Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End of 2013

Here it is New Year's Eve, and we have a big night planned, eating homemade chili and watching TV.  I won't make it to midnight, around 10 I'm ready for bed, if not sooner.  Tomorrow we will take down the Christmas decorations and the tree, and I will be able to get into the cabinet where my yarn is stored.  An exciting day.

I haven't felt too well these last couple of days, but nothing I can put my finger on.  I just want to curl up under a blanket and sleep.  All day.  It's even a struggle to get dressed every day, and not hang around in my jammies until official bedtime. 

One task I did get done was clearing out the computer room.  It was so crammed with junk you couldn't even turn around in it, you had to back out.  I donated the books (around 200 of them) to a local used bookstore, and waded through the remains, ruthlessly purging all the old files, and labeling the organizing boxes that fit into a cabinet.  Looks tons better, and it is so nice to be able to walk in here again.  I have seen a few episodes of Hoarders, and they give me the creeps; still I can relate (somewhat) to not wanting to throw stuff out.  But I like to have things tidy, even if vacuuming and dusting are pretty scant.  Even the kids have complimented me on the result.

DH got a mini RC helicopter for Christmas, but it has been too windy to try it outdoors.  And there isn't much space indoors for any kind of testing, not even counting the cats who either duck and run away, or try to catch the little blighter.  Of course, in addition to being windy, the temps today remained in the 20s, with even colder weather forecast for the rest of the week.  Luckily I have no more appointments this week, and got all my meds refilled today, the last time they will be co-pay free for at least a while. 

Bumper sticker for the day:  "I'm not weird.  I'm a limited edition."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nearly Christmas

I am done, and done in too.  All the gifts have been delivered, all of them wrapped and under the tree, Christmas food all tucked up in the fridge.  I am exhausted, although I didn't do that much by myself.  Anyway, I thought I would do a quick post here, so you won't think I fell off the face of the earth.  And really, it hasn't been that long since the last post.

The weather here has been one gloomy day after the next.  The temps have been as high as the 70s (yesterday) and yet the temp is plunging down today and tomorrow. The rain is making an awful mess outdoors, and the horses are highly incensed that they have not been able to be outside due to the slippery footing, and them being in their 20s.  The very very worst of it is that with the warmer weather, the #%!*&$ stink bugs are once again active.  Daughter found one in her purse this morning, major ICK.  Husband found three in the bedroom, and no doubt there will be more as they try to find warmish places to hibernate.  I can only imagine what spring will be like (shudder) .  When I lived in FL, many years ago, I had a horror of "palmetto bugs" which most people call roaches.  Big ones, that fly (clumsily) and are a constant battle.  When we fist lived in Memphis, the landlord would have the place sprayed regularly at the first sign of a roach.  I couldn't believe the small things were roaches, granted I didn't want them around, but to me they weren't even close to being MY idea of a roach.  Let's end this subject.

It is almost time to ship out this month's swap package on the Knitting Paradise forum (http://knittingparadise.com if you are interested ).  This month's color wheel swap is black and white, and I have found some excellent items to include (apron, tote bag, mug, notebook, pens, etc. as well as yarn of course).  The site is very informative for knitters and crocheters, as well as one section of "other crafts" where most anything might appear.  And the swaps are fun, a different partner every month.  So far I have done red, blue, green, and pink, and there have been neat items in every one of them.  Sometimes I find readers here who have come from the KP forum, so if that includes you, welcome!

Bumper sticker for the day:  "The best things in life aren't things."

Friday, December 13, 2013

All done

All is well; thank all of you for your kind thoughts.
Bumper sticker for the day:  "Does running late count as exercise?"

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December at the speed of light

I can't believe it is the 8th of December already.  I won't bore you with the list of tasks undone; I will say the tree is up.  Not decorated, but the lights are on.  Progress.

I was trying to remember Christmases past, not in general, but specific ones.  The only one I can remember is the Christmas I got my first guitar.  I was 12, and I was so excited, my parents had managed to hide it completely, so even snooping around didn't reveal it.  I have different guitars now, two of them.  I still play, although my hands cramp up pretty quickly and I haven't tackled a new song in a long time.  There is something very soothing about listening to a master guitar player, like Chet Atkins or Eric Clapton (acoustic and when he isn't singing!), or Leo Kotche (jazz) or even Santana (rock and roll).  I wish I had been more consistent in taking music lessons, the last teacher I had passed away from cancer and I haven't looked any further since then.

I can't sleep tonight, I keep waking myself up snoring.  I've tried reading, and writing in my journal, and counting sheep (well, not really), but here I am at 5 am, groggy and drowsy, but wide awake as soon as I get comfortable in bed.   No doubt I'll be dropping off about the time to get up.  Isn't that always the case?

I've been struggling with rosacea and it has flared up in the last few weeks.  I look like Santa with his cheeks so rosy (and a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, but let's not go there).  I went to the derm doctor last Monday, and she gave me a sample of a new drug that is a vasoconstricter, works fast and lasts twelve hours.  I have tried it twice, and have not had much success yet, but I am trying to feel when the flare-up starts and not wait until I am beet red to use it.  It would be nice to be able to use blush again.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Looking backward

I am fast approaching the 7th anniversary of my retirement,  Dec. 29th, 2006.  I have to mark it as one of my happiest moments.  Above is the photo taken at my retirement party of the folks I worked with for around three years.  Some of them are retired now, and others have moved on to other jobs, but they were a great bunch of people to work with.  That's me on the far left upper row, and that smile didn't leave my face the entire day.  Every Christmas season I think of how frantic it always seemed to be, doing all the necessary daily things, and somehow squeezing in shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, and on and on.  Since retirement, that has all changed, partly due to having more time; if I get tired shopping (especially for groceries) I just stop with what I have, pay, and go home.  Plenty of time the next day.  I run into other people I worked with, or my daughter does and they ask about me, and whether I enjoy retirement.  The answer is YES I do.  Wish I could have done it sooner, but it's OK now.  I worked 25 years at the university, and 10 years in federal research labs, and 35 years of work like mine, where I was on call for all kinds of hours, really wore me down.  And once the cancer came (three years ago in February), I at least didn't have to worry about a job or family obligations, only taking care of myself with DH's help.

Hope all of you are looking forward to holiday happiness, seeing family and friends, and getting lots of great stuff to eat!

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Stay clam and proofread."

Friday, November 29, 2013


As usual, I ate too much on Thanksgiving and am now paying the price.  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, deviled eggs, green beans, homemade dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pickle, pie with whipped cream,; although I have to admit the pie didn't get cut yet.  We certainly did justice to such a spread.  I talked to my uncle and aunt (about 90 miles away) and they had a quiet dinner with their son and his wife.  I'm glad they had someone to share with; their son often works holidays so that those with family can be off (he works in a hospital).  We will try to get down there before Christmas, weather permitting.  The big storm predicted for our area (and actually the entire state) wasn't a hill of beans; we had 2" and most of that melted.  There were places a little icy, but doable if you had decent tires.  We saw one car on Wednesday that spun out, but it had student winter tires; that's any tire with some tread.  As long as they don't plow into someone else, or block the road, I figure they are entitled to make a fool of themselves.

