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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 6, 2017

Rockin' the Purple Hair

I am rocking purple hair today.  Even though I'm considering adding purple peek-a-boo color, my purple hair color today is all-over.  And it's unintentional.  In fact, I didn't even realize it was purple until a co-worker commented on it after our meeting in the Executive Board Room this morning. 

I argued.

She persisted, and even said she thought I was gearing up for the  game on Saturday, when  my AlmaMater, #1 ranked, and  current D3 Champions, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders,  takes on the #10 ranked Brockport Golden Eagles from Doylstown, PA, in the NCAA D3 Semifinal showdown here at Crusader Stadium.


I ducked into the nearest bathroom for a look-see, and sure enough, the mirror reflected purple hair.

Okay, it's not really purple.  It's more of a lavender tint around my temples. But it is noticeable enough several people commented on it.

Walking through the maze of hospital corridors to the Swamp Room that is my shared office, I pondered my actions this morning, trying to determine what I did differently to cause me to end up with purple hair.

I knew I used the wrong blue shampoo (not all brands are the same and I am currently out of my favorite, so I'm using an inferior brand). However, even the inferior blue shampoo has never turned my hair purple before.  Besides, I did not leave shampoo residue in my hair, so the shampoo couldn't be the culprit--unless the manufacturer  changed the formula. Since the packaging didn't say "new and improved," I doubted there has been a formula change. I'm pretty sure I can discount the shampoo as the cause.

Simetimes surroundings can influence the way we perceive color, so I wondered if my purple top could be reflecting onto my hair.  It is not. When I removed my top in the  ladies room and peered into the mirror my 'do continued to reflect a soft purple. 

Puzzled, I thought back to the last time my hair was in fact purple. I intentionall styled it with purple glitter infused hair gel for a couple football games earlier in the season.


On the second occasion I added a purple temporary hair coloring. In fact, it was so temporary all I did to remove it was simply brush it out.

And then it hit me.

I have not completely  unpacked from my recent trip to Florida. My hair brush and flat iron are MIA so I used one of my spare hair brushes this morning.

And the spare hairbrush I used this morning  was the same brush I  used when I brushed the purple dye out of my hair. I deduced the spare hairbrush must still have purple dye residue on its bristles. I'm brilliant with after-the-fact deductions.

Since I wasn't brilliant earlier in the day--like this morning before I left the house--I've thrown "Cs" to my fellow Cru-workers all day long as I totally rocked the purple hair--just as if my purple hair was intentional.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Critical Thinking Fail

I am notorious for my bad recall of names. Frequently the staff of my Ward come to my rescue and supply my with the names of people I have known, and worked with,  for years.

Last night I hit a new low.

I've known Lenard Slade since he worked on 2K--at least a couple years. I've known Natalie Catlin-Slade a shorter period of time--she works in my Service, but we mostly communicate by Skype or phone. I was glad to see their familiar faces at an educational event I attended in Waco last night.

Lenard just can't seem to catch a break--he's a self-depreciating, giant teddy bear, everyone loves, but tends to tease. True to form Lenard received a good teasing from Natalie as they entered the banquet hall.

A few minutes later Natalie  mentioned to another friend that her husband had driven from his job in Temple to their Harker Heights home, picked her up and driven her to Waco for the event. Curious when she motioned to indicate he was behind me,   I turned to see the husband who was so considerate, and there sat Lenard!

I'm ashamed to say I had never put it together.

Bad Kitty Poster Kitty-1; Normally Observant Person-0

The Normally Observant Person  should have noticed the missing wrist strap, BEFORE the end of the day yesterday--especially since the culprit is the Bad Kitty Poster Kitty who removes--and hides--the wrist strap each night, while the Normally Observant Person  sleeps.

Interestingly, the daily journey of the wrist strap has taken it many unique locations--which are progressively further from home each morning.

One might think the newest member of the household known far and wide as one who spoils its residents  would be a little more grateful and less antagonistic toward The Hand That Feeds Them All (aka the Normally Observant Person).  However, Bad Kitty Poster Kitty continues to play tricks and remains unfazed--even appears to sneer--during the daily variations  of the old maxim, "Last One Hired, is the First One Fired."

Worse still is the negative influence the Bad Kitty Poster Kitty  has exerted upon the Top Dog, who, after 12 years,  has begun tipping over and strewing the bathroom trash.

The Normally Observant Person  hopes to liberate the MIA wrist strap and reunite it with the Normally Observant Persons cane today. Maybe if the Bad Kitty Poster Kitty is followed and closely observed...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Craft Recycle

I love the idea of recycling and reusing objects in new and unusual ways. To that end, I want my retirement home to be both creatively functional and sustainably comfortable.

Over the years I've made a list of things I want to try.   Cutting down old t-shirts to make my quilts and reusable grocery bags. Breaking old dishes for mosaic stepping stones, planters, garden bench too, or or countertops inide. Sawing off rake heads and using them to hang stemware or partitions for cookie sheet storage.  It doesn't matter how overused or lame the idea--I love the creative reuse of deconstructed items.

Unfortunately, I can not bring myself to perform the actual destruction of the original item. Even when I buy something from the thrift store or a garage sale for the sole purpose of tearing it down in order to build it back up again. (I've come to the conclusion, no matter how bossy I am,  I could never be an effective  D.I.)

So I've started to compile a small stockpile of items that have been deconstructed for me.

The good news:
I'm getting close to having enough repurposed pottery shards for a mosaic garden stepping stone, planter, or bird bath.

The bad news:
Tonight I mourn the loss of my favorite purple salad plate which has gone the way of my tiny blue corning ware dish and the blue and white Rachael Ray tapas plate.

I hope pennies are more forgiving than tile floors, because when I build my retirement home, I'm toying with paving the floor of the Arts and Crafts studio with pennies.

Hmmm.  Maybe the penies should become the countertops instead. Just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Two-Minute Mom

It's a girl!

Yep, I became a Mommy to a tiny 3 year old girl for a couple minutes this afternoon.  

I was the only shopper on the accessories isle at The Party Store making  up a last minute costume to wear with a caftan I already have used as an Alien a few years ago.  This year, my idea had already  morphed from repeat Alien  into Butterfly, and finally  settled on Hippie, when the little girl walked up holding out a toy and said, "I want this Mom."   I looked behind me for her Mom.  I was still alone.

She called me "Mom" again and didn't seem to realize I am not her Mom.

The third time she said it, I asked her where her Mom was.  She only looked at me.

About the time I asked her, "Where's your Mommy?" I heard movement on the other side of the isle--the row opposite from where she came. A second or two later a woman appeared. I smiled thinking her Mama had been found.

The woman walked past us. I peeked around both end caps. We were alone. I asked the little girl if she were lost. Tears welled up in her eyes.  I was past concerned and well on my way to irritated.

Not at the little girl--but at the absentee Mom, because a bad person could have walked out of the store with her daughter unchallenged.

I told the little girl, "Come with me to the register.  We will find your Mommy."  She followed, albeit a few feet behind me.

About the time we reached the register (maybe 15 feet away), her Mom realized she was missing. Saddly, here is no telling how long this child roamed the store on her own.

Mom was in line to pay--on the other side of the register--and didn't have a kind word to say to either her little girl, or her Lost-and-Found-Daughter's-2-Minute-Mom.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Late to the Party.

I am a little bummed right now.  I found out a few days ago the Orthopedic Surgeon I saw is retiring this month, and won't be performing my knee surgery after all.  Tonight was the Meet and Greet for a couple New Guys taking his place.

The letter Baylor Scott & White sent out really pushed one doc and only mentioned the second. I figured one was seasoned and the other was fresh out of doctoring school--and might even still be in his Fellowship. I seriously thought about skipping the Meet and Greet since I'm ticked at BS&W right now, and have been toying with the idea of taking my health care dollars elsewhere. But, after calm reflection and careful consideration,  I decided in order  to make an informed decision, I probably should at least go meet the New Guys. 

Reluctantly, I got all gussied up, drove to Georgetown, and found the place (at least I didn't have to go all the way to the hospital in Round Rock). 

When I arrived I spied  two docs with their lab coats on.  I skipped over Junior Lab Coat, who I assumed might not have any experience  hence just the letter nod, and belined for Elder Lab Coat,  who I presumed was the doc BS&W promoted more heavily.

Before I could get to ELC, he broke from his cluster of hangers-on...and nearly plowed me over getting to one of the 4 buffet tables--each laden with about two dozen sumptuous party platters of a wide varriety of food.

Well alrighty. That helped me narrow my choice. I would under no circumstances be using ELCs services. I mean, if he'd run a prospective client over to get to the pigs-in-blanket...

Now that decision had been made, I  turned and retraced my steps.  I stood apart from the smaller group surrounding Jr doc.  I did not want to interupt. I'd wait patiently, at least by my standards, until a lull in the conversation and I caught his eye.

However, as the minutes dragged by, and my toes started twitching, I was totally ignored.

Did I mention I'm already ticked at BS&W?  My being ignored was NOT endearing them to me. Quite the opposite in fact.  It was irritating. If you want to irritate me, ignoring me is THE quickest way to do it.

As I stood there, I realized their little clique did not include any civilians--the three of them were all  employees--and at least two were doctors.  In fact, as I surveyed the room, I realized almost everyone in the room wore BS&W nametags. I wondered if  I might have crashed the wrong function. 

About that time, the Three Musketeers broke up. I quickly stepped forward before another hangerback could step in,  and when Jr introduced himself, I must have had a blank look on my face, because he told me the newly departed Blue Suited Musketeer was actually one of the two New Guys. 

Of course, Blue Suit was now nowhere to be found.

In the process of rescaning the room, seeking the elusive Blue Suit, I saw my retiring Orthepedic Surgeon.  I walked over with a smile plastered on my face whilst I plotted his demise.  I pulled myself together as a smile of recognition crossed his face, and graciously wished him a Happy Retirement.  As I killed time chit-chatting with him, he was very complimetry of the new surgeon, and assured me I would like him.

Finally, Blue Suit reappeared.  I bolted for him leaving my almost surgeon with mouth agape. I cornered Blue Suit and introduced myself, thrusting my hand into his. Enough with this dilly-dallying!  He appeared somewhat flabbergasted. When he reciprocated and told me his name, it was my turn to appear stunned--he was NOT one of the Two New Guys I had come to see.  Blue Suit admitted he is in fact an Orthopedic Surgeon; however, his speciality is shoulders. Wrong joint.

Even though I was running out of options, I remained resolute:  Run Me Over Doc (aka ELC)  is not now, nor never will be,  an option. Maybe if he had run me over for Caviar...

A woman overhearing my  conversation with Blue Suit butted in (she reminded me of me).  It seems the doc I came to see was still in the OR. Little Miss Information Clearinghouse went to grab his information and card for me. BS&W done good when they hired my doppelganger.

I left, with glossy promo and business card in hand, thinking the evening was a bust in reguard to my now-not-so-impending-knee-surgery. 

But, all is not lost.  On my way to the clinic I spied a Catfish Parlour. Might as well get some coleslaw!

At first, I was miffed that the new Orthopedic Surgeon missed his own Meet and Greet.  I mean, the whole point was to drum up patients.  And I really put myself out--I even put on make-up and jewelry.  And a dress!  Then I figured it was probably just as well that I didn't meet him under less than ideal circumstances--most Surgeons have a personality that I have a hard time tolerating on the Best of days.

But as  I sat in the restaurant booth awaiting my spicy fried pickle appetizer,  I realized, I might like this MIA Doc after all....

He's obviously a guy after my own heart if he's late to his own party. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Freakishly Fast Feline

A friend tagged me on Face Book after viewing a video of a cute little kitten playing whack-a-finger with his human,  and said I need to play this game with Moggy. I replied I would likely loose a hand because Moggy's fangs rival a vampire and his claws are unclipped. (I should have liken them to Edward Scissorhands, but only thought of it just now.)

I didn't think anymore of the video.

Until tonight.

Once again, I'm so tired I fell asleep sitting up at the table eating my chunky salad. Why is it a chunky salad? Because all the veggies that were not pre-sliced, are cut very chunky--I'm too tired to make finer cuts. And it wasn't even a supper busy day.

I was without my Social Worker, so I did a few things outside my job rather than wait for her replacement to do them--but it wasn't anything I'm not capable of doing, or haven't done before. I slept well last night.  I recently had my Iron transfusion, and other than it getting close to time for my B12 injection, there really wasn't a good reason for me to be so tired. But, for whatever reason I fell asleep.

And Moggy decided to wake me up playing his version of "whack-the-hand-that-feeds-the-spoiled-rescue-kitty."

Moggy stood on the stool under the table--the one I was supposed to be elevating my tired tootsies on, leaned his upper torso onto my lap, and with "Scissor-hand" claws extended, in fast succssession he swiped first my tummy, then my hand, then my tummy again, then my hand again--all I saw was a blurr of white shooting out from under the table. As I came fully awake and started reacting and trying to bat his paws away, he started slapping his unsheathed paws down on my hands to trap them on my lap.

And because he's freakishly fast-pawed, he was successful. Every. Time.

Then Bandit tried to defend me and Moggy turned on him. My hands are sliced and lightly bleeding from The Game.  And attempting to separate The Boys.  

Moggy's a mean playing, little tiger-cat of terror. He's lucky Bandit tolerates him most of the time,  and I think he's cute...otherwise he would be returned to the Street Life faster than he can whack my hand.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blind Date

Some days everything goes right.  Last Friday was not one of those days....

I awoke a tad bit late which meant I didn't get to leave as early as I planned.  That's okay--I  figured I could make up a little of the 14 hour drive by combinning pit stops and taking a couple country road short-cuts rummored to shave off drive-time.  If all went well I could still make it to the mixer for my 40th High School Reunion, albeit a little late.  If not, I would at least be in Crestview the night before the Reunion Dinner. Either way, it was all good.  I looked forward to seeing everyone--and with over 75 in attendance, this year promised to be a banner year size-wize.  Reaquainting myself with class-mates I hadn't seen since graduatuion day would be a blast from the past.

Driving country roads can either be relaxing or fraught with adventure. On this particular day the later ruled. However, my adventure allowed me to meet a really nice man--which is always a treat.  

Mark is gainfully employed--and a stand-up kind of guy if my first impression of him holds true.  While no sparks flew between us, he did think of someone he wanted me to meet:  an outgoing professional who loves meeting people, is a great listener, and  has high moral standards.  To say I was intrigued is an understatment.  Mark invited me to meet his friend,  with one stipulation--we must meet before July 28th. The requirement threw up a red flag; however, my curiosity won out, and for maybe the second or third  time in my life, I readily agreed to a blind date.   Mark gave me his friends contact information with a reminder that I needed to contact him before the 28th.

As I continued on my trip, I wondered at  the time limit.  Since my little adventure and time spent talking with Mark cut a pretty big chunk out of my time cushion, the rummored counrty road shortcuts weren't working out to shorten my drive time,  and I was in the area anyway, I decided to take a chance on missing the mixer and  pay a visit to Mark's friend.  Why wait until the end of the month.  There's no time like the present--especially when it comes to meeting a nice guy.

Unfortunately, Mark failed to mention his friend does not keep office hours on Fridays.

Disappointed, I continued on my trip.  But that odd meeting requirement started to niggle the back of my mind. My over active imagination supplied a number of reasons for the request, each successively more alarming than the last.

Perhaps it was some sort of a country backroad bewitching hour in which his friend would turn into a pumpkin, or an axe murderer--or worse, he would be getting married on the 29th.

Nice guy? Ax murderer? Prince Charming? Mama's Boy? Frog? Toad? I thought I would have to wait until to find out.

It turned out I didn't have to wait, and none of the far-fetched senarios supplied by my suspicious mind were remotely close to the reason for the deadline.

Rummor has it county judges will issue a warrant if you fail to make a court date--even if it is only for allegedly driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Although the last speed limit sign I saw was for 75 mph, my SUVs GPS said it was a 70 mph zone, and I've had such lacklustre success with driving rummors, I don't plan on putting this particular rummor to the test.  I'll make sure my blind date with the judge occurs before the 28th.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Freedom Is Not Free

"Freedom isn't Free"
Is a phrase we blithely say
But do we really realize
The cost they had to pay?

Some gave up family fortunes
Funding the war to be free
Others left their Quaker faith
To fight for you and me.

Many gave up their own freedom
As they in turn were jailed
The hardships that all suffered are
Inadequately entailed.

The loss of life and limb
The frozen feet and toes
Starving for some soup or bread
Are small parts of war-time woes

Yes, freedom wasn't free my friend
Huge sacrifices were made
So we could live free from tyrany and
Enjoy our Independence Day Parade

As we celebrate our Nation's freedom
Let us also ponder the great cost
For although freedom has been won
So very much has been also lost

And the sacrifices haven't stopped
Brave patriots continue to be
As our Armed Forces serve us in harm's way
Because Freedom really isn't Free

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Free Dog Food Coupon

Imagine the delight I felt at my good fortune--it is rare I have a coupon for something I really need. Today, my need for dog food and a coupon for a free bag coinsided. 

This is too good to be true, I thought. I read the fine print as best as my aging eyes allowed. I couldn't find the catch. It wasn't BOGO or even buy one, get one half off.  It was totally free. And not an off brand I wouldn't even feed a stray.  It appeared to include the high quality food I feed Bandit.

It's not that I'm a pet food snob, I'm not.  I got Bandit during the  first China Poision Dog Food Epidemic--I don't feed either Bandit or Moggy anything made, processed,  or handled from or in China. Nor do they receive food that has been on a Recall List. To make feeding time even more challenging,  Moggys cat food can not come from Thailand since they use dogs as cat food sources. That means unless they have begun selling something new since the last time I checked, that removes everything sold at WalMart and HEB (my Texas based grocery store).  So I shop specialty stores, dog boutiques, and pet stores--using every coupon, reward program,  and sale I come across to off-set the cost.

If there was a loophole in this free dog food coupon, it was cleverly disguised, because I was not finding it. The only exclusion or stipulation  I saw was small bags only and no freeze-dried food--it's really expensive. Not a problem.  Bandit doesn't eat the freeze-dried food on a regular basis, and I prefer the small bags so it doesn't go stale.  The coupon even had my rewards number pre-printed on it, so I wouldn't even have to take my rewards  card inside.

Off to the PetStore I went, smart phone in hand since I don't have a printer.  And my credit card. Just in case. On sale or not, Bandit would need dog food very soon.

Presenting the bag of dog food,  and my smart phone screen lit up with the coupon , to the cashier, I said, "It seems too good to be true, but I think this  coupon applies to Bandits food--could you check for me please?"

The cashier looked at the dog food, then carefully read the coupon and told me it appeared to be a valid coupon, and he agreed it seemed too good to be true; however, he informed me with eyes twinkling, "But you really need to check with the other cashier."

I only saw him.

"Who might the other cashier be?" I asked peering around the store.

"The one at the other store." He smiled.

"What other store? The one in Harker Heights?" Bandit and I frequent that store so it is familiar to me. I could not believe I had totally missed the fact the coupon was only valid at a specific location.

