Wednesday’s Wandering Thought

He did another little DIY project, replacing the diverter on a bathtub spout. Not difficult, and yet it solved a minor problem, and that felt satisfying.

After that, he wandered around the house, searching for other things to fix. Finding nothing (although some caulking could be in order), he instead culled their financial files, taking out and shredding years of information. It, too, was satisfying, but in a different way.

What next, he wondered. What next?

The Appliances Dream

My wife and I were once again young and were living in a home with an enormous kitchen. Filled with hyper-modern stainless-steel appliances, it had blonde wood cabinets and a dark, brick red tile floor. I didn’t think that combo worked in the dream but shrugged it off. Besides those aspects and the appliances, I don’t think the room had any windows, but it did have two sinks, which impressed me although I wondered if two sinks were necessary, and a huge work island with a redwood top.

I actually spent the first dream segment admiring where I was, the newness of the appliances, the size of the kitchen, how modern everything was. The refrigerator especially impressed me. About eight feet tall, the combo refrigerator-freezer unit featured an interesting, complex set of controls on the side to control different interior sections to store different foods at different temperatures. Beyond that, I drifted to looking at the range and stove, microwave, and dish washer. Looking at the microwave led me to exclaim, “Look at all the things it can do,” but in the immediate aftermath of that, my wife said, “The refrigerator isn’t working.”

She said that with angry intensity and stormed around the kitchen, complaining about it, talking about shutting it off, calling repair people, etc. I returned, “Hold on, it has this complex control. There’s probably a self-diagnosis aspect to this.” As I began thumbing through the electronic menus, she then announced, “Now the microwave is broken.”

Going to her, I asked, “How is the microwave broken?” Instead of answering me, she began furiously cleaning the floor with a mop and rag. I tried talking with her, but she brooded and focused on cleaning. She surprised me by sliding the large island to one side to clean the floor beneath it. As the island had covered the floor, it looked spotless, which I pointed out. Answering, “It still needs cleaned,” she stormed away to get more cleaning supplies. Figuring that I wasn’t going to dissuade her from cleaning, I cleaned that floor section, and then moved the island again and cleaned the floor there.

Dream end.

A Mundane Work Dream

In several ways, I deem this one of the strangest dreams I’ve recently experienced. It was literally like I was at work. My team were all there, working for me as in the early days of this century. Like that time, I was explaining some of the things I did and how it was done, instructing others to reduce mystery and increase illumination.

Nothing special. Then I was at home with my wife. I found three areas which were partially repaired. That is, the initial repairs were done, but they needed to be finished. All were regarding the walls where some damages had been inflicted. I called it out to her, asking, “What are we going to do about this? We can’t just leave this like this.”

Next, she and I were cleaning. She vacuumed the carpet with our Hoover upgright while I vacuumed the furniture with the central vac’s brush.

Then, I’d returned to work. It was a new location and I’d forgotten my coffee cup. Oh, no, I didn’t have a coffee cup! What shall I do? It was a joke with me and all my co-workers. I said, “Well, I’ll just use a foam cup (gasp, shudder), or paper, or borrow a cup, or buy a new one.” I set about doing that as a side project while greeting co-workers.

The biggest shock arrived. Lt/Capt Z, who I’d worked with for four years in the military in Germany arrived. He was completely as he was then, in his flight suit, sleeves rolled up. We each asked the other, “What’re you doing here?” We laughed and shook hands, happy to see one another.

Dream end.

I think this dream germinated with nostalgia, a sort of look back by my subconscious to more pleasant and predictable times. The wall repairs section with my wife was interesting. Looks like something is repaired but not finished. Although, the idea next that we’re, ‘cleaning up’ but going about it differently, was striking.

Heard on Zoom

A friend, Marsha, had her sister visiting. Knowing her sister, she’d thoroughly cleaned and tidied before the other arrived.

Marsha thought everything looked pretty good.

Toward the end of the sister’s visit, they were talking about the other sister, and which one was ‘the tidiest’. The visiting sister concluded they were probably about the same. Later in the day, Marsha’s sister indicated the trash can and asked, “Do you want me to wash this for you?”

That sister has left. The other sister is due Sunday.

Marsha begins cleaning today.

The Shower Hack

We’re always trying life hacks. As we’ve been alive and functioning for over half a century, most are suggestions that we’ve already tried and discarded. Still, we press on, looking for better ways of doing things.

One area is the master bath shower. We’ve owned this house for fourteen years. We moved in when it was new. First occupants. Keeping that shower stall clean has been tooth-grinding frustration from the get.

The shower isn’t large. A three feet wide by four feet long rectangle, one wall is a glass door and panel. The rest are ceramic tile. None are easy to clean. Hard water loaded with minerals combined with soap and shampoo scum load up in layers that refused to away.

Trying to clean it became a hobby. I’d search stores and online, looking for products and methods to do the job. Everything fell short.

Until now.

My wife read a new hack last week. “This hack says that Finish Powerballs dishwashing tabs will clean your shower glass.”

“I’ll try it.” There wasn’t even hesitation to wonder or doubt. Just try it. What’s to lose.

So we bought package, the only size available in the store, for $12.87, a price that made me think, it’d better work for that price. Then again, /i’ve tried much more expensive and caustic products. With fourteen tabs in the box, the price seems reasonable per use.

Today, after reviewing an article and video, I gloved up and tried it on the glass. Right off, I could feel it cutting the build. I rinsed.

Pretty good, but…

Getting a second one out, I modified my approach. My first effort, I’d done circles, imitating The Karate Kid. (“Wax on, wax off.”) This time, I went vertically, then horizontally. The first time, I dried it after rising. This time, I just rinsed.

Holy cow. As Kylie Klein-Nixon said in the article, a resounding success.

An Old Post – Out with the Old

Visiting my Red Room archive, where I posted for a while, and read one of my final post. It’s from June, 2014, but it remains valid. As soon as the pandemic lockdown began, my wife began cleaning. The thinking remains the same…

Here’s the post.

My wife has been on a continuing project.  Starting in March, she selected a room and cleaned it.  Emptied the closets.  Drawers.  Each item and article was examined.  Subjected to investigation.  Do we need it, do we use it?  Bag after bag was filled.  Trips to the Salvation Army and Goodwill were executed. I helped a little but she made it a project, creating lists, planning and executing foot by foot.

We’re down to two spaces she wants to clean:  the garage and my office.

My office.  My sanctuary, my Fortress of Solitude plus one and two cats. See, although it’s my office, that’s just a title.  She has begun calling it the snug.  It’s the warmest room in the house in the winter.  Heat attracts her.  It also has the best wifi connectivity and excellent natural light.  She urged me to buy a larger television for my office, then a recliner….  Despite being an experienced husband, I fell for both. She makes the recliner her home for reading, surfing the net, watching television and talking on the telephone.

Most stuff in the office is mine.  Much is writing or work related.  Clearing her throat in early June, she cautiously suggested we clean the office and get rid of some ‘accumulated junk’.  “Junk!” my heart cried.  She was calling my heritage junk.  Oh, the wound.

“You said you wanted to clean the garage,” I countered.  I’d been waiting for this strike.  “You can start there.  After all, most of the boxes in there are full of things you’re storing.”  Aha, take that!  En guarde!

The negotiations entered a tricky phase.  “I will admit that most things we store in the garage are mine,” she said, tiptoeing through words and tone, “and we should go through those boxes but I’m not ready to do it yet.”

A chink in her logic.  Riposte.  “I understand what you mean,” I replied.  “I’m not ready to go through my office…yet.”

Negotiations were at an impasse.  Weeks passed.  She returned with a counter offer.  “How about we each take out five things from the office?”

“Okay,” I answered.  “And two from the garage.”

She grimaced.  “If we get rid of things, we make room for new things.”

“Assuming that we want new things.  What if I’m happy with the things I’ve already acquired?  Besides, if that’s the case, there’s more junk in the garage.  If we want to make room for more things, shouldn’t we then start with the garage, where more things currently reside?”

My wife launched a rant about the junk we’ve accumulated.  I let her rant until she’d spat it all out.  Silence fell.  She sank her shoulders.  “Okay.  How about five from the office and two from the garage?”


That’s where it was left, five days ago.  I’m no fool.  She’s not forgotten.

Tick, tock.


Easter Pancakes

When we began hunkering down, my wife used it as an excuse to clean out the freezers, frig and pantry. (Yeah, she’s one of those people who said, “Now I have time to clean things,” and then cleaned, making the rest of us in the household (which is me and the three cats, so, really, we’re talking about me, because the cats don’t care) look bad. (Yeah, I’m over it, okay?) While doing that, she found some lemon and blueberries pancake mix.

