Little Stories

Jeff Powell
3 min readMar 15, 2024
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Last week’s post was sent out early because I working at the college, filling in for the Fine Arts shop coordinator. I spent three days there Thursday, Friday, and Monday. I had a good time and the students seemed appreciative.

This week’s post is driven by a few little stories that came up along the way.


I haven’t been sick in ages. Partly that’s due to being retired and not seeing all that many people in person and partly it’s due to wearing a mask when I am out in crowded places. But no protection is perfect. I managed to fly to and from Chicago a while ago and never got sick despite hours in airports and on planes, but it seems that three days in the shop was enough.

I have no clue what I am infected with yet. The only symptoms were a headache for 18 hours and a relatively mild (by my standards) sore throat that has been with me for just over 24 hours now. I doubt it is COVID, but it’s too early to test yet. The at home tests aren’t sensitive enough as I understand these things.

In any case, I cancelled a haircut appointment and I will hide over the weekend and hope to recover quickly. Illness is a part of life — though I hate that fact — and I will be fine.

First Banana

Every morning I have a banana as part of breakfast. It started ages ago when I was having lots of leg cramps. The theory was that might be related to not getting enough potassium, and bananas are supposedly high in that mineral.

Aside: they’re not that great. A whole medium banana provides about 420 mg of potassium, but the recommendation for adult men is 3400 mg of potassium per day and for women it’s 2600 mg per day. So sure, they help, but they aren’t going to solve a potassium shortage on their own. You can easily search the internet for foods with higher amounts of potassium. Here’s a list from Runner’s World.

It turns out that years of living with leg cramps finally taught me the cause. In my case, it was dehydration. Age and watching my water intake have helped me lose most leg cramp issues, but the banana habit remains.

However, I am not alone in eating my banana. Cruzer — bless his tiny doggy brain — loves all things vegetable, and made it a point from the beginning to tell me he wanted some (or all) of my morning banana.

In astronomy, there’s a term for the very first use of a telescope. The first time it’s pointed at an object and captures a photo or someone looks through the eyepiece. It’s called “first light”.

The other day I realized that Cruzer gets “first banana” every morning. I peel open the fruit and break off the first bite to give to him. These days, as a very elderly dog, he doesn't always come to me to get his share, but in that case I bring it to him.

First banana matters to him, so it matters to me, for as long as he remains with us.

Saturday Focus

Last Saturday saw me finish up all the work needed to submit our taxes off to our accountant. There were a couple of minor delays this year, so it was good to pull everything together and get it sent off to the firm for processing.

Aside: As I have previously mentioned, if you are a US citizen and you move to another country, just about the first thing you need to do when you arrive is find an accountant that can handle filing your taxes in both the USA and wherever you are living. It’s just too complicated. Hire a pro.

Saturday also saw me catching up on that most mundane of chores: laundry. For some reason the laundry basket was overflowing and threatening the neighbours, so it was time to deal with that as well.

So, laundry and taxes. Laundry and taxes. Hmm. I looked at Anne and told her I was having an Everything Everywhere All At Once kind of day. She laughed and suggested we should have bagels with dinner. There’s a reason we’re married.

And that’s it for me this week. Cheers!



Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.