Twitterpated

April 7, 2013

This morning two pairs of robins went into a mating frenzy in my oak trees.  There were lots of fluttering and rustling noises, along with a variety of chirps, which immediately drew the cats to the area.  I wasn’t sure what watching bird porn was gonna do to the cats’ little minds.  Until I realized they were hoping for a snuff film instead, that ended in blood and gore and a mouthful of feathers.  Ah the optimism of Spring, at last.

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Mr. Mittens creeps up on robins

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Sam goes for sublety, lurking from a prime pouncing spot

 

I was feeling perky too, cause things started blooming last week.  Little things.  Stuff you have to bend close to the ground to see.  So I spent some time clearing last years leaves (hey, I call it mulch, which excuses me from fall clean up.  At least in my mind).

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Here are some cyclamen and primrose and forget-me-nots.

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   Purple helebore and

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white hellebore (lenten rose)

Along the edge of my rock wall, a gargoyle nestles in next to some tulips and white grape hyacinths.  Later, a ribbon of dwarf iris will surround him.

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???????????????????????I have no idea what this ferny stuff is.  I sort of recollect tossing a handfull of Amni seeds in this area several years ago.  Whatever it is, it has white Queen Anne’s Lace like flowers, grows pretty tall and spreads like nobody’s business.

 

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Guess what?  If you don’t take your cement bird bath into the garage before it gets covered with 3 feet of snow, the edge crumbles off.  Live and learn.

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In the throes of cleaning up, I dragged a bunch of pots out, to renovate the soil, and plan what to fill them with this spring.  I have even more big pots still in the garage.  As I mentioned, this year I indulged in a 3 tier grow light, so I could start my own seeds.  Right now, I have currant tomatoes, nicotiana, heliotrope, four o’clocks, stock and basil up and growing.  Mr.  GG wouldn’t let me  keep the grow light in the kitchen, so it is residing in my laundry room.  I have the lights on a timer.  And you can see part of my collection of 1930s laundry bags and clothespin holders.

 

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The cats and I are really jazzed.  Outdoors is fun again.  Especially since they discovered and scarfed up all the little catnip sprouts.  Hurray for Spring!

CATaclysm

March 23, 2013

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We have a new cat. Well, to be accurate, as Mr.GG says, “We have a new USED cat”. We were down to just one gray tabby after my beloved 16 year old female died last summer. At that time, I swore I was never gonna get another cat, because I couldn’t go through losing any more critters. Even though Furbutt was cranky, incontinent, and very demanding, when she cuddled up against my belly at night, she purred like a 747 revving up for take off. I couldn’t believe how much I missed her. When the vet sent me a sympathy note, and later, a card saying they had donated a tree to a National Forest in Washington in her name, I lost it all over again.

So down to one cat, a very calm, stoic, 5 year old male, who doesn’t get excited about anything. He doesn’t like to cuddle, and always has a somewhat detached look on his face. He sleeps on the bed with us, but I think it is the BTU’s we put out, not a longing for our company. He’s big on watching. I have to stop myself from screaming, “Don’t judge me!”, when I’m on the receiving end of one of his stares.

Anyway, after Christmas I got a terrible cat craving. I started looking at shelter websites, and Craig’s List, and then a friend passed along an email about this yellow cat that needed a new home. With Mr. GG’s grudging assent, I called and interviewed with Sam’s owner. She’d raised him from a tiny kitten and he wasn’t going to go with just anyone. Now, I’ve never been attracted to yellow cats, but something about Sam spoke to me. We went for a home visit. We fell in love. A couple of weeks later we brought him home.

Holy Catnip, what a difference! Sam is a lap cat. He thinks people are there to adore him. And guess what? That really works for him. You have to pry him off your lap. In fact we now say stuff like, “I gotta pee. Can you hold the cat?”. Or, “I can’t get the phone, Sam’s on me”.

And that part about me not liking yellow cats? Well, the longer he lives with us, the more I see that Sam is a magnificent mélange of peach, apricot, melon, cream and russet. And here and there, an accent of iron ore. What was I thinking?

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Sam has brought new energy to the entire house. He plays with Mr. Mittens (must I still use these aliases to protect the cats’ identity?). He learned to use the cat door in record time. All right, so he’s gotten a couple of birds, and Mr. GG wasn’t home to dispose of the remnants…. that set me back a bit. And ever since we discovered no counter was too high to keep him from a stick of butter – well, we are more careful about leaving food around.

Since we didn’t get to name him – he came with that moniker – I have to repress these nauseating urges to goo goo at him, and I hate to report this, but I have found myself calling him Sammers, or Samurai, or Sammerabi. Mr. GG is more restrained. His conversations are more like, “How you doin’, buddy?” Don’t let that brusque man talk fool you – Mr. GG is maybe even sappier than I am about the cat.

Anyway, whatever the reason, all the beings in this house are a lot perkier. Sam and Mr. Mittens play chase and get stoned on the same catnip filled banana. I have a kitty who likes to cuddle, and he sighs as he stretches out in my lap. Mr. GG has a nap buddy. Life is good.

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Broken Promises of Spring

March 22, 2013

One of the things I miss most about my Mom is talking to her about our yards. Every January through April, our weekly phone calls tended to discussions of what we planned to grow that year, what perennials and bulbs were poking their noses out of the matted remnants of last years leaves, and which seed catalogs arrived that week. I gave her seeds and garden gift certificates for her birthday in January, and rose bushes for Mother’s Day.

My yard in Utah is mostly a grove of scrub oak. At one point I hired a landscape designer who came up with the most gorgeous arrangements of spiral paths and rock walls, all at a cost that staggered my almost limitless imagination. In previous homes Mr. GG and I had created rock walls all over the place. And my beloved gave me stuff like dump trucks full of topsoil, and mulch, and Mother’s Day trips to the nearest nursery, where I could fill wagons with any little plant I craved. When I see those commercials on TV where the guy gives the woman diamonds to show her how much he cares, I laugh. Diamonds are easy and trite. Ten cubic yards of mulch is the way to my heart. That man knows me so well. (Of course the fact that he has also showered me with moonstones set in silver does not hurt. Especially since he found them on Moonstone Mountain in Idaho, and cut and polished them himself, and set them into designs he came up with just for me. I am a lucky woman).

Anyway, back on topic. The landscape blueprints were a dream, and we never planned to live in this house long enough to invest that kind of money here. Instead we yanked out the junipers in front of the house, and after a couple of years of trying stereotypical English borders, I broke down and planted vegies amid the flowers. This is very trendy, and if done well, would have been quite interesting. Unfortunately, I went in without much of a plan (my general operating instructions in life lean towards the spontaneous). That bed is pitiful, just pitiful. Even though I used some really cool wicker trellises and an upside down tomato planter, without any structure, it was just a blob of green.

But some sort of yearning bugged me all winter. I have been toying with making a night garden and a fragrance garden in patio containers for a couple of years. Mostly that meant I planted a lot of heliotrope and Brugmansia, and bought stock and nicotiana and tried growing sweet peas and moonflowers. And potted up some night blooming jasmine, and bedded sweet alyssum everywhere. There is some sort of unidentified viburnam in the yard that perfumes the air for about 10 days every spring, and a scraggly mock orange that scents things a little later on in the season. I planted lilacs, but they are struggling.

This year I am planning. I invested in a 3 tier grow light contraption, and purchased seeds of stuff I’ve been dreaming of for years. Night blooming stock, zaluskyana – night blooming phlox, mignonette, lemon colored four o’clocks, and jasmine tobacco. I have three kinds of heliotrope on order from various nurseries. I am trying to find a source for sweet ciceley, a plant I adored and shudder to start from seeds. I believe it involves scarifying and 3 months in the fridge to germinate. There is a nursery in Idaho which carried it… maybe I’m due for a road trip this spring.

Anyway, this week I am in the grip of garden planning. I went a little crazy and ordered a couple of sweet olive plants, some horsetail, and some more seeds. I got some perennial cyclamens in bloom at the nursery. Then I got on eBay and bought an ungodly amount of bare root wildflowers to plunk into my “naturalized area” in the back yard. The stack of books on my bedside table is all gardening related, with sticky notes bristling from the pages. I am contemplating building a database to hold all the germinating and care instructions for new plants. Things are moving right along, and then this morning I wake up and find that it is snowing. A lot. It’s a good thing I am so spontaneous.

Air Bagpipes

October 5, 2012

Everybody knows I have no musical ability. At all. So last night, I mention to Mr. GG that I might as well learn to play the bagpipes. And he says I can learn to play the bagpipes or I can be married. My choice. I really like being married, but then genius strikes – I can play the air bagpipes. I immediately go into a frenzy of squeezing and manipulating my imaginary bagpipes while humming a squawky rendition of “Amazing Grace”.

I am well accustomed to seeing that pained look on Mr. GG’s face, so I call the baby to inform her of my new invention. And give her a sample of “Amazing Grace”. Little Miss Logic then informs me that playing air instruments is a SILENT endeavor. Well, crap. It is not the same without the squawking. And like her father, she first thought I was talking about some sort of Scottish airbags. I put him on the phone, so she can reassure him, that hell on earth is not going to be orchestrated in our home, and that he owes her. While they are talking, I energetically flap and squeeze and “play” the pipes. Silently. Nowhere near as satisfying. Oh well.

Spouse Speak

September 28, 2012

So, me and my beloved spouse (or rather my beloved spouse and I), are out and about running errands, and he is filling me in on all the details of his week he forgot to tell me.  Sigh.  I love this man, but he can sure talk your ear off.  I have several default settings I refer to when he gets on a roll – depending on my level of interest.  Yawning, reading the newspaper while he maunders on, napping, and rolling my eyes usually don’t do much to slow him down.  When he wants to tell me something, it gets told.  Since I do find much he says interesting (okay, but maybe in smaller sound bites), I ask questions and express enthusiastic opinions when I am invested in our conversations, so he can generally tell the difference.

On this occasion he detours from his monologue to tell me the person he is speaking of is “perfectly delightful”.   Now this is an attention grabber.  Mr. GG is a big, tough, macho brute (who dotes on his daughter and is a cat person, but few people know that).  It is hard to even imagine him saying “perfectly delightful”, much less hear him describe another woman that way.

I immediately jump into this conversation to find out more about the woman who is “perfectly delightful”, and what exactly makes a person “perfectly delightful”.  I think we were driving to Home Depot, which is a relatively short trip, so I had to get to the gist fast.

“Am I perfectly delightful?”  I am not sure how I want him to answer this – I guess it depends on his definitions.

It turns out he does not think I am perfectly delightful in the main, although there may have been occasions in the past, when I was.   Offhand he can’t recall any such occasion.

I come at it another way.  “So tell me somebody I  know who is perfectly delightful”.

He gives that some thought and mentions a woman who is kind, courteous, thoughtful, gracious, and lady like.  Okaaaaaay, then.  We’ve got our parameters outlined and I can live without being perfectly delightful.  Maybe.  I do like to push the envelope sometimes, so I put it on my “To do” list.   Mostly to scare him.  By this time we have arrived at Home Depot, so we bag the whole conversation, and go off in search of furnace filters, or hose clamps or whatever.  We have more important things to discuss.  There is a new Bruce Willis movie out, and you all know how much I love the Bruce.  Betcha Bruce don’t like no stinkin’ “perfectly delightful” ladies.  My world is back on its’ axis.

The Lost Weekend or A Book Review

September 19, 2012

Mr. GG has been out on a fire detail for a while, so it’s just me and the cat keeping the home fires (heh) burning.  Mostly we’ve been eating (and the vet says the cat weighs 18 pounds and must lose a half pound a month to get to his goal weight.  Do I have to do Weightwatchers for Cats?  How many points is kitty kibble?).   And I have been reading a lot, so the cat keeps me company as I loll about.  Last week I read all my favorite new releases – the Meljean Brooks, the G. A. Aiken, the new J. D. Robb.  As the weekend crept up on me, I considered downloading the new S. M. Stirling or Julie Garwood to my Kindle.  But the price was outrageous for those two – and you have to draw the line somewhere.  So I went searching for free Kindle downloads and on a whim ordered “A Hidden Fire“, by Elizabeth Hunter.  Whoa!  I think I started that one in the evening, and I finished it at some ungodly hour of the morning.  Before I fell asleep, I ordered the next in the series of 4 books.  I HAD TO.

Frankly, I am awfully tired of vampires.  I mean, I will still read the next J. D. Ward book when it comes out, but I am maxed out on tortured heroes, blood, sex and eternal life.  But.  But, Elizabeth Hunter goes where no world builder has gone before.  Her vamps are…. People.  Some likeable, some despicable, some in between, and some your basic nutjobs, but they are all unique and fascinating and they interact with humans.  These vamps have the whole range of emotions: especially humor, joy, regret – and are capable of love.  They are not brooding Transylvanians, they are from all the classic cultures, Tibetan, Persian, Ethiopian, Greek, Roman, et al.  The hero, Giovanni Vecchio, is a Renaissance scholar copying an ancient book for a friend.  Which means he has to go to the university library at night.  And B, the heroine, is the librarian.  Yes, that’s right!  The Heroine is a Librarian, woohoo, yippee, about time!  She’s human.  She’s smart.  She excels at research.  She wears Doc Martens.

