Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Sad Is It?

That I have only two followers and one of them is me??  One is Erma!


I'm so pathetic I follow my own journal.

Don't judge.

So, Kitty Dos has been scaring me.  She's normally a rather grouchy, don't touch me or I will rip your face off kind of cat.  She adores you when and where she wants to adore you, though she does seem to like Saige more than most people.  But when Dos loves on you, you sit still and hope not to make a move that will anger her.  And for some reason, she has chosen to love me today.  All day. I sit down on the computer, and she's there, rubbing her head against my head.  Purring.  Patting me with her razor sharp clawed paws.  When I got up to do some dishes, she followed me, meowing her love.

She has food, so it's not that she's trying to get my attention so I'll feed her.

No, it's just my turn to be loved, I guess.

Normally it's Lil Nocka that loves me.  Unconditionally.  Right now she's asleep, right beside the computer.  I'm not sure where Kitty Dos went now, but she probably went to find Saige.  No, Nocka does not like to share me.  She'll put up with the dogs, but she will whack another cat upside the head of it comes too close.  She particularly does not like Imp, the Ugliest Cat in the World, or Punc, the Cat Who Hid Her Kittens in the Scary Basement so They Are Impossible to Find Now.

Nocka Nocka New!

Imp, the Ugliest Cat In The World.  Unless You Are A 5 Year Old Girl

Cats like to be up high.  This is because they KNOW they are the natural rulers of the universe, and they deserve high perches to observe us, their lowly subjects.  There's a saying that goes, "Dogs think we are God, but cats know they are God."  True.  So true.  Or if not God, then cats are pretty sure they should be running things.

So, I got the day right last night and got the trash out.

I thought you'd like to know that.

You know, because I had my days wrong last week and all.

Saige wants to go to the recruiter's office today to see about taking the pre-test for the ASVAB.  I don't wanna go!   I'm tired of driving people around and going hither and yon, dang it!  I feel like my mother!!!  (At oen time, Mom kept track of how many hours she spent driving us from one thing to another, and as I recall, she spent 43.79 hours a day in the car.)  I had to get up extra early this morning (okay, it was the same time I get up every morning, but it FELT early to me) so I could get out there in the cold, wintry weather to drive all the way across town to pick up Dr. Lampshade, then drive all the way back to my side of town to take him to the courthouse, then back to my house, then back to the courthouse, then back to his house again.   

He has his weekly anger management/probation meetings at the courthouse.  If he misses, he'll be sent to prison, apparently.  However, he's really pretty sick right now, and probably should have been able to stay home.  Time and probation wait for no man, I suppose.

Lamp had a probation officer he really liked, and she was promoted, so now he has, as he puts it, "A mean, bald, stupid, s.o.b. jerk who keeps trying to catch me in lies!"  Lamp was offended that this guy would say things like, "You stole from a store, didn't you?  Just admit it!"  or, "You smoked pot, I know you did. Admit it!"

Lamp offered to take a urinalysis and wouldn't admit stealing, whether he did or didn't.  I'd like to think he didn't, but, well....  motherly love only goes so far, and then you have to step back and see your son, or daughter, for who they are at the moment.

He goes through this beautiful moments where I see the kid I adore.  He makes me laugh, and he's charming and sweet, and so funny...  and then, in a heartbeat, or in the time it takes whatever drugs he's using to kick in...  he changes.  He becomes overly hyper (Which is really, really annoying with a kid who's already ADHD and who is over 6 feet tall to begin with).  He's angry.  Everything bothers me and he hates the world, and me most of all.  I think I'm a pretty easy target for him.

His Dad's dead, or he might lash out at him, too.

I think it's hard for Lamp, because he is sensitive, and he tries to hard to keep things inside. I know he misses Grandma, but it bothered him to cry, and it bothers him because I still cry over missing her.  He loves Britney, but he's not sure how to be a husband, and perhaps he's not sure how to be a man, either.  He is only 19, and he's young for 19, too.  I'm sure many of you know exactly what I mean by that statement.

But, my point is that I should talk more about Saige, because when she reads this, she will point out that I should mention her more often.

Saige is the one who's not that furry, in case you were confused.  

You know, when I was very little, I saw one of my grandmothers standing in the sunlight, and I noticed that she had some fine, blond hairs on her face.  Horrified, and hoping I'd never get a furry/fuzzy face, I refused from then on to kiss either grandmother.  Men had whiskers, not grandmas!

I think I was a tad naive.  

I need to go look in the bathroom mirror right quick, make sure I don't have a fuzzy face!

Wait, I'm not going to be kissing my own face, so what difference does it make if I'm all fuzzy?

None, that's what.

Me and Saige.  I'm the cute one, in case you were confused.  She's the younger one, but it's hard to tell which one of us is younger and which one is cuter, isn't it?


Saige has a great sense of humor, too.  Though it's obvious I'm the cuter one.  (And the delirious one)  All of my kids make faces during photos.  I do not know WHERE they get that!

Wait, he's not mine!  Never mind!

Jethro's expression hasn't changed much in 20 years.

(the caption says, "Reactions to reading. Enough said." I just like their expressions. Oh and the ties hung over Jethro's ears.  I guess those are ties.  They might be socks, or some weird military uniform part like, "Webbed holsters, human, non-locking, wool, basic, AG-49c, ear covers, striped)

Well, I have to go do things more important than writing in this journal. Okay, I'm lying.  I don't have anything much to do, but I want you to think that I do.  

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Yes, alien masters.  I hear and I obey!  Wipe out the humans.. wipe out.. wait.  If I do that, who is going to feed me?  Let's rethink this...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Teo, Food, and Other Stuff

He was the most laid back cat, ever.  He also thought he was a dog.  Every time I'd feed the dogs Teo would run to the their dog bowls, and try to help himself.  He would also run to the door with the dogs whenever someone rang the doorbell or knocked, or if the dogs were standing there, wanting to go outside.  I really, really miss him.

He was a long-haired cat, with a big, fluffy tail. When he got sick, his fur became rather matted, and he lost his fluffiness.  While he was able to clean himself, he'd pull off bits of his fur.  We were astonished to see how orange his fur was under the black.  It was almost a rust color.

Though we miss him terribly, we also are glad he finally passed away.  He was so sick, and it was terrible to see this once proud, big old boy reduced to a shell of his former self, unable to clean himself or make it to the litter box.  When I'd clean him, it would hurt him, and I hated it for him.  The antibiotics and pain meds didn't make a difference at all.  

I'm sorry for the quality of some of the pictures.  A few of them were taken with a phone camera, and they didn't come out really well.

