We have no neighbors closer than 500 feet – I live in deep country and have been told often that when we built our house, we ruined hunting for lots of people who were used to just wandering about our land and shooting deer. I consider the deer my kids and they seem to know they’re safe here, so too bad for the hunters. I have no issues with people hunting, but not my kids, not on my land.

The people in the next house up the road are young, been married a few years, live in a small stone house with their little mutt (I was told she’s a “mini golden doodle. In other words, a mutt) who’s a sweet little dog about 5 years old.

They’re expecting their first child soon and I sort of got guilted into making a quilt. Yesterday I went and bought fabric, not what I was looking for but it will do. That was an interesting experience – fabric was on sale and since the pattern I’m using calls for quarter yards only, I decided to get enough to make two small quilts. Each piece of fabric was no more than $1.75. I got a couple of larger pieces to use for backing and a ball of yarn because it’s supposed to be some sort of heat activated and it’s new and so I had to have it. Nothing in my cart was more than $6.

When the clerk rang it up, I was watching the total go up – it hit $123 and I said, “whoa! That’s not right!” She told me with great boredom, “this place can get expensive.” Umm, not THAT expensive for 24 quarter yards of fabric unless that shit is made of gold cloth! I said, “no, this is not right.” With a deep sigh, she said, “I’d have to call my manager to look at it.” Then she looked at me as though I was going to tell her not to bother. No, bitch, call and call fast! She handed me the receipt and lectured me as to which price I should look at because it lists the original price per yard, the sale price, and the price for the cut I got. Yes, Dear child, I know that, and I can add.

When I was in line to get my fabric cut, there was a man in front of me with a bolt of some fabric – not sure what – but it was $19.99 per yard. He asked how much 3 yards would cost and the cutter told him it would be $59.97. The man said he would think about it and left. As I perused my receipt, I see that the first item is 3 yards of something for a total of $59.97. Bingo! I said to the clerk, “I believe this amount is from the gentleman ahead of me, it should have been voided.” Again, with a deep sigh, she announced she would have to call her manager. And what exactly is holding you up there, darlin?

Finally she called. She told him, as if I were being difficult, that I thought there was something wrong with the amount. I glared at her, and did something I rarely do because I hate when people do it to me – I interrupted and proceeded to talk over her, explaining that nothing on my list was more than $1.75 and pointedly asking if the manager – who had been cutting the fabric – remembered the gentleman who asked for a price on 3 yards? Ohhhhhh, yes, well, that should have been voided. Damn skippy it should have, so get on it, Sunshine!

He took the amount off, I paid for my fabric and was pissed off for the rest of the day.

Tonight I looked at the pile of fabric and said, “I should start cutting.” I can’t find any motivation. I’m not sure why, probably if I was cutting the puppy fabric I bought I’d be more excited about this. Also, it hurt my hip to stand there – not sure why, probably yanked out of place again by a certain puppy who doesn’t know his own strength. Oh well, guess those strips won’t cut themselves.

Posted in home, my life | 7 Comments

Leave my stuff alone

A friend of mine likes to share articles on Facebook about how people of our generation have too much stuff, constantly reminding us that millenials don’t want our stuff and thus, we should get rid of it all now.

Somehow this strikes me as not just annoying but downright obnoxious. The most recent article was by a woman who was writing about cleaning out her mother-in-law’s home after the woman died, and finding a stash of sweaters that were her father-in-law’s from years past. Apparently he had died some years earlier. She couldn’t fathom why THESE old things had been kept and seem to relish discussing how they were tossed unceremoniously into a dumpster, then going on about how much they had to pay for said dumpster.

If her mother-in-law had been at all considerate, she would have spent the last years of her life throwing out her little mementos and tchotchkes rather than leaving them this mess to clear out.

The title of the article was “Your stuff isn’t worth anything.” Perhaps it’s not worth much monetarily. The friend who posted it recently moaned about owning a set of dishes which had cost over $1000, and is now worth about $35 to an auction house, and how his daughter doesn’t want it. It’s merely taking up space in his home. Someone commented on his lament – “then USE it!” I cheered inwardly.

I was given the heartbreaking task of cleaning my parents’ home when my mother died. As my sister and I say, the hoarding gene is strong in my family. There wasn’t a shirt box given to my mother that didn’t find its way to the attic. We, too, rented a dumpster, and tossed most of those shirt boxes, along with a bit of other “stuff” that was of no earthly use to us but apparently meant something to my parents.

My sisters and I have a lot of stuff, stuff he would consider just junk and apparently we should immediately clear our homes of the things that give us joy because our children and grandchildren won’t want to do it. To this I say, “tough shit, I won’t be here and I don’t care.” I am happy surrounded by my balls of yarn that I’ll never live long enough to knit up, by my hoards of books that I’ve read and the piles yet to be read, by little trinkets that sparkle in the sun and mementos of my ancestors.

Because someone doesn’t want to be bothered at some point in the distant future (I hope very distant) to have to deal with my balls of yarn, and my books and my treasures, I suppose I should give them all up and live in an austere little one room cabin with nothing but a blanket and one pair of clothes.

I’m a touch crabby today. Get off my lawn and leave my stuff alone. And you want to be a minimalist, good for you, go preach it to someone else. And get off my lawn.

Posted in home, my life | 11 Comments

A new semester begins

I recently discovered – and by recently, I mean last week – that I had the power to open my online classes BEFORE the official start time of tomorrow night at midnight.

The first two weeks of last semester were a cluster. A new text book, new website, nonexistent instructions for how to set things up and how to let students register for the website made for major frustrations on both sides of the desk. I was ready to throw in the towel the second day, to the point where I had to shut down the computer and walk away for 24 hours. I had more emails from students in one day than I normally have in a semester. And let me tell you – students these days are incredibly empowered to say any bloody thing they want to a professor, and take attitudes that I would never have even considered as a student. I suspect, strongly, that they know that we are basically powerless to do much about it, the slightest hint of a snarky reply will ensure an hour or two of discussion with the Dean about being a)unprofessional, b) our students are customers and hence, always right and c) don’t do it again or you won’t have a job because adjuncts are the low people in the college hierarchy.

The chance to open things early, get them possibly registered before the rush of incoming students crashes the website, was like a gift from the gods. I sent off an email to my students, then took the plunge and opened those babies up. It seems to have worked, they’ve started trickling in and managing to get registered on the textbook’s website and dare I hope for a better start this time around?

My hopes are not often turned into reality these days. Maybe this will be the exception

Posted in my life | 3 Comments

Books and thoughts

One of my dear friends loves to read YA novels and frequently suggests titles to me. I don’t care who the target audience is, if it’s a good story and well written, I’ll read it.

I started reading a series she recommended and I’m currently on the last book. Apparently I’m oblivious to nuances – it seems that throughout the first three books, there have been “clues” that two of the characters are gay.

I do not need to know this unless it’s integral to the story

It is not

It feels like the author is thinking, “I have to make at least a couple of characters gay or I’ll get nailed by the pc police.”

It’s annoying

I am the opposite of homophobic. I am firmly in the “I don’t care about your sex life, it’s yours, keep it to yourself” club. I don’t care. If you hit on my husband, we’ll have an issue, otherwise, I don’t care.

I sort of don’t want to finish the book now because I feel like I’m being preached at – like, “if you don’t like this book you’re a bad word!”

If only I hadn’t promised to not curse for a day.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Snowing, blowing, yuck!

Probably within 5 minutes of meeting me, you’ll know how much I hate snow. Yesterday we got about 4 inches of white yuck. I had nowhere to go so I made the Bear take the Benz because it’s the “f you, snow!” car and even though he’s really good driving in snow, other people are not, and we have the driveway from Hell and it was one less thing for me to stress about.

Maverick decided that snow is the best thing ever. Yeah, little dude, pulling the leash out of my hand so you can go running about is not a good thing. He does come back, as soon as I go inside, so that’s good, but seeing him run down the driveway is a scary sight. Because he loved it so, today we let him out off leash for a bit, a more controlled situation than him pulling the leash out of my hand – or so I told myself. He did okay, he went further than I like, but he always comes back when I call.

He does not, however, like to poop at home. Yes, this is weird. I don’t have to pick it up if he poops in the field! So, knowing what the paths are like at the park after it snows, I really didn’t want to go there. People walk, the snow gets packed down, freezes in the shape of footprints, Maverick pulls – a broken ankle waiting to happen.

He didn’t poop while running in the snow. Sigh

Off to the park we went to check out the situation. Mostly the paths were clear except for the parts where the wind was whipping the snow across. And into my face.

Bear bought me a hat that has a built in face mask. I haven’t used it yet because it makes me look like a bank robber. There are no banks at the park. I pulled that baby down over my face and thanked my Bear for his foresight.

It wasn’t a good walk. Maverick wanted to go fast, I was afraid of falling, so it was a pulling contest. But the good news is that he pooped!

Posted in dogs, Maverick, my life, snow | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Joy and sadness

My dear sweet neighbor is in her 80’s. I want to be her when I grow up. Affectionately known as “Momma Joan” to all my friends, she is an amazing woman. Although you would never know her age if you spent a day with her, I know that time, and life, are tricky things, and I spend as much time as I can with her. I take her goodies because I accidentally make too much food sometimes, cookies, pumpkin roll, whatever I can. I check on her every day, a simple text that lets her know I’m thinking of her and her reply is often, “I’m not dead yet!” I adore this lady, she is my adopted mom and I am forever grateful to the dogs who brought us together.

Today we went shopping, because we both love Hobby Lobby. I bought more than needed, as always, and she laughed at me when I told her to talk me out of something. We are not good influences on each other when it comes to shopping

We went to the Dollar Store – the one where everything is actually a dollar – and found treasures. My current addiction is mini binders and they had a small selection for – A DOLLAR! I only bought two, because I only liked two of the colors. 🙂

We went to the Goodwill Store, but didn’t find any treasures there. We did giggle a bit at the things people donate, though!

And then we came home and I played with Maverick and did some training and settled down to do some work, thinking it had been a rather good day so far, having started with one of the best walks we’ve had in a few days and then progressing to a delightful time with Momma Joan.

My friend messaged. Her dad, who is an amazing man, full of life and full of stories, who can crack me up in an instant, broke his hip a few months ago. He’s in his 90’s and a broken hip is bad news for someone that old. He had surgery, and has gone downhill since. She wanted to let us know that the end was near. When I said I was coming to her, and she agreed, I knew it was bad – my shoes were on and I was out the door 5 minutes later. Because that’s what we do, we gather and support each other and love each other and cry together and get through the hard stuff by holding onto each other.

Within half an hour, my best friend had arrived and the three of us gathered around, talking and telling stories. I hope he could hear us, and feel the love. I hope he wakes up and talks to us again, and tells us stories – just for a bit. I pray that there are angels around him and if he must leave us, he goes gently into their arms.

Joy and sadness. Too many memories of other old ones, lying in bed, waiting to move on, too many tears. I am, at times like this, eternally grateful for the blessing of good friends, who drop everything and come running. Thank you, Mother and Poppa, for teaching me how to take care of the people I love.

Posted in my life | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

I lost the Christmas card list

The dining room table – aka, the black hole – gets hosed off twice a year, maybe three times. (*Disclaimer – housekeeping is not my strong suit) It’s where I study, do school stuff, play on the computer, craft, and pretty much pile up books and cards and stuff. (My husband does the same to the kitchen table.) (We are essentially a couple of slobs)

(Clean slobs, but slobs, with just a touch of hoarding tossed in.) There are 25 unread books in this room currently, 3 in process in the kitchen, and one on the table waiting for me to finish taking notes.

Also on the table is an almost completed blanket – I’m at the point where I’m heartily sick of it and hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow, at which time I will figure out what to do with it.

There is also a box of Christmas cards waiting to be addressed and sent out. I keep a list of names and addresses of those who grace us with a card each year – miss three years in a row and you’re off the list because I’m that kind of person. (Sorry, not sorry)

Two weeks ago, I had said list in my hands. It was in the cabinet with the cards – we have a plethora of Christmas cards because two years ago, the NRA had a huge sale and my husband’s eyes lit up and glorious boxes of cards were soon wending our way, in spite of my protestations that we send out perhaps 20 each year, and that includes the “special” cards I pick out from Hallmark (yes, Hallmark, don’t judge) for special friends, reducing the number of boxed cards to 15 at the most, and that he had ordered enough to last us for the rest of our natural lives. He didn’t care. I did manage to talk him out of ordering more when the next hot sale happened.

I moved the list for some reason which seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, although it currently escapes me. I remember thinking, when I put it wherever I put it, “I’m not gonna remember putting this here when I need it.”

Damn, I hate it when I’m right when I don’t want to be right. I looked in every place I could think today – the good thing was that I found the knitting needles I had also misplaced so finishing the above mentioned blanket will be much easier than I had thought it would be – but that doesn’t get the cards written

I guess it’s good that I have a reputation for always sending cards late. I have a reputation for other things too, but there’s no need to go into that now – suffice it to say that when you stir the pot, you sometimes need to tell someone to sit down and shut up and, although no one will admit it, you know that most of your relatives have wanted to do the same for years. That’s another post, another day.

Meanwhile, where the heck is that list?

Posted in Christmas, family, home, knitting | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Because Maverick insists

In an absolutely shameless attempt to gain followers, I’m going to post this for Maverick

He has his own facebook page so if you’re on that hell hole of daily drama, and you want to get his version of events, please give him a follow at

Today has been a long walk, followed by a rousing game of tug, some ball tossing, and helping Mommah clean. This consists of him walking through the fur I just swept up and trying to bite the broom. I haven’t the heart to tell him it’s not really helping.

He finds it terribly amusing to bite the broom, even though I tell him Mommah is a witch and biting her broom is not a good idea. He just laughs and give me the “you wouldn’t curse me” look. Well, Little One, you got that part right

The semester is nearly over. Just the final tomorrow night, finishing up grades this week and a few weeks off till the next round starts. I am extremely grateful to be done this semester. It’s been more of a trial than some, although not as bad as others. I do believe I’ve typed “IT’S IN THE SYLLABUS!” in caps more times than ever before.

So I won’t miss that, and I will make changes in my online class so I don’t have to keep shouting that “IT’S IN THE FREAKIN SYLLABUS!” And hopefully next semester will be better

Meanwhile, Maverick would like me to take him out to potty

Posted in dogs, Maverick, my life, teaching | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

is it over yet?

Christmas, the semester, the hot mess in Washington? Just be over with all this mess and move on?

Today was “just ignore it all ” day. Maverick and I walked in the rain. We got completely drenched and had the best walk we’ve had in ages. I think we should just walk in the rain every day. Can someone put that request in to Mother Nature, please?

Then we played ball for 1/2 hour till he was worn out, and ready to help with laundry. His help involves dragging the laundry basket hither and yon, getting it upside down over his head, biting the sides, dragging it some more and generally causing a ruckus. (Not really, but I like that word and you rarely get a chance to use it.)

He took a nap. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
I read a book about how dogs learn. There’s not a chapter on napping, to my disappointment.

We played tug and then I read some more while he chewed something.

He even ate three meals today. (Maverick does not eat unless the spirit moves him – so this is a very good thing)

The TV has been silent since the Bear left for work.

It’s actually been a rather wonderful day.

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Dear Amazon

you are not my friend

I think I have a problem

It’s not hoarding if you actually read the books, is it? I mean, okay, the TBR pile is 12 deep in this room but I WILL read them all. So what if there are three more TBR piles upstairs? I could be smoking or doing drugs, right?

I can’t describe the joy of finding a book I’d forgotten I owned and realizing I didn’t read it yet, it’s brand new, oh yay, THIS time I’ll read it, I really will!

Lately I’ve been obsessed with dog training books, books about how dogs learn, books about how to keep your dog amused, books that have a dog on the cover even if they have nothing to do with dog training. I find it very difficult to resist that “one click” button. On the plus side, I’m learning a ton about dogs. I seriously think I’ll be a dog trainer in my next career. It can’t be more difficult than teaching accounting, right?

Maverick thinks I’d be better served by just petting him constantly and throwing the ball whenever he brings it to me, letting him run around off leash and letting him eat the books.

This is why I buy training books.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments