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Archive for September, 2008

It is time for a “Visiting Bunny” update.  I have given her a box, and moved her food to a corner she is happy with and, while she still likes to sit in her ceramic bowl, she no longer poops in it.  I tried to get a picture of bunny in a box, as she insists on putting the box on its end and peeping over the top but I have not caught it yet.  However, I believe I may have a money maker on eBay. 

Bunny has  torn a picture in the side of her box and, to me, it looks like an animal. I have highlighted it with a black circle.

Opening bid please!

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Master’s daughter always gives the greatest gifts. I have received a Japanese tea set, a miniature Stonehenge (we’re still waiting for a Scottish fellow to time travel through), a circular knitting sock kit, complete with a neat bag, and “The Aspiring Writer’s Journal.” 

Too bad she can’t give me a better memory, because I know there are more neat gifts, but I cannot remember them at this moment.  They are always a delight and a complete surprise, and will be again when I find what I have done with them.

 

So, my inspiration for today, (“Ahem! Ahem!” She cleared her throat.) is a page in the Writer’s Journal, she gave me.

 

The assignment is:—  Make up a story beginning with the following quotation-

“When Sleeping Beauty wakes up, she is almost fifty years old.”

 

I have changed the opening line, but the premise is there.

 

(Okay, I cannot believe I am going to embarrass myself this way, but what the heck?  Here it is, complete with errors in punctuation and dangling participles.)

~~~~~~~~~~~

  

Sleeping Beauty woke from her near eternal sleep and gasped for air.  My, how tight my corset doth feel.  Hands above her head, she stretched—and screamed.

 

 “Spots! What are these spots! There are brown spots on my hands and arms?”

 

Blankets flew as she surged to the mirror, her body half bent over. 

 

“Kricky!” she said, being a fan of British blogs.  “Oh my aching back! Heads will roll for not removing the peas under my mattress and, speaking of pees, I do believeth I am damp.  What, in blazes, goeth on?”

 

Lines stared back from the mirror.  These were the final insult as Sleeping Beauty, who was all of eighteen when she fell into her near eternal sleep, ‘twas now fifty.  She  lay sobbing into her pillow, for no handsome Prince would search for a wrinkled Sleeping Beauty, she feared.

 

In a far distant land by the sea, gallant Lord Viggo, some years younger but no longer a youth, lived. He could feel her sorrow and confusion.

 

“Hark!” He called. “I shall scry for the sound of sorrow I hear.”

 

And, scry, he did.

 

“She ‘tis a vision of loveliness to me.” He said as he peered into the water.  “A woman of wisdom and experience. No petulant youth need I put up with. And, her smile sets my heart free.”

 

‘Twas but a journey half way cross the land, to the woods where the beauty lay sleeping and where he dried her tears and they lay on the swing of her porch and watched the stars for a near eternal life.

THE END

 

I shall go and hideth my head under the pillow now.

 

 

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 I love Inside the Actors Studio .   Which, by the way, this website (the one I found) has not been updated since April of 2007.

 

At the end of every interview, James Lipton  asks the following questions, based on French television personality Bernard Pivot, after the Proust Questionnaire – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, which is actually much longer.

 

So, I get to play “pretend actor” and answer the questions today.

 

 

The ten questions Lipton asks are:

 

 

1.     What is your favorite word?   Knowledge

2.     What is your least favorite word?   Adjunct – just say it, it’s an ugly word and it’s an insulting term: “a thing added to something else, but secondary or not essential to it.”  I mean, no one wants to be considered “not essential.”

3.     What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?  Being out of doors/outside

4.     What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? narrow minded bigots (DEFINED: All Bigots are narrow minded.  But, all narrow minded people are not bigots. Either one turns me off.)

5.     What sound or noise do you love?   Musical Instruments and ‘ flat’ notes

6.     What sound or noise do you hate?    Complaining (Gosh, I should have eliminated all those posts about my move.)

7.     What is your favorite curse word?    Shit

8.     What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?   Classical Musician

9.     What profession would you not like to do?   Being stuck in an office.

10.    If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?   “You are so right.  I could never be that mean.”

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I absolutely, positively, hate air-conditioning.  Living with someone whose body temperature nears that of the temperature of the sun, and who has COPD and needs dried out air, you have to live with air-conditioning.  My husband’s claim to fame, aside from his renown for cooking stick-thin black fries, is that he keeps the air-conditioning up to a level that mosquitoes, frozen to the wall, become the decor.

