I cannot believe I've let three months go by. Worse, I don't have any real excuse except sheer laziness and a major case of writer's block. Mostly the former. So, here's another installment of Potpourri until something interesting happens.
James Russell Lowell once asked, "And what is so rare as a day in June?" Well, us denizens of north Texas got something even rarer: three...count 'em...THREE consecutive days in July with high temps in the upper 70's/low 80's. And on one of those days it RAINED. We dumped a good inch out of the rain gauge. What a gift that was.
A bit of advice: never EVER purchase a new computer and a new smart phone at the same time; it is more than your brain and stress-levels can stand, trying to set up and sync everything. After ten days, I think I have finally found tech nirvana. There...I probably just went and jinxed it.
My side of the family is growing again. We added another baby, a little cousin (my oldest first cousin's grandchild), born on July 15 in Washington state. We have two more hatchings due later this summer, also cousins. By the end of August, my aunt, my dad's sister, will have nine great-grandchildren on her family tree.
A good part of the reason I have been so bad about writing these little missives has to do with television. Richard and I have been boob tube fiends for the past few months, watching marathons of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Halt and Catch Fire. We're now into Friday Night Lights. Our evenings go something like this:
Richard: We've got time to watch a couple of episodes before bed.
Richard (after we've watched the two episodes): Wanna watch one more?
Richard (after the third episode is over): Want some popcorn?
Richard: (after the fourth episode is finished): ONE more.
Me: Go make some more popcorn. And don't forget the butter this time.
I got so enthralled in the world of Westeros on Game of Thrones, that I fired up my Kindle and started reading the books. The first three books were pretty good, and I liked how they cleared up some of the confusing story lines in the screen version. I'm now about half way into the fifth book and I must admit I'm starting to get bored. George R. R. Martin, the author, has the worst case of keyboard diarrhea I've ever seen. He drones on and on and on. I'm convinced he has no intention of bringing the story to an end. If there is an ending, he had better hurry; his age and extreme obesity could be problematic.
Yep, I DID jinx myself. Excuse me while I try to fix things on my phone for the umpteenth time.
I'm back, but I won't say I fixed it because of the jinx thing. My kids' generation wouldn't understand it, but there was a time when people crippled along just fine without PCs and cell phones. Now, if the computer dies it's, like, half my brain just died with it. Or, if I'm out running errands and realize I've left my cell phone behind, I will stress out from worrying how I'll contact Richard if I'm in a fender-bender, or I have a flat somewhere. I've actually turned around and driven home to get it because it's not worth driving with that worry nagging at me. Progress can be a real pain in the rear sometimes.
Well, it's late and this little creative burst has pooped out. At least I got a blog, poor as it is, out of it. Hopefully the next installment won't take three months to post.
Lazy cat GIF: http://giphy.com/gifs/bxPnpFoYphgYM
George R. R. Martin: http://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/george-rr-martin
I have been negligent...again. Sheer laziness + nothing really interesting to report = no blog. BUT, wait long enough and one can accumulate plenty of nothingness. So, like Seinfeld was a show about nothing, here is a blog about nothing.
My last entry was dated March 4. Shortly after that, I landed in bed with my first ever case of the flu. The doctor diagnosed type B, which I think means my flu was only state university material, not an ivy leaguer type A. I was sent home with a prescription for Tamiflu which I dutifully took, but not convinced really helped. I was in bed for the whole of spring break, and then spent the next week tottering about like an old lady. Apparently, I am quite entertaining while under the combined effects of fever and Nyquil, tho' I don't remember any of that, really. Memo to self: get a flu shot in the fall.
Paige spent her spring break shivering in Destin, FL. Brent moved to Louisiana. Mitch worked.
Have you ever had a song worm its way into your brain and refuse to go away? A friend on Facebook shared a YouTube link to Johnny Russell's "Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer." I must have two-stepped to this song a hundred times in college, and haven't thought about it since. That is until Pete shared that damn link and I just HAD to go and click on it for old-time's sake. It's nearly impossible to do anything that requires a modicum of concentration when you have a sound track weaving an endless loop through your head. In the interest of spreading the misery, I invite you to click on the link below:
My husband spent a weekend in Lubbock visiting our daughter, so while he played beer pong and tried to re-live his college daze, I took advantage of his absence to give the kitchen a thorough spring cleaning. It's easier to do things like this when he's not around to gripe ("You do this stuff just to annoy me"), or block my attempts to de-clutter the cupboards of warped plastic containers ("Why are you hell-bent on throwing out half the things we own?") I forgot about the cats or I would have packed them and their litter box off to Lubbock, too. Penny wasn't too bad because she's easily spooked by anything out of the ordinary, so she mostly watched from the fringes. But Phoebe cannot resist shedding copious amounts of cat hair in drawers that I've just wiped down, or crawling to the farthest corners of the cupboards where I can't reach her to haul her out by the scruff (and she knows this). Despite the feline nuisance, it was like Christmas dragging out junk I had forgotten I had...which gives you some idea of how long it has been since the last time I really cleaned. I threw out a lot of things I haven't used in years, which means if past experience holds, that in about two weeks I will suddenly find uses for those things that eluded me the previous five or ten years.
Back to the Lubbock trip, Richard must have had fun. I received a text one evening that said, "The girls here are insanely beautiful." Five minutes later came another: "I want my sons to marry Tech girls." I texted Paige to tell her that she needed to look after her dad, that he was used to 40 wattage at home, and I was afraid being surrounded by 100 wattage was going to blow his circuits.
Yesterday we decided the time had come for our annual spring flower planting, so off we go, my husband and I, to the nursery. An hour later we were home again, sans flowers and extremely po'ed at each other.
I wanted celosias, petunias, geraniums and zinnias in shades of red and pink. Richard, on the other hand, wanted begonias. I think begonias are ugly. They are nothing but lots of leaves with a tiny dot of color in the middle. Richard favors them because they are heat resistant and don't require a lot of water. Also, I believe a flower bed should be all one color for the most visual impact; he sees nothing wrong with mixing things up. Once again, my dreams of eye-popping color crashed and burned on his fields of boring practicality. In the meantime, we have beautiful beds of dirt to look at.
If you shop in stores that sell tobacco or alcohol, then surely you've seen the signs that warn they will card you if you appear to be under a certain age. At first it was 25, but the age limit has been steadily creeping up over the years until today, while checking out at Walgreen's, the sign says, "WE ID UNDER 40". If you are 48 and get carded, that's a compliment, but not so much if you are 30. Give it another five years and they will be carding everyone under 60.
Richard and I went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for dinner tonight. Our waiter was one of those over-zealous types that practically snatches your fork right out of your hand while clearing the table. As usual, Richard finished first. The waiter swooped in, took his plate and cutlery AND our basket of chips and both tubs of salsa. I would have protested at the chip-napping except my mouth was full and my reflexes dulled from the margarita. Less than a minute later, Richard's glass is heading for the dishwasher. At this point, I put my plate on the empty stretch of bench next to me and started eating from under the table, which embarrassed my husband no end (I was still mad about the flowers). And every time the waiter came within five feet of our table, I clamped my hand around my margarita glass so Mr. Grabby-fingers couldn't take it. I was like a hyena trying to protect its share of the kill from the other hyenas.
I promised a blog about nothing and I think I delivered on that promise.
Running on empty,
I got invited to a baby shower. When I saw who the mother-to-be is, my first thought was: Hell no, I won't go. You see, I'm still waiting on a thank you note for the wedding gift we sent four years ago. And yes, I can carry a grudge.
When six months went by and no acknowledgement, I asked the bride's mother-in-law to ask Miss No Manners if our gift was received. It was. I thought that might embarrass the bride into a writing a thank-you note. It didn't.
So now I am faced with purchasing another gift that will probably never be formally acknowledged. A part of me is a little ashamed that I would "punish" the baby; it's not the kid's fault his mother is uncultured. The other sticking point is that I really like the grandparents-to-be (the mama's in-laws), who are two of the most generous and classy people I know.
