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This is why we can't have nice things (photos)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The main problem:

Passer and receiver:

Not to be left out (the first on is still in the tree - you can pick him out if you look hard):

The result - every day, several times a day:

And as an explanation of why I'm always whining about my lack of heat - I have three heat outlets on the floor downstairs, each blowing lots of lovely warm air into the rooms. Except there's a problem:

Note that it only takes one twenty pound cat to cover a vent. Since he's the only one that large, we have to resort to using two cats:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_BRENDA 12/21/2014 9:30AM

    Aw, so cute!!!

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JUSTYNA7 12/21/2014 9:12AM

    I'm amazed how many people had the fabric ornaments. We did that too when the cats were kittens, at the bottom of the tree. Of course they were also happy playing with boxes and cabbage leaves. Don't ask, I don't know why. Your pictures made me smile. Sorry about your broken ornaments though!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 12/21/2014 9:02AM

    I cured my cats from climbing the tree by creating a few ornaments out of felt filled with moth balls. The moth balls repel the cats. I usually placed the ornaments in places along the tree center so they would do their work but not be noticed. If you put a zipper on the ornaments side you can replace the moth balls or remove them easily.

My current cat is well mannered. She does enjoy the manager beneath the tree and I added some DeLonghi oil heaters which she loves to cuddle near more than the central heating. I still get heat from them but she gets the cuddle as well.

Your cats are cute and seem to enjoy Christmas! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/21/2014 9:03:22 AM

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RAINBOWFALLS 12/21/2014 9:00AM

    I am so thankful my cats stay out of the tree. The vents on the other hand.... emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 12/21/2014 8:58AM

    My cat Lucy used to do the same thing! She sat on the heat vents and in the room in which she was it was always freezing cold, until I picked her up and put her on my lap.
And oh the cats in the tree!! emoticon
Am I ever happy that my cat doesn't seem to have that urge nor does she have the urge to really be in the house for long periods of time. She's a snow cat!
Happy tree balls!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRACEOMALLEY 12/21/2014 1:20AM

    Well - if you consider the cats are nice things. . . I recall a Christmas when my mom had the tree all in blue and silver glass ornaments - and the four kittens my cat had months earlier climbed the tree and made it fall onto the slate hearth in front of our fireplace. Shattered ornaments all over. Not pretty - but what a tale to tell.

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SUZYMOBILE 12/20/2014 11:39PM

    I'm so impressed that your kitty can climb up and sit in the tree like an owl, without knocking the whole shebang over. You must have either a very light, agile cat or a very sturdy tree.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Bali isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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_UMAMI_ 12/20/2014 11:19PM

    I learned early to put all my felt and wooden ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Good thing that my cats are too old-and/or-fat to climb up tree or be very interested, and the tree is almost too THICK to even penetrate!

I have the opposite problem (in a way) of your heater: my big fuzzy cat* likes to plop in front of the a/c intake, which then gets CLOGGED with his fuzz. (*only cat I've ever had that has fur so thick it includes Arctic-caliber fur between the pads of his paws!)

Happy Solstice Eve!

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NORASPAT 12/20/2014 7:39PM

    Finally I found them. They just have a ball at Christmas. I stuffed fabric ornaments to add to the bottom of the tree, our Siamese just Loved getting them down. Only once did the tree come down. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon

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WINDSWEPTACRES 12/20/2014 6:09PM

    The lowest two rows of branches on our tree get cat-friendly ornaments (non-breakables). There's also a permanent hook in the living room ceiling to tie the tree to. Nonetheless, we'll be recovering ornaments from behind furniture until as least March. emoticon emoticon

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AJDOVER1 12/20/2014 5:21PM

    Yup, I see who's in charge there (here, too!).

No Christmas tree here, unless I put tinsel on the cat tree.

Thanks for making me smile!

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MOM2ACAT 12/20/2014 3:19PM

    My two cats do the same thing with the heat vents, lol!

I haven't had a tree in years because I know they wouldn't stay out of one; I think the only way I could have a tree would be if I could encase it in glass, lol.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/20/2014 2:50PM

    LOL!! "We" can't have nice things? Some "people" apparently can. LOL. You are missing the entire point, GF - obviously you are blessed to have a couple of budding decorators living with you. LOL. I liked the carpet Christmas ornament display. It's unique. And the crew makes excellent ornaments on the tree too. I can relate. My cats were both decorators too. Plus I also had a parrot who was thrilled that we finally were smart enough to have an indoor tree.

