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Archive for June, 2009

There are days when I just avoid life. I should go out and walk around the yard or go to the park or something, but “noooo.” What do I do? I decide to waste a precious hour of my life on an idiot program like Bridezillas. On those days, I worry about my own sanity.

It’s like watching a train wreck. You just cannot look away. How anyone can behave like that is beyond belief. And, I sit there and wait for someone to shake some sense into them, or slap them in the face, or, at the very least walk out on them. But, that is not going to happen. If it did the show would have twenty minutes of dead air time.

What also amazes me is that anyone, who behaves that bad, would allow cameras to record it for posterity. Well, that is not the only thing that amazes me. It amazes me that any man has so little self respect that he would marry a woman like that. Even if he did not realize it before, he should know it by two weeks before that wedding and dump her sorry “you know what.”

I never knew that a wedding was “All about me” either. I always thought it was a celebration of marriage and a commitment to each other. You know, it takes two to make a wedding/marriage. One day you meet the person with whom you want to share all the trials and tribulations and joys of life. Hopefully, you meet someone who makes you a better person and feels the same about you. Unfortunately, all too often, that does not work, but that is not the discussion here, although, maybe it should be because all the grooms of Bridezilla’s would then get smart and walk out.

Is it possible that the “wedding money making machine” has created this? Is “having things so lavish that everyone who walks in the room knows you have more money than…” Well, Bernie Madoff comes to mind. Is that all a wedding is about now?

Come on people, take that $20,000, or more, and put it down on a house. Or, Take $18,000 of it and spend $2,000 on a trip somewhere. Otherwise, it’s over the next day and statistics seem to be that you are divorced in a few years and what was the point after all?

Hey, could it be that if the goal of the whole day is to cement your love into a marriage, and you just had this little ceremony, with a few close friends, could it maybe mean you have your priorities straight and you will not add to those divorce statistics?

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Just for the heck of it I did a search on “Da Region.”  For those of you not in the know, “Da Region” is where I grew up.  It is noted for steel mills, brown skies, people who literally spend their whole lives without leaving a few block area, and one of the most beautiful parks in the country; the Dunes State Park.

“Da Region” meaning The Region, is what it would be, and was, called on late night talk shows.  It depicts our supposed accent; which I obviously do not hear in myself but surprisingly can hear on my husband.  He grew up in Hessville/Hammond, and thus worked in the mills and breathed in much more brown air, than I did, who grew up in Calumet Township where I thought I lived in the country; because it was termed “semi-rural.”

Apparently we speak the Inland North Dialect, whereas the rest of Indiana speaks the Midland dialect.  All I know is that south of Indy, people speak a southern dialect that has been known to drive northern people to pull their hair out. 

 The Region is actually a huge area and you can find it on Wikipedia.  Northwest Indiana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  Thus proving that almost everything is on Wikipedia.  Gary is the largest city in The Region.

We lived in Calumet Township.  I attended and graduated from Calumet High School.  My father build our house on Ross Road and our address was Gary but, when we traveled on vacation, my father would not allow me to tell people I came from Gary.  My father, sweet man that he was, was also an insecure bigot.   It was odd though having a city address, when we lived semi-rural.  There was farm land in back of us (much to my mother’s chagrin as farm land means plowing and plowing means dust).  The half acre lots on each side of us were vacant, so that was even less like being in a town type setting. 

Anyway, The Region is also called The Calumet Region and is Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper Counties in Indiana.  It neighbors Lake Michigan and is actually part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.  I am not sure how they consider Crown Point to be a Chicago suburb, but they do.  I believe, at this point, it is all city from Chicago out to Valparaiso.

The heavy industry of the area provided jobs, which brought relatives who could not get a job where they were, and populated the area.  Steel mills and oil refinerys fill the landscape with depressing steel buildings and nose holding smells all along Burns Harbor and East Chicago to Gary and Portage.  I rarely saw them.  My father worked in East Chicago, at Combustion Engineering but his philosophy about travel to Chicago was, “I never lost anything there, so whey should I go get it.” 

Okay, he was not real big on logic either.  Other than an occasional school trip, I did not spend any time in Chicago, only thirty miles from my home, until I was grown.  Then, I fell in love with the city and worked for approximately twelve years there, and went to five years of college there.  I’m a woodland girl, at heart, but really do love Chicago.

And, I really love the Dunes State Park.  But, that’s for another blog, as is the reason I started to write this one and got rather sidetracked.  That is:  going back or finding one’s youth again through high school friends, or not.  I have not written it so I have no idea where I am going.  What’s new?

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1.  On Friday, a senior Iranian cleric, Ahmed Khatami, lashed out at Britain in a nationally televised sermon. “In this unrest, Britons have behaved very mischievously and it is fair to add the slogan of ‘down with England’ to the slogan of ‘down with USA,'” he said.

Darn those Britons for being so mischievous.  Obviously, Cleric Khatami has never had a chance to see Faulty Towers.    Either that or something was lost in the translation.
2.  “Fair elections will lead to dictatorship.” 
I was told this was another Cleric.  Obviously, logic 101, should be added to their training.

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  1. No mother of eight children should EVER, EVER, EVER appear in public in a bikini; unless she is on the beach and wrapped in a towel.  There should be laws.
  2. You should never chew on your purse. 
  3. Sarah Palin will NEVER go away.
  4. Politician’s are not NEARLY as smart as they think they are.  What else is their excuse for thinking they could disappear for days and no one will notice. 
  5. Sleeping in a garbage can is NEVER good for your image., especially if you are a lawyer.

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The boys love working at the County Park, thank you Governor Daniels. And, I love the boys working at the Park also. They take lunches, they carpool with a neighbor and they come home at 5:00, eat dinner and go to bed. I like knowing where my boys are in the evening. “Being in town”, “Going to a friends” and then me asking what friend, what number and are his parents home does not happen. My boys are home, exhausted and sleeping; safe from stalkers

I say this because EMT has his own personal stalker. It seems to be a family tradition.

Gaffer has had at least two personal stalkers. There was the girl at Natrona County High School in Wyoming, who would run down the hall and jump on his back unexpectedly. She was waiting at every corner he turned. By the third week of school he had other students shaking his hand and saying, “Glad it is you, this year. I had my turn last year.” She literally stalked him all year, but it was the one in Brown County who scared us. We were warned, by a person who shall remain anonymous, that she seriously needed help. To this day, four years later, he has to periodically change his email address, because she finds it.

Now, EMT has his own personal stalker and she is even MORE scary. One day, he says to me, when he first met her, that he was glad I liked her because she was “going to be around a lot.” What neither he nor I realized, is she had every intention of moving in. A week and a half later, which was about five days after I realized she had not left and the third time she told him she was leaving the next morning, I took things in my own hands and told her to be sure and not forget her children’s toys when she left that day and sort of, “It’s been nice knowing you.” She was shocked and things went downhill.

She did move out and I was shocked at the amount of stuff she had brought over, and how she got it all in without me knowing. I swear she must have left the house barefoot and come back with three pair of shoes on. She tried the, “my mother kicked me out” gambit to arose my sympathy. And, I only felt slightly cruel and heartless, when I printed out the list of homeless shelters. Her mother has this girl’s three children, by the way, so there were no children on the street.

Before we got rid of her, fingers crossed, for good, she had actually drugged EMT one night, we didn’t figure that out until too late to do a blood test to prove it. We were just preparing a protection order when we found out she had left the state as she is wanted by the police. They won’t tell us why, but we hope she stays out of state.

I do think that maybe they should put “Welcome to Brown County, home of the stalkers” on the Tourism Brochures. Maybe we can rename the high school girl’s teams, the “The Stalkers.”

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Okay, that’s it. I give up. Between the steroids and the lack of sleep, and the rain saturated ground; bringing with it a hum in our phone line; giving me a party line, and the inability to stay ON-line for more than ten minutes at a time, doing anything online is just frustrating. I will return though. It took five minutes to save my answer to XUP and the answer then disappeared.

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I believe I have mentioned my mother’s eternal quest for things. I have seen her search for months for leather jackets, the right Foreman grill, a purse, “unmentionables,” anything and everything. And, I have also returned any number of those because she cannot seem to tell, in the store, that they have a fault she cannot live with.

In the three years she has lived in her apartment, she has maybe had three overnight guests. She had one of the blow up beds but gave it to us (which is what she does with things that she does not return). I think she just did not feel she had room for it. She has one guest who has come twice and rents a motel room and seems quite happy with that arrangement. But, mom does not feel like the proper hostess if she does not have a bed for a guest and a five course breakfast.

Considering she has a galley kitchen, and is exceedingly tired and in pain from her back, I do think they could skip the breakfast and go out to eat, but that’s not a good hostess.

So, first mother decided she needed a new couch. She purchased a recliner and a rocking love seat for two when she moved in. Everyone exclaims about the love seat and how comfortable it is, when they sit on it. I have slept on it a couple of times when I needed to be there at night. It is doable. But, she doesn’t like the furniture now because:
1. The cushions do not come off either piece of furniture so you cannot clean under them. It would seem to me that if the cushions do not come off then it would not be very dirty under them but I really do not know.
2. The love seat does not make into a bed
3. Something is wrong with her recliner and it will not recline all the way

When she said that to me, I had just brought over a lift seat for her that was to help her get out of the chair. She was sitting on it at the time she said it and I asked what she meant and she threw the handle back and mysteriously she was laying flat out, feet up, reclining.

The smart aleck I am said, “Oh, you mean like that? It won’t do that?”

What we discovered is she is so short that she cannot make the recliner go back unless she is setting on top of something to give her height leverage, so I will give her that one, she needs a recliner she can work, as she is..

The reason she could not use the chair lift for that purpose is because it was not electric, and would just gently raise her up as she stood. She repeatedly tended to lean over to pick something off the floor as she stood and ended up face down on the floor. That was not acceptable and, I’m sure, not what the manufacturer intended.

So, first we were on a quest for —– drum roll here —– for a red leather couch that makes into a bed and a red leather chair that a five foot tall person can recline in. Yes, you read that right, red leather. Personally, the thought of living with a red leather chair would really mess up my “Feng Shui.” (sp?)

Life keeps moving and several weeks have passed and we had not gone out on our first search for red leather furniture, when mom announced she no longer wanted a couch. Now, we will be on a quest for three chairs. I am not sure what color, but she has reasoned out that they are doable for guests to recline and sleep in AND, they can be pulled around if someone wants to watch television with her.

This from the woman who will not allow the walmart lady to bag more than three cans in a bag because it will be too heavy.

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I am mostly upright now and have left the walker in the corner.  When these things strike, it surely gives me more sympathy for mom, who uses a walker all the time.  What a great invention.   However, the pain pills and massive Ibuprophen to bring the swelling down, are not doing nice things to my stomach. 

During my visit with Master’s Daughter, thank goodness pre-hurt the back day, I had a grand old time when invited to shop with grandson and Master’s Daughter for Grandson’s birthday.  He’s a Hollister & Co guy. 

He was once chased down the aisle of the mall, by a Hollister employee.  They caught up with him and told him that the boss had seen him walk by and wanted to offer him a job as he looked like he belonged there.  Thank goodness, I thought that hair just hung in his eyes so he could avoid looking at the world. 

 How to be Cool Over 40 « XUP, with her blog about being cool over 40, reminded me about my day at the mall and looking for cool clothing with Hollister Guy.  He has grown a couple of eight inches since he was offered a job and they no longer carry clothing as long as he wants there.  And, my suggestion to check the tall men’s shop was met with a scathing look, that said, “You are so NOT cool!”

We stopped in for several shirts, all of his shirts say Hollister and I noted to myself “Christmas gift” until I found out that not every Hollister Shirt is equal.  One shade of orange is definitely cooler than the other shade.  The wave on the front is not as cool as just words.  And,one pair of size 32/30 pants (because they do not come any longer) is definitely NOT as good as the identical pair of 32/30 pants that either his mother, or I pulled out.  Once, one whole time out of the afternoon, I got to say, “I knew that.”  I had picked the right one. 

Maybe I am so “Not so much NOT cool” after all.

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manicure jpg

This could serve to show off my first and only pedicure but it is mainly to show the position I have been in since Thursday.

I was gardening in the square foot plot, felt that back twinge, went and put some very late getting in Watermelon seeds and thought to myself that it was a bit worse than I first thought.

Husband stayed out and I came in and, oh so loyal to my blog, did some blogging.  Then, the inevitable struck.  I had to go to the bathroom and my back did not want to move without undo whimpering.  It was like Rocky Horror Picture Show: One step to the left, one move to the right, do not arch the back, use your arms to push.  Sh**T.

