Monday, December 17, 2012

Bug out or stay put?

There is all kinds of crazy shit going on these days (probably no more than normal, it's just in our faces more with social media and all that). I've seen some interesting stuff in my life. It all started when I was about 3 months old and John F. Kennedy was assissanated. Some kook shot John Lennon. I waited in line for a long, long time to get gasoline during the energy crisis, I remember doing duck and cover drills in school in case the Russkies nuked us. In more recent years, I'll admit that I bought a roll of plastic for my doors and windows and prepared for iminent chaos when Y2K happened, I recoiled in horror over the Columbine shootings, I watched 9-11 unfold in real time and now I'm debating what to do for 12-21-12 - the end of the Mayan calendar.

My ex put it best the other day when we were visiting together with our girls and he told them that if something crazy happens, he wants to be at the epicenter of the combo earthquake tsunami solar flare - whatever, so he'll be gone before he has a chance to panic. I gave him directions to our "safe" place just in case. I'm sure he thinks we're crazy but it felt better to make sure that he knows we'll be expecting him if anything does happen.

One of my favorite sayings is 'ignorance is bliss'. I don't really know what's expected to happen at the end of the world and I sort of like it that way. That way, I won't worry too much. Manchild is  a little skeptical and a little nervous so he has a plan in case things go crazy but I can't decide whether to load up the pets and the kids and bug out just in case or whether to keep on keepin' on and rolling along like normal. He wants us close to him (just in case) but for some reason, I can't get jazzed up about carrying 3 cats, 1 large dog, 2 kids and all of our junk for 2 hours to the "safe" place. If the end of time is big enough to be the end of time, what difference will a hundred miles make? And if we're far away enough from all of the chaos, I'd still be worried about the fate of Goldyfish in my pond, and my family here and whether I have enough food in the bird feeder and my plants wilting due to the lack of watering. Worry here or worry there?

I have 4 days to ponder this and I guess I'll have to make a decision soon. But I'd rather try to ignore it and be ignorant. What are you going to do?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to shop when you can't shop.

I've been doing a lot of online shopping lately because driving a car is still a bit of a challenge. And you know what I discovered? Shopping online is EASY! It's AWESOME! You don't have to burn 35 gallons of gas in an effort to find candy cigarettes (which are very elusive) that no one sells anymore. And each time a package shows up on the doorstep it's like Christmas! Even it it's not Christmas time.

I've also learned some lessons while shopping online. Like, when something is priced at $3.00 which sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. You'll probably end up spending $8.00 on shipping. I actually ended up paying $8.45 for shipping on a $3.00 item but it was something that's really hard to find so I had to cave on that one.

Buying online supplies you with enough packing peanuts to make a super huge bean bag (or shipping peanut) chair. I have 75,000 packing peanuts around my house which makes the cats really happy. I didn't realize how much fun could be had by playing with a packing peanut. But my cats showed me. Lucille the dog tried to eat some which wasn't so great because they weren't the starchy peanuts, they were the other (non-edible) kind. She didn't like me jamming my fingers deep into her mouth to retrieve it either. She didn't bite me but she gave me a very dirty look. Sorry Lucille.

I can't wait to give everyone the awesome gifts I obtained from online sources. I might just have to make them open everything early because a week is a long time to have to wait. And I'm not very patient. And since I'm still home on medical leave, I'm forced to walk past all of the gifts multiple times a day and try to ignore their cries of "open, open, open" over and over.

Happy holidays yall!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm still breathing!

Howdy folks! I wanted to write a quick blog to prove that my surgery didn't kill me and that I did wake up. HOORAY! My doctor took pity on me on the day of my surgery and before I even went into the OR, he gave me some joy juice and I was out like a light. I don't even remember telling everyone goodbye!

Maybe he took pity on me because I was hyperventilating and crawling on the ceiling and had a death grip on the railings of the bed. Or maybe it was because I was hyperventilating and crying. Or hyperventilating with my eyes practically falling out of my head. Or hyperventilating.

Afterwords, I awoke with a big ol' neck brace on, and my throat was the size of a watermelon. Or not. But it was really swollen so I was forced to drink milkshakes for a few days. It's been 2 weeks now and I'm starting to feel like myself some. My throat still hurts and I sort of move like a robot but I've got a really cool scar. My story about how I got it is to say something like someone tried to jack my car and I had to fight them and got knifed in the process.

Cool scar, huh?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I'm sorry Clyde Essex

I will the first to admit that I am a technology dope. I am a fairly decent google-izer and I can navigate Facebook somewhat but this blog has been a learning tool for me. I've learned how to add links and photos and speaking of photos...I used a photo I found while trolling through Google Images on one of my posts and today I got a note from the creator of the image, telling me that I was using it without giving him any credit and if I didn't fix things I'd go to hell and my toenails would fall off and stuff like that.

Let me tell ya, I almost threw up a little bit when I saw his note. I was scared to death that I was going to go to Internet jail or something! I immediately went back into my past post and wrote a credit to him as well as a link to his Flickr page but I keep thinking that I need to do more. I didn't mean to steal the picture, Mr. Essex! Honest! I was simply writing a story and the picture matched the mood of it and I plugged it in there without a thought that I might be stealing something.

Hell, I figured my 2 readers might like the picture and never in a million years thought that Mr. Essex or anyone else for that matter would stumble across my little puny blog.

I would appreciate it if any of you readers have a minute, go to Mr. Essex's Flickr page and check out and buy some of his photos. They're really great and I hope to take as good pictures as him some day. And Mr. Essex, if you happen to read this, please accept my apologies for not giving you the credit that you deserve. I still wonder how you knew I used that picture! You must be some kind of computer/interweb genius.

Here's the picture I accidentally used without giving credit where credit is due:

 Go check out the shots, they're hauntingly beautiful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Begin count down sequence...3...2...1

For months now you've had to listen to my blather about spinal shots, tests, fears and more. More than you ever wanted to know. At last, I'm on the downhill slide towards surgery day. I'm fearful, excited, remorseful, anxious, optimistic and many other adjectives that I can't think of right now. But I'm hopeful that I'll do and be just fine.

I may have mentioned a thousand times or so, that I have an irrational fear of being put to sleep and that stupid fear is starting to get the best of me. My surgery is less than a week away and I'm already losing sleep. I lie awake at night running through all of the horrible things that could happen (if I'm the 1 in 10,000,000).

It's crazy, I know but fear is real. I fear that I'll slip into unconsciousness, then sail right on off into the great unknown. I guess rationally, I wouldn't care because I'll be unconscious but I worry about stuff like: what if I didn't pay the cable bill or what if I don't have enough life insurance to pay off the house and leave my kids well off for many years, or who will take care of the pets if I'm gone. Stuff like that.

Each time I have surgery I spend about a week contacting virtually every single person I've ever known to tell them that I love them just to make sure they know. 'Hello Miss Jones? I had you for a teacher in preschool 45 years ago, and I just wanted you to know that you were a great teacher and that I love you.' 'Hello Johnny? You were our paperboy when we lived in B-F Egypt in 1966 and I wanted you to know that you always threw the paper where it landed in the center of the front porch every single time. Stuff like that.

At my final pre-op meeting my doc had pity for me and gave me some woooonnnnddddeeeerrrrrfffffuuuuullll stuff called Xanax or however you spell it. It causes me to care less if I won the Publishers Clearinghouse $10,000,000,000 sweepstakes (OK, maybe not that) but a tire could roll over my foot and I'd thank the driver. My only problem today is that I have to leave for the hospital in less than 15 minutes and I don't think I can have one of those tiny beauties so I'll be quaking and crying and rattling all the way to the hospital. I'm sure I'll be OK - especially since I still have 8 of those great little pills waiting for me at home. So in the future if I burn the roast? No problem...Xanax to the rescue! Kid breaks curfew? No problem - wonder pill. Not really, I don't abuse drugs. They'll sit in my drawer until the next horrible scare comes along. Like looking at myself in the mirror right now with NO makeup, NO hair gel, not even lotion on my ashy skin.

Anyway, wish me luck. Maybe my doctor will honor my wishes and make his incision from one side of my neck clear to the other so I'll have a really cool scar to make up stories about. Anyway, I'm off. Hope to be writing again really soon. Love you guys!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dang, that was BAD!

No one likes getting bad news. No one likes pain. No one likes being in pain and getting bad news about the pain. That's me. I've been having an epic pity party for the last couple of days because I'm in pain and in order to maybe help fix the pain, I have to do something that's gonna hurt like holy f***ing hell first. That's not something to get all excited about.

I psyched myself out for 7 days over the test I was scheduled to have, only to learn on the afternoon before, insurance might not cover it. Test cancelled. I should have been happy that I didn't have to go through such a horrific ordeal but I was pissed. This was the test that was going to determine if the cause of my pain was relatively easy to fix. But I didn't get to find out.

I went to my surgeon to tell him that I didn't have the test and he offered to do the same thing right in his office. Why didn't he tell me that before??? Granted, I would not have the benefit of anesthesia and it was going to be twice as bad but sheesh! I am so desperate to get answers, I told him to go ahead and do the test sans anesthesia. He had me lie down on the exam table and rubbed a teeny bit of ineffective numbs-it on my back and told me to get ready.

Now, I've had multiple injections in my spine and I can tell you that even with proper medication, it hurts like a mother f%^#&er, so I knew that this test in my spine without proper medication was going to be a hum dinger. And it was. Since my doc had a needle that was about 5" long, and since I knew that he was poking around my spinal cord I knew that no matter how much it hurt, I could NOT move.

Somehow I managed not to move my back but my feet came off of the table and I think that my toenails curled around themselves about 25 times. You know how doctors offices have paper that covers the exam table? Well, I balled that paper up in my fist so tightly, it was like a freakin' brick! I tried my best not to yell because I didn't want to freak out the patients in the other exam rooms but let me tell ya...It might have sounded like we were having sex in my room because all I could do was gasp and moan and "ooh" and "aah." And my doctor is HAWT, yo! If I were not married and I were easier and skankier, I might consider making a pass at him. But not with a 5" needle in my spine for Pete's sake!

Somehow - and I don't know how, I made it through 2 injections without passing out. The coup de gras was when he told me to hold still so he could wipe up the blood before it ran onto my clothes. I had BLOOD RUNNING DOWN MY SIDES!!!! That proves that it was bad! And it proves that I am one tough mutha!

I got my answer and now, I have a surgery date scheduled. I have 22 days to fret about it so I'm sure that by the time I get to the hospital I will be wound up so tightly, they'll have to strap me down just to get me through the doors. The last time I had surgery, I wrapped both arms around my Mom's leg and held on for dear life. The nurse gave me a happy shot and I was still freaking out so badly, she gave me a second. I was loaded to the gills before I even left the prep room. It will probably be the same exact scenario this go around. Mommy will be prying my hands from around her body and then I'll probably grab the closest warm body and cling for dear life to them. I know I'll be OK but being put to sleep scares the holy hell and shit-fire out of me.
Yall wish me luck, OK? Unfortunately, this probably isn't the last you'll hear about this. Bear with me. I'm a tough mutha, but I'm a really scared tough mutha.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Blogger

Todays post was written by kidlet #1 for a 3rd grade writing assignment but I think it still holds true.

If I Were in Charge of the World:

If I were in charge of the world,
I'd cancel spinach,
Uncooked broccoli and also Math.

If were in charge of the world,
there'd be half a day of school,
Double recess time and
no homework.

If I were in charge of the world,
You wouldn't have to listen to your parents,
You wouldn't have to do work,
You wouldn't have to 'go to your room.'

If I were in charge world
Chores would be fun.
All children would be given an allowance,
and a person who sometimes doesn't make her bed,
And sometimes does not flush the toilet
would still be allowed to be
In charge of the world.

I could not have said it better!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Bends

You guys have been fortunate (AKA horribly unlucky) to listen to me bitch for 2 years about how since I got my spine fused I can't reach my feet. It's getting a little better (I can reach 2 of my toes) but I still have a long way to go. I love to have my toenails painted - I feel naked if they're not, but I just can't do it myself and I'm too cheap to pay for a pedicure every two weeks. If Manchild were a soft, sensitive, girly man I'd have him paint them for me but he's a law man dang it! Law men don't do things like that!!! One of my kidlets will paint them for me every once in a while but most of the time I try to do it myself. This means that there might be polish on 1/4 of my toenail, because I can contort in one direction so that I can reach my nails but not the other. I go through lots of gyrations to reach my feet.

If my feet were super huge it sure would help. I could just flop them around to reach what I need to reach. Though, I might not be able to rock killer stilettos with feet like that.

With a back like mine, my feet just seem like they're so    far      away.

I will NOT admit defeat! HA HA HA Get it? de....feet! I'm so funny - I didn't even plan that one, it just sort of walked up on me.  HA HA Get it? It walked up on me? Oh sheesh, I crack myself up.

Anyhoo...I've got to come up with something. I refuse to have my feel look like this:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lucille Strikes Again

I gave my faithful pooch, Lucille a brand spankin' new toy yesterday because she was being such a good doggie. She's so sweet and smart and I'm very proud of her. We played with her toy for a long time, until she was worn out so I went inside the house to tend to things. A little while later I went back outside to say hello to her and this is what I saw:

It looked like it had snowed in my back yard! Then I saw the culprit. Don't run away from me, hound!

 Oh, Lucille, you are so busted! You totally shredded your new toy! And of course, she looked at me like "WHAT???" And trotted away.

She was obviously guilty. I mean, look at that demon toy killer eye glowing in the dark.

Awww, come on Mom. I didn't mean to tear my brand spankin' new toy up. Honest. Do you still love me? Even if I do have demon toy killer eyes? Yes, I still love Lucille.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Did ya hear that?

Have you ever known anyone who is a soft talker? Someone who speaks so quietly, you're constantly having to ask them to repeat themselves? It freakin' drives me crazy! First, I feel like a dummy for constantly saying "what". Then I get annoyed that I'm constantly having to say "what". Then I get annoyed because the person talking who is having to repeat everything they say 25 times and doesn't realize that they're speaking below the human audible hearing level!

Even if you were wearing a dang ol' Miracle Ear, you still couldn't hear them!!! Don't you think they get sick of having to repeat themselves all the time? I know one person that I avoid now because it's so hard to talk to them. I just got plain old sick and tired of either missing every other word, or for having to ask them to repeat themselves and I got tired of being really, really annoyed.

I've known another soft speaker and for over a year now and she's tried to communicate with me and either she ends up getting up to come stand by me or vice versa. Why can't she see the trend of getting up to speak or having to repeat herself????? Maybe I need to use one of these the next time she speaks to me:

I could ask her to speak directly into my ear trumpet (not that it would do any good because I'd still probably have to ask her to speak more loudly) so that I could hear her. She'd probably whisper. Speak up my peeps!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hiney Ho!

I seem to be the kind of girl who, if anything stupid or goofy is going to happen it’s going to happen to me. I’ve already confessed to accidentally flashing my boobies at a male co-worker which is bad enough but recently, I accidentally took things a step further. Yep, I flashed my ass at work. AT WORK!!!!! I didn’t mean to, it just happened.
I was scheduled to work an event at work and I was going to be interacting directly with our sales force so I wore a cute skirt in an attempt to look nice and professional. I was wearing a really cool Ralph Lauren (I only have one so I’m going to brag about it people!) skirt that’s cut in layers on the bias and when I spin around in circles, the ruffles flutter and look all dancy-like (until I fall down). I get tons of compliments every time I wear my Ralph Lauren skirt and I feel super cute when I wear it. I guess it’s because the layers are cut diagonally or something but anyway, lots of times I feel like it’s on crooked. I can feel the diagonal layers. I’ve managed to sort of get used to the crooked feeling but I always do a double check swipe to make sure the skirt falls the way it's supposed to.
On this particular day I made a pit stop in the ladies room and did what you normally do in there, washed my hands, sang a song really loud to hear the cool echo effects, tried out a few dance moves in front of the mirror and did a cursory glance to make sure my skirt was down. I then proceeded to walk down the hall and through the office for a good 250 feet before a friend stopped me and asked me to turn around and let her check something. Do you know what that something was that she was checking out?

My skirt was tucked into my undies! And they weren't granny panties, either! Nope, I wear teeny little dental floss undies, so everyone I walked past got a really clear shot of my white, pasty, dimpled, cottage cheese ASS!!! OH THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!

I was MORTIFIED! I mean, if I had a firm tight tush like most 20-somethings have it wouldn't have bothered me. I might have been a little proud but I don't. I have the ass of a 49 year old, fairly sedentary lazybones! It's not pretty.

I had a horrifying thought after it was all over. What if I had been with the sales force, happily shooting pictures when I realized my skirt was in my undies? How embarrassing would that have been?

Picture, with my hiney hanging out among 350 glamazon beauty sales ladies, telling them to work it, pose nice and all that.  My butt would have provided additional lighting for the photo shoot! They wouldn't have been smiling because they sold lots of product, they would have been smiling because there was a big, bald, dimply elephant ass in the room!!

Luckily as I made my way back to my desk after being alerted to the fact that my butt crack was visible for everyone to see, I had to laugh out loud because it's just the kind of thing that happens to me. I'm the office joker YO! One other stroke of luck is that the dude I accidentally flashed my boobie at didn't witness my HEIL HINEY. That would have probably sent him right to his grave.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

By Cracky!

I live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood. Everything was great until recently. I noticed a crack in the wall. I wish I were blind so I would have never seen it because now, I've got a lot of work to do.

When I purchased my home, there was an item in the inspection report that mentioned that previous foundation work had been done but I didn't panic about it. I figured that we live in Texas - home of the shifting clay soil and that it was normal. Now, 5 years later I could kick myself for not investigating further the amount of work that had been done.

Last year was really hot and dry and I did my best to run the soaker hose around the foundation to avoid foundation problems. This year was much better but I still ran the soaker hose. So you can imagine my chagrin when doors refused to close all the way and I noticed hairline cracks in the Sheetrock. The the cracks started growing. And a few tiles on the floor cracked. And I noticed a jagged crack in the bricks. Then a vertical crack started in the wall of my bedroom and it went up, then alllllllllll the way across the wall - clear to the corner. Then the corner split open. Then the Sheetrock above a bay window in my kitchen buckled and I could actually see behind the Sheetrock.

My home was sick.
I am afraid the walls are going to come crashing down around me! I did what any good homeowner would do. I waited and prayed for rain so the ground would shift and my home would go back to normal. Well, it rained but the house stayed all caddywampus. I broke down and called one of the foundation companies listed in all of the paperwork left behind by the previous homeowners and the gent that surveyed the damage had alarming news to report. My home was over 2" lower on the outside edges than the middle! No wonder the walls were buckling!!!

I think the foundation dude felt pretty bad when telling me that my home was hosed and needed major, major repairs. Maybe it was because I turned green and looked like I was going to hurl chunks. Or maybe it was because of the steady stream of tears running down my cheeks in rivers. Or maybe it was because I told him 'so you're basically saying that I'm totally fu**ed'. Or a combination of all of those clues. He softened up and tried to console me and then told me that I needed about $16,000 - $17,000 to get everything fixed.

It's been a few days now and I still feel like blowing chunks. I'll get the house fixed but it sure is going to hurt having to pay out that much money. Now, I'm trying to decide whether to sell the place once I get it fixed or stay until the first crack reappears and then sell it. Either way, I feel that I'll have to get out. I can't go through that kind of thing more than once. My poor house.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Did I brush my teeth?

Some mornings it takes everything I have just to make it to work on time and with clothes on. Many mornings, I end up eating breakfast at my desk because I didn't have time to scarf something down before leaving home. My cube at work is my home away from home so I have lots of necessities stored in my closet. I've got a backup supply of makeup and dishes and sweaters and toothpaste, toothbrush and floss. I'm prepared!

Since I eat breakfast at my desk, the tooth supplies come in pretty handy. Unless I'm on painkillers (or not awake yet) and forget to brush after eating. On those days, I usually find myself in a meeting with people, secretly running my tongue over my teeth, trying to find out if I've brushed them. I discover I haven't and immediately go into panic mode because I don't want to spew morning/taquito breath all over everyone. I try to talk with my mouth closed and make sure not to smile in case I have a hunk of egg or melted cheese in between my teeth. It's pretty uncomfortable.

