Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sometimes Men Just Don't "Get It"

Having a frustrating week here...sigh.
Why don't men "get it"?
We women demurely drop hints...then we leave demur behind and make strong hints...we then progress to telling a man right out what we need/desire/require. If all else fails, we hit them over the head with with our request (which has usually escalated to a blatant demand at this point!)
And then they look at us and say "Huh...what?"
Head + Brick Wall

My Darlin' Man has been particularly obtuse lately.
I love him. Really, I do. He is sexy and smart and funny and adorable and dependable and everything I want/need in a partner in life.
But, he is male and suffers on occasion that male brainlessness and clueless behavior.
It has to be a gender related thing, as I have never seen a female suffering from it.
Call me sexist, I don't care!

Give a man a grocery list...maybe 6 items on it.Explain to him that is all you need AND the food budget can't be stretched any further this month.
I GUARANTEE he will return from the store with about 80 bucks worth of stuff, a lot of stuff you don't need and didn't want---and he will neglect to get at least two items on your list!
Oh, and those two items will be crucial to your cooking/baking in the next week!
He'll buy 40 pounds of flour...and forget yeast. Buy 15 bucks worth of produce and neglect to get the salad dressing you requested. Sixteen pounds of chicken ("It was on sale, baby!") but no ziplock freezer bags or aluminum foil or plastic wrap so you can freeze it.

Yes, been dealing with that lately....sigh.
Some days, I wish I drank......
He will return from the store

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adjustments, Compromises and Adapting...

So, I have moved in with my Darlin' Man.
New situations call for new adaptations.
Sometimes you have to compromise.
Some things only require a bit of *tweaking*, minor adjustments to smooth out a slight bump in the road.

Laundry for example. My fella is in the military, so his laundry must be done a certain way.
I also found out that he *has* to have his socks, t-shirts and boxers folded a certain way.
Okay---minor adjustment.
 My Darlin' Man has two kids in his custody. Teen agers.
Compromises and adapting are the watchwords there!
From diet and my cooking, bedtimes, entertainment, house cleaning, etc.
I could let some things become battle grounds--if I wanted to go that route.
But I prefer a calmer journey...
So, I give the kids choices.
Get up and get out the door to school by a certain time OR get up EARLIER the next day.
Eat what is put on the table at dinner time OR make yourself a sandwich.
Clean your room OR I will box up all the stuff on your floor and tuck the box away in a closet.
They have adapted, as have I.

I had to compromise on closet space (ACK!) as the fella has a huge amount of uniforms  that HAVE to be on hangers. It is a walk-in closet with oodles of hanging and shelf space...of which I have about 2 feet of  closet space out of about 8 feet of hanging space...Yup...BIG compromise. But since I don't excatly have a huge wardrobe, that's okay.
My fella has had to adapt to my sewing fetish...I sew, I quilt and I have a massive amount of fabrics, notions, patterns, etc. Plus, my sewing machine, of course.
So, one corner of the bedroom is now my sewing nook.
He's adapting...
We finally hammered out an agreement on our books. I am a confirmed and certified book whore. I moved in with several boxes of books. Today, I will finally have a place to put them! It took a few weeks to figure out where they would go--as the fella has a few hundred books of his own and his small bookshelf is bulging at the seams!
After much discussion, we finally figured out a compromise and both of us are happy with it.
My beloved books will be unpacked and placed on the *breakfast bar* ---that is never used as such---and his books will be joining them there.




It works!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lovely October has arrived!

In 4th grade my teacher, Mrs. Miller, made each of us memorize a poem about our birth month. I was an October baby, so the poem that follows is the one I chose to memorize.
On Oct. 28th, I will be a glorious 54 years old!




Oh suns and skies and clouds of June, and flowers of June together, you cannot rival for one hour October's bright blue weather!
When loud the bumblebee makes haste, belated, thriftless vagrant, and golden Rod is dying fast, and lanes with grapes are fragrant;
When Gentians roll their fringes bright, to save them from the morning light, and chestnuts fall from satin burrs without a sound of warning;
When on the ground red apples lie in piles like jewels shining, and redder still on old stone walls are leaves of woodbine twining;
When all the lovely wayside things their white-winged seeds are sowing, and in the fields, still green and fair, late aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low, and on the brooks, in idle golding freighting, bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush of woods, for winter waiting;
When comrades seek sweet country haunts, by twos and twos together, and count like misers, hour by hour, October's bright blue weather.
Oh suns and skies and flowers of June, count all your boasts together, love loveth best of all the year October's bright blue weather!
by Helen Hunt Jackson

Monday, August 30, 2010

People Just Piss Me Off Some Days

Grouchy me.
People have really irritated me in the past few weeks.
To wit:
Slow people at ATMs. Look, swipe your card, get your damn money and GO already! Don't stand there and check your checking balance. Check your savings balance. Check you checking balance again. Look at receipts carefully for at least 3 minutes. FINALLY decide to take out money.Swipe card again. Forget pin (apparently).Swipe card again, get pin right, take out money. Examine receipt like a diamond evaluator in Amsterdam. Swipe card again and check balances again. Finally leave. I want to stab you in the head with a spoon.
Late people. You told me to meet you at such and such place at such and such time. You are not there. I wait. And wait. And wait.You finally show up and breezily offer some sort of (non) excuse. This is NOT the first time you did this.Trust me, it will be the last. Look, being late is RUDE. It is telling the other person that YOUR time is more important and valuable than THEIR time.
Cashiers that have *important* things to do (other than waiting on customers). Talking to other salespeople. Rearranging merchandise. Talking on phone. Doing nails. You get the idea. Look, you got a job in the *service industry*, lets provide some damn service, already!!!
People using cell phones in public.Okay, I can understand calling your spouse while in the grocery store to make sure you are getting the right brand of beer or whatever. I do NOT appreciate standing behind you in line while you go into the details of your last trip to the gynecologist! C'mon...I am planning dinner in my head...I do NOT need to hear about your "cervical discharge". And using a cell phone at ANY sort of performance should be punishable by public flogging! Turn those bastards off in the cinema, the theatre, the concert venue!
Just trying to vent a bit...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yeah...But I'm a GROWN UP Now, So I CAN!!!

