Friday, March 29, 2019

finders, keepers

I got Magnum's buy-in on the futon idea.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  I mentioned how comfy I was while I was banished to our living room futon during his snoring disease.  I also noted how I'd done a bit of research and presented some of my findings:

  • Good and even support for back and joints
  • Easy to roll up and stash/ move
  • Doesn't bounce around 
  • I want one

I also got some recommendations online for where/ which one to purchase.  Not surprisingly, amazon had what was recommended.  It arrived yesterday.

I took it out of the box and other packaging to air it out, but haven't gotten around to replacing our current bed. I laid it out in Meego's room in the meantime.

The cat has barely moved since.


Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
1. Write about something you are looking forward to

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

drug bust

I was having a weird dream just before the alarm woke me this morning.  I've mentioned how we've been decluttering (in real life, not the dream... yet).  In my dream, I went into one of the rooms in our house and realized I hadn't been in there in a while.

Omigosh, it was full o' stuff!  Boxes and bags, old furniture from my parent's house, random small appliances...  And the old furniture from my parent's house - with drawers, shelves, and cabinets - was filled with more stuff!

Most all of the items in the furniture, boxes, and bags were either things that belonged to my parents, who are both deceased, or things that belonged to my kids when they were little.  Like very little.  Toddlers.

What does it mean?  Whatever, I was glad to wake up.

Speaking of getting rid of stuff, I tossed a buncha drugs yesterday.

To set me up for that recent dental procedure, the Dr. gave me some prescriptions to fill.  One was a mouth rinse, the others were all pain relievers.  I'm a lightweight and have a low tolerance for drugs, and I'm unfamiliar with the different names and uses.

I went to the pharmacy and filled all the prescriptions like a clueless dutiful little patient, figuring I'd google them when I got home.

One of the prescriptions was for the opioid, Vicodin.  What?  I thought there's an opioid crisis, why am I buying opioids??  Then it made me think, "sh*t, how much is this gonna hurt?!"

Still, I was determined not to dip into the Vicodin or the other stuff.  But since I'd already purchased it, I then thought, "Hmm... wonder what I could get for this..."  JUST KIDDING!

I knew I wanted to get rid of it, and the pharmacist actually gave me a packet to get rid of unused drugs:  Dispose Rx.  Toldya, I am not well versed in drugs, so this may be old news to some.

The stuff worked just as described.  It was like a flashback to middle school science class.

Turned my Vicodin to mush

I'm also happy to say I never once felt a need for such heavy narcotics.  My left cheek and gums are a bit chipmunky and bruised, but look worse than they feel. I'm happily, puffily, drug free.

So it seems I can't blame weird dreams on drugs.

Monday, March 25, 2019


We took Meego back to school yesterday after his spring break.  As per usual, we took a little stroll around campus to stretch our legs before heading back home.  It was a nice evening, the ducks were out flapping and quacking, students were pedaling around on bicycles or recreating out on the various fields.

I was feeling reminiscent about the good old days of college and enjoying the campus scenery.  Then we walked into the student center, and I spotted a few students hunkered over notes and laptops, toiling over homework.  Reminiscent feelings gone.  *POOF*.  I remembered why I was glad to be finished.

This morning was more schooling.  I went in for my dental surgery to take care of that errant tooth.  Remember?  A couple weeks ago when I whined about it almost daily?

I first want to give a shout out to Pearl.  When I first whined on the blog that I had an old root canaled tooth that came back for a sequel, many, including myself, were surprised that root canals don't last forever.

Pearl, who as far as I know hadn't visited or commented here before or since, spoke the truth as it had happened to her:  "A trip to the oral surgeon where he cut open the gum in the area and cleaned out the infection soon had me feeling better. "

And I was all, "cut open the gum, what??"

I've learned that's typically how these things are treated, and when the endodontist told me that's what he wanted to do, I was not all, "cut open the gum, what??" because I'd heard it here first from Pearl.  So Pearl, if you're out there, thanks for filling me in!!

My dentist did prescribe me some antibiotics to quell the infection, so the tooth only throbbed for a couple of days while I waited for my surgery this morning.  As far as I know, everything went as planned and now I sit in a bit of swollen aftemath.

The procedure is called an apicoectomy, and an extra layer of interestingness was added because a dental school intern joined us to observe me being ripped apart, cleaned up, and restitched together.  As such, the surgeon was explaining everything he was doing, while I lay there like a med school cadaver.

Wanna see my stitches?  Too bad if "no".

There, I've done my part for the advancement of science today.  What's on Netflix?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

the weekend begins

Technically, it's a cat perch, but Penny didn't get the memo.

Friday, March 22, 2019

to clarify

I think a bit of  'splaining might be in order.  

(1) Yesterday, I blogged a story of a hike where Chaco and I "lost" a guy on the trail when he didn't keep up with us.  To summarize, 
we'd hiked to two separate peaks that day and
  • The trail to peak 2 is only accessible by first climbing peak 1
  • A guy followed us to peak 2, but his friend didn't want to continue after peak 1
  • Chaco and I started our return by heading back to peak 1
  • Following guy followed us again and lagged behind while his friend waited for him on peak 1, so we "lost" following guy somewhere between peaks 1 and 2

Now, this is  not to say that he was left naked and alone out there.  Truth is, the Colorado mountains are well traveled in the summer - particularly the 14ers that don't require much technical climbing skills - and if I'm on it, that is definitely the case.

The summit photos I've shared here were taken after carefully considering a background that didn't include other hikers, but here is a more representative shot:

See?  Other peeps.  Torrey's Peak on a summer weekend can be like Best Buy on Black Friday.  It's for this reason that even solo hiking is usually quite safe, and if you lag behind one group, there will be others to help you along.

(2) I'm a minimalist, but my parents were not (really) hoarders.

Okay, this one, I don't even know if it's necessary to clarify here.  As far as I know, I've never referred to my parents as hoarders.  I may have mentioned that they had trouble throwing things away, and I think that has a lot to do with why I love minimalism.  But I've clarified it to myself.

I was watching a minimalist YouTube channel where the YouTuber explained her childhood with  hoarder parents.  It sounded awful, and I realized my parents' piles were nothing in comparison.  

In fact, in spite of their never-having-just-one-of-anything and their I-might-need-to-use-that-someday, our home was always actually quite tidy, and I was never ashamed to have friends over - something the YouTuber revealed. And let me further clarify that I had a great childhood and think my parents did a great job of raising my brothers and me.  For those who follow Joey's blog, we know that's not always the case despite outward appearances.  

*EXHALE*  There.  

But I AM totally appalled at the details that continue to come out of the college admission cheating scandal.  Lowlifes + money = bad combination.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Last fall, a friend of mine climbed her first, and self-declared last, 14er.  I saw her summit photos on facebook showing her and her smiling companions. She confided in person later, however, that she'd felt awful - had a bout of altitude sickness and was pretty miserable for a majority of the hike.  She says she's never going up again.

Thankfully, I have not had that experience.  I've climbed a handful of 14ers, and each one was memorable, and in a good way.  A couple of summers ago, Chaco got into mountain climbing and let me tag along with him on a few hikes.  Good times.

Rocky Mountains seen from 14,200 feet plus 2 more feet.

I blogged about one of those hikes [HERE] where we lost a dude.  In short, it was an eventful hike in that we'd summited two peaks, weathered an interesting storm, and lost a dude.

The storm moved in as we were on our way back to the first peak, Mt. Belford.  Chaco started moving faster for the cover of Belford's cliffs, and I followed.  All the while, the guy tagging along with us was lagging farther and farther behind.  I asked Chaco if maybe we should slow down for him.  His reply:

"If he can't keep up with a 52-year-old woman, that's his fault"

I got a laugh out of that, but it did seem strange for a guy who was in his 20's and appeared fairly fit. I wondered later if he'd been dealing with some altitude sickness.  The quick moving storm brought fog with it, and we lost sight of him.

We never saw him again.

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "Colossal", so I drew a buncha dots that hopefully ended up looking like a mountain.  I've been trying to keep up with Illustration Friday since the start of the year.  I'm a bit late this week, but...

Anyone here ever dealt with altitude sickness?  I understand that it not only affects people physically, it can also affect the mood - making people feel sad and depressed.  Lack of oxygen to the brain seems to have the opposite effect on me, making me blissfully clueless.  Just an observation.  Or maybe that's not from altitude...

This drawing is not colossal at all, more like pocket-sized.

I'm also linking up with Mama Kat for the prompt:
7. Share something that you worked on this week.
I did not climb a mountain this week, or lose anyone.  I just thought I'd tell a story of when I did something other than made a buncha dots.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

sleeping beauty

The Good:  We may have turned a corner.  I saw the first robin of spring yesterday!
The Not-So-Good:  It was laying on the backdoor mat as the cat was dismembering its lifeless body.
The But-Still-Okay:  Spring!  And the cat was fed...

The Good:  My throbbing tooth feels much better.
The Not-So-Good:  It's not fixed yet
The But-Still-Okay:  I've learned so many new words, like endodontist and apicoectomy.

The Good:  Magnum made it back from his business trip with only slight delays from last week's blizzard
The Not-So-Good:  He brought a raging cold virus back with him
The But-Still-Okay:  He can work from home, limiting his cootie-spreading to immediate family rather than to coworkers.  Not quite sure if that belongs in this category.

The Good:  Meego is home on spring break
The Not-So-Good:  No special plans for spring break other than exposure to Magnum's cooties.
The But-Still-Okay:  Meego is home on spring break

So that's my status update for now.

We have a futon, not a couch.  It sits on a foldable wooden frame so as to have two positions - flat or angled like a couch.  I understand that traditional futons are only flat.  But at least our futon mattress is of the traditional kind - not an extra puffy Americanized version.

I mention it here because I've been sleeping on it this week since viral Magnum currently makes sleeping noises like what I imagine Chewbacca sounds like when he sleeps.

And I find the futon SO comfy.  Honestly, I want to replace our bed and all it's related equipment with a traditional futon.  Plus, I just like the look of them as they appeal to my minimalist tendencies.

When I was in college, one of my roommates was from Japan, and she had a traditional futon for her bed.  At the time, I thought it looked incomplete, but a lot of college apartment bedrooms are pretty sparse and slapped together anyway, so I didn't think much of it.

The reality was, however, that she was actually quite rich.  Like super rich.  Like super duper rich.  The sparseness of her bedding was not the result of a cost issue. Maybe she chose me as her roommate to get an authentic feel for starving American college student?

But now I understand why, even though she could have easily afforded a more elaborate bed, she chose the simple futon.  And here I thought I was the one teaching her so much, like the difference between "condominium" and "condom".  And no, Rocky Mountain trout and Rocky Mountain oysters are not related foods.

If/ when we move, we're not moving our current bed set. We'll replace it with a traditional futon. Magnum is not yet aware of this, and I'm declaring it here, so he should get working on his getting-up-off-the-floor.

Because blogging it makes it true.

Friday, March 15, 2019

little dogs and little cars

I think I may have shoveled a ton of snow.  I said that to someone as an exaggeration, but doing a little mental math, it's not out the question.

But the best part of the storm was playing with Penny.  Maybe she thinks she's a sled dog?  I scooped out her pen a "few" times, otherwise she would have disappeared under the drifts.  Can you tell she's smiling?

Schools are closed again today - three days in a row for those kids!  I managed to get out yesterday, but it wasn't pleasant.  A while back, I mentioned my Grandma car?  It's small and economical and easy to zip in and out of parking spaces.  But it's sh*t in the snow.  And that's assuming I can even get it out of the driveway.

Here's a screen capture from our Ring doorbell, with my neighbor mocking me in his old but reliable  4x4.

But check out that clean driveway.  I'm chalking it up as a major accomplishment of 2019.  Thing is, I can't get my car out of the garage if there's more than a few inches of snow on the driveway, and there was quite a bit more than a few inches.  

Ironically, I "needed" to get out yesterday to pick up a package from Amazon at the Whole Foods locker.  We're given 2 days to pick up deliveries, so I had to get it yesterday, or it would be returned.  But it's only about a mile away.  Normally, I'd just walk, but that would've been like trekking Antarctica, figured I'd have better luck on the road.  

I smoothly drove across my pristine driveway, and that was the last of the smooth rolling.  Roads were mucked up to say the least.  The one-mile trek was exciting.  

Additionally, my car has other issues.  There is some body damage from before I got it.  One was a dangling panel underneath that was no longer serving a purpose.  I cut it off because repairing it (a second time) would cost more than what the car is worth.  Secondly, there is a MOST annoying problem of the door locks randomly becoming stuck in the locked position with no rhyme nor reason.  This happened yesterday when I tried to leave Whole Foods.  Thankfully, I finally got the dang thing unlocked, but JEEZ!  

Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell me something.  As I've mentioned, I don't drive a whole lot, but when I do, it's often because of bad weather.  My neighbor with the old but reliable 4x4 above has two Jaguars in his garage.  I'll take a reliable 4x4 without the Jags.

In other news, I'm slated to go "under the drill" this afternoon to fix the bum tooth.  I don't even care about saving it, I just want it out of my head at this point.

I did finish the snowday doodles to help keep my mind off things like bum teeth and car traps.

I think I'll name this piece "Bomb Cyclone"

Thursday, March 14, 2019

cheaters and cyclones

"Any last minute tips??", he asked a bit nervously in his squeaky voice.

I gave him some, mostly involving resting and relaxing and feeling good about  how hard he'd worked.  He was still a bit nervous, but I told him I expected things to go well for him and that he had a bright future.

That little conversation was about a week ago with a student I'd been working with.  He took his SAT last Saturday and had worked hard to prepare for it.  I meant what I told him.

Most of y'all know that I'm a tutor.  A big portion of my biz is tutoring for college admission exams.  This whole cheating scandal that broke this week pisses me off and shocks me regarding the money and positions involved (test proctors changing answers?!?!!?), but I love that they got busted and all of the resulting fallout.  Magnum sent me this cartoon:

I won't rant about %#$* parents sending horrible messages, and in turn, creating %#$* offspring that likely wouldn't bat an eye at repeating the cheating sins of their parents.  Instead, it helps me to see my students in a new and better light.  I've mentioned before that they've all been good kids, and I'm grateful.  But I'm saying it again.  These kids and their parents are golden in my eyes now.

Okay, just had to get that off my chest.  Onward.

The Big Blizzard of 2019 is in the books, and today I'm digging out.  Schools are closed for another day, and roads are slowly opening up again.  

It was one of the biggest storms I think I've experienced.  I checked in with each of our kids, who were all safe in their respective homes.  Thousands of people were stranded on roads and/or dealing with power outages.  I'm glad to say we never lost power and all our trees and fences are still standing.  

I thought our fence wasn't gonna make it, but it's still standing, more or less.
That picnic table, though!  Oh wait, it's been that way for a while.
I really need to chuck it already...

I dug out the back yard and dog run, twice, for Penny, because dogs gotta do what dogs gotta do.  The drifts were higher than her whole body. She absolutely loved being outside in it.  Ah, the ignorance of puppies!  

Find the pooch?

I'll dig it out again in a minute.  I should mention that Magnum was out of town for a business trip, so he missed all the excitement... and all the digging.

Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
6. Show us a picture of your most recent snow day whether it was a day ago or years ago.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

welcome to the Himalayas!

Several years ago, I was stranded in a blizzard in eastern Colorado.  I was on a Juco women's basketball team, and we were coming home from an away game when the storm hit.  Our team was in two big travel vans, so we were relatively "comfy" sitting on the side of the road in a blizzard with about one inch of visibility.

At one point, Coach said, "Welp, if anyone has to go to the bathroom, I think there's a coffee can in the back of the van"

And suddenly, through the power of suggestion, we all had to pee.

The coffee can was pretty much a non-option, however.  A bunch of us braved the storm and peed outside the van, surrounded by other stranded motorists.  Good thing for that one-inch of visibility. 

It was a most memorable experience, girl-peeing in a snowstorm with about 50 mph winds.  We formed a sort of semi-circle, so as to both protect each other and hold each other steady in the storm and from the exiting urine.  One of our best teamwork moments.

Today, we're having us an epic blizzard.   Most non-essential stuff is closed.  The local news teams are out driving around while telling everyone to not go out and drive around. 

My bum tooth continues to throb (fixi-it appointment on Friday), so I did a doodle and played with the camera to make a quick test vid and keep my mind off the throbbing.  The video is a bit too quiet, and I think that's the fault of the microphone I used.  I could redo the audio with a different mic, but nah. 

Plus, I wanted to keep it under 2 mins, so good enough for throbbing-tooth-blizzard-day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

thanks, may I have another?!

About 17 years ago, I had a toothache.

I went to the dentist.  Dentist said I needed a root canal.

Dentist performed a root canal and gave me a crown.

My tooth felt much  much better, and I wore my crown well.

This past Sunday night, I had a tinge of pain in my tooth.

By Monday afternoon, I could feel my heartbeat in my tooth?

Called the dentist, and got an appointment for this morning because blizzard's coming tomorrow.

Dentist says my 17-year-old root canal likely needs a redo.

That's a thing?

Googled.  Yes, that's a thing.

*SNIFF*  I thought it was forever...

Monday, March 11, 2019

black and white

When I was growing up, our family had a black and white TV.  It's not that I'm so old that color TVs weren't a thing yet, we just didn't have a color TV.  I didn't really have a say in the matter, so went with the flow.

Now I wonder, are black and white TVs even still available?  

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "Black and White".  I couldn't think of anything I wanted to particularly illustrate with that, so I just took a white piece of paper and drew a black line, then drew another black line, and another, and so on...

I have no idea what this thing is.  I'm not even sure how I want to orient it, but at least it's black and white.

Such doodlings can be meditative.  I've tried to meditate the right way - be still and clear the mind and all that.  I find it difficult, but maybe I haven't tried enough. 

I remember reading about a guy who began practicing transcendental meditation to help him gain more clarity as he was in grad school working toward a PhD in something like biochemistry (I can't find the news story, but I'll keep looking).

Apparently, the meditation worked and the guy became super smart and his coursework became too easy.  And then he became psychotic, claiming that aliens were telling him about people here on earth who were actually aliens from distant planets.  He'd compiled a whole list of them, like something from Men in Black.  I think meditation guy is now locked up in some institution because he was "being told" to kill the aliens. 

So I wondered.  How to meditate to the point of being so smart that your PhD coursework becomes too easy, but stop short of hearing alien voices and getting locked up in an institution?

Well, for one, I'm not going to look at this doodle for too long. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

appreciation Friday in five acts

Operation Consolidation is going swimmingly.
Remember a while back I said I was going to consolidate our lives to the main floor of the house?  Well, that project is pretty much complete.  I'm also happy that I was able to donate or sell a good portion of items, and our kids also each laid claim to a few things.

That's not to say that our lower level is entirely empty - I still have my desk where I tutor and (usually) blog from, and the laundry remains - but that's mainly because it would be an unnecessary pain to move those things.   I mainly wanted to downsize our stuff in preparation of downsizing our house.  And on that note,

I appreciate my flexible side gig and tutees
It's not easy to reenter the workforce after taking several years off to be a mom.  I'm grateful that I can still be productive and contribute while doing something I (typically) enjoy.  My students are diverse and unique, but enjoyable to work with.  Even that strange one who sometimes summons me for nothing is quite personable.

And online tuting has helped to expand my workload from the comfort of home where I only need to appear presentable from shoulders up.

Spring is coming
I know I've stated here, truthfully, that I like winter.  I appreciate winter.  I like having four seasons.  I'm ready to switch to the next one now, thanks.

A match made in geekdom
Last weekend, Magnum and I watched this quirky movie, "The Lobster".  Have you seen it?  We found it strange yet fun and entertaining.  There are tranquilizer guns that have a role in the movie, and when they first appeared, Magnum mildly commented, "Huh.  That's my gun".

Now, this isn't the first time this has happened while watching a movie.  And in saying "my" gun, it's not that Magnum owns that particular gun.  It's that he designed that particular gun.

Magnum is a design engineer.  Years ago, he worked for an airgun company.  A couple of his designs are *the* airgun to have for their particular applications - tranquilizing for instance... or Hollywood movies involving tranquilizer guns.  So sometimes his designs show up in movies or such.

Years ago, I used to be an engineer, but I can't say that I've noticed any of "my" products in movies or in the Olympics, etc.  As I think about it, I'm only reminded that I recently had a successful tutee end up with his mugshot on the news...

So a shout out to Magnum whom I met in enginerd school.  I'd thought he was a bit strange, and he is, but now look.  His name on several patents, while also a Hollywood star.

On that note
He also does our taxes.  Thank God.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

nice guys?

Yesterday was a productive day.  Monday was yet another snowday, so not particularly productive, so it was good to get lots done yesterday.

In the aftermath of my productivity, I was chilling out at my desk and perusing some news headlines.

I came across a story of a local man who'd caused a traffic accident, left the scene of the accident, was tracked down by police who responded to the accident, was arrested for DUI and reckless driving, then attacked the police officers, thus adding "attempted assault on a peace officer" to his charges.

The story included a mugshot, and I was thinking, "Hmm, guy appears pretty clean cut.  He also looks a bit familiar..."  Then I read the perp's name, and wtf?  The dude was a past tutor student of mine, from about 5 years ago when he was a senior in high school.

This was quite surprising because I remember him as a good student, nice kid, and athlete who was being recruited by a few schools.  He worked hard, and his tutoring paid off.  He rode off into the sunset to a college athletic program in another state.

So what happened?  I'm hoping there are missing pieces to the story - like someone covertly slipped him some drugs unbeknownst to him, and he reacted badly.

I also read there are further revelations coming out about Chris Watts, the Colorado guy and supposedly doting husband and father who murdered his pregnant wife and two little daughters and tried to say they just disappeared.  Bleccch.  I soon decided to take a break from the news.

I got out for a nice trek with Penny.  Now that she's gotten the hang of going for walks, she absolutely LUVS 'em.  Despite her smallness, I have yet to reach her distance limit, but I'm guessing that it's farther than mine.

No more nice-guys-gone-bad stories for me for a while.  Bring on the sunshine and puppies!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


A couple of days ago, the guy on the radio was asking trivia questions.  One was,

"What is the most valuable apparel brand in the world?"

In the world?  Most valuable?

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "Fashion", so my fashion-challenged self pondered what to depict.

The answer to the trivia question was Nike.  I wasn't too surprised, but I also don't know a whole lot about fashion, so thought it would be some brand - maybe from Italy or France - I'd never heard of, and certainly never worn.

But yes, Nike of course.  They produce more than just athletic wear (that consumers actually purchase for participation in athletics).  Whole "style" themed pages on social media - one was a source for me for this drawing - are dedicated to Nike clothing.

I dug a bit on the internet and found a list of the top ten from 2017.  One site wanted me to pay money to see the list for 2018, so this is good enough for free...


Okay, I've actually heard of most of these brands and have owned products from two of them.  I'm not familiar with Zara, number 3 on the list.  I highly doubt I'm in their target market.

I will mention that, during my extensive *ahem* research on this topic, I've learned the difference between "handbag", "purse", and "satchel"... sort of.

How important is brand to you when selecting clothes and accessories?