Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adventures of Pearl and Mike

Just for fun -here's some videos Mandy took of our lovely little cat -Pearl -in her never-ending quest to find a way to make a meal of Mike, the Fish!

That's Kurtis in the background, talking to Mandy about Pearl's fishing attempts!

And then there are the games that Pearl likes to play with Sammy, the dog!

And, that's it for my little video show tonight!

Future Athlete or Dancer?

Maya's been really on a roll, big time, lately -watching all kinds of videos on YouTube and studying the movements the singer or dancers on those videos make. She really does a pretty good job, on her own, too then in imitating the moves, as well as memorizing a whole lot of the songs she listens to then as well.

One of these days, when she's really whizzing around the living room, trying to do all the bends and kicks and who knows what else, I'll have to remember to get out my camera and do some short videos of her. (Just so I can prove to anyone reading this that I'm not fibbing about my granddaughter!)

Watching her tonight -as I was treated to almost 2 solid hours of her videos, music and dancing, overflowing and creating hearing problems for me as I was trying to watch some television programs I was interested in, I got to thinking about a few other things too pertaining to her and her dancing as well as her interests too in other things -sports related, like soccer right now and who knows what she might develop a penchant for in the future too.

One of her therapists remarked the other day about how good she is, with no mentor, no actual training, that perhaps she would enjoy, maybe even do well with some type of gymnastics type program. She said she thinks the YMCA in town offers a gymnastics program and maybe even has a special one during the summer that we might want to look into signing her up for something like that.

Britt's suggestions, watching Maya tonight too, got me to thinking of other things that might be something that would possibly help her too. I was thinking perhaps something like yoga mats would be a good thing for her to have something like that to use when doing various warm-up type exercises or heck, maybe even for the workouts she gives herself while trying to emulate the dancers on these videos.

Who knows? Maybe we have a budding little gymnast or perhaps a future dance talent on our hands?

Time will tell I guess, won't it?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Luck!

Good Luck! Now there's a phrase that we're really in need of here!

Tomorrow will certainly be an interesting day here -if nothing else.

One thing for sure, there will be no celebrating because we now know we're still poor as church mice since we didn't win the big Mega Millions lottery tonight. Rats! I really could have used $640 million bucks though. How about you?

Nope, we're gonna need lots and lots of luck -along with lots and lots of help too because Mandy says we're gonna have a cleaning party to start getting everything moved out of the attic!

Hmmm. Considering how much is stashed in that attic, I'm thinking what we really need is everyone from house cleaning services Cary NC -and then some beyond that too, perhaps!

So far, all we have enlisted to help here consists of Mandy, me and my fourteen-year-old grandson, Alex! My Favorite Son supposedly is going to show up and help too but I'm not holding my breath on that one. He's seen what a hoarder's nest the attic in this house is and is probably already sick with a terrible case of the flu.

I'm just trying to figure out where on earth all those boxes and totes and whatever else will be found up there can be stored until the guys from the Weatherization Program arrive to put in lots and lots of insulation into the attic.

That, plus it would really be ultra helpful too if we even just had a firm date when they will be here and begin work!

I know that attic isn't going to get cleaned out in one day, for sure. Heck, it's taken over 20 years to load it up this time and some of the stuff up there dates back darned near to the earliest days of this old house too.

Can you tell I'm really happy, very impressed, with the task ahead of us?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Small Doses of Karma?

The past week has been filled with ups and downs galore -and recently, mostly it seemed like things were all on the down side, darned near non-stop.

Between the issues I had briefly described earlier this week, plus for some reason or other, my back and legs have not been treating me kindly nor has my intestines for that matter and well, I've just had a whole lot of high anxiety levels and very low energy levels of late.

However, the anxiety at least has lifted somewhat in that I was told yesterday that we are going to revert back to our original plans and the extra special stuff some had wanted to mess with was being cancelled. That, for me, was a big relief for sure. But there's still a couple other things coming up before that -like Easter and a special breakfast at church between the 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. services to worry about getting that all coordinated and served, on the table and all foods HOT!

Yeah -a nice little prayer would be great in that respect!

Today, I got a phone call from the Weatherization program people and two of the evaluators/mechanics or whatever each one's specialty is -stopped by the house to survey the situation, take some readings on the areas of the house where heat is escaping and cold air is flowing in, plus the one guy did do a little early work on the furnace but said overall, it really wasn't in bad shape. So that was encouraging.

Now comes the really hard part though to this weatherization program!

The plan is that they are going to put in more insulation into the walls, ceilings, etc. And that is a good thing, is it not?

Well it is until they tell you that they will be putting lots of extra insulation up in the attic and that means that EVERYTHING in the attic has to be removed from there!

EGADS! Are they crazy? The attic in this old house is even rattier, more jam-packed than old Fiber McGee's closet ever came near being! Yes, I kid you not! It really is that bad!

Mandy put out a notice on Facebook asking if anyone of her friends (and maybe even some enemies, who knows) are interested in giving us a hand for a really big job at our house this Saturday, there will be food -and beverages too for those over 21 -once the job is completed!

Where in blazes she plans to stash some of the oodles and oodles of boxes and crates and who knows what other containers are up there, filled with who knows what items too -and who is going to sort through all that crapola (a lot of which it is crapola that is probably useless but some of the crapola -well, could maybe be useful somewhere) and determine which pile to put what in -total trash, partial trash, useful, sort of or useful -very!

And what really sucks about this deal is we don't know exactly when the weatherization people will be showing up to do the insulation job. It could be as early as in a week or two but, it could also not happen for 4-6 weeks too!

I'm can envision a long period of time during which we'll be living with lots and lots of boxes stashed hither, thither and yon, for sure!

Actually, in order to get all this mess cleared out, things trashed or saved, stored elsewhere, etc., I'm thinking maybe a contact should or could be made to oh how about triangle direct media to get some really good help in coverage of the job needing done and things that would be available to cart away too. Yeah, spread that word, will ya?

If there's some special item you're maybe interested in, something you've been looking for, or if you have small children who need more toys, maybe even clothes, come down to the house this Saturday and check out what's being hauled away from the attic!

Be my guest! Please?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ailing Equipment?

Boy, if things keep up around here the way they have been, my blogger friends are gonna think pretty soon that all I do here is sit and gripe, whine or complain!

Well, unfortunately, right now, it sure does seem that about everything and anything is falling apart on me of late.

First off, there's my lovely little printer -the one I just purchased last summer and which I really do (did) like because it had the capacity to print, copy and or scan, all in one nice little container! I don't remember right now if this is the 3rd printer I've purchased or if it was the 4th one I've had since I bought my first computer but I'm kind of thinking it was probably the 4th one. Anyway, it was working fine and dandy and was a whole lot easier to use than was the one I had before this one -which was also a print/copy/scan thing but it also had the ability to do faxes on it too although I never got around to hooking up that aspect. I hated that one though after I got it home and hooked up because you had to feed the item you wanted to scan down into the feeder and from there, it went in through some rollers so some types of old photos -like the ones on sort of a cardboard-type backing -would never go through that roller contraption and then, you'd be SOL in trying to make scans of some really old, old photos!

This current printer though worked fine and dandy until about mid-January of this year. One day I used it and it gave no little sounds or signals that anything was wrong, about to break down or anything and the next day when I tried to print something, it would try to pull the blank paper in but would end up just making a crease in the paper and a dent (sort of) at the edge of the paper which then wouldn't grasp and enter the print rollers.

About a month after this first started to happen -and after I'd given up on trying to figure anything out that would fix the darned thing -I tried again to get it to work and lo and behold, it apparently took pity on me and began suddenly to work again! What the heck?

Well that lasted a day or two I guess and anyway, the next time I went to print something, it was back to square one of not working at all.

So now I'm in the process of searching onlne, looking for a model like this one that just went cockeyed on me and for a very reasonable price too. I thought I had found a unit on sale at Walmart that was "bundled" and offered an "all in one" printer (which is what I had) PLUS a 4GB flash thingy too -all for a mere $29.00.  I checked about whether the same thing was available at the Walmart store near me and it said online that yes, it was -so Friday, I headed out and over to Walmart with the plan of getting one of these units then to solve my printer problems. Well they had a unit there alright but it was just a printer -not a print/copy/scan instrument -and they don't offer the "bundles" on in store purchases either!

Rats! Back to the drawing board I go! (What ticks me off about this little fiasco is that why do they call them an "All-in-One" unit if all it does is one thing -Print? When I see "all-in-one" I think that means that it will do several functions but guess that just goes to show how much I don't know, doesn't it?)

Then there's the junk about my blood sugar testings and how they have -for the past 2-3 weeks -been registering almost all over the board! Well, not quite that bad but higher than I know my doctor would like to see at any rate. Last week, it seemed that things had come back under control but then on Sunday and Monday, it was right back to skipping along in the higher number brackets.

Add to that, some issues I seemed to be experiencing too with my bathroom scale now. Anything to do with weight gain is NOT a good thing in my book or in my Doctor's view either but boy, if she'd seen some of the numbers and the speed with which they were climbing on me a week ago, she'd have been maybe even more shocked that I was!

According to my lovely scale (which by the way is less than 2 years old and is a digital thing too), my weight has over the past two weeks jumped up 12 pounds more than it had been running which was also 6 pounds more than what I weighed at my last doctor visit in December! Sheesh, at that rate it meant I had gained 18 pound in 3 months and 12 of those pounds, according to the scale, came home to roost over a 24-hour period! Go figure that one, will ya? And what's even more confusing is the fact that none of my clothes has suddenly become too tight for me to fit into them either! Now that I find really confounding because in the past, as soon as my weight would start to go up, up, up my clothes would seem to be going down, down, down and I wouldn't be able to get into most of 'em and sure as heck couldn't zip any of 'em up either! But I have had no problems whatsoever along that line and trust me, I am NOT complaining about that! Hope it stays that way cause I don't feel like replacing my wardrobe yet again!

Since Christmas Day, I have not done any needlecraft projects at all! Nope! I've been wiling my hours away with my nose in books -trying to get caught up on reading the many books I have bought or had given to me over the past 2-3 years and which I put aside saying I'll read it as soon as I finish this or that project (craft stuff, ya know) and then, I'd never get around to reading anything! But that has seen a big change as I have read somewhere between 15 and 20 books now and have the one I'm working on now and two others that I recently got and then, I will be all caught up on my books stacked around the house! Yippy skippy!

Next up as far as projects go is going to have to be a shared thing as over the next six months, some of my high school friends and I are going to be running pretty busy as we will be working on the final preparations for our class reunion to be held come September. This one's a biggy, folks as it will be our 50th class reunion and I am very much looking forward to seeing a whole lot of faces I haven't seen in oh -50 years now!

In addition to the class reunion plans, I'm also figuring to return to doing some needle work stuff now and again too as I do find doing that kind of crafting to be very relaxing for me and if there's anything I need right now, it's plenty of ways to relax my mind and "let go and let God" take charge!

So there you have it -the problems of the problem child blogger!

I keep telling myself that "This too shall pass" and yes, I know it will but then I remember my other favorite old adage "Patience is a virtue" which I always end by saying "But I'm not a very virtuous person."

Gonna have to practice working on that virtue stuff a good bit I guess, aren't I?

A Big Pile!

Okay -I think I've about had it up to my eyeballs now!

Between the junk in my personal life that I mentioned in a previous post -like yesterday -and the spam stuff coming through in what seems to be a comment per hour to my blog by spammers -I feel like I am totally floating in a sea of crap!

The spammers really annoy the living daylights out of me though. All these anonymous comments that, for openers, make no sense whatsoever -some are even in foreign languages or hieroglyphics -so what on earth good does it do to slap junk like that on someone's blog then?

If the pile of spam comments keeps collecting at the rate it has been, it won't be long before I'm gonna need some help -big help -like perhaps a skid steer just in order to roll these things up and out and away from my blog, from my computer!

Thankfully, I do have a comment moderation thing set up so they aren't actually landing on my blog and I can separate and segregate them then, but even so, it has to be one of the absolute most annoying things pertaining to computers, online stuff and e-mail, etc.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Send Me AWAY -Far, Far Away, Please!

The past week has not been high on my list of "good weeks!"

Seems everything I'm involved in, planning to do, need to arrange, has had more than its fair share of glitches.

And right now, I'm just sick of it all. Or maybe, I'm just sick. Or, is it sick and tired? Disgruntled? Disgusted? Depressed?

Yeah, all of the above and then some.

Things happened last week that began with a quick visit from a friend who had some ideas and plans for an upcoming event here. I listened to her ideas -which were totally different from what the group planning this event had decided we were going to do. Truthfully, I didn't care much for the changes she was proposing but agreed to allow this to be discussed at a meeting we had planned to have Sunday after church.

And so it was the the "changer" brought in copies of her outline for what was needed for us to do -start to finish -to plan out this event! And from there on out, it was that things were pushed and shoved, so to speak, that whether folks agreed with her agenda or not, this was the way it was to be primarily I do believe, because she deemed to to be that way!

And so now I am alternately ticked off, upset, hurt, as well as downright depressed too over the way this whole situation evolved and took on a life of its own now too!

There were numerous occasions during out "discussions" when I darned near bit a hole -several holes, as a matter of fact -in my tongue. If nothing else, I did prove to myself that I could control my mouth from overloading my brain if I tried hard enough!

But baby, it was a tough thing for me to do and I may have already developed ulcers from all the stress of not speaking what was REALLY on my mind.

When one member of the group who, obviously, is in favor of our asking people to make and donate pies as well as CHEESECAKES for desserts for this event announced that cheesecakes are so easy to make that she and her daughter could easily whip all that would be needed in the way of cheesecakes in a very short period of time, I was sorely tempted to respond to that with the comment of "Knock yourself out!" (Say that and use your most sarcastic tone of voice and maybe I'll feel a bit of relief from the tenseness that seems to be blanketing me today!

I'm normally quite willing to make (i.e. cook/bake) most anything needed for any of these kind of events but because I will not volunteer myself to bake and donate pies, for openers, I hesitate to ask others to do that. Why? Because much as I love pie -virtually any flavor too -I will not offer to make this because I have so many problems with rolling out pie crust and getting it into the pan -in one piece so the pie doesn't look like a patchwork quilt and thus, ugly and therefore, I won't ask others to make them either then -unless they offer to do that of their own accord!

My ex-mother-in-law, my grandmother, a couple of my great-aunts and other aunts/cousins too were all really adept at pie making/baking. I marveled while watching my mother-in-law roll out a perfect sized pie crust in about 6-8 swoops with the rolling pin. Presto Magic! It was ready to go in the pie pan and it went in with not even a single tiny speck of the dough falling off, no cracking of the dough as she laid it out in the pan and then after adding her filling, performed the same type of miracle with the upper crust too!

It would take me a hell of a lot longer with a lot more effort and tons of cuss words tossed around the air for good measure too in order to just get the dough in the pan -usually really to fall apart or often, with pieces of the dough having fallen away and then I'd be there, patting and pushing trying to get the dough to come back together and form the crust for me! There have been a lot of times when it would fall apart so much that I'd try again to form it into another ball of dough and try to roll out the crust once again and if I failed at that too many time, I've even -on occasion -gotten so upset, angry, disgusted with the way the whole project was going that I would gather up the dough into a ball yet one more time but then, instead of trying to roll out the crust layers again, I'd just simply toss that ball of much worn-out dough by that time, into the old garbage pail!

