Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Oh, Yeah, Yeah, At Last, The Skies Above are Blue

 Okay. Today was finally a hopeful day. I wasn't able to watch the inauguration, but it sounds like I missed something great. There is so much to say about today. I'm excited to get the seditious, divisive, person out of there, and now we have so much work to do to try and fix everything he messed up, but most importantly, to be vigilant that we never have anyone like him or worse get that much power in our country again.

I am hopeful, but I am not naive. No one is perfect, and every president makes mistakes. Hopefully, now, though, our new president won't think only of himself and his friends like 45, but of what's best for ALL of the citizens of this country. Let's also hope that that whole culture of believing in lies, and not wanting to fact check anything that didn't align with your conspiracy theories goes out the window too. I'm excited to see science and facts make a comeback...Oh, and to have a leader who speaks in full sentences! 

As always, here's wishing the best for our country.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Kid, You Better Look Around, How Long You Think That You Can Run That Body Down?

So, I was going to try and write every day this week, but then I did this really stupid thing. I started reading "David Copperfield", and now it's hard for me to do anything else. It's so damn good.

I am on the precipice of a three day weekend. Monday is Martin Luther King JR Day, and it's the last holiday I get off before Memorial Day in May. Sigh.

Last year I decided I was going to try and start painting the laundry room. I had already painted the door a nice light gray color on Saturday, and I was going to start painting the walls a bright white on Monday. They were a dingy, dirty, off-white color that looked like depression would, if it were a color. I washed the hell out of the one section of wall, and started painting. I felt fine at first, but then I started getting a headache and I was really exhausted. I took migraine meds, hoping that would do it, but they didn't do anything at all for me, so I figured it wasn't a migraine.

I also was losing my appetite. I thought maybe if I got some ice cream that would make me want to eat, but that didn't even sound good - which is when I was sure I was coming down with something serious. It's not unusual at all for me to get sick toward the end of January. We get a lot of international students coming into our office with their official documents a week or two before classes start up again, so I get exposed to a lot of different germs. I wasn't at all surprised that I was sick. It was just how weird/bad I felt.

At first it was mostly just a headache and exhaustion. At one point while I was trying to paint, I had to sit on the ground and then use both hands to hold the brush. Don't worry. I finally stopped at that point. Even I'M not that stubborn. 

Then by the time John came home from work, I told him to go out and get whatever he wanted for dinner, because I was too sick to eat. I figured I'd lie on the couch and just rest. Then I got these weird body aches. I was literally writhing around on the couch. I almost couldn't stand to be in my own skin. I got sick to my stomach a few times, and was finally able to sleep. I slept a LOT.

Whatever the bad juju was, it lasted about a week. I lost about 7 pounds, and even for however many months after that, I had very little appetite. It was so unlike me. There were a couple of different kinds of flu going around back then, and it was too early for me to have caught Covid, so who knows what I had. I guess the good thing about Covid for me this year, is that when we go back to the office in the next couple of weeks, we'll be a lot more careful. We have plexi-glass between us and the students, and we're all wearing masks. I'm hoping those kinds of precautions will keep me from getting the flu or even a cold. I guess there are a few benefits of Covid...

The "funny" thing is, I never finished painting the laundry room. I also feel like I can't try it this long weekend without tempting fate. I guess any excuse not to do it, works for me. If it keeps snowing like they say it might, I want to cross-country ski as much as possible this weekend. Since I'll have extra time on Monday, I told John I'd try to make eggplant parmesan for dinner that night. That is, of course, if I don't come down with anything.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Blue, Here is a Shell For You, Inside You'll Hear a Sigh

 Since I'm trying to write more, and there's a pandemic, so there isn't much to write about but our political situation, and our political situation hurts my stomach, I thought I'd do a post where I play with words. I did look at writing prompts and some of them were pretty bizarre. Here is one example: 

"Write about two people who own rival bakeries, but fall in love during their town's holiday festival."

Don't at least 5 different Hallmark Christmas movies have that same premise? Anyway, I thought I'd make it a little simpler?/more simple? and just use a word that conjures thoughts or memories, or Hallmark Christmas movie premises.

Today's word is BLUE:

- When I was a girl, I was more partial to wearing red or pink colors. My sister and I are about 2.5 years apart in age, and people used to want to treat us like twins and buy us the same dresses or shirts (smock tops, if we were lucky), but in different colors. I used to whine because my sister always got the cute colors, and I always seemed to get things in boring colors like navy blue or brown...And there was so much navy and brown in the 70's.

-I never got into Joni Mitchell when I was younger. At first, it was that I fancied myself a little too punk for that hippie music.  Then after I moved to California and became more open to some of that hippie music, I had a roommate who fell in love with a guy named Scott while she was studying to be a Chinese medical doctor, and she played "Court and Spark" over and over and over, and in particular, "Help Me". As one can imagine, I still don't think I'm ready to hear anything from that album. When John and I moved in together, he had Joni Mitchell's "Blue", and I just fell in love with it. Older me finally got smart.

-Coming from my family, I have been very lucky not have inherited the clinical depression issues that many of the other members have. I made up for it in migraines, but that's a different issue (apparently, none of us gets away without something fun). I did used to get blue from time to time in my twenties, and thirties, however. It was usually situational. I had that problem with abusive people from the age of 10 - 37, and that can really bring a girl down. Other times it was hormonal. Moving outside has always helped to clear the blues for me. I spent almost every day during the Summer of 1984 walking for hours and hours, trying to purge myself of all of the negativity during my time with my aunt and uncle. I would walk down a street and take it to its end, then I'd find another street, and take that to its end. Sometimes it would lead me out on dirt roads in the country. With my horrible sense of direction, it's a wonder I never got lost.

-When Coadster was in kindergarten she told her classmates that her favorite color was blue. All of the girls in her class got together to shame her and tell her that blue was a boy's color and she couldn't be a girl and like it. I was shocked that shit was still going on in the late 90's.

 So, that was BLUE for me today. What shade are you?

Monday, January 11, 2021

I Got Chills. They're Multiplyin'

Well, let me tell you. I got my second Shingles vaccine on Friday after work and the rest of the weekend was pretty rough. I know it would be 5,000 times worse, if I were to actually get Shingles, and I tried to be smart and get it on Friday evening, so I'd have the whole weekend to recover. Man, did I need that.

 Lucky for me, Verizon gave us a free six month trial of the new Discovery Plus Network. I'm not sure if you all know this about me, but I'm obsessed with HGTV. So, the new channel with all kinds of episodes of "My Lottery Dream Home", and another show called, "Restored" that I'm addicted to are on there. Talk about your cheesy escapist TV. The other thing they have on there is the Dodo channel. which meant, that I could watch episode after episode of 5 minute shows where animals are going to their forever homes with humans who love them after horrible experiences prior to the show. Yeah. One was even about a 36 pound cat who's original human had Alzheimer's and kept forgetting that she had already fed him. If that had been Archie, he probably would have been 50 lbs.

Anyway, I did a lot of resting. I kind of felt like I was on a really bad drug that made me super dizzy and spacey and tired, and also, I had the chills for a few hours on Saturday night. Try to imagine a combination of having chills, and THEN having a hot flash. My poor body must have been so confused. I appears that growing old will never be boring.

I hope you all had weekends that didn't include side effects from the Shingles vaccine...Or much worse, having actual Shingles.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

I Read a Lot, I Can't Put it Down. While Others Are Painting the Town, You'll Find Me in a World of Fantasy

Well, I decided not to do the group of end of the year posts I normally do, because 2020 was extra, and I just didn't have the energy for it. I will do a very honed down books I read in 2020 post now, though. Besides Gus, reading books was one of the best ways to distract myself from the craziness of the year.

I only read 71 books of my 75 book goal. The first time in many years that I didn't meet my goal. I had to let a lot of things go the last 12 months.

So, here's my very limited list:

Best Classic novel I read in 2020: It's a tie between Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" as a classic novel that I reread and Wlkie Collins' "Lady in White", which I had never read before. If you ever want to read a great classic novel, check out "The Woman in White"

The best non-fiction book I read this year: "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. I was in desperate need of hope this year, and this book gave me some of that. I loved how open and honest she was about herself, her marriage, and her life.

The best Graphic novel I read this year was my reread of Alan Moore's "The Watchmen". I haven't read it since 1989/90.

The best thriller/scary book I read in 2020, was Blake Crouch's "Dark Matter".


The most disappointing book I read was, "Inland" by tea Obrecht. I love Westerns and I loved her book, "The Tiger's Wife", but this book took sooooo long to get going, and she had so much to work with. Sigh.

The best Young Adult novel I read was, "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi. Talk about a fantastic adventure.

The best children's book I read was "Kidnapped", by Robert Louis Stevenson. I am always going to pick the best adventure story.

The best detective novel I read was, "The Magpie Murders" by David Horowitz.


 The best book by a former Iowa Citian was, Chris Offutts', "Country Dark". I give him that honor even though his son did bring a plunger as a gift to Stinky's 13th birthday party and gave all the kids stomach hickeys with it, so you know the book was good.

The best fantasy/ short story collection was Kelly Link's "Get in Trouble"

I read a lot of series' books this year, and this is my list of those:

 The best memoir series was the Maya Angelou autobiographies. They were so interesting and she was involved in so many  different movements during her time.

The best escapist series: The "Crazy Rich Asians" series by Kevin Kwan. Boy howdee, did I need escapism this year.

The best dystopian series'ish books I read were Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" books. I couldn't really read much dystopian fiction until you-know-who got voted out, and it wasn't quite as close to our actual lives.

Okay. That's it for the books I read in 2020. Let's hope this year has even more and better reading experiences for all of us.


Thursday, January 07, 2021

Crooked Politicians With Nefarious Schemes, Charlatans and Crooked Cops

Holy cow, Kids, but it's been a week. A bunch of crazed, treasonous t-Rumpers tried to take over Congress, but luckily they were stopped, and the democratic process was  finally allowed to happen and we have a new president now. Thank jeebus! It will be nice to have an actual leader again. Someone who cares about the country instead of their own interests, and even with a stutter, can speak in complete sentences. Maybe t-Rump will go to Russia where he can find the kind of government he really wants.

 On a non-political note, I think my tooth may actually be fixed. Fingers crossed. I have been in a lot of pain since my crown, and since it happened right before the holidays, they couldn't work me in until yesterday. The dentist shaved my tooth down, which was pretty excruciating, but it feels way better now than it did when I was too long in the tooth, both now literally and always figuratively. Here's hoping for pain free teeth in the weeks to come.

On a more positive note, John just got his first Covid vaccine, which makes the two people who ever enter my house both vaccinated. So, until I go back to work in a few weeks, I should be fairly safe?

On a what the hell note, I think I'm going to get my second shingles vaccine tomorrow. If they have it. I have no idea how I'll feel this weekend, but no matter what, it sounds like it's going to be way better than actually having shingles.

On a hopeful note, I'm just thinking positive thoughts for things to get better and better for all of us.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

So This is the New Year, and I Have No Resolutions, For Self Assigned Penance, For Problems With Easy Solutions

Well, you know Christmas is over when the wise men start passing out. Now, it's New Year's Day already and I haven't written here in way too long. If I made resolutions, I would resolve to write in here a hell of a lot more. Since I don't, I will just have to try really hard to write more.

In my defense, I've been having terrible migraines for the last couple of weeks, and it makes it so hard to string a sentence together. Sigh.

We did a good job sending 2020 off last night. A friend of ours invited us over to a Christmas tree burning bonfire in her backyard. Then we came home and made a cheese and veggie and nut board, and some shrimp cocktail. John and I laughed about growing up in the 70's and back then shrimp cocktail was considered so fancy. We also played Scrabble and watched "The Thin Man" You have to love William Powell and Myrna Loy.

I started put this morning with, you guessed it, a bad migraine. I was intent on making French toast and cheesy eggs, but I almost cut the tip of my finger off slicing bread with the sharp, new, bread knife I bought John for his birthday. I've been taking a lot of Advil for my migraines lately and it's a blood thinner, so it took almost an hour to get my finger to stop bleeding.

I decided to take my Zomig, which are the heavy duty meds, and then rested for a while before we tried to cross-country ski. It snowed about 4 inches here today, and I was weak from my meds, so we only went out for an hour. It was still nice to get outside and play.

 So, now we begin a new year, with all the hope and trepidation that brings. Stinky is going to get her first Covid vaccine on Monday, and John is supposed to get his in the next couple of weeks. I have a feeling I might be last in line to get mine. It would be so nice for as many people as possible to be able to get the vaccine in the next couple of months. How great would it be to eat inside at a restaurant, or go on a trip, or cough because you have allergies without everyone giving you the stink eye? 

Anyway, I hope the best for all of you in the coming year. I hope for a smooth transition of power later this month, I hope the virus gets managed better, I hope people work on becoming kinder and more empathetic, and I hope my cats stay weird and amusing, because that helps me deal with my migraines. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Happy Holidays to You

Man, I had a bad week last week. The lens popped out of my reading glasses, and since I just got them about two months ago, I took them back to the eye glass place to see if they could fix them. While the woman was fixing them, she apparently broke the frames. So, then she had to order a warranty pair and I guess that will take a few weeks for me to get them. Now I'm back to wearing my old reading glasses and I'm doing a lot of squinting trying to read stuff at work. Pretty.

Then on Thursday I went into the dentist to get a crown. I really hate going to the dentist, because I have to pay someone money to hurt me. This time, I guess the dentist got confused and drilled the wrong tooth. So, he had to fix that mistake before he could even start on the right tooth. I will give him credit. He told me he made a mistake and apologized and all that jazz. My mouth was just even more sore than it usually is after having a crown. Like I said to someone else, at least he wasn't trying to amputate my leg.

So, because not just last week, but this whole year has kind of been a shit show, I've been making a big point to celebrate this holiday season. I've seen those people on Facebook who want to pretend that there is some imaginary war on Christmas and it just cracks me up. Listen, people, there are about 14 different holidays occurring this time of year, and after the way things are going, why wouldn't you want to celebrate every one of them? Seriously, I might have to sacrifice a goat or eat pig's blood or even worse, make crafts, or whatever other way anyone celebrates, but I am all up for partying anyway anyone wants to party. So, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Goat Sacrificing Day (?), and most of all, Happy New Year!

Anyway, what my point started being, before it became a rant (as my points so often do), is that I've been going nuts celebrating the holidays this year. I got a real Christmas tree for the first time in years, John and I listened to a Charlie Brown Christmas while we wrapped presents last weekend, and I painted my own Christmas cards.

The only drag about making your own Christmas cards is that it takes a lot of time, so I only made 8 this year to send to immediate family. Then everyone else seemed to be getting in the spirit of the holidays, and we're getting tons of cards from friends and family, and the last couple of days people have been leaving gifts at our front door. We got nice, big coffee/tea mugs, a tea towel that says, "My cat would make a better president" (ha ha), and homemade baked goods, and candy. It's all so sweet and unexpected. I just feel bad that I can't reciprocate. I will make some Christmas hummus and drop some off at people's houses on Christmas Eve, but that's about all I can do, what with working, and not being able to run to different stores because of the pandemic.


Tomorrow is my  is my last day to work before I get a lovely four day Christmas weekend. I can't wait. I still have to bake and decorate sugar cookies on Christmas Eve (and make the Christmas hummus, of course), but other than that, my long weekend will consist of eating food and drinking grog, and watching movies and playing outside and enjoying the season. I hope you all are able to celebrate at LEAST 14 different holidays before the end of the year too.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Follow Me in Merry Measure. While I Tell of Yule-tide Treasure

Hey, kids! We finally got some snow this weekend. It's been such a warm December so far. I'm not complaining, but it would be lovely to have a white Christmas, and I do love playing in the snow when it isn't too damn cold.

As you all probably know by now, I am an outdoorsy girl (old lady). Playing outside makes me happy and clears my foggy brain.

So, when John suggested we go for a snow hike in our local woodsy park, I was all for it. We had one of those heavy, wet snows that sticks to everything and makes the whole world seem frosted.

We wandered all around the park and saw so many sweet puppies running around like the happiest of fiends.

We also walked past the sledding hill, that I used to take my girls to when they were younger. Back then, I'd pile them up on a sled and pull them to the park. 

It was great to see so many families out playing in the snow. It felt like we were in a movie, or we had walked into a Norman Rockwell painting or something. I really do love that festive holiday shit.

I still wanted to get a run in. I love snow running almost as much as I love snow hiking. So, John and I headed to the car and went home, where I changed out of my snowy clothes into some clothes that were about to get snowy.

 Running on snow is at least twice the work-out running without the snow is, but I really love it. There's something about being out there, when almost no one else is running. I wear those old running shoes that John put screws on the bottom of to keep me from slipping and sliding.

When I was almost home, on the bike path behind our house, I saw this bench where someone had written I Heart U in the snow. It made me so happy. I love when people try to spread that love around...Especially right now when so many people are feeling isolated, and have people close to them dying from this pandemic. 'Tis the season to be empathetic and spread good cheer. Let's all do our equivalent of telling people we love them in the snow on benches this year.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Memories That Come at Night. Take Me to Another Time.

 Wow. I just came across a Thanksgiving post I wrote in 2006. What a difference 14 years makes. Here it is:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Time for the Good Times. Let's Forget About the Bad Times. Oh Yeah.

Here is some phallic cornucopia for your holiday.

Probably by the time you read this, it will be Thanksgiving. So, happy holiday and hug the closest Native American you can find - because it really should be their holiday afterall.

Me? I'm just happy for the shortened work week. Unfortunately, I packed a lot of crap into the three days. I think in this post, I'll examine the good and the bad of things lately.

Here is my list of things that make me go, FUCK!:

1.) I got home from work yesterday and found a disconnection notice on my door from the water people. We had spent so much time together in September, I thought we were close to becoming friends or family, but it turns out we're not. On further review, it appears that the water people are those snotty-ass girls in junior high who pretend to be your friend and then suddenly start talking all kinds of shit about you in an effort to make all the other junior high girls hate you.

I had to go down today to figure out why they were again asking me for almost $200 or they would shut my water off within the week. The woman told me I was two days late in paying my bill and that voided the payment plan we had set up and she was forced (although it killed her to do it) to ask for the amount due in full and to charge me a $20 fee for posting the disconnect notice. Her hands were tied, you see. I tried to explain to her that for the last two months, my bill was due on the twentieth and for some reason this bill was due two days earlier. She didn't care, because it says right there that if you are late in paying, the payment plans becomes null and void. I let her go on for a while with the "Blah, blah, blah. Beyond her control, blah blah." And I blank stared her and sighed excessively until I started hearing, "Blah, blah, blah. I guess I can just reinstate your payment plan, but you have to pay what's due this month right now and I suppose I can write off the $20 too..." Thank god, it's over. But I really can't emphasize enough how much I hate dealing with The Man.

2.) I had to go to the mall tonight. Three of my nieces have birthdays this week and a few of the relatives won't be coming back for Christmas. The mall was pretty empty, but there were still those people in the middle of the aisle that bug you about trying their stupid products. Stinky went with me and talked a lot about her friends and who was dating whom and who she had to call and break up with a boy for one of her friends so that they wouldn't get yelled at. Apparently, it's all very delicate and complicated. You would hate to just be straighforward or anything.

3.) I was immensely stupid at work today. The kind of stupid where you find yourself staring at the computer screen and wondering what you were doing and then when you try to focus, all you can do is obsess about what you're going to make for dinner. I'm expecting to be plastered all over the error report on Monday.

4.) I came to the sudden realization today that it has been almost exactly four years since I've dated.

Now, here is the list of things that make me go, YEA!:

1.) The weather is amazing. 60 fucking degrees outside. Can you stand it? I was too warm walking around in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans. I'm not sure if it's the kind of warmth caused by El Nino, or if it's scary global warming, melting ice caps while I jauntily tie my sweatshirt around my waist for the walk home from work.

2.) My boss' wife is about ready to have a baby and he has been in an awesome mood lately. He even sang me G 'n' R during the last cold November rain. Maybe he won't sweat that error report too hard on Monday...

3.) The students have been gone all week. Iowa City has seemed like a ghost town. You can even find parking downtown. Honestly, I don't think I viewed one Illinois license plate in the last few days. I was the only runner out tonight too. It was great to have the sidewalk all to myself.

4.) I came to the sudden realization today that it has been almost exactly four years since I've dated. I put this on both lists because I'm still 50/50 on whether this is good or bad. I suppose I better wait to date a little longer until I decide it should only live on the "bad things" list.

Okay, now run along and start masticating.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Yeah, When I Get to Heaven, I'm Gonna Take That Wristwatch Off My Arm. What are You Gonna Do With Time, After You've Bought the Farm?

Well, Kids. It was a cold and blustery weekend here in Iowa. Which meant there were no 72 mile bike rides for me THIS weekend. Worst of all, I had a migraine on Saturday. I know it's been a while since I whined about that here on the blog, so I thought I'd go ahead and do it now. Wah.

I had made this big list of things I wanted to get done over the weekend, but I had to take my migraine meds on Saturday morning, and then I was pretty useless until the afternoon. I did rally after lunch, however. I went to the store to get groceries, and since I work from home, and I haven't been to the store in two weeks, when I left, John said, "Have a fun social life!" I have become one of those people who's only social experiences happen at the store. There is a pandemic though, so cut me some slack, damn it.

My other big project on Saturday was to scrub the hell out of the cupboards and the kitchen floor. Some of my motivation was to get rid of the two week old flower water smell, and I know it's not a big deal to most people to clean their kitchen floors and cupboards, but as you've probably guessed, I'm not the most fastidious housekeeper, and also, I got down on my hands and knees and cleaned the cupboards and the floor. There wasn't even a mop involved. So there.

Anyway, Sunday was better. I had a little tiny migraine pain, but nothing that couldn't be helped by taking some Advil. So, I read and drank tea and made myself some pancakes for breakfast, and then I got out and went running. It was the first run I've had where my body didn't completely rebel against me. I even had a little runner's high. Yea! It didn't hurt that my iPhone threw up a decent playlist. I got some Violent Femmes, Jill Scott, Aimee Mann, Chance the Rapper, The Psychedelic Furs, and Billy Bragg and Willco.

When I got home from my run, John asked what my plans were for the afternoon. I said, "Well, I was thinking I would either rake leaves, or clean the hell out of the living room, or start washing and prepping to paint the laundry room. Which of those do you think needs to happen first?"

John replied, "Oh. I guess I wasn't thinking about any of those things. I thought we could go to Coralville and ride the mountain bike trails there..."

"Sweet! Okay. I haven't ridden my mountain bike since last Spring." And that exchange right there is why it is always a big damn deal when I clean my kitchen floors. We will always opt to play outside instead. Of course, if I died tomorrow, I wouldn't care whether the leaves in our yard weren't raked, but I would be pissed that I didn't take that last opportunity to play bikes outside.

 Oh, so, on the way to ride bikes, we stopped at our local food Co-op to get some French bread to have with the potato leek soup I was making for dinner. I gave the cashier my member number and slid her the bread, and she said, "Well, you don't owe anything. Bread is free for members today." What the fuck? For a minute there, I thought maybe I died sooner than tomorrow, and through some incredible glitch on the universe's part, I made it to heaven. Then I remembered it was just bread that was free and my heaven would also have free beer and cheese. So, then I knew I was still alive, just having a very good day.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

And You Can Send Me Dead Flowers Every Morning. Send Me Dead Flowers by the Mail.

So, let's see if t-Rump will follow his own advice from four years ago. I think it's embarrassing for him and his minions to not accept that he not only lost the popular vote , but the electoral college as well. Being the narcissist that he his, he has to make himself seem like a victim. Like Democrats just want him out of office. Do his followers really think that if the Democrats were able to cheat in an election, that they wouldn't make Moscow Mitch their first priority? He is at least as big a threat to our democracy as t-Rump is. Duh.

Anyway, we had a lovely warm-up for a at least a week, but then it got cold and rainy again, and my last withered garden bouquet has stood as a reminder of that for a little too long. You'll be happy to know that I finally threw out my dead flowers today, but not before I knocked it over and it spilled all over our table and our floor and I might have to now burn our kitchen down in order to get rid of that bad breath, two week old flower water smell from our house. Like I always say, it's hard to be me...But it's probably way harder to be John. Poor guy.


As the pandemic rages  across our country with our lame-ass governor making Iowa a hot spot, I'm trying hard to stay home and amuse myself as much as possible. We watched and loved "The Queen's Gambit" last week. Except, now John thinks he's going to teach me to play chess and that I'll be really good at it and love it as much as he does. Little does he know, that I tried to play a few times when I was younger and I sucked and I just don't have the attention span to do very well at it. I guess he'll just have to learn the hard way. Please refer to the paragraph above this one where I said, "poor John".

The other scary thing I've been doing while I am staying home and hopefully, saving lives is watching "The Gilmore Girls" and also reading "The Handmaid's Tale". Talk about a mind fuck. The combination of the two very differing societies and women's roles in them is almost like taking drugs...Maybe not even good drugs. Just ones that make you dizzy and confused and a little angsty. I'm not sure why I keep up with the combo, besides the fact that I started it, and then it was amusing before it got too weird. I can quit anytime I want, I just don't want to...

Anyway, stay safe, wear masks, don't go out in public if you don't have to, and try very hard not to watch "The Gilmore Girls" in conjunction with reading "The Handmaid's Tale". I care about all of you.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

It's Been a Long Time, Long Time Comin', But I Know a Change Gonna Come. Oh Yes It Will

Oh my god, you guys! Biden and Harris won! I am so excited. People in our neighborhood were lighting off fireworks, like it's another Independence Day. It definitely felt like it after four years dealing with the lame duck, conspiracy theorist in chief.

Sadly, we'll still have to deal with the ever divisive, party before country, Moscow Mitch, who seems to do his damnedest to make everything worse for our country, but it will be so nice not to have to deal with the circus that has become t-Rump's cabinet. So many grifters. Let's just hope t-Rump keeps his promise to leave the country when he loses.

We used most of yesterday to celebrate a return to democracy in our country. Of course, our favorite ways to do that are with exercise and alcohol. Duh.

We rode 72 miles to Columbus Junction and back. We had lunch and Margaritas at Las Palmas, and then headed to the Swinging Bridge.

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that it was in the lower 70's on November 7th, and according to the weather forecast, it will start getting colder again tomorrow, so we really felt the pressure to stay outside as much of the day as possible.

It was great to see so many people excited about the presidential election results around our little part of Iowa.

We headed home after our bridge walking and finally caught the lovely tailwind. Thank jeebus for that, because after all that delicious Mexican food and with tequila legs, that 36 miles back might have killed me.

I love this photo, because it is sooooo Iowa. A bicycle passing some kind of, what is that? A gator, a four wheeler, a souped up golf cart? on the side of the highway. And don't forget to wave.

We passed some more barns and silos and made it home just in time.

Our farmer friends wanted to celebrate the Biden/Harris win with us, so I made some red mashed potatoes, and grilled some zucchini, and sword fish steaks and some garlic butter Coho salmon. 

We had a lovely fire and sat around and ate and played with our friends' puppy and finally had to drag ourselves in the house by 9 o'clock. I think we celebrated that shit like bosses. Let's hope it all sticks and that t-Rump doesn't finally lose his shit completely before the exchange of power happens in January. At least it's nice to feel hopeful again.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

And Now Democracy is Ragtime on the Corner, Hoping for Some Rain

Well, kids. It looks like it's going to be bumpy ride this week. I am saddened that it's even this close. That this many Americans could vote for such a horrible, narcissistic toddler. He showed what kind of a selfish, bad man he was these last four years, and THAT many people still voted for him. It's so bizarre.


A few weeks ago, I bought my first laptop in my life. I still have my 11 year old desk top, but I wanted something I could lug around with me and write on the back porch, or upstairs in my dormer room. So, because I am old, I bought a heavy laptop with a 17 inch screen, and a DVD player in case we lose our internet for almost 2 weeks again and I am forced to watch the strange combination of movies I have on DVD (we're talkin' Deadpool, I Love Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore episodes, Marvel comic movies, and the WORST romcoms you've ever watched) . I also got a mouse with my laptop because apparently, I will never be comfortable using the little thingy you have to move with your fingers. I have tried and I think it took me an hour and half to scroll down a page before.

Anyway, I was downtown on a Saturday morning, and because it's right across the street from our fine university, it is much like a ghost town before 10 o'clock on a weekend. So, I thought I'd check out the new Target that just opened a couple of months ago, and has had a line out the door of it almost every time I passed.

It's an adorable little store with mostly grocery items, a few clothing items, electronics, and home/dorm goods. I picked up an extra power strip, a super soft fleece blanket that I thought the cats would love, but Heidi defiantly refuses to sleep on. She will form herself onto a pillow, or a folded blanket or sheet before she would deign to allow her precious fur to touch that heinous, soft, plush, cozy, fleece blanket. WHATever. Most importantly, I bought some bicycle book ends. They are perfection....Well, if you consider cheap, faux wood and some kind of weak-ass metal in the shape of a bicycle perfection.

Originally, I was thinking I would get it all ready like a cozy lair for Winter, but after this election and the pandemic that seems to only be getting worse, it may just have to be my panic room.

Also, the book in the picture above is AH-MAZING. I had never read it before, but it hit me hard, almost like when I read "Rebecca", by Daphne Du Maurier. It is long, but there is so much going on and so much treachery to be scandalized by, that you (meaning me) could happily read that story forever.

Oh, yeah. I forgot that I also bought some more white lights to lazily drape over whatever crap I can find in my room. You know how weird I am about making rooms into little sanctuary spaces, with lots of different colors, and funky furniture, and ambiance lighting.

 Gus seems to appreciate my new and improved dormer/sanctuary/lair/panic room too. He has just discovered the fake fireplace and he thinks it's the best kind of TV, since the universe invented the washing machine. 

I am still hoping for the best in this election, but as you can see, I'm preparing for the worst. It could be a loooooooonnnnngggg Winter.