Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's only Monday and already it's way too interesting...

The older I get, the harder it is for me to deal with phone calls.  Oh, I love getting them, I just have trouble making them.  This morning I had to Deal With The Bank, and change my debit card, because the wind apparently shifted at one point and just to be sure, they issued me a new card, which I had to activate on the phone.  I hate this.

I did just fine with the card itself, and then it came to date of birth,  Now I should know this, right. I looked at what was the expiration date and it looked like a good birth date (my husband's actually) so I started in on that, suddenly realizing it wasn't mine at all and I had no idea what mine was.

So I hung up and started over.  This time we got allll the way to the end,  I was still sitting upright, even remembered my password.   Then I had a nap.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I feel like I'm chasing cats ( 6WS)

I feel like I'm chasing cats
that refuse to come in at dark.
Every inducement falls flat
and there is no special food,
no honeyed tone or stern command,
to force a cat--or a poem--
to come when called.
You have to wait it out
listen for the scratch at the door
that says, it's cold, it's raining,
let me in.
And sometimes
leaving it out all night
in the dark
is the only thing that works.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

monday, monday

Two weeks ago  Monday was a party at a cousin's house,  an all-out, catered, band-playing celebration for a son who just got his PHD in one of the nuclear sciences (and that is as close as I can get to it)--it was an outdoor party, replete with a food tent, the band, local caterers,  the honored son, 100 or so of their closest friends and relatives, and rain.

No one seemed to mind.  The six grandkids, all under the age of 5, had a wonderful time running and running and running...the band, all over the age of 60, had a wonderful time playing and playing and playing for well over 6 hours straight...

Before we left home I debated if maybe a heavy sweater might be too much, and brought along a felt jacket too, just in case it got chilly.  lol.  I don't think it  got much above 40 all day.  We all huddled in the tent with the heater until the band cranked up and then we all  huddled a bit further away.

By six o'clock I had consumed three cheeseburgers,  at least six bakery cupcakes (the kind with the GOOD icing), and little else.  I could no longer feel my fingers, and my husband, mr. "I love the cold weather" finally admitted he was actually cold too.  It rained harder.  But it was fun, and I'd not have missed it for the world.   =)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Last year, closets; this year, books (6WS)

Cleaning out, one bit at a time.
All the books I've read but will never read again
all those books I got three pages into  and put back on the shelf;
books on gardening, national parks, philosophy
and gruesome murders--as with the 48 year old
wedding stuff, if I didnt like it on the first read, time has not improved
the flavor.  I would love to do away with the Autocad 2000
manuals, the Win ME and Win 98 books, but that's not my
province, and Im sure he'd notice.
As a bonus (in a way) Im finding books I don't recall reading
and want to see if I like it enough to keep.  Im accumulating
enough books on the 'to be read' shelf to take me through
an entire year.
I'll let the Salvation Army decide what to do about Longfellow's
Collected works....


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Scary, scary

Earlier today in a fit of "let's clean house" in here I hit the  google browse button and deleted all my browsing history.  All of it. 20K citations.  What I didnt realize was that meant all of my passwords to anything and everything.

I got in a spitting contest with Blogger wherein I would enter my password and they would say, oh, I don't THINK so...and then ask me to create a new password, send me a verification letter and then tell me my passwords didn't match.

(cue sobbing in background).  After a half hour of this I started checking other sites and sure enough not a single password was working.  Some were easy, some I am still trying to figure out.  Went into Blogger Help, finally, and got an old password to work, and presented the problem there.  I don't know if it was a glitch on both our parts or not, but suddenly the password (lol whatever it is) is working and Im in.  By tomorrow, who knows.

It shouldnt matter that much, but it does. After this many years,  it becomes a part of who I am. As your blogs are a part of you.

Pardon me, I think I shall go have a lie down and then try to get the damn cat in.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Yahoo not...

It would appear that Yahoo is being swallowed by Verizon. In thinking back, it was almost inevitable this would happen, as the company  for years has been shrinking its services, shortchanging its customers, and now is basically dumping us.
I have no idea what to do.

