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Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Great Switch A Roo

It's that time of the year again - I have been putting it off because everytime you think it's safe to get out the summer stuff, the temperature drops about 35 degrees and it snows. But  as we are quickly approaching May I felt fairly confident in my decision. I use space bags to store my clothes - no, they don't stay compressed at all. They will initially, but when you store them they sneaky re-inflate to original size. But it's easier to store 4 or 5 of them and it keeps all bugs and anything else creeping around your attic out of your clothes. I bring up a plastic bag too, I get rid of everything I've worn too much - or never at all.

When I start out I carefully sort each piece, fold neatly and separate - I have a bag for sweaters, skirts, pants, etc... This last approximately......about 5 minutes. I waited too long and it's as hot as Hades now in the late afternoon. The sweaters do not fit in their bag and I have to use TWO bags because I have so many stinking sweaters. WHY do I have so many sweaters?? Who the hell knows. Midway I'm just jamming the clothes in whatever bag they'll fit into, this is taking way too long, I'm really hot and I hate my clothes anyway. And I still have to hang up all the summer clothes. There's officewear, around the yard stuff, out to dinner and off to the park clothes. Molly is laying on a pile that I"m trying to put away, Bob is batting a sleeve hanging off the bed and I have had it! REALLY. But it's done, I still have all my shoes out but whatever, I'll just shove the winter stuff to the back, half of them I never even put them on this winter so what' s the difference? So it's done, until the fall.....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Healthy Habit$

I bought meat at Whole food the other day - I pass it on my way home from a client's home and stopped in after work. David and I had been discussing his meat eating. I have no objections to his eating it - but the cheaper factory farmed stuff - aside from the mind-boggling cruelty involved in raising it - the way they get rid of all the bacteria (and filth) is to soak it in bleach. Yes they do. They do. Go check for yourself if you don't believe me. Anyhoo, Whole Foods has the loveliest meat section - everything is organic, grassfed, no antibiotics....and double the price of the local supermarket. I bought David a selection to try including uncured bacon/chicken burgers, grassfed beef, stuffed clams for fun - I bought my vegetarinan (vegan) stuff and went to check out. And almost fell over when the cashier said 

That will be $89.
 More than double what I usually pay - but not too upset about it. David is the only one eating meat and he doesn't eat it every night. Since I'm buying for a Party Of One it will last awhile. David squawked too - but I asked him wouldn't your rather pay more and eat a little less of something that hasn't been dipped in bleach and actually tastes good? We've both been eating better lately - it's hard though. I've started cooking up fresh vegetables on the weekend so we can quick heat it up on the weekdays when we're both running hard. I'm making most of my vegan stuff - I only buy prepackaged now after I read the list of ingredients and calories. Count on the American Food Empire to even make VEGAN stuff unhealthy! I love Tofurky artisian "sausage" - they are my guilty pleasure. 100% vegan - 14 grams of fat per serving, 25% of your daily recommended salt, and a whopping 280 calories per pretend sausage.  If I buy the other brand it's 7 grams of fat and only 140 calories, I jazz it up myself and it works. 

Food has become a scary thing - a lot of people start eating better as they  age for a variety of reasons. All of the sudden your cholesterol shoots up, along with your weight, you have to think about sodium, transfat. But add in antibiotics, bleach, low fat that's flavored with a wheel barrow full of salt, not to mention the chemical shit storm of the no calorie items. I bought a Zero Calorie Mayonaise which tasted exactly like something you would feed someone to get classified information out of.  I once bought No Calorie Chocolate and I assume the reason it was no calorie was because it was impossible to choke down.....yuck! So our fridge is stuffed with organic meat, fruit, vegetables and so forth. It's so funny that when we were first married and the kids were small all of the fresh fruits, vegetables, etc...were cheap - I actually used to make everything from scratch to save money - including the junk food. Now it's the opposite, the pre-packaged suff is the cheap and fruit and vegtables are the things that are breaking the bank. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Barely Legal

I'm very good about keeping my driving license up to date - I've never gone over the expiration date by even an hour. It's  not because I'm such a good citizen, it's the same premise I follow when the chart auditors come to my office to review charts - I know I'm going to get nailed for something no matter how hard I try - I just try keep what I can be nailed for to a minimum.  So when  I get pulled over, an expired license is not my list of infractions - and this is important. I got a verbal warning once and then the next week got pulled over in the same spot by the same cop - doing the same speed. If he could have added he didn't like my outfit he would have added it. I had to get a new picture too so I arranged to be off today just for this purpose since the local place is ONLY open on Thursday from 9:15a to 3:30p. I had my card I got in the mail, dogs were walked and in - AND I remembered to do my hair and some make up. Usually I forget and spend the morning pulling briers or something before I go. David has, in the past, described some of my license pictures as "ten miles of bad road" or "you look like you were just released from prison". It's a talent, what can I say? I got there and the first thing I saw was a sign that stated they only took checks or money orders. I asked the woman in the photo section and she said she didn't do that, to look at the list. I found what I thought it was and hightailed it to the bank. The bank that only does money orders for customers. Of course you do. I went across the road to the gas station and got one, then high tailed it back - every seat was filled except the one next to The Complainer. I took my little ebook out after signing in and tried to read while The Complainer kept up a running commentary on everything from the woman should not be chatting with the customers to he had been sitting here for half an hour... yeah, that makes the time go faster buddy. It was not that long - I got my picture which actually came out pretty decent I thought. Not suitable for framing,but at least I don't look marginally demented. And the money order? They never asked for it - when I looked I didn't even see anything saying how much you had to pay. So I have a money order for $29. 50 in case someone wants to sell me something (for exactly $29.50) or someone is going to get an odd amount for their birthday this year. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bob's Tale

We have a friend who lives at the end of a road - good for privacy, good for bad people dropping off their unwanted pets. The small terrified dog was quickly reclaimed after his sister posted it  online - the owner that came to pick it up told them her shitty (ex)boyfriend had nabbed her dog and dumped it. The Bluetick Walker was also reclaimed - our friend thought someone might have stolen that one in the hopes of selling it and when they couldn't, well, you can"t bring it back can you? Another dog went to the shelter, and then, then there was Bob. Our friend found this cat wandering his property, it had a collar, but no name or tag. He set up a box on the porch, letting it in while he was home and feeding it. His sister posted it online and he asked around, nothing. 

He couldn't keep it for a variety of reasons, so he called David and asked if we would like a cat. He thought it was a young male cat, very friendly and purr-ie, gentle and sweet. Now, people on occasion will offer me a cat or tell me the shelter have some I might like - I never take them. I don't go looking for them either, because eventually one will find it's way here. This cat had no where to go and  I had an opening. So we drove an hour out to his place and there was the cat - he had been feeling terrible about not being able to keep it, but felt better as he handed me my new cat and a hilariously large amount of food for a cat he was not keeping. The cat sat on my lap for the hour long drive - we had brought a carrier but it got so upset I was like forget it, I'll hold the cat. When we were almost home we passed Bobtown and I said to David that would be a great name for this cat, so when we pulled into the driveway it was me, David and Bob.  
Bringing an adult animal into a home with other animals is not easy. The first couple of weeks Bob spent all time we were not around in the basement  since the Terrible Two are not trustworthy with a new cat (toy)- we used Squirt Bottle Therapy to keep the dogs from eating the new resident and to keep the new resident from mixing it  up with Vincent the current King Of The Castle. Right after we got home I got the collar off, whoever put it on never checked it I suppose - it took about 20 minutes of trying to get it off without injuring the cat - it was so tight to this day, the cat still has a dent around the neck where all the fur was rubbed off, leaving raw skin. We discovered quite a bit about Bob - the cat is litter trained, the cat is more middle aged than young and Bob is a........girl. Our friend has never owned a cat so I should have known better than to take him at his word! But Bob seems to suit her and she has become a wonder part of our household. She loves David to death, she sits on the counter while he takes a bath "talking" to him, if she sleeps in the bed at night she stays on his pillow snuggling and purring fondly. We're glad we found her and I think she shares the feeling. And to the idiots that dump your pets thinking they'll be ok, they will NOT be. They'll starve, be terrified, if they're lucky they'll die quickly before suffering too much, if they're very lucky they'll find a new home like mine where I'll be making it up to them for the rest of their happy life.  I hope what goes around comes around - and it comes to YOU.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hey Girlfriend

My niece posted a blurb today ruminating about the a straight woman in her office using the term "girlfriends" to describe her friends. Another person posted - why not just use the term "friend", why separate into genders?  As someone growing up in the 70's I can answer that question. Because to us, the terms friend and girlfriend do not separate genders, but the degree of friendship you have.  To me a friend is someone you work with and sometimes go out to lunch with. Someone that goes to the same gym with you at the same time, you get the machines next to each and yak away while banking those miles on the treadmill. Some you see or someone you share an interest with. That, is a friend. 

A girlfriend - she is a forever thing. No matter how many years or miles between you, she is forever. You can have more than one - I have 3 and always will. These are the people that can see you in your underwear and will never make a comment. That you've known since forever, and maybe a little longer. Kim and I spent many hours plotting our apartment in NYC, I would write for a living, she would paint. We were together constantly, in trouble and out - to this day if I utter the phrase "My twin globes of pleasure" she can recall exactly what I was reading when  I said that, how wasted we were and how we laughed til we couldn't breath. Or the afternoon I discovered I could not only wear Liz's bra backwards but it looked like I had water wings and she said she was going to kill me, but was as amused as I was. The summers Nancy and I spent cleaning houses for a living - it was hard but seriously, you get to talk for hours on end and get paid for it? Will never happen again.  If one of us had a grudge or hated someone for some bizarre reason there was an unspoken rule the rest of the crew would back you up - didn't have to make sense, you didn't even have to be right, it was group hate as long as you wanted. 
In high school when things got bad, when I could not control the things I had kept a lid on for so long that a massive amount of therapy and a stint in a group home was needed, when I hit the bottom and didn't bounce, Liz and Kim were there, no matter what - they knew I would recover. And I did - they know everything about me and how far I've come.  Nancy came along a little bit later, but she fit in just fine and still does. A girlfriend thinks about you - calls, emails and stays in touch because you will always be connected.  The years we spent together, the weekends we slept over each other's houses in a rotation, the beach, learning to drive, Miller 40s and Cheetos. Anyone can fit the definition of friend, few however earn the title Girlfriend. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Little Bit At A Time

I often wonder  how two people in their 50's with no one home but them and some pets can accumulate so much stuff. I've been cleaning out by sections when I get time, I cleaned out my old uniforms a few weeks ago and got a full bag to donate -I just hang on to them and some were sad and faded, others just never fit when I bought them.  I go through my clothes every couple of months, there's always something that can go. I went through the drawers in the living room and I got rid of two bags of DVDs, Cd's, books and a host of knitting magazines. You know , those magazines you collect and you think you'll read them again someday or they'll be worth money - but you never do and they never are. Today I did the kitchen cabinets - I threw out two garage bags of expired food, Things We Will Never Eat In A Million years and General Weird Stuff. The best thing I ever found was a can of grapefruit - who on earth would ever eat canned grapefruit?

When I'm doing these things I'm very grateful  for the fence David put up last year - the dogs have gotten used to it and when we're home - they are outside. Doing Mole Patrol, checking out the grape arbor for birds, chasing each other. David actually argued with me about putting it up but he's a big fan now, especially since in the morning all we have to d o is open the back door instead of having to go out with them.  I still walk them out in the woods at least once or twice a day, but for the rest of the weekend they're on their own for entertainment. 

So, anyway - I have been making progress. I considered trying to do it all at once, but it's too overwhelming, isn't it? It's not that we really have a lot of extra stuff, but you have to sift through it, keep or toss, keep or donate, on and on.  I sorted through all the cabinets and it's a bit more organized, I found there's things we like and I think we keep buying it because we don't realize we already have four of them in the back of the cabinet. I have tons of quinoa, orange ginger sauce, balsamic glaze, David has (4) containers of Miracle Whip, tons of peanut butter and 5 cans of canned chicken which he hates. So, the kitchen is organized, the basement will most likely be next but that will be in very, very, very small sections.