the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

There is a reason I shouldn't leave work at 5 and drive through the pouring rain to BB's place.WetRush Everyone drives like a moron (except me). It takes me twice as long as normal to get there (normal being 40 minutes). And, I do stupid things, like take pictures while I am driving 10 miles per hour.

Why do people drive badly when it's wet outside? I tried (mostly successfully) to drive without the brakes today. It works... you just can't drive 70 in the rain. Maybe, instead of black boxes in cars, they should put in brake disablers and 20mph governers for when the pavement gets wet. It would make more sense. I'm whining. I know. Shall I change the subject?

I like Commander in Chief. Don't know if I can take a whole season of Geena D, but the snotty Chief of Staff to the first husband will be fun to watch... What will they call him? She will be POTUS. He will be.... First Gentleman of the United States? FGOTUS?? That isn't right. First Husband? FHOTUS? Maybe... HOTPOTUS..... Husband of the President of the United States. THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOT-POT-US!!!!!!!! ;-)

Found in the garbage.... dumpster diving in the burbs.....RadarRange78 A microwave older than mine!!! This genuine Amana RadarRange was made in 1978. I think mine was made in 1984. I'll have to go look....

27 years... not a bad age for a microwave... I should last so long....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

500 pounds of crushed limestone

Got up around 8 this morning and skipped exercising (which I do most mornings(skip, that is), but actually got done yesterday) and headed outside on the strength of one 4 ounce glass of orange juice and some vitamins and started working on the 'let's lay pavers' project I started last summer.

Have been wanting to work on it all summer, but refused to go outside in 95 degree heat and 95% humidity to work. At least today it was only 70 degrees and 95% humidity! I took me at least 15 minutes before I started dripping sweat. Sheesh...

I got the last part of the 'area to be tamed' excavated a month ago. Those were the little white baggies of dirt I wanted to donate to Katrina relief. But, like most of my projects, I changed my mind on how much below grade I wanted to go and wound up attaching some retaining boards to the fence and dumping all that dirt back into the hole. Oh, well... anyway... put the dirt in, got my 'fill-to-here' lines drawn and leveled and tamped all the dirt down. Then out to the truck to schlep the 50 pound bags of crushed limestone over to the hole. Schleped may be too severe a word. I used a wheeled trolly. Much easier on the muscles. (Although the hamstrings protested mightily a few hours later when I tried to get up from breakfast!)

It's amazing how much information I've absorbed from watching Daddy work on various and sundry projects all these years. I dumped the limestone a little at a time (instead of all at once) and used the 2x4 to level it out and tamp it down. Go slow and only do once... worked out pretty good. Is fairly level, too! Thanks, Daddy!!!

Got done with that and got out the big cast iron tamper and dropped it about a million times on the limestone. Looked pretty darn good, unfortunately, mother nature insisted on dropping dead slimy leaves all over it... and it was quitting time (BB was up and I was HUNGRY) and I knew I wouldn't get to work on it again until next weekend, so I got out my trusty blue tarp and covered the whole thing... just about 3 minutes before the downpour started.Pavers1 I now have my very own water feature/mosquito breeder. But, darn it, I worked really hard on making it compact and clean and since it will be 6 more days before I get to work on it again and I don't want to spend hours picking leaves off and recompacting to get rid of the squirrel tracks and such.... next weekend I really want to rent a compacter and make the base HARD! Will see how much I get done this week... need to buy pavers and more limestone and some sand and I will be ready. And somewhere in there I should mow the grass and rake the leaves....

But, overall, given the amount of time I spent on the project this weekend, I am very pleased with the progress. Yesterday morning it was little more than plain fence and a pile of dirt.

And I didn't mind the rain at all... it was close to 80 when I quit and the water was a welcome relief after the sweating. Got the yard picked up and the sidewalks cleaned of mud. Not a bad morning. Then BB took me out to breakfast at my favorite place... Lumies! There is nothing I love more (meal-wise) than Sunday breakfast.

Added a little shopping after breakfast and it wound up being a great day... but.... now it's time to do more drugs... my back is none to happy with me....

Sunday Shopping

Women old enough to be my grandmother should not wear distressed capri length jeans with platform flip-flops. Even if she is a size 4.

Women old enough to be my great-grandmother should not wear scraggly, uncombed, not-quite-dreadlocks, no-color hair down to their butts.

When walking across the parking lot, please cross the driving lanes in a manner perpendicular to the direction of travel of the vehicle, not diagonal. It may be more efficient to your mind, but it increases my desire to run you over exponentially.

