Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Boy knows how to relax, is all I'm sayin'

HEY!  I'm trying to get some sleep here!  Christ!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Well, I never claimed to a be classy lady ...

So!  I was wracking my brain trying to come up with the name of the store on the Commons where I found a bunch of great stuff the other day.

I finally went back through my stash and found a ring that still had price sticker on it.  Evolution 102!  That's the name!  So I googled it.

A review on Yelp:

"Really overpriced, trashy clothes. If Spencer's and Forever 21 made a baby, this would be their bastard child. These clothes are barely Forever 21 material/style, yet they're priced like they're Urban Outfitters. $40 for a flimsy garment that I'm not sure is a top or a bottom. There's a costume section in the back that leans toward the "put that freak on a leash!" side. The jewelry is plastic and fake. This store is NOT classy. It's for those middle school kids going through the "I Love Good Charlotte" phase of their adolescence. Blegh. If you're a classy lady or man with dignity and self-respect, do not shop here!"

Haaaaaaaa.  I don't care.  I picked up a bunch of fanTAStic cocktail rings for two bucks each, and a dashboard hula girl for the Kia.  That's my kind of store!

 I do love that review, though.  Gotta hand it to anyone who's that passionate about their shopping experiences.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I got the Sunday puzzle! I got the Sunday puzzle!

So, I was listening to NPR this morning, because I'm an insufferable prick, and the Sunday puzzle (with Will Shortz!) came on.  As usual, I had not solved the puzzle from the week before, and also as usual, I missed the part where he explained the "rules" of this week's on-air puzzle, meaning  I have no idea what the connection is between "witness tampering" and "cross talk".  However!  Then it came time for next week's puzzle, and I prepared to listen to the question and  then go "durrrrrrrrr", but


Granted, the puzzle this week was riDIculously easy, but still!  I got it!

Wanna try?

Name a product with the initials NPR.  This product is usually purchased by women.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Well, that's kind of like twisting the shiv

So!  I wrote a while back about fighting my insurance company to cover a walk-in visit.

 Today, I got a reply.

They decided to go ahead and pay for the claim, in their words, "in light of your worsening condition".

Gee, thanks!  I feel better now!

I swear to God, when I die, I want my headstone to read, "I TOLD you I was sick".  Ha.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In the garden

I love it when the silver lace vine starts to creep over the front door:

and when things start to get overgrown:

purple and red and orange and yellow go together:

the swans don't mind ...

... when strange things start to bloom:

metalcat is ready for showers:

the daisies are going to town:

even the hydrangeas are giving it the old college try:

and Mr. Z rides herd over it all.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I wonder

So, after the Aurora shootings, the gun nuts were all, "If only someone else in that theater had been armed ..."

And after Sandy Hook, the NRA was all, "If only the teachers had been armed ..."

So why, I wonder, haven't I heard right-wingers saying, "If only Trayvon Martin had been armed ..."

Of course, according to Zimmerman's defense attorney, Martin “armed himself with the concrete sidewalk.”  Well.  I guess that settles THAT.   Kid just wasn't quick enough on the draw, evidently.  Because everybody knows that sidewalk=gun. Duh.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More stuff I did last week

- got another C-diff infection.  Okay, this is getting really old.  On the plus side, I found out that Tig Notaro had C-diff!  I have something in common with a famous person!  I can only hope that my life trajectory does not further mirror hers; after being hospitalized with C-diff, her mother died, she went through a breakup, and she found out she had cancer.  Yeah, I'll pass.

- stopped at a kids' lemonade stand after being accosted on the street by a pint-sized huckster.  The brownies were excellent.

- bought all kinds of faaaaaabulous stuff for myself for my birthday and Christmas. And I found a close runner-up for The Most Awesome Store in the World.  While the Ithaca Antique Center still holds the crown, there was a great little shop on the Commons that is running a close second right now.  If I could just remember the name ...

- performed my annual "Step on a bee and get stung on the bottom of the foot" spastic ballet.  In front of the neighbors.  I hope they were entertained.

- realized there was a problem when even the CATS were all, "Ewwww, what's that SMELL?" in the bedroom.  Turns out it was a half-eaten mouse that SOMEONE (Tinks, I'm lookin' at you) had stashed under the bed "for later".  This food hoarding has got to stop, dammit. 

