Monday, December 28, 2009

The "This Time I Really Mean It!" Campaign

Margaret over at Nanny Goats In Panties has thrown down the gauntlet! Yes, she's challenging us to write our New Year's resolutions like we really mean it! For real! Fo shizzle!

Nanny Goat in Panties

So, here's what I came up with...

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for a Cat Lady Without Cats:

1. Go to work on a regular basis (an improvement over 2009)

2. Put money IN to savings account instead of just taking money OUT. (see #1)

3. Dress for success... limit Pajama Day to weekends only.

4. Stop falling down stairs. Avoid Emergency Rooms... there ARE actually other ways to meet new people.

5. "Strive for 5"... that means 5 servings of vegetables per week, doesn't it? (They made it so much easier once they classified ketchup as a vegetable.)

6. Limit Dr Pepper intake... I think "Strive for 5" in this case means no more than 5 servings per day... seems doable.

7. No matter how cluttered things get, always keep a pathway cleared to the refrigerator.

8. Be kind to animals... to paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Hickory's the kind of dog you have to feed every day."

9. Avoid Death and Taxes and Gifts of Unwanted Kittens....

10. Find a reason to smile every day!*

*This elite cadre of humor specialists can help you get your funny on and make you smile: Quirkyloon, Nanodance, Indigo, nonamedufus, Otin, Jayne, Subby, moooooog, Me-Me, EolistPetite, Scotty, Kirsten, Pearl, KaLynn, Phillipia, Ettarose, Vic, frigginloon, NGIP, Reffie, Brian, Knucklehead, idifficult, Peach Tart, Maelstrom, Julochka, Michelle, Nancy, Spudballo, Madame DeFarge, Willow, JennyMac, Lee the Hotflash Queen, K a b l o o e y, Vodkamom, JD, Gumley, Comedy Goddess, Summer, Skye, Redhead Ranting, Kristine, Jules, rxBambi, Ace, Old Silly, Kathy, Baino, Lisa, Chrissy, AngelMay, Open Heart, Mike, Little Ms. Blogger, Gayle, Debbie, VE, Jenn, Tiggy, Chelle B, Mad Dog, Ann, Bianca, Amy, CB Jones, Chester the Jester, and many, many more! (See why I get nothing done all day... who has time to work!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Here! It's Here!

Whether you're ready or not, Christmas does come. I probably could have been ready on time, had I not been reading all the excellent posts from the HBDC Christmas Humor Carnival participants. Those funny folks over there just keep distracting me! Seriously... go check them out! It's the best holiday gift your could give yourself!

But, all kidding and humor aside... I really did get that pesky tree decorated and some presents wrapped to go underneath it. And I even baked some Christmas cookies... although Vlad finished them off a couple of days ago.

Here's how the tree turned out....
(It's actually taller than Vlad... it touches the ceiling)

Let me point out that there are no cats on the tree. (Remember, I'm a CatLady Without the Cats.) And zombie decorations were mighty hard to come by this year... I think Quirky bought them all long ago. But here are a few of my favorites...

Remember the socks inside of socks? My dear friend, Lisa, knitted these teeny-tiny socks for my tree:

Our friend, Bill, painted this bird...
Aunt Dorothy used to use ornaments to decorate packages... here's one of my favorites from her.

This one is my absolute favorite... my grandma made it for me...
it's a teeny-tiny baby bunny inside of a walnut shell.

I bought this fish ornament for myself just because it's silly looking...
it would be perfect for Otin's tree since he likes fishing so much!

Another friend gave me this heart, which is perfect for the
tree and reminds me of the many friends I love...

The monkey sock ornament reminds me of my grandma, too, because she used to made us monkey sock dolls for Christmas when we were kids.

This little bear was a gift for Vlad from his
Grandma Luci when he was a baby.

So what's under the tree this year? I still don't know because Vlad is working until 3:00 and I promised not to open anything until he gets home. I'm such a good mother!

The most important thing of all is that this day represents the love I have for my child, my family and my friends. And that's why I love my eclectic assortment of ornaments... they represent all of those I hold dear.

So, my holiday wish for you is that your life be filled with friendship and love! Thank you for bringing such joy into my heart each and every day!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas with the Cat Lady (reprise)

Today's HBDC Christmas Carnival entry is as applicable today as it was exactly one year ago when I first wrote it. (No, I don't learn by my mistakes.) All advice is freely given... no charge to any of you, my bloggy friends... because I'm in the holiday spirit now. So, without further ado, I give you...

Christmas with the Cat Lady

So... here it is, December 23 and not only are the stockings NOT hung on the chimney with care, the tree is not yet in the house and there are no gifts wrapped in sparkly paper. Either this is the home of a confirmed atheist or non-Christian, or there's something dreadfully amiss.

Or, could it be that there's something far more sinister afoot?

Perhaps this is a move to delay the biggest holiday of the year for blatant economic advantage? (Something only a cat lady would think of.)

Just imagine... your friends take pity on you because you just haven't found the time to enjoy the holidays as they SHOULD be enjoyed. You let them know that your life has been far too traumatic to let you even THINK about preparing for the holidays. You tell them your spouse has left you, you've just quit your job, all your retirement fund just went up in smoke with the economic downturn and the electric company has just turned off your heat for non-payment of your bill. (Never mind the fact that the spouse left 4 years ago, so that's old news, you haven't really quit your job, you never had any money in a retirement account anyway, and both the heat and cable TV are still working fine, thank you very much... a cat lady's cable would never be disconnected!)

Here's what happens...

~Your friends come shovel out your driveway for you so you don't have to be a shut in for Christmas.

~They stop at the pharmacy to pick up and pay for your anti-depressants so that you will be in a good mood.

~They take you to the Boy Scout Christmas tree lot to buy you the last tree available at this late date.

~They all invite you to join them for Christmas dinner. (So you don't have to cook.)

~They ply you with free alcohol to boost your spirits. (And even send you home with an extra bottle for the New Year.)

~They spend the afternoon stringing popcorn and cranberries for you to take home to put on your spindly Christmas tree. (What ever you do, don't let them see the lush fir you have waiting in the garage.)

~They buy you token gifts in an effort to help you feel better about yourself. (So you don't have to buy all those gifts and wrap them up for yourself to pretend like you have friends and loved ones.) Meanwhile, they refuse to allow you to get them anything, as you're so emotionally and financially destitute, thereby enabling you to maintain a healthy bank balance.

~By hitting up several friends, you can amuse yourself for the entire day and bring home enough
Christmas dinner pity leftovers to eat for a week. (Or more, if you have a large freezer.)

Once the festive day is over, you can happily return to your own abode, drag the hidden tree in from the garage and begin decorating. By this time, all the stuff in the store is on sale so you don't have to spend as much for gifts, you can get festive holiday wrap for next to nothing, your fridge is nicely stocked and the pesky relatives have all gone back to their own homes without bothering you. You can ring in the New Year, enjoying more peace, joy and prosperity than you ever could have, had you actually followed the traditional schedule.

Isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is all about anyway?

P.S. If you are a friend, or know any of my friends, this is not really about me. Please do invite me over for Christmas dinner!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread Shenanigans: One More Time.. With Feeling!

In honor of the HBDC Christmas Carnival, and in honor of it being my blogoversary and all, I thought I'd repost this little ditty to celebrate...

And that's what happens when a CatLady has way too much time on her hands during the holiday season. Now, get out there and blow something up this Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The HBDC Christmas Carnival Begins!

The HBDC Christmas Carnival is in town! And the timing is perfect! Just yesterday I decided it was (finally) time to get into the Christmas spirit. So I talked Vlad into going with me to chop down a Christmas tree. None of that pre-cut, needles-falling-off, kindling at the Boy Scout Christmas Tree lot for us! Every year we go to the same place, Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, NY, just south of Rochester. Being the he-man and she-woman that we are, we blaze our own trail to find just the perfect tree. Lucky for gimpy me, the trail that was blazed also has a tractor pulling a wagon to take you over the rough parts.
(Here's Vlad enjoying the tractor ride as his mother once
again embarrasses him by taking pictures of him in public.)

Success! After searching for about three whole minutes, we found the perfect tree. Isn't it amazing how, as you get older and the weather gets colder, it takes less time to agree on what's the "perfect" tree.

When you get back to the barn there are free home-made cookies and hot chocolate to be enjoyed. Definitely my kind of place!

For the younger set, there's a straw maze that is built out of several hundred bales of hay. It stands about 15 feet high and is filled with tunnels that kids can crawl through. Occasionally, some even find their way back out. They keep a guard at both the entrance and exit, though, to make sure the same number come out as went in. Spoil sports! We saw several parents trying to sneak away while their kids were lost inside. Vlad and I decided to forgo that part of the festivities. Truth be told, we just don't fit too well between the bales anymore. Not to mention the fact that that's one scary ass giant fake snowman in the picture... no way was I going near that!
(Straw maze photo is from Stokoe's website.)

Then it was time to strap the world's most perfect Christmas tree onto the top of the car, (those kayak straps come in so handy,) and wheel it on home, where the Wonder Dog awaited our arrival. He was so enthused, he actually woke up from his 18 hour nap to see what we were doing.

The tree we got is tall enough to touch the ceiling in the living room. Already the house is filling with the aroma of Douglas Fir. Now, on to the decorations...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Blogoversary Time Already! or Great Moments In Stalker History!

Well, folks, in two more days it will be exactly one year since the CatLady was born*. (December 22, 2008... a day that shall live in infamy.) Where did the time go? Seeing as how on Blogoversary Day I'll be regaling you with a Christmas post in honor of the Humor Bloggers Dot Com Christmas Carnival or just in case I somehow manage to do myself in before Tuesday, (seeing as how I'm so klutzy and all,) I shall take this opportunity to say,

Thank You!

Thank you, and you, and you for making the CatLady what she is today. You might be thinking... "WTF? How did I, personally, help her get to where she is today?" There are far too many of you to thank specifically, but know that I keep you all in my heart and mind, (mostly wondering how the hell I met up with so many people who are as strange as I am.)

But in the meantime, here are a few of my

Great Moments in Stalker History...

Nanodance at Callithump Thunderblog was the one who convinced me that blogging would be a good idea.

Sister Phillipia was the first stalker who I didn't actually know to sign on as a follower... silly nun!

Quirkyloon gave me my first blog award. Hooray for my Zombie Quombie Queen!

Mr. Roth, the master spy and surrealist also known as IndigoWrath, was my first Foreign Correspondent.

Moooooog over at Mental Poo taught me how to do motivational posters, as well as a whole bunch of new terms for naughty bits.

I got my first captioning award from nonamedufus, that Canadian master of humor.

Ettarose at Sanity on Edge was kind enough to tell me she likes my bloggy hugs and that she thinks my blog is awesome.

Otin taught me about the joys of theme days, beginning with WTF Wednesday. (He also scares the crap out of me with his spooky stories!)

Jules at MeanGirlGarage sent me my first blog contest prize in the mail... the Li'l People!

Margaret at Nanny Goats In Panties sent me my NGIP pens... even though I wasn't one of the first ten commenters to request them.

Subby at basstuna taught me how to swear like a sailor... without actually using any swear words.

Nancy at f8hasit named me as a Follower of Note.

Maelstrom at Nothing to See Here, Move Along! was my 100th Stalker!

Pearl told me I was full of Honest Scrap over at Pearl, Why You Little...

Julochka at Moments of Perfect Clarity is the first blogger I actually sent money to... buying a couple of her amazing photos via Etsy. (NO! I'm not sending money to all of you!)

Comedy Goddess gave me a ray of sunshine with her Posts of the Week award.

Kirsten at The Soccer Mom Files confirmed my suspicions that Mom Likes Me Best when I won her caption award.

MadMadMargo at The Screaming Me-Me turned me into a Cat Woman and made me actually look HOT for the HBDC Anti-Injustice Campaign video.

JennyMac over at Let's Have a Cocktail told me she thinks I give good blog.

Jayne, who is lost in her thoughts injaynesworld, called me a "real" writer.

Kacklin' KaLynn gave me a Best Blog award.

Jen over at RedheadRanting sent me cookies, fudge and bourbon balls in the mail!

The rest of you have given me endless cyber hugs and moral support over the past year and I treasure each and every one of you!

Here's lookin' at you, kids!

Happy Holidays from the CatLady and Hickory the WonderDog!

*I reposted my inaugural post below for those of you who may have just tuned in.

Reprise: A Cat Lady is Born

Monday, December 22, 2008

10 easy steps for becoming a crazy cat lady (without the cats)

In taking a step back to review my life as the New Year approaches, I find that I have become a crazy cat lady... without the cats. How does this happen? Let me enlighten you...


1. Stop doing your dishes.... there's really no reason to do dishes until you have nothing left to eat off of. Then you can simply polish up a fork with a your shirt tail.

2. Always drop things on the floor when you enter your home. Why use up extra energy to locate where the things actually belong? Being a cat lady is all about conserving energy. Besides, that way you'll always know where everything is... in the pile just inside the door.

3. Don't make your bed... you're just getting back into it the next night anyway.

4. Don't bathe too often... it allows the natural oils on your skin to maintain that youthful glow.

5. Never, ever vacuum... all the pet hair on the floor and furniture actually adds to the insulation value of your home.

6. Don't go outside unless it's really necessary. (For instance, like if the house catches fire.) This keeps the warm air inside during the winter months, saving on utilities.

7. Don't answer the phone. It's usually just someone who either wants to complain about something or who wants your money for some obscure reason. Be sure you have special ring tones for individual friends you MIGHT want to talk to. Limit yourself to three ring tones... saves on having too many people who actually know who you are. A special ring tone for family members is especially important. They may want to try to save you from being a crazy cat lady, so it's best to avoid them.

8. Watch LOTS of TV. The more senseless the program the better. Talk shows are particularly useful for building your self esteem. (They demonstrate how many people are crazier than you are.) Remember, no matter how many other bills go unpaid... always keep the cable bill paid up... there are so many more possibilities for trash TV on cable than there are on regular TV. (Although, I would also suggest paying the electric bill so you have the juice for running the TV.)

9. Talk to yourself frequently... remember, you are your own best friend.

10. Always remember... there's absolutely no reason to actually have cats... simple black construction paper silhouettes in the windows will do just fine. Much better to have a dog who will bark at strangers who try to come to the door to extricate you from your abode. Plus, the dog is always glad to see you... cats could care less.

So there you have it... even if you maintain the facade of being a normal person in public, you too can become a crazy cat lady at home. No one ever has to know... which makes you an even crazier cat lady than the usual one.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This week's Theme Thursday topic is History. (Be sure to go check out everybody who's participating. You'll be glad you did!)

Just this past Monday I received a packet in the mail from my dad. It's a copy of his memoirs... his recollections of the past 84 years. It's not something that would mean anything to the average person, but for me it's history. I don't know if there's anything in there that I haven't already heard. (At least there was no forewarning of deep, dark, hidden family secrets.*) But, we could always get lucky!

My parents were born in 1925... the Roaring Twenties, when these chicks were hanging out being cool:

My parents lived through the depression and World War II... their formative years... and that certainly impacted the way we were later brought up. "Waste not, want not" was a way of life. (And perhaps planted the seeds of my hoarding, cat lady tendencies.) We learned not to buy anything on credit and to never spend more than we earned.

I'm sure that in reading my dad's memoirs, there will be insights into how he became the man he is today. A quiet man, until you get to know him. Somebody who enjoys a good joke. Somebody you can count on.

I have a feeling his story will be one of the best Christmas presents I've gotten in a long time... and one that Vlad and I will appreciate in the years to come.

Thanks for the history lesson, Dad!

*And not to worry... I'll let you know if there's any good "dirt" once I've read it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm in Heaven!

No, I didn't finally crap out... but I am in heaven after receiving a sample goody pack from Jen over at Redhead Ranting.

Her fudge is out of this world! (Hence the heavenly reference.) Rich and creamy and full of walnuts. Yum! The cookies are delicious as well... I ate every last crumb.

However, those Bourbon Balls... they are to die for! (Again, heavenly reference is appropriate.) I confess, I've never had bourbon balls before, so I don't have anything to compare them to, but I do know this... they really hit the spot! Although, admittedly, it's probably best not to enjoy them with a glass of wine. They'd go best with a delicious cup of tea or coffee.

But don't take my word for it... you can get your own by going to Jen's blog and ordering a box of these goodies. Perfect for taking to that office party or to your mother-in-law's house. Beware, though: Jen will hunt you down and do bad things to you if you claim you made them yourself... she knows where you live because she has magical powers!

Order yours today!

(Please note: The author was paid in fudge, cookies and bourbon balls for this blatant pimping of Jen's goodies... and it was well worth it!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stockings Inside of Stockings

Okay, how did it get to be the middle of December already? It seems like only yesterday it was Thanksgiving and then I was falling down the stairs and it's been pretty much of a blur ever since. I guess clunking yourself in the head can do that to you. But, enough of that whole business. I've graduated from crutches to a cane to walking on my own most of the time. Guess that means there are no more excuses for not getting into the holiday spirit.

Now that Vlad's gotten older I have to get a little more creative about holiday gifts. Not because he knows where I stash them and I need a better hiding place, but because he's the type of kid who doesn't ask for much. It used to be easier when he was little. Get him a whole mess of trains and Legos and stuff and he was happy as a clam. So far, all he's told me he wants this year is socks. Somehow I think it's going to be a real let down on Christmas morning if all he gets is a pair of socks in his Christmas stocking. Stockings inside of stockings.

Even my Christmas wish list is longer than that. I definitely need some more ideas... soon!
Because it's going to be really embarrassing if he gets me more gifts than I get him.

Bad mother! Bad mother!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

How appropriate that this week's Theme Thursday topic is SNOW! The snow is currently blowing off of Lake Erie into Buffalo and then on into Rochester. Oh, boy! Another season of daily drudgery is upon us.

Now, don't get me wrong... I love snow. Especially when it's new and pristine and I don't have to go out in it. I used to even enjoy cross country skiing back before I lost my ACL and MCL. But after awhile it gets kinda old. Especially when it turns to slush and then refreezes and the snowplows start piling dirty snow up into steep banks along the sidewalks. Here in Rochester, we actually have sidewalk plows in addition to street plows. Both are great additions until they leave the rock hard ice barriers across your driveway that are near impossible to shovel away.

But this year's snow season in particular is looming over me like icy death. And no, I'm not exaggerating. I mean after all...

Have you ever tried shoveling snow on crutches?

I rest my case!

Now, please stop listening to my bitch fest and go over and visit the other bloggers participating in Theme Thursday. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Get By...

How apropos that this week's Theme Thursday topic is..


My friends have come out of the woodwork this week to help out after my fall. I have awesome friends both locally and in the more global online world. One thing about blogging is that no matter what the hour of the day or night, you can always feel in touch with somebody. When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, I know I can reach out and connect with a fellow blogger. Reading about what's going on with somebody else, getting a chuckle or guffaw, being inspired by some nuggets of wisdom or reading a response to something you wrote makes you remember how connected you are in the world. And that's what having friends is all about. To connect to other people is to be alive.

I can think of no better way to say "Thank You!" than to share an oldie, but goody.

Love to you all!

Now, please share the love and check out the other Theme Thursday participants by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Helps Having Friends in High Places!

In the continuing saga of my pitiful existence...

It turns out I have friends in high places! Always handy! That's one of the advantages of living long enough to have accumulated a variety of acquaintances in a variety of professions. My physician friend had his office call up the orthopedist's office and got me an appointment for this afternoon. Yay!

Of course, the orthopedist was looking at me funny and I know what he was probably thinking... "Stuck up bitch made me open up a spot for her when she had a perfectly good appointment for next week!" He kinda looked like this:

House has Zombie eyes! Run!

But not quite as scary as House. I'm sure House would have just called me a "whiny butt" to my face and walked away after knocking my crutches out from under me with his cane. But this guy was more polite. He didn't say a thing. Maybe it was his way of protecting his self esteem by not admitting my friends were more important than his friends. Whatever...

But, to be fair, he was very nice and told me he thought I had been managing very well in the last 5 years since I tore my ACL & MCL. He said I could get rid of the immobilizer, but that I had to keep the crutches. GRRRRR. I hate crutches. But since the immobilizer was causing a rash on my leg, I suppose the crutches are the better choice.

And, I get to go back to physical therapy for a few visits to strengthen what muscles I have left in my knee. Physical therapy is kind of like torture as far as I'm concerned.

Wikipedia photo of torture
rack in the Tower of London.
I remember seeing this the
last time I had PT.

Seriously, this is probably what I have to look forward to.

I'll most likely be attached to all sorts of implements of torture over the next few weeks. Damn!

Plus the doctor gave me a note so I could go back to work. He actually asked how soon I wanted to go back. While it would have been nice to have a "get out of work free" card, it's also good to make some money to pay for all the medical expenses I'll be incurring, what with the emergency room visit and PT and such. So I'll be heading back in tomorrow after PT.

Besides, left to my own devices, I'd probably just fall down the stairs again at home anyway from complacency and sheer boredom. Going back to work will keep me out of trouble.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yes, I'm Still Among the Living... and I Have Some Pretty Awesome Friends!

Two days after my fall, I'm developing a pretty nice shiner. Funny how the blood from the bump on the temple is now coming to the surface in the skin around my eye.

Oh, yeah! That's attractive!
I wonder what it will look like by tomorrow?

The knee's feeling much better, but I still hate wearing the immobilizer and my right knee is starting to feel pretty sore from doing all the work for the left knee. I finally heard back from the orthopedist's office... they can see me next Thursday at 2:30. WTF am I supposed to do until then? Now I have a call in to the secretary to try and get some info on how soon I can go back to work. I don't want to risk losing the job I just got because of a stupid fall.

Turns out the Wonder Dog is freaked out by the crutches... he shakes nervously as he looks past me toward the open door that is the magical entrance to his personal backyard commode. I'm getting pretty tired of crutching my way to the door just to have him look at me for 5 minutes and then turn around and go back to fer-flump on the living room floor. Not to mention the fact that his rather large body always seems to be right where I'm trying to navigate. Thank god I don't have any cats to get underfoot as well!

But, I actually love my dog... he's just a pain in the ass at the moment.

The good news is that I managed to get myself up and out to the chiropractor yesterday. Nothing like slamming your head into a wall to throw your back out of whack! But she did many wondrous things for my back. I love that woman!

And the outpouring of concern from friends has been lovely. Thank you all! It makes me feel so cared for. My friend Suedojane even brought me my fix of Dr Pepper last night. Ahhhhh! Suedojane makes some awesome videos about artists... here's one for you to check out:

And tonight Nanodance is bringing my my evening repast. The excitement of wondering what it will be leaves me all tingly inside! I wonder if she'll bring me some of those weird ass Buddha's hands? All I know is that food that you don't have to cook yourself always tastes so much better!

Buddha's hands... Nanodance knows all about these... she's seen them in real life!

Time for my afternoon nap! I'll wake myself up in four hours to make sure I'm not dead. Later!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Now My House is Trying to Kill Me!

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Thanksgiving weekend 2009 was like a roller coaster ride in which the ride going up was great and the part where you spiral down out of control kinda sucked.

Thanksgiving itself was pretty good. Much better than last year when a former co-worker of my ex turned up at the same dinner and proceeded to spend the evening asking me about my ex and his new sweet young thaing spouse and her daughter. (Like I freakin' care? Hell, at that point, I didn't even know what their last name was and hadn't a clue what her daughter's first name was!) Happily, this year we had dinner with some of our oldest and dearest friends who provided great food and plenty of levity. A lovely contrast!

Friday, Vlad and I escaped the shopping hoards of Black Friday to watch the Zombie hoards chase our heroes and heroines in Zombieland.

Anyway, I was fine until Saturday, when I discovered I only had $24 in my checking account to last until next Friday. So I decided to throw myself a major pity party. (Apologies for the total downer post on Saturday... I couldn't help myself.)

Late Saturday night I started cheering myself up by fleshing out my "Let's Go to Prison for Retirement" plan. (Getting back to my usual irreverent brand of humor.) And boy, have I gotten a lot of great suggestions for how to make that work! I can taste that prison food on my tongue already. Sure hope they have Dr Pepper at the prison store to wash it all down with. (Or maybe Quirky could bake a couple of cans into a cake for me when she comes to visit.) But I have yet to reconcile myself to the fact that there's no beer in prison... that might be a deal breaker.

Which brings us up to Sunday. Considering I still have to work until I come up with the perfect victimless crime, I decided to do a little planning for the wee ones. Which meant going up into the scary attic to look for some supplies. And there was some great swag to be found up there. All sorts of gems in the costume department, fabulous picture books galore, great fabric for making tents and my army surplus parachute for who knows what. I'd hit the Pre-Kindergarten mother lode! So, I loaded up my arms with as much booty as I could carry and started down the attic stairs.

That's when a book slipped from atop the pile and planted itself beneath my feet. At which point I fell to my knees on the steps, hurtling forward until I slammed my head against the wall at the bottom of the stairs.

Not good.
Now I'm convinced my house is trying to kill me!

Okay! Okay! So it wasn't really the house's fault, but in my present mood, I was ready to blame anyone or anything, including the four year old imps who provided the reason to go to the attic in the first place. Thank the goddess Vlad was home for the weekend and heard the crash and thud. And for once I actually threw off the mantle of the Midwest Martyr and said, "Take me to the Emergency Room". (The fact that my head was bleeding and my pupils were varying sizes kinda sealed that deal.)

But let's not get too carried away. I had Vlad drop me at the ER door and sent him on his merry way to study for the afternoon. I'd be "fine... just fine" by myself. Poor Vlad... later I found out he thought I was mad at him for tripping over the shit on the stairs... he thought it was his shit I tripped over. In all fairness, it's the house that's evil... and to be honest, we both contributed to the detritus placed there.

Of course, if you're going to go to the ER, I suggest going on the Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving. By that time all the people who got food poisoning from undercooked turkey or stabbed in the hand by their cousin because they were trying to take the last dinner roll have all been discharged. I've gotta say I was a little disappointed, though, when I wasn't greeted by these guys....

No dishy Doug Ross or Peter Benton to hold my hand while I got a CT scan of my head and multiple x-rays of my knee? I feel so cheated. I would have settled for Neela or Abby, (both hot chicks.) Even NGIP got to meet Anthony Edwards earlier this fall and she didn't have a head injury or anything. No fair!

The good news is I have no brain bleed, but I'm supposed to take it easy for a couple of days... and have someone check in with me every four hours to make sure I'm lucid. Since I live alone, I'll just have to set my alarm clock and wake myself up... I can always write the questions I need to ask myself on a post-it note next to the bed.

The bad news is I have an avulsion fracture on my knee... don't know if it's new or a remnant from when I tore my ACL and MCL about five years ago. They sent me home with another "immobilizer" and crutches... then it's back to see the orthopedist later in the week. Oh joy, oh rapture! (But, seriously... do you think this immobilizer makes my leg look fat?)

Yes, that's a pizza box next to my foot... since I was incapacitated Vlad went on a pizza run so I wouldn't starve.

Looking at the sunny side... maybe this will prompt them to do something to alleviate the chronic pain I have in my knee. Maybe my house isn't trying to kill me after all... maybe it's just trying to tell me something.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let's Go to Prison!

So, about that retirement plan...

I've been thinking about this for some time. I decided long ago to pursue a teaching career in which I could follow my principles and personal philosophy rather going for the "big bucks" offered by the public sector. Which means I also gave up access to the pension fund. But I managed to tuck a little away for a rainy day and probably could have held out until social security kicked in. Then a few wrenches got thrown in the works.... spouse left for co-worker 20 years his junior so I now have no one with whom to share expenses or affections and I lost my "principled job" prematurely so my rainy day fund got used up long before retirement.

So, as I age and my prospects look a little bleaker, I started thinking about other ways to finance my golden years. Ideas came and went until I came up with my brilliant plan...

Number one on the retirement hit parade is now Let's Go to Prison!

Seriously! It actually sounds pretty good:

~You get a clean, dry place to sleep.
~You get three meals a day.
~You get someone else to pick out your clothes for you every day.
~You have access to the prison library for entertainment purposes.
~You can get another college degree, or two, or three.
~You can still blog with the internet access available.
~You get free medical care, compliments of the state.

Just one major dilemma... how to get there?

Now, this would seem like an easy thing to most people. Perhaps kill ex-spouse or his new bride... but I'm pretty well over that by now. Or steal the company funds... if only I worked in a place that had company funds. Ponzi schemes are probably out at this point in the game. Arson is a bit extreme... unless I burn down my own house, but then where would Vlad and the Wonder Dog sleep? Prostitution seems like just too much work and let's face it... I'm just not alluring enough anymore to attract customers. I'm too old to join the army and then desert. Shoplifting... yeah, that might work but then I'd just be shafting some other poor slob.

The biggest barrier to making this dream of going to prison a reality is that I wouldn't feel right doing something that would hurt someone else in order to get sent to prison. I'm far too nice for this scheme to work. Dang! I keep thinking about ways to get sent to prison that wouldn't hurt anyone and gosh darn it... I just can't come up with any.

But then, last month I heard about a grandfather in England who got arrested for shining a bright light at a military helicopter. (They accused him of trying to "dazzle" the pilot with the light.) That would work! I don't think it would hurt anyone to shine a light at a helicopter, would it?

Now all I need is to get somebody to fly this bad boy over my house..

I'm sure that if I could only get to prison, I could figure out a way to avoid early parole. That, in and of itself, could provide years of blog fodder.*

So, how about it... anybody else out there have any ideas for how I could go about getting into prison for my golden years?

*Of course, if only I were a real writer like Jayne, I could put this whole prison as retirement plan idea into a book or screenplay... isn't that what creative people usually do? Kind of like "Golden Girls Do Prison." In which case I could use that for my retirement plan. I call dibs!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Got Plenty o' Nuttin

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can stop being thankful for shit and get down to brass tacks.

It's slim pickins around the CatLady's house these days. Four months of unemployment with no unemployment benefits, followed by re-entry into the workplace at a salary less than half of what I was making before has put a bit of a strain on the old pocketbook. So, what to do, what to do?

I think what's really needed is an attitude adjustment:

Or not... the reality is, I do need a few basics to keep going. I've cut back a lot in the last year, preparing for my descent into poverty. Turns out, it still isn't enough, though. How can that be?

I've lived in the same house for over 20 years... so I can't save anything by moving. An apartment would cost more than my meager mortgage. (I had to refinance after the divorce, so I still have 10 more years of payments.)

My health insurance premiums are higher than my mortgage. That just seems wrong to me, but what's a woman to do? Can't really cut that out of the budget... too many "pre-existing conditions" and I love my "happy pills" too much.

Car... it's 15 years old with over 150K miles. Perhaps I can get by with fewer oil changes and repairs. It's still too far to walk to work.

Then there's the utilities. I've always kept the heat low... my dad used to yell at me that I was going to catch my death because of it. So far I'm still alive, but if I go much lower with the thermostat now that winter's upon us, I'm afraid the pipes will freeze. And I'm afraid I'd lose the few friends I have left if I stopped showering. (Good news, though... the advantage of bloggy friend is they can't smell you.)

Internet service... gotta keep that for communication purposes, at least until the computer craps out. Especially as there's no access at work. The basic cable may have to go, though. So must the ridiculously extravagant iphone... just as soon as the service contract is up. Damn service contracts! (I got the phone originally so I could keep track of appointments and things for my old job... the job that paid more, so I could afford it back then.)

Food... this fine physique could certainly do with a bit less. But give up the Dr Pepper? I might start twitching or something.

A second job? If only I had the energy.

I could get a room mate. Preferably one that cooks and cleans. Probably the smartest move. I wonder if Vlad would mind giving up his room?

Okay, enough feeling sorry for myself! If push comes to shove, I can always implement my secret retirement plan...

Prison is actually sounding kinda good right about now!

To be continued...

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Un-American Activities

Yes, it's true... I am Un-American. How so, you may ask? I freely confess... I am single-handedly destroying the American economy by once again staying home on Black Friday.

Image from

Horrors! How could I be so unfeeling? How could I not help boost our struggling economy?

I have never once felt the need to go out and spend, spend, spend on the day following Thanksgiving. It's just not my idea of a good time. Because:

1. I hate crowds.
2. I hate spending money I don't have.
3. I don't need any of the things that my television is telling me I need.
4. I don't need to get my picture on a People of WalMart web site.
5. I hate crowds.

To make matters worse, I've been hanging out at the Heathen Social Club again. We have a little program going on there called the "Greater Good Project" in which we take what we would have spent on the holiday, cut that amount in half, and donate the half we don't use to service projects. The idea being to become aware of needs greater than our own and to live a little more simply so that others may simply live. For each of the past several years, the Heathen Social Club has donated close to $75,000 to this fund. The money collected goes to programs such as "The Honduras Project". The Honduras Project involves members of the Heathen Social Club giving their time and money to help provide clean water, support medical care and improve schools in Honduras.

So, yeah, it's a pretty Un-American concept... staying home on Black Friday so that we can share the wealth with others who need it more. Besides... I'm still on my tryptophan high from all the turkey. Gotta go take a nap!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Missed Opportunities

So, I was over InJaynesWorld a little bit ago, reading about how utterly cool she was in high school. I was having a lovely movie party in my head, imagining Jayne cruising around in her Spitfire, getting high and hanging out with the Airplane, Creedence, CSN&Y and Santana. Do you know how cool I might have been if only I'd had a friend like Jayne to hang out with?

Of course, to be that cool, it would have helped to have grown up in California. Me... I was stuck in Iowa, where nothing much was happening. Every once in awhile you heard about somebody scoring some Iowjuana... the home grown version of the coveted dope. And you heard tales of acid, but never actually knew anyone who dropped any. We just weren't that sophisticated.

To hear any awesome bands, (like the ones that Jayne was hanging out with on a regular basis,) you had to make a 100 mile road trip to the University of Iowa fieldhouse in Iowa City. My first trip there was to see Laura Nyro. We were so bold, we got up on stage and sat next to her piano. She was very kind about it and didn't order us thrown out. But that's the closest I ever got to a real, live, famous musician.

Later, I enrolled at Iowa because it was the "cool" school. (My parents told me they'd pay for any of the three state schools and the others just didn't cut it for the cool factor.) The Grateful Dead and Moody Blues became my bands of choice... along with chick favorites Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins & Joan Baez. And I laughed uproariously at showings of Reefer Madness at the dorm.

But, cool I was not. I'm afraid that even if I'd been transplanted to California, I would never have been cool enough to hang out with Jayne. For a very simple reason...

I am a wuss.

Yep, no question about it. I am not a daring person, despite having been incarcerated briefly at an early age for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I was a "good girl" who believed everything I was told about how you could drop acid just once and suffer a lifetime of flashbacks. How heroin would leave you addicted after the first time you shot up. Not to mention the fact that I was so squeamish about sticking a needle in my body that heroine addiction was never going to happen. After all, I was the only person in my high school science class who couldn't get up the nerve to poke my finger to determine my blood type, resulting in a failing grade for that particular assignment.

In college I finally succumbed to the demon weed and thought I was a real badass. (But I always mooched off of other people because in my mind I would undoubtedly get arrested if I ever tried to score any on my own.) And we hung out at the bars regularly, getting drunk on cheap beer and dancing to whatever local band was booked for the night. (Again, sneaking in because I was too afraid of being caught with one to have a fake ID.) But that was the extent of my wild and crazy ways.

So, yeah... I suppose I coulda been sorta cool, even living in Iowa.

If only I wasn't such a wuss.


So many missed opportunities...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Day Late and Postage Due: Theme Thursday

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

This week's Theme Thursday topic is "Late", so rather than being late in getting a post out, I thought I'd recycle this sad statement on my dating history...

(Original post date: February 5, 2009)

Valentine's Day is coming soon. Someone just pointed that out to me today. It's not one of my favorite "holidays". Probably because I've never experienced the joy of getting a heart-shaped box of candy or a dozen roses of any color from a boy. My older sister was the one to whom those deliveries were addressed. I always watched with the hope that one day the delivery would be for me.

As a kid I loved decorating a shoe box with pink and red crepe paper each year in the hope that my classmates would fill it full of valentines. Back then the valentines were usually homemade. Red construction paper, doilies, glue and crayolas were the basic materials used to make them. (There's something really cool about the sound of kid scissors cutting through construction paper. Very satisfying.) Those who were really creative used glitter as well. Of course there were also the candy hearts that some people would glue onto the cards. Definitely not as tasty after being pried off the cards three months later, though. Most exciting to find in your box were the heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting that some mothers would make with their children. You were truly blessed if one of those ended up in your box. Sadly, there weren't any rules back then about making sure you gave a card to everyone in the class. Invariably there was some poor schmuck who had noticeably fewer cards than the other children. (Usually the kid whose box was a plain paper bag.) While I never had the fewest, my box was occasionally not quite as full as some others'. It always made me a little sad.

As I got older, the girls I knew started getting frilly cards from boys in the mail. However, the only time I ever got a valentine from a real live boy, it arrived a day late and postage due.

Seriously! I'm not kidding!

I was in college at the time and apparently the young lad thought he was depositing the card into the campus mail box, which provides free delivery between campus buildings. In actuality, the box he deposited the card into was one designated by the United States Postal Service for the collection of letters with stamps on them. When you don't affix one of said colorful stamps onto the envelope, the dedicated men and women of the USPS go through rain or sleet or dark of night to find you a day later and demand payment for the service they have rendered by bringing the card to you. Needless to say, I was not impressed by the young man's ardor. (Or lack thereof.) Especially as the card itself was extremely tacky, featuring a leering young man and including an equally distasteful sentiment written inside. Ewww! Gross!

What a disappointment!

Years later, I still await the thrill of a well-appointed card, chocolates or flowers from a boy on Valentine's Day. I'm not holding my breath, though. If I get a postage-due slip from the post office in my mailbox on February 14, I think I'll just leave it there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fight Injustice by Feeling Your Boobies!

Here it is, WTF Wednesday, and there's news out of the medical community that we're getting too many mammograms. WTF? This is NOT the kind of thing I normally like to parade out for WTF Wednesday. This one is an Injustice worthy of fighting against.

For years our doctors have been trying to talk us into getting poked, prodded and squished once a year after age 40. And we listened.

Having your boobs crushed in a mammogram machine to the point of exploding is not the most pleasant of experiences. But I've had several friends who are now cancer survivors because they tortured themselves yearly with these exams. So I believe! I'm always a little nervous going in to the procedure and always feel a sense of relief getting that slip of paper saying nothing untoward was seen on the films.

So why are they now reversing their recommendation? Is it a cost saving measure? Why do I keep thinking that it's as simple as that? If that's the reason, then it's wrong! Are our lives not worthy of a simple procedure once a year?

Guess it's up to us now to
Feel Our Boobies!

And guys... you can help us out here too... feel our boobies! Because you care!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faerieland: Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami has a series called Sundays in my City and I'm joining the tour this week. When you're out for your Sunday blog walk, be sure to visit her to see who else is participating this week!

During my recent stay in the country I got to explore my friend's gardens with their hidden treasures. Now is the time of year that the gardens are being "put to bed" for the winter. But there are still things to discover... especially the faeries.

Some are in plain sight and others are hidden.

It's a treat to come across one of these.

One saves water in a flower for the birds.

Some are impish.

While others are more

Some faeries show the effects of the seasons, but have friends to keep them company.

Their expressions seem to change depending upon the time of day and the time of year.

And there's always the frog prince to keep them company...

All are a delightful treat to stumble upon!

Here's hoping that you'll find your own hidden treasures this week!
Related Posts with Thumbnails