10 February, 2016

Primary Time In New Hampshire

10 February 2016

R. Linda:

It was a long night, a night that seemed to go on forever. If they gave people the day off to vote it might have been a shorter night, but the folks in Hudson and Merrimack were so many they had to keep the polls opened longer. I do wonder that the Clinton people begging the State House to keep the polls open in Merrimack was a wise idea. Something tells me those where all Sanders voters waiting to get to the polls. Gulp.

As you know, it was primary time in New Hampshire. That means the craziness explodes in road signs, yard signs, people with signs at traffic lights, big rock star-like buses whizzing by with candidates names and slogans, diners full of media, town dumps alive with candidates pressing the flesh, and town halls full to the brim! Yes, but this year because of Trump and Sanders there was more interest and excitement than usual. The usual craziness got downright bizarre at times and politically correct? What's that mean? That term went right out the window this time round. It was say anything, think it out loud and anything goes don't worry about it.

Oh yeah, the circus came to down and it was bigger than usual this year. There were candidates I had never heard of, those guys on the fringe and me Mam was one of them. She was running for a while until someone pointed out she was born in Ireland and wasn't eligible. Bummer for Mam let me tell you, we have a basement full of Elect Mam signs.

It was the year of the woman, if you are a woman and not voting for Hillary than maybe you should be voting for Carly or the alternative (as Madaline Allbright said) is end up in hell! If you are a vulgar man or woman do get in the front row of a Trump rally and call the opposing candidates any vulgar tag you can and you can be sure the candidate on stage will repeat it for everyone in the world to hear. If you are a candidate and find a way to eliminate another candidate and your name is Cruz or Christie, then by all means go for it on stage in front of an international audience, with your target standing next to you, it works no matter what network is broadcasting you, because if they should not dwell on your onstage strategy CNN will certainly pick it up and talk about it for weeks!

If you are a candidate and happen to repeat your scripted line over and over that will be pointed out to anyone who will listen that you are wet behind the ears and would make a great stage actor. You missed your calling Senator Rubio. With your memory and looks, sheesh, Academy Award easily.

But wait, lets get those wives out in front. If you want to play down you're being Jewish, bring out the Irish American wife before you say anything and introduce her to the crowd by her Irish American name and all the religious stuff is forgotten. OR, if you just want to scare people there is the first lady of New Jersey when she smiles. OR, if you happen to look like a movie star and happen to have married a cheerleader -- don't hide her, bring her out to show how successful you are in the wife department. OR, if you happen to be a millionaire and have a beautiful foreign wife, don't let her say anything like, "You people need to vote for dat mon my husbond so I can get into little Vhite House and paint it vit gilt and remove dat portrait of George Vashington and replace it vit a real painting -- a Picasso!"

I know I am being a horrible person, but you know what? I be sick to the back teeth. I was so glad the voting was over, I was so glad they were all leaving last night or today. I know this isn't over, I know they will be back. They will find me, plant signs in me yard, sticker me car, stick brochures in me door, flood me mailbox with campaign junk, take me favourite diner booth, and waylay me at the town dump to shake me hand and ask me to vote for them. I will not be able to get through a traffic light for the campaign volunteers waving signs at me so I can't see and probably have an accident which will bring the media and more exposure for their man or woman.

I will be subject to commercial after commercial of each one of them disparaging the other and expounding what is wrong with me health care. How about that student loan Gabe? Well, Gabe doesn't have one thank you very much.

How about building up the military Gabe? I have two dogs thank you don't need a military. NO Gabe, THE military not ADT. Oh!

Hey Gabe, taxes too high? Vote for Bernie and feel the Bern. Oh I do feel the Bern. Believe me each time I open me tax bill and you know what Sanders people? I don't want to lose what money I have left to socialist causes, done that, been there, got the UK t-shirt.

Hey Gabe, you need to be mindful that the Mexicans are illegal in New Hampshire and we need to build a wall at the Massachusetts border. Mr. Trump, I know one Mexican American and she isn't illegal and she doesn't live in New Hampshire!

Hey Gabe, you think Senator Rubio's ears are a little too long for his head? Senator Cruz I don't notice things like that. Ask me wife that question.

I know I be mad, letting off steam. Too long a night for the outcome I thought it would be. Want to not see another debate, another campaign bus, another campaign volunteer at me door, want it all gone. I know those damn road signs will not move until a candidate drops out. So bye bye Christie and Carly. Jeb, Trump, Sanders, Hillary, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio and Ben well sooner or later you too will begin to disappear UNTIL the candidates are selected at the conventions and then it starts all over again! But at least it won't be like Primary Time In New Hampshire. That is unique and a nightmare.

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

06 February, 2016

Revenge mail turns into jumbled dreams

06 February 2016

R. Linda:

I was realising how many times me email was binging and it occurred to me it was quite a bit. Not a wee bit, not a big wee bit, but a big bit. I also realised it was you emailing me for a story. Well, I had nothing funny going on. Of late leg surgery (though it went splendidly) makes Gabe grumpy when he can't go out and do the things he used to do. Especially when Gabe wants to get away from an unwelcome visitor in his abode. I know patience and it will all correct itself, but for the moment .  . .  you get me drift.

I got so used to hearing the bing from me phone as you continued with the pleas that went to threats about me not writing anything amusing, I almost was able to tune you out. I tried to be oblivious and ignore the constant binging. I think it took 130 bings before I got up off me arse and went to the computer.

Me purpose was not to write a funny story (as I had none) but to write revenge mail back at ya. However, as I waited for the soft glow of the computer screen to rev up, I was interrupted by me sainted dear old Irish mam with an Irish treat I hadn't had in years.

"Here ya gue, I haven't made dis treat fer a horses age." Said she shoving a plate of yellowman at me.

Who could resist this Irish treat? Not me, I plowed in with two huge junks of the stuff as she complained there was plenty and I'd choke meself. Then she added, "I put in new ingredients sos yer shoulda taken a wee bite first."

Well, the yellowman did taste peculiar to say the least.

"Wot?" I chewed looking up at her thinking that yes indeed, the candy tasted funny and I was not enjoying the "bite" (want for a better word to describe it).

"I tink I overdid it wit da cream of tartar and da cilantro."

You should know the woman has taken up looking at reruns of Emeril Lagasse, "kicking up" his recipes and she's taken it upon herself to do the same. The results are NOT good. And what be most annoying is her shouting, "BAM!" each time one takes a bite of whatever it is she's "kicked up."

Okay yellowman is a potato based sugary treat, and it shouldn't have either of those ingredients in it. I wanted to spit it out but I was being a bit of a pig and I didn't want to insult her, because if I did, she'd probably never make me another treat again (on hindsight that might not be a bad idea). So I gulped it down, or more accurately, forced it down. I had no more of it and will never eat yellowman made by me mam ever again!

Add to that horror, the Dragon lady has arrived with about ten suitcases because she was impressed with me surgery, she wanted the same for herself. So not bothering to find a surgeon in her own state she called up mine and scheduled appointments for eventual knee surgery here, so she has to recoup at me house. Goody NOT! But the deed be done and she be home from hospital and taking up an indefinite residence in me abode. I know now never to give out me personal surgeon information or say how easy me surgery went.

So between me mam "kicking up" her cooking to a state of inedible, and the Dragon moving in hooked up to drugs for the recovery, is it any wonder why I cannot find a funny story?

I had to lay down after ingesting the yellowman, and it felt like I swallowed a brick of cream of tartar mixed with a healthy sampling of cilantro. By the by, I don't like cilantro. In this state of dickey tummy, I mercifully fell asleep to avoid not only the tummy rumbling but the awful taste in me mouth.

So it was I had a revenge dream about YOU. Yes, all this took its toll it did and because me mobile phone was stilling binging away as I drifted into a miserable kind of sleep state, YOU were on me mind mixed in with the Dragon and the cement me mam tried to pass off as candy.

As it happened in me dream, I was seated at the kitchen table staring at Dragon's massive underpants as she had her newly operated knee propped up on the table. I felt the need to blind meself for life, but the large plate of tainted yellowman in the middle of the table got me attention. There was you, me mam, and me wife, all munching on the stuff talking about it's attributes as a culinary wonder. Yes, in me dream I was sitting with four nutcase foodies.

Suddenly, me mam says, "Oh da laundry room, da only place its safe ta drop yer pants ya noo."