Flick'r has 222 of my photos.  I don't store them there, no worries, but if Yahoo goes, does Flick'r?  it's become one of the more accessible places to post photos on the web.  I have (and so do a lot of other people) about a bazillion email addresses with varying names for various endeavors.  Luckily they so botched up Messenger this time I got out of the habit of it.

For now, Im going to wait and see what Verizon does to us. It may be awful, (the rending of clothes and bare flesh kind of awful) or seamless.  Somehow I don't think  'seamless' holds out much hope.

I read the TOS, and by the fourteenth paragraph my eyes glazed over, and I gave up.

I feel sorry for people who are submerged in the email package,  that can be a nightmare when you have to change your email addy--again--

If anyone has suggestions about how to transfer this blog to a new email address, please let me know. I have read everything I can find, and apparently the bottom line is, you don't get a new email addy and attach it to the blog,  you move the blog TO it.  yeah, I know. That made my eyes water too.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

we're not lean mean fighting machines anymore T13

when you have to have help reaching  your shoe laces

or getting up from a kneeling position (which is what happens when you don't HAVE help tying your shoelaces

or when you fall over in the store trying to drag yourself up from a crouch (the stuff you want is always at ankle level, ever notice that?)

when you need a step stool to reach the shelf you could reach a year ago without help

and the stool replaces the chair you can no longer use

when you go through all of this and realize you are up there in the dust and cobwebs with no idea why, except that it was important

and find yourself washing the upper shelves instead

when everything you need/want is either downstairs or upstairs but rarely where YOU are and by the time you've negotiated the stairs you've forgotten what you were going for

you catch a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror as you  head for the shower--(the mirror is now much higher)

you give away two thirds of  your clothes because they have all shrunk

you impress yourself by remembering how to start the mower after a year's hiatus

the elderly bag boy wants to help you with your groceries

people find seats for you at parties and bring you food you don't like or can't eat

Thursday 13

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weather Update

Two mornings ago as I peered through the torrential rains, I noticed that the temperature outside was a hearty 33 deg.

This morning as I peered through the torrential rains I noticed that it had risen dramatically, all the way up to 36.

Mt. Washington (which is our weather god here) had a foot of snow last weekend,  and places north of here had six inches overnight.

The peepers are back, singing their little lungs out, the birds have been spotted wearing color coordinated rainwear, and the grass she grows and grows...

What I did notice, which is extremely cool, the colors across the field mimic and mirror the colors in the fall.  The red maples have new little red buds, the new birch and beech leaves are yellowish, and it looks like a pale imitation of what's to come next fall.

Liz, I think this is your nor'easter. Thank you.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

6 rainy weeks, 6 sunny days (6WS)

--out of 42 days since the beginning of April (remember that april fool's day blizzard) we have had sun in varying amounts six different times.  It was very exciting.

Not, mind you, that I'm complaiing,  at this point there is no such thing as too much rain (and I may live to regret that statement as we paddle away) and the trees are just soaking it up.  So am I.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Waiting for... (Thursday 13)

1.  the pot to boil
2.  the other shoe to drop
3.  Godot
4.  the answer
5.  the last bus
6.  the light to change
7.  inspiration
8,  pay day
9.  retirement
10, the lights to come back on
11. Xmas morning
12. the guests to arrive
13. the guests to go home

Thursday 13

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

three little words--

that never solve anything but somehow absolve the user of  any extra effort:




I call them weasel words.  "I should really wash that floor, but...
                                           "I could call, but what's the point?"
                                           "We would, if we could find a baby sitter, but..."

And all of them include 'but' in the job description.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Scams 'R' US

Over the past five years I have received phone calls from both the state fire fighters and state police departments (apparently) requesting donations to 'help".  When I hesitate, they get pushy. One guy actually hung up on me. aha, I thought.

The calls often begin with a folksy warm voice, thanking me for all my help in the past (excuse me), and wanting to know what I might be willing to donate this year.  Sometimes they just drop the phone and leave me listening to dead air when I say no.

