Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Living simply. And tiny.

It is still vacation and it is still raining. I don't believe those two are linked together, but when we return to school Monday if the sun comes out I'll be less sure of that.

A LOT of rain has pushed through today. Temps were warm though, upper 60s
The rain has been wreaking some havoc. We are under a flash flood watch and indeed, the river down at the State Park at Comer has overflowed its banks and inundated the parking lot. Friends who ventured out tell me that Ingles and Kroger parking lots and the road approaching the two grocery stores were flooded with lots of water. I scheduled a trip to the stores on Friday then I remembered Friday is New Year's Day, and the day before that is New Year's Eve. I wouldn't make it till Sat or Sun, I was nearly out of litter as it was.

Ugh, I had to reschedule my weekly airing out and that meant going out today. But the thunder was booming and the rain was pouring so I decided to just go the one mile into Comer to the Dollar Store, and grab a few fresh things at the tiny grocery store next door. (A store I never go into). I'm glad I didn't make the trek even the 8 miles up the the slightly less tiny grocery store I usually shop at because of all the water on the roads. I got soaked just bringing the cart out to the car and walking it back. I always walk it back. I feel guilty leaving an unattended cart in the middle of the parking lot.

I am still having a quiet week. I love it. Right now I've got the Jimmy Buffet station on Pandora and listening to tunes from Buffet, Creedence, Paul Simon, James Taylor, etc.

I have watched a lot of tube. Well I don't own a TV but I watch on the internet on my laptop. I fell in love with The Detectorists, a British slow moving, quiet show about a small group of friends in County Essex who use metal detectors as a hobby to find Saxon gold, or more usually, pop tops and coins. I had mourned the loss of the 2-season BBC show called The Cafe, and The Detectorists is very much like The Cafe. Witty, understated, character driven, quiet, but sentimental and tender. British shows only have a 6 episode season so bingeing through 2 seasons is still only half as long as one American season of a show. I finished The Detectorists a few hours ago and I hope there will be a third season someday, but no one is sure if it is coming back.

I also watched a Doris Day film called That Touch of Mink, which was just OK as far as plot goes and visually stunning but had Audrey Meadows which was the best thing about it. Also the back and forth between Gig Young and Cary Grant was great.

A sweet little movie called Foster AKA Angel in the House was also a pleasant find. Interstellar was OK, I fast forwarded it and read the recap after a while just to get it overwith. Good Ol' Freda the story of the Beatles' secretary was a delight from start to finish. The HGTV show Fixer Upper was a delight too, I watched the entire season over the last ten days. Ingrid Bergman in The Inn of Sixth Happiness (story of missionary Gladys Aylward) got me to order her autobiography, which came today. Maid in Manhattan was terrible but I watched anyway, and Little Boy was terrible too.

And sermons, sermons, sermons. I love the internet.

I played with photos and banked some for my morning posts on Facebook.

This is the time of year a lot of people make resolutions, and one of those sometimes is to simplify lives. I learned a lot about living simply throughout the 1990s when I experimented with it. I had to shed the American materialism instilled in me that more is better, bigger is better, and I downsized my house, my car, my possessions. Here is a link that makes sense on how to start simplifying, if that is something you want to do.

101 Physical Things that Can Be Reduced in Your Home

I agree with these in the article. Especially glassware. I have three kitchen cabinets in my small apartment and two are devoted to food and half the other is devoted to Tupperware and casserole dishes. That leaves one shelf for dishes, glasses, bowls and mugs. It's plenty, believe me. I've possessed and given away more furniture than anyone I know. I have a hard time with not collecting too many books but when I buy one it's with giving it away in mind. If I end up with too many that means I'm not giving away enough. The only ones I'll hang onto are the JMac Commentaries and other commentaries. The Tiny House movement is making headway as is the Tiny Apartment movement too, sometimes called micro-housing. The second link mentions aPodments, which are storage containers made into apartments and when you want to move you load the whole container onto the truck and move to a different city (as long as the receiving aPodment has a vacancy). Live small, you won't hoard or possess. Live big, and you'll feel compelled to fill up all that space.

I'm on the downward slope for back to school. Once January 4 hits, there will be a long haul until the next break. We are technically half way through the year. Wow, hard to believe I've been working as a para-professional for 6 years and working for the Madison County Schools for 8. I'm proud of that. Madison County schools are spectacular and the Board, Superintendent and principals are tremendous.

