Monday, August 31, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I'm not ruling out the possibility of more 90 degree days, but it looks like for the most part, the summer heat has passed us by. And I couldn't be happier. I appreciate having to cover up. I'd much rather wear jeans than shorts. Long sleeves instead of tank tops. And let's not forget my precious hoodies. However, I know that 90 degrees temps in September are not uncommon. I've even experienced a hot day or two in early October. But I hope fall is here to stay.

My weekend was a flurry of activity. I headed to Indy to hang out with my college pal Sunni and her daughters for the day. We ran around town for a bit then headed back to her house to relax. A little dinner, a little drinking, a little dancing, and it was already 1am. The next morning, which came way too early, I went to church with them and watched Sunni sing. Then I began the trek home, zigzagging my way through southern Indiana until I was back in da burgh again.

Pmo surprised me Sunday night with a dinner at Olive Garden. What a treat! Plus I had my trusty coupon for $4 off. I ordered my usual ravioli di portobello and bellini tea, we each enjoyed a glass of moscato wine and, of course, the always delicious salad and breadsticks. Yet afterward, I felt so miserable. I was overly stuffed with food, but I was also still nursing this crud I've had for the past week. After we got home, we spent some time in the backyard, watching Jack run his little tail off playing ball. I had to wear a jacket and change into jeans. It was chilly!

I almost forgot. We made the inaugural trip out of the neighborhood with Bug's buggy. We took the dogs down to the riverfront before dinner Sunday afternoon. We let Bug walk around for awhile by the boat ramp. He got to go with Jack and check out the good smells of the river bank. Then we got the stroller out of the trunk and took off with him. He tried to jump off only once or twice and actually laid down a time or two. So except for his beagle shrieking when he sees other dogs (nothing I say or do stops him from freaking out and screaming, so if anyone knows how to get this under control, let me know) it was a pretty good venture.

The week ahead will be pretty low key for me. I'm planning another trip to the grocery store and I also need to color my hair. I'm hope to take the dogs walking by myself and try to handle the stroller and Jack at the same time. I didn't walk at all last week, and I certainly don't need to fall into that routine. I'm feeling better, not as weak, but I still have crap running down my throat, a cough, and a sneeze here or there. I'm still taking mucinex and amoxicillin so hopefully I'll come out of it by the weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Along with the Sunshine...

…there's gotta be a little rain sometimes.

I'm a bit under the weather. Where that expression came from I don't know. But anyway, it started with a sore throat on Sunday night. I spent 2 hours at the clinic on Monday to get a prescription for amoxicillin. Now this crud has transformed into some kind of nasal congestion. I found some allergy pills I bought the last time I was sick, so I popping them today. I'm not aware that I have any allergies, but those pills are supposed to relieve the same symptoms, so I thought, why not? It saves me from having to make a trip to Walgreen's and trying to pick something out that might work, and forking over more dough. Hopefully, this crud will clear up by the weekend. I'm supposed to go to Indy to visit my friend, Sunni, and her family. Right now, all I want to do is sleep, though I'm bored with it.

I'm also researching medication for Bug online. He's been doing so-so on the Rimadyl pills but they're so freaking expensive. I hate to keep buying them if they're only halfway helping. So I might try some aspirin the next time it seems like he's hurting. The vet says a baby aspirin or 1/4 of a regular aspirin is okay. But not long term. It's so weird because the first batch of Rimadyl worked so well, but ever since it's not been 100% effective. The vet also told me he needs lots of rest. He's a pro at that.

So we'll see. As of Thursday night, I still feel like crap and will probably hit the hay as soon as I get home. It's really irritating when you're used to coming and going as you please without a hint of illness. Now every task seems like a chore and I'm out of breath. But it only happens every once in awhile. I'm guess I'm pretty lucky.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bug's Buggy

I’m not sure where the idea came from, but lately I’ve been thinking about buying a pet stroller. I’m sure it sounds stupid and frivolous. Probably as silly as putting a dog in a bag and carrying it around. Or dressing it up in clothes and putting jewelry on it. But there is a method to my madness.

Bug has had problems with his back legs for several months now. The pills from the vet worked at first, but he’s been taking them for awhile now and he’s only about 75% well. This means walking is a chore. Bug doesn’t want to go, and he’s slow. Jack is hard enough to keep up with as it is without Bug lagging behind. But I need to walk more for exercise, Jack needs an outlet for his energy, and we’ve been talking about taking the dogs on a trip with us. If Bug is down, I don’t want that to keep him from going places with us and being able to move around.

I knew a pet stroller would not be cheap. Not many things that are custom made for pets are. And I was right. I started looking on the internet and they were anywhere from $75 to $200. Seriously? I just want to push my dog around. The basket doesn’t have to be lined in gold. It doesn’t have to dispense treats or anything. So I went back to my original thought: get a used baby stroller and modify it.

We found one at Goodwill for $5 and brought it home. It was a simple one. No diaper bag compartment or drink holders. Just a cloth seat. So we got it into the garage and stared at it for awhile, trying to come up with a way to use it. We put Bug in it and, well, he didn’t quite fit. His paws hung over the front, along with his upper torso. We tried putting different things in the seat that would jut out and give him some support but nothing really worked.

At some point, I grabbed the ironing board from the loft in the garage. It was a small one, made for a countertop. Seemed like it would be a good platform for Bug. But we couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it. Until we took the cloth seat off. We slid the ironing board onto the bottom rungs of the stroller. And voila! We had the BugMobile. The ironing board fit really snug so it won’t come out unless we take it out. And we can collapse it down to take with us on a trip. It’s absolutely perfect.
We tried it out twice over the weekend walking around the neighborhood. I hooked Bug’s leash onto him, locked it tight, then slid the handle over the stroller. He rode pretty well, even laid down a couple of times. He jumped off once, but he didn’t go very far because of the leash, and we just put him right back on it. Of course, just because his legs are weak doesn’t mean his mouth is. He stirred up a bunch of dogs in the neighborhood across the road from us with his beagle shrieking. But all in all, it worked out great. We even added a pillow in the back so his tail doesn’t get too close to the back wheels.

So that’s the story of how Bug's buggy was born. I’m quite proud of it. I mean, it was five freaking dollars, an ironing board, and a pillow. Problem solved. And I don't care if people think I'm babying him or just being ridiculous. I know why I'm using it and that's all that matters. But hopefully, Bug will get better, and he won't need it. Lord knows he needs the exercise. But now we have an alternative if he’s not feeling well or if he gets worse as he gets older. Cheap ingenuity rocks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Wanna Rock!

I got the best present in the world from Pmo last year for Christmas: a karaoke system. We were so excited that we went out and bought CDs for it and tried it out in the living room. Problem was, our TV speakers were not made for such loudness, so when we sang, we sounded like crap. Then we realized if we brought in the stereo from the kitchen, we could hook up the karaoke player to better speakers. But then the stereo sat in front of the TV, which was not very pretty, nor conducive to daily living. So besides one time when the Folzi came over, and another time when my college friends were in town, the karaoke machine has hardly been touched this year.

We thought we were going to get better speakers some time at Goodwill and sit them on a shelf above the TV. Then we could route the system through a receiver and enjoy karaoke in the living room. But we just never seemed to come across any speakers we liked. Plus, once we found some, we'd have to build a shelf and get another receiver. A recent trip to Tennessee netted a set of pretty good speakers from a Goodwill store, but we still weren't sure how to rig everything up. Then Pmo got the idea to look for a TV instead and put the whole system in the "stuff" room instead. The "stuff" room is one of our back bedrooms that consists of our movies, books, magazines, and pictures, Pmo's stereo, big stereo, and music, and a lot of other stuff. Hence the name, stuff room.

Wouldn't you know the next time we went to Goodwill, we found a small TV that even had a digital tuner for $15, and we brought it home. Now we have an extra set of rabbit ears hooked up so we can watch TV. And since the karaoke player is multi-functional, we can listen to CDs and watch DVDs in there, too. But the best part is, the mics are hooked up and we are ready to rock! The night we hooked it up, we stayed up late singing, then took turns going outside to see if we were really that loud. And since then, I've been in there a few times by myself in the morning.

I can't believe I actually have an outlet now for my singing. It only took 31 years! And don't get me wrong: I know that I can't sing well. I don't know anything about notes or pitches or melodies. But I love it. I've been doing it all my life. And I'm not about to stop. Even when I am told I'm singing off key. Who cares? Obviously, I don't.

When I was a kid, I used to prop up the push broom against a chair in the basement and use it as a microphone stand to belt out tunes. Or I would grab a flashlight for a hand mic and run around the room. Now I sing in the car, in the shower, wherever I can turn up the radio, CD, or mp3 player. It helps drown out my voice! But now, I can just go back to the stuff room, put in a CD, and sing to my heart's content. With a real microphone. I'm sure I'll still enjoy the occasional trip to Lamasco. But it's nice to know that when I'm home, I can just take my beer or glass of wine down the hallway and pick up the mic if I feel the need to make eardrums bleed! That's kind of harsh, but you get my drift. In other words, I WANNA ROCK!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weighing on my Mind

I was shocked when I looked down at the scale at the doctor's office this afternoon. Well, maybe shock is not the right word. I've known for some time that I was putting on weight. The tummy doesn't lie. In fact, it proudly juts out for all the world to see. My diet is not the best and I don't get a lot of exercise. I always seem to find excuses. The number one excuse being, "Oh, I didn't have time." Yeah, but somehow I found time to lay back in the recliner, eat cream cheese and crackers, and watch Days of our Lives for an hour.

I've lost weight before. I know how to do it. But it takes so much willpower and I'm weak. The number I saw on the scale today may be just what I need to jump start an exercise routine, and more importantly, stick with it. That's the hard part. I think I'm going to commit to a steady walking routine. I know I could burn so many more calories if I ran. But I freaking hate running with a passion. I'm thinking about speedwalking with Jack. Since Bug's leg problems are not totally behind us yet, we've been taking Bug on a short walk and Jack on a longer loop. I also need to do it first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. If I wait until midmorning or longer, I'll find any excuse to sit on my butt.

I'm not going to waste money on a gym that I know I won't go to, although I wouldn't mind lifting weights again. I figure I can do just about anything at home that I can do at a gym: pushups, situps, walking, etc. The only thing is when it gets cold, I won't be able to walk outside. I'll have to find an indoor option. Maybe Washington Square Mall where Pmo goes sometimes. I can't take Jack there though.

My other option is dancing. I can do that indoors, in the air conditioning, without going anywhere. Make up my own routines as I go along, blast the stereo. Wait, that sounds like a better option than walking! Maybe I'll mix it up because I also want to get the dogs exercising as much as possible. The more energy Jack expends, the better off we all are.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'm just not much of a fest person. I think it's a combination of the heat, the parking, and the people. I went to the Schweitzer Fest when I was younger. I'd walk around, talk to friends, eat the food, ride the rides. But the older I get, the more I don't enjoy being hot and sticky much less bumping into other festgoers. Probably the same reasons I'm not a huge fan of amusement parks.

So this year, I passed on the Freedom Fest. I probably won't be attending Volksfest. And if I miss the Fall Festival, it won't kill me. But I am considering the Fiddler Fest in Newburgh this fall. I love catfish and I recently attended a wine tasting festival at the same location, the Old Lock and Dam. There's also a jazz and wine festival coming up in downtown Evansville. I won't rule that one out just yet, although the crowd might be big. In the words of Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Hometown

I went home for a funeral this morning. My great aunt Lea passed away. I saw several family members I hadn't seen in several years. I received the usual compliments: "you're so tall like your dad" and "you look just like your mom." It seems every time I go home for something like that and see everyone, I start thinking about all my family members who were born and raised there and have never left. I'm not one of them.

