Friday, January 30, 2009

weekend

Regis and I went to the place for dinner where when you used to go there the bait shop had a better bathroom than the restaurant. Not true anymore. The bathroom is lovely and the beer is cold. Those are not in order of importance.

I went swimming today and the water was a gorgeous temperature. I didn't want to get out but I was alone and it got a tiny bit boring. I tried treading water and watching television through the window but that didn't work so well. There was a monkey and that's all I know.

I can count quickly five people I know well who have lost their jobs or who are fearful of losing their jobs. Scary times. Regis says the atmosphere at his work is awful...people think that on Friday they will come for them.

We're going to see Dean McGraw at the Bothy tomorrow night. This is one of the best shows in town for fifteen bucks. You can have some popcorn, sit in the front row, visit with the Doctor Daniels, and hear some fine music. Sometimes Dean has us sing and wave our arms in the air which honestly makes a guy weep. It's so good for the stress bubbles that accumulate in your chest.

I don't get this. The superbowl is on Sunday and there's stuff on tv tonight? The only thing I care about is the half-time show. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Beyond that they could play that game in Latvia. Really, what is there to talk about? It's a game.

I've been wearing boots the last few months, or shoes that look like something an immigrant would wear trudging behind an ox cart on the way across the continent. I see other women in strappy little heels. In the snow and subzero temperatures. Do they have some alien immunity to frost bite? These are brave souls.

A friend of ours left the other day for Africa to photograph the migration of the wildebeast. He was seen, according to witnesses, at the post office downtown in sandaled bare feet. I wonder if he had plans to go to Africa with no toes.

I've been watching, with some fascination, the story about the 50th anniversary of the day the music died. I wasn't really a fan of any of those people and I don't want to travel to Clear Lake for the event, but it's interesting that there are so many people who are and who will. I am a fan of American Pie mostly because I remember Steve Schipp singing it at Dooner and Marcia's wedding reception at the golf club. Word for word. That's how I remember it anyway.

Funny how memories get mixed up.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

friday minus one

ack crap.

It's been a long week but a good one. I'm going swimming again tomorrow and that will be five days this week. That's as close to being competitive as I have ever been. Usually, I don't give a darn about that kind of thing. Betty and I are enjoying our swimming time. It goes fast because we gab, and later in the day, I have to think about whether or not I have exercised.

I've loathed exercise all my life. This is a big change.

We're watching Man on Wire. It's a very cool but weird story about the French guy who walks on wires between tall buildings like the WTC and Notre Dame. I read an essay about him a year ago which didn't make him sound quite as loony as this documentary does. What the hell. What would make a guy do this? You really should check it out in some format if only because it emphasizes in an amazing way the continuum on which humans lie. On one end there are people like Philippe Petit and on the other end there are people like me who get the shakes on a foot stool.

If you haven't contacted your representatives in the democracy about the 18 billion dollars that Wall Street got in bonuses, you should. WTF.

My head my head is going to explode. Karl Rove is on tv again. I don't even care if you are in junior high and want to use this as legitimate information for a research paper. Karl Rove is a bottom-feeding scum sucker. I assert executive privilege.

Oh that's enough about politics.

I was warm today for the first time in two months. I wore leggings under my long skirt which I'm sure looked goofy as hell, but it was 13 degrees with a subzero windchill so who cares. The lame weather folks keep promising temperatures above freezing but I think we're going to make it through January without doing that and many of us are heading south as a result.

Pfffththththth to the weather.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

banana bicycle

When the big boys, Bob and Reg, were small, they frequented the 7 Eleven near their home. There was an old hobo guy who also frequented the place on a banana bike that he sort of scooted along on. Regis pointed him out and said to the boys, "There's your real dad. If you don't behave, you'll have to live with him." Oooohhhh. A guy with an evil sense of humor. They laugh about it now.

I've been patting myself on the back today about my swimming, then got an email from a friend of mine who is 80 years old. He walks three miles a day on a treadmill UPHILL and swims a mile in 52 minutes three times a week. What the hell. I feel like a slacker.

I heard another good story today and I remember starting to write a blog post in my head but by the time I got home, it had drifted away. I hate when that happens.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

huh

Hey, Annie. The second definition for piddle is to pee. So your family has not been out of the dictionary loop after all. Such cute video of Miles saying peacock and holy cow. Way to go grandma!

If you noticed the eco-safe logo to the right, it's only there because I wanted to find a way to print my whole blog (700+) posts. I've searched and searched and can't find a way to do it. There are places that will print it in a book form but you have to do the formatting which is the hardest part. I don't have any delusions about book publishing but I am egocentric enough to want to keep what I've written here for the last few years. Ec0-safe will let me print one month at a time, in pretty much the same format you see on the website. Not much help frankly.

