Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hi again, I'm back (sort of)

So sorry for my long absence and lack of comments on your blogs. I've missed you. The yoga and meditation was and still is an infatuation. Or at least that's what my friends think, and they know me very well. But I have to say that without blogging and TV watching I've had lots and lots of "extra" time. I really have missed the cute stories, inspiring thoughts and day-to-day situations of the blogs I used to read regularly. Actually, I've read a few at work a couple of times, but couldn't comment, of course.

A joke for when I (finally) blog post again....
The True Origin of the Internet

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called 'Amazon Dot Com.'

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?" And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent.

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young man did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"YAHOO," said Abraham.

And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all.

And another, sort of joke:
We heard a runor recently that a large university was conducting an in-depth study of why men have such a hard time picking up women. We think the following list of common pickup lines more than explains the problem:
• I may not be Fred Flinstone but I can sure make your bed rock!
• Is your dad a thief or something? Because someone stole the stars and put them into your eyes!
• Excuse me, but I'm new in town. Can I have directions to your place?
• Can I buy you a drink - or would you just prefer the five bucks?
• I'm a thief, and I'm here to steal your heart.
• I wish I were a tear so I could start in your eyes, live on your face, and die on your lips.
• Are you sure that we haven't met somewhere in a past life?
• Can I have directions to your heart?
• If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together.
• You must be the reason for global warming because you're hot.
• Do you have a map? Because I keep getting lost in your eyes.
• Baby you must be tired because you've been running through my mind all night!
• Are you an overdue book? Because you've got FINE written all over you!
• If I followed you home, would you keep me?
• If I told you you had a gorgeous body, would you hold it against me?
• Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
• Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk past you again?
• Call the police!! It has to be illegal to look that fine!
• I lost my number, can I have yours?
• Is your father a baker? Because those sure are some nice buns!
• Am I cute enough yet? Or do you need more to drink?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Hope you had a super weekend! I’m back from the retreat, and it was great, a strange and wonderful combination of yoga, sitting meditation, praying, and not talking, the retreat house is run by Benedictine nuns. I find myself not wanting to talk about it. There were cool yoga stories, the room I slept in was named “Patience” eating silently with many others was like a slow-motion ballet, full of grace and beauty. It’s probably needless to say, but I’ve been yoga-ing and sitting meditation off and on since I got back home from my Mom’s. Haven’t wanted to watch tv or go online. Yet, I need to have some sort of explanation for not blogging tomorrow.

words from the non-talking retreat
The Guest House – Rumi
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out
For some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond!

The Sun in Drag – Hafiz
You are the Sun in drag.
You are God hiding from yourself.
Remove all the “mine”—that is the veil
Why ever worry about
Listen to what your friend Hafiz
Knows for certain:
The appearance of this world
Is a Magi’s brilliant trick, though its affairs are
Nothing into nothing.
You are a divine elephant with amnesia
Trying to live in an ant Hole.
Sweetheart, O sweetheart
You are God in Drag!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Retreating Tonight and Tomorrow

Hey, it’s off to work and then to the yoga retreat. And I get a flu shot this morning. Hope it doesn’t make me sick. Two people from work and their spouses and some friends of my Mom have gotten sick from this flu shot, for some reason. I’m normally a very healthy person, almost never sick. But now that I’ve bragged about it…..nah! I never used to get a flu shot, in fact my first was in November of 2002 because I was living in a dormitory-type place and it was recommended. The following year I also got one, and last year they ran out of vaccine for everyone but older people and those who would be vulnerable. So, some questions for today (but not as fun as a quizzy thing!)

1. Do you get the flu shot?
2. Has it ever made you sick?

A one-night stay isn’t long enough to pack my suitcase, especially since I’m just wearing jeans. But maybe a tote to hold a change of clothing, toothbrush and all and the little fuzzy green blanket with a panda in the corner. Oh, and also some slippers to keep my feet warm.
Have a great Friday and weekend!

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

My friends/family was lower because they asked about a bunch of childhood things--that aren't true now, but oh well.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tomorrow is going to be a super day!

Tomorrow is going to be a super day! And not just because it’s a Friday, although that certainly helps. I’m going to a yoga retreat starting Friday night until late Saturday afternoon. Yes, that means a sleepover at the retreat center, too. It’s a silent retreat, which is going to be difficult for me. Being around other people and not talking is kind of weird. I sometimes even talk to myself (or the animals, of course) when I’m all alone. We are doing some chanting along with the yoga, so it’s not going to be totally silent. I think the sleeping rooms are two and three people each, so I’ll have some roommates for the night, too. That will be strange, especially if we can’t talk to each other. Does snoring or talking in your sleep count? I don’t know if I’ll be able to chant in my sleep!

Anyway, I’m very excited even though I’m certainly no yoga expert and can’t twist myself into a pretzel. I’m supposed to bring a prayer shawl or a blanket. My Mom just gave me a fuzzy green one with a panda on it. I think I’ll bring that. She was quite interested in the retreat but glad to know that I’ll be still able to come and visit her on Sunday. My brother is coming up to hunt deer on Friday. He’ll probably bring some of his buddies and they’ll stay until they each get a deer or get tired of hunting.

It snowed most of the day yesterday. The trees are glowing white and beautiful this morning, I wish I had a picture of it! The moon is full and shining on the birch trees. We haven’t even seen the moon for awhile because it had been snowing the past few days. Yesterday the driving wasn’t so good. The broken rear wiper is still so annoying. I hate not being able to see well, especially when it’s slippery besides. The house was so cold that I went to bed early last night, simply to get warm. I was even thinking of dragging in the kerosene heater for a warmth boost—but I really hate the smell of kerosene, it gets into the carpet, walls, clothes, everything. And I don’t think it’s that healthy to breathe the unventilated fumes either. I had bought the heater just for power outage emergencies, not for regular day-to-day use. But I was just so chilled, hands, feet, neck, arms, and layers of clothing weren’t working. Guess I’m still biologically in the summertime. This morning the house is warmer, despite the fact the temperature is still 2 degrees F.

I’ve been trying to spend more time outside walking to acclimate myself to the change of seasons. Normally it works quite well. But for some reason I’m still cold and uncomfortable when back inside. Maybe I should just stay outside walking! I’m comfortable enough out there, at least while moving. I dug out our hats and mittens and washed them last weekend. Last night I found our wool socks and they might help. It’s in the winter when I think longingly of my nice warm cozy (former) apartment in town! And long, hot showers, too. I hope the retreat center is toasty, but it may not be. Warm thoughts to you on a Thursday!

A 19-year old virgin, you live in the Castle Anthrax. You use your wiles to lure in strangers...tie them to big soft beds and....
A 19-year old virgin, you live in the Castle
Anthrax. You use your wiles to lure in
strangers...tie them to big soft beds and....

Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character are you REALLY?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Nativity Scene of Deer—Three is the Magic Number

Well yesterday was an interesting day, and busy too. We have a new co-worker who started on Monday. So far we’ve all gone out to lunch as a group both Monday and Tuesday. Normally we almost never do that. He’s going to get the wrong idea about us. He seems quite nice and is moving to this area from distant state. I do tend to get along better with men at work than with women. I think it’s because I grew up with brothers. How are you in getting along with same or opposite genders at work? Or does it totally not matter (which would be the idea situation, for sure!) Anyway, I’ve scored two different chicken salads in the past two days and finally brought them home from work last night. It was a good thing I did, because….

