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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Five-Seven-Five #ThinkKit

Just when you thought you were safe....

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.  Today's prompt: "Five-Seven-Five."  :~) Write a haiku about the past. Then write one about the present or future.

I love haiku (even if I don't know, or follow the rules, (except for the 5-7-5 meter) so this is my favorite prompt.

The (soon-to-be) Past haiku:

twenty and fourteen
upside-down topsy-turvy
thank God it's over

The Future haiku:

the new year begins
possibilities abound
the future is bright

And with that, I bid you sweet slumber, and a prosperous and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Word For 2014: Turbulent.

My one word for 2014:  turbulent. 

The year started off great then took a turbulent turn during my summer vacation.  

The trip was planned as a fast paced finish of the western half of Route 66, driving up the coast, hitting Canada, and looping back through Colorado. All my activities were pet-friendly (including participating in the Ugly Dog Contest--which we planned to lose because, face it, Bandit is just too darn handsome to win it!). 

Everything looked great.  My mostly fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants trip planning worked perfectly.  (I only made reservations at The Flamingo for the night of the Donny and Marie Show, and San Francisco--close to the Ugly Dog Contest--every other reservation was made the night before, or the day of and was dependent upon the distance I felt I could drive.)

Until the tumble I took at the Flamingo slowed my fast-paced vacation to a more manageable pace, and I gave up the idea of catching up with a couple of friends while I was in California--sorry Debby and Des--maybe next trip 

I made a last minute decision to spend a few days at my Aunt Margie's cabin on the lake in Oregon rather than continuing up the coast and crossing into Canada. While I was there I started questioning my normal vacation mode--go, go, go--pack in way too many activities, and roll into my driveway the morning of my return to work. I decided that was too stressful and counterproductive. I had envisioned a smaller cabin in the mountains on a river or lake (but in Maine) as my retirement home. I decided what I really want to do is buy an RV and travel--but at a much more relaxed pace. Maybe I can still have that cabin as a home base.   

After I slowed the pace down I also got waylaid in a small Nevada town when my steering went out. But God saw me through and directed my path to  an honest mechanic within walking distance of a pet-friendly hotel, bookstore, museum, park, grocery store and several other shops making my forced pedi-life bearable. And when the tire blew on the interstate the day I got back on the road, He sent a nice young man to change my tire and compelled several guys to stay late at the Utah WalMart to sell and mount my new tire. 

While I thought GPS-girl routing me up through Wyoming on my way to Colorado was a bit much, it did keep me on a populated interstate, which gave me peace of mind on the drive to Colorado. And I found a great blanket inspired jacket that total strangers stop me and ask me about. Who knew I'd become a fashion guru?!

And who knew I would have trouble with cell phone service in Colorado Springs?  But God directed me to the Focus on the Family  campus and welcome center, where I could make a telephone call to locate Kaitlin. And send a text to my Mama so she wouldn't worry. I never found service until I returned to Texas soil. 

And He directed me to another pet-friendly hotel in some tiny Texas town--to the last available room even though I arrived late at night without a reservation--after the town I had just passed through had evacuated because of a broken water main. 

Even though the 2-week trip was fraught with obstacles, it was one of my most relaxing!  

I returned to work refreshed and with a resolve to save in earnest for a nice retirement RV, and learn more about the RV life. 

And then the year took a turn for the worse. 

Daddy became ill, left the hospital too soon, and fell. My weekend trip to assess the situation turned into a month-long stay due to his readmission, and ultimate placement into Hospice, that preceded my own emergency surgery and recovery at Mamas house. Which, as bad as it seemed at the time, was a blessing, as it ensured I was there to visit with Daddy prior to his death and take care of the funeral.  

During that dark time, I found out how special my friends really are:  Sharry and Georgie for being in my hospital room almost before I arrived. Sharry, Georgie, and Betsy driving to Mamas to check on me. Georgie and Betsy driving back yet again to attend the funeral. Shelia for spoiling Bandit while I was hospitalized.  Teresa for meeting up with me just to catch up on old times. While each of these wonderful friends drove hours out of their way to minister to me, Linda and Vickie  won the driving award hands down when they drove to Florida in order to drive me home to Central Texas! 

Except for some major Family Drama that blindsided me, I thought life was getting back on track. 

Boy was I wrong! 

November saw me in a loaner the entire month as the repairs  on my Mariner mounted higher and higher.  But God is good, and through a month-long process that at times was mentally exhausting, has brought me a new home for my UMHB antenna-ball:  a 2015 Ford Escape (the same thing as my beloved Mercury Mariner--which has served me well for the past 6 years and over 232,000 miles! 

The last half of the year has been turbulent. But it has also served to be a reminder of Gods watch care over me--for which I am thankful. 

Thankful. Perhaps I should change my "one word" from turbulent to thankful. 

May 2015 find me even more thankful. And less turbulent.  


This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.  Today's prompt: "One word for 2014."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Where Does the Time Go?

Where does the time go? 

Christmas-Eve Eve 2014 is fast approaching history status and I'm almost ready for the beginning of December. Almost. 

I watched the year racing to closure and I have amazingly still been blindsided by Christmas. 


Every Christmas-Eve Eve I say the same thing, "Next year I'm going to be more organized. Next year I'm channeling my Mother.  Next year I'm going to shop year-round.  Next year  I'm going to relax and watch everyone else stress over how far behind they are. Next year I will be ready."  And I visualize shaking my gift-laden fist up at the black and white sky ala Scarlett O'Hara. 

And every year--usually on Christmas-Eve Eve--I am among the throngs of procrastinating shoppers who are beginning to start searching for elusive gifts.

I've got ideas. I've made lists--which I may, or may not follow. Most years I  have a gift or two already purchased. But the bulk of the gift-hunt is executed on, or after, Christmas-Eve Eve. 

Some days I go into the store with a specific gift in mind, only to find it's really not what I wanted to give.  Other days I go into a store with a nebulous hint of an idea that morphs into "the perfect gift" without thought or assistance from me. 

The funny thing is, although Christmas blindsided me again, I think I'm ahead of the game.  BECAUSE, surprisingly, this Christmas-Eve Eve, I only have three gifts left to hunt. 

Now I just need to decide on the best hunting lease so I can carve out the time to hunt and dress my kill (wrap my gifts). 

It is now after midnight, making it official: the hunt is on in earnest. There are less than 24-hours left before Christmas is upon us.  Time is running out. 

Where does the time fly?! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Lapse in Judgement #ThinkKit

As I perused magazines at a major chain bookstore I glanced up to see a GrandMother holding the hand of her toddler Granddaughter. Her black hair was styled with a beautiful face framing fringe of hair, the tips of which were a flaming fire engine red--the Grandmothers, not the toddlers.

After the initial shock wore off I applauded her confidence, and I thought of my new friend from  Canberra.  Julia has strikingly beautiful electric blue hair. It would seem neither woman has a problem with self-expression or accepting attention.

Within minutes I saw a blonde teen with a loud top-layer of magenta hair. That was a little less unexpected since I have several young friends who choose non-traditional hair colors as an expression of their individuality or their distance from main-stream society.

But then, I did a double take and my chin dropped to the floor, as yet another woman with brightly colored locks came into my periphery.  Again, she was an older woman. And again her hair color choice made a bold statement. A very bold statement. She was sporting bright turquoise hair.

As I closed my mouth and scrapped my chin up off the the floor, I began to wonder if "Candid Camera" was filming an episode.  Maybe the beauty school had a color sale for finals week. Or perhaps over  the weekend there had been Central Texas colorist convention gone awry.

Now don't get me wrong. I like colored hair. I myself have been known to mix up a few colors. However, since an unfortunate experience in my remote past, in which I failed to regain my blonde tresses of childhood, I tend to keep my hair color choices within a shade or three of the realm of my current natural color and highlights--although I occasionally forget and choose a medium brown rather than a light Caramel for the base, and I tend to  have a heavy hand when I add auburn, which results in a bolder red hair color than I intend.

Although I admire those who wear bold hair color choices with confidence, I am not a bold hair color kind of girl. I can, and do, appreciate that quality in others.

Until, I saw this middle aged woman with brilliantly turquoise tresses.

It was not the attention grabbing raven of a goth teen.  It was not the originality of a Lucille Ball Orange, which inspired a rose to be named after her.  Nor was it the at-home-attempt-turned-horridly-brassy bleached hair of my High School Self. The unnatural pink of Nicki Manij, or Pink herself, pales in comparison to this hue.  Even the rainbow of colors Lady Gaga or Dennis Rodman have worn over the years was no where near as shocking as this mannishly close-cropped 'do. I couldn't even attribute it to a misguided sense of sports fanatic fandom like that of my beloved Purple and Gold die-hard Cru-fans, because she was wearing a black and gold Pittsburg Steelers jacket.

And then it hit me. It was the moment I realized I was viewing something far more ominous than simple attention demanding, mainstream society distancing, self-expression.

She, like all Steeler fans, had experienced a lapse in sound judgement.

