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."