Oh well no point in thinking about work when I still have 4 more wonderful vacation days to cling to! Happy new Year early everyone.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jon Naar: The Birth of Graffiti

This week I wrote about having to go out and do errands. I hate errands. But I also decided to do a little shopping in town, so as to lengthen my 'airing out' as I like to call my reluctant emergence from the apartment, and to support local merchants. I'd found some fabulous finds at a second hand store, one of them being a Swedish classic book printed in the late 1800s with pretty endpapers and a marbled cover. I also mentioned I'd found some other books, two art how-to books and a graffiti coffee table book by John Naar.

I'm not a huge fan of graffiti. Certainly it distresses me when I see it on trains or buildings. It seems to me to be only artistic litter. And yet, there is also something compelling about it. Maybe it's that the voice of the voiceless is crying out from rain darkened streets from the depths of poverty and oppression, the medium being the message, as Marshall McLuhan would say. If we were to put words to the pain of graffiti in poetry it'd be Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl's opening lines:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
I noticed at Thanksgiving when I was re-organizing my photos into folders, that I have apparently taken a lot of graffiti photos over the years. Huh.

In the store when I leafed through Naar's book, I saw that the photos themselves were stupendous. Eyes and faces and fists and art and life and streets and subway tunnels, not howling naked but vibrant and saying something. This guy can take a picture. I bought the book. After all, I could not go wrong for $1.

When I researched Naar I discovered that the man is a renowned photojournalist. I learned that his book The Birth of Graffiti was a follow-up to his (and Normal Mailer's) seminal and culturally ground-breaking book The Faith of Graffiti. I definitely had a find on my hands.

Naar's Wikipedia entry states-
Jon Naar is a British-American author and photographer celebrated for his pioneering images of New York City graffiti in the 1970s. Still active in his nineties, Naar has had a multifaceted career as an intelligence officer in World War II; a globe-trotting executive during the postwar years; and an environmentalist, with nine published books to date.
It seems now with this new information that his book selling for only a dollar is a crime. Some of his work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for heaven's sake!

Of his book The Birth of Graffiti, Wikipedia says-
By the 1970s, Naar's reputation was well established and he was redirecting his energies toward on-location corporate work for a diverse range of clients. Then in 1972, a commission for the London-based design firm Pentagram morphed into a full-length book project, with the 1974 release of The Faith of Graffiti (UK title Watching My Name Go By)—the first book-length examination of New York City graffiti art. Featuring an introduction by novelist Norman Mailer, the controversial collection would become "like a bible to later graffiti artists," in the words of Brian Wallis, chief curator at New York's International Center of Photography. Naar "legitimized" graffiti "a decade earlier than anyone else, and he came at it with a graphic design sensibility—he understood color and composition and bold design." It is for this groundbreaking series that Naar himself remains in demand, with numerous recent retrospectives and a 2007 collection, The Birth of Graffiti, which includes 130 previously unpublished photographs from the original assignment.
Oh my. I definitely, definitely had a find on my hands. There is minimal text in Naar's book, just an introduction, and then the photos speak for themselves. And they do speak. His work is colorful, artistic, voicing the minds and hearts of a generation of graffiti artists/vandals now grown and gone. Graffiti wasn't born in NYC in the late 1960s-early 1970s, that happened in Philly in the late 50s-early 60s. But graffiti came to popular culture in NYC during the cultural revolution and in effect that is where it was really born or at least came to consciousness to the eyes and horror of America. And NYC Mayor John Lindsey who went to war on graffiti, a howling suit shaking fists at empty spray cans and running feet...

Here are a few of my own graffiti shots.

The moral of the story is, when you shop at an eclectic second hand store, keep your eyes open, peer into the untraveled corners, and take your time!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas movie watching: Good Ol' Freda

Merry Christmas! I hope your morning has been relaxing. Or at least joyful over squeals and ripping wrapping paper.

My cat woke me up at 6:00. He likes to shoot a glass coaster off the coffee table. I put it under three heavy coffee table books last night to prevent his unique breakfast call, but he still managed to unearth it and shoot it off the table anyway. Good ol' Murray.

