DIvision

And not the kind you learned in Math classes.

We walk every day at the local park because without two walks a day, Maverick is unbearable to live with. I adore him. I am old and he is not. He needs more exercise than I can give him and the 2.5 miles around the park combined with endless sniffing of every blade of grass and tree, seems to take the edge off that energy to the point where I can actually enjoy his company in the evening.

(Except when he barks like the hounds of hell are outside my front door, which he’s been doing tonight, thank you very much)

(No, there is most likely not an axe murderer out there but can we be sure?)

I digress. We meet the same group of people at the park pretty much every day. Some want to pet Maverick, some wave, some scurry by as if he’s a holy terror. Sometimes we stop and chat with a particularly friendly sort.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a young girl pushing her child in a stroller while listening to something through earbuds. She’s a chatter, she loves to pet Maverick, doesn’t mind when he jumps up, has a lovely Irish lilt and has always seemed very pleasant.

Till tonight. She mentioned that she loves to read, and since I do as well, I asked what type of books she reads. She said nonfiction, and then commented that she has a degree in Political Science. I said, “you must be enjoying yourself these days” because it seems to me that anyone with that interest would be fascinated with the things going on.

She replied that she “didn’t think Biden was the right man for President, but he was infinitely better than Trump.”

When someone says something like this, I ask them this question – “do you like Biden or do you hate Trump?” She reponded that it was both, and then said, ‘not one of Trump’s supporters voted for his policies, every one of them voted for their cult leader.”

I was taken aback. I said, “that’s not true.” She demanded to know if I supported children in cages? Did I not realize that he’d been inciting violence for four years? Did I not know this was the cleanest election ever held?

Every time I started to speak, she talked over me. Several times I said, “Please let me finish my sentence” to no avail. At one point I said I wasn’t an idiot, and she responded that yes, I was.

I told her to go look up the interview where the Lt. Governor of Texas talks about why they didn’t use Dominion voting machines, and we walked away.

First, she will never pet Maverick again. You don’t call me an idiot and then expect to love up on my dog.

But deeper than that, I walked away and started thinking about the divisions in this country. According to her, it’s all Trump’s fault, all the fault of his supporters. This is not the first time I’ve tried to have a conversation with someone who hates him. In every single case, I have been shouted down, talked over, and eventually called names. I don’t claim to be perfect, and if I did, I’m sure there are many who would offer evidence otherwise. I do, however, try to listen to people. I’m one of the youngest of a very large family, and I’ve experienced more than my share of being talked over and interrupted – it’s something that I hate so I try very hard not to do it to others. I’m also aware that there’s always more than one side to every story so I may not agree with you, but I’ll hear you out and try to reason with you. I’ll never call you an idiot for your views (unless it’s about flexi-leads and then there’s just no holding me back. Or doodles. Don’t get me started on high priced mutts)

I have many friends on both sides of the fence. When my conservative friends get together, the conversation is almost always the same as what I experienced tonight. We are shouted down, talked over, told we’re idiots or better yet, Nazis. (Here’s a clue, if there were really 75 million Nazis in this country, I’m betting you wouldn’t be talking over me at the park, or even free to walk in that park)

And yet we’re responsible for the division. When did it become okay to stop listening to anyone, to think that he who shouts the loudest is the one who gets to be right, that it’s okay to just yell over anyone you don’t like and insult them?

I don’t know how to fix this. I’m going to start walking away from anyone who interrupts me. Will that do any good? Probably not but I won’t have to be annoyed that they’re talking over me.

Posted in my life, politics | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

I may not agree with what you say

But I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

I was brought up with those words

I’m not sure when they became out of vogue, out of style, wrong think, or what but apparently they are no longer true.

Today Twitter has permanently suspended the account of the man who is at this moment still the President of the United States.

If that doesn’t scare the living shit out of you, there is no hope left for this country.

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

By request – Chocolate Silk Pie recipe

*This is from Taste of Home magazine from several years ago

Ingredients:
1 unbaked pastry shell, 9 inches
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
2 tbls strong brewed coffee
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbls confectioners sugar
chocolate curls, optional

Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 fro 8 minutes. Remove foil, bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine the marshmallow creme, chocolate chips, butter, unsweetened chocolate and coffee; cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool.
Fold in the whipped cream; pour into the crust.

For the topping, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.

