Rodents Everywhere

Now that the hounds go into the coop every morning to hunt for the rat, it’s moved out, however Calvin said it sneaks in and steals chicken feed.  So I got a couple of sturdy Tupperware containers with lids for him to put the feed in, and plan to continue the hound inspections for safety’s sake.  I hated it when the rat ran out, nearly colliding with me, as the dogs had found it under one of the brood boxes I moved.

Then the other morning the dogs were insisting there was something behind the fridge.  As I moved it I saw a large rat dart out into the entrance, Frieda in hot pursuit.  Poor Louie was on the other side of the fridge so it took him a second longer to get there, and by then brave Frieda had killed the rat.  I showed it to Calvin who was quite impressed at the size.

And I can’t blame the dogs at all as it’s the cats who bring the rodents into the house and let them go.  Frieda emits a very high-pitched scream when I open the bedroom door in the mornings to let the dogs out if she’s smelled a rodent.  So the other day she sounded like a steam kettle leaving the room and both hounds ran to the back bedroom barking and scratching at the book case.

I moved it, and sure enough, Frieda came out holding a dead mouse.  They never eat them which is great, and it was so adorable as for a moment Louie also held the mouse so they were sharing it like the spaghetti scene out of Lady and the Tramp.  But as I’ve said before I really do get tired of the rodent bits lying around either balled in my blankets, or spat onto the ground.

As nice as the landscaping job is at mom’s, it involves small boulders and other gravel and so poor Louie tore off his baby toe nail on our last visit.  Alan made a path through the rocks so I’ll have to take Louie on it several times and admonish him if he tries to take a shortcut as he’ll just lose another nail.

He wouldn’t stop licking it so I called the nice vet to come and she said when a dog loses a claw like that the interior pulp stays behind, and this is the tiny piece of meat he was licking and licking.  She said I should get a baby sock and tape it on but I just keep threatening him with it.  “You’re gettin’ a sock” is shouted at him many times a day.

$136 later for the vet call plus antibiotics for the toe, so will be sure to train both dogs on the use of the path.  I’m going again on Wednesday and will have to steel my nerves for a two-nighter.  As I just said to my friends, I’m trying to cut down on the stress-shopping and the stress-eating however feel the stress-drinking is perfectly fine.

It rained for a couple of days a few days ago, so I bought some fabric at thrift and recovered a valance in the spare bedroom.  It was a mathematical puzzle at first, but I managed to do it and felt proud at the end result.  In many ways it’s kind of a miracle I did it at all given my happiness at wasting hours on You Tube videos.  But think of all the things I’m learning, free.

Already one of the sprinklers is leaking so I need the irrigation company, the key wouldn’t come out of the lock so I need a new set, and the faucet a plumber installed is loose, which needs fixing.  In other words, a life with small worries even with rats.

New Yorkers are So Nice

I don’t think I’ve ever met friendlier people than those in New York.  We stayed at an Airbnb in Brooklyn, took the subway to Manhattan daily, and everywhere we went we were helped, and we needed a lot of help.  It was several days into the visit before I fully understood we were on the subway going ‘Downtown’ to Brooklyn, and ‘Uptown’ meant Manhattan.  I think we only went the wrong way once, so we felt pretty proud of ourselves.

If someone told us where to go, and we began going the wrong way, people would run after us to help.  Once I asked a group of women in the bathroom after a play if anyone knew where the subway station for Brooklyn was, and a super nice woman said she was taking that train so we could accompany her.

We had the hilarious “run as fast as you can” to our connecting flight from Montreal to New York, but we made it, and after that I guess we just gave in to being over-stimulated and decided to do as much as we humanly could.  Both of us said this is likely the last time we’ll see New York City, so let’s try out best.

On our first day we went to the Empire State Building where they have an adorable museum and in one of the areas King Kong lurks outside a corner window, looking in at us menacingly.  For some reason we decided their gift shop would be fun, and both left going why oh why did I spend so much money on junk?

