Saturday, December 30, 2023

The sixth day of Christmas...


 It is not six geese a-laying, but in keeping with the sixth day of Christmas, may I present Blossom and Frank.

Wait. There's more!

Arnold and Amelia


Kyle 


Consider yourselves goosed. 

Ch-ch-changes...

 Today, we got all the main walls built and installed. We have to put in the front wall of the bathroom, the one that faces into the hall space, and we've got to enclose the closets, but then we are done with that, well within our goal of getting that part of things done before 2024.

Other than that, it's just been a quiet sort of day. 

Funny thing about Houdi. A couple days ago, I told you that when I unzipped his carrier after the trip to the vet, he leapt out and raced off to the basement. I figured he'd be hiding for a day or two. It's his 'quirk'. It has been since I got him. For the first couple months I had him, the only way I knew I had a cat was that someone was crapping in the litter box and his cat food disappeared over night. I thought he'd never get past that. But he did. But whenever something spooked him, he continued to hide, and that cat is a very good hider. 

So, I wasn't surprised that he ran for the basement. However, I was very surprised when he came back up within a few minutes. He got a special treat for that, one of those lickable things and he adored that. I am not sure what is in that stuff, but he has become a lap sitter, and a cuddle cat. When I am up and moving around, he misses my lap, and meows. He comes looking for me in the night and I've set a plush bed up for him on the floor beside me. 

He's playful, and his latest love is the laser toy, and he knows what's coming when I hold it up for him to see. 

He's a year and a half old and it just seems as if his whole nature has changed, just like that. I've never seen a cat do that before. 





Thursday, December 28, 2023

For Northsider and Steve

The first picture is for Northsider Dave. This is a picture of the brass and copper gas light that bought in a box of stuff at auction. It has been wired to work as an electric light. Auction price of $5.00. We bought polish and dremel pads and sealer. It was a cool find and Tim is pleased with it. 




The next pictures are for Steve. He wanted a picture of the ruler. It is a yard stick actually, that is divided into four sections. Folded completely it is 9 inches long. 


It is marked. Michael Rabone and his wife started this company in 1784. The factory was located in Birmingham. (8 Snow Hill, to be exact).When he died in 1803. his wife took over the day to day operations. His son John, took over in the 1820s. 

At that point, England was beginning to mechanize, and (this is pure conjecture on my part since I cannot find a lot of information to fill in the blanks) I'm guessing this is when the rulers began to be made with callipers and protractors and the like to meet the needs of draftsmen and machinists I am guessing also that this is when the rulers began to be stamped with a number. Ours does not have a number at all and I am (again speculation!) wondering if this is perhaps due to the fact that before the industrialization of England, Michael and Elizabeth Rabone's small company had a very limited inventory and had no need to number the products. 

So, at some point in John's 'reign' these different rulers began to carry product numbers. He moved the company to Hockney Abbey to accomodate the bigger business as well as his modernization. There is a story about a disgruntled employee stabbing John Rabone in a rage because he felt that mechanization was going to deprive him of employment. 

But...back to the time line. In 1845, John's son, John Jr. joined him in the business and it became John Rabone and Son. In 1877, John Jr.'s sons joined the party and the business name was changed to John Rabone and Sons. 


No model number.


It has a 'swing hinge' in the middle. On some of the later models, this was a protractor for measuring angles. The models during John's time began to be made with a half circle cutout instead of the flat ends on the swing hinge. 


Each 'leg' coming off of the swing hinge has an additional hinge to unfold the four sections into a 36 inch yard stick. each inch is marked off to 1/8 inch intervals. 

It's a fascinating thing, so perfectly designed and made. We can know for a fact that the yard stick we have was made before 1845 when John Jr. joined his father in the business. Again, it is pure conjecture, but I believe when John took over from his mother in 1820, he began to make changes, add to the product line, label his products with product numbers as he kept pace with England's industrial boom. It is my guess that the ruler Cara and Colin sent Tim is something from early on in John's control, and it may well date back to Elizabeth and Michael's time. It was a fascinating rabbit hole to fall into. If anyone has any information to add, please feel free to do so. We'd love to hear it. 

In other news today, Houdi went back to see the vet again for a recheck. He was not happy about finding himself once again in a cat carrier, but interestingly enough, he did not yowl all the way to the vet. He rode quietly, and he behaved like a perfect gentleman cat. Better yet, when I brought him back home and unzipped the carrier, he jumped out and bolted for the basement as he usually does when he's spooked but this time, he did not stay down there for a couple days. He returned in minutes. I rewarded him with one of those lickable treats, picked up specially for this day. He loved that little treat. We played with the laser light for a while. and he is now yowling at me. He is used to spending the evening on my lap, and he can't do that if I'm on the computer. 

We will have all the interior walls up in our new house before we ring in 2024. Then Tim will wire the house. Plumb the house. Figure out where we are going to put the other two windows.  Then we will begin the drywalling.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Done and Dusted


The Amish evening went wonderfully well. The kids enjoyed the lights, and nobody got carsick, which was a real hazard for excited kids with full bellies who are not used to riding in the back of the car. 

The kids were delighted with their things, and to be honest, the puzzles were a hit. I don't think they quite understood what they were initially. Reuben brought one of the small boxes over. We opened it together, and it was two planks, connected together by beads and twine. He didn't know what it was. I explained that it was a puzzle and that you had to figure out how to get them apart and then put them back together. I puzzled at it for a while and figured it out. He was dumfounded. I offered to show him the secret, and he watched avidly, pushing his siblings away when they tried to peek. He was quite proud of himself and passed it around for the others to puzzle over. Levi was just as fascinated with the puzzles as the kids were, and all of them sat with their heads together working on different puzzles. He said, "These will be a good thing to keep kids busy when there is a blizzard outside, or it is too cold to stay out." Dads too, I think.

Baby David loved the corn pudding, and he was gobbling that down anytime a spoon headed his way. 

Rudy loved his gift bag of new wooden trucks (remember, I'd gotten them at an auction, an entire box of toys for $2. David's toys came from the same box. 

The last time we were out, we stopped in Goodwill. Maddie picked up a comforter, a plain navy blue one. She was pleased with it. The upstairs of their house is not heated and she thought it would be very warm for the children. 

It gave me an idea. Upstairs at my house, packed away, is a 'mink blanket' from Korea. It is a hugely heavy very plush blanket. It is very practical for people who sleep on the floor in a land where the winter winds sweep down from the mountains of China and it is cold, cold cold, bitterly cold. 40+ years later, I still shiver to think of it. The blanket probably weighs 15 lbs and Tim cannot bear the weight of it, and so it has been packed away for all the years of our marriage. 

