A Normal Saturday

What IS that noise? I hear two dogs, panting loudly. Without looking, I feel eyes on me, like that strange feeling you get when someone is staring at you. I finally get up, to their delight and give them their “good morning” pets. No sense in trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

Once I’ve thrown on some clothes, the two chow hounds are jumping for joy, literally. Off to the kitchen we go, and I marvel at their ability to move that quickly in the morning.

First things first, I turn on the coffee maker then dish up the kibble. Like children on Christmas morning, every day, they are so excited and can barely wait for breakfast. Once they’re fed, turned out, and lured back in, they go back to sleep. What a life!

We were SoooOooo hungry!

Now, it’s my time. With coffee and tablet in hand, I sit on the patio, enjoying the quiet before dawn and sipping my life-force coffee. Ahh, so nice. I check out the weather “predictions”, emails (ads and job offers), and my Fitbit stats (yes, I still have a heartbeat). Truthfully, if I wanted to check out the weather, I could have checked my Magic 8 Ball, just as well. The meteorologists predict no rain today, which means no rain until it starts raining. (Like UV rays are low, until the sun comes up)

As the twilight recedes and the sun starts peaking over the trees, the birds start queuing up to visit the bird feeder. They sit on the fence and look to the left, then to the right, trying to see if the coast is clear. They’re looking for the Mob Boss (MB), aka Mockingbird, who terrorizes our little piece of paradise. This morning there was a male Cardinal, a Red-headed Woodpecker, and a Blue Jay, all sitting on the fence waiting. The Blue Jay decided to brave the onslaught when out of nowhere the Mob Boss came swooping down out of our tree, like an F-16 with wings back in a nosedive.

Retreat!

Mob Boss surveying his territory

I feel sorry for the squirrels; MB has a thing for them. I’ve watched him attack them unmercifully as they are in a dead run along the top of the fence, trying to make it to home base (the tree). I wish them luck if they can even make it to bird feeder.

Squirrel beating a hasty escape from his tormentor

MB bitches squawks constantly and loudly to make his presence known and alert everyone that they are in his territory. The Red Shouldered Hawks pay him no mind and will sit on the fence while MB squawks continuously until they get tired of listening to him and move along.

Now that the sun is up and MB has successfully driven me inside with his incessant noise, I step over the sleeping dogs, and refill my coffee. Now, I’m working on a strategy to ignore dust, laundry, and dog hair.

[Sigh]

Random Blah, Blah, Blah, Cathy, Polly, Alexa…

This past week, I took my sister to an out-patient surgery center for a minor surgical procedure. The procedure was scheduled for 9:30 AM, and of course we had to be there an hour and a half before. I think I mentioned as I was driving that it was like going to the airport 2 hours early for check-in. The car radio corrected me… it was the Wednesday before Christmas, and the recommended check-in time was 3 hours before any scheduled flights.

It was also the coldest day of the year, here in central Florida, at 43(F) degrees and a 15-mph wind. There was total cloud cover and no visible sun, so any chance of warming up was nil. So, to get to the point, we were on time, and she had her procedure done at 10:45. “Delays”, they said. I went outside for a walk-about, and the frigid wind blew me back into the air-conditioned waiting room. Florida doesn’t turn off the AC unless we have a week of freezing temperatures… no chance of that. About 20 minutes later, I was ushered into the post-op area and there was my sister, talking and joking with the nurses. The doctor had given her moderate sedation, or twilight sleep, and she was fully awake and ready to go home, so they sent me to get the car and meet them at the pick-up area.

Once she was in the car, I turned the heater on to HHH (high, hot, and helluva lot), and off we went. That’s when she started talking. She was still talking 30 minutes later when we got home. I think that every thought that popped into her head was verbalized for the next 4 hours.

Out of the blue, she started talking about her cockatiels, Petie and Buddy. They were entertaining and could sing and talk. However, both flew over the rainbow bridge about 20 years ago. I kind of listened with one ear, until she mentioned moving on to parakeets after Sissy croaked. Sissy is old, her (now) peach-faced lovebird, who I think is manic, depressive. Sissy spends most of the day on the bottom of her cage, hiding under her food container, then unexpectedly she’s swinging from the rafters of her cage chirping her fool head off.

Manic Depressive Peach Faced Lovebird.
At least she’s quiet!

About 4:30, my sister finally crashed and took a nap [sigh]. I immediately grabbed a beer and went out on the patio to listen to the sounds of nature. Randomly, I started thinking about chatty things. My sister got a Chatty Cathy doll sometime in the early 1960s, which was a pull-string talking doll. She pulled that string a lot. Blah, blah, blah…

Change my dress, Sing to me, Tell me a Story, blah, blah, blah

My next random though was what if someone had a parrot? A very talkative parrot. Arrrgh!

And they received an Amazon Alexa as a Christmas gift!!!

Okay Polly, what type of crackers would you like for me to order for you?

The worst Christmas gift E.V.E.R!

More or less, or is it enough?

I was watching Ancient Aliens on the TV the other night, and unfortunately it was live TV, and not one I had pre-recorded. The commercial breaks on the History channel and another favorite, HGTV channel, are soooOOooo long. I prefer to record my favorite programs and skip over the commercials, but I was at their mercy that night and had to endure.

One of the commercials was advertising the Noom weight loss plan, which is an app that you can download to your phone ($45/mo) which uses psychology, a coach, and a personal diet plan to help you make better choices and change your eating habits. Healthier = happier, and skinnier. Just a little bit of behavior modification, and you can think yourself thin.

Right after that commercial comes another celebrating the bigger, better burger:

Pavlov would be proud of you if you started salivating right about now. Somehow, I don’t really think that Noom can compete with this picture. Just looking at it, you can smell it, you can see how juicy it is, and BACON. Not so much lettuce though. Please forgive me if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, but it’s real, and it’s out there.

I really felt proud of the fact that I was eating a bowl of Moose Tracks frozen yogurt, covered with Smucker’s Chocolate Magic Shell. Psychologically speaking, I made a conscious decision to choose frozen yogurt over ice cream. I’m still working on thinking myself thin.

It’s even better with the Magic Shell

Can you see how the small picture of frozen yogurt is a better choice than the large picture of the burger? It’s all relative, my dear Einstein.

The commercials kept coming, big cars, big sandwiches stacked 2 feet tall on Hawaiian bread, big trucks with big engines hauling big motor homes.

Don’t you feel a little programmed to think that bigger and more are better? It’s not like we’re Tiny Tim, begging for a little more porridge.

I’m surprised there wasn’t a pharmaceutical commercial pushing statins for high cholesterol. It’s not like we don’t have MORE drugs advertised on TV. They have you covered from depression to psoriatic arthritis, to eczema… and some of them have the same actors! I feel fortunate to have lived through Brylcream, Doublemint Gum, Carter’s Little Liver Pills, and Wilkinson razor blade commercials. Plus, I didn’t like Breck Shampoo; I was a Prell girl. I’m sure if you go to Sam’s Club or Costco, you can buy a gallon of your favorite shampoo because… more is better.

So, after all is said and done, I’m focusing on enough. When I want something, I ask myself if I need it. When I eat, I ask myself, what is enough? I’m working on de-programming.

I have promised myself that I will pre-record my favorite shows in the future because…

enough is enough.

In case you were wondering…

It was actually 73 degrees F. (23 C.) and 98% humidity at 7:00 A.M. When I checked the Weather Channel, it predicted a high of 82 F. (28 C.).

Since I don’t trust the weather man, I pulled out my Magic 8 Ball and asked if the high today would be 82…

Trust the 8 ball. It’s already over 82 degrees

Belated New Year’s Resolutions and having a blizzard

My Christmas cactus didn’t bloom until mid-January, so I’m not sure if my resolutions are belated or the earth tilted a little off it’s axis and time has been affected. As far as work is concerned, I’m always trying to get caught up, so I’m leaning towards the tilted axis theory.

I recently ventured into the “dieting” blogs, which has become an annual habit for me, right after I resolve to lose some excess poundage. I like to see what everyone else is doing. The only problem is reading about dieting makes me hungry. So, even though I ate a late breakfast around 9:00 A.M, I’m forcing myself to wait until noon to have lunch.

I just went to the grocery store a couple days ago, and I refuse to buy snacks. So, every time I open the refrigerator door, I end up staring at vegetables. Also, I don’t buy a lot of fruit… like bananas, because when they turn black I want to make banana bread. The same applies to apples, pears, peaches… I like to bake, but now I just admire my Kitchenaid mixer from afar. I used to make bread every week, but I haven’t made any bread since the onslaught of the plague. About the same time that toilet paper was flying off the shelves, I noticed that bread flour and yeast started disappearing too. I often wonder how that turned out for the new to bread baking crowd. Just writing about baking makes me hungry… I make a mean focaccia with slivers of garlic and roasted dried tomatoes, with generous amounts of olive olive oil [sigh].

Other than work and obsessing about food, I bought myself a Peloton for… I was going to say Christmas, but I should probably throw in my birthday and every other celebratory event I can think of. It would have been Christmas in July, since that’s when I ordered it.

I bought it as the plague waxed and waned, and waited 2 months for delivery. I miss riding my “real” bike, but I had to weigh old age versus safety and convenience. Peloton won out. So far it hasn’t become an expensive clothes hanger. It can be addicting though or just another obsession? I’ve written that word enough times now I’m smelling perfume.

Being confined to Home and Garden has lured me back to the TV. I continue to watch HGTV and DIY channels and I think I can fix a leak, hang curtain rods, and lay tile now. I have experience at laying wood floors. I did it once, which was enough. I’ve added the History channel to my repertoire and lately have included Ancient Aliens and the Unexplained. I personally haven’t had any alien sightings in about 8 years. Escape to the Chateau is another show I like to watch. Their walls are 2 feet thick, so it has been interesting.

As for the blizzard, well if you’re thinking snow kind of blizzard, not really. This is Florida, ya know?

At most, I’ll be shoveling a foot of sunshine, and I don’t think I’ll be having this Blizzard either. Just wishful thinking…