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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...

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