Category Archives: Life ‘n’ Stuff

Prime Day?

So yesterday was Amazon’s “Prime Day” which seems like it’s supposed to be a really big deal, based on the hundred bazillion emails they send out telling us how great the deals are going to be. I barely looked this year since last year was disappointing and I couldn’t think of anything specific that I wanted except maybe another pair of those stretchy shoes in the “bronze” color but no luck there. I suppose I could have bought a new improved Kindle. Even at the regular price some of the new ones cost one-third or less of what the one I have cost and have touch screens (and the screens are supposed to be brighter) but I didn’t think of it and didn’t even look at the electronics. The old one still works and I’ll probably keep it until it doesn’t work anymore. A couple of times I thought it had quit – the screen was doing weird things – but I just turned it off and let it rest a while and when I turned it back on it was fine.

I don’t know… is it just me? I guess it depends on what you’re interested in. Does it seem to anyone out there that Prime Day even comes close to living up to the hype? When someone makes a point of telling me something is going to be great, big, huge, awesome, and fantastic I expect it to be, if not really great, big, huge, awesome, and fantastic, at least good and a little bit out of the ordinary. It seems to me that it would be better – for the customer at least – if instead of specific items being on sale they offered everyone discounts on the stuff on their personal recommendations lists.

Time

Time – or our perception of it – is a funny thing and the older we get the weirder time seems. You can think of an event in your life 30 or 40 years ago (or 39 years ago or whatever) and you think it can’t possibly have been that long ago but, at the same time, it feels like it was impossibly long ago and that more than a lifetime of things have happened between then and now.

Shoe Review

I first started seeing those woven elastic shoes a couple of years ago, maybe longer. It seems really recent but I know it’s been longer than it feels like. At first I thought they might be one of those things that most people either love or hate and get all worked up about way out of proportion and I wasn’t sure which side I would be on. Then last 4th of July I noticed my sister-in-law was wearing a pair of them and I asked her about them. She said that they are the only kind of shoes she wears now.

My sister-in-law and I have very little in common, fashion-wise. She is more conventionally fashionable than I am. (I’m more like, “Oh, that’s fashionable now? Get it away from me.”) But anyway, the shoes – I’m always looking (usually unsuccessfully) for comfortable shoes that look appropriate with dresses and some of the more recent styles of these are fairly attractive. The earlier styles I saw looked a little tacky or clunky to me. So, I’ve been curious about them and finally got around to trying a pair about a month ago and then bought two more pair.

Shoe selfies are a bit awkward so these are not the best shoe modeling photos.

Stretch shoes, silver, pink

This first pair is Bernie Mev brand. They look more grey than silver in this photo but in real life they’re definitely sparkly silver with a subtle bit of pink trim. They feel like house shoes, very comfortable and kind of flimsy. The sole is very thin and it almost feels wrong to wear them outside the house.

Stretch shoes, multi-color

This multi-colored pair I actually saw at Walmart a few weeks before I bought the silver ones and thought about buying them but didn’t. I’m not a snob about Walmart generally but I am a snob about buying their shoes or any cheap shoes but I went back and bought these. In some ways they are actually better shoes than the silver ones. The sole is sturdier, like an athletic shoe sole, and they have a very thick cushiony insole. Downsides: The heel piece is very stiff and uncomfortable. I bought stick-on heel pads and that fixed that problem. The other thing about them is they are rather tight with a very strong elasticity. They’re fine when I’m standing or walking but when I’m sitting down, not putting weight on my feet they put the squeeze on my toes.

Stretch shoes, navy blue

This navy blue pair, received just a couple of days ago, are Sketchers brand and they’re the best of the three – sturdy enough sole, cushy insole, and just right stretch. I’m trying to resist the temptation to get one or two more pair of these. The “bronze” ones would be very useful. They would go with a lot of different clothes. But I tell myself I need to wait a while and see how well these hold up in the long run.

I’m not ready to give up all other shoes because I still like most of my other shoes but I can really understand why someone would want to wear these exclusively. I can see myself wearing them more and more.

Happy Friday

I started writing a post about how crazy the world is lately but I only managed two sentences and then got stuck. People thinking the life of a zoo animal is more important than the life of a three-year-old human child, people thinking that running someone off the road is okay, even justified, Donald Trump might be our next president… What is wrong with people?

Never mind. The sun is shining, finally. I can’t go out and personally slap some sense into everyone who needs it so I’m just going to laugh at it all and move on. Seriously though, sometimes I wish I was a big celebrity so I could say stuff on TV and millions of people would hear it. Boy would everyone get an earful!

Nothing to Say But I’m Going to Talk Anyway

I am finding that day after day I have nothing I want to write about here and I’d rather be doing something else anyway. I keep thinking maybe I should just admit that I’ve finally had enough of this blogging thing but I keep going because I always think, “What if I change my mind next week?” There’s certainly enough going on in the world and I have opinions about it all but not enough motivation to turn any of it into a coherent and interesting blog post. Even bitching about people in Walmart who stop with their shopping carts diagonally across the middle of the aisle and such like rudeness doesn’t seem all that fun anymore. I’ve said it all before.

My own life is pleasantly boring, just the way I like it. Nothing anyone would be interested in reading even if I wanted to share. Eventually I may get around to talking about what I’m watching on TV and the latest book I’ve read. I can post pictures of trees and flowers and cats. I can post videos and link to various fascinating nonsense. But is that enough to keep a blog going? Especially when it has begun to seem like work to do even that?

Oh don’t worry, I’m not quitting anytime soon but I might only post once or twice a week and I am eventually going to switch back to a free Blogger blog which I won’t feel so bad about neglecting. I sort of hate to do that, for several reasons but I feel like it’s either that or just quit completely and I really don’t want to do that.

Friday the 13th Thoughts

I am not superstitious about Friday the 13th. Well, maybe a little but in a different way. I always know it will be a good day, because it always has been. Friday the 13th is always a pretty good day for me. Sometimes unexpected bad things happen, on any day, but generally, if you expect a day to be good it will be good and if you expect it to be bad it will be bad. It all has to do with how you look at things – whether the little annoying things that always happen are a big, fat, hairy deal or you just shrug them off and move on. Sorry if I’m starting to sound preachy. I sometimes have trouble shrugging things off and moving on myself so I’m not just speaking as if from “on high”. Friday the 13th though – by deciding that a day that’s supposed to be a day of bad luck is instead actually lucky because nothing big bad has ever happened to me on that day I make it an especially good day. Usually. You never know what can happen. (Just added that last part so as not to anger the bad luck spirits 😉 )

Lame Excuse Post

Yesterday we were having connectivity issues. Today I have a lot of other things I need to do. And, to be honest, I’m really almost completely out of blogging steam. Should I make fun of Donald Trump? I feel like I should be horrified that he might be our next president but I am more relieved that Ted Cruz will not be. No matter who wins I am going to get a t-shirt with Obama’s picture on it and the words, “Miss me yet?” and wear it on Inauguration Day.

But enough of that; I don’t do politics. (except when I’ve got nothing better to say and I can’t resist the temptation) What else? The weather? It’s kinda nice and kinda stinks. Afternoons this week have been beautiful and perfect but mornings are too cold for May. I want to wear a dress! A cool breezy summer dress and I want to wear it all day, not just for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I can’t really explain to you how badly I want that.

Here’s another nice spring photo. I actually took this one about a month ago.

Sunburst locust

This ‘n’ That

The sun came out yesterday! Looks like we should have three or four nice days before it starts raining again. Honestly, we need the rain and sometimes I even enjoy it but after three straight days of rain and not seeing the sun at all for even longer I get a little tired of it.

So, it looks like this will be the last season of Castle as we know it. If they’re going to write out Beckett and Lanie I wish they would just go ahead and end the series. I would like to say that I will not watch it without these two characters but I can’t make a firm commitment to not watching. Curiosity sometimes kills my intentions. Nathan Fillion hasn’t signed his contract yet so season 9 isn’t a certainty. On the last episode there was a huge opening for Castle and Beckett to literally ride off into the sunset together. I hope that’s what happens. It’s been a good eight seasons. Don’t spoil it, ABC. End it well.

Hmmm… sorry, that’s all I’ve got right now; here’s a cat video.

White

There used to be this “rule” that you should only wear white between Easter and Labor Day. Now I’m not going to be all judgey about people who don’t follow this rule and talk about how people have no sense of what’s proper anymore; (even though they really don’t) I break a few fashion rules myself. If there are any rules that are made to be broken it is fashion rules, but personally, I like rules like this. It seems to me that dressing appropriately for the season gives a pleasing kind of structure to life. And having a rule that you’re allowed to break adds a little fun to life.

I don’t wear white a lot anyway, though. I’m afraid of it showing dirt and stains. I am, I’m ashamed to admit, a rather messy eater. It’s like I’ve got a hole in my lower lip or something. No matter how hard I try, whatever I’m eating is going to end up on my clothes. So, white? Not a great idea for me. But a while back I got this brain fart idea that I really need a white skirt. Of course I dismissed the idea because it was just too crazy but it wouldn’t go away so I finally decided, just get some cheap white twill from Wal-mart, make a skirt and if I ruin it it won’t be a huge loss. I can always get some more cheap white twill and try again. I haven’t made it yet because I’m planning a button front skirt and I’m waiting on the world’s slowest online retailer to finally send me my fricking buttons! Yes, Wal-mart has white buttons too but I didn’t like the ones they had.

This year Easter was early so I’m not really feeling the white yet but I am also thinking about what shoes to wear with my new white skirt. I have the hardest time trying to find white shoes. Oh, there are lots of white shoes out there but none in a style I like, or can at least live with, in one of my few trusted brands. I own only one pair of white shoes, Dr. Scholl’s mocs, but they’re not really comfortable. They are sort of comfortable but also sort of not. Mostly not.

So anyway… I don’t know about the shoes but otherwise this year I’m going to give this wearing white thing a try.

Crazy Oklahoma Weather

We have been having spring-like weather all winter. In January and February we had lots of days when the temperature was over 70°F and a few over 80°. But now? Now that it is officially spring? Freezing nights and chilly days. For me, being a warm weather person, this is so disappointing. I suppose there is a good side to it: maybe there will be fewer mosquitoes and ticks than there would have been if the temps had stayed above freezing. That’s what people say anyway.

I probably complain about the weather as much as anyone else but the truth is, the weird weather is actually one of the things I like about living in Oklahoma. For 70% to 80% of the year we can have any kind of weather and for the other 20% to 25% we are practically guaranteed nice warm or hot sunny weather, which I know doesn’t make everyone happy but it makes me happy and complaining makes other people happy so everyone’s happy, right? (Except me when I have to listen to the complaining)

But anyway… It was 28°F first thing this morning but it looks like it’s going to warm up and we’ll have highs in the 70’s this week but no more 80’s for a while, which is not quite sundress weather but I’ll take it.

A Photo Op That Got Away

Probably everyone who owns a camera has experienced missing what might have been a great photo. You would think that wouldn’t happen so much anymore with everyone having a phone with a built in camera that you have with you all the time but moments are only moments, here and gone before your hand can reach your pocket.

Yesterday afternoon we kept hearing sirens and for a while we just thought the local fire department were out playing with their toys doing practice runs to improve their response time but then we started hearing helicopters and finally we remembered grass fires are a thing around here and went outside to see if we could see smoke or fire or which direction all the trucks and helicopters were going.

We – husband, both sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and I – were standing out in the driveway and we heard a helicopter getting closer. It came up over the trees carrying one of those giant water “buckets”, right over our backyard – really close. It would have made a great photo and there were five of us out there with smart phones but not a one of us got a picture. We thought it might come back so we waited for a while but it never did.

We could hear it flying back and forth farther away and occasionally catch a glimpse of it through the trees. We thought we might be able to see it better if we walked down through the woods to the very back of our place. I ran into the house to get my actual camera and then followed everyone else. It was some distance from us still and we could just see it through the trees once in a while. I managed to get this not-very-good photo. The round thing below it in the trees is the bucket. My camera has a 20X zoom and I don’t think I was quite zoomed in all the way but probably more than half way so maybe about 12X?

Helicopter

We never did see smoke or fire. My sons decided to drive over that direction to see if they could see anything and the cops at the roadblock told them it was not that big of a fire; they were just using helicopters because the trucks couldn’t get to it. So… that was our Sunday afternoon redneck entertainment.

Peace Between Species

I get so tired of absolutely everything being like a little war – as if everyone has to agree with you and if you can’t convince them to change their minds they’re your sworn enemies. And it’s not just the relatively big things like Democrat vs. Republican or Bears vs. Packers; (Yes that is a big thing; shut up.) it’s even silly little things like which phone is best or which soft drink or which species of pet. Fortunately, it’s mostly online that we see this sort of thing but even online I’m still tired of it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a cat person. As popular as cat videos are, dog people are clearly winning the propaganda wars because it’s okay to say you don’t like cats but to come right out and say you don’t like dogs seems to be almost like saying, “I would have voted for Hitler.” You can say, “I’m really not a dog person,” in a properly embarrassed tone, as if you realize that this means there’s something wrong with you, but you can’t ever just simply say that you don’t like dogs. On the other hand, it’s perfectly okay not only to say you don’t like cats but to proudly say you don’t like cats and to insult them and spread lies about them.

Now, having said that, the truth is I honestly don’t totally dislike dogs. I like admiring dogs from a distance and occasionally visiting and petting other people’s dogs; I just don’t like having a dog following me around all the time begging for attention or laying around staring at me or perking up and looking at me every time I move to see what I’m going to do next. It makes me feel uncomfortable – like I have an audience for every moment of my life. Many dogs are also too energetic for my tastes. But that’s just me. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want in a pet.

If you don’t like cats, that makes me very sad but I won’t think you’re a bad person (tempting as it is to point out that some of the worst people in history hated cats) but you don’t have to insult cats or try to convince me that dogs are better. If you don’t like cats because all they do is lay around and ignore you and because your friends’ cats won’t immediately come to you and show affection that’s okay. You just want something different in a pet and there’s nothing wrong with that. But please DO NOT make wild assumptions about cat personality and what cats are “really” thinking. If you dislike cats dislike them for their observable habits, not your wild imagination. Also understand that even their observable habits may not be what you think because cats behave differently toward their families than they do toward other people. If you have never had a cat in your family you do not know cats. Also understand that cats are as individual as dogs and people so if you’ve known just one or two cats you still don’t know cats.

If you really want to know why some of us like cats, here’s an excellent article. I don’t expect any dog people to be cat converts after reading it, just maybe a little bit more understanding and open minded.

We actually don’t have to choose just one or the other. We could behave more like these guys:

A Brief Rant

What is the freaking deal with UPS shipping charges!? It seems to me that with the price of gasoline the lowest it’s been in over a decade shipping should be going down not up. I know! I know! They have other expenses – salaries, insurance, maintenance, etc. but fuel has to be one of the biggest expenses and it freaking pisses me off when the cost of shipping is more than the price of the item I’m ordering. In this case it’s a jar of cherry butter from the Pepper Palace. It ships from Sevierville, TN. Their nearest retail store is in Branson, MO and I’m not exaggerating all that much when I say I could drive to Branson for what they charge for shipping. Next time we’re in Branson I think I’m going to buy a year’s supply of cherry butter and anything else I think I might want.

A “Nice” Day

I should be thankful that the latest “Worst Blizzard Ever” completely missed us this time. The weather has actually been very nice for January. But it is still cold and mostly gray and the local weather forecast keeps telling us that a little bit of warmth and sunshine are only a few days away. Last week Monday (today) was supposed to be warm; now this coming Friday is supposed to be warm. Yesterday was sunny and not terribly cold and this morning at 7:00 AM it was 51 degrees so I expected that today would be even better. Disappointingly, that was the today’s high. By 10:30 it had dropped to 41 degrees and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the day. And it’s also cloudy and windy. So I am not believing the Friday forecast. Nope. Can’t fool me again.

I also had a particularly annoying trip to town this morning. First I went to a local farm and ranch supply/feed store to buy dog food. They have a spinning rack of those redneck greeting cards right by the door and there was a woman standing there looking at them, standing right in the doorway even though there was plenty of room on the other side of the rack to stand out of the way. She didn’t move out of the way when the door opened so I had to sort of squeeze by her. A few minutes later the same woman nearly ran me over with a shopping cart.

Next stop: Walmart. Another woman almost ran me over with a shopping cart in the parking lot. She blamed the wind but, although it was windy it was not windy enough to blow shopping carts around. Inside it wasn’t really busy and I was pleased that I was able to get my stuff without too much hassle but then I go to check out and a woman ahead of me in line was arguing about something. I waited a couple of minutes but the next checkout over had only one person and was down to the last few items so I moved to that checkout but then that person wanted to pay with an old-fashioned check and the automatic check reader kept rejecting it. Well, the line I was in originally cleared out so I moved back over there and finally got checked out.

Okay, so it wasn’t really all that bad a time but the “one thing after another” aspect of it really annoyed me. People not paying attention, people acting like they are the only person in the store, people refusing to accept what a store employee tells them over and over again, technology that won’t work like it’s supposed to, people who refuse to use debit cards (because those do work most of the time) and so on. It makes me just want to curl up with a book and forget everything else I was going to do today.

This ‘n’ That

The world is gray. We haven’t seen the sun for days. Right now there is a trace of snow on the ground. It’s just one degree above freezing and that will not change much today. It could be worse. It could be much worse but I’m tired of this. There’s only one thing I can do about it: sew something pink.

I finished a book and I really want to “review” it but most of what I wanted to say about it has gone from my head (and for once I do have quite a bit that I want to say about it) so I’m going to have to think about it for a while longer.

Just when you think the presidential campaign can’t get any more hilarious Sarah Palin comes along and endorses Donald Trump. I don’t usually do politics but I just had to say that.

I can’t remember if I’ve linked to this yet or not. The Mythbusters’ Adam Savage has a sister who is an artist – Kate Savage. It looks like she does mostly portraits, including some fantasy or sci-fi portraits.

I’m sort of running out of steam here so how about a funny video…

OMG! Winter is Here!

Today is the kind of day that makes me wish I could crawl under a big, thick blanket and not come out until spring. The weather has been so nice but Friday night it started raining and it hasn’t stopped since. (Was it Friday night? It feels like it’s been raining forever.) This morning we have sleet. It’s covering everything and it looks like snow but it’s sleet. My stupid cat was freaking out about the noise from the wind and sleet and wanted to go outside to get away from it. I had to open the door to show him that outside is where the noise coming from. He decided that it’s not so scary inside the house after all.

I’m sort of in “What now?” mode right now anyway. I need to clean up the house and start another sewing project and generally just get back to the normal routine but it’s sort of hard to believe I don’t have something big going on – something out of the ordinary that I have to do. So I might just read a book for a while.

UPDATE: On the other hand, I could just sit and watch the Mythbusters marathon all day.

Seasonal Things

All the Christmas gifts are wrapped and under the tree (at least those for the immediate family) and looking at them makes me ridiculously happy even though very few of them are for me. I bought and wrapped most of them. I am eagerly anticipating the time when the whole family will be here to unwrap them all but also I am a little sad that it will all soon be over. But also, a little bit glad that it will all soon be over and life can get back to the usual routine. Funny, isn’t it?

This season always goes pretty much the same way for me. In October or November I might think of one or two things I want to buy people for Christmas but by Thanksgiving week I’m starting to panic a little bit because, except for the one or two things, I have no idea what to buy for anyone. But then I start shopping and I start seeing things and getting inspired and buying things and I always find it hard to stop.

There will be no White Christmas for us this year. It is going to be unseasonably warm all week. I am not too bummed about that. I’m not a winter person. I sort of like the romantic notion of a White Christmas and yeah, snow is pretty, but for practical considerations – dressing warmly enough, driving – I’d rather it wait for some normal weekend when we have nowhere to go and then be (at least mostly) gone by Monday. Which does happen here.

Cups of Warmth

Every winter for the last several I have made a resolution to drink more tea and herbal tea instead of hot chocolate in order to save a few calories but I never even make it to the official first day of winter. I am hooked on the many wonderful flavors of Land O’ Lakes Hot Cocoa. The local stores haven’t had any yet this year though so I haven’t had any. But I will very soon; thank you, Amazon. My “vice” this year so far has been Hills Brothers White Chocolate Caramel Cappuccino mix. Wonderful stuff! I am not a coffee drinker so this is perfect for me as it contains very little actual coffee.

Haven’t mentioned that a couple of weekends ago we went to Branson and did a little shopping. I discovered the Spice and Tea Exchange. I bought a couple of teas and a curry seasoning mix. I absolutely love their Chocolate Candy Cane black tea, which surprises me a little bit. I have had chocolate flavored tea before and was disappointed with it and decided that chocolate and tea simply don’t go together but this is different, I think because it is excellent tea and the chocolate and mint flavors are very subtle. It’s not a clash of tea vs. chocolate. The one big negative is that it’s rather expensive. The price of a little one ounce packet is nearly seven dollars. So I suppose I should just limit this to a once a year treat.

We also stopped in at The Pepper Palace. I so much wish there was one of these closer to us. Of course, I can shop their website but it’s not the same. Actually, I think shopping on the website is probably easier. When I walk into their store I am overwhelmed by the variety of sauces and other items. I could spend hours, or possibly days, reading all the labels and even more hours reading them again and trying to decide what I want. I ended up coming home with a jar of cherry butter and a bottle of Orange Chipotle Sauce and both are awesome. Chicken is the obvious thing to go with the orange chipotle sauce but I have also tried it on a hamburger and loved it. Someone in NE Oklahoma please, please, please open a Pepper Palace! Maybe in Owasso; that big shopping center over there would be a good place for it.

Just a Weird Observation

It’s probably just me but have you ever noticed that the kind of clothes you change into at the end of the day (sweats or whatever) are not as comfortable if you wear them all day? Often I get up in the morning and put on sweats, thinking that I’m going to wear them all day because I’m not going anywhere, but then after a couple of hours they start to feel not right somehow and I have to change into something more fitted – this time of year, stretch jeans or stretch corduroy slacks and some kind of shirt. But then of course, around suppertime I’m ready for the sweats again. It seems to be the changing into something different that makes me comfortable. That’s just during the cold months though. In the summer I usually wear a dress all day long unless the air conditioning starts to feel too cold in the evening.

This ‘n’ That

Here’s something I should have mentioned a long time ago and by “a long time ago” I actually mean a couple of weeks. That’s a long time in the Internet. Anyway, I read The Wisdomfold Path. I loved it. Great adventure. I sort of feel bad for not writing a real review but that’s really all I can think of to say. It’s well-written, an interesting story and I enjoyed the adventure.

I love The Mountain t-shirts and here are all of them. Well, 29 pages of 12 per page. I’m just assuming that’s all of them. Actually, I don’t love every one of them. I’m just not into gorillas, bears, dogs, horses, and sharks and a few others are just weird or ugly but they do have a lot of really awesome designs. Krakitten is a new one. Adorable. And possibly my favorite shirt ever – The Witching Hour. Lots of others I like. I do like other things besides cats.

These Crazy Star Trek Theories are all ridiculous and make me sad. Except #2. That’s awesome and must be true.

23 X-Rated Historical Facts – Possibly NSFW but not really all that bad. I knew some of these – the ones about Mozart and Ben Franklin and a a couple of others. Funny how we always think of people in the past being more “straight-laced” than in the present.

I actually have most of my Christmas shopping done, which surprises me a little. I only have a few more things to buy and a little Christmas sewing to do and that’s it. And except for some wrapping paper and one other item I’ve done it all online. That makes me just a teensy bit sad because I have this romantic ideal about old-fashioned shopping in stores but in reality that can be not so much fun this time of year.