We usually put up the Christmas decorations this weekend, but no one seems up for the job.  Maybe next weekend.  Some  of our neighbors have their outside lights up before Thanksgiving, so at least they could do them when the footing isn't slippery.  One neighbor has Hodgkin's lymphoma, so they may have taken that into account, for an early Christmas.

The Newfs are out in the back yard today, free to bark their heads off.  Luckily we live a fair distance from our neighbors, and the dogs cannot reach the boundary fence line, so it is OK with me.  The neighbor dogs answer back, there is quite a chorus at times.  Naturally, I don't see anything bark-worthy.

I have been working on getting some of my fountain pens up and running, I never should let them sit unused this long.  I sonicated the nibs and feed, which helped most of them.  A few are unrepentantly clogged.  I'll remove the ink and let them soak overnight.  I have oodles of pens, and carry at least 5 or 6 in my purse, though mostly ball points so I don't get ink stains inside the handbag.  Right now my hands are stained and I need to go scrub them with a drop of bleach.  They are a little conspicuous with blue, burgundy and brown ink stains.

I sent off my "green" swap box to my partner in the knitting forum swap exchange.  I got a reply already, it shipped priority in 2 days.  I can't wait to get my package.  The swaps are a different color every month, and it is fun to look for items in that month's color.

Bumper sticker for the day:  " The past, the present and the future walked into a bar.  It was tense."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Snowy day

We just returned from attempting to go to a therapy visit.  We cleaned all the snow off the car, warmed it up, and ventured out into traffic of shoppers and people driving to family gatherings.  When we reached the office, there was a sign on the door that the office was closed from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3rd.  The door was locked, and the doorbell did not produce anyone.  After we got home the therapist called to say we "just missed her"  and that she put a note on the door to ring for admittance.  Too late for us, we went back home and weren't about to venture out again.  This would have been the 4th visit with this therapist, and I can already see we will have problems.  I am rarely/never late, and I think she should have arrived at least 15 minutes before our appointment.  A big waste of makeup today!

The snowfall predicted for overnight didn't materialize here, we had only about 2 inches.  What is falling now is more like rainy mist, and the snow is disappearing.  So much for the 6-8 inches forecast.   Not that I am complaining;  once both son and daughter are home for the holiday (this afternoon) I don't care what it does outside, we have all we need through the weekend at least.  And no, I won't be going shopping on Black Friday, big crowds make me panicky and I like to shop online and just wait for the delivery.  It is much simpler to do that now, when there are only the four of us, than it would be to wander the mall searching for inspiration.

The horses are inside the barn for the next couple of days.  The footing outside is far too slippery for them, when they leap and buck and run after being in for a day or two.  I have a photo of Blondie and Willie running in hock-deep snow, back when they were young and sure-footed.  It is one of my favorite photos.  Now Blondie is gone, and Willie and his sister Maybe are senior citizens.  I don't know what we did when we only had the little wooden barn, open on one side, but the big barn, with hot water, lights, heated water buckets, in the winter and fans in every stall and in the end of the barn roof, automatic fly sprays, every summer, all of this is a dream come true.  Best of all is that it is all paid for.

 Bumper sticker for the day:  "IRS:  We've got what it takes to take what you've got."

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Hostess with the least-est

What is the largest group you have ever catered for, as the principal hostess?  For me it was around 17 or so.  It is not-so-fondly referred to as the Christmas from hell.  My sister-in law, her husband and my brother in law, plus assorted relatives nearby and not so nearby came for the holiday.  My sister-in-law brought another visitor too -- the awfullest virus, and one by one we succumbed.  DS was teasing his sister because she got sick on Christmas eve; so of course, he got sick on Christmas day.  I got sick the day after everyone left, which was the best I could hope for.  The entire episode made fixing meals a nightmare.  I had people who weren't sick (yet) and ate regular food; people who were getting over the worst and wanted soup and jello; and those in the midst of the whole mess who didn't want anything.  Oh yeah, and we had to call a plumber out on Christmas eve.  It was the only time the whole family was together, and we got some good visiting done even at the worst.  But that was the last time everyone came, and it wasn't even my fault!  I spent half my time going around with clorox wipers trying to stem the spread, but if it helped I didn't see it.  Now we have just the 4 of us, and I am sad when I think of all those who have passed away.  Now there is only sister- and brother-in-law, one aunt and uncle who can't make the trip as she is house-bound, of the original list.  I would do it all again if it meant I'd get to see them all again.

We shopped yesterday for the Thanksgiving menu, nothing very elaborate, but the mobs at the store!  The only good thing was that they had all the registers open.  I hope we didn't forget anything, because for sure I'm not going back.

The mail hasn't come yet today, but I know we will have mail - Christmas catalogs!  I don't know how I end up on so many mailing lists, but whatever the cause, there are a lot of them.  Hammacher and Schlemmer is one of my favorites.  They advertise an authentic London taxi cab, including leather upholstery, tinted glass, extra front seat, mahogany trim, chrome fenders and air conditioning.  All for a mere $40,000.   Levenger is another catalog, for leather goods and writing instruments; for example,  they have desk sets, with desk pad, letter tray, pen cup, etc. in leather for $495.  Or a leather tote for $329.  Heck, send me two.  And of course there is all the schlocky stuff in Oriental Trading Company, or Harriet Carter, Miles Kimball, and Collections.  Some of them send me emails as well; a typical list of emails for the day will include 50 or 60, of which 4 or so I will open and read.  That doesn't count the ones caught by my spam filter.

This cold weather has brought the birds flocking back to the feeders.  For a few weeks,  it seemed that the season was over for the migratory birds, but today there were quite a few of them as well as the ones (like cardinals) that don't migrate.  It is funny to watch them kicking out the seeds they don't want to get to the ones they do like, while the birds on the ground have what must seem like manna falling from the sky, to pick up among the grass.  Either way, it all gets eaten.

Bumper Sticker for the day:  "When you stop believing in Santa you get underwear."

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 years??!!

It can't be 50 years since JFK died.  Surely not.  I guess I was 12 at the time; I know I was in Latin class in the 8th grade.  The announcement came over the PA, and, like at any junior high of the day, there was nervous laughter, crying, bewilderment.  We watched the funeral on TV for hours, and felt shocked again when Oswald was killed. I can't replay the whole story that is everywhere this week, it feels too morbid and even after all this time, too bewildering.  Do I believe Oswald acted alone?  Not.  Do I believe  Ruby shot Oswald out of some grandiose patriotic pay-back feeling?  Not.  Will we ever know the entire truth?  Not.

Maybe it doesn't matter anymore?  Dunno.

I certainly hope security for our leaders has vastly improved.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "If you are psychic - think "HONK".

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A one, a two...

I can finally move my right knee again.  Just got a cortisone shot, it will be good for close to 3 months if the relief is the same as the last several shots.  It is so wonderful to walk without a limp, or the fear that my knee will collapse when I stand suddenly.  December looks to be a very busy month, and I want to be able to navigate painlessly, even though I do a lot of shopping online.

I ordered a chamois shirt for my son, he wears one as an overshirt, and the one he has really looks tatty.  I couldn't decide which size to get, large or extra large, so I got one of each, and then can send the other one back.  Hope he likes it.  I ordered from Carrheart.

I haven't been able to see my therapist, the time since my last appt. has just flown by, and now she has moved (I think) and can no longer be reached at the phone number she had before.  I tried again today.

I can't tell you where I took this picture, just that it is somewhere near Helvetia WV.  A beautiful little hidden stream.  I put it here as a reminder of the green months, not just the brown crispy ones we are having now.  I have watched the incredible tornado/hurricane devastation across the country and the world, and it feels really trivial to complain about merely fall days.  I can't imagine what all the homeless people will do as winter approaches.  I read somewhere recently of someone gathering up the "gotta keep it" bag with the irreplaceable items to grab as you are going to safety, and I couldn't imagine how I would do this.  My main fears would be for  the horses, the dogs, and the cats.   I couldn't exactly stuff them in a pillowcase and make a run for it.  Photos?  There are probably no more than 50 that I would salvage, but now I have all my photos stored in the cloud, so they are retrievable.  My fountain pen collection?  Maybe, they would all fit in a shoebox, but would I be devastated without them?  I don't think so.  As long as my family and furry ones are OK, so I will be.  It's only stuff.

 Still have some work to be done on my scarf knitting project, so I will get to it.  Take care.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Of course I talk to myself.  Sometimes I need expert advice."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Creaky knees

Bumper sticker for the day:  "We're not old people, we're recycled teenagers!"

Friday, November 08, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


The cryptic title above stands for National blog posting month, started by Eden Kennedy on BlogHer.  The site gives you a topic every day for the entire month and bloggers are challenged to write a post every day for the entire month of November.  I did it one year and boy was it a struggle, even with prompts.  I have no intention of doing it again, but it is nice to see the posts of the "pro" bloggers.

This is the sunset I took just minutes ago from our back deck.  It doesn't last long, but boy do we ever have gorgeous sunsets.  The trick is to put the sun behind the tree mostly, so that it doesn't blind you and wash the photo away.  Beautiful countryside.  When we lived in San Francisco, many many years ago, we would drive to Lake Tahoe a couple of times a year.  I couldn't get over how beautiful it was, and envied people who could live there year round.  Where we live now, in WV, is every bit as lovely as Tahoe, in its own way, and there are a lot fewer people to contend with too.  Never going to leave; just wish the house was all on one level.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Never trifle with a cat for they are cunning and you sleep with your mouth open."

Friday, November 01, 2013

All Saint's Day.

The black tomcat was in the garage this morning waiting for his morning munchies, so no worry from Halloween.  He is a nice cat, friendly and tame; I bet someone "dropped" him off here thinking he would be good with all the other cats that come and go, there are always 2 or 3 lounging on the front porch or the yard when the weather is nice.  Irresponsible people, what kind of example do they set for their children?  One of my "pet" peeves.  Ho ho.

We were way down on the number of trick-or-treaters this year, I guess because the weather was so bad.  I sat in the open garage rather than on the front porch, to at least have shelter from the rain and some protection from the wind.  I saw a bunch of princess costumes as well as witches and Dracula; some pirates and one Minnie Mouse and one Dorothy, really cute.  *But* this means there was a lot of candy left over; toward the end of the time I just gave out handfuls of candy, and C took a bunch to work this morning, but there is still some left.  Munch munch.

We actually have sunshine today, temp is 64 and it is very welcome.  The dreary cold weather will start before long.  Sunday is 'fall back' day when we gain an hour, meaning starting Sunday six pm will be dark like 7 pm is now.  I never have understood the rationale behind monkeying with the clocks.  About half the time we forgot and ended up going to work an hour early on Monday.  I think.

The power today has been flickering, messing up the clocks and the computers.  I guess the UPS for the desktop isn't holding a charge anymore and needs to be replaced, as a one second outage is dropping the connection and the power.  Right now I am on the MacBook,  so I'm good for several hours.  I hope.

When I was 11 or 12 a neighbor and I arranged to go trick-or-treating together, in our neighborhood in Miami.  That evening my mom picked a fight with me about a trivial thing - dinner dishes, I think - and said I couldn't go.  Looking back, she did this several times, on one pretext or another; I think she was afraid  to let me out on the streets in the dark, but couldn't say so, hence the argument.  After that, we always went to the church- sponsored party, which was fun,  as I recall it was sometimes a barbecue or a haunted house, or in the youth hall.  Our neighborhood was a very safe one, not like now, but kids did still get in trouble, although it was pretty small potatoes, like TPing a house, or soaping a window or the like.  Here where we live now, the houses are far apart and most parents drive their kids from driveway to driveway.  When our kids were young they went with the babysitter's son in their trailer park, almost as good as an apartment building.  I went along, but I have a terrible sense of direction and depended on the boy to get us back to their place.  It was great fun, and the weather always cooperative.  The controversy that churches have about the holiday are pretty much non- existent here, at least so far.  I have never understood the diatribes about Halloween, it is not like the kids are holding ceremonies with the devil, they are collecting candy!  Good fun for everyone and good work for dentists too.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Let's face it:  Your only hope is the"Lottery."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

S**wing outside

NO!  I told myself that fall is far too fleeting (alliteration there) to take for granted but myself didn't listen.  This is the view from the dining room at an ambitious snow flurry.  You can see that the trees have not yet shed all their leaves yet, but tonight will probably do them in, as well as the porch flowers.  The flowers are looking pretty whipped already, but there are a few blooms hanging on.  I will  miss them.  We bagged the outside chair cushions and stored them away earlier today; 40 degrees is a little cool to be lounging outside, no matter what the view.

I am totally ticked at my knitting project, a scarf that is supposed to be a gift.  I dropped 3 stitches in the middle of the 125th row (of 250 total) and they 'ran' (like a stocking) down several rows.  I tried to catch them and hang them again, but I just can't.  If I could ravel it back to the row before this I would, but that would only leave me with the entire thing off the needles, all 38 stitches of them.  So I kludged a repair that isn't too awful and went on. Hate it.  The first time on this pattern, I messed up 4 times; the second attempt only one stitch, and now this.  I have been so careful, I don't  know what went wrong.  Grrrr.

Today I got my copy of my blog from Blog2print.  They take your blog between whatever dates and come out with a hard copy, with index, and photos and your selection of a cover, and so on.  It is printed on nice magazine-type paper and bound nicely.  I did this once before, after 7 years of the blog, but I took it to Office Depot and had it spiral bound.  I had the original bound blog done because blogspot had been having trouble ( this is when it was run by blogexplosion) and I was afraid I'd lose the entire thing.  I couldn't figure out how to just download the entries, and in the end, a hard copy is better all around.  Now no matter how the computer interfaces change (floppies to CDs to thumb drives, for example), I have a hard copy.  The copy that came today is for the last 3 years, beginning with the entry when I found out I had breast cancer.  Reading through it, I am pretty pleased, it sounds more coherent than I thought it would,  since usually I only glance back at the previous entries.

Bumper sticker: "Don't get me started.  I don't come with brakes."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I have been writing this blog since 2004 and in all that time I think I have gotten less than 150 comments total, on hundreds and hundred of posts.  How do I go about getting a more comment-y response?  I read other blogs and write comments and my blog address, but so far that has yielded very few (like 40) remarks, most from bloggers that I didn't visit myself.  A few exceptions (and I thank you for that).  When I read back over my posts, they sounds reasonably coherent and rant-free; is it that the topics are too boring?

I stand corrected: there have been 430+ comments, including 50 or so from just the last 8 posts.  But why aren't these being posted?  I can read them on the http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8929312#publishedcomments page, but not here with the posts.  What gives?

Any insights into this will be much appreciated.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Does your train of thought have a caboose?"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Photographer extraordinaire

Well, not really.  I have been doing some photos outdoors this week, but I am not satisfied with the results yet.  I wish there were some way to get a higher elevation, so I can look down on the house and the front yard foliage.  I have been known to climb a ladder to photograph the swimming pool (that entry is on here somewhere), but that is not high enough.  I'll wander around tomorrow, weather permitting.

I have taken several photo classes over the years.  The latest is from Better Photo, an online critiqued variety; the problem is a combination of the high price per class, and having to devote a great amount of time to the assignments.  They have been sending me emails nearly everyday, and I guess they are suffering from a downturn of students due to the economics of the day, less discretionary funds to go around;  I know I don't currently have $395, for an 8 week course, to do this.

Am I scary enough?

This is BC who thinks she actually fits in this box.  It looks like she burst out of it.

Bumper Sticker:  "Sometimes life just sucks the jelly right out of your donut."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sliding Right Along

Well, I kinda let things slide here for a bit, but I promise to do better.  Or at least make the attempt. 

It is 5 am and I am finally sleepy again, so I will work on this tomorrow when I am not so zombie-ish.

This is my daughter, at the pumpkin place we went to on Saturday.  So much to see!  A live band, all kinds of vendors, flowers everywhere.  I amazed myself at all the walking I did, mostly due to having a shopping cart to push and keep my balance.
It has been several years since we were there, we must remember to go again next year.

I am slowly working on the third knitted scarf, like the first one but without the errors.  It is white, with a lovely soft hand.  This one will be a gift.  Assuming all goes well.

It is very foggy here this morning, everything outside sounds muffled.  The bird feeders are still being used pretty much all day, I worry that this mild start in weather will hamper their migration, maybe we should take the feeders down?  This is the first year for them, all the outdoor cats are now too fat and too lazy to lie in wait for a bird snack.  One of the outdoor cats has disappeared, a tomcat; they come and go, looking for love (of the female cat kind) I guess.  Maybe he will turn up again.  He is a black cat, I worry when I don't see them near Halloween.

I got my hair cut and I hate it.  Maybe it will be OK once it grows out a bit.
Bumper sticker for the day:  "I've got a perfect body but it's in the trunk and beginning to smell."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Fall, my favorite season, has begun, and I love it.  Cool crisp days, a little breeze, the leaves just beginning to turn, it is all so beautiful.  I thought about posting a photo here, but decided to wait until the leaves are more striking.  One good frost will do it.  I do realize that my last post extolled the beautiful fall season, but every day brings more color and the feel of crispy leaves underfoot.

The horses are feeling fall too, jumping into the air and bucking.  For 20+ year old horses, it is pretty neat to watch, although I hold my breath every time, these geriatric horses that think they are still colts.  It will break my heart when it is time for them to go.

My heart catheterization went OK, the worst part was the waiting in the little cubical to get started.  The results were a good heart for my age.  I think the next is to check the electrical circuits, see if I need a new battery or whatever.  I won't know much until I see the heart doctor in October; I  know she will recommend that I lose weight.  Sigh.  I did get the final cap on my broken tooth, so I can eat on both sides of my mouth.  Heaven forbid that I curtail my eating.  My only souvenir of the heart cath is a pretty big bruise on my arm where they inserted the catheter.  

Did I mention the knitting forum swap?  There are a lot of different kinds but they all work the same.  Each swap has a theme, and the one I am signed up for is the color wheel.  Evey month there is a different color.  This month's is pink; you get whatever is pink to send along to your swap partner (a different one every month) and they do the same for me.  There is a dollar amount, but I always overspend and then have to pare down the items.  It is a lot of fun, seeing what you get, anything from candy and coin purses, to (always of course) yarn.  I always love to get packages in the mail.

Time to go.
Here is the bumper sticker for the day:  "If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"

Friday, September 06, 2013

An Early Fall Day

Having a lovely day today, the sky a clear blue and just warm enough.  I suppose we will still have some hot days, but for this weekend it is pool closing time.  I had only 3 times in the pool all summer.  Even when the water was warm enough, we had lightning storms nearly every afternoon/evening.  A pool is not where you want to be when lightning is around.

My luck with doctors is continuing, as the oncologist I saw sent me for an echocardiogram and chest x-ray, when I told him about my breathlessness.  They showed that my EF (?) was low, and to follow up with the cardiologist who would call me with an appointment.  So far no call, but taking the meds prescribed by the oncologist.  Guess I will have to follow up with the oncology office.  I don't even know the name of the doctor who is to contact me.

I saw the trailer for the new Riddick movie, starring Vin Diesel, a couple of days ago.  I want to see it (I really like the Riddick character), but it looks a little, um, intense.  I think I will wait until it comes out in DVD to watch it.  That way, if it gets to be too much, I can stop it and come back to it after a break.  And the cost of going to the movies!  $9.00 and then the absurd price for drinks and popcorn.  Makes buying the DVD sound quite reasonable.

Can't think of anything else to day, so hang in there, I'll do better next time.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "I've lost my mind and I'm pretty sure the kids took it."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Senior Moments

A senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership.  Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little gray hair he had left.  "Amazing," he thought as he flew down I-94, pushing the pedal even more.  Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring.  He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120.  Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing?  I'm too old for this," and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.  Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch, and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes.  Today is Friday.  If you can give me a reason for speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."
The old gentleman paused.  Then he said, "Years ago, my wife ran off with a State trooper.  I thought you were bringing her back."

"Have a good day, sir," replied the trooper.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "If at first you don't succeed then skydiving is not for you."

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I just love pens.  Fountain pens by Parker, vintage, are my favorite, but any clever or ordinary pen that writes nicely will do.  When I worked, I had this huge ceramic pot completely filled with pens.  When co-workers asked if I had, say, a red pen, I would pretend to study the big pot, and then give them whatever they needed, no return expected.

But when I got re-assigned to a lab, I only worked there long enough to give myself a nervous breakdown, and was on sick leave for 2 months.  I came back to collect my stuff for another job (which was wonderful) and found Dr. A. had taken all my retractable gel pens.  I guess he thought I had bought them somehow with his grant money, even though I had no access to his money and had bought all those pens myself (or maybe he thought finders keepers (he was from Ethiopia, maybe property is handled differently there) or maybe he thought I wouldn't be coming back)  I saw him writing with one particular pen, a Sarasa, that came multi-colored  and archival quality, so especially useful when writing up lab data.  But what was I supposed to do, snatch it out of his hand?  Anyway, I just found these same pens while ordering a new calendar, and today they came.  I am pleased all out of proportion to the value or scarcity of these pens; I feel like I won another round with Dr. A**hole.  Pardon my french.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Why be difficult, when with a bit of effort, you can be impossible?"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I'm sitting here waiting to leave for a visit with the surgeon.  Next week I see the oncologist and the following week, the dentist, and then the new therapist.  Of all of these I dread the dentist the most.  I broke a tooth on Monday and the dentist was able to patch it up, so I can get by until that date to do a crown.  I hate it, the impression gags me and laying all the way upside down makes me feel faint.  Xanax beforehand.  No pretzels beforehand!   I called the derm doctor for an appt., and the soonest she has an opening is December!  Must be a good practice.  I have known her since she was a student in the lab where I worked, or I would probably change doctors to one closer to me. I seem to be failing one system at a time...

Speaking of failing, DH pulled a tendon in his heel, and the chiro that he goes to wrapped it, for support, like the athletes' ankles are wrapped.  When DH took it off two days later, he had a mammoth blister on the top of his foot where the bandage rubbed.  Now he has no bandage and I refuse to re-wrap it until he sees the chiro on Friday.  Meanwhile he can't get a shoe on, only his slippers.

Back from the doctor, now I have to have another procedure done.  My insurance coverage is top-notch, fortunately.

My kids (now grown) went to a Catholic school for grades 1 to 6.  Today in the grocery store I saw a little girl wearing the school uniform that my daughter did, a plaid skirt in green, red and black.  It took me back; such a benefit to have a uniform, no arguments about what matches, or too tight or too short, etc.  I fully support all schools having uniforms for their students, in addition to the benefits above, there is no competition about who has nicer clothes, designer jeans, t-shirts with questionable slogans, and on and on.  Maybe in another 20 years...

Bumper sticker for the day:  "He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit."

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Here is my first patterned knitted item, a scarf about 5 feet long. I have made hats, but the only garment I made I raveled back, it had such severe goofs in it.  So here it is my best item to date.  (Using my guitar for a prop.)

Maybe (horse) is running around the barn screaming, for no apparent reason.  Guess I'll go check it out.  Back later.

OK, she has stopped with all the screaming, still can't figure out what set her off .  One of those horsey things.

I am doing another scarf, while the pattern is fresh in my mind.  Not that it is complicated, but I want this one to be error free.  If that is even possible.  I have been machine knitting off and on for years, but I am determined to learn how to do other then straight stockinette stitch..  I am pretty pleased how this is going.  I know people say, why go to so much trouble when you can buy knitted things so cheaply?  But if you want a certain color, a certain style or fit, you could look a looonngg time and never find just what you want.  Plus, it is enjoyable to knit (as long as it is going OK.) One of a kind, too.

I am sitting here dyeing (my hair) and boy does it stink.  You would think it would destroy your hair, all those chemicals, but my hair actually behaves better right after being colored.  When my hair grew back after the chemo treatment, I left it gray for several weeks, and I would flinch every time I saw myself in a mirror, the grey made me look sickly and drab.  It took many treatments before I got my chosen color back, but I am being real particular now to keep it done.  I sure would like to be a "grandma", but not look like one.  Not that it is likely I will ever have a grandchild, both D and S are adamant about that, and given the state the world is in now I guess I can see why.  Maybe if  I rented a kid for a weekend I would change my mind.  My aunt says she kinda felt like me until she had her grandnephew for a few days, when she was glad to welcome peace and quiet back.  But think of all the baby stuff I could knit!

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Never argue with an idiot.  They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience."

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Bumper sticker of the day:  "Editing is a rewording activity."

Friday, August 02, 2013

Lazy Summer Days

After some really hot weather, we have a lovely day here today, 66 degrees and fluffy white clouds in a pure blue sky.  A little chilly for swimming, but probably OK this weekend.

Above is a photo I took a few days ago.  The hummers were not the least bothered by me and my camera, there was a steady stream of birds at the feeder.  I took dozens of shots, never sure if the bird was visible or not, they move so fast!  I mostly  just listened for them and got the feeder in focus, ready for a bird.  Perversely they often fed from the openings in the back of the feeder.

Do you know the old saw about shooting photos?  If you can, shoot it good.  If you can't shoot it good, shoot it big.  If you can't shoot it big, shoot it red.  I have at least two of these covered.

See my view counter over on the right side?  Today I hit 21,000 views since 2007.  I know that is not a lot, compared to many blogs, but I am happy with it.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Cover me:  I'm changing lanes."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ah, the Mysteries of the Electronic Age

Here I am again!

What, you didn't miss me?  Five entire days without an internet connection? And all because of a lightning storm that crashed one TV, one router box, one pool pump, and, as it turned out, one ethernet card on my desktop computer.  So I am connecting now with my Macbook and I can't see the keys because I am typing in the dark.  Why am I in the dark? Because in the light, the glass door attracts bugs outside while the cat BC makes like a pogo stick, jumping straight up and then falling down Kerthunk! over and over again, trying to catch the bugs on the other side of the glass.

You know what?  I'm going back to sleep.


We are puppy sitting again today, fortunately they will be in the garage in crates, because the owners have a family emergency to go to.  We will probably let them in the kitchen later when we are all awake and breakfasted.  God they are noisy!  I can hear them upstairs and on the other side of the house.  Meanwhile Raven (the black Newf) is off to the vet for her checkup after all her problems.  She even had to wear an e-collar for  couple of weeks so she wouldn't lick or chew on the sores, which are finally all healed up.  Her appetite is back and she is playing with the other Newf.  Hopefully this visit will be cheap, maybe even free?  Not likely.

It is pouring outside, even though the weather said it would be overcast but no rain.  I heard thunder around 1 a.m. and got up to listen, and check the weather channel radar and I thought maybe I had imagined it.  But no, when I woke up this morning it was pouring all over my new summer furniture cushions.  I won't make that mistake again.  It is just that the cushions are hard to wrangle back into their storage box.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "The cops never think it's as funny as you do."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Monsoon, anyone?

It wasn't even supposed to rain today, but at 1 pm the sky opened up and along with lightning and thunder made us think about a boat.  There is a river in the back by the barn, going away from the barn which is good.

