Sunday, November 27, 2016


Since I'm still on a bit of a break, I thought I'd get out my art toys and play some Illustration Friday, where the prompt this week is "Tape".

I ventured into the waters of Manga style, which isn't really my thing, but every now and then, ya just gotta live on the edge!

In manga drawings, "...characters often have large eyes (female characters usually have larger eyes than male characters), small noses, tiny mouths, and flat faces..."

I've seen many a manga drawing from amateurs that are quite good, and I understand manga comic books are pretty popular.  I don't know if I can pull it off so well though,  I'll leave it to the youngsters.

But, I had no other inspiration for "Tape", and now I've got something to show I care.

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, and we enjoyed the food, some Best Buy hordes, and a bit of board gaming.

As I've mentioned, the trek to Best Buy just started out a few years ago as a destination for get-outta-the-house walk on Thanksgiving and has become sort of a tradition.   We weren't there for door-busting, just showed up after the fact.  As for me, I mainly enjoy the people watching.

It was pretty crowded, but the store set up extra register lines and everyone was just so darn polite.  Lots of, "excuse me", "thanks", "after you", "you go ahead", etc as customers trucked huge carts of TVs and such around.  Really, people were buying multiple TVs - 4 or 5 to a cart.  I didn't even check the prices, but maybe they were deals?

We managed to emerge a while later without spending anything except for Meego, who did get a good deal on a computer monitor.  Wolfgang had some things in his sights, but none were on sale.  That's the way the Thanksgiving door busters bust.

Meego's monitor is a nice step up from his previous one, which isn't saying much.  I oohed and aahed over the resolution and then asked Meego if he wanted to join us in the *smirk* "real outside".

In movie news, Magnum and I watched Moonrise Kingdom, yet another quirky Wes Anderson production. I liked it in a quirky Wes Anderson kinda way.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

thank goodness!

Thanksgiving is upon us!  Already!

Surprisingly, I got my act together and have my turkey and fixin's ready to get cracking.  It remains to be seen, however, if any of it will actually be edible when I'm done cracking.  No pressure, though, since the only people I will potentially poison/repulse are those in my immediate family.

In the meantime, here's this Thanksgiving meme thing from MamaKat:

1. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Acorn squash, except I don't make acorn squash for Thanksgiving, but I realize now that I totally should.

2. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

 Pumpkin pie all the way!

3. What does your ideal Thanksgiving outfit look like?

I mean... right?!?
Way to work it!

(This is where I got the idea for acorn squash)

4. What is your best Thanksgiving memory?

The way my Grandma would lift her wine glass arthritic elbows and all and make a toast of thanks and then we'd all ching ching our glasses and swig some wine which may as well have been drain fluid because that's how it tasted to me as a kid but it was Thanksgiving and Grandma made a toast and we drank wine!

5. Least favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Well how to answer that one since if I don't like it, I don't eat it.  Sheesh.

6. Do you have any quirky Thanksgiving traditions?

Like walking to the Best Buy after dinner, even if it's snowing, not to necessarily buy anything but just to say we took an after dinner walk to Best Buy on Thanksgiving?

7. Where do you and your family usually celebrate Thanksgiving?

In our home.  Then at Best Buy.

8. What do you love most about Thanksgiving?

I guess I just like the fact that we have a day set aside to be grateful.

9. What do you think has changed most since the first Thanksgiving?

Uhhh... nature, art, books, society, health, technology....

10. What are you thankful for?

Oh, bunches of stuff, but of course, family, friends, health, prosperity, nature, art, books, society, technology...

But really, I am thankful for family and friends - blogfriends too fer sure.  Thanksgiving also coincides with birthday times for Magnum and me, so I'm grateful to be around for another birthday, considering the alternative.

My mother-in-law made this scarf for me, so I took the happy selfie to let her know I received it and love it.  Then I noticed that my windows photo app has added new editing tools and I couldn't resist trying them out.  So, happy Movember too!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

(don't) call me Snoopy

Yesterday, I opened my computer and had a face&ook notifaction... meant for Meego.  Earlier, he had logged into his account on my computer to print up some music for winter percussion and didn't logout.

So there I was.  I could go in and look at what his friends were sharing with him and vice versa,  snoop through his private messages, peruse all his photos... But I didn't.  Just didn't seem right.  I know parents who probably would do that, but I realized I'm not one.

First of all, I'm not naive enough to think I could possibly filter everything he shares and what the internet shares back.  Plus, I think at his age, he should have a good level of privacy from his parents. Thirdly, I trust him.  Finally, I'm just not a snooper.

So I logged him out and logged myself back in.  Really, judging from the continuing post-election fallout, his feed is probably more mature than mine is.

This was a good week.  I thought I'd work extra on classwork to get ahead for a free Thanksgiving week.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Nice thought...

But we did end up winning this lovely gift basket from Magnum's work.  He sent this pic after winning, and I was thinking, "desk could use some tidying..."

Usually around the holidays, their health and safety group has these little contests that involve testing knowledge of health and safety topics.  This year was a crossword puzzle on travel safety and a multiple choice quiz on general holiday health and safety.  We've always entered, but never won any prizes, although I always end up learning something I didn't otherwise know.

For example, did you know that onions are toxic to cats and dogs?  Did you?!  Why yes, so don't give them any stuffing!

I did find it rather ironic that the health and safety group gave us this basket of rather unhealthy goodies.  I was hoping we'd win the travel kit for the car, but beggars can't be choosers.  And it's just nice to be the chosen ones for a change.

Our geocaching streak continues, and yesterday was a beautiful fall day after we finally got some snow and slippery this past week.  Yesterday was our biggest geocache haul outing yet.  I think we're getting better at finding the teeny and/or well-disguised ones.

Later last night, I found myself back at Guitar Center with Meego.  Yet another bass on sale had caught his eye, so he wanted to go "look" at it.

Needless to say, he purchased bass number four.  At least he traded in bass number three for it.  He assures me this one is "so much better!", and I'll take his word for it.  

The place was quite hopping for a Saturday night.  Lots of people, who know what they're doing, picking and plucking on various instruments.  Kinda made me wish I could've done the same, but nope.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

the cops, deflation, finders, and losers

A police car pulled in front of our house this morning.  Then another.  Then another... Eventually, I think there were six.  I have no idea what it was about, I was just seeing to important operational matters (laundry) when it began. So this was me for a while:

 I still don't know what happened.  They had a guy in the back of one of the cars and an officer was questioning him, but I didn't see who it was.  I could just make out the back of his head, and from that angle, he didn't look particularly familiar.  Young guy.  Teenager maybe.

I got tired of gawking and went to take a shower.  When I came out, they were leaving.  Mystery abounds.

Other than that, there was an election this week.  I will not share any more commentary on the presidential result, as we all know there is PLENTY of that available.  I instead offer a reprieve.  I will say that I was glad to see more states legalize recreational marijuana.  Now all the stoners who come here for, literally, greener pastures have more choices.

I got a flat tire on Friday, deemed it "Flat Tire Friday" (FTF), and posted the pic of poor Alice onto the facebook Bicycle Commuter page

One cohort offered, "At least it's only flat on the bottom".  haha.

But I was thankful that it was a mild and sunny day, and that I was near the park-n-ride where I could easily perform CPR near the bicycle garages.

Magnum and I got in a bit of geocaching again yesterday, to keep the streak alive.  We didn't make it to the boonies, but found several caches within walking distance of home.  I swear those things are everywhere, who knew?!

This one was underneath a traffic signal pole, like I need an excuse to rummage around the underneath of a traffic signal pole.

The high school football team made the playoffs and had their first game at home last night.  Magnum and I went to show our support while Meego banged his drum for the pep band.  It was close, but our team lost.

It happens.


Friday, November 11, 2016


I first met Ingrid during our sophomore year in high school.  She arrived one day with the thankless title of "new kid".

Our small town was one where "everybody knows everybody", so new kids maybe had it a little tougher than average.  Add to Ingrid's status the fact that she had no brothers nor sisters to help absorb the scrutiny, and I didn't envy her.  To make her stand out even further, she was tall, blonde, and fair-skinned in a town made up mostly of Hispanics and stocky Italians.

We ended up having several classes together, and I got to know and like her.  She was intelligent and athletic and loved the outdoors.  Plus, she lived just a short ways from me.  She was easily and quickly welcomed into my circle of chums.

We were both on the basketball and track teams, and from that, made too many fun memories to recount here.  We may not have been perennial state champions  in either sport, but we held our own.

And we certainly always had fun, even when taking a team photo for the yearbook - short girls (me) in front, tall girls (Ingrid) in back

She was well-deserved Valedictorian of our high school class, then went on to study and serve at West Point Military Academy.

The summer before she left for West Point, we went on many a bike ride and hike, as she wanted to get in shape for basic training and I was an all-too-willing companion.

We also spent hours on the lake, paddling her canoe, enjoying the sun and each other's company.  I started to realize how much I would miss her when she left.

We continued to keep in touch, with her letters (no email way back then!) telling of the adventures and rigors of West Point.  After graduation, she served her time as an Army officer and was once involved in a plane crash that left some lasting physical damage.  She was home for a while shortly after that, and I saw how she handled the troubles with strength and patience.

When I got married, she was a fast and first choice for my Maid of Honor, even though she was in Germany at the time.  Nonetheless, she made it back for the wedding.

Ingrid, with my mom and my niece
After her honorable discharge from the military, she worked as an engineer and settled down with her new husband.  We were time zones apart, but kept in touch through letters and phone calls.  She'd said she didn't want children - had several fur babies - but she sent fun presents for our kids.

This photo of Ingrid and her husband is from our 10th high school reunion.

It was the last time I saw Ingrid alive.  

She died after badly breaking her leg.  After surgery, she developed an embolism that moved to her heart.  She was 33 years old.  She'd broken her leg while doing volunteer work at the zoo.

It was so sad and unexpected.  Ingrid was always such a strong person - physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I remember talking with her mom and her husband on the phone, everyone still in shock.  

Today is Veteran's Day here in the United States.  I'm thankful for all our veterans, including my dad, my brother Guano, and Magnum.

And I'm thinking of Ingrid.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

bad case of lovin' you

I had my annual "Well Woman Check" today at the doctor's.  In addition to the pedometer and activity points, it's required homework in order to receive health incentive moulah from Magnum's employer.

I was a bit apprehensive about the appointment.  Not because of impending doom diagnosis, but because I hadn't done my assignments from last time, namely mammogram and colonoscopy.  The health incentive people didn't say I had to actually FOLLOW THROUGH on my doctor's instructions, I just had to go see her.

And here we were, a year later.

So, naturally these things came up during the visit.  I stammered out a few excuses and good intentions like my classes and how they will be finished very soon, and so I will then have lots of free time to spend on purging my bowels and getting squished and scoped up to my eyeballs.  Looking forward to it all like a vacation.

Dr. seemed satisfied with that, and the visit went fine from there.  So I thought I'd take a moment to count some blessings.

8.  I'm "well"!

This was a well-woman check, which can sometimes feel like an annoying time-waster.  But then I look at some others in the waiting room and think,  "sucks to be you today".

7.  My doctor is very laid back

She's been my doctor for, I dunno, 3 or 4 years since my previous laid back doctor moved.  She's married with a coupla kids and doesn't intimidate at all despite the white coat to contrast with my fashionable "paper gown open in front and lap drape".  Smart enough to be a doctor, but personable enough to make jokes with.

6.  I have "boring pee"

As Dr. clicked through my lab results, she noted my "boring pee".  This is a good thing, apparently, despite the technical medical jargon.

5.  Pap smear, y'all!

There's a blessing here somewhere, I know there is.

4.  Coffee

I had to fast for the blood work, which meant getting myself to the doctor's with no morning caffeine.  I don't like that I  need morning caffeine, but I seemingly do need it and am so glad to have access to it now.

3.  Food

See number 4.

2.  Funny things on the wall of the blood-sucking room

Yeah, he had this one, along with an assortment of others.

1.  Leonard
Leonard is the phlebotomist.  When I arrived for the blood-sucking, he sat me down then went about looking confusedly at some papers on the counter.  Then he confusedly went about  picking up other papers and supplies.  Then he went back to the papers on the counter.  Then he looked over at  me and said.

"Whachyer name?"

So I'm thinking *wonder if he's on drugs??* and told him my name.

"Oh, okay", Leonard says.  And then, "You look younger than what your paperwork says, I thought you were someone else"

All my Leonard misgivings instantly vanished.  He's my number one today.



Linking up again with MamaKat for the prompt:
3. Write a list of 8 things you are thankful for

Sunday, November 6, 2016

a most boring diary, but I still got paid

Another week down, and we're back to standard time.  Can we just stop with the time changing already?!?

A while ago, I got a request from those Nielsen people to track our household TV viewers.  I told them we didn't watch much, but they sent me a diary to fill in for this past week, and two dollars.  A whopping two dollars.  I was obligated.