We’d bought it a while ago at a locally famous mill, famous because it’s been there a long time and still does things the old fashioned way, and there’s nothing else like that in the area. Called Butte Creek Mill, it burned down in December, 2015. Because it was local and famous, we visited it and the pancake mix about six years before it burned down. So, it’s old stuff.

There wasn’t any date on it. My wife wanted to pitch it. “It can’t be good.” She opened it. We smelled it. Everyone knows that smelling is the second best scientific way to check for freshness. I let one of the cats smell it, but he just walked away with a bored tail shrug.

“Smells good to me,” I said. Then said, “Save it. I’ll make us pancakes on Easter morning. It’ll be fun.”

That brings us to today.

I rose, made breakfast and ate it (oatmeal with cranberries, walnuts, with granola on top), made coffee, and started writing. My wife came out a little later. “I thought you were making us pancakes this morning.”

This morning? Today? Oh, yeah, Easter. “Sorry, I was writing in my head and went to auto-pilot and forgot.”

She gave me a glare that made the sleeping cats wake up and leave (that’s why they left in my mind — they were sensing danger). I proposed to make the pancakes for brunch. “You don’t like eating this early anyway,” I said, like that made it all okay, because I was really thinking of her.

“Fine.” I could tell she wasn’t pleased.

Fast forward a few hours. I made the pancakes. We don’t have cow milk so used vanilla almond milk. One egg refused to leave its perch in the carton. Instead of taking one of the other thirteen eggs available as a sane person would do, I tried pulling it out and put my thumb through the shell.

Stupid egg.

Now I had an egg mess to clean up. I also wondered if it was a bad omen for the eggs, because these things must happen for a reason, and the reason could be as a warning, “Don’t eat the pancakes.”

(In hindsight, though, that one egg was the only one on that side. I’d wondered why it’d been left alone on that side. Now I suspect that my wife set me up. She can be diabolical.)

But the pancakes were made, and we haven’t died yet. They were delicious. Even though the blueberries seemed like pea stones in the batter, when they cooked up, they were moist, and looked and tasted just like real blueberries.

The package made about twenty-six pancakes about six inches in diameter (because that’s how I like them). We ate some and froze eighteen with wax paper between them. Now we have something to look forward to finding when we clean the freezer again.

It’ll probably be during the next pandemic.

The Superpower Dream

I recall three dreams from last night. 

The most memorable had me with superpowers. Yes, I became known as Time Man.

It started with a gorgeous day and a house being built. Standard construction techniques were being employed, and the footers, floors, and frame were all completed. Don’t know if I had a role in building it, but I remember looking at the house under construction, and walking around it in interest.

I then became aware that a large family were after me. From what I witnessed and overheard, they had superpowers and apparently had established a mission for themselves to corral and stop others with superpowers. Hence, they were after me.

At this point, I didn’t know that I had superpowers, and I don’t know how they discovered it. But now, suddenly being chased by this family of twenty donning costumes, I took off, time-jumping to safety. Why, how did I do that? I wondered after doing that. What exactly had I done?

I figured out that, while remaining on Earth and in the proper era, I’d both traveled in time to a few minutes into the future, and I’d also used PK to transport myself about a mile from where I was. Both of these impressed me.

Some of the superpower family (SPF, in shorthand) found me. I jumped again, going further in time and distance to buy some time (sorry). Exploring my abilities, I found that I had become aware of two arrows of time running in parallel, and that I was using both, but also using the time void between them. (I don’t know how the hell I figured all that out.)

Several SPF found me again. This time, I used my powers to freeze them in time, something that I’d learned that I could do. With them frozen in time, the SPF parents caught up with me. By now, confident in myself and what was going on, I confronted them and explained my powers, and told them that I didn’t plan to be evil, so they shouldn’t be afraid or try to stop me. A lengthy discussion about evil and intentions ensued. Essentially, they argued, how could they trust me, and I countered, then why shouldn’t I try to stop them? I could use their own argument about them. They said they had a history, and I replied, yes, but we’re talking about intentions, and subsequently, about unintended consequences.

About that time, the SPF members I’d time-froze (don’t know what else to call it without more thought) thawed and began moving, and other SPF folks began arriving. Mom and Dad stopped their children and began explaining that an agreement had been made for me to leave them alone and vice versa. Then I went off to play with time and explore my powers.

