It’s That Time of Year Again


I said it better then. Or, as my tshirt says “The desert is calling and I must go”


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Grandma vs. Microsoft


Oh Windows–late have I loved thee–very late.

My dear readers will remember my shock of finding myself in the middle of Death Valley with a brand new laptop that came with NO INSTRUCTIONS and we were so remote we had no access to the Internet. Over the course of a month I actually figured out what I needed with Windows 8. I cursed it, I cursed its children, I cursed its creators. But, in the end, I found a game to replace 15 YEARS OF FREECELL SCORES and settled into a very addictive game called Master of Words. I was up to Master class with over 7 million points to my favor and a global ranking of 661. And then, I fell for it. I decided to upgrade to Windows 10. Oh my……all that hard-earned knowledge was wiped out. Again, there were no instructions. All I knew was that 9 of my games failed to jump the time/space barrier and were gone. Of course, Master of Words(and my 7 million points) were gone. Alas, so was my cursor and my desktop and those garish boxes that I had finally reduced in size and mastered. The charms were gone.

I kept Windows 10 on my laptop for almost 48 hours–without a cursor or pointer it is very difficult to use one’s device. My guess is that Microsoft has boosted Apple’s stock more than any bailout could hope to do. I set a restore point–probably a useless gesture–and went back to Windows 8.1. I was warned I only had 29 days left to keep my backsies to 8.1 and then my chance to upgrade would be lost forever.

Apparently Microsoft loves that ‘lost forever’ concept because when I returned to 8.1 my 7 million points, game moniker and the game itself were gone–never to return. At least my cursor/pointer was back.

I give up. And now, my Kindle has quit charging. All my free indie books–leaning heavily towards dystopian fiction–has quit charging. I went to Youtube to see how to change the battery and was mentally battered by the most favored video. Even Mr T got lost at the soldering wires after removing 14 very tiny screws.

So where is all this going? No place. I used to love my computer toys. I was first on the block for any new upgrade, version or device. But no longer. I have received warnings to hold no private conversations in front of the smart TV or the new refrigerator. I had to give up my flip phone. I have 3 laptops, 1 netbook, 2 Kindles, 1 desktop and a semi-smart phone. I do not like them Spam I am. I think you are just one big spy-cam.

A more cheerful topic next time: A NEW JEEP RUBICON!!!! Of course it will autotrack us anywhere we go so I’ll skip the camo upgrade. Now give me a desert wash to put it through its paces!


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All Thumb

king john

Two months post-thumb joint reconstruction I have a small amount of motion in the assaulted hand. Things have been complicated by a big-time arthritis flare–my hand’s way of saying “you and the horse you rode in on” for what you did to me! Anyway, none of this is any excuse for failing to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. (June 15)

Here is a poem I learned in elementary school that sums it up as well as any more scholastic tome. Years later when I read it more closely, I sensed that the barons came out with a lot more rights than ol’ Piers Peasant but still, it was a start. Thank you Eleanor–the one who wrote the poem, not King John’s mother.

John, John, bad King John
Shamed the throne that he sat on;
Not a scruple, not a straw,
Cared this monarch for the law;
Promises he daily broke;
None could trust a word he spoke;
So the Barons brought a Deed;
Down to rushy Runnymede,
Magna Carta was it hight,
Charter of the People’s Right,
Framed and fashioned to correct
Kings who act with disrespect –
And with stern and solemn air,
Pointing to the parchment there,
“Sign! Sign! Sign!” they said
“Sign, King John, or resign instead!”

John, John, turning pale,
Ground his teeth and bit his nail;
Chewed his long moustache; and then
Ground and bit and chewed again.
“Plague upon the People!” he
Muttered, “What are they to me?
Plague upon the Barons, too!”
(Here he had another chew,)
But the Barons, standing by,
Eyed him with a baleful eye;
Not a finger did they lift;
Not an eyelash did they shift;
But with one tremendous roar,
Even louder than before,
“Sign! Sign! Sign!” they said,

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Reflections On My Small(for now) World

View From Command Central–taken with old point and shoot. Our patio is caged so we are protected from golf balls.

w patio cage

w baby quail



w flowers w hummer

The weather is too nice to stay under the covers.  But what is a person to do with just one working hand? Dear Readers–have you ever tried to open a long-necked Bud with only one hand??? It doesn’t work! Since blog pecking is so difficult I wandered back through my early posts–back in 2007 when I was still with Blogspot. ( I was struck by how many of my posts involved  church observations. No longer.

Since moving to SeniorLand in the middle of Lib Wine Country I have dragged my 12 Faithful Readers through my attempts to play golf, spending our children’s inheritance on camera gear and overcoming my irrational fear of firearms. All those things require two hands. So, I will go back to church stories.

Byrdie died just before western Easter and I was in despair so I decided to slip in the back of the church for the Holy Thursday liturgy. (Readers will remember this church, famous for its Bolshoi Jesus– The lovely custom of decorating the church with loads of flowers appears to have fallen by the wayside. Sigh. The priest began with the obligatory joke from the back of the church. A faux 60ies song was attempted. And then came the foot washing.

The chairs were placed in the front of the pews in a triangle. The plan is that the priest will sit in the top chair and two parishioners will face each other in the lower two chairs. The priest washed the first two pairs of feet then just stood up and walked off and went to his seat behind the altar. He had not bothered to turn off his mic so we all got to hear him mutter, “I feel like a bartender!” as he snapped the drying towel off his shoulders.

What is the proper liturgical response to that?  “And with your spirits?” Nervous laughter spouted from various pews. The rest of the volunteer feet weren’t quite sure what to do so they ended up washing each other’s feet and hurrying away. I slipped away back into the welcome darkness that let me hide a fresh rush of tears.

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Shadow Blogger

There won’t be much blogging from SeniorLand. When the ankle tumor on Byrdie got 10″ around, we made that hard decision and had her put down. She wasn’t moving around much and then she just stopped eating. Those beautiful brown eyes gazed up at us and we knew. We took her to the parking lot of a vet we didn’t know(another story too painful to recount) and held her while the life slipped away from her body. The vet came out to the Jeep so that was a blessing. I remember the day we rescued her from the hell hole caged prison she was in outside of Bakersfield–the thought ran through my mind that this last day would come. Ten years of the best dog to ever come down the pike was over too quickly.

How can there be a water shortage when so many tears have been shed? Mr. T wishes I’d quit referring to the Jeep as the Death Wagon but that last ride left a scar.

Two weeks ago I had thumb joint reconstruction surgery. Typing with one finger on my left hand requires more dedication than I can manage right now. Since the string of bad luck seems to be continuing, I think I’ll just hunker down and hold real still. So, I’m going to pull these camo sheets up over my head and whisper “See you on the flip side for now.”

byrdiehug oldpaper

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Being Egged On

I hope you watch the video first. I’ve lost count of how many sure fire tricks are guaranteed to make peeling a hard-boiled egg easy. NONE OF THEM WORKS! Mr. T has resorted to buying already-peeled eggs at Costco.

There’s the baking soda, the ice cubes, the little fake egg that sends signals, the running under cold water, the bring-to-boil from cold water and the bring to boil from hot tap water methods. Nope.

There’s boiling eggs after checking dates and spinning them and saying 3 Our Fathers. Nope.

 So—I was excited to experiment with this new strategy. I got 2 fresh eggs, measured out the 2″ of water over the eggs using a ruler and set timers for each step.

Egg #1–I think I took off too much shell at each end. I know my mouth was touching the egg in the shell and that’s gross if anyone else is going to eat the egg. It also left a ring of lipstick on the shell. I blew and I blew and did not blow the house down. NADA.

Egg #2–This time I chipped off a small bit of shell from the top of the boiled egg and a smallish bit of shell from the bottom. And then I commenced to blowin’……. NOTHING.

Well, there was something. Women past a certain age do not have quite the sphincter control they once had and blowing hard into a hard-boiled egg certainly had an unintended consequence. I did, however, feel the egg loosen up inside the shell and it peeled very easily.

I still don’t think it’s sanitary. And it still left a big smudge of lipstick on the outside.

I’ll wait for the next great kitchen tip.

P.S.  The lipstick is NYC 415

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Is There A Target On Our Backs?

I can’t say excuse the interruption in posting since lately this blog has been more interruption than post, but 2015 is not going that well. I have had pneumonia yet again and in 2 weeks am facing thumb joint rebuilding surgery; Mr. T got into poison oak and it morphed into a systemic skin infection; and the very worst of all–our sweet labradoodle was diagnosed with end stage bone cancer. The straw that broke the humans’ hearts.
In the meantime, while we come to terms, here is a better blog than this one.

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