Monday, October 21, 2013

None for me, thanks . . .

Weeelllllll, some of us don't like being scared.  The ancient origin of All Hallows Eve gives me gollywobbles enough.  

I used to trick or treat when our country was young.  (Tells you, perhaps, how old I am?)  My kids used to be taken out seeking goodies when they were young.  My grandson was, too.  

Dressing up in order to collect candy has a childish aspect that is charming.  But, years ago, the boy who used to live next door to us was mugged by teenagers.  His candy-bag/pillowcase was taken leaving a shaken child with his trust in a friendly dark betrayed.  His parents thought he was old enough to go around his own block by himself.  He wasn't.

I don't like scary movies, either.  I had an uncle, way back in the day, who used to scratch at the open window to make us jump.  

I should have thrown water at him through the window screen.  I would do that, now.  I'd keep a glass at hand and feel armed and ready.  

It's all in the attitude.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Me neither . . .

We went to a wedding reception recently.  The wedding was in Minnesota.  Because the groom has so many friends and family here, there were two receptions, one up there following the wedding and the one we attended.

It was held in a country club some distance south of us.  Our driving directions said to take the turnpike south to Exit One.  That's how far south.  Past the shopping outlet in Homestead.  That's how far.  Pretty far.

But worth it.  We had a lovely steak dinner, open bar and countless hors d'oeuvres before the main course.  The bride and groom could have stepped down from the top of a wedding cake, themselves.  They are both gorgeous people, graceful and adept at anything they attempt.  We have been hearing the saga of their long distance romance for a couple of years, at least.  They are living proof that distance is not necessarily fatal to romance.

BigEd was invited but was called in to work. Zeta and M were at our was a lovely family time.

Can you do Gangnem style?  Me neither. YMCA? Me neither. Line Dancing?  Me neither.  In fact, I sat on my neither which was planted in my chair.  My neither is officially too old to dance anymore.

Was the music audible in the parking lot?  Eh, can't hear you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Civic Duty, oh yes

There is almost always someone here, at home. But one of us came down with an attack of jury-duty-itis.  This person left home at ten to seven am on Monday and was still ten minutes late at the courthouse downtown.  

Lotta traffic.  No accidents though.  Just lotta traffic because school just began and drivers suffer from the inability to drive sensibly when school has just started.  This gradually clears up and becomes just bearable rather than an impossible situation.

Our jury duty attendee was sent home with the caution to call the number provided after 5 pm, every day for two weeks.  He hasn't been summoned back yet. 

I'm not sure he wants to be.  He was pretty tired between not sleeping well the night before and getting up at six am.

Poor baby.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In Lock-up

We have started keeping the front door locked to remind we humans not to throw the door wide and allow Snax to exit stage center.  I was in the dining room at the computer when Snax came toward me using a call I have never heard from him.  It was a rather alarming growly meow, in a low register.  

I don't ignore unusual cat sounds ever since one of our, now long gone, cats found a small fire in the kitchen and gave the alarm by screaming her meows.

Snax accompanied me to the front of the house but waited while I went to the door.  J had been working outside when BigEd left, locking the door behind him.  J, being locked out, had not called nor rung the doorbell yet.  Snax knew he was there and went for help - I can only assume,

We need to talk to him about dialing 911 . . .

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Paying with what?

Today, the price for staying up to watch late night TV is a scratchy eyeball feeling and clumsy typing using all thumbs.  I was the designated driver for a trip to the eye doctor.  All is well and we were back home by ten o'clock.  

Earlier, at 6:45 am, the swale  and driveway were awash with water with more coming down.  By 7:30 am, when we left for the appointment, the only sign of a minor deluge was the slippery roads.  Well, also there was the freshly washed world around the roads.

Post-appointment, as we made our way back into the parking garage to retrieve the car, we dodged, or strode through depending on who we are talking about, standing remainders of another deluge which took place while we were in the interior of a windowless building. 

Not a drop fell on our persons.  I hear thunder, though.  We are going through another wash cycle pretty soon if the portents are right.  

Mew is hiding.  She is a better weather reporter than anyone on the talky-box.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

For Dummies?

While browsing the (my) library's e-books, I found Nook Tablet for Dummies which fits with my mental state on some days.  I realize it is for an older generation tablet but similar enough for my purposes.  I believe I know what I am doing with the tablet I received from my special family group.  But it is always interesting to learn how much one doesn't know.