Speaking of good ol', I watched a great documentary last night. It's called Good Ol' Freda. For fifty years, the untold story of Freda Kelly remained untold, until Freda herself decided to speak. Freda was the Beatles' trusted secretary since before their rise to fame until their breakup, 11 years overall, and their friend throughout their rise to fame. Yet never then or now did she capitalize on her insider status to grab fame or money for herself. Her integrity is noted throughout the film. The movie synopsis says,
"Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teen, works for a new local band -- the Beatles -- hoping to make it big. As the band's fame multiplies, Freda bears witness to music and cultural history but never exploits her insider access."

Here is a Guardian story about the premiere, Good Ol' Freda: The Beatles' secretary tells her story.

And here is a review:
Freda Kelly was the the secretary to Brian Epstein and The Beatles and the president of the official fan club all throughout the history of the band, and started with them when she was 17 years old. She was there from the earliest club performances in the Liverpool underground – literally in the case of The Cavern – through and even beyond the breakup. Aside from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr themselves, there’s probably no one living who has more insider info and stories about those heady days than Kelly. And she’s never cashed in on that trusted relationship, nor broken confidences in 50 years. It’s that kind of integrity and trustworthiness, along with hundreds of rare Beatles photos and a soundtrack that features several Fab Four tunes that buoys Good Ol’ Freda from the opening frame.
There are hundreds of candid photos, some archival footage, and the testimony of Freda herself. A documentary that rests as much on one person as this one does needs to ensure the personality is sincere and engaging, and Freda sure is. She's humble and sincere, witty and with a twinkle in her eye, tells the story plainly, but never turning it sordid or gossipy. That's a rare thing for any documentary, but especially one involving the music business. Coming in at an hour and a half, the length is just right. And surprisingly, they managed to obtain permission for four original Beatles songs to be used in the film, along with other great music of the era. All in all, it was a pleasant surprise to discover and well worth watching. On Netflix.

Have a pleasant day with family or whatever you're doing. May it bring you peace, though the best peace of all rests in knowing the reason for the day's celebration, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This is why I love second hand stores

I mentioned earlier today that I'd planned to go out. I needed to do some errands and then I wanted to check out the new stores in town. After I did my mundane things, I went to the new produce shop, then around the corner to the not so new antique shop. It's been there a while but I've never gone in, and they recently expanded, too.

The ladies had a wonderful inventory at present. I fell in love with a mid-century modern chair and a lamp, and enjoyed looking not only at the hung art, but the frames. Gorgeous.

Then I headed to the more my speed price-wise second-hand store. It is an auction house that buys lots when things get damaged or been in a crash or just is used You never know what you'll find, and inventory changes often.

Since I'm frugal, I didn't really have any particular item in mind to buy, except a kitchen cooling/drying rack. When I make candied citrus or bake something I'd like to have a rack to dry or cool the items. But it isn't a big deal as I can make do with what I have. I'm on vacation and I wasn't in a hurry. I was mostly just taking the car for a ride since it doesn't like to sit for long periods, or else it hesitates and tends to want to stall if I let it sit.

I didn't see a drying rack nor did I see anything else to buy or even anything I was especially interested in anything I saw...until...I saw a marbled book lying as a non sequitur amongst some clocks and sheets.

Picking it up, I saw that the marbling was genuine and the leather binding was too. Knowing something about bookbinding, the cover style meant it was probably published in the 1800s. The title page held no publishing information, but the language was foreign. I surmised it was Swedish.

Pretty end papers

Title page, Svenska is the word Sweden in Swedish, so...
It was selling for $2 so I put it in my basket with little hesitation. Now the problem was to find enough other things to raise my minimum limit to $5, the lowest amount they will let you use a credit or debit card. I had no cash on me.

I poked around some more and went to my trusty section where I know I'll find functional things- I usually need a fridge magnet-pad, where I write my grocery list. I also used up my little post it tags to mark pages or verses in my bible when I'm reading. I don't write in my bible or underline, so the sticky tags are my go-to item for marking stuff I want to remember. Hmmm, still not up to $5.

I wandered toward the back of the store. It's in an old gym without large windows, so the place tends to be dark. They have lights stationed around, but it's still a dark place and the back is really dark. I peered around and spotted a bookcase with some books in it. Hmmm, anything good? Yes! I should say so! I found a hardcover John Grisham I never knew existed! "The Innocent Man". I thought I'd read all his books! It had no dust jacket on it but in scanning the first few pages, it looks like one of his non-fiction tomes. It was selling for $1. Score!

