Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Hogswatch!

The Hogfather does not leave pork products in my stocking, but family and friends were awfully good to me this year!  I had a home-cooked brunch with family, and got the following:

5 pairs of socks (I am truly loved!)
1 pair of handmade mittens
3 gorgeous artisanal candles
A frog keychain
4 books
Christmas ornament earrings
4 Lush bath bars/bubble bombs
Purple fleece jammies
A box of awesome candy from a local chocolatier
A pretty tone-on-tone grey pashmina
A purse made from a man's suit
2 containers of my SIL's homemade cookies

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I woke up at 6:20 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep, which made me cranky and made the dog very happy because BREAKFAST NOW PLEASE.  So I got up, got dressed, and went to do my shopping.  I hit two grocery stores and the drugstore, finding everything except wintergreen lozenges for my little brother, then got gas and stopped at the warehouse store for lightbulbs, and then went to Staples, where I hit a snag--they don't open until 11 on Sundays. :-(

So it was home again and unload the groceries, change the sheets, unload the dishwasher and put new lightbulbs and decorations on the outdoor lights by the front door.  All that by 10:30 and I am Out Of Spoons.

Since I just can't make myself go back to the mall area on the Sunday before Christmas, I have now officially missed the shipping window for Christmas delivery to Jay and Mallie.  I know that they won't hold it against me, but I do.  I think Imma go take a nap now.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Somewhere, somewhen, I did something right.

Yesterday was Call Day, which is smoother now, and on my review the judge noted "great improvement" since I took charge of it in January.  So I got through that and still managed to audit and docket filings for 15 or so cases, yay me!

Last night was the office Christmas party and gift exchange.  We met at a local bar music room for a yummy buffet and the budget covered everyone's first drink.  I had a wonderful, very very spicy Bloody Mary which came with an olive, a slice of lemon, a dill pickle spear and a piece of bacon.  It was a meal in a glass, basically.

When everyone had eaten, the judge stood by the stage and thanked us all for coming and then started the gift exchange.  This is our third year of doing a White Elephant/Steal the Present and it's a lot of fun.  My gift to the exchange was the cowboy boot-shaped shot glasses I got at the 2013 party, and a growler of my brother's Buttface Amber Ale.  My office-mate originally got it, but had it stolen from her by one of our investigators.  I originally opened a gift bag with a "bathroom book" 52 Things to Do While You Poo plus a travel-sized assortment of Poo-Pourri products.

Gifts ran the gamut from beer (mine and a mini-keg of Heineken) to light-up yard decorations (a dachshund in a Santa suit) to assorted Christmas decor both tacky and classy, and cookware and such.  Our chief magistrate was delighted with a set of decorate-your-own gingerbread men and our judicial attorney threatened repercussions if anyone stole her Christmas lights.  Luckily for me, I was not stuck with my poo-related present and was able to steal the gift that made my night and my year, hand-painted by one of our marriage license clerks.

I try to avoid names, but this particular co-worker is young, incredibly nice, an artist, a skilled baker and apparently, she also paints pottery!

Behold, a mug I will love for a long time:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

So much accomplished, so much yet to do

So far on this long weekend I have:

Gotten all the houseplants but one in from the garage, arranged and watered.
Gotten the final 40 pound bag of softener salt down to the basement and in the softener.
Done 4 loads of laundry and put clothes away.
Went to the grocery store and got my contribution to Tuesday's 'comfort food' lunch at work.
Moved my vintage trunk so it is under the antique map.
Gone out to Mom's house, watered her plants and sorted 10 days' worth of mail.
Cleaned the bathroom & kitchen sinks plus the tub & toilet.
Swept the kitchen floor.
Remembered to take the recyclables to the curb on Friday night.
Took compostables out to the pile.
Changed the sheets.
Changed to my holiday blanket and comforter (with help).



Things I still need to do:

Finish the laundry, including the fall comforter and blanket, and put it all away.
Sweep and steam the bathroom floor.
Take all the dog hair to the compost pile!
Set up my new nail polish storage system.
Shower, exfoliate, all that.

I'm realistic enough to know that the vacuuming may not happen along with the bathroom floor, because I definitely can't skip showering and washing my hair and I've only got one back and a few spoons.  Still, when I type up my list, I can see that I wasn't lazy, I did get stuff done, and if I did it with lots of breaks, then who cares?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Not my best Sunday

Oof and oww.  My day started with me spilling coffee on the counter and into an open drawer full of clean dish cloths, and then I went on to haul two 40 pound bags of softener salt into the basement and doing laundry.  Then I hauled 10 or so houseplants in from the garage and hauled raw water up the basement stairs to give them and their 10 cousins who were already in the house a drink.  I stepped on a stone in the garage and got a bruise on my heel right through my slipper.  I am sore, tired, cranky and so not ready for work tomorrow.

On the other hand, my nails look pretty and it's a short week.  So I am saying good-bye to this day and going to bed early.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Friday the 13th

started out thirteeny, as I looked out from the kitchen window and saw my recyclable can on its side and all of my recyclables in the driveway, both ditches and generally higgledy-piggledy.  Then as I drove to work, the dog at the towing place was sleeping on his back with his feet up in the air and I worried that he was dead.  I worry about that dog anyway, wondering if he gets pats and love as well as food and a doghouse. :-(

Then I got to work and it was all guardian's accounts and getting ready for Call Day and then it was 1:30 and I was being a bailiff and we had the fewest cases and the largest number of people we've had all year, and Magistrate H and I worked really well together.  Then it was 2:30, only 90 minutes of work left and I got to make one of my co-workers do a happy dance when I told him yes, my mom will bring back some of my brother's beer for him.

Then I went home and the headache hit, so I took a nap, ate dinner, loafed online and then went back to bed.

Today was much better.  My head only hurt a little bit, I got the presents for Texas all wrapped and out to Mom & Dad's for delivery.  Plus, Mom made an amazing turkey dinner because I will be alone on Thanksgiving, and then sent me home with pounds and pounds of leftovers, PLUS snack mix.

Tomorrow is going to be dedicated to laundry, cleaning another quarter of the breezeway, and moving more houseplants inside from the garage.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Close your eyes and imagine...

a rat running across your front lawn.  And then another.  Would you not shiver, perhaps shriek, and hope that there weren't more?  Of course you would!

Then why in the name of all that's good, do you think squirrels are cute?  They are RATS.  Rats with fluffy tails and good PR, but still Satan's little disease-carrying minions.

Oh, and btw, they tried to kill me again today.  This time, it was a walnut left on the front sidewalk from the walnut tree that is in the very back of my very long yard.

So fine, keep on giving them peanuts and bird seed.  Just don't say I didn't warn you.

P.S. All the houseplants are either in the garage or in the house, sans walnuts.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Elections, attorneys and flash crushes

Everything I wanted happened at the polls on Tuesday.  One of our magistrates was elected as a Municipal Court judge, my school district's bond issue passed, Ohioans said Hell No to amending the constitution to create a monopoly and a qualified candidate was elected as Municipal Court Clerk of Courts.

I was both surprised and amused to see that a local attorney who's been doing domestic cases for a long time has absolutely plastered her truck with Bernie Sanders signs.  And on October 30, a group of local attorneys who perform as a rock band called Roxy Moron dressed up as characters from The Wizard of Oz and played live at the Tangier.  I didn't go, admission was $50, but I got to see pictures, including one of our Chief Magistrate dressed as the gatekeeper of Emerald City!

Everyone's heard of flash mobs, flash fiction and flash floods, but on Thursday I had three successive flash crushes. :-)  All were on attorneys, two of whom were definitely my "type", and all three of whom made me laugh.

