Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

How Can a Person be This Tired and Still be Alive?

I'm too tired to blog. Muscle has been hired for tomorrow to get the job done. Which is to get that damn trailer loaded and locked up. I am coming to you live from My Place, a long term stay hotel that is pet friendly. Newt is not impressed. He is currently hiding under my bed. It  must be time to sleep. Two Alaskan Amber Ales have been quaffed by yours truly. I am off to brush my teeth now. Goodnight.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

So Smart I Scare Myself

But I scare easily. And things could just as easily go the other direction. At any time. Seriously.

But when I was preparing the tv for packing yesterday I took a picture of the wires on the back! So a month from now I will know how to hook it up again! I'll keep you posted.

Cake is in Order

Nine years ago today I drove home my brand new Subaru Outback. In the Newport Blue Pearl shade. Coming up on 90,000 miles on the odometer! Still love driving it. Probably the only brand new car I shall ever purchase. You are nine, Pearly girl! Let's spend many more thousands of miles together.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Well, Shit

I have lost a day. I have been busy and running errands and packing and dealing with details. But it rained today. And for the couple of brief respites during the icy downpour the wind blew only as it can on the plains. It felt like winter again with a chill that goes clear to the bone. So. No loading the trailer. We're doing our best to clear one room at a time and get down to what is going in the cars for our vagabond month. The rain that was here is snow at the western end of the state where we had planned to be by Friday night. But no! Fortunately there is a My Place long-term stay hotel here where we will be from Friday til next Tuesday. Fortunately for Newt, My Place is pet friendly. The first leg of our journey west and south begins with a detour slightly north and east. This does sound like the way I do things! With any luck and a better weather day tomorrow things will progress and we will be able to turn this house over to the new owner by Saturday. Meanwhile, I'm exhausted. Think I need to hire some muscle. Soon my office will be clear. The kitchen is clear save for the few odd dishes we are using and the food in the fridge. One of three bathrooms is clear. By the time I go to bed the family room will be clear. The room at the end of the house is clear save for Newton's necessities which will be among the last items loaded in the car. Michael's old room, more recently the guest room, is clear. This is feeling more manageable even as I type. One thing is perfectly clear. I need more boxes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The King & Prince

Well, this is mildly interesting. But as far as I can determine there is no cause/effect thing going on. When I moved to this fair, midwestern college town, it was the month that Elvis Presley died. Well known by his iconic first name as well as The King. It occurred to me last week that I am moving away from here the month that Prince died. Another music icon known by a single name, his first given name, which also denotes royalty. I'm really going to try to not think about this and a possible deeper meaning. But now that I've considered this long enough to write about it, it occurs to me that Elvis and my father were both born in Mississippi, not quite a year apart in age. Prince was a life-long Minnesota resident, a neighboring state to where I currently live, have often traveled to, and attended college. Prince and I are also just less than a year apart in age. I'm stopping now before any other totally insignificant similarities crop up in my brain. Thank you for bearing with me. Please go on about your day.

One of the Smartest People Alive

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Driveway is Full

After five years of purging this trailer is big enough, right? If not, some last minute weeding will result in some gifties for the new owner. 

Happy Penguin Day!

The last time I was in the same room as penguins ... wait .... okay, fine, there was a glass wall between us, was two years ago with sisters Pam and Martine at the Georgia Aquarium. I love penguins. Opus I especially adore. So, here's to penguins. It's their day.

My beauteous sissies. They're not penguins, but here's to them, too.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm So Tired

Not of being admired. But from too much to do in the next four days. Which makes my brain tired. And my body is tired from too little sleep last night because I stayed up well past midnight because Kristi was here. And she never stays up that late. Neither of us turned into a pumpkin. Tomorrow the moving trailer arrives. And the last bit of cooking takes place tomorrow morning. Then the packing of dishes and cookware shall commence and we will subsist on toasting and nuking what has been tucked away in the fridge. And also probably supplemented by ordering pizza. I should not, repeat, should not have a second glass of wine. I should finish up in the kitchen and go to bed. But I don't always listen to my better, smarter self. I'm so tired.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Rain Forever

It's been a shitty year for musicians. Always loved Prince, always fascinated by his talent and persona. I never saw him in concert but had him on a must see mental list of performers. Damn. The doves are crying.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Oh, My!

