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January 3, 2017 - Happy New Year! The way my hair looked last Friday at work, I would have to say that December went out like a lion - a very overweight, extremely frizzy haired lion.

My husband and I were in bed asleep by 9:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Yeah, we live life on the edge. So what? We had crab meat pizza and cheese dip for our New Year's Eve celebratory meal, and apparently all those calories required we passed out in our chairs early. We did have a few drinks, mind you. That just added to the "sleep, precious - SLEEP" factor, I'm sure. I made no resolutions. I think I may have considered several, but by 9:00 p.m., they were just a fleeting thought before snoring...

I had a dream about saxophone buttons last night. Decades ago, we used to make saxophone button bases at work. The runner would come out of the press and there were at least 20 round buttons we had to clip off of said runner. They ranged in size. I did many hours of secondary work on 'saxophone' buttons as well because people would clip them too high and leave a 'gate' or cut them too deep. Thousands and thousands of saxophone buttons passed through these finger over the years. The original order for the saxophone buttons was one million sets, I believe. I remember the time I had a panic attack at work while weighing up a bag of the small buttons and suddenly realizing we were so close to finishing that one million set order. Why did I had a panic attack? It was the end of something. It dragged me back in to the panic of my youth of the sun burning out and the universe ending in general. All things have an end and I had a difficult time processing that. In the dream I had last night, we were making buttons in all sorts of colors... (We never did, they were always brown, mind you.)  I wonder what made me remember saxophone buttons and why my brain felt the needs to roll that clip? Brains, go figure...

We went out for lunch yesterday, then to the local Meijer store to walk off that lunch. We just mindless walked through all the aisles and picked up things we thought we needed. The store was quite busy. When it came time for us to check out, we decided to use a self checkout lane. We had come up from one side and saw all the people waiting in line at the lanes with real checkout people, then saw no one (we thought) waiting to use the self checkout and decided to go that route. We scooted our cart into the next available area and as I started to enter my perks info, my husband said, "Oh, HEY!" I looked back at the area he was looking and saw my friend Jess from work. She was waving. I waved back, but that is not why my husband was "hey'ing" and that is not why Jess was waving at all - there was a LINE waiting to use the self check out that snaked back between the cards and gift wrap area and we had just cut in line in front of all those poor people.

We immediately wheeled out of that spot and went to stand in line like good Americans would. On the way back to take our place in line, a short angry looking man said, "Good thing, you didn't want the crap beat out of you in the parking lot!" We nervously laughed. We really didn't see that line and it was a naive, air headed mistake on our part. The lady in charge of all those self checkout machines said to us (when we got up and took our turn) "My My My, you almost caused a riot, didn't you?" Sigh. We scanned our stuff and after my husband tried to go out the 'in' door and finally realized it was not going to open for him, we drove home quietly.

I was deeply pondering how easily it is to spark outrage or riots or mob mentality. It was very obvious to me after that incident how one word or one action could insight a terrible rage in one person that would spread to another and then another and then - BAM - riot or mob outburst. How can you control that sort of thought process in a mob? You can't... (Well, in my case, I could have waited in line like a good girl, but you know what I mean...) I also pondered how any force (such as police or National Guardsmen) could even TRY to control some incident when mob mentality takes over... My husband said he was thinking about how he was trying to out through the in door and that we forgot to pick up bread...

It was good to get back home to a safe environment. It was just then I realized how scary the world must be for older people. It must be terrifying to go out in the big wide world and feel 'scared' while you are in that world. I have a deeper respect for elderly humans now and will be kinder and gentler them. One day that will be me, and I will be hoping there is a middle aged person who had an epiphany once and takes pity on me...

My boss was in to work on Monday to end the month of December and the 2016 Year. He called about an issue with the 'week' number and I fixed it right up. At work we are ready to charge forth into the New Year. Viva remembering to write '2017'!!

Yesterday was the Cotton Bowl and we watched because our biggest local college was playing. At one point I yelled (because we got a touchdown) and both animals flew off the place they were sleeping. I scared them to death. Jake started barking and running around and Rocko the cat just stood there, frozen, waiting to flee to safety. Sigh. Poor guys. I tried to keep it to a dull roar after that incident. Our team lost, so it wasn't hard to be rather quiet after that...

January 11, 2017 - It was ever so windy here last night. Gusts up to 50 miles an hour. I happened to look out the window to the west just at the right time to see two big blue explosions of light. It wasn't long after that the the power company sent the email that there was power outages at my place of work. Ugh. You have to keep the servers cool, so I got in the car and went in to a dark workplace and got the back up air conditioner going. Everyone from the plant was waiting around in the break room. Not much to do in a pitch dark plant when there is no power. I feel back for the third shift supervisor that would have had to get all the presses back up and running at 11 p.m. when the power came back on... I did not go back in and turn off the back up air, though. I went to bed. I hardly slept, worrying about the office burning down due to that air conditioner. I got on line at 5:30 and everything is running and people were on line, so I know that (so far) there is no fire. The company had one fire in 1990 and I would never care to go through that again - ever.

On the way home from work last night there were branches down all over. A big tree had fallen near our local grocery store. I took the long way to work last night to avoid any huge tree limbs that might be down on the faster way to work, since that is all 'woodsy' area. I am glad I did. The power just did 'brown outs' at my house, so that was OK. I can stand a few flickers as opposed to a full outage.

Last Friday night was a hoot. My husband and I watched a recorded concert from the band Journey, and we just had fun. (Yes, there was beer involved.) We watched Journey the Bad Company and then tried to go to bed. We just giggled a lot and talked, and finally I decided I needed potato chips. "We don't have chips!" my husband said. "We have the MAKING of chips!" I declared. We both got up and at 1:30 a.m., I was making homemade potato chips! We've not been that silly for many years. The chips were good, and we finally went back to bed around 2:30 a.m. A fun Friday night. I slept until 11 a.m. on Saturday morning! Smile. My wee one came over for his Birthday meal at 2:30 on Saturday and that was nice, too. We had his requested spaghetti pie and hot fudge cake for dessert. I am sure that after the wee one left the house, that both myself and my husband dozed in our recliners. I'm pretty sure. Acting young and impetuous is hard on older people...

Later today - Long time reader, first time caller Ron requested that I note on my blog that we had lightening and thunder and rain just a bit ago on this day of January 11th in the year of our Lord 2017. Jake the dog was quite upset, too. He hates thunder boomers. He barked at the thunder for a few minutes. On Sunday we were plowing snow and today there is a thunderstorm? Only in Michigan. (And apparently in Illinois because I asked my daughter tonight when I called her and she confirmed it was happening there as well...)

I felt so weird today so maybe I can now blame it on the weather, aye? I felt like I had been drinking coffee for the last 48 hours. No, wait - it felt like I had a constant I.V. drip of pure caffeine. I was angry and feisty and I wanted to deck someone or just run like Mr. Gump. I had a meeting this afternoon at work so I took two Pamprin a half hour before the meetings, and that worked to calm me down, boy howdy. I don't care if you told me Pamprin in the blue box was a placebo and the pills were compressed, dried pigeon poop, I would still swear on the Bible that it WORKS to calm you down. Maybe people alive today can thank the end result of blue-boxed Pamprin...

When there is nothing 'fun' on T.V. (like the repeats of The Simpsons or Futurama) or no galactic type science programs that try to explain the Universe which we live, I tend to watch "murder porn." (My kids call it murder porn - the shows on the 'ID' station...) My favorite is the 'Homicide Hunter' with Lt. Joe Kenda. He is an older man now, telling stories. I love to hear him talk. He is quite dry and stoned faced yet witty. The actor they have playing him looks nothing like him, of course. (The actor is a drop dead cute, too, but I digress.) Tonight is my 'date night' with Joe Kenda. (My husband is snoring loudly in his Lazy Boy.)

Someone asked me at work how my sliced off finger was doing. It has completely healed over, thank you very much. It is shorter and I imagine it will always be a quarter of an inch shorter than it was... But I learned a valuable lesson from my attempted decapitation of my index finger - all of those fancy slicers (as seen on T.V. or not) have plastic guards with FINGER shielding if you hold it in the right position. Amazing!!

January 16, 2017 - I have reached the age where all of my bodily sphincters have reached puberty, apparently. None of them listen to the brain any more and they rebel against the "man" (in my case, woman) every chance they get. They are all hooligans and just contract and release whenever they damned well want to do so. I supposed I need sphincter therapy, but I had hoped to conquer this issue as the owner of this body on my own. Sigh. This morning, way before the alarm was due to go off, I was dreaming something then realized in my dream I was having an issue with my bowels. Seems I had to go and go now. Once I was fully awake, I reached down "there" to check to be sure the process had not actually started (since it sure felt that way in my dream) and once I decided the coast was clear, got up to finish the dream as it were.

I mean, it is bad enough when you cough and pee, sneeze and pee, pee and pee. laugh and pee, and bend over and pee and such. Why does my body think it has to get the lower intestines and colon involved with these types of shenanigans? REALLY? Sigh.

The weekend was lovely weather wise. The sun was out. Three times I asked my husband to come out and pick up sticks and branches with me, but he kindly declined each time. He claims that next weekend it will be so warm we can probably get some raking in as well. I should have gone out to do it on my own. Using my husband as an excuse NOT TO was too convenient... My neighbor Ron was out and about cleaning up while the sun shined, and I wanted to be too, but I just did not. I am lazy, and it is so obvious to me that I am thinking of changing my name to "Lazy-Sandy" or "Sandy You So Lazy" just to shame myself. I had quite the discussion about being lazy with/to  myself last night since my husband was asleep by six p.m. in his chair and I was alone to discuss this matter in my own mind. "Only I can change this issue. Only I can get off my large rump and do stuff." I decided to dust. That showed me! "There, I dusted, so shut up!"

I finally got a animal brush to replace the missing 'furminator' I used to have. I brushed Jake for ever, so it seemed. He was full of hair. He was ever so happy to get a brushing. He would let me do one side then flip himself around and slam into me to get the other side done. Even the cat came out in the pen to get brushed. They were both very happy to be rid of all their loose undercoat. I hope the birds are making nests soon, because I removed enough hair off those two to completely furnish several large nests...

The kids must be busy as they've been relatively quiet lately. This is good. Your kids should be off and doing things and living and such. I worry about my semi driving son who will, no doubt, have to go south in his duties as a driver into the ice. Again, I have to stop worrying and trust that I gave him enough common sense to judge situations.\

January 19, 2017 - Today when I was leaving work at lunchtime, I walked out have a very lively conversation with myself, complete with odd facials expression. Leave it to me to assume the that a parking lot full of cars would be empty. Sigh. I was in full facial contortion over something I thought to myself when a nice gentleman stepped out of his car with a "Mr. Spock" eyebrow going on. I was sort of shocked. He said, "Good Day!" and I mumbled, "Good Day to you..." as I scuttled to my car as fast as I could. Duh. Being a humans such as myself is just so hard...

I was just outside with Jake the Dog and I was thoroughly enjoying the location where I live. There was "West Side Story" going on in the field to my, well - West - between many flocks of geese. It was quite comical in my opinion but I am sure they were all very serious. Once they saw Jake and myself staring at them with wide eyed wonder, they started honking at us. Then a small flock of wood ducks flew over, and those things make the cutest sounds that I laughed out loud. I could sit outside all day and night an appreciate this area. Deer, foxes, coyotes, and so many different types of foul - keeps this girl happy as a clam. I have had many, many 'small' joyous moments in this yard. May these two old, crappy acres know how much I appreciate them.

I have been on an overload of "high" lately due to one reason, I'm sure. In April we have our second corporate wide team building meeting at the local High School. I thought it would be a bunch of bologna last year, but I ended up enjoying the heck out of it. The only issue - my butt was too big to fit into the small student seats in the mezzanine area we had the meeting. I will not be wedged into a seat this year flailing like a fish out of water. I am in the process of attempting to lose weight before April. Eating well makes you have all sorts of energy. I remember this from back in 2005-6 when we were on Weight Watchers. There are moments I have the urge to run around like a spastic chihuahua with vertigo. I have the worst time at night when I normally stuff my face with crackers or popcorn or anything remotely looking like chocolate due to stress and/or boredom. Now when I get stressed or get bored, I clean something. As dirty as the corners of this house are, I will NEVER finish cleaning it - so it was a valid substitute for eating junk. Wish me luck. Better yet, just ignore me - I don't want to feel obligated to anyone in any way.

Speaking of cleaning, I have laundry to fold. Off I go. I will probably be talking to myself...

January 24, 2017 - I have been trying to figure out why I started the blog back up again after stopping for a while, since I really have nothing to say most of the time. If I blogged the REAL thoughts in my head  - well, I do blog what is in my head, but not ALL the thoughts in my head - I would no doubt be under a doctor's care in some asylum somewhere. I will, however (by request) update tonight. This one's for you, RJ...

Friday was quite emotional for me...

The day started out with me flying higher than a kite. The weight loss is going slow and steady so I have ENERGY now and I was quite hyper Friday morning at work. Then I got my yearly review from my boss and it was an excellent review chocked full of kind words and high marks. I normally get that type of review on a yearly basis, mind you, since I such a loyal worker and all, but he gave me the highest "grades" he's ever given me, which is out of character for him. He wrote a nice paragraph about how awesome I am and I ended up hugging him. I have always tried to get good "report cards" throughout school, and that obsession has carried over to real life, I guess. "SOMEONE APPROVE OF ME!! LIKE ME, DAMNIT!!" oozes from me and I feel good "report cards" must mean that I am doing OK. Nonetheless, that review made me happier than I was, and I was already on happy overload. (Add a pot of coffee to that, and the Emergency Broadcast System should have been setting off alarms...)

One of our long time coworkers had their retirement party on Friday. She has been with our company for 44 years. One of the former original owners flew up from Florida for the party. That was emotional to see him. Then all the former retirees that are still among the living came. THAT was EMOTIONAL to see all of them. Then the first boss I ever had at that company was there from the other plant, and THAT MADE ME BAWL LIKE A BABY. I was in tears the whole time. HAPPY tears, mind you, but tears. In May I have my 35th full time year in there, but I started back in 1979, not attaining full time status until 1982. That place has been a part of my entire adult life. I met my husband there...I carried all three kids while working there...I have seen so many ups and downs in that company that I can't even begin to list them... Sigh. So Friday afternoon was a reflective, tear filled afternoon (in a good way, mind you).

Of course, after an afternoon like that, it suddenly hit me Friday night that I'VE BEEN THERE 35 FRICKEN YEARS. Hahahahaha. I've not saved the world nor have I come up with a cure for dreaded diseases. I have plopped out three amazing kids but other than that, have I really done anything special? Sigh. It was a very nerve shaking day for me which was probably just sponsored by my internal hormonal menopausal chemistry roller coaster. Being a girl is just plain hard sometimes. Being a girl and being Sandy is harder...

The other night when I was out in the dark with Jake the Dog I heard a loud, disgusted sound emitted by a male down the road. It was 10:30 or so. I figured someone's car broke down along the road to the south. Then I heard maniacal laughter coming in my general direction up the road. This scared me and I dragged Jake inside and closed the curtains and sat on the couch with Jake. (I assumed Jake would at least alert me to the fact if someone was near the house before he went to hide to save himself.) I almost called the police to say, "Some crazy guy is walking down the road..." but how do I know he was crazy? What if he was just out for a walk and the podcast he was listening to on his iPod was just plain funny? Or maybe he did break down in his car and was walking home and decided to make the best of the situation by being overly positive? If a person is on the road and NOT in my yard, who am I to call 911? (I think that is the first time I closed the curtain in 15 years...) This does bring up the fact that I wish I had built in night vision so I could see things in the dark. I hope they invent those type of implants before I die. I imagine I will retire some day and I will want to spend my nights spying on anyone that happens to meander past my living space...

January 28, 2017 - Ah, contented sigh. It felt like a productive Saturday for once. I am sitting here in the afterglow of one of the best batches of chili I ever made. I have decided to call it "Sandy's Accidental Ground Turkey White Chili" and I will fix it again. Yum. Very Yum. Most of the best things I've made were accidental, now that I ponder it. (Note this, my three lovely kids...hahahahaha)

I slept in until 10:30 a.m. this morning! What?!?!?  My husband had to work, so the house was quiet and my bladder allowed me an entire 11 hours of SLEEP. That never happens anymore. I can assure you I barely made it to the toilet when I did wake up. As I sat an peed for sixty three minutes (or so it seemed) I realized I had been sleeping on my back as my throat was quite sore from snoring. Jake normally "french kisses" me when I'm snoring, but perhaps he was snoring right along side of me. Needless to say, I did feel very rested...

My husband was home soon after that and off we went to get our hair cut. His cuts take less time than mine, so he wandered around the store where we go for hair care and I just relaxed and enjoyed my hair touching. I do so enjoy that - someone playing with my hair. Sigh. I wanted to get my roots touched up, but I decided to wait. Just having hair time was good enough, and I can see through my eyes now, as my bangs have been trimmed.

After we were done getting sheered, we did our grocery shopping. I also picked up a meal for my poor sister in law who lost her oldest son on Friday. We took that over to her on the way home. I cannot imagine the pain she must feel. I could not imagine losing one of my own children. It makes me cry to ponder that.

We came home and did house chores and I started the chili so it had time to simmer. Seriously, I just used all the stuff in my fridge - all the cut up onions and chopped tomatoes we had for our salad the other day. I loaded it with tons of garlic cloves and the ground lean turkey and two huge green peppers and a dash of oregano and a couple of tablespoons of chili powder and some cumin and parsley and salt and pepper and chicken broth and I simmered that for an hour. (Oh, and a good sprinkling of cayenne pepper flakes.) Then I added a jar of northern white beans and simmered it another hour. IT WAS SO GOOD. Maybe because I was so hungry... Still, it rocked.

Last Sunday I had an episode where my heart was racing and I could feel my pulse all through my chest and neck and face and all the way down my fingers. (You know, that pulse feeling you get when you cut yourself - you can feel the beating of the heart sort of thing.) I attributed it to the fact I did not feel well to begin with. I tried taking my pulse throughout the day, and I wasn't sure after a while WHAT it was supposed to feel like. To me it felt odd and hard and angry. I also had PAC fluttering, too. (I had those right before my gall bladder needed to come out and right before I had the liver rock episode where I passed that evil rock down my bile duct that almost killed me.)

This feeling of pulse all throughout me and the PAC fluttering went on until Thursday morning. I finally thought that it was time to call the doctor. I felt fine. I felt happy. I felt perky. However, I am fat, 56 years old, and if you ask various body parts within me, I've not been that good to my body. Are I not the one who preaches to family members not to fart around in situations like this? Yes. Yes I am the one. So I lectured myself and dial the doctor.

When you call your doctor (or at least my family doctor office) and if you mention a heart condition, they take it very seriously. I had to assure them I was not sick, puking, dying, blue, and I really felt fine except for the mystery pulsing. The finally agreed I could have a normal office visit,but they were not happy about that fact. When I went in they asked me again if I was OK and such. I assured them I was great. Just being cautious and heck, what better way to break in my new insurance card, right?

After they weighed me in (I have lost seventeen pounds since I started trying not to be fatter in October) I was very happy. My blood pressure was 120/72. The nurse listened to my heart and said it sounded good to her and she and I laughed about life for a bit. When the doctor came in, I started from the beginning and explained my symptoms. I told him I also know that when a human concentrates too much on something, it just compounds it and I assumed I had subconsciously worked myself up in to a frenzy over my heart without my own brain's knowledge. He agreed this happens. We discussed the PAC issue that I've had for years at first, too, since I told him I also wanted it on record that if I was having heart skipping festivities and suddenly my spleen exploded or something, I could say I TOLD YOU SO. He listened to my heart in various different ways for a long, long time. "Sandy, it sounds fine and it isn't even skipping." I was happy about that, to be honest, because I was feeling like it was still doing flips and acrobatics while he was listening. If he couldn't hear it, I was thrilled. I made him check my carotid arteries in my neck, too. He listened to my left side and said, "It is fine..." He listened to my right side for a bit, then said, "Oh No!" and then started laughing. I smacked him. Those sounded fine, too, he said. He drew a picture of the heart for me and explained all the odd and silly things hearts do...being the electrical sort of thing that it is. It was quite interesting. He showed me what my PAC is and does. He showed me what might happen if I suddenly dropped dead (when one parts fires at the precise same time as the other side, which stops the heart). He explained how hearts can get stuck in an "endless loop" when misfires take place and how to interrupt that if it happens. He also said it was up to me if I wanted to be put on a heart monitor for two weeks or so...just to be safe. He didn't think I needed it. I decided I would wait to see if seeing a doctor calmed my subconscious mind down enough to end the feeling of the full body pulsing. I hugged him and left and went back to work. I have felt an ebbing of the 'pulsing' since the doctor visit. I am sure the bulk of the intensity of it was caused by ME in my own MIND. (A mind is a terrible thing to leave unattended and bored, obviously.)

February 5, 2017 - Today is Super Bowl Sunday. What does this mean to me? It means I'll be watching cartoons come evening. I have no urge to watch this year's Super Bowl nor see Lady GaGa at halftime. Call me a curmudgeon if you will, but this particular game holds no draw for me. They are not teams I would normally root for so I will watch something else.

