Dad’s Shirt

This shirt that I wear as a bathing suit cover-up is a leftover from the 1950s.  Dad gave it to me years before he died.  On him, it came down to the top of his hips.  On me, well, it covers what it needs to.

Yay, dad!  Your legacy lives!

Visiting Mom

Drove over to mom’s yesterday to visit for a few hours, weed her foundation plantings, and do other household stuff for her.  That took an hour. As always, she had tales to tell, half of which we’d heard before.  Despite her complaints, she seems to be doing well, or at least is in pretty good spirits.

We arrived before she got back from getting her lunch.  She was expecting us, and left a door unlocked, so we didn’t have to stand in the driveway until she got back.  She noticed that my car looked a little different, but thought “maybe it’s the way the sun’s hitting it.” then drove past it into her garage.

So, I introduced her to “Helga,” and gave her a mini-tour of it.  Of course she asked how much I paid, and what all the features are.  Questions asked and answered, she was very enthusiastic about it, especially since she’d been telling me for that past year “you should get a new car,” even though there was nothing wrong with my old one, except that it was approaching 10 years old, which is when I typically trade them in.

I also gave her two gifts:  dryer balls, and a tea towel from Spam, as in Hormel.  She liked them.  She completely got the Spam thing.  The Spam museum is in Ausin, Mn.

Funniest thing?  She’s thrilled I got a new car, and really likes it.  She likes it better than her Lexus.  And, it’s just a Volvo.

I told her I was going to get either a Volvo or Audi, but the Volvo won!  Sweet car, and nice visit with mom.



Kudos to my local Volvo dealer.  Got a sweet deal on a fully loaded vehicle for cash, plus my trade-in, for $12k less than MSRP, delivered price, including tax, title, and registration.  Wasn’t looking for “fully loaded” per se, and probably won’t use half the features, but the vehicle I got was the best value they had in stock by far.  It happened to have all the extras.  I cut the check last night to buy it outright, and took delivery today.  Refused to pay extra for an extended warranty, or shit like tire and wheel insurance.  The thing is, by the time I make an appointment with a car dealer’s sales manager, I already know what I want.

I lurves it!  It’s like driving my old Saab, but 10 years newer.  It’s got the same semi-stiff suspension I’m used to, all the controls are where I expect them to be, and if anything, it’s a bit zippier than my old car, which is pretty remarkable for its heavier curb weight.  Cruise range and fuel tank capacity are similar.  I’ve nicknamed it Helga.

Tomorrow, I sell the old house.  After what the buyers put me through leading up to closing, I didn’t even leave them an extra roll of t.p.  We cleared out everything that we had left in the house and machine shed this afternoon, which wasn’t much.  No bottle of champagne in the fridge for them.  Not from me, anyway.

The broker’s fee, and the county transfer fee, will be deducted from the sale price, along with some other minor things, but I get a prorated refund on the muni, county, and school taxes I already paid, so, with no mortgage to pay off, I end up pocketing approximately 93% of the contract price.  I could buy 10 Helgas for what I’m going to receive, in the form of a check, at closing tomorrow,  which basically is cash, once it’s deposited.



Most frogs stay down by the pond where they belong.  This evening, I found two of them in my pool.  The water was clear, and the pH and chlorine levels tested fine.  Don’t know if they will survive, but I fished them out with the net, and dumped them over the fence onto the lawn, roughly 50 yards from the pond.  If I’m going to swim with frogs, water snakes, turtles, or any other water loving critter, it sure as hell won’t be in my own swimming pool;  I’ll do that in a glacial lake, or a bay, or the ocean, but otherwise, no.

Those two were very small.  They were happily doing a breaststroke when I found them.  After I netted them, they pulled in their limbs to only be about 1.25″ long.  That’s a whole lot better than a bullfrog that will piss all over you, when you grab it.  They were a nondescript brown, and didn’t make any noise that would have helped ID their species.  Frogs don’t really bother me per se, but I don’t want them in my pool.

If I find a dead, floating, bloated squirrel in there, I’ll either toss my cookies, or dry heave, depending on whether there’s anything in my stomach.  It’s a completely visceral reaction.  It goes way beyond “Calgon, take me away!”  The raccoons will take care of the carcass, but I’d have to dispose of it in the woods, first.  *GAG*

On a different subject, I got a new 20″ electric hedge trimmer.  I needed one.  I had it up to my eyeballs with getting blisters on my hands, right through gardening gloves, using the manual “clip, clip, clip” hedge trimmers.  A 14″ model was only $5 cheaper, and only weighed 18 ounces less.  It was no contest for value and lightweight ability to swing it around without being dangerous.  God, do I love power tools.  The same outdoor extension cord I use for the leafblower is long enough.

The niftiest thing?  My husband bought that hedge trimmer for me, on Father’s Day.  It was like Christmas in June!  I bought this week’s groceries, and a case of Yueng for him, so … fair deal.  Our neighbor dropped off another 18 free range eggs for us this morning, so it’s obvious he’s not holding the dog incident against us.  *PHEW*

House Cat or Bobcat?

To put this in persective, it’s 96F with almost the same relative humidity in the air.  Evidently, I’m not the only crabby critter in the house.  It’s not worth closing the windows, turning off the ceiling fans, and firing up the central AC yet, because by next weekend, it’s supposed to have highs in the mid-70s.