Then I found this! I was excited because artist instructional books like the Mixed Media one and the Collage one pictured below usually run around $20-30, and these were all $1. Although I'm not a huge fan of graffiti, I saw when I reorganized my photos on the laptop that I have taken lots of pictures of it. I recently made a folder containing all my graffiti pics. When I saw the book chronicling the rise of graffiti in NYC for $1 I thought it'd be an interesting read.

So definitely the haul was a good one. I came home and looked up August Strindberg, author of the Swedish book. It turns out he was a prolific and famous novelist, playwright and poet in Sweden at the turn of the last century. His book Swedish Destinies and Adventures, the translated title of the one I bought, was published in 1883. Here is a link to his amazing life, career, and hobbies (he was an excellent painter and photographer too).

August Strindberg
A hundred years after his death, August Strindberg (1849-1912) continues to fascinate. He was a trailblazer and innovator in his time and still manages to provoke audiences in theaters around the world.
LOL so I go out the get gas and check for eggplants at the produce store and return home with an antique book by a famous and controversial Swedish playwright and novelist. You never know...that is why I love second hand stores.


I'm going out today.

For most people, leaving their home is something to which they don't give a second thought. They get dressed, open the door, and get in the car and go. For me, it involves a great gearing-up, a mounting up of will and courage. I hate going out.

But it's important to keep the wheels greased and continue doing what is necessary. In this case, going to the bank, getting gas, and hoping to be squeezed in for a haircut. Out. Not in. Sigh.

Gas is the least expensive it's been since 2012, I read in the news headlines. What a relief to pay for a necessity that won't break the bank! So I want to capitalize on that.

Our town is small, very small, lol. One stoplight and about three streets comprise the main part of town. The town in its entirety is widely spread out, with pastures and chicken houses and horses, cows, donkeys, sheep, roosters, and all manner of sheds, barns, and tree-lined ponds. But the commercial center is small. Of course there are the obligatory gas stations competing on three corners, with the Post Office on the fourth. A historic church dominates another nearby corner.

Despite the small size, there is often a lot going on. Over the past months some interesting stores have popped up.

A block out of town (across from my haircut lady) is a store called Second Time Around. I may have mentioned it before. It's a store that buys in bulk, if a truck turned over and the merchandise inside was damaged, they buy it. Oftentimes the merchandise is perfectly fine but the boxes are torn or bent. It's like's 'Warehouse Deals" section where the merchandise is OK but since the box is damaged they can't sell it as new anymore.

Before putting the merchandise on the floor, the proprietors ensure all the parts are there and in working order. Then they sell it at a reduced price. Other stuff is used. And some is absolutely new, but sold at a dramatically reduced price. They bought an old gym which is perfect for their purposes, and it's on a corner along the main drag, so the location is good. For me, it's great because it's a mile from my house, if that.

Inventory changes frequently and you never know what you're going to find. They sell anything from furniture, small appliances, craft supplies, dishware, lawn implements, you name it. It is like Job Lot if you're from Rhode Island or Mardens if you're from Maine. LOL, the last time I was there, as I left a truck pulled up and began unloading the new inventory, including huge snowboards decorated with a painted penguin.

Our town also has a new produce store/deli. It's called Earthly Goods Produce. I haven't been in there but they put up new photos of the interior and it looks like they DO have a lot of produce and one of the piles looked like eggplants, which are not sold in the county except if I go all the way to the border of Athens tot he Kroger with their 50 aisles and mounds of people. Not happening. So, eggplants a quarter mile from me, I'll check it out for sure. With Bountiful Baskets suspended for the holidays and maybe permanently in Georgia, and the last Farmer's Market in town has concluded, this might be a good stop-gap. And hopefully they will make a go of it and add more produce all the time.

There's a store called Shabby Chic Cottage. The ladies re-purpose vintage furniture, and also sell vintage items such as dishware (Fiesta, Hocking glassware etc). I have seen their stuff on the sidewalk as they made tableau to advertise their wares, and looked in the windows when they're closed, but I've never been inside. Nice stuff. Most of it (OK all of it) is out of my price range but I am looking for a Shenandoah-ware Jonquil pattern cereal bowl from Paden City Pottery. If anyone would have it, they would.

