My Novels

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I had the most extraordinary experience today on my bike ride. It had been storming off and on, and between the storms, I took off for the cemetery. I finally figured out a way to carry the camera, and I was anxious to take some pictures.

A storm had passed earlier, and went north; it was sunny when I left the house. Once I got to the cemetery, a wind came up, but still the sun was out. I first took some pictures of the weird tombstone with the full body image of the boy. You may have to lighten it a bit to see his full image, but trust me, he is there in a full image. You can see the subdivision behind him, which borders the cemetery. I have a lot of photos from the bike ride, so I'll add a link at the end of this entry.

But first let me tell you how spooky this trip turned out. I was riding the paths, taking pictures now and then...when suddenly the wind began blowing VERY hard. I could barely stay on the path. Now, I don't consider myself superstitious...most of the time, anyway. But as I looked north (and took a few photos) I realized the storm was turning south, coming back after it had gone north! Then I found the tombstones of my maiden-name ancestors, and as I took those shots, there was a peculiar fog hovering above them -- but ONLY in the pictures! I guess I freaked a bit, because I didn't see this "fog" in the graveyard, ONLY in the photos. Also, there was an "open" grave, which had just started being dug. I assumed they were planning to plant one today.

Anyhow, I felt sort of...spooked, and also realized the storm was about to hit, so I took off for home. I rode AGAINST the wind ALL the way back, and let me tell you, it was a TOUGH workout! And sure enough, the grave-digging truck passed me on the paved highway, on the way to finish that half-dug open grave! But on the dirt road, I did stop to take some pictures of my usual path...and just made it home before the rain started, hard.

I also got some fabulous photos yesterday, after a storm passed...mostly of the farm and house here. I'll try to post those soon.

At any rate, here is the link for the cemetery pictures:

Cemetery 160 Years Old

Hopefully the next time I ride, I'll carry my camera and get some good pictures of the ancient section of the cemetery.

I am LOVING living here. A NEW adventure every day as I explore the area on my bike. And now that I can carry my camera easily, I'm sure to get some fantastic pictures as I ride and explore different rural areas here.

Till later...

Friday, March 26, 2004

I finally have some pictures of the interior improvements here at our old house, now that we're moved in. You can find those HERE. I will have more soon, showing different views of the rooms, but for now these will suffice for an update.

Yesterday I rode my bike in the nearby subdivision, which is close to the old cemetery. The streets are quiet there, no traffic, and all the dogs are penned up, so they can't get at me! They do raise a ruckus, but are no threat. And the two dogs on the dirt road seem to want me to pet them, and never chase the bike.

It's warmed into the high 70s, windy and buckets of pollen everywhere. My allergies are giving me fits, but I still ride the bike because it helps me sleep better to get that aerobic workout. Plus, it keeps my weight at 98 lbs, even though I'm eating more these days.

I worked yesterday again trying to sort stuff out, change and rearrange clothing in the closets; I can't seem to get things in convenient locations, but hopefully soon I will have it all done. I also mopped the laminate flooring, vacuumed the carpet, dusted, did general housecleaning chores. I wanted to see how long it would take to get the house straightened up each day, and it's about the same time as the other house.

DH just called, and said that all the applications we had placed in a plastic box at our house for rent in town are gone. That means I will have to print out some more this afternoon; but that IS good news. We still have a good bit of cleaning to do inside the house, but wanted to put a sign and applications in front of the house so as to find out if there was going to be any potential renters. The application IS very detailed, because I'd just rather let the house sit empty than get someone in there who won't pay the rent or halfway take care of the place. And a six month lease is required as well.

My sister and I talked the other night, and ruled out my nephew renting the house when he is married in June. We both sort of agreed it might lead to hurt feelings and/or family discord if there were problems down the line.

Next week one day I must go back to the other house in town, and do some extensive cleaning -- which I'm not looking forward to, but is necessary.

So far, I'm settling in here better here than I'd thought I would. I sure do love the new side-by-side fridge, mainly because I can have ice and water any time I get thirsty (and there's a charcoal filter for water, which makes it taste much better too). I'm drinking lots more water, and that has to be good! However, every time the ice maker drops ice, I still jump nervously, can't get used to that clicking sound! The new washer and dryer are getting lots of use too.

And now I have to end this post, because I need to go to the nearby shopping mall again and pick up a few necessary items for the house. It's amazing, but once moved in, there's things I had not realized I'd another shopping trip is in order.

Someday....I'm going to have enough time to really write a long entry!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Oh my! When I went on my bike ride today in the cemetery, I saw the strangest tombstone I've EVER seen! I guess this must be a new trend, because when I looked closer at some of the newer stones, I saw several that were similar...but none so weird.

Today I reversed my direction of riding the paths, and that is when I spotted this peculiar is huge, probably over ten feet tall. Dark granite color, it has a lifelike almost 3D full body image/picture of the dead boy on it! Talk about spooky! If you came up that path at night in a car with headlights on, you would be FREAKED out when you seen this...ghostly image ahead! I think putting even a small picture of the deceased on a tombstone the very least, morbid. But this...this is truly freaky. Then as I looked at other new stones, I found similar images, although most were just half a body image or just the face. Still, is that nuts or what? And I don't even want to imagine how much that kind of stuff must cost! {Of course, I want to be cremated with my remains strewn somewhere in a nature setting, so I guess I'm prejudiced.}

At any rate, I didn't take my camera again today because I haven't figured a way to carry it while riding the bike down that gravel road which jostles terribly. I might just drive my car over there, and take a bunch of photos soon. But I sure am learning a lot about the cemetery and dead folks! I even spotted some tombstones with my maiden name on them, and I didn't think there were any in this area.

I have been soooooo busy today, still sorting, discarding, and rearranging stuff for convenience, etc. However, I did have time to post just a few pictures...though none of the house interior just yet. You can see the most recent ones HERE.

I'm in a bit of a rush, have to start our evening meal. DH will be home soon, and we still have a good deal of things to do around here -- he needs to run phones lines to other rooms, and I have to repot a couple of plants, do some outside care of the shrubs we've set out, etc. before dark. By the way, the mares and colts were doing great when we visited them at my nephews...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Whopee! Just got back from a shopping trip AND then my bike ride. I am absolutely THRILLED with the bike ride, because not only is the cemetery a PERFECT place to ride (wide paved paths, very little uphill riding), I discovered that the end of the dirt road merges into the small city of H.'s street, with a speed limit of 25 MPH. That means I will be riding on city streets, even if I decide (or can't) ride in the cemetery every day. The dirt road that runs alongside our 5 acres is so pretty, peaceful; there are only a couple of houses back there, and I did see two dogs...but they just stared at me as if they'd never seen a bicycle and had no interest in chasing one! The paved city street winds around curves, up and down slight hills -- about a mile to the cemetery. There is practically NO traffic between 10:00--12:00 and 1:00--3:00. I LOVED riding on that paved road, it's scenic and a nice workout! I can get some speed that's for sure!

Then the cemetery paved paths, that wind through the large old cemetery. I didn't take my camera today, because I wasn't sure I'd go all the way to the cemetery. But I will next time I ride, and get some pictures of the old tombstones. There are city streets behind the cemetery, LOTS and LOTS of places to ride if I wish, whole neighborhoods. DH had told me we were just about one-fourth mile from the city limits at the back of our property...but I guess I didn't realize how close that is! Sooo, I do believe that bike riding here will be far better than it was in the city where we last lived! That sure makes me happy!

The shopping mall is so close around that back way that I can get there within five minutes. And although there are the same chain stores I frequented before, I found these to be better stocked and hardly ANYONE shopping. There seemed to a more laidback atmosphere, the clerks not as harried and overworked; and the grocery store has a deli AND a bakery! Yum! And this mall is directly across from a small junior college so I occasionally see teachers/professors in the stores. At any rate, I will have to familiarize myself with the store layouts, but once I know where everything is located, I should whiz right through shopping! Additionally, I now use a pharmacy in that mall, so if I only need medicene, I can get it there.

The thing is, this place here has all the conveniences of city living...but in a rural setting! I have NO doubt that we made the right decision in buying this place, and as the days pass, I feel more 'at home' here... I believe I am going to like it here, and once I'm completely detached from the last house, I'll be happier than I was at the other home.

Today my nephew came and picked up the mares and colts; I hated to see them go. I sure hope I'm not going to get TOO attached to the horses, because DH sells them eventually. But it was sad to see the little colts go, since they were born here. My nephew borrowed the very last horse trailer we have (DH has sold all the others already) and then DH called later, said that a man wants to buy that trailer. Therefore, after we eat our evening meal, we'll drive to my nephew's and get the trailer -- and can also check on the mares and colts. ;-)

Better go for now. There is so much yet to write about, and I hope soon to have enough time to do proper justice to all that I'm experiencing!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Argh! Wouldn't you know that the ONE thing I depended on to give me a sense of belonging here (the phone/internet) wouldn't be available due to a connection problem? However, obviously all is well now...since I'm posting this entry.

The phone company was due to start our phone service Saturday morning, but it turns out there was a problem at the connection box outside. Sooo, to make a long story short, we didn't get that repaired until this morning. Two days without a phone or internet...would have been a lot worse if we hadn't both been so busy!

Yep, we're all finished moving. By 3:00 Friday afternoon, all the major furniture was moved; then we started placing stuff, etc. I had to make two trips back to the house to get my cats, and DH had to get odds and ends.

The cats, by the way, are doing fine. Three of them are Nervous Nellie's....but the other two seem to have taken to the new "cat house" like ducks to water! And oddly, the youngest cat, Buddy, who was born at the place in town and has never been outside or anywhere else except the vet, was the happiest of all. He endlessly explored every inch of the new porch, then proceeded to do the same inside the house that night. All of them, of course, had a sniff fest, exploring, etc. Although they were a bit scared, curiosity got the best of them and they all ventured into the house via the new see-through cat door and nervously looked at everything. At any rate, they have settled in fairly well.

{I started this post yesterday, got interrupted by phone calls -- from my sister and mother -- had more work to do, scrubbed the bathroom tile on my hands-and-knees --and didn't get this entry finished. It's now 8:00 Tuesday morning.}

Saturday DH and I spent arranging furniture, putting up some curtains, sorting stuff out and unpacking. The most frustrating aspect is that even though I thought I knew where I put things, when I need certain items, I have to go on a search mission! :-) My sister, who recently went through a move, said the same thing happened to her. I don't think it's old age either; just that when you've lived in a place for 22 years, you know exactly where everything is located. Now that we're here, I constantly have to re-evaluate whether I've placed things in convenient locations, and where I put them when unpacking!

Both of us are VERY pleased at how well the interior of this old house looks now. I do have some pictures, inside and outside, but just haven't had time to download those and post them. I will try to do that either later today or tomorrow.

It has taken some getting used to the "quiet" when there's no traffic on the road, or when I'm in the back of the house. At night, and other than peak times of work-related timing, the traffic is much less. I did take a sleeping pill the first night, but have slept fine the other nights. And I confess to a bit of homesickness, but not as much as I'd feared.

Sunday we went back to the house in town, and I swept it out, did some vacuuming, but have not done the extensive cleaning I'll do maybe next week. We did put a "For Rent" sign in the yard, and had a call last night from a lady who seemed interested. Being there again made me a little sad -- mostly because it's a real shame how the neighborhood is going downhill, one of the reasons we decided to move. The two strays showed up while I was there, but they have almost a full automatic feeder/waterer. Still, I gave them two cans of cat food, but I am sure they will survive. I will keep the feeder there for them, and any others who eat there; DH checks on the house every day, and if I don't go as often, he'll check the feeder. I don't feel it would be fair to bring those cats here; they are city cats, and were thriving and surviving long before I began feeding them.

