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Showing posts from September, 2012

September 28 - A good thing

NSFW … but pertinent to previous post

Friday Quote Day (an occasional resurrection)

"Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~ Jimmy Buffett
So here I am, the morning after the final day of an overscheduled week in which I got everything done and all my expectations were met.
I tried very hard not to think about how many people would attend last night's screening of Iron Jawed Angels. I knew of a couple people who were bringing a couple more people, but I'd really hoped to meet new people, people who weren't already a part of the Devoted Democrats.
And I did, actually. I met three new people, one of whom was just 17. She took a voter registration form with her. She'll turn 18 next month and will vote for her first president November 6. 
All in all, though, we could have held this event in a large living room. The upstairs of my garage (usable floor space is about 25-by-20 feet), for instance, where we had several exciting and enthusiastic parties four years ago. Instead of in a cavernous public hall with more em…

September 27 - Love/Hate

You know what's coming, don't you?

Winding down

One more biggie to go this week – the free screening of Iron Jawed Angels is tonight. I'm so nervous, I hope people come. You just never know about things like this. Actually, our group has never done anything like this, so we really don't know.

Yesterday's ribbon-cutting event turned into two. The dignitaries who attended and spoke at the long-term care facility open house also snipped a ribbon at the local Democratic headquarters.

It was quite a heady feeling for me, standing between the governor and my Congressman, with my Delegate behind me, posing for a picture (which I don't have, but you can bet I'll post it when I get a copy!). Governor Tomblin and Congressman Rahall know me by name; I address Delegate Mahan by her nickname.

Being married to a native of this area helps, but my husband hasn't wanted to be quite as involved as I've been. He's very supportive, but when the executive committee asked him to join, he declined. When the women's gro…

September 26 - Near

Au contraire

An anonymous commenter said, regarding yesterday's post about Governor Romney and airplane windows, "I guess telling you he was joking would not sway you."

Well, Anonymous, I stand corrected. (But President Obama still has my vote. And who are you, and where are you from?) The first hit on a Google search showed the reporter who wrote the story that went viral knew it was a joke from the start. Unfortunately, she didn't report it as such.

And, frankly, it seemed plausible that Governor Romney wouldn't understand the principles of aerodynamics, given that he studied law and business, not science.

The larger point, however, is that once again he was speaking off the cuff, unscripted, and came across as not quite in touch.

He needs to be more careful. Or not, my guy's ahead right now and if Governor Romney continues to speak artlessly, well, that's fine with me.

I'm not going to sway his supporters, either. My job is to get Democrats to the polls in an electi…

September 25 - Frame

I suppose it's possible

Governor Romney must just love the taste of Italian leather. He's stuck his foot in his mouth so many times it's almost like he's doing it on purpose. Just can't get enough of that tasty stuff. Nom, nom. 

He has both an MBA and a law degree from Harvard. He's a world-traveler. He was governor of Massachusetts, director of the Olympics and is running for President of the United States.

And he thinks you should be able to open a window in a jet. While it's flying. 

It's possible that some folks, maybe even most folks, wouldn't know the science behind the closed-windows-on-jet-aircraft policy. Governor Romney clearly didn't know. Otherwise why, when his campaign is imploding on so many fronts, would he pose the question?
Romney's wife Ann's plane had to make an emergency landing Friday (Sept. 21) because of an electrical malfunction. Discussing the incident at a fundraiser the next day, he said: "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there'…

September 24 - Three things

Thus begins …

possibly the most overscheduled week of the year here at Chez Debbi Does Too Much.

8:00 a.m. - Take some of my Amish neighbors shopping in a nearby town
Sometime this afternoon - Week Three, Day One of Up and Running
6:30 p.m. - Democratic Executive Committee meeting

Laundry, cleaning
7:00 p.m. - Volunteer gig at prison

Morning: Week Three, Day Two of Up and Running
2:30 p.m. - Serve refreshments at a ribbon-cutting for a new nursing home

Spend the day being nervous about …
7 p.m. - Free public screening of Iron Jawed Angels

Morning: Week Three, Day Three of Up and Running

5 a.m. - Pick up my Amish neighbor and head for Pennsylvania

Thank goodness Sunday is a day of rest. Although if I don't get to run today – definitely a possibility –  I'll be making up for it then.

I finished Week Two of U&R Saturday, and feel very good about my progress so far. This week's plan is slightly more challenging, but I think I'm up …

September 23 - Before bedtime (2)

Sunny days + shiny floors =

lots o'dog hair and lint and dust showing up and driving me crazy.

Of course, I don't have far to go, as some of you know quite well. Heh.

But if 15 daily minutes of scooting the dust mop around the floors and the carpet sweeper on the small rugs helps reduce the number of times I have to do a major, major, MAJOR move-the-furniture mop job, well, I'll do it.

All the plants have now been moved indoors, and not a moment too soon. It could get down to 41 degrees tonight here in the Middle of Nowhere. I'm not sure how the potted plants would fare.

The inventory increases every year. Last year it was a spider plant, a pot of rosemary and another of chives. This year I ditched the chives, but am trying to overwinter a lantana, a eucalyptus, a laurel bay and a saucer of succulents. I also have a tiny lemon tree in a little pot that is doing quite well, but won't fruit for a couple more years. We'll see what works and what doesn't. I have plants hanging from tree …

September 22 - Up

They're called leaves …

Actually I will rake them to add to the compost bin. The sadly neglected compost bin. We've been dutifully adding banana peels and coffee grounds and vegetable peelings, oh my, all summer, but there hasn't been much grass to rake or other organic matter to add to the mix. Last time I looked it resembled a witch's cauldron of black, gooey, bubbling slime.


But a little leaf matter should help, and a lot of leaf matter will help more. I'm going to load the leaves in the wheelbarrow and run the string trimmer through them to help them break down more quickly. Not sure where I read that tip, but it's a good one.

I usually rake and bag most, if not all, of the fallen leaves, to use throughout the year, but I ran out this summer. Thus the primordial ooze.

My workout yesterday consisted of vacuuming and mopping the acre (actually it's only about .02 of an acres, but it felt like an acre. Or two.) of flooring in the house. And I didn't even clean two of the ro…

September 21 - Sometimes

Toil in the soil

I spent two – just two – very hard hours in the garden yesterday, pulling weeds, dismantling the [ineffective] fence and pulling up tomato stakes. I was hot, tired, sweaty, dirty and itchy when I finished.

And I didn't even get the tiller out of the shed. You've heard the expression "too wet to plow," right? Well, it was! And I was more than a little grateful, because two hours in the fall garden is quite enough, thankyouverymuch.

(While I'd love to have a year-'round garden and while I envy those who pull kale and chard from their back yards in December, I'm apparently not there yet. Although the cilantro has self-seeded, and if I can make fresh pico de gallo sometime this fall I'll be a happy farmer. And chip eater.)

I was hungry when I finished, but a shower trumped food. There are many more bugs in late summer than spring, and I felt like I was crawling with critters. The shower helped. A lot. Much more than lunch would have.

As I pulled weeds aro…

September 20 - Manmade


Is it over?

I was eager to get out and do Week Two, Day Two of the Up and Running program yesterday. Eager, I tell you! The temperature was pretty darned perfect – low 60s – and the humidity was not even close to being a factor. The rain (we ended up getting about 3.25 inches altogether) was long gone. Blue skies, great weather, a previous day of rest, and a good dinner the night before. I expected to rock the workout.


I wanted to go a little farther (or is it further?) just because it was a pretty day. How often do you want to extend your workout because it feels good to be moving, or it feels good to be outside? For me … not very often. Yesterday, however, it was like some fit young thang took over my body. I went twice as far as I had on Monday, extending the initial five-minute warm-up walk to nearly half an hour. Total time was just shy of an hour. I should have walked up and down the driveway to hit the 60-minute mark, but I'm trying to rein in my OCD tendencies.

Although the…

September 19 - Underneath

Mmmmmmm, dinner

So I guess last night was this week's "cheat" day. I didn't go overboard, but I did eat, um, well at the Amish dinner last night, which they hosted as a fundraiser for their school.

Thanks, Vickie, for the information about your community. I'm slowly learning more about our neighbors, and all of it is good.

I'm aware, however, that some of my neighbors don't care for them living here. One in particular has made life so difficult for them that they're selling their roadfront property and moving to acreage they own that is further away from that neighbor. He doesn't like the horse poop, he doesn't like their singing on Sunday, he doesn't like … well, honestly I don't think he'd like anyone who lived across the road from him.

But they were there first, which makes me wonder why he ever moved there in the first place.

Such is the drama of life in the Middle of Nowhere.

Today is the second day of the second week of the Up and Running pr…

September 18 - Price

How to lose three pounds in one day

Get sick.

Don't ask, believe me you don't want to know.

These 24-hour (or less) things seem to come and, um, go, thank goodness. I'm feeling better now, but still a little afraid to eat.


Yes, the Amish do need to go places and are more than happy to pay us English to take them. In fact, they're even allowed to "drive" our riding lawn mowers and tractors. They're just not permitted to own them.

Which is kind of odd to me, because they're allowed to own chainsaws and sawmills, both of which operate on gasoline. They have propane heaters and they use some kind of machine to increase the pressure in their wells so they can have running water.

I haven't inquired about their "facilities," but I will soon learn, as I've been hired to drive the bakery owner to Pennsylvania later this month. I'll be staying with her family, eating my meals with them and charging my phone in the car. Heh. Blog posts may be short and sweet those days. A…

September 17 - In my fridge

Up and at 'em

I'm usually an early riser. It's rare that I don't see 5:30 shining from the clock on the microwave twice a day. Frequently, however, I awake with no real plan or purpose.

Not today, though. As a designated Amish driver, I'm going to pick up the bakery owner at 7:45 for a short shopping trip. We'd be starting out before that if the grocery opened earlier.

The Amish are preparing a community dinner tomorrow to raise funds for their school and they need some last-minute supplies. I'm going to pick up some nail polish remover while we're there, after my attempt at a creamsicle manicure went awry.

What else. Oh, for Vickie, you can click on the Mmmm Mmmm Good tab at the top of the page and scroll down to the How To section for a detailed description for preserving horseradish. Or you can click here. My dad encouraged me to grow it and warned me that you have to process it outdoors. I didn't find the root to be that strongly pungent last year, but perhaps th…

September 16 - Strange

I thought I was going to have trouble with this one. All it took to complete the assignment was a trip around the gardens.

With God on our side

It's Sunday, and that means a whole lotta folks will be heading to church this morning, my husband among them. Since cleanliness is next to godliness, I'm going to do some major tidying up around here while he's gone.

[Aside: I should probably clean the house when he is home, so he can see just how much effort it takes. He was raised in a home in which a cleaning lady and cook took care of domestic chores, and he went to a college that offered maid service to its young men. Yes, he's old. And domestically challenged.]

[And another aside: I was raised a Methodist, his family is Episcopalian. I've attended services with them, but cannot abide their hymns. All those sharps and flats ... no offense intended if you love them.]


I've been thinking lately about how frequently and forcefully God is being inserted into our political discourse these days. In spite of the fact that the United States was founded on religious freedom, that separation of church and st…


One of the many fun parts of blogging is that sometimes one of your readers will see something and say to him/herself, "Gee, I bet Debbi would love that." And then a couple days later Debbi gets an unexpected gift in the mail! Thanks, Denise!

I haven't tried the tea yet, but I don't think the floral notes will bother me. I don't much care for plain green tea, but certainly recognize the benefits of drinking it.

And the book ... well, how perfect is that title? There's more than a few of us who could have started there and written an entire book! Instead, we blog, and meet cool kids like you who send us prezzies!

Thanks. You made my day.

September 15 - First thing you saw

September 14 - Favorite

It was suggested to me …

that I might enjoy what Margaret and Helen are up to during this campaign season.

Having never read M&H, I clicked, subscribed and have been enjoying their most recent posts. Especially this little snippet from Margaret's review of the GOP convention:

Governor Romney suggested that my proudest moment was when I voted for Obama. Yes. It is pretty high up there on my list. But I was also proud on the day he signed equal pay for women into law. Or the day he ended a war and pledged to end another. I was proud the day he decided American soldiers should be honored regardless of who they love. And again I was proud the day he delivered on his campaign promise to bring about healthcare reform. And you know what, Mr. Romney? I will be proud when I vote for my President again and bring this Republican war on women to an end.The convention is over and I for one got the message loud and clear – a bunch of white people hate President Barack Obama. But we knew that already. I think I'l…

Thank goodness ...

I have seven days in which to complete three running workouts. Because Week One, Day Three isn't happening today.

And nothing at all happened yesterday, either. I am NOT feelin' the workout love on the off days, not at all, not at all. In fact I'm so energy-deprived that I'm not even feelin' the straighten-up-the-house love or work-in-the-garden love. (Well, I did pick three pounds of basil yesterday, I guess that counts for something.)

What I AM feeling is lots of nap-love. And I don't take naps, as a rule. Unless I'm sick.

So I don't know what's going on. Low energy, no motivation. If it weren't for this training program I'm not sure I'd be doing anything at all.


At least I'm not overeating. You can always find something for which to be grateful, if you look hard enough.

I finished the Jujuba neckline yesterday. Twice. (Knitters will be chuckling and nodding their heads.) The first time, with the shor…

September 13 - Table


Knitting I am so-so-so close to finishing the blue sweater. I took it with me last weekend and completed seaming it while watching football Saturday afternoon. I also made a ribbed wool cap – start to finish – over the weekend, and it's ready to mail to Congressman McKinley (R-WV, 1st District), as part of an effort to promote civil discourse in politics. I have two more hats to make.

All that's left on Jujuba is a neckline treatment. The original design was for an airy summer topper, but I've changed it to be a fall/winter pullover and I don't want a wide boat neckline. So I'm picking up stitches all the way around and doing a few rows of garter stitch, with some short rows at the shoulder "corners" to fill in those gaps. If you're not a knitter, this probably sounds like Martian-speak. If you are, you'll likely know exactly what I'm doing.

Running Week one of the Up and Running program has gone well. I look forward to the workouts, I don'…

September 12 - Together

Thanks. And a workout fail. And an award!

Your comments lately have been so insightful and interesting. We're all in this together, whether it's the shared experience of a national tragedy or dealing with health challenges or loving the new Bob Dylan music.

Well, that might just be me. Heh.

I had every intention of doing some light weight training yesterday but the dumbbells never made it to the house from the garage. Fortunately, body work counts, but I'm not sure 10 lunges and 10 squats equals a workout. However, as we like to say here at Chez Middle of Nowhere, something is better than nothing. Today will be the second run/walk session from the Up and Running program, and I'm looking forward to getting out there and getting it done. It's a beautiful morning! (You're welcome for that earworm.)

I've been nominated for a blog award, which I get to turn around and give it away. Here are the rules:

Accept the award.Post the award on your blog together with the name/link to the blo…

September 11 - Hero


Where were you when life as we know it changed utterly?

Do you remember when you could walk all the way to the airport gate to wave good-bye to your husband as he boarded a plane? Or when you could pass through the turnstile at a football game or concert without having your bag searched?

Have you forgotten a time when we as a country didn't know what Al Qaeda was or where Tajikastan was or how to pronounce Azerbaijan?

Or who Osama Bin Laden was?

On a much more practical and mundane level, do you remember when you could fill your gas tank for less than twenty bucks?

Twenty terrorists took a joy ride that cost them their lives and killed 3000 people on American soil. But the damage is so much more than that. Our collective initial burst of patriotism and shared sorrow following the attacks on September 11, 2001, has devolved into suspicion and lost innocence and exceptionalism. It's sad, to me, what's happened.

We live in fear. Well, many of us do, anyway. I try not to, and …

September 10 - Black + White

Two years

It's been two years now since my Dear Ol' Dad died. He used to sign his notes "DOD." I still have the box that his last gift (a set of spectacularly tacky garden trolls) to me came in, with a little poem about guarding the garden in his shaky handwriting. Love, DOD.

I ended up talking about him quite a bit this weekend. Somehow a couple people learned that I have a private pilot's license and there were long conversations about our mutual love of flying. My dad took his first airplane ride in an open-cockpit biplane when he was five years old, and he was instantly and permanently infected with the bug to learn to fly. He got his license when I was 18, and I got mine when I was 30. He ended up owning half a dozen different airplanes throughout his lifetime; by the time I started taking lessons he had a Citabria, which is "aerobatic" sort of spelled backwards.

The weekend was great. This retreat is pretty unstructured, with just four scheduled meetings. …

September 9 - Something you do most weekends

September 8 - At night

September 7 - Natural

Never gonna …

Okay, before I go you HAVE to see this. Wonder how long it took to produce it ...

Fired up! Ready to go!

Yes, there's a lot of enthusiasm around the Middle of Nowhere this morning. Last night's convention speeches inspired me anew (not that I needed much inspiration, right?) and strengthened my resolve to re-elect President Obama. We'll be counting the votes in 60 days. That's not much time to turn West Virginia blue, but I'll be doing my best.

Which, admittedly, will be very difficult since 40 percent of the Democratic primary votes went to a convicted felon and serial candidate who managed to make his way onto the ballot. From prison!

Probably the starkest contrast between the two conventions was the lack of diversity in Tampa and the abundance of it in Charlotte. You didn't have to watch the GOP convention (I didn't) to notice from clips that there were more people of color on stage than in the audience. And that may be why West Virginians register as Democrats but vote Republican.

Just sayin'.

My husband and I are headed out this weekend to an AA retr…

September 6 - Every day

Staying up late …

is most definitely not normal for me. I'll sometimes, maybe, stay up for a really good football game, but even then I just figure I can always catch the score in the morning. For me, nothing trumps tired.

I was not tired last night. I starting watching the Democratic National Convention from about 6 p.m. (it begins at 5 p.m.) and went to bed well after midnight. The speakers were amazing and inspiring. Again! Two nights in a row! How can they possibly top themselves tonight?


He was there last night, too. I had a feeling he'd take the stage with former President Clinton, and I was pretty thrilled when he did. We've been watching the convention on C-SPAN – all speeches, no pundits. The cable news networks probably had cameras trained on the President's every move, thus spoiling the surprise for their viewers. Watching C-SPAN makes me feel like I'm part of the event, but with a more comfortable seat and tight close-ups of the …

September 5 - Bright

Whittling away on those stitches

I got a lot done last night on Jujuba, even though I only worked on it a couple hours. My Tuesday volunteer gig at the prison doesn't get me home until nearly 9, but I got to watch the convention and get all revved up. Jujuba is perfect revved-up knitting. Heh. I'm down to about 4400 stitches to go.

Our First Lady is the best. So genuine, so beautiful, so earnest and compassionate. I loved her speech. The pundits are saying Michelle could give Hillary a run for her money in the 2016 primary.

It occurred to me that there were a LOT of potential Presidents making speeches last night. I missed Cory Booker, but I think he'd be terrific, as would Mayor Julian Castro (electing a man named Castro might be more difficult than electing one named Obama!).

Vickie, I think it's great that your high school registers 18-year-olds in their government classes. Our county high school does, as well, and our county clerk always has voter registration forms with her. I need to remember to…

September 4 - In my mailbox (updated)

Public Service Announcement

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there's a form you can use to register to vote. Please, if you are a U.S. citizen and you're not registered, it couldn't be easier. This election is very important for the future of WOMEN.

Want to add the form to your website? Get the code HERE.

That is all.

Feeling my age

I can set my own schedule at the garden center, since we're only technically open for business on the weekends. I'm there during the week to water plants, and if someone sees the gate open and stops in, I'll be happy to sell them what they need, but I don't have to be there at a certain time.

That said, I like to get there earlier rather than later, to avoid having to water when the sun is high overhead. Most of the plants are in full sun by 10 a.m.

I didn't make it until 11:30 yesterday morning. Wow. Was. It. Hot. And sunny! A few clouds rolled by, but the sun was mostly relentless and the threat of rain remained just a threat.

In addition to dragging the hose around in the hot sun, I waited on a lot of customers. I was surprised to see so many people there on a holiday; it's not like we were having a sale. And nearly everyone who came in bought something, so I feel like I earned my wages on Labor Day.

(By the way, did you see or hear House Majority Leader Eri…

September 3 - Far Away

Happy Labor Day!

And thank a union sometime during your celebration today.

I'll be laboring … plants still need watering, national (U.S.) holiday or not. It looks like rain, but not until much later and even then a predicted rain can skirt around the mountain and miss us entirely. So I'll be watering at the garden center, and maybe mowing here at home. I did a little weeding yesterday, but it was VERY hot and VERY humid and I quit when I'd done only about a third of the area I started on.

This is warm-up week for Up&Running. I thought we would actually be running this week, but it's more about defining motivation, which is very helpful when it comes to sticking with a program.

Yesterday's photo brought up all kinds of emotional stuff for me. The lovely Chantelle's photo prompts reflect that she lives in Australia, where Father's Day happened yesterday. I didn't know that until I Googled. The best thing that came from yesterday is the enduring gratitude I have for bei…

September 2 - Father

September 1 - You, Now

Here we go again …

I keep signing up for NaBloPoMo (even though I don't follow the prompts) and for FatMumSlim's Photo a Day (where I absolutely DO follow the prompts) and you know what? If I could find a place that inspired me to exercise, I bet I'd be doing that regularly, as well.

Well, whaddyaknow. I HAVE!

Training begins Monday, and I'm ready, ready, ready to (pause) rock and roll. Oh, and run.

Although I must confess that I hope the first day doesn't really include much running because it's been way too long since I've picked up the pace. Also my husband and I will not be doing this together, because he's dead set against my running. So I'll have to do it in secret.

If Rosie O'Donnell hadn't had that heart attack I think he'd be cautiously supportive of my return to running. (Oh, okay, I'll be jogging, not running.) Since she did, he's memorized the signs of women's heart attacks and gently pointed out that waist circumference (who, me?!?…