It’s My Pokemon Goversary

One year ago, TW and I both broke down and installed the game, even though we swore for four days of hype that we wouldn’t. We sat on the deck, in the swing, and we caught our Squirtles and the rest is history.

It’s been fun. Really.

We’ve gone to so many parks and places in Florida that we (probably) would never have gone if we weren’t trying to catch ’em all. I can’t even count how many parks we’ve walked, certainly more than we walked in the years when we lived in Gainesville before. Definitely more than we visited in the entire eight years we were in Chicagoland.

I’ve caught Pokemon in eight states.

I’ve caught all of Gen 1 and Gen 2 (except the non-US regionals, the legendaries, AND that damn Unown.) I don’t have any shinies (wah!) I don’t have the Ash Hat Pichu (yet! There’s hope, I just got another 2K egg!)

I’ve caught 12,269 Pokemon.
I’ve “walked” 2,132.2 KM.
I’ve (only) hatched 807 eggs (it felt like more.)
I’ve spun 9,041 Pokestops.
I’m at Level 34 (105K XP away from 35… a week, if I’m lucky.)

I was never a big fan of gyms, so I’ve only won 362 battles and trained 201 times (in the original gym system.) I like the new system a lot more and have 80 hours defending gyms (with two Mon in gyms right now… I sure wish my Snorlax would come home though — he’s been in that damn gym for 3 days!) and won 8 raids. (We really need more local players to raid with us, darn it.)

A year of Pokemon Go. Hard to believe I still play, I’m still obsessed, really. MUST catch THEM all. Where are the damn Unowns, anyway????

Buster Butt’s Best Friend

If you’d have told me a year ago that Buster Butt would have a new best friend who just happened to be an 80 year old man, I’d have laughed my ass off. But, here we are and this is going to be long. Sorry, not sorry.

Buster Butt absolutely adores Neighbor Frank.

You may know this because we are friends and Facebook (and you actually look at my posts, sometimes.) But I’m not sure most of you realy GROK what this means. It’s huge.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened a whole lot quicker than I’d have expected (based on how many times and how long some other people have tried to gain Buster’s trust and affection… cough…Chris… cough…)

In the early days of living here, all of the dogs barked a lot — particularly when people came outside into their own backyards. It took them awhile to settle down and realize that Neighbors Frank and Jackie and Jim (and to a lesser extent Neighbors Caroleanne and Joe) belonged in those spaces. All of the neighbors were immediately kind and understanding. They said things like “They’ll settle down.” and “That’s what they’re supposed to do!” and “They’re the quietest dogs in the neighborhood!” (the latter made us look at each other with both concern and amusement…)

They did settle down, mostly. Especially with Neighbor Frank. They really didn’t bark much at him at all after the first week or so, unless he was wearing a weird hat or carrying a stick. Even Buster was pretty chill, though he did continue to bark the longest when first seeing (or scenting… the scenting becomes important in a minute…), but he stopped immediately upon realizing it really was just Frank.

Before long, I can’t really remember how long, Neighbor Frank had bought himself a box of Milkbones (he calls them biscuits) and asked politely if he could give them a treat. We said he could, we preferred only one a day because SOME DOGS are CARRYING A LITTLE EXTRA, and told him that Buster probably wouldn’t take a biscuit from him because Buster goes on hunger strikes simply because we move a box or a chair where it does not generally belong. When stranger fear hits, well… no, he would not take a treat from Frank. And he didn’t. Days passed and Frank did not give up. He also didn’t push the issue either.

And suddenly, Buster would take a biscuit from him, through the chain link fence. He’d snatch it fast and run. But every now and then, he’d get spooked and wouldn’t take the biscuit. Frank did not give up. He just kept on chatting with all of the dogs as he wandered around the yard. And every day he’d go into his shed (now called The Biscuit Closet) and get a bone for each dog.

Sure enough, it worked. Buster would take the bone and sit right at the fence and eat it like the other two dogs. And then, Buster was hooked.

He would scent Frank before anyone realized he had come outside and wherever Buster was in the yard (and sometimes even in the house?) he’d go dashing to the fence, tail wagging, and making a whining noise — that’s the “It’s Frank whine!” He wouldn’t let Frank pet him but he would lick his fingers sometimes through the fence. That was a huge deal.

And thank Neighbors Frank and Jackie went to Tennessee for most of the summer. Poor Buster sat right there at the fence every day for hours on end, waiting for Frank. Months passed and he never seemed to give up on the idea that Frank would be back. He barked mightily at any of the neighbors who went into Frank’s yard (to pick fruit or water plants or mow lawns.)

I wasn’t really sure whether Frank might have to start all over again in the wooing of Buster, once they returned in October. But no, Buster barked and he got excited and his tail wagged a mile a minute and he barked some more but he also took that biscuit immediately and has never ever looked back.

Frank is his BEST FRIEND. And lord does Frank love Buster. He loves all of the dogs, he calls them “his dogs.” He bought another type of Milk Bone — the extra large bones because he thought bigger is better! He quickly realized that those are too big for Lola because she’s a tiny thing who doesn’t even really like the bones. And Buster still has some anxiety about this so and won’t gobble down the big bone fast enough. Which means Skeeter was getting most of these big bones for herself and there was some risk of dog fighting over. So Frank went out and bought THREE different sized biscuits. The big ones for Skeeter, the medium for Buster and the small ones for Lola. (And he does indeed occasionally slip Buster an extra biscuit. He thinks we don’t know this. We know this. lol)

If you had told me we would have an 80 year old neighbor who loves these dogs, who buys them the right sized biscuits, who worries over them like they were his kids… well I wouldn’t have believed it. We are so lucky.

Last month, Frank and Jackie went up to Tennessee. They had planned to spend a week in TN then go on a trip to New Orleans with the seniors up there, then go back to TN for a bit before coming home. The plan was for them to be gone for a few weeks.

While they were gone, Buster pined away at the fence. Barking angrily when Joe came over and mowed the lawn and watered the plants. Three weeks is a long ass time for Buster but he didn’t give up and Frank came home. A little early (we’ll get to that…) and Buster was happy. So happy that he didn’t just take the biscuit and wag his tail, he actually stood up at the fence so that Frank could pet him. The look on Frank’s face when this happened… good lord. It was like a kid at Christmas. Buster had never, ever done this. NEVER. Never even considered it.

Frank was thrilled and this was extra good because Frank isn’t feeling well. They cut their vacation short because he ended up in the hospital on his 80th birthday and they felt they needed to come home to be close to his doctors (and they never even got to go to New Orleans.) :-(

A few days later, Frank went to the doctor to discuss this problem he’s having and… we didn’t see him (or Jackie) again for a couple of days. We were very worried. They always come out and take care of their plants. ALWAYS. TW went over and knocked on the door – no answer. We were afraid Frank was in the hospital. So I sent an email to Jackie to see how they were doing. I got the update… They’re fine, right now. Frank has a treatment plan. Frank’s looking at some surgery at the end of the month… and still we didn’t see them. This was very troubling to us and to Buster.

Yesterday, I was out on the deck in the afternoon with the dogs. Buster had moved to the deck after staring at Frank’s house for a half hour. He was sound asleep. The other dogs were also chilling on the deck. I was working on my phone. I looked up for a second and noticed a shadow behind the cedar tree… it was Frank, peeking under the branches of the tree.

The wind was blowing like crazy and BUSTER had not scented him. None of the dogs had. I stood up and started walking toward the edge of the deck and before I made it two steps, Buster realized FRANK WAS THERE. He took off like lightning, leapt over Lola and raced to the fence. The other dogs realized what was going on and tore off after him.

Frank laughed, grabbed their biscuits and talked to them about how much he’d missed them and once again Buster stood up at the fence so that Frank could pet him. Frank said, “You guys are the best company and the best medicine” and I almost kind of cried.

Buster butt loves Neighbor Frank. We all love him. I sure hope he’s our neighbor for many years to come. (Sniff.)

Sick poodle is sick. Very Sick. For real.

After a full day of us saying we were not taking the Skeeter poodle to the vet ONE MORE TIME for eating something she shouldn’t and having an upset stomach, we took her to the emergency vet at around 1:30am, last night. As we drove, as we sat in the waiting room, as we sat in the exam room, we thought we were idiots for doing this AGAIN. She ate something. She has a tummy ache. They’ll give her fluids and anti-nausea meds and we’ll have spent $1K and lost 6 hours of sleep and if we just waited it out, we’d have had those 6 hours of sleep and the $1K we were about to shell out… But this time, when the doctor turned on the x-rays and said she ate something, and this doesn’t look good either… welp. Turns out this is not like those other times. It’s not like that at all.