So.  On to food!

I did make the Italian sausage/kale soup, and thought it was okay, but not great.  I started by sauteeing chopped onions in some olive oil, and then I tossed them in the crock pot.   To that I added some hot Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces.  When the sausage was done, I added some chicken broth, and then to that I threw in the chopped kale.  I let it cook in the crock pot until the kale was soft.

If I make it again, I'll make a lot of changes.  

I'm not sure what changes I'll make, so in all honesty I might not make this again.

Yesterday Saige and I ran to several stores to do some errands.  We also went to do a couple loads of laundry.  Saige had her phone, so I would stop at various things that made me laugh, and I would say, "Take a picture of me with this giant picture of this baby!"  "Take a picture of me holding this box of brown rice!"  Saige got to giggling so hard, and she would say, "I love you so much!"

Oh, yes, that's an attractive photo of me.  Believe it or not, I'm not drugged, I'm just not looking my best here.  Huh.  Or, maybe I am looking my best!  That would be sad, wouldn't it?  Oh, mercy, I need a hair cut.  I also need gravity to stop making my girly bazoombas head for my knees.  Sigh.  Gravity sucks.  Aging sucks.  But a box of brown rice stuck in a cereal display can be hysterically funny.

If you are us, it can be funny, anyway.

Punc has taken her kittens away again, hiding them in the scary, nasty basement.  We can't find them.  This is a bad, bad thing for her to do.  The kittens are becoming active and they have their eyes and ears open now.

We need to find them.

They need to be around other cats, the dogs, and especially the humans, so they get acclimated and aren't feral, scared, kitties.  I'm going into the abyss now.  Wish me luck.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour

Every year, except for last year because Saige was at Jethro's place, we've celebrated Earth Hour.  From 8:30pm until 9:30pm, local time, people and countries all over the world shut down for one little hour.

It's actually kind of fun to do this.

But, that might be because I have no life, and when one has no life, turning off the lights constitutes as something fun.

Earth Hour

I lost an entire day.  Not due to no electricity or anything like that, no.  I lost an entire day because I am obviously a confused individual.  I took the trash out last night and was furious that it wasn't picked up.  I found the bill to make sure I wasn't late on the payment (I wasn't) and then, suddenly, I thought, "Wait.. is today Friday??"  Friday is trash pick up day, well, for now it is.  So, it's Saturday, in case anyone else is confused.

Our town is starting a new recycling and garbage collection program.  With our recycling before, we had to separate, wash, fold, spindle, and mutilate our items before they could be picked up.  Now we'll get a cart where we can toss everything to be recycled into that cart without having to separate, wash, fold, spindle, and mutilate our plastics.  For garbage, finally, FINALLY, we are going to get a 96 gallon wheeled can, like my parents had for years, which is going to make things easier for me.  Well, as long as I get the day right, it'll be easier.  We've had so many garbage cans stolen from us that I stopped replacing them, and just put bags out at the edge of the yard, by the alley.  One bad thing is that there will no longer be garbage pick up in the alleys, so I will have to find somewhere else to put that wheeled cart.  We're also going from two pick-ups a week to one, which is all right.  Now that it's mostly just Saige and I here, we don't generate a lot of trash.

Earlier today I watched as Kitty Dos took a paw, opened up a bathroom cabinet, peered inside as if she were looking for something particular, and then shut the door with her paw.  Oh, and BDG took a bag of potatoes from the Roundy Downdy cabinet (Lazy Susan) and dropped raw potatoes all over my room, the hallway, the dining room, and the living room.   Perhaps he was feeling the urge to plant something too?  Doubtful.  He probably was feeling the urge to eat something, or to play ball, and he was confused.

Like his owner.

That's it for now.  Turn off your lights tonight!

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rest in Peace, Teo Boy

Teo passed away about 10 minutes ago.  His breathing had become more and more shallow through the night, and I knew this morning that he wouldn't live much longer.

He was the most loving, incredibly awesome cat I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Little kids could drag him around or cuddle with him, and Teo never cared.  If he could have shrugged and said, "Whatever," I'm sure he would have done that.

I will miss him, but it's better that he's gone.  He was a shell of his former self, and he'd been in so much pain, even with his pain killers.  When Saige wakes up or Dr. Lampshade comes over, we'll bury him then.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Please, please, tell me..

Please tell me how my Golden Retriever managed to remove a pan of simmering chicken (I was boiling a carcass to get the meat off the bones) from the stove (it was on the BACK burner, for the love of all things tasty!).  He then managed to eat said chicken carcass, bones and all, broth and all, every little bit, and then he left the pan, licked clean, on my bedroom floor.

Where he always discards the pans once he's finished with them.

An entire chicken carcass, people!  That was in simmering water!!

It's a wonder that dog hasn't died.

Yesterday, Lamp, Britney and I took a trip to pick up his ADHD prescription.  When we were on our way back home, Saige called, panicked.  She'd heard the front door open, and heard two guys talking downstairs.  The dogs were going insane.  She called us, and was going to call the cops, but then she heard the door open again and whoever it was in the house took off.  Speeding, I made it home in record time.  You see, our door knob/lock had broken, and in the interim, Saige had replaced the old knob with one we had already.  The one we had, though, was meant for bedrooms or other inside doors, NOT front doors.  Saige was fine, and nothing was stolen or disturbed, which actually bothered me more than if someone stole something.  Because there was no robbery, I have to wonder WHY someone was in my house, and to me, it points to "stalker."  I had Saige out of this house to keep her safe, and it felt like I'd screwed that up yesterday afternoon.

Thank goodness, though, she was fine.

Lampshade and Britney are moving in, for now, anyway.  We feel pretty safe with him here.  Well, he's a deterrent, anyway, simply because he's male.  I'd actually put money on his wife to whomp up on some booty, rather than on him.  He finds that very offensive, but it's true. I wouldn't want to come up against his wife in a dark alley!  (Which is actually kind of funny because she's no bigger than a wisp, but there's something in her eyes--a flash, a spark, a murderous gleam?--that makes me think, "I would not want to fight her.")  They've been doing a lot of cleaning, and it actually makes me smile as I listen to Britney nag guide Lampshade as he cleans.  They've done more work in the past few days, including yard work, than Mr. Clean did the entire time he stayed here.

Britney could beat you up with one hand tied behind her back!  Lampshade tries to hide behind his ball cap.
Anyway, I flew home, scooped up Saige, and we ran out to the Mart of the Wal to purchase new locks and door knobs.  We needed a bedroom one, too.  I picked up a couple bags of potting soil, a raspberry shrub/bush on sale for 5 bucks, and a few seeds to round out my collection of seeds that I want to plant and hope grow this spring/summer.  Saige wanted some flower seeds, and Lamp, as he usually does, wanted corn.  We never have much luck with corn, but by gosh, that's what Lampshade wants to plant!  He's been like that since he was a little bitty guy.  Corn.  I don't even know if he really likes corn all that much, come to think of it!  I think, if it grows, that it must be fun for him to see.  Corn gets tall and impressive, if you're lucky. Something like lettuce must not have the same appeal.

Note the snow shovel on the porch with the gardening implements.  Welcome to central Illinois weather!

I hope that my tomatoes grow this year.  I'm running short on seeds that I've saved.  The Abraham Lincoln heirloom seeds that I have are ones from the original plants my Mom got me, years ago, and this is one of my favorite tomatoes.  Heirloom tomatoes have such great flavor.  They are a billion times better than the hot house tomatoes you get in the stores.  I've written about it before, but one of my favorite salads is to take some homegrown tomatoes, dice them up in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and some crushed, homegrown basil.  It tastes like summer, and is so simple and flavorful.  I love it.  Last year I got basil to grow, but not tomatoes.  I even tried to use one of those upside down tomato planter things, and it did NOT work.  There wasn't enough room, I guess, for strong root systems.  I had lots of stems and leaves, but no blossoms.  No blossoms, no tomatoes.

Some boughten seed starting pots, as well as some I'm recycling from toilet paper and paper towel rolls.

It was so nice yesterday, and has been so nice for the past few days, that we were excited about planting stuff.  SPRING HAS SPRUNG!  Our hearts were soaring with the pleasure of winter's passing.

Then, this morning, it was below freezing.  Sigh. Tomorrow we have a chance of snow.  Mother Nature can be a cruel, hateful tease.  Actually, the temperature started to drop drastically even before this morning.  After we ran to the Wal of Marts, Saige and I drove to the nearby grocery store to get the 3 or 4 objects that I forgot to buy while at the giant establishment, and when we came out, it was gray and windy and very chilly.

If it weren't for the fact that I'm so tired of winter, I wouldn't mind the cooler weather.  During the late spring and summer months, it is too hot to bake, and too hot to cook things like roasts or stews or soups.  Today I'm going to try a soup made with chorizo, white beans, and kale.  I saw the recipe for it years ago, and it looked delicious.  I found a recipe online that seems similar to what I had before, and I'll adapt it to what I have on hand and what I like.   I will let you guys know how it turns out, because I can feel your excitement from here.

Teo is still alive, though he's more like a skeleton than the proud, beautiful, big kitty he was in the past.  He has an amazingly good appetite, surprisingly enough, and of course, that's probably what's keeping him alive.  The antibiotics and pain medications he has are doing absolutely not good.  I hate to sound morbid, but I wish he'd just die.  Now he's in too much pain to move him to the vet's office to have him put to sleep.  It hurts him when I wipe his bottom after he has a bowel movement, poor guy.  But I do wish he'd simply fall asleep and never wake up again.

Well, I'm going to call this enough for now.  Go in peace, be warm and filled!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Barkin' at the Porch Ghost

I hate this time of year.  Oh, you can't imagine how much I hate it.  And yet, in one of those weird little twists of weirdness that is me, I also love this time of year.

Spring has sprung!  There are birds and flowers and the squirrels are chittering and fighting and carrying on outside my house.   Kitty Dos is merrily bringing me birds heads, which she's so carefully removed from the bird's bodies.  My front porch looks like the scene of a satanic bird sacrifice ritual.  (Teo, my sick and dying big ol' boy, wasn't a great hunter, but he'd bring me cicadas.  He would carry them inside, and carefully stack the bodies of these insects up in the dining room.  If, say, I were sweeping, and I moved those bugs, Teo would come running, and would shove his bugs right back away from the broom, trying to save them.  Doggone it, he wanted them arranged in a pile, right there, and he did NOT want me to sweep these nasty bugs away.  Teo.  The Great Bug Hunter.)

Anyway, spring!

I want to plant flowers and tomatoes and kale and squash.  I want to walk at the Environmental Center.  All the windows are open to the warm air and to the...

Loud squeals and yelling of kids, and sometimes of their parents.

Fuzz Dawg, like me, doesn't like people much.  She doesn't like them making noise outside our home.  In fact, she doesn't like the fact that there MIGHT be noise or people out there, so sometimes she barks just to let nobody know that she's there, protecting this house.  Of course, when she barks, BDG has to bark, too.  When we had Binnie Boo here, it used to crack me up because one dog would be facing the stairs as she barked hysterically, one would be facing the door, and one would be facing the dining room.  These idiots have NO idea why they bark, they just bark.

BDG, though, will bark, and I can tell when he's really agitated, because his bark goes up 3 octaves, and he starts to sound like a panicked girly opera singer when he's scared.  Lately whenever someone speaks crossly to him, or he hears something scary outside (imaginary or not), or too many people are milling about, BDG comes running over to me, pressing his 100 plus golden retriever body against my legs in his effort to mold himself to me for protection.

He's not really bright.

But I love him anyway.

With the advent of spring, I always want to plant a garden.  I did it the first year we lived here, and it was lovely and I had so many nice vegetables growing (and I was so proud of my beautiful, heirloom tomatoes), when my neighbor (the idiot behind me, whose nickname is so foul I'll just leave it out), sprayed a bunch of weed killer in his yard.  There was nothing to stop the poison from coming into my yard, so my vegetables, particularly the tomatoes, were hit by this nasty crap.  We couldn't eat the tomatoes, and I wasn't even sure about saving the seeds, so I pitched everything.  I still have a few seeds from my Abraham Lincoln and Green Zebra tomatoes, but we haven't have a  garden since that time.  First, I was having too many surgeries and was too disabled to have a garden, and second, we'd had some pets die and the garden became a cemetery.

Yesterday, though, I was reading about in the bag gardening, and I thought, "I can do that!!"

I can make a garden with the bags of topsoil, mulch, and plants, and this way, I can have my garden without the risk of digging up a long dead pet. We can also turn the bag up on it's end, so that I can grow potatoes or tomatoes and there's no bending.  Gardening in the bag like this eliminates the weeds.  There are, of course, good things and bad things about this, but in researching all this for the 4.8 seconds I did before I was distracted by the settling of Macon County, this seems like the best, and cheapest option for us.

I'll keep you posted.

Saige is back home, after a quick trip down to see her big brother.  I missed her, and am glad she's back.

The other night I heard someone skulking outside the house.  Yesterday, I was picking up some of the trash that's blown in from neighbors' garbage cans, and found a jacket and hat, folded up nicely, but on the ground next to our shed.  The jacket smelled horribly of body odor, but these things here make me worried that someone has been living in our shed or our old car.  The old car is small, but it would make some shelter for someone who wanted to get out of the cold or the rain.

Just kind of gave me the heebie jeebies, and it makes me wonder if Fuzz Dawg was really barking at something, not nothing, the way I assumed.   Maybe some homeless person was squatting in the car, and I didn't realize it.

I hope it's not Raingauge, one of Lamp's old friends.  Rain has gone through some very, VERY rough times, and I know he was homeless for a time.  The jacket we found was a large, and Rain is very thin now, so I don't think it's him.

Agnes, I don't know why this thing keeps making me moderate comments.  I set it up so that I wouldn't have to do that, and people could merrily comment and I would be happy.  It makes me happy to know people are reading this journal.

Anyway, I think it's a good idea for me to make an entry about my fake kids.  My orphans.  I will do that soon.  Heck, I would make that post now, but I'm in a huge hurry.

So, that's it for now, just a quick post to touch base with everyone.  I promise, I promise, soon I will do a real post with photos and writing that has been thought over before I put the words on this screen, and, you know, it will be wonderful and meaningful and might change your life.

Or not.

And one quick note, I saw that Elizabeth Taylor died today.

Now I can't just end this normally, with, Go in peace, be warm and filled, after saying that Elizabeth Taylor died, can I?  So I'll just say this:

"Yep, he's dead!  Can we go look at the fish now??"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Random Thoughts That Are Pretty Much Worthless

In yesterday's post about the Casting of Characters around here,  I completely forgot Piggy Gin, our Guinea pig. Well, she's mine, actually.  She started out as a pet for Dr. Lampshade.  He held her once, fed her once, and then got bored and moved on to drugs, which he seemed to have found more interesting than guinea pigs.  Piggy Gin was first named Sapphire by Lamp, and she was brought home from the pet store with another smaller guinea pig, named Sophie.  We got Piggy Gin for free, because someone had brought her back to the store to return her, and they didn't know her age or much about her.  The brown one, Sophie, died relatively quickly, but Piggy Gin keeps going.  I will miss her when she does die, because I'm so used to her "REEK! REEK!  REEK!" When she hears a plastic bag rustle.  (Her lettuce comes in plastic bags, so she seems to think all plastic bags must hold her food.  Oh, and she's always hungry, it seems.)  She doesn't like to be held, but once you catch her, she curls up and relaxes.  Or, she'll eat the buttons off the remote if you aren't paying attention.  Trust me on that one.

We don't have fish or birds, though Saige did have a parakeet named Tony Soprano she got for her birthday.  (Not from me)  Tony would sit on your finger and he was so gentle, and then he up and died, 3 weeks after she got him.  Of course, the guarantee that the pet will live was only good for 2 weeks.

Anyway, Saige and I are experts at self-diagnosing ourselves.  We figure we are both a little OCD combined with some ADHD or ADD, or both, issues, too.  I was laughing about it until I went into the bathroom.  You see, on the shelf surrounding the tub, I have these candles, and I am very particular about them being arranged in order of size and color.  The spaces between them must be correct, too.  Yet, when I turned to look at the toilet, there were cat paw prints all over it!  I figure I probably got distracted by something shiny before my need to clean and arrange things kicked in.  When I was little, I would start to arrange my books in alphabetical order or in order of the authors, and then one book would distract me, I would stop working to read it, and then I had a bigger mess than I started with, plus, my plan to arrange things neatly was dismissed completely.

When I have cookies, they must be eaten evenly from package.  Two from the left, two from the right.  This gives me the advantage of having four cookies when I might have only had two.  Ah ha!  Actually, I get kind of nervous if cookies are taken out of the package all willy nilly, with no order, but then I eat some cookies and forget about my nerves.

A week or so ago, Saige and I were at the local drugstore, and we were perusing the aisles.  There was a Sham Wow there, for sale, for three bucks.  Three bucks!  There were, in reality, two of the large Sham Wows for the price.  They were being pulled from the shelves, and this was the last box left.  Now, I swore I'd never buy one of these things.  I hated the commercials, I thought the product was stupid and too expensive, but you know, for three bucks, I couldn't resist.  Plus, I can always use more towels, etc., because I can't do laundry daily.    I cut one of the Sham Wows into smaller towels, and used one to clean the bathroom.  You know, to get rid of those cat paw prints, of course.  It works. I'm not saying "WOW!" as I clean, but it works.  I think the purchase was worth it for 3 bucks.

I was feeding the cats earlier today, and I noticed Lil Nocka was not with the others.  "Wait a second, " I thought.  "I don't remember seeing her for a few days, actually."  She doesn't go outside, so I didn't think she was out.  I started calling to her, and I could hear her faint meowing from upstairs.  Somehow she ended up stuck in Saige's bedroom, with the door closed!  Poor cat!!  Saige is off seeing her big brother right now, so no one had opened the door, and Lil Nocka was trapped.  I quickly made my way upstairs and opened the door to let her out, and she immediately ran for the food.  She was there for 2 days!  (not at the food, mind you, but in that bedroom) I felt so badly for her.  You know, usually I do a head count to make sure all the cats are present and accounted for, and I just didn't do it when Nocka was missing.  She still loves me though, as she demonstrated her love by climbing on me and rubbing her butt in my face.   Well, either she loves me or she was showing me her displeasure with my behavior.

Saige, I didn't smell anything bad up there, but uh, you might check to see if she did some cat toilet business in your room when you come home.

Last night I decided to go do a load of laundry.  I needed some clean towels (what else is new) and some t-shirts and pajamas washed.  I figured one load would be fine for now.  When I got there, no one else was there, and I was enjoying the quiet as I played Solitaire on my Zune and listened to the washer fill up.   Right after I put the clothes in the dryer, though, this creepy dude came in.  He was bearded, wearing a jacket, and was carrying a Burger King cup that was filled with beer.  I could smell the alcohol oozing out of his pores.  He had no laundry with him.  He sat down right at the table I was at, and said, "Hi!!"  I answered, "Hello."  Then I turned back to my Zune, trying to indicate I wasn't interested.  Then he said, "It sure was kind of cool outside today."  I said, "Yes, it was."  Then I rather rudely put in my headphones to show I didn't want to talk to him.  I know, I know.  But he was creeping me out, and I had to wait for my laundry to finish.  He stopped talking to me after that, because he fell asleep.

You see, I have this history of creepy guys asking me out, and I didn't want this dude to think I was at all interested in him, even if he wasn't interested in me.  He did have that certain twinkle, though, that his eyes had as he said "hi" to me.  For example, this guy asked me out once:

Joseph Hoffman

These people were friends of ours.  The kids were around the same age as my kids.  The oldest boy was Jethro's best friend for a long time.  My kids went swimming there, spent the night there, and I'd go over to visit occasionally.  I never had a clue anything was so wrong, but then again, I hadn't been over there in the few years since we'd moved back.  Right before the murder, Lamp and Saige had gone over to see the kids, but no one was home.  They said that the house was really messy, from what they could see, and that junk was piled up everywhere.  That kind of surprised me, because though the house always looked like there were 4 kids and some dogs and cats living there, it was never all that horrible.  Things just fell apart, and Dawn's life was stolen from her.  So, so sad.

I know I said yesterday that I was going to write about our family history, and I will, very soon.  I think it's so sad that some of my nephews will never hear some of Grandma's stories from her mouth, and that a lot of these stories I've found have been lost, until I went searching.  Well, lost to us.  Another branch of the family might have kept these tales alive.  My dad occasionally writes down some of his memories from being a kid, or jobs he's worked, and I love it, because I think that kind of thing is what makes a person rather immortal.  Remembered.  I find genealogy very fascinating.  Again, history is made up of people, and some of those people were my ancestors.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Casting of the Characters

BDG is my Big Dumb Golden (retriever).  That's not his name, it's what he is.  He's the biggest, fattest, golden I've ever met in my life.  Though I call him dumb, he's actually extremely intelligent.  For example, if there's chicken or pork chops in the oven, this dog will merrily open the oven and help himself.  He can open the refrigerator, and the garbage is never off limits to him.  He loves everyone and assumes they love him, but he's so hyper around visitors that he can be rather scary if they're not used to dogs.

Ball? Ball?  Somebody play with me, please!?!?!

Fuzz Dawg is our mixed breed smaller dog.  She was rescued during an ice storm, when her owners had tossed her out due to her having fleas.  They were feeding her things like raw, hamburger, and during the summer, that raw hamburger turned, well, you can imagine.  When I saw her out in the street with icicles hanging from her fur I couldn't stop myself.  I took her in.  It didn't help that she knew Saige, too, and Saige was calling her over to us. The owners ended up giving Fuzz Dawg to Saige, because they couldn't take care of the dog.  They were good people, and helped me out several times with different things, but they just didn't have the time, knowledge, or money to take care of a dog.

I want chicken nuggets, too, I sure do!  

Yes, I know that I'm a bad pet owner, due to Punc giving birth.

Still, I can feed the animals dog food and cat food, and I know how to cook up various meats and rices for a tasty meal if I do happen to run out of kibble.

Punc took her kittens upstairs to hide them last night.  I think it's because Lampshade and Britney came over, and Lamp was playing Hide and Go Seek with the babies.  What that means is that he took 3 of her babies, and ran off with them, until Punc came looking for them, in a huge panic.  I couldn't find the kittens for a long time, and one is still missing.  (Nocka, Jr.)  I'm afraid that kitten will die if I don't find her soon, since kittens have to be nursed about every 2 hours.  Punc nurses them like every hour, I swear.

Teo is a big, black cat, who is dying.  I'm pretty sure now he has some kind of liver disease.  I was trying to wash him off last night, since he's covered with feces, pus, and blood, (he can't clean himself), and he's usually good and docile about that.  I guess I must have hurt him yesterday because that cat yowled and then bit the heck out of my arm!  It's all bruised now, with 2 puncture holes.  I immediately poured all kinds of wound cleaner into the bite, scrubbed it with rubbing alcohol (that hurt!!), and then ran to the drug store to buy more antibiotic ointment,  antibiotic band-aids, and some Epsom salts.  Once I soaked the wounded arm in the hot water filled with epsom salts and Hibiclens, it started to feel better.  It's still a bit painful, but yesterday my whole arm hurt.  I do worry, though, because cat's mouths are so dirty, and I really don't know what Teo is sick with.

Then there are the 3 cats I actually claim are ours.  They are named Lil Nocka, Dos, and Imp.  Nocka is the mother of Dos, and Dos is the mother of Imp.  They are all spayed and have their shots.  Imp actually had another home, but was brought back because she was making too much noise in the girl's apartment and the neighbors complained.  Teo and Punc are ours, sort of, though Teo did spend a lot of time outside, and we know he had other homes.  He'd be gone for a month, and then show up on our porch.  In the winter, his fur would be nice and dry, and warm, so he was staying someplace!  Plus, he'd be big and fat, too, so someone was feeding him.  I'd post pictures, but it's too much of a process for me right now.  I have to pull them off one computer, put them on my Zune, and then bring them to this computer, which is the only one that will sign online.  I let Saige take my camera on her trip, so I can't take any of new ones for you, either.

Yes, there are too many cats.  I don't like that many, either, trust me.  Punc will probably go to a new home, or if I can't find one, the pound, and her kittens will be given away or go to the pound, too.  I can't keep this many of them.  I have enough animal hair around the house to knit 17 blankets, and that's AFTER using the Swiffer Sweeper!

Oh, I found the kitten!  I went upstairs again, searching, and I could hear her crying.  I couldn't find her, though.  I looked in the closet, and she wasn't there.  I turned, and happened to see Punc climbing into the dresser.  She went into a drawer that was partially opened, and that way she could get to the drawer that was closed, so the baby couldn't be seen.  I don't know why she hid one there, and the three others were in a corner.

The four kittens, who lost their mittens, obviously.  The big white one in the front is the boy, then from left to right is a cream colored girl, a darker kitten with stripes and white on her face, and a gray one, who looks like her mother.

Kittens are adorable, but unfortunately, like kids grow to be adults, kittens grow to be cats.  Cats are not as adorable as kittens.  

My kids are:  Erma, who is 24, almost 25.  She's married to Ambrose.  Jethro, who is 22, almost 23.  He was married to Hooby Looby.  That didn't work out so well, sadly.  Dr. Lampshade, or Lamp, is my 19 year old.  He's married to Britney.  They have a volatile, up and down relationship.  Then there's my youngest, Saige, who is 17.  She was dating Mr. Clean, but she broke up with him a week and a half or so ago.  
The night before last, Saige had come home and had her phone.  While she was gone, hanging out with her best friend, Amberwavesofgrain, I had her phone.  Apparently, Dr. Lampshade didn't realize that she'd come home, and he'd tried to call me.  Numerous times.  Repeatedly.  Unfortunately, Saige was exhausted after a long day, and she was sound asleep in her room.  I was in my room, listening to the Zune, which means I had my headphones in, and was shutting out the world.  I heard the dogs barking insanely, and I went into the living room, just in time to see Lampshade coming in through the locked living room door that he'd just kicked open.  When I didn't answer, he panicked, and thought I'd been killed by Mr. Clean or was dead.  He blamed his panic on his older brother and sister, though when I talked to them, they claimed they weren't worried a bit. (I know Erma wasn't.  She knew Saige was back and knew she had the phone with her.)  No, it was Lamp who called about 14 or 15 times in a row.  

Erma and Ambrose.  I think he's tickling her leg.  

Mr Clean, wearing a blue and black striped hoody, Dr. Lampshade, and Jethro, at Erma and Ambrose's wedding.

Saige and Amberwavesofgrain.  Saige is on the left, Amberwavesofgrain on the right, with the black hair.

As for me, I'm a disabled veteran, like it says in my profile there.  I was medically discharged from the Air Force in December 1997, which seems like a million years ago.  As time goes on, my condition worsens, and if I think too much about it or how I used to be, I get sad and depressed.  I used to love Volksmarching, or just walking in the woods, but now I can't even walk around the block.  It's sometimes impossible for me to climb the stairs in the house.  Sometimes just moving is painful.  I also have some type of auto-immune disease, which has symptoms of lupus and of Rheumatoid arthritis.  So far, though, the doctors haven't diagnosed me.  I don't think they know.  My muscles along the long bones of the body become really stiff and painful, full of inflammation.  It's not fibromyalgia, as the tests confirm it's not that.  Sometimes my hands swell up so badly that I can't make a fist, and typing is excrutiating.  I also lose feeling in my arms at random times, and I've dropped more than one coffee cup or item I was carrying in my left hand.   Because I have Arnold Chiari Malformation, some of my symptoms may be caused by that.  Again, no one seems to know.  

So what do I do for fun?  I read.  Watch comedies.  I write, when I'm able.  In fact, yesterday I started in on my novel again, and I haven't wanted to do that since my mother died.  I take pictures.  Cook.  Go online, obviously.  I love reading and studying about the people who lived during the Civil War, which started with the book, "If You Grew Up With Abraham Lincoln" that I bought in 2nd grade at a garage sale.  I was fascinated.  Then my class took a trip to New Salem, where I thought that Lincoln actually cut and put up all the fence posts, so all of my pictures I took are of that stupid fence, and that captured my imagination, too.  As I've grown older, more and more of the people, especially those of Lincoln's cabinet, have fascinated me.  History is made up of people and their stories, not just dates and places.  

Soon I'm going to write up some stories I've found out about our family history.  We are directly descended from Jonathan Boone, Daniel's brother, and some of the things that happened to his daughter, her husband, and children are amazing.  One tidbit is that the Boones and the Lincolns were close, and in fact, after Daniel had scouted out Kentucky for years and then came back to Pennsylvania, saying how wonderful the game was there and how incredible the land was, the Lincolns followed him out to Kentucky.  (Hay and Nicolay)

I guess that's about it for now.  

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dear BDG,

I wasn't sure how you got those donuts, but I forgave you, because they were nasty and quite stale.  However, we need to talk.

Now, I don't know if you're in cahoots with the cats, but somehow, you got the frying pan out of the sink.  I realize that you wanted privacy from the other pets while you licked it clean, but did you have to do it in my bedroom?  Then you left it there, on the floor, covered with dog slobber, which is nearly unforgivable.  While I'm on the subject, I don't like how you are getting soup cans and cat food cans out of the garbage and are strewing them all over the house.

We have some new kittens.  No, we haven't had any for awhile, as most of ours are fixed.  However, one female who wasn't spayed yet got out, and then Teo, our sick male, got her. (Yes, I'm a  bad pet owner) He got her good.  I kept denying her pregnancy, and would say that it was simply fat growing around her belly, even when I could feel the babies moving.  These are the biggest, fattest kittens I've ever seen.  Their mother, Punc (Named Puncture, since her siblings used to beat up on her and she'd have marks on her neck from them), is feeding them, well, constantly.

I have pictures, of course, but I can't find the USB cord to connect this camera to the computer.

So, yesterday Erma picked up Hope from her daddy's house--Hope was very upset that her daddy put her in time out and yelled at her, and she was missing her mommy, who is with Jethro right now.  Erma and Ambrose are taking Hope down to see her Mommy this weekend.  So Erma brought her over so I could see her for a little bit.

Of course, Hope was much more interested in the kittens than in "Gramma Cinny".  Oh yes.  She wanted to hold the kittens and love the kittens, which bothered Punc to no end.  At one point, after she was told not to pick the kittens up and she did pick one up, she said, "But I wasn't holding it, I was just looking at it!"  I replied, "Well, look with your eyes, not with your hands, then."

There is one male in this litter, and he might have a home already.  He's bright white so far, but we don't know if he'll stay that way.  Then there's a small gray one (Punc, Jr), a cream colored one, and a little one that looks like her great-grandmother, Lil Nocka.

I keep telling Saige not to get too attached, because these kittens will not stay here.

I finally have antibiotics for Teo, though it might be too late to help him.  Still, I think he's feeling a little bit better, because he  fought me over taking that capsule this morning, and yesterday, I got it right down his gullet.

Jethro will be driving back home on his birthday.

I know this is rather short, but I don't have a whole lot to say this morning.  Well...  burned popcorn stinks.  I'm just sayin'.

I finished American Brutus and now need more reading material, preferably about Abraham Lincoln or Seward or Chase or someone in that time period.  Yes, I have some Civil War books on my Nook that I downloaded from the Gutenberg.org site, but I need more.  Lots more.

Oh, and apparently, my dad was with me at Spoon River Anthology.  I have no memory of him being there, so obviously, he didn't make an impression on me.  Sorry, Dad!

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Miles to Go

I love Robert Frost's poetry.

What Fifty Said

When I was young my teachers were old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.

Now I am old my teachers are the young.
What can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.

I also really like Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters.  I saw it performed once, years ago, and it really caught my imagination.  Mom and I went together, and it was a really special time for me.  For some reason, though, what stands out the most, aside from the performance, was me giving mom a piece of gum.  Why that sticks with me, I don't know.  I'm weird like that.  I remember the oddest details sometimes.

So, again, I love my Nook.   You guys should all go out and buy one.  Don't get the Kindle.  Oh, yes, I have my reasons for making that statement.  I wish I remembered what those reasons were...  I'm reading American Brutus right now, which is an amazingly good book about John Wilkes Booth and the assassination of President Lincoln.  It is well-researched, and gives a feel for how awful that time was for the country.  The night before Washington had had an "illumination" to celebrate the end of the war.  It was festive, with tons of people coming in to the city to celebrate and to see all the candles and lamps lit.  The next night, Lincoln was shot, and there was such confusion and horror, not just in Ford's Theater, but throughout the entire city.  Many, many people were killed because they'd say things like, "I'm glad that tyrant is dead!"  People were so scared.  

I would like you to gaze at this photo of sheer innocence.  

Awww!  Right?  Wrong!  The smaller dog, Binnie Boo, has a new home, with Erma's in-laws, and I hear that she is merrily helping herself to the garbage.  She pops the lid off the garbage can and sticks her head in there, taking out what she wants.  BDG is simply a bad, bad dawg.  

Yesterday, Erma, Ambrose and I made a quick trip to the store, and were gone for maybe 30 minutes or so. When we came home, I found numerous empty cans that I'd thrown away strewn about the dining room and my room, and he ate an entire box of donuts, too.  The box was put up, and somehow, he knocked it down and ate every single crumb.  Worse, he didn't touch his dog food!  

Then, I love, love love this next picture!

Apparently, we like to decorate for Christmas using diet Coke bottles, bags of sugar, and a McDonald's cup. We did a lot of joke gifts this past year, hence Jethro's old man's hat, and the apple peeling machine, which I'd already given to Erma (it was mom's, and was given to her first by her sister.  I gave it to Erma because she's made homemade apple butter, and I thought she'd like it), and because she didn't have enough gifts, I wrapped it for her.

I'm nice like that.

Speaking of Jethro, I'd like to copy a letter he wrote to me, circa 1997 or 98, I think.  He would have been 9 or 10 at the time, and he was in serious trouble with me, and had been sent to his room without supper.  For what?  Who knows.  

Dear Mom,

Since I have nothing to eat (I am not telling my teache(r)) I have to eat paper. Ya you may think its gross but what else would you eat with an empty stomach.  The point is you decided not to let me eat so think about your decision.  Love (and his name is crossed out, and he signs it with) don't have a name.

BAH HA!!  Manipulative little brat, wasn't he??  This letter cracked me up at the time, and it makes me laugh still, so I have kept it all these years.  Think about my decision!  I wonder if I ever let him eat?  Well, I mean, I know I fed him after that, and he's grown big and tall, so he's fine, even though he had a meal of paper that evening.  I mean, I wonder if I gave in and fed him after I got that oh, so threatening letter from him?  Knowing me, I probably did.

I had a real problem with follow through, when it came to discipline.

Actually, I have a real problem with follow through when it comes to life.  Hmm.  

Oh!  Here's one more picture for you.  I meant to post this some time ago, but forgot (darn that follow through problem of mine!).  I thought my brother, G, might really like to see this, since he likes hunting, too.

It's not the best because it's a copy of a photograph, but yes, there is my son with a dead deer.  Yes, he shot it.  On that hunting trip, he actually shot 2 deer, a male and a female.  I hope he's still going to bring some of the meat back when he comes home.  (Soon!  Very soon he will be home again)  I did tease him about shooting such a tiny deer, but he insists the deer just looks small because he is so big.  Uh huh.  Sure.  Hee hee!

Well, on that note, I'm ending today's entry.  Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hell Week

This has been a rotten week for too many reasons.  Mr. Clean and Saige broke up, and he moved out.  I think that was harder on me than on Saige!  I like him, and though he has issues (who doesn't), I thought, and still think, that he's a pretty awesome guy.  I've told both him and Saige that they are very young, and that they deserve to have someone in their lives who loves each of them, problems and all.

Saige is a bit like my mom was, in that she keeps things in, mulling them over, and then, one day, she explodes or calmly states what she's been turning over in her mind.  Those of us who are not privy to her thoughts are sometimes hit out of the blue.  I used to think my mom was being ridiculous, because she might explode over me saying, "I'll do it in a minute" when she asked me to load the dishwasher.  As I got older, I realized that she was dealing with the other kids, my smart mouth, my dad being gone at work, phone calls, neighborhood kids, the dog eating her underwear or my brother's track shoes, and she'd kept calm about everything else.  Me saying, "Just a minute" was like the straw that broke the camel's back.  Saige is kind of like that.  I always thought Lampshade was my strong, silent type, but I think Saige fits that bill, too.

Mostly, though, I think a lot of times she holds things in to protect me.  Or others.  But mostly to protect me.

It doesn't, though, and now I am suffering through this break-up!!

I've heard from other moms that this is rather common.  We get attached to the boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses of our kids, and then, when the break-ups come, we are devastated.

Ah well.

I did tell Saige that this whole deal where the boyfriend moves in will never, ever happen again.  She agreed, though she did so with a grin.

I'm not sure what that grin meant.

On the other hand, Ambrose and Erma are doing pretty well at this whole marriage thing.  He adores her, and you know, she deserves to be adored.  I adore her, but you know, that only lasts so long, and when a girl grows up, she doesn't want her mommy to adore her so much as she'd like a good man to adore her.  Or, in some cases, another girl to adore her, I suppose.  Or heck, in even other cases, a good girl AND a good man might be nice.... but I can't include all the partnerships that might exist, so just remember that Ambrose adores Erma, and she adores him.  They are both still looking for jobs.  Erma can rejoin the Army in six months, but for right now, she needs employment.

I need a cell phone. Mine was stolen.  The woman asked for a reward, and because I refused and so she didn't return the phone, it's a big crime.  It was stolen from a check cashing/bill paying store that has cameras EVERYWHERE, and the phone has GPS, so it's being tracked.  I had just paid the monthly bill for it, so in addition to really needing a phone, I feel doubly ripped off.

The cat, Teo, is still alive, and it breaks my heart.  I don't want him to die, you know, just get better, but he's not getting better.  Yesterday another ulcerated, pus-filled sore opened up by his front leg.  Though I'm still cleaning the wounds and putting on medication and all that, I feel rather hopeless about his chances.  He eats well, though.  His eyes are bright.  If you don't look at his body, you'd think you were looking at a healthy cat.

Erma and Ambrose introduced me to a delicious chicken sold at a store near their home.  This chicken is infused with either lemon and pepper, or it's barbecued, and it's sooooo good.  It's very flavorful and really juicy.  Saige didn't eat much yesterday, as she'd slept until around 4pm (long story that involves Mr. Clean), and then she ate a bowl of ravioli.  I ate a lot, and have been picking the meat from the chicken carcass all afternoon.

Yesterday was my dad's wife's birthday.  I knew it was coming, and I simply forgot it when the time came.   I feel badly, though, because I like to acknowledge birthdays, and I hate when mine is overlooked.  (February 27th, and it's not too late to send gifts.  Agnes.  Tee hee!)  Note that I have no idea when Agnes' birthday is, and I probably should know it, but alas, I have trouble remembering Saige's birthday!  Honestly, I do.  Ask her.

I found my Nook, Erma!  It was under the couch, like I suspected.  I love, love, love this thing, and it's even better now that I figured out how to put Gutenberg books on it.  I also can put my own pictures as well as music on it, too.  Seriously, Dad, you should get one.  Or Aunt L, you might like something like this, too.  The Ipod touch is really nice, but the screen is small.  The Nook is actually book-sized.

It's a really nice, sunny, fairly warm day outside today.  It would be a good day to go to the environmental center, but my hands are still very swollen, and I keep getting leg cramps, so walking isn't much fun.  Heck, I always have pain, but sometimes it's more tolerable than at other times.  I have to use a cane to keep my balance, but when my hands are swollen, I can't hold the cane.  The doctors told me I'd probably end up in a wheelchair, but I chose to ignore them.  I still ignore them, and do what I can.  It's not very much, though.  It depresses me.

So, I won't talk much more about it.

I will only say that I have a bus token here, and I have no idea where it came from.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


My cell phone was stolen today.  Please don't use that number, unless you wish to call the thief and chew her out.  But don't. The police have made a report, and the detectives will review it and review the video from the store I was at when it was lost. 

That's all.

Go back to your regularly scheduled blogs.

Not my phone.  But it is similar to mine.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Clearing the Throat

Well, Saige had her follow up appointment with her ENT to see if she'd be cleared to eat solid foods and able to  exercise and carry on like a normal, surgery free person.

Unfortunately, the answer was, "No."  She's healing, which is good, but the doctor said the earliest she'd be able to eat and work out would be Monday.

Saige said she knew she wouldn't be cleared.

I thought she would be, because, well, sometimes I feel like Saige might be a little, uh, not dramatic, but that she pays too much attention to the littlest things in her body.  (When she was young, Erma told Saige that she needed to know her own body, so since then, Saige pays attention to every tiny bump, cut, dot, or other abnormalities that show up)   I figured she was worried about things that weren't important.

I was wrong.

So, I am loving my Nook.  Dad, you should think about getting one.  You can hold thousands and thousands of books on these things, and it takes no time to download them.  I love that I can make the text bigger, because I am so blind, and small fonts are impossible to read.  The light Erma ordered for me showed up yesterday, so now I can read in the dark.  A lot of books are free (I got the Holy Bible and some of Charles Spurgeon's sermons, as well as some classics like Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.  All free.  Whoo hoo!!)  I do like the feel and smell of "real" books, but I also like the convenience of the Nook.  Plus, with real books, you are stuck with the size of the text.  Oh, and with real books? You can't get online.  But you can with the Nook!

The other night, around 9pm, Dr. Lampshade showed up with his backpack.  His wife had kicked him out for being lazy.  Keep in mind he's working almost every day, and he works a lot of hours--usually from 6am or so until about 4pm.  And when they came over for my birthday, Britney was telling me that he'd cleaned the whole house for her and that was pretty awesome of him.  I guess her thankfulness didn't last.  Lamp spent the night, listening to music, and then, because the truck was in the shop, I gave him change for the bus so he could go to work.

However, he didn't go to work, so he might have lost his job now.  Idiot.

No, he went home, where I guess he and Britney made up.


So much drama with those two, I swear.

I got the truck yesterday afternoon, though.  It was fixed for 180 bucks, including having it towed.  The negative terminal had gone bad on the old battery, and the cables had to be replaced.  It has a new battery and new cables, and it seems to be fine now.  Of course, it seemed quite fine until it died!

I lost my debit card, so I had the bank send me most of my money via Western Union. When I went to pick it up, the girl behind the counter almost wouldn't let me get it, because the very tiniest corner of the license broke off.  Plus, she'd never seen a military I.D., and she was confused.  When she called over the manager, they both stared at the military I.D. with confusion, then both read through the types of I.D. they can take for Western Union.  "State id cards.  Driver's licenses.  Government id cards."  I interrupted.  "Uh, that is a government id card.  It says, 'United States'."  They were still not sure.  Finally, the manager said to just use the driver's license, since all the information was readable.


I finally got my money, so I could get money orders to pay my bills.


But I did go to get a new Driver's license yesterday.  I figured it would be better to have one that wasn't broken, since I had so much trouble with the Western Union deal.

They used the old picture from my broken license, for which I will be grateful for a long, long time.  That was taken when I had a nice haircut and my teeth were much nicer than they are now.

Dr. Lampshade had court the other day, to determine the outcome of the case when he was spat at the nurse.  Everything has been dropped, and other than being on probation for domestic abuse against his wife (which Britney said he didn't do, but who knows for sure?  I think he probably did.), he's done with everything.  He still has fees to pay, but the court cases are all over with.

In our efforts to eat better and lose weight, I decided to buy a butternut squash the other day.  I baked it, then, unsure of what to do with it, I put it in the refrigerator.  I know you can eat squash just out of the oven, and it tasted good, but I wasn't so sure about the texture of it.  Looking online, I found a recipe for Butternut Squash bread.  I made that, and it was absolutely delicious.  I left it a little bit doughy so Saige could have some of it, and I added extra spices that the recipe didn't call for.  We all decided that this bread would be really great with some chopped apples, pecans, and raisins added, too.

I'm proud of Mr. Clean, who is trying new foods that he's never tried before.  He still doesn't care for many vegetables, and lettuce makes him gag, but he loves veggie burgers, and he tried my vegetable soup.  There were carrots left in his bowl, but he tried it, which is what matters.  He's also been working out almost daily.  He really wants to lose the weight so he can join the military.

Speaking of Mr. Clean and Saige, I forgot to tell you what they got me for my birthday!  They got me one of my favorite movies, Sixteen Candles, some t-shirts from the Thrift Store, and a really nice, heavy, warm comforter from the Thrift Store, too.  I'm sorry I forgot that, Saige!

Yesterday would have been my 26th wedding anniversary, if, you know, things had been different than they were.

And today is my Dad's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Dad!

So, that's what is going on around here.  Go in peace, be warm and filled.