Monday, December 31, 2012

Bits and Pieces

We don't get many Christmas cards.  We also don't SEND any Christmas cards, so it isn't a wonder that we don't receive many.  But, there still are a few die-hards that send cards.  This year we got around a half-dozen or so.  I knew most of the people who sent cards, but one came from K's boss, who I have never met.  One card came with NO signature and no return address, so we will never know who sent it.  This is going to bug me for some time...


As far as husbands go, I am very lucky to have K.  He is quite thoughtful and does almost everything asked of him.  He even does grocery shopping, but that isn't always a good thing.  The problem is that he IS a man and does things the way men do.  First, he will open the refrigerator/cupboard door and expect food to jump up and announce where it is.  Surprisingly, the food rarely does this.  And this is why he thinks we don't have certain things in the house and goes to the grocery store.  Today he came home with two bags of food--most of which we already have and that he couldn't 'find'--as if I purposely hide food from him.  (Okay, I have done so in the past, but usually candy bars, etc--NOT loaves of bread, Ritz crackers, or English muffins.)  So now we have two of things we don't normally eat much of in the first place.  Unfortunately, if I want him to go to get groceries ever again, I can't say too many negative things or he'll tell me to do it myself the next time.  ;)


For the past few days a lot of traffic has been sent to this blog because people searched for 'blessed new year.'  I guess I never realized that so many people would search for that term.  And I find it a bit odd.


About two months ago I broke down and bought myself a tablet.  I got the Asus Nexus 7, which runs on Android Jelly Bean.  And I am LOVING it.  I find that I'm not necessarily using the desktop or laptop nearly as much as I used to--the tablet is sufficient for most of what I do online or with a computer.  I still do find it much easier to use a computer to do a lot of typing and for shopping, but other than that the tablet works almost as well.  The last time we went on a road trip, I didn't even take the laptop--one less thing to carry.  Considering we are out of our hotel room so much when we go out of town, the tablet worked just fine for the time I needed it.  And I didn't need to take my NOOK, as I have the NOOK app on the tablet!  It is getting easier and easier to pack these days.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

On Christmas, Blogging, and the New Year

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas.  While I had big hopes for this year--and really wasn't depressed or 'scrinchy' at all--it fell a bit short of my expectations.  Don't get me wrong, I had a very nice time at our friends' on Christmas Eve and enjoyed having The Youngest and her husband here, but 'something' was missing/not quite right.  It has been a long, long time since I felt this way about Christmas--probably because I have kept myself from having any expectations for so long.  Again, I just can't explain what went 'wrong,' just that something did.  But, I am moving on and leaving that all behind.  I put all of the Christmas decorations away yesterday and am throwing myself full force into the winter season.  HOORAY!


There aren't a whole bunch of blogs that I follow, but of the ones I do, the updates have been pretty slim.  A big bunch of blogs that I have--in the past--read everyday, are hockey ones.  Of course, with the lockout, there really hasn't been a lot for the writers to write about, so not much activity has been going on.  Unfortunately, as the lockout has continued, more and more of the hockey blogs I follow are going on hiatus--and most of them aren't even sure if they will come back whenever the lockout ends.  This is just one of the side-effects of this 'millionaires vs billionaires' thing that is going on.  Of course, the biggest tragedy in all of this is the effect it has had on the 'little people.'  Sports' bars, vendors, security at the arenas, merchandise sellers, etc, etc, etc are the ones that are hurting today because of the stubbornness and need to win of the representatives on both sides.  It is very disgusting, to say the least.

Several of the 'regular people' blogs that I follow are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with the new year.  I so enjoy reading the updates on all of their lives and consider them to be friends, even though I have never met them or talked to them in real life.  This is one aspect of the interwebs that I like very much.  


I, too, am going to try to update at a more regular pace than I have been doing lately.  There are a couple of new things going on in my/our lives and I will share--probably in my next post.  ;)  The new year IS a time of starting over and wiping away the past, so I will be looking at several aspects of my life to try and modify.  I HATE New Year's resolutions and don't make them, but it IS a good time to try and change some stuff for the better.  I am hoping to finally get-it-together and finish some of the many, many started projects I have hanging around the house.  And speaking about the house, I hope to get deeper into organizing and cleaning cupboards, closets, and our basement.  I think it just may be time to downsize a bit--but if I finish the started projects, I may not NEED to downsize, as I'll have more storage space than I will know what to do with.  :D


So, to all who may stumble upon this little piece of my world, I want to wish you a very happy and blessed new year.  May we ALL enjoy health, happiness, and good times!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Enbrel and the Shingles Vaccine

In early 2009, I finally decided to try Enbrel for my psoriasis.  This was not an easy decision for me and it wasn't a quick one, either.  I spent weeks, months, and even years coming to the decision to do this--and I didn't start without a great deal of anxiety.  But, my skin was getting to the point where I couldn't handle it anymore, so I thought I would try.  I chose Enbrel because of the fact that I could use a self-injecting SureClick syringe.  There is no way I can imagine EVER getting a regular syringe even close to my body, much less CONSCIOUSLY deciding to inject a needle in to myself!  Surprisingly, I have had little to no problems with doing the injections.

My skin cleared up remarkably well using Enbrel.  I came very close to being completely clear after a year on the medication and continued to stay clear-ish for two years.  And I praise whoever came up with this medication--it made my life SO much better.  I am one of the lucky ones, though, as we have very good insurance and don't have to pay big money out-of-pocket.  This is one of the only reasons why I am able to continue to use this very expensive medication.

A year or so after beginning Enbrel, my best friend got shingles.  She continued--and still does, to a certain extent--to suffer side effects for quite some time.  Finally, the medical community decided that the shingles vaccine should be given to younger people and The Husband and I became eligible for this.  With K's kidney problems, it was highly recommended that he get the vaccine and my friend BEGGED me to get it, also.  I do know that it is not a good thing to come down with shingles while using Enbrel, so I decided to go through with it.  And this is where my life became 'interesting,' to say the least.

I did know that someone using Enbrel cannot get a live-virus vaccine, of which the shingles vaccine is.  What I did not know, is how long does a person need to be off of Enbrel before getting the vaccine and  how long do you have to stay off before going back on Enbrel.  I called my dermatologists office and they had NO answer for me, but said they would see if they could find one.  I went on the internet and got no answers.  I even called the manufacturer and had no luck.  My specialty pharmacy was a little better, as they had some anecdotal stories, but nothing more than that.  After a LOT of research, phone calls, and 'gut-feelings,' I decided--with some reluctance on the part of physicians--that four weeks off before and four weeks off after the vaccine was sufficient.  My primary care physician has NEVER been happy with me being on Enbrel, but she reluctantly agreed--as long as I understood the risks.  So, after being off of Enbrel for FIVE weeks, I went and got my shingles vaccine.  I stayed off of the med for another four weeks before I went back on and had NO side effects or any other detrimental effect from any of this.

As of today, I am one+ years removed from having the shingles vaccine and continue to do well.  I have been on Enbrel for almost four years and still have reasonable results in terms of clear skin.  The Enbrel does seem to be a bit less effective today than it was during the first couple of years I was on it, so I don't know what will happen in the long-term.  I am seeing my first new lesions in almost four years and what never went away are slowly growing in size.  I think I may need to change meds at some point in the future, but that remains to be seen.

So, for anyone on Enbrel trying to make the decision as to whether or not to get the shingles vaccine, I have only one thing to say:  it worked for me.  The time frame of being off of Enbrel for five weeks before getting the vaccine and staying off for another four weeks before going back on, was within all of the few guidelines I was able to find.  (While doing all of my research, I found out the half-life of Enbrel and calculated how long it takes to leave your body.  After five weeks there should be so little left that it is as if you are almost Enbrel-free.  So, I felt pretty safe.)  Some people feel as if the longer you stay off of Enbrel on either side of the vaccine, the better, but there IS being TOO conservative, also.  As long as one goes into this with eyes wide open and all of the facts available, I don't feel as if this is something that can't be done.  Getting shingles is NO walk in the park--whether you are or are not on Enbrel--but it is potentially life-threatening while using Enbrel, so that needs to be considered.  I hope this helps in making the decision.

***For all of my posts regarding my psoriasis, search for 'psoriasis' up there ^ to the left.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Yes, It's Been Some Time...

Hello!  Anyone out there?  Do I even have any more regulars?  Other than my dear, dear Meleah, I don't know if there is anyone who comes here regularly anymore.  Although, I have quite a few people coming to this site lately, but that mostly is a result of searching for 'Santa Claus.'  And so, as soon as the season is done, I will have much fewer visitors.  This, of course, makes me realize that I need to update things a lot more often if this little corner of the interwebs is going to survive for much longer.  I am here today to do an update.

--For anyone who knows me, you will be surprised to find out that I am NOT doing a 'Scrinchy' Christmas post this year.  There have been some changes in my life lately--and I WILL be writing about them in due time--and my mood is much better than has been in a long, long time.  I pretty much am completely done with my shopping--and, actually, have been almost done for close to a month already.  I don't really buy that much, or for that many people, and that helps get the shopping out of the way quite easily.  We only get books for the grandkids--and THEY provide the list of what they want--so there is none of that wondering 'what piece of crap is popular this year and how much will it cost me?' dilemma that so many people have.  For our girls and their husbands, we give money as their main gift, so anything else that we get them is on a smaller scale.  We only exchange gifts with one of our neighbors--and have for years and years--and with two sets of close friends, so we don't do a lot of gift buying.  I cut our list to the bare-bones minimum a few years ago and have only added a couple of names to that since.  And I am a much happier person because of it!

--A number of people have been coming to this site after searching for how to get the shingles vaccine while on Enbrel.  While most people who come here aren't all that interested in the subject, I will be doing a post to wrap up my experiences with the whole process.  This will give anyone who is considering the vaccine one more place to get some information--even if it is only anecdotal.  I certainly know there is very little info on the subject and it always helps to have one more viewpoint.

--We should have quite a bit of snow here already--and we don't.  As a matter of fact, it has been raining today and pretty much all of what we DID have has melted.  The forecast for the next ten days is calling for temperatures to slowly fall to the mid-20s, but there is no big-time snow called for.  It will be very interesting to see what we get in January and February--our, historically, worst months for snow and cold.

--Our youngest and her husband will be here again for Christmas.  They will get here on the 22nd and will leave sometime on the 26th.  K will come home this Wednesday after his last night shift and not have to go back to work until the 3rd.  It is always great to have people around to do last minute running around.  ;)

--For anyone who isn't aware, there has been no hockey for me this year.  The contract ended between the NHL and the players and the owners/NHL decided to lockout the players while the 'negotiations' proceeded.  I write the word negotiations the way I did because the entire process has been pretty much a farce.  When one side says "Do it OUR way or there is no deal--no ifs, and, or buts about it." the negotiation process is really not going very well.  So far, only games through the end of this month have been canceled, but I really don't see them salvaging even part of a season.  From what it sounds like, if a deal can't be made by the 15th of January, the entire season will be canceled.  It's really too bad, because this is not good in any way for the league.  Many people--even quite a few die-hard, fanatic fans--are promising to not go back to the NHL when this is all over with.  Surprisingly, I haven't really missed the NHL all that much--although I DO miss watching the game itself.  As for me?  I probably will go back to being as fanatic and obsessed with the Red Wings as I ever was--I won't lie.  But I DO wonder how exactly this will affect me in the long run.

--Another thing that is different in my life right now is the fact that we have NO concerts, plays, events on our calendar to attend.  We did so many events this past spring and summer, but there really hasn't been anything that we felt was 'must see' coming up in the near future.  Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner are going to be performing close to us, but with K having to work for both concerts, I don't see where he will take time off so that we can go.  I have no problem missing Foreigner--they DO have a new lead singer--but I am a bit bummed about missing Fleetwood Mac.  I'm not sure we will ever have the opportunity to see them again.  But, they will be in St Paul and that isn't a leisurely drive for us.  Eric Clapton has announced a new North American tour, but so far there are no dates that are close to us.  I am assuming--hopefully I am correct--that he will have a second leg of the tour and come to St Paul or Minneapolis later in 2013.  And I WILL do my best to get to see him again.  I may have my work cut out for me trying to convince K, though.  After all, I am the HUGE Clapton fan, not him.

--So, what has everyone else been up to?  If you haven't updated YOUR blog in a while, let me know how your life is going.  While I won't promise, I do hope to be here more often for a while...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Another Thing I Don't Understand

I won't go into how disappointed, disheartened, depressed, and downright scared I am over the results of Tuesday's election--after all, anyone reading my bio -----> would have a good understanding of the place I am coming from.  Let's just say that I disagree with the majority and leave it at that.  However, there IS one thing that came out of the election that I WILL talk about--and here goes...

Other than fat people, possibly one of the most vilified groups in this country is smokers.  Through the years, it has been the goal of a small group to destroy every freedom any smoker has ever had in this country.  Smokers can no longer do their thing in restaurants, bars, offices, basically anywhere indoors but private residences--and I'm sure THAT will change in the years to come.  Actually, there are some places where a smoker can't even smoke outside--beaches are off-limits and there are some parks where a person can't smoke.  (Of course the biggest park--Walt Disney World--banned smoking quite a few years ago.  Thankfully this was AFTER I quite.  ;))  A smoker is not allowed to be within a certain distance of most buildings before lighting up.  And frankly, I am disgusted by this.  Even though I no longer smoke, I feel it is up to the individual establishment to decide whether or not to be smoking or non-smoking.  I feel this is a case of 'supply and demand' so to speak.  If enough people want to patronize a smoking establishment, then the place will make money.  If people want a non-smoking place to congregate in, then they will stay away from a place allowing smokers.  And this will all work itself out if given the opportunity.  I don't feel as if this is something that should be regulated by the government.  But, this is the world as we know it today.

Other than individual businesses, etc, I feel this is a violation of people's rights.  If a person wants to smoke, let them.  I don't like the idea of the US becoming more and more of a 'nanny state,' legislating the way we live our lives.  We are seeing it in other areas as well, with some cites outlawing 'super sized' soft drinks and disallowing the kinds of ingredients put in foods, all because it isn't 'healthy' for us to eat/drink the stuff.  Again, it is a person's right to eat him/herself to death if s/he so chooses.  Individual freedoms are very quickly being taken away from us and we are allowing it.

Okay, so the reasoning behind the banning of smoking is because it harms those who choose not to smoke.  Fine.  And how do we know this?  We know this because of 'statistics' and 'studies.'  I'm NOT saying that smoking is good for you--other than the fact that it is GREAT for calming a person down--but I know enough about statistics and studies to know you can make them say anything you want in order to prove your point of view.  Is this what has happened with smoking?  To a certain extent I believe it has.  But, I'm not here to debate the smoking vs non-smoking issue--I have one other thing that is bothering the hell out of me...

On Tuesday, Colorado and Washington legalized the smoking of marijuana--and people cheered.  I am not going to come down on either the pro or con side of smoking pot, but I wonder this:  why is it okay to smoke marijuana, but awful to smoke cigarettes?  I will just about guarantee that a good percentage of people ecstatic about the change in the law about pot were equally ecstatic when the smoking of cigarettes was banned.  Something just isn't right here.  And I wish this could be explained to me...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

All Over But The Crying

Later today we will have voted--some have already done so.  The phone calls (thankfully) will stop and the massive mailings will no longer show up in our mailboxes.  Unfortunately, we will then have to listen to the winners crow about their victory and the losers cry about how the election was stolen from them.  But, it will be over--maybe.

Every election in recent memory has brought out the 'nasty' in a lot of people, but this one defies all understanding--and I don't know how we, as a country, will recover.  The level that a whole lot of people have gone to to vilify 'the other guy' is mind boggling.  And it just isn't on the national, front page/TV show/radio stage, either.  We saw the depths of hatred in our own neighborhoods, among our own families and friends--whether on Facebook, Twitter, or in person.  From what I understand, friendships have fallen by the wayside and families have been broken by this election.  And I am appalled by some of the things I have heard/seen.

I can't imagine what went on in people's minds to do the rude, petty, and downright mean things that happened.  For example, one thing that I saw on the interwebs really described the entire election in one grand example:

One day I was doing a bit of surfing when I came across a blog post by a woman who I do not know.  She posted a picture of her dog using the neighbor's yard as a bathroom--an offense that is punishable in many municipalities, by the way.  Next to the dog doing its thing was a political sign of a candidate this woman didn't like.  In her post, with malicious glee, she said (paraphrased), "And even the dog knows (candidate) is crappy!"

Just when did we get to this point and where do we go from here?  I fear for all of us if we don't change, and soon.  The world just doesn't make a whole lot of sense anymore.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day Thirty One--Outtakes

Considering I didn't follow the rules of the photo challenge, I have no outtakes to provide for today.  However, I will give the link to the top 75 pictures (so far) of the year 2012:

Some of the pics are absolutely amazing and worth the short amount of time involved to look at each one.  I will leave you with one of the top 50 of 2011 because it really, really, really made me smile.

Such joy!  :D

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day Thirty--Blackout

Several summers ago, the lights went out.  We experienced something called a 'wind shear,' which took down a number of power poles and put us in the dark.  Frankly, I would have called it a small tornado, but I'm not a meteorologist.  ;)  Anyway, we were without power for a few days--thank goodness it was during the summer or we would have REALLY been S.O.L.

Twelve hours or so after the lights went out, we realized that our freezer and refrigerator were warming--NOT a good thing for the food we had stored.  When it was all said and done, we had to toss more than $600 worth of food.  We would never have thought of it on our own, but someone mentioned that our homeowners insurance should reimburse us for the spoiled food--and it did!  There ARE times when that insurance payment that we make is well worth it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day Twenty Nine--The City

The majority of people in the US would laugh if they understood what I meant when I say I live in a city.  While I DO live in the biggest city in the UP, the population is only around 21,000 people.  QUITE laughable to call a place this small a city.  But when you realize that the town I grew up in only had 900 or so people, this place is BIG to me.

As far as amenities that you might find in a bigger city, this one does quite well for itself.  It has small, but very pleasant museums:  history, maritime, children's.  We have some art galleries and theaters.  Our hospital is one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in  the US and is a regional medical center.  It is also the region's Level II Trauma Center.  We are a great area for tourists:  anyone who loves the outdoors will find something to do all year long.  Our university offers many fields of study and has--at times--a top-rated hockey team.  We have a rich history, wonderful scenery, and much to offer.  CBS Money Watch also named this city as one of the 10 best places to retire in the US.  This city might be small, but it certainly is mighty!  And I enjoy living here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day Twenty Eight--Autumn

Autumn has been my favorite season for many, many years.  It has always had a lot going on for it--for me, at least.  Living where we do, the colors are usually quite gorgeous and it is a pleasure to drive around and look at the turning leaves.  With autumn comes a respite from the warm/hot temperatures of summer.  Hockey season begins in the fall.  And with the cold/er temps, the bugs are 'taken care of' and I don't have to be concerned about them anymore.  This year shot all this to hell.

First, the temps haven't been nearly cold enough for me.  Regularly, we have had temps in the high 50s, low 60s.  This has kept the bugs living much longer than is comfortable for me.  Also, we have had a very bad year for yellow jackets/wasps.  But it seems as if it has been a bad year for the entire mid-west--almost everyone I've talked to has had problems.  And even the cooler temps haven't done what they've done in the past.  To top it all off, I am not getting my hockey fix as I should be--thank you so much, NHL owners, for locking out the players during contract negotiations!

Even though I didn't get further north again this year, I still found a picture that shows the glory that is the UP during the fall color season:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's All About Me--ME, ME, ME

For the most part, I haven't paid much attention to Hurricane Sandy.  I did make note of it, simply because our good friends are going on a cruise in a couple of weeks, but any threat to their vacation has passed.  Usually weather that takes place anywhere in the east has no impact on my life at all.  Until now...

It was just announced today that Google's big meeting/announcement/media event that was supposed to take place on Monday has been canceled because of the hurricane/Frankenstorm that the northeast is supposed to experience the early part of next week.  So what does this have to do with me?  Well, it is assumed that a new 32gb Nexus 7 tablet will be unveiled.

I WANT!  At 1/2 the cost of an iPad mini, it looks like it will be a winner--AND it is Android!  YAY!  I was hoping that they would be on store shelves by the time we go on our next road trip (11/5) and I could buy one.  With the announcement postponed, I may have to wait.  I have a sad.  :(

The delay of the Nexus announcement isn't the only way that this storm might be impacting me.  It looks as if this just may affect our weather and cause some snow.  The winds on the edge of the storm front will be blowing from the northwest and these winds will blow across the Lake, causing moisture to meet the cold air, which in turn will produce snow, probably wet and heavy.  (The worst storms we get come out of the northeast--this could possibly be a doozy.)  Depending on just where the eastern storm front is will decide whether we get much snow in the central part of the peninsula or not.  Snow for Halloween--sounds about right for us.  :D

Day Twenty Seven--Kafkaesque

I have no idea what this means.  I'm not a dumb person, but this is very perplexing to me.  I looked the term up and it STILL has no meaning for me.  However, I DID find a meaning in the Urban Dictionary that I absolutely LOVED:

3.    Kafkaesque
       Something people say to sound really smart.

This would describe me if I EVER used the term.  :D

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day Twenty Six--Heart

These days I have been thinking a lot about hearts and heart health.  The Mother had a TIA a couple of months back--that is a 'mini' stroke.  The Father had a 'spell' of some kind a couple of weeks ago and they were afraid he had another heart attack.*  Both of them are fine, but it brought home to me the fact that I need to watch MY heart health a little more closely than I do.

I have high blood pressure, but have kept it under control with medication for many years.  Lately, my pressures have been a bit erratic--some time it is quite low and at other times it is higher than it should be.  While I'm not obsessing, I figure I need to go in and talk to the doctor or PA and make sure all is fine**--so that I can be sure my heart is going to sustain me for many, many more years.

*The Father had another spell on Sunday and is now waiting to see his doctor.  Hopefully he'll need to be seen by a specialist.

**I have an appointment with the PA to talk about my blood pressure.  I have no worries, but we may need to tweak my meds.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day Twenty Five--Video

I haven't really gotten in to filming any videos, despite the fact I have a video camera, phone, and 'still' camera that will do videos.  I suppose if I started, I would have fun, but right now I find I don't even remember to take still pictures nearly as often as I should.  So, for today, I will post a video from another source:

Anyone who ever has been owned by a cat will find much to relate to at Simon's Cat videos.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day Twenty Four--M&M's

Did you know that there are at least 11 different kinds of M&M's you can buy?  PLUS, there is M&M ice cream.  You can have personalized M&M's--for a price, of course.  Anything you might want, in terms of M&M's, can be found here.

I actually have purchased some things from that site.  I got K special M&M's for Valentine's Day once and I got him an M&M dispenser for Father's Day this past year.  While I REALLY like to eat M&M's, having them in the house all of the time actually keeps me from eating too many.  Just the fact that they are there makes me know I will never run out, so I don't have to overeat.  If only that would be the same with ALL of the foods I like too much.  ;)

(Honestly, this is another picture I actually took.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day Twenty Three--Underwater

I am afraid of the water--but I love being near it.  I couldn't imagine living anywhere that wasn't close to a lake.  At the most, I have ever lived ten minutes from a substantial body of water.  These days, we live less than a half mile from Lake Superior--and I take it for granted too much of the time.  I'm afraid the time will come when the 'common' people won't be able to walk the shores of the Lake freely--too much of the lake shore is being bought to put up condos for out-of-towners as second, vacation homes.  This gives me a sad. :(

So, I digressed.  I WISH I could go on cruises or go snorkeling but that isn't something I can even imagine.  Sitting here at the computer, if I think about it too much, I could make myself have a full-fledged panic attack.  Looking into deep water causes me to imagine being underwater, not being able to breathe and, ultimately, drowning.  Needless to say, I'm not going to be underwater any time soon.

Lake Superior from Presque Isle

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day Twenty Two--Neutral

When we first moved into this house, all of the walls were primed in a beige-y color.  Of course, that didn't meet with my sensibilities, as I wanted to do the whole interior decorating thing that you CAN do when you actually own the property where you live.  So, for the first few years, I did a lot of painting.  At the time it must have been a big thing that I had seen somewhere, so the painting that I did was kind of the 'reverse' of what had been considered 'proper' for so many years:  I painted walls a lighter color and the trim and ceiling a darker shade.  It was kind of cool and I lived with it for many years--and even re-painted some rooms the same way with different colors.  After a while, I realized how much easier it would be if I didn't have to change wall colors every time I got new furniture or accessories for a room, so I changed the way I felt about room colors.  These days, I tend to favor this:

My color of choice is boring and neutral:  Navajo white.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day Twenty One--Broken

We had a hot summer--at least I thought it was.  I don't do 'heat' well, so I was miserable most of the summer.  And to make myself feel even worse, I would look at the thermometer when I woke up just to see how hot it was--and then I would complain to anyone who would listen.  That someone was usually K.  (Yes, I'm an annoying bitch a lot of the time.)  Day after day after day I would look out the front window and see that the temp was 85*.  One day it occurred to me that the temp hadn't changed in quite some time--even at night.  Slowly it dawned on me that the thermometer just might not be working right.  K disagreed, but I WAS proven right.  (YAY!)

The broken thermometer today (10/20)***:

The actual, correct temp today (10/20):

(If it isn't easily seen, the outside temp is shown at the top--and it is 55* today.)

We do have a new thermometer, but it hasn't been hung yet.  I'm sure K will do so sometime in December or January--during a blizzard.  ;D

***This is the first--and probably last--picture/s I will post for this challenge that I have actually taken.  I was bound and determined to not follow the rules AT ALL, but today I just had to post my own pics.  :D

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day Twenty--Nails

I was diagnosed with psoriasis quite a few years before it started to affect my fingernails.  Now, I won't get into the particulars about how terrible my nails reacted to the disease, but I will tell you about the BENEFITS I have experienced.  First, my nails are nicely thick.  NOT gross, but thick enough that they don't break easily.  Also, they are STRONG.  I swear I could use my nails as screwdrivers.  And they grow fast--almost unnaturally fast.  I could grow my nails as long as I would want them to be, but these days I keep them at a reasonable length.  Years ago, I gave Dolly Parton a run for her money in terms of nail length.  However, I am much more comfortable with shorter nails these days.

While I will have manicures at times, I find that NO ONE does my nails as well as I do.  I really wish I could be happy with how my nails look when someone else does them, but there always seems to be SOMETHING wrong with the way they are done.  And because I have to have my nails polished at all times to cover up the psoriasis damage, I spend far too much time doing manicures.  Believe me, I wish I could go without polished nails many times.  But even being on Enbrel hasn't completely made my nails look normal.  :(

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day Nineteen--Steel

We live in the UP, on Michigan's Iron Range.  Years ago, mining was quite possibly the largest industry here, but it is diminishing.  Some say that mining will completely die out in the near future, whereas others say it might make a comeback.  It is very hard to say.

The iron ore mines here are the biggest consumers of electrical power in the area.  Because of this, The Husband has a job, as the power the plant makes mostly goes to operate the mines.  And I certainly hope the mines don't close down before he retires...

So, for anyone who doesn't know, iron ore is used to make steel.  Steel is used in most all structures built, so as long as the demand is there, I should think the iron ore mines here will be in operation.

(One of two open pit mines in operation in the UP.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day Eighteen--Qwerty

When I was in high school, I took college prep courses.  The other track for girls would have been the office/secretarial/business courses, such as shorthand, typing, filing, and bookkeeping.  I had no interest in any of those classes, except for shorthand, as I felt  that would help me with note taking in college.  So, I took shorthand in my Junior year.  The trouble is, part of the class involved transcribing shorthand and typing it up--usually as a letter.  As everyone else in the class was in it for the 'secretarial' aspect, some of the girls felt as if they were at a disadvantage if I was allowed to hand write the transcribed letters.*  So, I was forced to take a typing class.**

Our school offered two types of typing classes:  regular, office typing or a 'personal' typing class.  I enrolled in the 'personal' typing just so I would get the fundamentals for college and my shorthand class.  I HATED it.  I NEVER became a 'touch' typist--I ALWAYS had to look at the keyboard, which, of course, kept my 'words per minute' count very low.  My OCD kept me from 'just typing' to get my speed up--I NEEDED to get everything perfect and couldn't type just anything to be fast.  I passed the class, but not at a level I ever was happy with.  To this day, whenever I type, I need to watch the keyboard.  But at least I'm not getting graded on it anymore.  :D

*As it turned out, I was one of the top students in the class DESPITE my not being able to type that well.  I guess the girls who thought they could derail me by having me type didn't count on my perfectionism, which helped my letters be exactly what the teacher wanted.

**For those too young to know, typing was done on a machine called a 'typewriter.'  This was what we used back in the day before computers.  ;D

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day Seventeen--Coins

While K was in the Navy, he traveled to far and away places.  And he brought currency--both paper and coins--home with him.  We have money from the coastal countries of Europe and quite a bit from the Middle East, as well.  The most interesting thing is, the money we have from the Middle East--at least most of it--is no longer relevant.  For example, the money we have from Iran has the old Shah of Iran on it.  DEFINITELY not relevant in today's world.  One of these days the money will be passed to the grandchildren--or maybe I'll wait and give it to the GREAT-grandchildren, whenever that may be.  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day Fifteen--My Favorite Food

Pretty much all of my life I have had food issues.  I love to eat.  Period.  I have come to the conclusion that my biggest downfall is carbs--I love most carbs WAY too much.  But the other day I explored that a little more.  I'm at the point in my life where I can take or leave chocolate.  {GASP!}  Cookies aren't a big deal to me.  Cake/cupcakes are a little better than cookies, but MEH!  Donuts are STILL one of my favs, especially if they happen to be Krispy Kremes.  YUM!  But the one thing that gives me the most trouble is pizza.  If there is pizza in the house, I won't stop eating until it is all gone--literally.  I will continually stuff my face with the food all evening long, no matter how full I am.  I am completely powerless when it comes to pizza.  So, I declare it my favorite food!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day Fourteen--Secret

I haven't told anyone this yet.  And I'm not sure anyone is going to believe me.  But here goes:

This is supposed to be the first weekend of the the 2012-13 NHL season.  The Wings were supposed to have played their first game on Thursday night.  I should be so excited and happy about having hockey back, that I shouldn't be able to contain myself.  But, this is not the way it is right now.  There is a labor dispute between the players and owners and a lockout has been imposed.  All of the pre-season games and all of the October games have been canceled.  There is a very, very, very good chance that there will be NO NHL season this year--again.  And I will be left with no hockey to watch.

And my secret is this:  right at this moment, I'm not really all that sad that there may be no hockey this year!*

*Of course, this may change at any time.  :D

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trying Something New

I probably am the only person left in the world to allow only Blogger comments on a blog, but today I decided to add Disqus here.  Is it going to work?  Who knows.  After a few days I will see what is what and whether I can tweak things to the way I like, soooooo...  For now, Disqus is enabled--I hope this makes everyone's life a little easier.  :)

Day Thirteen--Calm

I SO wish this was a word that described my life at this moment, but, alas, it does not.  Usually at this time of year, I am a very happy person:  the weather has cooled, the bugs are gone, and life is slower.  This year, I have two of the three and the one I REALLY wait for is not happening.

For some reason, we have been plagued with wasps in our house for the past month.  I am close to paralyzed with fear whenever I see one of the buggers, so life hasn't been too easy for me lately.  After every day/night of 40* or below temps, I think we're done with the damn things.  After we get snow, I think we're done with the damn things.  After not seeing any for a few days, I think we're done with the damn things.  And I have been wrong every.  single.  time.  Today I had another one in the breakfast nook.  To say I am NOT CALM, is putting it mildly.

This is NOT what my life is like right now:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day Twelve--Five

As time is wearing on and the NHL is no closer to starting the season than they were a few weeks ago, I'm trying my hardest to forget that there just may not be a hockey season this year.  Thankfully, the Tigers have extended THEIR season by making the playoffs, so I can continue to live in my little ignorant cocoon for a while longer and pretend we WILL see hockey.

Actually, I'm not too sure I WANT to see what the Red Wings will/would be like this year because of the retirement Nick Lidstrom.  He is arguably the best European to ever play in the NHL and (depending on who you talk to) is the first or second best defenseman to ever play the game.  (The other number one or two is Bobby Orr.)  Watching Lidstrom play, one would get the impression that his position was an easy one to have because the man was so smart and was so good that it didn't look like he put any effort into what he was doing.  If another comes along that is as good or better than Lidstrom, I don't think I will be alive if it happens--he was that good.  So, for today, I give you FIVE (the number he wore):

(Lidstrom became the first European captain of a Stanley Cup winning team--in 2008.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day Eleven--Heavy

During the sixties, many times someone would comment on something by saying 'Heavy.'  Of course, it had nothing to do with the 'weight' of the statement, but referred to the seriousness or importance of what was said.  The other word that was (over)used was 'Groovy.'  But we won't go THERE.  ;)

I have several quotes that I consider 'heavy'--and they give a lot of bang for the buck in terms of being able to sit and ponder what really is being said.  I now give you, 'Heavy':

--"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.'

--"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"--John Lennon


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Ten--Stalker

Anyone who has ever lived with, or been owned by one, knows that the very definition of the word stalker is 'cat.'  I have spent endless hours through the years watching cats stalk whatever they find fascinating at the time:  flies, birds, chipmunks, little pieces of lint on the floor.  Sadly, our cat is no longer inclined to stalk anything.  At her age (20 in April), she just wants to sleep, drink water, and eat--and that's okay with me.  When she goes to 'cat heaven,' she'll have all eternity to stalk whatever she wants.

***ADDED BONUS!  Here is the ultimate 'stalker song.'

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Day Nine--Rules

I always wanted to be a bit of a 'bad girl,' but I was too afraid to break the rules.  I guess I never wanted to disappoint my parents, so I kind of stayed 'good' for most of my childhood/teenage years.  I never gave The Parents much to worry about.  But, little did they know...

One of the ways I stayed more of a good girl was by having a boyfriend throughout high school.  This kept me from running around like some of the other girls in my class.  It also was good that he was only a year older than me, because the 'wild' girls in my class all had boyfriends at least four years older than us--and that was trouble from the get-go.  They most definitely were the ones that experimented with drugs and sex way before the rest of us did.

While my parents weren't worrying about me, I was drinking to excess with The Boyfriend.  I honestly think I was well on the way to becoming an alcoholic and would have if we would have continued together after high school.  The underage drinking is about the only big-time rule-breaking I think I have ever done.

Now, whether or not it is rule-breaking, I have a very hard time if someone tells me I CAN'T do something or that I MUST do something.  Both of those things will make me rebel and do all I can to go against what I've been told.  And sometimes that's not a BAD thing--it certainly has made me go beyond my comfort zone at different times.

***And obviously, I didn't follow any of the rules when it came to this photo challenge--so, I guess I CAN be a 'bad girl' when I want to be.  :D

Monday, October 08, 2012

Day Eight--Hair

Hmmm.  I talked about my hair in the last post.  What to do, what to do.  I guess I will start with my hair, anyway...

When I was younger, I had the thickest head of hair you can imagine.  Sadly, with age, psoriasis, and thyroid problems, my hair is now on the thinner side.  Actually, I now am much closer to the 'fine, Finnish, fairy fur' that is quite common among Finns than what I used to have.  And I am very sad about this.  While I don't really have thin, stringy hair, it just isn't that nice, thick hair that you want to bury your fingers in.

The Oldest, however, has inherited my old hair--and then some.  When she goes to get a permanent--which is extremely rare--the stylist has to use one and a half kits just to have enough solution for all of her hair.  Her hair is so thick that there really isn't anything that she can use comfortably to put her hair up--such as clips, barrettes, etc.  That is, until I got her a barrette from the Renaissance Fair.  It is quite amazing that she actually can use something nice to keep her hair off of her neck and not just something that she is 'making do' with.  It's a secret, but I got her another one as a Christmas present--I think she'll like it!  And it looks just like the big one in this picture:

The Youngest is 'blessed' with K's hair--very fine and 'can't do a thing with it' limp.  She wears her hair long, too, so the fact that there isn't anything she can do with her hair isn't really a hindrance.  Last year she bought herself a barrette for the first time at the Fair and loved it so much she got a new one this year.  Her new barrette is like this, only in two (silver and gold) colors:

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Day Seven--Craftsman

One of the reasons I like going to the Renaissance Fair every year is to shop.  And there is a lot to buy, if you are so inclined.

A few years ago I stopped at the booth of the Bronze Jewelers.  My hair was getting quite long and they had some really neat hair barrettes and combs, so I went shopping.  I now own two barrettes and a comb and couldn't possibly be any happier than I am--the crafstmanship is amazing!  And the best thing is, they keep my hair where I want it!  This year I bought a barrette that is very much like this one:

I love this so much that I can't wait to go back next year and buy another!

Another booth that amazes me is Wondrous Works in Wood.  They make mugs, cups, bowls, etc out of wood that you can actually USE!  A couple of years ago, K bought a mug very similar to this:

While he has never drank from this mug, it is perfectly safe to drink from--even coffee can be put in these!  Amazing.  Even though the prices are a bit high, I think we need to get at least one more piece next year.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Day Six--Vibration

Good grief.  I have pretty much NOTHING for this.  What are my thoughts?

--At one time, K was in charge of the 'vibration program' where he works.  I have no idea what that involves, or what he did.

--Our front loading washer vibrates so much that I can't imagine having it in a first floor laundry room.  It would have to be anchored to the floor joists somehow.

--A couple of years ago, we saw road crews on the highways cutting 'grooves' into the edge of the shoulders and the middle of the roads.  Whenever you drove over these grooves, your vehicle would vibrate and you'd get a sound that would wake the dead.  With the kind of weather we have here, we thought the roads would begin to crumble from water freezing and thawing in the grooves.  This doesn't seem to have happened and I think having the rumble strips isn't a bad idea:  they most certainly will wake you up if you happen to be daydreaming too much and drift where you shouldn't be!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Day Five--Lotion

First thought, of course, is "it rubs the lotion on its skin..." from 'Silence of the Lambs.'  But, I'm not going to be that obvious.  :)

All of the years that I have had psoriasis has led me to use hundreds of different skin lotions.  There have been times when I have had two dozen different ones in the house at any given time.  And my conclusion?  None of them have been over-the-top great.

One thing that I had to do because of my sensitive skin is look for products with little/no scent OR natural 'essential' oils in them.  It isn't all that easy--or it wasn't--to find products on the shelf (and I'm talking at Walmart, etc) that had no scent.  Of course, it was next to impossible to find anything with only essential oils until I discovered Lush.  The internet kept me supplied with my lotions for many, many years.  Since being on Enbrel, however, I find myself able to expand what I use a bit more than I used to AND it is a bit easier to find non-scented stuff in stores these days.  I still wonder what we ever did without the internet!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day Four--Sour

Wow, what a topic.  I could go the food way and talk about sour foods, but I think I'll go in another direction.

When we first moved into this house, we had only been in this town for a couple of years.  We really didn't know anyone and with a toddler in the house, we didn't get to go to many places to meet people.  It didn't help much that we moved in on the first of March:  definitely NOT meet-the-new-neighbors weather here.  So, we didn't have much contact at all with any of our neighbors until the later part of the spring/early summer when we would be outside with The Oldest.  And that led me to know two of the sourest-looking people I have ever met in my entire life.

The M's lived almost directly across the street from us.  At the time, their youngest was a junior or senior in high school.  Mr and Mrs M were the grouchiest, crotchety-est people I had ever seen.  We would acknowledge each other and nod whenever we happened to catch each other's eye, but that was it.  As the summer wore on, and windows were being opened, I would hear the two of them screaming at each other whenever I was outside.  I never was too sure that I wanted to know these people any better than I did at the time because, frankly, they scared the crap out of me!

Gradually, we got to be very close to the M's.  They turned out to be two of the nicest people I have ever met--despite their 'sour' demeanors.  After several years, their son and his wife--K's and my age--had a daughter about the same time we had The Youngest, and the two girls became very good friends.  Mr & Mrs M came very close to being surrogate grandparents to The Youngest.  Sadly, both of them passed on several years ago and I still miss them.

Oh, and the reason they would scream at each other all of the time?  They both were a bit hard of hearing.  :D

(This is the best example of a 'sour' old man I could ever possibly find--too bad Jeff Dunham hasn't made a 'Mrs Walter' puppet yet.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Day Three--Above My Head

I honestly can't think of a topic that can be funnier for me than this one, because, due to my height, most everything is 'above my head.'  :D  However, here goes:

As I've said many, many times, this house is quite old and has needed/is in need of a number of repairs.  One of the things we had to fix quite a few years ago, was the living room ceiling.  At some point, there had been a leak in the living room and the ceiling was actually falling down in several places.  We hmm'ed and haa'ed about what we were going to do for a long time.  I didn't want to put ceiling panels/tiles up, as there wasn't --at that time--anything that I liked.  Replacing the ceiling with drywall was too big of a task for do-it-yourselfers such as us, so we decided to go a different route:  tongue-in-groove pine paneling.  I must say, it was one of the better decisions we have made for this house.  The living room is very warm and cozy with the wood ceiling and it NEVER has to be painted!  And it looks just like this:

(neither of these is a picture of my ceiling ;))

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


My inbox has been so very stuffed full of spam comments that I had to change the settings for comments.  No longer will anonymous comments be accepted--and I hope this keeps my inbox clear.  You must be a registered user in order to comment.  I hope this isn't going to be a problem for anyone.  If it is, please let me know.  Thank you!  :)

Day Two--Fast

For the longest time, it was one of my biggest wishes:  to own a Corvette Stingray.  I'm not exactly sure WHY I wanted one, but I did.  It isn't so much that I wanted to drive the thing as fast as it would go--and around here, we don't have enough straight highway to get a real good speed going--I just wanted one because they are so darn cool looking.  I had this wish on my 'bucket list' until about a year ago.  It occurred to me that it would be just pathetic for a 70-year-old lady (if it took me that long to get one) to drive such a car as this.  Besides, I'm not even sure I could get into a Stingray anymore--the knees just might not cooperate.  :)

Monday, October 01, 2012

30 Days of 'Not MY Photos'--Shiny

***A couple of the blogs that I follow (and some of their followers)--'Momma Mia, Mea Culpa' and 'Ziva's Inferno'--are participating in a photo challenge for the month of October.  As I really have no energy to try and take 30 pictures in 30 days, I will, instead, use the list of topics and write a post a day for the month.  We'll see how that goes.  ;)***

Today's topic is 'shiny.'  Wow.  So here goes:

My OCD tendencies really get a workout with shiny stuff.  If the article*--refrigerator, TV, range, mirror, etc--is supposed to be 'shiny,' you can bet I'll be after the thing CONSTANTLY to make sure there are no smudges, fingerprints, dirt, grim, dust on it.  I cannot stand a supposedly shiny object that doesn't sparkle.  And, of course, this doesn't make for a calm household--especially for children.  I regret the time I spent 'polishing' while my kids were growing up and am SO happy that I'm not nearly as obsessive these days as I once was.  The only thing that really saved my sanity was the fact that all of my appliances were 'harvest gold' in color, so the fingerprints were not as noticeable as they could have been.  (I could NEVER own stainless steel appliances because they take so much work to look nice.  I shudder to think of the time needed to keep them clean and smudge-free.)

For the past 10 years or so, stainless steel has been the color choice for a big percentage of appliances, but some are predicting the possibility of change coming.  One of the possible 'trends' in the future is a 'matte' finish on appliances--and some manufacturers are already showing gunmetal grey/matte finish appliances to match the stainless steel people already have in their homes.  It will be interesting to see if this would replace stainless steel as a first choice for people.  I, however, will continue with my boring white--I never will have to worry about the color not matching everything else in my kitchen.  :D

(not sure, but this certainly looks 'matte' to me)

*For some reason, non-sparkling windows don't send me over the edge.  I don't know how I can live with the way our windows look, at times, but I don't freak out about 'dirty windows' like I do other things.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

OCD Undiagnosed

I find that when I'm driving through town, I avoid all manholes.  This, of course, is not that easy to do.  I know that one of these days I will probably be stopped for driving erratically.  And I won't be able to fault the cop that pulls me over, because swerving to avoid manholes IS driving erratically.  Another way my (undiagnosed) borderline OCD rears its ugly head.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And They Don't Understand The Hate...

(I have been MIA for quite a bit here.  I am planning on an update post, but this has been rattling around in my head, so I will do this first.)

Last weekend in our part of the world, we had two tragic deaths.  First, a 53-year-old man lost his life in a fire and then a 51-year-old man died as the result of an ATV accident.  Very sad, indeed.

Our local TV station has a morning program which I follow on Twitter.  On Monday morning, the following tweets were posted:

1) "2 sad events from the weekend. First, a fatal fire."

2) "...and a fatal ATV crash."

And then they had the links to the stories.

That was fine and dandy--they did just what you would expect from a news show.

After a little while, the 'tweeter' put this tweet up:

"Someone asked me to mention that there were 3 sad things this weekend...the Packers lost."

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!?!?  You are equating a loss in a FOOTBALL game to the tragic deaths of two people???

And Packer fans wonder why they are universally hated?

***I must say that I DO know some nice people who happen to be Packer fans.  I excuse their douchiness. However, the majority of Packer fans I know are all kinds of disgusting.  And that's why the hatred from me.  ;)***

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Just Another Conversation

The other day we got a promo mailing from a local car dealership.  They are holding a contest of sorts and this is the way it works:  They sent a key with the mailing and during certain hours and days, you are to take the key into the dealership and try to see if it will start the vehicle they are giving away.  The vehicle in question is a brand new Toyota truck.  K was looking at the mailing and the following conversation took place:

K (more to himself than anything):  Hmmm.  I suppose I should go in on my days off and see if this key fits.  Although, I just bought a truck and don't really need a new one.  And I really don't think I would ever drive a Toyota.  (We buy 'American' vehicles.)  
--He is VERY optimistic and approaches any kind of contest, lottery, raffle, sweepstakes, etc, as if he WILL be a big winner.--

Me:  Well, if you won the thing, we always could sell it and use the money for something else!
K:  Or we could give it to (oldest granddaughter) for her first vehicle--she will be getting her license soon.
Me:  Really, I don't think THAT is a precedent I want to set.  We do have SEVEN grandchildren, after all.
K:  Okay, but when (second granddaughter) gets her license, we can just tell her it is hers, then, and keep going down the line.
Me:  Fine, but what do we do for (last grandchild--number 7)?  Give her a roll of duct tape and say 'Happy Driving'?
K:  Or we could just tell her 'It's a CLASSIC!'

Yeah, the man is quick on his feet.  :D

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I Think There May Be Some Hypocrisy Here

First, I don't follow the Olympics.  I watch ice hockey and curling during the winter games, but that is it.  (And the only reason I do that is because the NHL shuts down during the games.)  So, I have very little knowledge of any of the athletes--other than the ones that are constantly rammed down my throat via news, tweets, and Facebook.  I had no idea there was even a person named Holley Mangold before today--and that is because of the shitstorm Conan O'Brien found himself in following a tweet.  And the tweet was this:
"I predict 350 lb. weight lifter Holley Mangold will bring home the gold and 4 guys against their will."
This made a lot of people get their panties in a bunch because they saw this as poking fun of her weight.  I saw the entire story when I read an article by Mary Elizabeth Williams, a staff writer for Salon.  You will find the article here.  Go on--I'll wait.

I am not an apologist of Conan and I don't watch his show or follow him on Twitter.  However, I see nothing offensive in his tweet.  I agree with some of the (small minority) of people who commented on this article that he was just referencing her strength and NOT talking about how heavy she was.  And why did he mention her weight?  Well, probably because the 'joke' wouldn't have made much sense if the woman weighed 120 lbs, that's why.  I am waiting for Conan's forced apology to come.  So far, I haven't seen anything about a lawsuit, but there still is time.  (Isn't that what the US is all about?)

So, what does any of this have to do with hypocrisy?  Well, here we go.  I am willing to bet not one of these people who have vilified Conan for talking about this woman's weight would defend any other 350 lb woman who was not an Olympic athlete.  Any other woman would be told to have will power, start exercising, push herself away from the table, etc, etc, etc.  All that would be seen is a woman who is morbidly obese and pretty much scum-of-the-earth for not taking better care of herself.  And it wouldn't matter how much of a life this woman had.  She could be a wife, mother, businesswoman, social butterfly, whatever, but to most people it wouldn't matter--all they would see is a failed individual because of her weight.  And there is where I see the hypocrisy.

I am very sure that Ms Mangold is a fine young woman.  I am sorry that her athletic talent means nothing to me, but I wish only the best for her.  However, being a world-class athlete--even one in a sport that most people don't follow--does not give her any idea what the real world is like.  Very few, if any, would defend her OR her weight if she was not an Olympian.

Police Log

This will be presented with no comment.

--5:20 PM, report of a disturbance; subject swearing in a residence, unknown if it is a domestic disturbance; no domestic; subject was setting up home gym equipment and it was not going well.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thank Goodness For Trust...

The other day, K and I had this conversation:

K:  So-and-so--you remember him, he retired last year--and his wife just got a divorce.
Me:  Really!?!?!?
K:  Yeah.  They were married all those years and divorced after he retired.
Me:  Maybe she couldn't handle his being around all of the time.  {said with a smile}
K:  Rumor has it that there was more going on.  She supposedly started running around on him.
Me:  Well, I think it probably wouldn't be considered a mid-life crisis--she would have needed to do that 15, 20 years ago.
K:  What would possess someone to start that after so many years?
Me:  Well, how does he KNOW that she JUST started running around?  If he worked shifts, it would have been very easy for her to be meeting someone while he was on night shift, for example.
K:  That is true...

Tonight, at 11:00, the phone rang.  I was in the bathroom WITHOUT a phone.  I didn't get to the phone in time to answer it.  Caller ID told me that it was K, who is on night shift.  Thank goodness we trust each other completely.  Otherwise I might be doing some 'splaining in the morning.  :D

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


This past Thursday, after 5 or so months, we once again became a two vehicle household!  K finally got 'the bug' and went out to get himself a truck--thank goodness!

It's not as if my life was that horribly terrible without a vehicle at my disposal 24/7, but it certainly will be easier for me to get some things done with having one.  When you have to make appointments around someone else's work schedule, it makes it very difficult to actually come to terms with wherever you need an appointment.  I was having a hard time trying to get in to the tanning salon because they changed their hours for the summer.  K gets home from day shift at 6:15 and the salon closed at 6:00, so I was left with only his days off to go in.  This meant the MOST times I could go in was once a week, except for when he was on his long weekend.  I also have not been able to get an appointment for a mani/pedi--something I DESPERATELY need.  I'm hoping I will be able to work something out with my manicurist within the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, the truck.  K FINALLY got a grown-up truck.  It is a 2011 Silverado--this is the first time he has had a full-sized truck.  Every other truck he has had is a small one, so he is due to have something this size.  He will actually be able to put a plow on the thing if he wants.  It only had 20,000 miles on it--barely broken in for a truck--and it has 4 wheel drive.  YIPPEE on the 4WD!  Now, this isn't some Hollywood version of a truck--it is 'only' a work truck.  There is nothing spectacular about this truck--no power windows, no Onstar, no CD player--all it has is the 4WD and air conditioning.  And that is all you need in a work truck.

This very possibly will be the last truck K will ever get.  By the time he would need a new truck, he will be retired and we most likely will go back to having only one vehicle again.

And now for some pictures:

If you noticed, the truck sits considerably higher than the Envoy--something I am painfully aware of.  It was certainly a task for me to get in and out of the thing--I actually had to JUMP to get out of it!  Anyway, the running boards--thank you, K--will be installed next week.  I am waiting to take the thing out for a ride--I think I'll like driving a full-sized truck.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Another Concert

On the 15th of June, we went to see a performer that I never really thought I would go to see--and enjoyed every minute of the concert.  We found ourselves at the Barry Manilow concert--and this happened, mainly, because my best friend is a huge fan and wanted to go.  I was pretty much surprised at how much fun we had.  Don't get me wrong, I AM a fan, just not a 'Fan-ilow.'  ;)

The venue where this concert was is an ice arena where they hold other events.  And we had fantastic seats. We sat in the first row of seating that was off of the floor and I think we had better viewing because we didn't have to worry about the people in front of us.

For some reason, my phone makes things look much further away than they actually are.

Anyway, we were given 'glow sticks' when we first sat down and it was really cool to look across the arena and see everyone waving the lighted sticks:

So, we finally got to see Barry Manilow:

Once again, I took sucky pictures with my phone.  I really don't know how to take good pics at a concert.  And then K told me to just take a pic of the Jumbotron and I got this fairly okay one:

It is hard to imagine he will be 70 on his next birthday.  He still is a very good performer.  The only problem is that whatever plastic surgery he has had makes him look like a caricature of himself, but other than that, he is not much different than he has always been.  He always was, and always will be, an entertainer--something that all performers cannot aspire to.

Of course, he sang 'Copacabana.'

And here is a short video of the song--I will hope that I won't be asked to take it down.  ;)

I'm happy we decided to go.  It just goes to show that you need to take a chance once in a while.  This is the second time I went to a performance that I wasn't especially excited about--the other one was to see 'Wicked'--and found myself having a great time.  I hope this is a good sign, because I have been 'coerced' into seeing 'Mamma Mia!' in August--and I most definitely am NOT an ABBA fan.  ;)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Again, About a Hotel

On 15 June we were in Green Bay for a concert.  (More about that in a later post.)  The concert took place at the Resch Center, which happens to be across the street from Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers.  The hotel we stayed in was only 0.10 miles from the Resch Center.  In other words, the only way we could have been closer to the home of the Packers is if we stayed on the field itself.  ;)  So, the hotel we stayed at is 'party central' for Packer fans on game weekends.

First, all of the parking lots in the area of this hotel are open for tailgating on game day.  There are a number of hotels, bars, and restaurants where those who watch the game--either at the field or on TV--celebrate a win or mourn a loss.  We stay as far away from the Green Bay area--and surrounding towns--on game weekends as we possibly can.  From what I understand, Green Bay and the surrounding towns are overrun with rabid fans who do an awful lot of partying and drinking, no matter if there is a win or loss.  Obviously, a lot of these people are males--and we all have some degree of knowledge as to how a group of guys can get when they overindulge.  So, when I made the reservations at the hotel, I was a little worried as to what we would find.  But, I made the reservations anyway because of location, location, location.  We knew how great it is to just walk to an arena for a show after we saw Clapton in St Paul, so we went into this with fingers crossed.

The hotel is older, that was apparent.  However, on first impression, you could tell that it was well cared for--at least the outside and the public areas.  I certainly wasn't expecting much in the way of how well the rooms were, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Now, the room was nowhere near in perfect shape, but unless you are one of the first people in a newly constructed hotel, you are not finding perfection.  The carpeting in the room definitely needed upgrading, but other than that, the room was well kept.

If you ever read any of the articles that say 'The 10 Filthiest Surfaces in a Hotel Room' or anything like that, you know that remote controls are something that you don't want to touch until you disinfect them.  So imagine my surprise when I saw this:

They now make remote controls that can be CLEANED!!!!  How cool is that?  This was the first time I have seen this and certainly hope it isn't the last!

One of the first things I do after unpacking is to sit down and look at the hotel folder that has all of the particulars of that hotel and the surrounding area.  Usually the folder will have information such as check-in/check-out times, 'things to do', escape plans, and area maps.  I HAD to take a picture of the map I found in this particular folder:

I had to laugh, very loudly, when I saw what was highlighted on the map:  where the liquor store was located!  :D  That most definitely was another first for me.

Considering we go to so many concerts/events, there is a better than average chance we will be back in Green Bay for something.  After the decent stay we had, I won't hesitate at all to stay at this hotel again.