Saturday, December 29, 2012

Laughter is, indeed, contagious......

This has been around for a while but a friend recently sent it to me and I laughed just as hard as the first time I heard it.
I figure we ALL need a good laugh about now.  Listen to this and not laugh.....I double-dog dare you! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm done, I'm done.......well, almost done

You can't even see the bed in my guest/computer room due to all the packages, wrapping paper and miscellaneous other stuff......but I'm done.  The groceries are all in. Of course they have to be cooked....but at least they are here.

I thought I was done a few days ago but someone gave me an unexpected present and I had to scramble to find them something in return. Truth be told, everything was so picked over at this late date that I ended up giving away something I had bought for myself a few months ago and had never gotten around to using it. The recipient was delighted. Now that's the spirit of real giving....I don't know if I can find a replacement....but I'm glad I made someone happy.  I've had to work a lot, filling in for vacations taken usually at this time of year. I'm tired.

We had several days of gloomy, rainy weather. Since I go into work when it's dark and come home when it's dark.....that rainy driving is a tense situation for me. I have problems driving at night anyway. They need to paint those lines bright fluorescent lime green so you can see them better. Probably people behind me figured I was drunk because I was sometimes right ON the lane line. I'm very thankful when I pull into my garage each night and tell God so right then and there. Then the weather changed and it got COLD and windy. Gusts to over 50 mph and there were some power outages. Thank God it wasn't around here. The wind chill for the last two days has been SEVEN. Brrrrrrrr.  Friday the snow came in and with the wind, it was a blizzard. I'm just glad we didn't get more snow than we did. We probably didn't score much more than 2 or 3 inches of the dreaded white stuff.

We have decided to make our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and open a few things then as well. Christmas Day we can then fully relax and enjoy the the kids open their gifts and maybe watch some movies. Dinner will be easy as all we have to do is warm up left-overs. We're doing this because I have to go back to work the day after Christmas and I'd like to have one day to relax before I get back into the old routine again.  Since we all fight over the white meat on the turkey, I bought two turkey breasts.....ALL white meat.  I did this once before and it worked out so well with nothing going to waste.

I had to laugh about this. I've been doing my old trick (random act of kindness) by buying the person's order who is behind me in the drive-up at Dunkin' Donuts. I have a set limit I won't go over but most orders fall within my limit and I know I've surprised quite a few people.  Well, my boss gave me a Christmas card with a pre-paid Dunkin' donuts card in it.....just about the amount I've spent this year on my random acts of kindness. So kindnesses you do, really DO come back to you in one form or another.  He has no idea that I do these little random it made it even more special.

At this time of year it's hard for me to keep a smile on my face and to keep a good mood....mainly because I have so many things that need to be done. There are more people than you would think that come into work and complain about the dumbest things at this time of year. I truly think they are miserable and lonely and this is their way of getting attention around the holidays.

My sense of humor packed its bags and left town a few years ago. I managed to get some of it back but now I've noticed that my Patience left also.  Patience left me a suicide note so I don't think I'll ever get it back again.....or maybe Patience just told me that so I wouldn't try and hunt it down. So.....I'm without Patience and very little sense of humor and when I go grocery shopping, seated on my little riding cart....I am NOT anyone to mess with. Even so.....I still do have some fairness and so I ended up splitting the last 10 boxes of squash in the county with another woman who looked equally as frazzled.  Merry Christmas sister.....I know what you're going through.

Merry Christmas to all of you. If you don't celebrate Christmas, Merry or Happy whatever or whoever you believe in. My desire is to wish good things to good people. May this coming year be kind to us.....we are battle scarred and desperately need it.  Big hugs. I love you all.  Above all.....keep smilin'.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble, Gobble.....whatever

I cannot believe that it's Thanksgiving already.....seems like I was just complaining about fourth of July fireworks a couple weeks ago. As they say.....time flies!

So far our weather hasn't given us much grief. Today is in the middle 50's and tomorrow is promising 60. Oh yes!  I could have this kind of weather all winter and be extremely happy.

Everyone is coming to my house but my family is small so it won't be very crowded. It smells wonderful in here as the turkey is nearly done. After it comes out of the oven, the pies go cherry and one pumpkin. Today is a lot of work but tomorrow is when we.....or the cook at least....reaps the rewards. A yummy dinner just by warming up leftovers!!

I wish everyone reading a wonderful holiday, filled with good memories. Our dinner this year is a little less than last year because of higher costs, but it's still plenty and we are grateful for it.  I don't do Black Friday ..... unless it's online. Online shopping is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

Oh yes.....just wanted to throw in this tidbit. My daughter made a last minute run to the grocery store yesterday to pick up more butter and some squash. They didn't have the squash that I like so we will go without that this year but.....while in the store, this idiot in a truck as big as a bus backed into her front bumper. No damage on his monster truck but his trailer hitch caught her front bumper and cracked it all the way looks terrible. she was reading the note he slipped under her wiper blade, a girl sitting in a car next to her told her she saw it happen. She didn't get his license number as she thought he was doing the right thing by leaving her a note. WRONG.  He honestly and truly wrote, "a girl watching thinks I'm leaving you a note with my info cause I hit your car, but I'm not. hahahahaha.".

Sigh.  Yes, they are out there.  The lowlifes.  And they're breeding.  May God have mercy on us. In the meantime you just don't wanna know what I'm wishing will happen to him.  And yes....part of those wishes may have to do with a dependency on Vi@gr@  with guaranteed side effects of severe eye-watering, paint-peeling flatulence.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving......and if Black Friday is your thing, I wish you many bargains.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh....Tis a Sad Day in Mudville....

Talk about DIEHARDS!  You know I received yet ANOTHER Robo-call at 8:30 last night (our polls close at 9). Last weekend when I received 3 calls in a ten minute range, I took the phone off the hook and it stayed off until Monday night. I figured on the day of voting we'd be safe......HA, so much for that!

Lots of sad people today but also there are a lot of happy ones. Never have I seen the country so DIVIDED, when we are supposed to be UNITED.  Wow.....such a place in history this will take.  On a happier note for some of us, local tax increases have been voted down.....but what surprises me is that they were just barely voted down.  For me, personally, I do not have any extra money for higher taxes right now.  I am so hoping that the economy will turn around enough that I will once again be back where I was 10 years ago when I retired.  .....Hey. I can dream.....right?

It's bright and sunshiney out today and the colors of the leaves that are left on some trees paint a pretty picture. However I have a task to do that is not so pretty. My friend and I are going to the funeral home 35 miles away to pay our respects. A co-worker's son has died.....and he was only thirty! He fought hard....he had been ill for a little over a year. I can't even begin to imagine the pain associated with that and I pray to God that I never do know it. No one should ever have to bury their child.

In my area we did get a little bit of "Sandy". The high winds caused many branches to go down and take wires with them. I was without power for 17 hours and it got pretty darn cold in here.  But I'm very grateful we got it back that quickly when I see what's still going on east of me.

I am a horrible blogger and will be surprised if any of you even check out my site anymore. Those of you that do.....THANK YOU for still keeping me in mind.  I just haven't had anything newsworthy to write about......and maybe that's a good thing. My life just keeps truckin' along....with no twists or turns and I'm also grateful for that.  Twists and turns mean chaos and chaos I can do without. Anyway, I'm going to try and post more often from now on. Not that I expect chaos, but maybe you'd like to read about the fly I found in my fish. LOL

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Enough is Enough!!!.....

It is nearly 8 pm and I have just hung up on my NINTH recorded political phone call of the day.......and it's not even October yet!!!!
Yes.....NINE calls in one day!

And they are all recorded so you can't even yell at them for bothering you.

Furthermore, I'm so lucky that I'm receiving calls representing BOTH democrat and republican platforms.

Our State Representative is trying to get a bill passed that will prohibit these INTRUSIONS into our life unless we wish to receive them.  I hope, with all my heart, that she can get it passed.

In the meantime, I apologize profusely for being such a lousy blogger. It's been over a month since my last post.  My daughter is still here and feeling 90% better. My grandson has a pretty good job now. My son also just found a pretty good job. So things are looking up in that area.

Boy oh boy I sure wish I could say I won the Lotto....but no such luck. Maybe it would help if I bought a ticket.....ay?

To bring you up to date:

I hit a pothole, which Michigan is famous for, and bent the wheel rim on my car (aluminum wheels). We did find another one (used) to replace it and that work will be done in the next week or so.  $$$

My 74 year old brother-in-law just came through surgery to repair a hole in his lung which happened with no prior warning at all. He's home now and doing great but it was touch and go for a bit. He quit smoking 30 years ago and figured he wouldn't have any problems after all this time. One never knows, do they?  Anyway, he's doing fine now with no sign of disease.

The leaves are starting to turn and we've had one frost already during the night. Fall is definitely right around the corner.  Keeping my fingers crossed that we will have another mild winter like last year. is ringing again. may hear about me on the 11 o'clock news.

keep smilin', my friends.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happiness is.....

Ah yes........happiness. That emotion that sometimes eludes us but cannot be easily or simply described because it IS different things to different people.

Some facts in my life.

Happiness is......sleepily getting up in the morning to sit on "the throne", doing a "courtesy flush" while still sitting and discovering that your grandchild has once again plugged the toilet by using too much paper and even though your bottom is wet you're happy it did not spill over onto the floor.

Happiness is.....having a co-worker invite you to a picnic at their place for the first time and discovering that her entire house is carpeted in WHITE plush and discovering that your grandchild, you or any of your family didn't spill a drop of anything anywhere.

Happiness is......composing a document for the boss that he needs desperately that day and after a test print, the only color printer in the building literally falls apart and breaks before you can print it on parchment but your test print page will do nicely once framed.

Happiness is.....observing the obnoxious young woman who nearly killed herself running to get in line for the ATM ahead of me discover that she left her ATM card in her car.

Happiness is.....breaking the strap on your purse and after more than a few cuss words manage to locate another purse at the back of your closet and discover a $20 bill in one of the pockets.

And finally..... happiness is......taking your 10 year old granddaughter to a farm to pet some horses and feed them carrots and have her hug you later that night and exclaim that it was the most "life changing" event that had ever happened to her.  (what can I say, she does lean toward dramatic descriptions).

Hope you, too, can find some happiness in everyday events.....that's what it's all about.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As the days turn into weeks......

I can't believe that so much time has passed since I last posted. One day has melted into another

My daughter and granddaughter came here on Memorial Day and they have not left yet. My daughter was not well at all and it did give us a scare. Her blood pressure was dangerously high and her legs and feet were swollen horribly from water retention. With medication and careful rest, that has almost entirely cleared up. We are very relieved  about that.  Now that the weather has returned to almost normal for this time of year, I think they will be going home soon.  Believe me, I've been very grateful for central air on these hundred degree days and humid nights.

Looking at things from my daughter's perspective, it's hard to move back home when you're used to doing things your own way. From my perspective, it's hard to have someone living with me again when I've been alone for so many years.  We've have had some spats but we've also had some good bonding in which I've enjoyed having them here with me.  Probably we could get used to co-existing, but it would take some work on both our parts. She likes to stay up late and the TV is on until 5 in the morning most times. I go to bed earlier (by 11 pm or earlier) and am used to a dark quiet house. I have gone for a week and longer without even turning the TV you can imagine how different it is with her here.  No, I can't hear the TV from my bedroom but I fret over the electric bill.

Speaking of which.  I just paid a $280 electric bill.  I know it was mostly because of the horribly hot weather which kept the AC going 24/7......but it still hurt to have such a chunk coming out of the budget.  But I have to tell myself.....if I didn't have the AC I would have been tremendously miserable and probably sleepless.

I had to get new glasses. My bill was over $700 for two pair of glasses and one pair of contacts and that was just my part......I have optical insurance that took care of the rest. The total bill was $1350. I was very glad to hear that all the problems I had with my left eye did not hamper the vision. My prescription changed very little.

Today is my granddaughter's 10th birthday. We did have plans to take her to a friend's farm so she could interact with the horses but my ex called and said he would be by with a present for her so now we are stuck waiting for him. I guess I won't post my true feelings on this at this time, especially since we haven't heard from him since Christmas!

Remember the problem I had with the power company and my email address? Remember they sent me an email  to inform me that my email address wasn't working? Anyway I contacted someone a couple of rungs up the ladder from the customer service reps who answer the phone and asked if she could please fix this.....she promised she would. A month later I AGAIN received notice from them that my email address was not a good one.  I gave up.  I changed my email address with them, giving them one that I only use for shopping and/or less important things than bills.  Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Then I tried to reduce the cost of my ever-increasing phone bill (landline) and found out that they stripped away almost all of the features that I LIKE. I called back and asked for someone a couple of rungs up the ladder from the service reps (who messed me up originally) and she promised she would fix it.  Well, yeah, she did....but now my phone bill is $15 MORE than it was before.  I should have just left well enough alone.

This is one of the reasons why I won't complain about my property taxes.  I think they are a bit high but fear if I say anything, they will end up higher than they are now.  So I'll just shut up about it.

My son hurt his arm at work and will be off two weeks at least. At first they thought he'd have to have surgery on it, but thankfully, it's a torn muscle which popped up like a golfball was under his skin, and he will have to have therapy instead. He's worried he'll lose his job over it because he's classified as part time working full time hours. I'm really hoping he doesn't. His job consists of intense manual labor....he works for a disposal company.  Yep....not a pretty job....but it pays very well and SOMEONE has to do it.  Right?

Today is the day the people vote for millages, renewals and for who runs against who. I know a lot of municipalities are nervous asking for millage renewals because people are just fed up with everything costing more money.  I'm glad I'm not working today as voting day is a real mess at work as far as parking is concerned and then there are the lines in the hallway to contend with.

My daughter told me she was quitting smoking. I can't begin to tell you how proud I was of her. She lasted one week, then started sneaking them. This is a non-smoking household so no one was tempting her because they were smoking. Neither neighbor on each side smoke, so she wasn't smelling it. Nicotine is a horribly addictive drug and apparently she's not strong enough to kick it, which I thought she would be.  I'm disappointed and mad all rolled into one.  And yes I know how hard it is.....I quit smoking myself 22 years ago.

I'm going to try and get back into posting more often......and I want to really thank any of you that have stuck with me and continue to stop by to see if I've posted. You mean the world to me.  You guys are true blue!  Keep smilin'.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I followed the crowd.....

and put my name on a list to borrow a set of books from a co-worker.  She's been talking about these books for a while now.....about wanting to read them, etc. etc.

She finally bought them and read the whole set.....which consists of three a weekend. Another woman at work asked to borrow them and finished them off in the same amount of time. Then a third woman did the same. I was next on the list.