If I am standing in line to check out and you need to cut through my line to get to something on the other side of me, please say 'excuse me' and 'thank-you', moron.

I should not let out yelps and clutch my seat when other drivers behave in a manner of which I have not approved if I am not driving.

I should not persist in giving directions when it is clear that they fall on deaf ears ( just kidding, BB!!).

Do not sling 500 pounds of crushed limestone around the backyard before going shopping.

Do not go to Sam's Club and, just for the heck of it, throw a pillow-top mattress on the floor for a test lay and then attempt to get up with any dignity after slinging 500 pounds of crushed limestone around the backyard.

Take the ibuprofen before you go shopping.

Ditto for the heat wrap. (Are they the next best thing since sliced bread, or what???)

Now, who is going to come over here and get me off the couch?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Galveston, oh Galveston

Galveston, oh, Galveston, I can hear your sea winds blowing, I can hear your sea waves crashing. And all reporters yakking, and their equipment falling, and their satellites failing....

Rita's on the run, attacking Galveston......

I got the weirdest urge to go to Galveston this morning. Between the time I left home and the time I got to the fire station to teach I was totally fired up about going down south to ride out the hurricane. Made for a very interesting class....

Totally irrational. I am sitting here doing Rita 24/7. I still wanna go. I'll wave at Dr. Maddox on my way through Houston.

....I can see me standing by the water,
standing there looking out to sea,
Will Rita wait for me,
On the beach where I long to run.....

I am so afraid of missing,
The hurricane you're kissing,
Before I watch your palm trees flying in the fun
Of hurricaned Galveston!!!!!

I have gone totally around the bend.....

Time to let go

Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to Alan Alda stump his new book, "Never have your dog stuffed". It was thoroughly entertaining, especially as all the local townsfolk have decided that the radio host sounds exactly like Mr. Alda (not true). They had fun with this, each adopting the other's persona for part of the interview. But, ala Flaurella... I digress....
When Alda was a child, his dog died while eating Chinese food. He was devastated and his father was at a loss on how to console him. They tried to bury the dog and that didn't work so they took the dog to the taxidermist and had him stuffed. Unfortunately, the dog came back with a less-than-tranquil expression (think teeth bared-ready to lunge) and further terrified the child Alda.
The moral of the story (or book) is about accepting change, for without accepting change and letting the past go, you will not have room to embrace the next experience. (Or something to that effect)
With that thought bouncing around inside my head, I listened to the radio tonight on the way home and heard the announcer get all excited about the hordes of people who were showing up in Chicago somewhere to (pay for the opportunity to) celebrate the

20th Anniversary of the Chicago Bears winning the SuperBowl.....

What the *^$%#(*#?????

These people are celebrating something that happened when I was 25?? Why can't they just build a decent team and WIN THE STUPID BOWL GAME MORE THAN ONCE EVERY 100 YEARS?

Sheesh. Move on folks. Don't stuff yourselves.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Death to pointy-toed spoons

Heirlooms.. when you think of heirlooms you think of brooches from Grandma or a priceless tea set from pre-war Japan or antique Spanish mantillas and combs. Different things for different people.

