Un dolce pomeriggio con il ragazzo dei cavi

Yes, that does say “a sweet afternoon with the cable guy”. And for a certain percentage of you (you know who you are) it’s not what you think. And the pictures are only for entertainment and have nothing to do with the post.

The view from my toes

The view from my toes if I was in Maui. And if my toes looked that cute (neuropathy isn’t cute).

As most of you know I’m fairly housebound dealing with my cancer battle. Although recent good news on my pet scan showing that the treatment is doing its job and the metastasis in my hip is no growing and there is no new cancer was exciting still not being able to walk properly and being very fatigued a lot of the time means I spend a lot of time with my friend the TV when I’m not spending the rest of the time with my other friend Ms. Nook. Both of those friends are very amenable to a cat in the lap. Although I only have limited basic …the cheapest cable plan you can get I do have “On Demand” and access to PBS and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) plus the CBC from Canada. Most channels I have access to have some of their programming available on demand. I also have a smart DVD player with internet access and watch some You Tube on the TV. Thanks to my dear friend Yvonne, Saturday I watched a wonderful documentary on Herculaneum, the city of Hercules.  Okay, I’m getting to the sweet afternoon with the cable guy.


The flower above actually is in my living room but there are a lot more of them in Maui.

Several weeks ago the picture on my 32″ HD TV began pixelating. That’s where the picture goes wonky for lack of a better word. It lasts a few seconds then back to normal. At first I was thinking/hoping it was the cable but it was only doing it on a few channels so I waited. Then it started affecting the sound. I could deal with a scrambled picture for a few seconds but I couldn’t do without the sound. And it was happening on more channels.


I began a search at BestBuy.com for a new TV with my other friend, the PC (no cat in lap for this). I had just completed my income tax return and although I wasn’t due a refund I only had to pay less than half of the money I had set aside for taxes due to a little windfall last year that happened to be taxable income. I had money for a treat.  When it comes to electronics I try to be frugal so I was on a search for what I could get for under $200. In other words….whatever the stores have on sale for $199.99 or less. The last time I did this search was six years ago and there were tons. Not so this time. Oh, there were lots of inexpensive TV’s but they were larger, or SMART(and if you believe that I have some property for sale in Florida guaranteed gator free). I live in a fairly small apartment so one of those wall sized monstrosities won’t fit. Plus I would have to pay someone to install it. I could get a much smaller TV for very little money but I wasn’t interested in downsizing…I watch movies on this. So, on clearance they had two sets for my price. I put them side by side (you can do that online now) and compared…one was 40″ 1080 p and the other was 35″ 1080 p…and SMART. My DVD player is SMART so I did not need that feature. After sleeping on it for a couple of days and an article on the Canadian news that the coming “Trade war” might cause electronic prices to go sky high I decided an immediate purchase was mandated. I ordered the dumb one (as opposed to the smart one) a week ago yesterday and by Thursday it was here. Too big, bulky and heavy for me to lift. The UPS guy very nicely brought it into the living room and sat it near the old TV. There was no way I was going to be able to install it myself and since both of the men I would call to help in a situation like this were on vacation it would have to wait for their return. Whoever got back first would get the job.


The bush above has not bloomed this year…not enough sun yet. Maybe it won’t bloom at all.

I had managed to endure watching TV with it’s problems on Thursday night but when I went to turn it off it would not turn off. It wasn’t the batteries in the remote because it worked on the TV just fine. When I limped over to check the connections I discovered that the little “power pack” attached to the cable box was very, very hot. If it had been a Samsung 7 I would have thrown it into the yard. Instead I unplugged it. Friday morning I  got out my HD antenna and was able to watch Good Morning America during breakfast, got dressed and then called the cable company. It was a bit of a problem when I looked for their phone number. They no longer want you to call and wait on hold. They want you to go online and pick a call back time. I picked 10:15 am…two minutes from the time I did it. The phone rang at 10:15. A very nice man asked me to describe the problem. Luckily he had formerly been a repair tech and when I mention the hot power pack he knew exactly what was wrong. He described to me exactly what I had done to get it to turn off. He said they had an appointment for someone to come out tomorrow…ie Saturday between 2 and 4. I said that was fine. A few minutes later I had a text confirming my appointment.DSCN6629

Just a little color.

As many of you who have dealt with repair people know you often have to wait all day and have them not show up at all or not have the right equipment or whatever. And also be somewhat surly because they had to be there at all. I’ve had many of those in the past. Not so on Saturday. That morning I had a text reminding me of the appointment for later that day. About 1:30 another text told me the technician was on the way. At 2 pm on the nose my doorbell rang. We chatted and I told him what had happened. He said the hot power pack was really the key that told them what was wrong and they just needed to replace the box and make sure it had the right power pack. 

Paul, the cable guy, was very nice and of course with one look at me he could tell by my limited walking and my death grip on the handles of the rollator that I was disabled. He was very friendly and asked me how I was doing as his mother had cancer a couple of years ago. I no longer get offended when men refer to me and their mother in the same paragraph. So he said he knew some of what I was going through. He kept telling me how wonderful it was to meet someone in my situation who was so upbeat and outgoing. Of course he asked about my photographs of Venice on the wall. When he finished getting the cable box out of the package he offered to set up the new TV. I said, no I really didn’t want to pay the cable company to install the TV (I’m used to their bills for things I never asked for) and his exact words were “No way, this is our fault for giving you the wrong power pack. You won’t be charged a penny for this.” Wow! Okay, but that’s not the sweet part. As he unwrapped the TV and I once again realized although I might have tried I would not have been able to install it myself we continued to chat about all kinds of things. In the approximately 15 minutes it took him to install the TV, put the old one in an area where I wouldn’t trip over it and offer to take the cardboard to recycling we were great friends. 


He had been so sweet and nice about everything that he had made my day. And then he told me that he wished he had more time to talk with me. He said he hadn’t been having very many good days lately and that my positive attitude with all of my issues really made his day and that Saturday afternoon was the best day he’d had in a long time. And that, dear friends, made my “dolce pomeriggio”.





About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Cable Guy, Cancer, Cappuccino, Cats, Chemo, flowers, fotografia, friends, Hawaii, Home, Life is good, me, TV and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Un dolce pomeriggio con il ragazzo dei cavi

  1. Laurel says:

    You made his day! Maybe his week! We never know when the kindness of strangers will carry us along. Wishing you well, as always, and happy viewing. 🙂 Love the pictures even if they are unrelated to content.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Laurel. I always try to be nice to people and this was the perfect opportunity.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      I took a good look and realized I should have paid more attention to the prices on those leather bags and gone shopping. Decent for real leather that you could smell as you walked past the door….but I was in search of glass….which I found.

  2. Need to make an “official” comment–almost forgot. Yes, there are still good people in the world who know their job and treat their customers with respect–probably more than we think. We usually only hear about the bad ones!

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thanks, Greg. I did spend some time in my working years explaining to people that my welfare clients were ordinary people who had fallen on hard times and not people out to scam the system.I Had one man tell me as he was exiting the interview that he couldn’t believe that I had made him feel so good about himself even though he didn’t qualify for benefits.

  3. Such beautiful serendipity for both of you, bella …. I love stories like this one. Sounds like you made each others’ days !! I’m sure he would have been likewise telling his friends about the lovely lady he met on the job. I hope those gorgeous hot pink …azaleas ? … bloom for you soon ~ big hugs to you, Diavolo and Sunshine!! x0xx

    • mvaden1948 says:

      The flowers are rhododendrons. They have big buds on them. Right alongside my patio railing are lavender azaleas…smaller than the rhodies but in the same family I think. The azaleas usually bloom first and they are blooming. We’ve just had so much rain. I think they were saying it’s the rainiest April on record…or close to it, Shell.
      Hope you and Bella are enjoying your opposite season “down under”.

  4. Yvonne says:

    What a refreshing story, in so many ways. What a nice man, I hope things get better for him.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Yes, it is a lovely story and it was so pleasant to have him here. I couldn’t quite tell if the problems were just work or his life in general. He was very efficient and got his work done while asking me questions at the same time. It’s so nice to make the acquaintance of such a lovely person. He covered his pain well. If I could stand up easier I would have hugged him goodbye.
      And thank you, Yvonne for the Herculaneum referral. it was great on the 40 inch TV. I do know that I can’t have any bigger TV without removing the futon.

  5. Andante says:

    It was nice to see your picture of “that” bag shop we both recognise in Venice. I actually bought a bag there, some years back – yellow, of course!
    Glad to hear you’re managing to cope, it’s frustrating enough when things like televisions start misbehaving, even worse when you can’t get out and about. Best wishes for your future health.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thank you so much for the good wishes. I definitely need to do some shopping there and not wait till my last day. Now that I look back at that picture I see several that call my name.
      I have lots of friends who love the picture you did of Santa in the gondola with the reindeer in snorkel gear….with my lovely Diavolo sitting on the fondamenta. I may try to use it in my Christmas blog this coming December…with proper credit of course.

      • Andante says:

        You’re welcome. This latest visit ( just back) is the very first time I’ve managed not to add an extra bag to our luggage…..

  6. Glad things are stable. Hope you are up and about soon. Congrats on the new TV too 🙂 Def, you need to treat yourself once in awhile and a TV is a good investment. Hugs!

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thanks, Andrea. And I discovered a week ago that for $4.99 I could add Acorn TV to my basic cable and I’m enjoying some great British and Australian programming…the kind of things we normally get only on PBS here like Doc Martin, Poldark and a lot that are new to me. I’ve fallen in love with a show called Walks With My Dog that has various celebrities out rambling through the UK countryside with their dogs, beautiful scenery with some history thrown in. I can watch the episodes over and over because there’s usually something I didn’t pick up the first time. The channel adds new content too. You can look it up at http://www.acorn.tv.

  7. Darlene Mouw says:


    Thinking of you often. Hope your cancer is going away. I had cancer of the breasts and survived. Dwayne is finally retired at 83 and I will be 75 in November.. How old will you be December 12th? Younger than me. Haha. Sorry I don’t write you more but I just have a phone. Grand daughter got married last year. She teaches middle school. Darla is in the dental field. Never see anyone from the hospital. I’ve been praying for you often because of all the great memories we’ve created. I know it’s tough and wish you the best. Give me a call when you feel well. 562-402-7676 Take care! (FYI, Darlenes grandson wrote this message)

  8. mvaden1948 says:

    I hope this finally gives me access to the internet if not the world. I know I have been gone for a while, dealing with my cancer among many things.
    September 15th I fell and broke my left ankle at home, was taken to Highline Hospital right away, had surgery to repair it the next. Day. Had some therapy there and on 9/19/18 was transferred to Burien Nursing and Rehab Center not far from my home.
    It has been a series of ups and downs. I was sick at the beginning with pain and couldn’t participate in my therapy but the techs have been great in encouraging me. Everyone is taking good care of me.
    My dear cat Diavolo is very I’ll with pains in his hips and barely able to walk. He. Is in extreme

  9. mvaden1948 says:

    Sorry for the interruption…to go on Diavolo is in pain and this is probably related to the cancer he was diagnosed with several years ago.my friends are bringing him to see me on Saturday and then to his vet where he will cross the 🌈 Bridge. Darleen, I got your message and will answer when I can.
    I turn 70 in December.
    Love Michelle

  10. Laurel says:

    Cara Michelle,
    I am so sorry to hear about Diavolo and about your setback with the broken hip! It is so hard to lose a good friend like Diavolo but it is clear that you had a wonderful life together. I hope you heal quickly and completely and send tender thoughts your way.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Luckily or not it was my left ankle I broke, not my hip.
      Thank you for all your good wishes.
      Once I get my laptop here instead of this tiny tablet i will be better at communicating I hope

  11. Andante says:

    So very sorry to hear about Diavolo. Our very best wishes to you.

  12. Luca Marchiori says:

    I was just checking in with your blog as you haven’t posted in a long while and so sorry to hear about your cat and your ankle. It never rains but it pours. Looking forward to some more meanderings when you get your laptop. Sending very best wishes from Venezia and Italy.

  13. mvaden1948 says:

    Grazie Luca and other dear friends. I haven’t felt too much like blogging for a while. My roommate doesn’t feel like TV so it’s very quiet here. Just fine with me. Mostly seniors here which is just fine with me.
    I am better than I was 3 months ago,..not all the ankle issue but lots of others causing interruptions. Including a good dose of pneumonia and every time I try to write a note someone wants something.

    This is all I can do for now. Soon I will try to share some pictures my friend thought were real….just window clings but I will get some food home….the make a lovely impression.
    Love to all.

  14. Sad to read about Diavolo and your other challenges the past few months Michelle. Hope things improve,

  15. Andante says:

    Just been back to Venice, thought of you whilst we were there. The good bits there never change, as you know. Our best wishes to you.

  16. Laurel says:

    Michelle, I have been thinking of you and no way to get in touch except the blog! How are you? Drop me a line at ProjectEasyHiker@gmail,com or via the contact link on Girovaga.com?

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