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. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

'Tis time

Tonight we swap the clocks out,  and I can assure you  no one is more pleased about this than my big old oofy cat, charlie, who gets up when I do and insists that dark is not a problem, and I insist that I have no wish to see him (or hear him) being consumed by a coyote, fisher cat, or whatever is out there that eats cats.

The house rule is, if I can't see the trees, he doesn't go out.

Enough, already

this occurred to me months ago when the first school shootings happened, and I keep thinking of it, every time another mall, or drive in, or church is attacked:  less publicity means less copycat crimes.

Years ago if a child committed suicide, one of the things the local papers did, was play it down.  sometimes not even mention cause of death for several days.  It was a policy among news people that suicides and out of control killers  would go unrecorded for a certain length of time, to keep other people from thinking,  "hey, I could do that too". 

I just get this image of  gun soaked Angry Men watching the videos, and the news, and the flashing lights and sirens and thinking, "oh wow. That is so cool...I'm gonna get me some ammo..."

It isn't news, it's pandering.  It's drawing readers, but since anyone, anywhere, can read this stuff online, you now get the news from all over the country, where before it was mostly local and brief. 

Too much information, and too many vulnerable people reading about it.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

We Get Too Many Political Calls Anyway


in thinking it over
I have decided
that a republican voting democratic
is far more interesting
than changing my affiliation
especially in a republican
straight ticket ('by jesus, my dad
voted straight republican
all his life, and it never hurt him none")
state where everyone assumes
you vote not only the party
of choice, but you vote the way
your spouse does, just because.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Author author

Still trudging through the land of once-read books, I've probably taken 15 cartons to the Salvation Army this year alone.  Im finishing off P.D.James (if she doesn't finish me off first), and it's obvious I hadn't read all the books of hers I had, and many of them apparently were snatched up at book sales but never gotten into. 

In reading and sometimes rereading older or former mystery authors, I am often struck by the progression they make from first book to last.  By the time I finished off Sue Grafton (and it was a pleasant  eye opener, reading her books in order all at once), I realized that she had populated her last book with entirely too many characters and I was simply awash in them.  But she stays.  However...

In her later books, PD James is doing the same thing.  She's got sub plots and main plots and two or three families, way more dead bodies than most serial killers ever thought of,  and has also committed the major writer's crime of introducing a new wrinkle near the end,  and without that the whole business  would collapse.   I am going to miss Adam Dalgleish,  however.  =(

security on the hoof

When I go into my local bank, the teller looks at me, smiles, and says, you don't need your passbook number, I've seen you in here before...and gets me the money I ask for.   Not sure that's comforting or scary.

However, when I go into a (free)game site online I am confronted with enough cyber locks and red flags to make me give up in despair.  I tried to access an older site this morning, forgetting that my old email address which was on the screen  is not my current one, and when I mindlessly  typed in the password,  you could almost see the security guards snap to attention.

Oh dear. Intruder Intruder.

I had to explain that it had been a few years, and this was  my new email addy, and they responded generously by saying they would have to have their security team review it.  Safety, you know.

I think I've seen the last of that gamesite.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Time Traveler

Not so much forward or backwards, more...sideways...

If I had those days back that I miss every single damn week by now I'd proably have enough to bundle together and make an extra month. 

I really thought this was Wednesday, until I saw a Thursday 13 post and thought, oh. Right.
I lost last Saturday too, (probably out somewhere cavorting with the previous week's Tuesday), which basically threw this week into a sieve as far as continuity goes, and when my husband said, wow this week is almost over I thought, he's really rushing it--oh wait--

Now I understand why my mother, in her last year at home kept a methodical calendar on the wall with each day of the month carefully filled in with red crosses.  I asked her why, and she said, "that way I don't have to worry which day it is..."  I suddenly understand exactly why, now.  

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Just a thought, and a scary one

Unless something majorly intelligent happens, there is a good chance that our president will decide that we don't really need a two party system, and abolish it. or at least try to.

He is slowly and steadily stacking the decks all over the place, and while Im not sure if he CAN abolish the system, he just might think he can. And of course, if he thinks he can, well, by gosh and by golly, someone with more brains than he knows how to use will figure out  how to do it for him.

I've been a (relutctant) (lazy) Republican all my life, and cannot recall the last time I voted anything but Democratic. Methinks it's about time to get out from under.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

some words are just fun to say Thursday13











early warning system



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bits and Pieces

Strangest mushrooms  I've ever seen. and they keep dying off and regrowing

Been trying to get this shot all summer, I love the look of this, all those leaves cascading over one another...

My new kitchen counter (window frame to come) with two lovely wide shallow drawers, and the perfect  place for bread making   Underneath the counter is the woodbox area I've always wanted,  handy to the stove, out of the way of everything.  I even have it on rollers, so I can pull it out without doing serious damage to the rug or me...

Charlie the guard cat.  He seems to have chosen his role as Guard, he will sit on the front step or the back step for hours,  sweeping the field like a fuzzy little beacon, baack and forth...

And this, if you look closely, is a perfectly formed apple that has been placed on the chinese chestnut branch, ever-so-carefully,  waiting for whomever placed it there.  We checked the next day and it was gone.  The apple tree this came from is about 50 yards away. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Well damn now Im hungry T13

Aunt Lizzie's Nice Cake




chocolate cake

three layer coconut cake with butter cream frosting


johnny cake

applesauce cake

angel cake

devil food's cake

mayonnaise cake

lemon cake


Mayonnaise cake, recipe.  It really just looks like a regular chocolate cake

acrobat squirrel

Happy happy squirrel.  He managed to work his way up the pear tree and after nearly braining himself on a branch, reached this: 

Notice the size of the pears relative to the size of the squirrel...his effort paid off, and he hurried home with one firmly clenched in his teeth.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Grapes of Wrath

I was planning on a major grape harvest this year, since the stuff I picked last fall turned out so well as jelly.  All summer I've been admiring the bounty, waiting for them to ripen.  Right.

Tonight I went out to murmur words of encouragement at them, and found most of them (and there were a LOT) gone. Not fallen to the ground, just--gone.

I know grapes are one of nature's foods, and a lot of critters eat them.  But the biggest eater I can think of is my favorite rodent, The Pear Eating Squirrel.  That little grey (insert expletive of your choice) squirrel has been systematically stripping My Grapes, and I am left with several sad bunches of green ones. 


Not sure what to do, short of teaching my cat to hunt squirrels--and judging from the lack of interest on his face, I don't think that's gonna happen.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Piano come, piano go

It was time.

I finally realized that it wasn't the piano that I loved, it was the idea of it. That maybe someday I would progress beyond "London Bridge" with both hands, and that heart stopping pause at "my fair ladyyyyy" while I searched for those nasty high notes way over there.

That maybe I could play something ELSE.

But yesterday I looked in Google and sure enough there are enthusiastic piano demolishers, giving very good advice on how to remove the 8 million screws and not to mess with the harp in the back or you could behead yourself and the neighbor's cat at the same time...

And this morning I ferreted  out four screw drivers and vise grips, and dug in.  (before you scream in horror, it turns out that no one and I do mean no one wants a piano like this.  They can't give them away, even with the promise of a cash reward.  All those middle aged pianos, and all anyone wants is a guitar)  So...

If you've ever wondered, this is what a piano looks like with the keyboard out, the hammers gone.  That thing in the back is called the 'harp" and it hummmmms at me even when I walk into the room, like a large friendly beast.  

Took three hours, one husband for the rough bits, and most of his extensive tool collection.  He is out now getting pizza and the one screwdriver head he never had and always wanted.  

Im also planning to use the wood (which is lovely) for something else, in another project I haven't come up with yet.  

The keys are entirely wood with thin thin bits of ivory on top, and as someone said, the elelphant died for this a hundred years ago, it's too late to what I dont reuse will be kindling.  Not sure what the entire thing is made of, the side pieces look like curly maple, and I suspect it may be a collection of several different kinds of wood.  

and oh joy in the morning I can reclaim an entire corner of this room that I have never even seen.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

the ins and outs of T13

1. In hot water

2. out of time

3.  in the family way

4.  out by dark

5.  in. other words...

6.  you'll put your eye out

7.  taking it all in stride

8. out of countenance

9.  in for the long haul

10.  out of pocket

11.  in more ways than one

12.  out for delivery

13.  in another life

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Stiil Life with Pear

Finally caught our resident grey squirrel on camera:  we sit on the porch in the late afternoon and watch him rodent-handle fallen pears nearly as big as he is, eating them down until they're light enough to drag up the tree. 

 This has been going on for days, ever since the old pear tree has been dropping fruit. 

The quality could be better but I was shooting from behind the screen, so as not to distract  him:
but if you squint, you can see him gripping what's left of his breakfast pear

he's got the last of it in his mouth and moving very fast, so he's a bit streaky...happy squirrel 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It's been a long happy ride, but...

Bit by bit the car has been dying.  I no longer feel comfortable about driving it anywhere, so yesterday we called (sob) the car guys and either today or tomorrow they will be coming for it.

I feel like a betrayer.  I cleaned it out, found a small but hopeful mousenest in the back seat,  found about 75 cents under the seats, later I'll go through the wad of stuff that was in the glove box. 

On the bright side, they will probably be giving us a check for nearly $400 dollars.  And when I canceled the insurance on it,  they said they will be sending us a rebate check now and taking the car off the next policy statement. 

I feel like I just sold my puppy to the Dog People.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


This started out in a totally different place, and when I started looking at these incredibly funny, charming animals, I knew they needed their own post.

wombat movie

There are dozens of You Tube videos about these little guys, all of them make Cute Kitties pale by comparison,and I LOVE Cute Kitty videos.

this is my favorite.  I want one.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Finally Gave Up My Old Car (6WS)

Somewhere, Im not sure where, is a Six Word Saturday, but I can never find it.  Soooo. I do hate to waste a perfectly good 6WS,  thrifty Yankee that I am...

Last time I started it it made a strange grindy growly noise.  In the parking lot at the grocery store, when I slowed to turn, there was a funny hesitation in the brake pedal.

Oh. Not good.

It's not had a lot of miles on it, as these things go, but they were all MY miles, and that seems to matter.  It took me to Iowa city four times, into Vermont countless times, and it always started, always stopped (which is sometimes more important, after all).  It never complained.  Hondas are like that, I know people who have  Hondas that just turned over their umpteenth hundred thousand mile mark, and they're still running.

