Friday, April 7, 2017

Good Neighbors

I am so blessed when it comes to having good neighbors!

After I came home from work, yesterday, I called one of my neighbors across the street.  He came over at once, took a look at the prong stuck in the outlet, ignored the two pairs of pliers I had set out (both with what I think are insulated handles, although I don't know for sure - they just might be some sort of plastic coating for all I know!), and, without even turning off the power, just pulled it out of the socket with his bare hand!  He said it was the grounder and that the cord could be used as it is, with just the two prongs.  I know the grounder makes equipment safer to use without getting electric shocks, but, it made me feel better to know I could still charge my laptop computer if needed (I can plug it into one of the outlets in the kitchen, which has a trip switch, just to be cautious, and will not use it while it is charging, to minimize any chances of getting a shock).  I will, however, go to the store, later today, to see if I can buy a new cord.  Still, it is good to know I have options!

I did feel rather foolish about the whole thing when he just pulled the prong out, without taking any precautions!  Felt like I let the whole sisterhood down for not knowing I could have done that, myself, without getting electrocuted!  LOL.  Oh, well, I know now!

Later in the evening, I went for my walk around the block.  One of my neighbors, about two houses down from me, has several large succulents plants growing in her parkway.  They've been there for years and are about three feet high, if not more.  A mixture of jade plants, echeveria, etc.  I don't know this neighbor too well, but I know her well enough to say hello when we meet and she's friends with one of my neighbors across the street as they are both from the same country.  However, the only time she has been to my house was when she was searching for her missing cat and I took her to my back garden through the house rather than the side entrance through the gate.  Anyway, I've been eyeing the plants in her parkway and wanting a cutting or two for my own garden and a planter or two I want to make.  So, yesterday, I knocked on her door and she immediately invited me in.  We chatted for a bit - she asked me about my daughter and I asked her about her two daughters and her husband's music studio (he teaches music; so does she, for that matter), and after her mother (who had a heart attack, recently), etc.  Her older daughter is finishing up her doctorate and her younger daughter is getting married this November.  I remember her husband bringing them to wait for their school bus at the same place where I would take my daughter.  He, the neighbor who came to help me with the outlet, and I used to all wait for our children's school buses, together!  LOL.

Then, I told her of the reason for my visit and asked if I may have 3 or 4 cuttings from the plants on the parkway.  She immediately said, "Yes, of course, you don't have to ask, take as many as you like!"  Then, she said she had more in her garden and proceeded to take cuttings from various  plants she had in the front garden!  She put them all in a small box she had and on my way home, I picked a few cuttings from the plants in the parkway, as well.  Such generous neighbors!  I plan to bake something this weekend and take over to her as a small thank you, in return. 

After I returned from my walk, Thursday evening, I called my cousin as I had offered to find out some information for her.  I gave her the information I had gathered for her and then, we had a long chat, basically reminiscing about our childhood, our aunts and uncles, our grandparents, etc., all triggered by me saying that our aunt had shared some memories of her mother who died in childbirth at age 36; the baby had been stillborn and was her 9th or possibly her 10th child, six survived to adulthood.  Women dying in childbirth was such a common thing back then.  My paternal grandmother, too, had died in childbirth, when she was 28 years old.  She left behind my father, his older brother, and a younger sister (who died when she was 15 of a fever).  My father also had a younger brother but I don't know if he was a half-brother or not my paternal grandfather remarried after grandmother's death).  I didn't know him and only saw him for the first time at my uncle's funeral.  My mother said she had met him once, but apparently there had been something that caused my father to cut off ties with him, although, I guess his older brother kept in touch with him (why else would he show up at the funeral?)  I should ask my sister, but she prefers not to talk about family too much.

Forgive me, I am just rambling!

Later in the evening, after dinner, I finished reading one of my library books:

Library Book
I enjoyed reading it.  There was a lot of detailed history in it, along with the author's family history.  I found it all to be quite interesting.

Afterwards, I started reading another library book; fiction, this time, although based on historical personalities.

Another Library Book

A lighter read, this time around!  But I have enjoyed reading other books in this series, by this author.

And, of course, I video chatted with my daughter for a little bit.  Then, I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. and fell asleep a little after 2:00 a.m.  I slept till almost 1:00 p.m. this afternoon!   Guess I was tired?

I am grateful for:
- Good neighbors!
- Neighbor E for helping me with the plug and outlet, and for telling me I could still use the cord as it is to charge my laptop.
- Neighbor S for so generously sharing cuttings from her plants with me.
- Library books to read
- Being able to sleep in (I had taken the day off from work due to a doctor's appointment that had been scheduled for this afternoon).

How was your Thursday? What are you reading these days?


  1. Madeleine Albright's biography sounds interesting. I don't know much about her so I think I'd enjoy reading it.

    I hope you got a new cord for your laptop. I don't know what I would have done if the grounding plug was broken in the outlet. At first, I thought "so smart of Bless to have thought she needed to turn off the power to the outlet before trying to take it out, I wonder if I would have thought of it myself?!" and then I shuddered when your neighbor not only took it out with his bare hand but also advised you that you could still use the broken charger... but when I think of it, the portion of the house where I sit most often isn't grounded so our outlets only have the 2 prong openings and we have to use 3 prong to 2 prong adaptors for all our chargers so there's really no difference.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Nathalie, it was a good book, but there was more about the history of Czechoslovakia before, during, and just after the war than about herself and her family, although there is some of that, as well. But very well researched and written, I thought. I hope you are able to find the book and read it yourself. Let me know what you think of it, if you do.

