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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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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When life gets crazy, make a bracelet


I’ve always loved jewelry – any kind, from the dollar store junk to the diamonds my husband has bought me over the years – referred to by my grandchildren as “Grandma’s sparklies”.

A year or so ago I bought myself a stretchy bracelet because it was pretty and I wear it often – i don’t often go anywhere that requires me to dress up – I teach from home so as long as the top half is presentable, I could have jammies on the bottom. No reason to don the bling when no one sees it. (Yes, I’m that woman who checks on what other women are wearing, judge away.).

While taking a break from writing lecture notes because on top of teaching 5 classes to students who are incapable of reading the syllabus, I took on the task of prepping a course I haven’t taught in years, (that’s a run-on sentence, phew!) I looked at my bracelet and thought, “I could make that.”

And yes I could. Because I never do things in half measure s, my dining room table is now awash in beads, charms, elastic cord and jump rings.

Maverick’s daycare lady is going to put them in her shop to sell. I think I might put some on Etsy when I get time. I don’t think I’ll get rich from them, but the few minutes of calm they bring are worth the price of a few beads.

And they’re pretty!

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Never forgive

I want to think that someday I’ll be able to see the videos of those planes flying into the Twin Towers and not be furious. I want to think that someday I won’t cry on the anniversary of this day. I want to think that someday I’ll be able to forgive the people who hate this country.

Today is not that day

I’m not that good a person

I will never forget how I felt before 9/11

I will never forget what freedom felt like before 15 days to flatten the curve

I will never forgive – and I may go down, but I’ll go down fighting

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Anger and Frustration

I’m about to get really political so if you don’t want to read it, consider yourself warned.

I’m not a child. I haven’t been a child for a lot of years.

I’m also not stupid. I have three degrees, one in English Lit and two in Accounting. I am not what you might call “uneducated.”

I know how to research. I’m pretty good at spotting bullshit. I’m also skeptical of anyone who says, “just trust me!” Yeah, not gonna happen. I think the older you get, at least for most of us, the less you trust the government, so when the government says, “trust us, this is safe, it’s great, it’s for the good of everyone,” I tend to go, “yeah, I kinda doubt that. Who’s making a profit off this?

About 18 months ago, my best friend and I attended a high school musical. We LOVE musicals and we love high school musicals because some of those kids are amazing – and some are so awful that we just can’t stop laughing. (I know, we’re horrible people, but we don’t laugh till we’re heading home so stop judging.) We went to the first on Friday evening – it was a very bad performance of Sister Act but we had a great time. I was starting a sore throat. I was sucking on cough drops and she was laughingly tell me to breathe on anyone but her. (This is one of the reasons we’re such good friends)

On Sunday, we went to our second show – Mary Poppins – which blew us away, it was truly amazing. I was still suffering from the sore throat, which had also turned into a random cough. I felt fine except I couldn’t talk much – always a problem for motor mouth moi – I assumed it was a cold and that was that. Colds aren’t all that contagious after a couple days anyway, so take your Vitamin C and shut up, Susan.

On Monday, the world shut down. Both of those musicals were packed, people almost in each other’s laps. I sat next to my friend’s 85 year old father. Not one person – read that again – NOT ONE PERSON – got sick.

By Tuesday, I was coughing a lot. I don’t get chest colds often, but other than the cough, sore throat and being tired, this felt like a normal cold. Wednesday, I took Maverick for a walk. We walked 1/2 mile, I struggled to get him in the car – I was exhausted, he was not – and was totally out of breath by the time I got in the driver’s seat. So I came home and called the doctor because by then we were all certain we were gonna get this Covid thing and die a horrible death. My husband told me later I sounded like his mom in the last days of emphysema. (Thanks for not sharing THAT till I was better!) The doctor – whom I trust completely – pronounced me suffering from bronchitis – something I get every 10 years or so – gave me meds and sent me away. A week later I was fine.

Two years ago I could walk into a store, coughing my brains out, and get sympathetic looks. No one asked for my vaccination status. No one asked if I’d been vaccinated against measles (no), mumps (no), or anything else. This was America. We were free, we did as we pleased for the most part, we lived our lives without a whole lot of fear or a whole lot of rules – sure, some of the rules we had didn’t make sense, but most of them did.





How the hell did we go from a nation of pretty damned independent people to THIS shit, where the “President” is going to MANDATE that I GET SOME FUCKING VACCINE that I DO NOT WANT and try to limit my rights if I choose to say no to him? Who the hell does he think he is??????????????

IF this thing had been tested the same way other vaccines have, over years, and IF this thing was even proven to work – see “breakthrough infections” – then I MIGHT consider it. It would be MY choice, not his. My parents are long dead. I don’t need a daddy telling me what to do. I am angry – and I am frustrated, because it feels like I’m shouting into the wind and no one is trying to stop this shit.

Where the hell are we going to end up?

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