"No.  It's here in Temple--but it would be the other store--the one that actuallly issued the coupon."

I carefully reread the coupon for the umpteenth time.  And then I ssw it.   "Oh...You mean the boldly printed competitors name written at the top of the coupon that I missed while I focused on trying to read the fine print?"

"Yep.  That would be the one.:

I sheepishly handed him my credit card and my keyfob with the miniature version of my rewards card. Since I would be paying without a coupon, a little assistance in the price would be appreciated.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Moggy sits on the dining room table staring inperiously down his nose in my general direction.

"Stop doing that!"
It takes the hauty statue a full five-seconds to close his eyes.  I begin my reverse 10-count, for the umptenth time tonight...

On the backside of the nine, his eyes close...

...and remain closed as the numbers fac, they remain closed so long I consider placing a mirror beneath his nose to check for breathing.

Without disturbing his head or ramrod spine, he slowly shifts his eyes until they lock directly on mine. Only then does his front left paw extend as he tap-taps lightening-fast--

 I watch, mouth agape, as the newly sorted receipts flutter off the table, and haphazardly fall into a jumble joining an open book, three bookmarks (none gainfully employed), a sales catalogue, sadoku book with mechanical pencil clipped inside and holding my place  as if it were a bookmark, and a bag of recently refilled prescription bottles.

His eyes are icy as he continues to glare--taunting me to continue the countdown.

I calmly walk to the table and place a salad plate with melty cheese nacho's with-in sniffing distance, but just outside his paws reach. After he sniffs deeply, I tear off a tiny morsel of gooey cheese and slowly pass it under his nose--

--directly into the open mouth of the FurKid who has not purposefully made a mess for me tonight.

Bandit dances his Happy Dance, then assumes his pretty sit,  signaling he is ready  to receive another treat.

I laugh as I retrieve the items from the floor and place them on the table for resorting tomorrow. 

Two can play this passive-agressive game, Moggy.  Two. Can. Play.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Fifty Cents Worth

I made a purchase at a local store tonight and the cashier rang up one of my items as fifty cents more than the advertised price.

The half dollar is NOT the issue.

As a Registered Nurse I make enough money to not have to fret over two quarters. However, I felt the item was over priced at the advertised price, so I told the cashier to remove  the item since it rang up incorrectly higher. After I checked to make sure the advertised price was in fact the lower price I believed, I called and asked to speak to the manager. When I explained why he just lost a sale his response was, "If you had said something in the store we could have discounted it for you."

Here are some of the problems I have with this statement:

1)  I work for everything I get, I'm not looking for a handout or a discount when I voice a complaint, concern, or  compliment. I want you to fix the problem. Bottom line. Plain and simple. Fix it. Or, in the case of a compliment I want you to recognize the good you're doing, so you can continue doing good.

2)  Selling something in excess of the advertised price is illegal.

3)  Offering to give me a "discount" that is actually the advertised price,  is first, not a discount;  and second, it's insulting--it implies I'm too dumb to realize you are merely doing the right thing by selling the item to me at the price you advertised.

4)  Offering to fix the problem for me only, does not fix the problem for anyone else.

5)  When I am in your store and I see an overpriced item, I can put it in my cart and pay the advertised overpriced amount, or I can decide not to and place it back on the shelf. If I decide to purchase the item,  that is my choice.  I will not accept being duped into paying a higher price at the register because your system is corrupted.  (Notice I did NOT accuse the manager or the store of being corrupt--this could have been an honest pricing glitch, or a mis-keyed price when it was keyed into the system--this last is unlikely since I've paid the advertised price at least 6 times this season.  What I said was the SYSTEM  might be corrupted--as in error-ridden--I also did NOT say the system itself was a corrupt system.)

When I informed the manager I wanted him to do something about the discrepancy his response was, "I'll put up a new sign."

This statement indicated to me that he was perfectly fine with charging the higher price without even checking it out. (This item has been advertised at the lower price this whole season--and as previously stated, is IMHO pricey even at the lower price). The manager realized what he was saying and quickly backtracked and said, "Or change the cash register system to reflect the advertised price." (Good answer.  In fact, this is the action I sought.)

So here's the problems I have have with this little interchange:

6)  The manager was okay with pulling the sign advertising the lower price (which has been in effect all season) and continuing to charge the higher price.

7)  His offer to check this discrepancy out and take appropriate action, came far too late in our conversation--by the time he said it, he had totally lost my faith in his ability to take the right, honorable, and moral action.

I realize it's after midnight and the night-shift manager, who sounded young on the phone, is most likely fresh out of High School and still wet behind the ears.  As such he's probably not going to be as skilled at conflict resolution as the day shift manager; however, if he's risen to the rank of manager, and was smart enough to catch himself when he realized he mis-spoke, he's a sharper crayon than his box-mates. I just wish I had confidence to believe he will take this matter seriously enough to research it and correct it.

It's not about the fifty cents.

It IS about the priciples of integrity,  honesty, follow through, and honoring your committments.  It's about doing the right thing--not just oiling the squeeky wheel. It's about doing the right thing for everyone.

Integrity:  Doing The Right Thing even when no one else is watching.

And that's my fifty cents worth.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My First Shiner

I'm sporting a shiner thanks to a recent cat fight. Okay. Maybe shiner is a bit heavy handed. But my eye is black enough you can tell I was in a brawl. Let me just say, I do not normally become engaged in common street behavior.  I can ignore name-calling no matter how vicious. I usually walk away when l'm  bumped, pushed, or shoved. However, when the first punch is thrown, I don't run away. Just ask Mark Kelso. 

Mark Kelso and I lived in the same Eglin  Air Force Base neighborhood and rode the same big yellow bus to elementary school. I don't remember anything about Mark or his family--except our fight.  

One  day, on the bus ride home, Mark passed my seat and, totally unprovoked, bashed the top of my head  with his wooden yo-yo. It was hard enough I saw stars. I bided my time. When the bus stopped at our stop we got off with a bunch of neighborhood kids. We milled around until the bus turned the corner and was out of sight, and then the fight began. I'm not sure if I threw the actual first punch or not--in my mind the yo-yo was the first punch. I held my own against the bully and his yo-yo, which he continued to use. Again, I saw stars when he hit the side of my head. Since this was only my second lifetime fight I had not developed any sophisticated fight strategies. I just aimed and swung.  I don't know if I had enough strength to make him see stars, but I hoped I did. The fight didn't last too long.  I'm not sure if someone called the APs (Air Police--now I believe they are called MPs in all branches of the military, but they will always and forever remain APs to me), or, if he was on his regular drive through. For whatever reason, the AP was there and he intervened.  

Back in the day, when a military brat got into trouble, the Sponsor and his/her Commanding Officer received calls. Most kids I ran with tried to keep from having their Dad meet up with his CO because of something they did. Our gang was no where near perfect. We just kept our noses clean for the most part. When Mama and Daddy heard about the fight and the events leading up to it,  they told me there's never a good reason to fight, and  I should report bad behavior to the authorities. Mama didn't give me the whipping I was expecting. This surprised me since she was forever spanking my butt for some infraction. But not this time. Daddy and I had a "date to talk." Daddy was the second line disciplinarian. "Talking" with Daddy in situations like this was like being called before the CO of your CO.  My Sister and I generally avoided doing anything so egregious as to incur The Discipline of Daddy.  

When Mama took me for a walk outside, it was to collect a good spanking switch. But Daddy didn't gather a spanking switch.  And his belt remained secured at his waist. We had a short talk. He reiterated that I was to avoid fighting. I should attempt to solve differences nonviolently by talking them out. It was the smart way to handle bullies. Daddy said, "No child of mine will be bullied or picked on.  If it comes down to a fight, you are never to throw the first punch." And then he showed me some boxing moves.  As I recall they were mostly defensive blocks; however, there were a few offensive punches, and how to hold my hands to minimize injury. But more importantly, this lesson took place In the front yard where all the neighbors could see. In fact, we were in the corner closest to where Mark Kelso lived. To my recollection, that was the last time I was involved in a fight. Until I got the shiner in this weeks Cat Fight. 
Cat Fights are typically between two girls.  I'm atypical. Yep. I was once again in a fight with a boy. For the third time in my life. Did I honor Mama and Daddy's wish that I exhaust all nonviolent options?  Yes.  But sometimes talk goes in one ear and out the other. Unheeded. Just like Daddy's defensive move lesson. Had I been more cognizant of my vulnerability and past lessons learned, my eyes would have been protected.  But I was not.  I failed to protect my eyes and as a result, he got a shot in and gave me a shiner. It's not a big shiner. But its present and noticeable.  A reminder that I physically tangled with someone.

So this weeks cat fight the guy gave me a black eye, but unlike my last fight, this time there was a definite winner. 

My goals were to apply the ointment to both Moggys eyes (per vet instructions) and coax him into eating more than the gravy off his wet cat food. I instilled the ointment into the bad eye. He was too squirmy for me to safely instill it in the second eye.   And then he promptly left without even licking the gravy.   Cat Fight Results:  Moggy 2, Me 1, plus the black eye which goes into Moggy's win column, making it Moggy 3, Me one.  Except my win is actually a win for Moggy that he does not realize yet. So the final score is Moggy 4, Me nada. 

In a decisive victory, I have been thwarted by my 8 pound cat. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Scene of a Homicide

I came across a recent homicide today. I say it was recent because fresh blood has a distinct "tinny" smell to me.  

In 27 years of nursing I have never encountered a more gruesome scene. I can't even imagine what the victim must have endured.  It's taken me several hours just to find the words to express the abject horror of what I have wittnessed, and it would not suprize me in the least  if I end up suffering PTSD just from witnessing the aftermath. Mere words can not convey the depth of depravity I saw.

The victim was so brutally murdered I was unable to identify their gender--only their hair and skin color.  Starring  at the evacerated shell of a body, I thought, "someone has lost their everlovin' mind!"  What sick, deranged mind even considers disembowling someone?!  To then spread the blood and guts all over the place is unconscionable.

Of course, there does exist the possibility I could be taking creative license and over exaggerating. 


Technically there was no blood and Mr. Christmas Frog was only disembowled of his stuffing and squeaker; however, in my defense--stuffing blanketed the floor giving it the appearance of powder on an unused ski-run.

I have been known to say Bandit loves his toys to death, but I think I may need to start saying Bandit loves his toys past death!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Was That You Said?

Ever have one of those nights when nothing went according to The Plan?

What I heard:  Tuesday, 7 pm--or maybe 7:30 pm, snacks @ Merlene's. Sharon and Linda won't be there.  We'll get a fourth (for cards).

What I wrote:  6pm, @ Merlene's (ask)--and I set alerts for 1 day before, 2 hours before, and 10 minutes before--just so I might possibly be there by 7pm.

What I thought:  I'm so glad Sharon won't be there (don't get ahead of me--it's not what you think...)  Maybe I can bring Sharon's artichoke dip--ask Merelene if I need to bring a sweet snack or if I can bring a savory one (I brought a sweet snack last week)

What I did: I arrived @ Merlene's house, @ 7:15 pm, with Sharon's  artichoke dip in tow (to which I added spinach--thereby making it my artichoke-spinach dip).

What was actually said:  Stack-ups at Mary's house, Linda will be at Shoulder to Shoulder, I'll get a fourth, here's the gate code...

What occurred:  Sharon picked Merelene up (Merelene was under the misconception that she was not invited--even though we were making these plans while we were standing around her kitchen after we played cards at her house last week).  Sharon took Merlene to Mary's house. When I passed Merlene's house on my way home after work I saw Merlene's SUV was the only one at her house, so I thought we might actually be meeting at 7:30 pm--and I was elated--I thought I had a chance at being the first one to arrive--on time--maybe even early!  I saw a text from Mary to Sharon and "two others" relaying her gate code, and I thought it was nice they were having a game as well (we used to have two tables of card players play each week a couple of years ago; however, we had dropped back to just one table and rotate different players in as schedules allow)--but I thought it was odd that I had been placed in this text group since Mary knew I was going to Merlene's--and I wondered if Mary had forgotten she was supposed to play at Merlene's as well--or if Mary's game was the reason Sharon couldn't go to Merlene's).

When I arrived at Merlene's house at 7:15 pm with my  pipping hot artichoke-spinach dip (making my SUV smell yummily devine), Merlene's  SUV was still in the driveway, but the lights were off and no one was home.  I called Merlene's cell and it went to voice mail. I called Mary's cell and sure enough, I was supposed to be at her house--not Merlene's. I made my way to Mary's house and  arrived arround 7:30pm (her game was supposed to start at 6pm--even though everyone knows I can't even make it to my home by 6pm--let alone, make it home, feed Moggy,  potty Bandit, repack my lunch bag with cold DDPs, and rush to someone else's house.

When I arrived at Mary's house my artichoke-spinach dip was still hot thanks to my cassorole carrier--just not pipping.  But the SUV was still smelling heavenly.

Maybe I should develop an artichoke-spinach dip air freshener...

I led the game most of the night, only to lose to Sharon on her favorite hand--The Last Hand.

The rest of us drowned our sorrows in a waffle-bowl filled with chocolate drenched ice-cream.

I'll look for an Audiologist so I can have my hearing tested tomorrow.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lazy Saturday

'Twas Saturday morning
and all through the house,
not a creature dared stir
not even the mouse. 
The FurKids and I
snuggled contently in bed,
with the blankie to warm us--
a pillow cradling my head.

Just before o'dark-thirty
without any clatter,
I awoke with heart pounding
wondering What is the matter?
The alarm! The alarm!
The alarm was not set!

Then I remembered it's  Saturday.
I wouldn't be getting up--at least not yet.

We settled back down
and drifted to sleep.
I'm thankful for bedmates
who don't make a peep.
Then just about the time
I was  ready to snore
a renegade  alarm
let out a loud roar.

"No!" I cried out,
"This weekend I'm free,
and my plan is to do something
that's restful for me.
So we're going back to sleep--
and we're gonna sleep late,
'cause, there are things I dislike
but its mornings I hate!"

The FurKids and I
are perfectly suited--
we're all morning slugs
who dislike being uprooted.
Once again we settled
into our comfortable bed
inviting our sweet dreams
to return to our heads.

Although I say "we"
that's not always true--
because Bandit thought
playtime was long overdue.
He inched up my body
'til his nose touched my face.
When he tapped at my mouth--
he was ready to race.

Then Moggy stretched lazily
and jumped off the bed.
It's his signal to me:
He's ready to be fed.
Like it or not,
our day had begun--
we were off to the races
in our day full of fun.

Out of the comfort
of  bed we arose.
I tended to the Boys
then threw on some clothes.
But the recliner stands beckoning...
tempting the perfect  nap:
one FurKid by my side
and the other in my lap.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Back-up Dessert and Filler Flowers

I'm in charge of dessert for a few friends playing cards tomorrow night.  I wanted to make an apple tart, but my apples have gone bad, so I took a late night trip to HEB for apples and cream cheese. The apples are for the tart, which I've never made, and the cream cheese is for a back-up cheese cake--just in case the tart is a flop.

It's always good to have a Plan B.  Especially when dessert is involved.

I didn't want to deal with cash and change, and I refuse to use my debit or credit cards for purchases less than double digits, so I picked up a case of DDP (Diet Dr Pepper) to flesh out my bill, enabling me to use a card guilt-free.   As I roamed the store, I found a few other staples I was getting low on, so I picked them up as well. Might as well take full advantage of the crowdless condition of the store.

I also picked up filler flowers.

I love fresh flowers on the dinning room table, so I usually pick up a small bouquet every week or so, depending on how long they last. When the flowers start to fade I freshen up the bouquet by tossing the dying flowers, retrimming the stems of the remaining flowers, changing out the water, and using the new bouquest to  fill in the holes left in original bouquet.  By rotating the new new smaller bouquet into the remins of the earlier bouquet,  rather than spending $15-$30 each week on a fuller bouquet that is dead by the end of the week,  I end up with an equally full bouquet, that always appears fresh.  And,  I only spend  $4-$7 on the original bouquet, plus the $4 filler at the end of the week. I love a deal where I save money.

I'm now home, the groceries are unloaded and put away, the flowers are trimmed and looking georgous on my table,  my bank account is $80 lighter, and I'm about to make the apple tart for tomorrow night.

The apple tart will have to be good, because I returned home sans  cream cheese.

Yeppers, I went to HEB for two things: apples and cream cheese.  I returned home without the cream cheese.

So much for Plan B.

Plan C is an After-Work Deli Dessert Purchase.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Adventures in No Fuss Baking the Mary Lou Way

I did a few chores around the house this morning (plenty left in case you're bored and looking for some excitement).  One of the remaining chores is to clear off the dinning room table. It's the gathering place for my many PIPs (projects in process).  As a result, it's cluttered and piled a mile high. At the start of the daunting declutter task I came across a couple recipies:  slow cooker Swedish meatballs and doggie treats.

I stopped moving the mountain so I could cook.  Anyone who knows me, knows I don't enjoy cooking.  I make 2-3 meals each week and rotate the leftovers for my lunches. And I eat out.  A lot. Choosing to cook tells you how thrilled I was to be clearing the table,

I set about gathering the ingredients for the crockpot recipe and found I had used up all my cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups in previous weeks caseroles.  I'm pretty sure the WalMart online grocery ordering and delivery service has a minimum purchase, and I could not think of anything else I needed, so that meant I would have to dress and go to HEB.  On a Saturday morning.

With. All. Those. People.

I have so few unplanned mornings, putting on a bra and shoes (and everything in between) wasn't in the cards for this lazy Saturday morning, so I set about making treats for the Bald One.  I made the dough my way (eyeballing the measurements, shunning the parchment paper or silicone matt, as well as kneading, and dusting with flour--it's so much easier my way). Then I realized all the cute little cookie cutters I have are AWOL. The only cutter I found was one that was misplaced--in the cupboard of all places!  It's a large Texas.  Not what I envisioned for treats.  Ya know how Carpenters "measure twice, cut once"?  Cooks assemble the ingredients--which I did.  But Bakers also carefully measure ingredients and gather all the tools they will need prior to starting a baking project.

I'm. No. Baker.

So I shaped the dough into a rectangle and cut it into bars and popped 'em into the oven.  Then I heard the mountain calling, and I returned to scaling it. Guess what? 

No, I did not fall off like the Price is Right Mountain Climber.  I found  the bone, flower, and heart shaped cookie cutters--all neatly contained and organized in their heart and flower shaped clear plastic,  inside  a ziplock baggie so they wouldn't get lost.  One of my many PIPs on the table.

Since I still had 1/2 can of pumpkin...I whipped up another round of dough.

Bandit wagged his tail and gobbled up a cooled treat I offered him.  He was less enthused with a warmer (but still not hot) treat--although he gobbled it as well--sans tail wag.  I also gave Moggy two cooled pieces of the treats.  He ate one and left the other.  I had hoped he would like them as well.

The mountain is calling again; however, in an attempt to treat (yes I went there) the FurBoys fairly, I will now be googling cat treat recipies....