I’m a lazy butt, I use a purchased graham cracker pie crust and it’s fine.

I make this pie for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and often for my BFF for her birthday. I can’t eat it because chocolate gives me a migraine but I do love to make it for others.

Enjoy!

Posted in Christmas, recipes | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The sound of scissors

Which is nothing like the sound of silence.

When I was a wee one, many centuries ago, I would sit on my mother’s lap when she was sewing, and when she was cutting fabric, and pretty much any time she sat down.

My favorite times were when she was at the dining room table, cutting fabric for a quilt, or a doll dress, or a dress for me.

We ate Sunday dinner at the dining room table. It was pretty much always the same, pot roast – the cheap cut that had strings tied around it for some reason – mashed potatoes, some vegetable. My mother was sometimes a good cook. Sunday dinner was not one of those times. She firmly believed that there was no such thing as an overcooked piece of beef. (She was wrong)

I did my homework at the dining room table. We didn’t have a den or an office – we all did our homework at the table. Then we cleared it off and had dinner when there were enough of us home that the kitchen table was too small.

I did my homework at that table all through high school, and college – all 3 degrees, including studying for the GMAT to get into grad school. ‘

We cut quilt blocks on the dining room table – because it was the most convenient place We quilted many quilts, my mother on one side of the table and me on the other. The sound of scissors cutting through fabric on a wooden table will always take me back to those days.

We did jigsaw puzzles on that table. My father loved to do puzzles, I still giggle when I think of him sitting there pondering where a piece was as I walked past, paused, picked it up and put in in place. “damn it!” he’d swear, “I was trying to find that for an hour!” (It was probably 10 minutes )

We had holiday meals at that table. Put in a leaf, pull up another chair, sit close and don’t eat off your neighbor’s plate – unless it’s something really good and you can make them laugh when you steal it.

We once put a board between chairs to make enough room for the little kids (one of whom was moi) – that was the year we ran out of potatoes and my father kept offering more to my Uncle Bill, who, being a gentleman, kindly refused – which was a good thing since there were no more!

I learned to play 500 Rummy at this table. There were endless games of cards, daily games of Yatzee, Risk, Monopoly and too many more to name.

When my mom died, I inherited the table. I’ve written lesson plans, created videos, done diamond paintings, and continued to study at this table. I just finished a quilt – thrown across the dining room table so I could stitch in comfort.

The stories this table could tell. My mother would talk of the women gathering during WWII, while the men were overseas, and contact was minimal – if there was any contact at all. They would gather around the table, Ouija board in the center, to try to learn anything about the men they loved. What else did they discuss, those cold, lonely nights? What stories has this table heard, and seen? My journals have often been written here. I’ve fallen asleep, head resting on this wooden surface.

And it sits here, in my dining room, a quiet presence, a piece of the past, of my past, and I wonder sometimes – if only it could talk.

Posted in family, home, memories, my life | Tagged | 6 Comments

Why, why, why, why?

Okay. The baby quilt is all quilted. Last block was done on Monday – not heavily quilted, it’s just straight lines but it’s done and I think it’s okay.

But

Now I have to finish it

I have to bind it

The thought terrifies me

It ALWAYS terrifies me

Okay, I have a huge amount of fabric hanging over from the back because I just didn’t want to cut it off.

What to do? What to do? Shall I cut it off even and then make a binding? Shall I cut it like an inch wider and just whip it around to the top? Shall I go hide in a corner and cry?

I really kinda wanted it done tomorrow but then the terror hit. And I froze. So dear Jebus, it may never get finished.

Why did I get myself into this??????????????

Okay. Put your big girl panties on and cut the damned thing and just whip that binding on and screw those mitred corners that you struggle with every single time and make it straight and get it done.

I’m going to need booze.

Posted in my life, quilting | Tagged | 14 Comments

Dear Jebus, Maverick

*My friend’s little girl, all of 3 years old, prays to “Dear Jebus” and we think it’s adorable.

Dogs are creatures of routine. There is no dog more a creature of habit than mine. We get up, jump on Mommah, go outside for a bit, jump on Mommah some more because there are never enough pets (I just stopped for 10 seconds, Maverick! I know, worst 10 seconds of my life!)

