Archive for August, 2008

This is one of those “off the cuff” blogs; because no one is home anyway, nor posting to their blogs.  I have never considered Labor day to be a prime holiday; but last night someone near me was shooting off major fireworks and no one is posting to their blog.  Gosh, you would think people have a life or something.


So, these are things I have noticed lately.


I love the writings and blogs of Crazy Aunt Purl and so does 88.5% of the blogsphere.  No matter what blog I check out, it seems they have a link to *Crazy Aunt Purl* on their sidebar.  I must say, it makes you feel at home.  Congrats! Crazy Aunt Purl.


I found out this week, that if you do a post on Viggo Mortensen, your readership will double overnight.  Mention his “girlfriend” and it will triple.  Thanks and Congratulations to Viggo!


That of the X# of blogs linked to on my sidebar (cannot be specific because I added blogs today), only two blogs (of those I had on this morning) have posted this weekend:


1.      Velvet Cerebellum The Velvet Cerebellum has posted this weekend and that was about a yarn orgy, so who could wait to post that? 


2.     My mother’s poetry site, which I made a commitment to post to every day for a year.  Of course, I post it, and I, obviously, have no life since I am also sitting here, posting to my blog. 


That a rabbit will poop in her food dish if: a wasp is in her cage, or she is lonely, or she just doesn’t like the food she is getting.  The rabbit isn’t telling, so I’m only guessing here. Perhaps she will not do it again though, as when I cleaned it all out and refilled it, she ate like a hungry pig.


That irritating Chihuahua cannot recognize a family member when they are walking past the house on the driveway.


And, that I just collated my blog links between this site and My Favorites because it will make things quicker, and I am killing time.


And, as JRockGuitarMan sits patiently and awaits his turn on the dial-up, I now will get offline and work on my book. 


Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Yesterday, I watched a repeat of Anthony Bourdain’s Anthony Bourdain’s Blog: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations : World, Travel, Food, Wine No Reservations in India. It was the “Bollywood” episode where he did this stupid skit about being a director and casting Bollywood parts for a movie.  Now, Bourdain may enjoy these skits, but it never looks like it. Why do his show’s producers find it necessary to waste time on them? Frankly, I would rather hear him grouse endlessly than watch some lame kindergarten skit.  I actually like Bourdain’s grousing.  He does not sugar coat things, but tells it like it is.  Skits on television, however have not worked since the Carol Burnett show. But, I digress, as always.


In India, lunch survives globalization – International Herald Tribune


What I found amazing on this episode is the lunch system in Mumbai, India.  Fresh home-cooked lunches are delivered to office workers every day; from their own home  usually.  What this article did not mention, and what Bourdain did cover, is the rate of mistakes.  Once, every three or four months, one lunch is miss-delivered.  Or, as Wikipedia says: there is one mistake in 6,000,000. Dabbawala – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   One mistake in 6,000,000.


Wow!  Picture that in most of America. Where, you are lucky to get the right order at McDonald’s on any given day.  Where, the Wal-Mart employees do not know how to make change without a register telling them.  Where, I will get the wrong mail, on average, once a week. 


Do these lunches actually stay warm during all of that travel?  The one they delivered to Bourdain appeared to be steaming. I believe the reason they do not just carry their lunches in themselves, is there is a very long commute involved. And, vegetables do not microwave all that well.  Or, perhaps it is just that home cooked quality means something in India.


My mother loves to eat out, so anytime I take her to town, we hit a restaurant. After sixty years of cooking for family, I can’t blame her.   This wrecks havoc on my diet, but mostly because I forget to order something that is good for me to eat.  It’s a habit I need to get into. We often do get thoroughly burnt toast or raw or burnt bacon (This reminds me of being home, actually!).  I rarely complain, but occasionally I point out that I do not like my toast black. Mother comes from a generation who thought that suffering was the way to Heaven, so she can get embarrassed when I complain.


My nearby town, Nashville, Indiana, had a Long John Silver’s for years. They closed it because, and this was stated in the paper, they could not get good help.  If their employees were delivering the Mumbai lunches, I would be able to get one delivered here, in America, purely by mistake because their employees did not know where the “special of the week” food was kept in the kitchen or how to prepare it.  Although, I’m not certain how much was the employees fault and how much blame lay with the management.


I do know that our country has low standards when it comes to employees because when I did temp work, in Wyoming, I had three different bosses say to me, “If my secretary ever quits, would you come work for me?”  In my head, I was screaming, “Well, fire her, you fool.”  Especially, since I was looking for a job at the time.  One of these secretaries did quit finally and I was called, but I was rehabbing a house in Indiana.  Once, I found two months medical billings in the bottom drawer of the desk of one office. 


So, why is it that America cannot have competent help? Yet, Mambai can deliver tens of thousands of lunches correctly.  Could it be that we are people who don’t give a flying fig? Like the shop employees, and owners, in this town who sit on the phone and continue to talk while you stand there with your purchase and cash, in hand.


I have no way to wrap this up.  To bring you full circle from where I started. I just do not understand how India can keep it’s values and in America we have people who insist on putting your change  ON TOP OF YOUR BILLS in your hand. What is that about?  Ever try to keep from dropping that change, while holding a bag and getting out of the next guy’s way? You know what is fun?  Let them put the receipt and bills in your hand and then pull your hand back before they get there with the change. Freaks them out. Especially if you just jerk that hand back and put your other hand out. They have no idea what to do. 



Yup! Real Bright Employees. Maybe it isn’t intelligence.  Maybe it’s just common sense that is lacking.



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Why I love Viggo Mortensen


What is it about stars that cause us, mere mortals, to feel we could love them? Actually, they are also mere mortals; just more visible and probably a heck of a lot wealthier. I think one thing is that they never show up to dump on us. They are so perfect from afar.


Okay, the obvious would be that Viggo Mortensen is absolutely hot and perfect. ‘Cause he is. However, I want to point out that I had no idea who Viggo Mortensen was until maybe a year ago. No, I do not live in an isolated cabin, on a remote mountain, as I have threatened to move to many times recently, and if you know of an empty one, I am still willing to move there.


Seriously, I really did not know who he was. Sure, I had seen the Amish movie he was in and vaguely remember thinking “that guy’s cute” and I had seen G.I. Jane and probably thought the same thing, I’m sure I did, but I really do not remember. And who didn’t think that Aragorn was absolutely fantastic. But, I never put together those roles as the same actor. No one said I was MENSA, you know.


My brother was, but I was several points below, enough that he would have known it was the same actor but I did not.


I am a writer and when I cast my novels, it helps me to visualize them by having photos on each individual character’s sheet. I have a character in my current project, who I had a description for but no photo yet. I was not in a hurry as there were other things to do and I did have a detailed description of him that was working for me.


One day, I am watching those second discs for Lord of the Rings I and III (I don’t own II yet – and does anyone want to explain to me just why it is that LOR II costs more than I and III put together?), and here is this soft spoken man being interviewed. It was Viggo Mortensen.


Next thought, “This is a soft spoken MAN. A MAN who is soft spoken … and gentle sounding and a MAN.”


Then, as I listened, I thought, “this guy fits my character.” So, I start to search for photos to put in my character sheet. The internet has more photos of Viggo Mortensen than a school yearbook has of students. Fortunately, for him, a lot of them are duplicates. Now, you can’t search for photos of Viggo Mortensen without finding interviews of him. So, I read them.


He cares about the world and he cares about people. He’s considerate, without pretense, sensitive and an artist and a musician, and he speaks up on the issues that are important to him, and the list goes on, including the fact that he has a girlfriend. 


Okay, so he’s only 99.9% perfect. The really weird thing though, was when I plugged his picture into my character chart, and I went to make corrections to my character’s features to make sure I did not make a mistake and say two different things about my character, the only thing I had to change was the color of his eyes. I had his features down in there already, without realizing who I was describing.


Sometimes I really wonder who lives in my brain.

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There doesn’t seem to be much humor in jealousy or envy. I know, because I have spent the morning doing my daily Google research on “humor in jealousy.” I did find one humorous blog post, by a cartoonist, at Humor Columns by Syndicated Writer Jason Love: Jealousy.

Jealousy seems to be a common trait. We all feel it at times; whether we are envious, of the amount of ice cream in our friend’s cone or hearing the whistle of your brother’s new train on Christmas morning. Yup! That was me, I heard that whistle and I wanted that train.

I have had my share of jealousy. Most notably: upon having a girl call me and tell me she was dating my boyfriend and me breaking up with him, despite his assurance it wasn’t true. I remember, with all the angst a fifteen year old can bring to an issue, walking away from him, in the high school cafeteria, thinking it was the worse mistake of my life.  I was wrong.

I have made far worse mistakes since and had I known that, I might have turned around and apologized to him for not trusting him. However, due to my mother’s past, there was a lot of growing up believing that men were not to be trusted. She had due cause for her feelings but it took me a long time to get over her past.

I think being a victim of it has helped. For some reason, I think it may be that sneaky KARMA guy, I have been a victim of weird jealousy more times than I care to think about. I mean, who is jealous of an aunt-in-law because she helps care for a grandmother-in-law?

The only person you are hurting with jealousy is yourself. If you can’t trust someone, you shouldn’t be with them. Jealousy eats you up inside and so does envy. And, it’s a bit ridiculous to be envious or jealous of your mate’s family.  You may not like them, you may even hate them, but hey, your mate probably feels the same way and, unless there is some really preverted thing going on with them, why would you be jealous? If you are jealous, who the heck are they going to complain to about their weird family than you?

My daughter-of-eleven was jealous from the time she was young and thought I loved her step-brother more than I loved her, then she was jealous of her sister and then of my bond with her own son. He was all of two and I cared for him. It was all a sign of something more serious, but I did not know it then.

So, now, I face yet another situation of extended family jealousy and I have just decided that, could I, I would pack up and move to California or Hawaii or Alaska or Idaho or anywhere remote and preferably warm (that let’s out Alaska and Idaho) and let them all hash it out without me.  So, I’m staying out of it. If anyone is that little and insecure, then I feel sorry for them but life is too darn short to fret over it.

Hey, if you can’t fix it, move on.  Aloha

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Daily Overview: August 22, 2008


January 20-February 18


You are starting to notice little peculiarities in something at work or at home that should be perfectly normal It’s a good time to investigate further, though you may need to keep things quiet.


Gaffer and girlfriend were packing and cleaning all night. They tried very hard to be quiet and I did get some sleep early on but they were scheduled to leave at 5am and , as morning drew closer sleeping was tough. Hugs all around, get back to sleep, alarm goes off to wake the three high school boys up. Usually, the EMT boy gets up early and I can just lay there and hear him moving around and go back to sleep; knowing he will wake the other two up.


This morning, silence, not a creature was stirring. So, I reach for the cell phone to call and wake him up. Isn’t that what a cell phone is for? Drats! Husband and I share cell phone and the cell phone is on its way to the airport. Get up, go downstairs, knock on all doors, go back up, fall asleep.


EMT boy comes up and says something in his “teenage” speed talk (I thought only girls spoke that fast). I wake up, he comes closer, repeats his mouth of marbles, and I knock over my water. He comes closer and repeats it for the third time. I understand it this time. I do not remember a word, but I know I understood it. Don’t THINK it is urgent.


Husband comes back from drive to the airport. In some odd world, he thinks I am awake and speaks to me. Wakes me up. He goes down to “take a nap.” I fall back asleep for last time, with the thought in my head that I am now the babysitter of little rabbit and he needs to get out of his travel cage and into the big cage.


I get up a bit later, shower, dress and tackle the rabbit situation. Big cage needs cleaning, BAD! I take it out to hose it down. Water pressure is miniscule. Finally get cage cleaned, papers and bedding down. Water, food and lettuce in bowls in big cage and rabbit in. But, during that process I find one of our many water leaks is under the kitchen sink.  Everything under the sink is wet and mildewed.


And, this is why, a few days later, when I went out to water and feed the garden and found the water pressure non-existent, and then hooked up to the faucet on the other end of the house,, at great personal exhaustion as hose was nearly buried, turned it on then, thought I should check it as a few years ago it had flooded my mother’s computer. And, it was supposedly fixed, AND I checked and a waterfall was soaking EMT Boy’s room, that I had a major temper tantrum about my husband never, ever, ever touching anything to do with water again.

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I always clean as I cook, which lately has been non-existent. It’s not that I mind cooking. I just made the worse deal of my life with my husband once and have paid for it for twenty-five years; he cooks, I clean.  Since I always cleaned as I cooked (soapy water in the sink, wash while you are waiting for something to boil, wash and reuse measuring stuff) I had no idea how much damage he could do just cooking a frozen pizza.


There have been times I have gone into the kitchen and thought he must have cooked for an army and had a bomb go off while he was doing so. This is akin to him doing the dishes and using the sprayer to rinse. Half the kitchen gets a bath. So, while he cooks, flour is everywhere and door knobs and anything he touches have gook on them.  


This would not be so bad if he even knew what a vegetable was or how to cook anything that is not fried. In fairness, he is trying to cook healthier food. He grills a lot, including pizza (Pizza is fantastic cooked on the grill by the way, but put foil on the shelf under it so the bottom doesn’t burn).


We also eat ground turkey instead of hamburger a lot now too. Don’t tell the boys they are eating turkey tacos, please. But, my husband has still failed to come face to face with a green vegetable, and fried potatoes are one of his major food groups. He bakes one for me.


Since he has COPD and about twenty other problems, he is becoming more and more tired as he ages (and the disease is aging him fast). When we go out with mom, they automatically sit him next to mom and give them both the senior discount.


He does not have the energy to stay in the kitchen, or near the grill and watch progress. This results in us eating a lot of either 1. Burnt food or 2. Raw food.  And, since his main cooking is of meat, I am amazed we haven’t gotten food poisoning. Perhaps the burnt pizza crust is actually an antidote for food poisoning. The government should study that.

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It really is incredible the things you find, or find out, when cleaning.

One of my favorite books is a mystery; Tell Me Lies, a novel by Jennifer Crusie. Any book that starts with “One hot August Thursday afternoon, Maddie Faraday reached under the front seat of her husband’s Cadillac and pulled out a pair of black lace bikini underpants. They weren’t hers.” Is gonna be good. And, I read it when it was labeled a mystery (which my copy is), not a romance. Of course my copy doesn’t have candy hearts on the cover. At least I don’t think it does, since it is one of the things I keep cleaning in the hopes of finding.

The scene I love in this book, and I am very much digressing because it has nothing to do with cleaning, is Maddie Faraday, going in and finding the only comfort food that is available to her is a centuries old brownie in her freezer.  I have gotten desperate enough to toast a marshmallow, with a steak knife, over the stove top but who thought of toasting a frozen brownie?  Brilliant!

Get on topic again, Sheryl.   —  Okay, I helped my parents clean out my aunt’s apartment, when she had to move into a nursing home. We found baggies and twist ties in every drawer. What we did not find was one single thing she had put in her will to leave to other people. I am hoping she had already passed on some of these items, to their new owners, long before.

When I was cleaning out some of my father’s things, after his death, I found a little tag on a string, like those you put on an item to price it. This tag, with my dad’s tiny scribble on it, lay at the bottom of a small box of assorted items, with bullets (yes, gun bullets) rattling around in the bottom. The tag read:

“Do not even think of looking for the gun.
I took it with.”

I am wondering how long that tag was in the box and why my paranoid father, even in his wildest dreams, ever thought a burglar would listen to this warning on a mini tag. Actually, why would he even take the time to read it?

Or–did my dad somehow find a way to actually take the gun with him, on his final journey? If so, I assure you, I would have taken a frozen brownie before I ever took a gun.

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I slept on the floor last night.  On the hard floor, that makes my hip ache.


Last time irritating Chihuahua acted weird, well weirder than usual, we had an earthquake.


To recap: she went out every ten minutes for two days, then she fretted and pawed at us and refused to get up on the couch (by the window), which is where I sleep.  Then, the earth shook.


For several days now, she has been weird. She’s running around and wants something and we cannot figure out what it is. Then, last night, right before bed, she is doing the “pawing at” thing and then refused to get up on the couch to sleep.


I was tired and I just wanted her to leave me be and so, I laid down on a blanket on the floor. It was not a restful night. 


After daylight, I decided to heck with her and I got into bed. Obviously, she isn’t dumb (well, not as dumb as me, anyway), and she joined me. I was awakened an hour later by an exploding bird.


Yup, that’s what I said, an exploding bird.


As I mentioned, there is a wall of windows by my couch/bed.  I’m not a big curtain person but I have hung things (snowflakes, ‘I love you’ gloves from granddaughters etc) in most of them as we are on four acres of trees and the reflections of the trees fool the birds and they bang their little brains into the window. Then, I feel bad.  Although, not as bad as the bird obviously.


The sound that woke me was not a bird hitting glass. It was an explosion right above me that shook my bed, not really rattling the window like a bird hitting glass, and when I looked out the window, I saw a rainfall of downy bird feathers pass my window.  The electricity enters the house at that point and apparently a bird had contact with it.


Chihuahua is fine now.


Apparently, she can foretell earthquakes and exploding birds.

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Sunday was always family day when I was growing up.

Once a month, we went to my grandma’s house in Kankakee, IL and visited my sister. The other Sundays were just usually church, then afternoon meal with the family and quiet.

Part of my family has returned, from their summer visit, to their home base in Santa Fe. I do have visiting rabbit though, as the airline was requiring $200 and a 3am call to the vet to fly her.  Apparently, the vet slip that got her out here is no longer valid.

Left at home is (from top and left to right)

Starkey, He needed a home and is a cool guy so another “son”,  and next to him is EMT boy.

Bottom row: JRockGuitarMan, and, now returned to Santa Fe are: Gaffer and girlfriend.

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Now that the rabbits are fighting back, irritating Chihuahua has a new quarry.




She never did this until we spent some time with my grand-dog, in Wyoming. This lab mix is a fly catcher. Chihuahua watched and has been trying to catch one ever sense. In four years, she has not caught one yet.


She will lie on the rug, which makes her feel she is hiding in another room. It is an open floor plan but the kitchen floor has flooring and the dining/front room has carpet. She lies on the rug, Spinx like, waiting for her pesky prey to fly low or land. The other day, the fly landed on her nose and she spit and shook her nose for fifteen minutes. Suddenly, she charges.


Nails drag across the floor as she slides in for the kill.


When she returns with her prey,


it is chicken from her dish.


She has yet to capture a fly. I think that would be hilarious because I doubt she would like the feel or taste of it in her mouth; unless it tastes like chicken. Doesn’t everything that isn’t pork or beef taste like chicken?


Here is her other prey; her favorite Taco Belle Dog


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