Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pet Food Recall

Saturday, March 17, 2007

If you have a pet, go to

A major pet food manufacturer, who packs food for a gazillion brands, is recalling cat and dog foods. Pets have been suffering sudden fatal kidney failure after eating the recalled foods. Especially if you feed your beasty cut meat, or meat in gravy, in cans or foil packets, go look at the list of recalled foods.

1168 Snow Tired

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It took me three hours to (partially) clear the driveway. The snow ranged from 12 to 18 inches, but it probably started out deeper, because it was heavily packed and crusted on top. Sleet or freezing rain at the end of the storm must have packed it.

It usually takes me 1.25 hours to clear it completely. Today I managed the length of the "road" side-to-side, but at the top of the drive, I managed only a big "Y", so I can pull the Aerio in, and turn it around to get out, but that's all. The van is still up to its door handles, and I think it's likely to stay that way now until thaw.

The main problem was that the snow was so dense the snow thrower couldn't throw it far. I start with the middle and clear out to the edges, but this time before I got halfway to the edges, the snow and what had been thrown on top of it got to be over three feet high, and it was just too hard to keep trying to push it farther over. When the snow thrower couldn't throw the snow over the bank, I had to give up.

I'm hoping it will all melt within the next two weeks.


Another one of those "misheard lyrics", like hearing "There's a bathroom on the right" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise". Instead of "Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed", I thought it said "Leah, Lady Leah, play it with my big brass band."


A motivational speaker on PBS this morning said that the common perception among youth is that older people are "conventional", but in reality, nobody is as conventional as teenagers. ("Conventional" was her word.) That teenagers feel they have to do, wear, be, speak exactly like "everyone else" to be accepted.

Yeah, that does seem to be true today, but in my experience it wasn't true in the sixties and seventies. Maybe it was because I went to a very small high school in a mountain area, and then taught in a small town high school. Has it changed? Is it harder to be different now? If so, why?

Friday, March 16, 2007

1167 An Amazing Blog

"Days of my Life" ( is written by a young lady, barely 15 years old, who lives in Iraq. It's a mix of her daily life's joys and boredoms, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

Go. Read. Learn. Understand.

1166 Parade and Snow

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wednesday, it was 75 F in Poughkeepsie. Today it's 23 F, and snowing.

FirstWoman and I were supposed to go to Saugerstock this evening for Monica's Kneepads. I called her late afternoon to tell her I already had six inches of snow in the driveway, and I wasn't going anywhere. She called an hour later to say that her car was stuck in her driveway - so I don't feel so guilty about canceling out on her again.

I went to a nursing home in Kingston this morning as part of a "swat team" to help with a St. Patrick's Day parade. The nursing home was surprisingly large. I was dispatched with balloons for the nursing stations, and couldn't find my way back to the commons.

The place was VERY decorated. The parade included "floats", shopping carts decorated by various residents' clubs. (I was amused that the shopping cart handles bore the names of various grocery stores.) The parade had a bagpipe corps, and close to 100 residents in wheelchairs, all of whom were pushed by volunteers or off-duty employees. The chairs and the people were also decorated. I saw some amusing hats. All the residents who weren't in the parade lined the halls, and the parade "followed the right wall" through the entire building.

I pushed the choral group's float.

I didn't see any residents who were not either in a wheelchair or using a walker. The resident in front of me in the parade, a frail-looking lady, was using a walker, and I was amazed that she walked so far so easily.

It had started snowing before I left there at noon.

I went to Barnes & Noble and bought a Vista for dummies-type book, and looked in Pier 1 for ideas for an anniversary gift for a friend, and by the time I got back to my street, I had a hard time getting up the hill. Almost didn't make it up the driveway - had to keep two wheels on the grass.

I had no gas for the snowthrower, and had planned to go buy some mid-afternoon, before the snow started (yeah, sure). The minivan had so much trouble getting up the hill, I was sure the Aerio wouldn't make it at all, being so much lighter, but by the time I had put warmer clothes and boots on, the snow was too deep for the van (only 4" clearance because it's a dropped-floor handicap van), and I was forced to take the Aerio.

I was very pleasantly surprised. Suzy had absolutely no trouble making it up the hill in five inches of snow, and no trouble with the driveway. It was like she didn't even notice. Good Girl!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

1165 Thursday

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Busy day. Ran some errands in the morning, then to the museum where I spent the afternoon processing membership renewals (a job that really should be done by someone who gets PAID for it!) Back home, washed hair and changed clothes, then to Poughkeepsie for Third Thursday dinner.

After dinner, Roman and I and my new laptop went to Barnes & Noble (they have WiFi in the cafe), where Roman helped me with some questions I had about the laptop. He presented me with my very own fire engine red mini-mouse. They had to chase us out when they closed.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

1164 Dancing Fool

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ballroom dance class this evening. I'm so frustrated by the whole topic.

I have never learned to dance, not really. Our parents never made any effort toward socializing us, and I went to a tiny high school in the middle of nowhere. We never had any dances, other than the prom, and everybody lived too far apart to just hang out and dance. We'd go to Manny's, occasionally, where there was a jukebox, but mostly we just sat around and listened to the music. Farm/mountain boys don't dance a lot. At the Russian hall we did folk dances and polkas.

In college there were weekly dances at the Husky Lounge, but I wasn't dating, and so I didn't dance much. The Twist was easy, and the Madison, and a few other mass dances. With my left/right learning disability, it was impossible for me to simply watch people and then do what they do. Still is.

I met Ex#1 at a college dance, but I don't think we ever actually danced. He was drafted during my senior year, we were married a few days after I graduated, he went to Germany and I went to a teaching job in Gettysburg, and for the next three years we were together only when he was on leave, and we never danced.

Between Ex#1 and Ex#2 I dated Amadeo. Amadeo was a dancer. The Cha Cha and Mambo were big. Also, Amadeo was short, just my size. He was a strong lead, and I learned with him. I was confident on the dance floor for the first time ever. We cleared the floor once in a club in New Haven, doing a combination Swing/Cha Cha. People cheered and clapped, and the band kept playing until we quit ourselves. I think back on that now, and can hardly believe it happened.

Then I married Ex#2. He didn't dance. Period.

In my 30s I took up Mid-Eastern dance, on the advice of my chiropractor, to help strengthen my back. That's when I learned something I didn't know - I not only have no sense of rhythm, I can't hear the beat! In Mid-Eastern dance, there are only a few common rhythms, and they are quite different. But even after 30 years and thousands of hours of listening and dancing, I still can't tell them apart. Well, I usually recognize a beladi (dum dum tek-a-tek dum tek-a-tek tek-a), but sometimes I confuse it with saidi (dum tek tek-a-dum dum tek-a-tek tek-a). The only one I consistently recognize is the ayub, or zar, which has a unique bouncing sound (dum, ka dum tek), but half the time I can't remember what it's called.

I was good, back when I was slender and muscular, and could do the floorwork. Not so good with the fast stuff, I could easily get off the beat, but with the slow, I hear I was the epitome of sensual. (Kashalamar was my rhythm. Too bad I didn't recognize it half the time.) I stopped dancing shortly after moving from Washington to here, in 1983, and didn't get back to it until 2005ish.

Jay was a competitive ballroom dancer, with trophies and everything, before he moved from Texas to here. When we were dating, we tried dancing once - a polka - and it was such a disaster we never danced again. He didn't seem to miss it. Without a club here, it just didn't come up, I guess. Maybe the Asperger's?

So here I am. Until New Year's Eve, I hadn't danced, "out", in public, in more than 20 years, and now I want to. I am extremely shy about dancing. I always feel so clumsy. I don't know what to do. I watch kids now, and I can't figure out what they're doing. It looks like they're just jumping up and down, and I can't (won't!) do that.

On New Year's Eve, I did my own thing, and several women told me that I move beautifully. I have graceful arms, and lots of smooth hip action, but my feet kind of get lost. In the ballroom dance class, several women said that I look so graceful, "you float". Complete strangers. I got an email from someone who had been at the dance at the Mensa gathering - I didn't go to the dance floor, but I did move to the music standing next to the table - and he said, "Please don't take this the wrong way, and I hope it doesn't come across as inappropriate, but you are one amazing dancer. I couldn't keep my eyes off you when you were moving to the music. I love to dance, but don't know many women who enjoy it. At our age, a lot of them have settled into a boring life and don't like doing anything physically exerting."

Wow. I'm impressed with me! (The "at our age" was a bonus. I think he's in his mid-forties.)

So, there's some possibility there. I've got something I should be able to work with.

The ballroom dance class was supposed to give me some "ah, so this is what you do with your feet", which can be modified to fit what's actually going on.

'Tain't working. It's destroying what little confidence I'd acquired over the past few months.

First off, I can't "hear" the beat. I can't tell a waltz from a rumba. I can't figure out how fast or slow you're supposed to go. It all sounds the same to me. I can't make my feet do what they're supposed to do. It's all a mixed up mish-mash. I can't even maintain an ordinary vanilla box step.

Maybe it would help if I had a strong partner. There is one guy in the class who came with his wife, but she broke her arm and is sitting out, so he has decided he's MY partner, and he's awful. He doesn't telegraph at all, and just changes direction suddenly, tromping all over me. Worse than no partner at all. Which is the alternative....

I don't know whether to keep going or not. I was just starting to feel hopeful and courageous about getting out on a dance floor, and this class is chewing away at that.

1163 Kittens

Impossible to stop clicking on "show me another"!

1162 Validation

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dr. Phil said something on his show the other day that stopped me cold. He just threw it out as a casual comment, and it's one of those things that "everyone knows", but until you hear someone say it, make it "real", it's just passed off.

He was talking to a husband who had hurt his wife's feelings somehow. The husband wished she'd just "get over it". (I think - I wasn't watching, just caught it in passing.) Anyway, Dr. Phil said something like "She will never get over this until she knows you fully understand what this did to her."

My head went ka-boing.

I have often been accused (by men, mainly) of not "letting it go". I do tend to hang on to some hurts and chew them over and over. Other hurts I do let go of. What's the difference? Yes, it does come down to whether or not I believe the other person fully understands the impact of their actions. If they understand, I can let it go. They don't even have to apologize - just understand how it affected me. Until they do understand, I do keep coming back to it, and a lot of men will refuse to look at it. They'll say "It's in the past", or "Don't go there", but it's not in the past. The effect is still with me! I want you to understand how I felt!

Your not wanting to understand makes me feel like you don't care.

That's probably why my sister and I are both still hung up on what our parents did to us (Sister more than I, actually). They are both dead now, but neither our mother nor our father ever recognized how their emotional and physical battering destroyed us kids. Sister and I have managed to salvage our self-respect, but both brothers have serious problems, and youngest sister drank herself to death. Sister and I can't "let go", because our parents never understood that they hurt us. And now they never will.

It's also why I still carry so much resentment toward Ex#2. He never understood my feelings about the crap he did, and didn't want to. There's no point in talking with him about any of it, because he still won't care how I feel. It's too threatening to him. So I carry around the resentment.

Ok. Now is there any way to drop it? I was able to release a lot of anger toward my parents by thinking, "Ok, they were sick. They didn't refuse to see, they were completely incapable of seeing." That won't work with Ex#2 because I know that although he does have some emotional problems, he IS capable of seeing. There were occasional glimpses of understanding. He's going to be a bit harder to let go of.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

1161 WiFi in the Wilderness!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm sitting in the pizza parlor in the village writing this. Guess what? We've got WiFi in the village! Free and unlimited. Also unsafe, but ok, I can cope with that.

I stopped in to see Piper today. I was on my way to the museum when I saw his car parked in front of his office, and he's not supposed to be driving with his broken foot, so I was concerned.

Yeah, he's driving. Bad boy. But there are complications - his lady has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, will have surgery next week, I think. So I guess he thinks he has to take a load off her by getting himself around. I pointed out that she's going to need him long term, and that means he can't mess up his foot any more than it is. Can't delay healing, so no messing with it.

I pulled out the laptop to show it to him, and that's when I found out I could get a connection. So I was there most of the afternoon. Piper had to visit a customer across the street, so I was able to "pay for my keep" by answering phones and taking messages.

I intended to go to the museum today and handle the membership stuff, but got sidetracked by the sight of Piper's car. I guess that's the top "to do" for tomorrow.



I got a small pizza with sausage, onion, and green pepper and brought it home. It's huge! I wonder if she gave me a medium by mistake. I've eaten 1/4 of it, two slices, and now I don't know what to do with the rest. I wonder if wild turkeys like pizza.

Something strange since Jay died. I never much cared for sugary desserts, especially things like chocolate cake. Chocolate cake, brownies, stuff like that, feel like they gum up my mouth. I don't like the heavy taste. Jay loved anything heavily chocolate, the gummier the better. I've also never much cared for Italian food in general (with the exception of warmed-over day-old leftover homemade spaghetti), and I didn't care for pizza in particular.

Jay had to have pizza once a week at least, or he suffered withdrawal. I usually ate a salad while I watched him scarf pizza.

Since he died, I have periodic strange cravings for chocolate cake, and for pizza, about twice or thrice a year. It'll start one day, and over three or four days it'll grow to where I can't think about anything else. So I have to go get some (cake or pizza). The strangest part is that I don't even enjoy it (well, sometimes maybe the cake), but I know I have to eat it or I will have no peace.

So that's why I don't know what to do with the leftover pizza. I won't want pizza again for three to six months, so there's no point in putting it in the refrigerator. I don't like pizza! (Next time I'll know better - the village pizza parlor now serves individual slices.)

1160 It's Ageless

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

RussoRaven has posted a poem that really hits home. I'd love to post it here because it's so perfect for my own situation, but it's hers, so go read it, please. She said it so beautifully. Perfectly.

My "he" doesn't have the answers. Sometimes people just don't know why.

Monday, March 12, 2007

1159 Lost Day

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spent the entire day emailing file attachments to myself and setting up new folders on the laptop, in between restarting the Earthlink connection, that is.... It drops about every half hour.

Temp outside hit a high of 54, and the yard was full of turkeys. I sprinkled sunflower seeds for them.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

1158 Retest!

Having trouble getting used to the touchpad. I keep picking up the tv remote and running it over the desk, wondering why the cursor isn't moving....

1157 Yahoo Mail Explained

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ok. Lots of other bloggers are having trouble with getting to their Yahoo mail. It's Yahoo's problem, not mine. Seems to be resolved now.

1156 Death to Earthlink!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I wrote the previous entry last night, but wasn't able to post it because either Blogger was down, or Earthlink refused to communicate with Blogger. Spellcheck not working was the first clue.

Earthlink has me tearing my hair out. I dialed in this afternoon at 1:19. So far, it has dropped the connection at 3:10, 3:28, 4:51, and 6:15. (It is now 6:34 pm). Mother is not happy.

For some reason, I can get to, and it says I have five new items in my in-box, but I can't get to Yahoo mail. I tried three different browsers, and they all give me some blather about the page not supporting http protocols.

**** Ok, I just tried it, to get the exact text of the message, and this time it worked. Sigh.

I don't understand.

Um, is my keyboard supposed to be hot? It's quite warm on the right, over where I presume the battery is. I'm plugged in, not actually using the battery....