 I lugged it downstairs and took a look at it. It did have a design on one side. I thought that perhaps Mattie and Grandma could make a cover for it. It would certainly be warm. Perhaps the design side could simply be turned facedown, the backing being a plain lustrous blue. 



So we took it up with supper and with the gifts. Levi was sitting in a rocker in front of the wood stove, little David on his lap, rocking his boy. I said, "I'm not sure if you can use this, but take a look at it..."

They were very taken with its softness, and they even seemed delighted at its thickness and weight. Levi stroked it and joked with the kids, "This will go straight on MY bed..." It sounded like there was some discussion about it. 

On the way home, Tim said, "You did a good job
. Those presents were just perfect." 

And they were. 

Tim and I had Christmas morning to ourselves and that wasn't a bad thing. My son and oldest grandaughter called after opening gifts. Mama had to pull a night shift Christmas eve, so she and the youngest grandaughter were having some much needed nap time. It was a nice Christmas morning, a leisurely breakfast (strata, made the night before and baked Christmas morning.)

For all Tim's fretting, he did just fine. He got me earrings, a very soft nightgown, a great mirror for the bathroom at the new house, lotion and soap. I'm not sure why he worries about things like he does. He always worries that it is the 'wrong thing'. He's a practical sort of guy and he tends to buy practical gifts. One year I got a can opener. But in the course of 26 (27?) Christmases, he generally does alright, and I'm not the sort of person who bitches about gifts. I never can understand people like that. So. 

One of Tim's very most favorite gifts was, believe it or not, a ruler. My daughter and son-in-law sent it from the UK. In reading about it, I discovered that, amazingly, it dates between 1781 and 1838. Tim was about as excited as he could be about that. He's been taking that everywhere to tell people all about it. 

There was dinner with Don and Brianna and William and supper with Tim's daughter and family. By the time that we got home, I was ready to put on my soft nightgown and curl up on the couch by the light of the Christmas tree. We read about Hadrian and his reign (117-138 AD if you are interested) while Tim studied his 'new' Roman coin. 

Boxing day was spent putting up the walls in the new house. Tim is getting a load of 2x4s, and I'll meet him at the new build to unload and get a couple more walls finished. (We have four more to do, and it takes time because we are carefully thinking this through. It is a small house and small places are completely livable...you just need to maximize the space. We are tweaking the design as we go. 

Once the walls are done, Tim will do the wiring. Once the wiring is done, we will take a second look at the window situation, decide where we want the last two, install them, and then we will drywall. 

So, in summation, our Christmas was a fine one. 



Saturday, December 23, 2023

You be the Judge

On my last post, Anvil Cloud commented: 

"Ludicrous means something is silly enough to cause amusement. Ridiculous means it's absurd enough to invite mockery or derision. Ludicrous has a more playful and amusing sense than ridiculous. You probably already knew these two words can be used to describe something that's nonsensical or silly."

I offer up this story for your consideration.

Yesterday, I bustled around. I had the sloppy joes going in the crock pot. I had looked up a recipe that I was going to use to make the corn pudding and had it saved on my phone. I was cleaning house, vacuuming, and gathering up the debris from wrapping Christmas gifts, putting the kitchen to rights, etc. 

Tim, on the other hand, stayed out of the house. He was pricing some electrical components and he was going to pick up the Christmas gift I had taken him by the hand and led him to, helpfully pointing it out, telling him that he could pick the pattern/color, and explaining the size I needed. 

Anyways, I got all my work done at about the same time Tim returned home. I was going to assemble the corn pudding and pop it in the oven while I did my hair, etc.

When I went to grab my phone, I was unable to find it. Impatiently, I said, "Tim, I've misplaced my phone. Can you call me?" He came into the hall where my irritated self was. He called. My phone began ringing. It was someplace in the hall. I looked all over. I could not find it. 

He said, "Where did you leave it? You called me just a bit before I came home." 

I said, "I was in the livingroom. I was standing right here by the couch." 

We both looked around. 

He said, "I was sitting right there. I didn't see it..."

He called the number again. 

The phone was ringing in the livingroom. 

"For pete's sake. It sounds like it is right here!" I said, But it wasn't. 

When the call went to voicemail once again, he wandered out into the kitchen and called my number. When my phone rang in the kitchen, I followed him. "Let me see your phone!" 

He had his own phone. 

"This doesn't make sense!" I said. He went outside to try calling my number. Inside the house, I heard nothing. Tim said, "My phone is ringing your ringtone."

"How can that even be?" we wondered aloud. 

"Craziest thing!" he said. 

Impatiently, I said, "I haven't got time for this nonsense. I headed to the computer to bring up the recipe I needed. 

I was writing everything down when I heard Tim said, "Look what I found!" 

Preoccupied with the task at hand, I said, "You found my phone?"

"I did, and you'll never believe where it was!"

"Where's that?" I asked, finishing up and turning around in my chair. 

"In my pocket," he answered.

We stared at each other and laughed ourselves stupid. (To be fair, it didn't seem as if it required all that much laughing to reach that point.)

What would you call that: Ludicrous or ridiculous? Cast your votes in the comment section.

It is two days before Christmas. I walked down the street to deliver one last gift and card. One of the stories that we have had the priviledge to be privy to this year, is a young single woman who has overcome a great deal of adversity in her life. She has a quiet life working for a preschool program here in town. She is a good, good soul, quietly determined. We love her.

She came to us with a question early last year. She needed her landlord's permission to apply to take in a foster child. 

She got our permission immediately.

In unbelievably short order, she had a baby girl in her home. 

It has been sweetness to witness that lovely story unfold. We haven't met the child yet, but in a strange twist of fate, we know the other side of the story too. That is a lucky little girl. That young woman has intervened in a very unfortunate set of circumstances. 

I walked down our street in the dark, admiring the Christmas trees in the windows of the houses, thinking of all the tiny happy stories in this huge unhappy world, the small stories that bless anyone who witnesses them. How lucky we are to be on the sidelines of this one. 

I put the small package and the card in her mailbox and I walked back home. 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Christmas

 Tim's appointment yesterday went as expected, which I am grateful for. We had looked up the results of his blood test through the patient portal, and already knew his numbers were good, but for whatever strange reasoning, when I went to bed Wednesday night, as I waited to fall asleep, I suddenly just had this fear that we were going to walk into that appointment and find out that, 'yes, the blood tests were good, but....' 

Isn't that ridiculous? 

My mind is a strange, twisty thing. 

I got up the next morning before Tim, and got myself ready to go. I wasn't afraid. It wasn't terror. It was just this sick feeling. 

But the appointment was fine, and the ridiculously young surgeon was ridiculously happy with the results of the surgery, and so were we. He recommended some therapy for Tim, and before we made it home, they were calling to set up the appointment. 

