If We Were Having Coffee – Dec.07/2014 : GUEST POST

Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. Willow has fluffed the cushions and stared a blaze in the fireplace to make a cozy place to sit. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personaland/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Well it’s been a pretty good week for me – no big revelations but a whole slew of small victories. And you know, I sometimes think that it is the accumulation of little wins that make a big difference, as it isn’t as possible to lose so many incremental positives as it is to lose one big battle. Let’s start with last week’s post about the violence in Ferguson.

During the week I found a great little blog called Kindness Blog. One particular post really stood out. It describes three young black children in Portland Oregon who were giving out free hugs. And they came upon a police sergeant and here’s what happened:

http://kindnessblog.com/2014/12/03/free-hugs-at-ferguson/  Take a pop over there to see the rest of the story. To my mind that, right there, (this is an eastern Canadian colloquial turn of phrase) contains the solution to the Ferguson problems. The great big whole is, in fact, built of gazzillions of tiny details. Enough hugs can change a culture. What do you think?

Would you like a refill? There’s lots of cake and biscuits and other sweets. Please help yourself. The fire is cozy here in Willow’s home, isn’t it?

So, in my personal world this week, dialysis went swimmingly – no issues at all, every hook-up went smoothly, processing rates were amongst the highest I’ve ever achieved, and as a consequence I feel very good. Which, come to think of it, may be in part why things went so positive this week. We had a heavy rain one day and my ceiling leaked again but not as bad as it has in the past. I called the manger to let him know, as he thought this problem had been fixed with the replacement of the roof. That very same afternoon the roofing company re-appeared and replaced all the flashing (metal or fiberglass panels that are used wherever there is a change of angle or two section meet or at edges) around the roof and the manager called to let me know the problem really should be fixed now. This is an issue we have had for most of the year and it may finally have been put to bed permanently.

Then, I awoke one morning to find that when I turned on my kitchen tap, only a small trickle of water came from the spout. I texted the manager and he texted back that I should try unscrewing the tip of the faucet – that there was a filter in there that could be causing the problem. That seemed very unlikely to me, as the water had worked fine the night before and now hardly at all – as if something had broken. But, I grabbed a set of vise-grips and unscrewed the filter. When I turned on the water, there was more pressure gushing out of the tap than I had ever seen since moving in here. Amazing. I removed the filter and screwed the tip back on. Problem fixed. So, later that evening, as I was basking in the good feeling of having made some headway, the ceiling began to drip in a different place.  @#$%^&! I called the manager and told him that it was a small drip that started and finished quickly. He suggested it may be water just making its way out of the walls after the new flashing had been installed. I doubted that as the drip was in a different place but agreed to monitor it over night. During the quiet of the night, it soon became apparent that the drip happened each time the toilet on the second floor was flushed. The next morning I texted the manager and he sent over his repair man to check. He examined my ceiling – which is wrecked –and shook his head. After checking the upstairs toilet, he realized that a repair had been made to it that had not been done properly. Each time it was flushed a small amount of fresh clean water was running down the back side of the toilet and then between the floors and out my ceiling. It took only a moment to fix it properly.

When he came back down to report to me, I used the opportunity to complain about a space under my back external door where a seal had been gone since I moved in over a year ago. This leaves a space of over an inch where snow actually blew in last winter. I would tape up the space but it wasn’t very effective. When I pointed this out to him and reminded him that I had mentioned it many times, I think he felt bad for me. He said that he did not have the authority to buy a replacement sweep – as they are called – but he would mention it to the manager. I had heard this before and lost hope. But sure enough, that afternoon I met the repairman as I was walking to the store, and he hollered at me “Look what I’ve got! Merry Christmas!” He held up a brand new door sweep, still in the box. He asked if I would be home later and I told him I’d be back within 15 minutes and he said he would drop by. He did and installed the sweep – it fit perfectly and sealed the bottom so not even the slightest breeze comes in any more. Finally this problem that has been an issue for over a year is fixed.

So, it has been a very productive week for me, getting little things fixed, some of which have been outstanding for more than a year. I feel very positive that all these little things are now addressed and I am ready for winter. It’s a good feeling. Have you had a chance to get small things that have been bugging you fixed? Doesn’t it feel great?

That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in front of the fireplace with another cuppa. Sweets anyone? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here for tea again next week.


IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/ 

44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TanGental
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 01:35:07

    Small victories are what win in the end. Good to hear. I’ve followed the Kindness Blog for a while and Yep, that one was spot on. There’s one in a similar vein about a woman asking a cop why he hates her, when he denies it she says well give me a hug and he does and it’s great. More of the same please. Mine’s with cinnamon by the way!


    • willowdot21
      Dec 07, 2014 @ 05:45:25

      Hi Geoff. Paul’s on his way with your cinnamon coffee… Any cake while you wait.:)


    • Paul
      Dec 07, 2014 @ 07:29:01

      Hi Geoff! Welcome. One pot of coffee with cinnamon coming up. And please help yourself to the cakes and biscuits. We have a some strengthening for your coffee if you wish *wink, wink*. Yes, Kindness Blog has some powerful posts. I really like the concept and am following now. Thanks so much for dropping by and have another cuppa, there’s lots where that came from..


  2. Paul
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 02:14:39

    Thanks so much Willow for the opportunity to guest blog. I really like the “Hugs” pictures and am glad to be able to bring them to our readers. See those yummy cakes? I was thinking of you when I decided they should close out the post. Nothing like a piece of delicious cake to go with a cuppa by the fireside. 😀


    • willowdot21
      Dec 07, 2014 @ 05:42:54

      Yes Paul a brilliant post as ever, I love the personal touch you have brought us this and like you I also love the hug photos. I hope you blog is to your liking. I had trouble finding some of the photos and my internet is down. I am using my phone which makes life difficult to say the least. Hugs for a lovely post.xxx


  3. markbialczak
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 02:43:01

    Paul! You had water leaks and air leaks! I’m glad to hear those nuisancances are said and done. The cold air coming in under the door must have been miserable in the Ottawa winter, my friend. Karen and I try to keep the Little Bitty as airtight as possible here in Syracuse. It’s an old house, built we think in 1941. Since moving in 11 years ago we’ve replaced all the windows and now all the doors. Now, I believe, it’s time to start worrying about the roof. Your best news, though, is that the dialysis went the best ever for you. Hooray for that, my friend. Relief.


    • willowdot21
      Dec 07, 2014 @ 05:35:53

      Yes horray!!


    • Paul
      Dec 07, 2014 @ 07:39:43

      Mark! great to see you here. Thanks so much for dropping by. yep, I fgure i’ve got my little place all sealed up for the winter – thank heavens. Last year it got cold enough that I used a portable heater to stay warm. they pay the electric bill, so their loss. Anyway, this year should be good. It feels great to get all those little annoying items cleared up. I must say havng dialysis go well three nights in a row helps enormously with the positive attitude as well. Not only physical – feel better – but psychological as well – it is possible to have treatment that works well.

      You are right that the doors and windows make a huge difference in staying warm in winter. The manager said that they are replacing windows this winter as well – but there are a lot of buildings so it may be a while. My window is drafty but fine for now. Sounds like your little bitty is cozy. New roofs are not cheap but they can make a difference as well.

      Great to see you here Mark – a pleasure as always. Have a rocking week.


  4. socialbridge
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 07:22:29

    Just adore the free hugs idea. Brilliant. Glad you had a good week, Paul. Love ❤ to Willow. J


  5. johncoyote
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 13:36:19

    Thank you for the photos and the description. A better world if we hugged more and fought less.


  6. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 14:21:40

    The Free Hug photos choked me up. Out of the mouths of babes. ❤
    This has been some week for you, Paul, but now all these little pesky inconveniences are fixed and I hope that's that end of that. Snug as a bug… and all that.
    Holy Moly, look at all the decorations. Willow's gone all out, hasn't she and the sweets are too pretty to eat–I never do, but I do enjoy feasting my eyes on all that lovely work.

    Have a great week. Thanks for the coffee and the pleasant company.


  7. Exile on Pain Street
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 10:47:29

    The accumulation of little victories IS the difference! Nietzsche spoke of the death of a thousand pinpricks. This is the opposite.

    I’ll have to admit that the hug photo got to me. I like to fancy myself as thick-skinned in my middle age but how could you not be moved by that?

    That’s life, brother. For every cleared filter, a new leak. What about your ceiling? Has the structural integrity been compromised by the water? Water damage is permanent. Usually the wall or ceiling would need replacement, no?


  8. Paul
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 14:57:53

    Hi Mark! Thanks so much for dropping by. Yes the walls and ceiling are damaged but are sound structurally. they will need to have the drywall removed and replaced and then retaped and painted. I spoke to the manager and he said they would move me out and do it in the spring. It is fine untli then – not pretty but liveable.

    Indeed, i do believe that most accomplishments are an accumulation of many small victories. And that definitely makes the going easier and more inherently satisfyng (an accumulation of good feelings). Which is an encouraging thought as it means a long as we are doing something, than the bigger issues will eventaully fall in line witout worrying about them.

    Well, it’s a pleasure as usual to have you visit Mark. Please drop by again when you have a chance.


  9. Blog Woman!!!
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 04:26:40

    Nice again. I too love it when the little things fall into place. Especially glad to hear dialysis went well. That one, not such a little thing. 🙂


    • Paul
      Dec 11, 2014 @ 07:00:07

      Hi Robyn! Great that you dropped by. Yes, the good dialysis does set a tone and yet there are days when it is just too depressing to face. And there are when it doesn’t work properly – after all it does deal with a living entity and so each time is a bit different, some better than others.

      Thanks so much for the visit and the comment Robyn. Pleae drop by again sometime.


  10. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Dec 16, 2014 @ 21:18:27

    Hi Paul – and Willow. What a delightful group. Nothing like a warm chat with friends. I saw that hug on a tv story and thought, well there it is, people can get along – easier on an individual level instead of large lumps and groups. Cheerful story.
    We’ve remodeled 3 houses. Flashing and leaky sky lights (never again – it’s luck, They either leak and you can never fix them or they are perfect. Toss the dice.) We need to change out a faucet but are putting it off…you know how repairs go…starts out small, then….
    Glad to locate the lovely tea spot. Must run and read to catch up! Toodles!


  11. Paul
    Dec 16, 2014 @ 23:54:33

    Phil! What a great pleasure to have you visit. Welcome, welcome. We’re all gathered here every Sunday for a cuppa , some sweets and a chat. the e-sweets are calorie free you know.

    Please feel free to look around at Willow’s posts while you’re here. Have another cuppa and relax by the fireside for a while.


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