Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28 2014

I am now officially ending my counting of days. I am back on facebook, and I am deleting the things that annoy me. And evidently my newly remodeled sense of peace shows in my cooking- everyone loved dinner this year and found everything to be perfectly done. Now, I don't know if that is true, but I don't care- it sounds good.  SNL had a video that describes our situation- if you have kids you see all the time, you might not get it.

I used some of my new Bauer pottery for Thanksgiving- the table really was pretty. Pictures don't do it justice because it was a very soft glow and we really enjoyed sitting at the table.

It is dark here very early, so the candles were lit and the chandelier was the main light.

Those Thanksgiving cracker thingies were hilarious. No one could really work them right and so we had some insta-trash on the table. The cats have had fun today playing with the inside toys. Each one came with a "joke" sheet and only Steve and I laughed at every single one of them.   The roses have teensy thorns on them, so I left them on the table overnight. I guess the kitties learned a quick lesson about them because one rose was only halfway out of the vase, and the other vase had a little cat throw up next to it with a rose petal in it. Suspiciously glittery, too.

We watched the Seahawks and, fittingly, we watched the South Park episode with Gobbles the turkey. If you don't get the reference, don't worry.  But it was a really funny episode that we tend to watch every year.

Honestly, a turducken is so easy to make if someone just ships it to you. We have a turducken with cornbread stuffing, crawfish etouffee, eggplant with shrimp casserole and rice and gravy made from the turducken drippings. It is SO good. Ryan made 2 apple pies while everything else was getting underway.  I was too full, though. I wish they made lifesavers in those flavors.

It has been rainy or windy and is now cold. They say it will snow tomorrow, which is total BS. I cannot stand snow. We have to get the kids to the airport around 6 pm tomorrow, and I don't want them dealing with a mess, much less getting de-iced. Hollis, having gone to college in New Jersey and lived in Boston, has no problem in bad conditions. Steve is a southern California guy- and like me, doesn't want to be in "we need a de-icer" conditions. 

Okeedokee- I will post something at least every 4-5 days. Don't worry. I won't give up the blog!!
I promise.

Love, me

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nov 21,22,23 Days 12,13,14

It's been two weeks back on facebook,and yes, I notice the difference. So this weekend, I skipped the blog because I was busy doing stuff and preparing for Thanksgiving. Plus, we got a new wooden puzzle from Liberty called Views of Ancient Rome that is based on a painting. It was 472 pieces that are pretty tiny and are cut into imaginative shapes. Very imaginative. But it is far more fun doing a beautiful wooden puzzle than doing a cheap cardboard one. Plus you can easily do it over and over. The kitties did NOT enjoy it. But here is our puzzle that took us about 7 hours Saturday and Sunday:
Please feel free to click on it to enlarge.
We have another puzzle from Artifact that came today, and I'll post pictures of it later. We've used a flannel puzzle holder but I ordered a REAL puzzle board with storage. The cats can't use the table if we don't have one. We can't either. The puzzle board will save us all.

There was a bit of sad sort of news out of the IBKC. Over the past few years, our community has supported Laurie with lots of encouragement and cyber love as she fosters her kitten litters. We've cried like babies when one of them dies or becomes ill or even dies years later in their forever homes. We are a tender bunch. Some of us have our own kittens from Laurie. This last litter was mostly black kitties- and one very fuzzy tuxedo. They were creatively named by Laurie. But soon it became evident that the kittens had given one another ringworm, and that requires lots of special care by a person who can keep them medicated and treated for several months. That is a lot of intensive care, and while Laurie is excellent at the usual rescue kitten mess of diarrhea and viruses and parasites- she can only handle so much. That, combined with the fact that she would be endangering her two resident cats, despite her kitten quarantine, was just too much. And for the first time that I know of, she had to pass the 3 little kittens on to another foster mom. We are all sad because we are all suckers for tiny kittens. Now Laurie has to clean and clean and clean and clean and launder again and again to get rid of the disease that lurks in the kitten room. I don't know the room quarantine time, but I feel sorry for Laurie having to go through so much. It is, however, a reminder to all those nosey parkers who constantly offer advice and take little well meaning swipes at the hard work Laurie does to give people healthy, sociable, loving pets in the form of a tiny 2 pound kitten. Laurie has to tell the truth about all the details of what this fostering involves. It isn't just little kittens crawling on your toes. It is full of hard work and love every day. I hope someone wonderful gets those little kittens. I wasn't adopted until I was 6 months old, and that means I was worse off than the average kitten from the humane society. Hmmmm. Maybe I had ringworm?

Today was the Seahawks game. Of course we went. It was LOUD finally- last time we went the crowd acted half dead. It was a weird game. Russell Wilson really misses his center- who will be out for the season. Poor Wilson got sacked or smashed or chased. I don't' know how he does it. Ryan came over to visit the kitties and watch our tv. He doesn't own a television. That's why he is smart.

Well, I am so tired, and it is 10:00. Tomorrow is clean house and laundry and wash the new dishes. My turducken came on Friday and was stashed in the freezer and I have to get it out to thaw tomorrow. I'm saving the grocery shopping for Tuesday. Then I'm done. Just some veggie prep and chop and I'm ready.  Yay for Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20 Day 11 back

I got up with the dawn (which is around 7 am) and went to the allergist for new testing. I've been a very good patient- I've gotten my allergy shots to dust and pollen for almost 3 years now. Religiously. But now I'm allergic to cat dander. Not India's because she is missing the saliva protein that causes the allergies. But Zoubi has it- in spades. Now, I can't give away my wonderfully quirky and intelligent little Zuzu. And my allergist absolutely understood that because he's heard it about a thousand times before. So I have a new nasal spray to go with my eye drops.  And that's okay.

So, it seems it is all the rage to worship big rear ends now. What? And I do notice that women who are a good deal more than "full figured" are kind of acting like that's okay. Now, far be it from me (I'm a good 35 pounds over my best weight) to tell ANYONE what they should weigh. You want to be fat, fine by me. I don't know where anyone who is 5'3" or under finds anything to wear if they weigh 50 or more pounds over. I have no earthly idea.  I'll give you some leeway if you have big bones because I KNOW some girls are just bigger. Their bones ARE bigger.  But the minute, no wait, the SECOND your blood pressure goes up, it is time to really figure out what to do. If you are over 50, well, it is really hard because now the engine of your metabolism has decided to take a hike. But all these young women, bragging about their weight- I don't get it. No one is saying you have to be underweight, or even normal weight for a person say in 1960- but if you are fat- and that is not a BAD word it is just a TRUE word- you need to get a grip. Don't go dancing around bragging about your ass being huge because ten to one, the rest of you is pretty big, too.  I understand that the way around this reality is to call ANYONE who says it isn't good for you a "fat shamer". Really? They should be called people who give a crap.

Your heart is the size of your fist. And the reason women die more than men when they have a heart attack is because women not only have smaller hearts, they have SMALLER BLOOD VESSELS. Therefore, you will clog up faster and die younger. A teeny clot can finish your heart off for good.  My genetic mother was a tiny woman- 5'1", never overweight by much, wore a size 5 shoe on a good day, and had several heart attacks and died at 53 year old. I never met her. She just had bad genes and she gave them to me. But because she smoked, she not only drew the black bean out of the jar- she smoked it one pack at a time.  Thank God I quit smoking at the age of 27. And I regret every day that I did. But I have Lipitor to temper my genes. A lot of these younger fat women don't have that option. Would you go to the doctor at ALL if you thought society was just shaming you but you really were okay? I get sad every time I look at Melissa McCarthy. She is a very talented and very pretty woman. I'm not sure she'd be "prettier" if she lost weight, and I don't care. But she is a MOTHER. And I can't believe her kids aren't motivation for her to foresee her future and fix it. Imagine the stress on her heart and her blood vessels, of her weight on her knees and hips and back.  Sure, on the upside, fat women don't get osteoporosis because they are literally carrying their weight like a backpack. It does keep the bones strong.  But if they live to be 70, it will NOT be fun. It will hurt just to walk. I'm not asking people to lose down to their high school weight. That is a really stupid idea- I was barely 17 when I graduated- not even nearly a mature woman. To go back to 110 pounds just would never happen. yeah, I am probably fat and therefore I know what I am talking about. But I am aware of it and really fight it. I would feel stupid glamorizing it in song and dance.

Don't waste your time singing songs about how great it is to be fat- it isn't great. Even if your boyfriend or husband likes it. If you are more than 50 pounds overweight, stop eating (and drinking)  all those carbs and you know that. See- the more overweight you are, the more overweight you will become. Fat doesn't burn calories- only muscle does. Just eating a regular amount will make you fatter. There is not much to burn it.  Use a few hand weights. Go for a walk. And STOP eating the white foods like bread, cake, bread crumbs, sugar, anything with sugar in it. Stop it with the rice. If you MUST have rice, measure out a half cup and that is IT. Don't let the waiter put the bread on the table.  If you are young, get out there and do something FUN that involves using your body in a safe but fun way. If you are older, ride your bike, swim at the gym or go to physical therapy.   But don't just sit there. Please.  Because if you are 30, you don't want to die at 53.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19 Day 10 back

Today I had the windows washed on the outside. I'm still pretty able to spray a little windex on the inside- but I don't do ladders. We had a friend who did ladders until he fell on his head and cracked his skull. Now he, like us, hires someone with disability insurance to do it. The windows look good and the gutters are cleaned.  But while they were here, I didn't want to look lazy or anything, so I dragged out all the silver that I still own and decided to polish it. Three hours later I was a little frustrated that I even OWN silver. What is up with people using a metal like silver to make things that are supposed to make entertaining easy? I'm not a queen. I'm not that rich. Why do I have to flash shiny metal around? Now it is easy to be elegant when you entertain without silver. I don't use my china either- why? because I serve food often that requires a sharp knife. I'd almost rather sell it and get plates I could replace.  Ugh.

I touched base with my old friend, Susan, today. Susan and I went to high school together but she dropped off the MAP about a year ago. That is not allowed in my world. She's had quite a busy year and a half and now is moving someplace new. I won't tell her story because it is her story to tell, not mine. But I really wish I lived closer to her. I think it would have been easier for her. She certainly has been MY friend when I needed one.

I have to run to eat dinner- but I might have time to check this for errors later!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18 Day 9 back

Today I posted a link to a really funny video about southern women. In order to be southern, you have to have been raised in the south, otherwise you do NOT get it.

The fact is, on thing that the video implies is that southern women don't want to have gay children- and that is where I would disagree. I think southern mamas love their babies no matter WHAT. And some of the proudest moms I know have gay sons. Of course, I'm from New Orleans where that sort of situation is not all that rare. So, I do disagree with that part of the video. Otherwise, well- it is spot on. And well acted.

I like being from the south. In fact, the rest of the country seems really boring and bland. People seem a lot ruder in the rest of the country. One of my friends told me that she thought southern people were passive aggressive and insincere. Really? would she rather we be rude assholes like a lot of other areas of the country? People who scream about tolerance tend to be really ugly about the south. And they use the racist terms of "trailer trash" and "rednecks" "white trash" and "hillbilly".  It is kind of funny that the people in the northeast think of themselves as the people who settled this nation. They were actually rather late to that party. The proud people of St Augustine can tell those tardy folks to shut it. I've never understood northern snobbery. What is the point? I've been told that Maine is like the gutter of the nation- but I'd never say that to someone from Maine. Every state has some negative connotation that you can slap on it. The north didn't much allow slavery but you can bet they benefitted from things that southern plantations provided. And most southerners never owned a slave. But boy. oh boy, the self-righteousness of the northeasterners.  And up here, people are too provincial to even say things that make SENSE. I mean, if you are going to insult an entire state, you should have at least VISITED it once in your life.    So if I had to be from anywhere, I would ALWAYS and forever choose to be from the south. *sniff*.

Well, this is very late and I have to get to bed so I will stop. I have no idea why I didn't write earlier! We watched Sex Tape with Cameron Diaz in it. It was so bad that it was almost funny! Save your $5 and don't watch it. Wait for it to be free.

xoxo nighty night......

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17 Day 8 back

Today's big news is Charles Manson back to haunt everyone. He's late because Halloween was a while ago. That's where that story belongs. The woman in question is a 26 year old whack job who evidently is what is politely known as a "fame whore". She's been trying to get Manson freed for 7 years. Or something like that. He is 80. Now this brings up a lot of issues. What the hell are they serving for meals in prison these days? Manson looks well fed, healthy in the body (can't fix his demented mind), and clean. What? Most 80 year old guys don't look healthy and well fed even if they are living in great circumstances. He doesn't even look that old. Guess never having a job can make you look relaxed (but crazy).  He probably hasn't had too much to worry about. Now, I'd suggest he get busy worrying because he really won't live too much longer and there will be a price to be paid. (Let's all root for God here). I've always assumed that people like Manson have no soul at all- that's why their eyes are so dead. He is an empty body- and vicious is what fills the place where his soul would have been. He is 80 and that means it is sort of expected that he could die- hint hint to the wardens. 

Manson is shorter than I am. He is 5'2". Nothing to notice, except for the eyes.  Manson was a criminal born to a criminal. Fatherless. Poorly educated, sexually abused in juvenile detention schools, and by the age of 32, he'd spent half of his life in some form of legal detention or prison. Manson murdered several people before he got around to the LaBianca/Tate murders.  But it signaled the beginning of the end of the free flowing hippie, flower power naivete of the 60s. A crazy man proved that you can't preach love and peace and expect everyone to buy it. Sad. True.

Interestingly, had Manson done this a couple of years earlier, he would have been executed. But the pressure of some vocal anti-death penalty supporters led to California dropping the death penalty. So his death penalty was then converted to life. That's an important word- life. Something Manson didn't believe in. I believe in the death penalty. Because of people like Manson. If he got out tomorrow, he would kill again.

1969 was, of course, 45 years ago. Anyone under the age of maybe 55 doesn't have any real idea of who Charles Manson is. Think about it...the past two generations that know nothing of VietNam, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Chappquiddick,  Bush the elder, and even Clinton. They know nothing. But they read the internet and believe every website lie they find. The internet is their history book.  It is frightening.

If you ever get a chance to REALLY tell your kids and grandkids about that time, you should do it because no one else will. They think Kennedy was a hero. He did nothing really. They think Nixon was a crook- not that he ended the Viet Nam war. They don't even know that it wasn't about the sex with Monica- not at all. So you might get Hillary as the next nominee. Take some time to share the stories. We were there. We know.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16 Day 7 back

I was trying to remember what I thought would be such a great post tonight. Must have been lost by my synapses. If I think of it, I'll wake up and come downstairs and write it.

During my 100 days, I started doing the NYTimes crossword puzzles again. It took about a week to get back into the swing of it. Believe it or not, it does help to do a lot of them. Like hundreds. Then you slowly get back into the wordplay. If you haven't seen the documentary actually called Wordplay, you've missed out.  Every year I get a postcard from the people who run that crossword competition- but I think it is in New Jersey? In the winter? Alex wants me to go. I am just not sure I could face the competition.
It's like Jeopardy. I can pass the test for it but I don't know if I can recall the answers that fast with a television camera in my face. I know I can pass the test because I did. Like 8 or 9 years ago I think it was. They didn't call me in though. I was sort of relieved. I think of my brain as a filing cabinet- and every now and then it gets locked  or jammed. Time is not my friend on those occasions.

My Seahawks lost today. The minute they took out Max Unger, we were done for. Our team can't stay undamaged. It is just terrible for them. We shall see. Football is really brutal. I love my team. I am just so sorry that they are broken because when they are all there, it is magic.

I didn't win at the bingo tournament last night, but it was fun. Ryan came with us and he WON- heh, well, he won free two mother's day buffets. I'll take it. I am glad one of us won.

There was a lot of wine consumed. I have addressed this before on my blog- I'm not a wet blanket kind of girl. I drank my fair share, and in NOLA, that means you start drinking at 15 or so and keep it up through college, and then you have a decision to make. Because the big drinkers who don't quit wind up being full blown alcoholics a lot of the time. Thanks to years of experience, a lot of them become high functioning alcoholics. But they are alcoholics none the less. And that is a terribly stressful and dangerous way to live. It used to be fairly obvious, because it wasn't really socially acceptable to down 4 or 5 shots on the rocks at dinner. But wine, oh my, wine- you can convivially order bottle after bottle and not ONE person at the table will think you have a problem or that they themselves might. And by problem, I mean you are sort of sloppy and loud and your friends are also sloppy and loud and none of you NOTICE it. When I was almost newly 21, I graduated from college and went to work in a very demanding job in an ICU on the 3-11 shift. I took every extra shift I could. And I realized that even one drink was not going to help me get through anything like that. So I quit. I may have had a beer at dinner on a date, but that was it. No more social partying type of drinking. Wine wasn't really a deal when I was a young adult. It crept into the general society on little cork feet and jumped on the back of every damn dinner and party. People became snobs about stuff that REALLY tasted the same. I get that orange rock and thunderbird aren't the same as Silver Oak. But if someone tells me that wine accentuates the food they eat- I will tell them they need a new chef. You can't poor acid on your tongue and claim your dinner is better. It's not like I've never HAD wine. I have been very polite and social and had my glass to sip on. And I've sipped on some expensive stuff. The best I've ever been able to do was a nice light pinot grigio. Very cold. That's it. The reds are like drinking acid. I don't really have anything against people who LIKE wine. Hell, I like beets and I don't care who does or doesn't. But I've cooked some lovely dinners only to have a friend go throw it back up because the very pricey wine became the focus of the meal. I've watched someone open a car door and throw up on the freeway. I've seen people get in cars and drive home because, well, it was JUST wine. I've seen them carrying their wine onto a dance floor and spill it on other people.   I am just sad. Last week an article was in the paper about how wine is becoming so popular because younger people are now preferring it. They prefer it because it seems more sophisticated than beer. But it is all the same thing for the same reason.

I think people who like beer (me) can be judged as lower class but wine is seen as something you must learn about because successful people drink wine. It is all BS. It is all alcohol. And if I am going to have a beer, I will have a Bud Lite, not some beer that is thick and grainy and really fattening. But I will not have any more wine. I find it painful to drink and I find it gives me headaches- not the screamingly bad headaches that champagne gives me, but enough pain to make it not worth my while.

Middle age is a time when everyone should ask themselves if they care about when or how they die. Or if they care what sort of damage they do to themselves. Or if they care what sort of role model they are for their adult children and grandchildren. I get it that being a little tipsy every night can "take the edge off" of just being alive. It certainly is the easy way to get through life. I'd rather have half a joint if I could find one.  I get that we are all human and humans are just not comfortable in their own skin- particularly as we age. I know for a fact I am never as relaxed as my cat. But I would love it if all of my wonderful friends and family could actually ask themselves in the most heartfelt way if they really need to drink so much. If we really have to see wine merchants as legal drug dealers.  Yeah, I know, I don't have any right to criticize behavior that is perfectly legal. I'm not Carrie Nation. But no matter what any article tells you, Nurse Lynn can tell you that alcohol is a carcinogen. It can cause cancer anywhere that it touches or is excreted through. Why up your ante?

Okay, I'll quit. I love my friends so much. I miss not seeing them. But I would be horrified and grief stricken if any of them died by something that they could have prevented. I want them all well and happy. Selfishly, because I want them there for me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 15 Day 6 back

Oh wow- I wish I could have taken video of this morning. Six of us from our DAR chapter were invited to the Veterans Day  school program at a local elementary school. I didn't know what to expect. Up here there is a great deal of feeling that the USA is a horrible, racist, misogynistic,  white privileged country and that people who don't agree with that state are racist, misogynistic and full of white privilege.  I don't know if it is the relative newness of this state, or if it is the provincial isolation of it, perhaps the kind of bad educational system, or if they are just sort of mean and jealous. But I was hoping it wouldn't be too painful. Turns out, it was lovely. The children knew patriotic songs by heart. The little choir was fantastic. Each class sang one of the songs from each branch of the military from air force to coast guard. They saluted the flag, sang the Star Spangled Banner with the RIGHT words, sang America the Beautiful and listened intently to our DAR Regent give an age appropriate talk about how the veterans at the VA hospital enjoyed their handmade cards.  It lasted almost an hour, and it was nothing but hugely patriotic songs and some flag waving (literally). They were well behaved (except for one kindergartener evidently named David who couldn't keep his hands off the kid in front of him).  I really wondered if all the teachers had come from the Midwest or south, where patriotism runs rampant. Their little school anthem was full of messages of learning to love one another. It was all beyond cute. The energy of 500 or so kids in a gym is amazing. They were like a hive of bees; the moment there was silence, the hive started buzzing. But they were easily shushed. I would have sent my kids to that school in a second.  I really didn't want to leave. I wanted to put on a Colonial American costume and reenact my ancestor's (Daniel Jones) skill of joining a regiment a few weeks before it disbanded. Then running to another area to join another one just before it disbanded. I think the total tally was 4 regiments in North Carolina and Tennessee. He led from behind with great skill.

I went and got an allergy shot after, and then found a labwork sheet in my purse and figured better late than never and went to the lab. I went to a French bakery and paid ONE DOLLAR EACH for a tiny macaron.  What the hell? Never again. I'll learn to make the damn things before I pay that again.  Then I went home and took a nap. India and Zoubi are at the fireplace, and it makes me sleepy just to watch them.

Got a robocall this morning at 6:15. Somehow, some damn way, the ringer on my upstairs phone got turned back on. I have suspicions about HOW that happened. (Alex just explained to me that it reset when our power went out.)  So it woke me up. I immediately turned the ringer back OFF.

We may have to get a new phone number. I HATE that. There's no guarantee a robocaller doesn't have that number, too.  I am pretty slow at all these numbers around here. I have pin numbers, there are 7 digits in my address not counting the Zip, and I have a cell phone. It is just awful. Another phone number. Gag. Maybe we should get a cell phone for our home and just plug it in downstairs.  I always figure the phone call is not for us- it is just annoying. Really annoying.

OKeedokee- I have to go get ready to go to a high price restaurant that has gotten some bad reviews. I have no idea how this is happening. I didn't pick it! I swear. I didn't.

Here is what I expected this morning:

Here is close to what I got:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 14 Day 5 back

I have to say that I hate cold weather. It is weird how you think snow will be magical- an almost warm and mystical experience of fluffiness and hot cocoa. Turns out it is usual a pile of wet mess that turn brown and grey the minute a car drives over it. And it is damn cold. Like sitting in a meat locker cold. I do not get why people want to go skiing. It is hard enough to ice skate in those freezing rinks. But flying down a hillside, with no knowledge of what rocks or branches lie beneath you, knowing that if you lose any control you  might get smashed into by another person or a tree. Well, what is so fun about that?? We came within about a 100 miles of snow today and it probably WILL happen. The little bit we got last year didn't even warrant me shoveling the driveway- all 120 feet of it.  But it is cold here. COLD. Last year I promised myself I wouldn't get cold again. So I bought some flannel lined flannel shirts- you read that right. Fuzzy flannel inside and out. I would have gotten those flannel lined jeans but no self-respecting chubby girl wants to LOOK fat just to be warm. Turns out I look like a lesbian lumberjack in my pink plaid flannelx2 shirt. But that's okay because I'm just joining the crowd here. I'll do anything to keep warm and so will the cats. Last night Zoubi was cold and she stretched out next to my leg sort of hugging it. She kept waking us up to try to figure out what happened to her normally warm little body. India has enough of the chubs and a fluffy fur coat. She's like a cat version of Zsa Zsa Gabor in middle age. She just visits for the scritches and head bonks.  My daughter has her Burmese cat in an actual cat coat and he loves it.

Anyhoo- on the up side, it will warm up about 5-10 degrees at some point. I've totally changed my ideas about some things. I now have a hierarchy of misery that I stick to. Here is some of it:

I'll be okay IF:
the cable stays up
the electricity stays on
the heater works
the fireplace stays on
if I have flannel sheets- not. (Alex won't sleep in flannel sheets.)
the freezer stays up
there is gas for the grill
the flashlights work

you probably see a pattern.

Well, stay warm. Wherever you are. You know, I'm all in favor of the environment being clean and healthy. We've made HUGE strides in that since the 60s. But I am not having problems with global warming. There were big times in human history when it was warm for hundreds of years, and then BAM, freezing for a few hundred years. I'll take the warm any day.

November 12 Day 3 Back

I've decided to  renumber my pages because I am using facebook so I'll go back and un and re number the blog pages.

Today's conversation with my beloved daughter was about people who use you. And by that I mean, learning how to say NO.  As a person who did nothing but volunteer, which is not something I recommend- get the pay check and get the social security benefits, I know all about the user people. They hide in a lot of guises, but they are all the same. These are people who are probably either full blown or borderline narcissists. Sometimes they are just lazy. Maybe they are likeable people, but sometimes they are just sort of bullies or steamrollers. They start out by looking for someone who usually says "yes". It isn't the people they want to OWE anything to. It has to be someone they can never, ever pay back because the situation will not present itself. They are usually not someone you would EVER call your friend- though those people exist, too. Some of them are so persistent that they drop off stuff at your house (like their KID) without notice complaining that they are so LATE to work and you are headed off to drop your kid off at school anyway.  They always have an excuse. Here are a few I've had dumped on me:
"I'm running so late...I have to be in a)court b)the hospital c)the office for a meeting"...just keep adding on things that make their time more valuable than yours.
"You are so LUCKY not to have to work. I can't be there on Saturday for the work day I signed up for but I'll use the space you had when you are done, but please be done by 2 pm so I can get your clean work space and be out of there"
Or the woman who emailed my daughter; "I'm not comfortable driving in LA- can I carpool with you?"  This woman has lived in southern California for years, is 53,  has children, has money, and doesn't KNOW my daughter. She probably was so sure that she had a sucker and she could have a ride that she didn't volunteer to pay for, and she could drink at that party in LA and use my daughter as her designated driver, and she could spend 4 hours of traffic listening to music, chatting or texting on her phone, and then stay at the party as long as SHE wanted to because she would have my daughter as her hostage. Not to mention her complete chance to relax away from her kids.

So here is what you do, if you aren't good at saying NO.

Rule 1.
SAY NO.  Clearly and politely. You may precede it with an "oh dear" and you can say "I can't" if NO is too much for you. (You need to ask yourself WHY that would be so and fix it).

Rule 2.
NEVER EVER give a reason. The User People know all about that one. It is extraordinary what they will tell you. Things like:
You have to visit someone in LA? I can sit in the car and read for HOURS. No problem.
You have a lunch meeting? Ohhhh, where?? I love to find new places to eat and I'll just have lunch in the other room.
You have to see the doctor? OH, I can just sit in the waiting room. No problem at all.

Rule 3
Never break rules one or two because there is some sort of USER network that will refer you on as a sucker who will be too nice to say NO.

Rule 4
Practice saying NO in the mirror. Pretend a boy you couldn't stand is asking you out. That used to be a tricky one. Because if you said you all ready had a date, he could ask WHO. Because if you said you were busy that day, he would ask what else was going on.  If you said, oh sorry I can't. He'd say "what about 4 weeks from now?"  Say NO.

Rule 5
NEVER EVER EVER start with or even  use the phrase "I'm sorry" or worse "I'm soooo sorry" in any part of your refusal. You are NOT sorry. They are sorry. You are standing up for yourself refusing to do someone else's bidding, and they might think you are mean. Trust me, they will move on to someone else. They have a sense of entitlement and don't plan to take care of their own needs and you are just a bump in their road.

Occasionally you will meet someone who will hate you for not doing their bidding. Don't let that dampen your day. The people who know you and like you will know you were just trying not to let someone use you.

I have a phrase- if you aren't jumping in my grave with me or paying my house note, then you can't even try to tell me what to do with my time.  But if you are my true friend, I will help you out any time. I'm just done with people who don't pay it back and you should be , too!

Today's song :

I just love that song.