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Showing posts from November, 2020

That which as been heard can not be unheard

  Just for Better Half...that which as been heard can not be unheard.

Jeepers creepers, good grief

    I woke up with the "jeepers creepers" scene from The Day of the Locust stuck in my head. Not the murder part or the angry mob part - Just Adore's annoying voice antics as he antagonizes Homer Simpson. Not that Homer Simpson. The whole movie is unsettling. I'm not going to review it here. Suffice to say, I wasn't supposed to see it when I was a child, but I did. My parents were out of town and the drive-in was playing a double feature. So Colleen the babysitter packed up tons of stuff and I got to watch an R-rated movie I didn't understand. It's somewhat important to note that this was the same year Jaws came out. And The Omen . And Carrie . I watched them from the back seat as well. I don't remember much from The Omen , but I still think the supposed scary parts of Carrie and Jaws are hilariously bad FX. It's equally important to note that Colleen wasn't my babysitter by the time 1976 rolled around. Back to locusts: I thought Adore was

Thanksgiving Night

 Thanksgiving 2020 draws to a close. The turkey was perfect, I added too much broth to the stuffing so it was soggy, I blackened some of the beans, and Better Half's rolls were delicious. Nummy gravy, and cranberry sauces, and home cooking . We used to love doing that. Mom liked the meal (especially the rolls). It's our first without Dad, so we felt some bittersweet pangs. And their anniversary is tomorrow. More pangs. I asked her if she wanted to do anything special. "Nope." She tackled the dishes while I put stuff away. Hershey pee'd in the kitchen, the bastard, despite being let out three times. And then I rearranged the fridge to contain leftovers for three days. Oh, so much leftovers. We haven't tucked into the pie yet. I'll probably have a slice much later. Better Half had his nap, Mom had her ice cream, and I need to have a shower. All-in-all, a good day.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020

    My dad never missed the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, except the ones canceled during the War years, and the final November of his life. He attended the event as a child. As an adult, he recorded it to watch later. I still have those tapes.  The parade was shown live in California during my childhood years. He would get up early. I, still groggy, would stumble down the hall to share the experience with him. We didn't have to talk in order to bond. Once it ended, I would retreat to my bedroom while my parents cooked. I miss him. This year's parade is largely unattended due to COVID. It's not as massive as previous years'. Fewer balloons mean exposing fewer balloon handlers to the virus. There are less floats. The most annoying thing are the virtual balloons. Seriously, people, don't go there next year!   Not enough nostalgia? Hearken back to Thanksgiving 2007 .

When inflated Dachshunds fly through the windows of our lives

 Ever go looking for the perfect image to convey your thoughts only to find three hours had passed and you were now reading an article about overly-inflated Dachshunds ? Further, did you stare at the picture for a while before conceding that swollen Dachshunds look like tiny rottweilers? Yeah, this is the kind of day I'm having. It was supposed to be simple. Just put giblets and stuff in water. Add carrots and celery. Cook. drum roll! Broth! But I took the turkey out of the fridge and found a little bit of watery blood on the shelf. No problem. This Clorox wipe will make sort work of it! Just to be certain it didn't travel anywhere, I opened the drawer containing mom's veg... ...what the actual fuck? The drawer was filled with the liquefied remains of what was once a pear. A motherfucking liquefied pear! And she knew it was in there. "That's just my old pear. It's not that bad." I'll spare you the details. Suffice to say, I removed her entire drawer

The Toastmaster Pressure Cooker

 Some people hear "pressure cooker" and think back to a time when these things sat on stoves and exploded at every opportunity. My first pressure cooker was archaic, and I was only 18 and living on my own for the first time, yet I NEVER experienced a kitchen-coating disaster. (My friend Derrick wasn't so lucky, but that's a story for a different time.) When an opportunity to purchase a brand new Toastmaster came up, I didn't hesitate. I did ask the cashier twice about the price, however. "We only have one type for sale," she said. Store mistake; my benefit. I got a $119 thing on sale for under $50 because some clerk didn't realize it was the more expensive model.  It's important to note that my husfiend called while I was contemplating my purchase. "Biden won!" A pressure cooker and victory over the orange menace on the same day?! WOOT! I have yet to use it. Several yummy recipes are knocking about my brain - pork roast is currently wi

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Turkey

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Turkey Giada De Laurentiis' recipe has been our go-to for over a decade. Everything turns out moist. Your local supermarket butcher can cut the turkey for you (let him know you want the neck, heart, and gizzards for broth/stuffing). We don't garnish the dish unless it would be a formal meal. Then I'd make it pretty by scattering oranges wedges and cranberries around the plate. You don't have to limit this to just Thanksgiving. It makes a wonderful Christmas dinner as well. Ingredients One 11-pound turkey, cut into 6 pieces  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use 1 teaspoon) 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon) Cranberry Orange Glaze, recipe follows  1 cup low-sodium chicken broth - or - 1 cup of turkey broth made from the neck, gizzards, etc. Assorted fresh herb sprigs, orange wedges and whole cranberries, for garnish Directions Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the ove

Thanksgiving Prep

We are cooking our own Thanksgiving dinner this year. My mom's friends usually order a prepared meal for us from the grocery store. It's a lovely gift. However, the pandemic is a good reason to graciously bow out - I'm paranoid about food prepared by anyone but us. Plus Better Half and I love to cook. It's one of the things we miss from our old life. Our holiday meal needs to include our favorite traditional, inelaborate dishes. Turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans, pumpkin pie. It's just Better Half, Mum, and me. We don't need tons of food. Unfortunately, I've had a series of trips to the ER for my back. And then I fell backwards down the last two steps in our house, landing on my left hip. I tucked as I fell, hoping to avoid my mother's damn bookcases. There's no avoiding the floor. Damn you, gravity! Yeah, this house won't have a "holiday clean" this week. Shopping done, meal planning done, gizzards defrosting. I'll jot recipes

Timelapse of the Future

 John Boswell, musician and filmmaker, heavily influences my imagination. Something as simple as Children of Planet Earth: The Voyager Golden Record Remixed or  Timelapse of a Mars Rover can convey a lifetime of hard work by so many brilliant individuals. His newest piece came out a month ago. TIMELAPSE OF THE FUTURE: A Journey to the End of Time is riveting. That aside, anything that contains references to dark matter (or dark fluid) summons up Halliburton boxes on long bed trucks. They want us to think they're transporting sand. We wear the tinfoil hats, so we KNOW what's really in there. It's just sand, honestly.

Daily Dilly-Dally

 Alright, I get it. People are tired of possums. In truth, I'm getting to that point. It's become an excuse for putting off some interesting topics. Well, interesting to perhaps only me. As always, I won't feel terrible if you skip those sorts of posts. Or skip the possum stuff. It's not like they do anything entertaining, like getting drunk and eating people's faces. A drunken opossum went overboard at Thanksgiving this year after it was found the morning after at a Cash’s liquor store in Florida beside a broken and empty bottle of Bourbon. - The Drinks Business Technically, this is a Florida 'Possum. Also, technically, it didn't eat anyone's face. However, there are two separate cases of a Florida man eating faces: Rudy Eugene and Austin Harrouff .  Suddenly drunk 'possums don't sound so grim, eh? Detour over; back to this blog.  I'm not in need of topics. I've several working drafts going. Photos snapped, subject researched.  Amateur

Good news for Better Half

   We've been on an emotion roller coaster ever since the VA called and told Better Half that his hemoglobin was high and they were referring him to Hematology/Oncology clinic. Bone cancer? Is it bone cancer? Could it be something else?? Why oncology ?! Needless to say, he does not have cancer. I teared up a bit and tapped his arm as the nurse quizzed him for sleep apnea. We know he has that . His BiPAP machine died a few years ago.  The sleep lab will get a hold of him for a new sleep study. We'll see if this lowers the red blood cell count. I get to keep my Husfriend for many more years! Bliss!

Blorft: Part III

My mom is home. They released her Saturday and want her to follow up with Dr. Miracle this week. We were in good spirits on the drive home, though she said she wanted to call the bank and finally make an effort to refinance the house so Better Half and I aren't homeless if she dies. It's a good idea, and one that we've talked about for a while. And now I'm sitting here at 2:27 AM on Monday, not having gone to bed yet. My mother seemed deflated all day Sunday. "I just don't feel like me," she said. It wasn't depression. It felt like a quiet acceptance of her own mortality. This brought on a whole new level of panic attack - a world where both my dad and mom are gone. Yeah, I know...everyone goes through this. But we couldn't have kids. When mom goes, it's just the two of us, and then it will be just one someday. We don't have friends nearby. The past seven years culled our social circle, and I have no desire to rekindle friendships with peop

Focus on what matters

   Today's America is one of division. We perceive the non-stop barrage in our daily lives without really pausing to question whether our perspective - our position - is our own or forced upon us by others, or whether we are the ones forcing it on everyone around us.    Perspective is everything. Hand-in-hand with perspective is focus. As with photography and the manual adjustment of a camera lens, we must pick what we want to focus on. That's what matters to us. That's what we want to convey to others, to have them focus on our subject, a forced perspective for those looking at the photo. With the news media, focus is in the hands of journalists or pundits. We - the audience - ravenously consume it, especially when it aligns with our own perspective.  But, every now and then, we find ourselves standing at one of those coin-operated binoculars mounted in place for the purpose of viewing scenic sights from a distance. You can only swivel the thing along a narrow track - for

Blorft: Part II

  Sometimes you just have to scream at your own ass. If you're here for an update on Mom: she had a chemical stress test this morning. I'm waiting on Dr Miracle to give us answers on it. Mom said he might discharge her over the weekend and she would return for a cath next week. I won't believe it until a nurse has confirmed it. This isn't my first rodeo. I chronicled some of the fresh hell on my old blog. Her last cath was just the tip of the iceberg. Waiting on Mum to come out of recovery. The cath did not go well. In addition to the tight valve (.6, FFS!), she has a 95-99% blockage at the very top of her right coronary artery (above the RV branch) as well as an 80% blockage in the obtuse marginal branch. Her LAD looks good. However, these blockages require a double bypass. No stent can be placed due to the need to repair the valve.  Dr. Miracle has hospitalized her for the night, mainly to keep an eye on her femoral artery and procedure recovery. He's referring


 Life has become even more stressful. Mom hasn't been feeling well the last few weeks. She refused to go to the ED or call her doctor. It finally took badgering from both the Gruffvet and I to get her to take her physical woes seriously.  Because, you know, a pulse of 190 with a diastolic of 45 isn't something to take lightly, right? We arrived to find a packed waiting room. The constant influx of ambulances made empty beds scarce. Half the ED is devoted to the containment of COVID19 patients. Mom groused about the long wait, and then groused when they came to put an IV in. "Why do I need an IV?" she drew both arms close to her chest. "In case you need more labs or meds," I said. She scowled at me as though I had told them to stick her. "In case you need more labs or meds," said the nurse. She offered a limb for poking. The first attempt blew a vein. For some reason, her blood is exceptionally thin. It seeped from the cotton pad as gravity pulled i

Autumn's Summer

   I'm starting to roll my eyes every time I step out the back door. It's Autumn. We've had our first frost and a few snowflakes. Mother Nature, however, refuses to cooperate any further this year.  The Indian Summer (Old Wives Summer, Autumn's Summer, Second Summer) has coaxed buds from trees and caused the bulbs to poke green bits from the soil. The good news is that I was able to paint the fence. The bad news is that we than had to expend energy on mowing the thick grass and weeding the beds. The backyard is done; I'll have to get the parking area sometime this afternoon. It's ridiculous, really. This is the time of year when we nestle in and await Turkey Day. We cook delicious soups. We put on the kettle. We drag out all the cozy fleece blankets and surround ourselves with warm dog bodies. Fence painted! I'll work on painting the garage door this afternoon. Might has well cut the new stuff coming off the front hedges. Might give that grass a mow, too. My

This means WAR!

 If you've come here to see me rant about the 2020 elections, you're about to be disappointed. This is about real war. WAR , you hear me? And I, a grizzled and gruff old chick, may not be up to the battle.   MEET THE ENEMY: Plodia interpunctella  Don't let its size fool you. I've battled these bastards several times in my life. They replicate like aliens and have a knack for hiding everywhere . The Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) [Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pyralidae], is a very common household pest, feeding principally on stored food products. In fact, it has been called the most important pest of stored products commonly found in American homes or grocery stores. The larvae are general feeders and can be found in grain products, seeds, dried fruit, dog food, and spices. - University of Florida | IFAS They aren't particularly pretty.  "You can easily distinguish the adult moth by its pale body and “grainy-brown” wing patches," according to E

Jötunn, spasms, and general life

 Woke up today with spasms. I haven't had an episode like this since Colorado. The involuntary contractions last for a few minutes despite my attempts to stretch the muscles to relax them. No problem, if it's the calves. But when it's the sternocleidomastoid? Fuck this shit. I don't know how many of you have watched " The Ritual ". I highly recommend the movie. I don't know why I brought this up. Perhaps I was going to make a comparison between the pain and remorse felt by the main character and my own pain and remorse.  And maybe touch upon the Jötunn patting me on the head and telling me to fuck off back to bed. Dunno. What is abundantly clear is my pathetic mental state. I 'm going to take advice from the chaotic demigod and take my muscle relaxants.

On the eve before election day

   On the eve of the elections, I'd like to once more remind people that the votes counted tomorrow do not reflect all votes made. It takes time to process them. It always has. This is why we don't swear in the POTUS until January. The damn Electoral College doesn't even meet until December, if I remember it correctly.  Most of my friends and family have already voted, either by mail or at their county offices.  I'm hoping and praying that we will finally have a return to normalcy, and a leader that the world will respect. In my opinion, Trump is not that man. Dear reader, it's alright if you disagree with me.  That aside, we should never forget what Trump has done during his time in office, nor should we forget what he hasn't done. Seth Meyers summed up Trump's antics perfectly: Please VOTE . Be the change. Exercise your power. Support leadership that puts you and our country before a political party.

Goodnight Moon

 Ending the night on something peaceful...the moon momentarily peering through a break in the clouds.  In memory of "Papa Nick" and his brother, Arlis: "I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me."          Snow has come to the Ohio Valley. ❄

Woobie Quest

  "I need a new woobie." This statement is usually a rabbit hole to the past. Why the Woobie is the greatest military invention? The woobie is synonymous with comfort, and after a long, wet day on patrol, there's nothing better than to crawl into something warm, dry, and soft, and have that moment of relief. Far from home on deployment, pulling your woobie around your shoulders gives a sense of safety that is quite often absent. - Task & Purpose Aug 18, 2015   Don't ask. Just accept that your veteran is weird and then back away slowly. Order one for him or her once you find an authentic item.