I was born in 1962; you do the math. (See also: I'm too lazy to remember to update this thing regularly.) I bought my first house in the summer of 2009; I share it three cats and with the memories of The Runt and Little Girl, who both passed away in 2011. Rocky, the cat for whom this blog was named, passed away in 2008; I miss them all. I wish I lived somewhere where the winters weren't eight months long; other than that, life is good.
"Uh-uh. No way. There is NO WAY I'm washing the dishes again tonight. I did 'em LAST NIGHT. It's YOUR TURN."
Am I the only one who finds that dirty dishes seem to multiply in my sink? I mean, I live alone, how many dishes can I get dirty? And the silverware! Where does all that dirty silverware come from? Frankly, I am not adverse to occasionally re-using a spoon or a fork. I know, I KNOW, but still, I figure that any germs in the place are mine, so who cares if a spoon occasionally gets, um, recycled out of the sink before it actually gets officially washed? So where is all this dirty silverware coming from?
There ya go. Confessions of a slovenly housekeeper.
"Until this moment I had believed forgiveness to be a special virtue, a beneficence God expected of good people. But it wasn't that at all. Forgiveness was an instinct, a desperate impulse to stay connected to the people you needed, no matter what their betrayals." - From "My Only Story" by Monica Wood
Last night I dreamed I was beating the shit out of my ex-boyfriend. I mean, just pounding the crap out of him. And I woke up and wondered why I was still so angry with him. I mean, yes, he was a complete and total shitheel and deserves to die a long and painful death (bitter? not me!), but I left him over 15 years ago. Why can't I just let it go?
And then I remembered reading something about forgiveness earlier in the evening, and I had to get up and get the book and find the passage (above), which basically (if I am reading it correctly) says that people forgive other people because they need to, for their own reasons, and not because it is a virtuous thing to do. Which made me feel better, because I am not real strong on the whole forgiveness thing.
There is a Pretenders song, "I'll Stand by You", which was recently re-recorded by Carrie Underwood. I think it was Carrie Underwood. Don't quote me on that. ANYway, one line of the song goes, "Nothing you confess could make me love you less".
WHAT???! Honey, I can think of ten things right off the top of my head that someone could say to me that would not only make me love them less, but would have me running for the shotgun. I mean, really!
Is that what is meant by "unconditional love"? That you love someone no matter what? Because I think that's a crock of shit. I could go on and on here, but my point (and I do have one! I think!) is that I evidently have a pretty major unresolved anger issue floating around in my life, and maybe it's time I tried to deal with it. I don't know how, but maybe thinking about it and writing about it is the first step.
I started this blog as a lark, just a fun thing to do. And now I find out I'm actually learning from it, dammit! Who'd a thunk it?
Thursday - Drove from Florida to Atlanta with two of her pre-teen granddaughters.
Friday - Drove from Atlanta to upstate New York with the girls, and stayed overnight at my sister TIB's house.
Saturday - Drove two hours to the lake with the following in the car, a four-door Honda sedan: 1. Herself. 2. Her two pre-teen granddaughters. 3. Our mother. 4. Our mother's enormous cat, inside its cat carrier which is the size of a baseball field. 5. All of their clothing, etc. for the next six weeks.
When she told me, all I could say was, "God bless you." I have no idea how she does it, but let's just say, when Alabama gets motivated, stuff gets done.
I knew she and the grandkids were going to be spending the summer at the lake (she has her own place a short distance from the family cottage), but I didn't know that she was taking Mom, too. Alabama is, shall we say, a spur-of-the-moment kind of person. With the instincts of a battlefield general. Watching her in motion is nothing short of amazing.
So it looks like I'll be spending some time at the lake with Mom this summer after all. I know, I know, I swore after last summer that I would not do it again this year, but with Alabama there, it should be easier. (Last summer, I was up there with my sister Texas, who would not lift a finger to help if you lit a fire under her ass.)
My favorite parts of summer are the light and the warmth. I love that it's light out before I get up in the morning, and I love lying in bed listening to the birds sing. And some of those birds are LOUD, and that just cracks me up! Like, jeez, it's five o'clock in the morning! Give it a rest already!
