Monday, November 30, 2009

Carrie And Santa

We dressed warmly and piled into my car for a trip to the Flea Market on the opposite side of the town in which I live. The trip took about 20 minutes, mostly because we had to get off the interstate and circle back around on the service road to get to Ye Olde Flea Market. It's not really called that but because of the lateness of my years, I can't remember exactly what it's called. I figure it this way. Why cram all that useless information into my brain. I'm saving room up there for important stuff, like my name, address and how to dial 911.
This flea market has grown tremendously since my first visit there 10 years ago. Then it was junque, cheap imported, break as soon as you open it up, stuff. Off brand tools that a good torque would cause them to snap into. I never went back. I didn't go back until a couple of weeks ago so I wasn't aware of how much expansion had happened. Rows and rows of seller stalls, branched out tin covered vendor buildings sprawled across what used to be open field with every imaginable display of stuff you could live without but you end up with it anyway. I go because of the books. Book sellers with their wares lined neatly and categorized in rows and rows of shelves. Three dollars for hardbacks and two dollars for paperbacks; I like these prices. On the most recent visit, I bought 3 of the J.K. Rowling books for 3.00 per hardback. I have number 1 in the series and when I find number 2, I'll have the whole set for a mere pittance of what they would have cost in the book stores. I want to start reading them; I want the whole set before I start.
The best part of the trip is the people watching and there were plenty of 'peoples' to watch. I note all the nose rings, tongue rings, the tattoos, the clothing that doesn't exactly appear in the latest fashion mags, and then I start to wonder where these people find employment. Do they remove all these accoutrement's that adorn their eye brows, lips and nose before they surrender their application for scrutiny? Does the interviewer ignore all this hardware or maybe the hardware disappears for the interview. I could see and watch them all day. I like to see the faces. How can so many faces be in one place and no two faces appear identical. The minute spacing between the eyes, the spaces from lip to nose, from cheekbone to cheekbone and from cheekbone to chin all contribute to faces that appear unique to each person. We are a collection of spaces. Without those differing spaces we might all appear as copies of each other. I still like to look and take note.
Funnel cakes frying in oil, gumbo, burgers, fries, chili covered french fries; fragrances announced to all what was available for purchase. Families lounging on picnic tables in the middle of this market taking a break to supply nourishment to their young crowded in. More people watching and it was a freebie entertainment bonanza.
Daughter who had wondered away from Carrie and me called me on my cell phone. She was on aisle 200 and was calling to report that Santa Claus had been spotted. I whispered to Carrie while taking her hand to guide her through the crowd "Santa is here". She looked up and like a sunbeam, a big smile crossed her face causing her eyes to crinkle up; her whole face was smiling. Carrie has never made it to see Santa in her young 4 years of life. She has heard stories and seen many pictures but to see Santa in person has never happened for her. Most children experience fear when they see him for the first time and are too young to understand who he is. With Carrie, we waited until she was 4 yrs old and had watched movies and seen pictures of the big guy with the white beard and red clothing. She was ready.
Fearless she faced him and you could see her excitement. He was sitting on a chair behind and to the side of a table where the photographer was signing people up to have their child photographed with the Big Guy. Carrie didn't notice. She headed straight for him and when she reached him she threw herself onto him and wrapped her arms around his waist for a big hug. She clung to him for a while then stepped back and asked to sit on his lap. From her perch, she beamed at us. That was one happy child. No fear. She had finally found him, this man she had heard so much about. We had her photographed with him and she begged to stay right where she sat. I coaxed her away with promises to take her back to see him and on December 12th he will be downtown for the Christmas celebrations and I plan on keeping my promise.
Carrie is a bright child. I almost shy away from telling her this Santa lie. She remembers everything and someday she may question the lie we told.
I hope she doesn't notice if there is a slight difference in the Santa's. The one we visited at the flea market had on oblong wire rim glasses that sat on the end of his nose. This is something she might take note of and question the difference in the Big Guy's appearance. It will be interesting to watch her reactions to the next jolly fat guy in the tasteless red suit.
I would cancel Christmas but for the children. The children are Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

With reluctance I made my way to the Little House in the back yard, pulled open the door and stood looking at the blue totes stacked one on top of the other and knew that I would be sifting through each one for the decorations for the tree. The tree was an easy find. I had put it in a wheeled garbage barrel so I wouldn't have to drag the dilapidated box it came in across the grass and into the house. It took about 2 hours to set the tree up. It's one of those that has the colored coded branches and each branch is set into it's hooked position and starting from the bottom with 10 branches in green code, then up one layer to the red coded ones and so on till you reach the top where hopefully you will have inserted the correct color on each level. Oh fun.
This will be the last year I will use this tree. Much to the chagrin of my friend who couldn't believe I was still using this tree apparently manufactured before the dinosaurs were born; she was on the phone with me the entire time and amid her fits of giggles at my less then christian language while doing this, I swore that next year it will be a pre lit tree with 3 sections that fit together and you're done.
I am going to find an ice pack for my heel and then I'm going to find the feather pillows on my bed where I will lay my head followed by my tired Christmas decorating body!

And a good night to all.

Manipulation/Parkersburg WV Medical Care

My poor sister has my sympathy. She had to go to the surgery suite and have a manipulation. A manipulation is when the surgeon anesthetizes you and then he flexes the leg as far as he can breaking up the scar tissues. This is to enable the knee to 'bend' or to get more flexion.

They told her when to come in for this procedure and the day before, she phoned the surgery suite to find out she wasn't on the schedule. She had to call the doctors' office and they said they would call the surgery center and put her on the schedule. They had forgotten to do this. Strike 1.

During the procedure the doctor was only able to flex the knee to 120 degrees. He was hoping to get 130 to 135 degrees but this wasn't possible. Based on this, her flexion would only be 110 to 113 with physical therapists help. At this time he should have notified her physical therapy group of the amount of flexion he was able to do. He didn't do this. Strike 2.

She goes to physical therapy and they flex her knee back to 118. This was accomplished by holding her down while the physical therapist flexed her knee amid painful gasps. The physical therapists didn't check with the doctor on how much flexion they should be striving toward. Strike 3.

Doesn't anybody there communicate with each other on these patients? When sis goes to the doctors office she learns all this information on her flexion and her limits. This is after she has attended physical therapy for a week and the therapist have cranked back on her knee and unbeknowst of her limit.
Please don't let me ever have to be at the mercy of the Doctors in Parkersburg, WV nor the therapists also.
Three strikes and you're out!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Boo to You

I sat here and typed and saved and typed some more. I did this all in Microsoft Word program. I decided to try doing it there instead of here in the blog spot. I figured I could copy and past it here when I was finished. After many phone interruptions, I had it to the end, closed it with the closing sentence, checked the spelling, grammar and all that and came here to copy and paste and hit "publish".

*)))&&^)_++++&! The *())&&+...L((( thing wouldn't paste it to this blog.

I want to thank who suggested I do it in Microsoft. You know who you are. I'm closing this now so you can take this as my closing sentence and now I'm going to my email where I copied and pasted that blog done in Microsoft to see if it will paste from there to here!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Should Be in Bed

My vision is beginning to blur and my body to ache. I should go to bed and I don't know why I seem to be stalling. Maybe it's because the husband has just left town again and going back to the bedroom feels so isolated. I could just stay in the living room on the sofa and I might just do that. Who's here to direct me to do otherwise?

My legs are stretched out in front of me with my ankles crossed and feet resting on the coffee table. The laptop is balanced on my lap and bobbling around as I hit the keys on the keyboard. I'm a typist that has fingers that skim the keyboard quickly and sightlessly as I pound out my bit of daily history. I'm going to drag my blanket over me and find an old movie on the tube to fall asleep with while listening to the furnace click on and belch forth warmth. Yes, finally we have cool weather and for this I'm grateful.

Bright and Early

Maybe not so bright but it was early when the husband climbed into his truck and headed for Oklahoma. From that job he plans to go directly to the big job that is coming up and will keep him busy until Christmas. The second job is here in Louisiana and if they get a break in the job, he will be able to come home for a day and if not, I won't see him until Christmas and that's only if he finishes that job.

