the RATS of moose

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

Sunday, October 30, 2005


BenSteinBen Stein was certainly depressing today. He talked about the crash of Delphi and how GM and Ford and Chrysler may not be far behind and what it means for the American worker. It means working and saving for our own retirement. Not counting on our employer to fork over dollars (not to mention health care benefits) when we no longer take part in the daily grind. This is bad news for me. I do okay saving the new state quarters but saving for retirement is beyond me. I think there is $3 in my retirement account. Maybe $10 if I am lucky. I have visions of me living in a 5th floor walk-up with no heat in the winter and trying to make the medicine vs. food decision when I'm 80. I'll have to wear different colored sox because I will have lost the other half of the pair in the laundromat down the street. I won't go out much because my arthritis won't let me do the stairs. I'll let my hair grow long again and I won't shave my lets-for insulation. No cable TV. No internet access. Costs too much.

Or, I could go sponge off my sister.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Christmas is coming!!

At least in the plant world it is.... Mother, bless her trusting soul, left 3 of her plants in my care for the winter.... an aloe vera, a Christmas cactus and something I cannot name... it's large with stiff leaves. I'm clueless. Anyway... the Christmas cactus had buds on it when it left Mom's and THEY ARE ACTUALLY GETTING BIGGER!!! I haven't killed it yet. Yet.XmasCactus3 They were just little bitty nubbins when I got them... I may have blossoms soon... wow... a plant mommy... who-da thunk?

Monday, October 24, 2005

End of Summer

The 40 degree days are here. Just in time.. I may have melted if summer had stayed any longer. Tho it will try (unsuccessfully) to make a comeback on Saturday. The weatherman is forecasting 70. But it won't last long. And there will be dew on the car in the morning. And the sun will set early. And the 40's will win.

I got out the old comfy coat today. The one with the colors-of-the-team-that-shall-not-be-named. I got the new leather coat this year. I wore the old coat. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow.

Last Warm Day 2005 The kitties celebrated the last warm day with me a couple weekends ago.

Last Flower of Summer They marveled at the last nasturtium. Then they tried to eat it.

Rolls I marveled at the Rolls Royce in the Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot.

Jabba The Cat Jabba the Cat snoozes thru the end of the last warm day.

The earmuffs and gloves appeared today too. It was rainy and windy. I like being snuggly warm and protected.

I saw the movie last weekend. One cousin had drinks with Lois Jenson on Friday. She is doing well. And I got a nice letter from my other cousin, the one in the lawsuit with Lois. She is doing well also. But that is for another time..... Bundle-up bedtime is here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Change of heart... but only for one item

I don't like Jeb Bush. I didn't know anything of him until the Florida election stupidity and from then on it's been a downhill avalanche. The gun-carry law, the Terry Schiavo case. It really doesn't matter. He could, basically, do no right by me.

Until today.

Florida is getting ready for another hurricane and Jeb was on the radio tonight saying that Florida had learned from it's neighbors and that they had set up pet shelters for the evacuation.

Chalk one up for Jeb.

But only one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Merry Christmas

I was wondering... if the economy was better, not teetering on the edge of recession all the time, if Wal-Mart wasn't squeezing every last dime out of everyone and their brother, do you think they would stop starting Christmas at the end of September? Would they go back to putting up the displays after Halloween instead of a month before? This is Chicago for cripes sake.... the LAST thing I want to experience is a fully decked holiday display while I am wearing shorts and a tee-shirt enjoying a 70 degree October day. That was fine when I lived in southern California and Floriday. It is not okay above the Mason-Dixon line. By the time Christmas rolls around I'm (almost) tired of it. {{{{heavy sigh}}}} I want it like it is in my memory.... you start decorating for the holiday one month or less ahead. Valentine's Day on Feb 1, St. Patty's Day March 1, Memorial Day May 1, Independence day on June 4, Halloween Oct 1, Thanksgiving Nov 1, Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.... oh well, guess I'll just wear sunglasses to filter out all the bling from the tinsel.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Two Degrees of Separation

My cousin's wife was one of the women who was victimized at the Eveleth mine.

I was totally appalled at the treatment the women received. Now I feel worse.

Violence and sexual harassment can strike close to home.

Show you care.

Be aware.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Six Degrees of Separation

Every person gets one biggie.... this is mine..... or, more correctly, my family's..... I got interested in this movie last week after watching the promos. The film is set in a taconite (think iron ore's poor cousin) processing plant on the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. This area is home for my dad's family. It's about a woman who brings a class action suit against the Eveleth mine for sexual harassment in the workplace. I did a little research on the time-line and got to thinking that maybe some of my relatives (many of whom worked in one mine or another) had worked with or knew of this woman, or at least had an insiders view of the case. I wrote to my cousin the other day and she wrote back today.... I'm looking at 4 degrees of separation... Lois Jenson (the woman at the mine) graduated from high school with D who married my cousin.

She says Lois lives in her town and she sees her around occasionally, although, not much since the movie was filmed. There is also the possibility that another cousin's wife was one of the original group that was involved in the suit. My sister is looking into that. All this time, I was totally unaware what the family was going through.... where have I been??

"Class Action" is the book on which the movie is based. BB checked it out of the library for me... I just got started, but it looks interesting so far.... My cousin also sent a link to an article that was in the DuluthNewsTribune online newspaper today.

In 1997, thirteen years after Lois filed suit, "the Eighth Circuit reversed the trial court's award of nominal awards to the women with a seminal opinion that establishes the standard courts should follow in assessing damages in sexual harassment cases, as well as setting boundaries for the conduct of defense lawyers in these cases." ( In December of 1998, a settlement was reached between Eveleth Mines and 15 women in the suit.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment still exists in the workplace. But we have the opportunity to stand up, speak out and help end sexual harassment and domestic violence. In your community, be active, be vocal and stand up for women's rights and equality. And if that doesn't work, just punch the guy in the nose. ;-)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Show you care. Be aware.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


It is with great regret that ChrisMoose announces the death of her pancreas at 7 pm today. It is thought that the death was the result of an overdose of levulose. A severe, although not fatal ingestion, occurred Tuesday morning over the course of four hours. The Medical Examiner has confirmed that had the ingestion been halted at that point the pancreas would have survived the insult (after a lengthly recovery). However, another uncontrolled ingestion occurred somewhere around the dinner hour that proved to be the undoing of the pancreas. It is widely known that the pancreas secretes a hormone that neutralizes levulose. In reasonable doses, levulose is not toxic to humans, however in large amounts it can cause alterations in behavior, including hysteria (which was observed by co-workers of Ms. Moose Tuesday morning), followed by somnolence and stupor, and an eventual return to normal. The origin of the levulose is suspected to be the GIANT (empty) bag of candy corn found with the body (of the pancreas).

Services will be held on Saturday night at the wedding reception of Ms. Mooses co-worker, at the cake table.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


AAAAACCCCCHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is illness afoot! I went home from work on Thursday feeling crappy. BB felt crappy. We both stayed at our respective homes feeling crappy Thurs night. Even my mother feels crappy (worse crappy than us put together.. get better Mommy!). Didn't go to work Friday cuz I still felt crappy. Puttered around the house and read the paper. Read the paper alot. BB stayed home from work Friday for other reasons and came over to keep me company by sleeping on the couch next to me. Felt so-so on Saturday... it's the creeping crud I always get... feel reasonably fine (except for the concrete head thing) for the first 2 hours out of bed and then your head becomes too heavy to hold up from the ever-increasing amount of cement in there so you want to take a nap. So you do. And then you get up and do it all over again. So went Saturday... although, I skipped the nap part. I just puttered thru them. We watched "The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" Sat night... This movie would have been good to watch stoned... maybe stoned and slightly drunk. So long, so long, so long, so long, so long..... ;-) I wonder what the writers were on? It's obviously better than my drugs! "So long, so long, so long, so long and thanks for all the fish!"

Anyway... to quote Flaurella.... I digress....

Sick. We took a three day weekend because we were sick. After a relatively good Saturday, I woke up Sunday with the worst virus/infection/infestation I've EVER had!!! This whole day was BIZZARE!!!! I don't know what it was... I don't know where it came from.. although I have my suspicions after watching Hitchhiker last night... I'm sure this is some sort of intergalactic malady from yesterday's travels.....

First, I got out of bed before 8 am. Not too unusual... but instead of making coffee and hitting the couch with the Sunday paper,..... I made coffee, slapped on deodorant and headed to the grocery store. (BB was sound asleep) I only wanted eggs and milk for breakfast. I went home with slightly more. Slightly.

The spirit of ?? June Cleaver?? or maybe Martha Stewart??? infected me/grabbed me by the balls when I was tooling around the store and said "Sunday pot roast with carrots and potatoes, Sunday pot roast with carrots and potatoes and dinner rolls and salad". I felt like I was POSSESSED!!! The cart kept turning around in circles all over the store... It was like a sickness... I had to get more... More... MORE..... I never did find a pot roast, but I got a pork tenderloin and apples and salad and tomatoes and potatoes and bananas and stuff and stuff and STUFF!!!!

And diet root beer.

When I got home I proceeded to make a loaf of banana nut bread. Then BB got up and I cooked a full Sunday morning breakfast (I did cheat and purchase the fruit cup instead of cutting it up myself). Then I cooked up a pot of soup (the simmer for 3 hours kind). Went out with BB to get some naugahyde to cover his piano bench (I wish I could repeat the story he told me about how the naugahydes became extinct along with the polymers in the late 50's when plastics became popular-it was hysterical and won't translate well... just trust me on this one.) Came home, stirred the soup some more and whipped up a pot of applesauce-with the skins-that went with the pork tenderloin I baked for din-din. Had salad with tomatoes, baked potatoes and assorted veggies, and BBQ sauce for my beloved. We completed the stuffing of ourselves by finishing off the Cherry Garcia ice cream just now.


WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED TO ME TODAY????? I haven't cooked this much since... since.... I can't remember WHEN I EVER cooked this much in a single day. I actually ran the dishwasher TWICE!!! I only do that on Thanksgiving and Christmas!! Sheesh... I hope this JC-MS virus is self-limiting or my food budget is in real trouble....

I wonder if I should call in sick tomorrow, too?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Auditory Visuals

Trashbags committing suicide from the 11th floor garbage chute.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rain, Rain Go Away

Done. Well, 98% done now... the patio, that is... Not bad considering this is how it started....PatioBeginning2004 There were large dirt piles left after digging the post holes... The original intent was to excavate to grade. But I had no where to dump the dirt so decided to raise the part nearest the door to the stoop height. I framed in the stoop layer and the part next to the sidewalk last year. Got the frames filled with dirt and pea gravel and cut patio block to fit for the stoop level. Didn't quite get the second level done before it got too cold to work outside.

This summer was too dang hot to work outdoors.. so... I saved all my energy and over the course of 3 weekends, this is what I did....PatioHelper Beautiful Sierra Cat is helping me re-do the second level. The lowest level in the background was laid yesterday (10-1-05) morning. The weekend before I did the framing, dirt and a layer of crushed limestone last weekend. I'm sure the neighbors all hate me. I cut the patio block yesterday... about a dozen cuts.... with a circular saw.... in the backyard.... can you spell toxic cloud of red dust??? It was horrible... was over half way done before I rigged a dust collection system... don't know if it helped, but it made me feel better! ;-) By the time I got the middle layer done it was dark out and I was dead tired with a SORE back. I was going to call it quits with that done... the whole thing needs to be compacted, but not this weekend... not enough hours. But.... after I got done with the flower garden (round one-more on that later) I had lots of daylight left so decided to pull up the stoop level and add more crushed limestone. That didn't take long and now it's REALLY ready for compacting... and here is the finished product....PatioDone I'm really proud of it.. my first patio! It's not level in the traditional sense... it follows grade so I don't have to worry about standing water. And I know it doesn't hold standing water... it got tested this afternoon.... It had been rumbling for about 30 or 40 minutes after I got the patio done.... remember my note a couple months ago about WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS? Well... do as I say, not as I do.... oops... Then it started to sprinkle... put the furniture on the patio, got the tools cleaned and picked up and in the house. Took my pictures and headed indoors with just enough time left to shut down the computer before the thunderstorm hit.

It poured and poured and poured! I swear we got 6 inches in half an hour.... Torrential is the word that comes to mind. Or the 40 day flood... sheesh... At least the blocks didn't wash away... wish I could say the same for the flowers... but that's a story for another day.....