I do have a plethora of salsa to consume during the evening if I chose to do so. I made a HUGE batch for work on Friday for my friend Judy's Birthday. I also made a strawberry angel food poke cake and had real strawberries to put on to. I brought in a plate of cheese and grapes and crackers and cheese and meat. It was a nice spread for Judy's celebration. I must say, winter veggies are not the same as summer veggies - taste wise. It is OK salsa, but I've made much better. Tomatoes don't taste as tomato-ey. Peppers don't taste as peppery. Nonetheless, if you eat enough of it - it is good salsa. Friday I ate TONS of it. I was eeking out salsa from my pores by the end of the day. I was also exploding with strawberry poke cake and cheese. SO MUCH CHEESE. My liver (or the "part of my body that will not be named) was NOT happy about the cheese. I got warning shots all afternoon at work. I could hear my liver mumbling at me, "How DARE she eat so much fat laden cheese?! I will show her!!" and then the liver that shall not be named did just that. I apologized profusely to my liver for consuming so much delicious, savory, tasty cheese, but then again there is a REASON I don't eat delicious, savory, tasty cheese...

Supper Friday night was baked tortilla chips and SALSA and more cheese. Not a lot of cheese, but still... and I ended the day with a Hershey's Dark Chocolate candy bar.

Saturday I woke up feeling like I had a hangover. I considered it a food hangover, of sorts. I felt terrible. I pooped three times! My poor body! I mentally apologized profusely to my body over and over again. I was terribly cold and hunkered down in my Lazy Boy with blankets and two pairs of socks and my super fuzzy industrial strength nightgown. I slept a lot. After one stretch of sleeping, and still being so cold, I took a hot bath. It felt so good. I didn't want to get out of the tub, but I had no choice. I had used up all the hot water in the water heater! I did feel better after that bath. Several hours later, though, it dawned on my I had a fever. (You know the feeling...the edges of your hair on your head hurt and you just know you have a fever. I took my temperature. Sure enough, I had a fever. That explained a lot. I wasn't necessarily having a food hangover, I was having a bout with a viral thing... but may I say, I made a kick ass pot of potato soup for supper yesterday, even in my fevered state. Yum. It hit the spot, and it WAS NOT MADE OF SALSA.

My coworker James was sick earlier in the week. When I took his temperature with my hand, like any good Mom has the ability to do, and told him he was warm. He looked like my hair felt yesterday... He called in the next day and worked from home. He was a day too late, I fear. It seems to have been a 24 hour bug, though. I broke my fever last night and today I feel like a new woman today. I did laundry, hung a picture, and did various household chores I should have done yesterday. (Oh, and I had eggs and salsa for breakfast. Yummy) 

February 6, 2017
- February is a month that, in order to spell it properly, I have to say it as FEB RU ARY phonically. The same goes for the word Wednesday - I have to pronounce it WED NES DAY to spell it correctly. Now I do it out of habit and humor, but there was a time I'm sure that the phonic mental cheat saved my butt on a spelling test in elementary school...

I wanted to make a quick supper tonight. (We stopped eating out except for having a Subway sandwich on grocery store night and we make everything "in house" now - but I SO didn't want to fuss a lot over anything tonight.) I saw I had a bag of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - Garden Vegetable version - that I could microwave, so I decided I would fix that, some veggies, and throw a couple of chicken breast in the oven to bake. I nuked the veggies and threw the rice in for the amount of time recommended on the bag.

Let it be said right here that I can stand a lot when it comes to gross stuff. I raised three kids, after all, and only once did any of them ever do anything or made a bodily by-product that made me sick to my stomach  *see below* and I have cleaned up every evil, foul thing possible in various toilets in my lifetime of cleaning other people's houses. I dealt personally with two dogs that had a full on in-the-face skunk spray when I was 7 months pregnant as well, and survived. I am just stating these facts for the record so you will understand the gravity of the next two paragraphs...

When I took the rice out and cut off the top and poured it into a bowl, I started dry heaving instantly. Lordy! The smell - OMG. It was just awful!! Obviously I had that bag of rice in my cupboard way too long!! I dry heaved as I ran the content of the bowl to the garbage and threw it in there. I dry heaved when I rinsed out the bowl. I have NOT smelled ANYTHING that horrid since I fed my baby daughter blueberries for the first time in 1988 and had to change the diaper with the results that came out the other end of the girl. (I never, ever forced her to eat blueberries again, trust me.)

We ended up just having chicken and veggies for supper, which was fine, mind you - since we still have tons of salsa left to fill the void on the plate so it is not like we starved without the rice. The smell, however, had burned itself into my nasal cavity and clothes and I finally had to haul the garbage bag out to the Herby Curby because I could smell that stench eeking out the top of the indoor garbage - I gagged again when the gust of smell hit me from throwing it in the garbage container outside! ACK!! I am not sure what that rice and "garden veggies" turned into during their time in my cupboard- but it was evil and deadly. I had to spray Lysol in the trash can inside before putting in a new bag and I bleached the garbage can lid. I soaked the bowl in scalding hot water with half a container of dish soap before putting it in the dishwasher. GAG!! Ack! If anyone is a scientist out there and reads this - please tell me what wretched concoction can come out of Ready Rice and dehydrated type veggies, please, because I think this combo could possible be used to end a war far faster than dropping a bomb on some country...

I have seen several commercials on T.V. tonight already for DNA testing to find your genetic ancestry. There are a plethora of companies out there that will send you a kit with stuff to spit into or on and send back to find out where you came from in this big world. This seems all fine and good - but then I think to myself that there will be plethora of companies WITH YOUR DNA on file. They could clone you from your own spit, right? To think the world could be full of multiple copies of 'me' is scary enough in itself to convince me that spitting in an envelope is not something I would pay to do in the near future. I will wait until I'm arrested and get my DNA tested proper like!

February 8, 2017 - Tonight was a night full of - well - olfactory overload. (And I thought the rotten rice was horrid...)

If you remember, we came in to possession of Rocko the Cat because my daughter had issues at home that prevented her from having a cat. (Substitute 'issues' with 'Zora the Puppy' and you see why we now have Rocko the Cat.) We inherited Rocko the Cat sometime in 2014. Rocko has his moments where he likes us enough to let us pet him. He loves it when we give him boxes to play with. The other morning he woke me up from a dead sleep by jumping on the bed near me and commencing to purr hard enough that it vibrated the bed. I cherish those moments since they are few and far between. "Typical Rocko" is the cat who will wait for us on the kitchen table and when we come around the corner, he will reach out with full claws and slash any appendage that happens to be exposed. (The blood spatter on the yellow kitchen wall does produce a lovely sunset mural effect, however...) The one thing Rocko is consistent about is pooping poop that will cause air raid sirens in nearby counties to go off - he STINKS. We came home tonight from grocery shopping and he decides at that very moment he had to poop. The smell was just awful. My husband and I both had tears in our eyes. (Jake seemed excited, though - since he considers those things nut covered tootsie rolls as I've mentioned before.)

As soon as Rocko was done covering it up (which takes approximately 16 minutes because 80% of that time is spent scraping the walls of the litter box instead of actually putting litter on the offensive pile) I scooped it out and ran it outside. Pee Eeew! Of course, once the smell all sort of gathered in one particular spot in the kitchen, the furnace kicked on...

Tonight while grocery shopping I bought a bottle of Tabu perfume. I thought I liked it. I have fond memories of it because several coworkers wore it. (I thought I had fond memories of it, I mean.) After groceries were put away, I opened up the bottle and gave it a primer squirt in the air, then a squirt on my wrist. Peed Eeeew! Ack! I hate it! THIS IS NOT THE TABU I REMEMBER!! Good Lord! I am sure this will smell lovely on someone, but that someone will not be me. I wasted 9 dollars on a jar of stuff that, if given a choice, would be considered a worse smell than what Rocko had just done in the litter box. (I am only speaking for me, mind you. I am sure many people wear Tabu and smell just fine. It is just not for Sandy.) After I had squirted a burst on my wrist, of course the furnace kicked in again. Rocko started sneezing in rapid fire burst. My husband called from the living room, "What the HELL is THAT?" I put the bottle back in the box and will take it to work and leave it in the women's bathroom with a note that says "free to a good home" and run - I will run like the wind. Maybe I will also hang a sign from Rocko and leave him in there, too.

February 23, 2017 - I have to say AGAIN I love where I live - the air is full of the sounds of geese, sandhill cranes, wood ducks, and red-winged blackbirds as I type. Seriously, it is a symphony. I adore it SO MUCH. When wood ducks fly, they sound adorable, by the way...

I have been over stressed at work. My own fault. Work is what it is and I have to deal with it. I just have not been sleeping worth crap though, and that can wear a person down. Last night I was so tense I gave myself hemorrhoids. Seriously. It probably didn't help that Jake the Dog was tight up against my back side and Rocko the Cat had claimed my feet as a sleeping hammock and I was in a restricted sleeping angle as I fell asleep. All I know is that hemorrhoids are louder than alarm clocks, boy howdy. Sigh.

My friend Sue sent me a picture of a pot hole at the store she was at. How adorable is this? Not all potholes are evil, and this is proof. Some potholes are screaming GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and sending us love.

I will admit I bought a new vehicle. My lovely Ford Taurus, Bertha, is now my husband's car. His truck's lighting system died. (The truck is an 1986 or something GMC.) I knew in my gut it was time to get a new car and gift my lovely Bertha to my husband. He is still going to fix the truck, mind you, but now I don't have to run him back and forth to work and we have a nice new dependable set of wheels that will whisk us away many adventures, I'm sure. I have named her Loretta. She is divine. (Maybe THAT is why I have seat and all...) 

I will be glad to see Saturday this week. Saturday I am fixing lunch for my Mom in Law and Sister in Law. I don't have to go anywhere and fixing food is relaxing to me. I will do something with lots of chopping, like potato soup, since chopping is therapeutic. Name each vegetable after one of your stress factors and whack away. (I still think having a taser at work would be better all around for ME, but they refuse to allow it.) So I will be chopping.

Last Saturday it was so nice I went out and picked up yard debris. I had several wagon loads of sticks and other yard crap. (Literally - a winter's worth of dog poop...) The neighbors came over and visited for a bit, and Jake was so excited to see Ron that he was doing a 'butt' run in circles for a while. Like an idiot, that old dog was in a spazzed frenzy. He has been limping ever since. I understand his pain. You just don't do cartwheels and sprint in circles at age 84 (human years for Jake.) Last night I finally broke down and gave him a quarter if an aspirin. He slept like a baby - tightly up against me.

We called my daughter and son in law last night from the new car. My husband wanted to call them the night I picked up the car, but I said no, we'd wait. "But we need to call her and tell her we're doing what we tell her not to do!" (Talk on the phone while driving...) hahahaha. When we called and told them that, my daughter asked if we were just sitting in the drive way and I said, 'Um yeah..." She thinks we are dorks - hahahahaa. I have to get my buttons down before I try talking while in motion!

I am off to conquer my day. Wish me luck. May the force be with us.

February 27, 2017 - Last week was like spring and on Saturday, winter returned. Viva Michigan! I have violas blooming near a flower bed. I looked this a.m. and they actually look OK - I believe they survived the blast of winter-ish weather we had. Very durable, those things.

On Wednesday it will be our 37th wedding anniversary. Cripes. We have seen every type of issue in the last 37 years. I won't even go in to it here, but if it could have happened, it did happen. Nonetheless, here we are - aging together and enjoying the whole old person thing. My theory is SOMEONE has to stay strong enough at any given time to either dial 911 if one of us falls or for the insertion of suppositories when the need arises... That is the secret of marriage? Someone has to be able to shove something up the other person's rear end? Yes. Yes it is.

Joking aside, I must admit that my kids are the best product of this relationship. I cannot believe I created and plopped out three individual humans. Each one is so unique in personality that it amazes me. (Would I do it all again if given the chance to go back in time? Hell no, I would run screaming into the mountains and become a hermit, but since that is not possible I will be content where I stand today.)

There was a pileated woodpecker hanging from my suet feeder when my inlaws came over on Saturday for lunch. It was so cool to show off that huge bird. "LOOK, LOOK AT MY BIRD!" I screamed as they walked in the door. (OK, I didn't scream since I didn't want to scare the bird off, but I pantomimed like crazy for attention.) I have been trying to get my husband to see this phenomenon but he always misses the bird. Saturday, however, we all got to gaze in wonder at the huge mohawk-headed birdie hanging from the small suet holder. Viva nature and awesome bird hairdos.

The coyotes were very vocal last night. There was no train at the time I heard them, so I knew they were not singing to the whistle. I was curious as to why they were so loud so I looked it up. Apparently they make a fuss like that when 1)They are letting other coyotes know the boundaries of their territory or 2)They are calling everyone home for the evening. The latter makes sense. It was near dusk and if my kids were all out playing and it was time to get them ready for bed, I would be yelling out the back door, too. "Get in here, time for baths!!" Ask my kids, I'm sure they will attest that I DID sound like a Mom coyote most of the time when yelling at them...

It isn't that long until we spring forward, time wise. March 12th, I think? I will have to plan some vacation time coming up here in the near future to use up my vacation days from this last year before I roll over again in May. I will have my 35th full time anniversary at work in May. I may be a boring old woman, but at least I'm consistently predictable...

February 28, 2017 - Funny story...

I stopped at my local pharmacy at lunch yesterday. I gabbed with the girls there for a bit and when I walked out of the front of the building I couldn't find my car. I stood there for a while silently retracing my actions. I know I parked out front and not out back - I clearly remember where I parked for once. I looked up and down the row of cars on the street and I couldn't locate my car. Finally my brain hit me upside itself and laughed, "Just Jokin! You're lookin' at it, Dork!!" and I started laughing out loud. I was looking for my old car that my husband now drives. Right in front of me was my new car. DUH. My brain and I had a good chortle but it just goes to show you you cannot trust yourself - EVER. If your brain can get a good laugh at your expense, it will...

topMarch 3, 2017 - I had another 'new car' moment yesterday...

I decided I was going to get gas for the first time in my new car. I pulled into the gas station and got our, flipped open the gas door, and stopped. I had no CLUE what octane this vehicle required. It has a cap-less gas intake and I looked at that hoping it would tell me and there it said "E-85" with a pretty scroll looking thingy. "Does this thing only take E-85 gas?!" I asked my brain in a panic. "You could have read the manual, you dork!" my brain replied. I casually closed the outer door and strolled back to the driver's side and hopped in my car and sped away back to work. I took the manual inside with me to find out what Loretta drinks. She takes 87 octane. There were several paragraphs warning owners about using the wrong fuel. "IF YOU FILL THE CAR WITH THE INCORRECT FUEL, DO NOT START THE CAR! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! HIDE ALL CHILDREN! CALL 911!" and so forth. The owner's manual said 87, so why is there that pretty writing on the intake area that says E-85?!! I was still confused. I researched on the interweb again. Apparently there are such things as flex fuel vehicles. I must own a FFV, so it seems. I could use E-85 if I wanted to I suppose. This is good to know, but I believe her first full take will be 87.

So let's recap - so far I "lost" my new car because I forgot I had a new car and I've fled from a gas station in panic due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to fossil fuels. I am batting 100 so far, folks. Sigh. Me thinks Sandy must sit down with the owners manual this weekend and get to know her wheels.

March 1st was our 37th anniversary. Normally we would go to Red Lobster, but in an attempt to eat more proper and human like we decided to fix shrimp and fake crab at home. It was so good. You can eat an ocean of shrimp for little calories so I got to consume a LOT (which brings me comfort) for little. Now I know why whales are so sleek and trim. Seafood is the answer to svelte bodies, obviously. I also bought ONE PIECE OF CAKE each for our dessert. I was thrilled to find they sell them like that - just a piece per container. When I see frosting, I have a horrid time stopping at one piece of cake. As a matter of fact, the cake just gets in the way of getting TO the frosting. Cake is a waste of time, really, but it does transport the frosting well to one's mouth, but I digress. I was disappointed with the cake. The frosting was not a lovely buttercream like I was anticipating. It was an 'out of the can' frosting that was dull and iky. Sigh. Oh, I ate it - hell yes, I ate it - Don't get me wrong. It was just not the climax to a meal I had anticipated.

My daughter sent me a gift card for Catherine's for my anniversary present. She also sent her Dad a gift card. I foresee new bras in my future! (For me - my husband can spend his card anyway he likes...) I need new bras in the worst way. (I would prefer NOT to wear bras at all, but society dictates.) My oldest called us from Idaho where he was doing his laundry at "the world's largest truck stop" and wished us well. We never hear from the wee one lately unless I text him and forcefully demand an update. I assume I'll hear from him soon enough - he will want his taxes done sooner or later...

This weekend is my Mother in Law's birthday so we'll swing by there to spread our joy all over the place. This is the first year in 37 years that I (me, ME!!) forgot her Birthday. Really. My husband has never remembered his own Mother's birthday all this time. I would gently remind him every year. However, he said to me yesterday, "Isn't my Mom's Birthday soon?" I got very quiet. I searched the Rolodex in my brain and found nothing! I flipped through archived files in my brain and still - NOTHING! I finally searched through my old blogs until I found an entry that told about us going to see Grandma on her Birthday. Ugh! What is wrong with my brain!?!? I assume this is the way of it going forward. I also assume this is why you stay married to someone for decades - it is not for the sake of the kids or love, it is so when our brains decide to off-load important data the other person hopefully has a back up copy that information...

March 8, 2017 - Oy Vay, was yesterday a bad liver day. I don't like to talk about my liver since the whole bile duct rock issue way back when. I give it lots of room and respect and nod to it from time to time, but I don't want to let it know I am thinking of it. "He Who Shall Not Be Named" just ripped me a new one yesterday morning, however. I am not sure what I ate that enraged the beast but the warning shots were so painful I was doubled over. Sigh. I ate a ton of raw carrots on Monday and maybe that made my digestive area mad? The last 'fatty' thing I had was dessert on Monday night of a Lindt 72% cocoa dark chocolate bar (a servings worth) so that shouldn't have taken all that time to make
"He Who Shall Not Be Named" have a hissy fit. Maybe a small rock was kind of stuck in the bile duct? All I know is I miss my gall bladder a lot. I took that thing for granted when I had it. Sigh. Gall bladders run defense against livers.

I barely made it through work and when I got home last night I drew a large tub of hot water and soaked in the thing, took a Klonopin (that I have for anxiety at the dentist) and then went to bed. Being is constant pain is very draining on the soul, so I slept hard. I feel a bit better today but am ever wary of the evil that lurks within.

Today we are having AUNTIE EM, AUNTIE EM strength winds. Sustained winds, mind you. As soon as the sun starts warming stuff up, they could be up to 50 miles per hour. I hope the tent that houses my husband's old Camero and the John Deer doesn't blow away and I hope we don't lose power. ONE of those things are sure to happen, if not both. If people to my East notice a rolling green tent garage looking thing, that would be ours and I'm sorry....

March 13, 2017 - I just love birds. It snowed today and the various sparrows, cardinals, titmouses, junkos, nuthatches, mourning doves, blue jays, and a plethora of red-winged black birds at through two fillings of the bird feeders! The little birds were so hungry they came and ate all around me. I was standing right there! They didn't care - they just swooped in and ate and ate. I assume it was because when I was out there, the bigger birds stayed away and the wee birds could a meal. I was amazed that they were everywhere. I held very still so they would not get scared. Contented sigh. The woodpeckers have gone through several blocks of suet as well. Poor birdies! Michigan has thrown them a curve ball weather wise.

We had such a fun weekend. Our wonderful neighbors babysat Jake and Rocko so we could go see my daughter and son-in-law on Saturday. (Had to try out the new car after all!) It was just a day trip, but it was so fun. My daughter's laughter when I say something funny just makes me want to be funnier. It was a nice drive there. We passed the first rest stop in Michigan and it said on the sign "Next Rest Stop - 45 Miles" and my husband was quite sure we could make it to the next rest stop. That is the "cool" rest stop you get to that has a Indiana Welcome Center and all and the bathrooms are always so clean. I told him I guessed I could make it, but it was so close...ever so close. We barely made it to the rest stop and into the bathrooms. Hahahaha. On the way back to the car, my husband got a bag of veggie chips from the vending machine. When he got in the car I saw those chips and decided to get myself a bag too. I got a dollar from my husband and went in and put the dollar in and punched 26. The bag moved a little and got hung up, but the dollar came out. So I put the dollar in again. Another bag squeezed forward, but was also stuck up there. The dollar came out. Third time is a charm, I said out loud in case the cameras were watching, and put the dollar in again. Three bags came flying forward and fell down to the bottom ... AND THE DOLLAR CAME OUT! I grabbed the three bags of chips and the dollar and ran back to the car. "Are you that hungry?" my husband asked. I explained the situation and told him we had to get out of there before they arrested us for stealing. He said he was pretty sure Indiana police were NOT going to come and arrest us over three dollars worth of veggie chips.

The rest of the drive was nice, especially when you don't have to drive INTO CHICAGO but under and to the west!! I got to drive over the Thornton Rock Quarry and that was a thrill for me. So much rock, EVERYWHERE. That is one place you don't want to wander too far to the side of the highway. Smile. When we got to the kids condo, we hung out for a bit and talked and I got to love on my grand-dogs. They are so well behaved in their own house. "How come they are such dorks at my house when they are so sweet!!" Zora the husky had plenty of kisses for Grandma. The kids took us to a wonderful breakfast at Blueberry Hill. (I had decided that it was a "free" day - food wise - before we left. I am glad I did because I ate enough at that one sitting for a whole day's worth of food!!) Then the kids took us on a tour through the Hinsdale mansions. So many HUGE houses. (When I got home that night, I looked up some of the 4 - 6 million dollars for those homes and looked through them. There is nothing there to me that would be worth that much money!! You could finance one, however, for a mere 21,000 a month if you were so inclined!) Ugh. We were laughing since my car was the only Ford in the several blocks of mansions and we were sure security would be called about a 'suspicious car' casing the neighborhood.

