Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday 13

what's scarier: 
watching the news 
and knowing--
or not watching it 
and wondering


Monday, September 11, 2017

Pratchett and Baxter

I tend to use our local Salvation Army store as a kind of guidepost to books;  strange as that sounds,  usually (but not always) you will find the gorier detective novels by Patricia Cornwell,  The DaVinci Code, rip and read gothic/romanc/mystery novels, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King.  What is rare, is to find Robert Parker,  poetry,  Tolkien,  most science fiction, Sue Grafton, or Terry Pratchett.
A few months ago in a real honest to pete bookstore I ran afoul of a new set of Pratchett books I had never seen before, 'co-authored with" Stephen Baxter.  I bought one, to see what was up.  It turns out these have been in the book stores for several years.  I got through it, waiting for Pratchett's style and humor to appear.  At the end, I got a glimmer of his style as the long awaited finish, finished.

To say I was disappointed is putting it gently. I read a few of the reviews (and contributed my own comments to it) at Amazon, one young woman actually said she loved it, it was one of Pratchett's funniest books, she laughed all the way through.   I'd guess she never read it.

And today on one of the SA bookshelves, in what can only be called pristine condition, "The Long Utopia" what I am assuming is the final book in the series.   Raises one eyebrow...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The World's Most Boring TV

One of the better Ted Talks, and one of the funnier ones. Worth the trip over to see it.

Weather Elves

Aren't they just having the most wonderful time with all of this, meteorologically, at least:  maps and charts and flood watches, warning, surges, tide levels, wind categories,  it's a wonder they can sleep at night from the excitement.

And of course with three hurricanes in a row (let us not forget what's-it's-name out there) by the end of this, they will all be totally wiped out.  Hell, this is more fun than a blizzard.

Not to mention the three kids I saw on a video this morning roller blading down a hurricane soaked street, yep...or the Denial Guy north of Tampa who is telling everyone that this silly bit of wind has been so hyped...then he went and pushed a mattress against his plate glass window.  Just in case.  His tone reminds me of people who say,  "I didnt get hurt, what are YOU complaining about...?"

Beyond that I can only imagine what it must be like to be halfway up  the highway heading for almost anywhere North, and you're on your last gallon of gas,  someone says, "daddy, I gotta pee"
and the winds are now 60 MPH and rising.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Poem for a Six Word Saturday

sometimes he'd get drunk
and remember her name
and wonder where she went
sometimes he'd drive 100 miles to see
if she was home
he'd sit in the car in the dark and drink
and wait for her lights to go on
and then go out
if he drank enough
he'd forget why he was there
and drive home again

Sunday, September 3, 2017

ve haf been assimlated

Was a time when you could order a book, or a tool, or a dress, from a catalog; send in the check, and a few weeks later there it would be, in your mailbox.

Or you could go to a store and shop.  Money changed hands, or checks. Or credit cards.

You were a deeply involved part of the process, from start to finish. If you did the hands-on thing, you got to touch the fabric, the box, the item.  Kick the tires, as it were.  I still have trouble with the idea of buying clothes online,  or fabric. Gotta touch it, smell it, see how it drapes.    You talked to a sales person, traded information, sometimes got to the first name stage and you became friends.

Then someone invented computers.

What concerns me, is how easy it was, and how quietly it actually happened.   And I do wonder, if the power goes down on that great national grid, what happens to those of us who are virtually locked into it, with automated house functions, cell phones,  cars that now have computer components even in the wheels, lighting systems that do the auto dim or bright as is needed...

Does anyone else get a little apprehensive about all this?

Saturday, August 26, 2017


I am on overload right now
and my poor brain is addled enough
with rearranging furniture in two rooms
(soon to be three)  and finding new homes
for old stuff,  and there comes a time when
you really have to settle back and stop
trying to ride two or three sets of roller skates
at the same time.
I just knew this was going to happen.  The upside
is,  by the end of the madness I will have lost
nearly 30 pounds (oh yay me) and if you put that
in monetary terms,  I feel like I've been working out
daily at the local gym for three months.  For freeeee.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Changing times

Husband went to the bank yesterday to deposit some money, and apparently they are now on a Credit Card sweep.  They really really wanted to have him sign  up for a credit card.  "no thanks," he said.
"But but but how do you pay for things?"
"Check, debit, or cash".  
Silence.  "but but but how do you pay your BILLS?"
"check, debit, or cash..."

