22 February 2009, 7′th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman); last Sunday of Epiphany (Anglican).  Winter drags on, and today was cold, although the promised gloominess did not materialize.  It was sunny for most of the day.  Sister Barbara preached today on forgiveness and the paralytic from St. Mark’s Gospel.   It was good to have her back again, if only for the sermon!  For various reasons, about only half the choir was present this morning, so that was a bummer.  I made it through my own solo with only one croaked high note!  I am glad it was only one.  With regard to voice, it’s just hell getting old!

Speaking of getting old, this January past, I turned 60.   Now I am, according to niece Jenna, officially old!  Its funny, but I don’t feel older, and I sit transfixed in wonder as to how I got where I am.  Just yesterday it seems, I was graduating from college and starting a working life.  I have been in this house for 16 years.  It just does not seem possible at all.

I had the harddrive on my computer replaced a week ago.  Its a good thing since the old one died the moment we got it out of the laptop.  Fortunately, we had made a total backup the week before.  Now begins the work of tweaking things to the point I once had them.

During the week beginning today, is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday, and the day I have to travel to Chicago for work.  I will be there till Friday.  I hate leaving home, even for work and even if temporarily, and I really am not fond of flying either.  I suppose I will have to look at this trip as a lenten penance, for Lent does begin on Wednesday.  Mr. Charlie T. Dog however, will be going to the Doggie Hotel and Spa for the week. Besides being boarded, he will have his shots updated, his wellness exam and his nails done. I have the feeling he is not too fond of doing that either.  But by Providence, this time next week, I will once again be ensconced in my own house with one overweight black dog dutifully snoozing at my feet.

I stumbled upon a Stroup genealogy website this past week (one of my ancestral lines), and have joined a Yahoo Group for that family.  It’s been a few years since I examined my Stroups.  Much of the information I had came from one  Ethel Belle Stroup, who had researched this family for years.  She has passed now, dying in 2006 I believe.  And of course, despite all her years of work, modern YDNA testing comes along and with several simple mouth swabs, destroys everything.  What I learned, is that my Stroups did not descend from Matthias Stroupe the Iron Worker, but another family altogether.  Fortunately, the time frame is so far back (pre-american revolution), that I only have a couple of generations screwed up.  I need to revise my data base because of this new information, and will accomplish that sometime in the near future.  Genealogy is so like life:  just when you think you have it all figured out, it all changes!

I spent a good part of Friday afternoon past, going through an old house up the way from me, that is for sale and has been a few months.  The bulk of the building was built between 1840 and 1860 and is of solid brick construction.  I have always had a penchant for old houses, and this one has always attracted  me greatly.  It has a huge lot that has been planted with splendid floral perennials over the years, in terraced levels.  With some maintenance work, it can look as good as it did when Mr. Uhde lived there.  Over the past several months, it has been “updated” on the inside.  But that work was done quickly and on the “cheap”, so I guess I wished they had just saved their money and effort.  There remain problems, not the least of which are leaky original single pane windows, inadequate wiring and plumbing, and no insulation.  It must cost a bloody fortune to heat the place.  Still, I am considering buying it and moving there.  That entails selling both my current houses, a move I am not sure I am willing to take with the economic mess as it is.  I have tried to put it out of my mind for some months now, and with little success.   This is one tough decision!  Anyway, now that I have probably put everyone to sleep, I will close the ramblings for tonight.  I am going to try to attach a picture of the house below.   Let’s see where it ends up on here.

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