I watched him drive away as I stood on the carport. From my place I could see the roofs of the neighbors across the street and to the sides of my house. They glistened. White crystal covered the roof tops and the lawns. No, it didn't snow but it did frost. The huge maple tree in the front will be dropping more brown crispy leafs which I used to spend hours bagging up and putting beside the curb for pickup by the city truck. I didn't look forward to this chore and it always seemed that the only person that enjoys lawn work here was out of town when that big maple started shedding.

Have I mentioned before how much I love my lawn tractor? Normally I use it for grass cutting on this minuscule by need of a lawn tractor to mow it. I don't care. I know I don't have an acre to mow but I still have the little tractor that starts right up the moment I twist the key and minutes later I'm driving it back to it's storage place, smiling at the small bit of time that has elapsed. My other argument for buying this little jewel was the fact that we could mow over all those leafs instead of bagging them and that's exactly what we do. I'm in my element I tell ya. You might talk me into giving you my stove but there isn't a chance in the "hotter'nHell" summers that we have that my tractor is leaving here.
The Thanksgiving dinner went well and I even had help with the cleanup. The kids took their plates to the living room and sat in front of the big screen. I could hear them laughing and talking with each other; Carrie, not to be left out and left with adults, carried her plate to the coffee table and hung out with them. Casey, a young female 20 something friend of Lesie's, is leaving in January for National Guard training. Casey doesn't even tip the scales at 100 lbs. I think she wears a size zero. I almost didn't recognize her with out the piercing rings in her lips; she still has the "from elbows to shoulders tattoos" though. I didn't see a tramp stamp but her jeans may have been concealing one. I'm not a fan of tattoos nor piercings. One can be salvaged but the other is forever. For Christ's sake, get a damn pen and paper if you must sketch. I was happy she could be here with us. My heart hurts to think of her being shipped off to the sands of Afghanistan and even if she returns she may be minus an arm, both arms, leg or both legs. I shall worry about her.
I loaded most of the leftovers into one of those huge aluminum pans used to bake a turkey and it followed the daughter and her family home. Christmas dinner will be a ham or a prime rib roast. The roast always goes over well; everyone likes prime rib.
Carrie spent the night and as soon as she appears, we have errands to run. She thanked me for her new car booster seat. That's a sad state of affairs when a 4 yr old recognizes the need for a new seat and is appreciative. To me that just shows how much she disliked the old one.
I was on my feet most of the day yesterday and I noticed a little burning in my heel toward the end of the day. Ice and salve. It continues to relief the burning. I'm hoping if I continue with the salve and ice I won't have to have surgery on this. Time will tell and a month to be exact is the time I'm allotted to judge whether this is working or not.
I'm outta here to perk a fresh pot of coffee and watch the news. Carrie will be up soon and my day will be consumed by her. She's a voracious little time hog.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is Not Funny

Here it is. Thanksgiving Day and I've again been in the kitchen all morning. Let me share this with you. For 11 months out of the year, I don't approach that stove. It waits for the husband to give it attention. He and the stove have always had a better relationship then I. Thanksgiving is one of the days I spend hours in the kitchen. Well, the day before and the day "of". The other day is Christmas and then I'm pretty much finished up for the year.

The phone rings. The husband is called out. Called out 900 miles away. They want him to go to Oklahoma because the fellow that was supposed to take that job called in sick. I was not a happy chef. Bird flu. I'm sure that fellow has bird flu and as soon as this bird holiday is over, he will be ready to go on this job. My husband is a consultant. He is not on any one's payroll and he could decline this assignment but he won't. He never turns down a job. He says in this economy, we don't know how long there will even be work for anyone so he had better make it (money) while he can. He called the rig in Oklahoma where an old friend of ours from Wyoming is the "company man". He told husband to hang out at home today and he would give him a call tomorrow. He said he would hate for him to get called out and they wouldn't be at core point yet which would leave him sitting around waiting.
Bad enough he has to take this other fellows assignment, but I told husband maybe that other fellow will feel well enough by tomorrow to go on that job. Husband said "no, I've already accepted it and it will be mine no matter what happens now".
You want to hear the worst part of this whole story? We have a friend in New Orleans; the one that owns the condo on Bourbon Street, the sweet end of Bourbon, and he has tickets for us to the Saints/Patriots game on Monday and we could stay in the condo.
Please, can I scream now?

You can find me back in the kitchen getting the remainder of dinner ready. We are serving at 3PM and if you're not engaged in anything, stop by. We have plenty!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Almost There, The Finish Line is in Sight

Between icing my foot, salving my foot and getting ready for dinner tomorrow, it's been a roaring fast day. Daughter came in today to start the rice dressing which she will finish tomorrow. Rice dressing or dirty rice as it's also known is a holiday food. Who the heck wants to chop and fry chicken gizzards and livers and then chop all those onions and bell peppers? Thank the food industry for developing that in a margarine like tub that you warm up and add some rice to and have hours saved.

I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be for tomorrow and I'm so relieved that I got a lot of it done today. I just discovered that a vegetarian will be here for dinner. The menu:
Roasted Turkey Breast
Spiral Honey Ham
Dirty Rice (gizzards and livers and hamburger meat)
Broccoli, cheese and Sausage Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed potatoes
Sweet Potato Puff
Corn Bread Dressing
Tossed Salad
Hot rolls
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie with whipped creme
Assorted Soft Drinks

I'm hoping the vegetarian likes sweet potatoes, green beans, cornbread dressing, salad and dessert. I don't feel like adding another thing to this menu and I'm wondering if I have forgotten something on that list.

We went to Outback Steakhouse for a sirloin and small lobster tails. I should have just had a steak and nixed on the lobster tails. They weren't that good. The last time we were at Outback the floors were a beautiful solid wood dark flooring. This time they were a dizzying unattractive laminate. The pattern was diagonal then switched to vertical and back again to diagonal. Very disorienting and well, just plain ugly. The staff said it was because the old flooring was slippery but I don't understand how walking on laminate could be better then wood.

It's not late but I'm tired and I'm going to watch TV and just relax for a while. I can't go to bed this early or I will be up at 3AM. TV and my feet up for the rest of the evening sounds like just the thing.

Hot Rolls and Happiness

I've been up since 5AM and I've been busy. Right now my feet hurt and I'm done for the morning except for the hot rolls and the two pecan pies I slid into the oven. The husband made it in at 3:30 AM this morning and is planning on leaving again on Saturday for a long job. I'm grateful he could make it home for Thanksgiving which doesn't happen often.

I won't buy pecan pies from the stores. I have to make my own because I think the ones bought pre made are not tasty at all. It's time for me to get a shower and by the time that is done and I'm dressed it will be time to take the pies out of the oven. Two casseroles are ready to be baked tomorrow..the Sweet Potato Puff and the Broccoli, Cheese, Sausage and Rice. The last one mentioned is a new recipe from Pat On the Corner.

Speaking of Pat, I stopped by yesterday around 5PM to give her a computer lesson. We checked email, downloaded an Adobe Reader so she could look at the Adrien Supermarket Ads online. She was happy and for some lagniappe I downloaded Google Earth and we took a trip to her house and then down the street to the corner where we made a right turn and zipped right up in front of my house. We could see Ted riding his skateboard in the driveway of my house. Then we traveled to The Houstonian in, of course, Houston where her brother lives. The Houstonian is a big high rise condominium and easily spotted on the skyline. I think this scared her a little. To know this was possible left her a little uneasy and she wanted to know who was taking pictures of her house.

Satellites. It's the Big Eye in the Sky and it's watching everyone. I don't think that eased her concerns. I'm moving Pat into the 21st century and I'm not sure she was comfortable with the 20th century yet.

It's time for that shower and I'm looking forward to it. Happy Pre Thanksgiving. I shall be back later.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prepping the Day

I'm tired. I haven't done a lot so there is no reason for me to be this tired but when I glance at the clock and note the time I realize I should be in bed. It's late and that's enough of a reason to be tired.
Today I played 'hunter/gatherer and tomorrow I will do some prep work before the bird day.
This blog is short. It ends right here. Did I mention how tired I am?

Holidays and Gas Wells

I'm just wondering here about the wisdom of naming this a Holiday. Who gets to actually take this holiday. Whoever is doing the cooking is certainly not taking this day as a holiday which I equate to mean "day off". On that note, I'm making a list and checking it wait...that's the other Holiday I'm referencing. I am making a list but it's a supply list for the Sweet Potato Puff, spiral ham, condensed milk, whipped creme, pumpkin's my Thanksgiving Day list so I can enjoy a holiday; I'm the one enjoying it by standing in front of the stove tomorrow to cook as much as can be cooked and refrigerated the day before the big day.