Our neighbors across from us asked us to keep an eye on their beagle pups (Max and Ruby) while the family went to an amusement park in Ohio.  They were fine in the morning, but with the storm, they were shivering, howling and shaking as the water slopped through the pen and on into the dog house.  We brought them inside here and put them in the kitchen with gates from our own puppy days on either side.  They were pretty scared, (they are only 7 weeks old) but now that they are dry and the worst of the storm is gone, they are sacked out on the towels we put down.  Dog towels, I hasten to add; that is the life cycle of towels in the household, first people towels, then when they get tatty they become dog towels and when they are really shredded they go to the barn as horse towels where they never return.  I'll take a photo (success) if I can do it without waking them up.  They are very noisy, and they are noisy any time they are awake, it seems.

I have been preoccupied the last week or so.  Both my primary care physician and my surgeon retired as of July1st.  I got in to see the regular doctor before he left to get all my scripts refilled; and I switched my appointments with the surgeon to another doctor in the same practice group.  Now as long as my oncologist, dermatologist, dentist, and psychiatrist keep working I should be OK again.

In addition to changing doctors, I have had to switch my meds around.  I had been taking Aleve every day, first thing in the morning, because it helped my bum knee a lot.  But  it is not without side effects, and so I am taking another NSAID which is not as effective.  Drat.

I somehow got into some poison ivy a few days ago.  I think it was from handling DH's grubby work jeans that he wore while mowing, since I have radar senses when it comes to the poison ivy plant itself.  It grows everywhere here, vines climbing a few of the black locust trees on the edge of our property; the vines have aerial roots that keep the vine alive even if it is cut off at the base.  Some of those vines are as big around as a man's forearm.  The only way to clear it now is to cut down the trees and haul them away.  Couldn't run the risk of burning the trees because inhaling the smoke from an ivy fire could give you a nasty anaphylaxis reaction.  Not good.

We were going to go out to dinner tonight, but I feel very tired for some reason, and with the puppies here until the owners get home, it is better to wait for some other night.  My knitting project was nearly done when I dropped 12 stitches on the end and they ran into "ladders".  Now the entire thing is unraveled and I will have to try again.   It is just as well; when I was unraveling, I found several other mistakes, where I dropped single stitches when binding off.  I'm going to knit a little looser this time.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "I'm not a psychiatrist; I'm just an expert at being confused."

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Bumper sticker for the day :  "Support a cause:  stop plate tectonics"

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Well, wordless except for the bumper sticker of the day:  "The good thing about small cars is that you can fit twice as many into a traffic jam."

Monday, July 01, 2013

Planted out

This is one end of the dining room showing the plants at the windows where the bird feeders can be seen outside.  As you might guess, getting into this china cabinet is not very easy.  Right in the center, on the top shelf of the black stand, is a pot with two cacti, they look like cucumbers with an attitude.  They take the prize for continuous growth; some of the others are from my mom, who passed in 1999, but they have been re-started and re-re-started from cuttings as the original plants get too leggy or too straggly and the original  plant gets pitched once the cuttings are growing.

Bumper sticker for the day, "Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation."

Friday, June 28, 2013

And the rains came...

Not only raining here but hailing too.  The temperature dropped from 82 to 67 in about 45 minutes.

I am trying (at docs direction) different sleep meds, in the hope that I can find one which will let me sleep all night and not leave me like this in the morning:

So far, not so good.

The knitting forum that I follow is pretty big; about 96000 members and about 5500 posts a day.  The topics are arranged in groups, and not limited to knitting /   crocheting.  There is a thread going on now, 39 pages worth, on Paula Deen.  It's split about 50/50 between for and agin'  with most of the "for" group saying they like her recipes and that her racist bigoted remarks should be forgiven since she apologized.  The "against" group say they like her recipes, but that it's her big mouth that landed her in this trouble and if she has any gumption she should own up to her disgrace and disappear.  I myself don't like her recipes or her vocabulary.  Good riddance.

Bumper sticker for the day: "Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape."

Friday, June 21, 2013

June J-birds

Here is a photo of a blue jay and a woodpecker on our squirrel feeder.  You can see the woodpecker eating a kernel  of corn.  It seems only fair since the squirrels eat out of the bird feeder.

It will soon be the 4th of July and already the booms and bangs are being heard in the neighborhood.  They send the cats under the beds, but the horses don't seem to notice.  It is a lot easier to soothe an anxious cat than doing the same for a 900 pound horse, so I am not complaining.  But fireworks are pretty expensive, so to put on much of a show you need $$$$.  And it is all over in 10 minutes, I don't see the attraction of firing off a few rockets and flash bangs.

When I was a kid one of the neighborhood kids lost an eye to a firecracker when he put one in a can and then looked at it when it didn't go off, the very thing they teach kids not to do.  And where were the parents?  Inside watching TV would be my guess.

 We went to a nearby mall on the anniversary of their first year in business and watched a phenomenal show by the Zambelli family, all co-ordinated to a musical score that was broadcast over a local radio station.  Incredible show.  Maybe a thousand families there, all OOOhing and AAAhing .  It has been 20+ years now and I still remember.

When we lived in San Francisco, on the fourth of July in 1976, there was this magnificent firework program due to be set off on Alcatraz Island.  Tens of thousands of people, all sitting anywhere there was a sight of the island, we were at the Marina.  About 15 minutes before it was due to start, one of SF's well-known fogs rolled in through the Golden Gate and completely hid the island.  We could all hear the firecracker noise, but couldn't see a thing.  Everybody went OOh and AAh as if they could really see something, an inside joke I guess.  I heard that the tall buildings had a wonderful view of the fireworks above the fog and reflected in it.  Or so we read in the paper the next day.  It was quite a let-down.  Except for all the pot smoke in the air.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Don't worry what people think.  They don't do it very often."

Friday, June 14, 2013

How to pill a cat.

How to Give a Cat a Pill (followed by How to Give a Dog a Pill)

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm, as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop in the pill. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor, and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw away soggy pill.
4. Take new pill from foil wrapper. Cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force open the jaws and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl, and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees. Hold front and rear paws, ignoring low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand, while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, and get another pill from foil wrapper. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth, and set aside for gluing later.
8. Wrap cat in large towel, and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat’s mouth open with pencil, and blow down straw.
9. Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans. Drink one beer to take away taste of pill. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11. Fetch screwdriver from garage, and replace cupboard door on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot and drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check medical records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw away tee-shirt and fetch another one from bedroom.
12. Call fire department to retrieve ****ing cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrapper.
13. Tie the little sod’s front paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Fetch heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth, followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash down pill.
14. Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm, and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call in at furniture shop on the way home, to order new dining table.
15. Place “Free Mutant Cat from Hell” ad in local newspaper and ring local pet shop to see if they have any bunnies.

How to Give a Dog a Pill
1. Wrap it in bacon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This is my daughter putting flowers on the graves of our family for Memorial Day/ 4th of July.  Mom, Dad and Aunt were all in the military in WWII.  Nearly all of the graves here are always decorated, and the upkeep is pretty good, especially considering how much trimming  there is around the headstones.  My grandparents are buried here as well.

I have been busy knitting and hope to have this project done today or tomorrow.  I wish I had a better chair while I knit on the machine, but frankly I don't think there would be room!  I keep a squirt bottle at hand to discourage the cats from playing with the dangly bits; if they managed to pull it off the needles I would flip.  I couldn't even guess at how many hours I have spent so far, especially since I had to start over three times.

