Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, November 30, 2009

I go on vacation tomorrow

DH has come down with some sort of respiratory crap. He tells me it's sinus infection. He's been blowing his nose so much I'm surprised he hasn't dried up like an old walnut. He has to go to work today or he won't get Thanksgiving holiday pay. Bless his dear heart! I hope he'll go to urgent care and get it dealt with. Somehow, I don't think that ignoring it will make it go away in time. Full sinuses and altitude changes equals mega pain. He may let me dose him with Dayquill or something just to survive the flight. If I can just get him there all right, he can swim in the ocean and purge his sinuses with seawater, and lie in the shade and sleep untill he's recuperated. I'm perfectly content to be a giant white slug for our vacation.

We're packed. We leave Wednesday morning, but by Sunday night we're packed. We really ARE looking forward to this trip!

I tried a new system for the Christmas cards this year. Big mistake. I fought with the printer all day long, then had to take breaks to figure out which letters I had printed off, then address envelopes, then print off some more letters, then go back through the address list to find who I had missed . . . I'm not done yet.

And Mount Washmore needs to be folded, the dishwasher needs to be emptied and re-loaded, and really, I ought to clear the diningroom table so the cat-sitter will have a place to pile the papers and mail. Thank Goodness I'm taking the day off tomorrow. I NEED it to get ready!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another knit

Another Teresa Ruch dyed scarf. this one is bamboo and tencel. She has such an awesome hand with color.

I'm pulling together the annual Christmas letter (thanks to DH for the inspiration this year!) and doggone, we didn't DO anything this year. No trips since last December. No exciting projects. The biggest home-improvement was the cleaning of the garage and the replacing of the garage door. Fourty years ago, I would have been appalled to have such a dull life. And I would NEVER believe how happy I could be to live it. No drama, no excitement, no bragging rights. Just days full of small happinesses and weeks of great contentment. Can''t beat it with a stick!

I am thankful to live in uninteresting times.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankfulness six

I am thankful, oh so thankful, for the studmuffins that come to take away my garbage. I remember, when I was a kid, once a week we would load the garbage cans in the back of the pickup, and drive out to the dump. Dad would bring his twenty two rifle, and when the boys got big enough, they would too. Why? To shoot the rats, of course. The dump was always over-run with rats. All that free food, ya know. It smelled to high heaven, especially in the summer. But your nose gets used to just about anything, and after the fearless rat hunters had their shooting spree, then I would get out and we would all wander around looking for stuff. Ruined furniture, old clothes, dead refrigerators, broken toys, chipped china and all the random detritus of life. I wish I had the box of comic books we found. Dad wouldn't let us take them because, "they might be dirty." I just now realized that he might have meant pornographic, rather than soiled.

Anyhow, I am thankful that We no longer have to make that weekly trip to the dump. In a town of 1500, the dump was controlable. In a city of three million, no way! And the rat hunters would be way too scarey.

Speaking of hunting, I girded my loins and went into the black Friday madness to run some errands. Returning books to the library, stopping at the used paperback store for travel reading, swinging by the office supply store to get ink cartridges re-loaded. No way do I have the cohones to breast the waves of humanity at the malls!

But I am warm and stylish in my new sweater. Blue-faced leister, Barkton farm dyed, raglan-sleeve knit from the top down. DH calls it urban camoflage and likes it a lot. So do I. It's soft and warm and purdy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfulness five

I am thankful for people who are also half a bubble off plumb. Watch these little movies - especially "Modern Daydreams - Unleashed" You will laugh.

thankfulness four

I am thankful for my mechanical servants. They wash my dishes and my clothes, dry the clothes, entertain me and keep me informed. I don't need to send a footman with a note to all my knitting buddies to plan a party. I just e-mail. I don't need a washerwoman, and thanks to my penchant for poly-cotton knits, I don't need a maid to weild the flatirons.

We have so much food half-prepared these days. I don't need to hire a cook to spend entire days making chicken stock for the soup, or mixing up baking powder and fiddling with the wood and the dampers to bake a cake. Noodles are ready-made. Chickens arrive ready plucked and pulled, often cut and sorted into parts, sometimes even skinned and boned. I don't even know how to pluck a bird. Imagine plucking that whole doggone turkey!

I am thankful for sliced bread, and packaged butter. I am grateful that I don't have to spend my life in the kitchen just to put food on the table. I am grateful I never had to learn how to can beans or salt pork.

I am oh, so thankful for my refrigerator and freezer! Living on dried, pickled and home-canned all winter long would be SO grim!

I have so much leisure and luxury. No problems with the coachman and the ostler getting into fights. No wondering what to do when it turns out the kitchen maid was no better than she should be and is now in an interesting condition, but she's the only one who gets along with the cook, and the cook is conservative with a budget and liberal with a meal, so she must be catered to.

On the days when I get home from work just bone tired, I want to go down on my knees and thank all the powers that be that I do not have to wash sheets, towels, levis, and dresses with seven yard hemlines by hand on a washboard.

And I am thankful that I have so much food available to me that I can be fourty pounds overweight. (Sarah Bernhardt was the most beautiful woman of her day. She was five feet tall and weighed 150 pounds. She was cinched so tightly into her corsets that her hips stuck out vertically from her waist. This was beautiful. Her forearms were so plump that the bone on her wrist did not show. Plump round women were a sign of wealth and luxury. I'm thankful I can drop a few pounds without losing my charms.)

I am thankful DH and I don't have to go to the Thanksgiving dinners we grew up with - complete with hurt feelings, angry people, drunken parents and spiritual battering. We usually avoid the "Family" holidays. I am so thankful that we don't have to travel cross-country to be with people we might love, but don't really get along with. We are going out for dinner tonight at a nice restaurant. I am thankful for the people who will be cooking and serving our meal and cleaning up after us.

And I am thankful, with every breath I take, for my dear husband, who takes care of me and provides me with every possible opportunity to be happy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thankfulness three

I am thankful for the childhood I had. Running wild in the woods with no electricity all summer taught me how to amuse myself. My parents didn't meet my intellectual or emotional needs, and I wasted far too much time being resentful, but darn-it, I learned early how to meet my own needs, and that's a terrific survival trait. I am thankful for the parents I had, who did the best they could with what they had, and who never knew quite what to make of me.

I am thankful for the brothers who taught me that I am not the epicenter of the universe.

I am thankful, oh so thankful, that I was able to escape small-town life and get away to boarding school in the city. It was like getting out of prison. It was like being a plant that had sprouted in a dim, dry basement, and been transplanted into a well-fertilized garden.

I am thankful that I learned to read early. Books have always been my friends, and knowledge has been my favorite toy.

And oh boy am I thankful for modern medicine! Kids used to die all the time from "a putrid sore throat." I had my tonsils out at age five. Lots of people were partially deaf by adulthood because of ear infections. I got antibiotics. Modern dentistry is a wonder! During the civil war, MANY men were disqualified from service because they did not have two teeth that met closely enough for them to bite the powder cartridges and tear them open. For centuries, ladies used fans to conceal the gaps in their smiles, and to re-direct the stench of rotting teeth. I still have all my own teeth except three wisdom teeth. I am VERY thankful for my teeth!! I had a c-section. Women used to die all the time from breech births. I got hepatitis from a dirty salad. If it's weren't for IV fluids, I would have died. Could not hold down water, let alone food. I was so dehydrated that I had no blood pressure. Thank GOD for modern medicine! And earlier this year, when I had blood poisoning, modern medicine allowed me to keep my arm AND my life. If I had lived a century earlier, my number would surely have been up before I hit fourty, and here I am looking at sixty in a few months.

Am I getting too preachy here? It's just that there is such a lot to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thankfulness two

I am thankful that I can sleep through the night without gunfights breaking out in the neighborhood or bombs going off. We don't even have children to tend. We can go to bed with every expectation of 8 hours of peace. The river will not rise so high that it floods us out. Hurricanes and tornadoes do not visit here. Nature and mankind will not disturb our sleep. I am so profoundly thankful! I LOVE to sleep! Napping, dozing and snoozing are also high on my rave faves list. There's so much to be said for a good brisk nap. Power lounging is quite enjoyable, too. I am ever so thankful that I frequently get to be lazy!!

When I have a bad day I comfort myself with the thoughts that at least no one is shooting at me, and I'm not pregnant. The thought of being pregnant at age 59 is so appalling that everything else in life looks rosy by comparison.

I am thankful for knitting and for other knitters. Knitters are fabulous people! How would I have gotten to know all of you if I didn't know how to knit?

I didn't get organized enough to take my knitting to work yesterday. Over the course of the day I nervously tore two fingernails down to the quick and picked at a cuticle till it bled. I MUST have something to do with my hands! I am SO thankful for knitting. It soothes me, gives me a sense of identity (I knit; therefore I am a knitter.)and at the end of a fidgety day, I have created several inches of useful, beautiful fabric.

Surely there are cranky, unpleasant, selfish, uptight knitters. I'm thankful that I don't know them.

I am thankful that I have a life where, if you welcome people with cheer and respect, many of them respond accordingly. I'm not a street person with every man's hand against me. I am not a criminal, mistrusting everyone I know because I know that I can not be trusted. There, but for the grace of God, go I. I am thankful to be who I am, where I am, when I am.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankfulness one

Things for which I am thankful:

My dear husband who believes that it is his job to keep me happy. And he's very good at his job!

Our warm, dry, house with the soft warm bed and the INDOOR PLUMBING!

Have you ever spent time in a home without a flush toilet? The privy is Never in the right place. It's about fifty yards away from the house, which in summer is fifty yards too close, and in winter is fifty yards too far. Imagine a bout of dysentery during a sub-zero cold snap. Your cheeks could get frostbite from the seat. People take indoor plumbing much too much for granted. Be thankful for your toilet!

I am thankful to have all my body parts still working. They may not be in factory fresh condition, but they still function adequately.

I am thankful to have warm clothes and shoes.

I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy and co-workers that are a delight.

I am thankful that I work because I want to, not because I have to.

We live in the richest country, in the richest epoch in the history of the world. I am profoundly thankful for all the luxuries that even kings could not have enjoyed in the past. Entertainment at the touch of a button. Instant communication with any part of the world. Antibiotics!! Modern dentistry.

I am thankful for the opportunity to study history and learn how people used to live, so I won't take my bounty for granted. At the beginning of the 20th century, the average life expectancy for an American male was 47 years. How's that for a reality check?

More meditations on things to be thankful for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A touch of gold

It's half past November. The maples, aspen and sumac are bare. The oak trees cling stubbornly to their dead brown leaves like mothers refusing to let go of their grown sons. The wind and rain have scoured the city. But I can not remember another year when the cottonwoods were so beautiful. They are banks of stored sunshine, clustering along the rivers and creeksides. You could trace the water from a plane, by following the trails of gold.
And then, when the sun breaks through the one thin spot in the clouds and illuminates the world, the cottonwoods glow! Happy, happy, happy!

LG, the wonderful woman that she is, organized a night at the ballet for us. There is a dance troupe in town, Body Vox, who are so creative, so witty,so deep,so exquisitely skillful, playful and talented that I'm perpetually astonished to find them here, and not in some "Big" artistic center. Thank you, thank you, LG!

We saw a retrospective of their work from the last twelve years, to celebrate their new performance space. While the space was underconstruction, they began choreographing dances with the boards and dollies they found in the work space. Another dance is three nearly naked men suspended in a welded silver cage which they climb in and out of, over and through, defying gravity and expectations and evoking powerful emotions of constraint and release with no mugging, miming or sign language. My favorite piece was called "Urban Meadow" with most of the troupe wearing overcoats, wooly hats, socks with pompoms around the cuffs. They are sheep. There is also a sheepdog who keeps them together, sees to their well-being, and defends them from the wolf (wearing tight pants, no shirt, a furry vest, a chuppa ski hat with the earflaps pulled down, and a dangerous expression.) He succeeds in snatching one lamb who strays from the flock. He tries to take a ram but the ram bleats loudly and the dog rescues him (literally pulling him out of the arms of the wolf.) Then the dog and the wolf fight, pawing and slapping at one another till the dog hoists the wolf over his shoulder and slaps his butt several times quite loudly. The wolf falls still. The dog re-gathers the frightened flock and settles them down for the night. It was funny, tender, gentle. It was choreographed by someone who understands sheep. And it amazed me how an overcoat and a fuzzy hat can create a surprisingly believable sheep costume for a gifted dancer. It was worth braving the rainy dark night for an evening with LG and the stunning performances of Body Vox!

Two things I noticed: 1. These dancers are NOT in the first flush of youth, but they still move like music. 2.These people are STRONG but also limber and lean. The guys in the cage hung dead still from the bottom from curled arms for about a full minute while moving their legs in slow motion running in mid-air. Then they flexed a bit more, and (apparently)effortlessly pulled themselves up to the top of the cage. AND these lads are NOT bulked up! Trim, well-defined biceps and shoulders, yes - flat, lightly ridged bellies, yes, but no unnaturally swollen shoulders or abnormally deliniated six-packs. Body builders impress me less than gymnasts. Dancers impress me most of all.

On the blog comments, I have been getting spam lately, so I had to turn on comment moderation. Sorry 'bout that, but someone wants us all to meet hot singles and watch their explicit videos. Hopefully, they'll get bored if we just ignore them for a while.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My alarm clock

It's been quite a while since I've slept past five am. My alarm clock, chirps, squeeks, does the whiskers in the ear bit, and will, if she can find an opeining or create one, run under the covers and play pokey pincushion with her claws and my quivering flesh.

She also wakes DH. Adorably.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lo these many . . .

A while ago, Lyssa took a couple sections of her lusty Christmas cacti, wrapped them in tissue, and stuck them in an envelope to send to me. "Just stick the round end in the dirt." She said.

Look, they thrive! They bloom! It's Christmas!!!

Over the suummer I have been working at minimizing the stash, and sent some weaving yarns to Dave Daniels, the master fiber artist. He dyed some white yarn gorgeous colors, and did some color play. Didn't care for the purple on the outside of the warp, so cut it off. I spoke up and begged for the cast-off bits. (I have a fun scarf pattern knit lengthwise that uses short bits of yarn.)

So he wove a charming pink and tealish wool scarf and sent it to me! This is me all over. Oooo, ooo!

And when Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks went out of business, I picked up some alpaca and silk roving in a sophisticated gray that cried out for Dave's skillful spinning. It was an early Christmas gift.
He spun it up and sent it back. How - I do NOT know how he could have let that sensual elegance out of his hands. Heaven knows I won't. This may lead me into the viral pit of lace knitting. What a stunning scharf this would make with some steel beads in it. Definitely cruise wear worthy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hanging in there

Random photo inserted for color.

Early registration for winter term started this week. On Monday, the registration computer went down, so all the registration has to be done by hand. The registration lobby has been packed all week long. And people who are already frustrated by standing in line for fourty minutes come to us saying, "I have to take a placement test before I can sign up for my classes. How long is this going to take?"

Well, it takes longer than it used to because the powers that be want us to use three seperate tests rather than the single neat package we used to use. So we set them up with reading, they come out and get their scores, we go back in with them and set them up with writing, they test, come out and get their scores, we take them in and set them up with math. No two tests have the same log-in procedures. No two have the same final procedures. This one, you don't close out till you come out and make sure your results printed, that one finished automatically and boots you off the computer. The old placement tests were one simple package, leading from reading to writing to math seamlessly. And the results printed off on a single page. The improved system is a definite fail in my book. And I feel such pity for the people trying to register. Wait and wait and wait some more. Who would have thought it would take the whole day just to sign up for classes?

But we're busy, and that make the day fly by.

So I'm planning my wardrobe for Hawaii. One change of underwear in the carry-on. I was remembering how, in my slender youth, (this was before butt-floss thongs)I could stick my string bikini skivvies into a sandwich bag,(no one wore bras.) Now my bra is underwired and has padded shoulder straps, and my bun cozies could be used to dry a van. A one quart zip-lock just barely does the job for my unmentionables.

Used to be my makeup bag weighed a couple of pounds. Now I make do with a mascara, some brown eye-shadow to color in my anemic brows, and a tinted chapstick. Hair care? A brush and some bobby pins. No mousse, no hairdryer, no hot rollers. Shoes? Runners which I will wear on the plane and do most of my walking in, and skimmers for pool and dinner wear. Used to need a pair of shoes to go with every outfit. Now I pick my outfits to go with the shoes.

But where the makeup bag has shrunk, the medicine bag has arrived. Vitamins, his blood pressure meds, my anti-depressants, his diabetes meds, my calcium supplements, our Ginko, our fish-oil, aspirins, sudafeds, Immodium, Neosporin, motion sickness meds, anti-fungal gel (athlete's foot is all over the beach, Catch it early) Antihistamines for bug bites. rash ointment, and don't forget the talcum powder. On a sticky hot day, I can raise a blister between my cheeks without the talc. (T M I Roxie!)

Any packing hints or suggestions? I'm always on the lookout to make travel lighter and easier.

Monday, November 16, 2009

so I made it to work today

I left this:

Sleepy Ben kitty

Sleepy Fly kitty

Sleepy Candy kitty

And sleepy Pepper cat.

And I went out into the Monday morning.

The picture does not capture the force of the wind or the penetrating chill of the November damp.

I'm a good brave woman, I am!

And man, it was a darn good thing, too. One of the full-timers is on vacation, and naturally, this is the time that we get a new phone system that requires half a day of training. AND, for some reason, today, all the nuts fell out of the trees, and brought their mother-in-laws along for consultations. Bad enough trying to explain things to people who want the world to spin on their axis, but then you have to explain it to the MIL who doesn't have anything to do with it anyway.

I have no idea how to answer the phone at work, and I have to go in early to get set up for the Tuesday morning GEDs because no one had the time to pull a single file all day long. Too bad I don't get overtime for putting in a ten hour day. Oh, I am a GOOD brave woman!! That's OK. In two weeks, we are leaving for a week in Waikiki!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More nothing

Reporting from the battle lines again: The ninja ferrets made an alliance with the local squirrels, who are spying on the commando bunnies and reporting all troop movements. The Bunnies, in return, made contact with the jays and were involved in negotiations for air support. Before things could escalate any further, though, the Godfeather, head of the local Crowfia got wind of the fracas and called a truce. My translator had quite a heavy accent (These polyglot parrots are careless about enunciation) but near as I can figure, the Godfeather said,

"Back in the old country the furrybacks had turf wars too. I remember when the Spossums and the Cancoons gangs decided to mix it up. They didn't have the high-tech weapons you guys got, but you get a raccoon with a broken bottle, and a possum swinging a tricycle chain, and things are gonna get real ugly real fast. And the people wouldn't put up with that kinda crap, so they brought in exterminators. Poison bait, traps, gas bombs - yeah, they brought it all. Furrybacks died all over the place. Even the little mices died. A bird couldn't eat anything that didn't come out of a fast-food bag around there. Is that what you guys want? Cuz if you all wanna die, all ya gotta do is run out in the street and get squashed, OK?

The ferret leader bowed low. "It is a matter of territory, venerable Godfeather. We will not share tunnels with these lolloping barbarians."

The Bunny commander shifted his stub of a carrot from one corner of his mouth to the other. "Hell," he growled, "We don't wanna live with you stinkin' slinkers either!"

The ferret leader hissed and assumed the pose of the startled typist - one of the more difficult ferret fighting styles. The bunny commander lowered his head, scuffled his feet and growled threateningly.

"Knock it off, Knock it off," the Godfeather commanded, and his bodyguard of tough, husky young crows moved closer, rustling their shiny black jackets in an agressive manner.

The Godfeather continued, "If it's territory then split it up like this. Bunnies live on the side of the hill, ferrets live on the top of the hill. Blackberry brambles are neutral territiory. Anybody gets outa line, I'll call in Bull Raccoon and his gang to police you. You guys want dat?"

The bunny commander and the ferret leader, after eyeing one-another shook hands on the deal. No one was willing to risk the incursion of those filthy despicable verminous raccoons.

When the Godfeather left, the bunny commander and his picked squad of twenty lined up and gave him a twenty one bun salute.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

checking in

This staying home sick all day is not as much fun as I thought it would be. It's the sick all day part that sucks. Since I have done nothing but lie on the sofa, sleep, whine, drink tea and take baths (the heat and steam opens even those stubborn sinuses behind the eyes) I have very little in the way of news to report. So I'll make something up.

The commando bunnies have entrenched themselves around our house and set out a full complement of pit traps and deadfalls to catch the unwary. The ninja ferrets, wiley and swift though they may be, are no match for the ingeniously balanced stepping stone over the cess pool, or the wire noose at the mailbox. The bunnies, of course, have numbers on their side, but the ferrets are remorseless and relentless. I have no idea why our yard should be the chosen location for their latest death match. It does make getting to work a bit of a trial, and the cats will scarcely quit watching the action long enough to pee. The senior bunny, with a damaged flopping ear held out of the way by a Rambo-esque headband, has just dashed across the back lawn wearing two bandoliers of grenades and headed for the ferrets stronghold under the tool shed. Where, you might ask, do bunnies get hand-grenades? Same place they got the machine gun no doubt. Kuh-FOOM! The corner of the toolshed lifts, then settles. Well that's not going to do the roof any good. Bet it leaks all over the lawnmower this winter. The lawn seems to wriggle as ferrets attempt to tunnel their way to safety.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

my impression

I am now doing my famous impression of the seven dwarves: Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy, Achey Whiney and Snot. No fever, just a cold. I am doing my best to sleep it off. Plese don't take eit personally if I don't kiss you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still lactose intolerant

I left writer's group early because, in spite of what they told me at the deli, there WAS cheese on my sandwich.

I got some nice photos yesterday on the way to work. A trickle of sunlight pours into the leaves above a wet sidewalk.

I stood and stared at this for a while so I could remember, in February, what a blue sky looks like.

Our dogwood tree is putting on some fancy color this year. Very dressy.

Our trip to Oz for my birthday is still rather up in the air - as it were- because Quantas doesn't have any seats available that week. Four and a half months in advance, and they're booked up. I'm still not managing to wrap my head around it. So DH has miraculously finagled a flight to Australia via Hong Kong. It adds a few extra dollars and a few extra miles,and several extra hours, and instead of doing the Sydney bridge climb on my birthday, we will be transferring from one airplane to another in the Hong Kong airport. Poor DH was fighting with this most of the morning, and when I got home he said, "Well, how does Hong Kong sound to you?" I pretty much fell apart. "I don't WANT to go to hong Kong. I have NEVER wanted to go to Hong Kong! If we can't go to Australia, I want to stay home!" It took a few minutes for me to realize that we were still going to Australia, only via Hong Kong. I didn't give him anywhere near the appropriate appreciation for his hard work, and I don't know if I can fix it. The only thing I can do is just enjoy the hell out of it all, and share my joy with him. We will be flying Cathay Airlines. It looks pretty plush. I am not worthy. But, what the hell - if I have to do it, I may as well do it with gusto!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yesterday was 11/09/09

Tomorrow will be 11/11/09. Since I write the date repeatedly on the days that I work, I am inordinately tickled by the number patterns. And I have not blogged recently because I got nothing to blog about.

I would love to go to Bernie Medoff's garage sale, but I probably couldn't even afford the post-it-notes. It's being run by the government, so you know they're gonna ask top dollar. No half-off on Sunday. No clearing out push for the last hour where they will let you have everything you can stuff in a grocery bag for $3. No dickering or dealing. I mean, what fun is that going to be? They'll probably ask $500 for the everyday china, and $60 for the used sheets. I wonder if the Medoffs HAVE unmatched coffee mugs? Random pieces of silverware that don't match? Old, well-worn cashmere sweaters with pills on the elbow? (Do indecently rich people get pills on their sweaters, or do they have servants that take care of that?)

May we all have cashmere sweaters someday - with or without pills!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Listen to the rain

After carrying that 12 pound package a mile yesterday, I started getting cramps in my shoulders. I should have used my head. I'm good at carrying things on my head, but people stare, and I didn't feel like being stared at so I put it in a shoulder tote and kept switching shoulders. I am such a total flabster! DH tells me that when he was in the Army, they did 50 mile hikes with a 60 lb pack. I don't know if I could do a two mile hike with a 60 lb pack. And I know I couldn't manage a 30 mile hike - even if someone else carried the water bottles.

So anyhow, my wussy shoulders were cramping up last night and I gave them the serious treatment. Tylenol PM puts me down for the count and FORCES everything to relax. I woke up pain-free, but soooo dopey. DH and I went to breakfast under a sunny sky with a few white puffs of clouds, and when we got back home, I sat down on the sofa for a minute and fell asleep. And he let me. While I slept, the sky clouded over,the wind picked up, and I was wakened by a giant growl of thunder. Rain is hammering on the roof, the trees are thrashing around, it's too dark to cast a shadow outside, and it has turned into the perfect day to go back to sleep. So who am I to ruin a perfect day? The cats can use a warm lap, DH is researching things to do in Sydney and Canberra, and (yawn) I'm sooo (Yawwwn) sleepy.

Friday, November 06, 2009

My lucky day

I saw a shooting star when I went to get the paper this morning.

I had a 7:30 Dr. appointment, and when I got to the clinic and got out of my car, I watched a great skein of geese fly honking overhead through the low clouds.

My blood-pressure is excellent. My weight is high-normal (not obese yet!) And I like my new doctor.

I dropped my car off at the shop, walked home, picked up a parcel and walked a mile to the FedEx office and a mile home, and in spite of clouds and rain all the rest of the day, I had this weather for my walk.

Two and a half miles is nothing to people who exercise regularly. I am inordinately proud of myself. I tidied the house, did loads of laundry, folded and put it all away, and then the mail came. OMG! OMG!

Heide has a child who had H1N1 and then got pneumonia. All my information about childhood pneumonia is from the dark ages, and I figured the poor kid would be on the sofa for two weeks after she got out of the hospital, so I picked up a couple of activity books for her and shipped them off. Heide was so touched that she sent my Christmas gift early. ISn't this scarf gorgeous? Lacy and delicate and elegant and it - has - gold - BEADS in it! My inner magpie is dancing and caracoling and doing the flibbertijibbet across the lawn! Heide, you shunta! I won't give it back, but really, you didn't need to. It's our Precious and we loves it we does.

And now DH is home and I don't have to walk to the shop to get my car. Surely I am among the most fortunate of women!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's Mr. Happy, the redheaded warrior of love

Word search for grownups. You know why young men name their penises? Because they don't want their whole life controlled by a total stranger.

Many of the names in the Dicktionery were coarse, angry and mean. And many were clever, affectionate, and gently self-effacing. I picked the ones I liked.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Living above the 45th parallel as we do gives a sun which slides a considerable distance this way or that in its rising. It has slipped quite a way south and has another 50 days before it turns around. With the time change, I am leaving work just after sunset now, and can look forward to a month when I am strolling out to my car in the dark. Still, when the sky is clear enough, I'll be able to enjoy all the sunrises.

When I went out for the paper this morning, I noticed that I cast a slight shadow toward the streetlight. The full moon was right behind me and so bright! There were a few thin high clouds - mare's tails - and the stars were just brilliant. We don't often get such clear nights. I stood there in the cold with my hands tucked into my armpits, gazing at the moon for a good five minutes.

Now I'm running late. GED at the jail today. Wahoo!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Word searches

Where does all the money go? This is an important thing for college students to learn. If you click to enlarge, is a suitable for you to print off and give it a shot?

What's for dinner? A crucial question for people in this age group. I remember when you could buy a can of Cambell's cream of Tomato for a quarter. I ate a lot of soup in college. And whatcha-got? stew most Thursday nights to clean out the fridge before the friday paycheck. And a word of caution: Adventurous eating does not include the slice of pizza that has been hiding among the dirty dishes on the counter for three days.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

All Saints' Day

Halloween was booming for us. Maybe because the neighbors put on such a show, and we got the spillover. And the lack of rain helped a bunch! Usually we get about 30 trick-or-treaters. This year - 62. DH had bought a bag of fun-sized candy to take to work, so when we ran out of full-sized candybars, we had to break into his stash. At the end, I even had to open a bag of chocolate kisses to keep the bowl from looking plundered. It was funny to see the older kids grab the biggest candy in the bowl, and the little kids going for the SHINY kisses. We had dozens of witches of all sizes, a score of Spidermen, about eleven Ironmen, any number of little princesses and a few vampires. My favorite was one lad who had taken a pair of black and white striped pantyhose, pulled them over his head, cut an eyehole on one side and plastered on the makeup where his one eye showed through. Very surreal.

The suburban parents have developed an interesting solution to the problem of getting from one cluster of "treating" houses to the next. Mom stays in the SUV and dad walks the littles up to the door. Then everyone piles back into the rig and they drive half a block to the next lighted house. When someone gets too tired and cranky, they can just get belted into their car seat and snooze while everyone else carries on.

We also got one mom who was maybe 17, with her infant in a stroller. The kid was half asleep by the time mom got to our house, but Mom carried on none-the-less. It's not just the kids who enjoy the trick-or-treating. We turned out the lights at 9PM.

Then, at 2 AM, the time changed. However, we neglected to tell the kitties. Usually we get up at 5 and Feed The Kitties. So, as far as they were concerned, it was 5:15 and we were negligent. It was only 4:15 by our clocks, but no one had reset the feline tummies. I got the first gentle whiskers and purrs snorted into the face. Patpat-the-nice-cat. "Go to sleep. It's too early." Then I hear purrs and grunts from DH's pillow. He pulled the covers over his head. The cat sat on his head, mentally cursing us a lazy, worthless slaves. Then a large rustle and grunt which I interpreted as cat launching herself from husband's head to shelf above the bed. Purring subsided as even that insult failed to produce the desired results. So, since I was lying on my back and occasionally fluttering my eyelashes, and since I am the primary breakfast slave, she began to bat things down on me. The bottle of night cream hit the pillow next to my head. A tin of Burt's Bees cuticle butter made a direct hit on my cheekbone. The empty lightweight plastic water glass nailed me right between the eyes. I folded my arms over my face and stubbornly refused to move. Unfortunately, this left my belly exposed. At 4:27, a ten pound furry cannonball landed just south of my navel, on top of a full bladder. I got up.

The kitties, (particularly Pepper, the enforcer) and I will have a long and serious talk today. Breakfast will be served an hour later for the next few months. Cats who don't understand this can spend a few nights in the garage.

For answering the door last night, I coated my face with silver eye-shadow. Ghostly and wierd, but not too scarey for the tykes. I washed very carefully last night, but I'm still finding the occasional glint and glitter. It makes me happy.

At 4:25 the sky was clear and full of bright cold stars. Now, at 7AM, we have muted daylight and fog. Very, very November. May yours be grand!