Monday, February 24, 2014

Crap week.

What a week.
Firstly, I had some very sad news about a someone in my in-laws family.
It upset me greatly.
I will not go into details but suffice to say two young children have lost their mother.
This brought back all the emotions of a couple of personal losses some years ago.
Donna's husband was one of them.
Lauren was only four and a half when it happened.  I don't think we have ever recovered from the despair.
I find these facebook status thingies quite disturbing too.
Maybe I am just feeling a bit fragile, but they say stuff about "raising awareness" of various dreadful illnesses and conditions.
I don't get this.  I think all of us are only too aware of the nasty stuff that happens.
Another one today was supposed to give support to people suffering or knowing someone who is suffering from a horrid disease.
How is that giving support?
All it does is remind everyone that they are/or someone close to them is suffering.
Not something they need to be reminded of, I think.
But, maybe I am just being a bit too sensitive.

What with that and people sharing pictures of abused animals I don't need to see...........that amazes me too.

I have also been poorly for the past week.  This might be making me even more sensitive.
I have been fighting a sore throat and a cough but today I have admitted defeat.
I am seeing a doctor this afternoon.
After several sleepless nights and mornings when I can barely swallow my tea ( oh heaven forbid I forgo my tea!!!!!) - I know I need some jollop.
Every night I have been thinking I will be better in the morning but at some point you have to realise that it isn't going to happen.
I hope they can give me something that will clear it up quickly.

I saw that some chums in Ashford (UK) had a party for a couple of birthdays.
It looked like loads of fun (from the pictures).
I was sorry to miss it.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Shennanigens !!

Two or three nights ago Philip and I were watching telly, me on the sofa with 4 cats and Philip in the arm chair.
We have a cat flap on the kitchen door that leads to the basement.  Not to the outside but just to the basement steps so that the cats can go down there to get their food etc.
Anyway, as we were quietly watching some rubbish on the telly, we heard the cat flap go...."Kerplunk".
It makes a very distinctive and recognisable noise.
We both looked up.
I looked at my little mob of kitties....Bubba, Lily, Looby Loo and Sally, all sitting with me, and I said, "Oh that must be Tootise."
"No," came the reply, "Tootsie is lying down by the side of my chair."
Who or what went through the cat flap then.
We were both puzzled because, on inspection, there was nothing that had fallen etc to make any sound at all and as I said, it is a very distinctive sound.
The flap doesn't open to the outside so there is no wind or anything that could move it......Oh well.

Saturday I went upstairs and walked into our bedroom to put some stuff away.
There on the bed I saw Lollipop, leaning back against Philip's pillow.
So what I hear you mutter.
What !!   What!!   Well, the fact that Lollipop died in May last year is the "what!"
It was for just an instant and then she was gone.
It shook me up somewhat ( a bloody lot) and I went over to the bed mystified, and tried to see what was going on.
There was nothing there.
She looked like she was leaning on the pillow trying to wash her belly and looked up, startled, as I came in.
I kid you not.
I flew downstairs as I knew if I didn't tell someone (Philip) immediately, after about 20 minutes I would be talking myself out of it.
So, I told him.  He is a really big skeptic so I thought I would get a negative reaction from him.
When I had finished, he leaned back in his chair and said, "Oh well I will tell you now."
Apparently, that morning when he came downstairs he saw 4 of the cats in the kitchen and Sally in the cat tree........but at the same time he saw another one down by the chair.
We have 5 cats...not 6.
He wasn't going to mention it.
I will admit it did freak me out a little ( a heck of a lot), but not in a bad way.
It was lovely to see her fat and healthy again rather than the poor, sick, sad little kitty she became.

Saturday we went to the Home Improvement Show.
We went to several (millions) of bathroom exhibitors and picked up a few (hundreds) of leaflets.
We spoke to some of them and they explained what they do.....bathrooms basically.
We gave our name and number so we could make appointments for free estimates and as we approached the end,  I was feeling very upbeat and excited about the whole thing.
Then, just as we were perusing the last aisle and getting ready to leave, we saw one place who had a large sign up.
An enticement.
A sign designed to make you an offer you can't refuse.
And it said


I was totally deflated.
$10,000 is a "deal"?
Oh well, it was a lovely thought.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ticked Off

As you may be aware, it is chuffing cold here....and it has been for quite a while.
But, today was forecast as getting up to nearly, only nearly, freezing point.
That is practically tropical for us since about November.
I thought I would make an expedition to the mall as the temperature is due to drop severely again tomorrow.
This is the one day to go.  I should make the effort and go.
So, I did.
The lovely weatherman did say there could be a few snow "flurries" in the afternoon.  Well, that's no big deal, but I set off in the morning anyway.
The snow started just as I was leaving the house.
Silly weatherman must have got the timing a little bit wrong.
Never mind........(inner voice said, "stay home."...I cleverly ignored it -  something I would live to regret), yes never mind, just flurry.

I walked to the bus stop and by the time I got there a blizzard was blowing.
Stupid weatherman........this doesn't look like a flurry.
I had to put my shopping bag on the seat of the bus stop before sitting down as I would have run the risk of my bum sticking to the metal seat, had I not.
Idiotic weatherman.......this is a lot colder than almost, nearly, not quite, but virtually getting up to freezing point.
After waiting 20 minutes for the bus, I was getting a bit ticked off with the whole escapade.
The snow was falling very fast and I was very cold.
Bugger it.
I gave up and went into Walgreen's ( for English chums...a lot like Boots the Chemist) on the corner to warm up.
You can buy most things in Walgreen's and I plumped (love saying that) for getting my bits in there and then going home for a coffee.
I came out to find almost white-out conditions and had to walk back in the middle of the road once again.
Stupid, poxy, useless, lousy, hopeless weatherman got it totally wrong.
It was not was bloody cold.
It did not wait until the afternoon to snow and it was not chuffing snow flurries.
It was a full scale blizzard.....again.
It isn't hard to be a weatherman in Wisconsin in the winter.
Look I can forecast tomorrow's weather :-

"Tomorrow it will be cold and it will either snow or not snow."

Easy 'innit'.

Oh sorry to hear about all the flooding in the UK.  It does look awful.  At least our snow and ice mountains do not seep into our houses and cause a dreadful mess.
It must be a nightmare for farms, crops and animals too.  
I hope things dry up over there for you all soon as you must be totally fed up with it by now.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The weather continues to be brutally cold.
It does produce some lovely effects though.
If you click on the photo and look closely, you may see little sparkles dotted about in the snow.
It seems that because it is so cold, little ice crystals form and, to me, they look like diamonds glittering in the moonlight.
It was difficult getting a picture of it as you can see it far better at night but it isn't so easy to get photos then.
Well, if you have a tra-la posh camera it is probably easy but as I just 'point and click' and haven't got a clue what I am doing - for me it is hard.

Another of the mystical diamonds shimmering in the snow.
Quite magical, I think.
Ignore the reflection of the window was too chuffing cold to go outside.

The weekend came and went, much as they do.
We nipped out Saturday morning, before the latest lot of snow made it too difficult.
Whilst out we perused Menards, looking at bathroom suites, tiles etc.  For my English chums....Menards is a lot like B&Q.
We would dearly love to have the downstairs bathroom totally ripped out and re modelled.
Whether or not we can afford it, is yet to be seen.
But, it costs nothing to look.   I had no idea how I wanted it done  but I do know I do not want browns and beiges which seem to be the current 'in' thing.
Philip spotted tiles which he knew I would love.

They are glass, with sparkly bits.
So very Art Deco.
After seeing these the whole scheme for the bathroom took shape in my mind.

I would love a sink like this.
It probably costs a fortune I have an image in my mind I can try to recreate the effect at a lesser cost.
I hope.

Ohhhh.....and floor tiles with sparkles !!!!

On Sunday, fired up with enthusiasm for bathroom fittings (I think that is a line from an "Are You Being Served?" but I could be mistaken) we subjected Home Depot to the same scrutiny.
Their tiles were pants.
Their sinks were pants.
Their floor tiles were............mega pants.
We won't be going there then.
Where we will be going is

The Milwaukee Home Improvement show just happens to be on this weekend.
We will pick up leaflets and then we can get some estimates.
After which we will probably cry, crawl under a blankie and dream of bathrooms that could have been.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is it Lauren Fest yet?

Well, Alanmas is over for another year.
Philip took Alan to the airport on his way to work.
We followed him online and it seems his flight to New York was delayed quite a bit but he did have quite a long layover before getting the flight to England so, hopefully, he made it ok.

This time he is going straight back to Guernsey as this year he didn't get as much holiday as he usually does, so he couldn't spend any time in Whitstable.
He looked a bit glum when he left.
Maybe they will go back to their old ways for next time.

He had to shovel again yesterday.  He doesn't seem to mind though.
I expect he will be having to bail out (from the sound of it) when he gets back to Guernsey.
Things have been rather damp over there.....or so I am told.
The winter has been odd.
England has had tons of rain and flooding.

California has the worst drought on record.
We have loads of snow - nothing unusual there - but temperatures way below normal.

I shall now look forward to Lauren Fest.  This will begin in July and go on for 3 weeks.
Donna is coming over too so it will be double the fun.

It seems I am going to the Warped Tour.  Some sort of music ( I used the term loosely) festival/tour which will be in Milwaukee for one day at the end of July.
Donna was kind (????) enough to get me a ticket when she ordered them for herself and Lauren.
Oh will make a change.  I have never heard of any of the bands, but a day out by the lake can't be all bad.
I hope they have a beer and wine tent.

How is it February 6th already?
Surely, it was only last week we were opening Christmas presents.
We still can't get the Christmas decorations in from the garden.
Philip and Alan tried but they are totally frozen into the ground.   Apparently (according to the man on the telly) the ground is frozen to about 4 or 5 feet.  I don't see Father Christmas, his various reindeer, the Christmas mailbox, the snowmen....etc...etc....coming in any time soon.

This is just one side.
We have more over the other side.  We don't turn the lights on though.
I don't think they have ever been out this long before.

I can see me hanging Easter eggs on the reindeer's antlers at this rate.
That would be a novelty.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ecky thump.

Oh this dear little Eric did make me smile.
"Eh up lad, what's that tha's eating.  Is it t'pudding?"
I looked out of the kitchen window and saw him looking so proud with his 'trophy'.
'What could it be?'
It could be a yorkshire pudding that I put out for Blossom the Possum.....and it was.  Who knew squirrels like yorkshire pudding.
Probably not even the squirrels knew this, but I now have proof that they do.

Thursday we made a heroic attempt at reaching the mall.
Snow was forecast, but that is nothing new and I try not to let the weather men dictate to me too much,  the temperature was warmer than it has been in weeks.
Not actually warm, you understand, just relatively warmer - about minus 12C I think.
It wasn't snowing as we set off for the bus stop but it was a blowing hooley which actually made it feel a whole lot colder than we thought it would be.
Alan and I walked in the middle of the road all the way to the bus stop as this was the only part clear of snow and ice.  The sidewalks were very icy in places even where they had been cleared of snow.

We waited some time for the bus and had just got to the point of "Stuff this for a game of soldiers, let's go home and have a cup of tea", when the bus appeared.

The bus was warm and we were on it long enough to almost thaw out.
My legs were very tingly, which I am told is not good.  Something to do with frostbite or something. Oh well.

We had a fun time at the mall.  I found a couple of Billy Bargains and it felt rather good to be out and about again.
Cabin fever had definitely been setting in.
I met up with Alan for a coffee in the food court before venturing out once again to the bus stop, which I might add, they have now moved bloody miles away from the mall.
Alright not miles, but a long way and seems even longer when we are in the midst of our Arctic winter complete with Polar Vortex (whatever that is).
We got up to leave and glanced out of the glass doors.
Bloody was a blizzard out there.  The snow had been, and was still, falling fast - and sideways.
We clung to each other as we slipped and slid the 32 miles to the bus stop, only to find 523 other people all trying to squeeze inside the 3ft by 5ft bus shelter.
The bus eventually arrived and slid to halt in the new snow which no one had had a chance to clear yet.
On reaching our bus stop we then continued to slide the rest of the 75 miles back to the house. We again walked in the middle of the road but it was dodgy.  The icy areas were all now covered in snow so you couldn't tell where the ice was.
Yesterday, Saturday, it snowed all day and we didn't even try to get the car out.
Alan and Philip had lots of  fun playing in the snow (shovelling and snowblowing).
Then I see in the news that the stoopy, poxy groundhog has predicted 6 more weeks of winter.
Actually, I do think that 6 more weeks of winter is rather optimistic of him.

The car park at the shops.