When I was a kid I tried to learn how to crochet from my grandmother and mother.  But anything I attempted was doomed; each row was crocheted tighter and tighter so overall the piece would look like an "A".  It was hard to keep a consistent tension on the yarn.  No one in the family knew how to knit, because Grandma had lost three fingers of her left hand in an accident as a child and therefore couldn't knit, or teach knitting.  I can hand knit (badly) but I enjoy the knitting machine a lot, it goes so fast (once you get going), where hand knitting is like watching paint dry.  Of course there are my other hobbies, like candle making, macrame, writing, ceramics, pottery, sewing, quilting, and on and on.  I'm nothing if not eclectic.

I'm pretty good at napping too.

On a forum that I read, I posted a topic asking what the bravest thing you ever did, and I have gotten some amazing replies.  The most touching one came from a woman who survived a chemical plant explosion in 1953 when her house collapsed, with herself and two tiny children inside, and then caught fire.  None of them were seriously injured, despite all odds, but 4 people died and 75 were injured.  The plant was making fireworks.  Illegally. In Texas.

Some of the other stories involved jumping out of an airplane, rescuing kids, braving bikers, leaving abusive situations, traveling alone to far places, boldly facing down shyness or fears and on and on. I have been impressed. So much goes on in our lives that no one else would ever guess.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "This vehicle protected by anti-theft sticker"

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hot already

It is only 1:45 and the temp is already 85.  Twice in the last 7 days we have had to bring the porch flowers in because the temp dropped below 40, now we have to water them every day or they wilt.  Such strange weather.

This is Mac, about 16 years old now.  He is  little scruffy these days, and he sleeps a lot,  but still likes to sleep on us, lap or no lap.

And this is BC, not a very good shot, but being black there is little to see of her if her eyes are closed.  BC stands for Bad Cat, which suits her very well.  She is 4.

Nothing much new from here, I'm doing laundry today, whoopee.  However when I fold towels they do not look like this:

This is what the stewards on the cruise ship leave when they turn down the beds in the cabin, all kinds of different animals folded up in fanciful ways.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Impossibly small knitted things

                                      Found this through a series of web blogs, don't know the actual author/artist; but isn't it cute?  What size needles they must have used...

AT&T is down and I can't check my mail.  I was afraid it was my computer glitching, until it did the same thing on the desktop 'puter.  I am using Safari here, which proves that it isn't my software or connection.  It has been two days, so if I get comments on this, it will be a while until my email is back up. Just so you know.

Bumper sticker for the day:

Saturday, May 18, 2013


This is Gracie, one of our older cats, also known as lap kitty.   She is deaf as near as we can tell, the result of a bad ear infection, but she is still a big cuddler.  I took this with my new little Nikon camera, about the size of two credit cards, it fits in my purse perfectly and takes way better photos than the cell phone camera.  Especially since I still can't figure out how to get the photos off of the cell phone.

It is 82 today, and last week we had frost and had to bring in the flowering plants I also got for Mather's Day.  I  saw the racks of plants outside of Lowes and Walmart looked all blackened and damaged.  This weather all year has been so wacky; but global warming is just a government scare tactic, right?  Yeah.

 Down to Gassaway tomorrow to see Aunt and Uncle.  Supposed to be nice, and will have less traffic than next weekend, Memorial Day holiday.  Or Veterans Day, as it used to be.

Still too early to open the pool, it takes forever for 15,000 gallons to warm up, even with a black cover over it.  We tried a little water heater one year, but it compromised the flow on the pump so much that it interfered with the filtration.  Now we just wait for the sunshine heater.

Nikon and pool, sounds like we're rich if not famous, right?  Not so.  Pool is above ground and 7 years old, and Nikon isn't the brand it used to be, in my opinion, now that everything is point-and-shoot.

In spite of the heat I am still knitting, so I won't forget whatever I have learned.  I'd hate to start over.  My next project (having finally completed the afghan) is a vest; simpler than a sweater, no sleeves.  I'll post a photo here when it is done, now that I can use my little one.  Assuming it turns out OK.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

This is Dottie, who originally had polka dots, but they have all spread and disappeared.  She is 4.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Friday ----> Saturday

I have been retired for 6+ years. but I can't shake the habit of doing all the big things on the weekend.  Laundry ( When I die I'll smell like fabric softener ), grocery shopping (thereby spending a lot of money for very little reward), haircuts, yard work, etc,  And just like when I was working, I'll fall into bed Sunday night feeling like I have been rode hard and put up wet.  So!  Time to get started.  When I get up for the day, of course, it is 5 in the morning now.

I have cut down on the Ambien (sleeping pill) to half a pill.  I wake up a lot of the time (like now) but am able to fall back to sleep promptly.  I would like to be rid of it completely, we'll see how that goes in a few weeks.

I'm waiting for the shipment of a new spice rack.  For years now I have used Tupperware spice containers, and it has completely gotten out of hand.  There are 50!! of them, and I am sure that other than a core few the spices are waaaay too old to have any flavor left.  So now I am thinking of which are actually used regularly so I can whittle it down to 16.  It's hard for me to throw stuff away!  Maybe there is a list on line somewhere.

One of our feral cats who has been hanging around for a few months apparently got in a fight and now has one eye all squinty and mattered.  I would take him (I think it is him) to the vet but he is too wild to catch.  I guess we will just hope for the best.  This is one of the reasons I keep my cats indoors, because although the outside is more interesting to a cat, the average cat only lives a few years and indoor cats live into their teens.  There are two other outside cats that adopted us several years ago, but they (spayed females) hang close all the time.  In the winter they seldom leave the garage to go any further than the front deck (the garage is heated and there is a kitty door).  I know, I am a softee when it comes to pets (and horses, who are big lawn ornaments here).  I hate when they pass away, it's like they take a piece of  your heart with them.

I found a neat pattern for a sweater vest that I am sure I can actually do.  Now to decide what yarn to use.  Did I mention my "stash" of yarn?  So many pretty colors to choose from.  Maybe some day I will get it all used up; meanwhile it looks nice all tucked away in a bookcase.  I'll post a photo here when it is done, because I know all of you (all six of you) will wait with bated breath to see this project.  But where else can I show off ?  My family says Uh Huh, which is not the reaction I am looking for.  Of course I will have it done just as the temperature hits 90 degrees.

Onwards and upwards,  I'll try to find an actual topic for my next post...

Bumper sticker for the day: "If your heart is in the right place, it's on the left."

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Birds and feathers

This handsome fellow was on our bird feeder today, a red breasted grosbeak.  Often seen in early May, according to the Audubon guide, but I have never seen one.

 This one dropped by for a wee dram as well...

These are internet photos..mine aren't anything as good as these, although I am practicing.

Bumper sticker for the day: "I'm only doing it your way so I can blame you later."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

As Is

Have you ever noticed, when you think you need to get a hair cut, your hair will suddenly get more manageable?  I need a haircut, it is too long and too uneven, but I got a new blow dryer (the old one shorted out) and I think it is much better than the old one.  It's a theory.