I was driving home and noticed the thermometer in the car said it was 14 degrees. Not exactly a heat wave but better than sub-zero. We're watching a program about the migration of the monarch butterflies. It's amazing those fragile things travel 2000 miles. It makes one hopeful for spring and for life. I'd like to see the butterfly migration and the balloon races at Indianola. That's my list. Right there.

I really need about five more hours in a day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

words

I notice that I used the verb piddle twice in the last blog posts and I know I used it in several emails over the last few days. What the hell. That's not a word I've ever read in a book and I don't remember using it in the past. Where did that word come from? My theory is that words lie dormant in your brain, waiting around among the sloughing cells, for the moment when they get to pop to the fore and make you sound silly.

Regis pointed out tonight that at 5:40, it was still light outside. Now, we haven't seen the sun more than two days a week for the last three months so light is a relative term. What he meant to say is that it was not dark. Yet. It's not dark yet. I think those words are in one of Dylan's songs. In the movie Wonder Boys. Man, google is great. Here's the link to the lyrics. I put "it's not dark yet" in the search bar and there it is.

I've written about the blog Sweet Juniper before and it's still worth checking out. (I can't seem to stop ending my sentences with prepositions tonight. Maybe I have a grammar hiccup.) Especially read the post titled someday the world outside the Rust Belt is going to blow this kid's mind. It's about parenting on the theory of lowered expectations and taking your kids to motels with pools on vacations instead of to Disney World. If you haven't taken your off-spring to DW, you'll think it's hilarious. I'd copy it here but that's probably a violation of copyright law and it would certainly be theft of this author's intellectual property. So use the dang link and check it out.

Oh my head my head is going to explode. Karl Rove is on television. The current Rolling Stone has an article about the former L of the FW (leader of the free world...is that what they call him?) that is so funny I snorted three times. I realize I made a ragged segue there...are you with me? Also a very funny illustration of the dude with the big hair from Chicago (RB) with his bare hinder hanging over the edge of punch bowl. If you're a regular reader here, you know I like to be surreptitious (not the right word) so that junior high kids don't use my blog as real information for a research paper.

I have winter brain. I'm not sharp enough to find the right word, but I know the wrong word when I use it.

Since we got our cable television back, we've been watching too much reality. I don't mean those reality shows like Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? but the kind of reality like they have on the 6 o'clock news. That is nasty stuff and it colors the way you view the world. There's some strident guy hollering about the economic stimulus package and it's giving me a tired ass. Banks and credit card companies are getting bailed out? Bailed out OF WHAT???? Extreme wealth? What the hell. I'm going back to watching old re-runs of Seinfeld and Fawlty Towers.

I just checked the definition of piddle on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. It means to dawdle or putter. Hmmmm. I didn't make it up after all.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

sunday in pictures

Regis bottling his Mr. Beer project. Pay no attention to the messy desk behind him.

A few more weeks before the tasting.

My current favorite wine and the aerator that Tom gave me. It wakes the flavors up!


It was a lazy weekend of movies, peanuts, wine, and piddling around.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

piddling away a day

Tom recommended the tangelos at the food coop so I asked Regis to pick them up on his way back from Bob's. They're wonderful. So juicy you have to eat them over the sink.

I have a pot of soup on the stove and I think we'll spend the rest of the day watching movies. I don't want to be too productive.

my absence here only means i'm nuts: surviving winter

Winter is oppressive this year. Even people who normally like it, are weary of the never-ending snow and bitter cold. We had a few almost spring like days this week, then woke to subzero temperatures with a biting wind again yesterday.

Here's the forecast, Miles:
Winds: W at 4 MPHBarometric pressure: 30.63 in. (Hg)
Sunrise: 7:42 amSunset: 5:11 pm (That's about 9.5 hours of sunlight...if the sun isn't obscured by clouds.)

Wind chill advisory posted from 9 pm tonight through noon Saturday - wind will make it feel like -20 to -40 F

Temperatures tumble today - and struggle just to reach 0 Saturday....expect 4 more nights below zero.

First time since 1994? Possibility of no January thaw for the Twin Cities (defined as two days > 32 F.)

Friday night: WINDCHILL ADVISORY. Mostly clear - bitter. Low: -12 Windchills from -20 to -30. Saturday: Numbing sunlight. Winds: W 10-15 High: 2 Saturday night: Clear, frigid. Low: -14 Sunday: Bright sun, still very cold. High: 5


I've had a tough week with my insurance company and health care providers. I always assume people who are paid to care for my health have my interests at heart. Oh hello, cruel world. Not so. The insurance company doesn't give a flying fig as their big interest is preventing me from using the money I've paid them in premiums for the 30 years I've had a policy. Even the clinic has pissed me off. I've been a patient there for 5 and a half months and they've sort of washed their hands of me until the insurance company comes through with the $$$. It's all big business and it tends to make one cynical and cranky.

Speaking of being cynical and cranky, I have an appointment with my head doctor on Tuesday. Generally appointments are about an hour but I have a list of 14 things to talk about with her. I will say it's a step in the right direction to identify those things and have them written down in logical order. I'm not headed for the ward yet.

I had a nice talk with my mom last night. She's a hoot...Regis says an older version of me. Maybe I'm a hoot, too. Mom claims to have gotten her coping mechanism, "It could be worse" from her mom and now I believe it, too. I'm sure it pisses people off sometimes. Anyway, it made me feel better to talk and laugh with her. She said she felt like going to the Legion Club and getting drunk at the bar the other night when it started snowing again. This would be REALLY OUT OF CHARACTER for my mom. You can see how tired we are of winter.

Tiffany and Emily have about a month to go with the baby gestation. They're into the can't sleep more than four hours at a time, can't tie your own shoes, can't bend over stage. Uff da. This is why young women have babies. Aside from those effects for Tiffany and Emily, the baby arrivals will be wondrous events for us. Little miracles.

I'm going to make mushroom barley soup today and maybe a loaf of bread. I refused to leave the house this morning to buy groceries so that means we make do with what we have today.

Lily Tomlin: Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

inauguration menu

I saw the menu for the inauguration lunch and wish I could have been there. They served seafood stew in puff pastry, duck breast with cherry chutney, herb roasted pheasant with wild rice stuffing, molasses whipped sweet potatoes, winter vegetables, and a dessert they are calling “Cinnamon Apple Sponge Cake,” which is more like an apple charlotte made with brioche.

What??? Roasted winter vegetables? I think I myself moi' served that for a holiday dinner a while back and was severely ridiculed by my peasant family who asked where the mashed potatoes were. We didn't realize roasted winter vegetables would appear on the White House menu. I have no idea what an apple charlotte is but I copied it from an online article so that item came along.

I have to finish up here. I hauled my laptop back and forth to work for the last two days to do menu charts but never had time to open it up. So I haul it home today and forget the blasted cord. The battery on this clunker lasts about an hour.

Miles, the weather has been great here...a heat wave. Think about it. The temperature is almost fifty degrees warmer than it was last week. Almost time to put the snorkel parkas and mukluks away.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

rough driving day

This is evidence that I am a poor photographer. I but off Nancy's head and got Tiff and Evie making funny faces.

Tiffany looking over a little outfit for Elliot.

Brenda, Ruth, Teresa, Tiffany and Evelyn.


The name tag on Tiffany's tummy says, "Tiffany and Elliot". Brenda and I drove to Pine Island for a baby shower for Tiffany. We met the nicest people and had a lovely time. Tiffany looks happy and healthy and she's waiting anxiously for Elliot's arrival.

The weather, on a more dismal note, was horrific today. We left about 8 o'clockthis morning and it wasn't too bad although I saw one car in the ditch between St. Peter and Mankato, and we saw several big SUVs in the ditch on 52 north of Rochester. We headed for home about 1 o'clock and it was awful. Many cars in the ditch, horrible visibility, and icy roads. Just east of Waseca, we were behind a pick-up truck. It looked like it took a deliberate right turn and all of sudden it was in the ditch and it flipped over twice and landed on it's wheels. Both people were upright and in their seatbealts as we went past. We didn't have enough room to stop but the car behind us did. I was terrified and let loose with a string of cuss words. Just out of nervousness, of course. Regis said if I had stopped to help, I would have been floundering around in the snowy ditch and there would have been three people to rescue instead of two. I was so glad to be home.

Happy birthday to Young Regis. He's 31 years old today. We took him to Patty's for a patty melt and a Schell's original to celebrate. The place was packed with people who had been at a women's hockey game. What the? I'm all for equality, but seriously? I wouldn't watch heads of state play hockey.

Speaking of heads of state playing hockey, we can say good-bye today to GW and Dick Cheney. You know I'm usually cautious about naming names in my blog but I figure the CIA is so busy as of late that they won't be doing google searches for Dick Cheney on buns of stone. George has been making the talk show circuit the past week which is more than we heard from him in the last 8 years. That's good or bad, depending on how you feel about the English language, himself being one of the major abusers.

