Friday, April 3, 2020


The other day I saw my neighbor’s garage door up again and sent him a text message as nobody appeared to be home. I asked if he wanted me to do anything. J called with profuse thanks and asked if I would please close it even though he and his daughter were soon returning. As requested, by the way, I’ve saved their keypad code in case of future incidents.

In the meantime we talked as I crossed the street. Out of the blue he asked if I was still taking walks. I admitted to not going every day but planned to do so soon. He suggested I invite his wife along for conversation and companionship. Ummm… She is a wonderful person, and also a nurse at a local hospital.

Don’t get me wrong, she and I were rather close friends before she became a busy wife and mother. I even drove the two of us on a trip during a rough time. She’d been widowed young and started dating an a-hole swearing his marriage was one of convenience. Right… Eventually she wised up before meeting her future husband and father of their child.

Managing not to bark a bemused laugh, I said nothing to J about my concerns. But I dont know who his wife has been around and sure won’t be calling anytime soon. I will refrain from neighborhood walks for now to avoid any awkwardness.

Should I have told J my honest opinion? Shouldn
t he likewise be wary of me instead of trusting I am virus free just because we are introverts? And on that note, isnt it amusing that hes lived here fifteen years and believes I crave company?


Thursday, April 2, 2020

‘Buyer’ Beware

Decades ago I bought a small potted cactus, assured by the garden center employee it would thrive. Boy, did it. I now have not one but two separate garden patches that will take over concrete if given half a chance.

This color combination reminds me of sunrise and sunset.
Above is a past image of the prickly pear’s gorgeous flowers. From what I had to cut back yesterday, this year we’ll see a bumper crop.

The entire plant is edible, and nopalitos was a favorite specialty at an area restaurant. But I am a chicken about handling them myself. It’s not the visible spines that get you. Rather, one needs to be careful of the tiny barbed glochids. Those things detach easily, lodge in your skin, and are near invisible if not for the fortunate red coloration of my particular species.

Yesterday I set about the annual chore of cutting back encroaching pads. The roots actually drag soil onto the pavement as the plants grow. I scraped up and saved as much dirt as possible, boxed up the discards, sealed it with plenty of packing tape, and wrote notes of caution about the contents. This spring I decided to have a little fun and added a sign.

I figured we all need a laugh right now.

To my shock, a regular scavenger driving by slowed his old truck, stopped, backed up, and took the box. I called out a warning, to which he assured me he wanted the spines to detour animals invading his garden. Okay… What more could I do?

Did you know Ohio flora included an indigenous perennial cactus? Have you ever eaten or at least seen nopalitos on a menu? Does your local grocer stock edible canned cactus?


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bedraggeled Beauty & Fantastical Fun - a Random Virtual Tour of My Eclectic Aquarium Design (I spent too long goofing around and I'm too tired to reorganize the images)

Robin on a Rainy Day

Backside of Miniature Seahorse 'Aquarium'

A Trio of (Vintage) Goldfish Encounter the Goth Garden

Silly serpent eating a faded & once floating fake lionfish

Japanese Village

Floating islands inspired by  overpriced online merchandise.
I repurposed old decor using scissors & lots of super glue.
Suspended from excess air tubing via fishing line, they
are occasional hangouts for my spotfin gobies.

Fantasy Section: Mermaid on Manta Ray Meeting Unicorns
The 3D laser glass of mother & colt were gifted long ago
by my dear big brother S and sweet sister (-in-law) T

I searched for these tank safe LEDs to enhance my
two unicorns without being quite so blinding
as lit displayed on a shelf. The mermaid
figurine was a vintage eBay find
(Lucky me on all counts!)

Decorative Sea Horse Aquarium (within an Aquarium)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thumbs Down and Oiled Up

My coping mechanism during these unprecedented times has been endless solitaire played on my iPod Classic. Yes. This means a spin/click wheel. I know virtual card games are available for my iPod touch and laptop. There was just something extra comforting in the old familiar technology.

Image from eBay
Unfortunately, hundreds of games predominantly using my right hand caused a mild repetitive stress injury. Oops. Hitting the space key is now my left index finger’s job, no easy feat. Oh, well, I’ll no doubt work it out. And reading is an excellent, painless pastime. Meanwhile, before my topic goes all oily, here is more fun with my stop motion camerawork.

The poor dear has no idea she’s on candid camera. When she appeared in the living room I went back and stopped filming at just the right time, no editing needed. Sorry its so dark and grainy, but isnt she just the cleanest cute little kitty?

Sad to say, I also bring up oil due to the pandemic. One handy item nobody else has mentioned to my knowledge is petroleum jelly. My husband purchased a small jar some years ago for fire starting. Last week I recalled the material’s soothing and moisturizing properties.

We picked up a larger tub during our final trip inside the local grocery store. I’ve since reserved my favorite lip balm sticks for portability. A lifetime of lifesaving steroids in my asthma medications resulted in dry eyes, as well. Too bad the jelly would blur my vision as my eye drop stock is drying up. Heh… Not Sorry.

Do you have any petroleum jelly at home? Is there another item or activity you would suggest to restore some comforting first world normalcy?


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Oops! I forgot to think of a title.

I have to admit, that 'brave' anonymous person who trolled me on my last post made me laugh. What a moron. But please don't check it out if (lengthy and rambling) idiotic vitriol upsets you.

Instead, enjoy Jezebel "helping" hold down my Kindle

Meanwhile, my hope today is sharing some laughs with a quirky list of blessings. Some aren't quite funny, but rather cool incidentals in my humble opinion. So, below are eight rather silly things making the crisis more bearable here.

1. Since Ohio is on a shelter in place edict, a clingy friend across the state can no longer hound me about visiting.

2. A few weeks ago we accidentally doubled up on purchasing sugar and liquid hand soap while I put laundry detergent and mouthwash on the list way early. How lucky is that?

3. I feel vindicated eating some foods with absolutely zero redeeming qualities. After all, that box of Cocoa Wheats isn't getting any younger.

4. We have a tiny extra stash of body wash, toothpaste, and whatnot following last September's little 'adventure'. Who knew getting hospitalized for a swollen tongue would benefit us months later?

5. I reinvested in my aquarist hobby this year, because watching my fish and making homemade decorations are both very calming.

6. Likewise, I not only discovered neat filming options available on my iPod Touch, but my husband bought the adapter that converted my awesome old tripod for its usage.

7. His emergency room visit years ago has us stocked with several tubes of antibacterial ointment for things like my little gashed thumb tip, which I'm happy to report is healing well.

8. I decided to grow out my bangs last year, so while my wild graying hair doesn't look so great, it's past the awkward stage when the ends constantly pokes my eyeballs.

How are you doing? Are mainstream media reports getting you down or have you found alternative news sources with a more even-tempered tone?


Monday, March 23, 2020

Bonus Clip

I finally figured out how to edit film on my iPod touch! My filming technique needs finesse, but it still makes me happy. The process is so easy. This is a snippet of more footage from our flooded park.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Duh Moments, & Wait... What? Why?

After I blogged about the snafu with our census paperwork my husband admitted that he found the paper on his desk yesterday morning. ~sigh~ That had crossed my mind, but it seemed like one of my bizarrely lifelike dreams of late. Seems like someone has been staying up too late and all but sleepwalking to bed.

What can I say? I feel more stressed by world events in the mornings and stay up in order to sleep in. ~shakes head~ It's lucky I don't have to earn a living because avoidance is a lame but rather effective coping mechanism.

Listening to music is another. Right now I'm playing the score to the movie "Army of Darkness". It's good stuff, before Sam Raimi stuck to directing all this 'cape crap', as I've taken to calling these endless comic book movies/CGI fests. Well, insert a more offensive 's' word other than crap.


Don't blame me. I learned it from my husband's addiction to following /pol/ on 4chan. This political meme image board is not for thin-skinned people, but anonymous (mostly young) guys trading absurd insults seems a reasonable outlet for their stress and aggression.

As for my little outburst in the title, I learned that Gmail is marking blog comment notifications as Spam. You'd think that after having discovered Yahoo dumping (very important!) documents I would know better than to trust Google.


Only today did I think to check the spam folder. But why it should suddenly start happening after several years of blogging, I have no idea. Grrr... Oh, well, it's just another first world problem I can live with.

Have you seen "Army of Darkness"? Did you know Bruce Campbell of that film's fame portrayed Elvis Presley in the quirky flick "Bubba Ho-Tep"?