It’s Monday and it snowed

I braved the driveway to take Maverick to daycare because he does not care if it’s snowing, or blowing, or whatever, he must get a walk or go to play. Walk was out of the question, the local parks don’t plow the paths – and I don’t expect them to, the roads are far more important. Maverick disagrees. So the Bear plowed the driveway and I only slid a little going out and a little coming back, and only had to sit for a minute in the car when I got home till my legs stopped feeling weird.

I have an appointment at 1 and I’ve been debating all morning about rescheduling. I’ve decided to go because at this point, the slush is melting and the wind will dry up the mess and I just want to get it over with. (I have a minor medical thing that needs checked every year to make sure it’s still minor.)

It will no doubt be a shock to my system to have to wear a mask. I picked up meds for Maverick last week – his allergies – and the vet is now requiring them again. I pulled the one I carry for this sort of thing out of my purse – chuckling to myself that I have no idea when that baby was last washed, but it’s all theatre so slapping it on my face will make someone less terrified – and very shortly, had to turn around and pull it down. No, I can’t freakin breathe. Perhaps because I’m constantly congested at this time of year (another reason to love winter) so put something over my mouth like that’s a good idea. Thanks, Lord Fauci. (By the way, if you have an IPhone, you can make certain words trigger an emoji in messenger. I won’t share what “Fauci” triggers. But my friends find it amusing. )

Classes start this week. I had a long talk with my dean about some of the things I’m hearing from students, she is absolutely the best boss ever. She messaged me later about taking on an upper level class for the second half of the semester. This is something I have wanted for a long time. When I started teaching accounting at my college, we had one class. A couple of years later, we added the next level. I taught both, Principles 1 and Principles 2. As time went on, more classes were added and I think I taught all but Governmental and Tax – I seriously hate Tax and know next to nothing about not for profit or governmental accounting. Then the college hired a person who was intent on teaching the upper level courses and for many reasons, she was given those courses. It didn’t really matter that the students didn’t like her and didn’t do well with her, she checked off many of the diversity and inclusivity boxes and that’s a huge thing in academia these days.

However. I’m not sure if she’s no longer there or if they’ve finally woken up, but my current dean is very interested in me teaching these courses, and that makes me very happy. Since the panicdemic started, I haven’t been on campus. I don’t want to be on campus. She’s totally happy with that because it makes me available for her – she’s in charge of virtual classes.

So I will be prepping a new class like now. Also on the table is getting serious about dog training. I have a million books (don’t scoff) and access to tons of videos and I just need to actually do the work. This dog of mine is way too smart, and knows how to not only get what he wants, but how to push all my buttons, and then make my heart melt, all in the space of about 15 seconds.

So there may – or may not – be another storm this coming weekend. There was a local group of “weather weenies” who accurately predicted a huge storm several years ago, a storm that every other group missed. They made the local papers and the news, and it went right straight to their heads. It also made them forecast crazy totals for pretty much every storm after that one, and then go back and edit posts or delete them completely to make it look like nope, they never said that! Someone mentioned them the other day so I checked out their page, and yup, still at it. For a storm that was predicted to be 8 inches at the most, and then only in the higher elevations, they were predicting 12 to 18 inches. As it became obvious they were totally wrong, the posts with those numbers disappeared. However, people had taken screen shots and were posting them in comments. Today, the whole page has mysteriously disappeared. I recently read 1984 again. (Highly recommend if you want a view of what’s happening to us now) I couldn’t help thinking of it – those posts and that page went into the memory hole and that’s that! What’s amazing to me, and probably shouldn’t be considering the world today, is that this group STILL has a loyal following. They haven’t gotten a storm right in years, but these people RELY ON THEM TO KEEP US SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn, that sounds familiar. I wonder if Dr. Fauci works for them?

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Be prepared

The weather fearcasters are saying we’re going to get snow on Sunday. They’ve been saying this for over a week, the snow total has gone from 20 inches on Monday to 9.5 inches on Monday, to 2 inches on Monday and 5 on Sunday.

The National Weather Service posted that people should refrain from posting model runs and snow maps before today because things change so quickly in the world of weather. (See above)

Several people commented on that post, and on posts from other weather pages, that they need to know at least a week out so they can be prepared.

I live in Pennsylvania. That’s that sort of rectangle shaped state in the northern section of this great country. Here’s a fun fact. Pretty much every winter, at some point, it snows in this part of the country. I grew up in Upstate NY. It also snows there, pretty much every day all winter long. At some point in December, depending on how cold it is, we rotate clothing, putting t-shirts and shorts away and pulling out the Cuddl Duds and turtle necks. An extra quilt goes on the bed, coats come out of closets and we locate the boots that we happily shoved in the back of a closet around March of the previous year. The Bear makes sure the truck has a full tank of gas, that there’s gas for the snow blowers, puts the mower in the shed and pulls out the shovels. We make sure we have kitty litter for the sidewalks, salt for the places Maverick can’t reach (salt is bad for puppies) and we have an extra bag of bird seed. I check on our Chewy orders, have to make sure we have extra food for the kid. All of this and more we do for Justin. (Y’all know Justin. Justin Case.)

Unless you moved to the north from Florida about a week ago, you ought to know that all this should be done – every freakin year. Yes, there have been years with no snow (those were the best!) but it’s rare, and I’ve yet to see a year with no cold weather.

So if you aren’t prepared more than a week out, you’re a nitwit.

I went to the grocery store this morning. Friday is my normal shopping day, but I went early because I knew that everyone would be out buying up all the milk, eggs and bread. (I’m grateful that I was able to get all of the above, because we needed them, not because we might get snow.) The store was a zoo. I saw more masks than I’ve seen in a long time, that’s really weird, it didn’t take long to get used to seeing faces again. (The saddest part of my day was seeing a child of maybe 4 years old wearing a mask. How the hell are we going to convince these babies that faces are meant to be seen?) I got most of what was on my list. I saw a lot of empty shelves. I muttered “Let’s go Brandon” more than once.

The most recent update has us at 1-3 inches of snow and then turning to rain. To me, it’s a total waste of Mother Nature’s time to snow and then rain and wash it away. Just bloody well rain and get it over with. So hopefully everyone is totally prepared for WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!! a week out.

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mostly peaceful protestors

Just read this op ed in Newsweek and felt it worth sharing

Liberal Elites Want Us to Care About Jan. 6. But They Don’t Care When Our Cities Burn | Opinion (msn.com)

After all the chest pounding and tears of the past week about Jan 6th, I think it’s important to put things in perspective.

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I’m tired

so this is just random thoughts today

I’m tired of being told that anyone other than my doctor and myself need to know anything about my health decisions. I’m tired of my doctor being told he can’t prescribe medications that he may feel would be good for me because some guy I never met says so.

I’m glad the holidays are over. Christmas was wonderful, New Year’s Eve sucked. My grandchildren spent the afternoon with us on Christmas and gave me a lovely gift – 5 balls of yarn and two crochet hooks. (Wool Ease, 4 colors, and one ball of Loops and Threads Roving – which is soooooooo soft!) For young women who know nothing about yarn, they did pretty well. I wouldn’t have cared if they got the crappiest yarn ever, they put some thought into the gift and that’s what matters most. It was also nice to have them spend the time with us. One grandchild was absent. She had developed a sore throat and runny nose and got a Covid test which came back positive. I had also developed a sore throat, runny nose, cough, headache – we compared symptoms through text messages and holy cow, they were exactly the same! (It was a cold) So she stayed home and I went on with my life. (Judge me if you want, it was a cold, and if you’re that terrified of it, or your health is somehow compromised, stay home)

January 6th thoughts – if it had truly been an “insurrection,” I don’t think the current occupant of the White House would be calling himself President. One person died. It was not equivalent to Pearl Harbor, or 9/11. It was stupid and it shouldn’t have happened, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever to happen in this country. And the idiots who thought it was a good idea should be really proud of themselves, no matter who they are. That said, the speech that was given yesterday was a really great way to get people to unite, wasn’t it? An old phrase came to mind when I heard some clips. I’ll let you figure that out yourselves.

It snowed last night. I suffer from severe anxiety when it snows. I have a crazy ass driveway, on a hill, with an S curve, and a pond along the side, and trees, and I’ve slid off it a few times. So has the Bear, one memorable time a few years ago when we got a blistering 3 feet of snow in one night (anyone who uttered “BRING IT!” does not want to know the hell I wished upon their heads) and he slid off the driveway because he couldn’t see where the path stopped and the creek started. Truck stuck, he walked back up to the house (turning the air blue, by the way) and we were stranded for 3 days. (The people from the neighboring farm got us out on the third day, I have never been so grateful to total strangers) A few years earlier, I watched him slide sideways down the driveway in the truck, and when I told him I saw the angels holding that truck upright, he believed me. (The next day he got new tires on the truck and managed to get us through the blizzard that hit the very next day. ) I grew up in Upstate NY, I know how to drive in snow. I never liked it, but I never hated it. I do now. And the hatred turns to fear, and until the Bear is home safe, and all my people are home safe, I cannot relax.

Maverick, on the other hand, thinks snow is the best thing ever. Watching him have the zooms last night was the only thing that kept me from sobbing.

I made a list of the books that I’ve purchased and not yet read. I stopped counting at 150. There are at least three more boxes in the computer room. And you see why I say Peachy is a bad influence? 🙂

I made one resolution, by the way – knock down the TBR pile!

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments against the vax mandate today. For not only my own sake but for everyone’s I hope they strike it down.

I started knitting a scarf with some super thick roving yarn. (Part of my Christmas present.) I should be writing syllabi but making bracelets and knitting and reading is a whole lot more fun.

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The chocolate finally melted

My mother loved Christmas. For years, she made what she called “maple creams,” chocolates with maple flavored cream filling. When she started making them, she made a bunch of different flavors, but the family favorite was maple, so eventually that was all she made. Those candies were what everyone looked for every year – totally decadent, totally sinful, totally delicious. Damn the migraine that invariably ensued from eating more than one, maybe two, it was worth the pain. And the diet after New Year’s when they were all a sweet memory.

My mother died almost 20 years ago. She died in October, making Christmas that year a very difficult holiday. I was in NY, still working on my Masters degree, making trips to PA to be with my Bear – who held the pieces of my heart together and kept me on this earth when I was very close to flying off the edge.

It took a long time for me to do a lot of the things she did at Christmas. We had a tree because of the grandchildren. I made cookies because of other people. I bought gifts because I love to give gifts, and that part of Christmas was never a sadness for me.

I’ve never been able to make the candies.

This year, I decided it was time. I gathered ingredients – do you know how hard it is to find paraffin wax? (It’s in the chocolate coating – makes it firmer) Or confectionery sugar? (Thanks, Brandon.)

I only know two people who like maple flavoring. Off I went to the store in search of extracts that people might like. My dear neighbor gave me a bottle of coconut, telling me I just needed to make sure she gets some candy. (She would have anyway) I bought cherry flavoring at the request of my middle granddaughter. I did get maple, because Mother would haunt me if I didn’t make at least SOME maples! I got peppermint because that’s a favorite here – and I’m going to break tradition and coat some of those with mint chocolate – and rum because, well, rum.

Today I spent an hour melting the damned chocolate over a double boiler. The first batch was scooped into balls yesterday, and waiting in the freezer. And finally, they were dipped. Well., that wasn’t so hard, so I did another batch! Coconut and cherry are now complete. Rum is in the freezer, and may be dipped later. Tomorrow till be the peppermints and maples.

Did I shed a few tears while doing this? Yeah, a few. And I had a long talk with my mother while I was dipping. And melting. And trying to figure out her less than precise directions. (Well, she knew what to do, and saw no reason to write down every little step!)

And Christmas is starting to feel like Christmas round here. Presents await wrapping, the ham will be brought up from the freezer tomorrow, excited messages are being received from the grandchildren, and the Bear is being his usual grumpy self – while trying not to smile when I tease him about his grinchyness.

All that’s left is to find a gift for Maverick. Oh, and I got the coolest thing for Peachy! 🙂

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It’s been a long day and it’s only 11:30

One of these days I’ll learn to say no.

Who am I kidding, I haven’t learned that in my centuries on this earth so far, why would I expect to learn it any time soon?

It’s 10 days till Christmas. My previously Grinchy grandchildren, who demanded nothing for Christmas but cold, hard cash, have suddenly been bitten by the true Christmas spirit and have requested the kind of Christmas I had growing up.

This does not just involve presents – although that’s a good part of it. (Ask my friends, who get loaded down with gifts because the kids didn’t want anything. ) (Don’t worry, Peachy, you’re still getting spoiled this year.) It involves decorating and baking and for some reason that I totally cannot explain, I decided this would be a good year to make my mom’s famous cream filled chocolates. I’ve never made these. I helped her make them, usually I was in charge of filling holes left by the toothpicks she froze into each ball so she could dip them in the chocolate more easily.

She’s been gone for almost 20 years. I haven’t made the candies because – and this always makes me laugh – she only made maple and peppermint flavors and no one here likes maple. (I just learned that’s not true, my BFF’s soon to be son in law adores maple flavoring) Sometimes my brain is a strange place. (Shush Maxwell) Bear once asked if I would make peanut butter fudge for him. I always use my Aunt Lena’s pie plate for fudge, and we hadn’t unpacked that box yet, having only lived in the house for a few months. I said, totally seriously, “I can’t, I don’t have Aunt Lena’s pie plate.” He, equally seriously, said, “you can’t use something else?”

Well, duh.

So when I mentioned that no one likes maple, his response was “can’t you make other flavors?”

Well, duh again.

My class is finished, so I’m thinking, “yippee, I have two weeks to do all this stuff I need to do.”
Well. Not really. BFF still needs help with babysitting. Am I going to say no to that? Are you crazy? (Sorry, Krist) Well, that’s three days this week. Also, I need to go to the jewelry store for the yearly diamond inspections, and that has to be done this month. Today is the day for that because it’s the day between babysitting. Our township is considering allowing the building of a solar farm on 600 acres of land – yes, 600 acres – and there’s a meeting tonight about that. I don’t know enough about solar farms to have an opinion about this, so I want to attend the meeting to hear both sides. (I’m also hoping for fireworks because I do love drama when I’m not part of it) (I’ll keep you posted about this issue)

I joined a gym last week. Today I have a meeting with the trainer. From there, I’ll head to the mall to get the jewels checked, then do the card shopping for those who get special cards, go to Bath and Bodyworks because I’m out of shower gel and that’s the only stuff that doesn’t dry my skin out, and maybe stop at the pet store. Then home by 5:30 to pick up Maverick from daycare, and soon after head out to this meeting. Maverick does not like it when I leave him alone, so when I get home I will have to placate him for awhile, and at some point get some dinner for myself. And him.

There’s also laundry to be done, and a snuffle mat to be made for a granddog.

And I got three hours of sleep last night.

Am I whining? Not really. I have longed for a Christmas like I had before I married the Bear and moved to what is still sometimes a foreign country. It appears that this year I will be getting that. So in spite of all the work involved – getting the tree, decorating, baking, candy making, (middle grandchild requested peanut butter balls, too. She has no idea that she’s tormenting me, since they will appear delicious and I can’t eat them), I am pretty darned happy.

And will be happier when I get a nap.

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It was movie night

(and I can’t believe Peachy blogged about Legos)

I’m blessed to have 4 very good friends, 3 dog ladies and one cat kid who range in age from 86 to I think 26. We’re a motley crew who share many interests and yet are very different in many ways – and we have an amazing amount of fun when we get together.

A few years ago, one of us – probably me, I tend to be the ringleader when it comes to “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to………………………. ” ideas that tend to leave us all gasping for breath from laughing so hard – thought it might be fun to have “movie night,” to spend a night watching movies, eating junk food and sleeping over at one of our homes, like a bunch of teenagers, because who says fun has to stop when you hit a certain age? If that’s a rule, I’m gonna slap the bitch that wrote it. (And the ladies will help me, cuz that’s another thing – we’re always there for each other. No questions asked, except one – “how can I help?”) (So what if I often reply with “I have 11 acres of woods, and watch the ID channel, where do you want to dig the hole?”)

Last year we didn’t do movie night because………Covid, bleah! And the eldest was going through some health issues and it just didn’t happen. We were determined it would this year. We periodically talk about movies – our favorites, which are often something the others haven’t seen. My BFF and I are huge fans of The Princess Bride, 2 of the group had never seen it (seriously? How can this even be possible?) so we watched it together.

This is a testament to our friendship. Neither of them liked it. We’re still friends. BFF and I are shocked and astonished that they didn’t like the best movie ever made but we make allowances, obviously they were not brought up right but there’s time to save them. We just learned that our dear Peachy, who wasn’t a part of the group at that time, also doesn’t care for this wonderful movie. Sigh. She’s young, perhaps she’ll see the errors of her thinking soon?

Part of the fun is choosing the movies we’ll watch. We make a list because we’re very good at making lists. Eventually we decide on 4. Choosing the date is the hardest part, but we were all free on Saturday night, and so we gathered at B’s house at the appointed time. Pizza was eventually ordered – it’s a difficult thing to make a decision at times – and after we picked it up, the eating and watching began.

The first movie was Foul Play. It had been years since I’d seen it, and I’d forgotten how funny it is. We howled with laughter, while eating pizza and chips and dip and pretzel nuggets. A short break was taken, so we could all go pee, get comfy on the various sofas again, fill our popcorn buckets and coax Layla-boo, B’s black lab, onto the couch between me and Peachy – where she not only snored (Layla, that is) but ripped a stinker that sent Peachy into the next room.

The second movie was Chicago. Lots of popcorn and toe tapping, I’m not sure it was as popular as the first but I think everyone enjoyed it.

More pizza, chips and dip, sodas, potty break, wake up Peachy – who slept through half of Chicago – and on to Little Women. We lost BFF shortly after that started, but in her defense, she’d seen it before and is currently on the DL so she needs her rest. I was a bit disappointed in this one – the acting was wonderful but had I not read the book (several times), I would have been lost.

BFF woke up, we had more chips and dip and pretzel nuggets – I will totally be starting the diet tomorrow – and Hairspray began. By now it was heading for 4 am. I dropped off about 15 minutes in and woke up about 15 minutes before the end. John Travolta can dance, and in high heels and a fat suit – I’m impressed. I’ll have to watch that one again, I might enjoy it more if I were awake!

The eldest among us couldn’t make it and the youngest left before breakfast – she has a long drive. There were 3 of us crashed on sofas for a couple of hours, then coffee and cheese danish, and home to sleep for a few more hours.

I’m pretty well tired out but the memories made – sprawling in front of the fireplace, trying to get a picture of all of us while Layla decided that people on her level must be in need of serious face washing – Layla snoring between me and Peachy, all curled up soft and warm on the sofa – laughing over silly comments and snorting over funny lines in movies – make the yawns and aching bones from falling asleep in a position that might have been comfortable 30 years ago, totally and completely worth it.

In a world where so much seems so very dark, we were a beacon of light – and we will continue to shine that beacon of love and friendship, caring – which is so much more than loving – and sisterhood – as long as one of us is breathing.

And movie suggestions for next year are already being compiled!

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Bathrooms need cleaned

So I’m writing a blog post.

Lately I find myself screaming a lot. In the bathroom, mostly, although since I live in the woods with no one around for a good long way, I sometimes avail myself of the fact the birds and foxes don’t care, and scream my head off outside.

What the hell is going on in this world? I’m seeing article after article about how this jab is making things worse (see Ireland and Israel) and yet our esteemed Brandon is trying to force it upon us. Yesterday I saw a story about NICU’s filling up with babies with cardiac problems, all of whom had moms who were jabbed while pregnat. (Disclaimer, this was not verified but I trust the source)

How are we allowing CHILDREN to be part of an experiment that may fundamentally alter their lives? If adults want to (cave to the propaganda) make an informed decision about this, then fine, but children? It’s wrong, so totally wrong. And I hope the innocents don’t pay a heavy price in a few years, if not sooner.

Maverick has decided that something is living in the woods that is an immediate threat to all of us. His solution to this is to bark at it. And bark at it. And bark some more.

Nothing stops this. No amount of begging, pleading, tears, or offers of treats will make this stop. I am at my wits end. I have tried a BarkBegone, a whistle, making him come inside (he stands at the back door and whines, which is equally as nerve wracking as the barking), and threatening to return him to the breeder if he DOES NOT KNOCK IT OFF NOW!

I shall be eternally grateful to the person who invented Irish Mist.

He’s returning to daycare on Monday. I am a horrible person, and I freely own that, but I can’t freakin wait.

And in today’s regular dose of messiness, we shall add in that it’s the birthday of the sister with whom I had the blowup over the summer. Warring emotions over this are still a daily struggle.

I think I need retail therapy.

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Feet

I do not like my feet. I know I should, they carry me from place to place and I should be grateful that they work as well as they do.

However.

I have bunions on both feet. When I was younger than I am now by a few years, I would tease my Aunt Mary about her bunions. Little did I know that they’re a congenital defect and I was destined for the same fate.

Or she just cursed me, she could be a mean woman.

not my foot but mine looks like this. only worse

The past few days, I’ve been having cramps that hit with no warning and almost take me down. Yeah, a lot of fun that when you’ve got an active dog to walk every day who will not care if Mommah falls down and breaks herself at the park. Also, said dog will not poop at home, and requires a walk every day, even if it’s only a half mile.

I’m off to the doctor this evening. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s something like, “you need more potassium! Drink more water!” and not, “you need surgery or you’ll never walk again.”

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It’s a miracle

I hardly ever watch TV. I grew up with parents who rarely watched much TV, my father watched the news, my mother liked game shows and half hour comedies, my father liked a good western and in later years he would watch the night time soap operas with me. Seriously, the man was addicted to Dallas and Knots Landing – although he often confused the women because, “dammit, they’re all blonde and they all sound alike!” But those he delighted in watching with me. He also loved to watch a good scary show and would announce half way through that he was going to bed, and I could watch the rest alone, at which I would demand he stay up and finish it with me or I’d have nightmares. He would laugh and always stayed up till the end, but he did love to tease me with that.

At any rate. I married a man who is addicted to TV. It goes on first thing in the morning, and he used to leave it on all night but I can’t sleep with that mess, so he doesn’t do that any more, thank goodness. The point is, I’ve seen more commercials than I really ever cared to see. In recent years, it seems that at least 85% of all commercials are for some prescription drug or other. They all follow the same format. First they tell you how this particular drug is a miracle cure for some disease that maybe 12 people in the world have but the drug company has sunk a ton of money into, so now they’re advertising like hell so thousands will think they have this dread disease and run to their doctor asking for this particular drug. This is followed by the warnings. “Don’t take this crap if you’re allergic to it because we know you’re that stupid that you will if we don’t tell you that. Tell your doctor about all side effects. This may cause all sorts of strange things and increase your risk of a million other things. But in spite of that, ask your doctor for this amazing drug!”

Every. Single. Drug.

Enter the Rona. I like to call it the “we’re all gonna die except for 99.9% of us” disease. Enter the panic, and the rush to create a vaccine. Next up? Demand that everyone get said vaccine.

Have you once heard about possible side effects? Have you once heard about a possible allergic reaction to this vaccine? Have you heard much of anything about any adverse affects?

Why is that, do you suppose? Is it a miracle that something has finally been discovered that can be injected into your body and not one single person in the world has an allergic reaction to it? Not one person has an advere affect?

It’s a freakin miracle! Let’s go Brandon!

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