I thought it seemed kind of antiquated to be filling out a paper diary by hand, but maybe they figured that would be the preferred method for an old lady like myself.  Suffice to say it was  mostly blank, showing nothing but some occasional local news and football and the World Series.  How 'bout those Cubs?  (I don't follow baseball at all, but apparently that was a big deal)

I had to write down shows for whenever the TV was on and who was watching and for how long.

Meego logged exactly zero minutes of TV for the week.  He just doesn't watch it.  He plays plenty of computer games and watches plenty of YouTube, but do teenagers really watch TV anymore?

Speaking of Meego and other things to do besides TV, our city threw it's annual Veteran's Day parade yesterday.  His marching band was one of the entries.  We have a lotta lotta military here, and they are much appreciated.  The Veteran's Day parade always gets a good turnout.

They made a nice showing. As a former flag girl, it surprises me now the number of different flags the bands use.  In one field show, they must've used four or five different flags.  And for the parade, they broke out these red-white-and-blues I'd never seen before.  Nice touch.

I actually missed the parade as I had P.E.O. yesterday morning, but Magnum went, so he's to thank for the photos.

As always, the parade was well received.  It highlighted women veterans this year.

After P.E.O-ing and parading, Magnum and I went out in nature for another weekend hiking/geocaching adventure.  We're trying to do this each week until the weather turns to crap, in case no one's noticed.

Yesterday's outing took us to Black Forest, where we hadn't been since the big fire of 2013.  It's coming back, but there are a lot of burned up trees and scarred up areas.

It used to be Black Forest, now it's more a BLACK Forest.

There are quite a few fun geocaches in the area, though.  We added several to our streak.

Although we don't watch much Nielsen-tracked TV, we do stream us some Netflix.  We just finished season 6 of The Walking Dead.  Since Netflix is a season behind, the cliffhanger at the end of season 6 is no cliffhanger for me, but Magnum has managed to remain in the dark on that one.

And I'm glad to  not have to write in that TV diary anymore.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

yes it drools, no you can't ride it

Mean Chow
It was probably the lax leash laws in the small town where I grew up, combined with the family up the street that bred mean Chow dogs, combined with the other family up the street with the Doberman Pinscher that didn't like people walking past, combined with the family down the street with the evil growling dog always on the porch.  Whatever the reason, I was ascared of dogs when I was a kid.

There wasn't any particular "dog incident", I can trace it back to, I just know that all dogs scared me, probably as a result of the above listed reasons.  In fact, I don't really remember seeing many people out lawfully walking their dogs on leashes, and there were no official dog parks.   Dogs just roamed and sowed their oats, and the world was their toilet.

This meant that any kid out playing or walking home from school or walking to a friend's house was fair game.  I often did such activities in that fear that dogs can allegedly smell.

At some point, however, that changed.  I somehow progressed from "scared of 'em!" to "I don't like 'em" to "I guess some are okay" to "what a great animal!"

Part of my conversion was probably due to one of my friends' dogs, a lovable Basset Hound named Sugar Bear.  Another neighbor kid had a lovable little mutt named Fred.  Since then, I've met and befriended many a nice pooch, including two dogs of our own - Domino, may he rest in peace, and our lovable old lady, China.


I still encounter random off-leash dogs once in a while.  And the fear that gripped  me as a child is for the most part, gone, but I don't naturally trust strange roaming dogs.

Even Fang, the little dog that tried to murder me, was on a leash and clearly didn't like me being around.

On a side note, I have not seen Fang or his gang since, and have deduced that they were visiting from some faraway place that is unaccustomed to our friendly ways.

When Chaco and I were hiking on Pikes Peak a few weeks ago, we "leap frogged" our way up the mountain with about three other groups.  One of those groups consisted of three young guys and two darling pooches - smallish Boxers - one brindle and one fawn.  Wonderful trail companions.

I've thought about those dogs often since meeting them, even studied up a bit on Boxers

I know those two were a nice mix of energy and friendliness.  It seemed clear that they had hiked the long trail often and were enjoying themselves while being very well-behaved, seemingly working as trail guides.  When the group reached the summit, they left one guy to ride down, and the other two guys and dogs headed back down on foot for the round trip.  The dogs still seemed fresh as daisies.

When I was a kid, I was annoyingly afraid of dogs.  Now I'm afraid to go visit the animal shelter, because I'll end up bringing one home.


Linking up with MamaKat again for the prompt:
1. Something that scared you when you were young…are you still afraid?