The dream ended, leaving me feeling, “Wow,” but also amused while wondering, “What the hell was that all about?”

One of the other dreams had to do with Mom and my family. I was having dinner with them. Dinner was being prepared, mostly by Mom and my sisters in the kitchen. The kitchen adjoined the dining and living room areas, creating one space. It wasn’t large, and circe 1960s furniture filled it. For example, the kitchen table and chairs had curved chrome legs. The table top was marbled gray Formica, and the seat cushions were bright red vinyl.

Now let’s get into the weird stuff. A man and his boys had a mirror setup, but there wasn’t any wall between us. We and they pretended to ignore one another while going through parallel activities of preparing our meal and sitting down to eat.

Mom and my sisters began talking, though, and left, surprising me. We hadn’t eaten, the food wasn’t prepared, and they’d left a mess in the kitchen. Vexed by this turn, I cleaned and organized, discovering chicken parts left in plastic bags in dish water in the sink. Mom briefly came by. I told her what I’d found and asked her what she was thinking, but she left without replying. Exasperated, I continued cleaning, and then prepared the meal. I waited for the others but when they didn’t show, I sat down to eat what I had.

I was sitting opposite the man and his son. They were white, both with dark hair. Taciturn and glum, the man appeared to be in his mid-forties. He was overweight and slovenly in appearance, with a flannel shirt over a white tee-shirt, and he hadn’t shaved. His son seemed to be about ten.

At this point, we were eating but not paying attention to each other, but I couldn’t help but surreptitiously note what was going on and observe. While doing that, I saw his son doing something, but I can’t recall what it was. However, I told the boy a better way to do it.

He and I looked at the father for a reaction. After a few minutes, while putting food on a plate, the man said without looking at the boy or me, “Listen to him, and do what he says. He knows what he’s doing.”

The dream ended.

Two Dreams

Both of these dreams intrigued me, but for different reasons.

In the first, I was visiting a place cohabited by many places. I knew this. I was in the kitchen, a square and white, cluttered, noisy room, but I was basically passing through while I awaited others. In there, I noticed this red plastic stuff. Even in the dream, I said, “I don’t know what this stuff is.” I didn’t; nor did I know their uses. Key to me then was that it was filthy, absolutely coated with slime and grease, and I was appalled.

“My god,” I said in the dream, “don’t any of you ever clean?”

A woman who lived there entered the kitchen at that point and answered, “They never clean.” She was busy making something and kept up a commentary about how dirty things were. Oddly, it was actually only the red pieces that were filthy. There seemed to be three of them.

“Let’s clean these off,” I suggested. Moving to the sink as she did, I began cleaning one while she prepared her meal. “Run some hot water over this,” I requested. She did as I used a scrub brush. The coat of grease and slime was being easily removed.

The others I’d been waiting for were now ready to leave, and called me. I told them to hold on so I could clean further.

After thinking about this today, I decided that this was in line with my recent line of dreams about lost identity. The aspect of my power being dirty and never cleaned followed the sense that I’d lost my way. Now I’ve cleaned it off. That’s exciting as hell.

The second dream, well, bordered on the unusual. It was about family.

I was driving my wife and mother-in-law to a store. We were in an older Blazer or Yukon, I’m not certain of which. We arrived at a cluttered and busy five and dime. As we entered, I thought I saw my wife’s sister and her husband walking away. This is where it became interesting. After awakening and thinking about that scene, I realized that the store was located by my mother’s house, and my sister-in-law and her husband were walking to mom’s house.

Meanwhile, in the dream, I wanted to confirm it was them. Without telling my wife and mother-in-law, I raced through the store to go back out. It was busy, though, and difficult to get through. When I finally reached an exit, I discovered that I’d taken the wrong exit. Instead of going outside, I was exiting into the mall.

Realizing my error, I hurried back through the store and found the right exit. Jumping into my vehicle, I drove down the road, but they were gone. I wasn’t surprised, because I believed they were taking a shortcut home, and had turned off onto one of the side streets.

Of course, the dream interested me for several reasons. One was the juxtaposition of family members and locations. The second was that my sister-in-law can’t, or won’t walk as seen in the dream, because of health issues.

These seemed like a cautionary dream for me not to confuse relationships and situations regarding my extended family.

Do you have any dreams to share? Cheers


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