The power was out when I got home. Apparently the heavily falling wet snow knocked a power line down or something. I had stopped to fill the tank with gas and get bread and milk so it was dark outside already. But the lights in the house were off even though my son’s car was in the driveway. I was thinking maybe he was in bed sleeping (he works odd hours) but he met me at the door with the lack-of-power news. The microwave and stove are electric too, so no cooking could be done. We had the two salads by candlelight as the house got colder and colder. We have electric heat. I did buy a kerosene heater last spring but it’s packed in our tiny storage shed and I was hoping the power would come back on before it got to that. It would be difficult to drag it out in the dark and I would have to make room for it in the house. My son had already called in the outtage and continued to call each hour to get an update.

Finally after talking on the phone to two different friends (at least the phone wasn’t out, but we had to plug in the regular phone, the cordless didn’t work) he decided to go to a friend’s house to visit where it was lit and warm. As he was going out the door (quickly, so as to not let out what little heat was remaining) he said, “Look, there’s some deer!” And right on our front yard, where the neighbor had wanted to drag our “spare” car was a nativity scene of deer! Two deer were standing in the dark over one deer lying in the snow, legs gracefully folded. The snow was coming down so hard that they were covered with it. It was a beautiful and peaceful sight! They were there because of the smell of the hay over my water line. Hay smells really good even to humans, and we don’t eat it! My car still has a faint, pleasant scent of hay.

After my son left for a warmer environment, I wrapped up in a blanket and snuggled on the couch with my little dog for awhile. But as the candles got dimmer, I decided to make a trip to the discount store and get some oil lamps instead. I drove through what appeared to be a blizzard and slippery driving. My rear window wiper isn’t working and neither the mechanic with the beautiful eyes nor the place that fixed my brakes have been able to fix it. Wow, did I ever miss having it continually wipe the back window free of snow! It was difficult to see.

I went a little wild at the store and bought three oil lamps, one big one and two smaller ones and two bottles of smokeless oil. I also bought three (must have been the magic number!) new flashlights, again one big one and two smaller ones. Then I drove back home on the sloppy, messy roads but the snow didn’t seem to be coming down as hard. The neighbor’s lights were on as I drove down our dirt (now covered with snow) road, so I knew the power was back on again, yay! It had been a mere three (that number again!) hours off since I first had gotten home from work, but electricity sure does make a difference in living and comfort.

Speaking of living and comfort, the V-Man called me at work. He had spent the entire day cutting wood and then had to go in to work for the night! He was too exhausted to want company, just wanted to sleep a couple of hours before work. Plus he didn’t want me to drive all the way out to the farm in such poor driving conditions.

Yes, it’s Wednesday! Hope you have a good one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Battening down for Winter

We have a snowstorm predicted for today and there’s fresh snow on the ground. I had a reasonably good day yesterday, for a Monday, hope yours was at least OK, too. I had letters to get out, supplies to order and other things to do at work. I saw some of the convention photos, which was fun and did some cleaning and organizing, which was not. The V-Man called me in the morning and we had a short chat. Later at home he IM’d me and then sent me some E-mail jokes, below.

The hay bales for the water and septic lines are only the beginning of getting ready for winter. Next, I need to put plastic on the windows and tape on the door to weatherize the house. They’re an ugly addition to the décor, but necessary to keep relatively warm over the winter. I also need to dig out the snow shovels and the ice chopper. Each car gets a snow shovel to carry for emergences, a coffee can of sand, jumper cables, a blanket and some other stuff. "Battening the hatches." as my parents used to say when I was a child.

Now here’s something funny. Guess I’m living in the wrong area! A sled for transportation might work though, I could slide down the hill.

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Major Lion
Your Superpower is Radiation
Your Weakness is Cold Weather
Your Weapon is Your Plasma Torch
Your Mode of Transportation is Sled

Gender Jokes from the V-Man
WORDS WOMEN USE ******************************

FINE This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

FIVE MINUTES If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

NOTHING This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"

GO AHEAD This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

LOUD SIGH This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"

THAT'S OKAY This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

THANKS A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

Send this to the men you know to warn them about future arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology!

And send it to your women friends to give them a good laugh

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender. For example:

1) Ziploc Bags -- They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers -- They are Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire -- Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon -- Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.

5) Sponges -- Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) Web Page -- Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) Subway -- Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) Hourglass -- Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

9) Hammer -- Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

10) Remote Control -- Female...... Ha! You thought it'd be male. But consider this -- it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Driving in Slush

Wow it feels early! It IS early; got up two hours earlier than I’ve been for the past couple of days. Speaking of early, there were Christmas decorations out yesterday and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Guess those people are thinking ahead. It was a slushy drive on the way out to my Mom’s yesterday. And the wind was so strong that I swear I could have developed my biceps holding on to the steering wheel! There is snow on the ground out there but it didn’t stay here.

On the way out I stopped at the little ex-gas station which now is some sort of hunting license and convenience store with no gasoline for sale. They had a trailer and another pile of hay bales stacked up with a “for sale” sign. The price was the same as last year, $3 per bale. The woman did ask me want I wanted them for because they had gotten wet and wouldn’t be good for animal fodder. When I told her it was to cover my septic tank and line and water line, she smiled and said, “I’ll help you.” So she went outside (and it was cold, windy and snowy, remember!) with no jacket on. She didn’t even put on a pair of gloves to pick up the bales. She thought the jeep could hold more than just a mere two bales but soon found out that I was right. The vehicle isn’t as roomy as it looks. I could have put one more bale if I had the back seat down but had the water bottles and other stuff back there.

She had an unusual dog keeping her company in the store, a Flat Coated Retriever. I had thought it was some Lab/Setter mix but was a retired show dog. The store woman liked my little dog Natty in her dog basket in the front seat. But Natty was shivering when the rear hatch was open even though she was all snuggled down with a jacket over and tucked around her. Natty loves going to Grandma’s but doesn’t really enjoy the ride. First she was shivering and then soon panting as the heater in the jeep made it very toasty. When a door is opened, she starts shivering again. Grandma gave her some ice cream while she was out there as a treat, and she got to sit in Grandma’s lap a lot, too. She likes that part of a Grandma visit, just not the ride out and back!

I mentioned the hay bales to my Mom. And she told me that she would be needing some, too, since my older brother hasn’t come to see her since August and he lives 15 miles away. We think he is mad at her for some reason but neither of us can figure out exactly why. So I gave her one of my bales. I would have been more generous and given her both of them but wasn’t sure the place would still be open on my return. I carried the bale out (with coat and gloves on) and spread it on her septic tank. Now she just needs another couple bales to cover where the line runs.

On the way home I was surprised to see the place still open, so I stopped and bought one more bale. The same young woman was working there and she said they’re open later for hunters this time of the year. If there are any left next Sunday I’ll buy two going out for my Mom and two more coming back for me. That should be enough coverage for the both of us.

Off and on all day I tried not to think of V-Man visiting with his ex-girlfriend. It was hard and I didn’t succeed. Had wanted to call him Saturday and Sunday, but didn’t because of it. (Of course if I don’t hear from him by Tuesday, I’ll call him) Late last night before I went to bed he sent me a short acknowledgement to a joke I’d sent him earlier night. We do a lot of joke-swapping, usually with no comment tacked on it. So I haven’t seen or talked with him since Friday. I really don’t want to be one of those people waiting by the phone, but it’s hard. I wouldn’t do or feel that way that for a friend. The relationship had changed for me before I had decided to add the plus (friends plus), sigh. My emotions are driving in slush, too, and it’s taking some strong arms to keep them even relatively straight and in the proper lane.

From my E-mail
A link to a quizzy thing: What Motivates You to Succeed?
The Motivation Test

What I scored (no big surprise)
Your Strongest Source of Motivation
Intellectualism: Your desire to learn more
Explanation: Your strongest motivator is what you should consider first when looking at any job or career path.
Example: if Family is your key motivator, you should consider a job that allows you scheduling flexibility. But if you are motivated by Creativity, a desk job will only make you unhappy. When pondering a career path, your motivators will lead you to a happy and healthy life, while succumbing to outside "obligations" can often lead to unhappiness.

Your Weakest Source of Motivation
Recognition: Your desire to be recognized by strangers
Explanation: It is important to realize your weakest motivator, as jobs that focus on this factor will likely be ill-suited to your personality.
Example: If your weakest motivator is Philanthropy, you will probably not enjoy working at a nonprofit organization, since you will gain little from their primary motivator and will have little in common with other employees

And a joke:
There’s a Catch
A man was stopped by a game warden in Northern Minnesota recently with two buckets of fish leaving a lake well known for its fishing. The game warden asked the man, "Do you have a license to catch those fish?"

The man replied to the game warden, "No, sir. These are my pet fish."

"Pet fish?!" the warden replied.

"Yes, sir. Every night I take these fish down to the lake and let them swim around for a while. I whistle and they jump back into their buckets, and I take ‘em home."

"That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that!"

The man looked at the game warden for a moment, and then said, "Here, I'll show you. It really works."

"O.K. I've GOT to see this!" the game warden agreed.

The man poured the fish in to the water and stood and waited. After several minutes, the game warden turned to the man and said, "Well?"

"Well, what?" the man asked.

"When are you going to call them back?" the game warden prompted.

"Call who back?" the man asked.

"The FISH."

"What fish?" the man asked.

Well, have a good Monday and start to your week!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pachyderm Paper for Christmas

It rained all night long and when I got up this morning, it was lightly snowing. It is November after all. The trees have been bare of leaves and the grass dried up for some time now. I need to get hay bales to cover my septic tank and line and also the water line. There’s a place on the way to my Mom’s that sells some. I almost stopped on my way out last week but decided to wait until the return trip and they were closed. This time I’ll stop on the way, which means I need to leave a bit earlier than normal for that and also to conpensate for the driving. The roads could be slippery if the temperature stays below freezing.

Yesterday was an interesting day, as I had figured. Spent some time catching up with blogs then called HIR to see if she wanted to meet for lunch. She works on Saturday and often cannot get away long enough for lunch. Time went by and she didn’t call me back. I wanted to go to the Fair Trade event but had to do something first, before leaving home. I couldn’t just leave in case the neighbors came over, my son was home but sleeping because he’d worked late. So I got all ready to go and then walked down my driveway, on the road and then down their long driveway.

I usually don’t walk to their house, it’s rather intimidating. Normally we see each other in passing, walking on the main road, at the mailbox getting mail or doing garbage for pickup. They have a long driveway, many large garages filled with things like snowmobiles, ATVs, trailers, a boat, two motorhomes and many vehicles. They have a cool antique car, several large trucks and I don’t really know all what else. They also have a outdoor swimming pool, rare in this area. The house is large and has so many doors and two large decks that I never am quite sure as to which door I’m supposed to knock at. It always makes me feel kind of like a dork.

A gaggle of large hunting dogs came running down the driveway, barking to greet me. They are friendly and know me but as much as I like dogs, it does make me a bit nervous to have them leaping and play-snapping at my clothes as I walk. I went up on the rear deck, as I was hoping that was the correct door, and knocked. The wife came to the door in a kool-aid stained T-shirt (she normally is well-dressed and fastidious) so I knew that I’d come at a bad time for her. But waiting until they pulled their huge white truck with a winch into my driveway to move the car would definitely not be a good time either—it would be too late!

She was caring for her grandchildren and seemed distracted, so the conversation didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I had been planning to carefully explain why (again!) I didn’t want the car in our yard. But I had to hurry the conversation along more than I would have liked, as I was standing in the open door, letting the cold into her house. At first she though I was there to gather them to move the car, so she started calling for her husband. But I told them (quickly!) how much I appreciated their plowing, and that I didn’t want the car to be moved. And that was pretty much it. I wasn’t totally pleased with the brief encounter, but that was the best I could do at the time. Then I walked back home and left for the Fair Trade event.

The Fair Trade event was awesome! We have this old movie theater which has been closed and reopened many times by various entreprenuers. The fire marshall had recently closed it again but gave a special dispensation for just this one event. There were all the interesting activist groups in town at tables with brochures and literature to convince you to join their cause. I stopped and talked to a few of them and one convinced me to join them for $5. The place was very cold, the heat was turned off and yesterday was not a balmy day! Those seated activists had heavy coats, hat and scarves and blue lips. They were giving out free hot tea and I bet they went through a lot of it! At the place where you’d normally buy popcorn and soda, they had delicious smelling wraps and fried zucchini for sale. It was around lunch time and the smells were making me very hungry but I went to another large room to see the crafts.

There was latin music playing in this room and it was more lively and full of people than the front hallway, although there had been plenty of people there, too. The crafts were so interesting, if too expensive for most. I did succumb to the sales expertise of Mr. Pooh. He is a zoologist who has spent years in Sri Lanka. He had what he called “Pachyderm Paper” which was made from a blend of elephant dung and rice paddy. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well I wish I could take a photo and show you the cool stuff I bought. It’s very cute, nice, and (of course) perfectly clean and good-smelling. My sister-in-law loves elephants and also has a sense of humor. She’s getting some Pachyderm Paper for Christmas, along with other things!

I thought about my friend SLA, whose phone was disconnected, so I left to drive to her house to see if she still was there or had moved to her sister’s apartment. She loves going to events like that, maybe going to the Fair Trade event would cheer her up. We could sit and eat some of that great smelling food and drink hot tea. SLA’s van was still parked at the house, I didn’t see Houseguest’s car, so thought she might be working. She works in retail, like my son and has irregular hours. SLA opened the door and invited me in. I was shocked at how empty and cold the place was. There was nowhere left to sit so we stood and talked for over an hour. SLA was very depressed and I felt so helpless to help her. She didn’t want to go to the event, but just wanted to stay at home, although she did have one of those home décor or candle parties to go to in a couple of hours at another relative’s house. I finally left feeling vaguely guilty but, again, I think it was the best I could do at the time.

At least things seem to be finally looking up for her and Houseguest. They both have found apartments in a neighboring state that are more than reasonable. They know the landlord, which like jobfinding, really helps! Both apartments are two-bedrooms and allow pets and are the price of a small one-bedroom or efficiency over here! And each of them has received a Section 8 housing voucher that will pick up most of the aready pretty low rent. SLA will have to pay only about $30 per month rent, imagine that! Houseguest’s will be probably a bit more because she has a job but it still will be low because the market rent is only $450 on her new apartment and she has a Section 8 voucher to pick up most of that.

That makes me want to move into town again, but I don’t know any landlords! Who ever thinks that living in the country, even in a tiny house like mine is inexpensive probably has never done it!

As for the other conversation, the one with V-Man, I haven’t had it yet. I’m leaning towards just letting things be for now. He did love her and she left him. Maybe he still does love her, maybe they can get back together. He’s been very honest with me in that what he feels for me is only friendship and lust! He’s never said or even implied that it was, or would be anything more. So there it is. I’m going to just let it be for now.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A mixed bag, but at least it’s a Saturday

Well, sorry I can’t tell you how the movie “Chicken Little” was because I didn’t see it. We never made it there. Guess I can call him the V-Man for more reasons than just the vegetable growing! Anyway, enough of that for now. I'll come back to that subject a bit later.

It was a gorgeous, beautiful day yesterday. I did spend a little time outside but not very much between catching up with blogs and visiting. After saying that I prefer journal-type blogs (which I still do) I found an inspirational blog through
Anvilcloud (AC) the blog is Warrior Geezer So I’ll try to read that every day, too. I had just recently had a conversation with my son in which he said "Buddhism is the most evolved religion, even though it isn't really a religion." We discussed the fact that most other religions, or thought-beliefs, if you will, will self-destruct after a time. It was quite an interesting conversation! Two other conversations I need to have today will be interesting, too, but not as fun.

I love reading all of your blogs! Your writing gives me something to think about, things to hope for and even things to worry about as you write about your problems. Blogs have enriched my life in a way that books do not, simply because blogs are interactive and personal. A book can be very personal but (so far at least!) books are not interactive. I still like to read too, am reading “Children of the Night” by Dan Simmons. It’s a vampire story and quite good. It takes me a whole lot longer to get through a book than it used to, though.

Well ex-girlfriend called THREE times while I was at V-Man’s house. And one of the calls (picked up by his machine) was that she’d be seeing him on Sunday! Of course I had to ask about that because it’s been my understanding that their situation had petered out. He said they were just friends. OK, that plays with my head because WE are just friends! On the other hand, he does make it a habit to stay friends with his ex-girlfriends. After all he and I had been friends for years—and it was just friends until quite recently. Hmmm. I don’t know what to think here. My instinct is that he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too, wants to show her the wonders of drug-enhanced “sessions”. After all, she left him, not the other way around. But, to complicate matters (of course!) I’m not sure how I really feel about all of this and this new wrinkle. Do I still want a relationship? I hate this doubt and distrusting, it certainly injects an icky note into the whole thing. So he and I will need to have a longer conversation about it, soon.

And today is the day the neighbor woman said she and her husband would be over to pull the car up onto the lawn—despite my again stating that I don’t want it there. Another conversation.

I’m not looking forward to today, to tell you the truth. And there is a Fair Trade event in town that I want to go to. It starts this morning but I don’t want to miss those “conversations”. Well, actually, yes I do, but need to get some things settled first. The problem being that by the time I can get those settled, more or less, the event will probably be long over! Well, happy Saturday to you all!

Famous Ruler: Emporer Zhengzong
Living Quarters: Brick or wood posts, with plaster
floor; partly underground
Hardship: Invasion of the Mongols
The Chinese Empire was one of the strongest
empire's ever. Feng shui rocks!

What Time Period Do You Belong In? (Updated!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, November 11, 2005

The day off

Ummm, nice start to the day. I woke up at the regular time but then fell asleep for another two hours! After that my son and I hung out for a couple of hours until he had to go to bed, he’s working later. V-Man and I are going to the movie “Chicken Little” this afternoon. He is still rather disgruntled about the blog thing but is a bit happier now because somebody E-mailed him about his blog.

I decided to take the advice of the wise and sophisticated Ms. Vile File) (and others) to remove the link to V-man’s blog. Nobody has commented on it yet (which is kinda sad because that’s one of the reasons he was jealous) but he could be using a tracker and could still follow links back to me. Oh well. He has a clever blog but it only has two entries so far and it’s not a journal type blog but more philosophical. I like those type of blogs OK, and political blogs, but get tired of a steady diet of them. I like the personal-journal type ones the best. I find it fascinating to read about other people’s lives, but each to their own.

My jeep brakes are working fine now. It’s great to stop firmly without all that gnashing and grinding going on! It’s supposed to be a beautiful, glorious day today. What a prime day to have off, even though part of it will be spent inside a movie theater. V-Man doesn’t want to do anything together after the movie, so I know he’s still a bit mad at me even though he insists that he’s not.

I tried called SLA yesterday but her cell phone is disconnected. I’ll have to stop at her house some time today to see her and her houseguest. If they’re still there. Despite the fact she had an offer on her home and it sold, the sheriff sold it at auction and a local bank has bought it. I don’t know what that means for her and she didn’t either when I talked to her on Sunday, the last time I’ve seen or spoken with her. That’s worrisome. Maybe she’s at her sister’s apartment. I know where that is and the phone number too. Her belongings are pretty much all in a storage shed that her kids helped her with last week. I wish there would be a breakthrough of good news for her soon.

Today I ran into my neighbor and she (again) offered to help move our “storage car” up on to our lawn. I don’t want the car on our lawn, which I’ve told her many times. But she says her husband can’t snowplow around it in the winter, and yes, they’ve been very great neighbors about doing that and I really really appreciate it! It’s backbreaking to shovel our driveway. But the old car is not the problem, it’s already tucked away on the edge of the driveway. Plus I don’t much care if he accidentally hit THAT car or not.

So far he’s demolished our mailbox, the fire number sign and smashed into my son’s car causing a lot of damage that he said he’d have a friend fix but never did. The storage car is well out of the way already and should be a heck of a lot easier to avoid than the mailbox, fire number sign and my son’s car! I don’t understand why they are so adamant about moving that car. I kind of like it right where it is—it looks like someone is home even when we both are gone. Plus I don’t like how she doesn’t seem to think it much matters if we put an old car on our lawn! It does matter to me, it would look like crap and be totally in the way, and in our view, right outside the front door. She’d never think of doing something like that at her own house but because our house is non-conventional she seems to think I have no standards whatsoever. I’m tempted to just say “no thanks” to the snowplowing but don’t want to antagonize any of our (all very good) neighbors. What would YOU do about that?

I talked to my son about it and he got irritated with me and called me "wimpy" I've been called that so much lately that I'm developing a complex about it! In fact if one more person calls me wimpy I'll deck them! Not really. I'd probably just walk away muttering to myself like usual. Is is bad or wrong to want to live in peace and harmony? Guess so. It doesn't make other people respect you, I've noticed.

But I can't help how I feel about it: I sort of feel like we owe the neighbors somewhat. They've plowed our driveway, saved us lots of trouble and I've not done anything in return (nothing comes to mind, they pretty much have everything and a slew of strong young sons to help them, housesit and other chores). It's true that I've never ASKED them to plow, but it's been very welcome nevertheless. I just don't know. It's easy to give advice. And easy to act all big and tough when it's not your problem and you won't suffer from the fallout.

I once worked with a woman who pooh-poohed scraping snow off the windows or brushing off her car. She would brag, with a toss of her head, "I just get into the car and drive away!" and everyone thought her such a tough, dashing figure. Well, out in the parking lot after the first snow, there she was, brushing and scraping with the rest of us. Nobody said a word to her about it, in fact they didn't even seem to notice that her words certainly didn't match her actions! She still was considered a striking, forceful figure by everyone else but I didn't look at her the same after that!

So, what am I saying here? I don't really know. I'm talking defensively, like usual. Guess I need to throw out some brave BS and hope nobody notices whether I actually live like that, or not.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Virtual Friday

Tomorrow is a holiday and we have it off from work. So that makes today a virtual Friday, yay! Brought my car in to the service center yesterday morning, walked around and tried every door and all was locked up! Then I noticed an “Early Bird Dropoff” thingy where you fill out an envelope and drop your car keys into it. I grabbed one and was going back out to the jeep to fill it out. It was horribly cold and windy and I was thinking, “Well, if I put my car key into this envelope and drop it in the slot, then I’m going to be stuck here.” But someone finally came and opened the door so I didn’t need to do that. I got very blown around before that happened, however.

Then the mall was not open yet, so I really wished I’d taken a later appointment. So I walked across the huge parking lot to Perkins. I sat and had a cup of coffee (yes, my second cup that day) and one of the huge muffins. I wasn’t even hungry and had most of the muffin put in a box for later

The time went really slowly, I wrote in my journal, read some stuff for two hours until the mall opened. During that time the wind was still blowing and it was snowing! The snow didn’t stay, though. Finally I walked back over to the mall and to Barnes and Noble where I sat another two hours reading a book about quips and one about being a waitperson. The waitperson book sounded so interesting and full of life that it almost made me want to try it again. I was both a food and a bar waitress while in college but both were PT jobs held along with other PT jobs and going to school.

Next time I think I’ll plan a car repair appointment much better. My son could have picked me up if I had scheduled it when he was off work. It seemed to be a long, long morning even though I wasn’t at work. The bill was large, too, almost four times as much as former big boss had told me it might be. And I had just paid house insurance too. So half of the repair cost went on a credit card. Like I really needed more on my card with Christmas coming but it was unavoidable. Driving down the hill every day with bad brakes would have been much worse.

And then there was work. It was busy from the time I walked in, everybody needed this or that right this very minute! So I worked later than normal and actually got home fairly late.

Today is the anniversary of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Remember that song from Gordon Lightfoot? You can listen to it on the link, above.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lightfoot
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.

They had remembrances on the local news last night that were touching even though it happened so long ago. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Half a day off, sort of

I got out of bed a bit later than normal today, on purpose. Although Bossila is gone from the office for a work trip I called her yesterday for permission to take this morning off. Since Friday the brakes on my vehicle have been grinding when I stop. That’s not good but today was as soon as I could get a car repair appointment. And since my son is working I will have to hang around until the jeep is done. That won’t be too bad, though, because this car repair place is at the mall and I haven’t been there for ages. I just hope stores are open that early, possibly not, so I’ll find a book of some sort to bring along.

I haven’t been reading much at all lately. It used to be the way I used “extra” time but now I usually either blog or look at stuff online. Do you still read as much as you used to?

It’s very windy here today. The wind has been howling all night and it was supposed to bring rain and snow, but nothing so far. I love the sound of wind but it often knocks our electricity and our telephone service out. And since the heat is electric up here, it gets pretty cold with the power off, it gets cold and dark. So I don’t like the sound of wind as much as I used to!

I walked to the store in the dark to buy milk again last night. It wasn't as scary as the first time. I think it was because my son was home and I asked him to come looking for me if I didn't return in a reasonable amount of time!

From my E-mail
The Service
The funeral was held way back in the country and the young minister got lost on the way. When he arrived an hour late, he saw a backhoe and crew, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. The workmen were eating lunch. The diligent pastor went to the open grave to find the vault lid in place.... but still he poured out his heart and preached an impassioned and lengthy service.

Returning to his car, the young minister felt that he had done his duty and he would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of his tardiness. As he got into his car, he overheard one of the workers say, "You know George, I've been putting in septic tanks for 25 years, and I ain't never seen anything like that before; sort of gives new meaning to the term "Holy Crap."

Habit solution
Most of us have a bad habit we are constantly trying to break. For me, it's biting my fingernails. One day I told my husband about my latest solution: press-on nails.

"Great Idea, Honey," he smiled. "You can eat them straight out of the box."

Notice this
A taxpayer received a strongly worded "second notice" that his taxes were overdue. Hastening to the collector's office, he paid his bill, saying apologetically that he had overlooked the first notice.

"Oh," confided the collector with a smile, "we don't send out first notices. We have found that the second notices are more effective."

I haven't looked my my blog yet this morning. I hope the links are back, they were mysteriously gone when I looked last night. I don't know why that happens, checked the template and it all was there, it just didn't show up. It's difficult to make my normal blog rounds without the links! Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Waaah hooo, something to celebrate

An enjoyable work day yesterday with Bosszila gone on a trip and it was payday! I received good news on my house insurance. The cost had gone up so I called the insurance agent who told me that I now have regular homeowners insurance. Sounds like no big deal, but it certainly is. I was not able to get any sort of regular homeowners insurance (despite LOTS of shopping around) because the house is considered a conversion house, not conventionally built. My old insurance company was bought out by a new company and they decided to change their policies to include non-conventional homes!

Yay, something to celebrate for sure! That was the major reason why, even though I had blueprints and a loan ready to go, two years ago I decided to not put on an addition that would double our square-footage (from 300 sq feet!) and add a living room and another bedroom. The house would not have been adequately covered by insurance, and it would have been too big of a risk to take on more debt that wasn’t covered.

Vegetable Man called me early at work yesterday too. He has never done that before because he works nights. We chatted a bit and he was still sorry that he had made me sad and (jokingly) offered to be my sex slave. Well, that’s not all bad, for sure. Speaking of that, are you wondering about the Viagra? Yes, he tried it and it was fabulous, even though I’m against taking drugs like that unless they’re necessary. We did everything and anything we’d ever tried--several times--all in one night. OK, that’s too much information, I guess! But just in case you were wondering….it is a great relationship in that way, and as a friendship too. He just isn’t in love with me and doesn’t want to be a couple, and I am with him, and do.

And no, he wasn’t happy about me not giving him my blog address, seems to feel I am keeping things from him. He doesn’t know either my old or new blog addresses or that I call him Vegetable Man BUT he does know my E-mail address, so if any of those were ever paired up with my E-mail address, he might be able to find me. I would guess that he’s already devoted some effort to finding my blog, unfortunately. I sure do wish I had kept my mouth shut about it. There was no reason to even bring it up in conversation.

Vegetable Man did send me the address of a blog he started and I went to look at it. Hope he doesn’t have any tracking on it to follow me back here! I even considered (for a nanosecond) putting a link to it on my blog so you can go and see him, but that would be insanity!

I didn’t get the cat even though I really wanted one. I’m afraid I’ll fall in love with it and my son or I will still be allergic to cats and have to find kitty a new home. That would be just too sad. There have been no more rodents caught after that night of rodents I posted about. Not even one. Does that mean that the house is cleared? Hope so. Have a super Tuesday!

From my E-mail
The Good Old Days
The following were some comments made in the year 1957:

(1) "I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00."

(2) "Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long when $5,000 will only buy a used one."

(3) "If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

(4) "Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

(5) "If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

(6) "When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

(7) "Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."

(8) "I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying 'damn' in 'Gone With The Wind,' it seems every new movie has either 'hell' or 'damn' in it."

(9) "I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."

(10) "Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday that they will be making more than the President."

(11) "I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

(12) "It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

(13) "It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

(14) "No one can afford to be sick any more, $35.00 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

(15) "I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

(16) "Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress."

(17) "The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

(18) "I guess taking a vacation is out of the question now days. It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel."

Press Bloopers
Rev. Hammond was congratulated on being able to get his parish plastered.

Roger Dellwood’s left thumb, which was shot away, is doing nicely.

We've got fifty yankettes married into English nobility right now. Some of them are duchesses. Some are countesses. Eleven are baronesses. Only one is a lady.

The font so generously presented by Mrs. Smith will be set in position at the east end of the Church.

Babies may now be baptized at both ends.

The church is now forming a Little Mothers Club. All women desiring to become Little Mothers are asked to meet with the pastor in his study after services.

Dr. Gilbert Murray, O.M., will celebrate his ninetieth birthday quietly at his home at Boars Hill, near Oxford, tomorrow, with his wife, Lady Mary Murray. They have been married 66 years. This evening he is to broadcast in the BBC Home Service a talk called "Unfinished Battle."

A loudspeaker system has been installed in the church. It was given by one of the members in memory of his wife.

Monday, November 07, 2005

(Yes, I’m an idiot) He said. She said.

I’ll admit it, I’m an idiot. Last night I was catching up on my blogging and the Vegetable Man IM’s me. “Whatcha doin?” So I told him I was blogging! That led to an entire conversation about the merits of hiding/not hiding blogs and he asked for the link to my blog. I didn’t give it to him. Gosh I’m dumb. Why on earth did I open that can of worms? He had no idea that I had a blog. Now, since he’s smart and curious, he will Google me. Hopefully I haven’t said any memorable phrases that stick in his mind that I’ve also written in my blog so it will pull up for him. Gahhhhh, I’m stupid, yes!

It’s true that I haven’t said anything in the blog that I haven’t told him. In fact when we finally got past the blogging thing, we talked about “our relationship” again. And I’m going to start putting that phrase into quotes! At the end of that conversation he said, “Tell me I haven’t saddened you. Please.” And I said “This whole thing does, a bit.” So we agreed to table it and talk about it in person again. I’m not sure that I want to do that. It doesn’t resolve a thing and just upsets me all over again, because nothing has changed.

To take our regular discussion from the top: he usually begins with something like, “I don’t really have time, money, or that much interest in starting a new relationship or being in a relationship right now.” Offered as the reason why he doesn’t want a relationship with me, of course.

And I say as a sort of challenge, “But it sounds like you ARE interested in starting a new relationship with this phone-calling, E-mailing and dating service thing. It may be that you just aren’t interested in anybody you know right now, but you certainly do appear to be looking for a relationship!”

VM always replies with some vague psychological BS like, “That’s a leftover feeling from who I’ve been most of my life: needing external reinforcement of my ego, you know, feeling that I’m smart, desirable and all of that.” Which could mean that he’s NOT really looking for a relationship but for more bed partners. Either way, it doesn’t make me very happy about the whole thing even though he hasn’t actually met any of these other people--yet.

Then I always say something like: “It just seems like WE have never even been up for consideration.” And it comes out more bitterly each time I say it to him.

And that how it always goes any time that we talk about “our relationship”. That's particularly sad because we've been friends a long time and can talk about just about anything. Now do you see why I’m not particularly eager to discuss it? Actually, the more I think about it, maybe I don't even want THAT sort of a relationship with him(romantic). At least not the way things are right now. I’m not used to pining over somebody who doesn’t want the same type of relationship that I want. It’s new, hurtful and I don’t like it one bit.

I did have a nice time at my Mom’s yesterday and on the way back home I met SLA at the bar/restaurant/laundromat for a couple of beers. I mentioned that to the Vegetable Man during the IMing. He asked which bar, so I told him, and it’s my regular hangout. That too, is just great, smooth move. I think I need a brake on my mouth, or at least put my brain into gear before talking, geez! Maybe the two little beers did have an effect on me. Well, it’s Monday. Do your best…right now it's still dark and feels all too early!

From my E-mail
Time is the best teacher; unfortunately it kills all its students!"

"According to my calculations the problem doesn't exist."

"Pride is what we have. Vanity is what others have."

"How Can I Miss You if You Won't Go Away?"

Seen on a woman's car: "Men call us birds, we pick up worms"

"Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear."

"Give me ambiguity or give me something else."

"Why is 'abbreviation' such a long word?"

"I like you, but I wouldn't want to see you working with sub-atomic particles."

Tim came out of a convenience store the other day and some seedy looking guy walks up to him and holds up a little sign: "DEAF & DUMB... Can you spare $10?"

Tim thinks to himself, “Wow! What happened to a dollar or 2?” So he reaches into his pocket for his wallet, opens it, and takes out a folded piece of paper and hands it to the guy.

It says: "I CAN'T READ" and Tim walks away.

Reduction of Redundancy
The Committee for the Reduction of Redundancy and the Antiproliferation of Repetition has decided not to meet until they have their first meeting and thus will not be meeting until the first time.

Their Pre-meeting Statement wanted to make this clear before they had their first meeting, so that it would not be nor confusing.

So their first meeting will actually be their first meeting and they will not have a meeting before the first meeting.

This should avoid having people show up for their first meeting before it is held, since to do so would be confusing to those who did so and this is what they want to avoid by reducing the confusion and lessening the repetition.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The downward slope of the weekend

Ahhh, it's Sunday, although I tend to look at Sundays as the downward slope of the weekend. I enjoy visiting my Mom every Sunday but it doesn't give me time for much else, and suddenly, it's Monday and the working week again. This weekend I have changed my schedule and have not immediately raced to my computer to blog, like I (have to) do every weekday. Although I enjoy blogging and it's a part of my everyday life sometimes it's nice to change up the schedule and do something different and more relaxing than coming up with a post just off the top of my head and then racing to as many other blogs as I can before heading off to work. Not that I've put any more thought into this post than I normally do, but at least it's not done under the pressure of time.

Yesterday the Scone Club met, at least a couple of members, not everyone. One of the many discussions we had was about jeans, specifically, Levi jeans. I had on a pair of "Signature Levi" jeans that had such thin material that my thumb poked through the flimsy pocket! We talked about the "real" Levi jeans, study, well cut and classic and wished we still had our old pairs. But alas, most of us would not fit into our old jeans even if we still had them! We remembered wearing skin-tight jeans with 4-inch slides. Now that was an accident waiting to happen, have you ever run in tall slides? There's nothing to hold your foot in the shoe. I'd run in slides many many times with no mishaps but others were not so lucky. Amanda, my married friend (not a member of the Scone Club) broke her ankle doing just that.

HIR (Home Improvement Rural) doesn't wear jeans any more. She doesn't like them and prefers elastic waists. Before you form the image of her being rather frumpy or overweight, let me mention that she's thin as a rail and dresses beautifully. She favors hand-made one-of-a-kind clothing and since she sews, some pieces she makes herself. She has a master's degree in fabric history and collects vintage fabrics! Really.

After the Scone Club meeting, at which I had that awesome salad I love AND a chocolate scone(normally I just have the salad--oh, and I just remembered that I have the rest of the scone wrapped up in my purse, whoops) I went to an independant bookstore that I haven't visited for a long long time, maybe years. I love the place, it's so unique, has cats roaming around, birds in cages talking and whistling at each other, rabbits and hamsters. There was a crowd of people in the front of the store, and I hesitated before going inside, thinking maybe there was a meeting going on of some sort. But it was a group of people admiring and playing with the animals.

I went to look at a section of books and was hit on by a wild-looking man who would say something and then just stand there staring at me. I was polite but left that section to look at the magazines where two young woman started talking to me about a cat. Soon, the owner of the store was hustling the crowd of people out. When I came up to her counter to pay, she apologized for the commotion and told me how guilty she feels to have to throw "vulnerable adults" out of her store. "But they scare away the other customers and never buy anything."

Apparently they come into the store every day to see and play with the animals. She allows it until they start bothering the (real) customers and then she asks them to leave. They always leave politely and return again later. "Many have no support system, nowhere to go and no family." the owner said. That's so sad. Even though I'm sure it's sometimes a pain in the neck to her, it's good that she lets them come into her store. They seemed pretty harmless, if a little too friendly to strangers.

That was a dangerous place! The encounter with that store left me not only with two new (used) books but a longing to have a houseful of animals. Some people would say that with a dog, two ferrets and a chincilla all in a tiny house, I'm already there. But I've always wanted a bird or two, and those cats were so friendly and pretty. I want a cat too, it could catch the rodents in the house. My little dog would hate it, she's jealous of the other animals already and they don't usually have the free run of the house like she does. I petted some cats and my nose didn't stuff up like usual and I didn't break out into an itchy rash, maybe I'm not allergic to them anymore, dare I hope?

Are you allergic to anything like cats, or any types of foods?
Is it easy or difficult for you to avoid them?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Smells like wet leaves

Yay for Saturday! I was outside and it’s still raining a bit. It’s been raining for the last day or two. The leaves are all off of the trees and the wood are stark and bare. It smells like wet leaves and the sky is gray. I kind of like it! I like moody days with some expression. Bright, warm sunny days over and over would get very boring. Of course we don’t have many of those. Looking out through the window now, I can see the bare birch trees. I collected some birch bark this morning from fallen branches and trees (not live trees, of course, fallen ones) in the wood.

We haven’t caught any more rodents since the last rodent report. Maybe we caught all of them, or more likely, we’ve caught all the not-as-smart rodents. Still, I haven’t heard any rustling around in the house so maybe they’re gone. Temporarily. No doubt more will find a way to come in. I’m going to walk around the outside of the house and carefully look to see if I can tell where they’re getting in.

I did a quick stop for groceries on the way home last night and got hamburger (and other groceries) because this time I had the onions but not the meat. Vegetable Man called last night. After that conversation, I went to Barnes and Noble. It's fun to flip through and even read books there. I use it like sort of a library--except you would have to buy the books to take them home. I didn't buy any books or food or coffee, normally I don't buy anything there, just look at books.

Today I was looking up "The Martha Rules" online to see if I could find lower prices. The new price is $25. The last book I ordered used from Amazon didn't come and didn't come. Then, finally I received an E-mail telling me that my account had been credited because they didn't have the book anymore! Such a bummer. It was a book I was hoping to get before Halloween. So much for that wish. What are your wishes and plans for today?

from my E-mail
Ponder these...

Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?

Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

If you can't drink and drive, why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor, and why do bars have parking lots?

Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?

If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?

If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?

If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan?

If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?

You know how most packages say "Open here." What is the protocol if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?

Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?

Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo?

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Yeah, those are old but still funny. Have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Somebody broke my Jeepers!

No jury duty today and it’s the last day of my term. I’m disappointed. There will be a wait of several years before I can be called for jury duty again.

Somebody broke my Jeepers! At least it certainly looks like it was no accident. I haven’t backed into anything, had tree branches fall, or had someone back into me and yet the windshield wipers in the back are twisted and broken. I noticed it when I turned on the rear wipers to get rid of the condensation on the back window. Normally I would wipe the windows but I was in a hurry Thursday morning. When I got home from work I looked at the back and the wiper arm was broken. Electrical tape wound ‘round and ‘round fixed it temporarily but it looks like Jeepers needs to go back to the garage soon again. That’s the problem of parking a vehicle downtown all day. It could have been much worse. My friend SLA used to work nights downtown and a few years ago had someone with a crow-bar broke every window in her cute little car. They even smashed the two side mirrors. It was pretty heartbreaking and she ended up having to get a new vehicle because the repair costs were too high and she didn’t have full-coverage insurance because the car was a few years old.

After (sort of) fixing Jeepers I cleaned the ferrets cage, did the garbage and recycling, fixed dinner and brought another vole to the “rodent distribution center” yes, we’ve had a couple more rodents. My hope that we had trapped them all was unrealistically optimistic. So I was up off and on all night. First we caught a vole, then a field mouse, then another vole and then a mole. My son brought them, one by one to the “rodent distribution center” it happened all night long. I think this is a record for rodent catching even for a house in the country. I wonder if we are in for a really bad winter.

Vegetable Man has been working long hours all week. But he did call me last night to tell me that “Pirates of the Caribbean” was showing on regular TV. So I watched it. I love Johnny Depp. The character in this movie reminds me a little bit of when he played “Willy Wonka”. But I only saw snippets of it as I got busy with something else. Sometimes it's hard to sit and watch even a good show. This annoys some other people who want to watch movies with the lights off. I need the lights on so I can do other things while watching! Do you watch movies with lights on or the lights off?

Bossilla has been sweet to me all week. Even if rather demanding. Her favorite two companions, Least-Favorite Co-worker and Ex-Favorite Co-worker were both gone all this week so I think she was bored. So she talked to me a whole lot more than usual and assigned me lots of things to do; most of which needed to be done ASAP. Least-Favorite Co-worker (who is her favorite) will be back in the office today. So all of that will change back to normal, no doubt.

from my E-mail:
A joke about mice
A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along, when all of a sudden, a cat attacks them. The mother mouse yells, "BARK!" and the cat runs away.

"See?" says the mother mouse to her baby. "Now do you see why it's important to learn a foreign language

What Would Jesus Drive
Most people assume WWJD is for "What would Jesus do?". But the initials really have been changed to stand for "What would Jesus drive?".

One theory is that Jesus would tool around in an old Plymouth because the Bible says, "God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury".

But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Jesus to "pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm".

Perhaps God favors Dodge pickup trucks, because Moses' followers are warned not to go up a mountain "until the Ram's horn sounds a long blast".

Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but didn't like to talk about it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel where Christ tells the crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord..."

Meanwhile, Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as evidenced by a Bible passage declaring that "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the hills".

Joshua drove a Triumph sports car with a hole in its muffler: "Joshua's Triumph was heard throughout the land". And, following Jesus' lead, the Apostles car pooled in a Honda... "The Apostles were in one Accord."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fewer creatures in my house

No jury duty again today. Maybe I am done for this time around. Last night I walked to the country gas station/mini store. It was very dark out already and the stars were bright. Country roads are very dark with no streetlights. Cars traveling in the country drive very fast with their bright lights on. It’s blinding. I could hear things rustling around in the bushes as I walked by. I tried not to be afraid or think of bears or bad, hiding humans but of peaceful little rabbits and gentle deer. As I got nearer the little store made an oasis pool of light. There was one car parked near it and only the clerk was there. I couldn’t help but think it would be kind of a lonely and somewhat dangerous job to work alone there at night

Of course the mean deer in my yard was not gentle but I don’t think she’d come out on to a paved road to get me. At least I hope not! Every once in a while I have to do something to test my courage. I’m afraid of so many things, the dark being one of them.(Some dark I like, it's peaceful but only the more "safe" dark!) So a long walk alone under the stars was a mini-adventure. I didn’t even take my little dog along for moral support as I would have had to tie her outside while I bought the gallon of milk and the pack of gum. The walk back home seemed quicker even though I was weighed down by carrying the gallon of milk. The window lights of my house could be seen as I got nearer and walked up the hill. It was a welcoming sight!

Do you ever test yourself like that? Or do you just think that’s dumb.

So far the mouse traps have caught a mole and a vole, no mice. And I know there was at least one mouse in the house; the one I took outside in the brown paper bag. Maybe it stayed outside. The mole was caught in a live-trap. Moles are cute but have a weird musty smell. I think it’s so predators leave them alone.

This mole was large and possibly pregnant. She was caught in the middle of the night, about 2:00 a.m. and my son had come home from work only a couple of hours before that so he was still up. He volunteered to take the mole (in a coffee can) to the “rodent distribution center” as we call it. The “center” is a place far enough away from our house (moles have a territory of a mile or more) so the rodent won’t come back, and it’s not close to anyone else’s house either. I was in bed and didn’t hear the car. It seemed to be taking a long time before my son finally came back. He had walked the mole to her new territory! That’s probably what gave me the idea for walking to the store to get milk last night.

The second little creature we caught wasn’t so lucky. We caught it alive but it died of fright or something before we could get it into the coffee can to take it outside. Poor little thing, it was a vole. Voles are gentle tame-able creatures who make good pets. They are monogamous and males and females raise the babies together. The families stay together and form a sort of little vole-village. I have not seen them fight, they cooperate and share food, bedding and treats. So we were very sad to have accidentally killed a creature like that. It probably had a mate and brothers and sisters who would actually miss it. When the old female vole we had as a pet died, her mate died too, within a week. He just didn’t want to live without her.

I don’t think there are any other rodents like that. Mice are cute but aggressive and not at all like the gentle little voles. A mouse male will reign as king over a group of females. The young males, his sons, grow up and challenge him. Sooner or later one will kill him. The first thing the new victor does is kill all the little baby and half-grown mice in a brutal slaughter. I think it’s because they aren’t his progeny. You can see that I don’t like mice all that well compared to voles or moles! The only peaceful mice are a group of all females.

I think there still are little rodents in the house but haven’t heard any so am hoping that we caught them all. This is the time of the year when they first come in. We can still let them outside in this weather. Later on if we catch rodents, we can’t just let them outside, they would freeze to death. They normally burrow in the ground and the ground is frozen in the winter. So we keep them until the ground thaws in the spring. It’s made for some interesting pets and experiences with animals! Well, it's finally Thursday and tomorrow is Friday! Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

No jury duty today, either

Congratulations to AC, Stacy and Michelle for scoring an “A” on my quiz! I wish I had prizes for you! AC got them all right! That makes me ashamed of the horrible score I got on Dale’s and now Fizzy's quizzes, I do read your blogs carefully, honest! Thanks to everybody who took my quiz. I’m hoping some more of you will make a personal quiz too.

I had a weird dream about the Ship of Ghouls and working on statistics. It wasn’t at my real job though. I love doing statistics at my real job too. Demographic stuff is SO interesting to me. I’ve also been doing a lot of accounting stuff, which is closely related in that I use a calculator for both of them!

From my E-mail
Pilots' Wisdom

1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. Because when it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.

7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice-versa.

12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

17. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.

18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

20. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, experience usually comes from bad judgment.

21. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

22. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.

23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

24. The four most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, gas back at the airport, and a tenth of a second ago.

25. There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are, however, no old, bold pilots.

Quick Quotes
"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." -Unknown

"I married a younger man. Ten years younger than I am. I figure it like this: If you can't find a good man, raise one." --Unknown

"Murphy told Quinn that his wife was driving him to drink. Quinn remarked that Murphy was a very lucky man, because his own wife makes him walk to the pub." –Unknown

Fast Work
Little Johnny was talking to a couple of boys in the school yard. Each was bragging about how great their fathers are.

The first one said: "Well, my father runs the fastest. He can fire an arrow, and start to run, I tell you, he gets there before the arrow!"

The second one said: "Ha! You think that's fast! My father is a hunter. He can shoot his gun and be there before the bullet!"

Little Johnny listened to the other two boys and shook his head. He then said: "Sorry, dudes... but MY DAD is the fastest. He's a civil servant. He stops working at 4:30,... and he's home by 3:45!"

I love getting off work at my normal time again! Makes starting so early tolerable. It does seem like it should be Thursday or Friday instead of merely Wednesday. I didn’t get called to jury duty again today, what a bummer. There are only two days left in my term of service and then I can’t be called back for several years. So maybe the time on Monday was it for my jury service this time around. But I thought I was going to miss it altogether with being gone a week for the convention, so one day (and the possibility of more) was better than none at all! Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

No jury duty today

Hope you had a great Halloween, with lots of your favorite candy left over! Thanks to all of you who did my quizzy thing yesterday. Did you do one of your own? It’s so fun to write your own questions and answers.

We sat around after receiving our jury instructions. The bailiff came in to tell us that they were negotiating. It turned out that the case didn’t need a jury. But my term of service is still for another week, so could get called in again.

Another meme from Fizzy!
I was going to do it later this week. But decided not to do yet another rant about Bosszila, who told me I need to take vacation time to do jury duty and do the meme instead.

A to Z meme

A - Age of your first kiss: sometime in my teen years.

B - Bands you are listening to right now: Evanescence and Audioslave

C - Crush: The Vegetable Man

D - Dad's name: Ray

E - Easiest person to talk to: Vegetable Man, my other friends are easy to talk to, too.

F - Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: turtle

G - Gummy worms or gummy bears: Both are good.

H - Hometown: up north in US

I - Instruments: clarinet

J - Junior High: I just had elementary and high school, didn’t go to a junior high school, there wasn't one.

K - Kids: son and pseudo son

L - Longest car ride: Northern Wisconsin to Nicaragua, Central America

M - Mom's name: Mom

N - Nicknames: PBS

O - One wish: I only get one?

P - Phobia: elevators, tightly enclosed spaces

Q - Quote: Everthing changes and change is good.

R - Reasons to smile: So many things, weather, friends, family, The Vegetable Man, my paycheck, my jeep, my yard, my pets and more!

S - Scent: Karma oil, Wicked from Gothic Rosary

T - Time you woke up today: 2:30 am

U - Unknown fact about me: Hmmm, I think I’ve pretty much revealed everything about myself (or at least hinted) somewhere in my blogging.

V - Values: Working hard for my money, being honest and kind.

W - Worst luck with: love

X-rays you've had: Leg: playing soccer as a child, my leg turned black
Foot: It was just a sprain, turned black and blue and got so swollen they had to cut my shoe off. Pelvic: It was a female thing

Y - Years since you've been to church: Went to church this year but I don’t go regularly.

Z – Where’s the zzzz? How about what time I went to bed? 11:00 p.m.

Happy Tuesday to you!