Wednesday, September 17, 2014

a bit of an oversight

We were headed home, just another nice day on the path.

Just as we were about to climb an extra steep portion, I felt a *pop*, more of a *jam* really.  All I know is that it was totally immobilizing and I wasn't able to barely move anymore.  In excrutiating pain, I pulled over to the side.  

Still, I didn't think it was that bad.  Maybe if I just sat for a bit and collected myself, we'd be back in business soon.  But the more I sat and tried to work out the kink, the more it became apparent that I might need some first aid.

As I sat there, a bit frustrated and embarrassed, a smooth running, fit male appeared on the path and pulled over.  My first thought was, "Oh sh*t, I'm filthy and in a sorry state.  Please, just keep going".

But no, he offered to help.  HE had a little first aid kit with him.  As he produced it from a little pack, I realized that it looked much like the kit at home sitting on our shelf.  A lot of good that was doing us!

In the end, he had what I needed.  But the whole process of examining the problem and taking steps to mend it enough for me to make it home only served to highlight what a sorry state I was in.  

I hadn't bathed in a while, parts of me were loose that should've been tight, parts of me were tight that should've been loose.  There were flecks of dirt, old and new, adorning my whole body.  As thankful as I was for the assistance, it was all a bit  humiliating.

At least it wasn't all lost on Abby.  After all, it was HER fault.

Soon after we arrived and limped into the house, she gave me a warm bath, all the while whispering little apologies.  Then she left me behind in my repose - how ironic - to get some personal care items for me.

She returned and gave me a little home TLC.  It wasn't quite as nice and thorough as the annual spa treatments she schedules, but I felt SO much better afterward.  Too bad I had to break down on the path for her to get her rear in gear.

About frickin' time!


Note to self:  I need to do more for Bella than just take her in for annual tune-ups if I want to avoid her being publicly humiliated and throwing shade at me on the internet.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

(Blogger always tells me that "liningness" isn't a word.  See if I care.)

Mid-September is upon us.  This is a big test weekend for a few tutees.  With that, my schedule opens up a bit now, so that's a nice thing.  It's now on to the next test in October, then things should quiet down nicely.  I'm ready for a break and have been doing well in saying "no" in nice ways.

Both Chaco and Wolfgang graced us with their presences this week, stopping by for haircuts (and dinner... and money...), so that's always nice.  Chaco is continuing to work a little this semester, so he's not as broke as in semesters past.  Still, I don't want to see him become frivolous.  He left a dre$$ shirt with a colleague over the summer, and probably won't see it again.  He says, "Ah, I've got money, I'll just get another one".  Yeah, okay, whatever.  But I bought that first one!

Ah well, speaking of new stuff, Meego is in the process of getting a new-to-him computer.  It's Wolfgang's ex, and it's slowly coming together.

Meet "Potato"

Up until now, Meego has always just used an old cast-off laptop for school work, so he's quite happy at the prospect of having a new-to-him desktop.  Can you see the window into Potato's soul?  

Hopefully Meego and Potato will have a long and productive friendship.  Potato was replaced by "Hot Fudge", Wolfgang's ridiculously large and imposing new desktop.  I don't have a  photo of Hot Fudge as it's gone back to the dorm, but it also has a window to the soul that is rather intimidating.

Speaking of school, I'd say we've all settled into a nice routine now.  Summer frolicking is nice, but I like routine for the most part. On that note, my right hand is nearly back to normal, and the bees have thankfully left me alone.

I'd say something about that just being the bees knees, but nah...

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I'd run several miles with her, yet I didn't know anything about her.  Other than that she'd signed up for the same event I had, and her pace pretty much matched my own.  Otherwise, she was a closed book.

She ran like a machine,  Her feet - left-right-left-right-left-right - scratching out a steady rhythm, her arms moving in methodical accordance.  But the most noticeable thing about her, I thought, were her eyes.  SO focused.

She kept her gaze straight in front, fully fixed on her goal.

It was the Half on the Fourth half marathon.  I was enjoying myself well enough as it seemed like a fun thing to do on the holiday.  Supposedly, Wolfgang would've been in the pack somewhere ahead of me, but as it happened, I was going solo.

By the halfway point, we were pretty spread out and I was with the people I would likely spend the rest of the race with.  We were familiar enough with each other by then, speaking little words of encouragement to each other.

Another woman was tall and blond, her ponytail bobbing to the beat.  She seemed a bit Barbie-dollish to me at first, but we ended up chatting a bit as we plodded along, and she was actually pleasant company.

Ms. Focus?  Nothing.  She was seemingly in her own world.  Plus, she was wearing earbuds, so if I'd said something to her, I doubt she would've heard me.  She ran so methodically, I was curious as to what she was streaming.  Music?  Motivational speech?  Religious sermon?

By about mile 11, the bad parade had spread out even more, but Ms. Focus and I had been running together for quite some time - sometimes I was in front, sometimes she was - but we were never more than 10 yards or so apart.  Cool Barbie was a few yards ahead.

By then, it was hot and getting hotter.  The nervousness and excitement was long gone, and it was just a matter of finishing up.  So I was pretty much on auto pilot by then, just following the path.  We were running through a stretch of boonies - no aid stations, no place really for spectators

At one point, it suddenly hit me.  Where was the train of people in front of me as I looked down the path?  Right at that moment, I heard...


I turned to see Ms. Focus, standing on a bridge that had branched off to our left several yards behind me.

site of the save

"I think we go this way", she directed.

I looked across in the direction the bridge headed. Sure enough, there was Cool Barbie and the rest of the train.

"Oh, wow, thanks!  That woulda sucked, huh??", I said in gratitude as I doubled back to the bridge.

But by then, it was lost.  Ms. Focus was back in her world, earbuds firmly rooted in place.

We continued on to the finish.  Of the three of us, we would cross Cool Barbie, Ms. Focus, and me.  In that order.  I found Cool Barbie in the snack laden gazebo while I grabbed a most delicious orange.  We chatted a bit, wished each other a happy fourth, and continued with our respective holidays.

But, where was Ms. Focus?  I wanted to commend her run, but mainly, I wanted thank her again for saving me at the bridge.  But she was nowhere to be found.  *POOF*, like that she was gone.

She was real... wasn't she??


Linking up with Mama Kat again this week, for the prompt:

2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: goals.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

working it out

I've been tagged!  Sorta...

Riot Kitty did this meme and tagged everybody, then Joey did it and tagged everybody, so I think I'm somewhere in that Venn diagram intersection.

It's a meme for writers.  I don't really consider myself a "writer", but like Joey says, if you have a blog, it counts.  So, here goes.

1) What are you currently working on?
Oh, y'know... laundry and stuff.  But, I think this question was actually addressing writing projects. *ahem*.  

Interestingly enough, I do a fair amount of writing for school, which is a bit different than typical engineering coursework. But it's a management program, so I guess we're supposed to be able to articulate and communicate techie things.  Instead of having to answer questions that start with, "What is the solution to..." or "Find the result of...", my classwork asks things that start with "Discuss..." or "Elaborate on..." or "Describe..."

For that, I think the rambling on the blog has been helpful.  Many years ago, when I first started blogging, I remember Wolfgang asking what I was doing.  I told him, "I'm maintaining my skills for talking to grownups".  

2) How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
Back to this blog - I'm not sure I really have a genre.  I started blogging when we first moved here, and our kids were little, and I didn't know anyone.  I named it "AbbyNormal" because I often felt out of place as a housewife in white collar suburbia.  I don't fit the soccer mom stereotype,  and I'm totally content about that.

It was later that I learned of blogs of specific genres.  Mom blogs, running blogs, fish keeping blogs, bicycling blogs, cooking blogs, travel blogs, movie blogs...  Mine can be any of those on a given day.  

The thing I like about blogging is that I think it's made me more observant.  There are funny, interesting, thought provoking, inspiring, sweet things happening all around us.  Having a blog helps me to be more aware of them.  I do avoid blogging about divisive issues like politics or religion, although I do have pretty strong opinions.  

, I stopped for a pit stop at my friendly local bike shop on the commute home today (really, they encourage such things.  Who am I to argue?).  I snapped a pic of their tp holder for no other reason than to post it here.  Cute, eh?  It's a head tube with front forks, complete with quick release!

3) Why do you write what you write?
So readers would not  mistake me for a typical white collar suburban soccer mom?  That's kind of what's going on, I suppose.  My white collar housewife-of-suburbia rebellion.

It's also a nice way to meet other bloggers with similar interests.  Can't get that with a private journal.

4) Describe your writing process.
Blog posts are usually the result of experiencing something that I deem as blogworthy.  Maybe it's a trip with the family, or achievement of some goal, or some stupid mishap, or a search for advice.  Like I said, having a blog helps me think about being more observant and/or creative which leads me to appreciating "little things" that I might not otherwise appreciate....

like getting stung by a %&#*ing bee and losing the use of my hand for a couple of days.   It's a "make this fun" challenge!

YOUR turn.  If you read this and you have a blog... You're IT!!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Magnum is watching the Bronco game. I think most people in my neck of the woods are just happy to NOT be watching last year's Superbowl.

This was a good, but short week because of Monday's holiday.  I felt like I was playing catch-up all week, but I'm happy to say I'm, for the most part, caught up.

My dad had a health scare yesterday.  I thought for a while that it could be "the big one", but he's improved.  I will say that his and my mom's days on this earth are not long, and I just want them to be comfortable and relatively happy.  And that's all I care to say about that...

ANYWAY, in other silver liningness, I worked on getting our house back to my minimalistic ways since Chaco and Wolfgang took their stuff back to their dorms.  One major hurdle was getting this giganto TV out of our rec room.  It's about a 36" old style box that weighs a bunch of pounds.

Chaco and Wolfgang were home for a bit over last weekend, so we took advantage and had them help get it out of the basement.  It now sits in the garage while we try to figure out how to get rid of it.  I will gladly give it away to anyone who wants it.  Know anyone??

I'm also happy to say that I've gone four straight days now without being stung by a bee.  I definitely hope the streak lasts!  I'm starting to feel a bit better, not quite 100%, but just about a quart low.  I don't know what it is about the bee juice that has such an affect on me.

My hand is still not quite recognizable as one that belongs on the end of my arm.  I'm a rather "veiny" person - side note:  I once had a phlebotomist roll up my sleeve and exclaim, "Oh, it's like Christmas!".   There are currently no visible veins on the alien fat right hand.

But it has improved, I can hold stuff now.  The neck sting has mellowed to where it now just resembles a tentative hickey.  But I'm still dealing with the itchies, so waaah.

My horoscope today said something about my friends sticking by me despite my shortcomings in the upcoming week.  So... might want to prepare...


Friday, September 5, 2014

attacked 2, the sequel

On Wednesday, I was once again bicycling along, my neck all a-itch from Tuesday's bee attack.  I was thinking I could use a "counter irritant".  My step-father-in-law introduced us to that term.  He's a retired medical doctor, and he confessed to sometimes administering treatments for the sole purpose of giving patients something unpleasant to deal with in order to take their mind off the primary unpleasant thing.

"A shot of milk in the butt usually did the trick"

So as I was thinking that I wouldn't like a shot of milk in the butt, nature provided my counter irritant.  In the form of yet another bee!  Really??

This one viciously attacked my right hand.  Divebombed me similarly to the first bee bully, plunging its stinger all the way through my glove.  I had to pull over, remove my glove, then remove the hammering stinger.  By then, the damage was done.

I hoped I had efficiently cut off the nasty thing, and that there would be little lasting effects. But by yesterday afternoon, the telltale poofiness had begun

By this morning, my hand had taken on a certain club-like appearance

I'd say it worked, I've hardly been bothered by the neck mound since.  

But enough already!  I can't remember the last time I was bee stung before this, and here I am with two stings in two days.  I've rarely been a fan of sequels.

I think I'm ready to say good-bye to summer now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Joeys Pad

I'm going to invoke Joey's call for a Weekend Wobbly, renaming it a "Wednesday Wobbly".  This is aimed at the vampire bee that attacked me yesterday, although he's most certainly dead by now.

There I was, enjoying my ride home on a lovely day when, from my left blazed a kamikaze vampire bee!  I have no idea what I did to provoke him, but I think, based on the attack, he'd been plotting this for a while.  He probably stalked me for days.  That's what I get for not varying my route.

So I was just happily riding along, and WA-PANG!, that vampire dive-bombed me and rammed his stinger right into my neck, probably going for my jugular!  I was shocked out of my calm, and sent into all, WTH?! mode.

My initial thought was that I'd been hit by a bee, yeah okay.  But then I could feel that telltale sign of bee poison pumping into my body and was all, "It dive-bombed me, stinger first??"  So I scratched at the site while continuing to pedal in order to remove any such stinger.  The pumping sensation abated, so I figured I got it.

Then I lodged into all worse-case-scenario mode.  I am a bit sensitive to bee stings, but nothing too serious.  But who knows when I might get sensitive enough and go into full anaph.. annaphyl....aphyla...  I might start getting all puffy and unable to breathe!

To make matters worse (in my mind), yesterday, I uncharacteristically had forgotten to bring my wallet in my bike bag.  I NEVER forget my wallet, but yesterday I somehow did.  So I was already in a bit of a panic.  What if I got a flat?  What if I crashed?  What if....?  I had no money, no identification.  I would end up a puffed up, homeless Jane Doe!

Plus, I had to go tute in a couple of hours, it would take me nearly that long just to walk home from where I was!  But as I got closer to home, my panic subsided.  I'd also realized that if I was going to get all puffed up and die, it would've happened by then.

I was certain that there was no stinger doing mean things to me anymore.  In fact, I don't think the stinger had gotten embedded very well in the first place, so it had released its grip pretty readily, sending only a mini amount of vampire bee venom.

When I first got home, it was hardly even noticeable.

This morning, it's a bit more lumpy

As I said, I don't know what I did to provoke him, maybe he was just having a bad month and I was a handy target.  So let me just say that I do appreciate the bees of the world.  For their contributions to the continuation of humankind and for their impressive work ethic.  My computer is even named "Clover" (but that's kind of another story).

Rest In Peace, kamikaze Vampire Bee.