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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
...one page at a time
March 12th, 2018 
time-flies
I'm more than a little disturbed with myself this morning...

I need to find some way, somehow, to keep blogging daily. Even if it's a bunch of short entries here and there. Because I don't blog only for fun or to be social -- it's how I track things Marilyn and I do. And I did a bad job in November and December of 2017, and have continued doing a bad job this year (January, February and March 2018).

Why does this matter?

For example, I track medical conditions here. Doctor appointments. Changes in insurance. Medication. When we feel puny and when we feel great. I track when we have house maintenance. When we shop, especially for major items. And little things, like when I get hair cuts, when I color my hair and when we get manicures and pedicures. For years now when I need to look something up, I do it here in my blog. And it's a system that's worked really well for us.

Plus I should have learned my lesson back in 2012 when I let things slide -- and how disappointing it is to go back and NOT be able to check things from that year (when we bought and furnished our beach house).

Why am I bothered today?

I was looking for information about our oil, which I keep here. We moved in to this house in April 1994. I didn't get this blog until June 2002, and didn't really start to keep it decently until 2005. But as we age -- and my memory declines -- I find this blog more and more valuable!

Anyway, our normal pattern for purchasing oil is to stick (see what we have) in November, then buy in November before it gets really cold. Sometimes we don't buy until December (the first part). We usually get 200 gallons (depending on price and what we can afford). Then I would stick again in February, and we'd order more oil, if necessary. And repeat next November. It's a pattern that has worked great for us forever. I used to be the one doing this when we still lived with our folks, so this goes back to my early twenties, believe it or not. Haha.

In my blog I only saw April (April???) references for oil for all of 2017. That had to be wrong! I mention once in November sticking the oil. But that's it.

Okay, I haven't felt great for months. I've had some minor, thankfully, memory issues. I turned 65 in December and we took our big trip to NYC. January and February have been tied up with this new health stuff -- plus a ton of health insurance issues (related to being 65). Excuses, but a few good ones.

I'm the 'wife' -- I've always done house maintenance! I did the oil from my teenage years before we moved out at Mom and Dad's, and have always done it for the two of us. (I did tons of house maintenace starting in high school -- thanks for the trust and responsibility, Mom and Dad!) And I'm not an idiot about this stuff, as I just said via phone to Donn. I've helped with plumbing for years and done minor stuff myself. I've helped with electrical, helped roof two houses, re-wired minor appliances and one landline telephone (using very inadequate tools). Plus I used to clean the gutters myself and do the yard work (until we started hiring it done). I've been the one dealing with all our house contractors (when we got our new roof, our new gutters, our new deck, our fence, our garage door, our second bathroom, the new front walk, the painting inside and out, our new furnace -- and probably a ton of things I'm forgetting). I'm a cross between 'wife' and being 'the man' when things like this come up. In a house with two women and no man, you figure it all out as you go -- but somebody has to do it.

Marilyn has done her share of hands on over the years, too. But she needed to work -- to earn the money to pay for all these things! And that trumps my contribution any day! Hahaha. When we first lived here I did our lawn. But it was a bear, and I didn't do it for many years, thankfully... And I finally quit cleaning the gutters after the time I was alone and hanging from them (!!!), struggling to get the ladder back under me before I fell to the ground. I might not be the fastest to turn over tasks, but I know when it's time to give in and get a professional.

Yes, Dad. He's asking me (memories of these questions are strong) to get back to the primary subject for today: the oil. He taught me to stick often during winter months -- he believed in tracking use weekly. He taught me never to let the tank go below 60 gallons, so we weren't drawing from the sludge. If you've never had oil, this is important. There's always sludge at the bottom of the tank. If you go too low you can get this into the furnace and have hell to pay. I have my fingers crossed that we'll be okay on that one! I'll never forget the time I was down to 40 gallons and freaking out -- I turned the furnace off until after delivery! I felt sick when I stuck and found us under 20 gallons.

So what the hell happened?

April last year was a fluke, admittedly. We had a long winter and cold spring, still running the furnace into April. I can't get over that! Usually we quit the furnace in March, except for a few days... Donn said I needed automated reminders, and I guess he's right. Man, that's a bit of a blow. He was gentle, but he mentioned aging. I guess there's no getting around it.

Good news! I started this entry around 9:00. It's now 11:30 and the plumber has come and gone. We have a working toilet in Marilyn's bathroom! (woo hoo)

Now let's keep our fingers crossed about tomorrow. I'll be praying the lines are clear of sludge (please, Dad?) and that we get the oil delivery early in the day.

More later...