Saturday, January 28, 2017

January is almost gone

We have had a very mild winter so far, just one 3 inch storm.  The major problem of that storm was one steep section that turned into a sheet of glass and stayed that way for several days.  We live on an undeveloped road, and I haven't seen a plow or treatment truck here in years.  It is ill-advised to put salt on the road, since as it melts, it turns the road itself into a mired mud pit, pretty much permanently.    Cinders are the only salvation, not something you can pick up at Lowes.  We had the furnace people try to come and do the preventative maintenance, but the truck slid into a ditch and he couldn't get it out.  He was lucky, because the ditch is on one side, and a steep drop-off on the other side.  And a rear wheel truck.  No go.

Anyway, we haven't had a replay of the bitter cold weather we had before, when we had to leave the kitchen sink doors open with a heater in the room.  Brrr.

I am finding it difficult to do even the most rudimentary cleaning.  My knee doesn't like it, and now my back is chiming in with its twinges.  I used to have a cleaning service that came every two weeks, so the place stayed pretty much clean all the time, just a little touch-up as needed.  But when I retired, I canceled the service (dumb me) as I would be home all the time and could save a bunch of money by doing it myself.  I didn't remember at the time how much I hate cleaning.  I can do de-cluttering and other odds and ends of housekeeping, but scrubbing and vacuuming not so much.  I am tempted to get a service to come once a month, once the road is reliably passable and once I can see how the $$ works out for the entire year.

I must try to stay away from the news about what Trump is doing.  It upsets me a lot, especially the foreigners trying to come here.  He is such a maniac, the thought of his finger on the red button makes me actually ill.  If only Congress can shift to Democratic control ( how likely is that?) he could be impeached.  If only he gets tired of doing the actual work of the president and resigns.  If only...

I am getting along on  my current cross-stitch pretty well.  It would be nice if I didn't have to pick up and put away the project every night, but these cats would have it destroyed in a single night.  I am also enjoying watching the posts on YouTube of the cross-stitch forum, they are listed under FlossTube and range from excellent to pitiful, but I watch them all, and subscribe to the best.  In place of cleaning, I am afraid.  Here is a picture of what mine will look like eventually:

"Kitty Trio" by Design Works.

I have also bought several patterns (more than several) but I don't know what I will do next.  I can't have more than one project going at a time, that would lead to a lot of half-done things, but I really like this one so I will finish it toot-sweet.  That isn't spelled right, but you know how French is, nothing is written like it is pronounced.  And of course, I don't speak French...

Cartoon for the day:

Take care and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Happy Birthday... me!

As time marches onward I am finding that "the firsts" are getting fewer.

Since N died:
This is my first birthday.
June 6th was the first  (46th) anniversary without him.
Dec. 25th, 2016 was the first Christmas.
Jan. 1st, 2017 marks the first year that I am a widow.  I went to bed early.
May 10th will be the first anniversary of his death.

Even though I can't drive for now, I have kept all of my appointments.
Although I goofed up the bill paying at first, I can now manage the bills.
I took care of the flood downstairs, and what's more, paid for it.
Sold N's car for a nice amount, and thereby canceled the monthly payments.
Filed for the settlement of a law suit, and got the money, yeah.
Remembered to claim his dry cleaning, and donated it to a charity.
Discovered that I really don't like to watch TV or movies, and canceled all the premium channels.

And best of all, I am now able to talk about his death without breaking down.

Still, I feel an overwhelming sadness when little things catch me out, like finding last year's Valentine card.  Or when I hear from someone who doesn't know he is gone.  Seeing mail addressed to him.

Anyway, I am doing better, overall.  If you know anyone who has recently lost someone, give them an extra hug (if appropriate) and a few kind words.  It is hard.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I signed up for Facebook several years ago.  I really don't care one way or the other, but my very best friend posted regularly and it was hard on her to send an email saying the same information.  She died 2 years ago (?) so the only contacts I have are her family, and some cousins of N, for a total of 16 friends.  Two are some old friends from CA days, and two are friends of the kids (who are not themselves members).  Anyway, I found out how to delete posts, which is all I really need.  No games for me.

I am astonished that the Trumpster (rhymes with dumpster) is still posting on Twitter.  I guess he thinks he is "in touch" with the core of his supporters?  Or just that he likes to seem "with it" ?  In any event, it is not doing him any good as he seems to be the butt of many jokes because of it.  I am still floored that Hilary lost.  I can't believe the stories that circulated about her during the campaign; that she was a murderer was the most egregious lie I heard.  I remember in high school civics class learning that, if you're going to tell a lie, make it a big one.  Guess DT and his cronies read the same civics books.

My family is currently sharing the same virus, as we have all been down with sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. one after the other.  I have been exempted for some reason; I haven't had a cold in at least 15 years.  Clean living?  Superior immunity?  Luck, I think.  This current one seems hardier compared to the run of the mill sniffles, so I shall see how it goes. 

I had a long talk with Norm's sister the other night.  She doesn't have an internet contact, which would be easier for me.  About 80% of the way through the conversation, my phone began to lose its charge so we had to cut the conversation.  I don't know why N only talked to her 3 or 4 times a year.  I know he hated the way she screamed at her great-grandson, but all that meant was that he needed to call later in the evening when the kid was put to bed.  I wish we lived closer, it would be good to see her other than at funerals. 

Well, time for the cartoon:

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Woman from Maine

If you marry a Maine woman.....

Three friends married women from different parts of the country. The 1st man married a woman from Indiana, he told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple days but the 3rd day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away. The 2nd man married a woman from Alabama. He gave his wife orders to do all the cleaning, wash the dishes, and prepare gourmet meals. The 1st day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better.  By the 3rd day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table. The 3rd man married a girl from Maine. He ordered her to keep the house clean, the dishes washed, the lawn mowed, the laundry washed and ironed, and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the 1st day he didn't see anything, the 2nd day he didn't see anything, but by the 3rd day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he pees.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Can't think of a thing to write..

So let's go to the cartoon first thing:

Friday, January 06, 2017

First Snow, dammit

I wouldn't mind the temperature (within limits) or the early darkness, or the wind, if only the snow wouldn't fall on the roads.  We got 3 inches last night, and it is lightly snowing now.  There is just enough to make the driving slippery, but not enough to get the plows out.  I don't have to get around today,  we even have milk and t. paper, the two commodities everyone grabs when the forecast is chancy.  But my daughter has had to go to work this morning, and yes, she is a good driver, and the roads in town are rarely more than slushy, mostly.  I still worry (I am a parent, after all) and having found she made it in, with no trouble, I am now all set to worry about the drive home in the dark.  I never say anything or ask about the drive, there is no need to pass my anxiety on.  Still I wish for clear skies all year round.

I got the check yesterday for the class-action lawsuit, all I need now is to go to the bank.  I still haven't figured out whether I will need to declare it as income, apparently it is not a yes/no question.  I will ask the financial guy his opinion, rather than find yet another guy,  an accountant, to render a definitive decision.  The settlement came with a 4 page document on this question, lots of ifs and  unlesses.  Pain.

I have been spending an inordinate time on YouTube, watching videos on... are you ready?... cross stitching.   I know, how could hundreds of people with regular lives make these videos on such a simple topic, but still I watch.  I have 10 tips I wish I could give to all of them, they are consistently guilty of most all of them.

1.  Don't scratch your head or play with your hair.
2.  Try really hard to stop saying "um"  "so"  "you know" every other sentence.  Try.
3.  Don't mumble; we are not mind readers.
4.  Make eye contact with the camera (and therefore us) and don't peer into the distance at the side; and mumble.
5.  Be organized.  Don't rummage around on your table or desk for your notes, or something you wish to share with your audience.  Have it right at hand.
6.  If you are showing projects that are completed, if you haven't gotten it framed or made into something, at least have it ironed, and maybe even tacked to a piece of foam board temporarily.  It drives me nuts when your project curls up or flops around as you hold the corners up to the camera.
7. Have something to say, not just parade a looong series of things you are working on.  A tip, a feature, something.
8.  And since we are here, if you have 20 stitches done, it doesn't count as "started".
9.  Keep your pets out of the video; they aren't cute to anyone but you.  A photo or one brief facebook, OK, but not a pet distracting you on camera and knocking over your notes.
10.  Watch your videos after they are done and before you post them.  Editing really isn't that hard.  It helps if you are not the presenter AND trying to fiddle with your camera.

In summary, be calm, collected, organized, and enthusiastic about your topic.  Try.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year

I managed to sleep through the fireworks in the neighborhood at midnight, thank you very much.  I didn't think they would do them as it was cold and rainy, but when you gotta go boom! then go boom!

I surely hope this year is an improvement over 2016.  Between deaths, flooding, illness and injuries, it would be hard to equal that this year.  Or so I hope.  Almost 8 months since my husband of 45 years died.  I think if I had some warning, if it had happened in the hospital, if I hadn't seen the CPR being done, maybe it wouldn't have been such a shock.  No chance to say goodbye.  The gathering (not an actual service, just an opportunity to mingle with those who knew him over the years) was a success, not as a social party, but talking with people who worked with him, mostly.  He was retired for 16 years, but we couldn't go through the mall without at least one person stopping him to chat.  He was the director of personnel for a large government entity, co-workers of many hundreds.  He was cremated, something he had stated many times.  I'm not sure he would have approved of the gathering, but it made me feel a lot better, especially since his sister could be there.  Their brother had died early in the year, so now his sister is the last close relative.  I wish we lived closer.

 The farrier came this morning to trim the hooves of the last horse we own.  It is a clear blue sky today, and the temperature is mild, unlike the last two weeks.  We had all the faucets and piping in heated rooms but I still felt like sinking into the ground when we lost the water;  I thought the pipes had frozen.  I called the water company and she told me there was a break in the water line that was being worked on.  Whew.  Our neighbors called too, with the same fear.  I'm seriously thinking about moving to a place where there is no snow or frigid temperatures, but it would have to wait until our animal census is zero.  Maybe one cat.  No horses, no dogs, no more cats.  It is not like I have a circle of dear friends, and there are no ties to keep us here.  It is worth thinking about.

I have been a slacker for writing in my journal, but it is not like I am trying to win a prize with a daily diary.  I will write when it feels right.  My blog here serves as a similar purpose, and is easier to write because it is easier to do revisions than to cross out and erase there.

That is the latest update, more or less.  Hope all the readers here have an enjoyable and trouble-free year!

 slogan for the day:  "I put the PRO in Procrastinate."