Besides, I already have a stray cat here! Yes, DH told me he'd seen a stray cat sleeping in the hay in the barn. Sure enough, I put out a bowl of food Sunday afternoon and the cat came out to the doorsteps to eat some! It's a gorgeous cat, but oddly colored -- part tortoiseshell and part gray striped, with white paws. I'm not sure yet if it's male or female, but I'll find out eventually. Naturally, it is feral and frightened of people. Anyhow, DH put the bowl of dry food and some water in the barn for it.

I have much, much more to write about -- but I must end this post now and get busy. I need to take care of my cats, do a bit of housework and then go to the grocery store, which should be an adventure since this is my first trip to the stores in the nearby mall! Brrr, it's been cold here...near 30 last night. But today it is predicted to be around 65, and maybe....if I have time, I can go on my first bike ride here!

Till later...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I went on my farewell bike ride today. Somewhat sad, I vowed to remember all the GOOD aspects of the park, not the BAD. The weather is perfect for riding, about 65 and a light wind; I thoroughly enjoyed the time riding. I want always to remember how the ring-neck doves call to each other when mating in spring; how the pines scent the air with a sharp evergreen fragrance; how the sidewalk path meanders along, sometimes curving, sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill...the wind in my face, and the crisp red baseball field dirt and contrasting white bases just prepared for the new baseball season. Soon I couldn't ride in the park anyway, since the kids will be playing baseball. But at the best of times, like today, I have it all to myself and ride happily in solitude. Sure, there's houses surrounding the park, but still, when it's deserted, I feel as if I am alone. It was an IDEAL farewell ride, and I hope I can always remember it fondly. {No, I won't think about those pesky illegal Mexican immigrants who sometimes drive me nuts when they infiltrate the park!}

Earlier I took a load of my clothing to the old house, did one more paint touch-up job and put some plastic dropclothes over the carpet where we'll be walking as we move stuff in. I wanted to protect that as much as possible, since we paid to have the carpet professionally cleaned -- and it looks great now. It was very quiet there, almost eerily so...very little traffic on the road, and I felt...alone. Not exactly lonely, but definitely somewhat alone, since usually DH is around the house somewhere when I'm there. I don't know how it will be once I'm settled there, and alone during the day while DH is at work. I believe I'll either get very accustomed to the "silence" and could NEVER live near people in the city again; or I'll hate it, and feel lonely. We'll see, I suppose.

I also dropped by a department store and finally bought some nice curtains for our bedroom. Hopefully we can get those hung tomorrow sometimes. I think there's a real possibility we'll have most of the furniture there by tomorrow night, since DH is taking off tomorrow, and we may stay there all night. Tonight MIGHT be our last night in this house!

When I got home, there was a message on the answering machine from a lady interested in buying my Nordic Track ski machine. I ran an ad, because I decided to sell it and rarely use it anymore since I started biking. She said her daughter might come look at it this afternoon, so I cleaned it, and have it ready for them to see. Also, I just don't have space for it at the old house.

Of course, I do plan to ride my bike when we're moved. HERE is where I'll start my ride and at the end of that road, I'll cross a country blacktop and go into an ancient cemetery with paved paths. I plan to ride in the cemetery, since the paved paths will be easier -- and no one to intrude. The "dead" are such agreeable, quiet companions! I also hope to get some photos of the old tombstones, and post those in my cemetery album soon. I'm sure there's some tombstones there that date back to the late 1700s or 1800s.

And that's it for today. Perhaps the next time I post, it will be from the old house...and my laptop!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I really, really, really should be working (packing, sorting, etc.) but I just had to write this brief post about one of my all-time favorite authors and provide a link to her website, which I've just found this morning. Erica Jong has always been a treasured novelist in my own life; I read her first two novels when I was in my 20s (Fear of Flying, How to Save Your Own Life) and those largely influenced my own writing efforts. Her female protagonist still amazes me and inspires me to write; and, of course, some of that character was Erica in disguise.

At any rate, I found her site by accident, and spent way too much time browsing and reading. It is truly one of the better author websites, with tips and suggestions for writers, weekly inspirational messages from Erica herself, and forums. Here's something she posted for aspiring writers:

Erica's 20 Rules for Writers

1. Have faith--not cynicism
2. Dare to dream
3. Take your mind off publication
4. Write for joy
5. Get the reader to turn the page
6. Forget politics (let your real politics shine through)
7. Forget intellect
8. Forget ego
9. Be a beginner
10. Accept change
11. Don't think your mind needs altering
12. Don't expect approval for telling the truth -
(Parents, politicians, colleagues, friends, etc.)
13. Use everything
14. Remember that writing is Heroism
15. Let Sex (The Body, the physical world) in!
16. Forget critics
17. Tell your truth not the world's
18. Remember to be earth-bound
19. Remember to be wild!
20. Write for the child (in yourself and others)

There are no rules
Erica Jong

I suggest you drop by for a visit, if you are a writer or just like to read and wonder about a writer's struggles. I'll also put a permanent link at the bottom of this blog.

Now, back to work after this nice interlude! {All is still going according to plan, the move is on for Saturday!}

Monday, March 15, 2004 I insane to have just gone on a bike ride in the rain? Why I'm not. I did it because I HAD TO HAVE SOME AEROBIC EXERICISE OR I WOULD NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!

You see, I haven't slept well in two nights, and hadn't biked either, due to concern the throat problem was caused by riding in an awfully brisk March wind.

However, my doctor told me I had a 'bacterial throat infection,' gave me some antibiotics and said I might have "strep"...but either way, the antibiotics would take care of it. And my throat has improved, though it's still a bit sore on one side.

I also have some sleeping pills, but I HATE to take those, and had rather let the biking help me sleep. And when I saw a break in the rain today, I took off...but halfway through my ride, it started raining, but I just kept going till I got the whole ride in! Hopefully I'll sleep tonight. {Yes, I know I am one of those "high-strung" people; or in the clinical lingo: "Have anxiety disorder." But IMO aerobic exercise if preferable to drug therapy.

Sooo, we're all set to move the last of our stuff next Saturday and stay there that night. And we'd better be able to, because our phone and TV cable service ends next Saturday here, and begins at the old house. Won't be long now. I feel somewhat excited and am anticipating the move...but of course, there's a bit of sadness in leaving this house in town too.

After all, I have always felt that I've had "good luck" here, in that nothing really horrible has happened here. Sure, we've had our ups and downs, an illness now and then...but overall, the 22+ years here have been happy. There are SO many memories in a house you've lived in this long, and I guess that is one reason I just can't bear to give this place up now. Yes, I want the rent income too, but selling it unbearable in some strange emotional way. Plus, someday I might come back here to live, should DH die before me. But I am fairly sure we'll be in the old house as long as he lives.

Not that I won't come to feel the old house is "home"...for I may indeed feel that way after some years have passed. But I grew up only a few blocks from where I now live, and this part of town has always had an "emotional' connection for me; it feels like "home." Plus, what is that saying about you can take a person out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the person? Well, you can take a person out of city...but can you take the city out of that person? We'll see, I guess.

Anyhow, I've been busy out dresser drawers/closets etc. Why, oh why do we save stuff we will never, ever wear? Beats me! I've tossed a lot of clothing I've had for ages, and never wore once! At least this is a great way to clear out stuff that is no longer useful or needed -- clothing, furniture, you-name-it.

Once we get moved, I'll try to take some pictures of the interior. Of course, there's still a great deal of work to be done on the exterior of the house. By golly, I bet I NEVER hear DH complain again that, "...there's nothing to do." Tee hee!

And now for the last news: It seems there's a great deal of ladybugs at the old house. I did a little research on those, and here's what I found regarding folklore:

Ladybug Lore!


