Saturday, February 6, 2016

So What Happened In January?

Welcome back to live time blogging.  

So what interesting, blog-worthy things happened during the past month in real life?  Let's see...

Ginny tore a toenail off.  She slid along the deck boards and snagged it.  I guess it's one of the most common dog injuries according to the Vet.  We got the bleeding under control and she didn't seem too bothered by it, but we ended up taking her to the Vet for look see and a round of antibiotics.

SM bought a "new to us" 2009 Toyota Highlander.  SM drives a tremendous amount for his work and needed new wheels.  He'd been searching for over 6 months and finally found one (at the right price of course) at a dealership 2 hours away.  Highlights?

*Buying cars is such a time suck.  Getting everything arranged at our Credit Union took about 4 hours.  (Are you kidding me?) 
*Then we drove 2 hours in a hard, driving rain (during evening rush hour) to get the stupid thing.   
*The dealership made us "schedule" a closing appointment with the finance manager and when we get there, he's occupied closing another deal.  Whaaat?  
*This time my "Are you kidding me?" was verbalized in such a way that all the sales guys scattered.  SM and I stuck our heads together and had a good laugh over that.  I swear we had the fastest close they'd ever experienced.  The finance guy stopped trying to explain the paperwork as I zipped along initializing and signing everything. Hey...It ain't my first rodeo.  In and out in 30 minutes flat. 
*Then the 2 hour drive home in the dark in the pounding rain.  I'm plugging along at a safe 65 and folks are flying by me.  It always amazes me how people can speed along at 90 when the roads are literally ponding from all the rain.

In the end we got home safely and now SM and I are both set up with reliable transportation for the near future.  Of course having 2 car payments sucks but we went almost 5 years without one.  Eventually it all comes back around.

I suppose the most interesting thing is that SM and I ran to Fort Myers Beach over the last week in January.  

We have family in the Naples and West Palm Beach area but like to stay on the FtM Beach Island near SM's brother Ronnie who has had a 5 week timeshare there for 20+ years.  

SM and I rented a condo through VRBO.  SM has always been a hotel kinda guy but I pushed for a rental this time and I'm so glad I did.  This is the first time we've ever rented a place but I can tell you it won't be our last.  It was easy to do and the condo was wonderful.

The weather was 50/50.  We had 3 good days and 3 bad.  I guess January is usually the dry season in Florida but this year they had 13+ inches of rain.  

The upside of this is that the storms churned up the gulf floor and tossed TONS of sea shells (alive and dead) onto the beach.  Now typically you can get fined $100 per offense if you pick up live sea shells with critters in them.  The storms had tossed the sea shells so far up on the beach that no high tide would ever bring them down.  By the time we got there the locals were encouraging people to "shell" everything and anything because the sea life was dying and things were starting to stink.  Phew!

My in-laws, Gary and Yvonne, who live in West Palm came over and started shelling.  They planned on creating a "Shell Garden" at their house.  I tagged along thinking I might pick up a shell or two for myself.  

I ended up picking up a whole bag of dead shells without much effort.  Gary and Yvonne ended up with 2 tubs full of dead shells.  They estimated the weight at around 50 pounds.  Yvonne told me that it was "extraordinary" shelling.  That it might normally take 2 years just to get a 5 pound bucket of shells.

We left the stinky stuff on the beach.  Thousands of conch shells with snails in them and just as many nine-legged starfish.  People were walking off the beach with handfuls of starfish.  STINKY.  No thanks.  

Will I be creating a "shell garden" here in NC? 
I rather have the flowers. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why February Is Like Tuna Noodle

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

February sucks.  There...I said it. 

As far back as I can remember I've never liked the month of February.  I find it to be the "hump day" of the calendar year.  It's the bridge between the excitement of the New Year that January brings and the hope and promise of March.  March shouts that Spring is right around the corner and soon enough the Winter will be a distant memory.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...there's Valentines Day, but if you were traumatized like I was at an early age, (no valentines in my shoebox) than you've always held a certain disdain for a holiday that tells you to buy chocolate, jewelery or the traditional Hallmark card to proclaim your love and devotion. 

So there's no Valentines Day celebrated in this house.  I subscribe to the Eight Days a Week philosophy of love.  A work in progress so to speak.  "I'll TRY to remember John!"  LOL...Just like a marriage.  Some days in perfect harmony, others...not so much.  (I love how PURE their voices are!)

So why is February like tuna noodle casserole?  (I'm sure you all clicked on this post just because of the title alone!) 

Well, last weekend found me with no inspiration in the food department.  What to make for the upcoming work week?  (I try to cook for SM on the weekends and let him do the leftover thing during the week.  I'm too tired once I get home to cook anything so SM is on his own during the week.) 

I had ZERO ideas so I asked SM if he had any cravings. 

"Nope.  None.  That's what's weird..." SM says  "I'm not hungry for ANYTHING."

"It's the winter blahs.  It's got me too." I observe.  "Well, try and think of something for me to cook or you'll be eating sandwiches and soup all week."

A few minutes later SM proclaims "I know.  How about tuna noodle casserole?"

"Sure.  I'm pretty sure I've got everything we need.  I can fry up those mushrooms you bought the other day and toss them in too."  I offer.

So away into the kitchen I go.  

I toss some egg noodles in the water, pull down a can of cream of mushroom soup, a couple of cans of tuna and fry up the mushrooms.  As I'm standing there stirring the shrooms, I'm thinking "This dish has nothing in it that I like." 

I don't do gluten.  Shrooms are right up there on my "nasty" list.  YUCK.  Even the color once it's all put together, it's a kind of beige, quivering mass, is unappetizing.  I wonder how to dress it up before I toss it into the oven to bake.  Oyster crackers!  More beige!!!

 I crunch some of them up on top to jazz it up and into the oven it goes.

While it's baking, I reflect on how tuna noodle was a staple on our family's menu growing up.  When you had 6 mouths to feed, variations of pasta or rice dishes were a constant every week.  Meat was ground beef so I suppose tuna was a kind of luxury.  Spanish rice, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs sliced on top, spaghetti...we ate those things all the time when I was growing up.

So to me, tuna noodle casserole is like the month of February.  It's beige, it's always there.  It's something to just get through.  There is something better on the other side.

Later that evening, after SM has eaten the days offering, I ask him how it was.

"You know, that was the best tuna noodle I ever had."  SM says.

Just goes to show you that tuna noodle, like the month of February, has some redeeming qualities after all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

He Had It Coming

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past

So I made lunch for SM the other day. 

He was in a hurry as he had a 1:00 apt down in Fort Mill, so I made a quick sloppyjoe, which he told me he "greatly appreciated" as he scarfed it down. 

Moments later he pecks me on the lips real quick and he grabs up his keys and bolts for the door.

"Wait a minute." I hollar at him. "You can't call that a kiss." 

I started walking towards him.

He turns, see's the knife in my hand (I was in the kitchen cooking after all) and says... 

"You can't seriously think I'm going to kiss you with a knife in your hand. Whataretryingtodo? Kill me?"

I point the knife away as I close in on him, kiss him lightly and looked him deeply in the eyes and said...

"Not today."

SM laughs.

I then turned on my heel, waving the knife in the air and said...

"Keep me happy and you'll live to see another day."

To which SM quoted, laughing... 

"And then he ran into my knife."

"He ran into my knife ten times."


If you'd have been there, If you'd have seen it, I betcha you would have done the same...

Monday, January 25, 2016

No Toad Licking Allowed

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

It's Saturday morning, pre-dawn and the pups and I were out doing our daily 2 miles. 

I suddenly notice Ginny shaking her head repeatedly.  Then I notice her drooling and wanting to eat the grass. 

Uh oh. 

We were walking in the street at the time and there's always something to sniff at.  

And unfortunately things to eat.  My dogs are likely just like yours, vacumn cleaners on 4 legs. 

After a few minutes she carried on as usual so we finished our walk.

When we got home, I checked her muzzle, lips and gums.  No swelling, no bite that I could see.  She ate some of her food but left some behind which I picked up.

She seemed restless. 

While I was concerned about her, I was also keeping my eye on the clock.  I had 8am post-ops to do at work and needed to be on the road by 7.

I filled SM in on what I thought was going on.

"She either got bit by a snake or she decided to lick a toad."  I told SM. 

The toads are all over the place right now and are getting squished in the road by the cars.  And while a snake was a possibilty, I hadn't seen one and I would think that if she was struck by a snake, she'd have let out a yelp. 

"They (the dogs) usually leave the dead toads alone though."  I mused.  "But maybe there was one alive and she tried to put it in her mouth.  I would think if she was bit by a snake I would've seen it or heard about it.  I'm betting on the toad."

"Do you think she's hallucinating?"  SM asks looking at Ginny who was standing there looking less than perky.  (You know the old joke about getting high eating shrooms and licking toads?)

"Maybe."  I said looking at her. 

"Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?"  I asked, giggling.  SM laughed.

Ginny looked at both of us, turned and wandered out to the back porch where she promptly threw up.  

Serves us right for laughing I suppose. 

"There goes breakfast."  SM said turning away.  "At least she has the sense to go outside.  Casey will just lay there and yurp up right in front of her."

After the 3rd yurp I became a bit more worried, giving SM instructions to take her to see the Vet if she seemed to become distressed. 

"Calm down, she's fine.  Just let her get it out of her system."  SM told me.

* There's a really good reason why SM and I are grateful that we never had kids.  He can't stand the nasty side of life and I will worry myself to death over every little thing. 

SM knows that if I had my way I'd have Ginny in the car racing to the Vet.  My imagination is always on overdrive. 

SM on the other hand hates to deal with bodily waste, be it dog or child.  Me?  (shrugging)...Hey, life is dirty, clean it up.

So I toss on my scrubs, grab the keys and my purse and as I'm walking out the door I hear SM say..."Go outside, GO OUTSIDE...AH CRAP!!!" 

almost kept going. 


Instead I turned around and went back inside and helped him clean it up. 

Aren't I sweet?

By the time I got home later that morning, Ginny was better if still a little bit off her game.  She drank a bunch of water and kept it down. So no more "yurps".

When I made lunch for SM she tried to mooch some food...Silly dog.

By the afternoon she was back to her old self.

This is what you get when you kiss a frog, Princess.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

Last week I worked with a real character...let's call him Jerry. 

Jerry is in his middle 60's and owns his own business so he's used to calling the shots. 

Jerry is fast-talking and forthright.  He looks you in the eye and calls it like he sees it.  He doesn't pull any punches as he tells it to you "like it is" with his deep Boston accent.

Down here in North Carolina, Jerry is what many Southerners would consider a real Yankee.

Now I'm a Yankee too in my way.  (SM and I both come from Ohio.  Ohio is kind of like a kissing-cousin to a real Yankee.  Real Yankee's hail from places like New Yawk, and Baawstin.)  

Anyway, when we first moved down here 14 years ago, I would often hear the comment "You ain't from around here are ya?"  (Little did I know that I gave myself away by my lack of chit-chat, my fast talking ways and my directness.)

You see, Southerners just don't go for that.  There's a protocol for speaking in the South.  You gotta warm up to a conversation with a Southerner.  Talk about the weather for a few minutes before you get to the point.  "How ya'll doing today?"  "Listen to them cicadas!"  "Damn it's hot!"  "How's your Mama doing?"

I've learned to slow it down a bit, to be more sociable and "tippy-toe" around an issue before getting into it with a Southerner.  

It's funny.  I haven't been called a Yankee in many, many years.  I guess I've been absorbed into culture.  Yankees can have their melting pot.  Southerners get slow roasted and Bar-B-Qued.

For all his year's living here in the Carolina's, Jerry still hasn't been "absorbed."  I bet Jerry gets called "Yankee" alot, and not just because of his accent.

"Before we get staaa-ted, I want to let you know what I will and won't do.  All you ladies ask me to do the same thing and I've got my own story of angst to tell."  Jerry comes at me right out of the shoot, eyes sparking and fingers pointing. 

(Angst.  Now that's not a word you hear every day:)

I laughed out loud. 

Swear to God I did. 

I couldn't help myself.  (Fortunately I didn't piss him off.) 

"Well, I tell ya Jerry, I've been married to a fellow for 26 years and he can let loose some "angst" of his own on me from time to time.  So go ahead...Spill."  I said with a smile as I sat back to hear his story of woe.

Jerry was here for a second opinion and told me his story straight up and in your face.  No tap dancing with Jerry.  I gave him my full attention and took notes.  And after we got through all the important stuff, I took some time to chit-chat with him.  (Like any good Southerner would.)

You see, I LIKED Jerry and I could tell by the way Jerry was laughing and smiling he liked me just fine too.  (Yankees always like me cause I understand them.  They feel comfortable with me.  I can fall back into my Yankee-ness with a snap of my fingers.) 

We sat back and talked about being Yankees in the South.  Traded war stories so to speak. 

And after Jerry left, some of my "Southern" co-workers came up to me and told me how glad they were that I took him back and worked him up. 

"Wasn't he mean?"  They asked.

"Naw...He's a Twinkie!"  (Twinkie is a term I use to describe someone who's all tough on the outside but once you get to know them they're a cream-filled sponge cake on the inside.  There's LOTS of Twinkies out there.)

"But he was so in your face."  Said another gal. 

"No...He's just direct.  That's how most Northerners are."  I explained.

"He intimidated me."  Says another, younger co-worker.  "Scared me to death."

"Aw...He's fine.  All bark, no bite."  I said with a wave of my hand.

"Well, you can work with him when he comes back in."  Was the general consensus.

"I'd be glad to."  I said with a big ole smile.

It's not everyday that you run into a real Yankee...@;)

Friday, January 22, 2016

SM Spider Wrangler

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

The other morning I got in the shower and noticed a spider up on the ceiling in the corner.  Our ceilings are high enough that you just can't swat at it. 

Later I said to SM "Hey, did you see there's a spider in the shower?"

"Yeah." Sm responds.  "It wasn't moving so I figured it was dead."  That's what happens around here.  If it ain't moving it must be dead and some kind of cosmic absorption will happen so we don't have to deal with it.

The next day I go into the bathroom and notice the spider has moved out of the corner but still in the ceiling crack.  Still too high to deal with it. 

But now I know it's alive.

"Itsy, bitsy spider...." I sing to myself in the shower.

Yesterday morning the spider is still on the ceiling but has moved directly over the spot where I stand and transform myself everyday.  You know...the blow dry and plaster station.

But today he's dangling. 

I eyeball him.  His spidey sense must have picked up on my vibe. 

He extends one long, thin creepy leg in acknowledgement.

That's it.  

I march into SM office where he's checking email and say "Hey...That freakin spider is directly over my head.  He's gonna drop down on me for sure if I turn the blow dryer on.  Come in and deal with it.  Kill it or save it I don't care just get him outta there." 

SM is tender hearted when it comes to bugs.  He saves them if he can.

SM comes into the bathroom with a plastic cup and an envelope that has one of our utility bills in it.  He stretches and gently taps the spider onto the envelope and then into the cup.

"Happy now?"  He asks.

"Yes!  Thank you Mr Spider Wrangler."

And all is right with the world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

F-Bomb In Disguise

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

Just down the road from where we live is a company that sells various bulk mulches and soil composts.  They bag them up and sell them to the big box stores but they also have a "drive up and load up your truck" service for us locals.  The have a front loader that scoops up the mulch and dumps it into your pickup truck for a fee.  So that's where I headed Saturday Morning thinking to spiff up the front yard this weekend.

This stuff was labeled "Pine Mulch" which looks like it's all shredded up to me.   Not nuggets, not chips.  That's what I thought we'd bought before.  I come back home, pulled the truck into the front yard and got to work. 

No sooner do I get a shovel or two of this contraband onto the front yard beds than SM sticks his head out the door and says..."Um, that's not the same stuff." 

"It's not?"  I respond, playing the stupid card.  (*I can be dumb as a box of rocks when it suits me.  Like when I make a mistake like buying the wrong kind of mulch.  I mean it's not like I can take it back.)

"No.  It's supposed to be the mini-chips.  That looks all shredded up to me."  SM observes.

"Well, does it really matter?  I'm sure it looks the same from the street." I say trying to sell it as I intentionally toss another shovelful onto the bed.

"I don't like it.  The mini's look better especially up front.  They're neater."  SM says.

I give the shovel the old heave-ho back into the pickup, bend over, sweep the mulch back together with my hands and grabbing the pile of mulch, toss it back into the pickup with an over the shoulder...

"I live only to make you happy."

Few things set SM off the way that phrase does.  And "yes" I use it to annoy him.  I freely admit it.  SM stomps back into the house as I move the truck into the back yard to use the "shredded" mulch elsewhere.

I eventually wander back into the house where SM and I start discussing something else.  After a minute or two I stick my finger back into that electrical socket and say...

"What...Don't ya like the fact that I live only to serve you?"  I tease him with a big grin on my face.

"That pisses me off when you say that."  SM responds.

"Oh yeah?  Kinda like how I hate it when you say "Yes, Dear."  I counter back. 

Now SM's got a big grin on his face cause he knows how much I HATE to hear "Yes, Dear" come out of his mouth. 

I've never heard a woman use that phrase...ever.  And yet men always seem to gravitate towards it.  Am I the only one who hates it?

"Lets call this what it is, OK?"  I ask.  "We're basically being polite by using these phrases when the simple fact of the matter is that we're saying "F-you".

"Yes, Dear...."  SM says with a grin.

(*Game, set and match to SM.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Flower Child

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

The other day when I was out wandering around the backyard I found that our Camellia bush blooming! 

Holy Moley.  In January?

Anyway I hollered at SM to come see and he said that "It was a shame they were blooming since we'd get a freeze tonight" and they'd all die back.

So I went and picked one of the blooms and started heading into the house thinking to put the bloom in a dish of water.

Of course the pups were very interested, especially Casey.

Someone is just too used to "snackies' around here.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sweet Cheeks

** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

SM and I went and did the "mother-load" of shopping yesterday.  We went to Sams Club for our bulk purchases first and then went to Walmart for the smaller stuff. 

We were trolling around with the cart at Walmart, wandering up and down the crowded asiles.  Sometimes we would seperate to grab an item here and there.  I came back after grabbing some catfood and I noticed this in the top basket.

I didn't say anything. 

We went to check out and I started gabbing with the cashier about "life".  She's bagging our food items as she's scanning and SM is grabbing the bags and putting them back in the cart.  The last thing is the Honeybun and as she scans it, she stops gabbing for a minute and hands it directly to SM, looks him in the eye and says... "I know you'll want to eat this first thing."

I started laughing and even SM had to smile when I said "Funny, how she knew that belonged to you."

I turned to the cashier and added, "I almost asked you to ring that up seperately."  (grin)

BTW, SM said it was very good. 

Such a bad, bad boy.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


** I am dedicating JANUARY 2016 as the month of the "rewind".  I'm going to highlight some of my personal favorite posts this month. Enjoy these Blasts From The Past. ***

I'm in a weird place right now. 

I'm in a snit.

I looked up the definition of snit.  A state of agitation.  Yep...pretty close to what I'm feeling.

I can't seem to settle down.  My mind wanders.  I'm not inspired to do much and the things I do do, I force myself to do cause they need doing.  (How's THAT for an interesting sentence?)

I'm restless, indecisive and annoyed.  But I'm not really in a bad mood.  I'm not.  But I am looking for distraction...for humor, for fun, for inspiration.

I usually get this way in January.  
I know what it is.  
It's the darkness of winter.  
I miss my garden.  
I miss the green things.  
I miss the little changes that happen to the plants as they grow.  
I miss the smells. 

I'm getting extra hours at work this month which is actually a relief to my sanity as well as to my pocket book.  

The other day, a co-worker asked how my weekend went and I told her "It was too long...I'm glad to be back to work."  She looked at me like I was crazy.  "Who actually WANTS to work?"  

She has a point.  While I do enjoy my work, I firmly believe I'd be one of the first people to leave it behind in pursuit of other things if I had the financial wherewith all to do it.

Which makes me think that I'd probably be a bored rich person.  

Seriously.  That would be my luck.  

That even though I could have anything I asked for (financially speaking) I'd still be in a snit during the dark season.

Unless I could run away from winter.  Run away from the dark days.  Head to the Southern Hemisphere where it's heading into Summer right now.

Hmmm.  A girl can always dream can't she?