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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.)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Three Policemen Thought I Was Drunk.

Three policemen pulled me over because they thought I was drunk.  The good news, (or is it?)--they didn't all pull me over at the same time.  

The first time, I occurred as I  drove the Natchez Trace.  I gave myself plenty of time for the slower speed, but I didn't realize there would be an interesting or interactive display at every bend in the road. As a result, I drove longer than I should have. Just ten miles until I could tuck myself in, an officer stopped me. Following me for several miles, he had witnessed my shoulder hugging and when I crossed the line he stopped me. Hearing my destination was only a few minutes away, and confirming my sobriety, he let me go. 

 I once received a moving violation ticket because my car nose did not dip and bow--the cop claimed it was an incomplete stop. I claimed the nose doesn't dip if you aren't going above 5 mph.  My claim was in my head so he didn't hear it. That was when I was still a quiet girl who never questioned authority figures. Now, I not only question, I would also fight it in front of The Judge.  So imagine my consternation upon learning The Police thought I might be drunk when I came to a complete stop, ensuring my car nose dipped and bowed.  Twice.  Not the bobbing and dipping. The thinking I was inebriated. 

In my naivety I  unaware stoping too long could infer you might be drunk. Evidentially the trained eye equates anything more than a California Rolling Stop with Possibly Passed Out. At least that's what two different policemen have told me. 

The first time occurred within a block of my house. It was a hot summers night and my air conditioning was out. At two o'clock in the morning the heat appeared to be intensifying rather than lessening and I couldn't take it any longer. I'd taken cool showers, drunk gallons of water, stuck my head in the freeze, and stripped down to the barest of clothing--yet I remained hotter than Hades. I decided to go for a ride in the air conditioned comfort of my car. When I saw the police officer at the stop sign across the intersection I realized I had not buckled up. In an elaborately fluid move I managed to scratch my left ear, fluff my hair, grab the seat belt, draw it across my body to secure it in the receptacle, flip the turn signal, and make the turn before placing my hand back on the wheel. I drove half a block before the blue lights commenced their flashing.  The baby faced officer irked me when he asked me what I was doing out at that time of night.  Annoyed, I asked in my most imperious voice, "Is there a curfew for 53 year old women of which I am unaware?"   Never mind I was wrong in driving without my seat belt. Never mind that I live in a less than ideal part of town and I was out after the bars close down (we don't have bars). I didn't like being questioned as if I were a teenager looking for trouble, for the sole reason I took extra time at a stop sign.  Since he didn't mention the seatbelt violation, or the last minute turn signs,I didn't feel the need to mention them either. 

Recently I was again stopped by the police.  This Officer came out and blatantly said he thought I was passed out drunk. Really? How many other passed out drunks wave the cops to pass them?! When I attempted to explain why I was driving around--or rather parked at a stop sign--I actually sounded drunk to myself. Or high. 

Or mentally unstable...

Once again, it was o'dark thirty. I had started out to the gym when my low tire pressure warning light came on. My thought was to air up the tire and keep an eye on it to see if it was just low, or had a slow leak. In my search for a working air machine, I found my little town has plenty machines that will take your money; however, they don't all dispense air. Two machines didn't have gauges (and my gauge was MIA,  so I was eyeballing it). Another machine sounded as if it was letting  more air out than I was getting in--no matter the angle I held the wand.   I finally found a machine that dispensed air and had a working gauge. I filled up the tire and went on to the gym; however, before I arrived, the warning light came back on. The tire had a fast leak. 

Since I could not trust the tire to remain inflated, I alternated running errands that were doable at o'dark thirty and refilling the tire.  I picked up junk mail at the post office, returned audio books to the public library, and checked bank and credit union balances and PINS. Finally, I was out of constructive things to do.   

Then I remembered a list of houses for sale I had recently compiled.  At the stop sign I attempted to speak the address for one of the houses that I thought was nearby. NavGirl was having none of my nonexistent Texas drawl. I love a good drawl, but I don't have one. Growing up as an Air Force Brat affords me a slightly more metropolitan speaking voice. You'd think NavGirl would understand it. But she does not. In fact she frequently  has difficulty understanding  me. I think she misunderstands me on purpose. 

As I was attempting, for the umpteenth time, to tell NavGirl where to go, I was struck by how similar my experience was to Miranda.  Miranda is a British comedy on BBC with hysterical story lines like an I Love Lucy episode. One episode Miranda had occasion to talk with an automated system over the phone.  No matter how clearly, and slowly, she enunciated, AutoIdiot misunderstood what she said. It is a hilarious skit. One I totally relate to all too frequently. 

Where do they find these hearing impaired AutoIdiots?!

My SUV also has a touch screen for manually inputting the information.  Since NavGirl was playing daft, I decided to write the address in. That's what I was attempting when the police office pulled up to the stop sign across the street. I attempted to wave him on, so he would not waste his time, but he stubbornly stayed where he was. Ogling me. After a few attempts, in which TouchyDumby would not let me input the city--then erased the street when I tricked it into accepting the city--and finally gave me address parameters that excluded the address listed on the real estate website. I finally gave up and turned onto the street in front of me. I was soon joined by the policeman with his pretty blue lights. 

When he told me he was checking to see if I was drunk--because I had stopped so long at the sign he thought I was passed out thought to myself you didn't see me waving you on?  Rather than copping an attitude with him, I started babbling about leaking tires, nonfunctioning air machines, Mirranda, missing streets, and automation with a grudge.  He let quickly let me go--with directions to the missing street.  

Straight  jackets, competency hearing judges, looney bin admission paperwork, and drunk driving--I've been independently evaluated and released by three different policemen, on three different occasions. I've been deemed neither drunk nor loony--even when I have initially presented as one or the other.  

Or both. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dream Home

I recently found my dream home quite by accident. From time to time I google homes for sale in a couple of areas I'd like to live, or better yet, retire. Sometimes I find interesting homes. Sometimes the homes are less than stellar. This time my dream home popped onto the screen—almost unbidden.  Online it appeared perfect: cottage sized, well under my maximum price range,  secluded and surrounded by fields.  My heart raced and my breathing became shallow.  Can this be? I mused. Have I finally found my dream home?

Then I noticed something odd—it was nowhere near the area I wanted to live.  I’m not really in the market for a new house. I’ve been working killer hours to pay down debt, before I retire. But what if  its appearance is a sign… Since it appeared to be perfect, and I like to drive, I thought I’d go see it in person.  Just in case.

The drive took a little over 45 minutes. I imagined my daily commute. In the mornings I would be stressed because I am a procrastinator with a tolerate-hate relationship with my alarm clock—I hate the alarm and tolerate the snooze. However, the drive home would allow me to decompress after a hectic shift at the hospital.  I thoroughly enjoyed the country drive. And once they finish construction on I-35, the alternate highway drive would be fast. So the longer commute didn’t pose an obstacle.

I turned off the county road at the mailbox, and drove about 1,000 yards down a dirt road edging the neighboring fields. At the end was a circular driveway in front of my dream home.  It sat beneath the shelter of 7 or 8 shade trees—great for cooling off the Texas summers (and springs…and falls…and winters). Looking at the house, I saw a  huge picture window that overlooked the drive which circled a quaint, long defunct water well. A field of wild flowers provided  the mid-view, and past them grazed a faraway herd of cows and goats. A deeply shaded front porch faced the setting sun. I could envision enjoying morning cups of coffee overseeing the fields while listening to the morning song of various birds, and relaxing with evening glasses of wine, from my front row-center vantage spot for viewing spectacular country sunsets—even though I don’t normally drink coffee or wine. 

I climbed the porch stairs and tried the front door—on the off chance the last person there forgot to lock up. No such luck.  So I peeked in the picture window and saw wooden floors, a ceiling fan in the open concept dining/living room that flowed off the kitchen on the right.  An opening behind the kitchen led to the bathroom and two bedrooms in the back. The occasional bleating of a goat, or mooing of a cow, and wind rustled leaves broke the quiet. I had found it:  Heaven on earth. My Eden. My  Dream Home.

Then I removed my rose colored shades for a survey. With my eyes wide open, I noticed a few things about Eden:  the rusty and crumbling shed appeared to be too far off in the distance to belong to the house (it sits on an acre of land), the six non-running pick-ups by the fence-line (none of which were vintage or interesting) would need to be removed—and in fact may also belong to the neighbor, the sunken area of ground in the backyard could possibly be a collapsed septic tank, and  peeling paint, rotted wood, and doors off hinges would all need to be replaced. Inside, the wooden floors were actually stained plywood—not hard wood, and what wasn’t gutted in the kitchen needed to be. There was no telling what condition the bathroom and two bedrooms were in. 

So when I say I found my perfect dream home I’m not even close—it’s actually more of a fixer-upper than I am willing or capable of completing. Think:  Total Gut Job

But the location is perfect.
And by perfect I mean, it’s not even close since it’s in a county I’ve never even considered before.  

But the setting is a different matter. A cottage, cabin, or small home nestled beneath shade trees, on a secluded acre on the backside of a field, actually is just about perfect.

Except for the lack of reliable cell phone, internet, water, sewage, and cable services.

And so, my search for my perfect dream home continues…

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The End of the Story

I started a fun light hearted blog post then got side tracked by a memory. I included the memory and am now ready to close with the lighthearted thought that began the process. Only now I've forgotten it. 

This is happening more frequently. Twice this week alone.  

It reminded me of Philippians 3:14 where Paul talks about keeping our eye on the prize. He's talking about our spiritual prize. But I think it can be applied to my everyday life. Maybe I need to start writing my endings first so they will guide me and keep me focused.  

What's this--a biblical concept applied to everyday living? Imagine that.  The Bible might actually be relevant today--not just a list of "thou shalt nots."  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

MIA Found Safe And Sound.

I found the third audio book I needed to return to the Library (I took two earlier). I know they give several days grace, but I couldn't remember when these were due and I'm trying really hard to avoid late fees, so off to the Library I went.  

On the way home, I came upon a gazillion police lights being thrown from at least five cruisers--I think closer to 7 or 9 in three car clusters. At least one cluster had three cars in it and I think the other two clusters had at least two-maybe three cars in each cluster. They were all clustered around a couple of civilian cars at the Spin Zone on Adams. One of the cars had it's trunk popped.  

I've just spent the evening watching old murder mysteries, and engaging in a real life search for someone MIA--who it turns out was hiding in plain sight. So my over active imagination was already on high alert. 

What was in the popped trunk?  

A dead body? A drug bust?Smuggling?  Citation for smelly clothes? Innocent training exercise? 

I likely will never know. 

However, I can go to sleep knowing the MIA has been located safe and sound. 

Yes, Mr. Ice Cream Scoop was found safe and sound--draining of the backside of the sink. 

Sailing Over Salado

I sailed over Salado before I realized it. I should have expected it. I was prepared for it. Or so I thought. No,  I was prepared for it. I knew it was happening. I even had a reminder it would happen just a couple of weeks ago when they completed the Belton fly-over.

When they first started construction of the fly-over exit from an interstate to a major highway, my initial thought was, "Wow, we are big enough to rate an elevated exit."  

The initial false assumption quickly gave way to the reality:  my small town was deemed too small to trifle  with by the myriad of travelers in a rush to get from some place else to someplace farther away.  The first exit after the fly-over hits the loop that is the southwest edge of my town. Effectively bypassing us. Rather than being a quaint place to rest and relax, to park and ride, to spend a slow afternoon, we have been effectively cut off from the south.  Unlike Salado, whose only major highway is now raised high above the store rooftops, Belton still has several interstate exits. But I wonder:  how will these highway "improvements" impact our two towns economically in the years to come? Will the quiet artist community of Salado wither? 

How many travelers will not discover the reasons I love my Chisholm Trail town of Belton? 

I love the slow-paced life of small-town life that allows for strolling from downtown shop to downtown shop--no power walking or purposeful strides tolerated here.

I love the Rush Hour Traffic that delays my commute by five minutes rather than hours. I love that passers by, neighbors and strangers alike, raise a hand and nod their head in friendly acknowledgment.  

I love the lonely sound of the train whistle as it passes through town at 10pm, 12 midnight, and 2am.  

I love siting at the rivers edge watching the water drift lazily. Or picnicking at the dam at sunset as the colors of the sky change from simply stunning to spectacular in the blink of an eye. 

I love the chimes of various churches that announce the top of every workday hour. 

I love snatches of the Thursday evening concerts the wind sometimes carries all the way to where I live. 
How many of these activities will passers by never know existed? Thinking about "improvements" that save me time so I can frantically rush to the next activity, the next thing, the next whatever, rather than savoring the here and now--improvements that actually detract from my small-town life I penned the following poem. 

The Rush

Rush! Rush! Rush!
Everyone's in a hurry. 
Nothin' but speed and worry. 
Fast paced lives. 

We don't sit. 
No restin' to recharge spirit. 
We just about can not bear it. 
On the go. 

We don't rest. 
No watchin' the sun greet morning. 
Refusing to heed the warning:
We need rest. 

Fast paced lives. 
Bypassin' everyday pleasures. 
No time for anything leisure. 
Rush! Rush! Rush!

'til we die.