It looks like she swallowed a penny. And they’re pretty sure it’s a penny due to the exact size and measurement of the penny. (I am still skeptical about this, coins have never been her thing — so while I can see her eating pretty much any damn thing… coins? Huh. That’s just… weird.) And apparently pennies are particularly toxic to dogs because they’re made of zinc. So letting her try to poop it out was not an option that was even suggested.

They tried to make her vomit to see if she would clear it that way. This dog is the least vomiting dog EVER and I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work. I was right. They dosed her with the morphine mixture TWICE and no vomit.

So we left her there and the emergency vet said she wanted to consult with the internist at 7:30am about whether they could retrieve the item through endoscopy or whether she recommended abdominal retrieval. We got home at 5:30am and the phone rang at 7:15…

She was resting comfortably, they had done another set of x-rays to see if anything had moved — her intestines looked better (did I mention they were all weird? well they were… another reason for not suggesting we just let her poop it out) but nothing in the stomach had moved even a millimeter.

The internist asked that they try to make her vomit again… using hydrogen peroxide this time. They dosed her twice with that, no vomit. (THIS DAMN DOG!) The internist is concerned about the penny but she’s equally concerned about all of the other things in Skeeter’s stomach since they haven’t moved at all.

So, because the intestines look better — we’re waiting eight hours and will do another x-ray to see if any of the contents of her stomach have started the move through the GI tract. If not, she’ll have full abdominal surgery. If stuff has started moving, they’ll probably go in and try to retrieve the penny through endoscopy (unless of course the penny has moved into a place where it can’t be retrieved through endoscopy.)

So I’m glad we took her to the vet for another stomach ache and foreign body ingestion check. I’m glad we lost six hours of sleep. I am hopeful that she’ll be home again in a day or two and I will try not to complain at all about the recovery period issues we’re going to face.

Damn, poodle.

Pokemon Go: Gen 2 Is Coming!

Yes, I’m still playing Pokemon Go. Yes, I like playing Pokemon Go. YES, I’m very excited about the addition of Gen 2 Mon to the game.

I finally reached the point this week where I was at the mercy of the egg … and some extended walking of some Mon to eventually get enough candies for evolution. Being at the mercy of the egg is not a fun situation to be in. When the only Pokemon you need are those that come in 2K or 10K eggs… well, your odds are slim. And that’s disheartening.

So yippee, Gen 2!!

I also thought it might be interesting to me, later, to know where I was in the game when the Gen 2 Monsters arrived. So here are some of my stats.

I’m a little more than halfway through Level 31.
I’ve caught a total of 6,157 PM.
I’ve walked 1,111.7 KM.
I’ve hatched 375 eggs.
Evolutions, 1262.
I have 12 gold medals, 11 silver medals, 4 bronze medals. (And one not to medal level, yet. Total medals available to me right now are: 28.)

Missing from my Dex in Gen 1 are:
– Hitmonchan
– Dragonite (I need 63 darn candies)
– The regional Pokemon (sigh)

Missing from the launch of the babies at the end of 2016 are:
– Magby
– Cleffa
– I’m 5 candies away from evolving the Togepi.

So that’s where I am right now. I cannot wait to catch all of Gen 2. (Not to mention the last two from Gen 1… that darn Hitmonchan, man. Sheesh.)

Cleaning House and Doing the Work

An open letter to anyone reading this who supports Donald Trump (who I will refer to from now on as “45” so that I don’t have to type his name again.),

I’ve always been a pretty moderate liberal. I was raised in the south, in a military family. Liberalism wasn’t something I was born to. I’ve occasionally voted for a conservative candidate and I’ve always felt like the way to influence others was to simply make personal connections and model the type of behavior and beliefs you’d like others to adhere to.

I’ve always felt like the “other side” deserved a voice and a platform and I’ve worked hard to give that to them. I’ve been friends with people whose experiences and views varied widely from my own and so long as they weren’t blatantly uncivil or aggressively attacking others, I felt OK about maintaining those relationships.

