In my defense ………….

I had a gift card, I was left alone, and I was in a hurry. So yes, I spent more than the gift card, but that’s a given, isn’t it? One of my dearest friends gave gift cards to Books A Million this year for Christmas. We went to the local store to use them, I picked out 3 books which were definitely going to cost more than the card, but, as I already stated, that’s a given. The clerk rang them up, I handed over my credit card, then realized, as the transaction was completed, I forgot to hand over the gift card.

Sigh

Another trip was necessary. We needed to go to Hobby Lobby – that’s also a given at least once a week, I think they pump something into the air at the store that slowly causes you to go into withdrawal if you’re away from it for more than a week – and to Petsmart and there’s another BAM in that area, so off we went last night. I had a meeting with a student at 7:30, so after picking up the Maverick at 5:30, off we went, dashed into the bookstore, found 3 titles on the sale rack and one that just looked interesting inside – and their cash register is right next to the rack of Tarot decks so I will be going back there soon because one can never have enough decks – and then to the other stores, and made it home, in the wind and rain, in time to meet with the student, who only wanted to tell me he won’t be taking the next level course. Thanks for letting me know.

Then we settled down to some reading and news avoidance. Watching the “news” is an exercise in futility these days. I have no idea what’s really going on. I think there are maybe 10 people in the world who actually do and they don’t think the rest of us need to know why bombs are being dropped and why gas prices are sky high and why people in the greatest country in the world are deciding if they have enough money to buy gas and groceries – if they can find groceries – for the week.

We’re lucky. We have enough. My hoarding genes are working in our favor these days. We won’t run out of anything for a long time. Maybe by the time we do, I’ll have figured out why the hell the world went to shit in such a short amount of time.

Meanwhile, let’s go Brandon

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It’s nearly March

What a month was February. I feel like it just started yesterday and now it’s almost over. February is my most hated month, followed closely by January. (Yes, I know that January comes before February, but not on my most hated list.) We normally get slammed with snow in February. We get through January, think we’re almost done with Winter and February says, “hold my beer.” We got back to back blizzards here in 2010, and then a few years later we got about 3 feet of snow in one storm, also in February.

This year we had next to no snow – so far. I do not trust March. But fingers are crossed that the pattern continues. My mother always said that the first storm of the year sets the pattern and I don’t believe she’s often been wrong.

Not much is going on in my little kingdom. Maverick is going to daycare most days. He was home on Friday because there was meant to be ice, which didn’t really happen, but he would have been there alone so he stayed home. Consequently his weekend has been all akilter. He doesn’t do well with schedule changes.

The world is a hot mess. I have no idea how much, if any, of the “news” is real but it does strike me that a whole lot of “conspiracy theories” are being proven true. How about those useless masks? I realized the other day, after hearing the term “new normal” for the first time in a while, that was my first red flag. When I heard, a few days into the first (and only here) lockdown, that we had to get used to the “new normal,” my hackles went up and all my witchy senses went on high alert. You don’t call something “normal” unless it’s gonna be around forever and “15 days to flatten the curve” is a far cry from forever. (Or so we thought, longest 15 days of my life)

There’s something that’s making my witchy senses tingle about Ukraine. I’m not sure what it is, and probably will never know, but something smells funny. Am I the only one who thinks so?

Meanwhile, I have a class to prep for tomorrow. Because in spite of all the world going spinning off into who knows what new catastrophe, we must teach accounts recievable and uncollectible accounts, and ratios – because if the nuclear button is hit, those things will be very useful to know. And I have a tower of TP so I’m not going to worry!

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Cancel culture

and you can’t have it both ways

I’m not a fan of Whoopi Goldberg. I used to be. I still enjoy Sister Act – it’s one of the movies I’ve seen a bunch of times that hasn’t yet been ruined for me. ((((I have limited tolerance for repetition of anything, but my husband, that wonderful man, can watch the SAME. FUCKING. SHOW. ((or movie)) EVERY. FUCKING DAY. ((((and sometimes more than once in the same day))) until I pray to the Goddess that I will never ever have to see that particular bit of drama every again)))). (It doesn’t work, by the way. See previous posts about MASH)

I digressed. I think Whoopi used to be funny. I don’t care for her politics, so I don’t watch the show that she hosts. Wow, that was easy, I just change the channel. She doesn’t really impact my life.

