Thursday, January 17, 2019

If I Ruled the World T13

I would surely ban

1.  Clowns

2. Mimes

3.  Barbershop quartets

4. Female barbershop quartettes

5. People who finish your sentences with you

6. Alvin and the chipmunks

7. Christmas novelty songs

8. Christmas that decks the shelves before Halloween

9.  People who sing along with operas AT the opera...

10. comb-overs (bald is sexy.  Comb marks are not)

11. flavored coffees (ask first)

12.  People who can't wait to tell you the ending of the book you just started,
       or the movie they've seen and you are half way through...

13.  Those tiny marshmallows they put in hot chocolate


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Calgon, take me away...

And now that we are offically into winter (apparently December was the practice room) there is, for all us fuel burners, the new and endless worry, of 'what if..."

Last year in March I looked up from the last  stack of wood and realized that it was the omg last stack. With March barely begun, and April rubbing its hands together and snickering evilly,  I began to regret giving up on stacking that last two rows the previous fall.  There are, to be honest, several pieces of old but not antique furniture in the attic, big wobbly monstrosities just begging to be turned into firewood. Yessah.

Instead, we started loading up the Bobcat bucket with damp cold wet and I do mean wet wood, chipped out of the frozen snowy wood pile outside.  He would drop it on the shed floor, and I'd drag it in, one armload at a time, to dry beside the stove or even IN it (what a friend of mine calls 'kiln dried wood'), trying to balance that with what was left of the nice dry stuff.    Call it a learning experience.

Since our wood usage usually covers all of May and some of June (global warming where ARE you, dear),  this year I thought I'd try to reverse the process.  This was an amazingly rainy summer, the wood barely dried at all, and I was forced into stacking wood that was less than as dry as it should be (I'd have fired me on the spot, if I had caught me doing that), And by mid October it was obvious dry wood was not going to be an option.  So. We did the 'early in March' thing, threw it all in, dry or not, and stacked it.  Took all of October and November to use it, since it was never truly dry, and kiln-dried took on new meaning.   Trouble is, the wood behind it has picked up a lot of that dampness, and there are damp mildewy patches on THAT.  It is now mid-January, and we have two fierce months ahead of us. At least.
I did the math on "what would have happened if..." and realize that right now, right now, we would be three rows closer to the far wall, and two rows away from no more wood inside.

A little tickly voice keeps saying, yes but, you DO have that nice wet wood outside, so you  aren't out of wood, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Magic of Passwords


yesterday I somehow hit a 'log out' button in the wilds of Google, and then hit a 'reset" button,  and was suddenly faced with the computer equivalent of a SWAT Team.  They needed a password.  I gave them the old password. 
Nope.   We need the last password you used. Nope. Try again.  Now I'm beginning to sweat.  Google, games, Yahoo Mail, Blogger and Word Press are somehow inexplicably linked to each other by this password.

It's like dropping the key to your house in a snowbank and hearing the door slam, the windows automatically lock, the car won't start, and the dog is trapped in the car.   And you're wearing fuzzy blue slippers and a green robe.  

They finally asked me to make a new password, and after three tries they accepted it.  Seeing as how it's the one they just refused, I was quite pleased.    Later that day I got a panic stricken email from Yahoo saying that my password had been changed.  you could see the muzzles of rifles sliding out from the patrol car.

And just now Google emailed me to suggest that my Password may have been compromised, it was changed yesterday...

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Vacuum Wars

My not-very-old Kenmore Vacuum quit yesterday in mid-vacuum so that the motor in the machine died but not the motor in the floor brush.  I could still vacuum, but it just picked the stuff up and tossed it into the air, like confetti. Wheee

Problem #1:  Kenmore is Sears. Sears is no longer.

aha, I thought, I have my MIL's not-very-used Eureka (which she refused to pronounce, because it was foreign, and called it an Areka) and one remaining bag.

Problem #2:  you can order the bags online, from the store, and pick them up the next day, but it appears that they are no longer 3.98 per three pack, but 8 dollars each.

The instructions on the bag gently suggest that it  "should be changed every month or so".  Excuse me.  I have two cats, an old dust-bunny of a house,  and burn wood.  Maybe one ROOM each time...

My husband, however, is a math person,  meaning he likes his problems solved.  He spent considerable computer time hunting down bags for this, and suddenly said, "hey...Amazon sells a cloth bag for that thing."   (a silent cheer went up).   By next week I will be the proud owner of a for real cloth bag that will probably fit.   And my excuses (Oh, damn I just ran out of bags again) have evaporated.

(insert snoopy dance of joy of your choice here)


Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Curmudgeon Returns T13

1.  Not everyone likes Starbucks. Really.

2.  Not everyone LOVES almond flavoring (or anything else) in their coffee

3.  Don't tell someone "What you really need is..." and then walk off in disgust when they don't oblige your ego.

4.  I'm not offended by someone holding a door for me, but not when Im forced into a vicious trot to reach the door in time...

5.  Parents who think it's adorable to let their precocious 6 year old read the menu and order from it. While the waitress waits and waits and waits...

6.  Food companies who play games with the pricing. (coffee in three different amounts, same size can, same price)  Playing price games with sizes.  Used to be, Bigger was Cheaper.  Giant sized Peanut Butter, king sized cereal boxes,  extra large detergent packages.  Now the mid range is cheaper, lol.

7. People who sit behind you at a  long red light  and honk.   Honk.   Honk.

8. Food police. My food, my choice. And if you take one more of my shrimp I will stab you with my shrimp fork.

9. Folks who hose down their grocery carts with those sanitizing wipes and then travel around the store, steering by their elbows.  Has it never occurred to them that every single can and vegetable in that store has been handled at least five billion times?

10. Parents who leave their kids unattended/unsupervised  in the toy aisle in the store.  Close to the jigsaw puzzles and train sets...

11. "New and improved".  Not  necessarily.  Usually that means we ran out of the stuff we used to use, and had to switch, so we're  pretending this is better.

12. That nice lady in the back row at the movies, who takes the time to explain her recipe for chocolate cake, and then wants to discuss her daughter's new boyfriend, and then retires in a sulk
(known as the "well, really" sulk) when someone asks her to shut up...

13.  One arm rest. Two people.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ah, the joys of aging

Today I received a "personalized" invitation from an audio/hearing concern, inviting me to a special three day "window" event  which included a free audio test, and a demonstration of a super new hearing aid thingy.  They suggested I bring a friend along, one I can hear, (which is also a way of saying, 'one who can interpret for you") as well. 

Oh what fun I could have.  I immediately found myself slipping into cranky old lady (a la Granny Weatherwax) mode who is just hard enough of hearing to be an annoyance to everyone in the room, outside of the room, and half way to town.  I learned to project, long ago.   heh heh heh

Speak  up, young man, this is a room full of deaf people and you stand there mumbling, for all I know you're praying over us and calling us names.  Who ARE you, anyway?

I do so hate to pass up the Omaha Steak bribe gift certificate, though...

Friday, December 21, 2018

And speaking of Solstices

we seem to be having one
and yep, the sun probably came up
a few seconds earlier this morning
and set a few seconds later tonight

yay us.

Happy Solstice

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Comfort Food

The winter solstice

The summer solstice

First fire in the stove in the fall (and a shed full of wood waiting)

Last fire in the stove in early summer

Walking into the kitchen from outside on a very cold day
to a very warm stove; it envelops you like a warm blanket

Geese migrating. No matter which way they go, they're going home.

Apple blossoms

Meeting an old friend for the first time

Fresh baked bread

Finding music on You Tube you never knew was there

Realizing that where you are is where you want to be

Terry Pratchett

White Cheddar popcorn  (and yes you can put melted butter on it)

Saturday, December 15, 2018


If humans were to disappear from the face of the earth,  the earth wouldn't notice.  It would go on growing trees and fields,  evolving from this state to that state,  poking it's little fingers up through the macadam and parking lots,  wearing down the buildings and machinery,  until it looked once again much the way the rain forests in South America look,  mysterious lumps overgrown with vegetation.

It wouldn't matter a  hoot nor a holler about where we went or why or how.  Or even that we were gone.  Snow would still fall, or not, rain, drought, aridity,   typhoons and monsoons, earthquakes and tidal waves, sweeping clean, shaking things up.    This is, geologically, still a relatively young planet.  It's still inventing itself, and we are part of the process--not the end result, just another bit of evolutionary history; always--like everything else out there--on the edge of obliteration.

Hard to fathom sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our seemingly ineluctable importance, but the planet wouldn't pay much attention.  I doubt if it would miss us very much, either. 

I find that strangely comforting.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bear with me T13

Foxed pages

Elephant in the parlor

Deer in the headlights

Dog Days

Wolf Whistle

Pigeon Toed

Stubborn as a mule


Hare brained

Kangaroo court


Frog march

Horse Feathers

Thursday 13

Monday, December 3, 2018

Had to share this


Thursday, November 29, 2018


salt water

Salton Sea

sea salt

salt sea

salt of the earth

basalt rock

rock salt

table salt

salty dog

salt and pepper



salt mine


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

even in the midst of awful, there is usually beauty

This is what met me this morning when I looked out the window
not exactly what I had planned for

and this is 8 inches of pretty fluffy WET snow

on top of 4 inches from yesterday

however it does have a certain archtectural purity about it

to the point where I'm not even sure what it is any longer 
but ain't it interesting...

and just for the heck of it, this is what my spiffy new counter 
looks like as a work station 
what's really cool is under that counter is a wonderful woodbox 
area that is working better than I thought it might...

However, I have put a protest in to the weather gods that it's not even December yet and we have already had a foot of  snow.  Oh, I can hardly wait for January.   

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Highs and Lows

I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia when I was seven: I  had my first attack during Mass, after fasting for 12 hours (and no kid should be expected to fast that long for anything short of major surgery) the way "real adults" did for Communion.  Hot and cold sweats,  in the middle of an unheated  church here's this little kid taking off her coat and putting it back on, and the next thing I know Im being frog marched, grey-faced,  out the church with Sister Mary Arthur and my mother saying, "what happened?"

After that I got to eat a small breakfast on Sunday (oy, the private pleasures of a dispensation from the Bishop) before Mass...

It's part of diabetes, but not necessarily a symptom.  I found out it can live on its own, quite nicely.  Of course, my mother came from a good solid French Canadian family, so packing the kids with food like a portable lunch box was second nature to her.

The real problem arises when you are with someone who doesn't get what you're saying, as in, "I think I need to eat now" and they say "okay, let's make reservations.".   No. I mean NOW, and give me that cookie.  It also makes you testy.

 I was thinking about this today, when I was casting about for something to eat for lunch and my husband said, "I should think you'd KNOW when you're hungry..."  and I realized that I don't ever want to get to the rumbly stomach phase of hungry.  I can't. By then, I'm probably going to be out cold.    We have to gauge how we feel, how 'empty',  how cranky, how slightly fuzzy headed.

My biggest fear at this age is going into one of these in the supermarket and waking up as the EMTs  hook me up to an IV and a heart monitor, when all I really need is a handful of M&Ms...😰

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thought for Black Friday

There has been so much hype, so many in-yo'-face ads on TV, on the net, in flyers, mention of record breaking crowds,  door buster specials,--and hard on the heels of that folks with a private and scary axe to grind taking it out on stores in general,  what if they threw a Black Friday

and everyone stayed home..."we'll go tomorrow once the crowds clear out..."

Thursday, November 22, 2018

And the winner is...

Sometimes you go with your gut--I had little to no interest in heading north to a dinner today, especially since last year my husband ended up in the hospital  up there (one of the less appealing hospitals I have seen, frankly)...turned out it wasn't serious, but it was scary. 

Anyhow. I got up this morning and the fires were down, that's normal;  stoked them up a bit and went out on the porch to get some wood and thought, my GOODNESS it's breezy out here, and the thermometer read -10.  Looked at it three times and it still said -10.    Annnnd we have a good 8-10 inches of snow all over everything. 

The good news is, we don't have to leave.  Just stay home, stoke the fires, and putter slowly. 

Life is good, sometimes.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Turkey day reprieve for mr. and mrs. Curmudgeon

oh happy happy joy joy
my husband decided that this year for Thanksgiving we are staying home
It's a long ride (1 1/2 hours each way) and with 6 little kids, two yippy dogs,  and probably 15 adults, it becomes bedlam very quickly. 
I love them all, but not this year, not when it's this cold.

It's his relatives, so I left it up to him,  and now I can put away my butter roll recipe. he he he.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In other words...thursday 13

straw warts

pacer recap

strap parts

star rats

sprat tarps

knits stink

stops  spots

reward drawer

drab bard

pupils slipup

dairy diary

smart trams

remit timer


Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 12 1994

Twenty-four  years ago tomorrow I was planning on being in a murder mystery play called "Death By Chocolate" put on by a local theater group.  I had a cold and a vicious cough, but I wanted to do this badly. 

That night it was cold, snowy, and I was determined (hacccckkk hackkkk gasssppppgassspp) to go.  Got into town and could not find the building; never having been there I wasn't even sure what it looked like.  I felt dreadful. 

Turned around, finally, and came home.  By 9 that night I was having to stand up and bend over to cough, and I was so sick I didn't even want a cigarette.  A new walk-in clinic had just opened up and I told my husband I think we need to get me there.   These were the days  before emergency room walk ins. 

The nurse took one look at me, said, take a deep breath.  "urk".   "I'll be right back," she said, and came back with three prescriptions and a 'starter kit" for the night.  "you have fluid around the lungs. Walking pneumonia, basically.  Go home, give up smoking, and you'll be fine."

For three weeks I slept at the kitchen table with a blanket wrapped around me and a pillow on the table, and I considered my options.  My biggest fear as a smoker had finally come home.  So I quit.  Did it in manageable bites.  Played games with it.  I had smoked for 32 years, so I made my first goal 32 hours.  Second goal, 32 days.  Next one, 32 weeks.  By then I was sailing, and I knew I'd made it. 

The key, for me, was not talking about it to anyone. Not even my husband.  When you do that, you build up all the juices that go into drinking, or smoking, or whatever you're trying to give up. The brain says, oh, man, let's have just one...He didn't mention it until the next spring, and then he sort of snuck up on it.  By then, it was okay.

24 years later, and Im still okay.  But every now and then when my guard is down,  I get that urge...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

oh, please

Yesterday I ("dear friend") received a two page "letter' from our Republican Senator wannabe's wife.  Nicely worded, nicely typed, nice use of script font.    She stressed his family devotion, how his face lit up when he smiled, and how she got all wiggly inside (my words not hers) when he first looked at  her and smiled. 
How wonderful a daddy he was. 

This was a girl-to-girl letter, and I know it was meant to impress me as a female that he was just the man for the job.  Navy Vet,  lawyer.  Police Chief. 

Not a WORD about his affiliation, or his voting record, or his political leanings.  After all, the cynic in me purrs,  what woman would be interested in all THAT? 

And today I go out to vote elsewise.  Im sure he's a lovely man, good to dogs and kids and old ladies, but not this time, Im afraid.