Quite often, this tactic worked. I’ve had many people tell me that I helped them change their way of thinking and acting simply by being who I was. I’ve had people thank me for sharing points of view and information that they’d never been exposed to because it helped them understand “others” better. I have had people tell me that they did not understand “gay people” until they got to know me and TW and were able to see us as just normal human beings with kids and jobs and dogs and a life that was very much like their own.

Everything should have been fine. Life should have gone on like that. It was good.

Except it was a lie. All of it.

I started noticing it awhile back, I don’t remember exactly when but it’s been in the last couple of years. People I thought I knew well, people I thought were decent human beings who just tended to vote the conservative ticket for fiscal reasons or religious reasons or normal reasons like that were displaying some behaviors and using language that concerned me.

So I started paying closer attention. I watched what those people “liked” on Facebook and what they didn’t “like.” I paid close attention to what they said and how they said it and I began to see the hate underneath.

I started posting more political content. I started stately plainly and clearly that “45” was not a qualified candidate. I stated clearly and plainly that the hatred he was campaigning on was not acceptable. I posted factual story after factual story and some of you got very quiet on my wall. Very quiet indeed.

It became apparent that some of you were actually going to support “45” and that was something that I could not tolerate.

If it had been any other conservative candidate, it might have been possible. But not this candidate.

This candidate is unqualified, in every way, to be president of the country that I love.
This candidate has a temperament that is completely unsuited for the position of president.
This candidate is a misogynist, racist, lying, xenophobe.
This candidate took advantage of your fear and used it against us all.
This candidate took advantage of the anger and hatred in your hearts and he used it to take control of this country.

I cannot and will not ignore this. I cannot pretend that I have any respect for people who supported (45). I cannot pretend like I have any desire to find common ground with any of you.

There is no common ground to be found.

You supported a candidate who has pledged to destroy every single thing I believe in. You supported hatred and racism and sexism and homophobia. You supported a candidate who is not qualified for the position.

I started unfriending people on Facebook, shortly before the election and have continued to do so every day. I’m sure I’ll be unfriending more of you. Luckily, I don’t see many of you face to face very often — but should that happen, we won’t be having a drink, I won’t be buying you coffee, and we won’t hang out reminiscing about days gone by.

I choose not to have relationships with people who support the calls for violence that occurred during “45’s” campaign. I choose not to have relationships with people who bought into the promises of “45” that will harm women, lgbt, minorities across the board and people who aren’t Christian.

Some of you were friends from school Some of you were friends from online message boards 20 years ago. Some of you were friends from work. Some of you are my family,

There are a million things I can do to make a difference in the lives of those who are in danger because of your votes. There are a million things I may have to do to keep myself and my children safe because of your votes. There are a million things I can do to make sure no president is ever elected by running a campaign based on hatred, ever again. And, I’m going to do those things.

The time I spent chatting with you on Facebook or playing Words With Friends with you or texting you or reading your blogs or being there for you when you needed someone .. that time will be spent on people who care about me, my partner, my children and the people of this country that you so blatantly threw into the fire with your votes.

I’ll miss you. Some of you terribly so.

If you ever come to understand just why I’m so angry and why you made such a horrendous choice for this country, I’d be happy to have a one on one conversation with you. But until then, I’m out. I have work to do.

That 70’s House: Hurricane Prep

Hurricanes are stupid. All of my birthday weekend plans have been shot to hell because of this stupid storm. WHATEVER. Happy birthday to ME and all that stuff. Poop.

Then there’s all of the rush, rush, rush to get things from the yard brought into the house or secured in some way that might hopefully prevent them from becoming projectiles that break your sliders or injure your car or knock down the stupid crepe myrtles or something.

Whatever. I took care of moving all of the things and tying down all of the other things and it’s done. Except for Mr C’s American flag that I CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOLDER NO MATTER HOW HARD I PULL ON IT. That flag will be the death of me. Take note. In case people ask later.

We went to the dump, thank GOD it was still open. (And, I should thank the hurricane because it forced me to deal with the outdoor trash can that is full of last month’s party trash and has been growing maggots and flies for weeks. ewww.)

We went to the Post Office and finally mailed packages to Michelle, my nephews, and Sassymonkey. I chatted with the postal clerk and an old dude who came in just to tell the postal folks that he wouldn’t be in tomorrow to pick up his mail. Lol. LOL. lol. Don’t worry, though. He has his tins of sardines and crackers and bread and some tins of cat food for the kitty. He might decide to just drive north for a bit, since he has so many trees in his yard and even around his part of the lake. But he might not because he might not be able to convince the cat to come out from under the bed. Whatever. He’ll be fine. He just won’t be coming for his mail. LOL. LOL. LOL.

We went to the Ace hardware and good god it was busy. All the people buying all the candles and the flashlights and I don’t even know what else. (We got a new battery for the car’s fob, more dog food, and some bungee cords to further tie down the frame to the swing.)

We drove around for some Pokeballs (and we added our mons to TWO gyms. TWO. That never happens in this little town full of #teammystic and #teamvalor trainers.) It would be bad to run out of balls in the middle of the storm, right?

We went to the Hitchcock’s for bread and butter. They didn’t have any Kerrygold and we got the last loaf of whole wheat bread, the last bag of sub rolls, and the last bag of bagels. We also grabbed some more cream cheese because BAGELS. There were many, many people there — buying I don’t even know what since the shelves were bare. Water. Diapers. Sausage. Yea, I don’t know about the sausages, either. Maybe for a grill, if they lose power? I dunno. Country folk, man.

And the TRAFFIC! The main road, 100, looks like Archer Rd traffic or University (in Gainesville) on game day or Waukegan Rd (in Chicagoland) – except with more pick ups and RVs and less horn honking. I suspect much of the traffic is folks moving inland from St Augustine and Palatka and such.

We have TW’s mom’s special hurricane kit, which she received from the senior center for last month’s dud hurricane — full of snacky stuff we can eat if we get really, really desperate. (I can’t imagine being that desperate.)

We have plenty of water and will fill the tubs and the dog bowls and the prairie dog bottles and various pitchers and bottles we have laying around.

We have some cash and an almost full tank of gas.

All of the things are charging that need to be charging, including the hotspot and the iPhone battery back ups.

I think we probably have batteries for the lanterns. Well at least for one of them. Probably.

TW is worried that she doesn’t have enough library books. (She does.)

The dogs are worried that all of the outside things are inside and the rain isn’t stopping like it normally does.

Neighbor Frank (and his wife) were planning to come home this weekend. Now they aren’t. Smart call, though we’ll be happy to have them home again.

Hurricanes are absolutely, totally, and completely STUPID. I’m going to take a nap.

That 70’s House: The Dump

In February, when were at That 70s House for HOURS during the home inspection, we chatted a little with neighbor Frank and he spoke enthusiastically about “The Dump.” It’s so close! Just a mile up the road!

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “Country folk are so adorable!” and “The Dump! How cute that neighbor Frank told us all about “The Dump!”

Flash forward a month and we chatted with the original owners who were over at neighbor Frank’s, killing time before the big signing. Mr. C went on and on about “The Dump.” He said things like, “It’s so convenient and it’s free.” and “It would cost me more to pay someone to haul the trash away than it does for me to just take it to the dump every few days.”

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “I love country folk who love their dump!” and “LOL at Mr C being all thrifty and stuff.”

A couple of days later, I happily filled out the form to start curbside trash pick up via the form on the website that clearly said they handle residential trash in Bradford AND Clay counties. And, nothing happened. They didn’t reply to my form request. They didn’t call me.

We went back to Chicagoland to get things ready to move and one of the first things I did was to call the trash company to set up home pick up. The nice woman asked for my address and looked it up and said, “Oh, it looks like your pick up will be free!”

And I laughed, remembering Mr. C and his “it would cost me more to pay someone to haul it away…” comment. I was all patting myself on the back and giggling a few hours later when the nice woman from the trash company called me back and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re just over the county line in Bradford County and we can’t provide you with free service.”

I laughed again and said, “that’s ok — how much will it cost for the service?” and she said, “oh, I wasn’t clear — we can’t service your area at all.”

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. At that point, I was still laughing but laughing at MYSELF and at TW and our amusement with the old country folk who love their dump so much that they can talk about it for minutes and minutes. Hahahaha.

Once we moved in, neighbor Frank mentioned THE DUMP and the woman who manages the dump. He suggested he might go along with us to the dump the first time we visited because the woman who manages it can be a little… persnickety. Having someone vouch for us would probably make things easier. TW and I smiled nervously at each other. Hoo boy. What had we gotten ourselves into?

A couple of days later, we had so much trash… I couldn’t put it off any more so I loaded everything into my car and headed down to THE DUMP, (without neighbor Frank.) I introduced myself to the woman who runs the dump. I showed her my proof of residency. She put a little white dot sticker on our windshield and then told us her life story. (OK not her life story but some personal stuff about her health.) And that was that. It was pretty painless.

Except, every time I load the trash into my car, I feel queasy over just how much trash we use. What’s worse is we can only recycle paper, cardboard and aluminum cans. NO GLASS. NO PLASTIC. It’s… upsetting.

And, that’s why I ended up paying to repair the stupid beeping microwave instead of buying a new one. Every time I toss something into those dumpsters, I cringe. EVERY darn time. MUST CUT BACK ON WASTE. MUST.


Welcome to country living… I love THE DUMP! (sort of)

That 70s House: All the *#*$()#*@)$(!*! Beeping

Backstory: I hate appliances that make noise. I don’t even really like the beeping my car makes when I unlock the doors with the fob. And I very much dislike the beeping it makes when I’m backing up. Beeping is stupid. I particularly hate appliances that don’t let you MUTE the noise they make. When we replaced our microwave a few years ago our only criteria was that we be able to mute the damn sound. When TW’s mom replaced our almost dead toaster oven and bought one that BEEPS non-stop (and cannot be muted) TW suggested we trash it before we moved and purchased a proper toaster oven that does not make noise. Being thrifty and a little stressed over home buying/moving costs, I said no. So we still have that damn horrendously loud toaster oven (more on that later…)

So… we bought a house, you might have heard about that. And after all of the papers were signed and the keys were handed over to us, we happily drove directly to our new home with lots of ideas about how we might spend our first few moments in OUR new 70s HOUSE. I unlocked the door and went directly to the alarm system where I dutifully typed in the code that was provided to us by the previous owner, Mr. C…. and the damn alarm started blaring.

What? I know I typed it correctly. I typed it again. TW typed it. We pressed all the buttons and still the BLARING. OMG, the blaring. I had no phone battery so TW stepped outside to call our fabulous real estate agent and ask for help. She didn’t have the code. She called the seller’s agent and they said they didn’t have the code, (this makes no sense. You’re telling me less than 15 minutes after closing they had thrown away the seller’s entire packet which obviously included the code? Whatever.) They said they’d try to reach the previous owner and TW and I frantically pressed buttons while the alarm BLARED NON-STOP.

I had almost reached the point where I was willing to take a hammer to the thing to shut it up when it stopped. And, ten seconds later Mr. C comes ambling through the yard … he’d been at neighbor Frank’s house the whole time and had just gotten a call from the real estate agent about the issue.

Mr. C shuffles over to the alarm system and types the code into the system and umm, that wasn’t the code he had given us. LOL. He sheepishly said, “oh, I’m sorry.” and then meandered back to neighbor Frank’s house while TW and I stood there and stared at each other, waiting for the ringing in our ears to stop.

The first 30 minutes in our new house did not go as expected. And, that was just the beginning. It turns out we bought a very loud beepy house. WTF, right?

Later that same day, I used the microwave for the first time only to discover that it beeps like a SOB and there’s no way to mute the damn thing. Whatever. It’s old. Microwaves are cheap. We’ll replace it later. (Though when it broke in May, I chose to repair rather than replace but more on that in another post.) So, yea. MORE damn beeping.

Let’s move forward a month, we’re actually moved into the house and one of the first things we did was buy a new washer and dryer. I researched for a full month before purchase and ended up buying the brand, if not the exact model I’d originally intended to buy. I knew it made noise but also knew I could turn it off. But I didn’t realize the damn thing SINGS. It sounds like a high class ice cream truck. Weird… but I can turn it off, though I haven’t because it’s out in the Florida room and the brick walls block most of the noise. So far, it’s not annoying.

What was annoying was hearing a weird beeping noise when I was in the bedroom, some time in June, and not knowing what in the hell it was. Maybe it was a truck outside, backing up? It sort of sounded like that but not really. It also sounded like it was in the house or really close to the house but there was no truck outside. I investigated and never did figure out what it was. Maybe the old AC making a weird noise, as old ACs do? Whatever, the noise stopped. Until it did it again a few days later. TW and I investigated together and finally realized it was coming from… the MFing refrigerator!

Sure enough, the refrigerator was warning us that it was too warm. Why was it too warm? Was it broken? It didn’t SEEM broken? After much research, I decided it was because I’d put food that was hot in there after I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. Sheesh. MORE freaking beeping appliances. What the ever loving fresh hell?

I figured that was it, nothing else could beep. Right? Wrong.

The dishwasher went haywire and started beeping like crazy. I couldn’t make it stop. Well I could, finally, after opening and closing and pushing all the buttons finally noticing a CLEAR/RESET button and that made it stop. I have no idea why the dishwasher went crazysauce. It seemed fine. I ran it again and it was fine. Until it did it again a couple of weeks later. Same thing. No idea why it did it. The dishes were clean. It continues to wash just fine and it hasn’t beeped since then. (Though I’m sure it will beep again one of these days because of course it will.)

To top it all off, the damn toaster oven that we hate because the MFing thing beeps for five minutes after you use it, has started setting off the SMOKE DETECTOR. I keep cleaning the toaster and for a day or so, it’s fine, and then it’s back to setting off the smoke detector again. I’ve given up and just resigned myself to the fact that it’s going to beep and the smoke detector is going to blare every time someone uses the damn thing.

All the freaking beeping.

Reading in August

Well, that month didn’t go as expected, now did it? Oh well, it could have been worse, (and we did get an awesome #fakereadathon with Sharon out of the deal.) I’ll take it, particularly since I fell behind on tracking books and actually read more than I’ll show here — those will appear in September’s list, which I’ll need because life is just going to get weirder.

Total read: 16

Non-fiction: 6
YA: 5
Graphic novels: 4
Audio: 1
Cybils Shortlist: 7

When You Wake Up Unemployed…

The world is weird. Very weird.

When you wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep because your head is so congested you actually wish it would explode, you get up and take some meds and wander out to the deck with your phone waiting for the meds to kick in.

But, there’s only one email box to check and it’s unsurprisingly empty because you’re an inbox zero kind of person and you cleared it a few hours ago and nobody sends newsletters at midnight.

There’s also no Convo (the messaging platform your little team uses to communicate throughout the day) to check.

There are no Facebook groups or pages to manage.

There are no feeds that you need to catch up on.

The internet is always slow at 3am but it’s much, much slower when you’re unemployed.

And, when you wake up again at 7:30am and open your browser … only two tabs open instead of 12.

There’s still only one email box to check, instead of three.

There’s no spam to pull. There are no problems to solve.

The internet is apparently somewhat slow at 7:30am, when you’re unemployed.

So you wander off to mow (most of) your front lawn.

And then you get your paperwork taken care of for the company you’re no longer employed by. As you seal up the company phone and get dressed so you can run it over to the UPS drop off, you discover a small problem with the aforementioned paperwork but that’s solved within two minutes. So you drive the 1 mile to drop off the box and spend 10 minutes wandering around the little five and dime store that is home to the UPS drop off and smile because you live in this tiny little town with this tiny little store. A line scratched off of my to do list and a happy little diversion, too. #Win.

When you get home, you discover a potential issue in your inbox but even that one is resolved pretty quickly so there’s nothing left to do except file for unemployment benefits.

As frustrating as that little task is, (error messages on submit, hahahahahahaha, welcome to my life), it still only took 30 minutes.

And suddenly, it’s 4:30pm and I wonder how in the hell that happened.

An entire busy day where I worked in service to myself or my family and not my company or my community. How weird is that?

So weird, for me.

I haven’t gone one single day in the last 10 years without assisting a member of my community or a co-worker. Not one. Weekends, I worked. Holidays, I worked. Vacations, I worked. I worked the day my daughter got married. I worked the days by grandsons were born. I worked the days I moved to Chicagoland and then back to Florida. I didn’t work all day, some times it was just one email or one text message or one Convo message or five minutes of pulling spam. But I have always done SOMETHING work-related.

Waking up unemployed… crazy weird and I get to do it again tomorrow. Better yet, I get to figure out LinkedIn. Oh good grief, LinkedIn. Sheesh.