Friday, October 31, 2008


It's amazing how things add up. Some things aren't all that suprizing (I can't spell surprising with an 's' - it just LOOKS wrong - it's like colour and brooke); one small bowl of ice cream leads to a bigger bowl of ice cream, which (in my case, at least) leads to eating any entire container of chocolate mint.

But 30 minutes on the elliptical doesn't lead me, at least, to 40 minutes. I have to push myself... or at least load ten more good songs onto my iPod that keep me from noticing the time. Or a real interesting guy in front of me lifting weights. Which doesn't happen very often.

However, tonight, I was amazed. We (Bill and I) added four boards. Just four boards.
And MAN, is it beginning to LOOK like an actual BUILDING.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I am SOOO proud of myself tonight - I put the rest of the roof supports in tonight, AND I put in a window.

Well, if you put the word 'put' in the loosest possible meaning of the word. A more appropriate word might be 'slammedintoplaceandbeingheldtogetherbythreelittle

But the major triangular wood section (see if you can find THAT section in Home Depot) that has been sitting by this uncompleted shed for what, three years, has been PUT UP. It was a major balancing act that I have been dreading and putting off for (obviously, for years).

And guess what? Leaving it out in the rain and cold and hot and bright sunshine warped it JUST PERFECT to perch (precariously, I admit) while I clumsily screwed it in ("That's Why She Said!") at completely random places that looked maybe like would help hold it together.

And for those of you have a short-term memory time of over three sections, the PFRPTYOS title? It stands for "Projects For The Past Year Or So."

Monday, October 27, 2008


Inspired by my recent observation of some 'real' carpentry on the horse shed, and taking advantage of the perfect weather this afternoon (low 70's, nice breeze, clear skies), I put on my gloves, stuck a hammer in my belt, and headed out to the ole half-complete hay shed this afternoon.

And proceeded to imitate an old Three Stooge's routine, being Larry, Moe and Curly all at once, in addition to being the laughing audience. I dropped things on my head, I lost more screws than I screwed in, I did and un-did and re-did and then un-dided more times than I would care to admit.

But I did keep laughing at myself. I mean, it was that or begin crying and/or give up completely. But since I kept laughing, I got the roof frame UP, and (if all my fantasies come true... no, not that one about John Krasinski) this ##()@)!* roof might actually be ON the hay shed.

Within the next two years, of course.

And I'm REALLY lucky, maybe I can get this guy to help me.


I was prompted by this Operation Nice assignment, but am going to try to go beyond the 'regulars' (family, friends, etc.):

- I love my postal carrier for her wonderful attitude about holding my mail, forwarding my mail, all the different names that through the years have been added to and taken from our house. She is always smiling when I see her, remembers my name, and has worked six day weeks for a long, long time.

- I love people who stop and read my truck. For those of you who don't know me (yeah, right - I mean, who else reads this blog besides Harmony and Jen?!), my little white pickup is covered from top to bottom and front to back with bumper 'statements.' And somehow a lot of people are somehow embarrassed to be caught reading one of the 138 that I have (so far) and will turn away quickly when I notice them. So I love the people who keep ON reading, say "What a cool idea!" etc. I especially love the people who are driving behind me, reading the stickers, and moving their lips as they do it.

- I love my mother-in-law. She is taking in her grand-daughter and great-grandson in to live with her indefinitely. Long story there (which I don't care to repeat), but she is doing this without a second thought. She is also having to move 53 years of accumulated junk from the upstairs two bedrooms to the downstairs storage area (and throwing out 75% of it in the process).

- I love my bishop and stake president both. They both work demanding jobs, come home, gulp dinner, and then spend their evenings helping all of us whining, griping and childish church members. And they do it without complaining or losing their tempers or just getting fed up with people who desperately want help but refuse to follow the most basic counsel (i.e. pray, read the scriptures, attend church). I love their smiles and cheerful attitude, all the more because they are genuine.

- I love all the people at my pharmacy. Granted, I have two unusual names (first and last), so maybe I shouldn't give them much credit for remembering my name, but they remember ME. And are STILL nice to me every time.

So - who do you love?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I hate having a cold. It becomes a significant issue how far away a tissue box is - my nose gets red and sore - I run out of breath walking from the kitchen to the sofa (translate that into getting something to drink and watching old movies all day). I fall asleep at odd times and in odd place (I actually dozed off sitting on the toilet), and yet can't sleep for any beneficial amount of time - last night was completely broken up into negligible naps that left no sense of actual rest.

And for me there is a certain amount of panic along with any cold. I have had what they call 'recurring pneumonia' (why can't I have recurring good skin? Or recurring good hair days?). My lungs are a third of the size of normal lungs, and are not very strong. Once they get any fluid in them (which is what pneumonia is), they have a lot of trouble getting rid of it.

It also hasn't helped that along the way, I was over-treated with penicillin when I was a child (allergic to that now) and mis-treated with a sulfa drug (allergic reaction plus destroying all those good white-blood cells for a while) - when I do get sick, there's not a whole lot left.

So here is what needs to happen. I need to be someplace both warm and dry (hey, that's why I live in Arizona!), I need to be house that is clean (hmm... difficult there unless I kept an immaculate house all the time... which I obviously don't), I need to have someone warm and responsive nearby at all times (I got that already -- Murray!), and I need a lot of fluids.

Aye, there's the rub.

See, when I think, hmm, I need fluids - well, of course we begin with Caffeine-Free Diet Dr. Pepper, which I have about six cases of. So that will last, what, a couple of hours?

So who is willing to come over and make me mint-touched hot chocolate with half-melted marshmallows - or hot Tang (which sounds weird, but it's GREAT) - or perhaps a double chocolate milk-shake from Cold Stone Creamery?

Any takers?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So many things seem incredibly difficult until you actually do it yourself. I was discussing tutu making with 'someone' today, and she shared how some people hold tutu making to be an extremely exotic and specialized skill.

It is amusing to hear, for instance, a banker talk fluently about interest rates and mortgages and investments, and have them not understand why the rest of us listen with glazed eyes and blank expressions. And to someone who has worked with construction, 2x4s, nail weights and chain saw measurements, the intimidation many feel about building something more complicated than a Lincoln Log cabin is a mystery.

So each time I see someone effortlessly construct an edifice, I think, "I could do that."

This weekend, a friend of my husband's, who is currently unemployed (the dangers of being a contractor - you can be out of a job very unexpectedly and extremely quickly) spend Saturday morning with us putting up the final part of the roof for a shelter for my horses. And he did it with such ease and confidence.

So I arose once again (this happens about every other month, and has for the past year or two or three) and began with the intent of (finally) finishing the hay storage shed that I began... oh, two or three years ago. It is a reassuring point that the three walls and floor have survived this long, standing alone, and having only a (frequently replaced) tarp for a cover.

But each time I (again) begin the roof....

I do understand that the main item stopping me is pride. It was difficult enough to build a 10' by 10' shed with no more assistant than the close eye of two horses and two dogs, and each time I realize that I am going to have to ask someone to help me hoist up the roof, I falter at the idea.

Besides, who can I ask?

My husband has a worse back than I do; my closest neighbor is dying of cancer and my husband is already convinced that her husband has an attraction to me (this isn't unusual - he thinks every male in the world must be longing after me - it's either a compliment or simply what jealously does to an already paranoid personality); and every one I have actually spoken to about hiring to help me finish this either begs off, thinks that it's simply too small a job to consider, and/or takes the money and runs (I lost $750 four years ago trusting someone by paying 75% in advance - he disappeared shortly after receiving the cash).

Any suggestions, or should I just resign myself to a tarp for a roof?

Friday, October 24, 2008


I completely forgot about THIS photo - this is me getting sucked into playing Guitar Hero late at night by my son-in-law.


(My idea of a subtle hint)


I occasionally look at Blogger's "Blogs Of Note," and have been more than a little disappointed lately with their choices. Most (i.e. all) are commercial sites and although the writing about products may be eloquent, it's still not incredibly inspiring.

However, (could you see this coming) Blogger 'noted' a wonderful blog of a teacher who is an interesting writer who also selects interesting topics. I especially enjoyed reading about Mr. Robinson, her postman.

Check it out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I hate CNN. I especially hate Wolf Blitzer. Don't take it personally, Wolf, it's simply because you were the face constantly on the television screen during the 'first' Gulf War (which frighteningly brings up the thought, so will there be a 'third" Gulf War, a 'fourth' ...).

And, if anyone remembers back that far, we didn't quite know what we were getting into when Saddam Hussein decided he wanted the beach-front property advertised by Kuwait (something like that). No one had a crystal ball to show that it really would just be six days of actually suspense - everything after that was just clean-up. And no one could tell you if the rumors of Iraq having / using nuclear weapons and other BIG BANG type stuff were true or not - would there suddenly be a mushroom-cloud over the Middle East?

So Laurel and I, whose husbands were partners over there in Saudi Arabia at the start, were GLUED to the CNN channel for those first six days. And more than a little nervous about what was gonna happen.

Wolf, really, you're okay, I just have this association of your face and major stomach upset. Maybe you should think about taking a second job doing Pepto Bismol commercials.

Okay, on with the story.

At my gym is the traditional line of television screens in front of all the treadmills, elliptical, stair-masters, etc. so at the same time you are burning calories, you can also destroy brain cells. Normally you get to watch ESPN, soap operas, and sometimes TV Land's Leave It To Beaver.

But today? CNN. And not just regular CNN, but live, at-the-moment video coverage of somewhere-in-Kentucky in-a-college-building someone-seems-to-be-shooting-a-weapon. "We are here, the campus is in lock-down, and we are talking to *#^#$)%, a student, who's room-mate's fellow cafeteria worker's sister actually HEARD shots being fired in *#&$&*% Hall."

Okay, I have a son in college. It's not Kentucky, and I'm pretty certain that his college was not in lock-down at the moment, but I do NOT want to watch this morbid we-will-be-right-here-when-they-begin-to-begin-to-bring-the-bodies-out.

So I got the remote control, asked permission of the two other gym members who had any possible view of this particular television screen, and changed the station to something with Julia Roberts.

Only to discover that Julia Roberts was starring in "Sleeping With The Enemy." Which to me, is a REALLY creepy movie.
She plays a wife who has her life being completely controlled by her obsessive-abusive husband. She fakes drowning, runs away, and begins a new life in some wonderful home-town in Iowa (imagine town designed by someone from Pacific Palisades, and a unemployed run-away single female being able to rent a huge, beautiful farm house right on Main Street - not incredibly realistic, but very pretty, of course).
And of course meanie Mr. Husband discovers her discarded wedding ring, tracks her down, and tried to kill everyone in the state of Iowa (well, almost).

I exercise for my health, and to de-stress (though arguably at this moment I have the least possible amount of stress of life EVER in my entire life). I don't need to be reminded living with threats of bodily harm to those I love. unless I 'cooperated.'
I left, showered, and went and spent all my spare change at Staples on pretty individual magnets, brightly colored Post-It notes, and my favorite type of pen.

Therapy completed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I am a complete wimp about any temperature lower than 82 degrees Fahrenheit. I am a Southern Californian by birth, a Hawaiian by adoption, and a big, big baby about dealing with any type of weather that might be perceived as cold. I like snow, fall can be beautiful, but I just want to watch it from the window of a nice warm house while I am wrapped in a quilt, sitting on the sofa, drinking hot chocolate (and watching a good movie).

If I could deal with winter, we'd be living in Montana or Wyoming, the two most beautiful states I know of... that are affordable (sorry, Oahu).

So somebody please help me understand something. Tonight is supposed to get down in the 40's. I admit that is a little bit cold. But it ain't gonna freeze, it's clear and dry.

And in direct in response to high propane costs, I am now very much of the opinion to simply dress warmer, put another blanket on the bed, and just DEAL with it.

Now it's my HUSBAND who is nagging me about putting on the heat. This is the same guy that used to leave our bedroom window open in the winter "to get some air' - and I would wake up to SNOW on our bed. This is the proud Oregonian who bragged about walking to school, through snow drifts, with just a light jacket. This is the man who complains BITTERLY about how hot it gets here in the daytime.


Monday, October 20, 2008


I know Harmony is dealing with this on a MUCH larger scale than I am. I mean, she has trouble sleeping, but she has two young, EXTREMELY active children at home. I only have two dogs that love sleeping as much as I do and two horses that only whinny when it approaches their feeding time (the cat is, by definition, sleep personified).

But I missed my nap today. I spent sixteen hours today with an emotional black hole... well, maybe it was only an hour and a half, but it FELT like 16 hours, and that wears me out. I pushed myself at the gym, both with aerobic and weights, and when I finally got home, I was BUSHED.

So, of course, a van drove up to the house, the dogs went crazy barking, and that was the end of any quiet time for me.

However, one of the few nice (?) things about being exhausted, is that sometimes that second wind is actually a THIRD wind - and you're awake very late at night writing in your blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I am responsible for five animals - make that six, if you count my husband. I mean, I exercise them (we just won't go there in detail), take them to the doctor when they are sick , listen to them when they want to complain (believe it or not, the horses especially need to vent... a lot), and I feed them.

So when I forget to feed them... well, they get hungry.

I normally don't go into the laundry room unless I am (duh) doing laundry. But I have a cat feeder that stores about a week's worth of cat food, so it usually works out. The water for the cat sits right next to the large freezer, and even if that runs dry, he can (and does) drink the dogs' water (he maintains that I obviously provide them with bottled water, while his is only tap water).

Pandora (that's the cat) is verbally extremely expressive, and is not subtle in any sense of the word. If he wants something, he gets it across to you REAL fast.

So I should have figured it out the other day when Pandora got incredibly cuddly that he had something else up his sleeve... or his fur, I guess, in this case. He snuggled and licked and purred... and he is NOT a purring cat. He does snuggle, but only on alternate Thursdays in months that begin with the letter "A."

When these polite, nice tactics obviously were not getting through my thick human skull, Pandora began a slightly more forceful approach - he began to bite me.

I don't take well to physical discomfort (although I do believe my pain threshold is pretty high - I mean, I've been married for over thirty years to the same man), so Pandora got chased off. And I kept an injured distant from him for the next 24 hours.

Then suddenly, he wasn't there. I mean, he wasn't ANYwhere there. He wasn't laying on 'his' table by the window, he wasn't on my bed, he wasn't under the other one of 'his' tables (the one the dogs can't get to), and he wasn't in the shower (one of his favorite spots - it's cool on the tile, and he has a VERY very thick coat of fur).

And when I did check in the laundry room to see if he was sulking in there, I noticed.... HE WAS OUT OF CAT FOOD. COMPLETELY.

Suddenly a whole host of past feline experiences came to mind. I have had several cats adopt me, only to find out later it was simply because I offered them better food than their home. And I seriously believe that the only cat that has deliberately 'left' me did for the same reason - I mean, someone offered a higher grade of cat kibble.

So I immediately was CERTAIN that Pandora has hit the road, stuck his... paw out, and was off to greener pastures... or at least available food. I also straight away was overcome with GUILT. I was an unworthy animal owner - I had STARVED my favorite cat and FORCED him to go away from HOME.

After searching our house one more time, I opted for a very last, desperate move.

I filled up his food bowl.

And then, of course, he instantaneously materialized at my feet.


Friday, October 17, 2008


There are some wonderful things about having a poor memory. I can read a book I've read before - see a movie - have an entire conversation - and not be bored, because I don't remember reading/viewing/talking it before.

So when I say I have never seen a moon rise, I must qualify that I do not remember actually seeing the moon rise before this evening.

I have seen the sun rise - in fact, a lot, because that's about the time I feed the horses. And I've seen the sun set, and even have seen the green flash (sorry, Blake).

And I have seen the moon set a number of times, because if it's anywhere near setting, I will stay up, sitting on the porch, and let my dog roam for however long it takes to set behind the Huachuca Mountains. There's a moment right at the end where the trees along the top are silhouetted by the moon behind them - and it's just awesome.

So tonight I was spoiling Najale and Sally, as I do every evening, with a handfull of carrots (also a training technique; Najale doesn't get a single bite until he allows, politely, no less, Sally to come up to the gate and get the first carrot - he does it, very begrudgingly, but he does do it).

It's also a wonderful opportunity for me to test my night-blindness level. I live out in the country - with light pollution laws (that expression bothered the hell out of me until it became a factor in my life), no street lights, no city lights (except on the north horizon) and an incredible view of the stars every night - even when there is a full moon.

So when I walk out when it's dark... it is DARK. Makes me much more aware of the moon cycles, because it's much easier when there is some moon light. Otherwise, I am trusting my dog to walk the correct way to the gate, and following him.

And just happened to notice that the horizon was getting lighter and lighter - and I stood there (and annoyed the heck out of the horses, since I temporarily held back the carrots) and actually saw the moon rise.


Harmony offered a challenge via her blog to post a photograph of ourselves.

That, of course, brought on this tirade rather than a photograph:

ATTENTION: I am SO SORRY that we ALL have been duped (myself included) into believing that unless we are an anorexic and/or bulimic fashion model, (6'1", 105 lbs.), we are not beautiful.

Women, we are beautiful at 185 lbs. (me, yesterday on the scale at the gym) and when the dimension-limited camera lens makes us look wider than we actually are (and much wider than we actually want to BE), we need to accept that, celebrate it, and DEAL with it in a positive manner.

That being said, I will post my own photo on my website… someday.

And now I feel honor-bound to actually DO it.

What? So it's just my BACK?! Come on, one step at a time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This was lately brought to my attention - do you realize that regards of WHO wins this presidential election (well, I mean, unless there is a major write-in campaign for Mickey Mouse)....


And although I have a soft place in my heart for lefties, it was disconcerting to learn which other presidents have been left-handed (Ronald Reagan was left-handed - why does that bother me so much?).

But I am CERTAIN that THIS time, more civil rights will be granted to LEFTIES.
Let me know if you agree.