This is a bank, now.  A real live bank with real  tellers.  He said the girl was stunned.  "But but but EVERYONE has CREDIT..." she said.

"No," he said. "not everyone."

And left.  Our reputation as deadbeats has been set in cement.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Film pretty soon but not yet

Apologies.  It's been a busy month.  We contracted to have someone put up a ceiling in the dining room (which as been bare board laths since I took down the old plaster decades ago),  partly because neither of us has the courage, skill set, or tools to put up a new one. We thought it would be easier to hire it out.  ahahaha.   He is also offering to do one wall that was never finished.  All the plaster had to be lifted and dug out, I had to insulate the spaces,  all the ceiling bits had to be knocked down, and ALL the furniture removed.  Getting it moved out was easy. Finding new temp homes for it was not.

He just finished, three days of non-stop sanding, priming, wallboard.   I've never seen anyone work that steadily for that many hours and not even be winded.

Monday the chimney cleaners show up to clean all three flues.  That means they need space around them to work their magic. Not a lot, but some. That means that now  the ceiling guy is done we can move a bit of furniture back into the dining room to make room for the chimney cleaners.  gassp gassp

Three  days ago the guy with the gravel arrived and started spreading gravel all over our slightly deteriorating driveway.   He and the ceiling guy met but it was cool.

When the smoke and dust clears, I will still have two cords of wood to stuff in the woodshed and about three more to stack outside.

Yes, thank you, I have discovered that 'muscle memory' is a real thing,  if a painful one, and I have probably lost a good ten pounds in the process.

After my husband is done painting the ceiling the proper shade of not-quite-white  I will be able to move stuff in a bit more quickly.

Seekrit I learned a LONG time ago:  pick one skill and be terrible at it.   Mine is paint rollers.  I hate painting ceilings with rollers, and the only way to get around that is to excel at  being bad. Drives him crazy.  snrk snrk.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Old Man and the Machine (6WS)

When a man has a tractor that plows snow, and a bucket for lift, carry, and dig,  and also has the great god Hydraulics,  he's happy.  Now, he says,  I can plow snow.  I can dig holes. I can move rocks and dirt and wood.

Then he discovers that there is also a machine  that can be Modified. It will not only plow and dig and carry, it can lift almost anything if you have enough rope and chain and hooks, it can carry boulders, and dig deeper holes.  Instead of just plowing, it can now blow snow.

And lo, it has Attachments. He can now grade dirt roads, pull tree stumps, split wood and then carry it away.  And if he's at all creative with acetylene torches and welding,  he can accessorize it with hooks and mounts and brackets.

However, (you just knew there was a However) it now enables him to envision projects that he "always wanted to try"  and as long as he has enough chains and lifting mechanisms and a really good set of rollers and crowbars, and engine hoist,  (and a doubtful but willing wife) he can get himself in the most god-awful messes that ever were.  To be fair, so far he has managed to escape permanent Mess status...

Moral: Sometimes our reach exceeds our grasp and it might be time to buy another length of chain.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quantify (T13)

1. Too much

2.  Almost enough

3. Oh, maybe one more

4. There's a bit left over

5. Not quite

6. Not yet

7. More or less

8.Less is more

9. Half full

10. Practically empty

11. It's  half finished

12. Not nearly enough

13. This will have to do


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Disclaimer, warning, whatever you want to call it 👷

For the past few weeks Ive been getting  daily "Anonymous" posts sent to me in email (which is where all the blogger posts go, before they end up here) for evaluation.  so far everyone of them has run along the lines of "this is amazing writing, I am encouraged so much by what you say and I am planning on starting a blog of my own..."   Delete, block.  👽☁

Anyone who makes an anonymous post will be blocked.  Unless (and this is important) they are someone legitimate having a bad hair day and can't get their post stuff to work the way it should.  in that case, email me and say, hey, this is X and im trying to post, etc etc. and I have no problem with that.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

13 the hard way


     s i x
   u   t
t hree
w     n    e
one        l
    i     twelve
    g        v      
    h    s  e


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Wasn't it just Saturday--oh. right. (6WS)








Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6 1968 Anniversary

He (almost) always remembers the card, I only remember when I SEE the card, propped up on the table, or in front of my computer.  I did catch him out one year, when we both forgot, and I remembered first,  about a week later.

 I can't believe it's been 49 years.

We don't do a fancy dinner, we don't do flowers or gifts, it's a marker day,  the way birthdays are, but we rarely make a big do about it.  It just is.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spellcheck, where are you when we need you (Thursday13)

(Or, rather, "spelchek ware r u wen we need u)

bear bier beer bare bayer

tear tier tare

pair pear peer pare

right rite wright write

ware where we're were

flour flower (and if youre from the south) floor

holey holy wholly

you're your yore

heir hair here hear

bore boar boor

four fore for

whale wale wail

desert desert dessert

new thursday 13

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Billy Collins "Forgetfulness"

Thank you to Boud for reminding me about this delightful poem about the way the mind turns on us, one cell at a time...

Billy Collins "Forgetfulness"

There is even an audio if you prefer to listen. Frankly I think  he writes better than he reads,  but it's still a good poem...

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.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Last night I was awakened out of a lovely deep sleep by the sensation that I had lost not only the use of my legs but the feeling in both of them.  It was pretty scary.  I dislike sleeping on my back, since by morning, at my age, I am reduced to beached whale status and need to claw my way over to the edge of the bed before I even think about getting up.   Try telling that to an overeager bladder.

Anyway, I finally realized that I was not paralyzed from the knees down, I was trapped by a sleeping twelve pound cat draped  gloriously and enthusiastically across my ankles.  When I reached down as far as I could I encountered, not Charlie and his cloud of floaty fur, but a sleek, groomed creature and I thought, oh my stars, Toby is sleeping across my knees...Toby who rarely gets close enough to pat,
Toby who streaks through each room that has humans in it, who has only recently decided if Charlie can get brushed, well he wants some too. But only between the shoulder blades, thank you.

There he was, snoring delicately away,  all eight pounds of him, making sure my knees didn't rise up and float off, and Charlie at the bottom, protecting my ankles from the same fate. Suddenly I understood that I was going to keep that position all night, if necessary,  because, Toby.  And I did.

Then again, twenty pounds of cats  is nothing to be trifled with,  in any position.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry. RIP

He was 90.  He was amazing.


Chuck Berry the blues

Monday, March 13, 2017

If you got 'em

get the cows in and hook the chicken coop door.

Even though they insist on calling this an 'old fashioned
nor'easter" (makes it sounds like something out of granny's
attic), I think classic would be more appropriate.  It is, I admit,
kinda fun to watch as this thing plays out. And NOAA
does have some fun weather maps.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Guess what! It's 1984 and 1952 all over again! Thursday 13

1.  I worry that we might all be monitored in some fashion, very soon

2.  I have found places on the net where any news commentary concerning the Donald that is in the least critical of his actions is represented by an opening statement that has turned into an unclickable link. "oops, we can't find that. error 401"  yep.

3. Anytime I see outrage or fear or anger expressed, concerning the new admin,  I wonder how long those kinds of expressions will be allowed to continue.

4.  There is such a thing as too much power and the wrong hands wielding it. In the wrong hands, obviously, any power is too much.

5. I've been seeing several blog entries sent to me that start out obviously not in favor of this or that, politically,  click on them, and the link is broken. "File not found."  and i wonder who pulled the plug. I know, I've done the same thing at times, but rarely.  This seems to be happening more and more.

6.  We are being catapulted back to the time before women's rights were an issue, before integration, before birth control, before health clinics for abused women, and the days of "don't ask, don't tell".

7. It has become the norm to automatically praise any newspaper who resists the Donald's dubious charm/policies.  I just wonder how long those papers will continue to exist.

8.  The smirk, the sneer, the hand gestures, the wall.

9.  That auto-blame that kicks in anytime something goes wrong. "it was X who did that."  The classic sign of a Narcissitic personality.  I know, my mother was one.  If I was in FRANCE and she broke a dish, it was my fault. Trust me, she'd find a way.

10. Blaming people who are in no position to refute the claims, in order to deflect unwelcome attention about  their own bad behavior.

11. People all too willing to believe that just because he's President he must be ready for sainthood and they behave/believe accordingly.

12. Years ago we impeached a President for sexual misconduct (and folks, that kind of  'misconduct' takes two) yet this time around we elected one who brags about it.  Times do change.

13. Sweeping and all-inclusive laws that affect our personal lives, our behavior, and those of our friends, with no regard for the grey areas and the people who will be irreversibly damaged.

Thursday 13

Friday, March 3, 2017

The winter of our annoyance

I never quite understood the fascination with winter, with snow, with sub zero temps.   People actually CHOOSE to live here in Northern New England,  even if there's a choice for a balmier climate.  You know, Tennessee. Virginia.

Someone suggested to me that we did seem to obsess about wood.  As I recall, I pointed out that when you burn the stuff for close to nine months,  spend the other three or four or five cutting, splitting, stacking, and negotiating over it with wood deliverers,  it tends to crop up in convo quite frequently:

"get your wood in yet?"
"Nahh, threw my back out last week,  hard to throw wood leanin' on a cane, yep"

"How much you burn last winter, anyway?"
"Considering the early cold and the late snow,  just about everything back to the walls.  Mebbe 13 cords, mebbe less."
"Yep, now I have to it do it all over again this year..."

Possibly, too, because burning wood is such a personal experience, I mean, you're right there with it, every step of the way--if you have gas or oil the delivery truck pulls up regularly, fills the tanks  and drives away.  Your only concern is finding the checkbook. After that, it's thermostat time.

But I seriously wonder why people, when they have the chance,  move NORTH instead of South...and then are surprised, open-mouth awestruck, when they look out the window one morning to see two feet of snow.  Like, it never happened before or something...

But there are perks to all of this. One of them is watching newcomers learn how to drive sideways on icy roads.

Or explaining why the 6" of new snow doesn't just disappear in a day or two "like it does in Tennessee..."

Or showing them what a roof rake is and why you really do need to clean off that roof NOW...

I know a man who buys a new plastic shovel every time it snows, because he always forgets and puts his used shovel away once he's cleaned the driveway.  In the shed.  The one where the snow drifts in and plugs the door shut.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My one political commentary for the year. I hope.

Without realizing what I was listening to the other night I kept hearing the Donald in speaking mode:  he sounded sincere, sonorous, convincing. What, I thought, was THAT all about. Then I recognized the speak and response rhythm when the POTUS addresses the congress once a year.

My husband is a fan, by the way. I am not.

Anyhow, the whole speech went over very well, and the next day the news people were all over themselves with exuberant praise for what a wonderful, sincere speech the Donald made, they were surprised, very encouraging, and quite willing now to believe that he has changed his tune/stripes/spots and is becoming civilized.

I has my doubts.  Anyone who has been subjected to his many moods and modes of communication will recognize this one, it's the "placate the masses" one,  intended to soothe and butter everyone up.  It was a speech, nothing more.  Even the Donald knows better than to go into Big Dude mode with Congress, and to be honest, he handled them very well.  I just don't buy it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Even the smallest steps are appreciated (6WS)

Day before yesterday I was shoveling off the kitchen roof after the second semi-blizzard in three days (and of course it's a two-fer  because once you get that roof clean you take the roof rake and drag down as much snow as you can from the main roof on two sides, giving you usually three times as much snow as you just cleaned off) and in the midst of all this I heard ravens, looked up, and there were two of them, heading off for the woods. Cruk, cruk, cruk.

And deeper into the woods, careful, tentative, a pileated woodpecker drumming out his first love letter to a prospective Mrs. Woodpecker.

At the edge of the field which is bordered by woods, chickadees, shouting at each other, establishing their own early territories for the spring.

At some point the sun will come out and something will start to melt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

T13--ladies only--mostly

Ah, the memories:

1. full body girdles with stocking grippers (remember the dents?) to hold the nylons up

2. "are my seams straight?"

3. two inch heels for everything--even teachers, nurses and waitresses wore them

4. "mules" and yes they had heels too

5. lipstick came in two basic colors:  red and pink, and when you were 16 you were allowed some.

6. if you colored your hair (it was called "dyed" back then) you never told anyone

7. home perms with little pink plastic clips and curl papers

8. homes for wayward girls (and it was ALWAYS her fault, right)

9. dress-up to go Christmas shopping, to the movies, even to  the doctor

10. you wore blue jeans or slacks only at home and skirts to go out in public

11. I had a Golden Book (flip book), one side was "Just like Mommy" and the other side was "Just Like Daddy."  grrrr.

12. real glass in your eyeglasses

13. little metal perforated curlers with a hinge that usually pulled out a chunk of hair when you took them out

New Thursday 13

Sunday, February 12, 2017

It looks almost fake

It's been snowing since noon.  I must admit, albeit grudgingly, it is kinda pretty.  There are storms like this that make me feel that the snow is not rising, but the house is sinking.

The weather people are still arguing about just WHERE in NH this will become a blizzard and seem to have narrowed it down to two counties out of a possible er. however many there are.  What I am curious about is how they can explain to the storm that it's just supposed to turn into a blizzard in ONLY those two counties?   It would seem about as useful as shouting at ants that they're going the wrong way...

The mister is out there even now, making his first snow blower pass of the evening. He's a happy happy man.   Enclosed cab, am-fm radio, heat,  power.  Much power.  The only thing missing is a heated shower and maybe closed circuit tv.  He keeps telling me I should learn to use the BobCat,  but I suspect we would have to fight over who gets to use it first...

It does resemble one of those lithographs you used to see in old stories, all we need is a sleigh and several hungy wolves trailing behind, waiting for somebody to be thrown to them as a sacrifice...

Monday, February 6, 2017

one wish

We have a cat here named Toby;  he's about  7.  He came to us 5 years ago, with his bonded buddy Sammy.   After Sammy disappeared Toby made tentative friends with  our remaining cats but has always been numbingly frightened of humans, of hands raised (oh my god he's gonna throw something at me), or sudden moves.   When you entered a room, he would hurl himself out the door to escape. When he needed to go out or pass through the room you were in he would whiz through like greased lightning.

Since Charlie came, two years ago, Toby has settled down. he accepts us as tolerable, which means if we enter a room, he opens one eye to make sure we aren't carrying anything, and then more or less goes to sleep. He no longer gives us that deer-in-the-headlights stare.  Charlie has colonized the bed and that seems to have given Toby permission to do the same.  Sometimes he will actually brave the fact of Sleeping Humans to sleep there; we pretend not to notice.  Or move.

When I brush Charlie, now, Toby will show up too, not so much to be brushed, but for a very fleeting scratch between his shoulder blades.   Slowly, slowly, he's being assimilated.

But I have one wish, before one of us dies,  and that is to have him jump up into my lap, turn around a few times, and curl up for a nap. Not planning on it, you understand. Just somewhere near the top of my bucket list.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Town House crackers and maple syrup (6WS)

Reeeealllly gooood

just dip and eat. dip and eat. dip and--😊

Thursday, February 2, 2017


she thinks of the times spent
in quiet easy conversation
two people relaxing on a step
or leaning, the way country people do,
against the side of a pickup,
staring down at nothing
as they discuss everything

sometimes they were so easy
together people mistook them
for more than they were to each other

they were each other's cheering section
on the good days
and on the bad as well
she thinks of the way it felt
when they hugged hello
and then goodbye

some things need
no explanation or reason
or boundaries
and what it is
is just enough on both sides

my stone wall will never become
your white painted fence, she said
but never out loud

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Something for the last day of January--

--that has utterly nothing to do with weather or politics or anything but what it is.