Legends vary about how the Ladybug came to be named, but the most common (and enduring) is this: In Europe, during the Middle Ages, swarms of insects were destroying the crops. The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon thereafter the Ladybugs came, devouring the plant-destroying pests and saving the crops! The farmers called these beautiful insects "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became popularly known as "Lady Beetles". The red wings were said to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots were symbolic of both her joys and her sorrows.


Nearly ALL cultures believe that a Ladybug is lucky.
Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune.

In France, if a Ladybug landed on you, whatever ailment
you had would fly away with the Ladybug.

If a Ladybug is held in the hand while making a wish,
the direction that it flies away to shows where
your luck will come from.

If the spots on the wings of a Ladybug are more than seven,
it's a sign of coming famine. If less than seven, it means
you will have a good harvest.

In Belgium, people believed that if a Ladybug crawled across
a young girl's hand, she would be married within a year.

People in Switzerland told their young children
that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybugs.
(...and we thought Storks did that)!

In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the Ladybug understands
human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.

In Brussels, the black spots on the back of a Ladybug indicate to the
person holding it how many children he/she will have.

According to a Norse legend, the Ladybug came to earth
riding on a bolt of lightning.

The Victorians in Britain believed that if a Ladybug alighted on your
hand, you would be receiving new gloves.....if it landed on your head,
a new hat would be in your future, and so on.

In the 1800's, some doctors used Ladybugs to treat measles! They
also believed that if you mashed ladybugs (ewww!) and put them
into a cavity, the insects would stop a toothache!

During the Pioneer days, if a family found a Ladybug in their log cabin
during the winter, it was considered a "Good Omen".

In the Spring, if numerous Ladybugs are seen flying around,
British farmers say it forecasts many bountiful crops.

Many Bretons believe that the arrival of Ladybugs will bring fair weather.

Folklore suggests if you catch a Ladybug in your home, count the number
of spots and that's how many dollars you'll soon find.

In Norway, if a man and a woman spot a Ladybug at the same time,
there will be a romance between them.

Interesting, no?

Till next time....whenever I have time to post....

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Another busy day/night/day! No reprieve in sight either.

Today I managed to move the stray cat feeder (which consists of a picnic table and shelf underneath for food/water) further from the house. I did a lot of cleaning, and put out two huge food/water dispensers, so the cats should always find something to eat, and water. At this point I am thinking I won't carry the two strays with me, because they are, after all, city cats...born and bred. If they ran off when I took them to the country place, I'd worry they'd died of starvation or got hit on the highway by a car. This way, I can put out food/water when I return here to do the few things I'll have to do before the house is rented. And if I'm lucky, I'll get a cat lover here who will take over my duties as neighborhood stray cat feeder! In my rental info, I've listed cats as welcome, but no dogs. It is apparently difficult to find pet friendly landlords, so I'm hoping to attract a cat lover here.

Last night DH and I took a load of stuff from the closets and kitchen cabinets, and placed it all when we got there. Also, the carpet looks great, almost new! The professional cleaning truly worked wonders. I went to look at a side-by-side refrigerator and washer/dryer yesterday, which DH had picked out. I agreed they were okay, so he'll go back to dickering on price/delivery with the appliance dealer. He loves that sh*t, and will enjoy trying to get some off the regular price! Hopefully those will be delivered sometimes next week, and we'll be set for moving the following weekend.

Very warm, almost hot here today. I didn't ride the bike, because I spent so much time working on the stray cat feeding area. Also, I woke up today with a sore throat; DH said strep throat had been going around at the office, and I sure hope I haven't got that!

And that's it for today.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Whoopee! Had a GREAT weekend, especially Sunday when we got our taxes done by my brother-in-law, the CPA. Turns our we're getting almost a $4,000.00 refund. That means we're going to buy a new side-by-side refrigerator and washer/dryer, leave our older appliances here for renters. More rent, you see. Yes, there is a method to my madness.

I always enjoy visiting with my sister, brother-in-law and their son, who will be off to college next year. It's difficult to believe he's that old, seems only yesterday he was a mere child! At any rate, after the taxes were done, we went out to a nearby restaurant and treated them to a delicious meal. Our way of paying for the tax work, since they won't take money. Then, as I was telling them about my old, bad, slow printer, my sister said that they'd gotten a new one -- and they gave me their older one. Believe me, it's a vast improvement over my old one...and I've already got it set up and printing out the rental forms!

Also, they insisted I take a telescope they never use. It's fairly new, but they said they just never use it anymore. As soon as we're settled at the old house, I plan to start star-gazing at night, since there's a good view of the sky in the backyard and NO light distraction. Can't wait!

Yesterday I went to Wal-mart, picked up a few necessary things, particularly plastic runners to protect the carpet where traffic is heavy, and a couple of lights to put under the counters at the old house. The cleaners got the job done yesterday and it cost about $40.00 LESS than they'd estimated! I went on my bike ride late yesterday afternoon, though I had to fight the brisk, strong wind. We're sure having a very windy March thus far.

Today I've packed the remainder of my books, and tonight we'll take those to the old house along with the bookcase. Tomorrow I'll go back and unpack the books, place them in the bookcase, one less job to do on moving day. However, we still haven't decided if we'll move this coming weekend or the next one. Just depends on how much we get done this week, and if that carpet is dry or not.

Hence...back to work!

Friday, March 05, 2004

I haven't had time lately to post quoted news articles about our mad, mad world...which I always see as the absurdity of human life. Here are some excerpts and links from a couple I found interesting:

From The Raving Atheist

Do not thou be too hasty, quoth McDermott

Amid increasing rancor over same sex-marriages and the federal marriage amendment, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) took to the House floor last week to denounce the invocation of “biblical principles” of marriage by the “presidential prayer team.”

In a one-minute address, the fiery Seattle liberal said the book of Genesis allows for marriage “between one man and one or more women” and that “marriage of a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden.”

And from Deuteronomy: “A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed.”

And he said, according to the Bible, “divorce is not possible, and finally, if a married man dies, his brother has to marry his sister-in-law.”

Okay folks, stop laughing -- this is really TRUE. McDermott did indeedy give this speech -- and it was reported in a factual news article. I guess we'd better start following ALL the biblical advice if we're trying to base marriage on the bible, huh? Looks like there'll be LOTS of folks heading to hell if these verses have any bearing at all. ;-)

Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail

NEW YORK (AP) -- If the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail for free, our mailboxes would surely runneth over with more credit-card offers, sweepstakes entries, and supermarket fliers. That's why we get so much junk e-mail: It's essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying "stamps" for e-mail.

Many Internet analysts worry, though, that turning e-mail into an economic commodity would undermine its value in democratizing communication. But let's start with the math: At perhaps a penny or less per item, e-mail postage wouldn't significantly dent the pocketbooks of people who send only a few messages a day.

I don't know about you, but when I have to start buying 'stamps' for email, I will be sure the internet is on its way to a certain death. Leave it to Gates and/or other CEOs to try and profit off what is the one sure way people can openly express themselves, without almost any censorship.

And now...back to work. SLAVE is my name! :-)

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Forgot to mention in my earlier post of today that my cat, Buddy, is home and steadily improving. I'm being very strict about him only eating the prescription cat food the vet ordered. I'm also giving him a cortizone pill each day, as well as some liquid antibiotic. So far, so good. I missed him...

When I went to get him the other day, the vet said he had been hiding behind his litterbox, and wasn't a very social cat. Excuse me, has anyone EVER known a social, outoging cat? Don't think so. [I'm just about fed up with this vet, and probably will not go to him again.] Anyhow, when they brought Buddy out, I started talking to him, and he instantly started meowing and purring, and was SO glad to see me! When I got him home, he sat in my lap for a long time, and purred and purred! He's always had a sweet disposition, and is one of my favorite cats -- though I usually say that about them all. :-)

At any rate, he is lying here beside me as I write this entry on my laptop. Happy little fellow to be home. I just hope I can continue to help him improve and get back to his usual, happy self.

I went on my errands earlier, and then did a lot of packing this afternoon. I bought some 'slider robots' at Big Lots -- these are amazing, in that you place them under four corners of furniture and it just glides, easy for anyone to move/push. We'll need these when we are in the midst of moving and rearranging the furniture at the old house, because you just know that I won't be able to accept any arrangement until every conceivable position has been tried!

And that's it for tonight.
Still working...but will have to take a break Sunday when DH and I go to my sister's house to get our income taxes done. Dread it this year, but hope that we'll get just a little money back, which would sure help on the renovation and upcoming move. I sold off the last of my stock last October, but I'm hoping the profit, balanced with a loss, will sort of balance it out.

I went on my bike ride this morning, and it was HOT. Even at 9:00 it was around 75, and I got hot and sweaty on the ride. However, it sure is great to be able to get this necessary exercise; I'm staying at 97 or 98 lbs, and seem to eat almost anything I want, within reason. I've never had much of a sweet-tooth, which can pile on the pounds. I took a snapshot this morning of myself, and will leave a permanent link to it on the sidebar. If you're interested in seeing that (not a full body shot) you can do so HERE

I'm about to head to town, do some errands, drop by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. My allergies are killing me, but I am trying to stay with OTC remedies for now.

Gotta run, lots to get done today!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Good news and bad news to report. And of course, lots of work, work, work at the old house. Looks like we'll be moving the weekend of March 14th -- two days after our 33rd wedding anniversary!

First the good news: We have a new colt! It was born Saturday night, and is PERFECT. The mare is doing great too. Sunday one of my nephews and his friend came by to see it, and the friend ended up buying it. Of course, he won't take the new colt till it's weaned from the mare, but he put a down payment on it already! A male colt, which will be registered. I have a couple photos you can see by going HERE and looking at the bottom of the page for the two shots of the colt. At first we thought it was going to be an identical-colored Palomino to the other colt, but it also seems to have some reddish coloring too, like the mare.

The bad news: My last remaining cat of the three kittens is ailing again. He, Buddy, seemed to be completely blocked with a urinary stone on Saturday morning, so I took him to the vet. The vet said he needed to keep him, get him unobstructed...and Buddy is STILL there. The vet left a message on the answering machine Saturday afternoon saying that he'd gotten Buddy unobstructed easily, and I figured I'd go get him this morning. BUT, when I talked to the vet this morning, he said that yesterday Buddy seemed to be obstructed again...or at least, not urinating. The vet gave him some cortizone, and that made him urinate. Vet is puzzled, but says it sounds more like a combination problem of urinary irritation from the stones as well as blockage. I just don't know...because what I am really concerned about is that Buddy also has leukemia, like the other two kittens had. If so, could this be a tumor blocking problem? I do want him to live, if possible; but I'd been doing everything correctly to PREVENT stones, only feeding him the special diet cat food, etc. It makes me wonder. Plus, I dread seeing that vet bill...four days in the vet hospital. Ye Gods!

As for the move, we are steadily, rapidly moving forward. We've scheduled a professional cleaning of the carpet for early next Monday morning. Over the weekend, we'll finish up the last of the work there (hopefully), then once the carpet is clean/dry, we'll start moving stuff every day/night until the large furniture can be moved on that weekend. I am ready to move, get settled, and get this darn house in town rented for income!

Went on my bike ride earlier, which was great. It's 70 degrees here, and we had light rain all morning; during my bike ride it sprinkled a little, but it was nice. I guess I'll soon be doing a "farewell ride" in the park! But then, when we're moved I will ride on the dirt road alongside our house which leads to an old cemetery with paved paths...and I can ride in it.

I've been packing pictures today, family pictures, etc. And I've taken all the pictures/artwork off the walls here, which we'll go ahead and take to the old house and hang soon. WORK, nothing but WORK. I'm looking forward to relaxing when this is all over. At least for a few days.

Gotta run, more to get done here this afternoon.