Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just for Laughs

But that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

2011 wasn't a banner year. Here's hoping that 2012 is better. Happy New Year, all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Shenanigans

I was trying to take some pictures of the Christmas lights on Main Street to post on Life in Altamont this morning at a little after 6 o'clock. I parked my truck in what is considered a parking spot uptown and stood on the dashboard to take the picture. I heard a car pull up next to me and I didn't even have to turn around and look to know that one of our local policemen was "investigating" what I was up to. Really? You couldn't see I had a camera? I have to wonder where the local cops are while our soda machines at the grocery store are getting broken into!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Teaser Trailer [HD] 2012

I can't wait! Why does it have to be a whole year away?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Red Solo Cup

Tuesday a woman came in the store and asked if we sold red Solo cups. "No", I told her, "but we have red Hytop cups". (Our store brand). She looked at them and said, "I'm not sure these will work", and she left. I found it a bit strange. Then, Tuesday night as I watched Glee, much to my surprise, they performed a song called "Red Solo Cup", and I went, "ah, I get it!". Now, I don't listen to country music, but in my younger days we would have "keggers" and of course, there were red Solo cups. Therefore, I was rather amused. Jump forward to Thursday. My brother, whom I haven't seen in over a year, was passing through on a business trip and I went "uptown" with him and a couple of his friends that evening. He does listen to country music, so I related this story to him and we all laughed about the song. One of his pals had never heard the song, so the other pal went and found it on the juke box. Everyone sang along. Then we heard it later on the radio. We ended the evening at an establishment that had a DJ, so pal # 2 went and requested it. I think I have now had my fill of the song.

Although, I'm sure I'll get it hear it plenty because it's the kind of song I see getting played at Redneck wedding receptions for the next few years!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Eat More Kale

When I first heard about this I couldn't believe Chic-fil-a was suing over such a stupid thing. I mean, come on, really? Do they really think people are so ignorant that they would confuse kale and chicken? I see the slogan and chicken doesn't even enter my mind. My second thought was that no small farmer was going to be able to fight big business. But now I think they have a chance. Yea, Governor Shumlin, for standing up for your people! It seems to me that things are getting ridiculous.

Monday, December 5, 2011


It doesn't feel like Christmas. I usually enjoy putting up the decorations and usually do it Thanksgiving weekend, but this year I can't seem to get into the mood. I know part of it is the fact that I think the cats are going to be a problem and some of my pieces are fragile. I think another part of my problem is that I am mad all of the time anymore. Work, politics, trying to figure out how to pay the bills. I'm not normally like this. And I've been trying to shake it off. But I guess some things just can't be shaken off! As far as the money thing goes I just have to hope I find a different job (not likely) or my husband gets more hours where he works (not looking likely, either). I wish I could think of a business we could start. I sell Avon and the hubby sells baseball cards on Ebay, but neither is profitable enough to help much. I'm mad about work. My son worked at the store where I work and a couple of weeks ago he quit. Things are such a mess there and things were said, things that had been building for a while. My son said some immature things, but he's still a kid. They say immature things. But he wouldn't have if the boss hadn't started it. Now my son feels bad about what happened and I really do blame the adult in the situation. He should have know better. So now I hurt for my son. I'm mad about the political situation. Last week my step-brother sent a joke e-mail. I guess I never realized we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. I'm sure he found the joke hilarious, but it just pissed me off to no end. I started twice to respond to it, finally I just deleted it. Nasty words from me wouldn't have helped any thing. But there is so much that I keep quiet about just to keep peace within the family. And I'm finding it to be heavier and heavier to carry inside. And I miss my daughter. She'll be home in two weeks. Maybe by then I won't feel like crying all of the time. And then I can enjoy the Season. My rule was not to blog about the negative, but right now I'm just not feeling much positive. I think when we feel this heavy inside, it's hard to see the good things going on around us. My brother, who I haven't seen in over a year, is going to be here for a couple of nights at the end of the week (passing through for work) and I'm excited to see him. I guess I'll just try to hold on to that feeling for now!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Tree Guardian

No ornaments or a tree skirt yet, but Fat Cat has his spot. He'll stay there all month and then watch with sad eyes as we take it down. He joined our family in 1999 and this is how it has always been!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

King of the Hill

I've got the feeling I'm going to get a little too much help with the Christmas decorating!

"Deck the Halls"

I've been baking all morning and this afternoon I'm going to start decorating--decking the halls! So here is a little music accompaniment to kick it off!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Macy's Annual Pain In My Ass Holiday Sales Event

What those of us who work or have worked in retail think of Black Friday! Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just Venting

Have I mentioned I need a new job? I used to really like my job, actually looked forward to my day. But things have gradually gotten worse and now I'm just there to put in my time. Life is too short for this. I've been there 14 years. When I first took the job, I intended to only stay 2 or 3 years. That was my average time at my previous jobs. But I liked it well enough and the positives far outweighed the negatives. Now it's starting to be the other way around. The worst part is, I've been looking for another job for the last several years, but with the economy the way it is, every job I've been offered has been part-time. I need full-time! I've always had an easy time finding a job. It seemed I either got offered the jobs without even looking, or applied and was hired right away. It's frustrating!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Protect IP Act Breaks the Internet

This could be bad! Look at how many of us Bloggers "share" vidoes. Would we all be in legal trouble? It sounds like it. If it passes about the only thing left for me to do on the internet will be checking the Weather Channel page! I went to and sent my Congressmen my 2 cents worth, not that I expect it to accomplish much. But I guess we do what we can!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Walk to Work

A lady that lives on the next block has the most beautiful yard. She spends a part of every decent day planting, pulling weeds and doing general upkeep. It gives me a little spiritual lift each morning as I walk past on my way to work. Which, right now, I really need. It's getting harder and harder to go to work. I sooo need a new job!

Global Warming?

It's been a year of weather extremes. Last Winter we saw more snow than we've seen in a long time. The Spring was wet and cold. Summer took forever to get here and then we had extreme heat. Now it's the 6th of November and we haven't had a heavy frost yet. My Stella D'Oro lilies are putting out new blooms. My neighbor's rose bushes have roses. The people with persimmon trees say the seeds are showing spoons, which is supposed to be a forecaster for lots of snow. I've seen very few caterpillars crossing the road. And I've only seen one or two days of "Indian Summer" where the spider-webs ribbon through the air. Normally that's a week or two occurrence. It's just been a very weird year. I would like to be able to say "it keeps things interesting", but I'm not sure it is!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just a Moment in Time

A man in the grocery store yesterday was wearing a button that said "I vote the Bible" and I sooo wanted to say "so you want to help the poor and support the down-trodden?"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just For a Laugh!

My Grandparents (on my Dad's side) were farmers and they raised chickens and sold eggs as their main income. The guinea hens didn't like my Aunt and would chase her around. I see wild turkeys once in a while when I'm heading out to my Mom's house and I know how big they can get. So this video really tickled my funny bone! I'm not sure if one of these big ones took out after me that I wouldn't run, just out of sheer reaction!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finally Fall

We are definitely into full-blown Fall! We didn't figure that we would have any Fall colors this year after the heat that seemed to cook everything, but some of the trees are going all out. The funny thing, tho: this ash tree in front of our store turned a bright yellow that just glows, but it's sister tree, also an ash, across the drive, is still as green as can be. Now the leaves are falling off and people are tracking them into the store. We can't keep it swept up! But better that they track in leaves than snow! I'm not ready for that at all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

I'm so excited about this! Across the bridge is Century Pop Resort, where we have stayed in the past and we could see that there was construction on the other side of "the lake". We just figured since Century Pop represents the 1950s through the present that the other side would be the first part of the Century. But really, other than the Roarin' 20s, what would you do? I mean, you had the Depression and WWII. Not much to build on, there! We are planning on going in December of next year. We would probably have to make reservations now to get in, but we will probably just stay at Century Pop again and walk over and visit. I know a new Resort at Walt Disney world is kind of a trivial thing, but with all the worries and stress that seems to be happening right now, it's so nice to have something to look forward to and be excited about!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nightmare Before Christmas

It's been going on for years. Usually in August or September. This year I'm running a little late and doing it in October. What is "it"? It's a dream I have with a reoccurring theme. I'm going about my day and suddenly realize it's Christmas Eve. And somehow time has passed and I didn't even realize it. Nothing is done. No decorating, no baking, No Presents! So I spend the dream running around trying to get everything done. Total panic. But this time it was different. It wasn't Christmas Eve. It was Christmas morning. I hadn't really forgotten. I just hadn't bought gifts. (No money, no time--I'm not sure why.) I think there was one each for my husband and the kids. I was very upset and heartbroken. A little background here--my husband grew up in a family that didn't do much for Christmas. So, from the beginning, he liked to do Christmas big. There's always been lots of presents. We've never spent alot of money, but there has always been lots of little things and everything had to be in a box and wrapped. Even if it was just a box of crayons. I guess that's why I was so sad in the dream. I really don't like these dreams and I hope that's it for this year! Now maybe I can go on and get things started!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cat Nap

I've been bad about getting Holiday decorations out the last few years. Partly because the kids are old enough to not care and partly because at times I don't seem to care, either. There is also the added factor the last three years of the two youngest cats. Lucky and Fat Cat, the two older ones, never seemed to mess with them much. But Roscoe and Jinx, the younger two, find them fascinating. While I was in my manic mood two weekends ago, I got the Halloween decorations out. So far I'm not finding them strung around, but Roscoe did decide the piano was a good place to nap. I tried a squirt bottle--he just seemed to think the stream of water was a game. When he was a kitten and wouldn't stay off the fireplace mantle I bought one of those Glade fragrancers that is motion sensored. It worked well and he stayed off, but I can't find refills for it now. I know they do that on purpose! I guess I'll buy another one before I put the Christmas decorations out! (I can't believe Christmas is only 3 months away. I'm so not ready for Winter!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hot Commodities

We received these cute little guys last week. They've been a big hit with the kids--and the adults. We've heard over and over again "tell Jerry when he doesn't want these any more, I'll take one". Sorry folks, ain't happening! Turns out these display units aren't something the company sent us for free--the stores had to order and pay for them. Our Mars/M&M rep. was in the store the other day and she said some of the stores never received theirs. I guess there is a limited supply. In fact, it took awhile before we received ours. She then said some have been stolen right out of the stores! (We're talking small stores here where the cashier sometimes has to move away from the door to help customers.) What do they do with them? Check out Ebay--they're going for a couple hundred bucks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Bout Time!

Some people still just don't get it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bird Sitter

Because the weather was so hot this Summer, we hadn't gone to the Zoo since April. That's unusual for us. Normally, we go 3 or 4 times a year. We're behind schedule this year! So we headed to St. Louis on Labor Day. It was the first fairly cool day. Normally, we wouldn't go on a holiday just because of the crowds, but we all had the day off and we decided to chance it. We left early and got there a few minutes before the doors opened. It was nice because the crowds didn't hit until later. This Peacock family reminded me of a time when I was a kid and we did some peacock "sitting". Friends of ours lived in the country and raised the birds. Some eggs had just hatched and there was one born with a twisted leg. They asked us to "babysit" the young bird while they were out of town for a few days. We did, and the poor thing died after a hand full of days. I know, not a happy ending. My brother and I were naturally upset, but Mom told us that it wasn't our fault that the bird died, sometimes these things just happen. I guess the point of the story isn't that the bird died, but it's more the fact that we got to babysit a Peacock once!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Taking a Breather

Hormones make me crazy--literally! Even though I'm no longer on Strike, I don't do as much housework as I used to do. Mainly because I work full time now and weekends seem totally booked. Housework time is limited. But, as I said, hormones make me crazy and sometimes I get a bit manic. It's happening this morning. I'm running in circles because there is so much that needs done--that never gets done. I start one thing and then see something else that needs done, so I start on that. And repeat. Until a little is done but nothing is finished. Circle. Circle. Circle. Even my thoughts. So I'm taking a moment here to hopefully settle down enough to go start again. I would love to take a week off just to clean. Of course, the problem with that is, I'm never alone and I can't seem to accomplish much with other people in the house. I'm sure the fact that I've got some where to be at noon isn't helping. If it wasn't a family thing, I think I would skip it. But that's not really an option.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Popcorn, Part 3

It popped! It's not alot, but considering how small the ear was, I wasn't expecting alot. It was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I would venture to say it was some of the best popcorn I've ever had. Successful experiment!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Song of the Day! Hugo - 99 Problems

The video is a bit weird, but love the song! We went and saw Fright Night Saturday. I wasn't really interested in seeing it until my son pointed out that David Tennant was in it. He's my current Celebrity Obsession at the moment, so I had to go see it. And I'm glad we did--it was entertaining in a campy sort of way. I'd go see it again if someone else would pay for it! Anyway, this is the song from the credits. It so fit the mood of the movie.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Pirates! Band of Misfits Teaser

Because, who doesn't love Pirates!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ahead of Schedule

I walk by this little tree every day on my way to work. Every Fall it turns really red and pretty. This year, like so many other trees (especially small ones) the leaves turned early and fell off, or just simply fell off. The heat and lack of rain really hurt them. It seems to be a trend the last few years, we get too much rain for a couple of months, then it just stops. So here I am, watching Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast and wishing some of that rain blows over here! The grass is more or less dead, and I'm really babying what I have left in my garden! The corn and bean crops, that looked so promising six weeks ago, aren't promising any more. Even us non-farmers are affected, just because our whole community is financed by how the season ends. It may be a lean Winter.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Popcorn!

I mentioned earlier that I grew popcorn from a kernel of bagged popcorn. Well, this is the little ear that resulted from that experiment. We haven't popped it yet, but I'm thinking it's going to happen this weekend! It won't be a big bowl of corn, but at least I can say I grew it myself! And maybe next year I'll try planting a bit more!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Little Bits of Sunshine

The first year I planted a garden after we moved to this house, some 10 or 11 years ago, I planted large sunflowers at the edge of my garden. They grew beautifully! I always leave the sunflowers in the garden at the end of the season so the birds can feed on them through the winter. And each summer they reseeded themselves. The first few years I still had large sunflowers, altho each year they grew a bit smaller. Then, about 4 years ago, this happened! They are more like sunflower "bushes" or "trees". Lots of little sunflowers. I love them! And so do the birds. This summer we could float in the pool and watch the hummingbirds buzz around. There were cardinals and one day some little yellow birds, maybe goldfinches. Two years ago because of all of the rain, I didn't even try to put out the garden. But the sunflowers grew. I'll always let the sunflowers grow!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What'a Week!

Did I say in my last post that everything seems to happen at once? Oh, if I had only known....

I hauled my items to the Fair Friday evening and met the people I was going to be spending time with. It was really hot, but I enjoyed myself. Each day it got a little cooler until it actually became pleasant. My sales weren't what I wanted (in fact I lost money) but I enjoyed being on the Fair Grounds each evening and visiting with people. Then Wednesday night, after I had gotten home and had been asleep for an hour my Step-Dad called to say my Mom had fallen while untangling the dog's chain and he was taking her to the hospital. I got dressed and headed over. I got there about 11:45 and nothing had been done. And not much got done until after 2:30. The staff were all very nice, but there was only one ER doctor and things didn't move along at the pace I thought it should! They did X-Rays at midnight but didn't give her any pain meds until 3 a.m. She had to have 6 stitches in her head and she had a dislocated shoulder that they couldn't get back into place. They decided to admit her until a surgeon could look at her. At that point, almost 4 o'clock, I headed home so that my husband could have the car to go to work and I could get some sleep and make some phone calls for Mom. I guess right after I left, all hell broke loose! (I always miss all of the fun!) Miranda Cosgrove's bus was involved in an accident on the Interstate and they brought her, her mom and a few more of the injured into the hospital where Mom was. Mom said she heard the ambulances and there suddenly seemed to be alot of people, but she was out of it and didn't know what was going on. Now, I might add, even if I had still been there, I wouldn't have had a clue who she was. I waited on Reba McEntire once and had no idea who she was, but since everyone else was getting her autograph, I did too! Anyway, I went back at 10 o'clock, they were able to get Mom's arm back in the socket without surgery, and we took her home at 4:30. I wouldn't have known anything was going on except there was a girl that used to live in our neighborhood when I was a kid who was going room to room looking for Miss Cosgrove or her Mother because she had seen it on Facebook. And when I left I saw the Channel 5 News TV trucks in the parking lot. I heard there was more TV stations there later. To complicate my Wednesday, my daughter flew in Wednesday and her plane got diverted to Phoenix. We don't know why, but it was just another worry for the day. She spent the night in Indiana and then got a late start on Thursday and didn't get home until the evening. Friday we had the kids' oral surgery. It's so hard seeing your kids in pain! The good thing about doing it at the same time--they keep comparing pain and swelling! Yesterday, Saturday, was the final day of the Fair and I spent most of my day out there. I packed up and got home around 8 o'clock. If I set up a stand at the Fair again, I'll do it differently. I'm just glad the week is over!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Going to the Fair!

The County Fair starts today and runs through next Saturday, the 13th. I was asked to share a booth with two other people that wanted to split the rent three ways. I haven't done the Fair for several years and since I want to build my online business, I thought I would do it. So after I agreed and paid my part, my daughter called and said she would be flying in on the 10th, and could I make her a dentist appointment to get her wisdom teeth out--they are bothering her. So I made the appointment, and it's on the 12th. So starting today, I am getting off work at 4 p.m., heading to the Fair Grounds and sitting out there probably until 9p.m. Her roommate is coming home with her, so I won't have to take off a day to go pick her up, but I'm still taking a day off for the surgery. While I was at it, I made the appointment for both kids--the son needs his out, too. And he doesn't want to wait because he doesn't want his wisdom teeth to shove his other teeth up "like yours did, Mom". Okay, he has a point! (What's wrong with buck teeth, anyway? It runs in the family!) Anyway, it's going to be a long week. Why does everything happen at once? On the up side, it seems to have cooled down a tad. Every year for the Fair, it seems to rain or it's so hot a person can't breath. I would prefer a little rain since I'm going to be sitting where there is no air conditioner!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Want to Come Back as a House Cat!

The language is bad, so if you are easily offended, don't watch this. But it just proves the point, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a pampered house cat!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scenes From My Garden

Per my daughter's request:

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Hot Out There!

The view from the top of the ladder. The water may look refreshing, but I threw in a thermometer and the water was a hot-tub like 96 degrees! Needless to say, I didn't swim.

I usually walk the 3 blocks to work, and lately, with this heat we are having, that 3 blocks seems twice as long. The roads here are covered in tar, with gravel over it. When it's this hot, the tar rises. The road actually felt spongy as I walked on it yesterday. I remember "popping" those tar bubbles as a kid with our toes. We would have black feet all summer because we never wore shoes, and that stuff doesn't come off easily!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Popcorn Party

I threw a kernel of popcorn that didn't make it into the pan into the scrap bowl. When I went to dump it in the compost pile a couple of days later, it had sprouted. Who would've thunk it? So I stuck it in the ground by the gooseberry bushes and forgot about it. One day I noticed a big ole piece of grass growing in my gooseberries and went to pull it when I remembered the popcorn. So I left it alone. I didn't expect anything because there isn't any other plants for it to cross pollinate with, but it's actually forming an ear! If it actually makes popcorn, I may have to try a whole row next year!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tales From the Bitchy Cashier

We've had some extremely hot weather mixed with massive humidity--the kind that makes you feel like you are trying to breath underwater. Miserable. It's just high summer in the Midwest. It happens almost every year and we all stay in a much as possible. Thank God for air-conditioning. Which I imagine is why the woman brought her dog into the store the other day. It's common knowledge that pets aren't allowed in grocery stores, but some people seem to think that doesn't apply to small dogs. If you can carry it in your purse, you can bring it in. Wrong! I noticed she was carrying her purse weirdly when she first came in the store, but I didn't realize she had a dog-- two, as it turned out. I think what pissed me off the most was the fact that there was another woman with her. She could have stayed in the car with the dogs and ran the air conditioning. This was just a "show-off" thing. When they got to the register they made a point of being loud enough so everyone knew that there was a puppy in the bag also. I didn't say anything, but I wanted to say, "you know if the Health Inspector comes right now, we're going to get in trouble". Some people just don't think the rules apply to them!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Song of the Day: Collective Soul - December

I keep hearing this song lately, so I'm making it my "Song of the Day"! I love the first two lines "Why drink the water from my hand? Contagious as you think I am". I just think it's a smooth song!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oh, Hail!

After all of the rain we have had here, I spent a big part of yesterday pulling weeds. Bunches and bunches of weeds. I still had a little to finish, but it was miserably hot and I decided to jump in the pool and finish today. Because it was actually warm enough to get in the pool! Yay! Naturally, it rained through the night. Not just rain. Hail, too. The "ping, ping" woke me up a little after 2 a.m. I ran out on the porch, while all of the cats ran past me to get into the house, and watched. After all, there isn't anything that can be done but watch. I can't see much of the garden out of my kitchen window, but what I can see looks okay. I should have become a meteorologist, because even though I was worried about my plants, I love storms!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We have three vehicles--a 2005 Dodge Neon, a 1995 Ford Escort and a 1991 Chevy S-10. We bought the Neon in '06 when we were taking the kids to Walt Disney World and we figured the Escort was going to be a bit tight. We kept the other two vehicles because they were both paid for, ran well, and our oldest had just turned 16. She drove the Escort, which she named Rupert, through High School and for the two years she was going to school in Indianapolis. But now that she is in San Francisco, we don't have a need for 3 vehicles. The big Question of late has been, "which one do we get rid of?". My husband drives the Neon back and forth to work, and I drove Rupert during the winter after I hurt my foot and walking just wasn't an option. But my foot is (slightly) better and the weather is nice, so I've been walking to work. The truck is a "plain jane" that we bought new, off the lot. It only had 4 miles on it and my husband drove it back and forth to work for years. It's been a great truck for us, but it is a stick shift and doesn't have power steering. I have a hard time driving it. I realized two weeks ago that we really do need a truck. We don't need two cars. So altho I love our little Escort, it should be the one that goes. I made the decision, I hardened my heart. And ever since we have had trouble with the truck. I know, it's 20 years old. It was bound to happen. It may not be "big" trouble; it may be something that is easily, and inexpensively, fixed. I just need it to run for a couple more years! Am I really asking so much? (And will Rupert ever forgive me?)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Too Much Rain!

A few years ago we were in the middle of a drought. Now it won't stop raining. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I took my daughter to St. Louis Lambert Airport yesterday for her flight back to San Francisco. Of course, it rained the whole way. We left with plenty of time to spare because I haven't been to the airport for a very long time and I was afraid of getting lost. Plus, there is always the threat of road construction. It's almost a miracle to get to St. Louis without driving through miles of road construction. Anyway, like I said, it was raining. Hard. The closer we got to the Missouri boarder, the harder it rained. As we crossed the Mississippi River on 270 we passed a car that had spun around, was facing the wrong way and was blocking the right lane. I figured we were going to get smashed by a semi trying to get around, but we made it. We got to the airport on time (meaning 1 hour before her flight), but just barely. Because at times I was only driving 45 miles-per-hour. Did I mention it was raining--hard? We got her checked in at Arrivals, I gave her a hug, and headed back to 270. Miracle! It quit raining! Within two miles of the airport, I passed two more wrecks. And all I could think was "fools"! When it's raining so hard you can barely see out your windshield, slow down! I couldn't tell if there was any other cars involved, so I imagine they hydroplaned. Other people's driving makes me so nervous!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

13-Year Cicadas Invasion

The 13-year cicadas have arrived! I think they're fascinating. While driving down the highway Saturday, they were so loud that I could hear them over my radio and air conditioner--with my windows closed. I imagine for the people that live in the country it's annoying. My daughter and I went out "bug hunting" and took pictures yesterday evening at the Nature Center. We could hear them everywhere, but at first I couldn't find any because they were all up in the tall trees. I couldn't even find any shells. But up by the building the bushes were covered with them! They have red eyes and orange wings, which distinguish them from the regular yearly cicadas that we will get later in the summer. After this crop of cicadas finish singing and mating in the next couple of weeks, we won't see them again until 2024. Since we couldn't find any shells, I figured that they had all gotten knocked off during the storm Sunday, but we found a tree that was covered with them. I just think it's too cool!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mailman Shuffle

I just noticed the Hollyhocks bloomed! The mailman likes to walk up to the porch, reach over the railing and put the mail in the box. It drives the husband nuts! So I got some Hollyhock starts from my neighbor and planted them in the corner. Now the mailman has to walk up on the porch, at least in the summer. My neighbor has all different colors--white, yellow, burgundy and pale pink. Somehow, last year I ended up with all yellow. This year I've got several different colors! I do like a variety! They are very pretty and seem to be doing their job well!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weird Al

Weird Al performed at the Effingham Performance Center last night and I had tickets! It was so worth the money we really don't have right now! It was an amazing, fun show. We had never been to the EPC before-- I think the tickets are a little pricey--but it's a nice place. I had been told there are no bad seats there and I would agree. Altho I purchased the "cheap" seats, we had a good view of the stage. I guess after 35 years of performing it's not surprising that he and his group can put on a tight show. The show was so well put together that the audience was never left hanging while the band was changing costumes. And there were lots of costumes! I think that's part of the fun! Weird Al has a new album coming out in about 3 weeks and he covered quite a few of his new songs, but there was plenty of his older hits, too. I've been a fan since my High School days, the early MTV days! I would definitely go see him again!

Credit where credit is due. The photos are not mine since no cameras were allowed during the show. The photos belong to the EPC.

Monday, May 30, 2011

St. Louis Zoo, April 2011

The husband and I went to the Zoo last month--without kids. It was a nice day and I almost didn't take my camera, but it seems like there is always something that we've never seen before. So I'm glad I did, because I've never seen the Penguins put on a show like they did and the Elephants were doing behaviors I had also never seen. It was so sweet, because the elephant that made the mud hole, instead of pushing the others away, actually went over and rubbed her head on them, like she was hugging them. You hear that they are very affectionate to each other and I believe, with all of the times we have gone, this was the first time I've actually seen it. There is a new baby Rhino I was hoping to see, but apparently it wasn't out yet the day we were there. Hopefully, we will get back soon. The St. Louis Zoo really is one of my favorite places!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bird on a Ladder

We have several trees in the yard and during the last few weeks, since it's been warm enough to have the windows open, the noise the baby birds have been making has just about driven us crazy! It's amazing how loud they can be! Now, they are all leaving the nests and there are baby birds all over the place. I'm afraid the neighborhood cats have decided our yard is Cat Central and the babies that don't learn to fly quickly are probably short lived. This baby Robin found a perch yesterday evening on the ladder my husband left outside after cleaning gutters. He spent quite awhile there, just looking around, until an adult showed up with a worm. Then he got very excited, started making lots of noise and flapping he little wings around. Last I saw of him, he very wobbly flew over to the fence and, very proud of himself, looked around to see if anyone noticed. I think he is safe from the cats!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Every Tuesday at the grocery store is Senior Citizen Day (10% off for those over 60). I swear, every Senior in town shows up. It's our busiest day during a normal week. We usually call the first day of the month "National Link Day" (foodstamps) and normally we are busy the first week of the month. This month, tho, has been slow. All month. Until Monday. Monday, we had Link Card after Link Card. And then yesterday-- lots of Seniors-- busy, busy. My theory? They all were sure they were going to be raptured, so they have only been buying food as they needed it the last few weeks. Why spend money on food you aren't going to need, after all! But since nothing happened, they all had to come in and stock back up! Again, just a theory.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Larry Lujack - Super Jock!

When I was in High School my friends and I listened to WLS out of Chicago. It was an AM station-I'm really surprised it came in this far south. But every morning, as we got ready for school, we listened to Animal Stories with "Uncle Lar" Larry Lujack and "Little Tommy", Tommy Edwards. It was usually one of the first topics we discussed once we got to school. WLS was a top 40 radio station and to this day my favorite music is late 70's and early 80's top 40. I loved the whole crew, even the news crew. I still know, 30 years later, that LGBB means "Les Grobstein, Bubble Butt", something Larry came up with one morning. (My husband and I are convince that WKRP in Cincinnati was modelled after WLS!) Soon after we graduated, the programming at WLS began to change, and it was never as good. I began to listen to a station out of Terre Haute that played "harder" Rock and when I dialed back to 89, it just wasn't the same. One day, several years later, I dialed it in to find that it is now talk radio. Humph. Ah, but the memories are still there! And now, thanks to YouTube, so are some of the clips!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Google Chrome: It Gets Better

