Wet Sands Archives 2013 - My Thoughts as I Knew Them, a diary of Sandra Lynn

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013


October 2013

November 2013

December 2013


January 5, 2013 - Today is my wee one's 20th Birthday. I no longer have any teenagers I can call my own. This is OK by me. I have done my part to add several adults in to the world to spread their joy throughout said world, and I can sit back now and hope there is still Social Security when I retire...

Last year I forgot my wee one's Birthday, and then when I did have him over to celebrate, I threw cake on him (accidentally, but it was still funny now that it is in the past). This time I remembered all on my own (with the aid of reminders set up on my work calendar and my personal home calendars). He has requested hot fudge cake with cookies and cream ice cream and his Dad's homemade pizza. It shall be done. I was relieved that he wanted his Dad's pizza, as I'm sick and did not feel like cooking a meal, even for a beloved product of my own loins.

I came home early from work yesterday. I had broken a fever and was feeling quite poorly. Very sore throat, and my chest feels very bronchially challenged. When I cough, I just go sit on the toilet to avoid any accidents. 'Tis the season for various shared diseases, I'm sure. I already have a doctor's appointment for Monday for another issue, so if I'm not better by Monday, I'll just switch up my complaints to the doctor. I always go to the doctor with a list of questions so I don't forget, and have recently started reading the note by saying, "These are a list of my demands..." You have to be prepared when you go in to the doctor's office due to the herding type visits they all have now which only allows you to complain about one bad body part per visit.

January 8, 2013 - Blessed are antibiotics. Went to the doctor yesterday and he was kind enough to prescribe a round for me. From Saturday to Monday, the throat/chest issue migrated to my ears/sinus. I was my own personal snot factory. I was not so sick, however, that I couldn't go to work yesterday. Since I could think and process information (which is a key factor in my job) I could work. I did decide, however, that I should take in a new box of Kleenex to help battle the flow of existing phlegm. I stopped at the corner store to pick up a box. When I walked in, there were people hanging around drinking coffee and the owner asked what I was looking for, and I said in a very squeaky, snotty voice, "I want Kleenex!" He cocked his head a bit and said, "You want peanuts?" This made me laugh and blow a snot bubble. The older lady who was sitting around "with the guys" translated for me - "She wants Kleenex!" (Women are much better at translating 'snot-ese' than guys, I've found in my lifetime.) I got my box of Puffs and spent ten minutes out in the parking lot blowing my nose, then off to work I went.

The wee one and his girlfriend and my oldest came over Saturday night for the wee one's Birthday dinner. (If you guys all get sick, you don't have to thank me!) The pizza was very good. I couldn't talk per say on Saturday, so it was very quiet. The boys were entertaining. I did manage to muster enough vocal chord capacity to discuss life in general with the wee one for a short time. I will have to continue the conversation when I'm back in peak condition.The wee one acted like he was on cloud nine from his Birthday dinner and hot fudge cake dessert. He was very appreciative. His only concern was that his sister had not posted to his Facebook wall yet for his Birthday. He was quite bothered by that. The boys harassed her via texts and such over the fact. When she did post, it was quite adorable, really...

"Dearest younger brother O'mine,
Lover of poo,
Muncher of turds,

Today is your birthday.
One more year and you can hit up the bars with your awesome siblings!
So.... You've made some errors here and there
(As you know since we tell you every time we're together)
But, you are another year old with another year of experiences under your belt,
and if I may share my older, better sister view ;-)
Life is all about the experiences you share with others and the moments you make for yourself.
Go forth and make a ripple in life, lil bro....

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!

P.S. no fart jokes allowed on the ripple comment

They predict it will reach 55 degrees by Sunday here where I live. Yikes. I don't know why I'm shocked. I remember Christmas Day back in 1981 or 1982 where people were riding by the house in shorts! Weather will be weather, after all. After the heat wave this weekend, the temperatures will drop again and be 'normal' - but really, what IS normal anymore? I do not know.

Last night my friend Dawn called to tell me they were airlifting her cousin, Tim, to a hospital up in Kalamazoo. We are friends with Dawn's family, and this was a shock. He had been having a procedure in a little local hospital and his heart stopped. After we hung up, I could already hear the helicopter. I went outside and talked to Tim. Not that he could hear me, but I had to throw mental thoughts out to him nonetheless. I can see why they use helicopters - a normal 1/2 hour trip by ambulance probably took 10 minutes by air. My husband is best friends with Tim's brother, and he was upset to say the least. We waited up and she called back later to say they had him stabilized and were taking him up to the critical care unit. Sigh.

January 9, 2013
- I ran up to my Aunt and Uncle's apartment yesterday at lunch time. My Aunt Jean had pointed and clicked way too many times on the wrong things, so I fixed that for her. I know she relies a lot on getting and sending emails to stay in touch. Her hearing isn't what it used to be, so emailing is a good way to stay in touch without saying "WHAT?!!" a million times.

On the way back to work I noticed MANY dead squirrels in the road. It was as if it was 'National Squirrel Suicide Day' on the back roads and they came out in droves. Poor little guys! I took a different way back to work than what I took there, and I did not see this phenomenon on the way there, so it must have been a select group of country squirrels that ran in to the road to meed their doom. Seriously, every 25 feet or so - splat.

My husband's friend Tim was removed from helper machines and is in a regular room now at the hospital. Hurray. Not sure if he will come home today. Do they let heart attack people come home right away? Nonetheless, I am ever so happy he 'came back.' When Tim was back among his family, he told his wife he 'saw the white light' - that is scary!!

At work, if I hold doors open for people, I tend to say (mainly to myself, but out loud, of course), "First floor - women's apparel - books..." and finally after all these years, someone said, "Sandy - What
are you talking about!?" and it made me think. I explained that when I was a wee girl, my Mom and Dad would take us to DOWNTOWN KALAMAZOO once a year, normally around Christmas time. There was a store we would go to - Gilmore's - that had an elevator. Take a little kid from the country and show them an elevator, and you end up having hours of fun going floor to floor. Amazing, it was - JUST AMAZING. Every time it would get to a floor, a recorded female voice would come on and say what type of product was located on said floor. "That is where that came from!" I finally said. I knew I had done that for decades when I opened doors, but I finally know WHY. Apparently the trips to the big city left a lasting impression in my wee brain. Thinking back, Gilmore's also had books, and after fourth grade when Mrs. Stevenson read us 'Little House on the Prairie' I would save up my allowance and buy the next book in the Little House series. I adored Laura Ingalls Wilder. Speaking of books...

My son got me every Discworld book in the series by Terry Pratchett for Christmas 2011. That is 39 books total, although I did have some to start with. Last night I finished book 28 in the series. Yikes, my eyes! I was reading it in a hot bath last night when it got very exciting, and couldn't stop reading, so I read until I finished the book. It was 10:30 at night. For me lately, that is staying up WAY TOO LATE. My eyes do nothing all day but stare at a computer screen, so reading that much in a short time was like adding salt to an open wound. This morning they are watering and very unhappy with me. I don't care, it was a very good book. I will take advantage of reading as long as I can. My poor Uncle Lorin can't read anymore due to his eyesight. He misses reading. "Nothing like a good book!" he said yesterday. I agree. I suggested books on tape, and he said "It is not the same - that is someone else reading the book and putting their own inflections on the words and stuff - that is not YOUR brain doing the interpretation." I also agree. So I will read until I cannot see to read anymore, and then I will relive those books in my head with joy (or at least the parts I can remember...)

I did take a break to play with Taffy the Cat. The poor kitty - he usually plays at night but Jake the Dog does not go upstairs anymore now (he likes to stay downstairs where it is warmer) so Taffy does not have the opportunity to play like an idiot. Usually when we wake up, there are 55 cat toys all over the place from where Taffy has had his nightly spaz fit. Taffy was near explosion levels with all that built up need to play. When he jumped in to the bathtub last night (after I was done, of course) I threw in a toy mouse and Taffy had a hoot. You could see the mouse flying up over the edge of the tub and you could hear Taffy sliding around in the tub. He played and played. Jake won't get in the tub, so Jake couldn't stop that fun. This morning Taffy had the mouse in the chair and went nuts again, so I just let the dogs outside so Taffy could just be, well - a cat.

January 12, 2013 - Wow, was yesterday an emotional roller coaster for me. I think perhaps I am hormonally challenged this week?

The morning started out at work with a help call where I had to help one of the guys at the other plant with a question. He called right when I walked in the office and I assume I was giddy from the fact I'd not eaten breakfast yet plus my throat has been sore again. I tunneled in to his PC to see what the problem was and trying to explain things to him, but he was ranting a bit, so I just started singing "Falling In Love Again" by Marlene Dietrich (because I have been losing my voice and all and it kind of reminded me of her voice so why not entertain the troops, right?)

This made him stop ranting and laugh and he said, "You sound more like Kim Carnes..." So I started singing "Bette Davis Eyes" but my brain, who was put on the spot to produce this song, so forgot whos eyes Kim sang about way back in 1981 so it inserted the words  'Sammy Davis' Eye..." and once it was out of my mouth it caused me to burst out laughing in a hysterical type way. Tears were running down my face from me laughing so hard. I couldn't STOP LAUGHING. The poor guy I was working with said, "Just ONE?" which made me laugh harder. I fixed his problem and made him laugh but I wet my pants and couldn't stop laughing for at least ten minutes. Sigh. People on my end of the building thought I was crying. I tried to explain what was so funny. No one thought it was funny. I, apparently, thought otherwise. I had to walk out side in the cool air to calm down. I finally got a grip on myself.

The people I tried to explain it to that are around my age didn't seem to find that unique, so I searched on line and apparently the whole 'Sammy Davis' Eye' thing was a parody for that song from the early 80s I so missed that back then. How could I have missed such a humorous chance? Here I thought I had been so darned funny and original!. It wasn't funny to me anymore after finding that out. I was only 30 years behind the humor. (Although one of my work mates was kind enough to put Sammy Davis' picture on my name plate and send me emails about it throughout the day with his picture. She tried.)

Then I researched why a person has giggle fits. I found that it is mainly a female thing, of course, and it happens to many women over their lifetime. Over the years I've had such laughter fits that once the laughter stopped it lead to crying like a baby afterwards. One extreme to another. So I know I am not the only female to have laughter seizures, but when I took a survey at work and asked some of the the guys if their wives ever had those types of laughter fits they all said, "No." Ugh. I bet that isn't true. I am not the only woman in the world that does that every decade or so... Then I was sad the rest of the day. Outright sad. Depressed. I wanted a hug*. Being a woman has its downfalls. I am glad there wasn't chocolate in my reach, or I would have injected it directly into my veins. At least I got a lot of work done, since I had to focus my sadness on something.

*"wanted a hug" is code for wishing some handsome male would come by, swoop me up on to his steed and take me for a jaunt around the park if you know what I mean - wink wink, nudge nudge....

So when I came home last night, I ate my dinner and sat in my chair and fell asleep to the Ancient Aliens marathon that was on H2 Channel. I finally got up and went in to bed. It was only 8:00 p.m. Sigh. Living life on the edge, I am.

I woke up at 10:30 a.m. to the worst pain in my left knee. Being startled away by pain can confuse a person, especially when they were dreaming about being a nanny for some rich people in London... My first thought was 'cramp' and I lifted my leg straight up so I could massage my knee, but once I got my leg straight up it hurt too much to massage or move it! "Great, I'm stuck like this..." I thought to myself. I woke up enough to know I had to relax so I did deep breathing and concentrated on my knee. I massaged it through the pain. I wanted to wake up my husband and say, 'GET ME A HOT RAG, DAMNIT' but I did not. I finally got it so I could start bending my knee up and down in ever increasing increments. Once I was able to put my leg back down all together I got out of bed and limped to the bathroom and got out the heating pad. I sat on the toilet with the heating pad wrapped around my knee thinking, "Geez, look at me now, would ya? It's Friday night at 10:30 and I've already been sleeping for two hours and now I'm having a massive leg cramp. I have to give up this rowdy life style before someone gets hurts..." Sigh.

When I woke up this morning, my husband announced that ALL THE PREMIUM CHANNELS ON DIRECT TV WERE FREE THIS WEEKEND. He knows I hate free movie weekend. What a way to start a morning. I told him that he can keep his headphones on then, OK? He started to tell me about the movie he was watching but I stopped him. "No, Stop. If I want to know about this movie, I will watch it or look up a review on it. Just stop!" He did not stop. Sigh.

My knee feels bruised this morning. I think I will go draw a nice hot bath and give the old girl a soak. Lavender scented Epson Salts cures all ills, I'm sure. Plus in a lavender scented bath, no one can hear HBO scream...

January 13, 2013 - I feel much better this morning. My husband is adhered to his chair with his headphones on and a Jim Carey movie in HBO, so all is quiet for me. I have my coffee (that I just spilled on my keyboard and spend ten minutes trying to blow it out/save the poor thing....) and all is quiet. If I start typing in tongues for any reason remember it is the KEYBOARD and I'm not possessed...

Yesterday I soaked in my hot tub and then took a six hour nap. Yep. I wasted a whole day by sleeping. Nine thirty a.m. to three p.m. I slept, and I slept hard. It was an escape. I wanted to just 'leave' but where to go? To sleep! Sigh. I know that is a sign of depression, but what in the world do I have to be depressed about? (Oh, I could name one or two things...)

When I woke up from my coma, I dusted the living room and changed the bedding and did a bunch of stuff I should have been doing all day long. The National Weather place issued an 'freezing rain' advisory, so immediately I emailed my boys and warned them. It is my duty, as a Mom, to worry for the rest of the world, you see. (Of course they cancelled said advisory early this morning as it did not pan out, so I worried for nothing, but I did my job as a Mom best I could at the time.) As I have said before in my blog, if you warn people and worry for them, then if something does happen to them you can say, "Oh, I tried to tell them..." or "If they had only listened..." so I supposed worrying as a Mom is like trying to avoid any guilt for any situation EVER?? A conundrum to be sure.

It is now raining outside and the dogs are snoring on the couch. They do not like to get wet or go out in the rain. I couldn't even convince them to go out by yelling, "Oh, Look! Sophie is out there!!" That usually works if they think Sophie is outside to come over and play with them, but this morning they both looked at me like, "Yeah, sure - and I was whelped yesterday!?"

January 15, 2013 - Standing in the dog poop pen observing my southern stars, it dawned on me that what I'm seeing is not what Vickie sees in Florida and not what other people see when they look up. Everyone has a different perspective when looking at stars. This applies to life in general I suppose. I have many deep thoughts out in the doggie poop pen. Many things have been sorted out in my mind by standing outside looking up...

We are due for an 'arctic' blast of air next week, although in my mind I would think the lower temps in winter in Michigan would be considered NORMAL. I realized this is not the true for everyone when I was talking to a younger girl at work. She was freezing. "I can't believe it is this cold!!" This young girl was probably born in 1989 or thereabouts - so she's never experienced what I have in my "time" - the 18 degrees below zero temperatures of a deep winter. I remember those well. To me, that was normal and expected - To her, it was unheard of in her lifetime. "Honey, I could tell you stories..." I started to say to her. Then I stopped and just said, "It can get below zero sometimes, so this is mild, really. Bundle up!" I am sure she didn't need to hear me wax poetic about the days when I was young and snow was up to the roof tops and temperature were so cold school buses wouldn't start... Her normal is not my normal. I walked away.

I have my headphones on this morning. I get to the point where I could scream and tip things over in rage that my husband has the T.V. on and also listening to 'Bob and Tom' show on the radio in the morning - he switches between the two. Since I can't run away or shoot him (legally) I just decided to drown it all out with WMU Marching Band music. That way I cannot hear the droning of the T.V. or Bob and Tom talk about porn. Ugh. I miss quiet mornings. I miss him working. I look forward to spring when I can go outside and dork around the yard. Plus, Marching Band music just makes the morning start, well, upbeat and all. Too bad I couldn't afford to hire a band to just 'stand by' when I need a distraction. You know, now that I ponder it, I could just start going to work at six or seven a.m. instead of working here from home. That would solve a lot.

Speaking of work - we have the year end audit going on. Every year auditors from our mother company descend upon us - normally there are three - six of them - to audit our company. This is standard, I'm sure, for most companies. They have all found a home in our meeting room in our end of the building. I told my coworker, Steve, that if he and I ever start a band, we should name it "Room Full of Auditors" and he agreed that would be a fantastic name for a band. I have to control myself during auditor week. I can be loud at work. I also tend to draw a lot of people to my office due to the nature of what I do - so I have to keep calm and just be 'normal' which is not my normal but these are all new auditors and I do not want to scare them. I hate it when they are all new. I like it when they are 'broken in' and just know me and expect the occasional Tourette style outburst from my office.

January 19, 2013 - We have a winter storm watch out for our area. I wonder if it will snow? We've had many winter advisories over the last two months, but nothing happens. It is the 'cry wolf' conundrum. It is Michigan, however, so by all rights IT SHOULD SNOW. We shall see. I won't be shocked either way. I will go to the store later and get some coffee creamer and eggs and other "just in case" items, which will cancel out any chance of a storm of course.

I went out to fill up the bird feeders this morning with my bed head hair sticking up on one side, my old pajama pants that are but unevenly in to a form of capri-style jammies, and my t-shirt that doesn't cover the bulge of my belly. My husband said, "That will bring the birds to the yard." Hmmmmmm, 'My Bed Head Brings All the Birds to the Yard' - sounds like a song I heard once...

Thursday night was 'GNO' (girls night out) and it was a hoot. All of my friends came solo so it was just US WOMEN. We laughed a lot. It was so much fun. We stayed out until about eight p.m. which is quite good for us at our age. Smile.

Jake the dog just gave Taffy the Cat a thorough spit bath of sorts, licking the sleeping cat on the head until the cat was no longer sleeping and the cat was looking at me with those pleading eyes as if to say, "Call off your dog, woman!!" I always assumed Jake was just tasting Taffy as opposed to licking him to be social. (Although there was that one time that Taffy had the abscess on his face that we did not know about until Jake found it and cleaned it until it broke open and then we were able to drain it and save Taffy, so maybe Jake is taking care of the cat in his own doggie way.)    

I had a productive week at work. Friday, however, I was mad and angry and just wanted to run away. I won't go in to detail, because after a nice sleep last night it just doesn't matter today. "Sleep On It" is the best invention ever. It works. Many things that are so overwhelming one day are not the next morning. I went to bed last night at 9:30 and did not wake up until 8:30 this morning. I am shocked that my bladder let me sleep that long!! Maybe even my bladder knew I was tuckered out and needed to sleep. Thank you Bladder -  Now I will fill you full of coffee and put you through your paces...

January 20, 2013 - Burrrrrrr. Wind chill is 4 degrees. Our first blast of cold weather to be sure for this winter. I had filled the bird feeders yesterday, but this morning they are all empty because of the winds last night. The squirrels are out there enjoying this fact - seeds scattered all over JUST for them, but I am not thrilled. Bird seed doesn't grow on trees... wait...

There is a lake effect snow warning for us and a lot of other counties in Michigan from five p.m. tonight until tomorrow night. Six to ten inches of snow? We'll see. However, I am taking the precautions of charging up our cell phones and doing up the laundry and making sure my tea pot is full of water, just in case we do lose power. It is a natural instinct to do this. Last night when I woke up at 12:30 a.m. with horrible indigestion from my supper, I noticed the winds were strong so I drew a bucket of water just in case.

My horrible acid issue was from steak. I have been wanting 'real meat' for a long time. I have dreamed of it. Yesterday we went to the store (as did EVERYONE apparently in the greater tri-county area because the place was PACKED) and I made a snap decision to get T-Bone steaks. What possessed me to do that? I have no clue. I just wanted STEAK. Sometimes a girl just needs real red meat, I suppose. I fixed them in the broiler. My husband raved that it was so delicious. I on the other hand was disappointed.  I wanted a 'grilled' steak flavor and all I got was, well - steak flavored and I did not think it was a good as my mind thought it should be. I only ate a bit of it, and put the rest in the fridge for my husband to use for his breakfast. I ate my baked potato and my salad. I went to bed at nine p.m. thinking, "Wow, not acid reflux from red meat - cool!" I do believe I even stated this out loud to my husband. However, by 12:30 a.m. my body was making it clear that red meat at my age is a bad thing and it took four TUMS to quiet the fire. Just because you want something doesn't mean you should have something.

Yesterday morning there were five large black crows outside that were making a fuss. A loud fuss. A fuss that would indicate to anyone with a brain cell that they were upset and angry. I watched them for a while. They flew in a circle cussing at something in a ritualistic way. Then I saw a hawk fly across the street. The black birds were yelling at the hawk! "Well, that does makes sense I suppose!" I thought to myself. Even though the hawk flew away, they continued their screaming and cussing, and then I saw another hawk fly in the opposite direction. There had been a pair of hawks. The crows followed that one and bombarded the hawk and screamed at the hawk and roughed up the hawk. I would think that a huge black crow would have no issues with a hawk. Huge black crows eat road kill, and hawks like their dinner moving. I am not sure what that was all about, but I was rooting for the hawk. Speaking of angry birds...

When my main computer was acting up last year, I purchased myself a second computer just in case. I won't be without the internet as long as the internet is out there to use, so I wanted a back up. That PC came with the Angry Bird game installed on it. I just started playing that about three weeks ago. It is very addictive. It is very therapeutic for me to fling birds at buildings and pigs for some reason - I sometimes fling the little birdies at something just to hear the smashing noises they make. I suppose it is much better for me to smash fake birds against fake building or kill a fake pig than to have a weapon and go out in public.

January 24, 2013 -  Every week day I get up at 5:30 or so and work from home for a couple of hours before I shower and physically go in to work. Yesterday morning I couldn't connect to work since we had a server issue, so I showered up and went in (physically) around six a.m. I am lucky I did as there were light pillars everywhere. I have not see light pillars in years! You get light pillars when the weather is just right and the air is so cold. It was stunning. I am glad I had to go in so early!! When I got to work, the spot lights we have on the buildings illuminated the ice crystals and I stood in amazement when I got out of my car at the beauty. The columns were filled with 'glitter flakes' (and I had flashbacks to the summer when I used that one bath bomb my daughter gave me that was packed with glitter and we were covered in glitter and we couldn't get the glitter out of the jacuzzi tub and we left a trail of glitter EVERYWHERE in that hotel room and I am pretty sure we'll never be allowed to check in to that hotel ever again...)

January 25, 2013 - I try to be positive and not hate things in general too much but I do hate it when someone drafts me on the roads. I think the art of tailgating is a bad practice. If you are so close to the person in front of you that you would compress your vehicle in to an accordion shape if that person in front of you applied their brakes due to a pachyderm suddenly crossing the road, THEN YOU ARE TOO CLOSE. There was a lady in an SUV behind me on the way to work yesterday morning who was so close I am surprised she wasn't sitting next to me in the front seat. When there is black ice and bad road conditions, I am driving at a speed that I know is safe. Just because you have a large SUV and can drive one handed because your cell phone is in the other hand gives you no right to be a butt sniffer! Tapping my brakes had no effect on her. I fantasize about those types of people passing me and losing control and ending up in the corn field so I can wave and just drive on. This lady did not attempt to pass. She had a few opportunities but she just stayed glued to my rear end.  I know for a large woman I do have a nice rear end, so I suppose I cannot blame her... Seriously, I do hate this with all my heart. Why do people do that? What is it in their heads that makes them think that butting up to the car in front of them will either 1)make that front car go faster or 2)make that front car pull over so they can zoom on by? I need to know! Idiots. The older I get the more I follow the speed limit rules and drive careful because obviously others just don't know how drive and frankly, I don't want to throw a hip.

It is cold enough out that the snow 'crunches' when walked on, and there was a bunch of us on the sidewalk leaving work and the crunching noise made me picture a giant eating a bowl of popcorn. Made me smile. I hope the cold weather continues a bit more and more snow comes. We are in a 'snow drought' you know. Last summer was so dry, and now we are about 30 inches of snow behind the 'normal' but then again, what IS normal? Global warming or not, the Earth goes through cycles and changes and such. Things change all the time, so really - WHAT IS NORMAL? I will just make crunch noises when I walk and be happy, I suppose.

Now that the new insurance year has started, I will begin the last phase of fixing my teeth. I need another root canal/crown combo, and a filling fixed, and just a crown on an upper molar that the dentist said is "almost all filling..." Ugh. Lots of money! I also have to call the doctor to get another refill on my "don't panic and bite the dentist and hygienist" medicine as well. I get the filling fix done right away in February. The other two - ugh. I don't want to do it. I think it would be easier just to go to sleep and have someone steal those teeth and run off with them in the night. (Although just the crown on that one molar wouldn't be too bad...) Nonetheless, I am happy for dental insurance while I can afford it and my work place offers it. I will just quit my bitchin'.

January 27, 2013 - Periodically, when I'm bored at night and nothing good is on the television, I'll play 'Yahoo News Roulette' and randomly pick news stories to read. The other night I read a story about "six reason you should sleep naked" and the first reason on the list was "You'll air out your hoo-ha." I agree with the news article about sleeping naked, but the term 'hoo-ha' made me laugh. When I was little, my Mom called it a 'tootem-twattem.' Amazing how we assign goofy names to body parts we are not comfortable talking about. With my kids, I found it easier to name them by what the doctor would know then by, but it still tickles me to hear the goofy names too. I laughed so hard I hurt my ka-giger.

January 28, 2013 - There was freezing rain last night plus there was thunder and lightening. The dogs seemed a bit confused by this. They heard the thunder and saw the lightening and looked at me as if to say, "Um, what was that?!!" This morning many of our local schools are closed due to the icy conditions of the side roads. Now it is getting foggy as well. One must love Michigan in all its glory if one lives here, yes? It was a hoot this morning watching them attempt to stabilize  themselves on the ice covered snow in the dog pen to potty. Slip slidin' away...

I made lasagna Friday night for our Saturday night meal and a batch for my Aunt and Uncle's Saturday meal. My sister and I went over to clean for them on Saturday morning I imagine being couped up together all the time could drive any sane person to be grumpy. They were grumpy. We still had fun, though. Got them to laugh a bit. Hopefully we broke up their day enough to bring a wee bit of joy to them. She emailed me later in the day so I know my lasagna did not kill them off which made me happy.

February 1, 2013 - Happy February! The wind chill this morning is -1 degrees. February is coming in with an excellent effort. A+ for February. (I like to type the word 'February' a lot since it took me so long to learn to spell 'February' properly - just like the word 'Wednesday' - I like typing that too.)

Yesterday I had a vacation day. I intentionally took it as a vacation day since my husband would be helping move his mother to a new apartment. That meant he was going to be gone and I could be alone. My boys helped them move Mom as well, so that was nice. I, on the other had, stayed home and WAS ALONE. It was quiet and I did whatever I felt like. (Mainly cleaning, but I was still ALONE when I cleaned.) I aired out his chair and whacked it with a broom to fluff it up some. He's been in it so much for so long it definitely had an 'impression' on the poor chair. The chair seemed ever so grateful for the cleaning and fluffing. I washed rugs and cleaned my stove. Most people (on a day off) would try to relax and have fun. I did that - the alone time was ever so appreciated. I didn't go anywhere as there is a drift in front of my car waiting to be blown away by the snow blower. I just stayed put and WAS ALONE and I liked it.

I fed the birdies yesterday and had a hoot watching them eat. At one point it looked like a large black garbage bag had blown up to the fence but it was just a blanket of birds. They were not being fussy yesterday like normal when they go after one another defending fresh seed. They all just ate and were happy there was seed. I wish I had a wind break for them. There were enough there yesterday to be their own wind break. There are crows coming down for a nosh, too. I let them eat now. My friend at work, Mike, can actually call crows and work them up into a crow frenzy, and I was berating him for doing this but then it dawned I me I know nothing about crows. So I came home that day and researched them. Crows are way cooler than I ever thought. They are very smart birds. I was dissing them for no reason. Sigh. So now when they eat some seed, I do not attempt to shoo them away anymore and I have to thank them for reminding me not to judge ANYTHING without knowing the facts.

It is back to normal this morning, however. Another vacation day for me. I need to get to the grocery store in the worst way as I'm out of doggie and kitty food. The pets will revolt soon and I don't want them looking at me like a large fatty piece of steak. I will wait patiently until my husband goes out to snow blow. I could probably make it by sheer momentum and rocking, but I will wait. We've not had much snow this winter, so this 'lake effect' stuff is welcome. There are drifts 8 inches tall, then a strip of yard where there is nothing, then another drift... Wind, go figure

I have some dental work coming up. I called my doctor's office last week and requested some more 'don't bit the dentist' medication. I stopped and got it on Wednesday on the way home from work. That stuff is a Godsend when it comes to the panic issue. I do not encourage drugs and taking said drugs or abusing said drugs, but in this case the stuff is a miracle. (I often wonder if they prescribed sugar pills for me would if it still have the same effect? Maybe it's just the fact I know I took something to calm me down that makes it work? Wait - Nope - I am pretty sure it is the effect of the Klonopin. My brain is smart enough to know that it will freak out at the thought of having my mouth open for so long so it cannot be fooled by sugar pills.)  I will need a crown on an upper molar and another root canal/crown on a lower molar. With all the crowns I'll eventually have, I will look like a villain from a James Bond movie when I smile.

Cute KiaKia was on the couch yesterday looking all cute, so I got a picture. She had one leg draped off the couch and was looking coy. She sat like that for a long time. This made me laugh. Quite the diva, my Kia.

She is like me when it comes to sitting "like a lady" as it is not in our genetics to do so. I've always sat like a cowboy. I've never been much of a lady-like person. I am not a jewelery person or makeup person or dress up person. If I had my way I would be dressed in an old burlap bag constantly and I would be barefoot and bra-less. I can't do hair and I am clueless about what makes a purse match an outfit. I suppose with not worrying all about that stuff I have freed up my mind to know other stuff which is good. What I lack in curling iron knowledge I more than make up for in trivial facts about crows...

February 4, 2013 - We are finally getting a little snow. We are far behind on snow levels. I would like more snow please, just for the sake of water tables and all.

I made cookies over the weekend for my co-worker Judy. (Today is her Birthday.) I should have taken a picture of the kitchen when I was baking. Flour everywhere, sprinkles everywhere. Splots* of butter everywhere. (I made spritz cookies.) The dogs were helping by cleaning up the sprinkles and errant butter blobs that flung themselves around the kitchen. I am a tornado when I bake. If I had my own cooking show, the entire time I was doing my show you would see nothing but a haze of white as flour and ingredients would be flying all over the place and covering the camera lens. I am the Pig-Pen version of Martha Stewart...

*The word 'splot' is not a real word, I apparently made it up. Feel free to use it, however.

The boys came over for a taco dinner yesterday afternoon. It was nice to feed the boys. I did their taxes, too, while they were here. I did my own taxes on Saturday morning. It felt good to get that out of the way. One less thing to worry about. My oldest stayed longer and after he left I let the doggies out for their last potty of the night and saw a creature in the driveway - wasn't sure if it was a raccoon or a huge bunny, but SOMETHING was lurking near the end of the driveway waiting to swoop in and eat the residual bird seed leftovers. I watched it for a while and decided I would be nice and let the poor thing eat. This morning, however, I see it is just a large chuck of wheel well ice booger that fell off one of the boys' cars. Hahahaha. I must have watched that chunk of ice for ten minutes last night trying to figure out what it was. I SWEAR it was moving too! This is why humans are the worst witnesses to crimes or any event. We can see things that are not there even if we are convinced it IS there. "Oh sure, it was a raccoon, Ma'am..." or "Oh, sure, Ma'am - it was a UFO..."

At work we got a new microwave on our end of the building since the last one decided it was going to give up and explode and die. The last one, may it rest in peace, was a cheap microwave. I believe 'full power' on the last one was probably 25% power on a real microwave. We all got used to the last one, knowing it took more time to cook a lunch in it than if you had prepared the meal on the spot yourself with conventional means. The new microwave is a 'real' microwave and 100% power means 100% POWER. Several popcorn loving people are learning the hard way that cooking popcorn in microwaves can vary from machine to machine. One day we had to open up the side door due to smoke from a popcorn meltdown in the new microwave. I believe the popcorn actually caught fire... Fun was had by all.

February 10, 2013 - Today my Mom would have been 91 years old if she were still alive. I don't know how many times I have thought to myself over the years, "Yikes, Mom was right about this!" or "Man, I wish Mom could see this!" I will always miss my Mom. I will always cherish the lessons she taught me, even if some of those lessons were time delayed on my part. Happy Birthday, Mom, if not in heaven then in my heart...

The other night I decided to soak in a hot bathtub before I started the dishwasher -  I had the dishwasher locked and loaded, just needed to push the start button on the thing when I was done in the tub. I never did push the start button on the thing. Completely forgot. The next morning, my husband got up and put the dishes away. (This is how engrained routines can be in our heads. He didn't even notice the dishes were still dirty. He just knows that he wakes up every morning and puts the dishes away lest he suffers the wrath of Sandy.) He did notice throughout the day that dishes and glasses he used didn't seem to be very clean, but it didn't click in his head until he went to feed the dogs that night and their bowls were all crusty that the dishwasher had not run. We laughed a lot about that. I do the same thing in the morning. I get out of bed, run like hell to the bathroom, then feed the dogs. There are times when (in the middle of this routine) I wake up enough to question what I am doing which causes me to forget totally what I was doing and I get all discombobulated. Ah, humans... gots to love 'em.

The neighbors that moved in over at Grandma's house next door have four wee boys. I was hoping these four wee boys would make snowmen one day, and they did. Their yard had several snowmen to greet me when I got home from work on Thursday. Very cute. This weekend they used an old five gallon ice cream bucket to make bricks for a fort. My dogs, being ever so intelligent, are still growling at the fort. They growled at the snow men for a day as well. They saw the shadows from the snowmen at night against the house when a car would go by and would growl. If snow ever gets Zombie-fied, I believe the dogs will notify us right away. Good to know.

My husband had to use the snow blower twice last week since we actually got real snow for a change. He was kind enough to use it in the dog pen as well so the doggies didn't have to navigate drifts and all. Very kind of him. I, on the other hand, look forward to the melting part and finding all the treasures that were flung out during said snow blowing. Sigh. Flinging poop can be therapeutic, I suppose.

February 12, 2013 - At work yesterday I noticed there that suddenly "waves" in my coffee. It was just like a scene out of Jurassic Park and I would have assumed we were under attack by large genetically re-created creatures from the past but I was pretty sure I knew what it was... I felt my desk and could feel the vibrations. I got up and asked my coworkers, "Do you feel that?" They all felt that. It was kind of funny. They are building a new warehouse out back and whatever the construction crew was doing it was shaking the whole place. I got a message pop up from Laura and it said, "Quit playing with your toys!" (This made me laugh out loud and with gusto. Sometimes even at work we can be perverts.)

I got a filling yesterday afternoon. I done good. It was just a quickie filling although in my mind I was prepared for 45+ minutes of drilling and packing. My dentist has honed his skills when it comes to me. The less time in Sandy's mouth, the better. Both Dr. Dornbos and Lori are angels when it comes to working on me. I took my pills ahead of time so I would panic and took my "Sandy" rabbit that my friend Kathy had sent me (better to squeeze the rabbit than the Docs lower regions, of course). I had a molar that lost half its filling that he was going to fix. He looked in there. I said, "You know, if you don't think you are going to hit a nerve, can you just fill it without Novocaine?" "Sure, you don't need a shot, I can patch it without giving you a shot." (Mind you, I can stand pain. Shots do not bother me. I just don't like the feeling of my neck being numb and that is where panic will start too. If I can't close my mouth and/or swallow when I want, I tend to freak out a bit, as we all know.)

The thing that made me laugh out loud (which was kind of hard with a bunch of cotton in my mouth and a flappy cardboard thing to keep my saliva from spraying all over) was when Lori asked the Doctor, "Band?" and Doctor Dornbos looked up at her and his eyes grew large and he said in a growl, "NO BAND!" Once I was done laughing, he said, "You DON'T say BAND around Sandy, do we Sandy?" I agreed. "Yeah, Lori, Geez - just say "Unicorn?" or "Chocolate Bar?" or something. You guys have to come up with some kind of code for 'band' ok? 'Andbay for Andysay' or something..." He didn't need to band the tooth to build it up. He will attempt to do everything in my mouth without a band or shots if he can get away with it. I love my Dentist. In a few weeks I go back so he can grind down a upper molar in preparation for a crown, but that is only because he pleaded with me, "Sandy, it is 90% filling - please, get that one done soon! You don't want another root canal, do you?"

The wind yesterday was very, well - WINDY. Very gusty. The neighbors to our north had a tree fall down. An old dead tree (that died during the great storm of 2007) fell in to our side of the yard. When the boys come over, I'm going to see if they can muscle that thing back in to the neighbor's yard. I really don't want their dead tree... I also have to fill the bird feeders because all the seed blew all over yesterday. I don't need the birdies revolting and pooping on my car just because I didn't refill their food source.

Last night we went to get me a new ice maker. (The one my husband got me for Christmas in 2008 had committed suicide. Even though he got me that ice maker because he didn't want to have to make ice and if I had an ice maker I would have to make my own ice, I did fall in love with the type of ice it produced. We have very hard water here - and the ice maker would make the best little nipple ice cubes that were soft and chewable without crushing your teeth. Plus the ice maker ice didn't 'smell' like freezer ice as ice cubes tend to do in a freezer.) I was missing an ice maker so I finally decided it was time. This new ice maker is smaller than the massive one I had before, but it produces the nipple ice just the same. I am content.

We got a new microwave too, since my husband decided that the microwave we had for 15 or so years needed to go lest he beat it to death. We got a smaller, red microwave. It is amazing how technology improves over time. Look at all the pretty buttons...

February 14, 2013 - Happy Valentine's Day! I love this day because of the colors and hearts and hugging and stuff. I adopt the 'hugging everyone' part every day of the year, however. I got a beautiful floral arrangement yesterday at work from my husband. I will post a picture as soon as the battery on my camera is charged up.

My daughter and "son in law" came over last night for a few minutes. Their Valentine's present to themselves was to come to town to see Matchbox 20 in concert. So they drove from Chicago for the concert here and then were going to drive home. Ah, youth. I miss that. I miss the urge to do crazy things like that, and have the energy to go to work the next day...

The weather was warm yesterday and sunny so now the majority of grass in the yard is showing. Today it is supposed to get up to forty degrees. I wonder what the trees are thinking? "Man, should I start sapping? I wonder if I should start sapping? Hey Clarence, do you think it's gonna stay like this? What month are we in? Is this spring?" "Randy, I don't think we should sap yet! It doesn't feel right..." (I am pretty sure trees talk to each other in some form, or why else would they hang out in groups?)

This morning I couldn't get Jake to go outside until I said, "See Sophie?" Sophie is the neighbor dog that Jake is hopelessly doggie in love with and he was just sitting there with his head turned from me when I said, "Go potty?" (No response.) "Outside? (Nope, didn't even turn his head.) "Squirrel?" (That usually works, but still nothing.) "See Sophie?" BAM - He was flying to the door. I shouldn't lie to him, mind you, but I knew it was time for him to "go" and all. The dogs have cabin fever something fierce. They have been tormenting Taffy the Cat to no end. They play tag with Taffy. Kia tags Taffy's face and Jake tags Taffy's behind. Taffy doesn't stand a chance. We try to stop this when we see it, but there are time Taffy instigates the play, so when it is Taffy asking for 'dog tag' we let them play for a while until Jake acts like he wants to do more than just taste the cat.

February 15, 2013 - I have today off, which is good. I wouldn't want to be anywhere today where I may interact with any other human that could be injured by my mental state.

Yesterday was a 'bad' day for me as I had hot flashes that burned the edges of every nerve in my body. I was 'woozy' and saw spots in front of my eyes. I also got SO GASSY that I was explosive.  It was not pretty. To top that off, my old eyes were burning and watering and I was ready to check myself in to the nearest university to donate what was left of my body. I was ever so happy to come home last night. I decided the way I was feeling was due to our crappy eating habits all week. We had eaten out three times starting on Sunday, so I made the decision last night we are going to detoxify this weekend. Fish and salads are on the menu for a few days.

This morning I decided I was going to get my hair played with since that is so relaxing and it was, after all, my vacation day. I took a shower and off I went. I stopped at the store to get some things and some cash before I went to the hair place. In the check out I went to pay for my items, and couldn't find my wallet. I searched my purse. (It was a new purse I got on Wednesday night.) No wallet!  My friend, Cindy, was behind me in line and she offered to pay for my stuff so I didn't have to run home in a hurry to get my wallet. I told her I would just have the checker suspend the order and I would run home and grab it, since my main goal this morning was to get my hair touched. I ran out to my car and while I was buckling up I called home and asked my husband to check the kitchen table. He said, "No, no wallet here!" he said. "Damnit!" I said as I started my car. "The last time I saw you with a wallet was when you were switching your purse Wednesday night..." The light bulb went off in my head and I practically screamed  "DUH!!" and hung up. The new purse came with a new wallet. I had had a black wallet for YEARS and that is what I was looking for in the store. I was NOT looking for a beige, new wallet. There it was, the new wallet - sitting in my new purse looking all innocent and the like. I laughed loudly as I went back in to the store. I saw Cindy coming out when I was going in and told her. We laughed together. I got back in line and when I got to the nice checker, I told her that I had to confess and explained what happened. "Normally when someone forgets their wallet or money, I write "forgot wallet" on the suspended ticket but this time I'll just write "old age..." More laughter.

I got to get my hair played with after that but it was hard to relax and enjoy it since I was constantly laughing to myself. For the greater good of mankind, I will just stay home the rest of the day and stay out of the reach of the general public.

February 18, 2013 - The coyotes or foxes (whichever it happens to be) were singing again this morning to the train that was passing by in town. I wish I knew if it were foxes or coyotes. (Actually, why does it matter to me? I mean, it's cool to hear them screaming like women so it shouldn't matter what is doing it.) I also saw several 'falling stars' this weekend that streaked across the whole sky. ("Whole Sky" means my tiny view of the cosmos from the dog poop pen which is probably only 45 degrees of the southern sky minus the trees blocking most of that view....) Still, they were very bright and lasted a long time so that was pretty, and as long as they are not exploding over us like the Tunguska or the latest Chelyabinsk incident, I am happy to watch them streak.

Detox weekend went well. Can't say I feel any better than I did on Thursday, but I know I should feel better so I will assume I feel better. I didn't have any major brain farts after Friday morning, so that is a good thing. Today at work will be a joy* (*note sarcasm) because we had all of our server go down for lack of power because the UPS didn't work with the generator. Having an abnormal shutdown is a BAD thing. Last time this happened in August it took over a week to fix all the weird errors. Ugh, this just stinks!

Speaking of skunks, Lordy! Last night a skunk either got spooked by our house or got run over close by because the smell was horrid. You never realize how many holes you have in your house until each one is eminating the stench of a skunk. Ack!!  It permeated the house with the force of an angry assault team on steroids and no candle or boiling potpourri could cover it. The dogs were not allowed outside after seven thirty last night. Gag. We could taste it even as we drifted off to sleep. I give props to God for the design of the skunk - great defense mechanism and all - but if I didn't run over the thing, I don't think it is necessary for me to smell it all night.

