Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No rhythm, but a great routine

I start every day pretty much the same way, and that's the way I like it. Same breakfast for more than 40 years. I know, that sounds terribly boring but bran flakes and orange juice start me off with a nice layer of comfort that lasts for hours. A shower, breakfast with the newspaper, then I check my email. I like my routine.

Boomer is changing my routine, or trying to.

The dogs have their own routine, which of course involves me. Me getting up at @6:00, when Boomer whines from his crate, to feed them a dribble of kibble and put them out in the yard. I go back to bed, and they stay out until I get up, 2-4 hours later. (I am trying to change 20 years of night owl hours, but it is slow going)

I shower, they come inside and nap, while I eat and read. The problem comes when I hear a low rumbling growl behind my seat at the computer. Ignoring it causes the sound level to rise, and the grumbler to circle around in front of me. As soon as I make eye contact, Boomer barks happily and bounces in the air.

He has decided I can have a half hour to read email and check blogs. I know he doesn't have a watch, but it's 30 minutes every time.  Not long enough, dog.

I've got people to check up on, a growing list of interesting, funny, touching stories to read, writers to envy, pictures to look at, peeping in on other folk's lives and  following up on other people's problems and cheering their victories. My kind of social life!

Tomorrow is my one year blogiversary, but I will be traveling to help Ms M and Mr C with the move to their new house, so won't be posting then. When I started this, I thought it would be just a fun way to write down thoughts etc, just for me. And it is. I amuse myself.  But it's also been a nice surprise lurking reading other blogs and I think that keeps me coming back online here just as much as mine does.

(I'll get up early enough tomorrow to leave an hour for my morning routine, but Boomer will be very unhappy when his is changed)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Enjoying the Thaw

Last week I read an article which said January 18 was the most depressing day of the year, according to several surveys and polls, etc. I don't remember any more details, but I find is easy to agree with the choice, although any date in January or February is a real contender!  So, when I spent most of the week doing a lot of reading, and not a whole lot of anything else, I blamed the scientists. They said it, not me- I just went along with the depression.

But!  But, then after a cold, snowy, snowy, period, a sort of tiny miracle happened. Our January thaw arrived. We had lots of rain and wind, and warmer temperatures- up to 48!- and lots of the snow is gone. I no longer need ski poles to traverse my driveway. And look what I saw today:

I don't know why pansy is a slur used to mean wimpy- Look at them, those suckers are tough!  I heart pansies.

Of course, living with J means finding other stuff unexpectedly popping up. This appeared when the snow melted on our bulkhead.
Obviously put there for safekeeping.

Last week, I was worrying about seeing Rosie sitting on a mound of snow that had slid off a shed roof. It was in a corner of the yard, and her head was close to being level with the fence top, which I found had pulled away from the wall. If Rosie had tried leaning on it, she would have been out. But, today, ta da! Threat removed.

You couldn't see that chair 5 days ago. (And please ignore the desperate need for paint)

Last goodie to be seen  now is the great bargain we got on 2 rolls of 6 foot chain link fencing. That will create our chicken wonderland next spring. We'll continue behind the shed, and enclose our raspberry/sumac tangle for the hens to ramble safely.

I know, not too exciting, but $13.00 for each 50 foot roll- that's a heck of a deal, people!  Plus look at the bare ground- under more than 2 feet of snow a week ago.

I crawled out of my dark hole of apathy and danced in the fleeting joy that is the January Thaw. And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


J is in the other room watching the news, and called out to me:
"I guess I need to get married again"
"Oh? Why?"
"They said men getting married now tend to marry richer women"
"You didn't mean get married again to me?!?'
"Not unless you get a job"

Warning- Watch Out

Weatherbug just interrupted my Blogger reading with an alert. Both a winter storm warning and watch showed up. I always get confused about them, but thanks to the time stamps I figured this one out.

We already have 2 of the 1-3 inches the warning says we might get today. The watch was just issued and says "more plowable snow on the way".  Another 5-9 inches overnight- we are in the sweet spot this year for snowfall, it seems.

J left work early yesterday and we both cleared the driveway and stairs, timing it pretty well, so that the snowfall ended as we finished up. I had the blower, and J tackled the snow dumped on the steps. He stopped me to suggest that I get my camera and take a picture of the snow blower to show his brother, who had called earlier about buying one.

Knowing he had pictures of the machine already, I nodded and kept on going. Buddy, if I walk back to the shed and through to the house, I'm not coming back out! Later, when I pointed this out to J, he said he wanted a picture of him using the blower, so he could show off how far it throws the snow. 

Then I felt bad that I didn't indulge him, so I didn't point out that anyone knows how a snowblower works and what it looks like in action. Looks like I'll get a chance to redeem myself tomorrow though.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Because I know you want to know

J figured I was recovered enough from my "nearly lethal dose of stupid" (as he told Shoeshine today) on Wednesday that he could laugh at how silly I was.  It wasn't that bad though, just several -ok, many- times I asked him how long he had been sitting with me, etc. I was awake enough to tell the helpful nurse that she wouldn't be able to zip my coat, and I was right. There's a trick to it and I did it just fine, thank you very much.  I don't remember walking out to the car afterwards, though.

Given a choice (and I was) I'll take sleeping through a dental procedure, although I do hate not being in control of myself. Which is why I don't drink often, or much when I do. And probably why I don't dance very well. I realize that my perception that others notice/care what I do is blown way out of proportion (hello, social anxiety) but I like to stay below the radar. J has a more 'normal' and dare I say, healthy, attitude about public opinion and it's too bad that our offspring didn't get a bigger dip in his gene pool there.

No matter, that's over and done with little pain and no embarrassment. As I walked in I did see a young man earnestly telling his companion "that Dr. is really nice, really". At least at the dentist, there's a good chance that your mouth will be full of gauze so that cuts down on the chances of saying something too silly.

I like to remind J of the time he was waiting to go home after a procedure in the hospital and the nurse came in to check on him. She told us he was free to go, whereupon J flung back his sheet, ready to leave. We convinced him that he really should leave wearing the same amount of clothing that he'd come in with. With that as my standard, I'm very happy with my post-op behavior so far.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One less tooth to brush

Did I mention I was having a tooth removed?  Well, that was this morning and it's gone. One molar and an hour of my life that I'll never get back.

That little devil pretended 2 years ago that if I gave it a gold crown it would behave itself. Than I find out it's all happy smiles on the surface and infecting me way down at the roots, right on top of that nerve running out to my lip that occasionally goes numb. Hah, well, I showed it- no more money for you- you're outta here.

J was nice enough to let me shove into his Net-flix lineup and get Julie and Julia to watch tonight, interrupting his Tour of Duty marathon. He even sat down to watch it with me, though he was just being nice. I reminded him that he liked Julia Child, but he clearly thought that I was still under the influence. He did stay the course(ha) and even asked me if I agreed it got a 5 star rating. I did.

The most amazing thing happened during the film, something I never thought to hear him say.  It was in the scene where Julie's husband has subdued the pot of lobsters for her and she is showing her gratitude.  J calls out  "No, no, don't overcook the lobsters. That's more important than sex!"

J took the day off to take me to the oral surgeon, did the dishes, and let me sit in his recliner all afternoon. Tomorrow, he's promised to let me know all the funny things I said to him coming out from the anesthesia. Can't wait.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


J had been slicing cheese for his lunch for the next day. I turned around to see him with a steak knife in his mouth.

"What are you doing?!?"
"Licking the cheese" (It was hard cheddar, folks)
"You don't lick a steak knife- you could slice your tongue in half"
(ok, a bit hyperbolic, but geez!)
"Only a woman would say that"
"Only a man would lick a serrated knife"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Acquisition- Check!

It was a successful weekend here (if you leave out the Patriots game, which was successless, or just sucked), what with the pipe repair and then the trip to get the last 4 hens home Sunday.

It was a nice day for a ride through new territory for us. Yes, we've been to Turner before, almost more times than I can count on both hands. But, that's over a 20 year time span, and we forget the right turns sometimes. It's 50/50 who remembers the way, and whether we take it, so there's no blame. In fact, years ago our kids would get nervous and ask if we knew where we were, as we backed up another dead end camp road in the woods. "Of course, we're not lost. It's just a new way of getting there" Pshaw! Did we ever not make it home again?


We have two options for getting to Karen's house (ha, well, it turns out we have at least 3 now) One works better for going, since we have that one down cold, and the other one is a little bit shorter, but we have to catch that sharp left right after the bridge.  We thought we would go the coming back way as a change.
Note to self: each town apparently has a River Road, and they don't end up in the same place.

Score(if one were keeping it)- J had the right road, too bad we took my suggestion. Which worked, but was about 10 minutes longer, but circled around a skinny lake/fat river and came over a ridge with wonderful views. We could see Mt Washington in the distance, but sadly it doesn't show up well in the photo. It's right in the middle, trust me.

Coming from the north, we worried that it was too cold to have that friendly old man waving to us from his front yard at the turn, but we recognized his house anyway.

As we were heading north and looking for a left hand turn, I thought of that old punchline "You can't get there from here".  It makes perfect sense in Maine. We have so many lakes, rivers, bogs and streams that there are not too many direct paths anywhere.  What could be a 10 minute drive  (as the crow flies) from our Dr's office to the pharmacy in the next town ends up being 25 minutes because there is a lovely lake in between. Central Maine probably has at least a decent sized pond dotted around every 5 miles or so.

See? And those are just the biggest ones that show up. So, in most cases ( I am not willing to say all) you can get to where you want to be, it just might take a different route and longer than you expected.

Hmm, that came out unexpectedly philosophical, so I will end here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brand new sink pipe! Woohoo!

Yeah, so that's not so exciting, is it?  I tried.  It was an unplanned purchase however, so that's a little exciting. No? Well, then, the rest of this is going to to be pretty darn boring for you.

I finally remembered to get vinegar and baking soda to put down my sluggish bathroom sink. Not only is that less caustic than the commercial drain cleaners, I usually have the stuff around, plus, it's fun to make the little geyser foam up out of the drain. So today was the day to get that done. 

Nice little foaming action going on, so rinse with hot water and plunge. And plunge. And again. Usually that works like a charm, but not today.  We tried snaking it, and J decided that the trap needed to be removed, which he did with no problem. Then I got to take over because as anyone knows, handling ooky things in the house is a woman's job. (J and my brothers-in-law used to tell us "your hands are made for that"- that being whatever they preferred not to do) (and yes they knew better than to say it and mean it).

Scooped what I could, then put a little baking soda and vinegar down as a chaser, which immediately backed up all over the floor. J pointed out that the top part was solidly filled as well, so I started probing there. Oops, that broke off and J acted like it was my fault- I shouldn't have used the coat hanger, I should have used the stem of the spoon??? Like that wouldn't have broken it too? The pipe was ancient. Did you want to do this, Mr. queasy man?

He made a trip to the hardware store and now we have a nice clean white pipe under our pedestal sink, which looks much nicer than the nasty chrome one anyway. Good job well done.

Tomorrow should be much more interesting, as we go to pick up the 5 hens that missed the last trip.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It was meant to be

I think I've been pretty good with not complaining (excessively) about going back to work..for a couple of months...part time. So, maybe I didn't have that much to gripe about, after all.

Anyway, Thursday is my last day, and I am down to 5 hour shifts. Before I had finished signing on to all of my systems yesterday, I had a call transferred to me, saying Dr. So and So had specifically asked for me. (I'll just say that we love it when a customer asks for another rep by name, so we have a legal right to transfer that live wire).

The name rang a bell, and not a happy holiday chime either. The good Dr gets on and says do you remember me?  I had a jacket, yadda, yadda, yadda. Yes, indeed I do. Let me just check my notes- FROM LAST APRIL! 

When I retired last year, I had just two files open, and I felt so bad about handing them off, that I couldn't bring myself to dump them and asked my boss to choose who inherited them. Yes, this was one.  Not that he was rude, or nasty, but he was asking for something to be replaced and had no paperwork, receipts, dates, anything that a "reasonable" person would expect a company to ask for.

I checked the computer and indeed, the last updates was that we had not heard back from him with a receipt or date of store visit.  April 30, 2009, that was.  And when was the return made, you ask?  March 2008. Or April or May. 2008.

He nicely reminds me it has been quite a while since he had heard from me, I reminded him that we were waiting to hear from him with a date and/or receipt, and oh by the way, I had retired last April, was just back helping out over Christmas, and this was my last week.

"It was meant to be! You know I've been working on my karma, volunteering and donating, and now look at this! What great timing!"

Apparently, I should have been working on my karma. 

So, he got what he wanted.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

You were supposed to read that title in your head with a booming announcer voice. Maybe it was just local, but last year there was some annoying (car, I think?) ad where the voiceover repeated the 3 Sundays a lot!  Okay, moving on.

The snow has sort of stopped, after beginning to fall on Thursday. (Today is Sunday in case you missed that)  J had gone out periodically to clear the driveway, but overnight we got a good foot more, so I had to go help too.

First J used the snowblower to get the paper.


He had to go out from the shed since there was too much snow on the steps to open the door. I made a path to the steps and he shoveled while I used the machine.

It's done now, and if those little flurries would stop, we would be happy. It was good timing though, we had a 3 day weekend to stay indoors and clean up at our leisure. I was supposed to work Saturday, but did not- that was when the heaviest snow and wind started. What?  The weather people told me to stay home!

Now, to shower and watch the Patriots game.