Remember all that crap you got yelled at for doing (or not doing) when you were a kid?
I yelled at my kids for some of the same stuff....my bad.

Now, my kids are grown, I am more or less on my own...and I realized a couple of weeks ago that there were a few things I had never done since becoming an adult. (Okay...in my case, maybe quasi-adult would be better terminology).

I made a list and tried out a few things, so here is my report:

Playing ball in the house. Pretty fun. Probably because my dog ended up being an enthusiastic partner in crime.
Drinking milk out of the carton. Rather enjoyable.I am the only one here that drinks milk, so now I have one less glass to wash.
Running with scissors. Doesn't have the charm I thought it would.
Drawing on the wall. AWESOME! I have a field of poppies on my bedroom door now.
Leaving my shoes in the middle of the floor. Bad idea when you trip over them in the middle of the night.
Leaving the t.v. on all night. In my case, it was my computer -- which I watch movies and t.v. shows on. This one gets a mixed review. I lined up several *conspiracy* documentaries on youtube...6 hours worth or so.Went to sleep during "From Freedom to Fascism". Not bad...but sometime during the night, a David Ickes documentary came into the mix. I was jolted awake by "Alien lizards---the Queen of England among them!!!" Now granted, the woman is no beauty queen, but I am not quite sure she qualifies as an alien lizard. My advice on this one...choose the programs carefully. I had a difficult time getting back to sleep.
Going outside barefoot and no jacket in the rain.I HIGHLY recommend this one! Yes, mud squished delightfully between my toes and my hair was plastered to my head and my clothes were soaked through, but it was an utterly delightful experience!
Eating dessert FIRST. Yes, yes and YES! Do it.
Not sharing your crayons. Got myself the Crayola BIG box. Mine...ALL MINE!!! Used them to color on the wall. Very. Cool.
Jumping on the bed (or other furniture). Kind of a let down. This probably because I only have a mattress on the floor. Will re-do this experiment after I get a proper bed. Did get the dog pretty excited, though.

All in all, I had a good time.
I suggest everyone out there try breaking a childhood rule or two your parents had for you and see how it feels!




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heat Wave...

Currently, we are having a heat wave down here in the land of the swamp.
Which means it is hot.
DAMN hot!
Mosquitos are ignoring my tasty Irish blood and sucking on the ice cubes in my drink instead.
I take cold showers and then sit naked and wet in front of my air conditioner to dry off.
I watch web cams for cities in cooler climes...like in Alaska. Found one that was in the Arctic...that was refreshing to watch!
My t.v. viewing is following the same theme...Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch, YES!
Hells Kitchen and anything that involves beaches, sunshine and heat, NO!

I have become a partial vampire of sorts...awake during the cooler evening and morning hours, asleep during the day.
The dogs (mine and my room mates) have followed suit. They plop down in the coolest part of my room (usually under my chair) and snooze away, knowing they'll get walked around 1 a.m.and then again at 6 a.m.
My cooking (usually a labor of love for me) has dwindled down to salads, with the occasional sandwich.
I really, REALLY wanted some cornbread today, but with the temperature hovering around 100 degrees and no ac in the kitchen...uhhhh...I can wait!

The heat makes everyone cranky.
The news here has been full of reports of assaults, robberies, shootings and the like.
You don't see that in the winter as much.
I think even the cops here are hoping for rain---maybe the crooks will stay in their houses if it rains. Maybe it will cool off and calm everyone down.
Someone once told me that the highest crime areas of the world are also the hottest areas.
I can believe that...this heat makes me cranky, too!

I need another cool shower...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

True Confessions

Ever go along with the crowd just so you didn't feel left out?
Yeah...we all have.
So, in the spirit of finally not going along with the crowd...here are my true confessions of the day:
First, movies, actors and actresses:
Lord of the Rings trilogy? Never made it through the second and third one. Fell asleep.Snooze-fest. First one was okay.
I liked "Willow" better.More entertaining. If I want Tolkien, I read Tolkien. See it much better in my head, anyway.
Meryl Streep. Can't stand her. I KNOW she has a million Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. It is just people look up at the screen and say "WOW! Look at her ACT!"  You shouldn't be doing that. You should be SO immersed in the story the cast of a film is telling on that screen that you forget they are acting. Besides, I think I have only seen her act like she was having fun or enjoying her self in one movie;  "Death Becomes Her".
The Godfather. And all the sequels, prequels, etc. Not a fan. The first was...ehhhh...okay. After that---suck fest.
Eddie Murphy and almost every other actor that has gone to work for Disney. Sell outs. Lost their edge in return for a paycheck. I know, they gotta eat, too, but still...puhleeeeze..there are some levels you just can't stoop to!
Movies being made of bad t.v. shows from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Stop. By all that is sacred and holy, Just. Stop. It.
Movie remakes of other movies. Stop that, too. Don't the idiots in Hollywood have a single creative bone in their collective bodies? Some of the movies were done well the first time, so a second film is not necessary. Other films were just so dreadful in all facets that it is like that old cliche: Garbage in, garbage out.

On to Fashion:
Shoes...dear heavens, SHOES. Have you seen the prices socialites and Hollywood types and the wealthy pay for their shoes...600 bucks, 800 bucks, 2000 bucks...WTF!?!?!
C'mon people, they are *just* frikkin' S-H-O-E-S!
And the more expensive ones seem to be the ugliest.
Put me in a cheap pair of sneakers from K-Mart and I am happy. I'll pay a bit more for hiking boots, but those are footwear with a purpose.
Same for purses. Saw a picture of a young actress with a purse that she paid 14,500 for.
What. The. Hell.
And the darn thing was almost as big as she was and ugly as home-made sin!
Wear clothes that are neat, clean and comfortable and you are good to go.