But last year the window handle on the passenger side broke, and while the window is still in place, I expect at any point it will slide down into the well.  One good bump might do it. It has always had a back hatch leak which means when it rains, you need to move stuff back there to the right. 
It has never stalled at a light, or anywhere, for that matter.  Brave little car, never complained, and even on the most vicious days, it started right up, which is more than can be said of its owner.

I tend toward the point and click kind of purchase, and when I went in to buy one, 18 years ago, I looked at the cars and said to the salesman, "what about THAT one over there?"  took it for a drive, and brought it home. My husband was in shock for a few days,  since he's a great believer in researching everything down to the wires...

The first time I drove it somewhere I ended up coming home in a nasty blizzard,  no idea how it would handle, but it held the road, it never skidded, and I got through 30 miles of four inches an hour snow  in about two hours.  If you can fall in love with a car, I did, at that point.

I dislike intensely having to share driving  HIS car now, but I just can't see buying a new one, not with the doodads you're forced to take along with it.  So we will have to share.  (bummer)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lumbering toward autumn

Can't decide if this is the late spring rains or the early fall rains, but whatever it is, it's pretty endless.

Now and then the sky lightens a bit, and we see shadows on the ground, and like the good folks in Seattle, we get all excited about it.  Then the fog drifts in again, and we go back to whatever we were doing.

My lawn is now on the brink of hayfield, and the driveway is forming soggy places.  Even here in NH there have been flash flood warnings (our local town has three rivers that they are in the center of)  and for all of that, we do sit high and (I'd like to say 'dry', but...) not flooded.

This may be Nature's way of alerting us that August is half over, summer is no longer icumen in, and we'd better get used to it.  I can hardly wait for November, that's when the fall rains REALLY take hold...

I feel sorry, truly sorry, for the people in Pennsylvania and NJ;  this is nothing to what they're dealing with.  Can't even blame it on a hurricane.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A new rule for seniors

--for whom time tends to swirl about like damp confetti:

put all the days of the week in a hat, and draw one. The one you pick is the one you celebrate until you weary of it, and then you take another.

I could have sworn this was at least Monday (don't ask me which one, I was pretty sure it was July until I found a calendar, and oh, my wasn't that a surprise) but my husband said, quite firmly, that it was Sunday.  An August Sunday.  We both checked to be sure of the date.

There was a chance to see the Perseids last night, but they were supposed to be near dawn--and I find it's one thing to BE up before dawn, and quite another to GET up before dawn.  And since we were socked in with clouds anyway, and fog tonight, I'd say my chance not-seeing any of them will have to wait until next year.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

No regrets, no shame, no blame

We all make decisions, every day of our lives. 

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As a kid, many of the decisions in your life are made without your knowledge,  your consent, or even, often, your approval.  You learn to adjust, or make do with the shreds of what you have left.

I was an only child.  My husband was, too.  When we got married we never really discussed having children, since I was totally unfamiliar with babies, as was he.  After four years we moved up here, and I realized almost immediately two things:  1) a young married woman who is 'childless" has no business  going to baby parties where the new baby is passed around.  As soon as you reach for the child, someone reaches in and says, "it's okay, I got her" as if she were a football and I was about to fumble the play.  Message received. 
My mother was coy about it. She would say, "well, my daughter doesn't seem to want children, so I don't pressure her..."  and since I was sitting right there, well, all eyes would turn to the poor depraved  and thoughtless girl. 

and 2) where we lived at that time was no place to bring a child along.  We were living in a house with one leaky old cook stove, no central heating, plumbing, or amenties. I hauled all the water from a dug well, all winter.  All the wash was done by hand.   I didn't have  a driver's license and we couldn't have afforded a car for me anyway.  And he was away 11 hours a day.  It was a choice we had made to live here, and a serious commitment.

That's really where the timeline for me starts.

Not a good place to be pregnant, go into labor, have the child on the kitchen floor, and then pack it up and go back to hauling wood and water. yes indeedy.

We would not be living here now if we had had kids. My mother, being the family Narcissist, would have had them in her power by the time they could form full sentences.  I was just numb enough and young enough to not really understand just how toxic she was.  And what is chilling, in looking back, every single one of my 'young men', at least the ones I was drawn to, were also serious control dudes.  It was familiar to me, obviously.  The man I married was not into control, and that has made all the difference.

If we had had children we would have been living in town,  and the house would have had to go to the highest bidder. (Read, developer.)  It would have been pulled down, the land divided into umpty-teen house lots, and the history of the place destroyed forever.   It's a revelation to realize that there is not a single thing that I can recall now that would have existed to remember.

What I'm heading for here is I have reached the 'no regrets' part of the story, and the long sigh of relief.   People tell me I've missed so much.  I agree.  Different scenario perhaps, different ending.

Our memories are about other things.  I'm cool with that.  Maybe, in the next life, I'll go down the other pant leg of time, and see how it turns out that way.  Maybe, in the next life, I get a different  mother. yowza.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Bit by bit, we progress

The innards of newer woodstoves are almost as complicated as the innards of a car, these days:  ours also has firebrick, which over the past 8 years has begun to split and wobble. not good.   Getting it out is a lot like those dreadful puzzles we used to get for Christmas, with a 'key' that you had to find to take it apart. 

Took him all morning to find the right place to unbolt, and then we replace the firebrick and we're good to go for maybe another 8 years. By then, I truly won't care. Probably.

Two chimneys  to clean, and tomorrow the nice man comes to see about putting caps on the chimneys to keep the rain from getting in.  This week with all the incredible downpours, the dining room flue has run a steady stream.  Messssyyyy...

Still cleaning out books that I no longer want or will read again.  Along the way I've found several that I never got into, a good time to  try them on for size, I guess. 

And Toby, the determinedly touch-me-not cat, is now consenting to voluntary head pats, and careful shoulder blade scratches.  A little patience finally paid off. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

This year is turning out to be last year in a different room (T13)

Last year it was windows (putty, paint, refurbish) and curtains for the whole house, some serious wall stuff in the dining room, and bronchitis as a side dish.

And as these things happen,  when I look back, if this were a movie, it would start with a large drop of water falling gently into a still pond. Ripples.

Lots of ripples.

This year

I wanted to move a small bookcase downstairs into the back parlor.  Easy peasy. However I had to also move a huge oak dish cupboard out of the space earmarked for the bookcase.  Once I got it emptied and half way across the floor I realized that I wanted to finish taking off the ancient layers of varnish and let the nice wood show through.  What I really wanted to do was paint the damn thing, but the varnish still had to come off.

Two quarts of varnish remover later  I realize it does look pretty good, buffed it up a bit, and have it nearly in place on the other side of the  room.

While this was going on, my husband had tracked down the colony to end all colonies of carpenter ants (euuuwww) raising hell with the foundation.  In order to assess the damage from inside  he wanted to take out the cupboard and sink in the far corner of the kitchen.  Haven't used the sink in years, so that wasn't a problem.  Besides, I said, I always did want a woodbox there.

Sink removed, wall cleaned down, wallboard up, painted, woodbox (repurposed from elsewhere) in place and glory hallelujah a countertop and two lovely wide drawers.   Now I have a place for just making bread.  And five feet of countertop to do it on. **

Next ripple, dismantle the piano.

**there is, by the way, no such thing as too much counter space, shelving, or cupboards.  Men don't quite agree, but then they get to hammer nails into walls and hang stuff.  It's not the same.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fun to say T-13

1. mr. green jeans

2. mellow yellow

3. jacques chirac

4. White Knight

5. black leather jacket

6. willy nilly

7. betty boop

8. fluffer nutter

9.  howdy doody

10. butter brickle

11. rubber baby buggy bumper

12. piggly wiggly

13.  jimmy dean's pure pork sausage

Thursday 13

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

On the dubious joy of the Northern Cardinal

Our very first Cardinal arrived yesterday for what appeared to be an extended visit.  Most times we get a fly-over and never see another.
He landed in the trees  outside, and proceeded to sing its little heart out.  After seven solid hours (with what appeared to be much-needed rest breaks) it finally stopped, although now and then until total dark fell, he would fire it up again, in case we missed something.   It's like living next door to an Italian tenor who needs to practice those scales daily, hourly.

I know we'll get used to it soon enough,  it will become part of the background noise.

cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy

cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy

whoit whoit whoit whoit wicket wicket wicket wicket 

cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy
cheeeer cheeer cheeeer  birdybirdybirdybirdybirdy

and before you jump all over me, yes it's a beautiful bird, and a true novelty. But I am reminded of the two days we had some years ago when I woke to the sound of a peacock shrieking outside our window.  Turned out he had escaped from a farm down the road that had exotic birds.  The cats were terrified, and hid inside for two days until he finally left, never to return.  I suspect a coyote dined well for a few days on that one, sadly. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018


(comments not mine.  I found this list years ago, time to share it again)

 Cooking instructions on a package of Bacon:
 "Broil slices for 6-7 minutes on each side. No turning necessary"
 (Do they turn themselves over?)

 On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
 "Do not iron clothes on body."
 (But wouldn't this save even more time?)

 On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine:
 "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this
 (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we
 could just get those 5-year-olds with head-colds off those

 On Nytol Sleep Aid:
 "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
 (One would hope.)

 On most brands of Christmas lights:
"For indoor or outdoor use only."
(As opposed to what?)

 On a Japanese food processor:
 "Not to be used for the other use."
 (I gotta admit, I'm curious.)

On Sainsbury's peanuts:
 "Warning: contains nuts."
 (Talk about a news flash.)

 On a child's Superman costume:
 "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
 (I don't blame the company. I blame parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chain saw:
 "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
 (Was this happening somewhere? My God!)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Binge reading

Since last fall I've been trying to cut down on the sheer number of books in this house;  many of them were the 'why not' of yard sales, or library sales, many were experimental in nature or just a poor fit.  And some were old friends, read a few times and remembered fondly.

The only way to find out was to just sit down and read 'em.

It appears I have outgrown some of my oldest books, and while the memory is good, the reading--now--isn't.  Out. Some I've returned to (Calvin Trillin is one ) and realize what a charmer he was.

Binge reading authors, book by book,  can be a valuable exercise,  as it shows progress from first book to last both in the characters and the authors.   Some authors--like Pratchett and Sue Grafton--show an interesting development, stronger story lines, more interesting back stories.  Some just dwindle.  Ray Bradbury and Robert Parker are dwindlers, for very different reasons. Patricia Cornwell burgeons, becoming gorier and angrier with each book.

