Tuesday, December 31, 2019

31,536,000 seconds

Last day of 2019, what?  As is customary, I thought I would summarize the past year with a few pics from 2019 blog posts.  If nothing else, it reminds me of how much I've already forgotten.  So, in somewhat chronological order...

We acquired Penny.  I look at her now, and she's still such a small dog by our historical standards, but she was so tiny back then.

More good times with my P.E.O. sisters.  *sniff*, I miss 'em

We had that bomb cyclone back in March

I remember it well because it coincided with an announcement that one of my teeth was not happy and the subsequent education in endodontia.

Penny was so much fun, we got her a sibling, Merlin

That was soon followed by another big storm that spared my teeth, but took out several trees

In addition to our two new pooches, I realize I did a fair amount of dog sitting with Chaco's

and my sis-in-law's

It's still hard to believe that Tiffany, so young and unexpectedly, left us

Magnum and I took up mountain biking (a.k.a. getting lost in the boonies)

We got Meego situated for another year of college.  Go Rams!

2019 was my third attempt and first success at completing Inktober

My first "big sis" passed away

My surgery to fix the bum tooth was a fail.  I don't miss the tooth, and I managed to not blow my nose for a month

I made it slipping and sliding through another Turkey Trot finish

And, in early December, we moved to Fort Collins.  The cat didn't have a say in the matter

SO.  Another year of highs and lows.  I'm glad to have this blog and be able to look back.  Before blogging was a thing, I was not a journal keeper.  Never had a "Dear Diary".

Of course the best part of blogging is the new connections we make, and I'm grateful for the friends I've met.  I started blogging when we first moved to Colorado Springs, and I didn't know anyone.  Now, we're freshly moved again, I don't know anyone here, and y'all keep me entertained and connected with your postings!

Keep 'em coming, happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

don't be afraid of who you are

Magnum, Meego, and I saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker over the weekend.  I liked it.  It wasn't epic, it wasn't awful.  It was entertaining and told a good enough story.

Wait, what?

I found it pretty predictable, and there were parts where I think the creators tried to elicit gasps and/or cheers from the audience that had a rather ho-hum effect.  But it's Star Wars, and honestly, I didn't have high expectations.  I do have some slightly nitpicky thoughts regarding the ending but don't want to give away any spoilers, so they'll have to fester within.

Christmas week was rather low key for us.  We managed to gather with all the "chillen" on Christmas Eve.  Each of them brought something to contribute to our meal, so I wasn't solely responsible for the outcome.  Our rental house we've been in for less than a month was noticeably unfestive - no tree.  And I was reluctant to put up any lights that would require tape or hardware of some kind, so, no lights either.

Still, it was a nice day for us all to be together.  Through a certain chain of events, Chaco and Wolfgang had passes to go skiing on Christmas day.  And from that chain, Meego ended up with some passes for the season too.  I hear the snow in the mountains is good.  Sheesh, I haven't been downhill skiing in forever.

Since we celebrated Christmas a day early, I felt one day ahead for the remainder of the week.  Thank goodness it's Monday so I can recalibrate.

Speaking of recalibrating, a new year is upon us.  Got any resolutions?

Personally, I'm ready to hang up the tutoring biz.  It's served me well while we had kids at home and doing their extracurriculars, but I wouldn't say it's a passion.  I hung onto it for the past couple of years because we were planning on moving.  Right now, I have a grand total of 3 students I meet with regularly, and I'm not scheduling any more.  Not gonna lie, as a 50-something job seeker with a big gap in employment, offers aren't exactly piling up. But I feel that a change is past due.   

So there's that and other small details including selling a house and finding another.

You?  Any resolutions/goals to share?

Friday, December 27, 2019

I'm crying over here

I'm having a bit of a fashion crisis/ dilemma.  Isn't the need for corrective lenses a b*tch?

I'm nearsighted.  Fine.  I've needed vision correction since my mid-20's. Years ago, I wore contacts, but eventually decided to do away with the cleaning and storing, and I've just worn eyeglasses ever since. A couple of years ago, I joined team bifocal.

The dilemma arises when riding my bicycle in cold temperatures - say, anything below about 35F.  Riding in the cold makes my eyes water, which decreases my vision as well as being annoying.  Way back when I first got on the bicycle commuter bandwagon, I forked over for a pair of nice face-hugging prescription glasses that performed nicely.

Well, those specs died of old age about a year ago or so, and I've just been doing without, not necessarily in a rush to fork over again for a replacement pair of Rx specs.

And I'm crying again.

And trying alternatives.

Alternative 1:
Ski goggles seem to be the general eyewear of choice among other commuters.  On the pro side, they cover  up a good portion of face so are warmer in addition to preventing the crying.

As far as cons, they can be a bit uncomfortable because of their face-hugging quality acts to smoosh the eyeglasses into the nose bridge, etc.  Plus, the bug look...

Alternative 2:
Over-the-eyeglasses safety goggles seem to fall a distant second for the visually challenged cold weather commuters.  On the plus side, they are more comfortable, as far as face-smooshing goes, than the ski goggles.  They also provide better peripheral vision.
On the minus side, true, they're not as bug-like as the ski goggles, but rather geeky looking.  See?

Alternative 3 would be to just get another pair of prescription cycling glasses.  But then what would I do with the bug-like ski goggles and the geeky safety goggles?

Alternative 4:  Ride blind.  Not happening.

Alternative 5:  wear contacts again plus non-prescription no-cry glasses.  How do contacts work if I currently wear bifocals?

Alternative 6:  Do nothing.  Keep crying.

Have you ever happily sacrificed fashion for functionality?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

I won't even wish for snow

I hope your wishes come true!  Say what you will about Mariah Carey, but her "All I Want for Christmas is You" articulates my feelings of Christmas.

And ever since I came upon this video a while back, it's the only way I "see" this song.  It's that time of year again.  Crank the volume.


Meet me under the bridge?

Friday, December 20, 2019


I was at the dentist a few weeks ago.  Our (now ex) dentist is quite chatty.  He was asking about what each of our kids is doing these days, knowing that we are a family of nerds/engineers with Meego being the latest to pursue a nerd degree.

He commented, "engineering is one of those majors where you can get a good job with just a bachelor's degree".  Then he went on to say,

"there wasn't a whole lot I could do with my bachelor's in zoology"

With that, the assistant perked up.

"You have a bachelor's in ZOOLOGY??"

Dentist immediately responded, "okay, what do you think that is?"  He had obviously had similar reactions before.

"Uhm...", the assistant replied, "Zoo... keeper?"

"No", he went on to humorously explain for what seemed the umpteenth time, "zoology is biology without the plants".

It's a very common pre-med/dentistry major, but people assume he really wanted to be a zookeeper.

I'm thinking of it now because I felt like a bit of a zookeeper this past week, helping our animals adjust to their new surroundings. 

We're having a new dog run delivered today - any minute in fact.  That will be nice for the dogs as we don't like to just let them out to run willy nilly around the backyard without one of us out there with them.  With that and the cold temperatures, they've been indoors more than they're used to.

Penny was due for a checkup and shots, so I found us a new vet and took her there on Wednesday.  She's such a drama queen.

When we got back, Merlin seemed sad that we'd had some sort of adventure without him.  I got out his harness and put it on him, and that seemed to make him feel better even though we didn't go anywhere.  He's so easy to please.

The cat, on the other hand, is chomping to go outside.  We weren't planning on letting him out for a good while since we moved, but in the meantime, we've learned that cats aren't allowed to EVER go outside within these city limits.  Well, unless he's contained within the yard (fat chance).  I think one of the main reasons he goes out is to get out and explore beyond his own yard.  Cat leash?  HA!

But he seems to be dealing with it, mixing it up with the dogs when he feels like a good scrap.

In the middle of all this change, Christmas is next week?!?!  

I haven't done a whole lot in that regard. I don't think we'll get a tree since we're in a rental, but I feel I should throw up some lights, something.  And gifts?  Is it too late to shop?  How about the old candle standby?


Thursday, December 12, 2019


I'm realizing that I'm quite comfortable with change, actually often crave it.  Moving has been a nice experience in that regard.  I'm liking the smaller house in the smaller city and exploring new places, and it's good to get out of old ruts and see things with fresh eyes.

It's got me considering some things that make me uncomfortable, though.  In  no particular order...

Loud people
I had to go to a UPS store to return our old internet modem/ router.  One of the customer service people was so LOUD.  He was a young guy - early 20s I'd say - and just filled the whole place with his loudness.  Why?  I don't know.  He was friendly and competent, but my god.  On a similar note,

Long Stories
Don't get me wrong, I love to read anecdotes - on blogs or memoirs or wherever.  Listening to them, though?  Not so much.  You ever have someone just go on and on with some narrative, including irrelevant details,  without coming up for air?  I even get uncomfortable when I see someone else being subjected to another just droning on.   Also similarly,

Giving lots of details
I guess since I don't like listening to people's long drawn out tales, I'm typically very succinct when speaking.  I wonder if it's typical of people who blog to not be overly chatty?   A conversation should not be a monologue, and I like listening to responses and wait to be asked for more detail.
Also, as a tutor, I've been trained that, "the student should do 75% or more of the talking", so I ask a lot of questions while tuting.  Students learn to not expect a lecture.  On that note,

Well I think guilt, by definition, is uncomfortable, but it's something I've been thinking of recently.  One thing about moving is that Magnum's sister is the sole point of contact in Colorado Springs for her and Magnum's mom and stepdad.  They're in their 80s and living in a senior living community with their needs quite well taken care of, but they do need assistance once in a while.  SIL and her husband already do a lot for them, and I was feeling like we should shoulder more of that load... and then we moved.  Times like this, I could stand to speak up  more (see above).

It's not news here that I dislike clutter.  Moving is great for getting rid of clutter, but also a great way to expose it all.  Downsizing just makes it seem even bigger.  My anxiety has been triggered this past month 😱.  Seriously, I've had no desire to watch Marie Kondo's Netflix show, although I'm a fan.  Just watching the trailer with the "befores" gave me the shakes.  But on the contrary,

I don't like loud or incessant talking, but a little background chatter is nice.  I'm typing this at the public library because I'm not good at being a homebody.  And lastly,

Forgetting to get confirmation
I took my commuter bicycle to a nearby shop yesterday for a tune-up.  The shop gets great reviews, is close to where we live, and the staff person was very friendly.  So I dropped the bike off after giving my name and contact info, then left with no copy of any work order or anything.  He typed stuff into the shop computer and said it should be ready today or tomorrow, but I've got nuthin' to show for it or prove that it's my bicycle.  The shop is smaller and much less busy than the one I was used to, not surprisingly.  I always got a copy of any work orders at the last place, and didn't really think of it this time.  Hopefully, Ariel and I will be reunited.  Fingers crossed.

What's something that makes you uncomfortable?  I'm listening.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. List 7 things that make you uncomfortable

Monday, December 9, 2019

15 minutes, mostly flat

No, that title is not a description of my sex life... or at least it's not intended to be *ahem*

As mentioned, we've moved.  We're in a smaller house in a smaller town and liking it.  Everything seems so much closer and easier to get to - shopping, dining, entertainment, recreation, etc.  Also, as I'd noted during our previous visits, Fort Collins is super duper bicycle commuter friendly with miles and miles of designated trails, buffered bike paths, and the like. 

Looking on google maps for bike routes to various places yields the same result nearly every time:  "15 minutes, mostly flat"

That big snow from Thanksgiving week, however, has thrown a bit of a wrench in the bike commuting.  There are still lots of snow drifts and icy patches about, and my bike hasn't budged since it was unloaded from the moving truck.  I've seen a few die-hards out and about, though.

Most of our stuff is unpacked and arranged, and we feel like mostly civilized people again.  So what's in all the other boxes??

I guess I could open them and find out?  Give me strength, Marie Kondo.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

here for a quickie

Okay, we are in the midst of moving.  Today. 

Magnum texted me that the truck with all our worldly possessions has left the old house and is on its way to the new.  Napolion the cat and I drove up yesterday.  Napolion whined the whole way, but mostly when an Ed Sheeran song came on the radio.  And if you listen to pop radio, you know that happens a lot. 

Napolion, wondering what the hell happened

We came up a day ahead to get some things lined up and assure that someone would be here when the truck arrives.  Magnum is following with the pooches.  I'd hoped to get our internet hooked up by last night, but do things ever go so smoothly? 

There is a community college campus about a mile from our new place, so that's where I am right now - feeding two of my addictions:  caffeine and internet.

Anyway, here's the summary:

  • We've moved to Fort Collins, CO
  • We have a 6-month lease on a rental house
  • Our house in Colorado Springs will go on the market in a coupla weeks.  Want it?
  • We'll start shopping for a house after we sell
We first visited Fort Collins when we helped Wolfgang move here about 2 years ago.  He really likes the place.  Then Meego decided to attend the university here, so we have subsequently visited a few more times, and we like the feel here.  Colorado Springs has gotten so sprawled out.

We were planning to downsize anyway, thinking we'd get a smaller house in Colorado Springs, but Magnum was able to arrange to work remotely at his job, so that opened things up for us.  Most of my tuting is online already. 

Anyhoo, here we are, about 100 miles north of where we used to live, fingers crossed that our internet gets humming soon.  I have tutee appointments next week, but more importantly, I've got blogs to read and shows to stream!

I mean, I was fine in a sleeping bag on a pad on the floor with the cat last night, but no internet? 


Monday, December 2, 2019

augers at dawn

The good news is, our fence is in the process of being fixed / replaced.  The bad news is that it came down in the first place.

In our housing development, we all have these crappy wooden fences, as seen in the background of this recent pic from Thanksgiving day:

The fences or portions of them need replacing quite regularly.  We had a big old wind storm on Friday night. Max gusts of about 80 mph.  The entire north length of our fence - the one in the pic - didn't survive.

We share that side of fence with the neighbors to our north.  I went out Saturday morning to assess the carnage and found the neighbor and one of his adolescent kids out there taking down measurements and looking very industrious.

By the end of the day on Saturday, neighbor man and two boys had popped in 4 new posts, and by Sunday, they had a couple more posts and several slats replaced.   It seems they saw the downed fence as a wonderful bonding opportunity.  Well, I'm certainly not one to interfere with a bonding opportunity!  We did provide some cement for the posts, but other than that, they've literally done all the heavy lifting and provided all materials.  We'll cover a good portion of the moolah.

In the meantime, I've been putting up a few fresh coats of paint inside our house, and today, some guys came and installed new carpeting in three bedrooms. 

Paint fumes + new carpet fumes = I'm probably high right now.

Friday, November 29, 2019

cold turkey

Happy day after Thanksgiving to all my American blogger friends who partake!

It was nice to take a little break from the relocating activities with some food and family time.  As I mentioned, Magnum's sister and her husband hosted Thanksgiving for the third year in a row.  They are both very good cooks and have a newly remodeled kitchen, so everything was plentiful and yummo.  Chaco, Wolfgang, and Meego all made the trip, too.

Roads are still a mess since our snowstorm earlier this week.  It hasn't warmed up enough to melt the snow and ice, so getting around is an adventure.  With that in mind, the annual Turkey Trot 5K must go on!

I always sign up, because it's a charity run. They were very good about updating us on the course conditions leading up to the race.
In a word, conditions were crappy, but 2400 of my closest friends and I decided, "eh, what the hell"

It was a chilly mid-20 degrees at the start and foggy.  The course was messy/ icy/ slushy, and I don't think anyone was out there to break any records.  Participation is usually around 5,000, but I wasn't surprised at the relatively low turnout.

It was actually quite fun.  It usually is anyway, but with the sloppy conditions, the "lust for winning" was greatly diminished, and we all just slogged through thinking of how silly it seemed.  I  noticed this girl's hoodie message while perusing race photos.  Where does one get such a hoodie?

I ended up 2nd place for the old ladies.  Nancy beats me every year.  She's 59 years old!  But Nancy and I both beat some young whippersnappers, and all things considered - "Ack! Slush! It's in my mouth!" - I'm happy with my stats:

So here we are, black Friday.  No shopping for us as the packing and cleaning continues, but yesterday was fun, plus MY oven is clean 😌

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

what's cookin'?

We've got snow, yes we do!  We've got snow, how 'bout you?  *points*

Okay, it's Colorado. It snowed.  Not really news, but sheesh, there's so much of it.  I think we got about 10 inches at our house.  It felt like more when I shoveled it, but I did have "help" from these two.

Poor Penny, she's so short, when she first went out to the ladies room, all I could see was her head and shoulders.  Didn't seem to phase her, though.

Chaco, who lives a little north and west of Denver, sent this pic from his place, saying, "and it's still snowing!"

Then I got this pic from Meego in Fort Collins:

It's actually rather pretty for those who don't need to go anywhere.  And... I might be a little annoyed that these college boys have better patio furniture than we do.

In a way, it's good to be shut in because it's been good help in getting our house ready to vacate.  Magnum's sis is hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and I'm thankful that I don't have to cook anything.  We're responsible for booze.

With that in mind, my task for today is to clean the oven.  It's a self-cleaning oven, but to be honest, I plan to just scrub it with some Dawn dish soap.  Self-cleaning ovens freak me out a bit.  Ours is the type that uses high heat - like 1000 degrees F - to burn everything up.

I had a self-cleaning oven in one of my college apartments.  I recall coming home one night from my retail job to find firetrucks leaving the parking lot and our oven sitting outside on the grass.  What the...? 

My roommate had tried the self-cleaning mode. 

As I recall, I don't think there was any actual fire.  Just lots and lots of smoke and fumes.  The firefighters were nice enough to loan us a fan. 

As I was pondering a good cleaning for our oven, I paused at the various precautionary notes in the owner's manual and my online research - research that didn't make me want to use self-cleaning mode.  One note stated that the fumes can be specifically harmful to birds, so remove pet birds before cleaning.  I don't have any pet birds but, yeah,  no.

Anyone reading ever used the oven self-cleaning feature?  Any stories to tell?

Monday, November 25, 2019

gun running

So that gun?  That competition air rifle we rediscovered collecting dust in our crawl space for the past 2 and a half years?  It's back home!

As I mentioned, for lack of any other ideas, I sent an email to into what I thought might be a big old void.  But lo and behold, I got a response!  "Shooting Girl" called me, quite interested in following up, understandable because it is a rather expensive piece of gear.  Pretty, no?

We were able to track down the gun's origin, and sho'nuff, it had been checked out by "AirRifle Guy" in April of 2017 and never signed back in.  I texted Wolfgang: 

"The name "AirRifle Guy" sound familiar?"

He texted back:  "Yeah, that's Air Rifle Guy" (maybe I need less confusing code names?)

ANYhoo, I made arrangements to trek it down to the Olympic Training Center here in Colorado Springs.  Shooting Girl instructed me to enter through the "Athlete and Employee" entrance, thus making the trip the closest I will ever be to being an Olympic athlete.

I pulled up in my Toyota Echo and was stopped by a guard:

Him:  Can I help you?

Me:  I'm here to see Shooting Girl.  (I figured that'd be better than saying, "I've got a gun")

Him:  What about? (Oh, sheesh)

Me:  I'm returning an air rifle (still better than saying, "I've got a gun")

Him:  Whatsurname?

Me:  AbbyNormal

Him:  Oh yeah, I remember the memo...

So, after giving the guard something to do for a minute, I was directed to a parking lot.  I've never been the Olympic Training Center, even as a visitor.  Naturally, it is open to visitors and tours are provided, but I just never went.  I think each of our kids has been there for school field trips, and I recall a former tutee, who was a competitive swimmer, telling me about going there and seeing his idol, Michael Phelps.

There wasn't a whole lot of activity while I waited outside for Shooting Girl, so I snapped a couple of non-exciting shots of buildings.  *YAWN*

We exchanged some pleasantries as well as the gun.  She asked a little bit about Wolfgang's project, and I explained very little - the extent of my knowledge. 

I'm glad the gun's back home.  Maybe it will podium.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

well, shoot

We were piling yet more stuff onto our porch last night for a donation pickup scheduled for today.  I think Magnum's finally getting it.

"It does feel pretty cleansing to unload this stuff", he said at one point.

"I don't feel cleansed until the truck drives away", was my reply.  But yeah, I highly recommend it.

I have shed plenty of things in the last year or so, but held onto a few things because I was lazy thinking the kids might want to keep them.  Well, those guys have had plenty of opportunities, and that stuff was still here, so it's for the truck now.

One thing, though, we're not sure what to do with.

When Wolfgang was a senior in college, he and his team completed a final mechanical engineering project.  It was primarily a device to aid in training for competitive shooting.  We live in Colorado Springs which is home to the Olympic Training Center, so that's how it all came about.

It was a good project, they got an A and graduated

So yeah, the team members got their degrees.  We ended up with the gun.  And it's STILL HERE.

It's a nice air rifle in a nice carrying case.  I remember Wolfgang trying to get it back to "the guy" that summer after graduation, and "the guy" not really being too concerned.  Well that was over two years ago.  Who even knows where "the guy" is??

What to do with it?  It's not really ours, I can't sell it, although it's rather pricey.  We don't want it, although it's rather pretty.

In a lame effort last  night, I sent an email to saying something to the effect of,

"Uhm... so we have this competitive air rifle?  Want it?"

I'm not expecting much of a response.

Other than that, things are going well with the unloading and organizing.  It IS a cleansing activity I highly recommend for not just springtime!

I was pondering High School yearbooks as I packed them up.  I have four of mine, Magnum has his, there were a few here for each of our kids.  I honestly can't remember the last time I cracked open any of mine, and don't necessarily feel I will need/want to in the future.

Keep 'em?

Shoot 'em?

Do you still have yearbooks from High School?  Last time you opened one?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1. Share an Autumn inspired recipe, craft or activity

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Abby's fish delivery

I mentioned a while back about re-homing Meego's fire-bellied toads.  That was actually a pretty easy task.  I was a bit surprised at the number of legit people clamoring to take in those little cuties.  But... what about my fish?

I got a bargain deal on an aquarium and all the fixings on last year's Black Friday.  Remember?

Here we are, nearly a year later, and we're moving.  What to do with my fish?  I only had three from the original 5 or so I stocked.  One Guppy, one Platy, and one little Plecostomus.  The Guppy and Platy aren't much to write home about.  Inexpensive, easy to care for, yeah.  They were just to have something moving around in the aquarium.  The little Clown Plecostomus was the most valuable of the three, but not a big deal.

Still, I didn't like the idea of just smothering them.  I was hoping they would peacefully and conveniently "go to the light" any day, but they didn't seem to heeding my subliminal prompting.  So I put the word out online that they were looking for a home - someone with an established freshwater tank.  They even posed for pics

I got one interested email.  He asked me about them, I answered.  Two days later, he asked something else, I answered.  Two days after that, he asked if I could bring them to him.

I scooped them up and headed to the address provided, hoping the likelihood was slim that "Ed" was really a twisted murderer that would add my name to some future True Crime story. 

Thankfully, that turned out to be true.  Ed was a nice humble guy with a B-E-A-Utiful fish tank.  It had to be at least a pristine 100 gallons. 

I'd planned to just hand the fish over to Ed from his porch, but his house was rather smallish, and the fish tank was right in the front room, so yeah, I took a couple steps inside.  In fact, I would've liked to gawk at his tank a little longer, but I had a tutee appointment approaching.

Ed took my small relish jar/ fish transport and said,

"They're kinda little!"

and added,

"They might get eaten!"

I looked again at Ed's beautiful tank and noticed the great size of the beautiful fish meandering about, and I said,


Now, I did include the size of the fish in my re-homing ad, but maybe Ed hadn't paid attention.  Or maybe he had and he was really looking for fish food.

I think the little Pleco will be fine as they like to find little caves to spend most of their time in, and Ed's aquascape provided ample hiding places.  The Guppy and Platy however...

If they did, in fact, become fish lunch at Ed's, I'm okay with that.  Circle of life and all.  They didn't go to waste, and I think they were nearing the end of their lives anyway.  

And I'm still thinking about how lovely Ed's tank was.  I'm inspired for when I'm able to set up another aquarium.  It was truly stunning for those who are into such things.  I might even say it's...

to die for.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

getting trashy

The moving activities continue.  On the bright side, I've managed to sell more items to nice people.  Honestly, I'm not making a boat load of money off any of these clearance deals.  Everything is priced to sell quickly, and it's working.  It's just enough to hopefully keep the weirdos from showing up... knock on wood.

In addition to Marie Kondo-ing our possessions, I've been packing up those things we don't currently need use of.  This has forced me to go through stuff the kids left behind when they each flew the coop.  OMG!

See, the bulk of my tidying up to this point has involved my and Magnum's stuff.  I figured there were "a few things" the kids left behind, but I hadn't really done a deep dive until now.  JEEZ-us, I'm finding things from elementary school, etc.  In some ways, it's been a nice little walk down memory lane, but then I catch myself - "Why am I reading a 4th grade book report!?"

I called our trash service and asked for an extra bin for this month, but they said they only rent bins by the quarter.  They can charge me a dollar a bag over our weekly limit, which seems reasonable.  Seems to me, though, that having an extra bin to put the bags in would be easier for them, but rules is rules.

I did actually begin this process a couple of years ago when I painted the kids' bedroom. Yes, there was a time when all three of them shared a large room, under the guise of, "Let's play barracks!"  I took a bunch of stuff off the shelves and stashed them in a large box.  The large box remains.

At this point, I'm kind of afraid to open it.

Got any packing/ moving tips?  Anyone?

Friday, November 8, 2019

missing the toads that are really frogs

Happy Friday, friends.  I try not to be one of those people who lives for the weekend or dreads Mondays.  If I'm dreading Mondays or any other day, it's time to fix something!  But this has been a pretty busy week, and I'm glad for some downtime. 

First, though, I'm missing these guys:

Anybody remember back in 2013, Meego got some fire-bellied toads?  He set up a nice little ecosystem for them in a 20-gallon tank, and they've just continued being their happy fire-bellied selves.  

We never expected them to live this long, and now, we're moving and can't take them with us.  I advertised for a good home for them, not knowing what to expect. But several people contacted me with resume' - like details of their knowledge of fire-bellied toad care.  Yesterday, a nice family picked them up, tank and all the fixings.  The toads will be moving into a freshly created 75-gal vivarium if I'm to believe this family's "application".  

So I'm happy for them, but I strangely miss those little buggers.

Also this week, I had my 4-week check with the oral surgeon.  Remember when I said I had a big hole in my sinus so I couldn't blow my nose for 2 weeks?  Well, at the 2-week check, he told me 2 more weeks of no-blo.  Darn, I was so looking forward to blowing my nose.

This week, he said I'm 95% healed, so blow gently as needed.  Woohoo, party time.

I haven't drawn a darn thing since the end of Inktober.  Haven't even popped the top off of any pens.

But here's a shout out to these creative teachers... 

Remember my young friend, Tiffany, who died suddenly and unexpectedly.  She was a teacher at a local high school.  She studied engineering in college and became a teacher through Teach for America.  So she was passionate about STEM education, and within that, she was passionate about space exploration, winning numerous teaching awards, etc.  

Her team decided to have a Tiffany-themed Halloween at school.  Aren't they cute?


What's your favorite day of the week?  Why?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

kicking the bucket(s) for chickens

We've ramped up our minimalist efforts as we've gotten more serious on the "we're moving" plan.  I thought I'd done a pretty good job of Marie Kondo-ing our place, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.  Sh*t's gotten real, and I see we have more to do.

I may have mentioned that when the kids were little, we were sort of preppers.  True preppers keep enough provisions on hand for a year, but we were never true preppers - mainly out of laziness.  But we still had quite a stash of food and water and such.  We've pared that down greatly over the last several months - ate or donated everything, and then I sold all our storage shelves.

I had thrown myself into denial forgotten about the buckets o' prepper food in our crawl space along with about 120 gallons of water stash.  But I went into the crawl space last week and found they hadn't gone away on their own.

First on my list was to use up all that water.  I'll just say that even just two people can go through about 120 gallons of water pretty quickly if they use it to flush their toilets.  Done!

We'll keep two 7-gal jugs, and I sold all the rest.

But the food.  Who would possibly want several buckets of unground wheat and corn?  Furthermore, why did Magnum buy all this unground wheat and corn??  Honestly, when it would appear on our doorstep, the kids and I just said, "welp, that's his thing", we had bigger fish to fry.  But I had no intention of grinding wheat berries into flour to bake bread or anything else.

We also have a good stash of rice and beans, but that I can actually use.  Not in the abundance we have, but the Rescue Mission will happily take the extra.

So I put the wheat berries buckets on facebook marketplace, not expecting much.  Then I met Chicken Lady.

Naturally, that's not her real name, but I will always think of her in that sense.  She was so happy to haul our buckets of wheat away for her chickens at my clearance sale price.  We mentioned the corn to her, but she sadly didn't have a way to mill the corn.

Duh, I actually had a grain mill for sale too (purchased by Magnum for the wheat I wasn't going to grind), but forgot.  Chicken lady saw the grain mill the next day and texted that she wanted it, adding "still got that corn?!"

So I'm happy, Chicken Lady's happy, and I'm thinking the chickens are happy too.

Friday, November 1, 2019

there's room for maybe just one more

Why doesn't Dracula have any children?
Because he has a hollow weenie.


My high school science teacher told us that joke and thought it was just the funniest thing, while we all just looked blankly at him.  But damn if I don't think of it every Halloween. 

I filled up a bowl with the candy I'd bought and thought it didn't seem like enough, so I picked up some more candy.  I should've stuck with the original.  It was a very low traffic Halloween night as was expected because of all the snow and cold.  We were generous with the handouts, but still...

At around 8-ish, I declared, "next bunch gets the whole bowl!". 

There was no next bunch, so Magnum's office gets the leftovers. 

I've mentioned here that we have one of those Ring®️ Doorbells.  I learned that there's a snooze feature that allows stopping notifications for when there's a lot of expected activity.  The goblins were so few and far between, I didn't see the need to snooze. 

The groups who visited were mostly two or three older kids trick-or-treating together, or very little kids with parents waiting in the shadows.  I did rather enjoy this group that accompanied a young boy of about 8 years.  They were all dressed up and even brought the dog 🐶
The adults in the group spotted the doorbell cam, hence the wave.

In other news, while on my candy run, I decided to get that flu shot yesterday.  The pharmacist upsold me a tetanus shot too.  She also sold me on a shingles vaccine, but I said I'd do that next week because I didn't feel like a 3-for.

I'm wanting to get this stuff done before the end of the year since our health insurance provider is changing, and we don't know the details yet.  I scheduled a tooth filling for later this month as I wanted to get that other bum tooth all taken care of before returning to regular programming. 

The tooth hole seems to be healing, but it's a weird feeling.  For so long I had a dull ache from that tooth, now it's gone.  When I'd get my heart rate up slightly, I could feel my pulse in that tooth, and that's gone too.  I could gauge my heart rate from my tooth, it was like a built-in monitor. 

What am I supposed to do now?!  Nevermind, I can get used to this.