The previous post has generated a great deal of interest. Just so you know, two comments were so nasty that they have been deleted. I really didn't care what parts Sarina and Buck were born with. The larger point I wanted to make was, who really cares? Who is really that interested in the parts of the person in the next stall? Since transgender folks must live as the other sex during their transition, that includes using public restrooms. Guess what? They're already there! And you couldn't tell!  Because you weren't ogled or assaulted! Because transgender does not equal pervert! Listen to Charlie Comero, a transgender man living in Charlotte, North Carolina speaking on the reality of living in the shadow of HB2. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sarina and Buck Aren't Interested in Gawking at You or Getting Arrested, They Just Need to Pee

Near Disaster

When the ancient folding table goes kaput on you in the middle of taping shut a box of pottery, you swear. Well, okay, I swear. And then I'm astonished and grateful that the damn thing didn't land on my foot. And that the box was mostly taped up, I was doing the final pass when the table collapsed. Only two things were broken! A little pottery basket that I had no attachment to. Sadly, the beautiful painted goblet that was a souvenir from my first visit to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival was smashed to smithereens when it hit the garage floor. But a cherished piece of cobalt glass survived the fall, as did a teacup with an infuser insert decorated with a cat. This also means it's beer time. Because packing has ceased for the day. As well as blog time. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

It's In The Bag

Yes, I do like to be environmentally responsible. But mostly I didn't feel like tagging every single item in the garage for my moving sale. And I'm reserving the plastic shopping bags I have to use as packing material and for the disposal of cat poop. And then I had a brilliant idea that took into consideration all of these details. So in the ad I placed for my sale I included the line, bring your reusable shopping bag and fill it for $5. I was feeling pretty darn smart, bordering on smug. Now you're thinking, wow, she is smart! And I bet all garage sales will now be adopting this as a regular practice! Um, no. Not a single shopper brought a bag. A couple of people returned to their vehicle and scrounged up a plastic bag. Either no one read the ad. Or none of them own a reusable shopping bag. Or maybe they frequent rummage sales in order to accumulate bags for their cat poop. I really can't say. I still think it's a brilliant idea, and I encourage people to bring their own bags to this level of shopping. In my heart I truly believe that plastic shopping bags should be eliminated at the retail level. I think they are an environmental disaster. I will happily purchase bags for cat poop detail. And I promise to either recycle or responsibly dispose of all plastic shopping bags when I arrive at my new home. And I apologize to plastic bag manufacturers everywhere for destroying their profits and to all people everywhere for the economic repercussions that will ensue from the inevitable layoffs in the plastic bag industry. Is it too late to suggest offsetting this disaster by producing instead designer pet poop bags? As soon as I'm through my plastic bag backlog I promise to be your best customer!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Day of Rest. Not!

The extremely full garbage can is waiting at the curb for the early morning truck to swallow its contents. The cabinets in the garage have been cleaned out. The deck pots have been cleared of soil and rocks and rinsed out. My car is loaded with boxes of various items ready to be delivered to Goodwill tomorrow. A menu has been planned for next weekend's party. There is a table set up in the garage to serve as a work space for getting all of the framed wall art things packed up this week. I discovered what I hope is the final box of recyclable electronic stuff in the garage. And I wonder if I have time for a run to Sioux Falls where I know I can recycle most of it. Another large box of planting pots is waiting in the garden shed to be recycled. It was a dirty day of yard and garage business out there and someone, namely moi, had to take care of it. But for now, I am showered and in clean jammies and cuddled in my big chair with Newt. I am about to attempt watching a movie but fear I will doze off in the middle. If I were smarter I'd go to bed now. But it's really too early for that. At least for a wild woman like me it is.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lucky Thirteen

Thirteen days left before heading west. Moving sale today was a pretty decent success. I am exhausted and just finishing my second beer. I should probably make a list of stuff I still have to do. Maybe then I'll stop waking up at 4am going over the mental list. I did just send out the electronic invite to the last bash I hostess here next weekend. I am encouraging friends to come help drink up my booze while I feed them an interesting menu based on the remaining contents of my freezer. The firepit will be burning until all the firewood is gone. And I will be sending random items home with party attendees. You have been warned. Make sure you bring your pickup! I hear my bathtub beckoning me. I will be sad to leave it behind. You often hear people say that thing about the kitchen sink, as in, everything but. As far as I'm concerned you ought to say bathtub. Because a bathtub is way bigger than any kitchen sink I've ever seen. Which is why I will not attempt taking it. While also sounding much more ridiculous. And that's the point, boys and girls. As ridiculous as possible as often as possible. Words of wisdom you will only see here. You can thank me later when I send you packing with, well, I don't know. But it will large. And heavy. And ridiculous. Good night.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tell 'Em, Ann!

