A few...okay, a LOT...of pet peeves:
People who get ON the elevator before allowing those needing to exit to get OFF.
People who park their carts smack-dab in the middle of the grocery aisle making it impossible for the rest of us to go around.
A certain feline who insists on pooping in the litter box two minutes after I've cleaned it out. You know who you are.
Lindsay Lohan. Anybody remotely related to the Kardashian family. Snooki. Octomom. Octomom. Octomom.
My complete and utter inability to sing.
My husband's habit of changing the channel to a sports program whenever there's a commercial break for the program we are really watching.
People who talk loudly on their cell phones in waiting rooms.
For some bizarre reason, the blonde "sales person" in the Office Depot television ads. She's cute and yet, I find her repellant.
People who allow their dogs to violate their neighbors' yards.
In public restrooms, the toilet paper that comes in the huge rolls that has to be dispensed sideways, forcing the tissue to come out in a rope.
People who don't wash their hands after using a public restroom.
Restaurants that serve lemon for your iced tea in thin slices, so that when you squeeze them the juice goes all over your fingers.
Dressing rooms with the bright florescent lighting that in no way accentuates the positive.
How bad I am at names. I mean REALLY bad.
Having to wait on repair or service people, and THEN having them in my house.
The way roaches skitter and race around.
Bruises I can't remember getting.
Having my picture taken. There is NO WAY I look like that.
Brides who don't write thank-you notes.
Women who insist on dressing like their teen-aged daughters.
Women whose smooth unblemished facial skin, thanks to Botox and chemical peels and such, doesn't match the wrinkled, blotchy, leathery skin on their necks and upper chests.
The price of gasoline these days.
Grocery shopping. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Stores that put Christmas decorations out when it's still technically summer.
People who monopolize conversations and meetings because they like to hear themselves talk.
Renting a movie only to discover there is no closed captioning.
Reality shows. Hate them, hate them, hate them.
People with no sense of humor.
Tattoos. There is no such thing as a tasteful tattoo.
Child beauty pageants. Sickening.
Wal-Mart. I can't say enough bad things about Wal-Mart. <shudder>
Being a math doofus.
Songs that get stuck in my head.
Blogs like this one.
P. S. I know I will think of ten more as soon as I publish this blog to live.
P. P. S. (added 10/03/13) Justin Bieber. I would love to punch that kid in the throat. Ugh!
A little of this, a little of that...
I've gotten quite a few recipes off Pinterest, and have been trying them out as the mood and taste buds strike. I dumped a chuck roast and various ingredients into a crock pot at 10:30 this morning, and the house smells amazing. It's weird, but I never used my crock pot when I was a taxpaying American (read employed), but now that I'm a kept woman and literally have ALL day to cook up scrumptious gourmet meals from scratch, I've suddenly bought into the merits of slow cooking. If this recipe tastes half as good as it smells, I will post it on Roadkill. (Update: waaaaay too salty. Whooo! It has potential, though, so to paraphrase, I'm not going to throw out the roast with the crock water...yet.)
What is it with brides and thank you notes these days? We've been to two weddings recently and still have yet to receive any kind of acknowledgement for the gifts we sent. I will wait a bit longer, and then employ that old stand-by where I contact the mother and inquire if our gift got delivered. This tactic fools nobody, of course; I might as well just flat out tell her that her bride or bride-in-law has no manners.
