Monday, July 25, 2022

The Times, Chat Rooms and Suntans

 I'm having so much fun with my New York Times on-line subscription.  Since I worked in law firms most of my life, I always had free access to local newspapers and the Times.  I rode the Park N Ride bus to work downtown (A Park N Ride was a way to lower traffic on the freeways.  You drove your car to a large, designated parking lot and rode a nice Greyhound-type bus that drove straight to town and then stopped at every other street).  

Each day I would bring my tote bag with mail and magazines to read on the ride to town and I would pick up the left-over newspapers to read on the way home.  Somewhere over the years, I guess when I stopped riding the bus, I slowly forgot about newspapers.  Most recently I have been reading the internet news.  I knew that it learned your preferences and sent you the news slanted to your way of thinking. I know news reporting has been deregulated and truth is not required. But I realize now little expanded thought was required of me by just reading a blunt, grammatically incorrect headline.  

So far, I haven't been able to tell if the Times is slanted.  I seem to agree with many of its opinions but enjoy the thought provoking articles.  Don't you love it when you give an idea a "good think"?  I guess the only problem is that in my small world there are not enough opened minded people who like a good discussion on that think.  

As part of the redesigning my life process, I am trying new things.  I joined when they ran a somewhat cheaper 3 month subscription.  Fail.  Not many men out there dying to meet me.  Ok, I can accept that without hurt feelings.  Next, I have joined an online sight offered by UnitedHealthcare.  It doesn't have as many members as the AAA site that keeps mailing me but I did find one or two programs that interests me.  

There is a TV and Movie group.  A man was discussing rewatching the Barney Miller tv series.  I remember liking this program and it was interesting to hear about this and other entertainment that are discussed.  I am a British program aficionado so I'll be looking for people who like them.   I really don't have the "feel" for this chatting with strangers yet but I'm going to give it a try.  

I also talked to a lady involved with a group that writes letters to shut-ins.  I have the first Zoom meeting this week.  Not a big fan of Zoom but I can remember when I was not a big fan of leaving voice mails and look where that has taken us.  

There was another lady that volunteered to rock babies in the NICU.  I would like to do something like that - if the large parking fee was paid! 

I'm trying to expand my horizons.  Even sweeps' contests have let me down recently.  Very few that I really want and not many with big prizes.  

This is a picture of the Buddy walking shoe line suntan I've gotten so far this summer. I always wear the same sturdy Sloggers with a hat and sunglasses for Buddy walks.  Buddy always wears the same halter and leash.  We are such a fashion forward pair. 

Buddy seems to have found his appetite again.  I may be sorry about feeding him popcorn chicken.  I may find myself is a situation similar to feeding a child nothing but fries and then switching back to vegetables.  Hahaha.  

More later ...

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Ducks and Chickens, Apartments and Rent

 Some interesting things along the home front.  I love ducks and chickens.  When I was first married, we lived in the country in Louisiana, and I managed to acquire three different pairs and types of ducks and from there had a merry time raising ducks and chickens.  The chickens were all different and I hatched them from eggs, but that is another story.  

We have two smallish man-made ponds in our complex and recently during the midst of the unbelievably hot summer I saw birds at the pond on different days.  The first bird I saw looked like something from the Heron family. When I googled it, I found this picture of a Yellow Crowned Night Heron.  Amazing. 

When I saw it, I froze, and he froze waiting to see what I would do.  I was on a Buddy Walk and luckily Buddy didn't see it and bark so I just walked on as invisibly as I could.  When I turned the corner of the building, I looked back, and he was gone.  I never heard a bird/duck call or a flapping of wings.  

To make life even more amazing a couple of days later I came upon two of what I believe to be Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. There was a pair and they had the most amazing orange-red beaks I've ever seen. Much more prominent than in this picture.

Again, I was on a Buddy Walk so we snuck on by hoping they would remain or at least come again, but sadly no.  

There are two big nature parks not far, as the bird flies, from here and I think perhaps they had a layover from there.  This was before we had a couple of light rains so I'm sure water was in deep demand for dry, thirsty birds.  

I love the pictures Marie shares and the birds and ducks are my absolute favorites.  They take me back to a very special place in my life, one that would be hard to duplicate in my present living situation. 

These are pictures of Buddy pulling his bed around the corner to the front door.  I don't know what he was trying to accomplish but I moved it back into civilization. 

Speaking of, Buddy is doing a little better.  After the chicken and rice recommendations, I went to the store to buy one of those precooked whole chickens and they had a couple of containers of Popcorn Chicken on clearance and I bought all four containers.  At first, I didn't warm them after I took a few of them out of the container in the ice box and he turned is nose up, so I warmed them, and he ate them all.  Next time I took them out of the ice box when I made my coffee so they would be room temperature by the time I finished my two cups of coffee which he knows means breakfast time.  He ate one but turned his nose up.  So, I cut them in half, and he was happy.  When I finish the containers I have, I will try whole chickens or something new.  He still eats treats and bread crust, but we will try expanding this short list. 

My daughter feeding the birds at Galveston.  
Like Margaret, it was her first visit to the beach 
since her long-time beach-loving dog passed. 

Other good news.  Recently I heard from the new apartment manager that they might be taking applications soon.  I am worried about the price even though it is an affordable housing project and I should get reduced rent.  Rent prices are incredibly high in Houston so a reduced rent could still put it out of my range.  There are companies continuing to move here making it worse.  If I was from out of state, I would never move here where the Governor is such a menace to society.  I believe he is crazier than Trump now.  

I did get a notice from my current apartments that the rent is going up $100.  That includes a $25 increase from $25 to $50 a month for pet rent!  Staying where I am was Plan C or D but that's out now.  No worries. Worst case scenario I will put my belongings in storage and camp out at either or both of my kids.  

I went out for a Buddy Walk about noon today and it was raining big fat drops with the sky completely clear and the sun out.  We needed it but could we have at least 10 minutes instead of just 5?

More later....

Monday, July 11, 2022

Hot Hot Hot

It is some kind of hot out there.  I can imagine walking beside a Conestoga wagon with the hot air blowing off the Plains.  Ok, yes I was in the high school musical of Oklahoma and can still sing that song. And, yes, I'm a child of the 1950's Western TV programs.  I could never endure the hardships of settling the West, so I don't know why it fascinates me but then I watch Survivor for the same reason.  Only with Survivor I'm smart enough to learn how to make fire from nothing before I ever volunteer for the show.  

Also, more or less along these lines, I am watching a new program called Dark Winds and it is on AMC+.  This not a Cowboy and Indian kind of show but more current in its problems and outlook.  I think the series is set in the 70s. It is taken from a series of books written by Tony Hillerman.  The of majority of Hillerman's novels are set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest, near Shiprock, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation in Arizona and extending into southeastern Uth.  

I have read all of Hillerman's books and now is daughter, Anne Hillerman, has taken up the series. The scenery is stark but beautiful and it really makes you think about how we forced the Indians into a small, stark area.  Ok, maybe not everyone is bothered by this but even as a card-carrying member of BLM, I wonder why the Indians are not likewise united in our mistreatment.  But I digress. 

I had a memory recently that falls in with the redesigning my life plan.  When my children were young and I was a working Mom with all the responsibilities of a single parent, I used to do a mass cooking on the weekend and freeze it for the week ahead.  Back then I mostly cooked those meals that children would eat without complaining but I think I can think up a few more adult friendly meals and choose a day to cook up a storm.  It is on the to-do list.  I love making lists but let's see if I follow through.  

I have finished the Benedictine book and started on The God Part of the Brain.  It got mixed reviews, but I find it interesting, though hard to read.  Debra was right.  There are many interesting religious books out there.  

I find the decline in my short-term memory to be a real problem.   I can't remember what I read an hour later, much less the next day.  I have started doing some reading on this also but, truthfully, can't remember what I read. 

Marie asked about my Buddy Boy who is holding his own.  He has lost a good deal of weight although he is now at a good weight now and should stay there.  He is having problems eating.  He has lost the majority of his teeth.  Consequently, he can no longer chew much of the dry food.  I tried putting the dried food in a blender with either milk, water or wet food.  He will eat it once or twice but then leaves it sit. I have tried different wet food from canned to packaged and, again, he'll only eat them once or twice. Right now, we are on Bella which I think is a Purina product.  I like it because it is in small trays, but it is not nearly as cost effective as dry food.  The only constant seems to be the crust off my sandwiches. Good thing I love sandwiches, but a diet of bread can't possibly be healthy for a dog.  I tried mashing it in with the wet food and he ate it, but he prefers crust to the middle white part of the bread.  

Here he is in June with the youngest Grand Girl. When I went to visit them last weekend, they invited me to bring Buddy along.  He got on well with the two labs, one chihuahua and a parrot.  Although he was jealous if one of their dogs tried to get in on HIS cuddle time with the Girls. 

More later ... 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

This and That

Gosh, I didn't realize it has been a month since I posted.  

I missed the Fourth of July and all the family to-dos because of a major sugar overdose of ice cream.  I really didn't eat that much (yeah, right) but the sugar in combination with a shortage of glucose monitor supplies sent me into a couple of days of having near death imaginings.  However, I did find out you could buy the transmitter I needed off Amazon.  What?  Diabetic supplies when your insurance won't pay for anymore?  And I just found out you can now get free GrubHub delivery with Prime membership.  Who knew? Anyway, sugar is back normal now.  

I drove out to see my son and his family yesterday.  The Artist Grand Girl has the cutest parrot.  I really love that bird and he loved my earrings, eyeglasses and fingernails.  Had a great time chomping on all three. 

Isn't he the cutest?  Unfortunately, I now know how badly I need a neck lift before we have a turkey and a parrot in the family.  

In other news, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to redesign my life.  The little job awoke in me the need to do something, accomplish something worthwhile but not in a 9 to 5 kind of way. Volunteering is a commitment I not ready to make so I'm trying to expand my life in other ways. 

So, I've been reading a lot on a wide variety of subjects.  Religion has never been my cup of tea.  I love many things about going to church - kneeling, prayers, hymns, stained glass windows - but I've never really had Faith or belief.  I started reading "The Monastery of the Heart" by Joan Chittister which attempts to redefine the Rule of Benedict (as in St. Benedict and the Benedictine Monks) for today's searchers. It spoke to me in a way other religious texts have not.  It has given me some insight into areas I might want to pursue. 

I have also subscribed to the New York Times online.  Damn, I had forgotten what good writing was like after reading jumbled news briefs from other sources.  My brain is still not working good enough for the crossword and other games but hopefully the synapses will start snapping again. 

The knowledge that I will probably move back to the old neighborhood I lived in before they sold my apartment complex has let me anxious.  I'm the child that read the book the day after the book report was assigned because I couldn't stand it hovering over my head.  So, applying that to the apartment, I can't help but search for the new place even though I am pretty sure I will be moving to the new complex the old apartment owners are building.  It irritates me that I can't let go of that need to organize the search when I already have Plan A & B in place.  Some type of control issue, I guess. 

The water aerobics plan didn't work out.  I'm not really a germophobe but I started getting the heebie-jeebies about germs getting into the two little holes punched in my stomach by the diabetic supplies.  Speaking of, my little Sister is still undergoing Cancer treatment.  She had a port inserted high on her chest and his taking the chemo through it.  We only get snapshots of her life when she shares them.  She doesn't want company.  My middle sister and daughter want to bring laughter to her but as a rape survivor, I tell her go ahead and cry.  Your life is hard, and it hurts, while secretly I just hope she lives through it. 

I also ran across a website called Wondriumdaily when I was trying to look up something about Middle Ages England.  It has a wonderful explanation that clearly answered my question.  I don't know what all areas it covers but if you're always looking for answers on the internet, you might enjoy it too.  

Guess that catches you up for now.  More later ...