Arlo Guthrie

Monday, January 30, 2017

Snow months in Northern New England (9 or 10, maybe 14)

Someone will mention that "yeah, but don't let your guard down, remember that nasty bout we had one  March, three blizzards, one a week?"  and someone else says, " hey, three years ago we had snow in February up to the wahzoo..."

and I have pictures showing both of those, not to mention the Halloween "light dusting" three or four years ago which left us with a foot of snow and no apologies for the mess.  Or two Thanksgivings back, we spent on our appointed roofs (rooves?)  roof rake in one hand,  shovel in the other, cleaning off a mountain of snow with the consistency of partially dried cement.

 Or the infamous ice storm of '97 where it rained ice for a week, took off the top story of forest down six feet all over New England, and left many of us without power for 8 days or longer.   Took us two days to clear our driveway so the line crews could get to the downed  power lines in the woods.

First year in this house the temps went down to 0 at Christmas and stayed there until January.. Then it got REALLY cold, down to -20, all month.  We were burning green oak chunks, and spent the evenings listening to it hiss in the stove as it dried out.

and let us not forget April 1st, mebbe 25 years past, in the days when mud season here was a reality and we left our vehicles at the end of the driveway--any food we needed we backpacked in, and when I shopped I shopped by weight as much as by need.  Just the night before we had  been discussing finally bringing the cars  up to the house, always a marker for us then.  In the morning there was a two foot coating of snow all over the place, and the neighbor had used his tractor  plow to clear our driveway at least to the top of the hill.

Define 'snow month' and get 15 responses, all of them accurate, all of them covering nearly every month except June July and August. Including the 8" dusting we had one early  may, with  sad eyed
jonquils blooming bravely through it.

"Well, " he says, leaning back, "at least that late it don't stay  long"  and he's right.  But it's the fact of it. That, and you learn to never turn your back on winter,  she's a mean bitch,  hates to be ignored.

Those of you who don't live here, you are probably asking yourself, WHY ARE THEY STILL THERE?  I wonder, too.  But that's end of  January talking. Come March and the first warm days with the wind pushing the warm fog up from the south, and the smell of mud instead of snow--well...then I'll remember why. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The first crow of the winter

Every winter the crows fall silent.  Someone said they do, indeed, migrate, but no one seems to know why, or specifically where.  Maybe to Aunt Ruth's in Brighton. Who knows.

But some time in mid-to-late January I open the door to see if the weather is still there (one never knows, with winter) and, like today, I am greeted with an early morning symphony from the far woods.

And it's okay.

I think sometimes we have conscious or unconscious marker points in our weather/personal calendar, and this is one for me.  The next one will be getting to the last day of February.  My dad always said if you could make it that far, spring was on the way.  Ironically, he died on the last day of February.
Can't believe it's been nearly 44 years.

But the sky is bright blue, the wind is whipping the tall narrow ash trees behind the house into a frenzied swaying dance, and the crows are back.

And it's very okay.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trip down memory lane

1. "red yellow and blue balloons" (WONder Bread)

2. Spam  (the original mystery meat)

3, drive-in movies

4. Hostess Twinkies

5. Zarex

6. Marshmallow Fluff

7. Tuna Casserole (made with cream of mushroom soup) with peas (yum)

8.  TV test patterns

9. "living better electrically"

10. Masks on the back of cereal boxes

11. Cracker Jacks and those cool prizes

12.  Saddle shoes

13. Velveeta Cheese

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

out with the old in with the new

My only foray into political anything was tonight,  and I watched a clip of  President Obama's final days...I noticed he seemed relaxed, easy,  comfortable.  As well he should.

And the one statement that resonated with me.  "We're going to be okay."

I think we needed to hear that.  Lord knows, I did.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

the wind, she blows and then (6WS)

it snows.  again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The sweetest words in the English language (well, almost...)

Your order has been shipped    😏