28 December 2010

showcasing a few gifts

My Jerry's eldest son is an artist, who uses various media. This year, he made prints, very limited for family only {fourteen, entitled "Son's Potential"}. Today, we framed it and hung it. I forgot to take a pic for this post {but I'll try to remember tomorrow}.

I love his pottery, so he gave me this piece pictured here. It has a feel that just doesn't translate in pictures! I absolutely love this. And I will be using it. Often.

My Jerry's eldest child and her family gave us these handmade ornaments. I especially like the snowflake and have hung it above the entrance to the wide hallway so that it can hang there for the rest of the winter. She also crocheted some dish~clothes, which are cotton and work well as hot~pads for placing between a steaming bowl and the table. I really like cotton, so these will be used frequently!

A dear friend made me a spice~tea mix and gave me a huge jar filled with it. I'll include the recipe below. I've already used a third of it, so I can tell you that it's very tangy {wink}. It's pictured with the green crocheted slip~cover over it, with the apron and calendar in front.

My mother made me the apron, which is lovely and I've been wanting one, so it will be used often as well! She makes wine, so that's the very cool print reference. And it's a cotton~blend, so it will wear well.

Memom and I have a tradition, in which she always gives me a pocket~calendar {something I can carry easily} every year. I adore this. She's been doing this since I was thirteen. This year's is tremendously packed during the months of June through October with appointments and notes regarding my husband's wreck this summer. I always save the calendars and so I have quite a few in my file~cabinets. I especially like this new one for several reasons; besides being just the right size for notes and things, I love the design involving tea and gardens and such.

Here's the recipe my dear friend included in her card for me.

Spiced Tea Mix
One pound jar Tang Drink
One package lemonade
Three~quarter cup instant tea
Two cups sugar
One teaspoon ground cloves
Two teaspoons ground cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well, place into jar, and cover tightly. To serve: stir two teaspoons mix in one cup boiling water. Yield: thirty servings.


I like it a bit stronger so I use two tablespoons per mug. Also, I'm fairly certain that you could use sweetner, such as Splenda, in place of the sugar. Since it is primarily instant powders, you might cold simply mix it with cold water and serve over ice for a change of pace. Since it's been cold here in Mississippi {last night got down to fifteen degrees}, I haven't tried it iced and have only drank it hot in large quantities {like an entire teapot at a time}.

Enjoy!

25 December 2010

white christmas


My husband is fifty~five, his mother is seventy~five, and this is the very first white christmas either of them can remember having! It isn't much, but it's a huge lot for Mississippi! Merry merry!

And by the way, our puppy's name is Sophie. We tried out different names, but none seemed to suit exactly; but Sophie seems a good fit for a variety of reasons. So, Sophie it is

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas Eve


My husband's oldest grandchild made this snowflake. It's very intricate, even if the boy himself says that it's super simple to make. Don't sell yourself short, this is wonderful!

If you'd like to see some of the details, click on it to enlarge the pic.

Merry merry, everyone!

20 December 2010

Pearl


You may remember Pearl from previous entries, these two pix have been posted in the past. Pearl is a sweet cuddler with a huge heart. I got to be close to her, and loved how she would get so very relaxed and snuggly with me. She'd tunnel under the covers, or squeeze into the tightest space between my husband's thigh and the chair. She wasn't a yippee~dog, unless she was outside and wanted in. Or something was out and she was in. Or my husband called out, "who wants a treat?" That actually sounds like she yipped lots, but that wasn't really the case.



I'm at a loss of adequate words. Please pardon me if things are a bit jumbled. Pearl had a rough weekend. This morning, she was stroking out, in constant seizure. She isn't with us anymore.

This has been a rough year for my husband in many ways, and to have lost Pearl...words fail.

18 December 2010

Welcome home, newest lil girl


{with a wink from Santa, all's well}

Earlier today, my husband was Santa for a benefit for the local high~school's girls' slow~pitch softball team held at Applebee's. It was a pancake breakfast with sausage and coffee and orange juice that was very good and a nice way to start our weekend. Only a few kids got confused cuz mommy had taught them never to talk with strangers and never to take candy from strangers and now mommy wants them to sit on The Stranger's lap, talk with The Stranger, and quite possibly accept a Candy Cane from The Stranger. Confusing, terrifying, troubling...


{checking each other out}

Then I went to my writers group which meets at our local public library. We won't meet again til after the new year, so the group was sort of bitter~sweet. It was a good way to end my morning.





Then I went to the local animal shelter to fill out the paperwork and take care of the fee and such and pick up our newest member to our home. A little eleven week old chiweenie who is already bonding with my husband. He is in the process of teaching her all about football, while she watches the game with him. This is a good way to start my afternoon.

16 December 2010

Peace On Earth


Earlier today, my husband and I went to Tupelo for the six month follow up post surgery on his knee and tibial plateau. Yea!! All looks great, he is walking and moving just fine and there are no signs of rejection of the hardware {so the screws, brackets, and nuts and bolts should be good to stay inside}.

His boss gave him a gift certificate for Applebee's so that's where we went for lunch. It was so good and we had a good waitress. Her name was "Holly", how apropos.

Then we stopped at Books~A~Million, cuz we love big books {and we cannot lie}. Their boxes of cards are fifty percent off and so I selected this design. The dove is trailing a red ribbon that wraps about the earth. In gold print on the ribbon it says, "Peace on Earth". The inside of the card is mostly blank, so lots of writing room. It does say in gold, "Season's Greetings". The card stock is heavy, cream, and lightly textured. La Petite Presse is the line, illustrated by Rachel Newcomb, and this design is "Noel".

Fifteen cards for five dollars plus tax is a good deal for pre~Christmas. I am thinking that I will spend some time tonight writing some more cards for some folks on our list. I'd no idea that I had so many folks I wanted to drop a note to.

Also earlier this evening {late afternoon}, my husband's mother's assisted living home had their annual Christmas dinner, complete with a visit from Santa, who passed out candy~canes and lots of booming greetings and cheer. He was also one of the responding paramedics who ended up cutting the clothes off my husband six months ago when it was proven that two vehicles cannot occupy the same space, especially not if my husband's leg is between said colliding vehicles.

Two of my husband's daughters were there, along with his youngest grandchild~~seven months old! She was a huge hit amongst the residents and the staff members. Her great~grandmother held her for a good long time and there will be a nice pic of Santa and the two ladies...a full seventy~five years between the ladies' ages!!

Well, I'm off to watch Ovation's Nutcracker Dance Off!!

15 December 2010

dumbfounded face


Ok, I'm not entirely sure of this, but I do think that this is truly an example of ironic.

And stupidity.

In oh so many ways.

In 2009, a three month old died of malnutrition while her parents left her unattended to go to an internet cafe, playing an online game which involved raising a virtual child. Earlier this year, the couple {father age 41 and mother age 25} were found guilty of negligent homicide. They each are sentenced to serve two years in prison. However, the mother's term has been suspended, as she was pregnant, with their second child {who was due in August 2010}.

...uhm...?

yeah, wrong on so many levels.

10 December 2010

hark! the holidays!


A few years ago, I'd purchased several boxes of these cards on clearance post~holidays. It was, I think, fifty cards for five dollars. I'd also bought other cards, including some Ed Gorey's.

But these are my favorite, the pirouettes of this girl in the snowy winterland reminds me a bit of childhood blizzards in Pennsylvania. I addressed the last one this evening. I only have ten cards ready to go out, but if I should find something that is perfect, I'll write some more to send. But I am not too worried, there are other options.

06 December 2010

Caroling Dogs


This evening was our monthly book~group meeting. One of the ladies gave me this lil pop~up card by Tres Panache of Caroling Dogs. And a beautiful thin metal bookmark with a blue cord and quote by Anais Nin {"Dreams are necessary to life."}. Very apropos!

I'm also a member of the online BookMooch {see the bar on the left}. So far, I've given 85 while receiving 77. For the most part, I've enjoyed this very much. It's a great way to pass on the reads, while adding some titles to my permanent collection; tho some I just relist as moochables. Actually, I maintain the list, but when it comes to preparing and posting the books for the mail system, my husband does that~~I just jot the mailing address and hand them off to him. He wraps them nicely and sends them off; which is good, cuz I tend to wrap things like a three year old child might, folks can always tell which gifts are from me.

Last week, one woman who mooched from me sent my husband and I are card in the mail with a very nice message~~to let us know that it's folks like us that make BookMooch so fun. It was especially nice, since a little appreciation can go such a long way!!

Thanks, ladies!

And thanks so very much to my husband, for helping me in so many ways!

04 December 2010

Holly House


Yesterday, about five minutes into CSI:NY, I jumped up and went to root in the closet for holiday decorations. Good thing we have TiVo. It was the opening scene of winter~wonderland, good cheer, twinkly lights, snow, and window decorations that prompted the latent desire to see what was what. I've been meaning to paw the front room's closet where my husband's three artificial trees reside. But I've not been feeling festive, and that puts a damper on things.

So when the whim whips me into action, I act on it. Even if that means pausing a show, throwing aside my latest project {a fuzzy neck warmer, a cowl sort of thing}, rousting the princess pearly pup from my shoulder, and stirring up a commotion. My husband came to see what I was doing and the look on his face was one of dismal dismay, but he indulged me, carrying boxes and bags into the living room.

He's good to me that way.

Then I went back to the room which held my ornaments and toted them out so that I could go thru them too. I never decorate with all of everything at one time. It's too chaotic and tacky. I unwrap everything, look at it, think about it, set some aside, rewrap, repack, and tidy things up and away.

I showed my husband some glass ornaments that my great grandparents and my grandparents had, the repacked them. Then I showed him some lace wreaths my mother made, a fragile star she made, and a couple angels made of various pasta pieces that her friend had made. One of which was crumbled and an arm was missing from the other. The arm, of course, was made of elbow~macaroni {what else would an arm be made of?}. I showed him some stars that I'd made years ago and a plaster tree that a dear friend painted. There were other ornaments that I didn't share this time, but reboxed for some future year.

All of that was put away, and left on the table were a dozen or so small stained glass ornaments that my family made and some floss needle work round ornaments that I'd made. He'd already strung some lights on the small{ish} tree and I set out a box of small glass balls. We decorated the tree and stood back to eyeball it. It looks full enough, but not too much so.

I spread a white sheet about the base, under the very small green and red furry skirt. And he topped it with a sparkly gold metal star that he'd had amongst his things. I set out a crocheted tree festooned with lots of lil miniature items that his first wife had made, and the bears that he and she and their children had painted. We hung the Santa faces that his eldest daughter and her mother had crocheted. Frosty sits in his wreath above the hall door and bells on ropes hang off the front door knob.

Over looking all this is an angel my husband's first wife had had. She had hundreds of dolls and this particular one is the only holiday decoration I leave out year~round. She's an angel in gold and red flowing robes, with golden hair, golden wings, and of course, a golden halo. She stands atop the corner of one of the china~cabinets that is near a sketched portrait of his first wife and their framed wedding certificate. Christmas was her very favorite holiday and her birthday is only just one day before Christmas Eve.

I know that things are very different. I didn't go all out on decorations. I didn't include manger scenes {I'm thinking that perhaps her youngest and oldest daughters might want them} and I didn't decorate outdoors. I am not she, and I wouldn't want to try to emulate her habits.

Last year, my husband and I went to my folks' place for the holidays. Since I hate to come back to decorations after the fact, we didn't unpack and place anything last year. This year, we will be home for the holidays. It's not much for some folks, but it's enough for us~~especially for our first time to decorate here at home. I wanted to blend some of his things from both his marriages, to honor his first wife, and to honor our own union.

I've never decorated this early before, usually opting to decorate my tree a few days before Christmas and then taking it down and packing everything up shortly after the New Year. I've never had an artificial tree before, and it is a bit different {not as full and big} but I like it; it suits us. Even tho the various presents have been wrapped for months now, we decided to wait til the weekend before Christmas to bring them out and set them under the tree.

I'm not sure how long I will feel festive, but for now, I'm alright. My husband is watching the SEC football game. My pupsicles are engaged in deep Zen meditation, doing their dead~dog impressions. And we're about to watch "The Tin Man"~~a four hour plus version of the Wizard of OZ. All's right in my world.

For now.

29 November 2010

BiPolar Bear


In February or March of this year, I joined a support group that would usually meet once per week; but if our facilitator {a retired psychologist} is unable to meet, we will skip one week and meet the next week. Tho we did take a six week break this summer, which was fine, cuz we all are functioning adults and it is a support group, not group therapy. Which means that we all have other means of coping and our support group is not our primary mental health regulator.

This is not to say that the group is not tremendously important~~it is. It is important for all sorts of reasons. For some of us, it gives us a place to be with others who might face some of the same difficulties we experience. For some of us, we have a great support system in place, but it's nice to be able to meet with others who are not close friends, family, spouses, or paid professionals. For some of us, it is a good place to meet with good friends. For some of us, we can speak more clearly, or think more clearly, or hear other suggestions and ideas for how to approach something that we are stuck on.

It's a group of folks who deal with depression, however, quite a few folks share my own primary diagnosis, bipolar. Each of us experiences our lives differently, yet there are common threads that allow us to identify with each other. In my own case, BiPolar I, Rapid Cycling is not a riot of fun. It's a frantic balancing act that I've been able to moderate to a certain degree. Most folks will tell you that depression is their most dangerous place to be. For me, mania is far worse. When I'm in a state of depression, I'm tired, I hurt, I withdraw, I hibernate, I slow down tremendously. But I'm in control, for the most part.

When I am manic, it feels dangerous, because I can spin too close to not having control. I can't slow down. I can't stop. I spin faster and faster, tighter and tighter. I grow tired, but am so wired that I cannot stop the dancing, the Red Shoes are an extension of my feet and my feet are bloody and I'm desperate for the end.

So the mix of meds I take is designed more to keep me from tipping into mania. Some people take meds that are designed to lift them from depression, into interacting with others in a social way and being able to function in that way. I take a mixture that helps me to avoid panic attacks, anxiety, and other excitable stresses. If I miss my meds, if I don't take my night~time doses, then I don't sleep, then I slam into overdrive, then mania is not just the other end of the spectrum, but it is the danger zone that threatens to absorb all of me, threatens my very existence.

I must take my meds. I must maintain a certain amount of sleep. It's far better for me to have too much sleep than not enough. However, too much sleep is one of the major harbingers of depression.

A major theme we discuss in group, repeatedly, is energy~levels. How to maintain them. What to do if they are way too low. I don't think that we've discussed what to do if they become too much, as that is not the case for most of the members. This time of the year can be difficult for many folks to face. Quite simply, this is the season of hibernation. Yet, our society becomes extremely festive.

There has been an ongoing joke in eMails and posts here on the net. It's about being a bear in your next life. This is one version.

If you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that. Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too. If you're a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that. If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that. If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
He KNOWS not to get between you and the food. Yup..... Gonna be a bear.

I'm not manic, right now. I've been very tired for a long time. I've been indulging in sleep, in quiet, in reflection, in laying in soft cushy bed with soft cozy comforters piled on me, in reading, in being. Simply being. I've not been in a festive mood. I'm ok with that. I've not been digging out decorations and dressing the rooms for the holidays. I'm ok with that. I've been tired, and I've been sleeping. I'm not entirely ok with that, but that's where I am at and how I need to be. And the main reason I am able to be as functional as I am with depression, is because I allow myself to be, to accept what I know I need.

And I'm me. Just me. That is way more than enough.

25 November 2010

...stuffed...






"rah~UDE," scolds Tom.













My turkey~tryp's kicked in. My Jerry did all the cooking, stuffing, roasting, baking, etc. I made super~simple peanut~butter chocolate fudge. First time I attempted making fudge and it couldn't have been any easier to make.

Jerry also did all the clean~up and our kitchen is looking entirely sparkly. All the food's been put up already. We'll have enough to gnosh on for the entire week. And then some.

Good thing we have freezer space.

Hope you are enjoying your long weekend!

22 November 2010

your tax dollars, hard at work


Alas, I cannot truthfully take credit for the sign pictured here, but I still like it regardless.

Earlier in today's mail, I found an envelop addressed to me from the IRS. Immediately my stomach knotted and my butt began to tingle. Just a quick aside here, I thought that everyone's butt tingled when they got nervous; but no, come to find out, that's just me. {sigh}

To what could this be in regard? The dropped lawsuit the State of Alabama tried to pursue against me six years ago? The forgiven student loan matter which was finalized two years ago? What fresh new and improved hell could this government agency have cooked up this time?

Upon reading the letter and glancing at the enclosed brochure, I realized that this letter pertains to me no more than most of the other literature I've received from the IRS over the years. About thirteen or fourteen years ago, for a few months, one tax~season, I was a tax~preparer for H & R Bloch {the company actually uses "Block" for most all of its contact with the public, cuz folks are less likely to misspell that than the Germanic surname, however our checks came from the proper "Bloch"}. After that, I did not function in the capacity of a paid tax~preparer.

In fact, I haven't prepared taxes for at least ten years, not even my own. This year, when it came time to file, My Jerry and I went down to our local WalMartZ and had whomever set up their lemonade~stand there do it. I can prove all this if need be, cuz I keep records. Of everything. Well, everything important, like stuff dealing with taxes. And other government agencies. And medical stuff. Not piddling stuff like eMails about who said what to whom about whom.

So this letter today was to let me know that there is a new! improved! self~regulating! method! {ok! those"!"! are getting annoying!} to "provide oversight to help regulate the tax preparation industry". So please go online to the IRS website, log~on, provide your social security number and your date of birth and your address and your filing status and your employer identification number and your CAF number and your electronic filing identification number and your CPA and your bar number and your enrolled agent number, along with your other contact information, and be prepared to use your credit or debit card to pay a sixty~five dollar annual user fee to apply and/or renew your Preparer Tax Identification Number {PTIN}. Do it! Do it now!

At first I was confused, then I was worried, then I got scared. So I called the primary toll~free number, navigated the automated menu, and sat on~hold for over THIRTY minutes. When the rep came on line, I didn't tell her that my butt~tingles had now migrated thru~out my system and now my tongue was numb. No. After asking how she was this fine afternoon, I replied to her like~query with, "I'm confused, I'm worried, and I'm a bit...concerned". She pleasantly offered her assistance.

I explained that I'd received letter 4636 (9-2010) along with enclosed publication 4889, catalog number 55572D regarding the directive to renew "my" Preparer Tax Identification Number for the 2011 filing season. I explained that I haven't been a paid tax preparer in thirteen to fifteen years. I explained that I have not, in fact, prepared anyone's taxes {not even my own} in over seven years. And then I explained my ... concern.

Namely that concern was two~fold. One, why am I receiving this letter and could they please update their files on me to reflect that I am not a tax~preparer, let alone a paid one that would necessitate my obtaining a special number? And two, is there anyone else using my information to be a paid tax~preparer?

It turns out that, no, they cannot update their files. If I simply take no action, do not apply for a PTIN, then their files will drop me from their list of past, present, and/or potential tax~preparers. That being the case, why am I still on the list after a decade of inactivity? But apparently this was a question that cannot be addressed at this time. Which I think is IRS~speak for "I have no idea".

And two, by checking under my social security number, the representative verified that I do not have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Not even the one that should have been there from the three month stint with H&R Bloch one state, several addresses, and a name change ago. Which makes me wonder how they even knew to send me the letter in the first place.

At any rate, I made copious notes, stapled it all together, and filed it in case something should arise down the road necessitating my producing the letter with my notes that the IRS rep told me to "discard this letter" because it doesn't apply to me. {sigh} It's enough to feed into any latent paranoia tendencies I may have had. On hold for over thirty minutes, people.

Thirty minutes.

{sigh}

19 November 2010

World's Greatest Dad


I wasn't sure what to expect. My husband had TiVo'd this movie earlier in the week, and my first thought was, "hm, Robin Williams, must be funny." And it is, but not in the way I'd at first thought.

It's more of a dark comedy, slightly more complex than it might appear, and ends on a very fitting note. World's Greatest Dad was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, which I didn't know til the closing credits rolled~~he also cameos as the limo driver, as seen below. The movie deals with some things that we usually don't discuss, or at least not in polite company. That might seem crass, but I'd say that it's more honest and not in the slightest gratuitous~~it's in your face, and makes no apologies, but that's meaningful in its own way.

Autoerotic asphixiation slams the movie wide open in the first scene and it takes off from there. Daryl Sabara is way good at his role, making you want to slap the snot out of him from the get~go. There is nothing redeeming about his character, and Sabara makes you really believe that.

Robin Williams plays his role without once breaking into his trademark speedspeaking comedic self. He is truly playing a character and Williams does it well. No Patch Adams here! I am really quite impressed. If you're looking for Williams to provide a lighthearted comedy, don't watch this movie; but if you're willing to see some more depth to his characters, I'd say this would be a film to add to that list.

One theme that is played out in this movie is that so often when someone dies, esp a teenager, that person is romanticized and everyone becomes his/her best~friend. The imagined potential somehow becomes reality and that person becomes the focus of much dramatization and overwrought pathos. While not exclusive to the young, as we see from the adults' behaviour in the film, it seems to be more emotive, impressionable, creative peers of Sabara's character Kyle.

I'm glad that My Jerry TiVo'd World's Greatest Dad. I might not have otherwise heard of this movie, let alone decided it was worth a watch. And it definitely is.

the epitomy of laziness


This is My Shaddow Lane. She's a lil over nine years old, but she seems much older. Lately she's not been wanting to move much at all. In fact, she wouldn't even get up to clean Donna's bowl for her and it had good, tasty stuff like cheezy mashed potatoes and meatloaf bits. So Donna set it right on Shaddow's sofa, so she wouldn't have to strain herself, doncha know?

15 November 2010

gnoshing

This morning I awoke STARVING. Which was surprising, cuz I know that I got way more than enough to eat in my sleep last night. I dreamed that I was dressed in a slinky satin longer~than~long gown and before me was a huge palatial dining table, filled with food. I was rapturously stuffing my face and it was wonderful...no matter how much I ate, I was svelte and sexy and able to gobble more and more and MORE {ahhhhhhh}.

So I woke hungry. So much so that my tummy ached. After dropping my roomie {snicker} at work, I decided to go to BoJangle's, a place I've never eaten at. It was won.der.full.est. {sigh} So freakin good that I know that none of it could be good for you.

When I came up from my trough, I saw this delightful sketch on the wall. Now, it's suitable considering that we are in MSU BullDog country. But a slurp like that makes me cringe. That the parent is offering the child to the dog for approval of this kind doesn't sit right with me, but that's not my child. Nor my dog. I don't like slurpy doggie~kisses, tho from their perspective, they might not like dry people~kisses. And really, what other kind of kisses could dogs offer, besides slurpy?

Anyway, I do like the sketch, cuz of the detail {check out the baby~toes} and the shading {the bib blows me away}. The sketch is appealing, even if it is a somewhat bizarre choice for an eating~establishment to choose over the myriad of other BullDog~related options. So if you're ever in Starkville's BoJangle's, stop by to gobble some grub and gawk at the sketches.

39.99


this is probably the last pic i'll take of my 39 yr old self.

esp since tomorrow is my birthday.

i'm gonna share some wine with friends, family, and My Jerry at this month's meeting of cafe scientifique at zorba's {a local greek bar/restaurant} tomorrow evening.

yea!!

14 November 2010

Mercy

Russ over at Inner and Outer Demons 2 granted me permission to use this illustration of "Inner Child". Thank you so very much, Russ. There's something that just grabs me, and I'm trying to figure just what that is.

It isn't the finger poked up her nose. Or the thick frames covering a third of her face. Or the jagged bowl cut, straight and heavy.

It could be the rounded soft body pooching the onesie. It could be the onesie itself {she rockZ it!}. It could be the lil feet, safely shod.

But I'm thinking it's more the vulnerable, wistful tuck of her chin. The eyes just peeking up and out beneath her bangs, thru the top of her glasses. The way her teeth are bared. Her jaw clenched tightly, steeling herself for whatever barrage comes next.

She makes me want to scoop her up, wrap her tightly in my arms, shield her from whatever cruelty awaits her, assure her that she's safe with me. And then I think about whether I'd really be able to give her safe haven. I didn't do such a great job with giving my own self safety.

Then again, who, as a child, ever has been able to do that? As a child, you cannot protect yourself from life's cruelties. You depend on others to do that for you.

And you should.

But safety is not an option for way too many. A tender poignancy reminds me of this. And then I turn away and move on, letting someone else deal with this, absolving myself of responsibility.

That's a shame.

Mercy me.

13 November 2010

gross gunk

My sinuses have been reacting violently to the smorgasbord of allergens these past few weeks. But yesterday, I woke up exhausted. I felt like shit. squared. I spent the ENTIRE day in my lil recliner, with two dogs draped over me. My husband came home from work early cuz he wasn't feeling so great either. *hack*hack*

During the night, all that gunk that was beginning to make me think that there is more than just allergic reaction going on drained out of my head. Now if only I could pull the spike outta my brain, I'd feel much, Much, MUCH better.

I hope all you are feeling fine! Enjoy your weekends! *snort*snort*

11 November 2010

Mental Floss


I can't take the credit for any of these.

They're t-shirt slogans offered thru Mental Floss {Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix}.

Ya might want to poke about, there are always pages of interest.

Check it! Ya know ya wanna.

09 November 2010

The Pink Glove Dance




If you have a chance, please give a view of this some thought: Pink Glove Dance. It was filmed using the staff at a hospital in Portland, Oregon. I especially love the janitor~~he's quite the dancing dude!








It even has a sequel. I'm on dial~up currently, so I haven't watched that one yet, as I am still waiting to get the rest of the first one. But I'll catch it sometime when I'm at BookMart DownTown, where there is faster~ban!





Check 'em, ya know ya wanna!

08 November 2010

Longview's Opry

I've been feeling rather poorly this past weekend. I think it's my sinuses' reaction to various allergens and all that extra drainage is turning my stomach sour, my throat and ears itch, and I'm more tired than usual~~which is lots. However, on Saturday, I was feeling pretty good, so I went to my writers group, then My Jerry and I went to an exhibition men's basketball game at MSU. That was cool and I do think I like basketball much better than football. In large part cuz the game moves instead of taking four hours, it only takes two. So it builds momentum and keeps it. Whereas with football, it seems to me like more time is spent off the field than on~~and so it seems like an inefficient use of time and energy. It gets to be a contest of the viewers' patience more so than a game between teams. But I digress...

Saturday, My Jerry and I went to the local Opry. And when I say "local", I mean like a mile or so down the road. And when I say "opry", I do mean various muscians performing various formats like country {both old and new, we heard some stuff from the thirties, some Hank Williams, some Johnny Cash, some contemporary}, Elvis Presley, gospel, and lots of blues. In fact, I think it's fair to say that blues was the main flavor of the evening, which was great.

The format is simple and not very formal: the main guest plays two sets of twenty minutes and the stage is free to anyone else the rest of the time. There were usually enough musicians on stage to fill it, usually between three to nine, with five or six most of the time. There were some folks that were more seasoned, having performed for others most if not all of their lifetimes. And there were a few newbies as well, taking the stage for the first time ever, at the age of fifty or so.

My husband's mother had gone to school in that building, before the students from this area began to be bussed into Starkville {seven miles further down the road} back in 1948. The building itself is a large open rectangle with a kitchen area and restrooms, a cloak room, and of course the performance area~~which is about half the building. The stage was just a step up, but fully equipped and quite large to accomodate all the pickers, belters, and beaters.

The audience can sit down in rather comfortable chairs, lined up in rows. Lots of socializing occurs, but some serious listening is the rule of the night. There is a small area just to the side of the stage, and couples dance, as well as several ladies who formed lines to dance in unison with "Boot Scootin' Boogie" which was just as entertaining as what was going on up on the stage!

Most folks were in their late sixties and older, altho the "young" folks put in a good showing too. In fact, at first, when we settled into our seats at a lil after six in the evening, Jerry commented on the fact that we were the youngest present. As the evening progressed, the composition of the crowd shifted from elderly to a bit younger {forties and fifties} with some clusters of those in their twenties and thirties~~I think most of those folks were there not entirely against their will, but pretty close!

It was a very comfortable evening, and we plan to return. The only things I didn't care for was not unique to there, they're things that I don't particularly like about any live performance. It seems to me that the drums are usually disproportionately louder than the rest of the musical line~up and that the vocals are never quite as clear as I'd like. Most folks don't seem to realize that they don't need to swallow the microphone in order to be heard thru~out. But I find that to be a pet~peeve even when attending more professional concerts.

The other thing was that some of the women douse themselves with perfume and that aggravated my sensitive sinuses to the point where I was blinking tears from my eyes and as soon as we stepped from the building, I gulped the fresh cold air of the local pines, and promptly engaged in a sneezing~fit that lasted way more than necessary. As I said tho, those complaints are not unique to the Opry, and the enjoyment far outweighed the discomfort.

I'd've typed this up earlier, but I couldn't spell "wirth shyte" most of the weekend.

03 November 2010

my birthday present arrives early...


My pink zippered~hoodie's left~breast says, "Established 1970".

And how many pink zippered~hoodie's left breasts can say that?

Not many.

I love you, My Husband.

30 October 2010

It's that time of the year


Yesterday evening, I thought, "I'd like a pumpkin hat". So I made one. Today, I broke out my hat collection~~and I wore the three foot long pink and white fuzzy one this evening. It was so very warm and cozy!

As we enter the last two months of the year, our holiday season has begun. It's our wedding's first anniversary. We'll be driving down the Trace to Natchez and revisiting our B&B. We're both excited and really looking forward to that!

I think we plan to do Thanksgiving dinner here, as we did last year. We'll have a few family and some friends. It really depends on who has what plans and will be where.

I'm not sure what we will do for Christmas. I know we'll be here. But I'm not sure if we'll decorate or what we'll do for dinner.

I have not been in the mood to crochet lots like I've done for years now. Usually, I know what I want to make for whom. But this year, that spirit hasn't moved me much. I cannot believe it's coming up this quickly!

My Jerry finished his shopping months ago and wrapped it all earlier this month. I am really glad about that! He's awesome! When I wrap stuff, it looks like a three year old got ahold of the tape and paper. It makes me wonder if I was really thinking when I bought the material to make a slip~cover for our reading sofa.

25 October 2010

proud november baby since 1970




I'd love this, in a zipper hoodee.

{*hint~hint*}









This is for you, baby.


{as always, click on pix for a larger view}

24 October 2010

stumbling around


One man's trash is another couple's art. Tim Noble and Sue Webster, an English couple in their mid~40s, created this piece. I would probably not tolerate this in my own home, but the concept is kinda cool, as long as the mess is elsewhere. I'd be a horrible mother, as I'd probably not have the patience to wait to see what my youngsters were creating with the pile of crap in their bedrooms. Or the middle of the living room floor. On the other hand, I've know folks to use any excuse possible to get out of cleaning. I've even indulged in the excuse~justification rationale when it comes to keeping my floors less than dog~furr clean...{whistling while looking elsewhere}.

23 October 2010

08 October 2010

fat's not so funny


I recently was reading an article reprinted in Utne called, "On Being Fat and Running". The author, Brenton Dickieson, had an epiphany:

The first of my revelations came, as so many of my spiritual moments do, while I was watching The Simpsons. At my heaviest, I realized, I was the same weight as Homer’s lightest. In America, this is apparently “funny fat.” Despite internal objections that cartoons don’t wear their weight the same as I do, the coincidence was a personal blow.

My own slow awakening has resulted in my joining the local Wellness Connection, a fitness center that is affiliated with our county's hospital. Long time readers may recall me grabbing my swim~suittee and diving into the fitness waters in years past. Well, at that time, I would go for several hours per day, submerse myself in water~workouts, floating in calming waters, and splish~splashing my way to a bit healthier lifestyle. Then there was some shit a few years back, and all that came to an abrupt end.

It's my own fault that I didn't continue to keep fit. It's my own fault that I've regained all the weight that I'd lost and then some. Even tho I didn't have access to the Wellness, I could have still maintained some activity on my own.

Last month, my husband finished up his physical therapy and last week, he joined the Wellness Connection. The initial fee for joining was waived for him, as he was transferring from the physical therapy side of the building to the other side which houses the gym, with the pools connecting the two portions. I was able to rejoin at a reduced fee, and we were able to qualify for the couple's membership fee {and he is staff at the university, so that helps even more!}.

Yesterday, I finished up my initial training, complete with a health~assessment {including some lab~work which focused on my glucose {normal}, cholestral {normal}, and triglyceride {high} levels}. Altho I am pushing the scales to heavier than I had when I joined five years ago, overall my current health is better than it had been.

While that is good news, it's rather disturbing that I've let myself go to this point. The sheer girth of my mid~section makes it a chore to tie my boots and being intimate is not always something I feel inclined to do when feeling rather ungainly and uncomfortable. For these and other reasons, I'm determined to slim down, tone up, increase my energy levels {which have been sucking for about a year now}, and increase my stamina.

Since I enjoyed the water so much at the Wellness Connection before, that's where I am starting this time too. Later today, I'll be suiting~up, diving in, and working out. Cuz fat's not so fun.

05 October 2010

local band making good


Nash Street is formed here in Starkville, Mississippi a few years back. This past Sunday, their video "Mississippi Queen" was posted on youtube. If you like country, you'll like this. I'm not wild about that genre, but I do like to support local efforts to make good, such as Nash Street; so if you want, you can take a look yourself!!

Nash Street's Mississippi Queen

Just click on the links.

03 October 2010

i love potatoes, they're...


..."hearty".

To My Jerry, I know our first anniversary is a scant four weeks away, so I'd like a wide variety of potatoes, please.

30 September 2010

eye {heart} you




My husband has five adult children. The other day, I was stuck in a bit of a quandary, stumbling over what normally would have been my introduction of one of his daughters {he has three}. I said, "this is one of my husband's..." and then stopped, turned toward her, and asked, "does that sound like I have multiple husbands?" I opted for the more general, tho vague, "my friend".

Anyway, she likes physical activity. Lately she's been climbing the trees in our front yard. So she's been seeing some stuff that would otherwise have escaped notice. Like this perfect heart, which serves as a lovely pupil for this tree's eye, would have most likely continued to be ignored by us human beings.

What's really cool is that this tree's heart framed so lovely within the eye actually seems to be looking down at our front porch, watching over us, keeping us in its line of sight.

28 September 2010

Banned Books Week


Feed your need to read, as quoted on my left bar, by Stephen King.

It's odd to think that in this day and age we are still dealing with folks burning and banning books. It's a book, if you don't like it, don't read it!

I find it curious that the folks that are mostly up in arms, attempting to ban books usually aren't very literate and don't actually read much anyway.

As far as the age~old argument that children are helpless and we need to protect them, if you'd really like to do so~~teach them to think. Teach them morals and ethics. Let them know that there is a ton of stuff out in the real world they might maybe be exposed to and that all of it isn't necessarily stuff that is good for them; so they ought to be able to filter for themselves as they grow.

Besides, the best way to tempt a child {or anyone really} is to tell them DO NOT eat of the tree or read the book.

27 September 2010

*warning* disgusting content to follow


I'm just now freaking out cuz I had a yucky experience in the bathroom, so I'm a bit preoccupied with that {shudder}.

See the other day, I killed a winged~frickin~roach in the bathroom, with my bare hand. It was super juicy. {squelch}

And tonight, I went in, to take my meds, and I go back in and there is the winged~frickin~roach's brother {winged~freaken~roach} ON MY FUCKIN TOOTHBRUSH! And as I grabbed for it, it hopped over on my OTHER TOOTHBRUSH.

Oh.My.Fucking.God.

So I squished it and then threw both brushes out and scrubbed my hands. And dude, I know it was getting revenge. Now I wonder what the hell is going on in there with other unseen~fuckin~winged~roaches. shudder.

I'm damaged for life.

Thought I only vomited in my mouth a little.

25 September 2010

satisfaction


Ya know those days when you just feel like you've accomplished alot, even if you really haven't? Maybe it's that you finally do those two or three things that have just been lurking on the edge of your intentions. Maybe you remember to pick up a few things you've routinely been forgetting. It's all those lil things that line up and drop into place and you can just go down your mental list and check them off.

Today was that sorta day for me.

23 September 2010

Tupelo

This morning, we stopped by the tag/title office at the courthouse to do what we could do regarding our newly acquired 1981 Honda 400c. We'll be getting antique tags so if you see me tooling around on a tight lil bike, with my bubble~gum pink girly half~shell...well, very long time readers will remember that ahem I'm tough {spoken in the smallest softest whisper ever}. Otherwise, you can just imagine.

Then we zoomed up to Tupelo to see the ortho~dude, who was pleased as he could possibly be about how wonderful Jerry's leg was looking in reality and on film. So we go back in December for a six~month {from the wreck/surgery} check~up and then I think we're done. He did say that he'd like to see us in a year and that he won't really release Jerry cuz if he ever has anymore trouble due to the fractures, then the ortho~dude wants us to return. I think we're good. Jerry was doing the time~warp and that involves some bending and twisting of the knees, so I think we can expect his to dance his way into the work in the morning. And he is tha~rooooo with physical therapy. yea!!

And we stopped at the bookstore and picked up a few holiday presents. And went to Hobby~Lobby, where I lamented the dwindling yarn supply and the exorbitant prices. Again, the kudzu into fiber idea cropped up.

Jerry has been wanting to buy me a few new outfits, especially since our first anniversary is coming up at the end of next month. So we went to JCPenny's and browsed thru the "clearance" racks {dude, most of the prices are way more than I would usually consider, even at fifty percent or more off}. Jerry's good about finding stuff that would look good on me, and we walked away with a few items to add to my wardrobe. Including a few tops, bras, and one really awesome dress that I'd not have thought was my style but I really like it once it's on me!!

Some items are pictured throughout the post. Not all the items, just some. It was fun, and very low stress. And I really am glad that Jerry suggested this!

Thanks so very much, my love!!

22 September 2010

surprise, surprise


Tomorrow, My Jerry and I are heading to Tupelo. He'll be seeing the ortho~dude for a follow~up and then we won't be seeing that doc again til Dec, I'm sure. While we're near the mall and all, Jerry's mentioned that he would like to see me in an outfit or two during our first anniversary at the end of next month. So since he doesn't need to be up at half~past dark o'clock, we caught up on a few TiVo'ed shows.

One of which was Sons of Anarchy. We had a bit of a surprise when riding up on a tricked out Harley as Bachman, the cleaner, was a familiar face. Stephen King guest starred. And not surprisingly, he was really, really good at playing his character.

There was an accidental death of an unsavory character and a cleaner was needed to uhm dispose of the body. So Katey Segal's character asks Kim Coates's character for some assistance. He replies that Bachman is expensive, but good, very good. And in the next scene, up rides Stephen King.

He was so good, he was scary good. It'd be awesome to see this character be called upon again at some point. The silent interaction these four characters had was amazing and gave me chills. I think that the cleaner is definitely someone that would be useful to the show.

What I liked particularly about his guest appearance was that the show didn't play it up. There was no hype. They didn't flash on it during last week's previews of this week's episode. They didn't announce it or treat it as a teaser just prior to the show. I really like that.

The more I learn about Sons and the folks involved, the more I gain respect. I'm intrigued. It would be too easy to take this idea to overkill, but they don't overplay it. And Stephen King fit right in to the story, making the feasible premise all the more relevent. Awesomely good.

19 September 2010

my wood~sprite

I've been enthralled with BookMooch and have enjoyed the process for the most part. There are some folks who don't have much respect for books and treat the service with much negativity, mostly cuz it is a free exchange. But other than those few folks, I've enjoyed the BookMooch exchanges muchly.




One person whom I've been exchanging eMails with of late, from whom I'm mooching Dracula, has made me a wonderful bookmark. She'd asked what my tastes are and directed me to her deviantART page to see samples. I explained that trees are important to me, and I love the autumnal season best, but trees in all seasons thrill me, especially hard~woods, oaks, maples, and the like. So she sketched me out a wood~sprite, colored her in, and is sending the bookmark with my book. That makes it all that more extra special!!

13 September 2010

...duh...


Proof positive that no good deed goes unpunished was shown this morning during a cluster~fu..flurry of phone calls that made me question the sanity and worthiness of interacting with bureaucrats. {sigh}

Leaving out lots of nitpicking details, I'll try to zero in on the crux of the matter...the left~hand so did not know what the right hand was doing.

I called all the agencies that have been involved with my husband's accident and all that followed. Mostly to check in with them, let them know where/when we are in the process of all this, etc. Oh, good! All the agencies responded, that's just wonderful! No problem, this all sounds great! He's way ahead of the healing~curve!

I get off the phone with the very last place, feeling good, having been reassured all's well. And not but twenty minutes later, I receive a phone call from that same agency, the caller demanding action! right! this!very!minute!NOW!! I was thrown, cuz dude, that is so the exact opposite of what the other woman told me. And since I've not received any sort of indication to the contrary, I thought that all was well. So it really was very odd to receive this demanding!call!that!needed!attention!right!now!! When I pointed out that I just spoke with their agency twenty minutes ago, the caller was stunned and insisted that there was no record of such a call. {sigh}

One of the seven principle characteristics of inefficient organizations is poor communication within the organization that leads to poor communication with clients of that organization. In other words, as a client, you cannot hold the organization to their own stated policy for procedures. Which is a damn shame, cuz they sure as shit can drop kick your ass right outta the extremely unlevel playing field they themselves devised. We said what? Are you sure? Well, what we meant was...

argh...I'm so frustrated that I can't even speak very clearly...

manic monday


We've all gotten songs stuck in our heads before. Actually, it's usually not even a song in its entirety. Rather it's the chorus, or in my case, more often than not, it's a line or two in an endless loop.

There's something that's been weighing on my mind lots lately. Other than my writing here, eMails to friends, and IM chats with loved ones...well, I really haven't written anything in quite some time. I've been thinking about getting back into it, being more disciplined and setting some goals and then reaching them. But something holds me back.

I'm not sure why I'm so hesitant. But I can think of a few possible reasons. I wanted to give the matter some thought. So last night, I gave it my undivided attention.

Yesterday afternoon, I went into some old files and printed out a few short~shorts {or flash fiction}, poems, short stories, and such. I read a few things to my husband, whom I never really shared my creative writing with {outside of the blog and such}. I realized that I haven't written anything along those lines for years. wow.

After everyone was sound asleep and there appeared to be several dead~dogs slumbering in various favored spots in the living room, I settled into my pink chair and turned my mind toward my thoughts and feelings toward writing. I'm not sure what I arrived at, but I do know that it took most of the night.

The problem was, I kept looping back to one thing or another. It was like getting a lyric stuck in my head. The pattern of it seemed to be more and more ingrained.

And I think that I just need to give it a shot. Or two. Or even more.

I do need to use caution. Sometimes, I get very excited about something. Apply myself. Get all wrapped up in it. And then end up triggering mania and then it's such a mess. The after~burn knocks me down and it takes all that much longer to get back on my feet and stable again.

If this entry seems rather cryptic, it's mostly cuz I don't feel very clear yet. And I'm not sleeping the way I should. That's fairly minor at this point, but I'd like to correct the matter before it becomes something major.

{oh! this summer i was unable to wear my wedding ring, my fingers were too swollen, with fat, heat, and fat~~did i mention that i've gained 50 pounds in the past year? and last night, i slid my ring on and it feels so much better to be wearing it!!}

12 September 2010

happy hooking!


Today is International Crochet Day!!

You'd've thought that what with all the waiting in hospitals and doctors' offices and such this summer that I'd've used that time wisely by reading and/or crocheting; but that did not happen. In fact, I haven't crocheted in quite some time. I was back in the craftee~room last night, cleared some things away, and put some yarn up, and sorted thru some piles that were just set down instead of actually put away. There is still lots to do in there, but at least it was a dent! The large table back there is piled high with wedding stuff. There are still a few boxes of stuff to go thru from my trailer on the farm, tho I think most of it will be tossed, some needs to be washed {my winter coat}, or put away {some of my crochet accoutrements} . I've put all the christmas stuffs under the table back there last fall, we weren't here for the holidays, and I didn't want to come home to decorations that needed to be taken down and packed away for the year. I feel deplorably, woefully behind on most everything including resuming the cleaning of a couple rooms in the house and such. Sigh. I have no idea what I want to do for whom this year. I have a feeling that I won't be presenting folks with personally made items this holiday season. My mother and I will be attending a craft~fair next month, perhaps I will find some things then that speak to me and seem suitable for some folks!

08 September 2010

sharing the stumbles


I'm not exactly sure, but I think that there is a series that an artist is calling "saturday morning breakfast cereal".


I'm finding them absolutely hilLARREEus.



Some of them are real groaners, some are snickerlicious, and some are not even worth mention. But then there are the real jewels that make me go, AHA!! while grinning and snorting.



Take a look, see for yourself.



There are some common themes, the misunderstandings of women and men, the funnier moments of sex and politics, and pokes at various myths and such.


Just your general fodder.

04 September 2010

oh for ...





When I first stumbled upon this, I snickered.

Then I showed it to Jerry, he guffawed.

So chortle and chuckle away!








{by the way, his artistic son makes sake~sets, throws them outta clay}