Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, Just Hug Everyone

Oh my goodness, grab a Kleenex and click here.

Sometimes, we forget the real cost of war.

(My good friend Mike sent this to me. At least, I THINK he's my good friend. Seeing as how he keeps making me cry and all...)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well, Wow, Hi There!

I planted some broccoli back in the Spring when I was in that manic LET'S PLANT EVERYTHING WE EAT, QUICK PLANT A COW, MAYBE WE SHOULD RAISE CHICKENS, OKAY, THEN, ALL VEGETABLES EVERYWHERE WILL GROW AND PROSPER AND MAKE US ALL TRUE FARMERS WHO GET INVITED TO BE ON OPRAH phase. The broccoli didn't come up but I figured that there was just way too much going on in the bed and I had just thrown the seeds in willy-nilly because, hello, MANIC PLANTING.

Today, I went to look for straggler bell peppers and jalapenos and this is what I saw.

I know I'm easy but you know when you take what seems like a leap of faith and you confess something that you think is a big deal which then turns out to NOT be such a big deal and you're all sheepish and, well...sheepish and then it's almost like God gives you a present as if to say, "There, there, Sweetheart. Try to calm down."

Well, it's like that.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Things to Confess

Okay, so I have some things to tell y'all that I haven't shared for various reasons.

Most of which entail large embarrassment on my part.

The first is that, well, my car inspection sticker has expired. It, um, expired in June. I know! I KNOW! But I just can't seem to remember about it until I'm in the car on my way to an appointment. (This is also why I still have a Texas Drivers License. Shhh.)

Now, let's talk about my hair. About six months ago or so, my hair began falling out at an alarming rate. Handfuls every time I showered. I had my thyroid checked and my medication levels were just fine so I assumed I was just...molting. So NOW, I have all this new growth on my head and on really humid days, like today, I look like this:

So, the last thing I have to confess today is something I just realized was embarrassing to me. I'd been wanting to write about it and I just couldn't bring myself to and suddenly it occurred to me that what I'm feeling is embarrassment. Which, GAH, is such a stupid response that I'm just going to tell y'all and be done with it. When we went to Disney, I needed one of those motorized scooter things to get around. Because of my foot. After the first half day at the Magic Kingdom, it was really clear that I couldn't keep up with my family and walk all over. (Plus, it was a reminder of how that kind of pain can erase all the good in your life with one step. I earned my new Grumpy jacket.)

Anyway, I have no idea why this is embarrassing to me. Clearly, I have issues that go far beyond my usual issues. Every time I've sat down to write about this, I've managed to find something that simply HAD to be done --like making my FaceBook language default English-PIRATE. (It's so amusing that I spent one whole day playing with it.) Or scrubbing my grout or something.

It was embarrassing to me at the moment, too. I found myself blinking back tears for the first hour or so. People kept giving me encouraging smiles --it was painful. (Well, except for the New Yorkers and they'd just walk right in front of me, mistakenly confident in my ability to handle the darn thing.) Babies would stare at me from their strollers as if to say, "Dude, what're YOU in for?" I was sort of deathly afraid that people would think I was using the scooter because I was so fat that my bones couldn't hold me.

I just... I just felt like everyone was staring at me.

(I'm, um, kind of crying a little as I write this.)

I think... I think maybe it's hitting me that the reality of living with a chronic mobility condition (no matter how much better it has gotten with these orthotics! Yea for orthotics! I heart you so!) is that I have to admit to not being able to do everything that normal (oh, just hush, you know what I mean) forty-four-year-old women can do. That's embarrassing to me.

And I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed because I worked for YEARS on behalf of people with disabilities. It turns out I'm just another unmarried marriage counselor, I guess. Or a racist civil rights worker. Or someone who works for an animal shelter whose dog is a pedigreed pure-bred. You get the picture: Hypocrisy R Us.

(Of course, after I'd been in the scooter for about a day, I really did start getting all, "Hello, where ARE my accommodations?" Disney World is amazingly accommodating to people with mobility issues but in, say, Norway (Epcot) there were some issues with the Maelstrom... just sayin'.)

At any rate, those are my confessions. I have one more about my NanoWriMo book but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to talk about that one. I can only bare my soul so much in one day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home Again, Home

So, we returned from vacation last night and found that the pets had run amok in our absence. Well, specifically Sir Edward the Orange Kitty (who showed his displeasure with my absence by peeing on my side of the bed) and Austin, who responded to the boredom of our empty house by eating holes in two of our rugs and gnawing on a chair. All in one night, after which our beloved pet sitter crated him when unsupervised. Which, of course, made her feel badly for him so she came over twice as often and took him and Scout on walks three times a day.

Shown with a cork for my usual scale.

The bed clean up was fairly easy, thanks to my new steam front loader, although the down comforter suffered a bit. (Sparing you the pictures because, well, eeewww.)

I managed to turn the large rug around so that the small hole was under the red couch (which, incidentally, seems to have been party central for one black puppy who is NOT supposed to get on the furniture, ahem.)

But the round rug under our kitchen table is a total loss.

I can't afford to buy a new rug right now because, hello, we just got back from Walt Disney World. (At one point, there was a guy ahead of me in line at the bar who looked at his bill and said, "Mickey Mouse should wear a kerchief and carry a gun and say, 'Stick 'em up!' on the signs.")
Looks a little sterile to me without the rug.

But I guess there's no point in replacing the rug when we still have this guy and he's only just ten months old.
SO getting neutered next week!

Edward sleeping oh-so-innocently on ANA'S bed. (SO going to a kennel next time we go out of town!)

************************** (Clever denotation of change of subject.)

Y'all, I think the lawyers have won.

Here is my snack on the plane coming home from Disney World.

It's a small package of peanuts.

Here is what the packaging says:

Yes, this package of PEANUTS was apparently packed in a facility that processes PEANUTS AND OTHER NUTS.

I dunno. Should we be reassured or frightened that they had to announce this?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Disney Faces

(As always, click to embiggen.)

My Tiger lover watching the tigers at Disney's Animal Kingdom...

and in front of Mt. Everest. (Why, yes, we did climb Mt. Everest and go on a jungle safari all in one day. And also? There was face painting.)

And we went on rides and ate all kinds of sweets and got doused with water on both days so far. I have many, many pictures to show y'all but alas, I am on my husband's laptop since my Mac is feeling poorly and I have totally forgotten how to do things on a PC. Also, we're on our way to Epcot today and I have to pack up. More later about scooters and weather and the magic of Disney World. (Seriously, I am so surprised at how much I am enjoying myself.) (That my KIDS are enjoying themselves is not so surprising.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Back Up Those Computers

Saturday night, as I was turning around to scold the puppy for eating the older dog's (Scout's) food, I knocked over my glass of wine.

All over my Mac laptop.

I dried it as much as I could and left it turned off overnight.

I hesitate to tell you that the only copy of my NaNoWriMo novel is on my laptop. Also? Most of the pictures I've taken since Christmas when my husband made it possible for me to make the leap to a Macintosh.

By Sunday, the computer would boot up, but the keyboard was having some issues. Like, it started randomly typing sevens. Here is an actual e-mail I sent to my friend Tiffany:


It's just randomly7 t7y7pin7g7 s77 no7w7777777. Wit7h or with7ou7t7 m7y77 a7pproval.

Gosh, 7is 7th7is 7har7d to7 rea7d??&"

Now the seven key won't work at all but this is far better than when I couldn't type the letter "u." I use the letter "u" a LOT. Also, the battery no longer works--that's kind of a limitation for a laptop.

At any rate, my husband hooked up an external drive and backed everything up and I am on my way to the Apple store to ask for professional help.

PLEASE learn from my mistakes and back up your computers RIGHT NOW. And either keep your wine on a separate table or drink it a lot faster.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

What IS a Bad Penny?

Okay, okay, sorry.

It's just that my NaNoWriMo book (I say book since it's not really fiction yet --which is just how I write) has me all on FIRE (I don't mean literally because that would be bad and this is good) and I'm spending my every free moment on it. I haven't been this excited about a writing project (other than this blog) in a long time.

Please forgive the scarcity of posts for a few weeks. Unless I continue drinking VAST amounts of coffee, in which case, please forgive the enormous backlog of posts suddenly appearing all on the same day.

Meanwhile, look what happens when the puppy gets bored: Yes. He ate part of our couch.

Apparently, he (and Scout. Mostly Scout) also barks a lot when bored. While Coop was in the hospital getting his appendix removed, the dogs were outside a lot more and were driving our neighbors crazy. So we've installed this device that hangs on the fence and emits a high-pitched frequency when the dogs bark. Humans can't hear it but dogs can.

It seems to be working.

However, Scout, never the poster child for canine mental health, now refuses to go out into the backyard. Is that a problem?

Here are a series of YouTube videos that I took while trying to take the dogs on a walk this morning. If you are receiving the blog via e-mail, you have to click on the post title and actually visit the blog to see them. (Mom, I'm talking to you. The videos are full of fall foliage! You'll love them! There are a lot of them but altogether, it's only about five minutes long!)

I didn't actually mean to take this one but oh, what the heck.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Today's Halloween Post

Today I was supposed to tell you all about our Halloween. However, instead I am going to tell you that someone really made me mad last week and I've been fantasizing about sending him/her an anonymous present of poop through the mail.

And not just any poop, actually, ELEPHANT POOP. (Don't click on that if you are eating.)

I won't do it because y'all know how I'm from the South and we don't actually DO bodily functions. Well, okay, we DO them but we don't ADMIT to doing them so this means I can't actually acknowledge the fact that this person really deserves a large load of elephant feces delivered to his/her door.

It sure is fun to think about, though.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Bazillion Things

I have a bazillion things to tell y'all but this is the first day of NaNoWriMo and my head is swirling with words and plot twists. Both of my daughters have joined me in this insane undertaking and thus far, Ana (11) has finished her word count for the day and almost all of tomorrow's and Jane wrote 500 words on her first book and then changed her mind and wrote another 556 words on her second idea. I'm sitting at about 350 words but I had some stuff to do like exercise and grout my Butler's Pantry counter (FINALLY!) I am drinking caffeine now, though, so watch my dust.

Anyway, since I am going to be pressed for time over the next month, my posts will be shorter. I am actually SO organized...

(excuse me for a second: BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, wow, that felt good!)

that I have actually planned a series of things I need to tell you about.

Monday: Halloween
Tuesday: Helping out at Jane's School
Wednesday: How Austin Ate the Couch
Thursday: My husband and Me on the Comeback Trail (featuring my personal trainer, Edward.)
Friday: Date Night in New York City

This is not a chronological listing but that's just how loosey-goosey we are around here.

Meanwhile, see the pretty grout: I have decided to add a small backsplash (which I just typed as backLASH--Freud, anyone?) to compensate for the irregularities in the counter itself so the project isn't done yet. Still, considering that we lived with it as a plywood counter for 18 months, this is definitely a step forward.