When I was in Lubbock a few weeks ago, I got to see the apartment complex my daughter will be moving to in the fall. The complex is brand new, so the girls won't have to put up with grungy carpeting, greasy appliances, or furniture that gives off a funny smell. It's a four bedroom, four bath, fully furnished place. It's right across the street from the football stadium, and next door to the hotel where we like to stay when in town. Here are some photos I took of the model apartment:
During the tour, I got to reflecting on my college years at Texas A&M. Back then, A&M was the fastest growing university in the United States, a distinction it held for a good portion of the 1970's. Dorm space was more valuable than gold, and if you were one of the fortunate few to get a dorm room, like moi, you kept it until you graduated. These days, the prevailing attitude is that if you are living on campus past your first year, there is something seriously wrong with you; and so, since no one wants to tempt social suicide, freshmen start hunting for an apartment or house barely weeks after the beginning of their first semester. Personally, I liked living on campus. I didn't have to deal with driving to class, trying to find a place to park (usually way on the other side of where I needed to be), and I could cat nap in my own bed between classes, instead of sprawling uncomfortably in a chair in the library.
Richard and I worked in the yard last weekend; or rather, he worked and I told him what to do. I don't mind mowing, edging and weed whacking, but getting my hands in the dirt and planting stuff doesn't hold the same appeal. We pulled up the straggly pansies and put in begonias, caladiums, celosias, and two kinds of yellow flowers that are supposed to attract butterflies. The jasmine is blooming, and the crepe mrytle trees appear to have survived their very brutal scalping; Richard sometimes gets a bit too saw-happy when things need pruning. Best of all, we finally got the stupid stump ground up, the ground leveled and sod placed, so it no longer looks like a bomb went off in front of our house.
My kitchen has been looking much like I imagine Enron, WorldCom and Lehman Brothers must have looked in the last days before all hell broke loose. I've been shredding old papers and files for weeks, starting with my parents' tax returns from the 1950's. I thought my mom was a packrat, but apparently so was my dad, at least where important papers were concerned. It was interesting looking at the figures from 60 years ago. My mother, for example, worked full time for one of the Deans at the University of Denver and earned a lousy $1500.00 for an entire year. Her granddaughter can easily make 10% of that in tips in one afternoon working as a cart girl at a local golf course. How times have changed.
The management at my mother's apartment complex sent an email saying that they are having a mandatory K-9 inspection for pest control this week. I have heard of dogs being trained to sniff out pests, but wasn't sure just what they were trained to smell. Roaches? Silverfish? Mice? I Googled it and it seems that it is bedbugs the dogs go after. I'd like to see this canine version of the Orkin man at work, but apparently these dogs are just like their human counterparts in the service industry: they show up anytime between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, go figure. Next, they will be demanding mandatory Milk Bone breaks and health insurance and ten paid holidays a year.
"The sun has riz, the sun has set, and here we is in Texas yet."
I drove to Lubbock the last weekend of March to visit my daughter. Her sorority was hosting a Moms' Weekend, and this sounded like a good excuse to have some bonding time. The wildflowers were out in full force: fields of bluebonnets interspersed with primroses, Indian blankets, Mexican hats, and a curiously named plant with yellow flowers called bastard cabbage. Bastard cabbage is living up to its name; it is ganging up on the bluebonnets and taking over their territory, and the folks at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin are not happy.
It took exactly six hours to make the drive from Dallas to Lubbock, including a quick stop in Eastland for a bite and a fill-up. I've lived in Texas for over 40 years, and it still amazes me how one can drive for hours on end here, even at 75 mph, and not cross state lines. Here are a few facts to keep handy the next time you are at a crashingly boring dinner party and need to liven things up a bit:
Interstate 10 is the fourth longest interstate highway system in the United States. It runs for over 2400 miles (per Wikipedia) and is the southernmost coast-to-coast highway. Approximately 860 (35%) of those miles lie within Texas, connecting the city of Orange on the Louisiana side with El Paso way over on the western end, where it spoons with Mexico. At 75 mph, it would take you 11 1/2 hours to make the trip, with no stops for food or fuel and wearing an adult diaper. Nor would you be able to make side trips to see the Swamp Thing, the World's Third Largest Fire Hydrant (proof that not everything is bigger in Texas), the Muffler Man, or the Rimasaurus (a dinosaur made out of car rims), though why you'd WANT to, I can't imagine.
If you take I-10 from Orange, TX and head east, it is "only" 760 miles to Jacksonville, FL. In other words, Orange is closer to the Atlantic Ocean, four states away, than it is to El Paso. On the other hand, if you head west on I-10, El Paso is closer to the Pacific Ocean than it is to Orange (816 miles).
Vertically, 830 miles connect Brownsville, TX at the very bottom of the state with Perryton, TX in the northern panhandle, just shy of the Oklahoma line. This same distance will take you all the way from Perryton to Bismarck, ND, crossing five states. Another couple hundred miles north and you are in Canada.
Don't let the bastards get you down!
P. S. Mileage given is from Google Maps. No crows were consulted for this blog.
We are just fine, thanks for asking.
The wave of thunderstorms, or "supercells" as the weather people like to call them, made for a pretty intense afternoon in the DFW area yesterday. Usually, tornado watches and warnings are short and sweet; by the time I chase down the cats, it's over, and I'm left with a lot of wasted effort and two very pissed off felines. This time, Mother Nature decided to stay and visit awhile.
I had lunch with a friend and got home about 2:30. The sirens had been going off and it was looking menacing. This is a common enough event in our neck of the woods and nothing ever comes of the theatrics, but my neighbor, having recently moved to Texas from Utah, didn't know this. She came flying out of her house when she saw me pull in the driveway, baby in one hand, dragging her toddler with the other. She asked if she should go pick up her other kids at school. I said no, they were safer there. Then she wanted to know where was the best place to take cover. Ironically, the best place to take cover in a tornado is in a basement, but they don't build basements around here, so unless you are willing to shell out a lot of money for an in-ground storm shelter, an interior bathroom is the best place to be. Unfortunately, she had neither. So I told her I would leave the garage door open and if she got nervous, she was welcome to bring the kids and we'd all hunker down in my bathroom. It would be a tight fit, but back in college, I survived an eight hour car ride from College Station to Lubbock in an old VW bug with two male friends who farted the entire time. Riding out a storm in a bathroom with six other people and two cats would be a piece of cake by comparison.
Phoebe, who is dumb as soup, is easy to pick off and she was the first to be confined. Penny knew something was up and, being the more skittish of the two, it took a good five minutes of feinting and wheedling before I was able to grab her by the scruff. The poor cats remained confined for the better part of two hours until I deemed a personal "all clear" and let them out. I enclosed them in the shower, having learned from past experience that just shutting them up in the bathroom doesn't work; they will turn into hairy Houdinis if you open the door so much as a crack. When I finally let them out, I noticed that one of them, probably Penny, had managed to lift the small metal grate over the shower drain and push it aside. I have a feeling if I had been a few minutes later, one of them, again probably Penny, would have been tunneling her way to China through that drain opening.
I turned the news on in time to see footage of 18-wheelers flying through the air, hail as big as baseballs, whole neighborhoods shredded. All this hell breaking loose around me, and it was just as calm as it could be where I was. And I do mean CALM. Not even a breeze to stir the leaves on the trees. Even when it started raining buckets, it stayed calm. If it wasn't for the news, I would have thought it was just a spring shower, the kind that April is so famous for.
My husband texted to say he and his co-workers were huddled in the stairwell; three times they were evac'ed to the stairs. My older son, bless his heart, was in the middle of a job interview, which is nerve-wracking enough, when he had to take refuge in a stairwell. Of all of us, he was the closest to an actual tornado. He said he thought his interview went well despite the interruption, and joked that maybe they will give him points for showing grace under pressure. (Update: he got the job!)
Other than a thorough soaking, something we needed anyway, we were spared that other stuff. Phoebe has forgiven me, probably because she's forgotten all about it, poor simple-minded cat. But Penny...well...just take a gander at the photo below. I am obviously numero uno on her enemies list. Believe me, it is not easy typing this while she perches just above my head staring at me with those laser eyes and plotting my messy demise.
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