I try to save a bit of money when filling in a series writer by haunting places that sell used books;  a good way to tell the enduring popularity of an author is by how many of their books are on the shelves.  Sue Grafton is hard to find,  as is Terry Pratchett and Robert Parker, The DaVinci Code and Patricia Cornwell are apparently one-time reads and then given away.  I'm leery of any author who practically owns an entire shelf with his or her work, usually huge, 700 page monstrosities.

In the throes (I just finished "X") of the Sue Grafton  series, I've been reading them in order, steadily.  In doing this, I've seen how her writing has changed, how her style has morphed into something more complex and richer, and noticed that her character's progress is only about a five or six year stretch, with tags to previous books that really don't get in the way of the story line.  But what did disturb me is how little I actually recall about any of them. To be fair, some of these books go back to the late 80s and haven't been read since. But even the most recent leave me with blank spots. Did I even READ this?

I've also discovered along the way, that authors who resort to cute names for their characters, or cute antagonists (i.e. Tommy Tippler or Aggie Eggers) or even cuter animals who write the stories, are not really my thing at all.   It seems as if too much time is expended on an attempt at humor in the middle of what wants to be a solid serious-but-fun read.

On to P.D. James.  =)

Friday, July 6, 2018

how we spent our anniversary (for the curmudgeons out there)

I mowed the grass this morning
later on he went outside and cut some lumber for a kitchen project
while I slopped some paint remover stuff on a painted timber
and removed about half of it

Later in the day we took  the trailer and went to Home
Depot to pick up some wallboard and plywood. 

For our anniversary supper he had the last of the tunafish salad
with chips (we threw caution to the wind) and olives.  I had
an orange. 

No one appeared to scare the bejebus out of us with HAPPY ANNIVERSARY,
and no one invited us to a cookout,  a surprise party, or a seekrit celebration. 

It was a lovely day,  and we may just do it again next  year.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Random thoughts about the perception of Freedom

I think it's as much about what we perceive as it is the reality.   When I was a kid, my dad used to take me swimming. The family rule was, if you can't touch the bottom, you're too far out.  I followed that, knowing if I got in trouble, he couldn't swim out  to save me.  One day a bunch of kids came along, and we were horsing around, but then they got further out than I was "allowed' to go,  and that was the end of that.  My dad said, "why didn't you go with them?  You know how to swim..."  and I had to think that one over carefully.  What the rule REALLY was, but unstated,  "if there's no one else here...". 

That may very well obtain in everything.   Some rules/laws  are silly.  Some rules/laws  have unwritten unspoken codicils.  Some will save your life, some will kill you.

There was a flap recently about a woman who was pulled over on an interstate in the midwest for going too slow in the fast lane.  Her valid argument was, she was going the speed limit.  But she had a trail of 20 cars behind her.  They were following the other law, which was, you cannot pass on the right.  You can be too 'correct' to the detriment of everyone else.

If you think you are in a totalitarian state, and behave that way, then you are, no matter what the reality is.  Many early immigrants came here from truly dreadful places,  and they brought with them the idea that the world is a police state, and they were as terrified here as they were there.   Police were jailers, as far as they were concerned.

Most of us break little rules every day,  sometimes with a resounding crash.  Sometimes we don't even realize what we're doing until the process server shows up.  Or the building inspector. Sometimes we do,  and forge ahead anyway.   That's called flying under the radar.

I'm still fairly cautious about swimming out beyond my depth, well aware that no one will be paddling out to rescue me,  but I also know my own boundaries.  Most of the time.  😈

Tuesday, June 26, 2018



not a scrap left behind
no signatures,
no business ledgers,
no hard-to-decipher hieroglyphic handwriting
not even a social security card
or a birthday card

even all the addresses,
new and abandoned,
were hidden with a careful application
of black magic marker
across each one in the address book

All the negatives
most of the photos--
books, clothing that belonged
to someone else

she must have spent most of her days
in a haze of anger, confusion,
and caution,
wiping out any trace of anyone else
who ever lived—or died—
in that house,

until the only thing that remained
was one old woman
who lost even the memory of herself

Monday, June 25, 2018

Peter Dinklage

Fun to watch, and it makes you think.  =)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Charlie and his big adventure

Today is Charlie's annual show at the vet's.  They send out this really funny suggestion letter telling us we can 'train our cats" to enter a cat carrier on their own.  They never met Charlie, the claustrophobe.
He goes into hysterics at the sight of a carrier, refuses even to sit in cartons with more than four sides, and unlike every cat I've ever known, he gets no joy out of paper bag  boo or scaring the bejabbers out of passing cats by hiding in a box and leaping out at them.

Annnnd later.

Had his shots, the vet cooed all over him, and we came home.

Got back here about 11:00,  Charlie vaulted out of the car and stayed outside, out of range, until just a few minutes ago.  When I saw him in the yard,  he would open his mouth and close it (no sound, just his usual unspoken commentary) a few times, and then turn on his fluffy heels and leave to sulk under the porch.   My husband finally enticed him in but when he saw me (the cat, not the husband) he flattened his ears and left the room.
My husband, ever positive, said, "well, you're the one who took him..."

I've never seen a cat so unforgivingly pissed as this one.

Maybe by tomorrow.

shakes head.  walks away, muttering.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Revenant T13


How does one explain
waking from a deep dreamless sleep
into moonlight with your heart pounding
your right wrist encircled
by  a hand you haven't felt in 50 years?

and  in the morning
you still feel his hand
on the small of your back

as you send  desperate messages  into the air
not even sure what they are beyond  the longing to connect
to touch  to recall
that keeps you rooted to the spot
waiting for the phone to ring

Monday, June 11, 2018

Squirrel Drama

The first I knew of it, I had a cat standing on top of his covered  catbed, staring out the window.  A squirrel was doing that  "angry chicken with a stuck egg" thing they do when they're mad.
I looked out the window too,  and realized I was eye to eye with a large grey squirrel, and my aren't they large when you are nose to nose with them and only a pane of glass between...

He had somehow been chased up the side of the house and come to ground on the second floor windows, unable to get back down--and the roof overhang made it impossible for him to escape that way.
Charlie, the other cat, was outside, peering up expectantly.  Aha, I thought,  guess who...

I went out, grabbed Charlie, and put him inside.  Tried to entice mr. squirrel down with a board that almost reached the front door lintel.  nope.  He was too high up to risk jumping and while he could charge across the clapboards horizontally he wouldn't risk the steady downward plunge.   Trust is not a given with squirrels, they hate everyone.  Like Markie.

Finally I took a heavy cotton sheet and draped it invitingly out the upstairs window, and left it at that.  The cats are by now galloping from window to window, shouting encouragement.  Probably along the lines of, "jump, you four footed rat, you, JUMP".

And sure enough, after about an hour we heard a scrabbly sound and then a hearty thump, and there was Mr. Squirrel, racing across the lawn to the nearest tree...whether he used the sheet as a faux rope, we shall never know.  I like to think he did.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Vengeance is mine, saith the weather gods

Every year I have this little dance I do, about the storm sash/screen door sash and when should I put in the screen?  Seems like a simple question.

Every year if I guess wrong, two days later we are visited by the  mother of all snow storms, or a temperature dtop to below freezing, and I just know after all this time, there is no right time for switching from storm sash to screen.  The weather gods are waiting for this.

April was ungodly, May wasn't much better, so I held off.  Five days ago, on a lovely balmy June day I finally unsealed the back door and put in the screen insert on the entry door.  Nice. Warm wind wafting in,  birds shouting...overnight the temperature went from 75 to 40.  It started to rain, and the wind picked up.  I've had the kitchen stove going ever since.

Today was semi nice, we rounded up a cousin and went for a woods walk, waving hello and goodbye to about three million mosquitoes.  Damp but doable.   My husband keeps believing those god awful 10- day forecasts, which unravel hour by hour from warm and sunny to inclement weather to possible hailstorms and snow...

I love weather but frankly I'd rather read about it than live through it.  =)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

13 to pick and choose from


Bob Dylan "Not Dark Yet"


Arlo Guthrie "If I Had a Hammer"


Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris "If This is Goodbye"


Lili, a short animation


Everly Brothers "Why Worry"


J.J.Cale, "Anyway the Wind Blows"


Traveling Wilburys


Paul Williams (Sad Song (with Muppets))


David Gray  "An Eclipse"


Toby Keith "Sundown"


Kingston Trio "Take Her Out Of Pity"


Joan Baez  "Farewell Angelina"


Iron and Wine "Time After Time"

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fable (for our time too, probably) T13

1. There was a time, long ago, when people finally understood that Death happened.  They didn't necessarily understand what it was, or why it happened, and because this scared them, they began to make up stories about how it was.

2. The story tellers would talk about it around the fire late at night, making it up as they went along, to soothe the fearful.  They would say,  "A great beast came for Harry last night and took him away."
Someone might ask, "Why? Why did he take Harry, and will he be back for us?"  And the story teller, being wise, would ponder this and say, "well, I think the great beast comes for someone when they are old and tired or can't work anymore.  When we get like that, it will be our time too."

3. And they all went away and thought about this.

4.  The stories grew more elaborate, more detailed, as the centuries went by.  People began to see that this Death, this Great Beast, wasn't all that bad. If you got really sick, he took you somewhere and you got better, maybe, and came back as someone else. And they started honoring the dead, to make sure they wanted to come back.  Buried them, to keep the spirits safe and happy.

5. Soon they were finding spirits in everything: sour milk,  two headed calves,  a good crop,  tall daughters and sons.  Rain at the right time, or too much rain. Volcanoes that needed appeasing (there go your tall daughters).  Each culture had it's own.  pixies, gremlins, elves, leprechauns, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy.  Hundreds of spirits, hundreds of events.  Lares and Penates, the household gods.   Small shrines kept  well lit to honor someone's memory. And there were the naughty spirits: Pan, the pukelman,  the tricksters, the rabbit, the fox, imps, goblins.

6. Festivals were constructed both to celebrate the harvest, spring, summer, the longest night, the longest day,  the changes in the year's cycles.  Some were in honor of harvest spirits. But along with all of this sterner minded folk were constructing their own festivals, and being lazy, began to take over other cultures celebrations--cleaned up the act, you might say.

7. The spring festival was no longer a bacchanalia, where couples would go off into the woods and celebrate their own rising sap, winter festivals of lights were no longer a time of wonder in the dark, chasing the evil darkness away on the longest night of the year;  easter became a month long descent into terror and grim death, with a resurrection at the end, and bunnies delivering eggs.

8. There were spirits to explain the mysterious--why the milk went sour,  how the frost covered the windows,  how to make pains disappear, what cured, what killed and how to appease all of them.

9. But Death was always just outside the door, and it became part of the fabric. No one really knew what it meant to die, to go still and cold. So they tried to call the spirit back,  they invented souls and angels,  and of course the angels had to have a leader, and gods appeared.  Great, terrifying, flaming gods that rode across the sky in chariots of flame, or arose from the sea to sink ships.

10. People began trying to appease the gods, to stave off disaster and death a bit longer.  When it happened they left offerings,  and when it didn't they prayed harder and left bigger offerings.

11.  The story tellers wrote about miracles, and magic, and winged creatures.  They wrote it all down to be told and retold, tinkered with here and there,  to bring it all up to date.  And somehow, somewhere along the long line,  some of the stories became real to their listeners. They began to imagine what those magical beings really looked like, and sometimes in the dark they would hear voices or cries which alternately soothed or scared the blazes out of them.

12.  Devils appeared in their dreams. And gods, warring with each other.  Thousands of years, thousands of stories and thousands of gods.   They still pray to their own particular god or gods, to cure sickness, to appease the weather spirits, to make the volcano stop.  When it happens, they leave offerings.  When it doesn't, they pray harder. 

13. Not a lot has changed.  💫


Sunday, May 27, 2018

One small wish -- or two

I do wish that people who no longer support a particular blog would, at the very least,  shut off the comments section.   I just chanced across a lovely (but apparently discontinued) blog, and realized there were about a dozen spam messages, most of them ads, or repetitions, or some such.   When I see that it feels like looking at a painting in a museum that someone has spray painted across.

The second part is, if you no longer keep the blog up, delete it.  'Specially the ones with your kids' baby pictures or your little girl's kindergarten play.   Equally  important; the ones that have your
full name and address (what were they THINKING) in the post somewhere, and a picture of  your house-- and family standing proudly by the mailbox. Oh, please.  You can just hear the burglars taking notes.  And the last message being, "well,  we're off to Disneyworld and Aunt Nan's for a month, we'll be back by Halloween!"

We have been invited...

--to one of those informational 'luncheons' to learn about the latest Senior Living Center place, thing.
This one bodes to be a whopper.  They will be discussing Money Management, Investment Procedures, and you are invited to bring along your Personal Estate Planner or Investment Broker...

Considering our particular living style, there would be a strong suggestion of New Clothes for both of us.  And we would have to contact Rent-a-Broker.

Friday, May 25, 2018


from last night

Ordinarily the cats are kept in at night, with outdoor privileges only during daylight    Charlie has discovered that if he leaps up and wraps himself around the door latch and jiggles it, it will swing open and he can 'escape'.   It's a heavy wooden door, but then, Charlie is 14 lbs of determination.


It is nearly 11 PM and I am waiting for him to return from his grounds patrol.  When he comes back in,  the latch will be blocked, and tomorrow I'll be putting a drop hook on the door, something  I should have done the last time he tried this. Sigh.

There does seem to be a bit of a turf war over the cat door, which is clear plastic, so they can see each other through it. Last night I noticed Toby, who has never learned to use it, was whapping away at it.  Turns out Charlie was on the other side, trying to get in. 

 Shakes head. staggers off.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thirteen Things to drive a burglar crazy

Just for fun, I like to dream up different ways to make a burglar very very nervous...use separately or in combination.

1.  Take two old spoons, and hang them by a string over a nail on the inside of the entry door.  Make sure the spoons can hit each other when the door opens.  They have a reverb that goes on forEVER.

2.  If you're going away for a few days spread a thin coat of marbles on the entryway floor

3.  Tiny bells on every door, way up high

4.  A tape recording of a small dog saying, "wuf" and then a voice upstairs saying, "did you hear something?"

5.  A switch that, when activated after dark, turns on the lights in the room for about 5 seconds, and then turns them out.  Lather, rinse, repeat at varying intervals.

6.  Open the door, close the door behind you, and it locks.  Then you hear the sound of a growly dog padding along...

7.  wind chimes. Everyone LOVES windchimes. Not.  Hang one of the more offensive ones (the kind with a huge reverb) directly on the inside of the door. Any door.

8.  strategically place squeaky toys in front of all the doors.  many many toys.

9. rig up a trip wire that, when hit or crossed, alerts the local police, and  releases a veritable blizzard of small bits of paper...

10. there is always the pail over the door filled with the beverage of your choice...

11.  A trip wire that activates a recording of Black Sabbath.  Loud.  Very very loud.  Neighbors tend to notice stuff like that.

12.  Big damp sponges on the floor. NO one likes to step on big damp Somethings in the dark.  "oh my god, was WAS that...yeeewww"

13. Coat all the doorknobs with vaseline

New Thursday13

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maple Forest

If you look very closely at this, you can see a LOT of faint brownish reddish leaf pairs, all over the place.  This is what  a future Maple Forest looks like. On my front lawn.  (that's  Charlie, inspecting the lawn)

Two years ago we had the second year of a two year drought, the deep-down kind that no one really paid a lot of attention to, as far as weather pundits were concerned:  rivers dried up, everyone had brown lawns, and even (and most horrifying to me) 100 year old trees were wilting, literally wilting, by July. Very little snow cover, no fall rains, no spring rains.   Last  year was closer to normal, and the old Rock Maple in my front yard recovered, somewhat.  We had fall rains, lotta snow, spring rains. 

We never bothered, for two years, to mow the grass.  It went to seed and the birds loved it.

This year I decided it might be a good idea to start mowing again, since we seem to be having a normal if cold spring.  This is what I found, all over the yard where the maples are.  It's a patch maybe 50ft. by 50ft, and there's another on the other side of the driveway as well. 

I said to my husband, if we had had to go away from here for three or four years,  we would be coming back to a yard literally crammed with three foot high maples...

I think I figured it out.  When a mature tree is stressed, as these were,  they produce early seeds and drop them, Thousands.  It's a way of ensuring that this tree, by golly, will at least have babies.   Last year they sprouted into two-prong seedlings,  and I didnt see 'em because I didn't mow. 
Yesterday I hit this spot and I thought, oookay...what IS this.   It's quite pretty,  until you realize what they will turn into very quickly, lol. 

The big old maple survives, still.  I suspect it will outlast us.  I surely hope so.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Don't misunderstand me but...

I will be eternally grateful when this wedding tomorrow is truly over and the happy couple are safely off to wherever they are going to...

I love that Meghan and Harry thing,  they are adorable, and seem to always be having such a good time in each other's company. The main thing being, they are so far down the list to be future monarch material  they are pretty much off the hook, royal behavior-wise...but I just want it over,  so we can go back to where were.   Wherever that was.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

one is the loneliest number... T13

two step

two cents worth

two by two

two part  harmony

two of a kind

it takes two to tango



two left feet

two timer

goody two shoes

two bit

Tea for Two

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I've posted this before,  and now and then
(now, especially) it seems like a good idea
to repost it.  Just because.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Look Closely (T13)

Not the blossom
but the leaf that opens
with the unborn fruit  inside

Monday, May 7, 2018

how much is that doggie in the window

Sometimes you go into a pet store,  and can successfully ignore all the barky waggy puppies, until at one point you hear a short sharp YIP and turn around to see a small dog boring holes into the back of your head.  he KNOWS he's got you. 
You walk away, all the way to the door, and you can still hear that one YIP, and see that face.  And you go home with a dog you didn't know you needed.

Today I was in the Salvation Army store;  not really looking to buy,  and I passed a rack of men's jackets.  Hanging on the very end of the rack was a well used, well kept  blue/purple/green plaid  (you know the color) work jacket, with a fleece lining.  Cuffs a bit worn, but when I put it on I realized they were too long and I'd probably have to cut them off.   Somewhere in the back of my head, I heard that puppy. YIP.

I put it back on the hanger.  Moved on and inspected the furniture, the curtains, the used books, the dresses, the shoes.  was working my way down the last aisle to the checkout counter,  and I heard that YIP again.  The tail was wagging, and oh, those eyes...

It's a bit narrow across the front, but I don't need to button it, and yeah, the sleeves will need to be shortened, badly.  But it isn't every day you can buy a well loved well used Abercrombie and Fitch work jacket for $6...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

It just keeps getting better and better

It appears that our fearless leader has reached a new level
 (I shall leave it up to you to decide which one) by selecting
 Dr. Oz, mr. snakeoil  personified,  to be his newest appointee.

Words fail me.  Then again I'm barely surprised, just frightened.  What's next?  Oprah as Supreme Court candidate?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What we've lost (T13)

1. typewriters/ribbons/ink
2. SLR cameras/film
3. spelling
4. encyclopedias
5. letters
6. slide rules/calculators
7. free tv
8. door to door salesmen
9. dial phones
10. mail order catalogues
11. bookstores
12. vinyl records
13. polaroid cameras

does anyone else notice the connecting link between most  of these?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Small Things

The sun has been out for three whole days.  So have we, racing the predicted rain, cutting cordwood, picking up what needs to be gotten undercover...and just enjoying the sun, the need to shed that coat, those gloves, that extra layer of whatever.  Oh, yeah. Sweat.  😅

On a much smaller note, all the aching, dreadful inactivity of this past winter had begun to take it's toll.  The first time in six months that I was able (or even wanted)  to walk across the yard without snowshoes or winter clothes, I was stunned to see how quickly old lady muscles lose their tone.  But the little voice inside kept saying, patiently,  'muscle memory, muscle memory' and by yesterday I was almost up to speed, at least moving, if not lifting, which is a big part of what we do around here, daily.   But that will come too.

The jonquils are up, and the flowers  are nearly ready to open.  And in the yard, there are patches of green here and there and vigorous bird song at the edge of the woods. I  thought about the lawn mower, briefly,  but held my breath and the thought went away.   Not yet.

I've been away, mentally, I guess.  Not a lot to write about, not a lot going on.  Most of the winter has been spent in a kind of mental/dysfunctional swirl,  and I've been reading voraciously.  I went through 38 of the DiscWorld books in three  months. Finally got to read the last two, Snuff and Raising Steam  which are each a tour de force, difficult, funny, powerfully moving.  Now Im working my way through Anne Perry, the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, which appeals to me less than the Inspector Monk books,  but are still worth the effort.

And one small small thing that probably only another cat person will appreciate:  for the first time in probably 8 years, yesterday my little tiger cat Toby walked past me (walked, not galloped) and as he passed my chair, his tail went up in greeting.  He has always been afraid of humans, and up until this year would rapidly leave any room we entered.  I ache to think what his life was like before coming here...but he is slowly, slowly, coming to accept us as basically harmless (and damn fine door openers), and yesterday there was that little salute with the tail.  We gettin' there.