And I love going outside in the morning without first putting on boots, wool coat, scarf, gl0ves, hat, etc. Just waltzing out the door in shorts and a t-shirt. (On the weekends, that is. I'm afraid that blouses, skirts, pantyhose, etc. still rule the workweek.)
There is a west-facing window in my living room, and I love to watch the sunsets. Although I must say, winter does have one thing going for it - beautiful sunrises. Here is a sunrise off my back porch, taken last January:
But still, I'll take summer over winter any time. I would rather be too hot than too cold, any day. Although I could do without the gnats, horseflies, deerflies and bees every time I go out walking. No, stop. I've already decided. It's summer over winter.
P.S. No, I do not Photoshop my pics. A friend asked me that the other day, and it made me feel bad. They are all posted here straight as they came out of the camera. The only thing I ever do is sometimes crop them, to get the pics centered better.
Whew! I went to the dentist today for my six-month cleaning and checkup and made it out alive. Even though they did the dreaded "probe", where they take a sharp pointy thing and jab it into your gums repeatedly to see if you will bleed. I mean, really, the question is not "if" but "when", isn't it? Jab jab jab jab jab jab ........ there's gonna be some blood at some point, right? Especially with Nurse Ratched at the wheel. Although, actually, I did not get Nurse Ratched today, but another hygienist. Who seemed disconcertingly pleased that she got me to bleed at two different locations (in my mouth, not in the office). I was frankly amazed that it was only two ... jab jab jab jab jab.
I have no idea how those hygienists can do that all day long ... jab jab jab jab jab ... Sadists.
OK, ok, first the puke post, now this ...... I'll try to be cheerier next time. Promise.
(If you don't want to read about cat puke, you might want to skip this post.)
My cat Rocky is a cham-peen puker. Always has been. When he was younger, it was mostly hairballs. Which were disgusting, but it was also a little amazing - the size of the hairballs that would come out of that cat! Since I have started combing him (and combing him, and combing him - you don't think about that when you're picking out the little long-haired kitten), the hairball problem has ceased. These days, it's just straight up puke.
I was not in a good mood yesterday afternoon. For one thing, it was garbage day at my apartment building, which meant hauling a crapload of garbage out to the curb in garbage cans which still have wheels but no longer have handles, which makes things interesting. Jabba alone downstairs produces the garbage output of a small village. I'm not kidding, this guy creates more garbage than everybody else in the building combined. Which is kind of mystifying. I mean, yeah, he's grossly obese, but that means that he eats more, not that he throws more away. Right?
Anyhow, I was not in a good mood, and I had to stop at Wal-Mart, which worsened the situation, and I got home and Rocky had puked in the hallway. At least I saw it before stepping in it. Last Monday, I woke up, went into the kitchen, hit the switch for the overhead light, and realized that the bulb was burned out at the same time that my bare foot hit the liquefied cat puke. Good morning!
So I cleaned up Rocky's puke last night, and I mean, I really don't begrudge him for puking or anything, it would just be much easier if he would puke on the linoleum as opposed to the carpet. One can hope, right? And then I had to clean out his litterbox. When he was younger, he never used the litterbox, going outside instead. So his recent uptick in litterbox output had me kind of puzzled, until I realized, hey, this cat's not as young as he used to be. He probably can't hold it all day while I am at work anymore, and at a certain age, going to the bathroom inside has to be more appealing than going downstairs in the bushes. (Well, at any age, actually, but I'm talking about the cat here.)
A few years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to Rocky's pre-puke sounds. If you have a cat, you know what I'm talking about here, and if you don't have a cat, I really can't describe it. Sorry. So I looked around, and to my horror, Rocky was sitting on the nightstand right next to my bed, about six inches away from my head, with puke on the way. And by the time I could even react, he projectile vomited a great big load of puke onto the carpeting. I swear, it was like something out of The Exorcist. This stuff landed about five feet away from where he was. The most amazing puke episode ever. I couldn't help but be amazed.
He looks so innocent, doesn't he? They say it's always the quiet ones.
I have had a craving for doughnuts for quite some time now. Not the regular old, powdered-sugar doughnuts, but the fancy kind, with filling and frosting and glaze and ..........
