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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11 Day 2 back to facebook

Today is the day to honor all our veterans. Let's see- I have about 5 from the American Revolution and then on down in every single last damn armed conflict- winding up with my cousin Dennis back in Desert Storm, then my niece, Robin, in the Pentagon on 9/11, and her husband still in the army in Virginia, and now my cousin Dennis's son - a new army recruit. I have pictures of my birth father with 3 of his brothers in a picture from Pensacola NAS- all in uniform. My Uncle Howard was in Bataan. My Uncle Lowell did Korea. My brother did Viet Nam and got a purple heart and I don't know where that is. Probably washed away in Katrina. I did see it when he got it.

But I sit in my warm house with two kitties and my sweet husband, never having served a DAY in the military all because of the misery and/or commitment of the men in my family. It would never have occurred to them to skip out. To let someone else do it. And now that military service has more respect, and we are thanking our veterans, maybe more young people will be motivated to serve. We don't have a service requirement, but we should. Most guys will tell you that the years from 18-20 are pretty misdirected. For some young ladies, too.  In my generation, that wasn't an option because of the draft. You had to be careful what and how you did things back then.  In WWII, it didn't take a draft to get people to want to stop the end of the world.  Viet Nam was dicey- but one thing it did do was keep the Russians and Chinese busy enough to keep them from dominating the world. Made the Russians broke and allowed Reagan to get the wall taken down. Without the loss of those 50K US citizens, maybe the world really would be different now. Or maybe not. Thanks Lyndon Johnson- you horrible man. Sorry- it's personal. What a terrible man. Who knew veterans day could turn into an anti-Johnson rant from me? Oh well, maybe I am just sick and tired of hearing that jackass lionized despite the fact that he also ruined social security by putting the money into the general funds. So he killed tens of thousands of my generation and ruined retirement for a lot of people who paid their money in. Nice. (<--use your most sarcastic tone right there)

So, we've had wars we had to fight and one HUGE one we didn't. And it doesn't matter why or why not- so many young men and women lost. Mentally or physically. And it will never end because that is what humans do. Sorry. People don't even get along with their parents or neighbors or classmates, etc. They even fail to do so at churches and ashrams and in political parties. So we will always have war. John Lennon was wrong- and he knew it. Too bad people didn't listen to THAT when he said it. (now we are all stuck listening to that stupid song)

So we will add to our sorrow over time. And the best we will always do is to remember them even if it one or two days a year.

I pray for them all- even Thomas Strong, shot on his porch in 1777- thank you all for your valor.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10 Day 1 back to facebook

Well, I went back to facebook and caught up with some people. Thankfully, I did not see many nasty political posts. I'm not sure what that means- but I am grateful for it. I saw that one of our friends had her baby a couple of days ago. That was pretty exciting. Alex's cousin is still perking along with her pregnancy. I'm always relieved when two women who are older and have never had a baby before are doing well. They are given the somewhat insulting medical term "elderly primiperas". But they are more prone to almost every complication not to mention Down's Syndrome babies. But all looks well. Also, my college sorority sisters had a reunion of sorts for homecoming, and this is a group I have dragged together on facebook. While I was gone, they gathered up a few more sisters and now it is just fun to look at those pictures.  Another friend found out her beautiful golden, Fee, has squamous cell cancer in her nose and throat. Poor girl. But my friend says that Fee doesn't seem to be hurting or to know she is dying, so until she shows signs of hurting or cannot breath around it, Fee gets to enjoy her golden doggie life. It will be a very teary farewell because this particular friend is a HUGE donor to animal welfare, and many of us know how painful this will be for her. But til then, she has promised not to upset Fee by crying in front of her. I agree.

But all in all, it was really weird to get back on facebook. I really could cut 300 people and not miss them. Because I actually don't miss them anyway. I have to see how it goes. The 99days people did NOT send me another survey to fill out. I'm kind of mystified by that.

I got a lot of laundry done in spite of the distraction today. Tomorrow I have a D.A.R. meeting and that ought to be fun.

Alex is watching the Sounders play soccer against Dallas. Whoopie doo. Soccer is worse than golf. Runrunrunrunrunrunrunrunr.  Zzzzzzzzzzz. This crap wasn't important to Alex until he bought that Fifa World Cup game. Now he actually KNOWS the names of the players. Really? Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
(Alex just read that over my shoulder and says that is 'all true and all fair' of me to say.)

It has turned cold here. I am shivering and my hands are cold from sitting at the computer next to the window. I am going to have to move my computer over to the kitchen counter so I can be near the stove. I hate to do that because it takes up counter space AND India drives me crazy patting my leg over and over because she wants me to STOP and pay attention to her.

Okay, Stacie and Rainell, I won't stop blogging. It is for the best. If I know someone is out there, I'll write. 

I gained FOUR pounds in 4 days going to Oregon. What is up with THAT? I couldn't have eaten four pounds worth of calories. It is totally impossible.  TOTALLY. Dammit.

On that note, let's revisit this:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NOVEMBER 7, 8, 9 DAY 99 (and Day 100 and Day 101)

You didn't think I'd QUIT did you? I still haven't gone to look at facebook. I just can't decide. Oh well, I guess I will look at it but I won't stop this blog. It's been a lot of fun, actually. Weirdly, I am not even sure I know my facebook password. Hmmmm. Time to think.

We went to Cannon Beach, Oregon on Thursday afternoon and stayed at the Stephanie Inn overlooking the beach and Haystack. Unlike the last time we went, the weather was fantastic for 2 full days, and we walked on the beach, took pictures, ate at Newman's 988 and at the Inn, and got so much sleep that I couldn't sleep anymore. I am NOT a big sleeper, so having more than about 6 hours means I might be up for days.  Because Alex's work schedule is full of very long days, it is always nice to spend some time together.

Ryan is our excellent cat sitter- the kitties just love him and are totally relaxed and in playtime mode when they hear the doorbell for any reason. They always think it will be Ryan. When it is someone else they are everything from a little pissed off  to an outright Zuzu Hissing Fit .

Instead of posting a bunch more of our activities, I'll just put up some pictures. The moon was so bright at night that the shore was brilliantly lit.
Alex's panorama:
 Alex at Haystack:
One of the 3 Stave puzzles we did:
 I'm everywhere!
 Me in front of Haystack:
 Walking from Stephanie Inn to Seaside:
And here is are two pictures at night- one with night exposure and one without:

Well, we almost beat the rain home and it looks like the Seahawks will win! Even though, I am sort of glad to have missed a cold and rainy stint in the stands. It is part of the world up here, but boy, it can really suck.

I will post tomorrow because everyone needs to know what grief or lack thereof lies ahead by going back to look at facebook.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who read these first 99 days. Yay!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6 Day 98

I am going on a small trip for the weekend and I won't be posting an update on Day 99 BECAUSE I'LL BE BUSY. Haha. How ironic is that? I will summarize everything hopefully on Sunday night after the Seahawks game and I'll post pictures, too. I'll have to finish the 99 Days challenge questionnaire. It's been a piece of cake.

Did you watch the CMA's last night? I am not a huge country fan though I do like it, and it is HUGE fun to go line dancing. About 2 years ago, when Alex wasn't as busy, we took line dancing classes in RENTON. To those of you not familiar with the distance from our house to RENTON- well, at rush hour even on back roads, it is a hike. You can look on a map- that little town we drive through to get there, Issaquah (iz-zah-kwah), has a tiny narrow street through its downtown, and at rush hour it is just tedious to drive about 5 blocks.
 But anyhoo, we got there. It was so much fun. But then work intervened. We'll get back there again. We danced only to country music, and it reminded me of why people go to dance barns, drink some beer and dance.  I digress. I was leading up to Vince Gill. He seems to be a very nice man.  advance it to 7 min 20 seconds and watch the last 40 seconds or so. I thought that was pretty funny. What I took away from it was that you can be hugely popular and everyone can give you awards, but well, once you die the weather will determine who shows up at your funeral.  Now I don't think some people got what a humbling remark and statement about fleeting popularity that was, but I laughed out loud. What fun to be human!

I threw an old brown cat bed on the floor upstairs outside our bedroom with the intention of remembering to throw it away since the cats never seemed to like it. They could flip it over and make it look like a walking cat bed with them inside of it, but other than that game, no bueno. But that night, no Zoubi on the bed with us. I got up at 2 am and went looking to make sure she was okay. And there she was, sitting up in her new bed, wondering why I was wandering about in a dark house whispering her name.  So I guess there is one more thing to vacuum around.

Well, I must go do the things that are important for today. I'll check back in on Sunday afternoon. Have a fun weekend!!!!

Movember 5 Day 97

What a difference a day makes.
You need to know that I was very sad that Obama was the Democratic nominee 6 years ago. I was also sorry McCain was.  I knew most Americans blamed Bush for everything from dandruff to the economy and whoever it was on the Republican side, they were likely to lose.

