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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.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mondays Twisted Twin

It's been a Full Moon kind of week sans the full moon. I checked. 

My hands haven't been working right, forcing me to either do without, or make new friends as I ask total strangers to open my Diet Dr Pepper bottles. 

I was late to work this am, and I've pushed the wrong elevator button each and every time I've got I an elevator today. 

My cellphone charger is MIA.  

Tony, my Social Worker has got the nerve to join his wife in her retirement at the end of the week, so this is his Last Tuesday. 

This afternoon, I had to return to my office, on the far side of the hospital, to retrieve my EDP card since I was unable to swipe Bandits paw print to pay for lunch. By the time I returned, everything was closed except the sandwich line--which was backed up. Luckily the lady pulling the salad bar became distracted so I was able to toss a salad together. Pun intended. 

And it just keeps getting better.  As the day progresses I am reminded that Tuesday is simply Mondays Twisted Twin. 

On the bright side, I've met a lot of really nice people with fully functioning hands. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lovin' the Lower Gas Prices

I'm loving the lower gas prices I've been paying the past few weeks. It's been quite a while since gas was below $2/gallon. However, I'm not liking my lower gas mileage. 

My 2008 Mariner with over 232,000 miles was getting 20-28.6 mpg  on the highway. (In CA  during my trip last summer I experienced the highest gas mileage the entire 6 years I drove the Mariner--a whopping 26.8 mpg!  I attributed it to the higher emission standards they require--which is why I paid over $4 per gallon.   Throughout the 6 years, I averaged 18-22 mpg in town.  In fact, even though most of November it was idling on the mechanics lift--which dropped my mpg to the single digits--it got back up to 22 mpg during the month I had it before I traded it in.  

I was really looking forward to the improved gas mileage the Escape touted. During this past month, I've  been on two in-state road trips (Dallas and Houston), which is plenty of time to assess the highway mpg.  I can't get it above 21 mpg.  That's supposed to be the in-town mpg. The highway mpg is supposed to be 32!! 

I'm  not a happy driver. 

I'm filling up more, driving less, and seeing worse miles per gallon.  The first  WEEK I had the Mariner, I took my first road trip--to Jackson Mississippi, and I had been to Austin several times during the week, and even with higher gas prices, I think I spent less on has than I've saint so far with the Escape. 

In fact,  my Escape gas mileage is worse than any car I've ever owned. I'm really hoping this changes when the "new" wears off.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hide-n-Seek Bottle Caps

Stuff loves to play hide-n-seek in my SUV. My iPhone.  My keys.  Bandits leash. And this week, a couple of screw-on Diet Dr Pepper bottle caps.  I've been able to find everything. Everything except the caps that is. They're  good at hide-n-seek.  Really good.

I heard them sliding between the front console and the drivers seat.  I was driving each time they hid.  I pulled over as soon as I could. But the time that passed was the equivalent of counting to 100 with your eyes closed at home base.  And each time I searched for them, they refused to be found.   They are wily like that.

Desperate to find them I performed "blind sweeps."  Blind sweeps are never a Best Practice. Not in a litter-strewn under seat floorboard, and most especially not when performing The Heimlich Remover.

Yes, I know it's technically the Heimlich Maneuver--but in Nursing School a fellow student called it the Heimlich  Remover and that's all it took--even now, over a quarter of a century later, I have to concentrate to say the term correctly.  It takes so much effort, most days I just let it slide.

I've never performed a blind sweep during the Heimlich Remover--but, placing my hand and arm in great peril, I have performed an under seat blind sweep in my SUV. Luckily I've managed to avoid injury to my hand. It was a minor miracle in my old SUV. In the current SUV it's probably because its not yet litter-strewn. It didn't matter. The blind sweep was ineffective and I came up empty.

In addition to the blind sweep, I've also moved the seat forward and backward. In the past this has yielded good results.  Even when I had hidden under seat litter in the old SUV, I could find things--like my keys and iPhone--when I moved the seats.  Even when I was in the rental car for the month of November, I found the hidden keys when I moved the seats. Moving the seats is easy and my "go-to" move when I search for the lost.

But I'm not having any luck this rodeo.

I think the bottle caps have talked with the keys--or Bandit's leash. Whatever the case may be, the caps are on to me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Attention Deficit Disorder vs Multitasking

I don't have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I just shop like I do.

I had a plan. It was short and sweet, with only three simple steps:

1) Drive to The Container Store

2) Purchase a canister for Moggy's kitten food (I wanted the style to match the one I keep Bandit's dog food in--but be a little bit smaller).

3) Drive home.

It was a good plan. In theory.

Halfway to Austin I realized I no longer have a TexTag on my SUV. That meant I would either have to stop and pay the toll, try to do the pay by mail (only how would it work since I don't have tags?), go the non-toll way (if I could remember how), or I could try Navigation.  Since Navigation doesn't always understand me or recognize the stores I shop, and I didn't want to pull over to google the street address, I decided to try to go the non-toll way. It wasn't difficult. It just took me by surprise when I realized exactly where I was.

As I drove in the non-toll "back way," so dubbed because it's the the way I go back home,  I remembered I wanted to go to Sam Moon's on the way back.  SMs is a cheap accessories store. It's like Charming Charlie's--but the merchandise is not as well organized or nicely displayed. It's also not as junky or crammed as the shops on Houston's Harwin Street--but the merchandise and discounts are roughly the same. Sometimes, I can find something I like there that doesn't look as cheap as it is. Mostly, I find accessories for the many costumes Bandit and I wear. I really should recycle some of our costumes--but usually every costumed event we participate in has a theme that we've not done before.

Back on topic (sort of):  Arriving at my destination, I saw Crate &  Barrel across the parking lot and thought that was another store I'd like to go in after I was through with my in-and-out errand at TCS.

Only TCS wasn't in-and-out. Not even remotely. They didn't have the size canister I wanted. So I aimlessly roamed around mulling over my options. I can spend hours in TCS inspecting the storage solutions they offer. It's a great place for solving problems. One thought led to another.  Each subsequent thought solved a different problem. Unfortunately, the problems weren't laid out like the store, so I ricocheted around the store like an arcade pinball.

Three and a half hours, $89, and a popped knee later I limped back to the SUV. I couldn't remember if C&B had an elevator or escalator, and although I had walked most of the pop out of my knee, I didn't want to risk stairs until I was home. C&B would have to wait.

I almost skipped out on Charming Charlie's as well, but at the last minute decided to go in and "just look at the wallets."

An hour and a half, and only $7.52 later, I had a coin purse wallet I thought might work.

And a few ideas for upcoming costumes. I multitask.

Or maybe I do have a touch of ADD.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How Do Mothers Of Young Children Do It?!

How do mothers of young children do it?!

I can barely be responsible for myself.  How do Moms take care of their family, cook healthy meals, keep a clean house (often recleaning messes their little darlin's repeatedly mess up), referee fights, provide counselling and chauffeur services, set goals and boundaries, lavish praise when goals are accomplished, as well as discipline  when boundaries are crossed?  Moms do all that and so much more--as part of being, and raising, productive adult members of society.

Sometimes, they also work outside the home or go to school.  Or both.

Sometimes they are single and do it all--raise the babies, provide the home, food, medical expenses, and take family vacations etc.

Moms have my utmost admiration. Basically, because I am nothing like them.

Except I'm single.

And I have a mortgage and an SUV. (Singing it because it's a line from a country song.)

And I provide for my own insurance, medical, clothing, food, and vacations.

And I have kids--they are four-legged FurKids. And their care and upkeep is not cheap.

Tonight I went to PetCo groceries.  A small fortune later I am more convinced than ever:  The IRS really needs to let me  take dependent deductions on Bandit and Moggy. Or let me claim Head of House.

Head of House?! Who am I kidding?! Even if the IRS let me think I was Head of House--the FurKids wouldn't. ;~)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Be Uninhibited--In A Good Way!

I was reading comments on one of my favorite writing blogs, Janet Reid, Literary Agent (aka The Shark Query) and I  came across a couple of gems. The first was written by Julie  Weathers (I'm not sure if it's original to her, or if it's something she was quoting):

"Rejection is part of the journey.  Dejection is a choice."

While she was speaking of the writing life, I think it applies to everyday life as well. It's just another way to say attitude matters.

A. J. Blythe, another commenter, said she keeps this statement posted on her computer, "The most painful thing to experience is not defeat, but regret."

How true. In psychological terms, Erik Erickson would say this is the work of one of the stages of adulthood.

A third commenter, John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur (playing homage to Janet's sometimes weekly Chumbucket column) likened the fear of rejection to an actors stage-fright.  Even the Third Spear-Holder On The Left can experience stage fright if he goes on stage thinking, "What if someone sees me!?" A friend of the commenter, a fellow amateur, actor taught him to go on stage thinking, "I'm going to make them see me!" Presumably, even if his role was that of Third Spear-Holder On The Left. What a great attitude!

Similarly, the commenter relayed a story about Olivier reportedly arriving early to the theatre  so he could walk out on stage, look over the empty audience chairs and announce, "Tonight you will see a better performance than you deserve!"

For me, that pushes self-confidence (an excellent quality) over the top to cockiness (a less than desirable quality) because everyone should receive our very best, whether we feel they deserve it or not. To give less than our best, because we don't think the recipient is worthy, cheats us out of doing our very best.

While the blog post (and comments) were specific to the writing/submitting/rejection (and ultimately hopefully publishing) process writers go through, it really applies to life in general--as well as other creative endeavours.

In life, and art, we must not allow the nay-sayers to intimidate us or rule over us.  On that note, I've squeezed into another Painting With A Twist class (they always find a chair for me--love these ladies!).  Results will be posted to my FB page.

Be uninhibited--just do it in a good way!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fat Friday Advice

My first workday of 2015 started off with a bombshell:  my Social Worker will be retiring at the end if the month.  While I'm happy for him, I'm sad for me, my Ward, and the Veterans we serve. I sucked it up and said "Congrats" even though I'm not liking this. 
Then the day took a turn for the worse. 

Until lunch. We hadn't ordered out for a "Fat Friday" in quite some time, so we ordered Chinese. I got my favorite Chinese "comfort food" (for me anyway):  pork with string beans (love, love, love it when they are extra garlicky). It comes with an egg roll and soup (I requested the hot and sour).  I also substituted lo mien for the rice. I always tell them I want a "good" fortune. The slip of paper frequently has advice rather than a fortune. I hate it when the cookie gives me advice. (I also hated the Dove chocolates that gave advice--actually, the chocolate was okay--it was the advice I didn't care for.) 

Today's "fortune" was once again actually advice. But it was little bit easier to stomach. 

"Need some adventure and enjoyment? Take a vacation!" 

I can follow that advice!