Yesterday, I was doped enough that I didn't realize that I forgot to brush until after lunch time! Holy cow! I probably killed a couple of people before I noticed! There was probably a trail of dead people behind me as I walked away. Their cause of death was probably noted as acute nasal shrinkage - brought on by horrid morning breath in the afternoon. Poor souls.

I'll try to do better in the future but if you're around me in the morning and you notice me secretly feeling my teeth, step a few feet back and give me a chance to scurry off to the restroom so I can brush my teeth.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yep, I'm sportin' Toms

I will openly admit that I'm a fashion flunky. Plain Jane. Boooorrrrrring. If I see an outfit at a store that I like on a mannequin, I'll buy the exact outfit and wear it exactly like the mannequin and never deviate from it. My girls are both fashionable and I know they didn't get it from me.

My youngest kidlet and I wear the same size shoe. She got a pair of Toms for her birthday so I decided to wear them around and see if I looked as cute as she did while wearing them. Um, NO. For some reason, her feet looked small and cute in the shoes but mine looked like I was wearing skis! My feet looked HUGE! My feet looked stupid!

I've never really been a fan of Toms shoes anyway, because I can't stand the thought of spending $50+ dollars for shoes that look like they came from
K-Mart. (I could build a pair of shoes that look like Toms!) And I don't really like how the front of the shoe is folded to enclose the feet with absolutely no attempt at making them stylish.
They're cheap shoes sold expensively for Pete's sake! But all the girls want them and have to have a pair. Back in the day when I was a teen, Sperry Topsiders were the shoe of choice. But they weren't dorky like Toms. They were cool and you could wear them on a boat and not slip and fall. Toms shoes don't even make sense.

I can't believe it but I actually have 2 pairs of Toms now (even though I think they're ugly). One pair came my way because they were a gift for kidlet but they didn't fit right so I got them by default. The other pair were an impulse purchase. And they're OK because they're not really true Toms. No, they're a knockoff brand. Roms or Poms or something silly like that. And I got them because they match a top that I have, and because they were only $9.00 and the because saleslady was very convincing and because I was on heavy painkillers so my sense of reasoning was a bit altered.
The day I wore my stylin' (ugly) blue fake Toms with the perfectly matching top, I must have asked my daughter 20 times if my feet looked huge and stupid. I was very self conscious the entire time. She had on her black ones and her feet looked cute. Mind you - we wear the same exact size, but my feet looked dorky and hers looked cute. I imagine that I'll have the same problem every time I wear those shoes - feeling like a ski-foot, old-lady-blue-sequin-footed dork-bot. A fembot but a dorky footed fembot. If you see me, stop me and let me know if I look dorky. And let me know if it looks like I have a size 725 foot, will ya?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm not in my 20s anymore

I had the opportunity to accompany a friend on a ride to down town the other night and it was eye opening. First, we didn't leave the house until after 10:30 pm which on any other occasion would have never happened. Heck, I'd usually be sawing logs by 10:30 at night! But she needed to pick up her kid at midnight and she didn't know where she was going so I offered to go with her.

We decided to hit a pub that was close to our final destination to while away the time until midnight. As we entered, the first thing I noticed was how loud the pub was. I had to shout to my friend so she could hear me. I know bars can be loud but this place seemed deafening to me. The second thing I noticed was that we were a good 20 years older than anyone else in the whole place. Now, it doesn't bother me because I think I'm cool, and I don't realize that I'm 49 but I have to admit that I sat up a little straighter and sucked in my gut a little more than normal.

We got our drinks and were enjoying watching all of the boy/girl bar drama that was going on when a guy started chatting with us. Considering that he could have been my son, I was a bit tickled that he even spoke to us. He asked me if I visited that particular bar very often and I lied and told him that I went there at least once a week. He asked if we went to any of the other bars that were close by and I pointed in a vague direction and told him that we hung out at "that bar" also. He was so cute and he seemed to fall for my lie hook line and sinker. (How many 20-somethings even use the phrase "hook line and sinker?")

We stayed a little bit longer then had to leave to pick up the kid. We got a good laugh at how out of place we looked in that bar. We didn't have on platform heels or mini skirts, we weren't dressed in the latest fashions, we had a few wrinkles on our faces that no one else had and we weren't cruising for a hook up. But you know what the best part was? We didn't care. We didn't care if we were dressed in the perfect outfit. We didn't care that we weren't attracting multiple potential suitors. We didn't care that we didn't recognize the music that was playing. We didn't care! We were just out to have a beer and pass the time. And that made it one of the most enjoyable bar experiences that I've had in a long time.

I've heard lots of people say that things get better as you age and I believe them. It was nice not to stress over how I looked. Or to stress because I wasn't attracting any guys. I was easy peasy greasy, just enjoying my Guinness and hanging with my gal pal. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The thermostat that started my crying jag

I'm well known for my attempts at home repair (that are usually unsucessful). I'll get a wild hair to fix something and I can't be stopped! I can go for a long time with things that need fixing and then one day I'll snap and go on a repair rampage. That's exactly what happened recently.

It all started with a garage door opener keypad. For reasons unknown to me, that dang thing just quit working. I replaced the battery and tried to program in a new code but it just wouldn't respond. The stupid thing stayed "broken" for at least 6 months until the day I snapped and decided to do whatever it took to make it work again. I tried inserting another new battery and the keypad wouldn't work. I tried entering the password and the keypad wouldn't work. I tried ripping the damned thing off the wall and the keypad wouldn't work. So I finally got smart and got on the interwebs to look up how to program the dang thing. I was super pleased to find a woman in a youtube video demonstrating how easy it was to program the same kind of keypad that I had. It seems that I had missed one crucial step and once I took that step, the programming went off without a hitch. It worked!!!!!

Feeling victorious, I decided to try and figure out why my air conditioner wasn't working. The compressor worked and the blower fan worked when I put the switch in the "on" position but nothing worked when I set the thermostat to "auto." I was totally stumped. Mr. Man looked at it when he got home and he was stumped, too. He even went so far as to buy a new thermostat and install it and the problem was still there. I was getting pretty frustrated over all of it.

So I did what any good fixanista would do...I started another repair project. My front door deadbolt would not unlock with the key. I could unlock it using the handy dandy knob inside of the house but the key from the outside provided no results. My kidlet was having to climb out of her bedroom window when she left the house! I drug out screwdrivers and proceeded to remove the lock from the door. I tried the key again and again, but the bolt would not turn. So I left the lock on the kitchen table so Manchild could figure out what was wrong.

While he was trying to fix the lock, I decided to replace the thingy that keeps the storm door from slamming. It squeaked a lot and did not have smooth movements. I had oiled it until it dripped and it was still squeaky. I had an extra closer thing so I went about removing the old one from the door. I managed to get some of the screws out of the assembly but there was one screw that would not come out no matter how much I turned it. I had worked on the thing a good 30 minutes before I realized that it wasn't a screw - it was a pin. All I had to do was lift it out! That was the beginning of my meltdown. I was minding my own business, trying with all of my might to get the new door closer thing on when my beloved happened to walk by and heard me cursing. All he did was ask me to hand him the screwdriver and he had it installed in about 5 minutes.

I was slowly sinking into a pit of despair because I was such a failure at fixing things. I had enjoyed a moment of victory when I reprogrammed the garage door opener keypad and then I crashed and burned with all of the rest of my repairs. I couldn't figure out the thermostat/AC problem, it had taken me an hour to remove one stupid door slammer thingy and I had dismantled the deadbolt with no hopes of fixing it.

To make matters worse, when Manchild decided that he couldn't fix the deadbolt, we were going to reinstall it until a new lock could be purchased. I went to  pick up the screw that held the lock in the door and I accidentally kicked it and it went under the moulding along the floor. No matter how hard I looked, and no matter how much I jammed my magnetic screwdriver under the moulding, the bolt was nowhere to be found. My house with it's shitty, shifting foundation had swallowed my bolt. I was left with a broken deadlock that was 1/2 installed. That's when the tears started flowing.

Now, Manchild had the unfortunate pleasure of watching me melt down just weeks before because I was mourning another repair job that went south. And there I was, crying again because I had lost the bolt. He was kind to me and said nice things in an attempt to get me to stop crying but the damage was done. He got to listen to me rant about how everything in the whole damn house was broken and how sick I was of not having a fully functional home. I threatened to dip into my savings account and hire an handyman to fix all the stuff I couldn't. That is blasphemy in my husband's mind. He will go to the ends of the earth to fix stuff before he'll hire someone else to do it. So he put together all of the things that I had dismantled that day and he walked the house with me to fix little things that were getting on my nerves.

He worked on the flourescent lights in the kitchen (bad bulb), he removed a light fixture in my bedroom that did not belong (hidden removeable panel that I didn't notice, so taking it down was actually very easy), he reconnected the thermostat, he finished off the anti-slammer door thingy and jimmy-rigged the broken deadbolt. He did all of these things in the span of about an hour. An hour for Pete's sake! I had spent the last 4 hours trying to do these things with no repairs and he buttoned up everything and then some in an hour! Do you see now why I cried?????

The following day I took the broken lock to a locksmith who reworked and fixed it within 30 minutes. I told him that I loved him and offered to bear him 27 children. Then I went home and installed the lock (minus 1 bolt). A friend at work who just happens to be the A.C. guru for the building, got wind of my cooling system woes and offered up his suggestion as to what might be the problem. I went home and looked at the part on the unit, got a part number and started searching for a place that might have one in stock. The initial quote was a little over $600.00. The hubster asked a guy he worked with (who just so happens to do A.C. repairs on the side) about the part and that guy offered to call in and order the part and hopefully get it for a lot cheaper. We called the place that had quoted the $600 price tag originally and this time they quoted a $350+ price. Then, the co-worker called and he was quoted a price of $135. That was the winning bid! Manchild drove over to the parts place and got the part, came back to the house and installed it in record time and we had cool air blowing again! (I think it was my threat of dipping into my savings account and paying an A.C guy to come fix it that got him moving on the run.)

Anyway, things are working for now. Until I find something else to fix. I don't see any crying jags in the foreseeable future so that's good. I know my man will appreciate that.

Monday, October 1, 2012


When I arrive at the little house in the woods my mind goes into overdrive at the thought of all the things I can do. I can have a fire, break out my trusty camera & photograph nature, take a walk in the woods, trim the never ceasing onslaught of vegetation...wait - did someone say trim?

Ever since my grandfather Herman (Granddad or Grandgag to us kids) taught me that it's possible to make a plant look better by ruthlessly trimming it, I've been a huge fan of trimming stuff. Out here in the woods there are enough vines to keep me trimming every day for the next 245 years! 'OK, I'm going to start cutting vines today' I thought to myself, but then I spotted on of my favorite vines and I had a change of heart. I started studying the vines themselves. And you know what? They're amazing!

It's incredible to know that one tiny vine no thicker than a pencil lead can begin by creeping along the ground then begin an unthinkable climb all the way to the treetops. How do they make it up through the open air until they find purchase on a tree limb? One would think that they would curl around a tree trunk - around and around and around until they were 50 feet up, but I've seen otherwise.

Some of the wild grapevines around our little house are as big as my thigh - others are tiny. But they all perform perplexing acrobatics and aerobatics as they snake up into the cedars, extending ever outward in search of another tree. The bark of the grapevine is woody and can often be mistaken for a tree limb. That is until you follow it's path, draping gracefully across the branches. If you follow it long enough, you're sure to see it dangling through the air like a power line until it joins another nearby cedar. Again I am puzzled. How did a vine 15 feet off of the ground extend itself 6 feet through the air with no support into another tree? I've studied this people, it's one solitary vine! There's no other vine on the tree it's connecting to to join forces with.

Some of the vines around here are ruthless. They can envelop an entire tree, eventually destroying it from their weight. Some are thorny, some are smooth. Some are hard and others give way to pressure. Some are solo climbers, others seem to have a team effort in their climb. They're all unique and fascinating.

Yes, the vines are safe from trimming today while I wax poetic about them. I'm glad to have slowed down long enough to witness one of Mother Nature's mysteries. I guess today I'll be a vine and wind my way around the property. Sometimes solo and other times with others. Just don't accuse me of being thorny. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The wet, wandering, wacky day

Photo courtesy of LDS Liberty
 My kidlet and I had a day planned that was going to involve, art, music and fun but it didn't turn out quite the way we had planned it. I awoke at 6 am to find it raining outside and the rain was scheduled to stay around all day long. The event we had planned on going to was an outdoor event! We watched the weather channel to see if things would clear up but it didn't look promising. We putzed around the house for most of the day but eventually started going stir crazy so we decided to attempt the festival even if it was raining. We made a quick stop by the store to purchase an umbrella and headed out.

As I had silently predicted, we got to the event and there was no activity in sight. There might have been 10 cars in the parking lot. Once we admitted defeat, we decided to stop at a convenience store to buy treats to soothe our disappointment. Nothing heals disappointment like potato chips and chocolate!

Mildly soothed, we returned home and proceeded to have leaf races in the water that was flowing down the alleyway. What's a leaf race you ask? Well, you need a running stream of water and a leaf or two or three and a designated end point. Count down to start, drop your leaf and watch to see which one makes it to the end point first. It's simple but fun. Plus, you get to play in the rain and use your umbrella.

After that was over I called a friend and invited her over to watch a movie and hang out. As she arrived, kidlet came rushing in to the room and announced that the festival was going on and that we had gone to the wrong location. There was still a music act in the lineup so like fools, we all jumped into the car and rushed over to the venue. It was still raining so we got a front row parking space and we sprinted to join the 30 other people that were there, all crammed under a tent. The musician that was playing is a well respected artist and it had to have been a drag playing in the rain for about 30 people so I was determined to cheer loudly so he'd know that there was at least one true fan listening. I must admit that we didn't last long at the wet concert. We hightailed it outta there and went back home.

Once we arrived back at the house I decided that we needed some kind of entertainment since the festival had been such a disaster. I am the owner of a bitchin' set of South Park Uno cards so 5 of us played a couple of rounds of Uno. Somewhat entertaining, but we needed something a little crazier. I came up with the great idea of playing spoons. If you've ever played spoons, you know that it can get pretty rowdy and that's just what we needed. And we got rowdy - let me tell ya. Cards slapping on the table top, spoons clanging, screaming...we had it all.

I can't say that our wet day was great - it was varied and interesting, frustrating, peaceful, rambling and odd so I guess it wasn't a failure. It was just wet, wandering and kind of wacky.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Haunted weekend part deaux

As I stated in my earlier post, I witnessed what I think was a ghost. I was in a cool old hotel that apparently has a haunted past. Since my senses were humming I was on hyper alert mode and was scrutinizing everything around me. At one point in the evening I stepped outside for a smoke and was looking around at all of the cool old buildings in the town square. Movement from a second floor window across the street caught my eye. What had I just seen?

I stood stock still with my gaze focused on the window and I saw what appeared to be a button down shirt swinging wildly side to side but I didn't see any person! And before I could fully comprehend what I had just seen, it disappeared. I admit, I was pretty freaked out. I was thinking that my sixth sense was calling forth all kinds of spirits.

I stood there watching the windows and I began to notice vague white shapes moving around. Sometimes, the shape would rise up into the air then simply disappear. Other times, the shape would appear to be peeking around the window frame. The shapes never stayed in plain sight so I could seriously study them.

My kidlet joined me on the sidewalk and I pointed out the vague shapes to her to see if she could see them. She saw what I was seeing so it wasn't my imagination! We watched the shapes for about 5 minutes in total disbelief. And then...kidlet said that she thought she saw a person. Sure enough, there were people in the room. They were the ones making the shapes move.

I was so relieved to know that I was not watching ghosts materialize and disappear I shouted out "you f**Kers! You got me good! Bravo!!!" We had a good laugh over their prank and thought that they were brilliant for coming up with such a good spoof. I was also sorry I hadn't come up with such a good trick myself.

While I was wary to return to the bar in the hotel basement because I KNOW I saw a spirit, I was also less on edge and I could handle things better. I told some fellow patrons about the prank across the street and about the child I saw running through the lobby and they proceeded to tell me about haunted hotel rooms on the 4th floor. We decided to take a look for ourselves. That meant getting on the elevator that had creeped me out earlier. Since there were 3 of us going upstairs, I decided to be brave and get on the elevator.

We went up to the 4th floor and headed for the rooms that had a history of strange noises and occurances and let me tell ya...the closer to the rooms I got, the stranger I felt. My stomach felt queasy and it felt like the air was being squeezed out of my chest. I know I have a vivid imagination but I don't know how I could imagine the physical things I was feeling. We rattled the doorknobs and listened for anything strange but the place was quiet.

It didn't take long for us to decide to get the hell out of that area and head back to the bar. None of us felt good being in that area, apparently. We laughed the whole thing off as hokey but I know we all felt sort of strange. We were kindred spirits in oddness. Like I said before, I want to go back to that hotel and study it some more. I don't think I'll be able to get kidlet to join us - she was too creeped out, but I'll find someone who believes in spirits and things and get them to go with me. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A bar, beers, blues an elevator and ghosts

This past weekend Manchild, kidlet #2 and I went to hear one of our favorite musicians play. The band was playing in the basement bar of The Rogers Hotel in Waxahachie, and while we were there, I decided to look around the property. It was an elegant old hotel that had been renovated and while it was pleasing to look at, something made me I went to the restroom and as I was walking back to the bar, something gave me the feeling like I really needed to get back to where there were lots of people.

While we were listening to the music, I kept noticing cold puffs of air blowing on my head. It happened 3 times. A little later I felt a cold puff of air on my arm - it made my sleeve flutter. Then I felt it on my back. By that time, I was beginning to wonder if the hotel was haunted. I needed to go to the restroom again and as I was headed that way, I noticed an elevator so I decided to take a ride in it and see where it went. As soon as the doors opened I got an overwhelming feeling of fear and dread. There was no way I was going to get into that elevator! I immediately went back to my family because I was a bit freaked out.

As I was telling them about the elevator and the puffs of air I felt, I saw someone skip by the doorway in the lobby where the restrooms and elevator were. At first I thought I had seen a dog running through the lobby then I realized that it was someone who was 2 legged not 4. I asked my kidlet if she saw a dog run through the lobby and she said she thought she saw a kid running quickly by. We got up to investigate and found no one in the lobby. We searched the stairs and even looked in the elevator but there was no one there.

We later found out from some of the locals that the hotel was reported to be haunted. Glimpses of a young girl had been seen by visitors and employees of the hotel. So maybe that's who we saw. Who knows? All I do know is that the hair stood up on my arms and I definitely felt something and I definitely saw a glimpse of something. And as scared as I was, I want to go back and visit the old hotel again and see if I experience something else.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Schwayze ate my Prozac!

This morning I was getting ready for work - just going through my usual routine. Hair gel, check. Hair spray, check. Brush teeth, check. Sally's Super Slimy Body Soothing Lotion, check. Jungle Gardenia and Garlic X-tra Strong perfume, check. Brilliant "Ho" Blue eyeshadow, check. Ultra thick brow and eye liner, check. 15 swipes of Cheap Pink blusher, check. Vitamins for Wimps daily vitamin, check. 3 different arthritis medications, check. Prozac, check.

I had my pretty pile of pills in one area of the counter and had planned to take them with a swig of coffee. I realized that my coffee cup was empty so I dashed to the kitchen for a quick fill up. When I returned to my bathroom I was horrified to find my kitty, Schwayze EATING my Prozac tablet!!!

 His mouth was going crazy like cats mouths do when they're eating something strange. I could see the tablet in his mouth and tried to grab it but I was too late. All I could attempt to grab was the little plastic thingy that holds the medicine.

Of course, he innocently looked at me like "what?" "I didn't do anything! Honest!" "I'm just an innocent, cute little kitty that you love oh so dearly. I'd never do something wrong." 
I figured that he'd start freaking out - or not, once those meds got into his system. I actually considered introducing him to our new pup since he'd be all chill and not have a care in the world. I could avoid the deep lacerations and bites that might have happened had I introduced him to the dog while he was sober.

I called kidlet #1 and asked her to keep an eye on him and I also did research to see if the medicine would harm him. Yep, I posted the question on Facebook 'Does anyone know if 10mg of Prozac will harm a medium sized cat?' I'll compile the data as the day wears on.

In the meantime, I hope Schwayze takes a nice trip without ever leaving the farm.