Signs You Are A #MAGAt

I know in these trying political times, it can be difficult to parse out all the hashtags out there. Are you puzzled over what you should get your knickers in a knot over? Do you look over your shoulder to see if people are making fun of YOU? You’ve wondered aloud “Am I a MAGAt?” I am here to help. Because I am a giver.

If you are wondering if you might be a MAGAt, take this short quiz.

  • Do you refuse to wear a mask because no one can tell you what to do! Because FREEDOM! ‘MURCA! though you honor policies that dictate “No shirt, no shoes, no service” and generally keep your pants on in public?
  • Are you experiencing any of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief because Parler is gone?
  • Do you believe that bakers should be able to refuse to make wedding cakes for gay couples but that Amazon, Google, and Apple are fascists happily stomping on free speech?
  • Have you had one or more accounts deleted by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LiveJournal, WattPad, or MySpace?
  • Do you have 10 digits following your Twitter handle because all your other accounts got removed?
  • Do you believe with all your heart that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen, despite complete and utter lack of evidence, despite courts from SCOTUS down to Sbarro at the mall throwing out suits due to lack of evidence just because Spanky the White House Clown said so?
  • Did you put the erection in “insurrection?”
  • Are you currently angrily typing “There IS no ‘erection’ in the word ‘insurrection, stupid!”
  • Is Fox News too leftist for you?
  • Is your heart full of hate?
  • Do you have a “Fu#$ Your Feelings” shirt but are crying because someone called you a MAGAt?
  • Have you used the word “cuck” in casual conversation?
  • Do you wish harm on politicians who voice disagreement with your leader?
  • Have the only parts of the Constitution you have actually read been the First and Second Amendments?
  • Is the racism of your leader not a deal-breaker for you?
  • Do you cheer when the current administration rolls back protections for marginalized people and the environment?
  • Do you believe the phrase “Black Lives Matter” means that no other lives in the rest of the world amount to a hill of beans?
  • Do you think kids belong in cages because their parents committed a misdemeanor?
  • Are you genuinely afraid of the Biden Administration because you are certain paybacks are hell?
  • Do you laugh when followers of the opposing leader cry?
  • Do you genuinely believe that the administration has done a great job?
  • Do you admire Spanky the White House Clown because he says all the things you wish you could say?
  • Are you upset or angry that you can’t leave a comment on this blog and didn’t realize that just by visiting, you move the blog up in SEO ranking?

Friend, if you answered any of the above questions in the affirmative, there is a good chance that you are a MAGAt. The only treatment for this condition is to push the button behind your left ear to re-engage your brain and head to a surgeon to see if they can reboot your empathy.

It’s A New Year. Now What?

It’s a New Year. You’ll have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm. I used all my confetti when I actually found bakers yeast at the grocery store.

Like many others, I kind of built up 2021 as being a magical demarcation in time, that line in the sand where the bad cannot cross. I invested in a beautiful new planner a few months ago. And when I say invested, I mean it. The thing cost me $50. It is a tome, weighing in at maybe more than my mini dachshund, but it prayerfully walks me through my goals for the coming year. I was scared of it delaying gratification, so that I put off opening it for several weeks after it arrived. Can I really meet goals that I set? Maybe? YES, I CAN! And what better time for new goals than the new year, am I right?

But what I didn’t see coming? I no longer have any goals. I was set to make a plan to pay off the house, build my Ebay business, submit more writing to various publications and competitions, hatch more Spider Tortoises. After spending nearly a week in the hospital following my husband’s emergency surgery, after a cancer diagnosis, a lot of stuff has slid off my goal list. It’s hard to get stoked about building a business. I have bigger fish to fry. Or maybe smaller fish.

Now my lovely, $50 planner seems as big as a Bible and just as esoteric. Things are a little overwhelming right now, and I’m not even sure how to begin. It’s hard to think about building a business when it’s hard to even get out of bed. But it feels like defacing a fine book to put in the milestones that are actually achievable. But let’s get real. For right now, I need to dial it back a notch if I’m not going to be curled up in the corner sucking my thumb. And forget about looking at a whole year. Seriously, one day at a time is about all I can deal with.

Instead of giant goals that threaten to smother me in my sleep, I’m making some smaller, daily goals. Yep, I’m lowering the bar, but the bar is adjustable for a reason. I’m not looking to do a Fosbury flop to break a world record. I just want to get OVER it.

  • Take a shower
  • Make necessary appointments
  • Print out paperwork for necessary appointments
  • Fill out paperwork for necessary appointments
  • Eat at least one real meal
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Put on clean clothes (WOOT! I can cross this one off! Today, anyway)
  • Pick up kid from school
  • Read something. Anything. The back of a cereal box? Count it! The ingredients list? You got it!
  • Watch twelve episodes of Pawn Stars
  • Avoid politics. I keep thinking that I just need to hang on until the 20th, and the nightmare will be over. Watching the GOP misbehave does me no favors.

I think sometimes we set up ourselves to fail when we put so much weight on the new year. It can be a blank slate, but really, so can tomorrow. What’s important is not that we’re moving forward. Even treading water beats moving backward. Sometimes standing still is progress. I will hold my ground. I might even decide to put on something other than sweatpants. Not today, though. I’ve done enough.

I did go out today and bought Lumen a new bed.
And now her goal is to get it back from Penny!

Does the new year feel different than the old one for you? What are your plans and dreams for 2021?

For the record, I am fine. Just really, really tired. This is going to be a blip on our radar. Even the surgeon said “Eh, you’re strong and fit. You’ll be fine.” I’m just tired. And cranky.

Be Careful What You Wish For

I discovered that I am magic and have the power to grant my own wishes. I did not know this, or I’d have been more careful. Apparently the wish granting is less “I Dream of Jeannie” and more “Monkey’s Paw.”

It started on Christmas eve. We were expecting a cold snap, complete with a dusting of snow. Lovely! I was dreaming of a white Christmas and all that. The paw twitches. Ha. Dusting of snow, my hind foot! Try five inches. My neighborhood is uphill both ways, and here in the South, our communities don’t invest a whole lot in snow equipment. I got my white Christmas, sure. But then I also got a mile walk in the snow and a three hour wait for someone to haul me to work on Christmas.

German shepherd in snow in the light of a streetlight with a boy in a University of Tennessee Hoodie (I know. Hoodie in the snow, but it's his fault if he gets cold), and a woman in yellow coat smiling at camera
Don’t judge me. The kid decided he wanted to leave the house in a hoodie. Eventually, I gave him my gloves.

Husband always gets a little glum at the holidays, especially this year since we’re socially distanced from extended family. I wished he would quit his bellyaching. The paw twitched. He did, but it involved emergency surgery to remove the source of the bellyache.

Husband and I had wished for a little getaway, just the two of us. The paw twitched. We got it. But this is the worst hotel ever. It’s the most expensive hotel we’ve ever stayed in, but the only thing on the room service menu is ice chips, and the good drugs are only given to one of us. I am pretty sure the bell hops are vampires because they sneak in here in the middle of the night and steal blood. And sometimes urine. That last one has me puzzled. I learned everything about vampires from Twilight, and they didn’t cover pee, Maybe it’s a wolf thing?

I think we might be staying in the Hotel California, because we checked in, but they won’t let us leave. Well, they don’t seem to care if I’m here, but it’s not a fun vacation if husband can’t sight-see with me And since we’re still in our hometown, so there aren’t that many sites TO see. So here I sit, watching The Office and texting home to make sure the children haven’t gone feral.

We wished for more time together. The paw twitched. Now we have nothing BUT time. A type A personality and type… Z? locked in one room together for days on end. Husband keeps telling me how to clean, and I may have threatened to smother him with his advance directive.

I’m hoping that we’re back on track soon, and that maybe my wish-making was just a 2020 phenomenon. I’m going to be careful not to make any more wishes, just in case there is any leftover 2020 floating around. I might try again in February, but not like I did last year, when I wished for travel and the whole world went to hell.

Lumen wishes you the happiest of new years. She didn’t know any better. Sorry.

Who Needs Coffee When You Can Sun Your Bum?

I hate waking up. Once I get my feet on the floor for good, I’m fine. It’s just getting to that point that is a challenge. I can “just one more snooze” myself all the way to noon if I think I can get by with it. Even with coffee, by midmorning, I am made of yawn. That’s all about to change, though, thanks to Metaphysical Meagan.

I am going to have to odd, because I just… can’t… even.

I did not include the photo of Miss Meagan’s daily routine because this is a family show. But (butt?) it’s on the great, wide web. You can look it up.

To summarize, Metaphysical Moron Meagan has been studying the Tao of the derriere, or something like that. And she swears by her tried and true technique to improve life. Did you know that 30 seconds of direct sunlight on your howdy-doody is like a whole DAY of sunlight with your clothes on? And the reason Meagan knows this is because 30 seconds is probably all she gets before the neighbors call the cops again. They are so unenlightened!

Meagan attracts people who are “on the same frequency and wavelength” as her by tanning the ole tushy, too. After you brown your downtown six times, you qualify for a free “I Tan My Taint, Doo You?” t-shirt, available in six shades of brown. Pick yours up at Big Wally’s Yurt down on the corner. It’s so great to meet other like-arsed people, you know?

Still not convinced? Meagan promises “surges of energy!” And I’m totally sure it’s, like, metaphysical energy, and not, like, a sunburn on your stink hole. But either way, it’ll wake you up. And it “connects you to the earth!” Slap them glutes down on the asphalt and see what I’m sayin’!

You can “attract your desires and intentions, too.” As long as your intention is to attract flying insects and the occasional looky-loo. It also “prevents leakage of your chi.” We wouldn’t want that leaking out of your backside, now would we?

Bronzing your badonkadonk is an “ancient Toaist practice that has been around for a while,” unlike other ancient practices that are very recent. You can totally trust it. She learned all about it from a guy who cleans himself with dirt and advocates increasing your body’s voltage. Now that I think on it, he might actually be an eel. Shine on, friend.

Is the only sunny spot your driveway? No problem. Don’t worry about the neighbors. When they catch you shooting a moon, you can explain you’re really just catching the sun! Invite them to join you! You’ll be the toast of the HOA.

Now, remember to start small. Meagan says “the goal is NOT to tan your butthole.” Yeah, Meagan, that’s your goal. Gotta get that bunghole summer ready, amirite? What’s a little skin cancer of the keister among friends?

So what are you waiting for, friends? Put your tooter in the air like you just don’t care! I reserved us a spot at the park!

Satisfaction not guaranteed.

The 17 Stages of Alexander Hamilton

After listening to the soundtrack to Hamilton approximately three times a day for a year, I decided I should probably get around to reading the book it was based on. Unfortunately, it was out of my price range until the day I found it remaindered for $5. I think they were selling it by the pound. This thing is a tome. But no pain, no gain, right?

But be forewarned. This book is a process.

Stage 1: Oh, my gosh! I’ve finally got the book, and now I will understand what the musical is talking about because I know so little about his role in history! Whee! I am not throwing away this shot!

Stage 2: Wow, this book is, like, really long. On my e-reader, it’s 1300 pages. I might be reading this for a while. Eh, what else do I have to do?

Stage 3: Gosh, Ron Chernow can write! This is so, so good! That poor little boy, abandoned and orphaned!

Stage 4: Wow. I’ve been reading for a couple of weeks already, and we’re not through the Revolutionary War yet.

Stage 5: Dude writes a lot of pamphlets. A man of many words is Hamilton.

Stage 6: More pamphlets. I did not see that coming. It’s been three weeks, and I still have 800 pages to go.

Stage 7: Another pamphlet. Or seven. Or 31. I’ve lost count. Along with my will to live.

Stage 8: I am glad this book is good because I am pretty sure I will never get to read another one in my life. Oh, look. He wrote another pamphlet. Did not see that coming.

Stage 9: Wow, Burr is a snake in the grass (sorry, snakes)!

Stage 10: YAY! I’ve read 800 pages! Oh. I still have 500 to go. Annnd there’s another pamphlet.

Stage 11: If Dude writes another pamphlet, I might shoot him myself. I have to finish this book so I can finally get the soundtrack out of my head!

Stage 12: The author just mentioned that Hamilton has only a few years left. I might throw a party.

Stage 13: C’mon, Burr! You gonna let him get by with that kind of smack talk? You should call him out for his big mouth.

Stage 14: The DUEL! We’re here! Yay! Click, BOOM!

Stage 15: Oh, gosh. He’s dying. Don’t die! Live, man, LIVE!

Stage 16: I… finished it. Don’t talk to me for a few days. I need to grieve.

Stage 17: Wow. So, so good! I…  I think I need to read it again.

 

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Something Terrible Happened Here

There is only one witness, and he is a little fuzzy on the events that occurred. I understand. I’m sure it was terrifying.

“He went thataway!”

One minute the sprinkler in Big Al’s lot was merrily chugging along, watering the grass and filling his mud hole. The next, this:

What happened? Where did that third arm go?

I looked for Al to ask him if he had seen the perpetrator because he had been hanging around close by while the sprinkler was running. He was all the way in the front of the exhibit. Hmm. That’s weird.

Hey, Al! Did you happen to see who did this to my sprinkler? I’d like to talk to them!

I took the broken pieces out and threw them away. When I came back, Detective Al was investigating the crime scene.

“Wait, Miss Heather! Wasn’t there a sprinkler right here? I mean, um… Someone laid on it. I do not know who. I had never seen them before in my life! I hope you catch them!”

Unfortunately, the case has gone cold. I wonder if we will ever solve this particular mystery. In the meantime, Big Al asked me if I wouldn’t mind starting a GoFundMe for a new bidet. I’m sure he meant sprinkler.

Possum Living: My Frisky Bitz Bring All the Cats to the Yard

Normally Fridays are reserved for politics, but this week threatened to send me into a tailspin, so it’s Possum Living instead. My biggest and most challenging goal for 2018 is to go the entire year without buying anything I don’t need. When I am stressed, depressed, or anxious, I have a bad habit of either eating compulsively or spending too much, and I’m drawing the line. There are less destructive ways to cope. And I’ve found one.

First, let me tell you my successes.

  • I survived the State of the Union without feeling compelled to spend money or eat things that I shouldn’t. I was really proud of myself. I was anxious, tense, scared, stressed, but I didn’t make bad decisions.
  • I passed on a deal for a book that I wanted. It was a sweet deal, too, but I sent the email to the trash folder without blinking.
  • I made a trip to Lowe’s for work, and I walked right past the sick plant section, even though I could see they had two Norfolk Island Pines that needed rescuing. I didn’t even look at the price. That was my hardest challenge. Plants are a weakness.
  • I have become more comfortable with being a little hungry during the day. I haven’t panicked as if I would NEVER EAT AGAIN. You can laugh, but some part of my twisted brain thought/thinks it is true.
  • My muffin-top has shrunk a bit.
  • I signed up for a 1/2 marathon.

So let me introduce you to the thing that is filling in the blanks for me. Neko Atsume.

The premise is simple. You download the free app, and you get a yard, a food bowl, and some cheap cat food. The goal is to attract cats to your yard. There are a gajillion of them. After they leave your yard, they leave fish behind as a thank you. Some of the fish are silver, but some are gold, (what you’d normally pay money for). You use the fish to buy items in the store – everything from fancy food to new toys to try to lure rarer cats to the yard. I’ve played it for a week-and-a-half, and I love it. It’s adorable, it allows me to make some purchases in their little store, set goals, develop a strategy for meeting those goals. It’s SO MUCH FUN!

On Tuesday, instead of choking down cookies or surfing Amazon, I checked in on my cats. I rearranged the furniture. I made sure the kitties were fed. And I didn’t worry. Or stress.

Kittehz! This is the original yard. The cat with his back to me cracks me right up. Isn’t that just like a cat?

The cats filter in and out at will, and the most fun in the morning is checking in to see who dropped by during the night. Only 5 cats can occupy the space at a time, so it’s a good idea to maximize the area by purchasing the items that are likely to bring in the most gold fish. It only takes 180 gold fish to expand the yard to hold more cats to bring more fish to buy more yard to hold more cats… And so on it goes. It may seem silly or pointless, but it’s working for me.

Different kittehz, and see how the little black one wore itself out playing?

I saved, I strategized, I read all the online tips, and I expanded my yard. Was it all I had hoped, Oh, yeah!

This is the yard and the inside of the house. The fat white cat on the grass is Tubbs. Most people hate him. I haven’t seen him often enough to be anything but amused by his chubby countenance.

The kitty condo holds up to 5 cats, which brings the total of cats at one time to 13!

I am late to this game. Lots of people discovered it before I did, but better late than never. I don’t know why it works, or even for how long it will work, but I’m okay with it. I’ll take what I can get, and if it quits working, I’ll find something new. I’ll make it to good health and a happier bank account one day at a time, one kitteh at a time.

What ways have you found to help manage stress? Have your methods evolved over time?

What. Ever.

Today’s Daily Post prompt is “Agile.” Aaaand, I was stuck. Agile? I have the grace of a drunk badger. I can climb like a monkey at work, and I have to in order to reach some of my exhibits, but I have taken some hard spills. And with the exception of a pinkie toe a few weeks ago*** I haven’t broken any bones. And that which does not kill me is proof that I don’t have osteoporosis. So yes, I’m a tough nut to crack, but I’m not agile.

Helpers. The Caiman Lizard climbs to the top of his exhibit and sits on the edge to supervise my work. I call him Visa because he is everywhere I want to be. His perch here is 8ft off the ground.

My best friends at work? I write about them a lot, but they’re not so agile, either.

Eastern Box Turtle hatchling. He says “I carry my house around on my back. I don’t need to be agile, too.”

My best friends have shells, so I don’t hold their lack of agility against them. My snakes are agile. And I do love snakes. But this isn’t a post about snakes.

Piebald Ball Python – a pet snake in my house. So cute. He’ll be agile one day.

The only thing about me that can slide up and down with the fluidity of a first chair trombone is my frickin’ mood. This morning, my brain is in overdrive. I got up, and all was well. And then…

It snowed! YAY!!!

Wait. I can’t get to work without a ride. I’m snowed in. ARRRGH!

But a snow day at home with the kids? Snowball fights and long walks with the dogs? Awww!

But my Dart Frogs need spraying or their eggs will dry out. THEY WILL DIIIIIIEEEE!

calling frogs

Boss man said he can mist the eggs. Whew!

The Padawan has been sneaking food downstairs, and now I have to ground him for the day, and it’s a snow day so I will have to deal with his crappy mood ALL DAY, and when will he ever learn, but he also just finished the essay that isn’t due until next week, and it’s 2 pages longer than the minimum, and I am a terrible mother for punishing a good student, but then if I don’t, he will never learn, and I am a TERRIBLE MOTHER! And also a terrible writer. That was  one hell of a run-on sentence.

And then the husband brought me coffee. And I might weep with gratitude.

But then the Little Kid Formerly Known as Squish has decided that I can be convinced to let him buy more Nerf blasters and darts. We have an arsenal of these stupid things. No! TAKE  NO FOR AN ANSWER, OR I AM GOING TO THROW EVERY NERF BLASTER WE OWN INTO THE SINKHOLE BEHIND THE HOUSE!

But there’s caramel hot chocolate.

AND MORE NERF BLASTERS! AND THE KID WON’T LET GO OF THE CAT! AND MY ANXIETY IS CHEWING ON THE INSIDE OF MY SKULL!

But kitties.

Bellatrix has the right idea on a snow day!

AND THE KID IS BEGGING ME TO RENT A BOB SLED!

But now he’s found a cardboard box to sled in. Isn’t he creative? I love that kid and his enthusiasm for life!

BUT WHAT IF HE GETS KILLED?! OR MAIMED? AND IT’S ALL MY FAULT?!!! I am a terrible mother.

But he’s going outside to play by himself. Isn’t it great that he can entertain himself outside when so many kids these days just sit in front of the television and play video games?

THE KID JUST EMPTIED ALL MY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS INTO THE FLOOR, SO HE COULD TAKE THE BOX TO SLED IN, AND NOW I MIGHT DIE OF A RAGE-INDUCED ANEURYSM!

But look at me! I can SPELL aneurysm without spell-check! Look at me! I’m an unstable genius!

BUT NOW THE KID IS TALKING ABOUT HOW HE MIGHT DIE OUTSIDE, AND HE JUST MIGHT, AND I SUCK AT MOTHERING!

I can write. Writing soothes me. I enjoy it, and it sets me to rights. I could do a Daily Post prompt…

The Daily Post prompt is “Agile.” Well, crap. My head hurts.

 

*** Pinkie toe injury – I broke my toe by dropping a remote control on it. Because I am smooth like that.

Doing Nothing Sure Does Take a Lot of Planning!

My new goal to buy absolutely nothing I don’t need comes at a good time. I’ve got a kid in college, an old car, a new dog roughly the size of a grizzly bear. Not buying crap will be a good thing. But it will be a challenge. Where do I even start? The first order of business is to cut myself off from advertising. That meant closing the door on all those wonderful companies I have invited into my inbox. I had to unsubscribe from:

  • Panera – (shockingly the hardest. I am not even quite sure that I am unsubscribed. Spinning circle of death. But if I mark them as spam, I’ll teach Gmail to route those to the junk folder.
  • Fandango – I almost never go to movies unless it’s something big – like Star Wars, so this isn’t a heartbreak. I can catch movies on DVD next year or on Netflix.
  • Funko – I am seriously in love with Funko Pop! figures. I collect most of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Stranger Things items. But not this year. Maybe next year.
  • Squishable – This website sells the most ridiculous and wonderful stuff toy thingies. I have two. That is all I need. SO cute. So sweet. But no.
  • Target – I unsubscribed from them a while ago because they were spamming me to death! Two or three emails PER DAY! Bye, Felicia!
  • Lemuria Books – I ordered a signed copy of THUG before it was released, and now it’s a treasure. But I don’t have room for tons of books.
  • Verdant Tea – I think I bought something from them once as a gift? I don’t remember. I don’t drink tea. I drink the blood of virgins. And coffee.
  • PayPal – I use them as my primary for online purchases because I can dispute them if the seller turns out to be shady. I will still use Paypal for necessary purchases, but I don’t need the marketing. Also, their algorithms have been drinking. They sent me a link to deals on diamond rings. Yo, dudes, it’s no secret that I dig through poop for a living. What part of that says diamond to you?
  • Hot Topic – Don’t judge. Tons of sweet Stranger Things and Harry Potter merch.
  • Box Lunch – Same.
  • Artscow – a photo gift site that I used a great deal in the past. But their prices have gone up so much that they are unaffordable (like, final cost is now 200% what it was two years ago). This one was a tough goodbye. So many memories, so much business done with this site.
  • Loot Crate – a monthly crate subscription to sci-fi/fantasy stuff. I like sci-fi/fantasy, and I love surprises, so Loot Crates appeal to me. Maybe next year.
  • Loot Vault – cheap, cheap sci-fi/fantasy merch. One of the few business that still offers NEW Firefly goodies.
  • Japan Crate – Like the other “crates,” it’s a monthly subscription for themed surprises. I love such things, but I never ordered. Came close a time or two, which is another reason why they are off my list. I can’t be tempted by cute toys and  tasty snacks.
  • GameStop – this was one I subscribed to because it has a rewards card. They have a few exclusive items a year I was interested in.
  • Poo-pourri – If you’ve ever met people who were all, like, “My poop don’t stink!” it’s because they use Poo-pourri. This stuff WORKS.
  • Kool Kid Toys – They have great prices on Funko Pop!, and I ordered from them once. I love Funko, and I do not need this temptation.
  • Passive Juice Motel. I bought Dark Arts coffee from them for the Severus Snape packaging. I don’t need it.
  • Shutterfly– I tried them once. Too expensive. Even with coupons, and the quality isn’t any better than anyone else. But they send me “free book” photo book coupons. Get behind me, Satan!
  • Ebay – How I ever got on this “personalized for you” list, I don’t know. But Ebay is my kryptonite. Need an obscure herpetology text? Check Ebay! Maybe next year.
  • Hallmark – I used to work for them, and I do try to get their Harry Potter ornaments. That’s how they get me – encouraging me to come in and buy more to build points for “free” stuff. This one will be hard. They have beautiful HP ornaments. But not this year. Maybe next.
  • Amazon Prime- this one was physically the hardest to unsubscribe from. It’s a five-click, multi-page process. Exhausting.
  • Joanne Fabric – I am not a serious crafter, so this one was easier. But I do buy some stuff, and if I get into knitting, I will be tempted. “You sure you wanna do that?” “Positive?” “Okay, but, like puppies will die and stuff.” “It’s your call, man. If you’re sure.” “You didn’t mean that.”
  • Tractor Supply – don’t laugh. They offer GREAT dog toys. Lumen-proof toys. Also? TRACTORS!
  • Dave’s Deals – this email is from Dave Ramsey. He offers some of the best financial advice there is, and Dave’s Deals shares the hottest deals on his books. Somehow I think he would applaud my decision to unsubscribe.
  • Booksamillion – I like my local store, I enjoy the events that they host, but I am way too tempted to buy stuff from them. TOO TEMPTED. Because BOOKS!
  • Book bub. This site was the hardest goodbye. It’s a website that shares daily deals on e-books. You can choose your favorite authors and EVERYTHING, and it will give you alerts when a deal comes up for one of them. As my hands get worse, I am relying even more on my e-reader. I only get hard copies of Herpetology books and things heavily reliant on photos(and illustrated Harry Potter because DUH) because my hands cramp pretty quickly just trying to hold open a tree book.

Holy crap! Look at all the businesses that slid their way into my email inbox! It has taken me two days to hunt down and unsubscribe from marketing. It is stunning to look back and see how much I have allowed businesses into my inbox without even thinking. I have set myself up to be hammered by advertising because I wanted a coupon, or I was hoping for a good deal, or just because I signed up for a loyalty card and didn’t check the box that disallowed marketing emails. Some of the temptation is gone, or it will be in a few weeks.

What stays:

Kroger – They are my store. I get good service and decent prices. I’m good at ignoring deals that I don’t need at the grocery store. For now. And also? Friday Freebies. It’s a thing! Every Friday they release a new freebie deal. You don’t have to buy anything in order to get it, just download the coupon. It’s a good way to try new things.

Snapfish – Their photo products are excellent, and they offer numerous coupons via email. Good coupons. Not quite as inexpensive as Artscow used to be, but affordable, good quality, and FAST.

Netgalley – This website offers Advance Reader Copies of upcoming books. I don’t usually meet publisher requirements to receive them, but when I do, these books are FREE, and if I read one that is a real treasure, I can add it to my Christmas wishlist. Yeah, my family shops from lists. They make life SO much simpler. I recommend.

Union Avenue Books – They are a local brick-and-mortar, independently owned and operated, often imitated but never duplicated bookstore. They offer events, like FUN events, book signings, etc. And I don’t get an email more than once a week. I may decide later that they are too much temptation, but for now, I’m keeping them.

 

 

 

 

I May Not Survive 2018.

It’s the second day of the New Year,  and I am pretty sure the universe is trying to kill me. I made myself some goals, and goals are a good thing. One of my unwritten resolutions is to be a more positive person in 2018. I am quite determined. And I am pretty sure I heard the universe say “Hold my beer and watch this!”

I went in to work yesterday. I know. New Year’s Day and all, but I work in a zoo. Al’s gotta eat. And it’s not like I party all night. Nah, I was in bed by 9, asleep by 10. If I want to see the ball drop, I can catch it on Youtube. How can I not go in and see this face?

    My favorite picture I have ever taken of my boy.

I say I went in to work. More correctly, I TRIED to go in to work. On the way there:

  • my car started to overheat
  • I realized a coolant hose was leaning, so I pulled over to the shoulder of the interstate.
  • I did more swearing that I meant to as I watched cars swerve over the line and nearly hit me, even though traffic was to merge into THE OTHER LANE.
  • I figured out I had coolant in the car, so I added some, but…
  • the battery had died due to the severe cold (11F plus windchill)
  • I was wearing shorts.

It took about a half hour before husband could come and retrieve my frozen behind and haul me the rest of the way in It took an hour for my feet to feel like feet again. My day went fine at work. I got some things done, so yay. But I was positive! Go, me! Instead of thinking that 2018 sucks already, quitting my job, and ordering more cats off the internet, I thought “Maybe 2018 is my year of solving problems, of growing stronger and more confident in my abilities.

Then I came home.  And I broke my toe. I didn’t get it x-rayed because there’s nothing to be done with tiny pinky toes except to tape them to their next-door neighbor, but it is purple and blue, and if you touch it, I might accidentally punch you. But it’s just a toe, right? A little tape and bottle of Ibuprofen, and all better. Little toe, littler problem.

I wish I had a good story, like I was fighting ninjas, or practicing mixed martial arts, or I kicked a wall in a rage. But no. I dropped a remote control on it. Our first real TV in, like, 9 years. See? I have been saying all along that television is harmful. Believe it.  TV will break your bones. So anyhow. Toe is taped.  It’s something to laugh about.

And then we come to this morning.

  • Outside spigot A was frozen because someone didn’t leave it running. I won’t say who that was for the sake of marital harmony, but it wasn’t me.
  • Outside spigot B was also frozen. Spousal unit unfroze.
  • Spousal unit let car warm up so he could take me to work.
  • Car ran out of gas. Cars without gas do not take you to work. They sit there and wait to be kicked with my good foot.
  • Spigot A refroze, and the only thing I had with which to unfreeze it was. my. coffee.
  • In the unfreezing process, spigot A sprayed me up and down.
  • My pants froze to my legs

For my safety, I gave up, came inside, put on my pajama pants. I am hiding now. 2018 is coming for me. Don’t tell it where I am.

I can’t bear to look!

 

 

*My family motto is “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”