Both sides of my family have deep roots in Perry County. But I've noticed the younger generation is branching out, for the most part. On my dad's side of the family, the majority of my cousins live away from home. On my mom's side, my cousins live within yards of each other and I'm the only one who's not there. It makes me realize that my kids, if I have any, are not going to grow up like I did. They're not going to have their grandparents nearby, their cousins to play with, their aunts and uncles to dote on them. Sure, there will be holidays and we'll visit, but it won't be the same. It won't be how I was brought up, my mom was brought up, my mom's mom was brought up, and so on.

I had every intention of leaving home for as long as I remember. I knew I would never live there as an adult. But I guess it never hit me what that would mean for my children. Again, if I have any. I'm not saying it's a bad thing or a good thing. In fact, I think the Evansville/Newburgh area is a great place to call home and raise a family. But it's weird to think my kids won't bicycle down Catholic Hill and go up to the Cannelton dam with tater wedges they bought from Marvin's Market. Or have their grandpa pick them up on his day off and take them around town. Or get caught behind the floodwall doing things they aren't supposed to be doing, only to have their dad find out the next day. Wait a minute. Maybe that is a good thing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Take It Easy

This was a productive, yet relaxing weekend. It's one of the few this summer that we didn't have something scheduled. I think the busy times are over for now. Isn't it funny though, when you get down time, you start planning more things to do?

Pmo went to a gun show in Boonville with his dad Saturday morning and I slept in, as usual. I had stayed up watching "Daisy of Love" for some stupid reason. But even if I hadn't been up late, I would have still slept in. It's my nature. If I don't have to get up, why should I? When Pmo got home, we had some lunch and I set out to vacuum and wash my car. Even though I knew it was supposed to rain that night, sometimes things just need to be done. I realized I needed to wash the car the other day, when I went to put my 2010 sticker on my license plate and had to wipe so much dirt off to do it.

Saturday night was all about Shogun. We took The Folzi to Owensboro to experience this awesome Japanese restaurant. I took Pmo over there once but it had been a long time since we'd been back. I went a little heavy on the yum yum sauce for my rice and had to slow it down. It's such a bad feeling when you're sitting there, already so full you can't stand it, and you haven't even gotten to the meat yet. But I managed to jump over the wall I hit and keep going. I did bring home a box though and ate it Sunday. On the way home, it was pouring rain but it slacked up a bit by the time we got into the house. We had some drinks, played some games, and like that, it was almost 1am, and our company went home.

On Sunday, Pmo fixed pancakes for breakfast. We read the newspaper and checked out the ads. At some point, we decided we would go pick up a few things in a place I like to call, town. But we weren't in too big of a hurry. Pmo was on the hunt for some hardware and I wanted to get a 4G flash drive I had seen advertised at Big Lots for $10. Somehow, we got engrossed in "13 Going on 30" on TV and didn't leave the house until almost 3pm. We also stopped at Sears where I picked upsome jewelry and a wallet. Then I dropped off Pmo at the house so I could go back to the grocery store and CVS and pick up some things while he worked on his hardware project and fired up the grill.

Dinner consisted of barbecue pork chops and some left over hot dogs and bratwurst we wanted to use up. I also fixed corn on the cob, baked potaoes, and salad. Later, we took the dogs for a walk and pretty much settled in for the night. I put my new wallet together and organized my new to-do list for the week. We also had vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping. Yum!

I also got some sad news over the weekend. My great aunt Lea passed away. She'd been in the hospital for several days with lung and kidney trouble. When I think of Lea, I'll always remember going with my family to cut wood at Aunt Elsie's and Lea would bring the strawberry pie that was so good. I'm glad I got to see her and Tom in Rome in the spring during the Dogwood Festival.