, thinking ‘finders keepers, losers weepers? Or would you be ‘good’ and hand it in? Fortunately, I have only found cash which most likely fell out of someone’s pocket. Impossible to trace – therefore, it was mine! The first time it happened, I was feeling poor after paying the exorbitant entrance fee to Six Flags Great America for me, my son and his friend. I was walking along thinking that I was surely going to spend every remaining cent I had for snacks and rides, when I spied some greenbacks on the ground! Three 5-dollar bills! That really made my day – and it was long enough ago that $15 could actually buy stuff at amusement parks and have a bit left over. More recently, I found a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk near my home. I looked around – no one was around to claim it.
But no, I’ve never found a wallet and if I did, yes, I would return it with its contents intact. I say this because I have ADHD and that means I tend to lose things. Once I left a credit card at a national park – and got it back! True, I did notice it missing and called the park, which located it and sent it back to me via UPS. My husband also lost his wallet once and it was returned, sans cash. He didn’t really care about the cash – it wasn’t much and more important were his driver’s license and other important documents. So I would do the same for someone else (except I wouldn’t keep the cash). With modern technology, it’s terrible to lose IDs and debit cards which are easily forged and in these pandemic times, not so easy to replace.
Recently my son and a friend were in downtown Chicago in the middle of the night – the streets were mostly deserted because of the Covid-19 lockdown, so it was very foolish of them to be hanging around down there. Anyhow, some gangbangers came along, beat them up, and took everything they had, including my son’s phone, debit card, and passport (he was using it as an ID having had his license suspended a few months before) and even now, more than a month later, my son is still trying to recoup his losses. And God knows what someone could do with a passport, valid for nine more years! Easily forged, I’m sure. His social security card was also in there, so there’s a danger someone will steal his identity. The debit card wasn’t too bad – the bank reversed the charges that had been made illegally, but only after he got a new phone because the old one was stolen.
What was the last thing you stole or shoplifted? If you never ever considered doing that, tell us your secret! I never did this, really. I mean, doesn’t everyone pilfer a few cheap office supplies – pens, rubber bands, etc. – from their workplace? I also stole my mother’s cigarettes and hid them because I wanted her to quit smoking, but she always bought more and eventually found my hiding places.
I never considered shoplifting, but there’s no secret. I was brought up not to steal. My family wasn’t poor and I never lacked what I needed. I even felt guilty about taking boxes of paper clips or post-it notes from the supply room at work, although I did occasionally do that – and no one missed them because there were stacks of those little boxes in the supply room.
Gratitude! I’m grateful for new life in the world around me!
My car is a source of several types of reflections:
Reflections of holiday lights on its hood
Light from its headlights reflecting on snowfall
An image in its driver’s side mirror (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Bodies of water are also great sources for photographing reflections:
One of the ponds at our senior community – the reflection was clearer on the water side (left) than the ice side (right).
Hippo and its reflection (Serengeti National Park, Tanzania)
Egrets on the edge of a lake (Tarangire National Park, Tanzania)
In this close-up of two geese that are part of a sculpture, the reflection of the top of the sculpture, geese in flight, can be seen in the pond. (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
Polished surfaces, such as glass and mirrors, are good places to look for reflections.
Glass pots on display at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington – the pattern at the bottom of the pot on the left is reflected on the platform.
Glass sculpture on the roof of the museum after a rainfall – the birds are actually reflected in the puddle – it reminded me of the egrets in Tanzania!
The polished floor in the courtyard of a mosque in Cairo, Egypt
It took me awhile looking at this photo to realize it was actually a mirror image I was photographing, at a restaurant in Cairo. There was also a mirror at the far end, where the actual scene of our group having dinner was reflected, in the second photo.
Finally, semi-spherical mirrors were used to enhance flower exhibits at the annual orchid show (Chicago Botanic Gardens). This photo is a bit blurry but I liked the reflection – and you can see my camera in my hand at left!
And now, a theme-related video of a golden oldie from the 1960s!