This post is part of Think Kit by Small Box
Prompt:  "Ooh!  Aa!  What surprised you this year? Was it a jump-out-of-your-seat shocking moment? Learning something new that really flipped your wig? A moment in time that left you speechless?  Leave us slack-jawed and standing silent...or at least thoughtfully quiet for a few seconds!"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Just One of Those Days

It's been...interesting. 

I awoke before the alarm (that never sounded) so I was ready for Church for once.  I took Bandit outside just before I left, but I never arrived.  Bandit, who has been kept on a leash for the past two weeks due to running off, slipped out of his collar.  Can we say "harness?"  It's the last step before I have him neutered--even though I believe neutering to be ineffective at this late date.  He's almost ten. This is more of a learned behavior rather than raging hormones. 

This  afternoon I went on a quest for the "perfect gift.  I found THREE!!  

Only they were perfect for someone else. 

While questing, I eavesdropped on the conversation of three cute little boys in the Hallmark store (okay, they were Soldiers--adult men, defenders of our country--but still boys at heart).  I allowed their debate over the merits of Elton John.  I am cognizant  of the fact that  not everyone shares my exquisite musical taste. However, two isles over, when they began debating which "Wizard of Oz" character didn't have a heart (one said the Scarecrow and another said it was the Lion), I could stand it no longer.  I broke my silence with the following rant:  

"No, no, no, no, no!  The Scarecrow didn't have a brain. The Tin Man didn't have a heart. The 'cowardly' Lion didn't have courage....and Sir Elton John rules!!!!"

I got high-fives from all three of the cutie-pies. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Over the Top Ugly T-shirt.

I felt like a fairy god-mother today—everywhere I went I left a trail of glitter and tinsel…
It was Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on my Ward today.  I have one Christmas Sweater. It’s much too hot to wear it, and quite frankly, I have no clue where it might be. It’s actually a two piece, sweater and pants set. Besides, it's much too cute to be an ugly sweater anyway.

WalMart had all of two Christmas sweaters for sale.  And a couple of meds t-shirts with a Christmas theme—none of which I liked.  So what’s a girl to do?
This girl gets crafty.

I decided I could wear my Dancing Christmas Tree hat and wrap a  t-shirt in tinsel or ribbon shaped to resemble the bottom of a Christmas tree. And I could add battery operated lights and ornaments.  Hey—I’m an “Over the Top Girl” so why not take Tacky Christmas Sweater to new heights?!  All I had to do was find the Dancing Christmas Tree hat.
I have plenty of Christmas Hats to choose from—somewhere—since I buy new Christmas hats every year. [Note to Self:  This years New Year Resolution could be:  Get Organized! My 2-fold goal could be: 1)  toss, sell, or gift a bag of “stuff” each week, and 2) label storage boxes with contents of the stuff I keep].

It was getting late and I  still hadn’t found the Dancing Christmas Tree, so it was time for Plan B.
I would develop a UCS based on what I could find in the next five minutes.  

I came up with four choices:  the deep purple zebra print stocking cap I wore to the  Spadettes Christmas party the night before, the lilac stocking cap w/white battery operated lights, the red “I’ve been good” stocking cap  w/battery operated colored lights, and the Dallas Cowboys flap-cap.  In writing this post I wanted the correct term for the flap-hat, so I googled it. Flap-cap, ear-flap hat, snow (or ski) beanies with ear-flaps, Ushanka (Russian Trooper hats), and Chullo (Peruvian or Andean hats) all have ear-flaps.  With the colors of my four easily obtainable hats in mind, I went to WalMart at 10pm in search of ideas.  Surely, I could come up with something tacky from WalMart.
By the time I went to bed at 2am, my SUV was packed with goodies for our brunch and all the supplies I would need to quickly assemble the shirt after I attended my daily Bed Huddle meeting.

Pre-made stuff and safety pins are a costumers best friend. I have even more stuff I could have pinned on—I just ran out of break-time. Gotta love my co-worker who thought I needed even more bling and gave me a strand of tinsel with snowflakes intertwined—it became my boa and finished off the outfit.
BTW, while glitter and tinsel provides a nice blingy effect, it also leaves a trail that a blind man could follow.
Make sure you don’t do anything illegal when you wear it…

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cars, Crowns, and Craziness.

I'm still in The Loaner.  Still figuring out features.  And still forgetting which side the fuel tank is located. (Passenger). Still having the guys at the gym log me in by hand when I go, and still only able to access my Post Office Box when the PO is open, because my GymX pass card and my PO Box key are on the spare key ring.

Every day my Service Advisor calls with an update. Everyday for the past week he's said "this is the day." 

And then something else wrong is found. 

Every few days I call my bank to update them on when to expect my debit card to be used and I give them the newest amount. At this rate I'll have to do at least 12-18 months hard driving (as if I drove any other way!) in order to recoup my repair costs. 

As much as it pains me, this time next year I will be looking in earnest for a new car.  I'm in mourning already. 

It's too bad I got new tags after my dental appointment yesterday.  Actually, I went--thinking I was picking up tags. I picked up plates.  The ugliest plates I've ever seen. Maybe by the time I'm ready to buy the new vehicle the plates will be nicer than these blah, black and off white (no background), three letter-four number formatted plates. If not, it may be time to support a cause or get personalized plates. I  wonder if they come in bling?!  I absolutely hate this one. 

As for work, it was a crazy day today--and not in a good crazy kind of way. 

I had 12 admissions and three problematic discharges on my Ward, plus I provided coverage on part of another Ward--thankfully, the part I covered on that Ward only had 2 admissions. 

If I  had I known how bad it was going to be, I would have thought twice before I turned down the offer to move my crown placement from next Monday to today.  

Unfortunately, that crown placement is not a reference to my long overdue coronation. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Loaner

I have mixed emotions as November, and the use of The Loaner, comes to an end.  I am glad to be getting my SUV back; however, my back will miss the heated seats that come with The Loaner.
On the other hand, my SUV rides higher and has a higher head clearance, which makes entering and exiting the SUV much easier on my bad leg—and I don’t bang my head on my SUV doorframe.  The head banging I’ve endured this past month will teach me to not laugh at a friend bopping himself so hard he gave himself a concussion.  Also, my AC gets colder quicker, which keeps me happier (and others on the road alive when I'm flashin').  ;~)

By giving up The Loaner, I will miss the touch start and stop ignition. As long as the keys are nearby, I just touch and drive. What I won't miss, is  the way The Loaner eats things—especially keys. It ate The Loaner key fob (and my house keys) again yesterday. This time I remembered to power the seats all the way forward and backward—and found the fob right away. But still. It's pretty inconvenient, and sad, that I have to go through all that every time something comes up missing.
It’s also kind of sad that, after almost a month, I just figured out how to use the blinkers.

No—really.  For the past month I've had a time of it trying to work the blasted things. In my SUV, I flip the turn signal, make a lane change, then flip the turn signal back off—and it stays off. Not so in The Loaner. When I go to flip the signal back off, it changes to the opposite turn signal. I can't tell you how many times I've been driving around and wondered, "What is that clicking noise?" only to look down and see the turn signal was on. Sometimes I catch it pretty quick. Other times, not so fast. But it's really bad when I notice the signal is still flashing, and I attempt to turn it off, but only succeed in turning on the opposite signal—so I try to  correct that mistake, but it goes back to the first signal—which causes me to have to repeat the whole process all over again!  If you've seen a Grey Taurus flashing conflicting signals—making it appear the driver was incapable of deciding when, where, or which way they were going to turn—it was probably me.
If just now mastering the turn signals isn’t bad enough, I  still haven't really mastered the art of securely locking The Loaner.  I'll think I have it locked, only to check a door, and it'll pop right open. Other times, I'll have my hands full and go to open a back door, and it’ll be locked up tighter than a drum. And while it's great to have trunk space, I don't like my stuff shifting forward out of my reach.

I've kept my trips to a minimum this month—but I've still really missed the convenience of having my 6-disc CD player. I love listening to audio books but hate having to pull over to change discs.
And I don't like having the gas tank on the passenger side—and there being no gas cap. (How does that pass inspection? Used to be, if the gas cap seal didn’t  "pop" it would fail.)

When I give up The Loaner in just a few minutes, I know I'll miss the inside handles that I can hang a garment rod on. And the cool covered console cubby holes that conceal my stuff, but spring open at a touch.  And the backup camera—the picture is the best I’ve seen on a back-up camera….although I really like my SUVs back up beep better. And my SUV fuel gauge that tells me how many more miles I can drive on my current tank of gas—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on it to plan fuel stops and potty breaks on trips.  My SUV also tells me what my current gas mileage per gallon is—I’m sure The Loaner has that feature as well—but I never found it.  The Loaner also had some really cool features I never activated—in-dash GPS, Bluetooth for my phone, Syncing, and a bunch of computer stuff way too savvy for me. The Loaner is a really great car. So much so, that I looked at trading in my SUV on one. But I need to get my monies worth out of the repairs I just made on the SUV.  Besides, I really  prefer my black leather seats to The Loaners tan leather seats….
But I really will miss The Loaners heated