I am looking forward to my day off on Wednesday, and I have lots of plans which may or may not come to fruition.

Monday, November 02, 2015

My words have left the building

I'm fine, I just have no interest in putting words together here, or on Bubbles & Baubles, or even on G+.  I'm just gonna let everything go fallow for a little bit and see if maybe the desire to yak returns.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NYC Day 5, Monday, October 12

Sunday night I was in bed and asleep by 10, only to wake up at 3 because I was coughing so hard.  Trying to avoid waking Mom (ha!) I got up and made a bed on the sofa where I could sleep upright.  Well, I managed the upright, but not the sleeping.  Mom slept a bit, but mostly didn't because I was noisy and she was worried about me.  When it got light, she got dressed and went to two different drugstores looking for an expectorant.  All of my effort was going to getting oxygen into my body.  At this point I was pretty sure that the chest cold had deepened into bronchitis, and all I wanted to do was get home.

What I experienced was a combination of asthma attack and panic attack.  I was gasping for air and not getting it and my brain was doing panicked little rodent dashes in every direction.  Not something I want to experience again.

After some discussion between all four of us, we decided to leave for the airport in time to put the early flyers (both Bookworm and Anabel) on their planes, since Mom and I would have to move very slowly.  However, that plan went out the window when I lost all my breath walking the ten or so steps from our room door to the elevator.  I told Mom I was going downstairs and have the clerk call 911, which I did.

After a short wait time, during which my sisters-in-law agreed to go to the airport so they didn't miss their planes, an ambulance and two nice EMTs arrived.  They asked some questions, listened to my lungs and my heart and told me they needed to take me to ER.  So we left my carry-on and both of our suitcases at the hotel and got in the ambulance.  The EMTs gave me a breathing treatment in the ambulance, and somehow it was vanilla-scented.

Everyone at Mount Sinai Roosevelt was very nice.  I saw a nurse, the attending physician, the X-ray tech and two residents and they all worked very hard to help me get home.  I had an additional two breathing treatments and an order to see my primary physician (who I don't have) and got the news that although the ER docs did not want to make an official diagnosis, all three are pretty sure I have COPD.  A warning--that link has a very unpretty picture right at the top of the page.  The hospital discharged me in time to take a cab back to the hotel for our bags and out to the airport.  Fortunately, the line for security was very light and the gate was close-ish to security.

Getting out of the airplane at Cleveland turned out to be more of a task.  Climbing up the ramp exhausted me to the point where all I could do was collapse into a chair.  Fortunately, Cleveland Hopkins has some exceptional special employees who help customers who need assistance, and one of them got me into a wheelchair and all the way down to baggage and then to the park and fly shuttle.  I know Mom tipped her, but I really wish I could remember her name.

Anyway, yes, the elephant in the blog--am I going to quit smoking?  I already have, thanks to Monday, the only question is whether or not I can make it stick.

NYC Day 4, Sunday October 11

Once again, there was a possibility of sleeping in but none actually occurred, at least not for Mom & I.  Mom and Margo and Bookworm were planning a day of walking around the city and trying different nibbles, and I had a brunch date with my friend Abigail, recently returned from Dublin to live and work in NYC.

Abigail was surprised to find me waiting for her and hoped she hadn't gotten the time wrong, but I told her quite honestly that I tend to be early anyway, plus I was so excited to see her that I was ready early.  I bought a subway pass and we took a short ride to Gramercy park and had a swoon-worthy brunch at Friend of a Farmer.  Abigail had pumpkin pancakes, I had Eggs Benedict with corned beef instead of ham, and we both had some complimentary applesauce.  Everything was amazingly good.

After brunch, we stopped at a drugstore so I could buy nail polish (cue chorus of "Of course!") and then went to Strand Books, which is of course a New York landmark.  We talked a bit about independent bookstores which have lost faith in the differences which make them special, which includes both Strand Books and The Book Loft in Columbus.

I was feeling a bit tired and after a phone call to Mom, we agreed to walk only as far as Union Square to meet them.  I will be honest and say that I spent most of the walk complaining that I was fine and that my family was cosseting me, and Abigail was good enough to listen to me vent and to go back to the restaurant when I realized I left my glasses on the table.  She was also worried that she was making me sicker by getting me to come out and walk around in the fresh air!  I told her then and am reiterating now that our brunch and walk could not possibly have made me sick.

Abigail was prepared to spend an afternoon with my family, but by the time we reached them and I made introductions, I discovered that Margo had blisters on her blisters and was ready to go back to the hotel.  Since by then I was coughing, I said I'd go with her, so Abigail headed home, Margo and I headed for the subway, and Mom and Bookworm went walking.  I did finally get a pretzel on the way home, and gave my subway card with a little bit of money left to a young lady who was either coming from or going to a yoga class, and absolutely collapsed on the bed when I got back to the room.

Mom woke me when it was time to get dressed and go to dinner.  By then I was coughing pretty hard and didn't have much appetite.  Still, the four of us had a nice dinner at Cellini, and I was sure that a good night's sleep would make things better.  When we got back to the room, Mom turned on the tv, and we watched the last hour or so of Pitch Perfect.  It amused me no end that the woman who is incredibly squeamish about blood had no problems with the barfing scene, but while I can read horror novels and not think anything of it, I had to close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears!

I was in bed by 9:30, sad that the weekend in NYC was almost over but looking forward to going home.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

NYC Day 3, Saturday October 10

This was, at least theoretically, a day where we all got to sleep in, because we had no firm plans for the morning.  Mom and I, of course, were both awake by 7, and I'm afraid I may have growled at the desk clerk when he told me the coffee shop didn't open until 8.  Nevertheless, I managed to use the time to shower and get dressed so I could get my caffeine.

After Friday's free coffee and pastry for breakfast, Bookworm pointed out that she needed some actual protein in the morning, so she found an "unpretentious diner" for us on a street behind the hotel.  Mom is never ready to eat until mid-morning, so Bookworm, Anabel and I walked over to the diner.  Anabel's fresh-squeezed orange juice was so good that Bookworm and I wound up ordering a glass, and I had an omelet with terrible tomatoes, yummy basil and really really good mozzarella.

After breakfast, the four of us rode the subway up to Museum Mile.  We stopped first at the Neue Galerie, where I had wanted to go to see the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (The Woman in Gold) and the multi-media exhibit on Weimar Berlin.  Unfortunately, it was 10:25 when we got there, and the museum didn't open until 11:00.  My lovely family would have been willing to stand in line with me, but it was chilly enough to be good walking weather and too chilly to stand still for 35 minutes.  Clearly, I'll just have to go back. :-)

The four of us walked over to the Guggenheim, where we took the elevator to the top floor and then walked down.  I was not that impressed with the Burri or Salcedo exhibits, but really enjoyed the Kandinsky.  The last made me think "This is exactly the type of 'degenerate art' Hitler wanted to eradicate."  I admit that I am not educated in art at all, so all of my reactions are emotional rather than reasoned.

We finished at the Guggenheim around 11:30, and then started walking around by Central Park.  The street vendors were out in force, and Bookworm and I both bought prints from one artist.  I loved the gates to the children's garden!

Anabel headed off to meet her nephew for lunch, and I took a cab to my lunch date.  I arrived early, and was having a cigarette outside when I looked at the license plate of the car parked at the curb.  Not only was it an Ohio plate, the plate-holder was from a car-dealer in Elyria, the place where both of my parents grew up!  I had a mad desire to leave a note saying, "Hi stranger!  EHS Class of '58, Woo-Hoo!" but refrained.