I told Richard that I might slip in a box of thank-you notes with the baby gift. Shoot, I'll even write the note to myself, and address and stamp the envelope, but Richard said to let it go. He is such a killjoy.
In other news, I spent this past weekend in Lubbock for my daughter's sorority's moms' weekend. The weather was gorgeous --- a bit windy, a tad chilly --- but sunny and cloudless. Two other moms and I hit town Friday afternoon, and left just before noon on Sunday. By the time we got home to Dallas around 6:00 PM, Lubbock was bracing itself for a blizzard. Another example of the old Texas saying if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. I can't believe I missed all the fun and games. The airport shut down, the interstates were closed, and the cattle that we'd seen peacefully grazing in the sunshine as we headed east were now miserable huddles of frozen, snowblinded beef on the hoof. Tech threw in the towel and cancelled classes --- a fact we were informed of via a 4:45 AM phone call from the university, which initially scared the crap out of Richard. (In my case, I have never had the pleasure of that particular heart-stuttering experience. Sometimes being deaf ain't all bad.)
While Paige and her roommates made the weather an excuse to celebrate a long weekend, Mitch was snowed in in Denver, forcing him to miss work on Monday. He didn't land in Dallas until midnight Tuesday morning. I asked my other kiddo, Brent, if Lawton, OK had any snow and he said no --- which I find hard to believe when the Texas panhandle, which is due west of Lawton, was under 4 - 6' drifts in some parts. I was hoping, as the storm system moved towards Big D, that it would dump some of that pretty white stuff on us, but it veered north instead. I swear Dallas has some kind of force field that repels snowstorms.
Anyway, during my visit to Lubbock, Paige and one of her roommates, Chelsea, invited me and Chelsea's mom, Mendy, to their apartment for 'ritas and appetizers. Mendy and I thought this was a lovely gesture on our girls' part until we found out that they were merely providing the space; WE were expected to purchase the food and prepare it. Chelsea, as it turned out, is pretty handy in the kitchen, and she made the jalapeno poppers in the picture below. Paige, however, had a tough go of it trying to mash the ranch dressing mix into the cream cheese and text at the same time. She is studying to become a registered dietician and already I am worried that she is not up to the task.
Zeta Tau Alpha Moms' Weekend Afternoon "Tea"
Looks pretty good, doesn't it? And it was so easy to prepare. The menu included: artichokes with Italian dressing, Parmesan Frenchies (the moldy looking stuff on the colorful plate), smoked salmon crudites, cream cheese topped with Pickapeppa Sauce (not shown) and served with crackers, chips and salsa (not shown) and homemade jalapeno poppers. I couldn't believe it when I saw Chelsea preparing the peppers --- cutting, seeding and removing the ribs --- with her bare hands. The recklessness of youth! I learned a painful lesson years ago to wear gloves when I accidentally rubbed my eye after handling the little suckers.
Well, I need to get some beauty sleep as I am heading to Lawton, OK in a few hours to help Brent move back to Dallas. He's bunking with us temporarily before he is due to report to Ft. Polk, Louisiana. I know he is going to be very glad to see Oklahoma receding in his rear view mirror.
Baby feet: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Tasa_
I don't know how those other bloggers do it. They never seem to run out of stuff to write about, while I struggle to find something, anything, to share with my reader(s). When I started this blog, it was never my intention to comment on the news of the day. I hate politics, and the last time I glued myself to the news channels was on September 11, 2001. (Before that it was Princess Diana's death.) I didn't even watch coverage of the Newtown, CT shootings. It's not that I didn't care, but I don't like wallowing in images of tragedy and personal suffering. Besides, there are enough talking heads and writers and celebrities giving their views on everything from Obamacare to gun control to the Kardashians that you don't need my perspective.
Still and all, I sometimes wonder if I should change tactics and become another pundit for the sake of getting more blogs written.
So, I'm back to a little of this, a little of that just so the first month of 2013 doesn't pass me by.
Let's see...Richard and I are in the middle of our annual new year's diet. He is doing much better than me. We don't own a bathroom scale, so it's hard to judge how many pounds we've lost, but the clothes are a tad looser and the mirror is a bit more forgiving. The reason we don't own a bathroom scale is because a certain little girl discovered how much fun it was to jump up and down on the old one and watch the numbers swing wildly. She broke it and I never bothered to replace it.
That little girl is all grown up, now, of course. She cut her winter holiday short and drove back to Lubbock and Texas Tech on January 2, a full two weeks before classes started. Part of me was glad to see her go, while another part was slightly insulted. But she's happy with her life out on the west Texas plains, and we're happy our money is happy, so everyone is happy and it's all good.
By contrast, my 2nd Lt. hates southwest Oklahoma and finds any excuse to come home. He won't even take the time to change out of his uniform, and arrives on our doorstep in camos and boots. I keep telling him to bloom where he's planted, but it seems the soil must be very poor in Lawton. This coming weekend he is heading to Lubbock to visit his sister. It's going to be interesting to see how this Aggie military man fits in with the frat scene at Tech.
Richard and I are going through college football withdrawal. We suffer through this every year, even when we are coming off a complete stinker of an Aggie football season, but it's worse this time. This past season was one for the ages: an 11 - 2 record, a Heisman Trophy winner, bragging rights over Alabama, a statement win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, and finishing out in the top five in the football polls. It doesn't get much better than that. Speaking of the Cotton Bowl, check out some pictures below:
My women's club had their annual fundraiser, Pistols and Pearls, earlier this month. The money raised is used to fund scholarships at J. J. Pearce High School. Besides an amazing live and silent auction, and fantastic BBQ provided by Woody B's (their smoked salmon is to die for, and I'm not partial to salmon), we played several rounds of that old stand-by, Bingo. My friend, Juliana, who was sitting across from me won the last game, the black-out version, with a $500.00 cash prize. I told her later that it was very unfair of the Bingo Fairy not to flick a little of her Bingo dust my way, while she was busy hovering over Juliana and dousing her.
Back in December, my husband's company held their annual holiday party. We (whoopee) won a $25.00 gift certificate to a local restaurant. Because it's considered income, paltry as it may be, Richard had $5.00 withheld from his paycheck to pay taxes on the damn thing. In light of that, I was glad we didn't win the iPad they raffled off that night. The gubmint sure takes the fun out of things.
My grandcat, Tito Paquito, survived his first semester living with four sorority girls. And it seems they've managed to keep him under the radar. My daughter loves cats but is not too partial to Teets, calling him a name not suitable for printing in a family-oriented publication. Here's his latest mugshot:
We had a wonderful visit with Mitch and his lovely girlfriend, Courtney. They are still in the midst of a long-distance romance (Dallas/Denver), but they seem to be dealing with it with good grace. We met them last night at a local Mexican restaurant, Casa Milagro, for 'ritas and 'tizers. It was nice to be able to sit down, just the four of us, and talk and visit and get to know Courtney a bit better. After they left to meet friends for dinner, Richard got a little emotional, probably a side effect of one too many drinks, and said how much he liked her and hoped it all worked out for them. Me, I hope it works out before they both go broke from paying for plane fares.
And what do you know, another blog written. Hooray for me!
A little more of a little of this, a little of that...
We have been on the road every weekend for the last seven weekends, plus a mid-week journey to Lawton, OK in September. By my husband's calculations, we tripped the light fantastic some 4650 miles, not counting just plain running around once we got to our destinations. (For example, while in Gulf Shores, we had to make a 22 mile round trip every time we went into town for supplies or dinner.) If you add to that trips to College Station and Lubbock in August, it's another 1000 miles. I have no desire to know how many gallons of irreplaceable fossil fuel we burned, or how much that cost us at an average of $3.50 a pop. Here's our tour schedule:
2012 -- Old Farts Whirled Tour -- 2012
Richard did most of the driving while I fiddled with the a/c (70% of the time), slept or zoned out (remaining 30%). Richard also managed to get pulled over on three separate occasions, and each time got off with a warning. The first time was in Oklahoma for having a burned out light bulb, see picture above, which we keep forgetting to get fixed. The second time was for driving FIVE MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT (limit was 70) outside Jacksboro, TX. The third, and hopefully final time, was last night, again for speeding (12 miles over) near Jewett, TX. The cop was sitting on the other side of Highway 79 as we zipped past. Even before the lights began flashing, I knew we were doomed. I'm still amazed he managed to talk himself out of that one.