 At present, I am reading Dummies on my iPhone.  Take that, Apple.  I am the disloyal patron you always knew was out there.  I love the new version of Siri, though.  Do I wish I could talk to the tablet and have an interactive conversation?  No.  One IA is enough.  Two cats and Siri-on-one-device. is independence enough. 

Snax got out by rushing the front door when BigEd was coming in.  Chasing a cat with long legs and blinding speed is futile.   So, I called him for a treat and he avoided the chase and came in the open front door to get some.  Mew was at the front door, looking out and wondering if she was going to get a treat, too.

Of course she did . . .

Friday, July 19, 2013

Electronic Euphoria

Back during the June Fathers' Day celebrations, I mentioned that Barnes and Noble had sent me an email to say they had put the various Nooks on sale at drastically cut prices.  They were even lower than I had paid for my beloved Nook Color when it was new.  I promptly forgot the conversation.  I had, months previously, mentioned that my battery in the reader was holding less and less charge and I was going to have to do something about it.  As usual, until it became an annoyance instead of a problem, I procrastinated.

For my birthday, I received a brand new Nook HD Plus.  Oh.  My.  Word.  I am so happy with it and for good reason.  J mentioned what a good picture it has.  Yes, HD will do that.

One of he best parts of the whole experience is that there is no more hooking  up of cables to download e-library books.  There is an app for that, too.  Overdrive Media Console is its name and it comes in flavors for the iPhone, Nook, Android, and who knows what else.  It is free and worth every penny!

I belong to our local library (of course) and it has a large e-book collection.  With Overdrive, all I had to do was to find/select our library and make it a favorite.  Overdrive opens the library web site right at the media I want.  One can then select E-Pub or Audio books.  The Nook HD screen is the size and shape of a page in a book.  I have a cover for it that folds back comfortably.  With portrait mode selected, I can read in bed using the "night" color which is white on black.  Less light is emitted causing other sleepers not to wince at the light level in the room.

Thank you to Zeta20, MagicCityKid, Ub2ta11, S, & Piccpiper who pooled resources to make me the happiest camper in our city.   Or county.  Or state.  

And to J for the cover.   

Window? What window?

We have suffered rains.  To illustrate, we have been so overcast and rainy that our high temperature on Wednesday was 78 degrees.  The rest of the country ran high nineties to triple digits.  Taking into consideration that our state has the southernmost city in the country, things have been upside down on the weather map.

This week, we had to put hurricane shutters on a west-side window because a ball hit it, shattering one section of the glass. We have no idea who did it but we did find the culprit ball.  A couple of days later,  J removed a matching glass slat to use as a template.  Then BigEd and I took it to a "Glass Doctor" for replacement glass. 

We had to wait at the glass place because the cutter was working on a mirror which he had just begun to cut.  While this was happening, the rains began again in earnest.  Of course the umbrellas were in the car.  One would think that such experienced southerners would have brought them inside along with the glass template.  One would be wrong.  

As usual, the weather almost cleared after twenty minutes.  This is a feint of the weather, down here, to lure the unwary outside without a wetsuit.  We were not fooled.  I scampered out to get the missing rain gear.  By the time our glass was cut, wrapped with something that looked like Saran Wrap, and paid for, the rains were back.  The area where the glass shop is located is often on the news due to local flooding.  The proprietor told us that the drain in the back parking lot, where their trucks park and where deliveries come in, is slow.  So they flood back there.  We were in the front lot and left without encountering much standing water.  Our water was active with windshield wipers to match .

The glass fit exactly.  But the shutter is still up.  One never knows . . .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Whew . . .

I just got out of the CVCU last Friday, late.  I was there for observation and testing after not doing well with a chemical stress test.  I found out that I was being released when I came back from the rest room.  J told me I should get dressed and that he thought I had been there long enough.  Everyone laughed at my "Huh" face and we got outa there but in due hospital time. 

The most fun was taking off the oxygen monitor from my right forefinger.  If you ever have to wear one, put it on your non-dominant hand as it has about ten inches of wiring and a plug that dangle from it when it is disconnected from the large machines.

I had many, many little connector-patches stuck on to my chest, shoulders and abdomen.  Everybody who needed to use a set of sticky connectors seemed to require a different kind and left the other ones stuck on just in case they could be useful.  There is a stubborn rectangle of adhesive near my waist that is slowly yielding to shower gel, body lotion and just plain oil.  Whatever was used to adhere that one could probably have been used by NASA to stick heat proof tiles on the space shuttles.

The cats seemed glad to see me and I was more than happy to see their furry faces.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recommended ...

Rarely do I cry over a blog post.  

I follow Beyond the Sidewalks which is written by a woman who has a wonderful "voice," lovely animals, and who posts nearly every day.  There once was a brief, and understandable, hiatus which was due to an accident in the family.  

She has a farm with goats.  Several of the females, all of which have cute names. came to kid at nearly the same day.  One of them had a difficult time which neither the mom nor the twins survived.  Thus the tears.  Poor little things.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Depends on the Viewpoint . . .

We rose at six this morning, BigEd and I.  He had a 9:15 appointment for a checkup and I went along.  We wanted to be there early so as to sign in first thing.  We signed in at 8 something and they called us in at 9:15.  I really can't figure out if it was worth it to get up so early, or not.

When the doc came in, he took one look at my face and almost shouted, "What happened?"

This was the first time I had used concealer and makeup over the remainder of the shiner and cheek.  I thought I had done a fair job.  Guess I will just stick to wearing sunglasses.

After I explained what had happened, he apologized for making me embarrassed.  It doesn't bother me at all, I told him.  I can't see it.  It is other people who are bothered. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Whereshego? Whereshego?

We are going to a barbeque at Zeta's and M's.  Mothers' Day is on Sat and Sun, this week.  Something like having a birthday last a week of celebrations.  

Yesterday, Snax and Miu were investigating an empty box that was tiped onto its side.  She sniffed, rubbed and moseyed away.  He came flying around the box to pounce on her and she was gone. Foolish cat decided she could be lurking anywhere and took off to the hallway only to encounter her.  He skidded to a stop, edged around her and hightailed it for his room.  It was indeed comical but it told me something sad.  

He will never be a hunter . . . 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

No One Important . . .

No one of any importance blogs on Sunday.  Just go look.  Today is Sunday.  Here I am.

What does that tell you?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nice, clean sandbox . . .

I never go to the grocery store or anywhere else on  the weekend if I can avoid it.  I prefer the less crowded center of the week. But today BigEd announced, on his way out the door to work, that someone would have to get some cat sand soon .

This was his way of announcing that we were totally out of the stuff.  Dire situations require desperate remedies.  Some remedies are easier than expected.  There were about three shoppers (I exaggerate but not by much) plus errant employees wandering the aisles while trying to looking busy.

Four huge bags of kitty litter later, Snax and Miu are secure.  You would think one of them would teach itself to use the bathroom like our first cat did.  I know you can get kits to help teach them but Miu is 14 and a half  years old.  (J corrected me when I called her a 12 year old.)

She is quite capable of falling in.  In my time, I have fished toys, hairbrushes, clippers and towels from the toilet bowl, usually after a panicked shout of "Mom!"   

I draw the line at going in for a geriatric cat. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

You are getting sleepy . . .

J can sit in a chair and fall sound asleep.  I can't do that because, for me, falling asleep requires a horizontal personal orientation.  That is the true definition of a nap.  Ask the cats.  Neither of them will fall asleep sitting upright.

Miu has been asleep on top of the cats' condo and had her head slowly slide until it is hanging straight down off the edge.  I can't do that either.  

I require a bed and a pillow.  I am so untalented . . .

Thursday, May 2, 2013

If only . . .

There is a guilty secret that is becoming tiresome.  I started watching Splash out of curiosity.  A couple of episodes in, the DVR began recording them and I began not watching.  Today, I decided to catch up and realized that if I had not recorded them so that it was easy to fast forward, Splash would have fallen by the wayside.

The two rotund commedians are long gone.  And how many times can Kareem bend in the middle as he dives with his spaghetti legs?  I am close to saying forget it.  But it is also close to the finish.  They refer to it as the finale but that is a term that is too grandiose for such a splash.

I will finish watching, I suppose, but with my finger ever-near to the fast forward. 

Sometimes, I wish I could do the same thing with life . . .

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Too bad for them . . .

My sunglasses almost cover the eye-rainbow which is trying to spread down my cheek.  It is already up toward the temple a bit.  I didn't know they spread as they healed.  Or perhaps it is just deeper bruising coming to the surface.  My family would probably prefer that I wear the dark glasses all the time, at home. 

Ah, well.  There are some accommodations I just won't make . . .

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My name is not Grace . . .

I was in the dining room and putting away the vacuum.  I caught my foot in a loop of cord, I presume, because my right foot would not join the left one, my shoe came off, and I face-planted my right cheek and forehead on the kitchen floor. 

I don't need to use a flashlight because I have the most perfect example of a shiner you ever saw.  Nothing broken except my sense of pride in my ability to walk.  I put on sunglasses and look normal, take them off and look like an alien.  

No paparazzi need apply . . .

Monday, April 22, 2013

Trading games of choice . . .

It is a known thing that J and I like to do crosswords.  Most days, we print the one in our local paper so we each have an enlarged copy. There is no competition between us or not much anyway.

J's brother, who lives in Tennessee, does Sudoku.  We send him copies of our local Sudoku and he sends us crosswords from his local paper.  He cuts them out. He marks them Monday thru Friday and is careful to include answers from the Saturday crosswords from the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.  All this is by snail mail - which tells you something.

I have gone further afield, for him, than our local Sudoku.  There is a site that rates its Sudoku as Evil, Egregious, Excruciating, Extreme, and Excessive. This is the increasing order of difficulty.  Today, I discovered that I can print the answers to these bad boys on the reverse side of the page.

So I did. It makes me feel like the Answer Angel.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Schedule changes . . .

We stayed up until 2 a.m. in order to say goodbye to BigEd as he left for Orlando, with friends.  He came back inside twice to gather up items he needed and almost left without.  This, after making lists on computer and iPhone which were consulted faithfully.

We went to bed after he left, leaving Miu to put herself to bed when she felt like it and leaving Snax in his room.  He is not familiar with the inflexible rules of the house such as no cats on the table or counter.  Miu is quite familiar with these codes of feline conduct.  She would be aghast if she saw them violated.

Because of shifting sleep times, we rose late.  The cats were not at all forgiving.  

Breakfast should never be served after noon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Spear of Summer Grass

I received an advance copy of A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn.  As in Alexander McCall Smith's books, Africa, itself,  is a character here as alive as the savanna and deep as the rift valley.  Raybourn brings the land and its people to life, breathing and dusty with attitude.

Delilah Drummond is banished by her family  from polite (and not so polite) society in Paris to rusticate at Fairlight, her uncle's plantation, near Mombasa.  Near is a relative term depending on the coming of the long rains when the roads are barely passable.

 Fairlight might have been called an operating plantation if the irrigation system operated properly.  As it is, Delilah and her cousin, Dora, are immersed in a mystery which is, at first, barely perceptible.  She encounters a hunter and guide who hates guiding and seems to have bagged most of the women in the area.  A challenge?  Perhaps.

Delilah carries her own ghosts who reach from the past and seek to capture her future. She is changed by the people and the experiences she encounters. She is, however, an excellent shot.

I could not put this book down: Received it on Friday evening and finished it on Sunday afternoon.  Deanna Raybourn just gets better and better.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ahh, Free

Today, I acquired a prequel to "A Spear of Summer Grass." The novelette called "Far in the Wilds." is set in Africa.. Barnes and Noble offer it as a free download. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We had such plans . . .

We had such plans for today.  We took BigEd to work so we could keep his car. We dropped J's and my car off the the mechanic to get the brakes done and oil changed. Our honest mechanic said we had half the brake pads left and that they just made occasional squealing noise because there was dirt on the pads.  He changed the oil and rotated the tires.  That was it.

He did not have the time to change the oil in BigEd's car so we returned it to him at work.  His oil change is scheduled for Friday.

We spent less money than we had planned on the car.  Sometimes when plans go awry, it's a good thing.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I never win anything, until I DO!

Apologies for the hiatus without explanation.  But I am back now.  And I am so stoked.  I have loved Deanna Raybourn's books and have been a fan and reader of her blog since the first book "Silent in the Grave" came out.  

I have followed her from blog platform to platform, from the first: Blog A-go-go to the present:
Deanna Raybourn which has just been incarnated to an easier to follow format.

The NEWS is that I will receive an advance copy of  "A Spear of Summer Grass" to read and let you know what I think of it.  Since she never produces anything which does not increase her following, I am looking forward to receiving my copy.  With glee, glee, I tell you. 

And I WILL tell you.  As soon as I read it.