Tuesday, December 29, 2015


We had a very nice Christmas, not because of the gifts, but for the peace of having all four of us sit down to a great meal, with no one rushing off to do something else.  Yesterday it was back to work (for son and daughter) and back to the routine of laundry, grocery shopping, etc. for us.  I have been playing with my toy, a KitchenAid mixer, I have ordered a cookbook (which I really don't need) that uses the mixer, which apparently can do anything except get up and dance, I guess.  It is (of course) bright red.  And very heavy.

I did finally get the cards done, on Christmas day in fact.  Anyone who knows me would be unsurprised I am sure.  Meanwhile we received 2 cards, not counting those from politicians.  I guess few people do the Christmas card thing anymore.  It's OK.

We lost one of our barn cats today, she was around 17, and died in her sleep right where she always lies.  It wasn't unexpected, she had been ranging around the neighborhood for the last weeks or so, totally unlike her usual habit of staying right in the garage or the barn (less so).  I was afraid she would just disappear and we would never find her, but this is better.  Her name was White.

We didn't have any snow for the holiday, but last night there was a rip-snorting wind storm.  The house cats all hid (in their usual places) until things quieted down around midnight.   I'm not so brave in a windstorm myself; a holdover from growing up in Hurricane Alley.  In the morning we can see a ton of branches down that will have to be piled up for the next brushy fire.  Some of the neighbors were out with their chain saws, do you suppose they were Christmas gifts? 

Back to dinner prep, hope everyone out there has a safe holiday Thursday night.
Thought for the day:  "I suffer from Compulsive Indecisive Disorder.  I don't know what I want but I know that I want it now!"

Friday, December 18, 2015

Almost there

All of the gifts have arrived (the ones I and DH bought) and they are wrapped even and then under the tree.  It looks very festive.  The only gift that has not come yet is an office chair for our son.  If it comes before the projected delivery date of Dec. 28th I will be very happy, but if not, then so be it, we can get it later.

We also gave folding green to various people and to the red kettle ringers.  We donate it all at once instead of a dollar here, and fiver there, etc.  There aren't as many kettles this year, fewer volunteers I guess.

We have received no Christmas cards yet, unless you count the one from Rosalyn and Jimmie Carter. I think it was seeking donations to Habitat for Humanity, but there are far more good organizations (and I include this) than there is money to spread around.  I'll work on sending our cards out this weekend, all 8 of them.  I write notes in all of them, which is why it takes a fairly long time.

Thought for the day:  "Merry Christmas!"

P.S.  It's snowing...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hello Santa

Well, not entirely, yet, but I am getting there.  If UPS and FedEx come through for me, we have all the shopping done.  Today we went by Belk's (Large-ish department store) to get electric blankets for R and C, but they only had them in queen and King sizes, no Twin ones at all.  So I came home and ordered them on-line.  I'm willing to support local (sort of) merchants, but if they can't restock quickly at this time of year, it is no wonder that people resort to online buying.  I wish I could have felt the ones I ended up ordering, but I just ordered a well known brand, and hope for the best.

It was 71 here today before the rain started, this on Dec. 14th!  Will we have a winter at all this year? I guess if I had my druthers it would be for snow on Dec 24th and gone by Dec 26th.  Just enough to have a white Christmas.  But we shall see.

I am writing this on my MacBook Air, and the keys are really small.  But that is no excuse for this to auto-correct my spelling every other word.  I liked it better when the questionable words were underscored and then you corrected them after you were done with the paper.  It is especially annoying when it wants (if you can say an inanimate object wants anything) to change the word entirely to another word.  I can remember when (here we go...) cash registers just added up the total, whereas now they calculate the amount of change to give back too.  This is because the checkers couldn't count from the amount due how much change was due.  Like, the total came to 16.50 and they handed you a $20, you would count, here are two quarters, that's $17, and then 3 singles, and that equals $20.  Hand the customer $3.50 and you were done.  Now the registers show the change due, and what with coupons, specials, credit cards, and so on, is it any wonder the checkers have job related stress?  When I manned a register, we had to make up any shortfall out of our own money, which certainly gave us the incentive to get it right.  Granted, it isn't rocket science, but now we have self-checkout lines at the grocery store, so checkers aren't needed at all.  I never use the self-serve, I feel like I am cheating someone out of a job.

Enough grimness.

The house cats have been amazingly well behaved with the decorations, etc.  not even a single ornament batted off the tree.  So far.  No one felt much like doing the decorating, but we all  plugged at it a bit at a time until it was done.  Now it looks quite festive.  Only 11 more days.

I will be 65 in January, and thus obligated to begin Medicare.  I have gotten a ton of mail offering medigap insurance, which I don't need or want.  Straight into the trash.  Sometimes I wish for a trashcan right at the curb, to save having to carry it inside and fill up the trash can in  here.  I really don't need the daily reminders of my "coming of age" this time, either.

Thought for the day:  "Support the economy -- buy a congressman!"

Thursday, December 03, 2015

It's beginning to look like a lot like....

Christmas.  I enjoy the day itself, seeing how much everyone is pleased with what I picked out, eating lots of yummy foods.  What I hate is shopping for Christmas, even when done on-line.  I depend on catalogs, mostly, and ask the family to pick out something they would like.  This is not foolproof; last year I bought DD a cute cat hoodie and a poncho, neither of which have seen the light of day since, but she picked them out, so I am not at fault...

We re-arranged the living and dining rooms, moved big stuff to the storage room, and now have a nicer place for our tree.  Also I bought five new house plants, about 10 of mine have died over the last 2 years, and the plant stands were looking mighty bare.  I got young, small, plants that I am familiar with, so hopefully that will mitigate the fact that they are starting in the late fall instead of the spring. I'll post a photo when I get the camera out, in the daylight (it is now nearly dark).  I'd like to do a "before" and an "after" of the dining room, once the plants have matured somewhat.

I have been using the MacBook 13.3 that is being replaced by this MacBook Air.  I try to ignore the horrible smell that it has, popularly known as bad BO.  There are pages of sites on line discussing the cause, how to fix, how NOT to fix, and general support for those of us who have these smelly items.  It is the keyboard that stinks, and not the battery or the case.  If I used it in a public place I am sure I would be asked to leave.  Either that, or prominently display a sign that says "IT ISN'T ME!"  My husband walked past me while I was typing and said how he just took a shower but now he stinks.  I told him it is the MacBook, and he just rolled his eyes.

The temp here is in the 30s, the horses are in the barn, mainly because the recent rains have made the outside footing too slippery for these geriatric beasts.  No blankets yet, it is still too warm for heavy blankies.  Maybe next week.

Last words (for today):  "If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my thighs."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Almost Christmas

I would like to say that I am ready for the big day; or at least some percentage done, but the truth is that I have yet to buy the first present, and no idea what I will get when I finally shop.  Last year I did everything on-line, but I don't have a clue for that either.  Hopefully the children (now in their 30s) will give us a list soon.  They both say they don't want anything.

The main distraction from Christmas tasks is that we have been feeling less than festive, what with the funerals these last 10 weeks.  I haven't even managed to update my new Mac Air, and I had planned to take it to my uncle's house the next time we visited, (to look through the genealogy file) too late now.  The only thing I did right is that the last time we visited I took (candid) photos of both of them, almost the only pictures of my uncle, who had an aversion to being photographed.  I love them both, there is a hollow space in my heart from their loss.

We rented a storage site, to help with sorting our possessions into "keep"  ("donate" and "pitch").  The pitch ones are in the garage right now, they will go into the truck for a trip (or trips) to the landfill.  I feel bad, but there is so much that is far outdated.  All the computers and peripherals will go to a reclamation site for recycling, but the rest will just be pitched.  When we stripped out the old barn when the new barn was finished, we rented a dumpster for a month.  When they came to pick it up, the contents were above the top and had to be-positioned before they would take it away.  Where does this all come from??!!  Of course, we buy it, and then don't throw out the earlier version.

Thought for the day :  "I can't be over the hill, I'm too tired to climb up."

Friday, November 20, 2015


This morning, early, my Aunt Nancy passed.  It was not unexpected, she has been very ill for several months, still, it is a grief time again.

This has been a lousy month.

Thought for the day:  "Win, lose or draw, we'll always be your number one fan."

Monday, November 16, 2015

A tweak here, assorted changes, bet you can't tell...

I changed the font here, from gray to black, and from 14 to 12 in size.  I have been finding it difficult to read what I write, and this should help.  I wanted a certain font that I saw on Word, but it wasn't on the roster of fonts, so no go there.  Hope this all makes it easier to read for all of you visitors too.

When I got my new computer (HP) it came with a keyboard, but I continued to use the old one.  BUT, the old one had a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't for the space bar (why not for the "Q" key?) so I switched out for the new keyboard.  It is much shorter than the one it replaced, which gives me more space on my desktop.

I have been struggling with my MacBook Air, and although I called Small Dog Electronics (where I bought the Mac from, last week!), they apparently don't do gratis troubleshooting over the phone; they charge $50 for every half hour.  No thank you.  I got in a terrible mess for passwords on iCloud and start-up passwords, I changed my password dozens of times, apparently successfully, and yet each time I tried to log on, it wanted me to "confirm my identity" over and over.  I ran out of passwords after about 12 changes, because it wouldn't allow any password that has been used in the last year -- sheesh!  Finally in desperation I re-formatted the flash drive, and carefully selected a total of 3 passwords for all the various steps in the software.  Even if I mess up again, there are only 3; I know one of three will be the right one.  And yes, I wrote them down.  Does anyone really attempt to remember all the passwords at all the sites?

We finally heard from Cousin Airhead, who referred to himself as a knucklehead, so I wasn't far off.  My aunt (his mother) is in fact at home, and we will go to see her next weekend, before winter makes problems somewhere along the trip.  I'm not sure if she will remember us, but this visit is more for us, I'm not sure she will last through the winter, and I want to say goodbye.  A little morbid.  It will be rough, the first time since my uncle passed that he won't be at the door to welcome us.  I doubt if we continue bringing flowers (silk) to the graves of my parents, aunt, and sister, it is a long way to go just to change the arrangements.  Maybe once a year?

 It is 4:30 here and I am back to bed.  Goodnight to all.

Thought for the day:  "Young at heart; slightly older in other places."

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Better late than never

I did a big splurge and bought a MacBook Air, looking to replace the 10-year-old macbook Pro.  I got a refurbished one, to hold the price down.  When I bought the macbook 10 years ago I did the same, and the only reason for replacing it now is that new releases of software refuse to work with such an old OS.  I have fiddled with this long enough that I can safely say it isn't a do-it-yourself project.  Maybe the next blogpost will be from there.  Whoa!  Crisis!  Back here in bit.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why do I do this stuff?

Hello to all

I have been fiddling with this blog template for hours to do a very simple job.  Namely, I needed to find a new blog counter when the previous one disappeared.  I have done this before; blog counters tend to come and go, but damned if I can remember how to do it.  For now I will leave well enough alone, even the part that says, "There have been XXX visitors" that isn't above the counter itself.  Maybe another day.  I took several HTML classes through my work, but that was 9 years ago or more, and stuff you don't use tends to disappears, too.

An on-line friend is very ill, and I am sending good thoughts and hugs her way, that she will be able to go home soon.  If wishes could come true...  Update:  She died, her family are in mourning.  I nearly deleted her address, to avoid the word that she had passed.

Thought for the day:  "May you have warm words on a cold day, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Falling leaves and me

Yes, I fell again, this time in the house.  I was walking around the end of the couch when I stumbled and then wheee, going down.  I managed to (sort of) land on the couch, because the alternative was tumbling down the flight of stairs.  I'm very wary of the stairs, especially if I am carrying something and cannot grip the banister..  I understand  my elders saying, "youth is wasted on the young".  I now have a lovely blue-black-green batch of bruises. 

I now have I clear desktop, I could not believe how much paperwork had accumulated.  And the attic!!  Our new years resolution (in October) is put NOTHING in the attic, but bring everything down over a  period of time, sort out what is worth keeping and take it to a storage rental place.  Leave the attic empty.  If we cannot manage some of what is up there, hire a hauler to take it away.  I know there is a crib, baby chair, etc., that will have to be pitched because they don't meet new (25+ years) safety regs.  And there are tons of textbooks (might need them someday!) as well as fiction, old yearbooks, etc.  I swear they pop up in there, dark and undisturbed.

Daughter and I cruelly pinned down the long-haired cat today and clipped  a fair amount of her hair off.  Not really cruel, we sedated her (vet supplied), but she never really got sleepy enough to do her stomach.  She now hates us, at least for long enough to forget her indignity.  And she looks ridiculous.  But for the most part mat-less.

Quote for the day:  "Someday your prince will come.  Mine took a wrong turn, got lost and won't ask for directions."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I probably should not have called him Airhead; He is more like light-minded when it comes to keeping everyone in the loop about my aunt.  I don't know if he has a facebook page or a simple web page.  It is just that we haven't heard from him since Sept 16 and I want to know (lightly, not every little detail) how his mom is faring.  To lose contact only to hear that she has passed would be sad.  Maybe a quick phone call to us?

I made a loaf of  bread for my neighbor.  She had sent us a big 'ole apple pie still warm from the over, delish.  But she uses Truvia to sweeten her baked goods, which is fine, but for sending bread, it has to have sugar for the yeast to rise; there is 3 T in the entire loaf.  It smelled so good while it was baking and rose perfectly, hope she likes it.

N used the pressure washer on the winter horse blankets, huge chunks of debris washed off. One blanket has a huge rip in it; I think we will pitch it and use the new one I ordered several years ago.  After all, what am I saving it for?  If one is destroyed I have several (damaged) ones to  tide us over for the 3-5 days it will take for a new one to come.

Thought for the day: " A paper cut is a tree's final revenge."

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


I decided to switch to a new family doctor, after the current one left me without any information related to the large amount of lab work he had done.  His nurse said his evaluation of the results were that they were "acceptable".  That was it.  Acceptable.  What does that even mean??

Anyway we will see how this doctor does; so far so good.

We have lost touch with my uncle's son (AKA Airhead) after the funeral.  When we call the house there is no answer, not even a machine, and I don't have the number for Airhead who lives next door.  Finally sent a snail mail to them and it got returned for insufficient postage.  I'm sure they spent more than 22 cents returning it to me.  So I sent another note off today, not too big, not too small but like Goldilocks' porridge, just right.  I predict they will ignore us, but at least we made the effort.  Airhead's wife seems OK, but I have only met her once before the funeral.  I wouldn't have recognized either of them if we passed in the street.  I know where she works, we could go that way if I want to be thorough.  But reason me this; how many people would need to be updated on my aunt's condition?  Anyone in town would know as soon as it happened, and out of town there is us, and some nephews in Ohio.  So maybe 3 phone calls or maybe 4.  Doesn't seem to be an undue stress.

Our son is back on full duties at work, although he calls for help if he has to load/unload some of the big items.  Our daughter is on jury duty, US Federal, most likely drug cases.  The drawback is that the court is 40 miles away, and she will get caught in the rush hour traffic which is more trudge hour traffic.  Still, it is interesting, at least for a while.  I've had jury duty several times, here and in San Francisco, but the "call this number every day after 5 pm" to hear if you are needed the next day, that part is a bummer.  When I worked in a lab, it meant I couldn't start any multi-day experiments because I never knew if I would get called on day 2 of the prep.  My boss was less than thrilled, as I remember it.

I got a neat mug made on Shutterfly, and I chose a template that holds 12 photos.  I used photos of 12 of our cats, 5 are still alive, the rest have passed .  There are still 8 or 10 more (this is a 45 year span of time, we aren't hoarders), all have passed, but I will need to dig through old boxes of non-digital photos to find them all, if possible.  I'll post photos when I get the set done.  I can't remember the next word I want to use, but I remember all of their names.

T shirt for the day:  "If we're not meant to have midnight snacks, why is there a light in the fridge?"

Friday, September 18, 2015

The bee's knees

I wish the topics covered here were the end of any given subject, but some drag on and on.  For instance, my son's broken leg, caused by DS stepping backward off the tailgate of a big box truck while wrestling with 8 foot tables.  There were weeks of post surgery therapy, and now weight bearing  for short trips.  We are trying not to ask him to do all the things he did before, but he is so good natured, he doesn't complain  and there is so much to do before winter.

For example, sealing the driveway.  We had a lovely asphalt driveway installed last year, with specific instructions about NOT using salt or whatever to help when the driveway is slippery and new.  So, only kitty litter.  This year we can use salt, once the driveway is sealed.  We contacted someone to do this, but they never even submitted a an estimate, only measured the size.  So, we did it ourselves for around $XXX, that's the cans of sealer and a squeegee, and the cost of two sets of  clothes that went in the trash immediately after use.  It looks nice.

We found a small engine repair place for working on the Powerwagon.   It is 40 miles away, but we will give it a shot, we must have the wagon to clean the stalls this winter, when it is too cold to leave the beasts outside.  We need to get shavings delivered too, but for now just having the wagon for stall cleaning would be heavenly.

I have put this off and filled this post with trivia to avoid having to acknowledge my loss.
We were planning to go to see my aunt and uncle this weekend, but it didn't work out.  I feel especially bad because my uncle died on Saturday; they life-flighted him to
Charleston and he died en-route.  I can hardly give credence to the thought he is gone; it was my aunt who has been in hospice care and bedridden  for weeks now.  We went to the viewing/funeral , and not only were we the youngest, we were the only direct relative to attend; the rest were church members, etc.  In all, there are 3 cousins who couldn't come.  I felt very strange, he looked much younger than 85.  He died on his birthday.  I find I myself thinking of all he did as the youngest of his generation.  But what I mainly remember is when we hugged as we were leaving and he whispered, "I love you".  There aren't many left to say that to me.

Thought for the day:  "If nothing ever changed, there would be be no butterflies."

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Falling behind

Well, I seem to have sorely neglected my blog of late, so I will post here, this in spite of having nothing much to post (that's not new).

The computer is up and running again without problems.  Even the Mal-ware program has been quiet.  I paid for the disk for that program, allowing two more PCs to be protected, but so far no one has done anything with it.  Oh well, I hope they won't be troubled like I was.  And that HP program I was trying to load/run?  Not for me.  I finally got Adobe Photoshop to install and to stop asking me to provide an "activation key"  when all I have is the registration key.  Mutter mutter.  Turns out I had an old version of PS as well as a newer version, and the old one (from 2005) is not compatible with Win7.  Sigh.

Reverting to that boring subject:  Weather.  We need rain, in spite of having so much in June we were bailing it out of the garage (slight exaggeration).  Can't mow the grass, which is pretty ragged looking; the neighbors who mowed theirs now have an entire lawn with dead grass, the sun is so scorching.  Plus, we have a LOT of trees, shading most of the property, which helps, although the leaves are falling very early and very heavily.  We don't rake them up, just wait for them to blow into the neighbor's yard (JOKE!  joke!).  One year the neighbor's kids wanted to rake them into their yard so they could play with them.  I said their dad won't be pleased with that, but they assured me their dad didn't care, so I let them.  Later the leaves were blown into the farm/pasture beyond them, no harm done.

I have had to take the old cat into my bedroom at night, the other cats were picking on him and he isn't spry enough to get up high or hide.  I had to shut him in the bathroom, with box, food, and water.  So far the only downside to that is when I need to use the facility during the night.  I tempt him with treats to move away from the doorway, and then I scoot out.  Things upstairs have quieted down a lot, and he can rest at night too.  He is 16.

Mostly he sleeps.

Wish I could make him young again.

t-shirt of the day:  "Remember that life is like riding a bike - if it's easy, you're probably going downhill."

Thursday, August 20, 2015


If I could get hold of the hacker who made the malware that infected my *NEW* computer, we'd have one less hacker to worry about.  All I did (and I'm not sure the family believes me) was run a Google search for FAQ for an certain HP freeware program.  When I clicked on the fourth one on the list, BAM I had hundreds of pop-ups, some had music some had AVIs and none of them could be closed.  I hit the OFF button, but when I restarted it picked up where it left off.  In addition it swapped the search default to Explorer (I use Firefox).  My son spent hours laboriously removing programs one by one, but still all the programs just installed the day before were non-functional, except for the one that hijacked Firefox. Our final attempt was to run a program called MalwareBytes.  It found 1200 incursions and finally, yesterday, my son reformatted the hard drive and  loaded all those programs back again.  MalmareBytes is up and running and finds one or two spywares or adwares every time I run Firefox. 

I have trouble grasping the spitefulness that would create this for no better reason than because they could.  I'm not a valuable target, or even an interesting one as far as I can see.  I only hope that changing all my passwords (and what fun that is) will limit what new damage could be done.

I'm off for now, hope all of you are doing well, and I will be in a better place (mentally) then.

Tshirt for the day:  "I'm not a pessimist; I'm an optimist with experience."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hear Ye, etc.

As if coping with my post-surgical eyes wasn't enough, I have been fighting an ear infection too, after getting water in my ear when I showered.  Finally went to the clinic and had it irrigated and got antibiotics.  They also told me to take Claritin or sudafed.  I rooted around in the medicine cabinet and found some of both of these, so I took them every-other-day.  God forbid I buy some at the drug store which is *right beside* the clinic.  Anyway, it is starting to clear up.  What??  You said?

DH went to Best Buy yesterday and bought a tablet.  He has been reading online reader novellas on his computer in another room and would go for hours.  It made his neck stiff and his wife (me  
!) annoyed to be left in the living room while every body else is pecking away on their computers.  However, I will soon join the group, working with my new HP computer.  No more crashes and broken internet connection for me.  What is even more amazing (not a hand-me-down computer) is that we bought it direct from HP with Windows 7  !! and not 8 or 10.  I can always upgrade should I need to.  But with 7, my learning curve is non-existent.  Now if I can install Family Tree Maker on my poor old (10 years and counting) MacBook from 2005 (and it was refurbished then).  I want to be able to take my data with me when we go to courthouses, etc. doing genealogy.  I had it on the old thing, but when I updated the OS on the Mac the FTM wouldn't work.  Now I am fiddling around with Parallels and a copy of FTM for Mac that I bought for $ 5.  We shall see.  There is always pencil and paper, but I found I tended to take notes about sources and info I have already gotten.  After all, I have ~ 2500 individuals in the data base, I can't remember more than a handful.

So to sum up, my eyes, ears and memory are currently fading.  Old age is not for sissies.

T shirt for the day:  "My mind not only wanders it sometimes leaves completely."

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Splish Splash

The title refers to the sound our boots make when we are en route to the barn.  At least the mud isn't sucking them off.

Second cataract removal was a success.  At first I found the left one was crystal sharp at 6 feet and over; and the right one gave me good close vision.  But, as they healed, I see everything as a blur.  I got a new pair of glasses last week, and they make it really hard to see my feet (like on the stairs) I have already fallen on the stairs before the surgeries .  And I had hoped to be able to see clearly without glasses at all.  Rats.

I have been to see the psych doctor and she has tweaked my meds yet again. A new one, in addition to the 4 antidepressants I already take.  And she wants me to take my bedtime meds at dinner time instead of bedtime.  This is aimed at getting me to awaken in the morning and not go back to bed after eating breakfast.  I usually get up around  2 pm.  Good thing I don't work now, isn't it?

The horses are doing fine staying outside.  We put them in the barn the night before the shoer came, and had them on butazolidan (sp?) for the week before, so Willie would be more comfortable when his hind hooves were trimmed.  It worked great, even though we had to mix it with maple syrup.  Usually molasses is used, but Willie turned his nose up at that, and the same with applesauce;  if the syrup hadn't worked I would have been forced to grind the tablet, mix it with applesauce and put it in a 60 ml syringe with an irrigation point, and force feed it to him.  Not a pretty picture, me with applesauce everywhere and realizing just how tall horses are when they raise their heads to the ceiling.  Stepladder?

Anyway, that is done for the next 8 weeks.

 Onwards, here is the sticker for the day:  "So when is this "old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?"

Friday, July 24, 2015

Won eyed

It is truly hard to write on this keyboard when I can't see clearly.  I need to get glasses, it turns out, although one eye has close vision and one eye distance; together they mean nothing is sharp.  And of course my poor typing skill doesn't help.

We are once again down to the last few bales of hay for the horses, the weather this entire summer has been so wet no one has been able to do haying.  The hay we are currently using is last year's cutting.  If the rest of the summer is as wet as this one has been so far, hay prices will skyrocket and there won't be much available at any price.  As it is, the hay in the fields has gone to seed and will need to be cut so it won't smother the new growth, assuming there is new growth.  Wednesday, rain or shine or mud, the hay has to get in, even if the truck will need to get towed back out again.  What we really need is 25 tons of gravel...

I am going to give my looms a trial again.  N gave me yarn for Christmas, number 6 in weight, and it is too thick for the bulky 260 machine.  Hand knitting would be a solution, except that I don't know how to hand knit.  Thus, back to the loom.

I am getting dozens of facebook emails from the daughter of my friend that passed last month.  She is much into parties, drinking, etc. and none of it is of interest to me.  Yet I don't want to "unfriend" her, so I just skip all her messages.  I'll probably withdraw from facebook one of these days, the only reason I joined was for my friend.  I have 6 friends at the moment.

I am trying to remember if my facebook is tied to my blog, but I don't think so; neither is my email, I don't think.  It is hard to remember who can read what.

This post has been sitting in "draft" for several days as I try to think of topics to write about.  I could tell how, sitting here at the keyboard, my chair failed me and I ended up half on the floor.  Or I could write about the damned gnat that I finally killed after days spent chasing it across the monitor; where do they come from?  There is no food at all in this room.  Or i could reminisce about days gone by...

That sounds like a do-able idea.  OK, here goes.

When I went to Junior high, I  was a grand total of 11 years old, and woefully backward.  But I remember with crystal clarity how my mother dressed me in, are you ready?  Saddle shoes.  For those unfamiliar with these, they look like this:

In contrast, all the other girls were wearing:

Minus the red soles (couldn't find just the right photo).  Have you ever tried walking into a classroom full of hyper-critical 7th graders without showing your feet?  Not possible.  It took me weeks and weeks to persuade Mom to get me some even though they "had no support".  Support schmoort, I wanted to look like the other kids...

Now I own dozens and dozens of shoes; no saddle shoes; no flats either.  I have Moved On, fashion wise...

Moms out there, check out what the other kids are wearing at school (sneakers, or whatever) and get your kid the same.  I spent waaay too much time trying to disguise my feet.  Amputation (like the ugly sister in Cinderella) was considered, but the blood would be so ewww...

Bumper sticker for the day:  "When in doubt, mumble."

Thursday, July 09, 2015


I think blogging about the weather is the dullest topic one can choose.  It is only relevant to the neighborhood, and then only for a very short period of time.  That being said, we just had a tornado warning here (WV), part of a fast moving storm front from the Ohio area.  It  livened things here up for a bit, but then we don't get tornados here, not in the last 35 years I can vouch for.  Too many hills, no flat areas.  Come to think of it, I don't know how to identify a tornado when the straight-line view is all trees to the horizon, which is close by with the hills.  So far the power hasn't even flickered, so I came here to update the old blog.  See, boring, right?

The cataract surgery has left me with skewed vision in my right eye.  I have some close vision, which is good, but the distance vision (anything past arm's length) is very fuzzy.  I am still using eyedrops, so maybe the visoin will continue to change, although it has been 8 days.  I see the doctor next week.

 I bid on an item on ebay but misread the description.  So I had to go in and cancel the bid, something I have never done before.  I thought I was bidding on a 10 quart stock pot, but instead it was an 8 quart one, which I already have.  So dumb.  I have been an active buyer on ebay since 1997, back when I had to explain what ebay was to skeptical friends.  In all, I have had very few complaints over the years.  A few unuseable items (like the artificial Christmas tree where the top and the bottom didn't match)  but I figure that goes with the territory; I've bought things off-line, so to speak, that were a mistake, and just chalk it up to experience.  Hope there isn't any more to this erroneous bid.

 C is doing better with his pool therapy three times a week.  (He fell and broke his tibia right behind his kneecap two months ago.)  He comes home completely beat, but with better flexion.  Still no weight bearing on that leg.  He swings a mean crutch, I'll give him that.  There was so much he helped us with, we really appreciate just how much he did now that the jobs fall to us (old people).  The horses in particular.  But even things like cleaning the gutters of leaves are a problem when the one on the ladder is in his 70s, and the one doing the ladder-holding is me, scared of heights. 

I read a forum for knitters/crocheters and have watched in amazement one particular topic.  The title of the thread is "hand washing knitted things"  sounds peaceful enough, right?  Well, about 10 comments in the fur started flying, over what hand-washing is, and who does what and why, and aren't my methods better than yours... and so on.  The flaming is still going on, it is 26 pages long now, and the original post has long since been swept away in name-calling and ugliness.  Boggles the mind.  Some people need to get a life.

Bumper sticker of the day:  "My people skills are just fine.  It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work."

Friday, July 03, 2015

the 4th of July!

Here's my class image from several years ago ( may have already used it) wishing you a safe and fun-filled cookout day.  Unfortunately the forecast here calls for rain all day, so we will have to improvise.  Tonight we had roast beef, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, biscuits, gravy, and we all did the menu proud.  Nothing processed, preserved, or artificially seasoned. It was yummy.

I had my second cataract surgery on Wednesday.  I remembered more of the process than before, but I had no anxiety.  The result wasn't as immediate as the first time, I have a fair amount of swelling and it will have to settle down before I can focus well.  Right now I sit here with an eye shield taped over my eye and a pair of "cheater" magnifier glasses perched on my nose, so I can read. Sort of.

Too tired to ramble on here, so here is the bumper sticker for the day:  "After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you're probably dead."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Catching up

When I first started this blog, my goal was to be amusing.  I soon found out that while I may be mildly entertaining for a while, daily, or only weekly, I couldn't maintain that.  So I selected "home blog" from the list, and certainly that is pretty much accurate even now.  But still, I don't think I am qualified to write about the issues of the day.  Only the recent issues in the news today lets me say " Hoorah!" for the marriage equality act!  And for the Obamacare I shout out a big cheer for that as well.  If Obama never tackles another single issue, these two will go down in history as his greatest triumphs.  And the dour old white male Republicans can fold their tents and drift off into the night.

Tomorrow I go for my second cataract  surgery.  It feels like months that I have been squinting and pushing my glasses around so I could see somewhat.  I can't read for more than a few minutes at a time, a big disadvantage.  I still feel apprehensive about the procedure, even having done it on my left eye already.  Here's hoping all goes well.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Virtual standstill

Well, I was right, I messed up my knitting, I was only on step 4, when I couldn't figure out what the next instruction meant.  So I decided to try my intuition, and it was, unfortunately, wrong.  BUT I put in a lifeline, and so I unraveled back to that point and re-hung the stitches.  I have decided to regard this effort as a "beta" trial, a prelude to an actual wearable hat.  I have lots of yarn so I don't worry about using it on a doomed project.

Son C had an appointment with the ortho surgeon earlier this week and was given the OK to remove the leg brace.  But continue with crutches, and no weight bearing yet.  The leg brace d/c means he doesn't have to sleep on his back, and best of all - he can drive!  He went to the local game stop to get a game to play as soon as he got home.

 R saw water in the laundry room last Saturday.  When we checked, there was water coming out from under the 80 gallon water heater tank, so we mopped, and shut off the water to and from the tank (and the circuit breaker).  We put a garden hose on the outlet on the bottom of the tank and ran it out into the driveway.  It takes a long time to empty an 80 gallon tank when doing it at a trickle.  I called Roto-Rooter, who said they could not come until Sunday (!) and then didn't show up until Monday.   While we were waiting, we watched old movies, and N dismantled the doorway into the water heater area, since it wasn't wide enough to remove the water heater ( it was in there before the door existed.)  On checking my file I found the receipt for the heater, dated 1982.  So I had to admit that the heater was well past its use-by date.  We drained the tank while we waited for the plumber, and at the end there was brown sludge coming out.  It meant that from Friday afternoon to 11 am on Monday we had no hot water.  No showers, no dishwasher.  N and C had to go to C's doctor appt. so they both took cold water showers in about 3 minutes beforehand.  R showered at the gym.  So I got the duty to answer the plumbers' questions, etc.  They finished up before N came home, and the first thing he saw when he got home, was that there are no shut-off  handles on the tank; the only way to shut off the tank now would be to shut off all the water for the entire house.  Plus they seem to have set the temperature on the heater too low, it isn't hot enough for the dishwasher.  I showered in straight hot water after waiting two hours for  the heater to warm up partway.  Guess we will see how hot it is after working overnight.  The installer said the new one  will probably last only 5-6 years, tops.  The damages came to $1300.  I was shell-shocked.  I could get a lot of retail therapy on $$$ like that!

 Bumper sticker for the day:  "If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your mother told you !

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Still grieving

I know most people would think my sorrow for my friend's death is excessive; we have known since last year that she was living on borrowed time. But I find reminders of her everywhere, from macrame hangers to candlesticks, Betty Boop merchandise to old movies.  I wish I could have been there at the end for her, especially since she unexpectedly lost her husband the month before.  Even her little dog died as well.  All sad times.  I received her funeral card today from her therapist, I must remember to send a thank you note.  She was 63, it seems very young to me now, although back in the day I would have considered it OLD.  As with her life, she left this one with grace and poise, we should all do as well.

My knitting is at a standstill for now, I will mess it up and I can't bear to start it again just now.

I can't think of anything to write here, so here is the bumper sticker for the day:  "A short pencil is better than a long memory." (from Dad)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Shoulder to the wheel

It has been a while since I have posted here (2 weeks).  I know this is not earth-shattering to  to any of you, but I feel like I am abrogating my responsibilities.  There are a lot of blogs I've read over the years, where they just stopped at some point and never got started again, which I resolve never to do.  Did I mention that I have posted regularly since Oct. of 2004?  So I have quantity if not quality...

We all (four) went out to a very nice restaurant on the 6th for dinner, it was very very expensive, but the food was excellent, if a little odd.  Like cornmeal pancakes with brook trout, or pureed cauliflower with grilled salmon and kale.  Anyway, we had a nice time for -- TA DA -- out 45th wedding anniversary.  We told the "kids" that 50th is on them.  I think we just march to a different drummer, have never even thought of divorce.  Who would put up with me for all that time?  I have been told that a successful marriage is to stand in front of a mirror every day and say, "You're no bargain yourself."  DH gave me a necklace and matching earrings in blue sapphire (traditional gift) of the type called "tremblers"  (if that is a real word?)  But very lovely.  I told him I now needed a place to wear them, we dropped out of the country club set a long time ago Oh well. I will wear them to the grocery store if I want to... But I am sure that I will need a few wardrobe enhancements, right?

The horses are doing fine with being outside in the paddocks/small pastures.  We kept checking in on them when a thunderstorm came through, but they just trotted under the "pavilion" (according to the tax man) and waited 15 minutes until the storm was over, and then moseyed out to munch a little grass.  I am thankful for these quarter horses, can you imagine what an Arab would do?

Oh, and the shoer called to say he is raising his prices.  That is OK, it's the first time since ever, and I was afraid he was calling to tell us he is giving up his business.  Which is what the last 3 ones did.  It is hard work and rough on backs and hands, and I appreciate their effort every time.

On my way back to bed (it is 1:30 AM now) so

Bumper sticker for the day :"I love sleeping.  It's like being dead without the commitment."
(A little black humor there.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Son on the mend

C got his sutures out on his knee, about 8 inches long.  There are steri-strips that will just fall off on their own in a week's time, but this means he can shower and not have to wear a leg bag to keep his leg dry.  He can wash off the Betadine, which was itching fiercely, and scratch (within reason).  He goes back in 4 weeks for xrays to see how it is healing.  He is doing his exercises twice a day, and has  a decent amount of movement in flexing his leg.  Funny, I always thought that after something is immobilized, it would be all floppy when the cast was removed.  But instead it is rigid, and it takes quite a regimen to get the flexibility back.  I learned this when I broke my wrist years ago.  It took ages of time  and work to get to where I could turn my hand palm up.

I have been thinking about my second cataract removal, and I think I may have to resort to a multi-focus lens ($$$$) instead of the monocular one I have in the left eye.  I can't figure how I will be able to apply eye makeup when I won't have any close vision without reading glasses.  I have to remove my glasses and stand directly, closely, in front of the mirror now, but I still have a tiny amount of vision for very close vision.  It will be gone once my lens is removed.  And the left lens is hopeless under a foot or two.

Always something.

Sunday N and I cleaned one of the stalls in the barn, it was a disaster for several reasons I won't go into.  It nearly killed us.  I think the horses will have to be left out in the pasture for the rest of the summer, something I have never done.  They have grain, hay, water, shade, shelter and we can keep our eyes on them when a storm blows up.  Most of our thunder storms last about 10 minutes; so as long as they don't go crazy and try to run through the fence they should be good.  I'll try a new fly repellant once I get to the feed store ; most of them are a waste of money, they only work for a couple of hours max.  And I'll get to see the baby duckies again.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "If we're being chased by a bear, I don't have to run faster than it ; I only have to run faster than you."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bird(s) of a feather

This is a photo (from the net) of a bird we saw at the feeder yesterday.  It is a mountain bluebird and it''s on the wrong side of the continent.(Well, it could be an indigo bunting, which is found in our area.)  Their range is CA to AK, approximately, and not in WV.  By all rights this should be an eastern bluebird, but the belly was not rusty; it was blue all over.  So I am stumped, also, in that they are insect eaters and only rarely will eat peanuts, etc. and the feeder it was on was the squirrel feeder which does contain peanuts.  So I dunno, was it lost?  Or an eastern one with crop out coloring?  Only saw it the once, so far.  Maybe all the weird weather and storms out west blew it off course?

My really good news is that I have been excused from jury duty next month.  I sent a letter from my eye surgeon's office stating that I am scheduled for eye surgery July 1 and would need that day and two others off.  The circuit court clerk called me today and said that this group of jurors is for one particular trial and so I am excused totally.  Yeah!!  And I bet I know which (murder) trial it will be, and I don't want any part of it.  Especially photos.  I was dreading the entire process, and now I can impatiently wait for the surgery, so my eyes will "match".

bumper sticker for the day:  "If at first you do succeed, try not to look surprised..."

Friday, May 15, 2015


Son (C) developed a HUGE hematoma suddenly, on the back of his knee (the one he broke), a deep black and purple, the size of a hand, and a smaller one, about half that size.  I didn't  like the look of it, worried about blood clots in the leg that might travel to lungs, etc.  He tried calling the ortho doctor that did his surgery, but it went straight to voice mail.  After waiting an hour and a half, I called the hospital and they paged the on-call doctor, but no response.  So, off to the ER, and after a long wait the ortho doctor came and unwrapped his leg (bandages toe to upper thigh) and she said the bruising is within normal limits.  The good part is they removed all the bandages and we got a good look at the incisions, and they re-wrapped it lightly and without all the pinch-y and wrinkled bits, much more comfortable.  I don't care if we overreacted, I'd never get to sleep thinking about it.  He gets the sutures out next Friday.

I am scheduled to get the right eye cataract removed in July.  Everything is so confusing now, and I need the two eyes to work things out between them.  The left eye has very good far sight, but the right eye needs my glasses to read up close.  No depth perception.   I understand the reasons behind not doing both eyes at once, but dang it, I'm dropping things and misjudging where doors are (crunch).  I'll be glad when the eyes match.

I got a new fountain pen in the mail from China.  It is called "Jinhao" and is nicely weighted and writes great.  The cost was $3.89 with free shipping.  I don't see how they could clear costs, but anyway I am happy with this nice pen.  I have given up, for now, buying vintage Parkers, the cost of them is ridiculous, the price of a restored pen for one that is not restored and not useable as is.  Still keeping an eye out for pens at flea markets, etc., but even there the prices are too high, given that restoration costs around $45 for a simple fix.  I can do a very simple bag replacement myself, but that is it.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Teach your kids about taxes:  eat 30% of their ice cream."

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Everyone is OK

C had his surgery Friday (yesterday) and it went well. His knee is currently immobilized in a pressure bandage to keep the swelling down, and he has considerable pain.  But he will sleep much better at home, without the constant stream of medical staff.  Sometimes I think the night shift people enjoy waking patients up...

My cataract surgery went well, and I am currently wearing my eyeglasses with the left lens removed.  I like the distance correction, but am disappointed that the close vision is so blurry.  Ah well, that may improve as the eye heals.

The old computer is slowly turning toes up, so this is short.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Gone to my happy place.  Be back soon!"

Monday, May 04, 2015


Wednesday I am getting the cataract removed from my left eye.  This has been scheduled for more than a month and is really no big deal.  But Friday my son, C is getting his knee repaired.  He fell at work and broke his tibia, but the main damage he did for long term functioning of the joint concerns the "pit" in the top surface of the tibia (the tibial plateau). It was found on the CAT scan he had done this morning.  Left alone to heal, it will either fuse or erode away until a knee replacement is needed.  On Friday the surgeon will take a piece of bone from his hip and use a plate and screws to hold it in place on the top surface of the tibia.  He will be laid up the entire summer, and then rehab.  But it will give him a functional knee.  They told him that he is the ideal candidate for this surgery:  no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no allergies, no meds, physically fit, not overweight.   I am trying to forget all the things that could go wrong with the surgery and its aftermath.  I wish I was the one having the surgery instead of him.

This is going to be a long summer.

I have been enjoying looking at "99+ creepiest WalMart customers".  Today we went to our local Wally world and I swear I saw somebody from there.  It was these two enormous women, a minimum of 450 lbs. apiece,wearing spandex and enough face makeup to paint the Golden Gate bridge, each one on one of those powered carts, sailing up and down the aisles.  Between them they blocked the entire aisle, like two semis passing one another up a steep incline.  I was trying to find a package of something and they kept coming toward me, I scurried out of the way because I had no assurance they would stop in time, or just roll on over me.  We moved on and so did they, whirrrrr.  When I had a cast on a few years back, I snagged one of those carts.  I kept getting these stink-eyes from the heavy folks who were forced to walk as  a result.  I'm overweight, but geez, each was more than two of me.  I think they need elbow exercises, i.e., pushing themselves away from the table.

They had baby ducks and chicks at the feed store where we buy horse grain.  I could watch them for ages, they are so cute.  They are only exceeded by the baby rabbits.  I would like to raise chickens, but I am sure the neighbors would object.  And of course we don't need something else to take care of.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Despite the high cost of living it continues to be very popular."

Sunshine, Happiness

We have sunshine!  Yesterday it was a little warm (84) but in the morning it was cool and sunny, the best combination.  I am not a fan of sunshine, that is, of sun bathing.  It makes my head ache, and my face to become neon red.  As a result, a lifetime of avoiding sun on myself, and despite living in Miami for my first 20 years, I have no wrinkles and no "age spots" which are really a result of too much sun.  I have had only one sunburn, and that was enough for me for the rest of my life!  And it was before effective sunscreens, of which I am a patron.  Should have bought stock in Coppertone.

When I had my last visit with the oncologist, he did a blood test of Vitamin D3, and found that mine was way low.  Not enough sunshine or milk?  So I have been taking a D3 supplement, 4000 IU a day, plus the amount in my calcium and multivitamin (1500 IU).  I' have been told it is necessary to form bone, and I am too lazy to go to Web MD to look it up.  Right now I am taking 17 meds everyday, counting multivitamins and such.  Four antidepressants, thyroid, etc.  It's a wonder I don't rattle when I walk.

This computer is acting up these days, going wonky when I am doing nothing but reading, and then I get a blue screen of death and the whole thing reboots.  I looked online for a fix and I thought I had it nailed.  But now I am getting a different message on the blue screen  "IRQL not less than or equal"  I have no idea what that is.  I need a new computer, one with more memory and less glitches, but I am waiting for Windows 10, as I hear nothing good with Win 8.  Meanwhile I save everything as I go along (especially here). 

Bumper sticker for the day :  "I've found your problem.  You need a user upgrade."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Three times again

Well, life is always interesting here.  Last week C (son) fell off the truck lift and broke his leg.  And not just a simple fracture,oh no.  He cracked his tibia right behind his knee cap. (A fracture of the tibial plateau).   If it doesn't heal correctly, it could fuse and result in a knee that cannot be bent.  He now has a full length brace that he must wear unless he is in the shower or changing clothes; crutches too.  Next week he goes for a CAT scan to see if the end of the tibia itself has fragmented from the downward pressure in the fall.  If so, surgery.  If there is ligament or tendon damage, surgery. We must wait for the results, which are to be done now so as to give the swelling time to go down. The only saving grace is that he is on workman's comp., and not having to pay for this on his own.

I have jury duty starting in June, through July. 

I have cataract surgery next week, too.

The horses are nearly out of hay, the rain has been so persistent that the path into the barn would stick the hay truck in mud.  We will try tomorrow to get a partial number of bales (around 50) to see us through until the rotten weather eases, using the four wheel drive pickup.

N (husband) finally got a hearing test, and it shows that he cannot hear in high range at all, and that the mid-range frequencies (voices) are weak.  I thought he was just ignoring us...

And finally, daughter R is moving her job into a new building.  That doesn't sound too traumatic but R doesn't like changes, and this is sure to send her into a tailspin.

Interesting times.

Bumper sticker:  "When everything is coming your way, you're probably in the wrong lane."

Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm a sucker for jokes like this

A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach pretty much every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing. She would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around, then speak to them. Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off, but occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money for something she carried in her bag. The couple assumed she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure they just continued to watch her. After a couple of weeks the wife asked, "Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?" He hadn't and said so. Then she said, "Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she's really doing." Well, the plan went off without a hitch, and the wife was almost hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man walked up the beach and met his wife at the road. "Well, is she selling drugs?" she asked excitedly." No, she's not." he said, enjoying this probably more than he should have. "Well, what is it, then?" his wife fairly shrieked. The man grinned and said. "Her name is Sally and she's a battery salesperson." "Batteries?" cried the wife. "Yes," he replied. "She sells C cells by the Seashore

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I haven't felt much like posting here, because last week my very very best friend died of inoperable lung cancer.  We have been buddies since the 5th grade in FL, that's more than 50 years, and I thought of her as my sister, much more so than my actual sister.  I haven't written anything here about my friend as she battled her disease because she read this blog and I didn't want to compromise her privacy, or to make her feel like she couldn't get away from her trials and just read here for a chuckle or two.  Now that she is gone I feel the need to talk about us, if that isn't too weird.  We'll see.

When we lived in Memphis in 1970, Suzanne and her husband came for a visit. We all went for a ride on the Mississippi River; went to see Graceland (Elvis’ home), feeding squirrels in the park and so on.  We couldn’t do some of the things available because starting out we were pretty broke once the bills were paid.  But after they left, I found where Suzanne had tucked dollar bills all throughout the apartment for us to find.  There was one in the refrigerator!  She was so generous.

She came to see us in San Francisco in the 70s and we had a good time going to Alcatraz, Chinatown, walking along the Pacific Ocean, etc.  But the thing I remember best was seeing her riding my horse in Golden Gate Park.  She was wall-to-wall smiles.

In WV she came for a stay and went downhill skiing (something I have never been brave enough to try).   She was a strong shoulder to rely on when I went through my own cancer.

Growing up in FL she would frequently tell the story about how I helped her with her bike when she began crying, back in the day when she was 9 or 10.  She was the bridesmaid at my wedding in 1970.  We sang in the high school chorus, went to church, sang in the choir, and went to see Camelot. She teased me about my hair (usually a wreck) and we talked about boys.

But in all of these times together the main thing we did was talk and talk, about the world, about our families and community, and reminisce about the “good old days”.  She was incredibly generous, with money (I never could snag the check when we went out) as well as her time (like all the activities she organized for my first trip to her in FL) ; was a talented singer, had a wicked sense of humor and a caring outlook for people and animals.  It is so sad that a kind and well-loved woman had her time here cut so short.  I thought we would become old ladies together, but it is not to be.  I will cherish the times we had together.
"Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened."