Monday, February 23, 2009

what's doin'

There's been some chilly nights down here lately. We've been having a few days of nasty uber-humidity and then a cool front blows through to dry things out slightly before the cycle repeats.

That means pain for me...when it's humid, pain all over. Pain after sleeping no matter the position. Even tried one night in the recliner and that used to never make me hurt. It's just to be suffered. When it's cold, I get a little relief but I also tend to feel the cold more and I'm a shaker. winkwink

Lots of concern down here over border events, too. People are on edge about it. It was recently reported that the Feds find around a dozen Middle Easterners a month illegally crossing the border. They just don't publicize it. Knowing this has somehow woke us up down here a little and we are concerned about the recent confrontations, on the border too. On top of everything else to feel insecure about right now, adding fear of invasion is not welcome. Not to mention that it was also reported that Houston is like the top Al Queda hit spot now. That's just great. Seriously.

I did my annual thing tonight and watched the Academy Awards. Didn't see any of the movies, but it did inspire me to share my 3 top actors and 3 top actresses of all time (this week):

1. William Powell
2. Dick Powell
3. Gary Cooper

1. Norma Shearer
2. Lana Turner
3. Ingrid Bergman

Well, sleep calls. Time to go cause some more pain. winkwink

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is it really THAT good?

To be QUEEN, that is.

I know what was a little TOO good:

~all of the Valentine's sweets Hubs and I separately bought for each other (and ourselves).

Next year, only one of us is buying the candy. Maybe we'll have less of it that way.

I also know what's REAL good:

~the lovely card Missy sent, and the store bought cards Hubs and I picked out for each other. He prefers a store bought card. I've learned not to be insulted or hurt. It's some deeply ingrained childhood some such, and I get a break from having to make a card. Win-Win. :-)

The BESTest thing is:

My favorite shirt lately. So cherished that I'm actually beginning to worry about separation anxiety when it's threadbare, and the dang shirt's only a few months old. It's just the epitome of comfort, and it knows it, too, right?

Forget being Queen (although I love my newest coffee cup collectible, my Valentine to myself)...I just wanna be comfortable, especially after grazing on all that chocolate for days and days!

Life at Casa Miguel this week has been hectic as the turtle flies. In other words, hectic for my usual speed. The new mattress set I ordered was delivered Monday, requiring a furniture rearranging endeavor of massive proportions. Right on cue, my back went out, but I pushed on and Monday night we were taking turns trying out our first memory foam mattress, like two kids at a slumber party. I would recommend a Simmons Caresse. It's firm, yet forgiving. Very conforming and ... wait for it ... comfortable. ;-)

The weather's been, as we say down here, stanky damp. So damp that even in the garage, kitchen matches will not light and little puddle patches of humidity form on the concrete and make it look like it rained. And it's been doing some of that, too. As always in damp weather, my arthritii is flaring up. One good thing that has happened has been 3 recent unplanned sleeps of 13 hours each (during the week of Friday the 13th, no less), that has finally succeeded in helping me kick the vast majority of that awful cold crud I had. All that remains is my usual allergy mini-hacking. Back to normal in that dept.

Today is a dreary looking one, with rumbling thunder and strange sounds being carried on the wind. A cool front is coming from the north.

In the Bragging Corner, I can't forget to mention that Missy landed an internship with Cornerstone Media Group! And, she's only a junior. She doesn't graduate until May 2010, a year and 3 months from now. I just saw a news piece about how up north at the expensive schools, companies are charging kids up to $9K for an 8-week internship. That is obscene.

I'm so glad she's at little Podunk U, shining like a bright star, and surrounded by rules that are for the most part, like old school, like in my day. Every time I think of that $9K, it pizzes me off. My Gosh, people, go get some bailout money, quit trying to make a buck off these kids.

Anyway, Missy had to add it as a class and it only cost me $800 more dollars, which now that I know about the $9K, makes me thankful to pay $800 and to the college, not to a company, sheesh.That means she is taking a really full load, working 3 afternoons a week at Cornerstone and then working 3-4 nights at the restaurant. I do not even fathom how she does it, because she is also active in the student ad society, Ad Fed. She is happy, though, and so I try not to fret too much. I probably tell her too many times to get enough sleep and food. {blush} Like it does any good....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On the cyber road again....

Hey Howdy Hey.

Gosh, it's been 5 whole days since I last posted because we have been without a land phone and cable tv and internet all that time, except for about 3 short periods where they thought it was fixed and it wasn't. There was some kind of physical overload that took both Verizon and Comcast that long to re-allocate, if that makes any sense. But, everything's working now, finally.

I spent a good deal of that offline time sleeping all that I could, due to a really painful arthritii flare and some strained back muscles from the hacking fits I'm still having. Good news on the hacking is that it's down to about once a day now. I've called my doctor's office again, and they are not impressed. According to them, I am performing typically and it will wane away slowly and surely. So, I just try not to think about it and let the days go by. I have also done quite a bit of radio and music listening, which is always good. I even drug out Missy's hand-me-downed mp3 player and enjoyed using it. The songs she originally downloaded onto it back in like 2006 are still on it, LOL. Guess I need to try to download some new ones one of these days, huh?

I've also decided to let you all off the hook and am working on starting a separate political blog with some like minded friends. It will be so separate that I'm not even going to link it on my blogs. I do need to vent my opines, but most of the audience that appreciates it isn't the same one that reads this blog. I finally figured that out during my offline hiatus. I've basically been trying to mix water and oil by hand. Not gonna happen. So, I adjust, because I do have to express that part of me. (P.S. - for those of you who I know will want to know the new blog, I will email you privately. Not to worry. winkwink)

Things here at Casa Miguel are the same old same old, except that I haven't really had a car to drive since the last week of January and I've been learning to adjust to that. Can't remember if I blogged about this or not, but Missy came home then to get her Focus inspected as it expired on 1/31. We'd been considering giving her Focus to my brother's oldest who turns 16 in March, so we let Missy take my CRV back with her to school and we kept her Focus.

Fast forward to now. The Focus is sitting in the driveway and is still not inspected. It developed a loud noise coming from the left back wheel right before she brought it, which is probably something like wheel bearings that need to be repacked or some such, but it probably won't pass inspection until that is fixed. Hubs is going to get an assistant in a week or so at work, which means he can take a half-day off here and there when needed finally, so as soon as that happens, he's driving it to the mechanic for an estimate of what it will take to get it in "Grandma" shape (fix whatever is wrong to get it in good enough working order that your grandma could drive it reliably). And, if it's worth fixing up, as it is a 2001 Ford, after all.

Commentary: If it was my 2002 Honda CRV or Hubs' 2001 Toyota Rav, there'd be no question that it would be worth it. Such is the sad state of American car companies today. Just sayin'.... and I do remain optimistic that the Focus will be worth driving for another year or two after it is worked on.

Anyway, I'm having to wing it without wheels, something I've not done since the fall of 1981. It's strange to not be able to just jump in the car if I need or want to, but I'm also amazed it's not been that tough. I am not driving an uninspected car, because I just don't want to chance a stupid ticket. Hubs doesn't mind, so if I do need a car, he's offered to switch with me and we have done that once when I had a doctors appointment in Houston last week. But I don't want him getting a ticket, so I really try not to switch.

But, for just mailing letters or going to the grocery store, I've been able to manage by just going at night after he gets home. And I really don't need a car every day. So, when Hubs began talking let's get a new car for you, I said okay at first, but now I've insisted upon trying to keep the Focus first. I feel bad we won't be giving it to my brother, but this recession has got me spooked and I neither want to part with a lot of cash right now, nor do I want to take on any more debt. It's like a voice speaking to me from my common sense, and I'm not going to shush it.

The second-hardest part was telling Hubs, although he took it well. Like I told him, we can always buy a new car later. Let's try and see if this car will work for me first. After all, what in the world do I need daily transportation for right now besides going to the doctor in Houston, and we can switch cars on those days, once we get the Focus fixed up.

The hardest part was thinking it all out and taking a decisive stand. Dangit! This latest round of arthritii meds is really taking its toll on my ability to think clearly and quickly about new stuff I have to adjust to. I can totally see now what kinds of problems people with ADD and anxiety disorders go through, because I have similar symptoms at different times. The simplest decisions are taking me forever! And it is so frustrating to me, but I've just had to accept it and go with the flow because there's not a dang thing I can do different right now.

I still have some big ticket items I want to buy (like a new computer and some more furniture, cuz remember that Missy took a lot of our furniture for her apartment). So, I think I almost had an anxiety attack once I remembered that, and then thinking about a new car too. It was just too much. Thankfully Hubs hasn't been pushing it -- I think that is why he acquiesced to my decision without a debate. It's like he knows what I can handle and what I can't. I am so thankful for that, and for him...the old coot. ;-))

Well, time to go do a blog entry on Paper Paisleys and then try to get some blog-visiting in. I am way behind in that department...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wait for it...

Dearest Readers, I feel obligated to remind you that this is my Life blog, wherein it may contain, from time to time, opinion essays about which you may disagree. I've lost a few readers from time to time, but I've discovered many more who respect me enough to let me have the discussion. Hell, some even comment. I call those readers my friends. They are keepers. I hope we can all agree to disagree and love each other anyway. xoxo

If you prefer, hang out at my Paper Paisleys Art Adventures blog instead. That's 100% Art Only. :-)))

Okay, then. I feel the need to comment on a few things going on right now in our lovely country and world.

First up is this little gem:

"Tax cuts never educated a child." ~ Congressman Barney Frank, Feb. 2, 2009

Oh, yeah? Dear Mr. Frank, you are so wrong. I guarantee you that if you give me and others like me a tax cut, it will go directly to educating a child by paying out-of-control college tuition for our kids! Or for saving for it! Wow, you aren't talking to me or about me, though. No, you represent taxpayers who are probably not paying much tuition, some with kids, some with no kids. Got it. But do you think you can stop lying? Because tax cuts have educated a lot of kids, hun.

Okay, next item. Could we please stop thinking we can punish the mom who gave birth to all the kids through invitro fertilization? I haven't heard such intrusive exaggerated moralizing since Palin Days, and before that, since the Mormon Ranch out in West Texas.

Hey, chill out. Let Oprah buy an indepth interview for $2 million. I'd consider that a much better use of her money than what she's been buying lately (like the Presidency). Hey, just sayin'.

The ability to predict the future of those babies as accurately as TV Talking Heads have been professing to do is a truly amazing feat. No, really. Hello. Too amazing to be true.

I knew there was another side of this that wasn't being heard when that Cindy Margolis chick (who had a baby herself using the same technology) was on a talk show about this and admitted she'd been implanted with the same ridiculous number of eggs in order to have one kid. The host just ignored what she said, because -- news flash -- the plot of the show was to criticize the mom who did that and not to maybe explore this might be standard operating procedure, depending on the circumstances.

Plus, this is America. Last time I checked, women still have the right to have babies. She says it was a fluke that many were conceived and when confronted with this she refused to abort any of them. Get over it. Move on. A perfect childhood is not a guaranteed right in this country. Believe me, I lived through mine. They will, too.

Okay, next item. So, is there something in the stimulus bill for you? No? Why the hell not? Dang, at $800 bil to $1 tril, there should be something lucrative for every one of us, doncha think?

Oh, begeebus, this is exactly what I feared would happen and why I voted for a divided power structure instead of 24/7 Dems. I mean, I want Prez Obama x-rayed so we can see once and for all if he has an actual backbone or if he is really just Gumby in disguise. Uber-pragmatic or a tool. Either way, Pelosi and Reid win, which is sad. But how many times will they win? We're borrowing 100% of the stimulus. We're still spending millions a day in the Middle East, and mark my words, we aren't leaving any time soon. The only thing I see clearly is that Americans are desperately trying to shed their personal debt and that's a good thing, but a bad thing that it's going to come in handy when we are all paying 90% tax rates eventually. I mean, there are only 2 ways to pay for all this debt: borrow it or raise tax rates. HELL-OOOOOOOOh.

Anyway, I have put off making some big decisions for our household and it looks like maybe all my guilt was misplaced, thanks to this stimulus package (or at least how it looks right now...could change next week). I need a new car and we need to refinance our mortgage if rates go down below 5%. Well, we don't need to refinance, but since I passed on doing it about 5 years ago, I feel the need to not pass up on it again.

There's now a tax credit for buying a new car in the stimulus bill, and there's a credit for buying a new house, too. I was a bit ticked off when the Dems passed on the Republicans' proposal for guaranteed 4% fixed housing loans...Daaayaaamm. Works for me, but alas, not in the bill. So, I'll wait and pray it gets put in, too.

So, they've even got me wanting some of that moola now. Tellya what, I'd gladly lose my car tax credit and a 4% loan if they would scrap this bill and start over. This bill is so obviously a political wishlist cram-in parading around as a critical job-creator. WTF? Nobody knows how to fix anything, but they sure know how to borrow money and spend it on crap, don't they? Did ya hear about the $78 billion....that's right, BILLION, that Paulson wasted into thin air from the bank bailout funds last autumn. Great informative article here: Treasury Overpaid....

And here's a link to this column by former McCain campaign staffer Nichole Wallace, which pretty much sums up how I feel about the stimulus crap: Obama's Very Bad Week. Recommended: a good read.

Moving right along in parallel, kudos to ABC's Jake Tapper, who gave Press Sec'y Gibbs a real ass-kicking in Friday's press conference. I haven't been able to stomach even looking at Gibbs for very long since the first day I laid eyes on him. He's a grade-a smart-ass and doesn't hide it well. Keep it up, Tapper, good job. ;-)))

Oh, and finally we get to Appointees Who Owe Taxes. Oh man, since I prepared income taxes for 30 years, I feel like I need an opinion on this. One thing they do not mention about Daschle's situation, and one that only wonkish tax nerds like me would know, is this: it was on his watch in the Senate leadership that the freaking imputed luxury car and personal-use vehicle laws were passed! This would be exactly why I think that his dropping out was a damn good thing. That is inexcuseable.

And don't get me started on Timothy Geitner. You have to search far and wide to find a more representative case of tax avoidance, and yet, we are supposed to believe it was an oversight. OMG, our gov't employs people to inform Geitner when he owes tax, and on top of that, the man received a tax reimbursement to pay the tax and still didn't pay it! He still manages to be confirmed, and we are told we have to have him, that he is one of our best minds.

Like I overheard last week, if this is how our best minds work, let's let the second-best minds have a shot at it.


Feeling the Tag Love

Yup, I've been way too introspective the last day or so, but I had to be to get to the other side of some crap that Hubs laid on me. I'm across now, feeling better, and one thing that helped was Benita awarding me and Antics & Rantics the Rockin Blog / Best Bloggin Buddy and the Your Blog is Fabulous awards. So thank you much, girlfriend.

If you read either of my blogs, you know I've done the tag already, but luckily I have many addictions! LOL Here are 5 more (I previously listed cigarettes, straightening iron, coffee, diet cokes and internet shopping):

1. my computer
2. fox news
3. mad men on amc
4. keeping up with the kardashians on e!
5. movies on tv (turner, amc, tbs, comedy channel)

I want to pass along both of these awards to anyone reading who wants them! :-)))


Yesterday, Hubs came home from work and, unbeknownst to me he was laying in wait for a dog to kick. I've been sort of homebound without a car for about a week now. I have Missy's car in the driveway, but as of Feb. 1, it needs to be inspected and I will not drive it unless it's an emergency that a cop would consider worth the risk of driving it, because my luck with these sort of things is erratic.

I do not want a ticket right now. Plus, there's not a heckuva lot of reasons for me to drive anywhere. I am still recovering way too slowly from my coughy-coldy-allergies (whatever the heck it is that I have) and it's all I can do most days to take care of the kitchen dishes, pay the bills, take care of ReggieDog and keep things picked up around the house.

All I did was bring up what should we do about getting Missy's car fixed or giving it as is to my brother as his oldest turns 16 next month. Well, if any of you have been married a long time to a moody guy, you will understand. Everything he said was derisive and with contempt. He first tried to paint me as paranoid for not driving the car. Then, he imploded into a little tantrum about how he did everything around here, and proceeded to list it all out.

After about a minute of not being able to get a word in edgewise to defend myself and then deciding that was futile, I left out the back door and went to smoke a cigarette in the garage. He followed me, still going a mile a minute on his tirade. I can remember being very aware that if any neighbors were outside, they were hearing him.

I finally put my hands over my ears and this stopped him. He went back in the house and went on to bed, thankfully. Of course, I was left to deal with my shattered self-esteem. It sucks to be told you are a worthless human being by your so-called soulmate, ya know?

But here is where I learned something about myself. At first, I thought through all the things I did do every day, as if preparing a mental rebuttal. But then, a strange calm came over me and I really felt this thought: this is not about me and isn't even worth defending. I began to think of him and all the pressure and stress he is under, working 6 sometimes 7 days a week, helping to run a special project that a lot of money is being spent on. I remembered that he was beginning to be really bothered by his allergies again (he'd basically been through in early January what I've been through with the nasal drip and coughing, and he's getting it again!).

Now, my previous reaction to this behavior (he does it approximately once or twice a year for some reason, like he just has to) was to call a girlfriend or my dad and wail about how unfair Hubs was being, or work myself up into a mass of chaotic hurt and get all depressed. Those kinds of I was fighting it or fighting against it.

Now, I felt like I was hovering above it, figuring out the best place to land safely and out of the way. Forgiving him for he knows not how what he does when he does it. And, it's strange, but I think that the combination of growing in my art and growing in my struggle to adjust to my health issues, that combination has helped -- I have matured in these respects.

I could tell myself all day long the words, but this time I lived them. That love is sometimes taking some pain from your loved one if they need to give it to you, and seeing it as venting, not as permanent behavior. Sometimes people have to, need to act like toddlers. It's not like they act that way all the time.

Long story short, Hubs came home today and asked me if I was still mad at him, which was his way of saying that I should be mad. And I was proud of myself, I told him no, that I forgave him because I knew he didn't feel well and was under a lot of stress. You should have seen the look on his face. Relief, appreciation, regret, guilt. All there. He apologized and things went back to regular.

I think I shocked the shite outta him, actually. That should keep him guessing. Such is Love and Life with Mr. Moody. {winkwink}

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I think I jinxed it...

Oy. Happy Super Bowl Sunday.

I haven't posted since Wednesday, because I jinxed my recovery and had a relapse. Called the doc's office Friday and they were not impressed. Been there, done that, apparently. They said I'll be hacking and blowing and *relapsing* for a couple more weeks. Sigh.

Feels like a relapse to me. Harrumph. So it shall be, in my world.

At any rate, it's put a dent in my little power productivity drive I had going on upon feeling better. Drats. Oh well, story of my life. Might as well be used to it.

So it was a good day for a national holiday, then. Hubs and I started out with some chips and dips.

Then, some appetizers...namely, Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites. The cheese and spinach ones are my favorites.

Finally, our entree: Super Bowl Recovery Soup. It's basically ministrone with ground beef mixed in. Soup is good food.

You probably know that I do not watch football. Not a fan of the game, and not a fan of any of the pro sports, really. I do try to make an exception for the big world-class games like the Super Bowl and World Series, though, if Hubs wants me too. And he did want company this year, I decided to be nice.

Neither one of us had any kind of a favorite this year, mainly due to a long-held grudge against the Steelers. Old-timers down here remember them as the arch-enemies of our team, the Oilers (who are now the Titans after leaving Houston and moving to Tennessee).

Still, my head said bet the farm on them. They were our arch-enemies and we hated them, but we did respect their venom. My heart tugged for the Cardinals. So, it was pretty boring until the final 5minutes or so. The commercials were pretty much my only diversion.

So, anyway, Hubs is now asleep and I am watching The Office and trying not to cough. Time to go re-slather Vicks on my feet. :-)))