Cheesecake and me -another food item I dearly love to eat but baking it -now that's a horse of a different color for sure! In my entire life -not counting package mixes where you mix up a nice little graham cracker crust and blend the contents of a little package into some milk, etc., and poof -you've got a cheesecake of the easiest variety! I have in my entire lifetime, baked one -exactly one -cheesecake and fortunately -or lucky for me and those who ate it -it turned out okay. Not fantastic, fabulous or anything like that but okay. The family liked it anyway.

But cheesecakes and the baking thereof,  can be at times, tricky little buggers even to the best, most experienced cook -of which I am not one! That, plus when thinking of the ingredients needed to pull off a good cheesecake -lots and lots of cream cheese, for openers, it can also be a bit of a pricey item to ask people to make too. I know what my food budget will withstand but I don't have a clue about what others can, in good conscience, afford to bake and give away then too. Well, while thinking about the economic factors in that respect, pie baking -just making a simple pie -isn't the lowest cost item these days either on the grocery lists of many.

But, we are going to forge ahead regardless of who was in favor of what -as no vote was taken. It was just assumed that the logic presented yesterday by the list writer/holder was gospel and accepted by all and thus, SO BE IT!

Meanwhile, I'm thinking to myself, I didn't ask for this job, I sure as hell didn't campaign for it so why am I feeling this worked up and upset about it anyway?  All the while though, being placated with murmurs of "This will be wonderful, you'll see."

Maybe I will see and will say yes, this was wonderful. I truly do hope it works out that way. But there are too many aspects that just don't hit me in a nice way or an inclusive way too for a lot of other people -whose ideas and feelings should also be given thought to.

I'm trying every trick in my little bag of tricks (mental tricks that is) to get my mind and also, my stomach, to calm down, be accepting, be nice, etc.

So far, nothing has kicked in for me to ease some of my thoughts and stomach spasms but I'm not giving up on that. Eventually, it will pass -if not in time for the event, well the the event itself will pass and as grandson Kurtis said when he got stung by the bee "Is not the end of the world, is it?"

And no, this too will not be the end of the world -not as we know it - for sure, but it could be something that would/could be worked through without all the melodrama now involved!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unwinding the Mind!

Yesterday -okay, make that Sunday since technically as I write this now it is Tuesday morning -was a rather stressful day for me. Some issues to get addressed about some things pertaining to our women's group at church which I won't delve into here as it really would be a TMI (too much information -way too much!) thing to do.

Just suffice it to say I was upset, concerned, and yes, majorly stressed out!

Monday morning, although I had taken care of some of those stress-filled issues on Sunday, the root causes were still in the back of my mind, flitting around, and annoying me.

And I found myself wishing I had someone to sit and talk to about the questions, the problems -someone who would be able to understand my position, share my logic and also, wherever/whenever possible, would also understand how when faced with things like this, I deal much better when I can talk about things openly and also, sarcastically, and poke fun wherever/whenever possible then too.

I thought about this much of Monday and wondered how the heck did I manage to cope with lots of issues in the past -who did I lean on then that was a good trusted friend with a sense of humor much like mine who would have been there for me then?

And I kept coming up blank!

Then in mid-afternoon, I was checking my e-mail and there was a message for me from an old friend who moved away from here 32 years ago this coming June -moved to Florida, she did -and it hit me then. That's who I used to sit and talk with and joke with and sometimes we did out conversations over lots and lots of coffee but often, we would break out a bottle of rum, some pineapple juice, vanilla ice cream, dry pina colada mix and a blender and we would make our own really yummy home made pina coladas and get more than a little "juiced up" too then, often in the middle of the afternoon.

And always, when we would be solving our (usually my) problems, we also would solve the problems of the world too  - at least then in our minds!

Anyway, she had sent me a picture along with the following message:

National Girlfriend and Sister's Week
I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use, and the friends I have.
To the cool women who have touched my life. Here's to you! 


It is good to be a woman:

1.. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don 't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.

6.. We don 't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

13. We will never regret piercing our ears.

14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.
15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.
And, along with that message was this picture too!
Above the photo, my friend had written "I don't want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school."

I saw that and immediately broke up laughing -long, hard and completely! How like her to find something like this and send it to me -and just exactly what I needed then too!

I picked up the phone later Monday afternoon and called her, still laughing over that silly e-mail, but I also told her how I had been trying to think of how I used to get things that really had me worked up, totally stressed out, removed or at least, put under control in my system and as soon as I had seen this from her, I remembered exactly how we used to talk and carry on -and yes, drink too -and come away much relieved! And I reminded her in this conversation that I still haven't completely forgiven her and her husband for leaving the north with the snow, sleet, freezing rains and such, to go to Florida just because it was warmer there! (No, that wasn't the only reason they moved -her husband's job did have a lot to do with that, but anyway, that's beside the point, isn't it?)

We talked for close to 2 hours and I told her what had been on my mind, stressing me out, and we made one joke after the other about the entire situation after which we then got into discussing lots of other things too that we could make fun of as well so by the time we ended that phone call, my mind was free of the thoughts of the problems anyway!

No, the problems haven't gone away -they just became much more manageable for me though simply because I picked up the phone, called my friend and transported myself back in time to those days long ago when we would handle almost any problem or obstacle in our way by finding the stupid sides to the issues and then, making fun of them!

Trust me when I tell you this -handling problems in this manner really does work like a charm, and is so much fun too. 

Well except for the occasional hangover anyway!

Out on a Limb?

Once in a while, I venture forth here with some opinions, some thoughts that run through my mind from time to time, that may deal a tad with things that are currently in the news. Not often that I do that, but tonight -well, brace yourself, because I am going to take a short stab at an issue that really annoys me!

Unless you have your head in the sand -like the old ostrich -I'm sure we're all more than well aware that this is an election year and there are all kinds of debates ongoing -over and over, ad nauseum to be honest -about the government, health insurance, women's rights with respect to insurance and such.

And those people campaigning for our votes are really -in my opinion -very biased against women and their health rights with respect to insurance, what it should or should not pay for, that is.

My question to any of these politicians, regardless of what party they represent is why do they believe it is fair that women can not get birth control items (pills, etc) or other things that cover this type of things covered by insurance on the guise that it is not really a health issue and yet, insurance will cover things like male enhancement products -like enlarge maxx -which to my understanding is not exactly something that is really health related, is it?

Think about that now and think carefully too -would a man's health be endangered if he didn't or couldn't have access to a product like that?

Now, and again, think very carefully here now too -the aspect of getting pregnant, to my knowledge, my way of thinking (having been there 3 times in my lifetime though fortunately with no complications) does bring with it the potential for serious health issues for a lot of women. And also, birth control products also are used to treat various other health conditions besides preventing pregnancy too so doesn't make that type of product one that is just as important to be affordable, covered by insurance, just like getting a prescription for an antibiotic is handled via insurance?

And if men have the right to get these products for enhancement covered by insurance -which is not exactly a medical problem is it -then why don't women have the right to have access to needed health related things being covered by insurance too?

Just some thoughts there, folks. Nothing more except that after all, fair for one is fair for all, isn't it?

And that's that!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Musical Density!

Boy. the things that crop up and show me all kinds of stuff that I am dense and or naive about -totally incredible!

It really amazes me how many specialized things there are for things that I would have thought would actually be fairly simple to deal with.

The fact that there are all these name brands that have special meanings to various artists and/or amateurs I fear is going to really come home to haunt me in years to come if these kids keep getting interested in so many things along the way. Suppose Maya decides that the acoustic guitar that a friend of Mandy's gave her for Christmas 2 years ago and which, of course, Maya knew nothing whatsoever about how to play any musical instrument at that time (still doesn't for that matter) but all this friend knew was that Maya had fallen in love with a toy guitar so the lady, thinking she was doing Maya a good deed, got her this for-real guitar that year for Christmas! Well, before you knew it, it was a totally stringless guitar because, of course, a 5-year-old has no clue whatsoever about those things and that one has to handle these things with at least a modicum of care!


Sure, you know I'm right, so just agree with me, will ya? Anyway, did you know that there is something like John Pearse guitar strings? Well, I didn't but there are and I have no clue what kind of guitar strings this guitar would have to have and if they have to be a specific kind, type or name brand or whatever! So how does one learn about simple things like that anyway if, as Maya gets a bit older and does have a real interest (and maybe ability) in learning to play an instrument like that?

Just one more thing along life's merry way to confuse me!

Tough Nut to Crack!

Holy Rip!

That's one of my (many) favorite expressions and also, one of not too many of those things that is also safe to use in mixed company too. Yeah, I do tend -frequently -to have a bit of a potty mouth I guess it's safe to say. I won't go into details here and now about what some of my really favorite expressions are but Holy Rip is one I do use a good bit.

But, recently when I purchased some books online and the package arrived here at the house, I was saying this above expression a lot more than I usually would do -mainly because the strapping tape used on the package was so strong it seemed like it was of the most heavy-duty stuff imaginable and I had one heck of a hard time getting it off the package to open the darned thing!

You'd have sworn they were sending me a gold bar from Fort Knox and had it wrapped in something that would almost need a stick of dynamite to break it loose! Kind of like when you get prescriptions filled and the pharmacists put them in those darned child-proof containers that only a child can open because adults sure as Hell can't get 'em to budge some times!

Next time I order books online from that company I'm going to make sure to have a crowbar on hand to use as leverage in trying to open my package!

Wardrobe Changes....

Back at the beginning of the new year, our school system here introduced a new program for the elementary school students of indoor soccer for the winter season. Mandy thought since it was available to kids in Maya's age range (second grade) as well as for kids as young as kindergarten level, that this might be a good thing to sign the kids up for this. Give them a little bit of exercise over the winter months plus perhaps enable them to learn better how to follow directives and focus on a game better.

So, of course, there were the mandatory clothing items they needed to have -shin guards -two pair, one set for each child -but at least for this particular class, that was all they needed in the way of extra equipment.

Now, however, this program is ending and the spring soccer aspect is just around the corner. That one requires a bit more gear for the child to have so Mandy is debating whether or not to let Maya enroll in the program because of the additional expenses that would be incurred. She's already decided there is no point this year of even thinking about continuing the soccer for Kurtis as he's still just a bit to much of a space cadet right now and doesn't grasp the game concept nor the idea of paying strict attention to doing what the coaches tell the kids to do. In other words -he stays in his own little world and just sort of floats around, kind of free range, ya know.

Considering all the extra expenses for these programs, at the rate those costs run, if either of these kids ever acquires an interest in extreme winter sports and needs clothing like say an Alpinestars-Jackets, Mandy and I had both better find some really good paying jobs as well as hitting the lottery too in order for just one of the kids to be able to participate in that kind of activity!

Sheesh! The schools will have to be offering clothing scholarships the way this stuff costs!

Shared Pains

Mandy has always had issues with headaches -especially migraines -and I've been the lucky one here who has managed to escape them. Now that's something that makes me feel truly blessed especially when I see how miserable and sick she is when she gets one of those kind of headaches.

She's had several different types of prescriptions to take for these headaches -some which help a little bit for a while, others which seem to have no redeeming qualities at all and do nothing to stem the pain. This spring though she's developed a bit of a problem though that I can relate to in that we're both dealing with sinus issues but hers seem to affect her throat as well as her sinus (runny nose mainly) and mine are giving me headaches that I wake up with in the morning, behind my upper cheek and eye area as I'm just plain all stuffed up then!

She read something about taking some kind of Migraine Botox to alleviate the problems but I'm not sure I understand how the heck this would work in this context. Anyone ever tried anything like this?

I keep telling her that once the pollen issues begin to settle back to normal again, this stuff will be history for us. A nice hot, steam-filled shower sometimes works better than anything to loosen up the old sinus cavities a bit and the added benefit there is the hot water also soothes the shoulder and neck muscles and helps to loosen them up a tad too.

Plus -no prescriptions, no doctor fees -and a nice refreshing feeling overall -my kind of healing qualities for sure!

Cabin Fever Escape?

The weather this winter has been really mild and for that I am very grateful. That we haven't had a lot of days with temps below zero and wind gusts making the wind chill factor even way lower -a major blessing especially with respect to the fuel bills! The fact that with the warmer temps and all we haven't had any major ice storms is also something for which I am extremely grateful too.

However, all that nice weather (for wintertime, ya know) still doesn't make getting through to spring time without having a bit of a go-round though with the sort of typical winter kind of depression that the doctors often refer to as SAD -Seasonal affective disorder -which really stems from lack of enough vitamin D (I think it's D) due to the lowered amounts of sunshine we get.

Anyway, normally, when I get into that rut, and just feel really out of sorts, wanting to hibernate, I have for the past couple of years now, as you know, turned to doing lots and lots of embroidery work. This year though, I did something different and went on a reading binge!

The drawback though to the reading binge is basically a lot the same as with the embroidery in that I then lose interest in most anything else and just concentrate solely on whatever it is that is my agenda at that time.

Housework becomes something completely at the bottom of the "To do" list, for sure!

What's bad about this is that Mandy and I both tend to operate much the same way so neither of us wants to be bothered with a lot of cleaning and such. But after well over a week now of really nice weather, warm days, sunny days and such, the dislike of housework begins to lift a bit.

Mandy was on a cleaning tear this past weekend -organizing kids clothes, shoes, boots, neatening, scrubbing, mopping, vacuuming -you name it and she was on fire doing all kinds of stuff like that. And, the bug finally bit me a little today too as I decided to tackle the kitchen!

I gave the floor a good once-over, mop job -so now it's nice and bright, a bit on the slippery side initially so you could call it kind of a quick step flooring now if you venture out there in your stocking feet and are moving a bit fast -you could go into a slip/slide in nothing flat! (No extra dirt to snag the socks and slow the movements down a bit I guess!)

That aspect won't stick around very long though what with the kids now able to go outside and play and I'll wager by tomorrow evening when they are ready for bed, that darned floor will be showing lots of wear and tear and mud having been dragged back in either by them or by the dog who now, seems compelled to find the biggest leaf accumulations along our walking route with bits of other stuff mixed in with the leaves as he finds it very necessary to lay down and roll all around, nuzzling the dirt down under and lifting that and the leaves to gather on his fur!

Dogs or kids -makes no difference I guess when it comes to finding and accumulating dirt. If it's there and readily available, they'll find it and bring it in to the cleanest floor area of the house!

Never fails!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Would Any Job Do?

Seeing the unemployment rates and reading about the difficulties many folks are having just making ends meet while working at decent jobs, although often it requires working two jobs or if it is a couple, both are usually employed and knowing what I went through trying to find a decent paying job, I have a great deal of empathy for anyone either in a bind financially because of the economy or heaven forbid, someone who is unemployed and not having any success in finding gainful employment.

Been there, did that and no, it's not easy to cope with.

Not. At. All!

However, I do see some people I know who are currently unemployed who also are not taking steps that might actually be necessary to get out of the employment bind -or lack thereof -they are currently in simply because they won't apply for certain types of jobs.

If a job isn't in some way similar to their previous employment and doesn't offer a starting pay rate of at least $12 an hour one friend of ours here won't even consider applying to anything less than that.

Frankly, I think that's some very foolish thinking as this person's unemployment expired a while back but then the government put in a 13 week extension so now, the party has unemployment benefits restored for about 8 or 9 more weeks.

I realize many jobs in this area only offer a starting rate of minimum wage and the bulk of those positions tend to be in the food service industry. While this person has no prior food service experience nor does this party really WANT to acquire food service experience, when faced with the current situation of having NO income at all once the unemployment benefits totally dry up, if that were me, I'd be getting that application and filling it out, double-time!

There's nothing that says you can't keep looking for a job in your particular field but sheesh, it's nice to know you've got a little bit of income coming in to be able to at least pay some of your bills in the meantime too!

It reminds me of a saying and I have no clue were this originated "Pride goeth before the fall" so is it better to be that proud where you won't even consider flipping burgers or running the carry-out window or whatever or shouldn't it be just a tad wiser to take a job, regardless, so you can then at least hold your head up and know you're trying to get your life in line?

Just my opinion there!


A very good and old, old friend of mine called me the other day. She and I worked together when I was employed down in D.C. many moons ago and we have stayed friends even though I moved back to Pennsylvania from there in 1972 -40 years ago this coming August.

She's now retired too and moved back to her hometown in West Virginia because her family still lives there. She and I share fairly similar backgrounds, overall but the best part is the fact of our friendship that has lasted all this time. Even though we don't call each other and talk frequently, when we do, it's almost like we've never been apart as our minds run in very much the same channels.

However, the big difference between us today is that she not only collects social security (as I do) but she also rose high enough in the ranks of our former mutual employer that she had a very good salary (also a very responsible position too) and she also was able to get a darned good pension then too when she retired.

So, she has a few more bucks floating around to play with, I suppose you could say, than I do.

As a result of that extra income occasionally she will tell me about things that she "plays with" pertaining to her money.

Her latest bit is that she is into coins and as such, she likes to buy gold coins!  I, on the other hand, would be much more inclined into trying to figure out a way to sell those things and collect the cash value I suppose! She's not a big purchaser of this stuff but just enough to dip her toes into the water, ya know. She's always been a pretty cautious individual where her money was concerned -not frugal -just not a spendthrift -so I don't worry about her getting burned from her little investments here and there and as long as she has the extra money to do that and enjoys it too, what harm is there in that anyway?

Like Mother....

Did I ever mention a job I had that was the longest lasting job I've ever had? From 1973 until 1991 -18 years -I was an Avonlady!

When I first started selling those products, my first order, I had only 3 customers but by the time I gave it up, I had about 150 people in my customer tracking book although I never had an order where that many people ordered something in one single campaign. Boy, wish I would have had customers like that!

I was the old-fashioned kind of representative too -the ones who went door-to-door unlike a lot of reps I knew then (and still today) who had people willing to take their sales books into factories and/or offices and gather up orders there for them. Those reps often were the ones who were the top-sellers in the district but I still managed to make the Top Ten list for over 15 or 16 years of my tenure as a rep.

Today, my daughter is now an Avon rep too but she doesn't go door-to-door. Instead, she just sells to family and a few friends of hers. It's enough for her to then be able to purchase the products she likes at the wholesale price and that is basically all she's interested in.

I still like and use a lot of their merchandise and I do especially like several of their fragrances. But I have to confess that my very favorite perfume of all I've ever had is one by Lancome called Poeme. (I think that's how you spell it.) Anyway, it's a designer perfume that was given to me as a birthday gift back in 1998! And it was given to me by the gentleman I was seeing at that time who, two weeks later, ended our relationship!

Maybe that purchase of that perfume was a bit too pricey for him to carry on the relationship?

I don't know what his reason for his decision to stop seeing me really was as he never fully explained it to me but that was the last time I ever got involved in any type of emotional relationship.

It taught me a darned good lesson and that was that I am independent and don't really need to have a man to make me whole.

Don't get me wrong now as I am not anti-relationships and definitely not against men or anything that dire but I just don't need one to make me "complete."

Of course, I'll never be able to afford another bottle of that lovely perfume but that's okay too!

It's just a material object and there are lots of things worth much, much more!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Peeves of Note!

Ever have one of those days when virtually everything you touch turns to a substance or some such that just doesn't work for you?

Today must have been one of those days for me.

I got up around 9 a.m. -give or take an hour or so I think. (Not fully sure what time it was when I got up but was pretty near to 10 a.m. I figure by the time I was relatively awake anyway. So allowances there are necessary.)

Decided I needed something "filling" for my breakfast rather than just a couple slices of toast so a scrambled egg sandwich (on toast of course) was my meal ticket for the morning, after which I could then take my daily meds. Can't take 'em on an empty stomach or else I will lose the benefit of the meds completely by depositing them almost immediately in the bathroom, ya know.) So before eating, I had to do my morning blood sugar test which today was the second time I think in over a week that it has registered under 120. Not good, by a long shot but not really horrible either, in my opinion. Hopefully, it is coming down, getting under control a bit again.

After breakfast though, the stomach decided it was time to wreak a bit of havoc by giving me lots of cramps and such. After that began to calm down, then my system decided it was time to ignore the nice temps outside and make me feel as if I were about to freeze inside the house so with that, I decided to curl up on the couch with a nice quilt and get warm that way. On my way to getting warm again, I took a nice little cat nap then too!

So, finally up and at 'em around 12:30, I decided time to take a shower. While getting things ready to get in the shower though is when the darned clumsy syndrome decided to take charge of things starting with how I managed to knock over some lipstick containers on the shelf in the medicine cabinet and one of 'em took a header into the sink and of course, right down into the drain. Yes, the cap to said lipstick also came off in the process and you just know it also happened to be my favorite shade too, don't 'cha? Couldn't have been a tube that I was tired of, that was 3/4 used up or anything, could it?  Well, certainly not as that would have been at least slightly beneficial in some way, wouldn't it?

After a quick but refreshing (also good awakener) shower, I realized I hadn't brought any clean clothes into the bathroom to put on -no robe there either -so I gathered up some other stuff laying on the chest in the bathroom to put in front of me to make my escape from the bathroom to my bedroom to get dressed. Praying all along too that there was no one waiting out front for me to surface and answer the door or anything like that because of course, within about 10 seconds after I had got into the shower and got my head all soaped up, the dog had begun barking like the little lunatic he is at times -loud, very frenzied -which usually means someone has dared to come down the sidewalk and knock on the front door! Usually, but not always as sometimes we have decided he goes into these barking frenzies too after having just seen a leaf blow across his line of vision too. Thank goodness apparently today it was a leaf as there was no one out front, no packages dropped off on the door stoop either so no risk then of my scaring the living daylights out of some unsuspecting soul who may have thought they needed or wanted to speak with me.

Finally dressed, Sam and I walked up the road to pick up the mail and he managed to water about every blade of grass along the route to and from the mail boxes. I marvel at the capacity of his bladder every time we go for a walk as that sucker must hold 10 gallon at least, judging by the number of watering stops he makes during a walk that is approximately 1 1/2 miles, round trip! Sure makes me envious of being able to hold that much fluid back from accidentally escaping, that's for sure!

Home again, and time for the kids to return from school with Kurtis getting home about 3:30 today and Maya, at the after-school play program she attends every Wednesday until 4:30 when Mandy has to pick her up then. So once they are both home, then it is wondering how long their peace truce for the day will hold up, ya know. Usually, it only lasts a short period of time once they are together but I'm thinking today, being the second day this year now that they have been able to go outside and play -release a good bit of their pent-up energy along with the sibling rivalry type of hostility that is there, under the surface, and thanks be to the higher powers they both seem to appreciate each other a bit. Miracles do happen, don't they?

As often happens on Wednesday afternoons, Kurt's TSS, Miss Dawn, is here for a little added time to work with him and she is outside playing with/supervising both kids a bit to keep the law and order atmosphere going. All is well until she discovers Maya has found some earthworms and was carrying them into the house where she was depositing them in the little six-pack cooler sitting out in the front porch!

Oh wonnerful, wonnerful, ya know! She tried that last night when she carted a worm tucked into the palm of her hand into the house and plunked her butt down on the sofa to admire her catch!

I am NOT a big fan of earth worms. Did I ever mention that before? Well, if not, I'm telling that truth now cause I don't particularly care for any type of thing that strikes me as resembling even if only very slightly of a snake! (I also do not like spiders or other creepy-crawly creature either!) Fact of the matter is I don't just dislike them I am also more than a bit afraid of 'em too but that's a fear I don't want the kids to know about too! I remember all too well what my kids and their dad used to love to torment me with once he and they discovered I was more than a bit afraid of toads too, many, many years ago. I really don't want, really don't need, kids chasing me around the place carrying worms, spider or heaven forbid, toads or who knows, maybe even non-poisonous snakes at some future juncture!

Fortunately though, Mandy has pretty much the same attitude as mine when it comes to these creatures and she let fly with the riot act on Maya about bringing worms into the house which she said, in no uncertain terms, was ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN!

Thank goodness for that small favor!

Well, judging by the sounds coming in via the front door, the truce must have come to an end because I hear one little boy whining and crying and his mother telling him "You better go SIT DOWN!"

All good things do seem to come to an end, don't they?

But at least we had over an hour's worth of peaceful playtime today and that's really a positive sign for a change!

Here's hoping things go worm free and I don't knock any more stuff that I really don't want to lose over and down the drain too!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Too Much, Too Soon...

Darn it anyway! Looks like I opened my big mouth and uttered a bunch of stuff a bit too early on for those words to be valid anymore.

This morning, while going through my reader and making occasional comments too, I responded to a post by Kat at Seeking Sanity in which she was talking about the weather over the past couple of months and how it was not the norm for those of us who live in states that frequently become snowbound or have lengthy bouts of really, really low temps and other nasty winter things, like sleet, freezing rain and such. Just as where she lives (Michigan), we here in Pennsylvania have had a winter quite unlike any in my memory at all -which by the way covers a whole lot of winters too, ya know. We've had a few snowfalls, yes, but nothing in the really, really big depths range, no blizzards either and only a few times have we had some snow of the blowing type that creates so much havoc with the visibility for people on the highways. We've had no instances whatsoever in which the temps dropped below zero and then, due to wind chill factors, seemed 10-15 degrees even lower than an already bitter cold of say, -6 degrees.

So I told her this about the winter of 2012 as experienced here in central Pennsylvania. Then, I went on to read a few more blogs, get myself cup of coffee, fixed myself a huge tossed salad for breakfast (reasons for salad for breakfast to be discussed later) and when I came back into the living room to finish my blog reading and happened to look out the window, to my chagrin what did I see but snow flakes flying about quite furiously too! The Nerve! Unmitigated nerve at that of Mother Nature to invade my turf on what earlier forecasts (or so I had been led to believe) were calling for warm (50-60 possible) temps today! Apparently that was not to be though.

Although now, an hour later, the sun is making occasional peeks through and the amount of flurries has greatly diminished so who knows what the noon weather forecast will hold now!

This rather mixed up weather stuff though fits very nicely with m mood today which, by the way, isn't all that good but for other reasons -all of which lead to my logic in having a tossed salad for breakfast!

My thoughts on that choice were that perhaps since lettuce and a couple other greens seem to be the only things I should be eating because everything else I seem to like much less even just look at makes my blood sugar go a bit wild now!

I confess to not being an ideal patient for a doctor to work with when it comes to issues like weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and low fat/carb crapola. You probably know the drill too with these items, especially as you get a bit up in years.

My blood sugar levels went more than a bit wonky last year when I was getting chemo after having had a hysterectomy at which time it was discovered that I had uterine cancer and as a result, between my oncologist and my primary care physician, they decided to put me on a high dosage of metformin twice a day to keep my blood sugar in check -along with being good and pushing myself away from the table more often, not ingesting the carbs that pollute our diet here mainly because mac'n'cheese or chicken nuggets seem to be the main things we can get these two kids to eat! And I still swear by my words I used all the time to my kids when they would get picky about food and I would preach to them to "Sit up, shut up and eat cause I'm not running a blankety-blank-blank restaurant here with me trying to fix a couple different meals for one sitting!" Well, guess what? There are a lot of days that I do end up fixing two sort of separate menus simply because there are times Mandy and I do get a bit tired of the mac'n'cheese that the kids would prefer to see on the table day after day after day!

So anyway, I confess too that I have been misbehaving a good bit of late with respect to the diet stuff and the blood sugar and all that junk. I had been testing my blood sugar normally, once a day, in the morning before having anything to eat at all. And prior to the latter part of November, those tests were always running the gamut of anywhere from a low of 82 to a high of 119 -and a gamut in those number is now a really bad thing, ya know. So I decided I was tired of poking a hole in my fingertips every damned day and not being able to make heads or tails either out of the readings based on what I'd had to eat the day before! Go figure why one day it could be a low of 83 after having had a bigger amount of food that was heavy-duty on the carb end of the spectrum and a day or so later, after having a diet the day before of say, rice and fish (broiled) giving a reading of maybe 115-119 or so. Just confusing the hell out of me was all that was doing because I couldn't get a good bead then on foods I could concentrate more on and that I really liked -which the kids would eat too. (Also an important factor in these configurations too for peace, quiet and overall sanity to prevail at the dinner table!)

So I began just testing randomly maybe 2-3 times a month and in doing that, during November I ran an average blood sugar level then of 117, in January it was 110 and in March thus far, it exploded and has not been under 120 yet! Actually, this past Monday morning it was up to 138 but I figured that was because the day before we had a pot luck dinner at church with oodles and oodles of casseroles (all extremely tasty) plus just about as wide an array too of lovely desserts -all irresistible -and I had more than pigged out the day before. So I decided then to check my sugar levels a bit more frequently and on Tuesday morning, it was still up there but a teeny bit lower -down to 135. Yesterday it dropped a bit more by morning to 129 but this morning, it was really high -up to 143 and I was really frustrated again as my diet yesterday was not out of bounds! Oatmeal plus a bit of homemade rye toast for breakfast, and for supper, a nice tossed salad, a very meager amount of buttered noodles (very meager for me!) along with some broiled chicken with Italian dressing seasoning and later in the evening a banana and a very small scoop of ice cream. (Note here, during the time span when my blood sugars were constantly testing low and very acceptable, I was also enjoying (very much) almost every night, a nice serving of ice cream as I had to have food in my stomach when taking my meds, ya know!)

This morning I also decided to take the plunge and dared to get on the scale! A mistake for my ego there, that's for sure and the scale of course, doesn't lie and it told me that I am now paying the piper for all the indulging I did between Thanksgiving and the end of January what with all the chocolates and other candies and cookies out the yazoo that existed in the old house then! To the tune of an increase of almost 8 pounds as a matter of fact! ARRGH and double ARRGH to that bit of news!

So, even though I have been behaving better thus far this week with Sam and walking him the rest of my life seems to be crumbling about me from my bad choices I've been making! The salad though this a.m. did taste pretty good and actually made me feel full too! I'm hoping it will hold me till supper time when I'm figuring on fixing some kind of fish and who knows what else (that the kids will eat) for supper.

But since I'm sharing some information here today that isn't all on the nice and bright side, I've got something else to add to that too! Seems Kurtis made a bunch of bad choices yesterday in school and almost got not one but three infractions! His TSS sent Mandy a text message yesterday late in the morning to tell her it wasn't a good day going on in the kindergarten area at least not where Kurt was concerned as while Miss Dawn was helping another client, Kurtis decided to drop his drawers, put his little naked butt smack in the face of a fellow student and then, adding insult to injury, he proceeded to wiggle said naked behind profusely in that other child's face too!

OMG! Kurt did that? Whatever was he thinking? And, what happened to the little boy who frequently will tell me not to look at him while he's attempting to take off his pajamas and get dressed? It's not unusual at all for me to go near the bathroom door and upon his hearing me there, he will call out and tell me "No look at me Gram! No look! I no got clothes on!"

Modesty frequently prevails on the home front where people have often seen him in various stages of undress over the almost 6 years of his life and yet, at school, around people who are virtually strangers to him in a manner of speaking, he strips and shakes his booty at them in their faces too boot!

Needless to say, he wasn't the happiest camper on the block last night as Mandy had some lengthy discussions with him about his bad behavior and poor choices made yesterday.

Let's hope that today he remembers telling me as he got on the van to go to school this a.m. that he would make good choices today and who knows, maybe it will happen that way just like the sun keeps popping in and out for a bit of a longer visit too each time now.

Maybe spring really, really is on the way and everything will brighten up more and more with each passing day. Including the prospects then too of getting back to doing longer walks too with Sammy that maybe will be helpful in the weight loss, blood sugar control column.

It could happen, ya know! It better happen is more what I'm saying right about now though!

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Yesterday! Oh WOW, what a gorgeous day!

The sun was shining, it was calm, nice and warm for an early March Day. So warm in fact that for the first time in 2012, I was outside, running errands, keeping appointments, even walking the dog  -without wearing my heavy winter coat! Amazing, huh? (Especially considering I tend to freeze at the drop of a hat and a degree down on the thermometer.

But didn't happen like that yesterday as I was comfy in my jeans, a long sleeve turtleneck under my knit sweater!

And when I went to walk the dog, camera in hand, I even got a couple pictures of some things that struck me as being just a trifle odd along the way too.

Here's the first thing I photographed that really hit me as a strange sight initially.

Sam and I walked down towards Peale and as we were going down the first little grade of a hill -just before the first bridge over Moravian Run -I saw something off to the side of the road ahead and it sure as heck looked like it was electrified and twinkling at me!

I couldn't imagine what on earth that might be with the gold lights seeming to be sparkling but when we got up closer I could then see what it was.

Someone had dumped two Christmas trees -or a small tree plus part of another tree -along the road and both of them still had tinsel attached to them. The one with a goodly amount of gold tinsel -thanks to the sunlight and the way the rays were hitting it -sure did look so pretty, so sparkly and bright. The smaller tree section of branches had old silver tinsel on it which didn't give the same glistening effect from the sunshine.

I thought about using the video feature on my camera to see if it would show the twinkling effect but then decided folks will think I'm crazy enough by posting picture of dead Christmas trees that I claim to have seen winking at me!

On our way back home I stopped to take a picture of this!
This big old hornet's (or wasp's) nest is hanging at the tip of a branch on a big old tree down on the side lot that used to belong to my Great Uncle Erik. I've noticed it there before but for some reason or other didn't take a shot of it till just yesterday though. A couple years back we had a nest like that on the side of the house here, just above the sun porch. The funny thing was that I never noticed it when it was being used and the bees or wasps were buzzing around, in and out, of it. Not until it was dead did I see it! Wonder why that was?

The picture of the nest though became something sort of prophetic though early last night though.

Maya and I had gone out to church to attend the Lenten service for this week and also, to have a chance to say a last goodbye to Pastor Carrie and her Mom, DeLee as they will be pulling out of Grassflat sometime today, as soon as the moving van gets all Pastor's furniture and belongings loaded up. They'll be head north and west -up to Baldwin, Wisconsin where Pastor will begin work as the minister at the Lutheran church there. So sorry to see her leave but we're all really happy for her at the same time as it will make it so much easier for her to slip away and visit with her family more frequently. So much easier it is to drive 3 hours as opposed to a 15-hour trip, isn't it?

But anyway, when Maya and I got back home, Kurtis met us at the front door, holding out his little hand to me and announcing "I got stung by a bee, Gram!"

Not sure which it was -a hornet or a wasp -but they manage somehow to get in the attic in the fall and pretty much are dormant there until warm days must wake them up slightly and then, now and again, one will slip through the ceiling door-flap to the attic and invade the downstairs of the house. They don't usually fly around -mostly creep and crawl and seem a bit sluggish but, probably like I am when I have to get up before I'm really ready to wake up and get moving, they're probably a tad grouchy. I'm figuring that's how Kurtis came to get stung on the joint of his thumb.

Mandy told me when it happened, she mixed up a little paste of baking soda and water and put that on his hand to help draw the pain out and as she was doing that for him, he looked up at her and said -in his most sincere but sad voice -"It's not the end of the world, is it?"

No Kurtis, it sure isn't quite that bad but those doggone bees and wasps sure can hurt a little guy (or a big one too) when they land and sting, can't they?

And now -here it is, Thursday morning and because I didn't sleep all that well last night -woke up at least three times where it was a struggle to fall back to sleep so now, I'm still a tad on the drowsy side and truth be told, feeling a bit like a grouchy hornet who was awakened before it had enough rest to take on the world today! I'm thinking a nice little nap this morning will be just the ticket for me!

Here's hoping your day begins with your having plenty of restful sleep last night and you're feeling replenished and refreshed!

Nap time, then a walk with the dog before the rain hits that we're supposed to see sometime this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tree Watcher

I have mentioned on numerous occasions about my good intentions of getting back in the habit of walking, especially taking Sammy out and going on some brisk strolls with him and I know I've also said a few things here and there too about watching what I ingest in my system.

Well, the past couple of times I've done blood sugar testing my numbers were coming back considerably higher than they have been -and on a pretty consistent basis too -that I am gonna have to kick-start my butt into the good behavior column again. Walks with the dog -preferably (unless it is a really heavy, cold rain) up to get the mail and back home which would be almost 1 1/2 miles round trip by six days a week for a weekly total then of at least 9 miles. A tad more once Sunday's walks would be added in to that too. And on the food issues, gonna have to figure out some really lo-cal, lo-sugar-lo-carb things to insert in the diet and also, utilize the pressure needed to keep my arm down at my side and not reaching for the spoon or fork to take seconds of ANYTHING -unless it would be celery sticks or raw broccoli sans dips of course!

ARRGH! I hate this aspect being tossed back into my life but it's my own damned fault for not paying as much close attention to it as I should have been doing all along.  The old saying "We reap what we sow" does come to mind here and baby, I don't like the idea of reaping the "benefits" of insulin. Not in the least!

So with all that in mind, I did take the dog for a walk today up to pick up the mail -which by the way was a non-existent entity too as the mail box was empty! Oh well, that's good in that it held no bills anyway!

But along the way -and today, I remembered too that I should try to take my little camera along when I go out but didn't think of that until I got a bit up the road from the house and saw something that caught my eye and interest. So, after I got back to the house, I grabbed the camera and went back up to where I saw this -and I hope you can see it okay on the photo as it's not huge and sort of hidden and blends in with the branches on the tree a bit. (Plus it was really difficult for me to photograph it as I couldn't really see if I had it in focus in my lens! Talk about snapping things rather blindly, huh?)

You may have to hit the button to increase the size of the picture in order to see it -and right now, as I look at this shot, I can't see it but I know it's there!

What's there, you ask?

A lonely little icicle hanging from a branch on the tree!

I was really surprised to see it because it's dry today and though it is cold, there's not a lot of wind blowing around to make it feel even colder too. And considering all the other trees I passed as Sam and I made our way up the road and back home again, no where else did I observe any thing like ice hanging on any other trees or bushes or shrubs along the way!

Just thought it was unusual and kind of neat!

Tonight's the night for our monthly meeting of our Women's Group at Church and one of the members phoned me earlier to tell me she wouldn't be there tonight. I'm not surprised to get that message because she and her husband were in a car accident this past Friday and he was taken to Altoona Hospital -about 50 miles from here -due to injuries he sustained to his lower back/spinal column. What makes this more difficult though for them is that back in 1986 (I think that's the year if my memory is on target) he was in a very bad auto accident which left him in a coma for several months and a long, long period of rehabilitation after that as well. He "recovered" yes, but at a severe price because it is very difficult for him to walk even today and he generally uses a walker to be mobile. Luckily for him in this accident, he was being transferred today to a rehab facility about 35 miles from here and his wife said the staff at Altoona had gotten him up and he was able to walk. But still, will need she says at least 1-2 weeks of rehab and therapy now. He graduated from high school with my older daughter and they have been very good friends for many, many years now -a really nice young man -who was eventually able to return to college, got his bachelor's as well as his master's but due to his physical issues still an ongoing thing, he's never been able to find employment in a setting conducive to his issues! What a shame that is to have the learning, the ability but not be able to find someone willing to give him the chance he needed to prove himself as the capable person he truly is! So, if you're one who reads this and believes in the power of prayer, please remember our friend, R.B., that he heals quickly and is able to regain what he'd worked so hard years ago to acquire -the ability to move around, even if it is at a slower pace than most of us have!

And now, I'm off to the kitchen to go on a search and destroy mission for something to cook for supper that will be met in a positive manner by the grandkids and will also be something that is filling but not fattening -preferably "sugar free" ya know -for me!

That might be a bit close to Mission Impossible but I'm gonna give it a try anyway!

Now go and have a great day!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Monday Wash

My title is reminiscent of what used to be published every Monday in our local newspaper for many years -back in the day when the editor of said paper actually wrote editorials (as compared to today when the editor does not do anything remotely like that) as there are so many things on my mind, little stories of things that happened recently, ramifications too, maybe, of some of those things. I just thought it was a pretty apt choice for a title -kind of like the Friday Fragments thing that Barb at Half Past Kissing Time always posts every week. A little mish-mash of things in every day life I guess it is.

Last week, I had several days in which I thought I might be getting a cold but yet, weren't quite like a head cold either. Mainly just my nose running  -and then, running in a way I thought there might be a flood soon! Talking to my friend and neighbor it seems she was having the same issue too and especially the incessant nose-watering thing! I started to think maybe it was an allergy-type thing brought on perhaps because the weather of late has been so strange for this time of year. So, I started to take some OTC stuff for allergy symptom cessation which then led me to purchase a different OTC package which I got at Walmart (their generic brand) and the new stuff I only had to take 1 pill a day and it would put the nose problems on hold for 24 hours. So I tried it and found it to work much better than the other allergy pills I had been taking which had to be ingested every 4 hours and still had a lot of the issues with my nose and also my eyes watering frequently too. So, since Friday now, I've had no more problems with whatever pain in the dupa was previously bothering me!

Yesterday was a very big day in the family's life here as it marked the last Sunday that Pastor Carrie (our minister for the past 3 1/2 years) would be here, with us, as our pastor. The service was one I was dreading, figuring it would turn the waterworks back on for me, but I surprised myself as I made it until shaking her hand and exchanging hugs as we exited the church before the tears began to well up. Not very many dry eyes though in the parish, that's for sure.

After the service, we then held a huge pot-luck dinner in her honor and baby, I do mean it was HUGE! Three tables loaded to the gills with ham, turkey, just about any type of casserole dish you could want, and desserts galore as well. I was not all that well-behaved at the dinner -going back for a second refill of my plate because I simply didn't have enough room the first trip down the line to get even a tiny spoonful of all the things I wanted to try and enjoy. And this morning, I'm seeing the ramifications of that splurge in my eating too as my blood sugar was clear up to a big old 138!

I confess that I have been misbehaving in other ways too though pertaining to the blood sugar stuff. Since back in November, I haven't been doing daily testings. Why? Well, simply because up until that point, my levels were running anywhere between as low as 83 to a high of 115-120 every now and again and I was -truth be told -getting really bored with poking a needle in my fingers daily -sometimes poking several fingers before I could get one that would release enough blood to test too -so I started doing the testings on a more random basis. And until this past week, the levels generally were still staying within that decent range. But now, after over feeding myself way too many carbs and sugary delights yesterday and not paying all that much attention of late either to portion control, it looks like I'm gonna have to step back and punt and get things back down where my doctor wants those numbers.

All this even after I have been behaving a lot better of late about walking the dog -the only true form of exercise this old lady does, ya know. Well, just gonna have to pick up that pace and walk him a bit further and do it faithfully too, every day!

Yesterday, with the goodbyes to Pastor Carrie, I was quite surprised at how nonchalant both Maya and Kurt were with her as neither of them seemed at all upset. (One little boy in our church just sobbed and sobbed after the service though.) Mandy and I are both wondering if perhaps Kurt and Maya just don't comprehend as yet what all this means about her leaving although Maya was telling me on the way home from church about how she is now going to save up "all her money" and get enough saved that way so she can then be able to go to Wisconsin (where Pastor Carrie is going) to see her again! Shortly after announcing that game plan, she also told me she is going to save more of "all her money" and she's going to use that for a trip to Sweden then too. I told her that's great and maybe Grammy will live long enough that she can take me along on that excursion. Confident in this being something that WILL happen, she then informed me that "Well, maybe I will just take the whole family!" Ah, now there's a dream I truly do wish could happen!

As I sit here typing this, I keep getting little interruptions of noises coming from behind me -little bitty scraping kinds of sounds -and I know, without even turning around to look exactly what's causing those noises. It's Pearl in her determined quest to get a paw inside of Mike's tank (Mike being the Beta fish) and Pearl probably is having visions of a delightful little fishy snack in her future plans. Not if I can help it, Pearl baby! The last time I got up and physically moved her away from the tank, I also gave her a little tap on her nose and stern orders to "Stay the Hell away from the fish, Pearl!"

Sure do wish reprimands to a cat were easily followed, ya know!

Gotta share another blog post I read this morning too now. This one is from my dear friend, Dianne, at Forks Off The Moment.

I have to warn you though, if you've never read any of Dianne's posts before, brace yourself! She definitely speaks her mind, tells it like it is! And I love reading her stuff -especially how she generally ends her posts with some reference about "having Hope" which is her way of giving recognition to her beautiful and often quite precocious, little granddaughter, Hope! Check her out and enjoy her words!

Sunday, late afternoon, early evening, as the sun was starting to set, and I was getting ready to take Sammy out for a walk, I happened to glance out the front window in the living room and the view I saw really struck me as being particularly different -as well as (in my opinion) very beautiful. The way the sunlight was hitting just across the tops of the tree line behind the house across the street from ours made me marvel at the sight. So much so that before I took Sammy out, I grabbed my camera and took a couple shots of it to share with you so you could see I wasn't exaggerating and that it really was very pretty!

What really amazed me was that it took me perhaps 5 minutes after I first noticed the sunlight on the tree tops until I got my camera and threw my coat on to get out side to snap these pics and in that short period of time, the amount of sun that showed through had changed drastically. When I first noticed it, the sun's rays appeared to be landing across the trees about half-way down and when I snapped these shots, it had decreased already up to only showing about the top one-fourth of the tree tops in a golden glow!

Does really show, doesn't it, just how quickly things change and yes, that time does fly!

Hope the coming week brings loads of golden sunshine in your lives.