I taped Glee the other night and while I was watching it the next morning this commercial came on and by the time it was over I realized I was crying. I still tear up each time I watch it. I became interested in Gay rights during college. I'm not sure why, except that a cousin of mine died of AIDS. I barely knew him, but he and my Mom had been close when they were younger. He had been living in Chicago and suddenly just fell off the map. No one knew where he had gone and Mom figured he had gotten mixed up with the wrong people and was dead. One day, out of the blue, he called Mom and said he was living in California. Soon after, he reconnected with his sisters. He never said he had AIDS, but it was the mid 80's and we suspected. He didn't want anyone to come see him. It made my Mom sad, and therefore, it made me sad. And I started paying more attention to what was going on around me. Now I read about these teen suicides and wonder what can be done. Bullies are bullies, whether you are talking about a 13 year-old or a 30 year-old. I believe it's learned behaviour and you aren't going to talk them into changing. The schools have assemblies to "address the problem" but I have little confidence that they accomplish much. I realize it's supposed to be a commercial for Chrome, but if it gets the message out to a few young people and helps them hold on, helps connect them to It Gets Better, then yeah for Chrome!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Glee - Never Going Back Again (HQ FULL STUDIO) w/ Lyrics

I'm four years older than my brother and we didn't have alot in common growing up, so we didn't always get along very well. But once we both hit our teens we began to bond. I've always figured it was because we were both doing things we didn't want the parents to know and we had the option to get along or constantly keep each other in trouble! Even if it wasn't the best reason in the world, it worked and we finally got close. One of my favorite memories of those years is sitting on the lower part of his bunk bed while he practiced his guitar. We would talk and sing. I really miss it sometimes. This version of Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again" blew me away. Listen to the guitars towards the end of the song. Amazing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Service With A Grimace

I admit it--I'm a big fat Liberal. And I live and work in a town full of change-fearing Conservatives. I have a few friends with whom I share similar political and religious beliefs and I will discus different issues with them. But since I don't like confrontation at all, for the most part I keep my mouth shut, especially at work. Today I had a customer that was being loud and making comments that I don't agree with. I believe he was aiming them at the young man (the boss' son) who was working with me. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe he thought he was being funny, or maybe he was trying to get a rise out of my young co-worker. What he got, finally, was a rise out of me! I tried to keep my head down and finish checking out his groceries, but it got to be too much and finally I made a few comments that I probably shouldn't have. Funny thing is, I think it went right over his head! Somehow, I don't think he realized how mad I was. Finally, I asked him what his solutions to our problems were. He didn't have an answer for that and he left. I'm going to remember that--because it apparently works!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Exciting Things! Follow-up

One week ago today was a big day for my little town. Dean Karnazes stopped here on his Run Across America with his team to host a 5K run. There was alot of excitement. For almost 2 months plans and preparations were made. The Garden Club and some of the High School kids even worked uptown during the week prior to the run to make the town look it's best. Although we are in our "rainy and windy" season, the day was sunny and calm. The run started at the Grade School, and all of the students from the three schools were present. I took the day off and went early. Everything went well. There was lots of TV cameras filming every angle of the event. The next day there was a wonderful write-up on the Run Across America website. We were told the actual clip would be on Live! with Regis and Kelly on Monday. Everyone set their VCRs/DVRs--and nothing. It was never on. They skipped right to Indianapolis. There was lot of disappointed people. And to be honest, I'm a little pissed about it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Little Silliness

The closest Blockbuster closed recently and one of the reasons stated was the popularity of Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, etc. A good friend of mine works part time at the only video store here in town and she mentioned business was down. She also mentioned Netflix as a possible cause. Because of our recent financial situation, I've been considering getting rid of our cable, or possibly even going down to just basic cable, which would cut our bill in half and I would still have local channels. Many of the shows I like I can watch on-line, therefore it seemed like a workable idea. I didn't start watching Glee until the second season and I thought maybe I could find it on Fox's official site, but they are only running second season episodes. One day last week I saw an ad for one free month of Netflix and decided to give it a try. I signed up and did a search for Glee, but it wasn't available. However, I did find Torchwood! We don't get BBC America and I've wanted to see it for a very long time. I was happily watching episode after episode when, a few days ago, Glee was listed as a new release. For three days that's been my main entertainment! I have gotten absolutely nothing accomplished! I think I'm going to have to keep Netflix. I'm sure I will still rent the occasional DVD. Gotta help out the local businesses, after all!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stuck in the Middle, Again

My husband was adopted. It's never been something he wanted to talk about much. That's fine, it's his business. But 13 years ago his biological family found him. It's a long story that I'm not going to get into here, but the gist of it is, his biological mother was only 15 when he was born and since it was the '50s, her family arranged the adaption without her knowledge. By the time she realized she wasn't getting him back, it was too late. She and one of her sisters has respected the fact that he doesn't want a relationship. Her oldest sister doesn't. I have kept in touch with her because she never had any other children, and my children are her only grandchildren, and quite frankly, I like her. But because it is what it is, it is an uncomfortable relationship. A week and a half ago one of her nephews died, the son of the oldest sister. He lived out of state and I figured the funeral was there. But apparently there is going to be a funeral here this Saturday and this sister called and left a message that she expects us to come to the funeral. This is a man we have never met, probably never would have. My husband said "no" outright, which is just as I expected. I have no desire to go. I have a friend who had surgery this week and I had told her I would help her out Saturday. I know this sounds cold hearted. Losing a child, even when that child is in his 50s, has got to be the worst pain there is. And I feel sad for her. But I just can't believe in her grief that she took the time to call and tell /(order) us to come. I'm tied up in knots about this, and just a little mad. I hate being put in these kinds of positions!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Joke of the Day

A tour busload full of noisy tourists arrives at Runnymede, England. They gather around the guide who says, "This is the spot where the barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. A man pushing his way to the front of the crowd asks, "When did that happen?" "1215," answers the guide. The man looks at his watch and says, "Shoot! Just missed it by a half hour!"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

John Lennon stand by me

I found this during my recent "Beatles Revival" week. I've been looking up lots of videos. The Internet can be awesome!

Appliance Wars

Every major appliance in our house needs replaced, except the stove, and that's only because we just replaced it! I hate it, not because of the expense (which I'm not fond of) but because my husband and I have very different shopping styles. He wants to spend hours cruising the Internet looking for the best deal, then order it and go pick it up. Me, I want to go physically check it out. I want something sturdy, solid. I'm not so worried about the price. I want to touch it, open the door, look inside. The husband is looking for the cheapest, the best deal. So what is happening is that we aren't replacing what needs replaced. It's turned into a bit of a stand-off, which I will probably lose because each appliance is just going to totally die and have to be replaced immediately, like the stove did. We are washing all of the dishes by hand because the dishwasher is done, and the washing machine is really close. The lid on the freezer is cracked and we have "fixed" the dryer twice. It's the appliance "curse". When one goes out, the others follow it!

Monday, March 21, 2011


I had an epiphany about my husband this morning while I was cleaning the kitchen. Several years ago when he made the declaration that he was no longer going to help with any housework until I started working full time, I believed that he held no value on all I did because it wasn't putting money in the bank. But after the last year of being on strike, I just realized it had nothing to do with the amount of money I was making and everything to do with the fact he never realized how much I was really doing around here. He has no idea how much work goes into house keeping because he doesn't do it. For the last year he has vacuumed and shampooed the carpets, washed dishes and cleaned the bathrooms a few times. He didn't dust, or clean the refrigerator, or wipe down the molding and any of the numerous other things that need done and haven't been done since I stopped doing them! I'm not sure whether to be upset or just pissed!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blackbird - Glee

I "got into" the Beatles during my Sophomore year in High School, not long before John Lennon was killed. Maybe if he hadn't died I wouldn't have become so engrossed in their music, but with his death came a flurry of books, magazines, posters, re-releases, movies, everything Beatles related. I would say I was practically obsessed. I had all of their music, knew all the lyrics to all of their songs, did my Senior term paper on them and even had my cousin sing a Lennon song during my wedding. But that was 30 years ago and life happened and my obsession waned. But this week, when Kurt (Chris Colfer) sang Blackbird, it all came back to me. I dug my CDs out and have been listening all week. I thought he did such a lovely cover of this song. (Plus, I just loved this episode of Glee!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I wanted to be an artist. My first year in college I majored in art. My Dad was constantly asking me what kind of job I was going to get with my degree and I didn't have an answer for him, so my sophomore year I changed my major to Psychology. Looking back, I wish I would have stood my ground. But I don't believe in regrets. It gets us nowhere and just makes us miserable. Imagine my happiness when my daughter picked up where I left off! She, like so many young girls, started out with an interest in anime that turned into an interest in animation. She is one of those rare people that knew what she wanted to go to college for when she was a freshman in High School. One day she came home exasperated because her Art teacher had made an assignment out of a contest that a local restaurant was hosting. The contest theme was to do a picture of a local landmark. Since my daughter didn't really want to do it, she did a simple line drawing of the Veteran's Memorial in our town and slapped some watercolor paint on it. I was a bit aggravated because I knew she could do much better than she did. So, again, imagine our surprise when she came home and said she had placed and her picture would be hanging in the restaurant! That's been 4 or 5 years ago, and I've always thought I should take a picture of it. Well, we ate breakfast there a few mornings ago, and I actually had my camera with me. Every time I see it hanging there, I just remember how much she didn't want to do it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Beatles I'm looking through you(outake)

What happens when the person you looked up too, the person that you thought was maybe almost perfect, turns out to not be perfect? In my case, it meant not getting much sleep last night while I was thinking things through! And, truthfully, how surprised can I really be? Why would any of us heap that onto another person, except it comes from our childhood. Someone we looked up to, someone we respected and admired. We sometimes forget to see what is really there. Oh, well. I enjoyed the illusion for as long as it lasted!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lady Luck

One day in September of '96 I was walking uptown with my 4 year-old son and another little girl I was babysitting. As we walked past a vet/supply office I heard a little crying meow and found this tiny black kitten stuck behind a planter. I pulled her out and took her into the supply store. I was friends with the woman who worked there and knew she often kept a cat there to keep the mouse population down. Occasionally, there were kittens and I just figured one had gotten away from her. No joy. At the moment, she had no cats on the premise. Now, I had a bit of problem. I didn't really want the kitten--we already had a cat and a dog. But I couldn't exactly stick the kitten back in the hole--the kids were already attached to it. So I took it home, thought maybe we could keep it as an outdoor cat. Except, the neighbor kids kept stealing it and sticking it in a cooler. I admit, I had never had a kitten before and she was wonderfully playful. The down side proved to be that she didn't want to share a litter box. I'm guessing she came into town on a grain truck; I rather imagine she was a barn cat. She is still, 15 years later, very skiddish. Lucky spends her summers outside, but because of the cold weather and her advancing age, she has spent this winter almost exclusively in the house. It's not been pleasant. The other cats pick on her so we've found piles in corners because they won't leave her alone long enough to get to the litter box. And the poor thing has a flea allergy, so once the weather gets nice and she starts spending her time outside, her fur will start falling out. Lucky was so bad last summer, I took her to the vet and after a serious of shots, she healed up and looked pretty again. She definitely is my problem child!

Under Water

Break out your rain gear, the rainy season is hitting early this year! We went through a draught for several years, but 5 or 6 years ago it broke and now we have very wet, stormy Springs. The last weekend in February brought a tornado and this last weekend we got another thunder and lightening storm that dropped about 2 more inches of water. Unfortunately, we live off of a section of town that once was a swamp and the drainage is horrible. These pictures don't even start to show what we will deal with when we get really heavy rain. The road will be covered and our neighbor across the road will have water up to his foundation. What gripes us the most is the fact that the water drains on the other end of the block. If the city would put in a couple of new culverts, we wouldn't have this problem! During the summer the water will stand and become great breeding ponds for mosquitos, plus it will get slimy and stinky with moss. I used to like rain....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Signs of Spring

I only live 3 blocks from where I work, so weather permitting and lack of errands to run on my lunch break, I like to walk. (Plus, with the price of gas these days, maybe manage to save a little money!) An older lady on the next block from us has a beautiful flower bed. She works in it daily. I'm actually a little envious! I wish I had more time to take care of growing things. Her garden always gives me a little lift to my day. I got my first seed catalog in the mail the other day and looking through it makes me wish we could find us a place in the country where I could plant lots of fruit trees and berry bushes. Have an asparagus bed. Have a strawberry patch. Maybe, someday...!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cat House

Roscoe has a new house! I put a box outside for him one windy day, just to keep him out of the weather. He would spend hours in that box so last week the Husband decided to build him a little house. He seems to love it. If we go outside and bring him in, he eats and then wants right back outside, no matter how nasty the weather is. I imagine he is going to love the summer. We have very spoiled cats!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Exciting Things!

I can't say I'm a fan of Regis and Kelly. Heck, I've never seen their show. By the time it's on, I'm at work. But a couple of weeks ago my cousin told me about this man, Dean Karnazes, who is running across the country to raise funds for Action for Healthy Kids and Regis and Kelly are doing live feeds on their show throughout his cross-country run. He started at Disneyland on Friday, Feb. 25 and is heading across Arizona and New Mexico. One of his stops on his run to New York is going to be in our own small town! At that time, it wasn't common knowledge, but it had been announced at the City Council meeting the night before (my cousin is a Councilman). The really exciting thing is, we aren't going to just be a rest stop--we're going to be a featured stop, the only one in Illinois! It could be good publicity for us. I just wish it was going to be a month or two later. It's a very pretty town in summer when the trees are all green and the flowers are blooming. I think I'm going to have to take the day off!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

My husband and I have been married for almost 23 years. It was never a great romance, more like something that just happened. Like all relationships, it's had it's ups and downs. It seems lately like there has been more downs. Last year I wasn't sure we were still going to be together much longer. But we have "made it through" again. Valentine's Day has never been a big deal around here--not because I didn't want it that way, but because no one else participated much. But this year I got a big surprise with tea roses! I really can't explain how much that means to me, coming from a man who has never given me flowers before! He has always remembered our Anniversary and he makes a big deal out of Christmas, but V-Day and my Birthday have always just been another day to him. I had already decided to "recommit" myself to this relationship. I guess this means he has too. That's the best present, I suppose!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


One of my first cassettes was ELO's Out of the Blue. I was 13 at the time and had just discovered J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. So I listened to this music while I sat on my bed and read--for hours and hours! Until I literally wore the tape out. (Now I own it on CD) To this day, 30 years later, when I hear this music I think of LOTR! And visa verse!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We got more snow on top of the ice. I want sun on my face. I want to till and hoe and pull weeds. I want to feel the dirt between my toes. I want green!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Groundhogs Day!

It's been quite the week. The Weather Channel started mentioning bad winter weather at the end of last week. Sunday the grocery store was very busy with people stocking up. Monday was so busy, we had a hard time keeping up. We ran out of bread--we never run out of bread! It was a record breaking day. Tuesday it started raining mid-morning. By noon it was starting to freeze. We stayed busy. That night the weight on the lines and trees was too much and electricity went out all over the area. We live in town, so our's went out, came back on, went out, came back on, over and over all night. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep. But we are better off than the people that live out in the country. They may not get their electricity back for a few more days. After the day of freezing rain, we started getting sleet. I'll bet we got over an inch. Ever try to walk on a layer of sleet that is covering a layer of ice? Not fun. Then yesterday we got snow. Even though it snowed most of the day, I would say we got less than 2 inches. I would say we dodged a bullet--again. Some how, we seem to be in a spot here where the worst of the weather goes around us. It's a pain but it's beautiful. The worst and the best of Mother Nature! I heard Phil didn't see his shadow yesterday and Spring should be early. Fingers crossed that he is right!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Touch of Summer

This winter is getting long. We have had snow on the ground for more days than I can remember in a long time. It's almost Ground Hog Day, which means Spring is just around the corner. Already, I've noticed the days getting longer. During our shortest days, it's dark when I get off work. I can't express how much I hate that! I am definitely a person who responds to light. Once it's dark, I'm just ready to go to bed. My favorite Summer "hobby" is gardening. I love plants, especially flowers. I have several flower beds, including a half-dozen potted plants I keep on the deck. Last Fall my husband brought several inside. I've never had much luck bringing outdoor plants in--they usually die within a couple of months. But for some reason, the three he brought in has survived--even blooming on occasion. I can't wait until the weather is warm and I can put them back out. I just imagine they are going to get so big and full this summer!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitty Love

Fat Cat has kind of been the daughter's cat for a long time. Anytime she is home and sitting on the couch, he is up there, right next to her. So yesterday, when I went in her room to grab her blankets so I can wash them, he followed me in and jumped right up on her pillow and just gave me go to hell looks when I mentioned he hop down. I let him stay there. After all, he's going to miss her, too!

A little update--she was supposed to get her housing assignment yesterday, but they apparently have more students then dorms, so they put the girls and a group of other students in the local Hilton Gardens Inn until rooms opens up! It could be two weeks, it could be the whole semester. Nice view, and they get their own bathroom, but they will have to go to campus to eat. Could get interesting for them!