I am usually up several hours before he is and I turn off the air and open the doors. This lets out the smell of garlic and onions that pervades the upstairs. When your body produces too many histamines, as his does, you tend to add too much of everything to whatever you are cooking. So, in the morning it is my time to breathe fresh air, without wearing a coat, when it is 80 degrees out.

I think humankind has reached a stage where our bodies are so used to the artificial temperatures created by air-conditioning that we can’t stand normal temperatures anymore.  People run from their air-conditioned cars to the overly air-conditioned restaurants. It’s not so bad in Indiana, but in Wyoming, I had to put on sweaters in restaurants and mom could barely stand it.  I  think their restaurants are attempting to make sure the food doesn’t get botulism before you eat it, so they refrigerate the entire restaurant.

Do you remember riding around town, when you were a teen, with the top down or the windows open, radio blaring? It was hot out, but hey, you were cool and who cared that other people didn’t like your music. Just try riding around now, on a hot day, with the windows down. You won’t make it twenty minutes in the heat and now the only music you hear is: Boom! Boom! Boom!

I would love to have the windows open at night too.  I love a night breeze, but this would mean breaking the windows, as most of them do not open and none of them have screens.  So, that is not an option.

The problem with the door being open in the morning, is irritating little Chihuahua has some weird fear of the open door. We think it has to do with her little body being caught in doors when she was young and sneaky and mom just couldn’t see her on the floor.  But, the dog will sit in the corner and cower when the doors are open. I figure she will get over it—

Eventually!!

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After much hassle and more money than I ever dreamt any move should cost, we closed on our house November 7, 2003.  I promise this will be the last house post for a while.

As rumor has it, the first owner lived in a trailer, while he built the basement and then moved into that. It had a low sloped peaked roof on it, and a bucket affair for a septic system.

The second owner then built the upstairs, without removing the original roof or replacing the bucket.  We have twelve inches of ceiling, roofing and flooring between the first and second floors.  It is very soundproof, except for the central stairway, and, there is no sneaking around in our house as it has the squeakiest floor on the planet.

We did, when spring broke, get a real septic system, paid for by escrow money.

When, the foundation was put in, there was no gravel added, so the side that is underground, is having wall seepage problems. Mom used to get little rivulets of water down the wall. We got a repair estimate and, ever since, I have been threatening to buy more shovels for our four strapping boy. They are strong and limber and I would not have to take the porch off if they got under there and dug it out.

We had twenty-two separate propane leaks to fix. After the fifth propane leak was found, I called the propane company out. They declared we were leak free.  That was sixteen leaks ago. One set of leaks was because the previous owner built a box around the propane line and then used a nail gun, not on the edges, but right on the middle, to nail the cover on; thus, nailing through the propane line; not once, but twice.  You never saw a disabled man move so fast in your life as when my husband pulled that cover off to check.

The plumbing is another constant battle.  Husband recently fixed the kitchen drain leak for the third time. And, the downstairs bathroom has so many leaks that our water bill has doubled and the bathroom is looking like a permanent site of remodeling.  As the last repair left a square cut out of the bathroom wall and the cut-out piece leans in place.

One leak that has been repaired previously, and he tells me it has “healed itself,” is by the water heater.  I go check and report that the bucket is overflowing again.  And, he says he thought it was fixed. Apparently, he is holding an invisible plumber hostage down there.

Then there is the infamous leak in EMT boy’s bedroom from an original leak that, when husband repaired it, it flooded my mother’s room, right above her computer.  Gaffer and I grabbed empty Rubbermaids and tried to catch the waterfall flowing above mom’s computer station. It was “Abbot and Costello meets Niagra Falls.”  I recently discovered, the hard way, that it is still leaking.  EMT boy’s room had to be dried out, yet again.

 
 

 

The house did not just come with problems either, some were created after we moved in. 
Husband had a good mind, at one time; I think that twenty years of COPD has caused oxygen deprivation, as most intelligent people do not check for propane leaks with a match.

I now have soot on the wall and a large hole from a fire he started in the wall behind the kitchen stove. He has also, when putting shrink wrap on a package (he shrinks my drawings) melted the carpet in one room.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it back home in Indiana. We have four acres and a pond (30 feet deep x 30 feet x 100 feet) and the boys ( we have four living with us now instead of one) use it all summer. Recently, they built a fire pit and use that constantly too. 

The wooded property is beautiful and, each morning I take a walk with Chihuahua, weed, pick vegetables and take pictures. The last thing I do at night is let Chihuahua out, and step outside to listen to the crickets and frogs, and spend a few minutes just staring at the stars and watching the tree tops sway.  

I think, if I lived in a tent, I would be very happy; colder maybe but dryer.

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Disabled husband and Gaffer arrive in Indiana first. He parks in the motel, where we have reserved a room for tomorrow’s closing (HAH!! That’s what he thinks, yet because his cell is not working real well).  He parks and hears a crash.  The back corner floor of the trailer he is pulling, which is loaded with mom’s stuff, just fell down.  It sort of broke out.  Fortunately, nothing inside broke.

 

They went into the motel and got in the pool.  Mom and I arrived later in the day.  I spent the time on the phone trying to deal with what we were going to do; calling, threatening, cajoling.

 

The next day we took everyone to see our “maybe” new home.  As always, it is much smaller than I imagined/hoped. It is truly like 1,100 square feet at most. The walk out basement is finished and fortunately we all agree mom will take it. 

 

She loves the pond out her front door and the trees and birds. She hated Wyoming and missed all the trees and birds that she had in Arkansas, before dad died.  

 

Irritating little Chihuahua jumps out of the van and gives a huge sigh and rolls over and does a Snoopy dog dance/wiggle on her back, in the grass. She has never had grass before; our last yard was sage brush.  We all sigh and get back in the van and start looking for a new house; just in case.

 

One week later: I have reached the point where I told our realtor that he needs to inform their realtor that I will be filing a law suit the next day for not informing us, on the disclosure papers, that there is no legal septic. Amazingly, suddenly we are able to close and the realtor stops to talk to us when we leave the closing. 

 

Keep in mind that I look way up at our big strapping young realtor and I am face to face with the seller’s older scrawny realtor.

 

“I will never work in Brown County again.” Our realtor says.  “The old brother network here is unbreakable and you have to belong to get anywhere.”

 

“I’m sorry I got you involved.” I tell him.

 

“Now that you are closed, I can tell you that he threatened to beat me up.” He says with apprehension in his posture.  “He seriously, called up my office and threatened to beat me up.”

 

“Nah,” I tell him.  “Our realtor can beat up their realtor any day.”

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THE MOST EXPENSE MOVE ON EARTH!

 

PICTURE THIS:

1.     House sells and you aren’t sure you want to but you are now stuck.

2.     Two weeks pass and you refuse inspections, thus begging out of the whole thing. Whew!

3.     And, way too good realtor hands you next offer. Shit!

4.     Not knowing why you accept it, you do and find that you have two weeks to move a 2,100 square foot house, of two households, with:

a.     Disabled husband

b.     Elderly mother (who has moved like three times in her life and wants to dust everything off before she packs it.)

c.      Gaffer (whose claim to strength is his PS2 thumbs)

d.     And me

5.     THEN, two days before closing, you rent the largest truck and the largest trailer they will rent.

6.     You begin to pack up way earlier than you think you need to (after all you have had a huge yard sale already and you are short on help).

7.     It is the end of October and THEN IT SNOWS. It just doesn’t send down some lazy flakes, it is an icy, dense, two and a half feet of snow, that:

a.     Makes the metal floor of the truck, which sits on a slope, like skating on ice

b.     Strands the trailer loaded with mom’s stuff in the middle of the yard

c.      Disables town, but never fearless realtor’s offices, and keeps even the day laborers at home.

8.     Thus causing:

a.     You to pay for an extra truck and a storage unit ‘cause it ain’t all gonna fit.

b.     You to purchase a new dolly, as the other one fell out the open door of the extra truck.

c.      You pay for two days of house rental because it just isn’t enough time

d.     You pay loan shark bribery rates to shut up the new owner’s mother-in-law who does not see this as an act of God, as she watches disabled husband and Gaffer trying to move a refrigerator through two and a half feet of heavy snow, when the moving truck would not come closer than one hundred feet to the house.

e.      Well, actually the money was also to shut her up because we left stuff. Not much inside, just some in a closet but a lot in my studio. A LOT!

9.     Finally, closing is over, our stuff is packed –Oh!, and the truck already broke down in the yard once, but, we are on the road, with the help of new home owner who pulled the trailer out of the yard and also came running after us to give us a photo left on the wall. We drive to a motel because we are all beat and need a place to collapse and cry.

10.                        We leave in the morning and:

a.     Disabled husband loses the $1,000 he has for gasoline.  After much searching and panic, he finds it laying in the muck of the parking lot (One for us, Ten for the evil ones)

b.     The motor home will not start and besides that problem, disabled husband burns up the starter trying to start it.  We transfer everything around. I now will drive the van and pull a trailer. We pay to have the motor home towed. 

c.      We leave everything that we needed first in the motor home, at the repair shop, in Casper, Wyoming, so that we will then have to replace all of Gaffer’s wardrobe, so he can go to school when we arrive in Indiana.  But, we are on our way back home to Indiana.

 

Then, the phone rings. We had been approved for our loan but, unbeknownst to us, the house was not approved for the loan and that call was our realtor telling us that our home was not approved by the mortgage company because:  are you ready??

 

IT DID NOT HAVE A SEPTIC SYSTEM.  It had something like a bucket buried in the ground. 

 

MY QUESTION: Shouldn’t somebody have noticed this a lot earlier in the story?

 

Continued tomorrow:

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I love the blog, A Mask to Hide Behind, which is now (June 2009) actually  A LIFE IN THE DAY OF ME.  In fact, I like it so well that it is currently one of only two Blogs I subscribe to. Of course, it may be they are the only ones who make it easy to figure out how to subscribe to and there are days when it comes in my email and later I click down my blog links and go, “Drat! I already read this one.” and I am disappointed that I have alrady had the experience.  So, I am not sure I like this subscribe thing.

 

But, the “girl behind the mask” writes in such a simple, direct manner, and her family gives her so much good material, that it has become my daily morning laugh.  After I am done laughing, I can let out that deep sigh and return to my family, saying, “They’re not all that bad.” 

 

 

Ah, but they are; just in their own way.

 

 

My mother for one: She is of a generation who does not sweat or swear or actually discuss any bodily functions.  Words like piddle and sugar are as bad a swear word as she gets. It is also wrong for a woman to have a temper. 

 

Now, my father had a temper that made up for her lack of one. Once, when they were newly married and living in a tiny house trailer, he got mad and kicked the wood stove. The stove leg broke, causing the stove to crash to the side and dump, the pipe came unhinged, and soot and ash covered everything.

 

 

“Do you feel better now?” Mom asked him.

 

 

“Yes, I do.” He replied.

 

 

“Then, clean it up yourself.”

 

 

(Honest: I am not sure of the conversation, as I was not born yet, but that is what I imagine the conversation to be.  Mind you, that is nowhere near what I would have said, as I grabbed my coat and car keys, but mom did not drive, and the conversation probably ended in her cleaning up the soot.)

 

Many years later, after the children were grown and gone and the “debates” raged in their house as to whether the sky was really blue, or whether it was a bird or a bear on the deck, or had the electric bill come or who actually put the tax forms in the dash of the car (and that was a good one too, as dad actually <when he found the forms in the dash> had to admit that he had done it, but belligerently he added, “Why did you let me do that?”

 

Thus, making it mom’s fault.

 

After all this, came a day when mother had enough of dad’s temper.

 

They were in the kitchen, when the shit hit the fan, so to speak (and she would never ever say that either).  Mother just had enough of dad’s yelling, and she took her hand and swept dishes and a box of Twinkies off the counter. 

 

As I understand it, the Twinkies flew across the room, hit a wall and bounced down the stairs.  Dad stood open mouthed at the hitherto unseen violence of mom’s actions and mom took off for the bedroom crying; not because she was mad at dad but because she had fallen so far that she committed a violent act like throwing the Twinkies.

 

Such an unladylike thing to do! Tisk! Tisk!

 

Later she would remark that temper serves no purpose, as besides having broken dishes, which also cut her leg, she now had a dirty box of Twinkies

 

“But, didn’t you feel better, Mom?” I asked when the story was relayed to me.

 

Head down and eyes up, she sheepishly replied a barely audible, “Yes, but I had to clean it up.”

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Yet another reason to hate VISTA

 

I understand that a company does customer research; or we hope they do, but certain Cola companies, as well as Wendy’s seem to just skip over that step.  And, in doing their research, let us say that Microsoft has found that their customers want them to use an icon for a key that holds the shut-down, sleep, hibernate modes.

 

You know there are a lot of things that could work for that, a shut eye, a pillow, a sleeping baby, a bunch of zzzzz’s, a hibernating bear.  I’m sure you can think of better ones, so what world do the Microsoft Designers live in where an arrow pointing right means “shut-down, go to sleep, hibernate.”

 

Granted, I may not be the smartest bulb around but I have, as I so often tell you, used computers since the KAYPRO.  And, it took us a while to actually find where they put the Shut-down, on the thing. Obviously, since it was nearly in the same spot, it should not have taken that long, but it did. It just wasn’t obvious.

 

When the personal computer came out, I think they wanted to encourage people and let them know that everyone could use it. Now, their goal seems to be to make you work for it. They want you to hire techs to show you how awesome their new version is. Hence, the idiot insulting commercial they play now; insinuating that all those new VISTA owners are only complaining because they cannot figure it out.

 

I envision Microsoft designers, sitting around, drinking Margaritas.

 

Designer #1 says, “Hey, you know what would be fun? Let’s move all those things that have become automatic for people and watch them fumble for months with their new computer.”

 

Designer #2 says, “Yeah, Dude, I love to watch those idiots screw up simple stuff.”

 

Designer #3, wakes up and goes, “Ya really want to mess with their minds?  Play with Sticky keys. They get so frustrated when they accidently turn them on.”

 

Designer #1 agrees, “Yeah, and put Help and Support so they can only access it from online.  They’ll hate that one.” 

 

Designer #2, “Okay, but we gotta find something that they can’t find when they need, like in Control Panel.”  He giggles and New Coke drizzles out his nose.

 

Designer #3, obviously the man with all the really GOOD ideas, “Yeah, that’s good, they’ll go to Control Panel and get confident they know what they’re doing and then they go to Accessibility Options and it’s not there.  Let’s rename it so they have to search for it.”

 

Designer #1, “I got it, rename it  EASE OF ACCESS CENTER.  Then it’s on a whole other row.

 

Designer #2, “Okay, but ya gotta change the icon too so they don’t find it right away.”

 

AND, in their brain dead state, they do all that and more and then insult me by telling me that I only need someone to show me how to use it.  I know the #%!% how to use it, it just doesn’t work.

 

JRockGuitarMan’s VISTA challenged computer was stuck on numeric lock for the alpha keys for three days.  Granted, I should have figured it out sooner.  It was really simple but I got stuck, myself, on the idea that it was a “Sticky Keys” issue, thus finding out that the only way to Access Help is by going on-line and that, for some unknown reason, they changed Accessibility Options to Ease of Accessibility, so the first time you go for it you have to search. 

 

Today, I realized his computer had a simple fix with the Fn key and the “Scroll/lock” key and now he can type normal again.  So many things do not work on VISTA, like any software I have or purchased right before I bought it, that I’m expecting everything to be difficult.  Shame on me!  Now, onto the next problem – why did his voice recognition quit working?

 

However, I, a died in the wool defender of Bill Gates and Microsoft for years, declare it officially now:      Microsoft VISTA STINKS!!

 

As if I did not know that already.

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I finally looked up meme. It was driving me nuts and I could never figure out its pronunciation and did not know its meaning. So, using my trusty  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, I found out that it was pronounced like gene.  Okay, now I know that and understand it is like a virus that spreads, replicating itself or dying out.  This meme is one at Half Full or Half Empty.  Actually, I found it first and then looked up meme.

WORD

 

You can only use one word to answer each of the questions.  No explanations.

  1. Yourself:  artistic
  2. Your Spouse:  talkative
  3. Your Hair:  wavy
  4. Your Mother:  Sweet
  5. Your Father:  deceased
  6. Your Favorite Item: Pencil 
  7. Your Second Favorite Item:  Camera   (Hey, there’s always a way)
  8. Your Dream Last Night: Unsatisfying
  9. Your Favorite Drink:  Baileys
  10. Your Dream Car:  Motorcycle
  11. The Room You Are In:  stuffy
  12. Your Ex: Good – Evil – Stupid (3 exes = they each get their own word)  
  13. Your Fear:  Landing
  14. What You Want To Be In Ten Years:  Published
  15. Who You Hung Out With Last Night:  Chihuahua
  16. What You Are Not:  Satisfied
  17. Muffins:  wholesome
  18. One of Your Wish List Items:  love
  19. Time:  Afternoon
  20. The Last Thing You Did:  Walk
  21. What You Are Wearing:  Jeans
  22. Your Favorite Weather:  Autumn
  23. Your Favorite Book:  Lots
  24. The Last Thing You Ate:  Tomato
  25. Your Life:  Quiet
  26. Your Mood:  Hopeful 
  27. Your Best Friend:  Gone
  28. What You’re Thinking About Right Now:  World
  29. Your Car:  Voyager
  30. What You Are Doing At The Moment:  Resting
  31. Your Summer:  Calm
  32. Your Relationship Status:  Caregiver
  33. What Is On Your TV:  CNN
  34. What Is The Weather Like:  Warm
  35. When Was The Last Time You Laughed:  Today

 

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