I met my Goodreads friend Jonathan at the bar of Cafe Luxembourg, and had to laugh at the thought that just like in a WWII spy movie, he could recognize me because I was carrying a copy of his book.  I really need to get my head out of WWII (and the American Civil War for that matter) and onto some other subjects!  At any rate, Jonathan did sign his book for me, and we had a lovely lunch full of conversation and opinionating and fun.  It might have gone on longer if the bus boy hadn't knocked over a glass of red wine at the table next to us!  I have to admit that I totally forgot that my camera was in my purse and so I didn't get a picture of the two of us.

I took a taxi back to the hotel and rested for a bit before Mom came in and told me it was time to get dressed for the evening.  We had dinner at Sardi's like good tourists, people-watched a bit in Times Square, and then went to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre for Book of Mormon.  Looking around, I thought that it reminded me of the Akron Civic Theatre and wondered if it also started life as a movie theater.  It hadn't, but since the Civic was built four years later, it makes sense that the latter would have been modeled after fancy theaters of the time.

The four of us had a lot of fun with the fact that Anabel's wine came in a sippy cup, and then we settled down to watch the play.

I'm not a theater critic, so I probably won't do it justice, but Book of Mormon is blasphemous, true, shocking, sweet and hilarious all at the same time.  Go see it if you can.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NYC Day 2, Friday, October 9

Friday was our tourist day, wherein we were scheduled for a 6 hour tour by bus and by boat.  We got up early and stopped at the coffee shop espresso bar in the hotel for our complimentary coffee and pastries and then started walking.  I had a tougher time than I thought I would walking 30 minutes at a smart pace and I was realizing that although my water walking is exercise it is not the best practice for city walking.  A. I don't sweat in the water and B. my body is partially supported.  But with the patience of my family and one stop to rest, I made it and we all got to the tour departure on time.

There was standing in line, and then I spotted a penny stretcher machine, so I paid my 51¢ for one with the Statue of Liberty on it, then it was time to get in the bus and leave.  The "bus" was in fact a pretty nice 14-passenger job, and there was a four-passenger seat across the back that was just right for us as long as two someones were willing to sit with their feet up over the wheels (we took turns).  We had a tour-by-bus of Times Square, then drove along the Hudson to the Riverside Church.

The Riverside Church was intended to be non-denominational, but as I said to Bookworm, I don't imagine it was particularly appealing to old-school Scots Presbyterians of the time what with all the Gothic details and fancy touches like a wood revolving door.  The guide made a point of mentioning the stained-glass windows, and of course Mom and I have been reading about Clara Driscoll of the Tiffany Co., so we wondered if the windows were Tiffany.  Nope, some of them were from a contemporary, Harry Wright Goodhue, and many were 16th century Flemish windows brought over by Rockefeller.

Across the street is Grant's Tomb, and I did not climb the stairs, but stayed outside and watched a woman walk a cinnamon-colored chow-shepherd mix who reminded me of Littlefoot and told my sisters-in-law that it was Julia Grant's insistence on leaving-right-now-thank-you-I'm-sick-of-Washington that saved her husband from dying with the president.

We got back on the bus and resumed the tour, stopping for lunch in (what's left of) Little Italy, where I had some very yummy penne alla vodka followed by a beeeeeg cup of coffee from the place across the street.  Margo grabbed some gifts for her boys and I got a pretty scarf and then we went on to the part of the tour I didn't want to do, the World Trade Center.

The pools are beautiful, the atmosphere is reflective and reverential and the whole thing is too damn raw for me to handle, even after 14 years.

Afterwards we walked to the Winter Garden Atrium (big fancy shopping mall) and then got on a ferry/tour boat with an obnoxious, probably sloshed announcer/guide who inspired my new mantra, "Please just shut up and let me look".  We did see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge.  I am especially proud of my picture of the cables of the bridge after reading the incredible story in The Great Bridge.

Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a six-hour tour actually took seven hours, which meant that none of us had time for a shower before we dressed up for dinner and went to Carnegie Hall.  Dinner at Etcetera Etcetera was lovely, and all kudos to Anabel for making three great reservations for our dinners in NYC.  After dinner we went to Carnegie Hall for a New York Pops concert of Rogers & Hammerstein music.  I wish they hadn't ended with songs from The Sound of Music, because I loathe the whole thing, but the conductor was a blast.  Mom is fairly convinced that Mr. Reineke was trained by Erich Kunzel, because he was up there dancing while conducting.  After that, we headed back to the hotel and I think all of us were asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NYC Day 1, Thursday, October 8

NYC was wonderful.  Mom and I arrived at 8:30 and had coffee and a bagel while we waited for Bookworm Mathgeek and Lady Margo. LaGuardia airport has the cutest fences made of apples!

After waiting for American Airlines personnel to figure out how to open the cargo door on Bookworm's plane, we all had our luggage and grabbed a cab to the hotel.  The Lombardy was quite lovely, and I don't think any of us had any complaints.

After we'd stowed our bags in the one of our rooms that was open, we left the hotel and had lunch at a deli, where I had a mozzarella, tomato and spinach sandwich on the best bread I had on the trip.  It was a dark bread loaded with sesame seeds, and absolutely the star of the sandwich.  Then we walked to the library.  I was tired, having gotten up at 4 that morning and sweaty thanks to the walking, so although I wanted to take the tour, I elected to sit outside and wait for my family.  I felt bad about missing the tour, so I called Mallie and after she cheered me up, I had an enjoyable hour people-watching.  I was especially pleased by the number of people who took advantage of the free art supplies.  When the tour was done, Mom offered to buy me a coffee, and then we looked at the library store.  Mom didn't buy anything, but I got two tote bags and a gorgeous black and white scarf.

After a quick stop at the hotel to freshen up, we tried to get a cab outside our hotel.  When that didn't work, we tried on Park Ave. and when that didn't work, we kept walking until we found a hotel with a helpful doorman and he got us a cab.  After some confusion on the cabdriver's part, we made it to the right street, only to go past the address.  The driver made a (probably illegal) U-turn and dropped us off on the opposite side of the street.  We jay-walked across, and started looking for the address.  When we couldn't find it, Mom called cousin Newsprint.  He told her he could see us, so the four of us started spinning around until he told Mom to look up.  When we did, there he was, in a very large window above a drug store!  It turns out that 110 Whatever Street's door is actually on the side street.

Cousins Newsprint and Newsprintska are both former journalists who now teach at Columbia, and they had quite a selection of nibbles ready for us as well as red wine or an old-fashioned.  I had the red wine but the old-fashioned made me smile because that was my grandfather's drink.  I should mention that Cousin Newsprint is my dad's cousin, and their fathers were brothers.  Clearly, Great Uncle Newsprint loved old-fashioneds as well, and taught his son to make them.  Newsprint and Newsprintska took us to an Italian restaurant three blocks from their condo and we had a wonderful dinner and great conversation.  Afterwards, we took a cab back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Last words

These are my last words before leaving for NYC with my mom and both sisters-in-law:

"Please don't let me die on this trip because the house is full of dog hair!"

Next Monday is a court holiday, so I am taking Thursday and Friday off also, and we're having a girls' weekend out.  We are doing the bus tour of the city, seeing a Pops concert at Carnegie Hall and going to see Book of Mormon.  I have lunch dates with a children's book scholar and an art critic and author, which means I will be out-brained for most of the weekend, and am looking forward to some epic people-watching.

There is not much else going on, so I'll be back with pictures after the trip!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Powell and Pickerington

First of all, that handsome boy in Sunday's post is my brother's dog, an American bulldog mix.  Ralph is getting old, greying and arthritic, and according to my SIL, he likes to spend his days following the sun around the pool, since he's allowed on the outdoor furniture.  He also sleeps with the elder of my two nephews.

The pool is gorgeous--brand new this summer and just perfect.  It helps that their house is positioned so that the back yard gets full sun every minute of the day.

Yes, that is where I spent my Saturday afternoon. :-)  Dad, of course, took a nap.  After we were all suitably pruned up and chlorinated, we showered and got dressed.  Jeeves and the boys took the Jeep with the top down, and Mom and Dad and I rode with Anabel.  We found the restaurant and after three of us topped off our nicotine levels (Mom abstained), we went in and were greeted with a lovely chaotic rush of family.

All three of my Colorado cousins were there (although one of them is now a Kansas cousin) and all of their kids, and we had a great time talking and catching up.  I also found out that my aunt and the cousin who now lives in Kansas both share my weakness for lemon drop martinis, although I was smart enough to stop at one this time.

I got mistaken for my mother once, and corrected someone who thought Mom's name was Cindy, and ate pizza and just generally had a good time.  When it was time to leave, Dad and I were outside waiting for everyone when a man, his wife and little boy walked out.  The man looked at me and then asked if he could ask me something.  When I said yes, he said, "Is she really 100?  My son said the cake said 100!"  I told him yes, and he should congratulate his son on his reading.

Dad went to bed shortly after we got home.  Mom and I lasted a bit longer, but not by much.  I was asleep by 10:30 and woke up at 4:00 with an incipient migraine.  I walked downstairs, got a glass of water and some ibuprofen and made my way to the family room, intending to see if I could sleep sitting up.  A soft voice warned me "Please don't be startled" and I saw a long lump on one half of the sectional.  I laid down on the other half, and asked Mom why she was sleeping downstairs.

Mom had gotten up to go to the bathroom and left the door open.  When she came back, she got into bed only to discover she couldn't put her legs all the way down.  Ralph had taken the open door as an invitation and climbed in with Dad. :-D  Mom, being the softie that she is and knowing how hard it is for Ralph to climb up on things these days, decided to just sleep downstairs.  She asked what I was doing and I told her, which led to worries about if I had a blood clot and should we go to the ER and such.  Eventually Mom fell asleep and my pain dulled enough that I went back upstairs around 5:30.

Unfortunately, the migraine wasn't gone, so when I woke up again at 6:30, I decided to just get dressed, pack up and go get some coffee.  When I opened the garage door, SuperDoughnut's super ears picked it up just like he did up at Lakeside, and he came upstairs afraid he would miss Mom's Krispy Kreme run (which is silly, because he is the only reason she does that when she's there!).  I told him Gramma might be sleeping late because *portentious voice* she got up in the middle of the night and when she got back into bed there was someone there who shouldn't have been.  When his eyes got really wide, I said, "And he had brown and white fur hair" and SD relaxed.  I went to the nearest gas station I knew how to get to, grabbed a cup of coffee and filled Edgar's tank and then went back.  I was tempted by the pumpkin spice coffee and the pumpkin spice creamer, but since the goal was to get the coffee to stay down, I went with plain Colombian.

Mom & SD went on the doughnut run, and I called to see if they could get me another cup of coffee.  Sadly, I mis-timed my request and they were almost home.  To my surprise, when they walked in 15 minutes later, Mom had a cup of coffee for me because my thoughtful nephew remembered there was an indie coffee shop around the corner.  I hugged him and promised at least two months of not picking on him.

Despite more talk of blood clots and the inadvisability of driving with a migraine, I left at 11:00 and was home by 1:00, at which time I took to my bed to recover.  Because the kennel has no Sunday or holiday pickup, I didn't get LMPP back until tonight.  So since it was hot as blazes on Monday and the dog wasn't there and my migraine had finally left, I used the time to do laundry and Vacuum All The Things.

So now it is Tuesday evening, tomorrow is Call Day (ick) and I have had a good dinner and fed my puppy, who is sprawled in the hallway where I can trip or step over her.  The next excitement will be the Girls' Weekend in NYC in October.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Went to Powell, played in the pool.

Went to Pickerington, ate pizza and chatted.
Brought home a sunburn and a migraine.

Now recovering and chilling.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


I've posted so many entries to Bubbles & Baubles that it feels weird to start this one without a disclaimer at the top!  It was a good week at work.  I met a couple of nice women from my city who were serving as jurors on an ugly case, my boss came to talk to me about some suggestions I'd made to our notices, citations and call day (and she left with my good pen!) and I didn't even think about killing or maiming anyone. :-)

I did think some nasty thoughts about someone else who works in the courthouse.  I don't know who she is, but she drives a black Cherokee with some distinctive window art.  A couple of weeks ago she pulled that "zoom up the far right line at top speed and then jump into the far left lane just before you need to turn" move.  Okay, I really, really dislike that move, but I didn't want her to die in a car fire until I got caught in a lane I didn't realize was closed ahead and she wouldn't let me in the other lane.  Selfish cow.  DIACF.

Next week is going to be a really good week for books--a new Cherie Priest book (squee!), a new Seanan McGuire book (squee!) and a new Terry Pratchett book (squee!) which is sadly the last Discworld novel ever (sniffle) will all be mine by the end of the week.

This morning was interesting--I had to go to the grocery store and get frozen food, then come home and stuff it in the freezer so I could go work out.  I put my bathing suit on under a dress and shopped and unloaded successfully and did the unthinkable in terms of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I forgot my towel.

Now, if you've been to Casa de Jammies, you know that the Natatorium is only about 2 miles from my house, but when I got there and realized I'd forgotten my towel, I didn't go back for it.  The reason was in part because I didn't want to waste gas, but also in part because we had a storm forecast, and I didn't want to miss my window before it started and the pool got closed because of lightning.  It turns out I didn't need to worry about that, but I worked out anyway and then drip-dried in the car on the way home.

We hates the quad stretcheses, Precious, yes we do.  Nassssty, nasssty horrid little stretcheses.

Yesterday, one of the local radio stations played a live version of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" complete with horrible feedback squeal, and this morning, the album version was the last song I heard played as I finished my workout.  So here's a little Stevie & co. so you can share my earworm:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What's up?

Not much here, just working, reading, painting my nails and working out.  There have been some bumps in the road at work, but since said bumps have led to more of a friendship with a co-worker, I can deal with them.

I have heard from 3 independent sources that citrus essential oils will cut the bond chlorine forms with skin, so I've taken to using a grapefruit eo shower gel for my post water-walking showers.  I don't know if there's less damage to my aging skin, but I do smell good. :-)

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over and even harder to believe all of the travel plans for next year.  In March, I'll be going to Universal in Orlando with Mom, Dad, Captain Crossword and my nieces.  In April, Mom and I are going to France and England, and then in December, the whole famdamily is going to London because The Awesome Nacho's band is performing.

Dad is reluctant to go because he dislikes the inconvenience of travel.  Well, I don't know anyone who likes it, but Scary Bear does not want to be winkled out of his cave.  Of course, he was then bemoaning the possibility of losing his whole family to one plane crash or terrorist act, and Mom said "Then come with us."

That was exactly what I thought when she told me about it. :-D  Oh, yes, we'll all go down together...

Oh, and it is nice that a quick Google search shows that I am far from the only person who thinks that a white Kia Soul in your rear view mirror looks exactly like a Storm Trooper.  I feel vindicated and less paranoid.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Laughter, tears, family and frustration

When I called to wish my dad a happy birthday, after I had done so, Mom got on the phone and told me Aunt Cathy had died.  Aunt Cathy was really Mom's aunt, and my great-aunt, but she was always Aunt Cathy.  She was married to my grandmother's baby brother, a wonderful man who she survived by 10 or 11 years, and they had three kids, five grandkids and four great-grandkids (by the time Aunt Cathy died).

My grandmother was the oldest of four, so there was quite a gap between her and Cathy, but despite the age gap and despite my grandfather moving the family from Pittsburgh to Elyria, my mom still grew up spending time with her cousins and her aunts and uncles.  Mom and her siblings attended Ed & Cathy's wedding, but were deemed too young for the reception, so they were bundled off back home while their parents went.  Mom remembers that Gramma brought them each a piece of cake, but that she was still mad because it wasn't the same.  That may have been what inspired her to allow my brother's and I to come to the wedding of Ed & Cathy's younger daughter.

Since Mom and Dad and I left at 7:00 a.m. to be at the church by 10:00 (with a generous margin of error for Pittsburgh traffic and directions), we had lots of time to talk about that wedding, my grandparents, and Ed & Cathy.  When we arrived early enough to grab a cup of coffee, Mom and I got a case of the giggles when Dad could not get the voice-activated Google maps to understand "McDonalds".  But we found one, and I had a quick iced coffee and Dad had a cinnamon thing (or McThing, who knows?).

The church was large and modern, the soloist/organist was a phenomenal musician and the priest did a good job despite the fact that he had never met Aunt Cathy.  Apparently, her church doesn't have its own priests, but relies on visiting priests from other parishes.  The one who performed her funeral mass was built on the same lines as Shaquille O'Neal.  He also had a very good singing voice.

The trip from the church to the cemetery was a long one, so more Mom and Dad and Jammies chatter ensued.  I mentioned that it was the only time we could run red lights in a car with out-of-state plates and not get pulled over.  Fortunately, as part of the procession we did not have to interrupt our conversation to listen to the GPS.  A large part of the chatter was Mom remembering where Uncle Henry lived, or Uncle Bill, or Uncle Ed, and whether or not she and her siblings had visited.  Two of Uncle Henry's children were at the funeral, and Mom made sure to get e-mail addresses for everyone.

The 'graveside' service was actually at the mortuary at the cemetery, and everyone else went straight from there to lunch.  Since Mom wasn't about to have visited Pittsburgh without visiting her parents', grandparents' and sisters' graves, we followed the hearse to the grave site.  When we left, we got lost in the cemetery, but found our way out in time to truthfully tell Mom's cousin that we were on the way to the restaurant.

Lunch was very nice, and I got to know two of my first cousins once removed more than I did 10 years ago.  They're very impressive young men, and Aunt Cathy had reason to be proud of all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  When we left after many hugs and some tears, Mom asked if anyone wanted an ice cream cone or a milkshake, and Dad didn't, but I did.  Since we were right by the Pennsylvania turnpike, we got on and stopped for our sugar fix at a service plaza.  Mom got a milkshake, I got an apple & caramel sundae, and Dad got a frozen coffee drink.

Shortly after we left the service plaza, traffic started to slow up, and then it stopped.  We sat at mile marker 225 for an hour in the hot July sunshine, with the car turned off and all the windows open.  After a while, people were getting out of their cars and walking forward to try to see what was going on, a few cars managed to turn around and go back east on the westbound shoulder, and three assholes on motorcycles rode up the shoulder to try to get to the head of the traffic.  Dad hoped that there would be a cop waiting for them.  I just hoped they crashed and totaled their bikes!

After an hour, the traffic started to move, and we drove west to mile marker 223, where we were directed across the median and onto the eastbound turnpike, where we had to go 9 miles back to get to an exit, then wait in line for another 25 minutes to actually get off the turnpike.  It turns out there was a horrible accident and the whole turnpike was closed.  Although I had joked (before learning why we were stopped) that Mom's craving for ice cream got us stuck, it could very well have been that it saved us from being part of that accident.

Mom and I were relatively pessimistic about the people zooming up the left hand lane and whether they'd cross back into the right line just at the exit and Dad said he didn't want to hear us being negative.  So of  course as we tried to find an alternate route back home, Dad called the voice on the GPS a "chirpy little bitch", told it to shut up and told Mom that the frustration had to come out somehow!

After a stop for gas (for the car), cheese popcorn (for Mom) and almonds (for me), we got back on the turnpike and had an uneventful trip home the rest of the way.  I slept for a bit in the car, then took a short nap on my folks' couch, then came home to a very, very hungry dog.  Fortunately, LMPP forgave me as soon as the food hit the bowl, and does not seem to be holding a grudge.

One of the things Mom said as we left the church was that she was grateful for a happy childhood.  I am equally grateful for mine, especially as I have grown up and learned that happy childhoods are not as common as they should be.  Aunt Cathy was part of that happy childhood, and it's hard to imagine a trip to Pittsburgh that doesn't end with seeing her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Things I have learned in the past week

1.  It really sucks when you have a black eye and an allergy attack which makes your eyes itch.

2.   I stink at typing with a cold pack held to one eye.

3.   There is a line between "summer casual" and "escaped from the ER before they got the restraints on you" and some people are not afraid to cross it and then come to court.

4.  Our local hospital chain thinks prohibiting any personal expression in hair color or tattoos is unprofessional, yet dressing medical staff in all black is professional and so is making fun of Walmart shoppers.

5.  My new-ish co-worker loves makeup as much or more than I do, but she's not a big fan of horror novels.

6.  Hoicking boxes filled with books around the living room two days after a major fall is Not A Good Idea.

7.  I am not a complete loser when it comes to nail art.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I have kick-ass co-workers

When I got to work this morning, my desk was all decorated, both with pre-made 50 decorations and streamers and with office-made signs that said things like "Fifty is the new fabulous."  The one that made me laugh out loud even though it hurt was the one that said, "It Took 50 Years to Look this Good."

One of our investigators was hanging out with my accounts colleague, and she said something that was to become a familiar refrain through the day, "Happy Birth--what on earth happened?"  No one I talked to wanted to believe that I'd fought off a black bear that attacked my parents in a parking lot, so I went with "Walked into a bathroom doorframe".

There was a surprise birthday lunch for me and two of my colleagues, one of whom is also 50 and the other of whom is literally half that.  Someone made the Italian green bean salad that I love and was surprised at how many people asked for the recipe.  I didn't, because it is my favorite summer salad, but I did compliment her on it and notice the basil she put in.

My lip and my eye still look awful, but what hurts is the chest muscle I pulled.  I have to give a shout-out to Mallie, who was the one who talked me into spending money on bras that actually support my boobs, because when I woke up this morning, the pain was so bad I nearly barfed, and I hate to think what it would have been like if I'd gone through the day with inadequate infrastructure.  As it was, I was still in a lot of pain at four o'clock, but I made it home without crying.

Speaking of crying, there was a card in yesterday's mail that was all about what's good about turning 50, and while my niece would dismiss it as "Sappy!"  it made me tear up because it was from my 80 year old uncle.

Family, friends, food and fun.  I could get used to this 50 thing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

So far, 50 sucks

Mom and Dad and I had a very nice dinner last night at a local high-end steakhouse.  I had tomato and mozzarella salad with balsamic vinegar,  half a pretzel breadstick, a NY strip steak with brown sauce and black peppercorns, fries and a slice of flourless chocolate cake, courtesy of the management because Mom had told them we were celebrating Dad's birthday and mine.  I'd probably have been fine if I also hadn't had two Lemon Drop martinis, which hit me hard about a 40 minutes after I got home.  I fell once in the kitchen while I was trying to set up the coffee and then walked into the bathroom door frame while trying to go lie down.

Gross stuff after the jump:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Food, family, fireworks and fun!

I'm home after two lovely days at the lake.  Things did not start well, because at 6:20 Monday morning when I tried to re-settle the carafe in the coffee maker, I wound up splashing boiling water and coffee grounds all over my right hand, the counter, the coffee maker and the floor.  When I got that cleaned up and the car packed, dropping Little Miss Piggie Pie off for boarding was easy, and I grabbed a quick and expensive cup of coffee at Bruegger's before starting out.

My trip was exactly 100 miles in 100 minutes, yay me and yay Edgar.  Mom met me at the Dollar General closest to Lakeside because she was out riding her bike in traffic when I arrived, and gave me her credit card to buy my ticket and car pass and then we headed to the house.

My nieces and nephews are turning out to be really great people, smart and kind and funny.  At the advanced age of 15, The Awesome Nacho still lets his youngest cousin beat on him with a pillow.  Super Doughnut was so afraid he'd miss the golf cart ride to get doughnuts this morning that when I opened the garage door at 6:30 to go outside for a smoke he came barreling down the stairs and stuck his head out the door pleading for me not to leave without him.  I told him to go back to bed, it would be a while.  Princess Mathgeek cheerfully peeled potatoes, went to East Harbor with the joy of a swallow returning to Capistrano, and displayed the snarkasm that is the hallmark and birthright of my family.  Princess Minnie is bright and affectionate and totally and completely addicted to chocolate.

I met three gorgeous dogs--two Golden Retrievers whose owner called them "English Cream Retrievers" and a very sweet, very old, very shy Siberian Husky.  I am totally bragging when I say the latter took to me to such a degree that I heard her owners talking about it as they walked away.

I helped Mom delete the zillion text messages from Verizon on her phone, took the nieces and nephews to the Cheese Haven, read two books and ate several wonderful meals, including an early birthday Bastille Day dinner of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, port wine & shallot sauce, roasted green beans and cake.  I took at least four golf cart rides, driving three times, and discovered that Jeeves and I have a fear of heights in common.  Dad set off two fireworks and when the power went out he took the coffee maker out to the garage and ran it off the golf cart battery.

Today I went to The Patio for doughnuts, one dozen for the famdamily, two dozen for work, then got packed up and left Lakeside.  I dropped off the doughnuts, picked up the dog, who was clean and very fluffy after her complimentary bath, came home and took some Benadrool (my eyes have been itching non-stop) and took a nap.  Then I collected the three boxes from my porch--one from Ulta, one from Bath & Body Works and one from someone named Keith in Augusta, Maine.  I haz a puzzled about that last...

As always, I'm glad I went and happy to be home.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

"Admit it," he said, "You've always wanted a hug in the middle of the jury room."

And while it had never occurred to me that I might be hugged in the jury assembly room, I will never decline a hug from my father.  Dad got three times lucky last week when he was summoned for jury duty.  He didn't have to appear on Monday or Tuesday, and while he and I were chatting Wednesday morning, Judge Croce herself came down and dismissed the jurors, saying the defendant had pleaded guilty.

Dad looked very nice on Wednesday, and when I told Mom that, she said "Because I dressed him!" :-D  I am fairly sure, btw, that she meant that she picked out his clothes, not that she put them on him.

Last week at work, Monday and Tuesday were frantic, as I tried to docket everything I could before the automatic hearing date changed.  Wednesday I got to see Dad and Thursday was more frantic reviewing and docketing so I could feel free to take Monday through Wednesday of this week off.  County employees had Friday off for the holiday, and come Monday morning, I'm a-headin' up the lake.

While I'm there, I will spend time with my family, eat my mother's wonderful cooking, visit the Cheese Haven and read a book or two.  So looking forward to it!

Saturday, June 27, 2015


So you've heard about the Supreme Court decision.  If you're not overjoyed, go read someone else's blog.  :P  I've always said that Probate Court does two happy things, adoptions and marriage licenses.  Friday afternoon, the happiness doubled.

From the first couple willing to have their pictures taken to the dudes who looked like extras from Duck Dynasty to the little girl with rainbow-striped bows in her hair whose mommies were getting married, the whole court fizzed with excitement.

My department is at the other end of the clerk's offices from the records room, but I did legit need to be over there a time or two, and it was just wonderful to see all those people using our newly remodeled room as it was intended.  The renovation was completed on Wednesday and the marriage license counter was moved from the main counter into the records room where you can get copies of any non-confidential license we have.  The help desk is now there instead of outside the magistrates' offices, and it's been repainted, has sound baffles on the ceiling and an open floor plan.

So congratulations to the U.S. for freaking finally joining the 21st century, and let's keep going.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Free day!

My phone buzzed as I pulled into the parking garage yesterday morning.  The power was out at work and I should go home and wait for instructions.  So I went home, and at noon got a text message that the probate court would be closed all day.  I said a quick hurrah and went to the craft store for photo frames and then came home and changed clothes.  I baked a lemon pound cake to take to work today, got caught up on some chores and took a nap.

The frames are for my great-grandparents' teaching certificates and their wedding picture:

If the former looks familiar, it's because it looks exactly like the one Laura Ingalls gets at the end of Little Town on the Prairie.  I figured it would go nicely with the map.  Now I just need to drag Dad over here to hang the map!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Three mayors in two weeks, seven candidates and other stuff

This post is a little bit link-heavy (four is a lot for me) but they all go to the website of the Akron Beacon Journal, and I've never had problems with their site.

First up, after our 27-year mayor resigned, so did our 7-day mayor.  The latter's time in office was 10 days.  Then when another City Council president stepped up to be mayor, there was a "discussion" in council (involving him) that led to the cops being called.

We now have seven candidates for mayor, and one of them I know to chat with and one I know of as the boss of my smoke break buddies from the Clerk's Office.  Mr. Horrigan has my vote, at lease at the moment.

In non-political Akron stuff, we're getting some new public artwork featuring Devo.

And for all that the courthouse was packed with reporters on Friday afternoon, I guess Judge's Croce's announcement that she wants to learn everything she can before deciding if a man convicted of murder 20 years ago should get a new trial just wasn't exciting enough.  I had to search to find the story rather than seeing it on the front page of any websites.

In the last week, I've seen two vanity plates that stuck with me.  HAMSTAR is intriguing, because it could refer to shortwave radio, pigs or something else.  HMMRH3, especially on a Hummer, just reeks of insecurity.  Yes, dude, we know your penis substitute is expensive.  ::yawn::

And finally, Akron had thunderstorms hit at exactly four o'clock two days in a row, and both of them were fierce!  I got so soaked on Thursday that I stopped at Payless on the way home to get a pair of sandals I needed anyway and put my tennies and socks in the bag and wore the sandals home.  Friday had the same ferocity but a little less volume, so I could jump my way across the street without getting my feet drenched.  Both days, by the time I hit Cuyahoga Falls, the rain had stopped.  Global weirding, ladies and gentlemen!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Well, it's getting even weirder over here...

My last entry was partially about the fact that Akron's former mayor, who served for 27 years, took his toys and went home suddenly.  

The new mayor was sworn in by my boss, and on Monday, we had arguments in City Council that resulted in the cops being called.

Now, the interim mayor announces that he had "inappropriate contact" with a co-worker on his last day at City Council.

Meanwhile, the city in which I live has had some upscale development and a new mayor.  I'm wondering if there's only so much civilization to go around, and if it's all migrating to Cuyahoga Falls from Akron...

Monday, June 01, 2015

Hey, that's my boss! and other courthouse news

So you can click here to see my boss administering the oath to Akron's new mayor.

And why does Akron have a new mayor, you ask?  Because the previous mayor, a veteran of 27 years, flounced quite abruptly.

This morning was approval hearings on accounts and inventories, and we had one objection each on an estate account, a guardian's account and an estate inventory.  The magistrate hearing objections today did a great job (they all do) and maintained her even keel although I'd have wanted to smack everyone who thought they should fight with other family members over money.

Even more disgusting, though, were the people watching the single-car accident that happened outside the courthouse around 3:30.  From a man and woman with a small child (the woman taking pics on her cell phone) to the two idiots on top of the parking garage with their Polar Pops to the people lined up to exit the parking garage next to the accident, I was appalled at all their assholery.  Nothing like ending your Monday knowing that people are the worst.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

When I bought this book in the closeout section of my grocery store for 50 cents, I wasn't expecting much more than a quick read of some brain candy.  Written in Red sat on my to read pile for a couple of weeks until I was between library books and decided to read it.  

Between Charles deLint, Jim Butcher and Seanan Maguire, I have a high bar set for new urban fantasy series.  I read lots of them and enjoy most of them, but I haven't fallen for a book like this in a while.  I devoured Written in Red in under 24 hours and made a point to stop at the library on the way to an oil change this morning to get the next book in the series.

The world-building is excellent, the characters are three-dimensional, the action is gripping and I'm halfway through Murder of Crows and annoyed that I'm going to have to wait for Vision in Silver.

Basically, if you're looking for an impressive urban fantasy series with characters that are real people and is a reminder that vampires and werewolves are not respectively cuddly and sparkly would-be lovers of humans, this is the series to try.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

An early and wonderful Mother's Day

Mom was going to be at the lake this weekend with her sister, but my aunt didn't feel well, so Mom went up for the day on Thursday.  That meant she was free today, so we spent most of the morning working on law office stuff, and then headed out around 11.

First we went to the bank, then we went to pick up the map.  I have to give a huge hand to the framing shop at the Hudson Joann Fabrics.  Keri did an amazing job of helping me pick out the frame and then getting the map framed and ready to go, and it looks even better than I thought it would.  While Mom was pulling the car around, I grabbed a fake lavender arrangement she wanted but put back and bought it as a spur-of-the-moment Mother's Day gift.

After the map, we grabbed some lunch at a local Thai place (yum!).  Dad has been working diligently all week to get electronic bits and bobs that he'll never use out of the basement, and he filled six banker's boxes.  I took those and a stray remote and a non-working laptop to the city electronics recycling today, and then Mom and I went plant shopping.

To my dismay, Cochran's was completely sold out of basil, and man, I suck at growing it from seed.  I may have to see if Marc's has a couple plants tomorrow when I do my grocery shopping.  I ordinarily don't do that because I've learned that the chain stores, even local chains, don't treat their suppliers very well and do not stand behind the products at all.  However, for basil and homemade pesto, I will set aside my scruples.

After Mom had picked out two verbena, a sweet potato vine and two Roma tomato seedlings and I had picked out lamium, verbena, petunias, licorice plant, heliotrope and two cherry tomato seedlings, we had our annual argument over who was buying Mom's plants.  This year, she won, because she said the fake plant counted.  No problem, I'll win next year. :-)

Then we headed over to Casa de Jammies and unloaded the map from Mom's car and put it in the living room.  No pictures yet, as it's going to stay wrapped up until Dad comes over to hang it.  Then Little Miss Piggie Pie and I had a nap, and then dinner, and then I watched RuPaul's Drag Race while emptying four boxes of books.

I hugged Mom today, twice, and I will think of that every time I help someone handle their mom's estate.  I am lucky as hell to have such a lovely mother and to still have her here with me.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thoughts whilst driving home from work

Buick, I don't care how many mini shark fins you put on your cars, they'll still be staid and stodgy.

Wow, I hate the Akron Art Museum's building.

Okay, when did I become such a priss about driving through puddles and getting my car dirty?

Why do traffic people talk about surface streets?  All streets are on a surface.  Are traffic people too stupid to say secondary roads or are they pandering to a stupid audience?

Gah, why did I agree to bifocals progressive lenses?  Am I going to be able to use them?  Why did the eye doctor make such a big deal about how hard it's going to be?

Ooooh, very dramatic stand of forsythia there.  Hey, why did the city have to take out all those pear trees?  The side of the road is horrible, all weedy and junky where it used to be pretty.

Ten plus years of working in Akron and it still pisses me off that they take 2.25% in income tax for me and only give the city where I actually live 2%.  Dog knows the extra money isn't paying for road repairs.

Pretty cherry tree!  Oh, hey, that's mine and I'm home.  Long week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Two more days

(hopefully) until the kitchen floor is finished.  One more day (hopefully) until the appliances are back in place and I don't have to have yet another bowl of granola for dinner.  I like granola, I'm just tired after a week of it for dinner.

After my trip to Cleveland last week, I missed two more days of work thanks to a nasty case of bronchitis, something I haven't had for a decade.  I haven't missed it at all!  Then, just to put the grey icing on the cupcake of doom that was last week, in addition to the floor being sanded, I developed a sinus infection.  I am now recovering from both illnesses, but it's been a week I don't want to live through again any time soon.

Also, I decided that I am going to bring the map home from Cleveland and just plain have it framed at Joann or Michael's or Pat Catan's.  I don't need to spend $2,000 for museum-quality framing for something I just want to hang in my living room and enjoy.

Oh, and Little Miss Piggie Pie continues to have the staff at Valley Animal Hospital snowed--they tell me every day how sweet she is.  However, in her favor, she was a snuggly little girl last weekend when I needed a nap partner, and she didn't even huff much when my coughing shook her off the bed.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nice day for a drive to Cleveland

It was warm and sunny this morning, so Mimi's map and I took a confusing drive to ICA Art Conservation on Detroit Ave.  Between heavy traffic even though it was technically after rush hour, it's a good thing I left 25 minutes early.  I arrived with time to spare, and a (or possibly the) paper restorer spread the map on the table and was kind enough to say it was in really amazing shape.  Apparently a missing bottom dowel and some small tears are minimal damaged--the restorer said that most maps they see are absolutely trashed and that my grandmother must have taken good care of her things.  The copyright date on the map is 1895, and Dad was right, it was made by Rand-McNally.

Although I had joked about paying anything under 5 figures, it turns out that to have the map cleaned, restored and custom-framed would in fact cost about $10,000.00.  When I said that was not in my budget, they said for about $2,000 they can repair the small tears and encase it in Mylar, which can then be attached to the old case.  So I left the map with them for a full exam and quote, and got to drive along the Shoreway on a sunny day, looking a blue skies and a lake still almost completely iced up.

Then I took Mucinex for the chest cold which is trying to develop and took a nap.

Oh, and of course I now have a picture of the map:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It takes more than blue skies make a happy Jammies.  I hate DST.  Just when I was getting used to it being light when I got up, now it's back to pitch black and the alarm clock.

The weather's been warm and springlike all week, with two days of blue skies mid-week.  Unfortunately, this week was also Call Day, and it was a big one this month.  I hadn't gotten my Lexapro refilled, so I missed one dose on that day, which didn't help.  Granted, it didn't hurt all that much since it's a cumulative medication, I just felt a little dizzy and foggy-headed.

The good news is that I'm getting the mechanics of Call Day to a point where they're pretty smooth, and the judge really likes being able to send folks straight to the help desk.  That will be even smoother when the renovations are finished and the help desk is directly across the hall from the courtroom.  I did say one stupid thing in court, which led to a resolution to keep my mouth shut (hard for me to do, as those who know me well would say).  The judge was nice about it, and didn't say anything when we were on the record, but she did discuss it with me the next day.

AT&T is providing miserable customer service, including offering a "payment arrangement" that is actually a demand, then cutting off my phone four days before the agreed-upon date, then saying I'll have to pay $30 to have my service re-connected.  The flooring people I agreed to allow to start my floor with less than a day's notice so their workers would have something to do have left me for a week with an unsanded, unstained floor and no word on when it will be finished.

So the blue skies are nice, but I'd like more, please.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Squeeeeeeeee! DAD SAID YES!

With some trepidation, tonight I asked my dad if I could have his grandmother's map of Ohio.  It's the map she used when she taught in a one-room schoolhouse and had a teaching certificate just like Laura Ingalls Wilder's!  Dad reminded me that what look like roads on the map are in fact inter-urban railways, I said that was one of the reasons I wanted it.

The map needs a bit of repair, as the handle had almost come off the bottom when Mom and Dad put it up, and it might need some restoration, but since I started work at the courthouse, I know people who know people.

I am going to hang that gorgeous 1897 map of Ohio with all its counties, cities and railways in my beautifully re-painted living room where I can see it every single day.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

...and a day without Mom

Today is Mom's birthday, and I would not ask her to spend it moving stuff and cleaning with me.  So I have done my best to stay motivated without her.

So far, I have:

Changed the sheets and made the bed.

Watered the houseplants.

Done half the laundry.

Finished emptying the bookshelves in the living room.

Filled a box for Goodwill.

Shoveled and salted the walk from the driveway to the breezeway.

Refilled both birdfeeders.

Dusted the mantel, the two built in bookshelves and two of the standalone bookshelves.

Washed much of the glassware and divvied it up between what I am keeping and what is going to Goodwill.

What I still have to do:

Finish the laundry.

Move the television and DVD player to the car.

Clean out the back seat so I can take Lil Miss Piggie Pie to day boarding tomorrow.

Dust the last two standalone bookshelves.

Vacuum the living room.

Shove the furniture I can move into the center of the living room.

Paint my nails.

What will probably not get done tonight:

Clean the bathroom.

Hey, I am less discouraged when I look at my list! :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A day with Mom

This morning, I hunched over a computer and ran back and forth to Mom's office so we could balance a final guardian's account.  Then I came home, ate a quick lunch and took a quick nap, and then Mom came over and we started packing up the living room.

After 4+ hours of labor, the books are packed and the boxes stacked in the kitchen; the curtains are down and headed home with Mom for washing; one recliner, two boxes and one bag are on their way to Goodwill; one-fourth of the glassware is washed and boxed; and tomorrow I need to finish washing and boxing the glass and vacuuming.  Mom's energy levels continue to both amaze and depress me, but mostly I'm just grateful to have her.

It is a very good thing that I bought some Epsom salts this morning, because I needed them in the bath I just took.  Now for some ibuprofen and an early bedtime!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My new couch is here!

And my new kitchen clock is here too, but I have to figure out where to put it, so it's resting on the sofa at the moment.  Input from folks who have been here is welcome. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tall folk will always be welcome at Casa de Jammies,

but they will need to be careful, too.  The new kitchen light is so low that I can just walk underneath it.

It's huge and too expensive and I love it. :-)

Monday, February 02, 2015

The power of words

I overheard a discussion this morning which made me so angry I could have screamed.  Two guys were talking and one of them was explaining to the other that his "woman" was ugly, fat and "old" but she had money and she was so grateful to have him that she paid for everything.

At that point, my day was already a Monday--we got a lot of snow last night and the roads were only semi-cleared, I had a headache ibuprofen wasn't helping, a co-worker putting on her martyr suit and close to 300 approvals and publications to do plus my usual work.  I really really wanted to take a minute to tell this jerk he was no prize himself and if he was lucky, the woman in question would kick him to the curb while he was still young enough to change, but I refrained.

The rest of my day was similar, but it was saved in the last ten minutes.  An attorney I like and admire came in, and while we were talking, he asked if I parked at Morley Health Center.  When I said yes, he said "Then you know it's such a mess that someone posted a sign saying Welcome to Lake Morley."  I said, "Oh my gosh, that was ME!" and the attorney laughed his big, infectious laugh and we talked about it for a bit.  I was excited at the time when other people contributed to the sign, but to find out that someone remembered it nine months later was such a rush that my day really ended on a high note.

I love making people laugh, and I love being appreciated. :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's all about the details

I don't have the budget or the spoons to do a whole steampunk room, but I've decided I want my kitchen to have some copper touches that could lend themselves to steampunkery if I ever have the funds.  I ordered light oak outlet covers for the lower outlets which are located in the wainscoting and copper switch plates and outlet covers for the higher outlets and switches.  I think they look lovely against the green walls!

And Sherri probably doesn't recognize the microwave cart any more, it was such a mess when she was here!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K Casa de Jammies

Monday through Thursday of last week, painters came to Casa de Jammies, and Little Miss Piggie Pie day boarded at a local vet hospital/kennel.  The staff there said "She's really a sweet girl" and I didn't get a bill because she ate someone's Bichon, so she must have behaved.

The kitchen and back hallway have had the 1970s wallpaper removed (hears distant cheers from South Carolina) and painted, the kitchen in what was supposed to be sage green but is in fact more mint green and the back hallway in a barely-tinted cream.

The painters were good painters, but lousy guests.  One of them kept leaving the toilet seat up, they used up all of my good hand soap, half a roll of paper towels and two rolls of toilet paper and left me with a nearly full gallon bucket of mint-not-sage paint.

This past Thursday night, Mom and Dad came over and helped me pull up the carpet in the eating area, revealing some awful linoleum.  It looks like raw meat.

When I brought out the shop vac to clean up the dust left behind, Dad said, "Oh, that's where it is.  I needed it last week."  I didn't remind him he had left it unused in his garage so long a mouse built a nest in it, just told him that if he wanted, I'd bring it back, but I'd cry real tears.

For the first time ever, I had professional cleaners come to the house.  A team of sisters Mom knows from her law practice worked from ten until two cleaning the kitchen and bathroom while I removed the staples and the tack strips from the NY strip floor.  Both women were friendly as well as being very good at cleaning, and I enjoyed having them here as much as I enjoyed the clean house they left behind.

While I was pulling up staples and tack strips, I came to the very sad conclusion that the hardwood floor in the eating area was pulled up to make room for the Porterhouse lino.  I've already picked a pretty brown carpet for the living room and now I need to consult with the guy at the carpet store about what kind of floor is best for homes with dogs.

Speaking of dogs, LMPP was excitable but not bite-y with Mom and Dad, but growly and snarly with the cleaning team, so she spent five hours outside, allowed in to warm up whenever I took a smoke break.

Today I get to rest from yesterday.

The schedule for the coming week is Sunday, grocery shopping and laundry, Monday work with Mom, lunch with Mom, shopping with Mom, and Tuesday through Friday, bring one piece of kitchen furniture out of the living room, clean it and put it back.

Friday, January 09, 2015

In the Living Years

I've been thinking about my dad a lot this week.

He taught me to use the internet, which I used to look up the correct tire pressure for my car.

I used the 12-volt compressor he gave me to inflate my tires to the proper pressure.

I saw someone stick an arm out of the driver's-side window and squirt their windshield with Windex, something my dad had to do a few times on his Oldsmobile.

And my friend Jay posted the two songs which make him think of his dad, who he lost 24 years ago.

My dad frequently makes me crazy, but I love him, and I listen to him and I learn from him, and I have told him so and will tell him so.

In 1989, I bought the cassette single of this song for Dad for Father's Day, and he really liked it, so here it is once more for him: