Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to Lighter Subjects

~~~Last Wednesday I ordered some Canadian money so I would have some in my pocket when I got there. I paid $109 to get $95. Where did that $14 go?

~~~My Sweetie took today off to spend extra time with me since I am going to Vancouver. Awwwww. Our plans for today are to mail THE BOX, see my daughter's new apartment, and catch the new Indiana Jones movie. After that, who knows? But we will have fun.

~~~My Sweetie has special advanced screening tickets for Kung Fu Panda for Saturday morning (it opens on the 6th) and is taking his niece (the one that spent the night with me) and his older nephew and I think that is very sweet.

~~~In my money planning for my Vancouver trip, I got the $95 I mentioned above and the rest in American Express Travelers checks and then for some reason (yesterday, Thursday) I freaked out and thought "OH NO! I didn't remember money for the airport here (beers and drinks) and on the plane (beers and drinks)! After thinkiing for almost 10 whole minutes, I realized, HEY! DUMMY! You can use a travelers check! Sometimes I amaze myself with my slowness. I mean I'll have some pocket money, but airport drinks and airplane drinks cost about $42 each, right?

~~~The weather here has been horrible! We have broken records for high lows all week and it's unbearably hot and muggy. "Heat Index" has become a common phrase. The temps are in the 90's and the heat index around 100. And did I mention muggy? Although the extended forecast for Vancouver is in the low 60's and upper 50's and lots of rain, I will LOVE it because I am BURNING UP!

~~~I am SO looking forward to my trip and making my first post here from Vancouver! I am thinking about doing a duet post with Josie in a chat style. I think that will be fun.

~~~TGIF everybody!

(~~~I forgot to mention the new picture. I took that Wednesday at the salon. The "grey collar" is a towel and the "black shirt" is that cape you put on to get your hair done. I was bored while Tyler was mixing my color and just held the camera up and took some pics.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Am a Very Bad Person

I am just trying to explain what happened. I make no excuses. There is no excuse. Lilly, our very small weird cat is not a people person and mostly keeps to herself. She's 11. Since we brought Maxie home Lilly has really kept to herself more than usual and has been at times impossible to find. As a result, I hadn't really noticed her in a while. Tuesday night she actually came up to me like she wanted to be petted, which is very rare. We were watching part two of the remake of "The Andromeda Strain," so I wasn't paying much attention and reached down to pet her and my hand touched something unpleasant. I asked My Sweetie to pause the show and I picked her up to inspect her and it was BAD. Apparently she has been scratching herself to death. I felt so bad I can't even explain it. I guess the word for it is neglect. And there is no excuse for that. I took her to the vet this morning and I could feel the judgement coming off in waves but I deserved it. If she had been a child in a comparable state, I'm sure C.P.S. would have been called. To make matters worse, I was just dropping her off because I had to go do Meals on Wheels and had two other appointments, so they probably thought I was worse than horrible. Around 3:00 they called me and told me they thought she was allergic to fleas, we discussed what to do regarding the other cats. They had already treated Lilly with Capstar and we decided we needed to give it to the other cats. And try to de-flea the house. So after my bank appointment and hair appointment, I picked up Lilly and just set her in her case in my bedroom. Then we vacuumed the whole house and let the other two cats out of the cat room. Then we stripped the whole cat room of everything cloth or carpet and swept, vacuumed and cleaned it. Then we had to give the other two cats the Capstar pill (and if you've never pilled a cat, you should know, it's quite the adventure). Finally we let Lilly out, gave her some time and then gave her her first prednisone pill. She has to have THREE a day for three days then one a day. Although she's the most skittish, she was the easiest. Maybe some tiny part of her tiny brain knew she needed it. Anyway it was a horrible day and I feel horrible. I will pay more attention to my cats from now on no matter what else I have going on in my life. And if you think I am a terrible person or a terrible pet owner, I don't blame you - but I promise to do better.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Vexing Box and a Million ?????s

If you've never rented a cottage at the beach in North Carolina, you may not know that it is not like staying in a hotel. You get the cottage, furniture, dishes and appliances, but you do not get any towels, linens or paper products. Even toilet paper. I guess most cottage renters are driving there and can fill up their cars with stuff, but we are flying there and can not. Fortunately, my Mom lives down there so I am going to mail a box of stuff. Part of the deal for this vacation is that we would have most meals "at home" meaning I will be cooking. Yet there is no food or spices or seasoning there. Buying all that stuff would cost as much as eating out, so I have been working on my box for some time. I have some great ideas to make things easy, such as pre-seasoning Bisquick in a large baggie for my "oven fried" drumsticks and a baggie of the shrimp boil seasoning that we love. Then there are extra Ziploc baggies, aluminum foil, towels, beach towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, dish cloths, etc. The thing is, I need to send this box this week. But I know, I just know, that as soon as I seal this box, I will think of something really important to put in it. This box is making me crazy.
My brain goes like this these days: What other seasonings do I put in the box? What am I going to wear on the plane to Vancouver? How should I price the bedroom set at my parents' house? Oh, wait I can't put the binoculars in the box, because I want to take them to Vancouver! Is $400 too much or too little for Mom's old computer? Will there be hand soap at the beach cottage? Are three pairs of shoes enough for my Vancouver trip? Should I go ahead and put my shampoo in the box? Are there special utensils I should put in the box? Scissors? How does Josie's trash/recycling work and what will we do with all my beer bottles/cans? Will the kid next door (that will be feeding my cats) throw a party in my house while we are at the beach? Why hasn't the realtor e-mailed me with some figures? How should I display the jewelry at the estate sale? Will Josie like my favorite movie? I need to buy some army men to play with on the beach with my nephew.
My brain is very full. I'm even working on a grocery list for my beach trip. My husband thinks I'm crazy but I keep insisiting that the more I do NOW, the less I have to do THEN. I guess my greatest concern right now is being able to NOT think about The House or the beach trip while I am in Vancouver. That, and leaving something important out of the box.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What Make Us Unique

When most people think about the differences among us, I believe most people immediately think about politics, religion, morals, tastes in music, art, and media, but I think what makes us most unique are our tastes in food. It always fascinates me how everyone has such different tastes and how everyone has their own odd little idiosyncrasies when it comes to food. Russell was talking about apples on his blog and just a simple thing like apples got such varied responses. I didn't leave a comment on that particular post, but I don't like apple pie because I don't like any pie at all. I've never cared for pie of any sort. The closest things to pie that I like are cheescake and quiche. Oh, and Key Lime Pie, which I think is really a form of cheesecake, but I'm not sure. Since bloggers seem to like the wierdnesses of their fellow bloggers, here are some of my food ones:
I do not like mushrooms. I claim to love Italian food, but if you go to an Italian restaurant, 85% of the dishes on the menu probably have mushrooms in them. So in reality, I should probably say that I love Italian food that does not include mushrooms. I'll eat some things that have mushrooms and just pick around them like beef stroganoff and some schnitzels, but I do not want to have any mushroom in my actual mouth. Ick.
I'm weird about onions. I cook with onions all the time. I like onion rings, especially the really thin strings and I LOVE carmelized onions, but raw onions? If a tiny, tiny chip of raw onion fell into the lettuce of my sandwich from a sandwich shop, I will totally lose my appetite. I despise raw onions.
Sushi. Almost everyone I know raves about sushi but I have absolutely no interest in trying it. I don't even like to LOOK AT IT. I find it extremely repulsive. Part of that could be because of the time I inspected the Japanese restaurant when I was selling pest control contracts, but I don't know. I just know I don't want to be around sushi. ick.
I don't really care for sweets at all. People always seem shocked at the treats I turn down. I can eat a bite or two of cheesecake, but not a whole slice. I don't want a cookie or pie or cake or a candy bar. I do like hard tangy candy like tangerine or lemon sours.
The most popular American foods like cheeseburgers and pizza? I only like them if I haven't had them for a long time. Like MONTHS. I can't even imagine having a pizza or cheeseburger twice in one week. Ick.
I've heard of people that eat the same thing every day, like cereal for breakfast, or something like that. I could never eat the same thing every day. Well yeah, sure, if it was that or starve, but having a choice, I could never eat the same thing every day. But I think our food tastes make us more unique than anything. I bet money it would be easier to find someone with my exact political and religious beliefs than it would be to find someone who had my exact tastes in food. What do you think?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vancouver, Take Cover, Here I Come!

My Vancouver trip is just around the corner (June 1st!) and I am very excited. Although I am meeting the realtor at The House tomorrow (Saturday) I've decided to not think about that too much right now. My brain has been like a big twirly thing for several days. I'm either thinking about the estate sale, simple dinners to cook for my beach trip or what I'm going to wear in Vancouver. I've decided to give the swirly twirly parts of my brain a break and just think about what to pack for Vancouver. We have a pretty loose schedule at this point and I like that. Josie told me about a bar that's just a few blocks away so I can go there and be "weird tourist" and give her a break, as she and I are both quite used to having our alone time. I'm the type that will be a "regular" at that bar after just one visit. They will be both sad and relieved at the end of my visit! We have some Monday night plans that I think will be especially fun. And at some point I'm going to ride on a big boat (a ferry). I bought an outfit just to wear on the boat, because I'm weird like that. I'm also really looking forward to just hanging out in Josie's treehouse listening to music, chatting and watching fun movies.
My Sweetie is so cute. He not only has Monday off for Memorial Day, but he is taking next Friday off as well to spend an extra day with me before my trip.
I know most other countries think Americans are loud, rude and obnoxious, but I'm going to make a point of saying I'm from Texas because that's even worse and won't make the rest of America look so bad. And anyway, I prefer the word "exuberant." And I prefer the second definition!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Good The Bad The Ugly and the Yummy

One of the poorer clients that I have have this sign hanging next to their door. It's an older lady and a lady about my age. I do not know if they are related. Their house is in terrible shape and the younger lady said something to me that I will never forget. I guess it was the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. I think I apologized for being late or being short on rolls or whatever, and she said, "It's okay. Bless you. If it weren't for you we would have had nothing to eat on Thanksgiving." That really touched me and made me sad. The fact that this sign hangs by their front door really says something about the tenacity of the human spirit. Also there are a few flower pots around the front door that have been well tended. I like that.

This mailbox is next door to some new people that I have. This is one of those "of two minds" things. One brain says, "Gross how tacky and dorky!" The other brain says, "Well isn't that sweet?!" (If I had a third brain it would say, "Clean your windshield.")

I saw this horse right by this busy intersection and it seemed really weird. There was a brown one over to the right. Why are these horses in the middle of stuff?

This guy in the construction tractor truck thing? Oh. My. God. He sat there waiting to turn left for two and a half years. I needed to turn left. He was in my way. I was starting to go insane. All I can figure is in his mind he needed no cars to be over there for 700 miles. I was yelling "GO!!" "TURN!!" Like even if he were super slow and a car came up, they're not going to run into him, it's a giant construction vehicle!!

This was sitting out by Myriam's house. I just had to take a picture of that because I knew someone (you know who you are) would get a kick out of it and no, and you know who you are, it's not who you think.Speaking of toilets, this sign made me laugh. This is the restroom of my dive place that I have two beers at every Wednesday. I love the "over Flow."

While I was eating lunch I was watching the Champions League showdown between Manchester United and Chelsea. And I fell madly in love, crazy head-over-heels for Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United. What a cutie!! And he's a CANADIAN! He's 27 and from Calgary. He's so cute!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This and That

American Idol: I'm thinking about writing the producers of "American Idol" and suggesting they buy the rights to "The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing for the last two contestants to end the show every year. They are already buddies with Jennifer Warnes and the words totally fit and everybody loves this feelgood song.

Amy: I had a great talk with Amy the realtor today (she found this house for us) about the sale of my parents' house. We are going to do cross-promotion. I will have her card and flyers at the estate sale and she will mention the estate sale on her website. She's going to meet me at the house on Thursday for a walk through. She was thanking me for calling her and I said, "Hey, those Christmas cards you sent every year finally paid off!"

Andy: Andy is the guy that did my shower. He'll be here tomorrow to fix that spot that Mrs. Brisby chewed out and two other spots in our soffits. I also asked him if he would go to the P's house and give me an estimate on the master bathroom. My step-dad said he wants to sale the house as is, but Amy and I think the buyers will be first time buyers, so I had the idea to hang the estimate for that bathroom re-do and also give the buyer a resource, plus give Andy some money. Andy has been my go-to guy for everything. He's the guy that gave me the name of the lady that hung my mural. He has suggested plumbers and even led me to the remover dude of Mrs. Brisby. Andy rocks!

Neighbors: You all saw that picture of the new stand for the TV in here. Well it wasn't set up for electronics. I wanted to hook up our old X-Box to the TV so I could watch DVDs while I walk on the treadmill. I called Carole and asked if they had a hole saw except I didn't say that because I didn't know it was called a "hole saw" until I talked to her husband. I asked if they had one of those drill bits that make a hole that a plug can go through because I'm technical like that. When he said "hole saw" I was all, "No, no, I don't want to use a saw, I want to use my drill!" I imagine he thinks i'm a little slow, but that's okay because I am. Carole is so sweet, she actually brought it to me. I think I am getting over my "Avoid neighbors at all costs" policy. Yeah, I had some bad experiences in the past. That could be a whole post. Not this neighborhood though, those were my last two houses. Anyway, it's all hooked up and working so THANKS Carole!

White denim shorts: I had posted that I wanted some basic simple white denim shorts and sweet Jeanette left a comment with a link to Newport News. I ordered the shorts (they should be here any minute!) and I could swear, SWEAR! that I unclicked the box that said something like: YES! Please send me e-mails every day about everything! Seriously, I know I unclicked that box. But now I get an e-mail from them every. single. day. Not only that but they called and woke me up at like 10:00 (I didn't answer) and then called the next day to try to sell me some sort of membership for a bunch of discounts for $25 a year. Here's what I said after listening to her 4 minute shpiel (and I was hardly paying attention - I was sitting outside on a nice day drinking a beer), "Yeah, I wouldn't need that. I just bought all the clothes I will need for two years." Obviously this was a new one, because she went dead silent and then told me to have a nice day. I get such a kick out of saying random things to phone solicitors. And no, Jeanette, this is not a dig. I thank you for finding the shorts for me!

Blogging: I know a lot of people have said that they need breaks from blogging and start to think of it as a job, but I've never felt that way. I don't post every day and never felt the need to. I've been kinda stressed the last few days with all the stuff going on, but right now I feel more relaxed than I've felt in several days. I think blogging should be a stress reliever. It is for me, anyway.

And that's all I have to say about this and that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Stuff, New Responsibilites

Man we worked our tushies off this weekend. We went over to Mom's to get the new bed and hang out with them on their last day here. We ended up working almost non-stop for 4 hours. Mom kept asking me, "Would someone buy this?" I don't think the woman has been to a yard sale in her life. She was asking me that about picture frames and candles and all sorts of other stuff. I even fished out an inexpensive clear oval frame that she'd thrown in the trash. I said, "Mom, someone will buy that for a dime." While I was there I decided to look for something to replace our old cheap particle board TV stand that's here in the computer room. I bought this thing in 1995. It's the sort of thing that comes in a big flat box and you put it together. I remember it took My Sweetie and me what seemed like forever to put it together. We had just moved in together (I first just typed "into gether" and it made me laugh, I don't know why) and were in a hurry to fill up our great big rent house, so we weren't being too picky. Actually it wasn't that bad for 1995. As you can see, the bottom drawers went all askew over time. (I took this after I cleaned all the stuff out.)
I found this dresser type thing in one of Mom's guest rooms and I knew it was perfect. It's smaller than that other thing but actually has more storage, AND the TV is 13 inches higher which is great because it is in front of my treadmill and I never could see the bottom of the screen without leaning over the "dashboard" or whatever it's called. (That's part of the treadmill in the first picture.)
We took the three doors off the old stand and added it to the other random things in the cat room. They seem to like it. Maxie, the inherited cat, sleeps in that little round thing (the opening is around back to give him a sense of privacy.) As you can see, Lilly likes it.
Well, we did all of this on Saturday. Today, we took apart our old bed and assembled the new bed. I LOVE it. It is very tall. We used two box springs along with the new mattress, so the sleeping surface is 34 inches above the floor. That's a king-sized bedspread on a queen bed!

And below is the mirror that matches the bed. As I mentioned before, my parents just decided to sell the house. They were originally coming here to meet with their accountant to do my stepdad's business taxes for the last time, and then when things went a little off about the arrangement with my daughter living there, they decided to sell. I don't know why they didn't take their time here, but Stepdad just had to get back. And they are retired. So, Saturday was very hectic as they were leaving Sunday morning. Every 15 minutes one of them would call me from another room and say things like, "This is where all of the appliance manuals are." or "Here are extra copies of all the house keys." I thought a lot of it was funny because I am going to be the one doing the estate sale and emptying the house. I mean, I will find everything. I'm even going to be doing all the dealing with the realtor. I have a lot of it organized in my head, but my daughter is moving out the day I go to Vancouver (the 1st of June) and I will be there until the 6th and then I will be in North Carolina from the 14th until the 21st. Because the house has a pool, we want to get it on the market as soon as possible, but realistically I think it will be the second week of July. I hope to have the estate sale on the 28th and 29th of June. That gives me one week between vacations and one week after my second vacation. I will be very busy for a while it seems. I think in July I'll probably need another vacation.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Of Two Minds and Fish Eggs

I had this whole post in my head about always being of two minds and my first thing was about a thought I had the other night. I had used the hot glue gun that day and I don't use it very often, and I suddenly thought, "They should make colored glue sticks. Wow! I'm a genius!" Then about 17 seconds later my other brain part that always argues with the first one said, "No. That would be stupid." Usually Brain 2 is the logical part, but in this case Brain 2 was wrong. When I googled "glue gun" to get a picture (and I was going to colorize some of the sticks!) I found this picture. If you think the colors are a little odd, the reason for their colors is odder. These are for fisherman to make fake fish egg beads for their hooks. I kid you not. Who knew? So, in this instance Brain 2 was wrong, and Brain 1, of the crazy ideas, was actually onto something, although a bit late.
There's a local commercial for ABC Pest Control that shows the owner of the company standing in his driveway with a few little kids. He's waving over at his house yakking about, I don't know, that it's pest-free or something. The commercial ends with him gesturing toward his kids and saying, "These are the only pests we allow in our house!" Well Brain 1 said, "That's Appalling!" whereas Brain 2 said, "No, that's wickedly funny!" I guess that's really an opinion for both brains, so there is no winner on that one.
Sometimes Brain 1 and Brain 2 just can't reach an agreement. This is bad when it comes to any matter of public discussion, because if someone asks my opinion on it, I can't say, "We haven't decided yet." That would be creepy. And yet, I have a disdain for people with NO opinions, so it's a Catch 22. I think. I should look that up. I think what happens is, I think with both my left and right brain and they are not always on the same page. This would explain a lot, like that time last month when my left foot gouged my right foot. And I used to trip on my own feet a lot as a child. I am able to clap my hands at least, but juggling is as foreign to my brain (brains?) as being able to walk through walls.
Tonight My Sweetie brought home one of those little roasted chickens that you find in the grocery deli section. It was steaming in it's little chicken shaped container but I like crispy skin. I decided to brush some olive oil on it and put it in the oven on 400 for about 12 minutes. I usually pour olive oil in a little dish and then brush it onto things, but I decided to drizzle the oil with my left hand and brush with my right. It was really funny. The drizzling and brushing were not coordinated at all. I think two different people (one drizzling, one brushing) would have done a better job. I was laughing to myself thinking, "What's going on here? This is all being done by the same brain!" But now I'm starting to wonder. I think we both agree on that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tails, Feet and Etageres

My parents are here for a short visit to take care of some business. My daughter had been "house-sitting" for them for about a year and they decided they either wanted to start charging her rent or sell the house. Somehow, I've turned into some sort of middleman or as I like to think, "The Peacekeeper." I guess she is moving out although they don't know that yet, so my step-dad, the packrat is going to have face all his "stuff." Or they will have to leave it up to me to get rid of it. (And I can do that. I'm not a yard sale junkie like some people, but I've done two big estate sales and made out like gangbusters.) They had already asked me to take care of selling some office furniture. I took pictures today and all the measurements. I also went "free-shopping." I almost filled my little truck with stuff. Lots of good stuff. An etagere, vases, candles, special pictures, pots (the flower outdoor type), plant stands and various knick-knacks. That was fun. I'm also going back for a green metal frame bed with hardly touched mattresses. That's going to be great because my mattresses are almost 10 years old and that's too old for me. And I was finally ready for a headboard. (I've never like headboards. I have no idea why.) And it's GREEN! All of the main rooms in my house are green themed. They are also giving us this awesome piece for our garage, which I can't explain and will take a picture of after we set it up. That also means we will have to clean out our garage, which we were doing every year and by "were," I mean were. Oh and there's a matching full-length mirror on a stand type thing, the kind that swivels, to go with the bed. (Now how do I know the word etagere, and not know what those mirrors are called?) As sweet as the new bed will be, the very best thing I got was this:

That's a picture my Dad had made for my Mom back in the 70's. He took a a tiny grainy photo booth type picture (which I have, but my scanner is sucking these days) of my Mom, when she was just a tot, to Olan Mills or whoever and they did this. Pretty impressive for the 70's. I bet it was a lot of work! I've always loved it and when Mom gave it to me, I teared up a bit and we hugged. Oh, did I mention I haven't seen Mom since October? They are going back in a few days, but I get to see her in June, so that's cool.


Besides seeing Mom, getting that picture, and getting all the other cool stuff, the highlight of my day was seeing Maxie:

As a surprise for my Mom, my daughter got Maxie a "lion cut" haircut. Maxie had only been shorn once and it was done by the vet and they aenesthisized him, so Mom never had it done again. After Naomi posted about her cat's cut, just by coincidence my daughter found someone that does not drug the cat. Which is very good, because with my daughter moving out of Mom's house, I will inherit Maxie, who usually looks like this:

And seriously, that's just too much cat hair to have in my house. And yes, that IS the same cat. I guess there will be a lot going on here for the next several months, but with my two vacations coming up, I will not be able to do much about their house until I get back from the second vacation except put the office furniture on Craig's List. Also there is something wrong with my foot and it is not the foot I've broken twice. I don't understand how I get injuries without actually injuring myself. I was sitting in the chair watching "Wheel of Fortune," and got up to get a beer and said, "Ouch!" That's it. No flipping it, hitting it on something, twisting, nothing. Just ouch. And it is getting worse. I finally decided tonight to wrap it in an ace bandage and that feels better. Sort of. If it doesn't feel better over the weekend, I'll call the doctor, because I am finally starting to learn my lesson about that. And I have two big vacations coming up!


Since I cut off Maxie's tail in that first picture, here it is. hee hee:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Great Mother's Day Weekend

I had a very nice weekend. Sunday morning after I woke up, I was lying in bed and thought, "I want Kate to take me to Grapevine Mills." That's the same mall that I visited last December that had the creepy robot Santa thing. We had not made any plans at all except that she was going to stop by during the afternoon, so I didn't even know if she was available for that, but I called and she was game. As we were getting out of the truck, her shirt was up a little and I noticed she had a tramp stamp. I was so relieved to find out it was just a henna tattoo that she had gotten at Scarborough Faire and not a real tattoo! My excuse to go to the mall was to look for some plain white denim shorts. I haven't been able to find any this year. I know! It seems like a simple request. Although we did run into several stores at the end of our visit to the mall, we pretty much spent the bulk of the afternoon in the Rainforest Cafe drinking and chatting.
That's me posing with the lizard. When I handed my daughter the camera, she was all, "People will think we're tourists!" So? I don't care what hundreds of random strangers think. I'm a blogger and I like to take pictures!

The Rainforest Cafe has barstools that are all animal feet and I ended up on the duck, so I wanted a picture of myself with duck feet. Or maybe it's an ostrich. Who knows? Anyway we had a really nice and relaxing time just gabbing about all sorts of stuff. I also talked to my brother this weekend. I haven't said a lot about him here, but we've been somewhat estranged for a long time. We spoke on Saturday for a long time and for a short time on Sunday. It was the best conversation we've had in years and it felt like the good old days. He is planning to bring my nephews to visit us while we are at the beach in North Carolina in June and I am actually looking forward to it. I spoke to my 12-year-old nephew and told him that we can build an army man fort on the beach. That should be fun. I had sent him books for Christmas and one was a biography of the Wright brothers. He had obviously read it and enjoyed it because he was telling me all about the Wright brothers. I thought that was great. He told me he loved to read. And THAT really is great. The older nephew is working and going to college. He is 19 and wants to be an architect. I think he will be a great one. He's also a hottie. I imagine he will be very successful in life. I'm looking forward to having so much family around in June. My parents will be there, my daughter, my brother's family, Lo and hopefully a few more old friends. I've enjoyed thinking about my Vancouver trip and my beach trip and I have lots of fun to look forward to. It really was a nice weekend.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Harmonica, Friends, & the answer

I've mentioned before that My Sweetie gets weird random stuff as "perks" through his job. Well, the other day he came home with a harmonica. He's really into playing with it, and it's okay, because unlike a guitar or a piano, you can't really hit an off note with a harmonica. Well it made me want to find my harmonica. I've been looking for it for several years. When I was about 19, my Bestest Buddy Bill gave me his old harmonica. My Dad had married a piano player and she had all sorts of songbooks and I found a little book that had the theme from "Mash." I spent weeks working on it and finally learned how to play it. One weekend, my Step-mom's youngest daughters spent the night with us and I showed R my harmonica. R has Down's Syndrome and I thought she would like it and I was right. She fell in love with that harmonica. I was happy that I had made her happy and time passed and one day I was looking for my harmonica and couldn't find it. Then I remembered that the last time I had seen it was that night I had let R play with it. I remember asking my step-mom about it and asked her if she could call R (my step-mom's kids lived with their dad) and ask her where it was. Well, that was awfully silly of me, but I was only 19 or so and didn't really have a grasp of what Down's Syndrome was all about. Besides, R was only about 5 and kinda seemed like a 5-year-old to me.
My bedroom had a whole wall of sliding door closets. Two sets of two doors. And I was 19, so my closets were a mess. One day, about 4 months later, in the back of the right closet I found a large lady's purse and figured it was my step-mom's. I was wondering how it got in there and picked it up, looked inside and there was my harmonica! I was pretty good about keeping up with it after that and I've moved a million times. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I've move A LOT and if I haven't posted about that, I should. But anyway, tonight I was looking for my harmonica again and I was looking in this one place where I keep old stuff and I found this maybe 5" x 8" zippered wallety organizery thing that had all sorts of weird random stuff in it and I found this old picture of me and Lo and I think it's probably the best picture of the both of us that I've ever seen.

Once I saw the word "Ra" in the background, I knew we were sitting at the Nile Bar at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Judging by my thinness and haircut, I believe this was taken in 1999. That was our first trip. That's one of the good things about always changing my hairstyles - it makes it easier to guess dates in old pictures. In case anyone doesn't know the history of Lo and Me, we had met once for about 20 minutes at my Dad's house while he was napping in his recliner and then we smoked together by the bar at my Dad's retirement party (and she also drove us there). She was very helpful that next week, because my Dad died at his retirement party and I was staying at his house working on funeral arrangements and stuff with my brother. This was October 1998. In May or June of 1999, I was still suffering from post-traumatic stress from Dad's death and DREADING the anniversary of his death, so I called Lo and told her how I felt and asked if she'd like a trip to Vegas for that week. We didn't really know each other, but she had known Dad for years - she was a neighbor, and had been so helpful after his death, it just seemed like a good idea to me. We have a 14 year age difference, but I didn't even think about that. She flew into DFW and we flew together to Vegas and made a memory to last forever. It was just the beginning of many trips and a very long friendship. We e-mail every Monday thru Friday (she only has e-mail at work like Jazz) and talk on the phone a lot. I will get to see her in June at the N.C. beach cottage, and it's sort of our 10th anniversary.
I guess my trip to Vancouver in just 3 weeks has made me think about this a lot, because Josie and I will be meeting up and vacationing together as sort of unknowns like Lo and me were almost ten years ago. I feel like Josie and I will also have that great fun connection and I will have another lifelong friend. Many people have been rather skeptic about my Vancouver trip and say things like, "You're going to CANADA to stay with this blogger person that you've never met?!?" And all I can think about when they say this is "10 years ago I went to Vegas with an almost stranger and I have made a friend for life." I expect to have a GRAND time in Vancouver and I also expect to find my harmonica in the next few days. I think I know where it might be.


Here's the answer to the picture puzzle. I think Naomi is better suited at this than I am, so I don't think I'll do this again and I'll just enjoy trying my luck with her:

Friday, May 09, 2008

Picture Puzzle

I am way too tired to post about Unusual Thursday, but I'll get to it later. Thanks to Naomi for the Bill Moyers link! Speaking of Naomi, she did a fun picture puzzle like Games Magazine has sometimes where the photo is a close-up of a common object and you have to guess what it is. She did a seashell and a cactus flower. I thought it was a lot of fun. Here's one if you feel like guessing:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Woke Up Crabby

I woke up crabby today and that's pretty rare for me. First of all, I get to sleep until I wake up about 82% of my days, so of course, I generally wake up all happy and refreshed. And because I so rarely wake up crabby, I spent most of my day trying to figure out why I was so crabby. It began normally. My Sweetie always kisses me goodbye and I wake up and say something weird and random and we both laugh. Today when he kissed me, I think I said, "Yay!" Imagine someone kissing you in the middle of the night, because when he leaves I have usually only been asleep 4 or 5 hours. This morning it was 4. I curled back up in my cozy covers with a smile thinking, "Yay? That's a new one." Then I heard thunder. And then there was lightning, the kind you can see through your eyelids, and more thunder and it got brighter and louder and one was so close I think I kinda popped up off the bed about an inch. I finally dozed back off and then the phone rang. I hate when the phone rings when I'm asleep. When you go to bed at 4:00 a.m. and the phone rings at 9:15, that's like if you went to bed at 11:00 p.m. and the phone rings at 4:15 in the morning. It's not pleasant. I always roll over and look at the caller ID and if it's not one of about 5 people, I don't answer it. So I went back to sleep. Then the phone rang again at 12:15 and that was sort of okay, because that's about when I get up, but I didn't want to be awakened by a phone ringing. Again. I got up and turned on the news to see the weather and they were predicting dire weather for tomorrow at noon, which is right in the middle of my delivery time. I don't mind driving around in the rain, because after all, I got my license in North Carolina where it pretty much rains 3 or 4 days a week, but I DO NOT like to drive around in the lightning and thunder. So maybe I was crabby thinking about that. I dont know what it was, exactly, but I feel I should apologize to a friend that I felt I was crabby with.
When My Sweetie got home from work, I told him I had been crabby all day and couldn't figure out why. He asked, "Menopause?" I responded, "Mental Paws?" and made funny paws and then I laughed and I felt fine after that. Mental Paws. That's probably it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Picture Post

Well I had a really great time today and was going to talk about it and then I found out my horse Eight Belles was euthanized after the race at Churchill Downs and decided out of respect to this sweet little filly not to talk about my horse racing fun today. Also I had three different fun picture posts built up, so I thought I would put them together. That first one is the Andy Warhol thing that Josie had. I used an old cheesecake picture of myself that was taken in New Orleans in the very early 90's. It was my first trip to New Orleans and pre-internet, so I did it the old-fashioned way: I called the Chamber of Commerce and asked them to send me information. I was with my second husband at the time and he was a real penny pincher, so we stayed at The Old World Inn. And it really was almost like a European hostel. No phone or TV and there was only a locked door between our bathroom and the bathroom of the two gassy Dutch guys. Ick. But that's where I met my buddy Billy (at the Inn not in the bathroom) from Essex and we exchanged Christmas cards for several years.

This is one that Ticknart had in January called "First Album" and I did it that day but I have no idea where I saved the picture, so I redid it tonight. The rules of making your first album cover are on this post.

Lastly, Happy Downtowner tagged me a month ago for this Make a Wish thing that you can find here. So "I Wish I Knew Everything" is MY wish and I guess I should explain it: If I knew EVERYTHING, I could cure all diseases, solve all the world's problems and make millions of dollars telling people how Marilyn Monroe died, who killed JFK, who really wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and what happened to Amelia Earhart.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Just Doing My Part

I've decided to be patriotic and go out and blow some of my big government bribe economic incentive money by going to the horse races at Lone Star Park on Saturday. Saturday is also the day of the Kentucky Derby, or as all writers and various and sundry other sportsy people like to call it: the greatest 2 minutes in sports! We watch it on TV every year and my pick came in second last year and my pick won the two years before that and I always say, "Damn! I wish I had bet money on that!" (In case you are unfamiliar with horse racing, the Derby will be simulcast at Lone Star Park and you can bet on it there.) So this year I will put my money where my mouth is, and I mean that literally because I think the beer there is about $5. (The good thing about that is there is never a long line.) Also they are predicting Saturday to be sunny and about 72 degrees. But this is Texas, and it may be 90. I hope they got this one right though, because I want to do the outdoor seating. We haven't been in a few years, but when we used to go more often, we always splurged and got counter or box seats upstairs. And if the weather was great, I'd be a bit jealous of all the people milling around outside down there on the ground, not to mention the sound of the pounding hooves and getting to see the horses up close.


As most gamblers are, I'm very superstitious and my lucky number is 8. This year the first filly in a decade to make it to the Kentucky Derby is named Eight Belles. I see this as a sign and she is currently at 15:1 so the payoff would be great! I will also bet on horse #8: Visonaire to Win, Place or Show (and the jockey for this horse is wearing green which is my lucky color), so if you happen to watch the Derby on Saturday and have no personal vested interest, pull for horse #5. If I have already won money on the live races by then, I think I'll also bet on #9 Pyro or maybe do a trifecta with those three horses. Anyway, I hope the weather is great. I know we'll have lots of fun and I will take a bunch of pictures. And I will feel so good about stimulating the economy.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Bought Man Shoes

I needed some comfy summer walking around shoes, which sounds kinda stupid now that I think about it. Walking around shoes? What else are you going to do with shoes? Anyway, I have these really dorky looking Fred Flintstone feet and after trying on lots of cute girly sandals, I was getting kinda depressed. As I was standing there getting kinda depressed, I glanced to my left and saw some black slip on shoes that looked really cozy and then realized I was looking at the men's shoes. I thought, "Why do the men get such comfy shoes and we don't?" Then I decided to try a small men's size on. They felt so nice, I also tried on some brown leather sandals. I loved them both. I bought Man Shoes! Both are Dr. Scholls brand. They are the most comfortable shoes ever! I guess if I never told anyone, they would never know, so don't tell anyone.

I had a great drink today. It's called a "Tropical Paradise" and it was. Isn't it pretty? I left the guy in the picture because I didn't notice him when I was taking it and it's obvious he's thinking, "Why is that strange lady taking a picture of her drink?"

How cool is this thing? It's 21" tall and is supposed to be a planter, but the actual plant hole is not really large, so I'm not going to use it for that. I just had to have it even though I have no idea where I'm going to put it. If I had crazy money to burn, I would have bought every one in the store and lined them up in my front yard. Just to be weird. I wonder if I could have it epoxied to the roof of my truck facing backwards? That would be cool. Or just freaky.


I have a Meals on Wheels volunteer magnet on my driver's side door and today when I was walking back to my truck from my last stop, a man in the next yard said, "Well good for you!" At first, I was all, "Huh?" Because I'm dim like that sometimes, then I realized he had read the thing and said, "Oh, Thanks, I'm coming up on 8 years." Then he said "Well, you must really like it." Which I thought was a little odd, but then I thought for a minute and said, "Yes, I really do." I don't know how he read the thing because it's pretty small. Here's a picture of my little red trucky:

Hmmm. I drive a truck and I bought man shoes. Now I think I should polish my nails or something. Well, I AM wearing mascara!