Then they took us to their Mariano's Grocery store. That was like a tourist attraction in itself!! We bought a cake and some other things and came home and ate said cake and watched a movie in 3-D. (That was very cool, by the way.) We left to come home later in the afternoon and had a nice drive back. (Note, the bathrooms in the Michigan Welcome Center were kind of gross. Must have been a big party pass through there!) Our Garmin GPS took us a back sort of way (because it was shorter, mile wise - but longer time wise) and that was fun. It was just a ... well .... FUN DAY. We will have to do this more often. I want to go to the nearest Rock Shop a few towns over this coming weekend. They are having their grand opening this week. (Old age must be bringing out the adventurist in me...)   

March 21, 2017 - I stood outside after a VERY hot bath to cool down a bit. (I believe I was still steaming...) I always like to check out Betelgeuse (the star) that is ready to go supernova any time now. I would love to see it go... However, it's been getting ready to go supernova for so long and 'any time now' could mean hundred or thousands of years in astronomical terms so I doubt I will see it in my life time. However, in generations to come when it does go I hope one of my distant relatives will say,  "Gosh, Sandy would have loved this!" I am praying said supernova doesn't sprinkle the Earth with horrid radiation and kill said distant relative while they are gazing upon it in wonder, however.

I have enjoyed the heck out of the red-winged blackbirds this year. They have had some meaningful conversations in the trees on my property. Most of it is "chit chit chit - eh hemmm...chit!?" because the bird feeder is empty and they are expressing their angst. They have, however, had other conversations amongst themselves that I've never been privy to before. Very vocal, those birds are. I wish I spoke bird sometimes, I really do. It would probably go something like, "Man, did you see that two legged thing down there? Ugh! Right? She must have eaten her share of road kill!" or "She could never get airborne with THAT framework!" or "When the hell is that thing gonna fill up that other thing so we get free meals?" I have also enjoyed the excessive amount of wood ducks that fly over since they sound like a dog's squeeky toy when the flap their wings. One of these days, I'm gonna end up with a face full of bird poop, that's for sure. There is a couple of sandhill cranes that hang out across the road and in the back yard. I hope they are "our" pair - we normally have a pair.

I brought a huge printer box home for Rocko the Cat to play in and enjoy. Rocko the Cat has only looked at it and curled up his lip like a wee Elvis. Apparently HP boxes offend the cat in some way? He did finally get in to it tonight when I cut a door in the side and closed the top up. He is now back on his "girlfriend" (the fuzzy blanket) doing unspeakable things to the poor "girl" and I believe the box will end up in the burn pile tomorrow. Having a huge box in our tiny living room is technically a liability for us.

I made my first payment on Loretta, my new car, so I officially 'own' her now. I adore that thing. I love how it sits up higher. It drives like an off road Jeep, however - you WILL feel every bump in the road. I suppose that is good since I would know immediately if I ran over something an most likely I would stop to investigate.

I booked a weekend vacation for my husband and I - woot! We will be going up north and spending the weekend by Lake Michigan. I can't wait. It is prior to July 4th, so the hotel rates are horrid, but it will be fun. I am attempting at this time to con one of my sons into dog sitting. I will have to start baking homemade meals soon....bwahahahaha...that will lure them in. I will have to get my husband out and walking on the local trail soon so we will be ready to meander around the town we're staying in and see the sights without suffering strokes or severe leg cramps or randomly falling down.

I suppose I should go to bed. It has been a long few weeks and more long weeks are to come at work. It's just a job - not an adventure. Wait, it IS an adventure AND a job and I'm getting to old for this...

March 24, 2017 - I wanted to hit the snooze button SO BADLY this morning. I did attempt just that, but instead I missed the snooze button and knocked the whole clock behind the bed. The alarm was still going off, mind you. I was reaching for it in my 'just woke up against my will and better judgement' haze and ended up unplugging the thing. The alarm clock has a battery back up so it was still going off (behind the bed) and I end up wrapped in its power cord. Sigh. I am using the Spongebob Squarepants alarm clock that was my wee one's first alarm clock. It takes a lickin'  and keeps on GOING OFF BEHIND MY BED WHEN ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS SLEEP FOR TEN MORE MINUTES!! After I untangled myself and got the clock back in swatting range, I just got up and decided to start this day. It IS Friday, after all. I just have to make through ONE MORE DAY of work and then it will be two days off.

Last weekend I worked for 21 hours at home on a project for work. I am so looking forward to not doing that this weekend. It is the little things we must aim for...

There is a rooster in the near area that was excelling at what roosters do in the morning when I let the dog out. He was nailing the cock-a-doodle-do routine with gusto. Kudos to you, Mr. Rooster. He was obviously happy it was Friday as well.

I have also decided the main repertoire of the red-winged blackbirds goes like this;  "Booger Dee!!" and that is answered with "Carpe Diem!!" and then they 'chit; a lot and have quiet, personal conversations between each other. I adore those damned birds, even if they eat 40 lbs. of bird food a week.

March 28, 2017 - My cousin Dave got some awesome shots of some birdies. I will post some here. He is a good photographer and has an eye for capturing good images. I have cropped these to fit on here so some of the artistic bend the pictures have is lost, but just look at the birdies!!

When I was out with Jake, I noticed how happy the robins were sounding. I imagine that they are eating well now - all the rain has inspired all the worms to head up topside so the banquet of earthworms must be overly abundant for them. You wonder at the circle of life sometimes, or at least I do. There has to be millions of earthworms in the ground to be able to support such a large population of birds. I can only imagine how it works - out of every 100 earthworms there are - 98 will be eaten by birds or other critters. First of all, how do you decide who's going to "take one for the team" as it were? Life is hard for earthworms. Life, in general, is hard for most creatures.

I had trouble sleeping Sunday night. Last night I went to bed at eight p.m. and feel much better today so far. As Granny Weatherwax from the Disc World series says, "I ain't dead" and that is a good feeling. I always feel blessed when I wake up breathing. I got my hairs cut on Saturday and got two new bras on Saturday as well. I feel like a new woman! (Or at least my boobs do...) My daughter had gotten a gift card for me from my favorite bra place and so I spent it with joy in my heart and a lift to my bosom. I also finally planted the violas that were blooming outside of and next to the wee flower bed that is over the septic tank cover. Since they have endured all through February and now March, I decided they needed an upgrade to their domicile. I was happy to see when replanting them that there is purple in them along with the yellow. My daffodils are all ready to bloom (almost) and when it rains it smells like worms. Maybe Spring is really here...

March 31, 2017 - April Showers kicked in early this year. I expect a bumper crop of May Flowers as a result of the soaking we are getting.

Jake goes in tonight for his yearly shots and such. I've seen female mosquitoes already so I am late getting Jake back on heart worm meds. Sigh. Normally I just do April through November. I am just going to do it year round now since really, it IS easier. I waited a LONG time for the old geezer to poop this morning so I could get a stool sample. I can attest to the fact that a watched pot never boils and Jake will refuse to poop if he sees you following him with a baggie in hand...

I could not sleep last night to save my soul. Sigh. All my brain kept doing was "working" and I couldn't stop thinking of work. I finally soaked in a hot tub about 12:30 and then just relaxed in my recliner. Still, the brain went on and on about work. I finally put my mental foot down and told Brian, the night brain worker, that he could at least put on a movie or something different than thinking of stupid work. If I felt like I was on the edge of an epiphany or something about work I wouldn't have minded the work thoughts. However, all I was doing was normal work type chores in my head, and why bother?!

So after yelling at Brian, suddenly I hear "Midnight at the Oasis" in my head. Where the hell did THAT come from? It worked to stop me thinking about work, but then I spent an hour trying to remember the lyric to that song and who did it and when it came out, etc. Ugh. I decided last night it was Minnie Ruperton but found out this a.m it was really Maria Muldaur (I had the 'M' right for the first name at least) and it came out in 1974. I read the lyrics this morning and thought to myself, "Cripes, that was full of innuendo about sex, now wasn't it?" I was 13 when it came out of the radio. I do not remember what I thought about the lyrics in 1974...I am sure I was clueless, however, to what she was suggesting in the song.

I did some laundry last night and washed Rocko's 'girlfriend' (a fuzzy grey blanket that he humps every six seconds). He is a hairy cat, so I swept out the chair he sleeps in and I put down the back up girlfriend blanket. He would have nothing to do with the backup fuzzy. He just stayed on the floor until his "woman" came out of the dryer, all warm and hair free. Sigh. (If we have his 'girlfriend' put up for any reason, he will actually tell us by meowing and pawing at us that HE WANTS HIS WOMAN. I find this endearing but also slightly warped. Maybe we would all be happier if we humped fuzzy blankets, too?

topApril 3, 2017 - Happy April (already)! The weekend was very productive, I must say. A good weekend for sure. Got some of the debris in the yard cleaned up on Saturday and I spent Sunday blowing out all the dead leaves in the rocks around the house. I am sure if the neighbors saw me doing this act it was not a pretty sight pretty to behold, but it had to be done. I was crawling around the house with the leaf blower and I think I could have looked like a gnome in severe intestinal pain doing that job. My husband worked on getting his motorcycle road ready and went on a short ride while I was doing the leaf blowing. I thought I heard him come home at one point, but with the leaf blower so close to my head I wasn't sure and I was on a roll and was not going to stop. Turns out it was several military style helicopters going over and I didn't even look up! My husband told me about them when he really got home. Probably some Chinooks on the way to the nearest military base. I would have loved to have seen those. Instead I just continued to blow lava rock crumbles and dead leaves into my face...

I got bathroom rugs washed and a plethora of other things done and I feel happier for it. I had intended on both Saturday and Sunday to take a nap (instead) but on both days decided I had better move my groove thing and do something productive. We had a dozen eggs that were due to expire, so I made up a batch of egg salad. Yum. I just had that for breakfast.

The robins were out singing a tad before six a.m. this morning. I thought they sounded lovely until I remembered how LOUD THEY SOUND when you are trying to sleep in on the weekends and the windows are open... I will enjoy them now, however, while the windows are still closed. I will complain about them later... I am sure birds are none too happy with humans, either.

We took Jake in for his yearly shots and blood work on Friday night. We got his flea and tick collar and a year's worth of heart worm preventative. They called on Saturday to say Jake didn't have heart worms so we could start the medicine, but they misplaced one of the vials of blood they took to check his kidneys and we will have to take him in for another blood draw this week. Ugh. I am sure Jake will love that. Technically Jake turned 12 on Saturday so we gave him a huge chew bone that he has carried around with him all weekend. He looks so much like Ernest Borgnine with a large cigar when he does that and this gives us many giggles.

April 5, 2017 - Last night my wee one came over so I could do his taxes. My granddog, Watson, came too. I adore Watson. He's so full of life. Jake, on the other hand....

When they first got here Watson had a run in with Sophie, Jake's next door girlfriend. Sophie hangs out here at that time of day waiting for her cookie. Sophie and Watson HATE each other. Watson had all his hairs standing up on his back and was barking and Sophie did her impression of Elvis, peeling her lips back and growling. Watson is more of a people person, really. He loves Jake, however, so that is good. Jake, on the other hand, HATES Watson with a passion. Maybe it is because they are both males? Watson seldom tries to interact with Jake ever except to try to play with him or kiss him or give him the traditional butt sniff, so I'm not sure why Jake is such an ass when it comes to Watson. Sigh.

We let them out in the dog pen at one point, since Watson had just eaten and Watson is an avid pooper so 'out you go to get rid of what you just ate' sort of thing. Watson did his business and Jake just stood there waiting to re-mark any peeing that Watson happened to do. Sophie came back over and Elvis'd Watson through the fence and they spend a bit of time barking at each other. Jake took offense to that, since Sophie is the love of his life. When we went to let the dogs in, Jake stayed outside. He wouldn't come in the house. He shunned us. He turned his head away from us and ignored us. He plopped on the ground and stayed there. He was being a spoiled rotten curmudgeon.

The boy and I worked on taxes for a long time. I totally forgot about Jake being outside. There was a cold wind and Jake doesn't like COLD so when he finally did bark to come, we all said at the same time, "Oh, yeah - Jake is out there..." Jake came in slowly and he was very stiff in his movements. He jumped up - with extreme effort - on the couch and I covered him with a blanket. Poor old dude. He hates Watson SO MUCH he's willing to spend an hour outside just to prove a point. (What that point is, I have no idea...)

I know humans tend to think dogs are more human than dogs are, so I am sure we didn't help the situation by projecting emotions we were eeking out or our body on to Jake and our body language also probably indicated something to Jake. At least Rocko took it like a man-cat. He wouldn't leave my desk and doing taxes was quite difficult when your keyboard has a cat cover, but Rocko stood his ground when Watson got too excited and too close to him. He would his and hit Watty with a full fist of claws. I am still picking cat hair out of the keyboard...

We want the wee one to babysit Jake the end of June and first two days of July but now I wonder how Jake would survive having Watson here, too. Sigh. Maybe if we were gone the pressure would be off and Jake would be kinder and gentler and not so spoiled. The wee one asked if we could watch Watson the first weekend of May and we said "yes" but we are secretly praying our oldest son is home for that weekend so he can watch Watson at Watson's own home instead of bringing him here ONLY because of Jake's attitude.

I would also like to complain about another thing. (My blog, my rules. Smile.) My wee one needs to adult soon. He is 24 and he really needs to, well - adult. I gave him the standard lecture last night that I've given him every year when I do his taxes. This time I told him if he didn't meet my demands for next year that I would NOT do his taxes next year. At one point he said, "They didn't teach this stuff in school, so I had no idea..." and that is the only time the true MOM in me came out lat night where my face turns into a demon and spins around and spews forth pea soup. "NO ONE TAUGHT US, WE HAD TO READ AND LEARN AND THINK! PLUS I'VE TOLD YOU THE SAME THING FOR YEARS!!" It was just a burst of the evil within, then it was over. Sigh. I can only picture what my kids see when the real 'MOM' comes out. I am sure they don't hear a word I say when I go all "Mom like" and they are just mainly concerned they are at a safe distance from me at the time...

April 6, 2017 - I come home most every day from work at lunch to let Jake out to pee and such. He's getting older and needs to 'go' as it were...he also sometimes gets to shmooze with his Sophie sometime, too, if she is out and about. (He loves that dog and if he smells/sees her, he cries like a love sick teenager.) Jake also expects the crust from my sandwich I will eat every day, but today I am eating a sandwich thin-thingy, and there is no crust. He is looking at me as if I have committed a crime against all of humanity. "You have no crust for me? You are obviously the reason for global warming and the next meteor to impact the Earth will be due to the fact you did not give me any crust today!" He has made several huffing sounds and is now curled up by the heater...

My car, Loretta, LOVES to run at 60 mph. She is happy at 60 mph. She just accelerates to 60 even if I, personally, am totally aware of the fact I should be going, oh - let's say 45 or 25 or 35 or... I have warned her many times that if she didn't behave I was using the cruise control function and it has come down to that. The other day I was on a side street that is a 45 MPH zone and Loretta was at full gallop at 60. I saw a police car sitting there and let off the gas. He didn't come after me, but he could have by all rights. That is the day she got the ultimatum on the cruise control. Silly cars and their independence. Gosh.

I went to the doctor today. I have had red markings under my eyes for months and lately people have been pointing at me and screaming, "What is wrong with your face?" It comes and goes but it always there. I also had a lump in the middle of my shoulders that needed a doctor to feel it up and an old age spot on my hand that is bleeding around the edges. I just went in for a total check on all my "Old Lady" symptoms. I apologized to my doctor about coming in for stupid stuff but he agreed with me that at our age, stupid stuff isn't stupid anymore. He checked my cheeks and hand with a special light thingy and said neither looked like cancer so just use over the counter
hydrocortisone cream on those areas several times a week. As far as my back lump goes, he agrees with me that it is most likely a fat blob. I told him, "Jake the dog has many fat tumors on his belly, so I just assumed I had one in my back." He laughed but agreed with by by the feel of it. We'll keep an eye on it at each visit to be sure. Then he reminded me it is almost time for my re-check on the old uterus. I had a dark shading Endometriosis type spot inside at my last scan almost six months ago and he had a reminder on my chart to schedule another one for me in May. "Most likely it will have to be the kind where they have to use a wand and go up inside to see things..." he said. I told him it was OK since that is the only sex I get nowadays. He laughed, mind you, and I love my doctor because most things that fly out of my mouth seem to no longer phase the man. God Bless Him. There should be awards for Doctor's that can tolerate the likes of me. (Actually, there should be an award for ANYONE who tolerates the likes of me...)

April 11, 2017 - I must admit, whatever I have is whippin' my behind. Ugh. I've not been this sick for a long time. I think my fever broke last night, though - so that is good. My lips are cracked from the fever and frankly, if a semi truck decided to plow me over right now at full speed I would gladly lay down in the road and take it like a man because anything has to be better than this. Ugh. My crap started to kick on Friday afternoon. Between Judy a few offices down and me coughing our lungs up, it sounded like a Gollum festival. I left work at 3:30 on Friday because the coughing got so bad I pissed my pants. It is hard to pretend you didn't pee yourself at work when you are sitting on a stack of paper towels. There is no glamorous way to handle a situation like that...I decided to cut my losses and exit, stage left.

Saturday and Sunday were horrid. Fever, coughing, more fever. My face ached like there were small, angry dwarves ripping every nerve out of every socket above my teeth. With all the coughing, I decided to add crapping myself to the list of "Things that Will Fly out of you without prior consent when you are so sick." It has not been pretty. I managed to make it in to the local grocery store on Sunday to get orange juice, chicken noodle soup, and I also got baby wipes. My hind end was just so raw from all the sphincter explosions that in my fevered state I thought it would be a kinder, gentler way to clean things up down there. The check out lady was scanning stuff and saw the baby wipes and said, "Oh, you have a little one at home?!" and I was brutally honest with her as to WHY I was buying the baby wipes. She didn't make eye contact with me during the rest of the check out process.

I went to the doctor yesterday morning. I had just been to the doctor last week for a swelling type redness on my cheeks but I was not sick then, just oddly puffy. This time, the nurse said, "Oh, my, you look a bit frazzled compared to last week!" I still had my sense of humor however, and made people laugh best I could. I feel it is my duty to bring joy along with a trail of mucus wherever I go. I have bronchitis and ear infection and a sinus infection. If you're going to go, then go big I say.

I always picture antibiotics akin to Navy Seals... they sneak in and attack the bad and evil things inside your body. At two a.m. this morning I believe the troops had the enemy holed up in the right side of my face, however. The pain above my teeth was horrid and brought tears to my eyes. I finally had to assist the troops as it were by putting a heating pad on my face. That sure helped. I have hosed the house down with Lysol several times. My husband is starting to get sick now, too. We serenaded each other this morning as a matter of fact. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, I guess. So far, I ain't dead...

7April 14, 2017 - I feel better. I don't feel like large animals are sitting on my face anymore. My lungs and sinus cavities, however, attempt to kill me on occasion by synchronized expulsion of snot. I am sure it is an inside joke that goes something like;

Lungs to sinuses: "Hey, Snot! Wanna scare the crap outta her?"
Sinuses: "Sure, this will be great. DO IT NOW!"

Stuff comes up at the same time stuff drains down and for a split second you get the panic feeling of drowning. The lungs and facial area laugh loudly while I'm trying to remain calm and not die. I appreciate a good sense of humor, but come on guys! Geez. Ack. I am sure they find it hilarious that I have those split seconds planning where I'm looking for a Bic pen to cut up and use for a self tracheotomy. My husband is home sick again today. I am glad we can still share things after 37 years of marriage.

I actually found myself whistling at work yesterday and when I heard the echo in the hallway it kind of shocked me. I have not felt like whistling in a week. I must be getting better. I made myself smile. The antibiotics I'm on tend to impair your sense of taste and smell and they are excelling at that. I miss smelling and tasting. That is the only frustrating thing right now is the lack of those senses. If you have to stink or fart around me, now is the time to do it!! Last night I made very spicy turkey nachos and bought very spicy salsa hoping to get a bit of flavor out of supper but it did not work and all I got out of that supper was a need to eat Tums...

I went out and got an early morning picture of the violas I keep digging out of the yard and putting in a flower bed and my daffodils. I will force you to look at them now:

April 18, 2017
- What a glorious day it was. I could smell Linda at work! I have not smelled ANYTHING in two weeks with this crud I've got. I could smell Linda's perfume. I yelled at her loudly, "LINDA, I CAN SMELL YOU!" (I tend to be verbal at the worst possible times. Sigh. She had just come out of the bathroom... Poor Linda.) Linda wears a very unique perfume and I could SMELL IT! I was thrilled.

Then tonight I could TASTE my meal. Tears came to my eyes. It was so DELICIOUS. Contented sigh. I am not fully recovered from the creep and crud I have by any means, but it is beginning to get better and I am ever so thankful to the powers that be and my nasal cavity and my internal immune system who really stepped up to the plate this time. Thanks also to Alexander Flemming and all the scientist that came after him.

One of my high school classmates passed away yesterday. I am very sad. He was a good guy. It also slaps all of us upside the head to remind us how fleeting life is, really. Why do we worry about stupid stuff? Why do we worry about yards and weeds and money when we're all gonna croak sooner than later? Why are we not just HAPPY to BE. I try to be happy to just BE and I do a good job of it for the most part, but sometimes I forget and get caught up in stupid stuff. I believe every morning I must remind myself to CARPE myself some DIEM and just be HAPPY. If you are reading this, I highly suggest you yourself go and be happy. Do something nice for someone, even if it is just smiling at a stranger. Watch the birds. Smell the fresh cut grass. Laugh at spastic squirrels. Don't be afraid to shed a tear because supper tasted so damned good....

April 26, 2017 - Another of my high school classmates passed away last Sunday! Sigh. Life is fleeting, folks. I hope you are enjoying each day. I hope you notice the wee small things that make it all worth while. There are so many cool things around us - embrace life every day like a bunch of wildflowers to your chest.

Last weekend I bought two new bird feeders. I did not read the words on the labels on said bird feeders because I didn't have my reading glasses on - they were in my purse. I just knew they were cool bird feeders. My thought was to replace the older plastic ones up front with cooler, new plastic ones. When I got home, I saw they were for nyjer seed and they were finch feeders. A conundrum! I decided to run in to the local grocery store and buy some nyjer seed. I have never specifically fed the finches with finch feeders. Normally they have to rough it on normal bird feeders 'round these parts.

I waited a few days, hoping finches would find those feeders and last night there were THREE yellow finches out there, having a nice dinner and chatting. I was thrilled. If you feed them - they will come! Still no hummingbirds to report yet, however. Every year I get so excited to see hummingbirds and every year I end up complaining about how they fight over the feeders like common humans over land. Stay tuned...

I will post my brain dump on Facebook yesterday. Status updates shouldn't be the size of research papers, but here ya go:

Today at work I had a quandary over a problem. I feel like I am SO CLOSE to solving it yet no matter what I try, it fails. I tried over and over again and even called in the program analyst to assist me. If anyone could see a clear path, it would be her… but even she couldn’t see a resolution.

All I could think during this process of trial and error was the time I had a goldfish in 6th grade. I won that fish at the Tobey Carnival. That fish was bound and determined to jump out of the bowl on a regular basis. Up until winter time, I was in the room when he made the leap of faith as it were, so I could save him. However, one day I came home from school and found that the fish had jumped out of the bowl and flopped himself over to the heater vent and got lodge in said heater vent. I found him all dried out hanging there by his fins. (May he rest in peace…)

The problem at work makes me think of that fish incident because WHY CAN’T I GET IT TO WORK? WHY WON’T THE FISH STAY IN THE DAMNED BOWL??

On the way home, I had on my “oldies” station to sooth my savage nerves and Hall and Oates “Sara Smile” came on and I thought of my friend, Jane who likes Hall and Oates. I thought to myself as I crooned with Mr. Hall that I would send her a Facebook message when I got home to let her know I was thinking of her…and then the D.J. had to go and say that the song came out in 1975…

I did the mental math…

OMG!!! 1975?!!!! THAT SONG CAME OUT 42 YEARS AGO?!?! I had a minor panic attack. In my mind, songs that came out “40 some years ago” should be Glenn Miller songs or Benny Goodman songs, not Hall and Oates!! Ugh. I hyperventilated a bit and finally turned off the radio. Sigh.

Jane, I did think of you, but alas – I also thought of how old we are. I do not mind being ‘older’ but there are times, such as today, that it slaps me upside the head and shakes me and calls me horrid names and poops on my shoes. Plus, I still have to go back tomorrow and fight the fish as it were…

I know I do not feel old.
I still feel very young inside.
Oh, sure, my stretch marks glow in the dark and my beard is thicker than my oldest son’s beard…but I still feel young in my brain and frankly, I am sticking to that thought…

I guess I’ll get off my pity pony and continue to sing loudly out the window and know that somewhere, someone who was a teenager in the 90s is realizing 'that one song by Nirvana' came out 25 years ago, and they too, are having a bit of a hyperventilation experience just like me…

Viva continuing forward – Carry on my wayward peeps...

April 28, 2017 - Today, the One Who Shall Not Be Named (my liver) let me know it was still there in the worst way. I was on a help call at the time, and BAM - it hit me with such pain I almost fainted. I told the person I was on the phone with that I would call them back and hung up on them. I stood up. I did calming breathing best I could. I unhooked my pants and massaged my liver area. When you feel like you are dying, calming breathing isn't the first thing that comes naturally, I've come to realize. You have to force yourself to do it with what little lucid thoughts you have left in your mind that are not tied up with the pain. Yikes. Just, well, Yikes.

Finally I was able to breath naturally and the pain eased eventually. I went to the bathroom with my phone and sat there on the toilet for a bit. I splashed cold water on my face. I must have passed a small stone with that one. Ouch. Damn you rocks and liver!

April 30, 2017 - I have been having fun watching the goldfinches that hang out at the finch feeders. Who knew if you put out finch feeders, they would come? I've seen finches at the normal feeders but now they have their own special feeders to eat from. This pleases me as well as them. So far there are two couples who frequent the feeders. The have gone through almost both feeders worth of seed so far so they won't lose any weight this summer, this is a fact. I see they are here year round, so maybe I'll leave those feeders out all winter.

When my husband and I were eating supper, he happened to see a silver car drive right around our mailbox in the yard and back out on to the road. At least the jerks didn't take out the mailbox, so I should be positive about that. I don't appreciate the tire tracks and turfing of my yard, however. I wish I knew who they were so I could go visit their yard. Fair is fair. Jerkwads.

April is ending in a moist way - it is raining and has been raining. April showers bring May flowers, so I won't complain. Everything is VERY green, that's for sure. My husband mowed yesterday before it started raining. I am glad he did or we would have to bale the yard had ge waited until after this rain. I often wonder what would happen if we could take excess water from places like here - where we've had our share of rain and lakes and rivers are overflowing - and take that water to places that need water in the worst way? Would it change Earth's climate? I think it would eventually, but it sure would be nice to share some of this stuff. If I had magic power, I would do it.

I am looking forward to vacation soon. I used to take the first full week off of May when the kids were in school to have time off 'alone' as it were since they would be in school during the day. I have continued that tradition ever since and since it is normally the week prior or during Mother's Day time, more the better for me. Today I got some cheap fencing for around the decorative grass I have on the one side of the house. All the neighborhood dogs (include our Jake) have been walking through that area on my balloon flowers and glads that are coming up and peeing all over the decorative grass. I decided it was time to keep 'em out. After I put up the fence, it was clear to me I had made a huge error. Sure the fence was cheap, but it was GREEN. Even I can't see the fence - so I went back to the store and got some new solar lights to put up along the fence. (OK, so I wanted MORE solar lights, sure, but hopefully the doggies will see those and realize there is something THERE and not plow through the fencing.) I have no willpower when it comes to solar lights. Sigh. I fear my yard will once again become a small version of an international airport at night. I also wonder why I want solar lights because I don't see them at night, I'm in the house?!?!  Maybe it is my poor best to signal other intelligence from the Universe? Perhaps... Or, just perhaps, Sandy has an obsession for shiny things and blinky lights. I am pretty sure it is the latter...

May 5, 2017 - When I went to get my roots de-grayed last night, I had my eyebrows professionally cleaned up. That was a first for me. I like the outcome. No more Einstein eyebrows for Sandy! Beats plucking them out with tweezers, I must say. She was eyeing up my beard, but I told her there was just no hope for that area of my face. "Let it go, Lexi...Let it go..."

I am on vacation next week. I have plans. We'll see how many come to fruition. I can make millions of plans and only follow through with the ones that sound like "nap" or "another nap" so it might just be a week of relaxing for me. I will plant my fairy gardens, however, because it is time and I've been chompin' at the bit to do that. Expect pictures soon...

My mind has been full of odd thoughts recently and my dreams have been very odd as well. Normally I just stand back and let my brain process things in any way it sees fit, but I have to question WHY it does what it does from time to time. Far be it for me to question my own brain, but seriously - WHAT WAS I THINKING AND WHY WAS I THINKING THAT? Sigh. Brains - go figure.

I went to the dentist last week for a cleaning. I adore my dentist and all the employees there. They all understand my issue with having my mouth open and not being able to close it when I want. They are all angels. My dentist is also a photographer and I've admired a print on one of his walls for years. It is just a lovely shot of rocks on a Michigan beach. I adore that picture. I adore rocks. I drool over that picture every time I go in. (Maybe the drooling is caused by the Novocaine, we just don't know...) So after my cleaning and the check by the dentist, he handed me a print of that photo just for me. MY VERY OWN COPY! I cried and hugged him. How awesome was that? I know he is nearing retirement and maybe he just did it because I can be quite entertaining when I go in for my visits, but I was so moved. I have to get a frame for it so I can display it with pride. Seriously - it is the wonderful 'little' things that make life so special. Contented sigh.

May 8, 2017 - First of all, I'd like to say my PAC is going to town today. When I discussed this with my doctor last time, he said that sometimes the electric part of the heart can get off a bit and will cause such things. I would love to believe this is what is happening. There is no pain, no shortness of breath, just jumping around. (I apparently need to stick my finger in a light socket to set things straight perhaps?) All I know is that when my PAC flares up it is usually due to an issue with other internal body parts, which does not please me. Am I due to pass a new rock out the liver duct? Is my stomach going to explode? Stay tuned... I also had a frank discussion with my heart today and found out she is a very nice "person" - I've never really talked to my heart before, now that I ponder it. I have talked to many body parts when they were in distress, but never my heart. She is a real trouper, she is. Very pleasant to speak with and I hope this vacation assists her in calming down. I promised to back down on coffee. She was happy about that. I mentioned my relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named (my liver) and she laughed it off. Apparently livers are just livers in her opinion.

Official day one of vacation (although I considered Saturday and Sunday to be "vacation" days as well). Saturday I did weed whacking that I've been dying to do. My husband got me new solid blades for the weed whacker since I'm so hard on things. Those did last longer than string, I must say! I still went through one change of blades but that is better than stopping every six seconds to re-string the thing. Out, damned weeds! I also put out some of my summer decorations and solar lights. The air field in my yard is shaping up nicely.

Sunday we went grocery shopping and then we mowed the yard. I mowed the back with the old mower and my husband used the new mower to mow the front. We were done in no time. Then I did laundry and my husband fixed a pizza for supper. Relaxing yet productive day.

This morning I had a recheck on my lady parts. You have to drink 32 ounces of water one hour before your visit so your bladder is full. (This is not a good thing for a 56 year old woman with a hair trigger bladder.) Plus it was at the hospital this time - further away than my normal testing place. After I checked in, the lady at the desk said, "Just so you know - sonograms are running behind..." and I said loudly - "Oh, Good Lord, No! That is NOT a good thing! Where is the nearest bathroom - just in case?" She pointed it out. I tried to distract my bladder by playing games on my phone.

I was called back right on time. Apparently my angst at holding urine got me prompt service (or maybe it was when I asked for an emergency towel just in case...). She got me back there and did the outside sonogram part quickly. The bladder was huge. "Your bladder is very full..." the tech said. "You are preachin' to the choir, my Dear" I responded. She said, "You have the tiniest uterus I've seen!" This did not bring me pride, but then again - who wants a floppy huge uterus? I told her "that thing had held three kids" and she said, "I am surprised you have three children with that thing." Once she was done with the outside scanning, I flew off the table to pee. I peed and peed. I peed some more. Girls - you know how when you have to pee so badly that you can't go? I ran in to that issue. I had to sit there and relax my lower regions to get it to flow. After I was done, I went back in for the internal wand scan. There is a T.V. so you can watch stuff above you when you are getting scanned. Once she got in there, she found the spot the doctor wanted updates on and I believe the strip of endometriosis like material is bigger than last time, PLUS it now has a black spot. Kind of looks like an eye on a goldfish. I told her that, too. "I think you found Dory..." We had many laughs today, me and that tech.

She finally got done documenting the bad part of my tiny uterus and moved on to the ovary with the cyst. I was not happy. The cyst was definitely bigger. Before it was like a little French beret on the ovary and now it is more like a babushka. Sigh. I asked her to show me the other ovary so it wouldn't feel left out. That is when she said, "Does your family have a history of uterine cancer?" I turned to her and said, "That's a fine thing to ask someone while they are watching live action shots of their innards while they are in a supine position and spread eagle!" Then I told her, NO, that is like the only cancer our family doesn't have bragging rights to... She also told me, "Oh, man, didn't you empty our bladder? Your bladder is full again!" After she was done, back I went to dump the thing. (I can attest to the fact it only takes 60 minutes for 36 ounces of water to enter and then exit a body with force...)

It is too cold to plant anything so far this week. The bird bath out back was frozen solid this morning! I guess my fairy gardens are going to wait a few days. When I got home from my probing, I decided I would take a nap but I couldn't sleep. I got up and dug out the weeds from the blocks out back instead. At least I can say I did something productive. Rocko the cat was thrilled I was lobbing weeds all over. Jake was just happy to be outside in the sun. I got to see a Downy woodpecker eating out of my hummingbird feeder and every type of Michigan woodpecker eating off the suet feeders. The piliated woodpeckers fascinates me - they are so big. I also think I have a raven. I should look up if Michigan HAS ravens... Crows normally hang out in a family group - this is a huge black bird and he rides solo, baby. He also attempts to eat from one of the suet feeders, but it is very challenging to be that huge and hang on to a tiny suet feeder. (I just looked it up, and by golly, I have a raven. They are smart like crows. Maybe I will attempt to make contact this week. Bribe him with junk food and shiny stuff. I have always wanted a pet raven...)

Tonight I made a casserole with cauliflower. I steamed the cauliflower and then mushed it up with sauteed onions, Parmesan cheese, and two eggs plus spices. I gunked that into a pan and topped it with lean turkey sausage and sprinkled that with some cheese. Then I baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It came out pretty tasty. The house still smells like cooked cauliflower, though. How can something that tastes so good be so stinky?!?

May 18, 2017 - Vacation is over and I've been back to work all week. It was a grand time off. I did everything I wanted to do, plus a few other things.

I got my fairy gardens planted and set up. (I need to seek therapy for that addiction.) I adore putting them up. (Taking them down in the fall and storing all the crap - another story.) I also planted a few flowers and went and had my hair played with THREE TIMES last week. Very relaxing to me... I wish I could afford to have a 'hair person' follow me around all the time and play with my hair. If I ever won the lottery, this would be the headlines one year later, "MICHIGAN WOMAN LOSES ALL HER WINNINGS TO LOCAL HAIR SALON..."

On my last trip to the hair place, I had them put in there stripes of color - purple, green, and blue. I was peacocked up good! Hahahaha. The colors will eventually wash out, and the purple and blue seem to be almost gone already, but the green hangs on. (I found a green hair on the sink at work yesterday... I cannot blame anyone but myself for that, but if it wasn't green I would have blamed everyone else but me...)

I had a good day with my Sister last Thursday. We went to breakfast and then to get pedicures and then to the hair salon. Last Tuesday I spent in our local village and I was tried very hard to be "an official villager" - stopping in at shops and gabbing after I had oatmeal for breakfast at my favorite diner! I bought 8 more solar lights for the yard, too. (My air strip is almost complete!) It was just a wonderfully simple but good time away from work. Contented sigh.

We took my husband's oldest sister and Mom to lunch for Mother's Day last Saturday. That was fun. We came back and I forced them to look at all my fairy gardens and then gave them each a fairy garden for their Mom's Day present. My kids all called to wish me Happy Mother's Day, but they are not coming over until Memorial Day weekend when we have our herded "Mom and Dad Day" extravaganza. We requested that they take us to a hibachi type grill place where they make dinner in front of you and throw food at you and set onion towers on fire...

This week my friend and coworker Linda and I celebrated our 35 year anniversary at work. It was fun. I demanded yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and I got it, by golly! (No, i did not eat the whole thing by myself. I only had two pieces!) That was a fun day. The bosses also took us to lunch. I can't say that Tuesday was all that productive for me at work - I had a severe sugar 'crash' about two p.m. (Coming 'down' from excessive consumption of cake is hard.)

I try to remember all the stuff that has happened at work in the last thirty five years and I DO remember a ton, but this year it just seems like I am not sad or too emotional about it - just happy to say I've been there 35 years and I've learned so much in 35 years and the bad things over the years suddenly pale in comparison to the good times. (A sure sign of old age, maybe?) My entire adult life has been spent at that company so I feel like I am married to the place in a way - I met my husband there...I carried all my babies there... Good Times. Great Oldies. Much loyalty. Many tears and sleepless nights and sore muscles and brain meltdowns and ... but I digress...

May 22, 2017 - This is the third time that (what I suspect is) raccoons have taken down and emptied my two humming bird feeders!! I am about done with that, boy howdy. I don't mind sharing at all mind you, but COME ON GUYS! My husband announced this morning he shall fix this with a special humming bird feeder made from galvanized pipe and a PVC raccoon baffle. He is going to stop at the hardware store tonight. He said, "It won't be pretty, but it should keep the raccoon population out of your sugar water." I would love to see those raccoon culprits in action at night, though. I am sure it is quite comical.

It rained a lot this weekend. We managed to JUST get the lawn done on Saturday before it poured, though, so I was very happy. First I did the push mowing and then started on the front yard. (I requested to do the front yard due to the amount of maple flutter seeds all over. I herded them in to piles and mulched the heck out of them.) My husband mowed the back and since I took so much time dissecting the maple seeds, he joined me on finishing up the front part of the lawn and then it RAINED. I felt very victorious. I dusted the living room after that (which was in dire need) and we did various house work things the rest of the day. It was a good Saturday.

Sunday morning we went to get groceries and that is ALL I did, basically. I did make a cauliflower casserole for supper but other than that - well, let's see - I took a two and a half hour nap. I had such a weird dream during the nap that I finally woke myself up. If I want to watch weird, I can watch the news. I did do a load of laundry. I did dishes. It wasn't a very productive day. That is fine by me. We all need a down day from time to time.

The kids should be over this weekend for combined Mom/Dad Day celebration. I believe Sunday is "our" day and they will feed us and entertain us with life stories, I'm sure. I look forward to it. It has been a while since I've seen the kids as a herded conglomerate. I wish I had a fenced in back yard so they could all bring the grand dogs with them. I miss those grand doggies too!

I got expensive finch food on Sunday to treat the finches. There are four couples that come to eat now at the finch feeders, so in my infinite wisdom I figured I would fancy it up a bit for them. Never mess with a proven good thing. After the feeders were filled with the "preferred 3 to 1 over plain nyger seed" seed into the finch feeders, the birds did not come back. I waited all after noon. They didn't come back. Apparently I have all the birds that voted "ick" on that apparent bird seed company survey. I ended up putting the fancy seed into the normal bird feeders and filling the finch feeders back up with nyger seed. There were all back before I got into the door. Not only is Rocko the cat a fussy eater and Jake has to have special "kidney" diet food, now I have finicky finches. Smile.

June 1, 2017 - I love sitting out in the dog pen watching the hummingbirds. So far they have not been too aggressive. The females come and eat from time to time but never when there are males. I've only seen one high speed chase between males since they've been coming to the feeder. My husband made me a new pole for my hummingbird feeders because there were raccoon raiding them on a regular basis. I went through more sugar last month than I've consumed in my whole life - and THAT is A LOT of sugar! 

He fashioned a a raccoon proof baffle out of duct pipe so they cannot shimmy up the pole. I painted some very simple flowers on it, and TA DA! No more midnight raids. Take that, Mother Nature!! Somewhere a raccoon dentist is shaking his wee fist at me...

Last weekend was marvelous. The kids were here for "Mather's Day" weekend. My oldest treated us all to a lovely dinner at a Hibachi grill. My daughter got me new fairy garden goodies and a bath bomb. My youngest got me a bath bomb. We had a hoot with our first bonfire of the season, too. All was happy in Sandy Land. I felt quite rejuvenated come Tuesday morning!

I have been having such an issue sleeping lately. I am not sure why. I am not worried about anything in particular. I just went to the chiropractor so I was adjusted. When I have trouble sleeping from not being able to swallow right or 'jerk fits' of sorts, I know it is time to go get cracked. That did not help last night however... Maybe tonight? Maybe I will also take two Pamprin because that stuff works like knock out pills for me...

The weather this week has be very lovely. Sunny days and not too hot - I could have it like this ALL SUMMER. I kind of want to meander over to a few towns to the West this weekend and go to their local rock shop. I have been wanting to do that for a long time. Rocks need me. They need me to stare at them in amazed wonder. I hate doing it, though, since I will want to buy stuff. I don't want to buy rock stuff because we have a vacation coming up and I want spare money for that - rocks will be here long after I've shuffled off this mortal coil, so I think the rocks can wait.

June 3, 2017 - I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again - I LOVE MY YARD!! While watching the hummingbirdies and deer and fowl and critters a thought came to mind about T.V. shows on UFOs where people say, "It moved in ways not possible for things on Earth!" and I say LIE! HUMMINGBIRDS MOVE LIKE THAT!! The one this morning that came flying up at top speed and noticed me and  immediately went back to where he came from - such skilled aerial prowess - hummingbirds do things people say only UFOs can do. So there.

A pair of sandhill cranes were out front near the bird food feeders and the red-winged blackbirds were just tormenting the poor things. The male was snapping at them (which I would do too if being bullied by bombarding birdies) and eventually they just walked across the road to the field where they started yelling at the deer in the field. I also heard a bird call I've never heard before - one that sounded like someone saying "PICK IT UP! PICK IT UP! PICK IT UP!" and a pileated woodpecker was hanging from the suet feeder in all its glory. Contented sigh.

Oh, and speaking of critters in my yard.... The other day I saw a bunch of little birds hopping around something moving in the back yard. My immediate thought was, "THAT HAS TO BE A TURTLE!" How did my brain know this? The birds are what made me think of it - maybe I've watched so many nature shows that I subliminally KNEW it had to be a turtle with a bird posse. I walked out to look and the bird escort was with a fast (well, turtle fast) box turtle. When the turtle noticed me, he found a patch of grass that was a bit taller and hunkered down in his shell. I went and got my husband to see our box turtle. His head was out looking at us and we stared at him for a while. Jake was unimpressed. We let the turtle go back to being a turtle and I came in the house to research box turtles. I read that the box turtle is "Michigan's only truly terrestrial turtle." Good to know. 

I also love how the bats come out at night to eat mosquitoes and also the bunch of dragonflies that hang out all over during the day doing that duty as well. Good for you guys! Kudos to the circle of life! I love how they hang around the riding lawnmower as we mow to get all the good bugs scared up from the grass, too. I feel like I have my own private fleet of F15s accompanying me whilst I mow.

Now that I've waxed poetic about my yard and the wildlife that comes with it, I will lament the fact I have to get my buttocks in gear and go weed whack and push mow now. The yards is fantastic if no physical labor is involved...

June 9, 2017 - We have booked tickets for some events coming up this summer. I am quite excited about this... Plus soon we'll be seeing the Thunderbirds (weather permitting) and that is also something to look forward to! Never have we been so aggressive when it comes to going to events. Normally we are homebodies (also known as 'plain lazy)! In preparation for the music concerts we are going to we've been listening to some of the group's newer music in my car and rocking out loudly. (Normally I'm all grumpy when I pull up to someone at an intersection and they have their radio very loud and I say to my husband, "Damned Kids and their Rap Music!" and we drive off mumbling. Lately it has been ME who is sharing my music with the next door cars and it kind of feels OK. Hahahahaa.)

We went for an hour and a half drive the other night just to listen to all the new music. It was so fun. It also creates the illusion that one is younger and in reality, we know this is not the case. However, I do enjoy that feeling while it last - the younger part, that is...

On the way home from the grocery store the other night while we were being 'young' and giggling like school girls there was a red squirrel that was running across the road in front of us. I would NEVER intentionally hit a critter in the road on purpose but I did jokingly swerve towards it and yelled out something like, "Die, you smarmy bastard, die!" to make my husband laugh. Seriously, I knew what I was doing and I would not have hit the wee thing, but when I glanced up into the rear view mirror the poor girl behind me had both of her hands on her face with a horrid shocked look. (Oooops, indirect consequences of being "YOUNG"!) I decided that I would go straight at the next four corners instead of turning the way she was going so she didn't ram me from behind. You could tell I upset her in the worst way. Damned kids and their rock and roll music, anyway....

There was a LARGE raccoon at one of my feeders the other night - out in broad daylight. The nerve! He was not underfed by any means. I yelled at him but he just casually glanced my way and I am pretty sure flipped me off. Then I let Jake out in the dog pen and Jake's barking inspired the coon to s l o w l y walk away in a "geez, if I HAVE to" sort of gate and it wasn't until I pounded on the door that he increased speed and crawled up into a tree in the neighbor's yard. I texted my neighbor to warn him he had an giant killer raccoon in one of his trees and to what his doggies if he let them out. Maybe that thing got so huge by drinking so much of my humming bird water, huh? When I told my husband the next morning about the invader, he said, "Maybe we need more industrial type bird feeders??!" The humming bird feeder has not been raided since he made that galvanized pole with built in raccoon baffle for me. We may have to convert to all new models when it comes to how we hang our bird food, too.

The one project that has had me baffled so long at work was resolved the other day, finally. I figured it out. All along it was my over site that was causing the issue. Something small I missed a while back. DERP. I was so happy when it finally worked I could have cried. All I had to do this whole time was calm down and review the process and I could have had this two weeks ago. Sigh. Now I can continue forward and finish the process and put this baby to bed.

June 13, 2017 - I have still not been sleeping well. Ugh. Plus I had a liver rock pass today, I'm pretty sure. Those suckers hurt like kidney stones and any other type of rock that tries to pass through tubes not made for such things.

I have been on a mission to kill all box elder bugs that sun themselves on my house and sheds. It started out with just using a combo of hot water and dish soap on the millions that were mating all over the place. There was one night my husband and I were discussing how anyone could kill another person (after seeing the news about a senseless killing near us) and it wasn't six second later that I decided I was going out for my nightly box elder genocide bonanza. My husband watched me for a while out the window and said, "Can't kill anyone, aye?" and walked away. Since the beginning of the mass spray bottle killings of the box elders I've had to put a big dent in their population, I'm sure, but not enough of a dent to stop the massive outburst of BABIES. BOX ELDER BABIES EVERYWHERE!!! Every day at lunch I take out my spray bottle and kill them. Every night I take my spray bottle out and kill them. EVERY DAY and still they come. After I go on my rampages I am always left wondering if by chance, God is a box elder bug. If so, I'm doomed....

June 19, 2017 - Often I think to myself that I regret bringing kids into such a world as our world is today. (I assume all parents since the beginning of time have felt this way from time to time.) However, I convince myself sometimes that human's intelligence is regressing to a point where there will be far more horrid people than basically good people on Earth. So needless to say, I worry about my kids a lot...

That being said  -

I just had to go in to work at 9:15 to start up our portable air conditioner since the power was out at work. (There was a bit of a gust of wind when the weather front rolled through, so somewhere out there a tree fell on a line or something.) We have a generator that will kick in and run all the servers but someone has to manually start the portable air unit. The power went out about 6:30, so by the time I opened the server room doors at 9:15, the heat just poured out. Servers get hot FAST. I got the portable unit going and started home. On the way home, I realized WHY I brought kids into this world. The sun was setting and the reflection on the clouds made colors I cannot even describe. I was just overwhelmed. It was just so ... MAJESTIC!!! The moments where you can see the sky on fire like that makes life worth it. I just have to remind myself sometimes that it's the little things we must appreciate. The human stupidity crap - well, you just have to buck up and make YOUR corner of the world the best it can be. (The rest of the idiots will sort themselves out, I assume.) Until then I will ponder on that majestic sunset. It actually left me speechless. That happens rarely.

I am getting excited for vacation! Only 11 more days...

TopJuly 4, 2017 - It has been a wonderful several days. I will try to recount our adventures to preserve them for my own enjoyment....

We left last Friday to go up North to Traverse City. The goal was to see the Thunderbirds at the Cherry Festival Airshow. I also got VIP tickets for my husband for Father's Day to see Here Come the Mummies in concert the night after the Airshow. Mind you, this was a BIG adventure for me and my husband since we're such homebodies.

The drive up north was a smooth run. We stopped a lot to pee because 1) We're Old and #2) We had consumed mass amounts of coffee before we left the house. My oldest son was kind enough to come over to take care of Jake and Rocko while we were gone. (Thank you, First Born!) I am amazed by my state. It is a beautiful state. You could spend your whole life just exploring Michigan and never get tired of it, I'm sure. The farther we got up north, the greener it got. (They have had LOTS of rain in mid-Michigan so they also had flooding issues, too.) I had my Garmin leading the way to our destination. At one point we drove by a bee farm and the car was bombarded by bees. You could hear them 'tinging' all over the car!! I felt sorry for running through the poor guys!! I had several blobs of bee goo all over the windshield. (Trust me, once that stuff dries, it is like clear cement.)

We got to the hotel and got our stuff settled into the room. The hotel was right on Grand Traverse Bay so we were able to enjoy the beach a bit and then had supper at their restaurant. I got such a kick out of watching the little kids playing in the Lake. I also was thrilled with the antics of the seagulls. Very brave, those guys. There was several families of ducks as well that just hung out in the Lake and would drift ashore now and then. When it was getting darker out you could smell the campfires from the State Park across the roads. (Actually, it got to the point where the lower halls in the hotel were filling with campfire smoke due to the direction of the wind. Hahahahaha.) All in all, a good start to our mini-vacation.

Saturday we were up and went down for breakfast. After that - off we went to the Cherry Festival Air Show!! I had gotten us tickets for the "Flight Deck" so we were right on the Bay, almost dead center. We got to sit with and adorable Mexican family. They had two small kids - Bella and Carlito. Those two were the best behaved kids I've ever seen. They got a bit scared when the jets came out and were so loud, but other than that, they were just dolls. The Mom had never seen an air show. During the Thunderbirds she came up to me and said, "I'm crying now! This is so amazing!" Our other favorite plane was the Jack's Links biplane. Hahaha - it flew in front of the crowd and sounded JUST like a biplane would - then flew away from us and ROUSHHHHHHHHHHH - it had a jet engine on it! Hahahahaha. This made us laugh loudly and we enjoyed that plane a lot. An F18 demo jet flew and that was AWESOME and LOUD. Came out of nowhere and ROUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH over our heads. I get goosebumps. During a lull in the air performance, I went and bought the two kids a gift each. The little girl got an official Thunderbird teddy bear, and the young boy got a blow up Thunderbird. It made my day when after the Thunderbirds started flying, he reached for his blow up jet and during the whole show he was "flying" his plane along with the big jets!

I have to say what made the air show so 'exciting' was the fact that there was a low cloud ceiling so several of the acts had to do a "low" show. A low show is kind of OK, but a "high" show is better. The Thunderbirds were supposed to start at three p.m., but they postponed it for a half an hour. I was ever so glad they did. The sky broke open and it cleared up and they were able to do their 'high' show!! YAY! They came in formation at us over the bay which was awesome. It was serious fun for me. I love the big jets. (I mean, I love them outside the context of war. I have said it before but will say it again, I cannot imagine anyone would love hearing those types of sounds during war...)

We took the BATA shuttle from a college parking lot outside of town to the Air Show. Oh My! The people!! SO MANY PEOPLE and SO MANY CARS! The shuttle drivers we had on this mini vacation were very charming and helpful. After the air show was over and after we walked around the grounds for a bit we went back to catch the shuttle back to the car. There was a huge line waiting. We waited and waited and a shuttle finally came, but the line didn't move much. A guy came around the side of the building saying, "That is the College shuttle - anyone need the College Shuttle?" Come to find out the majority of the people in that long, snaking line were waiting for the shuttle that went South of town. My husband caught the College shuttle before he pulled out into traffic and several of us got on - standing room only, mind you! It was almost a carnival ride in itself to ride that shuttle out hanging on to the over head bar. Hahahaha. It took a good half hour to go 2.5 miles back to our car in the parking lot. Everyone was a hoot on the bus, though. It was a fun ride back. I am glad people's sense of humor still worked.

After we got back to the room and cleaned up a bit, we went for a nice long drive around the Mission Peninsula - up one side and down the other. That place is just lovely. The practical mansions on the west side were mind blowing. There was one that was all brick and copper. Wow. Just Wow. 

Sunday we got up and went to breakfast at The Cottage. We've been there before and love that place. I had THE BEST EVER CHERRY PANCAKES EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD EVER. (Did I say EVER?) Oh My. Then we drove up to a rock shop I had found on line, meandering our way up there. We went full circle around Torch Lake. We spent almost an hour in the rock shop we went to (since I am the rock freak and had to see everything six times) and took our time coming back. We just had to be back in time to take the shuttle to the concert. It was a grand time at the concert. A long wait to get into the concert. It wasn't until this guy came walking by that said, "Anyone here with VIP Deck tickets?" and I screamed "YES!" and he took us down to the front of the line. "When you have deck tickets, you don't have to wait in that line!" (But we still had to wait for them to open the grounds. So ... still - waiting.) We got to chat with the gate guard, though, who was a hoot. So many volunteers work the festival and they do it with such 'cheer' that it is simply amazing. Older people, too. I would imagine the Cherry Festival is a boon - money wise - for the town in general. While we were waiting to get in and chatting with the gate guy, a tall biker-looking dude with long gray hair walked past us and flashed something at the security people back behind the gates and they flung those gates wide open for him. He stood there watching the crowd and smoking a cigarette. Our gate guard guy said, "That there is Homeland Security and he's packin!" He seemed as intrigued at we did. Definitely a very good undercover way to do it as I would have never suspected him to be a Homeland Security guy!

Finally we got to go in. We had to get out tickets scanned. That worked. They had to search my purse. I said to the guy doing it, "Sorry about the old lady pee pads in there..." and he kind pushed me back into the grounds after that. Smile. I had six pieces of paper total that were tickets or tickets in some form. Once we were passed the gate, I threw them into a garbage can. This was not a good thing. We needed the DECK tickets to get on the VIP Deck!! Ugh. They had just put out new garbage cans, so that was a relief. The container was wet and the tickets were wet, but I dug them out. The Homeland Security dude was near there when I was trying to get them out. "I threw away my Deck tickets!" I said when he meandered over to see why I was halfway into a garbage can. I ended up having to tip over the can and crawl in because the tickets were stuck to the wet bottom. "Man, I've never smelled such a good smelling trash can!!" I said as I got my papers and it echoed out. It was a really clean and fresh smelling trash receptacle.

We went up to the Deck entrance with my soggy paperwork. I showed them the ticket parts and explained what I had done. My ticket did not scan, but my husband's did - so they let us in after putting some form of ID on our wrist. Lovely view of the stage and a food spread that would make fine restaurants jealous! There were 10 large round table with real cloth tablecloths. I picked a table that was most in the shade and out front. I was going to see the Mummies, and I was gonna dance, so I had to be cool! Smile. We ended up sharing our table with a lovely couple and their son. (I made a new buddy!) The couple own a bakery in town. They were a hoot to sit with and I adored their son. The food was delicious. We got two free drinks. The concert was just amazing! I must say, it was a good time all around.

Monday morning we packed up the car and checked out of the hotel and went back to The Cottage for our going away breakfast. It was a grand time all around. I nice break from 'real life' but I can tell you right now from all the walking we did and all the dancing I did, I was EVER so glad to come home and take a nice hot bath to soak my old body on Monday night. My feet were very happy, too.

July 11, 2017 - Last night in the dog pen when I was waiting for hummingbirds to feed, I started to ponder life. My life, Earth's life, and eventually the life of the Universe.

Very intense thoughts for a dog pen, I would say...

Thoughts such as, "If God created the Universe, who created God?"
Thoughts such as, "If the Universe just 'happened' from a singularity then what created that point of creation?"
Thoughts such as, "I guess I'd better fold the laundry in the dryer before it gets all wrinkled..."

After a while I gave up on my analysis of Life, the Universe, and Everything. I used to give myself massive panic attacks as a child/teen over thoughts like this. The human brain just cannot comprehend the Universe. The human brain has a limit and I am the first one to throw in the towel when it comes to admitting I just don't get it. I know what I want to believe but I could not prove it on paper nor in a drunken argument. I think we just have to deal with it all. Left foot, right foot - carry on and such. As a character in a show I love said, "Thanks to denial, I'm immortal!" I will stick to that as I go forward.

I came inside from that brain spasm in to pluck my beard hairs. That calms me for some reason. Ripping an innocent hair out of my face that probably has every right to be on said face in the first place - and by all rights COULD BE A UNIVERSE IN ITSELF calms me. I use a 15x magnifying mirror to see my beard hairs and it also shows the HUGE PORES that reside in my facial skin. Is the Universe the result of life bursting out of someone's huge pores? Are their multiple universes on multiple faces all over the place. Am I and anyone with huge pores technically a god? Sigh. I took two Pamprin to calm my brain down and played bubble popping games on my cell phone... eventually I went to bed. The bed felt good. For that moment, the bed was the Universe and I was the center of it. (Well, off center a tad -  my husband was occupying the other half of the Universe, snoring and farting in his sleep and such...)

July 17, 2017 - I missed the chance to see Northern lights last night. They wouldn't have shown up until after 11 p.m. or so or way early in the morning, and frankly I was tired and wanted to go to bed. (OK, I was going to try to go out and see them but the mosquitoes were biting even ME and they never bite me - so I knew I was doomed.) I didn't feel like spraying myself with bug spray and then going to bed all covered with DEET.

The weekend was fairly uneventful. We did not mow. We had some much needed rain last week and the grass is greener, but it still has huge patches of dead grass so we decided to wait until this weekend. I am glad we did. The many clover flowers that populate my lawn are hosting a plethora of honey bees. This pleases me. I am helping Mother Nature.

Today a friend of mine at work came into my office. You could tell she was crying. (She had found a lump on her breast and had a biopsy last week. Well, they finally called her this morning. It is invasive ductal carcinoma.) All I could do was hold her as she cried. I am sure in the first five minutes she was in my office after I shut the door to let her cry that I said every possible "wrong thing" a person could say to someone who just found out they had cancer. I have no idea how the poor kid was feeling right then and I spew forth platitudes I think she should hear but I am sure it the LAST thing anyone should hear right after a doctor gives them such devastating news. Sigh. They scheduled her for a breast MRI this afternoon so she left for the day. I hope her doctors move on this fast. I hope they do not make her wait. Waiting has to be the worst thing ever.

Tonight after supper and dishes and starting laundry I decided to go outside and use the power washer on the taco shed. (The taco shed is a plastic shed we have that smells to me like old tacos - hence the name.) It was covered in mold and black and to my best recollection it used to be beige. I wanted it to be beige again. Plus, it gave me a chance to get messy, and we all know Sandy does enjoy getting dirty and messy. It also gave me time to ponder life. I thought about my friend and how I could support her. Since I couldn't know how she could feel, I pictured the situation as if it was my diagnosis. What would I want and need from others? The battle of surviving something like this is a personal thing. It is you against your own body which is in the process of attacking you. What would I need in that case?

I would not want to hear that I was going to make because modern medicine has come a long way... I would not want to hear that others have had it worse... I wouldn't not want to hear that boobs are over rated... I would not want to hear that I would have to turn the whole issue over to God and whatever happens would be "His Will" because it is CANCER, not a punishment or challenge from the Powers Above.

I would want someone to ask me how I was feeling and let me complain if it was 'not well' or 'sick' or 'angry' or.... I would need people to treat me just like normal. I would need people to help me when I was too sick from chemo to do things. I would want to laugh and continue living, basically. I would want people to try to understand when I was not feeling well or wanted to be alone. I would want people to let me scream and cuss and let me verbally work things out without giving me advice. I would want many hugs. I would also just want to live.

I thought about life in general as well. I pondered a lot in the hour and a half I spent blowing crap off that shed. I did not come to any real conclusions, but I was able to sort a few things out in my head. Plus the shed for the most part is beige again. I need to get a bleach cleaner to hit the stubborn spots. I am sure the reflection of the moon on that shed will now keep us awake at night.

And just a note - if you are spending your life worrying about stuff or living 'drama' with other people or causing drama with other people, just stop it. Life is short. Own up to your life and Just Enjoy it. Don't wait for a phone call to change your perspective. Control your own perspective on life NOW!

July 24, 2017 - I came home for lunch today and on the way here I longed for a good old bologna sandwich. Just bologna on bread with butter. The thought of a bologna sandwich was almost a comforting thought. I never buy bologna anymore because as we all know, bologna is almost as bad as smoking cigarettes near a direct nuclear blast. Sigh. I miss those sandwiches, I surely do. And hot dogs... I miss good old hot dogs. Those are made from chicken lips, scrapings from glue factories, and the stuff you find in the u-joint of your kitchen sink and all other things you should not consume as a primate. Sometimes I fool myself and buy fat free turkey hot dogs. I use that term loosely - they ain't no hot dog.

July 25, 2017
- Coming home from work I glanced over at a field of corn and saw half a dozen or more bobbing, moving orange hard hats. At first it made me laugh because I've never seen mobile hard hats 'floating' above corn before.

Next I was kind of confused/cocky/pissy - I mean, we didn't have hard hats nor waterproof pants nor sunscreen when I worked in the fields. We went out half naked because it would be so hot and we got our legs cut up by wet corn and we liked it. Half our skin fell off from sunburning, but once again - we survived. Sigh. When I drove by the worker's bus, I could see several safety posters tacked to the side. Anything and everything has to be double wrapped and padded nowadays less someone sue their employers. This kind of makes me sad.

When I was a kid, my Mom would always give me the old or super huge and unusable vegetables from the garden along with a knife so I could make sand box veggie pies. (I did not eat them, mind you. They were strictly works of art in sand and seed and mush...) Anyway - I had more fun doing that. I didn't have to be supervised. I would spend hours and hours in that sand box with a knife and I never once killed anyone, either. Again I sigh. Sigh.

What has happened to us all? Common sense flew out the window. I agree, however, there are times when we do need a warning or sign or instructions on how NOT to kill/maim/harm ourselves when using or doing certain things. The whole "don't touch downed power lines" public service announcements are wonderful things for younger kids who may come across something like that when they are not with any semi-intelligent adults and just seeing a commercial about that may save their life. The signs on the side of lawnmowers that clearly show pictures of someone's fingers flying off when stuck in moving blades, though - I mean, COME ON PEOPLE. Really? The concept of finger amputation NEVER occurred to you as you heard the blades that can mulch a small branch whirling down there? I guess I am just confused about humans. I've been confused about humans, though, since I first found out I was one.

I went to get a pedicure tonight. I don't get polish. I am not a polish type of girl. I go because the girl that does my toes is a wonder with my big toes' ingrown toenails. If I go on a regular basis I do not HAVE ingrown toenails. She does a very good job and I tip her well. If I tried to dig those things out you'd be sending me get well cards at the local hospital...

