Embracing Laziness

I thought about not writing a blog today, more out of laziness than anything else, but considering that I’m on a 361-day blogging streak, I figured it would be silly to give in to my laziness a mere four days from a full year’s worth of posts.

The laziness comes from the smoky air, I believe, rather than an inherent character flaw, though to be honest, I do embrace my laziness — assuming hours spent reading is laziness. (Reading could be something other than laziness, of course, perhaps a desire to live as many lives as possible before my expiration date.) But the smoky air coming to us from the fires on the west coast are exacerbating my allergies, and a major component of my allergy reactions (besides sinus pain and chest congestion) is lethargy.

Still, I did do some things today. I received a package of plants in the mail, though I was surprised to see them. First, they were supposed to be here earlier in the week, then they were held up at the post office somewhere until next week. At no point was today mentioned. Luckily, the plants are in pots because although they are supposed to be planted immediately, my lazy side says they will be fine for another day. After all, they weren’t supposed to be delivered until Monday, so how are the plants to know they’re not still in transit?

It amazes me the things that take hold and do well and the things that don’t. For example, last fall, I bought some New England asters because I liked the color and thought they’d brighten up my stoop. When the flowers all died, I buried what was left. (I actually planted it, but it seemed more of a burial since I thought the whole thing was dead). And look at it now! So vibrant!

My contractor stopped by for a few minutes to pick up some tools he left here, and while we were talking with the garage door opened, the closer started to buzz. He looked around and asked what that sound was. I motioned him back into the garage and said, “Wait.” The buzzing got more insistent, and then suddenly, the door started to close. We both got a kick out that. Such a cool thing that closer is! I don’t have to worry if my laziness kicks in and I forget to close the door.

He’ll be back tomorrow to fold back a section of the fence so he can get a skid steer into the yard to help spread the concrete for my sidewalk on Monday. The cement mixer is too big to get into the yard, and so they were planning on using wheelbarrows to get the concrete where it needs to be. Yikes. If I had to do the work, forget it. Even without my current lazy streak, I wouldn’t be able to do anything that intense. But then, that’s why I have him. Meantime, I’ll get introduced to another tool — if a piece of equipment can be called a tool. That should be fun even though I won’t be the one driving.

Well, what do you know — I managed to put together a post of sorts after all. My streak remains unbroken. Yay!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Gadgets, Gizmos, and the Exasperating Mysteries of Life

I wondered if the smoke alarm’s tendency to chirp at 2:00 in the morning when the battery is old had anything to do with the temperature, so I read a few articles, and apparently I was right. The cooler temperatures in those pre-dawn hours affect the battery output, and if the battery is getting low, the smoke alarm chirps. I was excited at seeing this confirmation of my surmise until it occurred to me that this scenario did not fit with my 2:00 am chirping because I’d turned off the air conditioner, and the temperature at that time was the highest it had been for several hours. Since I know that high temperatures also affect batteries (my car battery went dead in July one year, which is how I found out), it’s possible the high temperature had an effect, but the house had been hotter earlier in the day.

So I’m back to thinking that the early morning chirping is one of those exasperating mysteries of life, like the annoyance of a cricket in the house, the irritation of mosquitoes in the bedroom, the disturbance of a dripping faucet, the nuisance of a running toilet valve.

One of the articles I read was really an ad for a smoke alarm that had a built-in 10-year battery, which is all fine and dandy, but what happens in ten years when the thing starts chirping at 2:00 am and a simple battery substitution doesn’t eliminate the noise? I’ll stick with what I have for now. Maybe the next time I need to replace the smoke alarms, the ten-year devices will last to my expiration date, and will annoy the folks who end up in the house. A present from me, so to speak.

Considering the success I had in changing all the batteries by myself, even to the point of dragging a ladder from the garage into the house, I thought I’d tackle another little project involving a gadget that I’ve been putting off — installing an automatic garage-door closer.

My door is equipped with a non-automatic closer — me! — but since I am preparing for my old age, and since I tend to be a bit absentminded at times, I figured an automatic closer would be nice. I followed all the steps of the instructions, even found the “learn” button on the opener and set up the ladder so I can reach it, but somehow, the closer and opener didn’t connect. I tried again, but got the same non-result, though the two gadgets are supposed to be compatible. Another exasperating mystery.

If I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, and if The Bob ever declines enough that travel is again an option for more people, I’ll see if my brother can get the gizmo to work the next time he comes to visit. (The closer was his idea in the first place, so he should be able to.)

Meantime, I am trying to get in the habit of being patient and waiting until the door is completely closed before taking off. Considering that not everyone in the neighborhood is as honest as my immediate neighbors, I figure it’s best not to give the larcenous neighbors an opportunity to sneak in before the door is completely closed. (That’s one of the ways felonious folk break into people’s houses, and even though the garage isn’t connected to the house, I wouldn’t want anyone in my garage illegally anyway.)

Gadgets, gizmos, and the exasperating mysteries of life. What a day!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator