Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fall is here

 Well, actually, fall has come and gone, but hey, a little license here for now.

I will have to try to think up something pleasant to post, because today has been hell on wheels so far.

I took a fall last afternoon and now I look like 10 rounds with Muhammad Balboa .  I fell in my bedroom, on the super thick rug, and looks like I have fallen on brick, last night.  I got a bloody nose, 2 black eyes, a nasty scrape on my forehead , and bumps and bruises all over.  Hopefully that will be all the damages from the rest of me.  I want to take a shower, but I will wait until tomorrow, just in case.  The bathroom is the very worst place there is to fall; all sharp edges and unforgiving 

I called my Dr and she gave me a prescription for  pain meds.  Damn I am stiff today.  I canceled today's therapy.  I should be OK by next day.  

I called you twice but I am busy(only slightly) and you are not.  Hope all is good with you.  I will end for now.  and wish you well.  I apologize if the text is somewhat scrambely.

wishing you well.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Jingle bells all the way

I wish it were Christmas now, When the Christmas tree and the all the gifts were right, and the first time seeing all of them, that's what I loved.  I hung a long strap of horse bells on the hall door knob and put the door half open.  Now the kids tell me that they squeezed past the bells, to see the gifts.  They didn't open them or try to do much more then give them a shake because of the bells on the door.  N says he heard them hold the strap and squeeze past.  Giggling, all the way. 

Now of course they don't even want to get presents (they say), so I said each one is to buy just two for the other ones, and thus each have  2 gifts to open.  

We have had a gift of snow, and it is brutally cold, 7 degrees too cold to play in.  And we ran out of propane which pisses me off, I called last week and they said we were ok for now, we were due for a fill in March.  So we have all the electric heaters on in the house, and we are cold.  It is good that we have no horses or dogs to take care of anymore; we have had cold snaps before but this is ridiculous.  And of course we have no furnace as it is propane, as is the stove and thus we cannot cook so  we will go to Outback for dinner.  Hopefully they have propane or whatever and people to keep the grill going.  I am hungry as it is now (5 am.)  Today is R's birthday and C baked her cake in the toaster oven and it is...different.  Hopefully the taste is OK.

I think I will go back to sleep and stop worrying.  Bye for now.

When my friend's daughter decided to bake a cake while mom was at work, she called her mom all in swivet because the cake was all liquid.  Walking her through her recipe from the box cake, she said she used 3 cups of milk because she liked it moist, and the recipe said  2/3 cups of milk so she used 3 cups.  Makes sense, right?  Her mom said throw it out, there is no way to fix it, and she would bring home another and they would do it together.  I don't know how many "bakers" made the same mistake, thus selling 2 boxes of mix and not just one.  When I was a kid I made two layer cakes, every one did back then, and the top layer had a tendency to siillllde when transported.  I just tipped the platter to the other side and slid it back, a little icing to tidy the sides and good as gold.  The only time you see a layer cake now is on the outside of the box.  Easier, I  guess.

 I fell yesterday, walking  three steps between this chair and the bed.  Three steps!! nearly took the craft table with me, and so today I feel like I've been rode hard and put up wet.  I don't know why I fell, but for now I will walk with itsy bitsy steps.  I think I have now fallen in every possible place in this room.  Maybe I should strap pillows all around me, especially around my knees...  I don't think I will ever get to use a cane at this rate.  When I asked the therapist how long does he think I need to go with the walker, he said until I stop falling.  I am going to get a new walker, this one is wobbly in the side-to-side motion.  Maybe that will help.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Nearly Tax Time

Now can we please move along to important things (COVID, highways and potholes, protecting Roe v Wade, education for all children, affordable college repayment and credit card debt) and on and on?  I don't want to hear the T word or see  a smug man-with-orange-toupee ever again?  Please?

The winter storm has not arrived here, but the photos of Cincinnati and cold weather everywhere in the East makes me anxious.  Will we have enough propane? So glad there are no horses to keep blankets on, water thawed, dogs inside (phew!), all the water lines open to warm air, and so on.  We were all so complacent last year when it was warm all winter, I never pulled my winter coat out, and now the snow, freezing rain, sleet, and cold cold weather is showing us how winter really is.  R is the only one who needs to drive to work and she comes home around 8:30pm over roads that are usually plowed/cindered/salted.  I guess schools are canceled too.  She may be at home for MLK Jr birthday.

I was all set to do taxes yesterday, put TurboTax in the drive, and whoops!  It is not compatible with Win 7.  So this morning is the download and installation of the Win 7 -->10 upgrade.  The other Win 10 is on the computer upstairs, which I cannot reach, other than crawling up and down.  Luckily there is a downloadable patch free from Windows, so fingers crossed.  So far it is 37% done.  In my room here it is warm thanks to the electric fireplace which is terrific.  But the computer room heater was used upstairs until C got an oil filled one, and was never brought back down.  So it will take an hour or two to heat the room.

I got my hair cut a couple of weeks ago, and it looked fine after the hairdresser styled it.  Once I box dyed it it looked awful.  Not the color, which was fine, but the haircut.  One side is OK, and the other side is Albert Einstein hairstyle.  I have tried to use electric curlers, blow drying, hair gels and multiple treatments.  I hate it.  I have cut the fringes myself, or used bobby pins.  I just don't look in the mirror now.  

I got a phone call last week from Dr. A saying that I missed my appointment.  When I said, OH no when was it? she said, Now.  So we did a virtual therapy with Zoom and it worked out amazingly well.  I think it is good I need not get ready, get in the car, go to the building and look for a wheelchair, although I would have liked some makeup and a little hair taming.  Anyway, she seems good, I had the same psych doctor for around 20 years, so I was leery of a new one, but I am cautiously pleased.  It's a good sign that she laughed at my jokes.

Well I will check out the progress on Win 10 and get my taxes and R taxes in shape, although I don't actually send them until nearly April 15, we haven't been audited since 2010 and they sent us $$, so talk goes that if they have to pay, you never get audited again.  Even so, we had/have audit defense just in case.



Tuesday, February 09, 2021


I guess it stands to reason that charitable organizations ramp up their "please donate" letters at Christmas time.  I have routinely given small donations at that time, maybe 6 or 7 different charities.  But times are tough now, and rather than sending each 5 dollars, I give $30 a month to two groups that I have supported for years.  They are St. Labre Indian Catholic School in Montana and St. Joseph's Indian School in S.D.  If I can, I add a donation to St. Jude in Memphis.  I have been in St. Jude and talked with some of the investigators in the research part so I feel a connection there. The Indian schools provide an extremely necessary haven for the very poorest children in a depressed area that is mostly overlooked now.  I just wish I could do more.  I still remember that stupid Rush guy on the radio saying that before being allowed to stay in a shelter they should show tax or wage proofs that they are really indigent.  Like they are such a great place that non-poor people are really trying to get there in order to get free lodging.  And in the highly unlikely event that they might have some sort of paperwork, does he think they carry that around in their grocery carts? I was in a laundromat while his program was on, and I'm sure the other ladies thought I was nuts as I argued in rebuttal to the broadcast, but there was no way to get them to switch the station.  Anyway, about Christmas giving, the sure sign that things are tough now is that the pleas for donations continue after the holidays, running the risk of exhausting their donors.  No more political donations from me, they are a never-ending cycle of need for this candidate, or this program, or this party.  I thought the election would put an end to the begging, but apparently not.  I am just tired, I won't read stories about Trump or his witless followers anymore.  
Maybe there should be a program for sending all our wealthy representatives to a shelter for a day or two.  That would give them a new slant on public moneys. It was Senator Everett Dirksen (60s) who is credited with saying "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money."

I had a flabbergasted phone conversation last week.  I called CVS pharmacy to find out if my doctor had called in a script for a new drug for me.  I couldn't use the automated refill because it was a new script and thus I had no Rx number.  What I needed was a pharmacist, but I would listen to the recorded message about hours, address, Covid vaccines, flu shots, etc., etc.  And when the Voice finally sent me to a person, the man that answered said "would you hold" all in one breath, so I couldn't say "NO" and then I would briefly hear the god awful music, and then be disconnected.  Three times.  When the man finally answered, I said, "oh Jesus"  and he replied well that's not very nice.  I told him briefly about being disconnected three times, and he said he put me on hold and when he returned I had hung up.  I said no, you disconnected me, and he said, well you weren't very nice.  I want to change drug stores.  This one is too far away in any case.  And at 70 years old I'm well past the time when my vocabulary needs attention, profanity notwithstanding.

Friday, February 05, 2021


  It's hard to use this keyboard with a bandaid on my index finger, all because of a toxic hangnail.  That's just a hangnail that's painful when bumped.  Still I will struggle on for now.

I think this is the wrong font/size again, but I am too lazy to figure out how they should be.  I use a MacBook Air, but I need to use both hands, where the Kindles let me use their keyboard with one hand which is some improvement.  Some.  I have 4 functional Kindles, two are mine and two were my husbands'.  He was always hard on gadgets, and the Kindle DX now has a 'next page' sticking key, and a very weak battery.  When I look online at the manuals, they all say the same: don't try to replace the battery.  Apparently the batteries are glued in with big gloops of heavy adhesive along with nearly everything in the case, and battery change is not a do-it-yourself project.  The keyboard can be replaced, the entire QWERTY keypad, but nothing is said about the function keys.  There is a group that takes broken Kindles, fixes them and then gives them to schools, and I plan to do that with the DX, it is the very large black and grey one, and is useful for kids that need a larger screen to read.  That will leave me with 2 second generations, one paper white and one Fire (color).  I wish I could transfer all of the books to one kindle, instead of searching through four to find the book I want.  Ah well, soon enough I will be down to 2 and then they will get donated too.  The paper white is the only one I can easily see.

Last week I had a routine appt. at the hospital, and as I started to stand up beside the car I landed another nosebleed.  I tried to hide it while pinching, I was afraid the clinic people would send me off to the ER, which I did NOT want to do.  So I was a little late for my appointment, but the nosebleed stopped.  This is only the second one I have ever had, and it surprises me how very bright the blood is.  And how hard it is to stop.

The snow from last Wednesday is pretty much gone, between the warm temps. and some rain.  We are slated to get tons of snow on Sunday the 7th but the meteorological data is usually right for the What but not the HowMuch calls.  We live on a ridge and the weather routinely parts and slides over to either side without a lot of snow or rain for us.  I can hope.  
Before they died my parents lived further from town but in a valley and they got lots of snow.  They had a garage and a paved driveway, but the driveway was steep and the snow was slippery there.  When my Dad was in the hospital for several days with a burst appendix, my Aunt from mid-state came to stay with Mom.  Just before the turn to their road there was a Quick Mart, and I would stop there and put the snow chains on the Subaru to tackle the road and the driveway.  They went every day to see 
Dad, and I took them home when visiting hours ended.  I got to where I could whip those chains on and tightened in just minutes.  After I dropped them off I stopped at the Quick Mart and took the chains off and  went home. The only tricky part of the whole process was to get the car in the garage so they didn't have to stagger through snow to go in the front door.  I would have to give the car a gun to get to the top, and then immediately stop before I hit the back wall.  I got pretty good at that too.  When I sold their house it was in the spring, and one buyer said to the other something to the effect that the driveway was steep but since it was paved they wouldn't have any trouble in the winter; to which I said *nothing*.  Caveat emptor.  

Well I've blathered on for a fair amount of reminiscing so I will stop for today.  Bye!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Moving along, Sorta

 I am stuck paddling this blog post along, with no clear idea what I will use for topics.  Bear with me, please.

How about starting in the past?  

I had a mundane childhood, appendectomy when I was 10 or so; broken wrist in 5th grade, from a fall on the basketball court; several day-long horse rides, back when no one even thought of liability.  And lots of babysitting, back when the going rate was 50 cents an hour.  Sigh.  Maybe I'll tell about that.

There was a neighbor who, like my dad, was a ham radio operator, and they were just a few houses from ours.  Mom knew them and deemed them "safe" for me to be over there for hours at a time. The "Smiths" liked to go to a local bar on the weekend and they walked there so there was no need to have a designated driver (though that idea wouldn't surface for a long time) but they never seemed boozy to me.  They had -- hoo boy --6 children, ranging from 10 or so down to toddler aged.  They also paid me double the going rate, because of the number of the kids, but they were all in bed when I got there.  The baby just needed to be changed, she would stop fussing and fall back to sleep before I got her in a dry diaper.  The first time that happened I called Mom, who came over and showed me how to do it, then swooped back home.  

But there was one night when things were different.  Mrs. Smith showed me the babies' leg which had a huge lengthy cut stitched up, and said she would cry to be held, not just changed.  They also said to make sure the dog stayed outside, and then they left.  The oldest girl came out and showed me how to cradle her and rock her.  And she told me how she came to have that gash on her leg.

There was a next door family that had a dog which sounded off like a T. Rex whenever anyone passed.  We never saw him because the hedge inside the fence blocked him from view, but boy did he ever sound huge. One day the Smith kids were all playing in their yard, and somehow the fence gate was unfastened and that dog snarled and snapped as he came at the kids.  They all ran for their back door, all but the baby.  That mean SOB grabbed the baby by her leg and turned to go back to his yard, and the oldest girl grabbed up the plastic toy baseball bat and hit him a bunch of times until he dropped the baby and came toward her.  She, bless her heart, grabbed up the baby and ran to the back door with her.  Mrs. Smith was there and immediately took her to the ER.  The gash needed 16 stitches to close.  Mrs. Smith called the sheriff and they took the dog away until they were sure he wasn't rabid and then put him down.  All the kids in the entire neighborhood were glad he was gone, because the bus stop was right on the sidewalk in front of his yard, and he sounded so ferocious.    

So when I sat for them after that the baby cried pretty much all the time unless she was being held and rocked.  She was terrified of dogs, even their own little rag mop dog, and they gave him away soon.  I don't know if she ever got over that awful day.  There are dogs everywhere, on TV, in books and magazines, walking quietly on a leash, it would be hard to protect her from all of that.

One of my friends sat for a different family, and one night she said there was a face looking through the window from outside.  She called the police and they stirred up a commotion looking all around.  I myself doubted there was anyone there, the police said there were no shoe marks under the window, and she was a real Nervous Nellie.  (They never called her for sitting again either.)  She always gave her babysitting money to the church, and I'm sure they never missed those dollars.  She borrowed money from me, and never paid me back, come to think of it.  Do you suppose there would be a big amount owed, compounded every year?  Probably not... 👀


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Inaugural's program

 I have been watching the replay of yesterday's swearing in, etc. and I am not bored at all.  One, I never realized Lady Gaga had such a swell set of pipes until I heard her sing the National Anthem.  Two, I thought poor Tom Hanks was freezing up there, no coat and no mittens.  Three, I always cry at "Amazing Grace" and I have never seen Garth Brooks without a hat.  Four, I thought Joe Biden did a great job in his speech.  I am not a fan of political rhetoric, but I have never heard anyone give a better speech, even though he had to conquer an impediment of stuttering to do it all these years.  I hope this is a beginning of the end of hate and the start of the peaceful land where everyone has a good job and a living salary.  I can hope, right?

I am passing time trying to get a handle on improving my photography, using books since I am stuck here (one room) and can't move around, or outside for a wide assortment of subjects or to do the exercises recommended in "25 Projects to improve your photography".  It is a pretty old book (it recommends different film speeds to achieve various effects) but with a little trial and error similar results can be done with a digital camera, and can be observed immediately after each exposure.  Beats the heck out of waiting for photos to be developed and printed at the grocery kiosk.  All the examples are in black and white, of course.  I know digital cameras have a setting for B/W but I am not sure if the result is done on the camera before shooting, or after on the image.  Guess I will have to check it out both ways.  Lord knows I couldn't find the answer in the owner's manual.

I have found and charged up 3 of the 6 Kindles, numbers one, two, and six.  I could explain how I came to own so many (six total.  I think.) but it will only make me sound like a hoarder (but not my house, which is routinely purged into T D K (that's Trash, Donate or Keep).  And I learned this long before Marie or Martha.  And when I finish, I don't feel joy at my tidying, only sweaty and achey.  I would like to be done, every 6 months or so, but the dust alone would give me a sneeze attack if I waited that long.  Right now it all needs to be plowed under, but I can't do it with my walker, and C has enough to do as it is.  As long as I can't write phone numbers on the dust next to the telephone, I'm good to go for now.

My mom did a clean house like no one I have ever met.  And she worked a 40 hour week as a cashier, so there wasn't a lot of time for the house and the yard (don't get me started on the lawn work.  Bear in mind that in FL the grass, weeds, shrubs and so on grow all year round.)  Anyway, guess who did all the chores? Right.  Just a couple of examples here.  Once I saw Mom outside after - just barely after - a hurricane, sweeping the driveway and the sidewalk where all the sticks and shrubs went; it was still raining.  And the wind scattered them back again.  One time Dad was teasing her that he knew a dirty place that she didn't know.  Finally he relented and told her it was the top of the kitchen door jamb; he was tall enough to see there and she wasn't.  Out came the ladder...  After a trip to the grocery store, she washed the tops of all the canned food.  After using the canned food, she washed (not rinsed) the inside of the empty can and then threw it away.  She wouldn't have a cardboard box in the house "because of the bugs" so packages were opened in the carport, and only the contents came inside.  I could go on and on, but it makes me itchy.  When she was near the end, at 80 years old, I went to her house to clean it up, and she didn't care.  That's how I knew she was nearly at the end; she didn't care.  

Saturday, January 09, 2021

don't know much

I hope this font behaves so I can move ahead without any glitch to slow me up.  I have been trying to clear the decks here, I have virtually no empty surface to lay anything down, and when I get a niche to sort the stacks, I fill it and then end up in the same place as before my clearing.  And still things end up missing, and I HATE searching for something.  Unfortunately the missing things are usually records or receipts that cannot be duplicated.  And eventually the missing item turns up.  Eventually.

I want a printer to keep right here and not have to use the one upstairs in the blue bedroom.  It works fine, but mostly I have to duplicate a print job because I'm not certain the first time yielded a good copy.  Maybe I will ask for a printer for my birthday which is 4 or 5 weeks away.  

Of course that means I will have to clear off a space to put the printer...

When I was 17 I left home (Miami) to go to college (SC) and to be closer to N. When I see photos taken around those years I look like a babe in arms, no wonder my parents (mother) didn't want to let me choose what to do.  Still, for all their concerns we were married for 45 years, until N died in 2016.  These days that is really unbelievable, when one in two marriages end in divorce.  We were an endangered species in those days; not that everything was roses, but we didn't expect it to be; I think with modern marriages the couples think their marriage will be a half hour romance with a laugh track, like on TV.  Not to cut each other any slack, just rush to the divorce judge.  Pity.  

I got my new shower chair and took it for a test run.  It is perfect (well, as perfect as a shower chair can be ) and it felt great to get cleaned up and shampooed.  

When I was 24, N and I bought two horses and boarded them at a big facility in South San Frisco.  Right away we had problems with "Jake" and because I was a better rider than N, and it was a three day weekend, we decided to work with Jake and see if he could be more even-mannered.  Later we found he had been a stallion until the owner had him gelded, just months before we bought him.  Not a good idea.  I had barely gotten started riding when for unknown reasons, Jake began to buck.  I held on for a little bit (seconds) and then fell off.  I recognized that he was past me (so he wouldn't kick me), and then hit the ground on my back and shoulders.  I just lay there in the dirt while everyone came rushing, and I said, take the saddle off and put him in his stall, he's for sale.  Someone bought him in a few days and I never saw him again; his new owner got tossed  several times too.  N wanted me to get off the ground and I eventually did, tho I couldn't stand up straight.  I got in the car and we went home; by the time we got there I couldn't feel my legs.  N called for an ambulance (although he thought I wasn't all that hurt).  The x-rays showed two vertebrae broken, one very badly.  That was the beginning a long convalescence with total bed rest in the hospital, and then 8 weeks in a body cast, and in a back brace for 3 months.  I don't remember much of the time in the hospital, or in the first times in the cast.  I would be laying in bed looking at the doorway then someone would POP! show up beside my bed.  I never saw anyone leave either, just POOF and they would be gone.  I had some heavy-duty pain meds at first, and lots of doctors, so I never figured who was who.  One day N got me in the station wagon on a gurney and we went to the stable.  MY horse came up and gave me licks (I have never had a horse since then that did that.)  and I fed him carrots; he dribbled carrot juice in my hair.  One of the kids at the stable took care of him, he was a palomino and had to be brushed down to keep that shine.  After all was said and done, I climbed back on him months and months later, and very gingerly rode at a walk for a few minutes.  All the people at the stable were amazed.  I owned that horse for years, transported him to WV when we moved, and finally he passed at 22 y.o.  I miss him still.

I don't know what brought all of that up, I've never written it all out before, and this is a pretty short version, if you can believe it.  If you have read this far, thank you.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

London Bridge is falling down

 Or more to the point, I am falling down.

I fell getting in the shower today, and C had to call the Fire Department to get me on my feet.  I was on my knees with my arms clutching the edges of the tub, but I am too heavy and my legs are too wobbly, but we tried at least 3 times.  The fire department took 4 minutes and then walked me back to my bed.  I am ordering a new shower chair, and meanwhile I am taking  sponge baths.  Better than nothing.  I have been in and out of the shower for months now, not even a hiccup, but today my knees (both?) buckled as I was lifting my leg.  I "nearly" caught my self  but tipped over into the bench.  BoooHiss

And I really need a shower.

The EMS techies lingered so I guess they weren't super busy.  No therapy this week for me.  


I have aches and pains in muscles I didn't know I have.  Odd that I don't have bruises it feels like I should carry some for weeks.  I want to give a trial to the airbrush but I just don't have the energy.  And here I have the Nikon right beside me, I could use it without running anywhere, but not the energy even to shoot.  Maybe tomorrow.

I wanted to take a photo of me + camera, but only if I have 3 hands...



"I shoot people and sometimes chop off their heads"

I will go back to regular font.

Monday, December 21, 2020

It doesn't seem possible

If I have to repeat this post one more time I will give up and post whatever is there, mistakes and all.

I think I mentioned that I got a new-to-me camera, a Nikon D200.  I have been trying every setting on the camera to get it to autofocus with every thing the manual suggested, but still no success.  The lens(s)are -AF and should be fine.  So after 2 or 3 hours I was no further along and gave up last night.  This morning I decided to switch out the battery, although it registered about 50% power remaining.  So I recharged the spare (just in case) and I turned the camera upside down to get to the battery in the camera.  And guess what?  The lens fell off the camera and rolled across the floor.  I fished it out, wiped off the bayonet mounts and put it back on, lining up the two tiny white dots.  Ok, now...  And I remembered reading that you had to turn the lens counter crosswise, until it clicked.  It was a little stiff, but I had turned it clockwise when I first put it on; and sure enough, I heard the click as it engaged each other.  And! It autofocuses like a champ.  I didn't tempt fate, so I did not try the other lens, I'll wait until there's future need for that lens.  And I am sure there is dust inside the lens, but that too can wait until I find the little grey squeeze thingy that puffs a little air to blow away the lint/dust.  Carefully.

Now I have to find my list of images recommended, from the Digital Photography Complete Course, if they are inside photos for photogs with a walker.  Wrong phrasing  but you get the drift. 

Several years ago I left my D40 camera on the dining room table all the time, with a glass bowl over it to shield it from cats and dust.  It was there for me or N to use for birds at the feeder, deer browsing, etc.  N told me one day that the camera just kept saying "too dark" and he gave up.  I asked about the lens cover and he said "Damn!"  He had taken most of the same photo classes that I did, and of course every time the instructor said, take the lens cover off.  It is like with computer users that are calling a help line.  They hear, "turn the computer off, wait a few minutes, turn it back on."  To hear the caller have a long pause and then say "turn it off and on, how do I do that?" Anyway... ended up with a lot of nice shots of humming birds.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Time for a nap...

I am playing with fonts today and this is way too small.  anyway, this one is good I think.

I am trying to get Christmas cards ready to send today, but it turns out I need more stamps.  I'm not surprised by that; every card has something wrong with it.  Either I messed up "Family", or put the phone number where the zip should go, or forgot to sign one altogether.  I looked for 20 minutes for my Christmas address stickers, and found them with (where else?)  the cards.  I should have used my erasable pen, but it looks so faint, and rubs off too.  Good thing this only occurs once a year.

I went to the clinic today for a check up with the surgeon that worked on my ankle back in July? when I broke it in a fall.  Two surgeries on my ankle, but 6 on my knee.  The appointment was for 8:30 am, which involved getting up at 6 am, when I usually don't get out of bed before 9 am.  We had snow on Wednesday, but although there was only 3 inches or so, it was on top of a layer of ice covered by sleet.  And we didn't know how the traffic would be, if the roads were still icy.  As it turned out, we only arrived 15 minutes before my appt.  The appt.  was originally on Wednesday morning, but I rescheduled it for today because the roads were truly treacherous on Wednesday, although the trees and shrubs are beautiful with snow/ice on every twig.  I wanted to take a photo, but the windows in the car are too smeary.  C and I had a bet on how long the doctor would spend with me.  C said 2 minutes, and I said 5 minutes, but C was right, 2 min 11 seconds.  All that hurry flurry for 2 minutes.  How many patients could he see?  Well, he has surgery on Fridays, so he is only there until 9 am, so I guess I'll cut him some slack.

My two foot tall Christmas tree looks very festive on the mantle in my room.  It needs a star or something on top, but the ornaments used on the big tree upstairs are pretty scrambled.  I want a poinsettia to go on the other end of the mantle, but it will have to wait for the next grocery run.  I'll take a photo once it is all set up.  

I am slowly typing up the blog posts.  I bought a book about formatting and submitting your manuscript.  I have only paged through it, but I can already see where I have gone wrong.  The book says to first write a "query" letter, send it to one or several agents (?) then once accepted write the manuscript.  My manuscript is already in rough form, and I have only  seen the word "blog" where it pertains to increasing readers of the book, once it is printed and finished.  I guess I could look at it as having no competition, or maybe just flogging a dead horse to try to get it accepted.  I can't think of any way to disguise that it is from a blog, starting with a title page... I think the individual posts are nicely written, but I am probably only fooling myself.  Anyway, I will try it submitting the whole thing first.  It will be either be on a thumb drive or on a CD.  I guess no one reads typed submissions these days.  

Dinner time, I am off for today.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Poor typing

If I had known how much I would need typing skills I would have practiced more.  Now high school gives classes under the name of keyboarding, which is a good bit different from typing.  Also more useful, when a keyboard has extra keys like "delete".  No more white-out in gummy little vials, and extra keys like all the function keys and arrow keys that let you move quickly across blocks of text.  I still have to look at the keyboard while I use it, leading to uncaught errors that are blocks of text in the past.  

There are quite a number of things in high school I would do differently now.  For one thing, I'd ditch the Bible I carried.  I never read it, why did I carry it around?  I'm sure it warned guys off;  hard to compete with Jesus.  I would smile more, aiming for a sunny disposition.  High school wasn't really that scary, just crowded with 2000 students.  There were 900 in my graduating class, mostly ordinary kids. The 50th reunion for our class brought 40 or 50 alumni, not much of a showing.  There were kids I knew from elementary school, but they went to a different junior high, where I lost touch, and now they seemed so much more sophisticated than me.  The ones that were jokers in elem. school were still big clowns now.  The chorus classes were the best, giving concerts several times a year.  I still remember singing second soprano for the Hallelujah Chorus.  Now I can't carry a tune in a bucket, what happened with that?  One other class I liked was Drama.  Another student and I were doing a joking part in Hamlet, where two servants did a light slapstick routine.  The only problem with that is when the guy was supposed to slap me,  he slapped me for real, I had a red handprint on my cheek for several hours.  I yelled, "Hey!  What was that for!?"  which Shakespeare never included.  In the psychology class, we spent several weeks learning to "read" body language.  That has proven to be useful. And we did an abbreviated IQ test one semester, and fortunately the instructor never revealed that I had the highest score, that would have sealed my doom. 

The math teacher, ex Marine, taught an advanced class which I truly enjoyed, it was like doing crosswords every day.  Never found matrix math to be a bit of good, or Calculus in high school either.  Crosswords.

The Main Number One that I would change is that Norm wouldn't die in my arms of a stroke at 72.  Just days away from our 46th wedding anniversary, I don't think either of us thought that he would go before me.  He had a mini-stroke earlier, don't know when, but the doctor in the hospital said that it isn't the first stroke you need to worry about, it's the second.  And he shared with me that his father survived his second stroke, and it would have been a mercy if he had not.  If only.  I lay awake at night thinking of all the what ifs.  


Sunday, December 06, 2020

 Ye Olde Christmas Tree

For this year the tree is up!  Last year we bought the one on clearance after the holiday, and this one is primo.  The tree is all put together, just lift the base out of the box and put the top section on it.  Lights already on, and a few bows and baubles and we're done.  Merry Christmas!

I am planning to submit a manuscript of blog posts to an editor for tweaking and submission to a publishing house.  It will be a lot of typing, but if I do one post a day it will  fly by.  When I read back over the early posts I am thinking, "Hey, I'm a pretty good writer! "  I have seen a lot of books that have typos, bad story lines, and unbelievable characters.  I guess they were unedited, just cobbled together and pay a fee to get it in print.  No thanks...  I am not that vain to lay out that kind of money just so I could say, 'author'  But the criterion for submitting a manuscript is fairly picky.  Double spaced, left justified on a one inch border, all around punctuation different than what we were taught (one space after a period instead of 2), and so forth.  Luckily there are models to help with all that.  I will have to remove all the cartoons because I don't have copywrite for them.  It never mattered while I was not widely read, but to publish them, no.

The lady who wanted my cemetery plots in VA contacted me last week to continue the sale.  After not hearing from her back in Oct. I put it all back in the safe deposit at my bank, and getting them out when the lobby at the bank is closed was no simple thing to do, these days.  Also, I need $$ before I send out the bill of sale to her ( and the check cleared).  So complicated, bill of sale, Quitclaim deed and so forth.  If the money doesn't arrive, I will once again put all the paperwork away.  Like I have nothing else to do but play games.

 I want to get this settled before Christmas; it isn't simple in these days to get in and out of the safe deposit vault.  I have been kicking around the convenient idea of locking up the safe.  But heck, I'm not doing anything here at home.  And I am hoping the deal goes through.  My parents bought the plots in 1951, and there is nothing of consequence in the safe, other than a watch and a bunch of papers.  Don't you think the 80 pound safe is OK to keep the contents from burning up in a fire?  

These are the kind of thoughts I get when I am awake at 3 am.  

Anyway, the joke for today is:


Monday, November 30, 2020

Feeling a little bloggy

 I am having a problem with a credit card(s) and Bank one says the problem is with bank two, and bank two says the problem is with bank one.  All I know is that if I find a bogus transaction on either account I will close both of them. Pain in the ass..  

I have finished with Xmas shopping, they only need to be wrapped.  I got two gifts for C and R each, so there is something to unwrap on Christmas morning.  Bearing in mind I can only shop in virtual stores.  Even WalMart has an online store, which would have been great if we still did Stockings.  They are hard to fill, other than using candy.  Hmmm... candy...

I ordered a fruit cake from Swiss Colony, to be delivered before Dec. 25th.  I used to make fruit cake, regularity around thanksgiving, and then dribble Rum over it every week or so.  Yummy, but with me being unable to get to the kitchen, and standing all the time to make it, it is a  no-go.  I hope the one I ordered is good, there are 5 pounds to eat so it better be yummy.

I have a book "Digital Photography complete course"  that has one exercise a week, with 20 weeks to give the reader a better understanding of the difference between OK and Wow.  I am unable to do most of the exercises because I can't get outside or use a tripod for now.  But soon.  The book is full color which helps a lot, and the diagrams of camera information is so I can stop going,"What is this button for?"  The D200 I got recently is somewhat similar for the D40, but there are some features that the simpler camera doesn't have.  I am having a good time playing with it - I can't take any actual photos because the ordered memory card hasn't come yet.  I found a box of photos while searching for something else, and they look sort of half-wow, but they are from film, so scanning them in and printing more leaves a lot to be desired.  And the photos of the kids are the most important and can't be duplicated any other way.  There are hardly any photos of me, because I am the one taking the photo.  The D200 has a simple way to get the shutter remotely fired with a cable, so I am looking forward to trying it out.  I never could get the infrared one to work more than twice.  

Carvana was supposed to send me a cash card for $50 once the whole transaction is final.  They sent the number and the code to use it, but when I tried it in WalMart, Amazon, eBay, and more, and all of them said invalid number.  I thought, oh well.  Then I got a check for $50 from Carvana, so I guess I wasn't the only customer to have this problem.  Now to get it to the bank.

Monday, November 23, 2020


 While walking down the street one day a Congressman was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. "Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Congressman.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really? I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Congressman.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dined on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are all having such a good time that before the Congressman realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven...

So, 24 hours passed with the Congressman joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Congressman reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Congressman. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,  

"Yesterday we were campaigning,

Today, you voted.."

(I am not the original writer of this...)

Surprise They Fit!

I recently ordered three pairs of wide leg jeans, and today the first pair arrived.  I am delighted to find that not only do they fit waist to knees, but they also fit loose enough to be able to draw them up above my knee (without making them be a tourniquet ) so I can get them where massage and the wire stimulus have room to fit comfortably.  It has been a nuisance to find a loose enough pair of pants based on how they fit Back Before The Crash.  Luckily bell bottoms are making a comeback and better yet, wide leg jeans work, since there is a fair amount of swelling above the knee.  I know I look ridiculous in them, but I don't care.