Meanwhile in Tromsø, Norway

Known as a travel destination for viewing the Northern Lights, you can also visit the beach where they grow Drumpf hair.

North Carolina's HB2

Yes, you are seeing this horrible meme here. No, it is not a sign of the apocalypse. Aside from the annoying plurals as possessives, the hateful, bigoted nature of the message caused me to take on the guise of Julia Sugarbaker and go on a bit of a rant. Lesson learned from yesterday about speaking up in the moment. To complicate matters, this is the most recent of many posts in a similar vein appearing in my Facebook feed that have been posted by a family member. The following is my response...

I have seen you posting memes of this sort for over a week. For the most part I am inclined to let others express their opinions how they choose and let it go. But as far as I'm concerned you have now crossed the line where this subject is concerned. Consider this me blasting you with my differing opinion since you have made yours quite clear. Aside from this law being impossible to enforce, it is discriminatory and divisive. Do you want cameras in ALL the stalls in ALL the public bathrooms invading YOUR privacy? Because, guess what! In order to be fair, EVERYONE gets a parts check under this law. Trans people aren't interested in gawking at your parts or your women's parts. The fact of the matter is that we are already sharing the bathrooms with transgender folks as they make an effort to transition by living as the opposite sex. It's likely that you couldn't pick them out anyway from just looking at them. Stop being so mean-spirited and have a little compassion. And be grateful you were born with parts that match your brain and psyche so you haven't suffered at the hands of others who think the way you do.

This is how he responded...

I don't understand why my compassion for my wife and child are somehow less valid than your concern for the HURT FEELINGS of a total stranger...I don't deny that they have a right to their actions...but if those actions hurt the ones I love, so be it

Me again...

No harm, no foul to your loved ones. Your wife and daughter are in greater danger from your average white adult male in any public place who wouldn't get caught dead in a women's bathroom than they are from any transgender person who is peeing in the next private stall. This law is bigotry, pure and simple.

I posted this most recent reply over an hour ago and there has been no response. I think what aggravates me the most is his paternalistic bent toward protecting his wife and daughter. I'm pretty sure his wife is capable enough to deal with such things. And I hope they are raising their daughter to be assertive and confident so she doesn't grow up to be a passive princess requiring rescue. Because when she does need to be rescued it's likely daddy won't be there. Give her the tools to be strong so she can take care of herself. She doesn't need protection from the trans person peeing in the next stall. 

Mush for Brains

In reference to the previous post, I feel like an idiot. And in keeping with my blog policy, despite the fact that I was insensitive and ranting yesterday, the post will stand as published. Even though I'm mildly embarrassed. Embarrassment is not fatal, fortunately, or I would have been buried years ago. Perhaps decades. I spoke to the person in question and we have sorted it all out. Indicating that I should have spoken up at the time rather than stewing over it. And confirming yet again a lesson that I continue to learn. Speak up. In the moment without anger or accusation. Address issues when they arise. I have rarely regretted speaking up since I often learn something in the process. I often regret keeping silent. How many times do I have to do this? Until I get it right, I expect.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


No wonder, despite the inconvenience and the age of the item. No wonder she wanted it. Attempted load in first vehicle, fail. Wonders if item can be strapped to the top. No. Return with pickup and attempt to load. Fail again. Wonders again if it can be loaded on top. Again, no. Remove topper from vehicle, success. Move it across town. Store it. Return for topper. Says, thanks! Must eventually haul item again for nearly three hundred miles to its final destination. Her husband, who is in ill health, helps with moving and loading efforts even though he is out of breath and clearly not feeling well in the unexpected heat. She thought it was free. No wonder she wanted it. I can't believe she thought it was free. I know I mentioned the price in earlier conversations about the item. I can't believe she thought it was free. I can't believe I said nothing. Still processing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


There used to be a rather unsightly string of power lines all along my street. Complete with lights at the top of the towering wooden poles which have been replaced by a more attractive version closer to the curb. Recently the overhead lines were decommissioned and removed. I was not concerned because, magically, the electricity is still getting to the house. And the new lights are a nice touch. I just know they timed this improvement with my moving away.

I think it would be cool if the remaining poles would be left in place and carved by local artists. Neighborhood beautification! And yes, that is the remaining pile of stuff that the curbside shoppers didn't want. It will be disposed of sometime this week. Who knows how long the remainder of the power lines shall remain.

The Many Faces of Newton


Let me take you to the Casbah....

Serious denial.

Seriously, this is your bed? Really?

I could kill you in your sleep, you know.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Day of Rest?

Deck repaired. The rest of the crap is hauled to the curb. A quite full garbage can has also been rolled to the curb. I need to say that my son is the best son in the whole world. It's always a bit dicey when we work on a project together, but mission accomplished without injury and I couldn't have done it without his help. A beer has been quaffed. Except for the beer, which in my opinion is a healthy food group, I have eaten crap today. Oh, the coffee was good, too. What will I occupy myself with tomorrow, you might be wondering. The garage, I think. I'm going out to the garage to sort out what I'm keeping and what is going bye-bye at the moving sale next week. Since I don't want to go through the tedious process of marking every single item, I have had a brilliant idea. I'll mark the larger items like the furniture and a few other things, but the rest is either give-away or bring-your-reusable-grocery-bag-and-fill-it-for-five-bucks. I am exhausted. As much as I hate to tear myself out of this chair where I am cuddled with Newton and a blankie, a shower and an early bedtime are calling my name.

Continuing Relocation Efforts

Today is deck repair day. Even though the weatherman has exaggerated the warmth and sunshine for this afternoon. In the wise words of Igor, could be worse, could be raining. You can walk through the living room now. Yesterday at this time you could not, Reid's bed was clogging things up. The room was discombobulated by his bed heading for the door and finding a new home just a few blocks away. Last night I placed the ad for my moving sale next Saturday. And did the final bit of touch-up painting in between episodes of Heroes. Empty totes and boxes are waiting to be filled. It is now twenty days to leaving. Temporary housing has yet to be secured. I am strangely calm. Or perhaps have completely taken leave of my senses and all that is left is a blissful inanity. I have promised the son a bacon-laden breakfast prior to commencing with deck repair. Bacon is energy food, right? It's all a big experiment.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


No, we're not playing chess. Nor are we requesting the bill for food and drink. In the first place I have never been a chess player. Though I do enjoy and admire the quite extraordinary variety of chess sets, both in materials used and characters portrayed. And it is not the second instance of check! either. In which case it should be followed by please!. Yesterday the younger son and I checked an item off the South Dakota Bucket List by traveling to Vermillion, SD and taking in the National Music Museum. A very impressive display of authentic, original, and unique musical instruments. An iPod Touch with headphones is issued to you upon entering and at various displays you may listen to music and information related to said display or watch a video. My musical son was a bit disappointed in that there was no banjo sound bite to listen to although there were numerous banjos on display. They were also lacking in Scottish bagpipes. My favorite was this, of which only two remain. My other fave was the prop trumpet from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that has heart-shaped tubing at its center. Which, unfortunately, due to its shape is impossible to play. I had planned this excursion over a week ago not being aware until we arrived that there is no entrance fee on Fridays! Though if you go on Friday with this in mind and neglect to do a free will offering at one of the many opportunities throughout the museum I will judge you with impunity. Unless you truly can't afford it. They created underwritten Friday just for you. Rock on. Or harpsichord on. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

This Week in Relocation

All the books are packed. Except for the cookbooks. I might still cook something, you never know. A mover has been hired. Negotiating electrical updates on the new house. New water heater installed here. Deck repair is waiting til Sunday when the weather is rumored to be more pleasant than the damp, rainy stuff we have been experiencing. I stopped at three different moving places yesterday looking for boxes specifically designed for framed things you hang on the wall. Because those things are no longer hanging on the walls and need to be packed. But had no luck. So I shall improvise boxes using cardboard and tape. Probably lots of tape. In other news, it is spring cleanup time here. Which coincides nicely with me cleaning out things I do not wish to take along, that aren't good enough to sell, but may be deemed worthy by someone driving by to be saved from the landfill. The rusty metal shelves, broken chairs, and cat-peed-upon area rugs have been claimed by curbside shoppers. Someone even took the boxes of VHS and cassette tapes. Why, I can't imagine. Unless they were hoping to find home-produced porn. All I have to say about that is one emphatic eeeeewwwwwwww!

Remembering Edna

Today is not a significant day, at least not to my knowledge, as far as my mother is concerned. But she is on my mind because a friend lost her mother yesterday morning, who was also named Edna. So I was looking for a picture of her to post. And I found four! Feast your eyes upon my teenage mom, all of these were taken during the late 1940's when she was in high school.

Riding pants and boots? No particular occasion is indicated. Maybe my love for dressing up in one costume or another comes directly from her.

Edna to the left and her sister Mamie to the right. They were best friends. Seeing how close they are here, it truly breaks my heart to know that they were estranged for nearly thirty years and reconciled only when their brother, Ken, died in 2002.

Doing her best Jackie Kennedy? Queen Elizabeth? I sure as hell didn't look this beautiful and regal when I was eighteen!

This is the only one that's dated, somewhat ambiguously, though. Grandma Esther's writing on the back says Edna Ruud -- Prom -- about 1948.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mathematical Oddities

If you show up here frequently, you are likely aware that I enjoy fun little mathematical thingys. Like pi(e) day. The powers of two. The Fibonacci sequence. Imagine my delight this morning when I discovered that today is a square root day! Month, 4, day of month, 4, year (20)16. 4 x 4 = 16! It's a square root day! Celebrate appropriately. In other words, before the alcohol imbibing begins, ascertain whether you are a designated driver or a designated drinker. Though they are both DD's, they are very, very different. Better yet, stay home and celebrate. It's not like the bars are going to have drink specials for square root day. Unless you know of a nearby nerd bar. That's what I need! A friendly neighborhood nerd bar! Get on it, will you?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tiny Rant

This is not an enormous, earth shattering deal. It's one of those duck nibbles of life. I'm on Facebook in order to keep in contact with friends and family. Not to buy stuff. Why do you think I use Chrome's Adblock feature? It effectively blocks commercial advertisers but is completely ineffective on my friends who use social media to sell their stuff. I don't mind the occasional post of friends selling personal items or sharing info on craft fairs or other events. But I currently  have a friend who has been peddling weight loss, nutritional aid, and detox wraps in her feed as well as attempting to recruit new devotees to her magical cause.  It's clearly a pyramid selling scheme. For what I consider totally bogus products. Another friend has just begun selling a fancy line of skin care. Meh. My advice to these friends? Start a page devoted to your sales endeavors. Encourage your friends to like and follow the page. Keep your business out of my friendly news feed. Don't make me do it for you.

Crying. Just a Little

I've been thinking about the chemistry of teardrops. And how the chemical makeup varies depending on the reason for shedding them. Which reminds me how all over the map I am emotionally over moving. While this move has been long considered and well thought out, the fact remains that this is closing the door on the most recent phase of my life. And leaving the house I have called home for nearly thirty years. I take with me a wealth of memories. And hope to maintain connection with some dearly-loved people who remain here. The tears that catch me at the most unexpected moments must contain a most interesting, varied formula. Because all at the same time I am happy, elated, nostalgic, sad, heavy as well as light-hearted. There is still another month before I leave this house, a couple more weeks after that before I leave the area, and I won't arrive in my new home in another state until the end of May. Until then, I am certain there will be new memories made. And a whole cocktail of tears brushed away.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Silly Cats

Years ago I had the privilege of serving as staff to Cleo and Cassie, mom and daughter cats. Apropos for April Fool's Day, Cassie would seemingly forget during grooming activities what she was doing. And sit with one leg up in the air. Eventually she would realize that there was no need to hail a cab or ask where the bathroom was and lower her leg. 

Cassie to the left and Cleo atop my trunk. Did someone just shout, look! something shiny!?

Laughing til it Hurts

For this Day of Fools, I present a long-ago photo of Martine and me. Martine appears slightly deer-in-the-headlights. I look as though I'm wetting my pants. I'm guessing the person holding the camera is our brother Cullen, who was likely doing something terribly inappropriate but funny, and we are reacting. I have always been easily amused. It's part of my charm.