Long story short, I didn’t notice my mama’s girl kitty sprawled out in front of the fridge.  Accidentally stepped on her (probably a back paw, given her reaction), and she whipped around to bite my leg 5″ above my ankle.  It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d been wearing jeans, but in this heat, I was wearing shorts.

Who knew a house cat’s mouth could open far enough to leave teeth marks on both sides of a lower calf muscle from the front side?  I stopped the bleeding pretty quickly, but … DAMN, GIRL!  I’m sure she was only giving back as much pain as she got, but I didn’t make her bleed at all.  She made me drip red DNA samples all over the kitchen floor until I snagged a paper towel.  She’s hiding in her cat tree condo, but she did give me a few licks moments ago.  All is well.

Yeah, Baby, Yeah!

I’m finally getting the hang of this pool thing.  Not billiards (yet), but the swimming pool.  The pool company opened it right before we left for six days over Memorial Day weekend.  It was a mess, since the previous owners didn’t bother to close it properly, but just threw the cover over it a week or so before we closed on the property last year.  We got lucky that it was a mild winter, and no damage was done because they didn’t bother to winterize it.

The pool company guys shocked it, and told us to give them a call in a few days to come back to finish the job.  It looked much better when we returned, but still a little greenish-blue, and cloudy.  It took another half a week to schedule “Beef” and “Beefier” to return to finish the job.  I’m okay with the pool company, in terms of pricing and job quality, but their office is really lousy about returning calls to communicate with customers, unless I keep pestering them until I get a live person answering instead of the machine.

So, I decided it was in my best interest to do my damndest to learn about pool maintenance, which includes everything from chemical testing of the water, to chemicals needed to cure various water issues, to using the Zodiac automatic pool vacuum.  Having studied chemical engineering for two years before switching my major, and having a chemist for a husband, I figured that with a good water testing kit, adjusting the chemical balance as needed to obtain and maintain clear water would not be difficult.

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I was considering getting an Audi A4, or a Volvo S80.  The Volvo is a much better value.  MSRP on that baby is $44k, fully loaded.  I can get a much better deal on it than that, with a little polite but firm haggling.  I’ll probably only get five grand for my trade-in nine year old Saab.  Whatever.  Mostly, I want a car that is good, wont die on me, and will run like a pony for at least a decade.  Watch me haggle; I can do it with the best of them.  Used car salesmen have nothinig on me.

Kiester and Austin

Remember that ad for Preparation H that was filmed in Kiester, Minnesota?  It’s a rinky dink small farming town, with a population of 501 as of the 2010 decennial census.  I’m sure it’s less by now.  It reminds me a lot of Epworth, Iowa — about five blocks square worth of town, with a school, surrounded by working agricultural farms.  In fact, Kiester is only about 2.5 miles from the Iowa border.

We had most of Sunday free of family obligations to be somewhere at an appointed time, so we day tripped.

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Dog Fight

My next door neighbors (actually, the only ones we have within 300 yards of our house) let their two dogs out this morning, while they were out spreading mulch.  These are the neighbors who drop off free range eggs for us.  Usually, they let their dogs out into the fenced in area surrounding their pool, but this time, they were allowed to roam free.

I don’t care if they come into our yard.  One’s a three year old female English bulldog, and the other is a three month old male, perhaps a border collie mix.  Both are super friendly.  The bulldog is laid back; the puppy is rambunctious, but a bit of a wuss.  We were going to put our dog on his tie-out by the deck and patio, when the other two zipped around the corner, ran across the patio, and up onto the deck, to check out our dog.  That’s when the problem began.

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Bye, Twitchy

It was nice knowing you for years while Michelle Malkin owned you, and then for another few years after she sold you.  Your snark was grade A, but your site is now unusable.  I mean that from a technological standpoint.  It ran smoothly with AB+ enabled, but will no longer run if I use an ad blocker.  If  I enable ads for you site, it hogs my processor and slows my browser to a crawl.  Same deal with any other browser.  It ain’t my computer, which is pretty darn fast, otherwise.  It’s your site that is making this happen.  No other site I visit does this.  I’ll miss you.   Bon voyage, et bon chance.

On a different topic, I’m approaching closing on my old house.  Of course, the inspector the buyers hired found some piddly shit I need to repair, if for no other reason to justify the giant fee.  I held my ground against installing any new equipment for them that wasn’t pre-existing, but agreed to repair what was already there, that needed it.  The licensed plumber I had to hire to fix a leaky joint in a hot water pipe in the basement (which was legitimate), and a few other minor things, laughed when I said that if I had to change a toilet flapper to fix a persistent trickle into the bowl from the tank, the buyers would insist I hire a licensed plumber to do it, and produce a paid receipt, because it’s in the contract.  He knows all about that shit.  *headdesk*  *grr*

Upshot:  I refused to sign any legal document my realtor told me to sign, until she got it right, without a bunch of errors.

My realtor is nice, but she’s dumb as a box of rocks, and she’s so intent that the deal go through, that she forgets she’s working for me, not the buyers.  I shouldn’t have to remind her of that.  Dumb bunny.  The only reason I hired her to sell my old place is because I used her to buy this place, and she gave me the 5% commission deal on the sale, instead of the usual 6%.

If there is a god, please let this be over soon!  A horror writer could probably turn this into a short story, with a little imagination.  Not Nicky, though.