Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ready, set...

I was on the weird side of YouTube earlier (don't even ask how I got there!), and discovered that the old adage my granny used to say once the bourbon kicked in is true: one person's warmup is another person's complete workout. 

Granny was a wise one!

Whew - I got tired just watching this so-called 'warm up' video.  Imagine how winded I'll be once I get through it all.  Freaking BRUTAL.

Thank you're tough enough to make it all the way through?  I DARE ya.

I'll just be over here, hoping I have the will to make it all the way through..  This might take a while.

--Tiff out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cutter ain't cutting it

In an effort to try to tame the weed population of the garden, about an hour ago I ventured out to do some pullin'.  This is not a task undertaken lightly, as there are about as many mosquitoes in our yard as there are weeds in the garden, which equals about a hundred kajillion.  Preparations must be taken, which today meant a very liberal dosing of bug spray, even though I was out in not-prime-bug-time.  No matter, for our mosquitoes are made of strong stuff; there's never a time when they're not out and about, looking for some blood to suck.  I was hopeful though, to not be bit, as the Cutter's is also made of strong stuff (ever inhale some?  You know what I mean!) that would, I hoped, at least deter the little buggers for a while.

That 'while' turned out to be about 20 minutes.  I think they figured out to hold their breath while making their attack.  Also, they're figured out they can bite THROUGH clothing, which is a real pain in the butt (now, literally), as who sprays their clothes bits when going out gardening?  I do, from now on.  It's almost like I should just don a full bee suit before gardening, at all.  Can't even picturesquely work in the flower garden of an evening without having the hazmat attitute alert on.

Stupid bugs.


Speaking of which, that spider bite I got a few (4?) weeks back is almost healed up.  Seriously, that's how long it's taken.  The little black scab where the bite site blistered up is still hanging on, a stubborn reminder of my brush with Nature.

Stupid spiders.


In better news, the carrots are starting to come in nicely!  In my weeding spree I accidentally pulled a few up and they're cute little things!  Some are about 4 inches long, and I'll bet there are some much bigger still in the ground.  Oh, and I pulled up a couple of onions that we missed at harvesttime.  They're all going into whatever we make for dinner tonight.  Nom nom.


Not Biff's foot.
 Spent some quality time yesterday with Biff at the local Quickie Care store.  He'd fallen off his feet (or something) at work on Thursday, and by Friday a couple of toes had bloomed a lovely shade of purple and his foot was all swole up, so an X-ray was in order.

We are, by far, the most obnoxious 'waiters for services' that place has seen in a while.  Why?  Well, I had a little bouncy ball in my purse, a hangover from Lake Week, and thus a rousing game of seated catch was undertaken.  We were nice enough to NOT play when there were other patients waiting for care, but once the room cleared we entertained ourselves quite nicely.  Between the game and the movie being shown (Ice Age) it wasn't a bad way to while away some time.

No broken bones, so that's the good news.  I think this makes the third time we've been there for a possible broken bone and there's been none.  That's even BETTER news.


And that's what's going on in my world.  How about you?

Tiff out.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not at the bottom of the lake

Being as how this blog is so erratically updated, I'm not surprised that more of you (or, let's be frank, ANY of you) weren't clamoring around my inbox wondering if we'd made it back safely, like might have happened in the good ol' pre-social-media days.  Everybody knows what's going on with everyone else, practically, which is why I'm tamping down the disappointment at the whole 'lack of clamor' thing and just accepting that most of you who read here can go spy on my at almost anytime on the FaceSpace.

I do kind of miss the clamor though.  Remember way back then?  When if a 'regular' was gone for a while there was a fair amount of e-whispering and note passing and perhaps even a bold frontal approach via that quiant messaging system called email?  Forget texting - it hadn't been invented yet!  Messaging, maybe, but that's as far as it went.  Boy, 2008 sure was a different time, wasn't it?  Now I'm all nostalgic for way back then.  *sigh*


Lake week, as always, was a good ol' time.  I won't bore you with details.  You've probably seen all the pictures before too, except in this year's iteration the kids are taller and (most of them) hairier than last year.  Teen boys, Lord have mercy.

Also, Thing 1 is a pretty dang good pontoon driver, nimble with the docking.  Also, nobody drowned.  So, SUCCESS!!

Oh, and the kids have to cook one dinner during vacation now.  This year they made something with the following ingredients, all in one dish: hot dogs, mac and cheese, bacon, and french fries.  I think there was something else in there not good for you, like a layer of crullers, but the details are sketchy at this point.  It sounded horrid, (to me) but tasted great!  Note to me - learn to trust their judgment.  Sheesh - this October Thing 1 is going to be 17, an age at which my grandparents were out working to support their families; the least I can do is have faith in his ability to plan and cook a meal!

For dessert that night we had fruit pizza.  You know, to balance out the bacon et al in dinner.  Just take 1 roll of sugar cookie dough, press it into a large round on a pizza pan, bake until done, cool slightly.  Mix cream cheese and sugar and vanilla, spread that over the crust, then top with cut fruit that's been marinated in a little thinned-down apricot jelly.  Honest, it's HEALTHY!!  At least that's what we kept telling ourselves while listening for the tell-tale 'thwip!' of blood vessels clogging shut.


The horror!!
I was out front collecting the mail not long ago, and got dive bombed by a blundering cicada.  Holy heck what a noise!  It slammed into one of the porch posts, dropped to the ground on its back, buzzed around (angrily, I should imagine), fell down one step still on its back, then stopped.  Its little legs waived in the air for a few moments, then even that stopped.

Is it possible for cicadas to be suicidal, or become concussed?  Either way, I think that one's a goner, because even it if didn't kill itself in the accident (or WAS it?) the cats are now outside and I suspect that a nice juicy ol' cicada would make a tasty afternoon treat for the likes of them.

And no, I wasn't about to go 'rescue' it.  Have you SEEN a cicada?  They're one of the insects that fall into my 'do not touch' part of the arthropod Venn Diagram (which has only a very tiny overlapping portion of 'maybes' in the middle).  No touchy the buggy!  Except for that time when the Girl Scout Troop was camping eons ago, and it was a weekend of a major hatch so all the husks of the final instar (is too a word, look it up!) were lying around in heaps so we, of course, burned them in the campfire by the shovelful.  A jolly crackling sound, that was.  Note though, we're talking exoskeleton here, with no chance of surprise crawling about, at all. 

Not even going to be sorry about not trying to save that one bug.  It meant me harm, no doubt, and was besmote, but good.


I'll end it there, as any post that includes a good cicada story should end with the cicada story, and simply wish you all well and a lovely weekend to all.

Tiff out.

Friday, July 06, 2012

All hail the Float and Bloat!!

taken from here
Next week is the annual family vacation at The Lake.  It seems to have come up quickly this year, but then again time is flying by more and more quickly with each year that passes.  We leave tomorrow, and I feel really unprepared, which makes me edgy and therefore makes it hard to relax.  With each year that passes I tend to get more edgy and anxious, which I also hate, because that's not a fun way to live.

No wonder I drink.

Anyhow, it's vacation time.  So that's good.  Also good is that I don't need to leave any 'gone fishing' signs on any literal or virtual doors (well, OK, at work I will), because work is kind of slow right now and I don't post here often enough anymore for people to start worrying about what I've gotten up to.  As far as the work goes, it's a perfect time to go on vacation, which is a lovely little fingertip's-worth of serendipity.  Nice to be away when there aren't fires roaring all around and you're the only one with a bucket.

Or something.

It's been a weird week in a way, what with Wednesday off.  It just threw me and I've been logey and weird since then.  Or maybe it's the 'LOSER!' message I got yesterday when I failed to make the cut for a I job I interviewed for, or maybe it's that a high-school classmate passed away yesterday and while I wasn't close to her the pictures people posted on FB made me feel old and longing for my youthful days.  Or maybe it's the spider bite and the blistering/swelling/low fever that's been a part of the process of being bit that's got me feeling like every day it might be nice to lie down for a 3-hour nap.  Whatever it is, it's setting me up to really really really enjoy vacation and maybe just hang out and not be the nervous mom type who is a spoilsport for all out random acts of fun-ness.  Gosh I detest that characterization.  A  LOT.

I need to throw off this wet blanket, get crackin' on packin', and tell the world to quit messing with me because I'm OUT OF IT for the week.

What's glorious is that at the end of the month we get to do it all again, for another full week, just in a different location.  Nice.

Now who wants to come over and pick the tomatoes while we're gone?

Tiff out.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The preachy one

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more"

John Adams in a letter to his wife, 03 July 1776.

What?  July second?  Was Adam off his rocker?

Well, no.  At least not on this count.

On 02 July 1776, Congress voted to adopt a resolution of independence from Great Britain.  Adams considered this the day of most importance for the activities related to eventual official separation because of that vote, but 04 July became commonly adopted by the citizenry because it was on this date that the declaration of independence (the document) was approved.  Further proof that 'if it ain't written down, it didn't happen.'  Though, of course, there are probably records of the vote occurring on 02 July 1776 that are buried someplace in the archives.

The date, of course, doesn't matter as much as the material notion that 236 years ago a group of gentlemen (some would debate whether that was true of all representatives of the second Continental Congress) got good and fed up with being pushed around by what they largely considered to be a foreign government and decided to take the radical step of declaring they were prepared to secede from that government and form their own.  It was not an easy thing to think about, discuss, debate, or vote on.  Many in that Congress did not want to dissolve ties with the motherland, while other more radical thinkers were more than prepared to take that bold leap in order to self-govern.  On 02 July 1776, 12 men voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, with New York abstaining.

Twelve people is all that it took to start a process of independence.  Their constituents must have been sorely divided on the issue, and deeply concerned with how their lives would be affected by this declaration.  Many of them identified strongly with England; the discussions must have been long and passionate.  The process of becoming a new country took a long time and carried tremendous cost, physically, fiscally, and ideologically.

Now, 236 years later, what can we say we've done with this passion, this hard-won freedom, this fought-for self-governance?  In many ways the United States is the best country in Earth and I'm proud to be a citizen and patriot for the ideals we believe we stand for, but I am concerned about the future of that greatness.  It's likely you are too, no matter what side of the political aisle you stand on.  It seems that a spirit of centrism and agreement through debate and diplomacy are frowned upon, with the ends pulling further and further apart until the middle is stretched too thin to hold the unit together.  What happens then?  Where has the 'United' in the United States gone?  Even when we disagree with another point of view, is it too late to see that disagreement must lead to resolution that is acceptable not only to both parties but to the people?  It it too late to imagine that 'rule by bludgeon' seems to be on the cusp of reality and that there is so much disaffection in this country that we are becoming 2 distinct countries with very different goals and ideals?

Obviously I'm not the first, greatest, or deepest thinker on this subject, but on the Fourth of July I do like to spend some time dwelling on what the US was, and where it's going.  I'm proud to be an American, yes, as most of us who are American would say, and I would never disavow my allegiance to this country, but I wonder if we will ever again be truly great if we continue to pull and pull at the two ends of the political rope until the middle frays and splits.  It's a difficult thing to patch a frayed rope, and it's never the same thing it once was.

It's a shame that being viewed as a  consensus maker is now as being a bad thing.  It's a shame that a person who is entrusted with engaging in the political process who reaches toward the middle to strengthen agreement with both sides is viewed as weak or lacking in fortitude for their party.  It's a shame that respectful disagreement and well-thought-out debate on difficult matters is a disappearing art form, with slander and vitriol taking their place.  It's a shame that it seems a fairly large proportion of the people who represent us in the halls of our government would not be viewed as 'gentlefolk' in deeds or method of communication.  The difficult acts are hidden behind closed doors, it appears, with the sideshows taking center stage, and it's worrisome.  It's tabloid government, splashy, and in appearance of very little substance.

It would be easy to throw up our hands and quit being concerned.  It's easy to just give up and let the big boys in politics tell us what to do.  But that's not what those 12 men did 236 years and 2 days ago.  They didn't just walk away from a tough issue, they dug in and fought for what they believed they could achieve - independence, self-government, and a shared set of ideals.  I thank them for it and am hopeful that we can move back toward true greatness in our government, people, and world stature.

A call for revolution?  Perhaps, if by revolution we're talking about 'turning around' and seeing what it is we're doing right and what we can fix about where we've wound up.  A touch of national introspection wouldn't do us any harm.  Maybe July 4th is the best day to do it.

Love you, USA, the best of luck to all of us as we continue lurching forward, hopefully toward real and lasting greatness.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Carrier

Temperature currently is 76 degrees F.  INSIDE.

Somewhere around 90 out there.

I'm not going out to take a reading.  That's foolishness.

Also, have been doing NOTHING this afternoon except canning veg and reading helllaciously terrible books (gotten for free) on my new Nook.  Dear LORD there are terrible books out there, and I can't stop reading them.  Bless you, terrible book writers. I love your belief in what you do.

So, yeah.  Church was the best thing about today, and I'm OK with that.

Tiff out.