Monday, July 15, 2019

Brassiere Review for Those Interested and – Spoiler Alert – a Scam

Sad to admit, I’m not being subtle or untruthful with my title. As my age and weight have progressed, finding proper fitting lingerie has become more and more an issue.

Then I saw this Facebook advertisement for a sort of wonder bra. No need for some uncomfortable underwire, it reported, with lots of support and a relaxed feel. Falling for the promise of something soft, flexible, and adjustable, I purchased two at a supposed discount.

What garbage!

Not My Vendor, But Same Product
And Brra? Hmmm...
The cloth is cheap to the point of being see-through with padded cups that wouldn’t serve as gerbil hammocks. And the forgivable sizing is a joke in itself. Here’s another kick, too, I tried to leave a review on their website and got denied.
Unbelievable. For someone who hates interacting with folks in the real world, I must do so to find serviceable undergarments, it seems.

Any product recommendations, my dears?


Friday, July 5, 2019

The Sweet Things in Life

Day by day I feel more at ease in my own skin, absurd anxiety levels slipping and joy of existence rising. We continue facing unexpected expenses and frustrations. For one thing, we just handed over a few hundred dollars (US) for plumbing work. And damaging insects are breeding in records numbers, forcing me to target them with stinky poisons while trying to protect the pollinators and birds.

But the toilets are working great and its important to remember the excellent support my husband provides. We make a great team, and his patience through my downward spiral and slow recovery are well worth another mention.

Now, as to the title, here are a few photographs of sweet things in and around my home.
A Decent Cucumber Harvest = 3 Jars of Sweet Pickles!

Sweet Jezebel Defying Her Age

Monarch (or Viceroy?) Sipping that Sweet, Sweet Coneflower Nectar
Does warm weather bring butterflies to your yard?


Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Review of “Poisoned by the Pier” by Ellen Jacobson

Amateur sleuth Mollie McGhie is back! This third cozy mystery installment by Ellen Jacobson delighted me yet again. I thank her for a free e-book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

While our plucky Mollie stumbles upon another dead body, she continues trying the patience of Coconut Cove’s Chief of Police with her intrepid investigations. Their interactions might be my favorite among all the quirky characters. And I appreciated how his persona gained a new dimension.

Add in the feline antics of Mrs. Moto, Mollie’s adoring husband Scooter with his little eccentricities, plus all her other inventive personalities from the first two books, and it’s an amusing read.

Ms. Jacobson draws from some personal nautical experiences I’ve read on her blog, The Cynical Sailor &His Salty Sidekick. Knowing this, as well as that she injects her brilliant sense of humor into Mollie’s personality, multiplies the fun. Household chores got neglected the day I started reading, and bedtime that night was delayed, as well.

It’s not often contemporary stories hold my attention to that degree, supplanting my own writing time. And Ms. Jacobson’s are among the best edited one can find today, with nary a typographical error. That is always appreciated.

Well done, Ellen!

You, dear reader, can find her book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as most anywhere quality titles are sold.

What would you do if a significant other gifted you a boat as an anniversary present?


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Pickled Pink

The title is a terrible pun, I know. You’ll understand how it fits in a moment.

First off, staffers working for his physician gave my husband the nickname “Mr. Pickles” due to all the jarred dills he has taken since last season’s boon. I, of course, thought immediately of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.

Though the mythical Hyde is the insane one, and my husband the more emotionally stable partner, I suggested calling ourselves “Mr. Pickles and Dr. Gherkin”. Amused, he embraced this occasional joke.

Fast forward to our anniversary last week.

He went grocery shopping alone, bless his heart, and decided to peruse the greeting card aisle. We have long followed a feline theme for all holidays, so he sought a change. He went so far as to look outside the anniversary section, which he found limited thanks to the United States celebrating Fathers today.

No doubt you can imagine where this is going…

A Clear Forwarning
He indeed discovered one featuring a pickle. And it's hilarious inside and out.

I almost choked upon seeing this...
The inside surprised me again. This dude is so cute...

The use of his first initial references "Bram Stoker's Dracula"
(Gary Oldman's vampire signed documents this way)
Even the back of the card is cheeky. I had to point this out to my SO.

It's the Little Touches that Enhance the Fun
Do you think I should follow this new trend, perhaps seek a general food theme to broaden the opportunities?


Friday, June 14, 2019

Having Your Cake and Eating it, Too

Driving about running errands the other day, I listened with my husband to  a podcast he discovered. We enjoyed the banter between those hosts and laughed an inordinate amount over the thirty plus minutes of hilarity.

One story stood out. The mother of a young lady went to pick up the graduation cake arranged with their local Walmart. For some reason, that order was proclaimed lost.

Employees offered a much discounted, ready replacement. Confection decorated, they sent the contented lady on her way.

Fast forward to the party and cutting of said cake. The dessert turned out to be a sort of floor sample, if you will, the graduate slicing into a Styrofoam slab!

I would have found the mix-up hilarious.

Not these prima donnas. Mother and daughter burst into tears, the party proclaimed a disaster.


Now, let me tell you that promised story about my wedding day.

The historical local home turned bed and breakfast sported a lovely, deep and wide stone porch. That was where I arranged an intimate catered reception for attendees. I instructed my kind, elderly baker to set up her creation on the designated table outside.

She feared ants would be a problem and instead delivered our cake to the B&B owners’ kitchen. My well meaning father offered to carry the cake out following the ceremony. He had to traverse a long way through the entire large first floor, a daunting task. Our dear friend Phoenix thought it would be funny to jump out in front of him as a surprise.

Yes, Dad was surprised.

Phoenix startled him to the point he almost dropped the cake. It got smashed against his tuxedo sleeve and the nearby wall. My two dear sisters-in-law acted fast. One thought to empty some of my homemade satin roses of the birdseed meant for well wishers to shower us newlyweds. Together, the women camouflaged the worst damage.

Following the Ceremony; Still Smiling After Seeing the Cake
If I’d spoken to the cake maker, I would have pleaded that she discount the unfounded fear of insect invasion. We could have stationed one of our nieces or nephews to keep watch, for that matter. Oh, well.

My new mother-in-law advised her youngest son not to inform his new wife of the minor disaster before our portraits were taken. And nobody fingered the culprit until decades later. They should have known I would not be angry. Life is too short.

And it’s a funny memory now if a bit disappointing on the day.

I’m happy to report our photographer thought to capture a photo inside that sunny back room. The image turned out better than hoped, cluttered countertops somehow kept in shadow. Good thing, too, because my husband never got a look at the cake until after the ceremony.

That photographer, by the way, was the dear man who I announced as having been recently hospitalized. I’m delighted to report he is now rehabilitating at home after diagnosis of a minor stroke.

Would you cry over a Styrofoam cake? And how did that woman not realize it didn’t weigh enough to be edible?


Monday, June 10, 2019

Mirror, Mirror

My husband and I often joke that I live the life of a housecat. The fact Jezebel has become almost a Voodoo doll for my existence takes this to the next level.

Case in point, she developed that aforementioned limp in her right front leg about the same time my right shoulder became painful. Fortunately, we both recovered. She must have landed wrong following a jump. While my injury is a mystery, a doctor’s recommended painkiller and exercise regimens healed me.

Meanwhile, I also related a false cancer scare caused by the well meaning vet technician who left a message regarding her blood test results. Guess what happened last week following my latest mammogram?

Yup. I got a surprise, dreaded call to come back for further examination.

No worries, though.

A complicated cyst was diagnosed during my follow-up ultrasound. Unsurprised, the doctor advised more scans in six months just to make certain the abnormality is stable.

That last bit of news left me much calmer. Things are looking up! Heck, last week we got our initial shingles vaccinations after being on the waiting list for almost a year. We’ll get the secondary booster sometime within the next six months.

My arm still hurts and itches a bit around the injection sight, but that’s preferable to the agonizing condition it’s meant to prevent. The Christian reverend I engaged to perform our 1997 wedding suffered a shingles outbreak before our big day. Fortunately, that considerate man got us into contact with a surrogate.

That fellow showed up late to the B&B I booked, late enough to make some folks nervous, but did a fine job. For me, it just meant we’d enjoy yet another engagement party before eloping.  To my groom’s chagrin, my promise of an intimate service didn’t pan out like he expected. Both our mother’s hosted large pre-parties in Northeast Ohio and the wedding guest list doubled over what he expected. How could I have turned away friends’ and coworkers’ spouses?

As for the big day, those memories remain the favorite out of all my five decades. Nothing upset me, not even when my father smashed my three tiered cake against the wall. I’ll save that story for another post. The tell fits nicely with a strange bit of recent news.

Do you know the tradition of freezing a portion of wedding cake for the couple to share on their first anniversary? How about washing it down with sparkling wine for breakfast?

We did. Heh… What yummy decadence.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Salad Days

Time has really gotten away from me. I find myself missing favorite bloggers’ posts for days and am shocked how long since I put up something myself. It seemed a good day to rectify that.

In short, things are looking up. Strawberry plants I didn’t expect to survive winter are producing some sweet fruits. And insects are leaving many of the berries alone! Today I enjoyed a particularly big, juicy one. Given the choice, my dear husband took the two smaller ones.

Besides that little consideration, he has been super throughout my difficulties with anxiety.

We went out today to do a little gardening together. Lettuce planted in our square Earth Box is doing great!

A tender, tasty blend from the garden center.

Most every trial turned out at least okay. We adore our 2017 Volt, my cat Jezebel has stopped limping, and Tilly acts half her age despite a frail appearance. It seems her infection has at long last been defeated. This bright eyed girl is jumping into bed again! Jezzy got sort of supplanted as a result, but receives attention when she wants.
Silly Tilly has lost the guard hairs on her flanks.
Looking like a cat/hyena doesn't bother her.
She just wonders what I'm doing
My one major worry regards my best friend’s father. ‘Dad’, as I’ve called him longer than I can recall, is in hospital following a stroke. Thank heaven, he is stable and hasn’t displayed any serious side effects from what medical professionals are calling a minor brain bleed. The family is awaiting further test results to make a plan for his future.

I feel for them as they keep encountering delays. At the same time, however, I consider it a good sign that other patients are in more urgent need of equipment. Prayers for Dale in Northeast Ohio are appreciated.

On the bright side, my flowering cactus are especially beautiful. We should get lots more into mid summer.

Prickly pears are aggressive in my Southwest Ohio beds.
Dragon's blood sedum here helps control them.
Also, another friend delighted my husband and me by finding this old photograph of us. He used to whirl me around the dance floor in a Texas two-step back in the day.
Friend Lars (aka 'Phoenix') and me circa 1997. Who was I looking at?
Do you grow any of your own fruits and vegetables? If so, what kinds of crop(s) do you grow?


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Updates and Downers

Well, I got a reply from our veterinary clinic stating a notice went out to all employees regarding the careless mention of feline cancer. An apology and gratitude for my loyalty were a boost. Since I abhor conflict, even when warranted, I used a pseudonym and admitted as much, claiming I didn’t want the person who called personally admonished. Call me silly, but this way I haven’t felt uncomfortable returning.

And yes, we’ve had to go back several times for medicine refills and whatnot. That message from them is about the only positive news in my personal current events.

Jezebel is limping even after I (sometimes) manage to force feed her bupenorphine and/or gabapentin (she’s supposed to get both twice a day but the obvious trauma to her limits my attempts). She and Tilly suddenly stopped eating both their ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ kibble for the aged indoor cat and that canned food. We can keep the cans for a possible future pet but a freshly opened fifteen pound bag of dry food is going to waste. I guess I’ll offer it to friends, though I don’t know if any are caring for elderly felines.

This morning my husband found mysterious charges on his credit card. After calling the company he’ll receive a new card, requiring a change to every single online payment record. That’s got him in a rotten state of mind.

Tomorrow I have to return to Special Eyes as my eyeglass frames broke yet again. This time, it’s a snapped off hinge.

I think I’m going back to bed now, reminding me of a Mitch Hedberg joke. “I haven’t slept for ten days straight… Because that would be too long.” Hibernating for a few months sounds good to me.

Are you familiar with Mitch Hedberg’s humor?


Monday, May 6, 2019

Good News and a Bad Judgment Call

First off, my husband and I did not euthanize Jezebel the cat today due to advanced bone cancer. The elevated calcium expected to be kidney related, today’s urine sample will show how advanced is her situation.

Why did my mind immediately take the darkest turn possible?

The overwhelming majority of credit goes to that veterinary employee who left the message Friday morning regarding her blood work. He didn’t say simply that elevated calcium can be a concern and needs to be investigated.


This fellow jumped straight to the fact higher levels are a good indication of cancer. Why would someone do that? My imagination took over from there despite my husband’s best attempts to dissuade me.

An X-ray shows she has arthritis. For that, I am to administer two different pain medications twice a day. Wish me luck. Jezebel despises being handled thus.

Despite me stuffing her in a carrier and putting her through stress of another visit, all is forgiven. She is curled up, purring and grooming beside me on the bed as I type.

Meanwhile, the same veterinarian who gave Tilly such thorough care a few weeks ago seemed confused by my constant mentions of cancer concerns. I don’t think she considered that possibility for Jezebel.

Too relieved to feel true anger, I will be leaving a message on their web page advising a friendly chat with their staff on phone etiquette. I have been a wreck for days.

I’m reminded of a “House, M.D.” television episode in which a man diagnosed with cancer sued the kind oncologist Dr. Wilson for renouncing his former death sentence. Preparing for the end, the fellow said farewell to friends and sold his home. His largest complaint involved costs of buying a new residence. I miss that show.

What would be your first positive act if you learned your life would be over within the year?


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Whacked Out of My Mind

I know there is nothing unique in my charmed life’s recent downturn. Without over-thinking it, I could name a half dozen people enduring far worse.

Still, I need to rant. And anyone reading who is knowledgeable of the film “Jacob’s Ladder” will learn just what pervasive morbidity my mind harbors.

Anyway, the whiny rant:

This morning we got bad news about kitty Jezebel’s blood work. At fifteen plus years of age, she didn’t surprise us with news of some kidney dysfunction. But the old girl could be in the early stages of actual disease.

Worse, the technician left word that elevated calcium levels could well indicate cancer. Not very good at staying optimistic of late, my thoughts went right to that leg pain and the fact we may not be bringing her home after her Monday morning appointment.

I know we will not put her through the aggressive treatment her predecessor Luna received before passing away in 2014. My husband still admits profound guilt over those extreme efforts to stave off my inevitable pain, despite the fact our sweet girl fought hard herself to stay on this earth. Even hearing me insist her chemotherapy and that radical mastectomy furthered veterinary oncology can’t assuage his regret.

Meanwhile, thinking of all that’s happened in the last thirteen months, starting with my father’s estrangement over a dumb misunderstanding to every major or minor insult and injury since, I developed an eerie sensation. I mean, come on. Yesterday afternoon I netted one of my four adult ‘typhoid’ mollies, the poor creature found dead at feeding time.

What more can go wrong?

More poignant, what if my reality isn’t what I think?

That wonderful flick “Jacob’s Ladder” introduces us to Jacob Singer, a military veteran of gentle disposition returned from the Vietnam war. He soon begins experiencing demonic sightings. Reunited with his fellow servicemen, they compare notes and start suspecting nefarious governmental, wartime experimentation. One by one they begin dying mysteriously. There are fantastic twists and turns, so I won’t say more and spoil it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plot but interested in how the movie provokes my surreal sensation, please leave a comment and I’ll visit your blog with the answer.

On another ‘whacky’ note, our tiny back stretch of grass is so long I fear any regular lawnmower will choke. So I plant to try and run the weed whacker out there this afternoon. Wish me luck.

You know I have to ask if you have seen “Jacob’s Ladder”. And have you ever considered that the term talkies gave way to movies from ‘moving pictures’? I just thought of that while typing this.


Friday, May 3, 2019

I’m Not Broken, Just Mildly Sprained

That ‘mildly sprained’ quip is a misquote from a film we adore, “Gross Pointe Blank”, when the heroine assesses her long lost love. It’s rather how I feel right now, but with good news to share.

Jezebel seems to be in fine health for her age.

What my overactive imagination conjured as some neurological defect is likely a pulled leg muscle (your kind wisdom is appreciated, Strayer!). The veterinarian didn’t even order an X-ray, which we approved in advance with the welcoming technician. That pleased me, since we could have been bilked and never been the wiser.

So we are about another $150(US) poorer, but she got overdue blood work. I hope we receive no bad news tomorrow about other problems, such as involving her kidneys or thyroid. On this late morning, she acts a bit discombobulated but is on a pain medication we hope will keep her a little sedated and less likely to overtax her injured limb. And her appetite was excellent. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she improves and doesn’t actually suffer a hairline bone fracture.

Now I am sitting on my back patio enjoying a perfect temperature and rain on our tin roof. As it’s outside our walkout basement, I closed the cellar door upstairs so she can’t follow me down. Thanks for all the well wishes!

What is your weather like today?


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Don’t Kiss and Tell – & – Getting a Leg Up

My pets are going to be the death of me. Between diseased fish dying earlier this year and now issues with both cats, I feel almost like I’m going to keel over at times from the stress.

While medication is helping my anxiety, I believe my empathy cost me a real and very specific physical illness.

A few weeks back, before Tilly displayed evidence of another urinary tract infection, I succumbed to violent gastro-intestinal distress in the middle of the night. My husband offered more than once to take me to an urgent care center as food poisoning symptoms continued throughout the day and into late afternoon. I declined, certain hydration and rest would get me through, and they did.

It took a few days for full recovery from the aftereffects.

Then Tilly got diagnosed with her e. coli infection. Something clicked over this past Tuesday and I recalled my habit of kissing her atop the head after administering her hyperthyroid pills. Since my husband stayed free from my sickness, thank heaven, and we ate almost the exact same home prepared meals for days prior, it seems logical I poisoned myself via that poor kitty.

So I’m not kissing her anymore. A pat on the head is quite sufficient.

Now to the second part of my whacky title, I found Jezebel limping this morning at 7am.

Jezebel Curled Up Napping on a Happier Day
Have I mentioned her periodic little front leg tremors? She’s almost always looking out the window and we chalk it up to excitement. Today, frantic she’s having neurological complications I’ve neglected, I telephoned my veterinary clinic before they opened in hopes some early arriving tech would pick up the phone.

Instead, I got a recorded message that the wireless customer did not have current service and to try back later. Well, I did, over and over. Finally, I got through and they will see her at 8:45am tomorrow, the earliest available appointment. They weren’t having the best day, either, with both Internet connection and telephone operations requiring service.

In the meantime, I feel better seeing Jezzy act normal in every way outside favoring the leg/paw. Otherwise I would take her to an animal urgent care center. Despite what I dare call mishandling of Tilly’s case, those folks have given our girls excellent care throughout sweet Luna’s life and beyond.

Jezebel could have hurt herself jumping off one of the tall cat trees during the night or, as my husband additionally suggested, suffer arthritis that became too painful to support her weight. Curled up in bed feeling sick and miserable myself (prior to contacting the clinic), I was joined by her for a typical quiet snuggle.

After I got up and felt better having scheduled her exam, she displayed a healthy appetite and is now curled under the guest bed covers, another of many favorite lounging areas.

Do you think that theory regarding my stomach bug makes sense?


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A Flop, a Flip, and a No Flip Flop Zone

For the first time in maybe eight or nine years I failed to meet a writing challenge. It turns out that my keyboard time gets interrupted more than I realized. A self set goal of two hours a day editing and/or typing new prose proved more difficult than spouting fifty thousand words in a month. Meeting those goals, I tend to start rapid fire storytelling about an hour before I anticipate my husband requesting my company.

Yesterday I put down my laptop with thirty-nine minutes still needed to reach sixty hours for April. It seemed a minor thing to finish up after my husband went to bed. Instead, we both fell asleep on the sofa and I woke up at 12:30, missing the deadline.

Oh, well. It’s an interesting lesson.
I may have gotten in the way now and then, but the fail is all her fault.
On the flip side (get it? heh…), my husband’s hearing has improved a good deal. We no longer have spats about sound volumes and hearing tests, a huge relief.

He believes now that he picked up a mostly painless ear infection of some sort. Tenderness and swelling he came to recognize have both improved alongside his audible range. While his right ear’s capacity is not back to where it was, we are not complaining since his left ear has been useless for a number of years now. Incidentally, back then his physician believed he developed an otherwise symptom free case of the mumps (!), surprising because he got vaccinated as a young airman before United States Air Force boot camp.

As for flip flops, and I know many are fans, they should never be worn around a running lawnmower. That may be obvious, but I have witnessed more than one woman doing so, sometimes in a bikini. And there’s a reason I bring this up.

I last mowed on Sunday during a blessedly cool and cloudy period. Unfortunately, I couldn’t complete the job, which inspired this whole train of thought regarding footwear.

More than halfway through the process, my mower blade disconnected and got spat out across the grass. I am fortunate to have received no injury. The machine is awaiting repairs as I type, the lawn still a mess. A neighbor offered to lend us his mower when asked but my husband worries about the missing bolt causing damage. It turns out the guy also owns a metal detector. It seems I’ll have to approach him over the matter as we’ve not heard more from the man.

On another bright side, while waiting for my spouse to conduct our business at the repair shop a young worker approached me to ask about my car. He purchased a used version one Volt last winter and wondered how I felt about the 2017. Geeking out with another enthusiast brightened my day. He wasn’t bad looking, either.


Have you, like me, begun considering monoculture lawns a waste of time and recourses?


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Here We Go Again

Tilly, Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed in November Before Spring Grooming
For the third time since last September, our cat Tilly displayed curious behavior indicative of a urinary tract infection. It began Sunday afternoon as happened on December thirtieth last year. Once again, I got lucky making a same day veterinary appointment.

The first time, dear readers may remember we chose the Convenia antibiotic shot as we left for our autumn vacation before receiving diagnosis. Our pet sitters, a wonderful couple, handled her care.

Upon the second occurrence, I requested tablets. To my surprise, the vet that New Year’s Eve day told me they are more effective against the average UTI than a one time shot.


It would have been nice to know earlier, but we had no real choice in the matter anyway. The pet sitter prefers not to administer oral medications after a nasty dog bite. I can’t blame her.

This past Monday, I got a more disturbing surprise. For an additional $95, a urine analysis on the specific bacteria will allow us to better target treatment.


Why didn’t they offer that months ago? I wonder if past treatments never even cleared her of whatever bacteria strain’s plaguing our poor darling, resulting in these uncomfortable reoccurrences. I’ll have you know, I kept my cool in the examination room and beyond, until returning home and raving to my equally bemused DH.

Meanwhile, I spent over $300 and still have to purchase more of whatever pills are recommended. And for now Tilly endures not only her preliminary antibiotic twice daily on top of the regular thyroid medication, but also ear drops and a liquid oral pain medicine morning and night, as well. I must admit, the mild sedation of that last seems to bring us more peace and quiet until she decides it time to demand another serving of canned food.

Tilly is spoiled, and loves pestering my husband for attention. And thank heaven, goes into peaceful sleep on his lap every afternoon. Now, let’s hope the ear drops clear up some mild irritation and reduce her wax overproduction.

A call should confirm our next step toward her UTI in a day or so. Meanwhile, her blood work otherwise showed the feline in good health, especially considering her age. That’s a relief.

If she suffered kidney dysfunction, antibiotics could be prescribed for up to six weeks (!) as opposed to two. Unless someone goofed up reading reports on our phone message, she won’t need that. We have been given false hope with a past error. Wish us luck.

Are you aware that people not completing a prescribed course of antibiotics is a contributing factor toward the emergence of resistant bacterial strains?


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Where Am I? Happy News, &, What’s That You Say?

During this month’s Camp NaNo writing challenge, I decided to count hours instead of fresh words. That flexibility offers a chance to work on edits and new story as I see fit.

Yesterday and today I made minute changes to a short story. Finished reading those words, I moved back to a WIP with different characters. In one amusing moment this afternoon, I recognized a mistake. Switching between Nickolas and Alex in Cincinnati, I set Arick and Lita in that same region instead of their native US state of Idaho.

I rectified that with a chuckle. Meanwhile, I am enjoying this ongoing dedication as a writer sans the stress of attempts to publish. We shall see what the future holds in that department.

In other happy news, lunch with someone considered the little brother I never had and a lady who has been making him very happy rounded out another successful and rewarding day. Now I’m about to join my husband for some YouTube video content. On a less pleasant front, a few days ago his hearing seemed to take an abrupt and sever downturn.

Deaf in one ear for several years, attributed to otherwise asymptomatic mumps (shocking considering he received inoculations in the Air Force decades ago), my spouse has been turning broadcasts up to the point it makes me flinch on occasion. To combat this, I put cotton in my ears.

Even that proved inadequate the other evening and I located Styrofoam ear plugs. When spotted, that did not go over well. He stormed out of the room and got on his computer. Today I implored him to get a hearing test. He met that with stoic dissatisfaction. I guess we all are in denial over something.

Any suggestions for what I should do next? How far should I push, and how fast before things deteriorate further?

Anything exciting happening in your neck of the woods?


Monday, April 15, 2019

A Novel Idea & One Horrific Article

This April, for a writing challenge I have continued my work-in-progress (WIP) revamped during National Novel Writing Month last November. It’s been a joy spinning the romantic yarn and exploring the plague upon poor young Arick. He and Lita, I’ve decided, are going to make a formidable team against supernatural forces of evil. For a change, my tale is spooling toward novel length.

Today I realized how and why a man from each generation of Arick’s family suffered his burden, saving innocents from accidents and murder. Their bloodline can be traced back to the evil and cruel Delphine LaLaurie from New Orleans in the early 1800s. The society woman’s heinous crimes were familiar to me thanks to “American Horror Story: Coven” several years ago. In my tale, her monstrous spirit lives on even as her descendents pay for her crimes following a Voodoo curse.

Reading some details on the Mental Floss website proved more hair-raising than fiction. Seven other atrocious tales round out the article. In case you share my morbid fascination, you can find it here.

Do you like horror movies/shows?


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Cheeta Man

Since cutting the cable and buying a Roku, my husband and I have found more interesting television than ever before, often via YouTube. Somehow, yesterday he came across ‘Cheeta Man’, a fabulous story about big cat conservationists.

It’s no secret I adore lean young men with long hair. Soft spoken, twenty-eight year old Frenchman and naturalist Olivier Houalet (pronounced Olivi-ay Wha-lay) knocked my socks off. The story of what he and his collaborators endeavor, attempting to reintroduce orphaned cheetahs back into the wild, is astonishing.

Mr. Houalet is brave to the point of insanity. If you want to get an idea of this but don’t have three quarters of an hour to spend watching the entire cool documentary, the opening shows Olivier’s typical interactions with the five wild animals. Throughout the project, these two sets of related brothers and a single loner share fascinating, changing dynamics among themselves. I highly recommend watching in entirety.

Would you go on an African safari if you could?


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ups and Downs – aka – A Beautiful Boy, My Lovely Man, and One Lucky Lady

I have seen light at the end of the tunnel through my anxiety issues. Talking to a doctor and getting on medication have me feeling on a more even keel. I even managed getting to the YMCA two days in a row last week.

Then I fell ill with some sort of stomach bug the night after my second trip. In an ironic twist, my husband thinks I picked up something at the gym since we ate pretty much the same exact foods at home all week and he stayed healthy while I turned inside out.

It took me five days recovering before I felt up to proper exercise. A little apprehensive, I returned to the gym yesterday. And I got my payoff, dirty old lady style.

While on one of the resistance training machines, I saw the most beautiful boy walk past. He had exquisite lean muscle tone, impossible to miss since he wore a sliced up excuse for a shirt that gave a gorgeous view of his bared arms and lats. And he worked that thick head of shoulder length dark hair, flipping those coiled locks after each rest between weight lifting sets.

Since my lovely spouse is so confident and tolerant of my adolescent sensibilities, I admitted my lechery upon returning home. He laughed when I spoke of changing my routine to keep the guy within casual viewing range. Back in the nineties, my silly guy debated with me over who was hotter from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Legolas or Aragorn. Over time, I came to agree with him that it’s the latter. ~grin~ He called Legolas a ‘greasy elf’.

Viggo Mortensen - the Face of a Hero King
Have you read J. R. R. Tolkien?


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

New and Improved, Not

After my friend introduced me to the term ‘first world problems’ I can’t stop applying the term. Today’s little gripe definitely fits.

Another one of them has an actual name – choice paralysis. It’s when a person goes to the modern grocery store and has trouble finding the desired item due to so many options.

That issue cropped up yesterday in an unexpected way. Shopping with my husband, I decided to pick up a box of sesame sticks. They’re one of the few snacks I crave, if only now and then.

Last night I opened the container and put one in my mouth. Instead of succulent sesame, I got hammered by garlic. It turns out the manufacturer decided to try a new recipe. These are ‘everything’ sesame sticks. Just like the bagel of the same name, I find the taste overwhelming.


One of these days I’ll learn to check every last label to the finest print. Oh, well. They can be eaten along with the white cheddar crispy things my husband picked out and decided they taste horrible. Maybe they’ll cancel one another out.

Are you a snacker?


Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Review of Corruption by Nick Wilford

“Corruption” is the second book in Nick Wilford’s Black and White series. As in any good second act, the success of our heroes comes into question. The apt title alludes to that.

My favorite part of this story is the bold adventure our intrepid trio undertakes. More timid with every passing year, it seems, I enjoy the heroism of others.

Their motive is both clear and laudable. The teenagers’ scientist friend George promised to update Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerelda Dontible, along with Welles’ long lost twin brother, on his group’s quest to cure the insidious disease killing the Loritanian populace, crippling their society. When the kids hear nothing, they don’t sit on their laurels in the relative safety of Whitopolis. They take action.

What they find at the end of their ocean voyage is staggering. One can only imagine how they will make restitution for the evils perpetrated upon this continent. And I look forward to reading just what Mr. Wilford’s mind has conjured.

My only complaint is how unabashed is the evil here. Of course, the series is called “Black and White”. And much younger readers are the target audience, not that I’m anywhere near the most sophisticated person on the planet.

As with the first book, this manuscript is exceptionally clean. That’s important to me, as typographical errors yank me out of a tale faster and with more jarring impact than just about anything else.

Well done, Mr. Wilford. Thank you again for this opportunity to read an advanced, gratis copy. My apologies for the delay in repaying your kindness with a fair review.

If you, dear reader, are interested in dystopian fantasy stories, I hope you will check out this series.

*** Warning – this book contains themes that some sensitive readers may find upsetting. ***
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Is there any sort of adventure or act of bravery that would lure you out of your comfort zone?