Thankfully, we aren't going anywhere for the next three weekends, which will be a relief for our poor car. And our cats, who know they are being ditched when they see the suitcases hauled out, or the coolers filled. Besides, getting up at 3:00 AM to hit the road by 5:00 gets old very quickly.
A young Aggie couple we know is getting married the end of November. The invitation arrived in the mail last week and it very clearly says formal attire. I wasn't sure if the bride really meant formal as in tuxes and gowns, or if this was her way of insuring that no one shows up at her wedding wearing anything less than a suit or dress.
We have been appalled at what some people seem to consider appropriate wedding attire. I will never forget seeing a man in shorts and flip-flops. His female companion was better dressed, but only just; she wore cropped pants and Crocs. This was a nice wedding and I almost went over there and said, "Are you poor or are you stupid?" Stupid, I should think. Even poor people can manage a dress and a cheap suit. And it's not just weddings that seem to bring out the worst dressed in people, funerals are another. I've seen folks show up looking like they'd been shopping at Wal-Mart. At the last service I attended, I felt I'd overdone it in my black and grey dress with a black blazer and black heels.
Anyway, at our tailgate yesterday I cornered Brittany, the bride-to-be, to get the lowdown on what she meant by formal attire. I was glad I asked because now I've got to corral Richard into getting fitted for a tux. Fortunately, I have a formal gown. Unfortunately, it's been a few years since I last wore it, and I'm not sure it fits anymore. Since I don't want to spend the money on another one-and-done outfit, especially so close to the holidays, it will be an impetus to lose a few pounds.
Being prone to teasing, something I inherited from my dad, I told Brittany I thought a baby-blue tuxedo with a frilly ruffled shirt and navy cumberbund and bow tie would be awesome. She didn't crack so much as a smile. She either has no sense of humor, or one is not allowed to poke fun when it comes to her wedding. Like the signs that tell you not to joke about guns and bombs while going through airport security.
Speaking of dress, Brent drove in from Lawton last Friday night to go to the Aggie game with us on Saturday. He showed up at the door at 7:30 PM still wearing his camos and boots. Poor guy was so anxious to get out of Oklahoma, he didn't even take the time to change his clothes for the drive home. Still and all it was cool to see him decked out in uniform, and he wears it so well.
Paige turned 20 on Saturday. One more year and she will be truly legal, not that being underage has ever stopped her, or her brothers, from stepping over the line.
Mitch's girlfriend was in town over the weekend, and the two of them spent Friday at the state fair, the same day Big Tex, the iconic giant man who has greeted fair visitors for 60 years, burned to death. Authorities believe the fire was started by an electrical short, but I have my suspicions. You ask me, I think the people who invent all the crazy fair food from fried butter to fried Coke and even fried bubblegum, got together and said, "Hey! Let's fry Big Tex!" "Oops!"
Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Burning man: http://interactives.kxan.com/photomojo/gallery/4757/1/iconic-bix-tex-burns/bix-tex-burns/
Traumatized kiddos: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021581663
Body bag: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021581663
Whelp, here it is, the middle of July. It's the annual summer malaise, and I have been truly and awfully bad about blogging lately. I did post a couple of Roadkill recipes, so I wasn't completely negligent, but those don't really count. There's just something about the good ol' summertime that brings out the lazy, hazy, crazy side of me. On second thought, eliminate crazy. It's just lazy and hazy around here.
I wish I could say we've spent the past month traveling in Europe or cruising the Mediterranean, but we've been sticking close to home. Come August, we will hit the ground running, and it will be a busier than usual fall.
Our daughter is home from college, of course. She wasn't home five minutes when she announced that she wished she was back in Lubbock. After spending the better part of a week trying to assimilate her junk into the general ebb and flow of the house, I was ready for her to leave, too.
Our younger son graduates from Texas A&M next month. He also commissions as a 2nd lieutenant on the same day, so we are headed en masse to College Station in a few weeks. For reasons I'm not very clear on (and it's probably best it stays that way), he has to move out of the house he's renting at the end of this month to go live in an RV until graduation. Trust me, after seeing the house, living in an RV will be a step up.
My only experience with RV'ing dates back to a ninth grade trip to New Orleans and a speech and debate tournament. The father of one of the girls owned an RV and generously offered to help caravan our nerd troop to NOLA. Naturally, EVERYONE wanted to ride in the RV, but there were too many of us to fit, so we had to take turns. I remember us kids sitting in the back around a large table, our adult chaperones in the captains chairs up front. To coin a pun, we drove Mr. Haggard (I kid you not, that was his name, and by the time the trip was over, he looked it, too), owner and chauffeur, crazy with our requests for pit stops. He would point out that there was a fully rigged bathroom on board and to use it, but there was no way we were going to use the onboard facilities. What if, despite the roar of the engine and the thrum of the tires, your friends could hear the tinkle in the bowl? What if, God forbid, you had to go number 2 and the smell escaped? One boy, Ted, finally did muster up the courage to use the toilet, and I remember we sat and giggled, guys and girls alike, while Ted did his business (or pretended to) just behind the accordion door. We were SO mature. (Ted, bless his heart, was working as a roughneck on an oil derrick one summer between college semesters, when he was accidentally struck in the head and killed. It was my first time ever to attend a funeral. It was an open casket and I remember being upset because his hair wasn't "right".)
As I type this, the older kiddo is 35,000 miles up in the sky on his way to Denver to visit his girlfriend. They met at a wedding in March, exactly four months and three days ago; he was a groomsman, she was a bridesmaid. They dated for two months until she graduated from SMU and had to head back home for an internship. This will be the first time they've seen each other, and I kidded him that I hoped the reunion goes well, that after two months apart, they aren't both going to go "OMG, what was I thinking?"
I will try to be better about blogging. No promises, tho'.
Lazily and hazily,
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.
My husband is hosting his poker group tonight, so...a little of this and a little of that:
It's a good bet I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel when I start a blog with "a little of this and a little of that". Either my life is more mundane than usual, or I just don't have the wit to write a lengthy blog on one subject. Probably both.
Paige slammed her hand in the door and broke her pinky finger, see picture above. Apparently, in the rush to teach her all the things mothers are supposed to teach their offspring like 1) there is no such thing as a five second rule, or 2) don't use your brother's toothbrush on the dog, I failed to tell her to remove her hand from the door jamb before slamming the door shut. Nor, it seems, did I do a good job clarifying what I meant by splinting her finger. When she texted me that picture, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I knew I was going to kick myself for getting on Facebook. I resisted the temptation for years and then, when I succumb in a moment of weakness, Zuckerberg and Company decide to launch Timeline. I didn't have a chance to figure out how the old Facebook worked before getting slapped with this new version.
I sent an email to New Jersey governor Chris Christie protesting his decision to honor the late Whitney Houston by flying the flags at half-staff. This gives a whole new meaning to the term "lowering the bar". If this keeps up, then the passing of an American president or a soldier's ultimate sacrifice will soon be meaningless. What a repugnant move on the part of the governor. It's been a long while since I've been so riled up over something in the news. I think Octomom's litter was the last time I had a hankering to hit somebody.
Who the hell names their kid Chris Christie?
In the wake of recent stories about UPS and FedEx package drivers who need anger management classes; yesterday, I received a package for my older son that looked like it had been in a wrestling match between a couple of grizzly bears. Because he travels so much with his job, Mitch arranged to have the merchandise delivered to the house instead of his apartment. This was his polite way of saying, "Because you have a boring life, you are always home and don't get to do the kinds of exciting things I get to do". It turned out to be some clothes, nothing breakable, but just how in the heck the box wound up in that condition is beyond me. Later, when I went to dump the emptied box in the trash, I found Phoebe curled up inside it taking a nap. What is it with cats and boxes?
The mayflies are back. I don't know why they are called mayflies. Februaryflies would be more apt. They look like mosquitoes on steroids, but they don't bite or sting. Their sole purpose in life is to annoy the hell out of people whose homes they fly into. For several weeks, you can't escape them and then, all of a sudden, Poof! they are gone, much like Richard's money when he plays poker.
Since when did it become necessary to answer so many questions while going through the grocery store check-out line? Paper or plastic? Do you have a courtesy card? Would you like to apply for a store credit card and get 10% off? Were you able to find everything all right? (Is it just me, or is this a dumb question to ask at the end of the shopping trip?) Would you like to donate a dollar to psoriasis awareness? Do you need help taking your purchases to your car? Sometimes, even the little electronic doo-dad I scan my card through gets in on the action to inquire if I want it all on the card? I'm not sure what it is asking me. Do I get to pick the items I want to pay for and get the rest for free? I loathe shopping and by the time I get to the check-out line, my only goal in life is to get home, and how's that going to happen when I'm in jail charged with choking the clerk in a moment of insanity?
Luby's used to be a really good place to eat. It was cheap, the food was good, not great, but good, and the portions ample. Then they had to go and fix what wasn't broken. They brought in a waitstaff whose job, it appears, is to say hello and bring you the ketchup if you request it. Of course, they are working for a tip, but I refuse to tip them, and why should I? I stood in line. I pushed my tray. I put my drink together: glass, ice, tea, lemon. I carried said tray to the table and I unloaded it. In short, I did all the work. (When my mother is with me, I do the work for two.) They should be tipping me. Is it just a coincidence or did the prices dramatically go up when they hired the ketchup staff?
While waiting to get my mother's drug stash refilled at my local Walgreen's pharmacy the other day, I noticed they have the most asinine security set-up ever. There's a long, open check-out bay with a couple of cash registers on a counter that comes about hip-high on me. Immediately to the left of this open area is a steel door with reinforced glass and the kind of digital door lock employees use to punch in the super secret entry code, like 1-2-3-4. Really, they think some hopped-up addict jonesing for a fix and toting a gun is going to try to hack his way through the security door, when there's a counter he can vault over? All I can say is, if he does manage to get the door open, I hope he remembers to remove his hand from the jamb before slamming it shut.
Yes, I know. I've been bad about blogging. Again. My problem is that my life is not exciting enough to write about everyday, or even every week. The fact that it's been more than a month since the last blog tells a lot. Plus, I got busy with Christmas and having a houseful of kids again.
I did what I swore I would never do and got a Facebook page. I was in a weak moment and as is often the case with these kinds of moments, you live to regret them. Already, I'm considering ditching my account, but I'll stick it out a bit longer.
As of this writing, I have 64 friends. Unlike my daughter who probably doesn't know half of her FB "friends" (she has close to 1400), I can honestly say that I know and like these people, and am interested in their lives UP TO A POINT. Meaning, I'm interested in the important stuff, but I don't need to know that the dog threw up or that it's raining or how tired they are. It's obvious some folks are incapable of having a random thought synapse through their heads without running to the computer to let the rest of us know about it. To you I say, GET OVER YOURSELVES. That being said, one could point out that my blogs are just another form of FB status updates, only longer.
I got a webcam for Christmas. The idea was to be able to Skype with my daughter every now and then. The two of us did a test run before she left to go back to school and the experience wasn't what I imagined it would be.
First, the video, or whatever it is of me in the corner, is just a split second off of real time. I can actually see myself blink because of the time lapse and for some reason, I found this hugely entertaining. Also, disturbing.
