Saturday, September 29, 2007

I may be slow but I'm ahead of you....

The title of this post seems to be what was on this one person’s mind the other morning. I pulled up to the light on my way to work on a beautiful morning and stopped because it was red. Actually, I was the third vehicle back from the light. The light turns green and because the first vehicle, I’m calling the honkee, did not leap from his stationary position with the speed of light, he got honked at by the vehicle behind him, I’m referring to as the honker. This was not just a tap on the horn but a loud long BEEP that just had attitude written all over it. It took place on a stretch of two-lane highway, which has another stop signal exactly a mile away. The honkee took offense and decided to take revenge…he proceeded to travel this stretch of highway at exactly 28 miles per hour. The speed limit is 40 mph. Its morning rush hour, traffic is heavy and passing is not really an option here.

Honkee is not only getting even with the honker but with all the innocent vehicles behind the honker, which includes me. The honker was absolutely livid, weaving back and forth in passing attempts, chomping on his steering wheel, no doubt tailgating as a form of intimidation. I’m positive the honkee was getting pure delight out of this. If the honker could have sprouted wings and flown over that vehicle, I'm sure he would have. I honestly thought he was going to attempt to pass on the gravel shoulder….I’m positive it crossed his mind. I was becoming fearful and started easing back away from these two idiots. I figured if they caused a crash I was leaving myself plenty of room for escape. By now there is quite a line of cars traveling at this slow pace behind the honkee. This was not amusing. I didn’t come unglued over it because I knew it would only last a mile before the road widens. I would be turning and getting away from them. I did catch myself shaking my head and muttering about how crazy people have gotten.

I never got to see if these people were young or old, male or female. The honker was in a large SUV ahead of me and it blocked my view. But what is the MATTER with people? We are all driving potential lethal weapons and to play around like this is just plain wrong. It seems as though humanity is living under such great amounts of stress that they look for any and every reason to vent it. I know the honker’s day was totally ruined. If he is a boss, he probably went to work and screamed at his subordinates, who in turn took it out on each other or their spouses. The honkee probably felt justified and proud of himself and quite possibly went to work and bragged of his immature behavior but he must remember what goes around comes around. As for the rest of us, we were slowed up for a mile; people way back in the line never knew why and took it in stride. As for me, I went to work and told this same story and heard similar tales from my co-workers. I’m thinking that Anger Management should be a required course in high school.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bed hogs and clutter.....

I think I can honestly make the statement that for the better part of the last 40 years I have had an animal in bed with me….and no, I’m not talking about some sexy hunk of man either. ~ sigh ~ I’m talking about dogs and occasionally a cat. I grew up on a farm and animals sort of knew their place back then. Our dog slept in the back door stair landing. A lot of farm dogs sleep outside in their dog houses. Today’s pets demand more and we are happy to oblige.

I now have a rat terrier and its beyond me how such a small dog can morph into such a bed hog. I have awakened before, teetering on the edge of the bed, grasping a tiny corner of cover, only to look over and see my beloved pet stretched out as much as doggly possible (doggly ?)…taking up ¾ of the bed. Some dogs are worse bed hogs than others I’ve noticed. Suzie, my terrier is pretty bad. Tommy, my Lhasa Apso, always laid on top of the covers at the foot of the bed but his body had to be touching mine. If I moved over, he would wait about 20 seconds, then he would move so he was touching me. Tommy was the one who would sit in the hallway leading to the bedroom and whine when it got to be around 10 p.m. (bedtime). He wanted to go to bed but wouldn’t go without me.

Many years ago I saw a magazine ad….I can’t remember what they were promoting but I remember the ad. It showed a small dog lying in bed next to this woman. The caption said….”do they do it because they want to or because they know we want them to?”. I’ve often wondered what the answer was to that question but I suspect it’s a little of both. They want to be with us and we want them to be with us. Such devotion and loyalty they have to offer. What a wonderful gift God has given us….the family dog. (or cat if you prefer).

I’m doing Fall cleaning…since I’m backward to most people. The nip is in the air and soon the trees will turn into a gorgeous nature’s quilt of color. This is one of my favorite times of year. I have more energy at this time so that’s why I clean now. In cleaning, I’m finding stuff I had forgotten that I had. I need to start giving away some useful things to the less fortunate. I need to simplify my life. But you know as well as I do, every single time I throw something away or give it away, I invariably will need it. I think that is part of “Murphy’s Law”, isn’t it? Just like most stuff you buy nowadays….they tell you that if you have to return it, you have to return it in its original box with all original packing materials. So I have 1900 boxes in my basement, afraid to throw them out because the minute I do, the item that the box was for will disintegrate before my very eyes. I think I’m going to adapt Oprah’s guidelines….”if you haven’t used it or even thought about it in a year, get rid of it.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Best kept secret.....