  Here are some facts- yes, facts.

1) Bush did start a war- yep. But he did not read a children's book upside down, and he didn't want to scare those kids- so he rushed it and said BYE very quickly. Within a couple of minutes.  For those of you who think Bush is an idiot- well, he graduated just fine from schools that most of us couldn't even get into. I feel he was justified in starting the war because that war should have happened years ago when Saddam Hussein gassed and murdered the Kurds. (too bad he didn't know what to do after that) - here is a little bit of knowledge for the people who said Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction- maybe not the kind you expected.  The Kurds are being murdered AGAIN, right now- and again, no one seems to care very much. Particularly democrats.

2) Bush was not responsible for the economic meltdown. You have your choice, you can watch the PBS Frontline that explains ALL OF IT to you, and it is well done and fascinating. OR you can just blame Bill Clinton for what he did to the regulatory rules that were supposed to keep this from happening. Take your pick- either way you will end up at the same point.  GO ON and watch it. You have time.

3) Republicans are racists, misogynists and they are really, really rich.  Well. you can parse wealth a lot of ways but what you should do is stop complaining about people because they have more money than you. Let's put it this way- lots of people inherit money from smart, motivated and inventive parents and because of genetics, their offspring make money, too. Successful people tend to make money and manage it properly.  Most politicians at the state or national level are pretty well off. Why? They are educated and motivated. Lazy people only run for office as a joke. IN fact, for a lot of rich people, politics is a crap job for them- they'd have a lot more money in the private sector.  Really rich Democrats are actually enormous hypocrites- they think they should pay more in tax, and nothing is stopping them from doing so,  but their own palsied little hand doesn't seem to want to write a check to the IRS for more. They get the checkbook yips.  Republicans do more volunteer work. (do you really need me to look that up?)   Let's talk about misogyny. Lots of men are misogynists- it isn't a political thing at all. I doubt Republicans are any more misogynistic than Democrats. There are a lot of strong Republican women- I know a lot of them.  You want to see a REALLY inexcusable misogynist- look at Hillary Clinton. Women her husband chases are "bimbos" (and probably worse names are used in private)- Hillary is the worst sort of role model for women. She is a needy, jealous and angry sort of female. Instead of growing a pair and leaving her hound dog, she blamed the WOMEN. Moses wept.  As for racism- well, Republicans are the ones who tried so hard to pass a civil rights act in 1957. Even John Kennedy voted against it. He later laughed about it and said "I guess I shouldn't have done that".  (And PBS's broadcast on Kennedy.)
Here- read what the democrats did BEFORE they realized they needed a platform that would make them look like non-racists.

Obama really wasn't ready for this. No- he wasn't. It isn't racist  disagree with Obama. In fact, it would be racist to support someone because of their race rather than their ability. A man who never wrote a paycheck, never had a real job, only abstained to vote on legislation,  never governed a state or even a boy scout troop- well, what did people expect?  Then he surrounds himself with Valerie Jarrett and his wife. At first, I thought, oh well, that idiot Joe Biden has been around long enough to show him the ropes. But he didn't. Obama seems really disconnected. He doesn't seem to even understand how government works. Even Bill Clinton figured that out after a while. Most presidents find a way to make it work. Not this president. It is very sad in so many ways. On another note, as sheriff of Claiborne county and a nominee for Governor of Louisiana Girls State, I probably have more political experience in working with others nicely.

I also sort of believed Obama in his campaign when he talked about transparency- about having hearings and committee meetings put on CSPAN, about working with the others in Washington.  And then the VERY first thing he did was have a meeting for which the Republicans were locked OUT. How childish? How sad.  I couldn't believe it. He actually LIED. When called on it, he said "it was a political campaign. You say things."  Yes, I guess you do.  I actually voted for Bill Clinton- once. I was appalled at the people who felt it was okay for a sitting president to have an affair with a white house employee. A 22 year old one. So I am sort of ashamed of myself.  But this time,  I didn't want to vote for someone I didn't feel was competent to lead this nation. I just wish I hadn't been so right.  I had no idea it would get this bad. 

I'm a libertarian and have been for years. But a third party doesn't work- because it always comes down to which party is hurt by my third party vote, and it is the party that would be my second choice. So I stay a republican in most of my votes. I try to know everything I can about the candidates I vote for. I've never voted for a straight ticket.  I usually figure a little change is good for us all because it shakes things up. But it shouldn't take our country down the path of so much hatred. The lies told against Republicans are ridiculous. How can people believe that stuff? But they do.  Why are so many stupid and rude people involved in politics at all? The internet has really shown us how many people just aren't very bright.

Oh well, I can tell you that the sun will come up tomorrow for all of us. And sometimes that is the thought that sees you through. I'm sick of being told I owe someone something because I am a white American. The way I see it, my ancestors suffered and died for this country. They participated in the Revolution and most of them lived to collect the small pension when they were old. No one owned a slave because they didn't need it. I will apologize to no one. Ever. If this country doesn't stop living in the past (the favorite spot of liberal websites), it will die. Like any living thing- parasites can kill you, and we need to figure out what to do with the people who make a living off of the people who do work and manage their income properly.

So, I hope everyone calms down and goes back to eating at McDonalds and worrying about the size of their rear in comparison to the size of an airline seat.
Oh- and Mary Landrieu - I hope she loses. Big time.

If you are a moderate of any kind, then you get that our country has a yin and yang- we go back and forth between parties, lots of drama and not a lot of action. But remember that our founding fathers absolutely understood the dangers of a huge federal government- how it could manipulate and over tax and curry favors, etc. And here we are. And it is a mess. But the sun'll come out, tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar, there'll be sun. (heh) (now try to get that out of your head)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4 Day 96

Ah, election day! I've been around for a lot of elections. I don't think I've ever missed one- even back when I had to file absentee. However it comes out, it will be the same. It is politics. They don't really care about any of us but they want the job- it is SWEET to have a political job. Lots of perks and the retirement plans are amazing.

There are so many conundrums in our lives- mostly because we KNOW everything that happens the second it happens. The 6 o'clock news is always late. By hours and hours. We wouldn't be in such a tizzy about everything if we had to read it in a newspaper the next day.  Here's a few of my favorite modern problems:

The world is so crowded we will never fix the environment and we will die of lack of almost everything at some point. Yet we have newborn intensive care units, develop vaccines, feed the starving in Africa and complain about how horrible it is when we don't send aid everywhere.

We scream if someone wants to terminate their own life, but we'll be happy to end the heartbeat of any human who hasn't been born yet.

We don't like fat, but we have grocery stores lined with empty calories of carbs.

We complain about the price of gas but a gallon of Starbucks will run you around $60 or more. (No one goes there for a plain drip coffee).

We complain about people who act like children but we treat children like mature adults allowing them to have what they want without one ounce of effort. They get used to the idea of social welfare.

Speaking of that- people claim to want their kids. But they put them in plastic containers and beat them against their leg as they walk. They put them in ugly slings where the infant can't see their mother or father's faces. They put them in huge strollers and put packages on top of them. They put them on the FLOOR of restaurants while they eat. They bring them to loud movies, loud stadiums and place them in front of loud tvs. Then they complain their kid doesn't have a normal brain- well, brains grow from interaction. Watching their mother's face when she speaks. Observing the world at eye level. Children aren't accessories. Watch a mother cat- she can show people what to do.

People complain about the environment but they smoke. Or run and bike in traffic. Or stroll their children at exhaust pipe level. Brilliant.

OH well. I have a million of them.

I just read that 52% of Seattle is composed of RENTERS. You heard me. Now look, renting is important. No kidding. Houses are expensive and require great upkeep and the taxes go up every year. If I had paid cash for my house in Houston, I would still have had to move because the taxes have skyrocketed to almost 30K a year on  a house that cost me $420,000. Personally, I think you should have a fixed property tax based on your purchase price. Taxing people out of their homes is ridiculous. But renters complain and complain about their rent going up. Well, renters- listen up- your rent goes up so your landlord can PAY the taxes you voted in. Landlords don't vote for higher taxes- renters do. And you renters need to solve for x a little bit better than you do. YOU vote for the social programs and property tax increases. And then your rent goes up. Think about it. I'd rather rent if I could. The upkeep of owning a house is just a pain.

I like that a lot of races are close tonight. They should be close. We are a better society when races are close. We need to keep one another near the middle. They say we are destined to fail as a nation. But I can tell you, what will kill us is believing that all social problems are fixed with money. Because it is usually someone else's money you are taking and if they quit working, there won't be any more. Then you go to a system no one can do well under.

Here's to America! Lots of people vote who have no IDEA who they are voting for. They couldn't pass a civics test for a fourth grader. It is pretty funny. Until you really really think about it!

I have to go fix dinner. Hopefully I can eat a red donut tomorrow. :-) I do like that Primary Colors was on cable the past few days. What a great movie.
That's my advise- go find Primary Colors and watch it again!!!

Stay warm on day 96.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3 Day 95

By now everyone is aware that Monday is laundry day- as in wash the sheets and leftover laundry from the weekend. The kitties know it, and they give up on getting me to walk around the house dragging a toy they can run after. Especially on a rainy, dark day this is what you'll see:
That blanket on the sofa is very fuzzy on the side India is on- she kneads it and purrs and purrs. India had such a rough little beginning- I am sure her mom was not a deserter because mom cats don't do that. But she didn't have a living mom as far as anyone could tell since India was in a car engine, very skinny and quite scared after a ride to Walmart. (come to think of it, I don't know who wouldn't be scared riding in a car engine). So we baby her- even Zoubi will give up a toy to India. Thank goodness they love one another. Zoubisou prefers the firm surface because she can stay half awake to protect us.

I got a lovely phone call from the man who owns Bauer pottery. I got my plates because of a postcard Bauer sent me and I fell in love with the table setting on the postcard:

I went searching for the image they used and there it is on flickr!  But I called Bauer and asked where they got the wonderful pink napkins and placemats because I was planning on ordering THAT exact table setting.  But, the owner said those were, in fact, he and his wife's personal napkins and placemats and he was sure they wouldn't use them again and he would be happy to put them in the order IF he could find them!  I told them not to worry, I was going to order the plates anyway and though I loved the color of the pink, I didn't want them to give up something they really liked or go searching for them.  I got the plates, have been very happy playing with what I'll do for Thanksgiving with them, and didn't think too much more about it. But today he called me and said he would send the napkins and a little something else.  How nice is that? That really is unusual to have someone care that they get something for you that you liked.  I will post pictures on THIS BLOG when I have my table set.

Tomorrow is the election. I have been robbed of the fun of standing in a long line to vote at my local precinct place- we have to vote by mail. I miss it.
That is the last time I voted in a communal atmosphere of celebration of our right to vote - that is the Happy Valley Grange 322 that is right around the corner from my house. That day, everyone who voted got a sticker for a free donut with sprinkles from Krispy Kreme. I had no trouble getting a red one. The blues were in short supply.  Our neighborhood HOA meets at the Grange.  I had never, ever heard of a grange until I voted. There are goats and horses and a pumpkin patch near it, and possibly a meth lab or two.

Well, it's 1984 here right now- we are finally getting around to watching the last SNL and the artist known again as Prince is performing and Alex is saying "this is tserrible- come on Prince". And he means it.

So I asked Alex what is Prince's best song- and he says- "Let's Go Crazy". I was going to post it as tonight's video but guess what- Prince won't let youtube play his music. You can get a cover of it, but not Prince doing it. So tonight, you can try to imagine what it sounds like.
So you'll have to settle for one of my favorite kittens from the IBKC- Geraldine Dearborn.
But I'm a sucker for calicos.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2 Day 94

This picture sums up today:
That is the Seahawks game except the team is hardly the same team with EIGHT players hurt. It is hard to defend a title when your team is unbelievably hurt. They signed people off the street to fill in some of the gaps. But we still won- and it was a nailbiter.

I got Zou and India this hideous toy that Zoubi LOVES. India, as usual, would rather have the black stick and string. The thing on the end of it means nothing.  It is called a Frenzy spider cat toy. And you'd think it was alive and kicking.

The one advantage to planning something that will take you away from home for 6 hours (a seahawks game) is that you don't have time to do anything else. By the time I get up, eat, wash my hair, figure out how many layers and which raincoat to wear, it is time to go. Then clearing out from the stadium and figuring out what is for dinner brings us all the way to 6 pm for a 1:20 game time. Unfortunately, it makes everything a little bit behind- like the drudgery stuff around the house. It still has to get done- just not on Sunday. 

Next week we will miss the home game because we'll be in the car. Day 99 for this blog is obviously FRIDAY. But it will not be. Because I won't be writing anything on Friday or Saturday. I'm taking a break from taking a break. Call it a double break. I don't think I'll even look at facebook until I have done everything I need to do. I have to clear out some sheet music, and I will mail some of it to my friend, Stacie. I doubt she has any idea of how much music I actually have- probably a hundred thousand actual PAGES of sheet music. I kid you not. I have vocal music of ALL kinds, piano, harp, clarinet, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mountain dulcimer. I have entire books of sonatas, fugues, inventions, show tunes, etc,. You name it, I've got it. But I'll pick the unmarked music for Stacie because she wants to use it for crafty stuff.

Well, I have to run. I'm all itchy from my REI warm under clothes- in peacock blue. I got that color so it would look a little seahawky. And it does.

Here is the website for FRENZY cat toys-
enjoy that nightmare.

Brittany Maynard ended her life today. The state of Oregon gave her the medications to do so when the time came that she saw fit. Brittany had terminal brain cancer and was given 6 months to live last April. She had terrible seizures and even worse headaches. She used her remaining time to do her bucket list. But she wanted to die with some dignity- not in intense and unrelenting pain or with brain damage from chronic seizures. As she said, she wasn't actually killing herself- brain cancer was killing her. She was just choosing the way it would end.  Imagine having to make that decision- not out of depression but out of desperation. My graduate degree is in neurological and neurosurgical nursing. And my heart breaks for this woman who will never know so much of what her life could have been- and I feel tremendous relief that she will not go through the terrible end that brain cancer causes. She had to face the worst thing that a human can hear- that there is no hope. Accidents don't give you months and months to know that things will only get worse- those are sudden. Other diseases seem to hold out some hope. But Brittany did not have that gift. And she knew it. So, here is a prayer for the soul of a woman who did what she planned to do in order to spare not just herself, but those who loved her. May her soul rest in a beautiful place of love and peace.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1 Day 93

This midday I went to the Defense Luncheon sponsored by the Cascade Chapter but produced by the state regents of the DAR. The speaker was a wonderful man, Bill Knudson, spoke about the Honor  Flight Program.   Our DAR chapter sends members to welcome back local honor flight participants when they arrive back at SeaTac. We donated money in honor of our relatives who served, and my donation was for my adoptive father for WWII, my adoptive brother for VietNam, and my Uncle- Howard Flowers- who was in the death match at Bataan and is in the book Horror Trek. I didn't make it through without crying. I am SUCH a cry baby. All of these women named the family members who served in times of war and peace all the way back to the Revolution. I have had a family member in every armed conflict including the Revolution. So Honor Flight is a wonderful thing. It is set up that when the last surviving member of WWII is gone, it will take the Korean veterans, then Viet Nam. And unfortunately, it will probably never end since like it or not, we are the people who defend the world. If we had lost WWII, the world's chances for freedom would have disappeared and possibly never reappeared. Bill told his story about his veteran- his father who perished in battle in WWII trying to save one of his cohorts when their plane was shot out of the sky. The other members of his team survived by parachuting out of the bomb hatch. But Bill's father couldn't leave behind his friend- he felt he had to save him. And they died together. A French farmer pulled them from their wreckage and buried them in the local cemetery. They were reburied in the memorial cemetery in Normandy next to Teddy Roosevelt Jr.  The two soldiers each had 200 francs on them, and the farmer did not take it but left it with them. He was so grateful for their help. Imagine that- a starving and poor farmer in a war torn country respecting the dead of his defenders so much that he couldn't touch the money they had on them. So Bill feels that this is a way to help pay his father back for his sacrifice.  Everyone had to cry. It was a beautiful but very sad day. I don't know why so many sad stories are also very beautiful ones. Perhaps it is because you see the radiantly loving people that memorialize them and want to be better because of their sacrifices.

After all that, Alex and I went downtown to see Whiplash- which is basically a sort of sado-masochistic story about a brutal jazz instructor and his talented pupil. Alex and I both agreed it was good until the very end because frankly, a teacher that abusive would be FIRED. And a kid who stayed with it, just to prove he could, might deserve the crap he got. But then again, I am ever the realist. I've been in that green rehearsal room in Carnegie Hall and stood on that stage to sing with my chamber chorus in 2000 (I think it was in 2000). Funny, it sounds special but it didn't feel very special. It wasn't even that great acoustically. But it is something to say you did before you gave it all up. I was pretty blasé about singing- I didn't sign up to go sing in the Sydney Opera House- and I will say that might have been a mistake. I just didn't want to fly all the way to Australia.

Time falls back tonight- that means it will be dark here at 4:30 in the afternoon. I'm not sure what part of daylight we are saving here...we need to STAY in daylight savings time. Or just PICK ONE. This is ridiculous.  there's a trailer for that movie if you decide to see it.

And read UNBROKEN if you haven't. It's out in paperback.

I am going to the Seahawks game tomorrow. Yay! or oh no! Depending on the weather.