Monday, September 12, 2016

Mental Meanderings

My schedule has been juggled, thank goodness, working 52 hours last week nearly kilt me. Dead. We negotiated and I'm now working a much more reasonable 2-3 days a week; more than plenty after a decade of not working, in my opinion. More may be possible after I've had the opportunity to build up my stamina... in the meantime, it's very lucky my employer is understanding and willing to keep to our original agreement. This also frees up energy and time for writing (and for visiting your blogs). 

We're living in a small retirement community; most of the residents are currently 'up north' and won't be returning for a month or two. It's quiet here and not a lot of demand for community gatherings, etc... just yet. This I find quite agreeable, Cranky as I am. About 50 ft. beyond our place is an unmarked wall with no entrance; something about it intrigues me. Perhaps it's the brief glimpses of a roofline through the trees, maybe of a set of flats, or it could be the occasional sounds of people talking and children laughing. It could even be the occasional soft cock's crow which piques my interest.

I keep picturing a late-middle age woman in shorts and hiking boots, carrying a backpack, perched on the wall with a smile on her face... leaping suddenly to other side, laughter trailing behind.

Dunno for sure but methinks there might be a story in there somewhere; what do you think?

It's been a while so here's some food porn.

Above: Chicken salad with pecans, tart apple and sharp cheddar. Below: Liquid pizza aka tomato soup with sausage, pepperoni, minced green pepper, mushrooms, onions, and black olives with slices of fresh mozzarella. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

It's A Grand Theft, Otto

And I have perpetrated it on Debra, She Who Seeks (aka Otto)... go Here if you'd like to know what in blazes I'm talking about. I don't feel bad, she stole it from someone else.

1. Are you named after anyone? I was named after any number of people but was named for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and my Uncle Jack, (first name) and the actress, Diane Carol Baker.

2. When was the last time you cried? Three nights ago, I laughed so hard I cried.

3. Do you like your handwriting? I once had beautiful handwriting and was rather proficient at calligraphy; my writing has deteriorated somewhat.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat? Pastrami works well for me; there is a little deli where I used to live that had the best pastrami in the history of ever. The lovely and gracious rabbi who owns the deli makes it herself, on-site.

5. Do you have any kids? The kidling, of whom I often speak.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends? Hell no, I wouldn't give that bitch Debra She Who Seeks the goddamn time of day. Oh wait, I wouldn't give me the time of day. Oopsie!

7. Do you use sarcasm? What's that?

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Nope.

9. Would you bungee jump? Only if I have a spare pair of skivvies handy.

10. What is your favourite cereal? Cereal is from the debbil.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Why? Then you just have to re-tie them later.

12. Do you think you're strong? Well, I have been chucking 50 lb. boxes about lately.

13. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Peppermint; according to my horoscope this makes me both uncool and a potential ax murderer.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their voice. If I can abide their voice I usually like them.

15. Red or pink? Brighter colors work better for me as I get older, just not neons.

16. What is the least favourite thing you like about yourself? How self-absorbed I've been the last few months; it's been feeling very drama mama out.

17. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Erm, who said I was wearing any? (I'm in my sleep shirt you perverse creatures.)

18. What was the last thing you ate? Chicken salad with tart apple, sharp cheddar cubes, pecan pieces and just a hiiiiint of cinnamon.

19. What are you listening to right now? Iggy Pop Lust For Life

20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Verdigris

21. Favourite smell? Fresh basil.

22. Who was the last person you talked to? Jenae, a co worker.

23. Favourite sport to watch? Ummmm; get back to you on that.

24. Hair colour that's real? It used to be dark blonde with a lot of red, now it's dishwater blonde with a lot of grey.

25. Do you wear contacts? No. I do have reading glasses.

26. Favourite food? Prawns and/or scallops.

27. Scary movies or happy endings? Neither, I prefer the weepies.

28. Last movie you watched? Finding Neverland or Trainspotting; forget which.

29. What colour shirt are you wearing? Orange.

30. Summer or winter? Summer

31. Hugs or kisses? Hugs.

32. Favourite sweet food? Carrot cake!

33. What book are you currently reading? Only one? Hmm, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

34. What is on your mouse pad? My mouse.

35. What did you last watch on TV? Beat Bobby Flay

36. Favourite sound? The sound of water moving. Any water. 

37. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Either

38. What is the farthest you have traveled? Mexico

39. Do you have a special talent? Making people take an instant dislike to me; am quite proficient at it.

40. Where were you born? Indiana, US

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Little Mischief

But doesn't Jim look just lovely, sound asleep with his mouth hanging open, lol.

He's had a few rough moments, that's to be expected when a transplant is involved, but nothing anywhere near so frightening as the initial surgery. Mom grabbed this photo just after he fell asleep.

This ugly fellow nearly gave me a heart attack when I got home from work tonight:

This is the toxic cane toad, a giant of a toad which has rapidly become an invasive species in many parts of the globe; this particular one was about the size of a baseball and hurtled past my feet. Fortunately for me, it didn't touch me and quite considerately knocked itself out on the car's under carriage.

One more day until some time off, hallelujah! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

What (Pink) Style! She's a Rock Star!

Mom is Indiana now with Jim and will be up there for a month or longer; Jim will be in hospital three to four weeks, albeit he's determined to prove the doctors wrong and get out of there sooner. Knowing how stubborn he is, I'll not be the least bit surprised if he does just that.

He did require an epidural for the pain yesterday, he's breathing on his own but wasn't able to take deep breaths until after the epidural; it was just too painful. They had him up in a chair briefly yesterday and for nearly an hour today... not bad for a guy who had a 15 hour surgery Tuesday night/Wednesday morning! 

Wish I'd seen his face when Mom's best friend, Judy, picked her up at the airport and when Mom walked into Jim's room. Heck, I'd have loved seeing the expression on stranger's faces when she walked through the airport, etc... She decided to give everyone a little surprise and asked me to help her with it, so before heading to the airport I did this:

Pink highlights around her face! 

I'll likely be MIA over the holiday weekend (Labor Day here in the States) but fingers crossed things slow down a bit after Monday; I miss everyone. Be safe and well, till soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This Is It And I'm Terrified

My oldest brother, Jim, after months of waiting... is now in surgery.

A double lung transplant. Right now. 

I'm supposed to do another long day at work tomorrow but how can I just toddle off to bed whilst Mom is in her room crying as though her heart will break? Jim was born when she was just 15; they've been through it all together, hell, they grew up together. I want to scream, to cry, to make everything better but I can't.

I can be here and I can get her up there, to Indiana. Probably on Friday, if all goes well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Flying By

On my way to bed, working tomorrow.

Man am I tired. What the hell happened to starting out part time??? I'm already into overtime and working the bakery on my own and it's still two days from my two week mark! Work is good, getting paid for work is even better, but I'm seriously not sure I can keep up this pace; there were a number of excellent reasons for me wanting to work part time, at least for a while.

Ah well, today was good. Had the day off and took Mom out to eat at Olive Garden (her choice) for her birthday/3 years cancer-free celebration. Think she enjoyed her meal?

Picked her up some new puzzles, since she's rather fond of jigsaws.

A bird wall-hanging and a showy plant. (Kalanchoe)

My sincere apologies for not getting around to everyone's blogs; by the time I get home I'm too whipped to do more than eat, shower, and fall in bed. Frankly, if Mom weren't cooking I'd be too tired for the eating part. I am thinking of everyone.

Oh! The kidling has a new, better-paying job!

Until next time! Have some music.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Staggers

Don't ask me how I managed it, but I did...

After a long first week at work and managing to pinch a nerve so a large section of my right thigh was numb, (but still functional, thank heavens!) I had staggered out to the front porch and was chatting on the phone... These two were keeping a close eye on me, even though they were indulging in, erm, recreational activities:

Suddenly, the leg that was numb started burning like an overcooked lamb roast in a much too hot oven. Flying off, like a self-satisfied dive bomber, was this guy; an American hornet:

No, it's not my own photo; I was rather busy not screaming as bursting the eardrum of the person with whom I was speaking seemed a trifle, well, rude. It also happens that I'm quite allergic to stings, so I spent my night off hopped up on Benadryl and with my formerly numb leg feeling like it was on fire.

Now, I kid you not, after I finally fell asleep early this morning, a sheriff's deputy knocked on the door and wanted to speak to my mother and I about a break-in which had occurred in a nearby home a few days ago. Really? It had to be now?? Still, after the deputy left, Mom looked at me and said " You cover it up pretty well, but you're really a tough old broad". 

Made me feel rather good, that.

It's been a rather rough week; so much for part time, but I'm ready to do it all over again... starting Wednesday I'll be cross-trained in another department and if nothing changes they're planning on having me train in a couple more departments over the next few weeks. Now if I can just remember everything... It's quite nice, though, this feeling of getting back to the woman I remember; someone who could get things done, someone who wasn't sick all the time.

Spotted in a nearby town:

Don't ask, I haven't any idea, lol.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

And an odd day it's been; bittersweet, even cranky. I'm finally getting down to work tomorrow (almost today) and none too soon; I'll be sore for a while but that was partly sorted by a change of medication at the doctor today - the rest will have to sort itself the old-fashioned way; by going through it since there's no way around.

It's also my birthday today, Happy 55th!

Mom made me a birthday brownie, took me out for Chinese... which came with it's own surprise... 

tomato bunnies! She also bought me classic red roses.

The kidling and I spoke on the phone, but she is still a thousand miles away. That seems very far today.

Have also been pondering other thisses and thatses; like the fact that both my father and Two Bear were very much into things like numerology and how they would be lecturing me about the transition from a nine year to a one year as I move from being 54 to 55. For once in my life, oddly enough, they'd be quite gratified by how my life is closing one chapter and beginning another just like the numbers predict.

Tomorrow - today now - is a huge step; proving to myself and others that I can get a job (and I'll damn well keep it too). If my pride causes me to over-reach, what of it? At least I'll have regained some self-respect and it's nobody else's circus or monkeys.

I'm not cranky with, or at, any of my blog friends; have just spent too much time thinking and analyzing of late. My head will empty and I'll demonstrate my usual shallowness soon, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy a little beauty in miniature:

Saturday, August 6, 2016


An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.

It struck her during yet another round of accusations and insinuations, after the baby woke and began screaming. His voice, once a balm to her ears, filled with rage and contempt as it battered at her down-turned head and dripped acid over her soul. 

Two wishes then, equally strong: either she and baby Jonah free or the ability to turn to stone, the both of them, so their hearts could remain unbroken. Unfortunately, no human heart ever remains unbroken.

Hearing his heavy boots veer toward the door to the baby's room, she jumped to her feet and ran to block the door; the heavy skillet hidden behind her. "Get the hell outta my way, you fat cow, it's time your brat shut up" he hissed just as he grabbed her milk-sore chest and twisted; something he'd done dozens of times in the six months since Jonah had been born. This time, however, she was prepared, knowing he always returned in a rage after seeing his friend ... swinging as hard as she could with the frying pan, she sent both he and the skillet sailing into the wall. Turning toward her, trying to grab her throat, he staggered as Demetria panicked, flailing at him. Her unloving husband, Carl, drew his fist back, preparing to take her down, as Demetria pictured her right hand as a stony fist and threw her punch first. This time he stayed down and she shook her hand a moment before grabbing his wallet and dressing wee Jonah.

Back in her room with the baby; hurriedly changing clothes, then slipped the sling on in front and placed him in it. Stuffing supplies into the backpack and pocketing the $57.00 she'd found in his billfold, along with his debit card, she planned to get more money from an atm and do it again after midnight; hoping against hope she'd make it before he thought to cancel the card. The bus depot was across town but it wouldn't do her any good, Carl had destroyed her driver's license and they wouldn't sell her a ticket without i.d.; she knew this for a fact, she'd tried once before.

Slipping outside and drawing a deep breath, she set off down the pavement at a steady pace; it was less than a mile to the nearer edge of town, where they could escape into the woods. There was a convenience store halfway between and she could get more money from the store's atm. Jonah, bless him, was sound asleep already and his tiny snores set the pace for her...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


An inconsolable longing of the human heart, for we know not what. A yearning for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one's home. 

"Felipinho come along. Quickly now, breakfast is ready." His nose, made sensitive by so many years spent hungry on the streets, quickly identified the scents of pingado - sweet coffee milk - and the cheese-filled bread rolls called pao de queijo. It almost smelled of his Bahian home instead of this cold Northern town called Bosstown; the name fit, nearly everyone seemed to want to be a big boss in this place. 

Still, he was better off here than he'd been at any other time in his life: decent food every day, often more than once. No one getting drunk and beating him, or worse, every night. Belonging to Vovo Linda's crew meant a safe, warm place to sleep and a chance to improve his situation in life; even become respectable. She was tough, Vovo Linda, but fair, and you could tell she had been a real beauty in her day. Even so, there were nights he awoke, traces of tears wetting his thin pillow, vague dreams of a family and home he didn't yet know tugging at him.

He'd almost reached the kitchen door and had spotted Vovo Linda watching him through the window; grinning at his headlong rush when he heard it: a cry of terror and despair so profound that it jerked him around to search the busy street for the woman, and a woman's voice it was, who had uttered such a disturbing sound. Again it rang out, further down the street, and he started toward the sound; rushing faster and faster yet. Behind him, Felipinho heard the smash and clash of breaking glass and another, more familiar, woman's voice shouting "Faster Felipinho! Fly to her before all is lost!"

Ignoring the painful prickling across his shoulders and down his arms; dashing down a familiar grey concrete and black asphalt alley, he reared back... or tried to... when what was familiar suddenly turned to tan beach, misty blue sky and steel blue water. Too late, too late! He'd passed some unseen boundary.

Well it certainly needs work, but at least it's begun.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Itch Returns

That would be the itch to write, of course. Some interesting prompts have thrust their flamboyant verbosity in my face and begged me to play with them. As always, having an image to go with them is quite helpful. In no particular order, I give you . . .

Sehnsucht: An inconsolable longing in the human heart, for we know not what. A yearning for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one's home. (If you'd like to see a larger version of any of these photos, click on them to "make it so".)

Eleutheromania: An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.

Solivagant: To wander alone.

Coddiwomple: To travel in a purposeful manner toward a vague destination.

Thus my mind goes, and fills the hours.

A Tasteful Canid?

If It's Easy, a short story by my longtime pal, Carolyn McBride. (Click on her name to go to her blog.) You can also visit her Amazon Author's page --> Here, and her Facebook author's page is Here. *Carolyn was kind enough to share an author's copy with me but all opinions are my own, as anyone who knows me would know.

This is the tale of Coriander Wolf, a lonely author with a flavorsome name and a cynical  view of romance. Beginning with the prophetic announcement from a djinn trapped in her computer, and continuing on to a meeting with an exotically beautiful stranger, Cori is about to learn more about the universe(s) and all they contain than she could ever have imagined... One suspects that her adventures will not end with this one short tale and that is definitely a good thing.

Carolyn and her wife, Betty, live in Southern Ontario, where Carolyn continues her tradition of writing strong lesbian protagonists and Betty keeps her in line! 

Now for a few photos!

A lovely, celebratory bowl of succulent mussels. Yup, I got the job! Have to wait to start until they get the results of (standard procedure) obligatory urine test and I-9. For those not from the States, the I-9 is to determine if one is eligible to work in the US. It takes a while and I'm not inclined toward patience just now; despite having been sent (before I'd even arrived home) an email stating my pay rate, etc...

We had rain and storms most of the day yesterday, the sky boasted some unusual colors as the sun was setting; looking straight up:

And to the right...

This next one, however, looks positively sulphurous.

Thought I'd share an earworm with you in farewell. You're welcome!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


...the Universe listens and responds with a resounding "Yes"!

I have a job interview on Monday afternoon; it's at a place Mom and I frequent and is quite legit. 

My oldest brother had his last injections and tests, which he passed with flying colors. He's on the lung transplant list! Also, among all the other tests I had recently was one for the 1 antitrypsin gene, which was passed down from our father. It's what caused Jim's lung disease. I don't have the genetic markers for it. 

Is it weird that I'm feeling guilty about this?

I'd say Mom and Jenn think so.

In Living Color

Spotted these whilst around and about today; thought I'd share.

Not sure what the top one is, the bottom is pink oleander.

And with the warm horizon filter . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2016

So, the Doctor

Getting established with a new doctor is far from my favorite thing, as most of you know quite well since I kvetch about it on a regular basis. Physicians insist on painful tests and sticking me repeatedly with sharp instruments, etc... this makes me dislike their company rather quite a lot.

I may have struck it lucky this time. My new doc, whom I shall refer to as Dr. Banana, as it rhymes with her last name, has it going on. I mean, she's on top of things. And I got some good news, which tends to make me view her more favorably.

Ready for it? 

I've been taken off the medication to control the essential tremor!! Huzzah Huzzah! Picture me with my happy face on because I don't need it anymore. The tremors are gone baby, gone. 

I'll even be driving next week; re-acclimating myself to it. 

Of course, there was also less positive news.

As a side effect of one of the medications I've been on for years for diabetes, my kidneys are showing signs of failing, something this particular medication is known for causing. Not that I knew that until Dr. Banana told me (and I immediately began researching). I'm off that medication and the hunt for a replacement has begun...

Have had to be taken off two other medications because they were exacerbating the spinal arthritis; we are trying other medications but, as always, I can only try one new medication at a time because I have odd reactions. The doctor informed me of that... this on our second appointment and without me having to argue for a cautious approach. She gets it! Physical therapy to prevent the loss of mobility is still in my future, but that has been delayed until the sciatic nerve calms down a bit; it's quite grumpy about what's going on with my spine.

If it ain't one thing it's t'other, but no more tremors.

Oh. I do go Monday to have an ultrasound done of the remaining half of my thyroid. A goiter has developed suddenly, which explains more than it doesn't. What she's talking about, HERE Of course the C word got tossed around, something I don't put much stock in since I've been on this merry go round before. 

Now if I can just find a job I'll be really quite content.