Part of it may have been due to the fact that my daughter and granddaughter have been staying with me for the last month. My daughter's blood pressure went dangerously high and the doctor didn't want her to be the only adult in the house.  She's much better now......after approximately 500 trips to the bathroom made possible by a strong water pill. If I picked up the book to read and my granddaughter asked me to play a game with her, I felt like a dirty old woman reading this particular novel instead of playing with I'd bookmark it and play a game.  Part of it may have been the fact that this book is not my regular choice of reading material.  It's a steamy love story.  I don't do love stories.

But I took the books home and began my journey, feeling much like I was peeking into someone's bedroom.  I love to read and have read too many books to count in my lifetime so far......but I just could not get into this book.  It was a little over 500 pages and at page 300 I called a friend that I knew had read the trilogy and asked her if it was worth it.  She and I always had the same reading tastes.  She told me it was.  She said the first book was slow but to stick with it. She doesn't usually read love stories either but said this one turned out to be very good.

So I'm returning the books today after only reading 350 pages total.  It makes me feel bad that I'm holding up someone else who is chomping at the bit to read them.  I have ordered my own copies through Amazon and then I can read them at my leisure.  After that I can join in on the conversations going on between every female employee at work.......or not.  Oh if these men only knew how steamy these books are!  Seems like the majority of the female population knows.  If I end up enjoying them or not remains to be seen......or should I say read.  As I said .... so far, I'm not impressed.......only curious.  To be frank, most of what I've read so far has only made me mad. (You want me to do WHAT?......I think NOT. How about I smack YOU with a leather belt about 10 times and let's see if you like it.)

The name?  You say you want the name of these sexy tomes?  50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. Not for the pure minded but definitely for the curious.  They should come in a plain brown wrapper. LOL

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Like herding cats.....

About 6 weeks or so ago I received a post card from my electric company. They stated that my email address on file with them was not a working address as they were getting their emails returned to them stating I had blocked them.  I called the number on the card and, after several transfers, assured the person to whom I was speaking that was not the case. At the time she sent me a test message and it came through about 30 seconds later.  She told me she would straighten things out and not to worry.

About two days ago I received an email from my electric company which, in a nutshell, basically stated: Thank you for using the Internet to pay your bill and per your request that account has been cancelled. I could no longer get my statements or pay my bill online and further, I would begin receiving my bills by regular mail. They also stated I could sign up to pay online again at any time.  Well, I knew that I had not cancelled my ability to pay online; I had just paid my bill a couple days before receipt of this particular email. So I called them via the toll free number.  After a couple of transfers I had to call long distance to speak to someone after it was evident that the "robots" could not help me.

After getting someone on the line who was important enough to have her own phone number minus any extensions, the conversation went something like this.

Me:  Hello, I'm calling because I received an email advising that I had closed my account to pay online and I haven't done that. Matter of fact, I just paid my bill a couple days ago.

Her:  Ok, I can help you with that. Could I please have your account number, name, address and last four numbers of your social security.

Me:  (giving her the info she wants)  I do not want to cancel my ability to pay my bill can you please make sure that is fixed and will I have to go through setting that all up again with new passwords and all that?

Her:  No, no....not at all. It will be exactly the same as before.  Ok, now I see what the problem is. We do not have a working email address for you. We need that to advise when your bill is due and the amount owed....and any other communications that are necessary. Your email address on file is coming back as not a valid address.

Me:  If that's the case, then how is it that I received the email advising me that my account had been closed per my own request.  I just paid my bill online a couple days ago and I received confirmation of that payment via my email address.  If you don't have a good email address, then how is it that I'm receiving email from you? Is my payment still there.....I scheduled it for June 8th. I can't understand you sending me an email to tell me my email address is not a good one.

Her:  *crickets*

Me:  Hello?  Are you still with me?

Her:  Uh.....Oh yes....yes.....I was just trying to think about that.

Me:  Furthermore, back then I called and spoke to "Rachel" and she did a test message with me at that time and I received it with no problem.  She said she would get to the bottom of this.....which apparently she did not.

Her:  I will send you a test message now.

Me:  (after hearing the "you've got mail" from my mailbox and checking it)  I've received it just now.  Can't you please get this fixed?  I have had no other company that has had this problem....only yours.

Her:  I'm am so sorry and I can promise you that I will get this straightened out.  Please continue to pay your bills in the same manner. I have re-enrolled you to pay by e-bill and you can view your statements online as before. I can see your payment is scheduled to be posted on June 8th.

Me:  Thank you.  I am anticipating that you will find the reason for these problems and get everything running smoothly once again. I've been paying my bill online for years and have never had a problem until March or April.  Have a wonderful weekend, bye.          

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just so darn tired.....

Talk about discrimination!  When little kids are tired, they just drop where they are.....they don't care one bit what someone will think.  Of course when you're little....most responses are, "oh, isn't that cute".  Just try falling asleep somewhere out in public when you're all grown up!  You'll get tagged as being an addict of some sort at the least. Nobody will ever think of the word, "cute".  But, I'm getting away from my original thoughts here.

I have been so darn tired lately. I can't remember being this tired in a long time. I just had a checkup with blood work done and I seem to be ok.  Or as ok as an old broad like me can be anyway.  So I guess I will just have to blame it on the weather. It gets blamed for most everything why not me being lethargic too?

I live in an area where temps go to extremes in a very short period of time. We who live here sort of take it as normal "for here".  It can be in the 90's one day and cold enough to turn on the heat the next day. This year seems to really be playing with our patience. We've lost quite a few flowers because it was so warm (hot) early and they popped up out of the ground, only to get smacked down a week later by frost.  If this plays hell on flowers and produce, think what it's doing to OUR systems!  So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  At least until I can find a better scapegoat.

I've been working more hours lately and not getting enough done at home, which makes me constantly feel guilty.....constantly telling myself I should've gotten this done or that done.  I used to take horrible guilt trips when I was younger but now I don't get on those trains anymore. I just take short rides of guilt, then talk myself out of it and grab a book to read......or check listings for any good movies coming up. I once spent a whole weekend in front of my TV watching a NCIS Marathon. Every time I started to feel guilty I smacked myself out of it. I love those shows!!!  Speaking of which....did anyone see the last one?  Looks like they're getting rid of Ducky....the last show left us with him laying on the beach, having had a heart attack, and no one around him to help......while back at home a bomb set off near headquarters where Abby and McGee were wayyyyy too close.  Talk about a cliffhanger!

Well, I just wanted to check in so those few loyal readers (bless your hearts) that I still have won't think I just decided to up and quit.  I once....well, probably more than once.....said that boring wasn't really so bad and actually was preferred to drama.....and I still maintain that position. It's been boring, but that also means peaceful.  Hmmmmm do you suppose that the absence of drama has made me sleepy?  Nah.

Check back.....I'll see what I can dig up for you; the summer is just starting.  In the meantime, keep smilin'.  It makes everyone wonder what you've been up to.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Books and more books

I am a book lover. I have hundreds of hardbound books and have read all but 30 or so.....some of them two or three times just because I'm in love with the characters.

I grew up in a rural environment and the closest library was about 8 miles away. I have delightful vivid memories of being dropped off at that library and spending hours there. The huge old Victorian style house that was used as the public library had a charisma that was a magnet for book lovers like me.

As soon as you entered, the fragrance that only thousands upon thousands of books could create would envelope you.  That and the underlying aroma of wax....perhaps Murphy's Oil Soap..... all contributed to the homey feel of the place. The wooden floors creaked softly as you browsed from one shelf to another. No elevators had to walk up stairs in this three story sanctuary of the written word and I believe each stair had its own unique creak as you ascended. There were over-stuffed chairs here and there where one could curl up with a book for a while. Everyone spoke in hushed tones as respect hung heavily in the air. My library card had a small metal plate with numbers on it and I felt so grown up having that in my possession.

That library was eventually torn down and replaced with a new modern, sleek building. I always found it cold and never stayed long as it was not inviting at all.

Hardbound books are expensive new and although nothing beats the fragrance of a new book, most of mine have been purchased used. I used to get them at book sales put on by the library and at garage sales. In later years I purchased the books used from online sellers.  I have cut way back on doing that as the postage to mail them has increased to the point where it doesn't make much sense to pay more to have it shipped than what you paid for the book itself.

That being said, I have to tell you that in years of buying used books, I have found some interesting things inside the books themselves. To name a few, I have found bookmarks, grocery lists, jokes, flyers advertising sales or shows, a picture of a toddler, a pressed flower, ticket stubs and the best find was three brand new one-dollar bills.

I recently bought 4 used books and one of them is coming from the United Kingdom, which is a first for me. The seller has stated that it will be the middle of June before I receive it. I'm hoping that maybe I will find something unique hidden between its pages. I found it rather interesting that the book was not available used in the U.S. in hardcover, only in paperback. I don't purchase paperbacks because after a few years they tend to fall apart. 

Have you ever found something interesting in a book?  I once found a letter in a library book and sent it back to its original owner. She wrote back and we became pen pals for a while.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just another mystery.....

I was delighted to see my income tax refund was deposited into my bank account today.  However, I do wonder about something.

How is it that my submission was basically the same as last year's....I made the same amount of money and deductions were the same BUT...........

My refund was less by more than 110% for federal and for state it was about 100% less than last year's refunds.  My tax preparer is the same one I've used for 35 years and she's an expert at what she does.

I think I may have to give her a phone call and see if she has an answer for me but I have a feeling that the picture depicts it all. I suspect that once again us taxpayers have been screwed.  At this point I'm just glad I was able to score a refund at all.  sigh

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When is it going to stop.....

Any idiot knows that you can only reach into a jar of cookies for only so long before the jar becomes empty. For so many, the jar has been empty for quite a while. The number of people with empty jars gets bigger and bigger with each passing day and yet.....STILL.....they continue to raise prices. No breaks here Folks! And yet the demand has exceeded the supply for quite some time now. For most of us anyway.

A grocery shopping trip is enough to cause vapor lock in most of us. A lot of thought and planning goes into a simple trip to the grocery store now. You find yourself eliminating things that aren't extremely important. Most of the time you find yourself going without things that are important in order to buy another item that surpasses that item on the list of priorities. We have been paying more and getting less for quite some time now.

On last night's news they stated that we have been paying higher electric bills in order to pay for the installation of the so-called "smart meters" that are to go on every house. Lots of controversy has developed over these meters, which some have proclaimed to be nothing more than spy meters, logging your every move inside what used to be your sanctuary......your home.

When asked by the news media if our bill would go back down after a bit.....after the meters were installed.....supposedly the utility company advised that they doubted it. My electric bill has gone up about $45 a month. Just how much do these meters cost anyway. After I have 'reimbursed' them for a meter that I was (a) not even asked if I wanted; (b) not advised it would increase my electric bill and finally (c) not even advised I could opt out.......why do I have to continue to pay inflated prices when they claim the meters save them money. They can take wireless readings, eliminating yet another job. After several months of inflated bills, shouldn't MY meter be paid for......shouldn't YOURS?

I am a senior citizen....retired and on social security and pension. My income, although basically guaranteed, is fixed. While everything else goes up, my income does not. Matter of fact, at the beginning of this year, my state started taxing pensions (which have already been taxed once) and so income went down for many. I just missed having mine taxed, but my age bracket saved least for now. I have a small part-time job to make ends meet. That income is small and also does not go up (no raises) and it's not guaranteed. I could be told next week I'm no longer needed. There are so many in my category. The sub-category divides us even further......I feel fortunate that I at least have a many do not.

When is it going to end? The bottom of the cookie jar has been reached. When there aren't anymore cookies, they can't materialize out of nothing. I have already cut so many things out; I'm to the point where I can't trim it much more without seriously affecting my quality of life. If you have to choose between food to keep you alive and your many are choosing the food. And don't even get me started on our pets. We all know they are like children to us.

I have been reading as many articles as I can find with ideas of how to cut corners. I recently came across a website that the Duggars have (parents of 19....or is it 20, I've kinda lost track). She makes her own soap and the recipe looks doable. Based on the comments of others who have tried it, it seems like it may work well and a wash load only costs pennies a load instead of dollars. Go here to check to out. The liquid form looks like it may be a mess to store as well as make.....we are going to make the powdered version, which the aforementioned link will take you to. It costs approximately $2 to $3 to make the recipe, but it will do 40 loads of laundry. And one thing you have to say......the Duggars always look neat and clean. Frankly, I think a lot of people are now going back to much as they can anyway...... because of the high cost of things.

Are you doing some cost-cutting measures. If so, what are they. Please share.

Like I said.......eventually it HAS to end. An empty cookie jar is an empty cookie jar.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bet Some of You Wondered.....

just what in the world happened to me. I really wish I knew the answer to that question.

I will probably blame it on the weather. Never can I remember being hit with such lack of motivation. I have been scatter-brained and unorganized often leaving jobs half finished. Couple that with no interesting events going on in my life and you have a fine recipe for b-o-r-i-n-g.

Now, I've often said boring is not all bad. Matter of fact, 'boring' gives us a chance to slow down and take a deep breath. It's a welcomed relief from drama. One day has effortlessly slipped into the next and before you know it, a month has gone by leaving nothing but an empty calendar page., I'm not going to complain. I'll take that over drama any day.

In this period of time I've watched several movies that were memorable. The first one being the Trilogy of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. Yes, I ordered the set from Amazon; the dubbed version....and it was absolutely wonderful. I notice the price has really gone up.....I paid $35 for the set the end of January. A little intense for some, perhaps, but it was engrossing and I went through the 9 hours of this trilogy in record time. The dubbing is done so well you don't even notice it.....and that's the truth. If you are a fan of mysteries and adventure, I think you will like this set. Be prepared for some nudity and violence; extreme sexual violence as well. I have not seen the American version of this movie yet.

We watched Puss n' Boots. Delightful is the best descriptive word I can come up with. I've seen it twice and saw things the second time that I had missed the first time around. It's a great movie for kids and adults as has some covert adult humor that we can snicker at, which is always a plus.

The next one is the second movie of Cats and Dogs, appropriately named Cats and Dogs 2. I loved the first one.....and was not disappointed in this second one. In fact, I think I actually enjoyed it more than the first one. Has a pretty good plot and somewhere about three fourths of the way through the movie it dawns on you that you have accepted the premise that dogs and cats can actually talk, not to mention having strategic thought processes as well.

Last.....Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now, I didn't care for this all. I did enjoy the original Planet of the Apes so many years ago, but this movie just didn't have it as far as I'm concerned. Waste of time. But that's just my opinion.

I hope I have some readers left after being away for so long. I also hope that maybe I can get back with the program and start to feeling more like myself. Since our almost 80 degree days are no longer with us, there is a good possibility I can locate my ambition....I think it's been hiding in the same place as my sense of humor. So.....thank you for stopping by always.....keep smilin'.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just another annoyance.....

Ok, have I missed something? Did the "Do Not Call" lists expire? In the last couple weeks I have been pestered beyond belief by unwanted phone calls. 95% of them have been from people "conducting a survey", the other 5% were just plain selling something or were political calls.

I thought I would be getting a lot of political calls, but that wasn't the case at all.

Have they found some sort of "loophole" that now lets them bother you by claiming they are conducting surveys? And to add insult to injury......every single one of those calls were made by people who had very thick accents. In other words, they were a nightmare to understand. Aren't these companies paying attention?

I especially loved the one from the guy who sounded like he was calling from a busy cafe (noisy) in Bangladesh. His accent was so bad I could only figure out that it was something to do with my computer. I finally lost patience and said "since I don't know what you're talking about, it would be wise of me to end this good-bye" and I hung up. I had to laugh when I checked the caller ID after I hung up; 1-000-000-0000. No lie, that's honestly what it said. Most of the others just say "out of area" and give you no further info.

No......I can't bring myself to be mean and hateful and slam down the receiver, but I'll admit the thought does cross my mind. They are just trying to do a job, although they are not very good at it and cause more inconvenience and frustration than anything.

When oh WHEN are we ever going to be able to block our numbers from these unwanted calls?

My main thought is.....'does anyone ever actually BUY from these people?'......when you can't even understand what they can you make a legitimate purchase?

One of the calls was about the yellow pages. I stayed with her for a minute or so because I was curious. Her English was horrid but I thought maybe I could manage. When she actually asked me to get up from my comfy chair in the living room to go get my yellow pages.....I knew it was time to end the call and I did. "No, I don't want to do, good-bye". click

When I was in my early twenties, I did telemarketing for about two weeks. It was for college classes through VA and all I had to do was get them the "lead" (someone who shows an interest and gives their contact information) and then someone from their main office would take it from there. I got paid so much for each lead. I can tell you that it definitely was not worth the names I got called or the slammed receivers in my ear, even though I did pretty well getting leads for them. I guess that's why I can't be hateful to telemarketers now......unless they are aggressive. And I have come across a few of those who represented......are you ready for this?....charitable organizations. That's when I figured out my donation was partly going for their pay. Sometimes I'm a little slow. Needless to say, I no longer give to those organizations.

I remember I used to feel guilty about bothering people right at "supper time" but that's when we were told to call, as more people would be home then. I wonder if any of these people I'm getting calls from feel badly that they are disturbing me..............nah.

Anyway.....are any of you getting more of these unwanted calls than usual or has my phone number been put up on a billboard somewhere..........

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just when we thought we were over it.....

we are now under a winter storm watch with predictions of up to 6 inches of snow by Friday morning. I just knew old man Winter wasn't through with us that easily. Although it may warm up and end up being just rain like the last storm we had.

I'm not complaining. I'm not a fan of snow.

Not much has been going on in my little corner of the world and that makes blog material very scarce. With the crazy fluctuations in temperatures, it has been a playground for germs. In a 12 hour period our temperatures can go up or down 40 degrees or more. I caught a mild version of the flu....very mild. I'm grateful for that and I do think my flu shot was responsible for that. My daughter and her family caught it and it went much worse for them. One Wednesday night at church it seemed like everyone was coughing and hacking, sneezing or nose blowing. It didn't make me feel too good about all the hand-shaking that goes on. You kinda hate to whip out an antiseptic wipe because that could be insulting, but it does cross your mind.

I finally got the window fixed on my car. It's been only......oh ten years or so that it quit working. I was told that it was going to be horribly expensive to fix it, so I didn't. The last straw was when the credit union moved their ATM to the outside wall of their building, accessible by vehicle only. Since my money is direct deposited, this is how I get my cash I had to do something. I was pleasantly surprised that a friend fixed it for $125.

You know the commercial where the little piggy is going "wheeeee wheeeee"? Well that's just what I felt like doing the first day I drove my car with the repaired window. I wanted to put it down, hang my head out and drive down the road yelling "wheeeeee". Something how such a little thing can give you such enjoyment.

I hope to be back soon but don't misconstrue that to mean I want some drama to happen so I'll have writing material....right now, boring is just fine with me. Hope everyone else is drama-free also. In the meantime, keep smilin'.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

To Be or Not To Be.....

.....searching. Well, some of you have been with me since the beginning. I admit I've gone through several phases of writing about things, but I have never covered this one to any extent. Lately, my friends IRL have been bugging me about doing something and I'm quite confused over it because part of me thinks it may be interesting to try and another part of me is screaming....NO, NO, NO.

As you know or have surmised, I am divorced (my choice) and have been for 27 years. I was burned badly and I don't get over things quickly or easily. I don't have a lot of trust. I really need some advice from the ones I DO trust.....and all of you who have been loyal readers fall into that category. I'm going to ask a question and hope that I can get back some responses that will enlighten me and perhaps give me that little 'shove' toward doing something that could enhance my life. OR at least settle the debate I've been having with myself once and for all.

My IRL friends think I should look for a companion; someone who will be company for me; someone who has a lot of the same interests. I'm not a horribly complicated person.....but I AM complicated to a point, as most everyone is.

It's been suggested that I attempt to find a male companion for myself. I do NOT have marriage in mind at all. I can support myself so I'm not looking for someone else to do that. What I would like is to have someone else to share things with. I absolutely NEED someone who has a glorious sense of humor. I love to laugh and need to find someone who has the ability to keep me laughing.....and yes, my sense of humor is sometimes a strange one.

I really don't want to post my name on a match-mate web-site and I don't want to go to a meeting where everyone is looking for someone. I'm a bit above average intelligence, can make myself rather presentable with some powder and paint. I'm overweight past the "pleasingly plump" stage and somewhat closer to the housekeeper on "Two and a Half Men", except I'm short and (I think) more attractive.

I'd love to have someone other than my dog to enjoy a movie with, to discuss a book with and to visit some interesting places a gas tank away from home. I do have a bad hip and walking any distances is not anything I would consider. I know I'm not a great candidate......but maybe there is a man out there who is a lot like me and thinking the same things about himself.

All I really demand of someone else is that they are clean, honest, have enough money coming in to support themselves, believe in God, have no criminal record and no addictions. (drugs or alcohol) AND possess a great sense of humor. Part of me doesn't want to meet anyone new so it would have to start out with emails going back and forth until we felt comfortable. I realize I'm not getting any younger (67) and my 'companion' would have to be close to the same age. Ten years ago someone got me to put my name in for one of those on-line matching services and I was shocked to see that mostly males who were twenty-something in age responded. I didn't answer any of the responses mainly because I felt they were looking for someone to support them.

So.....what would YOU do. I do feel lonesome at times and would just love to sit and gab to someone that has some things in common with me. Tell me what you think.....tell me about some true stories you've heard....good or bad. Tell me if you think there are any old guys out there that would be interested in meeting someone like me. I retired after 25 years of civilian work in law enforcement, so have plenty of stories along those lines. LOL

I may even pull this post after I've thought about it for a while......(can you hear the chicken clucking?)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Road Less Traveled.....

I find roads like this relaxing if you're prepared to drive them. That means a car in good working order and a full gas tank, not to mention a fully charged up cell phone. In my younger days I would often venture down unfamiliar roads just to take in the scenery. So I guess you could say....'in the highway of life, I've taken the roads less traveled'.....but tried to prepare myself for the unknown.

I'm still doing that because, at my age, life in the fast lane would be more than nerve-wracking. Even though my career was one of high-stress and split second decisions that affected the lives of others, I chose to take things at a much slower pace away from the work-place. I am now in the twilight of my years and, due to my country road association in life, there are many things I have not done. Do I want to do them? Not so much. I honestly do not feel as though I've missed out on many important things in life, even though I never did find my soul-mate. I think that is the one single thing I mourn.

This last week end was a retrospective not only for TV but also for me personally. I whipped open the filing cabinet drawers in my mind and pulled out old memories; some happy, some funny and some regrets. Thankfully, the regret filing cabinet is not too full.

I guess I can attribute that to the fact that I usually think things out before doing them. It's that long quiet drive down a country road, rather than the freeway where life goes by in a blur. Oh yes, I've made mistakes, that's for sure. But the mistakes I've made never hurt anyone but me. In a nutshell, I think I've done pretty well with my life.....but one thing still bothers me.

The loss of who I thought was a good friend.

We met in high school and became close friends. We were both 'only children' and sort of adopted each other to be our sister. She and I were as close as any true blood sisters could ever be. For 35 years. We went through boyfriends, breakups, marriage, childbirth, new houses, death of parents and divorce to name a few. She was always there for me and I for her. I saw her nearly every day for those 30-some years. We were godparents for each other's children. We told each other everything. Or so I thought.

I didn't lose this friendship due to death......I lost it due to greed.

After the death of my father, she began to change. I found out she was stealing things from my father's house and giving them to her son. She attempted to push the blame of the missing articles onto my own daughter. Then she claimed serious injury on my property and sued me fraudulently. (eventually settled out of court for only 2 thousand dollars instead of the THOUSANDS she was requesting) Basically, she sold our friendship for 22 hundred dollars.

As long as I live, I will never understand why my best friend ever did such a thing. I thought I knew was obvious, I really did not.

All this happened way over 20 years ago and I still mourn our lost friendship. Yes, I've cautiously made other friends and most of those have now moved away either to another state or otherwise......I wish I could forget about this. Sometimes I want to call her up and suggest we forget about what happened and continue our friendship the way it used to be. But then I realize the reality of it all.......I could never trust her again and real true friendships are built on trust.

I really need to find a way to get over this. Can anyone offer me some words of wisdom.....some words that will give me the courage to put this in the filing cabinet marked "to be shredded".....and then forever be done with it?

On a brighter computer at work crashed. Most of my work is saved on a network server and is safe but some of it had been saved to my desktop (my fault.....bad move) and those things may be gone. Probably 20 documents. Tech support will attempt to retrieve them but he told me not to hold my breath. But the good thing is, at work I now have a new Dell that is so much faster. I also have 2010 Microsoft Office, which I will have to familiarize myself with, plus a new wireless keyboard and mouse. Not that I'm not grateful, but I don't like the feel of the keyboard. I suppose I will eventually get used to it.

Til next time.....keep smilin'.