The vent reminds me of my grandparents house. They had a huge floor vent in the area by the living room and my grandpa's bedroom and one of us always had our bottoms parked on it when the furnace was on. It was fantastic. I think your crew might be kin to us! LOL.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/20/2014 2:19PM

    How adorable! Such rascals. Thanks for solving all of my issues on my blog. (smiling) I actually sent you an email last week. Think about you fondly and hope things are going well.

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MELYROD18 12/20/2014 1:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RD03875 12/20/2014 1:40PM

    They are so cute but I understand how things go with cats

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KLH702 12/20/2014 1:38PM

    Those buggers! emoticon

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ALICIA214 12/20/2014 1:29PM


Cheeky lot aren't they...?


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Fascinating and simple recipe to try: Pine syrup!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

This stuff is amazing in tea and I'm sure in a bunch of other things I haven't thought of yet.

Following the pine syrup recipe is the recipe for using it in an Alpine Manhattan. I have not yet made this but it sounds wonderful, and would make a lovely holiday beverage. The pine syrup also be worth a try in gin, perhaps -like a gimlet,only pine instead of lime...

This is from November 2014 Food and Wine Magazine:

Pine Syrup
Contributed by Shae Whitney

TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN Plus cooling
SERVINGS: Makes 1 1/2 cups


Fresh pine or spruce needles are the key to this fragrant syrup from herbalist Shae Whitney.

2 cups fresh pine or spruce needles on the branch
6 cups water
1 cup sugar

Pick the pine needles off the branch. Chop the branch into 1-inch pieces and smash lightly with a rolling pin.
In a medium saucepan, combine the needles, chopped branches and water; bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup, 40 minutes. Stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a blender, puree the pine needle mixture for 1 minute. Strain the syrup into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Make Ahead The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Alpine Manhattan

1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounces Pine Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Orange twist, for garnish

Fill a pint glass with ice. Add the bourbon, pine syrup and bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled coupe (*that's like a martini glass) and garnish with the orange twist.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 12/21/2014 9:13AM

    I think pine is high in vitamin C isn't it?

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UUCEEJAY 11/19/2014 10:39PM

    Humm, I will have to try this.

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NORASPAT 11/18/2014 2:16PM

    I am surrounded by pine trees but not too fussy because the sap stinks. HUGS and much love Pat in Maine, emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 11/11/2014 4:25PM

    "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible." Euel Gibbons

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FLORIDASUN 11/10/2014 7:49PM

    Now this sounds AMAZING...I love to try new things...I'm going hunting for a pine tree this weekend! emoticon emoticon

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    I had no idea pines were edible. I learn something new every day thanks to people like you.

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JANEDOE12345 11/9/2014 6:22PM

    You have made this? Is it like drinking Christmas trees?? This does not appeal to me - I somehow think this would be too much like a walk in the woods. Gin is pretty piney on its own (and my drink if choice) and all it needs is a little lime rubbed on the glass to be yummy.

I just can't really imagine this but thank you for sharing.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

PS I leave for Nassau Saturday for a week!

emoticon Cruisin' on the Norwegian line...balcony suite with BFF!

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Okay, time for a new plan.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

All summer - basically early May through now - I work as a landscaper and professional gardener. emoticon I don't have to try to get my 10,000 steps in every day - I usually have them by noon - and I lift just plenty of heavy things, so I honestly don't worry about exercise. Sometimes I watch what I eat or go on a week or so of juicing, emoticon but mostly I eat (and drink, emoticon God help my poor liver) whatever I feel like because it gets used up. I eat a lot of produce because I already paid for my CSA membership. emoticon Unless I actively concentrate on salads and water, I lose a pound here, gain a pound there and am too busy and too tired to get ratcheted up about it all. By the end of summer, I usually weigh about the same, but I'm a whole lot more fit, emoticon and that is true this year as well.

Now comes the difficult part - without all that activity, I have to shift over to changing the eat-whatever-drink-whatever into paying attention to what I ingest or I'll be totally out of control emoticon . I'll reinstate last year's rule (formed when I saw that the bread I like to buy topped $4/loaf) that if I want bread, I have to make it myself. That cuts my carb consumption a whole lot. I have a winter share at the CSA, so I still get lots of good vegetables. emoticon I'll cut way back on the drinking, because my liver will thank me, my wallet will thank me, and it uses up too many calories.

I still love my juicer, but it's just too cold up here to really enjoy a nice big glass of juice in the winter. Vegetable juices, particularly the popular kale-based ones, make a nice base for soup, though. emoticon (I think that's that soup?)

Here's the big part of the plan. I have a sunroom off the kitchen that I've been using as a studio, but I still have a room off the kitchen in the other direction (aka "The Back Room) that doesn't get used for much other than stashing things that would otherwise be the treadmill, tons of miscellaneous tools and art supplies, that sort of thing. I think what I'm going to do is reorganize things so that all the stuff in the sunroom will fit into either the back room or other places in the house - the study can take the sewing machine, the living room can absorb some of the books (the library is full), stuff like that.

Then I'll lug the treadmill emoticon into the sunroom - the stationary bike emoticon is already there, as is the hanging-upside-down table (there is no emoticon for this) - disassemble the weight machine/stepper/Weider thing in the attic and bring it down where I hope I can reassemble it emoticon emoticon . Then all I have to do is round up the various other fitness gadgetry that's all over the house emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon and ta-daaa - home gym!

With the things staring me in the face every time I'm in the kitchen (it's an open plan sort of affair), I'm hoping they'll make me think twice before I do a massive plate of cheese and crackers, and inspire me to work out a regular fitness routine.

And by this time next year, instead of being more or less the same, I'll be emoticon .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 12/21/2014 9:15AM

    Hey, I moved my gym to across from the kitchen too and it works! Right now we have hula hoops beside the dining room table so after dinner or while people are waiting they pick up a hoop. My daughter commented that no one believes her "stories" about her family. Her mother hula hooping in the dining room? Ha! Good plan emoticon emoticon emoticon .

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NORASPAT 11/18/2014 2:11PM

    I missed this just as I missed you.

I was certain you are off the Spark journey. I am here in practice but these days I am learning very little.
I am sure if you had your little gym. I dis assembled mined but I am having a good time with family living with us. They have been here for 8 months now. Our DIL is working while our granddaughter is in school.
Take c are I am off to he next blog. ((((((HUGS))))) Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    This was such a fun blog to read.

I just re-noticed the cool comments you left at my blog, right around Halloween-time. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, my (outside SP) blog keeps me really busy in Sept & Oct. Then November comes and I invariably crash for a little while. They aren't good excuses, but at least the pattern is consistent.

I'm getting back into SP now (because I'll have to to stay motivated to do fitness, etc. now that he bad weather is coming.) I look forward to getting to know you better.

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MT-MOONCHASER 11/10/2014 12:30AM

    Looks like a good plan.


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RAINBOWFALLS 11/6/2014 9:06AM

    I love the plan. I think that emoticon this is a salad, but I could take your vision and see a nice kale based soup. Best of luck

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JANEDOE12345 11/5/2014 7:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Emoticons are so articulate...but you would still know what I mean even if I used words, right?

Comment edited on: 11/5/2014 7:44:33 PM

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AJDOVER1 11/5/2014 6:35PM

    what a great plan! you're my hero! emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 11/5/2014 2:52PM

    I love it!! You have enough stuff for a home gym! Incredible. And you'll get quite the workout getting it all sorted out as well. Nice bonus!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/5/2014 1:26PM

    Once I'm finished with this bizarre world tour, me too, sister!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/5/2014 11:53AM

    I envy your summer job even though it is doubtful I could do it. It would really get me back in line. I need more exercise and need to lose weight and they work against each other. I have to suffer to do either one.

I have to wean myself off of all bread again. he kind I can have is expensive and gluten free but has more calories than regular bread and bread is really not worth the calories. It is too empty calories and carbs.

Beverages with calories have creeped in occasionally too and need to be nixed. I have at least not go into the juice - I'm not allowed to have it. Not into the pureed kind.

I wish I had an area for exercising too. The remodeling is such a mess and I want hubby to get on with it. He takes days off and then wastes them.

I'm a big fat apple right now and hope to get serious soon. I need a keeper. LOL.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 11/5/2014 10:56AM

    I like your plan! Getting all that stuff moved will burn some calories and build some muscle as well. You seem to have an active enough lifestyle most of the time. I too keep busy but not at the volume you do.

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/5/2014 9:38AM

    That is a great plan!! Go for it!!

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KLMEIRING 11/5/2014 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Road rage and other misplaced angers.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I remember years and years ago, my husband and I were going somewhere in the city (Philadelphia), I was driving, and someone cut me off on the Schuylkill Expressway. The fact that the Schuylkill (known locally as the "sure kill") Expressway was moving at all was a miracle. Anyway, he turned to me and said, "Are you going to let him get away with that?" I think I muttered something about, "No, dear, please reach into the back seat and hand me the grenade launcher, will you?" and then he was mad at me for the rest of the afternoon. The point was that a minor traffic discourtesy seemed to escalate to murderous proportions pretty rapidly.

This morning, being up at 5:30 and having nothing better to do for several hours, I decided to go to the grocery. I pulled out onto a main route, seeing that the next car was a good 1/4 mile away, and began going through the gears to get my fifteen year old Betsy (all cars are named Betsy) up to speed. The far-away car immediately appeared in my rear view mirror - meaning he had to be going at least 75 in a 55, because I go this way all the time and know relative speeds and distances - and the driver made a big show of swerving around to pass me, making very rude hand gestures all the while.

I'm usually a pretty easy going person (ignore reports to the contrary) but this time the devil that sits on my left shoulder said, "This clown wants to play? Let's play!" so I came up behind him, only slightly closer than one would normally (and nowhere near as close as he was to the driver ahead of him.) He started frantically making rude gestures and - this is the interesting part, to me - raised a half-filled water bottle out of his sun roof. I didn't even understand the threat - you're heading to the OK Corral armed with...half a water bottle? "I'll get you wet!!!" Oooookay. It made me laugh, and unfortunately he saw that, which made him all the madder. He gestured rudely with *both hands* - leaving him steering with....his knees? He took the top off his weapon on choice... and poured water all over his own car and probably his passenger and himself. I guess that showed me!

When we arrived at the grocery, I put on my turn signal in plenty of time for him to see that I was turning off and going about my business. He briefly turned on his signal as well, but then I suppose decided not to get into it with this obvious lunatic and went on to work, or wherever else one goes at 7:00 a.m.

Sure, I guess he could have thrown his water bottle at me and maybe, *maybe* broken my windshield, but I had his car description and his license number, so that wouldn't have ended well for him.

The part that bothered me was the idea that so many people have so much fury built up inside them that having an innocent middle-aged woman pull out in front of them, forcing them to slow from 75 to 55 mph, is sufficient cause for over-the-top anger and aggression. Really? Was it my impudence, his inchoate rage, his passenger saying, "Are you going to let her get away with that?"

I guess I think that life, no matter how long it may last, is too short to get so wound up about nothing. I did the man no damage, didn't even slow his progress to wherever his destination may have been. All I did was inadvertently raise his blood pressure to the exploding point. I honestly feel a little sorry for anyone who is so miserable, that such a teensy, unintentional gaffe instantly escalates to a potentially life-threatening incident.

What's wrong with us, as a society, that this is considered normal and acceptable behavior? No one holds doors anymore (not just for women, but for a man with arms full as well), no one happily waits in a line. Everyone seems to be so all-encompassingly self-oriented that when others fail to notice around whom the Universe obviously revolves, they are immediately ready to throw down the gauntlet.

I'm not longing for days gone by. Just read my summer's worth of Jane Austen, and people were forever throwing down gauntlets, real and imagined. I just wish we'd all simmer down little and be more willing to overlook things. We're not exactly perfect ourselves, you know? (And for the one person who might respond "Speak for yourself, missy!", I sincerely salute you.)

(NB: if someone ever does follow you in a threatening manner, do not go home or anywhere else. Drive directly to the nearest police station, laying on the horn. I guarantee your pursuer will get a well-deserved welcome there.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 9/27/2014 1:42PM

    Well...the way I look at it (and I AM some what of an expert) living in the la~la land of FL where 80% of the drivers are over-medicated and the other 20% are new drivers with SERIOUS chips on their shoulders toward the 80%! It's not worth the fray. I used to get incensed when driver's did STUPID things...but now I realize that I do STUPID things from time to time and have to pay homage. Besides..there are so MANY serious crazies out there I don't even want to get in their cross hairs. I'd say the guy had a serious testosterone problem or was showing off for his passenger. Needless to say he was an idiot...I give idiots wide berth..there is no reasoning...or winning with them...I see it every day in our consignment gallery. It's not worth getting my panties in a wad...but it would have been good entertainment seeing the water bottle weapon! emoticon

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AJDOVER1 9/5/2014 6:20PM

    Yeah, road ragers around here are armed with guns so I don't play with them.

I'm glad you survived the trip to the grocery. The riskiest place I drive is past the elementary school in my neighborhood. There have been tragedies. I pray for people -- don't know if it helps them, but it makes me feel a bit better.

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MOM2ACAT 9/5/2014 4:45PM

    I agree, it seems like people in general are always in a hurry, and not just on the roads. People are low on patience when they have to wait for anything it seems.

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BETHGILLIGAN 9/5/2014 8:37AM

    Road rage killings are not that unusual here in N VA. Everybody is way too stressed and way too self centered. It can be scary out there!! Back in my younger days I, too, got bent out of shape over someone else's poor driving but as a mature, retired woman I realize life is too short. We will all get to our destinations!

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_UMAMI_ 9/5/2014 12:36AM

    Oh Dear! I can relate....

I have a long stretch of road I've had to drive for YEARS (almost a decade!) to my youngest son's school, and the people on that road are frequently, um, I'll use the M-word instead of the A-one, "macho". (or maybe, malligned? misinformed? maladjusted? malevolent? misogynist? Mental? Ok, I'm having too much fun with this, onward...)

I'll admit, I've used my windshield wiper fluid to give a "heads-up" to the person behind me, when I can no longer see them in my side view mirrors. Sometimes they "get it" and back off.

Sometimes they just get mad, and go TWENTY miles over the speed limit, so they can spray me back.


My favorite tactic is to just lay off the gas and slow down. And sip my mug of coffee, and turn up the radio. And let them move AWAY FROM ME....My mantra on the road tends to be, "The more space between you and me, the better off we will be."


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HIPPICHICK1 9/5/2014 12:00AM

    Oh road rage! Thou art so silly; as silly as threatening one with a water bottle.
One time, this guy punched my passenger window because he thought I cut him off in a parking lot. What really happened was I couldn't stop on the ice and I was waving frantically at him trying to signal to him with hands and horn that I couldn't stop for him. When I finally did stop it was to insert my ticket into the machine, and the window puncher got out of his car, approached the passenger side, freaked out, punched at the window, called me all sorts of very untrue things as a gazed in my rear view mirror pitying the woman in the passenger seat and wondering if this was her carpool guy or husband. Hoping for the former.
War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'.

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    ROFLMBO!! Sooooooooooo funny!! A water bottle? OMG!! He would not last 5 minutes in our area.

I once had a loaded gun pointed at ME by an irate nut while I was driving. Of course a humongous Marine saw it, forced him off the road, and almost beat him to death with his own gun while explaining to him rather impolitely about the significance of gun pointing. The Marine broke the man's windshield and side window out first before he pulled the guy out of his car and crushed him into the pavement. Then the police came, declared the Marine a hero, and slammed the pistol pointer into the cruiser. I almost felt guilty for not driving right.

We have a maximum security prison on every corner and some nice former inmate would have no problem running your water bottler threatener off the road, taking his water bottle away from him, and shoving it up his butt.

I hate road rage but some people are really asking for a good lesson and this guy got it.

Comment edited on: 9/5/2014 10:53:51 AM

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FRABBIT 9/4/2014 5:39PM

  It seems patience is a trait that it is going away. We are always in a rush and so angry when someone gets in our way. It is something I really try to reflect on. Is a few minutes going to make a big difference - and maybe if I planned ahead I wouldn't be in such a rush.

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/4/2014 5:24PM

    I have several situations a day and realize that people make up their own driving rules. I've had so many times when the other driver does something and then gets mad at me like it's my fault. I have to put my patience hat on each time I leave home. People are not people anymore. Too self-centered. Also, I've done a few angry moments on the road as a result of this type of thing, but have since substantially corrected my anger as many are packing and kill over this type of thing. No kidding.

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It's been a wild and wooly summer.

Monday, September 01, 2014

I ran away from SP in the spring when I inexplicably gained weight. I've since learned that that's a silly thing. The next week I'd lost it again, whether by whim of weight or scale. We weigh what we weigh - it has as much to do with our overall happiness as our specific gravity.

So...lessons learned...friends aren't necessarily those that you've had the longest. I "broke up" with a friend of nearly 40 years because when I asked something of her, for another person in serious peril, she refused, and I realized that if we met today, we'd be acquaintances at best. I miss her daily, but I don't see the point going back.

After a five - maybe six - year break from landscaping, I discovered that I can still do the work. Not as fast as I could ten years ago, but every bit as well. And when some 30 year old boy said that I didn't do as much of the "heavy work" as others, I had the sense to call him on it - what kind of 30 year old man says a woman old enough to be his mother, maybe his grandmother, doesn't do the heavy lifting as well as he? I can still do it, just not as fast, and the only reason that lad has a job is because I know this.

I've also realized that I am...humbled to admit it...I am turning 60 this year (2015). None of the other "milestone" birthdays hit me this hard. I want to book a trip to Mexico or the Bahamas or someplace where my daughters and I can celebrate my croning, rather than being alone in my snow-belt home. At first I thought this was frivolous, but the more I think about it,the more appealing it becomes.

Ive considered remarrying, but realize that, for me, marriage, like childbearing and rearing, is a part of my life that I loved wholeheartedly, but that is over. If I remarry, it'll be for money, and that'll be upfront.

I've decided that rather than take some stupid minimum wage job, I'm going to spend the winter writing my book - or finishing one of the half-dozen I've started - and give it a decent chance to succeed. APPLEPIEAPPLE, I can't tell you how much joy your comment brought to me.

I've sold off a hunk of my farm in order to pay for insulating my house. Last winter I literally cried - and if you know me, you know that I'm not a weepy sort - when I was cold to the bone day after day after day. The dog's water bowl froze over in the dining room. I swore I wouldn't do it again, and I won't. If I decide to move in the spring, so be it, but I won't be chased away.

I guess the most important thing that I've finally learned is that *everyone's* life is full of trials - that's the point, or the commonality, of being human.

I've tried to reach out to family that was estranged when i didn't hold a "proper" funeral for my husband. I've also realized that if they don't accept the olive branch, it's not my story, but theirs.

Other than learning the difference between a cistern well and a "dug"well, I guess that's my summer.

I hope yours was lovely.

Please, bring me up to speed on my cherished (truly) friends here on SP.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 9/27/2014 1:29PM

    Hey my beautiful friend! Soooo happy you are back at the blogs! I've missed you muchly! I'm cuddling up to 63 in January and in my head I'm just as capable and full of sass as ever. I mean hauling around sofa beds and moving armoires for the consignment shoppe isn't for the faint hearted now is it? It's all in a days work...yes...slower...yes...crankie
r...but I still get ur' done!

I would have slapped that young whipper snapper for a comment like that! What an idiot! I'd ask him if he'd smart mouth his mom with a comment like that!

I say GO for it on the book! I also say...don't marry for money...make your OWN!

I have a feeling we are two peas in a pod on the writing front. Perfectionism is NOT a happy characteristic to have. That's why they have editors my friend. I can't write a sentence without editing it 30 times wonder nothing ever moves along.

See my cool New Orleans blog where I had my cards read by a bonified warlock no less...the cards may be a WHOLE lot smarter than I am on the writing front.

You have the talent, now you have the time...get that book written...I want to read it..right now! sure to work a character into the fray like that sassy landscaping guy...I'd make sure he gets knocked off fairly quickly! emoticon can't kill em...except in a REALLY good plot line...know what I'm saying? emoticon

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SUSANNAH31 9/7/2014 4:37PM

    Welcome!! I am so glad to see you back again.

And I am all for a warm weather venue for your 60th birthday --with or without your daughters.
How about a warmer weather venue for year-round living?

Sixty is a landmark birthday, for sure.
This is as young as you are ever going to be again, so enjoy it.
I am celebrating my 70th this winter.
I tell myself it beats the alternative.
There is nothing to do but accept it - with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.
I try very hard not to act my age.

I am glad you are doing what is necessary to take care of yourself. And if that means you sell off part of your property, so be it.
Heating in the winter is a must have item.
It is a very sad tale you tell about that frozen water dish.

I have a couple of good friends who are divorced - and have been single for several years now.
They would like to have a man around to be able to 'be a couple' at times when that is required socially. But neither of them wants to get married again.
While they would appreciate the companionship now and then, they like the freedom of being single and not having to live with someone -- and all the compromises that go along with that.

I hope you get to follow through on your idea of writing a novel this year. We would all love to cheer you on. I, for one, have purchased every book you wrote and told us about - and enjoyed reading them.

Take care.


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HIPPICHICK1 9/4/2014 11:47PM

    Dear Scooter,
It's so good to hear about your summer!
I too have found that sometimes, even though breaking up is hard to do, it's the right thing to do too. People DO change. Also I heard our noses keep growing as we age, so that thing I just said about changing is totally true.
30 year old men don't sound as bright these days as they ought to, IMHO.
If you go to Mexico for your birthday, let me know. If I win the lottery I'll meet up with you there.
Marrying for money: what other reason could possibly be better?!
I'm glad to hear that you are insulating your house. I can picture you now, warm and toasty in front of your typewriter, writing away with critters all around your feet that have water bowls full of water instead of blocks of ice.
We are insulating our house too. JF made a great start on it and he's going to make a huge effort to get it done this year. Yay!!
I've been working like crazy all summer. I've made zillions of pots and spent too much time inside. Next summer things are going to be different! I've been writing a lot of notes about how to achieve that.
The summer was late and not as warm as I would have liked but still I had some great days of swimming and tomorrow is another opportunity to frolic in the lake.
Sending you much love,

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JUSTYNA7 9/3/2014 11:41AM

    It happens. We go off the path in search of a better, different one.. or just feel tired of this one.

The Writing Diet is started up again with a small group so should you wish to join in at any time you are welcome. I'm sending out a weekly email to the team to consider wriring about or commenting on. You can lurk or participate as you like.

I too am looking at a possibility of doing my writing full force. I have a few things in the next 2 weeks to complete and then should be able to work hard at it for three months. An extended Nanowrimo. The book right now seems like a priority to me. Like my daughter wanting to finish her degree. I'm sure I could do other writing but for ME I have to finish this. I lost my finished book in cyberspace. Hubby tried to find it and did... in bits and pieces. I'm sure there is a reason to have to start again. I had written every Nanowrimo for 5 years so the beginning was a learning process. Last year I tried to rewrite it and I noticed improvements. DD did a quick review as I wanted to submit the first 10,000 words to someone... and she had some very good critisisms. I could start again... or continue from where I am and finish and then do the rewrite a final time. Long novel. It was over 250,000 words when I finished the frist time but a great story. I just am not sure I'm the writer I want to be. Or the writers I love. Hence the writing diet.. and the verbal diarhea here. Ha! OK. I'm supporting your writing desires. That's all I really wanted to say. Justyna

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MOM2ACAT 9/2/2014 6:29PM

    Welcome back!

Beautifully worded blog, and I think you should plan that trip!

I had my own "milestone" birthday last fall, when I turned 50.

My summer has been busy with medical appointments; seeing different doctors, and also a colonscopy and 2 endoscopies, and also bone and CT scans. Right now I am in kind of "limbo" because my oncologist is considering putting me back on I.V chemo, so I am awaiting his decision on that. Thankfully, this is a week with no appointments for me!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 9/2/2014 10:26AM

    Fantastic! Your Back! Glad to hear from you. I am 63 and will turning 64 this December. I, too, might move a bit slower but can still get things done. Turning 30 was the toughest for me. I felt I was joining the enemy. LOL. The sixties gotta love them. But since then each decade has been just another year. Although I did just recently formally do my will, power of attorney, and living will.

I, also, had a longtime friend with which I cut ties. In my case, the friend, who always use me as her back up friend, made the mistake of using me to cheat on her husband and assumed I'd be ok with it. That is when I cut the cord.

Glad to hear you are writing again. I am now starting my second book. Thanks! emoticon

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FRABBIT 9/2/2014 10:08AM

  So glad to have you back.

I can't believe how quickly summer has passed.

I definitely think you should go away for your birthday. It is a celebration and you should not think of that as frivolous or if it is who cares. Life can not always be about practicality.

Took a cruise in June for my birthday and the disconnect from the stress is exactly what I needed.

Recently someone on Spark shared this quote.

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement - BIll Watterson.
It really stuck with me though I haven't figured out how to do this as yet. That is my goal.

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BETHGILLIGAN 9/2/2014 8:57AM

    I can't tell you how happy I am that you are back!! I have missed you tremendously!! I am now 63 and the 60th also hit me hard. I had a lot of depression and began to notice my aging body more. Not pretty! I've come to accept what I have to but continue to struggle with that number. I have gained a lot of weight which is also making me feel old. I am working on that and hope to at least stop the gain and get more toned so I don't look/feel so old.
I've had a really busy summer---finally got to visit London and spent a short time in Ireland. Great trip!!! A life long wish of mine and finally fulfilled!! I can die happy! emoticon
I have few friends also. I just never seem to want to put in the work it takes to keep up the relationships. But, I complain that I don't have any friends! I've never much enjoyed girls night out or girls weekend, etc. My daughter and I have gotten very close and hubby and I do a lot together. I feel satisfied and content where I am.
So glad to hear you will focus on your writing!! That will make you much happier and, hopefully, will be financially good for you too!
I know how you love that farm. But, I have to agree with some of the others: do you really need it? Seems like a lot more worry, time, taxes, etc. Being warm is more important, I think.
Well, Scooter, I've "known" you a long time and it seems like you are in the best frame of mind ever. I can't tell you how happy that makes me!!!!

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DOKEYOKEY 9/2/2014 8:08AM

    Wow -- Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability. I am hoping that all parts of your life get LOTS easier -- companionship, nourishment, funding, and work! I am rooting for you. And YES, write that book!!!

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_RAMONA 9/2/2014 12:10AM

    This is one of the most beautiful blogs I have read in a very long time. I subscribed just before you 'left'. I'm so glad you're back, and I hope that we may become friends.

I hope I can learn to be as gracious as are you.


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AJDOVER1 9/1/2014 11:35PM

    I'm so glad to see you! I love your blogs and I'm happy you're still alive and kicking!

Be well and please stay here

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AJDOVER1 9/1/2014 11:35PM

    I'm so glad to see you! I love your blogs and I'm happy you're still alive and kicking!

Be well and please stay here

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_UMAMI_ 9/1/2014 10:46PM

You're back! So good to hear about your changes, and, for this about-to-turn-fifty-year-old (2015), such words of wisdom.

Things have been really bad here, but, then again, there are such bright spots (my kids shining, my parents still alive and well, a huge oak tree does NOT fall on my house), that life continues to amaze me.

Yes! Work on your book(s)! You have a gift for words, and to withhold would be selfish. Now that you will have heat, tend to that inner garden of yours this Winter.

And I'm sure the critters will be much happier, too.....

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    Ah, so good to have my buddy back. You have been missed.

I can relate to the gaining of weight but not the losing of it right back. That doesn't happen for me. I practically have to donate an organ to lose. At any rate, the last sentence in your first paragraph is right on.

I broke up years ago with a friend that I have had the longest relationship with. Another friend who seemed to break up with me over and over for years on end may have broken up with me for good. The reasons for the former were mine. She has profound psychological problems and eventually she became very critical of me. I couldn't do anything right. I started to weigh everything I said to her like I was talking to a minister or the police. I finally saw how toxic things had become. I backed away and hid. The friend that broke up with me had psychological problems too. Do I collect these people? I finally realized that the relationship was important in my head only - obviously not hers. At my age I have come to feel that what will be will be. Hate the song but it is the truth. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a friend. I'm flawed.

I sometimes wonder if I could work back up to my former job speed but I seriously doubt it. I have reached a point where I have been there and done that and have no further need to prove myself. I think you are there too. A strong back isn't everything, as your 30 year old man with the weak mind will someday know.

Ah, 60. I had the same reaction. I didn't have to feel seniorish until that 60 year point. I don't actually feel a senior but I know I am one and I do avail myself of the discounts, meager that they sometimes are. I'm 62 now. I can no longer rationalize that my life isn't half over. LOL.

I don't know that if and/or when I lose my husband I will want another. I'm not really that hard to get along with but other people are. LOL.

I think selling part of the farm off to be more comfortable is the right thing to do. I know it hurts but what were you going to do with it? Sometimes I wish I had more land and a bigger house and then I think - Why? I don't need more to take care of. It's hard to take care of what I already have.

I think it's nice that you are trying to reach out to family. I make more of an effort too but when I put my hand out there I expect them to come half way. If they don't, it's their loss.

I am glad to see you getting back to your book.

As far as me, we spent 3 months nursing little Reekie to lose him on August 23. It tore part of hubby's and my heart out but he is better off now. Not suffering.

I'm fat and ready to get control of my life. Unlike most people who seem to start things at the first of the year I start things at this time so it's back to basics for me.

Comment edited on: 9/1/2014 10:10:01 PM

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/1/2014 9:08PM

    So nice to see you here again, Scoot. I have been through the mill in the past month or two, meeting landscapers for front and backyard xeriscaping. I never would've guess they'd be the hardest bunch of prima donnas I've ever met. I could write a book on them. As always, I've had similar experiences to those you've described in your blog. Remarry for money is the best. I've thought of that as well, but really don't want to do all the stuff that goes with taking care of a grown up child that many men are. It takes a special breed to deal with a strong, independent woman and I'm most certainly not going to meet him here in SoCal. Big hug.

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WILSONWR 9/1/2014 9:05PM

    Welcome back! I just turned 62 this year, and I can out-walk most of the 30 and 40 year olds. You're only as old as you act. Act like a kid, and you will remain young at heart. Happy birthday!

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NORASPAT 9/1/2014 8:43PM

    Scooter I am soooooooooooooooo!! Happy to see you come back.
I have had a Stressful year thanks to the DSS Upstate NY . I have blogged it almost every day.
You can catch it on my blog page but it will probably be very old news. Days change I have made them change.
I was hoping to have at least one trip in our RV instead it became home for our Plattsburgh grandson. Our Granddaughter was forced to go to Summer school and so after spending the last 12 summers with me I have had her for less than a week.
Our son drove over and he stayed 2 nights. First time he did not work till now.
Still too much to harp on but the minute I saw you are back I am a bit happier. HUGS and MUCH love Pat in Mainer. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/1/2014 8:45:45 PM

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/1/2014 8:40PM

    It's good to see you again. Go for it: working on a book should be challenging in all of the right kinds of ways and keep you in a mental place where you won't solace yourself with sweets.

Best wishes!

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CRUISEGAL55 9/1/2014 7:57PM

    Thanks for bringing us up to date. I am fairly new to SP. I, too, am a single woman sliding into 60 (April 2015). I appreciate your openness about releasing your friend of 40yrs. I recently released a 20yr friendship. I actually miss her less then I expected.
I highly recommend a warm weather trip for your birthday!

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