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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Best Friends, Broken Bones and Blessings

A week and a half ago, my BFF broke her wrist. She fell, landed on her arm, broken wrist ensued. She was on vacation, and I couldn’t be with her and it was totally awful.

She babysits her grandson every week and with a broken wrist, she can’t pick him up. Her grandson is the most wonderful baby ever born, by the way. I am totally and completely gobsmacked by this baby. (Yes, Kristi, that’s one of my favorite words too.)

I said, “when do you need me to help?” Last week I got to help babysit twice, this week will be just one day.

I’m very sad about the broken wrist. I’m very happy by the extra time I’m getting with my BFF and the best baby ever.

There are 5 of us who call ourselves the diamond ladies. We do diamond art and have dinner and are all very different and we all adore each other. Tomorrow, two more of the diamond ladies are going to help babysit. We’re also going to do a manicure for BFF, who cannot trim her nails. (How to put on a bra with one hand is another discussion entirely!)

And we will laugh and love on that baby, and enjoy each other’s company and have a wonderful afternoon.

So a broken bone has become a blessing. I’m not sure BFF would totally agree – she’s the one dealing with the pain – but for the rest of us? I’m not glad it happened, but I’m so glad for what it’s brought about.

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I should be grading

That sentence makes me start humming “you should be dancin, yeah!” I think my friend and I saw Saturday Night Fever 10 times at the theatre and I still don’t know all the words to that damned song, but I will dance every time I hear it played.

Also, I should be grading. It’s the last roundup and I have 3 more classes to do. In their wisdom, the powers that be created a final with fill in the blank questions, and the automatic grading system is marking students’ answers as incorrect if they’re not exact. If someone puts a comma in their answer, it’s wrong. No, it’s not. So on top of grading the last minute homework submissions and the final projects, I’m going through all the exams and regrading those questions.

I have 5 classes, so approximately 100 students. And the little darlings all want their grades NOW. So they email me, “when are you going to update the gradebook? I turned in my work 5 seconds ago!”

So far I have refrained from responding, “if you would stop emailing me, you entitled little shit, I would have the grades done.” (I need my job)

I’m spoiled, I guess, I’ve been working steadily for three and a half hours and I just don’t want to do any more!

Piffle. At least my upper level doesn’t need all their exams checked. I love teaching. In about a week and a half I’ll be down to one class, and this is one I haven’t taught in years. Next week should be a week off, but I’m still deep in creating content.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, there are people who are blaming the former president for ships that are currently sitting in a harbor with all kinds of stuff going bad, and we’re being told we might not have Christmas – guess what, we’re not having Christmas anyway because my family is a bunch of Grinches, but that’s another blog post.

I guess everyone will get a bracelet, I’ve got plenty of those!

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Charming

My college decided to change the accounting curriculum about 2 years ago, and in doing so, split good old Accounting 101 and 200 into 4 seven week classes instead of the traditional 14 weeks that had worked well for a very long time. Apparently they never heard the old maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Hey, we’re talking academia, where the motto is “if it isn’t broken, we will break it, and put it back together so that it will definitely need to be fixed in a year or less.”

When I sent in my request for classes, there was only enough room for 5 classes – no one is allowed to teach more than 18 credits without special permission, the old accounting classes were 4 credits each so 4 would put us over the limit. Adjuncts are only allowed 12 credits, because we are the peons. (In other words, we are often peed on.) I wrongly assumed that I would be able to request more classes for the second 7 week period. Well. You know what happens when you assume.

About a month ago, I sent a message to the Dean, who is a seriously wonderful and sweet woman, and I am so lucky to be able to call her a friend as well as my boss (she sent me a sympathy card after I messaged her that I needed to cancel classes to go to my brother in law’s funeral. Actually, I asked her what I should do and she said, “do what you need to do for your family, one missed class won’t hurt anyone”), and said, “Umm, I have no classes for the second seven weeks.”

Within an hour I had been assigned a class I haven’t taught in a few years. The book is different (and it sucks, by the way), some of the material is more suited for grad school than community college, but I’m kind of excited to be teaching an upper level class again. For several years I’ve been relegated to the lower levels – seniority and experience mean nothing when you’re an adjunct. (See “peon” above)

Teaching 5 classes is stressful. Prepping a class I haven’t taught in ages is also stressful. The department chair created slides to go along with the new book and quite frankly, they suck. I’m in the process of not only making them pretty but adding a whole lot of content. This will be a remote class, so I have to teach in real time, and since I don’t want to sound like a bumbling fool any more than I actually am, I’m also writing up lecture notes. And Maverick is home from daycare with a cold. (The vet has strongly advised that he be kept home for this month, and when Dr. Dave says to do something, he is one of the few people I will obey without question.)

I am slightly frazzle pated. In an effort to find some stress relief, I started making bracelets. Pictures have been posted on Fakebook because if I can sell them, I can buy more beads and more charms. And then I went and opened the Etsy store, and now I have to figure out how to put up a banner and a few other fun things there and I’m absolutely astonished that people have actually commented and want to buy them. Design ideas are swimming around my head, charms are way too much fun to buy, and seriously people, I should be writing lecture notes!

And so I prove once again that no matter how busy I am, I always find time to do the things that bring me joy. Did I mention that I’m also working on a diamond painting? The amazing thing, I will be freaking out the day before the class starts, and then it will all come together. And I’ll still find time to make a bracelet, sew some doll clothes, do some diamond art. And read a book or three.

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There’s a blog post in there somewhere

It’s been a week and a half in about 4 days. Well, that’s kinda normal for me, but it does get tiresome some days.

While I was away, the Bear forgot to give the Terror his allergy pills. On rereading that sentence………… the Bear forgot to give allergy pills to the Terror. It sounded like the Bear forgot to give HIS allergy pills to the Terror, which would probably be a good thing since the Bear doesn’t take allergy pills.

I digressed. The Terror – aka Maverick – was without said allergy meds for a total of 4 doses, from Thursday night till Saturday night. On Sunday, he was snotty and sneezy. Well, who would have thought?

However, a month ago he had a bit of a cold thing that’s been going around the doggy world – according to Dr. Dave, our very smart, very caring, and by the way, very good looking vet, it’s nothing serious and not to worry. Because it’s also contagious, Maverick was home from daycare for two weeks.

I’m a planner. I know at the end of today what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I make lists and I cross things off as I complete them, and while sometimes things get an arrow next to them because I’ll get to them tomorrow, I’m pretty good about making sure everything gets done.

I get little done when Maverick is home. I also have a very short list of things I plan to get done when he’s home.

My plans this week included catching up on the stuff I didn’t get done while traveling to NY and back. So in spite of the snotty nose and sneezes, I took him to daycare, fully convinced that he was merely suffering from a return of his allergies. (My own Fall allergies are in full bloom, by the way.)

Tuesday, he was no different. I don’t know if it takes time for allergy meds to build back up in your system, I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend to be one. (I am NOT Dr. Pawci!) Nothing more than allergies crossed my mind. At 4, I got a message that he was sneezing all over and showing all the symptoms of the previous cold/flu/doggy virus. I picked him up, insisting it’s allergies, but the daycare won’t take him back while he’s sneezing.

So I called the vet, got more meds – doxycycline, which he was on when this first started and is basically a precaution against any secondary infection that might occur. Maverick is now home for who knows how long?

I suspect there will be a lot of alchohol consumed in the next few weeks. The good part is that my crazy teaching schedule will be over in a week. That will leave hours for training, although I’ve discovered that a few minutes of training is better than an hour. Someone gets bored and then someone else gets annoyed, but a few minutes of “go to your rug,” which translates to “run into the family room, circle the rug and then jump on it with all four paws before dropping to a down and then looking at Mommah with a big grin” makes him happy.

My planner is lighter but my load is not for a bit. So if you have any spare minutes lying about that you don’t need, would you mind making a set of slides about Process Costing for me? Oh, and a set about Equivalent Units of Production would be appreciated too.

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Sadness, laughter, tears and too much driving

She married him when I was only 9 years old. I was not happy, my sister who had bought me everything I wanted and taken me everywhere with her was suddenly going off to live with this perfect stranger (they eloped after a very whirlwind romance) and what about me? NOT FAIR!

A few years passed and she had kids and I kinda decided he wasn’t so terrible and then a few more years and he was actually kind of funny, a few more and yeah, I kinda like the guy.

Many years later, he had become a man who had done his best to take care of my sister, given her 6 kids, and a fairly decent life. He also could manage to make me laugh pretty much every time I saw him.

18 months ago, she told me he had lung cancer. He would not quit smoking, no matter how many times he ended up in the hospital, or how many treatments he endured. All the oxygen tanks in the world, and the tube sneaking from the bedroom into his nose didn’t stop him from lighting yet another – although he did have sense enough to remove the canule from his nose before lighting up.

And still he smiled when ever I saw him – which wasn’t often, living 350 miles away makes daily visits difficult. Phone calls suffice – a weekly routine for the past few years. Often the calls are a few minutes – “what’s new?” “nothing much.” “Okay, love you.” “love you too.” to the sister who’s always been the one I could count on since the first breath I took.

So when she called me on Tuesday, when our regular day is Thursday – and we don’t mess with routine, by the way – I knew something was wrong.

“He’s gone,” she said.

I spent the week in a haze of emotions, memories and tears, laundry – throwing clothes from the dryer directly into a suitcase – trying to find a place to stay, canceling classes, Bear getting off work to take care of Maverick.

I drove to NY in horrible weather, the sky was crying harder than I was. My family has been described as tempermental – 90% temper and 10% mental (sorry, Kristi). This is a very apt description. We can hold a grudge til it begs for mercy, and we never forget a slight, no matter how long ago it happened. Several family members would be at the funeral who at best don’t like me, and at worst, actively hate me. So I was walking into the lion’s den, fully prepared for the flaming swords to be aimed in my direction, for my sister. It would have taken several natural disaters to keep me away.

To my surprise, no one tried to stab me. The one I thought surely would came to me with open arms and sobbed while I held her close. (Her daughter looked on in astonishment. We told her that while there are times when we don’t like each other, family is family and when it counts, we’re there for each other.)

And then I had dinner with a dear friend, who made me feel better about many things, and drove home on Saturday, to a Maverick who almost turned himself inside out in excitement, and a big pot of chicken corn soup cooked by the Bear for my dinner.

Sadness and tears, laughter and smiles. A life remembered. A man who will be missed.

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Facebook Purity

Several years ago, I discovered this handy little app called Facebook Purity – you can only use it on a pc, it’s just a little download that is totally amazing. It allows you to block ads from appearing on your Facebook page, filter words and pictures – I hate snow, and hate seeing endless pictures of snow in Winter – I know what that shit looks like, don’t need to see pictures, no it isn’t pretty, I purely hate it. It’s an amazing little tool.

Facebook hates it. Apparently they have people working tirelessly to break it. They’ve recently had some success, and now those stupid stories are showing up on the top of the page. I can live with that, don’t like it but it’s not the worst thing ever.

But they’ve broken the ad block. Every. Fourth. Post. is a FREAKIN ad for some crap. How the heck does anyone even use this site? I’m seeing ads for crap I would never even think of using!

I guess they really don’t want people using that platform.

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