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Showing posts from November, 2014

Even when it's unseasonably warm …

it's cold.

I came home from my trip to NC to find a broken heat pump. It's not 100 percent broken – the fan blows air – but after a very expensive weekend visit from a technician, we learned we need a new compressor. The original one has somehow become grounded, rendering it useless for warming the air coming into the house.

I know NOTHING about heat pumps, other than what I've learned from Google this weekend.

What I do know is that it will be several days before a new compressor can be installed, it's going to cost lots o'bucks, and it's cold. Even the slightly warmer-than-normal outdoor temperatures aren't warm.

So we're wearing wool socks and multiple layers and huddling in the TV room with the door closed and a space heater running full-blast.

Our next electric bill will be astronomical.

The Emergency Heat setting on the heat pump doesn't provide any heat, again because of the compressor. I think. Without that critical component, we're stuc…

As you gather together

Whether you'll be spending your Thanksgiving with friends, family or all alone (which is sometimes a delicious option), I hope your heart is filled with gratitude for your blessings, great or small.

Happy Thanksgiving.

When I feel as I do this morning …

it's probably better to keep my thoughts to myself.

But THAT ain't happening! Heh.

I expected there would be no indictment against the Ferguson police officer who killed Michael Brown. I haven't looked at the evidence, and I didn't hear the witnesses. I can't say whether the grand jury decision is good or bad. It just is.

What I'm left with – and what I started with, once the facts began to come out – is why that officer had to kill that child. Why was deadly force necessary?

I'll grant you that the young man wasn't a fine, upstanding citizen. He wasn't helping the Little Sisters of the Poor. He'd just shoplifted cigars (and not even especially good ones) from a convenience store. He apparently tussled with the officer. He was a big guy, while the officer was of average build.

But who are we, when it's acceptable to kill someone for shoplifting?

Yes, that's simplifying it. But to me, that's the essence of it.

My opinion – and I'm…

You know what they say

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and write about something that might make that old saying – "be careful what you wish for" – happen in a bad way.

Because that's usually how "be careful what you wish for" happens.

Here's what I'd like. I'd like for food to be not so important, not so enticing, not so alluring.

And you know the only people who aren't interested in food are, um, sick.

I don't want to be sick.

I just don't want to think about food all the damned time.

My meals are pretty simple and largely the same: some kind of vegetable soup or stew with protein for dinner, bacon and eggs for breakfast, dinner leftovers for lunch. I try not to snack, but if I do it's a Larabar, either homemade or purchased. (The seasonal Gingerbread ones are delicious.)

See? Right there. I'm recommending food to you. Alluring food. Tastyyummymmmmmmmmmmgood food.

Cats have the reputation of being picky eaters. I know some people who go throu…

It's a date!

My husband and I are taking care of some business in town this morning and then heading to Christiansburg, VA, to browse, shop, eat out and spend some time with each other.

For a change.

He wasn't nearly as enthusiastic about the recent election as I was, and I was pretty busy, pretty much all the time. So when he suggested a couple days ago that we take Friday to spend together, I was all about it. We're both looking forward to picking up some holiday gifts and even shopping for ourselves.

What do we need? Not much, really. We're not really into acquiring more stuff. But we sure do need a day away from the house, where we tend to go our own ways and only really sit down together for dinner and, later, Jeopardy.

Last night instead of questions-and-answers, we watched college football (WVU lost, but not by much, and really should have won) with a short break for the President's speech on immigration.

To me, the plan seems fair and balanced, to borrow a phrase from one o…

Wow.

I just checked my workout log and I haven't walked in a week. Last time I was out was November 12. It's been a long, long time since I've been this lazy.

Except I've not really been lazy. It's been too cold – bitterly cold – to walk, and the idea of sitting in a cold, dark garage to use the rowing machine isn't all that appealing either.

I know, I know. Mind over matter, at least in the case of the rower.

I'm somewhat surprised to see the number on the scale inching downward, despite my lack of intentional activity. I've been sticking like glue to the paleo plan, and eating only when I'm hungry. And sometimes I'm really hungry, which my husband says is a sign of good health.

Also food tastes better when you're hungry.

The knitting continues, and I find myself cruising through Pinterest looking for sweater patterns. It's not like I don't have a ton of them already. And it's not like I couldn't swatch for gauge and start knitti…

Thank goodness for football

I'm not much of a TV watcher. I like The Newsroom, Season 3 of which HBO began broadcasting last Sunday. (I haven't watched last night's episode yet, but as soon as I get done here – that's the plan.) I also like House of Cards, which drops on Netflix in February, I do believe.

And I watch football. If it weren't for football, NO knitting would be getting done. As it is, darned little is getting done, but I'm on track to get the four toys for one set of grandchildren done.

These are the toys they asked for in August, I think? And they thought I'd be able to sit down and whip them out in an evening, while they slept. HAH!

The second of the four toys is done (except for sewing on button eyes). I used this pattern for Mr. Whale, but blue yarn at my grandson's request.

I'm nearly done knitting the pieces for this teddy bear, but in red and with the addition of a red bow tie. These kids have wonderful imaginations. I hope the finished projects live up to…

Oh, the weather outside's been frightful

I've hardly left my house the past few days. It's been bitterly cold, unusually cold for November in southern West Virginia. Friday was, in fact, a pajama day – I didn't even get dressed, the whole. damned. day.

We went out yesterday afternoon, to a funeral service, and then returned home to hunker down and watch football. Too cold – still – to walk.

I felt a little sorry for myself yesterday morning, as I saw that three of my Facebook friends were running the Richmond (VA) half-marathon. I remember doing that race. A long time ago. In another lifetime. But I'm happy for all of them. They all finished and one had a PR. So YAY for her!

I'm also feeling sorry for myself because of the weight I've gained this year. I was the thinnest I've been in years last year at Thanksgiving. The weight has been coming back on all. year. long. I haven't been 100 percent faithful to the paleo plan. Nor even 80 percent, clearly. The holidays are fast approaching and I won…

24 and so much more

So. Happy anniversary to me.

Today marks 24 years of continuous sobriety, 24 years of living life on life's terms, 24 years that I haven't (thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous) used alcohol or drugs to alter my reality or mask my feelings.

Those of you who know me up close and personal can attest to the fact that my feelings are, um, pretty much right up front. HAH! I know at least one person who'd love it if I would stuff them every once in a while. (No, he wouldn't. Not really.)

If you don't know my story, you can read the 16-year version of it here. What's happened in the eight years since?

I still live in the same house, I have the same dog, and I'm living with the same person. In fact I'd married that person just a few months before my 16th AA anniversary. I've now lived in the same house with the same person and had the same dog for a longer stretch than at any other time in my entire life. People, places, things and dogs used to fall by the waysid…

My Facebook meltdown

I threatened to quit using Facebook yesterday (on Facebook), and got more comments on a post than ever before. I think. But since I didn't post my threat in order to get comments, it really doesn't matter.

People are mean.

Not you, of course. And it's a free country. Sort of. I think the Koch Brothers have probably spent quite a bit of money buying it up, but the constitution still says you can say what you want.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Obviously I'm simplifying. The First Amendment has been and will continue to be debated. As it stands now, however, there's no law against bashing the President on Facebook. You can't threaten to kill him. That will get you a visit from the Feds. But you can lie about him and use racia…

Still shell-shocked. But rising.

Went to a little get-together last night, a post-mortem, if you will, with fellow Democrats from our women's group and our county executive committee. Quite a good crowd, not much gnashing of teeth, a good deal of enthusiasm and many questions about what comes next.

Most of West Virginia's politicians are Democrat-Lite. Our state party platform includes language that supports a woman's right to choose, but many-many-many of our Democratic legislators are pro-life. And now that our statehouse is Republican-controlled, you can bet the anti-abortion bills will be flowing like manna from HEAVEN.

(Whatever pro-life is. If you're pro-life, aren't you – or shouldn't you be – also anti-death penalty? Anti-war? Wouldn't you support early childhood education and food stamps and all the other social programs that help disadvantaged people LIVE? Unwanted children already born have LIFE. I'm pro-THEM.)

The opposition loves throwing the term pro-abortion around, whic…

Internet-less

As you might imagine, I have quite a few thoughts about Tuesday's election results. I also have no Internet, since early Wednesday morning. The universe is conspiring against me. Or perhaps protecting me from saying things I should probably keep to myself. I'm profoundly disappointed. Stunned. Still. And by the time the Internet is up and running again I'll have moved my thinking forward (one hopes!) to a more productive place. When the keyboard and screen are small - I'm using my phone and the blogger app - so is the number of words. Have a good Thursday. I'm trying.

A look back

Six years ago today, the front page of the New York Times looked like this. An historic day, and not at all unexpected. Candidate Obama swept through the country with charm and confidence and charisma.

The next day, I'm guessing, sales of Confederate flags and bumper stickers and license plates rose dramatically. I live in southern West Virginia and, until the 2008 election, I'd never seen a Confederate flag flying in someone's yard. Or if I had, I'd never noticed.

Electing our first black President changed America's character, and not for the better.

I had hopes. It certainly seemed like racism was on the decline, especially when considered from the perspective of one who grew up in the '60s. So much had changed in 50 years. Surely we were so over bigotry.

But we weren't. And we aren't. And despite all the good President Obama has done, all the improvements in job numbers and deficit reduction and consumer confidence, every major candidate in every maj…

My left foot

Some time ago, a long time ago, I had edema in my left foot. Chronic. Annoying. Unexplained.
I'm talking a really long time ago, probably back in the Shrinking Knitter days.

Yesterday it came back.
Ugh. It hurt to walk. I ended up taking a Lasix before bed. That's how bad it was – I was willing to get up to pee two or three times in order to get some relief.
All is normal this morning, but I'm left wondering what happened to cause it to return.
And, since I won't be visiting the doctor about it, I guess I'm just left to wonder.
Moving on.
Earlier this year the four littlest grandchildren asked for knitted toys. They thought I could whip them out in no time. First, they have no concept of time and second, they have no concept of how long it takes to knit a toy.
At any rate, the first one's done. I'm naming it Mitch – until it's delivered, of course. At that point it's out of my hands and the intended grandson can name it whatever he wants. But it doe…

Wow, it's early

I neglected to set the clocks back last night before I went to bed, so when I saw the digital display reading 5:34, I didn't think too much of it. I'd gone to bed around 9 last night, so I'd had plenty of sleep. I got up, checked my phone and saw that – THANK YOU END OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME – it was actually 4:34.

I couldn't go back to sleep, though. Didn't even try. I swear it takes me longer to get used to the autumn time change than it does the one in the spring.

Right now, at 6:30-ish, the morning light is just beginning to overtake the darkness. There was a slight chance of snow last night, which didn't happen here. I saw snow all through Virginia on my way home from North Carolina yesterday though.

The annual Halloween trip to visit my son and his family went well. The first full day I was there I got to spend with my younger granddaughter while both her parents were at work. The weather was PERFECT – moderate temperatures, lovely Carolina-blue skies, ve…