One day after the insurance company “officially” said, “It was all a mistake.”  One day after they agreed to and did take three months of my premiums out, I was on my way to the ER. 

I have a pinched nerve, in my back, and I got a really good shot and some pretty good pills.  I sleep a lot, and I hurt a wee bit less than I did but I am using a walker and moving very slowly.

Since nothing ever seems to go smoothly in this house, I will add that when I got home with my $4.00 prescription for painkillers and EMT comes in for work and asks after me, and what am I taking, and kids at school pay a lot for those, and I say, totally joking, that I just better count them then.  Right after that, I found out that the pharmacist has given me 19 of my 30 prescribed pills.  I mean, these suckers are big enough that I could tell just looking into the bottle that I was shorted. 

No one else had gotten near them.  I had them next to me the whole time and both boys were gone to work and came home and were not alone with the pills. Husband is only a druggy if it involves something that allows his lungs to work better.  And, we even have a few of these left over, each of us, from previous injuries and surgery.  But, I answered the pharmacists “could it be” interrogation very calmly.  Of course, I was on a very strong pain shot, so I doubt I could have gotten agitated, even if I wanted to.

I had to go out, with my walker and pain the next day to get the other eleven pills.  The pharmacist who filled it would barely look at me.  I am going to write the main office, just as soon as I can be online for more than four minutes without being cut off.

Yes, folks, the ground in Indiana is soaked again.

I agree Xup, I hate paying for Satellite.  I probably will not be able to answer as I have been cut off four times for this.  I think I shall go live in a cave and quit paying for everything.  Except it’s hard to garden with a walker.

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When I was young, my wardrobe was delivered by truck to our door.  Each August, my mom would order “school” clothing and our helpful Sears delivery man would arrive at our door.  He would wait for us to try on the two different sizes of shoes and pack up the one/s that did not fit to return to the store.  Now, THAT was Customer Service.

 

I have been a loyal customer of DirecTV since before they were DirecTV.  When Dad moved in with us, in Wyoming—in 1998 he purchased three boxes from the original Satellite Company.  I do not remember their name.  We did not have Satellite before then, but Dad lived for his TV.   So, we have been a loyal customer for eleven years. 

 

We now only own one box and rent two.  For a long time they were replacing your owned boxes, when they went out, but now you do not own them, you pay $5.00 a month to rent them.  I learned this after replacing one in December.  This is why dad bought them, he did not want to pay that rent. 

 

It was stupid of me to replace the receiver.  We have been talking about dropping DirecTV for a long time and I could have borrowed Gaffer’s receiver, as he is now looking for work in Duluth.    But, I had it replaced and hence had to sign another year and a half contract and they began charging us, which they did not inform me of on the phone, $10 for our two, now rented, boxes.  Guessed they missed that last replacement.

 

I also wanted to drop Starz.  They used to show movies right after they were at the theatre.  It was always our decision whether to go to the show by whether it was a “Need to see on a Big Screen” or not.  Now, Starz shows them slightly after they have aired on public television and before they are in the $5.00 bin at WalMart.  This is one reason we have seen The Rock and Gone in 60 Seconds about fifteen zillion times.  With three hundred plus channels available to us, and my husband unable to move much as the day wears on, we watch reruns a lot.  Well, he does.  I sit and type Blogs or on my book.

 

I did not drop Starz, however, because I was told we were “grandfathered” in and that if we drop Starz, our bill will actually increase.  Now, isn’t that special? 

 

But, this did not start out to be a blog knocking DirecTV.  This is a blog complaining about all the companies who treat their new customers and let their long time customers foot the bill. 

 

AT&T, my cell company, and I will say that they have done some great things for us when we had high charges that they wrote off, so I do like them.  They do treat their customers well, but they have their own foibles, such as the long time customer, paying more for a particular phone than a new customer.  That means that I, the long time customer, is subsidizing a gift to a new customer. 

 AT&T is also my land line company and I have to say they do not treat us like royalty.  One time, when I called about our party line phone (happens when it rains), I was told that “Yes” I had to pay my bill but “No” they did not have to repair my line any quicker than six days and if their man deemed it was in the house, as he did last time, when the phone company before him said it was definitely in the ground somewhere, I would have to pay $51 for the privilege of not getting it fixed.  Wish I could make money that way.

Oh, for the days when the Sears man came and treated you like royalty; for the loyal customer you were.

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