Monday, March 20, 2017

A new season slides into town

Not the property we looked at,
but this IS on the same lake.
So, Spring.  Appropriately enough, it was warm and sunny today.  This is an improvement over what nature  was TRYING to shove down our throats recently.  Good grief, I almost had to wear an actual COAT, instead of a fleece or vest.

Another sure sign the Spring has arrived, and in merciful time - the Bradford pear quit blooming and we can now all breathe much more easily.   It's anyone's guess, and probably well-known in botanical circles, why the tree smells so BAD when in bloom, so I'm glad it's for a short period of time that this year was accompanied by frosty nights so the blooms fell off right sharpish.

Also, lawnmowers are starting up all over the neighborhood.  Shoot, Biff mowed the backyard the other day, which I thought was early, but according to Facebook is right on time for this neck of the woods.

It's going to be 80F here tomorrow.  Straight into summer.

---

A couple of weeks ago my younger brother, Biff, and I went up to Smith Mountain Lake to look at a piece of property that was 1) on a decent part of the lake, 2) very flat (rare!), and 3) reasonably priced.

We didn't buy it.

Why?  Well, because the a) land is full of fill dirt so a perk test would require a BACKHOE to get to proper soil, or that b) the seller was going to ask the buyer to do the test (!!!), or that c) the concrete boat ramp  that takes up a fair portion of the right third of the property would be taken out if I had my druthers but in fact isn't private but instead has deeded rights for the neighbor to use when they want to, or that d) the neighbor's shed can only be accessed (currently) by using said boat ramp.

No, really, doesn't that sound like a GREAT DEAL??

Yeah, me neither.

Nor my brother.

Nor Biff.

Best of luck to the sucker that buys it.  We'll be sure to take a look this summer to see if it's sold.

Sixty-eight thousand dollars for that mess?  No thanks.

---

There IS a piece of property on the water going for less than $40K.  2.5 acres.  Gently sloping.  On a decent part of the lake (read: not waaaay down- or up-stream).

Gets me thinking: Wonder what's wrong with it?

Giant nest of zombies?  Sinkhole city?  Ghosts of former illicit whiskey distillers hidin' out from the revenooers?  Copperhead breeding grounds?  CLOWNS?

Gotta be something.
---

We missed the chance to dress up our holiday ravens like Cupids and Leprechauns, so I took a few moments today to deck them out in bunny ears and noses for Easter.

I hope you decorated your holiday ravens similarly.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Time to hypersalivate!

What to do with condensed milk.
Not too long ago Biff and I went to the Sam's club to pick up 4 (FOUR!) items.

We left with a cart full of stuff, and still needing to get 2 (TWO!) items that the Sam's didn't have in stock.  That's just how things go, right?

For some reason I have yet to figure out, Biff plopped a 6-pack of sweetened condensed milk in the cart.  I think he said 'it's a good thing to have on hand' or some other shady thing, but I'm not sure there's ever a really good defense for picking up that much sweetened condensed milk.  Y'all let me know if I'm wrong.

Of course, now that the stuff was in the house I needed to find something to DO with it, to associate some value with it.  Thus,  I went recipe shopping, and the internet did not disappoint.  Behold, I bring you a pound cake recipe ripped directly off from the Eagle Brand website, only with a process order that makes sense instead of what you'll find here.  It's my opinion that recipes should start with mixing up ingredients before jumping directly into the baking stage, but maybe that's just me.

Tiny House Pound Cake


  • 2 cups softened butter
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (15 oz)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray


Preheat oven to 325F

Coat tube pan/Bundt pan/Fluted fancy tube pan with cooking spray and dust with flour


  1. Beat butter until fluffy
  2. Blend in sugar and eggs, beating after each egg and scraping down bowl
  3. Blend on high for 3 minutes and incorporating/scraping
  4. Mix in milk, vanilla, and almond extract
  5. Mix in flour and salt, blend on medium for a minute.
  6. Spread in pan (batter is really thick) and bake for 90 to 95 minutes.


Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then for an hour after taking it out of the pan.  It's OK to pick off some of the crispy crust if you have too, but don't go overboard because other people might want some.

And there you go - a dense ring of calories that carry all the shame and regret you can muster in a delicious coating of decadence.

---

It's March, so that means the lawn guys are back out, blowin' and mowin'.  Rather akin to spotting the first robin of Spring, that.  It IS sunny and in the high 60's, and I am in the South, so this is not an entirely unexpected turn of seasonal events.

What's it like in YOUR neighborhood today?

With that, I take my leave.  Someone at work is expecting something from me, and I must deliver or perish!

Tiff out.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Count on it

Happy Monday, folks!

I slept kind of poorly last night, as is becoming a more regular occurrence (Why God, WHY??), and so spent the last 3 or so hours of darkness on the recliner in the living room, practicing deep breathing while wrapped in Biff's flannel robe with a fluffy towel covering my legs.  I was the picture of comfort, and absorbent materials.

Spent some time being grateful to be alive, which I find a useful thing to dwell on when one is awakened at 4:30 a.m. by terrible dreams and one is tempted to 'poor me' one's self on a loop.  Sure, terrible dreams and missing out on precious sleep is rotten, but at least I woke up, and that is in fact something for which I feel grateful.  That bit won't always happen, the waking up.

Does that seem a bit morbid?  Probably.  No excuses though; it cheers me up and adds some perspective as I lie in a nice recliner wrapped in a cozy robe and prepared for spills of all types.  Some people don't even have a towel (bless!), much less a roof over their heads or other such niceties.

And, having dwelled on that thought for a little while, I got some sleep.  I enjoyed that part very much.

---

I use Blogger to blog.  Seems like the right thing to do.  All along in the 11+ years I've kept this blog, Blogger provides a count of the number of views and comments each post gets.

Proud to say that at one time, NAY was read by sometimes over a hundred people per post.  ;)  Wooo!!

Now though?  I won't have those impressive numbers to review in my golden years, because as of today it looks like all those posts were read by exactly 0 people.  Some of those 0 people provided comments though, which is confusing to me.  Is it ghosts that do that now?

To be fair, some comments lately are more along the lines of 'I make $9000 per week reserching old shoos and butterfly harvesting for an international conglomerate of navel-gazers who want to give you a million monies if you would pleasae just buy our yoga clothes.  Love Abbagabbadingdong Al-boingocha'  I don't think those commenters read my posts at all, so maybe ghosts ARE reading and leaving no trace but for their pitifully confused lamentations/invitations to make shady money from the great beyond.

Still, ZERO.  It's disheartening.  I got all excited a little while ago seeing that one post got 163 views, but now I can't go back and bask in that glorious number anymore.  It's gone, all gone.

I'm just a big zero now.

SAD!

Tiff out.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Make a new me!

Goals
The trials and tribulations of the imiquimod saga are still with me, and I'd have to say this one thing about it: healing HURTS.

And itches.

And burns.

Sure hope it's worth it, and I won't still have to have surgery after the lesions have healed.

No, I'm not going to start treating the other shoulder quite yet.  I'm not nearly that masochistic.

---

You know this person I'm about to describe: the friend who sells shakes or skin care or cleanses through social media and obsesses about those things, making thinly-veiled attempts to get you to sign up to be a special customer or whatnot to help them grow their business.

We all have them.  You know you do, and you might even be one of those people.  No shame there, and good on ya for becoming an entrepreneur.

I have a few friends like that, and by and large have resisted their entreaties for a greater involvement in whatever product line they are spokesmodels for.  I can erect a pretty strong wall around my money when necessary.

But.

I've recently started using this eye cream and this lip serum sold to me by a friend, who promised great things and showed me 'before and after' photos of real people experiencing real results with the use of the products, and I bit.  Just a teeny-tiny bite, but bite I did.

I know.  Me and self-care?  Nearly imponderable, but dang those B&E's were gooood and I wanted a piece of it for my scaly old self.  You can talk all day but pictures (generally) don't lie, even if you DO have Photoshop Pro.

And you know what?  After about 3 weeks of using this stuff on a daily basis, my eye crinkles are lessening and my lips are plumping up and are way less chapped than they have been for, oh, the last three years or so.

Well worth the money spent, IMHO, as there's TONS more product left in the pots and capsules, even though it's said that each pot lasts only a month or so.

Tish tosh to that.  TISH TOSH!!!  I'mma squeeze 3 months out of each container.  I'm SAVING MONEY!!

(refer back to the money wall)

Then recently, a new offer was made to pick up a 'bundle' of products at a reduced price (even more if you sign up for the 'special customer' deal), which includes a lash-growing product the B&E likes of which I was captivated by.  Who doesn't want long fluttery lashes in only a few weeks' time?  Nobody, that's who.  Even boys want that Justin Trudeau ish, believe me.

For sure by now you know what I did.

I bundled up, baby.

Bottom line is this: by summer my skin should be soothed (that damned rosacea isn't going away by itself), my eye-skin should be almost line-free, my lips should be bulbous and lush, and my lashes should be sweeping nearly up to my eyebrows like they did what I was 16 (no lie - they did).  I have high hopes.

And if all that doesn't come to pass, I'm stopping all the Rodan and Fields products and start living life as a lonely goat-herder and former Miss America contestant up in the mountains of Mebane.  Because that's all that will be left of my life to achieve.

Goals, we all should have them.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Imiquimodding it up

Looked about like this to start.
If you don't know by now, I am a middle-aged white lady who is, through a series of unfortunate decisions regarding the sun and teenage job choices (lifeguard should never have been on my list of things to be), prone to skin ailments.

I have had multiple things frozen off my skin, two things cut OUT of my skin that required plastic surgery, a couple of other things just straight-up cut out, a few 'shave' biopsies, a round of Efudex (preventative), a couple of rounds of light therapy (another preventative) and now, the latest in the series, I'm undergoing imiquimod therapy for a basal cell carcinoma on my left shoulder.

It works like this: you get the news that you have a BCC, then the doctor either says 'let's go for surgery' or they say 'you can use this goo once a day for a month and see if that gets rid of it.'  I opted for the goo this time, and since the middle of January have been applying it once a day to the spot and surrounding area, as it says on the label to do.

For a couple of weeks, nothing happened.  That indicated to me that the shave biopsy got all the bad stuff.

How naive I was.

Starting around week 3, the spot began to inflame.  And itch, and swell up in a dermatologic snit.  Not long thereafter, an adjacent spot began similarly snitting.  Another BCC or anomaly?  Possibly, so I widened the treatment area a little, and am now suffering the comeuppance of that action, as there are now 4 added small spots that have loud-mouthed their way into my awareness.

FIVE spots that itch and hurt.  In the bra-strap area.  Understandably then, I have not worn a bra in the last week unless absolutely necessary.  I hope sweatshirt season sticks around a while longer, but it's supposed to be 80F today and I'm not sure I convince ANYONE that a sweatshirt is needed under those conditions.  I pray for a strong wind to make a cover-up a plausibility.

Yesterday, after I took a shower and thereby softened up the scabs on those 5 spots, I had a burst of enthusiasm and got dressed to head out to do some errands.  That included an unfortunate decision to wear a bra (it was in the 70s!) and not tie up my hair, which goes to the middle of my back when loose.  I also wore a loose-necked shirt, because comfort.  Things were going great, except for the intense itch of once of the spots that hides out under a bra strap, until I turned around to grab the seatbelt and a strand of hair that hds gotten STUCK in a scab tore loose and just about made me say a bad word.

That's right, I ripped off a scab using only my HAIR.

Y'all, I don't know how women get their nethers waxed, if it's anything like ripping off a scab by the hair-removal method.  That chit burns, folks.

Nearly 24 hours later, as I sit here typing this, I can feel each and every one of the irritated spots on that shoulder.

As a result, I have stopped treating the area.  Enough damage has been done.  Six weeks is two weeks longer that I was told I needed to treat, and so I applaud myself as an overachiever, satisfied that I've done what's needed.  Treated one spot, came up with 4 more.  Enough.

Tomorrow though I might start on the OTHER shoulder, just to see what's there.  And maybe buy a strapless bra, so I can be publicly supported while my shoulders go all meth-addict.

Time will tell.

Tiff out.