In case you want to bake treats for your FurKids here is the recipe  (my No Fuss--what actually happened directions--are in parentheses)

(No Fuss) Pumpkin-Peanutbutter**  Doggie Treats
Preheat oven 350F

2/3 Cup Pumpkin (1/2 can)
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter (2 deep swirls in the jar with a rubber spatula)
2 eggs
Add up  to 2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat flour half a cup at a time (2 C all at once)
Add flour until dough is no longer sticky (at 2C it wasn't sticky--trust me)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone matt (I have both--but skipped this and used a nonstick cookie sheet)

Dust hands with flour, and on a flour dusted space knead the  dough 3-4 times (dust hands with a small handful of flour over the dough ball,  pat down and flip the dough to cover with the excess flour--still in the bowl)

Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness (plopped the now dusted and patted down dough ball directly onto the nonstick cookie sheet and patted the dough thinner--pinky finger thick).

Cut shapes and place on parchment or silicone lined cookie sheet (cut shapes directly on the nonstick cookie sheet).

Bake @ 350F for 20-25 minutes (my nonstick cookie sheet is one of those dark ones that browns the bottom faster so I pulled 'em out after 18 minutes).

**some peanut butters have the sweatener xylitol in it--ensure yours does NOT as XYLITOL is TOXIC to FurKids.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


I haven't had any escapees at the laundromat in a while, so I was rather amused and somewhat baffled when a singleton sock, in a brand I usually don't purchase, started hanging out with my clothes.  I always assumed it was me that attracted strays. Maybe it's not me after all--maybe it's my clothes.  Or the Color Catcher. (I love that stuff!)

Nah, after mulling it over I've come to the conclusion  it's me.  This escapee must have chatted up my spoiled boys.  And he agrees with the word on the street:  Life is good at Mary Lou's Zoo.

It's a pretty sure bet he's not heard, or at least not believed, those nasty rumors out there...

Like my habbit of alternately drowning and dehydrating my plants. Okay, so technically that's  more truth than rumor. 

I don't think he's heard the annoying  fire drill that takes place each time I cook either.   Maybe that's  not really a rumor either since it's more of an occurance.  BTW, is it really necessary for the batteries to self-test  each and every time I turn on the stove? 

Of course, it's not all bad, the battery self-testing has introduced me to some very nice Firemen.  And the Firemen  have taken a really cute photo with Bandit. 

Several times.

Now if only a stray winning Lottery Ticket would find it's way to The Zoo....

Friday, April 28, 2017

Moggy's Midnight Madness

Okay, it wasn't really midnight--I just like alliteration.  It was actually just shy of  1:30am when I wittnessed Moggy go into Territory Protection Mode. I attempted to call Moggy off before he engaged The Other Cat, who was  slinking toward us from shadows edge; however, Moggy had ideas of his own.

Imagine my surprise at finding  a cat with independent thought ignoring me. 😉

Moggy dropped into prey mode and ran  to meet TOC, but rather than fully engaging him in the claw-de-tooth cat fight I feared, (the type cat fight from which he has previously drug himself home a little worse for wear),  he abruptly stopped and sat in full attention:  ears forward, body sitting tall and rigid, and he gave TOC the  same intense stare with which he has awoken me on several occassions.

TOC fled.

Moggy ceremoniously dusted his font paws, clenched his dominate paw, and raising it high into the cool night air, shouted, "Good riddance to ya! And don't be comin' back 'round here--your kind aint welcome!!"

Okay...So it didn't go down exatly like that...but it was the cat equivalent:  Moggy held his statute imitation a few heartbeats, then stood, nonchalantly turned his back on TOC, and strutted to the front door, tail standing straight up, with just the slighest tail-tip twitch. The Tail Twitch is Moggy's tell. He was well pleased with himself and feeling good.

Moggy met me at the front door, I praised him and thanked him for his protection, and invited him inside. He, of course, ignored my invitation to enter. Actually, he attempted to engage me in one of his favorite games:  lets see how many times the human will attemp to get me inside before she finally closes the door. Three is usually my limit.  Last night, I cut the game short and closed the door after the second invite.

I barely had the front door locked before Moggy was bumping the back door wanting to come inside. I get it--he had to do a final perimeter  security sweep ensuring the safety of his Family before he could come inside and go to bed. 

Yeah, or maybe he's a strong-willed, independent cat,  who ensured his person opened the door the third time.  Who says it has to be the same door? 

Score one for Moggy.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Thanks for the Reminder Elvis..."It's Now or Never"

Lately there have been far too many deaths in my circle of family, friends, and FB Friends:  my Aunt Margie, my Aunt Gwen (a little bit farther back), Betsy's Mom, Curtis' Dad, Rhonda's MIL, a Choir Member, multiple  Church Members,  HS classmate Tim, other classmates relatives: a Brother,  a BIL, another Mom, another Dad; people I work with now (and at former facilities): a Coworker, a Coworkers Wife, a dear Veteran who was also my favorite WalMart Greeter, (I know I'm not recalling all who have died within the past 2-3 weeks)...and the list goes on... 

For several I had just recalled a funny or sweet memory, and thought I need to touch base with them--just see how they are doing and let them know I'm thinking of them. 
In a couple instances I actually called or sent a card.  I'm so thankful I did.  It took all of 20 minutes to pick up a card, jot down a memory or two, and run it by the post office. I had to be in all those places anyway, so it wasn't even an inconvenience.

But in far too many other instances I waited too late, thinking, "I'll do it later..."
Tell someone you love them today. Don't love them?  Share a funny memory.  Don't have any memories? Ask how they are doing--and really mean it--and be prepared to rejoice with them and their good fortune, commiserate with them in their despair, or just acknowledge their presence. 

There may not be a later.

In fact, live your life as if your life  were the title of a song...don't hold back, don't forget to reach out and just say "hey" to an old friend, help a new coworker, or just smile at a stranger you pass on the your life as if  "It's Now or Never."

(I hope the link below works--it's for Elvis Presley's version of "It's Now or Never.")

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ping Pong Ball Collecting: Funny or Futile?

I recently viewed a short 20-second video on line that gave me pause.  At first glance it's a funny little short with a toddler gathering ping-pong balls and placing them in his cup with his chubby little hand.  Each time he bends to retrieve a ball, another ball he has previously placed in the cup falls out, hits his shoe and rolls away.  He toddles to the fallen ball, bends to capture it and out pops another ball. This repeats a couple times until,  becoming frustrated, he throws a temper tantrum and  tosses the cup and all of the balls onto the deck. Someone titled it, "My life summed up in 20-seconds." 

What I started watching as a funny little snippet turned quickly into a statement of futility as my initial uplifting thought of "always chasing the dream," was quickly replaced with darker thoughts of, "No matter how hard I try, I can never get ahead,"  "Nothing I do is ever good enough," and, "One step forward, two steps back."

Then I wondered why  the adult was videotaping the toddler rather than teaching him to put the cup on the deck and bring the balls to it. Or cover the opening with his hand when he bent over. Or trying any number of possible solutions to his delemia. Why didn't they teach him to think outside the box--or in this case, the cup? 

Surely this video has some redeeming quality.  Of course it does.  It actually has several truths for me hidden in it.  So what can I take away from this video?  At least four lessons (and that's with little or no analysis).

First, sometimes clutching the dream too tightly can kill it--sometimes you have to put the cup  down in order to capture, and hang on to whatever you are seeking--whether it be a dream, a prize, a goal, or a ping-pong ball.   It may seem like you are giving up, when in fact you are merely regrouping.

Second, throwing a tantrum and giving up because achieving the dream takes dillegent effort, is never going to make you successful.  Success always takes a lot of hard work.  And there almost always will be what appear to be failures or setbacks along the way. The only times you actually fail are when you allow the frustrations and failures to define you--or you  give up and just don't try.

Third, if you see, or know, a better, or different, way to do something, and it causes no harm, by all means try it--or help someone else try it.  You might actually find the solution--or lessen someone else's frustration level.

Finally, surround yourself with dreamers, cheerleaders, teachers, and inventors-people who will encourage you, uplift you,  and open your eyes to new possibilities--avoid people who videotape your frustrations  and failures just so they can post it online or enter it in a contest.

And a bonus:  don't play with ping-pong balls if there's a camera or smartphone around--unless of course you are Yan Weihao, Ping Pong World Champion (2017).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Using the Crook as an Unexpected Snare

Recently my five-year old neighbor came to greet me as I returned home.  He carried a ball in his hands and, as will happen with those learning the finer art of coordination, it escaped him.   As the ball rolled under my SUV, my neighbor started to clamber under, then realized the ball was outside his grasp, and he would not be engaging in a safe practice.   He spied my cane and asked to borrow it. I gave him my cane,  thinking he would turn it around and use the handle as a crook to snare the ball. 

This being his first attempt at retreiving a ball from beneath an SUV, he did not think the same way.  He preceeded to hold the handle and point the end under the vehicle. As he swiped the ball it drifted further under the SUV and ultimately became wedged.

Before I could say, "lets turn the cane  around and use the handle to snare it," his father joined us and took over--except, he held the cane by the handle as well.

Not wanting to correct or critique the father in the son's presence, I smiled and silently thought to myself, "Like father, like son." 

He tried a couple times.  Each time the cane tipped the ball, it rolled further away. Finally, on his last attempt, the father shifted his angle and successfully retrieved the ball, in part due to his longer reach, and in part due to the new angle.

I wonder how much easier would the task have been, if he had simply used the cane in an unexpected way? 

More importantly, how often do I use the tools at my disposal in the same timewarn way?  When was the last time I approached a problem with fresh ideas?

How long has it been since I used the crook to unexpectedly accomplish my goal?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Might Be a Jane Austen Novel

OMGosh. Not only am I currently IN a Jane Austen novel...I think I most likely AM one! 

For instance...
I am usually the one trying to persuade others to go on a trip. I don't think I'm disagreeable--although I do like to stir things up by playing devils advocate from time to time.

I usually like playing cards (or board games), but again, I am not disagreeable. Some who have played with me, and have seen my competitive nature might not agree.  However, they're wrong.

Someone I know has fallen ill--not dramatically so, but interestingly so.

I don't think the  piano player hates me, but I know she's no longer my friend.

All of my dresses ARE nightgowns.

I once took a walk with a cad.

Everyone, girls and boys alike, tell me their secrets. But I don't despise them for it. Unless they tell me they are secretly rich, skinny, and beautiful blonde bombshells. But I still don't despise them. I just plot their next accident....

My Mother is neither dead nor ridiculous; however, I do have numerous females who treat me like a daughter. (Thanks Moms!)

My Father was in Finance in the Air Force--he made sure everyone got paid--so he was very popular.  He was very good with numbers and was chagrined when I told him I no longer balance my checkbook. I do closely monitor my accounts online--much closer than I did when I actually wrote checks and balanced my checkbook.

I once fell off a cliff at a picnic--does it still count as something gone  horribly wrong if I only sustained scratches and missed out on the rest of the afternoons activities?

I don't dance publicly. The resentment would be directed at me--actually, I think it would be ridicule.

Would the military commander with no morals be the same as a non-military leader or authority figure without character? Those seem to abound all around me.

I am the woman with the absurd hat. It was actually a gift. I'm not really a hat person--although I would like to be. If I didn't have to get all dressed up to be able  to pull off the look.

My surviving garden and house plants, are astonished they are still alive so I guess my garden IS an astonishment--to my plants, my friends and neighbors, and especially the plants I apologize to when I bring them home.  I tell them they were picked because they looked strong, and if they survive me and the winter, I'll pot them. 

Three men in my life?  I've got only two.   Alas, neither Bandit nor Moggy are marriage material.

If a charming single man attempted to flirt with me it WOULD be terrible. Especially if he were also handsome, sexy, rich, and emotionally ready and able to sustain an adult relationship.  In fact, it would be so terrible  I'm not sure I could handle the terribleness of it....however, in the spirit of Jane Austen, I'm not going to take the easy way out and forgo the testing, so try me! ;~)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"How Many Boobs Do You Have?"

My Supervisor sent out an email reminding us to place our upcoming leave requests because she wanted to work on the schedule. I had already placed about half of my  sick leave requests for the "Prehab" I'm doing in preparation for knee replacement surgery I hope takes place in late summer. So I finished placing the rest, and added the other appointments listed on my latest appointment printout from the hospital:  a mammogram, a couple of iron infusions, labs and follow-up appointments with my Hematologist and Primary Care Physician, etc.  If I could have remembered my Dental appointment I would have entered it as well.  

All-in-all, I entered about 20 requests.  I also threw in a one-day  annual leave request for the Friday before my 40th High School Reunion.

I've made the drive to Northwest Florida and back to Central Texas in just a weekend, but it does make for a tiring 2-day trip. Besides, I wanted to attend the Friday night mixer if possible.

A little while later, my Supervisor called me and she started off the conversation by saying, "I have to ask a delicate question. Please take this in the spirit in which it's meant." 

Right away I knew I'd done something wrong.  I'm kinda quick like that.

"Okay," says I, after first taking a calming breath and counting to ten.

"How many boobs do you have?" She chortled and barely managed to ask.

Immediately I realized what I'd done. I'm smart like that. "Did I place two requests for mamos?" I giggled.

"Yep," She snorted. We are both Registered Nurses with somewhat twisted and bawdy senses of humor.

"Well, I have two boobs of course--so naturally I placed one mamo for each boob."

We were both dying laughing, which of course only encouraged me to continue in fairly close succession:  

"And as a Nurse, I am a strong advocate for the smashing of the mammies."

Her laughter spurred me to add,  "Besides, I'm a glutton for punishment."

And, remembering my one day annual leave request I had tossed into the mix,  I  ended with, "We're so short-staffed I'll do anything for some time off!"

To which she replied, "I think we can come up with something a little bit less painful."   Dare I hope she would grant the annual leave request?

It's only a day; however, it's during a 2-week leave of another coworker, and our policy only allows for one of the Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) to be off at a time. Of course, we've been working 2 PCCs  short for the past 9 months (and we never filled the vacancy that would have kept us at 7 several years ago), so we've had many a time when only 3  PCCs provided coverage during the week. As well as several times when there were only 2 PCCs. And of course there is only one PCC on the weekend, every weekend.  Friday is also an extremely busy day--even when we are fully staffed. I knew when I placed it, my request was a long shot.

She later told me while she is unable to grant the annual leave request at this time, she'd review it again closer to the date, and see if the new girl was up and running by then.

If not, I may have to reschedule that second mamo after all--and take the whole day for "recovery" time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Falling Asleep at the Dinning Room Table

I left work half an hour late tonight-that's almost early for me--the new PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) is supposed to start next month--almost a year after the two PCCs retired--and the second position is posted. Again. We are all tired and I'm cranky. Covering my ward, plus part of ICU--plus part of a third ward (when someone is out, as has been the case this week--and almost every week, for forever), and covering weekends and holidays  is getting really old (especially when the admissions to my ward alone already account for 38-40% of the total hospital admissions).

When I arrived home, I loaded up the clothes hamper and Bandit and set off  for the laundry. I prefer the laundromat because I can do a mountain of clothes(6-8 loads)  in 3 hours. Tonight I only did a single load, so we were there less than an hour. Bandit and I listened to one of my library audio books while I waited until I could fold.  I ended up only having one disc left, so then we drove around in the general direction of the library, until we finished the disc and I returned the audio book.

It was after 10pm when we finally arrived home.  Moggy was waiting impatiently for us on the carport.  He readily came inside for his dinner and didn't even try to go back outside when Bandit went for his bedtime potty break.  If you read this mornings FB post, you'll recall he was a headstrong, unherdable cat who ended up staying outside when I left for work.  I guess he decided inside wasn't so bad after all.

I made a quick dinner, followed by falling asleep--AT the table--usually, I can at least hold out until I get to my recliner for book reading wind down time, before I actually crawl into bed. Not tonight. I slept, sitting upright, at the table until 2am.  Did I mention  I am past tired?

When I awoke from my 3-hour upright snooze, a quick trip was required, so I popped into the guest bath--I needed to replace the empty TP roll anyway. The door opens onto the hall and dinning area--I spied Bandit curled up in my clean clothes, and Moggy sprawled out on my chair.

I guess I'm not the only one tired at our house.  😴😴😴

Now that I've got my second wind, I need to clean off the table, clean up the  kitchen, and put away my clean-now-Bandit-smelling clothes. And go to bed for some real sleep. Or, I might just go to bed and deal with everything tomorrow. 😉

The best news I received today was actually threefold:
  1)   The article I submitted about a hard case my Social Worker and I handled recently was accepted for publishing on a nationwide VA website, and is in the running for inclusion in the eLetter that is sent out to everyone.
  2)    The mock-Joint Commission survey we just had, loved our care plans, so we continue to remain on track. Twelve years ago our PCC position was created in large part as a response to less than favorable reviews of VA Nursing  care plans. Over the years, our responsibilities have grown to include much more than merely documenting the care plan, but it's still our major focus.
  3)  Rumor has it Joint Commission is currently at a local hospital.  Since they tend to hit several in a row, and since we are currently "in the window" for our next due survey, we may actually have a real survey within the month.  This is good news because then it will be another 3 years before we are due again.  I'm too outspoken  (and tired) to be intimidated by people evaluating my performance. I've always said, I'm going to do my job as well as I can. If I'm doing something wrong, or subpar, tell me and I'll fix it. Until I hear otherwise, I'm gonna keep on doing it my way. So far, although I'm FAR FROM PERFECT, in my 27 years being an RN,  I've been able to answer all  questions they've asked to their satisfaction.

The bonus feelgood moment came today when an administrator passed my Supervisors office while we were talking. He saw her sign that says, "Adopt the Paulette Stance," and asked about its meaning. Paulette  is our Service Chief. I popped up and said it means to be strong and independent. My Supervisor added, "Don't take 'No' for an answer, especially when it's clearly the wrong answer."  He looked at the two of us and said neither one of us failed to be assertive.  Funny thing is, he's only observed my ID Meeting with staff and the Providers  once, and he's only been attending the Bed Huddle we have every morning with the Chief of Staff and sometimes Director for a week or so.  Because our new Director has only been here less than a couple of weeks, I've actually been on pretty good behavior. For me.  I guess my reputation precedes me:  Have Oppinion--Will Share.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


I started my Prehab today. Yep. Prehab. It's not a typo-even though the 'droid keeps trying to correct it. 

Last month my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and I had a heart-to-heart about my knees.  The steroid injections are no longer giving me any relief, so it's time to consider replacement.  We updated the knee x-rays and  when he reviewed my x-rays, he could see I'm not faking the pain--2 years ago, I still had some space with just a little bone-on bone action.   Now, I have no space--both knees are bone-on bone all the way across, AND I have bone spurs on the outer aspects of my knees. 

We talked about options, prayed about it, and he referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon. He also cautioned me that the Surgeon  would probably encourage me to lose some of the weight I've put back on the past couple of years. I expected that, so I started back on healthier eating practices that very day: high fiber/high protein, low carbs (my downfall), and portion control.

By the time I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon a couple of weeks later, I had dropped 6 pounds. Even without being able to exercise. The Surgeon was encouraged that I'm taking this seriously and started eating healthier before I came to him, but he still wants me to lose 50 pounds (I was kind of hoping for 25 🙄). And he likes that I'm doing LifeStyle Changes rather than fad dieting. 

LifeStyle Changes are really the only thing that works over the long haul. It comes off slower, so it takes longer--but it's healthier and ultimately you're more successful in keeping it off. 

He also wants me to do Physical Therapy prior to surgery to strengthen my knees and get the edema (swelling) under control.   So today I had my initial PT evaluation.

My therapist gave me some home exercises (stretching exercises done on my back and side, so they are no impact).  They are the kinds of things I'll be doing during my post-surgery Rehab as well.  She also taped up my knees with some blue stretchy tape for some added support and stability. I wear the tape 3-5 days, the remove it and give my skin a 24 hour rest period, and then reapply new tape.  The tape makes quite the fashion statement. Luckily I don't wear light-colored pants to work.  We also set up additional Prehab sessions--which I'll be doing for the next 6-weeks--hence the "pre" rather than "re." And I'm back to support stockings to improve the circulation.

If all goes according to plan, the next time I see my Orthopedic Surgeon, I'll be 50 pounds lighter, we'll be able to see my ankles once again, and my knees will be stronger.  Then we will schedule surgery, and I'll get new knees sometime late summer.

So there you have it: healthy lifestyle choices+Prehab with support hose and blue tape+surgically enhanced new knees+Rehab=increased mobility and (eventually) reduced pain.

That's the plan. I'm off to Prehab now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Little Scale Humor

A week or so ago I weighed both at work and the doctors office. The scale at work said I lost 6 pounds. I like that scale. 

So a couple of days later I weighed again and the darn thing said I had gained two pounds.  I thought it was defective. Or possessed. I talked bad about that scale the rest of the day.

Today, I saw three scales in one of the store rooms.  I decided to check my theory that one (or more) are not calibrated correctly.  Or they are  possessed.

I made sure they were all zero before I checked my weight on all three, one after the other--so there could be no weight gain between weighings.

The first scale IS possessed. It gave me the same weight that it gave me last week. I dislike the first scale--yes, I know, I liked this scale last week, but I don't like it anymore.  The only scale I dislike more is the scale at my doctors office--that evil one that weighed me as 6 pounds more than this one. The scale at the doctors office is WORSE than possessed--the doctors scale is the spawn of you-know-who.

But back to todays experiment: the last scale read my weight as a pound lighter.  I always liked that scale.  It is a fair and just scale.  A little slow on the uptake sometimes, but it's heart is in the right place. It makes me happy.

But my favorite scale was the scale in the middle. It told me what I wanted to hear--that I lost two pounds. Obviously it was the smartest, most awesomely correct scale. It is the scale that makes me happiest.  I think I will mark this scale so I always use it.

For consistancy of course.

Okay, so that was a little "light"-hearted tongue-in-cheek humor; but, it points to a couple of "heavy" truths:  First, Truth doesn't change. It may appear to change, depending on what it's measured by, but when it's all said and done, truth is still truth.  Second, just because I'm told what I want to hear doesn't mean it's True.

My weight did not fluctuate by two pounds in the span of  a minute. The only thing that changed was the measuring tool I used.

It's imperative that we acurately measure ourselves by the same perfect standard every time.  Otherwise we'll always be a little off. 

And the scales that weighed me heavier aren't really possessed. 

They're just misguided.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Comfortable Voyeur

You'd think I'd be used to the voyeuristic tendencies of my FurKids by now.  After all, every pet I've ever had has felt it their duty to accompany me to the  bathroom and watch as I do my duty.

Tonight Moggy reclined in the hallway just outside the bathroom and groomed himself while watching me. No surprise there.

Bandit, on the other paw, has taken his voyeurism to a new height.  He grabbed ahold of the robe I left on the sofa, tugged it through the livingroom,  down the hall,  and stopped with it in front of the bathroom. He then scrunched it up to make it fluffier before he plopped down it. 

Bandit:  the Comfortable Voyeur.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Moggy: HelperKitty

Some days I think Bandit is dumber than a post.  He is so clueless and unassuming when it comes to his brother-by-another-mother, Moggy (aka The Cat). It always floors Bandit when Moggy picks on him.  And yet he continues to trust Moggy, and attempt to engage him in playtime.

You would think that Moggy, a rescue, would be appreciative of a warm, soft bed, access to plenty of fresh water, boutique catfood, enough toys to decorate a master suite,  and free Healthcare. If he is appreciative, he has an odd way of demonstrating it: he glares, alternates between tripping me up and lying down exactly where I need to stand (like when washing dishes or brushing my teeth--it's not like I can move the sink to accommodate him), and giving little love nips--okay, the love nips could actually be his version of yanking on my pigtails as a little boy way of showing affection; however, the bopping on the head is not. Especially when he draws blood.

Tonight I was in the guest bathroom and Bandit sought me out. Heaven forbid I do something without him. So he comes in for a scratch and a snuggle, and I ask him, "Where's your baby?" When he hears that phrase he will perk up and go find his favorite toy of the day, always passing up the other toys.

Upon finding his baby of the day, he will perform the death shake and, if he's not previously performed a successful squeaky-ectomy, he will give the squeaker a couple of chews, before bringing his baby to just outside my arms length.  It's his sadistic version of "fetchless fetch."

Tonight was no exception. But after he came in for the snuggle, then went in search of his baby, Moggy sauntered around the corner and without warning or provocation bopped Bandit on the top of the head three times successively. This is new.  He normally only goes for the singular head bop.

The look of hurt and bewilderment that overcame Bandit was heartbreaking.  It was as if I could read his mind, "All I wanted was to go get my baby--why did he bop me?!"

Scooping Bandit up, I  loved on him a little extra, and patted his  head softly while seriptiously checking for blood. Moggy sometimes bops with unfurled claws.

I reminded Bandit he has permission to defend himself against The Cat. And I scolded Moggy for being ungrateful and picking fights. I told him he needs to love his brother and get along with him, because hes the only brother hes got. Moggy glared. Then he blinked and he almost looked chagrined.


I decided  to take Bandit with me to Austin on a Marketplace buying run. The Marketplace is addictive. I never knew all the stuff other people were selling that I needed. Anyway, a little time apart might be just what the boys needed.

When we arrived back home, Moggy ran to greet us and was actually civil. Then I went into the master bath. 

Moggy has taken to  turning his nose up at the chicken selection of the variety catfood pack, so when I saw the toilet paper up and over the cabinet in order to lie on the food dish, I thought Moggy was sending a stronger message than his usual patented show of disdain: the loud sniff,  followed closely by the nose in the air, and saunter away.

But then I realized two things: first, his food bowl was empty. And second, the TP was not shredded, nor was it wadded--it was neatly folded. Not only that, it was not covering his now empty food dish--it was actually on the cabinet edge I use to hoist myself up when the knees are bothering me.

Finally, it dawned on me--Moggy was trying to make amends by being a HelperKitty--he had neatly folded the TP  and readied it for Mommies next use!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tarnished and Character-Laden

Lately I've been enamored by all things tarnished and character-laden.

When they introduced The Marketplace, FB actually did something right.  At first, I was angry because I didn't know why, all of a sudden, I was seeing all these garage sale type posts. I am a member of a local hometown online garage sale page; however, I signed up for it--it was not foisted on me. Not so with the Marketplace.  I asked where all these new posts were coming from and no one knew.  The response was always one of two: "So-and-so signed me up."  Or, "I don't know--they just started showing up on my phone." Well, I didn't know So-and-so. I began to wonder if FB was behind this, or if the 'droid had hijacked me.  After a decade or so of iPhone use, I'm still trying to assimilate to the 'droids  way of thinking and doing.  Thus far, it has been neither a pretty nor an easy transition.

After I got over being angry at this intrusion, I started noticing the really great deals to be had. And how rapidly they could be lost if I hesitated on making an offer.  But more than the deals, I was stunned at how quickly people are to discard perfectly usable stuff.  Especially if it was a little bit tarnished.

This month, within 24 hours I scored an antique typwriter, copper singing tea kettle, tulip light, and silverplated chaffing stand--all for pennies on the dollar.  Last month I scored dinning room chairs from the historic Stagecoach Inn, and bookshelves that were delivered to me.  Each peice is dirty, tarnished, slightly mared, or missing something easily replaced.

Take the tulip lamp. It's missing a single bulb cover. The five present are presentable and functional--the color is an okay amber; however, when lit up, it is stunning. But because I would have to replace a cover (unless I kept it facing the wall where its absence went unnoticed), I stole this georgous lamp for a song. On looking for replacement bulb covers I found beautiful covers that I fell on love with for $20 each. I normally would never think of buying $120 worth of covers.  But then I saw how it would transform my $35 lamp into something that replicated a stunning $560 lamp.  I may talk myself into splurging and buying six covers after all.

The chafing stand is pretty useless without the dish that goes with it, but I wanted to try a chemistry experiment for removing tarnish from silver (or in this case silverplate) before I tried it on a tea  and  coffee service I have. For $5 I couldn't go wrong. The experiment was a success. Most of the tarnish was removed with a simple soak in a receptacle lined with tinfoil, filled with boiling water, to which I added baking soda.  Plus, I had a nice cup of tea while the tarnish soaked away--maybe not all of the tarnish--a small amount remains in the cracks and crevices.  If I felt so inclined I could easily buff out the remaining tarnish. But I like the  look.  I think it adds character and definition.  So I'm leaving it.  It's going to make a pretty display.  I'm thinking a glass ball or flower pom-pom.

The typewriter is far from usable, but that's perfect since I'm a frustrated wannabe writer. I envision it displayed in all its patina-laden glory, sans the dust layer, on an  antique desk with first pages of famous novels crumpled and strewn around it.

The initial cleaning of the copper tea kettle has proven slightly problematic.  The lemon sliced in half, dipped in salt, and rubbed on the kettle, shined up the top beautifully--except for a dime-sized spot; however, the rest of the kettle is much more tarnished.  I may have to move on to another tarnish removal method. Also, it no longer sings.  This is less of a problem than you would think in the Age of YouTube.  I found a video that describes how to adjust the kettle, so I'll see if that does the trick. Retail this singing copper tea kettle sells for $160.  I paid $5. Even tarnished and mute, it makes a nice cup of tea.

As for the shelves, I noticed a couple of places that need to be touched up. Again, an easy fix.  And the dinning room chairs? At first I wanted to stain them a darker color and reupholster the seats, but then I decided I will just freshen them up with a deep cleaning.  Like the tarnish on the chaffing stand and copper tea kettle, I like their character as they are.

I'm not sure, but this new-found interest in patina-laden objects may be due to my own brush with personal patina.  Or, perhaps character speaks to me because I am one.

Patina? Character? Moi?

You betcha!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Independent Moggy

Moggy went out today and decided to stay out while Bandit and I went to PetCo.  I attempted to entice him with canned cat food--the sound of the popping top usually gets him running toward me. It didn't even phase him. Perhaps because the neighbors dog was raising a ruckus. I think Moggy was  rather enjoying antagonizing a new dog.

Bandit and I  stayed out several hours. When we returned I half expected Moggy to come running up to the SUV as he has in the past. I was saddened and a little hurt when he did not. And then I grew concerned that  something bad might have happened to him. Perhaps the neighbors dog had gotten loose...

Opening the front door I heard a frantic scratching at the back, and my fear intensified. Something might be chasing him.  I hurriedly wrenched open the door, and  Moggy shot inside like a rocket. I was surprised to find it was only him, and not a demon dog hot on his trail. 

Once safely inside, Moggy strutted into the bathroom, sniffed at the food bribe, turned his nose up and sauntered away--only to return a few minutes later to gobble it up. After doing his duty and cleaning up, he hopped into his newest lounge--my nightstand.

I suppose now he'll want a pillow and cushion to be installed in it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Live Life Inspired

I have amazing friends. One, a Veteran-Teacher-Registered Nurse-Artist, posted a request for her friends to post their sixth most recent photo. So I did. 
My 'droid photo view is currently set in gallery mode, so I looked at the sixth photo to the right.  It was a photo of an old typewriter I recently purchased.  I have not found a suitable table or desk on which to display it, and I have not even cleaned it up (the dust is thick). It's currently sitting on a dinning room chair. The chair was from the historic Stagecoach Inn of Salado. Behind the typewriter,  the first  (and only) pastel I've done leans against the back of the chair. My pastel is supposed to resemble Georgia O'Keefe's Magnolia.
Then I decided to look at the sixth photo swiping down on the left corner.  There I found a photo of a Dollar Tree puzzle that you color once assembled. It's put together, but only partially colored.  From time to time I add a little color.
Upon seeing these photos, my first thought was: I live an artistically inspired life.
My second thought, close on its heels, was:  My life is like my projects, it's a journey in progress.
But then, self-doubt and negativity reared their ugly heads, and they said: you don't finish anything.
I had a decision. A choice must be made.  I could listen to them, the doubting nay-sayers, or I could choose to go with my positive first two thoughts.
And then I was reminded that daily we have the opportunity to choose to be positive. Some days it's harder than others.  Some days the silver lining is thin and elusive. Some days you have to hunt for anything good. I chose to go with my gut instincts which were positive.
Just for grins I looked at the very last photo I took.  Peppered in the gallery are photos of Bandit and Moggy, selfies, and friends and family.   But the very last photo I took, was of another project--it's a silver-plated chaffing stand that is sorely tarnished.
Frankly, I love the tarnish, but I wanted to try a bit of  chemistry I recalled about any easy way to remove tarnish: lining some sort of receptacle with tinfoil, adding baking soda and boiling water, then submerging the tarnished object.  So I prepared to submerge the stand.  And, since I had the tea kettle on, I made a cup of tea.
The results were truely amazing. Not all of the tarnish has disappeared--but the majority has. With just a simple soak. While I sipped my tea.
Again, this project is incomplete. But it's a process, a journey that mirrors my life.  I'll choose two positives over the negative any day. Every day. 
My life may appear incomplete, but in reality, it is a journey. Some days there will be setbacks like not finding the right table. Other days there will be advances like the removal of tarnish. But everyday there is a choice to be made.
I choose to live an artistically, inspired, positive life.
I encourage you to be positive and live your life inspired as well.

Monday, February 13, 2017

WWIII May Start in My Bedroom

If World War III starts anytime soon, it may start in my bedroom.

Moggy is having problems this morning with a couple of my basic rules to keep the peace:

1)  Don't knead Bandit
2)  When walking on my chest, keep your butt outta my face

It really doesn't seem that difficult to me.  However, Moggy can't, or refuses, to follow these basic rules of conduct.

I fear WW3 is about to erupt.

I'm a Junk Junkie

Have you seen the Marketplace on Facebook?

I am hooked on it.

Hi, my name is Mary Lou, and I'm a Marketplace  Junk Junkie.

I think the Marketplace is part of the last FB updates.  Either that, or the new 'droid hijacked me. 

On your FB page there's a house.  Click on it and you find a virtual garage sale. Depending on the market, and time of day, the junk you're selling can be seen by hundreds of people in minutes. And you can see the junk hundreds of others are selling. I've gone over the deep end in my purchases. 

Tonight I bought a singing Chantal copper tea kettle (retails for $160) for $5. 

It's tarnished, and it may never return to its former glory, but I love the lines, and frankly, it's cleaning up real nice--with just a salt and lemon juice scrub.  And by "scrub," I mean I've barely rubbed it. 

The girl selling the tea kettle, said it "just needs some paint." Yikes!! I knew I had to rescue it right then and there.  Paint is wonderful stuff, but it's not the fix for everything.

I haven't even come close to finishing cleaning it, but it's past my bedtime, so I'll post this and then pop into bed for a few hours.  I'll post the final results in a day or so (photos are on my FB page).

If I can stay off the Market Place long enough. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I'm Puzzled

Anyone who reads my Facebook Page knows I have an ongoing board game challenge with three of the Borum Grandchildren. During the Christmas break we sit down to play every game known to man. And every year they beat me. In almost every single game. I don't feel too bad, since they beat most of the other adults as well.

Normally I am not competitive; however, board, card, and word  games are the exception.  In these games, I  play to win. To the point that I've had Church Friends refuse to play games with me.  I tell them it's biblical--Philippians 3:14 admonishes us to Run the race to win it. And Colossians 3:24 tells us  to Do everything as if we were doing it for God.  You wouldn't want to do a half-baked job for the Creator and Savior of the world would you?  Of course not!

So go for the win. I do. Even when playing with children.  There are no "participation trophies" at my table. 

However, I  also keep it in perspective--after all is said and done, it's only a game. A game I seek to win--but nevertheless, in the big scheme of things, it really is just a game.

It's not just the BorumGrands that like to play--the adults join in as well.  Even Santa stuffs an IQ puzzle in our stockings. This year Santa left us a pair.  I'm unsure if that's because we are so smart, or because he thought we needed remedial help.

Last night, after I ate dinner and read a little, I took a puzzle break. Several weeks ago I actually solved the Fifteen Puzzle Santa gave us a few years back.  I was thrilled when it happened--almost effortlessly. The win encouraged me to try the pair of puzzles we received this year:  the Classic Wooden Cube (that, when undone resembles a long snake chain of small connected cubes, but when reassembled correctly, forms a larger  perfect cube), or Klotski (the IQ puzzle based on a Chinese strategy game in which you maneuver the largest of 10 multi-sized tiles around the board and out through a thin slot, through which only the large thin tile can fit).

I'm hoping to be able to post a photo of the puzzles (blog readers may have to see my Facebook page to see it).  My cube needs a little more work--it's really more of a free-form impression of a cube.  I guess I could call it my attempt at PicasoCubism.  

However, like my Fifteen Puzzle, my Klotski now sports the correct solution.  I've only been playing with this Klotski  puzzle a little over a month.  Noone has solved it in less than 81 moves--not even the computer (and a slightly different version can not be solved in less than 100 moves); however, I literally found the solution for Klotski  in my sleep.

Impressive, you might say.  But then I would have to tell you that I actually had help.

Of course, after persusing the Facebook photo, you may have already deduced I had help (and just who helped me) by the slightly soggy appearance of one of the small red-dotted tiles.

You see, when I fell asleep, I dropped the puzzle and the tiles scattered. I retrieved one small tile from Moggy, before he could bat it into oblivion--and Bandit found another small tile and thoughtfully hid it from The Cat until I could retrieve it, from inside the mouth of The Dog. Hence the soggy.

I can't wait to tell Santa, and the Borum Grandkids, I solved this 81-move puzzle in under 15 moves. I'm pretty sure that's a record even they can't beat.

Two puzzles down. One to go.  I'm on a roll (dice pun intended).  Perhaps I should tackle the cube-to-snake-back-to-cube puzzle).  After all, I've already got the cube-to-snake part perfected, so I'm over halfway there. 

I think Moggy, my Hunter Extraordinaire,  is pretty adept at killing snakes, maybe he can assist me with whipping the snake back into the cube-shape...