Friday, May 30, 2003

Way too much to do

Tomorrow is the RHS picnic. For months I have been planning it. Last night a close friend of mine said, "If I had taken on that kind of responsibility, I would be a nervous wreck by now and certainly not sleeping at night." My first response was, what responsibility? All I did was put out the word that there would be this picnic for Red Hat Chapters tomorrow. Perhaps a dozen chapters will show up. Then I counted the responses and found there will be at least 120 people attending.

How prepared am I? My trunk is has enough toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, paper plates, garbage bags and paper table cloths host the world series.

I don't think I'll sleep well tonight. But before I go to bed for that sleepless night I must, after working 8 hours...

Pick up the RHS Molls sign
Check out the purple megaphone bat - does it need batteries? Is it loud enough?
Make more ice - find the ice chest
Put 2 purple lawn chairs and card table in car
Put Boom Box in car
Charge my camera batteries
Find the Red Hat Society theme song CD
Get batteries for the CD player
Iron my purple cloths
Pick out one of my 20 red hats to wear
Make my lunch
Check my e-mail and answer last minute questions
Do all my PT exercises at least twice
Shop for last minute items - water
Pick up mail for sick uncle
Go visit sick uncle at convalescent hospital
Mop the kitchen floor, Clean the bathroom mirrors and sink, Scrub the toilet, change the cat litter, vacuum, and make up the guest bed because my other uncle is coming to visit
Feed the cats
Fix dinner
Eat dinner
Do the dishes
Play with the cats so they will sleep tonight
Put my new "Because I said so...I am the Queen" bumper sticker on my car
Put the new registration tags on my car

Tomorrow morning I must remember to take my lunch, extra water, camera, sun block, the CD player, the sign, blankets, roster, membership cards, and whatever else I think of in the middle of the night and get to the park early in the morning (dawn?) to stake out the best half of the park for our group. Oh why didn't I reserve both halves?

There you have it, my To Do List for the next 24 hours. I won't have time to read your blogs tonight and I'll be exhausted tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Forever Amber

Kathleen Winsor, one of my favorite authors, died Monday. She's the author of my favorite book. At least I think it was my favorite book. Or could it just be the circumstances under which I read the book?

I found 'Forever Amber' on the family room bookshelf when I was about fourteen and Mom wouldn't let me read it. She said it was inappropriate for a young lady my age (well it was in the 60's). That only generated more interest so I snuck it off the shelf and read a bit of the 972 pages under the covers each night. I was so enthralled that I remember going to bed early each night just to get through another chapter.

This morning I read an article in the newspaper about 'Forever Amber' containing 70 references to sexual intercourse, 39 illegitimate pregnancies, seven abortions and 10 descriptions of women undressing in front of men. Funny thing is, I don't remember any of that. I remember the parts about the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague. I retrieved the book off my shelf this morning (yes, it's the same copy I read at age 14). Think I better take another look at all Amber St. Clare's lovers from Black Jack Mallard to King Charles II.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003


I am suffering writer's block, brain dead, empty headed. Why? I just don't sit down and write. Sometimes I just go through these stages, writing pure blather, waiting for the aha moment. It hasn't come lately. So I'll use a little...

== BlogFodder ==

Learning by imitation.

From watching Dad, I'm wearing out the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions on my steering wheel from rubbing my thumbs there. I rub my thumb and middle fingers. At least I haven't started doing the "Eh Eh Eh" every time I move... or do I? I learned how to drive with my left foot on the brake and right foot on the gas pedal. I unlearned it when I failed my driver's test.

Mom always sat in the back row at church so I sit in the back row at church (when I go) so I can make a quick escape. To eat two vegetables at dinner when on a diet.

I followed my big brothers around so I must have learned a lot of things but I can't remember.

My little sister showed me how not to drink.

The first CPA I worked for - build up honest clients, prepare honest returns and assemble with simple little sticky notes so the client doesn't goof and send the state return to IRS etc.

Heck, I feel stupid. Put this down as one of my stupidest writings so far. Trash it? No, it's gotta stay just so you know I'm alive and reasonably well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Badminton:: net
  2. Obsessive compulsive :: disorder
  3. Prosthetics:: legs
  4. Sophistication:: age
  5. Hiphop :: dance
  6. Stammering:: stuttering
  7. Property taxes:: real estate
  8. Lowrider:: hunk
  9. Blowtorch:: match
  10. Formality::legal

Sunday, May 25, 2003


A is for Acceptance
B is for Been there done that
C is for Change and Courage
D is for Donuts not Drugs ( sign I saw in a bakery window in Bishop)
E is for Enough of this
F is for Fifteen years
Gis for Good things come to those who believe
H is for Higher Power
I is for Inner Joy
J is for Just for Today
K is for Keep Coming Back
L is for Letting Go
M is for Meditation
N is for No thank you
O is for One Day at a Time
P is for Promises
Q is for Quality of life
R is for Recovery
S is for Serenity
T is for This to Shall Pass
U is for Unity
V is for Very Important People
W is for Wisdom
X is for XV
Y is for Years
Z is for Zestfully living

15 Years Today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

A to Z

I must do this. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2003

2nd Pair of Socks

Finished 2nd pair of socks yesterday. Regia sock yarn which forms its own stripe and Fair Isle color pattern. Notice that they almost match. Not bad for a beginner huh?

Next up: Shepherd Sock yarn in Purple Club.

Now that I am into all this sock making, summer seems to have arrived. High eighties yesterday, not exactly wool sock wearing weather. Oh well, winter will come soon enough. Socks are a good thing to knit during the summer anyway. Easy to carry with me on summer adventures. No need to swelter under a bulky afghan in progress.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

What's More Annoying and Mutterings

What's more annoying? I was in Barnes & Nobles when I noticed a young man sharing a table with a mother of a small baby. She was discreetly breastfeeding the baby. The young man and mother were carrying on a quiet conversation. The baby got a bit fussy so the lady apologized and left. As soon as she was out of earshot the guy gets out his cell phone and calls three people and tells them how here he is in B&N trying to study as well as escape from allergies when this lady sits next to him with a 4 month old baby and breast feeds right in front of him. He just couldn't concentrate on his studying under those circumstances. I could clearly hear his conversations three aisles away. I'd rather hear the fussy baby.

  1. Naked:: city
  2. Singular:: telephone - oops thats Cingular
  3. Particle:: atom
  4. Unified:: schools
  5. Lion:: tamer
  6. Capitulate:: decapitate (where did that come from)
  7. Quantum:: leap
  8. Celestial:: being
  9. Motion:: detector
  10. Delight:: ful

Saturday, May 17, 2003

For the Birds

My neighbors have bird feeders. My cats sit way in the corner, craning their necks, peering with salivatious eyes out my window. So a week ago I decided I would treat the cats to their own private bird watching area. Off to Target I went for the bestest bird feeder in the store. After all I wanted to make sure the birds would find my feeder more attractive than my neighbors.

But, there were so many feeders, an entire aisle devoted to birds. I strolled up and down studying each feeder, each pack of birdseed, reading all the labels. Mind you, I know nothing about birds. Can't tell the difference between a canary and a parakeet. It was all way to confusing so I opted for the easy way out. I bought one of those Gourmet Birdseed Snackbars, the kind you just hang on the tree branch. The label said it would attract all varieties of birds.

Just happened to have one of those plant poles that loop around with a hook for hanging plants, a reasonable place to hang the Gourmet treat. Hung it up and waited all evening. Not one bird, except of course at the neighbor's. Finally gave up and went to bed. Woke up at 6am hearing lots of chirping outside my window. Looked out. No birds. But, 1/4 of the Gourmet treat was gone. Watched all through breakfast. One small brown bird with a black necklace came and took a couple of pecks. Nothing more.

Next morning, half the treat was gone.

Next morning, three quarters of the treat was gone.

Following morning, not even a trace of the holder hung on the stand. I went out to check and found the dregs of the treat bar on the ground. Now what on earth could be smart enough to pull that loop over the top of the plant stand and bring it down to the ground?

Today I am going out to buy a squirrel feeder. The cats love to watch their bushy little tails vibrate; they will like it better than the birds. My neighbors will like me better because the squirrels will stay away from their bird feeders.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Bits & Pieces

I don't have perfect blood pressure any more according to the latest news. Now I must strive to lower it below 120/80.

The Oreo cookie lawsuit has been dropped. Good. We all know those hydrogenated oils are in everything so why pick on the lowly little chocolate sandwiches. All that Orea news only induced more cravings for me. Now I see I can get Oreo mistakes too. Ummm vanilla with chocolate centers.

Speaking of chocolate, where are those kids from the inner city (not our inner city...we don't have one) that used to make frequent visits to the office with crates full of chocolates pricey enough to support their drug habits... oops I mean pricey enough to keep other kids off the streets? Why don't they come when I am desperate? I was good at lunch time today. I ate my bagel with Better Than Peanut Butter spread (half the fat of the real stuff). I skipped dessert since I have now decided I get a treat only once a day. I cleaned out my snack drawer at work last week so I can't snack for at least 8 hours a day. I thought I could wait until CSI to have my daily treat. But I have this craving. I need chocolate. NOW. I checked the bottom of my purse... there's not even one tiny crumb of a Velamint in there.

We had a visitor at the office this afternoon. Left the door open because it seems our automatic thermostat has not been reset for these warm springtime days. Shortly after noon the big, and I mean BIG, orange cat (the same one that prowls around my apartment complex) came in the door. All was good until he backed up to my bosses desk.

It's hay fever season. The gentle breezes are blowing pollen all over the neighborhood. I sneezed all the way to work this morning and all during my lunch time walk. I went to fill my prescription for allergy medication; it expired two days ago. TWO DAYS. So now I wait for the doctor to return the pharmacy's call. Okay, it's all my fault. I should have mentioned it last time I was in there. I should have been prepared. I know allergies hit me on mother's day, like clockwork.

Tonight I should go out and watch the moon eclipse. I should but I probably won't. It's my favorite TV night. Survivor is over but there is still CSI, the final episode of the season, and ER, if I can stay awake.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Brag Spot

StoryCircle honored me as Writer of the Month for May!!!!! I am a bit amused by this as the following is the story they selected for this honor and it was one that I turned in unedited at the last minute (we have a writing assignment each month and sometimes I miss the deadline).

How I Ended Up With 13 Indoor Cats (at one time)

I can't count the number of cats that came and went through my childhood years. They just kind of mysteriously weave in and out of the family photo albums. But the one thing that is certain, there was always at least one cat in our household, until I got married.

My husband was allergic to cats. Or so he told me. But then again, he had a Siamese cat named Gertrude throughout his growing up years. He claimed that she had some special kind of dander that he could tolerate. Since my preference for cats was always the long-haired variety, a definite sneeze attack to my husband, I figured that my cat days were long gone with the exchange of the marriage vows.

Three months into the marriage he came home from work with a cardboard box emitting the most distinctive of all yowls, the unmistakable yowls of a mama cat giving birth. It seems Mama Kitty, a stray cat from my husband's newspaper district, had selected one of the Tribune newspaper boxes as a good place to have her kittens. Of course my husband didn't have the heart to leave her there so she became the first resident cat in our new home. I just had to keep two of her litter too. One because she was long-haired and calico. The other because he was so ugly that no one would take him. Those cats all lived long happy lives.

Meanwhile my husband's allergies disappeared. Then we had kids, two boys. More cats came and went as the boys grew up and started bringing home strays here and there. Then one day a feral cat showed up. She had babies. We trapped cats, neutered cats, tamed cats and tried our best to find homes for them. People didn't seem to want those feral rejects. It got out of control. Soon we realized that there were 13 cats that were allowed to come inside the house and an undetermined amount of midnight raiders to the food source outside the house. Okay, I know, we might have been just a little too generous with the cat food in those days.

My son is living in our old house now and has kicked the five cats left in our little colony outside because he has turned into a "dog person" (girl friends can do that to a guy you know). It's okay though. They have shelter and food and a great big hillside to romp in. We get to visit daily.

Note: I do have two cats at my apartment. It was a tough decision but I did have to choose the best candidates for this indoor lifestyle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003


Oh no, another one of my friends is moving to what my brother refers to as "Flossmore." It's the place we go to in this area when we get to be over 55 and start simplifying our lives. We move out of the homes where we raised our family into these gated adult communities so we are safe.

We go there so we can mingle with others our age. We move there to join in on age appropriate community activities.

We leave behind playground sounds to hear the golfers chorus of "fores" and daily rounds of ambulances.

We give up hunting deer to sit back and watch for the new Bambi's.

We trade our jogging shoes for hiking boots, our backpacks for totebags.

We use our binoculars for bird watching rather than scoping out the next mountain vistas.

The speedo swimsuits are replaced by body camoflouging skirted tankinis or trunks. A parade of high fashion swim coverups topped with rubber flowered swimming caps leads us to new ways to workout from swimming to dancing in the water. And when winter comes we don our flannel sweatsuits and parade around the gymnasium or aerobicize in wheelchairs.

We play bocce ball instead of bowling.

We plant pots of annual flowers in case we don't last another season.

We ride camel busses instead of Bart. We give up our cars and hail taxis or medi-transports.

We know when company is coming cause they can't get by the gatekeepers without our permission. We send the grandchildren home after 3 days to follow the rules (well that might be a positive).

To think, in just one more year and I'll be eligible to move to God's waiting room.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Day After Mother's Day

Day began extra early this morning after a sleepless night. Slept with Baby J because I have no other place to put him when he stays with me. Anyway, he scoots now so I ended up with about 8 inches of space on the queen size bed. Must put travel crib on top of shopping list if he's going to stay with us this often.

Last night we went out for a huge dinner at Hungry Hunter in honor of Mother's Day. Of course we went for the five course deal, appetizers, soup, salad, entree, and dessert. The carrot cake alone was probably an entire days points. I stopped counting at 46 points... I am allowed 23 if I want to loose. So, I have a bank deficit and it's only Monday. (those in WW will understand all that). In ordinary language, I ate way too many calories and now must accomodate that by reducing what I eat the rest of the week. Or, I could just start my week over today. Hmmmm.

Aside from that, it was a warm spring day, we had a picnic, strolled around town, shopped a bit, visited our orphaned cats, did laundry and watched about 1/2 of Dr. Phil. Going to bed early to prepare for busy work week and catch of on lost sleep. Too bad we can't bank sleep points.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Friday, May 09, 2003

What I Learned from Mom

"I really learned it all from mothers."
- Dr. Benjamin Spock, Parenting Expert

Question to Ponder (
What are the most valuable things I have learned from my Mother?

Always sit in the back row at church
Always match your purse and shoes
Wear white gloves to the city
Wear a hat to church
Never bake cakes from a boxed mix
How to bake cut out cookies
Do washing on Monday
Sprinkle clothes Monday night to iron on Tuesday
Iron on Tuesday so your clothes don't get moldy
How to make my own clothes
Never wear pink with red
Never wear plaid with flowers
Two vegetables are better than one
Cats are better than dogs
Don't tie your hair in a pony tail too tight or you will go bald
Always wear clean underwear
Keep track of every penny spent
Gone With the Wind is the best movie ever
Gone With the Wind is the best book
Dr. Kildare is a better catch than Ben Casey
Soap operas are a waste of time
Always have dinner on the table at 6pm sharp
Clean your plate, people are starving in...
To sit ladylike with legs crossed
Never drink water in strange places
Always put paper down on public toilets

All kidding aside, how to die with dignity.

Actions to Consider
Be grateful for the role your mother has had in your life.
If she is still alive, tell her your answers to today’s question.
Then thank her.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Where Did These Pounds Come From?

I confess. I didn't just gamble last weekend. I ate - way too much. First it was the tea on Saturday with 3 tiers of treats. Then it was the buffet dinner bargain at the Horizon with 3 trips around. Top that off with dessert in the evening because we ate dinner to early and needed more energy to gamble. Of course we earned enough credits for a big pancake breakfast at the Horizon. Should have gone home about that time but instead went to Harveys where I won the jackpot. No sense leaving without seeing if we had food credits at Harveys - sure enough, another big dinner. Driving home we were both getting to sleepy so resolved the problem with a stop off at the Crepery where we indulged in French apple pie and ice cream.

Now perhaps this would have gone unnoticed if I had stayed in my stretch jeans for a couple more days. But no, I had to go to work and I don't wear stretch jeans to work. I wear khakis. I couldn't get them zipped up yesterday morning so reached in to the back of the closet for the one and only pair of size 10s I kept just in case. They were tight too! Since we ended up going out for pizza last night (it was a vegetarian pizza and I did have my salad served with the dressing on the side), but I managed to spill my drink on my only size 10 pants, I had to squeeze into size 8s this morning. I am suffering. Really suffering. I even wore a long, baggy shirt so I could undo the waistband button.

Time to check the scale. Where on earth did that 5 pounds come from? I didn't really eat that much did I? Could it be the new medication I started taking Friday for the back problem? I checked the internet. Sure enough one of the side effects of this particular medication is rapid weight gain. It must be the drug.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Monday Memories: Comics

I remember the comic book collection. My favorite - Little Lulu. I think I got a new comic every week or so. At the corner dimestore we could trade them in and then we could buy used ones for half the price, I think. One thing I remember is the sea monkey ads. I always wanted to send in for them but my mom never let me. One year I convinced her I could sell flower seeds that I saw advertised. I got a big box of them in the mail and the only person who bought them was the old lady across the street. I think she just liked me coming around to visit. I don't remember them ever blooming.

Unconscious Mutterings 13

  1. Nanny:: diaries
  2. Weight:: watchers
  3. Deep:: sh*t
  4. Sock:: monkey
  5. 24 hours:: one day at a time
  6. Tongue:: in cheek
  7. Fees:: dues
  8. Champagne:: nightmares
  9. Bruise:: cuts
  10. Pancakes:: syrup

The Weekend

A few days ago I wrote that May is my spur of the moment month. So, I did it again. I went away for a night on the spur of the moment. Saturday after I returned from my Red Hat Tea and Fashion Show I decided I was ready for an adventure.

The mountains were calling me, "go east, enjoy the snow, find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow..." I took that to mean that I must gather a few necessities, get in my little red car, throw the chains in the trunk, and drive east over the Sierra's to find buckets of money at Tahoe.

It took very little convincing to get my husband to do the driving (did I ever mention he is a compulsive gambler?)... enabling me to knit half a sock on the way to Tahoe.

Snow? Yes there was snow. Luckily for us it did not stick to the pavement and we made it over the pass without chains. Good thing since I remembered half way to the mountains that the chains were really in the back of my husbands car.

Rainbows? Couldn't find one through the clouds.

Pots of Gold? Uncle Sam provided us with our tax refund check. We thought we could turn it into gold. Saturday night we were turning our pockets inside out having maxed out the daily atm withdrawal. So we retired to our luxurious room at Ceasar's (it was a bargain - it is off season, even on a Saturday night). Well, I retired, my husband mysteriously found another source of funds and went out for a couple more hours. He was severely chastized for that manuever. To get even, I withdrew a few more bucks from my own secret resources in the morning and made him follow me around while I fed a few machines (kind of like taking an alcoholic to a bar and not letting him drink!). I almost gave up but saw a new 3-way poker game. I put the last $20 bill in that machine and pressed the buttons to play 90 nickels at a time. I was down to the last pull when the Royal Flush, in hearts, made its appearance. Bells and whistles sounded and a crowd gathered... I walked away with 30,000 nickels and a W-2G (so Uncle Sam can get back some of that money).

Friday, May 02, 2003

Today's Wants

Today's quote from Powerquotes

"The indispensable first step to getting the things
you want out of life is this; decide what you want."

- Ben Stein, Actor and Author

Questions to Ponder

What do I want? How clear and specific is it in my mind?

Gee, this depends what day it is. Or perhaps what time it is. Or what month. Sometimes I don't know what I want. Sometimes it seems I have everything. Other times I have nothing. But when I do want something, I want what I want when I want it and I want it now.

Today I want:
The sun to come out from behind those clouds
Good health for me and those I love, no make that everybody

Today's wants are mostly internal wants. Sure I could say I want a new car, a big house, designer clothes, a better computer, a better career. But I don't need those things. I've had most of those things and they don't make life any better believe me. Those are all the "look goods," the guise of our existence. I've worked at trimming the excess, simplifying. It gives me the freedom to look at my true needs, not the wants.

That's it for today. Tomorrow I may be back into material want lists and retail therapy!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Doctor Again II

Yep, it was exactly as I predicted. I got to the doctors office at 3:59pm. I saw the doctor at 5:15pm. We are now playing the HMO game again. I have agreed to go through physical therapy again and take a new drug. Then I might qualify for the MRI that might or might not reveal what the problem is. I get to go back to the doctor in 5 weeks and sit in his office again too.

Doctor Again

Spinal Institute - first they call last Wednesday to remind me to come to my 3:30 appointment on Thursday. I remind them that my appointments is for 11:30. They tell me that is impossible because the doctor doesn't have morning appointments. I distinctly remember talking to a certain young lady there and specifically asking for the last morning appointment in case I must wait for over 2 hours like last time (which was a morning appointment). They insist I must come in at 3:30 or wait until May. I elected to wait until May and set up an appointment for 4pm today. When I go home at lunch there is a message that my appointment is moved up to 3:15. What if I didn't go home to lunch? Well, I did so of course I called them back at 2:15 to inquire about the "real" time I would see the doctor. Seems he has been delayed in surgery, there are already 3 patients ahead of me and now it would be okay to arrive at 4pm. I suggested that it seems as though I might have to wait even if I come in at 4pm since they are so backed up and asked if the doctor would see me if I came a little after 4. No guarantees. Yeah I bet! Okay, I'm going there at 4. Now if I once again wait for over 2 hours, there is going to be one heck of an ornary patient... don't get in my way if I'm late for dinner.

P.S. This is all because my insurance once again denied an MRI.