Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Intervention

Today on the news here in Kansas City, was a story about a family that paid off all their credit card bills and saved $89,000.00 in one year.  WHAT??????   I wanted to see what that was all about.  The mom told the reporter that she has learned how little she needs to be happy, and that her and her husband and their six kids have found dozens of ways to save money.  Their biggest tip?  They no longer use toilet paper.  They cut up old tshirts to wipe their butts, and did you know that 99.9% of bacteria is killed in a washing machine?  I did not.  There next to the toilet was a basket of "wipes", and Ace Reporter never asked where the used ones go until it's laundry day.

This is when it's helpful in life to have a sister, because a sister would be over to your house in a hellfire hurry to tell you that your budget busting ways may get you some face time on the local news, but you have crossed the line to bat shit crazy.  Then she'd tell you to crack open the safe and go buy some candles cuz your crib smelled like a zoo.

She Should Have Gone For Both

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Work Out

Sometimes when Henry and I go for our walk, we have some pep in our step.  We're moving.  Crack-a-lackin.  It's at those times that I think that if I walked like this every day, I could be in some kind of shape.  Then I imagine myself in a Little Black Dress at a cocktail party, and people looking at me and saying, "Girl, you could give Madonna a run for the money with those arms of yours."

I throw my head back.  I laugh.  I'm fit.  In the party.  In my head.

While on one of those walks, I chatted with another walker, pumped my arms, waved to the guy with the beagles on the other side of the park, stopped along the roadside to pick up poop, walked it over to the trash can, continued down the busy street, waved to a friend driving by, and waited at the corner for the light to change.

That's when I discovered my exercise pants were inside out, so through the park, bent over, down the street and on the corner, the white sewn in undies were exposed for all to see.

Spectacular exercise fail and I bet I got talked about that day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Worst Date Ever

Before The Big Daddy came along and stole my heart, I was in a long, dry spell.  Then, as if the universe took note, I ran into a guy I knew from grade school and he asked me out.  The Queen Mum was really excited.  "Good, good, good.  He's a nice Catholic boy AND his father is an attorney."  This meant they had bucks, and any secret worries she was harboring about her daughter being a lesbian could be put to rest since the Catholic boy found her date worthy.

Mr. Date picked me up and said we might go with some of his friends to see a White Sox game, but first he had to make a stop at his buddy's house.  Once there, Buddy and him left me alone in the basement of a house I'd never been in, in a destination I wasn't certain of, to go buy some pot.  An hour later they returned and we picked up a few more of his loser friends and went to a movie.

By the time the night ended and he pulled up in front of my house, I was more than ready to get out of the car after being left alone, laughing at his stupid friend's stupid jokes, and being disappointed that this guy I thought was so cute in grade school grew up to be A Gigantic Douche.

I said good night and reached for the door handle, and that's when he made his move.....which confirmed his douche status.

The Queen Mum wanted to hear the details the next morning, and I gave her the lowdown, save for the tongue part.  She listened to it all, then shook her head and said, "It's a good thing that dad of his is an attorney, cuz that gull damn idiot kid of his is going to need one."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

F150

I love trucks.  Whenever I see one I think, oh, if only I had one of those, I could really drag some shit back here for the shop.  I am partial to vintage trucks.  What a surprise, eh?  There's one in a driveway that I pass often, and one of these days I may drive right off the road because I have to have me a good look-see when I'm passing by, and it's a curvy road that you shouldn't be look-seeing at anything but what's in front of you.

Oh, sigh me a river.

Since I can't have one of those until we win the Lotto, I buy toy trucks.  Like this one that hold our remotes.  It's fake.

I also have one in my garden......a front loader that's about fifty years old.  I would show you a picture but there's a butt load of leaves on top of it.  When my garden is planted it looks like it's scooping a load of dirt.  That one cracks me up.

I was at an antique mall and came across this beauty with a cracked windshield for $8.00.   That's a picture of the kids in the background when they were wee.  We were on the way to the pool.  We. went. there. every. single. day. I. kid. you. not.

The new old truck sat on the bench by the front door where all randoms stay until there's a plan, Stan.  Today I cleaned the bathroom.  Really cleaned it instead of the usual half-ass job.

The truck is back in operation.  It is happy now.  It is hauling a mega roll.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thrifter's Row

I decided to hit some new thrift stores to find the goods to fill our space for the next sale.  The neighborhood can be a little sketch.  Like if you pulled up, you'd probably think, "Let's just skip this one."  I cannot skip, for there could be a hidden treasure hiding amongst the 21 Kids and Counting wardrobe.  My only rule of thumb is that should I see a rodent or any sign of a rodent, I hightail it out of there.

I went to City Thrift which supports the City Union Mission here in Kansas City.  It is pretty new, pretty cool, and they know what something is worth.  Which sucks for people like me who want it dirt cheap.  Anyhow, I came across an old electric typewriter that was an awesome color, but had no price.  I asked the guy running the place how much it was, and our conversation went like this...............

"Well, what are you willing to pay for it?"  $10.00

"$10.00, huh?"  Yes.

"It's really something."  I know.

"By the way, my name is William."  Hi, I'm Kathy.  You know, my dad and son are named William.

"Well, lookie here, we've got something in common."  Yes, we do..

"Now, is $10.00 still what you're willing to pay for that?  Yes.

"Kathy, you know good and well that I can't sell you that typewriter for $10.00.  I do, William, but I had to try.

Twenty bucks was his final offer, and since I didn't know enough about the worth of that kind of typewriter, I had to take a pass.  But, I'll be back to see William.  There's something attractive about a guy who doesn't succumb to the charms of a bargainer.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Trip To The Mall

I spent part of my Sunday at the mall. Ugh.  I had bought a pair of pants at a store that had a limited selection in my size, so I decided to see if the store at the mall had the color I wanted so I could exchange them.  Success.

When I got to the counter, I told THE SALESGIRL WHO ACTED LIKE SHE WAS HOOKED UP TO A FEEDING TUBE OF RED BULL that I needed to return a pair of pants and exchange a pair of pants.  

"No problem whatsoever," she said.  

"Do you know that our pants are buy one get one free?"  I do.  

"Our jewelry is buy one get one 50% off."  That's nice.  

"Oh, the buy one get one free pants deal does not include the yoga pants.  Did I already say that?"  No.  

"I don't know if you get our emails, but we're featuring a coupon through tomorrow.  Did you want to use one?"   Just taking care of my pants.

"No problem whatsoever.  Let me take care of that for you." 

Oh, these pants aren't an even exchange so I have to ring them up differently.  It will take an extra minute here."  And then she returned some jewelry off the ticket instead of the pants.  And she had to call the supervisor to fix the problem.  And she was wearing on my last nerve.

When the transaction was finished, I owed $.20.  "There's a different tax rate where you bought those which is why you owe twenty cents."  No problem whatsoever..

"I have some advice for you.  Next time, return the pants to the store where you bought them and then come here to get the size you need and it will save you that twenty cents."  

WTF is what my face said, and my mouth might have joined in.







Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh Blogger

Setting up this blog for someone who was born-too-long-ago-to-be-all-that-computer-literate was a task.  What would take my kids an hour took me a week, but I put my big girl panties on and figured it out.  I might have cried.  I might have drank a bit in the process.  I might have thought about shooting myself.

Last week, Blogger changed the layout.  The whole thing.  Now trying to find your stats, drafts or comments is completely different and it's taking me some kind of time to figure it out.  The thing is, it flips back and forth from the new way to the old way all the time.  The screen will pop up with the old layout and I AM SO HAPPY until the next time when the screen is completely different and I AM SO SAD.

It used to be that when I checked my blog on the ipad, and found an error, I could flip it from published to a draft and fix it later.  Until now.  Twice when I've done that, it has deleted the entire post.  Poof.  Gone.  It happened last nite, and I went flying up the stairs to check on our regular computer saying, "Please, oh please, oh please don't be gone."  Twas.

So I went to bed and tossed and turned in a tizzy trying to decide if I should get up and rewrite it, but I cannot write when I'm pissed off.  That's for emails.  Anyhow, still awake at  2:00 a.m., I cursed Blogger and wrote this in my head instead.

At least my bitchiness didn't land in your inbox.


Postscript:  I discovered over the weekend that to get rid of random underling, I need to go to my dashboard, click the side bar widget and make sure there is no text decoration.  Whatever that means.

I also learned that with a click of a button, I could go back to my old set-up regarding stats, comments.....  Mama was right.  When one door closes............keep beating the shit out of it and you'll eventually get it open again. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Estate Sale

I've been going to estate sales for about fifteen years.  At first, I thought it was kind of creepy and weird to go shop the belongings of a deceased person you did not know until a friend said to me, "If you died, wouldn't you want your stuff to go to somebody who really appreciated it rather than shoved in a bag and put on the curb?"  Yes, I would.

Over those years, I've been to some doozies.  I've gone into a dirt floor basement that was S.P.O.O.K.Y. and The Teacher Girl would have no part of it.  I've been in the home of a woman who loved cats and moth balls and the combined scent nearly knocked you over when you crossed the threshold.

There is no predicting what you will find at an estate sale.  I've seen antiques and jewelry for thousands of dollars, and expired boxes of diarrhea medication.  Last year, I found some AWESOME OLD IRON GARDEN CHAIRS for $5.00 each that stopped me in my tracks.  They were on the patio on a freezing cold February day and nobody wanted to go outside.  Except me.  To get those chairs.  Like The Big Daddy going fishing, it's all about hunting for The One.  And I love to hunt.

Estate sales have become more competitive since Ebay, with shoppers thinking that they're going to find that dirt cheap antique that's worth a million and will fund their retirement.  That just doesn't happen.  The people running these things know exactly what something is worth.  Because of that, I rarely go on the first day.  I detest paying full price for anything, and don't want to battle some old guy in the garage over a rusty tool box.

This week I went to a sale and sitting by its lonesome on a trunk in the dining room was this, and how in the world could anybody pass up this beauty?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Halfway Through

Tonight when the phone rang, I couldn't find it amongst the glue gun, sewing machine, vacuum cleaner and drill.  It was a creative kind of day.  By the time I got to it, the answering machine had picked up.  It was The Big Daddy calling to tell me he was going to be late.  He is always late these days with lots on his work plate, and rarely around to do anything dumb that I can write about.  I know.  I miss those stories, too.

Anyhow, we chatted for awhile about our day and he told me he'd be home about 9:00.  In Big Daddy Land that really means 10:30.  Awhile later, I played back all the messages including the five minutes that recorded our conversation.

It confirmed that I'm a whiner and a bore.  That on this dreary, crappy day, the most I had to contribute was a conversation about a pillow I made.

I friggin hate February, but the pillow's not bad.

Monday, February 13, 2012

You're Killing Me, Smalls

In the last year, we've all had to get accustomed to undersized everything.  Boxes of cereal and crackers that look the same on the outside, but are only half full on the inside.  Bags of chips that are bags of air.  Ice cream cartons that you can polish off in a night.  Big bags of dog food with less in it, coffee in NEW packaging that is nothing but a smaller can.

Though I don't like any of the above, and the clever manufacturing that is supposed to make us believe we're getting the same product, what really YANKS MY CHAIN is the size of a roll of toilet paper.  Those things are so puny we're going through them faster than the Edy's.  They don't make small rolls of toilet paper any more because the small is now called a LARGE, and it is anything BUTT.   I couldn't resist.  I usually buy the mega rolls, which is really a large, but a family size pack of those can run you well over $10.00.  For toilet paper???  Really?

Day by day, grocery run by grocery run, we're getting taken by The Man.  And who the heck would allow this fancy shmancy business to be done on a roll of toilet paper, thus wasting precious squares?  Not in my crib with new rules regarding excessive use of toilet paper.

Austerity's a bitch.........just ask Greece.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

15K

I have always been writing ahead on this blog, so I keep my reserves up.  This weekend was not a writing weekend.  I don't know what it was except that I've had a screaming sinus headache for two days.  They're remodeling my fave Target store, and even with said headache, I went to look at the uber-cute shoes that were in their ad.  Which I could not find anywhere.  It took me ten minutes just to find the shoe department and after all that, the shoes weren't there, along with any employees in red to help the "guests."  Half the stuff on my list I couldn't find, and that Jason Wu stuff?  Forgetaboutit.  Picked over like crows on a carcass.

So I've got nothing to offer.  Not even cute shoes.  Just a date with a bottle of Nyquil.

But...........this weekend I passed the 15,000 mark on hits to A Speckled Trout.  (For a perspective, Pinterest gets 11,000,000 a week.)  Anyhow, somebody's feeling like a winner, and when that moonshine kicks in, I'm gonna pass out for the night then rise like Jesus on Easter morn, gel my mullet, iron my tie-dye and write with a purpose. 

I quite possibly could have the skills to win a major award. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's Time

There's been a whole lot of splits in Tinseltown in the last year.  Let's see, there was...............

Arnold & Marie
JLo & Mark
Heidi & Seal
Demi & Ashton
Eva & Tony
David & Tea
Russell & Katy
David & Courtney
Sean & Robin
Jesse & Sandra
Camille & Kelsey

To name a few.  At some point or another, every one of those spouses has been asked in an interview how they've managed to stay happily married, and whatever wisdom they imparted had the potential of being on the cover of People magazine.  As if they can figure it out any more than the rest of us.

In this morning's paper, there was an obituary for a man named Nathaniel who was described as having a successful antique business, was genuine, sincere, funny, wise, and who transcended social and economic barriers.  He lived by the belief that "everyone's life journey was a quest for self-improvement."  He is survived by his mother, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.

Also surviving was his partner of 43 years, Donald, and that's where I found sanctity.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Acting 101

My acting gig as a Standardized Patient ended Monday with the last round of medical students.  Over four afternoons, I had 24 abdominal exams as well as having my heart and lungs checked each time.  There was a lot of heavy breathing/hyperventilating on my part, and I never did a header off the table even though it made me woozyish.

I was a 45 year-old English professor, married with no kids, who liked to camp and hike with my husband when the weather was good.  And a high functioning alcoholic.  That's the tricky part for the kids.  Nearly every student asked me something that wasn't covered in training such as:

So where do you like to camp?  Haven't been in forty years.

Who's your favorite poet?  Dr. Seuss.

What's your husband do?  Make me crazy.

You said you eat out a lot.  Where do you go?  Culver's with a coupon.

How often do you and your husband have sex?  What?????

What kind of English do you teach?  Blogger English. 

It was a lying fest for four days and more than one student told me I played a good, cagey alcoholic.  Why, thank you.  After they did the exam and asked a meeeeeellion things about my fake life, they went in the hall while I answered some questions on the computer about what they did or did not do.  When that was done, I called them back in, introduced myself and we talked about how it went.

I met students who were English and philosophy undergrads, a paramedic, a writer, a former teacher in one rough part of Chicago, a Giants fan, and a diabetic.  Without exception they want to get better, and are willing to get input and advice from somebody they just met on how to make that happen.

I can't say it was easy, but I can say it was interesting, enlightening, and encouraging.  Oh, and a few years down the road, we'll be in very good hands.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Checking The Mood

This post was written last week.

Funny, cute. 

Had a picture.

Went to post it and the screen was completely blank.

How did I delete this?  I have no idea.

I cussed.

I will rewrite it and try again tomorrow.  I can't remember anything.  How am I going to remember what I wrote three days ago?

Shit.  Cuz I can't stop cussing when I'm an idiot.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

 It's been a busy week.  This is a piece I wrote a few years ago when illness struck.............

I have wondered for a long time if I am one of the millions of people who suffer a mental illness.  In a magazine article about obsessive-compulsive disorder, I matched three of the five signs, and told The Big Daddy that I might be in need of some professional help.  "Nahhhh", he said.  "I'm pretty sure your crazy meter is in the normal range."

On an early morning while drinking coffee, I read in the newspaper that Jackie Chan suffered a back injury while filming a movie, and then immediately got a stabbing pain in my left side.  Wow, I just need to read about someone else’s pain and I start hurting. I wasn’t sure what category of mental disorders that fell into, but I made note of it and got some ibuprofen.  A few hours later I was in the emergency room, hooked up to an i.v. and diagnosed with a kidney stone.  I was sent home with instructions to drink gallons of water per day and pee into a strainer.  If all went well, my stone would come out or break apart on its own and I would be fine.  If all didn’t go well, I would need surgery.  With my new best friend, Vicodin, I nursed my little rock and told The Big Daddy when he called to check on me, “I’m after me lucky charm.”  Only slurred.

For three weeks I drank and peed, with nothing to show for it but another appointment with the urologist.  I wasn't feeling much better, and was resigned to the fact that I would have to have surgery.  Initially, a resident came in and asked me how I was doing.  “Oh, I’m still having quite a bit of pain.”   “Left side flank pain?” he asked.  “Yes, yes, that's it,” I said.  I don't even know where the flank of me is.  “Well,” he said, “that’s interesting because we don’t see any sign of the stone on the x-ray.  I’m going to talk to the doctor and we’ll try to figure out what to do next.”  It was at that moment that I believe Jesus healed me, because as soon as he said they couldn’t find the stone, I felt much better.  Maybe I shouldn't have been so loosey-goosey with the Vicodin and paid more attention to what was landing in the strainer.

Eventually, Dr. Ologist came in the room and I flashed him a big healthy smile and assured him that my pain would probably subside soon..  Like as soon as I got to the parking garage.  He seemed concerned and told me that I could call him at any time should things change.  The Big Daddy watched this interchange, and the look on his face convinced me that he now understood that I was nuts.  I didn’t need to schedule another scan or appointment.  I only needed someone to suggest that I was well, and lo and behold, I was cured.

I am back to my old self, but I have to wonder whatever happened to that stone.  Maybe a piece of it broke off and is lodged near my aorta, and I need to start making plans for the afterlife.

Or maybe I'm straddling a wall of crazy.