Sunday, March 3, 2013

Being Unperceptive

(How inattentive...we can be!)


It was Saturday, January 5, 2013...out of bed early at 5 am!  The plan this morning was to meet my son at seven am to drive to New Jersey…arriving there prior to dusk so I could travel on to Connecticut.

With time to assemble my cosmetic bag, I reached for the Hamilton Spectator at the door; hurriedly I boiled water to make coffee and to toast a couple slices of raisin bread.  The kettle sang its song…I could hardly wait for my “coffee fix” while glancing at the newspaper headlines. I poured the hot water into a tall green ceramic mug (given to me by a students’ ceramic class), and added a small amount of 2% milk. STRANGE!  Whitish…very white coffee???

Dumb Blonde!…it was I who failed to add a heaping teaspoon of  Nestle’s hazelnut  flavoured coffee to the mug first!

Remotes...and Then, There are Remotes

Recently, I noticed in a friend's home, four or five various remotes...for TV's, CD's tape recorder, etc. plus cordless telephones…mostly black in colour.  Inadvertently, while watching a television program one evening, I picked up my black remote…dialed the number and mystified that this would not connect for conversation.  My Panasonic  phone was similar in size and colour to the TV remote!

Solution:  Do not lay the telephone and TV remotes side by side.

Lack of a Stove Timer

Prior to moving to my current apartment, I always had stoves equipped with “timers”.  How convenient that  was...when I boiled eggs, simmered a stew stove-top, baked a pie or lasagna…and the luxury of presetting the temperature and time for “dinner in the oven” to activate at prescribed times.

So easy, it is now, to forget that food is cooking on a couple burners!  Engaged in other activities, twice I’ve forgotten to check.   The result?  Soup boiled over, messing my stove; and a very blackened pot.

Solution: I remove a large black ladle from my “utensil jug” and place in front of where I am sitting.  This becomes a SIGNAL to remind item out of its normal location.  Even an elastic placed on the wrist could be a “signal”.

Wrong Application

This may occur frequently because of items that look similar.  I've heard about the “man of the house” rising in the morning and picks up what he believes to be shaving cream, but it’s NOT! Cleaning products can be mistakenly used when the bottle shape and colour of the fluid is similar to another.  In the winter, my lips are often dry.  On the table, I have a tube of “lip balm” readily available to apply when needed.  Unfortunately, it sat upright near my glue stick. Being inattentive, I uncapped and used the latter.  YUK!

Solution:  Place the “lip balm” in a different location.

Stolen Car?

This is a common blunder that occurs at least once in a person’s lifetime.

Several years ago, I joined three friends to attend an ice-skating show at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  Driving from Brantford, and not aware of the “rush-hour-traffic” , we barely arrived on time at the Gardens.  To find a parking spot was near to impossible…all lots were full, the streets fully lined with cars;  we drove several blocks to locate a place for our yellow Ford 500.  Hurriedly, we dashed to the entry doors and presented our tickets.

The performance…spectacular!  The crowd of people…excited!  Popcorn and sodas…delicious!

We hadn’t realized there were several entrances/exits to and from Maple Leaf Gardens!  Where was our car? What street?  Which entrance had we used?  ALL UNKNOWNS!  We walked and walked and walked to locate our yellow Ford!  After 45 minutes, possibly an hour of searching in vain, we were convinced it was stolen!  We flagged down a police car.  The officer was most helpful…inviting us into his “black and white”…we cruised around several blocks until BINGO! There is was, parked curbside alone…on a quiet residential street!

Solution:  ALWAYS take notice where you park! OBSERVE identifying signs, buildings, parks, streets and parking levels (if applicable)!

A Long Rainy Drive

Returning from Goderich one afternoon, several years ago, I was wearing one of my lambskin fleece shawls.  It was raining lightly when we left, then became a heavy-pelting-downpour partway into our three-hour-drive home along Hwy. 8, before reaching the 401 at Kitchener/Waterloo and south on Hwy 6.

Stepping from my car, I was shocked to realize that the left front of my shawl was SOAKED…a rusty red- looking mess, it was!  Fortunately, I was able to remove the slushy mire under running tap water. I rolled it in a towel and then hung to dry.
Solution:  Ensure  that all parts of your clothing are tucked inside the vehicle...before closing the door!

Farmers' Dinner

From previous blog writings, you are now knowledgeable that I was raised on a farm.  Daily meals were Breakfast, Dinner at noon and Supper in the evening.  A farmer’s day is usually from sunup to sunset…so understandably, this is why Dinner is the main repast of the day.

Neighbours helped Neighbours...was the norm at harvest times of hay, of grain and of corn…these men moved from farm t farm.  There could be as many as six or  eight men at this noon meal.  Naturally, my sister and I were required to help Mother with food preparation and arranging the table, chairs and settings.  The men came in ravenously hungry!  We placed the food in bowls on the table for the men to serve themselves.  My uncle, seeing what he believed to be cole slaw or cabbage salad, piled it generously beside his already full plate of home grown carrots, beets, scalloped potatoes and roast beef.  WOW!!! He was shocked at the first forkful!  It was Hot Horse Radish!

My Mother's desserts of the day were oven-warm apple crisp and pies of home-grown cherries.  One neighbour gorged himself with 2 and 3 pieces of this pie. Mother asked him, “Lloyd, what did you do with the cherry pits?”  “Cherry pits?” he asked.  My mother commented that in the morning, she’d not had time to remove them.

Solution:  Look (or ask) before you Leap!

Stelco Wives

In my early marriage days, I was busy teaching.  Eight women of us organized a social bridge club to which we referred as “Stelco Wives”  (Steel Company of Canada where our husbands worked).

We met monthly on a Tuesday evening at our individual homes on a rotating basis. Not arriving home until 6 pm, then serving a quick dinner, I had little time to prepare for their 8 pm arrival.  The dessert, I had made the night before.  Efficiently, I set out the tea plates and colorful serviettes, the cups and saucers, crystal sherry glasses, cutlery, floral arrangements for each table, prizes for not only the "winner", but also for the "loser" (some compensation for trying), the card decks and tallies. Lastly, I plugged in the 10-cup coffee pot.WHEW!  I made it before the other seven friends arrived.  They ooh-ed and aah-ed about the gourmet dessert. Time for coffee…it was BREWED WATER! I had forgotten  the main ingredient!  All laughed…including me!

Solution:  All is not is appears!  Better check!
                 Even the best of us can be oblivious at times!

Rolling Along With Glee!

PHLEBITIS ~ You don’t want ever to have this!  One afternoon, stepping from my car, I turned slightly to close the door. WOW!  Such excruciating pain in my right leg (calf area)!  Could hardly walk!  Stumbling to the foyer of my building, I quickly sank into a chair before attempting the elevator to the third floor.  It was pure agony to then walk about 100 steps to my apartment.  There I flopped on my bed for relief.  What could this be?  Was it a sudden arthritic attack in my knee?  I was like the Arithmetic Dog who puts down 3 and carries 1…I could only put down 1 and carry 1.My doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory pills, application of heat 3 to 4 times a day and keeping my right leg elevated at all times to reduce the Phlebitis effects. (Within about three weeks, my condition improved.)

An American friend had left me a blue “walker” (a convenience for him when visiting here).  He asked, “Are you too proud to use that  blue walker in the trunk of your car?”  This became my life-saver in getting to the elevator and downstairs.  I discovered that if I sat on the seat, I could move backwards by propelling my feet along the smooth carpet, even quite swiftly. This was a great ride and a great solution!  At the elevator doors, there was a slight rise where the carpet met the ceramic tiles. Suddenly, I spilled…ending on the floor…the walker collapsed on top of me! With my weakened condition, I crawled to the wall railing to assist myself to stand…then  I laughed with amusement.  Fortunately, no one was around to see this humorous. embarrassing spill!

Pearl of Wisdom

The Eyes are Useless
when the Mind is Blind.
(author unknown)

Merle Baird-Kerr...written January 23, 2013
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  1. No Pain... No Gain...I would say !
    Wonderful Blog about Inattentiveness !

  2. The Important to Learn!
    Thanks for your true!