I suppose I'll get ready for work and go enjoy the day and what it offers. Viva technology. Viva pay checks. I suppose anyone can put up with a little corrupt data in exchange for groceries...

February 19, 2013 - I just spent five minutes laughing at myself. I was pondering the skunk that made Sunday night unbearable. My neighbor, Ron, called last night because they had the same issue at their house, so it must have been a skunk that got run over nearby if we all had that lovely experience. So I'm thinking about what situation would cause such a stench in the area and I could picture several skunks walking home from a party and every time one of them belched they would spray, then I said out loud, "They were drunker than a skunk..." which lead to the five minutes of laughter. I am such a cheap date.

From the time I woke up at five a.m. until now, the temperature has dropped and the wind and picked up and IT IS COLD. The dogs did not take much time at all to go potty. Being outside with the dogs made me want to potty! Burrrrrrrrrrr... The bird seed will be flying out of the feeders today from the gusts of wind. It's a seed free for all - I am sure Ted Nugent has a song for that situation... 

I am convinced that they ("they" being the two old guys that run the country in some secret bunker somewhere and own us all and manage the government like puppets and mess with our heads constantly through advertisements - or so I've imagined when I'm bored which is often lately so I tend to imagine a lot and I can see now where conspiracy theorists come up with their crazy notions - because they just have too much free time on their hands but I digress... ) raise and lower the gas prices just to condition us all to the higher prices. Like sheep we are - oy. Today it is $3.99 but tomorrow it is $3.88 and we think - "Crikey, that is much lower, better buy some gas now!" and then the next day it is $4.10 a gallon and the day after that it is $4.00 a gallon and we say, "Crikey, that is much lower, better buy some now!" and so forth. Pretty soon we'll be saying, "$10.15 a gallon!? I better buys some now!!" How single people can survive in these United States is beyond me. They can't. It takes two working full time to just get by. Sad, really. Very very sad. Last night watching the news after work was SO DEPRESSING. One story after another about children dying in fires, people dying in car accidents, people killing other people, and on and on. I finally told my husband to change it. The human brain can only take so much crappy news before it stops, flips the sign to 'closed' and walks out.

February 22, 2013 - I have today off. My sister and I were going to go clean for my Aunt but my sister called this morning to cancel. She didn't feel well. I decided to cancel too - since it was supposed to be rainy and icy by noon. DUH. Why do I listen to weathermen?!? It is misting now and foggy, but there was no evil ice rain and I could have gone over. Sigh. Instead, I took a nap. I woke up and realized that I was dreaming and in that dream I had forgotten what I had gone in to the next room to get. IT HAPPENS EVEN IN OUR DREAMS. Sigh. Getting old can be taxing, even when sleeping.

To shake the dream, I cleaned. I mopped the kitchen floor and washed rugs and the like. It was nice and quiet. Why, you ask, was it nice and quiet at my house? Well, I will tell you - MY HUSBAND GOT CALLED BACK TO WORK FINALLY AND WAS DOWN THERE DOING HIS PAPERWORK SO HE CAN START MONDAY!! Yes, I was screaming that last sentence. When he called me at work on Thursday to tell me this wonderful news, I immediately said, "Wonderful!! Now I don't have to kill you!!" (Do you feel the love?) I am ever so thankful. Hopefully this will pull him out of the depths of despair he has been in lately. His Lazy Boy will be ever so grateful, too... I will be losing my daytime maid, but we will be gaining a paycheck, and no one can shake a stick at that. Right now I sit here with a Miller Lite as I type and toast the working man.

When it was snowing this morning, the birds were all sitting on the dog fence staring at the house. They were sending mental birdie brain signals that they wanted food. So I fed them. Waves of birds descended. Kind of fun to watch. At first they ate like they were starving, but after a while the whole 'caste' system started raising its ugly head and the butt poking and beak snapping began. Why can't we all get along at the bird feeder?

The boys will be over for a lasagna dinner sometime this weekend. The wee one has been helping my boss "flip" a house. I am not sure if he will work all day on Saturday and Sunday or not - so the dinner is on hold until we know details. Getting details from my wee one is works about as well as the the mail service in 1880. You eventually get the information, but it might take six months...

February 25, 2013 - For the past 269 days, not that I was counting, my husband has been unemployed. I hope it all works out well for him this time around and he stays employed and I don't have to wonder where I will hide the body anymore...
In celebration of my husband going back to work, I'm running vinegar through the coffee machine to get out the scale/lime that builds up. Do I know how to party or what?

The boys came over for lasagna on Saturday afternoon. It was fun. I love how they praise my cooking now that they don't live here. Mom's food always tastes better when you don't have it anymore, I think. It does a Mom's heart good to see her boys inhale a meal like that. My wee one got depressed since his Dad kind of yelled at him for not checking the oil in his car and such and I harped on the wee one about finding a full time job. I believe he felt like he was getting it from both sides. (You think you are helping your kids when you harp on them like that, but the look on their faces is similar to a dog trapped in a corner.) Parents, go figure.

On Saturday morning I took over dinner for my Aunt and Uncle then did some quick shopping for them as well. I have not heard from them since my Aunt emailed me on Saturday night, so I will have to run over and check on them during lunch today. I hope my turkey meatloaf muffins didn't cause undo intestinal distress!! 

Ack. Now the house smells like vinegar. Both dogs went upstairs. Apparently they do not appreciate the robust smell of that stuff. Their loss. My coffee pot is happy. Plus, I just I beat my husband's lazy boy with a broom, too - to fluff the poor thing up after being sat in for 269 days, and sprayed her down with Lysol. She looks happy now. So the vinegar smell is mixed with the lavender smell of Lysol and if I were a dog, I'd be upstairs, too.

February 26, 2013 - To the man in the all white van who didn't see fit to have his lights on Monday morning when it was so foggy that EVERYTHING WAS WHITE, I would like to point out the errors of your ways. Being aware of your surroundings is a good thing. Good thing I had my windows down so I could hear oncoming traffic, since I surely didn't see you coming. That being said - on the way home tonight I had stopped for a stop light in town and got to thinking to myself and totally forgot I was sitting at a stop light and did you know red lights do eventually turn to green lights? I must have sat through two light changes. (Being aware of my surroundings would be a good thing...)

It is pelting down ice balls right now. Not snow, not rain. The 'click-ety' noise it is making is kind of cool, but nights like this I worry myself to the point of a stomach ache worrying about my kids driving in this stuff. You would think that after a while worrying about your kids would stop, but it does not. Nights like this I mentally profusely apologize to my parents for all the times I put them through hell and back worrying about me way back when.

My husband is snoring in his chair and this doesn't bother me since he's snoring in his chair after working all day as opposed to snoring in his chair and being unemployed. I got on the floor tonight and played with the dogs since they were feeling left out. Nothing like a rousing game of fetch with a soggy dog toy. Kia will take out every toy in the toy box just to go back to the original one she pulled out. Jake, he just gets excited and attacks the cat. Jake never did learn how to play...

February 28, 2013 - I couldn't upload this to my web host the other day so I will just add to the blog. I have nothing to say really when I think on it. I just babble about nothing. It is therapeutic for me, however, so I will continue to type about nothing.

On the way home last night there was a song from Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" album. That was a very excellent album. The year it came out I must have played the albums a million times. It even came with a bonus 45 with two more songs. I remember that it was always on the turn table at my Aunt Vera's house when I would stay there in the summer time while they were at work. The house they had at the time had an house wide intercom system (fancy in those days) so I would crank the record player's sound up in one room and dance around the house with all the intercoms on. One should never ever stop imagining and pretending - as a teen or as an adult. One should just dance like an idiot from time to time.

Last night I attempted to drift off to sleep (which for me is not actually drifting, but sifting through a thousand random thoughts to get to the quiet part of my brain) I was imagining too much about life. I started thinking how all the 'sequester' stuff is so much drama and who really needs drama and why is the government being all five-year-olds-without-a-nap? We as humans make too much drama out of life. What is an economy anyway? Why do we have one when most of it is just an illusion? We buy and buy material things but in the end it's all for naught. I kept thinking and thinking about life as we know it until my thoughts screeched to a halt in my brain - there I was with the conclusion that this is all too stupid and since humans allow things to happen like this, there is really no one to blame but us.

I finally just figured that surviving until we are dead is all we can do in our life. That is the secret of life. Being happy surviving until we are dead. You don't need a bunch of 'stuff' to be happy. You just need to be content with what you have and who you are and if you are not happy, you can change it. I was thinking how I see all these comments on Facebook where people are cursing their lives, their surroundings, their fate, their luck... Some whine because nobody likes them or no one respects them... Some whine because they have no money or life is unfair or.. Sigh. I think that you just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keepin' on and do the best you can do and stop blaming the world and realize this is all we have and make lemonade from the lemons because in the big picture IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER now does it? If you are not happy with your life NOW then it just means you will be miserable until you depart from this Earth and you wasted your short time on the planet.

There are times I will go back and read old blog postings I've made and realize that I myself whined and complained about my life A LOT and wonder even about myself sometimes. HUMANS - go figure. If we could all just remember to be happy that we woke up breathing  -  if that was our first thought every morning - then maybe, just maybe, our days would be more tolerable. There are worse alternatives. The world doesn't owe us a living and even if we are pouting in corners the world still turns without us. I sort of think of my life like this:  Randy the Dinosaur spent his whole life poking his head out of a cave to roar at and flip off his neighbors. He was miserable in that cave because everyone had better caves than he did plus they pooped in his lawn. His neighbors Loretta and Bob just went on being dinosaurs, lumbering all over and such and didn't pay much mind to Randy because if science is correct, dinosaurs didn't have very big brains and all so why worry about Randy when there was a perfectly good piece of meat over by that tree? Anyway, the moral to this story is they all ended up as dead because of an asteroid impact or gamma ray burst hitting the Earth and were all later found by some
paleontologist in bad shorts who was wondering why one of the fossils died with his middle finger up...

Loretta and Bob were happy and lumbered and pooped and died. Randy was unhappy and grumpy and growled a lot and died.

Either Or - it is our choice.

top of pageMarch 2, 2013 - My husband woke up on Friday morning not feeling well and having stomach issues, (a.k.a. "Hershey Squirts", the "Trots" and so forth.) Like a good wife, I insisted he could not call in on his fifth day back to work and forced him to go to work. He did go to work, but spent the day at work 'going' as it were. He came home all rosy cheeked and feverish and explosive. He was a sick puppy. He fought the good fight of the fever in his old faithful lazy boy. I covered him with blankets and felt sad and went to bed at eight p.m.

It was our anniversary, our 33rd. I have given him his presents that morning and cards (you have to put funny stuff in the lunch pail, right?) as I thought that would cheer him up with being ill and all but he was sick enough where he didn't really like what I gave him. Being sick makes you not want anything really, except Pepmo and Imodium AD and ginger ale. I had the day off Friday, so I went and got my hair played with and came home and cleaned and such. He called after noon asking if he had forgotten his wallet (and he did - it was on the shelf) and would I bring it to him? Oh, and some ginger ale. Oh, and some medicine and crackers. I did this. I ran it to a stop he was at in the next town over and delivered the goods.

When he came home he was very sick, beet red and shivering. I made sure he was alive but went to bed early. I went to bed early because I think every year that he will plan at least a card before the event. I think every year I am worth more than last minute flowers or a card purchased two hours earlier and signed in the bathroom after I wake up. I was being ever so selfish. I just got done lecturing the internet about being dweebs and publishing things that are only depressing. So I talked myself out of my blue funk last night by reminding myself that #1 - he's a guy  #2 - men don't change ever no matter what you hope for and  #3 - at least he wasn't puking, too.

I will admit, however, that my own gut hurt last night from the fact that just once before I die I want a male to make an effort for me. Make the first move...think of me before reminders are required...do little things like a silly note or the like. However, I am practical enough to know the only way to get a man to do that sort of thing is to have them get a sex change operation. Just because no one makes an effort for me doesn't mean I am not worth the effort and I know this.

Today I've entertained myself by cleaning up the toilet after he's done every five minutes and going to the store with a list of his demands for Cup-O-Soup and other things. I hope he gets well soon and I hope I don't get it. He was coherent this morning and I told him that he was sick because he was out the first time in eight months in public so no doubt he got the first virus that saw him coming. "It's like the first week of school after summer break, everyone gets sick!"

March 3, 2013
- The good news is that the diarrhea is gone, but the incredibly noxious gas has kicked in (which in my opinion is still better than blowing off your lower regions with the runs). He has felt well enough today to eat some solid food. I currently have him in the bathtub soaking in some hot water and Epson salts to help draw out the evil within. (By the sounds coming out of the bathroom, my plan is working.) 

I swept the upstairs this morning. The dogs live up there now that the kids have moved out. The remaining twin bed is THEIR BED (or so they think) and the amount of hair I sucked up was amazing. I had to empty the vacuum twice in the process. Geez, I really should get up there more than once a month to sweep. The dogs are currently outside being idiots barking at air and such and body slamming each other. It is good for them to act like idiots in the sun for a while.

The last few days the squirrels on the back/side streets have been doing maneuvers of sorts. Fifty run one way across the road and fifty run another. I am not sure why they are doing this since the nut they carry across the road most likely gets picked up and brought back with another squirrel. Maybe it's a form of relay races? Maybe it's squirrel boot camp. What ever it is, they have casualties... The squirrel count in my own yard is at an all time high as well. Black and Brown squirrels EVERYWHERE. They come up to the edge of the dog pen and front of the house and are digging up nuts they buried in the fall and sit there tormenting the dogs. "Can't reach us - screw you!" they tell the dogs. (I am sure that is what they are saying, by the look on their little faces. I could be wrong. Four years of Squirrel in high school has slipped away over the years...wait - that was Spanish...)

Tomorrow I go for a core build up for a crown. My dentist says if I do this now I can avoid a root canal. I am all for avoiding a root canal. After this repair, I do have one tooth that DOES need a root canal but I think I will push that out as long as I can this year. I will have already used up my allotment of dental insurance coverage before that. 

March 4, 2013 - The power went out last night at approximately 7:10 p.m. BAM - it was out. No flickering, no brown outs - just BAM. My neighbor Ron came over not long after that. They had just gotten home from down South and had their thermostat set low while they were gone, so no doubt the house would have been COLD. I urged my sick husband to get the generator going so I could see if cable was still functional so I could get on at work and shut things down. He did get the generator going, so we at least had heat, but the cable was gone like the power.

I jumped in the car and drove to work. I only have keys to the front doors, so when I got there I couldn't get in due to the security gate being down. No power, gate no open. Ugh. I don't have side door keys, or I could have gotten in to the plant eventually. I tried my laptop to see if the wireless was accessible from the parking lot. No go. Argh! I called my boss then our network guy and ARGH - they couldn't get in either. All was lost. All the servers died an abnormal death. (We have a generator on the server room, but long story short - it is not working, either...)

I came home and cried. Not a girly kind of cry, just a defeated kind of cry. I stood out with the dogs in the dog pen and it suddenly dawned on me that without area wide power, it was area wide dark! I could see ever so many stars that I normally couldn't see due to light pollution. This cheered me up to no end. Then we went to bed, since really, what else is there to do in the case of no power. The generator was LOUD and I am so sure the neighbors enjoyed listening to that all night. I know I did. Not. I might have gotten about three hours sleep total in little batches. I just couldn't sleep. My husband is still sick and couldn't sleep. It was a wonderful night, I must say.

The power came on about 4:50 a.m. BAM - it was on. (I am convinced that is the way to take down this country. Country wide power outage. We are so far removed from surviving without power that it would cause such a mess. Really, how many people would have had water and or supplies that wouldn't spoil from the fridges not working and such?) Being connected to the internet is also an addiction that would drive a lot of us insane. The internet, I realize, is a distant cousin of heroin. Yep, if a solar flare took out the power grids or terrorist did, we'd all be lost.

And now, I will quickly shower while there IS water and get my butt in to work. Viva a new day! I think I will be cancelling my dentist appointment for today. I doubt very  much there will be time for that.

March 5, 2013 - I will always be amazed how a night of sleep can ease your mind or 'sort things out' as it were. Viva the Brain. (Although I will admit it feels as if it should be Friday as opposed to Tuesday.) The evil that was yesterday is gone and today will be a better day, but it
was odd - I just clicked on a news story to read, and a commercial came up with a large blue bear singing to toilet paper. Maybe I am still sleeping? Maybe being awake is just an illusion... (Although I bet my husband would sing to toilet paper, too, in a loving way if it was soft enough after his bout with the stomach flu!!)

Today is my Mother-In-Law's Birthday. She is still getting around well and still driving and such at 87 (I think she's 87. I might be wrong on the age. I will have to ask her...) Nonetheless, she has been a good Mother In Law and I adore my husband's siblings.

March 6, 2013 - Shhhhhhhhhh.... what is that? SILENCE? No one calling or messaging me from work about issues? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE!?!?  Hahahahaha.  I hope all goes a wee bit better today. So far this week it has been a roller coaster of spaz and headaches.

I fixed a 'real' supper last night and the husband ate it with no ill effects. He seems to be on the mend. Hopefully as he acclimates back in  to society he will buffer himself from all the germs that are floating around. Can you imagine how the Mayan population felt like when the Spaniards showed up with small pox. "Hi, we're from Spain, and oops, we just killed you all with a disease we are all used to! Sorry about that - now give me your gold..."  Sharing can have its downside.

My daughter said she got lots of snow in Chicago yesterday. We got maybe an inch. Usually it is we who get the snow and she sees nothing over there. I imagine my Aunt Trudy got walloped too, down in Indiana. Ah, weather. It's all a crap shoot. I am not disappointed we got so little this time. I'm almost ready for spring, actually. Hey, we set our time ahead this weekend, too. I want to see my daffodils pop up and have bird poop on my car again.

I can hear a bunch of red winged black birds over in the tree line across the road having a conference. There are also loud calls from sandhill cranes and I have my own personal murder of crows in the trees above my bird feeder. After researching crows and finding out they are a good bird, really, I no longer feel the need to throw rocks at them and yell. Now I try to converse with them by saying 'Caw Caw' and such, but they look at me like an insane bag lady on the corner and I am sure the one raised one eyebrow like Mr. Spock on StarTrek and rolled his eyes at me... (My luck I was telling them to "kill all humans" or something. I don't speak crow well and I will be the first to admit it.)

P.S. - Vickie, if you are reading this - I am sending you a surprise. Watch your mail in about seven to ten days. (Insert excited squeal here...) ((And no, it's not ME - I wouldn't fit in the mail box...)) (((Although I wish it was me!!)))

March 8, 2013 - The clouds were clearing up some last night so I kept popping out in to the star gazing area (OK, the dog pen) from time to time to see if I could see comet Pan-STARRS to the west as they stated might be possible. The clouds did not clear that much so I just gave up for a while and went about my normal business of reading and such. Right before bed I tried again as I could see stars in the sky to the west. I went out and looked and thought I saw (please note the word 'thought') something very odd. A very bright spot with a bright tail. I thought it was weird that the tail was so bright and straight. I thought it did not look like a comet but who am I to judge?

I reached in and grabbed my binoculars and looked again. What I was seeing with my old eyes turned out to just be Jupiter and my eyes added the tail. If it stepped to the left, the tail moved with it. If I stepped to the right, the tail moved that way. Ugh. I looked at other stars and they, too, had lovely tails shooting out from their bottoms. My tired old eyes were enhancing the picture for me. If all those stars REALLY had beams of light shooting out their bottoms, that would be a bad thing. No one wants that much gamma rays in their neighborhood - ain't nobody got time for that.

After that little stellar visual fiasco, I came in and put a cold rag on my eyes and let them rest. Poor eye guys. They are doing the best they can. Now that I think on it, I have never advocated bionics research, but if they have an extra set of super seeing bionic eyeballs lying about I would be willing to try them out.

I finally went to see my Aunt Jean yesterday at lunch. It had been over a week due to work. Work was 'good' yesterday and I don't want to jinks it by saying it was a good day and all after so many days of crap, but it was nice to breathe a bit. Aunt Jean had her hair done and she looked good. Uncle Lorin is in pain from clots in his tushy and you can tell he is uncomfortable. If I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is get them to an assisted living facility and have someone help them all the time because they need it. 

The kids will be herding this weekend to take us to dinner for our anniversary. My daughter will be driving home either tonight or tomorrow morning. We always have such fun in a herd. Much laughter to be had by all. I have to share my bath bombs I've received with my daughter and my wee one's girlfriend. I've been on a bath treat kick for a few weeks now. I have found several shops at Etsy that are to die for when it comes to bath time fun. I tend to do that - go overboard on something for a few months then wander away. I have enough homemade soap bars to last through any apocalypse. The world may end but I'll smell damned good.

Speaking of the world ending. What does North Korea have up its butt? Goodness. "We will blow you up! We will blow you up now!" Seriously. Oh, sure, they probably could but then their world will be damaged too. I am pretty sure the minute they would launch something at ANYONE the retaliation would be dreadful. You can't go nuking everyone you are mad at because you are an idiot and expect it not to effect your country in any way. Watch the movies and read the books, you dorks! Nuclear winter and such - think it through before you have a tantrum. North Korea needs a paddlin' and a time out, too.

Husband got his first paycheck today from being back to work. He was happy. I was relieved. He said he would take me to dinner, but frankly, Scarlett, a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich sound ever so much better than that...

March 11, 2013 - This weekend was 'three to a seat' weather. When I was in school and seasonal road limits went in to effect, they loaded us on buses starting in the front of the bus and we had to sit three to a seat. I think the idea was to put weight over the front axle but I have no idea why that would help keep the roads from breaking up. So when it is wet weather and pre-spring like, it always reminds me of the three to a seat rule. I wonder if they even still enforce that these days? I mention it to some people and they have no clue what I'm talking about. I can't be the only on in the northern states that remembers doing that...

Right now it is 49 degrees outside and raining a bit. It was a warm weekend. By the sounds of the birdies locally they all enjoyed the weather. There are suicidal worms everywhere, so the robins are set for breakfast. The cardinals were singing their best "come hither" style Steve Miller "Jungle Love" songs to find mates. The red-winged black birds were loud and proud and pretty much wiped out my bird seed supply. The sandhill cranes and the geese were having loud discussions over territory across the road. One could actually almost get excited for SPRING after this weekend if one did not know for a fact that one lived in Michigan and by Wednesday it is a good bet it will be snowing.

The dogs poop patterns are all askew from the time change, the poor dears. The time change is harder on them than on us, I believe!

You might remember that I mentioned the wee one's car was to the point where he practically had to hook it up directly to an active oil rig to keep the thing running. He was going through tons of oil and we had to face facts - he would be stranded and calling at midnight any day now if we did not replace his car. (Since he bought that car for five hundred dollars on his own from one of his big brother's friends, it has more than been worth the money a hundred times over, but it was time to put her out to pasture.) I would worry every night if this was the night the thing would just give up and die. We had told him we would get him a used car so we asked everyone we knew to start looking for one. The wee one sent us tons of links from Craig's List for beaters for sale locally. There was one he really liked, so he arranged for us to go see it Saturday morning. (We did our due diligence and research Kelly Blue Book pricing and such...)

We picked the wee one up after work Saturday morning and went to see the car. (The boy had not slept much lately. As an American youth, it is his responsibility to only sleep when he finally collapses apparently. He had a major headache and had to sit through the standard Mom lecture of taking care of himself and sleeping like a human should...) The car we were going to see was a stick shift and he doesn't drive sticks, but he was willing to learn. He and his Dad took it for a test drive. The car was not nearly worth as much as the man was asking, and he didn't accept our lower bid. We went to another used car lot to check things out. All of those cars looked as if they had been ridden hard and put away wet in that lot. We took the wee one back to his dying car and told him to go home to sleep. My husband and I then kept driving.

You don't see cars for sale along the road like you used to. Did you notice that? All the cheap beaters that are perfect for a young man are all, well, GONE. The cars put on Craig's list seem to go like wild fire. We went to our local Ford dealership after that and talked to them. There were no reliable cars for under 4000 there. He said they don't get the old trade-ins anymore. They seemed to all go away after the 'Cash for Clunkers' thing a few years back. We left him our information in case someone came in with a trade in that was under under $2000 and worthy of a 20 year old's love. Off we went...

We ended up over in Schoolcraft on the highway and decided to pull in to look at used cars and the Chevy place. There was a nice salesman that came out to discuss our situation with us. He showed us a few cars that ranged from 4000 to 6000. We told him we didn't want to spend over 2000 and he said, "Well, there is that car we got as a trade in on Friday," pointing to a Nissan Maxima up by the building, "but those types of cars just go down to the auction lot down the road..." He said he would sell it for 2000. We took it for a test drive. A nice solid car. Good enough for a 20 year old male. We had good feelings about this car. We came back and offered much less and we settled for some less. The wee one has a new old car. Since the insurance agency was closed when the deal went down, he can't drive the "new" car until I can contact the insurance place this morning. I assume this has killed him all weekend, not being able to drive. His old car is sitting in our driveway slowly bleeding out the last of her oil. (My husband wants to search out and cure the oil leak, since we had just put new tires on that thing - however, since it is held together mostly with duct tape and old chewing gum, I doubt he will have much luck.)

After all of that excitement, the kids all came over and my oldest bought us pizza. We had a hoot Saturday night with all the chicks home. My daughter was home from Chicago with her boyfriend, so it was a full house and a riot. I love my family. The wee one, who still had not had any sleep, was rapid firing zingers at his sister and everyone in general. (If he was five, I would have put him down for a nap, but since he's an old man now we just sat and laughed at him. I bet he slept well on Saturday night!) We kicked them out at 10:30 EST and went to bed. It was an exhausting day, but a fun one.

March 14, 2013 - My sister found out our genetic line hails strongly from the German side of the fence, but my Cousin Ruthie says my Grandpa's Mom was full Irish, so now I can claim I'm a fair Irish lass with red-ish hair and fair skin that sunburns just by thinking of anything warmer than an ice cube and freckles up with a no more than a lit candle in the room and be happy that somewhere back in the gene pool, I hail from Ireland. Something about their accent/brogue that makes me happy to hear. It is comforting.

I have not heard much from the wee one since he received his new old car. I know he is alive as I see activity from him on Facebook. He does not like to read and or type much so he doesn't send a weekly update letter like his big brother and sister. He is not a talker on a phone, either. I will just assume he is fine and the car works and he adores us because we are good parents and I know he'll miss us when we're gone.

It went from lovely warm wet weather to snowy cold weather. The bird's songs went from "hey, baby" to barely audible "peeps" as their libidos seemed to calm down with the the drop in temperature. I look forward to picking up sticks that are everywhere and cutting up the neighbor's tree that fell in to our yard. I miss flowers. I am ready for spring. I am ready for the mud from the dogs because of April showers and I'm ready for the sneezing from pollen and I am ready for mosquito bites the size of New Jersey. My husband said that on the news they said that a year ago it was near 80 degrees here on March 13th - and I cannot remember that for the life of me. My husband claims he can remember. (I looked it up on my blog from last year and it only got to 60 degrees and we had thunder storms. My husband was enhancing the story a tad last night. The blog comes in ever so handy to settle arguments concerning issues from the last 13 years or so...)

With my husband back to work, my "day maid" is gone. Now we have to divide up chores again, and I must say I do not mind. The only thing I DO mind is cooking again. I liked that break from being responsible for dinner. When I went in to work early the other morning (since we had another power outage but they warned us ahead of time this time around) and came home early, I bought a beef roast and had that ready when he got home. The day after I can say that I remember why we don't eat a lot of red meat anymore. Peee Ewww - we were gassy. Red meat is deadly at our age, apparently BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD. (It must be a March Madness thing with us and beef because when I looked up last year's entries to figure out it it was indeed, warm for this time frame, but I also read about a roast beef interlude that did not turn out well either, gas wise... You would think we would learn!!)

I tried to see the comet last night as it was the first clear night in a while, but I was unable to determine if any of the smudges I saw in the sky were due to a comet or interpretive cataract vision. I gave up after a bit since it was so cold that my eyes were leaking something fierce from the wind. Viewing the moon through my binoculars was fun, however, so not all was lost.

March 18, 2013 - It was a good weekend, I suppose. I didn't do much which seems to be my pattern as of late. I wanted my husband to fix the tire on my wagon so I could pick up sticks, but he said it was too cold. It was, actually - very cold wind chill, but the sun made me think I needed to pick up sticks. Fortunately, the sticks will be there for me until it gets warmer I'm sure since that band of of stick removing elves we used to have under the one tree moved out long ago...

My dear friend Kathy called last night and left a voice mail to tell me the chances of seeing the Northern lights were good for us, but we were off getting ice cream when she called. Her voice mail said if I got up to 'weedle' to take a gander outside throughout the night. Then she called back and I answered and she was very excited about seeing comet PanSTARRS on the western horizon and suggested I get my binoculars and get my butt outside. So I did but I knew I wouldn't see the comet. The horizon was full of clouds, but I tried. I scoured the sky until my limbs froze off. Sigh. I think I'm the only person in the world who has not seen it yet. I probably also scared the neighbors by going out in my knee length jammie pants and sexy snowflake coat with my hair sticking straight up. I am a fashion fox, obviously, but most people don't appreciate that fact. I did spare passing cars by hiding behind a tree, though. No need to scare the kids...

I also checked the skies every time I got up to pee during the night but it was of no use since there was a cover of clouds all over, so if there was aurora activity, I would no have seen it. We are now under a lake effect snow advisory until Wednesday morning. Apparently the wind will pick up and we will rain and snow and other things falling from the sky eventually around these parts - as long as it is not frogs or locusts, I'm good.

I made the bold move to download and install the newest version of Internet Explorer - version 10. I hate installing new versions of IE until it's been tested well and broken by other people so why I downloaded it I have no idea. Most of the sites I go to were not compatible with IE 9, let alone IE 10. So the compatibility button is in high demand this weekend. Teaching my husband this process has been difficult. He is not computer savvy in the least bit. "Don't forget to click on the broken paper looking thingy!"

I am still on the new soap and bath bomb kick. Judging by the most recent gas bill, I suppose I should stop this soon. All of those evening hot baths are taking their toll. I could be out drinking and picking up sailors, I suppose, so taking a hot bath at night doesn't seem so bad when I compare it to that, right? 

I just went out to scoop dog poop (which I've decided is my version of playing miniature golf every day) and see it's already pelting down some form of ice/snow mixture. Viva Spring in Michigan. The news said this morning that last year at this time it was 75 degrees. (And this proves my theory that the weather is female since it can never make up its mind...)

March 21, 2013 - I have yet to figure out humans and I doubt if I ever will. It perplexes me on a daily basis. Maybe that is the nature of human nature - to be perplexing. If so, my species is doing a bang up job so kudos to us.

At our local high school we have people picketing. The signs read that homosexuals are wicked and will spend eternity in hell. The students body has banded together to counter picket and that is the last I know of the incident. The whole idea of the counter picket was to show support and unity, but of course you always get the goof balls that have signs that say, "Legalize Weed" or the like. Plus, when you herd together more than one person, you get mob mentality. Sigh.

They interviewed one of the girls picketing and she looked cold, sad, and tired. Fighting for a cause must take its toll on oneself. Her eyes looked so dark underneath. She mentioned she had gone to our high school and it was wicked. If I were a student still and was picketing on my side of the road, I would take her some hot cocoa and a chair and a blanket since it has been so cold. I felt for the girl.

She is doing something that America is all about and demonstrating her freedom to voice how she feels. (I do not agree with her, of course. I do not belive gays will burn in hell to any degree of crispiness more than I will burn in hell or the hypocrites who think their lower regions do not emit smells during defecation will burn in hell - but if a picketer wants to picket and try to save us all, I feel they have a right as long as they don't hurt anyone or step in to oncoming traffic.)

I do feel sad that more factions of religion and/or religious sects don't adopt more of a 'loving' perspective about life in general and teach by actions/examples. The quote from St. Francis of Assisi that says "preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words..." is one of my favorites. Teach by actions. Lead by example. I think humans have a built in megaphone to teach - our actions which speak louder than words. Maybe the picketer does feel SO MUCH LOVE for mankind she's trying to save it? Must give us pause...

My left knee is joining the ranks of "HEY, YOU GUYS - THERE IS ROOM IN HERE FOR A VARICOSE VEIN, SLAP ONE IN THERE, STAT!" Sigh. I will do what the doctor said to do for my right knee, which seemed to ease any discomfort I had with that one but I am upset that my body is getting older. I knew it would happen, of course, but it does not make me any happier. For the longest time my legs were my best feature I thought. Now they are my best feature with added art work. Who needs tattoos when you can vein up? Now if the veins would expose themselves in the shape of a rose or Spongebob, I would be ever so happy. So far all I'm getting are pale snakes and paint ball splatty looking things. (I think I will make that last paragraph my Facebook status. Maybe it will make someone laugh...)

Oh, and one more thing... The filling I just got a month or so ago is now sitting on my desk. I floss with gusto, it appears. Sigh.

March 26, 2013 - March is almost over! Really, for you young ones out there, time does feel like it goes faster when you are older. Not so much the day to day time, but the occasional glance at the calendar time. The "Holy Crap, it's March 26 already??" kind of moments. You knew you were in the month of March all month long, but sometimes the date seems to reach out and slap you in the face. Sigh.

I think North Korea needs a spanking. I am pretty sure if we turned them over our knee and gave 'em a good whippin', they would stop being so stupid. That is my opinion only. I do not endorse war of any kind mind you, but I am an advocate for spankings used in the correct manner. (I never beat my children, but they all got a swift slap across the face and a spank on the rear from time to time. The way our politically correct country is, I am lucky I did not end up in jail for doing that. Sad, really.) Anyway, I digress... North Korea is acting like the spoiled little kid, and I truly think they need a spanking or at least intense therapy. I am convinced all countries on the globe are run by a little group of people that have an office somewhere underground, watching their country on a flat screen T.V. like we would watch animals in the zoo. The President or Emperor or whatever they call it are just the front men. They entertain the masses and we as the masses have something to focus on while the little group of people manipulate us all like puppets. Someday I would like to find that room and ask them, "What the hell were you thinking?" and then turn them over my knee. Have you seen any of the propaganda videos North Korea has been posting? If they think that those poorly made videos are going to capture the attention of the United States, they are poorly informed. Our youth are used to 3D and intense graphics and for the most part, most do not speak Korean. Maybe that is why Dennis Rodman is involved...

We have a brown squirrel who is fat off the bounty of the bird feeders and is ever so entertaining to watch. He has no fear of the dogs. He will be almost right up to the fence when they run out in attack mode, and he just scampers a few feet away and plops down and commences to clean himself or scratch an itch or roll around to scratch his back. Then he will wander back up until the dogs start going insane, and scamper back out a ways. This has brought me minutes of entertainment over the last two weeks. He is a spunky squirrel. None of the the other squirrels in the yard are that brave.

My herd of chicks will all be at their sister's apartment this weekend. They are moving her on April 1st to her new apartment. They had planned to move over the weekend, but the current occupants of the new apartment will not be out until Monday. The boys decided it was as good a reason as any to be in Chicago all weekend long. So they will have fun all weekend, and then power move on Monday and come home Monday night. My left knee says, "Better them than us!" I appreciate the boys being so good to their sister and helping move and expecting entertainment. Smile. Chicago scares me...

March 31, 2013 - Happy Easter. It is raining outside. I am holding off doing my interpretive dance and song tribute to April concerning May flowers and all until tomorrow, although the urge to do it today is strong. I heard peepers in the woods (frogs) this morning! Peepers? Already? It seems early to me. I will have to look at past years posts to compare. (OK, after searching on the word 'peeper' from past blog postings, this is the correct time of year for peepers to pop out and I wonder why every year I'm so shocked they are peeping? Sigh. At least I am easily amused and entertained.)

The kids are all safe in Chicago and enjoying their time there as a sibling herd. Tomorrow they will work like dogs to move my daughter and her boyfriend to their new place and then help move their room mate to his new place. They will be sore tomorrow night when they drive home. I think moving things down three flights of small, curved stairways will be easier than when they took that stuff up. Good Luck my wee ones. Do not get hernias. They are no fun, no sir, no fun at all.

I went to the chiropractor on Thursday for my left knee. He said my tibia was weird, so he un-weirded it. It has helped a lot but the knee is still feeling pain. I have been taking  it easy on the old girl, but yesterday I did pick up sticks and pine cones out in the front yard. I tried very hard not to stress that knee much which in turn stressed other body parts. Last night I heard from all my lower extremes about the fact I forced them all to move. They were not pleased. I soaked them all in a hot tub with Epson salts to shut them up. Take that, aching muscles.

I made a dessert yesterday for today's dinner. It is a strawberry concoction that my friend Linda made for a potluck at work. It makes a whole 13" x 11" pan full, so I am taking some to my Aunt and Uncle this morning and my husband is taking some to his Mom's today as well. Way too much dessert for two people! My mixer died yesterday day as well when I was whipping the center layer ingredients so the middle layer of the dessert is lumpy. I can honestly say I go through a mixer a year without stretching the truth for humor purposes. I am not sure why I'm so hard on hand mixers. I do expect hand mixers to mix things, but I fear that is asking too much! When I went to the store earlier in the day yesterday, I came home without my strawberries. I had left that bag sitting at the end of the check out counter. Silly me. My husband went back to the store to fetch them for me. Very kind of him, but I am sure it was more due to the fact I had already gotten in to my "gonna make a mess in the kitchen" clothes ensemble  which is not a pretty site and no one in the general public should see it.

After my visit with my Aunt and Uncle, I shall come home and make two new recipes for our Easter meal. These are also family sized recipes and will feed us for several days. I get a bug up my rear on occasion to be all domestic. That will pass quickly after eating the same thing for three days. I really need to time my new recipe testing to when the boys will be here for dinner to consume said testing results.

The red-winged black birds are eating me out of house and home (bird seed wise) but I can't say no to them. After raising that wee baby chick of a blackbird back in 2007, you just come to accept them for what they are, which are birds that eat you out of house and home. I love the sounds red-winged blackbirds make as well. They are just very, very hungry birds.

April 3, 2013 - My Aunt Trudy emailed me yesterday and said, "I loved your April 1st and April 2nd blog postings! APRIL FOOLS!" This made me laugh. Smile.

I missed a call at work yesterday. Caller I.D. said it was from a Maple Lawn Care Facility. I looked that up on the internet. It is a nursing home down south of us. (Already I can see I am in high demand for my twilight years and no doubt all nursing homes will be bidding for my attention soon enough. Maybe I'll even get a scholarship!)

The owls are hooting their hearts out in the woods across the road. The peepers have stopped peeping the last few days as it has been so cold. I am sure their expressed peeped joy on Saturday has been squelched by these Frostlow temperatures. I will post a picture of the hoar frost that was on my car's windshield yesterday morning. The frost looked like fern leaves. Pretty darned cool. Very cool. Cold even.

New DigsThe boys got my daughter moved, and they also moved her roommate to his new place. I am sure they are very sore. I bet they slept like babies Monday night. The stairs at her old apartment reminded me of an evil obstacle course from hell. Who would make stairs like that?!? Obviously the person who did those stairs let their three year old design those stairs with pipe cleaners after the three year old ate a bag of marshmallow peeps. My son wrote last night and said that the stairs to David's new place were just as bad and the boys had a hard time getting furniture up there. My daughter's new place is the first floor right off the street. This is nice for old people like myself that don't do well at navigating obstacle courses anymore. I don't parkour like I used to...

I used Google Earth to look up her new place. I will post a picture of the front of her new apartment, but I blurred out the address, so you all don't stalk and kill her and stuff. Looks like there will be plenty of shade in the summer for them, and I'm sure that my Grandcat Rocko will have hours of birdwatching fun, by the looks of it. I will have to get her a bird feeder maybe, if they let people have bird feeders there, She wrote an email last night while she was at a local Starbucks with wifi, saying both her and Pat used the bathtub Monday night as they were so sore. They soaked their muscles in a nice hot bath. Then the downstairs neighbor knocked on their door asking if they had an over-flow of water somewhere. Pat said, "No, not that I know of..." Apparently it was leaking downstairs. Sigh. That has to be fixed, because if you have a bathtub, you have to USE the bathtub!! She will call the maintenance place today, I hope. It will be awhile before they have internet and such, since the bills will be quite high with just the two of them. A three way split makes it much easier financially than a two way split.

After scooping the dog poop out of the pen this morning, I have decided it would save me time if I just took the bag of dog food and poured it directly on the ground out there, cutting on the middleman. Cripes.

My BFF called last night. I had sent her some soap gifts from one of my favorite shops. I was going on and on about how to use the stuff, and she finally said I was talking like an addict. Hahahaha. I am hooked on bath bombs and homemade soaps. I suppose if you were going to get addicted to something, soap is a good thing to get addicted to. At least I'll smell good when they find me in a back alley somewhere heating up a sandalwood bath bomb in a teaspoon...

April 9, 2013 - I could hear the peepers this morning in the swamps around here. (I am going to believe it was peepers doing their froggie like sounds as opposed to my tinnitus.) I woke up at two thirty this morning, and I was ready to get up then since I was having a hot flash and standing outside listening to frogs was much cooler than sweating in bed. I decided to try to sleep another couple of hours and now it is 4:15 a.m. I am officially awake. Ask me in about four hours if I"m ready for a nap or not, however. I am sure I will be.

I went to my family doctor for my left knee. The thing was just not behaving and I wanted to be sure I wasn't going to explode from a clot or something. The doctor said I had patellar subluxation which is a fancy way of saying my knee cap jumped the tracks and was roaming a bit. She said she didn't think it was arthritis or thrombosis to ease my worried mind. She gave me a pamphlet about the issue that has exercises in it to help out such a condition and I will do those exercises like a good girl. When she was poking, prodding, pulling, and tugging my leg I could feel my knee cap slide one way then the other and I said, "Well, that ain't right!" (It is always important to sound intelligent when talking to your family doctor.) Forced leg strain is usually the cause of a knee cap jumping the tracks, and as you can tell by my girlish figure, I've not been doing anything forceful in a physical way in quite a while. I am thinking it is the way I sleep - sometimes I wake up with the bottom half heading in one direction and the upper half going the other way. Thursday I have an appointment with my chiropractor as well, and by this weekend I'll be good as new.

My sister's birthday was yesterday. We had to laugh because one of our Aunt's sent her a card and it said, "Happy 73rd Birthday!" My sister is 61, so this made us laugh because at our age, time does feel like it goes that fast. I went on a bit of a rant saying, "Yes, Joyce, you've been in a coma for a decade or so and I wanted to pull the plug, but the girls wouldn't let me - meet my 16 new grandkids who are mutated from the nuclear war with North Korea..." We had a good laugh. I can always remember my sister's birthday and my brother's birthday (who is three weeks from my sister's birthday) but that is about it when it comes to birthdays.

Why do some sports fans feel they need to set fire to things when their team loses? Is that sportsman like action? Geez. Humans! Grow up Ann Arbor! "I am going to support my team by burning stuff and driving my car through this here apartment building!" Duh.

It is foggy this morning, and it was WINDY yesterday. The garbage at work was spread far and wide. Sigh. I saw one of the boxes that blew away from work down on the railroad tracks about a mile away. Auntie Em! I told my wee one I would pay him to come over and clean up sticks for me. I did the front but there are many more sticks and pine cones waiting for a home in my burn pit. I want more rain so I can put some grass seed in the dog pen. The dog pen is bald.

April 11, 2013 - I have to say that me doing leg exercises on the floor is quite comical and NOT THAT PRETTY. I am sure an aerial view of me doing said exercises would cause the pilot to radio in a report concerning "beached whales having seizures." Still, it seems to help a lot and hopefully - eventually - this pain and my gimpy limp will go away. My knee cap gave a party and no one came, so he's taking out on his neighbors, that's for sure. Ouch.

We have been having April showers and now officially have April Mud Puddles. If this doesn't inspire Spring to WAKE UP I don't know what will. I am ready. (Although I'm still wearing my red snow flake coat to work...)

April 12. 2013 - I have not had my hair colored in a long time. I had decided that it was too much money to spend to have my hair done. (This was my thinking when my husband was not working.) I was not happy with the graying mass on my head, but it didn't shock me too much until I went to work with wet hair. I just put a head band on my head to pull the wet hair back before leaving the house. After it had dried, I went in to the bathroom to fluff up the curls a bit and right there in the mirror were two huge streaks of gray jutting back from my temples. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN?!?!?  Normally I just wear my hair in a mop like - early Led Zeppelin style so I had not noticed the amount of gray like this before amongst my curls. (My eyes even hurt for a while after this incident because they bugged out so much when I saw the streaks.) I said loudly to myself in the mirror, 'Oh hell no!!" Then to add insult to injury the mirror fell off the cabinet in to the sink. BAM. It was then I decided I was going back to a lighter color. We cannot control much in our lives, but we can control our hair. I went last night to our family hair person and controlled the heck out of my hair.

After work two nights ago I stopped by a local shop to pick up some fried chicken for dinner. I have to then go past the High School to get back to the main road, and saw all these kids out on the fields doing soccer and there were groups of boys in helmets playing football. (This is the part I just stood back and just sort of watched the following take place in my own brain which clearly indicated that NO ONE was on duty up there at the main console...)
"Ah, must almost be Fall - football and school will start soon!"
"WHAT? Are you an idiot? FALL?"
"Huh? See the football guys, duh! It must be August..."
"I am pretty sure it is April and this is just a freak anomaly you are viewing - a special league or Pee Wee football league or something."
"Oh...Oh my..."
Then for several seconds I was dazed and confused over who I was, where I was, and what year it was. This all took place in a split second, but I ended up laughing out loud. Cripes! The visual part of my brain overtook the logical part. Scary. I can see this will happen more and more as I get older. None of us will be able to avoid moments like that. I hope I can enjoy those moments as I age as much as I did this one.

Sigh - and I thought life after the kids moved out was going to be boring...

April 14, 2013 - I just ran in and cleaned out my car at the local car wash. I had six inches of debris on the floor in the car, and today we go see my Mother in Law, so just in case we all go to breakfast and someone has to ride in my car, it was best that I sucked up the crap. I even washed the bird poop off the car. My luck it will freeze and I will be locked out until the sun comes out.

My old knee is still giving me grief but I will accept it as part of life. I will apparently walk like a drunk penguin. I don't like to accept this fact and I will continue to work on it until I can kneel again. It is almost flower planting season. I need to kneel! Stupid body parts. Sigh. Dusting low things yesterday was a challenge. It won't be long until the right knee explodes since she is the one bearing the brunt of all this. Then I'll have to get a HoverRound and then a whole new chapter of life will begin...hahahahaha.  I cleaned because the boys were coming over for a late Easter Dinner. They had missed that since they were moving their sister in Chicago that weekend. (I cleaned mainly because my wee one's girlfriend was coming over as well. She ended up NOT coming over, and had I known that I wouldn't have cleaned so well. Smile.) Dinner was very good and I was happy to see the boys. The dogs were happy to see their 'kids' as well.

Side note - My wee once called me earlier this week, which is odd, since he never calls unless he needs something. He needed Mom's advice. He asked me, "Mom, what does a dark poop mean?" I explained to him what a dark bowel moment could be. "It means your upper intestine is bleeding OR it means you ate something weird. In your case, I'm sure it is the latter." We reviewed what he had been eating. "Nothing PURPLE?" I asked. "No!" he assured me. He called dear old Mom for advice and he was a bit worried as not only had he had a dark stool, he had a dizzy spell. I explained to him what a dizzy spell could mean. "Inner ear infection, have you had a cold?" The question and answer session went on for a while. Once I was content he would live, he hung up. I researched dark stools and decided that I had covered all the bases with the boy. I emailed him the number of the family doctor (because we all know 20 year old males DON'T keep that info handy) and told him that after the next day's pooh, if it was still dark and if he continued to have dizzy spells - to call the doctor. I checked with him every day to see if he had followed up on things. (Once again, 20 year old male - OF COURSE he has not checked/followed up/remembered a thing I had said.)

So, after "Easter" dinner yesterday while were were all sitting around yakking, the wee one pipes up to say, "Oh, man, I had the best idea this week! We were hungry for Oreo's and we got a bag and I ate my crumbled up in a bowl with milk like cereal -  I must have eaten that whole bag like that! Cut out the middle man with dipping. It was delicious!" He was quite proud of himself.

I, on the other hand, had the whole Spock look, one eyebrow raised in disbelief as I swung my gaze over to my husband. He started laughing. After the wee one was done bragging about this wonderful treat, I said to him, "So you call me, worried about BLACK stool and I spend an hour researching on line about such things, and now you tell me now you had OREO COOKIES which are BLACK and turn everything between you teeth and your butt BLACK and you were WORRIED about BLACK crap??!?!"  We all laughed. He had 'forgotten' about the Oreo Carnage when I was questioning him the other night, and he told me, "Well, now you know more about dark stools, right? The more you know..." I think my eyebrow was stuck in Spock mode for fifteen minutes at least. I couldn't believe the boy. I had a sudden urge to deck him upside the head. My husband said, "The dizzy spell was from all the lard and sugar from the Oreo cookies, ace!" Sigh. Kids...

April 16, 2013 - Sunday night my daughter called just as I was getting ready to go to bed. (Mind you, I am getting ready to go to bed lately around 8 p.m., so she really didn't call late, I just was tired early.) My husband had already gone to bed when she called, so when I crawled in to bed after our conversation, he asked if it was our daughter and what did she have to say. I have been around this guy for over 33 years, you would THINK I would know that if he's in bed and had been sleeping for a while, I should never attempt to talk to him. He's 'checked' out and I know better than to have a conversation. However, I gave him an over view of my conversation with our daughter. One of the last things I said was, "..plus she gets her cable and internet this week..."

About ten minutes later, after I had said, "Goodnight, Pa" and all was quiet, he pipes up and says, "Why would she order a table on the internet? We got tables in the shed she could use. Her brother has tables in his basement..." I was a wee bit confused at first. "What the hell are you talking about?" He was quiet for a second then said, "You said she ordered a table on the internet!" he insisted. I started laughing quite hard. "I said she gets her CABLE and INTERNET this week! Not a table from the internet." I kept laughing about that and he did too until he was snoring again. I am pretty sure many wars over the centuries were started over misheard conversation between spouses in bed...

There has been lots of rain and my daffodils are sprouting up quite nicely. I can't wait until they bloom. My favorite flower in the whole world next to carnations, they are. The grass is greening up nicely, too. I had the wee one doing some yard work last night. I hope he can come over several times this week to do my bidding. Of course, I'll have him do all that yard work and we'll have our first kick butt thunder storm and more crap will fall in the yard. You can attempt to control nature, but it is all an illusion. I have never tried to over control my yard since the point is moot. I just have a yard and we cut the grass and I put in a few flowers that I know I cannot kill. That is the best I can do (or am willing to do.) Smile.

We saw my husband's sister Gail and her husband Denny on Sunday morning for breakfast. They are up for a visit with Mom. They looked good - they have both lost weight on Weight Watchers. (This was a good thing for them and for us, as my husband decided if they can do it, so can we.) It was good to see them, even if it was for a short while. (And yes, Gail, I promise to call the dentist!) Smile. I have a bad tooth that my dentist will not attempt to fix since there is hardly any enamel left TO fix it with. He told me that it was is a root canal/crown issue and so I've been putting it off. We all know how I adore the dentist and all. Well, the filling that was in it has started to break down, and a large chunk fell out last week, leaving behind a metal post sticking up and ragged edges that have been cutting up my tongue. Sunday I had had enough and after breakfast with the family, I had to get dental wax to shove in the gaping hole so my tongue would heal. (Insert motherly concerned look from Gail here...)

I don't know what to say to express my emotions over the Boston bombings. I am angry that any human or humans on this earth could possible think destruction such as this is acceptable. There is no point worth making to anyone if it has to be made this way. I feel for the whole Boston community. Stuff like this brings out the idiot conspiracy theorists so soon there will be a bunch of 'crap' out there about what "really" happened from people who really have no clue but assume they do have a clue. The media will have a hay day. I'm sure that is just what the person or people responsible wanted to happen. They want to SEE IT on the news and hear about their "work" and it is very sad. I think an eye for an eye would be appropriate here. If they find the person or people responsible, make them run 26 miles then right at the end, blow them up.

April 18, 2013 -
There is a lot of flooding in Michigan due to the mass amount of rain we've been getting. Today will be more storms as it gets warmer. Spring has sprung a leak. As an IT person at work, I dread storm season. Where we live, power outages are as common as the blinking of an eye. This causes frustrations when dealing with computers and injection presses. At least the lightening is pretty...

My knee continues to improve. I would love to know what happened to it in the first place, though. How can you injure yourself when you don't do anything at all? This is what confuses me. Maybe as a person gets older they just spontaneously combust. Now there is just stiffness above the knee, but the shocking pain is gone and I don't grunt when I walk, but really - what the heck did I do to the poor thing in the first place?? I wish body parts could talk normal like instead of getting your attention by packing said body part with a hundred little ninjas with very sharp knives.

I have an appointment with the dentist on Friday. I have to get that old metal filling out of my mouth that is shredding my tongue. I will get the root canal as soon as I can, but my hometown dentist has to help keep my tongue from falling out until then.

I hung out my hummingbird feeder on Monday night. 'Tis the season for the males to be coming back, so I decided to hang it up now. I watch the tracking maps and people have reported hummingbirds just to south of us. I put the hummingbird feeder where there was a normal bird seed feeder, moving that one to the front yard. I laughed as the birds gathered on the dog fence trying to figure out what was different. Birds are smart, they will figure it out soon enough, although when I got out of work Tuesday, my car was covered with bird droppings so maybe they were upset and sent out a 'hit' on my car...

Holy Crap! That explosion near Waco at the fertilizer plant! Oh my!! A fertilizer plant is an explosion waiting to happen anyway... I still don't like how the media handles stuff like this. Hounding people to talk when their house just got blown away. I can't watch news when they are being stupid like that. Just give us facts and move on. Those poor people. Plus all the conspiracy theories going around on line concerning the Boston bombings. Ugh. Humans are so ... human. Alex Jones will have a heart attack figuring out all of these events and pointing them at the government. My first thought here is that Mr. Jones will say the government blew up the plant in his home state since he figured out the connection that the government was responsible for the Boston bombing and all... I suppose the world needs those types of humans to make us know that we don't want to be like those types of humans.

My wee one cut his finger at work on Monday. He had to go to immediate medical care to get it checked out. He did not need stitches but the doctor wrapped it up well and now he has a mummy finger. My oldest is trying for a job on first shift at his work. I hope he gets it. My daughter is drowning in school work and her tire exploded on her new car from a pot hole. All is well in Sandy's land of children. It is hard for me to stand back and not sound motherly all over them or do stuff for them or give advice. It kills me not to, but I can't. It is their adult lives now - they have to make decisions and go forward and get themselves out of jams and learn to live. My job is to sit here and worry and hope for the best until I shuffle off this mortal coil. Until then, I will have another cup of coffee and watch the lightening in the sky...

April 23, 2013 - I am letting the doggies stay outside as long as possible this morning to enjoy the weather before it rains. Jake does not like to get his paws wet. He is a fancy dog. The baby squirrels in the ancient willow tree behind our house just crack me up. I could watch them for hours on end. There are four of them, and they come out of their nest in a herd, and scamper (to the best of their wee ability) all over the tree. They play squirrel tag. They get brave and come to the ground on occasion, and that REALLY makes me laugh. They will shudder and shake and finally make a leap in to the yard where they run in circles then back up the tree. Ah, youth. The dogs start barking just because I'm laughing.

I got myself new curtains for the bedroom. I try not to get 'new' stuff often, as it leads to the desire to get more 'new stuff' as it were. The curtains are pretty, and they scream, "NOW YOU NEED A NEW BEDSPREAD!" The curtains are correct, however. I do need a new bedspread to match the curtains. Sigh. Curtains are very wise.

I want to know why the Boston bomber boys did what they did. I want to understand why they thought it would help any cause they were standing up for. I do not possess the ability to understand this on my own. For once when tragedy strikes, I would like an honest answer from the perpetrator as to WHY. I don't want to hear it from the conspiracy theorist, I don't want to hear it from the FBI or government. I want to talk to the person that committed the act. Sigh. Humans are a confused species.

I've not seen a hummingbird yet, but the tracking maps say they are out and about in my area. I will be patient. They could be here all day when I'm at work, for all I know. I swear I heard the 'buzzing' sound of one when I was out with the doggies the other night, but I did not see it. (The buzzing sound, of course, could have been a humming bird or a mini-stroke for all I know, but I heard it.)

I see a light at the end of the tunnel for all the work I've been doing to get our database software upgraded. We will 'go live' on June 3rd! Once that is done, I can then commence on upgrading the other things I'm so desperately behind on and maybe, SOMEDAY in the future, I can actually work to improve stuff and the like instead of just putting out fires. That would be nice. A girl can dream.

April 24, 2013 - Our neighbor let one of her nieces move in with her family. The family includes four young boys, all under the age of seven. I had forgotten about little boys - how the world is their urinal. Hahaha. Last night while they were out playing in the rain, they would just pee whenever they had to pee. Why not? If I were their age and could just stand there and go, I would have done it too. It sparked memories of my own boys who would also bless a tree or the shed from time to time. If I remember correctly, I tried to encourage them to come inside the house, to no avail. "At least do it so the neighbors don't see..." All men probably still do pee where ever they can... Damn us women and our need to squat. Speaking of which...

That reminded me of the time my BFF Vickie and I, as teenagers, were out cruising the back roads of our area and I had to pee. I stopped the car on dirt road that was seldom traveled and commenced to squat behind my car. Vickie put the car in gear from the passenger seat and my car ever so slowly rolled away as I duck walked after it, pants around my ankles. Ah, good times - great oldies.

Lately when I go to bed I have to be very careful what I think of, or I start thinking a lot about work and start to wake up and not want to sleep and I want to get up and work. I did it again last night as I drifted off to sleep, I was making plans and deciding what I needed to do today and such, when I started to feel VERY AWAKE. "Stop It!" I said out loud. (Husband was already sleeping, so my little outburst did not bother him one bit. He is used to sleeping through most of my conversations with him anyway.)

Before going to bed I watched the two episodes of 'Brain Games' that were on the National Geographic channel that I had recorded. Humans tend to fool themselves about their brains. I know I tell people all the time I am good at multitasking, but in reality the brain can only really focus on one chore at a time. So if I think I'm good at multitasking, I am obviously wrong. I am good at being an unorganized spaz, is what I am. One of the shows was about visual things - how our brain will fill in the blanks if it gets visual hints to make us see what it thinks we are seeing or take things away that are not needed in our visual point of view. Con artists rely on these wee glitches in our visual perception to take advantage of people all the time. The shows were interesting. I could imagine "Brian" - my brain's night shift guy - just shrugging as if to say, "Whadya gonna do?"

April 25, 2013 - I did not sleep well last night due to having hemorrhoids. They are such pesky things. Plus Taffy the cat was wound up and had to escort me all over the house and wanted under the covers and wouldn't shut up. I did not get to sleep until after midnight and when I woke up at 5:15 I was having the weirdest dream and I am going to type out what I remember before I forget.

In this dream I was with my sister and we were digging out dirt around the foundation of her house. (Dreamer's Note - it was actually MY house but in the dream it was her house.) We decided to go see a friend in his Lion's Club Variety show in a nearby town. We got there, and the show was in a large pole barn. My sister did not sit next to me, but in the seat right behind me. We watched the show. There was a large number of Japanese men in this Lion's Club and they did closing act. They were acting like a rock band when the lead guitarist stopped and sat on the floor. The MC of the show told us all to just close our eyes for a bit. The band kept playing and we had our eyes closed for the longest time. They the guitarist came up from behind me and grabbed my neck in a playful way with big, white, over sized Mickey Mouse type gloves on. Apparently he was doing that to everyone in the small audience. That is how the Show ended. The audience was a little confused. As we were getting up to leave, we noticed that all the seats had devices in them that were supposed to shoot out a pair of soft hands to grab our necks, but we figured it malfunctioned. Then my sister and I went back to digging dirt, but now we were doing inside that pole barn...

OK, what was THAT dream about?!? If you are good at analyzing dreams, I would love to hear feedback. I made beef stroganoff  for supper last night, maybe that caused the odd dream. Maybe it was the issue with the 'rhoids. I will never know - it was just plain odd. I have odd dreams all the time, but this one was fresh in my mind and just plain confusing.

My husband watches the news in the morning and I work on line in the morning. I don't hear a lot of what is said on the news show because I'm concentrating on work, but I thought I heard a bit about a story concerning a police chase and I swear they said the car was a 94 Nissan. "Did they say an older model Nissan?" I asked my husband. "Yes..." he mumbled. Our wee one has a 96 Nissan and I said to my husband jokingly, "Lordy, I hope it wasn't the wee one!" I got on line to look up the news stories to verify this and it none of them said a thing about a Nissan being involved in the news stories I read. "Hmmm," I said, "I must have heard I-94 and something that made me think 'Nissan' since there is no mention of it in these on line stories, but I thought you heard it too?!"  My husband said without missing a beat, "I just agreed with you, 'cause that's what I do." This made me laugh. (I suppose for a husband it is just safer to always agreed with your wife...)

April 28, 2013 - Being the good empty nester that I am, I find it is my duty to stare out the window and monitor the progress of the neighbor's fence. They are building a lovely wooden fence. I want that fence. If I had that fence, the dogs could run free without running away, boy howdy. Each day as I watch the fence's progress, I speculate why they would want a fence:
  "Maybe they have a day care and need to corral the kids..."
  "Maybe they saw me outside in my jammies and it grossed them out..."
  "Mabye they will raise chickens..."
  "Maybe they are preppers..."

It is raining right now. Yesterday, however, was a gorgeous spring day. My sister and I cleaned for our Aunt and Uncle. We have fun when we clean their place. After I got home, I cleaned my house. I picked up a few sticks and burned the stick pile. When my husband got home from work I dragged him along to go grocery shopping. In reality, however, it was more of a run to get the new comforter set for the bed since the new curtains would not shut up about it. After we got home from that adventure, we both soaked in the bathtub and just relaxed the rest of the evening. It was a productive Saturday.

April 29, 2013 - I have been having hot flashes at night that make it impossible to sleep sometimes. Sigh. I love being a girl. There are other times, like last night, where I feel like I have an I.V. drip of strong Colombian coffee going on and could have worked all night with gusto on any project. I forced myself to lie there and just rest. Eventually I knew I would fall asleep. Eventually I did. The alarm went off way too early for me.

Sunday was a good lazy day, but I felt trapped. I was, of course, too lazy to get up and go anywhere, which would have fixed the 'trapped' feeling. Duh on my part. I got the bedding washed and other little things done around here. My house is SMALL, so doing little things is not an issue. It is all practically at arms length. My husband put up a blind on the front window finally. The sun tends to shine in there and burn his retinas out in the evening. This is not an issue per say as he is normally asleep by then, but sometimes he manages to be awake, so I got a window blind that would save his eyesight. We are both worried now that Taffy the Cat will see said window blind's long cord and have too much fun with it. I expect to find the blinds in the kitchen one morning when we wake up with Taffy tangled in the cord.

When my sister and I got back from cleaning my Aunt's house on Saturday, we found a momma squirrel in  my front yard that had been injured, no doubt by a car on the road. You could tell her lower half was non-functioning. I felt so bad for her. When we walked up to look at her (thinking she was dead) she turned her head and hissed like a squirrel would hiss and used her front paws to pull herself to a tree base. I suppose if I was a good human, I would have put her out of her misery, but I cannot do that. My first thought was, "Sandy, If you were there on the ground just having a bad leg cramp, would you want someone to come along thinking you had a broken back and snap your neck?" My sister and I left her there. The squirrel managed to make it half way across the yard before the fight was gone. Sigh.

Yesterday the dogs were carrying on as if someone was here, so I looked out the front window. There were three HUGE turkey buzzards in my front yard. They had found the dead squirrel. I know it is the circle of life and all, but - well, sigh. Turkey buzzards are gigantic and UGLY (well, I'm sure not ugly to each other or there wouldn't be a constant new supply of them) and they are not afraid of anything. I got out my binoculars since I've never had the chance to see them this close. Yep, they were still really ugly. There were huge crows waiting for their turn after the buzzards were done with the squirrel. (I just looked it up, they are turkey VULTURES, not buzzards - either/or - they are still big, huge ugly birds. But, they do serve a purpose...)  A lot of people slowed down to see these three huge birds then sped off quickly once they realized what they were doing. "Hey kids, look at the turkeys...Oh My..."

The wee neighbor boys will keep us entertained all summer, I can see that now. They were gone all day yesterday but when they got home, they found Sophie the Dog. Sophie was racing around just out of their reach (which is good, because sometimes they have sticks and use them like weapons) and she would arc around and they would follow. They were all running through mud puddles with gusto. They ran into the front of my yard chasing Sophie. I told them "NO" and pulled my dogs in the house, since two of the wee ones were trying to feed my dogs grass from outside the pen but my dogs were more concerned about Sophie and I was worried they would snap at the boys. Sigh. I believe I will get some blooming bushes or something and use them as a 'fence' line - maybe that will work? I don't need a law suit just because one of them wandered over here to pee behind a tree and got bit by a bug or something...

April 30, 2013 - Holy Crap - April is OVER! Ugh. I am blessed that I am still breathing to enjoy this last day in April. I won't complain about the speed at which the month went by. I will be happy that my daffodils managed to live through those days of frost and are starting to bloom again. It is, after all, the little things that make life worth living.

Since my knee issue, I've started drinking two tablespoons a day of tart cherry juice. As you can tell by my girlish figure, Sandy does not do 'tart' ever! Normally the stuff I like is similar to six inches of sugar with a smidge of milk in the bottom of a Cheerio bowl. I have to mix the tart juice with normal human juice. My preference is blueberry juice. There have been a few times I've forgotten to mix the tart cherry syrup in with the juice so I get a full blast of ACK at the bottom of the glass. Gag. Don't try that at home. Concentrated tart cherry juice is not meant to be slammed like that. Shiver.

I am breaking a commandment this morning by coveting my neighbor's cool wood fence. I want a cool wood fence now. I think that is the first thing I've coveted for a long time. Bad Bad Sandy!!

I had dinner with "the girls" last night. My bunch of High Schools dear friends and I try to get together 'monthly' but it turns out to be every three months or so. It was a hoot, as always. I got home at 7:45 which is 'living it up' for me. Hold me back, I've gone wild!! Since the front room where we normally sit was very sunny when I got to the restaurant, I chose the back by the bar area where it was cooler and darker. The manager came out when we were done with dinner and told us he was happy we chose the "back" because we're so loud and we scare people in the front. "The back is the place for you!" he said. I was almost offended, but had to admit we do get loud. Very loud. We laugh with gusto. We've been known to make babies cry. This is just 'us' and not from drinking, mind you, since we're old enough where we just can't handle that any more. We are just loud from being alive. I am sure the manager would put us in a closet in the WAY back if he thought he could get away with it.

Jake the dog has taken to slobbering like a basset hound when he's left outdoors for any length of time. Somehow, those trails of drool just make him more endearing. I will just have to keep a towel nearby and at the ready. He is a big sweetie. Kia was trying to get Jake to play by huffing at him and jumping around like an idiot in the dog pen but it was not working. I did just let them in from outdoors because the decided to bark at the thunder to the North. I told them they "can't challenge the sky!" as I herded them in. That sounded rather poetic, actually - perhaps a title for a book? It was lost on the dogs, however. Now they have decided to gang up on the cat since OBVIOUSLY Taffy is making that thunder noise - duh.

May 2, 2013 - Our very ancient willow tree has had an 'old man' face for a few years (from limb loss and general aging) but this year the "old man" looks angrier and meaner than ever. I see his face every day, and he Old Mandoes NOT look pleased. I wish I could make him happier. What makes it worse is his "eye" looks right at me when I'm in the dog pen. Nothing paranoid about me, no sir! OF COURSE trees are watching every move I make... The willow reminds me of Ents from Lord of the Rings.

I have some yard ornaments out, and now I wait patiently to plant flowers. I will have to scan the future weather forecast to see if there is hope. I want to at least put in some pansies. I'm chompin' at the bit. The last frost in Michigan is usually not until mid-May, but I can't wait that long. I made my husband take out the cement bird bath to the front tonight, and I filled it up for the wee birdies. However, it is the red-winged bachelors that are eating me out of house and home and will no doubt use it for their swinging singles hot tub. Eventually the red-winged blackbirds do leave. I am hoping my sandhill cranes have a baby this year, I really do. I miss seeing the baby cranes at the bird feeder. They are so dorky cute. I sure hope the wee children next door do not scare away my cranes. Stay tuned...

We are exactly one month away from launching the upgrade to our main database software. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think I ever want to go through another implementation ever again. Never. Ever. Again. I can't stress that enough. For those of you in any type of tech department that have had to implement a new software or launch a project, wouldn't you agree it is similar to having your skin peeled off by crusty old pirates with rusty tweezers who spit on each cell before they rip it off? I thought so. I couldn't agree more.

It has been so nice to have the bedroom window open at night. I especially like the part where Taffy walks on my head to get in said window. It feels good to get that breeze blowing in, though. Ahhhhhhhhh....

May 6, 2013 - I have to admit I'm in a blue funk as of late. I can probably tell you why I am, but that won't fix the reason I am funky. It will pass. All blue funks always pass like so much fiber in the lower intestine. With the weather being so grand and everything greening up so lovely like - I should not be down and depressed for any reason. I should be outside running down a hill with my arms stretched open wide and singing like the opening to the 'Sound of Music' by all rights.

I broke down and bought four hanging planters yesterday. I don't like to get that sort of thing too early because frost is common up until the middle of March 'round these parts, but my will power was low. I got two pansy pots and two petunia pots to hang up on my flower poll. I can always haul them in to a shed if it does get too cold, right? I don't do a lot of landscaping because I'm a fat lazy cow type person, but I do like my hanging planters. Then it becomes a challenge to me to keep them alive as long as I possibly can throughout the summer.

I forgot to get a bag of planting soil this weekend. I want to split up my spider plants in the house. They are root bound and they need to be split. I want to give a chunk of the striped spider plant my Mom got me for Mother's day eons ago to my daughter. I have had that striped spider for a LONG time. I almost killed it off several times, but managed to give it plant CPR and bring her back. It means a lot to me. I want my daughter to have a start of it. I think I will do that splitting this week so she can take home a 'Grandma' plant with her when she goes back home this Sunday.

The kids should all be here for Mother's Day on Sunday for me. I will sit in my chair and snap my fingers and have them wait on me hand and foot. (Um, I say that - but normally that is not how it goes. A girl can dream.) I told my oldest I wanted steak on the grill for Mother's Day dinner and corn on the cob. I also informed my husband of this fact since he will be the griller on duty. He went to get the grill out of the tent so he could get it cleaned up and such, but it disintegrated when he pulled it out. I know we got that grill for him a long time ago for Father's Day, and it was obvious it was time for a new grill. He got the grill when I was picking out my hanging baskets. He had to assemble it when we got home. We are not the proud owners of a grill that had better be able to produce a decent steak this Sunday. Smile.

My Aunt Trudy has knee surgery this week. She's been having so much pain as of late. I hope this fixes that right up. Surgery is never fun, but they've come so far and it's so much more efficient and effective nowadays, but any surgery is scary to the person having it.

does NOT look pleased. I wish I could make him happier. What makes it worse is his "eye" looks right at me when I'm in the dog pen. Nothing paranoid about me, no sir! OF COURSE trees are watching every move I make... The willow reminds me of Ents from Lord of the Rings.

I have some yard ornaments out, and now I wait patiently to plant flowers. I will have to scan the future weather forecast to see if there is hope. I want to at least put in some pansies. I'm chompin' at the bit. The last frost in Michigan is usually not until mid-May, but I can't wait that long. I made my husband take out the cement bird bath to the front tonight, and I filled it up for the wee birdies. However, it is the red-winged bachelors that are eating me out of house and home and will no doubt use it for their swinging singles hot tub. Eventually the red-winged blackbirds do leave. I am hoping my sandhill cranes have a baby this year, I really do. I miss seeing the baby cranes at the bird feeder. They are so dorky cute. I sure hope the wee children next door do not scare away my cranes. Stay tuned...

We are exactly one month away from launching the upgrade to our main database software. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think I ever want to go through another implementation ever again. Never. Ever. Again. I can't stress that enough. For those of you in any type of tech department that have had to implement a new software or launch a project, wouldn't you agree it is similar to having your skin peeled off by crusty old pirates with rusty tweezers who spit on each cell before they rip it off? I thought so. I couldn't agree more.

It has been so nice to have the bedroom window open at night. I especially like the part where Taffy walks on my head to get in said window. It feels good to get that breeze blowing in, though. Ahhhhhhhhh....

May 11, 2013 - The fruit of my loins are here for the weekend to entertain their old Mom. It was fun last night. I actually stayed up until 9:30! Wow! Good for me! My daughter and Pat and Grandcat Rocko got here and the wee one came over and we feasted on Little Caesar's Pizza. I drank two and a half beers, and still feel drunk this morning. Cripes. I remember the day when a twelve pack wouldn't even make me tipsy.  Ah, memories.

Maybe I feel drunk because I'm happy. I made a vow to myself that I would be anal this weekend or worry about anything. Whatever will be will be. If I feel like doing something, I am going to do it. I like that. I felt like sweeping this morning. I didn't HAVE to sweep this morning. I felt like putting out a bag of food for the STAMP OUT HUNGER Post Office Food drive, and since I was out there, I felt like weeding around the mail box...BUT I didn't HAVE TO. I wanted to. I ate leftover pizza for breakfast, because I wanted to. It took my 52 years to get over myself?? That is a lot of time wasted on being an ass and worrying over a lot of stuff that doesn't need to be worried over.

Actually, at this MOMENT everyone is GONE so it is a nice,quiet break. I like that too. The dogs are outside and the grandcat is down here checking the place out. He spent the morning hissing at me from the stairs, however. so I told him several times to quit hissing and get over it. Ain't nobody got time for drama...

We are going to BBQ today. Well, I'm NOT, they are. I am going to eat it. I requested steak, corn on the cob, and potato salad. My husband went this morning to get out steaks and corn on the cob. He bought a tub of potato salad, too. He sent me a nice bouquet of flowers at work yesterday, as well. This was a nice surprise, since I thought I was only getting that new vacuum...

He had called me earlier in the week to tell me, "I know what you are getting for Mother's Day" and I said, "Oh, really? What?" and he said, "A new vacuum!" I asked him what had happened to my perfectly good vacuum. He said he stepped on the cord and ripped the cord clean out and shorted the motor out. Seems like I just bought that vacuum not too long ago? Anyway, when I got home from work I dragged him to the store to buy me a new one. I got a new Shark vacuum (a step up from the Shark that exploded.) Boy, I thought the other one could suck up the critter hair - this one does even better! Plus you can detach the sucker part and use it as a portable tank.

So even though it is a chilly, drab day. I am a happy camper. I think I'm off to drink a big glass of Ovaltine - because I want to....

May 15, 2013 - The steak on Saturday was THE BEST steak I've ever consumed. YUM! Dinner was a hoot with the kids. I was treated like the Queen That I (of course) Am. Very relaxing and probably the best Mother's Day I ever had. I mowed on Sunday when it was so cold. I wore a coat, a winter hat, and gloves! Yikes, I was chilled all day! The yard looked very nice, though, if I may say so myself. My husband had shut down the furnace so I made him turn it back on because I could NOT get warmed up.

It has managed to warm up again. I had the wee one take my hanging plants to the shed on Saturday night due to frost warnings. I freed them from the their prison on Monday morning when it was nice and sunny. They see happier out in the open than they were in the shed. FREEDOM!!  I want to get some plants for the little flower beds I have this weekend. I don't want to get a lot, since I still can't get down on my knees without issues with my left knee, but I do want to put out a few. We'll see how this goes. I will probably end up rolling around the yard like a turtle and my luck the Google Satellite will be taking pictures just about then...

We are two weeks from going 'live' with the software upgrade I've been working ever so hard on the last two years or so. I look forward to June 17th. Why, you ask? Because it will be fourteen days after going 'live' and if the world is going to end due to this upgrade, it will have ended by then, right? It has been a long, hard road. I have said it to my work mates and I will say it here, "I will not go through another implementation ever again!" (Remember that statement is coming from a woman that said back in 1990 that "I would never, ever use a computer to do my job!!" A, life - full of surprises.)

I talked to my Aunt that had knee surgery and she sounded pretty good. She has to stay in a nursing type home until she is well enough to get around by herself, but she sounded good and feisty. Being feisty is the first sign of healing up. I need to run over to my Aunt Jean's tomorrow and grab the laptop I gave  her to use. She said it's very slow. I will bring it home and update it to the most recent version of stuff. I have all the update functions turned off on that thing because Aunt Jean only has dial up and any update would take hours upon hours to download. Even if it doesn't make it seem faster to her, maybe she will miss it enough to fool herself in to thinking it IS faster, right? I will take it back on Saturday when I go clean for her.

Taffy the Cat WILL NOT SHUT UP. The windows are open and I'm sure he smells various outdoor type things that call to him and he wants to go outside like he used to. He is pacing the house going from open window to open window and being VERY LOUD. Poor Cat. (He has not been outside since he was diagnosed with feline leukemia.) Doesn't seem to bother him being cooped up in the winter, but as soon as windows are open, MEOW MEH MEOW MEOW MEH MMMEHHH.... Argh.

May 17, 2013 - I get such a kick out of watching the birds outside. I think I inherited this adoration for birds from my Mom. She would watch them and point out the different kinds to me on our nature walks. I have always just liked birds. Oh, sure - they could spread a pandemic and kill us all, but so could anything or anyone that can move from one place to another. We could all be dead by Sunday due to a hitchhiking virus from space from a passing asteroid as far as that goes, but I digress... I love my birds.

I have been watering the area where there are four-o-clock seeds coming up from last years batch. The wee neighbor boys will see me outside and come over. One of them asked, "Are you making mud?" "Yes, sort of!" I replied. They wanted to play in the mud but I discouraged that. They saw me refilling my humming bird feeder. "What are you doing?" "Feeding the hummingbirds sugar water." "BIRDS EAT SUGAR?" "Yes, some do..." Other questions that have been asked -
"Why are you ripping flowers off of that plant?" "It is called 'deadheading'  - you take off dead ones so new ones grow..."
"Why do your dogs eat grass?" "Some dogs like grass because probably is like a doggie salad to them..."
"Did you see I am riding my bike?"  "Yes, I see that..."
"Did you know you have to try and try really hard and practice to ride a bike?"  "Yes, I remember that..."

Sigh. It is times like that when I feel very 'old' in my frame of mind. I want to water flowers without explaining why I am watering flowers. I want to deadhead without explaining why I'm deadheading. Then I remind myself that something I say to these boys might save their life one day. We all have an impact on those around us, so by all rights I should be cheery and bright around the wee boys. However, I still want to watch the humming birds duke it out over sugar water without a kid chasing them away, but then again maybe they've never seen a hummingbird that close and it fascinates them. I must remember just 15 years ago, as a full grown adult, that I myself dropped everything I was carrying when I saw my first real road runner and ran after it...

I will attempt to be the nice 'old' lady next door, but I do wonder if Ron ever got a quote on fencing and if Ron would be so kind as to share the quote amount with us?

May 20, 2013 - It seems as if every time I feel the need to blog that there are more and more days from the last time I posted. Where is this time going? Houston, we have a leak in the main time tank!!

The weekend was ever so productive. Friday night my husband and I went on a 'buy Sandy flowers to plant' mission. That was fun. I got (for the first time) a Ranunculus plant. (Most of the time I can't remember the name of the thing so I call it a Romulan plant.) Very pretty flowers on that one. Now let us see how long I can keep it alive, shall we? The Romulan plant likes full sun, so she went out with my Dahlias on the side of the house that gets the most sun. I have a lot of four-o-clocks coming up from seeds, so I didn't even have to plant any seeds in that flower bed. I had been soaking my six billion seven hundred and fifty two four-o-clock seeds that I saved from last year's six plants for two days, so I had to plant them somewhere. I did random mass plantings around the yard. I will SO forget where I put them, of course, and will end up mowing them down no doubt. Why I think I have to keep all those seeds is beyond me. I had always dreamed of having a four-o-clock dynasty from the seeds, but that takes planning and a lot of digging and frankly this year that doesn't sound fun.

My husband had to work for a few hours on Saturday. My sister and I cleaned for Aunt Jean and that is always fun. We had a couple of really good laughs this time. Humor, one must seize it when it presents itself!! I came home from Aunt Jean's house and mowed the yard. That was fun, too. I did a little push mowing as well, but decided to leave some of it for my husband to do. I thought that was generous of me.

While I was mowing, I suddenly decided that I NEEDED ANOTHER HANGING PLANT for a post in my yard and I would keel over and pass from this world without said plant. So mid way up the yard on the riding mower I shut it down and jumped in the car and drove over to the local nursery. I got myself some impatiens  for the little flower bed over the septic tank pumper-outter hole and another hanging plant for the shepherd's pole that was the thing that made me jump off the mower in the first place. When I got back, my neighbor Ron drove over on his John Deere to say hi. He thought I ran out of gas in the mower. I told him I had a "impromptu flower buying" emergency. Sometimes the need for a hanging basket takes precedent over everything else. When that urge struck me I was lucky I remembered to turn off the mower before leaving. I tend to wander off sometimes...

I was worried that we were not going to have any bats on mosquito patrol this year, but finally this morning I saw a pair on duty. Phew. I think we'd all be carried off by the skeeters if the bats were gone. I have often wondered where the bats nest around here but I guess I really don't care as long as they are hard at work playing Super Orkin Bat. The skeeters will be bad this year, I can tell.

Ever since my daughter was home for Mother's Day Weekend, her dog (Kia) has been in a blue funk. She won't eat her breakfast. She will stay by the bowl and growl at her brother if he shows interest in the food or she will snip at the cat when the cat meanders by the bowl nonchalant like, but she won't touch it. Sigh. Dogs are like having moody kids sometimes. Maybe I should set up a Skype a session with my daughter so Kia can see her? Alas, who knows what goes on in the brain of a doggy? Woof.

For the record, I would like to state that I thought when the kids moved out that the grocery bill would go down. Apparently this is an illusion. This does NOT happen. Maybe prices have just gone up so much that it seems like we are spending as much or more than when there were kids in house? All I know is that every time we go to the grocery store, my checkbook starts to cry and kick and scream and grabs frantically at the door frame.

May 21, 2013 -  I received a thank you card from someone that I had sent a graduation gift to and it came in the prettiest envelope. The inside of the envelope was a lovely orange flowered pattern. It took me back to when I was in third or fourth grade and my Mom worked at a local garbage company. She would bring me home all the old envelopes with pretty inside patterns from payments that were sent in. I had more fun with those. I made everything out of them - pictures, decorations, cards, and curtains and such for my cardboard houses I was notorious for building out of old cereal boxes. I would sort the envelopes out by pattern or color or... Seeing that fancy thank you card gave me a warm fuzzy in my heart from the memories and made me sad we don't send much snail mail anymore.

I sat outside where there was a breeze, and the dragonflies are out in force tonight eating gnats and mosquitoes. Kudos to them! Good Boys! It is way too early for the bats to be out, so I will appreciate the flying defenders of mosquito evil. Circle of life and all - balance of the ecosystem and such. I am grateful, however, that there are not giant dragonflies that survive on wandering, old fat women...

We are supposed to get frost Thursday night maybe and most likely Friday night. Ugh. I will have to sheet up my flowers, won't I? The baskets can go in the shed, but the ground flowers will have to have a blankie.

May 22, 2013 - I have to relate a story that makes me laugh. I am sure it is only ME who finds this funny, but nonetheless...

The neighbor to our North is a different cut of cloth as it were. Currently, she has a male friend staying there who owns a beautiful white car that is a rather expensive looking car. I know nothing about brands of cars, so what it is, I'm not sure. (Mercedes perhaps?)

This is the country and birds in these parts eat a lot of berries. Berries and birds equate to purple poop in long streaks over every surface possible. I hope he knows this. Eventually, he will get a smear job from a group of angry birds. That stuff stains. I was worried for this man due to pooping birds but my husband said that he covers it at night. This is a good thing. With all the trees seeding and pollen falling, any car in this area unshielded will turn a lovely shade of brown by morning. Mine turns a browner shade of red every day.

Saturday when I was mowing the front yard, I noticed the man standing in the neighbor's front yard talking on a cell phone. I did not pay much mind to him. People come, people go. He was giving me a 'look' if you can judge a 'look' from someone you've never met. On my second pass over that way, I noticed he had his car covered, and was still staring at me. They have a pine tree in their yard and there are airborne projectiles from the pine cones, so I'm sure he was worried I'd fling them over and hit his car. I would be worried too if I owned that thing. I am also a 'spaz' mower, so I tend to mow in a meandering fashion. I go here, then back there, then up front again. I'm sure the was a wee bit upset with me that I didn't consistently mow one area so he could uncover his car. I found this funny after the fact - I've always been a spaz mower, so it did not dawn on me to finish the front so he could keep his car uncovered after that. I will be a good girl this weekend, I promise, and do all of the front by the nice shiny car at one fell swoop. I can't prevent the purple bird poop, however...

It is exactly nine days until we launch our upgraded software. NINE DAYS. I have a lot to do. So does my coworker, Judy. If I think about how much we have to do prior to going 'live' I would panic and run screaming in to the night, possibly naked at that, so I DON'T think about it. It will all work out, I'm sure. Focus and Forge Ahead. That is it. I will be spending this weekend, however, finalizing a bunch of stuff. Memorial Day weekend will be a working weekend. Maybe if I'm working, I will make my husband mow. He is more professional in his mowing style than mine.

May 28, 2013 - On Friday we got to get out early. Normally I can't leave work early like that when they let salary people free early on a holiday, but all my 'stuff' was done for once and I did leave at three with the rest of the office peeps. I came home and mowed. I grabbed a beer and mowed. I got the front done by the time my husband came home around 5:30. It was fun. It is very relaxing to me to mow for some reason, even though I know my feeble attempt to control grass and nature is only a temporary thing as nature will always win, it still makes me happy when I'm in the mood to do it.

I spent the rest of the weekend (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) doing more prep work for the upgrade starting this Friday. My husband did steaks on the grill on Sunday, so that was nice. Got a wee bit of a weekend feel by eating steak and flossing it out later. I got a LOT done, I must admit. Still have to finish up this week, but at least the fear of the 'go live' is gone as I'm pretty sure I'm ready for it. (...said everyone in the whole world before a migration to a new system and then wondered why on the day after they ever said such a foolish thing...)

The seed pods are falling with gusto from out maple trees. The yard will look brown for a few weeks until all the seed pods are down and I've mulched them beyond recognition. We have a maple in the front and one in the back. I still get a kick out of watching chipmunks and squirrels eat those seeds - it is like they are using their teeth as a can opener and buzzing their way around the seed area to pop out the insides. When I see them doing this I will add sound effects for my own entertainment. I tend to do that a lot -add sound effects to life around me. I am never bored when I'm with my own brain - it is self entertaining.

Last week (maybe Thursday?) when the moon was setting in the West it looked SO HUGE. I was just amazed at it. I called my husband to the back door, "Look at the Moon, it's HUGE!!" and my husband came out to look and said, "Yep, that is the Moon." He was not moon struck like I was. All I could imagine was a million years ago when it was closer to the Earth so the setting Moon would have been so much bigger in the sky. If I was amazed by our current full moon setting, can you imagine how it looked back then? I wish I had my telescope in the dog pen at that time...

It is raining now. The thunder and lightening has moved to our North and East so that is out of the way for now. I have not listened to a weather report to find out what the day holds but my old bones tell me it will rain all day. I have always operated better with dark skies and bleak weather (work wise). I am the opposite of every other human in the whole world I believe when it comes to that. (So I just checked the weather and it is supposed to be a day full of thunderstorms. This pleases me. It does not, however, please the IT person in me who wonders how many power outages and brown outs we'll have today at work.)

I just changed the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder. I adore how the hummingbirds act when you take down the hummingbird feeder even for a minute. They fly near the house and look at me through the window as if to say, "What the hell, Woman!!"  I also dug up some random morning glories growing from seed in the dog pen and put them in a planter outside of the dog pen. I wasn't going to mess with morning glories this year, but hey - if they are making the effort, the least I can do it give them a chance, right?

Viva a new day. I'm off to conquer. Charge and Tally Ho and so forth...

top of
June 2, 2013 - It is Sunday morning. It is quiet and rather cool outside with a lovely breeze and I like that. I went out with the dogs earlier this morning and stood there enjoying the 'tard squirrels running in circles in the yard when my head started buzzing loudly. "Oh, great!" I said out loud. "I'm having a stroke."  At that second when my head was buzzing, I was fully prepared to be done with life and go gracefully until I saw the hummingbird to my right just a few inches away from my ear. So no stroke for me, rather a close encounter with a hummer instead. I had a good laugh.

The upgrade is done. I don't want to jinx us, but I think it damned smooth. Tomorrow will be the big day when end users start getting in and forgetting any training they had. It is also end of the month as well, so that adds whipped cream to the sundae. I have worked so hard for so long for this day yet I feel rather sad, almost post-coital sad.

Judy and I plowed through it all Saturday and checked ourselves several times and did all the things we had written down on our check list before I sent out the message it was acceptable for human consumption. The company's General Director stopped in and wished us luck early Saturday morning and my bosses boss emailed and said, GOOD JOB after the email went out. I have yet to hear from my boss but then again I'm pretty sure my boss has no idea what I do nor does he care to know what I do, he just knows what I do has to be done.

Judy had to come back in late last night when I found an issue from home. She fixed that program and then went to some machines at the main shop to check them while I did what I had to do from home. I will go in very early tomorrow and buckle in for a long day. But technically it is over - and there is nowhere to go but forward from here. The deed, in fact, is done.

The impatiens I planted in the crooked flower bed above the super secret septic hole cover are going to town. I do not normally have any luck with impatiens. I will kill them by just walking past them or glancing their way. (When I water flowers for my neighbor Sue I talk constantly to her impatiens, begging them not to expire on my watch.) This year they seem to be doing quite well for me. I'm sure not planting them in direct sunlight helps and the rainy weather helps and the fact I avoid their general location surely helps.

Not Dead June 4, 2013  I just took a nice hot bath to soak away the day. I do enjoy my baths. I have a thing for playing in water. I couldn't swim to save myself in a mud puddle mind you, but I love my water time. Go figure. I get these things called 'Tubbaticals' from my Soap Lady and throw one of them in the water while the tub is filling up. (We have crappy water pressure, it takes forever to get a half a tub full of water.) Our water is hard and full of minerals, but one Tubbatical keeps it from turning the normal orange color it tends to turn when it masses together in a large quantity. I am not sure what is in the Tubbatical and I don't want to know. All I know is my water looks like NORMAL water (clear) when I use one of those things. 

The last two days have felt like two weeks spent riding a bike up hill both ways with and elephant strapped to my back.  The days start at five a.m. and end around 11 p.m. It has been a long time since my stress level has been this high. Actually, that is an incorrect statement. I'm not stressed per say. I am just busy with the post-upgrade fun. People have had to wait their turn and take-a-number sort of thing. I do not feel too upset over it, really. We planned it well. It went DAMNED WELL by any upgrade standard. I am proud of Judy and myself, and I will say so often to myself and anyone who will listen. People have been very nice. The software company has been nice when I report issues. Everyone has been DAMNED NICE. It is kind of scary, really - not that I want anyone stabbing my eyes out with a pencil or anything, but it's just been - well, NICE.

I did have a minor melt down today when one of the end users mentioned to me that "EVERY ONE says the new system is slow."  This was exactly the wrong thing to say to me at the wrong time. My cheeks got very hot and red and my left eye brow shot up like Mr. Spock eyebrow did on StarTrek when he was perplexed over a human. "Who says that?" I asked. "Well, I do - it is so much slower for me..." I said to that person, "Well, come on, let's go look at your PC..." and marched off. He was right behind me. When he tried the system, it was fine. "It wasn't fast like that before when I tried..." I made him try it again, and it was still FINE. Then I asked him, "Who ELSE says it is slow?" He was quiet for a long time then started ratting people out. I marched right out of his office down to the QC lab and burst in and said, "Mr. So-and-So said you all said the new upgraded system was slow! Who's having issues? Why didn't you call the help desk?" They all looked at me as if I was a crazed maniac (which we all know is most often the case) and started taking turns saying, "I never said it was SLOW..."

By then Mr. So-and-So was right behind me, and he was welcomed in to the QC lab with many glares. I left, still red faced but for some odd reason I felt better. Considering I have NOT had a meltdown during this whole ordeal and anyone else would have, I thought one outburst was called for. Don't want to disappoint the troops after all...

The cat has been walking on the keyboard while I type since I've been neglecting him the last few days/weeks and he wants to make that perfectly clear. He is demanding Taffy Time. I have been falling asleep pretty much as soon as I crawl in to bed so he's missing out on his pre-sleep quality time, too. Poor cat. I'm sure he will live through this. I have not even worried much about the kids during the last two weeks which is so unlike a Mom. (I've had nightmares about the wee one for some reason, but other than that, I don't even think I've written them an email!) Sigh.

I should go to bed - so off I go. I've been fighting with a crappy sore throat and a hacking chest thing the last few days and I think I'm losing the battle. Sleep might help, yes?

June 10, 2013 - Wow, I dropped off the map for a few days, didn't I? The rest of the week from when I last posted went very well. I have no complaints. People are complaining about the changes but forging ahead. I will say it again, they've all been very good to me. Several of them bought Judy and I a hanging planter and got us the nicest cards. I've never known a case where someone thanked you for making them change their routine! I believe that qualifies me as blessed.

The sore throat and sore ears and hacking cough and snotty nose has not gotten any better. Friday night I was so exhausted it was all I could do to stay awake until 8 p.m. Saturday I was supposed to go clean Aunt Jean's house with my sister and I called and bailed on her. I couldn't be sick around them. I had a fever, and there was no way I was going over there to infect them. So I just went to bed. I spent all of Saturday in bed. I hacked and coughed and slept. My husband fixed dinner that night and I ate and went back to bed. Sunday was a lazy day too. I got up and did morning stuff, then back to bed I went. I wasted a whole weekend of my life in bed. I am calling the doctor as soon as they open up this morning, however. Something isn't going away on its own and obviously needs help from an antibiotic to exit, stage left.

So obviously I have nothing to tell you all about from any exciting weekend events as all I did was have odd dreams during the tons of hours I slept. I soaked myself from sweat twice, so I think my fever broke. That was exciting, right? I live life on the edge.

I can tell you that my birds are pigs and I went through three suet cakes in a 24 hour period. I think I will just refill the suet feeders twice a week. The red bellied woodpeckers found the one I put behind the house, so I get quality viewing time with them on the feeder, so that is cool. The sparrows and nuthatches have found that suet feeder as well. I give the red winged blackbirds and cowbirds until this afternoon to figure it out as well. (Maybe that is what I have - bird flu...)

I'm off for now. Work calls and so does the need to seek someone with a prescription pad. Smile.

June 12, 2013 - I work from home in the morning before I physically go in to work in the morning. I am a believer that early morning peeps have a right to IT support when they start their day. I remember what it was like being in the position where no one was available to help me when I was working early or late, so I try to be available for the herd as much as possible when I can. That being said, I was sitting here doing my morning stuff when I because aware of the noises coming from the bathroom. My husband was taking a shower, and it just cracked me up all the 'old man' noises coming from the bathroom. Grunts, groans. Normally I'm not aware of this going on but for some reason this morning I heard them and they made me laugh. He asked why I was laughing. "You are plentiful in old man noises this morning, my dear!" I told him. "Gee, thanks..."

The noises continued as he put on his pants and shoes. I couldn't help but giggle. I wonder why I heard this THIS morning when I'm sure it happens all the time. I thought to myself, "Cripes, he's getting old..." as I got up to get more coffee, realizing I made a grunting noise as I got up myself. Hahahaha. We're old and noisy.

Speaking of noise, yesterday morning there was such a ruckus coming from the bedroom side of the house I had to check it out. I looked out the kitchen window and there on the shed next to the suet feeder out back were four baby starlings and their parental unit. The babies were HUGE and LOUD and the Mom was doing her best to get suet, shove it down one of their throats then go get more suet, and repeat. This pleased me. Burt the Bird that we raised back in 2007 was a baby starling, and Burt never got THAT big! These guys were loud monsters. I felt bad for Mom.  A little while later the noise was louder. I looked out and more baby starlings and another Mom. This went on until there were a total of eleven baby starlings on the sheds out back being fed by four Moms from the suet feeder. I think they were just shoving food down the loudest throat as a collective group, not worrying about which kid belonged to which Mom. I went to get my camera, but the best shot was through a screen and it didn't come out worth crap. Seriously, these babies were much puffier and bigger than the Moms in the group and the noise just tickled me. (Of course when I told this story at work yesterday, the number of babies rose to 'hundreds' to enhance the effect...)

I called the Doctor on Monday as soon as I got to work and I got to go in right away. I was happy about that. I was so sick of being so tired and, well...SICK. I got an antibiotic. My ears feel better and my throat feels much better and now I'm just finishing up the hacking up of goo from my lungs. At my age, when you cough that hard you also pee your pants (I think it is a state law or something). There is no 'graceful' cough for women over 50 years of age, boy howdy. Sigh. I miss the ability to control my own bladder...those were the days, let me tell you. Ahhhhhhhh....

I think the kids will herd to feed their father this weekend, although I've not heard any plans. As adults, they can organize and contact my husband on their own. I feel no obligation to intervene in anyway. That is kind of nice, when I think about it. I no longer have to shove suet down my kid's throats...

Actually written late on Wednesday night...
Always safer under
                                              Mom's desk!Tonight we're due for storms, and we are having our first one as I type. Jake the male dog has crawled under my desk. He doesn't like storms. The satellite connection is spotty.

When I got home from work tonight, I caught up the laundry and drew water for toilet flushing purposes in case we lose power and did the dishes early and made my husband take a shower, then I took a shower. I backed up my PCs on to the portable drive. I also went out and took down my hanging plants so they don't fly off the hangers.

When we are due for big storms, I like to have stuff in order. My theory is "If a tornado throws our stuff around it had best be clean when it punctures our skin!!"  When the kids were little I could make them do all the chores to keep their minds off the bad weather, but now I don't have anyone to preoccupy with mindless work so I do it. About the time you don't draw water when they threaten storms is the time you get a whopper of a storm AND a bout of diarrhea.

I emailed my daughter earlier to let her know about the storms that were heading to Chicago. Mind you, she's near 26 years old and I am SURE she NEEDS me to tell her to check the weather reports. Cripes, if the girl can drive in downtown Chicago without having a heart attack, she's more than capable of clicking on weather.com. I guess, as a Mom, you will always worry. I worry about the wee one as well - he really doesn't like storms. I worry for my oldest son too since he is usually at work in a hot aluminum factory when these things hit and the sirens go off and you have to herd a bunch of hot, sweaty people in to an inner room....

Let them eat cake...June 14, 2013 - My daughter sent me a picture of my Grandcat, Rocko. They got him a new "toy" for the apartment. My daughter was convinced that Rocko was bored without Tibby the Cat. (Tibby is their former roommate's kitty.) So now Rocko has a castle. Very cute. (Why I tell you this is not because I have nothing else to blog or not because I think the world should see my cute Grandcat, but because of this fact:  As soon as I saw that picture this morning - in my head I immediately started a running line of, "Back in my day, we made cat castles out of old cereal boxes - and the cats LIKED IT. No fancy store bought cat boxes for our cats, no sir..." For some reason that made me laugh out loud. It always makes me laugh out loud when I am thinking ANYTHING in my head that begins with 'back in MY day...")

Last night my husband sat on the couch behind me as I was looking through the archives of my bloggings. I was wondering when I started using pictures on the blog, so I was checking each year out and finally found the year I started using pictures. So with my husband watching, we scrolled through all the pictures I've posted over the years. We had a lot of laughs. Ah, Memories. Sigh. Then I dragged him out in the dog pen to see all the morning glories that were coming up from last year's seed near the fence line. I babbled on and on to the poor boy for a long time. I was impressed that it took nearly an hour before his eyes started to glass over.

Later last night I asked him if he wanted me to close the curtain for him. (His chair is in the direct line of the window where the sun will burn out your retinas if you don't put down the blinds.) "No, that's OK. It is past that point. Why do you think I was sitting on the couch?"

"You mean you weren't setting on the couch to spend time with me, reminiscing?" I asked in a shocked/sad voice.

Then it dawned on me that NO man in their right mind would WANT to sit for an hour to review old pictures of ANYTHING with ANYONE let alone his wife. He was just on the couch to avoid eye damage and was too lazy to move once I started down the path of memories. Hahahaa. I had to laugh, even though the realization made me sad. I always think too positively about all the men in my life - I always think they are doing something that is 'romantic' or 'sweet' or 'considerate' when in reality, most men only seem to be doing things like that because something in the situation suits THEM. If there is the added benefit of appearing adorable or considerate - well, that's cool, but that is not required for a man. Sigh. A girl, however, can dream...

We lost our internet at work yesterday all day from the storms the night before. The internet is how the other plant connects to us, so they were down for the count. You never realize how so much business is done via the internet until you do not have it. It was a frustrating day. I asked my friend Vickie how we managed BEFORE the internet at work. She suggested that maybe we used smoke signals. I added possible tom-toms as well. Tin cans with a string? Morse code? Smile. Kind of scary when you realize how far we've come technology wise that when the technology is gone, everything stops dead in its tracks. Easy to roll forward. Impossible to roll back. Fortunately we never lost power due to the storms, but we're covered there because our generator is fixed that back up the server rooms. (When the generator starts up, it sounds like the intro to 'Hot for Teacher' by VanHalen. Cracks me up, it does...)

I am glad the connectivity is back for work because I will be working from home this afternoon to wait for the GE Repair man to come. Our new stove (purchased last July) committed suicide. We have one month to the day on the 'ONE YEAR SUPER DUPER ALL ENCOMPASSING WARRANTY' from GE. I like it when an appliance decides to jump off a cliff while still under warranty. I am not happy about the fact appliances seem to be as disposable as snotty Kleenexes. Scheduling a repair man to come is totally automated. Everything about this visit was done without a human voice. So, this afternoon I would not be too shocked if a robot rolled in to the drive and demanded to be taken to my gas stove.

June 18, 2013 - The wee one got a second job at a local pizza place. Now technically he has a 'full time' job between the two jobs. This is good. I have asked him to bring me numbers so I can do up a budget for him. He is waiting for his first paycheck from the pizza place to give me the financial data. I hope this is a turn around for him and things will look up and he realizes this is life and you have to work to survive. Viva the wee one.

I worked from home Friday afternoon. I had to be here for the GE repair guy for the stove. I meandered outside to get something from the car at one point and ZUHWHOOOOOSH - a hawk nearly took my head off. I had walked directly in to his flight path en route to snatch up a baby squirrel out front. Kudos to that hawk for navigating around me like that. My brain thanks you as well. So does my right eye. The right side of my hair actually was blown forward as he diverted around my head. I ran to the front of the house just in time to see the hawk flying away with wee squirrel in his grip. I believe my actually statement at the time was 'HOLY SH*^!!" The sibling of the victim sat in the tree for about a half hour and cried. (Have you ever heard a squirrel holler/yell/cry? It is like someone stepping on an angry squeak toy while it's half under water. I can't even begin think of letters to type to help explain what a riled up squirrel sounds like.) I know it is the whole 'circle of life' sort of thing, but I'm ever so grateful the circle of life didn't put my eyes out.

The GE repair man finally called the house to announce he was coming. "Hi, this is Jake from GE..." and at that same time my husband walked in the door from work and asked, "Who's that?" and I said, "It's Jake, from State Farm" and then started to giggle like a heathen. I thought it was extremely funny but this was not the general consensus. Jake came and fixed our stove, showed us how to fix it again if the same issue happens, then we talked for a few minutes. He lives in our town - is a 'local' and it was just a nice guy in general. After dealing with all the automated stuff, seeing a kind and REAL human actually show up at the house was a blessing. (No, he was not wearing khakis...)

My daughter and son-in-law drove in on Friday night. She was not originally going to come home for Father's Day, but they decided to anyway. They must have gotten here around midnight, but I don't remember them coming in the house. (My daughter said I yelled something when they walked in, but I do not remember. Hahaha.) They had gotten several jugs of a local miicro-brewery's beer for Pat's Dad for Father's Day, and one of the jugs had leaked on the way in from Chicago. They attempted to clean it on Sunday night when they left to go home, but our local car wash was broken. I hope they clean it up soon. Beer is nice and all, but after a week on the carpet in a hot car.  HONEST, OFFICER, I WAS NOT DRINKING, REALLY!!

On Saturday morning my sister and I took Uncle Lorin some treats for Father's Day. It was nice to visit with them again. I was so busy from work then sick, I've not seen them in several weeks. Aunt Jean was in top form. I imagine being cooped in an apartment all the time with the same person can be a strain on your nerves. Her nerves were, well - strained to say the least. Sigh. (I want to be a happy old person, so I beg my kids to slap the crap outta me if I am mean or cruel, OK? I think, however, I will be a happy if not hard to control old person. Give me a scooter from the scooter store and WATCH OUT world!)

After visiting with them, my sister came back to the house and we sat and yapped for a while. After she left, I did the push mowing. It started to rain, but by golly - that rain felt good so I finished up. My master plan to mow for my husband as part of his Father' Day Extravaganza was going to have to wait until Sunday. The kids were on a day long movie-going marathon. They saw three movies on Saturday. I adore how my wee ones all like hanging out together. (My daughter made me laugh the next day when she said, "MOM! The two of us can see a movie HERE for the price of ONE ticket in Chicago!)

On Sunday our oldest took us all out to lunch. We tried a new Chinese buffet. (New to us that is - it has been there a while.) Then we hung out together here at home until dinner time. (Well, they hung out - I mowed while the sun shined. I also tried my hand at the new weed whacker my husband got and needless to say I must work on my technique as there are several bald spots where there were not bald spots in the yard before...) My wee one had to work at the pizzeria, so we ordered dinner from there. I must admit the pizza was very good. (Maybe the wee one has found his calling in life? Stay tuned!!)

Last night I finished up the back yard mowing and then I watered my flowers. Weather people said it might rain, but they were not sure. I was not going to take any chances. The kids next door came over to assist me. Sigh. I try not to make eye contact with them when I'm outside. How Rude Am I? Once you make eye contact, BAM - they are over. When their Mom is at work and it is just Dad watching them, I'm pretty sure they are free range creatures.

They wanted to pick flowers. "No" I said. So they collected the dead flowers I had deadheaded from my plants instead. They they wanted to get in to the water coming from the hose. "No" I said. The word 'NO' can be taken so many ways, and in the case of playing with water coming out of a hose I think the kids took it as 'SURE, GO AHEAD!' Sigh. They asked a bunch of questions. "Aunt Denise says Sandy and Todd live here..." one boy said. "I am Sandy, so she didn't lie!" I replied. "Where is Todd?" "Todd is in the house..." "I am thirsty..." "Don't drink from my hose, it is dirty..." Three faces insert themselves in the spray of water... Sigh again.

I didn't have to water as it were since we ended up had a nice little storm later that brought in sheets of water. I watched the water wall approach from the field across the road. Pretty cool. I saw this morning the wind and rain had knocked over a dinner plate dahlia so I brought it in the house. I was going to put it in a vase on the kitchen window until I saw the amount of bugs coming out of it. The dinner plate dahlia is now out on the window sill outside. Ain't nobody got time for bugs!

Don't you wish your
                                              blue crane was hot like
June 20, 2013 - A bunch of friends from work took Tuesday off and went to Shipshewana. They brought me back a lovely birdie for my yard. My blue crane is now in front of my house. I have the perfect place for it but I'm waiting for the hyacinth plant's leaves to yellow up so I can rip them out of the flower bed. My blue bird will wait and take his proper spot then. People are so good to me.

I want to say right up front that I love my job. Maybe it is stressful at times, but what job isn't? I love what I do and all the learning I get every day. That being said, I had an experience the other day that left me laughing all day long...

Our building (the offices and the plant) have been in general mode of decay for a while now. Things need fixing. Things are broken. There is so much wrong and no one to fix all the issues that it is too the point of being funny. 'What can go wrong now' sort of thing. When there is money to fix stuff, there is no one available to do it. When there is someone available to fix stuff, there is no money - and evil circle. I am sure customers are impressed as well.

The bathrooms in the offices all have leaky faucets. The water in our neck of the woods is mineral filled, so the sinks end up rusty red. I keep thinking that fixing the sinks would save water, but what the heck do I know? The toilets all have issues. At least once a week I have my hand in the tank of a toilet to fix the stopper. The carpets are black from wear and tear. We get our grass mowed, but the landscaping part of it has not been maintained in years so our trees and such are out of control and resemble a rain forest. The walls inside are covered with black hand prints and scratches various other marks. The cobweb population at the higher levels is pretty impressive. The roof leaks and there is mold in various areas. The tile in the hallways between the plant and the office are cracking into pieces and are covered up with rugs so someone doesn't sue when a chunk catches their ankles or they fall in the holes. The water heater on our end of the building needs to be have its pilot light lit. Cabinets are broken. Presses have excessive amount of oil leaks, and the list of things that are 'wrong' increases daily and I think we've all just accepted this as a 'fact' and deal with it.
Maybe it is time to get some of that fancy duct tape they have out now with pretty designs on it just in case...

What made me laugh the other day was the handle to one of the side doors came off. We have big heavy doors, and the handles are big and heavy too (or WERE in this case) and so that people could get in and out, someone stuck a boom handle in the base of the door to leave an opening so people could grab hold to open the door. When Sue and I came in at the same time, she said to me, "I think this means once we cross the broom that we're married..." Hahahaha.

My neighbor friend Sue got me the door and windows you see below two years ago for watering her flowers. I added one gnome because if you have a door and windows, SOMEONE has to use them. This year the gnome's brother has come to town and of course they needed a mail box. I believe that it indicates geezer-ness when you start gnoming out, right?


June 24, 2013
- On my daughter's Facebook page this morning her status said, "Oh, you silly Blackhawk fans..." From the news I would have to say the streets in Chicago were FULL of them. I can only imagine the noise and ruckus that was happening over there. No sleep for my daughter, no doubt.

I have morning glories coming up from last year's seeds that fell in the dog pen. One already bloomed. I took some of the sturdier plants and put them in a planter. I say every year I'm not doing morning glories again, but then they do it on their own so I have to assist. I mean, they made the effort to come out and all... I also got a few old marigolds that were near death from a local person who sells plants. They look happy to be in the ground now.

With my left knee unable to support my bulk still, I can't get down and weed which makes me mad. (Well, I COULD get down there, but getting up is the issue.) I hate this fact that one body part can ruin it for the rest of the group. I sit in my lawn chair and bed over best I can, but it's not like getting down and in the dirt. I love getting dirty. I'm Southwest Michigan's premier Pig Pen, but alas - not this year. I saw foam need pad 'kneelers' at the store over the weekend and stood there staring at them for a long time as I squished them with my fingers. "I need one of these..." I kept thinking. Then I would say to myself, "Just use an old pillow, you idiot" and then I would think that a plastic foam knee support could be rinsed off whereas a pillow cannot... I debated with myself for quite some time in the store until I just wandered off to stare at something else.

I think I will make my own bird suet cakes from now on. The birds go through so much of that stuff. It would be much easier to just buy the fat and cheap peanut butter and throw in bird seed. Not the prettiest thing to do, but it has to be much cheaper and more practical than buying the pre-made suet cakes from the store. I am sure they will thank me by pooping excessively on my house and car.

I was thinking this morning that it is like having your own drum corps up in the sky when it's storming like it has been this morning. Lots of lightening and thunder. Jake HATES it and barks at the thunder. Kia just barks at Jake barking at the thunder. (Jake just went under my desk, so he feels safe now and I hope the barking ceases. Poor dude. When it started to thunder last night he got up with me in bed as sneakily as he could. He is a big dog. It is like having another adult in the bed. I let him stay there until the first time I had to pee. Too hot to have big ole' Jake up there and he was finally evicted, but the fact he crawled up there all sneaky like was so cute.) The wee one will be over tonight to help me give the dogs a bath. It seems it is at least an annual thing for the dogs now that my young one has moved out. In exchange for the help, I will feed the boy. Fair Trade.

I watered the flowers last night, so of course it rained. The night before I did not water the flowers because the weather man said it would rain, and it did not rain. Can't win for losin' as they say. I did some push mowing on Sunday morning around the house, but I didn't mow the yard. It looked so nice and green and I was worried if I mowed it, it would turn orange. Now that it is just pouring out, I regret that decision to NOT mow because now with all the rain it will turn in to a six foot mass of grass. I should have mowed. Dealing with Nature is a crap shoot. Sometimes you mow, sometimes you water, but mostly you just sit and be amazed by the lightening...

June 26, 2013 - Another round of storms last night. Some of them were doozies!! (Spell check wants me to change 'doozies' to 'doggies' but I refuse. None of the storms last night were doggies.) First the rain fell from the west to the east, then the rain changed directions and came back from the east. There were moments when all I could think of was "Auntie Em!!  Auntie Em!!"

I just got back in from picking up my yard ornaments that blew over or around. I hear a person with a chain saw, so I will assume some limbs came down as well. Some of my flowers are flattened out from the force of the rain. When I was trying to straighten out the pole the humming bird feeder is on I got buzzed by a hummingbird. Hahahaha. It scared me. "Hold on Dude! I'm almost done!" I said out loud. The humming bird was just a few feet above my head, hovering and waiting. They are very demanding birds.

My wee one came over and we got the dogs washed. Yikes. They were dirty dogs. Jake REALLY put up a fight this time. It took the two of us to wrestle him in to the tub. Once he's in there he like the rubbing and scratching and such, so I am not sure why he puts up such a fight? Oh well. No longer are they stupid dirty dogs. Now they are just stupid, fluffy dogs. We clogged up the drain in the tub twice from all their hair. Argh. I brush those dogs a LOT, but to no avail. There are many things that amaze me in life, and one of those things is the amount of hair a pet can put out without becoming bald.

June 30, 2013
- I believe each of us are thinking the same thing about now, "I can't believe it is the last day in June!" I have said it sixteen times today. Time is relative, but sometimes time is just elusive and confusing.

This was a relaxing weekend for me. My sister and I cleaned for our Aunt Jean. That is always fun. I try like heck to make Aunt Jean laugh. It is good to see her laugh. I used to love to make my Mom laugh and making Aunt Jean laugh is almost as good. I got some yard work done, too, as well as getting all the bedding washed from the mattress cover to the comforter. Got the grocery shopping done and the toilet cleaned and various other little things. It was a nice yet slightly productive weekend.

Taffy the cat has decided after 13 years of life that he MUST assist me when I make the bed. He will run under the bottom sheet and just play in there. He won't come out until we drag him out. He found this is grand fun. Then there is the top sheet to hide under, then the comforter. Sigh. We scold him when he does it, but we don't get mad because no one can get made over and old spastic cat playing like an idiot under a sheet. Impossible.

I got myself one of those expandable hoses. Normally I don't fall for anything I see on TV, but the thought of a light, easy to use hose was too much for my wallet to resist. I must admit, I like the thing. Our water pressure isn't very good here so I'm sure I am not getting maximum expansion, but it is still light and easy to haul around and I just like it. Plus it is very entertaining to see it shrink back up after watering the flowers. I can see hours of entertainment watching it shrink up in my future. It is the little things... Like I said, it was just a plain old relaxing weekend. There are times I just love my yard. (The little neighbor kids were gone for the weekend, so it was nice and quiet.) This morning there were bunnies to watch and young squirrels playing. The birds at the bird feeder always entertain me. The fireflies are out in force at night. The dragonflies are numerous, sucking up mosquitoes for a late night snacks. It was the sort of weekend that leaves one feeling quite content - and even though I can't believe it is the last day of June, it wasn't a bad way to end the month.

top of pageJuly 2, 2013 - It is raining a nice steady rain. The pitter patter of raindrops could lull me back to sleep with no hesitation if I didn't know I had to work today. Still, it is tempting to just call in and curl up and dream, is it not? I guess it is 'not' since I like the paycheck so much. Yawn.

Yesterday at work - OH MY! There had to have been a chemical in the air inducing 'duh' throughout the plant. At one point I asked my coworker if I looked like I was having a stroke because nothing made sense yesterday morning. Later I saw Sue who said, "I don't know what is wrong with me today. I feel so ... stupid! I have to read everything three times before it makes any sense!" The stupid wave was everywhere yesterday. When someone called the help desk for support, it ended up being like two apes beating their chests over a monolith. Sigh. The stupid wave eventually passed, but I would LOVE to know what caused it. (Maybe it was a secret experiment by the government who dusted stupid dust over my town. Or aliens - it could always be aliens. Or, we are all just players in someones video game and the battery was low. Half a dozen of one...) I am so looking forward to some time off over the 4th of July long weekend. I have no plans and for some reason that pleases me. I just want to BBQ on the grill and run around without my bra on and NOT be at work and just relax.

My Aunt Trudy read about my new cool yard hose and wrote to tell me about how another Aunt had gotten one and it melted in the hot weather. Hahaha. I can see where they would do that. I will have to put my lightweight super flex hose in the shed when not in use. So far we've been lucky with 'hot weather' - not having any that is. I hear tell maybe the 90s by the weekend. Me and my hose will be in the shade.

I think back to how excited I used to get this time of year for the Battle Creek Balloon Festival. I love hot air balloons, but the best part was the air show which always featured the Thunderbirds. Since the Government can't make up its mind on how to ruin the country and all, they cut out the flying teams at airshows. Cost too much (yes, I can see where it does) to have a bunch of F-16s flying around humoring people on the ground. Sigh. However, I adored them and miss them. Nothing quite as thrilling as a Thunderbird flying directly over you head when you least expect it. (I can say that because I've only seen them during air shows. I think probably seeing an F-16 over my head in war time would not be as pleasant.)

I had big plans last night. I got a box of goodies from Antoinette's Bath House and was just chomping at the bit to play in the bath tub. That was my goal after the evening chores were done. Then about 6:39 p.m. we heard a loud POP down the road and the power went off. BAM. My first thought was, "Awwwww, poor squirrel!" and then I thought, "Crap, there goes my bath play time!" 

I called the power company and reported it. The nice lady said they were starting to get more calls from our area. So, we packed the dogs up in the car and went for a ride. (Ask my back windows how that went. It will take a week to get all the dog drool off the glass.) I was pretty sure it was just our street that was out of power. Everyone else seemed to be fine. We blew a fuse? Do power poles have fuses? Nonetheless, we took the doggies for a jaunt, then came home and put them in the house. I was restless. We took the doggies outside to brush them. This amused us for quite some time. How can short haired dogs be so hairy? There was a tornado of dog hair as we brushed. Finally, I made my husband get back in the car and we went for another ride and ended up getting a dipped cone. Finally I said, "Do we have gas for the generator? I could be on line right now working!!" We came home and he checked it and fired up the generator so I could amuse myself on line. Ron came over to say the power company told him it would be on by 10 p.m.

By 10:15 my husband and I were sleeping in our chairs. We heard a rumble. "Power truck..." my husband woke up enough to mumble. Sure enough, not too long after that the power was back on. Just from the sound of the rumble, I knew it was the power truck as well. I was kind of amazed at how we just knew what it was - sort of an evolutionary kind of thing in our genes. A human in the country in this day and age just KNOWS the sound of the repair truck from the power company. A welcome sound I must say.

July 5, 2013 - It is only Friday night. It feels (to me) like a Sunday night. I was quite upset when my husband didn't go out this morning to get the newspaper. (We only get the Sunday paper... I was mad at him for nothing.) I am GLAD it is NOT Sunday night. I will take the extra two days off!! It feels good to have four days off in a row.

Let's see, what can I tell you to dazzle your brains out about the last two days because you all know I live life on the edge and you WISH your life could be as exciting as mine...

Thursday  - My husband and I mowed and trimmed the whole yard. This didn't take place for a long time since the yard was so wet, so while we waited for the sun to do its job we went to Lowe's and I got two hanging planters to replace two dying ones I have and my husband got new blades for the lawn mower. He switched the blades and did maintenance on the lawn mower while I made an executive decision to take a nap.

We took turns mowing when I woke up. In the evening, we sauntered of towards Battle Creek to see the balloon launch. We reminisced about going to the Battle Creek Air Show when the kids were little. Back then it was an International Balloon Competition and there were a hundred plus balloons and the air show had the Thunderbirds and the fireworks were by Grucci. Ah, now those were the days. Friday night I think we counted 22 balloons. Sigh. Plus due to the sequester and our marvelous government, the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels are grounded this year. They were supposed to be in Battle Creek this week - but NOPE. We drove back after seeing the twenty balloons lamenting the fact there were so few, and continued our trip down memory lane going back as far as the Kalamazoo Air Show. That is what got us hooked on air shows to begin with. My husband said, "The wee one really liked Truckasaurus!" and I reminded him that the wee one was not born yet when the Kalamazoo Air Shows took place. "It was our oldest, dear." We were quiet for a while. "Man, time just goes so fricken fast..." my husband said. "Yeah, everything kind of smashes together in your head, doesn't it?" "Oh, man - yeah."

When we got home we watched "A Capital Fourth" on PBS. I insisted we watch, since Barry Manilow was on and all. (Even at 70 years old, he is STILL Barry Manilow and I adored his music and I memorized each and every song from his first three albums.) Neil Diamond was on too and "rocked" considering he's 72. (This gives me hope on aging, really.) The show over all wasn't bad, except they TALKED DURING MY STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER! You don't talk during my Stars and Stripes. Sigh. At least they ended the show with that song and I got to hear it sort of. The fireworks were pretty cool, too.

Earlier in the evening my husband and I made the grand decision to have a cup of coffee before the PBS show. Duh. We were up until almost midnight. (LATE for us!) When we finally started to drift off to sleep we where shocked awake by very loud fireworks out back at a neighbor's house. BAM! We mumbled several swear words about the fireworks and cursed the neighbors. (However, it wasn't that long ago I recall WE were the neighbors with the loud fireworks... Paybacks are Hell!)

This morning I dragged my husband to Denny's since I wanted to try the "apple pie french toast" I saw advertised. Breakfast was OK, but I had more fun watching the people there. A family was sitting behind us and the little girls were full of energy. At one point, when there was that odd quiet lull that happens from time to time in any establishment, one of the littler girls said loudly, "Daddy's farts smell!" It was quickly followed by two parents making the SHHHHHHHH sound.  I almost choked on my french toast laughing. "Out of the mouth of babes..." I muttered between giggles. I saw those girls again in the bathroom. They went in to wash their hands and faces. As I sat there peeing I heard them giggling like heathens. They found out that if you pulled out a paper towel, the paper towel holder would automatically shoot out another one. So there I sat listening to towels being pulled off, tons of giggles, more towels being pulled out, more giggles. When I got out to wash my hands, the big sister was watching her little sister wash her face off, and the little girl would then throw the used towel in to a hole in the counter top (which was just an open hole and the towel would fall to the floor.) The sister wanted to laugh but she held her mouth and would pick up the towel on the floor and tell her little sister to throw it away, and back in the hole it would go, back on the floor. This went on for a while before the little girl figured it out. Then the big sister laughed hysterically. Ah, youth. Does a body good.

When we got back I cleaned out my car and washed the floor mats and cleaned the dog slobber off the windows. Laundry was done. Birdies were fed. I dug out some morning glories that were growing like mad in the middle of the dog pen who were barely being missed by flying urine and feces and where still thriving, and put them in their own special pot. This evening we went to get my Mother in Law and took her out to supper. All in all, a productive day.

Tonight we were sitting in the living room when Ryan, a family friend, came to the door. He had found a phone on the corner half way between his parents house and our house. He said he checked the contact list, and there were a lot of us in there (my family's names, that is.) My wee one's name was the first one on the list. He saw my daughter's name and texted her. My daughter told him it was Terri's phone (our hair dresser) and to take it to our house and we'd get it to her. I was amazed. What are the chances someone would find a phone near a busy intersection and would know the people in said phone? Pretty cool. I ran the phone in to Terri. It really is a small world after all...

July 9, 2013 - Over the weekend I was in hot pursuit of the 'monkey bird' we saw on Friday in our dying spiral willow tree. I was outside when a large bird landed at the top of the tree and started making monkey noises. My husband was outside too, and saw the bird. He saw a red stripe on the head. I saw white on the underside of the wings. (I thought it looked like two big circles of white, but I was looking at the thing through many branches.) The noises it made were very tropical in nature. "What the hell is that?!" I asked. "Don't know, sounds like a monkey..." my husband replied. We hear these birds all the time but never got a personal concert from above like this time. It was not gigantic, but it was large. I came inside and searched the internet for this phrase  - "michigan birds that sound like a monkey" - and found several pages where people were asking the same question. I never knew so many birds sounded like monkeys. Then I just looked up 'Michigan Birds' in general. It was bigger than your standard bird feeder bird type so I looked at all of those birds, but I was not satisfied in my search. I gave up. I did spend the rest of the weekend with my binoculars hanging from my neck every time I went outside. "Oh elusive monkey bird, I shall see you again!" I proclaimed. Well, I didn't.

On Monday at work I was telling Mike the cost accountant about it. He said, "I bet it was a pileated woodpecker." So we looked it up and sure enough, my monkey bird was a pileated woodpecker. I've seen them a lot around here, but never associated that monkey sound to them. It is more of a 'wook wook' sound. Now the mystery is solved and I can sleep at night. Except for last night...

Last night the power decided to go out at 10 p.m. No big deal except for the fact it was so humid and hot and with no fans it was impossible to sleep. My husband and I came out in to the living room and I reported the outage to the call in line at the power company. "We cannot answer your phone call at this time due to the large volume of calls we are receiving from your area..." We decided to take a trip around the block to see who was without power. Last time it was just our street, so we wanted to see who else was sweating their fat off like us. I do not understand who is connected to which power company nor how it is laid out, so the pattern of the outage last night was just plain odd to me. It looked like our street and everyone to the South and then West was without power. At least the breeze in the car window felt good. We came home and tried to sleep in our lazy boy chairs. (I suggested my husband start the generator but he did not go out to do it. I was not going to push it. We are, after all, adults and having the power out should NOT be a big deal, right?)

Jake the dog decided to chew on a rawhide bone he found under the couch. Our house is VERY tiny, so the amplified sounds of Jake gnawing on that bone was very annoying. (Although Jake's random belches were funny. I had quite the giggle fit when he belched and farted at the same time. Gas, ever the humorous, entertaining function of the body.) It because a waiting game to see who would get up first to take the bone away from Jake. I won, my husband finally got up and put the bone up. Then the tree frogs were singing and it sounded like they had a bull horn right into our screen door. Kia started licking herself and Jake decided it was time to trim his nails, so the chewing and gnawing and crunching sounds increased. Needless to say there was not a lot of sleeping going on. I finally went in to bed, stripped down, and just relaxed there. At least there was SOME cooler air coming in the bedroom windows. I tried to sleep, but I couldn't. Soon husband was snoring in his chair in the living room and the dogs brought the lick fest in to the bedroom. Sigh. I tried to picture how people slept on the prairie during pioneer days or how Indians slept or people in the African desert slept. They wouldn't have power and a fan going. I thought to myself it MUST be in my genes somewhere to just sleep when it is time to sleep without the aid of a fan, right? I tried to channel that genetic material but failed miserably.

The power came back on around 1:30 a.m., so FINALLY I went to sleep after the fan came back on. Viva electricity and white noise.

I just went out to feed the birdies and the crows and black birds have totally unscrewed all the feeder posts there are on that feeder. So now NO ONE can enjoy the seed. Duh. I found one and screwed it back in, but that will be unscrewed by the end of the day. I will have to stop and get a new feeder with build in perches. This is why we can't have anything nice. Last year the raccoons ran off with my new feeder with proper perches and I never did find that thing...

It is a mass of fog out there. I can say with confidence that it is 100% humidity right now and I could possibly swim to work. Since I don't know how to swim, I will drive, but the option to swim is there...

July 11, 2013 - I tried to take an evening picture of fireflies for my daughter in Chicago because I'm convinced that Chicago wouldn't have fireflies and she would be missing them, and all I got was this picture of one firefly on a long exposure. As you can see, I was shaky. It looks like a flying yellow sperm. The mosquitoes were so bad last night (and lately in general) that there was NO WAY I was standing outside any longer. (Normally mosquitoes won't bite me. My blood is the last resort of any mosquito. If there were ten mosquitoes and ten people, me being one of them, there would be nine people with skeeter bites and one of them would have two bites, but I would be bite free.) Lately, though - they take aim and attack and don't care if it's Sandy Blood or not. They prefer my elbows. I was SO HAPPY to see the bats on full patrol this morning. Bless you, my bats. There was also dragonfly last night that was stuck bouncing against the house like a wind up toy, so I helped him get around the house - if you eat mosquitoes, you will be treated kindly in these parts...  (Now that I've talked about mosquitoes I itch all over! The mind is a powerful thing. The other day at work we were talking about ticks and then we all itched all afternoon.)

We got in two presses at work, and they are a nice 'heart attack' green. VERY green. Our presses at work tend to be a nice blue or cream color, now we have this shocking green. It made me laugh after I got done gaping with my mouth hanging open staring at it. Great, now we'll need new curtains...
July 12, 2013 - Taffy the Cat always announces LOUDLY when he's going to share a fur ball with the family. He emits a guttural yowl as if an elephant is stepping on him, and then he lets loose. Today I heard the familiar 'Fur Ball Alert Signal' and waited. I couldn't quite tell where he was. Turns out he was on my freshly made bed. Left me quite a lovely present, he did. Sigh. I cleaned it up like a good 'Mom' would, but I thought to myself that it doesn't matter if you have children or not, if you have pets - YOU HAVE CHILDREN!

Muffy the Cat (may he rest in kitty peace) used to leave fur balls in the shape of letters. I always wondered if we'd wake up one day to find REDRUM spelled out on the living room floor. Hahaha. Mainly Muffy was good at hwarfing up S's and L's. Taffy, on the other hand, likes to do interpretive hwarfing and this morning it was a reenactment of "THE TAR PITS OF LA BREA..."

Seriously, the mosquito thing is bothering me. I just almost knocked over my monitor trying to kill one. I missed. She is off to the side somewhere waiting until I forget she is there. Stalking me... Waiting. Normally I say, "They are serving a purpose so quit whining - they feed bats and birds and dragonflies" when my husband complains about mosquitoes, but that was because they never LIKED MY DAMNED BLOOD. Now that I'm a target of their affection I feel I must complain like a good American should. It is always so easy to complain and/or proclaim anything, I realized just now. I have heard myself say, "I would never do that!" then I end up doing "that" or "I'm never going back there!" and I return "there" - so it has been always so easy for me to say, "Mosquitoes don't like my blood" when in fact they were just waiting to suck me dry, throw my body in the trunk of a car and toss it in the nearest swamp... Humans, go figure.

July 15, 2013 - When I woke up this morning I was a bit dazed. (No comments from the peanut gallery.) I stared at the wall calendar for quite some time. I saw that today should be Monday, and I knew in one tiny cell of my brain it WAS Monday, but it didn't feel like Monday. It didn't feel like any day at all. I am not sure what I was dreaming, but it left me in a state where I was removed from time and space. I looked at my husband and asked, "What day is it?" and he laughed and said, "Monday, honey, and before you ask, you are at home and you are staring at a calendar..."  It took a good 15 minutes before my brain came back to me in the sense that I knew what day it was and such. Wow, weird moment.

I kind of know why I was 'thrown off' on the date - Earlier in the week my sister and I had talked about going to clean for Aunt Jean on Saturday, but then since I had not heard from my sister the last few days prior to Saturday, I called her at eight a.m. on Saturday and left her a voice mail, "Since I haven't heard from you, I will assume we are not cleaning today? So I'm going to the grocery store instead." When I got back from shopping, there was a voice mail from my sister, "Um...was I supposed to call you? I thought we were set on the time?" When I called her back we had a good laugh at the fact we were BOTH confused over things. We made a pact that next time we plan on going to Aunt Jean's to clean, we will verify this fact with words that contain the word 'firm' - such as FIRM and CONFIRM. That way we'll know. We decided to go over and clean on
OOPSSunday instead, so by cleaning on Sunday morning my Sunday felt weird and that is why I spent ten minutes looking at the calendar this morning for guidance. (Any excuse in a storm, I always say.)

This morning I see that South Korea is upset by a broadcast of a San Fransisco news station that reported the "names" of the pilots involved in that plan crash. Thanks to mass media and instant sharing, there is no way they could ever cover this up and I am wondering why the lady reading the news did not 'see' or 'hear' what she was reading!! Oh, my. It would have been almost funny if it was not 'too soon' as they say after the crash. (OK, it WAS funny even though it was too soon - the "Band Ding Ow" was my favorite.) If I was the reporter that read this news story, afterwards I would have called in sick for a week then died my hair and grown a mustache before I came back to work. There has to be some sort of 'panic' button under the desk of a news reporter so when they find they are reading a bogus story or something, they can press that button and the screen goes blank with the message "we are experiencing technical difficulties." I read that the NTSB confirmed one of their summer interns gave these "names" to the news station, but COME ON - there IS such a thing as phonics!!

I watered my neighbors flowers for them on Saturday morning after groceries. I bought myself one of those 'Off' fans that you clip on to your clothes to keep mosquitoes away. It worked pretty well while I was out in the sun and such, but when I got around to the sides of their yard where it is shady you could just hear and feel the void left in the air by the six million mosquitoes that flew in to have breakfast on my exposed body parts.

PosseMy legs looked like I was wearing leather chaps, there were so many skeeters covering my legs. I am not going back there without a good dose of harmful chemicals from Deep Woods Off. It was just as bad in my yard when I watered my flowers. Yikes. I even felt bad for the little neighbor boys that were doing a version of Irish Jig dancing because they were hitting and smacking the mosquitoes that were attacking them in their yard while they were playing.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, after I was done watering and when I went to roll up the hose, one of the weak spots in the hose decided to spit and spray. I came home and got my rainbow colored duct tape and did hose surgery. I wrote to them via an email to report the hose hemorrhage in case they read their mail whilst they are gone. I think the rainbow duct tape is pretty, but that is my opinion only. There are several other aneurysms in their hose, so I will have to keep the duct tape handy. I am out of the rainbow stuff however...

It cracked me up that the dragonflies were EVERYWHERE this weekend and when I was watering there would be a circle of them around me. Watering makes the skeeters fly up and out and the dragonflies ATE WITH GUSTO. I felt kind of special having my own posse of dragonflies and wish I could tip them or something to show my appreciation for services rendered. This little one followed me back to the house...

July 17, 2013 - I have come to the conclusion the last few days that if you wear a summer nightgown outside in the wee hours of the morning or evening, the mosquitoes
inherently  know this is a grand form of secret transportation in to a dwelling. They are smart and hitch rides under it as it were. I am smuggling mosquitoes in to my house across the border... I am a mosquito coyote.

My rainbow duct tape seal on the neighbor's hose seems to be working. There is, of course, nothing duct tape cannot do. The dogs know when I come back from watering those flowers that there should, by all rights, be a Sophie the Dog in tow. They can tell I was in Sophie's yard!

Last night my husband and I had our last appointment with the hair dresser we've had for YEARS. Terri is giving up evening and weekend hair cuts and such, because she already works full time at a hair school during the day, and the amount of hours she was putting in was just too much. Just like having a favorite family doctor, having a favorite hair dresser is a grand thing and a prized possession. Our hairs will miss her, but she will forever be our friend.

The heat is still oppressive for Michigan, but after last year's heat wave that lasted a month plus I am not going to complain now!! Considering what Texas and all the Western states are dealing with, technically our weather is a winter walk in the park. When 'younger' people complain about the heat lately, I do my old woman duties and insist they stay hydrated. "Not pop, either! Water!" This way if they pass out from dehydration I can flippantly say, "Well, I told you, didn't I?" as I poke them with a stick...

The animals have been acting weird. Taffy will get up and walk all over my keyboards when I'm at the computer insisting I play with him or at least devote my entire attention to him. Kia won't eat and I'm ready to force feed her. The only 'normal' one in the house is Jake, actually. Jake is still, well, "Jake" who is a big slobbering sweetie. We've spent minutes analyzing Kia - and have come up with several theories, which I am sure are incorrect and the furthest from the issue. As long as she is pooping, peeing, and having a cold nose, I'm sure she is fine. Kia is just being difficult.

July 22, 2013 - Last night it RAINED HARD. I even thought the window air conditioner was on because I heard a deep and loud droning sound - which turned out to be rain. I am thankful for the rain and the cooler air it brought in. This was not the case on Friday night, when there were storms to our north and south and the power went out at 11:30 p.m., but we were not touched by the winds that uprooted trees all over the place. It was hot in the house so little sleep was had Friday night.

My husband went out and started the generator at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, and I told him we are NEVER EVER (as long as there is fossil fuel,that is and we have money for said fuel) going to just sit there when the power goes out again without starting up the generator. Friday night would have been much better with the ability to use one fan. "Does the generator need gas?" I asked him. "No, I topped it off last time get got gas in the can!" he proclaimed. Six minutes after he drove off to work Saturday morning, the generator died from lack of gas. I cursed him a wee bit under my breath. The need for a pot of coffee was strong, so I drove in and filled the gas can. (This incident was reviewed later when he got home, and he said, "Oh, yeah - it was the mower I topped off...")

With the generator happy with some fuel and nothing else in the house I could really do, I decided to mow. I mowed the whole yard. That entertained me until around 1:30 p.m. I was sweaty and stinky and I wanted a shower. We had bottled jugs of water (because when you live in the country and have well water, you always have jugs of water JUST IN CASE) so I washed up a bit in a bowl of water. My husband came home and told me "the corn man" was on the corner, so bra-less and sweat soaked I jumped in the car and ran down and got a dozen ears while he did some maintenance on the generator which was sputtering a bit. We had hamburger helper with lean turkey and corn on the cob. Oh My Gosh, the corn was SO GOOD. This was at 3:30 or so in the afternoon. At that point after dinner not only am I dirty, sweaty, and stinky - I'm also covered with corn since I ate the ears with such gusto. Then the phone rang. It was our daughter who was coming home for a surprise visit. "There's no power!" I said, "You can't stay here, or you will melt!" (The only other bed is upstairs and it was so hot up there, plus the dogs use that bed as their own and there was no way to sweep up the six inches of dog hair and raw hide remnants.) When they arrived, it turned out that 'son-in-law' went to his parents house to go to dinner with them and our daughter stayed with us. She slept on the couch. There was much joy when the power came back on around 7:30 p.m. Initial celebrations included showers and getting laundry started.

Sunday my husband had to work again, but my oldest took the rest of the family herd out to breakfast. It was a hoot. I love to sit back and listen to the kids interact. Breakfast was delicious. We came back to the house and yapped for a while until we all decided it was nap time. Sunday night my husband and daughter went to supper and then my daughter got us ice cream on the way home. That was fun. Around 8:30 or so, when dark clouds hung in the west, she went to get her man and drive back home. (Per her email they arrived safely.)

All in all a good weekend. Viva electricity.

July 25, 2013 -
There were several lay offs at work this week. They decided to save some money apparently. I felt numb this time around. I have seen it happen so many times over the last 34 years... They called a meeting yesterday morning to tell us that the lay offs were DONE and not run in panic when we saw the HR lady anymore. I was not pleased with the body language of the general manager and the controller, however - they were hiding something or nervous about something, so we shall see.

The last two days have been so cool (weather wise) and I adore it! It was cold enough in the bedroom to have the comforter on, which is an oddity in my house during the summer. My daughter called the other night and said it felt chilly while she was walking home in Chicago. We take the break from the heat, Oh Summer, and thank you. Even the flowers and birds seem to be happy, but that could just be me projecting my emotions on critters and plants (which is often the case in my mind.)

Last night I got a lecture from a woodpecker! Really. I put bird food in the feeder, but I did not refill the suet. There in the tree was a red-bellied woodpecker who had come down when he saw me coming and when he saw I did not fill the suet feeder he started yelling at me. Hahaha. I ran in the house and got suet. I will know better next time. I've never head such verbal abuse for lack of fat in my life. It made me laugh.

We took the dogs to the vets for their heart worm check and to get their medicine. I have been in a panic all summer since we've waited so long. They checked out fine and got a clean bill of health from the vet (except Jake needs his teeth cleaned, and the man vet said Kia did not which I find funny because the female vet last year said the opposite...) They could NOT get a blood sample from Jake. Twice we tried and eventually even had to get a muzzle. Then the vet decided since Jake does not like his legs or feet touched, he would try the neck area. That worked well. Jake doesn't care what you do to his neck, he just wants you to stay the hell away from his feet! Kia LOVES the vet because they have the freeze dried liver treats in the rooms and that is the first place she goes to. (Last year when they were in the office we left the canister of treats on the floor while we were wrestling with Jake and Kia ate the whole thing!!) Since the vet visit Jake has been following us around like a puppy (<-for some reason that made me laugh) and last night he wouldn't even follow his sister upstairs for "bed" - he just stood at the base of the stairs and stared up. We even got out of bed finally because we wondered if there was someone at the top of the stairs with a machete waiting for to kill us, but there was not. I looked up the side effects of Advantix heart worm medicine and acting stupid isn't one of them so I'm not sure what is up with Jake...

July 27, 2013 - Kia woke me up this morning by crying loudly into my right ear. It was six a.m. Had she not be the 'waker upper' my bladder was close behind. I let her out to go and I went in and went. Good Morning Saturday!

Glad!My husband is working this morning, so I have had the house to myself. I had every intention of going back to bed, mind you - but so much needs to be done. (Nothing important, of course, but little things like the trail of Balloon Flowerskitty litter from the box needs attention, etc.) I have opted not to go back to bed after all and I've sipped coffee, did a chore, sipped coffee, did another chore... And so it goes this lovely Saturday morning. It has been nice and cool outside and I LOVE IT. It could stay this temperature year round. Perfect. No humidity per say either. My gladiolus are starting to bloom, too. I love gladiolus!! The bulbs I have come back every year - you don't have to dig them up and store them for winter and they seem to be propagating under the soil on their own. Any plant that requires absolutely no work on my part is alright by me since I tend to kill plants if left to my own devices. The Balloon Flowers (Chinese Bellflowers) are going to town as well. The glads and the balloon flowers came from fundraisers from kids and I appreciate the flower fundraisers. That is how I got my massive kingdom of Four-O-Clocks as well. (The Four-O-Clocks that came up from their own seed are already blooming, too.) I trimmed up my hanging planters of petunias this morning. I hope they kick back and in and thrive 'til the end of summer now. I dragged my daughter along with me when I watered last time she was home because you can bring up good points about life when tending to plants. My wee one also got the plant overview of life when he babysat our house last year when we went on vacation. The only one missing the 'plant' tour is the oldest. I will have to work on that, since the flowers I planted for him when he moved in to his house several years ago immediately committed plant suicide since they couldn't very well uproot and run screaming...

The neighbor to my south asked her niece to move out I believe, as it has been quiet on the southern front as of late. No wee ones shaking the dog pen back and forth yelling at the dogs or running in to my hose when I water the flowers. I see this morning they've brought a UHaul truck to get their stuff. I am sorry if there were disagreements within a family but I will admit I am happy the little kids are gone. See, I am an old codger!! Sigh. Twenty five years ago I would have welcomed little ones running around the yard to play with my little ones. Now I've become Maxine incarnate. YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN. That must be a genetic kink in some genome in all of us? Getting set in my ways, I am. All I need now is a motorized scooter and a big stick to bonk people with as I zoom by.

I just loaded the bedding in to the washer. They are my favorite set sheets, and instead of making the bed up with the other set I will gladly wait for these to be nice and fresh again. Odd how we as humans get in to grooves in our lives. We want/like/prefer various things over others and go above and beyond in various circumstances to keep what we want/like/prefer just as it is. (See previous paragraph.)

When my husband comes home, we are off to the grocery store. Who needs romance when you can shop with coupons I ask you? I HAVE COUPONS, GET OUT OF MY WAY!! I started a grocery list on Monday but I'm sure I'm forgetting EVERYTHING I really want or need. Sigh. When we get home AND if it is not raining by then, I will re-pot two spider plants that are no doubt root bound, the poor boogers. I think I'll give a spider plant to my Aunt Jean for her house and save the others for my daughter's friend who wants a spider plant. Another plant that is Sandy Proof. Bless them one and all!

Since I started blogging this post, I've also swept and mopped the kitchen floor. I only was going to sweep it, but I spilled creamer and then it ended up mopping the whole floor. Accidents are perhaps not 'accidents' after all - the floor needed cleaning badly. My subconscious mind no doubt tipped the creamer over.

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August 2, 2013 - At 4:45 this morning it was clear as a bell outside and I stared at the stars for a long time (until my neck got stiff from looking up). I saw several 'falling stars' and could see Pleiades to the east which means my favorite star herd is on the way for Fall. There wasn't one mosquito, either, or at least none interested in my blood. A wonderful way to start any day, I say. (Aye?!) I just went back out at 5:52 and the clouds are already covering up the sky. We are due for some rain later per the nice weather lady on the T.V.

My neighbors Sue and Ron brought us blueberries so on Wednesday night I made blueberry muffins. Yum. I took a couple muffins to my Aunt Jean yesterday at lunch time. I also took her a spider plant that was a direct descendent of a spider plant I got from her years ago. Full circle plant love, I say. I have enough blueberries left over for blueberry pancakes. Eat seasonally, I say. The sweet corn we've gotten from the corn man on the corner has been WONDERFUL as well. I have been trying hard to chew it well so my colon doesn't write me hate mail. I was bound and determined that 2013 would be the year that I NEVER said after my morning coffee induced crap, "Oh, yeah - we had corn last night..."

The dogs have been in quite a high state of alert this morning and I'm not sure why. They will pace a bit, bite on each other, pace some more, growl, and stare at me from time to time. Right now they are standing and staring at me. Thoughts run through my head when they do that. Are they trying to say, "What is wrong with you lady, don't you know there is a dead body upstairs?!!!" or "You know that squirrel out back is packin', right? Let me go get him for you!" or "Please let us out, the Mother Ship is coming to get us!" Sigh. Dogs. I adore my puppies. The vet said that they are eight years old now! Cripes. When did that happen? OK, I checked my blog archive, and sure enough - we got them in June of 2005. Ah, I can remember when they could fit under the couch... Sunrise, Sunset. Speaking of critters... The other morning when I woke up and walked out of the bedroom in to the kitchen, I stepped on things that felt squishy. I thought they were the wayward escapee blueberries from my muffin making extravaganza at first. Then I finally woke up to realize they were individual hair balls from Taffy the Cat. Ah, the gifts of love from the pets. I cleaned them up and thought to myself, "I would have much rather have had a dead mouse, to be quite honest..." The rest of the day I would catch myself singing, "I'm walkin' on hair balls, Ooooo Oooo...."  Oh, and there were three sandhill cranes in my back yard and I was just thrilled. They have not been in the yard all summer. I hope this becomes a trend again. I miss my cranes.

My daughter is coming home this weekend to run in a 5K color run (where the runners dress in white then crowd apparently bombards them with blobs of colorful paint) so we will get to see her sometime this weekend. She is done with summer classes and has a break for a few weeks before her final year of doctorate classes, then after that the dissertation classes begin. Yikes. Poor kid. Her brain must hurt, I'm pretty sure.

Well, I'm off to conquer Friday. Happy August to all.

August 3, 2013 -  It is official - I'm the World's Worst Mom!!

I locked my daughter out of the house last night!!  DUH. My daughter and soninlaw were due in from Chi town last night, and they were stopping here for a pit stop and to leave her car here before heading up to Grand Rapids where the Color Run is happening. When I went to bed, I was so proud of myself that I remembered to turn on the porch light... but I did not, in fact, unlock the SCREEN DOOR. (The kids all have keys to the house so I wasn't worried she couldn't get in after I went to bed, but they don't have KEYS to the SCREEN door!) Oh my!!  When I woke up this morning I thought it was strange that the dogs didn't wake us up when they got here! My husband discovered my mistake when he left for work. "Um, wonder woman - the screen door is locked!" I feel so horrible about that. I found out this morning via Facebook message she had to pee in the yard! (Humorous, but I still feel horrible.)

I came home from work last night with big plans in my head and feeling full of life and all, but due to circumstances beyond my control they were squashed like a fur ball on the kitchen floor. Then I was sadder than the saddest I've been in a while. I looked at my husband and told him, "I am having a very sad spell. It is not you. Do not even think it involves you. I'm just SAD. I curse my gender and menopause or whatever causes women to have such spikes in emotions." He seemed ever so relieved it was not HIM and perked right up. I sat and drank a few beers while babbling like an idiot to my husband to work out my sadness. Maybe that is why I forgot the screen door lock? Ugh. I was in bed by 8:30 last night to sleep off my sadness.

I am not sad this morning, but last night the feeling was similar to a baseball bat upside the head. I HATE the fact that there are times as a human female you cannot control how you feel. (I've had many discussion with my brain, Brian, about this. Brian just shrugs his shoulders if in fact a brain had shoulders to shrug.) I am one of the lucky ones who realize when it is just a 'mood' or chemical spaz in the brain, but nonetheless, you feel SAD and DEVASTATED for no reason and you can't stop it. I refuse to blame anyone but myself for last night and I thank my husband for letting me verbally work it out all over him. He even brushed my hair before I went to bed to help me calm down.

The dogs just noticed my daughter's car out front, and are now on high alert looking for her. Hahahahaha. Their noses are high in the air and they are running around outside in search of a clue as to where she went. Kia is more concerned about Pat as opposed to my daughter. Kia adores her Pat. I think Kia is in love with Pat. There is something about Patrick that Kia adores... Jake is just happy to see her car because that means there will be other humans in the house to pet him. Alas, they are 60 miles away getting pelted with paint...

Now I'm off to do chores like a good woman should on this fine Saturday morning. Have the best weekend ever!

Yay!August 4, 2013 - My day was made when my husband was getting ready to leave for work and I heard Sandhill Cranes giving him a lecture on his motorcycle!!  They were in Cranes!the backyard at that point... They read him the riot act loud and clear.

He walked back up to the house to tell me and we nearly hit head on when I was running out to snap a picture. Then I waited like a child waiting for their parents to wake up Christmas morning...and YES, they DID make it to the bird feeder!  YAY! I am ever so happy they are 'back' and visiting again. I miss my original couple we had for so many years but in my mind I like to think that this is one of their son's and his family. A girl can dream, right? I love my cranes.

Yesterday was a fun day. I dorked around the house for a while, doing little chores, then blogged about locking my daughter out of the house, and then did a few more chores. My wee one came over to sleep in between jobs, so I left him snuggled in bed and ran to the store. I saw the corn man on the corner so I have a dozen ears of corn waiting for me to improperly chew it. I got a few groceries and came back home and woke my wee one up for work.

Once we kicked him out, my husband and I went to Red Lobster to use the gift card Ron and Sue gave me for watering their flowers. I wish they wouldn't give me stuff for doing what a neighbor just DOES anyway, but hey - RED LOBSTER! We adore that place. We got there promptly when they opened, and it seems that is the 'old person hour' as many older people started to arrive. Our waiter was a dear and it felt like he was there ONLY for us. I had the Ultimate Feast and had a ball breaking up my crab legs. It is always my goal to get the meat out whole and in one piece. To me, that is heaven on Earth. Contented Sigh.

When we were done feeding our faces, we went out to the gladiolus farm south of town. They are blooming, and now is the time they offer bouquets out front. They are STUNNING. Lordy, they are lovely. My husband got a bunch for his Mom and his Sister, who just moved in to her new apartment next to Mom, and he got me two bunches. (Wise move on his part, I have priority - hahahaha) I put them in the back seat ever so carefully and talked to them and cooed over them. I adore gladiolus. I almost buckled them in, to be honest. We drove up to give them to Mom and Carol, but they were gone, so we delivered them later in the day.

My daughter ran in the Color Run in Grand Rapids and when I got the text that said, "I RAN THE WHOLE THING!" I was so happy for her. (If I attempted to run, I would make it as far as my front door and drop dead and 911 would have to be called and funeral arrangements made...) I think she had a good time! I believe she is still stained up pretty good, however. I told her to tell people Pat beat her... You know, just for fun...
Color Run!More Color!
I get angry at mass media's use of cameras everywhere for the most part, but times like this (above) when you can snap real time photos of cool things - that I like!

I did the stupidest thing EVER last night... (OK, that is a flat out lie. In my lifetime, I've done some pretty stupid things. I am pretty sure at my funeral when people are discussing me the kids will find out HOW STUPID their Mom was over the years and they will be shocked, and it is HARD to shock my kids when it comes to me because they've seen a lot of crazy stuff with their old Mom, but I digress...) Anyway - I did not take my blood pressure medicine yesterday morning, so last night I thought to myself, "Heck, I'll take it now..."

Smooth move on my part - duh. I peed like a well hydrated race horse with six I.V.s stuck in its leg set at a high drip rate ALL NIGHT LONG! Cripes. I have NEVER made so many trips to the bathroom in my life. You should NOT take a drug that is a diuretic prior to sleeping, EVER. That will never happen again, trust me. My bladder felt quite raped this morning...

Guess it is time to go out and check on my flowers and water where needed. I'll leave on my cut off flower jammie bottoms and two million year old T-Shirt JUST to show the neighbor hood what sexy is all about... I will leave you with images from my flower beds. Enjoy.

Four O Clocks
                            blooming.My GladsMy
                            Morning Glories

August 5, 2013 - Last night there was such a ruckus outside around 7:30 p.m. I had to go out to see what was going on. There were lots of crows in one tree and lots of crows in the other. They would periodically fly off, circle each other, then land and holler back and forth in Crow-Speak. I clapped my hands and yelled at them. They flew to trees further back, but there was still a lot of crow rumbling going on. I stood outside watching them for a while. "Turf wars?" I asked myself out loud. I came in and updated my husband about the noise, but he was half asleep in his Lazy Boy chair. After a few minutes the Crow War Calls were getting closer again, so I went outside to yell again. That is when I discovered what the ruckus WAS about...

There was a dead crow in the back yard. I came in and told my husband. "Saw it when I took out garbage..." he muttered and dozed back off to sleep. I asked my husband to help me bag it up. "Don't even know if it's dead yet..." he mumbled and fell asleep again.

I sighed loudly and instead of kicking him in the testicles like I wanted to do, I just got rubber gloves, two garbage bags, and went out and bagged the poor thing myself. With Avian Flu out there and West Nile around here, you are supposed to pay attention to dead birds. After I bagged the poor dude up and tossed him in the garbage can, I cleaned my shovel off and came in an washed up well. I reported the dead crow on the site for Michigan where you can report dead birds (because dead crows just may be an indication of a West Nile outbreak) but after you complete the form you get sent to a page that says, "Due to lack of funds, crows will not be tested for West Nile Virus unless local governments have excess funding..."  Nonetheless, I did my part. If Michigan explodes from a massive West Nile Virus outbreak, don't point fingers at me.

After doing all of that, I felt like I REALLY needed to CLEAN something. I took the vacuum upstairs to clean the "dog's" bedroom. (They have moved in up there and claimed it as their own since the kids are no longer at home.) I thought cleaning something would make me feel better, but it made me feel DIRTIER because I've not swept up there in forever and I had to empty the vacuum several times due to dog hair. I dragged down anything that could be washed and shoved it in the washing machine. I sprayed the rooms down with Lysol. I put a clean sheet on the only remaining bed upstairs and brought down the old one. I am washing that and the other stuff now. (Actually, it went through the wash cycle once and I have started it over again to re-wash it all.) Ack. Ick. It reminds me of when people talk about ticks and you feel like ticks are on you the rest of the day after that.... I just felt DIRTY.

I will take a nice bath here in a bit once the washer is done doing its thing. (Water pressure in my house does not exist per say so I can't do both at once.) I will use one of my new bath bombs (called 'Orange You Glad I'm Naked') and I will feel better after that for sure. Then I will go to bed and no doubt dream something along the line of Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' or something...

August 7, 2013 - It is a muggy, foggy morning in these parts. We may get rain by the looks of the weather map. Apparently I have 25 minutes before we have a thunder storm so I had best get my butt in gear, yes? Can't go to work without a shower, no sir. Every morning when I wake up my hair looks like Marty Allen and Don King if they had a child together. (That is actually what it looks like all day long too, now that I ponder my hair...)

There is a bunny and a young squirrel eating under the bird feeder. I would say 'awwwwwwwww, how cute' but last time I thought something like that was cute a hawk came and snatched up the squirrel. I will just silently appreciate the view and not say anything.

August 11, 2013 - It has been a fun, productive weekend. I feel rested and happy. (And we all know that when Momma is happy, EVERYONE is happy!)

Friday night I drank possibly a few beers and made two cinnamon bun cakes. While I was baking, I had the radio up loud. When the cakes were done, my husband and I listed to Bad Company concerts we have on DVD. Ahhhh. I do so enjoy Paul Rodger's voice. I danced and sang and had a hoot.

Saturday my sister and I cleaned for my Aunt and Uncle. It was nice to see them. I took them half of a cinnamon bun cake. We cleaned and sweated and came home. I dropped off another half of a cinnamon bun cake to my neighbors and I gave another half to my sister. That only left us half a cake pan of cake which is GOOD. Never drink and bake. I mean it. You make TOO MUCH.

The rest of the day was spent chopping up some stuff for salsa and making pinwheels. We had a play date with our neighbors in the evening. I enjoyed myself very much. It feels good to be around other adults. I wanted Sue to see a meteors falling from the Perseid Meteor Shower, but clouds rolled in. It will be cloudy again tonight. The Perseid showers produce the most fireballs, too - and after seeing my first  fireball in 2011 I am chomping at the bit to see another one (as long as it is not the type that destroys the Earth and all). We had to borrowed Ron's flashlight to come home because in my infinite wisdom I forgot to bring one. (I covet Ron's flashlight. It is one of those cool, huge, heavy 'cop type' flashlights that can beam light up to the Space Station. I adore that thing. Kids - remember that come Christmas!!) From the light of the flashlight, we could see glowing eyes in the upstairs bedroom windows. The doggies were anxiously waiting our return. (Actually, it was kind of scary seeing those glowing eyeballs dancing around in the dark window, to be honest...)

Wee StinkyToday I mowed the lawn. It was in dire need. I did the push mowing first, and discovered a baby almost-teenager sized skunk in the back yard. I walked out towards it with the mower and it didn't even phase the booger. He was meandering across my lawn and into Denise's yard. I didn't pay any attention to it after that. I finished the push mowing and got on the rider. At one point I came up and around one of our sheds and I clipped that baby skunk! I swerved once I saw it, but I'm sure I got it. It hobbled away, falling ever so often, waddling some more, falling over, over and over again. Sigh. He headed to the neighbors directly to our north. I felt bad I hurt him. HE CAME OUT OF NOWHERE!!!  Taffy the Cat has been having a fit at night because something is just outside the bedroom windows so I wonder if this skunk wasn't the culprit, causing Taffy to freak out. Maybe I wounded him bad enough that he won't be back. Hopefully he wasn't from an evil skunk gang and there will be hell to pay now...

I just spent ten minutes watching three hummingbirds fight over the feeder. There are eight holes on that thing and it will always amaze me that they can't share the feeder. Nature - go figure. Why can't we all get along?!

August 13, 2013 - Wee Mr. Stinky that I clipped with the lawn mower has a friend. There was a larger skunk wandering around Denise's garage last night and then he waddled out to a mud puddle and drank a lot of water, then meandered over to her burn pile and crawled in. My husband got his BB gun out, but I said, "We CAN'T SHOOT in to another person's yard! Wait until he comes over here!!" Mr. Stinky the Second did not emerge from the burn pit that I could see, and I was on high skunk alert. Hmmmmmmmm. Wonder if he lives there? I know we (as humans) have invaded their land (critters) ((oh, and the poor Indians - don't get me going on that subject...)) so it should not shock me that there are skunks out and about. They are just trying to survive and to be honest, I wouldn't be shocked to wake up and find an arrow up my ass, either...

Ever so GladMy gladiolus from the back bed are just going to town. I got the original bulbs from my daughter's band fund raiser years ago. They claimed they were the type of glad bulb you never had to dig up. I have never dug them up because I read the instructions and I'm lazy. So for several years the few have grown in to the many. They must have an awesome tuber spread under ground. The first year they were all yellow. The next year we got a red. This year we've had yellow, variants of purple, red, and some awesome pinks! I wasn't going to pick any this year, but they fall over. When they fall over, I pick them. I am amazed they have survived and spread since the flower bed they are living in is infested with TONS of feeder roots from the old willow out back. I gave up trying to plant anything in that bed due to that mess of roots. Chopping through those things to plant is not my idea of fun. Apparently the glad bulbs are kicking butt and taking names underground. Kudos to them. Take that, willow tree...

My daughter will call when she is walking home from school or an appointment or the like. She called last night and updated me on life in the Big City. She is disappointed that the Thunderbirds will not be in the Chicago Air Show coming up this weekend. Big Jets - ah - that makes an air show. She was cussing out the government and the sequester and I said, "Yeah, how dare they not fund a project that might inspire three people a year to join the Air Force!" We laughed. But seriously, those jets - it does wonders for the moral of people (such as myself.) Show me a fighter jet in the air and I get all giddy. (Like I said before, though - it's great as long as they are not up there dropping bombs on your village...)

I got home before my husband yesterday and fed the dogs and did some potty business. (Coworker and friend, Judy - well, her daughter got married on Saturday and she brought in TONS of leftover food from the wedding reception. One of the pans was full of cups of bean dip. It was cute. Individual cups of bean dip called my name. I had taken the last of my salsa for lunch, so it was logical IN MY MIND to dump several cups of bean dip in in and swirl it around and eat it like bean dip soup. Who wouldn't, right? Well, all that bean dip took its toll on my lower intestines...but I digress...) Then my husband called. In the background I could hear a 'beep beep beep' that sounded like a clown horn on a clown car. His Nissan has such a horn. "We have a predicament..." he said in a disgusted voice. He had stopped to get gas and left his keys on the seat when he got out. Fortunately for him the windows were down. The doors locked when he got out and when he attempted to get in, the clown horn beeping started. Even with the keys with the security top on them did not stop the beeping. The car wouldn't let him start it. This is the first time this has happened to him. He was a bit embarrassed. One of the workers in the gas station came out and said she had a Nissan too, and to stop that you had to unlock the passenger door with the security key. They tried and the clown beeping went on. That is when he called me to ask me to bring in the attachment that should be on his key chain in the first place to see if that would work. (You know, that key bob thingy with the lock, trunk, and horn button in it...)

I said I would bring it right away and off I went. I grabbed the security bob thingy and was out the door and in town where he was in less that four minutes. I sped. (I don't normally speed. I'm a good girl. I drive the speed limit. In this case I felt extra speed was necessary, however.) I rolled down my windows and listened for the clown horn. Nothing. I pulled in to the gas station where he called from and HE WAS NOT THERE. Then my cell phone rang. I parked and answered it. "YOU MEAN YOU ARE HOME AND YOU DIDN'T CALL ME?!!?!" I said instead of the traditional 'hello' greeting. "I didn't have your cell number on my work phone!" he whined. I drove back home. I went the speed limit. Apparently the boy worked out the quirks on his car to shut off the panic beeps, and I had a nice drive about town before supper. Sigh.

We went out after supper to practice this so if it happens again, he will know for sure what to do. Every car has its quirks. He kindly reminded me about the time years ago he had to save me when I left my car running at the bank in winter, just taking my key bob to the ATM thinking I could keep the car running with the key in it if I had the security bob with me and all - but the car locked itself with the heat on full bore and PBS classical music playing LOUDLY and it did NOT allow me to unlock my doors with the button. He worked 30 miles away back then. I waited patiently while my car entertained the masses with lovely music. When I got in the car after he got there with his set of keys, the interior was so hot I couldn't touch the plastic... Ah, memories.

August 18, 2013 - I can't believe it is Sunday morning already. Time is just zooming by. Once you reach 50 and above, you start pullin' some Gs.

The melancholy of menopause has been taking its toll on my brain. Ugh. It is not so bad yet I need to run to the doctor and beg for drugs or hormones. Frankly, I am in full control of this situation (or is that the situation is in control of me? Very Twilight  Zone-ish if you ask me.) One day I'm mad, the next I'm sad. I feel bad for the control room in my brain. No doubt that crew feels out of control, too. "How do we stop this?!?!" I am pulling for my brain, I am. Go Grey Matter!  You can do this!

Friday I was ever so ready for the work week to be over. Twice during the week I had been told that 'office people have no clue' or 'you guys don't know what we go through on the floor...' This angers me and makes me sad to my core. I have been with that company my entire adult life. I have been on the floor and down on the front lines. I remember what it was like, and that was before robots and some of the automation we have now. The first time I heard this statement was from one of the girls I had working with me in shipping and receiving years ago. I adore this woman. I hand picked her from a press to work with me. For her to say that the people in the office don't have a clue just stabbed me in the heart. She knows I know, and I know how hard she has it herself (she is alone in Shipping and they need one or two more people in shipping to make it run smoothly, but they don't want to spend the money.) I had felt sad over that one all week. When a younger person said it at break time to some of us office peeps, that is when I lost it, however. I gave them a rant of my years on a press, and my 80+ hour weeks while raising kids on top of that with a husband that did not help, then taking care of my Mom on top of all of THAT and... well, they got an ear full to say the least. I think I ended my rant by saying, "We're all part of a team, and we all play a part in the big picture..." When I saw the shocked look on everyone's faces, I decided to end my tirade by saying, "It wasn't just good looks that got me where I am today but it didn't hurt..." That made the group laugh and it was more of the 'Sandy' they knew. But seriously, folks. I've been there. I've done that. Quit your whining. Some of us know more than you could possibly imagine and take statements like that personally because we've worked HARD and YOU don't know what it's like.

When I came home Friday I stopped and got a pizza so I could just come home and stay home and not think or cook or do anything. When I walked in the door my husband told me I had to follow him to his place of employment so he could drop off his car there and then in the morning I had to take him up to get his company truck from the repair shop. I just got quiet. I didn't want to go or do anything Friday night. I wanted to rip off my bra and just be home. I am sure he was aware of the aura emanating from me at that point. "I'll fill up your gas tank!" he threw in, to sweeten the deal.

The whole time my brain was having a discussion without my input -
"She has to do it, what if she needs him to take her somewhere someday?"
"He never does that kind of stuff for her, he always whines and he could have had a little more respect for her!" 
"Remind her how happy she is that HE IS, after all, WORKING!!"
"Just have her do it, the ride will do her good. Maybe she'll see a rabbit or something fluffy!"
"Who let that cell in?"
"Just get her behind the wheel and make sure she doesn't hit anything or kill anybody..."
Sigh. I was sad all the way down to where my husband works as he sped ahead and I followed behind doing the speed limit. Once he parked his car and got in mine, I decided to just suck it up. I asked questions about the buildings at his work place, and the city it is in, and the farms along the road. I pulled in to a gas station and I let him fill my tank. I took him up to show him where there had been an accident earlier in the week near our house. (A poor lady had a medical issue and had blacked out and ran in to a corn field on an east/west road and ended up going about a mile through that cornfield, plowing down the stalks as she went, and emerging on the north/south BUSY road on the other side. She shot across the road at the time of the morning where every one would be rushing to work and managed not to hit one car. She received minor injuries when she hit the trees on the other side going 50 miles an hour, but all in all, that was a LUCKY LADY.) I showed my husband where she entered and then showed him where she exited. I told him I would love to see the path of the corn cruise from above. I also said that if she didn't believe in a Higher Power before that incident, she had better believe NOW. Someone wanted her to survive, this is obvious.

So it wasn't too bad once I got off the pity pony my brain was riding on and I came home and slept well Friday night, that's for sure. Sleep cures a lot of issues, really it does. There is a reason we need to sleep. That is when your brain defrags the hard drive as it were.

Yesterday was a VERY productive day for me. I got ever so much done. I took my husband up to get the company truck after eating the breakfast he bought me and stopping and letting him fill the gas can for yard work. On the way home I stopped to get sweet corn from the Corn Man on the corner. I started push mowing right after arriving in my driveway. After trying to push mow under the pine trees and noticing the evil poke berry weeds that the neighbors have had taken over under the one pine tree, I decided it was time the tree got a trim. (My oldest son brought home a twig of a pine tree when he was five, and twenty seven years later it is a large Douglas Fir that was in dire need of a lower branch trimming.) I trimmed the tree up and hauled the branches to the burn pile and finished my push mowing. Then I moved the cars and mowed there. Then I mowed the front yard. It felt good to mow. I have always found that mowing is very therapeutic and carries much less jail time, let's say, than running over an actual person...  After mowing I did two loads of wash and put them away. We walked the dogs and brushed them. I brushed the cat. I am sure if anyone walked in to the house at that time, they would have also gotten de-furred.

Today I plan on shampooing this old living room carpet. It smells like wet dogs. If you shampoo the carpet, you have to move all the furniture to sweep first. This will keep me out of trouble all morning.

August 19, 2013 - So much for shampooing the carpets yesterday. I swept the area run then rolled it up. I moved all the furniture to one side of the living room and swept that carpet. I got my steam cleaner ready to clean and - nothing. It turned on, but the water pump was dead. I tried a few things. Still nothing. My husband walked in the door from work, saw the mess, then looked at the steam cleaner. Still, nothing. I suppose that thing had a good life and after fifteen years deserved to die. So no clean carpets for Sandy. Actually the 'Ye Olde Wet Dog' smell is something that can grow on you I suppose...

Speaking of wet dogs, we took the puppies for a country ride. We used my daughter's old Contour. Hair was swirling everywhere. They dogs drooled down the back windows with the intensity of Niagara Falls. We took them past a pig farm, several swamps, a cattle herd, a golf course, and through town where people were out and about. I just wanted them to get lots of smells to make them happy. At times I would say, "Oh, look at the cows!" or "There's a bunny!" and my husband finally said, "Um, they are not CHILDREN. They don't know cows from a hole in their hind end..." They were actually quite good in the car. Kia had one window and Jake had the other and besides the whirlwind of hair and the mass amounts of drool, all was well. When we got home we walked them around the yard to dry off from all the spit. They slept like babies last night.

Early this morning I was outside with the dogs, admiring the remaining stars in the sky. The glow of the sun was just starting in the east. It was stone quiet outside and very peaceful. That is when a cardinal decided to shake things up. He burst forth with his birdie song at the top of his lungs. Then, it was ever so quiet again. There was no response. It was too early and most of the birdies, I would say, were still sleeping. (I can see that bird's wife now.... "Harold, shut up! I told you it was too soon!")

August 21, 2013 - I find it perplexing as to why, when I have a perfectly good two acres of grass to eat and frolic in, that the bunnies decide they need to get in to the dog pen at night and poop so much it looks like they are trying to spell something out for aliens to see from the sky. Sigh. The dogs love it - hey, free treats - but COME ON! I can see it if they were hiding in there from foxes, let's say, but just to poop in a pen for the sake of pooping in a pen?? I don't understand rabbits. At least the skunks have not been around lately so I have that going for me!

Today the car goes in for a check up and to get the air conditioning fixed and to find out what is rattling underneath. I love my car. My first new car I bought and paid for and have maintained all by myself. She's nine years old now and I've put a whole 75,000 miles on her. (Really, I don't go anywhere, as you can tell.) I will also demand new wipers. I normally walk in to the dealership and say, "This is the list of my demands..."

August 25, 2013 - Easy like a Sunday morning - ooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooo..... (Sorry you had to hear that, Lionel Ritchie.) I find it very amusing in the mornings that Jake the Dog who tends to lie in the middle of the opening to the kitchen from the living room instinctual knows to move when he sees me coming to my desk with a cup of coffee. (He has worn enough coffee from me spilling to learn this fact.)

It is a stunning morning. Sunny and bright. Not too hot yet. Today I get to enjoy the day. Yesterday I was a busy girl. Saturday morning I was pondering what to do. I thought to myself that I had mowed the whole yard two weekends in a row, so no doubt it was my husband's turn and besides, the grass was too wet with dew to mow anyway. Then I saw the dirt and grime on my bedroom windows being illuminated by the sun. "Guess those need washing!" I said to myself. I washed the bedroom windows. Then I decided that I would wash all the downstairs windows and wash the curtains. When I was in the bedroom being all 'domestic goddess' like - Taffy the cat decided to hwarf up the biggest pile of bile I've ever seen on my bed. Washing all the bedding was added to my list. Oh, and the rugs - you have to wash the rugs... One thing led to another and I was deep in to six projects at once. This is what happens when you turn off your brain and go in to mindless homemaker mode.

I did take a break and ran in and got peaches from the Peach Lady on one corner and corn from the Corn Man on another corner. I came home and fixed up the peaches and stuck them in the fridge. I husked the corn and stuck them in the fridge. I folded clothes and made the bed and swept the floors. I was industrious. My husband got home from work. My husband promptly sat in his chair and there he stayed. I kept thinking, "Come on, Dude - GO MOW!!" Finally after dusting and finishing up all the wee projects I had started, I put on my shoes. "Where you goin'?" he asked. "To mow!" I said. "It doesn't need it." he replied. "Yes, Yes it does..." I said.

I got out the push mower and did the grass up by the house. By the time I got around back I saw he had gotten out the riding mower and was starting to mow. This pleased me. I came inside to relax. I had a beer. I read emails. I had another beer. I was pondering soaking in a hot bath when husband came in and said, 'You can finish riding if you want." (Which means in 'husband' speak that he had enough of the riding lawn mower - it was hurting his buttocks and back - and would I be ever so kind as to finish...) I sighed. I had drank two beers and if you do beer math for my age, that is equivalent to a 21 year old drinking twelve beers. I mowed. I can see this morning it was not a stellar job. Oh well, it is after all, just grass. After the mowing I made my husband make supper while I took a shower.

Today I have no plans. I don't need to do anything, really, besides normal stuff. So I deem today a 'mini-vacation' day which will no doubt include a nap and doing nothing. I think I will take my nap before the sun gets to the level where it illuminates all the dirt in my house. If I'm sleeping, I won't see it and if I don't see it, I won't feel compelled to clean it. That solves a lot of problems right there.

My car was fixed up it didn't cost me an arm or a leg. I was happy. I got new wipers and they refilled the stuff that goes in to the air conditioner and added dye to it as well. They couldn't find a crack and didn't know why it was empty, so they added the dye to see if they could see a crack. Nothing yet. They said if it stops working again, to bring her in, and then they will be able to tell where she is leaking or where there is a crack. They fixed the horrid rattle (a heat shield was loose and riding on my muffler) and they did an oil change and rotated the tires. Viva maintenance. I love that stupid car. She's been very very good to me.

August 27, 2013 - My Aunt Trudy mentioned fried cucumbers a while ago, and I have an urge to try that. I have not yet. I have fried zucchini and every other vegetable known to man, but never a cucumber. I remember when I was a wee lass playing in the sandbox as a child - my Mom would give me all the "too big" cucumbers (ones she couldn't use in pickles or relish) she had from the garden to use in my 'kitchen' in the sandbox. I cooked me up some mighty fine cucumber pies back then. Smile.

One of my friends on Facebook posted a picture of Obama smoking a doobie (or so it seems) as a teenager and the caption on the picture said something to the effect that "IS THIS THE KIND OF MAN YOU WANT RUNNING YOUR COUNTRY?" My first reaction was, "And you (so and so) did NOT do that when we were growing up?!?!?!" and then I got a little riled. Instead of getting upset over human stupidity, I decided to check facts. Did you know that every one of our Presidents did bad things? If not in office, which is most often the case, then in their youth? Some gave weapons of mass destruction to the exact people we're bossing around in Afghanistan and Iraq right now. Some just took large profits from the American people. Some had numerous affairs. All lied. It didn't matter what party they belonged to, either.  I finally calmed down. It doesn't matter which driver is at the helm, someone is going to complain about the driver and all "drivers" probably couldn't pass the background checks...

I watered my flowers last night. Weather peoples around these parts predicted it would surely rain - that is why I watered. If they are SURE we're getting rain, then we don't get rain. The flowers appreciated the drink. My petunias are about petunia-ed out at this point, though. Maybe I will replace them with hanging mums. Mums are sturdy fellows. I had one mum plant that came back for almost ten years before it shuffled off this mortal coil.

My sister and I are going to go clean for our Aunt Jean on Wednesday night. Her oldest son is due in for a visit home this weekend. I know I feel better knowing when people come over that the biggest dust bunnies are out back in the dog pen. It will break up their day a bit at the least. They just can't get up and go and socialize anymore and they need that desperately.

I have had a fruit fly as my constant companion all morning. (Or at least I call it a fruit fly. If it's too small for me to see any details - it's a fruit fly in my mind.) I think I've trained him not to go up my nose or in my mouth now so we are just hanging out together at this point. (Yes, I've tried to swat him several times. He is far too fast for me.) If you literally can't beat them, quit hitting yourself and join them.

August 28, 2013 - I wish with all my heart our President would NOT hit Syria with any bombs. Really. If they used chemical weapons and it can be proved, can't we just let Turkey or Iraq or Jordan - their neighbors - be the ones that react to that? Why do WE have to get involved? Who is making this decision? I agree, things like chemical weapons and nuclear weapons and such SHOULD NEVER BE USED FOR ANYTHING. It is bad enough when someone uses bleach to clean the kitchen sink or toilet for gosh sakes, who needs to use chemical weapons? Just make the population clean their toilets if you want to make them suffer. I do not, however, feel we should be in another conflict right now. I think we let the neighbors decide if they want to smack Syria's hand for anything and we stand down. We could also drop Miley Cyrus on the country, let her twerk 'em up - they would surrender in no time. I am so tired of seeing Miley as front page news lately, I'd be glad to take her over there myself. I would get a pilot license JUST to drop her over there.

The heat was bad yesterday, but not as bad as last year and I'm sure there will be worse heat in my lifetime. However, when I got home from work, the dogs were just panting like, well - dogs.They always go upstairs when we leave and upstairs is horrid hot. I can't believe they even think they want to go up there during the day. Last night we blocked it off so they couldn't go upstairs. (When the kids were home, we'd put a series of fans all over to circulate the air conditioner's coolness throughout our small wee house so the kids didn't die from heat exposure. I'm sure, however, the kids have stories in opposition to that statement...) I just don't feel we need to do that for the dogs when they can stay downstairs and enjoy the cool air down here. The dogs do not understand that concept, so hence we blocked the stairway and hence - they cried half the night to go upstairs. It was not a relaxing night of sleep, to say the least.

A boy and his dogsAugust 30, 2013 - Ah, a boy and his dogs. Sometimes the wee one will come take a nap at our house in between shifts at work. (We're closer than his place.) The dogs are willing to sleep with anyone. They are such tramps. Smile. The dogs are getting old like me and appreciate a good nap from time to time and they don't care who they have to exploit to get one.

I am still hoping that the U.S. does NOT strike Syria on their own. Who the hell do we think we are? Whoever 'really' runs the country behind the scenes needs to put their penis back in their pants and quit pissin' on other countries. Sigh. Spend the money it will take to bomb them to feed the hungry HERE or bomb the KKK headquarters HERE or put it in to the school systems HERE. If this is being done as a distraction or to boost our economy or something 'secret' that the puppet masters think will help the U.S.A. - don't do it!  How come the people of the United States can't vote on this? Why can't there be a website that where we can click Yay or Nay? I would love to find out where the 'puppet masters' live and piss on their prize rose bushes. Sigh and Sigh. It doesn't matter who we vote in to office - they either go to the dark side or have no say in anything, anyway. I am looking forward to the weekend. I don't have big plans, which is why I'm looking forward to the weekend. I just want mow the yard and clean my house. I want to NOT wear a bra and I want to pick the seeds off my four-o-clocks. I don't want to see on the news that my country is killing innocent people in a country that has enough issues at this time...

I drank too much coffee this morning and now my stomach and announced this fact to me loud and clear. I can sneak in two cups without hurting it, but you push it to three cups and BAM, the stomach is complaining loudly and tells all the neighbors down there, too, and then it calls 911 and the police get involved, and frankly - it is not pretty. I should know to stop at two.

I still have a fruit fly that is my constant companion at the computer here and attempting to look for apartments in my nose. (Since they only live like 24 hours, this must be the original fruit fly's great grandson by now?) I am honored they find the light from my monitor worthy of investigation. There was a hummingbird out at the morning glories just a bit ago, going from one flower to another. Then it went over to the remaining petunias in a hanging basket and checked each blossom out there. She was very busy this morning. She would come back on occasion to bombard another hummingbird who decided to check out the feeder. I've not seen any males lately, unless I'm calling them 'female' and they are just young males now? Either or, that little stinker is BUSY.

I am wasting space on the InterWeb by babbling today. I have nothing really to say. So off I go to conquer this day, Oh Friday. I suggest y'all go and conquer today as well.

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September 3, 2013 - I have asked my husband six thousand and twenty three times this summer to take the chain saw out and cut up the part of the tree that fell from the neighbor's yard in to ours. Besides a bumper crop of poke weeds, the neighbors have also felt the need to share that dead tree and it has bugged me all summer. My husband declares that it isn't hurting anything and isn't going anywhere. That is the problem, it isn't going anywhere. I decided after he went to work on Saturday I was going to take the axe out there and chop it up myself. In theory, this sounded like a good plan. In reality, trees are very very hard things. I whacked at it for a while until I realized there was no way I was going to chop my way through that thing. I gave up.

I put my axe back in my wagon and hauled it back up and just quit trying. The rest of the weekend my hands have been ever so sore from the attempt. Ouch! I have a whole new respect for our ancestors who only had axes to make log cabins and such. We whine about carpal tunnel now, I can only imagine 70% of the pioneers could NOT feel their hands or fingers by the age of sixteen. I believe my approach THIS weekend will be to get out the chain saw and attempt to start it myself, which will bring husband running and THEN the tree will get taken care of - and I'm ashamed that I did not think of that plan in the first place. If you want something done, grab a power tool and pretend to attempt yourself first...

I had a nice relaxing weekend as a whole (besides the failed lumberjack attempt). I did not mow (since much of the grass is a nice orange already) and since it did not rain, not mowing means the grass won't look TOO orange this week. I had hoped for rain all weekend, but it just teased us. Saturday we had steaks on the grill (yum) and corn on the cob. Sunday my son-in-law's family had a party at the lake. That was fun. It was good to see all of my daughter's friends I have not seen in a while. Monday I cleaned in the morning and the kids came over in the afternoon. The wee one showed up just to get called back in to work (hey - money, right?) and my daughter had a headache so she slept on the couch. It was still nice to "chill" with them. We kicked them out about 8 p.m. as we were falling asleep. They will all be back again for the birthday bonfire in two weeks which has become tradition for my daughter and husband's birthdays. I hope by then we have WOOD from the TREE that my husband WILL cut up THIS WEEKEND!! (Hint Hint Hint...)

It looks as if Taffy the Cat had a fun night last night. I keep finding all his cat toys EVERYWHERE. Smile. Good for him. One should pull out the cloth mice from time to time and have a hoot.

September 5, 2013 - There was a large cricket in the living room this morning and the first thing my husband said was, "Where's our daughter?" Hahahaha. When our daughter was little, maybe two or three years old, she saw a cricket, picked it up, and ate it. We knew this because there were still legs on her face. She has never lived this down. I'm sure she is thinking, "Eat one cricket and you are branded for life!!" Still, it makes us laugh every time we see a cricket. Humor - good for the soul.

My husband got summoned for jury duty and he reported like a good boy yesterday morning. He was there all day. They are not done picking the jury yet and are still in the process of asking them hypothetical 'what if' questions to feel them out so he has to go back today. It is for a murder trial. He is not happy that he could be spending the next three weeks in a courtroom, but he does agree we should fulfill our civic duties. ("...but THREE WEEKS?!?!!?" he laments...) I know he is worried about losing his job. He just got called back not that long ago...

Taffy the Cat has now been dubbed "Tasmanian Taffy" because last night he ripped down the window blind on the front window. I am sure he just got caught on the string and ran in fear and it ran with him, but I would have still loved to see this happen. He seems fine this morning and very casual about the whole affair. That thing has been up there a long time, and he just NOW found the string? Go Taffy. When I woke up and came out, he was kind enough to point it out by walking by the couch and staring up at the blinds that were splayed out there. "See this? I have no clue how that happened..."

My oldest is taking some classes at the local community college. Good for him. The company where he works was sold. I'm sure there is concern there for his job. I would be concerned, too. It has happened to my place of employment three times. We were sold to a Finnish company, then a Chinese company, and now are in possession of a Japanese company. I feel his pain, because you just don't know what they will do in the long run. They did send out a nice letter to him and all employees which sounded very upbeat, but we all know how that plays out sometimes...

September 9, 2014 - This morning I was dreaming I was standing in the spray of ocean waves as the crashed against the shore. When I had enough brains cells collected in one place I realized it was raining in my face through the bedroom window. I got up, closed the window, and barely made it in to the bathroom on time. (Water in the face at 4:30 a.m. can be such an inspiration for one's bladder!!) I am so thankful for the rain, however, that even had I wet myself en route to the bathroom it would have been worth it. I watered flowers yesterday because it was so dry and it is supposed to get really warm for the next two days, but the yard desperately needed a drink. Now it can have a sip. It doesn't look like it will rain for too long, though, but you don't look a gift rain cloud in the mouth (especially when said mouth contains lightning).

Speaking of dreams... Saturday morning I did not want to wake up from the fun and exciting dream I was having. When I finally got myself to wake up and face reality, I was sort of sad for a bit. The things that were happening in the dream might have been possible between 1979 to 1994, but not now. Once I woke up I did manage to smile a little over the fact that one's brain can give one such a fun mini-vacation of the mind. (I felt like I should leave my brain a tip or something...)

We got to have breakfast with my husband's mom, sister and her husband on Sunday morning. They are up for a visit. It was fun. I had to impress them by having a hot flash from hell. (I think it is important to impress people with your talents, don't you?) The waitress showed me the air conditioning vent was near our table so I went over there and sat while I talked to them. Bless fellow sympathetic females and floor vents.

Finally, after a spring and summer full of whining on my part, my husband FINALLY went out and cut up the tree that fell from the neighbor's yard in to our yard. He did this because this weekend is the annual Birthday Bonfire Bash and we needed wood. "You're gonna help, right?" he asked before we went out. "YES! OF COURSE!" I screamed at him as I scampered out in the yard. I was so happy. I would have chained the thing to my waste and played tractor pull just to get it out of there at that point. I used my wagon for the first trip of hauling, but it is hard to drag a industrial sized wagon full of logs chunks when that wagon has a flat tire. I made him get his truck after that. While he had the chain saw out, he cut down two dead limbs from the spiral willow out there, too. We have lots of dead wood to burn come Saturday. September is full of Birthdays here. My husband, my daughter, and my oldest son all get closer to Social Security. (Me, I remain forever young, right?)

Oh, my husband got excused from jury duty after the second day. They had found enough to qualify for a jury before they got to him. I was relieved, really. He was relieved a LOT. We don't mind serving our county as it is our duty but a three week murder trial is a wee bit too much for old butts. I was happy for his bum.

If you are feeling old and defeated for any reason today, go watch a video of Paul McCartney (who is 71 years young) performing 'Live and Let Die' in concert. You will feel ever so much better...

September 10, 2013 - Last night I came home feeling quite defeated. Being at work yesterday was similar to being a large boat stuck on a sandbar - You can gun your engines all you want, but you are not going anywhere. I lamented to walls (since I am pretty sure my husband was sleeping in his chair and just nodding his head on occasion to avoid being smacked upside the head...) that "I've worked ALL MY LIFE!" I baby sat during the summers for kids starting at a young age. Then I worked at a restaurant and in the corn fields. Then I worked in factories. I've always worked. I am not sure why I was whining so much. I am LUCKY to work and be able to work, you know? I have nothing to complain about, but according to my brain last night, I did. Sometimes my brain is a big old baby. I felt better after dinner was done and dishes taken care of and such. Just had to work out my pity party. This morning I have to admit to myself that since all I've done is 'work' then what would I do if I didn't 'work' so I should just shut the hell up.

There was a Daddy and Momma and young sandhill crane at my feeder in the morning before I left for work. I know they are not my 'old' crane couple, as they would not have flown away when I got in my car. My original crane couple would bring up the kids and hang out all day and sleep in the shade and they would even stay in the yard when I mowed. They also expected corn and would come towards me when I had it in my hand. This must be a kid of theirs bringing in his family now? Still, I have cranes again, and really - that is all I want in life - to have Sandhill Cranes and a telescope and lots of iced tea. That is all I need. (Maybe some beer, too, on occasion. Oh, and running water...)

This weekend is the Birthday Bonfire. Requests for food are coming in from the Birthday Kids. My son wants BLTs and my daughter wants pizza. Then they decided a "BLT Pizza" would solve that issue. I looked up a recipe for BLT pizza. So it shall be. Long Live Mommy. I really hope my oldest does not have to work that night. I hope my youngest can get out of work around 8 p.m. too. My daughter, well - I can force her in to manual labor around here before the bonfire. (Daughter, Dear - you didn't read that last part...)

The hummingbirds have been NUTS around these parts. Cripes. There are tons of them. Maybe they are all the ones coming down from up North on the way South? All I know is that it's hummingbird central. They fight over the feeder, but there always one smart one that will come eat when others are fighting. That always makes me laugh. They will sit there sipping away, watching the others duke it out...

Jake the Dog has been flanking me for several days now. He is my shadow. I don't argue - sometimes animals do stuff for a reason that is not clear to the human. I will accept his constant watch as a blessing. (That is, until I fall over him and crack my head open or the like in the middle of the night.) For now, though - I will allow him to flank. Taffy the Cat just had a spastic fit and knocked everything off the end table and got the dogs all riled up. Kudos for old kitties letting their freak flag fly.

September 16, 2013 - I actually had to look at the computer's date to remember what year it was. A Monday morning moment of 'duh' for Sandy. My first guess was '2016' so at least I had it in the same general decade. I need coffee. I had the day off Friday from work so I'm still discombobulated. Time travel really IS possible if you get old enough, I'm convinced...

It was a fun weekend. The Birthday Bonfire Bash was a success and fun was had by all. Many funny stories will now be added to our family repertoire to be told at future gatherings. I am sure everyone was happy to sleep in their own beds last night, however. I am still 'out of whack' because I was up until three a.m. on Saturday night. That is pretty late for this old woman.

My wee one is having brake issues and his big brother is trying to help him with his brakes and their Dad is worried about it now, too. "Just doesn't seem right they can't get the rotor off..." he was mumbling to himself this morning. I am sure he will ponder it all day. He even said he would look ON THE INTERNET when he got home from work tonight. (Something my non-techno husband will rarely do, so I am sure this is bugging him.) Me, I don't do brakes, and when I do, it is by taking my car to a repair shop and handing them my keys and getting out my checkbook.

The neighbors were on vacation last week and when I'd come back from watering their flowers the dogs would go nuts because they smelled Sophie's yard on me, and we all know if you smell Sophie's yard, somewhere there MUST be a Sophie. Jake finally realized there was no Sophie in tow, and got depressed mid-week. He was ever so happy to see her out and about on Sunday. It was raining, but he didn't care - he saw his Sophie. All was well in his doggie world.

September 19, 2013 -  I wish I had a video of myself this morning. I did not hear the alarm and my husband woke me up before he left for work. "What did you do, break the poor thing?" my husband asked. (Apparently I had been smacking the snooze alarm for quite a while. I'm sure it finally just gave up trying...) Once I was up I was totally disorientated. My routine is to pee, of course, then feed the animals. However, we're out of cat food for the cat and I forgot to pick any up last night, so that threw me for a loop right there. I decided to open a can of dog food and give him a bit of that instead. Then I stared at the can for a while thinking, "Duh, now what do I do?" The brain can run on auto-pilot and often does. When you attempt to throw actual THINKING in to the process, chaos can ensue. After running in circles for a while, the pets were fed and I was at my computer desk with my coffee, but it was NOT easy this morning, boy howdy.

I also just noticed EVERY light downstairs is ON and that is also something that never happens - at least not when there are no kids in the house. Normally we are good "old" people and turn off every light and mumble to ourselves often and on occasion shake our fists and yell, "Get off my lawn!" just for good measure. How every light got on I'll never know, either. Sigh.

To be honest I have been in a semi-stupor all week. I'm not sure why. My eyes have been burning and itchy and the post nasal drip has been turned to full-bore. I believe, just maybe, I have allergies of some type? I will discuss this with my doctor next time I go in. My last family doctor said that if I didn't have allergies, just living in Michigan can GIVE you allergies. Like a bonus or something. "Give directions on your hand, get allergies!" Not a good state motto, I suppose, but accurate nonetheless. Plus with school starting again, the collective germ pool has been refilled and who knows what is floating around out there at work on door knobs and such. To me I feel like I'm fighting something off, but it could just also be the fact I'm not that bright to begin with. Either Or. Tonight is dinner with the girls - maybe that will snap me out of my stupor. I doubt it, however. I am lucky I'm not wandering naked in to the cornfield across the road, actually.

There is a line of thunderstorms heading our way at the moment. We could use the rain, so hurray. I see the lightening in the sky from the storms to our West. Jake the Dog senses it too. He doesn't like thunder boomers He is lying behind my chair as I type. (If I forget he is there, it could be funny to watch me get up and trip over him. It is times like this you should all wish for a Sandy Cam in my house. It would be entertaining and I could possibly charge for it.)

Besides being in a fuzzy mental state all week and possibly (legally) mentally unable to operate a vehicle, all is well. I hope my boys can get my son's brakes fixed soon. My husband thinks the rotor needs Liquid Wrench or the like. Not sure what that is, so I'll just assume it has to do with wrenching with liquid. I should really go clean for my Aunt Jean this weekend. I have not done it in a while. I have not gone to see her in a while, either. I like to run there and spend my lunch but lately there are not lunches at work. It's been crazy. I am working on one last major upgrade to my operating system on my server, and then I'll be DONE for a while with stupid upgrades and migrations and such. (Probably not true, but I will lie to myself to make myself feel better.) I like my job, I just wish there was less of it. Doing more with less is great if you are between the ages of 20 to 45, then it gets harder to do more with less, or you feel like it does. I should just quit whining, actually - and get up and just do it and be thankful I have a job, be thankful my cat will eat anything from any type of can, and seize this day.

September 20, 2013 - Last night was fun with "the girls" at dinner. We are a loud and laughing bunch and I like that. I am so blessed to herd with these women. I do like to flaunt my "no kids at home" in front of them, but other than that we laugh and laugh. There is serious talk on occasion, true, yet it is good to see these lovely ladies and just be - well, lovely ladies together. I wish all my girlfriends could herd on a regular basis, even the ones spread across the globe. I have an immense group of awesome friends.

I think I'm the only person I know who can consistently baffle a spell checker. When the spell-checker states, "Hey, I have no clue what the hell you are trying to type here Lady. Give me a hint..." it is time to stop typing. (My cousin David is the winner in the poor spelling category, however. He invented typos. I think I was the only human who could read his writing when we were teens.) I'm a close second, though, and I blame I.T.A. I learned to read at a normal school system with normal 'Dick and Jane' books, then moved in the first grade to a school system that used I.T.A. Dumbest thing ever to teach kids. Just stick with "See Spot Run. Run, Spot! Run!" (It took me until my early 20s to figure out how to spell the word "awful" since in I.T.A. it was spelled with odd characters.) We moved again and my third grade teacher in the school district we were in at the time had to contact my last teacher at the last school district I was in to get info on how to decipher my writing. Sad, just Sad. I will post a picture of the I.T.A. alphabet here for your viewing pleasure:

The Harvest Moon has been so, well - Full Moon Like and pretty. This morning I can't see it due to rain clouds, but I know it's there!. The clouds are back lit by it and this makes me happy. Maybe that is why I've been 'fuzzy' all week, aye? The moon is pulling my massive brain out of the casing? Possible, yes...

I saw this morning I had taken the wrong maintenance drugs last night before bed. Oye. Is it time to get Sandy one of those pill boxes with the M-S letters on them and AM or PM on them? Lordy. I have LARGE BLACK LETTERS written on the top of the bottles I have so I know which one is which but last night I see I lost all ability to distinguish between C and S apparently. Maybe the writing needs to be in braille?

My daughter has been VERY quiet all week. I assume she is drowning in homework and real work and life. I wish I could fish her out and set her at a table with a lovely cup of hot tea and rub her shoulders and tell her YOU CAN DO IT! My oldest son is taking classes at the local community college plus working so I know he's busy. I hope those are going well for him. The wee one, well - I have not heard from him which is good news to me because he must be OK. Normally you only hear from the wee one when something is broken down or the like. A Mom will always worry about their babies, even if their babies are older. 'Tis the way of things, yes?

Yesterday my hair ended up in a mass of untamed curls due to the weather. My hair acts as a barometer of sorts - a weather station for all to see. "It's gonna get humid..." should have been the response of anyone who looked at me yesterday... Yep, it is.

September 23, 2013 - I just read a news story about a group of Neo-Nazis buying up property in a little town in North Dakota so they can have an all-white town and government, etc. I have always been confused by people who think "white" people are superior in any way. Seems like humans started out as a darker race, being from Middle East. I bet if any one of the people who think that they are pure and all "Aryan" spent some time on "Ancestry.Com" they'd find a leaf that would piss them off. Smile. I was raised by parents who were raised to be prejudiced, but I still did not understand why they were. I have spent hours in my head trying to figure out why any religion and/or culture and/or color could possibly think they are better than another group. I think I'm broken. I cannot understand it. Out of all the colors on this Earth, the "white" people have done a lot of damage and dragged poor souls from Africa over here to do our dirty work AFTER they landed here and took the land away from the Indians. I do not see why those acts of stupid would make a "white" race "superior" in any way? I don't see why ANY race could possibly think their crap doesn't stink as bad as the next race. I am perplexed - I truly am. I don't understand groups like Al-Qaeda either - now there is a group preaching the love of their God and who WOULDN'T want to join their religion right away!?  Arghhhhhhhhh.... Duh.

I guess I'll stop lamenting the fact that every human on the face of the Earth is retarded in some way. Every human, no matter what nationality or color has mental issues. Humans will successfully end up ridding the Earth of their kind soon enough. On that day, I bet the Earth heaves a huge sigh of relief.

I decorated for Halloween over the weekend. Since the kids moved out, I always say, "Why decorate?" and then I decorate anyway. I like it decorated, to be perfectly honest. It makes it look more homey. I do not enjoy putting the normal stuff away and the work of setting up the decorations, but I sure like it when it is done. Every time I do it I am amazed at all the things I've amassed over the years and have fond memories spill in to my head as I unpack the stuff.

I have always been an advocate for stretching. Not just a little stretch, but getting on the floor and rolling around like a dog stretching. At my age, things tend to pop and crack a bit, but it feels good. I don't do any sudden moves, mind you, since I don't want to be rushed to the hospital in my pajamas. I just think people need to stretch more. That is my opinion only, as is everything I spew forth on this blog...

Lately I've been having trouble going in to work. I love my job, mind you. I love what I do and the people I work with. I'm not sure why I dread it so. I just got teary eyed thinking about going in to work. Things are so busy you really can't do "your job" because you are doing other stuff. It has just been very frustrating for a long time. I would love to run the other way and not go in ever again. Maybe I've been at the same company way too long? (Since 1979!) Maybe it's just residual menopausal type reactions?? I have not clue what it is, I really don't... I just get sad feeling so sad all the time about earning a living. I probably just need a good cry is all. Sometimes a girl just need to weep like an idiot for an hour or so to reboot her mental state.

My sister and I went to visit my Aunt Jean and Uncle Lorin on Saturday. It was good to see them. We sat around the kitchen table and talked. I brought them breakfast. It was just a nice slice of time. I feel better seeing them as I've not been over there lately. Aunt Jean was in her housecoat and this made it feel even more like being "at home" with them. Smile.

I suppose I will stop whining this fine morning and get ready to do the voo-doo I do so well. Viva breathing and such. Arise, go forth, drink coffee, and conquer!

September 27, 2013 - Today is my oldest son's birthday. He is 33 today!! (I cannot comprehend the passage of so much time in my head. It perplexes me. I assume the brain will squelch time in a way - to keep one from going insane.) I love my oldest and am proud of him. He survived two young, clueless people trying to raise their first baby with no idea of what they were doing. I have always been amazed he didn't sue us when he was older for "lack of parenting skills" and such. Frankly, I am surprised he still talks to us. He had to suffer through the worst of our parenting as we learned, which was not fair to him mind you, but we did the best we could at the time. We "grew up" with him. I'm sure has painful memories of youth due to our lack on wisdom. I hope he has some good memories as well. He is an awesome "big brother" to his siblings and I adore seeing all three of my kids interact.

I remember watching him when he slept as a baby, worried that he would stop breathing. That poor baby boy would be shaken awake on occasion because I was convinced he was not breathing! He was an easy baby to deal with, however. He slept all night and when he was old enough, he would play with grand imagination. When his siblings starting to pop out, he rolled with it and would entertain them and play with them well. Happy Birthday, My Dear First Born. I love you with the white hot intensity of 1000 suns.

Some of my most prominent memories of my First Born:
- Getting him to eat broccoli when he was a wee one by telling him he was a giant and broccoli was little trees and amazingly, it worked!
- The way he would lean way out of the shopping cart (while we were at the story when he was little) to stare at pretty women walking away...hahahahaha
- The time I wouldn't let him watch the Simpsons because he had to study spelling words. He wrote the coolest story using ALL his spelling words berating me for being a mean Mom to make him miss the Simpsons. (I hope I put that thing in his baby box because the story made me laugh out loud.)
- He was always so 'kind' when he was ultra sick. When he was three he had pneumonia. He was very very sick. But he didn't complain and would appreciate any care he was given by us and ease our worried minds.
- He saw "little men" running up his wall once when he was little. I am not sure if it was a dream or not, but he was so adamant that I believed him! I would watch for those little men for a long time after that...NO little running men were going to get my baby!
- His first band concert in 6th grade - 'Hot Cross Buns' sounded like Beethoven to me! I cried.
- I was always amazed at how many Hot Wheel Cars he could get in to the bathtub...
- The time he brought us a dead rat he found when he was playing out back in the wooded area. I thought at first it was a bird. Then when he got closer I saw it was a stiff big old rat. I scrubbed him in the tub 'til his skin was raw...
- He "showed and told" in Kindergarten many interesting facts about our family life. Once he told the teacher I beat him on the head with a frying pan. I got a note sent home from the teacher. He told them once Dad's underwear was on the ceiling fan. I got a note sent home from the teacher... (Ok, so that one was true, actually...long story.) I got a lot of notes sent home about things he shared, now that I ponder it. Smile.
- He made the coolest rocking horse cross stitch project in middle school Home Ec class - he lost track of stitches on the head, so the rocking horse had a massive tumor, but I loved that thing.
Oh, there are a million other memories. My oldest was not 'blogged' about like the younger two were since 'blogging' was not something people did in the 1980s per say. I don't have many written records (except all the stuff I put in his baby book and eventually baby box) to blackmail him with. All I have are the memories, and memories are wonderful things.

It has been a long week. I was quite upset over work all week, but I'm pretty sure a lot of that 'upset' was caused by hormonal ebbs and tides due to my age and being female and all. I have my yearly check up soon and I will lament to my doctor my woes of being a girl. He will smile and pat me on the knee and say, "This is what we could do..." and offer up advice. I will look at him and tell him to just prescribe a time machine. I work the next two weekends to upgrade my mainframe operating system. I will survive it. I will back up and be prepared in case the upgrade fails - I can restore to a previous version, etc. I am not scared. I just want this to be over. I want NOT to have to teach, learn, nor upgrade anything after this for a long, long time. I am behind on a ton of programming request that people have requested as well. I feel like a hamster with three legs and a bad case of vertigo in a well lubed running wheel.

I woke up at 4:15 a.m. today unable to go back to sleep. This is OK, as my husband was already awake and there was coffee brewing. I have a load of laundry done already and one load folded and taken care of. The bed is made and the dishes rinsed and put in the dishwasher. Who's to complain about waking up early when so much got done? Not me. Mostly lately I'm just happy I woke up breathing and all.

The deer are everywhere lately and the dogs are on high alert. Last night they HAD to go out and bark at the corn field out back. It took me a long time to finally see the herd of deer in our back yard that just blended in with that corn field. People at work have said they've been dodging deer on the roads a lot the last two weeks. 'Tis the season, I fear. Bambie Bam Bam Season.

September 29, 2013 -  Ah, Sunday morning. It is raining a comforting pitter-pat on the house. Very relaxing. I wonder why the sound of rain is relaxing to most humans? Maybe it is genetic. Maybe that sound is embedded in our DNA as the only time when prehistoric man could just hang out in the cave by a fire without having to go out to kill a mastodon for brunch or run for his life from a saber toothed tiger. Maybe they even had some form of prehistoric Monopoly game to play on days like these. I just know the sound of rain on the roof pleases me.

Friday night my husband took me to dinner. Friday morning he had mentioned he'd like to go somewhere we could grab a beer and a pizza. I was late coming home on Friday night from work, so I was not sure if the offer was still on the table as his bed time anywhere between 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. He said, yawning loudly, "Well, let's just go." So we went. It worked out quite wonderfully, really. The local Air museum was hosting a "Balloons over Kalamazoo" event, and the balloons flew directly towards and over where we were dining. Dinner and a show! Very nice. The place (at the time we were there) was not too crowded so as a collective group we shared many "ooooooooos" and "ahhhhhhhhhh" during the whole balloon thing. I enjoyed that thoroughly.

Saturday was spent at work doing the first part for the Operating System upgrade that I'll be doing next weekend. They let me hire someone professional to assist, so I met Mark at work and we began the first stage. It took four hours to figure out what we were doing and one call to IBM that we really didn't need to make since it was figured out in the mean time. (I would like to state for the record that Bob from IBM needs to enjoy his work more or take a pill. The Bob we got as a tech on Saturday was very depressing. I've never had a depressing tech from IBM before, so it was rather a shock. For all my years dealing with people from Rochester Minnesota and IBM, I've NEVER had anyone sound upset about doing their job. Right before I hung from Bob from IBM, I said, "Geez, Bob - I hope you have a better day!" Mark couldn't believe I said that to him. "Why not, he was obviously in need of a hug or something!" I responded. Poor Bob.) After various acts during 'The Saturday Before Comedy of Errors' show, things worked. Now, I just have to follow up tomorrow with my network guy to finish up on a few things. When we were leaving work on Saturday, Mark said, "At least that is out of the way. That is the worst part of this upgrade!" and I said, "You are serious? This was the worst part?" and he nodded and said, "Yep, that is why I like to do it prior to the upgrade weekend." If that was the worst part of the OS upgrade, then next weekend should be a BREEZE!!! He said I worried to much to begin with. Worrying too much has helped prevent many errors in the past, I've found as a woman.

GrandpuppyMy wee one adopted a new puppy. The puppy's name is Watson. He looks adorable. My uterus kicks in here and I want to run over there to the house and play, love, and raise him. Hahahaha. (I felt the same way when my daughter adopted Rocko, my grandcat. I wanted to keep Rocko and raise and love him, too!) Last night when my wee one was at work, my oldest was 'dog sitting' and sent me pictures as he played with Watson. They had not gotten him any toys yet, so I suggested a clean, old sock all knotted up. That seemed to make Watson happy. My oldest said that after the wee one got home from work he'd run to the store and get him some proper dog toys. He said that Watson was very loving and adored attention, but he wouldn't come out of my wee one's bedroom to play or anything yet. I suppose that will take a while to acclimate to his new home. The wee one adopted him from the SPCA on Friday. He posted pictures last night on Facebook where Watson was curled up by his head in bed.

As a Mom I worry about them potty training him and feeding him and such, but I have to back down on this one. We all get our first 'real' dog that and the wee one will have to figure things out on his own. I had separation anxiety when my kids flew the nest, and it all comes back when they get real things to care on their own such as cats, fish, or dogs. I want to 'take over' but I cannot and I will deal with this. I think my wee one's friends got the sister to Watson, so they can get together for play dates!

We took our "puppies" for a walk last night. They were thrilled to check out the area where they saw deer the other night. They were hot on the trail of the deer, but we kept them looping around the yard instead. Jake is the easiest to walk, he sort of just lumbers around. Kia, on the other hand, is in a hurry to go anywhere and everywhere fast. She will pull and choke herself when my husband walks her. I finally traded dogs with him because Kia doesn't pull so hard when Momma has her.

I had such a desire for pumpkin pie that I bought one yesterday. They never tastes as good as homemade, but hey - PUMPKIN PIE. I am having a piece for breakfast. YUM. This kind of weather just screams PUMPKIN PIE!!

top of page October 1, 2013 - To the people in the car this morning that saw me stretching too far back in the dog pen and falling over one of the dogs and knocking over a chair and such - I'm OK. Really. Thank you for NOT calling 911 or beeping and screaming out the window. I could imagine that call... "Um, there is a fat woman doing the watusi or having a seizure in her yard, I'm not sure which..." Stretching feels so good that sometimes I over do it and always in the wrong places.

Ah, the first of October. Oye. Where does time go (although I am pretty sure it is hanging out with all the other stuff I cannot find). This is my Birthday month and it is a Fall month and the leaves are changing and I adore that. I miss my daughter being home. She could take some awesome artistic pictures of fall colors in her day. The scents outside right now just scream "HAYRIDE!!" This is also the month I will take a full week's worth of vacation and go to a concert with my kids at the end of the month. I have my yearly physical, too. October is going to rock hard because I ACTUALLY HAVE REAL PLANS!

My husband was staring out the window over the weekend and said, "What the hell is that?" in a tone of voice that indicated he was concerned but he wasn't going to do a thing about it. I looked out. It looked like a large woodchuck taking a nap in the yard. "Hmmmmmm...." I said. I'm at that age where I get pretty bold when something or someone is in my yard that shouldn't be. I walked out, clapping my hands loudly and shouting, "Hey! HEY!" The object did not move, but that was because the object was a large chunk of dead wood that had fallen from the tree it was under. I picked it up and took it to the burn pit. I have shouted at many objects I thought were alive but turned out to be something that was not alive, so I did not feel too bad for clapping and yelling at a chunk of wood.

We went to see our Grandpuppy Watson on Sunday. We took him many loud, squeaky do toys. Watson is a sweetie. He took right to us and didn't pee himself when we walked in. (Apparently, per my oldest, this is a miracle.) He chewed on my husband's beard and was a sweety. We got him a leash, too, and took him outside many times. Watson loves to roll in the grass and each branches. I find it funny how puppies instinctively find a stick and haul it around and chew on it with gusto. He never did potty outside, however, and that is what we were trying to get him to do. I finally got the update last night from the wee one that WATSON PEED OUTSIDE! Joy and celebrations abounded. "Did you praise him like crazy?" I asked the wee one. "Yes, but I startled him by doing that!" If I get this excited about a grandpuppy peeing, I will no doubt keel over dead when my first actual grandchild walks for the first time.

I am looking forward to being done with the operating system upgrade this weekend. I really am. I've been preparing for software upgrades of one sort or another for three years now and the thrill is GONE. I just want to do normal day to day 'stuff' as it were. I don't want to have to read so much that my brains leak out of my ears and my eyes fall out. I don't want to have to plan or anticipate or test for anything for a long, long time. I am at the point where I'm taking this all like I took being pregnant - I just stopped thinking about it. Eventually you wake up one day and it is over.

Ah, the pride I feel in our Government right now is  - well, non-existent to be honest. They shut down. DUH. If my kids got along as well as the idiots in Washington, I would have put them in the sandbox and not let them out until they played nice together. If the Government is shut down, does Congress get paid? I hope not. I hope they dock them money for every minute they are idiots. I bet the other countries that we owe money to right now are also as proud as I am...

October 3, 2013 - We went to see Watson the Grandpuppy on Tuesday night. That dog sure is a sweetie. My wee one said that Watson won't come out of the bedroom, but once we opened the curtains in the living room so it wasn't pitch dark, Watson came out just like he owed the place. I figure it is because he's spent too much time in a dark kennel, and the living room scares him when it is all dark. Once the curtain was opened, he was out and about in the kitchen and bathroom and living room. Watson casually picked up a sock off the living room floor and the wee one took it from him and just put it back on the floor. Hahahaha. They will have to start picking stuff up and putting stuff away unless they want everything hey own to be in the intestines of a dog. Watson was also chewing on the UL label on the vacuum cord. Ah, the joys of raising puppies.

We've been taking our 'puppies' for a little walk every night for a week. Every day, they act like it is the first time they've ever seen the great outdoors which amazes me. The zest for life in a dog is an awesome thing and I think we should all try to mimic that in ourselves. (Not the peeing on a tree thing or pooping in the grass part, but you know what I mean...)  We keep finding walnuts shoved in the mole dirt piles out back which makes me laugh. Lazy squirrels! "I don't have to dig, I'll just shove this nut down this already gaping hole..." The squirrels just adore it when we pre-husk the walnuts with the lawn mower, too. I get thank you notes.

I suppose I have nothing worthwhile to say at this time. All is well in Sandy land. Carry on...

October 7, 2013 - The Deed is Done!

The last big upgrade is over. Phew. I started at 8:00 a.m on Saturday and finished up at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. At this point, knock on wood, everything seems to be running OK. Viva technology!

I was a little disappointed that my no one called to check on me. Not my boss, or my bosses boss or any coworker. If it were me and one of my people were going through an upgrade that could shut down a company, I'd be calling them every few hours to offer encouragement or the like. Hmmmmmm. Oh well. It is not like I expect chocolate bars or nylons or anything, but I can't believe they didn't even say, "How is it going?" I am sure I would have heard loud and clear had something gone WRONG, however, so I can take solace in that, I guess... Now I will have normal work weeks. I will do my normal job now. I can work and not worry about planning for a bit. This will be oddly refreshing. If I may quote the God character from the show Futurama,
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

My daughter was home for the weekend but I did not get to see her due to the upgrade. I hope she had a hoot with her brothers and met her nephew Watson the Dog and all in all had a good weekend. I will see her soon enough at the end of the month. We are all going to see 'Here Come the Mummies' and that will be a hoot. I look forward to that. Leave it to me to love a band that dresses up like mummies and sing songs loaded with sexual innuendos...

This week is my 53rd Birthday. I don't feel that old. I feel like - well, I don't feel like an age at all! I feel like a 'Sandy' so if I'm feeling like a 'Sandy' then I suppose it doesn't matter how old I am, right? I'm only two years away from getting a 10 percent discount at Wendy's!! Yay! I am already a card carrying member of the AARP, so that thrill is gone. My friend Kathy sent me some awesome cool rocks for my Birthday. Some from the most Eastern coastline of the United States and a rock from Russia called a hornblende. I am a cheap date because you can pick rocks off the ground and I adore them. They have to be SPECIAL, though. They have to make me stop and be amazed at the Universe in general. Rocks do that to me...

Now that the upgrade is over, I suppose I should get my butt in gear to go enjoy a normal day at work. I will thrill in the mundane activities. I will roll on the tediousness of 'normal' work like a dog on a dead squirrel. I will clear my desk of the reams of information I've had to sift through for the last millennium and dust my desk and carry on..

October 8, 2013 - Happy Tuesday Morning to all. I had a very productive day yesterday at work and got two projects done that were hanging in the wings waiting for me to be done with this last upgrade. Yay. Viva productivity. I put some chicken in the crock pot before I left for work, and we had BBQ Chicken sandwiches for supper. Yum. All is merry and bright.

Last night, my neighbors brought over a birthday present and card (for me) and a new toy for Grandpup Watson. That was ever so sweet of them. I put the dog toy up where I thought my dogs wouldn't get to it. Here I sit working away this morning and I stand up and turn around and there are my dogs, on the floor next to each other with the new dog toy on the floor behind them. They slobbered it up pretty good. Each dog was looking at the other one in a guilty way. I am pretty sure they are both guilty of slobbering on it, but how could I get mad. I was classic humor. Now the Grandpuppy's new toy is hanging higher up to dry out. Dogs - gotta love 'em.

October 10, 2013
- I had a very nice Birthday! Judy at work made me the best seven layer bars for my treat, and Jess from the plant made me a cake. The CSR group got me balloons. Deb got me some neat slippers. It was a nice day at work yesterday. My sister dropped off some awesome Halloween pumpkin candle holders she made at ceramics class. My husband took me to dinner at Red Lobster. (I came home with crab in my bra. I get very intense when I'm ripping apart crab legs. It is best to stand clear during that time lest you be covered in shards of meat...) I always feel sorry for the poor innocent crabs, but that does not stop me from ripping them apart.

I got the funniest cards this year. Hahahaha. Loved them all. My husband's card was a beagle with his head stuck through a loaf of bread (cute and funny in itself) and on the inside it said, "There are worse things than getting older, like being in bread..." and I laughed and laughed. Mind you, I did NOT get the reference to "in-bred" for over five minutes. I was just laughing over the fact there was a dog with his head in a loaf of BREAD which was hilarious. Then a bit later I "got it" which made it funnier since I was so clueless for so long.

Tuesday night when I was washing the coffee pot and I broke it. It wasn't long after that my husband got home and as he walked in the door I said in a low growl, "I broke the coffee pot..." He just made a full circle and back out the door he went. He learned his lesson a long time ago that you don't keep Sandy from morning coffee. He went and got a replacement. He also brought home flowers for my Birthday and that was sweet. This morning I am sipping my coffee and thinking that was the best present ever (if he wanted to live) and I'm pretty sure the real "Colombian Drug Lords" are the ones harvesting coffee beans. They have us all right where they want us...

October 11, 2013 - The coyotes in the field across the road sounded as if they were having a party this morning. My dogs just stood there looking in the direction of the ruckus, but did not react in any way. Quite the yip fest, it was. I came in and looked up coyote calls and listened to a few, and THEN the dogs starting having a fit. I guess for a dog it is OK if the coyote is outside in some field, but not OK if it's on Mom's computer? Smile. The stars are beautiful, too. I even got to see a "falling star" which is a bonus. I am fascinated by falling space debris.

It is Friday. Amen. I have had some issues of menopausal nature this week emotionally, but I just ignored those feelings and kept on keeping on. (OK, Tuesday I cried, but hey - not bad for five full days.) I think I'm getting the hang of this "change of life" thing. (Or so I can say today, tomorrow is another story when they find me chasing someone down the street with a knife in hand.) Surprisingly  I've not had the urge to taser anyone recently, now that I ponder it. Wow. For a while there that was all I could picture when talking to people....

I spilled coffee all over my Lazy Boy chair this morning. I overfilled my cup and thought I could balance it until I got to my desk. Instead the coffee picked the point over my chair to eject to safety. Taffy the Cat is NOT happy as that is his chair in the morning and how can a cat sleep in a chair that is damp and smells like cleaner? How!?? He is staring at me right now with a look on his face like Spock from Star Trek - one cat brow slightly raised. He will have to sleep in the 'cat condo' that is the old box with a blanket in it that we keep in the living room. Maybe to win back his affections I'll open the bedroom window before I leave for work so he can perch up there for the day.

My sister in law and Mom in law came over last night to show us Carol's new car. It is a very pretty blue. Sounds like it gets good gas mileage, too. I made them come in the house to see the dogs since the dogs were pounding down the door to see them. After they left and after we had supper, we tried out the new harnesses we got for the dogs for when we walk them. The dogs don't respect my husband and pull and pull and he just doesn't discipline them like I do, so we got 'anti-pull' harnesses. Wow, best dog walk EVER! They were trying very hard at first to shake off the weird contraption but after a while they just walked. Very nice. My husband had his yearly wellness check up and got a lecture from the doctor about exercising, so walking the doggies will be a good first step. I've been harping on his to go walking with me for a long time, but now that the DOCTOR said something, oh SURE - he thinks we need to walk. Moving is a good thing. I say we move while we still can. We saw a couple at the store the other night - both in the scooter type electric grocery chairs - and my husband said, "That is us in 20 years!" and I responded, "No, that is us in three weeks if we don't start moving more."

October 13, 2013 - My bladder woke me up at 4:30 a.m. It was about 1 minute too late... Who needs an alarm when you drink a lot of water the night before?

I stood outside for the longest time admiring the stars. I love looking UP. The dogs had come out to do their business but wanted back in, so it was just me and the lovely quiet of a Sunday morning. No car sounds. No critters out yelling about anything. Then my stomach decided to fill the void with low rumblings. Some of the notes it hit made me think Louie Armstrong was trapped in my lower intestines...

Yesterday was a fun day. My sister and I went to visit with Aunt Jean in the morning. We took her some flowers for her upcoming birthday. It was a fun visit. Then we came back and talked for a while. After she left I did some laundry and dishes and decided to try to take a nap, but that didn't happen. When my husband got home from work we went to the grocery store. We got only what was on the list! Yay! A first! Of course, we needed some things that were NOT on the list, so I see another trip to the store today.

October 14, 2013 - There was a marathon near where my daughter lives in Chicago. They went outside to cheer them on with the crowd. I think community support rocks. Below is a picture they snapped and it makes me laugh. Now if that isn't a way to inspire, what is? Hahahahaha!

I feel so terrible for some people at work - so many having such issues in their lives right now. One person's son was in an accident last night...Another person's son is having possible heart issues...Another person's sister is having strokes due to clots in the brain and is now on life support...another person found out they have advanced cancer...Just one thing right after another. Sigh. I told my daughter that I am counting my blessings this morning, that is for sure. Sometimes life can overwhelm people or hit them with somethign totally unexpected out the side hatch. When you think about it, there isn't much I have to complain about, even if I thought I did. My BFF's Dad is in the hospital as well with spinal cancer. It is times like these I wish I had a magic wand to make everything all better for everyone. I know I can't do that, but I sure wish I could. Sigh.

I was up again early today. Woke up at 4 a.m. This seems to be a trend lately. I don't want to wake up at four a.m. I want to wake up to the alarm and smack the snooze alarm six times before I get out of bed like any good American does. There are some benefits to waking up early, however. I got some chores done I would have normally had to do tonight, plus it is dark and I can't see all the spider webs and dust that I should be cleaning, but if you don't see them it doesn't count, right?

October 15, 2013 - The benefits of waking up early are that I can see more stars and things that fall from the sky. Maybe I'm seeing more 'falling stars' due to the upcoming pass through the remnants of Halley's comet. The peak date this year for the Orionids is the 21st of this month. I don't even care if it is falling debris from smashed up satellites or George Clooney, I just like the inbound burning of the stuff! Keep looking up! The down side of waking up early is going to bed early! My husband and I went to bed at  8:15 last night! Ugh. This was after we fell asleep watching the new Halloween episode of Spongebob on T.V. (See kids, we live life on the edge. Don't you all wish you were still at home?!?) We did take the dogs for a walk after supper, though. That was fun. Instead of walking around the yard I led the parade and walked back and forth across the lawn. That way you get an uphill walk and a down hill walk. I much prefer the slightly downhill walk, I must say. I didn't realize how lopsided the yard was until last night!

I got called on wearing jeans to work during the week. Being in the office, you are only supposed to wear jeans on Friday if you wear them at all. I was upset at first since I do crawl around on occasion in my job and wearing dress clothes seems stupid for that, but I also realized that rules are rules. So I've been following the rules again like a good girl. I have to get new proper work shoes, however. The only pair I have that could be considered semi-work-approved are CLUNKERS. The must weigh 10 lbs. a piece, I swear. I clomp down the hall like a giant would. I really need lighter work shoes. I shall put that on the list...

They are ripping up the HALLWAY OF DEATH as we called it at work (the original tile floor form the rebuilding of the plant in 1991). The tiles were exploding and cracking and people were falling on them. They decided to rip all the tile up and just grind down the concrete that is there and that will be the hallway. I am glad the evil "I'm gonna trip you" tiles are going away, although I will miss the Rice Krispie sounds the tile made under my feet when I walked on them. I have been confused by some of the decisions coming down the "ladder" at work lately. I get discouraged. Then I realize I've been discouraged since 1979 about some decisions, so I just do my job best I can and hope some people come to their senses. A girl can dream. I think I'm going to find another person to do the food drive this year, too. I got yelled at last year for the amount of money the company spent on the 'reward' pizza for the teams that won the food contest. If I can't reward them or make a 'contest' out of it, I am not sure how to approach it. Just running around saying "Donate Food and Personal Items, Damnit" isn't going to work, but then again I've not tried that approach. Maybe a large woman in large, clunky shoes is threatening enough to get donations just by my presence. One should never underestimate the power of clunky shoes!

October 21, 2013 - I have had nothing exciting to report about in days. I still do not. I fear the 'blog' is getting too boring to carry on. When the kids were home, there was excitement and stories. Now there is not so much excitement and not that many stories. I know several of my family members use this blog to keep up to date with 'Sandy' and all but I feel I am letting everyone down by being so boring and I'm in no mood to get in a monster truck and jump school buses for the sake of 'news' as it were... I did get new shoes for work that are not clunky - so I have that to report. Now you can all sleep well tonight, I'm sure.

My sister goes to Joint Camp today. (We've had lots of fun with the name of that program...) I think it is a wonderful idea, actually. They give the patients exercises and such to do to strengthen the area that will be operated on and then teach them things for post surgery. I can't wait for her to get relief from her crappy knees. Viva modern technology. I would hope they would install a knee that would enable her to audition for 'Riverdance' in the near future. She would enjoy that.

Yesterday morning when I was outside with the dogs at five thirty a.m. there was a lovely cacophony of sounds going on. The sounds of either coyotes or foxes, the sandhill cranes in a nearby field, the sound of a radio at a house down the road, and geese. I told my husband to listen for these things when he walked out to get the newspaper. He came in and said, "All I heard was cars and a train. You're on crack..." So much for embracing nature, geez. This morning it is cold and raining which seems appropriate for a Monday morning for some reason.

My oldest spent the weekend with his sister in Chicago and it sounds like they had fun. I am grateful my kids get along so well. The poor wee one had to stay home and work. He asked if I could babysit Watson the puppy. I told him I couldn't because I had plans. (In a way I think it is cute that he's worried about his dog and doesn't want his dog to be in a crate all day, but then on the other hand I have to start practicing for when there are REAL grandkids and the requests to babysit start coming in...smile.)

October 22, 2013 - Now I have a story to tell. My wee one came over with my grand-puppy, Watson, and they stayed for supper.

Watson is a joy, I must say. Jake and Kia were NOT sure what to think of this ball of legs that was in their house, so they wanted outside. They stayed outside a lot. Even when they were in, they stayed the furthest distance from Watson as they could. Watson was on the couch a lot, so after my wee one and Watson left, my dogs WOULD NOT GET ON THE COUCH! Hahahaha. Even this morning they are on the floor in front of the couch, but refuse to touch that dog cover where another dog was. Geez, they are like teenaged humans.

Watson is well behaved for a puppy. The wee one and I took my dogs out for a walk and Watson just pranced along beside us, watching our faces for direction and did not attempt to wander off. In the house Watson found every stuffed cat toy Taffy the Cat owns and pulled out the stuffing and ripped off the tags. (Which was funny - that is not being BAD, that is being PUPPY.) He tried to get my dogs to play, but they were too busy in the corner in the kitchen ignoring him and avoiding eye contact. This still makes me laughs. My dogs are going to have to remove the cob up their lower regions because come Christmas time, my kids spend the night here and Watson will be in tow.

My husband is getting sick. (Head cold/cough kind of sick.) This weekend is the first weekend we have had plans in FOREVER and I hope no fevers break out. He is not alone in feeling punky. My ears have been on the borderline of hurting as well, and I feel like I, too, and coming down with something. I have been taking my vitamin C and normal vitamins and drinking lots of water to combat this. (My bladder would like to say at this time that drinking lots of water, as far as it is concerned, is the dumbest thing I could possible do. My bladder is not happy and frequently lets me know this - being as my bladder is the original Wiki Leaks of sorts.)

October 24, 2013 - A glorious morning here in Sandyland. It is snowing. Well, raining with snow? Snowing with rain? Either/or. There were big ploppy herds of snow flakes hitting my window on the way to the hospital to get lab work this morning. My yearly check up is next week and I wanted to get my blood drawn so he has the results before that visit, so I had to take advantage of the fact I had fasted for 12 whole hours since that rarely happens for me. Smile. That was my plan, to drive to an early morning in and out blood draw at our local hospital lab and be home quick as a bunny.

I got half way to the place when I remembered my husband had not taken out the garbage for pick up. He is sick and is not functioning at a normal level (although I'm sure there is no human in the entire history of the world that has ever functioned at a normal level, but I'll leave that discussion for another blog posting...I digress). I turned around in the ploppy snow and hauled Herbie to the Curby. Back in the car and back on the road went I and I got to the hospital and checked in at the front and went back to the lab. The sweetest lady was back there. They got a new blood draw chair. It looked huge. Your legs dangle from it. I launched in to my best Edith Anne impression as I swung my legs back and forth. She laughed and pointed to the wall. On the wall they had taped a picture of Lily Tomlin doing Edith Anne. Obviously I'm not the first one to have thought of this similarity.

Whenever I have my blood drawn, I make sure I don't consume ANYTHING during the fasting period. Years ago I went in for a blood draw and I was chewing (sugarless) gum so I wouldn't knock people over with morning breath. The lady at the front desk told me NO, YOU DON'T EVEN CHEW GUM. She refused to process my paperwork. 'NO! NO GUM!" Really? When I told my family doctor at the time about that, she rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, Geez! It was just gum!" Since that encounter with the female version of Hitler, I go in with nothing to mask the breath that is mine after snoring all night. I don't even brush my teeth for fear of getting shot at the front desk. I feel bad for the people around me, but I won't be yelled at again boy howdy. So when I talked to the lab tech, I turned my head and tried hard not to expel any more air than was necessary.

She couldn't find a vein to poke. I am notorious for not giving up my blood and I warned her about that fact ahead of time. She asked which arm was the best. "It's a crap shoot, use the force, Luke!" I responded. She tried four times, two in each arm before going to get an emergency room nurse to assist. He came in and slapped around my arms and told us what we already knew - I didn't have cooperative veins. "Take it out of my butt?" I suggested, "or my foot? Neck?" This was all supposed to be an 'in and out' visit and so far I was in and I was not going anywhere. I don't mind having my blood drawn and it does not make me feel faint or anything. (Once you change a few diapers after a baby eats blueberries, NOTHING makes you sick or faint after that.) So I didn't mind the sixty two holes in my arms as it is par for the course. When the nurse was trying to tap a vein, I went all 'zen' and relaxed and willed that vein to give up blood. He said, "Keep it up, it's working." They barely got enough for the tests ordered, but the got it after a half hour of playing pin the vein on the donkey. I promised next time I would cut myself shaving before I came in and they could use that wound for a blood draw. I tried to make them laugh, I really did. I hate being the patient who won't give up the goods.

At this time I would like to announce that I have just today to work then I'm on vacation. Yes, time off. It seems like a really rare thing for me. It is. TIME OFF. I like how that sounds. No big plans, just not working. I have big plans for tomorrow though, so I just lied. ONE BIG PLAN and then nothing. I like the sound of that. I predict the blog will be full of my adventures of cleaning this house next week. Man, I am living life on the edge, baby. I will try to get live interviews with the spiders after I destroy their webs...

October 27, 2013 - Between my husband and I, it sounds like the excessive snot expectorant ward at a hospital. Our first full blown upper respiratory diseases of the 2013 fall/winter season. I see no reason to celebrate this fact, but had to announce it to the world since we exposed our kids to it this weekend and the neighbors, too. Ack. Cough. Snot.

Let's see, we'll begin with Friday night... We have had tickets to see 'Here Come the Mummies' for a while now. As bad as we felt, I was still not going to let $50 dollars worth of tickets go to waste, so off we went to the concert at the casino with hankies in tow. My oldest son rode with us and my daughter and son in law were coming in from Chicago and were going to meet us there.

I've never been to a casino. I had no idea what to expect. My first impression as I descended the escalator on to the main floor was that it was a large, loud Chucky Cheese style place for adults. My second impression was - man, all the table workers and janitor workers and such look so sad. I didn't see many smiles at all. There was a black jack worker who looked as if he just swallowed a spoon of powdered cinnamon, his face was in such a scowl. There were no smiles on the faces of the people plopped in front of the slots as we made our way back to the concert venue. WHY AREN'T YOU PEOPLE HAPPY? I wanted to scream. The lady cleaning the bathroom looked as if she was just beaten with a stick. Sigh. We had fun with an older couple that was near us in line for the concert, THEY were happy. All the people in line seemed quite happy to be waiting for the Mummies. It was just the casino guests and workers that seem depressed. Odd. Did not the commercials on T.V. depict people laughing with joy as they won thousands of dollars?

The night before the concert I had sent a message to the casino's Facebook page asking if there were chairs "for us old codgers" in the concert area. The response was, "We have chairs for all ages, just not old codgers!" This was a blatant P.R. lie. The concert venue was cleared of all chairs. It was a stand up only event. Maybe because there was a costume contest going on that night as well. $5000 for first prize, $2500 for second, and so forth down the line. There were a LOT of creative costumes walking about that would have not worked had their been chairs. This gave us something to look at while we waited for the concert to start. I meandered around the venue quite a bit looking for Ron and Sue, our neighbors. They were coming for the concert and this pleased me. I found free food being served in the back of the concert area. Hey, Free Food. I got a huge plate and brought it back, and I'm glad I did. I stopped to get a beer as well, and that beer, that ONE beer - JUST A NORMAL SIZED BEER THAT WAS NOT MADE OF PURE GOLD OR ANYTHING - was $8.00. "Holy Crap, woman!" I said to the bartender lady, "Really? Man, I gotta get out more..." I took my 'golden' beer back to my table we had gathered around and set it down carefully. The boys went and got a draft beer (which was only six dollars, mind you). Ron and Sue came and stood with us.

While people mingled and wandered around, they played music over the P.A. system. A song came on that made my daughter and son-law say, "This is the song they always play right before the Mummies come out!" This made me excited. The group we were waiting for marches through the crowd with drums to the stage. I look forward to that because I am a parade freak. I get very excited over parades and jump up and down. Not easy for me, mind you, the jumping part. This did not stop me when they came out through the crowd very near to us. I screamed at them. It's a state law, you know. Sandy has to stomp around like an idiot and scream when she's excited over a parade. My family, no doubt, is always so proud of this law.

The concert started and it was fun. Very fun. The group rocked and I danced and sang at the top of my lungs. Very Very fun. I thank my neighbors for sticking with us even when I acted as such. I was soaked from sweating. This, too - is state law. Sandy must leave any concert venue with her head dripping from sweat. Below are pictures after the concert where the audience can personally maul the Mummies.
MUMMY!More Mummies!Sandy and Java

So the concert was a hoot, but afterwards my husband and I came straight home. The kids were going to stay and play some games, but we were both exhausted and ready to come home and blow our noses and drug ourselves up with cold medicines. We coughed all the way down the highway. We coughed all the way down the side road we took home. We were snot factories. Maybe going to the concert wasn't such a good idea, but it was ever so much fun while we were there! I wish I could have filmed us both getting out of the car at home - we were both moving in slow motion. We had become snot mummies. Smile. By then we were not above using our own clothes and Kleenex. The kids came here later to spend the night, since they were going to hang out here on Saturday.

CAKE!!Saturday was spent just being at home and relaxing. My wee one brought over Grandson Watson the Puppy so we could all babysit while he worked. Watson was a hoot. Very well behaved puppy and such a cutie. My daughter and son-in-law made me a cake from scratch. That was our dessert after supper. My oldest got us pizza for supper. It was a fun day all around. The kids took Watson went over to play with Sophie for a while. I watched out the window. Watson understands playing. Sophie understand playing. My dogs, however, do not. As my husband said, "We failed there, not exposing them to other critters when they were young..." That is true. My dogs would run over and rip Sophie's ear off and then run wildly into the woods in search of something to roll in or poop on.

Now, today - I will do just odds and ends around the house. I want to feel well enough to mow one last time this next week while I'm on vacation. Oh, yeah - I'M ON VACATION. I did not log in to work on Friday or Saturday, but I did this morning because my server called my name. I just had to answer a few responses for a program had failed, so it wasn't working - it was hitting one key several times. I do not plan on not logging in unless something explodes and they call the house requesting assistance next week. It kind of feels good not worrying about work. It has been a long time since I had time off... a very very long time. Odd, I have no big plans except to feel better and suck down some spiderwebs that have populated the corners of my house. I should leave them up until after Halloween, huh? Sets the mood.

October 29, 2013
- Ack. I knew I took vacation for a reason. The reason was to be sick. I love the snot. Makes me feel productive. Yesterday I decided to mow. Even in my head cold haze, I mowed our two acres. I wrapped up in a head scarf, gloves, and a coat. It was when I was starting to doze off on the mower the last quarter of the yard that I decided it probably wasn't a good idea. We are supposed to have rain this week, so I figured yesterday was my best bet. That is all I did yesterday was mow, blow my nose, and hwarf up my lungs. Oh, and I did some laundry. So I did something. I just don't want my vacation to be in vain. (Wait, I just wanted to be away from work, and I am - so what am I worried about?)

My oldest son is sick, but he wasn't feeling well on Friday night so I don't think we infected him anymore than he was already infected. So far my daughter and son-in-law are checking in as sick free. I cross my fingers. I love to share with my kids, but NOT SNOT!  My husband finally broke down and let me use Vicks Vapo Rub on his chest the other night. My whole family hates that stuff. (Maybe I over used it when they were younger? All I know is I can clear a room of my kids by showing them the bottle of Vicks.) My husband feels the same way about the stuff so I know he is feeling poorly if he let me slather him with it. I think it is a multipurpose cure plus a lovely 'evening out' sort of scent.

Right now I have a pot of chili slow cooking on the stove. I hope I made it spicy enough. I am counting on this to clear out some of the clog in our heads.

October 30, 2013 -  I have been having such crazy dreams since I've been sick. Odd, crazy dreams. Last night I dreamed the kids were still young, we lived in a much bigger house, and we had all the pets we ever owned over the years all at once. They all broke out of the house and I spent the night screaming their names in the dark looking for them all. By the time my bladder woke me up this morning, I had found them all. Then when I woke up for real at 4:30 a.m. (I'm on vacation, why am I waking up so early!?!?) I went to let the dogs out and when I called Jake, I yelled, "Odie!!"... residual from that dream, I'm sure, because my dear Odie has been gone now for four years. I have not been taking cold medicine or anything so I wonder what causes dreams like I've been having? I've had horrible dreams about my boss. I've had horrible dreams about friends. For the life of me I can't figure out what the dreams mean, if they mean anything at all. Maybe when one is sick, the brain just throws ANYTHING up on the screen at night while it tends to working on getting you better. My theory, and I'm sticking to it... All I know is some of those dreams leave me with a creepy feeling all day long.

Yesterday I brewed up a pot of chili. I thought I had made it HOT but it didn't taste HOT to me. I wanted something that would kick my cold in the butt. It didn't burn as I had anticipated. My husband said it did, but the burn eluded me. I could kind of taste it. It was kind of good, but there was no BURN. Later this week I'm making cabbage soup. That just sounds good too. Might as well make decent dinners while I'm home, right? Between the cabbage soup and chili, should end up being a fart festival around here. You've been warned.

Taffy the Cat is so full of it this morning. I have an old analog phone hooked up on my desk and he just discovered the curly cord is grand fun. Sigh. He also knocked half the items off my desk earlier this morning during another spaz fit. Ah, Cats. Gotta love them. The dogs get quite upset when Taffy is feeling frisky. They gave up trying to stop it an hour ago when holding the cat down with one paw and licking his face until the fur is gone did not work to deter him. The dogs are now snoring on the couch while Taffy the Destructor carries on...

I suppose I will go to household chores. The more I do NOT clean the spider webs like I thought I would this week, the MORE I SEE SPIDER WEBS! I suppose they are calling to me.

October 31, 2013 - Apparently writing on the blog yesterday that I was having bad dreams helped me NOT have bad dreams last night. Oh, mind you - I dream like a mad man, but last night there was not the sadness, depression, nor the terror of the prior nights this week. Good, I say. Good. I did roll on my back at some point and woke up with a sore throat from snoring and my nose was solid packed with snot so breathing was nigh on impossible by then, but I had good dreams.

I went for my yearly wellness physical. I took a list with me. It is my wellness check up, so you ask stuff in a preventative sort of way, right? Besides the obvious cold that I have, I had my list of questions. He came in and reviewed my blood work with me. He was not happy about some of the numbers, nor was I. I won't go in to detail here until I research each one. I know what they are and what I have to work on. Anything that is wrong with my blood is my own fault. I am the keeper of my own cells. I have to go back in three months to check several of them again. I also got my flu shot, so that is done for the year. Asked about some spot I had that I thought were suspicious for skin cancer and he showed me WHICH ones were the real suspicious ones. Those they can laser off when I have the time or inclination as they are just at the stage of (insert the term Sandy totally forgot what he said here). "When we were kids, our parents didn't slather us with sunscreen and considering the amount of times I got fried to a neon red crisp, I thought I should ask."  He said we will keep an eye on my pre-(insert the term Sandy totally forgot what he said here).

He was impressed however with my cholesterol levels - very good levels there. I also lost ten pounds. "I need to know how you lost ten pounds, Crazy Lady?" the doctor asked. "Well, when my husband came home from his wellness checkup a few weeks ago with you, he was whining that you said he was fat, and I said WELL DUH and so now I've been dragging his butt out to walk the dogs and I've also beern trying to cook better..."  "I doubt I said he was fat in those exact words, but good! Good for you!" the doctor laughed. "Oh sure, he will listens to YOU,but not to me, so it's all good if he's moving, I say!" I replied. It is amazing what a little movement can do for your body. Walking the dogs is very little movement. Every night when I tell him we're walking he makes old man noises and curses the dogs, but at least he'll go out with me. I am sad about the time change this weekend, as it will be dark when it is time to walk the doggies. I will need to get a 'Ron' Flashlight! (Ron the neighbor has the best kick ass flashlight in the world. I have flashlight envy. "Thou shall not covet your neighbor's big ass flashlight" - well, I do so shoot me.)

I feel so much better today. I have pumpkin bread in the oven so the house smells like Thanksgiving sort of. I will take a loaf to my Aunt Jean along with enough chili for a supper or lunch. I emailed her this morning to tell her if the chili is too hot (spicy wise) they could cut it with a can of tomato soup. We had it for supper again last night and I don't think it is too hot, even for an older person's taste buds. (Hey, wait, I AM an older person with taste buds!)

Today when I get back from my Aunt's house I will make cabbage soup. There are SO MANY recipes on the interweb that I think I'll just wing it and make my own version. Which means I will have to stop at a store and get some beef stock because I think I would rather have beef stock as the base over chicken stock. SO MANY DECISIONS! ARGHHHHHHHHH. I kind of think of cabbage soup as sort of a 'Stone Soup' from the story I read as a wee lass. Throw in what you have sort of soup... Normally it all comes out good.

Now, I'm off for a little nap before staring my business day. Viva Naps on Rainy mornings!

top of page November 4, 2013  - My sister is getting a new bionic knee this morning. (Well, I'm sure it's not bionic, but you know what I mean.) She is in the prep stage for surgery as I type. I emailed my nieces to ask if they could keep me abreast of her status. I think this is her first surgery ever? I know she is scared because who isn't when going under the knife as it were.

I am back to work today after a week long break. I don't want to go back. Chances are there will be a pile of stuff on my desk that no one wanted to deal with or didn't know how to deal with. I do enjoy the paycheck so I will quit complaining, I suppose. I love what I do as well, so another good reason to stop complaining. At least I got to be home when I felt the worst during my cold, although I think it has decided to camp out in my sinus cavity. Ugh. I feel OK, just very very stuffy and there is pressure. I suppose after a day or so of this, I will be going back to the doctor for drugs.

Saturday my wee one came over with Watson the GrandPuppy. That dog is a gem. How the wee one got so lucky to get such a good puppy is beyond me. The wee one has always slid by on the grace of good luck. I adore Watson. He watches your face for direction when you walk him. He knows how to sit already. He is all legs which makes me laugh when he has a puppy spaz run. We babysat Watson when the wee one went to work until my oldest got here for supper. He took Watson home afterwards, but I'm pretty sure he should have left him with Grandma. Smile.

I suppose, if I was a good girl, I'd go to work now. Y'all have a glorious day. Viva Breathing.

November 6, 2013
- My sister came through her knee-ectomy just fine. She comes home today, I hope! I have advised her to put her tap dancing career on hold for now until she is fully healed. I believe my company made some of the parts in her new knee, so now we're related even MORE.

Caution:  The next statement might be gross. (Not that I've ever gross, mind you, but I thought I'd warn you...) I woke up yesterday morning unable to breathe through my nose. After my first sip of coffee I sneezed and then proceeded to blow my nose for ten minutes straight. I went through quite a lot of paper towels. It just kept coming and coming. I am 53 years old, and I've NEVER produced that much snot in one sitting. (I say it like I'm proud or the like, but in reality I was just amazed.) My thought process through all of this was, "If my sinus cavity was THAT packed, where the hell was my brain staying last night because there probably wasn't any room up that way." The dogs stared at me with their heads cocked to one side because of the noises I was making. My husband said encouraging things like, "Should I call 911?" and "You go, Girl!"

Seriously, how can THAT MUCH GUNK be stored in one's head?!?! Unreal.
I stopped wondering a long time ago why God designed things as He did and just started appreciating the whole mechanics of the human body but I am still in AWE of the volume I produced. Just amazing. (Although I still have a bone to pick with Him on the bladder, but I digress...)

I got a candle from a friend's daughter's fundraiser and I lit it this morning. Now ever ten minutes I am thinking, "Who's making cookies?" and then I realize it's that candle. I have done that several times. I must really want cookies or dementia is already setting in...

Two days back to work feels like sixty seven days back to work. I woke up this morning convinced it must be Friday already. I know I'm wrong, but a girl can dream. My daughter emailed me yesterday after taking her first Zumba class at a local gym. "Mom, it kicked my butt!" Good for her for moving. Moving is good. You don't appreciate moving until you can't move anymore. I advise my children NOT to wait for that to happen to them and starting moving and stay moving.

My wee one posted a picture of Watson catching leaves as they fell from trees. In my typical Momishness my first thought was, "Geez, the boys need to rake their yard!!" Really you two - RAKE. Once a mother, always a mother, I fear, although I must remember that I had child slave labor available to do this for me for years while they were all home. Smile.

November 8, 2013 - My wee one and Grandpuppy Watson came over for supper last night. I love seeing my Grandpuppy. Our dogs are getting more brave around Watson and I figure by the time Christmas gets here, we'll all be one happy family, right? Ugh. Kia and Jake have taken to herding Watson and nipping at him when he walks, breathes, moves... They keep a close eye on him now and have decided it is time to show Watson who is alpha male and female of this little house. Watson was very fascinated by Taffy the Cat last night and was in hot pursuit until Jake put an end to that fun. He got between Watson and Taffy then nipped at him and growled. Sigh. Really, I hope they are all grand friends come holiday time. Why can't doggies get along? Get along, little doggies! Get along!

I am still laughing over an event yesterday. I reached a mile stone in my life - you know, that time where you realize that the 1.5 magnifying strength reading glasses are not enough anymore... That time in life when you realize you are too old to read the fine print... That time when young people start offering to help you cross the street....

My coworker Mike was showing me a nickle. "What is on this thing? Must be a state nickle or something, right?" he asked, handing it to me. He couldn't see it. I looked at it. "You sure it's a nickel? Looks like a mountain of some sort," I said as I attempted to focus on the coin, "and the writing says, um..." I tried like heck to see that writing. I held it at different angles. I took off my reading glasses and attempted to use them as a magnifying lens. Then a nice girl, much younger than me, walked up and patted my shoulder and took the nickle from me. "It says 'West Virgina' and it's a picture of some kind of bridge..."

I looked at Mike and started to crack up. "So it has come to this, has it!?" I sputtered. Then Mike and I went off on a tangent for a few minutes about how it could have been a dollar coin for all we knew and how we had better not drive at night anymore... Guess you had to be there, but for me it was a moment. A moment when you feel yourself get to a level in life where you are braced for the jump into hyper speed and then realize you have failed miserably. Smile.

November 9, 2013 - There have been a lot of cats roaming about the yards as of late. The other day it was a large, beautiful gray cat. Just now it was a gray and white cat. (I always get out the binoculars since that one time when I called 'kitty kitty' for ten minutes only to find out I was calling a fox...) All of these cats look healthy and large and not diseased. I wonder where they are coming from? I can't have another cat until Taffy shuffles from this mortal coil since he has feline leukemia an all, but I'm still a sucker for a stray.

November 10, 2013
- Today was a good day. I enjoyed it very much. After waking up, my husband and I went grocery shopping. This is always fun. Making dinner decisions is always a challenge. My grocery store had a deal on turkeys, so I decided I was getting my Thanksgiving turkey TODAY. I got a 33 dollar bird for 16 dollars. He's a big one. (It took a while to re-arrange the freezer when we got home to get him to fit in there.)

After groceries were put away and the turkey was shoved strategically in the freezer, we set out to suck up some leaves. I got to man the leaf blower. I had more fun playing army while I blasted leaves. I think we should all play, no matter how old we are. I am 53, and I spent an hour playing army around the sheds and trees. It was a hoot. My husband was on the mower using the leaf vac. After I did my duties getting leaves away from buildings and out of tight spaces, I started the leaves on fire. The wind was blowing the smoke to the field East of us, so it was perfect burning weather. I dragged up some sticks to donate to the fire. I dumped out dead flowers in my hanging baskets. I left my husband outside finishing up while I came in and did some laundry and picking up the house. Fun was had by all. I decided to make a pot of coffee. It dawned on my I'm an adult and I can make coffee whenever I want to! Hahahaha. What a treat it was. It is the little things that make life worth living.

Last night after I got in bed, Taffy the Cat assumed his normal position up by my head so I was sure to notice him and pet him none stop for hours and hours. Normally this is very relaxing for me and Taffy will stay there as long as I'm able to pet him before drifting to sleep. Apparently Taffy heard something in the living room that HAD to be investigated RIGHT THEN and sprang off the bed using my face as the springboard. Sigh. I knew he got me with his back claws. He dug in above my upper lip but below my nose. Knowing very well where cats use their feet, I got up right away and washed the scratch and then doctored it up with antibiotic cream and then off to bed I went.

When I got up this morning and stumbled out in to the living room, my husband said (loudly) "EEeewwwww! You have a bloody booger above your lip!!" I looked in the mirror. It was not a blood booger, it was the blood from the scratch. I told him about Taffy's leap from my lip. I cleaned up the LONG scratch (didn't see how long it was when it happened) and doctored it again and came out and announced, "You shall address me as Scarlip O'Hara today!" This made me laugh. Mind you, I just woke up so anything would have been funny.

I talked to my sister today. She seems to be healing up quite well. She was telling me about how the Percocet prescribed to her for pain was affecting her thought process. I said, "You are a child of the sixties! I expect more from you!!" Hahahaha. She is doing quite well from the sound of it if you dismiss the purple haze she has from the drugs.

November 17, 2013 - Sigh. This day was not what I had anticipated.

Good Bye, KiaLast week we noticed our dog Kia was acting depressed. Kia has always been moody since she as a puppy, so her mood swing last week didn't shock us or alert us to any issue. We were convinced she missed her cousin, Puppy Watson. Then on Friday night we noticed she was breathing harder than normal, but still it did not shock us too much. The dogs are older and she wasn't exactly laboring to breathe.

We took her for an afternoon walk yesterday and then she wanted to get in the car, so we went for a ride around the back roads so the dogs could hang their heads out the windows and drool and shed excessively to their hearts delight. This was a good thing, now that we think about it. It would be Kia's last ride. Last night we noticed she was quite bloated looking. I looked up 'dog bloat' on the interweb and it said it was an emergency situation if the stomach was twisted. We made the decision to wait until this morning to check her. She slept with us last night, which she normally does not do, so we knew something was up.

This morning we looked at her and watched her breathe. Now it was labored breathing. We called the only emergency vet clinic around and took her up. They weighed her and took her back to get x-rays. We had a meeting with the nice vet on duty. She showed us the x-rays. Kia's liver was gigantic and extended. Her esophagus and trachea was pushed up from liquid in the chest area. We couldn't even see the outline of her heart. Not good. The vet said she would like to drain the liquid out of her chest so she could investigate further. After an hour she came back to announce that it was blood that filled Kia's chest, not just fluid. A mass was bleeding in to her chest. The vet explained it very calmly and thoroughly. It took me a while to realize what she was saying was, "There is no hope." When I realized it finally I turned to my husband and said, "Ohhhhhh....." and couldn't talk for a bit. I finally turned to her managed to say, "Euthanasia?" The doctor said, "You could take her home for a day to spend a last few hours with her if you want, but ..." She didn't come out and say to do it, she just let us make the decision. I think the way the vet delivered this was so well done. Even though it took us a while to realize what she was saying - it was done so well that the decision was obvious. We chose to let her go today.

When we eventually left the clinic, my husband just broke down. Kia was supposed to be my daughter's dog, but after she left home Kia was my husband's dog through and through. She was "Daddy's Girl" and there was no doubt about that. He blubbered, "What a shock! Out the side hatch! She was just supposed to have a stupid twisted stomach!" We cried on the way home. A dog or cat becomes one of your 'kids' and you love them like a kid. They make you laugh and they love you even if you have not bathed in six days. They are ALWAYS happy to see you, and hold no grudges. Of course we cried. We lost a 'child.'

Big Jake is confused as to why we left with Kia and did not come home with Kia. He barks at every little sound. He has been pacing and looking out the window. Kia and Jake are siblings and they have never been apart, really, in the last 8 years. I hope the wee one brings Watson over a lot because I think Jake will be terribly lonely now.

To keep from weeping constantly, I have done laundry, washed up dishes and I have drawn water. (We are under a tornado watch and I am just doing busy work to keep my mind busy, but in reality I still want to be able to flush the toilet if we are out of power...) But I think now, I will go sit on the couch with Jake and give him a good belly rub. You just never know when it will be the last one you give...

November 18, 2013 - My area had some wicked storms last night. Nothing drastic like some other poor folks, mind you. We had no tornado. We only lost power off and on for a while. We were the lucky ones. All around us and across other states they got blasted with tornadoes and horrid thunderstorms. You can't fight Mother Nature. Mother Nature just happens and for the most part humans are just in the way. 

Our neighbors read my blog and came over to see how we were doing yesterday. I'm so glad they did. Then the storms kept our mind off of being sad. Losing a pet it like losing a family member. Yes, it is "just a dog" but geez, as humans we have a lot of emotions tied up in a dog when you think about it. I feel heavy today. We have always been blessed to have animals with awesome personalities (except for Psycho Bitch Bootsie - a whole 'nother blog entry) and I feel blessed. I could never NOT have a pet. I dread the day when I cannot have pets due to old age or other circumstances. Losing a pet and being sad would never stop me from getting another pet down the road and loving that pet as much as all the others.

I can't log in to work this morning to work from home due to issues with the cable and such, so I am going in early. I imagine the day at work will be filled with issues, but that is why I get paid, is it not? Dealing with issues. So off I go to conquer my little corner of the world. Viva Power and breathing. Viva carrying on...

November 19, 2013 - It will take some time I'm sure, for poor Jake to get over the loss of Kia. I ran home at lunch yesterday to let him out and check on him. He just stood at the front door barking. (In my mind, I'm hearing, "Is my sister out there? Let her in, I demand it!") I finally got him to go out in the potty pen, and he just barked. Ugh. My husband called me when he got home and said, "Jake won't stop barking at the front door, and when you let him outside he just barks at every side of the fence!" A dog can only bark to call a missing friend. They can't call 911 and put out a BOLO or hang up posters. The poor dude.

My wee one brought Watson the Puppy over, however, which helped a TON. Jake does not like Watson much, but at least last night Jake didn't nip at him. There were several times Watson and his flailing puppy legs walked all over Jake on the couch, and Jake still did not nip. This is a first. My husband and wee one took Watson and Jake for a walk before I got home from work. Watson was trying ever so hard to show Jake the joy of sticks, hauling every branch and limb up and shoving it Jake's face which did not please Jake since he has never 'played' much in his life. Kia was the one that played and could get Jake to prance around at times. Jake would much rather read a book and sip brandy and such by a fire. I thank my wee one for bringing over cousin Watson for the sheer fact it kept Jake's mind off of Kia and we all felt the love.

This morning, however, something happened in my living room I thought I would NEVER see. Taffy the Cat walked up to a sleeping Jake and attacked his nose! Taffy has NEVER DONE THIS. Jake yelped in his "big gay Jake" girly voice and ran away. He came up to me and looked at me, then looked at Taffy who was doing the 'butt wiggle' to attack again!! I scolded the cat and comforted Jake. (While laughing, mind you.) Here I thought it would be Taffy that would suffer at the hands of Jake after this whole ordeal. Apparently Taffy has issues with missing Kia too and is taking out on the poor dog!!

You know, you raise kids and kick them out of the nest eventually, but then you tend to gather other things that 'need' you. Cats, Dogs, Plants, Birds, etc. I assume as I get older I will expand my collection of things that "need" me by housing the homeless and old circus animals. Smile.

The storms 'round these parts caused havoc to our south and west and north. We were fortunate not to lose power for any length of time. Blessed, actually. All we had were large branches and limbs down here and there as Watson was so kind to point out. Many of my friends will not have power until Thursday! Yikes. I feel there pain. Been there and done that. No fun. I will not take my hot shower for granted.

November 20, 2013 - The healing continues, although I'm not sure how it is going for Taffy the Cat and Big Gay Jake. Sigh. This morning Kia's toys were in the middle of the living room. (We had given the biggest to the wee one to take home for Watson, but some of the smaller ones we left here.) Jake does not PLAY, so I assume it was Taffy the Cat who dragged these toys out. I have come to the conclusion that during the day when we are gone, Taffy and Kia must have played together and I think Taffy blames Jake for her missing friend. Sigh.

When I took Jake out for his walk last night before supper, I let him lead. Except for the pit stop to check out cousin Watson's poop pile, he zig-zagged all over the back yard sniffing for Kia. He would stop and wait and look back at the house as if he just knew that my husband would be out soon with her. Sigh. At least he is no longer barking at every little thing. He is just lonely. We have spent extra time with him to comfort him. Time heals all wounds they say, and I'm banking on that.

I had a dream last night about my Grandma Austin, which is very odd. I have not dreamed about her for a LONG time. Dreaming about her reminded me about the times I went down to stay with her for a week during the summers. I think I did that twice? Maybe just once? I am sure I was more of a handful for Grandma than she wanted to handle. She let me mow her lawn once with the push mower, and when I was done she showed me how I screwed up the corners. She showed me how to make a nice corner cut with the push mower. I have never forgotten that and employ it every time I use a push mower. I remember she also let me spend the day with a neighbor's teenaged daughter (I assume to get a day break from me) and that girl taught me how to knit. I cannot remember her name, that girl - Dana maybe? We wrote back and forth for a while like pen pals. I loved her cursive hand writing. I tried to copy her cursive. I never did achieve that. I did, however, come up with my own brand of cursive. I have three styles, all of which are pretty messy. I am sorry they don't teach cursive anymore in schools or force it to be learned - it's a fun thing to do and I love how cursive hand writing flows...but I digress. I am thankful this morning for the memories of my Grandma Austin and the neighbor girl, is what I'm trying to say. I had so forgotten about that stuff and it was nice to walk down memory lane (or what I can remember of said lane) in my head.

November 22, 2013
- The wee one brought Watson over for a visit last night. I think the wee one likes having 'real meals' at Mom's house. Jake and Watson do better together all the time. Last night Watson would lick Jake and walk so close next to him they were touching, and Jake didn't once nip or bark or complain. Monday both sons will be over for supper with Watson in tow. I will have spaghetti pie ready to stick in the oven for Monday night dinner.

I just spend ten minutes rolling around on the bed with Jake. Jake, as I have mentioned, does not play, per say - but he does enjoy a good wallowing around on his back like a dork on occasion. When he does this, he makes funny sounds to encourage participation in the wallowing. How can you refuse to get down and roll around when someone is so darned cute. For my size and age I feel I wallow pretty darned good. All piggy grunt fests like that have to end in a good belly rub which is rewarded by many kisses. Getting up off the floor after something like that is the hard part. Smile.

Taffy nailed Watson on the nose last night. At least Taffy did not hide this time from Watson. He stayed out in plain site making evil guttural cat noises. Watson was fascinated by this and tried several times to pounce on Taffy. While Taffy was sitting by my chair, he'd be growling then I'd pet him and he would make his happy meow sound but as soon as I stopped petting him, the would growl again. We found this very humorous. It was like turning a switch on and off - "grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....MEOW...................errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......PURR.........."

I have the turkey in the freezer for Thanksgiving. I just have to remember to set it in the fridge on Sunday. I bet I will forget. I often do. After 33 years of doing this, I mostly always forget and end up giving the turkey a cold bath to speed up defrosting. Sigh. You'd think I'd learn. I do not. Did I ever mention the first turkey I cooked made my husband and I sick? Hahaha. Now I handle those things like they were having open heart surgery, right down to wearing rubber gloves as I shove stuff up it's butt...

My car's check engine light has been on for a week or so. This week I had extra money so I took her in. She needed a new oxygen sensor and air filter. The guys who booked me in at the Ford dealership laughed at my low mileage. (It is a 2004 - and I only have 79,000 on her.) "Hey, I go to work and back again and occasionally cross state lines - so quit laughing." That car is the first car I bought on my own and have maintained all by myself. I adore that thing. Bertha is a good girl. Smile.

Thanks to several birds sitting on the dog fence giving me a 'look', I realized my bird feeders were out of food. Hahaha. They know who fills it, and know who to go to when they have to complain to management. Both feeders are stocked up again thanks to the tattle tale sparrows.

November 24, 2013 - I will write for a bit before I attempt to sleep. Besides, I must let the pumpkin bread cool that just came out of the oven. One thing baked for Thanksgiving dinner. Tomorrow I think I will bake the pies, maybe? I have a spaghetti pie ready to bake for dinner Monday night because both the boys and Watson will be over. I think the wee one has enjoyed meals at Mom's the last few times and he decided to drag his big bro along. My oldest took the whole week off of work. It will be nice to see them. They will be happy with the spaghetti pie.

Saturday morning I had to run up to the bank in Portage. Just as I got on the road we had squalls of lake effect snow. Not so bad down by us, but it got almost to white out conditions up near where I was headed. Already people were sliding through intersections and NOT slowing down. Duh. Humans. Just because you have a big SUV doesn't mean you have super powers. Really. I kept being amazed all the way home, too. A car had slid into the intersection and NO ONE was letting the guy reposition and get out of the way! They kept rushing around him. When the light changed I held up traffic until the poor guy could get out of the way. I am sorry he didn't have the sense to slow down when it looked like a blizzard out, but I have enough decency to let the poor guy get to safety.

My husband and I walked Jake on Saturday and dragged back all the large branches that had fallen down during the storm. We also got the big limbs (that were from OUR trees) out of the neighbor's yard as well. I have been wanting to do that all week. It felt good to get it done.

My daughter and soninlaw will be here late Wednesday night. I am sure they will also have to go over to his parents as well after our turkey dinner on Thursday, and then after that head home as Pat has to work on Friday. I am glad they are coming home, but I worry about them driving at night. Now that I ponder it, maybe it is because I have terrible night vision in my old age. They probably can still see, right? Youth has good eyesight. Plus when I was watching idiots slide through red lights on Saturday, my first instinct was to call my boys and tell them to be careful. I did not, however. My kids are A D U L T S now. They know I would not bail them out of jail if they ever drove drunk and I would hope by now they know how to drive in snow. Sigh. Not over reacting as a parent is very, very hard.

Today we had to go to see my mother in law to help her with her Christmas timer, so we took Jake along. He has been melancholy and we thought a ride and visit would raise his spirits. I am not sure if it helped Jake, but we did manage to scare Mom's poor parakeets to near death (I forgot she had birds!) and leave a trail of hair all over her living room. Sigh. Maybe Jake is OK and we are projecting emotions on to him. Humans do that to pets. Pets eat their own poop, after all... We also
went to Mernards and got water filters and a dolly. We've wanted a dolly for moving stuff around at times. We also got a 'half' Christmas tree that fits against the wall to replace our other one. This will free up some needed space during the holidays. (My house if VERY small.) However, we will need the dolly to move the cabinet with all the CDs in it so there is room for the new tree. I managed to sneak in a few holographic plastic snowflakes by just sticking them in the cart at the store. (He constantly does this to me at the grocery store. He is worse than a little kid.) He laughed when we were checking out. Paybacks can be shiny.

November 30, 2013 - Well, it has been an interesting few days.

Wednesday night my daughter and son in law came in to town. He ate with us then went to hang out with his family. My daughter stayed with us and we talked until after midnight. This is WAY past my bed time. I had trouble falling asleep after that. I might have gotten two hours of sleep total. Ugh.

Thanksgiving was fun. Since I had most of my stuff done early, it was rather stress free. All I had to do was fondle the turkey and shove it in the oven at seven thirty a.m. Then I made the mashed potatoes and put them in the crock pot. My mother in law and sister in law came over and lots of food and fun was had by all. I started having pains in my stomach after I ate. I took some tums and thought I had just eaten too much. (Which I did.)  It was about six p.m. I started having muscles spasms in my right side and stomach area. Cramps, really. I thought it might be food poisoning, but no one else was sick. I soaked in a hot bath and tried to relax, but the pain got worse and worse. My whole right side and lower back felt like a donkey with an attitude was kicking it. Finally about three in the morning I decided it had to be a kidney stone passing. I woke my husband up to take me to emergency. I lived through one kidney stone in 1992 when I was pregnant for my wee one. I couldn't have any drugs for it then, since I was pregnant. It hurt so bad I saw squirrels on the TV. (Pain drives you to see squirrels, apparently.) I was not seeing squirrels yet this time, but I wasn't going to wait around until they showed up...

We went to the local hospital. I couldn't wait to get up to the Kalamazoo one. They checked me in, made me pee in a pan (it was dark orange - not a good sign) and shot me full of pain killers. I cannot tell you the relief that overwhelmed me. You don't realize how bad you hurt until you don't hurt anymore then you realize, "Wow, on the happy face chart, I was a nine for pain for sure..." (The happy face pain chart shows a smiling happy face for a 1, and on the other end of the scale there is a sad face with tears shooting out of its eyes for a 10...) They drew blood and found my liver enzymes are 300 times over what they should be? (Maybe I heard him wrong - I was, after all, under the influence of something wonderful.) He told me to be sure to go to my family doctor as soon as I could. I foresee a trip to get a sonogram next week, I betcha. They prescribed pain medicine and sent my home. I was freezing. I couldn't stop shivering. I was so glad to come home and crawl into bed.

This morning I feel like a Mac truck slammed in to my body plus my urine is still orange. Sigh. I hope my liver isn't giving out. That would make me sad, since we all just have one, and frankly, I like my liver. It's been a good renter. No troubles up until now from Mr. Liver (except before my gall bladder surgery.)

I think I will go sleep in my chair for a while and dream happy thoughts for my liver. Viva fun weekends.

top of page December 1, 2013 - If you didn't read the 11/30/13 posting, I've been having a bit of a row with kidney stones. Probably just one, but nonetheless. You will have to go to the archives and read about that adventure. I still feel like I was hit by a truck and things still hurt, but nothing like the pain on Thursday night and Friday early. I have had three lives births with no drugs and have turned my ankle during basket ball, but I've not had the pain I've had during a stone that was outbound. I am ever so thankful for that layered relief delivered by the shot in the ER. Bless you, whatever shot it was. Bless you. Maybe it was morphine? I don't know. All I know it that it was a present from God.

I was not hungry since Thanksgiving night. I forced myself to eat a can of chicken noodle soup on Friday night and Saturday. By Sunday morning my stomach was growling so bad that I could hear it echo off the walls. I made my husband take me to the store and I walked around store until I found something things that didn't make me what to puke. I came home and drank a glass of fat free milk with Carnation instant breakfast. It went down good and my my tummy happy. I will forever associate that horrid pain to a Thanksgiving meal, I swear. I think next year we're having ham.

Oh, funny story considering the circumstances. When I got home from ER and after I woke up, I was reading the side of the pain medicine bottle my husband when to pick up for me when I was sleeping. I had not taken any of that medicine but it said on the side of the bottle it would cause constipation. I thought in my drug induced haze that I had better take a stool softener so I wouldn't get constipated. It said on the Dulcolax box to take 1-3 tablets and expect gentle, overnight relief. I suppose that would only be applicable if you were indeed constipated. In two-three hours I was blowing out my lower intestines. Sigh. Never take more drugs when you are coming down from an ER shot.

My husband has been a sweetie, taking care of me all weekend. he put up the Christmas lights on Saturday and did laundry and made sure I had what I needed. Very kind of him.

December 3, 2013 - I should update my health status for my devoted readers (Hi Ron, Hi Trudy, Hi Dave, Hi Vickie!, Hi Kids!) since I went the the doctor's today.

In my last November post I swear the ER doctor said my liver enzymes were 300% higher than normal but I guess that would make me dead. They were 10% over normal. The '300' came from the level, not the percent. (Kids, this is why we don't drink and drive or text and drive or get hopped up on morphine and think you completely understand what a doctor is saying to you.) This fact pleased me. I am happy I am not dead at this point. My doctor is still not happy about the higher levels, however. At my physical in October, they were above normal (almost like they were before my gall bladder surgery). After my gall bladder surgery, they were back down to normal levels at the next yearly check up. Last year they were higher, but he wasn't too worried. This year they were still higher so he cut my Lipitor from 20 mg to 10. Lipitor has done a fine job in keeping my cholesterol picture perfect over the last decade, but it can cause issues with one's liver. So now I am off of that for two weeks and will let my liver 'calm down' as he said, then he'll do another blood draw and we'll check the liver enzymes again. I thought for sure that kidney stones would have some influence on those enzymes, but he said they would not.

Not wanting to make my kidneys feel left out, he ordered a sonogram of my kidneys. I don't think he was going to have one done at first, until I told him the story of the tests after my first stone passage back in 1992 "where they told me there were stones in there that should be sonically blown apart" and "Gee, I sort of just forgot about that fact, Doc..." He said if they see the shadows of stones then he'd order a CT scan with a dye so we could REALLY see what lurks in the poor girls but he'd like to start on the non-radioactive path first. Plus I was complaining about the fact it has felt like I should be 'staring a kick butt monthly' even though I have not had one for months and months and months, so the uterus will be in the spotlight as well during the kidney rubbing come this Friday. When I heard the instructions for this sonogram ("Drink 24 - 32 ounces of water an hour before and hold it") I laughed. I believe this will be impossible. Even my husband had a good laugh and looked at me and said, "Good luck with that..."  I will be taking towels and a change of pants to be sure. My bladder waits for no man.

To summarize, I'm falling apart. My warranty is up. Things will now start to break methodically at an increasing pace. Do I regret not being in perfect physical health from my teens to now? Yes, of course I do - I'm human after all, but since I did not keep myself up and got fat and lazy and all, I will pay the prices now and carry on. Regrets, I have a few, but I ain't dead yet by any means.

I had my first 'real' meal last night since the "Great Kidney Stone Incident of 2013' - wait, I'm going to call it "Kidney Stone ISON"... Yeah - that's it... but I digress... That meal tasted so good. My husband made tilapia and steamed some broccoli and cauliflower. Yum. I ate slow and savored it. The only benefit I can see that came out of the whole KS-ISON was the fact I lost five pounds. Smile.

Jake the Dog goes in for his annual teeth cleaning and pedicure tomorrow. We CANNOT clip that dog's nails ourselves. Even with three large males pinning him down, he will buck the boys off and run. The only time he gets the clipped is when he's sedated. He is walking on stiletto nails now, so he will be happy to be normal for a while after this. (He won't be happy to have his teeth cleaned, but he forgives fast.)

December 6, 2013 - Jake did not get his teeth cleaned. They did a blood panel before putting him under and the doctor called to say that he suspected Jake had a kidney infection. (Now, mind you, we just lost Kia with some form of liver issue, and I just passed a kidney stone and my liver enzymes are screwed up, so when I heard that he may have issues with his kidneys I just came unglued all over the poor vet.) "For heaven's sake, is it our well water? What is going on with us?!" I said loudly. I then ranted on a bit about Kia's issue and me just passing a kidney stone and I am sure the vet had no clue what I was rambling on about. He finally piped up and said he wanted to have permission to sedate Jake and get a urine sample, as Jake was scared and wasn't going to pee for anyone. "Yes, go ahead, but only if you clip his nails while he's sedated." I said.

To me being sedated means you are asleep and impervious to the world around you. This is not the case apparently. Jake knew full well that there were two techs trying to clip his nails. We've established the fact before that Jake lets no human or animal touch his feet and both techs had the scratches up and down their arms to prove this fact. Sedated or not, it wasn't going to happen. They managed to clip his back nails but there was NO way they were taking their lives in to their own hands by attempting the front one. So not only did Jake get 'raped' by a catheter, he was physically abused by two women trying to touch his feet. That poor doggie.

When I went to pick him up and after seeing the damage done to the arms of the nice ladies there, I was not surprised that when they brought Jake out to me he looked at me once, made an Elvis lip, then wouldn't look at me again. He rode home in the back of the car facing the direction we were coming from and wouldn't not look at me. When we got in the house he just stood there not looking at me and crying and whimpering. (This is a first, Jake has only cried a few times such as when he was a puppy and still had a scrotum and Muffy the Cat latched on to said scrotum and went for a ride around the house as Jake screamed like a little girl.) Jake's eyes were still very dilated so here I have my Big Gay Jakey doggie, sort of wobbly in the living room with those HUGE SAD EYES avoiding me at all cost and I felt terrible. He finally found a place to lay by the heater and I went back to work. Jake was very much still drugged up and shaky and I felt like the worst dog Mom ever.

I got a call from my husband when he got home... "What the hell did they do to my dog?!!?!" He was upset Jake was so unstable acting crying and weak...etc. I told him about the adventures Jake had. I also told him that Jake will be on an antibiotic for two weeks. "Well, he acts like they beat him!" I replied, "...well, they DID try to touch his feet after all, and we know no good comes from that..." I told him how the two techs had their arms ripped up so badly and my husband said under his breath, "Good..."

At least getting Jake to take his pills is easy. If you shove the big pills in to a small piece of Smokey Link, Jake (who does not believe in chewing) will suck it right down. Plus he's feeling all better now that he is out of the cloud of drugs. I am not sure I will pursue the teeth cleaning after his kidneys get cleaned up (if in fact they ever do get better because the doctor said it is probably kidney failure which can happen in old dogs and I really need to feed him special food and such, but this is the doctor that told me Taffy would die of feline leukemia four years ago and should be dead by now, by all rights, but I digress as Taffy sits here helping me type my blog...) I doubt I could stand to see Jake that drugged up again. He was just miserable.

I have not been much in the Christmas spirit yet, which normally I am because Sandy is a big ball of HAPPY most of the time. That kidney stone really took it out of me, boy howdy. I noticed on Wednesday I was feeling 'normal' again and yesterday I noticed I really felt better. I came home and did some Christmas decorating. I at least got my herd of snowmen up. I adore my snowmen. Pretty soon I'm going to have to have a house JUST for my snowmen legions.
My oldest surprised me by sending me a DVD of "Scrooged" (with Bill Murray - one my all time favorite Christmas movies) and "A Wish for Wings that Work" by Berkley Breathed. I had them both on VHS tape, but every year it was getting harder and harder to get the poor old tapes to work and now I have them on disc and that surely helped shock my Christmas spirit into coming back! The speech Bill Murray gives at the end of the movie ALWAYS makes me cry. Always.

Oh, and I found these pictures of my granddog Watson from Thanksgiving on the camera when I was looking at it - notice he has on a bow tie for the holiday. Watson is adorable. I'm may be prejudiced because he's my grandpuppy, but he is the cutest thing ever. 
                                      Thanksgiving!                  Give me
                                a smooch, Baby
December 8, 2013 - It is a cold Sunday morning. When I woke up, the wind chill was nine degrees. I am not all snowflakes and snowfall excited this year. I am happy with a dusting of snow. What the hell has happened to me? Maybe when it snows any depth for the first time I'll get that 'spark' back? I did manage to finish decorating the living room. I didn't put up my Simpson Christmas Train, and I held back on putting up too much. Too much up means too much has to come down afterwards. I scaled back just a tad. We got a new Christmas tree - it is a half tree. It fits flat up to the wall. That saves us about three feet in the living room. When you have a small house, hey - three feet is three feet.

The following is a re-cap of my sonogram visit on Friday. If rambling talk about seeing organs on a T.V. screen bothers you, do not read this - You've been warned.

I had to drink "24-32" ounces of water one hour before my visit on Friday. My appointment was at three p.m., so I drank that water at two. I sat on the toilet emptying my current accumulation as I chugged the water. Might as well start empty, was my thought. The drive up was harrowing for a small town girl. The traffic was terrible. I was going up for my scans just when shifts were changing, I'm pretty sure. When I got to the radiology place, I registered and waited my turn. They have those buzzy discs that light up when it's your turn. Very fancy. As I sat there, there was a Mom and Dad with a small boy. The were trying to get him to drink this chalky stuff in a bottle. He was having a CT scan on his stomach. The parents were doing a poor job in encouraging the boy. They were more 'threatening' in my opinion, than encouraging. Finally I looked at him and said, "I drank mine on the way up in the car. I got to burp a lot and loudly. It was fun." (Of course I was lying - I just had to drink water, but what did he have to know that for?) The boy smiled. The parents kind of stared at me. Then I said, "Hey, do you want me to time you? I can time you to see how fast you can drink that crap?! I drank mine in ten minutes. Can you beat that?" He accepted my challenge. He chugged a lot of it. They he looked at his Dad and wanted to go to the bathroom. I thought for sure he was going to puke it back up. When the boys left, the Mom said, "THANK YOU!' We've been trying to get him to drink that for over an hour!!" She gave me a brief history of her son's issues. She acted like she was happy to have someone to talk to. The boys came back out, and I said, "Did you puke?" and he said, "No, but I wanted to." After that they talked to the boy in a more relaxed way, and he seemed happier. We both got called back about the same time.

My visit was to get a sonogram image of my kidneys, bladder, and uterus and ovaries. I didn't get to watch the T.V. screen when she did my right kidney, but I watched the rest. She said, "Oh, my! Your bladder is filling up fast! I'll hurry!" I told her she was preaching to the choir. Looking at the screen, how she could tell my bladder was nearing explosive levels was beyond me. From my angle, it just looked like a small water balloon. She imaged my left kidney and then my bladder again and said, "Before I do the rest, GO NOW!" I jumped off the table and barely made it to the bathroom. I peed steady for two minutes. It felt glorious.

When I came back she did the uterus and ovaries. They use an internal wand to see those. I watched the screen as she zoomed in on my left ovary. I swear it looked like silhouette of Darth Vadar. "That's an ovary?!" I blurted out. "Yep." she replied. "Seriously, it's all just all smushed in there together. I thought ovaries were a proud, stand apart sort of thing." "No, they normally hug right up to the uterus," she explained, as she pointed it out on the sonogram on the screen. I was rather disappointed. The uterus was just a shriveled up old bag with the ovaries stuck to the side. (This is what I 'saw' - I am sure there is much more to it, but from my vantage point and imagination, I saw Darth Vadar with an old, deflated balloon.) The right ovary looked like a very old wizened woman with a babushka. She got the pictures she wanted to get, and I was free to go. It felt like I had been there for hours but when I got back out to the car, it was only 3:30!! Cripes. That place got you in and out like clock work.

She did not mention anything about my right kidney. She did say my left ovary had a cyst. "That is not uncommon to have a sack of liquid on an ovary," she had said. I will call my family doctor next week to see if the doctor saw the results yet. What is he going to tell me? "Hey, your right kidney is packed with rocks!" We shall see. I have my blood draw on Friday morning as well, to see if my liver has calmed down. That is what I worry about most is my liver. You only get one...

December 9, 2013 - Just when I announce to the world here in my blog that I'm OK with no snow, it snows. It looks as if it will snow all week. Funny how winter does that. My husband tramped snow all through the house this morning when he came in from starting his car. I was always worried about being bored when the kids moved out but that is not the case. A husband can fill that void in one stomp fest through the living room.

Taffy the Cat has discovered the tinsel on the tree. At least his poop will be glittery for the month. I don't use the metal tinsel anymore. I use the plastic kind. Hopefully that will do less damage to his intestines. He's survived 14 years of eating the stuff so I suppose he is will be fine AND festive... Taffy is upset this morning because Jake claimed "Taffy's Chair" and after staring at Jake for twenty minutes and meowing, he finally gave up and went upstairs.

I did as little as possible yesterday. It was a lazy Sunday. I did the 'normal' stuff, fold clothes, dishes, etc. but I did NOTHING more than that.

December 12, 2013 - Burrrrrrrrr. It has been cold. Not too much snow where I live, but the BITTER COLD button is stuck to 'ON' position. The Weather Channel says our wind chill is negative two degrees. I would have to agree with them on this one. Jake the Dog does not like COLD and will pee/poop near the speed of light in this weather. He will bark a bit to see if Sophie is our next door, but not even the urge to see 'his woman' will keep him outside for more than a minute.

The next few weeks will be a flurry of busy for Sandy. My My, I am the social butterfly, aren't I? Since my husband can't remember a word I say and vice versa, I have posted a large print calendar to indicate where I'll be or where we'll be the next few weeks. He will still forget. I may even forget. I had to try with the calendar post, at least. Now if he remembers to check it when he thinks I'm missing...

The doctor's office called. They think my kidneys look marvelous. The doctor didn't see any evidence of more stones. He was concerned over my lady parts not acting like old lady parts, so he wants me to see a OBY-GYN. I will pick up my referral paperwork when I go in to get my blood work for my liver. I sure hope my liver is happier. I like my liver. Sure, we don't talk much, but I like him and he has been a good liver. Couldn't ask for a better neighbor.

I was feeling kind of down the other morning on the way to work. No reason. Just "pfffffffft' feeling. No feeling. Then I saw kids waiting at a bus stop. One was in a frenzy making snowballs. One was making a snow angel. The others were just thrilled with the new snowfall and running around like idiots. This made me smile, then laugh. It sure cheered me up, that's for sure. Youth - sometimes they serve a purpose.

I have to tell a story which I find hilarious. One of my jobs at work is to design labels to meet customer demands. Back in June we launched a new label format for a customer. When I was in test mode, I had hard coded a secondary part number field (for which we had not real info yet) with 8675309. (You know, the Tommy Two Tones song - Jenny Jenny...) I use that a lot when testing my EDI or labels or for basic test needs. Well, I launched those labels and NEVER TOOK OUT THE HARD CODED FIELD. So for six months we've been sending this customer labels that has a section that reads 8675309. Hahahahaha. I only found this yesterday when they emailed to say that that field would now be populated with the proper info and they sent said info, but when I went to update the label and such - HAHAHAHAHAHA. We have shipped tons of product to these people since June. I wonder if ANYONE even saw this and laughed? Oh my.

Jake has been on antibiotics for his kidney infection and every morning and every night I have to give him one and a half horse pills. I have been hiding them in low fat Smokey Links. Since Jake does not believe in chewing, it has worked out just FINE but I've created a monster. He now stares at me until he gets his wee wienies. Once the medicine is gone he will no doubt go in to Smokey Link withdrawl.

I suppose if I was a good girl I would wander off and do what it is I do so well. Viva a New Day. Go forth, all - and do good things. Stay warm!

December 16, 2013
- Happy Monday to All, and to all a Good Night! (Wait, I got that mixed up with Santa Claus, so dash away dash away dash away all...) I got carried away with a bit because when I look out my front window, the full moon is shining on the fresh snow and it looks like a million diamonds shining out there. Very festive.

I noticed that on Yahoo there are news stories blaring SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE! and then on Comcast there is a news feed that screams SYMPTOMS YOU DON'T NEED TO CONCERN YOURSELF ABOUT! and I laugh because every human ever blown out of a uterus is a closet hypochondriac and if we read or think about something too long, we WILL get those symptoms and fear for our lives. Sigh. The media in general sucks. I like staying informed but I could do with less of the 'Enquirer' mentality in the news feeds. However, it is mankind's own fault - as they wouldn't do such things it if people weren't reading that crap. Just like the drug trade from Mexico, they would not be doing it if there wasn't a demand. Humans, go figure...

My BFF flew up here on Saturday to see her Dad. At least she attempted to... She flew American and when she got to Chicago O'Hare her flight over the lake to Michigan was delayed. Delayed more. Then cancelled. They offered her a voucher for half off a hotel room, but did not give her any information on where to stay or how to get there. To add insult to injury, as she's trying to find out how/who/where, another flight coming here took off! Geez. I feel so sorry for her. Spending a day in a terminal is no fun. Finally she decided to just go home, and tried to get a flight back to Tampa. The ticket counter told her SHE HAD TO CALL THE 1-800 reservation number to do that. SHE WAS AT A FRICKEN' TICKET COUNTER!! Why couldn't they just book her? She called the number, and was on hold forever. They finally said, "This would have gone faster if you had booked the flight at the ticket counter..." I am surprised she did not go postal. I think I would have gone postal. She TRIED to do that she told the phone lady - they said she had to call! Ugh. My poor Vickie. She is safe back home now and her attempt to see her Dad had failed miserably. I am so sorry my friend.

I have been working a side gig for an old friend who has a major project going on, so if I seem absent from view here on the old blog, that is why, so do not fear. I am here, just busy.

I had my blood draw on Friday morning to check on my poor liver. (We need to name my liver. Any suggestions? Sparky? Scooter?) I won't know the results of course until today or this week. If it is bad I'm sure I will get a call to come in. If it is good, I'm sure I'll get a call to tell me. Either, Or. On Friday night my right side was hurting. Not bad like a 'kidney stone come to kill me' sort of hurt, but it ached. Then Saturday it still hurt and I was convinced my liver getting ready to quit or fall out. (See notes about hypochondria above.) Well, guess what. Not my liver. My lovely female innards who were probably stirred up by the sonogram wand AFTER A YEAR OF BEING DORMANT hit me hard with a "monthly" that is in full blown progress! Ugh! Really? I thought for sure I was DONE and over that! I thought for sure I had gone to the Dark Side of menopause! Sigh. SURPRISE. I did not want this for Christmas, but hey - it is a gift of some sort, I'm sure. It is times like this I have mixed feelings about being a girl. Sure. I like having boobs and all, but  I feel like Julie Andrews swirling around on the mountain in the opening of Sound of Music with a machine gun in each hand...

I cannot wait to see the kids. I think my daughter will come in Friday night this week or Saturday morning as we have Christmas at Grandmas this weekend. She has not been able to go to one of those for a few years. The kids always have a hoot hanging out with my husband's siblings. Last time she was home I had her make the bed upstairs WELL, so Jake the dog wouldn't tear it up (since he sleeps up there on that bed when no one is using it). She did make that bed and tucked everything in super tight. My husband went up yesterday to take up a box to store, and came back down laughing. Jake has everything pulled off the bed and on to the floor. Sigh. So much for my plan not to change that bedding...

Saturday afternoon my husband and I decided to be brave (it was really snowing) and drove up to get our Christmas presents to each other. He wanted a Keurig coffee maker. I wanted a new steam cleaner for my carpets. I got him a Keurig VUE coffee make and several boxes of the Vue Cups. He got me a new Hoover Steam Cleaner. We had a hoot making all sorts of coffees and teas JUST to see the new Keurig work. Needless to say we were constantly peeing all weekend. I don't think playing with my new steam cleaner will be as fun, but who knows? At least it won't make me pee!

December 17, 2013 - Last night I got out my new steam cleaner and did the carpets. Man, that thing SUCKS! Cripes! Hahahaha. My poor thin carpet was no match for that thing. Every time I dumped the waste water, I would be so amazed by the dirt that was in there and would narrate the event to my husband. That thing is so easy to use, too! Who knew? Modern technology.

I think it was Saturday when neighbor Ron was out snow-blowing his driveway, and Sophie made a break for it to our house. She was sniffing around the dog pen. When I saw this, I yelled, "Jake, it is REALLY Sophie this time!!" He could obviously tell by my voice that "this was not a drill" and he ran out. (Normally I call out "Sophie?" when I want him to run outside and go potty, but she's never there, really...) Jake ran out. They barked and ran around very little (since Jake does not 'play' per say. Jake is a lover, not a romper.) Then, and this is the cute part, they were nose to nose for the longest time. They would take breaks to shove their faces in to a snow drift and come up covered in snow but then back to nose to nose contact. I was so darned cute I wish I had my camera handy. It was only when Sophie, who is a young and vibrant dog, lifted up her paw and swiped it through a snow drift and made snow puff all over that Jake backed off the other side of the pen and barked like a baby. Hahahaha. Too damned sweet, really.

We and the kids decided it would be a 'lean' Christmas this year. Why waste the money, right? All we really want is family time. We have a hoot as a family and I adore this. My oldest already got me my present (he ordered me a DVD copy of 'A Wish for Wings that Worked' by Berkley Breathed and 'Scrooged' with Bill Murray). Two of my all time favorite Christmas shows. We will watch these on Christmas Eve after my sister and nieces leave. I can't wait to turn off the lights and watch these with the Christmas lights on and being all merry and bright inside. I have to admit that I have been so blessed to have such an awesome herd of kids. We are so fun together and they are self-entertaining. Really, I can't wait...

Good News from the medical front. After stopping Lipitor, my last liver enzyme test showed that my "my liver was back to normal." 'Twas the cholesterol fighting Lipitor that was screwing with my liver! Sure, my cholesterol has been marvelous the last decade, but at what cost? Ask my poor liver!! The doctor's office called yesterday and I have to tell you, it was a relief! I am guilty as the rest of us for taking medicines the doctor's prescribe without researching as well as I should. Sigh. Now I have to find another way to fight cholesterol build up. Diet and exercise? Sure. We'll say that... but I'm thinking krill oil pills to start.

This weekend is Christmas at Grandma's place. Next year it is my turn to host my husband's side of the herd Christmas. I told him the other night I thought I'd just save up my money and have it at a banquet place where no one has to cook and we sit around and eat and belch and hang out together. He liked that idea. That would be fun we decided. No clean up or the like. (I see the word 'lazy' every other word in the last few sentences and I'm not ashamed.) Smile.

I suppose if I was a good girl I'd go finish my morning chores and finish working on line so I can go to work in person. Viva A New Day. Y'all go forth and conquer!

December 20, 2013 - My husband said last night, "Next week is Christmas! I can't believe it. This one just snuck up on me!" I have to agree with his thoughts here. In my case the whole kidney stone on Thanksgiving night threw me off for the whole Christmas season. Normally on the Friday after Thanksgiving I have my Turkey decorations down and the Christmas decorations up, but that was delayed due to KS ISON and all. I've been off kilter now all month due to that. Funny how humans are such creatures of habit that one weekend of horrid pain can throw us off for a whole four weeks. Sigh. (Or at least I can blame it on that and not my lack of planning of course.)

I have to make cookies tonight or else. I won't have time for it any other night. I work Sunday and Monday. Monday is physical inventory on our new version of our software, and if my coworker Judy doesn't resolve some issues we're having, I'll be working Christmas Eve day as well to hand load the items that won't update. I can tell this morning she worked until nine last night or so, so maybe she has sniffed out the issue and is hot on the trail of the it. I am crossing my fingers. So I will make spritz cookies and the recipe for crockpot Christmas Crack candy I found. Easy things all in all. Tomorrow is Christmas at Grandma's and I really really need to find time to go to my Aunt Jeans. There is enough of me for two people, I wish I could just split down the middle. Boy, we'd be hot mommas if I did that... look out cougar town...

I also have to figure out what we're having Christmas Eve night here for our annual gathering with my sister. I usually make cheese dip and various other things, but the thought of cheese dip makes my stomach hurt for some reason. I am not sure what I will make. The best thing is, if I don't make ANYTHING and just buy stuff to put out, I won't feel guilty about it at all. I've officially reached the Maxine Years. In reality, all that matters is that we are all together and happy. So what if crap we shove in our faces isn't homemade. I've been there. I've done that.

I have a grocery list here that I've been jotting on as I think of things to blog about. Seems I have a 'list' following me around a lot lately. I suppose I'm OK if I don't have to write down "remember to breathe" and such. Then I'd be worried.

It is so foggy this morning. Misting rain and foggy. I hope it does not freeze, but it will eventually. This is, after all, Michigan and freezing it what Michigan does in the winter. I hope everyone going anywhere gets there safe and sound. I have been pretty good about not randomly email my kids to tell them to be careful. They are all adults so I will ASSUME they will be careful.

My cousin and his wife sent me a new snowman for my collection. He is adorable. I am not sure why I love snowmen so much, but I do. (Oddly I don't like the old cartoon 'Frosty the Snowman' with Jimmy Durante and Jackie Vernon. Never did like that show. But I love snowmen. I am a cartoon racist?)

December 21, 2013 - I made spritz cookies last night. A double batch. That is a lot of cookie pressing, let me tell you. I used to use my Mom's old cookie press. It was OLD and made of metal. I remember her using it all the years I was growing up. I used it up until a few years ago when it just finally wouldn't press cookies anymore. I got myself a more modern cookie press, and it works like a charm, but the chamber only holds enough dough for one cookies sheet. After doing all the spritz cookies, I plopped out the 'Crockpot Christmas Crack' that had been melting in the slow cooker. I wouldn't say it was as addictive as 'crack' as the recipe eluded to but I will say it's an easy way to make candy that looks like reindeer poop. 

Oh My. After all that and the clean up, I was exhausted. Ugh. I'm getting too lazy and old to work from 5 a.m. - 11 p.m. on anything. I sat in the chair and fell asleep, but had gas. I can't sleep with gas. So I stretched out on the couch at 11:30 to see if it would 'pass' as it were and next thing I know, it is 5:15 a.m. and my mouth is so dry and my uvula and throat were parched from me snoring on the couch for hours! Ugh. Before I could even talk, I had to get a drink of water. I never go to sleep that fast! I was a pooped puppy. My throat still hurts...

Jake the Dog has been on a better diet and is looking quite sleek now. Handsome dog, our Jake. He demands a smokey link after breakfast and dinner now because that is how I gave him his antibiotics for two weeks. No he thinks it is a ritual I should continue. Who am I to turn down such a handsome doggie? Neighbors Ron and Sue brought Jake a treat bag for Christmas. He knows there are treats in there for him. They also brought a bag over for Watson. Jake is pretty sure THAT bag is his too. Hahahaa.

I suppose I will log off here and go make my dipped pretzels. It is either now or never, and they are a staple for Christmas Eve at my house. Viva a new day and a possible nap this after noon after Grandma's Christmas!

December 26, 2013
- It was a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas. Contented sigh.

My wee one came over early on Christmas Eve with grandpuppy Watson around two p.m. The wee one had to go to work from 5-9 on Christmas Eve so we would babysit Watson and Watson was thrilled to be at Grandma's house. Watson gets fancy meals at Grandma's and lots of treats. Plus there is Taffy the Cat to prance at and get smacked in the face by and then run away crying from. Jake looked at us as if to say, "Oh, Lord - not him again..." At least Jake didn't hide in the kitchen. They touched noses and seemed to be OK around each other. When they would go out in the dog pen together, Watson would prance at Jake in an attempt to get him to play. Jake just mumbled, "Youth is wasted on the wrong people..."

Mrs. ClauseSanta Clause?My Daughter and Soninlawalmost came in on Christmas Eve. The came through the door bearing presents. They said traffic from Chicago was not bad at all and got here in record time. Grandcat Rocko was in tow and NOT thrilled to see Watson. Hahaha. They got Rocko the Cat settled upstairs and came down to share the joy of the family herding. Since their arrival Rocko has crapped on the laundry room floor once out of fear of Watson and puked randomly throughout the house. Ah, grandkids...  Watson was not going to turn down a puke pile from Rocko of course....

My oldest came over later and my sister and two nieces came over around seven. I got a recipe for homemade mac and cheese from my sister in law Carol, so we had treats and mac and cheese and all was merry and bright. My niece Tori brought over Missy, her adopted chihuahua. What a hoot Missy was! She was wound up like a spring toy on hyper drive! hahahahaha. She wanted nothing to to with Watson but found Jake to be fascinating. However, she didn't stand still for a second and was everywhere all the time. What an adorable spaz. Thanks to Missy, we have all the cat toys that were under the couch recovered... She would decide to greet you by flying off the floor in to your arms. Quite entertaining, I must say.

Missy What the hell is that?
                                    and Missy Cassie
Sister JoyceApparently Missy can fly
After my sister and nieces left, my daughter and Pat exchanged presents before he left to spent he night at his parent's house. Pat got her a bass guitar for Christmas. Pat is a musician and is in several bands. My daughter had always wanted to play bass. We teased her about being Yoko Ono and breaking up the bands. (They are upstairs now playing with their new guitars - Pat got a new one for Christmas as well from his parents.) 
Rock On
Dog PileWe slept in on Christmas morning until seven thirty, which is not normal for us but the kids are all older now and we tried to keep Christmas small and practical. After we opened presents, my daughter made Pillsbury Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and we sat around and gabbed. We took a family nap for several hours as well. (Before you think we're freaky weird, we were all in our own chair or bed!) Watson was busy jumping from person to person trying to get us to play. Watson's theory is "y'all can sleep when you are dead!"  (The wee one slept on the couch at night, and had an entourage that slept with him, or should I say, allowed him SOME room to sleep with them...) 

It was fun just hanging around with the kidlettes and the critters. Rocko is still not happy but I am sure after Watson goes home today, he will calm down. He seemed to be happy to see Jake as opposed to "nose up your butt" Watson.

I made them scrambled eggs this morning and some bacon. I just got done loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen. I need to run in to town for more supplies. I am surprised how much stuff you go through when you are feeding a full family again! Smile.

I am off to shower whilst there is a free spot in the shower schedule. Viva Holidays.

December 27, 2013 - I have to work Saturday through Tuesday on the side project I am doing with a friend, so having yesterday and today off was a THRILL! Real time off was wonderful. I have only worn a bra long enough to go out to lunch with the family today. So it was a NO BRA TWO DAYS OFF! WOOT! My BFF and I were talking last night and confirmed our believe that bras are the root of all evil for women.

I have to relate a story to you all that I am not proud of, but I also understand it is hilarious in its own way. I am embarrassed beyond belief, but like I said - IT IS SO FUNNY. My daughter told me that her Mother in Law handed her a Christmas card last night to look at. When my daughter opened it up it was blank on the inside. MIL Kathy said, "That is from your Mom. Second year in a row she sent a blank card." My daughter immediately sent me a message on Facebook to tell me this fact.

I only sent a minimal amount of Christmas cards this year due to my schedule. Normally I will take a night and fill out cards, starting in the 'A's and going to the 'Z' in one fell swoop. This year I filled a few on one day - then lost my list and started over but in a random fashion. I searched all through my leftover Christmas cards in the box to see if their card was in there. It was not. So, this means I put their card in an envelope for another person. I wrote a note in their card about wanting grandbabies before we were to old to crawl on the floor with them... So, WHERE DID THEIR CARD GO and WHO GOT IT AND DID NOT QUESTION MY ODD NOTE?  hahahahaha. As I said, I was embarrassed yet laughing my butt off when my daughter told me that. Ugh. I am not sure what happened last year with the blank card since that was A YEAR AGO but I do know this year I DID write a nice little note to them. Whoever got that card - please don't think I'm more insane than I know I already am... I got them a New Year Day card today at the store, and signed it, "Love, Blank" and will send that out tomorrow.,

It was warm today and we saw many kids out making snow men. This is a good thing. I was tempted to do that as well. However, I took the melting snow as a sign I should really clean up the dog pen. It was easy to find all the presents from Watson and Jake and I harvested quite the pile of pooh. Jake took ten minutes to find a spot to poop tonight since he was starting with a clean slate.

December 31, 2013 - Normally I spew forth oodles of Sandy Wisdom this time of year. I am not so full of wisdom today plus I've pretty much spewed all the wisdom I do have at my kids already, so I will say this to everyone - HEATING PADS CAN BURN YOU.

My back was hurting last night from the straight chair at work, so I got out the old heating pad and put it on my back while I played an on line game. It was on medium heat. It just felt 'warm' and not HOT and SCORCHING or anything. When I got ready for bed, however, my back hurt. So I felt around back there. I HAD A BLISTER FROM THE HEATING PAD!!  Really? It wasn't even HOT to me. My brain registered the heat as just 'pleasant' not 'set to barbeque' or the like. I used Noxema on it last night and showed my husband this morning. "Do I have a blister?" I asked. "Geez, Woman! Are you trying to kill yourself?" he replied.

Pat had a fever and was sick for 24 hours, and now my daughter has this bug and my husband. I am coughing so I think that it will be my turn soon. A family that shares germs together is a precious thing. Start the New Year off RIGHT and get sick! All I know is my blister and I look forward to an uneventful evening tonight where I'll ponder that fact another year is about to happen and wonder "Where the hell did 2013 go?!"

I wish you all a marvelous 2014 and I'll talk to you next year!
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