Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanks and things.

An odd week.
Tuesday I ventured out to the mall only to NOT be accosted by any Tai Chi instructors, Jehovah's Witnesses or people with crabs.
Have a told you that one?
Oh ok....I shall tell it again.
I was on the bus (now there's a novelty), quietly minding my own business and being careful not to make eye contact with anyone, when a man started making his way down the aisle talking to everyone he passed.
It seemed he must have been asking a question because everyone he spoke to shook their head and he passed on.
What could he be asking?
Usually they are asking for money or a spare bus ticket both of which I didn't have.
He drew closer. I was curious now. was my turn.
He got to me and said.
"Excuse me, do you happen to have a plastic bag as my crabs are leaking?"
Doesn't bear thinking about really.

I did a trawl of the saying that, then got my cup of coffee from McDonalds and sat in the food court.
I saw The Mole Man (his is another story), but suffice to say he is knocking on a bit and I am always relieved when I see him as it confirms that he is ok.
I think he must spend every day at the mall.
Father Christmas is also in the mall now so I watched him scaring a few children before I came home.
At the bus stop there was a couple who were in the middle of a major domestic. She was calling him (very loudly) every name she could think of and some I have never heard. He didn't seem at all concerned so I would assume this is a regular occurrence.
Fortunately they were not waiting for my bus.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving - our first as American citizens. We still didn't have turkey. Turkey is for Christmas. Americans tend to have ham at Christmas. That just doesn't seem right to me.
Our friend came over for the day and we were all typically American....ate way too much but it was delish.
What did we give thanks for?
I am thankful for most things actually. I never cease to be amazed that I have anything so I suppose I am always thankful.
Actually I am thankful for friends. Recently an old friend found me on Facebook. Oh I was so pleased. Mostly friends enrich our lives. I have lots of friends from years back who I rarely see but that doesn't stop me caring about them and being glad I have them.
Sometimes they are not quite what they seem but I suppose we can all be this way.
I am learning though. I have learned that on facebook I can "hide" them or "unsubscribe" to them.
I have done that a couple of times this week........ooh I am a little devil.
It is a pity we can't do that in real life. I am sure there were some families who have to get together for Thanksgiving who would like to "unsubscribe" a few relatives.

Christmas Craft Fair tomorrow........a highlight of the year.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have been thinking about the Jehovah's Witnesses.
What are they witness to?
I looked online. Oh it is a sad and bleak religion. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be one.
No birthdays, no Christmas seems no celebrations of any sort. They believe that when you die you cease to afterlife as such. Come judgement day then those deemed worthy will be resurrected but only 144,000 ( I don't know who came up with this number.....oh Jehovah I suppose) of them will be taken up to be with God. They will then teach the remaining goodies, who are saved, how to worship correctly.
Well, that is something to look forward too, work towards and go without any fun for.
In church they don't sing, they just study the bible.
Why on earth does that young lady want to be part of this crowd?
Perhaps she is only happy when she is miserable.
Surely, if you are going to follow a religion - follow a happy one.
Look at the gospel churches. Oh I envy those people. They all look like they are having such a good time.
I bet they really look forward to Sundays.

Witness.......witness.......being a witness might be like holding a secret. A secret someone has told you perhaps.
I am not fond of those.
Oh, I am up for a bit of juicy gossip, as long as it isn't anything serious.
You know the sort of thing........

"Have you heard that Mavis Sittingbottom's husband, the one with the bad leg named George, was caught dressed up as a nun in Sainsbury's. In the deli section too!!"

I am fine with that. It makes life a bit more colourful, but serious secrets can be a burden.

I currently hold safe 3 very serious secrets for other people.
I would not breathe a word about them as I was told in strictest confidence, but that aside, the consequences of other people finding out would be dire.
In the past, people have told me secrets, sworn me to secrecy and then I have heard it being bandied about by someone else.
This is where the problems set in. The original secret sharer has obviously not been as good at keeping quiet as they should have been but do they realise this?
Or, will they accuse me of letting the secret out?
It isn't a nice feeling to be put under suspicion when you are totally innocent. So, I think that secrets can be a burden.
Being a 'witness' to Jehovah himself sounds like way too much responsibility for my liking.

Anyway, I like Christmas too much.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It has been a funny old week.
A really mixed bag.

On Friday Philip came home from work poorly.
He continued being poorly all over the place on Saturday with no improvement on Sunday.
He was either asleep or being poorly.
I did my best to look after the poor, poorly bugger. I made nourishing food and nagged him into taking various cold & flu remedies.

