The Life of “I”

Dearly Beloved and I didn’t go to many movies last year.  We’ve seen too many that were  too loud, too soft, too long, too violent, too foul-mouthed, too stupid, not to mention too expensive.  Or maybe it was that we were too lazy.  Our interest began to wane shortly after we swore off movie popcorn because it was so bad for us.

We haven’t jumped on the Red Box bandwagon either.  It’s fine if you know what you want, but it’s not a way to browse, is there?  I can’t even buy a can of tomatoes without reading the cans, so I can’t choose a movie based on the title alone.

Tuesday, I rented Flight and Skyfall from our library and congratulated myself on getting two movies we wanted to see for less than the price of a movie ticket.  While I was out, I ran by the plant nursery and selected a flat of snapdragons and several spring and summer perennials.

Had DB not been interested in seeing them, too, I’d have simply watched them on my laptop, but he wanted to see them on his fancy HD+ TV, so he brought our old DVD player in from the bedroom and hooked it up in the den.

About 15 minutes into the first one, the screen suddenly went blank.  No sound, no picture… just grey screen.  We put in the second movie.  Nothing.

I think,” DB informed me as he fiddled with a fistful of remote controls, “that it is probably the player. It has died of old age.”

I assumed that we’d watch them on the laptop at that point, but DB had a different solution:  “We need  a new DVD player.”

At this point, I should probably mention that the man has been sick with a stomach flu–again– for almost a week now.  He has really felt rotten.  That made me the designated shopper.

I headed over to Best Buy, which is in one of those parking garage kind of malls with a Best Buy and Trader Joe’s on the same parking level.  At any given time, there are so many cars trolling for a parking space that there is no such thing as an empty spot.  One waits until she spots a shopper leaving the store and tries to be in the right place at the right time to snag the shopper’s parking space.  When the thin mom with the pony tail, a baby in a car seat, and a cart full of environmentally correct bags headed toward the aisle I was on, I guessed “black SUV” and stopped just short of it, flipping on my turn signal so that the trollers behind me would go around.   I’d guessed right.  I listened to my book on CD while she loaded her baby and her groceries into the SUV, pushed her cart to the side, got behind the wheel and maneuvered her vehicle out of the tight,  perpendicular parking place amid all the circling vulture cars.

DB had suggested Best Buy because they were apt to have knowledgeable sales persons  to assist me.  I think they were at lunch.  The very nice young man who assisted me said that he knew nothing about them.  I selected one that was the same brand as our TV.

Much to the disappointment of the drivers lusting for my space, I put the DVD player box into the car and walked up to Trader Joe’s at the other end of the parking level, figuring that I might as well take full advantage of my parking space.  I returned home with three bags of groceries and a DVD player.

DB opened the box and assembled his toys, only to find that the required HDM1 connector was not included and had to be purchased separately.  This time I headed to Target, which is across the street from the Trader Joe/Best Buy mall.

Since I don’t go to Target very often, I might as well stock up on some pharmacy and laundry items while I was there, I figured.  I left with the connector cord and two bags of purchases.

When I returned the movies to the library so that I wouldn’t have overdue fines,  I ran by Walgreen’s to drop off a couple of prescription renewals, then ran into EarthFare because it was giving away free Irish Vintage Cheddar with a small purchase.  What the heck, since I was already in the neighborhood?!  While there,  I bought an corned beef brisket, a couple of crab cakes, and three bags of groceries.

I saw on Wowbrary that my library has ordered Life of Pi, another movie we want to see.  I put it on hold.  Why not?  We have a giant box of Boy Scout popcorn we need to eat.

Look at how much we’re saving!

Scouting Around

Our newspaper runs weekly photos of available dogs and cats to promote adoption of homeless animals.  Dearly Beloved and I had discussed the possibility, but felt that Miss Piggy might not approve.  After she went temporarily blind from her corneal ulcers though, Bonnie seemed so lost that we thought another dog might help her mobility.  Also, DB wanted a walking buddy for those 3+ mile walks he takes every day.

Two weeks ago, a photo of a beagle mix named Wilbur caught DB’s eye, so we went to the Humane Society to see about him.  Unfortunately, he was easy to locate, as Wilbur’s barking and baying were constant the entire time we were there.  

“Yeah,” one of the volunteers offered, “Wilbur’s got a big mouth.”  

DB decided that Wilbur wouldn’t do, so he walked around, looking at all the other dogs.   There were some adorable puppies, which we knew would be quickly taken, so we passed on those.   DB chose a dog of about 70 pounds and the attendants brought her out for him to meet.  She seemed like a nice dog.

I asked that one other dog be brought out.  When I’d walked past her run, she’d come up to the fence, wagging her tail and looking directly at me without being distracted by the other dogs or people walking around.   She checked out my eyeliner.  I noticed hers.

“I choose YOU,” those eyes said.


When she was brought into the enclosure to meet us, she didn’t simply wag her tail, she wagged everything south of her rib cage.   She piddled a little with excitement when DB approached her… and then she set about charming him with her exuberant yet gentle,  mannerly ways, as he walked her around the property.

That is how Scout, a two-year-old skinny boxer, retriever, shepherd mix came to be ours.

Scout was polite and deferential to Bonnie, whose only orders to the new girl were to leave her chew bones alone.  Scout was on medication for an upper respiratory infection, but refused Pill Pockets, which were Bonnie’s favorite treat.  Yikes!  I am not dexterous when it comes to stuffing pills down an animal’s throat.  For the first 36 hours, Scout would not touch her food.   We had one dog that ate everything, another that ate nothing.

At night she sleeps in the crate we bought for her.  She likes it.

The night Bonnie had her stroke, after she had entered the state where she seemed to be unaware of anything around her, I was sitting on the hall floor with her.  I’d tried to lift her onto her bed, but she’d wiggled off so that only her head was pillowed.  Suddenly, for no reason I could discern, Bonnie screamed… an anguished, primal scream like nothing I’d ever heard.

Immediately, I heard Scout scrambling in her crate, trying to get out.  Dearly Beloved thought she wanted to go outside, so opened the kennel for her and walked down the hall, calling her to follow.  But Scout went a short distance down the hall, then turned back and came to the place where Bonnie lay.  She sniffed her briefly and then did the strangest thing.  She lay down in an exact mirror image of Bonnie’s position, her head on the pillow, too, her nose just barely touching Bonnie’s.

It lasted only a few seconds, then she scrambled off the pillow and followed DB down the hall.

I don’t know the mysteries of the dog world, so I have no speculation about what passed between them in that instant.  Bonnie lay quietly and screamed no more that night.

More than one person has offered that perhaps Bonnie, with her failing organs, had been waiting until she felt it was okay to leave us and that Scout’s arrival allowed that.  I don’t know.  Yes, I’m aware that dog is god spelled backwards.

Scout was rescued by the Humane Society from a kill shelter in another county the day before the barking Wilbur’s photo appeared in the newspaper.  She was examined, spayed, and de-wormed her first day at the Humane Society.  We adopted her the day after that.  She was rescued twice in less than a week.  Or perhaps it was one rescue for her, one for us.

It’s going to be interesting.  For one thing, we’ve discovered that she can jump the backyard fence from a standstill.  She doesn’t run away–she simply jumps back over.  She has gone from being a non-eater to inhaling her food as soon as it reaches her bowl.  I now medicate her with a syringe pill shooter.   She wags her backside enthusiastically as I shoot her a pill into the back of her throat.  Go figure.

And get this…  Scout is a SQUIRREL CHASER!


We chose her name from To Kill A Mockingbird.  I find myself telling folks she’s a GIRL Scout when they ask.  To describe her to the grandsons, I explained that she was a BROWN(IE) Scout.   And yes, her coloring– brown with white chest and feet–is like Tonto’s paint horse, Scout.

But those eyes are pure Angelina Jolie.

(PS.  I have posted so many photos of a sleeping Miss Piggy in the past, I’ve added a photo of her from last summer to yesterday’s post.  She always reminded me of a teddy bear when she held her tongue like that.  It was one of my favorite expressions.) 



Her real name was Bonnie.  We called her Miss Piggy for the little snorting sounds she made when she trolled the floors for crumbs.

She came to us, underweight and neurotic,  when she was nearly eight, after my favorite uncle died, and having been rescued as the breeding dog at a puppy mill only a few months before.  She’d clearly had a traumatic background.  So afraid, for instance, that a door was going to slam on her, we had to prop it open and walk away before she would venture through.  Her terrors were so obvious that the vet prescribed Xanax on her first visit.

She spent her first weeks under our bed, refusing to be coaxed out.  Oddly, she’d take a sock under with her.  Bonnie would sneak out to eat and relieve herself only when no one was around.

Thus began the demise of our living room carpet.

Gradually, she came out of hiding to discover that people could be kind, that feedings would be regular, and that treats were divine.   She emerged into her new surroundings with a gentleness that was touching.  She was loved and petted endlessly by our five grandsons and she loved them, crumb-magnets as they were.   She went from running from the sound of the doorbell to greeting visitors, angling for back scratches and belly rubs.

Miss Piggy was not much of an exerciser.  She walked for business rather than pleasure and would do a U-turn upon completion.  She wagged her tail at squirrels and cats.  The very thought that she might indulge in something like a game of fetch was so ridiculous that we never even tried.  Sometimes she’d follow Dearly Beloved around as he worked outside, or she’d lie in the sunshine while I gardened, but eventually, she’d dig out a little nest for herself under the deck or station herself beside the back door, awaiting reentry at the first opportunity.  She was a fireside dog.

She had a presence about her.  She was usually “Miss Bonnie” to those in the vet office.  Bonnie loved car rides.  If we went someplace without her, she’d wait by the door until we returned.  She knew exactly what a doggy bag was.

Since she always wanted to be close to us, she was only a few feet away when she fell late Thursday night.  Her legs splayed like those of a newborn foal whenever she tried to stand again.  Her eyes were open, but unseeing.  Her breathing was labored, her heart, racing.

We stayed with her through the night and took her to the vet at daybreak.   She rested her head on my shoulder like an infant as I held her in my arms.

With dogs, the worst part of a stroke is at the moment it happens.  It doesn’t affect their brains as it does humans, so recovery can occur if they can regain their ability to stand and if there are not other complications.

By chance, there was a veterinary neurologist in the veterinary office that day.  He and our favorite vet examined Miss Piggy to determine her for any chance of surviving and regaining a good life.  The tests revealed that her liver, kidneys, and heart were failing.

We stood on either side of her, rubbing her and whispering into her deaf ears, as she went to sleep one last time.  She looked peaceful, which helped us a little.  So did a sympathy note from the vet, reassuring us that we did the right thing at the right time.

Still, it’s been tougher than we would have imagined.  The funny little dog who dug holes in the back yard had managed to dig a couple of big ones in our hearts.


Getting a Move On

Not since I drank three cups of an herbal tea called Smooth Moves, having misread it as Smooth Moods, have I had so much moving activity going on.  I’d be gulping Smooth Moves right now if it would aid with our move today, but I know better.  That day, I found out the hard way that the moves in question centered around the bathroom.

It’s Moving Week at the Beach-House-Not-On-The Beach.  I packed everything myself this time.  The plan was to be merciless in getting rid of the games, books, and toys, the aunt’s china, our daughters’ little dresses, Good Egg Son’s school art projects….

Easier said than done.

In between packing, we thought we’d take advantage of our last week here by going to some of our favorite restaurants.  It was also a necessity, since the first thing I did was to pack everything that involved cooking or eating at home.  It’s off-season, so traffic is light now and there’s no waiting for a table.  Nevertheless, even our eating-out plans ran afoul.

In a beach town, all the renovations and repairs are done during the “off” season.  Believe it, honey.  Things were definitely “off” this week.

The first day, we went to Dockside, a favorite restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway.  It was warm enough to sit outside on the deck.  We could have, I suppose, but not if we wanted food.  They were closed for remodeling.  The owner lamented his timing;  he’d chosen a week that the temperatures rose into the 70′s.

On the day we drove downtown to eat at one of the River Walk restaurants and watch the sun set over the Cape Fear River one more time, we discovered that the city had closed the street and were digging up the cobblestones to work on the pipes underneath.  Everything was closed.

We ran errands one afternoon, skipping lunch, and stopped at a restaurant we’ve always enjoyed in the Historic District.  They turned us away;  we were too late for lunch, too early for dinner.  Humiliating, indeed, to be earlier than the Early Birds.

We saw on the local news that they are filming Revolution in the downtown area and  some additional streets were closed for that.   The city is so accommodating that it turns off the streetlights for the production when necessary.  Eating downtown sounded very complicated.  We scratched that off our list.

Yesterday, the day that the Salvation Army was coming to pick up our offerings, the day dawned bright and warm.   Perfect!  Until, that is, we walked out to our driveway and saw this:


And this:


To say that the Homeowners Association is working on the ponds is an understatement.  They are dredging the pond behind our neighbor’s house to the left of us and have a second crew draining and filling in the pond behind the houses to the right of us.  That stinky pond water they’re draining is running downhill to the storm sewer.   We, of course, are downhill, so there is a scummy lake in front of our house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo add extra confusion, the landscape trucks lined the subdivision street at our corner, delivering bundles of pine straw to be spread around in all the yards.  On our moving day.

With the temperatures in the 70′s, we decided to eat our final meal out here on the pier at Oceanic, a beachfront restaurant known for its food and its views.

The trip over the bridge took some time.  It seems they’re working on the drawbridge, which necessitated closing a lane or two.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADearly Beloved started laughing as soon as we drove into the restaurant parking lot.  This was the scene:


They were open, but eating on the pier was definitely out of the question.  The large crane and all the equipment was part of a project to expand the pier six feet on either side.

We sat in the bar area which overlooked the pier.  On the beach, the parasailors and surfers were out in full force and women dared to drag out bikinis to jump-start their tans.


This was the view from our table:


It cracked me up to see that giant crane and heavy equipment working atop the pier, while underneath the pier, men on wooden ladders banged away with hammers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the weather drops 25 degrees or so down to normal temperatures for January and the sand and wind swirl through?  Yikes!

We returned home to finish our packing, weaving through the maze of trucks, rocks, and icky water.  We turned on the TV weather. We were hoping for more warm temperatures.   Nope.  Chilly temperatures and rain in the late afternoon-a 90% chance.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Today is the big day.  We have the contractor here doing touch-up work involving power tools… the bulldozers across the street, hauling pond dirt…  water swirling down the street… landscape crews spreading pine needles.. and the movers loading the truck.  Oh yes, I should mention that it’s garbage pickup day.

The guys will load the truck in Wilmington and unload it in Charlotte on the same day.  It’s sunny here right now, but DB checked the prediction for Charlotte’s weather:  two inches or so of snow or frozen precipitation is expected later today.


Has anyone read the Swarming Locust report?

iPhone? Not Yet, But I Try.

So I am sitting in a Panera’s in Wilmington, NC, wondering where the heck I’ve left my iPhone. . . .

That sucker was supposed to organize my life and glide me into the 21st century.  So far, my relationship with it has been a cartoon, starting with the day we bought it.  We’d been going by the Apple store for weeks, but found it so crowded that we didn’t wait around.  My Dearly Beloved has a thing about being in a space with too many armpits.   Christmas Eve we walked by to check the mayhem and in a high-tech Christmas miracle, someone stepped forward to help us.

The idea was that both of us would get on the same phone plan.  DB has been insisting that he didn’t need a new phone, but the Apple guy told him that his phone was so old that it couldn’t be switched to my plan, BUT a new iPhone 4 was free.   DB was speechless.   He got right up in the guy’s face and asked, “FREE?  As in NO money?”  

Yeah.  Free.

The iPhone that I wanted wasn’t free, so I paid for it so they could set it up for me in the store.  DB watched, amazed at how smoothly things were going.  That changed quickly, once I was asked to supply my Apple ID password.  The one I had in my head wasn’t the one in that great iCloud in the sky.  I tried again.  No dice.

I had two ways of retrieving it–I could either have it e-mailed to me–which couldn’t happen because I needed the freakin’ password to get into my e-mail in the Apple store.  The second option was to answer security questions.  You’d think I could handle that, right?


The one that completely stymied me as “What was your favorite job?”  I haven’t had that many jobs, so I have no idea how I might have answered that.  It depended on my mood at the time, I guess.   With a grinning DB sitting beside me, sending photos of me in my predicament to the kids,  I was pretty sure I hadn’t answered “wife.”

I knew my first grade teacher’s name, but wasn’t sure how I spelled it.  Eventually I locked myself out.

I called Apple tech service, holding my finger in my other ear and screaming over the 100 other voices in the store to see if they could help.  Nope.  DB continued to snap photos.  Until the lockout ended, my fancy new iPhone was only a phone.  No internet, no games.

Christmas came, then the grandsons, so I didn’t get around to resetting the password until a couple of days before my birthday.  No calls.  No texts.  My kids called on the house phone and ask why I wasn’t answering my cell.  I figured I hadn’t heard it, but it was more than that.  DB took my phone over and fiddled with it for a couple of minutes.  Ten text messages shook off the dust and popped up for me, as well as a string of missed calls.  Sigh.

I haven’t figured out how to add my iPad games to the phone without having to pay for them a second time.  We’ve already had the cable connections removed from the beach-house-not-on-the-beach, so my game friends are twiddling their ever-so-agile thumbs, waiting for me to take my turns.   I thought I’d get it all figured out at Panera’s.  I brought my computer and my iPad along. . . but now I can’t find the darned iPhone.   DB called my number, in case it was in the dark recesses of my too-large handbag.  Nothing.

Of course not.  I remembered that I’d turned off the ringer.

Elvis Eve

The calendar may not show it, but today is Elvis Eve, since Elvis was born on January 8.  My birthday, however, is today.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the birthday greetings–cards, calls, Facebook messages, notes from family, friends, fellow bloggers.  Thank you, all!

This one is from my brother:

Happy Birthday, Sister... BroJoe

Happy Birthday, Sister… BroJoe

I photographed this one from our kindergarten grandson so that I could carry it around with me all the time.  They don’t get more special than this.



Inside message

Inside message

Happy Birthday, Senor Senior

Today is my Dearly Beloved’s birthday, so it is only fitting that it would be a national holiday.

This photo is so typical of the two of us because we usually find that it takes both our brains working together to get through the day.   We repeat ourselves to each other often.  Dementia checks, DB calls them… little tests to see if the other one remembers hearing it before.

His eyeglasses and my watch have become so clever at hiding that it takes a search party of two to find them.   We know each other as well… perhaps better… than we know ourselves.

The grandsons usually come up with some most creative birthday greetings to mark this momentous occasion.

Check out this gem.


There will be a pop quiz at the end.  Fair warning.

You have an appointment at a clinic.  The entry door opens into the middle of a rectangular waiting area with a center aisle dividing it into two squares.  Chairs ring the outer wall of each square.  Amid each square, chairs are set up in back to back rows as if a rousing game of musical chairs is about to begin.  It isn’t.  You’re at a heart clinic.

You know from the hideous, stained chair upholstery that whoever set up the design had no taste, but a wicked sense of humor.  On the far right, a flat-screen TV is turned to FOX news.  On the left, CNN. That should really be MSNBC to make it a fairer choice, but you’re sick of politics anyway, so you choose one of the chairs against the front wall of the building, near the door where you entered.

Directly under the wall-mounted CNN TV is a sofa, facing toward the front door.  You see two children, a boy who is perhaps five and a girl you’d guess to be three.  Beside them on the sofa is a clutter of fast food wrappers and two kids’ meal bags from an unknown fast food place and at the end of the couch, a woman of indeterminate age.  She has waist-length hair and is wearing a white blouse tucked into a long gathered black skirt.  She’s somewhat overweight and looks pale and puffy, as if the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s genes dominated in a liaison with Betty Crocker.  Perhaps she’s in a religious organization or even a cult?

Your entry was evidently a cue for the children to jump up for a rousing parade.  They grab their drinks and start running in a circle, laughing and shouting.   When they sail past you, you note that the girl’s bottle and the boy’s sippy cup are filled with chocolate milk.  On their second fly-by, you see that some of the boy’s teeth are black with decay.

They race back to the sofa, drop their drinks, and pick up…OMG… WHISTLES!  (You want the name of that fast food company so you can send your first hate letter.)  So, you have two whistle-blowing kids running in circles around the musical chair setup.  Two elderly patients in wheelchairs are at the end of the rows, so they get extra long blasts as the children run within inches of their heads.

You wonder if the staff is deaf.  Again, it’s a HEART CLINIC.

The woman, you aren’t even sure it’s their momma, calls out in a monotone voice, “You need to blow those whistles outside.  You might bother someone in here.”

Two problems.  They’re preschoolers.  “Outside” is a parking lot and it’s over 100 degrees.     Is she going to send them out into traffic or go out with them?

Neither.  They continue running and blowing on the whistles.

You realize that all FOX watchers probably aren’t armed because all they can shoot is dirty looks.  The woman looks unfazed.  UNTIL, that is, she picks up a man’s leather belt she has beside her and folds it into quarters.  The next time they run by, she says, in the same monotone, “I brought the belt.” 

They ignore her and continue their game.  The next time they pass her, she pops them–not at all hard–on their bottoms as they run past, but promises, “I’m going to whip you with the belt when we get to the car.”  

Okay, you decide, she’s probably their mother, but she sure as heck isn’t mother of the year.  The children are bratty, but what kind of life do they have with a mother who not only thinks it’s acceptable to hit them with a belt, but so relaxed about it that she carries it around in public as her weapon of choice.

Here’s my question: I’m just curious here. . . what will you do?  Anything you can do?   You find yourself so unnerved for a while, you can’t even remember why you’re there.

That’s the bonus question:  Why are you there?

You’re there for a Stress Test.

Checking My Zzzzz’s

One particular greeting card used to tickle daughter Boo and me so much that any time we saw it, we’d clean out the entire stock.  On the front is a kentaurides.  (That’s a female centaur, but I don’t know if it’s singular or plural.  Google doesn’t know everything.)   She’s wearing a pearl necklace and high-heeled pumps, and carrying a patent leather purse.

The message inside reads, “Much has happened since last we spoke.”  

That says it all for my summer vacation.

This isn’t the card, but a photo I found on the internet of a 4th century mosaic tile.  Sag those bosoms three breast-fed babies worth, pudge up the stomach, and get those upper arms flapping in the breeze, and I could use it to obtain a voter registration ID.  In Pennsylvania.

I’ll tell you more about the eventful summer in other posts.  (As Dorothy Boyd told Jerry Maguire, we all have our own sad stories.)

This is about my Tuesday night sleepover.

One of my doctors (yeah, I have “staff” now!) sent me to the local Sleep Center to be tested for sleep apnea after Dearly Beloved ratted out my snoring to said doctor.

The room was surprisingly nice.  Flat screen TV, DVD player, even an oscillating fan for white noise. ( I used to love to sleep with a fan on before I married DB, who needs tomb-like quiet.)

The invitation (okay, the instruction sheet) said no sleeping in only underwear, which seemed an unnecessary statement, considering the camera pointed at the bed and a technologist who planned to watch me all night.   I’d packed both pajamas and gown, since I wasn’t sure what they’d be sticking where and I wanted to be prepared for anything.

Instructions had specified freshly shampooed but not conditioned hair, a prescription for enough static electricity to turn my hair into a dandelion.  It crossed my mind that I might fry my wired self when I walked across the carpet and reached for the doorknob.

Check-in was at 7:45 PM.  Upon investigation,  I noticed a couple of things that were missing from the room:  a window and a bathroom.  “The facilities” were about 20 feet down the hall, shared with the three other sleeping rooms in the building.  It wasn’t so much sharing a bathroom, as it was having to trek down the hall in my gown.  I looked like a robot without its outer cover.

The form I signed,  advising me that the tape they were using could irritate my skin, was an understatement.  My face wasn’t just irritated; it was pissed off royally.  I looked like I’d been released too early from a burn unit.  It’s still peeling.

As usual for me, I babbled through the sensor attaching, telling the technician how my husband gave me a hard time about needing to pack a bag every time I went from room to room.  Later, after I laid out my paperback novel, newspaper, puzzles, knitting, water bottle, cough drops, and meds on the bedside table, she said she saw his point.

Exhibit A:  The Upper “Accessories”

I took this picture in the bathroom mirror.  The colored wires there were attached to my face and scalp.   The black belt around my chest was one of a pair.  The other was around my waist, helping to rein in the dangling wires.

Exhibit B:  The Full Monty.

Once I was all wired and plugged in, my bladder immediately demanded attention.  The technician cheerfully unplugged and wrapped the cords around my neck so that I could make the trip.

Back in the room and under the covers, the technician added one of those finger clothespins to monitor my oxygen and stuck a couple of plastic doodads in my nostrils to show I was breathing during the night.  The leg sensors dangling between my legs were especially annoying.  I kept caching them between my toes.

The technician wanted to make certain the sensors were properly placed, so she went into the Staff Only room and called out commands via the speaker beside the bed. “Close your eyelids.  Now, move your eyes right, then left.  Now up and down. Push out your stomach.”  

She could see movements behind my closed eyes?!?  Creepy!  Could she read dreams?  I  hoped I didn’t pass gas.

I turned out the light and eventually went to sleep.  Not as soundly as I do at home, but still. . . for being wired like a Rockefeller Center holiday tree, I managed to get some shut eye, at least until the technician came in at 3 AM to check the plastic doodad in my right nostril.

My bladder woke, too, so I had to be unplugged to make the run to the in-house outhouse down the hall.  By the time I was re-plugged, there was no more real sleep.  At 5:30 AM,  the tech came in to unwire me.  I completed the checkout forms and was ready to leave before 6, anxious to come home and fall into bed for some serious sleeping.

“No, Honey, you have to go home and wash your hair right away.  The goo I put on your scalp to make the sensors stick hardens fast.”

My bed at home that night felt wonderful, but I woke the next morning to find DB had fled to the guest room.

He said I’d snored.

Blimey, They’re Slimy!

When I came upon what looked to be a petrified pile of dog poop in the yard, I was baffled.  Who did THAT?  It wasn’t Ivy’s or Miss Piggy’s.  (Sad as it sounds, I do have expertise in that area.)  I went back into the garage to get a shovel so that I could remove it.

When I scooped the shovel underneath, the ‘pile’ fell apart and I saw what it really was.

Coitus Interruptus on a spade?


Before you make too much fun of me for not being able to tell a snail from a pile of poo, picture the two interlocked.  Thankfully, it’s not an everyday sight.  How do they even find each other?

I was so grossed out that I opened the garbage lid and tossed them in.

I’ve felt guilty about it ever since.  Had I trashed rare snails?  Had I ‘offed’ somebody’s mother and the baby daddy?

When I googled to read just how serious my sin, I read how very hard it is for snails to survive in a world with badass humans who kill them.

Can snails contribute to Wikipedia?

It didn’t take long for the Ghost of Snails Past to begin its haunt.  A  few days later, I walked into the sunroom and found it waiting for me on the sliding glass door.

The Haunting.

Yep.  It had suctioned itself to the sliding glass door.


Since the ugly little bastard was playing on my guilt, it probably thought it had a free pass to slime the door.   What to do, what to do….

I took the safe option:  I yelled for Dearly Beloved.

He dispatched it to a safe area, that being in a natural area wa-a-ay away from the garden AND the door.

Enough with suction-ing creatures attaching themselves to my house!

Then I went into the guest bathroom and looked at the mirror.

That one stays.