The service tonight was awful since the place was full. I fetched beers when people wanted them and I ordered our food at the bar. I know how to do that and it was less aggravating than getting a wait person to pay attention to us. I just made sure Timmy got the tip.

We watched The Wrestler last night. Interesting movie. I liked Micky Rourke's acting but the plot was sad and there was no redemption. You know how I feel about that. Life's too short to watch stuff that's this sad and dark.

Off to bed. I'm reading another book about Henry VIII. One step up from a romance novel.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

we have a solution huzzah

Technical problems have been repaired. I didn't check "for public viewing" when I uploaded the video because it sounded like something sort of lewd. Oh blast, some of you people don't even know how to upload so don't give me any crap. Now it's public and there you go.

Joanne wrote such a funny comment in the video post (she could see it) that I have to republish it here:
Oh Regis- Ye of little faith! Everyone knows that this works. I watched 2 different meteorologists do it on different news channels while I was exercising this morning. It was even on CNN news. They also had a guy in Minnesota pound a nail into a board with a banana that had sat out overnight. Now that I hadn't seen before.

A banana? I might have to try that.

Scrubs is a hoot tonight. It's the musical one. Who writes this stuff? Genius!

It's a good thing that I have many outlets for my verbiage. I had a frustrating incident today and I wrote about in another venue. The air was blue. If I had to write about it here, I would have posted a cuss warning. I know some of my friends and family don't appreciate cussing, but personally, it fills a place in my vocabulary where ordinary adjectives just don't work.

Here's the deal. The clinic called today and said my insurance carrier wants evidence from my doctor (my primary doctor) of a six month supervised diet. They have five months since I started seeing the nutrition doctor and the dietitian in August. They just need one more month and apparently the 40 previous years won't do it. Then they want documentation that that my BMI (look it up) has been over a certain number for 18 months. The snippy nurse said, "Well, that will be hard since you never let us weigh you." New paragraph.

Anybody who has ever had a weight problem gets this. You go in the doctor's office and they have a monster scale in the hall with big ass weights that they move over with a loud ka-chunk the fatter you get. Lovely. Usually the hall is full of people, patient privacy be damned. So, I finally got sick of it and made a few sarcastic remarks and refused thereafter to participate. The sadistic nurse got an attitude and almost cut my arm off with the BP cuff just to punish me so you can see she enjoyed this recent turn of events. I just asked calmly if she would talk to my doctor and ask her to review my records and fax the information they need.

Because it they don't do this before next Thursday, the insurance company will close my file. WTF. Close my file? I've paid huge premiums for years. How can they CLOSE MY FILE?

I've more than surpassed my cuss quota for the year.

Some random photos. I inherited the old camera and I like having one of my own.

Great coffee from that weird place where we saw the guy with the raw wiener in his mouth. Regis says it's as good as Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I say better.

A close-up of the dog who hates the cold weather but loves the heated mattress pad.

Evidence of my obsessive behavior. I'm worried about dry skin. No comments, please.

technical problems

We're having technical problems, Houston. Stand by. The technician has been called and is enroute.

vaporizing water

One of the myths that Regis claims I have perpetuated over the years is that, on very cold days, you can throw a cup of boiling water into the air and it will vaporize before it hits the ground. Regis always scoffed at me and I couldn't find proof of it anywhere on the google. Tom and Betty called last night to say they'd done it, so first thing this morning, we filmed the proof. We probably should have had a better script, but this works. We boiled water in a tea kettle, Regis threw it high into the air over the garden, and I filmed and directed. You hear me say okay at then end. I should have said cut.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

cool blog

Sweet Juniper

green devil a cure for the weather blues

Green Devil

Ingredients

1 ounce gin
1/2 teaspoon absinthe
1 bottle Duvel (11.2 ounces)

Procedure

Take a beer glass (preferably one made for Belgian beers) and coat the inside with absinthe. Add gin, and fill with beer, aiming for a nice, foamy head.

Take the next day off.

like walking into knives

A sweet wait person named Ingrid brought me a glass of wine at Patrick's tonight. As we gabbed about the bitterly cold weather, she said it's like walking into knives, which I thought was very poetic and elegant. Then she said it freezes your boogers. Not so poetic and elegant but true.

Going swimming in this weather is a true test of the pioneer spirit. I grit my teeth and go out in it at 5 a.m. Swimming is nice because the pool is warm, there are plants and tables with umbrellas, and it smells like waffles. But when you get out of the pool and go back in the cold, it kicks your ass for the whole day.

