Friday, December 2, 2022

'Tis the season.

Our weather's been a nasty bitch, lately--one day's in the 60's, the next won't climb out of the 30's.  Yes, it smarts.  It's part of that time of year, and one of the main reasons I hate winter.  Our local weather prognosticator predicts that a lot of the winter will yo-yo between cold and colder, with above average snow for our area.  Fun, fun!  He predicts one cold snap system to hit right before Christmas, followed by one just after Christmas.

Speaking's another reason I hate this time of year: Christmas music.  Every-fucking-where.  I hate, hate, hate Christmas music.  Wanna make guesses how much of the shopping I do online?  The first two don't count.  

Although, to be honest, that started up in October, in some stores.  Early October.  

(I don't think it's working as well as they hoped, this year.)

I've got about half the Christmas shopping done.  I got shopping done for my mom and her sisters.  I still have to get stuff for my sisters (and brother), and half of the kids' stuff.  And get what I'd planned for my other half and my mother-in-law.   And I'm still right around on budget, so there's room to finish up.  And there's room in the budget for treats, too. 

Yes, I said "budget."  You cannot fall off your budget just because it's Christmas time.  Doing so sets you up for bad times in the year to come.  

Partly because this is also the time of year that property taxes are coming due.  

You did budget for that, right?  

I did.  And then the emergency fund took a huge hit, and took my tax budget with it.  The tax budget is now rebuilt.  The emergency fund is next.  Then the insurance budget.  And finally, after that, tuition. 

Right after that is New Year's Day...and all of the resolutions that we may or may not manage to keep for the next year.  And a ton more cold, snow, and ice. 

(which, again, we'll be seeing frequently...all the way up to and through severe storm season in the spring...)

Did I mention I hate winter?  From the start of the commercial Christmas season in the beginning of October all the way up to the end of March?

Monday, November 28, 2022

Knocked off my feet, a little.

Last week was Thanksgiving week.  The kids were out of school for a full week.  

And it occurred to me, last week, I hadn't heard from one of my best friends in a while.  Last time I heard from her was toward the end of October.  So I checked her FB page to see if she had a lot of stuff going on (if not, I was going to call her).  

Found out she'd passed away right after I'd talked to her last.  

I knew it was coming.  She'd been fighting metastasized inflammatory breast cancer for the past nine or ten years.  It had spread into her ribs, spine, skull, and brain.  And wasn't responding to treatment any longer.   

I'd been praying for what was best for her and for her son.  I can't imagine this was what was best for her son, but she'd been in a lot of pain for a while.  

Not all of it physical.  

She'd married into a local group of polygamous Mormons about fourteen years ago.  I told her at the time that I didn't think her intended spouse wanted her for anything other than leverage to keep custody of his step-grandchildren (guess who proved right).  And then, right about the time she pushed things into a good health place for her, her husband decided to bring in a second wife...and refused to support her in round two of cancer fighting.  

I hold him partly to blame for her recent fight--she'd fought the beast into remission once, and spent three years cancer free before it came roaring back and took her.  I think that the stress of the so-called "sister" wife playing seraglio politics (and my friend REALLY didn't want to, and was open to a plural marriage of equals); a running fight with the step daughter, the step-grandkids, and their social worker; and an unsupportive spouse suppressed her immune system enough that...this time, the cancer won.  

So yeah, I'm grieving.  I'm grieving, I'm angry, and I'm off-balance.  

And it's really made me angrier with my mother.  It's really hard to catch inflammatory breast cancer before it spreads.  Mom didn't have inflammatory breast cancer.  She just...made the choice to not bother having it dealt with while it was small, and isn't bothering to try fighting it now because she didn't want to deal with the cancer die-off symptoms. 

Monday, November 14, 2022


Ugh.  Sometimes I hate being clued into what's going on.  

As a housewife/primary budget keeper/main shopper, I pay attention to things.  Very, very close attention.  And, being a housewife to someone whose primary training was in economics, I understand what I'm seeing when I see it.  

Right now, I'm seeing the consequences of multiple decades of economic retards running the money supply, exacerbated by two or three years of dribbling morons piddling in the pile of stupid-ass decisions.  

In brief: the Federal Reserve is supposed to be keeping their thumbs on the scales to prevent stagflation like we saw in the 1970's from happening again.  It's supposed to be adjusting the interest rates on lending to prevent too much money from chasing too few goods to drive prices to where the everyday family isn't able to deal.  

It...hasn't.  It hasn't done that for years.  Decades, even.  

Holding the interest rates down was one thing.  Holding them down then printing money? 

Yeah.  Really, really bad.  

They did that.  Exactly that.  Several times.  Most recently during the fauxdemic. 

And then they decided that it was a BRILLIANT idea to go full-turnip on the green shit.  Both in STOPPING oil production, slowing refining, and in slowing/stopping reliable and relatively inexpensive electricity production. having a noticeable effect.  Already.  With a colder and nastier than normal winter forecast for a lot of the country.  

So.  Inflation.  It's happening.  On everything.  They're admitting around 8%.  

I'm saying that's bullshit.  

In 2020, I bought ten pounds of chicken leg quarters for $4.90.  This year, the ones I bought were around $10 (little bit over, when I bought them).  That's doubleMore than.  

In 2020, a box of 5 dozen eggs was around $5.  Now?  Close to $18.  

Lentils.  Something that a lot of people don't know exist, much less what to do with, but were a cheap staple when I was growing up.  In 2020, a bag of lentils was $0.98.  The last bag I bought was $1.48.  

Those price increases aren't 8%.  That's not even 8% per year.  

And don't get me started on how much other needed foodstuffs and materials cost.  

I was raised in a welfare/food stamps household.  Where my mom had...about the same level of understanding of economics: "They should set price ceilings on these things!  They cost too much, and people can't afford them!"*

I did not understand--not for a long time, with a lot of simple explanations of what I was seeing--how supply and demand worked to set prices.  I didn't understand how interest rates worked.  I didn't understand how fiat currency worked (here's a hint: by trust, which is not being lost so much as willfully discarded by the twat-brained waffle-heads in charge).  

I learned.  Because I don't like being poor.**  I didn't want to be poor.  

So I learned.  Slowly, because my talents don't like in those directions, but I learned.  

I am no longer poor, because I understand--now--what behaviors and choices were keeping me mired there.  

It's the same ones driving the over-educated idiots running things in DC.  "We have money; we have to spend it!  Before it disappears!"  

We are not going to be able to fix this.  We're looking at Keynesian economics in a nutshell, there.  This is what is, normally, taught in econ/finance in modern universities.  By "smart" people.  Not one of whom understands what they're actually looking at.  "The data's not supporting the hypothesis; we need to spend harder and faster, because we're not doing enough to save us all."  

Their inflated opinion of themselves and their theories have blinded them to the fact that there's a hole in the bottom of the boat, and instead of plugging it, they're drilling it bigger (and adding more, besides).  

They really ought to be beat to death with copies of Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics.  

*No, not a good idea.  That way lies full-on shortages.  

**There's a difference between being poor and being broke.  And it's all in attitudes and behaviors.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

I don't believe you.

The midterms were yesterday.  There's a lot of people scratching their heads, today, wondering what happened.  See, they expected to see a solid Republican majority take over both the house and the senate.  And it hasn't happened.  

I never expected it.  Because I expected what happened.  It was signaled out loud for months, damn it.  The opposition--the Democrats--started months ago bleating about abortion, bleating about this, that, and the other. Issues that they hold near and dear.  Things voters don't care about, especially not in comparison to the ability to put food on the fucking table for their children.  

I do not believe that the Democrats won.  I do not believe that they can.  Not with the majority of America as angry as they are, and about the things they're angry about.*

I do not believe Fetterman took the seat over whats-his-face, the quack holisitic medicine twat that turned on the President who campaigned for him.  

I do not believe they took any district that was not a 100% inner city vote, and that would have been close, because people are that angry.  

And this is Bitch McConnell's fault.  And Lindsey Graham(nesty).  And the fault of every lizard that's been there, squatting in DC with a camouflage R, for my lifetime.  You surrendered to the fucking enemy.  You're quislings.  

Oh I know they're going to be gaslighting us as hard as they can.  "It was a fair election."  "You're just sore losers."  "We won, so the people want what we're going to give them good and hard."  


I do not believe you.  I don't believe the media.  I don't believe the results.  

Tell you what.  If you want my buy in, redo the whole election.  Tomorrow.  Paper ballots only, in person voting only, with a drivers' license or state ID required to vote.  And do not give me that bullshit about disenfranchising minorities--every last one of them has an ID.  Because they have to to have a bank account, to buy their smokes, their liquor.  They have the fucking ID.

Even with California's fucking retarded "yes, undocumented immigrants can get a drivers' license."  I'll accept that.  Because I'm pretty sure that even the illegals don't want what Democrats are pushing.

IF, and only if, the results match what they're waving around, will I believe they won.  

Until then, I just...don't.  

Ladies and gentlemen, we no longer have a legitimate federal government.  We have a criminal cabals of liars, killers, rapists, and thieves attempting to rule over us.  

I cannot tell you what to do about it.  I don't even know what to do.    

But this won't last forever.  I believe that.  I know that.  Because it can't.  This is the land of the odds, of the unruly who do not go along.  We are not Europe, and this is not a democracy.  This is a representative republic, where we, the people, now lack representation.  Because our voices have been stolen.  Or silenced. 

I can't predict what's going to happen.  I can only grit my teeth and hang on, can only pray, can only try to get my children safely into adulthood.  

The only things I can predict?  Things are going to get a lot harder.  And then it's going to get truly ugly. 

Edit: Welcome, Instapundit readers!  Glad to have you drop by. 

*Americans are angry about inflation.  They're angry about their paychecks not going as far as they were.  They're angry about energy prices going up because green shit doesn't produce, and they're angry about being cold over the winter.  They are not angry about abortion being made illegal altogether in some states, and restricted in others--the average American doesn't want to kill babies, and is quietly grateful that they don't have to come out in the open and make that stand.  They are not angry about police brutality--they're angry that they're not safe from criminal brutality, and the left just made it worse in my state by legalizing pot for funsies and allowing people with "pot convictions" to get their convictions overturned.  No, Americans aren't angry about what the Democrats care about.  Well, no, they are, but not in the way the Democrats want them to be--they're angry that this is being forced on them. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Not trained for this.

Ya know that whole pressure toward "have a career; you're wasting your mind on staying home!" thing aimed at women?  

Being a housewife/mom is damn hardReally damn hard.  

I spent six years in college.  Had a blast doing so, too--I really enjoyed the discussions of the reading assignments, and I really enjoyed the intellectual challenges in classes I wasn't as well-grounded in.*  Loved languages, the rules of the languages, and linguistics and how languages developed.  Enjoyed learning how language was acquired, too.  

The last two years of college, I was taught how to teach writing.  Somewhat.  Half-assed.  Mostly learned by example, and used what I learned from my instructors to be a better instructor, since the ones trying to teach me how to teach didn't know how themselves.  

I spent a lot of time and mental energy teaching, thinking about teaching, writing, and thinking about teaching writing.  It's what I was trained to do.  I knew how to do it, and I was good at it.  

And then I had kids.  First one came eight weeks early--right at the mid-point of the semester--and I had to leave campus.  No big deal, I thought, I'll just switch to online teaching.  From teaching on campus.  From '03 (in grad school) to '08.  I didn't have any training or guidance on how to do that, but I managed.  And I continued teaching online and stayed home with my son.  

And then my daughter.  

And I learned that the teaching stuff I'd been trained to do in no way translated to what I needed to know to do the mommy stuff.  Which I had to learn on the job, because that?  Yeah, the "how to" resources on parenting suck balls.  

And that's leaving aside everything else.  

I am still a teacher--but now, I'm learning things just before I teach them.  Instead of previously being the expert in the room.  

I am also a general manager, an administrative assistant, a short-order cook, an economist, a personal shopper, an efficiency expert.  I deal in finance, in triage, in tailoring, in housekeeping.  I  have deep base knowledge in history, philosophy, religion, and several different sciences.  

I have training in none of those things.  None.  

Thing is, I should have.  My mom was a stay at home mom.  I didn't get taught how to cook.  I got chased out of the kitchen: "Oh, you're making a mess, just let me do it--get out of the way."  And there was nowhere in the kitchen that was out of the way, so I didn't learn by watching, either. 

I didn't get taught how to keep house.**  I didn't get taught how to drive until my other half taught me.  And I don't really blame Mom for that--somebody prone to panic attacks should not teach somebody prone to panic attacks how to drive. 

I am still not entirely sure how I learned to budget, how to stick to a budget, or comparison shop--Mom doesn't do either, and didn't from the time I started paying attention.  I don't know how I learned to differentiate between "go to the doctor with this" and "don't bother going to the doctor--they won't be able to do anything about it." Mom's always been a hypochondriac.  All the way up to when it actually counted, and now she won't go to the doctor to have her cancer dealt with. 

I read, incessantly.  I research things I don't know, and that is the one, single thing that translated over from learning to teach research and writing to house-wifing: I can tell when something's sorta right, when something's totally bullshit, when something's been spun so hard in the presentation that, even if the facts are true, it's still false.  

It's not wasting my mind being a housewife.  It's not wasting my talents being a stay-at-home-mom.  It's really freakin' hard, and there are so many jobs that I have to transition between, without pause.  Or sometimes multitask doing jobs that DON'T go together, and still somehow managing.  This is far more intellectually challenging than teaching college--or really, any other single-focus career--could ever hope to be.  

There really is something for Heinlein's take on what a human being is. 

*Except math.  I hated math.  I could never figure out which equation to use in what situation to get the outcome being demanded.  And biology--I preferred my coursework on paper, not my hands.  

**That's...not entirely Mom's fault.  She was directed by the head of DFS that she wasn't to make my sister and me pick up after ourselves.  It really needs to be a daily thing, and a routine habit, and I never learned it.   

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


We're having a fairly serious cold snap, both for our area and for how early in the year it is.  Last night's lows?  Below freezing.  Today will be in the mid-40's.  And tonight?  Below freezing again. 

Today's high is normal lows for this part of the country during mid October.  Yeah, it's a short-lived cold snap, but it's a cold snap.  We've taken the hoses off the outside faucets, even if we've not covered the faucets, just yet.  I've buried my drift roses in piles of oak leaves for now, and I plan to get ground cloth and thick mulch before too much longer.  I don't want my more recently-planted roses freezing.

And it's still so very, very dry...I'll probably need to water them a bit.  After this cold bit has passed and things are back to normal for October.  Like, maybe Thursday.  Or Friday.  

I hadn't gotten the propane tank filled.  We have enough for this cold snap.  I think.  But I have put in an order.  For 177 gallons, at $2.70/gallon.  That's the summer rate.  Our tank is a dinky 250 gallons.  It's still costing nearly $500 to fill. 

Let's go, Brandon!  

And yes, this is something I can blame entirely on The FICUS Administration.  This is something that isn't entirely inflation-driven.  This is driven entirely by the idiot watermelon* agenda: the twats that keep trying to say they were elected (they weren't) and have a mandate from heaven the people to get rid of fossil fuels!**

Since 2021, there've been a number of policies shutting down any production on this continent.  Because of those policies, we've seen prices on...well, everything...skyrocket past what the money pumped in by the ill-considered "stimulus" payments would account for.  

We've also seen the idiots over in Asia saber rattling...then lunging.  And demonstrating just how well shooting the messenger works in real life, for making sure things work and/or are ready to be used...

...which brings us circling back around to yet another fucking boondoggle: "renewable" resources.  And pushing "electricity-only!" with the reliability (and expense levels) imposed by these "renewable" resources.  

Ya know, I really wouldn't mind relying mostly on electricity if they hadn't shut down so many plants that made the electricity.  Or if they'd, I dunno, already built a few micro-reactor nuclear plants to replace those filthy*** fossil-fuel plants.  

This winter's going to be expensive for those of us living in the United States.  It's going to be damn near impossibly expensive for a lot of us, and it will be impossibly expensive for a few.  There will be people freezing to death this year, in the United States. 

It's going to be a frozen hell for the rest of the northern hemisphere.  

I suspect the pendulum is going to be swinging--hard--the other way for the "greens."  And I can't say one way or the other whether that pendulum is going to be sharpened, before it plows through them.  Or whether it's going to be a wrecking ball. 

