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Monday, December 27, 2010

A list of Never's.

I do know, to never say Never.

I learned that lesson a long time ago.
But that doesn't mean that I didn't have a list, in my mind, of things that I had come to expect would never happen for me.
I never expected to buy a house. I knew that I would need a strong, reliable, working partner for that.
Enter, Mustang Man. My strong, reliable, working partner.
I won't say I never expected to find him, because to be honest with you? I KNEW I would. It just took a little more time then I expected it to.... :)
I never thought I'd be a Mom.
Enter, Mustang Girl.
just because I didn't give birth to her does not make her any less mine. Despite her being entrenched into her teen years, she and I still have a very good, very strong relationship. There is really not much I DON'T tell her. It might sound sappy to you, but that kid is one of my best friends. Yeah. We have the typical ups and downs. But she is someone I am proud to know. Always will be.
And the biggest Never?
One that I've kind of wrestled with, for the last 10 years or so?
The biological clock never.
I have come to, and accepted the fact, that I will not have a child, of my own. My own genetics. One that I have known since conception. As time went by, and I became older, accepting that got a little easier. Sure, I had moments of regret. But, I chose not to have a baby while I was single, and on my own. I wanted a partner for something like that. Even my own MOM asked me one year to go get knocked up while I was single...
Turning the big 4-0 this year pretty much cemented this for me.
Well
God laughs when you tempt him so, doesn't he?
Thats right, ladies and gentlemen, Aunts and Uncles. Whomever is still reading this.
When I wasn't looking, wasn't expecting, I was uh, minding my own business....
that never turned into NOW.
There will be an addition to our crazy, loving house in August, if all goes well. And I am focused on it all going well. So far, so good.
We are surprised, we were shocked. We are happy. We are hormonal (well, I am hormonal). We are looking at this as an enhancement to our lives. We are grateful. We are humbled by our gift.
We have a "Hun in the oven". (yes, the baby already has a nickname. "Hun". He or she is very good at telling me what they want so far. ("eat, puke! eat more! puke! sleep! wait! don't sleep, go pee! now, cry at a stupid commercial!") I have this vision of this little tiny kid pulling and tapping on my organs (especially my bladder) to his or hers hearts content....
as long as he or she is healthy, and growing, I'm all for it. He/she just needs to keep going, all the way until August. (but don't be late, please!)
So, there it is.
my last never has been rejected....
and now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go puke, cry, eat, pee, or sleep. Or all of the above.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm still here

And I have a doozy of a blog post to write you all, I really do.

But
I can't write it all down yet, I've gotta get through work, and then Christmas.
But I promise. It will be good.
So good, some of you will happy dance
and some of you may even cry...
seriously
I promise.
See you soon
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that rot.
(I will try and get the new post up before New Years, if possible)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Santa has a hard life in our house....

Monday, December 13, 2010

just catching up...

Saturday did totally rock, what with the Navy winning and all. Next year, will be a decade of wins. I already can't wait....

We also went and got our lovely Christmas tree, and decorated it. This tree smells SO GOOD. I love a live tree for that reason. You can all keep your artificial, easy to put up trees. And call me a tree murderer.
I am, and always will be, a live tree girl. Yeah. I realize I should get the plantable kind. But those are so small.
I am, once again, badly procrastinating Christmas Cards. You all might be getting New Years Cards.
I have the best of intentions, I really do....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Go Navy!

I can't let this week go any further without mentioning that Saturday is the Navy-Army game.

Anyone who knows me, or has been here knows that I am DIEHARD for this game!
I have all the faith in the world that my Middie's will kick some Army ass, for the NINTH year in a row!
It's going to rock....
I can't wait for Saturday...

Monday, December 6, 2010

so I have to ask...

When did it become okay for children to be getting coffee?

I ask because, well.
The dentist I go to, she sees many kids, because they do those Invisalign braces at her practice. And, in their waiting room, they have this little beverage center thingy that has one of those one cup drink makers. And little snacks.
I already think that's weird, because, you're going to the dentist. Why do they want people eating and drinking before their exams?
Ok, I get that its probably for the people waiting for their kids or spouses or whatever. But what's to stop the person getting the exam from sitting there and using it?
ANYHOW
so, I was early for my appointment, because the DMV and my other errands didn't take as long as I had expected them to. Kid number 1 walks in, a boy, probably no more then 12 years old, I am guessing closer to 10, though. A few minutes later, Dad comes in.
"dad! dad! dad!! Can I get a drink!"
"yeah whatever" waves away Dad, who is too busy telling the receptionist she looks "gorgeous" and calling the hygenest sweetheart. (true story)
Kid starts pushing buttons, hemming and hawing. Finally, he turns to his father, who was still ogling the receptionist and says "All the buttons are flashing and I don't know what to do!"
Dad comes over, pushes a button, and voila
juniors cup starts to fill.
"I had a hard time choosing between the French Roast or the Green Tea" says jr. conversationally, as his cup fills. "I chose the tea".
"Well there's the sugar, hurry up" answers pervo-dad.
And with that, said 'sweetheart hygeinest' calls the child in.
As they were leaving, later, Dad hands kid the next appt. card. "Give that to your mother" he instructs.....
Kid 2 comes in
with skinny mother
doesn't even ask
right for the French Roast.
He was probably 13.

I never even considered drinking coffee at their ages...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RamLoach-the story

This is Rambo Loach (RamLoach), and Mini Loach is in the shot, too...


They are "Golden Dojo Loaches", or, also known as "Weather Loaches". They are called Weather Loaches because they become much more active when the weather is about to change. They used to carry them on Navy Ships.
I think they are very fun fish, when they are doing laps in the tank they look like golden spiralling ribbons.
But I digress.
When we had just the 29 gallon tank I bought 3 of these loaches for it. They like their own company, and need a friend. The silly things kept disappearing, though, going over the back wall, and down through a hole underneath the filter system built into the tank. All three of them disappeared, and I stopped getting any, having learned my lesson.
Well, then the advent of my 75 gallon glass tank at an unbelievable price came about. We got the big new tank all set up, water parameters happy, got it landscaped. Then moved all the fish over, and unplugged the biocube, until I had time to clean it out and prepare it to become our Salt Water tank.
Fast forward, about 3 weeks. MM took the biocube outside, the tank that had been unplugged for 3 weeks, no light. No air. Just a little water at the bottom....
He dumps out said water, and I hear him hollering from the front yard

"Fish! I've got a Fish! Open the door! Fish!"
I go out the screen door and MM runs past me, hands cupped, throws open the top of the new tank, and practically throws this fish he's found into the tank.
RamLoach.
He'd survived the entire time under the filter system. And for the last 3 weeks, with nothing to eat, no lights. NOTHING. Hence his name, Rambo Loach.
He also survived the 5 days of no power.
I really shouldn't be surprised. RamLoach might outlive us all....

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A gift

Because you were all so patient and kind during our snowpocalypse of the last week, reading my whining, on here, and on FB about how badly it sucked to be without power for five days,

and because most of you didn't laugh when one of the first things I was happy about was a handful of non dead fish....
I found you all a reward.
I've blogged a few times about how I was Marie Osmand for Halloween once when I was a kid. Plastic mask and all.
I spent some time this Thanksgiving looking through my Mom's pictures, and found you the photographic evidence of this monumental event. Because I love you all, Here it is, in all its ugh, Toothy Glory.....
Be kind. I was only seven years old, and knew NOT what I was choosing. Or that I would willingly share this with the interwebs all these years, later....