I know what started this. The closest convenience store to my apartment recently added a Dunkin Donuts outpost. And every time I drive past this store (at least twice a day) I see the Dunkin Donuts sign out front. And when I stop there to get gas, when I go in to pay (yes, I am a Luddite who still goes inside to pay), I can look over and, oh God, actually see all the lovely doughnuts on their racks.
On any given morning, I know I could stop and pick up a doughnut. Actually, I wouldn't even have to stop - there's a drive-through. But here's the thing. If I did it once, the possibility exists that I would do it again and again and again ....
Every so often, when clients are coming in for a morning meeting, the boss sends me out to get a couple dozen doughnuts. And I swear, it's like nirvana, being at the doughnut store, picking out different kinds of doughnuts. Only the ones that I like, of course, because here's what happens: The clients come in, the meeting is held, several doughnuts are eaten, and then there's a bunch of leftover doughnuts. Which I put in zip-lock baggies and leave by the coffee machine for the employees to eat. Except, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who ever eats the leftover doughnuts. One every day, until they're all gone. Which wouldn't be that bad, except for doughnuts are pretty much pure sugar. And calories. And that's about it. And if I'm going to inhale a massive amount of calories, I would prefer that they have some redeeming value. Like the ones in steak. Or macaroni and cheese ... mmmmmmmmmm.
OK, I am hoping that now that I have openly expressed my massive craving for a doughnut, the craving will go away. Will it work? Time will tell. Cause right now, I really want a doughnut...... Is this what is known as a "food issue?"
"Waiting" is a supposed comedy about restaurant workers. I can't say it's the worst movie I've seen lately, because I could only watch about the first 20 minutes before I couldn't stand it anymore and stopped the DVD. Plus, it had Dane Cook in it, which I did not realize before I rented it, or I wouldn't have rented it, seeing as how Dane Cook has never been funny to me. Review: Bad, although as I said I only watched the first 20 minutes. I suppose a miracle could have happened and the movie could've gotten hysterically funny at minute 21, but I'll never know.
"Blaze" is a book by Richard Bachman/Stephen King. I enjoyed it very much, especially since it did not go on and on for hundreds and hundreds of pages, the way most King books do. This was a quick afternoon read. Review: Good.
This weekend was gorgeous, weather-wise. Sunny and warm. Saturday I went down to the creek - the tadpoles are getting their legs. Yesterday was the SUNY Nature Preserve - I got caught in a rainstorm, but it stayed pretty dry under the trees. I transplanted some lilies in the garden; I started out with one lily, and it has multiplied into about 10. Go lilies! Review: Good.
Last Saturday, I went for a walk along Choconut Creek. I had a close encounter with a button buck and also saw a fox, but I couldn't get the camera up in time to get a picture (*&?**&&!!). Here is the meadow where bluebirds hang out:
On Sunday, Mom and I went to Oakley Corners. Here's the lake:
We saw Canada Geese with some half-grown babies. We had a nice discussion about geese. Like, why are they so loud? Is it because of their size? If a dove was the size of a goose, instead of going, "coo", would it go "COO"? Mom and I have some interesting talks.
We also saw a frog who was very content to have his picture taken. Usually frogs skedaddle long before you get anywhere near them, so all you hear is the splash.
Mom brought up the subject of nursing homes out of the blue. Basically, her take is that she doesn't want to be in one unless she has to, and then it's ok. Very sensible. Mom turns 83 tomorrow.
Now, I am about to go off on a little rant. I know I have ranted about this before, but here I go again.
You people with the dogs? The large, not-well-behaved dogs who do not listen when you tell them to "sit" and "stay"? Please, please put a leash on them! On Sunday, Mom and I were just walking along, minding our own business, when down the trail toward us comes a Lab. A very large, soaking wet Lab, who skidded to a stop, started barking wildly, and then came charging toward us. Followed by another Lab, also large, also soaking wet, also charging toward us. And a couple hundred feet down the trail, I could hear someone yelling, "Butchie, sit!" "Butchie, come here!" "Butchie, stay!". Yeah. That didn't work out so well. And when a very large Lab jumps up on a very small, very old woman, trust me, she will fall down. (No, the dog didn't actually jump on her. But you could tell that he wanted to. I just know. I'm psychic that way (!)) So people? With the dogs you can't control? Trust me. If your dog jumps on my Mom and she falls down and gets hurt, my family will sue your ass off. So you might want to invest in a leash. I'm just sayin'.
