31 December 2008

Time is a great teacher; unfortunately it kills its pupils.

so says Louis Hector Berlioz.

Some change in plans, still not too sure what I will be doing. It depends if one of my friends is coming over to my place tonight. If she does, than I will be staying here. If she doesn't, then I will probably be seeing Mr Date-Dude.

Whatever you have planned, do have a good new year's eve, and be careful. There's lots of idiots out there, driving vehicles, and getting drunk. Ijits. Sigh.

30 December 2008

she wore a loooooooooooooong hat

I know it's fuzzy {the pic is too!}, but here is a shot of my latest hat. I'll be ringing in the New Year with it perched on my head, trailing down my back. It's two and a half feet long, and very snuggly.

Hope your new year's eve activities are safe, sane, and consensual.


29 December 2008

Year's End

The year is drawing to a close, with lots of special beginnings unfurling. Looking back over the year, there have been lots of ups and many many downs. But for most every suck-ass happening, there have been some wonderful folks stepping up, reaching out, helping me, pulling me thru. Some are you. Cuz I get by with a lil help from my friends.

Thanks, dudes.

27 December 2008

Santa comes to town {and rides around}

on a motorcycle.

take a gander.

whatta guy.
whatta guy.

He came; cuz I've been a good girl.
Very, very good. *wink*

26 December 2008

girls' night in

Well, some of us girls are going to get together to ring the New Year in. There will be lots of jammie wearing, cookie baking, cocoa drinking, moving watching, traditional dishes cooking, chit chatting, and fun having! I'd invite ya all, but where would we put everyone? We'd need to reserve an entire floor at one of our hotels!

It's still in the planning stage, and I'm not sure how many of us there will actually be, but no matter; we will have scads of fun!

just scads and scads!

whatcha doing for the new year?

25 December 2008

the stuffing continues

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas; I did! Mom's surprise package for me started my day just right. Then I spoke with a few friends via phone to with Merries.

Armed with cookies, I went to my landlords' for dinner and omg, it was soooOOooo good. Great people, good conversation, great food, good gifts {and dude, they even had a bag for me!}...it was awesome. AND they gave me a huge platter of food to bring home, including chocolate pie and a wedge of Hummingbird cake (or Italian Creme, there was some debate~either way, it's delicious banana, nuts, cream cheese frosting and pure scrumptiliciousness).

Then, Mr. Date-dude picked me up (and he gets doors and all those other small things that are nice lil extras). The movie was good; I laughed more than I thought I would. I didn't realize the story, sets, and characters were so corny and humourous. I really enjoyed it.

I must say, today was a very merry christmas for me; I hope it was for you too!

*gasp* sneaky santa

Last night, memom called and said that this morning, after I wake up and perform my morning ablutions; give her a call. So I did, and sang Merry Christmas to You {merry christmas to you, merry christmas dear fam.ill.ee, merry christmas to youuuUUuuuuu} to the answering machine; mom called me back. And sent me on a treasure hunt.

My crafty mom hid a huge package for me when she was here a month ago. All kinds of goodies were in there, including a pair of soooooOOooo soft jammies and a lovely candle and scented body gels and bars and lotion and scents and oh my! And my calender. Every year, for the last 25 yrs, mom has given me a pocket calender for christmas, and I think I have at least the last ten years saved in the other room {good for records of important dates and events and things}.

Whatta great surprise and the perfect way to start my Christmas! Thank you so very much, mom!! {merry christmas to you, merry christmas to you, merrry chRIStmas to youuUUuuu, merry christmas to you}

meeeeerrrrrrreeee krissmasssssss

This evening, I baked cookies. Mr Date-Dude came out to visit and the time flew by. Some of the cookies are a bit on the dark side, cuz I was jabbering and giggling and failed to pay attention to the time quite as well as I usually do. It was a very nice evening, good visit, and the cookies are soooooooooooooOOoooooooooo good.

I cheated.

Instead of making them from scratch, I used the simplest recipe evah. Ya take a box of cake mix, and a sixteen ounce tub of sour cream, mix well and add whatever you like {nuts, coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, etc). Drop onto greased and floured cookie sheets and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

I used a butter pecan cake mix with lots of chocolate chips, omg {mouth orgasm} so good that I may have to go to confession. Ya know, if I were Catholic. {Bless me father for I have sinned, it's been for never since my last confession...}

I'm going to hell for that.

The other kind was using a box of carrot cake {yes, yes, a carrot cookie!!}, adding lots of plump raisins. So good, you don't even mind that it has healthy things like fruits and veggies. Well, okey, it's not like the healthy quotient is high enough to even come close to being good for you. Still, lovely moist cookies.


Good thing I am taking them to my Christmas dinner tomorrow. Cuz all that poundage I'd lost this summer/fall? I found it! Turns out it wasn't lost, not really. It just took a detour.

Hope your Christmases are wonderfully warm and that you enjoy plenty of nappage.

23 December 2008

Merrrrrrry Christmas Eve

My date the other night was wonderful! Originally, it'd been planned for Tuesday night; but Monday afternoon, Mr. Date-Dude called and asked if we could bump it up to Monday night. I said, "sure thing." Yeah, cuz I'm that much fun.

I got there first, cuz I'm always early for everything {and cuz I couldn't wait any longer; yeah, I don't even wrap my presents, I just give them as soon as I finish them~~lookitit, now, Now, NOW}. When he got there, he told me that the pictures don't do me justice {*blink*blink*}. And that, my friends, set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Mr. Date-dude's a perfect gentleman.

We had a wonderful time. So, Christmas Day, I'll be on date number two. We'll be seeing "The Spirit", which opens Thursday.

Merry, merry everyone!

22 December 2008


I'm all twitterpated.

In just a couple-few hours, I'll be all gussied up and on a date. Me. Date. Dude, I've not done the date thing since I don't know when. See Thumper? That's how I'm feeling at the moment. A few days ago, when he (not Thumper) called to ask me out, I did a very stereotypical girly-girl thing; I thought, "omg, what am I gonna wear?" I then followed that thought with, "Imma doofus; I'll go with clothes, that's a safe bet. Especially with the temps here of late." And, ya know, what with the holiday pudding pudge poundage; nude is really not appropriate. That's just how I'm feeling at that moment. Could change. Probably not.

I'm thinking I'll go with Thumper's hair-do; I'll be smashingly beautiful, doncha think?


21 December 2008

now reading

Last night, I finished "Christmas Stories from Mississippi" {how apropo, eh?} and am about to consume "The History of the Snowman"; a riveting biography of the King of Kitsch, from birth to white-trash years thru the cameo years {Frosty was everywhere, with everyone}. I've not even truly began, and I'm already tickled with Bob Eckstein's dry wit which snowballs into just the right amount of wetness to form good packed lasting impressions of this top-hatted, carrot-nosed, corn-cob-pipe tokin', coal-smiling critter. Just the ticket for snuggling under the comfy cozy covers on this freeze-ass day.

20 December 2008

can't cantata

A couple weeks ago, when I went to my friend's lil girl's piano recital, the day my car stalled and the day I was feverishly congested and attempting not to hack during the children's performances; yeah that day, my friend invited me to her church's christmas musical. I asked if by musical, she meant "west side story". No, Debra {sigh}.

So this morning, I drove over to her church and discovered anew that I should not sing godly hymns {none of which i am familiar with} when surrounded by godly folks praising god. I'm either two beats behind, three notes higher, or way way too loud. Or ya know, all three.

I'm so enthused and relieved when I do recognize a tune that I rush thru it instead of maintaining a stately dignified rythm. This makes "go tell it on the mountain" into "goatle town mounnnnnnnnnnTIN". Yeah, I was real popular today.

The 'musical' was actually a bit of a cantata; the sermon was sung by a choir that was huge, nearly one third of the entire congregation. My friend was one of the beautiful voices that sang praises and boy, was I glad they weren't depending on my vocals to be eloquent. cuz dude {snort}, sooOOoooo not happening.

18 December 2008

sharing the sweetness

I really like this image, and wanted to share it! It's sweet and cute, without being overly so. And it makes me think of tender tentative moments which hold possibilities and warm fuzzy feelings with gentle smiles.

Amazing how something so simple can mean so much!

Hope everyone is taking some time for themselves in all this rushing about this season!

17 December 2008

jammin' jammies

This morning, I picked up my car from the Fix-It Dudes' and happily drove to Jacki's, picked her up and then drove over to her eye appnt. My car ran like a charm! The weather was sleety dull gray cold. Messy, messy, messy. Yea, got my car back! Yea, it didn't stall out! Yea!!

But just in case, we made sure that Jacki had her cell phone. And that I had my AAA card. And we took extra jackets so we'd be warm and dry if we had to stop along the highway. But we didn't need any of that. Yea!

Actually, we did need her phone. She's been trying to get her modem upgraded and installed and all that other fun stuff. Her sister sent her a laptop for her birthday and Christmas, so she was trying to get it all worked out so that she can use the lavish gift. But, the modem is doing weird things.

Just how weird? Well, while she was trying on eyeglass frames, her cell phone rang and it was her landlord in a complete panic. Apparently, her modem has been dialing 911; dispatch called her homeline {no one answered}, sent her landlord over {cuz I drove my car to her eye appnt, her car was parked in front of her apartment}, he let himself in to an empty Jacki-less apartment and panicked til he remembered that he has Jacki's cell number. After she assured him that yes, she is fine; no, there's no emergency; no, she certainly was not deliberately setting her modem to dial 911; and yes, she will be home later~~we decided that we couldn't make any firm definitive decision regarding her eyeglass frames cuz after awhile, we both burn out and making any decision becomes pointless cuz neither of us can do it. Besides, frames are pricey beyond belief! {markup, doncha know?}

After we left there, we stopped by kMart. I've not been there for years. And years. Jacki picked out some awesome flannel jammies with martini glasses all over them. She also bought me my christmas jammies! The Joe Boxer jammies were buy one, get one free. So, I picked out heavy cotton pink jammies with hearts arranged in flowers. And Jacki got me super soft pink footies to match my pink sweater that I wear with my other jammies. It was a jammin' time!

So now, I'm freshly showered and wearing my new jammies. yea! for me!

{it takes so little to make me a giddy girl}

16 December 2008

tears to my eyes, it brought

and chuckles from my chest.

Most of you know that I do have a good sense of humor, but don't generally laugh out loud {"LOL"}. I don't pepper my writing with rotflmao and other such fillers. When I type "grins", I'm really grinning. And when I type snickers, chuckles, chortles, snorts, and chokes; you can expect that I'm really convulsing on this side of the screen. Most times, I smirk a bit but rarely to you find me experiencing a good belly laugh over reading something humourous. But dudes, I gotta share this with you because it really did make me laugh so hard, my eyes teared up and I ended up having a choking coughing fit which disturbed Shaddow's serious rest.

It is no secret that I love my local public library (even tho I've referred to it as the friggen' local public library ~~ see My FLPL linkee on the left), finding most of the women that work there to be very admirable, witty, compassionate, and truly in love with their work. Laura has developed a wonderful children's room over the last five years. Anna has created the Young Adult programs, carving out a good niche this year. Patricia, Andrea, Kimberly, and Amanda woman the front desk, always cheerful and interested and interesting. Most everyone there has given me wonderful suggestions for audios, movies, and books for whatever mood I happened to be in that day or week or month. The Friends of the Library hold their first Monday of the Month sales and sponsor brown bag author lunches and lectures, as well as so many other activities that benefit the coffers of the library. I could go on and on about this fabulous place and the many community oriented programs and the coalition and consortium and ... but I won't. At least not here and now.

I will tell you about this one aspect alone. The children's librarian {Laura, whatta setta pipes on that lovely!} and the efforts of others have produced a CD of local stories and music called "Once Upon A Long Ago Night...", for sale at the circulation desk for a mere six dollars; all proceeds benefiting the children's section at the Starkville Public Library, here in Starkville, Mississippi. Today, I bought one and listened to it tonight.

It is very enjoyable, a good mixture of poems, songs, and stories. One in particular is a remembrance of Mike Goree's. I'm sure his son is hanging his head in shame, but he ought to be grinning from ear to ear. Let me share with you this Mississippi State University's instructor's particular tale of Christmas Eve 1989, when temperatures dropped below zero here in the fair South.

First you must meet Mollie. She was their dog, a much loved pet who was large, sloppy, and very misbehaved. Even tho it was so bitterly cold out, Mollie was banished to the patio, for misdeeds beyond mention. She had a tongue "a foot and a half long and slobbery".

The door between the patio and the den was a twelve paned french door with ice frozen in sheets. In the den, the entire family was spending most of their time over those cold nights, gathered around the gas fireplace. However, at the start of this scene, we find only the middle child sitting in the den.

He was changing clothes and to give him privacy, the rest of the family left so that he could have the warmth of the gas logs. When he got down to his underwear, he kicked them off. The garment flew in a lovely arch across the room, over the fire fender, onto those gas logs; whereupon the elastic waistband shriveled and shimmied and popped and curled in all sorts of amazing ways.

The boy hollered for his father, "dad, dad come in here, my underwear's on fire!!" The father rushed into the room, saw the flaming underwear, and knew immediately what to do {as all fathers must know what to do in any crisis a kid creates}. So he ran into the kitchen, grabbed up the metal dustpan, returned to the den, scooped up the flaming underwear which was burning bright, and held it aloft {striking a pose much like the Statue of Liberty hoisting her torch in victory}.

Mollie, in the meantime, heard the commotion and jumped to her feet, springing high into the air, adding her rulfing rulping barks to the din and sending slobber thru the cold clear night air. She was rather klutzy and misjudged her distance from the door; and on one particularly high jump, her long slobbery tongue extended and struck the icy window pane at the very top of the door. Immediately, her tongue froze to the pane and she hung there, four paws scrabbling for purchase and tail just a beating on the door frame.

The father, thinking quickly {as all fathers must when faced with a kid/dog created crisis}, thrust the metal dustpan of burning underwear near the pane and melted the ice, releasing Mollie's tongue and allowing her to drop to the patio in a sprawling mound of fur and yelps. Flinging open the door, he hurtled the burning underwear onto the lawn, where they fizzled out.

I mean to tell you that by the time I get to the end of the tale, I couldn't even catch my breath. I was hacking and coughing and all but spitting with laughter. Mollie the mutt had nothing on me.

15 December 2008

happy birthday, daddy

Happy Birthday, Daddy

I love you!

{Shaddow does too; but shhhh, she's resting}

14 December 2008

look, ma! made a hat!

Yellow Cotton Hat with Ruffles

You can see Shaddow sprawled out on the bed, just behind me {see that black long blob? that's her!}. I made this hat today, just finished it a few minutes ago. I dreamt it up last night and didn't follow any pattern. Purely Debra, 'tis. It's yellow cotton with a band of variegated yellow and white that is a thicker cotton ply. Please excuse the less than dressy pink look {tis my jammies, cuz it's bedtime}. I think I will keep this hat for me, it is nice and light and bright, very springee!

feverishly crocheting

I'm feeling scads better! {yea} I may be scant with posting entries over the next few days, as I can't type while crocheting and I do so want to get a few more of these one-piece double-thick hotpads done to send off to some folks. At the moment tho, I'm taking a break and will finish up a hat that came to mind last night.

Other folks experience visions of sugared plums dancing in their heads. I dream of dancing hot pads and whirling hats. I probably need to put some distance between me and the hooks for awhile.

Or maybe it's that I'm running a fever, inducing hallucinations.

13 December 2008

the gasman cometh

Earlier today, I attempted to call my propane company to see if it was possible to deliver and refill my tank. Because the main office was closed, but the deliverer's number was given on the company's outgoing message; I called a cell phone {shudder}. But because my normally soft voice is still on vacation and all that issues is a squeak that I can not modulate, it took awhile to convince the gas-man that I was not crank calling.

After struggling thru all sorts of repeated spellings of my name, "B! as in ball" (which could have been "D as in Doll"); he finally just started process of elimination and read off names and addresses til he hit jackpot {yea!}. In awhile, he pulled up and filled me up. After he handed my my delivery slip, he slouched off. He didn't seem to happy and usually I have more compassion, but today, I just wanted to get back inside and breathe warm heated air that didn't reek of fumes.

Thing is, back in September when I prepaid, I locked in a rate. Over the past few months, I am rather sure that the rate has dropped and I think that the savings ought to be passed on to the customer. But my delivery charge slip did not reflect that. So I will be going to visit my petroleum company Monday to see what can be done, if anything.

Do any of you know what your current propane prices are?

cover yer head

Some of you may remember this past winter, when I knit a condom and put it on my hat. If not, here are the pictures.

Last night, I crocheted a hat of cotton and trimmed it with fluffy black boucle. On this hat, is a christmas tree, complete with colorful threads and topped with a radiating golden star. See?

I'm waiting for the propane truck, cuz my gauge's needle cannot drop any lower. It's a physical impossibility. Which makes ya wonder how it is that I still have gas. Fumes, my dear, fumes.

I've prepaid so I ought to be having automatic delivery but that has never happened. Since I've not been feeling too perky here lately, I haven't been checking my propane tank. I don't usually throw a fit when things don't go according to plan, cuz things usually don't for a variety of reasons and there is no benefit to be gotten from hopping up and down and flapping my arms like a funky chicken.

But this time, I might make a minor fuss. Cuz dude, I get fussy when I'm not feeling well and heat is sorta important and I shouldn't've had to call to remind them to do their friggen jobs.

At least there's plenna hats to wear.

12 December 2008

the shaddow knows

Shaddow is resting, shhhhhhhhhh. The light isn't good for pix taken at night, that's why so many of my self shots are contrasted with dark and shadows. I take the still shots with a webcam, and have no overhead lights {which suits me just fine, sensitive eyes, doncha know}. Mostly my webcam is used for pix of my projects.

Shaddow is a little over seven years. She's a black lab, with webbed feet; so loves to swim in the ponds out here on the farm. She's about 65 lbs, which means she's small for a lab; but plenty big for a dog!

She's got a fine spray of white around the eyes and her muzzle grows in whiter with each passing day. I've had her since she was two months old, so she is my sweetie.

sharing the snicks from eMail

A friend forwarded this to me and I thought you might enjoy a little snicker:

I made myself a snowball perfect as could be,
I thought I'd keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me.
I made it some jammies and a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away; but first, it wet the bed.

how fitting

A few years ago, Puffs started to feature these lil animated kids in their commercials. I loved them. There are certain commercials that tickle me and these kids make me giggle.

I don't know much about this, but I think it is claymation of a sort. The kids are sculpted, and their facial expressions as well as body movements probably take many minuscule adjustments and many still shots to get it all down just right.

Or maybe they are entirely computer generated.

However it is done, these kids make me feel just a bit better. And yes, I tear up during Hallmark movies too.

I'm a sap like that.

And when I'm not feeling too good, I take comfort in the lil things that give comfort.

Even if it is a box of tissues and some mentholated chest rub.

My tea pot is done gurgling, gotta go!

{scampering off}

clean! i'm clean! i'm bright, shiney clean! squeaky clean {rubbing skin, erRerRerRR}

Even tho the shower wore me out, I feel better, cuz dude! I'm human again! Showers tend to have that affect on me, I always feel soooooooOOOoooo much better after one. Don't we all? Yes, I thought so.

I've also begun to tackle the mountain of laundry. Doing laundry or dishes or really any task gives me a sense of accomplishment (yea! I did it! yea!!). Yes, it's sorta lame and pathetic, but ya take the yea!s when and where ya can and I'm not too proud to discuss the mundane here.

The thought crossed my mind that mayhaps I'd attempt to do a few errands; but I scooted that thought right outta my head. I don't want to push it and end up feeling worse just as I am beginning to feel better. The crud is clearing up, ears don't itch and my throat doesn't feel quite so raw. My lungs are mastering the breathing thing much better today. Ya know, why risk it by going to the post office to mail this box of books? Standing in line doesn't sound like fun right now, especially on a Friday two weeks prior to Christmas with folks hacking, snotting, moaning, and groaning (like I'm doing right now, thanks for reading! grinning weakly).

So no leaving the house to brave the wet world beyond, with cranky peoples and all. Unless the fix-it dudes call about my car. Frankly, I can't even look at that thought straight-on. It exhausts me and scares the bejesus right into me. What's the damage gonna be, this time?

Needda nap.

11 December 2008

greetings {and get wells} to all

I've spent the day resting, crocheting some while TV played {are you smarter than a fifth grader? no, really; are you?} or while the audio book played {the osama bin laden i knew}; or snuggled under the quilts, reading {fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe}. For awhile this evening, I chatted with a friend, via computer cuz dude, my chest is not up to doing much besides the minimal breathing {i say this with certainty, cuz dude, i laughed and thought i was dying}.

Shaddow has been resting as well. It's nasty out, not only is it cold and wet, but it's been windy too. I'm glad that Shaddow's been sacked out on the bed, and I'm sure she is too {she very reluctantly went out earlier for a bit; she has amazing bladder control, but I wouldn't want to test that}. She needs a bath, but I'm not up to it, just yet.

I think I'll finish up this one-piece double-thick hot pad and catch tonight's rerun of Law and Order {Criminal Intent}, then call it a night. I've been drinking so much tea that I slosh slightly when I move. I'm sure the extra liquid is doing wonders for thinning the mucus, but I'd really like all this to be gone in a snap! for everyone that is under the weather, with this crud.

christmas is in two weeks! tho i don't feel so christmasy, i do feel that it is definitly winter and am glad that the shortest day of the year is soon to pass. perhaps most appropriately, i do feel yulish {bring the yule logs on!}.

10 December 2008

g'bye, ziggee


This picture was taken in February 2008, Ziggee was just seven years old. He's a rat-cha. That's a rat-terrier {feist} and chihuahua blend. He's very energetic without being a yippee-dog, ya know?

I love cats, but am terribly allergic to them. So, Ziggee's my cat in a dog suit. He loved Shaddow, and would attempt to do everything that she did, no matter that she is truly a big dog and Ziggee was about six or seven pounds.

About ten days ago, I noticed he wasn't eating. In the past week, he has lost so much weight. He was very sensitive and would squeak if I pet him.

Today, he lost his balance and just laid on his side. I picked him up and placed him on the bed, where Shaddow just put her head next to him (her head is only slightly smaller than Ziggee's entire body). I called my neighbors, they love dogs and pamper mine too. Whenever the animal shelter gets a dog in that they don't think they will be able to adopt out, they call my neighbors cuz they take care of their dogs so well and they have a good number. When I first moved here, they had fourteen and made their food every day. Now there are seven dogs, most are elderly, or sick, or both.

My neighbor said that she was unable to get Ziggee to eat either and thinks that he is dying. We made arrangements for me to take him to the vet, and the vet said that Ziggee most likely had cancer of the liver and/or spleen. He said that since Ziggee is so little, the meds would have made him very sick. He also said that in a few days, Ziggee would have slipped into a coma.

We put him down this afternoon. The local vet school will receive his body this afternoon so that they can use him to help teach their students about the anatomy of a smaller dog. I think I like knowing that.

I did feel like such a bad mother. What if's were running thru my head. But the vet reassured me that Ziggee was in great condition, that I took care of him just fine, and that he looks like he lived a good life. I'm sorry that I didn't notice sooner, altho the vet said that even if I had, Ziggee would not have lived any differently.

g'bye ziggee and thanks for being in my life.

things i ponder whilst losing sleep

I've had my suspicions that my car and the tow truck are having a fling. The tow truck's ramps hug my car's tires just right. Or maybe it's cuz I like piddling around in the caddy. Or maybe it's cuz it's always gotta be something.

But I'm thinking, it's cuz my car's over fifteen years old and, like me, is getting T.A.R.D {tired~~pardon the pun please}.

09 December 2008

home, home again,

i like to be here, when i can.

During this morning's appointment, I punked out. I think the combination of some medications I usually take with the cough syrup with codiene, along with the crud in my lungs and my Eustachian tubes; well, all that combined to make me sweat and swoon and burrow into the carpet, pleading that the earth would stop its rather speedy zipping around the sun in a spinning hectic whirl. I felt better after I vomited.

Turns out you shouldn't swig down half of a bottle that has 240 doses in it. Just kidding, I mean, no, ya don't wanna do that. But also, no I didn't do that. Honest.

Later this afternoon, I called the fix-it dudes who had a rather funny story for me. Along with the caddy loaner, so I be stylin'. Again.

The funny story is that while Charlie, the head fix-it dude, was out driving my car; it stalled. It wouldn't start again. So he had to call for a tow.

Well, I thought it was funny.

08 December 2008

zip goes the day. so fast, and yet, it drags on and on and on and o

Candy Cane Lane brewing, furrbees sprawled on bed {Shaddow snoring away}, and in my jammies; soon to be medicated, ahhhhhhh.

In brief, skimming many details, today is almost over {yea!}.

WARNING: may be disjointed ramblings due to fuzzy headed wheezing feverish woman with the crud.

I picked up my car (thanks mr. anonymous gifter!), put some gas in, gauge isn't right, drove to my gp's. General practitioner fits me into her massive press of patients, decides she doesn't like the sound of my lungs (wheezing as fluid fills them), the looks of my ears/nose/throat (all interconnected, so may as well be a unit, that's why there's ENTs); so she gives me a Z-pack and cough syrup with codiene. I go to the drug store to pick up those meds, gas gauge is now working fine; pharmacist cautions me that the cough syrup with codiene will make me dizzy (so I assure him that I plan to take it while driving on the interstate, just for kicks). I also go overboard with the cough drops. I decide to drop some drops at a friend's, killing a few birds with less stones cuz I need to let her know that I cannot stay in town for this evening's lil girl's piano recital cuz I feel like an itchy mass of drowning shit.

At the traffic light, my car stalls. Again. So Mr. Men in the Car Behind me push me thru the intersection. Again. I call the garage for a tow. Again. Tow man shows up, again, and so on and so forth. Again.

Problem is that the garage just lent the loaner to someone else and so I call friend (mother of lil girl who plays the piano) and fast forward a few hours to me sitting in a church pew attempting not to hack, wheeze, and sniffle too loudly and wishing for a nice stiff wire brush the circumferance similar to one used to clean the barrel of a gun so I can shove it in my ear and scratch the ear/nose/throat region. ahhhhh, bliss. But, relief is denied.

It was a lovely recital and nice visit, however I had to explain to my lil'st friend {who is four, and a half mizz debRAH} that I cannot hold her, or smooch her, or even pick her up cuz I have the strength of an emanciated gnat (on top of the crud, i forgot to eat, how the hell did that happen? forget?!?! pft, i never forget to eat. i like eating. i like food. i like eating food).

In the meantime, I've made arrangements to be dropped off at another friend's place as she was willing to lend me her car so I could go home, take my meds, drink my tea, feed the furrbees, sleep in my own damn bed, and go back into town in the morning for an appt.

Yea!! Such good friends and great strangers have really rescued me. Repeatedly. This year has been a challenge, but for every suck-ass thing, there's been wonderful support that has saved my ass and pulled me thru.

Thanks for great folks, I get to be grateful.

The laugh for today: as I was attempting to climb over a sleeping child in a booster seat and slide open the van's door so that I could go get in a different friend's vehicle and drive home, my legs went out, and my strength sapped for a few moments; leaving me half in the van and half out, with one leg straddling a box and the other somewhere in the back rear seats of the multiseated van. I did my impersonation of Winnie the Pooh: I'm stuck, half in and half out.

Good thing I'm so flexible.

07 December 2008

doing it up right

This morning, I drove me, my cookies, my card, my one-piece hot pads, and my loaner caddy (cuz dude, i be stylin! still) into town to my counselor's church. It's a huge church and I think I met everybody cuz word got around that I was looking for her and folks were popping out left and right to let me know there has been no siting. I felt a bit like I was navigating an elaborate video game of a treasure hunt, ya know the kind where you can carry only a certain number of things and may get distracted from your quest {carry the light forth, grasshopper, and do not squoosh the cookies}. Eventually, I did meet up with my counselor and I got to hold her littlest (just a little over three months and way too cute, I wanted to just gobble her up, starting with her rosy plump cheeks and button of a nose).

I gave her the bags of tropical cookies and the card for Mr. Anonymous Gifter. One bag of cookies was for my counselor and her family and so were two one-piece hot-pads. Then I scooted out the door after the hand-off {now the treasure is yours, see that it gets to the right place, master of the grasshopper}. Eventually when I did get home, my counselor had left a message telling me that I'm only the second ever person to actually give thanks to this Mr. A. Gifter; he is a generous man who has gifted many folks over the years. That makes me feel good, to know that I made him feel good for making me feel good. It was a good ole fest of good feelings.

After I left the church, I drove over to Jacki's place. She was thinking I might come so she was up, awake, dressed, coffee percolated, and the welcome was warm as could be. I gave her a bag of tropical cookies, which she tried and L.O.V.E.D. We visited awhile and then she took me out for dinner at Mexico Tipico {yum!}.

After I dropped her back at her place, I drove over to see another friend. As we sat and visited, she too munched on a few tropical cookies {loving them, yea!}. Her lil'st one snuggled up on my lap and fell asleep. She's a bit big and so I was holding on to her legs with one arm and had my other arm wrapped around her shoulders and she was just limply sacked out, snoring softly in little huffing chuffing puffs into my neck. This was very sweet and she won't be able to do that much longer cuz she's getting too big for my little lap. As sweet of a treat that was, I was beginning to worry after I realized an ant trail was disappearing up my sleeve and my glasses were dangling on the very end of my nose. Finally, I hadda snag the mama's attention cuz pieces are parts of my body were either tingling with nerve-deadened halted circulation, or tingling with ant maneuvers, or both.

Now, I am home, with Gingerbread Spice tea in my bear mug. He looks amazing like me, we both wear glasses, read books, stick our tongues out, and have furry butts. Well, k, mine is not that furry.

Really. 'tisn't.

06 December 2008

some more splaining

oohps, i didn't make this clear in the last post. oversight!

Since the person who is helping me out is known to my counselor, I plan to give the cookies to her. Most probably, I will do that Sunday morning, perhaps. I'll call her tomorrow.

My counselor is very active in her church. Due to that and the profession she is in, she often knows folks who are willing to help folks that have a need. Especially since this is the season, things are a bit hectic all the way around.

So that's how I came to have some help on that end and how I plan to get the cookies to the anonymous gifter.

05 December 2008

tropical cookies

I awoke this morning with a horrendous headache which persisted til about 10p. So today while I was running errands, buying groceries, dealing with the possible financing for the very expensive car repair (nearing one thousand dollars for repairs within the last ten days), and the rest of the fun! Fun! FUN! activities, I had a killer headache that had me vomiting this afternoon (whatta joy I am, huh?). yes! I am that much fun.

Around 10p, my head finally felt like it was regular sized and no longer containing a swollen bruised brain. So now, I'm awake and functional. Joy, oh! joyous joy! I decided to make the most use of this celebratory mood as I can.

Since this person who is helping me, this gracious gifter, this assisting benefactor shall remain anonymous to me; and also since I would like to express my gratitude, I wrote a pleasant card of thanks {using the winter pirouettes from a few entries ago} and am baking some cookies for him. That way, I get to add some extra oven heat to my freezing abode and do something useful and something that makes me feel better and shows my thanks. Hopefully, he isn't a diabetic, or allergic to coconut, bananas, pumpkin, cherries, chocolate, or sour cream.

If he is, those tropical cookies will kill him. But it's the thought that counts, right? *grins*

the next post (or reposting Khin Khee)

This is a repost from my original AOL Journal {Debra's Daily Dose}, Thursday 9 December 2004. John Scalzi was the blogfather at that time and he would pick a topic every weekend for a writing assignment for J-land at general. Of course there was not mandatory participation, but there was some very interesting reading and writing. This entry is the result of one such weekend writing assignment. Hope you enjoy it!

John Scalzi's assignment: It's the Holidays! Create your own festive Holiday Character and give him, her or it at least one seasonally appropriate magical ability (or use its native traits and skills to save the holiday season).

My response:

Khin Khee, the camel cricket, has a very special talent that is absolutely essential to the completion of Santa's mission. Now, you may be familiar with the miners' best friend, the canary. This fine feathered friend would descend into the pits with the first few miners. He would be merrily chirping along, letting the men know it was safe to go further. The canary would stop singing, indeed cease living, if noxious fumes and poisonous gases that are odorless to the human olfactory organs infiltrated is little lungs. He was the early-warning system of days gone by.

Well, Khin Kee, the camel cricket, is also called a cave cricket. He likes the dark and can function quite well is those places. Now, I don't know if YOU'VE ever been in the sorta situation which would necessitate peering up or down a chimney. I certainly have not. Nor have I ever managed to get stuck or jump freely down one, let alone ascend to the rooftop.

But Santa, well, he NEEDS to be able to see down, skinny through, do his business, and alight back to the sleigh so that he can go on to the next chimney. Of course, not all homes have chimneys. But for those that do, Khin Kee, the camel cricket, has the most important task of preceding the jolly fat elf down the chimney to give the all-clear signal.

Why, if it weren't for Khin Kee, the camel cricket, who knows in what state of affairs we all would be?

That is why, my friends, the children with chimneys sing with glee, their joy for the Khin Kee, the camel cricket. You'd've heard of him, before this, I am sure, if there were but more homes with chimneys, galore.

...some splaining to do {re: student loan discharge}

Several folks have asked about the process for student loan discharge in general, and in particular about my struggles with getting forgiveness. So I thought I'd include here what I've already written in eMail for one friend. If you find highly detailed battles boring, then skip this entry and read the next post {I'll make it entertaining, promise}:

Well, it took lots of perseverance, lots of support from the right folks (doctors, mental health care providers, general health care providers, ombudsman officers, and friends and family on the personal front), and a very good understanding of the rules, regulations, and policy and procedure. I knew that I qualified for forgiveness of my student loans because I met all the criteria. My disability onset was after I took out the last of my loans, I have not taken any more loans, I have not attended school or worked since then, and was able to document all conditions. "Simply" receiving disability thru Social Security is not enough for Sallie Mae, American Education Services, and the US Dept of Edu. You must also be placed on conditional status for three years post disability date {as accepted by the lenders, not your doctors, not Social Security Administration, nor any other agency or organization}.

It is a multi-staged process, so the first step was for me to contact the holders of my loans. I had consolidated all my loans, and Sallie Mae had bought them. Once I completed the form for application, I also contacted my doctor {who was and is the absolute bestest evah!}, because a medical doctor's signature and DEA info, license info, etc is required from the get-go. As my date of disability for ALL intents and purposes was very clear and not under debate, 8 April 2003; I had actually waited til the end of what would have been my three year conditional period to even start the discharge process. So, I applied for discharge in May 2006. Sallie Mae granted my discharge within a month, no further information was requested or needed for their purposes.

The next step then for me was American Educational Services {AES}, who discharged my loans the following month. Til that point, I'd never even heard of AES, but apparently, they are the mediators between the government agency (because student loans are regulated by the federal Department of Education's Student Loan and the lenders (in this case, Sallie Mae). After AES discharged my loans, the last agency is next. By law, the Dept of Edu has up to 120 days to begin processing my application once it is discharged from AES. So, in the beginning of December 2006, I called and tracked down my case and discovered that it hadn't yet made it from one office to another. No one was claiming responsibility, so it took awhile to find what was where.

Starting in January 2007, I began to call the relevant office and keep very good records of whom I spoke with, who said what, and how what was said conflicted with what someone else said. I would speak with supervisor's supervisor's superior's boss's etc. carefully recording everyone's names, dates, times, numbers, etc. I lost my temper lots. I received plenty of verbal abuse. And in the meantime, I had many collection agencies pressuring me for collection on my student loans. It was very nerve wrecking.

For months, I felt as tho I was going round and round and round and round and OH! round again. Eventually, my counselor and my doctor and I conference called the Conditional Disability Discharge Unit {CDDU} and went thru another few months of faxing the same forms with the info that they requested and them saying they never got it and so on and so forth. Finally, in October 2007, I wrote and sent letters and eMails to every single one of our Mississippi legislatures on both State and Federal level. My primary concern was that altho this was a Federal matter, perhaps raising a ruckus on state level would be effective, after all, someone would know someone, who knew someone, and that someone might serve on a congressional subcommittee focused on this very matter.

The way I dealt with all this in the letter to them was that I stress that I am a constituent dealing with issues that were squarely within the realm of mental health concerns. That the longer that I dealt with this battle, the more it affects my mental health, the more it affects my disability, and so on. I also pointed out that the forms that the CDDU used ONLY dealt with physical limitations, and did not deal with any thing from a pyschological stand point. In addition, they would only accept information from my medical doctor, and not my counselors, therapists, psychologists, and other mental health care providers. I also pointed out that I was using state and federal resources (my allotment of medicaid and medicare visits) in pursuit of completing this process which was not progressing as according to the Dept of Edu's own stated policy.

At the same time that I sent out these letters, I also applied for assistance from the Office of the Ombudsman of the Dept of Education. Within a few days, I had several inquiries from Representative Steve Holland (whose office contacted MSU's financial aid office's director and the Ombudsman's officer), and a few other
Mississippi legislators, and the Ombudsman Officer who took my case also contacted me. That was in October 2007.

In February 2008, my counselor became more proactive as an advocate and took over all my contact with the Ombudsman officer (who had already taken over my contact with the CDDU). In June 2008, my counselor, my general practitioner, and I again held a conference and based on some suggestions made by the Ombudsman Officer, we made sure all forms and letters were updated with all relevant information, including my medications, my limitations, my diagnoses, etc.

My counselor then went on maternity leave in August, but she and I remained in contact via eMail and phone. Also, the Ombudsman Officer remained in contact with my counselor and eventually, they unraveled a few things, and some changes had been made: most notably, the forms that the Dept of Edu and CDDU are using now include information pertaining to psychological conditions and not only physical limitations. Eventually, my case again went under review by the medical board {dept of edu, cddu, ombudsman office}. Since my general practitioners and mental health care providers maintained consistent support the entire time, providing whatever documents where considered necessary countless times, etc; there never was any doubt about my conditions. Our stories never changed, there were no conflicts, no changes, no inconsistencies.

So, yesterday, the Ombudsman Officer contacted my counselor and asked for a return call. My counselor was worried because I've had a very rough week and she didn't think I could take another piece of bad news. After such a long frustrating battle, what other kind of news could it be? But, today, the ombudsman's officer asked my counselor, "how would you like to give Debra the very best Christmas present ever?"

So there are a few steps that will occur now before the entire thing is finalized. The next step is that they need to verify that I have not had any income over the last three years other than my benefits {Social Security}. So there will be a form coming for my signature, verifying my social security number and allowing them to access my records. Then, I will receive another form, telling me that my forgiveness has been granted and that all my loans have been discharged.

As you can see, it was a very difficult process that I managed to navigate with the steadfast support and advocation of some key people. I would not have been able to do this on my own. I have been able to keep up with all the policy, all the changes, all the information, only because I have been a self-advocate for a long time and have successfully navigated the Social Security Administration's disability determination.

If I've overwhelmed you with information, you are more than welcome to ask for clarification. I know that it can be a very confusing process from the outset and if one misstep occurs, it can invalidate the entire situation. There are limitations, of course. One condition is that from this point forth, I will not be able to easily obtain student loans. If I do, I will not be able to have them discharged for any reason, including a significant worsening of my conditions.

Most folks do not qualify, as they take their student loans out while their condition is pre-existing. It is relatively unheard of anyone receiving forgiveness in the matters of student loans. Even if you declare bankruptcy, your student loans are exempt and you are still held accountable for the repayment of them. Less than five percent of those who apply for discharge receive forgiveness.

Again thanks to everybody for the encouraging support!

my mama don' tole me, there'd be days like these

Ya know how ya get tossed around, to and fro, with some calm spots thrown in just for kicks? I know the holidays are like that for most folks, especially so for those who experience lots of turbulence anyway. So today was my day this week to experience the not so wonderful parts of being up down and all around.

Yesterday, I had a lapse in judgment. When I got the great news about my student loans being forgiven, I called Scott. Five years of sharing my great news with him kicked in and I called him to share that great news too. The call went well and I had some warm fuzzy feelings toward him.

But that all went away today. In fact, it was gone by this afternoon, altho I had thought that perhaps it wasn't a fluke, a lapse, poor judgment on my part. So I'd called him this evening.

And dudes, whatta mistake. I wish that I'd not called yesterday; but I did. Let today's interaction with him stand as the standard for the last 4 months and whatta good lesson for me not to slip up and give further chances that are not deserved.

Two of my very sweet friends helped to make me feel tons better, without even knowing what was wrong. Also, my counselor has arranged for someone to help me out with the rather expensive car repairs. So, ya know what? My faith in mankind is restored.

As well as confirming my views of Scott as a man beneath my concern.

04 December 2008

Gracious Gratitude

Thank you so very much for all your support and encouragement. If not for my counselor's and my general practitioner's constant advocating for me, I would not have this huge grin on my face. Most especially, I would like my counselor to know how very much I appreciate her.

Thank you.

holidaze tease for me!

Last night, Jacki called to say, "omg, Debra, I was at WalGreen's and saw some teas and thought of you; and here, let me tell ya where they are..." That's right, folks, I got me some peeps on the look out for teas. They hook me up!

I love mint tea, I love green tea; and this Candy Cane Lane is a good blend of both!

This tea smells wonderful, like I could just gobble that man's spongy lil cookie head right up and drink it right down. k, yeah, I'm that much fun. Cinnamon and ginger make this gingerbread spice tea extra wonnerfullest.

But, it's the luo han guo {monk's fruit}that makes it naturally sweet with low calories {which at the holidays, can be an unintended blessing, shhhhhh, our secret, k?}.

This is the very first tea that I made as soon as I came home. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, the name alone makes me feel all sweet and cozy. It's got milk thistle, orange peel, and vanilla beans; smells devine and has a light taste that is not overpowering but does linger a bit.

Since these teas are Celestial Seasonings, they are 100% natural, caffeine free, and yummy!

pinch me, Pinch Me, PINCH ME

Me, after hearing some of the best news, evah!

My student loans?


Merry Christmas to me,
Happy Holidays to me,
Merry Merry to me,
Joyousness merrily to me...

responsibly accountable

Among the movies I have bothered from the local public library is "Nuts" with Richard Dreyfuss and Barbara Streissand. I remember watching it about twenty years ago when it first came out on VHS. However, I don't remember much from that viewing. I can say that I know that I most likely didn't understand most of it, not because I was incapable of understanding; but because I probably glossed over much of it. When I was younger, the noise in my head would ratchet up when I would encounter triggers that threatened to drown me. The static would allow me to zone out and then I'd skate by til it was safe to think again, safe to be again. I was strong enough to use this coping mechanism.

I still am. Strong. Now, I am more aware, with less static, less headnoise.

This movie, awesome on so many levels.

03 December 2008

re-post from last year's winter solstice

21 December 2007

don't be a drunken wrapper

When I was a teenager, my mother's closest brother, Larry, and his wife, Kay, would have us come to their house for Christmas. It was awful and I hated going, because the couple was usually drunk. Kay was a bit of a ditz (ok that was being generous, she was a huge complex set of pieces of work) and Larry was a huge condescending snob who needed to put others down in order to secure his pompous place of piousness. But my mother loved her brother and so she would ignore most of his oafishness; I'm sure there is a lesson there I am to apply to my own brotherly situation. But not this year, maybe next; but not this.

However, Kay and Larry would provide for tons of comic relief, even if it was unintentional. But I usually was not in a loving accepting benefice mood on Christmas afternoons, imagine that. And it wasn't cuz they were drunken morons, it was cuz they were morons. And I was a teenager, so even less tolerant of morons than usual. Having been around drunks for many years, as I worked at the local VFW; I know that as a general rule mean people make mean drunks, happy people make happy drunks, smart people make drunken idiots, and stupid people make drunk stupidity.

Larry had an interesting method behind his present wrapping. He'd go down to his basement bar and fix himself a drink. Drink it and clear off a section of the bar for the presents, and keep his drink freshened (often meaning that he would finish the one and mix another, cuz really, ya can never get the portions of various alcohols just right when trying to freshen a drink; like the waitress that tops of your coffee which you have just now gotten the right ratio of coffee, sugar, and cream right before she adds a dollop of coffee, thus throwing off your ratios and undoing your carefully achieved balance). Larry would then clear a section for wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and gift tags. He'd drink some more and then decide he needed more wrapping paper cuz there is an awful lot of presents. Once he added more paper to the pile, he'd drink a few more drinks just to get festive, doncha know. He may decide to find a radio station of Christmas music, or attempt to do so only to settle on a station which blares rap (which Larry mistakes for very contemporary Christmas music); please keep in mind this was in the mid to late 80s, when rap was a different breed than what we have now.

Larry then lays out some wrapping paper from one side of him, and chooses a present from the other side. He proceeds to wrap and dance in place and screech along with misconceived lyrics, while merrily throwing the drinks back, which are now mostly alcohol and less mix cuz it is too much trouble to worry about additives like ice, oj, or soda. Within a very short time, Larry has run out of presents to wrap and yet has tons of wrapping paper left. So he begins to wrap items which are easily at hand, just to use up the paper, cuz he couldn't have made a mistake and mismanaged his paper/present ratio, now could he? Half emptied bottles of creme de menthe, rock and rye, and wild turkey sport gaily sledding santa's and snowmen and elves.

Now Larry is no longer using a glass, but is swilling straight from the bottle. Now he is no longer even attempting to sing with the lyrics, but is muttering along with an internal monologue. Now he has run out of paper, so is rummaging through the dirty clothes of the neighboring laundry room (this is the basement after all) and using the soiled shirts to wrap his willy-nilly items he has continued to grab from around the basement, a hastily emptied ashtry, an empty bottle of bleach, and oh look! there is the trash pile waiting to go out to the drive to await pick up. There is bound to be some good stuff in there!

Larry has now discovered that he had forgotten to appropriately tag the gifts. So, he sloppily scrawls names and tapes them haphazardously amongst the strewn odd assortment of presents. There are a few items which receive a few tags, for folks that may or may not be in the same country, let alone the same household. He has had a blast, but now, oh his aching head, now, his body is completely wrecked and he heads to bed.

Christmas afternoon finds him hustling around the kitchen and then look! it's his baby sister and her family! He ushers us downstairs, and flicks on the lights, only to have the evening before come rushing back with the sight of sickly strewn gifts and even the handle for the beer tap has been wrapped in a sock with duct tape. He covers his dismay with extra bluster, as tho he intended to do exactly this all along. He waves us all over to the heaped with trash bar, and settles us in with offers of beer, drinks, and then discovers that he cannot find the bourbon, whiskey, vodka, tequila, or any other relevant bottle.

So Judi asks for the funniest gift we have ever given or received. I can't really say, but I'm sure that it is one that has been wrapped by Larry. It may have been the dead dog's half gnawed bone.

Winter Pirouettes

I love the elegant simplicity of the winter pirouette by Doug Garrabrants with the all encompassing message of "wishing you a happy holiday season".

This is the card that I give to folks who don't really get the whole Edward Gorey thing.

When I was a child, in Pennsylvania, I loved dancing in the falling snow; whirling about in the silent cold night.

Have a Gorey Christmas

This is one of my favorite holiday cards and it is by one of my favorite artists, Edward Gorey.

I think many can relate to the pre-holiday madness, and then the crushed holiday forced cheer, and the post-holiday exhaustion.

The movie, Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas", is not related to Edward Gorey's card.

I love the movie tho. My friend, Glenn, and I rushed to the theater when it came to rural Pennsylvania and we sang the entire soundtrack. We had so much fun, dancing in the aisle and squealing and giggling and chortling; ahhhh, fond memories those, fond memories.

So this is my tongue in cheek card that I send to those folks with a sense of humor. Cuz ya know, not everyone gets it.

02 December 2008

can do, did do, will do

While I was crocheting {hot pads! hot pads! getcher one piece hot pads!}, I watched the movie "Music of the Heart". This was a good watch, on so many levels, not the least of which is that it is based on a true story. If you get a chance, check it!

yeah well, my other car is a cadillac

So last week, I took my car in cuz I had a hole (in my bucket, dear liza). The Fix-it Dudes replaced my gas tank cuz I didn't just have a hole. Within an hour of my getting my car back, I had returned it to the garage cuz it was s.s.s.s.s.stuttering and my gas gauge wasn't working. That was the time I woke in the waiting area with two small children staring at me.

They put a fuel filter on and sent me home with instructions to bring it in yesterday. So I did, and they got the gauge to work and poured some Heet in to take care of any water droplets that may have been in the line causing the car's stuttering. I brought it home last night.

This morning, as I was driving in for my appt, I noticed that my indicator on my gas gauge was bobbing from half tank to empty and back again. "Well," I thought, "I'll swing by the garage after my appt." And I did that, but not before my car stalled at the traffic light and a camo-man came to my rescue and pushed my car into a parking lot and then took me to my appt {thanks, camo-man!}.

The Fix-it Dudes gave me a loaner while they fiddle with my pipes, lines, tanks, filters, and such. And the loaner? A Cadillac! I've never even ridden in one, let alone driven one! Dudes! there are more doodads, buttons, and levers in there than the launch pad for a space shuttle. And I pushed, pulled, and adjusted a few.

But only a few, cuz I was ascairt. I'm sure that one of those buttons would do something important like notify the command central that there has been a security breach. And then I'd've some splaining to do.

yea! good on me!

Earlier this evening, I was talking with a friend in Chattanooga who'd asked me what several people have, so I thought I'd just go on and address the issue here. No, I don't speak with Scott anymore. For several reasons, not the least of which is that friends don't do like he done.

In fact, the last time I spoke with him was back in October. He'd called to tell me how much he wanted things between the two of us to work, but then was whining about what a self-centered bitch the girl who told him in July that it was gawdah's will for them to be together. I asked him why he continued to take her calls then.

And then, I answered myself, "oohps, guess I'm one to talk; after all, I still take your calls and you're the most self-centered asshole I know."

Then, I hung up. And haven't spoken with him since.

29 November 2008


Oh hey! The forecast is calling for snow tomorrow night and Monday. Here! in Mississippi! wow!

I think seven years ago it snowed on the farm, the falling snow would melt as soon as it hit the surfaces so we didn't even have ground cover, but still all the schools and most of the businesses shut down and the county tried sanding the roads (but since we are not in the snow zone, we don't have snow removal equipment and the county and all its peoples always freak when it even LOOKS like we might get snow). Hell, someone spits out their window and the car behind them thinks it's raining and swerves to miss the drop of wetness, crashing into oncoming traffic. Yeah, we're that much fun.

Five years ago, I woke early one morning in Tupelo and watched it snowing while it was still dark. I woke Scott up, crowing like a child, "it's SNOWING, it's snoWING, it's SNOwing". Then the sun came up and the snow was no more. Pretty while it lasted in the air, tho.

28 November 2008

i did it, i did it, yea me

Between all the cookie baking, bread making, birthday celebrating, wine tippling, friends & memom visiting, thanks giving, hot pad crocheting, new laptop customizing, resuming counseling, car fixing, gift giving, card writing, package sending, nap taking, book reading, tea drinking, and other activities that have kept me busy this month; I wrote, wrote, rewrote, edited, and wrote some more, here, there, and everywhere.


now to resume my giddy giggling.


ah mizhertz thet

as i was puttering about the kitchen, fixing a spot a tea; my attention snagged on what i thought i heard from the tv's commercial:

"...so next time you're at the doctor, request this simple cleaning; it could save your life!" then there were the listing of consequences of colon cancer, including the stats regarding death.

my brain went, whaaa...? "simple cleaning" and "colon cancer" don't really belong in the same sentence said by a chirpy smiley upbeat couple.

then i realized, simple screening. they said, simple screening.

go straight to the garage. do NOT pass go. prepare to spend two hunnert bucks

This morning, the Fix-it Dudes sent someone to pick me up and retrieve my car around 8. Once the accounts were settled and I gave thanx many times to many people, I pulled my newly tanked tank outta the fix-it dudes' pitted pavement parking place. I noticed my "low fuel" light was on and my indicator was down past the "E" into the get-gas-get-it-now-do-not-pass-go-prepare-to-spend-two-hundred-dollars area. I live dangerously so I drove to the grocery store to pick up pudding mixes cuz I hadda craven'.

After Piggly Wiggly {i like that name, it's fun to say, it's fun to hear, it's fun to type/write}, I drove toward home, knowing that there are several gas stations between PigglyWiggly and the edge of town. I pulled into a place where I've gotten gas plenny o times and put in about five and a half gallons (cuz that was ten bucks worth. today, definitely not yesterday's price, and probably not tomorrow's, but it was today's). As I was pulling out from the gas station's pitted pavement parking place, I noticed my my "low fuel" light was on and my indicator was down past the "E" into the get-gas-get-it-now-do-not-pass-go-prepare-to-spend-two-hundred-dollars area. STILL.

Now, that's not right {I said to my Self}. And then my car s.s.s.s.s.s.stuttered and did the herky jerk and I thought {to my Self, cuz dude, who else do you think to?}, "if it were gonna happen, best it happen now" and I headed back toward the fix-it dudes. It was touch and go for some time, and I thought I was gonna have to call their tow truck to come get me {and the car} but fear not! for it made it there.

The fix-it dudes put it into their fix-it area and I fell asleep in the waiting area under the magazine rack and awoke to find two small children eye to eye with me (that's not as difficult as you might think what with them having four eyes and me having two; theirs are small). One child was slightly awed, slack jaw and all and the other was solemnly slurping on a lollipop. After it became clear that they thought I was the troll guarding the magazines, I granted their request for Hot Rodz in Hot Dames (hey, parental discretion is not my duty when the parents are staring at me stupidly) or whatever the glossy was called.

Looooong story somewhat shorter, I was home about noon with instructions to return with the car on Monday morning cuz dude, chittichittiBANGbang I am not.

{{dude! my word verification is: butfuhx}}

i was over there commenting on a friend's post when i was momentarily stumped by how to fun.net.tik.lee type those infamous Law and Order sounds. since i can never decide exactly what they are and how they sound, i went with --->{duhn.DUHN}<---

then i collapsed in snickers when i realized what the verification word for that comment was.

chortle.snort.choke {yes, i can be that juvenile}

27 November 2008

and then came the winged monkeys

This getting up, dressed, and to the store by 3a is ridiculous and I can say that I have never joined in the Black Friday shopping craze. Nor have I ever been tempted to do so. In fact, I think that I don't even know any one who does. At least, not knowingly do I know anyone who feels the need to strap on their magical shoes and sally forth to do battle with other crazed zealous hunters of marked up bargains.

There are a few folks I know who are mavens of fashion, bargains, or both. I myself must be of a particular mindset to engage in the storm of sales, and that mindset doesn't occur often. Certainly not when I know the entire retail world is primped and posed for action, much like a strumpet strolling on a Saturday night, pitching her wares to the eager beavers quick to snatch perceived buys, Buys, BUYS!!

So I'll be snuggled down in my cozy comforter, dreaming of sugared plums, yellow brick roads, flying pigs, and other elements of legends tomorrow at 3a.

Happy Thanksgiving

and to all a good nap!!

the snake in the dog house

No, I'm not speaking of some man who erred, forgot your birthday, or attempted to give you a drill set for your anniversary. Not that sort of snake, and not the figurative dog house. No, I'm speaking of a slithery slow moving cold blooded snake who as taken up residence in the MSU engineered, designed, and architecture built dog house with carpeting and slotted walls to allow for extra ventilation with the shingled roof sitting in my yard.

Every year, the architecture department's grad students must design and build dog houses, which are then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the local humane society and animal shelter. A few years back, I came home to find one sitting in front of my gate. It turns out that one lady who bid rather aggressively for this particular dog house that jack built didn't actually have need for one as she didn't have a dog. But she had been friends with my landlord's parents, who are very active with the animal shelter and humane society, and knew that my Shaddow didn't have her very own home where she could go when she wanted to escape my home and have her own space. I digress.

This morning, I glanced out in my yard and did a double take. Curled up along the one inside wall of the dog house was a lump of something that was sluggishly uncurling itself and rearranging coils and curls like a vain sorority girl. My brain s.s.s.s.s.tuttered and my eyes fluttered a few times while my mouth dried up and my heart sped up and my mind expanded and then shrunk into a lil critter trying to scurry and find safe haven.

The dogs did not seem at all concerned about their guest. For all I know, they might have gotten it drunk on eggnog and decided to let it sleep off its hangover. Come to think of it, that may have been what happened to the quart in the fridge.

Cuz I know I didn't drink it.

25 November 2008

there's a hole in my bucket, dear liza

Dudes! there is a hole in my gas tank. I know we all feel that our wallets have holes, that the gas tanks are siphoning gold straight from our pockets. But when I say that I gotta hole in my gas tank, I meant it literally.

So after only putting five or ten dollars worth of gas into my tank, keeping it well below the half-way mark, and doing this for weeks; I finally took my car to the fix-it dude and held my breath.

One thing that I really like about these fix-it dudes is that they take care of me in ways that are very courteous and never make me feel like I'm imposing. So the one dude boosted me into his truck's cab and drove me home cuz they didn't want me sitting in the hard plastic chairs and cuz I wanted to revisit my snuggly bed before the sheets lost the warmth of my snoozing body. Then, right as I was waking up, the other fix-it dude called to tell me what was what and how much it'd be to fix-it.

It's a huge lot. It's gonna take more than a straw to fix the hole, an axe to cut that straw, a stone to sharpen the axe to cut that too long straw, and water to wet the stone to sharpen the ax to cut that too long straw to plug the hole in the bucket, dear liza. One way or another that gas tank just sucks the money up. But! as memom points out, it'll cost less to fix-it than to buy another car.

it's all in how ya look at it.

23 November 2008

sharing the chucks from my email

My dear family and friends,

Somewhat embarrassing to admit, but Christmas is tight this year. I
will be making bedroom slippers for you all as gifts. Please let me know your sizes. You'll most likely agree that it's a splendid idea, and should you wish to do the same, I've included the instructions below.

How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads:

You need four maxi pads to make a pair.
Two of them get laid out flat, for the foot part.
The other two wrap around the toe area to form the top.
Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom of the foot part.

Decorate the tops with whatever you desire, silk flowers (this is most aesthetically appealing), etc.

These slippers are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe
* Three convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) Get out the Sand Bags.

22 November 2008

it's ALLlllllllllllllllll goooooooood

Memom is leaving tomorrow morning. This visit was so good; well most of our visits are~~it's just that this one went so fast and was jammed packed with all sorts of activities and friends and chit chats and wine and cookies and pumpkin breads and pumpkin rolls (o.m.d.g~~oh my droolin' gawdah). The pumpkin roll is similar to a jelly roll, but filled with cream cheese and other creamy goodness that makes your eyes roll into the back of your head with creamy bliss.

Yesterday, mom made a chicken in the crockpot with steamed veggies and that was good. The pickings went to the furrbees and they thought that was good. Then today mom used the rest of the chicken and made a creamy soup with lots of veggies and some angel hair pasta and (say it with me) that was good.

Now my freezer is just as jammed packed with all sorts of goodies as our week's visit was. So, I'm pretty much ready for the holidays. Folks will be receiving plates of cookies, creamy pumpkin pies, and lovely pumpkin breads {as per usual}. I'll also be including crocheted lapghans, hot pads, washclothes, dishclothes, scarves, hats, and such with gifts as I go visiting or entertain folks here, at my home.

I think that my friends realize how very special all of those homemade items are; but I have noticed that many folks who have no idea what all goes into them don't really appreciate them. My own observation is that because I crochet items quickly and move from one project to the next with seeming ease, that Scott never really "got" what handmade custom articles are worth. I know he never understood how cookies, breads, cakes, and pies were not only suitable but that most folks are smitten with these items to add to their festive tables. As a result, he would often degrade my efforts and dismiss my activities.

Oh well, his loss; on soOOOoooooo many levels.


21 November 2008

hot pads! hot pads! gitcher one piece hotpads!

I've been whipping out these one piece hotpads which are nice and thick and double-sided for mom before she leaves to return to her home. These are all different sizes, different densities (as I used different sized hooks to see what was what), and different stitches. Rather, it's the same stitch (single crochet) but I chose to show the "wrong side" and the "right side" on different hot pads so that I could decide which I prefer.

The brown one turned out especially well, as I love the associated coffee and chocolate warmth that comes to mind. You can see both the front and back of that one, as I wanted to show the details. This is the seamed side, as you can see the raised diagonal line on the "front" (with the "wrong side" of the single stitch showing). The "right side" of the stitch is actually on the inside of the hot pad.

This pic shows the "back" of the same pad as shown above. These are quick and easy; fun to make!

A few folks may be getting these as Holiday gifts!


20 November 2008

who's who? me, that's who!

It started while I was still in high-school. Continued thru-out undergrad. Then again during my master's program. And you got it! When I was working on my PhD. So now, I am not surprised to get on of these again.

Who's Who has lots of subdirectories that focus on specialized segments of the population. When I received my very first letter of invitation to apply for approval, I was so very excited. It seemed to be the crowning glory for my academic achievements as a senior and I was thrilled.

Then I started to read through things a bit more carefully and realized that not only do you have to pay to be included, but then you have to actually buy the book! What sorta honor is that? It smacks of ego stroking, sorta like vanity publishing; folks don't have to like you, cuz dude, you like yourself enough for all of us!

The one I received today takes the cake and provided for more than a few snickers and snorts; afterall, I got an entire entry's material of capering and jeering, whilst thumbing my nose {ala Tom Hulce's Mozart in Amadeus, if only I could imitate his hideously horrid high-pitched screeching giggles}. Cuz the opening line was too rich to keep to myself.

{ahem, *clearing throat* read in the most lofty accent *sniff.sniff*}

"You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent Starkville, MS in the 2008/09 edition of Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women" {emphasis theirs}.

I think it is safe to say that I am many things, but at present? Executive and professional are not among suitable titles. Oh, those silly money-grubbing ego-stroking panderers. sigh, when will they learn that folks of true worth don't need to pay to see their names in print.

19 November 2008

curiouser and curiouser

Dorothy Parker said that the cure for boredom is curiosity and that there is no cure for curiosity.

I agree. I cannot remember there ever being a time when I was bored. I'm sure there was. But I had to have been confined and unable to exercise my own curiosity.

There is ALWAYS something to do. I never do nothing. Even if my only activity is breathing, I'm alive. And that, that is doing something.

I could never understand when folks whine about being soooOOOooo bored. I think it's more likely they are boring. And lazy.

And that's pathetic.

yer'n class, our'n class, their'n class

After groggily stumbling thru a shower, I joined my mother in the kitchen before we left for the day's activities. We drove into town, to the new coffee shop "The Little Building Cafe", for a pear preserve muffin and some brew. The cafe is very eco friendly and quite innovative in some nifty ways. All the foods they use are grown within a hundred miles of here, so the coffee? Alabama beans!

Then, we went to Adria's stamping class. We made some pretty nifty gift boxes and frames and visited with the lil girls. The eldest sold all her cookies so she has some money toward her camping trip and feels pretty proud of herself {and well she should!}. The lil'st was sorta cuddly and curled up in mom's lap for awhile, and then climbed up into mine. Her mom told her that they came to our class yesterday {the girls are homeschooled and with all the measuring and such, it was a fun filled field day for them}, so now we came to her class today. The lil'st thought that sounded good and so she asked what we all were gonna do tomorrow, mizz debRAH?

I don't know about all y'all, but I'm gonna sleep in!

girls' day with the girls

Well, yesterday was a full whirlwind of a day but one of the best afternoons yet. In the morning, Adria brought her girls out and while I went to town for an appointment and to run some errands; Mom helped the two lil girls measure, mix, and bake their cookies. When I returned home, it smelled so good with warm sugar and melted butter and melted chocolate chips. The girls were jumping about and smiling and bragging and crowing and talking over each other and mizzzz debRAH have one, have one, try one of mine first!

Kids are so fun, and it takes so little to make them happy and their burbling bubbling bursting giggles makes ya giddy just being around them. After a few hours of us all sitting on top each other, and moving around as tho we were executing some elaborate dance; the little snug space of my home began to seem too cramped for three visiting adults and two busy children. Just when I didn't think my home could be any more cozy, my friend Jacki came in with lots of ooooh and ahhhs and the girls got to share the cookies and the whole baking experience all over again.

Soon afterward, Adria and the lil girls left. The lil'st one was asleep before she was properly strapped into her seat. The eldest didn't last long after the tires began to sing on the pavement. Adria said that they both woke long enough to fill their dad in on all the fun before zonking out for the night.

Jacki had not met mom before, but she has wanted to for years; so she was thrilled to finally visit with her. We opened the remaining bottle of plum wine that Mom'd made and before long, we were all telling so many stories and laughing so hard that the dogs glued their noses to the window to gawk at the noisey capering women within. After Jacki left, mom and I settled into our jammies and made pizza and watched "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and an old episode of Law and Order. Both of us were up way past our bedtimes.

Now that I'm an aging woman, I gotta back off on the partying.

17 November 2008

cookies! and pies! and breads! oh! my!!

My friend, Adria, is an arts instructor. She teaches children and adults in a variety of materials and methods. She herself does commissions for others, mostly preferring charcoal and pencil sketchings as her most beautiful and meaningful work. She is an amazing person, godly woman, wonderful wife, fantastic mother, and extraordinary friend.

She is bringing her two lil girls out to the farm tomorrow morning. The eldest of the two girls is nine {and a half, mizz debRAH} and she will be making a soft oatmeal cookie that will be complex enough to challenge her, but simple enough for her to make the dough and bake them with minimal assistance. She will be able to use the cookies in her own attempts to raise funds so that she can go on a week long camping trip next year. Also, cookie baking is a requirement for one of the modules she is completing for her group (which is like girl scouts, but I think is called "path finders" or some such). She's terribly excited, and memom and I have already prepared a small area for her, set aside the ingredients and got all the cups and spoons and things ready. Everyone's kitchen is their own, so she can't very well be expected to know where I keep the vanilla and the oatmeal, y'know?

Her lil sister, my lil'st friend, is four {and a half, mizzzzz debRAHHHHH}. She is very inquisitive and does not want to be left to the side on anything (and really, who can blame her?) but I want each girl to do their own cookies, so that they each have something that is really THEIRS. For my lil'st friend, I've decided on a simple recipe of three ingredients. She can open and mix all the ingredients because there is NO measuring involved. She can take her time and DO it all by HERSELF!! Which is important, y'know? Cuz she's a big girl now. Her cookies will be a soft vanilla cookie with chocolate chips. Yum! Fun to make, fun to bake, and fun to EAT!!

Memom and I have already baked pumpkin breads, soft butterscotch cookies, soft chocolate cookies with dark chocolate chips, and peanut butter oatmeal cookies with raisins. I've mixed up a batch of pina colado cookies and a double batch of soft chocolate chip cookies ready for baking in the morning. At the moment, we are listening to Alice in Wonderland and mom is tracing quilt blocks for me using a cabbage rose pattern. I am about ready to call it a night and hang my apron til the morrow!