Rocko has taken to pooping on top of mole hills or into mole holes. I supposed, if I were a cat, having a pre-dug outhouse would be, well - the cat's meow as it were. We took him to the vet for shots and such on Saturday and he was not happy with us. It took him all day to come down from upstairs after we got home. There were times he would attempt to come out of the bedroom from upstairs and then he'd see me and make a bee line right back up the stairs. (I was the one that when up there and got him to take him in, so of course I am the enemy until he needs my opposable thumbs to open his cat food.) But as I was hinting at about cat poop - finding a sample of Rocko's was a challenge. Jake is good at the 'Rocko Easter Egg Hunt Game' so I took him with me. I found a batch, and prayed it was Rocko's pooh. Thank goodness he had to go the morning of the visit and couldn't wait until he went outside. We had a fresh sample bagged up to take with us. Go Bowel Movements!! I donated the mystery stool to the Herby Curby...

I have a total of 13 gladiolas that have yet to bloom. The most I've EVER had. I have had several stunning bloomers already. Maroon and purple and two peach colored ones and the most beautiful orange/yellow ones. Contented sigh. I almost lost a few as I was not watering the bed well enough where the oldest members of the glad family reside. The bed they are in is just packed with roots/feeler thingys from the willow tree out back. I cannot clear them out because they are so tangled in there. I assume it is the thieving willow that has stolen all their water. (I am shaking my fist at the willow tree now even though you cannot see it.) I did not even try to clear that bed of grass and weeds this year because it is pointless and almost impossible. I did throw a bag of wildflowers in among the weeds to help perk it up a bit. To be totally honest, it just looks like MORE weeds. I think I will put that bed to rest after this year if I can dig up the glads. I know I won't be able to due to the roots from that willow unless I rent a bulldozer. I noticed I had several deformed stalks with sort of bloom like things on them for the first time ever and the rest of the attempted blooms were all quite wilted from dehydration. I have managed to bring them back from the brink of death by draining the water table 'round these parts and the ones that look like Quasimodo are perking up as well. Glads are my second favorite flower. Daffodils are my first.

I suppose I will wonder off and finish laundry and start the dishwasher. (My kids are thinking, "I was that dishwasher for years...)

August 1, 2017 - I have been on a Kix cereal kick. I have no idea why. They don't taste like anything except tasting like round ball of styrofoam and seriously, how can a human crave styrofoam?? Apparently I do...

I have had some time off and have just been doing what I wanted to do. Went and got my hair played with two days in a row. My most relaxing thing in the world to me is hair time. Stopped at veggie stands and a house that sells bread. I got a loaf of blueberry bread (very good) and adored all the kittens running about the place. So many kittens. When my husband asked me later in the evening what kind of bread I bought, I mumbled "probably kitten bread..." and he stared at me for a second. He didn't ask again. I honestly don't think he heard me. His hearing has be slipping lately. I suggested he see our doctor about this unless he is perfectly content with not hearing me babble on for the rest of our days. He IS perfectly content with not hearing me babble but he also has issues when other people talk to him and that may inspire him to go get checked.

I have to reiterate once again how much I love where I live. Two acres of wonderful. The other day I was watering and a car went by with its trunk open and a man was sitting in the trunk holding on to a Herby Curby. Down the road they went to the south, the garbage container following and bouncing around a bit. It was an hour later or so that they came back hauling the garbage can. This made me laugh.

Then Monday there was a SUV of some sort going backwards down the road. The guys was doing a super job driving said SUV. (I am assuming his vehicle was stuck in reverse and his tranny needed some doctoring.) Nonetheless, kudos to him for not swerving off the road. If that were me I'd have been in someone's yard before I got too far. 

August 13, 2017 - Sometimes I re-read my post and find all sorts of spelling errors and misplaced words. My fingers cannot keep up with my thoughts, this is obvious. If you do indeed read me and find odd things in print here (besides my ramblings) I apologize.

When walking out the back door lately, more often than not you will walk right into a battle of the hummingbirds. They fight over the feeder and even though 16 birds could easily eat from those feeders, they still fight. Only one at a time. Seems like a waste of good holes to me...

Friday night my whole herd went to a concert together. My daughter and son in law came from Chicago and both my boys were there. What a hoot. Our neighbors were there, too, which made it even more fun. What a fun fun night. My daughter was our designated driver and drove us home. She did quite well, never having driven my car before. (Although I will be the first to admit that I consumed a lot of locally brewed beer, so she could have hit a tree and I would have assumed she was doing very well driving...) The concert was so fun because everyone there was there to see the band. So many band T-Shirts from all the years they've been active! I wandered around very often to talk to people there and gush over their T-Shirts or express our joy over the band... I am sure everyone in the whole world appreciates a fat, sweaty, drunk old woman smoozing on them at a concert. Gosh, who wouldn't?

Saturday I was so sore from dancing and running around. When I did laundry, my black band T-Shirt had many salt lines from my excessive sweating. It was just fun being there with neighbors and my kids and lots of people who were there for the band. Different and better vibe Friday night from the concert we saw up in Traverse City - those people were not all there for the band - many didn't even know who they were up in Traverse City. It was just a wonderfully fun Friday night.

Saturday was recovery day - as every bone in my body ached and it took a nice hot soak in a very hot tub to cure that. Oh, and a long nap. Long naps cure all.

August 20, 2017 - I just sorted out my spice cabinet. So many 'old' spices!! I put a nice dent in my supply of spices... Next it will be a check on the medicine cabinet. How can so much time fly by so fast? I had three oregano containers!!  All expired... I managed to fill up the recycling bin with all the old jars.

Last night was a cool night. I sat outside several times watching the stars. There were no bugs anywhere nor bats. I was a lovely night. I positioned myself out of the direct glare of the neighbor's mercury light. Too much light pollution for me out there - but it was still a clear view of the Milky Way. I saw one 'falling star' and heard many creatures - tree frogs and howls of all sorts and other calls I could not identify. Sometimes I heard humans in the far off distance. You could also hear the firework show from a town about 12 miles south of us. Damn. I wish I had been at that show! It went on forever!!

There were bees at my morning glories this morning and they were packed with pollen. They were leaving trails all over the flowers. I saw one land and squish his pollen in his saddle bags or whatever they have to carry pollen, but in my considered opinion it was time to go home and dump a load, dude.

The red winged black birds have vacated the premise. I wonder where they went? This will save me millions on bird food, mind you. It just makes me curious where these guys go. Bird Convention before the migration? Is there a swamp hosting a big bird party and no one invited me?!?  Sigh.

The neighbors got a golf cart to take up north to their summer place. They brought it over and I got to go for a ride with Sue. It was fun. Now I want a golf cart. (Why, though - really? What would I use it for except to harass the neighbors. I mean, it is only a two acre plot here and I need no such form of transportation, but who wouldn't want to ride around all evening in a cool gold cart? We tried to get Jake to go for a ride in it, but it scared him. He kept entering on one side and exiting on the other, though, because he was hearing the word 'ride' and knows the basic concept of that word, but was so not sure of that cart. Smile.

Last week was a long week in my opinion. As I said before, it is getting harder and harder for me to face work on a daily basis. We need to move forward to a new software package or a massive upgrade to our current one (to keep up with technology) but I am finding it hard to get my muster up on that one. I went through a huge implementation in 1994/5 and I am so not looking forward to another any time soon. It has to be done and I understand this. We need something more modern and up with the times and cool and stuff. I am sure if I was younger it would be easier. Sigh. Beside losing my umph when it comes to going to work every day, my husband had a bummer week as well when it came to things with wheels. The company work truck had issues and was in the shop and he was forced to use a mere pick up truck to tote two skids at a time between plants. Then when he was on the way to work Tuesday and got just in to town he smelled something burning and he saw smoke on the passenger side up by the front headlight. He got out and looked but couldn't see anything so he brought Bertha home. (Good thing he did.) Bertha was smelly. You could tell something wanted to explode or burn up. He had to take his old truck to work so he jumped in that thing and off he went. I was tasked with scheduling a doctor visit for Bertha at Ford. He called me about 15 minutes later and was cussing up a storm. "Well, the truck's breaks are gone..." Ugh. He managed to get the truck safely to his work via back roads and ended up getting it over to a car repair place right next to where he works.

Bertha had an exploded clutch on the air conditioner compressor so that had to be replaced. The truck is waiting for a new break line. 738 dollars later we have Bertha back so he has a car for work. All will be well. Life - it will continue forward. Cars will be fixed. Trucks will be fixed. The sun will rise and set. (Until tomorrow, where it will take a brief break 'round these parts at about 2:30-ish p.m. for a brief eclipse.) 

August 29, 2017 - For the last few week I've noticed the bee traffic to my hummingbird has increased. Not honey bees, mind you. I am really not sure WHAT type of bee they are...most likely yellow jackets which are not technically bees...but I digress.  Anyway, I got red dish feeders because the intraweb said yellow will attract bees. I'm pretty sure bees don't give a damned what color the feeder is as long as it has sugar water in it - the key being the 'sugar' part. They send their smallest nest members who can crawl into the tiny holes and climb out. (Well, most can figure that part out. When I clean the feeders I've found drowned bees as well as bees who were stuck and could not get out. I let those guys go. That may have been a mistake...they went and got their friends.) Tonight there were so many buzzing around the feeders that the hummingbirds were having a fit. I went out with a fly swatter. No more Mrs. Nice Guy.

The whole time I was smacking insects I was sure God was watching me, shaking his head in disgust. If God isn't a box elder bug, He most likely is a yellowjacket, my luck.

This caused another issue - Jake HATES fly swatters. I am sure we used a fly swatter to spank our dog's butts when they were puppies when they chewed something up. We are not beaters by nature so I know we did not harm the dogs with a fly swatter - the swatter was just used as a warning device before any preemptive strikes. Jake, however, remembers he was punished with a flyswatter many many years ago and freezes when he sees one or tries to hide behind anyone WITHOUT a flyswatter. So while I'm outside swatting wasp or bees or whatever they are, he had frozen in place in the yard just staring at me. I realized I was upsetting him and put the fly swatter away. It took him forever to come back in the house.

Now Jake is over by 'Daddy' hiding from me as I type. I do not use a flyswatters to type so I'm not sure why he is still scared. I brushed him, rubbed his belly, and gave him a dog biscuit...he is not fooled. Jake is like an elephant when it comes to remember things. Mom had a flyswatter and can no longer be trusted.

I have felt for several weeks that I've been grinding my teeth when I sleep. I used to do that when I was younger. I had stopped this practice for the last two decades. Apparently I've regressed. I have been waking up just feeling I had done some damage to my mouth. (I also pondered the fact I could be sleep walking and eating rocks - but the rock population 'round these parts look stable, so I ruled that out.)

Today at work I was having a fruit snack after lunch when I heard a crunch. "Fruit snacks don't crunch!" I said out loud. I took a few more bites and it did not crunch, but I knew something was wrong. I spit out the blob of fruit goo into my hand to find my upper back molar (or what is left of it) in the pretty red mass. "Damnit!" I yelled. (My coworkers are used to me rambling on to myself in my office. I am sure when I finally have a heart attack and cry out for help they will ignore me assuming I was just talking to myself again...)

There in my hand was the remnants of a gold crown, a metal peg and shards of what I would assume used to be enamel. Sigh. I prodded the hole with my tongue. As a matter of fact, I spent the afternoon trying to keep my tongue out of that thing. Once you know there is a gaping hole in your gums, your tongue can't keep its nose out of said hole. There is still a metal peg of some sort sticking out of the thing. I washed off and kept the huge former tooth/gold covering and put it in a baggie. (No, I am not putting it under my pillow.)

I called my family doctor's office to beg for a refill on Klonopin. (That stuff is the only thing I have ever used in my life that can calm me down enough to sit through a dental visit next to an elephant tranquilizer.) Then I manned up and called the dentist office. The soonest they can see me is on September 7th. On the way home from work I stopped and got some Orajel in case. I have since stopped poking the hole with my tongue so that is good. Eating dinner tonight felt 'funny' and I am sure there is a fridge worth of food crammed up in there now which will need special removal techniques. We all know how much Sandy hates the dentist office. Ugh.

When I was on the way home tonight the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions came on the radio. My first reaction? I laughed. Then I blurted out, "Too Soon!" Then I spent the rest of the trip home chastising myself and wondering why I had reacted that way. The rains in Texas are no laughing matter. It is just awful down there. I feel for everyone dealing with the floods and damage right now. How could I, in my right mind, find any type of humor in that?

Then it reminded me of the time when my poor sister pulled up in the driveway years ago to tell me about one of her cats. She was checking the dryer when the phone rang, so she went to answer it. She came back and shut the dryer door and finished the load. Apparently her eldest female cat had crawled in that dryer since it was warm and was dried to death. She was telling me the tragic story as she sobbed and all I wanted to do was smile and chuckle, the whole time thinking "Didn't she hear the kerpunk kerplunk?" I still find it funny. What is wrong with me!?

I don't think I'm a cruel person, really I don't. I do not know why certain things make me laugh at the worst times. I am sure we all have this issue with one thing or another, but I find this a sad trait in myself. It does not happen often. It just happens now and then. I know I do NOT want to be a somber, sober human, though. I want to be able to laugh. I just want to be able to laugh when it is the right time to laugh. Sigh. I assume this trait will intensify as I get older. You've been warned.

The world is a bit scary lately. I blame mass media of course. (It wouldn't be so bad if we had to wait a week to read about things a week after they happened in a newspaper, right?) The whole North Korea thing is just scary and stupid. What in the name of the universe are they thinking? If the big bully neighborhood kid is picking on you, you ARE going to punch his lights out. It is just how things work. Violence brings out more violence. History repeats itself...

Stop the world, I want to get off...

topSeptember 4, 2017 - I can't believe we are into September already. I mean, I don't know why I'm shocked - I knew it was coming. Flipping the calendar over every month and writing the date every day at work should have given me a good clue, huh? Sigh. There are times where time feels like it goes so fast that one's face is plastered back by mass quantities of g-force.

The family of crows we have living around us keep me quite entertained. I've deemed them "The Marx Brothers" because they make me laugh and because they walk like Groucho Marx. I adore sitting outside listening to their family conversations. They make so many unique sounds during their conversations. I really wish I could record it as it is so entertaining. There are six in my little murder of crows and the birds are huge (I am sure it due to a steady diet of bird seed). Four and 20 of them baked in a pie would feed a small country...

The weather this Labor Day weekend has been very nice and mild. One or two night sprinkles, but no rain during the day. During the day it feels like we are near Lake Michigan with the cool breeze. My husband took me to Red Lobster yesterday to celebrate the last of summer. We've not been there in forever. It used to be our go to date night place for decades.

Fortunately for us, the Crab Fest was still going on - and I am all about the crab. I ordered the crab lover's dream - with snow crab and king crab legs (never had those before) and crab linguini. When I eat crab, you might as well just ignore me because I go into my own little world and all that matters is the crab meat. I take great pride and joy in myself when I can crack a leg just right so all the meat comes out in one fell swoop. I had great luck with the snow crab. I had trouble with the king crab legs. It wasn't until after I had thrown a king crab leg worth of meat all over my face and hair that I saw they had scored those legs so you didn't have to attempt to hold on to their spiky legs while cracking them open, you just had to part them at the score line. Duh. At least I didn't fling crab meat on neighboring tables which is also tradition when I go into CRAB MEAT! mode...

My oldest son is still out on the road this weekend. He didn't make it home for Labor Day. I was thinking this morning that he will be 37 years old in a few weeks! WHAT? My first born will be 37?!?!?  When did this happen? I do not feel like I should have a 37 year old son. Sigh. My daughter and son in law came in for the weekend, but they have not been home much. My son in law's family had a lake party where the boys perform live music with their various bands and just have jam sessions. Poor Pat had to spend the first day home setting up for the party, then he had a gig that night. Yesterday was spent at the lake, performing and the like, and today he is over there breaking down the stage and hauling equipment back to storage. He maybe got three hours of sleep over the last few days. My daughter spent time with her good friend Dave and his Mom. She spent the day yesterday at the lake party, and right now is asleep on our couch. Her birthday is in ten days and she will be 30!! I will have two kids in their 30s! (My uterus just gave out a big sigh...)

The wee one came for supper on Saturday, since I was going to feed a meal to at least one kid and he volunteered after I told him to come over and eat. He brought my grandpup Watson over and Watty is such a joy to be around. That dog is a lover for sure. We had corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and I also made chicken fingers. There was strawberry shortcake for dessert. I wonder why a Mom feels like she has to feed a kid sometimes? I mean, they are all adults now and I'm sure they can fend for themselves just fine but when I get it in my head that a kid has to eat a home cooked meal, a kid had damned well show up to eat it. He appreciated it very much and it was good to see the boy. He hinted that if his big brother is home next weekend (which is also his Dad's birthday weekend) that they would be over. I look forward to that. I like to watch my husband talk to his adult boys. My husband enjoys it so much, talking to his boys. (My husband did not participate much in the child rearing process when the kids were growing up...He realizes now he had better enjoy our kids while he can.)

The picture posted here is of Lucy, the neighbor dog. She was in the window watching us when we were outside. It made me laugh loudly. It is also a tiny bit creepy that Lucy was watching us like that, but mostly it was just adorable. Still, kind of creepy...

September 10, 2017 - Did I mention a few weekends ago my husband was cleaning out one the sheds. We have several sheds. The motorcycle shed, the plastic taco shed (because it always smells like cumin), the wood shed, and the dilapidated shed. The dilapidated shed was a metal shed hit by a branch several years ago the damaged the roof and caved in the sides a bit. We still use it for items that do not mind getting wet. There was an old tote in that shed that was full of walnuts! Hahahahaha. The squirrels or chipmunks have been no doubt eating them in there and tossing the shells into that tote. There were hundreds. It was very funny. They have been very sneaky about it, not leaving the debris all over the floor.

I tried to go out and see the Northern Lights the other night when we were having the bombardment from the CME. The moon was full but I still thought I could possible see some lights if they were bright enough. I walked out at around 11 p.m. and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Lots of stars over head but I noticed no northern lights. I did, however, hear lots of 'things' in the night. Critters of some sort, I'm sure. I decided I would go in and get Jake to protect me. Right off the bat I should have known that was a stupid idea. Jake is not a brave nor manly dog. Once again I go out with Jake in tow. It took sixty seconds for Jake to notice my large shadow on the tent (not a shed, mind you) and he just went nuts barking. He bristled up and bounced backwards with every bark. When I bent down to pet him and try to calm him down, he saw the shadow move and it made the situation worse. I stepped out of the light path so my shadow went away and then he saw HIS shadow and it started all over again. I gave up the northern light excursion and came inside and calmed the boy down.

I took down my fairy gardens yesterday. Putting them up is a riot. Taking them down, not so much. I have a lot of crap, that's for sure. I put up a few of my fall decorations, some of which are scarecrows. I put one right out front and every time I walk by the window, I jump a little thinking it is a person. I might have to move that thing...

September 12, 2017 - I have decided to call my doctor's office today and schedule my yearly physical because I want to have a frank discussion out midlife depression with my doctor. I think we all go through it but lately mine has been sucking me into a emotional toilet. I am tired of being so sad for no reason. (Oh, I'm sure there are reasons - but I will need a therapist to hear me babble for a session or two to pinpoint what those reasons are...) Yesterday I spent the whole day just one sad song away from breaking down into a pile of tears. (I never heard that sad song. I did hear 'Back In Black' by AC/DC and you just can't cry to that one unless you stub your toe from dancing...)

Brains have always fascinated me. They tend to do what they want to do even if WE think we are in control. They are such powerful things that they tend to get bored and wander off and come up with crap just to keep themselves occupied. It is our job to deal with the residual 'crap' they come up with. I am not doing so well these days dealing with said 'crap' from my brain. Time to throw in the towel as it were. My daughter and son in law are therapist and I wish they lived closer. I would rather pay family for mental help than a complete stranger. However, in cases like depression it is better if you go to a complete stranger, actually. (In my mind, at least. But who can trust my mind lately?) Having someone you will probably never see again after several sessions and who lets you babble for an hour non-stop  - well, in essence you are fixing yourself that way - hearing yourself talk like that. Last time I had therapy was back in 1998 when I had a breakdown of sorts. (Had it not been for my oldest son at the time, I doubt I would have managed to pull myself out of the hole I fell into...) The sessions I had back then were just me talking and talking and talking. Once in a great while the nice lady would throw something out there for me to ponder. Nothing was 'decided' from those session. I just talked. I just felt better after talking.

I would think that with the world the way it is and humans being how humans are that the whole lot of us probably need some form of drugs and therapy. Things were much simpler in the old days when we would club the person we desired over the head and drag them back to a cave, ya know? Hungry? Club something over the head! Scared? Club something upside the head! Ah, the good old days...

The one thing I do not want to lose is my sense of humor plus my sheer joy at living. I have spent most of my life running down the hill and spinning like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music because being alive amazes me. I don't want to end up just throwing myself down on the mountain and forgetting to smell all the flowers.

September 22, 2017 - This morning all the nice weather men said "Heat Index into the high 90s..." I know there is a hot spell (normally) at the end of September, but Mother Nature is outdoing herself. I know it gets hot because my oldest son's Birthday is next week and all his old birthday pictures show us all sweating to death, so heat at this time of year is not uncommon. However, being the rubenesque woman that I am, I prefer cooler weather.

I had my first therapy session and I got to say MAYBE three words. The therapist wanted to thoroughly explain how he approaches therapy. Kudos to him, but if he does this next time, I will ask him politely to SHUT UP. The whole time I was thinking to myself, "The way I'm feeling now must be how my kids felt growing up..." because I, too, am a story teller to make a point. (Sorry Kids!!)

I also had my yearly physical yesterday. My blood work looked fantastic except for slightly elevated sugar. My doctor pointed out that if I lost 10 pounds and took walks, the sugar numbers would take care of themselves. (I believe he said, "Walk, why don't you!?) I adore my doctor. I really do. After I got poked and prodded and got my flu shot and got re-dressed, he came in and sat down and we talked about my depression. Long story short, he suggest I double my current anti-depression meds since I am on the lowest dose and two pills would be the next up on the prescription ladder. "Sometimes, they just stop working..." he said. I am to try this for a month and then decide if it is helping or not. He was genuinely very kind when we talked. Kudos to him for great bedside manner. (Last night I was wound up tighter than a clock and did not sleep until after two a.m. I will have to research my anti-depression med and find out if spazziness is a side effect but one would think when one was taking a drug to calm oneself down that none of the side effects would include a 'too much coffee' effect...)

So, let's review - I am seeing a therapist that is a Chatty Kathy and I have a flu shot and I had my yearly physical and next Monday - I get a tooth pulled. My gold crown that was over a root canal-ed tooth fell out several weeks ago and Monday the rest of the tooth has to come out. My dentist told me to take that crown to the local Gold dealership in the next town over. "It is probably worth 20-40 dollars..." he said. That is cool, but I'm thinking to myself, "Who in the hell wants to touch this when there is a piece of tooth still in it?!??" I will call the place he mentioned and ask them myself. "Hi, I have a wee chunk of gold that looks gross because there is a dead tooth in it - so hows about you give me monies, aye?"

I had THREE BLUEBIRDS in my bird bath out front. I just happened to look out the window and see a spray of water the other day and thought, "Damn, the neighbor dog is peeing on my finch feeder pole with gusto!" so I peaked around the side of the window and there were three bluebirds having spa time. They were so adorable to watch. There was barely any water left in the birdbath when they were done because they were bathing with intensity. Hahahaha. I do NOT get blue birds normally - ever. When I saw them a few weeks ago, I thought they were indigo bunting birdies, but thanks to the interweb I stand corrected. Honestly, it was all I could do not to run out and buy meal worms that I know the bluebirds like. I already cater to too many species out in my yard and was able to talk myself out of kowtowing to another. I ended up just making new sugar water for the hummingbirds. It has been so hot and they are still here and hungry and all the flowers are dying off - I couldn't cut them off. I am sure they will leave when they are damned well ready. The blue birdies are on their own...

My husband's birthday was last week and I did all his chores the whole week (which is tradition) and took him to lovely meals (because who wants to cook?) and got him a few things (I bought his license tabs, a new coffee maker, and other 'practical' things). All in all I believe he had a good week. At one point we were laughing about the mud marks Rocko the cat makes on our front white screen door. (Rocko will jump up and grab the bottom of the glass part of the screen door and hang there to let us know he wants in. All you see are the tips of his paws and his ears. It humors us. Eventually Rocko loses his grip and will slide down the door, leaving mud marks.) So I had the grand idea at lunch the day before his birthday to come home and carve a paw print into a potato and mix up some mud and write a "message" from Rocko. I thought it was hysterical, personally. I got a phone message at work later that day that said, "I see the neighbor dogs left me a message!" When I got home I had to explain why it was funny because of Rocko and all - and they he got it and chuckled. Well, I tried. And I got to play in mud - one of my favorite pastimes.

Last Friday, the NASA team sent the Cassini probe into the atmosphere of Saturn. Our of all the NASA events in my lifetime, I believe Cassini has been my favorite. I was sad to hear it was end of mission. I have enjoyed all the images Cassini had sent back. I have so enjoyed learning about Saturn's moons and such. It was like losing an old friend. However, I did not have a sissy fit on Friday and break down and cry like a baby or anything. THAT happened two nights ago when I watched a T.V. show about Cassini's end of mission. Such a fascinating show and at the end when the narrator said, "...and this is Cassini's last image..." I started to cry!! CRYING OVER A SPACE CRAFT! Gosh. Bawling like a baby, I was. Sigh. I told that story to my boss who stated in simple terms, "Oh, man, girl - you are losing it! Things like that, Sandy, makes every think you are crazy!" (My boss is always such a comfort...)

TopOctober 1, 2017 - Happy October! Only three months left in 2017. Don't think about it - it is scary to contemplate!

I had my tooth pulled last Monday. It took 45 minutes of digging to get it out. I did very well (but I also had two and a half Klonpin in my system). The dentist gave me four shots before hand for any pain in my gums around said tooth. (Those areas hurt the worst, to be honest, now that it is over.) He had to break the remaining tooth in two to get it out. It was not pretty. About a half hour in I said, "If you are ready to swear, so am I, so feel free..." He said he was almost ready to say some bad words. I made my husband drive me to the appointment. While I was in getting my face ripped off, he went down to the local hardware store and got me an early Birthday present. (He got me a B50 Stihl leaf blower. She's pretty and small and can really blow leaves!! But I digress....) When the tooth was out the dentist showed me. Wow, it was HUGE. And that wasn't the whole tooth, mind you - the top is still in the gold crown. (Which my dentist said I should take to the local gold dealer because I could get some money from it. I checked with the gold dealer place and they do take gross gold tooth-in crowns.) I have always told my kids that after my cremation they should rummage through the ashes for my two gold crowns. Now it won't be worth it....

We did our grocery shopping this morning so that is done. When we got home and opened the back to get the groceries, the container of a dozen eggs fell out. I rushed them to emergency (the sink) and assessed the situation. We lost five. I decided since the rest were shook up so badly, I would boil them and make potato salad. It was quite funny, after they cooked and I peeled them - they were pre-mixed. They looked like scrambled eggs inside the shell. Hahahahaha. They did make a fine potato salad, though, and I am looking forward to supper! Yum!!

Saturday we spent the majority of the morning/early afternoon doing dead leaf cleanup. I also pulled up some dying plants and did a bit of weed whacking and did push mowing where it needed it, but THEN I went crazy with my leaf blower. It was awesome. We all know how much I love to make messes, and boy howdy, I blew up some messes! I blew out many leaves from between the sheds and around the trees and in my rocks near the house so my husband could leaf vacuum them up. Just as we were finishing up my Mother in Law and Sister in Law stopped by for a visit. It was good to sit down an talk to them. We sat outside in the sun and visited. I always enjoy their visits. When they left, I came in and showered to get the dust and debris out of my hair and off we went to Menards. We needed to go to Menards to get the 'guts' to the bathroom tub faucet since I broke it on Friday night. (I didn't break it per say, it just came off in my hand. This has happened before. My husband had an extra set of 'guts' so he could fix it and we could shower, but that particular handle set up is an accident waiting to happen, so I feel better if we have 'guts' in stock... If Sandy can't take her hot baths when Sandy wants to take her hot baths, well - No One Is Happy.  I also saw other things I just had to have at Menards which had nothing to do with hardware type items. We stopped at Applebee's for supper on the way home. Saturday was productive AND delicious.

I had my yearly vision check up. My eyes are 20/20 still (except for the 'tired' eye thing at night and the need for reading glasses because I'm older...) My left eye cataract is not bad enough yet for insurance to pay to yank it out, so that will have to wait a while to get fixed. I was hoping it was ready, then I would have two bionic eye balls and could see the Moon like I was standing on it. Alas, no - no happy medicine and surgery for lefty for a while. I have to say this time my eyes were the MOST dilated they've even been after an eye exam. Driving home I was thinking, "Don't hit anyone....Don't hit anyone..." I took the most back road way I could to avoid causing trouble. It took several hours before I could 'see' like I think I should 'see' again. She must have double dosed me. Smile. They have remodeled the eye doctor's lobby area - so now it has huge windows in it that was letting in gobs of sunlight, so while I sat there waiting for eyes to dilated I had to put on my sunglasses. Just me sitting there - looking all cool and stuff. I know why old rock stars all wear sunglasses now - probably due to cataracts and excess Tropicamide.

Let's see... I think I have all my 'Sandy' maintenance done for 2017. This is good. My work offers money for going for physicals and eye exams and other maintenance type things. I will get the full $100 for keeping Sandy relatively not dead. Always a plus.

I cancelled my Friday therapy appointment. I was not ready to go back to the guy I had. I will have to call and schedule an appointment with a female therapist, I guess. I would really like to work through my two most major issues I think I have. No should - only do. I will call on Monday, I promise.

October 8, 2017 - One of my Aunt's on my Mom's side passed last night. I am happy she is now pain free for her sake. I stopped talking to this Aunt a while ago because she had told me she always felt like my Mom had married 'under' her ... and went on to explain her feelings. She had every right to have those feelings. I also had every right not to understand how people (in general) can be so blind and see life in one way and one way only. I have always felt that being full of God was knowing joy and having love for all things. Being full of God does not mean you can judge others. Being full of God gives you the power to love unconditionally. That is how I perceive it - and I have every right to feel that way. I could never understand from a very early age how some people could judge others. (Of course, we all do it, mind you. The mob mentality of our country at this time in our history proves that point...) One can never know another persons battles until they walk in their shoes, as it were... I wish my Aunt peace. I wish my Aunt enlightenment.

This is my official Birthday weekend. Monday I turn 57 years old. Still a youngin' in my book. My husband has gotten me several Birthday gifts over the last few weeks. New hose reel and metal hose - love that thing. So easy to roll up!! Tree trimmers (since I couldn't find mine old ones). I have prunin' to do, by golly. And yesterday a Birthday breakfast at my favorite local diner and a new turtle from the hardware store across the street. That tutle had been on the shelf for ages and was so lonely. I needed that turtle. When we left the hardware store I wore it like a breast plate through town while I played it like a drum, doing my turtle dance. My husband also suggested I could use it as a helmet so I did when I got home yesterday. I figured the whole 'turtle drum line and dance' routine was enough for my small town for one day, why push my luck? The turtle was at discount, too, since the poor thing had been there so long it was losing its shell.

I also found this shot of the moon on my camera just now when I was uploading the turtle pic - I had forgotten I had gone out last week when it was beautiful and clear and the harvest moon was so stunning. The other shots looked like I had the palsy but this one came out nice. I love that new camera - but I wish I was steady handed. Sigh.

I have to go today and get decent clothes for the conference I'm going to next week in Chicago. I watched a video of the hotel where this is all happening and everyone looked so business proper. Sandy is never business proper...even when I'm at work. I will have to ask for help from the ladies at the store. "Make me NOT look like a homeless feral fat woman" is what I will announce when I walk in the store today.

I had my boys over yesterday for my oldest (delayed) birthday dinner. He requested lasagna and cheese biscuits and spinach. He got all those things. I made cookies Thursday night for him so he could have ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert, and made pumpkin bread on Friday night for my youngest wee one as it is one of his favorites. It was good to see the boys and my granddog Watson. It does a Mom good to feed their adult children.

I suppose I should go do something constructive, yes? My husband is at work so this is a good time to crank up the music and clean. I tend to sing along - I pity the neighbors...

October 19, 2017 - I am back home after being away in Chicago for five days. I left my home last Saturday during the monsoons. Had I known how bad it was going to be to drive on Saturday I would have never gone! The highways were pools of water and we were all going 45 mph. Flooding everywhere. Quite the experience, if I may say so myself. At one point I was escorted on all sides by semi trucks and actually took that as a blessing - built in protection. There was one point when an nice new SUV with a cocky lady on her cell phone went zooming past all of us at high speeds (she was NOT going to let all of the people on the highway stop HER by golly) and I was almost happy to see her in the median with her back end all smashed about a half mile after she went by me...hydroplaning, my dear - LOOK IT UP. I am sure she blamed everyone but herself for that accident. Everywhere on the highway on the way to Chicago were accidents - everywhere.

I stayed with my daughter and son in law on Saturday night and they drove me to the evil city on Sunday. I am ever so glad for that. I cannot drive in downtown Chicago. I refuse to. It scares me. My son in law drives like he had lived there all his life. The conference was more than worth it. I always hate to cost my company more money, but in this case, I feel it was money well spent. When I go in to work today, I shall summarize my learning and present to my peeps. I am now excited about the future, where before I was seeking therapy to deal with it...

Monday night the kids came into the city and took me to dinner. We walked on the Magnificent Mile and looked at the fine buildings. Such lovely architecture! On a Monday night, hardly anyone is out there and it seemed 'normal' - my daughter said that it is the weekends that it is a glob of humans shoulder to shoulder. Downtown Chicago felt like a normal, calm city Monday night.

The kids came and got me Tuesday night and took me back to their place to spend the night. There was a Cubs game in the city, and the traffic was UNREAL. Really. It took us a long time to get back to their place. The had a Birthday cake for me and presents and we ate pizza and cake and it was a fun night. I was tired, however. They stayed up to pack some more (they are moving back INTO the city because they miss it) and I went to bed. Wednesday morning I was up and out the door and getting back home was a marvelous thing. The highways were clear and Jake the Dog was ever so happy to have his Mommy back! When I went in to pee, he laid on the floor and just cried. Literally cried like a wee girl. Hahahahahaha.

You can't see me, but I am clicking my heels together and saying "There's no place like home..."

October 26, 2017 - The amount of lotions and ointments and pills and such have been growing on my desk near my chair which is a sure sigh of getting older. I used to just have floss there, now I have floss and orthodontic wax for my broken tooth that needs a root canal but I am putting it off as long as possible, plus there is Vicks VapoRub for chapped lips and hand lotion for chapped hands and all my maintenance pills and the phone and .... the list grows. As we get older, it might just easier to carry a duffel bag full of our required crap.

There was frost on the pumpkin this morning for sure. Finally fall, I'd say, and as we all know, I'm a weather professional. (Plus I have two pumpkins for Halloween, and I did indeed see frost on them this morning, so I can prove it.) Rocko the cat is starting to 'fluff' up with his winter fur already. My husband got the furnace lit and it has been clicking on and off since yesterday. I made ground chicken meatloaf in the oven last night and all is merry and bright. I must say the coffee tastes extra good this a.m. for some reason. Probably due the fact it is hot and it warms my hands.

I took a hot bath last night but apparently it was hotter than I thought due to the color of my skin when I got out!! I must be getting immune to heat on my lower half. I love a hot bath for sore feet and body parts. I will take several hot soaks a week if I get a chance. Last night when I got out of the tub my body parts were beet red. I did not know during the soaking that I was baking myself. I was just soaking in that tub and playing games on my phone and enjoying the heck out it and had no plans to actually baste myself. I took extra time to apply LOTS of lotion to the red extremes and will be more mindful next time I decide to cook myself. Duh on my part. Stick a fork in me, boys - I'm done. I bet I taste like chicken...

Work is going well and I now have focus. I can get stuff done. The dark abyss that was my mind in regards to work has been lit by a thousand candles. (Maybe that is why the water was so hot last night...) This is a good feeling and a feeling I've not had in FOREVER. I think full retirement age for my age group is 67 and I can see myself be very busy until then... I've not rescheduled a follow up with the therapist yet due to the fact I feel so much BETTER. However, I believe we all need someone to talk to so maybe when the work's all done this fall...

Every night this week when I've gone to bed I've felt like "tomorrow is Friday" and every day this week when I wake up it has NOT Friday. By tomorrow, I will have nailed it, yes? Either I've done so much work my mind assumes it is Friday or I am just fixated on the point where I don't have to wear a bra for two days...

TOPNovember 3, 2017 - I work from home for a few hours before I go (physically) in to work. This morning when I booted up my computer to work and read my emails there was a reminder to send my back up tapes off site. "Wait!" I thought to myself... "Something is wrong with my reminder! This is Thursday and the alert should come on Friday mornings..." I stared at that email reminder for a minute at least before I yelled out to my husband (who was in the bathroom) "WHAT DAY IS IT?" He responded calmly that it was Friday the 3rd of November. "Why?" he asked, "What day do YOU think it is?" "Thursday..." I replied weakly as I checked the date on my computer and looked at my phone to confirm what he had said.

I still cannot believe today is Friday. I laugh at myself because somewhere in the brain there was a glitch of sorts. Somewhere up there some cell forgot to forward a memo to the proper department so now all of the various brain areas are scrambling to put my frame of reference when it comes to time and space back in proper order. I will ignore my brain as it works this out and let it do its job.

We all have those moments. EVERYONE does. Blips where we cannot remember where we are, what time of year it is, what road we're driving one, etc. Even younger people have them at times. Brains get all stuffed full of tons of useless information that it has to sort through for important stuff, so I am sure there are times where the brain acts like a human mesmerized by Facebook - it gets lost in all the mass information presented.

Wednesday night I put away all my Halloween decorations and hauled down the Thanksgiving decorations. When it comes to holiday crap deployment, I am #1. (Of course, there are still Halloween decorations in my yard until tomorrow...but that doesn't count.) One of the things I have for Thanksgiving decorations is near and dear to my heart - it is a cardboard turkey display I always put in back of my shelf full of turkeys. I got that from the owner of the local pharmacy YEARS AND YEARS ago. I was looking for Thanksgiving decorations way back when and he felt so bad that he didn't have any to sell, so he just gave me his one display decoration. I love that thing. I just can't remember how old it really is. (Heck, I can't even remember what day it is...)

November 8, 2017 - There was frost on the pumpkins this morning, for sure. Burrrrrrrr. So it begins...

On Halloween, I was kissed by one of our salesmen who was dressed up like someone from Game of Thrones. I never watch that show nor have I ever seen that show, so I have no clue on who Jeff was supposed to be, but what old fat woman won't take a smooch from a young knight, right? Plus with his wig, my hair wasn't the curliest mass of mess around that day. Smile. I let my hair go 'natural' on Halloween which means it was bushed out in masses of curly ringlets in every direction. What is scarier than a Sandy in the wild? NOTHING, I tell you. Nothing!

I hear my Dear Neighbor Ron out leaf blowing this morning. This sound of him blowing leaves brings me comfort for some reason. They keep their yard so beautiful, but just the fact he is OUT there makes me feel safer. He could have the crappiest yard around, I guess, if he just stood outside and turned on that blower to comfort me...

I took my husband to breakfast last Saturday, and afterwards while we were meandering around our local village he bought me this awesome sign to put up outside. I just adore birds. I have always said my yard will be ground zero for the bird flu pandemic when the time comes. I consider them my little dinosaurs and spend a good portion of my earnings on feeding the bastards. (OK, so it is a love/hate relationship.) When I saw the sign I must have had that one look that indicates to my husband that SANDY WANTS THIS MORE THAN AIR as he grabbed it and paid for it. I did not argue. I think I got my love of birds from Mom. On occasion as a child I would tag along on one of her weekend 'nature walks' and she would teach me about plants and birds. I realize now that Mom only went on those walks to get away from my Dad or us kids since she couldn't drive herself. (She was terrified of driving.) Had I known that fact, I wouldn't have bothered her as a tag along, but I must admit I learned a lot from her when I did.

I have been quite productive at work. I think we should all be productive at work, mind you, ALL THE TIME but lately I feel like I am cutting a swath through the swamp as it were. This brings me much mental relief. It also makes me realize how much more is to come, but I don't feel like running away from it anymore. Left foot, right foot...

I have requested a 'wish list' from my adult children for Christmas. I have no clue what to get for them anymore. As we get older, we tend to get what we want when we want it, so guess what they want or need is a crap shoot, so I come right out and ask them. Saves me grief. My husband and I were talking the other night and he said, "I have no clue what to get you for Christmas..." and I looked at him and said, "We get what we want all the time thanks to Amazon and impulse buying. I need nothing nor do I want anything. I just want the family together and have our annual Christmas Eve Uno Play Off and eat excessive amounts of food." He said, "Yeah, me too. I don't want or need anything. Just spend time with the kids." We are surely cheap dates. Smile.

With the frost last night, the leaves are falling slowly, one at a time, in a dramatic fashion. It is mesmerizing to watch, actually. No mass exodus but a constant flitting of a leave here or there, falling directly to the ground. Rocko the Cat feels that it is his job to investigate each leaf. Jake the Dog feels it is his duty to pee on each leaf. I, however, have an itching to get out my new leaf blower. Hopefully this weekend...

November 10, 2017 - I am recording this for history purposes - for one full week I've slept ALL NIGHT and when I go to bed, I fall asleep in short order. This is RARE and UNUSUAL for me. Normally I am lost in thoughts that won't turn off in my head for an hour or two before I can fall asleep. Normally I'm up at least once to urinate. However, for seven days I have gone to bed and slept for at least 7.5 hours a night with no pee breaks. (I can tell you from personal experience that my bladder is not happy about this situation because when I do wake up it lets me know in no uncertain terms I had best get my lower regions to a toilet and pronto and "Pray, Lady, you don't cough on the way...") In the 57 years I've been on this rock, I cannot remember when this has ever happened, honestly. (Well, the need to pee has always been strong since the last child fell out, but you know what I mean...) Sleeping all night and soundly is not something I do well. This is a whole new experience for me. I kinda like it...

I am not sure what I am doing differently to allow me such good rest but I won't look a gift sandman in the mouth. Take it and sleep, I say. I feel good (rest wise) but a good night's sleep doesn't cure all of the day to day issue that take place. I am rested, but I still get riled at work. Temporarily riled, mind you. I've done ever so much better at letting work stay at work when I walk out the door at night. Maybe that is why I'm sleeping well. Brian, my brain, pointed out to me that work is sensitive and needs to stay where it is and be left alone at times for it to - well - WORK. So I've been trying ever so hard to let work have its own personal space. Who knew all these years I've been infringing on the rights job? Amazing.

Brian, my brain, is normally very quiet as a night director of my thought processes. I picture Brian in a white, long lab coat doing college homework while I am asleep. Brian gives me stares of borderline in-toleration when I'm arguing with him. He has black, curly hair and tends to slump at the control board of my mind. Brian needs to work on his posture, but look who's talking. I've come to appreciate Brian as of late...

There was some snow last night, but I missed it. I have to go by the numerous reports on Facebook that there was indeed white stuff falling, although I assume more so towards the lake. Tis the season. The weather man says it is 20 degrees out but feels like 11 degrees. As long as my boogers are not freezing yet, I am happy. Too soon for boogers to freeze in these parts.

My husband was on line the other night ordering winter boots. He has discovered on line shopping. He gets lots of stuff for his cars and himself on line now. He still has to be coached on many aspects of various websites, but he's addicted and I can't stop him. The phase of buying stuff he does not need is pretty much over, thank goodness, after several 'fails' in the purchasing department. I believe the biggest dumb purchase was a battery powered zapping fly swatter that really did not work at all. It now sits in our bedroom in the box taking up space. After he ordered himself new boots, he wanted to check his bank account and was having a fit because the "keyboard didn't work" and was huffing like a stuck pig. When he does that pig 'huffing' I normally run over and 'fix' the problem (which is normally not a problem, really, but an over site) but this time I pretended I was too busy to help. He finally figured out he had turned off the number lock key, hence the reason the numbers were not working. Kudos to him. It took him long enough to embrace technology and he still fights it sometimes tooth and nail, but by golly - I'll learn the boy yet. Baby steps....

November 17, 2017 - Yesterday was a very unique day. I ran the gambit of every possible emotion that humans are allowed, I think. It all started at 5:30 a.m. right after my alarm went off...

I meandered out of the bedroom, stretching and making old woman noises as is required by state law and orienting myself to the new day. My husband perked right up and said, "Hard to believe a week from today we'll eating turkey!!" I stood there for a moment. This couldn't be right. I had at least two weeks until Thanksgiving (or so my brain said.) "Noooooo..." I said to my husband. "Yes! Next Thursday is already Thanksgiving!!" He sounded thrilled. Me, not so much. I said once again, "Noooooo...." and waddled over to the calendar. He was right. I had one week until Thanksgiving. I said it louder this time..."NOOOOOOOO! IT IS NOT FOR TWO WEEKS! WHAT HAPPENED?!?" I totally lost track of time in this case. I had just talked to my BFF about Thanksgiving! I had just talked to the kids about Thanksgiving! Why did I not realize that it was only a WEEK away!?!

So I started yesterday in a state of disbelief. I managed to make out a shopping list and announced to my husband to 'keep his bra on' after work as we were going shopping. (No one in their right mind would attempt to go grocery shopping next week.) I have the turkey, Frank, already. He is in the freezer. (At least I had the wherewithal to get a turkey early!) The whole day at work yesterday was full of surprises and I was peppered with a plethora of emotions there. I think once you start a day in a state of confusion, you tend to drag that feeling and smear it all over anything you touch for a while... When I came home from work, off we went to the grocery store. I spent a lot of time running around aisles that I had already been in because I had forgotten something. A grocery list is nice IF in fact you have your mental ducks in a row when making said list. I had taken a small cart along with my husband's big cart "in case we needed over flow space." My husband said we would indeed NOT need two carts. However, I kept the wee cart and put my purse and cloth grocery bags in it. I also used it when I would dart back to an aisle and grab something I forgot without telling him where I was going. I was like a spastic gopher on acid last night.
When you are at the grocery store, you tend to run into people you know so there were several social stops during all my spaz shopping. Stopping to converse with someone throws one's momentum. At one point my husband said, "Where's the other cart?" I immediately panicked. MY PURSE WAS IN THAT OTHER CART!!  I had left it several rows over, abandoned, after chatting with an old friend and trying to decide what type of pudding I needed for chocolate pudding pie. Sigh. When I found my little cart I was so relieved I almost cried. All I could think of was someone taking my purse and then I would have to spend the night calling banks to cancel cards, etc. I clutched that cart like it was a child after that incident.

When I went to get our case of drinking water from the water section, I caught my shoe under a skid and almost threw the water down the aisle. I caught myself, thank goodness, before water was wasted or damage was done, but this left me feeling even more shaky. "I want to go home..." I muttered. We were all the way through the store when I realized I had forgotten pecans, so back we went for that. I was ever so grateful to check out. On the way out of the parking lot a car cut me off. I sighed a big sigh and stated out loud, "With luck today I will probably hit a deer on the way home..."  (I did not, thank goodness, hit any living creatures to the best of my knowledge or at least that will be my story in any courtroom.)

I had my purse.
I had my husband.
I had all the things I needed to make a Thanksgiving meal...

After I got all the crap I bought put away, I started a hot bath. I soaked in that bath and enjoyed that bath. I wish I could have lived in that bath. After the nice soak, I plopped in my lazy boy chair with an ice pack for my eyes and just let yesterday go to where all yesterdays should go when they die. After a bit, I had to laugh to myself. All that manic panic for something that is consumed in 15 minutes... Humans, go figure...

November 21, 2017 - I just read an article that said that they can launch a satellite full of small particles that can cause a stunning man made meteor shower. Mind you, I do enjoy the majestic sight of a kick butt meteor shower, but MAN MADE? Don't we have ENOUGH crap falling to the Earth and getting under my appliances and on my shelves without adding to the dust pile??  We can't stop the natural debris from falling but I see no reason to add to it. My opinion only, but aren't there enough Swiffers in landfills already?

I made buckeyes last night for one of my desserts for Turkey Day. I have cleaned. I have to let Frank the Turkey go for a swim tonight as he's still almost solid. Sigh. I want to cook it tomorrow night and slice it up and put it in a crock pot for Thursday. I have all the fixings for green bean casserole and caramel apple salad. I have rolls. I will make stuffing. I will make mashed potatoes and gravy. I will make a chocolate pie tonight, too - and maybe the deviled eggs. Or maybe not...we'll see. The main thing will be to take Frank swimming....

November 22, 2017 - I  made the deviled eggs tonight and over salted them. I sit here now, feeling like I ruined Thanksgiving JUST BECAUSE I OVER SALTED THE DAMNED DEVILED EGGS! What is wrong with me. If we smash them into mashed potatoes, who would know? I mean, things get ruined from time to time. I had a bad batch of deviled eggs. I am sure they would be a big hit at a bar somewhere, however, being so salty people would buy more booze - the bar owner would love me. UGH. It is just a mistake. We all make mistakes. The world is still turning...breathe....

I cooked the turkey today - put it in the oven at lunch and it cooked until 6:15 night. My husband carved it up and it is in the big crock pot that we'll heat up tomorrow. Getting the turkey out of the way is a relief. The carcass is outside in the Herby Curby and out of the way. I made caramel apple salad. NO salt was used, so that should be OK. I made a pinwheel cheese ball. No salt was used.... So I guess I'm OK, really, when you think of it. Tomorrow it will just be cleaning up a bit, getting the green bean casserole ready to go and the stuffing and the rolls and gravy... It will be non-stressful. Unlike TOO MUCH SALT IN DEVILED EGGS.

I am going to soak in a hot bath and forget about the eggs. It will all be well tomorrow. It is just another day in a long line of days.

Happy Thanksgiving. (Boys, bring your blood pressure pills....)

November 28, 2017 - I did NOT ruin the deviled eggs. They were fine. They were very good. I apparently took a taste from the side of the bowl that had not been mixed in very well at all. The deviled eggs were consumed with gusto. No leftovers for those goobers. I worried about nothing. Actually, it was probably a built in mental thing - having a seizure about stupid eggs made me stop for the night and calm down. That salty lick off my finger served a purpose to make me stop doing stuff and quit for the night. This was a good thing. I'm too old now to be over doing it like a mad man.

The Turkey Dinner went well and was a hoot. The kids arrived and my Mother in Law and Sis in Law came - and we ate and laughed. My oldest, who is a semi truck driver, was in Kentucky the night before and was bound and determined to make it home. The last he texted me on Wednesday night was that he had to shut down in Ohio for the night and waiting to get back hours. (They are very fussy about truck drivers nowadays, or at least the ones that drive for actual logistics companies. They keep track of every second you are on the road, and when it is time to stop, THE TRUCK STOPS. I don't think independent truckers have this issue, but I am not sure if they have the tattle boxes in their cabs or not...) Anyway - he finally arrived in our driveway at 2:30 p.m. after dropping his trailer off at where I work. Dinner was at one p.m., and we were putting stuff away when he got here. He did not care if it was cold. The boy ate! He had seconds! Cold or not, it was Mom's cooking and he was geeked about it all the way from Kentucky. Everyone took food home with them. My daughter and son in law left to go to his parents. My MIL and SIL left to go home, and the boys left to go sleep off the dinner. As we watched the last one drive away, my husband said, "When was the last time we had a Thanksgiving evening alone?" "Um, probably 37 years ago, my Dear!" It was kind of nice, actually. I had my bra off and my jammies on by 5:00 p.m.

On Friday we did our last leaf pick up for the fall season. I did the leaf blowing between out buildings (ok, the 'Walk Of Sheds'...) and my husband did the vacuuming. When the first load was on the burn pile, I started the fire and was keeper of the flame. I should know better than that because when I do that my eyes swell up for a week afterwards. Ugh. It did not help that I used my leaf blower to fan the fire, hence blowing crap everywhere. (I wanted to use up the gas in the leaf blower before putting it away for the season. Really. It has nothing to do with my tendency towards pyromania...) I have been using my allergy eye drops, but yesterday when I looked at the expiration date on the bottle it said 'use by 12/14' - I'm pretty sure I need new allergy eye drops...

I worked all day Saturday. I got my mainframe's OS update to the current version. Only two more things to upgrade before the end of the year. I like checking things off the list of 'to dos' at work. Makes me happy. While I was waiting for a full system back up, I decorated our end of the building for Christmas. You never realize how dirty your work place is until you attempt Christmas decorating.

Sunday the Thanksgiving Day decorations came down and went into storage and we put the Christmas lights up outside. That is always fun. (Hahahaha! I laugh at my own sarcasm.) As my husband was going up and down the ladder, complaining about his legs and back, he asked why we didn't have out son in law do it like we forced him to do it last year. "They didn't stay, silly!" I laughed at him. I also got out the Christmas tree for inside and decorated it. Last night I got the rest up (or at least the ONLY stuff I'm putting out this year). Very festive it is. Very festive indeed. Now we just need snow to make it official and by the sounds of the weather man, that is not going to happen for a while...

November 30, 2017 - I must say, there are times I am so ashamed of our President's actions. Sigh. Would someone take away his Twitter account, PLEASE? I did not associate with people who acted like that in middle school and now it seems even worse when it is a 70+ year old man! Sigh. The turmoil this country is in right now must make for lots of laughs during foreign bar conversations. Sometimes I feel, as a country, we are crumbling into a pile of stupid. Maybe this is how it goes and has gone for millennia - rise, dominate, slide, collapse, fail. Maybe this is how all governments and species and universes go through the circle of life? All things get their 15 minutes of fireworks, but eventually the fire works run out...

Last weekend when we went to breakfast, I wanted to order a pumpkin pancake that was listed on their specials white board. When the waitress came I read from the white board and I said, "I'd like a Pamprin pancake..." I immediately made myself laugh. The waitress said, "Well, I guess a pancake with lots of syrup does have the same effect..." My brain can throw things out there sometimes that humors even me. Speaking of Pamprin, our wee intern dude had a headache and came in to ask if I had Tylenol or something. My one cabinet at work is the "Mom" cabinet with all sorts of things - juice, aspirin, Aleve, vitamins, cough drops, bandaids, etc. I handed him my bottle of Pampin and he started reading the dosage information. I laughed and grabbed it back. "You don't know what Pamprin is, do you?" I explained its main purpose and we both laughed. He took the Aleve instead. Ah, youth! Smile.

I got myself a Minion Stuart Christmas character to go with my Olaf for outside decorations. That wee little dude has been having trouble inflating when the lights come on. We will need to prop him up somehow, especially when we finally get snow. He inflates at an angle. Re-positioning may be required or he is constantly drunk...

topDecember 4, 2017 - December has come in quite balmy, weather wise. I assume it will get colder here very soon, but for now we are all grooving on the mild start to winter. (Now that I stated that in print, it will no doubt bring catastrophic lake effect snow storms...)

The other night I saw Rocko the cat in the dog pen. I thought it was Rocko in the dog pen. I opened the back door and yelled 'KITTY KITTY' very loudly and then heard Rocko behind me in the house. The little critter in the dog pen looked at me with an Elvis lip thing going on and waddled away. It was a opossum! Hahahahaha. NOT ROCKO! He went over to a gap in the wire fence and increased his waddle speed. I ran in to get a flashlight so I could see where he went, but the flashlight I grabbed didn't work. By the time I found a working flashlight the opossum was gone. (Until later, when he was in there AGAIN. I have a bird feeder in the dog pen so no doubt he was just stopping by for a snack.) I say 'he' but I think male opossums are much bigger, so obviously it was a she or a young one. Nonetheless, I hold the record for calling after critters that are not cats. My husband said, "For someone who claims they have 20/20 vision, you eyes SUCK!" Hey, from a distance, lots of things look like cats...

The 'super moon' was this weekend. I couldn't see when it rose (when it is the 'biggest') due to cloud cover but once I got in bed, CRIPES! That think was so bright I had to throw the blanket over my eyes to sleep. Go moon!

The local 'Burg where I live had their Christmas parade on Saturday night. It was fun. I love the lighted floats and fire trucks. The band made me very happy. I could be nearly dead in a ditch somewhere but just have a marching band walk by and I would recover quickly. There was an older lady next to me that was as excited as I was which made it more fun to be so excited so, well - I was excited! It was a lovely night for the parade with the mild temperatures as of late. We had eaten an early supper at the local diner before the parade and walked through the indoor farmer's market where I picked up a few things. After the parade we drove around looking at Christmas lights. It was a nice weekend all in all. Last night I made white chicken chili for supper and later enjoyed the 'dueling flatulence' symphony that took place in bed...

I have one more set of gifts to get for my kids and I'm done shopping for them. I got my husband a new cell phone for his Christmas present on Sunday. (He has a work cell but not a personal cell phone, so he really can't use the work cell phone for anything fun like games and such. Plus he has to leave it with at work for the backup driver to use when he's off for vacation and such.) It took me TWO HOURS to set up that damned phone. My husband just left me alone during the whole process as he knew better than say even one small word with all the things coming out of my mouth. It is an iPhone 6 from Boost Mobil and I cannot see how a normal person who is not in IT could have done this set up on their own. I barely survived. Seriously. Plus I've never dealt with an iPhone before, just Android models, so it was a challenge the whole time I was cussing at the poor phone. I had to downloaded the user manual from Apple and had the support screens up on line for Boost, and FINALLY got the heifer hooked up to service. Ugh. Once the main excitement was over and he was connected to the world, I added the kids and other phone numbers as contacts. He was over there mumbling something about "...Why would I want to connect with my kids?..." or the like, but I noticed several times he DID text his kids yesterday afternoon. He was a happy boy.

December 7, 2017
- Official announcement - IT IS SNOWING. Lake effect, I'm sure, but it is snowing nonetheless. I am secretly happy. I think to myself as I get older the thrill for snow and cold will leave me but deep inside is the Sandy that rejoices. I wonder if I'll ever get over that? Probably not. Yesterday at work I was happy and gleeful and giddy all morning until the sun came out from behind the clouds and lit up my office, then I slumped in my chair and audibly said, "Ugh."  There is something in my DNA that likes the cloudy, morbid winter weather.

I had THREE fillings done on Tuesday night. One was a fixer-upper for a filling that was bad. One was a fix for a bad spot near my gum. Both of those were on my upper left side. My new dentist decided to fill my gaping Colosseum style tooth on the bottom left that I've been putting off having a root canal on for two years. (I explained my hate for root canals and having people in my mouth in general.) He asked if it was sensitive to cold. "No" I said. He tested that. "Is it sensitive to heat?" he asked. "No" I said, and he tested that. "Do you have any, ANY pain in that thing?" he asked. "No sir, I do not!" I replied. He tested that. He said he could try to fill it with some sort of filling since the nerves did not seem to be an issue and if that didn't work and the filling eventually broke, he could do a crown. That took the longest and that is the tooth he started with. I have been filling that tooth with dental wax at night so I don't rip up my tongue FOREVER. I had thought over the years to buy stock in dental wax since I was using so much, but never did... So for two mornings I've gotten out of bed and tried to rip the "wax" out of that tooth only to realize it is a FILLING now. Duh. Anyway, I survived three fillings and didn't even bite anyone's fingers off or panic too much! HURRAY! I have to say I like that new dentist, plus he kept the people I adore from my former dentist which gives me comfort to no end. (Plus the Klonopin didn't hurt any, either...)

December 18, 2017 - It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas but now it is warming up and the snow we have received up until this point will no doubt melt away. It is now beginning to look a lot like a mud wrestling tournament. If we do not have snow for Christmas I am pretty sure considering where I live, we WILL have snow again before spring...

This weekend was my husband's side of the family Christmas. It is always fun. I appreciate his siblings. There were wee children, too - which thrilled me to no end. I think there is a secret 'grandma' gene embedded in every woman that comes comes out after the age of 55 and goes nuts over little kids, making all women over 55 technically creepy old ladies, now that I think about it. (Mind you, that is only if the kids GO HOME after a few hours, then it is all fun and games now, isn't it?) Smile. It was a hoot watching the kids play with their presents. when I handed a present to the little girl, I told her I was Sandy Claus. She stared at me for the longest time. I am sure my beard helped convince her little mind this MAY be true to some degree. Her Mom texted me yesterday saying that they were at a Christmas party and Santa came, and the little girl told her Mom that "That is not the real Santa. The real Santa is Aunt Sandy! She told me!" Yikes. I texted back and told her Min to tell the wee dear that I am just a helper elf on the weekends...

As my children were growing up, I had no issues lying to them about Santa. To me it wasn't a lie, really. It was the magic and thrill and the joy of the Holiday. I wonder if this illusion is something that damages kid's brains? I doubt it. I turned out pretty good and I was a firm believer in Santa (until the year my brother and I found all of our Christmas presents in the attic...)

Friday I had taken a vacation day to bake cookies and make deviled eggs and fruit salad for the Saturday herding. It was a busy day for me. I had the Christmas music just a blaring on my PC while I was baking cookies. Of course, with my stellar three note voice I was singing along loudly. Jake went into the bedroom to hide. I noticed outside the front window that there was a UPS truck and a young driver was hauling up a big box to our house. I had just taken cookies out of the oven and they were still very warm. I shoved two of them in a baggie and flung the door open just after he put the box down by the door (I think I scared him) and said, "I just took these out of the oven! Merry Christmas!!" He took the cookies and said thank you, and walked away kind of dazed. Then halfway down the driveway he turned and yelled, "Have a good day!!" That just added to my happy cookie baking high. It was a fun day, but standing all day made my back hurt. "Poor Sandy" - duh. More like OUT OF SHAPE SANDY!!

In one week it will be Christmas and my husband will be waking the kids up early and we will have cinnamon rolls and open presents. Even as adults, it is a joy to have them all under one roof. They interact so well as siblings that it is a joy for me to just sit back and watch them. Plus, there is the ever popular Uno Christmas Eve game that turns into all the kids discussing where they are going to put me when I complete my transition into dementia. This normally occurs after the fourth or fifth time I try to put a 6 green down on a 9 blue...

December 24, 2017 - Merry Christmas! So far it is a joyous time. I know we are blessed. I never take that fact for granted.

I was telling my husband this morning about lint. When I was 16 or 17, I had a "toy" Christmas. I got a blow up Wendy doll (from the Wendy's restaurant) and a Grover Doll and other kid themed things which I adored, mind you. One of the things I got was a subscription to the Muppet Magazine. One of the articles in the first magazine I got was by Dr. Honeydew and Beaker and it was about lint. Dr. Honeydew explained how only lint can get lint off the lint screen. (Actually, this is true - hahahaha) There were also pictures of all the clothing Dr. Honeydew made for Beaker out of sheets of lint, etc. Anyway - I was telling my husband about this and telling him I always think of that magazine article when I fold clothes which is practically every day. I can't remember where I park half the time, but I can still remember seeing Beaker in a lint shirt...

The kids will all be here today and tonight for Christmas festivities. It is always a hoot when all my kids are under one roof. Their humor gets sharper as they get older and it is very very entertaining. My daughter and son in law came in on Friday afternoon, and we went to breakfast yesterday morning. They then went off to hang out with the brothers until the wee hours of this morning. I assume they will sleep in for a while this morning. Smile. My daughter sent a SnapChat of my son's living room, and there were TVs everywhere and they were all playing a video game together. It looked like a display room at Best Buy. My friend Gloria stopped by last night and brought me a Christmas Gnome in a huge Christmas bag. I adore the gnome. Rocko the Cat found the bag and claimed it as his own. From time to time you can see the bag shaking and here the cat being a cat inside the bag and it tickles me to no end. 

All is Merry and Bright at Sandy's house. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018. I hope we all survive 2018 and I hope a year from how I am wishing you a happy 2019. Now go forth and do good things...

Wetsands Blog

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