A lost night's sleep over ridiculousness. I felt pretty ridiculous.

We went out to lunch on the way back through, did a leisurely wander to price hams, and stopped in to wish my sister a happy birthday. Her birthday is four days before Christmas. Her husband's is four days after. We gave them their chickens and wished them a happy Hatch Day.


It was funny to hear that my sister had fallen in love with these chickens when she'd seen them over the summer. As soon as I had seen them in the store, I thought of her. Tim had not been so convinced that they were good gift choices. In the end, he couldn't think of anything better so we bought them. 

My sister and I had time to play a game of scrabble. 

We came home, meandering slowly, picking out our route for the Christmas light ride with the Amish kids tonight. We stopped to pick up our ham. We had waited to price them on the way home from Erie, just to see if it was to be bought cheaper some place else. Naturally, in the end, the best deal was to be found right in our own grocery store. 

My Thanksgiving cactus has, amazingly, put out a second round of blossoms, and just in time for Christmas. I can't stop admiring it. We spent a nice evening also admiring our Christmas lights in our own livingroom as Tim watched his football. 

I went to bed before the game was over because I couldn't keep my eyes open. I slept soundly.

This morning, the crockpot simmers four pounds of ground beef for the sloppy joes. I'm making corn pudding as a side dish. We are picking up an ice cream cake. After supper, we will take everyone out to see the lights. One display has over 600,000 lights! They will be amazed. We will come back and then watch the kids unwrap gifts. There are balloons and gyrocopters and games and puzzles and things for dolls and playhouses, crayons and paper, and chalk for long summer evenings on the covered porch. Nothing expensive. They will be excited, and we will be glad to be part of such excitement. 

In the midst of all this, an old lady strides on her her elliptical, listening to Lord Huron, pondering this strange journey we've been on.  Life rolls on. The struggling time has given way to celebration. Fears are left behind. Lights everywhere. Black dogs retreat once again to the shadows. 

I am not sure that I will post again before the holidays, so Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the day. However it unfolds for you, I hope it unfolds in the way that makes you happiest. 


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The Talk

 Tim and I have had our annual talk. 

This morning, he said, "I want you to go with me to the Second Ave Exchange." This is the old Woolworth store in town that has been opened up as venue for different venders to come and sell their wares. Craft things, antiques, baby items. You name it, someone has a booth for it. 

I said, "Why?" and he said, "Well, you can show me what you want for Christmas."

So we had the same talk that we always have. 

"Tim. What's the fun of that? I mean, I might as well go Christmas shopping for myself!"

At that, he got quite a hopeful look on his face, which was the tinsiest bit irritating.

This is a man who has quite happily done his own Christmas shopping this year. So far, he has gotten himself a new bow, a floor standing meat saw, a new (to him) tractor, new tires for his truck. Every purchase he makes comes with the happy proclamation: 'This is my Christmas!' He's perfectly happy shopping for himself, and he evidently ranks himself quite highly on Santa's good list from the looks of his haul. 

I said, "Tim. The whole idea of gift giving is this: Look at me. What things do I use? What things do I like? Scented soap. A local history book. Earrings. A warm night gown. What hair spray do I use? I mean, that's how you give gifts to a person. You just look at them and think of what sort of things they might like or what items they use." 

We've been married for more than 25 years. We have some version of this talk every year. 

He sat there waiting for a reprieve and when one was not forthcoming, he got up and headed out the door. 

He was back much more quickly than I would have expected. That's some pretty decisive shopping there. He had a big bag which he carefully set under the tree, with an excited look on his face. "I got centers for my truck! Brand new! She had the four of them marked for $25 plus they were 20% off!" He reached in and pulled one out to show me. 

I don't think that these are my Christmas gift, but they're under the tree, so I can't be really sure about this. Stay tuned.

Late edit for Jim: They are caps that fit in the middle of a rim. They make a truck look purty. 





Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Sad Update.

 A while back, I wrote about a boy having a hard time. Once people got involved, things did seem to change, and for the better. There was a plan put in place that should have kept Chris safe and, for a while, it seemed to be working, at least on the face of it. 

But there was another incident, and when it was reported, the school did not handle it according to the protocol that they themselves had put into place. 

I was in the kitchen when a text came through. In the middle of putting in my last batch of peanut butter blossoms, I did not look at it right away. 

(Question: the last recipe I used for peanut butter blossoms was an epic fail. The cookies came out flat, and with the Hershey kiss in the middle, they looked vaguely obscene. I looked up a new recipe and was surprised to see that the recipe called for the cookies to be baked for 6 minutes, pulled out, the Hershey kisses placed in the middle, and then they were put back in the oven to bake for 3 minutes more. I never heard of that. I just plopped them into the raw dough and baked them as I usually do. Doesn't everyone do it that way?)

Anyway, with the last batch of cookies in the oven, I sat down to read that text. It was from Chris' mother. Chris had decided to move to his father's home. That's all she wrote.

I texted back letting her know how hard this had to be for her, but telling her that she was being a good mom, putting the emotional health of her child first. 

She responded immediately. She felt as if it was important to allow him to start fresh. There was a flurry of back and forth texting. What was very clear was that this mama is struggling.

I asked which school district he would be moving into and was surprised to find that he was leaving the state altogether. He'll be a couple days drive away. 

Her heart is broken, but she wants to do what is best for her son. She said that they'd been talking for the past few nights and that she made sure that he understood that if he got there and felt as if he'd made a mistake, the door was open for him to return at any point. 

She was saying all the right things to her boy, but what she was saying to me indicated a very broken-hearted mom.  All of the kids are spending Christmas with their dad. Her oldest son will not come back after the holiday, and I could tell that she was hugging a big chunk of plain grief inside.

That mother is a hero. She does not believe that, but she absolutely is. 


Monday, December 18, 2023

Storm Watch


'They' have been calling for a terrible storm to hit all weekend. It was predicted to start at 1PM today. Before it was all said and done, it was expected to last for 36 hours. For all of that, the amounts of snow expected were pretty small...2 to 4 inches...up to 6 inches in isolated areas of the county. 

That was a bit confusing, because that's not a lot of snow, not really. 

But just to be on the safe side, there was a bunch of stuff that I'd run out of in the great cookie baking. I was also out of a lot of incidentals and we really needed to pick up another half gallon of milk. So we decided to duck out and get that shopping done,

We were back home by 11 and got everything put away. 

It was pretty gray outside, but no snow. 

After lunch, we watched the sky. 

The storm was pushed back to 3. 

It is now 5 PM. No storm. When I checked the weather information, they have stopped predicting when the storm will hit, but are stating that it will be over tomorrow by 10:30. Now they've backed that up, saying the storm will end between 5 and 6AM. 

So our 36 hour storm with 35 mph winds has been reduced to less than 12 hours, with 11 mph wind gusts. 

I'm not sorry about this at all. I've got a hair appointment at 11 tomorrow, and I'm just as happy to take a miss on a winter storm, but I don't see why there is so much emphasis on getting these forecasts out so early. Seriously, this storm has been talked about all weekend. Wouldn't it make more sense to say something like 'It looks like a possibility of bad weather coming. We will continue to watch this front and we will update this regularly as we are better able to predict its path..' I don't understand the need to catastrophize the weather, but it seems to be happening more and more in my area. 

What about you folks?

Mask mandates for health care facilities are once again being instituted across the state. My daughter-in-law sees a spike in RSV on her side of the state, and I'm hearing reports of covid here there and everywhere. Tis the season.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

A Post about Nothing

Quiet weekend here. Well. Except for the fact that there was a cat fight in the mudroom between two cats. The long haired black (the Goblin) and a nervous gray cat I haven't seen much of before. I leave the door in the mudroom cracked so that cats have a place to get out of the weather, and there is food for them. 

I suspect that it is Goblin's doing. I did see him run off Mangey once and another time, he took a swipe at Houdi and got himself a good scolding for that one. That was some time back and I have not seen any signs of aggression since, so I kind of figured he was smart enough to want to avoid irritating the woman who feeds him. Now I find myself looking at him and wondering if he's at the root of a $389 vet bill. 

I'd like to find out if he's really found another sucker  soft hearted soul for the winter. It would make it easier for this sucker soft hearted soul to be stern with him. We've closed up the mudroom for the weekend, sitting the food outside. It's cold and rainy tonight though, so we'll try leaving the door cracked with food once again. 

Houdi wants out very badly and was pretty cranky that he cannot get his way. He was nicely distracted this weekend. His boy was here and he was a happy cat. William slept downstairs so that Houdi could sleep with him and they played so much that Houdi has spent most of the afternoon sleeping. 

Me? I spent the weekend baking cookies and doing laundry and listening to Lord Huron. 




That's it, really. Absolutely nothing worth making a blog post over, but strangely, it was soul satisfying.


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Anticipation

When I was a kid, Christmas eve was quite an exciting night. There were four of us and we scarcely slept at all. We would wait until my parents went to bed, and then we would wait until we heard my father snoring. Then it would begin: "Are you awake?" One by one, the four of us would all be piled in one bed whispering in the dark, trying to figure out what we were going to get for Christmas. 

"Well, we'll all get new pajamas and underwear and socks. We ALWAYS get pajamas and underwear and socks..." 

Sometimes the brave ones would sneak out to do some recon in the dark. One year, at a family party, my youngest sister got a 'Give A Show Projector.


You can't really tell but it was basically a flashlight with a lens in front of it so that you could project cartoon slides on the wall. My brother and I caught sight of that, and without one word exchanged, we knew that it was preordained that we were going to do some recon work on Christmas eve, and that this year, we were going to have light! 

That Christmas eve, we went to bed like the little angels we were, and we waited until my parents were in bed, and then we grabbed that projector and we sneaked past my parent's bedroom door and into the livingroom. We switched on the light, and beheld the wonder of it all. We did a careful and slow scan, and when we pointed that projector downward, the lens fell out of it. Unfortunately, it fell directly on the roof of a brand new tin dollhouse. 

(when up on the roof there arouse such a clatter...) 

We scared the bejeebers out of ourselves. 

Parents were awakened. 

There was a lot of yelling. 

But, anyways, that's what I remember most vividly about Christmas: the anticipation of it. 

When I grew up and had children of my own, I wanted them to have that, too. So. I always kept a wrapping paper tube behind my bedroom door. If I didn't hear whispers and footsteps by 5 or 5:30, I would slip out of bed, open my bedroom door just enough to get the wrapping paper tube into the hall, and I would bellow into it, "Ho ho ho!" There would be gasps as kids came awake, and then they would all congregate in one bedroom.  whispering excitedly to each other. They could not actually go downstairs until the clock struck six, but they would all come to congregate in the hall at the top of the stairs and whisper in the dark, waiting for the clock to bong the hour. I loved listening to them. 

That is exactly why my favorite Christmas song is this:
 


It's a silly song but there never was anything that caught the anticipation of a small child as well as that silly song.

We are going to do our Amish Christmas next Friday night. The children are excited. 

We are going to do it a bit differently. On a recent outing, Mattie said that she enjoyed seeing the light displays at Christmas. I had no idea!  I said, "Do you think that it would be okay for the kids to see the lights?" 

She said, "Oh. They would love that!"

A plan was quickly hatched. Tim and I will drive both cars up there. The guys will ride with Tim and the ladies will pile in with me, and we will head downtown to see the light displays for a half hour or so. Then we will head back up on the hill to have supper. 

It is always great fun to watch the kids eating supper, their eyes straying to the pile of gifts on the work table. I am pretty sure that they do not wrap their gifts to each other so that pile of wrapped gifts is quite a novelty. They chatter away to each other quietly in their own tongue, their eyes sneaking looks, trying to guess.  Even the oldest ones seem excited. After supper, they wait for their father to give them the signal and then the place goes nuts. 

I'm grown now. My children are grown too. William is half grown, a teenager now, too cool to get excited, and the girls are too far away for me to share fully in it, but, for an evening, I sit in a warm kitchen heated by a wood stove, lit by oil lamps, and I watch the anticipation reach a crescendo. There is screaming and chattering and much laughter, heads gathered together as they examine what they have received, sucking on their candy canes, Games are opened and played right there on the floor. 

It is such a joyous thing to be a part of, and I am grateful for it. 


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Houdi Goes to the Vet

 Houdi went to the vet this morning, and he was not happy. When he was placed into the carrier, he yowled and howled and tried to fight his way out. It was a fabric carrier and so there was quite a bit of movement and rolling and thrashing around. 

He settled down in the car, much to my relief and stared daggers at me through the little screened 'window' as I drove him to his date with destiny. 

Once he was in the office, I do have to say he was quite a gentleman. He allowed himself to be lifted and examined. The vet told me that most antifreeze now has an additive which makes it not so attractive to cats, but she remembered losing her cat to antifreeze poisoning while she was in high school. 

She did bloodwork which did not indicate any kidney issues. It did, however, show a high white blood count. He had some sort of infection. In the end, a wound was discovered in a place one does not normally pet their cat. It was infected. She cleaned him up and then said she was sending us home with antibiotics. If I discovered that he wouldn't take them, I was told to bring him back in. 

I said, "Can I make a suggestion?" 

She said, "Sure..." 

I said, "Give him the shot. He's a hider. Once he's home and released from that carrier, I cannot guarantee that I'm going to see him to give him the medication, let alone get him back in the cat carrier for a return trip."

So he got his shot. 

They had gone over his history when I brought him in, and when they learned that he was formerly feral, and still in the process of being socialized, they expected the worst. They armed themselves with heavy leather gloves and a towel. I said, "Oh, he won't bite or fight. He'll just go limp. The first chance he gets to run, though, he'll do it." 

They came out after his bloodwork and said that he was such a nice cat. The vet said that he was even 'making biscuits' while they looked him over. 

He is a good cat. He's just the shyest cat I've ever known. 

Tim did not bite or fight when I told him the vet bill was $389 either. Like the cat, I think that he just went a bit limp. He had a chance to run, but he didn't do it. 


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Tim has a DIY Christmas

 Houdi continues to do alright. He's not himself, but he eats and he drinks. He is a bit more reclusive than usual, but he's stopped hiding. If I can't find him, I know where he's gone. He doesn't mind being picked up and brought upstairs from the basement, and still enjoys his scritches under his chin. 

We will take that as a good sign. 

He will be seeing a vet as soon as we get a call back. 

No news on Tim, but he knows just how to distract himself. Friday night, he came out and said, "We're going to look at a tractor, so we'll be getting up early."

I probably should have debated it a bit harder, but I find that I can't. Whatever it is that makes him excited in life, I want him to have it. 

Which means, in the last 30 days, he's bought a new crossbow and arrows, a floor standing meat saw/grinder (me, suspiciously: "You're not planning to get rid of your wife and doing away with the evidence are you?") 

And yesterday, he (of course) bought that tractor. 



He's a happy chappy. 

I told him his Christmas shopping is done. 

Other than that, it was a quiet weekend. I made chili for supper last night. I made a quiche lorraine for supper tonight. Tim is tickled pink that I'm not experimenting with new recipes for a while. 

LATE EDIT: HIS TEST RESULTS ARE IN; ANYTHING UNDER .1 IS ACCEPTABLE, HIS NUMBER IS LESS THAN .02, WHICH IS THE LOWEST READING THEY CAN REGISTER. NO FURTHER TREATMENT IS NECESSARY. 

Oh my god, what good news!

Friday, December 8, 2023

No news

 So...no results for Tim yet. 

(I need patience...and quickly.)

Houdi went into hiding again for most of the afternoon. I was quite worried. He suddenly reappeared. He does not seem uncomfortable but he wants to be held. If I get up to do something, he follows, meowing quietly until he is  being held again. 


I enjoy cuddling a cat but this is not normal behavior for him. On the other hand, he does not act sick. Just slower than usual. 

No news is good news, they say.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Quiet Day

 First things first. Houdi did come out of hiding last night after I went to bed. I was laying in bed, unable to sleep. I felt pretty badly. I mean, if he was suffering, I had no way of knowing and the thought of that was hard to take. 

After trying not to toss and turn and keep Tim up, I finally got the bright idea to come out and check the patient portal to see if the results of Tim's blood test were in, so I slipped out of bed and headed to the office. I turned on the light to get his medical information out of the filing cabinet and got the shock of my life. Houdi was curled up against the wall under a chair that I use to hold a large plant. 

I dropped to the floor and reached under to pet him, and encouragingly, he began to purr. I picked him up and he did not resist, so I came out to the couch and curled up with him. He slept on my lap all night and I watched trash television and dozed. It was such a relief to know that he was not in horrible pain tucked away in some hidden place. 

This morning he went down to use his litter box. He's still unsteady, but he asked for and got breakfast and I was so relieved that he got the whole can of catfood. He ate and returned to his bowl throughout the day. I'd like to be able to say that we are out of the woods on this, but we aren't. 

If this is antifreeze poisoning, this is the way it goes. They are sick on day one, improve on day two, and go into kidney failure on the third day.

 I realized that he was sick at bedtime Tuesday, and then he disappeared for nearly all of Wednesday. I couldn't find him to take him to the vet, but realistically, it would have been too late anyway. By the time that they are showing symptoms, there is a just small chance of saving them. 

He came out sometime after we went to bed Wednesday. He's not well now, but he's much improved. That also fits in with the antifreeze poisoning. They improve, and there is that false sense of relief.  

A predictable path. 

The best case scenario is that this is not antifreeze. That he got into something and is getting better. We will know by tomorrow. I can promise you though that if this is the worst thing, we'll take him to the vet to be euthanized if we see that he is suffering, and it makes me cry to type it. 

If it sounds like I consider myself an expert on this, well, actually, I do. We dealt with this when we lived in Baltimore Maryland 35 years ago. His name was Homer and he was a huge, old scarred street cat. We adopted him, and he was a lovey, but like most strays, he was not content to spend 100% of his day inside.  Our vet was kind, but he gave it to us straight. 

So, today was a quiet day for me. I spent the day inside loving on a cat. He can't get on the couch by himself, but he is walking around the house. He is going up and downstairs. He is eating and drinking and using his litterbox. 

Inspired by Ms. Moon, I spent some time in the kitchen and put together a chicken pot pie for supper. It was a pleasant way to spend a couple hours in the morning, chopping up the onion, celery, and carrots and the chicken, sauteeing it, seasoning it just right and then simmering it to make a good broth. It cooled while I did the dough. 

Tim is thrilled to death that I've set my new cookbook aside. All the new flavors and new dishes. He's rarely a fan. He tries to be, I'll give him credit. 

This week, he's been treated to regular  porkchops browned in butter and rosemary and then baked in the oven at a low temp. Venison chops with peppers and onions and simmered on the stove top until they are tender in a wonderful gravy. Barbecued chicken. Every meal with his favorite side dish in all the world: mashed potatoes. 

He was filled with praise for that pot pie tonight. He's a plain man with plain tastes and this is what makes him happy: the food he already knows. 

He hunted today, and did not see hide nor hair of his 10 point. Whe he got home tonight, he got the sad report from my brother-in-law. He was walking with his grandson and found it dead. It looked to have been hit by a car and managed to get itself down into the swamp and died. 

The circle of life. 

I've checked a couple times today and his blood tests results are not posted yet. That means we'll probably won't know the results until Monday at the earliest Just realized it is Thursday, not Friday! Maybe tomorrow!

We talked quietly and kindly to each other and to our sick cat, and wait to see what happens next. 

We went to William's winter concert tonight. He was very excited about it and one of the pieces they were doing. 


I can see why. 

It made for a nice evening out, barbarians and all. 


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Lost Cat

A woman moved out across the street after an especially angry confrontation with another woman in her building. I made a point of asking her about 'Louie', a feral cat she had been taking care of. I wanted to know if he was going with her or whether I needed to keep an eye out for him. 

She said, "Something happened to him. He just disappeared over the summer."

I got a little shiver, because the same thing happened with Sandy, another little cat across the street. He was a feral, but his keeper had a heated house for him on his front porch and kept him well fed. Then, one day, Sandy was gone, and Mark couldn't understand it. 

I haven't seen Mangey around, but I had thought maybe his owners had a change of heart and decided to take care of their cat. 

Houdi is an inny outy, and that was not my plan but he got kind of ornery about it. I didn't like it, but found it reassuring that he seemed to hang very close by. Within earshot. He came when I called, and now that it's getting cold, he's much happier inside. We had a sunny day after a day of hard rain and he asked to go out. I let him and didn't think anything more about it. 

He was back at the door and I was cooking supper, so I just let him ni and did not pay attention. At bedtime, I got his customary can of catfood and called. He did not come. I went looking for him and found him curled up under the computer desk, way back in the corner. There was something not right. 

He's sick. Really sick. 

Even worse, now he's gone. He's secreted himself somewhere in this big house and I can't find him anywhere. I've looked and looked. 

It's been a worrisome day and I'm sick about this. I also noticed that my long haired goblin cat that peers in the back door hasn't been around for a couple days. 

I think someone is poisoning cats. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Lost Dog

 It is no secret that the black dog has been following me closely for a while. A lot of stuff, I suppose, but I really do think that it's mostly just that it's been a lot of changes this year and that there is still things that we won't know for a while. Tim has a blood test tomorrow that, once analyzed, should make it clearer what happens next.

He's very calm.  

Me? I've never been much good at waiting. 

Tough time.

We went out today and did some more Christmas shopping. It's just little things, really. Plus I needed to get birthday gifts for my sister and her husband. I had an idea what I wanted to do. 






They're life sized tin chicken sculptures. They'll look cute right by the steps of their log cabin. 

Don't tell.

Anyways, it is snowing here, and we did a bit of Christmas shopping. It's just the small stuff left to do at this point. The fun stuff. 

In one store, and I found another fun game for the Amish Christmas eve. We have quite a nice little stack of gifts for them, and let me tell you, they get awfully excited by those gifts. I don't know that they do gift wrapping. What I do know is that there are 8 kids eyeballing that wrapped stack of gifts all through supper, chattering away to each other in hushed voices and when supper is done and they are given permission to get those gifts, it is chaos. From the oldest to the youngest. It's great fun to watch, and I'm looking forward to it. The focus this year is heavy on puzzles. They do love puzzles. This is a giant match box that is filled with 10 matchbox puzzles and 50 challenges. I bought this a couple months ago with them in mind. I have a box of the old fashioned metal puzzles, games, a jigsaw puzzle, toys for the youngest. Something for everyone, I think. 

 Even today, I found a couple more items to add to their stack. I can't wait. My last plan is to get a large box and put 9 helium balloons inside so that when the box is torn open, there are balloons everywhere. It will be a great surprise for them, and it tickles me every time I see their stack of gifts on the chair waiting to be wrapped. 

These are all fine and happy thoughts. 

Something else I saw was a small scented candle. Fresh Lilacs. Lilac is about my very favorite flower. I picked it up and popped the lid on it, and gave a sniff. Really, really lilac-y. I smiled and put it back on the shelf and turned to walk away. But...I turned around and looked back at it, feeling ridiculous, chiding myself for my self indulgence but, you know what? I got it. 

At another store, I saw someone I hadn't seen in years, and we talked, probably far longer than we should have. 

We had a late lunch out and visited with some other friends, and that was nice too.

Tonight we sat in our livingroom, watching a couple episodes of Antiques RoadTrip, listening to the banter of Mark Stacey and Charlie Hanson. A lilac candle burned on the coffee table. The lights were off. It was just the Christmas tree and the candle and the television, and in the dimness, I lost track of that black dog for awhile. 

A wonderful break. 




Monday, December 4, 2023

Sleepless in Pennsylvania

 another sleepless night...honestly. 






And googling bagpipes is not going to help, is it? 

Perhaps some nice cello music?



Not sure why I can't sleep tonight. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Deadly Dull Day.

 Across the street at our house: I didn't move fast enough to get a picture of the rainbow at its peak. It had already begun to fade. 



(A side note: see all that stuff in front of the house. The neighbor moved out. Within hours, someone else had pulled up in a truck and began to unload their things. I said to Tim, "No one has cleaned that apartment for the next tenant!" He told me that that particular property owner uses a property manager, and that they never clean between tenants. Ugh. The new tenants have been moving things to the curb. I feel sorry for them. It looks like a big job.)

anyways...

A football game generally takes a couple hours, give or take a few minutes. Today, Tim's beloved Pittsburgh Steelers played at 1PM. The game didn't finish until five or thereabouts. 

The weather was pretty bizarre today and the game was delayed due to weather. Tim was mystified by that until it moved from there to here. The sky got dark and the thunder and lightning started. In Pittsburgh, there was high winds and even hail on top of the thunder storm. The game resumed shortly after 3PM, and it was about the same time we found ourselves marveling over a rainbow stretching across a bright blue sky. My daughter had a double rainbow over her house, and got a nice picture of it. Directly after that the game was delayed once again in Pittsburgh, and before long, it began to get very dark here, and another thunderstorm moved through. Thunderstorms are not common at this time of the year, so it was an unusual day.

At my daughter's garage across town:



 

Eventually, the game was finished, and Tim's team was trounced. 

My big accomplishments for the day? 

I took all the styrofoam packaging from the kitchen island and used it to line a box and make a cozy insulated cat place. I have a black stray cat who hangs around. We feed him. We tried to bring him inside but he has no interest in being an indoor cat. This does not stop him from standing on his hind legs to gaze beseechingly into the kitchen when his food bowl is empty. We leave the mudroom door ajar so that he has a place to get out of the weather, and he has a cozy bed there. Now that cozy bed is inside an insulated box, which is covered by a by a old thermal blanket. 

It makes me feel less guilty about him. 

I also got my Christmas cards done, so another box ticked. 

And so another day passes quietly in an unquiet world. 



Saturday, December 2, 2023

Another Box Ticked

 I knew that last night was a pretty shortsleeped night. I slept, woke up from vivid dreams, couldn't fall back to sleep right away, tried not to wake up Tim who woke up a couple times anyways and got up for a while. 

He went out hunting. I got up to pack his hot cocoa and make him a couple sandwiches. It was tempting to go back to bed, but I made myself stay busy and awake. I cleaned house and did laundry in the morning, and then sat down in the afternoon to tick another box: we bought a flat pack movable kitchen island. Reading the instructions, I saw that it could be completed by one person and that the estimated assembly time was one hour. 

That was sure optimistic. 

I started On Golden Pond. I haven't seen that in years. Armed with the proper tools, I sat down and went to work. The movie ended. I worked on. It took me 3 hours but it turned out nicely and it is a well designed and sturdy piece. No complaints from me other than the unrealistic assembly time. 

Another box ticked for Christmas. 

Tim came home to a hot meal. He did not see his buck, but he did not seem unduly concerned by that. 


Dreams

 Both Tim and I have had trouble sleeping for the last couple months, which is not surprising, I guess. It seems like one or the other of us is always getting up in the dark and padding around the house. 

I began taking melatonin to help. I don't know that it has, really, but I've been having some vivid dreams, which I read is a common side effect. 

Tonight, I was swimming in a stormy sea. I was holding on to a kickboard and I was kicking furiously, and I swam around the world! I was so exhilerated by the experience that I was telling a couple friends about it. I did not know who they were, but we seemed to have a good friendship. We all went out into the water chattering away, and we swam together, each of us holding our kickboards and laughing together in the waves and the foam as we went once again around the world. They were as exhilerated as I was. 

I woke up as Tim was getting out of bed. I lay there in the dark and felt the exhileration still. 


Friday, December 1, 2023

The Hunter

 Back in the 'old days', when a deer was taken, we processed it ourselves. We used a hand meat saw and a small grinder. We washed the meat and wrapped the meat. It was a big job. 

Now that we only have one hunter in the family, he has been taking the deer to be processed. It's a lot easier. We also do not have the space in the kitchen here to do that any more. 

The problem is that, one by one, the deer processers have closed down. We have two left in the county. Tim dropped off his doe during archery, and that went alright, but now it is rifle season and there are a lot more hunters out there, and a lot more deer being taken. 

When Tim got his second doe, he was surprised to find that they were not accepting any more deer that day. Tim hung it and skinned it out. It was cold enough over night to keep the meat. He took it in the very first thing the next morning. They accepted it, but a few hours later, they had once again stopped accepting deer for the day. 

We had been talking about using a corner of the basement in the new house as a 'chop shop', setting it up with a professional meat grinder and a professional meat saw and stainless steel tables and sinks so that we can once again process our own meat (and much more efficiently than we did it in the old days.) 

Yesterday, Tim hunted down a stainless steel sink with stainless steel wings to mount on the side, so we went and picked that up today. 

Tonight he has hunted down a combination meat saw with a grinder too.  We are driving out to bring that home on Sunday, provided that everything is as the seller claims. 

He came out to tell me about it, and I said, "Wow. You're a good hunter!"

And he is. 


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Try again


 Boy, I can't even guess what's wrong with blogger tonight. Finally just deleted the last post and will try again. I did get the Christmas tree down, and all the boxes of lights and ornaments and crystal beads, and got it decorated. 

This is the world's worst picture, taken in bad light with a poor phone camera, but I couldn't quite get myself motivated to haul out the big camera. 

It is a nice thing to unload the ornaments and the memories that go with them. One from my parents' first Christmas. One from Tim's parents' tree. Ornaments collected over a lifetime, from different people, from different places, from different times. It's a little sobering how many of those people are gone from this world. 

I decorated the tree by myself. Tim was out hunting again. He's quite excited. He saw a buck. Even if he were home, Tim would not have been interested in decorating the tree. He likes it well enough when it's done, but not well enough to actually participate in getting it done. 

It's his nature. 

When I was done with everything, I hauled all the empty boxes back up stairs to pack into the steamer trunk. 

I got the box packed and ready to mail out to my son and his family. My daughter in law sent me a picture of their Christmas tree all set up and decorated. The big question? (drum roll, please): Does the little drummer boy ornament that his great-grandmother needle pointed probably 30 years ago still play music. Answer: yes. 'Toyland' still plays its tinny tune.

(It's Dylan's Christmas miracle.)

Next question: What does the baby think of the tree? Answer: She is fascinated by it, but afraid to get close. 

(Which is sort of another Christmas miracle, don't you think?)

I got the livingroom put all back together and admired the tree in the semidarkness while I finished wrapping and packing up all the things that are going to be mailed out tomorrow. I will admit to watching an episode of Dateline while I did that, Keith Morrison's creepy quiet voice not exactly adding to the Christmas vibe I was trying to kickstart. 

However: 


Quite honestly, after years of hearing him narrate episodes of mayhem and murder, I have to confess that hearing him reading children 'The Night Before Christmas' gave me the creeps. 

I got out Tim's bubble light candelabra and set that up. He came home from hunting with a good supper waiting and he happily watched his bubble lights in the dark while eating.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

 This morning, we had snow on the ground. Not a lot, but enough to surprise Houdi when he meowed at 4AM to be let out. Silhouetted against the moonlit snow, he looked around before stepping off the porch. He walked off quickly, shaking his paws as he went. I knew that he'd be back in pretty short order, and when I opened the door 15 minutes later, there he was, ready to come back inside for the rest of the night. Yes, he has a litterbox. No, I don't know why he prefers the great outdoors. 

Today was such a gray day that even wrapping and ribboning could not cheer me up. I decided that tomorrow, I will put up the tree and scatter a few decorations around the house. 

I hope it helps. The black dog has caught up with me. 


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Wait a minute!

It's snowing here, spitting flurries. There was enough that I did have to brush off my car when I went out this afternoon. 

I was waiting today. The mail man was late, which is to be expected at this time of the year but I didn't dare leave the house until after collecting the mail. William's tablet was to be delivered and I did not want to leave that sitting on our porch. .

Tim is waiting too, but he's outside sitting in his blind in the woods.  Now that he's got his second doe, he feels like he can sit back and enjoy the hunt. He is waiting for just the right buck to show up. It may never show, but he seems to find happiness in his waiting. 

I have a return. We saw something on clearance that was the perfect gift. We didn't dare wait for fear that by the time we were decided for sure and for certain, the item would be gone, so we bought that perfect gift.  Today, Tim found a more perfect perfect gift and ordered it, which meant the first perfect gift now needed to be returned. 

So, Tim's waiting on a buck and I'm waiting on the mailman so that I can run out to the store to return the perfect gift (not to be confused with the perfect perfect gift) Fortunately, I did wait to wrap it.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Message In a Bottle

 Rifle season came in for deer this past Saturday. Tim was pretty excited about this. He wanted a hot beverage and I knew that I'd seen a small thermos, just right to tuck in his vest. It was upstairs in his hunting room on the third floor, so I dug it out and brought it down. I had two turkey salad sandwiches in the fridge, and I bought him some little snacks. 

He came out into the kitchen, and was examining the thermos. It was brand new, still in its box. "Where'd I get this?" he wondered. I said that I thought it had been a Christmas gift. I didn't remember any more about it than that. 

He took it out of the box and opened it up as I was leaving the room. A minute later, he followed me out and said, "I got a note." He handed it to me without saying anything else.

I read it, and it was a very touching note written to him from my youngest daughter, thanking him for taking on our family. She was eight when Tim and I married. I'm not sure how old she was when she wrote that note. I said, "Oh, how nice." Tim said, "It was," and his eyes were strangely shiny. He left the room. 

Saturday morning, he went hunting with his thermos and his lunch and he saw five deer. None of the other hunters in our family saw any. They were all doe, and so he did not shoot. He wanted his buck first. 

"I don't know," I said doubtfully. "It seems as if I remember this strategy not working out so well for you. You're the hunter, I'm not, but don't you think it might be a good idea to shoot what shows up?" 

He can shoot a buck and a doe.  Our deer population is out of control, so they held a lottery for extra doe tags. He got one of those, so he is allowed to take two doe and a buck during deer season. He took a big doe during archery season. 

He went back out again today, along with his thermos and a packed lunch. By 9:30, I received a message. He'd gotten his second doe. He's still on restrictions from his surgery, and so the deal was I'd go down and drag the deer out of the woods.

I trekked down through the woods. It was windy and spitting snow, but unfortunately, there was none on the ground. It is much easier to drag a deer across snow than a bare forest floor. While we walked, he said, "I think that thermos is my lucky charm. I was in the blind watching, and went to pour a cup, and two deer came out of the woods. They seemed to know that I was in the blind and they went running off immediately. They were never close enough to take a shot. So I sat there a while longer, and I poured a second cup, and as I did, I saw a deer coming down the path the other way. I didn't even get a chance to set my cup down and he was gone. I thought I'd blown my chance." 

He waited a while longer and reached for his thermos. Two deer came walking towards him. He picked the biggest one, shot once and shot well. He marveled. "Every single time I reached for that thermos, I saw deer!"




Sunday, November 26, 2023

Senseless.

I am so happy that little Avigail Idan was released. 

I am also happy that a 14 year old boy has been released. He was imprisoned for throwing stones. 

The children stabbed in Dublin. Their teacher stepped in and was seriously wounded as well.

The rioting in Dublin, the cries to "kill all the foreigners".

And yet, it was a foreigner who leapt from his moped and beat the knife wielding man with his helmet.

So many contradictions. Christians who aren't. Public servants who don't. 

I could go on and on. 

I won't.

I remember, when I was a kid, I heard my grandfather saying, "I do not understand this world." I thought about it. He just sounded so bewildered about it. In the dark, in my bed that night, I mulled things from a child's perspective. Perhaps it was a kindness, then: As you age, the world makes less and less sense, and perhaps that makes the leaving of it easier.  I was afraid of dying as a child and it was comforting to think perhaps people departed this world because they were ready to do so. 

I remember being that child. But now I am my grandfather saying "I do not understand this world." 

My thoughts are all over the place tonight. 

I sat down to wrap Christmas presents tonight, doing a good job, curling ribbons, afixing name tags with  carefully written names of the people I love.

I can do that. At least I can do that. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

I am ashamed

*wince*

I am ashamed to report that I ordered something from Amazon.

We bought a drone for William that needed a smart device. The screen got cracked on his last Amazon Fire, but I thought that would be perfect for using with the drone. 

We decided to buy him a new tablet but wanted to stick with the same brand, since that is what he is comfortable with.  Only one place to get the Amazon Fire, and that is from the evil empire itself. 

It was my first order since last summer.  On the plus side, the tablet was $79.99 for their black Friday sale. I had $6.31 of unused points. They took $19.08 off for a gift card. Dunno. Did not know I had one, but I'm all about subtracting. 

I also have been carrying a credit on that credit card of $16.00 for months now.

That took a bit of the sting away and once we're zeroed out, we will simply not use the card again.

LATE EDIT: There is no shame in buying from Amazon for anybody but me...I am a bit bullheaded. 



Friday, November 24, 2023

Misinformation

 Something that I have very little patience for is bullshit. Sorry to be frank, but there it is. 

Tim has taken to watching a news program that I cannot abide, mostly because it is NOT a news program, it is an opinion program. I debated it a few times with him, but as is his custom, he just looks at me and doesn't answer. I could fight with him about it, but I just leave the room and go find something else to do. 

He was watching his program Wednesday night, when they were breathlessly "reporting" on the Rainbow Bridge explosion. I was in the office simultaneously reading news reports as their 'expert' sounded off. 

 Among other things, CBN stated emphatically that " 'they' are warning people not to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade." 

I tapped in the question: 'People being warned away from Macy's Thanksgiving Parade?' The response yielded nothing. I wondered who 'they' were. 

I listened to them telling people that this was the beginning of a new phase of terrorist activity. They tied it into events going on in the mideast. They had a lot to say about it and as far as I was seeing it was all unmitigated bullshit.

The car was NOT filled with explosives as reported by CBN. That was discounted very quickly, within hours. (The only other news agency calling it a terrorist attack was FOX, and they walked back their reports the following day.)

Virtually all the news outlets were reporting there was no evidence of a bomb or secondary device. It was not dismissed, it was acknowledged that it was an ongoing investigation, but based on the what they had now, it did not seem to be a terrorist attack. 


It just made me angry to listen to the steady stream of unsubstantiated bullshit pouring into my livingroom.. 

I walked out of the office and I said, "I hate this program. It touts itself as faith based Christian news, but here they are reporting an event and they are flat out lying. Lying! People are not being warned against attending the parade, They are not being asked to stay away from NYC. I don't give a rat's behind whether they are labeling themselves as Christians or not. They are lying in real time. Come out to the computer and verify it for youself. Cross reference what they are saying against what every other news agency is saying. What is the point of watching news that you need to fact check?" 

Tim looked surprised. I walked back out of the room. 

(Sometimes I can get kind of pissy.)

It bothers me a lot that 'Christian' doesn't mean anything any more. In fact, it almost seems that if someone is stressing their Godliness, that fact alone should be raising some red flags. 

I look around this world and see what is happening in the name of religion and it sickens me. 

I think if there is a God, he's weeping.

Oh. Tim's not a dumb person. Neither am I. We let each other do their own thinking. I haven't talked to him about it, but I know that he was doing his own research. He hasn't watched CBN since. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving.


For all who celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving.  



Who wore it better? 

Jennifer? 



or....

Mr. Bean?







It's been a tough year, but we have a great deal to be thankful for. 

Like the fact that no one's going to be wearing a turkey on their head. 



LATE EDIT: NOT ONE OF YOU CORRECTED ME! MONICA WORE THE TURKEY HEAD!!!


Music to our Ears.

 Well, the concert was good fun. It was not nearly as loud as the last event we went to, which was a bit of a relief to my poor ears. Tim en...