That day we wandered around 5th Avenue, saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral and also the Rockefeller Centre, then through Central Park so were absolutely exhausted when we got home.  The next days were pretty much the same, Central Park, Times Square and we managed to see four plays: Sweeney Todd, Good Night Oscar, The Book of Mormon and Moulin Rouge.  Not cheap, but really worthwhile.

We spent four hours at the Museum of Natural History one day, and four hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the next.  Again, evil gift stores at both museums, and so we both went home with polished rocks, and I got a dinosaur-themed shot glass and a really lovely navy and white dragon-themed bowl at the Met.

One afternoon we met Jerry Jr who lives in Manhattan for a drink.  He met us at the Met and we walked through Central Park and tried to find the most expensive hoity toit bar we could, but were foiled.  We went into the Ritz, didn’t like the atmosphere, then tried the Plaza Hotel, but would’ve had to wait for a table, so we said forget it, and ended up at an Irish Pub where we could throw down drinks and thank the Gaels.

We saw the hilarious Naked Cowboy with his boots and hat playing guitar on Times Square.  I wanted to get a picture with him, but that would’ve meant giving him money and I said to Bev I don’t know where I’d have to stick the cash so I’d rather not.  Also saw a fabulous guy with a giant sign, Hell Is Real.  Bev said yeah, and we’re in it.

On our last day we visited Bev’s friend in Queens, then ended with a tour of the lovely Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  And then, sure as middle-aged stomach fat, we had the heart-stopping “run as fast as you can” to make our tight connection from Montreal to Vancouver.  Whoever plans these must just kill themselves laughing.

Nerves Totally Shot

I’m off to White Rock later today as tomorrow my friend Beverly and I are off to New York City for a week of sightseeing and general hilarity.  You’d think I’d be over the moon with excitement, which I am, however all this is tempered with nervousness.  Why?  Because I just found out mom had another TIA (transient ischemic attack) last evening.

It’s kind of hard to plan things however if mom can just pull herself together I’ll be back in a week, so here’s hoping.  Alan the wonderful handyman from Nova Scotia is thankfully there with her, so that’s one bright spot. 

I was just there for two nights, and the place is looking pretty damned good.  Alan and his helpers brought in several tons of rocks which went between the two houses and looks very nice. He also put a wall in front of the ghastly propane tank so we don’t have to look at it from mom’s house.

I know in my heart Calvin will take excellent care of the house and pets, however as a mentally ill gardener I’m worried about the plants.  As I type this, I have a sprinkler on as it’s 25 degrees out and I know the irrigation system just doesn’t provide all the water I seem to think those plants need.  I basically drive myself crazy with neuroses.

Luke’s off to France for ten days as part of his new job with BC Tree Fruits.  He’s going to a city called Toulouse where he’ll be learning how to use the fancy new sorting machine they bought, and then that’ll be his job: keep that machine running.  He’s never been to Europe so he’s super excited about it all.  Who wouldn’t be?

All of this should work out with mom, as he’ll leave for France and I’ll be returning from New York, so we can somehow juggle gramma’s care.  Jan’s also there, and that’s a huge quandary for all as she doesn’t drive and so we have to figure out how that woman’s going to get to her job at Mariposa. 

Yesterday when I left Osoyoos I thought it’s so adorable, Luke, Jan and gramma all cause nervous prostration, each in their own way.  It’s really quite wonderful to be at home with just the Hell of the house and garden.  My own handyman, Gilles, pointed out the entire fascia board surrounding the house needs to be replaced.  To own a house means you never have to wonder about where your money is going.

I’m still packing and unpacking, though I’m leaving in a few hours, so I do hope I can make up my mind.  Apparently it’s only around 15 degrees in NYC, and leaving here at 25 degrees makes it somewhat difficult psychologically to pack socks and shoes.  We’re both just taking carry-on, so that’s a good thing as for one week we don’t need an awful lot of outfits.

