A Chill is in the Air

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Autumn brings both beauty and brisk weather. All the golden hues of leaves are about to burst out into view where I live. I took a nice brisk walk today in the area where my child goes to school. The decision to park across from the school and wait until he would be dismissed on this half day was made after he realized he’d left his phone at home and the privileged parking lot his school has provided for parents, like me, to park in was filled with cars from a movie crew this morning. So, I parked the car, and decided to walk around and explore the area around his new school. Up until this point, I’d only ventured out to the Dunkin Donuts franchise about three blocks away. Today, I was going to take a much longer walk. Google Maps provided me with directions to my destination. It was only 0.6 miles away. I could get there, shop, and be back at the car by the time my child was dismissed from school. So, off I went into the great unknown.

The first few minutes of walking were a breeze, however, after going a little further I noticed I was walking uphill. Now, I had not done this kind of walking for quite some time. So this was beginning to be a daunting task. “Should I turn back?”I asked myself. “Of course not!” I answered reluctantly. So, I persevered and reached my destination. While browsing around the store for bargains, I pondered in the back of my mind, “How am I going to make it back?”

Well, one thing I could do to make my trek back to the car easier would be to make fewer purchases. Or I could purchase only lightweight things making it easier for me to carry things on my walk back. Either way, the walk back would be somewhat easier because I’d be going downhill this time. Everyone knows downhill is easier than uphill, right? Well, that would remain to be seen.

As I left the store with two bags in each hand, I thought about how great I’d feel about having walked a little more than a mile today at the end of my journey. Heck, in my twenties I’d walk two miles a day just going to and from work on foot. Back then I didn’t have a license nor a car and I hated to ride on public transportation. So, I’d walk to work everyday: winter, spring, summer, and fall. I digress. The wind kissed my face softly and more intensely at times as I walked at a moderate speed downhill passing few people on this blustery day. Discovering businesses in this neighborhood I never knew existed, and imagining the bags were like dumbbells, I’d lift them up and down while waiting for a chance to cross the street at each corner. “What a workout?” I thought as I approached the car.

After putting my bags in the trunk, I eagerly sat inside my car thinking, “What an achievement!” I must do this again someday soon.

How are you spending your autumn days? I hope you’re getting out and about. It’s nice to feel the wind on your face once in a while. Remember retirement means doing things you didn’t have time to do while you were working. Here’s to hoping your autumn days are happy ones! As always you can reach out and share your thoughts about my podcast on any of my social media platforms. Talk to you later. Peace!

This is the script I wrote today for my podcast. I’m posting it hear for anyone who reads my blog and wonders what my podcast may be like.

Plumbing 101

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Just so you know, I’ve taught myself many things in my lifetime. One thing I taught myself to do was small plumbing jobs, like I can change a washer, replace the toilet handle and flap, change faucet handles, faucet seats, and faucet cartridges. And oh yeah, anyone can change the aerator. If you can read well, you can learn to do just about anything. Even if you cannot read, if you are a visual learner, you can learn to do new things from YouTube videos. So this week I wanted to fix my bathroom sink’s faucet handles and seats. Read on to find out what happened.

I’d already purchased the collection of tools and parts necessary to do the job in August, therefore, all I needed was time to do the work when shutting the water off wouldn’t affect anyone. Thursday was the perfect day because everyone except me would be out of the house for a few hours. I started by laying out all my supplies and shutting off the water in the basement. Next, I tried to remove the stripped faucet screws stuck in the handles because of hard water and erosion. All the recommended tools for removing the screws did not work. While fiddling with the hot water handle and screw, the handle popped off, leaving the screw stuck inside the cartridge along with a small piece of the handle. This is when reality set in. I’d have to call in a plumber.

Plumbers are expensive too. To make a long story short, the plumbers came and ended up installing a new vanity, a faucet for the bathroom I’d purchased, a new toilet, and a new faucet for the kitchen sink. Use your imagination to figure out how much that costs. Everything looks new and shiny for now. So let’s see if these home improvements will stand the test of time.

Will this experience deter me from doing more plumbing in the future? I think not! After all I had successfully stopped a leak in my mother’s bathroom faucet handle about 2 months ago. I’d also installed a new handle and flap on my previous toilet. The supplies aren’t very costly and remember my service time is free. The lessons learned from plumbing 101 were to leave the challenging jobs to the pros, and a few home improvements or upgrades can look amazing.

I hope I’ve inspired someone to learn something new even if you’re retired. Who knows what could happen. You might just become a pro at it. So what will you learn next? Let me know in the comments section.