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The BOMB

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 ten 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 gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

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

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

Tuesday, 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. 

Again.

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

Mix: 
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.