Sunday, September 27, 2009


I ran across this article, by Stephen King, when I was reading the news online the other day.

These snippets made me LMAO;

Headline News Glenn Beck (Satan's mentally challenged younger brother)
Fox News Channel Bill O'Reilly (Satan's mentally challenged older brother)

Speed Grim-looking dude in a black T-shirt says, ''I ran into a little problem with the dash.'' Not to worry, he took it out through that big hole where sane people keep their windshields....

Thanks for the laughs Mr. King. The news has been so depressing and we all need a giggle-a-day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making SOME Progress




And finally....ALMOST GONE!

As you may remember, our old porch has been sitting in our front yard for the past year. Last fall we ran out of time, before winter set in, and we were forced to leave the porch there for the winter.

This month L, with a little help from me, has been dismantling the porch. He's already hauled a truckload to the solid waste facility(SWF). A lot of the lumber has been recycled and is neatly stacked in our garage. We will use most of it to, hopefully, build the garage workbench this fall. L still needs to pull the nails out of the 4x4s that are usable. The rest of the debris in the bottom picture just needs to be cut into truck-sized pieces and hauled to the SWF. Those tasks will have to wait until next weekend though. L put his back out working on this project this week. He was barely able to make it through work all week, so I let him rest his back this weekend. Aren't I a kind little wife?

Our September weather has been a BUGGER! The temps have been in the mid-80s every day. The good news is that it's only rained a couple of days. The weather has slowed our progress on outdoor projects. We just can't work at full speed in the heat. I can't remember a September where we could leave all the windows wide open all night, every night!

L and I both muddled through a week of a weird stomach flu with accompanying high fever, chills, and severe joint pain.

I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to figure out where the slow leak under our kitchen sink was coming from. I finally figured it out when the spigot on the kitchen faucet came off in my hand. Easy fix-I just tightened up that connection. Now I have counter space again after putting everything back in that cupboard!

I've also been trying to figure out why our outdoor electrical outlets aren't working. One day they worked-the next day they didn't. This was a high-priority repair as I THOUGHT that the outlet our heat tape is plugged into was on the same wasn't. After changing all the outlets in the circuit, with no results, I decided to disconnect and cap the wire to those outlets for the winter. Next summer, when we re-side the back of the house, I'll trace the wiring and try to find out WTF is wrong.

I also spent 6 hours on the phone with Sony and our DishNetwork service trying to find out why the closed-captioning keeps going out on our new TV. I accidentally found the solution to this problem on my own. BTW, Sony's tech support crew is condescending and RUDE! The past 2 months I've also spent a total of 2 hours on the phone with my phone company. I've been trying to get them to understand that I DIDN'T sign up for call forwarding and I want the $6 charge removed from my bill! Every month they assure me that they've removed this service, and every month it reappears on my phone bill. We'll see what happens this month.

So far, the word for the month of September has been FRUSTRATION!

We had another fire last night, and that helped soothe my frustrated psyche.

Monday, September 07, 2009

It's a Start!

One of the first things we built, when we moved out here 23 yrs ago, was a permanent block fire-pit. Trimming back all the fast-growing brush on our property gives us a never-ending supply of firewood. We enjoyed this free activity, often accompanied by family and friends, for 20 yrs.

We had to dismantle our fire-pit, 3 yrs ago, to make room for our garage. We fully intended to re-build the fire-pit. Unfortunately we've had several home repairs, like digging in a new powerline to the house, which have torn up our yard. We've been slowly working at re-landscaping those areas and trying to find a new perfect place to build our fire-pit.

Yesterday I got sick of waiting. While on a supply run to Menards, I bought a 30 inch portable fire-pit. When I got home, I told the guys that I had a surprise in the back of the truck. They were THRILLED, and immediately assembled it. Last night, after dinner, we got a wheelbarrow full of wood from our woodpile, dusted off the lawn chairs, and enjoyed our first fire in over 3 yrs. This new, frivolous purchase lifted all of our spirits immensely! My guys say it's the best $100 I've ever spent.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I feel like one of those small ponds that you encounter in the woods. There's always a layer of green slime growing on top because nothing ever leaves or enters the pond, except when it rains. That's how my brain feels. I feel trapped, with no inlet or outlet for my feelings. This year, the only time anything fresh enters my brain is when another disaster hits us. Then, for a short time, my brain kicks into overdrive to solve the problem. After the crisis passes, my brain returns to stagnation.

Nothing flows easily from my brain anymore. I've just spent the last half hour writing ONE stinking paragraph. I have thousands of ideas flowing through my brain, but they just get trapped there. While I'm at work, a great idea for a post will pop into my head. I jot down some thoughts, fully intending to write a blog post when I get home. Then I get home, turn on the computer, hit the "New Post" button, and....NOTHING! The blank page before me somehow overwhelms me. This must stop!

Our internet service hasn't helped my writer's block either. We have very few high-speed DSL moments at our house. Most days we're either running at dial-up speed, or the service keeps kicking off and on repeatedly, or both. I've lost several blog posts this way. My phone company buddies and I have been s-l-o-w-l-y trying to fix the problem. This week they switched us over to a new line at the "junction shack" for our area. The service isn't kicking off as often, but we're still having speed problems. Personally, I think the problem is with the Siemans modem/wireless router the phone company uses. L had nothing but problems with his Siemans hearing aids. The guys, however, say that they haven't had any problems with the modem model we're using....time will tell.

I've spent the summer hiding in books and old movies. Sorta like comfort food for the brain... nothing nutritious, just empty calories. I think our shitty summer weather had a lot to do with this. I've been enjoying the cool temps, but the rain is something else. This week is the first rain-free week we've had all summer! Maybe the change in weather will loosen the sludge from my brain?

I've also spent a LOT of time in self-examination. My parents' descent into self-absorbed dementia has forced me to backtrack through my life's experiences to discover what makes me tick. I've made this journey with the help of my cousin J, our longtime(45 yrs) family friend Sandy, my 36-yr-old-son-I-didn't-give-birth-to Troy, and my loving daughter SME. It helps to bounce my thoughts off people who know my story from the beginning, especially J, who has known my parents longer than I have.

My journey of self-discovery has led me to the revelation that I NEED to re-invent myself. I NEED to find some joy in my life and stop surviving on the day-to-day drudgery of my existence. I NEED some FUN! How will I accomplish this? I'm not really sure. The one thing I do know is that I need to start writing here more often. I highly value my blog-friends' opinions and encouragement!!

I really think that the first thing I need to do is post the final installment of my ordeal with my Dad's colon surgery. This will bring everybody up to speed on what's happening in my life now. Posting that story should also help free my mind of a lot of the rubble that's been accumulating there...hopefully.

Once past that hurdle, I need to return to writing some more light-hearted posts. We actually do have a few GOOD things happening in our lives! I'd also like to share a ton of recipes and strategies for surviving on a dwindling budget in our economy.

I also have a lot of rants about the economy and work floating around in my brain. Writing about them is my therapy. On with the healing!!