Saturday, April 20, 2019

'Round and 'round...

It's that time of year again. And, this year, Easter falls on my third chemoversary.  ( I know that's not a real word, but it works.) There aren't many pictures, and I accidently lost a couple, but this is the one I saved from three months out of chemo, when I'd finally finished all those radiation treatments.

My finish line picture:

Those three months did wonders for my hair! It almost looked intentional.

Over these past three years, I've had my panics and anxieties, and am happy to say that things are getting calmer inside my noggin. Yes, there's a fine line between being vigilant and being a paranoid hypochondriac. Little by little, I'm exhaling.

Here's to seeing the world through rosier lenses. (Artwork: Lisa Buckridge)


Gracious me, I haven't blogged in an age--which in this case means the beginning of the year. Since then, I got to visit Lowell, MA with my sister and mother, which was a rare treat. Yes, it was still very much winter, but we got to see Lara, Emily, Deva, and Digory. We toured a museum and ate well--including Indian, Greek, and Asian places. Lara's congregation is full of wonderfully nice people.

In June, Mike and I will fly to Minneapolis, MN for the magic convention, which I am very much looking forward to. This convention is going to be a busy and exceptionally interesting one, so it remains to be seen how much of Minneapolis we'll see. We've already decided that next year, we'll take the train out to Minnesota, this time with Bob, Mike's dad. It will be a much easier way for him to travel, and he'd be delighted to see the family. Our time will be more open-ended next year, too.


What a beautiful day! Everything is all green and blooming outside, an iconic spring day.


Today is the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Twenty years. Some of the students traumatized that day have children of their own, now. Since then, school shootings have happened again and again. Spring heralds new life. Let's do more than hope for a brighter future--I hope we Americans can agree on a more sane way to be. And let's survive this current nightmare by choosing better.

Have a wonderful holiday, however you spend it!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Learning Curve

We are hosting our book group gathering tonight, and after finding a casserole recipe that looked easy enough for me to make without a challenge, I looked around our kitchen for the twin 2-quart baking dishes it required. A few years back, we'd gotten a couple of nice Pyrex dishes for free with some purchase, and then never used them. One of them was the required size. One found, one to go...I know we had an older one somewhere, the one Mike and I always made cornbread in. Finally, I found it. With some trepidation, I show the world what I found:

Ugly, no? Yes, ugly. I scrubbed, to no avail. Good House Keeping suggested this baking soda paste and soak, which barely dented the grime. Methinks that gentle solution was not developed for the appalling state of things here. And it seems overly wasteful to throw something out just because I can't get in clean. Glass is actually difficult to recycle, too.

I read on, until I found commentary from a woman who routinely used oven cleaner on hers, and was very happy with the results. Oven cleaner! Yes, yes, of course... at the time, in my frustration, this seemed like the thing to do.

After work on Saturday, I buzzed straight over to supermarket and picked out a can of Easy Off and also some Brillo pads. I was actually excited. Don't worry--it didn't last long. Oven cleaner was a new experience for me, one that will not be forgotten or repeated.

After reading the spare directions, I pointed the nozzle at the soiled perimeter of this dish--and then put down the can immediately and fled the area. HOLY CRAP, what a shock...and darnitall, I'd only covered half the area that needed it. Opened the front door, took a whiff of frigid air, calm down. Left hand covering nose and mouth, I approached the spray again, aimed it at the dish with the longest arm length possible for me, and sprayed again. And fled again.

While waiting for the evil stuff to steep, I google reviews of this concoction. Most of them are complaining about how the nozzle would break after they'd used half the can. HALF THE CAN? How does one LEAN IN to an oven and spray this stuff without passing out? Surely, these people were more experienced, or smarter, and were dressed in their best storm trooper gear.

So, lesson learned... this kind of cleaner should never come in a spray. Actually, I vow to never let this dish get to that point again.  Drumroll....

It's not perfect, there are some recalcitrant spots, but they are small. This is acceptable. It's had its warm water and bleach soak, and will be washed a couple times more before I use it today, but I think this is the best glam shot I can muster.

Wait! Look at that grimy toaster oven... Must get out the Brillo pads and scrub. It burns calories.  Meanwhile, what am I to do with the toxin that I brought into the house? For now, it's hidden, but... glass is much easier to recycle.

I'm a fool, but a fool with a much cleaner dish. At least there's that.

SO. What have you gotten into?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Cruise 2018

Another year almost gone, another bunch of cruise pictures!

 We had absolutely no rain during this cruise. I'm not sure that's ever happened before . It sprinkled on us a bit in Miami the night before, but that was it. So, here is a picture of the sea on a sunny day.
 Once in awhile, I take random pictures of Mike when he's not looking. We were enjoying a sea day, when we like to read in different parts of the ship. It's very relaxing and more exciting that it sounds.

 Another sunny day. The water is beautiful and mesmerizing....I could stare at it all day. And I came close to it.
 Key eccentric. A little bit of everything...

 A nice tribute to Shel Silverstein, and good spotting by Mike. (Key West)

 That's me sitting in The Gastropub. Comfy place.

 We tried a new-to-us Japanese beer (okay, most are) at Sushi on Five.

 Mike in his tux. Men's fashions don't change much. Lucky them.

Me in a dress I can still wear.

We both agree that this was the most relaxing cruise we've ever had. There were two sea days, which I love, and...we decided to stay on the ship for one stop--we skipped Grand Cayman. Yes, the seven-mile beach is beautiful, but we were tendered, not docked, which meant that we'd be traveling to the island, then in a taxi, for a big chunk of our time there. The roads there are always congested, and we chose not to take part in that this time.

Cozumel was my favorite. Great beach, great people. Back in September, when we were not so far away, we could see, in the distance, the cruise ships leaving Cozumel. This time, we were looking the opposite way....Good-bye Mexico, for another year.

We played Scrabble every evening, and every evening, Mike won. That's okay. It's not like I didn't see it coming. He studies at least an hour each week, and if I started doing that--I'd still lose. We each read a couple books and then some, which is a treat, and of course ate and drank very well.

And now I must rouse myself and finish putting stuff away. And try to bottle some of this happiness for as long as possible.

So. Whatchaupto?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Snow Day ❄

This is an unexpected gentle Thursday....the bank I work for closed early and Mike is working from home, so I am pecking this out  on my tablet. Perhaps I should eventually get one of those little keyboards, since I clearly did not grow up texting.

Anyway, it's a bit of a mental adjustment, every year, to break out the full-fledged winter coats.

So, for the first snow of the year, here's a cute rabbit.

And pecking on a tablet is for the birds. But not on my tablet 😯

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Windy Sunday

Every weekend, I mean to write a little something here, just for fun. Most weekends, that doesn't happen, for one reason or another. This weekend, I've waited until the very last minutes of my weekend to jot down a few words.

We went to a Halloween party last night, which was surprisingly sparsely attended. It's usually a very crowded affair. Without the crowd, it was a shorter party, but we did get the rare opportunity to actually have a real conversation with the host, and that was very nice. Mike and I went as a dead bride and groom, which turned out to be both very easy and very effective--we looked pretty good! I wore Lara's old wedding dress and a veil I found at Goodwill, and Mike rocked his tux. We both painted our faces. The hostess was Lady Sings the Blues, and she looked great! And since she's a member of our book group, and had missed the last meeting, I made sure to grill her about what she'd thought about the last book (can't let her get out of that).

It was so nice, catching up with her. Being in touch with friends and getting Out There is important. It's something I used to take for granted.

We certainly don't want to be alone in such dangerous, scary times. The midterm elections are almost upon us, and many of us are anxious. I am.

Stay in touch!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

It's My Blog and I'll Grouse if I Want To

Look what I found on Pinterest! A little late, but no matter...

The weather suddenly became autumnal, finally, and before I get up and out this morning, let me be a little petty: How DARE Melania Trump declare herself to be the most bullied person in the WORLD!

Honestly, I do not know much about her, I had not formed an opinion, but now I think she's as daft as HE is.

The press has an unfortunate habit of commenting on how women dress--ask Hillary Clinton. During her husband's first inauguration (which I saw very little of), I remember a commenter saying something snarky about how obvious it was that Hillary did not care much for fashion. Hillary was a career woman who always dressed as if she were going to work. She was never a model or actress. Hillary has had her attire ridiculed, she has been investigated, she has endured the LOCK HER UP chants at HIS rallies, and of course suffered through her husband's behavior.

Oh, but poor, poor, Melania! If she were smarter, and wanted to make a statement, she could invent a uniform for herself.  Or dress like a congresswoman.

A TV program Mike and I have enjoyed is Penn and Teller's Fool Us, emceed by Alyson Hannigan. I've been struck by the fact that she has one dress per season. The guys wear the same (or identical) suits every show, and she follows--suit. It's not about ogling Alyson.

I don't know why this topic popped back into my head this morning...and so early. Heh.

With that said, Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Rabbit, Rabbit! Happy Lucky September

If this be the first of September, that would mean that Mike and I are soon on our way to vacation. And so, 'tis...September took me by such surprise that I actually forgot to say my rabbitses this morn, forcing me into tibbar-tibbar mode. Not that there's a hard and fast rule that all maties must say it first thing, anyway.

This year, we are returning to our favorite resort after missing it last year. Yes, there have been reports of scary events happening close to this area. We never leave the resort--we don't venture into Playa del Carmen. Heck, we don't even drink in the pool. Tame mammals are we! And no, there won't be any rabbits there, just coatis, lizards, birds, butterflies, and the occasional stray cat. Well, sometimes there are lots of cats, because everyone feels sorry for them. Kitties get fed. Coatis, they shoo--but don't harm, since they are protected, and are better off without our food. (Most don't come around--I usually see them in the early morning, especially after a rain, slurping up insects and whatnot at the base of trees.)

I'm looking forward to hearing the ocean and relaxing on the beach--and the food, too.


Our most recent movie was Paddington 2. Yes. It was mighty entertaining and well-done. Hugh Grant played a villain again with his usual aplomb, which should scare him a little. His dastardly character frames Paddington for the theft of a valuable book, and the cute little bear goes to jail! While Paddington is locked up, he gains a crowd of unlikely friends. He teaches the jail cook how to make marmalade, which requires a ton of oranges for the number of inmates involved. At this point,  I thought, wait a minute, where'd they get all those oranges? But then, I remembered that we were watching a movie about a little bear who spoke in an English accent and knew how to make marmalade. That's how dragged-into the movie I was. By the way, we did not see the first Paddington movie, but it was easy to catch on.

Our book discussion group chose to read The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner. It's dark, though there is some humor, which is also dark. There's plenty to talk about. It's wonderfully written and not too long.