I made a list of attractions, you know the usual, Empire State Building, Central Park, Greenwich Village, but I also googled Salvation Army stores in Manhattan as surely some wealthy folks will have thrown their designer duds to them?  We can only hope.

If I return to mom and the garden both alive, it’ll be great.  I just wrote out the instructions to Beverly’s house in White Rock and feel totally sick at the complexity, so again, shot nerves….

Seventeen Years of Blogging

According to Mr. Google, “most experts agree the first blog was, created in 1994 by then-student Justin Hall as a place to publish his writing.”  Hard to believe, I know, but I started my blog in April 1996.  And this is only thanks to my then baking and webpage assistant, Gord Grisenthwaite, as I was in the fruitcake business.

Yes, a lot has happened in seventeen years, but as you can probably agree, time flies.  My precious dog Louie turned ten on April 1st and I can remember the day I brought him home like it was yesterday.  This wonderful dog remains the joy of my life, even though now obese with a bald stomach covered in black spots.  However at nearly 69 I shouldn’t be judging anyone’s aging process lest someone point out my crumbling flesh.

Mom’s former handyman, Alan, is coming from Nova Scotia to work on the house and yard.  Isn’t that amazing?  Most people hire a handyman who lives in their town, but mom’s handyman’s coming thousands of miles to do all manner of things Luke’s refused to do over the past two years.  Luke doesn’t mind working around their own little house, but anything in or around mom’s house is anathema.

It’s difficult, as Luke’s 36 and impatient, and mom’s 98 and persnickety so the combination is bad, whereas somehow she and Alan could fiddle around by the hour in her xeriscape garden.  Alan filled it with large rocks and fossils found in the hills around the town.

Mom: Alan, move that rock a foot to the right.  Come here and stand with me.

Alan: Yes, I think that looks fine.

Mom:  No, now that I’m looking at it again, I’d like it moved another six inches to the right.

Alan: Okee dokee.

Very few people like to work that way, so we’re thanking God Alan’s coming.  I made a list of things for him to do, but he’s also there to get the yard in shape since we placed the modular there last year.  We need his vision to turn it into something completely adorable.  I’m even planning to stain the deck down at the beach, so it’ll be quite the push to get the place in shape before he has to fly back home.

I now live in a cloud of cat box odour, yet I have outdoor cats and no litter box, but Calvin the basement tenant has one for his nice orange tabby named Felix.  I told him it stinks in the basement, however I think because of the furnace I seem to be chewing on clay up here, hence it must be getting into the air as fine particles.  The stench is the dead giveaway.

Oh well, into every life a little rain must fall, right?  And speaking of that, every one of my stored dahlias came out of storage mucky so that was a complete heartbreak as some were huge.  I threw them out, drove straight to Art Knapps, and spent over $100.00 to start over again with teeny bulbs.

Spring is hunting season and I’ve had a mouse’s head balled up in my bedspread, and a rat’s head left on the floor beside my bed.  Last night I heard George making his “I have prey” sounds so I closed my bedroom door.  I’m tired of rodents and their bits in my room.

Math Challenges

Beverly, my pal from the old days of teaching the deaf in Prince George, and I are off to New York for a week of theatre in early May.  The sad part of it all is that I can’t understand Air Canada’s math.  It would’ve been straightforward had I not decided to use a voucher from a previously cancelled flight.  I applied this to the fare, paid, Bev repaid me that amount, and we thought all was well.

Then a while later Air Canada decided instead of flying us out in the morning, as we had booked, we would be leaving at midnight the day prior, arriving in Montreal in the morning where we would wait until 5:00 PM for a flight to New York.  We looked at that and went, no, and cancelled, and I got a promise for a new voucher.

I then found another flight, again allegedly leaving in the morning, arriving in New York early evening, and instead if waiting for the credit from Air Canada, just paid the new fare entirely.  Bev again sent half.

Now I got a weird refund from Air Canada, that’s around half the amount, and of course don’t have the new credit card bill with this recent flight booked/refunded, so God only knows what’s happened.  You have to remember I failed math 11 so anything with vouchers, new bookings, refunds, payments received from Bev, are a big head-scratcher to someone this mathematically challenged.

Oh well, I have yard work to think about and love to run away from these types of mental tests, so will kill myself out there instead.  I have an old perennial I wanted to dig out, and it’s so dry and compacted I couldn’t even get the shovel into the ground. The tip went in about a centimetre and when I tried to push my foot down on the shovel it boinged me over and I stumbled and went wow, that’s never coming out of there.

So I did the only sensible thing a person could do, I emailed Gilles the garden helper and said I needed him for hours of labour in this yard.  He came on Friday and the place already looks so much better as he pruned and hauled away a truck full of Ponderosa pine needles.  I stupidly told him I could handle the perennial garden, so that’s ahead of me as I left all the old stocks over the winter to help insects.

Calvin’s going to help me give the chicken coop a spring cleaning and I found someone nearby with hay bales.  Last fall I found straw but Calvin said either would do, so went with the hay this time.  The straw bales were so very huge that I asked this person if the hay was the same, as if it was, I need help to lift the bales.  She replied, no, they’re light.

Guess what?  They’re not light.  I went by myself as the owner had said just come by and help yourself and then e transfer the money.  So I parked and lifted the tarp and hauled out a bale of hay and went Jesus!  I had to drag it on the ground and somehow got it to stand on its end to flop it onto the back seat.  I had wanted two, but settled for one, given I could barely load it.

But I suppose these things are good for the retired person: hard mental exercises from planning holidays and difficult physical challenges from strange hobbies one has adopted in their dotage. 

Speaking Moistly

You may recall in 2020 our Prime Minister stated a mask will protect us from people “speaking moistly.”  I think that was the cause for me catching covid after I returned from Mexico.  At the Puerto Vallarta airport it was standing room only, and with that kind of a din everyone who was speaking, was speaking moistly.  No one was wearing a mask, so it’s possible I could’ve caught the virus there.

However I also chatted with the woman in the seat next to me for the nearly five-hour flight, so perhaps she was speaking moistly and carried the virus.  The funny thing is Margaret was on a different flight, wore a mask at the airport and on the plane, and didn’t catch covid, so who’s laughing now?

It was kind of horrible for two days, and then settled into a deep fatigue that was impossible to shake.  All I could do was lie on the couch reading and napping.  The cats helped a lot as they often laid on top of me as we went through fantastical dreams together.  Out of sheer boredom I made myself a photo book of the Mexico trip.

Finally the fog lifted, and I was able to get out and live normally again.  I was thrilled as I had lost five pounds due to not being hungry at all, and now have been saddened to see the same five pounds have already returned, asking me if I missed them, and me replying no I didn’t.

Yesterday I had a small birthday dinner for Petra but we missed our pal Donna who fell and broke her wrist and a rib or two.  Just for reference, a couple of years ago we were all meeting at Petra’s, and Donna had slipped and fallen on her way into her car, but continued on to Petra’s where we had dinner.

Donna’s wrist was sore and swollen, and then becoming larger and more blue, so Donna said she thought she should check in at the hospital on her way home, which she did, and found out she had a broken wrist.  So only a broken wrist wouldn’t stop the woman from attending an event, but the addition of the rib was the deal-breaker.

I visited mom on the weekend, and for lunch mom had me heat up a concoction of thawed apricots and cooked spaghetti.  When I stirred it it was foamy, but mom said even if it had “gone over” it wouldn’t hurt anyone and ate it.  I’ve seen documentaries on people with serious diseases like cancer who cured themselves by eating rotten food so this could be the secret to longevity.

Sharon had forgotten her glasses here last evening, and as I had a hair appointment nearby I said I’d drop them off, which I did, then thought oh what the heck, and went to the Mission Thrift Store to poke around.  I’m glad I did as I got a fake ivy plant for outside the front door and a yellow Pyrex bowl for my collection.  I’m not normal near Pyrex, and I don’t have a small yellow one, so it was a good thing I stopped in.

Elsa’s house is full due to our constant treasure hunting, however she alleges she’s going to get rid of a lot of stuff so the kids don’t have to deal with it when she’s dead.  I said oh not me.  I’m going to keep amassing other people’s garbage and then when I die, it’s going to be one helluva clean-up job for the kids.  Cry me a river.


Margaret and I have been to the Yucatan three times so thought it’d be good to try the Pacific Coast for a change, so landed in Puerto Vallarta, with a condo reservation in the town of Sayulita, around a 45-minute drive away.  We reserved a car like usual, thinking we’d be exploring little towns in the area.  However thanks to the people at Economy Rental Car acting like scheissters, we said no thanks and took a cab instead.

It was expensive at $75 however after that we realized we would’ve never needed a car again as the local buses are around $2 to $3, and so much easier than negotiating the narrow streets we encountered.  People tool around in golf carts and we ran into a few Mexican Standoffs that would take several minutes to untangle.

The name of our condo complex was Los Almendros and it has the largest pool in Sayulita, and joy of joys, it was heated and beautifully warm.  The condo was lovely inside and out with palapa roofs, large balconies, and each bedroom had a king sized bed.  A maid came every day to clean which we both found disconcerting as we’re the maids.

Somehow we thought Sayulita was a sleepy little fishing town, but it’s actually filled with surfers, tourists, and very loud music wherever you go.  Not sure why they have to blast it at that high of a decibel, but our condo was out of town so whenever our nerves had reached their limits of sound tolerance, we’d head back to our quiet place and warm pool.

We took the bus to the much smaller town of Punta Mita, which hasn’t got much going on except for fancy pants hotels which are guarded so that we ‘povos’ don’t accidentally get in, and then a short strip of hotels and restaurants along the beach.  We had lunch out every day, always on the beach at some new place, a lot of it seafood.

Another town we visited was San Pancho, also called San Francisco which is very adorable.  We thought we should’ve stayed there as it’s very small and quiet, but cute as a button.  However being cultural tourists we wondered where the town square was with the old church given the town was founded around 1500 by the Spanish.

We went into a small clothing store and asked the young girl about it, and she replied in good English no, there’s nothing like that.  This is a new town. So I guess it seemed more interesting to the tourist to tear that history down, put down cobblestones, and line the streets with the most adorable shops.

Our final outing was to the much larger town of Bucerias, and got off in what was ostensibly the centre of town, but didn’t see much except vendors, and hotels and restaurants lining the beach.  It must be a Quebecois Heaven of some kind as they had poutine on the menu, and right in front of us were two couples speaking French.

One moment of tension came when Margaret discovered the Westjet agent she’d spoken to the day prior had accidentally booked her a day early, so she freaked out and had to be on hold.  I said don’t worry, you’re getting the plane, and then as it was dinner time I went straight to a joint nearby called Pineapple Paradise.

I took two giant plastic glasses from the condo, and said can I have two pina coladas to go?  The waitress said sure, but these look really big, do you want doubles? And I said yes please, this is an emergency, and told her what happened.  I ordered two chicken sandwiches to go.

After a few minutes I had the sandies in a bag, and was carrying two very full, heavy cups of four ounces per drink of delicious elixir in each hand. I barely made it into the condo, and laughing and sweating handed one to Margaret who by then had the problem largely solved.  To whit: she got to fly home in First Class to make up for it all.


No, I’m not brooding, but two of the chickens are, which is proving to be very annoying.  You’ll recall there were all manner of problems associated with beekeeping, and before I got the chickens I was assured they’re super-easy animals to take care of.  And they have been until now, but first one, and now a second hen have gone broody which means they refuse to leave the nest.

Without a rooster the eggs are infertile and will never hatch, so it’s particularly insane for the chickens to sit on these eggs 24/7.  I said to Calvin how do they eat or drink?  Every evening when I go out to close the coop I take out a nice dinner.  Usually kale, spinach or lettuce, topped by either rice or oatmeal.  They all used to come running, but now only four do, and the other two remain on the damn nest.

You might be thinking, so what?  However the problem is by not moving and giving themselves dust baths they can become encrusted with mites.  Another thing is they stop laying eggs, so right at this very moment I’m down to three eggs in the fridge, so I said to Calvin please do something with those chickens.

When they go all broody like that, they get really mean and so will puff up their feathers and act menacing when you come to get the eggs, which I’m not crazy about.  So Calvin said he’d go out and throw them out of the coop and try some strategies to get them to snap out of it. 

All six chickens lay their eggs in that end nest, so the two hens always have something to sit on.  But it only started with the one hen, and now two, so I don’t want to end up with more broody hens and no eggs.  And imagine the crowding as the nests are plastic milk crates filled with straw so it’s very full with the two of them, never mind more.

I should put a camera in there as I’d like to see how the other four hens get themselves into that nest box to lay their eggs.  I’d also like to know if the broody chickens ever leave to eat, drink or do their business.  Turns out chickens are quite fascinating.

The bad knee’s improving, so on Tuesday when Elsa and I go to thrift I should be able to steer the car myself.  Given Elsa has only one eye, it’s a bit dicier than normal, but we made it last time, so cry me a river about hazards while driving.  If you see two women in a red car, one blonde, one with an eye patch, just get out of the way if you’re a nervous driver.

Margaret and I are excited about our impending trip to Puerto Vallarta.  I’m going with carry on, but Margaret can’t cope with that, so I told her please bring a French press, a can of evaporated milk and a can opener of some kind so we don’t have to throw the can down onto the pool deck to open it.  I’ll bring the ground coffee.  I know it seems strange given most Airbnb condos have coffee makers and coffee, however we’re very particular about the way our day begins.

Calvin’s all set to watch the dogs, cats and chickens, so I can travel with a happy, free mind. However by the time he’s given the cats their four or five cans of Fancy Feast and filled their bowls with Temptations, cooked the pork for the dogs’ meals and carried out the chickens’ dinners, all under grey skies, I think he’ll be the one who ends up brooding.

Fat in a Funny Place

I know there are deposits of fat all over my body, however I would never have suspected where it was recently found:  You may or may not recall last June I was acting like a nut because I was afraid I might have gotten Lyme disease from a couple of ticks on my body.  It turns out it was just a strange coincidence I had a patch of numb skin on my leg and a swollen salivary gland, as I didn’t have Lyme.

The salivary gland swelling continues to happen when I eat or drink, and my mouth decides to produce saliva.  It can’t get out into that little spot in your mouth where it drains, so the parotid gland under the ear swells.  I had an ultrasound last year which showed nothing and then another the other day, as I told the doc I just couldn’t imagine myself milking the duct to get the saliva out for the rest of my life.

She sent me for another ultrasound, and then called with the results.  I was expecting to be diagnosed with a rare facial cancer, but no.  She said there’s fat in the salivary gland duct.  A lump or piece of fat!  Why it would get caught in the tiniest of places is pretty much of a mystery, and when I asked what can be done, she said just keep on massaging to get it out of there.

This is fine for the pets and myself at home, as I can gently massage the duct so the saliva can get out, however in restaurants or at friends’ homes, I feel this will be one of those anti-social antics people hate.  It reminds me of a joke I liked on Facebook. “With apologies to the woman at the Pancake House, you pee on a jelly fish sting, not a jelly stain.”

So between the gland and the painful knee due to a ligament strain, I pretty much need as many carbohydrates as possible at all meals.  Whereas for about five years I endeavoured to keep carbs low, now I keep them super high.  But I’ve made up my mind, this has got to stop, because it appears Superstore is never, ever going to raise the price of After Eight Mints to normal levels.

The ligament strain is on the right knee, which makes driving very painful.  So as Elsa and I drove to the thrift stores the other day, at times the pain caused me to put both hands firmly around the knee, at which point Elsa had to grab the wheel and steer.  The backroad is super windy, so it was quite the trip there and back again.  However, when it comes to hunting for treasures, very little stops us.

Calvin found a nice chicken watering device at Canadian Tire which I looked at and went I wonder how this works, as it looks like the chickens have to suck the water from nipples. I was afraid the chickens wouldn’t know how to use it, but it turns out they’re a lot smarter than I am.  Calvin went in this morning to show them, but they’d already figured it out.

And so you can imagine how perplexing the iPhone is to someone who doesn’t understand a chicken waterer.  I made one run at it by asking two clerks at London Drugs about a sim card for Mexico, and that was a bust, which frightened me so horribly it’ll take another day or two for me to find the courage to make another attempt.  It’s sad to be dumber than a chicken.

How to Cripple Yourself

I know for sure I don’t have to water ski, ride a horse, do an aerobics class or play a game of croquet in order to injure myself.  Now all I have to do is go from sitting to standing which is how I totally trashed my right knee.  I’m limping around like an ancient person thinking at least those are a lot of unnecessary things I can now cross off my list of things I may or may not have planned to do.

Fortunately I can still shop so Elsa and I were at thrift the other day and hauled home the usual back seat full of treasures.  I got a nice rust-coloured cowl neck sweater which is super soft and looks new, and then for the heck of it got a sleeveless floor-length dress for summer, as though I need more of them.  But for $12 for the two items I thought I’d throw caution to the wind.

But speaking of caution, this time I’m actually going to have a cell phone with me when I land in Puerto Vallarta and attempt to meet Margaret at the airport.  Calvin’s mom got a new phone so lent me hers for the trip so I can see if a cell phone is fun or not.  Calvin got it all set up for me so now all I need is a sim card and then I can try to make phone calls.

So far I tried to turn it on, and found that too hard so have put it away.  This was two weeks ago, so I do hope at some point I have the courage to try and turn it on again.  Once I’ve done that, maybe I can send an e mail or text to Margaret to practice.  I only need to reach one human being on one day so surely the Fates will allow that.

My friend Sharon came for lunch a while ago and mentioned she hauled out her “good” China and she and Peter were now using it.  I told her that’s a fantastic idea as I see the most beautiful things at thrift, too good to have been used by their owners, inherited, and now out of fashion and given to thrift, unused!

My whole house is a shrine to things kept in mint condition, then thrown to thrift where I get them for a few dollars.  Some, such as needle points and embroidered tablecloths are all heartbreaking in the hours of work put into them.  But for some reason people want very cheap items, preferably made in bulk in China, because they’re “new.”

Our dear chickens are now laying an egg each per day, so that’s 42 eggs a week.  When Calvin comes toward me with his hands full of eggs I back up, hands up, screaming NOOOOOO.  I’m eating scrambled eggs, eggs poached on fried potatoes, omelettes and baking with them and will take the overflow to mom and Jan on Friday.

The kid explained when you get egg-laying chickens, this is actually what occurs.  I said I guess I just thought I wanted chickens to hang around with, but if they insist on giving us eggs, too, then fine.

Besides the physical crippling I can now accomplish from standing, I’d like the Superstore to finally be rid of the 50% off Christmas chocolates so that one doesn’t have to wake up in the morning feeling particularly ill from half a box of After Eight Mints.  But at $3.99 for a 300-gram box it’d be irresponsible not to buy them.