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They were two kittens hanging around our yard. One, a golden tabby we nicknamed “The General” after the cat in the original (and still the best) “True Grit”. John Wayne’s character, Rooster Cogburn, had a cat in the movie named General Sterling Price. Love that name. Anyway, the other cat was a tortoise shell tabby that had an elongated face and giant ears. He reminded me of every cat I’d ever seen in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. We didn’t call him anything, but he was clearly a very clever kitty because he’d hang back as The General snatched some of the food I’d begun to offer from my hand and when it was dropped, the other cat would saunter up and eat it off the ground without ever having to get near the stupid human.
One day, the week before 09/11, I opened the front door and there on my welcome mat were The General and his sidekick. The minute I opened that door The General ran off but the other kitten sat there staring up at me and meowing.
“Well?” I asked, “are you coming in or not?”
He slowly stretched up from a sitting position and sashayed his little ass into our house and hearts.
And there he stayed.
We named him “Bugsy”, and later “Bugsy, the Insane” for his crazy antics. He had pink paw pads, and a pink nose, and the rest was gray and white. He looked like Bugs Bunny.
At his visit for neutering, the vet guessed he was at least part Abyssinian – a revered breed in ancient Egypt – due to his bat-like ears and regal profile. He was crazy smart, able to open drawers and doors. He came when called, argued incessantly when given a command before reluctantly doing whatever I asked, and in general was a royal pain in the ass.
And we loved him awful.
When he turned 10 I started having to give him insulin twice a day. When he turned 13 we added thyroid medication.
When he turned 16, after years of not wanting too much human contact, he became an affectionate and sweet lap kitty.
Last weekend, after being sick a couple of days, he went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
We buried him under a mesquite tree and cried, the hubs and I. We still catch ourselves looking for him in the house, and I’m hearing the echoes of his meow from time to time.
He will be missed, but as my 9-yr. old granddaughter said during her breakfast prayer yesterday, she’s hoping that he’s in heaven with her great-grandmother (who died the same day as Bugsy) and having fun playing together. I choose to join her in that sweet and pure belief.
And, when I die I’ll look for Bugsy, and Smokey, Duchess, and Bandit, and all the rest of the animals I’ve loved along the way.
We bought a mini-ranch, and this blog has just gone. to. hell. Hasn’t it?
Sorry, kids, but ranch and work and commute make awesy here not so awesy-ish. Or something. See, now I’m just rambling.
Where was I? Oh, right, I had not yet begun had I?
Begun what? You ask.
Today’s post, which in retrospect is probably not funny but desperate times and all that…
The hubs is a machinist.
Trust me, it looks like it’s random sitting up there by itself, that statement. But it’s important to the story. Or maybe I’m bragging.
Definitely one of those things.
We have been unpacking and sorting and decorating the ranch for elebenty-hunnert months now, and in one of the guest bedrooms we were missing bedside tables.
Tired of hearing guests curse whenever they went to either turn on a lamp, or lay their phone/keys/wands on the nightstand only to find there were none, we decided to buy some.
Only here’s the thing, we were adamant about re-purposing an old set.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find just the right set of old nightstands that aren’t covered in Scooby-Doo stickers, have things growing in the drawers, are missing a leg, or have been painted over so many times they are collapsing under the weight of the paint?
You know what, never mind. That isn’t even really what this post is about.
Suffice it to say it’s hard to find the right nightstands. Also, we did…after looking for six months under every Flea Market rock in the land (or at least the land we live near), we found two gorgeous tables. We also scored big on these solid wood babies, because it was approximately the surface-of-the-sun hot that day, and the poor vendor at the flea market booth was literally melting in front of our eyes – no shit, I’m not exaggerating (much) here..he was over six feet tall when we first spotted his tables. By the time we’d negotiated price, he was only five foot three. The rest of him was pooling at his feet.
We got them home, and then proceeded to place the set of gorgeous lamps the previous homeowners had left us on the tables.
Except, one of the lamps was missing the whazzit that you use to turn the switch on. It had the stem part – the part made of machined glass that will cut your fingers to ribbon if you can latch onto it , which you can’t so you have to either unplug the lamp every time you want to turn it off or keep a pair of pliers on the table so your guests don’t require stitches. But you see, pliers really aren’t in my decorating scheme and unplugging the lamp is just too much work.
In steps the hubs…the machinist who tells me he can make a “knurled knob out of black metalkote”.
The next day he does in fact bring home a knob-thingy. And it’s black. And it doesn’t fit.
“Well, I was guessing,” he says, “I thought it was a 256, but it’s gotta be a 440”
“Clearly” I said, haughtily. “You should have asked me. I coulda told you the standard 256 won’t work on these. Ya gotcher non-standard 256, but that’s risky. Idagone with the 440 from the git-go.” I said.
“You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do you?” He said, smugly…and right-ly.
And, the next day he brought home the 440 and it fit like a glove.
Of course, I could have told him that if he’d of just asked me in the first place.
*WARNING* Language and anger ahead. If you’re sensitive, go away now. If you’re a snowflake, go far, far away and don’t come back.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
WHISKEY. TANGO. FOXTROT.
Why is everyone so upset about this Pepsi ad?
It’s an advertisement. For a fucking soft drink. It’s no more, and it’s no less.
Get over yourselves, snowflakes of the world, you don’t get to be the only ones outraged. Wait, yes, you do get to be the only ones outraged when your outrage is so clearly manufactured. And, if it’s not, sweet clothespin jeebus, you people need to get out more. Or maybe just study your history.
You who protest a fucking Pepsi ad hide behind your keyboards, and compress your outrage in Twitter-sized posts. You weren’t there, on the front lines, fighting for equality. You need ‘safe zones’ everywhere you go. You’d probably piss yourselves if you were ever on the receiving end of true opposition to your beliefs.
If Dr. King, Jr were here he’d slap the shit out of you and tell you to shut up or dig in and work for those people who are still facing inequality and discrimination every day. Not just people of color, but all people.
If Mother Teresa were here, she’d pray for your fragile asses and go back to ministering to the unwashed masses; quietly bringing dignity and a measure of comfort to their lives.
If Ghandi where here, he’d tell you to find your inner peace and project it on those around you.
But none of them are here, and I’ve taken great liberties with what I’m *sure* they’d say if they were. Who knows? Maybe they’d dismiss you out of hand for the immature children you so clearly are.
I started this as a part one because I’m either naïve about the amount of baffling happenings living in the country will provide, or because I’m not.
It’s definitely your classic either/or situation.
Besides, it makes me look introspective and cool. Or not.
See what I mean?
Did you know that “in the country” there are a LOT of people who not only don’t have smart phones with GPS, they don’t even have smart phones? Or dumb ones they can carry around past their front porch – provided the cord stretches that far? They also don’t have voicemail or answering machines. There’s a helluvalot less conversing on the phone going on in the country. I’m convinced, given the sheer numbers of people I see parked in front of the local eateries, that that’s where one goes to talk to people who live in the country. It’s been interesting trying to get things done/fixed around the ranch. Interesting and slow.
“In the country” driving directions involve a lot of “…then ya go passed where the Souters red barn used to be, only it got hit by lightning in ’79 so it’s not there anymore, sad story, they lost their best mule in that fahr…” And I find myself very sad for the Souters’ loss, and I don’t even know them. I also don’t know how the hell to get where I’m going.
Did you know that “in the country” a good number of businesses are either cash only or cash/check? The first time I encountered the checks only thing, I had to sit down with a blank piece of paper and practice writing a check…yes, it had been that long. The first time I encountered a regular brick building business that was cash only was after I’d had my car inspected and handed the guy behind the very cluttered desk my debit card. He stared, blankly, at me. “We only take cash” he said.
Shit, I thought, now what do I do? I smiled, trying to buy some time. “Oh, guess I should’ve known when I didn’t see any of those ‘we accept VISA…’ signs in your window.”
“Welllll….I can take a check, if it’s local…” he said, smiling back at me.
“Oh, I’m local alright. Been living here a few months and just realized my car’s inspection was about to expire so thought I’d better get ‘er done, ya know..” shut up, you idiot “Anyhoo…here you go” I said, handing him the check, and then not able to leave well enough alone, added, “It’s a perfectly good check.” what the feck?
His face darkened, and looking at the check he said, “It better be; I know where you live now.”
Did I mention folks in the country can be a little scary?
So, had 2 of the granddaughters last week for a few days on the farm.
One of them caught a cold, and when she sneezed all over me all I could think of was this……
I’m really working hard on a post detailing the insanity of our move to the sticks. It was like a bad “B” movie, but with worse lighting.
Anyway, as I work on that, some random observations from things that’ve been going on.
- Our new ranch has a house and guest house (insert sarcastic “yay” for doubling the square footage I have to clean) and in both houses we got satellite television. Except in the guest house we didn’t get…something..some piece of equipment – a router? – that let’s us access the Internet on the television. This is important. Because Netflix and Hulu. So, I called my provider to get that fixed. And I spent a SOLID HOUR on the phone with a tech as she told me, I shit you not, her ENTIRE LIFE STORY. She is in her 20’s and has had a rough go. Dad’s done time, Mom died when she was young, she’s raised her sister. It’s a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie waiting to happen, kids. She kept saying to me “I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I haven’t even told my sister or Granny yet.” as she relayed recent events or innermost feelings. Since we only get landline coverage in the hinterlands I was trapped at the kitchen table, listening, as my husband kept going in and out looking perplexedly at me as each time he passed he saw the glassy-eyed look on my face. Finally, we got to the end of her story and she said a tech would be out to fix the problem. I hung up the phone with a headache, and I think a small country might have gone to war and won in the time it took for that conversation to end.
- Yesterday, I went to the post office to drop off my out-of-town packages for mailing. I’d already printed the postage and put it on the box, so I normally just set the packages on the counter and leave. But, yesterday I needed to get stamps so I stood in line. I’m so glad I did. The woman in front of me was 80 if she was a day, and she had on BRIGHT green pants, a trench coat over a simple blouse, and a matching BRIGHT green floppy hat with a long purple/pink/green paisley print ribbon wrapped around it. She was carrying a backpack that had skateboards and graphics all over its black exterior. Inside, she had a few packages she was sending. She giggled as she tried to extricate them one by one, saying “I wrapped these up so neat, and now I am going to tear them up just trying to get them out of here!” I offered to help her and her smile lit the room. Just when I thought she couldn’t be any cuter, the clerk called her to come up to the counter asking, “And how are you today, ma’am?” to which she LOUDLY replied, “I AM BLESSED IN THE LORD, YES I AM!!” Everyone in line, myself included smiled broadly and a few chuckled softly. Floppy Hat turned that sunny smile on all of us and said, “MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!!” And I thought as I watched her, ‘I want to be her. Just like that. Now and always.’ It was a magical moment, and I hope I can keep the memory.
……I come back with a purely political rant……go away now if you are an easily offended fan of Mr. Obama.
….you’ve been warned…
When Pres. Obama first ran for office, I listened to his campaign speeches and realized there was zero substance. It was too bad, because he was the most magnificent orator I’d ever heard. He spoke of “hope” and “change” and had nothing to offer. Still, I waited and listened and researched. I found a man who spent more than 20 years listening to his pastor damn America from the pulpit. He followed Saul Alinsky, and firmly believed in the man’s socialistic ideas. For me, these were the first red flags.
Then, “Joe the Plumber” happened, and I watched then-candidate Mr. Obama tell Joe that while it was great he was doing well, wouldn’t it be even better to “spread the wealth” around? There’s a word for that, friends, and that word is socialism.
I realized we were about to elect a socialist to the office of President. I didn’t think the American public would be that stupid. But they were.
Shortly after taking office, Pres. Obama spoke out on a local police matter involving a black professor at Cambridge, calling the local police “stupid”. I was shocked to hear a sitting President criticizing a local law enforcement officer’s actions. This is simply not done and is the height of idiocy and arrogance for a President to give voice to his personal feelings over something that’s none of his business. I began to really worry what he might do next.
Well, it wasn’t what he did, it was what he didn’t do. He didn’t have that ‘open’ and ‘honest’ Presidency he boasted about. He didn’t post legislation for review, and he didn’t apologize for it.
In 2010, he said “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” I couldn’t believe my ears. A Commander-in-Chief just announced our withdrawal date to the enemy forces. I began to wonder if he was naïve or just plain stupid. Turns out, I believe, he’s a little of both. And that is a dangerous combination in the leader of the free world.
During his tenure, our national debt has increased by $7 trillion dollars. That’s more than every president before him combined. Despite his spending like a drunken sailor, more people are permanently out of the work force (some 11+ million), more people are on assistance (20% of Americans are now receiving food stamps as of 2013), and nearly 11 million Americans are on disability. And our economic growth is pitiful, if not downright stagnant. These numbers do not lie, and point to massive problems. One of which is our President’s inability to understand and accept how a free market society operates.
Then, the ACA – or Obamacare. Get to keep your doctor? Riiiiiiiiiiight. Costs will go down? Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Yet, Pres. Obama said both were true. He either lied or is so naïve as to believe that insurance companies would simply absorb the costs associated with his massive plans. Not to mention the fact that the ACA forces the average American to buy something he/she may not want. Smacks, again, of socialism.
Pres. Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, is the first AG ever…ever..to be held in contempt of Congress. How bad does one have to behave to earn that distinction? And how poor is the judgement of the man who appointed him? Frighteningly bad.
His administration gave guns to Mexican cartels that were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and border agent Brian Terry. Now, the Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for that illegal behavior. More recently, his administration gave cash to the Iranian government in return for…nothing. We got nothing in return for giving money to terrorists hell-bent on destroying the United States.
For 8 years, Pres. Obama has attempted to thwart Israel’s every move to secure their sovereignty in the Middle East. Our most staunch ally in the region and he has insulted, harassed, and personally stopped the shipment of necessary arms to the Israeli military. It’s a wonder Netanyahu doesn’t tell him to go fuck himself. I can only think he’s just biding his time, knowing this clown will be gone soon.
So, my dear readers, these are just a few of the reasons (sweet jeebus, as I think about it I believe I could write a novel on all the reasons) I feared an Obama presidency. And just a few of the things I saw happen. It got to the point where I wasn’t even surprised by his stupidity anymore, and I, too, was just biding my time knowing it would end eventually. Thanking God for term limits as the end of this particularly horrid chapter in our history came ever closer.
Does President-Elect Trump have the answers? I don’t know. I only know he loves this country, loves the ideals it was built on, loves capitalism, and believes in the American dream. How far can that take us? Again, I don’t know, but I’m willing to go along for the ride and find out. I think we should check back here in a couple of years to see where we might be.
Did you ever just have so much going on in your life, some good, some not so good, that you felt like you should build a blanket-fort, get inside with some cookies, milk, and a stack of books and threaten anyone who dared peek in with maiming?
Yeah, me either.
I was just checking.
…why I love my husband. so. very. much.
Picture a blender, filled to the brim with:
- Greek yogurt
- protein powder
And by “filled” I mean 8 cups full. The above is what goes into my blender every morning to make the smoothies we drink/eat for breakfast every day.
This morning was no different, at least not until the moment when I pushed the button and the bottom of the glass jar separated from the plastic fluglebinder what screws onto the bottom and fits over the pin that makes the whirly-whoosh go ’round.
It’s very technical, so try to keep up.
Suddenly it looked like some unfortunate soul had blown chunks all over my stove, the counter, the tiny space between the two, the blender and me.
“Feckity, feckity, feckity, FUCK!” I screamed.
Hubby, from the bedroom said, “What happened?”
To which I replied, “The blender came apart and there’s blender-puke everywhere!”
He came out of the room, obviously not able to grasp the concept of “blender-puke” and upon surveying the carnage said, “But, what happened? I mean how?”
“I don’t know,” I said, grabbing paper towels to try and stem the river before it hit the floor. “but, it looks like it separated.”
“How?” He asked, his voice registering agitation.
“Look,” I began, getting pissed, “I don’t have time to argue with you about how it happened right now.”
“What? You can’t multi-task?” He said, his face a deadpan.
I started to giggle, and then he started to giggle, and then we cleaned up the barf.
And that is why I love him. He makes me laugh, even when I don’t want to.
And you thought I was going to relay some sappy story about hearts and flowers and shit like that, didn’t you? It’s like you don’t even know me.