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January 1, 2018 - The New Year came in very mildly at our house. We stayed up until midnight last night, mind you - after a full day of watching a Twilight Zone marathon - but we were both too lazy to get out of our chairs to give each other a kiss or hug. Hahahaha. (After 37 years, it is obvious the romance is still there and simmering in a large pit of congealed fat...)

I have enjoyed the extra time off lately. It will be a while until we get more time off, although I do have 92 hours of vacation to use up by May 11th. It won't be wasted, trust me. A long time ago I used to let time 'go back' but not any more. I still may work every day from home for a bit, but by golly, I take my time. I might take one a day in the next two weeks or so to get my hair done - my roots are showing off how gray I really am. I can't control the rest of the cycle of aging and life, but by golly, I'm not ready to go gray yet. I will, I am sure, when I retire and spending money on hair seems too frivolous and I will rock gray hair then but for now, I fight it tooth and hair follicle. Speaking of hair follicles...

I stopped getting the laser hair removal for my facial hair because I thought it very odd I would pay someone to torture me with such pain like that, but I'm ready to start again. It really didn't stop the hair from growing, but it did keep my hair from causing large lumps on my face from being ingrown and such. I can stand the shooting pain once every six weeks to help me conquer this beard again. Even though it is mostly gray now (and laser only zap it for the time being, it doesn't promise any help with gray hairs) lasering still keeps the hair under control to an extent. I never thought I'd do it again, but I'm sick of my beard and mustache. Sigh. I say that now, but in five treatments, I will quit and say ONCE AGAIN, "Why am I paying people to hurt me like this?!?!?"

I dragged my husband to the nearest Meijer store today because I was out of bird food. I complain about feeding them ("They eat me out of house and home!!") but I cannot stop feeding them as I really do adore my birds. It has been so cold and they seem very grateful for the food. I took down the Christmas decorations the other day, and now the finches fly away from the finch feeders out front keep running into the front window...I need to get some other kind of window clings to put up there - there has been windows clings in that window since September for Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. I feel bad for the poor brain damaged finches. Is it too early to put up Valentines?

Anyway, when we were at Meijer's store, we walked past a trainee named Stacy. Stacy was obviously a transgender person. (Good for Stacy for living his/her dream. It takes guts.) But Stacy had over used a hideous perfume that we normally relate to older ladies who must think that scent is marvelous but IT IS NOT and the scent clung to us all throughout the store. It would get stronger and I would say quietly to to my husband, "I smell Stacy..." and then she'd walk by! Sigh. Stacy, if you read this, please tone down the perfume, honey. That stuff has some odd form of chemical make up that embeds itself in the human nose and stays for six weeks. I still smell it. I still taste it. My husband was dry heaving all the way home. "Did they spray me with it? I STILL SMELL IT!!" he would cry repeatedly. Please, Stacy - switch to something less deadly. You are a pretty girl - don't overpower your beauty with a scent that could start a world war or cause mass extinction ... A meteor didn't cause the dinosaur extinction - Stacy's perfume did.

I loved putting up Christmas decorations this year and I was sad to take it down. I also dreaded taking them down. We also lost Olaf this year - if we could have a moment of silence - The blow up 8 foot Olaf that sat out front and scared the dog because it would rock in the wind... Olaf's motor died way too soon. Once we find him again (he is currently buried in a snow drift somewhere out front) we will give him a proper burial.

I will post here (below) what I posted to Facebook. The two people who read this blog also are my Facebook friends, so it will be redundant - but I am doing it to record it for history purposes. I hope we all have a good 2018. So far we've done pretty good, aye - we woke up breathing!

"Besides dealing with the ultimate end results of getting older (such as freely discussing things with your friends concerning body orifices and things that ooze out of them in the winter or the fear of falling on an icy patch that is not even remotely near you or having more bionic body parts than original body parts) I have come to embrace this ‘getting older’ thing.

I enjoy the attitude I have now and my outlook on life. The things that used to be so pressing or horrible are now just ‘things’ and they do not seem so devastating. The petty worries that used to consume me are now sliding away like butter on a hot skillet (mmmmm….butter…but I digress). Any irritations I feel from circumstances in my life are reasoned away with a wiser, more experienced brain. (Or I am just completely forgetting them and wandering off to find where I parked…)

I can accept that my beard is coming in gray now and I will have possible future employment as Santa Claus... I can accept my tired vision by get stronger reading glasses and just resign myself to the fact that eventually I will call for the cat and let a skunk in the house... I can see the world in a way that pleases me like a hot cup of coffee on a zero degree wind chill morning, such as today. I am enjoying this part of my life and thank the Powers that Be I made it this far to enjoy it – many of my family and friends did not – I do not take this life for granted.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. May you all find some form of happiness from the ‘little things’ around you on a daily basis every day in the New Year. I hope you all let those around you know how much you love them or appreciate them (and those who you do not appreciate, I hope you do not get arrested for excessive taser use…)

Thank you for being my friends. Happy and Blessed New Year to you all!"

January 9, 2018 - My husband got several packages of the newer, soft light, 'use less power but it shines like a s.o.b.' light bulbs. As old bulbs burn out, he replaces them with these new soft light goobers. This has been an eye opener for me. They do give out more light - brighter - where I can see how I have failed so miserably as a house keeper. Things I didn't know were dirty ARE horribly dirty, because now I can see they are dirty! Ugh. The bathroom was the worst 'awakening' to the lack of my house cleaning prowess. Unreal. I could choose to spend several days cleaning thoroughly or I can just keep the lights off. (I've chosen the latter at this point...)

Rocko is going stir crazy in the house. He wants out. He spent about an hour outside yesterday when it was warmer than it has been in a LONG time, but still it is not enough. He bounces off the walls because he wants to go out so badly. He has an 'anti-snow on my paw' policy, however, so it stops him dead at the door normally. It is supposed to get up to 50 degrees by Thursday before the temperature drops and becomes winter again so maybe then he can go out and poop outside and feel better for a while. That's all any of us want really, to romp outside and poop in a mole hole, right?

Both of the Network Engineers we have at work were off duty last Friday and that is when all of our new leased printers came in and had to be installed. It was a surprise to me and ended up being a very busy day. Thanks to NE#1 who taught me things during the last printer installation, I did pretty good getting things set up on my own. Viva technology. I do have more questions however and am waiting for NE#2 to return from vacation to help me with those things. (I like learning. It is fun-damental, or is that reading?) Nonetheless I need to know what the last two issues are and why they are and how to fix them on a network.

There were 14 deer across the road the other night causing Jake the Dog to be on high alert. (I am sure Jake cannot see very well anymore with his fogged over old eyes, but he saw that there was black on the white snow, so that is justification for any dog to go ballistic and bark like an idiot.) I know they come over and partake of the bird seed since I have been going through a lot lately. With the prior sub-zero temps they were probably very hungry, those deer. I don't mind that the birds share their food with the deer, I just worry about all those deer coming over across the road when people drive past this house at high speeds. Most humans are idiots. I assume it is genetics.

Speaking of old eyes...after I had my cataract surgery done on my left eye several years ago I have had a 'floater' of sorts. It looks like a teenie tiny itty-bitty wee little black sperm. A black dot with a tail. I can only see it when I look at solid light colors like snow or a blue sky or white cloudy sky (so thanks to my husband, I see it all over when in the house now because of those new light bulbs - ugh...) but I seldom notice it other than that. I did ask my eye doctor about it and she said, "Yep, you have a speck in there all right" and let me know it was not a rip or tear in my eye. I just happen to have a life long microscopic friend now, I suppose. I will have to come up with a name for it ... possibly 'Blinky'...

January 13, 2018 - All the snow we had left us during the warm up to 57 degrees the other day, and now it is down to 6 degrees again with a new dusting of snow. I suppose Mother Nature does this to clean the canvas as it were - start fresh. Get rid of all the random deer tracks so she can start over with more random deer tracks.

I am on my second cup of coffee. If you had told me at the ripe old age of 10 years old I would be dependent on a caffeinated liquid at 57 I would have said, "I will never drink that stuff!" Well, never say never. I am not even sure when I started to appreciate coffee, I just know that my first thoughts in the morning besides HOPEFULLY making to the bathroom is to get a cup of coffee...

January 22, 2018 - It is raining out at this very moment and the ground is squishy and the snow is leaving. Jake is not inspired to poop this morning due to the rain, but I am sure the need to do it will override his angst that it is raining before I leave for work. Sometimes you just have to poop no matter what is happening.

I skimmed through the news this morning. I had a 'news free' weekend and had to catch up. The parasite on this Earth that is the Human Species makes for sad news. Sigh. Over the weekend I had several calls (that went to voice mail) letting me know the government was shut down due to people like Michigan's Senator Stabenow so I had best call her and complain about how Democrats are ruining the country and all. Sigh. I was honored to delete those calls. Failure at the government level is not just Democrats, it is Republicans and all humans in Washington D.C. Wait, it is OUR fault for electing people who cannot play well with others, actually. I do so wish if the government 'shuts down' that they all lose their pay until they work things out. Lock 'em in a room and don't let them come out until they work out issues...

During the day on Saturday I let Jake out the back and he went right to our resident opossum who was eating bird food in the dog pen. I did not see her before I let him out so I ran out and dragged him back in the house. I swear I think Jake assumes it is a cat of some sort. He does not raise his fur on his back nor bark at the thing, he just sniffs its face. The opossum was sort of hissing but did not move. After dragging Jake back in I went out and talked to her for a while. She ignored me and went down the fence row eating morning glory seed pods that were near her level. Then she exited out a place in the fence that I didn't think she could fit through and went back to the willow tree. I followed her to the back side of the tree. OMG! THE BACK SIDE OF THAT OLD WILLOW TREE IS JUST RIDDLED WITH HOLES! So many holes! Wood pecker holes - huge gaping holes in general. She could have been in any of the holes in that tree. Sigh. The willow tree really needs to come down. It is ancient and has served its purpose and is an accident waiting to happen. I will have to get estimates from a tree service this summer...

The neighbor had a friend drive through our yard (again) this weekend. We figured it was yesterday. Looks like someone pulled into our driveway by mistake and just decided to scoot right through our yard to the neighbor's house. Sigh. Right over the septic tank area they drove. Oy vey. We are easy people to get along with, but if someone takes away our ability to successfully poop, then watch out! Hell hath no fury like a Sandy turd scorned!

January 28, 2018
- It was an uneventful weekend, really. Just normal stuff. I mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors and washed the kitchen rugs. I did normal laundry, too. We went grocery shopping yesterday. Just a 'normal' kind of weekend. I picked up a few sticks in the yard and burned the burnables. I feel relaxed and ready for the new week ahead...

My husband is probably thinking, "Me, not so much." He took Friday and Monday off to replace our toilet. Who wouldn't think this was a grand thing to do on a vacation day? Hahahaha. We've had the new toilet for two weeks in the living room once we noticed the old toilet was leaking from the base. Rocko decided that huge box with a toilet in it was HIS THRONE. He used that box as a scratching post, shredding cardboard all over, and sleeping on top of said box like he was royalty. I wanted to make a house for Rocko out of that box after the toilet was installed but my husband made some odd noises in his throat which (I assumed) meant "That stupid cat doesn't need a stupid cardboard house" so that didn't happen. I was in an all day meeting at work on Friday so I warned him if he tore a muscle or exploded a body part doing the toilet he should just call 911 as I wouldn't get his call. He did not lose nor maim any major organs or body parts, although he is very sore. (He is in soaking is a hot tub in one of my cool bath bombs and lots of Epson salts as I type this. The water is a lovely plum color and it smells pretty, too.) It took him all day to get the old crappy crapper out and get the new flange in and the whole area set up. This house is an old garage and everything is cement. It is not easy to do anything related with the floor area unless you enjoy working with cement. He does not.

When I got home I was able to pee on the brand new toilet. He said once he got the old toilet out and all of the clean up that needed to be done, well - done - putting in the new toilet was just a 15 minutes job. The rest of the day was spent jury rigging the toilet area. I think he did a fine job. We are successful poopers once again. The new toilet flushes so fast it is a constant source of amazement for us. We will flush and stand and gawk at the toilet like it was a sea of shimmering gold laced with sparkling diamonds that emit a myriad of rainbows shooting straight up. (Obviously we are cheap dates.) Once one uses a toilet for most of their life, the idea of being without one is unnerving. I am glad I have a husband who can make things work (for the most part).

I asked him to try not to break the old toilet so I could fancy it into a fairy garden. He did manage to save the old toilet. After I clean it up this spring, I have plans for it....stay tuned.

January 30, 2018 - Happy Tuesday. I came home from work at lunch time. I threw in the towel. I have been feeling like I've been getting sick for several weeks now, but I've not given in to that feeling. Last week the coughing got worse and phlegm started draining from my nose and flying out of my chest. Still, I thought it was a passing thing. Duh. Today I was only able to muster enough sound from my vocal chords to squeak. I was tired. I gave in and came home.

At work our health insurance plan is company self funded so they encourage us to use 'Healthiest You' - a thing where you can schedule a call from a doctor in your state on the phone. This is cheaper for the company if you do this since I think they pay a yearly fee for their employees to access this service. Honestly, I knew I was like three days away from bronchitis so I called Healthiest You. (Which is kind of an oxymoron since you only call when you are the furthest from a 'healthiest you' ...) I got a call from a nice doctor and discussed my issue. I managed to hack up a lung when speaking with him so I'm sure that helped his diagnostic chore, plus the fact I sounded like Marlene Dietrich huffing helium.

He decided to call me in some antibiotics and told me to follow up with my family doctor in three days if this did not do the trick. He has the coolest voice. Almost a 'Mike Rowe' sounding voice. I squeaked as long as I dared to keep him on the line. I have a thing for voices. Smile. I also have a thing for personally talking a lot, so I hope this antibiotic works and fixes my laryngitis. (One of the help calls I did this morning at work, the end user said, "Uh, Um...I kinda like it when you whisper to me..." which made me make odd noises like a horse being run over by a tractor in an attempt to laugh.)

After the telephone doctor visit was over, work called and I had to get on line and work a bit. Then I soaked in a very hot tub and my body was happy I did this because suddenly I was aching all over. Once I admitted to myself I had been and was sick my body rejoiced. "Finally!" my throat said. "I have been trying to tell her for weeks!" my lungs chimed in, "...I even almost choked her to death three times!!" "Frankly, I'm relieved - I need a break!" my bladder threw in...

I think once you allow your body to be sick when you know full well it has been it decides to pull the plug on the whole bravado behavior and you feel like warmed over dog crap instantly. I tried to take a nap but there was no sleeping. I got up and sat in my chair. I called and made various clicking and grunting noises to my husband on the phone and he gathered I needed him to stop and pick up a prescription on the way home... (When he got home he was making fun of my vocal ability, mocking how I sounded, so I have just decided to shut up for the night. Probably better for my throat, anyway.)

I had made a big pot of chicken soup on Monday night so that is what we had for supper tonight, too. The heat in my throat felt good. When my husband got home with my drugs I popped my first pill and have since just been doing little things trying to be quiet. My husband is now snoring in his lazy boy and I am typing here and all is merry and bright.

After I got home today, Jake the Dog heard something and was barking out the front window. A cable truck was putting up an orange sign indicating men were working up ahead. I let Jake out and he barked at the sign (there were no longer humans present, mind you) for ten minutes. This made me chuckle. With all his barking at the horrid orange sign with a stick man on it, the neighbor dogs got riled and started barking in their house which inspired Jake to bark to the south for another ten minutes. Hahahahaha. Life is never boring when you have a dumb dog.

I am off to gargle with salt water and maybe even soak in one more hot bath. I'm gonna have to face it I'm addicted to hot baths. Maybe there is a therapy group for that...

February 6, 2018 - When I was cleaning off my car this morning, I had two thoughts...February 10 is my Mom's Birthday (and if she was alive, she would have been 96) and we usually have ice storms around her Birthday and I was wondering if we would, indeed, get an ice storm this year? The second thought was concerning the fact the National Weather Service issues Winter Advisories for, well - WINTER. This confuses me - we all know it is going to snow in winter, right? I think they over warn us about obvious things...until you hear about people eating Tide Pods and suing over hot coffee from McDonald's, then you understand that our society has turned into a herd of cows with no common sense, I guess. Sad really. Humans will continue to baffle me.

My My Rockneighbors brought me a present on Sunday! They found the coolest lightning stone and bought it for me. (A lightning stone is: "Septarian "lightning stone" are predominantly made of an argillaceous clay rich carbonate. Their creation dates back to the Devonian period when the Earth's climate change occurred. This forced the clay rich carbonate to harden by chemical desiccation as the inside of the stone begins to dry out forming interesting cracks . At this point in its development these cracks begin to collect and fill in with carbonate silica ground water forming crystals." My rock says "Hi" on the side! I love it. Ron had his leaf blower with him and blew off our cars. He is an artist with that thing. I would have never thought of using a leaf blower to keep up with snow accumulation - but now it make complete sense. Who knew?

Last night when I got home from work I just threw together a salsa ground chicken meat loaf and threw it in the oven. We had mashed cauliflower and mixed veggies and the salsa meat loaf for supper. We've been trying to eat at home which is healthier than eating out and frankly, I am sick of coming up with meal ideas! My husband was not impressed with the feeble attempt at this particular meal. I will be eating the leftovers this time... I am eating a serving of the meatloaf for breakfast now and it aged very well, to be honest. He is missing out... I will taunt him with this fact in an email...

I sent the kids a video of the new toilet flushing. It flushes with such gusto! The kids grew up with a toilet that had to flushed twice, normally - and then you had to play with the handle to stop it from running and sacrifice a duck to please the toilet gods, etc. I am sure they were impressed because who wouldn't be? I bet that thing could suck a plane out of the sky at 30,000 feet, this new one flushes with such fury. "Hey, Kids! Come over and poop in our new toilet and be amazed!" Now how many Mom's do you know that have that bragging right?

February 8, 2018 - Yesterday at work I felt like I was 'winding down' and feeling worse and worse. I called the doctor's office and made an appointment with a real doctor. The antibiotics I got last week from that TelMed doctor managed to fix my laryngitis but other than that, I did not feel any better. Those antibiotics felt like the Red Cross of antibiotics - taking in coffee and donuts for the victims, but I felt I needed a round of National Guard antibiotics to help me. I am glad I went in now - bronchitis and EAR INFECTIONS! They also commented on how red my throat was...What the?!?! I did not know my ears were infected. Go me. I came home with good, kick butt drugs and an inhaler to help me partake of oxygen since that seems to be vital for human survival. I called in sick to work today so I could sleep, but my back up at work had an appointment for furnace repair this morning so I'm working from home until she comes back into work before I log off and go die.

I understand that the 'Healthiest You' thing is great on some levels and saves my company money, but I've come to the conclusion you need boots on the ground and a real medical professional to look into your orifices and assess internal situations. I should have done that a week ago, really. I know myself well enough to know I was dancing with something that was stronger than my immune system ....

We are due for some 8" of snow in the next 24 hours or so. Goody. Why not? I mean, it is winter still and I would rather have snow than an ice storm. I want my BFF to move back to Michigan but if Michigan keeps being, well MICHIGAN, she never will. She is used to warmer weather now and I will never get her back up here...(I say that while shaking my hand at Mother Nature.) Right now the sun is out and it is bright, but that is a ruse - don't be fooled. I feel particularly cold today for some reason - maybe it is the temperature outside -  a steaming 15 degrees (3 degree wind chill). The furnace thermostat in the house says it is 68 degrees so I'm not sure why feel so cold. I might bump it up to 70. I might also soak in a very hot tub before climbing into bed.

February 18, 2018 - There are many deer and geese across the road and Rocko and Jake spent a lot of time protecting us from them just now...Jake was barking and barking and Rocko was stalking and stalking... hahahahahaha. The deer paid no mind to Jake and his barking. I heard Sophie barking at them too. The deer know the dogs are all bark and no bite.

When I got home for lunch the other day, Sophie came over and was jumping around all happy to see me. (I say she was happy to see me but we all know she just wanted cookies.) I let her in and went about my lunch routine and totally forgot she was in the house. About a half hour later I realized she was in the living room. Hahahaha. I gave her a cookie and sent her on her way. I temporarily was holding Sophie hostage. I should have called Sue and Ron and demanded money...

On Thursday morning, my Aunt Jean passed away. I spend a lot of time weeping at work now and then. Thursday night after my husband went to bed, I let it out and cried for a long time. When women start crying that hard, they end up for crying for EVERYTHING SAD, EVER in the history of man, so I had a good soul purge. I posted this on Facebook on Thursday morning, but will save it here as well for future history purposes:

"My Aunt Jean passed this morning. This had me in bouts of tears all day. She was not necessarily like a “Mother” figure to me in my early life, but she was my honorary “Mom” after my Mom passed away in 1998 for we all need a Mom for a long as we can have one, as we all know…

My own Mother was more of a ‘martyr’ type – always apologizing and feeling inferior to all people all the time. Had I not had my Aunt Jean to balance that, I am not sure what would have become of me. Aunt Jean was feisty and verbal and strong and RIGHT about most things all the time (if you asked her). She showed me a woman could have an opinion that meant something. She showed me women could be leaders and forge paths that no man could. I feel I’ve become the human I am today with the perfect combination of my Mom and Aunt Jean, which allowed me to become my own person of my own making. I thank both of them profusely every day for that…

My Mom had 5 sisters and two brothers, but Aunt Jean was the closest to us in location so we saw them often. I treasured our trips to play with my cousins, Dan and Dave. I so enjoyed the trips to their house - partially because of the ‘junk food drawer’ she kept that she let us access freely that swayed me on my visits. Smile. I tried ranch dressing for the first time there – and thought I had died and gone to Heaven. What was this wondrous thing, ranch dressing?! Smile.

She would take me shopping at times and showed me special attention…
She took my brother and I to the Kalamazoo Fair… I had never been to a fair…
Her license plate at the time started with MMJ – “Mean Mary Jean…”
She showed me things I would have never seen had it not been for her.
I will always treasure that.

One day on her way home from work (she was a nurse) she pulled in our driveway (before my Mom and Dad got home from work) and handed me a puppy out the car window and drove away. I don’t think she said anything, really – just “HERE.” I named the puppy Corky. Corky ended up being the greatest dog ever. My Dad was a hard man and didn’t let us have a dog, but how could anyone take a puppy away from a kid once they had named it and had ran it half way around the block? I got to keep Corky…

In their later years, I would clean for her and Uncle Lorin. I would make them dinners. I would bring them food. But the thing I like to do most was make her laugh. She would laugh like my Mom used to, holding it in best she could but she would end up vibrating up and down with joy like Santa Claus. Even if I said something off color, after chastising me, she would rumble…

She had a sharp memory and her memories of events in her childhood were hard for her to overcome. She never did overcome those bad memories. I hope now that she’s on her new journey, she can cast away all the bad things that filled her mind and be free, full of love, and full of pure joy. I hope she hangs out with my Mom and I hope she sets Heaven straight, because I’m sure even God needs a good opinionated woman to assist from time to time….

Thank you Aunt Jean, for you."

I cried writing it, but not a sad kind of cry. I am full of memories for her and will cherish those. Death is only hard on the people left behind. The people who have passed are free from any of those types of emotions. They are free.

The kids were here over the weekend. They got in on Friday but took my wee one with them to a concert, so we really didn't see them very long. On Saturday we went to breakfast to our favorite diner, the my daughter and I had a "Mommy/Daughter" day out and she got highlights in her hair and I had someone just play with my hair. I needed my daughter after feeling so emotional this week. Saturday night my boys came over and we ordered pizza and sat around and just laughed and laugh. My kids are quite funny and it was a fun,fun night. I laughed so hard and was very grateful I was wearing a pad...

Earlier this week our pump was not keeping pressure. You would have to go out to the pump shed and thunk the switch box for it to work. Thumping the pump in your nightgown when it is 9 degrees out is not enjoyable. My husband fixed the pump switch on Tuesday night so we have a fully pressurized tank. (I am lucky to have a husband that can fix things.) Our water 'round these parts is 99 percent iron, dark matter, and other minerals and 1 percent actual water, so the disruption of the water tank caused much gunk to break free in the water lines. This caused the screens on the waterlines to the washer to become plugged up (or I should say MORE plugged, since obviously the feed to the washer has been getting worse and worse over the last few years). It was taking 1.5 hours to fill the washer!! Thursday night we moved every thing in the utility room to get to the back of the washer and clean out those screens. Now the washer fills so fast I sometimes miss the rinse cycle. I'm glad I have dryer sheets on hand... Between staring at the new toilet flushing like a hurricane and being amazed, we are now are amazed by how fast the washer fills. We cannot handle so much excitement in one lifetime.

I am feeling ever so much better now that I do not feel bad anymore. Antibiotics are marvelous things. I hope this round of being ill is all I have to endure for a while. At least it was a 'working' illness and did not have be in bed and dying. Still, no more for a while, please.

February 20, 2018 - I forgot to mention that when they weighed me and measured me last week at the doctor appointment that they measured me at 5' 3". I have been 5' 4" all of my adult life! I made them take the height measurement again and pulled myself up with all the royalty and bravado my spine could muster. Still 5' 3" .... sigh. I am shrinking. This happens to all humans, but damn... I am turning into a hobbit. (I have always considered myself a Samwise Gamgee type anyway, I suppose.) I shake my fist at older age and gravity. I have enough trouble getting things off of high shelves as it is...

Tomorrow is Aunt Jean's funeral. As much rain as we are getting, I do hope it lets up a bit for the internment part for the family's sake. I do not go to the funeral internment part of a funeral. I feel that is for the direct family (kids/husbands/wives). I assume I will go to my own internment if there is one, but I truly hope not. Hopefully the kids know by now that I want to be cremated and my ashes let loose upon humanity...

February 22, 2018 - There has been a white plastic grocery bag in the neighbor's tree nearest to my yard since the leaves fell in the fall. I have seen this bag every day for all these months but I can guarantee that at LEAST 20 times I've seen it reflecting in headlights and thought to myself, "My, the moon looks funny..." Seriously Sandy? I figured out it was the plastic grocery bag and laughed loudly. How many more time will this happen until spring? Stay tuned. (Oh look there's the moon...)

Aunt Jean's funeral was a good funeral. Funerals are never 'nice' or 'fun' I know. However, it is good to see my favorite cousins and Aunt, so in a way it was enjoyable. My cousin Dave rented a room at a local pub so we could all congregate at after the funeral, and we told stories and just talked and that was fun. Therapeutic, too. It was agreed upon that Aunt Jean was a strong willed woman. Smile. I will miss her, as I miss my Mom and my Aunt Vera, but they all live on in me - and I've spread the best of them all over my kids. Thanks to those lovely ladies, I was able to raise a damned fine family. I owe them all a lot.

This morning I was staring out the window like any good older neighbor woman does to stare at the neighbors area to my south when I thought I saw a deer in silhouette. It was shorter than a deer, though,so I walked outside and when it heard the door shut and it scooted to the east. When it passed in front of my neighbor's work shed, I could see it sort of had the head of a German Shepherd. It freaked me out a bit thinking I had possibly seen a chupacabra for a second there... (I decided it was Conner, the German Shepherd that belongs to the neighbors on the next street but for a second, I got goosebumps. We must remember, however, I think a plastic grocery bag is moon, so what the hell do I know?)

February 26, 2016 - This morning when I let Jake in from the poop pen, I could hear an owl in the distance hooting away. I announced this to my husband who was on the toilet at the time. "There's a hoot owl out there..."
He asked, "But how do you know it's a hoot owl?"
"Because it's hooting, maybe?" (This, I fear, will be the type of conversations we have for the rest of our lives.)

There are calls of sandhill cranes in the swamp to our west and lots of red winged black birds. (If you ask me how I know they are those types of birds, I will smack you...) I was pondering this morning how I think it is way to early for these birds to be back and about, but the weather changes and maybe the magnetic poles of the Earth are changing as I type for all I know, and maybe my memories of WHEN something should be is incorrect. So if they are back, they are back, and I won't try to reason why I think it is so early for them to be here, I am just happy they are back. The red winged blackbirds have already found the bird food and are consuming it in mass quantities.

It was a good weekend. My oldest came over for a home cooked meal on Saturday. He brought my granddog Watson along. My son requested a simple meal of pigs-in-a-blanket and spinach. Perfect Saturday meal, actually. It was good to visit with him. He finally brought back all the plastic containers that I've sent food home with the boys. SO MANY PLASTIC CONTAINERS!! I will not want for containers for some time. He said they had used all those tubs for making forts...hahaha. On Sunday I made whole wheat bread and another batch of butter. (My niece had given me a bread maker that had a butter setting, so if something has a butter setting - YOU MAKE BUTTER. It is pretty darned cool.) We also picked up some of the big branches that fell in the yard from the 40+ MPH winds we were having. Nothing too exciting on Sunday, really. I woke up breathing, so that was marvelous.

March 9, 2018 - I am glad February is over, only because I hate typing that word. February and Wednesday have always given me grief on the spelling side of life. Those are words I have to actually say phonically in my head whilst typing... FEB  RU  ARY and WED NES DAY...

I am tickled pink with all the birds that are back up for spring time. The only thing missing now is SPRING!! Burrrrrrr. The red-winged black birds and sandhill cranes and geese galore are out in doves and are very loud about announcing their presence but I'm pretty sure they are freezing their birdie butts off. I have even heard robins, but I've yet to spot one. Guess the worms are still rather frozen for them to be on the ground yet...

My oldest son is a truck driver and he was at a stop and saw a ton of birds eating from this pile of something in the lot he was at. He sent a Snapchat showing the goings on and said, "I don't know what it is, but they sure like it..." My husband, who we've the given technology to see these Snap Chats watched it several times and said, "He should have gotten out and tasted it." Ah, it is the little things...

We had our 38th Anniversary on March 1st. After all these years time has lost all meaning and the years are all smushed together in our minds. He got me the coolest yard spinner. It is colorful and has solar lights that glow at night.

March 10, 2018 - Well, I posted yesterday before I was done blabbing, now didn't I? Silly me...

Today I did see a robin! It is official! Almost hit it with my car, but it still - a robin! Spring hopes eternal! (Or something like that...)  We went to breakfast this morning, then went over to the hardware so I could make a copy of our house key. They had SOLAR DASHBOARD DUCKIES! Seriously - I squealed with joy! I did not have my reading glasses on when I grabbed one to buy, and I swear it said they were 7.99, but a DUCK - well, I would pay ANY price for a solar dashboard duckie!!  When he rang me up, it came to 3.95 for the duck and the key. "Wait, the duck is 7.99!" He said, "No, the duck is 1.99!" It was a good morning. We then went to get groceries along with apparently every other human in the greater tri-state area. Lordy, the place was packed, but groceries were had and we came home and put it all away. I almost ran off the road several times whilst admiring my dancing duck, though. Don't duck and drive, kids!

I sat outside listening to the red-winged black birds. I think I use this as meditation time to be honest, listening to my birdies. I can hear so many things being said when they call out - "carpe diem' and 'potpourri' and various other words... Of course I am sure they are just saying, "There is that crazy lady that feeds us! Chit Chit louder! We're almost out of food!"

Last weekend we celebrated our 38th anniversary by going to Red Lobster. That is our go to place for that occasion. I had my crab legs and various incarnations of shrimp and was a happy camper. In the old days we would go to Red Lobster and drink and eat and drink and come home and, well, you know - wink wink and nudge nudge all night - but those days are gone. Last weekend I was content just to get all the meat out of each crab leg in one whole piece. The next day, we took my Mom in Law out for her 93rd Birthday Breakfast. I enjoy spending time with my husband's family. Mom seemed to enjoy it, too.

This afternoon, after bird meditation, I soaked in a hot hot tub with a bath bomb called 'Boss Lady' - the water turned the most luscious color of purple, but as the bath bomb, well - bombing - it was so pretty. I am so easily pleased by shiny and colorful things. As we've established before,I'm a cheap date...  Even my husband used the hot water for a good soak as his left side has been hurting him. We all should have a good hot soak from time to time to cure what ails us. (I am sure he would not admit to that to anyone about soaking in my bath bomb waters and I am grateful he doesn't read this blog. He claims he lives with me so why read about it again??) Hahahahaha.

March 15, 2018 - I had to break out a new bra this week. "Old Faithful" was not very supportive anymore. The new bra is very supportive and I hate that. If I wanted to be held in a vice like state, I would hope it was a handsome younger male attempting to do so, not a bra. When I take the new bra off at night, my body makes an audible sigh of relief and I hear all my upper body parts saying, "Why did you do that to us? What were you thinking? What have we ever done to you!?!?!"

All women who wear bras have a favorite bra. The favorite bra is like an old friend. Parting ways with the old bra is very hard, but at some point you have to let them go due to the fact they are no help at all when it comes to support from gravity. There should be a graveyard of honor for trusty old bras. That being said....

Bras in general are awful things. I hate bras. If I had my way, I'd be dragging the girls along beside me on the ground and be bra-free. Bras are a travesty against Nature and should be banned. However, our society frowns upon boobs hanging below the knee so bras are worn to protect the innocent. (If you are young and still perky, I would NOT wear a bra, if it were me. I would let the perky girls be free.) Alas, old fat women with larger breasts tend to get these two sagging former milk bags that are attempting to find their way to the core of the Earth. They will get stuck under you at night in bed. They will get shut into doors and drawers. That is just the way it is and I accept that, but I do so hate bras. When I walk in the door at home after work I have my bra off in seconds (it is rather like a magic trick). As my poor neighbors are well aware, there is no bra after work hours for Sandy. (I do, on occasion, wear a bra when the kids are here just to throw them off track and make them think "Oh my Gosh she's wearing a bra - she must be dying.."  but when they were growing up all the kids' friends KNEW this was a rule and there would be flopping and hanging once they walked in the door....)

My husband and Rocko the Cat had a run in the other night. I was happily sleeping away in the bedroom when I heard this horrid screaming of a cat in trouble. I instinctively got up to "let Rocko in" assuming he was fighting a neighbor cat outside. This was not the case. (My husband will start out in bed at night, but then body parts hurt and such so he'll end up sleeping the rest of the night in his lazy boy.) I stumbled to the front door to save Rocko's life and my husband said, "He's not out there..." in the most darkest way he could say it. Rocko had been harassing my husband after he went to sleep in the chair by scratching on the front door then running to the back door, then knocking things off the side table. My husband tried to let him outside, which is obviously what the cat wanted, but when Rocko felt the cold air he would run away then start the harassment process all over again. This game went on for a bit and finally husband had had enough of Rocko's chicanery. He went to grab him to toss Rocko outside but caught his back leg and tail instead. That was what caused the horrid cat calls I heard and reacted to... Our relationship with Rocko is a love/hate relationship. Rocko is not a cuddler or lover. Rocko is a former city kitty who has been in too many situations to even consider being lovey dovey with us. He does, however, snuggle up to my husband from time to time. I resent this, as I would love to have a snuggle kitty. Alas, it is not to be with Rocko. I would love to play with Rocko but Rocko does not play per say - he grabs your skin and rips off body parts. Sigh. I think now, though - he will respect my husbands need for sleep a bit more after the whole tail yanking incident.

March 20, 2018 - Oh, my - I've been so angry the last two day. At what, I'm not sure? Work - we all get angry at work. I have had an issue dealing with humans at work the last two days. I have to constantly watch my mouth and breathe deeply to avoid going to jail from harming people in the work place. It has not been pretty. I've been Lewis Black incarnate. (From Wikipedia they say this about Lewis - "
Black's style of comedy is that of a man who, in dealing with the absurdities of life and contemporary politics, is approaching his personal limits of sanity.") This describes me to the letter the last few days. Except the man part...

I am not sure if it is just WORK or HUMANS in general or the fact I was sick and this is what is left of my fever fit. Last Thursday night we went grocery shopping and then ate at Subway. When we got home and all the groceries were put away and my chores were done, I felt funny. Well, I felt 'heavy' and achy. My first thought was I was getting sick, but I didn't feel sick except for being 'heavy' and achy, of course... Friday morning when the alarm went off at 5:30 and I stumbled out of bed, I KNEW I have a fever. After 57 years, you kind of know that you are full blown sick. I took my temp as I sat on the toilet. It was 102.7. (Mind you, for the purpose of drama, I reported my fever at 103 to anyone who cared ask. After all, one must round up, yes?) Once you know you are sick and have a fever, it is very easy for the mind to kick in and take over the whole situation and volunteer some nausea and diarrhea while it increases the gravity around your general area to the point where you feel that walking is impossible. I appreciate my brains efforts to take part in my well being and it was more than generous but I could have done without all the other symptoms. 

My first thought was to blame Subway in my head. "Food poisoning!" I said to myself, feeling quite convinced it was just that. I got on line and worked for a bit until I knew I had some backup and finally threw in the towel as it were. Well, not quite yet...

When I feel like I have flu symptoms (which I certainly did Friday morning) the only thing I want to do is soak in a hot bath. I drew a hot bath. I got in the hot bath. It felt divine, soothing my aching joints, until I started dry heaving in that bath which caused the whole body to go on red alert and open up any and all sphincter muscles I thought I still possessed some control over. It was NOT a pretty sight in that tub...

I got up and cleaned myself off in the shower and then I cleaned the tub several times, then I threw in the towel(s) and went to bed. Sigh.

I felt that flu like the rest of the day, although sleeping kept my mind off of it but caused some very,very strange dreams. When my husband got home he made me a bowl of soup, and I went back to bed at seven p.m. and slept all night. Saturday I felt 'tired' and beat up, but better. I tried to do some household chores and I did do some, but my knees and elbows would ache so I used that an excuse to just be lazy all day. Sunday I felt like a whole new human, free of exploding body holes and aches.

I have been trying to mail an envelope with a wee surprise via the normal 'snail' mail to my BFF in North Carolina. This all started last Thursday, I had it ready to go and had the receptionist weigh it for me so I would apply enough postage. I applied the right postage according to our work scale thingy. I put it in our out of office to the post office box at work and low and behold, it arrived back to my house on Saturday. An "Insufficient postage" tag was on it, and they are kind to make them removable nowadays so you can peel that off, affix the needed postage and try again. Or so I thought. I must have ready the tag wrong, thinking it said I needed two dollars worth of postage. I slapped on two more stamps to bring the total up to five stamps and tried mailing AGAIN on Monday. Well, guess who came back? Now it stated I was one dollar short. UGH. I supposed had I read the original return notice properly, this would not have happened. This time I stuck enough stamps on that thing mail a large cow, and will once again attempt to mail it tomorrow. I wrote on the back, "If this comes back a third time, I am driving the damned thing down to you..."

Tonight my husband offered to take me to supper to help me get over my 'bad day' attitude. I wanted goulash and it was Tuesday and the only means Theo and Stacy's! We drove up and as we were getting out of the car, my husband said, "Um........I forgot my wallet..." He did look genuinely sorry, but I am a big girl after all, and I told him I could buy my own pity party supper. Sigh.








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