      Well, as I said, my first instinct was to just pull it out! If I had a proper pair of rubber soled shoes and if daughter or someone else was in the house (to call 911, just in case!), I think I might have done it! I was quite chagrined when neighbor E just pulled it out without any qualm!

      I wasn't too sure of his advice but when my friend Jazz commented and said I could still use the 2 pronged plug as it is, I felt reassured. I have plugged it in using only the 2 prongs and it has charged without any problems and without giving me any shocks while charging. So, I didn't rush to the store, yesterday. I am planning to go, today, though.

      When I bought my house, it wasn't grounded, either. All the outlets were 2 pronged and I had to buy the converters for my fridge and a couple of other appliances! The house was also wired for 50 amps or something and I couldn't use the microwave and the toaster as the same time without blowing a fuse! LOL. Later, I had the house rewired and grounded. Except, the people who did it installed all the outlets up-side-down! LOL! Reminded me of Sri Lanka, where all the light switches are up-side-down to what they are here, in the US. :)

      Hope you, too, have a great weekend, Nathalie. Give those squirrels an extra handful of bird seeds from me, please! :D Take care.

  2. "Good neighbors" are priceless. Yesterday afternoon our neighbor stopped by to offer to cut our front grass if we needed it due to health issues of my hubby. So good to know if the need would arise although I know of several fellows who do this as a job or for extra $$'s. It is the thought that counts.

    I need to get back to reading a book I started quite sometime ago "At Home in Mitford" by Jan Karon, the first novel in the Mitford Series.


    1. Sandy, that's so nice of your neighbor to offer. That's sort of how I got my own gardener - he's my late neighbor's nephew. My neighbor noticed that my front lawn was overgrown when I was in hospital to have my daughter, and she got him to mow it for me! After that, my mother asked him to continue. That was over 24 years ago and now, he is not only the gardener, he's a friend, as well. :)

      I hope you can get back to reading your book, Sandy. I used to read a lot, but don't as much these days. That's partly because the internet is such a distraction! I prefer to read than listen to an audio book, however.

      Hope you have a lovely weekend, Sandy. Take care.

  3. I think it's always smart to err on the side of caution where electricity is concerned. If you had turned off the circuit to that outlet, it might have been okay to attempt to get the plug out. But when in doubt, don't risk it.

    1. Yes, that's exactly my thinking, Live and Learn. When in doubt, have someone who might know better, handle it! Next time, if there is a next time, I'll know what to do. Hopefully, though, there won't be a next time!

  4. That sounded like you had a lovely visit with the neighbour who sweetly gave you plenty of cuttings. I find keen gardeners are usually generous people.
    Your "rambling" about family history reminded me of the maternal grandmother I never knew. She didn't die in childbirth, she died back in 1924 because her unborn baby had died (family version "mortified inside her"). Today in London England, that situation would have been taken care of and her life saved, I am sure.
    I must check the library for "Prague Winter" as I would be very interested to read that history, having visited Prague some years ago.

    Your flower photos are lovely. We still have snow and some fell on Thursday night, but not too much. I have a photo of 10 inches on the patio furniture exactly a year ago on the 7th! But yesterday we did have strong winds and a few branches and trees have come down in the area. Today the sap is running like crazy after a frosty night, it's sunny out and we were able to sit outside in the afternoon with the collecting crew, who must be fed cookies and tea!

    1. It was a very pleasant visit, Bushlady, and she was saying we should visit more often. I'm so sorry to hear about how your maternal grandmother died. Spring is the best season for my garden - it's warm enough for the flowers to bloom but not so hot that they desiccate on the stem! Glad to hear the sap is running. Too funny about the collecting crew needing to be fed cookies and tea! Very kind of you to oblige, too, I'm sure!

  5. It sounds as if you have a lot of very interesting family history (even if some of it is contentious). It's sad to think of the early deaths caused by childbirth, and the relationships that were lost as a result.

    Lovely to have had your request for cuttings so readily granted by your neighbour. Is this by any chance the neighbour who ultimately became your piano teacher?

    I wonder if I would enjoy the Albright book. I think I would enjoy the content - it just depends on the style. (But then again I have several shelves of unread books so I really shouldn't even be considering any others!)

    1. I like family histories and find what little I know of mine to be interesting (according to what I was told by an aunt, that North Indian ancestor I mentioned in an earlier comment was supposed to have been a child bride who was widowed while still young and taken to Sri Lanka in order to avoid the fate that awaited her as a widow in India - now, whether that is true or not, I have no way of knowing, but, family lore is interesting, isn't it?)

      It was very kind of my neighbor to give me the plant cuttings. Shortly afterwards, her husband re-landscaped the garden and removed the succulents growing in the parkway! But, the cuttings I received are doing well in my garden! No, this is a different neighbor than neighbor S who is my piano teacher and who lives across the street from me. You'll come across her, again, in a post from 2019, when her dogs bit me! :D

      The Albright book included a lot of history. I found it interesting because I like history, but, there were portions of the book when I would have preferred less general history and more about her own family's story.


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