Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sleep, Battery, and Uncle Frank's Farm

I'm happy to record that my sleep pattern has become much better in the past week or so. I sleep through the night, usually until about 5:30, which is when I prefer to get up. I'm not sure if it's because my worry over my ordeal is over or because of the iron and other medication I've been taking to treat the anemia and ulcer. Anyway, it's wonderful and I feel well rested and energetic all day.
Speaking of energetic, I'm still trying to decide whether I want the 84-inch sofa. I'm just afraid it's too long and will overpower the room. I measured again and saw I can just barely fit end tables (the ones that had been in my bedroom) at either end. If I get it, it would also mean that I could have a sleepover guest--that would be nice. Just can't decide.
I went to Pep Boys to finally have my battery looked at, as I had been told at the other auto place it was too low. Or too high. Or something. Anyway, it was checked and yes, I needed a new one. Total cost: $159.85. Ordinarily, I would shop around for a lower price, as name stores are almost invariably more expensive than smaller ones, but I decided the hell with it, I'll just get it. However, they didn't have any of the right size and the guy was nice enough to send me to Auto Zone, one of their competitors. I went there and after a lot of this and that, they put it in. Cost? $122.20, so I saved almost forty bucks--not too shabby.
Went after to Winco for produce and got tomatoes, grapes, sweet potatoes, and a few other things. I'm still following my cousin Diana's "eat down the larder" program and had the other half of yesterday's lunch for--well, lunch.
Trying to decide another major question--whether I wanted to switch the computer and desk to the other side of my bedroom--I shifted a chair, slid the bed a foot sideways, and found the campaign desk will fit fine. That will free up the other side, where I'll put the much smaller bookcase. Guess I'll call Time Warner to come put another outlet in.
Mike Skyped last night and adorable little Violet played her ukulele for me; caught a quick glimpse of Vivian. The kids are off school for Chinese New Year.
I was surprised and pleased to get an e-mail from Jeremy Coleman. Here's the back story: Forty or more years ago, my Uncle Frank had written out his "memoirs" (well, that's too grandiose a word) what he remembered of the Byrne family's years on the Domino Lane farm in Roxborough. It's an absolutely charming account, partly because he didn't try to *W*R*I*T*E*, but just put the words down, one by one, using an old manual typewriter. I used to visit him, Aunt Claire, and his beloved daughter, Judy, my cousin. One day, Judy asked if I wanted to read the manuscript. Of course, I did, and loved it, especially as my father was mentioned. Uncle Frank told me I could keep it and I took it home. Ten years ago, after they had all died, I made up a blog called "Uncle Frank's Farm" and recorded it word for word, except for a few minor typo changes. Later, I added some shorter family reminiscences by my Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed, plus a piece by cousin Judy on the home care of quadriplegics, which she was.
Where does Jeremy Coleman come in? Some time ago, he e-mailed me, saying he had read the blog, was an amateur historian, and would like to learn more about the area and the era (very early twentieth century; Uncle Frank was born about 1905). He had a lot of specific questions. I wrote back that, aside from the blog, I knew little of it myself. At that time, too, I was in the frenzy of preparations for the cross-country move and said I'd have to put it on the back burner, I was so busy. I promptly forgot all about it until I got his recent e-mail. Wrote him back right away, asking if I could refer him to my cousin, John, who's much more knowledgeable about those topics than I am. I also sent him a picture of my father and five of his six siblings from about 1913. Here's the site of the blog:

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