There are now many many birds on the feeders, this morning I saw 6 bluejays at once, and of course hordes of little-ees like sparrows.  I haven't seen a hummingbird on their feeder, although I did see one in front of the house.  When my mom was here she hung up several and filled them every day, there would be dozens on each one all day.  They are so pretty and delicate, hope they find our feeder soon.

I went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday and got a cortisone shot in my bum knee.  He said the x-rays show it is getting worse, but as long as the shots help I will not consider knee replacement.  It feels great today.  We have been mulling over selling this house and getting a one-story so I won't have to cope with stairs, but the amount of work it would take to get ready to sell is overwhelming.  I have been watching the property transfers in the paper to see what the neighborhood  homes have been selling for and it is staggering.  If there is a downturn in the real estate sectors it hasn't shown up here.

I woke up the other day, and in that half-asleep mode I thought, oh hell it's Monday I have to get ready to go to work.  Then I thought, wait a minute, I don't work anymore,  and then finally realized it was Wednesday too.  Bleaah.  It was as bad as those dreams you get after graduation, that you have to take a final in a class you never attended...

Almost time to go, bye for now...

Bumper Sticker for  the day:  "Have you hugged your refrigerator today?"

Friday, April 05, 2013


Beans, trying to find a new hide-y hole.

Bumper sticker:  "I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Nothing new, thanks.

Both the desktop PC and the Apple Macbook are giving me fits these last few weeks.  Both of them have gotten so slow, I'm nearly covered in spider webs waiting for a connection.  This is the desktop, and up until yesterday it refused to even connect at all.  DH went online with the error message and found a downloadable fix; all I had to do was figure out how to get it when I can't connect.  Finally succeeded.  It reminded me of the braille instructions on the ATM in the drive-up lane.  A puzzle.

The jury duty for DH is dragging on and on, and he is peeved.  Today would have been day 4, but one of the attorneys was in the ER today, so no court.  The immediate thought was, "ambulance chaser"  but that is unfair (I guess) since even lawyers can get sick just like real people do.  So next week the jurors have to come back, luckily on Tuesday since I rescheduled my therapist to Monday.  Again.  I hate to drive at all, but her office is especially difficult to get in and get out.  In my opinion.

We put up a squirrel feeder and a bird feeder on the weekend, and so far have had to fill the birdfeeder twice.  And yet we never see more than one or maybe two birds on it at a time.  *Somebody* is eating all that seed, and where are the squirrels?  I think we need to move the squirrel feeder over near the tree.  I know some people go to great lengths to protect their birdfeeders from squirrels, but we enjoy watching them and their antics.  We have 3, I think, in a group.  When I worked, I always parked in the same spot and the tree in front of the car shaded the car (a + in the summer) and made a home for a friendly squirrel.  I brought nuts to it (mostly peanuts) and it would come to the base of the tree waiting for them, but never too close.  Eventually it came no more, but it was a bit of sunshine for several years.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Don't rush me!  I'm waiting for the last minute."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Breaking news: Puxsutawny Phil fired!

Once again old man winter paid us a call, dropping 6 inches overnight on Sunday.    Today it is 39 and the snow is beating a retreat, hopefully for the season.  It's spring, dammit!

DH is off today doing his civic duty (jury duty).  Hope it is nothing too lengthy, here trials are usually only one day.  I have been on jury duty several times over the years, although some of the trials were boring in the extreme.  I discovered that 10 jurors will vote for conviction, and 2 will vote for lunch.  The last one I was on, I said, does anyone think this guy is innocent?  And there was a pause, and no one spoke a word.  He was accused of forging his mother's signature and selling his mother's house while she was in a nursing home, and using the money to buy a bar.  Not the brightest of the bright.  The man who bought the house was particularly steamed.

The week after next I see the oncologist for a check-up.  Outwardly I am composed and inwardly I'm anxious and dreading it.  I don't know what he's actually looking for, I just had a mammogram and all was clear; I can only assume it is for the blood work, to make sure my liver is up to the mark.  I could, of course, ask, but am afraid of getting an answer I don't want to hear.  How weird is that?   No logic for cancer survivors.

My very best friend is coping with a diagnosis that is more critical than mine (hello S) and it is hard to be on this side of the of the equation.  I'm sending out Hugs and thoughts of wellness every day, and if worry would fix everything then she would be mended right now.  If only tears were at least good for the complexion...

The horses are being especially obnoxious these days.  Maybe (the mare) bit DH a few days ago, and Willie kicked #1 son in the butt.  They have been cooped up in the barn until the footing outside is not slippery and gooshy; they will surely kick and run all around when they get out, and these senior citizens do not need to slip and fall.  A little discipline  would make a miraculous improvement in their behavior, like lunging, but the footing is too poor for that as well.  This winter has been a long one, with few nice days at any time.

 That is it for now, I will try to keep up with this blog a little better.  It is hard, when the every day is like the previous ones...

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Wrinkled was not of the things I wanted to be when I grew up"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Here I come (again)

Goodness, Has it been that long since my last post?  Well, it was due to life that needed to be caught up.

I have been knitting an afghan, it is 60% done, not counting the final crochet on the edges, and I am pretty pleased with it so far.  I knitted only one before this.  It is supposed to be "beginner simple" I will see after I begin braiding the panels together.

Spring is almost here, and I am desperate to get some sunshine and warm temps.  The horses have been kept in the barn with only a few outdoor trips in the last 3 months, because the footing in the paddocks is too slick and glue-y and I fear a sudden fall and and a broken leg.  Willie is 22 and Maybe is 20 this summer.  They were born here, I missed Willlie's birth (drat that mare) but saw Maybe's.  After she was born I slowly followed the instructions for imprinting the foal, gently handling her feet and head.  It went well, I thought, until 24 hours later when she wouldn't even peek around mom and no way would she be touched.  Willie was friendly and interested from the start.  The difference between them is the same now as it was then, although her intensive emergency handling at the trainer's  when she was two at least let her be haltered and brushed.  (I didn't know any horse alive that didn't love grooming.)  His secret weapon was peppermint candy and a lot of patience.  I would have sold her if she had not calmed down.

All of our feline beasts are doing fine, touch wood, so our vet bills haves gradually been retreating from the breathless levels of the winter.  Most of the scars from dosing them have faded too.

The Newfy dogs are OK too, although pretty smelly.  To cold for baths, though.  Now if I could keep them from drooling...

I passed my 2 year check up with no problems (breast cancer), I am good until July.   My scars there are fading too.  In my mind though, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, doing a  breast check every time I shower.  I know it is redundent, and that the first one was found from a mammogram, but I can't seem to quit.  Maybe with more time I will feel more secure.

I have apparently solved my problem with weird comments on this blog.  As near as I can tell, they were posted and then erased after a few hours.  A mail drop?  Anyway I added word verification and banned anonymous comments, and I haven't gotten one for weeks.

All for now..
Bumper sticker:  "You can tell Monopoly is as old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail."