My Novels

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rain, rain and MORE rain!

I guess I can't complain about the hurricane dumping rain here, since we have been under a drought in the South so long. But after days and days and days of rain, it does get a bit gloomy. Of course, there's occasional breaks in the rain, and Sunday afternoon I was able to take the dogs on a walk. I saw a BEAUTIFUL three-tier rainbow, something I'd never witnessed before. Oh, if only I'd had my camera with me, darn!

I also biked that afternoon, but not yesterday. We had serious downpours all day Monday, which should help saturate the ground, good news for our region.

I voted today for our city's mayoral election, commission seats and school board members. The current mayor, who'd been in office a long time, didn't run again -- so it's up for grabs! We shall see, I suppose.

I finally bought the commode at Lowe's and I'm now waiting for the call from the installers. Hopefully I'll have it installed before the end of this week. I'd put it off as long as possible, because I'm fairly sure the installation is going to cause a problem on the floor tile in my bathroom. Bummer. But at least I won't have to keep turning the water supply off and on every time I flush the toilet!

I feel like I am drifting aimlessly, even though I have the part-time online writing position. I really don't want to seek employment part or full time just yet, because I stand to do very well at income tax time due to all the rental repairs, etc this past year. Earning a decent paycheck will definitely put a crimp on that, so I am planning to wait till the first of next year to look for outside employment.

Yet I am tired of my regular routine, and want to get out a bit more... I'd consider volunteering, but I can never do anything halfheartedly; I fear I'd soon be consumed with whatever I was volunteering for, and end up spending money instead of earning any. And frankly, with the difficult economic times, I can always use the income. I do okay, even save a little, but would prefer saving MORE. Just the way I am, always have been.

I'm still a vegetarian, and haven't eaten meat since my first entry about that choice. So far, no problems. I've lost a few pounds, not much, but that's always something I'm happy about. I've felt no lack of energy or other negative health problems, so I'm satisfied with the veggie diet. When I see my GP for my next checkup, I'll request a blood profile, which can determine if I'm getting the nutrition I need. I feel sure I am, and my cholesterol should be GREAT!

I am researching medical insurance, because I plan to switch to an independent policy at the end of this year. Cobra will last till next Spring, but it'll be easier to switch at the end of this year and not have to meet TWO deductibles next year. The best I've found thus far is a group policy with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama through my local insurance agency, ALFA. It's roughly the same amount I'm paying now, $390.00 a month, and covers doctor visits/hospital/outpatient/drugs but not vision or dental. However, adding a dental rider is included in my estimate, so all I'll lack is vision care. I think I can afford that out-of-pocket, since I have no major eye problems.

On the other hand, I've not talked to my ALFA agent yet, but will do that soon. Until then, I am not sure how much it'll cost -- that is just a rough estimate on their website calculator. Medical insurance is ridiculously expensive, so much so that I actually thought of leaving this country and becoming a legal citizen either in Canada/New Zealand/England just for their government based medical care. Alas, my town is a place I just could never leave.

And so it goes...and goes...and goes...until it's all gone.

I'll leave you with these thought-provoking quotes:

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality." --Anonymous

"TV keeps people's mind off thinking and in sync with the government. It's very useful to sell stuff and ideas. If there is scarcity of stuff then they'll keep selling you ideas like they do on North Korean TV or Cuban TV. Also it shows you all the things that you can't have, no matter how rich you are, which can lead to frustration. On TV the thinking is done for you, so you don't have to think. For all that and much more we don't have a TV, really, think about it, it's a waste of time." --Peak Oil poster

Saturday, August 09, 2008


I think anyone who has read my blog even causally, or over a long time, realizes I'm a Democrat. Or, well, definitely lean to that side and have never voted Republican.

The news about John Edwards though is something I've not been terribly upset about. In the first place, when he trotted his wife, who had terminal cancer, out onto the campaign trail...he lost my vote right then. In Alabama, we have a legendary political icon (yes, a democrat) who I came to despise while I was a teenager. George Wallace. My loathing grew by leaps and bounds when he trotted HIS wife, Lurleen, out to run for Governor after he'd already served the two terms allowed. She won. And you guessed it: she had terminal cancer, even died in office. I have an excellent biography of her life here, and I consider it PRICELESS because it shows the depth of endless selfishness for political power.

These particular types surface in ALL political parties, as well as every aspect of humanity's power hungry brokers. I just wonder how long it will be before McSenile's first marriage, and his unfathomable selfish behavior toward his first wife's handicapped situation, will make news? Or his womanizing upon returning to the USA and finding his wife disfigured by a car wreck? Ah, not long...I suspect.

Here's an excellent article about McSenile's first marriage/wife:

The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind

In other news, I think I have a summer cold -- or some sort of virus. I have body aches, stuffy nose, sneezing, etc. but maybe it's just a sinus infection. If I don't feel better soon, it's off to the doctor.

I have been on a cleaning frenzy around here: Removed all the cats' bedding, washing their large sleepers, hosing down the screenporch, and more. I thought perhaps this would help alleviate the mite problem, because they are all still shaking their head, though not scratching at their ears. Not sure what is going on, but it's looking more like a trip to the vet soon.

I had to trim back newly-grown pecan limbs off the stump. I should have had the stump destroyed, because it keeps putting out new tree limbs and darn if I'm not getting tired of hard labor at keeping it trimmed back.

What a pain this has become!

Also, I am definitely going to get a commode replacement -- perhaps Monday. I'm tired of this piece of crap I have to contend with every time I flush the toilet. Will buy one of the taller commodes at Lowe's and get it installed by their crew next week. I dread that, but it has to be done.

I am growing bored, though I don't have any complaints exactly. Maybe it's the long August days of heat and humidity, just the same old, same old!?

Dogs are well, and for that I'm glad. Princess, the elderly cat, has improved somewhat, though I still think it's touch-and-go for her, since she seems lethargic most of the time.

With that, I'm outta here for today as I leave you with this hilarious photo from one of my favorite websites:
Courtesy of icanhascheezburger

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

So I've been adapting to the vegetarian lifestyle easily! Other than missing the convenience of "canned meats" I don't have a problem at all. Actually, I am enjoying the recipes, and have stocked my freezer with a healthy variety of veggie burgers, fillings for tacos, beans and rice dishes, etc.

When I cook a batch of beans, I divide it into a lot of individual portions and freeze. And while it IS time-consuming, time is something I have in abundance now.

I also bought an iron skillet for cooking; vegetarians say it's a great source to help supplement iron intake.

Here's just a few tips for those who want to save money at the grocery store:

Buy dried beans: pintos, navy, lentil, black, peas, whatever. You can get literally whole meals for mere pennies compared to can beans or frozen prepared stuff.

Buy white and brown rice, the long cooking kind, not those instant rice boxes.

Buy a large bag of popcorn and make your own individual servings in a microwave popcorn dish. Not only can you get dozens of individual servings, you also control the amount of salt, etc.

Take advantage of farmer's market produce and/or your own garden. I have been preparing vegetables for six or seven people at the same time, and then freeze it for individual servings.

There's more, but those are just the easiest to save quickly, especially if you are living alone.

What I'm trying this month is now that I'm stocked up on the basics, I will only buy fresh produce or lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes etc for the next 30 days. Maybe soy milk, bread, but nothing in cans or instant, quick stuff. And not a minute too soon: At Walmart the other day I discovered that Boca Vegan Burgers (that I'd been eating off and on for 5 years) suddenly jumped from $2.24 per package of 4 to $2.72!

Otherwise, I'm busy with the part-time writing online position and then, late in the afternoon, walking the dogs and biking. We're sweltering here, of course, but this next week promises to bring a horrid heat wave with heat indexes of 105!! Not looking forward to that.

Renters paid the rent Friday afternoon, and now they are busy putting a new wood floor on the back porch. I gave them permission to do it, but didn't knock any off the rent. Apparently someone gave them some really good wood, and they said they'd like to replace the old wood porch. Fine by me. They also have cut down a few dying pines from the backyard, and trimmed the other tree limbs that were getting into the power lines. I have come to believe they just enjoy working around a place, and that is my good luck. Of course, in about 3 years I plan to sell that house and IF they are still there, I will certainly try to help them buy it.

My mother continues to do fairly well, but at her last medical checkup tests showed her kidney functioning has deteriorated. This has been an off/on problem over the past several years, and she has refused dialysis, so I guess time will tell. I planned to visit today, but decided I'll wait until Tuesday when my sister will be here and go with her.

Rambo and Oscar are thriving, and happy to have me home with them! I would say they are spoiled, but the truth is, they are well-behaved dogs. True, they get plenty of love and affection, but now they've been with me so long we've all learned routines, etc. And they understand "No!" and "Stop!"

My three kitties are doing okay, though Princess sleeps most of the time. She's going on 14 years old, and that's to be expected. I'm not the sure mite problem is completely gone either, and occasionally they shake their heads, etc. I am using Revolution, plus an ear cleaning solution about once a week on their ears. Eventually I may have to take one to the vet, but last time, all she recommended was Revolution.

With that, I'm outta here for today.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Brief Update

I've been busy with my part-time work and COOKING. It's fun to experiment with different veggie dishes, and I've truly developed some delicous meals. I keep worrying I'll gain weight, but in fact, I just lost 2 lbs!

I plan to write a more detailed entry later, but for now, I just had to post a picture and link to a story about dog meat being banned in China during the Olympics. The Chinese also eat cats, but then again, if you are an American eating MEAT, you really shouldn't be repulsed or object to their practice. Right?

Link to story -- picture depicts dogs on the way to slaughter. Cat lovers, just imagine a load of cats in cages too.