Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It's been blowing hard from the north all day. It certainly cures me of any desire to stop for groceries after work. All I want is to scurry home and get inside. I turned the heat up before even taking off my coat! Jupiter was very happy to come inside, flop down and chew on a toy.

I did take the time to haul the garbage down the driveway. I haven't done that for three weeks so it's good that I don't produce much.

I've been watching some shows on my computer. Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets over the weekend. I've seen some of his older gardening specials and am always greatly impressed. He is a natural at presenting gardening in a way that would make almost anyone want to have a go. So, why - why - why !!!! does he do that awful talk show? I've only tried watching it once and I couldn't help cringing in embarrassment. Such a waste of talent.

I've also been watching Coppers. It's a fascinating look into a side of life that's completely alien to mine. I think the injustice would be the hardest part to handle. Even with all the abuse and disgusting things they put up with, I can barely imagine peeling hurt people and bodies out of smashed cars and knowing the responsible person would walk away with no consequences. Our system is far from ideal, but it's better than that. Even Janklow had to serve time for his driving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hard at work



I had all four cats sleeping in the same room at once. I didn't get Sassy's picture because she was on my lap and became rather annoyed when I got up to get the camera.

There are times when four cats is too many, but I love that I'm guaranteed one (or more) in my lap at all times. Especially in the winter!

I'm experimenting with how low I can set the thermostat this year; mostly to save money, but partly to see if I can tough it out. I've got it down to about 57 F (14 C) at night now and have discovered that I have to really, really want something to get out of bed. Yesterday I fell on some ice and last night lay awake debating whether my aches were bad enough to get up and take something or if I'd rather stay under the warm covers...warmth won. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An altered reality

Not that long ago the road between my home and my parents was a bustling frenzy of harvesting and hauling. Today it looks like a different world; the trees bare, the fields stripped empty, and everything in between frozen, colorless and bleak.

And isn't a dead, desolate landscape. Instead, it is dormant; promising that after the muffling blanket of snow has come and gone there will be a new generation of vibrant growth and colors to delight the eye. This expectation of the future allows us to see the present as the severe beauty it is.

Tightening our belts

The car bit me on the budget again last week. It's annoying but not impossible to deal with. I will just go into strict mode on spending. No eating out or going to the store for a couple weeks. I've got food in the freezer for work lunches and we have a good supply of all basics (pet food, etc.) so there shouldn't be any problems.

It's times like these that I wish I had started the debt payoff sooner. Half my income goes to debt and mortgage payments. Imagine how much easier life would be with that available. Fourteen more months until it's all paid off.


Not here, of course. This isn't earthquake country and I haven't heard of any mysterious sightings of graboids in the area. My son and I watched a marathon of the Tremors movies. I really expected them to be crap so was pleasantly surprised by how much fun they were.

The promising sunny start to the day quickly turned cloudy and gloomy. A good day to curl up with a cat (or two) and watch tv.

I just watched a youtube of a well-known commentator discussing possible economic troubles and inflation. He sounded intelligent and made sense until...he had to bring up 'new world order'. Seriously? Conspiracy theories? People are so weird.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This and that

I like dogs...but not so much when one wakes me at 1:00 a.m. to go out.

My dad shot a skunk in the barn last week. It had been eating eggs...and had a really shiny coat. ;)

Today he spotted something that could have been a mink or weasel. Whatever it was moved fast and had all the chickens milling around outside in a fuss. The turkey and one of the hens were on top of the car. The predator had killed an older hen. Hopefully they can get rid of it before it gets any others.

I had my yearly (except I skipped last year) examination a couple weeks ago. Hooray for a clean bill of health. I've had to have pre-cancerous cells surgically removed before so this result was a relief.

I finally talked to my neighbor about stocking up on food and cotton goods before the price gets out of hand. With three small children I knew they might not be keeping up with the news.

My budget took a hit this week when I had to replace my son's winter coat. I went for quality because I remember what that campus is like when you're hiking all over between classes - bitterly cold.

Speaking of cold, I've had my thermostat set at about 62 F which doesn't feel too bad except on these damp days. Shiver!

Window plastic

I've lived in this house for almost twenty years now and I've learned to put plastic over the windows....all twenty windows! It makes a huge difference in heating costs.

Every year there seem to be different brands available and I feel like I've tried lots. This year I started with a brand I hadn't seen before, Dennis, and bought enough to do the whole job. Unfortunately, this was the first brand I haven't been able to use. The plastic started pulling off the tape immediately and when I started the blow dryer entire sides popped off. The unopened boxes got returned to the store and I contacted the manufacturer about the problem. The service rep was adamant that there wasn't anything wrong and offered a refund on the open box. If I receive it I'll edit this post.

I bought 3M and Duck brands to try again. The 3M was excellent with no difficulties. The Duck was the roll-on type with a pre-taped edge. That part didn't work out for me; the stiff plastic on that edge made it hard to get a good adherence and I ended up using regular tape under that part. I have no issue with buying more Duck brand, just avoiding the roll-on variety.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stock up

Unless you have an unlimited budget and someone else does the shopping, you've likely noticed prices going up at the grocery store. With commodities staying high, expect food costs to continue to climb, both at stores and eating out.

Something else that is on the rise is cotton. Some clothing brands are already passing the cost of record high cotton on to the consumer (it's gone up almost 80% since summer); other companies are planning the price hike after the holidays.

I've been adding to the pantry regularly so just gave it an extra boost this week. I'm also sending my son to pick up basics like jeans, socks and shorts. It's easier now that he's finished growing.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last week I stopped back at the pharmacy to pick up the rest of the insulin. It was busy with a milling group of customers, some impatient and cutting ahead of the others. When I was going up to the counter I noticed an overweight cop waiting and my subconscience began jumping up and down trying to get my attention.

At the time I was amused by what I find attractive, but later realized two disturbing things. One: I haven't noticed men in a long time and thought I was content with being alone. Two: I already knew I have a weakness for large men (John Candy type) but that pull to a cop was a surprise; if anyone should have learnt that a relationship with a cop leads to my becoming an epic failure, it's me.

Other dreams have been very real and memorable lately, but also with a lot of random weird stuff that leads to me waking up thinking "huh? where did that come from?". Last night I dreamt my mother was a falling-down drunk in a theme park area. Why????

I've also been feeling anxious about the future. I suspect we will be seeing a drastic increase in the cost of food and gas soon.