If I click my heels three times, will I be home?

It’s been a long week. The good times are currently overshadowed by the bad times. I just want to be home. I want my Bear’s arms around me, I want my puppy to climb on me and knock me down and lick my face half off. I want to be where there’s no drama, where my friends love me because of who I am, not in spite of who I am.

I’m exhausted. I broke the carafe to my little coffee pot tonight so I can’t make coffee in my room in the morning. I was given orders to get a shower, go get coffee and bring it back to my room, and get functional before getting on the road. I don’t want to, I just want to go home. But the Bear will worry, so I will do as he asks.

There are hurts to heal – pain that I’m still processing – grieving to do, for a sister who will not again be part of my life. I hope she understands what she’s lost.

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I love you but I don’t like you

I’m pretty hard to anger to the point where I actually flash out but it happened tonight. I’ve been contradicted, interrupted, bit my tongue after snide comments about my friends, bit my tongue when I was told that the nasty person who happens to be my niece is “just like you.”

I don’t honestly care who anyone chooses to like or dislike, nor do I care about their reasons for such feelings. I expect the same respect from others. No one gets to dictate to me who I like or don’t, nor do they get to dictate that I never express my opinions.

It has been a difficult week. It ended last night with slamming doors and tears. I leave here tomorrow, once again leaving in sadness, and wondering why I subjected myself to this when I knew in my heart it was going to happen eventually. I told Bear I didn’t want to come, and I should have listened to my intuition.

There have been good days. Going on a 90 mile ride (one way) to find a nursery that only sells African violets, getting lost and endind up on Ann St so many times we thought we should rent an apartment and stay awhile, and buying too many plants but laughing so hard we almost wet ourselves – that was a very good day. Seeing an 80 year old cousin and reminiscing without being told my memories were incorrect was another good day. The visit to the 91 year old cousin was spoiled by constant and relentless contradictions, corrections, criticisms. (This started from the day I was born, I think, never stopped till I moved away and cut all ties, and restarted when I renewed those ties, only to grow in intensity over the past couple of years till if anything it’s worse than when I left 18 years ago)

So I’ll remember the laughter and put the rest behind me. And by next year, I may be ready to gird my loins and head into the battle again. (I love that expression, by the way) I know full well that I could slay the dragons, I could wreck havoc and leave them bleeding on the battlefield that they chose, but I do not choose to do so. I wonder if they’ll ever realize how much restraint I’ve shown over the years? No, they will only remember the few times I let loose and continue to think of me as “such a bitch.”

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For your reading pleasure

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Shop or work? That is the burning question this morning

I have no plans today till later this afternoon, picking up my sister at 3:30 and having dinner with my oldest nephew at 4, so the day stretches before me, wide open for whatever I choose to do.

I should take the opportunity to work. I have a lot of grading to do for my students and work to do in the class I’m taking. I’m a week ahead in that one and I’d like to stay ahead. I have work to do in the class I’ll be teaching in another month as well. I have few distractions here, unlike at home when Maverick is demanding attention and there’s a lawn swing calling to me, and a plethora of books I’d like to read.

However, I have to go out to the store to get something for a light lunch, a jug of milk – I bring a small coffee pot along with me and make my coffee each morning, and my milk is nearly gone so it must be replenished. I want to make another trip to the cemetery to visit my parents. The cemetery is half way to the shopping plaza. Kohl’s is calling my name. But then again, I really don’t need anything, and it’s just more to pack to take home.

Phew, I think I talked myself into working. My friend is coming over later tonight and bringing me violet cuttings to hopefully grow, and taking cuttings from the ones I bought on our trip to the nursery. Where we got lost. And finally decided we should just get an apartment and live on Ann St since we kept ending up back there. (There was a detour that Stephanie* was not aware of and she kept trying to send us over a bridge that was closed. And non-existent. No bridge there, Steph, and my car can’t fly!) If you must get lost, I highly recommend doing so with my friend Bob, you will laugh till you have to pull over for fear of crashing the car because you’re doubled over and crying. I digress. He’s also bringing me fabric, so there’s no need for me to go to the store and shop for that.

However, I do need shelves for the violets I purchased so there’s probably a trip through the wonders of Amazon.

Two more days here, then off to visit another friend, overnight in that town, and then home on Sunday. I am ready to be home. I miss my Bear, and my puppy, and my friends. Family is wonderful, in small doses, once a year. I am grateful that I don’t have to experience larger doses, more regularly. (Yesterday’s WTF moment was when my sister informed me that I needed to get the Covid vaccine. I responded that I might eventually. She said, “well by then you won’t need it!” Pretty sure my face showed my “Hunh?” reaction, although the holes in my tongue got a wee tad bigger)

*Stephanie is my GPS. I didn’t name her so I’m not sure why she’s Stephanie, but “Stephanie, shut the f up, the bridge is out,” kinda rolls off your tongue!

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It’s a beautiful day to go visiting

Or so I’m telling myself.

We’re going to visit my oldest sister today. By we, I mean me and my next oldest sister. There are only the three of us left – two have gone to their respective eternal resting places many years now.

I’m trying not to be trepidatious. (There’s your big word for the day.) We’re leaving at noon, it’s an hour drive, probably visiting for no more than two hours, and then an hour back. She has not offered us lunch so I’m going to grab something before we go because I will get hungry and then hangry and then weepy and then straight into “if you look at me sideways and you don’t have food for me NOW, I will cut your eyes out and eat them with a nice chianti.” I know, hard to believe that anyone of my sweet nature could possibly turn into a raving, ravenous beast from Hell, but it happens. When the growl starts and the only intelligible words from my throat are “FEED ME NOW!” then SOMEBODY better be moving their ass to get me some damned food.

I don’t normally eat lunch till around 1. I’m going to eat lunch at 11. I will choke down a sandwich and pray it stays with me, because the other part of this story is that it’s meant to be 92 degrees, and we will either be sitting outside under an umbrella, or inside a trailer with little a/c. (I am spoiled, you all know that, shutty about it. I am no longer used to homes without central air or several working air conditioners. It’s 92 freakin degrees, people! Get the damned a/c working!)

I suppose the worst that will happen is I throw up or pass out. Le Sigh

I have to teach tonight. The internet here is spotty at best. Thank the Goddess for a fun group of students who will be amused rather than annoyed if I get booted offline.

Stay cool everyone, and don’t forget to hydrate!

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Definitions and words have power

After the “election,” I noticed, and I’m sure you did too, that nearly every headline, or tv news talking head, was using the same term for those of us who questioned the results. It was all “baseless accusations.”

I heard it so many times, I truly believe they’re all given a script and told to follow it because it’s exactly the same words coming out of so many different mouths. But my suspicions are probably “baseless.”

There was an email “dump” last week where thousands of emails from Dr. Fauci, aka “FlipFlop Fauci” were made public. I don’t have the time or inclination to search through them, but what I’ve seen published has shown me that several people who questioned him from the early days of the Rona (that’s what we’ve started calling it, with a huge emphasis on the first syllable, the ROOOOOHHHNAH!”) were right.

Today I click on my email, I’m still using AOL because it’s where I started and I’m too damned lazy to change. (Shut it, Maxwell, I am not too damned old, and get off my lawn) There was a story about the “vicious attacks” on Dr. Fauci. I read the story, and started laughing – because, of course, any accusations against him are, once again, baseless!

So I’m thinking that the definition of that term has changed recently. Perhaps “baseless” now means, “there’s plenty of evidence but it was never supposed to be made public, so look away, nothing to see here!” Or maybe it’s, “your evidence doesn’t fit what we want, so we’re going to ignore it.” Or maybe it’s something else entirely?

I watched the post “election” hearings and saw testimony from people, under oath, who had sworn to tell the truth under penalty of prosecution, who spoke about the things they saw and experienced. Was it enough to change the results? Does that matter? Shouldn’t any discrepancy be investigated?

Nope, it’s all “baseless” if the result was what you wanted. Take notes, people, and try to use this term correctly from now on. “Officer, your allegation that I was breaking the speed limit is baseless, so what if I was going 90 in a 30? Baseless, I tell you!” (Actually, I think Maverick has mastered this. “Did you dig that hole?” “Mommah, your accusation is baseless, in spite of the mud on my paws and all over your clean floor. Now give me a cookie to make up for hurting my feelings with your baseless accusations!”

That brings me to “vicious.” (Disclaimer – I haven’t been following this story all that closely, I’m dealing with family drama which, hey, you want to see vicious? Whew, let me introduce my family! ) From what I’ve seen, Fauci is being called out on some of the things he said in public when he said something totally different in private. Seems he’s also being called out on his disclaimer of any knowledge of gain of function – I have no idea what that actually means, by the way – or that this lab in China was working on the virus that almost took down the world.

New meaning of “vicious” is apparently saying that someone lied and should be held accountable? And then again, I’ve heard that term used for the January 6th “insurrection.” Hey, there’s another word to redefine! Walking into a building and taking a selfie? INSURRECTION, dammit!

So I have to attend a graduation party later today with family. (See “vicious” above) Perhaps I will throw out some baseless accusations, be accused of being vicious and stage an insurrection so I can get out of Dodge early!

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Oh New York, you break my heart

My annual trip to the place I used to call home in under way.

I have been slapped in the face with all the reasons I left in the first place today

It’s gonna be a long week

On the good side – my adored great nephew got a job already, just out of college. I’m pretty damned proud of him.

On the bad side – my sister who has always treated me as if I were brain damaged, in spite of the three degrees I’ve managed to attain – she once described me as a “perpetual student” – is still trying to tell me what to think.

On the good side – not much was mentioned about the Rona, and nothing about politics. Phew, we are totally not in agreement about this stuff, but since I’m brain damaged, who cares what I think?

I am not a kid anymore. Why in the name of all that is holy do I let these people treat as if I am? I’m the youngest of five, one of the youngest of a plethora of grandchildren – and I mean it when I say that, my mother was one of 14 children and my father one of 6, they all believed that reproducing the species was a noble goal, so there are probably 150 grandchildren if not more. There is so latent jealousy because I was the spoiled darling of all the older kids, when they weren’t trying to throw me into a snowbank (perhaps this started my hatred of that white crap?) I was the smartest, the cutest, the one who went to college and got not one but three degrees, and also the one who stopped my life to take care of elderly parents when all the siblings went merrily on living their what others saw as normal lives. (I begrudge this not at all, I wouldn’t give up the years with my parents for anything and my life since they passed has been more than I ever dreamed it would be. Good things do come to those who wait sometimes)

However. We are not kids anymore. My oldest sister, who has been discussed previously, many times, was a joy sucker. It appears that my next older sister has taken on the role the Evil One who Shall Not Be Named deserted when she passed over into eternal flames. (Forgiveness is not one of my virtues, by the way) (That’s not true, I actually forgive pretty easily. This is a special case)

So some of my plans are being rearranged. I will spend as little time with Joy Sucker #2 as I can because I seriously don’t want to argue when I’m only here for a week. However, I won’t be a doormat. And I’ll be damned glad to get back home.

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Blue paint, viking horns and pussy hats

I read a post on Fakebook the other day from someone commenting about Memorial Day, and the Greatest Generation and the differences between then and now. A comment was made about “fake patriots in blue paint and viking hats.” Maybe my mind is wandering because I woke up an hour before the alarm and had to pee too badly to pretend that I could just go back to sleep -which means I tried to go back to sleep for about 15 minutes before giving in and getting up, and then there was just no point in going back to bed. At any rate, it struck me that the silliness of wearing Viking horns has been painted as the most horrible thing for anyone to do. I’m not saying that January 6th wasn’t serious, and it needs to be investigated for a lot of reasons – how in the hell did anyone get that far into the Capitol when Congress was in session anyway? It wasn’t like no one had a clue that people were planning to protest!

And then, because I was knitting I suppose, I got to thinking about pussy hats. Wearing a vagina on your head has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen anyone do. But the women who did that were considered brave and empowered. (Empowered is a word I seriously find annoying, by the way. It usually means that someone feels like they have to right to do something that most of us would think was probably not a good idea, like wearing a vagina on your head)

Blue horn Viking guy is still sitting in prison. People who burned down Portland and other cities all last summer were released within days, if not hours. Nobody got arrested for wearing a pussy hat, because apparently the fashion police had been defunded.

I’m of a generation that was raised to think of our vaginas as private, something that wasn’t to be shared with the world. Did this mean we were ashamed of them? I don’t think so, I kind of think that talking about your parts is like talking about pooping – we all have them, and we all poop, but do we really have nothing better to discuss? I’d really rather talk about a book, thanks.

And on a random note, becoming a student again is stressful!

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Thoughts while waiting and a minor rant

My great nephew, who is the joy of my life and has been since the day he first drew breath, is graduating from college tomorrow. He’s getting an award today so I’m waiting for the live stream to start. I’ll probably cry. I can’t imagine how the baby boy who wouldn’t stay with anyone but Auntie, who took every candle off my bookshelves and made caravans across the floor, who had to eat a fudgsicle whenever he visited, has grown into such a wonderful young man. I’m sure it’s totally because he takes after his great aunt. 🙂

We are very far apart in age and yet we have long conversations, sometimes late at night, about all sorts of things. He is the child of my heart, as is his brother (who’s studying to be a doctor, yeah, proud Auntie here)

So I’m sitting here waiting for the ceremony to start and tomorrow I will watch graduation as well, and probably cry for that one too.

I took Maverick for his walk this morning at the little park because he no longer is interested in walking further than it takes to poop and be done with it. The little park is only 1/2 mile around so I take him back home and go to the big park and walk my miles without him dragging me around – yes, loose leash walking is a work in process. Maverick is not a fan of meeting other dogs while on leash. He is especially not fond of dogs on flexi – leads. (I believe he’s gotten part of that from me, because those things were created by Satan) (Shutty, Maxwell) He also is not a fan of people who wear masks at the park, and I’m totally with him on that one. (I whisper as they pass, “curses on your cooties!”)

Owning a dog reactive dog is a learning experience. My first Golden loved every dog and every person he met. Maverick is far more selective. There are a few trusted friends we can pass at the park with nothing more than polite interest. There are a few that send us as far off the path as we can manage, and a few more that I actively get in front of and block Maverick’s view. I ALWAYS warn people to stay away. “Please don’t come close, he isn’t a fan of other dogs” is my go-to comment. I say this loudly and clearly. This does NOT in any way translate to “Please come over closer and make me say it again.” Today at the little park, I saw a man and woman approaching with a chocolate Lab. She’s a nice dog, Max played with her a few times at that park. Her owners are elderly. The gentleman walks the dog – on a flexi-lead – and has no control of her. I know this because I’ve interacted with this couple more than once.

Maverick and I headed to the field. I wear earbuds and listen to a book while walking. It keeps me sane during the endless sniff fests that Maverick enjoys. They’re wireless and I keep the loop in front because if I loop them around my neck, it annoys me and gives me a funny line in the middle of the tan my necks gets every summer. (Yup, right now I’m truly a redneck, I got the sunburn going on!) The old couple stopped on the path and looked over at us, and started in our direction. Lucy, the dog, was pulling at the end of the flexi-lead. (So she was about 800 feet out in front of the old guy) I pulled one earbud out and said, “Don’t come closer, please.” I’m polite, it’s how I was raised. The lady started towards us, saying, “what?” I moved further away saying “Please don’t come closer, he doesn’t like other dogs.” At this point Maverick was barking and pulling and generally being an idiot.

Again she says, “What?” I pulled out the other earbud. “DON’T COME ANY CLOSER!” Finally it sank in. She shooed her husband on down the path and decided that SHE would come over. “HE’LL KNOCK YOU DOWN!” I said, as I’m trying to move him along in the other direction.

Finally, we were back on the path. They were moving the other way and no harm done other than me being annoyed. I reached down to my neck to put my earbuds back in and they were gone. I searched through my clothes, thinking they had fallen and were hanging off my bra or something. Nope, they were gone.

They were not the most expensive of earbuds but they weren’t cheap either. I was pissed. Trying to search for them in the grass with Maverick pulling on me was an exercise in futility. I took him back to the car and walked back to the spot where we had gone off the path. I searched the grass, nothing. After going back and forth several times, I gave up, in tears, and headed back to the car. “Please show me where they are, ” I said, as I walked on. Lying on the path half way around were my earbuds.

A happy ending. And still I wonder why people just don’t listen. Not every dog is friendly. Not every person is friendly. If someone is moving away from you, don’t move closer to them.

Is that really so hard?

Meanwhile, Alex is making me proud and that’s a good thing today

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Suddenly it’s summer and other random thoughts

We’ve gone from having the heat on to having the A/C on in the space of a week. I love Summer, I love the heat, I don’t mind humidity, I could cheerfully live in 80 degree weather year round and you’ll never hear me complain it’s too hot. (I may be preparing for my future life, who knows? But in my view, Heaven is hot and Hell is cold, so there’s that)

Maverick, on the other hand, does not understand that he doesn’t get to shed layers of fur like Mommah sheds layers of clothes and he really should not be outside for long periods of time when it’s 80some degrees out there and he can’t stop moving long enough to even get a drink.

We’ve taken to walking at the small park – a half mile – with him, because he’s just too hot. I take him home, then go to the big park and do my miles. I like to eat and that means I need to walk at least three miles a day or I turn into a balloon. I don’t like myself when I’m fat. I also like ice cream so I do what I have to do to have both – me sorta not fat but able to eat a fudgesicle when the mood strikes.

(It strikes almost every day)

I’m heading to NY again in a couple of weeks. I’m kinda dreading this trip – because I’m not getting this experimental vaccination and most of my relatives are convinced I’m an idiot. I’m also sort of an anti-masker, and when I mentioned to my sister that I rarely wear one, her reaction was “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?” Ummm, I’m thinking, that’s what I’m doing. I will bend enough to wear a face diaper when required while there, but I will not be pressured into a vaccine. I’m afraid it’s going to lead to arguments. Le Sigh.

I’m teaching two nights a week. And I signed up for a computer science course, so I have homework of my own – I finished the first chapter today (yes, I know it’s only Monday and the class opened at midnight last night, I’m a nerd, k?) but I’m stressing about the quiz on this chapter because it’s an adult student thing – (and I’m a nerd) – that I have to get an A. (But it is fun to be a student again. ) I’m going to be busy with that, and it may just be my excuse should the family pressure become unbearable.

Today I decided to make molasses cookies. My dear departed friend Cindy would say, “Mole Asses?” She was a character and is much missed but that’s another story for another day. I’m using my mom’s recipe. She didn’t write down directions, only ingredients. This is interesting. They smell good, they look funny, Bear will eat them and all is good

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