Secondly, the video and the audio don't quite match up. Being just this side of stone deaf, I rely on lip-reading to communicate and this was a lip-reader's version of playing a 45 RPM record at 33 speed. My daughter tried slowing down her speech, but that only made it worse. Plus, she looked retarded. Fortunately, there is a texting function and we used that instead of attempting a real conversation, which would have gone something like this, from my perspective, anyway:
PAIGE: Goudhhhh cheeewwwwww.
PAIGE: Ahhhhhh ssszzzzzzzzzzzzzz goudhhhh cheeewwwwww
ME: Come again?
ME: Watch your language.
At least I can see her while she busily types what she has to say. In the meantime, I watch myself blink.
A little of this and a little of that:
Several weeks ago, we had a rainstorm. There must have been some freakishly high winds because half of the big tree in our front yard went down. Thankfully, it had the consideration to fall away from the house and not on it, but the street was completely blocked until we were able to set some chain saws on the thing. We are now left with an ugly stump, no shade, and big gouges in the grass. On the plus side, there will be a lot fewer leaves to rake this year.
Paige's boyfriend date gave her a diamond necklace for her birthday last month. He was the one who "surprised" her with Penny the cat. I was glad to see that John is no longer giving live animals for gifts.
Speaking of animals, Paige texted to say that she is now the proud owner of a betta fish, those beautiful fish with the flowy fins that have to be kept separated so they don't fight. She named him Themis, a word that has something to do with her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. When I asked who was taking care of Themis while she's home for Thanksgiving, she said she'd stick him in a cup holder during the drive to Dallas. It's obvious Themis was an impulse buy, and for his sake it's a very good thing she's not flying home.
Our older son is finally moved out and living the bachelor life. I took him to Ikea to buy a new bedroom suite. I had never been to Ikea before and boy, was that an experience. The place is huge and is set up in such a way that unless you are a frequent shopper and know the store's layout, you are forced to walk through the entire thing from entrance to exit. It's like being in the Wizard of Oz, but instead of a yellow brick road and helium-sucking Munchkins, there are arrows on the floor and surly sales people to guide you on your way. From a marketing view it's smart; I'll bet lots of customers wind up buying more junk than they intended to, but at one point, I was beginning to wonder if we'd EVER get out of there, that maybe Mitch and I were doomed to spend the rest of our lives following those arrows in an endless circle and subsisting on the Swedish meatballs they sell there.
I'm seriously thinking of putting the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. We will not be having turkey day at our house this year, so it won't matter if things are a mess next week. The trick is convincing my husband that this is a good idea.
I often joke that in my next life, I am coming back as my FIL's cat. That animal is the most spoiled rotten feline in the history of the world. Pepe gets fed four different things everyday: chopped cooked shrimp, chopped chicken, dry cat food and wet cat food. The chicken has to be bought from Target because apparently Pepe doesn't care for the rotisserie chicken at the local supermarket, too salty or some such thing. Our two kitties have to rough it with IAMS dry food everyday of their lives, poor things.
When the Aggies played Kansas State last Saturday, the men in my life wouldn't let me sit down and watch the game with them on the TV. They are convinced that I bring the team bad luck because it seems that as soon as I take a step into the den with them and their precious TV, the Aggies fumble, get a penalty, or get their ball intercepted. I didn't watch so much as a down that entire game and they still managed to lose. Actually, I don't like watching A&M play on TV. It's stupid, but I feel I have more control over the team's fate when I'm there live.
My husband was in Boston on business last week. The last time the both of us were there, we found this little hole-in-the-wall Italian place called Giacomo's on Hanover Street that served us a meal we couldn't stop talking about for weeks. Isn't it funny how the hole-in-the-wall places often have the best food? Anyhow, I told Richard he needed to go back there and have their butternut squash ravioli with asparagus and prosciutto in a mascarpone cheese cream sauce. He went and he did. He even texted me a picture of the dish on his cell phone. The low light and bad resolution made it look more like cat barf, but I appreciated that he tried. (Sorry folks - I looked, but couldn't find a website to link to, just reviews.)
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