- and then, last night, during a rainstorm, Tinks came bursting through the pet door, soaking wet, with yet another frog in his mouth, racing straight for ... yep ... under the bed.  TINKS!  I netted the frog, set him loose outside, and gave Tinks a stern talking-to.  Not that it'll do any good. 

- realized that my trumpet vine is actually going to BLOOM this year.  It's a miracle!  I transplanted that vine, which was propagated from cuttings from a total stranger years ago, from my old place.  It never bloomed there, and it never bloomed here, except, a couple of weeks ago, a light bulb went off in my head, and I FERTILIZED the poor thing.  Voila!  Blooms!

So that's what's going on in my neck of the woods.  What are your cats dragging in? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stuff I did last week

I took a few days off work last week, because it's July.  And I found time to do all kinds of things:

- dropped my work-issued cell phone into Choconut Creek.  Sorry, boss!  On the plus side, I found out that the rice-in-a-bag trick really does work.  Whew!

- found the elusive Ingraham Hill quarries.

- bought a dress at the Sal that looks like something Anita would have worn in West Side Story.  It's AWESOME.

- had some mighty fine brisket with cornbread and a double side of salt potatoes.  Salt potatoes is one of those summer foods, isn't it?  So are pasta salad and jello and soft-serve ice cream. and watermelon. Am I missing any?

- used an outhouse.  Yeah, I'm getting kind of old for this stuff.

- asked a neighbor, "So, have you seen the fox yet?" and was dismayed when he replied, "Yes!  Have you seen the bear?"  That's it.  I'm movin'.

- got the lowdown on my neighbor B., who is not improving with age.  His driving skills have gone to sh*t (they went quite a while ago, if you ask me), and he totaled his car driving back from Wilkes-Barre. His wife now does all the driving, which is not necessarily a good thing, as she's the one who drove over the fire hydrant at the end of their driveway last summer.

Oh boy, I've got lot's more.  I'll continue this next time ... what have you guys been up to lately?

Friday, July 19, 2013


A little ways past the cemetery on Ingraham Hill, there's an abandoned building.

I'm not sure what it was.  At first I assumed "barn", but it looks more like some kind of former residence, especially since there's a big concrete raised porch area on the front of the building, and the last I knew, cows weren't particularly keen on climbing stairs.  And there's no barn door per se; just regular people-sized doors on the front and back.  Then I thought "church", but there's no steeple on top.

I tried to peek in through the cracks, but it was a bright sunny day and the building was boarded up, so all I could see was this:

So then I got the brilliant idea of sticking my camera in and hitting the flash (durrrrrr ... I'm a little slow on the uptake):

I dunno guys, what do you think?  The woodwork and the ceiling (the parts that hadn't collapsed, at least) look a little fancy for a barn ... and it IS just up the road from the cemetery ... was it a church?  Something else?  I'd love to find out.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

No. Just No.

If a loved one dies, and this is the only photo that you can find to submit for publication with the obituary?

Just skip it, okay?  Jeezus Christ.

I've discussed this before.  If your deceased relative was so disconnected from the rest of the family that NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON can cough up a good photo of him/her,. just don't bother.  It's not like the dead guy cares.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

THAT'll wake you up in a hurry

Five a.m. this morning.  The natives are restless, as the sun is rising.  I get up and go to grab their food bowls to get their breakfast.  In the water bowl?  A frog.


This kind of thing doesn't even  faze me anymore.  I took the water bowl, with the frog splashing happily in it, out to the ditch and dumped it.  Came back in, filled up the water bowl, filled up the food bowls, and went back to bed.

Sometimes I feel like a camp counselor. 

Except I don't get paid.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My worst fear

The day I visited the Ingraham Hill cemetery, I also went looking for an abandoned quarry that I know is up in there somewhere.   Following the transmission towers in the area, this was as close as I got:

I was on the upper edge of the quarry (or at least as close to the edge of the quarry as I dared to get), looking down.  Obviously, I'd picked the wrong trail.

But I did see the first Indian Pipes of the season:

 And my goodness, those towers sure are high:

And here?  Here is something for which you could pay me a million dollars and I would not do:

Do you see those men?  Those men waaaaaaay up on that tower?

No.  Nope.  Not for all the tea in China.  No way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cemetery, Part 2

Okay, so, in the comments of that post the other day I was talking about stealing tombstones, which, I WOULD NEVER DO, if only because I know karma would strike me dead.

And there are some tombstones that are too damn ugly to steal, anyway, like this little prize, seen in the same cemetery as that other post:

I know I've talked about tacky tombstones before, but here I go again.  No disrespect to the people interred underneath this monstrosity, but ... what?  Mom is a saint and Dad was a ... car?  WTF?  Oh, I know these things are common, but that doesn't make them any less tacky.  Christ.

This is more my style of tombstone:

You can't really tell, because I'm a crappy photographer, but this tombstone was a tree trunk, with flowers around the bottom, and a book on top.  I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Bible, although doesn't it look like it's ... upside down?  or reversed?  It just seems to me like the binding should be on the left.  Do you think the grieving family paid for the stone, and waited patiently for it to be carved, and then showed up at the tombstone place and were all, "Whaaaaaat?  The book's UPSIDE DOWN!  FIX IT!"  and the tombstone carver dude was all, "errrrrmmmmmm ... sorry."  Maybe the carver dude was illiterate and didn't KNOW that the book was wrong?  Maybe I think too much about this stuff?

Yeah, I think it's probably that last one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


So!  The whole fox thing took less than a week to go from "Too. Cool." to "Now it's war".  I think I set some kind of personal record, there. 

Bottom line is, while the fox IS cool and awesome and handsome, what is NOT cool and awesome and handsome is Pony and Tinks exploding through the pet door and into the house at ten o'clock last night, all afloof and "Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Holy sh*t Mom there's a FOX out there a freakin' FOX and Mom! Mom! Mom! Holy sh*t!"

*sigh*  So I grabbed a flashlight and headed out back in my PJs and sock feet, to find that yes, indeed, there WAS a fox in my backyard, and he was not at all dissuaded by my flashlight and my yelling and my waving my arms around and my searching for rocks to throw and finding nothing, leaving me to tear up clumps of GRASS in frustration and throwing them at the fox who was at least sixty feet away, which the fox freaking LAUGHED at before he finally turned and moseyed back into the brush, pausing to give me the old side-eye a couple of times on the way.

Foxes are not much scared of people.  I'm fairly certain they find us amusing, which let's face it, if I was a fox being confronted by a fifty-year-old woman yielding a flashlight and throwing clumps of GRASS, yeah, I'd find it pretty freaking funny too.

So!  Thankfully, the cats have enough presence of mind to be frightened of the fox.  And they're all just about as big as the fox is, and fully equipped with teeth and claws, and also adept at fighting other cats (judging my the amount of cat caterwauling outside my bedroom window on warm summer nights) so I'm fairly certain they are not about to become fox dinner.  (And if you are hovering over the comment button right now, all ready to share stories of neighbors' pets who got eaten by foxes, just ... don't.  Just don't, mmmkay?)

However, I don't want my cats to live in fear of the new bully on the block every time they step outside.  So!  I am mounting my plan of attack.

Step one:  Finally turn on the backyard floodlight which I have never bothered to use once since I moved in four years ago.  I think it's time.

Step two:  Bucket of rocks, to be kept by the back door.  Because that grass thing was pretty ridiculous, even for me.

Step three:  Air rifle, aka BB gun.  It will be seen whether I can, indeed, manage to put my eye out.  (No, I am not going to kill the fox.  I don't think it's even POSSIBLE to kill a fox with a BB gun.  I do hope to put some fear into it, though.)

Dear fox:  I love you.  I do.  You are awesome and handsome and cool.  Just ... GET OFFA MY LAWN!

(p.s. Dudes, I MEAN IT about the no "pets-eaten-by-foxes" stories in the comments.  DO NOT EVEN.)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Last weekend, I paid a visit to the Ingraham Hill Cemetery, which is a couple of miles from my house.  It was founded in October of 1862.  The oldest headstone I could find was from February of 1863:

There were, of course, headstones from the Civil War, although most of them were pretty dilapidated:

Here's a closeup of that marker:

I did a little research on "GAR", and here's what I found:

"The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who had served in the American Civil War. The successor organization is the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). Founded by Benjamin F. Stephenson on April 6, 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, the organization was based partly on the traditions of Freemasonry, and partly on military tradition, being divided into "Departments" at the state level and "Posts" at the community level; military-style uniforms were worn by its members. It reached its largest size in 1890, with 490,000 members. There were posts in every state in the U.S., and several posts overseas."  - Courtesy of the Civil War Militaria For Sale website.

Here's another marker, for the I.O.O.F, or International Order of Odd Fellows.  According to their web site, FLT stands for Friendship, Love, Truth.  Awwww ... I need a hug.

The children's headstones are always heartbreaking:

He died in 1894, "Aged 4Ws 7Ds, Gone but not forgotten".  Jeezus.

 And then there are the forgotten headstones, the ones the woods have taken over:

I dunno.  I kind of like the idea of a headstone out in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Flags on the Fourth

This is for Birdie:

It's hard to tell because the flags are small, but there were about a billion of them in my yard.

The cats decided to celebrate by doing some patriotic wrasslin':

"Hey!  Hey! No fair!"

"You give?"  "Yeah.  YOU give?"  "Yeah".

Boys will be boys.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Dudes. Duuuudes.

Pics or it didn't happen?  Here ya go  ...

Don't worry, I was using a zoom - he's about a hundred feet away at this point.  He sure did spook Sodapop, though ...  Soda came zooming up the backyard, which is when I saw the fox and grabbed the camera.

He (or she) usually shows up about six-fifteen, cutting  across my back-backyard on his way back into the brush line:

Too. cool.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Stuff I've done so far today

Set up nine billion tiny American flags on the front yard.  I'm a patriot, dammit.

Caught the ginormous dragonfly that Soda brought inside and released it back into the yard.

Cut my own bangs.  I never learn.

Popped into the office briefly and spoke with the municipal lawyer for a neighboring town, who has a commercial building about to fall over in her downtown.  Ooops!

Bought the National Enquirer AND the National  Examiner.  Shut it.

Picked up the ingredients for Alpo, aka the World's Finest Sandwich Spread.  I'll give you the recipe if you ask nicely.

And it's only one-thirty ...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


I splurged and bought a pair of swimming-pool-blue tights at Crapmart the other night.  When I went to put them on this morning, I discovered that they were not tights but leggings.  What the hell, Crapmart?  There is a difference between tights and leggings.  Please label your products accordingly.

Little girls look cute in leggings.  I?  Do not look cute in leggings.

I am still sick.  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.  Dear C-diff:  F*ck you.

It started raining about a week and a half ago, and with the brief exception of Sunday afternoon, has not stopped since.  Last night we got an inch of rain in an hour, and Tinks, for reasons I cannot fathom, decided that he wanted to be out in it.  He came in soaked.  I do not understand that cat.

Remember the lily I planted?  The one where I suspected the labeling was wrong, and would thus have to wait until it bloomed to see what color it was?  Yeah.  The deer ate almost all of the buds off of it.  I swear to GOD I'm gonna buy a gun.

My neighbor T. brought donuts over to share on Sunday.  It's nice to have a neighbor who is willing to share her donuts.

I usually take some time off this time of the year, but not knowing if my vacation is going to be pre-empted by hospitalization is putting a crimp in my plans.  Dear C-diff:  F*ck you.

Every Sunday afternoon, around four, a pickup-truck full of teens pulls into the park next door.  They head into the woods, come back out after around an hour, and leave.  I would say "party", but there's no loud noise, no coolers, and they're never there for very long.  Meth lab?  D&D?  I'm gonna have to go poke around down in there, because now I'm getting curious.

Monday, July 01, 2013

This post is supposed to be sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Yeah, good luck with that.

On my thrift store trip to Ithaca, the junk gods gave to me,

One giant wicker thing:

Two big-ass lawn swans (cat not included):

A blinged-out horse hat:

A seventies wooden bird:

A Saint Francis of Assisi, a black Jesus, a Madonna planter, and a phoenix something:

And all for thirty-five dollars!

(Yes, yes, there is indeed one born every minute.)

(Many thanks to the Open  Door Mission thrift store in Owego, the Ithaca Salvation Army thrift store, the Ithaca Thrifty Shopper, and the Ithaca Antique Center, aka The Greatest Store Ever in the History of the World.)