This afternoon I got one from the  Policemen's Benevolent Association wanting to know how much I was planning on donating to their fund to help out the families of officers killed in the line of duty.


Been thinking about that, so I did a search online. There has not been but one officer killed in the line of duty in this state in over five years.

 Then I went into this site:
sure enough, the first thing listed was "officers killed in the line of duty" and aggressive behavior on the part of the caller.

If you're not comfortable turning someone down like that,  tell them you give locally, you're on a fixed income, and if they give you crap, THEN you hang up before they do.

I can never get warm enough (6WS)

There comes a point in every year where the body no longer cheerfully accepts 68 or 65 as tolerable (as in, "Just put some socks on and a sweater, you'll be fine") and no matter how close you stand to the stove or how you inch the thermostat up to 70 or 72, sit in the sun or lean against a radiator,  you can never quite get warm enough.

What was tolerable from November to April is now totally inadequate.

I think of it as the equivalent of  muscle fatigue, and the muscles you've been using for so long to lift stuff suddenly rebel and go on break.  This appears to be what happens in the spring, to your own personal thermostat.

Enough, already, the body says,  let's give us some warmth, here.  No, not that sissy stuff, I'm talkin' 80s, serious heat.  Sun, sunburn, sweat.  We ready.   Me too.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Phrases/encouragement I could live without 6WS

1. "oh, of course you  do" when you have just said you don't: "no thank you, I dont care for broccoli,/ asparagus,/ deviled eggs,/ or shoestring potatoes" or whatever you are passing up for whatever reasons you may have.
Usually accompanied by a generous helping being dumped on your plate to emphasize what a fussy eater you are.

2. "you dont need to diet, LOOK at you you're skinny as a rail"  when someone has just said, "I'm on a maintenance diet, lost 137 lbs and I want to keep  it off",  and almost invariably spoken by someone who yes, does need to lose weight  and weight loss, by anyone else, she feels, make her look like Man Mountain Dean.

3. "you really need to exercise a bit more, come ON, slowpoke, lets get some muscle going" when you have just said, "The doctor warned me about too much running, skiing, leap frogging, etc." "it might pull my stitches out" accompanied by a sharp tug on the arm and a forced gallop that you can only break by falling down and forcing them to let go of you.

4. "dont be silly, you'll look just fine in the photo,  just SMILE" when you have just said, I do NOT want my photo taken, tyvm..."  and their disappointment, accompanied  by "well, you probably should have combed your hair a bit"

5. The man who sits behind you at a red light and toots at you to 'go ahead, go ahead' as if you were
able to leap six cars and soar to the front of the line

6. The old gentleman who gives you that automatic 'beepbeep' the instant the light turns green, and if  he is behind you through more than three lights you can understand how road rage got its name...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

flavored water, yum

We go to such lengths to make sure our cats and dogs  have clean fresh water in nice bowls...if a spider lands in it, there are tears and screams.

Right now it's pouring rain. The driveway is a muddy hollow with lovely deep pools of  water-the-car-drives-through.  Toby is out there right now, drinking it dry. Pure, muddy, manna.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Just in under the wire (gasssp gassssp)

muffin top
mutton chop
chop shop
crop top
carrot top
rag top
black top
copper top
flip flop
flat top
Big Top


Census records

These things are a scandal, truly.  Over time I've had a chance to use them, both the 1940 records and much earlier ones.  The people who recorded this stuff could not spell, nor did they much care.  The records are sloppy, hard to read, and inaccurate as all get out.

I just checked out my father-in-law's 1940 census record, and they had him down  in three  different places married to three different women named Doris. Each last name was spelled differently, which made them three different women.  His father's middle name was spelled Carroll, Carral, and Carrall, depending on who was writing it down and who was interpreting it.

In earlier records, which used to be available to the general public,  they have amateurs interpreting the findings, and they have no idea about older names.  One of the names that got my dander up is an old Biblical name, Shuah.  The census takers got it right, but the interpreters insisted it had to be a "p" and so the name became, for all time, Spuah.  oh, please.

I fear for us all when the days of cursive READING have disappeared forever, about ten years after cursive writing has gone.  Those few people who can still figure it out will be considered wizards and brilliant and command great gobs of money, and no one will be able to tell them if they got it wrong or not.


In the 1970 census we happened to be in California at the time but  were still residents of NH.  When the form came in the mail it stated uncategorically that if you were not a resident of the state you were in, do NOT fill out the form.  Cool. We were in the middle of packing to come back anyway.

 A week later a census taker appeared at the door and insisted we MUST do this.  So we did.  When we got back to NH a month after,  there was a census form in the mailbox, and a warning that we must only take the census in our home state.  A census taker arrived soon, and we did the census all over again.  Nearly at gun point.

My mother in law, who valued her privacy deeply where the gummint was concerned, got the nice fat full census and threw it in the fire. Refused to answer all those "personal" questions.  I have never seen a full census, but apparently it's quite extensive. Maybe this next time, eh.

Monday, April 17, 2017

There's a pattern here

Last week I went to the dentist to have three teeth filled. Took about an hour.  No pain, no discomfort, lots and lots of painkiller.  This afternoon I got a call from the dentist's office, a woman with a teeny kindergarten voice, wanting to know if I was okay.
er, yeah...
well, she said, we wanted to make sure you weren't in any discomfort or pain after your procedure. Are you sure you're all right?

yes ma'am I am.

"Oh GOOD.  Have a wonderful day. 'bye."
Last week we got a brochure for a new Senior Living development, the kind of fancy place where you choose the colors,  the placement of applicances, and even the appliances themselves.  I had a friend who lived in a place like that, and I will admit they are truly lovely.  They even give you choices for counter heights.  bathroom fixtures, and (if you ask nicely) crown molding.   The prices for all of this are astonishing.  And scary.

a few months ago we were contacted by a local cleaning agency wanting to know if we would be interested in having someone come in once a week or so and clean house for us. It didn't dawn on me why, until just now.

And more often than not, now when I buy groceries they ask me if I want help putting the stuff in the car...

We are being treated as if we were Elderly.  White haired, fragile, cane-wielding, elderly.  I'm amazed Meals on Wheels hasn't gotten to us.  maybe next week.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scary things you never want to encounter online (T13)

1.  You need to change your password or your account will be terminated

2.  This is not the correct password for this account

3.  That name has already been taken. Try again (it's my name, dammit, I used it yesterday)

4.  Booting up into a black, blank screen.

5.  The program has stopped responding. Please contact the program administrator...(we're sorry, the site is down. Please contact us using the following URL... we're sorry, that URL seems to not be working.  The site is down, Contact us using the following URL...)

6. Blue screen of death  The nice tech support man is in India and learning English one slow word at a time.  Most of what he says is accompanied by the sound of turning pages.  None of it  is intelligible.

7. We have upgraded our site, you need to change your password; (twelve letters and numbers, no two consecutive, with at least one special character. )

8. "You do not have access to this site"

9. We are a virus and we have disabled your virus program, your email, and are holding your little puppy for ransom.

10. You boot up after a long day, ready for whatever is out there, and there is no internet.  No lights are flashing. There is no online and the service guy won't be available for two days.

11.  All and I do mean all of your passwords have disappeared.  Including the ones that let you in.

12.  Your bank won't let you in, because you used the incorrect password. They suggest you visit the nearest 'live' bank, which happens to be three hundred miles away.

13. You just got a notice from a collection agency about a  product you never heard of, telling you if you don't pay your overdue bill immediately they will be attaching your house, your car, and your first born child. Turns out it's the right name, wrong state.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It doesnt have to make sense, it just is

Years ago, this little white cat named Albert became friends with all the wildlife around, from woodchucks to porcupines, and there wasn't an animal he didn't think he could be friends with--

until the day he woke at dawn and saw, from the east window, these delightful teeny deer (perspective is all, isn't it) grazing in the field.  He leaped from the bed, ran downstairs, flap went the cat door, and I saw  him walking very very fast across the lawn toward his new future friends.

