Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fifth Day of Happiness

A happy, dancing baby boy and a happy, smiling Mom. These are very good things.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Some More Happy, Day Four

Smiling boys in pajamas, 1993. Technically, Reid is wearing sweats, but I always felt if you're under the age of two, you can sleep in whatever you want as well as go out in public in your pajamas. One of those advantages you can't truly appreciate at the time. Michael is wearing pajamas that I sewed! I have no idea how I had the time to do that, but I think I made him six pairs of jammies that winter. I believe that elevates me to the level of Domestic Goddess.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Day Three

Some 1980's sisters Christmas dancing happy for your enjoyment.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Little Happy, Day Two

Last names were removed to protect society at large.
This cracks me up so much! Firstly, I am good! According to the poem, when I'm good, I'm very, very good. Although when I'm bad, I'm horrid. I am the girl with the curl. My dear friend Sara is bad. So don't cross her! Otherwise she is as lovely as any human can be. As for sis Martine, I find the ugly designation terribly amusing. Because she is just the opposite. When we were growing up, she was the pretty one. There you have it, the 1966 classic spaghetti western has been recast.

Newton, With Lights

I might just do nothing this month but post happy photos. We all need a little happy. Just look at that sweet little face.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


I'm. So. Brilliant.

Let's file this under, I kept this thing for a reason, I just didn't know what the reason was. To make decorating the tree much easier, particularly light placement, just set the tree on a turntable! Plug in the lights occasionally and have a look, then unplug and do a couple more rounds. 

Since the best spot for the tree is back in a corner, I don't have to squeeze around the back and then reposition it once it's festooned and fancy. When decorating is done, I'll just toss a skirt of some kind over the whole works so no one will know. Well, except for all of you. And I expect you to behave.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Well, Fuck, Mr Keillor

All I have to say is, if one of my entertainment heroes is going down for his inappropriate behavior toward a woman, the current President of The United States must also be held to account for his abysmal, reprehensible, and widely publicized atrocious acts toward women. Women. Plural. Kick his miserable orange ass to the curb. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Natal Day

Today is my Grandma Esther's birthday. She would have been 109 years old. She did make it to 92, she died in February of 2000. I swear she stuck around to see if Armageddon was going to arrive, and when it didn't, she decided it was time to let go and move on. I do love a group photo, though, and this one I think is of her confirmation class. She looks to be fourteen or fifteen, so my guess is that this was taken around 1923. Esther is seated in the first row, the second girl from the left. At this age I can see some resemblance that both my mom and I inherited from her, a little of sis Martine as well. Happy birthday, Grandma. I hope your soul is happier wherever you are now than it seemed to be in this life. Thanks for introducing me to the deliciousness of fresh green peas when I followed you through your vegetable garden. And showing me how sweet a carrot can be when pulled from the warm soil and crunched down after just a cursory brush against her apron to remove the dirt. I learned something about baking in her kitchen and sewing at her machine in the upstairs landing at her house. I marveled at how she always had Juicy Fruit gum hidden in the depths of her purse. If I asked very nicely, I would be allowed take a bottle of 7Up to share with my sister. They were nested perfectly in one of the crisper drawers in the refrigerator. I'd pop off the lid and carefully divide the soda between two small glasses. Martine would take a sip and push the glass away, she preferred orange pop. Then I'd get to have the whole bottle. Yes, I knew of her preference. But I thought I was more likely to be allowed a soda pop if I promised to share it. I always was a calculating little stinker. I'm pretty sure Grandma knew that, too.

Robert Reich Rocks!

He's done his part, now you do yours by making that phone call! We're all in this together.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Cactus

So many pink buds! I'm guessing the Christmas cactus is liking the light situation near the east-facing patio door. If they all open, it may actually be blooming on Christmas day! 

I Feel Like Such a Grownup...

...on days when I make my bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

It's An Honor

Pedicure, Actually

The annual viewing of Love, Actually has been accomplished. Well, a girl needs to be entertained while her nail polish is drying. A glass of Black Box Chardonnay was also involved. As was the leftover green beans with bacon. Because a girl also needs to stay hydrated and eat. I love this movie. And the soundtrack. The seasonal festivities have officially begun.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

From My Patio Door

Looking southeast at sunset.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tis the Season

Standing By Your Man

Long, long ago, children, in a magical land called North Dakota, a younger version of me took part in the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Sue. She's the tall blonde in the bridal finery. That's me standing next to her in the green floral dress. I was maid of honor. I never particularly cared for the man she chose to marry. I thought he had bully tendencies and was unkind to her dogs. But she was my friend and despite my negative opinion of her man, I wanted to be there for her on her wedding day. A few years later, they had relocated to Wisconsin, and I drove out to pay them a visit. I remember two things about their house. The first is that the walls were crowded with wildlife art. Seriously crowded. Practically floor to ceiling crowded. The second is that they had acquired an African grey parrot as a pet. It shrieked from its sizable cage in the corner of the living room. It kind of freaked me out. They told me the bird had set them back about five hundred bucks, and to please not tell their parents that they had spent such an inordinate amount of money on it. I thought it was weird that they should care what their parents thought of such things at that point in their lives. Shortly after returning home, I received a letter from Sue in which she inquired as to whether I had slept with her husband during my stay. She recounted several bits of evidence which she felt pointed directly to such a dalliance. I was horrified. In today's parlance, eeewwwwww! Remember, if you will, that I wasn't fond of the guy. I think I saw her once after that, and we eventually fell out of touch. This has come to be a recurring theme in my life. A  girlfriend accuses me of crossing a line with her man, and then discards me and our friendship and stands by him, seemingly forgetting about and subsequently forgiving his participation in something that never happened. My first recollection of such an accusation was on the playground at school when I was in third or fourth grade. A girl from my class approached me, flanked by two of her besties, and informed me that I was getting a bit too cozy with a boy from  our class. The boy in question was her boyfriend and I needed to back off. We were eight, at the most nine years old! I was puzzled about the whole thing. Truth be told, I liked another boy in our class, but it never occurred to me to stake a proprietary claim on him. Fast forward to a couple of days ago when the internet informed me that Sue's husband, John, had died just over a year ago. Which leaves me wondering if I should contact her. At the very least to extend my condolences, but maybe in the interest of mending fences, too. Even if nothing comes of it, I know from experience that making the effort is worth it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I am disgusted and horrified over the continual outings of prominent men over their despicable, shitty, sexist behavior toward women. In life in general and specifically in the workplace. And I know this has to happen. Too many women have kept quiet for far too long, out of fear of retribution and out of shame that they were somehow complicit. This is what I have to say, so listen up. Some of this was just plain ignorant, stupid, piggish acts perpetrated on women, mostly because an opportunity presented itself and the times were tolerant. If these men come clean, apologize, are contrite, and spend the rest of their lives doing everything within their power to empower women, I can forgive. What I cannot and will not forgive is the calculated and deliberate abuse and violation of women and girls by men in positions of power who deny they have done anything wrong. There is something fundamentally wrong with a man who can laugh off such horrible behaviors under the banner of boys will be boys. I think we can agree that there is a matter of degree here. Copping a feel is reprehensible but pedophilia is a felony. Regardless of political affiliation, it's time to call every last one of these perpetrators with a bent or totally broken moral compass on the carpet and deal with them justly. It's time for the conspiracy of silence to end. With a roar. A loud, feminist roar of rage that cannot be dismissed.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Always the Appetizer, Never the Entree

I really should say, most often the appetizer and seldom the entree. Because never and always are absolutes and rarely apply. But how do you get a clever title out of that? Without being excessively wordy. Not that I have a problem with excessive wordiness, but I like to save that for this larger space below the title. Titles ought to be pithy. Now that I have gone on and on about the title, let's proceed to the matter at hand. Which sort of concerns my fate, but is maybe more a pattern that has emerged, at least in my observation. It seems that I have some sort of magic touch, or something that nudges a man along to his next big romantic commitment. I could recount more than a dozen incidents in the last ten years of an interaction with a man, ranging from expressing an interest to a single date or kiss, or an actual romantic involvement that lasted a few weeks or a few months before it reached its conclusion. Then, no matter who breaks it off or how it ends, he rather quickly moves on to a serious commitment to another woman. Including marriage. At times this has struck me as terribly odd, due to the fact that they usually expressed that they weren't interested in a committed relationship, or an exclusive one, certainly not marriage. But then, directly on the heels of their involvement with me, turn on a dime and settle down into monogamy and matrimony. I don't really take this personally. Only one of them was a man I could see myself with long term. And I ended the entanglement just as often as one of them did. But I am left wondering what it was about me, or lacking in me, that might have influenced their romantic about-face. If it's my fate to be some sort of commitment catalyst that sends a man forth surrounded by an aura of devotion and consumed with a passion for fidelity, then so be it. My nature tends toward acceptance of such things with the hope that understanding will follow. My hangup at this point is that just last week I owned up to my attraction to a certain man. Honestly and sincerely. And not just here or to a trusted girlfriend, to him. Wouldn't you know, over the weekend a woman popped up out of his past, giving him the wink and nod, declaring that fate has dictated that he needs to take her out for sushi. Which is probably insignificant. Which I hope is insignificant. Could it be that there is cause and effect going on here? Or is this just some fateful fable I have assembled from the detritus of my failed romantic endeavors? I can't say with any certainty, I suppose I'm too close to the matter to be objective. What I can say is this. If in the near future this most recent fellow winds up in a serious thing with Ms Sushi, or anyone else, I'm hanging up my shingle and charging for my services. No more free dessert.

Old Friends

Maybe more accurately friends from my youth, or longstanding friends? I recently found Brenda on social media. We were roommates as working girls when I was dating the man I eventually married. She was my maid of honor. I wanted to post a pic of us together at the wedding but couldn't find one, so this questionable photo of us from my bachelorette party will have to do. It appears that Cagney & Lacey is on in the background. I know, you're thinking, what, no porny naked guy videos? My answer to that would be, we're mostly nice Lutheran, midwestern raised gals. Which means we consume our porn in private, though we drink alcohol together. I'm guessing it's been over ten years since we've seen each other. It would be fun to get together with her again, though I will never forgive her for making me wear the striped footie jammies. 

The time? Spring of 1972. The occasion? Confirmation at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. I haven't seen any of these people for decades. But I have stayed in sporadic contact with Kim, the cute ginger at the far left of the middle row. I am just to the right of Pastor John in the same row. Over the years we have both moved multiple times and experienced marriage as well as divorce. I am happy to report that in two weeks we will be reuniting to catch up on the forty or so years since we last saw each other. I will be en route to a family wedding. After  spending a day or so with me, since we will be conveniently located in a city where she has grandkids, Kim will be winding up her visit with a few days with them. I'm excited. This will be fun. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Again

I can't remember the title of the book. Anna may have loaned it to me, or maybe it was one we read in the feminist book club. Its concern was relationships and working at developing healthy ones of all kinds. And where romantic relationships are concerned, the book recommended being practical. In one of the final chapters, the reader was encouraged to make a list of qualities that she would like to see in a potential mate. So I made a ridiculously long list, which I then condensed down to a much shorter one. This is on my mind because I recently shared the list with a couple of friends*, both of whom thought it was terrific. Occasionally I look back at it and am a little amazed at how it gets right to the heart of the matter and leaves out the stuff that really isn't important. Which reminds me of young Sally Owens in Practical Magic who composes a spell using a list of qualities for a man who can't possibly exist so she will be spared the pain of loving and the eventual loss of that love. The Owens women are cursed, you see, when it comes to love. The curse is eventually broken when the impossible man arrives. Sally got what she wished for. I do love happy endings. 

*Admit it, you want to know. One woman, one man.

Don't Bring Me Down!

Way back in the heat of the summer, I put together a writing submission. Noting that the winners would be announced December first, it seemed a very long way off. Now that the day is veritably looming, I'm suddenly thinking about it after weeks of not thinking about it. I know what I sent in was pretty damn good. And I think I need to be content with that. At the same time, after submitting my writing for nearly eighteen years, finally getting published would be so gratifying. A validation of this solitary work I do by choice in something of a vacuum. Even when tempered by reality, my hope and enthusiasm for recognition is flying pretty high. Soar, little bird. Feathered things were meant to fly. 

Death and, Well, You Know

Is it safe to talk here? Is the other shoe going to unceremoniously drop if I breathe a word of this? The thing is, just over four weeks ago I submitted the latest round of paperwork to the Colorado Department of Revenue. With any luck, proving at last that I do not owe the state one stinking dime of income tax. Let's just hope this thing for the year 2016 finally has all its i's dotted and all its t's crossed. After ten years with the same online tax prep service, maybe it's time to make a switch. It would be nice to approach my mailbox without fear and angst once again. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Well, 'Ello!

I forgot that I signed up for Ello. Totally forgot. I just got a notification that a naked blonde woman named Anastasia is following me. Out of curiosity, I looked over my shoulder just now and saw my cat. Newton, despite his fur coat, is technically naked. I may start calling him Anastasia just for fun.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Shopping for Oddities

Halloween clearance! Where I found this arachnidal headgear. Creepy yet cute. I would have paid full price for it but was happy to pick it up for 75% off. It's a weird time of year to be shopping. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and afterthoughts of Halloween are all converging at your local retailers. Yesterday I heard Christmas music at DSW. And it's sweater weather, at least until the sun goes down. Then you need a more serious jacket. I am craving a quesadilla with guac and sour cream. As luck would have it, all the ingredients for this are waiting in the kitchen. How do you say bon appetit in Spanish? 

Shopping Oddities

We're not at the hardware store. We're in the makeup aisle. My thinking is that if you require a tool for removal, what the hell are you applying your makeup with? 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hello, Monday

1. Yes, I have been gone for a few days. I've been busy rearranging furniture and doing laundry.

2. In reference to Item 1, if you think these are poor excuses for not blogging, then your brain is bigger and more capable than mine.

3. In reference to Item 2, why is a person with such a large and capable brain stopping by this place to read my drivel?

4. In reference to Item 3, thanks for reading despite your enormous intellect.

5. I don't know about you, but Monday the Thirteenth sounds much more dire and dismal to me than Friday the Thirteenth.

6. I'm still aggravated by this, but this is the brand of cat litter Newton prefers.

7. In reference to Item 6, it might be time to contact the company and express my dismay and annoyance.

8. In reference to Item 1, I have accomplished the fourth arrangement of furniture in my bedroom. This arrangement leaves the furnace vent completely and totally open to the room, which I hope will result in it feeling less like a refrigerator now that colder temperatures have arrived.

9. Another reason for not blogging is once again due to technical difficulties. Scanning photos was complicated by the necessary uninstalling and reinstalling of the printer plus the appropriate combination of turning things off and then on again.

10. Last Tuesday I braved a couple of inches of new and heavy, wet snow to drop off local election ballots. And to mail the payment for the trash/recycling bill. And to pick up bagels. Civic-minded people get hungry, too.

Attention, Roy Moore

This is me on the occasion of my fourteenth birthday. I am a child. I still wear my hair in pigtails adorned with colorful yarn ties. My mother has baked a lovely, girlishly decorated cake for me. Make no mistake, if you think of any 14yo girl as fair game or as potentially datable, you are a pervert with pedophilia on your mind. You deserve the rusty spoon behind the barn treatment, but I'll settle for your prosecution and subsequent imprisonment. Should that not be possible due to statutes of limitations, please leave the public world of politics and crawl back under the slimy rock from whence you came, you miserable excuse for a man.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Life With a Cat

I'm warming up your chair for you. Thank me. I deserve a treat.

Obey me human servant!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

I Hate When This Happens

I prefer to know as little as possible about actors/musicians/performers whose work I admire. There's this risk lurking in the background that learning something awful about them will then make the movie/album/routine somewhat diminished, that it will no longer bring me joy. I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill human foible type of thing, I'm talking about serious failure here. Case in point would be Kevin Spacey, who was outed in more ways than one this last week. He appears in two of my most favorite movies, Rocket Gibraltar and American Beauty. He is such a terrific actor! But I know my awareness that he has been accused by two young men, who were minors at the time, of being accosted by Spacey, will diminish my future enjoyment of these films. I know, it's a small price to pay. Anyone who has experienced sexual assault deserves to be heard and believed and their perpetrators should be punished. To add insult as well as injury to the victims, Spacey made a rather late-to-the-table and unsurprising announcement that he's gay while issuing a lackluster apology for his drunken behavior. This casts aspersions on the whole gay community. One of the earliest and still lingering stereotypes of gay men is that they are all child molesters even though it has been repeatedly proven to be false. It looks like Spacey is going to have a difficult time finding work since the allegations surfaced, though, and that seems fair to me. Netflix has suspended production on the current season of their series House of Cards, and will not release the film Gore that he produced and starred in. Shame on you, Kevin Spacey, on so many levels.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Dopey Quiz Results Are In

Sis Martine used the abbreviated, Americanized version of our surname for this quiz, but I thought it would be more fun to use the original. I now feel as though my writing should be measurably more clever on a regular basis. As far as successful goes, are they saying that earlier McBroomes were good at creativity, passion, and courage or merely at procreation? Pardon me while I ponder this. With a full complement of creativity, passion, and courage, naturally.

Please, guess my age lower than  my calendar age, thank you. I am half Scandinavian, Norwegian to be specific, so the ethnic guess is at least in the ballpark. Though based on my vocabulary I'm pretty sure I haven't used Swedish on Facebook, not even with forays into swearing in foreign languages. I wouldn't be surprised if a little Swedish snuck across the border and into the geneological mix, but my Mom would have found this disturbing and most certainly would have denied it vehemently. I like the Queen designation, but think I'll stick with Goddess for now. And honestly, I rarely wear my tiara out in public.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Feel Your Feels Without Guilt

What I Believe

Nothing like an educated, open-minded, practicing Catholic to out those who hide behind the Bible without actually reading or understanding it. I'm not what you could call a Biblical scholar, but I have read the King James version, both old and new testaments, and the New Testament again in the Revised Standard Version. I'm baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, but it never really took on me, I always had too many questions that couldn't be satisfactorily answered by, you must have faith, you must believe. For me, the more I read the Bible and developed a greater understanding of its context in history, the less I was able to consider it as the be all and end all as a basis for religious belief. Knowing that it has been selectively edited, often for political reasons, over the 2700 years of its existence*, and that it was originally written in three different languages** and has been translated into English with varying degrees of accuracy, has brought me to where I am now. I am an Agnostic, meaning that I don't believe any side has the full and complete knowledge of what happens to us when we die. I have never believed in the concept of eternal punishment, Hell, or eternal reward, Heaven, as being a valid explanation. I respect all people who have other beliefs because there are truly many paths to enlightenment. The thing I dislike the most about most organized religions is that they set up an Us vs Them scenario, we are the chosen and you are not. I believe that it is more important to treat each other well, to never resort to violence, to always practice kindness without condescension, to allow others to fail and forgive them and hope the same will be extended to me in return, to respect and care for this Earth we live on, than to adhere mindlessly to any religious doctrine. I believe we should love fearlessly and fiercely. And I am always open to have a conversation on why and what you believe. Because the more I know, the more I realize how little I know.  

* The Dead Sea Scrolls, which contain most of the books of the Hebrew Bible, date to 408 BC to 300 A.D. 

**Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tummy Trouble

Now that the nasty whatever is in the past, or more precisely, has passed, what the heck did I eat that made my tummy so upset? The answer would be a no-brainer for the day after trick-or-treat if I were a ten year old, but there is nary a scrap of candy in the house. I am most happy to report that I am feeling much better and may still accomplish a thing or two today. Packing up the spooky decorations is first on the list, followed by kitchen clean-up. Maybe all I need now is a little lime-in-the-coconut.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This Boo Flick, Or That Boo Flick?

Now to choose a Halloween movie. Hmmmm. Hocus Pocus? Practical Magic? The Nightmare Before Christmas? Ghostbusters? Dip my frightened toes into American Horror Story? Decisions, decisions. I do want to sleep well tonight, so nothing too scary. Maybe Bell, Book, and Candle. I like a little romance with my witchery.

Everybody Dance!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Watch the Birdie

When you decorate for the season with black roses, it seems more than appropriate to display a baker's dozen, better known as thirteen, rather than a traditional dozen.

If you look a little closer, you'll see a formally dressed black and orange crow roosting in the roses. Have I said how much I love Halloween today?

Use Your Words

Because we are both so fond of words, my cousin Cory has shared this new one with me:

Cruciverbalist A designer or aficionado of crossword puzzles.

Then his friend Byron shared a related word in the comments:

Rompecabeza Spanish for jigsaw puzzle. Translates to English literally as "break your head".

As a final note, I love that spellcheck doesn't approve of either cruciverbalist or rompecabeza. I'm such a rebel. 

Advice From a Pillow

Tasty Brew

Why does beer taste better when quaffed from an illicitly acquired glass?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Critical Thinking!

I apologize for the readability of this graphic. I still find it worthy of posting, it was the clearest version I could locate. Click on it to enlarge, please. If you still can't read it, go here and download a pdf of your very own.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mom Gifts

Reid went to San Francisco and all I got was a dumb tshirt he brought me boozie presents! I now have pins declaring that I love beer and wine. This is factual information. I haven't opened the beer flavored Jelly Bellies, or is that Jelly Bellys?, because I'm not certain I want to experience a candy that tastes like beer. But I do love the idea, and keeping them preserved in their cute packaging allows me to procrastinate for quite some time. I don't have to decide until June 2019, the best before date stamped on the back. Thanks, Reid, you know what mom likes, even if that makes me look like a bad parent.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Best. Costume. Ever.

Hiding inside of Mr Potatohead is the younger son at approximately the age of seven. Note that he is also holding a Mr Potatohead. I think this is probably the best costume I have ever created. Reid requested it. He brought me a pad of paper and a pencil and asked me to draw Mr Potatohead to make sure I knew what he was talking about. Let me just say that I can't draw for crap. Reid agreed when I handed my best attempt back to him. He shook his head and sadly announced that it wasn't very good at all. Fortunately, I can sew. I did this up out of sweatshirt pieces and felt and no pattern, children. Odd that I can't draw something but am able to create a 3D version of it. This is adorable beyond description. Which is why I took a picture. I just don't have the time or patience for a thousand words today.

Dear Newton

I'm terribly sorry. I'm an awful pet mom. I scolded you in loud and derogatory tones this morning when I discovered that at some point overnight you left a stinky pile on the sofa and a liquid present in my big, comfy chair. I relegated you to the basement with no morning treats. And it's my fault. When the Arm & Hammer cat litter that you prefer changed its formula to a hard-clumping type, I became weary of cleaning those hard clumps from the sifting pan in your litter box. So I looked for a different unscented litter that wouldn't set up like freaking concrete. May I say that finding a clumping litter that isn't infused with Febreze or some such other pleasant to humans scent is difficult. But I did find one and bought a container. Then when I had Reid with me shopping on Thursday, I bought an even bigger one since he was there to do the heavy lifting. I will return the unopened large container which is still sitting in the living room. Reid has either forgotten that it is there or has not mustered up the strength to carry it downstairs. This time, that's a good thing. Again, Newt, I apologize. Switching up your litter was a dumb thing to do. I promise to not do it again. And you, Arm & Hammer cat litter people! Stop messing around with your cat litter formula! It is perfectly fine just the way it is. No more new and improved. No more weird scents. No more super-clumping. Leave it be, it's not broken, so stop fixing it. Fussy felines who dislike change will appreciate it. As will the fussy feline keepers who dislike surprises on the furniture. Thank you, ever so much.

Economics 101

Me, Too

This man, with his wife sitting next to him, in a public place, stuck his hand up the back of my dress and scratched my back, all the while grinning at me. Because we were in public, actually in a quite nice restaurant, I made a joke about it. Because that's what I do. Deflect with humor. Did you lose something? Whatever it was, you're not going to find it there. He slowly withdrew his hand, trailing it along my rear end and legs. I felt sick and degraded the rest of the evening. I had been walking around our table, camera in hand, taking pics of all the couples we were having dinner with. This was not my regular group of friends, I had been invited by someone who was one of the group. And he said to me later that week, yeah, when &*%#@ gets into the wine, he gets a little frisky. Frisky? He sexually assaulted me, I said. I did not ask for it, I did not want it, I was horrified and disgusted. Shame on you for apologizing for his vile behavior. It wasn't the first time I had dealt with this sort of unwelcome behavior in a man, both socially and in the workplace. I've handled the situation better, but it never is easy. This particular incident was only four years ago, and I point that out for one reason. At the ripe old age of 56 I still hesitated to call it what it was in the moment, made a joke for the comfort of others in the room, and went on with the evening. Things won't change until we call out these despicable men for their unacceptable acts. This man sexually assaulted me. It wasn't, and never will be, okay. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another Project Done!

I know, the egress window in Reid's room was installed back in April. So he's been living with this mess for six months. Trust me, off camera it really is a mess of boards and nails and other aftermath of the interior destruction that was necessary to get the job done. Either my son is a really good sport or he's an expert at ignoring a mess. Maybe both.

Taking advantage of him being gone for a couple of weeks, I was able to invade his personal space with impunity. The first step was to size up the paneling pieces that were removed and figuring out how to put them back. All the boards under the window needed to be trimmed down to fit, and the two pieces on the sides of the window had to be notched out. 

Those concrete corners required squaring up so out came the hammer and chisel.

This corner was the most difficult! The walls are poured concrete, not block, and there was a rock about the size of a golf ball right smack in the way! Yes, I wore safety goggles.

The upper right corner looked the worst, but that chunk came out in one neat piece after just a couple of taps.

Now the tricky business of notching out the piece on the right side of the window and getting that key piece in just to the left of it. Swearing was involved. The framing around the window was pretty easy to get into place. Construction adhesive and shims are now my very best friends.

Voila! Ready for paint! My first choice was to attempt to stain the wood to match, or sort of match, the paneling. But after experimenting on some scraps it became clear that I was not going to come close. I was working with three different types of wood and none of them were coming up with a similar hue. There is a bit of a mishmash of types and colors of trim in the house, so trying to be consistent is a bit iffy. I went with painting the window surround white, the doors throughout the house are white as is most of the baseboard so I thought it would look okay. I have a feeling I will be wandering around with a can of Valspar white latex enamel and a little brush on a regular basis for a very long time! 

Here we have the finished product! And just in time, Reid gets home tomorrow. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Three's, Well, Not the Charm

I took my third stab at it today and failed. Do tax forms really make sense to anybody? They make my brain hurt, my vision swim, and my stomach churn. I have been running around in circles trying to get my amended state income tax forms filed since August when they sent me a letter saying that I owe the state over five hundred dollars. I followed their instructions to the letter when I filed a protest but they refused it. I have also waited for ages on hold to speak to someone to clear up this mess twice. I'm beginning to feel a little bit harassed. I'm an old lady with a puny income, so puny that I don't have to pay federal income tax. Next year I will have my online tax service prepare my state form, too, even though it rankles me to have to pay the extra fee to get the numbers in the correct boxes. Guess I'm going to have to make the trip over to Fort Collins next week and visit the Colorado Department of Revenue office for some help. Guess I better take my checkbook, too, just in case. I expect this will be almost as much fun as hanging out at the DMV.

Meanwhile, Over in Miss Brenda's Yard

"This tableau is dedicated to the idea that we are all the same on the inside and everyone should be afforded the right to love who you gonna love and have dem babies."

Today's photo and quote are courtesy of my friend Brenda. She has the biggest heart in the universe and outdoes me by lightyears on the Halloween decorating scale. I lurve* her bunches and wish she would come visit me.
*Miss Brenda influences me linguistically. In addition to her signature way of spelling love, she also has me shouting stop flirting with me! in totally out-of-context circumstances.