Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Hooray! A Funeral!

Well, I was fortunate enough to NOT be a part of CrazyFriend's latest attempt to "help" someone.
She found out last week that her second cousin was dying.
Now this is a person who she did not get along with terrible well...
She told me numerous times that she was intimidated by these people, (the cousin, her mother, the boyfriend) and that she had "alienated" them.

And had had very little contact with them

Up until the last couple of days.

And then she was on a mission.

A mission of mercy.

She offered to sit with the woman.
She wanted the people to find out about the "resources" that were available.
She wanted them to know about products that would make her care easier.
She wanted to help so she would be more comfortable.
She wanted to read to her.
She wanted to talk to them about her pain medication.
She wanted to talk to the hospice nurse to find out exactly what they were doing.

CrazyFriend was totally in her element.

She was beside herself.
She was excited.
Someone was dying and she had a chance to be part of it (whether they wanted her or not..)
I could hear it in her voice.
She was excited.
She was animated.
It was her thing.

But sadly, it didn't last very long.
The poor woman died on Sunday.

Oh well.

But look on the bright side.

Now CrazyFriend has a funeral to go to on Saturday.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Everything was fine until the fish died.

Okay....Yesterday didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped but I tried to make the best of it.
I went Christmas craft show at the fairgrounds because I finally decided that this was the year I was going to get a Missy Goode hat. After all these years (nearly 10) of looking at them and talking about them, I finally decided that I was going to get my very own. Fine.
So.....I went to the craft show.

I left early yesterday morning thinking I would get there early before the crowds, only to discover that that was apparently what everyone else in town thought. It was only 10:00 and the parking lot was half full and there were lines at the gates. No problem. I paid my $6 and went bravely on in.

I walked around the Cantey Building the way I normally would when we used to attend these shows regularly. I started at the far side and looked at the vendors, assuming that I would eventually come across the Northstar Leather guy about three rows over. He'd been at that show for years and I had no reason to think he wouldn't be there. But then, I started to get worried. There was no sign of him. He wasn't in his usual spot. I walked around the entire building and looked and double checked just to make sure. No Norhtstar Leather guy. I felt this sinking feeling in my stomach. So even though I knew it wouldn't do any good, I went over to the Ellis building. Just in case. Not there either. I went back through the Cantey building a second time, in case I missed him. Not there. I checked with the front desk. Surprise. The Northstar Leather guy retired from doing shows, He wasn't there, after all these years.

But....I decided all was not lost and I was going to figure out something. I had my lunch at California Dreaming like I'm supposed to when we go to the fairgrounds (it's a rule to keep the universe in balance...) and then I tried to think of where I could get a hat. I half-heartedly tried the BackPacker but all they had were Tilley hats (i knew that, I just wanted to check..) and then I decided to try Sportsman's Warehouse. I wasn't that far and I knew that they had a few leather hats. So off I went down I26. It's fun to go to Sportsman's Warehouse anyway. I was distracted (we won't even go into the post office question on Assembly Street because I clearly wasn't thinking. ) and trying to figure out what to do.

Well...THAT little side trip paid off.; I found one of their one remaining leather hats that looked good and actually fit well. And it was marked down from $40 to $24. Worked for me. It was NOT an official Missy Goode hat but I got it anyway. After all that, it was close enough. I also picked up a few small items and when I got to the check-out counter, the cashier took ANOTHER $7 off my hat! Wow! So I got an unofficial Missy Goode hat for $17. That made me happy.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around. It was too early to go home. I went back to Five Points. I stopped at Loose Lucy's and bought 30 sticks of incense for $5.00 and I discovered that they had put a stupid new boutique retail shop in the storefront where Adriana's had been. Crap. We NEEDED a good local coffeehouse....not that crappy Starbuck's on the corner....but oh no! They put in another retail store with ridiculously expensive clothes for anorexic 18 year old college students. Oh well. I got my incense (Did you know that being "censed" is having incense waved at you..like if you were a saint and a censer is an incense burner? ) I didn't either.

Off I went from Five Points. Normally,, my next stop would have been Earth Fare, nut I have quit going there (unless I really need to use the bathroom) but I didn't so I went on past. I did stop at the Fresh Market. Now THAT was well worth the extra stop. I went in to buy scones but the last ones I bought were really dry so I opted for filled croissants instead. As i was walking through the market, wearing my new faux-Missy Goode hat, a lady stopped me (total stranger in the middle of the store) and said "You look sooo cute. You are just adorable. I love your look...." Look? I didn't know I had a LOOK (I guess it was the new faux-hat) and I have NEVER in my life been called "cute" or "adorable". Hell.....I'm KEEPIN' the hat!

That was that. I headed on home..it was 3 o'clock and I'd driven over 70 miles and spent more money than I should have (although it was considerably LESS money than I'd intended to spend). And everything was fine, or so I thought.

Unfortunately, this is where the sad part starts and I am still very upset and unhappy. I got home, had a cup of coffee and too Cookie outside. Hubby had been home all day, making a pot roast for himself and taking the trash to the dump. Well, Cookie wanted to walk around the house so I took her out. Well........when we got over by the fish pond, she was jumping around at something. Sad sad sad......I found one of the fish DEAD on the outside of the pond. It was awful. I had no idea how he'd gotten there. I know he didn't commit suicide because they were very happy fish and they'd been in that pond for over 2 years. They'd grown from tiny little fingerlings to almost 6" long and they would come to the top of the water to be fed. Well, I quickly buried the poor guy so Cookie or the cats wouldn't find him and I came in and told my husband that I'd found one of the fish on the outside of the pond, dead. He thought for a moment and then said..'I was taking leaves out of the pond about noon....' "Oh NO!!! The poor fish came to the top, thinking he was going to be fed and hubby must have scooped him out with the leaves!!!!!! Noooooo! Now, I KNOW this was an accident and hubby felt really bad but the poor fish. What a sad ending and I DO wish hubby had been more careful. I am just very sad. He was a pet, after two years. I know hubby feels bad and I haven't said anything more. I am just very sad.

That was it. I showed hubby my new hat and told him it was a Missy Goode hat even though it really wasn't. I didn't have to cook dinner because he'd made his pot roast for himself. I had a bowl of instant mashed potatoes for my dinner, watched a B-movie on the computer. I didn't feel like listening to hubby's clever comments through all the television shows. I had a book to read so I claimed being tried from my shopping day and I went to bed at 7:30. I was just very sad.

Like I said.....everything was fine until the fish died.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why is everything I eat SWEET?

My head hurts.
My teeth ache.
And it starts out this way every morning.
I feel like I have had an IV shot of 50% dextrose.
I hate this feeling.
It seems like everything I eat is sweet.
Ugh...ack. :-p
I suspect that I am "pre-diabetic" (if there is such a thing).
And it won't be long until I am really diabetic.
I guess I need to change this.
But I don't quite know how.
Everything I eat is sweet.
Sweet tea (this is the South, y'know)
Sugar in my coffee.
Jam on my toast.
Sugar in my cereal.
Maple syrup on my pancakes and French toast.
EVERYTHING I eat is sweet.
Yuck. :-P

Monday, November 16, 2009

What makes it "ART"?

I guess I just don't get it.
I really don't understand what makes something "ART".
The reason I got to thinking about it is I went to the Art Museum this weekend.
A friend who makes silver jewelry had her things at a high end "art" festival that was sponsored by the museum.
Along with about a dozen or so other ....I want to call them "vendors" but they want to be called "artists".
Okay...so about a dosen or so other "artists".
I enjoyed the show.
I thought some of the stuff was really neat.
Weavings, hand made Christmas ornaments, mosaics, pottery.
And I like my friend's work.
But what escapes me is: What makes it "ART" and not just a unique, kitchy craft that someone enjoys doing.
And WHY does it demand outrageous prices?
One woman at the show was actually selling "Tin Can Telephones" (two old soup cans painted in bright colors and attched with a string).

Is it the cost of the materials?
Is it the time?

Is it the uniqueness of the creation?
Is it because you have a degree in "ART"?
I guess it's like my husband said: "Either you're artsy-fartsy or your not."
Maybe it's how you think of yourself.
It's like that old platitude, "If you want to be a writer, just call yourself a writer".
If you want to be an artist, can you just call yourself one?
What if nobody else will call you an artist.
It's a very closed community.
I like to paint a little bit just for fun.
But apparently it's not "ART".
I can cut things out on my band saw and paint them and they are clever and unique (I LOVE my fish and kitty cats). Handmade. Hand painted.

I LOVE my Wizard of Oz collage.
But apparently, they are not "ART".
We met a sweet elderly lady who was making the neatest bracelets out of troll beads to pass the time while she was waiting to visit her dying husband who was in the intensive care unit.
She sold them for $5 just to cover the cost of the materials so she could have something to do to pass the long hours. They were beautiful. They were made with love and patience.

But they were not "ART".
Where is the line here?
What exactly makes it "ART"?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No, you may not put your dead cat in my refrigerator.

Well, another episode in a day with CrazyFriend.
As I mentioned, one of the little kitties died last night.
It was sad and we miss her but it was not unexpected and she went very quietly.

But I had to break the news to CrazyFriend this morning.

Now CrazyFriend is one of those over the top animal lovers.

Not quite to the level of PETA but she has her own crusade.
(it has to do with roadkill..so don't even ask.)
She does everything and goes everywhere and will go to extraordinary measures for a stray kitten she finds on the street.

And every time something (or someone) dies she wants to have an autopsy.
When her mother died, she wanted to have an autopsy.
(I was there with her in the emergency room. The doctor was puzzled by the request)
When her father died, she wanted to have an autopsy.
He was 85 years old, a brittle diabetic, double amputee, had had multiple surgeries and spent the last two years of his life in a nursing home.
When she returned from California and her cat she had out there died, she actually put the CAT in the FREEZER then had it shipped overnight here to South Carolina and tried to take it to the Clemson Research Center to have it autopsied.
And she wanted to have this poor little Sicky Cat autopsied.

She has this guilt thing.
She wants everything posted so she can know if there was something more she should have or could have done.

She's never done enough.
If a gerbil died, she would want to have an autopsy.

If a parakeet died, she would want to have an autopsy.
(yes, I know if it's an animal it's technically called a necropsy but I digress)

The little Sicky Cat died yesterday evening, quietly in her bed.
She was warm and comfortable and did not struggle.
I did NOT call CrazyFriend to tell her.
It was after dark, raining and cold.
And she would have driven out here, taken the little cat home stuck it in the freezer (I am SERIOUS) and then driven around with the dead cat today until she found a vet who would do an autopsy .
She would have gone to the Clemson Research Center.

Where they would have looked at her like she's just landed from Mars in a spaceship.
It was "important".

I waited and told her this morning.
AFTER we had a very nice little $2.49 funeral here at the house for the kitty..

We buried her under a tree near the bird bath.
She would have liked that.
She had a long and difficult life.
She died quietly.
She needed to be left alone.

This is one of CrazyFriend's ongoing REALLY crazy notions.
Everything that dies...she wants "answers".
It's a real guilt issue, not a "knowledge" issue like she claims.

Leave the little kitty be.
Rest in Peace, little kitty.

Dead is dead.

Nothing is going to change that.

Get over it, CrazyFriend.

(8 days to Missy Goode)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sad evening....poor kitty

Well, it's a very sad evening.
One of my little kitties just died a little while ago.
She was very frail and had been in poor health for a very long time.
I guess she finally used up all of her nine little lives.
Sad. Poor Sicky Cat has gone to Kitty Heaven.
Bye bye Sicky Cat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally finished with the doctor....

Well, yesterday was a busy day but it turned out pretty well.
We went to lunch at Mr. Friendly's (one of the best lunch places in town and one of the more expensive as well). But it was well worth it.
We had roast duck (yummy yum), garlic mashed potatoes and succotash.
It was soooooo delicious.
We don't go there that often because it winds up being a $30 lunch but once in a while, it is so good, we just can't help ourselves.

After lunch, we went to my orthopedic surgeon appointment for my ankle.
I was hoping it would be my last appointment.
I've been seeing him since the middle of July when I broke it.
I did have some new questions and concerns that I wanted to talk with him about.
I REALLY needed to get the stitches out.
That was driving me crazy and that was the first thing they did.
But the ongoing problem is the fact that my ankle is still very swollen and while it doesn't hurt in the sense of "Ow ow, I want some pain medication", I am always aware of it feeling not quite right.
My gait isn't quite right, I have to be very careful on any uneven surfaces and if I don't put on my compression hose, the swelling is really bad.
He checked it over and took some additional x-rays just to be sure I hadn't cracked the stainless steel plate.
He said everything looked fine on the x-rays.
And he asked me how much I was doing.
When I told him, he kinda said "Well, you may be doing entirely too much and you might want to take it easy, stay off your feet, elevate your ankle and maybe ice it down."
And he offered to start cortisone injections if it was really bothering me.
Now THAT is a can of worms that I really don't want to open up.
BUT on a good note, he said he'd done all he can do, more physical therapy won't help and I was free to go on my merry way.
So unless this swelling really becomes a problem. I won't have to see him again.
AND he was nice enough to extend my handicapped sticker for another 3 months.
He has been very nice and very accommodating throughout this entire ordeal.
I have been very pleased with his care and his office staff have all been very kind and professional.
If I had to break my ankle. I had a very good doctor.

Sooo. that was it.
An exceptionally yummy lunch and a good doctor's visit.
Not an entirely bad day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Worsr Lunch EVER and my Feud with Earth Fare

Now...I am a lunch person. It is no secret that we eat out 5 or 6 times a week and almost always it's lunch.
I don't care much about breakfast (coffee and toast will do) and I simply don't eat dinner anymore.

But lunch is very very important.

We go to many different restaurants and have a number of favorites.
The quality of lunch sets the tone for the day.
LUNCH is important.
And I believe that on Thursday, I had one of the WORST lunches I have ever had here in Columbia. EVER.

Here's what happened:

I went into town to do a number of things. I wanted to go to the Goodwill Store, I wanted to go to Home Depot and I had to go to the commissary to do the grocery shopping.

And here was my dilemma. I left the house early so I couldn't really go to lunch at one of the places on this side of town.

And I really didn't feel like driving all the way downtown. Plus, although I was not is a rush, I didn't want to spend the time dawdling over an hour long lunch like I would normally do.

So.....I got halfway downtown and I thought of Earth Fare. The warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" grocery store. Now, I know, it is not my favorite place and the food there is some what unpredictable.

But I thought, okay, I just want a sandwich.

And I thought, yeah okay try Earth Fare. I'm right here. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, honestly, it turned out the be one of the WORST lunches I have ever had in this town.

I left a handwritten note for the manager of the store and this is a copy of the email that I sent their corporate offices:

Hello to Earth Fare:

I would like very much to tell you about my lunch at the Earth Fare store on Devine Street here in Columbia South Carolina.

I eat lunch out 5 or 6 times a week so I know the restaurants in town. This was not my first time at the rodeo.

Although I do shop there for just a few small items, I rarely eat at Earth Fare becuase the experience tends to be unpredictable at best and very negative at worst.

Out of time constraints and convenience, I decided (somewhat reluctantly) to stop at Earth Fare for lunch on Thursday, 5 November and unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the WORST lunch experiences I have ever had.

It was getting close to noon so the lunch buffet was pretty busy.

The staff appeared to be besides themselves, trying to do multiple tasks. The cashier in the lunch line was trying to ring up lunches, make coffees and smoothies. She was trying very hard to the lunch line was at a standstill while she blended strwberry-banana smoothies.

I went to the deli side and chose a turkey and bries sandwich. The disheveld looking young woman there was totally distracted, trying to heat up pizzas, fill deli orders and doing other tasks behind the counter.

She came around, pulled my sandwich out of the refigerator case, warmed it up ever so slightly in an "oven" and after adding a handful of stale chips that she pulled from a bag that was wadded up under the counter, the slapped it into a plastic container and literally shoved it at me and went back to other tasks.

The area around the deli was disgusting. There was an empty rotisserie case which didn't look like it had been used or cleaned in ages. There were crumbs everywhere on the counters and food was spilled along the lunch buffet. The "recycling" side where you are supposed to bus your own tables was stacked with trays, dirty dishes and plastic glasses. Food was spilled and no one was making an effort to keep the area clean.

My sandwich was cold and tasteless. The "chips were flat and stale. I couldn't finish it. I just gave up. This poorly prepared food was in no way worth the $7.61 that I spent.

I wanted to speak to the store manager but the place was very busy and I needed to be on my was because I had many errands to finish.

Instead I left a note in the "suggestion" box, explaining my very negative experience. I included my name, phone number and email address, hoping to get a responce.

I really feel this is a management issue and should be addressed.

The staff was overworked, rude and distracted. The lunch area was disgusting.

This needs to be brought to your attention.

Although I may still shop there for the few small items I like, I will NEVER try to eat lunch at Earth Fare again.

Thank you for your time.

I would appreciate a specific response from a real person about thism NOT just the standard form letter saying "thank yo for contacting Earth Fare." For a store that is promoting the warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" eating experience, this was totally unacceptable.


Now hopefully, that will get someone's attention.

I did get a call from the district manager of Earth Fare but he left a message on my machine and I never did get to speak with him.

I don't know what he has to say.

Hopefully, he will call again.

I'm not even angry. I don't even want to go back there.

I will never, ever try to eat at "healthy" warm, fuzzy feel-good Earth Fare.

What a fiasco.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say it anyway.....

I'm here.
I didn't mean to be here but I got here by default so I am going to hang around even though I don't have much to say.
Yesterday was pleasant enough.
I went to lunch with CrazyFriend and it was fine.
We even discussed her "boyfriend' (insert: leech,sleaze,freeloader,con man) and I suggested that if she is going to insist on him staying on (he's been living with her for 2 years, he's not going anywhere) that instead of just forking money over to him, that she sit down, figure out how much money he needs for the month and then give him that specified amount. If he spends it or saves it or throws it away, that is up to him but that is what he gets, no more, no less. That way, she will at least have some idea of how much he is taking her for every month.
Actually I think it is an excellent idea......but she will never do it.
He owns her and she is no longer in control of her house, her cars, her money or her life.
But it was a constructive suggestion.

After lunch, we wandered around a bit. We had cinnamon pumpkin frozen yogurt (it was absolutely delicious) and we shopped a bit.
One of our favorite stores (Christopher & Banks) is having a big sale this weekend (40% off everything in the store) but you could BUY stuff today at the sale price. You just couldn't pick it up until Saturday. I found a really nice denim-style jacket and I got it. CrazyFriend found a number of things that really looked nice on her and things she liked but she didn't buy anything. She e the jacket I wanted to "think about it.." I HATE that. I don't know what there is to "think about". If you like it, get it. If you don't, forget about it. But it was a very nice sale.

CrazyFriend also talked me into going to an Italian Festival they are having this Saturday in Finlay Park. I am not that keen on going (I have little interest in anything Italian except maybe lasagna) but her "boyfriend" (insert: sleaze,creep,moocher, golddigger) won't go with her so I said I would. Okay, I am trying to be the sensitive guy. I always wind up being the guy in this relationship.)

That was it. The rest of my Wednesday was quiet. I picked Cookie up from Day Care and on the way to get her, I stopped and bought a $1.00 scratch-off and I won $6.00. I was very pleased. I kept $5.00 and bought another scratch-off with the extra dollar. That of course was zero, nada. But I am not complaining about an unexpected extra $5.00/ Yay! I do so want to buy 100 scratch-offs. I wish I had the nerve and the $$$ to do that.

I watched TV the rest of the evening, changed the beds and had pancakes for dinner. It was a very quiet evening. Hubby got home early from dinner with his friend.

Today? What am I doing today you ask?

Well, today is hubby's day to go to the commissary but it is so gorgeous out that I told him I would go. I really don't want to stay in all day and I wouldn't mind getting out. I don't mind going to the commissary and I can stop at a few places on the way:
Home Depot (landscaping timber)
Ace Hardware (3" wood screws)
The Goodwill Store (who knows?)
Petsmart (new collar for Cookie)
WallyWorld (potato salad)
Commissary (groceries)
Lunch (Zaxby's)

It looks like it will be a busy day but believe me, I would rather be busy than sitting around.

That is my non-entry for today.

Countdown to Missy Goode (15 days)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Children and Bars

It is a rainy Sunday.
I go out to have a quiet pleasant day all to myself.
And I want to have a quiet lunch.
So I drive all the way downtown to the university district and I go to a place that I KNOW is a slightly grungy college bar to eat.
Bar food. Twenty-two year old waitresses. Peanuts with shells thrown on the floor.
I think it is safe.
But what do I find??
Yuppies and their adorable (so they think....) CHILDREN (shudder).

Yuppie parents.
Please do NOT bring your little children to bars to eat.

Babies and toddlers do not belong in a bar.
I'm sorry.
If I cannot carry my gun in a place that has a bar or serves alcohol, you should not be able to bring your children either.
And maybe you should have to get a permit to have children.
I had to get a permit to carry my gun.

What was supposed to be a quiet lunch at a BAR turned out to be an adventure in baby-sitting.
Now, it is no secret that I do not like children.
I do not want to be around them.
I don't think they are cute or adorable.
I do not find them amusing or entertaining.
I find them irritating and annoying.
I do not understand them, I cannot communicate with them.
They are foreign little creatures to me.
They are aliens.

I think there should be safe, child free zones for people like me.
Like bars. Dark, slightly grungy bars where you order greasy food and throw peanut shells on the floor.
A bar is no place for a child.
I don't care how cute and adorable you think they are.

They don't belong in a bar.

No NaNoWriMo For Me

NOVEMBER 1 2009:

Today is the kick-off day for NaNoWriMo. I tried to do it last year but I failed so i won't be doing it again. Last year I was quite excited. I even went out and bought an old dinosaur of a computer for $125 from a guy in his garage. It had a functioning word processor (that was all I cared about) and I could drag it around with me everywhere. I started off very well but the first thing that happened was I got sick for four days (disastrous during NaNoWriMo) and then I just sort of ran out of steam and gave up. So I won't be doing it this year. I would like very much to write a cozy but I think I need to do it on my schedule. They say the one thing that all writers need is a deadline. According to NaNoWriMo advocates, that is ALL you need. They say "No Plot,No Problem" all you need is a deadline. But I don't think that is necessarily true. I think you need some inspiration otherwise you are just churning out words. No plot, no problem? Maybe so, maybe I can just make my own deadline. But this year, NaNoWriMo is kicking off without me. I do wish I could join some of the local groups though. That would be more interesting than the furiously writing a novel in a month part for me.
The time has changed.
Now I REALLY hate fall. I am miserable when the time changes like this. It gets dark at 5:30 and I wind up going to bed at 7:00. I HATE it but I can't help it. Once I have had dinner and it is dark....my body says it is time to go to bed. Period. I HATE this and I will complain about it from now until April or whenever it changes back again.
Frankly I don't understand WHY we continue daylight savings time. It is an arcane, outdated practice that we just continue for no good reason....the same as summer vacation for kids. There is NO basis in agriculture to continue it any longer. But it's still here and it still makes me miserable.
That's it. Not many profound thoughts for the first day of November. Yesterday was pleasant enough. We went out for a very nice lunch, I bought a pair of grey dress trousers at JC Penney's. Then we had frozen yogurt and went to the book store where I found another cozy on sale this time for only $2.97. For some ridiculous reason that I cannot figure out, Books-a-Zillion has put their Christmas books on sale now. So I found two books, from good established authors with good reviews, one for $3.97 and the other for $2.97. Both of them were current, $14.00 trade paperbacks. I don't understand it but I am not complaining.
Right now it is raining. I thought it was going to clear up and I pulled my car out but the rain started again. I guess I'll go out anyway and get some lunch and go to Wally World. It's better than sitting here all day bored to tears. At least I will get out for a couple of hours. My ankle hurts. I wish I could go to the doctor tomorrow and not wait until Thursday. I need to get these stitches out. They've been in too long. I mat call him tomorrow but it's really hard to get an appointment with him.

Countdown to Missy Good: 19 days