Back to my true confessions:
Cars do NOT impress me. A guy driving a Ferrari or a girl behind the wheel of a Mercedes strike me as  endowed with more money than sense.
If it is a Mercedes diesel...NOW ya got my attention. Rig it so it can burn vegetable oil (recycled) and you'll get a big thumbs up from me!

Another true confession...I am a lousy driver. I will not drive in inclement weather or after dark unless it is a dire emergency. I KNOW I am a bad driver. I KNOW my eyesight is not the best. So, when I do have a vehicle, I limit my driving to the absolute minimum.

Other true confessions:
I love dark chocolate. Best edible thing on the planet.
I am a Science Fiction addict. Love Steampunk. (Look it up) Frank Herbert. Robert Heinlein.  Issac Asminov.
Yeah...a bit of a geek.

Well, I feel I have unburdened my soul enough for one day...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mad Dogs and Englishmen....

So, I went walking to the store this morning. The store I was heading to is about 2 miles away, so I made sure I was quite prepared.
Water bottle: Check
Hiking Boots: Check
My Big Bag Purse: Check
So, I set off, enjoying a bit of a morning breeze before the sun got too hot.
Halfway there, I stopped to get a bag of walnuts at Family Dollar (they are HALF the price there that they are in the grocery store!). I dig into my bag for my wallet...and it's not there.
I FORGOT MY WALLET!!!
I had enough money tucked into the bottom of my bag to pay for the walnuts, but still...
So, back to the house.
A mile walk.
The breeze had stopped and the sun was gleefully beating down on me. I had also forgot a sun hat.
...sigh...
Everyone was rushing past in their air conditioned cars while I trudged homeward.
I made it home....sweating...a bit ticked off at myself...
Got up the three flights of stairs and there, THERE was my wallet, right where I left it on the kitchen counter.
Called a friend to get a ride later to the store.
Made a better checklist for my next trip up the road...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shiny New Button!

If you noticed, or even if you haven't, there is a cute picture of a wee lamb over to the left.
<----------Thataway.
I am going to put up some items for sale in the near future and I may be making a major life change the End of August, Beginning of Sept. and I am going to need all the funds I can get to do it! (More about that in a post--coming soon!)
I used a *donate* button rather than a *merchant* button just in case some good hearted person out there feels generous enough to toss me a few bucks to help.(I know, I know, we are ALL broke right now--but I figured it wouldn't hurt!) No, donations are NOT tax deductible.



Some of the items I will be putting up for sale (no auctions, everything will be reasonably priced!) will be baby quilts, books, artwork, attractive (I hope to others!) wall decorations-room accents-bric-a-brac, clothes,fabric, first aid supplies for your FAK or BoB and gear. By "gear", I mean useful items for camping, hiking, hunting preparedness, etc. I will figure in the cost of shipping on each item when I price it. A few items I will send via UPS or Fed. Express due to their size or fragility.


The first items will be posted the second week in August. It will be first come, first served!
So wait and watch for the explanation and the items!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Experiments in self-improvement

Okay...I have bad habits.
Everybody does..
My current bad habits include :watching too much t.v., smoking and drinking soda to excess.
TV has now been moved out of my room.
I stopped drinking soda.
Now...I have not had any withdrawal symptoms from tossing the tv out of my room. If I want information, I go to my computer. I mainly watched History and Discovery Channel anyway and most of their stuff is available online.
On to the soda...that was a bit harder...and then, out of  pure damn desperation, I grabbed the lemon juice off the fridge shelf, pored a teaspoon in a mug added cold water and ice cubes and a couple of teaspoons of sugar...Lemonade! I made it a bit more tart than most people like it, but it works for me.
I sip on it every time I get a craving for soda.
So, for the past 40 hours now, I have been clean of caffiene....W00-H00!
Now for the worst habit...Smoking.
I have switched from name brand cigs, down to generic, and finally, I am now rolling my own.
They taste like shit and I can't roll worth a damn, so my smoking has reduced substantially.
So, there's my self improvement efforts..which seem to be going fairly well right now.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What the Hell?

So, I go out and about running errands today. A little shopping, dropping one of the computers off at the shop (needs a new fan), just a bit of this and that.

Sooooo...I am in a store, just browsing around and in comes a small gaggle of women. (Honestly, I don't think gaggle is the proper word...maybe a muttering of women...or a whisper --for a quiet group--or a screech of women--for a loud group...let me think on that...)
Anyway, 4 or 5 broads come in the store as a group. Ages between 35 to about 45 by my reckoning.
One, short, chubby and around 40, is wearing a belly shirt, "Daisy Dukes" and --dear Lord on toast---BODY GLITTER!
Body glitter? Really?
I thought women genetically out-grew body glitter at about age...oh...TWELVE.
Her belly shirt proclaimed her a "Baby Girl".
Hot pink lip gloss.
Belly button ring from which a pink crystal dangled.
Really.
REALLY?!?
The rest of the women in the group were similarly attired, though not quite as sartorially splendid as  "Baby Girl".
One wore "yoga pants" that had "Hot To Trot" emblazoned across the ass.
Since she weighed about 250, it was a LARGE statement on her part.

What the hell happened to people dressing their age?
Not to lay all the blame at these ladies (?) doorsteps....I see 40 something men trying dress like the Jonas Brothers and hanging around Hot Topic at the mall, hitting on the cute sales girls there.
Guys...quit that--it is embarrassing just to see!
Just as bad--if not worse--are 8 year old girls wearing clothe and make-up that makes them look like mini prostitutes.

Maybe I am just having a grumpy day...but I would LOVE to see men, women and children dressing appropriately for their ages.

And I would also like to see body glitter made illegal for women over the age of twelve.
Just my complaint for the day....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Heat

I live in southeast Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico.
It gets hot here.
DAMN hot.

I hate heat. Always have.
In my new place we have one air conditioner. Fortunately, it is located in a window in my bedroom.
UNfortunately, it does not function as well as it should.
It only cools the room down by a few degrees when it is working.
WHEN it is working, which is not all the time.
To me, if I don't have frostbite on my nipples, the air conditioner is not functioning properly.
Currently, my nipples remain unfrostbit.
Therefore, my ac is not functioning to the level that I expect for comfort.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to settle in this particular piece of real estate.
What did the pioneers think "Swamp, alligators, Jurassic Park sized mosquitoes and other bugs, hurricanes, flooding, poisonous snakes, heat like the 7th level of Hell...Yee-Haw, looks like home to me!"?
I have been here over 2 years, but I don't want to stretch it out to 3, although I may be forced to.
In the mean time, I am on the hunt for a decent air conditioner.
Oh yes, I KNOW I am a "survivalist" type gal. Don't care.
I NEED frosty Montana mountains on a February day, in my face, take my breath away, frostbitten nipples air conditioning!
Right now, I am looking at some used units, but I am not so sure I want to buy a used unit that was not enough for someone else---how the hell could it stand up to MY demands and standards?
Hopefully, I will find something that works for me at a reasonable price!

I hate heat.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here in the treetops

After a short hiatus, I am back.
I moved in the interim, and am now in a third floor apartment
Although I am not the biggest fan of apartment living, I sort of enjoy being up here.
My most interesting neighbors are the squirrels that scamper around the trees that are next to my windows.
They also use the power and cable lines as a sort of interstate system to travel rapidly from yard to yard in their search for food.
They are entertaining little rodents, I must admit.
I can identify several individuals by sight now--no, all squirrels do NOT look the same.
One little squirrel seems to be the "merry prankster" of the local population. He races from branch to branch...chattering away at the others and seems to instigate chaos and fights where-ever he goes.
If there is a tail to be tweaked, he is there to tweak it. He ambushes other squirrels, pouncing on the others who wander past him.
A Squirrel of Adventurous Spirit, he also seems to love annoying the very large dog in the yard behind us.
The dog, a mastiff, doesn't have the speed or agility of our fluffy tailed friend, so it is a one sided battle. The little rodent will pilfer dog food from the bowl with cheeky abandon, knowing the large dog cannot possibly catch him in a genuine pursuit. When not pilfering kibbles and bits, our adventurous squirrel will wait until the large dog is snoozing peacefully in the shade and then creep quietly as close as possible and suddenly sit up and loudly chatter at the poor canine. The dog, so rudely awakened, jumps to his feet and looks for the culprit.
And then the chase begins.
The squirrel, to his credit, does wait until the mastiff lumbers to his feet before heading for a tree. Then it is a few circles around the tree before the squirrel starts his ascent. The squirrel ends up sitting on a branch *just* out of reach of the dog and chatters down in what I can only suppose is the squirrel equivilant of "Nyaah, nyaah, you can't catch me!"
The dog is left barking impotently at the annoying little rodent before lumbering back to his shady spot to continue his nap.

So goes the entertainment around here,,,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just a few musings....

I am a woman "of a certain age" as they used to delicately say.
To wit; I am over 50, but not so far over that I am kicking down the door to 60...that will come soon enough.
And todays topic is that evil of evils--as some women put it--menopause.
I haven't had the hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings some of my female relatives complained of.
I have noticed my voice has changed a bit, I have sprouted a hair here and there where there were previously none and my skin seems to be more sensitive.
Basically, it's like puberty, except in reverse.
I still have a very active interest in the opposite sex. Who knows, though, I may think all males have cooties next week.
Personally, I have found the experience of this particular hormonal wrought change in my life to be fairly pleasant. I no longer have to worry about pregnancy, monthly cramps or having enough pads/tampons stashed under the bathroom sink to get me through another month.
I have seen some women become practically demonic with mood swings when they hit menopause.
Never had that happen. The same things that irritated me before irritate me now.
Which is to say...just about everything irritates me.
Tardiness being Number One on my irritant hit parade. Followed very closely by people that chew with their mouth open, public farters, people that don't clean up after their pets, and, of course, politicians.
The same things that made me happy before continue to make me happy.
New stationery supplies, mangos, new fabric to sew with, small children and, of course, my dog dancing for her daily biscuit.

I really don't know why so many people have, for such a very long time, made a huge deal out of menopause.
I think a huge part of it has to do with your attitude. I look at it as puberty in reverse.
Your voice changes, you grow hair in odd places and you view the opposite sex differently.
Well, maybe eventually I will view the opposite sex differently.
Right now, the majority look pretty good still.
Except Nick Nolte...that man went downhill SO badly!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Did you see this?

Okay, not a *birther* here...but some people really are trying to change my opinion...or at least make me question where their loyalties lie...
Link to video:
http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=11132

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Boxed In

I know a few people that live *boxed in* lives.
It frustrates me.
Their work life is in this box, their love life in that one, their hobbies in another and so on.

No cross-over hardly at all. I don't see how they do it, and more importantly, I can't figure out WHY they do it. My work life, love life, spiritual life, hobbies, dreams and goals are all jumbled up together and I LIKE it that way!
Problem is, I have some friends, people I adore, that tend to live a *boxed in* existence. Unfortunately, that means they have put ME in a *box* as well.
NOT acceptable.
The only *box* I ever intend to be in is years away and me and said box will go up in flames as I intend to be cremated!
So, my musings this morning are around this point; how do I climb out of the box I have been shoved into and show these people that it is okay to *unbox* their lives?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Going to the dogs....

I have a dog. Or , perhaps it would be better stated as, my dog has me.
We have a good relationship. We trained each other.
Because of her lack of opposable thumbs, I am necessary to open doors for her, get into the cabinet to get her dog food, drive her around and other various tasks
I find her good to have around because of her excellent hearing and nose, not to mention her aggression and fangs.
Also, she is a pretty good friend.
She has some eccentricities, of course.
She watches t.v. and has some favorite programs. If I change the channel when she is watching one of *her* shows, I get growled at.
She sleeps on my bed. Has her own pillow and blanket.
We tried sharing the same blanket, but we ended up snarling at each other on cold nights when we would end up pulling said blanket off each other.
She snores, I ignore it.
We both have *moody* days.
When I am in a bad mood, she will insist that if I give her a tummy rub, it will make me feel better.
When she is in a bad mood, I put episodes of "It's Me or the Dog" on my computer and bring her a snack.
The dog loves Victoria Stillwell...I dunno why.
She tolerates me watching Project Runway, so I guess that is even.
Siona (that is her name, after a character in Frank Herbert's Dune series) has proven herself to be a loyal protector of me and this house.
She has attacked someone that was attempting to break in, she has knocked down and held down someone who was coming up behind me to do me harm, and, on one memorable occasion, she tore the living hell out of someone that was throwing swings at me while attempting to force their way into the house.
Siona also alerts me when a stranger is on the premises. We have a dozen tenants here, and she can tell which one has come in the front door just by the sound of their footsteps.
If it is a stranger, she issues a slow, low growl. A quick sniff and the growl sometimes goes into a full fledged snarl of fury.
The snarl of fury lets me know that whoever came in the door has drugs on them, specifically, some form of cocaine or meth. She despises the smell of either. Weed---she ignores.
The dog makes moral judgments on drug use, I guess
I never trained her to detect drugs...the drugs users that lived here did.
We had 3 or 4 tenants that smoked crack or used meth  when I first moved here. All of them were very fearful of, or simply did not like, dogs. A couple would kick at her, yell at her or otherwise abuse her when they thought I was not looking. She learned rapidly that the scent of crack or meth on someone made them BAD. And BAD she will NOT tolerate in her house!
Siona is a GOOD dog, and she knows it. I tell her so every single day.
Her favorite snack  is pizza. Pizza crusts make her happy as well, if that's all you got.
She never begs for food. That would be beneath her dignity! She will however,  give you what I call "pretty face" when she desperately wants a taste of whatever tasty morsel you have possession of. She folds her ears down, raises her chin and bats her lashes while giving you a beseeching look with her big brown eyes.
She knows you can't resist.
When she knows a snack is coming her way, she does a joyful enthusiastic dance, pirouetting with abandon.
Siona has changed the opinion some people have of dogs.
When a new tenant moves in, Siona is the first resident here they meet, after me.
She *frisks* them as her first greeting...a bit startling to some. She sniffs up and down each leg, front and back.
If she growls and her hackles go up, I usually do not rent to the prospective tenant. The one or two times I ignored her warning, I ended up with a tenant that used drugs, or had other behaviors that soon got them evicted.
People that are fearful or phobic of dogs end up adoring my girl.
After a few days, or at most, 3 or 4 weeks, they all say the same thing; "That's not a dog, that's a little furry person!"
I guess I treat her that way. I have conversations with her, ask her opinion and include her in most of my day to day activities.
She eats when I eat, sleeps when I sleep and we go on walks together.
I have never been able to convince her that baths are good thing, however.
When it comes to rain, she doesn't like it. At all.
She is like a *diva* leaving a hair salon when she has to go out in rain. I get a "you don't seriously expect me to go out in THAT" look, then gingerly minces her way across the yard, does her potty, and rapidly comes back in. The whole time, her expression is so funny! It is like she is saying "Ew...ew...ew...Nasty rain....NASTY...my fur is WET! WET! Ew...ew....EWWWW!"
She dashes back to our room and I dry her off with a towel and she snuggles down under her blanket, with her pillow.
Yeah, my world has gone to the dogs.
I don't mind it.
So, I suggest everyone out there get a good dog...and remember ALL dogs are good.
It's people that are the problem.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Living like a refugee.....

Great song. Heard it on the radio earlier today.
Got me to thinking about the refugee problem here in the good ol' USA.

"Refugee problem?" you say..."REFUGEE problem? What the hell are you talking about? "

Yep, we have refugees...lots of them.
ECONOMIC refugees.
People out of work and no way to pay the bills...they borrow enough money to get their car down the road a bit--to whatever area they *think* or have *heard* has jobs or cheaper housing or better handouts or anything to help them survive.
Refugee tent camps have sprung up outside of and in a lot of cities and areas. Florida, Texas, California and the American southwest are inundated with refugees.
Local social services in these areas are taxed beyond their capacity to help.
This issue will only get worse.
It is also happening more often in small towns. It used to be that small towns would get one, maybe two people a year *passing through* that needed help with gas and groceries to get them further down the road.
Not anymore. Most small towns are seeing a couple of dozen a month--depending on weather and how close the town is situated to the main routes of egress (interstates) that they travel towards their goal.
I have heard from friends that live in rural areas that they have had people stop and ask for work, ANY work..."It is like the Great Depression" some have exclaimed.
People are getting desperate.
Read that sentence again...out loud so you can imprint it into your brain.
PEOPLE ARE GETTING DESPERATE.
 Remember that.

People that are asking for work this week, may come back a week or month hence to carry off a chicken, grab a few melons out of your garden...or do some really bad things.
Be cautious. Very cautious.
I am not saying to not help people...just be real damn selective.
If you *prep* (and I hope everyone that reads this does!), be quiet about it. Now is not the time to brag down at the diner about the great deal you got on 100 #10 cans of wheat. Now is not the time to tell Bill down at the hardware store that you bought gold coins. Now is not the time to show off that new firearm to your buddies down at the Feed store.
Now is the time to *button it up*, guys.
Keep prepping...maybe now more than ever...but keep it quiet.

As for refugees...sigh...I don't know what is to be done. I wish I had all the answers.
If you are looking to buy property right now...check out the location carefully.
Think of the "refugee line of drift"...the routes people will take as they leave large cities or depressed areas.
For example, if loads of folks poured out of New York, the majority would head south in winter, but in late spring-early summer, they may head for Ct., Mass. or upstate New York and Vt and N.H.
City dwellers are NOT idiots. They know food comes from farms...and they will head towards farmland...for work (that probably isn't there) and for food.
If you live in a rural area, check maps carefully. Can your house be seen from the nearest interstate? If so, consider planting fast growing trees to block that view! Consider your fencing and other security around your property.

If you decide to help a refugee/refugee family by offering work, check them out carefully.
More about that next time...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And the juggernaut rolls on....

1. juggernaut
noun: a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way

Yeah, the juggernaut is rolling and, I fear, there will be no stopping it.
A little story in the news this morning:
Rising tide of Homeless in suburban and rural areas, more women and children seek shelter.

Jobs are disappearing and are not coming back---don't believe what the current powers-that-be are saying about *green shoots* and *the stimulus headed off a Depression*.
Lies, all lies.
There's an army of unemployed people out there and their ranks are growing bigger every day. The construction industry is in the toilet. No new construction means unemployed builders, electricians, plumbers, brick-layers, etc Those people don't work, they can't make their house payments, go to restaurants, buy new appliances, get their dogs groomed, buy groceries and so on and so forth. So now you have unemployed real estate agents, chefs & waiters, cashiers, dog groomers, etc. In turn, now THESE unemployed folk can't pay their bills or buy new things!
Hope and Change has FAILED and failed horribly.
Our national debt is at a point where we can never, that is N-E-V-E-R repay it. Not us, not our children, not our grandchildren, not seven friggin' generations hence!
I see blogs and stories every day and people on the tv telling the citizens to *vote the bastards out*.
It is, sadly, too late for that, as I have come to realize.
I used to have faith in the *system*.
I used to think that our government OF and BY and FOR the people could *right* itself  and get back on track.
I can see now that it can not and will not, barring   a TOTAL revamping of our government.
I think the only way that could come about is if all the states decided to invoke sovereignty and refuse to cooperate with the federal government until drastic changes are soon made.
Federal offices and departments  need to be cut by a minimum of HALF (hopefully more than half) of what they are today.
Federal employees need to be cut by HALF (at least) in the offices and departments that would remain.
We need to stop paying out foreign aid and supplying country after country with weapons.
We need to bring our troops home to protect our borders.
Congress needs to take a huge pay cut AND have their benefits cut. NO PENSIONS! Make those bastards actually WORK for a living!
I saw a great suggestion the other day...cut Congresses pay to what a E-6 makes in the Army. That's right, cut them down to a Staff Sergeants pay. Same benefits. To the dime. Hosuing allowance, clothing allowance, etc. Wouldn't that be great?
While we are at it, cut the Presidents pay to what a 4 star General makes. (5 stars are very rare and they only get there for meritorious service...really can't say that about any President since...well...it has been a LONG while)
Cut out immigration UNLESS the individual can show:
1: They have at least 100k in the bank
or
2: They have a FIRM job offer here in the states AND the employer signs an agreement to employ them for at least 3 years
3:  They speak English fluently or can learn to within 3 years
4: They have a talent or a skill that is needed or desired here (such as scientist, machinist, doctor, etc)

What I am proposing is generally called isolationism.
So what?
We need to do this, we HAVE to do this.
Other countries do. The immigration policies I listed are followed, more or less, by New Zealand.
Some countries have even stiffer policies.

Other fiscally responsible actions we could take would include instituting a *welfare* program as it is done in South Korea.
If you don't have a job there and sign up for money and food, they make you work for it.
Every morning, bright and early, buses and trucks pick up welfare recipients (at around 5:30am). They are given jumpsuits to work--I believe blue ones--and taken to various public work projects. Picking trash up along the roads, digging ditches to put in a new sewer system, etc. You don't work, you don't get a check.
Bonus points for Korea by putting welfare recipients in those jumpsuits....everyone can see who is collecting taxpayers monies. People there do not brag of *putting on over* or *playing* the system. THEY WORK. And they work hard to get off welfare, too!

We need to stop rewarding bad behavior. Whether it is a Congressman or a welfare recipient, EVERYONE needs to realize we live in a *civil* society.
It is not civil to take taxpayers money and waste it on frivolities (hello...Nancy Pelosi and her private taxpayer funded jet?) We need to stop handing out money hand over fist to countries that do nothing to improve their own situations and become money pits (Haiti...that message is for you)

The juggernaut is rolling and change is coming...prepare yourselves and your loved ones...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Archdruid Report: Becoming a Third World Country

The Archdruid Report: Becoming a Third World Country

If you don't read the Archdruid, you should!
This essay is a damn good example of his writing.
I also suggest you buy his book!
The Long Descent: A Users Guide to the End of the Industrial Age

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life in the Margins

As I have posted before, I run a rooming house in Texas. It is not in the best neighborhood, but not in the worst.
I try to help, but the people here are *in the margins* of our society and some don't know how to accept help and build on it to better themselves..

Settle yourselves in, children and let me tell you the story of *Amy* (names changed to protect the guilty and innocent in this tale)...

Amy was 24 and had just been released from a drug rehab halfway house run by the Dept. of Corrections. She also had served time in prison for drug convictions.
She did her time, did her rehab and found her way to the door of this rooming house.
Amy had a job, working at a fast food sandwich shop. She had lived here only a month when she became manager of the shop! She attended her NA meetings, fixed up her room, went to work and was a very ambitious and optimistic young lady.
I could see great things in her future--if she continued on this course.
Two months after Amy moved in, she got a call from *Don*, a young black man who had been in the same rehab halfway house. (Amy was white, btw.)
Don's history was similar to Amy's. He had the additional burden of returning to a home where drugs were used daily by siblings and other relatives. He called Amy to ask if he could visit for the weekend "just to get away from this shit".
Amy allowed him to come and visit, and nature took it's course and they began a relationship. Don went to work at the same place Amy managed.
And Don took those 2 steps forward and then slipped about 5 steps back.
Within 6 months he got fired from his job, got Amy fired from her job, stole her money, stole her car and got it impounded--twice.
She moved out one of the better ones I have here into one of the worst for the cheaper rent. She now worked at a cheaper fast food place at minimum wage. Don...worked when he was not high.
I told Amy; "Look, Don has to go, he cannot be on the property. If you don't kick him out, I will evict you."
She agreed.
Don disappeared ........for about a week.
Amy begged and pleaded for Don to be allowed to stay. I finally agreed under the condition that Don get a job and did not use drugs.
That lasted...exactly 18 days.
Don left, followed in a few days by Amy.

Don was arrested 3 days after he left for theft.
Amy violated her probation and last I heard was still a scant half step ahead of the warrant out for her arrest.
I cleaned out her room and rented it out.
Her bagged up few possession, now sitting in the tool shed are a visual reminder of how a life in the margins can play out.
She was a reasonably intelligent young lady, came out of rehab with her act together and was determined to succeed.
All of her hard work, ambition and determination sapped away when she engaged in a relationship with someone who did not have their act together.
Life in the margins is tough...sad how some people make it tougher for themselves and others...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legal vs Illegal

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California .

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention...

Joe Legal: $25..00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031..00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200..00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year.
Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home .

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Do you get it, now?

Anyone who votes for or supports any politician that supports illegal aliens is part of the problem!



Also, anyone that hires illegals, uses contractors that hire illegals or patronizes businesses that use illegals is also part of the problem!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rainy Days and Philosophy

"It's a rainy day and I can't go out and play..."
Remember that old Sesame Street song?
I like rainy days...they are conducive to heavy thoughts and philosophy. With nothing much else to do, you can get wrapped up i your own head and solve all the world's problems.
At least I can!
Not to say there is nothing much to do around here.
I have the two upstairs bathrooms to clean, I need to put clean sheets on the bed in the empty room upstairs (If you ever run a rooming house, remember, rooms with neatly made up beds rent faster!) I am doing laundry, already swept down and cleaned our laundry room, still have the kitchen to clean. Already swept and mopped the living room and hallways and cleaned the downstairs bathroom.
So, like I said, nothing much to do .

Now onto philosophy..
I play a little music (todays selections include Beethoven's Sonata No 9, Sammy Davis, Jr singing Candyman, several selections from De Peche Mode and Show of Hands and Cage The Elephant), write a couple of letters to relatives (Hi Mom!), do my bank deposits and book-keeping and think about how to make things better.
I WANT to make things better. Not just for myself, but for others. But I have come to realize that some people do not want to make things better for themselves.
It would require effort--that they are not willing to expend.
It would require motivation--that they do not have.
It would require ambition--which they do have, either.

You can do things for others, hand them, yes, literally HAND them the tools and means to pull themselves out of whatever morass they are in, and they will still wallow in whatever misery they have grown accustomed to.
I am thinking about this because of the tragic earthquake in Hati.
And I reflected on Hurricane Katrina, and Rita and Ike.
There are people in my area that have STILL not *recovered*  from Katrina, or Rita. Loads of people are still weeping over Ike.
People were given thousands of dollars to buy new household goods, given trailers to live in, houses were rebuilt or repaired, yet they still need help.
Why?
What the hell did people do before the government took it upon themselves to rescue people, communities, even whole states from the results of natural disasters?
How did people survive? How did they continue on with their lives?

Answer:
They took a deep breath, buried their dead, wiped the tears from their eyes, got back up and *soldiered on*, as my dad used to say. They rebuilt their homes, helped their neighbors rebuild, planted their gardens and worked harder to regain what they had lost.
Notice that nowhere in that sentence is any arm of the government mentioned, nor anything about international  aid.

I am not heartless. I am not saying we should stop sending aid to Haiti. But lets remember that the US has been giving aid to Haiti for decades. We have had troops there for over a dozen years.
It is still a cess-pool of political corruption, a hunting ground for child predators and modern slavers, and a morass of the worst poverty in the western hemisphere. Education and literacy are not priorities for most of the population. They worry about getting something more substantial than cardboard over their heads and a meal on the table.
It should not have taken an earthquake to get the basic issues there addressed.
But the earthquake DID happen.
There is much tragedy there. Many people killed, families seperated, homes destroyed, etc.

Camps are being set up, which in Haiti have the very real possibility of becoming permanent fixtures in the landscape. That should not happen!
While people are in the camps and tent cities being set up for them, get some warm bodies and bull-dozers on the ground.
Let the people bury their dead, and then bulldoze the destroyed areas. Bull-doze them into a land fill area or the ocean or where-ever the rubble can be pushed. Just level it flat and bare!
Re-do the entire infra-structure...plumbing and sewer lines, water treatment, roads, electrical lines.
The whole shooting match, so to speak.
Before anyone whines about expense, trust me on this, it will cost less to do this than to attempt to "shore up" the sad remnants of Port-Au-Prince and fix up what is left.
Bring in lumber and concrete and cinderblock and rebar and the other things that will be needed to rebuild.
Put the people to work rebuilding it themselves.
Make them *do* for themselves.
Give advice, make sure there is clean water and food during the rebuilding process, but have the citizens of Haiti rebuild their country themselves.
Give them one year of help, advice and supplies.
Then walk the hell away.
Let Haiti know, hell, let the entire WORLD know that this is a "social experiment" and how the citizens of Haiti handle it will affect how the United States hands out help in the future. If Haiti insists on regressing to their previous corrupt behavior and status quo, then set definite limits for helping any other country in the future.
In the US, if a state is hit by some sort of disaster, provide help in the same manner. One year maximum. The local population must be involved in rebuilding. That's it.
And none of that bullshit of rebuilding in flood zones or where wildfires hit every year or mudslide areas. If three or four houses were already destroyed at a particular spot, why would anyone think it was sensible to rebuild on the same spot?

