BIRTHDAY reflections

I am 49 today. I suppose it's one year away from a milestone. Such is life.

I didn't expect to celebrate my birthday in the midst of a pandemic. I didn't think our space exploration programs would be mostly dead by 2020. I thought the shuttle program would have expanded. We would have a cure for AIDS and cancer by 2020, naturally.

Surely, we'd see a united America working together to make our nation great.  Not Trump's idea of "great", but that swelling pride we all occasionally felt when America did something spectacular - putting a man on the moon comes to mind.

I need to seriously buckle down on my efforts to square us away. By 50, I want to have my own house again. I want Better Half and I to breathe a sigh of relief because we're finally caught up on everything. I want to give my husband the best golden years. 65 isn't too far off for him. Well, technically, he hasn't hit 60 yet.

We will make it. We always do. We just have to keep our prio…

REFLECTIONS: Father's Day and Things Left Undone

Today is Father's Day.  It's my first since Dad passed. I haven't coped well. Or perhaps I have without realizing it? Regardless, I'm not going out today. I'm not ready for that.

My readers, if I have any left, will notice that there aren't any blog entries for a long time.

The posts are there, tucked into drafts: Half-finished glimpses into daily life that will likely never see the light of day; Entries concerning Trump insanity, and COVID-19, and Ohio's Stay at Home order; Frustrations over Better Half's health, and my own health, and my mother's; Bits and pieces from my toiling over a new garden by the fence; Thoughts on our dogs; The bathroom overhaul project; Memories and reflections of Dad; My fear of bone cancer and the relief felt once it was confirmed that I dodged that lethal bullet.

I haven't finished a single post. Apathy wants to crash on my mental couch. Sure, a day or two isn't bad. It's when Apathy decides to stay. You ha…

COVID19: Tweet Snippets


Trump refused to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, now he won’t take responsibility as his administration has been totally unprepared for this crisis. — Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 23, 2020
Jefferson County officials review COVID-19 leave act#LiveOnNews9
County sees first positive test — WTOV NEWS9 (@WTOV9) March 26, 2020
The news keeps saying to act as if you have the virus. NO! We act as if EVERYONE ELSE has the virus. We will survive this way. — Old socks & Tootsie rolls (@OldRolls) March 26, 2020
This photo was taken by an ER nurse in Morristown, NJ and I just can’t. — Harlan Coben (@HarlanCoben) March 25, 2020
.@nytimes has video from a hospital in Elmhurst, Queens. It is horrifying.

“We had to get a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of patients who are dying.”

“Five ventilators...there’s a mythical 100 ventilators out ther…

REFLECTION: "Giving an elephant a bath"

It's 2 AM.  I'm doing my best to get sleepy, though it's damn difficult due to pain. My best option is to let my mind wear itself out.  I accomplish this by browsing the internet in pursuit of knowledge.

Tonight's topic: elephants. During the course of an hour, I remind myself of all the things I've forgotten over the years.  I stumbled upon an elephant joke cache by mistake. Oh lord, bad puns only a dad could tell!

Why do elephants wear shoes with yellow soles?
— So that they can hide upside-down in bowls of custard.

Have you ever found an elephant in your custard?
— No? Well, it must work.

How can you tell if an elephant is colorblind?
— You can see its feet sticking out of the custard.

Why do elephants live in herds?
— To get a wholesale reduction on shoes with yellow soles.

 By the way, what's that black triangle sticking out of the custard?
— It's a shark. That's why the elephants are hiding…

My Dad would have snickered at the punchlines.

Dad and …


Good grief!  I haven't blogged in weeks.

To be fair, we're still getting things straightened after my Dad's passing.  And, to be fair to myself, I've been in pain since before the New Year.

A bit of catching up is in order.

Hershey Kisses is now bigger than Angus.  He's also annoying both Angus and Piper.  There isn't any in-between with him - full on play mode or puddle on the floor/bed/couch mode.  I've been getting up with him at 7AM so we can play downstairs. He sulks on those days when I sleep until 10.

Mom has days when she's sad, still.  She's thrown herself into clearing out Dad's stuff (but not the basement). She also hasn't felt well for a few days. I'm hoping to convince her to go  to the doctor.

Better Half's knee surgery... we have no idea when they'll schedule it.  It kills me to see him suffering.

I'd like to get the upstairs put in order before he has it.  Nobody uses the "office" upstairs. As it'…


My Dad's toolbox, labeled in his engineer handwriting, sits in a corner of the basement, keeping company with an overwhelming amount of hoarded screws, nails, tools, and devices that are older than me, perhaps, and useful only to an engineer or laborer.

Every time I go near the area I whisper hello to my father.  It's a direct connection with him.  The last person to touch anything was my dad. The last person to use those tools was my dad.  It's bittersweet. 

The toolbox broke me tonight as I finished up laundry in the basement. I stood silently in front of it, reading the post-it notes.  

I open a drawer.  Yes, the label is accurate.  That toolbox is the only organized thing down here. 

My fingers brush a staple gun.  Dad's tool.  Dad's label.  I began to cry.

He was a brilliant man. Dad could design a sound system for a church in less than an afternoon, his precise writing gracing the blueprints.  He never used a stencil. Just a ruler to make certain it was precisely…

VAMC DAY: Acupuncture

Today is a VAMC day. Acupuncture. Yay. It's a shame our funds are low; we could do a nice dinner out otherwise.

 I've been up since 7 AM.  Laundry almost done, dogs played with, breakfast and coffee had, and Better Half actually got up early and joined us.

In a very hot house. Good grief! 73 is a bit too much for us.


Well, we didn't make it.  We got as far as Weirton before I could no longer tolerate my back pain. We turned around, went to the ER, and they drugged me.