I don't quite fit the pattern (Gee, what a surprise!) Todays heirloom was the shortening spoon. I got a wild hair and decided to bake a loaf of banana nut bread which requires some shortening. (Can't you just smell the bread?) BananaNutBread (It was warm for dinner tonight) From the time I started cooking... early 70's some time... when you needed to measure out some shortening, you got the big round soup spoon from the silverware drawer. it has the perfect curve for packing shortening (and brown sugar and peanut butter) into a measuring cup. (Yes, I measure. If I don't , you don't recognize the end product or it catches fire and the oven goes up in flames or there is spontaneous combustion on the stove or some other catastrophic disaster... so, I measure.) When I moved out of Mom's house, baking was never quite the same because I didn't have the shortening spoon. I made do with the pointy-toed soup spoons that came into fashion, but, like pointy-toed shoes, they just aren't right for me. (I actually tried on a pair of pointy-toed shoes a couple of weeks ago (can you say POINTY OIL TANKER FEET???) ... when I was on the quest for the perfect shoes to go with the chocolate-brown suede outfit I now own... speaking of which, which we weren't, but we will... I need to return the other leather coat I bought... I found them at Wally-World... I know, high end shopper am I!!... I've been thinking (for the last several years) that it would be nice to have a leather coat for fall to wear for work when I have to go to meetings and such... last few years I've been wearing my green bay wanker colored coat (which I absolutely adore except for the color... it doesn't go with my Vikings persona). It was that or my totally dressy purple wool coat, which usually only comes out for special occasions. (which is stupid when you think of it... what if I die tomorrow and I haven't worn my favorite coat right into rags????) And besides, they are all winter-weight coats; I need something lighter. But, I digress. I found some not-bad-looking waist length leather jackets at Wally-World one day. So, I tried one on. And I liked the way it looked and hung and stuff. So, I put it in the cart. And then I saw the other side of the rack! Well... There were some just-above-the-knee length coats.... fitted on top with a flared skirt. Button up and totally cool!! And... the sleeves were long enough.... even when I wrapped my armies around my boobies! (Is there an echo in here?) And I looked in the mirror. And I looked GOOD! So, I put it in the cart. And I wandered the store picking up the other things I needed (wanted) and debated the long vs. short coat. And as I approached the checkout lane, I realized I hadn't made up my mind on long vs. short. So I bought both. (oops... bad girl,.... I'm supposed to be paying OFF the credit cards, not buying clothes!) So, I took it to the weekend at Starved Rock and modeled the coats for BB and sister and sisters best friend (almost-sister). Sister liked the short one, I can't remember which one almost-sister liked and BB, wonder buns that he is... asked me where, specifically, I was intending to wear the coat, and when I said to meetings for work, he suggested the longer one because it looked dressier. So, I thanked everyone for their input and took the coats home and put them in the closet. And they are still there. But, after careful contemplation, I have decided that the long one will stay with me. I took a look at all the coats in my closet (and it is a CONSIDERABLE number) and thought about the ones I like to wear the most and they are ALL longer coats (cover-the-butt-in-winter type). So the longer one stays. And it will look TOTALLY FAB over the chocolate-brown suede outfit. (Which, just for clarifications sake, I bought AFTER the coats.) So, I gotta return the coat. But, I digress. So, all these years out of Mom's house, I've been using pointy-toed spoons to play in shortening. A less-than-satisfactory experience. Oh, well. Life sucks. So, today, AT MOM'S HOUSE, when it came time to measure out the shortening, I automatically turned to the silverware drawer and pulled out the shortening spoon. As I lifted it from it's place, I got to thinking that after Mom was gone, my sister and I were going to have a fight on our hands about who got the shortening spoon. It would turn into another heirloom for us.Shortening spoons A little while later, Mom joined me in the kitchen and I told her about the *heirloom* status of the shortening spoon and she laughed and asked me if I wanted one to take home as she has 6 or 7 of them. I am absolutely beside myself with glee!!! She had two styles of handles... one I associate with her (on the right) and one from her mothers everyday silverware. I now have 2 spoons going home with me!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!! I will never have to use pointy-toed spoons again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BB and I went to a number of estate sales last weekend and I asked if his children would be selling off our stuff like that when we were gone... we just laughed... but, when mom and Dad are gone, it's going to be a knock-down drag-out fight between my sister and I. At the top of the list of family **heirlooms**... the old blue ice cream scoop. We've had it forever. Probably longer than forever. It's so old it was probably painted with lead paint... which has mostly chipped off into the ice cream we have eaten... which would explain a lot!! And we both want it. Why? I have no clue... memories, if I had to name a reason. The other biggie is the old Tupperware shaker that opened up while Dad was shaking it and coated the dining room with not-quite-whipped whipped cream. We were all hysterical with laughter. I am amazed we didn't hurt ourselves or pee our pants. (Or maybe we did and just didn't tell anyone. If the same thing happened today, there would be leakage.) Heaven only knows how long we laughed.



Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mooses in the land of Tar-get Oz..

It was so totally weird.... I went shopping a couple of weeks ago.... I wasn't looking for clothes. I swear! I had a list!! A GREAT list!!! And I was sticking to it. Really! And I was doing good. Really!!!! And then the shopping cart went to "that" side of the store. I was only on the sporting goods/electronics side. I had NO intention of going over to the other side. REALLY!!!

But you know how insidious the 'other side' is. It lets you slide by a couple of times without really making a play for you. And besides.... I never get much beyond short-sleeved t-shirts there because the pants are never long enough and the sleeves are too short. And, besides, I was over near the wall, not in the main aisle where the clothes live. So I figured it was safe. Ya know, cuz the clothes never fit anyway. So I brazenly traipsed up the main aisle (umm, yeah, the list was complete by this time, why do you ask?). And I just glanced over by the clothes... and I kept walking... and then I circled back. And then I actually TURNED MY CART INTO THE CLOTHING SECTION!!!! I really wasn't shopping for clothes.

But it was okay, since I knew I was safe, and it was just for a lark (am I dating myself?), I just touched one of the chocolate-brown suede jackets, just to feel the sensation of the suede on my fingertips AND IT FELL RIGHT INTO MY HANDS!!!! I had NO idea they came off the hangers that easily. So, of course, I **had** to try it on. I mean, it was already in my hands. So why not? The sleeves are never long enoug...... long e.......

I took it off and checked the size. Yup, right size. I put it on again. Zipped it up even. Wrapped my armies right around my boobies. And nothing changed. The end of the sleeve STAYED RIGHT AT MY WRIST. No pull, no tightness, no nothing. I took it off again. I figured it was a fluke.

I tried another one on. The sleeves were LONG enough. HOLY SHIT!!!!!! so i tried the skirt on that matched it. it fit. holy mother of pork!!! i'm 6 feet tall. how did this happen????

I was TOTALLY freaked out by this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so I tried on more. And more. And more.

I was soooooo relieved when the pants were too short.

Still, it cost me a suede jacket and skirt and contrasting t-shirt.

Then the hunt for the perfect pair of pumps was on.

;-) Sue and Laura will be proud. But that's another story.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Tonight the catz got introduced to spaghetti. Sierra (pictured) was thwapping the ties on the back of my seat cushion (normal activity when I sit in that chair) and I got inspired. So, I held a piece of spaghetti for her to thwap. She swatted at it a couple of times before she made contact... and she recoiled in total surprise when the spaghetti stuck to her whiskers! I jiggled it a little more, she swatted a little more, it stuck a little more.... and then she discovered that she could bite it.... and it would stretch... and she could let go and it would recoil and bounce and she would bite it again.... and then a piece came off... and she swallowed it... and soon the bite-stretch-break-recoil-stick to whiskers-game was on.... It was dinner entertainment for BB and I tonight... and I learned that cooked spaghetti sticks to the table cloth very nicely! I love cheap entertainment....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina Donations

I have decided to donate dirt to the levee project in New Orleans. I think it's a good idea.... what else am I going to do with the excavation in the back yard? Right now it's going into the garbage. It can't help anyone there. So the next time I hear of a semi being loaded for NO, I am going to bring my dirt. ;-)

Friday, September 02, 2005

In my own little corner, in my own little chair.....

I sit in my air conditioned house. I ride around with a full gas tank in my air conditioned truck. I get to go to work everyday in an air conditioned building with working toilets and sinks. I am able to eat lunch in a cafeteria that serves such fattening meals that I can't eat there anymore. I can drive home, stopping at stores to buy anything I want. I go home to my catz, who are dry and well-fed. And I can sit on my brand new toilet in my freshly re-done bathroom. I wonder if I realize how good I have it?

If the flood waters were rising at a foot a minute in your yard, or the F-5 tornado was bearing down on your house, or the forest fire was at the back door... what would you grab? Disasters teach object lessons of the heart. I would probably lose my life looking for the catz. If I could get them coralled, I guess I would grab the laptop. I can't grab the photos.. they are scattered all over the house. I also hope I would have my necklace and earrings on that BB gave me. But, there I go... adding more and more to the list of "must haves". It really is just stuff... but I love it soooo much. :-)

I hope you all find it in your heart to donate something to the cause... they are in our backyard. Who knows, next time, it could be me who needs help. Pick your favorite charity or use mine...

McCormick Tribune Foundation - They will donate an additional $.50 for every dollar you donate. There are no administrative fees, so your entire donation goes to the relief fund.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It was a good weekend....

The Girlz I know it was a good weekend... I dragged BB out of town and met my sister, and her best friend at Starved Rock State Park and spent the weekend totally out of touch with real life. Left town Saturday morning, came home Monday afternoon. Our folks came out on Sunday morning for brunch (totally awesome!!! If you get the chance, go out there any Sunday for brunch! Make reservations) and a little stroll in the woods. Played board games, ate, laughed, ate, played more board games, ate, laughed, wandered around the canyons, ate... It was a good weekend.....

How do I know it was a good weekend?

1. I gained 4 pounds. (Did I mention that we ate? A lot?)

2. From noon on Saturday until Monday afternoon I totally forgot that there was a hurricane floating around the Gulf.

3. We were NOT in New Orleans.

It was a good weekend. ;-)