Thursday, October 20, 2016

What will I do on Halloween?

Here it is the 20th of Oct, and I am not making any plans to give out candy, etc.  Last year it was a nice night, no rain and not much wind.  We had about 50 kids, and some of the costumes were really imaginative.  But this year my heart just isn't in it.  Do I go ahead and "treat" (ho ho) it as just another year, or do I turn out the lights and stay inside?  I don't think there are many homes that do the old holiday things anymore.  I mean, when was the last time for holiday caroling?  Dancing round the Maypole?  Do kids even go to find Easter eggs?  Thankfully, fireworks are mostly the province of professionals on the 4th.  And in these parts, Thanksgiving is in the first week of deer hunting season, so a lot of wives celebrate with a shopping spree and turkey TV dinners while the guys go huntin'.  Christmas is mostly still the same, with big family and friends getting together for a dynamite dinner and family gossip (if you aren't there, they will talk about you). 

Anyway, Halloween.  My dentist says she is divided about whether she can in good conscience contribute to dental problems; and no, she didn't suggest giving toothbrushes to the kids.  But I have no problems with that, everyone knows the parents eat half of it.  Maybe more.  But it won't be the same.  Back when my friend was a kid, everyone went door-to-door, you went in the house, everyone tried to guess who you were, you got homemade candy, it was a jovial celebration.  Not anymore, even small towns like ours often stage parties for the kids to go to in lieu of trick or treating.  I guess eventually it will stop altogether.  I remember when my kids were little that we were advised to check out the candy before they ate any (yeah, right), and to throw away anything that wasn't in a sealed wrapper (yummm).  I'll probably do it this year, if the weather cooperates;  we have been giving candy for at least 20 years, I think. And as I sit there at the driveway with this massive bowl of all my favorite kinds of candy, I'll make sure it is all OK. 

I'll think it over during the next week.  Meanwhile, here is my T-shirt for the day:  "Photographer:  I shoot people and sometimes chop off their heads."

Friday, October 14, 2016

This is the end of book three

Several years ago I felt the need to find a way to backup these posts. I tried to just print each one as it was posted, but that was so unpleasing in making each post look similar, I gave up.  Then I read a post that recommended using and so I now have 2 volumes going back to Oct. 2004.  I planned to do this every October, but the instead volume 2 begins in Oct. 2013.  Now it is 3 years since that volume, so I plan on this post being the last one in the third printed book.  It isn't very costly, and the result is quite attractive, includes photos, covers, and a table of contents.  I will post a picture after it is done.  Won't that be exciting (not)!  But just think, 10 years of blog postings!  I know people whose marriage hasn't lasted that long.  Or even 3 years...  Maybe it is due to my compulsive trait, but if so, I don't give a damn.  I never think about who may be reading this, but my pageview counter says 28,500  give or take.  If I ever give this up for good, I'll post a final goodbye, so anyone reading regularly (a few now) will know there is no need to continue.  Meanwhile, read, comment, plagiarize, or quote, I'm easy. 

Quote for the day:  "It's not really Hoarding if you have Cool Stuff "

Sunday, October 09, 2016


We are all feeling the worse for wear today.  C has a chills-and-fever thing going on; I am just incredibly tired (malaise), and Rachel has her door closed all day, so who knows?  I have been looking at ebay and naturally found three things that look pretty good.  But stingy me, I put in a somewhat higher bid with an auction sniper, it adds a little  something to the bidding watching.
I don't expect to win...

I am still grieving the loss of Maggie, she went downhill so fast (2 weeks or so).  We had her at the vet's office to remove a growth on her leg, and I think they would have noticed her illness then.  But there isn't much to regret, even a month ago she would have needed a lot of chemotherapy, and to be frank, I wouldn't have agreed to put her through that.  My chemo made me ill, and I understood why.  A dog would not have understood anything except that they felt bad. 

2016 will surely go down as a Bad Year.  Beginning with my husband's death in May, the death of my horse Willie in June, the water completely flooding into the lower level of the house following a rain storm in July, and now the passing of Maggie, I know they are not equally the same importance, but still they are all losses.  Being diagnosed as diabetic, having neuropathy, breaking a tooth, all kinds of little things that by themselves are trivial, but added to the rest I feel like I am wearing a big target on  my back.  2015 wasn't a great year either, with the death of my Uncle and then 10 weeks later my Aunt.  Seems like they were setting the stage for the later things. 

I am way too morbid to continue this.

Thought for the day:  "My glass is empty! Quick! Call Wine-one-one! "

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

We lost her today

Maggie, aka Magpie, our black and white Newfoundland, was put down tonight due to an aggressive cancer in all her lymph nodes.  She was only 9.

Missing her.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall(ing) is here

In keeping with the season, I too fell last night.  I was trying to shoo the cats out of my bedroom using treats in the hallway.  But there was a thunderstorm starting at the same time, and two of the 'fraidy cats wanted in my room to hide.  I guess the attraction is that the room is warm and inviting; or it could be that it is because it has a zillion places to hide.  Anyhow, I got them all in the hall, but when I went to turn back into the room, they tripped me racing back in.  I felt myself going down, but there was nothing to grab and down I went.  It's a good thing I am so well-padded and so no damage was done except to my bum, which is bruised.  Well, my pride took a hit too.  My son corralled the hiding cats and I went to bed, not too much the worse for wear.

The little cabinet worked out great, for holding the camera gear.  The dresser top is now tidy and I can find things promptly.  It only took 40 minutes (or less; I wasn't timing it) to assemble.  The reviews on Amazon ranged from saying the assembly was a snap, to those where the buyer had to take it apart twice to get it all lined up.  I don't know why; the instructions are illustrated with drawings and the language is brief and to the point.  Must not be "handy".  Anyway, a good bargain.

With the storm last night bringing a lot of rain, we were fully prepared with sand bags at the entry door to stop any overflow in the garage drain.  And actually the garage stayed dry, so our efforts there with a new drain line and seals on the floor and on the garage door worked out well.  Now that the horse is out of the barn, as they say.

The replacement lamp shade for my cute little lamp from ebay is supposed to be delivered today.  Then I can return the weird silver shade I got from Amazon.  The silver one has an item number that only differs by two digits from the brown one.  The devil is in the details. 

My I'm full of little adages today.  Onward.

Quote for the day :  "I'm great at multitasking. I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Again, we go to sew

Now my visitor counter is gone.  Maybe the HTML will heal itself?  It's my only hope, because I sure can't.

I ordered a Sauder nightstand cabinet and it is out for delivery today.  I want to use it to store all the camera gear (well, not the film ones) out of the dust and cat hair, and keep it together.  The cables alone are a tangled mess, so although I don't know what they all are for (the red black yellow ones) at least I will be able to find them.  As part of this melt down (aka The Flood) I have been sorting through all my craft stuff and giving a lot of it up for donation.  I'll keep the knitting stuff (naturally) and the cross-stitch kits, which I pick up now and again.  But all the doll making, macrame, and so on, will be looking for another home.  It all will make someone happy, getting all these things for next to nothing.  It makes me happy to not have to come up with places to put all this.

I needed to mend a pair of slacks for my daughter, but I was dismayed when I saw where the torn place was.  They had a type of zipper called "invisible".  When the garment has one, and the zipper is closed, the zipper is folded into the seam allowance and has a tiny pull tab at the top.  I don't know if they still make them or not.  They require a special zipper foot on the sewing machine, and are a little tricky the first time they are used.

So I discovered something else I can't do.  I couldn't remember how to turn the sewing machine on, how to wind a bobbin, how to thread the machine, but I persevered and got all of that.  If I still have the presser foot, I either don't know where, or don't recognize it in the bits-and-pieces box.  So I made do, and ripped it out 2 times before I got the seam below the zipper closed.  It isn't my best looking mend job, I have to say.  But all these hindrances are do-able, just needed a little time to work on it, sweep up the mental cobwebs.  But what it is that puts an end to sewing is that I can't feel my feet; and as a result, I can't feel the pedal that makes the machine go and determines how fast it goes.  Kinda like driving, yes?  But I was really dismayed at how  badly the neuropathy really is in a simple task.  I used to make my own clothes (usually with Vogue patterns), the kids Halloween costumes, and so on.  It was a while ago, but I didn't think there would be any problem once I got going.  I was wrong.  And now I have a concrete explanation for myself about why I cannot drive except in dire circumstances.  And why the problem started when the chemotherapy started.

My aunt, many years ago, had a sewing machine that was built into a special cabinet, and instead of the foot pedal, had a lever on the cabinet that she controlled with her knee.  But I am sure they don't make those anymore for home sewing, if anywhere.  She passed away many years ago, and I have no idea where her machine went.  It only had one stitch that it did, a straight forward plain stitch.  I look at machines now, they do everything but paint the room for you.  And I know damn well that their owners don't use all those bells and whistles.

And if you are trolling for reactions to The Debate, you won't find it here.  I refuse to listen, not because I am indifferent, but because Mr. Trump is one scary dude.  I don't go to horror movies either, and they don't have global repercussions.

Quote for the day:  "All reports are in. Life is now officially unfair."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Almost Forgot

I always write the title for these posts after I have written the post.  Mainly because I need to read what I have written to come up with a title.  This one is clearly going to be an example of writer's block.

We still don't have the dining room cleared out of the stuff (sounds better than "junk") that belongs downstairs.  I work at putting stuff away downstairs, but I can't carry anything much (mainly myself) without tripping.  I have neuropathy in my feet, probably from the chemotherapy, and I can't tell without looking exactly where my feet are.  This makes carrying stuff down a flight of stairs, where I need two hands, impossible for me.  I can see, though, how much this is a drag for my son and daughter, but it does have to be done.

I had a nice talk with N's sister last night.  She is raising her great-grandchild, this after raising her own two children and her granddaughter.  He is quite a handful, and I feel for her, but the kid's mother won't step up to take him, and his father is a complete mystery.  That sounds harsh, but it is what it is.  The child, now 4, is a screamer and ADHD for which he is on meds.  I have only seen him once, at N's memorial, and for too short a time to form an opinion.  Maybe things will change for the better as he gets older.

The one remaining horse, Maybe, is settling down after the loss of Willie, her sibling.  She nickers a lot more at us, but without running around screaming.  Horses can be VERY loud when they want, but nickering is a sweet sound.  I feel that she is lonely, but I am resolved, no more horses.  Or dogs.  Or cats, although I waffle a bit on that.  The vet bill for the dog last week was around $800, which is considerably less than the estimate we got beforehand.  It is hard to make these decisions for a pet, no matter which path I choose I have a part that doesn't agree.  In the past we would have said, "do it" but those days are gone.  As an example, taking the two dogs to the groomer is a thing of the past.  Two BIG dogs (Newfies) for a bath and trim job is $100 apiece.  Plus a tip.

Thought for the day:   "Another fine day ruined by responsibility."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Six hundred and fifty

In case you are wondering, this is the 651 post on this blog, so if you read one a day, you will have had a year and nine months of trivia, suitable for driving yourself  completely ga-ga.  I warned you.

I am having a heck of a time with my on-line shopping experience.  For instance, I need flower pots to transplant some of my houseplants.  So far I have received 6 pots too large with no saucers; two tiny pots with saucers but pots are only one cup size; one ceramic pot that is too shallow for the cactus to fit in; three red pots just the right size, but without saucers.  Then there is the lamp shade, It is supposed to be burlap covered and instead is some weird fabric that makes the color silver (ugly) so it has to go back.  It is the right size.  I ordered a nice print by Carol Grigg, only to find it cheaper on walmart(!) although mine is a limited edition, which accounts for the price.  I guess.  The list goes on.  I guess I am too distracted and don't scrutinize the descriptions very well.  All except the weird lampshade, for which I have the email to corroborate.

I am about half way through getting all  my belongings back in the bedroom, I have just temporarily run out of steam.  The living room is clear, now to do the dining room.  Soon.  I will post photos of the finished rooms, but it may be a while.  There is so much junk, we have the trash people scratching their heads over the loads at the curb.  Not that we have a curb; this is after all the rural country.  I wrote on an earlier post that the paving crew was here and I hoped that they would re-pave instead of just patch.  So, surprise!!  They did neither.  Instead they poured a driveway for one of our neighbors, drat.  Not even a dab left for the road.

I go to the dentist this afternoon.  I have broken a tooth, I think.  So this is another fun-filled day.  I don't even get a free toothbrush, or a sticker.  Last time I was there I had an easy time with the cleaning, so I guess it all evens out.  Update:  Yes, the tooth was broken, and needs a crown, but a temporary patch job will have to do for a while.

We took Maggie (Newfoundland) to the vet to get her stitches out and for them to check her ears and eyes for the infections from earlier.  She looks like a giant Q-tip:  fur on her head, and a tuft on the end of her tail, and naked in between.  But no doubt she is cooler.  She got loose when we were moving her back into the yard and did a little walk-about, but came willingly enough when we called.  There is no forcing her to go where you want, as she weighs 125 pounds and pulls you right off your feet.  Very strong dog. There is a story making the rounds about a Great Pyrenees that was kept in a horse stall for 6 years and never clipped until now.  They are about the same size as Maggie, and she felt put-upon  when she was in the horse stall for two days (where she was kept so her stitches wouldn't pull out right away, or get dirty).  Some people don't know what responsible means.

Quote for the day:  "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Carpet Squares

In retrospect, it was kinda funny, but it didn't seem so at the time.  Son C began laying the squares from the doorway back.  I suggested he find the center of the floor, snap a line, and begin the squares on the line, to keep from having to trim every square.  But in the end, it worked out OK, and in the bottom of the empty box we found the directions, and I was right.  Not that I had any OTJ training, to back up my suggestion.

Now we are moving the piles of stuff - just, stuff - back into the room.  It looked pretty large at first, and now it is getting smaller with every box full.  I'm donating a bunch of stuff to a school, through a co-worker of R.  It will be a while, because the first things out of all the flood water is also the stuff furthermost behind the bedroom stuff.  At least I can now water my dining room plants without having to lean over the boxes to reach them, and hope the water was going into the plants.  Some irony there, needing water.

Dining room; almost completely full.

If you look by the windows you can see bits of plants peeking around.  One plant hanging on the right; that's all the access to the plants.  The living room looks worse:
Living room with no place to sit.
The TV on the right doesn't work because the remote doesn't have a clear shot at the front of the set.  Or any pathway to get to the TV where the manual controls are.

None of this includes the furniture in the garage that was too heavy to get it up the stairs.

My plan is to sort things as it comes downstairs, but I probably won't be able to keep up.  Three piles:  keep, pitch, donate.  I have the stuff for a yard sale. but my neighbors say forget it, all they sold with theirs was sold to other neighbors.  I got a nice file cabinet at the last one, a commercial one, not a flimsy made in china one.  But even if we haul it to a flea market, the effort of doing the whole set-up, sell, haul away is lacking.

I realize this is a problem most people in the world would love to have; they wear it out, fix it up, make do without.  This is sorta like complaining that your diamond watch doesn't run.

Quote for the day:  "America is a country where half the money is spent buying food, and the other half is spent trying to lose weight."

Note:  I worked for a guy who bought an expensive gym membership, while he paid someone to mow his grass.

Saturday, September 03, 2016


Yesterday I had a phone call for N.  It was from a testing company for which he read aloud the tests for those not capable of reading, for one reason (like blindness) or another.  He did the reading very frequently because he was almost without any accent, and he was very patient.  In return for doing this, the company made a donation to the Literacy Volunteers.  A win-win set up.  Anyway, the caller was very upset, so I guess she knew N pretty well.  I suppose she never reads the obituaries in the newspaper, it was in there 4 times.  I never knew before that the newspaper charges by the column inch for an obituary, any of them except the tiny little 2 sentence ones, and they want the money up front.  And it is not a trivial charge, either.   Anyway, perhaps that will be the last call.  The carpet we ordered is in, and when Lowes called to schedule the installation, they asked for N instead of me, and here I thought we got that cleared up when we were at the store.  But yesterday's call was sadder because they actually knew N.

The house is looking worse by the day, as I shift things around trying to find my belongings in the heaps.  One more week, I think I will make it.  At least my walk-in closet was not flooded, I can't imagine how I would have handled that.  As it is, the biggest nuisance is that my bed is resting on cement blocks, to get the bed frame (with drawers) up off the floor to remove the wet carpeting and let the bed frame dry.  Every time I roll over the bed goes **Scrape** and wobbles a bit.  I want my bedroom back.

I ordered sand bags yesterday so we can make a barricade against water at the doorway into the house.  I think we have done all we could to divert water away from the roll-up garage door, unless we make a bigger lip on the outer side of the door.  I plan on having a new door for the one that goes into the house, once the money is there, with the "style" that is whatever will make the threshold water-tight. ( I could buy a lot of yarn for that amount of $.)  And fortunately, all the yarn was either in plastic tubs, or on shelving up above the floor.

This photo shows the garage door, pre-flood, and notice how the road water is going *across* the driveway and not down it?  If it rains hard enough, the rain goes (guess where?) downhill, instead. 

You can also see the white cat (named, White, how imaginative) and her very own door, which is shut and fits tightly when the weather threatens.

Ah well, this too will pass.

"For every action, there is a corresponding over-reaction."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

a cute little lamp

I really think the shade is a little large, and I would rather it was tan instead of white, but this was the best of Lowes limited selection.  I'm the only one who will use it, so if it doesn't bother me...I changed my mind; it does bother me.  I ordered a nice tan/burlap shade, smaller than this one and it looks great.  I'll spare you the pain of a third photo...

They are going to re-pave our road!  It has been so long since any maintenance was done, the homeowners on the road (including us, before N died) have been buying gravel and filling in the worst of the potholes.  Cheaper than a broken axle.  I just hope they do the entire length of it, and not just past us (where they are unloading the machinery).   One of the neighbors complained to the DOH and sent photos, so maybe this time the squeaky wheel is the reason.

Quote for the day:  "Doing things that you are not supposed to do at work makes your vision, hearing and alertness much better."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lamping along

This is just a tiny post to show you the lamp base mentioned in the post of Aug. 19th.
It is around 10 inches tall.  Tomorrow I will post a photo of the finished lamp.

Quote:  "Progress is made by lazy men looking for an easier way to do things."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

So far so good

I am getting on top of the dreaded bill paying, I think.  I overpaid several of them, and I don't know if I will get a refund, or if they will carry the positive balance on into the future.  I am making progress in getting all accounts transferred to my name, greatly increasing the management of various functions.

The excellent news is, we sold the Toyota Highlander yesterday.  It eases my mind a lot, it was too expensive and too much more car than we needed.  I can't foresee any reason to have a car that seats 7.  It would be justifiable if there were 4 of us going out (like to dinner), but alas, now we are 3 and any of our vehicles can handle that many.  I even paid the taxes, and can only hope that income taxes will not be astronomical come April 15th.  Uncle Sam has a hard line about paying your taxes one month at a time (you can't) only if it is for the coming year when you can pay an estimated tax.

We changed our cable TV plan and saved a good bit there.  None of us actually watch much TV; I am probably the biggest user and I mostly watch the shopping channels.  I don't buy stuff -- I just like to watch and criticize the jewelry, clothes, cosmetics, and the hosts as well.  But only for short periods of time (20 min is about my limit.)

I still miss N very much, and I guess I always will.  I regret that we didn't make much use out of our time together, never knowing that it would be cut short.  It is ironic that his biggest fear was his heart, and he died of a stroke instead.  His mother did as well, but she was only 57 and once he passed that age he took it for granted that he would be like his dad and live to be 80. I wonder if he had time to realize what was happening to him, but I guess he did not, it was all so quick.  The doctor that was taking care of him in the hospital told me that his own father survived his 2 strokes, but that he really wished he had not, it left him so incapacitated for so long.  I would not have had N under that cloud, even if it did prolong his life.

Getting too morbid here.

It will be another 3 weeks until the carpet can be expected to be installed.  Then there will be all the transporting of everything in the LR and DR back into the bedroom and office.  R will take a day off work to help with carrying stuff downstairs, C would have to do it all himself, since I can't carry much on the stairs when I have to hold onto the handrail.  I didn't find the carpet in the color I really wanted, I guess it is too passe.  But the feel of this one beats the berber carpeting that was in there, very soft and dense.  It will be fine once the room is set back to normal.

 Thought for the day:  "To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Auto Manic

I think we have found someone to buy the Highlander.  It will ease the financial end of the budget, although I wish it were more.  We still have the pickup and C's subaru, both are low mileage and paid for.

I got a small wooden lamp base from ebay which is for use on my bookcase headboard.  It needs a lamp package to get it wired up, and a shade, but a trip to Lowes will do for both of these.  It has neat inlays and I like it.  The bottom has a name (Wm. Willok) and a place (Elkhorn, Nebraska).  And it is dated 1954 and was probably a shop project done by an instructor.  Don't see many of these anymore, and of course the shop classes are no more, it is a pity.  I always wanted to take shop, but "girls" weren't allowed to, we took Home Economics, with units on sewing, cooking, and something else which I can't remember now.  It was felt that girls would be too much of a distraction in shop.  Maybe they were right.  I wonder if any of the guys wanted to take Home Ec?  Probably not.

I am too sleepy to continue this post. 

For today:  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

More Rain

The Roto Rooter guys came on Saturday and dug a new drain line to increase the capacity of the driveway water drain.  They were scheduled to do it on Thursday, but it rained (heavily) and digging in mud is not the way to go.  I convinced them to come on Saturday, when a break in the weather provided a chance to dig before another long string of inclement weather.  I am so glad they finished the job yesterday (Saturday) because we had another Flood watch today.  So far so good.  I am really surprised that we didn't lose the power, especially since we haven't started dinner.  I think the gas range will still work, only it will need to be lit with a match.  I think.

And of course, with the way things have been going over these last months, the guy doing the excavator cut the water line that goes to the barn.  NO water in the barn is a class 4 disaster in the making.  But C went out and assisted with the shovel work to find the two ends of the water line, since the trench filled rapidly with water before we got the barn line shut off.  Makes it really hard to see what you're doing under water.  But it was repaired and all is well now.  Knock on wood.

The cost for all of this is horrendous.  And there is still the carpet, pad, and installation to pay for.  The guy came out and measured the dimensions of the big bedroom and the hallway, stairs, etc. and so tomorrow we can, in theory, go to Lowes to pick out the carpet.  I got one carpet sample from last week, but it is totally unsuitable.  In addition to being the wrong color, it has a rough surface and I want carpet where I can wiggle my toes.  We are going to put carpet squares in the computer room, which we will have to install ourselves, another fun family task.  We can't remove the big desk to make way for carpet, because the desk was put together in the room; and the doorway is too small to move the entire thing out.  Poor planning on our part...

Well, time to do the dinner things, chili for tonight, yumm.

Quote for the day:  "I always take life with a grain of salt...  plus a slice of lemon...  and a shot of tequila."

P.S.  Did you notice that I found another Hit counter over there?  I don't know where the number came from, I thought I had more like 38,000 views.  Oh well.  The price for this one was right.  (Free.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

And the Rains Came

Well, my new crisis is that the entire ground floor of the house flooded in a torrential rainfall, all the way into my bedroom up to the fireplace.  I called a home disaster reclamation company (it was 11 pm on a Sunday) and they came out the next morning with all the equipment to vacuum up the water, then tear the carpet and pad out.  We moved everything salvageable upstairs (where it looks like an episode of Hoarders)  and the company set out a dozen or so dehumidifiers and blowers to dry the floor.  Now the reclamation has ground to a halt while we wait for carpeting to be installed.  This isn't the first time we have had this happen, but it has been 15 years or so.  Back then we did all the vacuuming with a shop-vac which was like draining the ocean with a teacup.  I estimate this current disaster to be around 500 gallons, based on how much water there is in the 50 gallon water trough.

And of course homeowner insurance does not cover surface water damage.

The cost of all of this is frightful.

I am really really tired.  And I can't find anything amid all the tumbled belongings.  Like clean sheets.  And underwear.  And everything in the laundry basket that was clean and isn't now.  Teach me to fold clothes and put them away promptly....

Quote for the day:  "If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Such a Long break

My enthusiasm for writing this blog is at an all time low.  I won't give it up, I promise I will continue however lame the posts become. 

I am finally square (I think) with the annuity folks, although I could throttle N for not getting more life insurance.  Especially credit life for the car.  I'll call the attorney next week and see what his advice is.  Maybe I do need a financial advisor;  N would have just winged it.

Still, his death from a stroke was very fast, not even time to get chemo for the cancer.  I don't know how spouses manage, we were a couple for 45 years, and for the last 10 retired together.  I hear N's voice everytime my son speaks; my daughter sounds just like my mother.  When I am just dozing off, or waking up, I forget they are both gone, although my mom passed 16 years ago, go figure.

Willie, my horse, is also a big hole in my heart since he died.  The mare who is his sister still calls for him when she hears horses way across the valley.  Horses are herd animals, and he was her "herd".

Someone has dropped off another stray cat, I guess they see our old-timer cats and think, this looks like a good place, what is one more?  And whoosh, another mouth to feed.  There is no way I will let an animal go hungry on my property, and usually the (intact) males move on down the line, looking for lady loves.  The girls get spayed if they can be caught.  Although I have had a spayed friendly cat go missing, I hope someone took her to a forever home.  There is no way to tell, of course, but I hope.  She was a beauty, all white.  That was a long time ago.

I can't think of any more trivial bits to share.  I think I am down to a meager few reading this blog, I need to get back to reading other blogs so we can reciprocate.  But meanwhile, feel free to comment or just linger, I'm easy.

Bye for now

Quote for the day : "If you lived here you'd be home by now"  changed sign when building was torn down to  "If you lived here you'd be homeless now."

Thursday, June 09, 2016


It is with mixed emotions that I have reached 46 years of marriage, with husband who passed on May 10th.  We never did much more than a restaurant dinner, and some small gift on the day.  This year will pass without that.  We did go to Myrtle Beach for our 25th, and stayed for a week at a beach condo; and we went on a three day cruise from Boston to Montreal for our 40th anniversary.  And we went to Carmel, CA for one of the early anniversaries when we lived in San Francisco.  All of them were great, sightseeing and eating way too much.  I think I will do grilled steak tomorrow; I have never fixed them, but I guess it isn't all that hard.  My son, C, made a crock pot dinner of beef stew a few days ago which was inedible.  I've eaten some poor food, like 1000 year eggs, abalone, other ethnic meals, but this stew was the awfullest of them all.  We don't know what went wrong, if it was something in the spices, or what; it smelled good while it was cooking.  Even the dogs were less than thrilled when C mixed it with their dog food.

Our neighbor just brought us homemade cinnamon rolls, yum.  And she also gave us a macaroni salad with lots of veggies in it.  She is spoiling us!

I got our photos from the funeral back from Walmart and they made me cry.  The ones of , well here you can see for yourself:

The few we took were all done before anyone arrived, so Susan (N's sister) isn't in them since she came later, straight to the venue from Kentucky.  I never asked her how she found the funeral home, I had hoped we could have some time to visit, as she was originally planning to come the day before.  Anyway, here is the box with ashes, beautiful flowers and a stained glass backdrop.  I would have loved to take one arrangement home, but these obstreperous cats would have it in shreds in a single night.  Instead the funeral people took them to the nursing home where my mom and dad both lived at the end.  

And here is a photo of our living room, a little cluttered but not too messy.  The foot in the white sock on the right edge is of N's foot, in his favorite easy chair.  I can sit in it myself now.  Alone.

Well, this has been an uplifting post (not).  Hoping all of you are doing fine and enjoying the company of your loved ones for as long as possible...

Thought for the day:  "A clean house is the sign of a misspent life."

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Sweet Willie

On June 1st, about 9 pm, we heard (the mare)one of the horses making a racket, but we could not see why she was calling.  Only one horse seen, not two.  Flashlights up in the tall grass, there was my bay gelding Willie, dead.  He was in full rigor, so he had been dead for a while.  We put the mare in the barn, and tried to figure out, by flashlight, what had happened.  But even in daylight the next day it looked like he just laid down and breathed his last.  I hope he didn't suffer, but really there was no sign one way or the other.  I spent hours on the phone trying to get someone with a farm, backhoe, and flatbed truck to get him and take him to be buried.  Our property is only 1..5 acre and anyone looking our way would see (and smell??) what we were doing trying to dig a mammoth grave and move Willie to there.  Nine hundred pounds of inert horse.  And it is not like the matter can wait, with temps in the 80s.  The man we finally found (friend of a friend of a... you get it) came in about 2 hours with his son, and had him in the truck , covered and tied down in 2 hours more.  The fee was $450, which was far less than I thought it would be.

The mare is still in the barn, because she needs to get used to no Willie.  They are siblings, Willie was the older at 25.  When we let her out it will be just in the day, so we can see what she is doing, if she starts racing around and calling.

If Norm were here it would have been so much easier, he knew people he could count on finding someone for this.  I have thought about this for the last 2 years or so, and asked here and there what we should do, given our two geriatric horses, but got no solid leads.  I will keep this man in my organizer, the way my luck is going I will need it soon.

Thought for the day: " I'm not fat.  I'm just...easier to see."
In younger days

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial holiday

Tomorrow is Memorial Day so most of those who work will have an extra day for the weekend.  Norm was a veteran, serving 4 years in the Air Force during the Vietnam years, as a language specialist, Russian no less.  These days those who are veterans are very much in the minority; I'm not sure when or why this happened.  The military was a good choice for guys that didn't want college, or couldn't afford it, and guys who were at loose ends for what kind of a career they wanted.  Norm's reason was the last, he figured out how poor his high school training was if you wanted to be, say, an engineer and so he enlisted.

I'm trying to get back in my usual groove, but it is hard.  I can see why people often sell up and move to another home, I still am feeling like he will walk in the door at any minute.  When I surf the channels I still mentally choose what he would like, but have no intention in actually tuning in football, golf, or PBS.  I will never have to watch NCIS or NCIS-LA again, thank my lucky stars.  He was a big fan of both of those and would, at any moment, launch into a synopsis of that weeks' episode.  Better by far to watch it myself, than to having it explained.  I would ask, how many people got killed this week?  Both of those were (are) incredibly violent.  And he had the first 7 seasons on DVDs, and taped each episode on In Demand, so he could watch it again to pick out details.

The thank you notes still have to be written for those who sent a memorial gift, or flowers, or food.  I know there is no hurry, as the memorial gathering was a week ago.

big damn wasp in here, bye