Monday, April 14, 2014

If Mondays Were Shoes, They'd Be Crocs

Just for your information, I stole the title from a meme I saw.

I'm hoping this week is better than last. First of all, I was sick almost all week.

Getting old sucks. There I said it. It's true. While I'm doing significantly better than some other people my age, I'm finding as I get older, I'm not bouncing back as quickly as I would like. The worse I feel, the worse I sleep, which makes matters worse because I'm not resting so I'm not healing.

Last Sunday night, I slept like crap and dragged my ass around all day Monday. I thought for sure, being so tired, I'd sleep well Monday night, but I didn't, only sleeping about two hours total. Tuesday morning, even after coffee, I felt like I could barely function so I begged off on my volunteer shift at the Clothes Closet. By mid morning I was running a fever and by early afternoon, after a visit to the bathroom, I discovered I had a full-blown bladder infection. But luckily, since this has been a fairly common occurrence for me since I was about 10 years old, I have a nice stash of meds I keep around just in case.

I took two pills instead of one initially so I could try to get ahead of it. While the pain subsided quickly, my fever and physical stamina persisted. I think I only cooked dinner one night last week. Unheard of for me. I felt like I was in a sleep deprived stupor until late Thursday when I finally started to feel stronger and a little more normal, which some would argue is not necessarily a good thing.

Last night was my first really good night's sleep in over a week. I can't say I'm rarin' to tackle the week. I can say that I believe I'm going to make it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Winter Needs an Intervention

Just when I thought winter was pretty much over, it is currently snowing in the northern half of the state. I'm ready to fast forward to the part of the year where I bitch constantly about the heat.

Anyway, two things today. I guess it's three things because I already mentioned one and I have two more items on my bad mood, grumpy agenda today.

I'm really tired of surfing various news web pages and coming across yet another disgusting photo of Miley Cyrus with her tongue sticking out. Her mother needs to tell her to stop it. It's not attractive.

And the media needs to understand we are pretty disgusted by the whole thing and they need to stop enabling her.

Item number 3: I have this small little laptop/notebook, which by some miracle I am using at the moment. I call it a laptop/notebook because I don't even know the difference between the two which probably tells you something about my capacity to adapt.

I call her Sam simply because she is a Samsung product and I'm not very creative with names.

As I said, Sam is small and very lightweight. I bought her thinking I'd use her as my main computer, attached at the hip we would be, and I'd switch Tom from his old, dying desktop to my slightly younger, faster, but bigger, more cumbersome laptop. Currently, we are both using my older laptop and Sam has been banished to her bag for months. Why? I hate her. I was going to say it wasn't anything personal, but I'd be lying. She came with Windows 8, the most convoluted operating system Microsoft has ever developed. The learning curve for me for Windows 8 is like learning Spanish when I was in high school. Obviously it's a foreign language, but worse is that I didn't retain anything. I can say "gracias," "por favor," "Señor," "Señora," and "Señorita" without difficulty, but anything else might as well be Greek, a class I did not take in high school.

So it is with Sam and Windows 8. Navigating is simply painful. Menus aren't where they are supposed to be and when you can find what you're looking for, it's often incomplete or nonfunctional. The keyboard and mouse pad are overly sensitive and in one click I'm in the realm of the unknown and don't know how to get out.

The more time I spent with Sam, the more frustrated I became. Apparently, I am not alone. I read article after article, comment after comment, review after review slamming Windows 8. I no longer felt alone.

Then the news came that Microsoft was developing Windows 8.1. I decided to slip Sam into her case until it was released.

Finally yesterday I decided to give it a go. I took Sam out of the bag, plugged her into an outlet and hit the power button. So far so good. But it went down hill from there.

I won't bore you with the details. I've tried loading Windows 8.1 at least 6 times. I get an error message every time and "Try again!" I can't even get the Windows Update menu to load. After tweaking (oh, good god, I almost wrote twerking!) numerous settings, some of which also would not populate, I finally gave up. I'll try another day. Definitely not tomorrow. Probably not even next week. For today, Sam's getting unplugged, powered down, going back into her bag, in the dark where she can think about her bad behavior for awhile.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Go Home Winter. You're Drunk!

It's been a rough winter. Not just here in Arkansas, but all over the U.S.

We had some real unusual weather for central Arkansas last week. Thunder, ice and sleet. In March!

The roads were treacherous. I-40, the main interstate through Arkansas, was a parking lot for two days. The governor had to call on the National Guard to help trapped motorists.

I was lucky to capture these photos at all. It was probably the second time I ventured out of the house all winter.

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Okay. That was a bit of an exaggeration. I've been out. I've been to the grocery store a few times, the post office, volunteering at the Clothes Closet. But I haven't done much more. Mostly I've been hibernating in thick winter hiking socks, sweatpants, sweatshirt and long sleeve shirt underneath day dreaming about warm beaches and sunshine.

When I left the house Thursday morning, there was one last small patch of ice left in the shaded valley of the roof and by Friday afternoon not one ice patch remained.

Saturday was glorious. Sunshine, high 60's. Tom pulled the plants out of the garage and watered them well. We worked in the back yard a little and ate lunch on the patio for the first time since last fall. More of that kind of weather for the beginning of the week, then it's supposed to cool down a little, but no ice.

Hopefully, by the end of March we'll be able to roll the plants out of the garage and on to the back patio until next fall.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

No, Is The Answer

The question: Is it Spring yet?

First we got ice. The tree limbs have been so heavy with ice accumulation, they almost touch the ground.

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And a couple of days later, we got snow.

The pond is frozen solid several inches and the snow accumulated on top of it.

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Birds are walking through the light snow on the edge of the patio searching for shelter.

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More snow and ice is forecasted for Monday and Tuesday. I can't wait. {/sarcasm}

Monday, January 6, 2014

But Baby It's Cold Outside...

It was 11 degrees at 6:30 this morning. We're more fortunate than the folks living up north. I heard it was -27 degrees in one of the Dakotas. Dang. That is cold!

We came home early from our Christmas vacation. Had to cancel St. Augustine and South Carolina. I broke a tooth biting down on a stone crab claw shell the Monday night before Christmas day. Every dentist I called in the Bradenton area was only seeing "patients of record." For seven days, I chewed...very carefully...on the opposite side.

I have the distinct advantage of having a little experience with dentistry. I was dental assistant in my very early twenties with just enough residual knowledge to be dangerous. My mind went from best case scenario (a simple crown would restore the tooth to it's former self, approximately $1,000) to worst case scenario (the tooth would be beyond repair, would be extracted and I would need a bridge, upwards of $4,500). When I walked into the dentist's office the Monday after our return home, I had, of course, resigned myself to worst case scenario.

But, an hour and a half later, with a numb lip and a temporary crown in place, I paid for the best case scenario and that night happily chewed my food once again on the left side of my mouth.

With still a week left of our Christmas vacation, Tom decided not to go to back to work. Instead, he chose to work at home. He scraped the popcorn ceiling in the living room and painted it. He painted and installed crown molding around the newly painted ceiling. Then he installed the hardwood flooring that's been "acclimating" in the guest room closet for a year and a half. It looks beautiful.

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We'd work on the house most of the day, Tom scraping, painting and installing while I dusted, culled out and reorganized. Late afternoons we'd sit and watch the news, anticipating the approach of the "polar vortex." We'd left Florida and 80 degree weather, definitely our preference. Tom posed the idea first...

TOM: What if we spent three months in Florida next year? The coldest months - December, January and February. We could stay at that RV park across Cortez Road from Star Fish Company.

ME: I don't know. I hadn't thought about it at all.

TOM: Do you think you could live in the travel trailer that long?

ME: Yeah, because we would be outside almost all the time, except when it rains.

TOM: Do you think we could swing it financially?

ME: I think we might be able to if we shift some priorities.

So, that's the priority this year. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend several afternoons a week having lunch with a view while friends and family are back in Arkansas dealing with frigid temperatures and ice storms?

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Movin' On Out

We're leaving for Florida. First to Anna Maria Island, then after Christmas, we'll head to St. Augustine on the east side for a few days and finally, to visit our niece and nephew in South Carolina.

Tom is on his way to drop Joe off at the "spa" (wink, wink) where he will reside for the next two weeks.

I'm headed for the shower.

The trailer is packed and decorated for Christmas. I'll post photos of that later.

In the meantime, it's Friday folks. The weekend has, for all intents and purposes, begun and we're about slam into Christmas. Too late to put on the brakes.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Intuition ~ A Curse or Gift

According to, intuition is:

1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.
2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.
3. a keen and quick insight.
4. the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.
5. pure, untaught, noninferential knowledge.

I notice things. Little things that other people don't usually notice. I may notice one small thing strictly by accident which, by itself, has no special importance, meaning or relevance. But, then I'll come across one more thing, then another and wham! The whole picture falls into place. I can't remember a time when my intuition wasn't spot on.

For example, I have a very regular reader/lurker/stalker. What I should have said was my blog has a very regular reader/lurker/stalker.

At first, the reader visited only periodically and then stopped for awhile, but lately, over the last month or so, the reader visits nearly every single day, and yesterday searched at least three separate categories and clicked eight pages.

I guess I should feel grateful and honored that someone would find my writing so interesting, and I probably would if I didn't know the identity of the reader/lurker/stalker. But I do know the reader's identity and, coupled with several other seemingly random bits of other information, I know the reader's motive.

I know my amplified intuition developed in my childhood as a defense mechanism. I had to develop the ability in order to react to the instability and to help me determine whether I was in danger or safe. At some level being highly intuitive is a curse. Sometimes I would love to be blind to the small stuff, the whole ignorance-is-bliss thing. But most of the time I feel like it's a gift. It helps me see the bigger, broader picture and provides a closure of sorts. I can say, "Okay. That's what it's all about," then move on.