Well, sooner or later you just KNEW I would hit on this subject, didn't you? Yep, its about pee and the inability to hold it at times. No one ever talked about this so when it starts to happen to you, you are horribly embarrassed. You might make mention of it to your doctor but heaven forbid you tell anyone else. Well, women are finally talking to each other about this kind of stuff. Kick embarrassment in the butt and take comfort in the fact that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Yep, even the most glamorous could have the same problem as you do. Soon you'll see TV commercials outlining the problem and ways you can deal with it. Nothing is sacred anymore, not after men started talking about the dreaded......ED.

I have discovered that a large percentage of women have this problem, especially after the age of 50. My doctor told me he could fix me up with surgery but I would have to lose some weight first. (like that's gonna happen) My sister in law had the surgery done but confided that the problem came back after about 15 years.

First it starts when you laugh hard. Oops.....a dribble. Then when you sneeze. Oops, Drat! Another dribble or two. Catch a cold and have a are in pee hell. Cough, cough, dribble, dribble. Lifting something a little heavy? Count on dribbling when you go to lift it. And forget about drinking some alcohol to the point of feeling relaxed. You will MORE than dribble if you cough or sneeze.....guaranteed. So, you start wearing a pad. I always thought those pads were for the very old who were bed-ridden and had a BIG problem......not just dribbles. I was wrong. These pads are terrific. Some say that we get the dribbles because of child birth, some say its because we're overweight (but I have skinny friends who have it, so I think that's wrong), some say its because we don't flex our muscles in that area enough. I don't think I'll comment on that one at this time. Some say it's just a part of getting old. And that's why I'm writing about it.

I think it is partly because of age. Just like I haven't had a full straight eight hour's sleep in years. I wake up every 3 hours or so and have to go potty. I haven't used an alarm clock in ages. I can time all these events to coincide with menopause. Yep. I think its all tied in together. Our systems are totally out of whack. The female hormones have packed their bags and left town. Existing male hormones have spread out, unpacked, set up their remotes and have settled in the recliner with a beer. They LIKE their new digs. Being in a female body, they don't have to prove anything like how strong they are or how loud they can pass gas.....they just have to sit back and cause minor annoyances. Male hormones love to complicate things. I now have chin hairs that amaze me. Black coarse ones. You could weave them into a door mat for god's sake. They multiply too. One time you have 10 to tweeze, the next time its 15. You will invariably feel one you've missed when you are in a room full of people and there is absolutely NO way you can pull it out and NO way you can keep from messing with it. You feel like its as noticeable as a 10 foot telephone pole hanging on your chin. It's an obsession. It will drive you crazy until you can get to the restroom, dig in your purse, grab your tweezers and pull that hummer out. No woman over the age of 50 is without tweezers, mirror and an extra pad in her purse. So even though I don't feel the need to adjust myself in public, I know my body is being influenced by male hormones. In addition to the chin hairs, I have a lot more nerve now. I use common sense most of the time, but will let my opinion be known where before, I just would keep my mouth shut. This is why menopausal women are feared. Frankly, I'm kinda liking it.......except for the chin hairs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Leave my bra alone.....

Unless you can fit into a size 32AA bra, you've known discomfort as far as bras go. It has been nearly a lifelong quest of mine to find a comfortable bra. I am a large-breasted woman and this is not as easy as some would think, unless you're a large-breasted woman. I think I have purchased just about every brand name bra on the market as well as some unknown brands. Right off the bat, underwires are a big no-no. They hurt. Simple as that. A few years ago I hit pay dirt. Gold. The pot at the end of the rainbow. I found a bra so danged comfortable I wanted to wear it all the time. I loved the feel of the material it was made out of, stretchy soft soft elastic. It felt so satiny smooth against your skin. I was, indeed, in bra heaven. It was a well-known brand and not cheap either, but if you want comfort you're gonna have to lay down some change. I had seen bras more expensive and not nearly as comfy so I was happy to do this. I bought five of them. At the time I had this funny little feeling way in the corner of my brain.....this little nagging voice telling me that I should stock up on them because every time I find something I like, be it personal products or appliances, they quit making them. The accuracy of that statement is so high, its downright scary. Its almost a guarantee.

But I bought the five and was happy as a clam for a while. Then one day I noticed they were having a sale and I thought that since it had been a while maybe I should re-stock. So I ordered online and bought five more. I was excited to get them because this time I ordered one each in pink and blue along with the traditional white. Not long after I received them, I was wearing my pretty blue one and was in the middle of the grocery store. I reached up for something and snap - I felt the strap break. Now this ranks high on the list of the ten most horrible things that can happen to a woman in public. My one breast was perky.... well, as perky as a large breast can be.....and the other one was hanging low, really low. I was so self-conscious and OF COURSE it was summer and I had no coat with me. I felt as though I had a huge neon sign above my head with a lighted arrow pointing at me ..... floppy boob, floppy boob here. In aisle five we have a woman with a floppy boob, come watch her bounce. Oh for crying out loud, I had to finish my shopping so I kept my one arm as close to my side as possible. I imagine people probably thought I was paralyzed.

After I got home and put the perishables away I checked out my situation. Yep, the strap broke all right. The ring that attaches the strap to the cup snapped in two because it was PLASTIC. I couldn't believe it! I went and got one of my old bras and sure enough, metal rings. They had saved costs by putting plastic rings on all the straps on the new bras. I was absolutely livid. I fixed that damn bra with a diaper pin and wore it. It's just too expensive to throw out like that. Nothing is more unflattering as having to wear underwear that is pinned together. Even though no one can see it, YOU know its there. I wrote a letter to the company and I told them about my experience. I chastised them for replacing those rings with plastic. (any idiot should know by the bra size that the woman wearing it is going to have some heavy duty breasts to hold up) This just HAD to be man who came up with this idea as they have absolutely NO comprehension of the HELL we go through just to look perky for them. The company very generously sent me an apology letter and a new bra. Now WHAT good is this going to do me when the ring holding the strap is still plastic? Do you really think that I am going to chance wearing another one of these bras out in public without the insurance of diaper pins reinforcing the straps? Not on your sweet ass.

I'm back to wearing the original ones I had if I leave the house (with the sensible metal rings) and I haven't purchased any more of their bras online. If I buy another one, I will have to look at it and see if they have smartened up and changed those rings. If not, I will, once again, be on my quest for that perfect bra. ~sigh~.

Monday, September 17, 2007

That squeaky wheel.....

One morning my neighbor behind me said, "did you know your tree caught on fire last night?". Saying no, I glanced up and saw charring on the side of the tree way up next to the electrical wire. Yes, she said "the neighbor over there saw it and called the power company about it but it went out on its own." So later that day the power company responded and put an insulated wrap around the wire. We thought all was well. A couple days later the insulated wrap caught on fire, which caught the tree again. It charred a bigger spot but did go out on its own again. The power company came and took down that tree. It was a huge oak tree in my fenced yard. They did most of it while I was gone. I came home just as they were finishing up. I walked out there to brush and branches all over my back yard and a naked ugly tree stump at least 10 feet tall. They informed me that it was "the homeowner's responsibility to clean the rest of it up; the power company does not do that". I gasped for breath and said, "how can I possibly clean this up. I'm an old woman, I don't have a man here to do this". They shrugged and said "sorry", but I knew they really weren't.

My other neighbor was leaning on the fence watching with a twinkle in his eye. He's older, and therefore much wiser, than me. I whined to him, "they said they aren't going to clean it up". "Yep," he replied sagely, "they won't do it, they don't care about their customers." He walked away shaking his head. My head was spinning at this point. My yard looked like a compost pit and that tree stump was seriously ugly.

I came inside and dialed up my power company. After being transferred a couple times I finally reached the right department. I told the girl my plight and she stated, " I'm sorry, m'am, but it's the homeowner's responsibility to clean up the debris; the power company does not do that". I asked to speak to her supervisor. "certainly" she chirped. Another female voice came on the line. I explained my situation to her, she stated "I'm sorry, m'am, but it's the homeowner's responsibility to clean up the debris; the power company does not do that." I asked to speak to her supervisor. "certainly" she trilled. Another female voice came on the line. I began explaining the situation for the third time. I will have to admit my voice was getting a bit shaky and I was close to tears by this time. Maybe its because I sounded so pathetic that she stopped mid-sentence in her pre-programmed response of "I'm sorry m'am but it's the homeowner's - .... "wait" she said, "just how much of a stump did you say is there?" I told her. She sounded doubtful. I said maybe I'm off a couple feet, I'm short and everything looks tall to me, but its got to be at least 8 feet, probably more. She said"oh well, that's just WRONG". Oh Merciful Heavens!. I had her! She was actually interested. I went on, enthusiastically, "I can send you pictures by email." She said "yes, send me those pictures". I literally flew outside, got my camera and snapped shots from different angles, then came back inside and got them off to her. a wonderful thing.

A few minutes later, she called me back. Her voice had an edge to it....that told me that heads were going to roll. It was late afternoon by then so she asked if I would be home in the morning, I said yes and she said someone would be here to check it out. At 9 a.m. a man from the power company pulls in with my email, including the pictures, in his hand and asks to see the area. I show him to my backyard. I can't read his face but he makes a phone call. Within ONE hour I had a crew here. They cleaned up my back yard of all the brush and branches, cut the stump off to below ground level and left the bigger logs, cut to fireplace length, for my use. My neighbor across the street got the benefit of that as I don't have a fireplace.

I love love LOVE this woman. I sent her a letter of appreciation. I wanted to send her flowers and candy! Hell, I wanted to buy her a mink coat. But thought that would be overkill.

This did show me that in every large organization there are STILL some people who really care.....all you have to do is JUST GET TO THEM. I had to go up three levels to get to her. So, don't give up. That old saying about the squeaky wheel.....well, its still true. As for my old neighbor, he just shook his head and said, "I gotta hand it to you, you got 'um to do it and I never thought they would."!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sharp tongue vs quick wit.....

I was thinking about my ex husband’s sister the other day. He comes from a very large family so he has many sisters, but this ONE really took the cake. Number one, she was absolutely gorgeous. She had a beautiful home, beautiful children, beautiful husband; she could cook, she could sew, she could sing. She was talented in just about everything you could be talented in. Just being around her intimidated me to the max. I supposed she intimidated most women. The only thing I had going for me was that I was about 15 years younger than she was. I just don’t know how these women DO it. Of course she didn’t work outside the home like I did so it did give her extra time that I didn’t have. But who am I kidding…if I had the extra time I would have just sat on the couch and watched TV or else read a book or maybe gabbed to my friends on the phone….or just plain napped. I would have never endeavored to make my own custom made slipcovers for the family room furniture like she did. She involved herself in fundraisers and rubbed elbows with all the upper crust. Only problem she had was her mouth. She was famous for opening her mouth and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I suppose when she was younger it was thought to be cute, but after she turned 25, it was no longer cute. She was whispered about among other members of the family as being the one who could most certainly insult anyone with the least amount of thought going into it. Being more of the type to ‘rub elbows’ with the blue collar population, we didn’t associate with her too much. On occasion she would give us a call or stop by. I think it happened 3 times in 21 years. The one time she stopped by she had on her tennis whites, driving her white Vette. With her great legs and deep tan, she was something to behold. She came in, checked out our digs, stayed for maybe 20 minutes and left, happily waving as she roared off. She had managed to say only about 4 or 5 insulting things in that length of time. All you could do is just breathe a sigh of relief when she would leave.

However, this one time I really did get her. I still laugh at it to this day. She called one day after not hearing from her in maybe 5 or 6 years. After asking how everyone was she said to me. “Do you still have a weight problem?”. (do bears crap in the woods?) Well now I was in a mischievous mood that day, so the answer just rolled right off my tongue easy as pie. I said, “Lord, no – why I’m down to a size 7.” (I did wear a size seven……..SHOE). I figured I wouldn’t see her for years anyway. She stammered and said…oh good, that’s wonderful.

I haven’t seen her in years and years. I had heard through the grapevine that she has arthritis now and its hard for her to get around. Having that myself, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone and was sorry to hear it, but we all do get older; time stops for no one, not even gorgeous women who can often be very shallow.

My daughter turned 40 yesterday and was in tears. We didn’t celebrate it because she also has a cold. We will celebrate it in a few days when she’s feeling better, physically AND emotionally. I remember when I turned 40. That was a hard one for me so I can sympathize with her. There is nothing I can say that will make her feel better either. I told her that I have accomplished more after 40 then before and to bear that in mind. With age comes wisdom. I’m not going to clue her in on Mr. Gravity yet; this just isn’t the right time. Frankly I’m having a hard time believing that I actually have a child that old. The fifty hours I spent in labor with her are still vivid in my mind.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sometimes you just gotta lie......

Yep, sometimes you have to just flat out lie. Even though I don’t really count it because you’re not deceiving a PERSON, you’re deceiving a computer and that’s always challenging. I have a favorite department store for children’s clothes. I LOVE this place. I’ve never had any trouble placing orders or receiving them for YEARS now. I always watch for free shipping and when they have it, you can rest assured that I am going to order something. BTW, for those of you who don’t know this, you can go to and look for your store to see if they are offering any promotional codes. This can save you a BUNDLE. I check it out every time I’m going to shop online. Copy down the promo code and type it on the check out page from your store when they ask for one, and BINGO….you may get 20% off your order (more or less). Make sure you read the conditions (like maybe the order has to be at least $50 or maybe its good for only shoes).

Now, back to what I was originally talking about. I’ve ordered from this one store for years and have never had a problem UNTIL they decided to upgrade their web-site. Now if I try to order online, the ‘shopping bag’ will only keep two items in it, when I try to add a third, it will completely empty out and I have to start all over. Grrrr. I finally gave up and placed my order over the phone, which was fun since the items I wanted were online items and had no catalog number showing on my screen. Of course I got a MALE representative. So here I am trying to explain that the dress I want has an empire waist and eyelet lace. Poor guy. But he managed to take my order. I had placed an order a month ago before they started all this crazy updating business and there was a pair of shoes not included when my package arrived. I had called about that and the rep told me that I should receive them within 48 hours and that was over a week ago.

So TODAY I finally manage to get a hold of them. Why did I wait so long, you say? Well, I’ve been trying to call them since last Wednesday and their computerized phone kept saying, “we are experiencing an unusually heavy volume of calls at this time, please hang up and try your call again later”. Well, I have been trying later….I even tried at midnight and still got the same response. So this morning I called with a glint in my eye and determination in my soul. I WAS going to get satisfaction or else. I. CAN. DO. THIS. So I called, got the same response and then pressed the number stating that I wanted to PLACE an order. HA! No business is going to turn down money! After all, its YOU that has to wait, not them. If you’re willing to wait PLUS spend money….well, then that’s all the better. And Yep….just as I expected. I got through to a representative and only had to wait maybe a minute. I managed to get everything taken care of. She stated that when they updated the system, they lost some of their orders and that pair of shoes just happened to be one of them. She reordered them, plus sent them out Second Day Air free of charge (free shipping, not the shoes) because I had been inconvenienced. I’m happy that I finally got this resolved but now I must shake my finger at this business. Shame on you! I’m a good customer, you have many good customers and THIS is how you treat us all? By LYING. Telling us that you’ve got an extremely high volume of calls for 5 days straight is a bit ridiculous. But…..then again maybe the general public was all calling and complaining about the updated web-site and not being able to place orders, just like I was. Sometimes progress isn’t so great. When something works well, why mess with it…but then if everyone had tunnel vision like me we would be driving around in Model T Fords!

So while I’m on this train of thought, here is a web-site that helps you bypass the dreaded computer for some businesses when you have an important call to make and you want a HUMAN. Go here There are just too many businesses that are putting computerized responses on their phones now. I have even gotten solicitation calls from computers. Now THAT’S the height of laziness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Always a queue.....

I usually am a patient person UNLESS I have to wait in line. I despise waiting. Being the second or third one back is not too bad, but when I’m more than that, it grates on my last nerve. Ever notice how you have to wait in line to do most anything now? Groceries, gas stations, doctor’s offices, store checkouts, customer service, fast food, voting, banks…..oh yes….BANKS. This is where it gets just downright ridiculous – especially the drive-through. The drive-through is for our convenience, for when its just plain inconvenient to get out of the car and go inside….like when you have a small child (or children) in tow. I cannot BELIEVE the people who will wait until they get up to the window or the station where the carrier is and then start to sign their documents, search for their license, bank cards or anything else that’s needed. There can be 4 lines at a drive-up window and I will ALWAYS pick the slowest one. The one where the person is having a problem and is carrying on an emotional conversation over the speakers about “HOW COULD THEIR ACCOUNT BE OVERDRAWN?”. I’ve already written about my experiences being behind an unprepared twit in a fast food drive-through line and that’s the PERSON’S fault, not the fault of the establishment. BUT, how about when you have an appointment with a doctor for say 10:00 a.m. and when you arrive you find out that 6 other people also have a 10:00 appointment with the same doctor, of which there is only ONE. He has not cloned himself as yet. Your wait time is a no-brainer. I just don’t understand why they do this to you. Do they take wicked delight in seeing how much your blood pressure will increase with each 15 minute interval you are forced to wait. And when your name is called and you finally get into a room, this is no indication that you will be seen within 10 or 15 minutes. I’ve had to wait 30 minutes in a room before. So when the nurse finally takes your blood pressure and remarks, “hmmm, it’s a little high”…..geez…now it couldn’t be because I’m a tad UPSET because I’ve had to wait so long, now could it? The eye doctor puts a whole new twist on this waiting business. After the initial wait and brief check up and questions (which you’ve answered before every single time you’ve been there) and the vision test, then they put the dreaded drops in your eyes and send you out to the waiting room AGAIN. This time, even reading is difficult so you just sit there and stare at CNN on TV. In a bit, you’re called in for the second time and walking in a fog, you make your way into an examination room. Seems like you’re looking at the world through a dirty pane of glass. After the doctor looks into your eyes and mutters some medical stuff to his assistant and then tells you all looks ok but your eyes are changing which is expected because of Old Age. After that, you’re given some paper sunglasses and sent out into the sun to drive home. I know what Dracula must feel like. The sun really HURTS your eyes and since you have to make appointments several months in advance there is no way you can schedule it for a cloudy day. Night appointments would be nice except the headlights would probably REALLY do you in.

When I was much younger I know I didn’t have to wait in lines like I do now. Maybe I waited a little at the grocery store but nothing horrendous. Don’t you just love the people who have a full cart and they whip into the express lane (15 items or less)? I have let people with just a few items go ahead of me before in the regular line just because some idiot was in the express lane with a full cart. I hate to think we have become a non-caring society. I would rather chalk it up to the fact that most... some people are just plain clueless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In retrospect......

I’m going to take a break today and not write much. Its September 11 and the memories of what happened on this fateful day will always be on my mind. Try to do just ONE random act of kindness toward another person each day. You’ll feel so good for it and someday you’ll get it back….guaranteed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cheater Shepherd's for the soul

I’m all about being real. I don’t like deception but every once in a while, it’s a girl’s best friend in the kitchen. When I was a stressed out working mom I fooled many a member of my family with this recipe. It’s Cheater Shepherd’s Pie and it tastes great. Your family will think that you slaved a good while in the kitchen preparing this delight. Its good old meat, potatoes and veggies and what man doesn’t love all that. However, a man will absolutely detest it if he knows it takes less than an hour to prepare. So, its essential that we keep the ease of preparation to ourselves. That being the case, we are ready to begin. The following recipe will feed a family of four. You will need 1 pound of ground chuck, your favorite brand of instant mashed potatoes (the taste of instant potatoes can be vastly improved by adding some MSG to the recipe as you make them – remember this) and 3 normal sized cans of regular Campbell’s vegetable soup (the alphabet kind, not the beef one). THAT’S IT. Now…break up and brown the ground chuck in a large pan, drain it, add the 3 cans of soup (undiluted) and a half “soup can” of water (more or less to taste), mix well and while its on simmer, make up enough mashed potatoes for your family. Now you can be fancy and put the meat mixture in a casserole dish and then top it with the mashed potatoes and put it in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes….or you can just dish it up from the pans you fixed it in. Put the potatoes on each individual plate and top with the meat mixture. This is so so good. Yummy. Try it..…your kids will love you for it. You will love that your hubby thinks you spent a lot of time fixing it. If you use paper plates, your clean up is two pans. Yippee.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

And she wore a black fur coat.....

Since retirement, I’ve had a lot more time to observe many different things. Today I’ll comment on the squirrels in my yard. Oh and an evil bunch they are too. My old dog, Tommy, lived in dog hell because of them. (Note:Tommy passed away a little over a year ago from old age, bless his doggie heart) They took pure delight in teasing him unmercifully. He was just a little guy (Lhasa Apso) but he was pretty fast. Not fast enough to catch a squirrel though…..and THEY KNEW IT. I think they had nightly meetings and planned their strategies for the next day. They were good too. Each one had his own duty to fulfill, his own personal bit of torture. They teased, they taunted, they bullied, they called him names. They would let him almost get to them and then rush off with the speed of light, shouting na na na na na and making faces. They would come down from the safety of their large commune in the big oak tree and park themselves just out of his reach and chatter insults at him. They threw acorns at him repeatedly. I’m not lying about this, honest. Oh you name it, they did it to him. They were relentless.

One holiday weekend during the summer my daughter and her family came over with the intention of staying for the fireworks and then just staying the night. She not only brought the kids, she brought her dog, Mollie, a black Lab. Molly and Tommy had met on several occasions and got along great, so we knew everything would be ok in that regard. It wasn’t long before the dogs wanted out, so out they went, into the backyard, into Tommy’s nightmare. The squirrels were waiting to carry out their fun. As soon as the dogs went out, the squirrels started coming down from their respective trees with glints in their eyes and smiles on their lips. The women and children were lined up on the telephone wires so they could watch the fun. What a cold bunch they were. One of them ran up to Tommy, did a last minute 90 degree turn and jumped onto the deck then to the roof where he hurled insults. Mollie watched. I think Tommy was telling her that this was his rotten life, this was the hell he was forced to endure. Another squirrel came down while the others egged him on and proceeded to taunt and tease poor Tommy. With the speed of which I’d never seen before, Mollie sprang into action. She was a black blur as she whirled, charged the squirrel and caught him at the base of the tree before he could even attempt to get off the ground to safety. There was a loud crunch, snap and she dropped his lifeless body on the ground. Tommy was in awe. He trotted out to her, sniffed the body and then looked up at her adoringly as if to say “my heroine”. Mollie brushed her paws off and casually walked back to the house with Tommy running circles around her, panting and whispering sweet nothings in her ears. He was infatuated and amazed. The squirrels were in shock.

I’m sure a town meeting was called immediately. The head squirrel announced that it was obvious there was a new dog in town and this one meant business. He announced his deep sorrows for his comrade and condolences for the family of the fallen but also stated that for the safety of the town in general they were going to have to leave the area. He sent them home to begin packing and set guards out to watch for the assailant in the black fur coat that had taken out one of their best. The squirrels disappeared from my yard. I don’t know where they went. I think they all went into the protected witness program because their fear was so great. I did not see them again until this summer. Yes….they're baaaack. It’s a whole new generation. I’m sure the elders all tell the story of the large black-furred one but these guys are young, fearless and don’t listen to the old folks. These guys come right up on my deck and look in the sliding glass door. They want me to know they have GUTS. They are wearing black leather, have tattoos and no respect for their elders. They frequently chew through my telephone wires just to prove a point. They are bullies of the worse kind.

I have a new dog. She’s still a puppy and is full of energy and curiosity. Abby is a rat terrier and has seen those squirrels and instinct tells her that she shouldn’t like them and she doesn’t. Abby is FAST. Because Abby can jump my chain link fence like it wasn’t there, I have to keep her on a 30’ tether. That’s the only thing stopping her from reaching the squirrels. They KNOW THIS and have begun their teasing. I know the squirrel elders are just shaking their heads at the ignorance of their young community but I’m sure they are remembering that in their youth, they did all the same things. *Sigh* I hate to bring violence to my peaceful little corner of the world, but I may have to get Mollie over here again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

What's up with this.....

When I graduated from high school I wore a size 6 ½ or 7 shoe, depending on the style of the shoe. I kept those sizes for many years. Then somewhere along the way I went to a size 7 ½ . One would think that you would keep the same shoe size forever. HA. Not so. I just had to get another pair of shoes for all around wear and had to get a size EIGHT. 7 ½ was almost OK but the 8 felt better. Maybe I could understand it if I had a job where I was on my feet a lot (hairdresser or waitress) but believe me, I’m off my feet as much as possible. Maybe I could understand if I exercised by walking a lot. My form of exercise is walking from the kitchen to the bathroom. I once read SOMEWHERE…who knows where since I read so much….that there are two things on humans that continue to grow through-out our lives and its our noses and our ears. So what is with my feet? Maybe its just that, in my golden years, I’m more into comfort than style, but a size and a half? WHAT is the deal here? Are they making shoe sizes smaller now? Yeah, yeah, that must be it. Same way they are making clothes sizes smaller. It would be so great to pick up a size 12 again and have it fit but they’ve altered the measurements so drastically I’ve been forced to increase by several sizes. Yep, that’s just what happened. Sigh.

And that thought brings to mind my recent mind-altering experience which is not for the faint of heart. After my shower one day, I actually dared to look at myself in the FULL LENGTH mirror. After the initial shock wore off, I just stood there mesmerized. I was never a swimsuit queen for sure, but at least everything used to be in the right place. Gravity came to town and gravity won. Yep, there’s a new sheriff in these here parts and things are gonna stay changed. (spaghetti western music playing in background) My girlfriend and I were talking one day about the perfect breasts. She said she had read someplace that the definition of a perfect size was if you could place a pencil under the breast and it would stay. I could place a Buick under mine, what does that define. And what’s the deal with all this extra ME under the arms; it actually…..sways! So much for bragging up exercise. With all the typing I’ve done in my lifetime I should have the firmest arms in the northern hemisphere.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

And the beat goes on......

Last night I was lying in bed, trying to find a comfortable spot so I could go to sleep. At my age, this has become…shall we say, challenging. After settling for a few minutes I noticed that the pounding noise I had been hearing was not my heartbeat after all, but was from car speakers and it was steady instead of getting fainter.

Now on a regular basis we have vehicles that pass by the house on audio waves; the wheels are not touching the ground, they are floating on the vibrations produced by the music coming from within. Sometimes I relive the movie, Jurassic Park. Remember when the T-Rex was coming and the vibrations made the water in the glass move? I sometimes think of War of the Worlds. The noises made by the aliens are a close comparison. I live in the suburbs. I have lived in the same house for 36 years and it’s a bit more built up now than it was when we first moved here, but its still not “city life”. The noise….can I describe it any other way? No….I don’t think so. The noise coming from these vehicles simply amazes me. Number One, I cannot imagine what the audible level must be INSIDE the vehicle when your can hear that same vehicle coming from at least a half mile away. I can’t fathom how this could be enjoyable. To me, its seriously dangerous. How could you possibly hear a siren? I have often wondered what city dwellers must go through if they live close to an intersection. The noise must be horrendous. Say 2 cars are stopped at a light and both have these loud speakers going except its two different beats. That has to be interesting to say the least. (headache, anyone?)

There is a subject who lives close to my neighborhood, just where I have yet to determine. Most of the time, he passes by about 2 in the morning. I know what he drives because I’ve looked. I’m using the general term of “he”, but it could be a “she”, although doubtful. His speakers are so loud, you can honestly hear him coming from more than a half mile away. His vibrations have caused pictures to go crooked on my walls and knick knacks to fall from my shelves. (BTW, “Blue Tack” is a putty-like substance that’s great for keeping pictures straight and knick knacks in their place.) Anyway, I have called this person many unflattering names, muttering them as I punch my pillow after being awakened by his “vibes”. I often have dreams about cutting the wires to his speakers, then wrapping him up in duct tape and forcing him to listen to someone’s nails on a chalkboard for hours on end….but he’d probably like it.

Now, back to what I started out with. The pounding noise was not getting any weaker so I looked outside. There are 3 cars pulled off to the side of the road, one of them has the speakers set to “jack-hammer”. Apparently some one had committed a faux pas and now we were going to have a flexing of the muscles, mostly jaw. People were out of their cars, the cuss words went back and forth, doors were slammed, then tires were squealed with more cussing following that. It finally dispersed with everyone going their separate ways, each satisfied that they had given the other a “what for”. After confirming that no one was lying prone in the middle of the street, I trudged back to my bed, slowly shaking my head from side to side. Remember? I told you I do that a LOT.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fast Food Drive-through

I don’t work every day but on the days that I do, I whip into a drive-through for coffee and something sweet to take into work with me. (hey, I wouldn’t want to waste away to nothing here!) As you know, time is important on the morning commute. I have this down to a fine art. I zip in, order my stuff and am back out onto the highway in less than one minute 98% of the time. Its not only impressive, its downright amazing.

The other morning I knew I was in trouble when this person pulled into the drive-through lane ahead of me and failed to negotiate the curve, had to stop, back up and try again. She placed her order and I know from much experience at that establishment, they tell you to proceed to the second window. She proceeds to the FIRST window and stops. I place my order and line up behind her. Seconds are ticking by………

I am tempted to beep my horn, but refrain. She sits there oblivious. I sit behind her doing a slow burn, fingers tapping the steering wheel. I’m not sure if someone from inside motioned her to move on ahead but she finally moves forward. I now have 2 cars behind me. Seconds are ticking by……

I see the doors open at the second window….ONLY THEN does she start checking her purse, her pockets, the seats, everywhere for money. I have teeth marks on my steering wheel by this time. Her hand comes out and she gives the order taker some money. My foot quivers and starts to come off the brake but no food changes hands yet. She continues to search her vehicle. I thought she might even get out so she could look under the seats better but she didn’t. About now, I am muttering cuss words I didn’t even know that I knew. There are now 3 cars behind me. Seconds are ticking by…...

Out comes her hand, she gives more money to the order taker, still no exchange of food. I am now saying “Oh for the Love of God” out loud, and I am honestly tempted to yell out my window…”hey, I’ll pay for the rest…just get her outa here!”

She comes up with more money and apparently that does it as food is given and she drives off. Precious seconds are ticking by…...

I pull up, the order taker says, “Sorry, she gave me all change”. I say “yes, I figured”…”thank you” and I’m on my way.

So, to the airhead twit who drives a silver Saturn…..I know what you drive and I know what the back of your head looks like and if I ever see you again I’m going to kick your ass. SO THERE! I made it to work on time by the way, no thanks to her.

But this raises a question….MY universal question. WHY. Why would somebody DO that? That these people are actually OUT there, breathing and walking among us, not to mention DRIVING….is really scary. They are breeding too…..having little twits who learn to do the same things. Lord have Mercy on us all.

Monday, September 3, 2007

One of the thousands of things I've learned.....

I noticed that my neighbors had to hook up to city water recently after their well went dry. It brought back a memory. Rewind....25 years. I wake up to a storm and no power. Now I have to get ready for work and no power means, among other things, no water. I can take my toothbrush and paste to work with me. I can comb my hair and slap on some makeup using a flashlight, but how can I "wash up"? I loved Noxema at the time and used it on my face on a regular basis. So I used that to cleanse my face....don't have to use water or rinse with that. I figured what worked on the top part could work on the lower. (hey, give me a break, I'm half asleep and a stressed out working mom) So I proceed to freshen myself up in the nether regions using Noxema. WAHOO!. Lord 'ave Mercy! DON'T ever do that! For 2 seconds it actually felt OK, then it started burning like hell. I was in a mess for sure. I am hopping around the bathroom in semi-darkness, cussing myself for my sheer stupidity, and my thought processes are in full speed ahead trying to come up with a solution FAST. I ended up using Pond's cold cream and another washcloth. I tell you, I had the softest butt and vagina in town, I just KNOW it.
So, from then on, after dishes were done, I would fill up the whistling tea kettle with water, JUST IN CASE. I no longer have to do that as I no longer have a well. One good thing about paying for still have it when the power goes off.
Stick with me and I'll keep you knowledgeable on all kinds of important stuff.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I used to notice......

I'm a people watcher...always have been and probably always will be as long as I keep my wits about me. In my younger days, I remember often seeing older people, oldsters, seniors...however you want to describe them...walking around and slowly shaking their head from side to side, while muttering to themselves. I always wondered I know why. I catch myself doing it now...a LOT. I'm a baby-boomer on the edge.
I didn't even know what a BLOG was a year ago. Then work associates of mine gave me their BLOG address and told me to check it out. I got curious one day and started clicking on "next blog" and, one link led to another so I found a lot of them that I enjoyed immensely. But I did notice that mostly all of them are written by people much younger than me. Although enjoyable, I can no longer identify with having a houseful of kids. I thought maybe I'd start a BLOG and put down some of my thoughts. YIKES! That's almost scary. Maybe I'll find out that I'm not alone in my thought processes (at least I hope not).
So, to start, I'll mention that I was retired, then went back to work part-time to make ends meet after my grown children (I have two) had problems making ends meet and asked Mom (that would be ME) for some help here and there. I know this has to be a familiar scenario with the way the job market is and the price of things in general. I also have 3 grand children and they have needs too. How many "My Little Ponies" can one child need? My grand son is a teenager and OMG how things have changed since MY kids were teens! I could write a book just on that subject alone.
In the meantime, I will relax with a White Russian and plan my next strategies to keep my sense of humor from hightailin' it and leaving me totally defenseless.