SHOWERS, FLOWERS AND SAFETY! – Marilyn Armstrong

Blame it all on Mrs. Angloswiss. She and Marcel finally gave into reality and ordered an updated bath/shower arrangement. With a seat and hand grips and all the good stuff. And easier to clean, I would vouch.

I got really depressed about it because there are many days when I don’t shower because I’m afraid I’ll fall. Stepping over the high edge of the bath is more than my balance is ready for — so I skip it.

This the color we are getting and this is close to what we are getting, though our room is set up differently.

Garry and I have fallen in the shower. Not at the same time, but we’ve both fallen at least once. So far, no one was seriously hurt which is to say that no bones were broken. Although I smashed a finger that took a year to heal, that was a minor thing.

All that being said, it’s a matter of time until one of us takes a serious fall and gets badly broken.

The corner thing holder

Our shower is not as horrible as it could be, but it’s 50 years old and shows it. We replaced the sink a few months ago. The toilet needs a new valve. The old one is so corroded to the pipe you can’t open or close it. If something overflows, we can’t turn the water off. A bit nerve-wracking.

We couldn’t afford a whole bathroom renovation. It’s just much too much money to even think about … but … sometimes, you get lucky.

Garry had a long career on television. We always hope someone will think his recommendation will be good for the product because Garry wouldn’t do it unless he was really impressed. He has this reputation for honesty.

The magic worked! I am happy because this is a good company. The owner is a woman, a designer, fully credentialed. She lives locally and has more than 8,000 local installations for our reference. All the workers are her own employers — no sub-contracting.

I like these products very much. I like where they are made (the U.S.A.), how they are installed, and how easy they are to care for.

Even with a significant discount, we can’t do the whole bathroom. The price for that’s kind of huge. But we are doing it, piece by piece. If only we could afford bigger pieces.

We installed a new sink in April and a new shower-head a couple of months ago. The toilet is in good shape except for needing a new valve. The floor is … well … the old floor. It is exactly like the kitchen floor. More to the point, it is the same floor, but not as worn out. And grubbier because while I can rev myself up to scrub the kitchen floor, by the time I’m done with that, I’m just plain done.

The really important part and the piece which involves our health and safety is the bathtub and shower, so that’s what we will do. It’s not a freebie, but we got a really good deal … AND Garry gets to be a star.

The cameras will roll and he will tell them how fantastic our bathroom is and I’m sure it will be fantastic. He will smile and we will have a safe, clean walk-in shower. With grab bars, places to hold the shampoo and body wash, wash clothes and other stuff. Good-bye old scrubbed-out tub and porous grouted tiles.

Jennifer Bylo, owner and designer for Baystate Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

A non-porous shower with smooth walls, built-in mold resistance. All we’ll need to do will be a quick wash and a rinse. Just the idea of such ease of cleaning is overwhelming. We’ve been working harder and harder at getting the grout in the shower clean, but it’s old and porous and over the years, the mold has been taking over the corners and our backs are not up to crouching in the corners and scrubbing. And apparently, no matter how much we scrub, it won’t ever be really clean again. Porosity from years water.

Close. No cookie, but close.

It’ll be a month before they do the work which should be accomplished in just a single day. It will be right before my birthday so this will be my MOST expensive birthday present but to be fair, Garry owns the room and only lets me in when he is good and ready.

You folks out there can dream your dreams. Exotic vacations and the wonder of faraway places. But a bathroom that’s clean and safe?

Priceless.

BERNSTEIN VERSUS THE BEATLES – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My mother had a friend named Helen who was tall, thin, blond, classically beautiful and always stylishly dressed and coiffed. She could be a bit ditzy but she was a wonderful friend with a wide circle of people who loved her. She was fiercely loyal and would go to great lengths to help, protect, or defend her friends.

Helen in 1979

Helen lived in the same Park Avenue apartment building in New York City as Leonard Bernstein and the two families became close. Bernstein was a world-renowned conductor and composer whose works ranged from classical pieces to Broadway shows, like “On The Town”, “Wonderful Town”, and his most iconic, “West Side Story”. He conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for many years and gave popular TV lectures on classical music. In addition, he was an author and a pianist and a flamboyant personality.

Coincidentally, Linda Eastman’s parents also lived in the same building as Helen and Leonard Bernstein and Linda Eastman, who married Paul McCartney. When Paul and Linda visited her parents, word would get out and large crowds of avid Beatles fans would gather outside the building in the hopes of getting a glimpse of Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman in their early years together

One such day, Helen was out with Leonard Bernstein and they returned home to find Paul’s fans congregating outside their apartment building. For some reason, Helen saw Paul McCartney’s fans as a slight to her friend, Leonard Bernstein. So she got on her soapbox and started to lecture the crowd on what a brilliant and creative musician Bernstein was. She listed his composing credits as well as his conducting accomplishments and told the crowd that they should be honored to be meeting him!

Beatles’ fans

Her stump speech for Bernstein went right over the young girls’ heads. But it’s the sign of a true friend when someone goes to bat for you even when her words fell on deaf ears. But I always loved the image of this elegant beauty schooling a bunch of Beatles fans on classical and Broadway music!

A DAY I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEE – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m in the kitchen, periodically peeking out the window. There was a big Cardinal out there, but when I picked up my camera, he vanished. I hoped he would come back. Meanwhile, I got some nice squirrel pictures.

A morning squirrel

Meanwhile, I was slowly cooking canna-butter. Did I add too much water? I hope not. At least I got the temperature right. My new telephone arrived, though I haven’t had the energy to open the package yet. Tomorrow. I’m deep into canna-butter today.

Tufted Titmouse

They announced on the news last night that Uxbridge is getting its own pot shop, the third in the state.


Seriously.

Uxbridge.

A pot shop.

A legal pot shop.

In Uxbridge.


And here I am, brewing canna-butter and really hoping it will help with sleep and pain and if it doesn’t fix the pain and the sleep, maybe it’ll improve the quality of my English muffins with my coffee in the morning.

Nuthatch

I never imagined this day would come where I would be legally cooking pot for the legal purpose of using it medicinally. Of course, I never expected to find myself needing it medicinally either. You win some, you lose some.

A different nuthatch — or a different bird? I think maybe a different bird!

The sun came out and the birds are knocking each other off the feeder. I swear they are playing.

It’s warm out. A lot warmer than February 8th should be, but right now, I’m okay. Wondering what exactly I’m supposed to do with the canna-butter after it’s fully prepared. So far, toast is as far as I’ve gotten with it.

Chickadee — he’s outta there!

The sky is finally blue and I got some good shots of a squirrel chowing down in the flat feeder this morning. To get squirrels, I have to get up earlier. It’s the only answer. They don’t linger around much past 9 in the morning and that’s on the late side for them.

Another early squirrel

A pot shop in Uxbridge will be interesting for our one-horse, single-road, Main Street village. They will come from miles around. I’m pretty sure business will pick up. I hope so. Aside from being cool, it will be a massive inconvenience.

At least the fresh donuts will sell better — not like they don’t sell now.

What an interesting summer this is going to be!