However. Apparently she said something extremely stupid the other day. Like none of us have ever done that before! She explained herself later on some talk show that I also don’t watch because hey, that channel changing thing? It’s pretty amazing. Was she sincere? I don’t know.. I teach, I’ve dealt with student excuses forever, and I’m also a grandmother – I know the “say you’re sorry so you don’t get in trouble” routine. She seemed sincere, but she’s an actress, so there’s that.

I never heard of this Joe Rogan guy till he got Covid and got over it by using (OH MY GOD! HOW DARE HE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Ivermectin and HCQ and Vitamin C and I don’t know what all else. HOW DARE HE GET OVER COVID WITHOUT GIVING ALL PRAISE TO SAINT FAUCI OF THE VACCINE THAT DOESN’T WORK?????????????????

Well. He obviously needed to be cancelled. Seriously, who could even question that he needed to just STFU and slink off to his dank cellar and be re-educated?

And along came Whoopi. Damn it, she needs to be cancelled too!

But wait. You don’t think Rogan should be cancelled? Then how can you support cancelling Whoopi?

(The more I type “Whoopi,” the funnier it looks, by the way)

I don’t think you can say it’s okay to cancel only the ones you don’t like. Call me crazy, and many have, but that just doesn’t fly with me.

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A Wrinkle in Time

my review is up at

https://theprincessreads700286035.wordpress.com/

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What I’m currently reading

I read a lot. A LOT. My husband says I always have my “nose in a book.” Well, my dear Bear, it’s preferable to having my eyeballs glued to the TV, so hush. (He teases me, but I’ve heard him tell his friends that he relies on my research abilities and “If she doesn’t know something, she’ll find a book about it and learn as much as she possibly can.” )

I read fiction. I read nonfiction. I read a plethora of dog training books because they fascinate me.
Currently, I’m on a mission to read more classics, and to knock down the out of control TBR pile.

So far this year, I’ve finished 6 books. (I count audiobooks as “read” because I think it’s just stupid if you don’t.) Two of them were audiobooks, the others were “real” books. (If you don’t count audiobooks, do you cound e-books? Hmmmm?)

I keep track on Goodreads and in this super fun planner Peachy talked me into buying. (She’s also a very bad influence when it comes to books, half my TBR pile is her fault.) (And I love her for it)

She gave this beautiful copy of A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle – this was one of my favorite books growing up and I’ve read it several times. Last night I decided it was time to give it a revisit, and I’m loving it as much now as I did when I was 13. My best friend had her own bedroom in the attic of her home, and I so envied her that room. Meg Murray was my hero, as a gawky, unpopular, homely kid, she gave me hope that it would all work out someday. (It did. Note to teenage self, he will find you and your dreams will come true just when you think they won’t.)

I’m reading Meet Your Dog, by Kim Brophy

The subtitle says it’s game changing and I have to agree. I’ve learned a great deal about why dogs do what they do, and in a way that’s letting me change my perspective about why Maverick does some of the things he does, and my reaction to those behaviors is changing as well. I’m seriously loving this book.

Today I hope to finish listening to this book:

I love this series, the characters are great, the author is wonderful, I’ll be looking for book #9 as soon as I’m finished with this one. (I couldn’t get the audiobook site to open, so the link goes to Amazon, sorry)

I’m also reading

I can only read a few pages of this before I get so angry I have to go do something else. I’ll do a full review when I finish this book.

Also reading:

I’m not listening to this, but couldn’t get a better picture

This takes place near where I grew up, and very close to where my sister currently lives. It was a Kindle First Reads so I grabbed it, and it’s actually pretty interesting. An unsolved murder will always get my attention, and one connected to Twin Peaks, and with local connections, yeah, I’m in.

I haven’t decided on my next audiobook. Up next on the TBR pile are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (thank you, Kristi), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and The Tenant of Windfell Hall. That should carry me through February! (Maybe!)

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It’s Monday and it snowed

I braved the driveway to take Maverick to daycare because he does not care if it’s snowing, or blowing, or whatever, he must get a walk or go to play. Walk was out of the question, the local parks don’t plow the paths – and I don’t expect them to, the roads are far more important. Maverick disagrees. So the Bear plowed the driveway and I only slid a little going out and a little coming back, and only had to sit for a minute in the car when I got home till my legs stopped feeling weird.

I have an appointment at 1 and I’ve been debating all morning about rescheduling. I’ve decided to go because at this point, the slush is melting and the wind will dry up the mess and I just want to get it over with. (I have a minor medical thing that needs checked every year to make sure it’s still minor.)

It will no doubt be a shock to my system to have to wear a mask. I picked up meds for Maverick last week – his allergies – and the vet is now requiring them again. I pulled the one I carry for this sort of thing out of my purse – chuckling to myself that I have no idea when that baby was last washed, but it’s all theatre so slapping it on my face will make someone less terrified – and very shortly, had to turn around and pull it down. No, I can’t freakin breathe. Perhaps because I’m constantly congested at this time of year (another reason to love winter) so put something over my mouth like that’s a good idea. Thanks, Lord Fauci. (By the way, if you have an IPhone, you can make certain words trigger an emoji in messenger. I won’t share what “Fauci” triggers. But my friends find it amusing. )

Classes start this week. I had a long talk with my dean about some of the things I’m hearing from students, she is absolutely the best boss ever. She messaged me later about taking on an upper level class for the second half of the semester. This is something I have wanted for a long time. When I started teaching accounting at my college, we had one class. A couple of years later, we added the next level. I taught both, Principles 1 and Principles 2. As time went on, more classes were added and I think I taught all but Governmental and Tax – I seriously hate Tax and know next to nothing about not for profit or governmental accounting. Then the college hired a person who was intent on teaching the upper level courses and for many reasons, she was given those courses. It didn’t really matter that the students didn’t like her and didn’t do well with her, she checked off many of the diversity and inclusivity boxes and that’s a huge thing in academia these days.

However. I’m not sure if she’s no longer there or if they’ve finally woken up, but my current dean is very interested in me teaching these courses, and that makes me very happy. Since the panicdemic started, I haven’t been on campus. I don’t want to be on campus. She’s totally happy with that because it makes me available for her – she’s in charge of virtual classes.

So I will be prepping a new class like now. Also on the table is getting serious about dog training. I have a million books (don’t scoff) and access to tons of videos and I just need to actually do the work. This dog of mine is way too smart, and knows how to not only get what he wants, but how to push all my buttons, and then make my heart melt, all in the space of about 15 seconds.

So there may – or may not – be another storm this coming weekend. There was a local group of “weather weenies” who accurately predicted a huge storm several years ago, a storm that every other group missed. They made the local papers and the news, and it went right straight to their heads. It also made them forecast crazy totals for pretty much every storm after that one, and then go back and edit posts or delete them completely to make it look like nope, they never said that! Someone mentioned them the other day so I checked out their page, and yup, still at it. For a storm that was predicted to be 8 inches at the most, and then only in the higher elevations, they were predicting 12 to 18 inches. As it became obvious they were totally wrong, the posts with those numbers disappeared. However, people had taken screen shots and were posting them in comments. Today, the whole page has mysteriously disappeared. I recently read 1984 again. (Highly recommend if you want a view of what’s happening to us now) I couldn’t help thinking of it – those posts and that page went into the memory hole and that’s that! What’s amazing to me, and probably shouldn’t be considering the world today, is that this group STILL has a loyal following. They haven’t gotten a storm right in years, but these people RELY ON THEM TO KEEP US SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn, that sounds familiar. I wonder if Dr. Fauci works for them?

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Be prepared

The weather fearcasters are saying we’re going to get snow on Sunday. They’ve been saying this for over a week, the snow total has gone from 20 inches on Monday to 9.5 inches on Monday, to 2 inches on Monday and 5 on Sunday.

The National Weather Service posted that people should refrain from posting model runs and snow maps before today because things change so quickly in the world of weather. (See above)

Several people commented on that post, and on posts from other weather pages, that they need to know at least a week out so they can be prepared.

I live in Pennsylvania. That’s that sort of rectangle shaped state in the northern section of this great country. Here’s a fun fact. Pretty much every winter, at some point, it snows in this part of the country. I grew up in Upstate NY. It also snows there, pretty much every day all winter long. At some point in December, depending on how cold it is, we rotate clothing, putting t-shirts and shorts away and pulling out the Cuddl Duds and turtle necks. An extra quilt goes on the bed, coats come out of closets and we locate the boots that we happily shoved in the back of a closet around March of the previous year. The Bear makes sure the truck has a full tank of gas, that there’s gas for the snow blowers, puts the mower in the shed and pulls out the shovels. We make sure we have kitty litter for the sidewalks, salt for the places Maverick can’t reach (salt is bad for puppies) and we have an extra bag of bird seed. I check on our Chewy orders, have to make sure we have extra food for the kid. All of this and more we do for Justin. (Y’all know Justin. Justin Case.)

Unless you moved to the north from Florida about a week ago, you ought to know that all this should be done – every freakin year. Yes, there have been years with no snow (those were the best!) but it’s rare, and I’ve yet to see a year with no cold weather.

So if you aren’t prepared more than a week out, you’re a nitwit.

I went to the grocery store this morning. Friday is my normal shopping day, but I went early because I knew that everyone would be out buying up all the milk, eggs and bread. (I’m grateful that I was able to get all of the above, because we needed them, not because we might get snow.) The store was a zoo. I saw more masks than I’ve seen in a long time, that’s really weird, it didn’t take long to get used to seeing faces again. (The saddest part of my day was seeing a child of maybe 4 years old wearing a mask. How the hell are we going to convince these babies that faces are meant to be seen?) I got most of what was on my list. I saw a lot of empty shelves. I muttered “Let’s go Brandon” more than once.

The most recent update has us at 1-3 inches of snow and then turning to rain. To me, it’s a total waste of Mother Nature’s time to snow and then rain and wash it away. Just bloody well rain and get it over with. So hopefully everyone is totally prepared for WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!! a week out.

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mostly peaceful protestors

Just read this op ed in Newsweek and felt it worth sharing

Liberal Elites Want Us to Care About Jan. 6. But They Don’t Care When Our Cities Burn | Opinion (msn.com)

After all the chest pounding and tears of the past week about Jan 6th, I think it’s important to put things in perspective.

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I’m tired

so this is just random thoughts today

I’m tired of being told that anyone other than my doctor and myself need to know anything about my health decisions. I’m tired of my doctor being told he can’t prescribe medications that he may feel would be good for me because some guy I never met says so.

I’m glad the holidays are over. Christmas was wonderful, New Year’s Eve sucked. My grandchildren spent the afternoon with us on Christmas and gave me a lovely gift – 5 balls of yarn and two crochet hooks. (Wool Ease, 4 colors, and one ball of Loops and Threads Roving – which is soooooooo soft!) For young women who know nothing about yarn, they did pretty well. I wouldn’t have cared if they got the crappiest yarn ever, they put some thought into the gift and that’s what matters most. It was also nice to have them spend the time with us. One grandchild was absent. She had developed a sore throat and runny nose and got a Covid test which came back positive. I had also developed a sore throat, runny nose, cough, headache – we compared symptoms through text messages and holy cow, they were exactly the same! (It was a cold) So she stayed home and I went on with my life. (Judge me if you want, it was a cold, and if you’re that terrified of it, or your health is somehow compromised, stay home)

January 6th thoughts – if it had truly been an “insurrection,” I don’t think the current occupant of the White House would be calling himself President. One person died. It was not equivalent to Pearl Harbor, or 9/11. It was stupid and it shouldn’t have happened, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever to happen in this country. And the idiots who thought it was a good idea should be really proud of themselves, no matter who they are. That said, the speech that was given yesterday was a really great way to get people to unite, wasn’t it? An old phrase came to mind when I heard some clips. I’ll let you figure that out yourselves.

It snowed last night. I suffer from severe anxiety when it snows. I have a crazy ass driveway, on a hill, with an S curve, and a pond along the side, and trees, and I’ve slid off it a few times. So has the Bear, one memorable time a few years ago when we got a blistering 3 feet of snow in one night (anyone who uttered “BRING IT!” does not want to know the hell I wished upon their heads) and he slid off the driveway because he couldn’t see where the path stopped and the creek started. Truck stuck, he walked back up to the house (turning the air blue, by the way) and we were stranded for 3 days. (The people from the neighboring farm got us out on the third day, I have never been so grateful to total strangers) A few years earlier, I watched him slide sideways down the driveway in the truck, and when I told him I saw the angels holding that truck upright, he believed me. (The next day he got new tires on the truck and managed to get us through the blizzard that hit the very next day. ) I grew up in Upstate NY, I know how to drive in snow. I never liked it, but I never hated it. I do now. And the hatred turns to fear, and until the Bear is home safe, and all my people are home safe, I cannot relax.

Maverick, on the other hand, thinks snow is the best thing ever. Watching him have the zooms last night was the only thing that kept me from sobbing.

I made a list of the books that I’ve purchased and not yet read. I stopped counting at 150. There are at least three more boxes in the computer room. And you see why I say Peachy is a bad influence? 🙂

I made one resolution, by the way – knock down the TBR pile!

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments against the vax mandate today. For not only my own sake but for everyone’s I hope they strike it down.

I started knitting a scarf with some super thick roving yarn. (Part of my Christmas present.) I should be writing syllabi but making bracelets and knitting and reading is a whole lot more fun.

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The chocolate finally melted

My mother loved Christmas. For years, she made what she called “maple creams,” chocolates with maple flavored cream filling. When she started making them, she made a bunch of different flavors, but the family favorite was maple, so eventually that was all she made. Those candies were what everyone looked for every year – totally decadent, totally sinful, totally delicious. Damn the migraine that invariably ensued from eating more than one, maybe two, it was worth the pain. And the diet after New Year’s when they were all a sweet memory.

My mother died almost 20 years ago. She died in October, making Christmas that year a very difficult holiday. I was in NY, still working on my Masters degree, making trips to PA to be with my Bear – who held the pieces of my heart together and kept me on this earth when I was very close to flying off the edge.

It took a long time for me to do a lot of the things she did at Christmas. We had a tree because of the grandchildren. I made cookies because of other people. I bought gifts because I love to give gifts, and that part of Christmas was never a sadness for me.

I’ve never been able to make the candies.

This year, I decided it was time. I gathered ingredients – do you know how hard it is to find paraffin wax? (It’s in the chocolate coating – makes it firmer) Or confectionery sugar? (Thanks, Brandon.)

I only know two people who like maple flavoring. Off I went to the store in search of extracts that people might like. My dear neighbor gave me a bottle of coconut, telling me I just needed to make sure she gets some candy. (She would have anyway) I bought cherry flavoring at the request of my middle granddaughter. I did get maple, because Mother would haunt me if I didn’t make at least SOME maples! I got peppermint because that’s a favorite here – and I’m going to break tradition and coat some of those with mint chocolate – and rum because, well, rum.

Today I spent an hour melting the damned chocolate over a double boiler. The first batch was scooped into balls yesterday, and waiting in the freezer. And finally, they were dipped. Well., that wasn’t so hard, so I did another batch! Coconut and cherry are now complete. Rum is in the freezer, and may be dipped later. Tomorrow till be the peppermints and maples.

Did I shed a few tears while doing this? Yeah, a few. And I had a long talk with my mother while I was dipping. And melting. And trying to figure out her less than precise directions. (Well, she knew what to do, and saw no reason to write down every little step!)

And Christmas is starting to feel like Christmas round here. Presents await wrapping, the ham will be brought up from the freezer tomorrow, excited messages are being received from the grandchildren, and the Bear is being his usual grumpy self – while trying not to smile when I tease him about his grinchyness.

All that’s left is to find a gift for Maverick. Oh, and I got the coolest thing for Peachy! 🙂

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