This is not a fast moving story.  There are lots of relationships to explore – and it takes forever to get to the Big Reveal.  And after the Big Reveal, there is no HEA.  Everyone has a story.  And a backstory.  But these characters grow on you.  You care about everybody.  And there are mysterious manuscripts, missing people, and puzzles to research.   And though this book doesn’t end up HEA, it does finish with some Ever After, and a promise of more.  You won’t get to a cliff hanger and pitch a fit or the Kindle at the wall.  You’ll do what I did, and immediately download the next book.

This free book was the kind of story that you savor, and if Mr. GG had been around, I might have taken the time to have regular meals, do laundry, run errands, etc.  And I would have savored.  But it was just me and the cat.  I binged.  I binged on this book, bought the next, binged on that one, binged more, and finally bought the fourth and final in this series.  I read nonstop, folks.  Then I googled Ms. Hunter to find out if she had anything else I could devour.  And right now I am having severe withdrawal.  If I don’t reread these books right away, I am probably going to have to go find some vintage Linda Howard, or Jennifer Crusie, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips to ease me into a gentle transition.

I am a voracious and not particularly discriminating reader.  I will read “The Sheik’s Pregnesiac Virgin Mistress”, and then a biography of Amelia Earhart, or a DIY mosaic book.   But I am here to tell ya, this “Elemental Mysteries” series by Elizabeth Hunter is special.  If you ever read the Williamsburg novels by Elswyth Thane – it is sorta like that.  Or maybe like the first time you read the Dragonrider books by Ann McCaffery.  Or if you read the ”Novels of the Change”  series by S. M.  Stirling,  kinda like that.  But not.

Since I have already raved about this series to the cat (who licked his butt and then went and yowled by his food bowl) I had to tell someone who would care, that I found this terrific series.  I am not a shill, have no dog in this hunt, no ax to grind, and never heard of Ms. Hunter before this weekend, and just want somebody else to metaphorically (or actually, for that matter), hop up and down, do the happy dance, and love these books as much as I do.

Brilliant Ideas or Follow the Bouncing Brain

June 11, 2012

I’m sitting out on the patio, drinking coffee on a weekend morning. Mr. Mittens is on the wicker table beside me… he is so big that parts of him spill off the edges. Mr. GG is busy flintknapping, i.e., making giant bifaces and piles of obsidian flakes that seem to migrate across the cement, no matter how careful he is.

Mr. Mittens practices good hygiene. By that I mean he pees outdoors and grooms himself. Our remaining cat, Furrbutt, is senile and has really let herself go. Last time I consulted the vet about her overactive bladder and dull fur, he told me healthy cats groom themselves 5 hours a day. Furrbutt is nowhere near her quota of personal care. As I watch Mr. M. lick his paws, I imagine dampening a terry washcloth with warm water to simulate the cat tongue effect on Furrbutt. Maybe I could cut out and sew finger shape caps, like those rubber things you use to turn pages. Or maybe I could make specialized gloves with terry cloth tips. And groom my elderly cat. But what if warm water isn’t good enough? I know they make synthetic spit for people with dry mouth. Would I need to have synthetic cat spit? And if so, would it come in flavors like tuna breath, or mouse burps, or ass? Cause every cat I know licks its’ butt. At this point, I give up on this topic, and go back to drinking my coffee and listening to the nerve wracking sound of Mr. GG shattering more volcanic glass.

The last time I had a spate of brilliant ideas, we were driving across the windswept interstate 80 in Wyoming. It was awful and there were no frisky antelopes out and about. There were only crazy drivers. Which made me think of having a paintball turret-mount machine gun on the passenger side of the car hood, so I could shoot jerks who ought not be allowed to drive. Splat them with a scarlet letter of DUIS – Driving under the Influence of Stupidity. When I calmed down, I saw some cattle shivering there on the range, and I came up with the idea of Teacup Cows. Ya know, like teacup poodles?

 
You could genetically engineer mini cows and carry them around as pets, and then you could always have fresh dairy to squirt into your coffee at Starbucks, and you could market the tiny cowpies as fertilizer for African Violets and exotic orchids. There would be a huge market for Cow Carriers, and people like Paris Hilton would have Swarovski studded Marc Jacobs Cowbags, and Kohls and Target could knock them off and make a fortune.

Mr. GG didn’t think much of either of these ideas, and somehow I got to talking about diamond mines in Canada, and “Ice Road Truckers”, and smuggling “Ice Diamonds” (I have to say, sometimes I really crack myself up). Diamonds are so small you could smuggle them on the backs of chipmunks, if you could train chipmunks to do it. Imagine itty bitty chipmunk pack trains, scrabbling across secret trails in the wilderness between the US and Canada. Just think of how adorable chipmunk pack saddles would be.

Mr. GG doesn’t seem to get into the hypothetical the way I do, and he finally got a radio station, and while he was listening to high wind warnings, I started wondering how Michael Jackson’s kids are doing. Especially Blanket. I think Blanket was the one that got dangled over the hotel balcony. I wonder if they still call Blanket, “Blanket”. Then I consider how we could call the Baby “Basket”. As in “all my eggs in one basket”.

I’m bored, so I text this idea to her, to see what she thinks. Doesn’t take her long to reply. She says that if I call her Basket, she’ll start calling me “Farmom”. As in, “this time you’ve really gone too Far, Mom!”.

Anyway, Mr. GG often says my train of thought gets derailed, or comments, “You have quite the imagination”. And he never says this in an appropriate tone of awe – it’s more like he’s perplexed. That’s okay. I need to keep him on his toes. Who wants a complacent family?

Arts and Crafty

April 8, 2012

Spring brings out the creative juices.  I like to make stuff, or adapt stuff, or do anything but clean (unless it involves buying new storage containers – I like to do that).  Recently  I obtained one of my Holy Grail nostalgia cravings… a Yardley lipstick from the 1970s in perfect condition.  It came with a 40 year old coral lipstick.  It smelled divine, it still had that distinctive Yardley scent, but the color, well, it sucked.  I want to use this tube so I can enjoy the case, so I took out the lipstick (and put it in another tube for safekeeping), and made a lipstick out of my Babylips moisturizer which I actually use daily.  Go me!

And a while back, while browsing the upholstery section of the fabric store I fell in love with a Waverly floral print in brown.   I bought it, and then I had to do something with it.  So I made this tote bag, and lined it in a co-ordinating plaid.  Later, I made one of my favorite 1920’s cloches (I have a vintage pattern) and used the scraps to make flowers for the brim.

And belts.  I love green, and I got a really good deal on this vintage celluloid belt, but the 28” waists of the past meant I had a display piece.  Unless.  I experimented with chain, Lucite links and finally found some green dichroic beads that lengthened it enough so I could wear it.  This is not my ultimate solution, but it works for now.

My grandma had a set of coasters just like these hammered aluminum ones, and I used to put playdough in them to make an impression of the floral design.  When I found a very similar, small, hammered aluminum belt, I was forced to buy it.  And it took a while, but I finally found a vintage hammered aluminum link necklace to match.  I used the links to enlarge the belt, so now I can wear it.

And just this week, while internet browsing, I found a recipe for a very moisturizing lotion and made it.  I used pink baby lotion, so that is the color it is, but it is very light and soaks right into your skin without feeling greasy.  I highly recommend it, so here is the recipe:

1 15 ounce bottle of baby lotion

8 ounces of Vaseline

8 ounces of Vitamin E cream

Put it all in a mixer bowl and beat it until it looks like frosting.  You can get all the ingredients at a Dollar Store.  You also need containers to put it in.  If you want to put it into a pump bottle, put the lotion in a Ziploc bag, cut off a corner and pipe the stuff into the bottle, like you would pipe frosting.

Okay, that’s it for my Easter edition of making stuff.  Now I gotta go make a casserole out of ham, hashbrowns, sour cream, cheese, butter. and scallions.  Happy spring!

Catching Up

March 26, 2012

Yesterday I had to teach Mr. GG that classic childhood poem: “Spring has sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the flowers is?” He’d never heard it. Makes you wonder what kind of education they get in those fancy New England prep schools, doesn’t it?

 

Since it has been so balmy, and I am in a good mood, I got up this morning and made up an impromptu little cheer for my beloved, that involved him going to work to battle Forest Service monsters, so I could stay home and goof off. It featured the words, slay, play and YAY!. He was so moved, that he gave me THE LOOK, and said, “Yeah, you are the only one for me”. I think he meant that in a good way. At least, he said he might be home for lunch. He also quizzed me on the origins of one of my favorite expressions, “What fresh hell is this?” which I managed to work into his cheer. It is from Dorothy Parker, the mistress of snark, and I tried to explain the Algonquin Club, and New York humor in the 20s and 30s, but he equated Algonquin with Chautauqua, and I just didn’t have the energy to elucidate. I was still on my first coffee. Besides, he started telling me technical stuff and I zoned out.

 
We made an amazing discovery last week. It was Godiva Salted Caramel candy bars. This is not a discovery our physicians would laud, since these things are addictive and rich beyond belief. It was pure accident that we wandered down the candy aisle in Rite Aid and found them for 2 for $5.00. I have since learned the regular price is about $4.00 a bar. It was not an accident that Mr. GG returned to Rite Aid and purchased more this past weekend. Luckily he has been walking to work and I have been going to the pool, but I am pretty sure we would have to enter Triathlons on a weekly basis to offset the effects of Godiva bars.


The baby invited me to join Pinterest, which is addicting… it is a virtual, visual bulletin board that you “pin” things too. Anything you want. I got motivated when I found out Anne McCaffery died last November. I had no idea. I loved her books. I have them all until she let her son start writing them with her. What is up with that? Clive Cussler is doing the same thing with his son, and I’m here to tell you that the writing gene is not an automatic given for these offspring. No indeed. Anyway I had to pin an Ann McCaffery book up, and then I had to add a couple more of my faves, and then I started fooling around on the internet until I got tired, so I had to play some Spider Solitaire to transition me into bedtime, and whoops, there went another Sunday evening.

http://pinterest.com/grania1/

Actually there went another week. It felt like late May around here, and my diurnal rhythms are screwed up, but it doesn’t matter cause I have Mr. GG out working so I can putter around. Life is amazingly good. Maybe I’ll go make up another cheer.

Taxes

March 9, 2012

I sent the tax stuff to the accountant this week. This is an epic event for me, akin to getting all the Christmas packages off in early December. OMG, it took forever to gather all the tax info. I started last year with a cool folder to hold all the charity donations, and miscellaneous stuff I thought ought to be deductible. I mean, we replaced 3 furnaces and 2 air conditioners last summer. We pretty much had to, since they no longer make parts to repair the 48 year old appliances we had. And we had to replace them all at once, because if we didn’t and one broke later, it would cost a gazillion times more to install it in the HVAC plant we call the furnace room. Unfortunately I did not file all the energy efficiency info in one place. I put it in a file of “to be filed” stuff that I put in another file, and that file got moved to a box, and so on. And so forth.

 
Same thing happened with all the medical info and prescription receipts. And all the records from Blue Cross about reimbursement. I put all that stuff in a file, too. Well, about 3 files. And then I found some prescription records in the bathroom drawer because Mr. GG forgot to give them to me.

 
Do I have to tell you what kind of resolutions I make at this time of year? If only I recorded every medical and dental visit in a little notebook, at the time of treatment, this stuff would be a breeze. Of course usually if I go to the doctor it is with a sinus infection, and I return with a fistful of antibiotics and enough mucus to produce visual effects for “The Giant Slug Who Ate Utah”, and I am in no mood to record anything.

 
Checking into all last years’ records isn’t totally awful. There is the form from the casino. On a trip to Idaho, we stopped at a reservation casino and I accidentally hit the Max Bet button instead of the Respin button and won 1900 dollars. That was really fun. I was watching all these dragons shinny up and down the screen and the geezer next to me told me I won a lot, and we got into a little spat over whether I won $190.00 (me) or $1900.00 (him). I was thrilled that he was more on top of things than I was – it took a really long time for all the dragons to wiggle their way to almost 2000 dollars. Anyway, I bought a stove and some kitchen stuff and gave a lot of the money away.

 
After that, I saved casino information (cause we always lose, that 1900 bucks was an aberration) so I have a notebook with reminders of a couple of cross country trips we made last fall. I kept records of what casinos we went to. And that reminds me I don’t ever need to go back to Amarillo, but Quapaw, Oklahoma was really pretty.

 
But that is all incidental at this point. The taxes are out of my hands. I am free, I tell you, FREE! More than a month ahead of time. Life is good.


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