As  he got closer, they got bigger. Much much bigger.  He slowed a bit, and they suddenly noticed this strange creature racing toward them.  The head doe stared at him as he got closer, and then made that 'hanh' snorty warning sound. He slowed a bit more, and then she stamped at him.  Oops.
He turned without breaking stride into a perfect U-turn and headed back to the house, ears back, now, and not happy.  Flap wemt the cat door, and baaack up the stairs, to sulk on the bed and think about this.

Since then, and that was a good 15 years ago or more, we have not had a cat that could so much as sit on the porch without causing general irritability in grazing deer.

This morning Toby and Charlie were both on the porch, and there were deer (those teeny deer again)  grazing in the same relative area--from a distance of maybe 100 yards or more--neither group had seen the other.  The Charlie stood up and stretched and heads came up.  He walked down the steps, and Toby followed.  There were several snorts and hanhs  and the cats turned and looked, and when they did, all four deer turned and flashed the white tail signal, bounding off into the woods.

My theory is, deer, like most animals, pass along information in some way to other members of the herd, and to their young. "this is good to eat, that will kill ya",  "these are safe places to feed, but not those'.  and apparently, "small unidentified furry creatures with long tails are to be avoided.  We don't know why, but they threaten us."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

ahem: T13

1. peak means a mountain peak or pointy top (as in a hat with a peak):
pique means annoyance
peek means to look, ("i took a quick peek at the first page")

2. 'role model" not "roll model" unless you are built like a muffin
and are looking for work as a bakery item

3. "I don't know, right?"  Or the abbreviated IDK?  what does this MEAN

4.  I saw someone online the other day saying he was going out to get desert.  Amazing the difference when you drop a letter or two.  You  can eat IN the desert (and dessert if you want to) and you can desert your dessert in the desert, but anyone bringing home a desert for a snack needs a really large U-Haul truck.

5. "witnesses arrived to the scene..."   I've begun seeing this more and more, and it makes
me jump every time.  You can go to something,  or arrive at  but you never "arrive to"...  Yet. Unless, in your travels, you "arrive to join the party"

6. mussel is a particularly shaped clam,  muscle is er, a muscle. not the same thing, please.   After reading a very detailed blog about the 'muscles" along the river's edge I just plain lost interest,  sadly. It's a shame when one word can kill an entire blog.  Once is a typo.  Twice is not.

7. a lot means a whole bunch. "alot"  means youre not paying atention. =)

8.  "back in the day".  I have been hearing this for years, by people who are articulate, well read, all kinds of things.  I know what it means, by why is it necessary?

9.  When in  doubt, don't  throw an apostrophe at it.  The possessive "s" is always a mystery, even to me. I have been known to march clean around the barn just to avoid the front door with the Possessive S on it.  But there are time's when you do have to wonder ju's't why anyone doe's this'.    Stop it.

10. If you don't know, look it up. There really is no excuse (and this is where Spell check DOES help) for some words--Caesar is always spelled this way, no matter how much we don't want to believe it. Rogue is not a synonym for Rouge. Trust me.  Nor is Tounge an alternate spelling for anything.

11.  "Always" is never spelled "allways".  All ways is never one word.

12. "alright" is not a word.  "all right" is.

13.  The man who invented Dunkin' Donuts (may he rest in a soggy grave for this) changed forever the way we spell doughnut, in the same way that Stephen King gave credence to 'cemetary" (if he spelled it that way it must be right, right?   Noooo.)

Thursday Thirteen

Saturday, April 1, 2017

And in other news...


this is fun.  Read all the lists, they really went all out with this one

it's april 1st and it's snowing (6ws)


just like 1997

our trusty ash barrel,  a wonderful measuring tool, as long as the wind doesn't blow. Ten inches, plus a bit over.  

this always reminds me of those winddriven photos of Mt. Washington, with the rime ice (otherwise known as horizontal icicles) sticking to the sides of everything...

this is, by the way, a woodpile. it's under there somewhere.