A high-end organic artisan bakery located in town but selling retail at the Athens Farmer's Market only had bought a large pizzeria across from Earthly Goods, with intent to open a retail bakery located here. They are in the process of renovations but the renovation is taking a long time. People occasionally ask them on their Facebook Page when they will open, and they keep saying they have run into budget constraints and also have been busy at the Athens Market. But now with the Athens Market holding its final Market of the year they hope to open this month. I hope so too. It's a really good bakery. Crusty bread galore. This is last week's bread they sold at the Athens Farmer's Market, Hazelnut fig bread. Won't it be nice to have a produce store and a bakery across from one another right on town, a halfmile from my house.

There are a few other great places to shop here too. Bendzunas Glass, a real glassblowing artisan factory with retail shop, as well as an authentic Asian market that caters to the Burmese refugees a few miles down the road at Jubilee Partners, and super restaurants like Maggie's Cafe and Chief Burger.

I admit I enjoy writing about going out more than I enjoy going out. I enjoy thinking about it more than doing it. But the bank and the gas station calls, and just as soon as it stops soon as it warms up a soon as the sun comes soon as I check the car's oil soon as I finish watching this episode of HGTV's Genevieve's Renovation...I will definitely go out. Definitely.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Surprisingly warm weekend, quiet Saturday, cooking, cat

What a great day! The morning dawned glowing and warm and it only got better. I walked around the yard at dawn taking photos of the beautiful yard and sunrise.

Then my bible reading today took me through Genesis 31 and Martyn Lloyd Jones definitely lived up to his nickname 'Logic On Fire' in his exposition of Acts 5, the judicial killing of Ananias and Sapphira and the church's reaction to it. What a tremendous preacher is was. I listen on but his sermons are all available at

Cooking today (while listening to Hank Williams cowboy yodeling) yielded mango-cantaloupe smoothie, black bean dip with roasted garlic and cilantro, broccoli-mushroom casserole, and Mexican one-pan quinoa chili.

Now relaxing with making photo verses to post through the week and I'm about to watch Interstellar in a moment. The perfect day of unwinding after a terrible week.

My car broke down and it turned out I needed a new radiator. Rats, and right before Christmas too.

My cat that was very sick died last Monday. I was glad I had opportunity to spend a last weekend with him. The photo below was him sitting next to me while I worked at the laptop on his last day of life. He was a cuddle bunny for sure and loving and a perfect cat. The house has been very quiet without him. Luke will be missed.


Further reading

Why do Autistic people like cats?


Friday, December 11, 2015

Mini-chopper, humus, and upcoming weekend plans

The last few days before Christmas break are tiring and hard. The kids are so wound up anyway. Then on top of that we have a suspended routine. There are last minute tests to administer before the break, the Christmas play, the Polar Express movie and hot chocolate extravaganza, VIC party for the well-behaved kids, Santa coloring pages, craft projects, etc. Long story short, I'm tired.

I got home on a beautiful 65 degree day and walked into my house relieved the weekend was here. The weather has been super these last few weeks! And this weekend supposed to be in the 70s so I'm completely anticipating a nice, relaxing weekend, reading outside.

I had bought a mini-chopper for the express purpose of making dips, humus, etc. I enjoy humus and have no problem making it homemade. However using the blender for that purpose has gotten just too aggravating and frustrating. I don't make huge batches and trying to get the small amount of garbanzo mixture out of the tall blender without getting cut by the sharp blades and NOT leaving half of it behind is just too...

Well anyway I got the mini-chopper. For a one-serving helping of humus it is perfect. I had a plate of humus and carrot sticks with hibiscus chilled tea for a snack when I got home. Yum. That is probably all I'll eat because today was the Annual School Nibbles Buffet. That is not its name, I just made that up. All the teachers, parapros, and staff bring their favorite dish and we lay it out in the teacher's lounge all day and we go back and back to nibble on this and that as we want. I made my oatmeal-banana cookies, and cut up a fresh pineapple. Did you ever notice people always go for fresh fruit? I was at a reception earlier in the week and everyone plowed straight through the fruit platter. I always appreciate fresh fruit at a buffet/event/reception so I cut the pineapple. Only, I cut half of it because I got tired of standing there chopping it up this morning. Yes, I am that person.

I ate some green bean casserole, and some chips and spinach dip, a marvelous petit four, and a tortilla soft wrap pinwheel. I don't know what was in the pinwheel. Something red and something pink. It was good.

Projects for this weekend will be to print out and laminate my arts and crafts Christmas gifts I've made, to rearrange my books (there are three stacks on the coffee table and that is too many not on the shelves), to make cabbage slaw/vegetable soup/bruschetta/something with the tofu, and to nap.

So I'm pleased with the mini-chopper and I am enjoying sitting here with a heating pad on my back, all warm and snug and about to watch some shows. Have a good weekend everyone.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

December in Georgia is wonderful

The mornings start off cold, with frost sometimes but the days warm up to a manageable 50s and 60s. The annual Comer Christmas Parade happens the first Saturday of December. Yesterday lined up along the parade route were people in short sleeves. The 5K Reindeer Run also featured people running in short sleeves. It was a mild day, made good by a warming sun. A good time was had by all, according to the photos I looked at on Facebook. That's as close as I want to get to a crowd, noise, parades, and community.

Today I am not cooking too much, though I should. I have veggies I should roast and sandwich stuff I should prepare, but it's a lazy Sunday and I just can't bring myself to. I did make corn chowder and cut up a bowling ball sized cantaloupe. That will get me through the first part of the week. If I wasn't lazy I would make Slaw for sandwiches (cabbage, roasted broccoli, dried cranberries, and Asian mayo put in a wrap). I'd also roast carrots, the broccoli, potatoes, and toast some pita chips. But no, I am still in my pajamas at 2:20 pm and it looks like it's going to stay that way.

Though I had a great week at school and Friday afternoon ended very sweetly with a group of boys I help in writing, I came home with severe sensory overload. For the life of me I can't figure out why some weeks are good but I get overloaded and other weeks that are not so good I sail through the weekend. Friday nights are the Waterloo. I can hang on till 3:30 but then if I am overloaded, all heck breaks loose.

I got home Friday night with my body throbbing and aching, my stomach nauseous, and my head aching to beat the band. I headed straight for the bedroom, put on my comfy clothes, and pitched into bed at 3:30. I stayed there till 6:00.

Which was sad because I was going to go to a Christmas party at 6:00. I was having a bit of trouble getting myself worked up to go, I'm not usually a fan of small apartments with lots of people and loud laughing. I do like fun, just not the kind of fun that most people like. But I wanted to stretch myself and try some social things. However the physical troubles trumped the mental obstacle and my overload meant I couldn't even try to stretch myself and go to a social gathering.

On my weekly grocery shopping I scored a huge bag of baby spinach for 99 cents. It was still all good but the expiration date was the next day. I brought it home and sauteed it up with onion, lemon-pepper seasoning, and fresh lemon juice, thus putting a halt to any temporary spoilage. The next day I made a dip or a spread, depending on how you look at it. I- combined a can of salmon and some mayo with sour cream with the spinach-onion saute. Plopped atop a crisped bagel and it made a nice open face sandwich. It lasted three days for three more meals. Yummy.

In addition to my Christian non-fiction I'm in the middle of, I started Will Thomas' latest book, "Anatomy of Evil." There is a jack-the-ripper type slasher out and about in 1898 London and the enquiry agents Barker and Llewelyn are out to catch him. I really like Will Thomas. He writes well and atmospherically. Saturday night I cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket and three cats in front of my living room gas heat hissing quietly away. Mmm, see, to me that is fun!

My good old car had a breakdown last week but I cannot complain, it rarely breaks down. I have had it for 8 years and that's saying something since it is a 1993 model with 235,000 miles on it. It needed a new radiator, and once it was installed the cold snap came, so yay for me, I have heat in the car again! Just in time. What a relief to find a reputable and cordial and honest garage. I am soooo thrilled. I remember that Seinfeld episode from the 1990s when the mechanic got mad at Jerry and banned him and Jerry was let adrift and at the mercy of an unknown mechanic. As George said to Jerry in sympathy, they could be telling you that you need a new Johnson Rod and you would never know the difference.

Well, just 9 1/2 more days of school then I am out for a 2-week Christmas break. I can't wait!