Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Thursday, June 28, 2012


or... Ockham's razor.

I want to embrace it.  Deb told me I should.  It's that, or a Hoarder's intervention.

Today, I noticed that I had seven bathrobes hanging on the hooks outside my shower.  I decided that I really didn't need that many robes.  And I thought about someone else who didn't even have one.  And I pictured this grateful recipient of my generosity wrapping herself in my beautiful, soft cocoon of fabric. 

It was like Sophie's Choice, but I managed to part with three of the seven.  There was an elaborate deliberation, involving fabric, sleeve and hem length, color, my mother (one had been hers), my former husband (one had been his but he never wore it), designer logo (I kept the two with RL embroidered prominently), and seasonality.

Wow.  So complicated.

But liberating.

And scary.

But I'm on a roll.  So I'll close.  I so desperately want to declutter.  In other words, to simplify.  Maybe when I do, I'll be able to breathe.  Without hyperventilating...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Meaning of Life...

...I've found it.  Get ready.  It's so very simple.

Here goes...


That's right.  I think this will be the cure for all that ails me.  My panacea, so to speak.

I first stumbled onto it when I was cleaning out The Daddler's workshop at his and mother's house.  He had lots and lots of little brackets.  All different shapes and sizes.  And they were old, which is cool.  Like his beautiful minnow bucket.  Wow.  I didn't really think about it until my plumber admired it.  It was sitting out with so much detritus on my carport when he came for his weekly visit.  I'm not exaggerating - I'm snake-bitten when it comes to plumbing.  This week, it's the dishwasher at my old house.  Last week, my garbage disposal (the third time in a year).  The week before, installation of a water line for the refrigerator which will not fit in the tiny niche in the kitchen cabinets.  Do they make dorm fridges with ice-makers?  The week before that, two clogged drains and a stripped faucet handle.  Damn, I love it when more than one thing goes wrong at a time.  Two birds... 

Before that, the sewer line to the street.  Several toilet episodes.  We have three.  The lever which wouldn't fully divert the water from the tub faucet to the shower head.  The D's spewing Waterpik shower head hose - I managed that one on my own.

Did I mention the morning that I had no hot water?  Turned out, the HVAC guys had turned off the gas to the hot water heater the day before, and neglected to turn it back on.  Big relief to find out that it was an easy (no-cost) fix.  I didn't even mind feeling greasy all day.

Ok.  Back to the original point of this post.  I spent a little time in the shed tonight.  Playing around with all the fun little pegboard brackets.  Hanging things up that had, heretofore, been scattered around at random.  In addition to The Daddler's brackets, a friend had given me some of his unused pegboard accessories. 

I made a dent.  In my flotsam and jetsom.  All because of it.  The Pegboard.  I'm going to install it wall to wall in my house.  I'll have so much fun with my brackets.  And once I'm organized, I'm sure I'll find myself with time on my hands.  And when I do, I'm gonna grab that gorgeous minnow bucket, head to the bait shop, and catch some crappie or bream with The Daddler.

Before that happens, though, I will have organized all his rods and reels, and hooks, lines, and sinkers.  Which reminds me.  The most beautiful sight I can think of is that of a little red and white fishing bob getting pulled under and then popping up from the muddy brown pond water I'd been gazing at, quietly, for what seemed like hours.  Prettier than a sunset over the river.  Fireworks on the fourth of July.  They're so cliche.  Give me a minnow bucket and bob any day...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Don't Love Lucy...

She's contributing to my insanity.  Today, I settled down at my computer to do some heavy duty thinking, and The Daddler appeared in my doorway.  Complete with his USAF Retired cap.  He said, "He got away." 

"He", being Lucy.  I had a biz call, and before I could beg off, The D had set off in the scorching heat in search of the prodigal daughter.  This time, she headed in the direction of Walnut Grove, a major thoroughfare.  He went that way and I headed to the park, in the opposite direction.  I feel like a detective.  I'm an expert at canvassing the neighborhood.

"Have you seen a small black dog?"

"Yes.  She went that way."

"If you see her, will you grab her.  She loves people and would never bite, but just in case, sign this waiver, please."  Kidding about that last part.  Kinda.

I've learned to grab a leash.  The problem is deciding whether to run or drive. 

We had a new twist today.  As I was running and screaming, "Luuuucyyyy!!!", a woman appeared in her yard.  She'd seen her.  She said something about helping.  Went back in the house and I heard her calling Lucy.  I was confused.  I didn't think she had the dog, but I was hoping she did.  Turned out, her little girl was named Lucy.  She jumped in her SUV, kids tucked in car seats, and we headed out, like bloodhounds.  We saw The Daddler and she said he shouldn't be out in the heat.  So I jumped out, shoved him into the front passenger street, and squeezed my way in between Lucy and FA (her brother), in the back seat. 

At some point, we decided to divide and conquer.  FA agreed to come with me.  His mom and I discussed later the craziness of her releasing her firstborn son into the hands of a total (possibly lunatic) stranger.  FA and I ran back to the Good House, in case the P.D.  (Prodigal Daughter or Problematic Dog) had returned.  Kiddo had just driven up.  Said there was a message from the Pet Finder people.  I called.  Someone named Elizabeth, a few streets over, had Lucy (the dog), and had given her water and was sitting in her front yard, waiting for us.  Kiddo gave FA a vitamin water and I scrambled up a plastic cup and a few precious ice cubes, and FA and I jumped in the van and began our mission.  Think Navy Seal Team Six, Operation Neptune Spear. 

Unlike Osama, though, Lucy came out unscathed.  A little thirsty.  And I followed FA's advice to put her in time out.  A/K/A The Crate.  I told The D not to give her any treats for the rest of the day.  Kiddo informed me that dogs can only recall the last 10 seconds and that punishment is meaningless.  I exercised restraint, and refrained from locking him in a cage.  Actually, I would've, but I couldn't think of one.  Damn.  I should've confiscated his phone.  But that would've been cruel and inhumane punishment.  On that note, I'm going to google water-boarding...

Note the sarcasm.  And the cynicism.  And exhaustion.  Frustration.  Confusion.

Hopefully, hope will spring eternal.  Or at least, a day or so.  Over and out...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

It's tomorrow, in case you didn't know.  Amazingly, I not only have a gift for The Daddler, but I've wrapped it!  Kiddo bought a grandpa card, which I'll sign.  Don't tell, but I bought him a really cool AM/FM/weather band clock radio.  It's rechargeable.  The last time we had a tornado threat, he asked me about his weather radio.  It was ancient and I'd given it to Goodwill.  I felt guilty.  He likes to keep abreast of the weather.

One of the selling points of the Good House was the walk-in closet in The D's master suite.  He and Mother used to hunker down in theirs when the tornado sirens were blaring.  Mother would call me the next day to check on us, and invariably, I'd slept through the storm.  I used to be a very heavy sleeper.  Pre-Lucy.  And Pre-Bulimic Beulah.  And Pre-Kiddo.  After Beulah threw up on me one night, I'm constantly on guard for retching sounds.  And of course, when you have a baby, you hear every little sound.  Oh, I forgot about the Psycho Squirrel right out of Caddy Shack.  That landed me into group therapy.  Which only contributed to my sleep-deprived insanity.  That's a very, very long story.  Think of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Sans ECT. 

I can't talk about the Lucy sitch right now.  Let's just say that she's been a little, ummm, neurotic.  It's somewhat of a love/hate relationship.  She made big points today, though, when she charmed my great (or is it grand?) niece and nephew.  So sweet.  I'm still mad about my sandals, though.

We had a great pre-Father's Day lunch.  I had a nice nap.  Took it easy.  Even had a nice little respite with Kiddo on the patio.  We're actually getting along these days.

It's almost 8, so I'm gonna mosey on along.  Enjoy my incredibly cool and efficient new HVAC system.  I need to give Lu-Lu a bath.  Why, oh why, does she roll in the dirt?  It's funny.  I was thinking about my friend's dog Charlie, who was attacked by a neighbor's dog named Sally, and my Lucy.  And the fact that she's a regular Pig Pen.  Forget about the Tao of Pooh.  Peanuts has all the answers... 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Too Much Testosterone

For reasons upon which I'll elaborate later, my house has been swarming with men this week.  As in, ummm, maybe 12 different ones.  Not counting Kiddo and The Daddler.

Don't jump to conclusions.  I didn't start a brothel.  I just spent every last cent I had in an attempt to be a kind to our big blue marble.  But, as everyone knows, even philanthropy is selfish.  There's a payoff.  Feeling good (less guilty) about one's success.  I suppose my predilection toward all things green is related to my need to justify my excessive use of fossil fuels, for the spoiled, selfish purpose of turning my home into a live-in refrigerator when I need to sleep/think/decompress. 

Which is a convoluted way of saying that, on an impulse, I installed a whole new HVAC system in my home.  My breakeven point will be 2045, I think.  As far as the money goes.  But when it comes to comfort and conscience, it'll be worth it tonight.

As if that weren't enough, my stupid, stupid, weinie 1/2 HP builder's grade garbage disposal broke down for the third time in a year.  I decided to switch it out for a 1 HP model.  At three times the cost.  But considering the time and money and frustration I'd invested in the sucky disposal I had, it was worth every penny.  And I got a good deal on Amazon.

I'm kinda weird.  I pride myself on wearing thrift shop clothes I find for 99 cents.  But I spend $17K on a new HVAC system.  Actually, though, that includes insulation, ductwork, new return vents, new flooring in attic, installation of electronic thermostats, etc...  Oh, don't forget the very sweet gift of home-grown cucumbers and yellow squash.

And I go all out on my garbage disposer.  Travel.  Gifts.  Anything for my house.  Within reason.

OK, I'm rambling now.  It's time to bond with my female pets.  Mia (Bulemic Beulah) and Lucy (the maniacal runaway neurotic).  Kiddo is home.  The D is happy after having his amazing dinner.  Of corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers,  roasted medley of squash, onions, potatoes and carrots.  Oh, don't forget the fresh purple hull peas.  Yummmm...

Need to run.  All of a sudden, I'm hungry...

Monday, June 11, 2012


A unique opportunity just came my way.  Something I would never think of.  Ever.

A trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.

I know.  Especially since I've never even been to Europe.  Brazil is the extent of my overseas travel.  Not counting the fact that I lived in Japan for a year.  Which doesn't count, because I was a year old when I left.  Yup.  I was born there.  I'm a proud Air Force Brat.

One of my BFFs, Mel (my S.C. travel buddy), called this morning and said she was planning to go to Vietnam and Cambodia in November.  To her cousin's wedding.  Wanted to know if I'd think about going with her.  At first, I thought, "No way."  I'm old enough to remember the Vietnam war.  I was a kid at the time, but my parents watched the news every night, (The D is still a news-hound), and consequently, I saw lots of footage of the war.  No Cartoon Network or Disney Channel back then.  The only cartoons were on Saturday mornings.  At the risk of dating myself (no one else seems to want to), I'll tell you that it was a huge deal when cassette tape recorders came out.  My little sister and I would tape I Dream of Jeannie and listen to it over and over again.  We were desperate for entertainment.  Because back then, we didn't have texting, YouTube, FaceBook, DVDs, DVRs, On Demand, smart phones...you get the idea.  Our choices, not counting Saturday mornings, were TV Wrestling Saturday afternoon, playing outside, and reading.  The crazy thing is that we had so much free time.  We didn't have to spend six or eight hours on homework every night.  No summer reading assignments.  No competitive sports - my athletic career consisted of baton lessons when I was seven and skating classes when I was eight.  Or nine.  And playing HORSE with my brother.  Tackle football sometimes.  And having knock-down-drag-outs with my sibs.  Riding my bike.  Jumping on the bed.  Risking a broken neck in my feeble attempt at cheerleading/gymnastics.  And chasing Pooh when he ran away.

Lucy does that, too.  It makes me crazy.  But it's kinda sweet, sentimental, and reminiscent of the good ole' days.  Luckily, she's gotten too big to get through the iron gates in the backyard.  All the treats The Daddler administers have an upside.

Back to my point, though.  Mel has traveled the world.  She and Roger planned their wedding in Iceland, but that stupid volcano eruption put the kibosh on that.  As she started talking about the Indochina peninsula, it sounded better and better.  First, it's cheap.  Next, it's undiscovered by tourists, and therefore, unspoiled.  Beautiful.  Then there's the thing about going with Mel.  We have so much fun together.

Ok, all this to say that I'm seriously considering it.  I need to do some research, including cash flow projections, but I think it would be the opportunity of a lifetime.  It's not until November, but this kinda thing requires lots of preparation.  Probably a visa.  Malaria medicine.  Hepatitis vaccinations.  Tetanus.  Typhoid fever. 

Lots to do.  Better run.  Over and out...

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I'm in one.  Actually, three or four.  Or five.  Unfortunately, I have trouble making decisions.  Which is the only reason I can go to the mall and leave without spending one red cent.  In spite of having two X chromosomes.  But I think like a man.  And sometimes, I act like one, too.  Not like a lady.  I won't elaborate except to mention my inner frat boy.  If you could see my bedroom...  Delta Tau Chi has nothing on me. 

And that, my friend, is why I'm destined to be a lonely old woman with too many dogs.  Which is better than being a cat-lady.  Since I'm allergic to cats, and I'm tired of cleaning up after Beulah the Bulimic Cat, and I love Lucy so much, I'd call myself a canineophile.  If that's a word. 

It doesn't help that B the BC has become so neurotic that she peed on me when I tried to carry her into The D's living room for a nice little visit.  Lucy is great with cats.  She doesn't blink an eye.  But the Charlie incident was traumatic.  B had a near-death experience.  It's a long story, though, so I'll save it for later.

I saw an ad in the paper today.  Border collie puppies for sale.  OMG.  This is one of my conundrums.

Another involves a classified ad for a financial analyst in today's paper.  Wow.  I can't think of anything more exiting.  Seriously.  Unfortunately, I'm afraid it wouldn't mesh well with my Daddler responsibilities.  But then, I wonder if we could work out a seasonal arrangement of sorts.  Kinda like my auditor days.  I worked lots of hours during the first 3 1/2 months of the year and took it easy for the remainder.  And since earnings season is the first month of each quarter, I'm thinking I could finagle my way into a trial run.  I'm not sure.  Hence, the conundrum.

Well, that's all for now.  I'm going to work on my resume.  In case I decide to apply for the f/a job.  After that, I'm going to try my hand at the grill.  Using The D's method.  Which is incredible...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Phone

Finally.  I have one.  I'm proud to report that I had quite a few emails and text messages waiting for me.  Including two apologies, because they thought I was ignoring them for some unknown reason.  I know, it's true that most of the time, "I lost my phone" or "My battery died" is code for "I didn't want to talk to you."  Or worse, "I'm just not that into you."  Now, I'll be the first to admit that I do get angry/frustrated/annoyed with my friends on occasion (as they do with me, if you can believe that), but I pretty much let them know about it.  I hate conflict, but I hate avoidance worse.  So ususally, I vent my spleen, and then I get over it.  I'm very forgiving.  With an exception or two.  Well, one exception.  (Previous posts re the Emotional Vampire discuss that sitch.)

About my new phone.  It's pretty cool.  4G.  Droid Razr Maxx.  Why the heck can't anyone spell things right?  And while I'm at it, who decided to eliminate the space bar when naming companies.  Probably the same people who changed everything to acronyms.  As an extremely dyslexic person (have you noticed that "dyslexic" is confusing to spell?), I had to stop and think about my firm's name when I worked for KPMG.  It was still "Peat Marwick" to me.  And the truth is, to this very day, I can't tell you what "KP" stood for.  It was some strange Norweigian-named firm PM had merged with.  Same thing with BDO Seidman.  Accountants are such lemmings.

Oh, well.  Enough of that.  I've been very productive today.  I installed The D's new WaterPik (misspelled and missing a space) shower head.  Watered the three dozen flowering plants I've recently acquired.  Done a coupla' loads o' laundry.  Cleaned the kitchen (Herculean task, that was!)   Ran a mile, did some sit-ups, push-ups, and yoga stretches.  Oh, I jumped rope with my new weighted-handle jump rope.  Without falling.  Barely.  Sifted through three dozen magazines and filled a whole recycle bin with them.

And last, but not least, posted to my blog.  But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.  So that's it for now.  Later...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No Phone

I don't have one.  Mine crashed.  My cell phone, that is.  Unfortunately, I don't know any of my friends' phone numbers.  I've had to resort to sending messages on Words With Friends on my Kindle.  Asking for phone numbers.  And explaining why I've been so elusive.

But the truth is, it's liberating.  I've even contemplated getting rid of it all together.  I know.  That's drastic.  But I do have a home phone.  Which I refer to as a wall phone.  It's cordless, but still, it plugs into the wall.

If I'm completely honest with myself, I'd admit that the reassurance I get from knowing I can be reached in an emergency is more than offset by the feeling of being constantly on call.

But if I'm even more honest with myself, I'd admit that I'm really looking forward to having lots of texts, missed calls, and voice mails waiting when I finally plug back in to reality.

One more picture from Charleston.  Our first-hand experience with Tropical Depression Beryl.


I spent a long weekend with my girl, Mel.  I flew to Columbia, SC, where she was spending a couple weeks doing her patriotic duty at Fort Jackson.  Paying back the Army for dental school.  Taking care of the GIs' teeth.  She had Monday off for Memorial Day, so we decided to head to Charleston.  It's about 120 miles from Columbia.

We lucked into a hotel room in the downtown historic district.  Pretty amazing since the Spoleto Festival had just started and it was a holiday weekend.  Great rates, too.  More about that later.

Mel had rented a convertable, (just for me), so when we finally figured out how to put the top down, we slathered ourselves in sunscreen and took off on our big adventure.

There's so much to tell now, but unfortunately, no time.  I'm still catching up from being gone.  For now, though, here are a few things I remember fondly:

Shrimp and grits; peeking into all the beautiful courtyards, like the one above; the old cemetery tucked away in the heart of the city; walking along the waterfront; taking the water taxi across the harbor and getting caught in a sudden rainstorm, getting soaked, and drying off from the wind before we got to the other side; room service (too many times) of sliders and fries and the densest chocolate cake in the world; hot stone massages and pedicures; wandering through the historic district for hours; venturing out for a late night dessert at a really cool restaurant; getting a free dessert since they brought pots du creme instead of the chocolate pate we'd ordered; and of course, lots of shopping in funky little shops and a huge, open air market.

We packed a lot into a few short days, so I have more to tell about, plus some great pictures.  For now, though, I need to run.

More later...