On Monday I suggested a doctor's visit might be in order when the poorliness ( coo I like that word) wasn't showing any signs of responding to soup, curry, cold & flu remedies and , believe it or not....TEA!!
Now everything is supposed to throw in the towel when tea is appears on the scene. I am sure that, had they had tea back then, the biblical plagues would have been drastically reduced.

The plague of locusts, after a nice cuppa, would have probably been a few greenfly on the roses.

The plague of boils, after a cup of Rosie Lee, would have probably been a mild case of acne or nettle rash.

By Tuesday, having seen little improvement, he did go to the quack's.
He has bronchitis. Now he has bronchitis and bronchitis jollop.
So, now we are seeing some improvement. Which is a blessing rather than a plague.

Yesterday it was back to THE bus stop at 8.15am. My mission being to get to work.
It was bloody cold. Way below freezing but bright and sunny.
I was wrapped up like a very well wrapped up thing and patiently (this is not entirely true...I was not being particularly patient...thought you should know) awaiting the arrival of the wonderfully heated bus.
A car drew up.
A fleeting, thought flitted its way through my brain....chuckling wickedly to itself.
"Oh ho ho ho"....(must have been a Santa thought) "what if this was the Jehovah's Witness who cornered me last week", the thought chirped merrily.
This thought didn't stick around long, which is just as well, as I would have sewn its head to the carpet had I managed to catch it. WAS the bloody Jehovah's Witness who ambushed me last week.
She came straight at me. Over here that one statement, so I am told, empowers you to shoot anything.
"It was coming right at me" is a valid excuse for letting loose with both I am informed.
Good job for her that I am a pacifist then.
She said hello and asked if I had read the leaflet and what I thought of the questions. I told her I thought they were pretty general questions that probably everyone has asked at some point. She agreed and proceeded to bore me some more.

Our parents have a lot to answer for.
If I hadn't been brought up to be polite, civil and to smile at people, I could have told her to *&%* off !!
But, it is impossible for me to do. I would not be able to utter the words.
Jehovah's Witnesses beware.
I do not think this current generation will be so accommodating. You should prepare yourself to dodge some pretty strong language in the future.
Pee, po, belly, bum, drawers will not be.

The bus came and I now burdened with, not a leaflet but two booklets boarded it. She bid me farewell adding that she would look for me again at the same time, at the same bus stop.
Oh joy!!
I feel I have homework to do now.
Actually, next time she stalks me I shall be honest and tell her that, even though I seem harmless enough, she has no chance of converting me.

I mean, I am a fully paid up member of

The Prince Philip Movement

I feel sure they won't want me once I confess to that. Surely some things are beyond forgiveness.

I think this is how I will present myself at the bus stop next time.
I wonder who will come to save me then.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Funny things happen at bus stops.

I expect this chap is probably waiting for me to come along. I probably will soon.

Wednesday.....horrid weather. It was raining hard and the wind was blowing up a storm.
I had to go to work therefore I have to go to the bus stop.
My blog would be empty without bus stops. They have a lot to answer for.
I tucked myself into the shelter but couldn't sit down as the seats were all wet.
All the normal Americans were smugly passing by in their large, comfy, heated cars.
Cold and miserable, I was surprised when a young lady appeared in the shelter and said hello.
She then asked how I was .......I told her I was fine and asked how she was. She went into a little bit of shock mode then.
I have found that when people are trying to sell you something either on the phone or in a shop, they will start with "Hi how are you today?" and are taken back when I immediately ask them how they are too. Must not have been on script they had to learn.
She was in shock for another reason too.
"Accent trauma". This happens all the time to Philip and I. Someone will speak to us and when we answer their eyes glaze over and they turn into "accent zombies".
Once this happens we know that what ever we were ordering or buying will be totally wrong as their brain had frozen up as soon as it detected an unforeseen accent.
Anyway, this pretty young lady was armed with........a bible and leaflets. So it was clear a Jehovah's witness had found me.
I found this odd. I have never been accosted at a bus stop by a Jehovah's witness. I have had lots knocking at the door, in fact I had one couple who I used to come regularly and I would ask them in.
I am very interested in people's beliefs. I told them they would never convert me......I wouldn't be able to cope without Christmas for a start.....but they seemed happy to sit next to my laden Christmas tree and explain their religion.
One day, after I had been asking lots of questions, the guy stood up and said....." Oh dear look at the time. We really must be going."
My son thought this was hilarious. He said that with all the doors they get slammed in their faces this was probably the first time they had had to make excuses to leave.
They were a very nice couple who even used to bring little gifts for the cats but I didn't see them any more once we moved.
Back to the bus stop.
She then asked me if I had ever asked these questions.......pointing to one of her leaflets that was becoming rather soggy in the rain.

Does God really care about us?
Will war and suffering ever end?
What happens to us when we die?
Is there any hope for the dead? (I would have thought this was pretty obvious. If someone finds a body and says "there is no hope" it generally means they are dead and "beyond hope"....but what do I know?)
How can I find happiness in life?

I think that the above questions have gone through the mind, even if they resist the urge to stop and just keep on going, of most people regardless of religion.
So, they have pretty much got you right at the outset. I did like her though.
She was shorter than me. Heavens be praised.
Being vertically challenged myself, it is highly unusual for me to be taller than anyone else and I like it.
I liked the fact that she had to look up to speak to me. It was quite an odd feeling.

She then spent time talking to me about God etc, whilst I had one eye out for the bus.
She was not wearing a big coat, had no hat or hood, no umbrella..........."Coo", I said, " You picked a bugger of a day to go out doing this mallarky".
She agreed and I told her she needed a "brolly". I then explained what a "brolly" was.
She then wanted to know where I was from and the conversation rapidly left religion behind as I had now peaked her curiosity.
The bus was on the horizon as I bade her farewell and hoped she didn't get as drenched as her now rain sodden leaflets. She wanted to know if she could find me another day at the bus stop. I assured her (sadly) that she probably could.
I told her she should have dressed more warmly and then she informed me that she had a car parked just around the corner.
So, she had actually stopped her bloody car and ambushed me when she saw me at the bus stop.
Every day, it seems, I am so glad when that bus shows up.
Cow could have offered me a lift though. to the mall. Snowing. Windy and snowing.....oh I know it's Wisconsin.
Uneventful journey to the mall and quite a nice bimble around the mall.
Back to the bus stop to go home. Bus stops are taking on their own persona now.
They are like dread portals to a mystical land filled with numpties and Jehovah's witnesses.
I wasn't going to have a bus stop numpty free day....oh dear me no.
It was still snowing.

There was a man at the bus stop.
"The bus is coming", he reliably informed me. I actually did know this as I could see it too.
"Yes," I politely replied.
"The bus is coming.......the bus is coming." he repeated.
"Yes....I can see it."

"I have to get another bus after this one", he told me (as if I cared).
"Oh, I hope you don't have long to wait," I said. I know I shouldn't answer but I was brought up to be polite and it is difficult to switch that training off.
"No," he said, "my next bus is really fast."
"I live on National and I have a cat," he continued, "it is a big black cat".
"Oh," I mumbled.
"My cat weighs 50 lbs" he fibbed. No way does he have a cat that weighs 50 lbs. That cat would weigh almost half of me or 2 and half times our Bubba cat and he is no lightweight.
"Big cat", I agreed.
He then looked at me at said enticingly " I am single and live alone !"
Now who would have thought that.
The bus had just arrived.
"No you don't," I disagreed, " You live with your big cat".

He waved me onto the bus before him and I stupidly went. I usually make sure any muppets get on first so when they sit down I can find the seat furthest away from them.
Fortunately, he sat at the front and I went way to the back.
I spent the whole journey gazing fixedly out of the window but just out of the corner of my eye I could see him keep turning round.

Another great bus adventure. I could write a book.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Always something.

Look at this poxy eye.
I know none of us are at our most glamorous first thing in the morning but I had a bit of a shock when I looked in the mirror this morning.
We have had to put the humidifier on at night again. This is a sign of a Wisconsin winter.
The air gets dreadfully dry. Your skin itches and you have to put lots of lotion on.
Without the humidifier your eyes dry out and swell up during the night.
Sometimes, before Ivor (we named the humidifier this as it puffs out steam....we did have one called Mothra who sort of sprayed mist about but made a humming sound that kept me awake all night) anyway...what was I saying...oh yes...before Ivor I my eyes would be swollen shut in the morning.
Lovely isn't it?
But, I hadn't had this happen before.
I have no clue as to what caused it.
But...........oh wouldn't it have been delish if it had happened last week.
Just think how I could have scared the Trick or Treaters with my "evil eye".
If I had to have a bad eye at least I could have got some fun out of it.

This picture of Her Royal Highness Princess Lilibet III has caused quite a bit of amusement on The Purebred Cat page on Facebook.
I thought they might like to see that purebred cats....even royal ones.....don't always behave in the most decorous manner.
Actually, this picture still makes me smile.

Been an odd weekend.
Firstly, during the week, the tap in the kitchen stopped working properly. It dribbled.
I hate it when things like this happen. Philip replaced that tap not so long ago.
DIY isn't really his comfort zone and replacing that tap had been an ordeal. After it was all done, the hot came out of the cold etc, but we got used to that.
Now the water would only dribble out.
This was a double nuisance because it meant that the dish washer didn't fill up properly and I had to keep stopping it to chuck buckets of water in it.
Off to Home Depot.
I did have a little chuckle in there. Philip often uses American trunk (boot of car)...hood (bonnet) .....trash (rubbish)...etc.
I usually tell him off and remind him to keep his 'Britishness', but he reminds me he spends all week at work with Americans and has to be understood.
This is fair enough.
In Home Depot though he slipped up. He asked where he could find the taps !!!
The girl gave him a completely blank look and I stepped in and said "faucets".
That was a bit of a first for me.
We bought one which was much like the other one and in the afternoon the war began.
The first battle was getting the other one off. It didn't want to comply.
I then remembered that last time the old fixture for the little spray thing wouldn't budge and Philip had to just put the new one on the old fixture.
It wouldn't budge again............or "it would, come off this time". That wasn't me who said that.
The battle was long and momentous. There was muchly cussing, muchly banging, muchly more cussing and way too much water dripping on someone's head.
Still it would not move.
It seemed that there would be no more Mr Nice Guy........I hadn't noticed him being around previously to tell the truth. He must have snuck in.
Well, if he snuck in .....he went out with a bang.......and a drill and a saw .......until eventually it came off.
The silence caused me to creep back up from the basement. Had the tap clonked him on the head once too often?
Was the murderer Mr Faucet with the spanner in the kitchen?
NO......HUZZAH.......the new tap was installed .........but the dishwasher connector didn't fit.
There was some "Percy Filth" talk about male and female connections, most unpleasant, before a trip back to the store was in order.
He came back with the new connector......................but it was the wrong one.
Oh he was laughing.
Back to the store again.......................they didn't have the correct one.
He did eventually find one in another store and peace was restored to the kitchen.
We just have to get used to the cold coming out the cold tap and the hot coming out of the hot tap again.

We have to have a window replaced, probably this week, as it has rotted.
Marty, who lives up the road, is doing it for us.
Heavens be praised.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All is safely gathered in........

Suffice to say I have recovered from last Thursday's unpleasantness and am back to my usual dopey self.
Halloween helped.
I love it. I have such fun with the kids.
The two girls above live across the road and they told me they wished Lauren could have been here to go Trick or Treating with them.
I too wished she could have been here.

The dogs don't get left out.
I think this pooch was in some sort of bug costume but he seemed happy enough whatever he was supposed to be.
We spent about $30 on sweeties. We try to buy decent stuff so that if there is any left over we can eat it.
We had a lot of kids come round this year.

At one point I was a bit worried that we might run out of sweets. That did happen to us one year and Philip had to nip out and get more.
Fortunately, we had enough with just a few left over.
We made short work of those ourselves so there was no waste.
Some of the kids and families who come round look very poor. It worries me that this is maybe the only time of year some of these kids get any sweeties.
I didn't take photos of those kids. Some of them have no costume except for maybe some make up on their faces.
Poor little buggers.

This one was cute.....couldn't resist taking his photo.
There was another couple who came along with two little boys in a cart......not the ones above.
It was so funny.
They were so anxious to get out of the cart to get to the sweets that the first one tripped in the street and fell over......the second one tripped over the edge of the cart, fell out of it and landed on the first one.
I commented to their parents that they were good value for money as they provided a cabaret act too.
I then asked the kids which one was Curly and which one was Moe?
The Two Stooges hadn't a clue what I was talking about but the parents and I had a good giggle at them.
Today I have a bad neck. A really bad neck. I shall soon be putting some heat on it in the hope it eases up.
I had it like this a couple of years ago and it went on for weeks. I don't want that again.
Philip has just phoned from work to say he seems to have developed a sudden cold.
He sounded groggy.
Oh well.......winter is on its way I suppose.