My gathering will be small and for this I'm thankful. Peg, my friend is expecting the whole clan to show up and a clan it is. I was invited to spend the day with her but I declined. Some of the people attending are the very same ones that were sailing the high seas with her and since she didn't do them in then, Thursday might present her with another opportunity. Carving knives strewn around and other kitchen weaponry might be the undoing of a family member; I'm gonna sit this one out safely at home.

"The well took a kick" these words said by the husband two days ago. "It flared 15 ft sometime last week" and then "two days ago it came in on them". He is babysitting his tools that are in the hole while they pump higher viscosity mud around those tools to the bottom of the hole to hopefully seal off the fracture that is letting the gas roil up through the tools. Husband has to stay with his tools and since they can't pull them out of the hole, he can't leave. "Easy money" he says and I said "Safe money?" No answer to that one from him. I was to meet him in Natichoches, La. yesterday but plans changed and he had to stay with the well. Today he planned on going to another job but that changed too.

I would have been back sometime today to get things started for TG. It looks as though he won't make it in unless they can kill that well.

I'm off to get "stuff" and "stuffing" and then a break before I have a close encounter with the stove. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Car Seats and High Chairs

Dazed and confused is what the husband calls me some times. Daughter looks away but not before I see a grin beginning on her face. I plead my case "nobody told me" and I can hear a whine as I'm saying it.
Carrie has a car seat and a high chair here. In fact, she has two car seats; one in the Toyota and one in the Grand Marquis. Those car seats must weigh 25 lbs each and hefting them from car to car was not an option so I bought two of them. They are not new and yesterday when I slowed down in the child's section of Walmart to take a good look at the new models, I notice they didn't have that huge thick bar that drops down over the child's head and hovers just across their chest area. This holds the buckle part that clicks into place in the car seat between their legs. The car seat itself is fastened to the car seat using the lap restrain from the car. Ok, now that I have described the old car seat I can tell you right now, the new ones aren't even close to this. No big bar which Carrie hated.
When I would put her in that car seat, she would have to crunch her head down to get it to come over her head. She fussed a little but we got it done and off we would go. Yesterday I decided I would get her a car seat booster thing similar to the one her mother had in her vehicle and that's when I took a good look at the newer car seats.

I bought her the booster type that is really just a small version of a car seat with a high back to protect their heads. The car's shoulder restraints hook through it and that is what restraints the child and holds the booster seat in place. It was while putting it together and putting it in my car, I was told via the telephone by my sister "I can't believe you were putting her in that car seat!" "Huh" I said. "What's wrong with that car seat other then it's an old version." "Sis", she says, "Carrie is 4 yrs old. Those car seats are for small small children and when the child reaches 3 yrs of age, the big bulky protective seat is discarded; the child can support it's head itself and they don't flop around so they are not needed. Carrie passed that stage a year ago."
"Nobody told me". I had to repeat that a few times just in case someone might think me stoooooooooooopid.

Then to make me feel extra good about myself she says "I don't know how you got that bar to go down over her head to strap her in."

I didn't tell the sister about having Carrie crunch down a bit and how when that bar came over her head it swiped out the hair barrettes or bows or hair ties that were decorating her hairstyle. Carrie would sometimes beg to ride in the front and I just thought she wanted to be close to me. Little did I know she was probably doing whatever passes for a cringe to a four year old.

My next goal is to get rid of the high chair. I'm not going to tell them ( the daughter and sister) that I still use it and getting it to click into the notches that hold the tray is near impossible as her little tummy gets squashed just a little. I did notice the other day that her legs and feet now hang way below the foot rest thing on that chair. I can't remember the last time I saw her in a high chair at her house. That should have been my clue to stop using it here.

Please, someone protect the little ones from my good intentions. I don't mean to harm or even cause discomfort. I'm hoping Carrie doesn't hold it against me and grow up to have some sort of chair phobia and uses it as a defense in court should she turn into an axe murderer or starts killing family members. I maybe exaggerating this a bit.

Peg Called

I'm sitting in a darkened living room on the sofa basking in the sound of "no sounds". No children, no television and no phone for the moment. That doesn't last long. Peg called. For the past week, thoughts of her and friends laughing, snorkeling and island hopping would flutter through my brain and I would smile at all the fun she must be having. I was invited along then they begged and I kept smiling and declining. I had already told them I had seen THE TITANIC and shipboard I would not be. They laugh and continued their excursion planning when island docking.
Peg's ship unsailed (unsailed not a word) her at the port in New Orleans where her husband swooped in driving the long white passenger van and picked up Peg and all her cruise friends. Seven days at sea and their vacation ended this past Saturday; they hurry home to return to their normal routines.
Peg was not as brimming with joy as I would have expected. After the first normal greeting, everything went downhill quickly. Peg was angry and disappointed with the cruise. Actually I didn't hear much about the actual cruise, as in "food, ship accommodations, port of calls, etc. I heard about the less then accommodating behavior of almost everyone that was traveling with her and her refereeing of the friends on this journey to hell.

She waited all year for this cruise; her chance to get away from children and spend some time with adults only. She booked her trip with 7 friends. Everybody had done this before; these friends had all sailed together in the past. I listened and for the most part I was quiet and interjecting only a "oh no!" and an "oh My!" occasionally. Five of these well known friends and more then one of them a relative went off the rails; sniping, whining, binging to bring on a diabetic coma, falling down, panic attacks; Peg had it all to fix. Her cruise was spent babysitting all.
She was so upset during the cruise she couldn't, and this is her words, "get her mind to slow down" so she didn't get much sleep for the entire trip.
I told her to call her doctor and get 5 Valiums, a few Ambien and do a medicinal chill. Of course she won't but I do believe if she could sleep a solid 8, things wouldn't appear so wrong.

In retelling this story, it was humorous to my friends. Peg doesn't see any humour in it right now and I told her to give it a few months. Right now she is just angry; unreleased anger married to frustration and disgust makes for a bitter bunch of days and that is where she stews. I let her blow off steam; I don't know if it helped. I'm hear to listen. It's too late to make it better and since I didn't make the trip I owe no apologies and for this I'm grateful as it seems everyone Peg knew or thought she knew were less then savory characters on this, her voyage of the year.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gumbo, and Once Again

Last Sunday I made a pot of Gumbo. It was a little cool at the time but this Sunday it's actually cold and rainy and that cold is stimulated by the breeze that came with it so I made another Gumbo. The front lawn is sprinkled with leaves that are brown and curling over on themselves as the moisture leaches out and as with an aged person those leaves are becoming dry, wrinkled and brittle.
I made another pot of Gumbo and it was more inspired this weekend with the chill in the air. Sausage and chicken floating in a brown broth made from the roux sprinkled with the onions and bell pepper and not a lot of Tony's ladled into a deep bowl over cooked white rice is one of my favorite meals.
Tony Chachere is a spice so often used here that everyone is on a first name basis with it. It's just "Tony's" to the locals and they put it on or in everything unless it's a dessert. I don't pour a lot of it into my Gumbo because it has a lot of salt in it and I find it makes the food too salty for my taste. A little Tony's and a lot of garlic powder and I'm good with that.
My big discovery was about the rice. You have to make a big pot of rice to go with the Gumbo; the leftover rice is usually discarded and not refrigerated. It gets hard, crunchy and glumped together to make a compacted glob in the bowl. I discovered from watching a cooking show on TV something wonderful about cooked rice! Rinse it! Put it in a colander and run water over it to remove the sticky starch. Serve it and then refrigerate it later and the rice stays perfectly fluffy and doesn't harden up. Awesome. I was so excited; my life is less then dramatic these days so continued fluffiness in the rice was almost more excitement then I could handle.
Carrie spent yesterday with her Uncle "P" and his mother which would be Carrie's Great Grandmother. P called later to give me a report on her and by that time, her Aunt was in custody of Carrie and Carrie was already headed to the Catholic Church for her scarce bit of indoctrination. I later questioned this Aunt about Carrie's behavior in church. I could just imagine her jumping up and singing out "Geeze OH Pete", or some other inappriate heathenish something.
After Church she was being delivered to her Dad and a "dad visit" is something Carrie gets excited about. The break is nice although it leaves me feeling a little at loose ends. I'm not saying I don't enjoy this time alone; a time to do a little Christmas shopping which is what I did after delivering Carrie to her Uncle P at the usual meeting area on the highway half way between both towns, and a time to sit undisturbed through a whole television show or a meal is always a treat. She will be home today and my house will be alive with her chatter and her demands. I'm waving goodbye to the quietness and the organized space around me. Her toys and books will make a trail through the living room; her shoes will stand guard beside the patio door and later this evening her friends, the hand puppet brothers will keep her entertained at tub time.
I may dress warmly, that means a sweater and no sandals, and make my way to a few stores to do some more Christmas shopping. I never wait until the last minute but since my Christmas list is so small, it doesn't take long. With teenagers and young adults, I just ask what they want and I think they are ready and waiting for that question. I make my little list and in a few hours I can be done with the shopping and miss all the crowds of Christmas.
I might take a wee nap in front of the TV until the stores open today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sharing a Dozer

For the past few nights, my phone at the bedside rings and I pick it up already knowing who is clutching the receiver on the other end. It's bedtime and it's the time my sister calls for a little chat. It's quiet in both houses; everyone is asleep in that house in WV and here in La. It's bedtime for all and this is the ritual of late.

"Hi Sis, whaachodoin?" Although I'm not asleep yet, the brain has already slid into a lower gear and the ignition switch is close to being spun backward. "Hey, just watchin the tube" I say.

In the next few minutes we both decided to take our Ambien and I start watching the clock while having the phone to my ear and listening to the tell tale sounds of sister fading into the dark corners of sleep. After a few minutes, she doesn't respond to anything I am saying so I question "you still there?" She answers with one word and that word is soft, low and slow. I glance over to the clock and note that 20 minutes have passed and our Ambien has started tickling the feather edges of our consciousness.
"Sis", I say, "the Ambien has kicked in." "Nah, she mumbles, "I don't feel a thing".

Our conversation now turns to me trying to convince her that her Ambien is now totally effective. She mumbles and slurs her words and rejects my observation. I tell her to hang up the phone. "Hang up the phone, sis." I say this a few more times, I tell her I"m hanging up now.

I never get a ''yes" but I try a few more times to get her to hang up her phone and then I quietly stand my phone back in it's cradle and roll over and dive bomb right into unconsciousness. That Ambien works quickly and silently.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Scents of This Child

I have no idea why I'm sitting here at 'almost' 10PM. I'm tired and sleepy and I was in bed. Carrie was with me and after I enticed her to lay down instead of using the bed for a trampoline, she soon went to sleep. I got a soft, feather pillow and placed it beside her as I slipped out of bed and to the office. She hasn't arrived in here yet so she must be asleep still.

Her radar sensor that knows when I sneak out of bed might be doing some down time. I'm still watching for her. She arrives silently and quickly at my elbow and accuses me of slipping off.
"Who me? No, I had to go to the bathroom", I say as we move hand in hand back to bed. I'm waiting.

I found the most wonderfully aromatic liquid soap/bubble bath stuff that I am mixing with her shampoo and her hair smells awesome. I lay beside her and the smell of cherry blossoms wafts around her hair and trails into my nostrils; the baby lotion I massage into her arms and legs after her bath leaves it's own fragrance and she is a collage of good smells.

Now I'm wondering just why I sneaked out of bed and away from her.

I'm heading back that way now. Maybe I'll lay beside her and enjoy the air around her and quietly watch something on TV before I drift off to sleep.

I warped out the background on this; the shelving that was behind her in this photo is now blurred out and the child becomes the most important thing in the photo. There are a few more I wanted to clean up and I may rest my foot and play Photo Shop today.

Carrie wanted to play with Photo Shop; one of her fav things to do here and we order up a picture for her to practice her artist's nature. (see below)

She emailed this to her mom; mom wasn't really all that impressed. She even messed with the stuffed elephant's eyes so they would all match.

Maybe this is why she is afraid to walk through my house alone?

I haven't heard anything new on the rig explosion in Texas and when the husband called last night, he didn't have any more information. Safety meetings are held twice a day, morning and afternoon, on every rig in that field. All are subject to what happened yesterday and they must be on their toes and alert to everything going on and ready to move out quickly.

Husband has been evacuated from an offshore platform when the well came in on them. Floating in a capsule in the ocean and waiting on someone to rescue them was not his usual day; he didn't like working offshore.
I'm sleepy, groggy and just not alert enough to be in here so I think I'll leave for a while to either wake up or go opposite. My heel feels like a chunk of ice; it's buried in that ice pack Zip Lock gallon bag which works better then the gel ice pack I bought at the drug store. Old ways are sometimes still the better way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Litter

Last night Ms. K. (who lives 18hrs. away) stayed on the phone for hours looking at pictures posted on Buffalo's blog. The pictures were not really posted on his blog but linked to through his blog. Some were puzzling, some we never did identify what we were looking at together via the telephone to the ear and the internet page we shared from miles away.

Ted, the Grandson Prince, was in the office on his X Box sharing a game with another player states away and communicating with him through a headset and mike situated between his ears looped over his head. Ah, a typical 21st century evening.

When I was a youth at home, I played Pick Up Sticks, Old Maid, Rummy and I could actually look at the sibling who as I, was involved in this game.

Sometimes I wonder how wonderful all this technology is. I can't imagine not having online access. You can keep the cable TV but don't take away my internet access.

At 9:30 as previously agreed and with threats of limited play time, Ted shut down his game after adiosing his friend and went to his room for a few minutes of TV before sleep. I sneaked in later and turned off his television and threw the clothes into the dryer; waited for them to dry so Prince Ted would have his school uniform fresh and ready to wear in the morning. All that done, I checked the doors and headed to bed at 11:00. Now this is where the story gets nasty. At 2:30 I'm still awake. I've already made multiple trips from the bedroom to the living room to the office and back to bed and I'm still wide awake. I didn't want to take my Ambien this late at night because I wanted to get up early to fix The Prince some scrambled eggs and bacon and tell him goodbye for the day. He just shook his head and said "I get up alone and leave for school everyday." "I don't care", I answered. I want to see you off. What IF something happened and I didn't tell you goodbye." He gave me one of those "yeah right" looks but he knew it was best to not say anything.

I was up and standing at the stove 3 hrs after finally falling asleep. Seeing Ted off after his breakfast, I loaded up the ice pack and climbed back in bed with my headache to try for a few hours more of sleep.

The phone rings and with the ringer turned off in the bedroom, I barely heard it. Snapping up the phone, I glanced to the screen to see the husband calling. Strange that he would call at this time as he is "on tower" in the day and usually calls after 7PM.

"I just wanted you to know that if you see the news report about someone getting killed on the rig in this town, that it wasn't me. A rig down the road took a "kick" and exploded killing one and injuring others."
He didn't know how many others nor to what degree the injuries were. They were closing the highway and evacuating the residents but he was alright and his rig was running. He did tell the rig hands that when he brought his tools out of the hole, he wanted the rig floor cleared of all workers until he pulled the ball from the barrel to let the gas leak off.

I got out of bed and Windexed the coffee table and end tables, breaded some pork chops and started them frying and gave up on the idea of sleep.
They are drilling through millions of "some measurement", I think he said units, and there had been 3 deaths in the past 6 months in this field. So, since sleep was now out of the question and housework was waiting on me, I gave up on the nap thing.

Some good news I do have. The swelling is down and the pain is temporally gone in the Achilles tendon. Ice and maybe the salve have done their job. I'm trying to limit my walking time to give the tendon time to heal. If I stop the icing, all this progress will reverse so I can't falsely believe I'm healed yet.

