I enjoy a cup of green tea every day

Monday, February 21, 2011

with my morning coffee...Huh??
Some of you may remember that about a year ago I got pretty torqued and fired the Fox (this post). Of course it didn't last very long; I love Firefox's browser. Happily, it was only a month or so before another couple of tweaks and updates solved the major issue I was having. One of my personal favorites is a handy little add-on program called "Morning Coffee" (found here). You can add sites that you regularly visit to pop up collectively on whatever days you choose. I have frequent posters like Snap-Edit-Scrap, Corner of a Cat's Mind and Mikael's Mania (among numerous others) set up to open every day, while folks (like me) who post less often can be set to open less often (once or twice a week, for example). It's not just for blogs, either. I've got the local weather, my email log-in page and the BC click site which helps fund mammos on there as well. I just click on the little coffee cup icon and the sites I have set for each day pop up all in a row across the top of my browser window. While they're busy loading, I'm off to the kitchen to fix my morning tea (Lipton's Raspberry with a big blop of that local honey - remember that post? mmmmm :o) For those of you who are like me [um, that would be spastically busy] it is an unbelievably handydandy little time saver/corner cutter.
You will never guess what I came home to the other day...patio progress! WaHoo!! DH found a little bit of extra time to work on it. Can you believe it? I even did a little happy dance in the backyard. Being periodically oblivious and all, it didn't occur to me until after said boogity bop to glance around and make sure I was by myself (and big duh for me). Thankfully I was; that would have been most embarrassing. Other than the horses, that is, who were all looking at me like I was completely whacked (which, of course, I am :o) In case you're wondering, this project has been dragging on for over a year and a half. Since it is attached to the house, we are not using non-profit funds but paying for it out of pocket. Because said pockets contain mostly cobwebs and lint, we can't just hire someone else to speed things up (we're the cheapest labor we could find and the only ones we could afford to hire *grin*)
With DH working 69 hours and 45 minutes (he maxes out at 70 hours/week) and tons of rainy and/or freezing cold weather, it has turned what should have been a fairly easy project into a ridiculous challenge. My dad came over last Saturday to help DH after work (DH's work, not dad) so maybe we will actually finish this [many unprintable adjectives go here] project soon. As soon as the power tools started, Taya materialized in Lady's stall (closest to the action). I am sure that it was simply a bizarre coincidence that she happened to stick her tongue out at me the moment I told her she could NOT have the drill that was laying just out of her reach (you can see it on the very bottom left in the photo). DD thought it was pretty amusing anyway. In case you are new to this, Taya has a major obsession with power tools (especially the auger) and shoelaces *laugh*. I have no idea why this is so, but it sure is funny sometimes.
You know, ever since I got that new camera I've been obsessed with photographing the sky...I wonder why that is? We're talking morning...
and Night. Well, okay at least the early evening sunsets - y'all know I'm a terrible night owl (nodding off on the sofa like grandma at 8p.m. and how pitiful is that?? ;o)
Actually, I am still awake at moonrise - see? Oooooh it's so purrrrty!

Soap Operas? Who needs 'em?!?

Monday, February 14, 2011

My reality is radical enough, thank you.
NOTE: Get a cup of something and a cookie or ten (this is longer than I planned)
You know, I've come closer to whining in the past few weeks than I have in a very long time. Considering the fact that I deliberately live my life in a Whine-Free Zone (something I point out to the kids at school at least twelve times a day ;o) I have come perilously close to having to duct tape my own mouth shut as a precautionary measure. Even my emergency anti-stress kit didn't do the trick this time. I shall catch you up on the latest and *ahem* greatest challenges, and then I do believe I will switch to something else lest I annoy myself (and you right along with me - ha). Feel free to print out my stress relief worksheet if you need it. For best results, I totally recommend mounting it on a brick wall *grin*. 
The insurance company declared DD's truck a total loss, and we now know for sure that the other driver did not have any insurance. *snarl* This means that even though we have full coverage, it does not [apparently] include uninsured motorist. Do yourself a big favor and double check the laws in your state. Alabama does not mandate uninsured motorist coverage, so it was not included in our "full" coverage. You have to specifically request it (and I didn't know anything about it until guess when). What this means is the claim was filed through our collision policy so we had to pay the $500 deductible, and are subject to all of the tax, tag and title fees again. This is provided we find another similar vehicle that we can afford (that part's not going too well right now). Oh by the way, that woman may not actually be me but the sentiment? Dead on :o)
Like my new trick? I finally grew a brain cell and thought to have DD snap a photo of my hands, which I took along with me to my Rheumatology appointment. This is what happens when I wash them in [cold] winter water. Of course it also happens all by itself, when under stress (ha, ha), and in the freezer/fridge section of the grocery store. It's called Raynaud's Phenomenon, and I was diagnosed with it last week. If it didn't hurt so darn much, it would make a supercool party trick (the kids flip out when I wash my hands in the classroom :o) It also happens with my feet and the tip of my nose (and take it from me, there is no way to thaw out the schnozola without looking like a serious idiot). I am, of course, now back in testing to look for the cause (there may - or may not be - more on that tests have historically been frustratingly normal). Yes, I said it: normal is frustrating. After the whole cancer deal, my muscle disease (triggered by said cancer) took an entire year to figure out; this was with me making umpteen trips to the doctor throughout the year with all kinds of health hiccups. By the time we finally "got there" [diagnosis] I could no longer walk and the intensity of treatment required by that stage was positively wretched. So you can understand my reticence with the whole wait and see thing (of course this particular hiccup has been ongoing for two years *blows raspberry*. Aren't I soup YET??)
On the bright side, my mother has FINALLY gotten her head around why I am not happy with my nice normal test results (that funky fingers photo made for some nice powerful proof, as in: "Look see??? I'm NOT making this stuff up!"). I love my mother dearly, but honestly she was making me crazed. She would ask me what was wrong, but then if I told her she would turn around and tell me to stop looking for trouble. She has been quite annoyed with me, actually, until I *cough* handed her that photo (ooooo that was bad ;o) But when you know something is wrong it's far less alarming to find out what it is and what you can do about it than waiting around for something major to go kaput (um, that's a medical term). I'm pretty sure mom was privately starting to refer to me as her daughter, Mary Munchhausen. *giggle* Of course now she keeps apologizing for not taking me seriously before. In the meantime I have a zillion pairs of gloves stashed all over everywhere (I'm wearing the can't-lose-'em hot pink pair I keep by my PC right now). For some reason my hand resting on the mouse seems to set it off. Argh! A hearty thank you goes out to Phil, for not seeing his shadow this year...Now come on Springtime - Woo!!
Okay, that's enough of the soapy stuff. Moving on...
I finally managed to capture an updated shot of the ever elusive Moe (Larry, Moe and Curly are the cleaning crew of fishes in the Moo Crew's water tank; details here). He is the coolest looking of the threesome, and completely camera shy; it has taken me months to capture that little booger (he makes a beeline for the bottom every time, and all I can get is a hazy tri-colored blur). We lost Faith, Hope and Charity awhile back, and I have only recently figured out the cause of their demise. Because the "Three Stooges" were thriving (they're a pudgy 4-5" long), and they were using the very same water source as the fish in the Girls' tank, I was initially baffled. We keep a sulfur block (anti-bug stuff) and a trace block (mineral stuff) on either side of both water troughs for the horses. The sulfur block is in a holder on the ground, and the trace block is in a holder mounted on a post. It wasn't until the most recent rash of rains that I noticed the rain was cascading off the Girls' mineral block directly into the water, turning it a deep rusty red. Ahhh *wince*. DH was kind enough to move the post several inches to right, so when the weather warms up a bit we'll make another trip to the pet store for a new cleaning crew *sigh*. Mystery solved; lesson learned (oops).
I think I'll finish this post up with some [could have been great] pictures from the other morning. Take some slightly soggy equines, add a dash of winter weather (28-ish), a heaping helping of brisk north wind and what do you get? Equidomania, and me with nothing but some furry blurrys to show for it. Right about the time I got Sarabear in frame, someone came thundering down the hill and rudely shoved me into a handy stall (it was for my own good). Can you guess who it was? Of course it totally wrecked my shot of Sarabear's impressive rear, but Bella gave me such a hilarious look of [parent to small child] exasperation I had to laugh. Not only would she not let me out of the stall but she got in there with me, pushed me further toward the back, and then personally blocked the doorway to keep me from getting into any more trouble *grin*. If anyone got too close, Bella went roaring out the door to run them off...
She'd then throw in a combination of warning shots at the offending party (in the photo below it was Sara, stage left) and a happy buck or two before coming back to man her post. *sigh* I managed to ruin the next shot all by myself (it's really hard to hold a camera steady when you're laughing like a loon :o)
Who needs to lug those pesky baby monitors around to keep an ear on that wayward child? Bella comes with her very own factory installed specials...and do I need to say specifically who it is she's monitoring from the doorway? I didn't think so ;o)
Finally! Bella got everyone "out of range" (back up the hill). She surveyed the scene, puffed up her chest and emitted a self-satisfied snort for a job well done. Horses sure do make for some awesome entertainment; is it any wonder I love to share their antics?

Here's hoping your week is an entertaining one as well!

Conspiracy Theories and other such paranoid delusions...

Monday, February 7, 2011

- Because sometimes ya just gotta wonder -
Have you ever had one of those days? How about one of those weeks? Years? Heck, I could even take a page out of Eeyore's book and say Decade. I mean, if I factor in that I started my 40's with a breast cancer diagnosis - first mammogram, no less - and five years later I am still going around in circles on that same doggone medical merry-go-round (although I have changed horses a time or two - ha, ha) I could actually say that. But do I want to? Nah; too annoying. So fear not, this is not going to be dark and dramatic personal rant - I'm too stupidly optimistic for that *grin*. Maybe it's just that I feel like I have run headlong into Murphy the Linebacker's Laws one too many times this week (and me without my crash helmet :oP ) We've definitely taken the "When it rains, it pours" adage and slapped an exponent on it. You know what I mean?
Maybe it is all this icky rain and dark perpetually cloudy skies that's got me in such an uncharacteristically grumpy mood. I dunno. We haven't had any sun at all for an entire week - which is quite unusual and making me nuts. I now know [like it was ever a question] that I could not handle living someplace like Astoria, Oregon, which holds the dubious honor of being the cloudiest city on earth. Even the horses are soggy, short tempered and cranky. To those of you buried under 2 million pounds of snow? I concede: You win! This has just been one of those weeks where I really need to back up and count my blessings. You know those weeks where you have to say to yourself: Um, self? Cheer could ALWAYS be worse! *grin* DH's truck tore up (big time), which was almost $2k; BUT it was fixable. I need another filling; BUT I don't have to get a crown or a root canal. We got turned down for another [other] grant (um, I'll let you know the bright side of that one if and when I figure it out ;o) All this cold and rain has been absolutely miserable; BUT it's doing wonders for the Winter Rye Grass DD put out a few weeks ago. 
Of course I still have that sinus junk and couldn't even make it to church last Sunday; BUT even that turned out to be a blessing, as I was home to get DD's text message that she had been in an accident (she had gone to a different church with friends). Her truck, as you can see, appears to be a total loss; but other than being a bit bruised she was not hurt. I'm giving God full credit for that one, as she sits fully forward and both airbags deployed. Hopefully, the man at fault has insurance (he was whisked away to the hospital so we do not know how this will turn until we can get a copy of the police report when it becomes available). They said it would be about 7 days. *sigh* DD was coming around a curve on the main road, and a man in a white pick up truck ran the stop sign and pulled out directly in front of her. She did not have enough time to do anything. There was another car (the red one) waiting to turn, and they ended up in a muddle. The red car is, of course, another blessing as it gave us a built-in witness (even though DD obviously had the right of way). Here are a couple pictures:
What a mess, right? Poor DD; she's only had that truck since August and she is crushed that it will probably be totaled. If you don't have rental reimbursement on your auto policy; I highly recommend adding it. We don't have it on our policy, so DD is stuck asking for rides from friends until we find out whether or not the other guy had any insurance. Grr. You know, I've had this chicken poop lip balm picture in my phone for awhile now; seems to be the perfect sentiment for this past week *giggle*. Even though there isn't really any chicken poop in it, would you put it on your lips? I just don't think I could get past the marketing concept...eeeeeeeeeew :oD
It may have taken me the entire week, but I did finally find a bit of a bright spot in the sky...Holy cow, could that possibly be the sun coming up over the horizon and trying to peek through all those clouds??? Hooray!!
So tell me, how was your week? ;o)
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