Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Remember...November

November marks two of the most traumatic events of my life. One occurred November 30, 1974 and the other on November 20, 1979.

For many years, as November approached, I went into a depression and from the 20th through the 30th, I could barely function.

But I got tired of being a basket case, and finally began the healing process. Each year the pain was a little more manageable, and after 10 years or so, I thought I was nearly healed.

Then Loren came into my life and stirred the pot. As November rolled around to the 20th, I found myself remembering details that I hadn't remembered in a long time. The tears I cried over this literally burned my skin. Think I was ridding myself of toxic waste. Same thing when we got to the 30th.

This happened for the next few years, but eventually I found that all the hurt had been dealt with. All the negative emotion had been purged. The tears didn't come easily, and they didn't burn.

Then I had a year where I was OK!! The next year, I didn't even notice the dates. November came and went without me having any sort of meltdown. Thanks to Loren "picking my scabs" and reopening the festering wounds, I healed thoroughly.

This year, I found myself thinking of past events, and when I looked at a calendar, it was November 20th! No depression, no real sadness, no tears. Just thoughts. And today, I've just realized is the 30th. I'm good. I'm fine. I survived.

The process was long, and difficult, and sometimes I wondered if I'd survive. Sometimes I didn't want to survive. But I did. And If I can do it....Anyone can!
So now, in November...
I remember.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Get Gifs at

However you spend Thanksgiving, may it be relaxing,
full of fun, and I hope you get the chance to Eat Too Much!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday Shopping

Some of you are AVID shoppers, looking for bargains, and willing to brave crowds, traffic, and miserable weather to get that Deal!

May I make a suggestion.

Amazon is starting Black Friday TODAY! If you use this link
to shop Amazon, you will get bargains AND help me! (I earn a small commission on sales from my link).

So, take a moment and see what sorts of bargains you can get without braving the crowds, traffic or misserable weather.


Great Black Friday Deals. No Black Friday Blues.

This Black Friday link
is the central point to find all the Black Friday deals, including the Gold Box hourly deals featured from midnight to 11pm PST and thousands of products that are on sale for a limited time only.

Thanksgiving Preparation

Thanksgiving used to be my Favorite Holiday. Then I became an adult and had to do the work, and it quickly slipped to number 3 or 4 on my list of faves.

At work (Whole Foods/Prepared Foods Division) we're busy fixing dinner for all those folks that want to ENJOY the day, and not have to slave over the hot stove. From the smells coming from our kitchen, I think they'll have a Great Dinner. We're roasting turkeys as fast as the ovens can bake them. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy are being manhandled into containers and everything is being assembled into large boxes that can be carried easily.

The big surprise to me is how many people have ordered the Vegan Dinner! Guess this really is a college town, and lots of these youngsters have strong convictions about what they put in their bodies. (Guess Beer is a Food Group!!) This year we're making a record number of dinners that have a Hazelnut Field Roast as the main course.

Loren and I are both working Thanksgiving Day (5am-2pm). So when we thought about what we want to eat on Thanksgiving, we realized that cooking that whole feast is just not a possibility. Sure, we could order it ready-made, but I was brought up better than that! (LOL)

We're going to cook the feast on the next day off we have. Meanwhile, we decided that we're having an Exotic Picnic for our Holiday Fare. We'll start with Champagne, served with a few wonderful appetizers. The main course is Steamed Crab Legs with drawn butter, served with artichoke ravioli in a sherry cream sauce and steamed green beans with shallots, shiitaki mushrooms and garlic. After more Champagne, we'll have Creme Brulee and coffee. When I tell people what we're having for Thanksgiving Dinner, they pause, then exclaim, "That's Brilliant!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Complaints

After that first snow, I realized that I can't spend the winter lamenting about the weather. This IS Wisconsin. We're expected to have a rough winter. So, I'm going to try to just REPORT the weather and winter conditions, not COMPLAIN about them.
(Lily Tomlin, in one of her brilliant performances says that the main reason humans developed language skills was because of a deep seated need to Complain!!)

That first snow melted within 24 hours. We had a small snow yesterday that stuck to the ground. I saw some enterprising youngster had used all the snow in their yard to build a snowman! It will probably melt today and tomorrow, as it's clear and beautiful outside.

Our house is toasty warm (heat is INCLUDED in the rent). Mostly we keep the heat turned off because we have south facing windows and accumulate lots of warmth from the sun. The floors (hardwood) seem to be warm from the heat coming up from the basement. One of the things I LOVE about cool weather, is I get to lounge around in my fleece clothing!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm going to sit right down and CRY!

This is today! I'm looking up the street from my front door!

All summer you'd hear people parroting the prediction, "I hear it's going to be worse this winter than it was last winter!" and I'd want to shake them. It's a basic fact of life that you often GET WHAT YOU ASK FOR! These fools are asking, maybe Begging, for winter to be worse than last year.

I'm not sure I could handle worse. I barely handled last winter. Here's a brief recap for anyone interested: We arrived in Madison on November 1, and had a few light flurries at the end of the month. On December 1 it began snowing and dropped a record 100+ inches of snow on us over the next few months. There was too much snow!

Today I looked out the window and nearly cried.
It is snowing. Big flakes of blowing snow!

And it is sticking!!! Already winter is worse than last year, and we're not even in December yet! I'm going to sit right down and Cry!!!

So far, we've had a couple of mild flurries, but the ground hasn't been warm enough for the snow to stick and accumulate. Fine by me. I check the weather every day to see how the temperature is fluctuating. Unfortunately it seems to be on a rapid downhill trend. The highs this week are in the low to mid 30's, and overnight is in the low 20's. Just last week we had a couple of days of 50 degree weather. I want THAT back, please.
The Camry is a California car. When I moved her yesterday she was sluggish and hard to handle. I could "hear" her grumbling about the weather. I'm right there with you, sweetheart!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Geese Migration

Last week I mentioned to Loren that I really miss seeing and hearing the geese migrating.
In Appleton, our apartment was on some sort of flight path, because you'd hear the geese honking, run to the window and see formations of geese heading South.

Maybe I don't see them fly over Madison because we live in the middle of the city. In Appleton, we were on the edge of civilization. Whatever the reason, I miss seeing the geese flying.

Saturday, on a spur of the moment decision, we went up to Appleton to see friends. It was dark when we left, so we didn't see much of anything on the drive up. However, on Sunday, driving home, it was a fine day and I finally spotted a flock (gaggle?!) of geese on the wing.

Suddenly I began to see the dark ribbons of geese in the sky. There were 100's if not 1000's of geese on the wing. Only thing was, they were flying WEST! What's up with that? As I took my bearings, I realized we were approaching the boundaries of the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area. They are all headed to the Marsh!

After that, we could see countless gaggles making their way to the Safety of the Marsh for the evening. Watching the dark ribbons of geese undulating across the sky is one of my favorite sights. I never get weary of it, always want to applaud the grace and beauty of the spectacle, and without fail I send my love and appreciation to these graceful creatures as they follow their instincts and make a long, perilous journey season after season.

Realizing I needed pix to post to my blog, we began looking for a spot to pull over. As three different flocks made their way past me, Loren brought the car to a halt, I jumped out and snapped a few quick pictures.

We haven't actually been to Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area. Guess it's going on my list of things to see and do!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TV Withdrawl and other Dilemas

When the nice Mexican couple came by to buy our bed, they asked if we were selling our TV (32" Phillips regular TV). "No, we're taking it with us," we told them. Well, it didn't get into the first truckload, as it was just me and the Big Guy loading, and I'm not strong enough to carry my side of the TV up the stairs and into the truck. We decided we'd just load it when the guys were there the next day. Well, if you've been reading my saga, you know that the couch fiasco ended with the truck being full to the gills. I don't think we even noticed that the TV hadn't made it onto the truck.

So, on the final day, AFTER the truck has been returned, we realize that the TV is still in the basement. We struggled it up the stairs (I had to stop twice to rest---YES, I'm a wimp!) and out the door to the car. Loren had pulled the car onto the lawn, right up to the door. The TV wouldn't fit into the car!!! So, we dragged it back into the house and it sat just inside the front door for most of the day.

Eventually we had to decided what to do with it. It took all of 5 seconds to decide to call the nice Mexican couple to see if they were serious about buying the TV. They were! So, they came at 8:30 and somehow, Loren and they guy manhandled the TV into the front seat of their car (it's a bigger car than we have). As it was, it had to be rotated and rearranged 3 times so that he could manipulate the gearshift (manual transmission, wouldn't you know!). I have no idea how they got it out after they got home.

So, here we were without a TV. No worry. We've been eyeing the flat screen TVs and thought we'd buy us one with the Rent Deposit we'll be getting back from the old apartment. We thought it might be closer to Christmas when we get it, all the sales, etc. We THOUGHT we'd be OK with that. At first it WAS OK. We were busy unpacking and organizing. Loren started his new job and has been trying to get this schedule shifted from a PM shift to an early morning shift.

But now, less than a week without the TV, we're starting to suffer. We get home at night, eat dinner, then look at each other and say, "Now what?" I miss having something to entertain my mind, something to relax me, something to look forward to!
So, we started looking. We figure we'll have the TV all picked out so that we're ready to buy when the $$$ arrives.

OMG! I've spent HOURS on the computer trying to understand this technology. HDTV, BluRay, Upconverting, Contrast Ratios, resolution, goes on and on. I keep typing the words into the search engine and then reading at least 3 of the articles so I have an overview of the concept.

Looks like we're getting another Phillips TV, but a 42" one this time. LCD, flat screen, 3 1/2 inches wide! Technology has really come a long way.The Oppo upconverting DVD system should make all our old DVD's play in High Definition, so the new TV experience is not going to be anything like the old experience. Guess our TV time out will really make us appreciate the privilege, when it finally comes along.
Soon. Please, soon!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Have Arrived, Haven't Settled In....

THANK GOD the move is over. We had the truck for 2-24 hour days, so technically we had it for 3 days, as we didn't pick it up until noon. The first day we loaded up all the small boxes from the office, all the books, the bookcases, and anything else that would fit. Actually, Loren loaded the truck while I kept packing. The truck was full. We unloaded, and planned to get everything we'd hauled put away. NOT! By the time we got the stuff off the truck, all we wanted was to relax and get ready for the next day.

A nice Mexican couple and their two small children came by to buy the bed and the table we've been using for a desk. They wanted the desk I had for sale, but we told them I'd promised it to someone else that was picking it up Wednesday morning. After they left, I sent an e-mail to the couple saying they ABSOLUTELY had to pick up the desk, as I'd turned down a chance to get rid of it!

Before we went to bed, we were looking at all the stuff that still had to be moved, and began wondering where it would all fit. Oh well, we thought if we went to sleep, either some marvelous idea would present itself, or someone might break in and relieve us of half out possessions (the half we aren't attached to, ha!ha!ha!).

Morning came, and with it came the realization that we'd gotten ourselves into this mess (literally) and would have to get ourselves out. Two guys came to help Loren load the furniture. Mostly it went well, until they had to move the sofa. When we bought it last month, Loren and the seller moved it into the house with just a minor hiccup, which was quickly resolved.

Moving it out was a Keystone Cops Caper for sure.
It took all four of us, and the couch was lifted, and shifted, turned and tossed. Eventually it got stuck in the stairwell, dimpled the wall, and after much cussing and sweat, was finally tortured out the door and onto the truck. There was only a small footprint for it to fit in, and of course, it didn't fit. I went back inside and the guys spent another 20 minutes doing the hokey pokey with the couch, until it finally turned itself about and fit. That's really what it's all about!

While that fiasco was going on, the couple ABSOLUTELY came to get the desk. They also took a bookcase and a few little odds and ends. We put LOTS of stuff out on the sidewalk and 90% of it found a new home within hours.

Eventually, most of the stuff was out of the house and on it's way to the new apartment. We lifted, toted, and hauled until I was worn out, and Loren ached in muscles he'd forgotten he possessed. Since we'd sold the bed, we made up beds on the floor and fell into them, exhausted.

The third day was nearly the worst. What was left in the house was the sort of stuff you just don't know what to do with. Loren took 3 loads in the car while I started cleaning. It seemed like an Aegean Stable sort of nightmare, in that I couldn't see an end to it.

Finally at 10pm, the old house was clean, the last load in the car and my bed was calling my name in a very convincing voice. I had to be at work at 7:30am, but it's only a 5 minute drive now, so that is good.

The new house will be wonderful when it's finally organized. Just now there are boxes and piles and clutter everywhere! I took pix, but can't find where I packed the cable to transfer the pix to the just use your imagination. It's a real mess!!! While I was at work, Loren unpacked and organized the kitchen. He did a great job, and I'm not going to change it, much.

It's a lot of new things all at once, especially for the Buy Guy (Loren). New apartment, new car (new to us), new job (Loren got hired at Whole Foods in the Bakery. He'll be learning how to make bread!!!!). Best of all, a new future for the country! Happy Days are Here Again!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Days ARE Here Again!!!!!!!

First thing this morning, we got out and voted. It only took a few minutes!

We've been busy moving, but we kept taking moments to look at the computer to see how the election is coming along. For a few minutes, it seemed sort of bleak, but then the tide began to turn, and as we got ready for bed, they had predicted the election results. WE WON!!!!


I told Loren before we went to sleep that I hoped the results were still the same when I check the computer in the morning.

Lots of celebrating in the Streets here. Fireworks, chanting, laughter, and all sorts of spontaneous happy behavior were the order of the evening. Too bad we were too worn out to participate. I went to sleep happy, and woke up deeply content.
Doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Move is On!

Now that we're writing 11/01, I realize that we have 5 days to accomplish this move!! Did I mention that I HATE the physical part of moving? I do, truly. I've been trying to pack, but I haven't accomplished anywhere near enough.

Selling off our excess furniture is going well. Thank goodness for Craigslist. I'd taken pix and listed several items. The e-mail response was good, and the first week saw half our postings find new homes. Then we realized that the desk we'd listed for sale was injured, and needed to be given away rather than sold.

I e-mailed all the people that had wanted to buy it, told them it was now FREE. None of them wanted it. So, I put an ad on the Free list at Craigslist, and had 47 responses the first day! More responses keep coming, and I just want someone to take it off my hands so I can delete the post!

Guess the bed may go today. We'll be sleeping on the floor until we move, and then possibly on the floor at the new place until we find a bed. I made an offer to someone else from Craigslist, but haven't heard back from them.

Yesterday I went by the new apartment. The woman has moved to CA, and the painters had been busy. I was looking in the windows (yes, I've turned into a Peeper!) and realized it is MUCH smaller than I remember. Could be it looks that way without any furniture to give it perspective.

No more procrastinating, I've got to get packing!

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