Also? The places where we walk? The regulations for Jones Park, Chenango Valley State Park, Greenwood Park, Oakley Corners State Forest, etc., all state very clearly that dogs must be leashed at all times. You're also supposed to, ahem, clean up after them, but that's one battle I'm not even gonna start in on.
Oh, yeah, and that guy up at Jones Park? The one who speaks English, but yells commands to his dog in German? Um, I don't know how to tell you this, but ........ I don't think your dog speaks German. Because while you are yelling "Sit" and "Stay" and "Heel" (or whatever it is you're saying) in German, your dog just keeps right on charging down the trail. And it makes you look like a pretentious idiot. Just sayin' .......
OK, that's the rant! I KNOW that people want to let their dogs frolic in the forest, and traipse amongst the trees, and la la la, but if your dog is not well trained - PUT A LEASH ON IT!
(Wow, all caps, even. Sorry. I get emotional about this. Whew. I feel better now.)
Here is the patch of Indian Paintbrush that the lawn mower guys left in my front yard (you asked for it, Kerri!). And yes, that is the crapmobile in the background (don't ever buy a Saturn - at least not one that was made in the Delaware factory).
Here is a close-up of the Indian Paintbrush. And here is where somebody points out that it is not an Indian Paintbrush, but some other type of flower, thus disillusioning me of a belief I have held since childhood. Feel free to comment, guys!
And just for the heck of it, here is Mr. Z's new familiar. I don't think Jabba is aware yet that his kitty has kicked out the downstairs bathroom window screen and is making forays into the great outdoors. I'm not gonna tell him.
The pic above is of the shade garden. I really need to paint that wall! The honeysuckle is on the arch, the bleeding heart is in the middle, there are lilies on the left and columbine on the right, along with lilies-of-the-valley, hosta (yuck - I don't really like hosta, but my Mom gave it to me, and it grows like crazy underneath Mr. Z), a cinnamon fern, a jacob's ladder, pachysandra along the back wall, a bush hydrangea on the far right, blah blah blah blah blah. I have no idea what those vines are growing to the left of the downstairs window, but if they'll cover up the wall, I'll let them keep right on growing. I put the hanging basket on the arch to counter weigh the honeysuckle. I started some morning glories in the basket and I'm hoping they will grow up the arch, but I'm afraid they won't get enough sunlight to bloom. My back deck/porch is on the upper right. Thrilling, I know.
And yes, the grass in the backyard really was that high - no one had shown up to mow in two weeks. But here's a funny story (feel free to give up and move on at any point):
Last fall, when the new guy started mowing, he mowed over everything that wasn't fenced off, including blooming flowers. So this spring, when stuff started coming up, I fenced off everything, so it wouldn't get mowed over.
Monday night, I pulled in the driveway, and I noticed that the lawn hadn't been mowed in so long that there was a patch of indian paintbrush in the middle of the front yard. Now, I love indian paintbrush. It's one of the few plants I learned to identify as a little kid. So when the guys showed up to mow a couple of hours later, I grabbed a pair of scissors, went out to the front yard, and cut myself a bouquet of flowers. One of the mower guys, who I thought were in the back yard, must have seen me, because after they had packed up and left, I looked out front, and they had mowed the entire front yard except for the patch where the indian paintbrush were blooming! Isn't that sweet? Thanks, guys! Except now I feel like a idiot knowing that they were watching me, on my hands and knees, making a bouquet out of what I am sure looks like weeds to them! Oh well! I'm just the neighborhood crazy lady! I guess the sooner I accept that, the better.
As you can see, I am all into the close-ups, now that I have my new camera. Maybe I should back up a few feet! Pauline, I am sorry I don't have any pics of the honeysuckle yet! I'll try and take some tonight. Thanks for your interest!
My honeysuckle is blooming. I just love that smell! I love honeysuckle, lily-of-the-valley and lilac, and I have all three in my garden/backyard. Lucky me! Now all I need is some jasmine and I'm all set.
I was not intending on having a honeysuckle vine. But I was in Lowe's garden center a couple of years ago, looking for other stuff, and that smell caught my nose. I followed it to the honeysuckle, and I was a goner. The thing grew so fast that I ended up putting up an eight-foot garden arch (some assembly required - you should have seen me that day!). Now the honeysuckle has grown to the top of the arch and is exploring other venues. I think I'll take some cuttings and see if I can get them started along the back fence.
Last winter, after the honeysuckle had died back, we had one wind storm after another. And that garden arch kept toppling over, and over, and over. It was no fun coming home in the dark and cold and having to wrestle that thing back into place. I looked into setting the arch into cement, but that looked like waaaay too much work. Plus I'm an idiot, and if anybody could screw up a cement job, it's certainly me. So I took a chunk of old tree trunk and some rocks and piled them around the bottom of the arch, and that worked pretty good. This spring I took a big old tree branch that had fallen off one of the trees and wedged it over the bottom rungs of the arch, to make it more bottom-heavy. Cause I really, really don't want to have to try to un-topple that thing again!
I stand corrected. Saturday was a beautiful, gorgeous day - Sunny and in the eighties. And when I finally got off work (!), I was able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. I went down to the creek, and it turned out to be Tadpole Day. Hundreds and hundreds of tadpoles, all congretating in one shallow, still portion of the creek. I would love to take some home and watch them turn into frogs, but something in me cringes at taking something out of its natural environment and putting it into a jar for my enjoyment. (Plus, I would probably kill them.) That's probably why I don't do zoos. And I know that it's said that the animals live much longer in zoos than they do in the wild, but really, what kind of a life is that? And that's why Rocky is an indoor/outdoor cat, because I don't think it's fair to keep him inside when he wants to be out. Now here's where someone says, "Oh, but your cat kills birds". Well yeah, but other stuff kills birds also. Including other birds. And now here's where someone says, "Your cat would live much longer if you kept it inside". Well yeah, except for Rocky is now 15. And maybe I would live much longer if I never left my apartment either, but what kind of a life is that?
OK. Drop the microphone and move away from the soapbox slowly.
Most of the rest of Saturday afternoon I spent in the backyard with a book. It would absolutely kill me to stay inside on a sunny,warm weekend day. In all the years I've lived in that building, I've been the only one to use the yard areas at all. How on earth anybody can sit inside on a gorgeous day and watch tv (and that's what they're doing; I can see the tv on when I walk past their windows (nosy, much? No, really, you can't help but see the tv)) is absoulutely beyond me. Maybe it's because beautiful, warm days are all too few up here in the frozen North; maybe if I lived in Florida I'd be all jaded about beautiful weather. When I think about the rest of the people in my building sitting inside, all I can think of is that Aerosmith song, I think it's "Uncle Salty", and the one line goes, "Oooh, it's a sunny day outside my window .... " That line always makes me sad, because it makes me think of someone sitting inside when they could be outside.
OK. Time to stop judging the neighbers. They could be in there coming up with a plan for world peace, for all I know. While watching NASCAR, of course.
So anyway, yesterday the weather gods got their revenge. I went grocery shopping, and by the time I got home, it was absolutely pouring. We're talking torrential, hard-to-drive-in rain. So I sat in the car in the driveway for a few minutes waiting for it to let up, and it didn't. Finally, I made a run for it, and in the thirty seconds it took for me to get from my car to the back steps, I was absolutely soaked. Drenched! We're talking, wring the hair out, change your soaked clothes wet. Yee Haw! It was fun.
This weekend is the dreaded Vestal Festival, wherein they block off the street that I live on tonight and tomorrow for a parade, bathtub races (oh spare me), a craft show, and all kinds of stuff that would be mildly fun if I didn't have to park my car a quarter-mile away and walk back and forth to it all weekend when I want to go someplace because they block off my street. Assholes.
This weekend is also the Apalachin Firemen's Field Days, a fixture from my youth. (And yes, that is the correct spelling; there is a town nearby called Apalachin, and that's how they spell it. Trust me on this one.) Oh, and we also have the Grecian Festival!
All of which can mean only one thing.
It's gonna rain. Buckets. All weekend long.
Updated to add: Ooops! I stand corrected. I have just been informed, by someone who should know, that the Apalachin Firemen's Field Days are next weekend. Which means we should get a third less rain.