The Cricket

Photo by gailhampshireA few weeks ago we were sitting at dinner and started hearing this buzz from the wall by the door. Since we had just had an upgrade done on our security panel, that was the first guess, and putting our ear to where the speaker on the panel was seemed to confirm it.

So I called the security company, and we were trying to troubleshoot the panel. As I was standing there, I noticed that the sound continued even when the panel was off during the reboot. I tapped on the wall and the sound stopped, just to start up again a few minutes later.

I kept pushing on the wall, and the sound would go on and off. It still sounded like it was coming from the panel, but when I tapped the light switch right underneath it, the sound stopped for a longer time before starting. And every time I tapped the light switch cover, it would repeat. I told the security guy I had a bigger problem than the panel and I would call him back if it turned out to not be the wiring in the wall.

So my husband comes in to my summons. They never taught us about singing wires in engineering school, and I figured maybe he had seen it in the Navy. We opened up the light switch and the buzzing stopped.

As we were peering in, something moved.

“Wait, is that a …. cricket?!?!?”

With a gentle blast of canned air, the cricket was removed and our light switch has been silent ever since.

Photo by gailhampshire

Instant Pot Camping

Photo by ajay_suresh

One of the things that I dislike about camping is that I don’t get a break from the ordinary tasks of cooking and dishes. It’s not much of a vacation for me if I am still doing the same things I do at home – in a situation that makes them harder to do.

As a result, I’ve started bringing my kitchen appliances along on camping trips. The most versatile is my Instant Pot, which can function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and electric frying pan. This allows me to plan dinners that can be thrown in and left to cook on their own with little attention from me.

I’ve been accused of glamping, since we camp in a hybrid camper that has heat, a/c, a bathroom, microwave and sink. But I know that even if we were still in a tent, I would be bringing along the instant pot.

Photo by ajay_suresh

Karen, Stop.

It has been brought to my attention that two of the school board members of my city are trying to get books banned because they cover topics that they “are not comfortable discussing.”

Neither of these school board members has a background in education, been educated in education, nor served as any sort of professional teacher in any classroom (substituting doesn’t count, because there are no qualifications to serve as a substitute in my city).

The rest of the school board is made up of former teachers.

These people are on the school board to push their own agendas. Why did the voters allow this? They are not acting in the best interest of the students. They need to shut up and sit down.

And the people of my city need to vote their asses out of office.

(And yes, I can speak on this topic, as a state-licensed teacher with classroom experience.)

The Autumn Purge

Photo by Brett Jordan

I get the urge to start cleaning out my living space every autumn. It seems to be stronger this year, and I have been purging things that in past cycles seemed either too daunting or the resistance was too high.

I cleaned out bookshelves that have not been touched in years. Why, exactly, did I have a paper dictionary and thesaurus in the shared office? All they did was gather dust.

After a music room rearrange, I purged my musical instruments. How many music stands does a family of three need, anyway? Anyone want to pick up a non-working hurdy gurdy? I’d hate to throw it in the trash, but it is beyond my skill.

With each space completed, I feel lighter and more focused. I like this feeling because autumn always feels like the real start of a new year.

Photo by Brett Jordan