Gawdy Enough?

Jeez. If this isn’t the busiest piece of Bloggsville now, I don’t know what is. And if you haven’t figured out how persnickety I am, you’re about to find out. It’s not just about three columns.

It’s the font, and the colors.

And I can tell you right now, that this thing is screaming at me. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is going to be for me to write here? There’s nothing soft about it at all.


Good thing I work for cheap, right?

It’s dinnertime and there’s no dinner. So I’m heading downstairs to whip something up for us and watch American Noodle with the MoH who just got home.

In the meantime, I sure hope you like red. Oh, and claustrophobic columns.

But at least I get to see your smiling icon-type gravatar thingys again, which makes me smile.

Until tomorrow…

Theme switching in progress…

Hi All — I’m working on my theme today, so things will be a bit strange. So what else is new, right? You just never know around here.

I’m probably not off to a great start when you consider that I couldn’t figure out why, when I opened a new page, it would automatically scroll to the very bottom. No matter what I did, I couldn’t figure it out.

Until I realized my plate was sitting on my space bar — and maybe the control key, the alt key, and a few others just for good measure.

What a dork.

Plus, ever since I uploaded WordPress 2.5, some strange things have been happening to my widgets. Like. They’re missing. I load the code, move them where I want them, save, refresh, and huh? They’re gone.

So enough of this nonsense.

And you’ll be glad to know I’m multi-tasking. Cleaning the RTR’s bathroom in between loading, deleting, and just for an occasional break. Sounds efficient, doesn’t it?

I had to do something. My mom’s expected at our house within a week and will be needing to share his bathroom. I should probably bring in the garden hose with the power nozzle.

News at eleven on that.

Thanks for your patience!

Food, Art, and Heat in Paradise.

How was your weekend? Lovely and everything you dreamed of? I certainly hope so — especially if you are one to have weekends off. I’ve lived in both worlds: working nights with never a weekend day off, and working the daily grind with every weekend off — that is if you consider having to plan lessons and grade umpteen gazillion papers down time. Um, no.

So what did we do this weekend? Shucks. I thought you’d never ask.

Continue reading “Food, Art, and Heat in Paradise.”

Gullibility and a Strong Core

In case you were wondering, I’m alive. I did go out on a couple of early morning walks this week, smartly attired in my plaid flannel pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt. By the time Thursday rolled around, though, I was on auto pilot and made a nose dive back into bed. Rude.

Tone your core while you blog! But today is Friday, and you know how I feel about that under normal circumstances, but today? It is my very first non-working, permanently retired if I feel like it Friday. Okay, so retired from working for others work. Payroll work. Having to get dressed and go to work work. So how did I celebrate?
I broke in my new ball.  I sat on it all day and tried valiantly to do something about the organization of this pathetic looking blog of mine.  Nothing has improved on the blog, but at least I’ve rolled and swirled and bounced myself toward a firmer core.  Yes, you, too can burn calories while you blog!  Of course we may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow, but still.

What else is new?

Not much, but yesterday when I was coming out of the grocery store with one of my green bags I finally remembered to remove from the trunk, a young man with a nice smile and a multitude of those disks inserted in his ears and a few other places I can’t remember right now, looked in my direction. He had a clipboard and a purpose.

“You want money, right?” I began since I’m not very good at beating around the bush when I talk. His eyes even smiled.

“Do you know about Greenpeace?” he began.

“Of course I know about Greenpeace,” I told him, flashing on images of news footage years ago of ships with nuclear reactors being prevented from entering a port in Australia or something like that. “But do you have any idea how many requests we get each week for contributions? It’s out of control. Even NPR hasn’t been able to peel my money out of my fist yet.” Who do you give money to when everybody wants it? His smile never left his eyes as he let me blather on until I asked if I could make a donation on line. And when he began to respond, I interrupted him realizing that he wouldn’t get credit for the donation.

“I need to be able to show something for my effort her today,” he told me.

“So fine, can I give $15?”

