Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tomorrow is a new day.


. . . and it's Friday. Breathe.





You knew I'd slip a kitten in there, didn't you?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sticky Sticky Stumbo revisited


Those of us who blog generally know how many people read o
ur blogs and how they found us. We know what countries they live in and if they read a lot or just now and then, and for how long. We have stats. One of my favorite stats is Keyword Search. Keyword search is a word or phrase that someone searched the Internet for, which brought them to your blog. And some of those searches appear again and again. I was surprised to find out that one of the top searches that brings people here is "Sticky Sticky Stumbo."

If you are someone who has read my 1oo things link, you may remember that #47 (because I'm sure you've read my hundred things over and over again) is about one of my very favorite stories when I was a kid. It was a story called "The Little Boy With the Long Name." I loved the story, not because it was a wonderful story, I mean, the kid dies, but it was his name. It was a name a kid would try to memorize and read over and over in a rhythmic sing-song kind of way. It was:

Sticky Sticky Stumbo
Nos E Rumbo
E Pro Pennyo
Hara Bara Brisko
Nicky Prom Po
Nish No Menyo
Dumbricko

It was always written that way, as if it were lines in a poem. And I can still recite it 40 some years later. Without the book.

I was contacted by a couple who were looking for a copy of t
he story and they emailed me. I told them I remembered it from a book I got from an uncle when I was 3 or 4 years old called Big and Little Creatures. I found it as a used book on Amazon and sent them the link. Recently, having seen the search come up in my stats again I thought I would get a copy of the book for myself. It arrived today.

It's magic! As I turned the pages I remembered every illustration whether I remembered the story attached or not. But I did remember many stories and nursery rhymes and poems. It was copywrite 1961, by Golden Press. 1961. So it was when the villains in children's books were scary and people really died and not everything was all sweetness and light. The story of Little Black Sambo was a story about a little boy with a loving mother and father and not a reflection of race relations in the world. And I remember devouring this book. Even when I got too old for it, I would pull it out and flip through the pages, every drawing a memory and even the smell of the pages would bring back the innocence of the years before.

So I share a bit. Click to make pictures bigger - indulge me in my memories of long ago. I hope you enjoy!



Still true today.



From The Three Little Pigs




The Story of The Three Bears





The Story of Little Black Sambo



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The Tale of Peter Rabbit




Little Red Riding Hood



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And finally - The Little Boy With the Long Name



. . . who fell down a well




. . . and was quite, quite dead. He had died while they were saying his name.



~ * ~

We played outside summer and winter, we watched a little TV (3 stations) and when we had nothing to do - we used our imagination. Nobody wrapped us in cotton. We were allowed to learn to distinguish between right and wrong and real and make believe and we read books that were not PC'ed to death and completely sanitized.

And we're all right. For the most part.


For those of you looking for your "Sticky Sticky Stumbo" memories, you can find them if you try.




Monday, September 22, 2008

My line in the sand.


Took the crabby old man cat to the vet tonight, getting his thyroid meds increased because he's lost more weight and still thinks I'm starving him to death. They took blood and then took him in the back for some mat removal, yikes, poor guy.


Interesting stuff to write about, I know, right? Cause that's my life. And - because I'm not going to write about politics. I may want to, I may have strong opinions, but I will keep my thoughts to myself except when commenting on some of the political blogs I read. That's my outlet. And that's my choice.

But I want to say something. There are those of you whose blogs I read who have very different political ideals than I do. But I like you. And I like your blog. I just won't engage in the discussion so if I opt out, or I just don't comment, I am respecting your opinion and moving on, hoping for a non-political post next time I visit.

I like your blogs for what they normally are. I understand this is an election year and it's a huge topic and on everyone's minds here in the U.S. Believe me it's on my mind too. But if your blog is not usually about politics and you are getting more political lately - please understand I am not avoiding you, just the discussion.

There was a blog I read early on when I first starting searching and looking for interesting sites to read. I enjoyed the blog, it was kind of popular, and I started to comment regularly. Until the author said one thing. One thing and I deleted her from my reader and never went back. So if I avoid some of your political discussions it is because I want to keep reading you - regardless of whether we agree politically or not.

What was the one thing she said? The one thing she wrote that turned me off to the degree that I never went back? She said "I am so ashamed to be an American."

I can read political opinions and understand different sides of an issue, but when someone is born in this country which has more freedoms and incredible opportunities than any other place in the world and does not appreciate it? Not for me.


Everybody has to draw the line somewhere.


Maxine Monday


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where's Emily Post when you need her? Or maybe the cops?


It's totally amazing to me which things my mind decides to totally drop. I forgot to mention this to ANYBODY. Yesterday I saw my BF at lunch. We had gone to a convenience store, parked, and he had gone inside. Sitting in the passenger seat I was just kind of staring into space until something on my right caught my eye.


There was a taxi parked there, right in the center in front of the doors which really isn't supposed to be a parking space. I wasn't sure what about this taxi caught my eye so I turned my head.

The door to the driver's side of the taxi was open and the driver was standing between the door and the inside of the car. He had a pack of cigarettes in his right hand and was smacking it against the palm of his left. He was an Asian man with a slight build, and he was looking straight ahead while he packed his cigarettes and peed.

Did you catch that? He was peeing! That's what caught my eye, the stream sparkling in the sunlight while it was bouncing off the pavement.

UGH!!!!!

I was so taken aback I looked away and doubted that's what I really saw for a second. It was bizarre, that's the only way I can describe it. We've all seen guys standing against a bush or a tree with his back to you and we know what he's doing. But generally they tend to go to a somewhat secluded spot, do their business and get on with it. But I have never seen a guy (we are discounting living in a college town where copious amounts of alcohol were involved) park in a highly trafficked area in broad daylight - whip it out and just pee - regardless of who was around, or who might see him!

He obviously was not aiming - in the traditional way - because his hands were in plain sight. How he was avoiding peeing on his legs and feet, not to mention his car, is beyond me. I would say this was something he was very practiced at and very comfortable with.

My BF came out of the store just as this guy was zipping up and getting back in his car. BF didn't notice anything, and I waited until the guy had gotten back in his car and pulled out of the parking lot before I said anything. To be honest, I was totally offended and was a tiny bit afraid of what the BF might do if the guy was still standing there with his willy out of his pants. BF is big. Peeing guy, very small.

I may be a conservative in some areas but I've never been a prude. But isn't there a certain amount of decorum that can be expected when you are out in public anymore? I mean, I know everybody pees, everybody has emergencies, but what about being a little discreet? Does this reflect a change in accepted behavior, or maybe it's a cultural thing? What do you think?

Because to me it was disgusting behavior and certainly disrespectful to anyone who was nearby, not to mention crude and just plain nasty. I'm sure the store wouldn't have wanted that to be happening right in front of their doors either, if the worker inside had noticed. But since it was about 12:30pm in the middle of a week day - he was pretty busy with customers.

So yeah, that slipped my mind yesterday but I'm curious. Am I overreacting or would you have found it bizarre and disgusting as well?

Just askin'.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tongue clucking too!


Do you work with someone who drives you crazy? I am sure the fact that I may be PMS-ing has nothing to do with it okay maybe a little. But she drives me crazy on a daily basis, this made up *cough cough* person does.


The problem is, I like her. For the most part. But she has the attitude that - she does what she does and if other people don't like it - too bad. That goes for her work, as well as her noise level.

"Oh I'm sure I have hearing loss from working in the really loud *cough cough* room all those years."

She knows what that means - SHE'S LOUD.

Her volume makes me crazy along with her habit of narrating everything she does all day long, swearing under her breath (if you're going to swear just DO it) and praying every 20 minutes or so.

"OH GOD."

There are the burps now and then with the exagerated "EXCUSE ME" just in case anybody missed it they will know she apparently just belched and had no control over whether she did it out loud or not.

If it's cold in the office, which it often is, we hear about it.

"BR-R-R-R-r-r-r!!!!!" Long, loud and drawn out.

"AGH-H-H-h-h-h ..... !!" Which can mean general dissatisfaction, coldness, and maybe 'pay attention to ME!', I'm not sure.

Did I mention her laugh? She laughs IN, not OUT. And it's like she's one of those nervous laughers, she laughs after almost everything she says either as an exclamation, an apology or a hedge against someone being offended or confrontational.

"If it's raining too hard tomorrow I'm just not coming in (wheezelaugh)."

There are also the annoying habits like sucking her teeth, tapping her pen on her desk and singing or whistling tuneless snippets of songs, real - and made up. Oh, and lets not forget listening to her conference calls on speaker, even if she is the only one from our area on the call, and also proclaiming her inability to do anything and everything to management's satisfaction every time she is given a new task.

"Oh I won't be able to do THIS (wheezelaugh)."

"I'll NEVER remember THIS part."

"Fine. Whatever, I'll do what I can do (wheezelaugh)."

If there is free food for whatever reason, she is right there, earlier than anyone else, oohing and ahhhing over the choices, and making 'nummy' noises while she eats it. And of course she's a tiny little thing. If the fat chick (me) did that it wouldn't be the same thing, let me assure you.

People have said - you should say something. Maybe she doesn't know she bothers people. Well, that's partly true. I'm sure the noises she makes are not something she is really aware of. If I bring it to her attention she will definitely become overly self-conscious which in turn will make her mad. We have to work together in the same area. And honestly, as stupid as it sounds, I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Plus, there are so MANY things she does that drive me nuts, it would be like a laundry list and then I would feel bad. Besides, then what would I have to complain about?

Honestly, knowing how she would react stops me from saying anything. When she makes me nuts I moan to one of my other co-workers and I'm better for a while and we keep the peace. Because really when you look at the amount of things she does, it's kind of absurd.

And sometimes I think that the amount it bothers me is absurd as well because I only know one other person (who will admit it) who is bothered by even SOME of the things she does that bother ME.

Today it may be magnified due to hormonal issues, just like my feet and my ankles. But I can't blame her 'habits' on water weight EVERY day. So it's really nice to be able to come here and whine and complain and not have to apologize later.

She doesn't have a computer and doesn't use the internet. All Al Gore's work is lost on her and my annoyances are safe with you. Right?

*blink blink*

Right?


Monday, September 15, 2008

. . . survey says. . .!!!


I have decided what I am going to do with my hair. I know people have been waiting on the edge of their seats for this revelation. It's really not anything exciting. I wish I could say I'm going to dye it candy apple red (which I've done accidentally) with splashes of blonde throughout, but truth be told - I don't have the energy to deal with that.


My decision is really a compromise. Several people liked the idea of letting it go natural, and others liked the idea of color but not a straight all-over single color. I appreciate the opinions and they actually did help me decide to go back to a sneaky trick I developed a year ago or so. Yeah, cause I invented this - uh huh! No one else has ever done it, I'm sure.

I found that my gray was coming through the color to a certain degree anyway - 3 or 4 weeks after coloring it, and I kind of liked it. So I started coloring my hair every 4 weeks or so, but I only left the stuff on for less than 10 minutes probably. I did the roots and got them covered really well, when that was done I would work it through the rest of my hair and then rinse it out. No sitting around with it on my head. Never had that 'look I just colored my hair it will fade a bit in a week' look, and the gray came through enough to give me those natural highlights. It allowed me to keep some color but to have some really nice gray streaking that I liked.

The sneaky part? It looked more natural than if it was all gray or all one color!

Not really for someone with long hair, but for short hair - it's great!

Oh and Joy - God bless you - but I have not grayed prematurely. Honestly, until I let it go gray last year (or was that earlier this year?) I didn't know what color my hair really was! Growing up it was blond, then kind of a dirty blonde. In high school I used "Sun-In" remember that? I had perms for a while which lightened my hair, and I started coloring it in earnest in my early 30's when I thought my hair was just plain dull. What a surprise to find out just how much gray there was! AND that my natural hair color was more brown than blonde at that point. I wasn't upset or disappointed, I actually thought it was kind of cool, thinking that I may get quite a bit of white someday, like my mom.

And really, now that my daughter has cut her hair so short, I owe it to her to let her be the young one. I need to do something so people will know I'm her mother and not her sister!!!

*cough cough*

Cause I'm generous like that. * :)


Maxine Monday


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Sunday, September 14, 2008

. . . . what you can do today.


I didn't get everything done this long weekend that I wanted to, but doggone it if I don't have the best choices of themes and wallpapers for my new phone! I am compelled to mess with that stuff. How my computer looks, what wallpaper I have, what fonts I use, etc. So it's not surprising that when I got a new phone where all of that stuff is customizable, I would have to mess with that too.


Watched a lot of hurricane coverage. I just can't imagine what it must be like to live somewhere that is so threatened by nature itself. So scary. Illinois may be kind of flat and boring to look at but we don't usually get much more than a tornado every now and then. Wait, a good part of central Illinois got flooded this year too. I guess you're not necessarily safe wherever you live.

We're actually getting a lot of flooding up here right now, a result of tropical storm Lowell (a Pacific storm, I looked it up!) and the remnants of Ike. One of them gave us the rain and one of them gave us the winds, but nothing on the order of what the gulf coast has gotten. Last time it rained really hard my power went out, this time (finding wood .. knock knock) it's all good. Go figure.

Tried to find the TV Guide channel today. It's gone. On my cable system it was channel 22 or 23. Not anymore. I admit I usually only use it when the power goes out and I need the correct time or something. But it's never disappeared before! I went to use it today to see what was on TV - and the one time I want to use it for the reason it's there - and it's not there. Very weird. Shows how much I pay attention! I've gone through the dial 3 times. No channel guide.

Isn't in funny how we get used to doing something one way to the point where if it's not available we don't know what to do? Can't find the remote, I panic. How am I going to change the channels!? Can't find a phone number on speed dial or on caller ID - how do I call somebody? Man, sometimes I feel almost helpless.

Anyway. I still have a load of laundry to put away and a package to get ready to go to France. France! I know, right? Somebody in France wants a pair of my earrings. Will wonders never cease? And of course - it's almost midnight.

Never put off till tomorrow . . . uh huh.


Friday, September 12, 2008

This just in ... !

My daughter Dani - rec'd via cell phone today - isn't she adorable? Not sure if she knew I had gotten my hair cut too, and I think she has my glasses!




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Some random truths, cat truths.



"As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind."

- Cleveland Amory


"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat."
- Ellen Perry Berkeley


"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch."
- Leo Dworken


"Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
- Mark Twain Notebook, 1894


"Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
- Mary Bly


"You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals."
- George Mikes from "How to be decadent


"For a man to truly understand rejection, he must first be ignored by a cat."
- Anonymous


" There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats."
- Anonymous


"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
- Anonymous


"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."
- Hippolyte Taine


"If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much."
- Mark Twain


"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
- English Proverb


"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."
- Unknown


And my personal favorite:


"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
- Unknown




Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's cleansing! Breathe deep ...


Tomorrow is my Friday, woo hoo! I've said it before but it bears saying again. Working at the same place for over 20 years does have some benefits. Like - something like 36 or 38 days of vacation a year. Nice, right? Right. Believe me, I am grateful.


I plan on completing what I started last weekend. Cleaning out my bedroom closet. I already have five 30-gallon trash bags full of clothes to be given away, a stack of pants on the floor to 'evaluate' - and more shoes pulled out than I should admit I own.

Did you know that when you get fat - your feet get fat too? Anyway...

There may actually be 6 bags already.

And there is still a TON of stuff to hanging in my closet yet. I have clothes from size 8 all the way up to ~unintelligiblemumblemumble~. I just kept adding without getting rid of anything saying to myself - well - I'll fit into that stuff again.

Okay, maybe I will. I haven't given up on that. But I finally had to look at the clothes in my closet and decide whether or not I will actually WEAR the stuff when I can fit into it! It's lovely to lose weight and go into your closet and try on things that haven't fit in a while - and find they fit you again. But really, it's not like these things fit me a couple months ago. We're talking years. I can pretty much guarantee you will never find me in another pair of jeans with a tapered leg - no matter what size I am!

So, out it all goes. I've got a good start on it, I'm hoping to go the way of Stimey (I copy her a lot, don't I?) and her Junk Pyramid blog. I need to get rid of something every day. My house needs to be cleansed from top to bottom of all of the things I look at and say - I don't know what I'll do with this, but - it's too good to throw out. Oh yeah??

My bedroom and all it's clutter seemed a good place to start. Plus, finding a YWCA clothing drop container less than a mile from my house is a huge bonus. Doesn't take much to donate loads of clothes without having to remember when someone is coming by to pick it up. Because I won't. Remember, that is.

Oh, and I'll nap a little too. On my days off. Thought I'd throw that in there too. I know you're jealous.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

It was bring your spider to work day!!!


Did you participate?


Did you even know?

Well it was and I participated by bringing a nice big brown, hairy spider with me to work today, and promptly freaking out when I realized it.

I have a lunch box/bag/tote thing I bring to work with me every day. Today mine contained something extra! I have no idea if it was on the outside of it, hanging on precariously as I lugged the bag into my car, and slung it over my arm getting out of the car and carrying it into the building. OR - if it was enjoying the coolness of the inside of my lunch box, with my soup, crackers, yogurt and cold pack.

Regardless of where it was the fact remains that I transported an arachnid from my home to my work place today. I am starting to itch just thinking about it.

I have chronicled my spider battles in the past but recently I have found ginormous spiders in my bathtub, twice, in the living room a couple of times, and on the kitchen counter last night. That one I managed to trap under a glass where he stayed until my BF executed him this afternoon. That was AFTER he poisoned all the spiders living under the siding outside the house, sprayed around my windows and doors, and around the foundation too.

The very idea that I carried a spider with me creeps me out to no end. This HAS to end. It's me against them. No more letting my daughter capture them and let them outside so they can breed more invaders to torment me.

Tomorrow I am going on a spider hunt with my vacuum. Also, I read somewhere that spiders hate eucalyptus so I might be buying some of that and putting some sprigs under my couch, inside my windows and behind some bookcases. OR SOMETHING!

I will also be searching for some kind of strong hand-vac I can keep close by for emergency spider grinding. I need to gather my tools around me and be on the alert.

This is war.

Pray for me.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's just hair.

I went and did it again. Cut my hair off I mean. Oh my gosh it feels so good to have it gone! When I was a teenager I had hair down to my waist. I cut it sometime before I left high school and it seemed like I was always trying to get it back ever after. Cut it, then going through the awkward stages until I couldn't stand it anymore - and then cutting it again. It's just what I do.

My thought is always - it's just hair. If I don't like it -
it will grow. And I mean it. I have to tell hairdressers to err on the side of too short as opposed to leaving it too long. They must be gun shy because of people who have melt downs when their hair doesn't turn out the way they want it to. My line is "I don't freak about my hair. Cut it shorter."

So this cut is fine, great as a matter of fact. I cannot te
ll you how wonderful it is to get up in the morning and not have to 'do' my hair. I would recommend it to anyone. But this time I am in a quandary.

The last time I cut it I cut all the color off and left it gray the whole time it was short. When it started to grow a bit longer I colored it again. Now that it is short again, I am thinking of letting it go gray again. I kind of liked it last time, as surprised as I was about that. So what do you think? Color? Or no color?

Oh - and if you think the gray hair makes me look more tired - that picture was taken later at night than the one with color. So make allowances for that, and tell me what you think!



Click to see the pics larger

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Envy is a ba-a-a-d thing.

I got a new phone. A new cell phone. Or maybe I don't have to be that specific anymore. When you say you got a new phone these days I guess people assume that's what you're talking about.

My first cell phone was bolted to the console of the car with a huge
battery in the trunk. It wasn't something you carried around and it was something you used only for business (my ex-husband) or for emergencies (me). It had a cord.

But I digress. Why did I get a new phone? Well, no good reason really. My daughter got a new phone. She was having fun setting up all the new cool things in it. So I guess I was having a little phone envy. She had a little itty bitty memory card, could send pictures in messages and play music like a Walkman.


So I got a new phone. It's cool. It has an itty bitty memory card, I can send pictures in messages and mine has a Walkman feature too.


Um ... why did I do this? All I really need is a phone I can call out on, receive calls in on, and maybe send a text or 2. That's about it. I suppose when I figure out how to use all the cool stuff in this phone I will like it just fine. But right now? I'm just confused.

Monday, September 1, 2008