I still haven't tried the Yaktrax, Charlie. Now that we have all the snow, it's less slippery. I hear the temperature is going up eventually and we should expect freezing rain so the opportunity will come back. I feel better for having them.

I was going to make chicken casserole for dinner but Regis sort of wrinkled his nose. I had to remind him that some women don't cook meals in the evening much less think about what their menfolk might have for a hot lunch the next day. I reminded him that we could go in the direction of frozen pizza and fast food if he would prefer. Harrumph.

We're having a little family party Sunday for the All-Pennsylvania-All-the-Time (where did this come from? is this an old radio joke?) party. The Steelers are playing somebody and the Eagles are playing somebody. I don't give a fig about either game but I figure it takes us closer to the end of the season. Really, I don't mind. Regis always seems to have some knowledge of the teams and players but I never see him watching any games. Is it beamed through the male DNA by alien ships? I think I'll get him a tin hat for protection.

For those of you who haven't met my dog-cousin, Pepsi, here he is wearing Bert's old bow tie. I've written about Pepsi before. He was saved from almost certain death by a couple of well-meaning old ladies who found him in a ditch. He was raised by a felon as part of a rehabilitation program and now resides in the loving home of Steve, Sherry, and Catie and commits the small social mistakes of humping legs, farting, and ripping socks off your feet while you're wearing them. Yes, that's Bert reincarnated. We're so happy he has Bert's bow tie. Isn't he cute? Please. If you are ever tempted to get a Jack Russell, call us first!

Monday, January 12, 2009

dark vortex in my head

I came home at noon, put on every piece of microfiber I own, turned the mattress pad up to high and took a long nap that felt like I was sinking into jello. I've felt woozy in the head since I got up but I managed to do some cooking. I don't like being sick and find that if I activate my endorphins, I can usually avoid illness or at least shorten it. I've a great believer in endorphins. Whatever they are.

Regis and Peter cleaned the walks and took my Christmas stuff to the basement. Hurray that was worth the cooking.

We got our Yaktrax in the mail today but neither of us have the gumption to put them on and go outside. They look like the clear deal and we plan to give them a trial run when the wind chill gets above thirty below. Don't look for any "Charlie" pictures...no running down the driveway with and without the Yaktrax to illustrate the pratfalls that are possible.

We watched the Golden Globes last night. The young men all look alike and the women are very glamorous. Joanne thinks we could look that good, too, if we had designer gowns, hair dressers, and big diamonds. I'm pretty sure that's not true. That Joanne, what a card.

I forgot! My favorite part of the Golden Globes was that nobody wore a coat and the women wore little strappy sandals with no socks! Regis had me close the drapes in the living room tonight...he said so nobody saw my ridiculous footwear. What the hell.

I just canceled my swimming date for tomorrow. Getting wet and going back out into the frigid weather is not appealing when a guy doesn't have vortex head. The pool we've been frequenting is lovely, dark, and quiet and it smells like waffles which is soothing at 5:30 in the morning. We don't eat them, we just smell them. Olfactory therapy. But that doesn't change the fact that in the end, out in the cold I go.

Well, there's my brain pickin's for the day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

fashion statement

I got a package in the mail yesterday. It felt like clothes but I hadn't ordered anything. Turns out it was a white polo shirt from the driving safely for old people group. I'm not much into white polo shirts and I'm sure not going to wear one with the old people's logo emblazoned on my chest. Ugh. Not much of a fashion statement.

We watched Pineapple Express last night. Regis laughed a lot and I chuckled a few times. It got a little long about 45 minutes into it. Not recommended. We gave it a 2 out of 5 only because we did laugh a few times. Burn After Reading was much better.

More snow and blowing snow coming tonight. Our YakTrax haven't arrived yet but here's the review (with photos) of another blogger. If Charlie can run in them, I should be able to waddle vertically.

I've been busy in the kitchen today. I have a chicken in the oven for something I'm making the end of the week, I made Chex mix for Peter, I tried out the Cuisinart ice cream maker (low-fat high-protein protein ice skim milk), and I made apple sauce out of some wrinkly apples in the back of the drawer.

I vacuumed up the last of the fire extinguisher blast today. That stuff is insidious. You can think you got it all and then you find a shadow of it behind a table leg or covering the side of a the piano. Everybody should have a fire extinguisher, though. Make sure there's one in your house! You can get one that does the job for less than 20 dollars. They make good wedding gifts.

We're having Tex-Mex lasagna tonight for dinner. Only I'm making it with tortillas instead of noodles. The menu for the rest of the week looks like this:

Monday: Slow cooker char siu pork with Chinese vegetables

Tuesday: Spicy honey-brushed chicken thighs with roasted potato wedges

Wednesday: Beef stroganoff with green beans

Thursday: Fried rice and baked apples

Friday: Chicken cobbler casserole

I'm trying some new recipes. The Tex-Mex lasagna got the thumbs up from Regis.

My goal is get every scrap of Christmas stuff gone but I've said that before. It's all piled up in the dining room just waiting for Peter to carry it all down the steps in two trips.

I'm a good starter but a terrible finisher. I know I'll have the thrift store stuff by the front door for weeks. When you live in a wee house, there isn't much you can do but one bag in and one bag out or you'd live in a garbage house before you know it.

Rambled long enough. Back to the Golden Globes.


buying groceries in the dark

Since Regis stopped working weekends, we've gotten into the habit (more than a year's worth of habit) of buying our groceries for the week early Saturday morning. Sometimes we have breakfast before or after, but we're usually out of the house by 6:30. I don't mind any other time of the year, but this is a brutal schedule in December and January. I have to say I complained a bit this morning.

Our favorite grocery store in Mankato has been undergoing some renovations so it took a long time in the produce section. Nothing was where it used to be and things didn't seem to be grouped with like things. Mushrooms were in two different places.

We noticed that there seems to be a new arrangement of groceries in other departments. I needed flour and I like to buy unbleached white flour. The flour section has shrunk. The flour section now has as its neighbor, the strawberry twizzler section. Does this make sense? We noticed before that some of this made sense: green beans, mushroom soup, and french onions together. But flour and red licorice?

It must have been a tough week at our house because not only was our pantry empty but we had to buy dog food and fish food. Everybody was hungry. We have two fish left in our twenty gallon tank. One is at death's door so we don't like to buy too much fish food at a time. You don't want to be caught with a full can of that stuff. Right before Bert died, we bought a box of doggy pee pads, an 80 dollar fence to keep him contained in the kitchen (it didn't work), and we'd filled all his prescriptions. Darn dog.

Friday, January 09, 2009

i hate how men watch television

What the hell. Is the a hunter-gatherer thing? We sit down to watch some television at 8:00 because it's too early to go to bed and too late to do other things. I understand there is about a 3 minute window where you choose a program for either the next 30 or 60 minutes. Not the man of the house. He wants to see everything that's on and sample a little and pretty soon it's 8:17 and too late to watch anything. It irritates him when I say calmly, "Pick something." And it irritates me when he watches 43 seconds of the beginning of Twister and 26 seconds of Law and Order. Men.

My son. If I call him too much, or happen to call when he's with is friends, he is irritated. So, I hadn't seen him for three days except for footprints in the snow and his car parked in the front of the house. Yesterday I call to see if he can do something in Mankato for me and he barks, "You don't see me for three days, and you don't care how I am?" What the hell. He's a good and handsome kid and I love him dearly. It's just a very weird age.

Peter just called. He worked until 2:30 last night, went to work an hour early today, and just got done working. I'm sorry for complaining that he doesn't call me back.

We were gone for a couple hours tonight and Kramer, our little fuzzy dog, is distraught. He's lying on the footstool now, between the feet of the master. The end of a long winter night.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

waterlogged

We decided to swim at the local hotel the last few days. The lights are low, it's warm, and there's nobody else there. The pool is about the size of a postage stamp so you have to do laps the short way which is about like Tom's inflatable pool but all other factors weigh in its favor. Oh, and there are steps to get in and out so you don't have to hoist your hinder up a ladder. But, I've had enough; tomorrow I'm taking the day off.

This is the weather outlook. The blue is snow and the pink is ice. We'd much prefer the snow, thank you very much. There is a lot of whining going on about the weather. The final blog count on pratfalls was only four, in addition to the seven I noted. Our yaktraks should be here by Saturday so I won't be adding to the count.

We're watching the second season of 30 Rock. What a hoot. You have to pay close attention, though, because the best lines are fast.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

interesting stuff happens to me

I was going to a meeting at the high school this afternoon and at the intersection of Washington and Grace, there was this young fellow with three huge bags, like suitcases. They had airline tags on them, he didn't have a hat or gloves on, and it looked like quite a load. So I figure this guy is safe and not a mugger or abducter. I rolled down the window and asked if he wanted a ride. He put his bags in the back seat and away we went. He was a Gustavus student so as he directed me to his dorm, he told me he had flown back to Mpls, fallen asleep at the airport, and didn't wake up when the police asked about his unattended bags. They took his bags to Lost and Found. He had to take the shuttle back to SP and his bags had to come later. His name was Trent. Nice kid. The lesson is this: Never take a nap in an airport. I suppose this is a Homeland Security issue.

My friend Tom bought new glasses with transition lenses. Yesterday his wife noticed one lens was dark and one was light. Tom supposed he had been sitting with one eye in the sun and one in the shade. When he went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his wife, Linda said, "I see you lost a lens for your glasses." They had to backtrack to find the missing lens and finally Tom calls the hairdo place where he had gotten a cut. They found the lens right outside the door, unscathed.

I was talking about the icy conditions to a friend of mine. Nancy tells me that Gus and Larry got out of the truck the other day, Gus fell down on one side and Larry fell down on the other. They could see each other under the truck. I wish I could have seen that.

I think that's it for today.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

all the people I know who have fallen down this winter


  1. Do I count? Two times...once on each side.
  2. Regis once, in a fit of temper over the fact that I fell down.
  3. Young Regis two times...once carrying an armload of rugs and he claimed he was making snow angels when asked why he was covered with snow.
  4. Mom once. She said the hardest part was getting back up. I can relate.
  5. Vicki, one of our paras at school. She called it a wipe-out.
That's seven pratfalls among five people. Do we need more proof that this is a treacherous winter? At least nobody was injured except in the dignity department. I wonder what people in warm climates talk about when they don't have the weather or weather-related injuries as topics of conversation.

I read in the paper today that spinal injuries from falls are way up this year. Holy crap. If you've fallen down this winter, add your comment at the bottom. Regis tells me he just ordered two pair of Yaktraks for us. The UPS guy who delivered a package today had a pair on and said they are all the rage at his company. He said they hand them out like popcorn because it saves on worker's comp claims.

On a similar note, I've noticed that on the blogs of my mid-western friends that the fashions lately have run to fur-lined slippers, flannel pajama pants, and sweatshirts. We get back to basics in the winter. I saw some young women at the bookstore last week in heels. Seriously. I was walking around like a waddling penguin and they are tripping out in heels.

I made two kinds of soup today: chicken noodle and minestrone. Minestrone doesn't appeal to me so much because I'm not fond of zucchini. It's probably like tofu and it absorbs the flavors of things it's cooked with. Sure. BBQ season is only four months away, friends!

Monday, January 05, 2009

teresa Made with My Cool Signs.Net


teresa Made with My Cool Signs.Net

ice

The pool area was 62 degrees today and the showers were icy cold. I'm not going back there until they turn the heat back on. That's torture. The water wasn't any too warm either...people were trying to swim with only their noses out of the water. It was 20 degrees outside and that was just enough sun and warmth to melt the grit into the ice. Ugh.

I finished the book about Henry the VIII. He had lopped the heads of about half the population of England by the end of the book. It was good but I knew how it would end: At the scaffold or the chopping block. Betty gave me a pile of that genre to read but I might have to take a break and read something that isn't so full of pillage and plunder.

Not much else to report tonight. Cold. Dark. Icy.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

widgets are back!

The little things along the right side are widgets, at least what I call widgets, and they're back. My fascinating lists of favorite authors, books, movies, and such.

old-fashioned bakery question

We went to a Christmas party where these little delicacies were served. Homemade, no less, and they were delicious. I remember them from the bakery of my youth and they were called mocha cakes. That doesn't really make sense because they're made of white cake, white frosting, and peanuts. My cousin, Deb, remembers the same thing. Anybody else have a memory of these and what they were called? In the recipe Deb found, they're called Blarney Stones.

Playing around with another widget:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

what i hate about winter

  1. Nobody ever walks by with their dogs. At least not so you would know. In the summer, we sit under the birch tree and every day a dozen people walk by in the late afternoon and early evening. They always say hello and visit for a minute. Now, when the sidwalks are icy, we don't see anybody.
  2. It's dark all the time. In the last few weeks, it's dark by 4:15 and it doesn't get light again until 7:45. You can combat that in December with Christmas lights but in January, it's morbid.
  3. If you have a dog, your backyard looks like hell. There's no way to clean all that up so you have an archaeological dig of poop from first snow to last.
  4. You never see your neighbors. They could be gone for weeks and we wouldn't know. Strangers clean their walks, their houses are dark, you don't know where they are. You might as well live in Siberia.
  5. If you do see your neighbors, you see them as they scrape their windshields or drive into the garage. No spontaneous backyard barbecues or cold beer over the lawn mower. Who wants to visit while the car warms up?
  6. You walk like a damn penguin because you're afraid of falling. This is not attractive and it makes your hips hurt.
  7. Cobwebs build up and scare you in the spring when the sun finally moves north enough. I have one hanging over the picture window in the living room with a lacy-winged insect caught in it. I only think of it when I see it in the mid-afternoon but of course, I don't take it down; only notice it and think about it.
  8. Winter food starts to get dull. Meatloaf and stew smell so good in October when it first gets cold but three months later, you start to miss the steak on the grill and tacos.
  9. Margaritas don't taste quite the same when it's ten degrees below zero. You can have one, but it isn't the same.
  10. Everybody whines: the temperature, the coming storm, the departing storm, ice removal, painful joints, the short days, the lack of light. Hell. If the freezing rain isn't too bad, we're going to the Mexican restaurant with Tom and Betty for a margarita and a taco.

Friday, January 02, 2009

our vices


Regis got a package in the mail today that contained a jawbone. I wrote about this gadget a while back after we had been to the cell phone store. It's the military technology cell phone ear thing. Good for a man who never leaves the house. I can't complain too much because a couple hours later, I got my very own copy of the book The Oxford Project in the mail. I hid it behind the chair.

I have been grossly slothful today although I did go swimming at 5:30 this morning. They apparently turned off the water heaters at the high school because the showers are like ice and the pool has been gradually getting colder. It's like going into a hypothermic state and it takes me all day to warm up and start moving. Similar to hibernating squirrels except I don't have fur and squirrels don't swim. Otherwise similar.

I made bread and roasted a chicken for dinner. Regis laughed. I don't think a man whose wife makes bread from scratch and roasts a whole chicken ought to scoff at the menu. Harrumph. He wasn't really giving me a hard time but it makes a better story to say he was.

Peter took his ipod to Mankato, dropped it on the ice outside of Subway, and came back ten hours later to find it laying there unharmed. I asked him if, before he picked it up, he leaned down to listen to the music coming out of the little headphones. I crack myself up.

Bob brought us some more traction grit this afternoon. The forecast is for more snow or ice tomorrow and high winds, my favorite weather event. The things in the picture are called Yaktrax Walkers and they seem like a good idea but with my luck, I'd fall down and stab myself in the hinder with them. This has been a long winter already and it's only the first week of January. If you're in California reading this: Don't move here.


I'm going to watch the Frost/Nixon interview tonight. I bought it on amazon because the wait was very long at netflix and I was impatient. (Yes, with internet shopping you can go broke and never leave the house.) I'm fascinated with Nixon...and it strikes me like the dude from Illinois...you know the one I mean. I'm not writing his name in my blog because you have to know the CIA or FBI are all over him. I am not a valid source of news.

I don't really enjoy the stuff that circulates on the internet and I never send it on, but this one struck me as being very funny. Maybe it's our streak of unfortunate circumstances in the last few weeks. These are simple home remedies:
  • Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.
  • Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.
  • For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.
  • A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
  • If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.
  • You only need two tools in life - WD-40 an d Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
  • Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
  • If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

tiff's visit

Tiffany has been here this afternoon and we had a very nice time. She looks so cute and so healthy and seems happy. She ate and napped and ate and napped. She's on her way over to her dad's now to visit with them for a while. It's hard for me to see that little pregnant person get in a car and drive off into the cold and dark winter. I wish she was still a baby and I could keep her safe.


uneventful nye


Happy birthday to Ella!


Happy 3rd birthday to Ella today. She was at the party for a while last night wishing us all a happy new year and doling out hugs. Her parents were there, too. And Uncle Reg and Auntie Amber. They moved on to a party at John and Heather's about 7:00.

Tom made homemade Swedish meatballs which were a big hit. Betty suggested they buy frozen ones and he said no, Teresa would never allow it. I do have an aversion to frozen meatballs. All of the food was very good and the company was fine. We didn't make it to midnight, in fact, as predicted, were home in bed by 8:30.

I lost an earring at some point and didn't miss it until we were in the car coming home. I called Betty and asked her to keep an eye out for it, but when I got out of bed later to take an ibuprofen because my knee hurt, it tumbled out of my nightgown. Maybe it had hooked on my necklace and I didn't see it. One would hope.

We got through the evening with no major medical events. When we got home, we had a bill for ten thousand dollars in the mail from the Mayo Clinic. WTF. That almost caused a major medical event. I'm hoping it's a mistake because we have a statement from them saying our account was paid and we have an EOB from BCBS saying everything had been paid. Are they just looking for business by sending out that kind of inflammatory shit?

Tiffany is coming down to visit today so I'll post some pictures later. Happy New Year everyone!

My new earrings from Etsy: