Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heartbreaking decisions!!

This is Baby Blue, aka George the 10th. Hard to see it, but it's a 2002 Toyta Rav4, with 98k on it- all me (and the kid). This is the first new car I have ever owned (not talking about the leases- they weren't mine.)
This truck has been through everything- from having a very bad N word carved on the hood when I had only had it 2 weeks, to being T-boned in October by a kid delivering a pizza who ran a red light. I drove away from the accident- he couldn't get his hood open. Body damage only to mine- he wasn't so lucky.

The stories this poor truck could tell. I love it dearly, but it is time for a new one. NOT because it still isn't running great- it is. I take care of my vehicles, sometimes to obsession, I think. You wouldn't know it was 7 years old. It's been paid off for two, so anything now is gravy.

So I have started looking for a new one. But letting Baby go is going to be very hard. I know it's just a truck- but it has gotten through nasty snow storms, crappy weather, and teaching a kid to drive.

I hope someone, somewhere buys Baby and takes as good care of him as I have. The dealers have been impressed with the great shape that the truck is in and I don't think I have to worry about it heading to a crusher anytime soon.

I wonder if I can keep this one and get a new one??? Charlie loves to go for a R-I-D-E. I have to spell it, he knows what it means. He rides like this- in the front seat belted in. I have been stopped on seatbelt checks where the cops think I did this just for that reason. They love it when they find out that this is how he always rides. (Look at the leather- you wouldn't know it was that old.) He will have to get used to riding in a new one. Hope he likes it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally getting there...

I am finally finding time to go through the pictures I took on my trip. The first three days were mostly rain, which really ticked me off. I was looking forward to pit stops along the Smokies and the view from the Chesepeake Bay Bridge. This is the view as I was getting ready to get on the bridge. It had actually quit raining at this point and I was hoping the sun would come out as I made that long drive across the water.

However, that was not meant to be. By the time I finally reached 3/4 of the way across where the rest stop was, it was really raining. I decided to stop for a break, sit and eat some of my nice healthy lunch (no hamburger!), browse the little gift shop, and then maybe walk the pier that they have there. No. Again the weather gods were consipiring against me.
By the time I was back in my car, eating my lunch, it was raining pretty heavily and the fog was really rolling in. However, as I was looking out over the water, I spied some movement and put my wipers on hoping to catch what it was.

If you look carefully, just above and to the right of the fence post, you will see a gray blob. It's the conning tower of a sub coming home to Norfolk. Too bad the weather was not cooperating. A few seconds later, as it got closer I opened the door to get a clearer picture and it was all one big gray blob. Nothing. Nada. Thank you Mother Nature. sigh.

I spent that night and the next morning with my friend Judy and her hubby Roger in NC. Jude and I met a looooonnnng time ago in one of the originaly AOL chatrooms for Ann McCaffrey. I'm talking around '91 or '92 when I first signed onto aol. At the time she was still in TX. We had never had a chance to get together before and I wasn't going to miss this oppurtunity. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back- when the weather cooperates!- for a much longer visit. Then we can go and find other places to check out.

However, Jude has one "problem". She has a very, very lazy cat. So lazy that she lays on her side to eat and then flips over to drink. I thought mine were lazy. This one takes the cake. (Now, old age and all I forget all their names. Jude will have to remind me, especially since I need to tag my photos. LOL)

So that was day 1-3. The next day as I left, it had quit raining but was foggy, so I delayed my start. A good thing cause we got to laze about a bit. By the time I hit the Smokies it was all rain and fog again. That was certainly interesting. But I had James Marsters and Harry Dresden to get me through it intact.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hurry up Jim Butcher!!

On my recent road trip, I downloaded a ton of new (actually, old) music to my ipod. Stuff I love, didn't have on it or on anything but vinyl, and even did a playlist of just driving/singing music to keep me awake, aware and alive. I think I turned it on once.

I also downloaded the first of the Butcher's Dresden Files on audio. I figured I needed at least one book to listen to and I love the books.

Big Mistake. Not only did I not turn my ipod on again for music, but along the way I downloaded the other three books that are out on audio (thankyou Books on Board!). They are only recently released and finding them on download was not easy at the time, nor was it cheap. But boy were they worth it.

Never once did I picture Spike once I started listening, but I did see him as Harry, (especially since he is not really blond). I could not see anyone else reading these stories than him. He is Harry and Harry is him.

The books are as well read as they are written. I finished the fourth one yesterday (I had shipped it back to myself from CA in a big box that took two weeks to get here- that's another rant entirely). Now I have to wait until October for Book 5. Not effing fair. It's not. I want it now.

While I was driving, the story (and James) kept me relaxed, attend to my surrondings and so much happier than any music I could have listened to. Sorry, but classical puts me to sleep. I credit them with getting me down the Smokies in a downpour and fog and lots of truck drivers, to getting across the Continental Divide in high winds, in one piece. I would have loved to had had my blood pressure taken during the drive. I think my Dr. would have loved it.
A caveat here- never listen to James Marsters read something sexy while driving, especially alone. :gulp: That will mess up your blood pressure.

My only complaint was putting them on the ipod- they don't fall under the correct category on itunes when you go from the cd to itunes, so ultimately I ended up burning them to cd's. Which I had to buy of course. My laptop didn't have enough battery power for an all day trip. My new one does though. But we won't talk about that since hubby has no idea I bought one. (A nice little 10 inch Acer I picked up in San Diego at Office Depot for a really good price. It's perfect for travelling- light, fits in my purse so I don't need a computer bag, does what I need. What more do I need?)

But back to James and Harry and all things Butcher. I haven't looked but I hope James is doing his other series' too. Seldom do I find an audio reader outside of Jim Daley and Lorelei King (who does the Stephanie Plum novels) that I look forward to listening to as opposed to an author whose books I want to hear.

James is right up there. He could make a whole new career out of this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random Stuff

I haven't been writing, but then not too many will notice my absence. LOL

I have been busy with the dogs. Keeping Max out of trouble has been fun. Both he and Isis are mad at me since I will not let them up on the bed, especially at night. Isis is smart enough to use the stairs to get down, but Max needs a cape. Or a parachute. Charlie just lies in his spot on the floor and snickers since he can get up anytime. The cat is a happy camper. Now they spend the night waking me up every couple of hours, hoping I will cave into their whining and let them up. Not.

I have to find someone to clean up my yard as there is no way I or my husband can do the physical labor. I can't believe the disaster that it is. It needs raking and crap hauled away badly. Four dogs take their toll. I really would love to be able to do some nice landscaping, but they have taken it over. I think a raised deck is my only outlet for me. I already have that planned out. Now to find the money. And I wanted to replace my old garden with a greenhouse, but that will have to wait as well.

I am being very lazy today. I finished a book i was reading- Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Then bought book two for my Sony and downloaded it. I need to do laundry and some housework and go check on my neighbor too.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes tonite for dinner sounds good. We have lots of ham left from Easter which is always good.

Maybe I will work up the excitement to go clean out my truck and get rid of a bunch of crap in it. It's a nice day. I am just not working up the enthusiasim to do much of anything for some reason. I am hoping it's just because I need a lazy day of doing nothing. Although I always feel guilty when I do it.

I have set a goal of doing something around the house every day for at least 15 minutes (usually longer, but I can work up the energy for 15 minutes). Little by little things are getting done, but not as fast as I would like them to. I really need to concentrate on my diningroom where all my craft stuff is currently stored. Since we seldome eat there except T'day and Xmas, it's a shame not to use the space for something constructive. However, we have one cat who is upset with the other male cat in the house and insists on spraying. So I have puppy pads everywhere. (I don't get mad at him, as he is old, but healthy. Now that spring is here he likes to hang out in the backyard with the dogs. Runs out with them in the morning.) I am almost afraid to unpack some of the stuff unless I can get it all up high enough.