“No, we’re only set up to take monthly contributions,” he told me, explaining that it helped the organization have a more steady stream of cash instead of having to wait until the end of the year for a lump sum.

“Okay. Okay. Okay. Where do I sign? Can I do $10 a month?”

“No, I’m sorry, the minimum is $15. That’s only $5 more,” he added as I looked away from the form I was already filling out, and making it easier for those leaving the store to escape my fate.

“I can add. The math’s not that challenging,” I mouthed off, and he laughed good-naturedly, most likely thinking I was nuts.

“Do you want a sticker?” he continued as used the side of a brown crayon to rub an impression from my credit card on the form.

“Sure. I need something to show for my money, right? And if someone steals my credit card number, Greenpeace will be paying the bills. Make sure you tell them that, okay?” I called over my shoulder after picking up my green bag to walk away. “I’ll blog about you…”

“Thanks!” he said, still grinning. Talk about job satisfaction. Jeez. But I always wonder when I send off a contribution to any organization, just how much of it is eaten in administrative costs.

So when the MoH got home, I asked what he knew about Greenpeace since I joined.

“Great. They float around on a boat and cause a lot of problems,” he mumbled, partly in jest.

I’ll have to work on him a bit more. He’s no where near to being green.

It’s not easy being Green.

Feeling-Green.jpg I know you’re sick of hearing it, but it is what it is. I’m sick. My head feels as if it’s the size of Barbie’s, the right side of my throat (if not constantly lubed up with scorching hot tea or ice cold water) feels like I swallowed a cup of glass shards, and the right side of my neck and ear are sore.

I should probably go to the doctor, but I don’t think I have one. I sort of got one a little more than a year ago when I was desperate, and then when I decided that the COBRA payment on our medical insurance was highway robbery, purchased Blue Cross, which is just legalized highway robbery. You know, make your monthly payments, and at the same time, put money in an account, so when you go to the doctor and pay for the visit you can get a tax break. Who thinks of this malarkey? So I haven’t figured out who our doctor is or whether she takes Blue Cross. And no, we haven’t gone to the doctor. We have paid eight trillion dollars for the insurance in the last year, however. You know. Because we have absolutely nothing better to spend the money on. But I tell you, I truly sleep well at night knowing that we’re helping support the payroll at Blue Cross. There’s nothing like giving back. Bleary-Eye.jpg

Where was I on my suffering and pain…

Oh yes, and then there’s this goop thing. How is it possible to breathe out of both nostrils, yet detect swamp remnants somewhere behind my face, causing me to make persistent noises at night when the MoH, who is the world’s worst sleeper, is trying to act like he can pretend as if he’ll ever go to sleep. Ever. It just gives him another reason to not sleep, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. So to be THE reason he’s not sleeping is humiliating.

He said to me this morning as I was surveying my puffy unloveliness through bleary eyeballs in my bathroom mirror:

“Do you know how loud it was last night?”

“No,” I answer, not really wanting to know.

“It was so loud I could hear it downstairs over the radio.”

Puffy-Unloveliness.jpg Now, I’m wondering what radio because it’s easier to think about that than what he’s describing, and am trying to picture him down there in the middle of the night. Well, actually, I think it was a bit after twelve. Is that the middle of the night?

He continues, “You really sleep soundly. I even tried kicking you.” I’ve invited him to try and wake me up by nudging and shaking, but kicking? I should check my legs for bruises. I did volunteer to sleep on the couch tonight, however. True love and all that sort of thing, you know?

Clearly, I’m not running on all cylinders, but I’m still aware of a few things that are going on out there through my haze of swamp residue and general disgusting grossness:

Like Earth Day. Being green. Saving the planet one curly light bulb or ugly Prius at a time. I’ve started our transition to those curly light bulbs for more than green reasons. They’re beyond cheap at Trader Joe’s. But we have a ton of those recessed lights whose brightness rivals that of approach lights on a runway, and I haven’t quite gotten around to figuring out what to do about those. Our telescopic light bulb changer isn’t designed to hang on to those curly light bulbs and I’m not thrilled about getting up on our extendable ladder. It’s a bummer, because I just can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like with a bunch of pig tails protruding from our ceiling. In the meantime, we just don’t turn them on. Does that count? Green-Light.jpg

It should count that on trash day, our recycler is beyond full. I need to receive an award for this. Of course, much of it is wine bottles, but the paper takes up quite a bit of space, too. Junk mail should be outlawed. Not the email kind. The snail mail kind. There’s tons of it and I can’t begin to find out how to stop receiving it. Junk-Mail.jpg The unwanted magazine subscriptions that feature plastic surgeons and society events are an easy phone call or email. But the election crap, and the charity organizations asking for money? It’s ridiculous. At least it gets recycled.

We keep our cell phones way beyond what’s fashionably correct. But that isn’t because we’re being conscientious, it’s because we just don’t care that we are carrying fat, heavy phones that are banged up beyond all repair. What? Worry about the looks I’ll get the next time my clunker crashes to the floor in the grocery store bringing looks of disdain from those who have surgically attached the latest RAZR2 to their ear? Feh. Ours work just fine.

Disposal-or-Trash-.jpg I rarely put anything down the garbage disposal any more. It’s a toss up whether putting food in the land fills or out to sea is best, and it sounds noble to even consider it, but I have to be honest. Our plumbing sucks. And since we’ve had a few back ups in the last year, I try to keep the ol’ disposal’s running time down to only when necessary. That means if anything stinky is going in the trash, it has to be orchestrated with trash day. Do I need to explain how many things are in my freezer that are headed for the trash because I couldn’t leave them to rot for a week before the garbage truck came? What. A. Pain.

Full-Fridge.jpg But hey! Did you know that having a full fridge helps keep energy costs down? There’s less space to circulate the air, so the motor doesn’t have to work as hard. I wondered why I kept all that food in there. It couldn’t possibly be that I have deep-seated problems relating to hunger or neglect from childhood. Just kidding, mom. Really.

Sticking with the food theme, my coffee grounds go out to the flowerbeds as much as possible. And I’ve thought of taking the leftovers that Starbucks puts out each day, but I just don’t have that much dirt to plant in anymore.

And I bought those grocery bags that are reusable. Ten of them. I’ve actually used them three whole times since I got them. Of course carrying them in the trunk of my car doesn’t exactly help me remember that I have to use them every single time and it’s hilarious when I pop the trunk after leaving the store and see them unused. Dork. Reusable-Bags.jpg There is another problem: without the plastic grocery bags, the RTR is concerned that he’ll have to use the clear thin plastic bags the newspaper comes in to scoop the dog poop when he’s walking Miss Big. The horrors of carrying doggy poop are bad enough, let alone doggy poop that you can actually see. But I’ve got that covered when the time comes.

I haven’t figured out what to do about the kitty litter, though.

Any ideas out there?

No, the cat is staying. Besides, she’s adopted and fixed.

So happy almost Earth Day, all. Aren’t you exhausted now?

P.S.  I had absolutely NO idea my nostrils weren’t perfectly symmetrical.  Go figure.

Who pulled our plugs?

A couple of days ago, on the day after the official end of busy season, I was speaking to someone at work and mentioned that I’d considered calling 911 when I woke up that morning, in jest, of course. You may recall my whining about needing air in my tires or something, yes? And when the individual questioned me about whether or not I was in charge of my own destiny, I became annoyed.

To some extent, I truly believe that I am. That I’ve always been allowed to make choices, and that at times, fear, practicality, and others’ feelings have kept me from making the best decisions for myself. You know, bills, children, and a husband. A mortgage.

Minor details, of course.

If I’m to consider that individual’s words and take them entirely to heart, then that means my aching bones (from crawling on the floor with my rear end in the air doing files) are something I brought on myself. Do I get credit for exercising to ensure that I stay as flexible as possible as I age? Who in their right mind would wish that kind of pain on themselves?

Oh, I get it. I’m supposed to ignore the agony, smile, and move forward. I can certainly play that game. In fact, in my life, I’d say that I’ve done it so much that I may be considered a pro. Giving birth three times counts for something, doesn’t it? Having an arm completely disconnected from a shoulder socket at the age of eight. Hepatitis, bronchitis, mononucleosis, endometriosis.  Physical abuse.  Putting up with so much pain and crap and not acknowledging any of it because I figured everyone dealt with it.  Honestly.  They do, don’t they?

In the couple of days I’ve had to think of his comments, a few interesting things have happened. Last night, I woke up and realized that yet again, the MoH wasn’t in bed. He was, in fact, in the bathroom miserably engaged in the kind of illness you wouldn’t want your dog to have to deal with. Clearly, he’d eaten something not intended for human consumption. And at one point, he almost blacked out after breaking into a drenching sweat.

I, on the other hand, was in my own little world, my throat feeling like it was the size of the Holland Tunnel, and joints that ached whether I moved them or not, trying to pinch my eyeballs shut downstairs on the sofa, fighting with the Doggo for space. Wishing there was a bush with my name on it that I could crawl under.

The two of us were quite pathetic as we moaned our goodbyes to the RTR who was off to school this morning.

So I guess to one person’s way of thinking, we brought this on ourselves. We wished ourselves ill and since we’re quite different, the MoH and I are experiencing very different problems. Sure. That makes sense. Except for one thing.

The guy is NEVER sick. Ever. To be honest, he’s been sick twice in the nearly 25 years that I’ve known him. I’d say he’s not inclined to wish this sort of thing upon himself — especially when I consider that he’s had 20 years of busy seasons and has never had to deal with anything like this.


I have a better way to look at this debacle. I say that the will to push one’s self during times of great stress is remarkable. That we are able to do what needs to be done regardless of how we feel in the process. But that at the first moment of calm, there’s a release, and in some strange way, our bodies react to what has been suppressed, forcing us to lie down and rest — something we couldn’t imagine before.  It must be necessary.

It’s pretty scary.

But I also think that it’s more frightening that some feel all of our thoughts, if not 100% positive in nature, are the cause of all our ills.

I’ll think about this more. In the meantime, I’m tired of forcing myself to sit up, engaging my brain, when all my body wants to do is sleep.

And mend.

But I do hope you’re well, and looking forward to a remarkable weekend.


It’s not easy to put in full work days after you’ve been sort of retired for more than a year. If I didn’t know it before, I know it now: I am not a spring chicken. I may have been blessed with skin that is much later to wrinkle than most, and I know that my frame of mind is always on what lies ahead that I can learn about and indulge myself in. But my body frame is beat.

I’m not quite sure if it’s the Monday-Tuesday early morning “One-Two” punch of a walk that is increasing distance and speed alone, or the busy season crunch at work that is steady and seemingly endless. It’s most likely the combination of both and I’m left wondering about how I used to do what I did day in and day out for so many years.

I’m exhausted.

Flatter than a pancake.

Nearly thoughtless.

It feels like someone aimed a baseball bat at the space between my shoulder blades and let it rip.

Why isn’t it Friday so I can dig around in the space under the MoH’s sink for a band-aide large enough to wrap me from head to toe?

I’m not opposed to hard work; I’ve always been someone who works hard. But clearly, I’ve reached a point where I have to rethink what my body can do. In much the same way that I can sit at my piano and know which keys to press when I look at a sheet of music and feel frustration that my out of practice fingers just can’t do what my brain is willing them to do, my body can’t keep pace with the list of have tos my mind knows need tackling.

I need an overhaul.

Or a new engine.

At least some air in my tires.

But it’s Wednesday, and that’s a very good thing. No early walk today. A decent night of sleep. Now if I could just move my back so that it didn’t feel like there were ten daggers piercing my shoulders, things would be perfect.


Just ducky.