Friday, November 26, 2010

And now, for the rest of the story....

So I left off, despondant in a hotel room, not knowing what Thanksgiving would bring.

MM and awoke Turkey Day morning with a message on his cell from PGE, stating that they would have another "update" for us at 4pm that day. Meaning. No power.
MG was at her friends house, still, but we wanted to go get her, so at least we could spend the holiday together. We reviewed our options, and, both of us wanting some semblance of Turkey and Family, we opted to go grab MG and head for my parents house. I ran to our frozen home on the tundra and grabbed a few items from the ice chest buried in snow, a few clothing items, and WINE, and MM fetched the girl. Problem #1. I looked in a fish tank and depressed myself beyond belief. Problem #2. MM was in a little Toyota. Our driveway was icy as hell. Fast forward squealing tires, cursing, sand and salt, and the little Toyota that could finally made it up the driveway. Off we went. None of us had eaten yet, and it being Thanksgiving, nothing was really open. We stumbled across a Marie Callendars, and in we went. They were ONLY serving Turkey Dinners, or Ham dinners. So, at roughly 1 pm, we ate our first turkey dinner of the day. Why not, right? In the middle of the first round of Turkey, PGE called, and said we had power.
Well Hell. We were almost to Moms. And it was too late to turn around, and, we didn't want to, so on we went.
After that interlude, we got to my Moms house, where it was warm and smelled like Turkey. We made some cauliflower and cheese casserole, showed Mom "Words With Friends" (and now she is kicking my arse regularly on it) visited with Grandma and posted lots of pictures of my Uncle on Facebook while he napped before dinner, after dinner, and before dessert. A fine Turkey dinner was had, wine was consumed and all was good.
Or was it?
My parents live in the middle of essentially nowhere, in a small town. People are comfortable relaxing there. MM and I were relaxed enough to leave my Jeep unlocked.
Someone else was 'relaxed' enough to enter said Jeep, and take everything from my glove box, (including my registration, insurance, maintenance record, and Jeep manual), a jacket, a new, expensive sink faucet a friend had just given us, and, of ALL things, My book of the Kalevala, the epic Finnish poem that my name, Mielikki comes from.
Yes. They TOOK my KALEVALA!
Bastards!
I reported all this to the local Barney Fife's. They are generating the report. Nothing taken had my SSN on it, and the paperwork had 2 different addresses, because we'd moved since I got the Jeep. In my heart, I think it was probably some annoying kids who were out to make trouble for other people on Thanksgiving. None the less, I am exploring steps to try and protect myself from Identity Theft. If any of you have any advice about this, lets hear it...
SO
We finally procrastinate long enough, then came home. To the grim business of the stinky fridge, and sad fish tanks. MM (my hero) did the tanks. To our shock, we actually have a few survivors. Sadly, just one thing in the SW tank, a peppermint shrimp. It was hit hard. The corals even seem to be gone.
The FW tank did a bit better. I have a minnow, the frogs, some cories (bottom feeders), and my 2 weather loaches. Its better than no fish at all. And Ram Loach (the bigger weather loach) is a family favorite fish. I am pretty sure I told his story. Let me go look. Oh. I didn't.
I will have to tell his story on a post that isn't so long. Suffice it to say, RamLoach is a Bad Ass.
His name is officially Rambo Loach. And I wouldn't mess with him. ESPECIALLY after this week...
So, five days of no power didn't kill us. We got a Thanksgiving dinner, and, believe it or not, as I type this, we have our Turkey that we could not bake in the oven. The smelly fridge has been dealt with, and life will return to normal ish.
And Mom is still kicking my arse at Words With Friends.
Bah!~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

Ugh. is all I have to say about this particular week


We knew snow was coming
what we didn't know is that we'd get 2.5 feet of it
and that multiple trees would fall down
on the power lines
and that we would be without power for going on, um, four days now?
I am in a hotel typing this, because I needed to be warm. I needed a shower. I needed lights and even the background noise of a television.
None of which I can get at home, yet.

So, my fish are dying, because I can't save them. I've done what I could for them, but four days, with probably another day at least without heat or added oxygen to the tanks is too much.
We lost most of our ornamental trees. The plum tree. The cherry. The dogwood. And some pine trees
Our yard
is a freaking mess.

I may, or may not get to cook our Thanksgiving dinner...

But we have a home. We have each other. We can get new fish. We can get new trees. We can learn from this
(the lesson? We will be purchasing a generator, so that this doesn't happen again...)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Friday, November 19, 2010

In my head.....




I stole this from Sybil, but it took me a few days of contemplation to discover, who, exactly, lives in my head...
I've got some fairly interesting people settled in there...
including a teenaged Vampire Slayer......


Matt Molloy, who plays for the Chieftains, and is, always has been, one of my idols


a lil' dash of crazy, Vivienne Leigh


I am always cold! This guy HAS to be in there, somewhere



Florence Nightengale, for obvious reasons

And Susie. From Calvin and Hobbes. The cute, yet annoying neighbor who always wants to come and play....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

brrr!

And so it begins...

they are saying that this weekend, we will have Snow.
I could have a 'White Thanksgiving'....
we have firewood, food, each other...
that could be fun!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Look closely.....

Its probably the last time you'll see the elusive Roomba....

He's (she's?) a flounder. The newest edition to our saltwater tank.
And so good at camoflauge that we haven't seen it since the first day we put it in there.
Seriously.
I wish I could hide as well as this fish can....
the other cool thing?
The eyes operate independently of each other. The fish can look forwards and backwards. At the same time.
I might want to be reincarnated as this fish.
Except for that whole eating, or living in an aquarium thing...
and the brain the size of nothing....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wishing

I live in a very cool area.

2 small towns, that are about 2.5 miles apart, that offer a myriad of delightful things.
We eat very well when we go out, because we are able to find authentic mexican food, or, high quality sushi. We have a few fantastic Italian food choices, a pub that makes the BEST burger I've ever eaten, and also, some "typical" American food places. Oh, and don't even get me started on my favorite Pizza place. And I can't forget the Chilean Restaurant, OR, the Cajun food. The choices for Chinese are multiple... And, most of these places use "humane" and local items, if thats your thing. We also have a few really excellent Vegan places to eat at.
Shopping? You wanna shop?
Both towns boast a downtown area that looks like a throwback from way back when. Shoe stores, kitchen stores, jewelry, antiques as far as the eyes can see. Clothes, of course. A decadent yarn store that makes me want to knit forever. Stores that carry strange things like NunZilla, and other bizarre items. Music stores. Not CD stores, MUSIC stores. That sell instruments, guitars, harmonicas, maracas, sheet music, and more. Book stores. Stationary stores. We have 2 high falutin' specialty Cheese shops. And a Tea shop. (I think it's still open).
We've got the basics, too. Groceries, Hardware and Lumber, Beauty Salons, and Barbers. Hell. We even have a K(ame) Mart (apart)
I can find, essentially, anything I want. If something escapes me, well, I have the internet, right?
WRONG
what I am missing, what this area needs, is a BAKERY.
Now, we have "bakeries". Places that have the typical bakery things. But none of them have breads.
I am talking good breads. REAL sourdough. Rye. Pumpernickel. Wheat so thick you could knock someone out with it.
I'd probably be their best customer. I'd also probably weigh 500 pounds because of them.
Maybe I better be careful what I wish for...
but I'd give my right arm for a good loaf of Rye bread right about now...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


I'm like a week or so late with this but I just saw it and couldn't resist
prop 19 was the Medical Marijuana legalization one... it didn't pass, perhaps more of the Taco Hell's should have advertised for it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

National Dunce Day



Is today.
I am so not kidding.
If I would have known, I would have celebrated it appropriately. Maybe.
I don't really enjoy stupidity much, or pointed hats for that matter. Maybe enjoying national Dunce Day could include me going out and running a few over?
Nah. Because then MM would have to come bail me out of jail, and I don't think that would be fun for anyone. Besides. Say I didn't get caught doing that. I'd end up taking care of them at work, and truthfully? I am already idiot challenged in the work place. There are a few particular nurses I work with that aren't known for being the sharpest tools. That sounds bad. No one really wants to be taken care of by a stupid nurse. All I can really say is that while nursing school is, indeed, difficult, time consuming, labor intensive, and LONG, I've seen some book smart people graduate through it, then exhibit none of the real life smarts they need to survive it.
Anyhow. Today is National Dunce Day. Did anyone find a way to celebrate it?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wait, what time is it??


Happy Daylight Savings Time...

Now go fix all your clocks :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The song stuck in my head right now

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh,
totally emotionless except for her heart
Mud flowed up into lump's pajamas
she totally confused all the passing pihranas

She's lump, she's lump
She's in my head
She's lump, she's lump, she's lump
She might be dead

Lump lingered last in line for brains
and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane
Small things so sad that birds could land
Is lump fast asleep or rockin' out with the band?

She's lump, she's lump
She's in my head
She's lump, she's lump, she's lump
She might be dead

Lump was limp and lonely and needed a shove
Lump slipped on a kiss and tumbled into love
She spent her twenties between the sheets
Life limped along at sub-sonic speeds

She's lump, she's lump
She's in my head
She's lump, she's lump, she's lump
She might be dead

Is this lump outta my head?
I think so
Is this lump outta my head?
I think so
Is this lump outta my head?
I think so
Is this lump outta my head?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The one where I blog about Halloween weekend

Where to start... where to start.....

ok here.
After working Friday night, I came home Saturday morning, napped, and then we were off like turd of Hurkeys. We made good time to the Bay Area, where we met up with MM's older sister, (I am going to simplify things and refer to her as Lucy. It will make it much easier, trust me). Along with Lucy, was her oldest daughter, Betty (it's a compliment, people. She loves to bake, is good at it). I had not met Betty, yet. And we haven't seen Lucy and her family for a few years (3 ish?) so it was good to catch up with them. Betty's husband is in the Navy (go Navy!), and Lucy and Betty were driving to the next duty station, able to meet us on the way. We checked into our hotel, met Betty's sweet dogs, and then took off to go have Mexican food. The dinner company was outstanding, but let me just tell you, all Carne Asada's are NOT created equal. After a nice evening, we went back to our respective rooms, to sleep, and gear up for Sunday, Halloween....
0545 rolls around Halloween morning, and my stupid brain turns on, and it won't turn off. This is something that plagues many people who work nights. I lay in (not my) bed, faced with a conundrum. Get up? and possibly disturb both MM and MG? Lay there, tossing and turning, waking up MM for sure? I got up, went to a comfortable chair, and played with my phone, and drank some hot tea. Eventually, everyone got up, we got ourselvestogether, and ventured out into Halloween.
Our first stop was this place called "Psycho Donuts". I'm not a huge donut fan, but this place wasfun, and the donuts were good. I got a Key Lime one, and MM got one made with Nutella, which he shared with me. YUM! After Psycho donuts, we made our way over to the coast, to enjoy nearby Santa Cruz. We did nothave to be at The Winchester House until 9:30 pm. We spent a nice afternoon wandering the boardwalk, playing in the arcade, looking around at the strange and not so strange. As you can see it was a beautiful day.


After going back to the hotel for a rest, then out for dinner, it was finally time to make our way to the Winchester house. The highlight of Halloween...
We get there, and like any place that is a tourist attraction, you find yourself pretty much immediately in a gift shop. We looked around a bit, thenwandered outside to the gardens. Say anything you want about Sarah Winchester, but she has beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding her house. It being Halloween, there were quite a few others roaming around with the same purpose we had, the flash light tour of the house. There were also staff wandering around giving us candy, and trick or treat bags. Bonus! We wandered hither and yon, looking into some outbuildings, at some late blooming flowers, at our surroundings. I took a great picture of an outside sign in the night, with my flash on, so it should have shown the colors (yellow sign, reddish lettering). It came out in black and white. AND, when I downloaded my pictures into the c
amera, THAT picture? Was gone. Or I'd show you.So instead I will show you a flower...

It was finally our turn to go into the house, and on our tour. Given our flashlights, and the typical tour guide who ends every sentence with an upward inflection, away we went. I will tell you, I've come to the conclusion that any spirit that might have been wandering around was probably turned off by many of the idiots walking the house with flash lights. There were a few places we went where I felt like there was something going on, (one of the kitchens, and the Daisy bedroom), but, nothing really overtly happened. Despite that, the house is amazing! Sarah Winchester had impeccable taste in how she wanted these rooms to look. Or rather, the spirits telling her how to build the house did. The wood work, cabinetry, and tiling were beautiful. Lots of craftmanship went into this place. The floors were gorgeous. And don't even get me started on the myriad of leaded windows she had. Many of them Tiffany designed.
The house was odd, too. The staircase that goes into the ceiling, the doors leading to nowhere, windows in the floor, the tiny, narrow staircases. Those had purpose, though. Sarah Winchester was only 4'10, and she had arthritis. So the tiny steps were much easier for her to climb. Makes sense. I would really like to go tour the house during the day, to see its beauty in the light. All told, according to our tour guide, we walked a mile around the house, and saw some 110 rooms. We didn't STOP in 110 rooms, but that was ok. Many of them were unfinished, or for storage.
So, after an hour of touring the house with the idiots in our group, we were done. We purchased our few items in the gift shop, and it was time for us to take our leave of Lucy and Betty. (they were staying one more night in the area).
We made it back home at 0230 in the morning, and were very glad to find our own beds...
It was a fantastic weekend.









Friday, October 22, 2010

Spooooooky.....

The wonderful, fantabulisitic Mustang Man had a great idea a few weeks back...

It involves Halloween...
We don't get trick or treaters here...
Mustang Girl has outgrown the need for trick or treat
thus, we are at loose ends, typically, for the day.
So back to MM's fabulous idea....


Remember, way back when,
Now I get to go see her house!
On HALLOWEEN!
With a Flash light!
After Dark!!
Its a Mieography come true!!
I highly doubt I will be bringing a camera. Because the flashes of light ruining the effect and all that. Well I might bring it, but probably not use it in the house. I am sure they won't let me, anyhow. I would love to get a few shots of Mustang Girl reacting to the oddness of it all, though...
I wonder if we will get to see Sarah, herself?
Part of me is quaking in my doc martens (well, I will be. Right now technically I am wearing Eeyore slippers. But I will be wearing my Docs. In case I have to stomp out a ghost, yo)
and part of me is little girl excited over the fun! Making it even more fun, his sister, and oldest niece are meeting us there...
What are the rest of you doing for Halloween?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

its raining...

I really, really wonder if my dreams can get any more strange.

Last night, I dreamt that I was in NYC, visiting the lovely Daryl, and I had heard about this new place to go and eat. Daryl was game, so off we went.
NYC is her town, yet, I was the one who knew where to go. (I am usually directionless, can get lost in a paper bag).
None the less, I lead her to a place, someplace on the street, where there are large tables set out, set nicely. There is also a salad bar, and beverage center. Going slightly further, we approach an empty space, that has large white squares of butcher paper on the ground. I reach up, and pull a cord, and a big chute opens up, and drops a lot of hot, steaming Yakisoba onto the white butcher paper. Daryl neatly folds up the paper, and off we go to a nice table, with our meal. We distribute it, hit the salad bar, and the beverage center. Then I wake up. (Which is a shame, because I love Yakisoba.)
Yes, Daryl, I know you don't eat meat. In my defense, Yakisoba doesn't have to have meat in it. I frequently ate it (and do eat it) without. Perhaps I pulled the cord that rained the meat free Yakisoba.
So there you have it.
Somewhere, in NYC it rains Yakisoba. And if it doesn't?
It should.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And So...

I enter a blue a period.

Hmmm

Or not. This one looks nicer. But I may change my mind again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

aaargh

Our house has a well. As in, for water.
I like having a well, actually. We had it tested before escrow ended on the house, and we even paid a little extra to get the mega test, to make sure the water didn't have any bad contaminates in it. Obviously, all the tests turned out well. Very well, actually. The water is very clean, and free of anything, and the well is deep, with a good flow rate. And so, we were (and are) happy.
Now.
We live in an area in California where mining was a very heavy industry. Matter of fact, the area was initially settled by Welsh miners. Those mines are still in existence. Talk abounds of the mining at one particular mine starting up again. Of course, that mine is near to our home. (bastards). And with this talk, they tell us there is the possibility that our well could get contaminated.
Enter, the local water company, supposedly to the rescue.
They decided (with dollar signs dancing in their eyes), that they would branch out to our area. Dig up our street for MONTHS at a time to lay water pipe in, so that those of us with wells could get city water.
And the price for us to tap into their city water piping? The city water that tastes like chlorine, and has only knows what in it?
over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS
yep
they want us to pay them something a little more than 10k to get their water.
AND THEN
we would have the monthly water bill, too....
Um...
NO
is what we have decided.
Our well is fine, there is no concrete plan for the mine to re open. And even if it does, it does not automatically mean our well water will go bad. And frankly? I don't have 10k to just give our local water nazi's. They can go suck it.
Meanwhile, back at the farm.
This week, they are carving up the street in front of the house. As I type, bull dozers large enough to make my floor rattle are going down the road. They actually are wanting us to park our cars at our neighbor's houses, across the street, so that they can dig at free will, without the hassle of letting me out of MY OWN DRIVEWAY.
(once again, they can bite me). Our across the street neighbors are these little old people, with limited parking space as it is. I work nights. MM works days. They don't need our cars cluttering up their limited space for days at a time. Not to mention the fact, I don't want to be going back and forth across our semi busy street at the ass crack of dawn as I get home from work, or at dusk, when I am leaving for work. They are going to have to let me out. And in. And out. And in. Whenever I choose....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, October 2, 2010

my brain. It hurts.

I have the strangest thoughts in the middle of the night. My brain really must feel like I limit it during the day time, because it rambles so in my dreams.

So, last nights consideration?

When Sherpa's want to go on vacation, where do they go?

Yeah. I know.
I can only think that I thought of this because I've been watching these documentaries about climbing Mt. Everest, lately. I love watching those. If I were in (much much) better shape, and (much much) younger, I'd go to Everest.
Maybe I am a re-incarnated Everest climber who died up there.
It could be~ stop laughing.
So those Sherpa's.
How do you find a good vacation spot after you've been on top of the world? I can't see a Sherpa wanting to sip Mojito's on a beach, or, going on an Alaskan Cruise. I wonder what they'd think of Disney World? They'd want to scale the giant Epcot Golf Ball, I'm betting....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


For some reason, this is the only one I could find... this is the pink frosting crisco one

Monday, September 27, 2010

the cake game

So, what's going on in your world?

Nothing too earth shattering in mine...
The kid turned 16 and despite having a head full of cotton, I survived it. Some of the kids nearly didn't, though. They were playing a raucous game of Hide and Seek, and MG's boyfriend, who isn't known for his gracefulness, had one of those moments where he tripped. It was like he hung in the air for three seconds, then THUD. Sprawled on the ground. This kid is over 6 feet tall, and SOLID. China felt that earthquake. He's fine. But it looked nasty. Now, a week later, he says he still has a bruise on his leg from it. Our backyard is perfect for Hide and Seek, though, since it's a little over an acre, and has tons of trees. Fun was had by all.
One tradition we have for her birthday is that MM and I endeavor to make her the ugliest cake we can. Yes. We do that. We are terrible people. She loves it. It started out unintentionally, one year MM made a cake with frosting that consisted of crisco (the "fluffy" white kind, and Strawberry Quik.
NO I am not kidding. I had no part of that cake, except to stick a piece of peanutbutter toffee candy in the top. I mean, really, how could I have made it worse? I think he tried to write on top of it "Hippie Bird Day to Ewe". God that was a bad cake.
So the next year, it was my turn. I made a decent cake, and then tried to make black icing. Black food coloring really only turns things dark grey. And it made the icing runny as hell. I was running out of time, so I frosted that poor cake with dark grey icing, then put Happy Birthday on it like it was a hangman game, and had some of the letters filled in with candy. Stick figure hanging and everything.
Sadly, the cake was still a little too warm when I frosted it, and so the letters slid around and the hangman slid around, and it looked like a Picasso during his dark grey period.
Oh how we laughed at that.
This year, it was a team effort.
We bought one of those awful "Fun-Fetti" things, with the bright sugar things in the batter. With the matching frosting. I made the cake, and frosted it. It was a round layer, and of course, it was lopsided. MM decorated the top with MORE sugar sprinkles, and black icing from a can. It said "Hippo Birfday". Cake Wreaks got nothing on the two of us.
Before you take our parent cards, realize this
She LOVES the ugly cakes. She really does.
And we got her an ice cream cake for the actual party. The ugly cake is for family. And we ate that thing. My teeth STILL hurt from the sugar that cake held.
Now, though? I have a little less then a year to come up with a plan for next years ugly cake.
I'm thinking Cerebus.
Or maybe Cylcops.
or not...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The plague

Someone, somewhere, within the last week-ish decided to share their infectious process with me. Its only SEPTEMBER and I have my first cold of the season. It hit, of course, the day before MG's birthday party, rendering me achy, crabby, and snot filled for the weekend. Bastard cold.

Fun was managed to be had, I did my best to convince myself that I felt fine. We had a pretty nice weekend. But I am still sick and slow.
I am, however, working on a story. It's not a very nice one, and I still don't know how its going to end. I will put it here, eventually.
and, most importantly, Mustang Girl is now, officially, sixteen. Today is the day. MM has chemistry class, so she and I will be going for dinner this evening...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The small things in life

Another thing I really don't blog much about is being a step mom. (because that is what we call me, here).

I don't blog about it because, to be honest with you, it doesn't really create much blog fodder. I am very lucky in my karmic draw of step daughters. She is easy to get along with, she likes our little family, and her mom doesn't cause any particular drama in OUR lives. What she does with her own life is her own business, and we keep our families as separate as we can, and it works for us.
Anyhow.
Yeah. Step mom. Sometimes I find myself doing things with MG that just make me giggle on the inside. Like prom dress shopping, or homework checking. Even better?
Back to School night.
Oh, yeah...
I think I blogged about this two years ago when she was a freshman. I was working last year, and missed the joy of back to school night.
Last night, however, I went again. It was interesting. To recap, somewhat...
the way they manage it at our local high school is to have us go to the classes our child goes to on a daily basis. We only get 10 minutes per teacher, though, with ten minutes between each class to find the next one we are going to. I have MG go with me, otherwise I'd never find my way. This doesn't give much time for any parent to actually speak with the teachers, but it does give a feel for what the class is like, and what the expectations are, and, also, how each teacher prefers to be communicated with. They all seem to like email. I love that.
The teachers I most liked last night were her English and History teachers. Oh, the Biology teacher was good, too. The English teacher calls his class "American Literature", and he has a VERY ambitious reading list for them this year. They are reading "The Crucible" right now, and they are going to read "The Scarlet Letter", "Catcher in the Rye", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The Great Gatsby", and a few others. They have some great reading ahead of them. Its a good thing she likes to read.
Her Spanish teacher nearly put me to sleep. It seems to me that foreign language learning is very hit or miss. He is very old school, very set in his ways, and lordy, I am glad I am not in that class.
Thankfully, she is loving high school, and does well with her classes. She is a junior now, and is turning Sixteen a week from today. This weekend we are having her birthday party...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

glasses, or spectacles?

So, writing down my thoughts about grief was a good catharsis for me, I was able to get those deep thoughts out of my brain, so I could move on to other thoughts that aren't quite as dark.

But, I've been kind of at a loss for any kind of blog topics, lately, and my brain is very tired today, so I hit MM up to give me a random blog topic.
His suggestion?
That I blog about "Timothy Leary's glasses cause hallucinations".
Yes, really. See what I live with? Its no wonder that I love him :)
So here we go.
Now, if by glasses he meant Timothy Leary's spectacles causing hallucinations, well, that could be so. Especially if people with different prescriptions tried his glasses on. That would at least make their world a bit more blurry then it would have been before the glasses.
BUT
if we are talking about Timothy Leary's drinking glasses, then, OF COURSE there would be hallucinations involved. He was such a big proponent of LSD to be used for psychological benefit that I would bet money he had a copious amount at home for just that. Being a house guest at his house would come with certain risks, and benefits.
He died from Prostate Cancer, but did an interesting thing with some of his ashes. He had them sent to space along with Gene Rodenberry's (and others)...
So, if you're ever at the house of a Leary, be leery of the glasses, drinking, or otherwise...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a discussion of grief. Not my best blog post, but out here none the less

Ok, take two, or maybe three of writing this one. If I don't get it all out this time, I will probably trash can it, so here we go.


I've been thinking, a lot about grief, this week. No, I am not depressed. No one close to me has died. Things have just happened.. I guess you could say it actually started off with Bubblewench's sad loss, but my thoughts of grief were really triggered this week because one of my friends/coworkers suddenly lost a family member, and was at work when he learned of it. And watching him go through that affected me. In mere seconds, I watched as he went through the denial, the disbelief, and then, that *moment*. The one where that dark cloud of realization hits. The one where you realize you are never going to see/hear/touch your dear one on this earthly plain again. And you didn't really get to say goodbye.
I've always, ALWAYS, been a sensitive to grief. To me, it is another emotion, all to itself. Sadness doesn't begin to cover it. In my mind, when someone is grieving, especially that initial, first burst of grief, they are at one of the most vulnerable moments of their life. They have just had something taken from them. Never to return. And they are there, on that brink, of either accepting that, or losing their mind. Some choose to lose their minds.
I see my fair share of it, in my line of work. I actually, purposefully, take care of the death and dying patients and families, because I am sensitive to it. I don't want to short change any of my caring co workers, but my river of empathy runs strong here. But when I am there, with those suffering families, I am not grieving WITH them. I should not be, because that would imply that I am an intimate of their family. I am empathetic to them. They don't need a grieving nurse. They need one who is going to help them get through the process. And I can do that. Well. We all have our gifts, and that is my acknowledged gift at work. And I wouldn't change that.
It doesn't mean I am not affected by the people and their families. Some of them stay with me forever, good and bad. The suicides really get to me. Thankfully, we haven't had many of those, lately.
But, I didn't really sit down to write this about work. I really sat down to write this so I could see if I could put the emotion of grief down in words. I still don't know if I can.
One thing that really upsets me, in relation to grief, is the media. They seem to think that freedom of the press allows them to go, and take pictures of people who are in that moment. I do not think pictures of a parent holding their dead child is beautiful, or moving. I think it is an invasion of what should be a very private moment. We do NOT need to see the crying soldier holding his best friend in death. We do not need to see the broken down widow's/widowers at the graveside, fresh in the knowledge that their loves will never walk by their side again. We know what death is. We've all been there. No one deserves to be published facing that black prospect. No one. I actually think its pretty disrespectful. But that's just me. I acknowledge that, and I don't look at those pictures. And if one sneaks up on me, I get mad all over again.
I do digress, I guess. Grief. One of the purest, most painful emotions we can experience in our lives. I have spent about three days really mulling it over in my mind, from all the different aspects I've witnessed it in. In my own family, as a nurse, as a friend, and as a bystander. It's different from every aspect, with every person. It depends on who died. On what died. We grieve the death of our pets. Our plants. Our televisions. (come on, you know that some really do grieve inanimate objects). We grieve any kind of loss. The loss of a favorite earring. The loss of innocence. Grief is not exclusive to death. But when death is involved, that is the darkest, most heart shattering grief, it would have to be, right? Its the most vulnerable. And it has me, thinking...

Friday, August 27, 2010

decisions, decisions

Stepping out the doors, I appreciatively breathe in the clean, fresh air, and glance around me, hugging myself, feeling both lucky, and apprehensive. Its early. I get to go home, and sleep. But, one more patient admitted to my floor brings me back. Will I go home and go to bed? Or stay awake, waiting for that intrusive phone call that recalls me back to the florescent world I just left.

Sleeeeeeep......
I make my way through the parking lot, noticing the lack of cars, and, more importantly, the lack of ambulances. No ambulance is a good sign. I work in the ICU. Our patients are usually delivered via ambulance. Sometimes they surprise me, crazy people driving through my town having crushing chest pain, or stroke symptoms. I always lecture them. I don't want them behind the wheel, impaired like that!
Jumping in my jeep, I choose to leave the radio off, to enjoy the quiet of this summer night. The temperature has dipped, thankfully. The air conditioner stays off. Smiling, I point Roxie towards home, and off we go.
My brain is still clicking with activity. I did not expect to go home early. But, we sent one fortunate soul home with his wife, sent one to another hospital, and transferred one to another floor. They didn't need so many nurses, and I was the chosen one. The one who volunteered. Happily.
Eight short minutes later, I roll up the driveway, and appreciate the beautiful sight of home. I hurry past the front of the house, not wanting to shine my lights into the front windows. Our bedroom is in the front, and MM has to get up for work in a few, short hours. I park in my customary spot, and open the door. Three shapes materialize at the back door. Meowing, plaintively, thinking that I will be fooled, and give them more of the canned food they adore. I laugh, softly, ruffle a few heads, and step over them, and into the door, into my welcoming kitchen. Sighing, I know I want to go lay down, and sleep. Yet my mind echoes with the fact that it just takes ONE PERSON, needing care, and I will reverse my route. Its what I do.
I walk through the darkness, hoping no one moved anything while I was gone, knowing they didn't. They never do. The iced tea I had causes me to head for the bathroom, where I blind myself with light, and see my night gown, hanging on its hook. Unable to resist, I pull my uniform off. The decision is made, it really has been. I am going to spin the wheel, take my chances.
Sleeeeep
Quickly, now, so as not to lose any time, I finish my ablutions, and stealthily make my way into the bedroom, around its mess (it is a mess) and to my bed. I have phone in hand, and use it, occasionally, to shine light, so I can see. I find MM in the middle of the bed, snoring lightly. He is deep into dream land. I remember one task I wanted to do, and accomplish it easily, using my phone. (What did I ever do, before the advent of my iPhone?). I put it down, make sure the house phone is easily within reach, mutter a prayer (please, don't ring!), and drift down, into bed, gently nudging MM out of my spot. Softly, I kiss him, and roll over, grateful for my fortune. I say a better prayer then please don't ring, and work on quieting my mind, so that I can sleep.
MM eventually realizes I am home, I know this because suddenly, there are arms around me, pulling me into a spooning embrace. Kisses land on my shoulder, then, just as suddenly, he is gone, again. Blame the night time bladder.
"how did you escape early?" he asks a few moments later as he shuffles back to the bed, and is asleep before I can give him a full answer, like I knew he'd be. MM can fall asleep in mere seconds. Me? At least 20 minutes. Sometimes more.
Sighing, I quiet my mind, again, and finally, blissfully, fall to sleep.
The phone, blessedly, stays silent. My town stayed safe, no one else falling ill enough to require the services of a tired ICU nurse. Good for them, Good for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

coming to a television near you

So here we are again

on the cusp of another football season.
Every year, I've blogged about how happy I am that football is starting up again. Why should this year be different?
I've figured out something, though. Its not JUST the football that I look forward to. Its what the start of the season signifies.
With the start of football season, comes FALL. I love the fall. No matter what you want to call it. Fall, Autumn, whatever. It's my favorite season of all.
The air turns crisp, the heat (usually) goes away, kids have gone back to school. Halloween, caramel apples, falling leaves, and all the smells that go with it. Thanksgiving, which I like very much, because its a get together without the stress of gift giving or too much hullaballoo.
Now, if I can just keep all this in mind, while attempting to ignore all the people jumping the gun with the commercialized stuff....
but. Football.
SOON.
I do love the football!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Shadow Play with Audrey

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

de-sensitized

I started this conversation last night with MM, but, poor soul, he was tired, and went to sleep instead.

So now I get to have this conversation with my blog. (those of you still reading? Chime in, or I'll just be talking to myself).
Much talk goes on about how (since they have grown up with the news, and such graphic examples of violence) de-semsitized our children are.
Well, I propose to you (or me) this
They are also de- sensitized to the phrase "I love you".
Yes, really.
I will explain my thoughts.
When I was younger, I love you was a phrase only used in family life. I never really dreamt of telling a friend that I loved them. I didn't love my friends, if you want all honesty. Not immediately. Love takes time to grow, even if its just a friendship love. I do have friends now, that I love. Anyhoo.
As I got older, that really didn't change. A boy, that I had been "seeing" for about 3 weeks, when I was sixteen, once told me that he loved me. I told him "no you don't", and promptly broke up with him, because I didn't want someone thinking he knew me well enough to declare love after three weeks. In my mind, that was idiotic.
As I reflect on this, I don't feel like I was alone in this kind of attitude. None of my friends verbally confessed love for me. None of my (other) boyfriends did, either. Love, and that magic phrase were reserved for that special someone. Not a phrase to be used lightly. Ever.
So when my (now ex) boyfriend/husband first told me he loved me?
I was over the moon.
Because I'd fallen in love with him, too.
And even now when MM tells me he loves me?
I still get a little thrill...
But I've been observing, quietly, the youth right now. Its easy for me, with MG living in the house.
They use "I love you" ALL THE TIME.
they have their text abbreviation for it (ily). They use it taking surveys when they answer something that will irritate a friend (don't hate me! ily!). They use it with their boyfriends/girlfriends, almost immediately, almost like its expected. They "love" everyone they date?!?
Now, I can hear the detractors now
"Its nice that this generation feels the love".
Do they? Do they feel the love? How do they know? Do they love everyone? Do they have *that* special feeling for all their friends and boyfriends/girlfriends?
And what is going to happen when they DO discover that feeling, that irrevocable, heart breaking emotion that we feel when we do love, LOVE someone.
And they say
"I love you"
and that person, that they LOVE
thinks
"well I've heard that before."
because they have. Every day. Text messaged, verbalized, Facebooked. Whatever.
I fear "I love you" is losing its magic.
And it makes me sad...

Monday, August 16, 2010

already?

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kids of my county.

It seems so quick anymore, summer does. I liked it when school started in the cooler weather of September. But, they are so worried about 'snow days' here that they overcompensate. AND, the kids get more time off during the year... so it all balances out.
Mustang Girl is going to be a Junior in High School this year.
A JUNIOR.
An upper-classman.
She's going to be graduating before I even blink an eye!
I cannot believe how fast time flies. She was a little girl, I swear she was. But now she is doing things like going to the Prom, having a steady boyfriend, and (dare I even say it?) contemplating DRIVING.
Driving!!
Its just NOT right, I tell you.
But she does have a kick ass class schedule this year. We are looking forward to it :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The last of the read along questions....

1) In Chapter 9, a restless Rat meets a Seafaring Rat who entices him with the lure of the open sea and of travelling. Entranced, Rat starts to leave with him, but is hindered by Mole. What did you think of this scene, and what did you think of Mole’s cure for his wanderlust? I actually thought this chapter was really bizarre, and it it kind of interrupted the flow of the book for me. Of all the characters that would be enticed this way, I would not have thought it of Rat. I think Mole did the best he could, and the only thing he knew to do. After all, it's what they tried to do to keep Toad in check. But this chapter disturbed me. I didn't like it. Especially when he changed Rat's eye color. It was almost as if he were trying to get us to buy into the fact that Rat got possessed by the seafaring rat. Yech.



2) Chapter 10 is the Further Adventures of Toad where he lies, cheats, steals, and makes his way home. What did you think of his adventures, and do you think he’s grown or changed at the end of this chapter? STILL not enjoying Toad. I don't think Toad will ever change or grow up. He's too selfish to do so.

3) In Chapter 11, Rat tells Toad, “Now, Toady, I don't want to give you pain, after all you've been through already; but, seriously, don't you see what an awful ass you've been making of yourself? On your own admission you have been handcuffed, imprisoned, starved, chased, terrified out of your life, insulted, jeered at, and ignominiously flung into the water--by a woman, too! Where's the amusement in that? Where does the fun come in?” and Toad’s response is, perhaps surprisingly, “Now, it was a very comforting point in Toad's character that he was a thoroughly good-hearted animal and never minded being jawed by those who were his real friends. And even when most set upon a thing, he was always able to see the other side of the question. So although, while the Rat was talking so seriously, he kept saying to himself mutinously, `But it WAS fun, though! Awful fun!' and making strange suppressed noises inside him, k-i-ck-ck-ck, and poop-p-p, and other sounds resembling stifled snorts, or the opening of soda-water bottles, yet when the Rat had quite finished, he heaved a deep sigh and said, very nicely and humbly, `Quite right, Ratty! How SOUND you always are! Yes, I've been a conceited old ass, I can quite see that; but now I'm going to be a good Toad, and not do it any more.” – he resolves to return to Toad Hall but is thwarted by the fact that it was taken over by stroats and weasels. The rest of the chapter involves plans to reclaim Toad Hall by our crew of four. What do you think of Toad’s response to Rat? What do you think of the preparations for the “big battle?” Once a Toad, always a Toad? Though he seemed miserable during his whole 'adventure' away from home, he was, sub-conciously, thrilled at having another tale to tell his friends at home. He was miserable, I suspect, at the prospect that he might not make it home to TELL them. Once he did, of course he is going to consider it a fun adventure. Because if it wasn't fun to go adventure, then he'd have to settle down, wouldn't he?
As far as the battle for Toad Hall, I think it was something thrown in so the friends could have one, last Hurrah together before the book ended.

4) Chapter 12 is the climatic battle, and resolution. What do you think of this chapter? Is it a satisfying ending to this situation? I guess so. But I have to admit, by the end of this book, I was kind of disappointed. I had a hard time getting through the last few chapters, especially after the odd Ratty gets possessed chapter.

5) Our book ends “After this climax, the four animals continued to lead their lives, so rudely broken in upon by civil war, in great joy and contentment, undisturbed by further risings or invasions. Toad, after due consultation with his friends, selected a handsome gold chain and locket set with pearls, which he dispatched to the gaoler's daughter with a letter that even the Badger admitted to be modest, grateful, and appreciative; and the engine-driver, in his turn, was properly thanked and compensated for all his pains and trouble. Under severe compulsion from the Badger, even the barge-woman was, with some trouble, sought out and the value of her horse discreetly made good to her; though Toad kicked terribly at this, holding himself to be an instrument of Fate, sent to punish fat women with mottled arms who couldn't tell a real gentleman when they saw one. The amount involved, it was true, was not very burdensome, the gipsy's valuation being admitted by local assessors to be approximately correct.

Sometimes, in the course of long summer evenings, the friends would take a stroll together in the Wild Wood, now successfully tamed so far as they were concerned; and it was pleasing to see how respectfully they were greeted by the inhabitants, and how the mother-weasels would bring their young ones to the mouths of their holes, and say, pointing, `Look, baby! There goes the great Mr. Toad! And that's the gallant Water Rat, a terrible fighter, walking along o' him! And yonder comes the famous Mr. Mole, of whom you so often have heard your father tell!' But when their infants were fractious and quite beyond control, they would quiet them by telling how, if they didn't hush them and not fret them, the terrible grey Badger would up and get them. This was a base libel on Badger, who, though he cared little about Society, was rather fond of children; but it never failed to have its full effect.” What did you think of this ending? And, what did you think of the book overall? I thought the end was kind of weak. I don't believe for a minute that Toad could settle down and not cause trouble. I would bet money that Mole would eventually find his way back to his snug warren, and visit often. And I feel like the Badger character got lost towards the end. He just seemed grumpy and unhappy to me. The end of this book, for me, was anti climactic.

6) The delightful Grace passed along this article about Kenneth Grahame After learning more about his life, does it alter or change your opinion of the book? I can't open the article, so I am at a loss for this one

7) Anything I’ve missed? Still don't think so

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More read along with Mimi

1) In Chapter 5, Mole and Rat go by Mole’s house and Mole is reminded, “but it was my own little home--and I was fond of it--and I went away and forgot all about it--and then I smelt it suddenly--on the road, when I called and you wouldn't listen, Rat--and everything came back to me with a rush--and I WANTED it!” – what did you think about Mole’s reaction to his home?

I totally get Mole's reaction, here. As a matter of fact, I almost cried when Ratty just kind of blew his friend off and kept going. Sometimes, certain passages of books break my heart, and this was one of them. Probably because I love my home so much, too. Sure, I travel, and leave it, but there is no place like home, the place that is yours, where you can put your slippers on, let your hair down, and just be YOU. My guess is that Mole misses that, but didn't realize it until that scent of home crossed his nose...


2) Later in the same chapter, there is a very sweet Christmas scene. After field-mice serenade Mole and Rat, they reciprocate by throwing a dinner. What did this say about Christmas traditions of England at the turn of the 20th Century, and what did you think Mole and Rat drew from it?
I think Mole and Rat drew away comfort, fun, and the spirit of generosity from this unexpected, yet expected Christmas treat. It greatly uplifted Mole, who was having a hard time adjusting back into, and appreciating his home, and it gave Ratty something to do and arrange, which he desperately needed.
As far as the first part of your question, during that time, it was much safer, and more of a common practice to invite strangers into your home, entertain them, or let them entertain you, and enjoy getting to know them. We've progressed, too far, from that. It would be a wonderous thing if we could get back to it. But I don't see that happening...

3) In Chapter 6 despite everyone else’s best efforts, Toad escapes, steals a car, and a Wild Ride ensues. What did you think of this episode, and did it confirm or change your opinion of Toad? Sadly, I STILL don't like Toad. Were I his friends, I am afraid that I would have left Toad to his own destruction, and to spend his money as he wished. It just confirmed to me that he is a, well, for lack of a better description, a manipulative little Toad.
But yet, the book needs him, or their wee world would be a little too good.

4) In the next chapter Badger’s son goes missing and is found by Mole and Rat with Pan. What did you think of the description of Pan and of their meeting? I loved the fact that there was still, after all these years, something new for Ratty on the river. This was a beautiful chapter, one of my favorites thus far.

5) Chapter 8 finds Toad jailed (or gaoled ) for his crimes. Ulimately he befriends the gaoler’s daughter and escapes. Does this episode teach Toad anything? Do you think this was a reasonable punishment? The punishment was a bit extreme, but I don't think Toad will learn much from it. I think it will temporarily slow him down, the recollection of how miserable and depressed he was when he was locked in a TRUE prison, (as opposed to being guarded by his friends). Eventually, that recollection will fade into a distant, unpleasant memory, and then Toad will get distracted by something else new and shiny, and away he will go. Its his nature. And truthfully? I doubt his friends would want him any other way. In a strange way, its kind of like McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He was trouble from the start, but when the "man" lobotomized him, and cured him, his best friend didn't want him that way, and smothered him. I do hope this book doesn't end with smothered Toad, though...

6) Anything that I’ve missed or anything you’d like to mention? Still can't think of anything. But my brain is tired.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Read along with Mimi

I'm reading "Wind in the Wilows" along with my friend, Mimi, and some of her friends. These are my answers to her read along questions :)

Wind In the Willows Questions for Chapters 1-4

1) What do you think about the characters beinganthropomorphized
animals? Is this easy or difficult for you to reconcile with their behaviors?
Its funny, because I am finding that I don't mind certain animals being anthropomorphized, like Ratty, and Mole, but for some reason, the FROG, of all things, kind of bothers me. I can't decide if that's because of the personality and mannerisms they gave the frog, or if I just don't like them much in general...
Either way, I will admit, it does make it easier to envision the characters doing what they are doing by giving them human like attitudes.

2) Chapter One introduces us to Mole and his experiences one spring day as he decides to forego house cleaning and frolic in the fresh air instead. What do you think of his joy in the spring and of the river: “Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”
I love the language of this book, and I especially love that Mole decided to take a chance, and leave his warren to go take a walk, and go further then he ever had before. He was rewarded for this by his introduction to the river, and, eventually, Ratty. This one, simple, joyful walk changed his life as he knew it, and Mole was brave enough to let this happen. Which is so unlike a Mole.

3) What do you think attracts Mole and Rat as friends? I think initially, Ratty is attracted to Mole because he just can't fathom that Mole knows nothing of the river that Ratty knows, and loves. Its incomprehensible to him that there is "someone" out there who doesn't know of the river. (Inconceivable!). For his part, Mole is so taken with the river that I think he'd do anything to stay near it. As time goes on, they get used to each other, and comfortable with each other. I think they bring out the best in each other. As solitary animals, they were wanting companionship, and they found it with each other.

4) In Chapter Two, we meet Toad who “Disregarding the Rat, he proceeded to play upon the inexperienced Mole as on a harp. Naturally a voluble animal, and always mastered by his imagination, he painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement” and embarks with Mole and Rat in tow. What do you think of Toad, and of their adventure? And, what do you think when at the end of the chapter, Toad buys a car.
As I mentioned earlier, (or alluded to), Toad really isn't my favorite character. Sure, he's charming, and funny. But in my mind, he is the "evil" of this story, the bad influence, the one who always has to get his way. I question whether Toad is really their friend, or is he just using them to do and get what he wants? Without Toad's influence, though, I guess the story would wither. And we all have negative influences in our life. As the story goes on, I hope to like Toad a little more...

5) In Chapters Three and Four winter comes and we are introduced to Badger. What do you think of the contrast between the spring and summer adventures, and the winter adventures? Also, what do you think of the character of Badger and how he joins in?
I think Badger is actually my favorite character, so far. He likes to bide his time, and look before he leaps. I enjoyed the way the author of the book did explain the differences between summer and winter. I admit, I was rather surprised that Mole took yet another chance, in his desperation to meet Badger, to go on another walk. I was worried about him when he was alone in the woods! I loved, also, the time they spent in Badgers home, and the descriptions of Badgers home. I'd like to go visit Badger myself.

6) As we finish this section, are there other themes or questions I’ve missed? No, I think you covered it pretty well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hotel Hershey?

Where you can take a 'Whipped Cocoa Bath'. Cocoa powder included, to help tighten your skin.

Seriously?
The chocolate antioxidants are good for the skin.
This bath is actually patented by the Hershey corporation.
taking a bath in 880 cups of hot chocolate may have just made my bucket list.
Or
It has grossed me out completely.
I haven't decided, yet....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

bonus Wordless Wednesday

I put my hand in the tank to fix the filter nozzle gizmo, and Jacques decided it needed a cleaning. I got a cleaner shrimp manicure. Silly shrimp.

nearly wordless wednesday


This WW brought to you by our barely started SW tank, and some of its inhabitants....

T
this is Pancho, Mexican Turbo snail #1. And yes, we can actually tell them apart. Silly people.


This is Rudy, the Mexican Turbo snail, giving you a smile...



This one is called blue xenia. Though to me, it looks more purple then anything...


This is a star polyp, it actually looks really cool under the darker tank lights... Mustang Girl has those pictures, though!


This is one of the 'feather dusters'


This is Jacques. He's a cleaner shrimp, and so far, he's had a great time running around the tank, cleaning everything from the corals, to the snails :)

Well, those are the inhabitants that chose to cooperate with me, at any rate. The peppermint shrimp, who has yet to get a name, is the fastest thing in the tank, and did not appreciate the big hulking human lurking with a camera, and quickly scuttled away to hide in a rock. I am sure I will put up more as the tank develops...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

and so we start another

tank.

Yes. You read that right. We've started another tank. We didn't buy another tank, we just converted the 29 gallon FW tank into a 29 gallon Salt Water tank.
Why?
Because we could. Because some of the salt water fish are different, and beautiful, and odd. And the corals, and the anenomes, and the live rock. Its completely different then having a fresh water tank. Boy, is it different.
So far, we have some live rock, including one affectionately known as 'Larry'. We have some shrimp, one is a 'cleaner' shrimp, that will actually clean the fish (when we get them), the other is a peppermint shrimp, who is nocturnal, and hides very well. We also got some corals, and these worms, called "feather dusters" that send their feather duster looking feelers out into the water for food.
The most active inhabitants, believe it or not, are the snails, Pancho and Rudy. They are "Mexican Turbo snails". I've never seen a snail move so fast in my life. These two snails, in two days, (actually, nights, they are nocturnal as well) have done laps around the tank, sucking up every bit of algae that once existed. They climb walls, rocks, anything. And they move fast. Every time I look up, they are in another spot of the tank. During the day, they siesta, but at night? Party in the tank...
Now, we have to figure out which fish....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ahhh....

Today, I wanted a popsicle.

A simple request, right?
Except, really, the reason I really wanted, no, needed said popsicle was that I just wasn't feeling well. I'd had a fever and chilling during the night, and woke up feeling like I've been run through a meat grinder and that the only thing that survived intact were my aching joints. Especially my knees. Oh, and I still had a low grade fever when I woke up.

Anyhow. Back to the important thing.
Popsicles.
When did the popsiclemarket explode? I finally could curb my desire for said frozen treat no longer, and drug my achy self to the store (dragged?) where I must have looked quite the site, buying cat food, and popsicles. Except. Popsicles.
SO MANY CHOICES!!!
My poor muddled brain first thought "screw it, go with the traditional ones", but then I had visions of the grape ones getting rotted and sticky in the bottom of my freezer. I don't like the grape ones. My tired eyes scanned, back, and forth, back and forth. Tangerine fruit bars, lime bars, lemonaide bars, strawberry, 'rockets', sugar free, mandarin orange...
pardon my french but Fuck!
All I wanted was a dang popsicle! Or a few, actually, because its summer and it just sounds right that I should be sick and eating popsicles! What else was I gonna eat!
In the end, I chose tropical fruit, sugar free popsicles, because, I know that when I don't feel good, sugar is not my friend.
It was the right choice. When I unwrapped that first cool treat, I will admit a moment of doubt, and fear. It was blue.
But it tasted
so freaking good.
So good, that half hour later I ate a red one...


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Queen Meme Tuesday

Welcome to The Queens's Meme #44 ~
The Firsts Meme
(a totally random and useless meme about firsts)

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
"It is what it is, this is me, at 40".

2. Where did you go on the very first vacation of your life? Had to have been Lake Almanor. We went there every summer for a few weeks when I was a kid.

3. Open the door of your refrigerator. What is the first thing you see? Home made pineapple salsa.

4. Tell us about your first kiss OR your last first date. My first kiss was in second grade. Bobby Randall chased me around the playground, along with his goon, Donnie something or another. They caught me. And Bobby kissed me. And I freaked out because he had a black tooth, and I thought those were catching, and that one of my teeth was going to turn black because he kissed me.

5. If you had wings to fly about the universe, where is the first place you'd land? I would go to Saturn, to see those rings for myself.

6. What is the first thing you do when you get in your car? Adjust the seat, because MM has probably driven it last, and his legs are much longer than mine.

7. What is the first thing you ever said to your firstborn? Um... I don't have one of those. "Nice to meet you" was the first thing I said to my step daughter... I think....

8. What is the last thing you heard about your first love? That he now lives in Mississippi with his wife, and mother!

9. If you had created the world in seven days yourself, what would you have created on the First Day? Firemen... (don't ask me why, its just what came to my head)

10. What is the first song in your IPOD or song list? A song called "A".

11. What is the first tangible thing you lost that you could never find again? My Innocence.

12. Who is your favorite First Lady of all time?
Martha Washington.

13. Post a link to your first blog post.
Here you go

14. When was the last time you neededFirstAid?
Probably yesterday. I tend to injure myself on a regular basis. The day is young yet, today...

15. Can you explain what a first down is in football? I absolutely can. I have been watching football since I was in utero. But this will save me some time...