So...there's where my head is at this rainy day...solving the issue of foreign relief aid during disasters...
Now, I have to go scrub toilets.
Have a good rainy day...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gotta Love Vermont!

Saw this story this morning:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100113/ap_on_re_us/us_vermont_secession_candidates;_ylt=AiMNhXhTyrvVKMn83Oem0oFbbBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTNrZzNmNDVrBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMTEzL3VzX3Zlcm1vbnRfc2VjZXNzaW9uX2NhbmRpZGF0ZXMEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM2BHBvcwM2BHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDOXZ0c3RhdGVvZmZp

According to the article, this is the first time since the Civil War that a secessionist party in the US has fielded a whole slate of candidates for state office.
'Bout damn time!
While their chances are not the best, if more and more candidates wave the secessionist banner, perhaps the big guys being wined and dined in Washington finally realize that people are PISSED OFF!
Not angry, not annoyed, not peeved or any other nice sounding term.


WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE PISSED OFF!!!

Why they can't understand this is beyond me. The signs are all around them. Check web sites, check blogs, check newspapers, check political rallies, tea parties, check news shows, talk to any man or woman on the street. When Joe Wilson yelled "You Lie" at Obama during that speech, that was not just Joe Wilson yelling! That was your constituents, Ladies and Gentlemen of The House and The Senate.We are pissed at each and every one of you--just about. There are few that are not shills for The Federal Reserve, Giant Banking Corporations, etc. There are a few of you that are not in the hip pocket of some special interest group ...there are a few of you that do not go on junkets to the Caribbean or "special trade meetings" to Paris paid for by some lobbyist.  To you few, the time for you to stand up and speak up is here. Don't let another week go by, hell, don't let another MINUTE go by before you let WE, THE PEOPLE know where you stand and where your loyalties lie.
November elections will be here before you know it. Never has the cry of "Throw the bastards out!" resonated so strongly with WE, THE PEOPLE. You will be out of a job unless you do your sworn duties.We  WILL fire you. Yes, I said it. FIRE YOU. Your services no longer needed, take your pink slip and hit the door. Because you, as the elected representitive of WE, THE PEOPLE, have forgotten something that should be foremost in your mind.
WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE YOUR EMPLOYERS!!!
If you do not do the job in a manner that is conducive to OUR interests, we have every right to fire you and we will!


Current list for Firing includes:
Nancy Pelosi
Harry Reid (unless he crawls back under his rock before the election)
Claire McCaskill
Charles Rangel
Barbara Mikulski
Barney Frank
Joe Baca
Barbara Boxer
and so on and so forth...
Kick the bastards out. Make them get a REAL job for a change. Put people in office that hear and HEED the voices of their constituents. Elect representatives that will shout and yell and scream and debate and argue and make sure that the voices of WE, THE PEOPLE, are heard!


Otherwise, I suspect that a lot more state houses are going to get high populations of secessionists--with the approval of their state populations!





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Work...NOT a bad thing! Celebrate it!

The commercials blare out at you: Saves you WORK!, Less WORK, more leisure time! Don't WORK harder, WORK smarter!
So forth and so on....
How about celebrating work...the nuts and bolts work that keeps our country gong..
Great speech by Mike Rowe...20 minutes, give it a listen...amazing!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let's Get It Rolling...

I started this blog, didn't do really anything with it and have decided to go ahead and be the opinionated hellion I am frequently rumored to be and just let her rip!

By way of introductions..
I am female, over 50 and the mother of 7. I currently live in and manage a rooming house in southeast Texas. I have lived in Europe and all over the USA. My politics are warped as hell.
I am WAY liberal on some things (legalize marijuana!) and wildly conservative on others (drug test welfare recipients!), so be warned!

The rooming house is a microcosm of the marginal edge of our current society.
We have older folk living on disability, young folks in college, young couples just starting out, middle-aged people just getting out of a marriage, transient workers, workers for fast food joints, etc.
We rent month-to-month, so there is no pesky lease to deal with. We provide all utilities including cable tv, so no deposits for same required.
The neighborhood is not the best, so we have to contend with attempted home invasions, prostitutes wandering up to the door, drug dealers, homeless people trying to sneak in and find a warm place to sleep at night, etc.
I am armed 90% of the time out of necessity as I walk through the house.
I have been attacked by *cracked out* prostitutes and tenants. I have been threatened and attacked by tenants during evictions.
Besides a gun by my side, I also have another *tool* I employ for my safety. A damn good dog. She is trained to protect me, as a few unfortunate people have found out. When I am out of the house, she stays in my room and repels anyone that attempts to enter. It helps to have a breed that is inherently very territorial. My dog is half German Shepherd and half Pit Bull. She is a *tool* , a companion, a friend and a protector. I am also her protector and friend, as well as being her supplier of doggie treats. Okay, and I get her kerchiefs to wear. For some reason, the damn dog likes to wear them around her neck.

I have a dozen people living here. A dozen people, with all their problems, personalities, addictions, quirks, bad habits, good habits, etc and so on ad infintum.
It gets funny sometimes, it gets scary sometimes. There is ALWAYS something going on that requires my attention.
The large house is old and has it's own quirks, too. And requires as much, if not more, attention as the people that live here.
I live in a hurricane area...got through Ike okay the first year I lived here.

So, now you know a bit about me...
Oh yes, I am currently engaged, having obtained my third divorce last year.
My Darling Man is in the military and currently deployed "in the snadbox". About all I will say about that-- security reasons you understand.

Come along for the ride...life is fun, life is rough, life is a constant surprise.