Monday, February 28, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

I keep things forever or as long as they last. I'm not one to trade something in for a newer model just because a newer model is available. I'm frugal. If it operates as intended, I see no reason to change.

My first cell phone was a huge monster that filled my hand and weighted almost a pound. Eventually the time came when it had to be replaced. I leaped into the "now" with a Razor by Motorola. That phone was accidentally put in  the washing machine and when I pulled the clothes out of the washer and heard metal clink against metal, I knew immediately what I was hearing. I buried it in rice for days, a remedy recommended to dry it out. The rice didn't work.  Off to the ATT store for a replacement with another Razor V3 model this time. My third cell phone. This one found death in the wheels of my wheelchair two years ago. I thought my planning was excellent. If I had to be in a wheelchair for six weeks post op, I would wear a lab jacket with huge pockets  to carry my phone and other necessities, thereby, leaving my hands free to manage the wheels on the chair. The first few minutes in that chair and the lab jacket became entangled in the wheels and crunched the cell phone.

Time for a new phone and this  begins my having to learn a new phone. Maybe this is the real  reason I don't want to do upgrades to a newer and more complex phone. It's having to start over and learn all the operations of that new phone.
A few trials on a new phone and I ended up with a Samsung with a touch screen. This one I carried for almost a year until it absorbed moisture from wearing it too close to my body. Sweat did this one in. I replaced it with the same kind found  on EBay because I liked the Qwerty keyboard on the Samsung. 

In the past few days, the touch screen on this phone started misbehaving. Today I finally gave up on this one and packed it away while unpacking the spare cell phone kept in a drawer here.

Once again, I have to learn the operation of a new phone. Removing my SIM card from my old phone, I eventually figured out where it went on the new phone. The battery has to be removed to get to the opening for the SIM card. I slipped the card in and slid the back of the phone into place and hit the "on" button. After about 20 minutes of trying to get the SIM card installed correctly, I packed the whole thing up and went in search of a teenager. I took the phone to Ted and within minutes he had everything up and running. Another minute and he had the time and date corrected on it and I was on my way home.
Back in business, this phone is plain. No Qwerty keyboard that slides down so texting will  not be in my future. 
I'm trying to manage with these phones until it's time for my upgrade. Today I'll check to see when that is due. I want out of cell phone "hell".

One more cup of coffee and I'm out of here for a while. I'm done.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Updating since Thursday

Short update on my big day. The husband was called out of town so the daughter and the granddaughter and I went to the Olive Garden for lunch. I like the "all you can eat soup and salad" lunches. When we got there, the parking lot was so crowded that we decided to run an errand and return later.

I had the sofa cushions in the car. Carrie was barely visible back there in the back seat. Occasionally I could see her little head bob out from behind a cushion and I would wink at her  while telling her I was going to dig her out real soon.

We made the trip to the upholstery shop and freed Carrie from her prison of cushions. Foam is expensive and I have very tired sofa cushions; three of them and they are big. Mr. Romero warned me that each cushion would cost 150.00, replaced with high density foam. I had already checked out the price with the foam people so I knew this wasn't going to be cheap. The form is guaranteed for 15yrs. and right now, the sofa really doesn't need recovered. I left the cushions and we went for lunch. A little shopping after lunch and then back to the house with Carrie who insisted she keep me company because it was my birthday. I agreed with her that this would be the best present I received today, her company.

A bottle of wine later and I either relaxed into sleep or just plain passed out. I'm was 'relaxed'.

Yesterday Carrie and I ran the roads. We loaded up the daughters' sick laptop into the roadster, and with the rag top down we headed to Breaux Bridge to see Jeff. Brunch and then back to Lafayette to pack Carrie's clothes to spend the weekend with her dad and then off to Lydia where her great grandmother was waiting to spend the afternoon with her until her father collected her. I was barely out of that little car yesterday.

The Little House (storage building) holds 4 foam cushions from an old sofa that was long ago retired. I bought those cushions into the house and put them on the bare sofa. The calla lily pattern on them doesn't quite go with the tapestry pattern on this sofa but it will have to do until I get my cushions back. Don't look for any photos of this decorating nightmare. 

The sofa cushions left the same day the hubby left on his job. He was supposed to be gone a week and plenty of time for me to get the new foamed ones back. Instead his job was cancelled. He was home by 2100 hrs last night. The calla lily cushions on the tapestry patterned chenille  sofa was his first notification that I wasn't shopping for a new sofa which he thinks I should do. 

I like the sofa I have and with a little refurbishing, it should be as good as new. To replace this one with another exactly like it will cost me more then what I paid for my new Chevelle in 1972. That's ridiculous.

It's Saturday now and much too nice a day to spend it indoors. I'm off to a shower and a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and a spring day!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And Then, "boom" You're there!

Pat is my friend from around the corner. Actually, you go to the Stop sign and turn left and  at the next Stop sign, her house sits on the right side of the street. Two blocks away, and one of my stops I make on my bike rides. I've spoken about Pat before here. How spry she is. Pat has beautiful snow white hair and large chocolate brown eyes, round, bright and alert surrounded by dark eyelashes. She loves to laugh. She never sits still for long. She hauls dirt in her truck and shovels it into her flower beds, does her house repairs and loves to bake. Pat has the walk of someone 20 yrs younger then her actual age. Spry really doesn't describe Pat well.
 Pat's birthday is two days after mine, a date that is fast approaching. As  a matter of fact, tomorrow is my birthday and at my age, it's not a date that I look forward to. It's a slide to the finish line or at least that's the way I look at birthdays now. It's not a celebration of my birth but a milestone in the roadway to the finish line.

Pat made a comment the other day relating to our birthdays. Her comment was a wish to be celebrating my approaching age instead of hers which made me realize, it's all about the moment. Enjoying this moment as there will be a time in the future when I will be wishing I were at this date in my life.

When did I start viewing my birthdays in this light? I've thought about it and reeled back through the previous years trying to pinpoint the age at which I started seeing mileage forward as short. It was when I quit working.
Staying home hasn't been depressing. The past three years have contained two surgeries and recoveries that have been months long.  It's not about the surgeries. Maybe it's the thought that a period of my life is now in the past.  Another milestone. It's still strange to me to have a job be something in my past when it used to be such a big part of my life.  Busy with a job, and the other daily demands leaves little time to note the mileage down the freeway or the speed at which it was traveled.

Is this the part of retirement that people can't handle? Not missing the schedules, the deadlines and the stress, is it the road signs that are now  in the past tense?  I've had a job most of my life. Maybe I need to go back to work part time? I have toyed with the idea though I might be spoiled after all this time away from the restrictions of a job.

Today I will be grateful for my good health. It might be something I'll look back to this date someday and wish I were here and enjoyed it to the fullest.

And then, "boom" you're there". One of Carrie's favorite things to say ....."and then 'boom', it's done......."and then 'boom' etc., etc., etc"
And then, boom!, it's your birthday once again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day? A Silly Holiday?

Besides banks, state and federal offices being closed today, how did you celebrate? This day passed without a nudge or tickle regarding any president. I didn't see a parade. I didn't see a big television production about presidents. I'm not impressed. Is this a renamed holiday?

We have bypassed spring and went right into summer. When the a/c has to be used to cool the house down, it's summer.

I wasn't quite ready for this much good weather this soon. A little spring time would have been nice. I can see the green shoots of grass and the big maple tree has sprouted these purple fuzzy little creations that are now being blown by the wind to wallpaper my white car.

The lawn service guys had a small break from their tending of their customers in the neighborhood but are back now. Old shrubs are being removed and flower beds are being readied for summer plantings. I'm not ready for summer. I'm never ready.

I live where the winters are supposed to be mild. This winter and last, the winter was harsh for this part of the USA. Oh, we didn't have the feet of snow the northerners experienced but then we aren't supposed to have it either. We seldom get temperatures into the freezing zone but this winter we did and that's not normal. Is it too much to expect normal? Apparently so.

It was a day without Carrie. A day to not answer the call for some chocolate milk or for me to "come see". I didn't have to start a movie for her nor fix a meal nor a bath tonight. It's a Carrie-Free zone. It's not a bad thing to have a day of rest.

My day was house type stuff and a trip to the grocery store. That's a trip that will make the hair stand up on your head. Last week a pound of bacon was $4.28/lb and this week, a staggering 6.29/lb. Gasoline is at 3.09/gal. and the Middle East is roaring with people protesting leadership. Everyone is nervous. I'm sure this administration is watching to see how this washes out. 
 A barrel of oil is predicted to be at 175.00/barrel by this summer. Another oil and gas tax is expected to be levied against the oil companies by this administration to answer the budget deficit.  I'm thinking a repeat of the 1970's with shortages and  long gas lines. 

Mexico is ripping apart at the seams and some predict the next war will be between the USA and Mexico. Did we lose the war on drugs yet? 

The following months ought to be interesting. I'll be watching meanwhile I'm going to Google this holiday and find out where the big celebration was held. Apparently I missed it.
I'm done.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Norman Who?

A Norman Rockwell sorta day. Carrie, the husband and I started out with waffles and bacon. They hit the patio to hang out while I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. How much more Norman Rockwell could it get?

I now know why Carrie wasn't all enthused about riding her bike. The last time we went for a ride, she could barely get it moving. It was not one of our most pleasant times riding together. We got about 2 blocks from the house when she gave up and said she didn't want to ride anymore. I had to make up songs and sing them to her to encourage her to get that bike back to the house. Today I made a big discovery. There wasn't any air in her tires. I can now understand why she had such a difficult time getting it to roll.

We have air. Yes sir, we do. I got my mini air compressor from the trunk of my car and filled em up. She came out and climbed aboard her bike and off we went. Her bike was skimming along with very little effort on her part to keep it moving. She  smiled  as the wind lifted her hair away from her face. I followed behind her to make sure she stayed on the right side of the road and to bring my bike up to shield her from the oncoming cars or the cars coming up behind us. A group of bikers approached wearing their helmets and colorful riding clothes. They nodded and smiled and stayed in perfect synch as they rounded a curve, each bike slotted perfectly for the turn.
Carrie actually enjoyed her bike ride today. Lesson learned. Check tire pressure. She wasn't in a big hurry to end our ride.

I like to watch little kids. Later in the morning Carrie spotted  three of them hanging over the board fence across the street. All were within her age group and were visiting their grandmother.  She asked if she could cross the street to see them and after collecting our nods, away she went. She walked right up to the base of the fence and looked up at them and said  "Hi, my name is Carrie."   Without hesitation, they gave her instructions on how to get into the yard. The grandmother must have heard the exchange because Carrie didn't have to go to the front door to gain entrance. The yard gate swung open and she was in.

Little children have no hesitation when meeting each other. They assume if you're the right height, you must be one of them and that's enough to qualify you for acceptance. She slipped right into their game playing and when I went to check  on her, she was enjoying herself and her new friends. I let her hang out with them for a while and then promised her a visit to the park. She said her goodbyes and we made our way back across the street. I'm always amazed that Carrie doesn't argue when we ask her to do something. I tell her it's bath time and she stops what she is doing and we head for the tub. I told her it was time to go today and leave her new friends. She turns and tells everyone "goodbye" and we were on our way. The promise of a park visit probably helped to ease the pain of leaving her  buddies.

Gerald (pronounced "Jer   Rod" ) park is the biggest park here in town and has been undergoing some major improvements lately. New play areas with sponge like ground has been installed. One bounces when walking across this flooring. The children falling down survive without bumps, bruises or pain.

We take bread to feed the ducks that are pedaling around the huge ponds. Nutria's can be spotted in their boroughs at the waters' edge.  Fountains spraying water at the center of these ponds collect light and create mini rainbows. Quaint foot bridges cross from one side to the other. Children with their parents filled the playgrounds. Carrie soon found others her age for play.
Frisbees were flying across the green fields, bikes were racked or being ridden around the paths. A garage band in one of the pavilions was entertaining the crowd. Electric guitars and a drummer provided sound. A trombone was held on a stand. A natural amphitheatre surrounds this bandstand. Blankets were spread out on this  small hill providing the people enjoying the music an unrestricted view. Occasionally a breeze blew through and the  sun would hide behind the clouds. The dark clouds held no rain for us and moved on. 

Carrie has finally left the building and I'm taking a much needed break. Her brother came  and picked her up for a visit to the ice cream parlour. I have a date with a hot shower and some pajamas, a comfy bed and some feather pillows. I'm done. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Simple Saturday

Carrie and Poppy

Carrie came to visit again today. She is back to her feisty happy self and I'm worn out.

Not a thing of importance happened today. Play with Carrie, trip to the store and back home to more play with Carrie.

The patio TV had to be replaced. The husband took the other one down from it's perch close to the ceiling and took the back off of it and spent some time cleaning the contacts for the "off/on" switch. It did fire up but after a short time, it would click off. He worked on it for a while then decided it was time to make a trip to the pawn shop to look for a replacement. He could have opted for a new one but it would have been a  flat screen. He thinks the weather here would kill it quickly and to find the old type TV's, the pawn shop was his best bet.

One old type TV was there and it is now replacing the one that was pitched to the curb. My question is, who owns this house or does this house own us? It requries as much attention as a child. Lawns, trees, shrubbery and the exterior provides enough work before even considering the inside of the house.

It was a wonderful 76 degrees here today and we spent most of it outside. My internet time has went the way of the cold weather. I haven't missed it. I haven't missed the cold weather either. Soon I'll be complaining about the heat and the humidity and maybe a hurricane or two. We have been lucky for the past few years. We might be due a hurricane this coming season.

I hear Carrie calling. It's time to get her out of the tub and into bed but first I have to comb through all that hair. I'm done, or at least on here I'm done. I still have Carrie to do.


I heard her as she woke to find me gone. She called out my name, then I heard the swish sound as her feet hit the hardwood floor by the bed.  I answered quickly and she directed her steps to the master bedroom. Her waist length, head of thick hair hung forward over her face as she climbed over the foot of my bed and crawled up to be with me. I lifted her hair away from her face and secured it with the hair clip that was buried in the masses of hair.
Her eyes still were a little puffy but the watery look from last night was gone.

 She said "Look Nanny, I'm not sick!"

For a few minutes she stayed with me while I held her. On a good morning, Carrie likes being held before she moves off to start her active day.

Soon she was sliding back down to the foot of the bed while telling me "I'm going to go look for Poppy." and she was gone. She spent most of the day outside, the best indicator that she was feeling much better then last night.

She was with us all day and was in no hurry to go home. We put the top down on the roadster while we ran some errands.  

Evening arrives. While engrossed with the laptop on the sofa and  watching some Justin Bieber videos on You Tube, her mother walks in. Carrie looks up and squeals. She is happy to see her mother and was suddenly ready to leave.

I'll phone her this morning to see how she spent the night. I slept without interruption. I hope she did too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Last Night With Carrie

RiiiiiiiiiiiiiiNG.....I reached for the cell phone and hit the talk button and her voice came across, easily recognized as she is the only 5yr that ever calls me.

"Nanny," she says, "would you like me to come visit and if the answer is yes, would you like to come get me"
and she pauses for more breath before continuing her one line paragraph
 "or should Ted bring me or Kristin?" and I heard her gasp for more oxygen.

"Sure Carrie, you can come and have Ted bring you."

And soon the patio door opens and she arrives. I really don't think she comes to visit me. It's her Poppy that attracts her attention immediately and the first thing she says is              "Where's Poppy?"
I flip my hand up over my right ear, indicating the hallway to the bedroom and she is gone. Soon she is back with his iPhone and speaking into the "cat app" he has downloaded for her. She speaks to the cute cartoon cat and it records her voice and repeats back to her what she has said. She can also record messages and replay them later. She can have the cat scratch itself, scratch the screen, swat the screen and fart.  I've yet to figure out what she finds so funny about the fart part of it but when I hear her uncontrolled bouts of giggling, I know what the cat is doing.

Within a few hours, Carrie's laughter was gone, her eyes were swollen and she was complaining of a sore throat. Thankfully she had bathed early in the evening and was in her pajamas. Some Robitussin cough and cold medicine, and a cool wet towel to her eyes, we moved to the bedroom. Within minutes she was asleep only to awake an hour later crying about her eyes. Reddened and matted together, I cleaned them and held her till she went back to sleep.

Last night was not a night of uninterrupted sleep, but then I didn't plan on it.

She would wake during the night and I would feel her hand find my face. She was checking to assure herself that I was still with her. Usually that was enough and she would go back to sleep. Occasionally her wakefulness was to request something to drink and to tell me her throat hurt.

0500 and a weak light peeks in over the head of the bed through the window there. She stirs and sits up and says "Nanny, my panties are wet. Can I have a dry pair?"  Carrie seldom has accidents and when it happens she is embarrassed.

I didn't make a big deal of it. I swung my feet to the floor and headed to the hall bathroom to collect the wipes and a big beach towel. The bed was barely wet.  After freshening her up and in her dry panties, I spread the beach towel on the bed, settled her back down and she was asleep again before I was back from the laundry room where I ditched her soiled underwear.

Back to bed for me but not to sleep. I had circled through the living room when returning from the laundry room and picked up my laptop. My night of rest was done. I stayed with her until she was in a deep sleep again, surfing the web while I waited.

I've been having my morning coffee, one ear tuned in to the bedroom where Carrie sleeps. 

When she wakes, I'll dress her and take her home to her mother then I'll take a nap. Right now, I'm off to get a shower while I have some free time left.
I'm done.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tidying Up

It started yesterday with the patio and has now spread to the carport and the walls there. The power washer has been fired up and spraying it's high velocity stream of water. As much as I dislike standing for long periods of time pointing the nozzle of that thing at concrete, I did pick it up today and use it.

I used it to clean the tires and rims of my car. My major accomplishment today. Spraying off the wheels of the car takes but a few minutes and is not quite so mind numbing as pointing that nozzle down on the patio concrete and watching it remove stains in 1/4 inch increments. Since the patio is about 12ft by 14 ft, the boredom one endures causes me to lie and lie without guilt.

When I see the power washer rolled out of the Little House, I hide. I make busy inside and I know how to shirk without anyone noticing. It's all in listening closely to the door opening inward. I leap to my feet and with the dust cloth in hand, I start wiping something off and looking busy,  busy, busy.

"Sure, I'll help." I say and knowing all the time I'm saying this, I'm lying.
"I just want to get some things done in here." I tell him. 
and an hour later it's "I'm not quite finished what I'm doing. Sure, I'm gonna do some spraying." I lied again

and all the time I know this won't happen. I can stretch housework out for hours and hours. It's all about listening for that door to open and hitting the "off" on the remote control.

....and my tires and rims do look nice and clean. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday To You and Soileau's Dinner Club, Opelousas, La.

What's not to like? Before the temperatures reached the high today of 71, I was circling the roadster with a wet soft cloth soaked in soap suds. I scrubbed the little car and rinsed it off then moved it into the sunlight to dry the rag top before I would fold it down into the trunk of the car. I say "trunk" with some hesitation. I know that's what they call it on this car but they should really have called it a "top holder" because that is all it holds.

I took my time as I waited for the temperature to reach it's high for today. Carrie was waiting to be picked up from Gr.Grandmothers and I wanted it to be warm enough to put the top down when I made the 30 mile drive to get her.

We had a nice trip back. She was so happy when I arrived and raced to me screaming "Nanny! Nanny!".
It's better then having a dog. At least at the age of 5yrs. Carrie is as excited as a puppy when she sees me appear and better then a puppy, she can squeal and call out my name.
We zipped down the highway with the wind whipping our hair out behind us or wrapping around our faces. Laughing and singing along with the radio, the sun warmed us.

Today was Poppy's birthday and as soon as she entered the house she raced over to him with kisses and hugs. They played outside most of the afternoon while I did laundry and housework.
I took Carrie back to her house in the late afternoon and then got ready to go for a birthday dinner with the husband. He wanted to try a place about 30 miles up the highway in Opelousas. Seafood was their specialty and he wanted Cajun Shrimp.
This restaurant has been in business for 40plus yrs. and has a good reputation. Anticipation was high for a good meal this evening.

We entered and halted to wait for the host/hostess to appear to seat us. A man sitting on a bench at the front informed us that we could just seat ourselves. We found a table for two by the wall dividing the dining room from the wait staff. Soon a waiter appeared with menus, greeted us and said he would be right back. As good as his promise, he did get right back to us and after that, it slid downhill rapidly.

I looked around the room and noted the few tables that were occupied. Couples were seated at three tables across the room along the wall. Next to us, another couple were just finishing their meal and preparing to leave. The 8 other tables were loaded with dirty dishes and silverware and apparently the waiter/bus boy combo wasn't keeping up very well. He was about 20 yrs. old and appeared to be a little hesitant about his job. When we ordered our meal and I asked about something on the menu, he couldn't answer my question and didn't offer to find the information for me. I nodded and smiled and ordered anyway.

1hr.15 minutes later, the husband finally stopped the waiter and asked if we could have our drinks served. After 20 minutes, I had already mentioned to the husband that we had not been served our drinks but the husband has much more patience then I. It took a full hour and fifteen minutes before he became concerned.
The drinks appeared after another 5 minutes.

20 minutes later, a salad appeared. 30 minutes after the salad, the waiter stopped by to tell us it shouldn't be much longer. They had been busy with a big table on the other side of the  restaurant. We had now been in this restaurant for 2 hrs  and had still not been served our meal.
The husband had had enough and told the waiter to bring our bill for two salads and two drinks. We went to the register where another 20ish fellow showed up to charge us for two drinks and two salads. Not one person looked concerned that we were disappointed in the meal or the service.
It was at this time that I asked to speak to the manager. This 23 or 24 yr old looked at me and said "I am the manager." I then said "I would like to speak to the owner." and to this he said "I'm in the process of being the owner!" I told him that some one should be ashamed of themselves for the 2 hrs. we had spent in this establishment. Didn't they think that this was an unreasonable time to wait? 
He wasn't interested in our complaints and boldly said "He wasn't going to listen to me and he didn't have to."  I could feel the steam cleaning out my ears.
Soileaus Dinner Club, Opelousas, La. 
Somewhere about this time he ordered me to leave while telling me how long this restaurant had been in business. My reply "Apparently you weren't managing it all those years. I'll be back next year to see if you're still in business!"

Apparently this young man thinks his business will survive on the reputation this restaurant owned for the past 40 yrs? I'm anticipating a huge surprise for him.
This adventure tonight started about 1530 hrs. and we made it back home at 2100 hrs. We went to Outback and had our dinner served by professional wait staff. Quickly and efficiently our meal was ordered and delivered. I watched these trained waiters and waitresses that were trained by a big chain store type group and could understand why Outback does so well wherever it opens. Good food and good service and at today's prices you won't survive without both.

It has to be bad before I complain. It has to be REALLY bad. Tonight was one of those nights.

Another nice day has been promised. I knew I should have cleaned closets and done more housework when the weather was cold and drab. Now I don't want to spend my time in the house. I want to be outdoors in the sunshine. Soon it will be too much sunshine for too many hours and I will be hiding out in the aircondtioned rooms.
I'll finish my coffee and get a quick shower and be gone.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I slipped out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and swallowed some ibuprofen and then turned back the covers on the guest bed and climbed in. I didn't know if I would be up and wandering around again so not wanting to disturb the husband's sleep, I chose the guest bedroom.

As soon as I could get out of the house, I went to the store and got some Sudafed. Signing for it and showing identification and then having the pharmacist assistant log all the information into her computer took longer then it would have had I been buying a Schedule 2 or 3 narcotic.  I'm on my first dose and tonight before I go to bed, I'll take another. I don't know how long it will be before I can expect a change in the sinus condition but if I remember to take the ibuprofen, the pain isn't bad at all.

It was 71 degrees here today. This afternoon I grabbed the cleansers and scrub brush and spiffed up my bike a bit. We are promised the same temperatures all week long. Spring has arrived?

I'm going to bed early tonight. If I get there early, I might be able to have the remote control in my possession and everybody knows, those who have the remote, rule the entertainment. If I'm in charge, a movie or weekly series will be watched but if the husband gains the remote control, we will be flipping from CNN to MSN, Fox and the other networks for news. Enough already with the news. Whatever changes from what we watched today can wait until tomorrow.

I'll be driving to Lydia tomorrow morning to collect Carrie. She has been with her Dad all weekend and today. Tomorrow morning she will be with one of her great grandmothers until I can pick her up. Maybe I can talk her into a bike ride with me later in the day.

I'm done.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Shards of pain darting through my head, zinging against the optic nerve. Shutting my eyes against the light, I hide out on the sofa. The window blinds have been dimmed down. The room is quiet, the television sound softened to a buzz in the background. Occasionally I wake up and look around and shut my eyes to the light that makes the pain dart and richochet around my skull.
I'm not prone to headaches and this is not a migraine. The pressure builds behind my eyes and I'm charged with sinus pain.

It's at times like these that I'm happy to be part of the unemployed. I can't imagine going to a job that requires any thought and having to cope.
This sinus stuff is new to me and I think that it has progressively gotten worse as the years here in the south have accumulated. Tomorrow I will visit the pharmacy and sign out some Sudafed. Sudafed, as you are probably aware, requires a signature sign out and there is a certain amount that is alloted to each customer each month. This is to discourage those inclined to buy up a bunch of it to use in the making of meth.

How interesting huh? A blog on my sinus misery. Well, to that I say, this is my memory in black and white and this is my day.
As I follow the lines of this type across the page, I can feel the movement of my eyeballs as they roll to the right in their orbits to follow this typing. I think I'll call this a "done for the day" and go find the husband who is ..where else? but in the kitchen this time of day. It's fish and chips tonight. We caught a bunch of cod today at Sam's. I did make it to Sam's between the sofa slouching.
The dinner bell is ringing and I'm gone.

A Watched Washer Never Boils

I think the saying is "a watched pot never boils". I'm not watching a pot but a clothes washing machine. Today I get to wash stacks and stacks of thick bath towels and I have more then one load to do. This wasn't on my list of things to do today but because of my carelessness, I have no one to blame but myself.

Turning on the spigot in the laundry room after plugging the drain, I left the room while  the sink filled and that was  my mistake. I didn't go back. I simply got busy doing something else and when I finally walked back into the laundry room, the laundry basket was floating. Inches of water covered the floor and the soiled laundry stacked in front of the washing machine was soaked.

After draining the sink, I grabbed armloads of towels from the bathroom and started soaking up the water. Lots and lots of water and lots of towels used and then those same towels had to be washed and hung on the line and that has wasted most of my morning. I hate making a mess when my goal was to clean this house. I have now lost any lead I might have had in getting housework done by noon.

The husband is changing the oil in the lawn tractor, mixing gas and filling up the gas cans. It's 61 degrees here and I think he is just happy to be outside. He made a trip earlier to fill up the gas cans and pick up a couple of ribeyes from Hebert's.

Hebert's sells some of the best steaks around. The meat case displays the ribeyes and the t-bones, seasoned or unseasoned. Cracklings are offered, sold in small brown paper bags. This little market has a steady stream of loyal customers.

At one time I would buy a rack of steaks and have them sliced at the supermarket, bring them home and freeze them to be cooked at a later date. I no longer do that and haven't since we discovered Hebert's. Now its a fresh steak cooked the day it is bought home and the difference is tremendous.

Tonights' menu, grilled ribeye steaks, cold asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and Texas toast. A bottle of Shiraz was opened and is being sipped while dinner is prepared. I'm sippin; the husband is grilling. A perfect meal for the spring like day here. The weather is supposed to be spring like for the coming week and all I have to say to that is "it's about damn time!

My nose tells me that the steaks are done. It's time to leave the internet. I'm hungry.

Friday, February 11, 2011

And Mubarak is Out

I'll post this here or I'll just have to save the bottle and as I'm trying to lessen what this house holds, pitchin the bottle will happen. Some of the names found on wine bottles are reason enough to try it out! Very dry.

Today was too cold. I'm not doing a weather report but I will say this. Next week we should be in the mid 70's and I'm ready.
My sofa is beginning to drive me around the bend.  The husband says "buy a new one" and that is easier said then done. I've visited a few stores and sat on the board like ones they offer. I don't want a new one. I want the one I have recovered and the sorry tale of this is, that the fabric is in perfectly good condition still. It's the sofa cushions that are tired so today I pulled the foam out of them and threw the covers in the washer. The foam in the pillows are down wrapped so I had feathers flowing around the room. I had to vacumn. 
 Downy fabric softner was added to the rinse and they were back in place within hours. It didn't cure the foam problem but I felt better knowing they were clean and Downy fresh.

I'm restless and bored. I could clean house. I could start a project here. I'm not interested in doing either. I read articles on the web, flipping open the laptop and slapping down the lid to wander around the house.  It's Thursday. I'll not publish this today.

FRIDAY: 2/11/2011
Up at 0500 and moving to the sofa, I stretched out and pulled a blanket over me and drifted back to sleep. Two hours later and I'm awake again and heading for the kichen to brew a pot of coffee. My feet slap the cold tile and I step quickly. While the coffee brews, I flip on the TV and switch to CNN to watch as Egypt's announces Mubarack leaving the country. Just yesterday he spoke to the   Egyptians saying that he would continue to hold the office of President. Today it appears, he has turned over the government to the military. I'm guessing that the crowd marching on the palace after his speech was their answer to his claim as president. I'll be interested to see how this plays out and who will lead. Today they celebrate.

I heard those familiar words around 1800hrs. "What's for dinner?" the husband said as he passed through the living room on his way to the carport for a cigarette.
I headed for the shower and was ready to be taken out for dinner. The Chinese restaurant owned by Tony, the neighbor guy, serves on their buffet  Alaskan king crab legs, and all the boiled shrimp you can eat along with a variety of other foods.
I grabbed my little Tuppeware container, added a stick of butter and set it in the microwave to melt. Tony serves melted margarine with the crab legs so I always take my melted butter along with me.

30.00 later and we are stuffed with seafood and crashed on the sofa watching another news show. I'm back to where I was at 0500 hrs this morning except now I'm full of seafood. Thankfully my pajamas, which I was wearing just an hour ago are still warm. In a few minutes I'll in bed beneath the comforter to watch TV until the Ambien kicks in.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stuff, Just Stuff

Carrie spent the night and most of today here with us.  It was a day spent indoors. She alternated her time between Poppy and me. 

Checkers played using her rules and I let her rule how the game was played. I've tried to teach her to play but it's been a long while since I made that mistake. Now I sit patiently while she skips all over the board wiping out my black chips while taking 4 to 6 block leaps. She giggles and swipes up my chip and I pay the same treatment forward. By the time all the men have been taken off the board, she has had enough of checkers and we move on to something else. Teaching her to play chess was an even worse experience.

The Wii we shared. Tennis, bowling and baseball entertained and passed a few more hours. Neither of us can keep score. She plays tennis until her opponent misses then hands me the hand control. Even with the Wii game, she sometimes makes up her own rules.  

Late afternoon, we dashed through the rain to the car. Buckling her into the booster seat during this downpour left me partially wet and chilled. We were on our way to Walmart to pick up some baby chicken for her lunch. I zipped around the store quickly making my selections on coffee, milk and a few other items needed while Carrie followed. Occasionally she would mention the baby chicken worried that I would forget our main reason for risking a wet soaking on this trip to the store. Always thinking of her Poppy, she spotted Pistachios  that she knows is his favorite. She picked them up and asked if she could take this to her Poppy. I don't remember her going with her Poppy to the store and bringing something back for me. I'm not bitter or feeling neglected.  

Soon we were at the delicatessen part of the store and a half pound of crispy browned mild flavored chicken wings were picked up. This is what she calls baby chicken. The small drum sticks represent a baby bird to her. Out the door, mission accomplished and back into the cold rain to race back to the car.

Soon it was time to take her back to her house. She visits her father tomorrow and is excited to see him. It's quiet now in the house and she is missed.


Today I would like to take the sofa cushions to the upholstery shop and have the new foam put into them. I'll wait for the total sofa recovering party that is planned. I could reorder this same sofa from Thomasville or I could have this one redone. I know it's time to get something done. I'm not unhappy with the style of this one and ultra modern leather, glass and tubular stuff is not my taste. I eyed a nice leather one but nixed on that after talking to my girlfriend who hates hers. I'll stick with cloth fabric.

It is wet and cold once again but that can be said for most of the USA so I'm dressing for the climate and ignoring all else. It is what it is and we cope cause complaining doesn't help.
I talked to Lance, neighbor kid/guy/man/. I've known him since he was 4 yrs old so I still want to call him a kid when he is well past 24yrs old. Lance is unemployed right now but it doesn't seem to bother him as much as it bothers his parents. He has moved back in with them and all his furniture from his apartment had to be located within his parent's home. The other son that was attending McNeese in Lake Charles decided he would move back in also and along with him came sofa, bed and TV. He has transferred to ULL.  Shelly, the daughter attends ULL here in town and has staked her claim to a bedroom and stayed home during her college experience. Dee has a houseful once again and is busy.

Though Lance is unemployed, he stays busy. Lately he has been sanding and painting his brother's truck. Lance can do custom paint jobs and his own truck, painted bright red, is decorated with emblems and pictures. He enters this red truck in car shows.

The point of sharing all this with you is that Lance is "in the know" with people that have car haulers. I'm looking for a double axle trailer with an attached ramp. If not enclosed, I will buy a car cover for the Solstice when it is being towed on this trailer. I want to have a trailer by the time spring arrives and the husband is working all over the USA. See my plan here folks? It's obvious. I'm hooking up and heading out. The next trip I make with the husband, I'll arrive with my own wheels. We can park the trailer in a far corner of the hotel parking lot and unload the Solstice. I'll be a free bird.
Now for that sofa. I'm off of here to dress and take some cushions to the shop.
I'm done!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Year Ago Today

I can flip through my blog Rolodex and know exactly what was going on in my life. Well, maybe NOT exactly as I'm sure I've left out the most embarrassing parts if there were any on that particular day that I posted. If my daughter had me in giggling fits in public, which she likes to do sometimes, and I had to return to my house to change underwear, which has happened, I probably didn't share that with the whole Internet or the small group that frequent this blog. There are just some things that are better left unsaid and I can keep a secret. Feel free to share your most embarrassing moment with me.

I meandered a bit off track there so I'm hauling this blog back on the rails again with this sentence. Sometimes I take a short stroll down memory lane. Not the lane that is supposed to be housed in the hardwired part of my brain. I seem to have lost a few connections with that circuit there. Thankfully, I have this bit of cyber memory going on for me.

Last night I went back to February a year ago and read my charting on where I was and what was happening around me. I had another surgery approaching and I was busy gathering up a wheelchair from friends, crutches and canes and freakin out about not being able to clean house while stranded on the sofa with surgical site propped up during the healing of the Achilles. Mardi Gras, weather and more, I had left those tales and some of them I didn't remember putting to laptop screen text, saving and publishing. I should have started this blog years ago but years ago computers weren't that accessible, especially laptops. Hauling a desktop from motel to motel doesn't sound appealing although I might have found the inconvenience worth having it around.

Carrie and I test drove the new sheets. Potato chip flakes and dribbles of ice tea christened those nice sheets and as soon as she goes home, I'll pull them off that bed and they will get baptised to soap and water and the Kenmore.

I'm off to see what the day brings. I've heard it will be rain. It's getting geared up for that promised 80 degree weather that is approaching this weekend. The weather man promised and I'm expecting him to make good on it. Don't ya hate weather forecasters that promise one thing and deliver another?  I've had a few dates in my life...well...we'll leave that for another time.
I'm doing some serious organizing today..a little cleaning and before you know it, Good Housekeeping will be sending me their seal of approval.

And, just disregard all those promises to clean that I just made. I just found out that the house guest won't be arriving until April! Why waste all my time cleaning now when by April it will just have to be done again?

I have other things I would rather be doing today. A afternoon nap, some internet and some dinner that I won't be cooking. I'm done and I'm  gone.

Have It Your Way

I look around my little crib here and things look acceptable. By "things" I'm referring to everything that takes up space in this house.

I get a message about a guest arriving and I take another look around. 

It's the small things that I've let slide. Take for instance the mattresses. A queen size bed occupies each of the guest rooms. At one time in the not so distant past, the old mattresses were those of the seven inch thick size. I've since replaced those with the fourteen inch thick ones. I still have the sheets used on the old mattresses. 
The fitted sheets are now what is  called "deep pocket" that fit these thick mattresses. I don't own any of these  so during the night, you find the fitted sheet creeping off the corners and curling up around your feet. 
Today I pulled all the old sheets out of the linen closet and pitched them. A few hours of my morning was spent shopping for new sheets. Only one of the extra bedrooms gets any use at all. I found some 650 thread count sheets that feel like silk. Carrie and I are testing them out tonight. This is where she sleeps when she stays over and she doesn't sleep alone so we both get to do a trial run on them.

I go cheap and sleazy on a lot of things. Linens and towels are my weakness. Too many years of living in cheap motels and using those little bars of soap and those thin towels and sheets left me with linen envy. I indulge in those things now.
I may buy something to wear that feels rough and less then great quality but my sheets and towels are as good as I can afford or I'll save up to splurge on them.

25 cans of vegetables bought on sale and stacked on the counter in the laundry room for the past month has now been put away in the pantry. The pantry was organized again and miscellaneous clothing items found their home in the dressers and chests in the bedrooms.

I was zipping right along today cleaning and organizing all the while  thinking the husband was going to cook dinner. He mentioned enchiladas and since I'm the one that does all the Mexican food, I screeched to a halt on the cleaning and moved into the kitchen at 1500 hrs. I was still there 3hrs later. 

I have a friend that loses herself in the kitchen. I'm lost in there but not in the same way as my friend. She hits another zone, relaxes and focuses on what she is cooking . She chops, grates, slices and dices and says this calms her. She uses the right amount of heat to cook the food she is preparing. She isn't in a hurry.
Me? My goal in life is to see how fast I can enter and exit the room of doom. There is only one speed on that stove and that's "high". The more slicing and dicing I have to do the worse my mood becomes. With each pan that will require washing and each spoon, fork or plate that will need some attention with soap and water later and I'm thinking about all those great places here in town where we could be hefting a menu and placing an order. 

I had a pot of beans bubbling because you just can't have a Mexican meal without the pinto beans being freshly cooked. I slipped the Poblano peppers on a cookie sheet and beneath the broiler while I diced onions and grated cheese. 

The menu was stacked enchiladas, chili rellenos and beans. Sounds easy doesn't it. Sounds as though this would take meer minutes to accomplish but I'm going to set you straight right now. Toasting the chili's was only the beginning. Each of these dishes required chopping, dicing and grating. Hot oil equals a greasy stove that will later need scrubbed. I think about all this as I am standing there at the stove looking at the mounting pile of pans. I clean as I go. It doesn't help. I'm still aware of the cleaning after all the preparation and there will be plenty of that. 

The meal was tasty and the husband was appreciative. I would rather have been cleaning house. That I don't mind doing.

Tomorrow I have a long list of things to be done and cooking is not on that list. It's not my turn. We will not be having Mexican food. Burger King sounds good to me. I'll even go pick it up.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I killed a 1/2 bottle of wine and two Margaritas while watching the massacre on the football field of the Steelers and the Packers. Right at this minute, the game is in the last minutes of the third quarter so there will be no chest pounding from either the husband or myself. He is an NFC fan. When it gets down to the Superbowl and his favorite team is not in this battle, then it comes down to the conferences of the teams playing.
I didn't realize why he suddenly was a 'Cheesehead' until I made note of the conference thing.

I'm wiping the sauce from the chicken wings off my lips. This is the best part of football. I can hang out on the sofa with my laptop open, eyes on the game, a drink in one hand while he cooks. What's not to love about a football Sunday? I think our roles might be reversed? At least I know who should be drinking the beer and it's NOT me. 
Game score final. The Packers have accepted the Vince Lombardi trophy.
I'm going to wobble off to bed. I perked a few cups of coffee to halt the party in my head. I'm done.

Superbowl Sunday

I'll say it again, "I don't have a dog in this fight" and having said that, I'll be favoring the Steelers today. Mostly because the husband wants to see the Packers win.
My problem is, when the game is two teams that neither one is mine, I tend to concentrate and applaud the play regardless of who is making that play.  I appreciate the atheletheism (is that spelled right? prolly probably of the players. I watch as they get hit and become airborne or get hit while being airborne and running blindly into the tackle. I would never consider playing this sport.
Brutal as it is, the pay is good and the testosterone levels must run high. If someone hit me that hard or pushed or shoved, I might have to pack a derringer in my sock.
I'm amazed at how some of them take a hit, and from the person that hit them, they extend a hand to help them up or a pat on the back as they separate and head back to their own huddle.

I'm afraid I would never be that forgiving. I hold a grudge. I'll be over here massaging the big bruise and pouting. Nope, don't speak to me. I'm mad at you.
And the coach? I watch as he yells at the players as they come off the field for some silly move they made or didn't make while the rumble was on. I'll be right over here with my hankie crying and sniffling and whining about being yelled at. 

Tennis looks much more civilized. How about a good ole competition on the golf course, the ski slope or in the swimming poor. I suppose this says a lot for what I feel about contact sports.
Oh, hey. I watch them but could never imagine being a player regardless of what the pay check looks like.

I have much admiration for the players. What I admire is their physical strength and stamina. These guys are in shape. I like to watch when they fall and then bounce to their feet. It's not the fall but the getting up that is amazing and shows how fit they are. At times I find myself cheering the pass or the catch even though it was made by a team that I'm supposed to be against. I appreciate the play regardless of who made it. 
 Setting aside their personal lives and personal screw ups there, one has to respect their skill on the field. Oh? It's game time? Excuse me. I'll be right back. I have to go watch my 11 men try to murder your 11 men. Gooooooooo Steelers?..yeah..that's it..Go Steelers!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Are we Watching?

"Ah, they are always fightin."  "We should just blow em off the map."  "Who cares?"  

Those comments I hear from people that are minimally aware of the news reports on Egypt, as they quickly flip the channel to settle in for a evening of unreality shows. Brain numbed and dumbed down, we ignore what is happening. "If it ain't happening here, I don't care what is goin' on!"  I've heard this comment many more times then I care to remember.

I've heard people trivialize this revolt blaming it on the religious conflicts that exist in the Middle East. It's taken for granted and ignored by the West. From what I can tell,  this revolt is about democracy. Our President is hesitant to support Mubarak in this revolt against this dictator. After all, isn't that the supposed reason we are in Iraq?  To spread democracy?

I don't pretend to understand all that goes on internationally  but when something erupts like what is happening in Egypt and we don't think we will feel the effects of this, boggles my mind.  Poverty and unemployment seem to be fueling much of this revolt.

I wonder how many jobs will have to be lost and how hungry the US citizen will have to be before revolts happen here. England and Italy are experiencing their own problems. 

I'm watching CNN for their take on what is going on and the reasons and the repercussions.  For those of us that feel we won't feel a part of that ripple, take note. 
The international markets took a dive. Our stock market tumbled affecting retirement funds again.  I'm watching  the price of a barrel of oil.  Our support of this dictator will be questioned. Fears of a radical anti American  ruler is feared by the USA. I say this to those that think this has no effect on them; heads up.

I'll continue to watch to see how this plays out . At least, in a few months, should the price of a gallon of gas cost 30.00, I can flip back to this time. When products shipped from that part of the world and has to travel around the whole continent of Africa to reach our shores, I will understand the slight horrendous markups on our shelves. Worst case scenarios, some of these and now to watch to see what the United States will do.

Reality shows? Really? What could be more riveting to watch then what goes on in the world and splashed across the television screen, plus it helps you understand what is going on in your small part of your world.  
I don't understand economics. I can manage my own here. I pay the bills until I run out of money. Simple formula I have. I confess to not understanding global economics. Loans to states and how they rate those that qualify, it's  beyond my depths in knowledge.  Sadly, I don't find it a thrilling subject. 
I suspect that what is going on now will spread around the world and those effects will be my lesson on economics. 
I'm going to find a good book to read during this lousy weather; cold and rain is blowing in.
I have a dental appointment this afternoon and an appointment to see a friend and a few errands to run.
I'm going to be busy. I'm not really interested in this much of my time being  structured.
I'm not in the mood to be a blogger right now. It's either sinuses or a slow brain.
I'm done.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


One eye on the weather report, I riffed through my closet for a pair of long pants and an over sized sweat shirt. As I was getting dressed in the bedroom, I glanced toward the bed that sits square in front of the one window in the room. Was that snow? I hurried to the side of the bed and parted the curtain just a bit more. Almost snow. Sleet. Not as pretty but I was excited anyway.

I hurried out to the car and started it, cranked the thermostat to 78 and got back inside the house. I see no advantage to climbing into a cold car for the 3 minutes it takes to get to Walmart. It makes more sense to waste 3.00 of gas?

Rain turning to ice has been forecast and I want some bacon and eggs stocked. A few more items were necessary and a couple bottles of wine later, I was headed to Joy's house to remove a built in microwave that was ready for the bone yard. A few days ago Joy called all frantic about the garbage disposal that had ate a bud vase, a microwave that had died, an armoire that in the process of being moved from one room to another had toppled over and the mirror and door were damaged. Adding the dead clothes dryer to the list of things that were falling apart, she was depressed. Being as money challenged as the rest of the population lately, she was overwhelmed and unable to pay for repairs.

I told her I would be over and see what I could do.

No Allen wrench was attached to the garbage disposal to unlock it so I asked for a broom. Doing the ole broom trick of sticking it in the disposal blades and spinning them counterclockwise, cause the broken glass to dislodge. I stuck a vacuum cleaner hose in the disposal to suck up all the glass fragments, hit the reset button and it whirled to life. One problem fixed and I was off to take measurements of the armoire door for the new mirror it would need. The next project was the microwave. The problem was they didn't know how to remove it. I returned today with some tools and a step ladder. Unbolting it from the cupboard above, we carefully pulled it out and dumped it into the huge garbage can. I need a special screw driver to remove the plate that held it on the wall. I'll make another trip back in the next few days and hopefully finish the job of removing that plate and installing a shelf for the new microwave. A used clothes dryer should be delivered this month by her brother in law.

I cautioned her to have a little patience. I do understand how she feels as she watches appliances fail and she is unable to keep her house up to the standards she once enjoyed.

I'll donate a little time to save her sanity. Only good Karma should return to me? That's my plan anyway.

Before heading over to play handy woman, I stood in between the shelves of wine and gazed in confusion at the wide selection offered.

I'm on a mission. A self taught lesson in wines. I was amazed at what I didn't know or maybe I should say, amazed at all there was to learn about wine. Light, dark, dry and sweet, the choices are staggering. Add to that the temperatures to store, the air to add or not add and when to do this. I've learned a little about the grapes used and the amount of time the skins are used to flavor the wine. The longer the skin is allowed to ferment the more tannin in the wine and the less sweet it will be.  Then there is the countries and their wine specialties.

Decanting the wine and which ones require decanting, allowing the wine to breath to allow the aromas to escape all add to whether the wine will be a pleasant experience.

Then there is the right wine for the right foods to learn. From light to dark is the rule of thumb. The meal starts with light foods. Appetizers and salads are usually served with the lighter wines and as the meal gets heavier with the entree of beef or fish, the wine gets heavier and leans to the reds. Desserts move to the sweeter brandies.

I'm fascinated.

Right now I'm busy sampling. Zinfandel's to Rose to Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, I'm letting my taste buds determine my likes.

In fairness to the tasting, I am storing it as instructed and bringing it to the temperature that best brings out each wines flavor.

Today as I stood in the aisle making my selection, I watched as the customers would make their selection. A man dressed in a work jacket, jeans and boots knew exactly what he wanted. Another walked by me and I watched as he selected from one side of the aisle a sweet and then a heavier red from the opposite side. I questioned him on what he was selecting. I was curious about the vineyards/brands. He has his favorites. 

At last an explanation for the wine glasses and their sizes. I noted one day while looking at wine glasses, some were labeled for "red wine" and others for white. What? Now a special goblet? Why? Ah, I've learned that the red wines need more surface area for air to release their aroma. There we go with that aroma thing again. That's how important it is to the taste. Now I know why, when watching an experienced wine taster, they swirl the wine in the glass, inhale and then sip. Air, aroma and taste. Ta Da!

I bought a Pinot Noir by Smoking Loon 2008. (Ya gotta love that Smoking Loon name)  a light red recommended by the man that had just arrived.

I know that most people in this country are not raised on wine with meals. It's a bit intimidating for a lot of people to select a wine while dining out and there are those that think of someone that swirls the wine in their glass, inhaling it's aroma as pretentious. Not so. It's part of the wine experience. The aroma enhances the taste and this aroma is acquired by the wine breathing and being the right temperature when served.

The men that were sure of their selections were not what most would imagine when envisioning a fancier of wine. These men were the most casual of dressers and their selections were sure. No French accent or cravat, these men just enjoyed wine.

I’m nice and warm inside on this cold night. The ice storm is headed this way and I’m tasting a new wine for me. I’m learning about my own taste in wine.