I also had C help me find the purse I want to switch, no small task given there are literally 100s of purses in my closet.  For a "walk-in" closet It is more like a "sidle-in" one, and my walker doesn't sidle at this point.  Maybe soon I will be cleared to try a few steps without.  In the rehab unit I walked a very small amount with someone pushing my wheel chair behind me, so I could stop if I got too wobbly.  Just thinking about walking makes me feel insecure now.

OK, here is a photo of me holding my hobo style purse.  You may realize that I hold it with 2 hands; too heavy to hold it aloft with one.  I will try to find a joke to go with this.  Exciting, the anticipation, isn't it?  Yeah, I know this post is cruising for a record making boredom price .  


Saturday, November 14, 2020


 I refuse to write that post for the third time.  I was ready to pull my hair out; the older version of blogger had a section that included regular updates on my post.  But here there is "publish" or preview, and I don't see any button for save.  If I go to :Draft; some of the post is there and some has gone to that wasteland for neglected posts, I am feeling jinxed, I shall move on to a post that is fresh.

I still haven't gotten to the barn now that the horses are gone.  C could take me to the front door in the car, but I know it will make me sad.  And nervous; when the farrier came the last time there was a shed snake skin in the aisle. brrrr.  Maybe once the temp is solidly cold.  We still have packets of rat poison that we can drop between the outside and the kick boards on the inside.  No point in helping snakes to hibernate.  C still needs to rake the stalls and get them bedded in the last few bales of wood shavings, they look better that way and eventually I will sell the house and barn together.  The barn could be used as a workshop or for horses.once again.  I would like that.

I have a copy of the owner's manual for the Nikon S4300, which is similar to the 3300, but it has a touch screen and that messes me up when I use it.  The copy is one I found on line and printed, all 200+ pages.  Now I need to take it to Office Depot and get it punched and bound with a spiral wire.  It is actually better than one that came with the camera because the pages are larger so I can make notes in the margins, and so that it lays flat once opened.  I'm sure the cost in ink to print this it seems like I need to replace the black ink every time I use it.

I bought a wooden office chair back in February from Wayfair and it is defective, as the pneumatic piece under the chair will not stay when at its highest setting; slooooly sinks until my chin is on the keyboard.  So I called Wayfair and they immediately set me up for a replacement chair.  Yehhh!  should arrive Nov. 27.  I wonder if this is a common flaw for this chair, they offered no quibble about the failure replacement, even though it is well past its refund date of February.  I am pleased that I won't have to shop for another, similar chair, and then throw this one out at the dump (wince).  I will shop there again, the easy chair and ottoman is great, bought a few months ago.  I will be back, I know, if I ever get to the point of selling this house.

I certainly am looking forward to using the D200 camera once the card comes.  It was peculiar that on Amazon the range of flash cards is 250 MB to 4 GB, but the prices ranged over from high to low, instead of low to high.  Make sense?  So I ordered the one that Nikon rated as OK, not the highest and not the lowest.  I sure hope it is OK.  They also measured from thin to thick, How Come?

I still haven't found all the bits to go with the D40, most specifically the battery charger.  Too mach stuff to keep track.  I am also missing the second camera bag (the one that says NIKON in big bold letters.  I am sure where they are, but I can't get there for now.  And the charger is probably inside the bag...

It is nice to have a TV here.  When I was in Mapleshire I had a TV but until the end there was no remote.  C had to use his TV for me here, because the one we thought was functional, wasn't.  There were several things that passed me by, like that Kenny Rogers had died.  So did Olivia de Havalin (?), the last living star of Gone with the Wind, at 103.  And several stars are living in the 'burbs having blown through their fortunes a little too soon.  Sara Michelle Geller is married and has two kids, I think of her when I watch 'Buffy' reruns.  Hope she has $$$$ tucked away to use in her old age!

I am going to pause here and Publish, it isn't done but I am leery of letting it just sit while I do something else.  So BYE for now...

OK I am back, I have a good 15 minutest wrap this up.  I ordered a sling backpack from Vera Bradley, but if it wasn't for PayPal I'd have nothing to check on the order.  I think the date on PayPal is for the shipping date; I think PayPal won't charge your  credit card until the item is shipped.  I could be wrong, it does happen once in a while.  Imagine an emoticon right here, which I am afraid to bring it here, fearing the entire post may be Jeopardized.  Anyway, it is a Christmas gift for R, and is the last gift I need to receive now.  I can't go to the mall, etc. because I have such a bad time trying to walk any distance.  I would certainly get tipped and fall, with all that entails.  When I go to the physical therapy place, it is a long walk across the parking lot, along the ramp on the side of the building, and finally to the door.  It is exhausting, and I do it twice a week.  These damned ankles, one is healed, but the other one, the fused one, is long from being healed.  The swelling alone would keep me on my walker for the foreseeable future.  I took a photo of my feet while I was in the rehab unit, and thought it showed how swollen it was; but now it is twice that swollen.  The difference is that I was laying down almost all the time there, and now I am sitting.  

Time to go, here is the entire post, I have only to hit Publish and away I will go.  Wish me luck...

Friday, November 13, 2020


 I apologize for my slow posting, I had one all written but there was a big thunderstorm and it took my post with it.  Makes it hard to rewrite, when it should have been completed.

I bought a new camera this week, well, new to me (2006).  It is a Nikon D200, and I have been waiting to take it for a test drive.  First I need a card that the camera can use to write photos.  I know there is a camera feature where  several photos can be stored in the camera even if the card is full.  I just don't know how to get to it.  Then I read that there is one accessory that will be extremely useful -- the manual.  This camera is a bridge between serious cameras (professional) and a serious amateur;  I am completely intimidated by all the buttons and dials.  It uses a different memory card, a CF card (of course), anything to complicate the supplies needed.  This camera sold in 2006 for $1500, and now it sells for $125.  I couldn't use a camera that cost that much, it would make me so cautious I would never leave the house.  But other than a card it needs ND filters to protect the lens, also lens and body caps front and rear and one for the body of the camera when there is no lens attached.  I just hope there isn't too much lint/fuzz inside the camera.  I can gently use an air can to gently blow the dust out.  I won't know until I see the test shots.  There are two lenses included, I don't remember what the zoom ranges are, it is 2:15 am and I won't go poking around right now.  

The sale of the cemetery sites has fallen through, not too much of a surprise.  Once I told them it would take 4 to 6 weeks for the grave ownership to be finalized, they bailed.  They were bringing their son back from Germany and in a hurry.  I don't think a new site will be much cheaper, or take less time.  I was hoping to have a lavish high exchange for Christmas, now it has gone pffft and we are back to the less-lavish gifts.  I now know that the choosing of a site should be done before there is any immediate need,  just what the memorial people have been saying all these years.  My parents spent about $890 back in 1951, apparently they thought my sister wouldn't live too long.  And now the money is all wasted.  I had the sites appraised back in 2000 and the verdict was $4500 each (there are 4) and I was asking $12700 for all 4. 

I am too tired to continue here, back tomorrow.(eventually)

I can't    I deleted my post.  Looking at one thing and not the other.  Crap...

Monday, November 09, 2020

Biden wins the election!

 Nightmares are something that kids have and I am not joking when I say I had an awful night.  I slept, dozed really after 4:30am and it was with the lights on until I finally gave it up around 6am. I heard my name called when I was asleep, from a female voice behind me and at an uncomfortable volume.  No one there of course.  These dreams are so realistic, but this is the first to involve a voice.  I am not timid, but these dreams (?) leave me frightened, even knowing they are only  a vivid voice in my head.  Crummy.

The election is over ! and I actually voted for the winners for a change.  If the Senate goes "blue" then it will be possible to get things done in record time.  If not, then slower with back-and-forthing between both parties.  I am still astonished that Biden carried the day.

The grave sites in VA are soon to be sold, I hope.  So much paperwork to get to that point, I had no idea.  My parents bought these plots in 1951, but as far as I know they never returned to Falls Church, and they tried to sell them several times.  I listed them at the Memorial Park as "available" and that is where these buyers found them.

I am really tired, I will end this for today.  Back later!

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

OK, Election Day is passing so far

 I hope this marks the end of 'please send money' emails, I know everyone is sick to death of the emails.  Now we have to listen to the rhetoric about balloting that will go on and on for days.  If not more.  I would think in this time of electronic devices everywhere the counting would go quickly, but I guess I am naive.  Did I spell that right?  I lost count of how much money I sent, $10 or $12 at a time.   I quit giving and reading their impassioned pleas.  

I ordered via Amazon a filter "wallet" to hold, what else? filters, and what I got today is the size of War and Peace, and not a wallet by any stretch.  So back it goes, me paying return postage.  Amazon does make this simple, but I am not going to try again for a filter holder.  Not unless I am holding it in my very own (sweaty) hands.  Time was, I never sent anything back, but now I am a lot more picky.  Also poorer.

I've finished (I hope) organizing my cross-stitch patterns; I thought I was done twice already, but then I found another tote bag with kits or patterns lurking in them.  Sigh.  NOW I am finished.  I have 5 pieces that are "partially" done, and no more will be started until at least 2 of these are finished.  Not framed or stitched up in a pillow, but the crosses are done.

I am not starting the Mirability project in this lifetime, even though it is kitted up. 

I was supposed to have a therapy session today (the first) but an unforeseen problem began, and I will see what is going on by Thursday, my next appointment.  Everything is going to hell in a hand basket these days.  

I am a big fan of the Dresden files books, they are by Jim Butcher.  I have book 18 and 19, I think, I get the hardback ones so I get them the day they come out.  The two came out a short time apart, and I have been trying to make them last.  I hope the series doesn't end with these two books, it is so hard to pick out a book or story line based on the jacket blurb.  I wonder sometimes if the editors penning these things have actually read the book they are praising so highly.  Selling is the name of the game, and let the buyer beware.  I read one book recently that looked fairly OK, but it was awful.  Awful!  Misspellings, characters that had nothing to do with the (assumed) plot,  chapters that didn't carry the reader from one to the next, characters that died in one chapter and reappeared in the next, no explanation done.  The main character was a woman whose sole contribution was in saying "oh!" at random places in time.  Awful.  Was it a vanity book?  I will never know, as I pitched it.  

When I was a kid (a looong time ago) I wasn't allowed by my parents to go to the movies, the one time they allowed me to go with a classmate I had nightmares for dozens of nights.  Some creature like a giant crab?  Even John Wayne pics, nothing scary there...  anyway, she never quibbled about the books I carried home from the local library.  The librarian was the mother of one of my classmates, and he was the only one that ever 'outread' me at school.  Anyway, she would let me read anything, and after I read all the science fiction books I then moved on to murder mysteries.  Perry Mason books were the best, no drippy love sub-plots, and I never picked the right character for who-done-it.  And I read Nancy Drew,  the Hardy Boys, and Cherry Ames, and so on.  They were pretty yucky but better than nothing.  Cherry was a nurse, it must have been in 1940s or 50s, and the main plot seemed to revolve around being scolded for wearing lipstick, but! she had naturally red lips.  And then she saved some injured man from certain death, all without makeup.  Mom had a few books in the top of her closet, given by a friend.  One was "lust for life" about van gogh, I think, and one about President Jackson and his wife, don't quote me on these things, it was, as I said, a looong time ago.  I removed them one by one and read them when no one was watching, that makes the best part of the pilfering.   I never did see what the naughty parts were.

I am fading now, no naps and an early rising so I am done.  Take care and don't get angry when the wrong guy wins by cheating.  I don't understand either.  Good night!