It's going to be a hard reset the hard left isn't expecting.  It's gonna really hurt them here.  It's going to kill them elsewhere.  It's just going to be a matter of figuring out how bloody it's going to get before it's over.

*Watermelon agenda: it pretends to be green, but that's only on the surface.  At its heart, it's red.  

**I wouldn't have any issues getting rid of fossil fuels if they had anything cheap and reliable to replace it with.  They don't.  Well, they could, but they won't.  

***If they want to see "filthy," they need to look at where the components needed for the solar panels, windmills, and other renewables come from.  And where they end up. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Food for thought

Hot cereal.  Everyone likes a version of hot cereal when it starts getting cold.  There are so many possibilities--and a lot of them are semi-good for you, since a lot of them are based in whole grain.  It kinda depends on which kind you like best for how healthy it actually is.  

I hated oatmeal, growing up.  Still kinda don't...really like it.  I can eat it, sometimes, but it really has to taste like an oatmeal cookie for me to be able to get past the texture (I've got instructions for how to do that in the microwave at the end of the post).  Can't eat it too often, but...yeah.  I always loved Malt-O-Meal, though.  And Cream of Wheat, but especially Malt-O-Meal. 

It doesn't matter, though, I suppose.  I can't have either one, anymore.  And rice...there's a Cream of Rice version of Cream of Wheat, but I have to limit how much rice I eat.*  And I have other ways I'd rather eat it (my bastard lovechild of fajitas and fried rice, and Zatarain's dirty rice or jambalaya). 

I can do corn-based foods easier than any other grain.  So...that left me with cornmeal mush (which takes for-freakin' ever), or grits.  Which can be made in five minutes on top of the stove, or three or four minutes in the microwave.

Grits it is, then.  Because my body is an asshole, and gives me really hard limits that change from day to day.  I can usually do stuff in the microwave, even when I can't stand over the stove for even five minutes. 

The instant grits packages that my Walmart sells was enough to get me started, and enough to verify that I don't have bad reactions to eating grits.  Not even daily.  So, I took the next step, and got the can.  Which had double the amount of grits in it for a buck less than the box of pre-measured/seasoned instant packets.  And...

Really.  Doing the measuring out yourself isn't hard.  However.  I cannot eat what the can says is a "full serving."  That's just...damn.  1/4 c of grits, plus 1 c water.  I can't eat that much--not as a meal by itself, and definitely not as a side.  I can, however, math well enough to cut that in half. 

So, for microwaved grits, I've been using 2 tbsp measured out (no, it doesn't really pile up on the spoon), and a half cup and a splash of water (to keep them from turning into paste).  For breakfast, I add a little butter, a tbsp of bacon bits, and around a tablespoon of brown sugar.  As a side? I add a little bit of cheese (which makes it a really good stand in, when the kids and other half are doing macaroni).  There are really good instructions on the back of the can for how long to microwave the grits for.  I found that doing half the time, stirring, then the other half gets better results than just...setting it to go the full time it says it needs to.  And that lets me determine if I need to add more liquid/how much I need to add. 

I am probably going to be eating a lot of grits.  And a 24 oz can ($2.58 at Walmart in SW MO)...just doesn't go very far.   My local Sam's Club doesn't carry grits at all. 

However.  They sell grits in their online site.  In 5-lb bags, for $2.98/bag (30 cents more than Walmart's pound-and-a-half can, so a lot less on the unit cost).  But only if you buy three bags at once. 

I'm set for a while, now. 

So.  Breakfasts. 

Recipes follow:

Cookie oatmeal (microwave):

1/4 c quick oats
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp white sugar
quick shake of allspice**
quick shake of cinnamon (to taste)
raisins to taste
1/2 c water or milk
drop of vanilla

1. Mix oats and dry ingredients, add raisins (optional, at this point) and either water or milk and vanilla.  2. Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, add sugar, honey, or salt to individual taste. 

If your raisins are hard (mine are--we don't eat a whole lot of them), you'll want to microwave them with the liquid.  If they're not, you can add them at the end.

Brown Sugar Bacon Grits

2 tbsp grits
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp real bacon bits
tsp or less of butter, brief shake of salt
2/3 c water (more or less, according to how thick you want it)

1. Put ingredients in bowl.  Don't bother to mix, since the butter's not melted.  2. Microwave for 90 seconds. 3. Stir, add liquid if you want it thinner.  Or sugar, if it's not sweet enough for you.  4: Microwave for 90 more seconds. 

And as a bonus, since I mentioned cheesy grits as a side and/or substitute for macaroni and cheese...

Cheesy Grits:

2 tbsp grits
1/2 c water
1 tbsp powder cheese (optional--it's easier if you have it on hand, but you can sub shredded cheese)

1. Mix grits and cheese powder (if you have it.  If you don't, wait on the cheese).  Add water.  2. Microwave 90 seconds, stir.  Taste.  Add salt if you need it here.  3.  Microwave 90 seconds. 

If you don't have powdered cheese, this is where you mix in however much of whatever kind of shredded cheese you prefer. 

*I have to limit most grain--rice, oats, or whatever else--or it kicks me into an autoimmune flare.  Same w/legumes.  Corn seems to be the only grain I can eat without issues.  

**I use allspice, but you can use nutmeg and cloves, or whatever else you'd personally prefer.  Just be sparing, because it can really take over with just a little too much.  

Thursday, October 6, 2022


Fourteen years ago, today, my imp was born.  Eight weeks early, impatient, wanting to be around people so he could get them to play with him.  Shocked the nurses silly: "Normally, babies as early as he was spend all their time sleeping.  I hate admitting this, but he's my favorite--he's happy, and wants to play with me."  

He was 19.5" long (two inches too long for the preemie footie jammies), and 3 lbs, 13.3 oz at birth.  Long, skinny baby.   No fat rolls whatsoever, anywhere.  His tushie looked like a frog's rear end.  

He's been fourteen for two hours, now.  He's shooting up--last doctor's visit had him at 5' 2.5," but only 87 lbs.  I'm not sure if he's gained weight since then, but I'm pretty sure he's gained some extra height.  He can reach the top shelves in the kitchen (I absolutely can't).   So, still long and skinny.  No fat rolls whatsoever, anywhere.  He's still impatient, but is also impulsive, in constant motion (jiggling foot, jiggling knees, twitchy fingers), wants to be around people, and play.  He's still usually happy, by default, but is starting in on the moodiness, and the outbursts of random anger typical of teen boys.  

His shoulders are broadening, and is developing an Adam's apple, but his voice isn't breaking.  Yet.  

His room is still carpeted in toys--Legos, GI Joe-type stuff, and Hot Wheels (cars and good-sized track sets).  However, he's also got a few snap-circuits sets, and a marble run.  He wants more snap circuits, wants to learn more about electrical work, and loves science and engineering stuff.  

He isn't really interested in school.  Other than band (he's played trumpet since 5th grade, and he's in 7th, now), he's got a solid C average.  Which, considering how hard his ADHD rides him, sometimes, isn't bad.  Yeah, he's a lot smarter than that, but he just can't focus it unless there's physical stuff involved.  Stuff to do with his hands (that isn't writing).   And he really, really doesn't test well: he says his mind goes blank when he starts taking one.  

He's got some idea of what he'd like to do for a living when he's finished school.  And what kind of house he'd like.  And car.  And...yeah, normal boy stuff.  

I'm proud as hell of him, and of how far he's come, and how hard he's fought himself to make it as far as he has on working around his ADHD symptoms, mitigating them, and dealing with life.  I'm absolutely certain that he'll find his feet and be okay in the long run. 

And, as parents, do we really have the right to ask for more? 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Random stuff...

  • I don't need to "Kickstart My Heart," guys.  It's my brain that needs it.
  • I have never seen anybody spring for the asshole package on a four-door Honda Civic.  Until today.  Fuckwit tried crawling up my tailpipe (I was doing 30 in a 25, and he clearly wanted me to go faster), then wove around like he wanted to pass me, then didn't signal when he turned into Sam's Club behind me.  Yeah.  Exactly.  You'd expect behavior like that out of someone driving a BMW, not a Honda Civic sedan.  
  • Our Sam's Club has quit carrying the imp's favorite sausage links.  But they had Buffalo Trace, and Laphroig in stock.  I...yeah, I got both bottles of my favorite bourbon, and the only bottle of one of my favorite Scotches.  
  • Ya know, I really could do without the record-setting highs.  Our outdoor kitchen is defunct for the next while.  And the grill's...kinda scrunched.*  Oh well.  A couple (or four) days of cooking on just the stove top won't hurt anything.  
  • The use of Irish diplomacy on our insurance agent, the adjuster, and the adjuster's supervisor has had results.  Almost up to the cost of replacement.  Depreciation and inflation do nasty things when they play together.  
  • My sister's bottle kitten she saved last year** is huge, and still growing.  I am almost certain he's mostly Turkish Van.   If he is, then he'll probably finish growing sometime within the next few months, but put on muscle for another year.  He's also a gorgeous kitty, if more than a wee bit nuts. I picked him up on Saturday, and given how much heavier he is than my girl-kitties (11 lbs each), I'd put him between fifteen and eighteen pounds. 


*Weber Spirit propane grill.  The casters are...yeah.  Scrunched, if not outright broken, like the front left one (as you're facing the grill).  Considering a PATIO ROOF made of TWO BY SIXES (if not two by eights) LANDED ON IT...I suppose it stood up well.  All things considered.  Might actually be willing to use it, if the poor thing hadn't got slammed down on its front and dumped the burners and everything when the roof got taken off of it to be taken apart.  

**Gus--named after the fat little mouse from Cinderella--was one of two kittens my sister took from a lady that didn't know how to raise days-old kittens after their momma tangled with something fatal.  Gus was the only one who survived being fed puppy formula for a couple days.  

Sunday, September 11, 2022

21 years

 This is what it should look like.  

Never forget. 

Never forgive.

Friday, September 9, 2022


It's been...well.  One hell of a couple of weeks.  Emotionally, I'm off balance, and honestly off my feet entirely.  Flattened.  And it's going to take a while for me to sit up, much less get my feet under me.  

And life isn't slowing down.  

So.  The week after school started.  Mom had an appointment with her oncologist on Wednesday.  She called me on Monday, all chirpy and cheerful, and said she'd cancelled the appointment, and had stopped taking the hormone blocker.  She was certain it was killing her.  (What it was doing was starving her 4.5cm tumor to death.  Said dying tumor was releasing toxins.)  Said she knew that not taking the medication anymore meant that her cancer would stop shrinking, but she trusts God to take care of her. 

In other words, she decided not to take the damned helicopter he sent to fish her out of the flood water, that she'd rather die than fight. 

Uh.  Ouch.  

Yeah, I've told her outright that I don't want to hear anything about her health when I talk to her.  Because in choosing to commit slow, ugly suicide, she's forfeited the right to complain.  

Week before last, the imp called me from school in the late afternoon (right as study hall was starting).  Said he felt sickish.  He wasn't sure if he had a fever, but felt funny, and his stomach was bothering him. 

He's prone to truly vicious heartburn, so I figured that was all it was.  I went and got him (no fever, but he was quiet and lethargic--something he isn't).  And I gave him antacids, and bread (which, weirdly, helps his heartburn a it used to do mine).  

He was fine the next morning, so I sent him back to school.  

Friday afternoon, when I picked the kids up, the pixie was coming down with...something.  By Sunday, everybody else (except the imp) was starting to come down with it.* 

And...the patio roof came down.  As in: it detached from the back of the house, and crunched our grill.  Poured rain between the edge of the roof and the edge of the patio roof, first, then...crash.  Totally destroyed the outdoor kitchen, and yanked the light switch that ran the patio light and the ceiling fan back into the wall good and hard (broke the plate).  

The dog was outside.  She wasn't hurt, but she certainly got the poo scared out of her.  We managed to get her in the house, but her room and yard were rendered unsafe, so she spent the following several days utterly miserable.  

We spent several days arguing with the insurance.  They sent out a contractor to take pictures to send to an adjuster that apparently didn't understand what she was looking at on her desktop where she was poking options on drop menus.  

We have already gotten a quote for straight up replacement.  For a framed-in roof with osb, tpo, guttering, a light, and a ceiling fan.  Exactly what fell down.  

They quoted us either repair (pop it back into place--not an option, partially because it broke, broke the eaves and rafters where it had been nailed up, and as we found out, some of the osb was rotten), or "replacement" for a metal roof with a tar-paper cover. 

Yeah, it's not even ballpark.  And we couldn't have made up the difference.  At all.  Not without totally dropping another project that we'd already started.  (We were expecting the carport to collapse, not the patio roof--which had never given us any signals that it was a Cletus-built clusterfuck before it fell off the house, and had already pulled it down in preparation for a better one with a hipped roof to be put in its place.)

We're in the process of arguing with the insurance.  Our agent is on it, because, well, they don't want to lose the residuals.  If we shift home insurance, everything is going.  

So.  That.  And normal kids-at-school drama.  And puberty crap (yes, they're both going through it).  And...

...and yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II, the woman I've admired most for my entire life--one of the only women I've admired for all of my life--passed away, yesterday.  

That...kinda was the cherry on the shit sundae life slammed into my face recently. 

I'm grieving her passing, and for her daughter and grandchildren.  I'm grieving for her great-grandchildren.  I'm grieving for her nation, because while she did her best for her nation, even at her deathbed,** she didn't fix succession.  The fucking moron who could never step into her shoes planting his white-trash, low-class, trashy ass in her throne.   And his white trash whore of a wife is now titled "Queen Consort."  

Even as I grieve, though, I'm happy for Elizabeth.  She's home, with her beloved Philip, who passed on last year.  

*Pretty sure it was the Cold from China, round 2--symptoms were right.  Won't bother testing, because it's a cold, and I don't want to add to the panic-porn statistics. 

**She summoned the new PM to her bedside, the day before she passed, to swear her in.  Which means that the drooling idiot dribbling all over the monarchy can't do anything until after the next election...which is not like ours, and nobody knows when it will be held.  Given his age, he might actually not survive to another election.  We can hope, anyway.

Thursday, August 25, 2022


I’ve read through a lot.  I’m 43 years old, and I read all the time.  If there are words, they will be read. 

One of the trends I’ve noticed…is that miracles are often not recognized until long after the fact.  Or are so huge they can’t be overlooked. 

And, since we have been able to mostly figure a lot of things out, much rarer than they used to be.  And are often on the lines of Divine Inspiration being heard and noticed, either in research (medical, scientific, or otherwise), or in our personal lives. 

It was a miracle in ’80 for Regan to take the White House.  Less of one in ’84, considering how well he did in his first run through at jacking back the illusions the political classes were pushing, and showing the normal people who live in reality that yes, there was a man behind the curtain pretending to be the Great and Powerful Oz…and that he was kinda disappointing, actually. 

Too bad his VP (elected in ’88) yoinked that curtain back shut because he was part of that particular class…which set the circumstances for the resurgence of Marxism…socialism…whatever you want to call the anti-individualist, collectivist philosophy that drives the political aristocratic classes. 

The problem they had is that they couldn’t force the curtains all the way back shut.  There were gaps.  And reality kept showing through those gaps. 

And the realists got pissed off at the fools whose damaged fingers kept reaching for the fire, and elected Trump (another miracle, honestly), which has set us up for a massive miracle, of the majority realizing what I learned as a child: the government does not care about the individual, and will not protect them.  This realization could, with His Providence, bring back sanity in the way things are done in politics.    

Note, I am saying that this has been a miracle, and that the miraculous will have to continue to happen, or things will…slump back into the swamp.  Or worse. 

Those miracles were on a national stage. 

Other miracles, miracles of research…I know, first hand, people who should have been dead years ago.  The only reason they’re not is because of pharmaceutical giants still searching for more treatments for things that are still a death sentence.  One of my closest friends developed inflammatory breast cancer while she was breastfeeding her year-old son.  It went to stage IV before it was identified, because it’s so sneaky of a disease. 

She should have been dead five years ago, but she isn’t.  Yes, she’s still got active cancer, and is fighting a rear-guard action to prolong her time—her son’s ten.  She’s fighting for long enough to raise him.  Because his father’s…not the advocate for him that he should be. 

Her continued (and continuing) survival is a miracle.  Yes, she’s in constant pain.  No, she hasn’t been outright healed.  Yes, she’s been praying (as have I, and everyone around her). 

But that’s not how it works. 

Thing is, every time one treatment starts failing to work, there’s another one that does work.  That’s a fucking miracle, right there. 

I’ve heard the whole argument: “That’s not a miracle, that’s science.  A miracle would be having her healed.”  Remember what I said about Divine Inspiration?  How else do you describe the massive leaps forward in the medical research profession realizing that every type of cancer is different, and requires different treatments?  How else do you describe the medical research profession finding new and different ways to approach something that defies anything other than the broadest of categorization? 

Diabetes used to kill people.  Routinely.  Still can, if the individual with diabetes doesn’t understand what’s going on, and how to manage it.  Or if they decide to just…stop treatment.  HIV/AIDS used to absolutely kill people.  It still can and does, if the person who has it doesn’t pay attention, and/or stops treatment.

The advances that turned those certain death sentences into manageable, if serious, health conditions?  Miracles.  Driven entirely by Divine Inspiration, and the gift of understanding and intuition. 

I’ve heard other arguments: “If they had the faith, they’d be healed.”  Or, “If they just prayed harder/was a better person…”  

That isn’t the way God works. 

He does things in a much smaller, quieter way than He used to.  Partially because those gifts He set us up with?  The ability to learn, to reason, to understand, to intuit and generalize?  Those require less flashy intervention on His part.  Which means He is actually requiring greater faith to actually keep going when something hurts, and the doctors are having a hard time figuring it out.  Or when your treatment for a disease that will kill you makes you feel awful for a while (like an antibiotic does for the first week of a two week course for a nasty infection). 

Or when the people in charge of the nation are cheerfully trying to play with matches in a grain silo. 

He has made the way straight before us.  It’s not easy, and it’s not level.  But it’ll get us through to safety, if we stay on it.

And humanity in general, like sheep, have this nasty tendency to get distracted off the safe but hard path He has laid out for us, and bound off on the easy path (that leads straight to a sudden drop we can’t see, but that He can). 

He laid the path out for us.  He’s set our feet on it, and pointed us in the right direction (and He will keep doing that when we stray…if we ask for guidance).  He’ll bap us back into line (assuming we’re paying attention).  But it’s still up to us to walk the path.  It’s up to us to grit our teeth and do the hard stuff to get to safety. 

(I’m praying that the nation discovers the gumption and wisdom to stay the right course.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

My mood today


I have...reasons. But I have not been in a good mood since Monday.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Kid stuff

School is now in session.  The first week at the kids' school is always a short one: they start on a Wednesday or a Thursday.  The kids both think it's for easing them back in, but as a (former) teacher, I know better.  

I'm trying a different organization thing for the imp this year: the individual binders by themselves didn't work last year.  He knew it by the end of the first day: "I can't keep up with this.  Not all the binders and all the books."  The everything-in-one-giant-binder method sort of worked last year, but he still ended up losing things because he'd shove loose papers into the locker, rather than into the expanded files in the front of the binder.  And then, he'd lose the week's board work, instead of getting the points for it.  

This year, he's got a tote bag for each class.  Most of them are different colors: he's got five different colors to work with, and six classes (yeah, that means there's a risk of grabbing the wrong tote for two classes--English and Science, I believe), but all of the totes have writing utensils and a clipboard, along with a binder with dividers for the class.  I suggested carrying a backup writing utensil, and he's asked for cargo pants for that.  Because "I don't have any way to keep spares on me--no, I won't hang a pen on my cross necklace, and I don't care if you did and it works!"  

I do need to find him one more tote of a different color from the ones he's got (red, blue, turquoise, ecru, black) for either the science or the English class...

He was a bit worn out after school yesterday.  There wasn't a meltdown, or even a crappy attitude, but he was noticeably tired.  My first hint was that he went to the wrong pickup point yesterday afternoon: school policy says that the oldest sibling goes to the youngest's pickup point, and last year, his younger sister was in elementary.  His fourth grade teacher brought him back through the building to the right pickup point.  He was dragging and tired, and worked really hard not to be cranky at the rest of us.  I sent him off to play with Legos and unkink his brain, and then let him play computer games for a little while after he did some chores for me.  

Upside is that I think he's got the right doses and blends of medication to help him function normally.  He was less tired yesterday than he was before we got that dialed in, because he wasn't spending as much energy fighting himself to behave as he has to without the meds.

The pixie, when she got in the car, just mournfully stated that she was having a hard time remembering where she needed to go from one class to another.  I had to tell her that she'd probably have her schedule--at least, the order of classes--memorized by the end of the second week, and would probably mostly have the hang of it by the end of this week.  

The pixie is starting to learn to girl: she's almost twelve, and I've got her started on learning to carry a purse.  No wallet, no money, just...the purse, with extra note-taking supplies, writing utensils, and her color pencils (which need to go from class to class, because some require them, and others don't.)  She said yesterday, when I asked, "No, the purse wasn't helpful.  It just got in the way, and I kept almost forgetting it."  

I hated to tell her that that's the way of it, but having a purse is one of the major advantages of being a girl: it's the best way to carry everything we really need to carry.  I will point out that her choice is a little off-beat: it's a little faux-leather backpack type purse.  It's big enough, but not well organized.  Her slightly-better-organized one isn't big enough for what she needs.  

She's eleven, now, and will be twelve in the first part of December.  She's the same height I am, and is really starting to shoot up.  She grew around two inches between the end of last school year and the start of this one, and is now pretty much my height.  I'm foreseeing at least the upper end of female average height for her, and am delighted.  

Both kids have a study hall at the end of the day, so neither should have much, if any, homework this semester, other than studying for tests.  Both kids have indicated a need for "not-brain-work" after school, so I'm going to have them grab a snack, then go do something outside or play with their Legos or something for a few minutes, then help me with a chore for the first half hour to an hour, even if they come home with homework.  

I'm crossing my fingers, but I think this year may work better for both of them than last year, not just for the pixie.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Gah. What a relief.

Today is the first day of school.  The past two weeks have been an absolute cluster-fuck--I've been running around like a suddenly-headless barnyard fowl, trying to get everything together for the kids to start school, and randomly remembering things I'd forgotten to get, either for school, or for the household in the mad scramble of getting ready for school.   

That's all done, now.  School started this morning.  

I'll have (most of) a day to get stuff done, then there'll be a different mad scramble from the time I pick them up to the time they go to bed.  

First day of school, and I managed to get most of my daily checklist dealt with.  If the library hadn't resembled a tornado's aftermath, with bits and pieces left over from putting school supplies in order...I might have knocked it all out for today without having run out of my energy budget for housework.  

(What was left was reserved for fixing supper.)

I managed to get the first run through of the editing job I picked up done--the family for whom I'm doing the work approved it all, and I'm going to go through again and fix the changes in.  Shouldn't take as long as the initial run-through did, and won't be nearly as infuriating to do.  

I'd edited the old fellow's autobiography, and thought "sure, why not?" when his granddaughter contacted me to see if I wanted to deal with her grandpas second manuscript.  Why not was that he assumed his expertise in a technical area of a scientific field translated to expertise in theology, linguistics and the cultural psychology and philosophy revealed thereby, and translations.  

It...really didn't carry over.  

Anyway, that's done.  I don't have to read it again to fix the changes in.  

So, I should be able to get that done (or mostly done) tomorrow, and then get on...some read-throughs for a couple of friends.  

Then I'll be back to writing. 

Because the majority of my attention won't be devoured by trying to pay attention to what the kids are doing and how they're interacting while ignoring the TV that they're watching.  Believe it or not, that right there eats a lot of energy.  Honestly, it eats a lot more than I realized until recently. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Success for Widgets...and Not-Widgets.

I’ve been thinking, recently.  I know, I know: you’re either thinking “when aren’t you?” or “oh, shit, what now?”  But no, I’ve been thinking about the tantrums I’ve been seeing happen as the widgets don’t react as widgets, but as individuals with different ideas, hopes, dreams, and philosophical outlooks. 

I think the “social activists” have forgotten that every human is an individual.  Assuming they ever really learned that, in the first place (I have my doubts—a lot of those people are…well, to put it bluntly, stupid).

It explains so much. 

They assume that, since the outcomes for women haven’t changed appreciably—as in, the proportions of women in top positions in a lot of different walks of life haven’t changed despite an equal opportunity, that there has to still be sexism somewhere, keeping women down. 

Or, they look at how the proportion of racial minorities hasn’t appreciably changed, any more than the proportion of women has…and assume racism must be at fault. 

What they’re entirely missing is that individuals are exactly that: individual.  There have always been the driven few, pushing through everything in their way to whatever they’ve envisioned as success.  Individuals.  Not groups. 

Honestly, the way I look at it, every individual who ends up where they’re content has reached what is success for that individual, man or woman. 

And that…varies.  Wildly.  And sometimes, can change without notice, even to the individual, in question.

For a long time, I was…entirely content with my classroom.  I had an utter blast, sharing office space with several other part-timers.  I didn’t want to be a full-timer, didn’t necessarily want my own space (even if I didn’t focus well in shared space), and absolutely didn’t want to be required to deal with department meetings (I attended one that was requested, but not required, and did not feel like putting up with it ever again), much less on-campus politics. 

Then I…started feeling…unwelcome.  So I started holding office hours in the main part of the campus library and/or coffee shop, with the excuse that more students were willing to come ask for help there.  Contentment restored.  Then I got pregnant, and ended up leaving campus entirely for five years, teaching online, and meeting students during my other half’s working hours, when they needed an in-person meeting.  I missed the classroom, but did not miss the increasingly hostile-feeling work environment outside of the classroom. 

Eventually, after I went back to campus…I realized I was starting to burn out.  I was losing contentment with everything.  I quit being able to write. 

That…was a very bad time.  Then I realized something: my definition of success had changed again.  I was failing in several key areas. 

I am not a widget—if I were, I could have continued on where I was indefinitely.  But since I’m not a widget, I wasn’t happy.  Not where I was, not with what I was doing.  It had very little to do with the job, a lot to do with the changing environment, changing rules, and feeling like I wasn’t meeting obligations elsewhere. 

And those other obligations?  Cannot be met by just inserting another widget from somewhere else. 

Humans are not widgets.  What makes one wildly happy will make the next wildly unhappy.  In general—note I said in general, and am not speaking for specific individuals—men are happier in traditionally masculine work, and women are happier in traditionally feminine work.  If you look at actual jobs taken by either sex*…well, it still mostly holds.  You’ll find more women in nurturing-type** work, and men in everything else. 

I never, ever thought I’d be happier as a housewife, but really?  I am.  There’s a lot of contentment and satisfaction with taking care of my family. 

And that…is something that the hard-line leftists can’t understand, much less accept, because it goes against their narratives—all of them.  And they’re really just not bright enough to understand anything outside their narratives.


*Note, I said sex, not gender: the biology, both brain chemistry and body composition, does a lot to drive career paths and preferences. 

**Nurturing type jobs: teaching, human resources, nursing, feeding people, secretarial-type work (which can include all of the above)…the list goes on.