Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Thoughts

Not much to talk about really. Just bits and pieces that were laying around in my blog folder…

The Sacrificial Cube
This started a long time ago when Marv would get ice from the freezer for his ice tea or soda. Invariably, he would drop a cube on the floor. Every time. He started calling that the “sacrificial cube” that paid the price for all the other cubes. Sometimes he would go to great lengths to try and save that cube. It would involve acrobatics the like of which you’ve never seen. But alas, the cube would end up on the floor…

Clinking Kitty Dishes
I’ve had cats that would come running whenever the can opener was employed. Sometimes they were rewarded with mushy cat food. Most often, it was a can of olives I was opening, or perhaps some new potatoes. I would offer them some, but they would turn up their noses. Nowadays, the canned food comes with pull-tab tops. No can opener required. My current cats, Harper and Sheba, have no interest in the can opener whatsoever. What brings them running, however, is the clink of the 2 porcelain dishes I use for their mushy food. They’re just cheap, mass produced little pudding dishes like you see in a hospital or nursing home. In fact, I think that’s where one of them came from. I think my dad took one when my mom was in the nursing home. It probably had pudding or jello that she didn’t eat, but my dad took home with him to eat as a snack later. The second one I got at Salvation Army specifically for the use of the cats. I have to be very careful when taking those dishes out of the dishwasher, because if they clink together and the cats hear them, they come running and won’t leave until they get those dishes filled and placed on the floor.

Special Powers
I have long suspected that my cats have special powers. I now have proof. Harper can transport himself outside without benefit of a door. The in/out, in/out stuff is not unusual. As T.S. Eliot said, “He’s on the wrong side of every door.” And it’s easy to lose track of who is in or out when we go to bed, because they’ve done nothing but the in/out all evening. Yesterday, though, was different. We’ve had to keep Harper in for the last week and a half because of stitches he got after an injury. And he’d been increasingly anxious to GO OUT, DAMMIT!! (Yes, I’m afraid Harper has a potty mouth…) So yesterday, Marv got home from work. He was in the family room and I was in the kitchen starting on dinner. He said something, and I went to the doorway of the family room to answer, and we both heard Harper’s paws on the sliding glass door FROM THE OUTSIDE! WANTING IN! We looked at each other and said “How did he do that?!?” Because I KNOW I didn’t let him out! The answer: teleportation! It’s the only way…..

Grandma’s sayings
My maternal grandparents lived with us while I was growing up, and Grandma had a lot of sayings that she would employ as needed. I really wish I’d written more of them down. These are the only ones I can remember.

1. “If you dream about the dead, you’ll be surprised by the living.” I always thought this was a neat one.

2. “There’re more ways to kill a cat other than choking it to death on butter.” Don’t remember the circumstances with this one…it’s probably a variation of the ‘more than one way to kill a cat’ but the addition of the butter made it different.

3. “It doesn’t eat any bread or butter.” This was said if there was a sale on something like toilet paper or something not readily perishable. All it took was the space to store it in. I have used this saying once or twice myself when debating on whether to get the big box of dishwasher tabs on sale, even though I really don’t need them just yet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What's In My Purse?

You’d probably be surprised. My mom always carried an enormous purse with an amazing assortment of stuff in it, because, “You never know…”

I didn’t start carrying a purse until I got my driver’s license. Once I needed to have that with me at all times, stuff just started accumulating in my purse. And more than once, people have availed themselves of my purse’s bounty.

Need a tissue? Got it.
Need a nail file? Got it.
Hand cream? Brush? Pen/pencil/paper?
Got it.

Over the years, I’ve tried downsizing to a smaller purse. There are a lot of cute little purses out there, and you can’t put much in them. I always find myself trying to cram too much in and go back to using a larger purse for everyday use. For church, or some other outing where I know I’m not going to be gone long, I will sometimes get one of my cute little purses and only put in the absolute essentials. And most times, I will regret at least one of the things I leave out.

So here are the essentials:
Lip balm
ID (only if I think I’ll be driving)

Also added at times:
Money/credit card
Wallet (contains nail file)

The rest of the stuff:
Hand cream
Handicap tag for MIL
Address book

For special occasions:
Reading glasses
Other crap that people say “Here, put this in your purse, will ya?”

Whenever I come back from an outing where I used a cute little purse, I am always vigilant to take the stuff from that purse and put it back into my big one. Because, "You never know..."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Things I Don't Do Anymore

I sometimes get to thinking of the things I don’t/can’t do anymore because of age, health, wisdom (yes, I do learn from my mistake sometimes!) and thought it might be interesting to list a few of them. Some I regret, some not.

Eating chili at midnight – I can remember watching TV late at night and getting the “hungries” and thinking nothing of opening and heating a can of chili. Boy, that would taste good! And I loved adding crushed potato chips to my bowl. Nowdays, (and yes, I know it’s spelled wrong. I do NOT pronounce that middle ‘a’ and see no reason to print it!) I have to be very careful to even attempt a bowl of chili at dinner. Lunch is a better time for it, but if I do have it for dinner, precautions must be taken. A handful of antacids before and after the meal is the only way to do it. And I usually have to sit up when I go to bed anyway.

Going to the library – The highlight of my life in my younger years was going to the library. It was always a weekly treat. Saturday was for going to the library and checking out a ton of books. I was never without a book to read. As time went by, I started collecting books for my own personal library. When the library would have a surplus book sale, I would get them by the bagful. Then I joined a couple of mail order book clubs. Then the Internet came along! What a wonderful source that has been! Especially the used section of Barnes and Noble online. I’ve slowly been getting all my favorites and also adding new ones to my collection. I almost never go to the library anymore, which I find very sad.

Drinking too much – I never really did drink much alcohol, although I’ve been known to become somewhat “merry” at Christmas and New Year’s. I probably would’ve drunk more if there had been smoke-free bars in my younger days. I’m extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke, and couldn’t take the smoke filled atmosphere of the bars or night clubs. As the years have gone by, my tolerance to alcohol has become less and less. Which is no real loss, except for my dream of going on a true “pub crawl” sometime. But since I will probably never go to England, that dream will just fade like the rest.

Eating too much – I’ve always been heavy, and absolutely loved buffets like Sizzler and Golden Corral. Again, over the years, I’ve noticed that I feel so much better if I eat smaller amounts more often. And I’ve lost some weight, too. I still enjoy going out for a nice dinner, but usually bring some of it home with me to eat the next day.

Running/walking – I’ve never enjoyed exercise for exercise’s sake. Running was always difficult and became impossible as my knees got worse. On good days, I can walk a bit, but it has to be on a level surface. Living in a neighborhood that goes up and down a lot makes it difficult. Of course, that’s just an excuse. I could drive to the dam and walk there, but I don’t. Boo for me…

Run for the phone – Why must phones be answered immediately? In a business setting I can understand it. At home? No. Why do people let the phone ring 3-4 times and then assume the person isn’t there and hang up just as you answer it? So I don’t even try anymore. We have the answering machine set all the time, so if I’m in the process of lugging a load of laundry up the steps from the garage and the phone is ringing, I don’t kill myself trying to get in the door, set the laundry down, and run for the phone. If it has stopped ringing by the time I get to it, who cares? If it’s important, leave a message! I WILL get back to you! Of course, there are times when I’m expecting an important call and will do my best to answer the phone quickly. Otherwise, I let the machine take it. And since we don’t have cell phones, just the land line, I don’t have a phone on me at all times. And if I’m having a bad day pain-wise, getting up those steps from the family room can take at least 4 rings or more. And as for Marv’s complaint, and his only reason for NOT having a cell phone—being available 24/7—BOSH! It’s my understanding those things have something called an on/off function. In other words, if you don’t want to be available, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Report for February

“Pride’s Way” by Robert Molloy
Takes place in Charleston in 1910. There are still a few Civil War heroes left and feelings from ‘The War’ are still high. The main characters are two elderly sisters, Miss Julie and Miss Tessie. They have never gotten along very well, but Miss Julie decides that it’s time to reconcile while they still have the chance. Nice flavor in this book, gives a good feel for the place and the period. And of course, the struggle within families is always current.

“Simone” by Lion Feuchtwanger
I read this book when I was in my teens, but had only a hazy recollection of it. I thought I remembered how it ended, but wanted to read it one more time before donating it. It takes place in a French village that is about to be occupied by the Germans during WWII. Simone is a poor relation who is treated very shabbily by her rich relatives. The whole village looks down on her as she does her best to just get through the days. She does finally take a stand just before the Germans arrive, but her efforts only cause her to be placed in the local mental institution. NOT WHAT I REMEMBERED! If I had remembered that, I would never have read it again. Bummer ending! Well written, but depressing.

“My Sergei” by Ekaterina Gordeeva
Bio of figure skater Sergei Grinkov written by his widow. I vaguely remember when he died and I thought it was very sad. Ekaterina had help writing this, but you can still get the foreign ‘flavor’ of her English. Charming. Good story, although a little shallow. Hard to believe this all took place 15 years ago.

“The Weigher of Souls” and “The Earth Dwellers” by AndrĂ© Maurois
Very dated sci-fi from the 60’s. “Soul” was OK, if very melodramatic. “Earth Dwellers” was pointless.