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Showing posts from May, 2017

THANKS, US Concordia!

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Whelp, looks as though Larry and I no longer have to argue over those rugs! It turns out, according to the friendly ladies at my dental practice, that my dental insurance is now a piece of crap. The company left the Dental Health Alliance last year (unbeknownst to us), because it wanted to decide for itself what the allowable charges for standard dental procedures should be. And then pay 40% of THAT, instead of 40% of what they actually cost.

The upshot being, my new crown and filling will cost me over $1400 out of pocket . My insurance company? It's shelling out a whopping $380.  That's 27%, folks. I feel so ripped off. And stupid.

So, yeah, new rugs for the family room will have to wait.

But no matter, there's no room for rugs in the family room right now, anyway. Theo came home from the Army last Wednesday, with all his stuff. Anna (our newly minted college graduate) has been delivering her things here daily, as her lease is up tomorrow. Remember this picture?

It doesn&…

Stalemate

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Okay, something pretty momentous happened in The More, The Messier household yesterday evening. For the first time in over 2 decades, I cooked a lentil dish that received - I kid you not - rave reviews. EVERYONE ate it. And today, for lunch? Unbidden, they ate the leftovers.

In other news, hell has indeed frozen over.

So there you go - anything can happen. This opens up worlds of possibility, doesn't it? Maybe this means that I WILL someday find my waist again. Maybe my children WILL, at some point in their lives, learn to turn off lights and shut doors. Perhaps, even, SOME DAY, Larry and I will manage to agree on area rugs for the newly renovated (hardwood floors!) basement family room.

Actually, that last one? No. No, we will not. Folks, after 26 years of marriage - 26 years of raising children, living together, learning to agree to disagree - we may have finally met our Waterloo.

You see, we need one of the rugs for what we call the fireplace room, which will have some blonde-…

Fashion Alert 2017

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Bad news on the fashion front, folks! I mean, not as bad as the (thankfully) short-lived bubble shorts phenomenon, but still...it's bad. Look over there to the right (I mean, if you're reading this on desktop - I have no idea where the pictures show up if you're reading this on your phone) - see that shirt? See the problem?

If you don't, you probably aren't short and round. BANDED BOTTOMS, people. Shirts with banded bottom hems are coming back in style. Go on, ladies, emphasize that post-menopausal Buddha belly with a garment that makes it look even rounder!

Good Lord, what's next? The return of Oxford button-down shirts for women? I mean, I sure miss having to check to see if all those buttons stayed closed, don't you?

IMO, the fashion world hates short busty women. HATES.



Stepping It Up

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Have we talked about Mother's Day yet? No? Well, then, let's do that.

Happily, Larry has learned over the years that the Amazon wish list titled "Gifts for Karen" is a pretty good place to discover what I might actually want for a present. So this year he gave me a new Fitbit, because I lost my Fitbit Zip in Salt Lake City.

Which reminds me, I still haven't talked about our two days in Salt Lake City. I sort of skipped over it and meant to get back to it, but I worried that writing even one more post about that train trip might lose me the few dedicated readers I still have.

Anyway, I didn't notice the Fitbit was missing until I was on the train heading to California, so I have no idea where it went. I had planned to replace it with another Zip, but in a burst of whimsy I put the Fitbit Alta on the wish list instead and left it there, while I was trying to rationalize the extra expense.

So Larry saw it and bought it for Mother's Day. It is the prettiest …

Time To Bug Out

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Ah, it's that time of year when we struggle not to turn on the AC until June. Well, I struggle, anyway. The kids and Larry would gladly make this place a refrigerator from May 1 until October, because they don't understand the value of suffering. Or money.

And really, the heat's not bad, yet - but the humidity is rising. My science-y offspring tell me humidity has something to do with water vapor in the air, but you and I know the truth: it is all the devils in hell coming up here to suck the life force from our bodies.

And this spring? These life-sucking devils seem to have brought some friends.


Now, I already knew that our region experiences Brood X, which is this massive influx of cicadas every 17 years. The last event was 2004, and - as luck would have it - our family was living elsewhere that spring. We were tucked away safely north of this plague, in Rhode Island, while Larry went to the Naval War College. Every morning that spring, I woke up and thanked the powers t…

"Seasonal" Means Nothing In Our House

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So, the weekend was sort of busy, what with working at the yoga center and Mother's Day and ANNA GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE.

Remember Anna? 10 years ago, she was the teen girl so many of you loved reading about, filled as she was with contempt and loathing for her parents and siblings and the plebeian life into which she had mistakenly been born. Actually, she might still be filled with contempt and loathing, but - being an adult - she hides it better. And, hey, that's good enough for me.

Anyway, Anna (and other teen girls like her) was the one we all gleefully concocted the "Getting a Clue" curriculum for, lo those many years ago. She seems to have passed with flying colors, having lived on her own and worked and gone to school for the past several years; and for that Larry and I will always be thankful. Also, she's turned out to be a pretty nice person, so that's always a plus.

So we had a little party for her. Of course, "a little party" meant that…

*****9861*****

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That's how many emails I deleted in one fell swoop today, 9861.

So, uh, if I was supposed to get back to someone and you don't hear from me? That's why. Also, this reminds me that I have never heard back from upnitestx, who won the Yarn Harlot book from me, lo, many months ago and sent me her address, only I deleted her email and had to ask for her address again.

I never received it. Either she quit reading this blog in disgust, or she decided she didn't want to have any further dealings with someone as disorganized as me. I don't know, but I'll try again. I'm not proud.

UPNITESTX: please send me your address. I promise I won't lose it. Knitting Rules has been sitting on my desk for, oh, 3 months now and I'd really like to get it to you!

I just went and checked my email to see how it would feel to see only one or two messages in there, and it was still completely empty, and I got this weird, panicky feeling, like I had lost something. Or like I had …

Time In A Bottle

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Today I spent assiduously avoiding my email, because really some people are NOT NICE when they get behind a keyboard. Oh, not blog readers, you all are wonderful. But in the real part of my life, where I have real responsibilities, sometimes people write emails saying things they would never say to my face. And I'm tired of it. The drama, it's exhausting. And completely unnecessary.

Also, my water heater still doesn't work and I told the company that installed it I want a new one, and they're all, "Problem? We don't see a problem." Which was totally not the right response.

So I looked for something I could have some control over today, and I ended up cleaning out the 2 kitchen cabinets that are always full of stuff. FULL. Every time I try to put something in them, I can't, because STUFF. So I pulled everything out and found several superannuated items that could be discarded.

Did I say "several"? I meant, A LOT.

See that picture, to the left…

I Don't Speak Very Well For The Trees

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I stepped outside today and saw our rhododendron bush blooming, so I know it must be May, but boy, it's cold! And this pic of the bush (which is truly magnificent, because I have never touched it with my guaranteed black thumb) doesn't even do it justice; but I couldn't snap the full view from the front, because that angle is now blocked by a completely dead (really, most sincerely dead) dogwood tree, which expired without any warning whatsoever.

Actually, the tree did look a tad sickly last August, when we came back from Acadia; but we chalked that up to the abnormally dry summer we had had. "It'll come back," we assured each other. "Next spring, you'll see." Only it didn't, so there it stands, ruining our view of our gorgeous rhododendron and presenting a grim reminder of the consequences of horticultural ignorance.

Hey, I know - let's look at some before and after pictures!






I don't know what I did wrong with this tree, since I h…

This, That, And The Other Thing

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In news you can use, THIS certainly sounds healthy. Nurses LOVE Cinnabon, I'm sure. In the future, I expect to see similar giveaways, such as free Netflix for a week for librarians and maybe complimentary Uber rides for physical trainers.

Also, a new tick disease! And this one only takes 15 minutes to transmit, so, yes, we ARE doomed, thanks for asking. If you're looking for me, I'll be busy inventing an outdoor shower for my front porch that soaks the kids with DEET each time they step outside.

And, it's happening again - I am being lured once more by the siren call of a new lentil recipe. I hate lentil soup. My family hates lentil soup. Yet every once in a while, I'll become convinced I've stumbled across a recipe (sometimes by another blogger, sometimes just in the newspaper) that will change all of our minds about lentils. I'll let you all know how this one goes.

My having to drive Rachel to a late-night cast party on Saturday turned out better than exp…

In Which I Repeat Myself. A Lot.

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I worked the concession table last night at my daughter's drama production of Beauty and the Beast. Hey, I thought, why not? Everyone needs to do their part. How hard can it be?

Reader, I messed up the popcorn machine. Lumiere's dad had to clean out all the burned, stuck-on kernels and fix the stirrer thing. Mrs. Potts' mom relegated me to selling just the candy bars and (already cooked) pizza. Also, soda - I'm good at soda.

In other news, it's raining like the dickens out there this morning, which means I don't have to go outside and do my pretend jogging today. Instead I get to sit in my nice cozy den and blog at you. Which beats doing what I should be doing right now, which is paying this enormous bill it turns out I owe to the IRS. They sent me a nice letter yesterday explaining to me exactly how I messed up on my 2015 tax returns and telling me they want their extra money right away.

But, hey, I managed to save $50 on FitFlops at Nordstrom Rack yesterday,…

A Lot Of Drama

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As you may have guessed by now, Susie and I finally made it home. Let me note here that the train from Chicago to DC was the ONLY ONE where the club car attendant deemed it necessary to announce that, while there was beer and wine for sale on the train, passengers should remember that it was a limited supply and that they should leave enough for their fellow riders. He also informed us that anyone who became over-intoxicated would be escorted off the train at the next stop.

I guess people heading into DC these days feel the need to become completely inebriated. I wonder why?

While we were gone, spring happened. I wandered around the neighborhood for 2 days exclaiming, "It's so green!" And "Look at all the trees!" The Farmers Market opened right after our return, so I was able to buy some of the plants I'm going to end up killing this summer. Susie was just glad to get back to a full fridge and not having to pull her suitcase around strange cities for miles…

Look, It Was A Long Trip, Okay?

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Oh, my gosh, you poor people - just one more post about that Amtrak trip and then I'll stop, really.

Anyone here?

Oh, well, we left Seattle, I avoided killing someone on the way to Spokane, and we had the best car attendant EVER so I gave her the fingerless mitts I finished knitting before we got to St. Paul. Also, we crossed Montana, including Glacier National Park, and then crossed North Dakota in the dark, so I didn't see ANY of it. We arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota, at 8 AM, exhausted. But did that stop me from saying, "Hey, our AirBnB is only half a mile from the station! We should just pull our luggage there!"?

No, it did not.

I uttered those words to poor Susie, completely disregarding all the times that "just pulling our luggage there" ended badly on this trip. Luckily for her, it started to rain before we left the station. "Looks like we'll have to call Uber!" she chirped. Heavens, they get tech-savvy early, don't they?

So we Ubere…