Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yeah, I know, a headstone isn't the most cheerful of images to start a post. But this one is a personal highlight in that we finally found it.

It goes like this: This is a photo of the headstone for my greatgrandfather and greatgrandmother. When they died, they were buried here, the family plot, although it was originally that of Jonathan Young. Anyway, that piece of the old place still belongs to the family, and most of the family call it Aunt May's place, who was my great aunt. Me, with my far greater knowledge of family history (oooh, yeaah) call it the Young place, where Aunt May ended up. Her grandson, my second cousin, John, ended up with the key to the gate at the foot of the road (if you can call it a road. To me it looks like a cattle path) and although we asked nicely (he lives in our town), he was oddly reluctant to part with the key. We also told him that Aunt Nina wanted to see the cemetary, as she had never been there, it takes 4-wheel drive to get there, that and a lot of swearing. I pointed out that Aunt Nina is in her 80s and the sooner done the better, but he said "HE would take her", which I knew would never happen. Still no go, and finally it dawned on us that this guy is a prison guard at the local prison, and I think the cop mentality prohibits them from handing over the key to anything. We appealed to his mother, who pointed out we were hardly going to carry off a family relic, and he reluctantly handed it over. His whole rationale was this lame story about "kids" tearing up the road with 4 wheelers, etc., which had to sound lame even to him. When he gave it to N, he had to promise to not copy the key. Anyway, we went to the home of our uncle, who likewise wanted to go, and when he heard about the key, he said he wanted to take a look at it, and with our tacit permission, he disappeared for 20 minutes or so, then returned with the key. Such a farango for access to a graveyard in the middle of nowhere! ANyway, I photoed all the stones, and made a verbal tape of the headstones, and my only regret is that at that time we didn't have a GPS to take readings of the spot.

In the end, I turned over the list of grave readings to the local and state archives, and if I want to, I can go again for the coordinates.

Oh yeah, when N returned the key to John, John actually asked if N had copied the key, to which N answered, quite truthfully, no. And Aunt Nina was tickled pink, and she died two years later and is buried next to my parents.

In a better graveyard.

Bumper sticker: "Protect the Earth. We don't have a spare."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Time Marches On

Maggie is doing much better, not 100% yet, but certainly 95%. She has been spoiled by all the attention, and now, if she doesn't want to go into the barn or the stall, she just flops down and gives you this soulful look. We are still giving her pain meds, as she is still favoring that right hip, but less so as she now runs and plays with Raven, runs to us, etc. The only real thing I've noticed is that she won't climb the stairs to the upper porch, but Raven doesn't like to do so much either, what with her awful hip dysplasia. They are both getting TriFlex which seems to help them both in joint flexibility. If they continue to stay off the upper porch, maybe I can risk putting the new cushions out (whoo hoo).

I got a new camera today! It is a Nikon D40, my first DSLR. I have a Sony point and shoot digital camera, but I have always preferred the controls of f-stop, aperture, and speed, and it is hard to work around a fully automatic camera and still come up with the photos I want to make. So hopefully more photos here, henceforth.

I am continuing to lose weight, and hopefully my cholesterol/triglycerides are going down as well. I really miss eating breads, so I indulge some of the time (dfffffffffr =cat paw on keyboard) with a sandwich or hot dog bun. I still have plenty of weight to shed, and then the life-long struggle to keep the weight off. Inside, in my own mind, I'm still the size and shape I was in high school, mirrors not withstanding. But when I look in the mirror, I see my mother. Only 5 inches taller. My cousin, whose mother was my mom's twin sister, looks like my mother too, more than her own mother, who was very frail. I am still fighting the passing of time, with regular appts. for hair color and cut, and trips to the dermatologist (thank all the gods that I stayed out of the sun, even during all those years in Miami), and to the manicurist. I won't wear old lady clothes (polyester brightly printed blouses, elastic waisted pastel pants) but pretty much stick with jeans and a t-shirt, or designer silk blouse, vest, suede blazer, etc. for more formal wear. When I worked, no one cared what we lab rats wore as long as we wore a white lab coat over it. It was a big day when I threw out all my lab coats, sort of like the day we burned the mortgage.

My daughter wrecked her car, and got it back last week, after having to drive a rental for a week. They gave her a Chrysler PT Cruiser. What a piece of junk! Every time she got out of the car a panel for the seat fell out; the thing had the get up and go of a sewing machine, and handled like a farm tractor. It wasn't cleaned either, stank of cigarette smoke (despite being told all their cars were smoke free -- maybe they meant smoker free?) and she found, among the trash in the door pocket, a set of keys on a caribiner. I once found a Mont Blanc meister*** fountain pen in a rental, under the seat, so I told her to check, you never know what will turn up. Anyway, she is way more careful driving now, so her insurance rates don't go up.

This is a pretty lame post, with no social redeeming value, but I am determined to do one post a week, minimum. I have found many of the blogs that were written regularly have either disappeared altogether, or go for months without a post, much as mine did. I understand how something new (hobby or whatever) sort of just fizzles out after a while, like I did with golf, mainly because I suck badly at it (12 strokes for 2 hits -- I CAN'T EVEN HIT THE DAMN BALL!) But writing is something I still enjoy, and if it sounds too banal for you readers, just pass on by. You won't hurt my feelings (much, sniff).

My last birthday.

Bumper sticker for the day: As long as you're on the phone, call your mother!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Low on the Fourth


One of our dogs, Maggie, the 135 lb. Newfoundland, has damaged her hips/spine/something. On Saturday, she was dead lame -- paralyzed in her rear legs. We manhandled her into the car and took her to the vet. They X-rayed her entire spine and bowel (because she wouldn't eat either) did a full blood workup, and checked the movement and sensation in her limbs, for soreness in her belly, the works. $538 later we knew nothing more than when we walked (staggered) in the door, except having ruled out -- what? We took her home with pain meds and stomach soother, and gradually she has gotten better. Still a little stumbley, but better. She has also formed a deep and abiding love for homemade boneless chicken, which we will soon have to eliminate and get her back on the old dog food, poor thing.

I couldn't help but remember last July when we lost our mare Blondie, who also started out lame and got worse. Maggie is even being kept in the same stall, so she and Raven won't get to roughhousing. It is an eerie coincidence, I hope.

I bought a set of cordless phones on ebay, and after 12 years of buying/selling there, I think I have been stiffed for the first time. Paypal is looking into it, and I have my fingers crossed, because I would rather have the phones than go through the pain of another search, trying to locate the top model that Consumer Report recommends. Maybe they will come today (ho ho).

So below are the photos of my cupboard of Feista ware, and a comparison the Pfaltzgraff Wydham pattern I used to use. Quite a difference. People here in WV are nuts about Fiesta ware, I guess because it is WV made, by the Homer Laughlin Co. It is really durable, and several of the local restaurants use it as well. I know it has been whacked a good bit by us, not quite used to the weight of the pieces.

Bumper Sticker for today: "Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion"

Friday, July 03, 2009

Just call me Stumbles Into Open Doors

Wednesday was a bummer. I went to an evaluation for LASIK surgery and did not qualify -- cataracts. He recommended instead having lens replacement BUT my cataracts are "not that bad yet" so the Insurance will not Pay. So I guess I will wait and see just how poorly my vision will be in another year. Damn.

Sold another book on Abebooks. Maybe some day I will break even there, but for now I am slowly whitling away on all our books. Many many more still to go on the inventory. You can click on Abebooks logo over there ----> if you want to browse them.

Tuesday we drove down to the Fiesta Outlet store in Flatwoods and picked up a few new pieces. I would try to find them on eBay, but the dishes are such heavy stoneware that it costs a fortune to ship them, AND they are mostly "retired colors" and I bought 7 different contemporary colors (Scarlet, tangerine, sunflower, peacock, ivory, shamrock, and cobalt blue, if you are interested, and why should you be?) One of these days we will make it to Newell, WV, where Fiesta is made, just for a look.

The other china we had was Pfaltzgraff, which Fiesta wins over just in spelling, don't you think? All 300 pieces are in storage, while I figure out what to do with them. Now if the kids would just move out...
Will post a pic of the Fiesta brightening up my cupboard soon.

I figured out why most of my house plants are/have croaked. Brown scale, probably brought in on a small cactus ages ago. Slowly winning the war on them, at least for a few of the rarer plants. All a colossal pain to do, wiping down every leaf and stem with alcohol and then spraying multiple times with malathion. Maybe I'll show you a photo of the dastardly invader.

Bumper sticker: "Honk if you think I'm a great driver". The silence has been phenomenal.