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REFLECTION: "Giving an elephant a bath"

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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 …

UPDATE!

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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'…

REFLECTIONS: The Toolbox

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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

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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.

 UPDATE:

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.

OCD DAY: After Christmas Affairs

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T'was the day after Christmas
And all through the house
Rolled poofs of dog fur
As big as a mouse.

The carpets were coated,
the dining room, too,
And Mum was sleeping -
What was I to do?

It's difficult to live
with a Compulsive Disorder.
The fur - it mocks me so!
I feel like a hoarder!

The counters were wiped
As quick as I could,
Though I wiped them last night
As anyone should.

The clock struck 9
And I could take it no more.
Out came the dust mop
to tackle the floor.

Suck all the fur!
Then clean out the vac.
Wash all the filters,
Tap out the dust sack.

My mother awoke and
came down the stairs
A bit irritated
By my cleaning affairs.

I skulked to our bedroom.
Oh God! How obscene!
It's a small space to share
With another human being.

Mountains of laundry,
A layer of dust,
The carpet is dirty,
I confess I was sussed.

And so I shall clean
While the husband's away,
To make it tidy for him
If he comes home today.

Because there he sits
In his hospital room
All tidy and co…

GRUFFHOUSE RECIPES: Cranberry-Orange Glazed Poultry

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A holiday meal isn't as good without the proper recipe. Sadly, I couldn't find my copy so I had scramble this week. And wouldn't you know it, but Hummingbird had it copied on one of her forums. Salvation all the way from Germany.

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Cranberry-Orange Glazed Poultry
This is aGiada De Laurentiis recipe that circulates through the Fam.We've used it not only for turkey, but on chicken, Cornish game hens, and duck as well. We boil the unused bones/meat with celery and carrot tops and onion cores (the stuff you usually throw away), and freeze the broth (in ice cube form) for soups or anywhere that asks for a small amount of chicken stock.  Because the turkey is cut up beforehand, you don't have to worry about a large roaster or roasting pan taking up valuable space.

Total Time: 3 hr 35 min (for full sized turkey)5
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive: 35 min
Cook: 2 hr
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Intermediate


Ingredients


One 11-pound turkey, cut i…

CHRISTMAS MORNING: the delightful quiet

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It's the most wonderful time of the year.  Per the norm, someone in this family is in the hospital.  Crazy, no? This makes three years running.

Of course, last year was our most frightening yet. Mum had open heart surgery the day before. They had her heavily sedated and hooked up to a gaggle of loud machines, so there wasn't much point in bringing her dinner.

Dad's passing has dwindled us down to just three. This is Better Half's turn.  We shipped him off to the ER yesterday for his two-day holiday vacation. He's in good spirits. He reminded me so at 8:30 this morning.

And, of course, I didn't get to bed much before 4 this morning, thanks to the dogs and general stress.

But, hey, the downstairs is almost totally clean! Yay!

I've hauled Better Half's laptop downstairs, added a bed for the dogs and some toys, made myself some coffee, and have taken ownership of Dad's chair. It feels good to be out of the tiny bedroom we share.

Angus chose to curl up i…