Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Be Warned - I am fired up today.

I am going to vent. Big time vent.
You have been warned!

Right now all over our local news is this pay freeze for 2 yrs for the federal employees here in DC and around the rest of the nation where federal employees may work.

I am so tired of seeing these people on the news whine and moan about not being able to get a raise. Hello? Have you heard about this recession? Have you not heard that there are thousands of people who have lost their jobs? They would gladly be in your position.

There was a man in his expensive suit standing in front of his big BMW
Oh no, not the cute little one like the 328i.
But the 750i that ranges in price from 82,500-89,400 base price and goes way up from there.
(I know this only because everyone around here drives one so I have looked this up- I drive an old 2007 Highlander.)

So this man on TV in his nice suit standing in front of his nice car is whining that he will not get a raise this year or next. . If he can afford this car he must be making some serious cash. He has a GREAT pension, medical and a job. A JOB. I know a lot of men and women who would just like to make a year what his car costs. Let’s say he makes $100,000. This year his raise was $1900.00. He makes more than that now in one week. It's probably a car payment. So over 52 weeks that comes to $36.54 a pay. That doesn’t even put gas in his fat car if my math is correct. That isn’t going to make him or break him. This next year it would only be 0.9% if it follows the 1990 law. That is mere pittance to this guy. So his whining just really fries my ass.

How many people watching this newscast are unemployed and would love to be in his shoes?
Then this woman was going on and on about taking a federal job for job security and annual raises etc. Really?
She had the same self entitled attitude that makes me want to slap themhard!

The average income (not household but singular) where I live has been reported to be 109,000. Now to some that is a lot. To others that is not much. But in a recession I think if you have a job making 109K or 30K you sure as hell should just be thanking your lucky stars you have a job, can buy groceries and keep a roof over your head. PERIOD.

C’mon let’s think big picture for minute. This took us 8 long painful years to get to this mess from our own greediness and letting those in control do things while we passively sat and turned our heads. Do you think it’s going to change overnight? Hell no. Do you think it will ever change when the powers that be only fight for their agenda’s and not ours? Hell no.

There are countries going bankrupt all over Europe. Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Iceland as well. This makes the Euro dwindle.
Now that affects our stock market and not in a good way. Things will probably not get better soon.
We are in melt down mode and people are whining that they aren’t getting their raises.
Whine when you can’t feed your kids, when you’ve lost your job, when you lose your home, when you can’t pay for health insurance. That allows you to whine a bit.

A friend pointed out to me that these people have contracts.
Who doesn’t that loses a job? I had one too and I lost my job.
Trust me they can find a legal way out of that contract each and every time.
I have seen it done several times in corporate America.

How about all those union airline employees who had to not only not receive raises that were stated in their contracts but they had to take pay CUTS.
They lost benefits. Having worked in the travel industry I have seen that time and time again. The airlines were always bailed out and the people who do all the work never got bailed out. The CEO’s got money from the government to restructure but when they were solid again the employees NEVER got their money or benefits back. Oh but the CEO and his cronies got their huge bonuses. 

I have a friend who worked for an airline who lost 35% of his pay over the years, benefits cut in half and they never ever made it up to him in anyway other than having a job.
That was 15 yrs ago. But he was thankful to have been able to keep the job he loved. So he believed them when they said they would make it right. He never whined. He wanted to do his share to help his company. They never did make it right.
Suck on that whiny federal employee. Think about someone other than yourself for a minute.

I want to tell that man whining on my tv to stop your bitching because those around you are hurting. You’d know that if you left your self consumed little world for a minute.
If you are so miserable give someone else your lousy job where you work less than the average American and get paid more than the average American.

There is a woman who owns a small company in Florida. Her company was feeling the recession and she realized that she had to begin layoffs to keep her company afloat. She instead fired herself. She couldn’t bear to lay any of her employees off because as she said, "My employees are the most trusted," she said. "They've been here for years. They've been loyal. They've been dedicated. It was just the right thing to do in my opinion"

This woman did not whine. She did not make promises she couldn’t keep.
Her employees are running her business and keeping it going and all can still feed their families. In the mean time this woman took a lower paying job as a social worker.
She is surprised at the passion she has found at this new job and truly feels that this being able to be done is a blessing. Imagine that, no whining but working hard and making a solution. I wish others could be this way. All working together for the big picture.

Instead we have whiny self entitlement issue plaguing our country.
That is what got us into this mess. When will we learn?.

Now to those of you who don’t agree with me. Oh well.
Don’t write me comments to try to change my mind.
This is my blog and my forum to vent. I did.
If you don’t agree – plesase just disagree on your own blog.

Back to the normal tone tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful

Reflecting on my Thanksgiving Holiday I will tell you what I am thankful for.
  • I am thankful that we got 5 days away.
  • I am thankful that it was quiet and relaxing.
  • I am thankful that I had the opportunity to catch up on long needed sleep. Why can I sleep so much better at the lake house?
  • I am thankful that we got 3/4 of our bathroom upstairs at the lake house finished.
It went from this -
and this -
To This -

And This -
This all started because we were given free tile so we used it on the floor.
I still need to do a 2nd coat on the walls and the frame around the mirror needs to be finished.  I couldn't wait to repaint from the horrid blue color. 
The rest won't get done until spring now but we got a good portion of the work completed and we were both so thankful.
The only thing in the room that is new is the sink and tile around the counter top.
Oh my hubby made the counter top as well.  Everything else was either free or we had or I just painted it to give it new life.

So that was my Thanksgiving.  I watched some PPV movies, drank some wine, was no where near family and had a delightful time!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

Since yesterday's post was a long one, I'll be brief today.
Leaving town tomorrow for the holiday.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and time off from work.
May all the goodies you eat this holiday cause you to lose 5 lbs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some Ghostly Stories.....since I brought it up last week.

I lived in a haunted house. There I said it.

My Aunt owned this home. She gave me a great break of only $250/month rent plus utilities. It was in a fine neighborhood and close to work for me. Why wouldn’t I take it?
The rent alone was a steal. I had just moved out of a place that my sister and I lived in together but she had just gotten married so I was for the first time living alone.
With rent costs like that I could do it. I had always had roommates so this was exciting to me to have this house and live alone for the first time.

It had 2 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, sunroom, a room off the living room that went up stairs to an attic type room. I used that room to store my holiday items and bikes etc. There was also a back deck and a real attic off the kitchen for the entire house.

I would go to work and come home and sometimes find things in different places or positions of how I left them. As I have said before I am anal retentive. I like everything in it’s place and I notice everything when it’s moved.

I came home one day and the photos on the top of my dining room buffet were all as I had left them except my one sister’s photo. It was faced down. I picked it up. This happened several times and I figured I just needed a new frame because of the thingy in the back not being able to prop the frame up. I bought a new frame and inserted my sister’s picture. A week or so later it was faced down again. None of the others were ever moved.

I came home to find the flowers in the middle of my dining room table moved a bit to the left. It felt creepy. I shouted something fearing someone was in my house. I called my Aunt and asked if she had been in the house. I told her I didn’t mind but I would prefer she let me know because I was scared. Normally when she has come into my home I can “smell” that she’s been in there, because the woman was never without a cigarette hanging from her mouth. She laughed and said she would never go in without telling me and I probably moved the flowers and didn’t even realize it or forgot. I wanted to believe her so I let it go. But I knew I had not moved them.

In my small hall bathroom the sink was very close to the hall door. I could brush my teeth and stick my left foot into the hall. That close. While brushing my teeth it always felt like someone was either behind me or walking down the hall. I felt it.


When it felt like someone was behind me I would lift my head up quickly and look in the mirror above me thinking I would see someone there. Never saw anyone. But oh how you could feel it. One day while my head was down in the sink brushing I felt like someone had walked by me in the hall. I felt that a lot too when showering. I lifted my head again quickly to look into the hall and of course there was no one. But I felt it all the time. When showering I would swear I’d hear footsteps down the hall and I would quickly snap back the shower curtain and of course no one was there.

I saw someone at the foot of my bed a couple of times. A man and a woman. Something woke me up and I sat upright quickly and screamed at them to leave me alone and they would dissipate. Now I’m awake with every light on in the house unable to fall back asleep.

The things that happened didn’t happen every day. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I didn’t notice them every day. I did over time notice that certain times of the year they were quite active.

A friend of mine was visiting and we were in the living room on a Friday night. We got together after work to just sit at my house and “chill”. We had a pizza delivered and we cracked open a bottle of wine and put on some music and were talking about our weeks. She was telling me about this guy she had just met and then stopped and said, “Those people who live upstairs sure are making a racket” To which I replied, “Connie I live on the top floor.” The color drained from her face. She said, “I always thought you were full of shit about this ghost stuff” She began to gather her stuff. She said, “Peggy I can’t stay this is freaking me out” It will stop in a couple of minutes. As I said that it indeed stopped. She said, “Ah, I’m going home” and she left. The noise did not start again.

She and I had always lived in apartments where someone did live above us. But not this time. My house was a flat. That is what they were called there anyway. Think of a duplex but instead of side by side it was on top of one another. My Aunt “lived” in the one below. I say “lived” because all of her things were there including her office which she worked out of but she was always at her friend Mary’s home and she slept there 99% of the time. This was before people were comfortable “coming out” We all knew but we left it alone.

I was indeed on the top floor. The noise was coming from the room off the living room where I stored my holiday items like Christmas lights etc. It sounded like people were throwing things down the stairs and running around.

I didn’t live there long before I was transferred out of town for a career move.
Rick was my friend who I had just met 2 weeks prior. He loved my apartment with all its windows and great light. Since his lease was running out he asked if my place had been rented yet. I told him no and my Aunt would be thrilled to have a man above her since she was a single lady. I just knew she would tell him it made her feel safer. I never once told him any of the things that I felt in my apartment. I didn’t know him well yet and I really didn’t want him to think I was crazy.
He could figure that out on his own later.

As expected my Aunt was thrilled that he wanted to move in and she didn’t have to go through the whole process of looking for someone. She did raise his rent to $275.00 which was a joke. Rick couldn’t believe his luck and told her he’d mow the lawn and take care of snow removal since she did that. So both parties were thrilled to be living there.

He moved in as I moved out and a month or so later he called me in Ohio and said, “What the hell is with this apartment?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean there are some strange things that go on here. Did any of this stuff happen to you?”

He began to share some stories – all of which I had experienced. We ended with the bathroom scenario of feeling like someone either was walking down the hall or behind you while brushing your teeth.

He worked a lot so he wasn’t there much. But when he was he felt something or saw something but it didn’t make him want to leave. He had just wished I had told him before I left. How do you tell someone you’ve just met – “Hey I think I live in a house with a few others….ya just can’t seem ‘em.” He would have run for the hills thinking I was a nut job.
(he learned that later on his own)

If you’ve been reading here for awhile you know that I ended up back there with him a few years later after my company was bought out and I lost my job. By this time my Aunt was full blown living at Mary’s but kept this house as her home for others to keep up the facade.
I didn’t tell a soul. I have known Mary since I was a wee little thing. Mary cooked and my Aunt didn’t she would say. My Aunt said she didn’t like being alone in the house so she just stayed at Mary’s. Sad that she felt she had to do that.
But the point was I no longer had anyone to blame for things missing, moved, or hearing footsteps etc. If she wasn’t here who the hell was making this noise? Or moving stuff?

The house was old but full of great charm. Big moldings and wood floors. Since I had been downsized at this point Rick and I had decided to stay to save some money before we moved on to buy something. (I had just started a business) So we stayed and so did our “guests”

Here are a few of things that have happened while we lived there.

• My youngest sister had had a fight with my parents. She was still in high school. She asked if she could come stay with us for a few days. I talked to my mom and dad unbeknownst to her and asked them if it would be okay. Of course it was and I kept them informed of what was going on. One day while in the shower she swore she heard someone walking down the hall (yep I know that one!) and she yelled out for either Rick or I. She thought we were both at work. When she got out of the shower she called me at work and asked if I was there and left. I said, “No why?” She said I will call Rick then. She asked Rick if he had come home and he said “No, why did you hear something?” She called me back and begged me to come get her to go home. She was completed freaked out. So she ran home and apologized to my parents and couldn’t wait to get to her room and be ALONE.

• One night when I was living with Rick the same thing happened to me as when I lived alone. I woke up and saw these 2 people at the foot of the bed. I could see them, describe their clothes yet see through them and not really see a face. I screamed at them to leave me alone and go towards the light. (someone told me to do that) I kept repeating, “LEAVE ME ALONE” They dissipated. But I woke Rick up who was now saying, “I’m not touching you!” Which is pretty damn funny now.

• We would get these horrific pockets of a smell. To me it was like rotting fish. It was so gross. It would be between the hall by the bathroom and into that entrance to the dining room. You could put your head in it and out of it. The smell was just foul. We were having a bunch of people over for dinner and the smell arrived. We never knew when it was going to be there. I was setting the table and bitching, “Oh yea now you show up when company is coming. Please give us a break and go away.” It would remain and then just before they arrived viola it was gone. This happened a lot. This would show up and be gone just like it arrived with no notice. It always varied in length but always smelled just horrible.

• One night I had a girlfriend visiting while Rick was out with his buddies. We were in the living talking and having a couple of cocktails. It was quite windy outside. My friend and I were sitting on the L shaped sofa facing the entertainment center watching something on television. To the left of the TV was a rocking chair in front of a window with draperies. All of a sudden the rocking chair moved forward as did the drapes and then slowly back in its position. As though someone had gotten up and the wind outside made the drapes move. She and I both saw it and freaked out. There was no way the wind outside had anything to do with this but I saw the look on my friends face. I immediately lied and said, “you know how bad these old windows are, look at us with blankets over us this house is old and drafty”. She didn’t buy it. She was uneasy after that and didn’t stay a lot longer.

• One day when my niece was about 3-4 years old I was taking her to the beach. It was cooler than I thought so after I picked her up I went back to my place to grab a jacket. I picked her up from her car seat and said we were going to go inside to get a jacket so I didn’t get cold. She said, I don’t want to go in your house. By this time we are inside the door and about to walk up the stairs. She grabbed me and asked to be held. She held both sides of my face in her chubby little hands and said, “Aunt Peggy I do not like those people who live with you.”

I got shivers. I told her no one lived with me but Rick. She said no those other people. I told her I would not let her down she could stay in my arms. So we went inside and I grabbed my coat. She said, “I can get down now because they are not here.” She continued to look around corners and I never said a thing. Wow. Out of the mouths of babes huh? That really creeped me out though. She had no prejudice on the topic. She had no preconceived notion of the topic. She floored me that day.

• We had this sticky stuff that would ooze from the bathroom walls and ceiling. It was sticky. It looked like honey. I asked my Aunt if there were bees in the attic and could an exterminator come and take a look. The exterminator found nothing. Rick and I decided to gut that bathroom. Since we were living there dirt cheap and it was helping us save for a house we decided as long as we were there let’s make it nice. So we had that bathroom down to the studs. We put in new lights, new drywall, fixtures etc and painted. We thought for sure that would stop whatever it was that oozed now. I mean we were down to studs, nothing was there. Some told us it was lead paint and that was the cause. If it were with all that was gone now it shouldn’t be an issue. Within the first week of using our new bathroom it was like that again. We just gave up. There was no explaining it. So I just was forever cleaning it up – even off the ceiling.

•  When we got to the dining and living room portion of the updating we ripped up the carpeting and found beautiful hardwoods that we refinished. They were gorgeous. But the paint on the walls were buckling and blistering. We decided to pay a professional painter to redo the paint in the dining room and the living room.

Within a couple of days it started to blister. The blisterings were big areas the size of a dinner plate all over. We called the painter back 3 times to fix and he would do it again. Finally he asked us quietly as though he didn’t want to say this too loudly, “do you have poltergeists?” We said, “We think so” which was the first time we admitted this out loud to anyone. He said that is the only time I have ever seen this happen. I can’t come back and fix this again for free. So when it blistered and buckled we left it.

• One glorious early summer evening Rick and I were sitting in our sun room on the sofa.
We had finished a bottle of wine and as sometimes would happen my hands began to swell. I took off my wedding band and tossed it on the coffee table. It spun around and fell onto the area rug. I didn’t grab it just then because Rick was making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He had already grabbed my hand and as got up I went from the sofa to get my ring and he said, “It’ll be there later” and off to our room we went.

First thing the next morning I went to get my ring. My ring was not there. I went crazy looking for it. He and I tore apart this room. We took out the area rug and shook it in the living room. We moved all the furniture and we removed all cushions and put our hands down all the corners and crevices of the chairs and sofa. No Ring. I was sick about this. I saw it land on the area rug and stop against the corner leg of the coffee table. Where did it go?

A year later Rick had to fix the chair in that room because a spring was popping through its seat. He took it apart and repaired the springs and put it back together again. Then when one of my sisters was moving out they were looking for hand me downs and I told her she could have Rick’s old furniture that we kept in the sunroom. I, of course, wanted to vacuum under the cushions and give it to her in the best way I could. As I went to lift the cushion there it was, my gold wedding band sitting right smack at the tip of the front of the chair. (across the room from the sofa)
Do you know how many times we looked there? For 1.5 years! When Rick took off the fabric and fixed the chair it wasn’t there. How did it get there? Rhetorical because there is no logic to this.

• One day at work someone had dropped off a copy of a book they wanted to be added to a gift basket for their friend. (I owned a cookie company) Their friends mom had just died. While this woman had sent flowers she wanted this basket of goodies along with the book to arrive a few weeks later while she would be out of town. She wanted to show her friend she was still thinking of her. She wanted something not depressing and a cookie basket with coffees etc was exactly what she had in mind.

I looked at the book after she left and thought it sounded fascinating. I really wanted to read it and yet I knew I couldn’t open and bend the binding and make it look like it had been read. But one afternoon I did it anyway. I barely opened it and I read it ever so carefully. It was about a cardiologist who didn’t believe in God. He also didn’t believe in an afterlife or a near death experience. Then as time went on so did the number of stories that he couldn’t explain. He had a blind patient who died on the table who they brought back to life. She would retell him the story of what was said and what she SAW. Yes a blind woman who laughed that they were all teasing the doctor about his blue and brown socks. How could she possibly know the color of the socks? It was only mentioned that he must have gotten dressed in the dark. Then it began with children. All spoke about a peace and such a warm feeling of immense love. Whatever you believe this book was a fascinating read. I finished it and told Rick I really want to read his 1st book. He came from a different point than most because he was such a non believer and I found it so interesting.

Fast forward 2 days. I wanted to make a quiche. But since moving in with Rick I put all my boxes at the very edge of the steps of the attic. The real attic. The attic that was off the back of the house. You went up the stairs and it opened on your right. There were nothing in there but a big chest at the end against the wall. I never went too far into this attic because like the basement I got the creeps. Unlike the basement this was not scary in the traditional sense like cobwebs and wires etc. It was a clean empty room. I put my boxes right on the edge by the steps so I wouldn’t have to go all the way. I faced the boxes with the contents written on it toward the step so I could grab things and run. And I mean RUN. So this day I went up to get my quiche dish in one of my boxes. I had just been up there a week or so ago and saw that box right at the top so it was going to be easy to get. As I got up there I found a book sitting on top of the box with the quiche dish. I picked it up and it was the 1st book of that cardiologist that I had wanted to read. It was from a library from a city I had never been. I ran so fast down the steps I twisted my ankle. I was screaming so Rick came running. I just threw the book at him because I couldn’t even speak. He looked at me and we both had no explanation. I wouldn’t go back up there to get my quiche dish or ever again for that matter.

I called everyone I knew. I asked my Aunt had she been to this city’s library and she laughed at me. She didn’t even like to read let alone go to this city to get a book. I still have that book by the way. A little girls photo is in the book. It looks like it was taken in the late 60’s or 70’s. I have no explanation for this at all.
I asked my Aunt for the 100th time about all the people who lived there. Only one was a non relative and it was a good friend of hers and she told me she would ask. Of course her friend called and told me it was not her book and she had never even been to this city before. Great, now how do I explain that one?

• And this one I’ll close with. We had an L shaped sofa. It was a snowy Saturday and Rick was taking a nap at one end of the sofa. I was knitting and watching TV way on the opposite end. I was sitting on the edge of the seat to be near the TV to hear it. I didn’t want it too loud due to him napping. He woke up and was stretching and I said, “Hey sleepyhead did you have a good nap?” Heat first smiled then coiled his legs up to his chest and he began to point at me and gasp for air. I didn’t know what the hell was happening. I thought he was having a heart attack. And then all of a sudden he said, “She was sitting right next to you! Didn’t you see her?” Now I was thinking he was dreaming or still sleeping. I went over to him and sat by him and asked if he was awake. Oh, he was awake alright. His first thought was, “why the hell wouldn’t you wake me if we have company?: But then when he looked at her and realized he could see through her she looked at him and smiled and Poof was gone. It all happened so quickly.  When I asked him about it he told me he saw an old woman bent over sitting smack dab next to me and she was also looking at the TV. 

So there ya go. I was never scared when living there which I know sounds crazy. Except one time and I'll save that for another time. And honestly I don't know why we weren't afraid of them. I know it sounds ridiculous.  I just found them sometimes annoying. They didn’t harm us. They didn’t bug us every day. One day when leaving I yelled, “Hey clean up the kitchen while I’m gone would ya?” And Rick laughed. There were so many more events.
Honestly, I never used to believe in any of this shit until I lived it.

Fast forward 19 years and we had just moved back east. We decided to rent a place for a year before we bought a house to be sure of where it was we wanted to live. We came home one Saturday afternoon after a day of errands and I ran into the house directly to the powder room.  As I sat there I noticed the towels were askew. I came out of the powder room and said to my husband – “the towels are askew – let’s call the landlord and see if he was here.” Of course Rick laughs at me. “I’m sure they were like that” he says.

“Hello Rick? Have you just met me? They were not uneven when we left, trust me on this. Or else something weird is happening again and I’m not going through this another time.”
So we called the landlord and sure enough he and his kids did a walk through without our permission.

So it wasn’t anyone I couldn’t see doing this thank goodness. Just a dufus of a landlord that I had to set straight.  That our lease states he can’t just come in willy nilly or at the very least leave us a note that he came by so I am not so freaked out!  He couldn’t believe I noticed something so 'minor' as he called it.  So being me, I had to tell him the other things too because deflecting and calling it minor pissed me off. I told him that his kids were with him and their dirty hand prints were on the front of the fridge and how someone sat on our bed, and you moved papers on our desk.  All of which he now admitted to. I know he thought I was certifiable!

I know I should probably use this skill set for good or work for the FBI because I truly notice everything. It’s a sickness, unless of course if I got paid for it.  I admit I was more uncomfortable with this nosey landlord than the people living with me that I couldn't see.
But I sure didn't want this to be happening again that was for sure.
We moved shortly thereafter.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cher

I saw Cher all week on TV because she is plugging her new movie, Burlesque.

I have been a fan of Cher’s since she had crooked teeth and a very different face.

Everyone would say things to her like, "Cher you’re 64 and you look so good."

She talks diet and exercise. It’s a load of crap. She has a whole new face.
Her lips are even different. Sure she may diet and exercise but she has not a single wrinkle or crease on her body. 35 year olds have more wrinkles and creases.

Granted her body looks good but do you think it’s because she never had lipo, her breasts done/lifted etc? If you do I have a bridge in Florida I would love to sell you.

I just wish one time someone would come on and say how fortunate they are to be able to afford to fix up what they don’t like and that is why she looks strange and not 64.
And she seriously looks strange to me now.  Maybe I wouldn't think so if I didn't remember her 1st face.

They showed a clip on one show with she and Sonny while holding Chastity.
She looked so much better then. Seriously. Your thoughts?
Before -
After
Still pretty but now she looks like Octomom.
Am I the only one who sees this?

I still love her. I love her ballsy attitude.  I love her voice.
I just wish she loved herself as much.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wegmans Happy Dance & Random Tid Bits

• I was at Wegmans last night. I LOVE Wegmans.
It is truly the best grocery store ever. Yes, a love affair with Wegmans a grocery store.
If one comes to your city - do not pass go - RUN there. I have always loved the store but since having to be gluten free it just makes my world so much easier. The company Udi's is the best thing ever. I could kiss these bakers. Their artisan style bread is so awesome. You can have a sandwich without having to toast the bread it's that damn good! The bagels are out of this world good!!! Their pizza shells, their cinnamon rolls. But most of all Wegmans carries all things that I can buy to make my own baked goods like different flours and pasta's and organic gluten free food galore.  Basically it just gives me choices and options which I have not had in a very long time. I did a happy dance down these 2 aisles! Seriously I found myself smiling and thinking people must think I am nuts. This fabulous store even carries gluten free Betty Crocker food items like Bisquick, GF Progresso soups along with cake and brownie mixes. Now I don't need those last few items in my life or for that matter I don’t need the bread or bagels either but it's nice to know they have them. So when everyone else is having Pumpkin pies and other pumpkin sweets that I can't have this Thanksgiving I will make my own goodies. I have a feeling these will be so good others will want some too even though they don't have to. Can you “feel” me smiling as I type this?


• I love TV but there aren't as many shows lately that are must see TV.
I really like The Big C. Terrific show and great acting. Laura Linney and Oliver Platt do effortless looking work. It's poignant, sad, funny and like life a bit messy. If you can get season 1 I would recommend it highly. But the season just ended this week and I'm sad.
I am also in the middle of In Treatment and as usual can't get enough of it.
I used to watch morning TV while running around the kitchen in the morning getting ready for our day. But GMA hired Elizabeth Hasselbeck. She is from Survivor and a twit. Diane Sawyer left. George Stephanopolous isn't tall enough to ride the roller coaster and I find it distracting when he stands next to Robin. He comes up to her nipples for heaven's sake. He's cute as a button and smart as a whip but I just find it distracting to watch them and they always put them side by side. I suggest they sit down but apparently that is not what they do on morning TV anymore. (on Today they not only stand but stand outside - why?) The new GMA program is less news and information these days and more Lindsay Lohen so I no longer watch GMA either.

• In June 2009 I got a 4 month old puppy. What I learned from this is that I have a gene that is mutated. I am a freak. I talk to my dog. Someone actually met Rick last night while he was walking Izzy. She said, “Oh I see your wife walking your dog during the day. She talks to him all the time.” And she chuckles. Oh good Lord now they think I am certifiable. So today when walking I was very conscious of talking to Izzy. Gee, I do it a lot more than I thought. I didn’t say anything after I realized I was talking. But just before we got to our home (about 45 minutes into this quiet walk) Izzy stopped and turned around and walked toward me and just sat, looking up at me. I think she thought I might not be on the other end of that leash because it was so quiet. That was funny to me.

• My husband sees dead people. Well we both have. He and I lived in a haunted house together once. Did I tell you those stories? Hmmmm……should I?
But today he was restoring a big old farm sink for a family who were renovating this old farm house that was built over 100 years ago. The woman told me they were restoring to it’s original splendor right on down to the oil lights in the kitchen. I asked, “you are doing indoor plumbing though aren’t you?” She laughed and said they were indeed having indoor plumbing. I realized listening to her be so excited over her 1800’s stain glass that I am a 21st century gal. I would prefer my recessed lights in the kitchen over oil lamps. Anyway, Rick got to her home today and he felt someone behind him. When he turned around he saw a woman at the bottom of the staircase and then poof she was gone. It only rattled him for a minute as it would to someone, but he’s been there before so as he walked into the kitchen he asked the woman, “Do you have ghosts?”

Oh my God did you see something?

Yes, I did.

Don’t tell me let me ask you…male or female?

Female.

Where?

At the foot of the staircase

How old?

Probably 60’s.

Can you describe her or her clothes?

Rick described her clothes and what he saw.

OH MY GOD. That is exactly what my husband has seen. Shit! Why can’t I see her?

So when Rick had to go back out to his truck some time later he called to tell me this. I am not surprised it’s just been awhile. Wild isn’t it?

Wish he’d see me picking up a big ole lottery ticket winnings!
Oh wait but that would make him psychic....whole other thing isn't it?  Damn!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Morning Radio with Howard Stern & Billy Joel

My huband has sirius radio in his work vehicle.
He listens to Howard Stern.
I find this my husbands only flaw.

But today he called me in my office to tell me to turn on Howard.
Before I could say anything he said, "Billy Joel is on playing songs on the piano all morning"
Okay that will make me turn on Howard Stern.
It felt wrong to turn on Howard.  It starts out fine but it ends up in an ugly place and I end up changing the channel and asking my husband, "what the hell is wrong with you?"
But c'mon it's Billy I had to turn the dial.
"Bless me father for I have sinned"
So I turned on Howard.  I'll shower later.

In the mean time I am happy as hell sitting at my desk listening to my man.
I have always loved Billy Joel.  Oh how I love Billy Joel.
I played his Piano Man album so much in the 70's that my hubby begged me to take it off the turntable and play something else.  ANYTHING else.
To you young folks, a turntable is something that was what we had to play our "records" on.
Not just to scratch them for hip hop....but to listen to them.

I have every album he has ever made including his greatest hits.
Okay Uptown Girl is lame but he's entitled to a few lemons.

Those friends of mine who know my love of Billy always ask, "What is your favorite song?"
I can't name one.  I just can't.  I think NY State of Mind, then I hear Shamless.  I think Shameless then I hear Honesty.  Too difficult.  Saw him in concert once and it is burned in my memory for some reason.  Still can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday but I can remember what I was wearing, what he was wearing, the conversation in between songs and who I went with and it was 1983!  Go figure that one. 

The crew on Howard Stern were asking about songs. 
How he wrote them, who they were about or what they were about, things like that.  Fascinating stuff if you love him like I do.
They had a baby grand in studio and had him playing and singing things off the cuff and songs they requested.  Songs he says he wrote for others were interesting stories.
He wrote a song in mind for Sting.  And after he plays it the way he thought Sting could do it - you "heard" how great this would have been for Sting.  But he needed a few more songs for his album and he ended up using it and it became a hit.

So for MY Tuesday pleasure I present you with Billy Joel songs.



C'mon you knew I'd pick this one.



I know most are thinking - who is this old dude? 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mrs. Scrooge

As I have mentioned every year I very much dislike Christmas.
Wait for it....... (to quote Barney Stinson)
Yep I heard you all scream in disgust.

It's that time of year where we are all bombarded with ads, store decorations and holiday music everywhere outside your home. You can't avoid it.  My Starbucks looks like a Christmas Card.  Isn't the owner Jewish?  Couldn't he help me with this?  Jeez.
My grocery store this weekend looked like all the elf's had a hand in decorating our store as well as all that Christmas Muzak that was being played.

You see I know it's not considered "normal" to dislike this holiday if you were born Christian.
But I do.
I hate the stress of it!
I hate the Martha Stewart part of it!
I hate the whole damn ball of pine needles that need to be swept up constantly and that one that always misses the vacuum and finds my foot right through my sock to make me scream like a banshee.
I hate fake trees.
I hate pulling all this stuff out to decorate and then have to hall it all away!

I do however love, love, love Paula Deen's Mama's eggnog! 
Oh my that can make me sing Christmas Carols. (and surprise I don't like them either)
That eggnog can make the biggest scrooge like me wear red and green and decorate to make Martha proud.

I do believe if I had kids it would be different.  Seeing their excitement and joy is contagious.
That always makes one smile.  I used to love seeing my nieces and nephews at the holidays because they were pure joy. But there are no little ones right now in my life.
So we are Mr. & Mrs. Scrooge here at our home.

In the old days (when I had my corporate job) we liked to run away at Christmas.
Maybe Jamaica or somewhere warm.
But we are poor now and there are no trips so we have to be here in Christmas hell.

The neighborhood, a.k.a Stepfordville, is awash in holiday activities and decorations. 
God forbid you don't decorate your home. You will hear about it. Lest you not partake they ask you why?  WTH? It's none of your business.
As I mentioned to you all a few years ago I got so much grief one year from neighbors about not decorating outside I thought of buying a menorah for the window so that people would leave me alone.

I have no excuse now like, "Oh I travel so much for work I just don't have time."
Now I work from home. 
I can blog on my lunch break so why not get my fat ass outside to put up all the Christmas "cheer."

I want to like this holiday.
I used to as a younger person.
Loved a real tree, now a real tree means a mess to me.
I now find it a 6 week period of obligations to family, friends, strangers and beyond.
The baking, the money, the people, the "have to" mentality.
I am not baking because I want to but because I have to.
I am not giving because I want to but because I have to.
I don't mean my loved ones. I mean like your hairdresser, the mailman, the dog sitter etc.
My paper person actually sent an envelope with our bill last year so I could put his/her Christmas gift inside. I found that rude and had no intentions of giving him/her a gift and now I was felling like a shit because of it.
I find it stressful and honestly if I could go to sleep now until January 3rd I would be thrilled by that opportunity.

So I have made a pledge to really try to suck it up and make this a happy holiday time.
I realize that money isn't what it used to be in our home so I can't give everyone that gives me an envelope money so they will have to deal with it.  If it means my paper is wet or ruined so be it.  If my hairdresser doesn't color my hair well that's okay because I only see her now a couple times a year and the rest of the time I do it myself to save the money.

I still don't think we will be doing a real tree this year or caroling.
Hey, I'm taking baby steps.

Although I must admit in my very early 30's I went caroling with my cousins as we all pulled a sled of booze to keep us happy, warm and not shy of singing our little hearts out.

Okay I am going to start a new tradition.
I will begin drinking the Paula Deen's Mama's Eggnog starting this month.
It may help.....you just never know!
Cheers!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

I hate daylight savings time.  Do you enjoy this time change?
I don't hate it just because you lose an hour of sleep as they say....no it's worse than that.

I hate that it is now dark so damn early.
I get downstairs after work and it's already dark out. 
Haven't even started dinner and it's like it's 10pm.
I hate that my internal clock is awake an hour earlier and wants to go to bed an hour earlier.
I really hate that my dog who is so incredibly ruled by her internal clock on everything that she wants to eat dinner starting at 4pm. 
She wants to go to sleep at 8pm.
She wants to get up at 3:3oam - 4a.m.
She also wants to eat breakfast by 5a.m.
To you dog people - try keeping food from a Labrador. Jeez.

So I have been starving her an extra hour or two. 
Big sad eyes begging me for food.
A doggie chin on my thigh looking up at me like I'm the meanest woman ever by starving this cute face.
I won't let her fall asleep either when she begins to crash at 8pm (mean mommy!)
I thought if I kept her up she would be so tired she wouldn't be up so damn early.
Didn't work, no matter what I do she is up between 3:30 and 4:00AM.
Her internal clock says, "I've got to poop at this time woman, get out of bed! And while I'm up you might as well feed me. I am going to stand by my bowl and lick the empty thing until you feel so badly you'll end up giving me food.  I have the stamina old woman....you do not."

I want it to stop!
We humans are dragging and don't get naps during the day like she does.

Honestly I think Arizona has the right idea.  They don't change ever.
Always the same time there. Lucky them.
I don't like the desert or I'd move.
I hope a state in the north east has the cogliones to change their state law so I can move there.

I don't get why we do this anymore.  The majority of the country are not farmers.
Isn't that why it was started? How is this saving anything?  Certainly not our sanity.
I began to research and found that there are all kinds of reasons this law was inacted as well as a myriad of things that benefit from it like crime, car accidents etc. 
However it does not benefit me, my husband or my canine!

And c'mon it's all about me!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mean Mommies

I am not a Mom so I don't get all these Mean Mommy stories I read about.
I am thankful I have not had to experience this shit.
I have noticed that it does appear to occur more in certain parts of the country.
I find that interesting yet at the same time that especially doesn't surprise me. 
Just saddens me.

I get the bullying in a different way with not having children.
I wrote awhile back about how women treat me sometimes because I don't have children.
I have never understood why that would bug someone else.
I'm not bugged if you chose to have children.  I love kids.  Just not my own.
I mean to tell you I got enough grief from my father about it so everyone can be assured I have received enough guilt, ridicule and damnation so you too do not need to lecture me more.

But the whole bullying thing is over the top.
Are women so miserable and feel so badly about themselves that they must make others feel badly?  Are they so insecure that they need to make others feel left out of the "gang"?
More importantly what does behaving like this do for them? And what is that behavior teaching their young ones?  That bad behavior is seen, felt and heard no matter what that mommy thinks!

So let's count.
Mommy's ridicule how other mom's raise their kids, dress their kids, school their kids and feed their kids and discipline their kids.  And these same Mom's give me, a part of a couple who chose not to have children, mean remarks, pity and my personal favorite, making it a point to ignore me and to be sure I see it.

I love this woman.  I love how she gets it. Her words are perfect here.
I love how she allowed her kid to do what he wanted because it didn't hurt anyone.
I love that he will grow up with such terrific parents.
I hate that at his young age he is already learning how shitty most people can be.

My 18 yr old nephew is a strapping 6'3" young man. 
He and his Grandpa always have a good laugh when looking at the pictures on his Grandpa's wall of he in a pink leotard with a boa and a tutu playing with his sister and cousins.
He grew up with a sister and 3 girl cousins.
His grandmother watched each of them every day after school until their mom's picked them up after work.
This young boy was 4 or 5 and all his cousins and his sister were always playing dress up.
He wanted to be able to wear the tutu and leotards like they did. He even wanted some of the sparkles on that they wore.
So his grandmother let him.
They put on a show. His grandmother laughed hysterically.
Then Grandpa came home and said to Grandma, "you can't let him prance around in a pink leotard and tutu for heaven's sake.  Are those sparkles on him? Oh for Pete's sake!"
She said there was nothing wrong with it!  He is surround by girls and he wants to play too.
He was not going to be gay.  Grandpa was not happy!

So now that this 18yr old boy is 1 foot taller than his grandpa they laugh at those pictures on the wall. This young man is heterosexual and finds it hysterical to hear that his grandfather thought what he wore would make him gay.  He thinks Grandpa is funny.
How wonderful that he gets it and all those horrible women and this school didn't get it.

Why do women do this?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Fun of Aging

You know how I bitch about getting older?

Well I’m at it again.
To those out there younger than me – and who isn’t? – trust me this is helpful.
Jot ‘em down.
No one told us any of this shit when I was growing up.
You were taught about your menstrual cycle or as my mom called it the Curse
You were taught where babies come from. End of story.
Anything else you were left in the dark to learn by trial and error and on your own.

Take Your Hormones
I believe that if most of my friends began bio-identical hormones in their 40’s they would have saved themselves depression, pain, anger, brain fog and a plethora of other things. Don’t wait until you are full blow menopausal. Peri-meno is time! Get a great doctor and talk about this. The women I have discussed this with who have done it in their 40’s are sleeping better, feeling better, not as anxious, feeling sexy again, less cranky etc. Why wouldn’t you want to use them? To me it’s like saying, “Yes I have debilitating cramps monthly but I don’t want anything to make it better.”  So good to be balanced!

Hair
Hair on your body becomes more stubborn and changes big time.
I have much less hair on my legs now and frankly I don’t mind this at all.
It’s soft and fine like baby hair not course or prickly or even dark anymore.
But the ones that show up under my chin have got to go!
Remember that lunch lady with the chin hairs and you’d think why the hell doesn’t she take care of that.
I’ll tell you why – SHE CAN’T SEE THEM.

Eye Sight
You know about reading glasses or bifocals but what is most important is your mirror.
Invest in a magnifying mirror.
You will not regret this investment when you are over 40.
I recall at 41 years old I was at a work conference in Denver.
We all met for a breakfast meeting the first morning after arrival.
Everyone was talking about their evening and their rooms etc.
Someone loudly began to ask, “Who the hell uses these 10x magnifying mirrors in these bathroom they are dreadful!?” Then the jokes started.
I was the only one who admitted to liking it (I was now wearing reading glasses) because I thought it was helpful.
Time has passed and now I admit that I can’t put on my makeup without it – it is no longer helpful, it is necessary damn it.
If I don’t have that mirror I will look like a clown.
Maybe that was Tammie Faye’s issue. She just needed a good mirror.
Lunch lady too.

Gravity
We all know about gravity.
You gals with little boobs thank whomever you believe in that you do.
Because the bigger they are the harder they fall.
I now have to put mine in my pockets.
What is that lump on the back of my thighs you ask?...Why it’s my ass.
I no longer like gravity. My jowls are trying to take over the real estate my breasts used to have. Maybe this is why you lose your eyesight – so you can’t see the mess you have become.
I recall the actual day my girls fell.  They were big but still pert at 41.
My hubby is a boob man.  As he and Seinfeld like to say, "why would I be a leg man I have legs."
My hubby and I were getting undressed for bed and I took the girls out of my bra and they literally fell. (He was across the bed facing me. )
I looked down and looked up and before I could say a thing he says, "Oh my God I remember when your nipples looked at me and not at my feet"
He apparently saw the look on my face and then begins to walk towards me with his hands out like he is about to grope me. 
"You are not touching the girls after that remark you ass."
Poor things have never gotten up again....without help.

Hair color
Even if I had my original hair color I bet it would be much less shiny and pretty than it was because really if everything else has broken down why would it want to hang around with all these old parts? I color and color and hate it and hate it.
But now the gray hairs in the furnace are really weird.
Do you know they have genital hair color? I so did not!
But while shopping for hair color for my head I saw “Betty Beauty for the hair color down there. Get your Betty Ready!”   Betty ready?  Oh my God.
I thought I hadn’t read it correctly so I picked up the box and sure enough that is what I read. What I found a hoot is that I could color my coochie pop hair pink, red, an array of colors. Just think of the options here. Red & Green for Christmas.  Maybe lavender for Easter. Highlights for summer. 
No need to go with that pesky task of trying to match the carpet with the drapes.
Bottom line a gray hair will appear there ladies and it is just the beginning.

Memory
What memory? I remember shit.
They say when you are menopausal the first thing to go are nouns.
This happens a lot in pregnancy as most know. 
However I seem to not remember anything these days.
You see there is a thing called a brain fog. (It happens with thyroid issues as well.)
But those are hormones and hormone controller’s too so it’s all connected.
So you can’t remember where the hell your keys are but by God you can still remember that your husband said such and such back in 1989 and it still pisses you off.
So it’s slow is what I am trying to say.
Brain fog is not like dementia, it’s just a brain fog.
You can’t remember things like you could before. It really sucks and no matter how much I work at puzzles and other brain games to keep it sharp it still seems to be a thing that happens and honestly I don’t much care for it.
There are days that I can’t remember if I have talked about something on the blog before.
I then literally will spend hours in archives so I am not repeating. Jeez.
So you have been warned.

Hearing
This is so cliché that it bugs me.
My father used to tell me that I would lose my hearing when I would put on my head phones and crank up my rock music so loud he could hear it too.
He was convinced this was my fate.
When I took sign language classes he told me good thing because I would need them some day. I would laugh and wave my hand at him in playful disgust.
When he got a hearing aid at 82 I asked if it was all that Led Zepplin he was listening to.
He called me a smart ass and told me to “just wait”
I guess the time has come. I can’t hear shit. I am scared actually about this.
I swear they are speaking lower on Grey’s Anatomy than any other show – I have such a hard time hearing that show.
My favorite show, In Treatment, is a double whammy for me.
The lead actor speaks low as well as having an accent.
I know I have the tv on very loud when I watch this but it’s the only way I can make out what he is saying.
Then there is my microwave.  My microwave has two beeps.
One type of beep is when something is done.
The other beep is when I set the timer and it goes off. I can hear the first beep.
The timer beep I can not hear – unless I am standing right there in front of it.
We do have some funny things happen around here since I can’t hear shit.
But most of the time it's just damn annoying.

Your male partner
Your man will go through all of this stuff too (including hormones, hair issues, hearing and memory) and they are in such denial about it all.
They have gravity – yep, their balls will fall.
That was such a big surprise to my husband that he asked his doctor.
His doctor laughed his ass off. But who knew?
Now Rick explains that is why my Uncle Bob sits so slowly, his balls are probably really low by now and he doesn’t want to sit on ‘em. That makes me laugh. Because he is probably correct.

For our friends 40th birthday party Rick wrote him a poem called Low Hanging Fruit. Our friend refused to believe this happens. He thought Rick was just being funny.
He’s over 42 now and he sadly knows that it does indeed happen and he's seen it for himself.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Colder Weather Habits

The colder weather brings the want of cold weather food in our house. 
With the exception of my husbands need to eat watermelon and cantaloupes all season.
And he sure tries.  Boy does he try.
He brought home some from Costco last week that were from South America.
He expects them to be delicious and we all know how this is going to turn out now don't we? 
He is not happy and generally surprised that his watermelon isn't Grade A awesome. 
Duh.  The man will eat fruit 24/7. 
If there is an empty fruit bowl or close to empty on our kitchen island he thinks the world is coming to an end.  "We Need Fruit! he will yell like it's Armageddon.
Me?  Not so much.  I like blueberry's only in my muffins.  I love summer fruit and berries but honestly I don't get that excited for an apple and I really don't care for pears.  I only like white seedless grapes because they are a bit tart.

I got Rick a Fruit of the Month club one year when I had a money making job.
He still talks about it.  I found it obscenely expensive but I knew how excited he would be getting that in the mail every month so I sprung for it.  He truly would start talking about the next month after 2 weeks. "Oh do you know what I'm getting?"  "Oh I hope it's those bosc pears."   Honestly a man who gets a chummer from fruit just makes me laugh.
But then I think about if Godiva sent me a chocolate of the month I may be damp too.

The cold weather made me want to make stew.  Damn it was good if I do say so myself.
 Rick having two bowls is a sure sign it was good too. That and the moaning he does when something is yummy to him.
I love a good warm hearty stew. I had a leftover bowl for lunch yesterday.  Yummy.
I do love cold weather food. Pure comfort food.  Guess that is why most folks gain weight in the winter.  The food tends to be heavier.  Chili's and Stews and Soups and warm casseroles.  Hmmm.....I have to stop 'cause I'm getting hungry.

The other good thing about the cold weather is shaving....or I should say not shaving.
I hate shaving my legs.  I have very fine leg hair but I still shave every day in the summer. 
My husband can't even feel it when I haven't shaved for a week and he finds it soft and funny that I freak out about it all.  So I do admit to not shaving every day like I do in the summer.
It's freeing to let it go for awhile longer.  Thank goodness for black tights and pants.

Of course there is that thing about winter clothes.  I love winter clothes.
I love the colors, the fabrics, the sweaters, the boots!!  Oh my.
There is something about those boots vs. a pair of flip flops that wins me over every time.

One of my other favorite things is curling up on the sofa or a big comfy chair in the winter months with a good book and hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.  Mmmm.....a warm peppermint patty. 

What do you like about the cold weather if you live in such a climate?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day and Other Random Important Things

FINALLY!  It's election day and we can finally rid ourselves of these awful commercials!
That alone is reason enough to vote.

This was halloween at our house Sunday night. Iz sits and watches all the comings and goings and doesn't move. She is quite entertained by all the sights and sounds. 
Didn't get as many children this year so we have a boat load of full size snickers and reeses p.b.cups. Thankfully I do not like either which is why I bought them. Rick will be eating these all year now. The kids were great. Cute, polite and funny. There was one kid that was a bit forward but his brother took care of it so quickly that it made me laugh. (I just couldn't let them see it.)

There were 5 or 6 boys all together.  All of varying ages.  The smaller ones were up front when they came to the door. The youngest one says very loudly, "Whoa, full size bars can I have two?"
Before I could say anything the big brother in the back came forward and said, "You don't ask that! What would Mom say to you...jeez that is so rude Justin?"
"Ah I'm sorry?"
"Tell this person not me."
Looking down at his bag he mutters, "I'm sorry"
"Thank you" was all I could say.  I was going to tell him he could have one of each but after his brother did all that I felt like I just couldn't very well undermine the big brothers discipline. The big brother was all of 11 and said he was sorry to me too.
I just thought it was cute as hell.

Did any of you see Portia De Rossi on Oprah yesterday? 
I really was moved by it.  It moved me in a lot of ways and levels.
I just wanted to hug her.  The depth of her pain was killing me.
I have Oprah's last season on DVR so then while making dinner I can watch  the show.
I was chopping veggies for stew and I had to keep wiping my eyes.
I am surprised I still have 10 digits because at points I couldn't see what I was cutting through all my tears for her.
What did you all think?  Was it just me?