Some news that is not so great. Sis had to go into the surgical suite to have general anesthesia and have her knee manipulated. I'll talk to her later to see how she feels.
That's all the non news, boring, unimportant litter I have for today. Now why did I have so much typing to do?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gangsta Carrie and The Christmas Dress

Carrie was bathed amid her bubbles and with Elmo, Hippy, Ducky and Dora, her bath friends. I'm required to sit tubside with Hippy(hand puppet) and Ducky (hand puppet) while Elmo sits on the side of the tub and Dora frolics amongst the bubbles with Carrie. We have to have long conversations and boy friend talk and with Carrie's scant knowledge of boy friends, the conversation soon changes to Dora The Explorer and Carrie's friends that are invisible. I like the invisible friends the best; I don't have to pick them up and put them away when she finishes playing with them.
Bedtime and a movie and then lights out and hopefully Carrie sighs a few times and goes to sleep. Last night wasn't that night. I threatened her with taking her home to her mom. Silly me! She said she wanted to go home and really what she wanted was to not go to sleep. Restless, tossing and turning and that was me I'm talking about, patience was escaping replaced by threats of Santa Claus and something about good boys and girls.
Finally she gives it up and falls asleep and I'm 40 winks ahead of her.
This morning we get up and dress in our Christmas dress and Carrie in her velvet and plaid glory, hair freshly coiffed, get strapped into her car seat for the ride to the mall. The little poser loves the whirl and click and lights. She twirls, smiles, and flaunts. She is in her element.
We didn't have an appointment so it was a photo shoot between the ones who were scheduled. We had a 1 1/2 hr wait so we roamed the store rode the escalator and I was thankful no one was charging for those rides; we rode many times because Carrie thought that was the most fun she had had since the park visit a few weeks ago.
As we wandered around, I would shoot a few pictures of her and when she found that cute gangsta hat we had to have a few pics of that too.
The photographer wanted to know if I had thought about entering her into pageants. I tried to take her comment as a positive but all I could think of was that ditsy blond from South Carolina or North Carolina, or maybe it was Georgia that went off on that tangent when asked something about her answer to world peace or some other bullSH*T question they ask in those air headed contests. I politely mentioned something about brains and less and changed the subject.
Everything is digital now so we chose the poses and I emptied my bank account of a few more dollars and some of these pictures will be framed and gifted to the grandmothers on Christmas morn.
I'm headed for the bed, an Ambien and an ice pack. Carrie is at her house and for this I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Me and My Ankle

At 10:30 AM I was in the podiatrist's office filling all the necessary paperwork and about 1 hr later and 320.oo less for this 20 minute visit, I was back on the street and headed for my car.

The verdict? An inflamed Achilles tendon. Alright, you might say, you already knew this and you would be right. Today an X Ray was taken and an explanation was offered. I have a bone spur behind that Achilles tendon and he said anyone over 40 yrs of age will show a bone spur on X Ray. He said I probably have had this for the past 20 years. "It didn't happen overnight", his words exactly. My problem is, I seen to have inflamed the tendon over it. I could have done this by doing all the stretches necessary to rehab this knee. Lovely! The stretches had to be done; I'll have to deal with the tendon now. A salve was prescribed and ice packs when I wasn't up on my feet and that business of being on my feet should be kept to a minimum. Open backed shoes with an elevated heel to stop the stretch of the tendon. NO EXERCISES. The tendon needs to rest to heal. I'm thinking those exercises my ortho doctor told me to do were not helping it but hindering it.

He said surgery was a last resort; removing the bone spur would entail detaching the tendon, cutting out the spur then reattaching the tendon and the recoup time would be two months on crutches. I'll take the other choice Doc. Ice and salves sound like a deal to me. I'm outta here to put some crushed ice in a zip loc and plant my foot deep inside.

Happy trials to you....

Break the Chain

There I am anxiously awaiting my online mailbox to open to see what goodies it holds for me each morning and the smile slowly slips from my face.
Again they are assaulting my mailbox with emails that have in the subject line, Please Do Not Delete, Please Send this back if you can't forward it on, Please Do Not Break The Chain, ad nauseaum.

If there were a mirror placed where I could see myself, I'm sure the evil grin covering my face would scare me into backing away from the computer. Since there is not a mirror, I take that evil gleeful smile and along with the mouse button, I start deleting everyone of those missiles of mass ignorance.

It's a chain! Don't ya get it? Do you think your first born will choke on a 3 carat diamond, or whatever silliness they, the senders, threaten you with?
Especially poor are the ones that tread on our tender feelings. Someone is sick and if you don't pass this on......
Then the school child doing an experiment and clocking how many people, states, countries or basements this email will pass through and recording it for that grade of an A in his experiment.

Forget it kid. If it depends on me passing it along, you will be sitting through that class again next year. Slap that baby on the back until it spits out that 3 carat diamond and we will all go to dinner on it. Lately it has been military related pleas. The poor soldier, the flag and on and on.
Nope, it's still a damn chain letter and since I'm not of the superstitous bend, I mass delete and wait for the next round.
Sometimes it's pretty pictures. I just received the one entitled "Pencil Art".
These I dislike deleting or not sharing although I know they are chain letters but of a different sort. If I get one and it is in the form of an attachement, I just trash that and move on. I hate downloading things that someone sends, even if it is a friend. I'm a safe player and a non player of chains. You have been forewared. I'm here to break the chain not perpetuate it.
I have a Dr's appointment and it's time for me to delete one more chain letter while checking my mail before I sign off for the morning.

Tomorrow an Answer Maybe

An appointment with the podiatrist is upon me and this visit is past due. Maybe the Dr. can prescribe something be it a pill or a procedure to remove the pain. I stood in front of the closet, door flung aside and stared into the 12X3 opening that contains double rows of clothes that at one time I had chosen, paid for and dragged into this small area. I have nothing to wear!

Hanging row upon row, neat and color coded, season of the year coded and ready for me to just make a selection, I dread this part of going anywhere. It's 42 degrees here right now but by noon that won't be the case. Whatever I put on now will be unbearable by noon. Layering. That works well for this time of year and the fluctuating temperatures.

It's not important what I wear. I want some information about the right foot so I'll layer on some clothing and be where I'm supposed to be at 10:30. Is there an end in sight? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Once Upon a Time

in a time far away and behind me, which these days seems like most of my life, I made some unwise decisions. One of them was choosing a man that was definitely not marriage material. I should say that this could be said about me for a long time in my life but forging ahead, this story isn't about marriage nor the materials we were both cut from.

This story is about Charlotte Ann and Charlotte and Ann. Resurfacing from a marriage that lasted a little longer then it took the ink to dry on the certificate that certified we had done the deed, I attempted to re enter the work force through the job I had been doing before doing the marriage deed.

A nepotism policy was in place and I would have been denied employment had I applied for this job using my "Charlotte..........." name. A supervisor who worked there when I was previously employed, suggested I use an alias and that is exactly what I did. Anna Marie .......... was my new moniker.

Introduced as Ann to everyone I met after that and leaving the "Charlotte" name behind, I was able to secure a job and work there for years. I was working in the western states when this happened and everyone I met out west calls me "Ann"; when I pick up the phone and some one addresses me by "Charlotte", I know immediately whoever is calling is from the eastern part of the USA and an old friend or relative. It makes for a bit of confusion with old family/friends and western friends when their paths cross. Some of them are calling me "Charlotte" while the others are calling me "Ann". I just answer to both and have no problems with it. My mom hated it and I think my siblings think it's mighty odd to hear me being called "Ann".
This is just a clarification for friends that are confused by this; an explanation of sorts as to why they keep hearing a name they are not used to attaching to my face. There, it's done. All finished and the explanation will be logged here for future reference by anyone that might someday wonder why the two names.

Here's hoping I can remember one or the other and answer when called.

Friday, November 13, 2009

She needed to take her car to the mechanic and I didn't ask why. I picked her up. The drive to the mechanic's shop was uneventful. The shop was busy; cars were parked all over the lot and inside with mechanics peering beneath the raised hoods. We found the owner. As she spoke with him, I strolled around the perimeter noting the cars, their make and style. I've always been a car enthusiast.

Eventually I made full circle back to my starting point and looked around for my little Toyota. Not found where I left it and knowing my history of losing large objects with wheels on it, I kept looking. Hidden toward the back of this shop, I found the little white Toyota, hood up, engine torn down, and dripping with new paint. "Wait", I ordered. The man working on the little Toyota looked up, ignored me and kept on doing whatever the heck he was doing to my little car.

If I could have ran I would have but instead I just walked as fast as possible back to the last place I had seen the owner of this shop talking with her who had planned on leaving her car here. I charged up to him and voiced my complaints. "What do you think you are doing with my Toyota" and I have to admit, I was screaming just a little. He denied knowing anything about what I was screaming so loudly about. He followed me back to where I had last seen my little car. He actually denied that it was my beloved for 20 yrs. Toyota. I took the keys, stuck it into the keyhole in the door and showed him that it opened the door. Fearing that if I left the car there while going for the police, he would just hide it, I removed both doors and carried them away so I could prove to somebody that he had my car and the doors and my key that fit those doors were proof of my ownership. Clever thinking on my part huh?

I must have called the police although I don't remember this part. I do remember that the prosecuting attorney appeared and in front of the shop owner, she told me that they had been trying to get solid proof of this man operating this racket. I was so relieved that somebody was going to believe me.

I woke up. I, who seldom ever remembers her dreams, awoke with a racing heartbeat and still believing the Toyota had been stolen, refurbished, painted and prepared for resale by the devious shop owner. I actually walked to the carport door, cranked open the window blind in the door and peeked out. It was parked where I had left it.
I'm clueless as to the why of this. I'm trying not to associate this with the car fiasco at the mall last week. I'm not a dream analyst and I'm not real sure I want it analyzed. It wasn't a pleasant morning of dreaming and I was thrilled to wake. Though the dream appeared real even when awake, though I seldom remember any dreams I have, I have to wonder why this one was so vivid and real to me.
Tonight it's an Ambien at bedtime and a better night's sleep for me. Good night hopefully!


In a time almost too distant to remember, at least in my case with the itty bitty memory reservoir I seem to be left with, Carl is back.
Carl and I had a steady ongoing fling from December 2007 through June 2008. We met every weekend and spent about 6 hours together; we stayed busy and were exhausted after our tryst.
Carl had more stamina then I. His age or non aged state gave him all that lasting power. Me? At the end of 6 hours I was exhausted.

I've posted a picture of Carl on this blog in the past. Some nerve eh? Well, it was a picture of Carl at work at the University. Carl is The Carpenter and if I had called him anything other then that I would have known his last name. What is it with me and last names? I figure if I can just remember one of the names assigned to the people I meet, then lucky them!

Carl is tall but not super tall. Let's say he's around 5'10" shall we? I know that our eyes are not on a level with each other and I'm 5' 8 1/4". I've always wanted to be 5'10" so I never let anyone forget that 1/4" when my height is measured. Carl looks as though he has never had a good meal in his life. His rib cage is countable; the sternum is visible. Long and lanky arms and legs, a good Halloween decoration he would make. Every weekend that Carl was here, I would make sure he had food and lots of it.
Sometimes I would have something cooked and sometimes I would roll down to the local eatery and pick up something of his choice. From December through June Carl arrived around 9AM each weekend morn and I would have the saw horse set up, the compressor plugged in and compressing I'm guessin air? I was ready and Carl and I would begin our weekend together; every Saturday and Sunday for 6 months.

When we neared the end of installing the Hardi Plank on the house, I asked Carl if he could move the long row of cabinets above my breakfast bar to open up the kitchen to the dining area. "Sure Miss Ann" (that's a southern thing they do here; they never say just your first name if they are younger then you) he would drawl. When that job neared an end, I asked him if he could install hardwoods. "Sure, Miss Ann" said Carl the Carpenter. I was delighted.
The husband thought when Carl finished the outside of this house with the Hardi Plank, I would send him on his way. Puhleeeeeeeeeeese! I've found someone that will do whatever I suggest without asking "Now, why do you want that done?". That's usually the reply from the husband when I suggest a project. Not so with Carl. I would only have to ask and have my checkbook ready at the end of the weekend. Carl was my hero, a paid hero but still my hero.
I had an estimate for hardwoods for the three bedrooms. The estimate from the flooring place was over 14 thousand dollars. I ordered the hardwoods for one bedroom from an online store and had Carl lay it so I could find out if it was poorly milled and difficult to lay. The weekend Carl laid that floor he passed judgement on the flooring and the following week I ordered enough for the other two bedrooms. Four thousand dollars later I had hardwoods in all three bedrooms and I was one happy homeowner to have rid myself of carpet from this entire house.
Carl called. Yes! He just called me and said he was looking for something to do this weekend and he wasn't talking about a dinner date.
I'm going to leave here in a few minutes to find a 6ft. counter top and a stainless steel double sink. I already have the new sink fixtures bought on sale a year ago. Carl is coming! I'm going to replace that nasty laundry room sink with a nice long stainless steel sink, a new Formica countertop and fixtures. I won't tell the husband quite yet. He just left this morning on a job so I'll just surprise him. Won't he be happy that he didn't have to do it? Well, let's hope so, cause that is exactly what I'm going to do.
I had on my list a leisure day. A "foot rest" day and a visit to Peg out in the country . She's leaving on her cruise on Monday so she will be out of touch for a while. I'm going to try to do just that if I can quickly find the supplies needed for the laundry room so I have to rush out of here.
I'll be bacccccccck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Enough Already

I'm on a cleaning spree and have been since Monday when I decided the office needed a bit of attention. Any attention would have sufficed since I quit doing much to this house 8 months ago post op.
I'm still pitching stuff out and polishing things off but today I reached a limit. My limit has been reached and passed. After 4 days of being on my feet, the Achilles tendon was inflamed and swollen to the size of an egg.
I reached for the phone and made an appointment with the podiatrist. I've never been to this doctor but the word is he knows his stuff so I'm willing to give it a try.
I'm finally off my feet. It's 7PM and I have my leg resting on a pillow on the coffee table and tomorrow I will be taking some down time. Next Tuesday I'll be at the podiatrist's office for an exam and x rays. It's time because 8 months of waiting for this to heal is 7 months too long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Now That I've Started

I seem to be on a roll here. As I've mentioned a few days ago, I couldn't tolerate the office mess so I cleaned it out. I literally pitched out a history of unused music cassettes, shredded and trashed papers; packed up novels I had read and stowed them in the trunk of my car for delivery to someone's house that is not this one.
Today it's the laundry room to do a total refresh job on. I'm not painting anything until I get rid of unwanted and unused collected "stuff". I'm doing spring cleaning in the winter and this is the time I should be outdoors enjoying the nice weather we call "winter" here.

What was I doing in here during those sweltering, hot and humid, sweat induced days?

I think I was waiting for my ankle to become normal and since that hasn't happened, I might as well suck it up and get moving.

As soon as I rid this house of all the "stuff" , I'll start on the Little House. I wish I had a dumpster parked outside. I'm a happy pitcher of unused items. My sister saves everything in the event that it can be used someday. She can't find it when that "someday" arrives. Not me. It's cheaper and easier to just go buy it when you need it instead of burying it in mounds of clothes, shoes and supplies that makes me feel as though I'm smothering.

The older I get the more I like the "clean sparse" look.

I'm outta here to get more sparse.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pat On The Corner

For eighteen years I have lived in this subdivision. The houses are mostly ranch style and from 1800 to 2100 sq. feet resting on generous lots of thick, lush, green grass and mowing this generous lot is not one of my favorite ways to enjoy the heat of the summers here. I now have a riding lawn mower so I can zip it out in a few minutes. When that lawn mower dies, I hope I'm not far behind!

The street I live on is, shall we say, very conservative. No block parties, few house parties and unlike the street one block away, basically very boring. Every Sunday morning the neighors can be seen decked out in their finery and headed for the church.
One block over, there are block parties and neighborly gatherings, or at least that was the way it was when I moved into this neighborhood. More then a few times, I have wondered what life here would have been to have lived one block away.
The house next door sold a few years back to a couple in their mid-thirties and childless; childless by their own choice. Within a week of their arrival, a banner was strung across the front of the house announcing a huge welcome to the keg and the hot tub. I couldn't help but notice as the cars arrived and filled the driveway, then the lawn and then started parking roadside and since we don't have off road parking, it was on the curb. The party was on and has been on for the past few years since their arrival. A beer in hand, they wave and smile as they come and go and I have enjoyed this immensely. Every LSU game and every Saints game the driveway fills, the hot tub fills and the TV on their patio blares out the game. I see some life in the neighborhood and I'm sure they are the talk of the street. I am most glad they are here; I like these lively neighbors.

I know this was titled "Pat On The Corner" so I best get to it.

Pat is a 76 year young lady. She lives on the corner one block away from my house. Snow white hair, chocolate brown eyes that are clear and round shaped as a dime, she is beautiful, tall and slim. Watching her walk and move around, you would never guess her age. Pat is another favorite of mine although we usually meet by chance. If I pass by her house and she is outside, I slow, wave and sometimes stop. The minute or two stop escalates quickly into an hour if I don't terminate it before then. I always say "hi, I just have a minute....." and it never is just a minute when you stop and talk to Pat.

Carrie and I were out for a short walk a few weeks after my knee surgery when we passed Pat's house and she was in the yard. That visit turned into 2 unplanned pleasant hours. She is just one of those people that is entertaining and lively and time passes quickly in her company.

Tonight my door bell chimed. I looked at the husband as he headed for the door wondering who would come visiting this evening. I heard her when she stepped into the room as I was moving slowly from the office to the living room to see who was here. Pat was stopping by, something she seldom does as I seldom visit her. Our visits are, as said before, usually by chance.

Pat was coming to give me her phone number; she requested some information a few days ago and since I hadn't stopped by, she made this visit.

She stayed 2 hours! We had a great time. Pat has a computer; she uses it to play online games. Tonight Pat sat beside me at this office computer and we Googled the information she sought. I printed it and handed it to her. Pat doesn't surf the net because no one has shown her how to use her computer other then the games she plays online.

When friends ask her if she has an email address she says "yes, but I don't know what it is". Her Internet service provider is the standard one but since she didn't know what it was we went directly to Hotmail and chose a name and password while registering.

I signed into my Hotmail, mailed her an email with a picture attached while she sat beside me watching closely. I moved slowly explaining everything as I went. I don't expect her to remember all of what I told her; nobody does and this I told her also.

I signed out of my account and showed her how to sign into hers; we did and opened the email with the picture I had attached. You would have thought I had performed brain surgery by listening to her squeals of amazement. Maybe that's why I like her so much; she thinks I'm smart. I'm giggling here. I had to tell her that Carrie at 2 yrs and some months could maneuver around on the computer. I didn't want my friend Pat to be too impressed with me; people with clay feet and all that ya know.

I enjoyed Pat's visit. As soon as hubby leaves on his next job, I've promised Pat On The Corner I would come to her house and we would do more tricks on the computer. Tonight after 18 years, I know Pat on The Corner's last name. She had written it on the slip of paper with her phone number that she left on my kitchen counter.

I will remember it because it is her Hotmail address now.

Rested and Ready

I'm so terribly out of shape. I suppose spending all that time on the sofa and catching up on the past 20 yrs. worth of serial TV viewing wasn't the wisest decision. Quitting smoking, I figured, compensated for doing nothing. I'm here to tell you, that did not work. I was never short of breath when smoking; now I am. Not all the time but occasionally. Shouldn't I feel better with my lungs clear of all that fresh nicotine? Maybe it's the old stuff that is the culprit? I think, which doesn't mean much here, but that the deep breaths I took while sucking all those carcinogenics into my lungs inflated them to the max. I think I breathe more shallow now and I'm not getting the lung expansion I once practiced. I can get off on a tangent huh? I came in my tidy office to post a little blog and quickly get to work. I'm easily distracted but here goes.
Before my TKR (total knee replacement) I was working with the carpenter on the weekends and through the week I would be moving all the cement siding (Hardi Plank) to the upcoming work location, painting what siding had been hung on the house that weekend, scurrying around and getting more supplies needed for the weekend next and priming and paint 15 solid wood doors that would eventually be hung to replace the cheap hollow core doors in this house. 12 hrs. a day with few breaks and at the end of my day I was tired, but with good reason.

Yesterday I started cleaning out the office. Over 300 music cassettes in their storage containers were happily pitched into the 50 gal. wheeled black monstrosity of a garbage can that sat with lid flipped up just outside the office door. Two Sony Digital cameras that use floppy discs for picture storage and my Canon 35mm SLR with the many lenses I own were moved out and will be adopted out. The two Sony Digitals were from that early period in digital discovery. I look in amazement at those big bulky Sony's and then at the small digital that fits in the palm of my hand and stores pictures on the 1 gigabyte memory card. From albums to 8 tracks to cassettes, to Cd's and now to IPods, we have leaped forward. I didn't find any 8 tracks but I do have albums, Cd's and IPods.
Walls, mirrors and glassed artwork were sprayed and scrubbed till a glow emanated from them. All the furniture had to be scrubbed and later I had to be scrubbed. I was exhausted; my knee functioned wonderfully but the ankle was throbbing by the time I finished.

Today I have a few more hours to spend sorting and cleaning; I've decided not to paint yet. All the cables and electrical cords are neatly snugged to the wall and 3 power strips could be eliminated. This part of the cleanup was not my doing but I do appreciate the tidiness it provides and the husband that spent hours in here to get that done.
Pine Sol and ammonia are my best friends and always have been. Fresh and clean describes this little nook in this house. I hate to admit this, but I was wiping nicotine off some of the things in here. I quit smoking 8 months ago!
I want to get back to it early because I don't want to be doing this all day.
With wash cloth, ammonia and Pine Sol I venture forth.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I didn't get to make this trip. Mom and her sisters and Muesetta, my sister in Providence R.I.

um, Now What Was I...............

The video below is dedicated to friends and family this pertains know who you are and I know who you are!
This weekend has just flown by and now there is a Hurricane that has just been downgraded to a tropical storm heading in here. We will get some rain from this and probably a lot.

I'm busy. This is the time I get the crafty little things done for Carrie's great grandparents. It started out as a simple idea but even those simple ideas take up time. Carrie painted the wooden ornaments and her high chair. After she had finished her creations, we had to scrub the acrylic paint off her and her high chair tray.

I left them to dry and came back later and selected a picture of her which had to be reduced in size to fit into the circular opening in the ornament for the picture. Of course the printer had to start rebelling and had to be tweaked, then I did a script in red ink proclaiming "Merry Christmas" 2009.

I decoupaged that onto the wooden ornament and put them away till Christmas. It took much less time to type this then to actually do the "simple" little project.

I put all this stuff on top of the bed in the spare spare bedroom. That would be spare bedroom #2. I'll wrap them with Carrie right before we deliver them so she can hand them to the gr. grandparents. I can see her beaming now!

Now that I have that out of the way, I'm going to dump everything out of this office and make it my goal this week to clean, paint and decorate this little hole in the house. I'll be moving a bookcase to the Little House along with all the "stuff" that is in it. I've put this off long enough. If I disappear for a while, I can be found in this room toiling.

Until then...........

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oh Jennifer, By the Way

So, You Married That Gay Guy?
My friend of just a few years was visiting. I said this with a straight face and that was the only "straight" thing in this conversation. I wanted to ask so many more questions but I didn't have any guidelines to follow. What can I ask and still be politically correct? Where would Ms. Manners say? Could I ask if he still has a boyfriend? or if he was content with male porn and didn't need to interact sexually with the male gender. If he is bisexual then he's not really gay, right? No, I don't think I can ask that question either. What if he is just gay? Does this mean he will have sexual laisons with a special male or any male he desires? Will he just be a husband in name only? Then that would lead to other questions such as "are children in your plans?"
I'm as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Should I just ignore this one issue in her relationship? Can it be ignored, not discussed and can we all pretend this is her Prince she has waited all her life for? I understand male/male and female/male relationships. I don't understand gay male/straight female relationships. I don't have any past experience with any of my friends in this sort of relationship so of course questions are bouncing around in my head to try to understand. Maybe they are just married in rings only. No J.P to officiate. Vows said to each other in private to solidify their relationship but still leave it open to other possibilities. Will he continue to live with his parents and will this be a day to day relationship. The kind where you both share a bed, share coffee in the mornings and share late night TV in the same bed? Will he share another bed at times for the same pleasures? I'm so lost here. I just have no previous experience with handling a friendship where questions to ease my anxiety or conversational interchanges are limited or are not welcome. I want to continue our close relationship; will it be possible if we both continue to ignore the elephant in the room?

Geeky Me

Joy came to visit yesterday. No, not the joy of joyous but the Joy, my friend Joy. Although the turkey hasn't seen the inside of the oven yet, everyone is out and about buying a few things for Christmas and if they aren't buying, they are crafting something with it being gifted to someone.

Joy called and asked if I could print something for her. I told her to give me an hour as I was going to go get lost in Walmart's parking lot. I specified an hour when I only needed to pick up a loaf of bread but I wanted to give myself plenty of time to find my car (just in case) in the event that I pulled another bonehead stunt as my hubby so lovingly tagged my experience of two days ago.

I asked Joy, who is a bit computer 'tarded, how she was bringing the material she wanted printed to me. I'm thinking a jump drive or a cd with the information saved on it. She replies "in my hand, and I'll be driving my car". I'm so glad she couldn't see my eye roll.

I thought Joy and I had agreed on a 1 hour from now date to meet at my house. I got back home, stowed the stuff I bought and then waited. I waited for the next 3 hours. Apparently Joy thought I would call and tell her when I was home and I thought she would just show up in an hour.

While waiting, I played on the internet interrupted with bouts of cleaning guilt. I would wipe off a surface out of guilt and then be back at the computer wasting some perfectly good time.

Around 4PM Joy calls. Yep, she had been waiting on me to call. She heads to my house and into the office. I have no clue what she had in mind and I think she was clueless also. She wanted a company logo transferred to a sheet of paper that would have a mission statement and photos of the skyline of Houston attached to it. She tried drawing the logo and failed. She called a graphic artist what wanted to charge her 250.00 for a consultation. She realized I would be cheaper and more then cheap, I would be free so she contacted me.

I scanned the logo, saved it to my pictures folder and then moved it to a Word Document, moved it, re sized it and then in the opposite corner I put in the company's mission statement. She had old postcards of the Houston skyline that will be attached in opposite corners; she will have it matted and framed and give it as a gift to her urban planner brother in law that owns his own company in Houston and in Denver. This is a man that is very difficult to buy for so she opted to make him something. Me? I thought she just wanted me to print something on my printer using my ink. Not the case. She needed graphic help. Surprise, surprise and she was. She was very happy with the finished product and I was happy that she was happy.
She hung around for another few hours and we did all that girl talk stuff; chowed down on the baked steak, gravy and mashed potatoes and laughed on and off for those few hours.
A good afternoon and we promised we would do it again real soon. I probably won't see her until next Christmas when we repeat some other bright idea for gifting!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Row 3, Row 3, Row 3

I had to go to Walmart this morning and the first thing I did when I nosed my car into the parking slot was make a mental note of the row I was parking in. Row 3 I kept repeating to myself as I headed for the entrance of the store.

Late last night when talking to hubby, he's in Claybourne, Texas as mentioned on yesterday's post, I mentioned to him that I needed to go back out and pick up some bread and something for dinner. His reply "order in".
"Do not leave the house". "Very funny", I replied sarcastically. I'm doomed to never being allowed to forget my day yesterday.

I've decided that the cause of all my forgetfulness is the cell phone. When you have it plugged into your ear your attention is really not on what you are doing. Divided attention. I don't think I have enough attention to do a division with or of or to. I've made a promise to myself to stay off the cell phone and solve two worries at once; the forgetfulness and the cancer danger from the cell phone usage.
I made it to the store and back without incident. I'm proud of myself because I was really starting to worry about this little problem that seems to afflict not only myself but most of my friends. These are the same friends that are usually on the other end of my cell phone calls.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Yesterday

Just yesterday while talking with a friend, I mentioned that if I got any more forgetful I would have to have my name and address tattooed on the palm of my hand aiding whoever found me to delivering me back home.

Today I went to the mall. The mall is not a place I normally visit and when I do the visits are short. With nothing better to do, I decided to exercise my knee and do some inside walking. I was going to visit Dillard's Dept. Store and then walk the mall visiting new shops, stop by the Food Court for a salad and coffee and then go home. I made sure I noted what department of the Dillard's Store I was entering so I could find my car later.
Yep, I did all that. When I got ready to leave, I made my way back to Dillard's' and exited the door at the men's department. By this time my knee has had more then enough exercise and I was looking forward to getting home and taking a shower and doing little or nothing the remainder of the afternoon. All went well until I couldn't find my car in the parking lot.

I searched. I walked around the corner from Dillard's to the other exit door on that side of the mall and still no car. With sore feet, aching ankle and tired knee I returned to the previous lot and still no car. Disgusted, tired and impatient I hailed a mall employee that was driving one of those golf cart things around the mall. I explained my problem and he said "hop in". Hop I didn't but I did crawl into his little cart and away we went.

Away we went for the next hour. First we checked out the parking spaces outside Dillard's. I kept telling Harold, my new friend, that I only intended on shopping in Dillard's and I was sure that was where I parked. Harold, a man of few words and big smiles, just nodded and kept driving. We branched out and start searching the parking areas around the other stores all the while I'm assuring my new buddy Harold that I knew exactly where I had parked. Well, not EXACTLY, but I knew it was in the Dillard's parking areas. Harold just kept smiling and nodding.

One hour later and I'm on the phone to my daughter explaining to her my dilemma. By this time I had placed a call to 911 and reported it stolen. Harold tried to dissuade me from calling but I assured him the car had been stolen. Harold smiled and nodded.

Now daughter is on the way and the police officer is supposed to meet me in the parking area outside the Food Court entrance. Harold is still driving the mall parking areas and I'm already planning on what car I really want to buy this time. I'm wondering how long it will be before the insurance company reimburses me; I looked to the right and there she was. Parked in the parking area of J.C. Penny's! Now who the hell moved my car? I actually said that to Harold who just smiled and kept nodding. By this time I'm wondering if there is something wrong with my good buddy Harold. I was going to invite him for Thanksgiving dinner but I was beginning to have doubts about Harold. I surely knew I was fine.

Harold asked me to use my key to open the door and make sure it was my car. Of course he said it with a smile. I did and it was. I'm still telling Harold I parked in the lot at Dillard's. Smiling and nodding ole Harold gently instructed me to call my daughter and the police. I did both.
With Harold in tow, I started for the door of the mall. I wanted to see if that really was the entrance I had used. As soon as I pried open the door I entered the men's dept. of J. C. Penny's. Harold just smiled and kept nodding.
Seriously now folks, I might need a keeper. The worst part of this whole day is knowing my daughter and hubby both know. I tried to keep it from hubby but when he called he could tell I was distressed. He called between the phone call to the police and the phone call to daughter. I told him I couldn't talk now and hung up on him. He called back a little later and I had to tell him.
Daughter? Well, she wanted to bring friends to the mall to meet me. She told them "oh, you don't want to miss this!"
The cherry on top of this day? I get online and have a statement from Master Card so I sign into my account and check the statement. Posted on the statement as "pending" are charges from Claburne Hosp. Hubby is in Claburne and I felt my pulse rate rise suddenly. I grabbed the phone and called him. When he answered, I asked him if he was in the hospital. I'm on the verge of shouting and was barely containing myself when asking. Of course he answered "no, and why would I ask?" I told him about the Master Card charges at which time he explained the "Hosp" referred to Claburne Hospitality Suites where he was resting each night!
And if he phones me one more time and asks if I know where my car is............
That sound you hear is the shower. I'm done for today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To or Not

Work. Omg..I might have to go find a job so I'll know what day of the week it is. It doesn't help that Fidel does not have a 5 days a week, Monday thru Friday job either. All this day I have thought it was the weekend; I didn't specify in my mind whether is was a Saturday or Sunday but that it was the weekend.
Certain things I save to do on the weekdays; today we went shopping and to lunch. Doesn't that sound like a weekend to normal people? I mean, after all, it was the middle of the day that we did this. Most people have that time only on a weekend.
One of us is going to have to find a M thru F job. I have been thinking about this. Working. Sometimes that thought doesn't make me nauseous.
I really should go find a job and I don't know why I use that word "should". We are not in financial distress. Hubby is bringing in 1/2 of what he made last year and that is still a lot more then most people make in a un recession year. A job. Getting up and getting dressed and having breakfast at a fixed time because some body has a rule that dictates I be at certain place and at a certain time.
I'm going to have to think about that for a while. Do I want some complete stranger to have that much control over my life? What about my nap time? Will I have to fore go that too. It's no wonder I get a little nauseous thinking about a job.
Right now that's impossible with my Achilles tendon preventing me from walking as much as I would like to. I think it's healing because it hurts less then before and before what I don't know. I really don't know when it started because for months I was taking pain meds for the knee and when I stopped the pain meds is when I felt the pain in the ankle.

Back to the thought of working. Finding a job wouldn't be my problem. I wouldn't consider 40 hrs a week but just a few days a week. Maybe two days week would be enough. Enough to get me out of the house and socializing a bit. Did I say socializing? No, that surely isn't what I meant to say. There is very little time for socializing in my line of work.

Maybe I should just go find a job as a cashier or hostess or some other job with low stress levels. Maybe I'll dial that television to a good movie, snuggle down and forget about this for a while.