And there is so much stuff it is a daunting prospect. Maybe I will go forage through some of the boxes and see what I can donate. That would help clear out a lot of it.

Sigh. So much to do, so little desire to do it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Proud Mom

For years my daughter has always felt that she was not capable of doing good in school. Yes, she has learning disabilities, but she is far from stupid. Finding the right college with the right program took a bit, but she did it. I found out yesterday that she got 3 B's and a B+ this past quarter. One of them in her acting class, which she thought for sure she would get a D in.

A lot of this stemmed from being told when she was in grade school, that she would never amount to anything. It's amazing what one stupid teacher, with revenge on her mind, can do to the mind of a child. Yes, I know who she is, let's just hope she never shows up to a class reunion that I am at.

It didn't matter how many of her teachers told her, over the years, that she WASN'T stupid, it was the one who did tell her that that stuck in her mind.

I can only say a big thank you to my friends who told her about Columbia College Hollywood as an alternative to Full Sail in FL. It so much a hands on type of school, she is in her element. Film Making, Editing, Screen writing- she has been preparing for these things since I can remember. Unlike some of the students, she doesn't try and sound like she is an expert and that they have nothing to teach her. Her motto has been "I'm Jello-mold me!" I wonder if that's could go on a bumper sticker?

I don't even worry about her as much as I did being 3000 miles away because I know she is doing exactly what it is she wants to do. Her next goal is her internships. I hope she gets some good ones! She now has her own studio apartment and has matured so much since she has been gone. I don't think that would have happened if she had done that right out of high school, but the time was right, and she knew it. We didn't push, but let her decide when the time was right. Although I am glad she didn't find a place that took animals- there was no way on this Earth I would have travelled with her cat across the country! ;)

I have to admit though, that as nice as it was to have her home for a week, it was nice to have the peace and quiet back when she left. And the bathroom. It's amazing how much mess one kid can make in so short a time, isn't it. LOL

Yeah, I will catch flack for this, but then she knows I love her anyway!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


About a year ago, we adopted our second Dacshund, Max. He was a rescue from a puppy mill down south and was 2 1/2. He weighed just 8 1/2lbs when they rescued him and brought him to a rescue here in NY. When we brought him home he weighed about 12lbs. I called him Bobblehead, because his head was soooo much bigger than the rest of him at the time. Since then he has been spoiled rotten and filled out nicely. And yes, they all dress up for Halloween. Last year it was pirates.

When he moved in, he didn't know how to walk up or down stairs, play with toys or even cuddle. He used to hide under the computer desk to eat, just to protect his bowl. Taking treats from our hands took him a long while to do. His favorite place is on his pillow under the computer desk especially when I am sitting there. He is never too far from me. If he can't see me he whines.

Once he learned how to run stairs, he ran like a crazy person up and then would jump from the 3rd or so step from the bottom. Took a bit to break him of that habit. He does use the stairs to get on the bed, but still insists on jumping off instead.

I have mentioned before, I think, that he is trying to take the Alpha Male position in the house away from my husband. Even when he snaps at hubby, it's funny. Trying to kiss me has become an exercise in stealthness. I call him my knight is fuzzy armor.

Which brings me to the point of this. Last night when I went up to bed he jumped off my daughter's bed, where we had been watching TV, and I heard a small squeek from him. However, he could walk up the stairs and got on the bed, didn't yelp when I felt his hips and back and slept through the night. This morning he did it again and is now at the vet's. At the ER they didn't think that there was any back injury but his hip could be out, or he could have torn an muscle. Whatever it takes, he will come home. When it comes to our animals, money is not a concern. We took on the responsibility, therefore, they get the best care there is.

Doxies have a history of back and hip problems. I have them all (including me) on Glucosimine and Condriton (sp) for bone strength. I even give them regular massages to help keep their muscles loose and relax them. Yes they are spoiled. You have no idea how badly spoiled our animals are.

So now I wait until I can call the vet's later this afternoon to see what the x-rays showed. The other dogs are wandering around wondering where Max is. This is not how I planned to spend my day off. I was going to lay on the bed and clear the dvr, with all the dogs cuddled around. Be lazy. Now I can't sit still long enough to even turn the tv on.

If you are reading this, please keep Max in your prayers.

Max is back home, sore and tired, but doing better. He had to have anethstisia for the x-rays and had a small reaction to it. Looking at the xrays, he has some hip and knee problems, but his spine shows no arthritis or disc problems which is great. He has to quit jumping off the furniture, so I have taken away the stairs so neither doxie can get up on them at all. He is taking over my daughter's room for now- a cage, 2 beds, new bowl set. And I will sleep down there with him since he will whine all night if I am not there. LOL

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's not Global Warming people!

Has anyone stopped to think that this whole global warming thing is actually just one big round of hot flashes? I swear I am going to have a bumber sticker made that says that.

Think about it. The Earth is about middle age right now, everyone calls it Mother, and a good portion of the population living on her is hitting menopause right about now. Including me.

We have reached that time in our lives where I have to sleep with the window open, even it it is -20 below zero, with alomost nothing on while hubby lies on his side (away from the window mind you) complaining that he is freezing. My solution- turn on his side of the electric blanket. duh. No brainer, right. Not.

Although this is not the first time he has had to live with it, so he should know the drill by now.

So if the rest of us, when we hit a certain age or stage in our lives have to go through this, who is to say that Earth can't do the same thing. We have hot flashes, mood swings and cravings. Mother Nature has global warming, vulcanos and earthquakes and other shows of temper. Someone did something to piss her off since we had nice spring weather for one day and now it's supposed to snow again.

So go away Al Gore and the rest of you and realize that this is nothing more than the natural progression of age.

NY is going down the poop shoot people!

I am so tired. Between Daughter being home all week and running to dr apt after dr apt, and then heading to West Point to go shopping, I am bushed. Today I will take my neighbor to his dr apt and then shopping and lunch. Tomorrow I have to work all day. I really am looking forward to Wed getting here. I have nothing planned.

Except laying around in my jammies, reading and catching up on the DVR.

We are just waiting for the ax to fall on hubby's job. When they start with the layoffs, thanks to the governor's wonderful plan for the economy, we know his job will be cut (even if it is federally funded). Patison needs that money to help fund one of his cronies paychecks, I am sure. It's amazing how many jobs are not being filled, while he keeps hiring these people at astronomical paychecks. The rest of the state is dying but they are doing just fine. Can we bring Spitzer back? And I can't stand him.

There was hope when Patison first took over that things would be different here in NY. Then it became apparant that he had too many people to say thank you to for getting him where he is today. Just like almost every politician out there. And the rest of the people be damned. Who knows, I may be putting the knife in my own back since I am on one of the lists for a state job, but since they aren't hiring, I guess I don't have to worry.

As a tax payer, I have every right to complain though and I am going to exercise that right.

Now we have a 5 cent deposit on water bottles? Like that will help much. I hope everyone goes out and buys a Brita or Pur water filtration system and the water bottles sit there on the shelves. At least his idea of the obesity tax failed- a higher tax on non-diet sodas. How stupid and ignorant is that? Does he not know that a) diet soda has proven to be just as much to blame for obesity as non-diet and b) not everyone can go near the sugar substitutes, and are in fact highly allergic to them? Is he (as NY State rep) going to foot the medical bills for them? Idiots. They come up with the stupidest ideas instead of dealing with the problems head on.

For instance, a friend of mine who just retired, had his job split between 2 people. One an engineer (contract employee) who will be making 40k more a year than he did and the other a lawyer. Two people to do the job of one, both making more money. Their philosophy? No insurance and vacation time, so that's a savings to the tax payer of NY. Right. This is how NY is being run. No wonder we are in deep shit.

I can understand why so many people, especially the younger generation, are moving out of here an to greener pastures. I would actually consider it someday myself, if things don't begin to lookup.