Then we have a battle with the collar that we use for walking so Mommah’s arm stays in the socket.

https://smile.amazon.com/Canny-02-1000-Collar-Size-3/dp/B00F0J9RMS/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1W9PI13VDBC4X&dchild=1&keywords=canny%2Bcollar%2Bno%2Bpull%2Bdog%2Bcollar&qid=1601867430&sprefix=Canny%2BC%2Caps%2C524&sr=8-2&th=1

Best thing ever, honestly.

Then we go to the park. We walk at least one lap, which is 1.5 miles, and normally we do the little loop again, to get to 2 miles. Later on in the day, we do this again, because if we don’t, it’s pretty damned impossible to live with Maverick. He has a lot of energy and not much focus – I swear he has the dog version of ADHD.

It snowed on Wednesday. We had our morning walk and it started snowing soon after we got home. Mommah doesn’t do snow – y’all know that. He was okay Wednesday afternoon and evening, I think the novelty of the snow helped, plus he had had his lunch and his daily poop before it started. He will ONLY poop at the park. He doesn’t poop at home unless he absolutely has to and then it’s major drama.

Thursday wasn’t too bad either. We were home, but so was Bear, so he seemed to be okay with this.

Yesterday it all fell apart. We can’t go to the park because the paths aren’t cleared – township has more important things to do, but people will walk there and then the footprints freeze and it’s a real joy. There’s a broken ankle just waiting to happen. Maverick hadn’t pooped on Thursday because he doesn’t do that at home. (If he would poop here, I wouldn’t have to clean it up, there’s a huge freakin field just waiting for his deposits, but nooooooooooooo, gotta use those poop bags at the park!) Bear went to work at 2. At 3, the pacing and whining started. I don’t take Maverick to the field. He always manages to pull away from me and his recall is not reliable, especially when there’s a strong possibility of a deer sighting. Bear plowed the driveway so that there’s a snowbank to be climbed to even get to the field and I really like having my legs unbroken, so that’s another deterrent.

None of that meant diddly squat to Maverick. He wanted to go to that damned field and nothing was going to stop him. I took him out multiple times, would walk to the edge of the field, tell him to do his business, and he would refuse. Back to the house we’d go, only to do this again five minutes later. I would have happily let him just stay outside because he seemed to like it out there, but it was about 20 degrees out and I’m not about to leave him out in that, even though he is a Golden and yes, they like the cold, that’s a bit too cold.

Today was a repeat of yesterday.

Tomorrow I’m taking him to my friend’s development – we can walk the streets and he can get some exercise and maybe poop on someone’s lawn. And I can get to pick it up. Well, the bonus is that I’ll get to visit with my BFF a bit!

Meanwhile, thank the Goddess for booze.

Posted in dogs, Maverick, my life, snow, weather | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

It’s snowing and we’ve become a nation of woosies

I hate snow. Anyone who’s known me for more than 5 minutes knows that I hate snow with a burning hatred that I reserve for few things. There are many reasons for this hatred – one of them is the hours long coverage of these events as if OMG we’re all gonna die, we’ve never seen a snowflake before, the roads are currently wet but in five minutes, nope, they’re still wet!

When I was a kid (yes, I’m old, cue the “get off my lawn” comment) the weather was a five minute – if that long – segment of the news. (Of course, back then the news was actually news and not what the media wanted you to believe).

I’m not sure when exactly it changed, or why. I remember when I moved to PA thinking that people sure made a bigger deal out of snow than they did in Upstate NY, where I had lived all my life. I went to college in Oswego, on Lake Ontario, where blizzards were frequent, snow that wasn’t measured in feet wasn’t worth a mention, and we rarely missed classes. If we did, we still managed to make the trek into town to hit the liquor stores and the bars, which never closed. Granted, we were kids, we were young and stupid, but no one panicked – not the professors, not the administration, not the police, not the people who lived in the town.

If you didn’t have to go out – except for liquor – you stayed home. You didn’t need three or four days to “prepare for the storm!” because anyone with common sense has enough food to last a few days, and if you live in an area where you get snow, you should know to have water and an alternate source of heat. You know to have a vehicle that will go through snow, or you stay home. You also learned to drive in this shit – get off the brakes, get off the ass of the car in front of you and slow down. And turn your damned lights on.

We’re supposed to get 10 inches today and another 6, maybe, tomorrow. A week ago, my weather app – which I have so I know how to dress for the park in the morning – said that we were going to get 41 inches today. Umm, yeah, that’s a good bit of snow, might be cause for concern there except it’s a week out and no one gets it right that far out. No one. As the days rolled on, it went down to 24 inches, then up to 31, down to 6 (that was my favorite) and finally settled last night.

It was supposed to start at 10, so Maverick and I toddled off to the park, dressed in 5000 layers (another reason I hate winter, I hate feeling constricted) and walked one loop because when we got to the car it was starting and I’d rather not be on the road in snow. I feel that way mostly because of other drivers, but also because I have the driveway from hell and I try not to have to navigate it when it’s snow covered.

So Bear has the news on. It’s an hour program, and I think that 45 minutes has been devoted to the storm. We got the requisite Covid update (we’re all gonna die unless you never leave your house again) and the requisite “baseless accusations of fraud” minute (try watching one of the hearings and tell me there’s no basis for fraud allegations, but I digress) and then it was weather. We now know how the plow drivers plan, how they inspect the plows, how much salt and sand is available, how horrible a person you are if you pass a plow (no, you’re not horrible, but you ARE an idiot) and a whole lot more than I really care about. (I would have turned it off, Bear has a death grip on the remote, so I’m just trying to ignore it)

THEN, I hear the announcer say that we should all “shelter in place” this afternoon. Umm, are you serious? We are supposed to be THAT afraid of snow that we “shelter in place?” To me, that phrase means something really really serious is happening, like the country has been attacked, or there’s an axe murderer in the woods behind my house! (I seriously think there is one back there, but that’s another story)

I knew there was something wrong when we were told that we can’t go outside without a mask because of a virus that has a huge recovery rate. I wondered how people became so easily frightened. Now we’re to hide in our homes because of a snowstorm, one that our grandparents, or great grandparents, would have simply saddled up a horse, hooked up the sleigh and gone on about their days till it was over. What the hell has happened to us? Do I want those days back, of candles and fireplaces and frigid homes and lack of indoor plumbing? No, I don’t, but I sure wish we could recapture the courage and strength they had.

We are willing to believe that we’re going to die from a virus that for some is indeed deadly, and for others no worse than a bad cold. We’re willing to believe that the government knows better than we do what’s best for us. (They don’t, and if you think they care about you, think again, they care that you’ll keep them in power). We’re willing to believe that we can’t survive a simple snowstorm without someone telling us exactly what to do because hey, why think for yourself?

I’m tired. I’m tired of people not using the brains they were born with. I’m going to quilt and clean today and maybe bake something. Yeah, I am. I figured that out all by myself without anyone telling me what to do.

Stay home, stay safe, die slowly in fear. Or go live. You choose.

Posted in Corona virus, fear, home, my life, snow, weather | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

How can you mend a broken hand?

So yesterday, while meandering along on our second walk, I stopped paying attention to my feet and managed to step off the sidewalk, turn my foot weird and fall on my ass.

Or my hand.

And my hip.

A very nice gentleman turned and came back, asking if I was okay. He waited till I got myself together, got up and was moving again. We walked another mile, came home, got some ice on the hand, then a good long soak in the tub. All was good.

There are still good people in the world

My hand is swollen and sore but I’ll survive. Probably an hour of quilting and writing letters for the GA campaign didn’t help. Hey, that quilt isn’t gonna quilt itself. They’re talking about a stupid amount of snow on Wednesday into Thursday so I have an excuse not to shovel (I don’t shovel, Bear plows the driveway and uses the snow blower on the sidewalk. I am a Princess, I do not do shoveling.)

And if we get a crap ton of snow, our neighbors with the huge-ass tractors will come up and get us cleared out.

Because……..there are still good people in the world.

Also? Pay attention to where your feet are when you walk so you don’t fall on your ass in public. You might break it – you know it’s already got a crack.

(that’s one of my sister’s favorite jokes. She comes off as uppity but when you really know her….well, she has her moments. (Think Grace and Frankie, she’s totally Grace and I’m totally Frankie))

Posted in Christmas, family, Maverick, my life, pain, snow, weather | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Well, I really don’t, unless it’s stuffed

My favorite Christmas song, for your pleasure:

Posted in Christmas | Tagged | 6 Comments

Maverick insists

that I share this

It’s his Daddeee’s favorite

Posted in Christmas, Maverick, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments