Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's my one year "blogaversary"

It's true what they say - time flies when you're having fun.  Actually, it flies when you're not having fun, too.  

One year and 193 blog entries.  Are you sick of me yet?  That was a rhetorical question.

I have really enjoyed writing this blog.   It's been fun showing you where I live, my family and friends.  Oh yeah, and my dog, AugieAt times it has been quite cathartic.

If you'll hang in there with me, I'll try to keep it interesting.  Staying in the same vein as "dog poop and sneezing into the bathroom mirror."  You know, the important life issues.

If you have suggestions for topics - bring 'em on.  Just try to keep it clean, eh?  Or not.

Thanks for dropping by.  I love each and every one of you.  Ok, that was too much, wasn't it?  

Oh, I almost forgot.  I got some new specs to celebrate this important day.  Actually, I was over due but my blogaversary was a great excuse.

                                                                       You like?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are you a hugger?

I am but not obnoxiously so.  I hug family and close friends but not every single time I see them.  

I'm a fan of the sideways hug when the person doesn't fall into the category of "full on" hug.  You know what I mean.  You don't really want to press bodies with this particular person but you can see they're heading in that direction.  You have to be swift of foot in order to avoid the unwarranted (in your opinion) closeness.

The other hazard to hugging occurs if you happen to wear glasses. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to stop into our friendly Allegan Eyecare for an adjustment.  Trying to avoid damage to your specs isn't easy either.  You have to turn your head so far that the person you're hugging gets a face full your hair.  Awkward. 

The other downside to hugging is coming out of the embrace totally encapsulated in fragrance.  Theirs, not yours.  How can that smell transfer so quickly?  Then you're stuck with it for the rest of the day.

There are quick hugs.  The "hey, how ya doing?  Haven't seen you in a long time.  You look great" hugs.  And then there are the "I've missed you so much" hugs.  Then there are the "good-bye hugs."
I know there are more.  I think I've experienced them all.

99% of the time hugs are good.  They give comfort.  A comfort only the human touch can bring.  I like them.  Just not the gratuitous ones.   

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's my Beatles birthday!

"Will ya still need me?  Will ya still feed me, when I'm 64?"
Remember that one?  It's probably the one song ever written about being 64.  

It's not one of those whiz-bang birthdays.  60 was special only because it ends in a 0.  Something about birthdays ending in a 0 call for extra celebrating.  62 was marked because I started drawing my Social Security $$$.  65 will get a shout out because that's when I'll start whipping out my Medicare card when I go to the doctor.

I know, I know.  It's only a number.  You're as old as you feel.
Blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, this one doesn't bother me at all.  Check with me next year for the "Medicare birthday."   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A cure for the common cold.

Research scientists have spent billions of hours and many more billions of dollars searching for a cure for the common cold.

Advertising companies have poured tons o' $$$ into smart, snappy ads on television touting medications.

Old wives have been handing down remedies since Hector was a pup.  Anyone know who Hector was?

I have spent the last week nursing/fighting a cold.  Not a horrid one.  My head never felt like it was going to explode.  I didn't have to stuff Kleenex up my nose and walk around the house looking like a demented walrus.  I never once coughed up a lung.  I was lucky.  I slept a lot, though, and my butt was tired of the couch.

Yesterday, I discovered the cure!  Dumb luck and my craving for chocolate (it's true what they say:  feed a cold) led me to the cabinet where the cookies are kept.  I ate . . . . . several.  Somehow I knew that just three wouldn't do the trick so I had . . . . more.  My pride is keeping me from telling you exactly how many I ate but apparently it was enough to do the trick.  

                                         I'M CURED!!!    

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's on your walls?

I don't have any idea where this thought came from and, believe me, I'm not showing off but I think you can tell a lot about people by what they have nailed up on their walls.

We like to bring back things from places we've visited or display pictures, etc. that were given to us by family and friends.

 My sister, Lisa, brought us back this Celtic A from Ireland.

      This is a watercolor done by my friend, Joy Richmond.
     This is a print of the "New Orleans" area of Fairhope, AL.
                                                           Charleston, SC.

                                                           Savannah, GA.

                                                     My mom as a little girl.

 These two pieces were done by my pal, Gary Czerwinski.

 We bought this coolio piece of fused glass in New Mexico  in '03.
 With the exception of the star, these tiles were all made by my friend, Alexa Birkam. Anyone else notice how I forgot to turn the picture right side up?  Tilt your head to the left cuz I'm not going back in to change it.

 My father brought this hat back from China when he was 16 years old in 1936.

 My former college roomie, Leslie, gave us this lovely piece as a "thank you" after being a house guest for a week or so.  She can come back anytime!

I found out it's not easy taking pictures of things in glass frames.  So there are other items I would have liked to show you but the frustration level had me swearing so I'm good if you're good.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fabulous music!!!

If you live in or near Allegan and you are not coming to the monthly concerts at the Presbyterian Church, I am here to tell you, you are missing out on some great music.

First of all, these concerts benefit local non-profits like the animal shelter, hospice, and the food pantry among other wonderful organizations.

The plate is passed and 90% of the money collected goes directly to a local non-profit group.  The remainder stays in the church's endowment fund which allows them to pay the musicians.

Last Sunday (always the second Sunday of the month @ 5p) we were blown away by The Crane Wives.  

This group is typical of the quality of music you will see if you come.  The program lasts exactly one hour and then, if you're a bit parched or a tad bit hungry, there are treats and drinks in the lower level of the church.

If you've been with me for a while you know I'm not your religious blogger so maybe you're surprised that I'm hanging out at a church on a monthly basis.  Well, it's a win/win for me (and you if you check it out); live music and helping out worthy causes.

Yes, there's a prayer at the end and yes, there's a reading of some sort from the Bible but I just take a mini "mind vacation" during those times.

Free, live music in your own back yard . . . and a lemon bar afterward.  What's not to like about that!?!    

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Glad these jobs exist but I'd NEVER do them.

Certainly you've had your teeth cleaned at the dentist's office, right?  Don't they feel fantastic when the job is done?  I've always been fortunate to have had fantastic hygienists.  Let me ask you something, though - have you ever watched someone getting their teeth cleaned and imagined yourself as the person with the pick in your hand?  No.  Thank.  You.  Sticking my fingers in another person's mouth is not ever anything I'd choose to do.

Had a colonoscopy lately?  Yeah, there's a job, eh?  Or delivering a baby vaginally?  I could probably do the C-section but . . .  And don't those poor suckers with hemorrhoids have to have surgery sometimes.  How'd you like to be on the other end of that one?

I remember watching All Creatures Great and Small on PBS years ago.  One scene is forever burned into my memory:  James Herriott with his arm inside a cow; all way up to his  armpit.  That's dedication, folks.

I could go on and on but my last example is the school custodian.  If you've ever worked for the public ed system, you know who the real royalty of the building is.  Can you even see yourself mopping up kiddie puke among other things I'm too much of a lady to mention?  They are worth their weight in gold, I tell ya.

Come on - you can come up with at least one job you're thankful exists but so, so very happy that you're not the one doing it. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another short one about words.

Last weekend Petey and I were dining at our local pub.  Ok, maybe "pub" doesn't exactly fit but sometimes I like to pretend I'm in another country.

We were downtown at Bubba's.  Now that Michigan is smoke free we love Bubba's.

There were a few guys sitting at the bar, a couple next to us at a table, a family at a table at the far end of the bar and a three guys sitting near the door.

One of the guys at the bar was getting rather colorful with his language.  We have already established that I am not a prude but there's a time and a place.  The server reminded him to dial it down a few times and you could tell he wasn't being gratuitous; it was just part of who he was.  I was impressed that he apologized to the family that was sitting nearby.

That guy I could deal with.  The woman who came in a few minutes before we left and joined the couple next to us?  Not so much.  She dropped the F-bomb constantly.  And I mean constantly.  

She'd obviously been drinking before she came into the bar and she had a black eye.  I'm not advocating fisticuffs but I was ready to pop her one myself.

Thankfully we already had our bill and were leaving.  She was extremely annoying, her friends did nothing to reroute her language and she was totally oblivious to her surroundings.

So, what would you have done?  What if you'd just entered as well and had the misfortune to sit near Miss Potty-mouth?  Would you have asked her, politely, to refrain from swearing?  Moved to another table?  

It's an uncomfortable situation; particularly these days with everyone toting a gun around.    

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Job parameters

Most of you know that I'm a Sign Language interpreter.  For those who don't - here's a quick recap.

I worked for the public education system in various schools for many years and retired in 2006.  That didn't mean I was done interpreting, however.  I love the language too much to stop using it plus I worked my ass off for my credentials so I've been a freelancer since.

I work for two different agencies that send me on jobs but I set the parametersno kids for clients (it was fun while it lasted but I've moved on to adults only), no nights or weekends, no religious settings and no mental health jobs.

Well, every now and then I take a job that tugs at my heart strings and every time I do, it reminds me why I don't take mental health jobs!  It's too much.  Too draining.  It reminds me of the heartache that went hand-in-hand all too often when I worked for the school system.

As I leave those jobs I want to drive directly to a place that sells big-ass chocolate chips cookies and buy 2 . . . or 6.  It's either that or cry and I hate how my eyelids puff up when I cry so it's cookies for me.

Then I make myself promise I'll turn down the next mental health job.  What do you think the chances are that I'll actually do that?  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another "word" thing.

How's your spelling?  Mine used to be kick-ass but I've noticed that it's slipping a bit.

How about the words that trip you up constantly?  How much do you love spell check?

Every single time I spell niece  or  receive I have to repeat, "i before e except after c."

How about principal vs principle?  The person in the school office is your "pal."  That helps.

Angel vs angle.  I have to say the word "gel" out loud or embarrassing things happen.

Attendance, evidence, etc.  I'm constantly asking myself if it's "ence or ance?"

Naturally all these issues happen when I'm not on the 'puter.  

Can you imagine trying to tackle this fickle language if you were born in another country?  Americans have enough trouble with it!

Which ones give you fits?  What are your tricks?  Any rhymes/songs involved?   

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Do you remember the first time you heard a weird word and thought, "what the hell does that mean?"  Do you remember exactly where you were and the circumstances surrounding the experience?
I do.

I was working in my dad's office as a teenager during one summer.  He was the medical director for the county medical care facility (nursing home) besides his family practice.  A call came in from the nursing home one afternoon and I was to "tell the doctor that so-and-so had expired."  Expired?  um, like in a subscription to a magazine expires?  I didn't ask for clarification because I was too embarrassed but when I gave dad the message he cleared it up for me - with a smirk on his face.

The other one also happened in my dad's office but not actually to me.  A friend of mine had come in (again, I was working the summer job so I was young - that's my excuse anyway) and our beloved nurse, Louise Pullen, gave him a jar and told him she needed a stool sample.  Stool?  Like the thing you sit on?  Wait, that doesn't make any sense.  I didn't have a clue either but when Louise saw the confused look on my friend's face she gently explained the procedure.  Now there's a life lesson for ya.

My third example (I'm sure if I sat here long enough I'd come up with more but you remember how I like to keep these things on the short side so . . . ) also takes place in a medical setting.  

It was soon after I gave birth and I was doing medical transcription at home for a group of general surgeons.  One of them always sounded like he had a mouth full of marbles so that was a huge challenge but the other guy used the word "peruse."  Once I learned the meaning of it I used it ad nauseum  (don't know if I spelled that correctly or not because it didn't pop up on spell check - just go with me on this, k?) because it makes me sound quite bright without coming off like a snob.  Right?  

You guys must have some good ones - spill 'em! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ok, I'll play.

One of my favorite blogs is Pioneer Woman.  If you've never read her - check her out.

Today she talked about making resolutions by dividing the word up into separate letters and attaching a resolution to each one.

What the heck - I'll give it a try.  I'm going to do this without a moment's forethought so stand by.

R - restrict my language and by that I mean - I'm really going to try and not drop F-bombs.  As much.

E - energize my attitude.  I'll try not to be too obnoxious but I'm already carrying around a fair amount of energy.  So watch out.

S - stand up straight.  I've always been good at the standing up thing so maybe I'll focus more on sitting up straight.  Same letter.

O - outsource my cooking and cleaning.  She said the O was tough and that's the best I could come up with.  Pretty good, eh?  Yeah, like that's going to happen.

L - Lie less.  That fits, doesn't it? I'm good about not telling the big ones but I'll admit to telling plenty of the white ones.
U - understand or try to, why people do the things they do.

T - temper my tongue.  That's going to be difficult.

I - Induce goodwill wherever I go.  A bit lofty but, hey, what would you use for I?

O - Observe more of the world around me.  Whew, that was a close one.  Two Os is not easy.  I'm impressed with myself.

N - Never, never eat a whole pound of Bridge Mix again.  At least in one sitting.  Maybe a half pound but never a pound.  Never!

Give it a try and see what you come up with.  No fair copying.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Did you make some resolutions?

I didn't.  I don't even go through the motions anymore.  Periodically, I try to add something to my daily regime that will better my life (although I can't think of a damn thing right now) and every now and then I try to stop doing something (like using "gonna" and "gotta" or swearing) that will improve my image.  I have failed miserably  on the swearing thing but catch myself (sometimes) on the other words.

My Jazzercise instructor, Brenda, and my friend, Cathy Monroe, have decided to rid their homes of sugar.  Now, that's just insane.  Sugar is not my enemy; it's my BFF.

Maybe if I replace the word "resolution" with "goal" I would be more successful.  Makes it feel more like a sport, don't you think?
Wait, I was never very involved in sports.  I'll need to rethink this.

So, let's get twenty-thirteen rolling!