What? I be thinking. Where did that come from? Has she lost her mind? Too much cilantro on the brain was it? What does the laundry room have to do with yellowman, and why be me attention back on Dragon's massive undies? I was so grossed out I wanted to get up but then you said this, "Yeah the laundry, do it yourself service, establishment not responsible for lost socks." And you all laughed like this was terribly funny, grab your gut funny, pee a little in your pants funny, roll on the floor funny. Which is what each of you did! I sat there thinking I was in an insane asylum laundry room with cuckoos munching cement candy.

I mumbled something like, "I can't take this," and started to get up when a male voice said, "I will tuck in on that."

In mid getting up, I looked over to see the Weasil next to the Dragon lady reaching for a block of yellowman.

"Don't cha do it!" I shouted, but too late he had the chunk of yellow cement in his mouth and oh my God, he was savouring it like it was delicious which I knew it was not, but it gave me pause that he actually seemed to be enjoying it.

"Are you nuts? That has cream of tartar and cilantro in it." I pointed out.

"Ummm ummm ummm." He said, his eyes closed in ecstasy.

"An insult said, how reassuring," me mam said to me pulling the plate of yellowman within Weasil's reach.

I sat down reluctantly and put me head in me hands and heard another male voice.

"What I just eat? Call a doctor."

And Weasil answered him with, "What are ya doing'?"

The voice answered, "I am Googling a doctor. It says you should see a doctor immediately after ingesting something distasteful."

I took me hands down to see Wolfie sitting between me mam (who looked at him with distain) and meself, himself furiously punching the keys of his mobile phone.

I sat there with me mouth open and noticed Dewdropper coming in the door. She looked at Wolf as he  kept punching in doctors, but before she could ask what he was so intent on, Weasil said, "You have to taste this."

She took a piece of the yellowman as I looked aghast at him that he'd even suggest such a thing.

"What does it taste like?" She asked no one in particular as she examined the block of yellow cement masquerading as Irish candy.

"Well . . . ," Wolfie said scrolling through emergency numbers, "old tyres, rotten egg, and . . . uh . . . burnt leaves."

Dewdropper dropped the candy like it was a snake back on the plate but not before Weasil intercepted it and popped it in his mouth. He chewed it like it was such a damn treat and was grossing me at least, out. Me mam was handing him more candy and he was eating it like there was no tomorrow.

"Wow that was delicious, Ima full now."

"Why stop when you're full," you said pushing the platter closer to him.

Meanwhile, Wolfie's scrolling was annoying the Dragon.

"What ARE you doing?" She challenged him.

"Its a hobby of mine, scrolling . . .  ," he said offhandedly.

"Hobby a nice word for addiction." You interjected.

THAT got his attention and he looked up at you. It was the first time I saw him lost for words. He was genuinely amazed. Before he could think of a retort, you reached behind you and slid a tray of tamales with salsa in front of him. Immediately Weasil's eyes lit up (as well as me own). Where you going to give the guy with nice hair all those tamales I wanted to know and asked out loud.

Before you could answer, everyone tucked in. It wasn't until me sixth tamale I realised I was on fire. I tried to put the raging tamale fire out by consuming vast quantities of tequila (which materialised out of Dewdropper's purse), which only made it worse. I watched as Dew slugged back shot after shot of tequila, her hair growing into a giant blond cloud, mercifully blotting out the view of Dragon's massive underwear. When I finally I got the fire out (well some of it out) by drinking ice cold Coke A Colas, bottle after bottle (20 bottles to be exact that Wolfie produced out of thin air), I found I was so blotto and bloated all at the same time, all I could do was fall asleep in me chair to escape me hot reality.

With a tequila numbed brain this was quite easy to do actually. I was left at the kitchen table by everyone who retired to the family room for the TV (probably to watch Emeril "kick up" some BAM food concoction), and later, I suppose they all went to bed, leaving me snoozing and snoring off the tamales still in the kitchen, and I would guess Wolfie off to the hospital to get his stomach pumped.

In me dream I found meself with the Weasil, and the Wolf after a time, fresh back from a good stomach pumping. What a combination that huh? I am not sure where we were but it was foreign like I was in Hong Kong or someplace like that because the Weasil was saying it was the "crosse roadies of the worldie" and we three were about to partake of some culinary peculiarities. Oh yes, we were, AGAIN!

While Wolfie was looking at the menu and muttering under his breath that "Everything is wasabi," I was perusing the menu thinking how many ways can you make tamales? There was five dozen different offerings of tamales in every imaginable sauce you could think of. I was tempted to order the tamales in corn chowder for the New England taste but realised we were not in Mexico so these tamales were probably not what I thought they might be, just like me mam's yellowman. I know . . . what does New England have to do with Mexico? No clue, but that was the way me dream was going.

"Why am I here?" I asked me two dinner companions. I was thinking I had done something wrong and this was the punishment, dinner with Weasil, in a foreign country, ordering food no one in their right mind would partake of.

"Because your life went down like the Hindenburg." Wolfe muttered. "Tandem knee surgery with the Dragon lady."

For the life of me, I couldn't think when and how that happened.

"I like tamales so . . . " I said trying to reckon a life failure with eating tamales.

"I wanted to go to the Comptoir," Wolfie glared at Weasil over his menu, "but someone, I won't mention who, insisted on Chinese tamales."

"What is a comptwah?" I asked saying it the way I heard it.

"Comptoir, like in Paris," Wolfie glared at me. "An informal and casual place to dine. Not this tres frequent'."

"Whoo hoo someone is a snobbity." Weasil chortled offended. A first actually because NOTHING offends the Weasil.

While I was trying to wrap me tongue around a tamale in caramel/wasabi sauce, me brain was trying to wrap itself around the word "snobbity" and worse me voice was trying out Wolfie's command of the French language with tres frequent.' I shouted out with tamale bits and caramel/wasabi sauce, "Croissant!" because that was what me voice could say I thought reasonably well in French, AND the only French word I sort of knew.

"Quah-so!" Wolfie corrected me with the French pronunciation, as he removed bits of me food from his clothing.

"Oh you want "quah-sos" do ya?" A voice said slamming down plates of tamales covered in duck sauce, wasabi, soy and I don't know what other Chinese sauce.

I looked up to see you, me muse, all indignant over croissants being desired over tamales.

"I need to get out of here." I said looking at the bubbling sauces permeating the tamale husks.

"YOU are going nowhere until YOU write me a story!" This said by you, hands on hips, looking like a fight was to be had. I knew you'd force the Chinese tamales down me chicken throat so I sighed and reluctantly mumbled if you'd wake me up, I'd go write you a story, sorry as it would be, which is what this is.

With deliberate glee you lifted the oozing platter over me head and the tamales hit me like a ton of yellowman bricks, the hot sauce making me stand straight up. I was AWAKE!

So there, you have your revenge, and I have mine. A half arsed story of our fav subject FOOD, but this was not food this was cement, liquid fire and a swift kick in me arse by the people who bedevil me for stories most.

I think I won the revenge battle. At least I be proclaiming victory here and now. Ha ha.

Oh and just for you me muse, I will give you this so you can gloat. THIS (see below) happened yesterday so your revenge of me not writing and sending me YOUR weather actually took place. So off to shovel!

When it was all said and done there is 6" of the white stuff for me to car plow
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

21 January, 2016

Back to the leg and leaving the hospital

21 January 2016

R. Linda:

As it happened, I was sent home with a torture device from the hospital. Yes, I was. I was told this mechanical wonder was prescribed by some surgeons to speed the leg bending process after surgery and others wanted the patient to work out the kinks on their own, I had the first kind of surgeon. Well, I was strapped into this thing first day in hospital . . . here let me show you, see below:

Continuous passive motion machine AKA torture device for some
I was all set for a pain filled gruelling session of torture, because I had heard about this device while in the hospital, actually I saw it being used on some poor soul a few rooms down. Me PT person was walking me down the halls to get the leg exercising when he stopped to ask a nurse a question, and there I was standing outside one of the patient rooms. I looked in because I could hear complaining.

"Oh hell is it time for that infernal thing?" A cranky voice shouted.

"Now sir, you know your doctor ordered this. Is that comfortable?" She asked strapping him in.

"You know it isn't when it starts moving!" Was his retort.

Well, having one of those "infernal things" delivered to me room made me take an interest.

The machine was turned on and the moaning and the "that hurts dammit" made me take pause. I was to be subject to this very same torture. I reluctantly went back to me room to stare at the machine sitting across from me bed. It was all  lined in sheepskin making it look like it was a comfy thing but now I knew better.

In the nurse came, the same one that had strapped that other patient to one and that made me cringe. Me roommate groaned when he saw it and said, "Oh God that thing! Glad it isn't for me! Had that the first time I had knee replacement surgery and oh God, how that hurt. Passive my ass! I thought I'd go through the roof each time I had to use it. AND the PT people kept making it move my leg higher!"

So with that statement I was ready for a screaming session followed by a yelling session. I was strapped in and told to ignore the guy next door, which was pretty hard when he asked them to close the curtains between us so he didn't have to watch the torture. She told me they had it on 70 degrees and I needed to get it to 100 as soon as I could, because using this thing would improve me ability to bend me knee. The degrees were the angle of bend in the knee. I told them because of the swelling that was impossible. She told me it was not. So much for me protests and excuses.

She turned it on, and this gentle whirring noise started and I lay there watching me knee being pushed back towards me chest waiting for the pain to start. I lay there wondering why I wasn't in excruciating pain. It was the ON-Q that had blocked the pain sensation and so me leg was easily gliding back and forth. I will say by the second day of me being home and machine home with me, I had reached the desired 100 degrees. But back in the hospital, me roommate had them open the curtains to watch with a stunned expression on his face that I wasn't wrestling me way out of the machine. I do believe if I did not have that pain inhibitor I would have been doing just that.

Once home I found getting into me bed an impossible task. We have an old fashioned four poster bed which is set high off the floor. I couldn't get in it for the life of me. Me operated leg felt very heavy with all the new metal inside it. Between me mam and Tonya they took the mattress and box spring and put them on the floor so all I had to do, was to slightly sit down and there I was. I am not one for sleeping on the floor as you well know, especially after the mattress tried to murder me in me sleep when I first moved in. I be sure you remember THAT episode (see Don't Try This At Home -- for that matter don't try it PERIOD! February 16, 2015). This sleeping in this manner made me frustrated so I worked those PT exercises to death to be able to get more mobility and did it in three days time. Tonya and mam got the bed back together calling me a wuss and all sorts of nice names because it was a chore to undo the bed and there I was demanding they put it back.

PT day one was very interesting for me at least. The first person to show up was a young lady who did heart, blood pressure, and paperwork. We chatted a treat and then in the afternoon the PT person showed up. He was missing fingers on both his hands and I politely did not ask about that, though I was very curious. He slipped on blue latex gloves and I watched the empty finger holes with fascination. It was hard to look away, and I wondered how he did his job without most of his digits. He was a bruiser of a guy, so no messing around. He had me in contortions that again if not for the ON-Q would have had me begging for mercy. At one point as we were finishing up the torture, he became fascinated with the electric fireplace. He went over to look it over, telling me to do 10 more receptions. He'd turn to ask me a question as I struggled with tired muscles until I realised he wasn't really paying any attention to me. I started doing the exercise with me other leg which was very easy. He had no clue and had turned to talk to me several times, and there I was with the wrong leg pumping away. I know I was cheating, but gees the first day home and six exercises right off the bat, with 10 reps each, three times a day, well to this guy it was rather much. All in all, I was able to do what he told me on me own and worked me way to three visits total from home care before being released to the outpatient PT services. On his last visit he took the ON-Q out and left me quaking that now the pain would start. To me surprise it didn't. I was sufficiently mobile with the knee not to need a pain killer.

My first visit to outpatient PT had me jittery I'd not last the car ride there. I sat with me legs across the backseat hoping I could last the 25 minute ride to the facility. I did with ease. Me new PT person was a woman who did a lot more than me last PT person when I had first broken me leg. She explained what muscles were weak and why we needed to strengthen them something the other one had not. She set me to coming three times a week but by week number two, I was down to two times a week and we got rid of the cane.

So I be progressing. Am back at work part time but from home. I can drive but they don't want me driving on slick, snowy roads, so I wonder if I be home all winter! Snow coming in this weekend so looks like I will not be driving for a while. I am bored I will tell you that. There is just a certain amount of exercising one can do twice a day that keeps one occupied for an hour and then there isn't anything to do because why? I moved to the freaking wilderness and I can't go out for the icy snow, the impassable roads, so here I be making paper air planes. Maybe I will take up origami. Make shamrocks and crazy stuff, annoy the family.

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

19 January, 2016

Taking the tree down - quite literally

19 January 2016

R. Linda:

We have been remiss in taking down the Christmas tree. Yes, it is past the time, Epiphany to be exact. All of us have made remarks in passing like, "Tomorrow I am taking down the tree" said by me wife. Two days later, "Oh I just didn't have the time. Maybe tomorrow" also said by the wife. Then there was me mam, "Dear meself make a noot to take doon da tree." Then a few days later she comes back with, "I just doont noo when I kin find da time ta take down dat tree dere."

Well, I wasn't taking down the tree, that was for certain. Here I was hobbling around with rods in me leg and THE APPLIANCE in me knee. Now during all this procrastination, the three boyos never indicated they heard about the tree coming down one way or the other. I think as far as me two oldest were concerned, it could stay up until next Christmas. But there was a certain something going on inside the head of me youngest. He didn't pay attention to his mother's threat to take it down, but he did me mam's. He has become very attached to her these days, and I wouldn't have noticed anything, if it wasn't for her last remark, that he was standing there actually listening to her. His eyes were slits in his head as he turned and looked at the lighted tree as if he were sizing it up. I should have been more observant when he walked over and gave out a big sigh and looked at it from top to bottom. But I be clueless, all concerned with meself and me leg that I didn't think anything of it.

A day or so later, we awoke to the sound of crashing glass. I will say to have to rush up out of bed, grab walker and shuffle meself to the sound was a dangerous thing. I almost collided with me mam as she came out of her bedroom throwing on her robe, Tonya not far behind us was muttering about break-ins.

I needn't have worried being out in the middle of nowhere, because it wasn't a break-in, it was a tree being taken down.What we found was the Christmas tree sprawled all over the living room floor. It looked like a wrestling match had happened and we had no clue if the cats had tried to climb it or what exactly happened. However, we hadn't far to look. There sprawled on the floor, all worn out from his desire to help "take down the tree" was this:

Yup passed out from the exertion
We all have learned not to talk in front of little ears because now we have smashed ornaments and quite the clean up. He's just fine and very proud of himself the wee hooligan that he be. He did his part and well we get the mess. Hey at least the tree is down and put away!

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

14 January, 2016

From Rock Star to Kermit the Frog in a matter of minutes - who knew?

02 January 2016

R. Linda:

So here is what happened such as it was. As you know I fell over one of the kiddo's dirt bikes backwards, and did a number on me mended leg that was once a broken mess. Not only did I undo the repairs to the thigh, but took out me knee in the process which meant a total replacement.

I found meself transported to a large hospital where I was given the news of major surgery and a convalescence period of possibility 12 weeks. I did not care at the time I just wanted to be fixed and out of pain quickly though I knew I could be waking up to even more pain, but at least I'd be mended (I hoped).

A woman anaesthesiologist came to me gurney-side and told me she was a former military doctor. That what she was going to do for me was somewhat experimental but had great results for a quicker get up out of bed and go period. Further, that I'd be getting a saddle block of sorts where they would numb me spinal area so I was not feeling anything from the waist down and I'd have a very restful sleep, nothing like the dark void usually associated with surgical anaesthesia. I was half getting this for the stress I found meself under, but alright lets get the show on the road.

I was given the spinal which was a peripheral nerve block and next I know I am napping. I had dreams of being in Disney World, caught up in the Beauty and Beast cartoon when I awoke, fully conscious, without that drug haze, and I knew exactly where I was and what had been done (which in itself is not usually the case when one is trying to wake up from heavy anaesthesia). I knew who everyone was and I found that totally amazing. I asked if there was music playing while I was operated on, yes there was. Was Disney World discussed, yes it had been. Wow, I thought I was still conscious on another level! How cool was that I wanted to know.

The surgical doctor told me I had a catheter filled with pain medication (also used by the military) to ease me pain and it was inserted in me thigh and would stay there for four days on which time the visiting care service would remove it. This is called the ON-Q pain relief system. It is a pump that pumps the flow of pain killer needed in the area operated on. I was asked if I needed a pain medication and to be honest I had no pain to speak of, so no I did not. When the catheter was removed I did not need the pain meds then either. The catheter had me free of pain so I could move me leg normally. The only slight hindrance was the swelling, but a week of being home and it was near gone because exercising the leg caused the fluids to disappear quicker than normally. This got me into PT sooner and free of the cane within two weeks. I walk normally and some of the area around the knee in particular is still a wee bit numb but as I exercise it is slowly disappearing. After two weeks of outpatient PT three times a week, I be now down to two.

It looks like I won't need the 12 weeks recovery. This new process with a new version of knee that allows pivoting and flex of the knee joint, was all part of a military procedure I was told. Seems with so much going on I assume in Afghanistan and Iraq they needed to get our boys up and out of the danger area and this process was developed to do just that. It was so successful they are beginning to use it on stateside patients. So far the results are positive.

While I was in hospital which was only two days (they could have released me the next actually), I had some very interesting encounters. One was the 4 a.m. vampire call for blood by a jolly blood taker who had a Jamaican accent that was just wonderful to listen to, it was all sunshine and a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean. I had noticed on me hospital I.D. bracelet the letters HAR on the side. I forget now what it stood for, so being me silly self I asked him for the magic word or no blood. I had him "harring" like a pirate each time he saw me. I am sure we woke me bed mate up laughing like too bloody fools, but I blame it on the drug in me leg making me slightly insane. His excuse I dunno, just that he told me he'd become me resident vampire for me stay. He even told me he was so good at taking blood he could do it in the dark, and yes, stupid me challenged him but he at least had presence of mind to just tell me to take his pirate word for it. Har!

I was known as the rock star on me floor because I was up and out of bed the same day I had surgery and walking or I should say running down the halls. Me hospital PT person was at me to "slow it down," but I tell ya I felt really good. It wasn't until the circumstance of the green scrubs came to light I lost me rock star glow. I had noticed the sweatpants I wore were too tight around the then swollen incision. Me PT person told me the material was hindering me walking, so he got me a pair of green scrubs from the supply closet. I put them on. They were comfy and did not cling to the swollen knee. I started out for a stroll I did. It was early and the cleaning staff had come on. It was at first bizarre, me with me walker clopping down the hall and getting these looks from the staff like "What are you doing?" I was perplexed. I came back to me room to find a woman in green scrubs making me bad. She stopped and glared at me.

"You think you're funny?" She hissed.


"The green scrubs." She pointed out slapping the sheet in the air.

"What about em?"

"Those are what WE wear. The cleaning staff. Are you making fun?" She said busy with me bed.

"Uh, no," said I looking down at me green outfit and then at hers. They were the same.

"You should be glad someone hasn't come and got you to change dirty bed linens, mop the bathroom, or push a gurney with a patient in it someplace."

She left me, me bed freshened to contemplate all that. Well, I was going home so me chagrin did not last but for five seconds. I got me coat and belongings as the discharge nurse came in with me wife. She looked at me strangely, but now I knew why. I did not explain, but if I saw me PT person I'd have a few choice words for him, I would. Tonya thought I looked like I was about to perform surgery and said such just as the cleaning woman came back with fresh towels.

"Looks like an over sized Kermit the frog to me." She said still irritated at yours truly's garb.

Oh well, so it was. I went home with me cleaning person scrubs not caring too much for the fall from rock star grace. I might have been feeling a wee bit bad I made the cleaning staff think I was making fun of them when in reality it was me PT person. Obviously, he had a grudge against them and used me to bang that on through. I had seen one of them having words with him for using the fresh towels for exercise equipment a few days before he dressed the best patient he had up in their scrubs. He knew I'd make the rounds (dumb fecker that I was at the time) and THAT would get them. And it did!

I hope for meself I don't have to return to that hospital anytime soon. I be sure I will be remembered by everyone, yes R. Linda, everyone!

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

24 December, 2015

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey You'll Ever Eat -- Right!

29 November 2015

R. Linda:

As you can surmise, me mother-in-law came up early for Thanksgiving dinner, WHICH I might add, she was not invited to. We thought (wrongly so) that she'd be with her family in Jersey. But no, she came up with Big Tony a week ago announcing they were driving up to see the "pretty foliage" I had raved about. Forget the fact that was last month (October) I said that, they descended upon me abode finding there was no foliage (it had all fallen down) and well, it was so close to Thanksgiving, why not invite herself and Big? What were we to do? Say no go back to New Jersey? Well, we couldn't do that now could we? I could have, but the wife couldn't very well send her parents packing.

This self invitation (which you know I hate), was made smoother by saying they were providing the turkey and would be happy to go in on the "fixings" (as they referred to the side dishes) and make dessert. Well, me mam was okay with that as she told me she was tired of cooking anyway and needed a day off.

Now me mam does not do all the cooking as she loudly tells anyone who will listen she does, but we say nothing about that fact, just nod and thank her very much for all her help. Uh huh. BUT she had one request of me and that was to make sure she sat as far away from the Dragon lady as humanly possible. Place settings are not unheard of in the UK as they seem to be here, so she went about telling all she would set the table like back in the UK and hoped we'd like the decor. Yeah right mam, that was well put, the wool being pulled over every ones eyes but mine, since I knew what she was up to. I left her to it and come to find she be sitting next to me at the head of the table, with O'Hare on me other side and way down at the foot is Tonya with her mom on one side and her da on the opposite. In-between were the kiddos and one other invited guest (also not my idea) that Tonya invited, Lois, smack in the middle of the kiddos.

Prior to this the Dragon had gone down to the local farm stand where there was a large sign that said, "Pre-order your holiday turkey now." She did, she put the $20.00 down and ordered a 18 lb. bird. She was thinking an 18 lb. bird would run her maybe $30.00 at the most. She announced to us that the bird was ordered and she'd pick it up the day before turkey day. She also went into great detail that this was an organic bird, a young bird, and would be a fresh killed bird by Wednesday, and oh it will taste like the best turkey we ever had.

Meanwhile, me mam was off to the supermarket. And as she is perusing the shelfs this man in a golf hat stops next to her, bends in her direction and croons, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," and at first she be startled, then amused but says nothing and carries on. Next aisle he spies his prey as she described herself later, and zooms on up next to her and croons, "Jackfrost nipping at your nose," and now she's disturbed by this and shuffles quickly away to his, "Yuletide carols being sung by a choir."

Around the next aisle and there he is coming at her with "And folks dressed up like Eskimos," and well she turns back around and as she's slogging her way two aisles over she hears the squeak of cart wheels coming up fast behind her and the crooning of, "Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe," at which she stops and turns and says to him, "Da only turkey I know be YOU! And dere ain't no mistletoe in dis aisle. Stop it befur I truss and bast yer arse for dinner!" And off she goes to him standing there with loads of people around him, red in the face his overture had turned a sour note. I tell ya, the woman has these troubles she does.

It took all she had not to make one more stop, but that was at the craft store, plenty of women in there, so no fear of the dirty old supermarket guys. In she goes, she's looking for a holiday candle for the table centrepiece. She decided scented spice would be the thing and to the candle section, so off she takes. There already be another shopper, a friendly woman who says to her, "Most of these are battery operated. I want a real wax candle." To which me mam looks and points out behind the woman are the wax candles. They chat as they look at the scents and me mam says she needs three brownish candles for the holiday centrepiece and the woman stops her and says, "You need two brownish ones and a white one."

"Nooo, I need three brownish ones."

"No, you need the Christ candle and that has to be white." The woman is adamant.

Now me mam be getting agitated. First the annoyance (as she called him) at the market, and here a bigger annoyance in the Christian woman who insists she knows best for me mam.

Mam slowly removed first one brownish spice scented pillar candle and then another. Since there was not a third, she saw a gold spice scented pillar and decided close enough. She slowly pulled that one out and put it with the others in her hand basket. The woman looked disapprovingly at the gold candle.

"I know it be not white. It be gold, even better get over it." And off she went leaving the gapping woman staring after her.

She can't cut a break. She's determined never to go shopping again. I can't say I blame her.

Comes the day before the big day. Dragon drives on down to the farm stand and gets in line to pay the balance on her bird and finds she owes them $60.00 more dollars. I wish I had been there to see the stunned look on her face as she stuttered, "I paid $20.00 already, that would be $80.00 for a turkey."

"Not any turkey, this is fresh turkey, was just walking around yesterday, and it will be the best turkey you've ever eaten." Said the woman at the counter.

Well, the Dragon looked around her at the people in line behind her, no one stepped out to scoot away now that prices were being spoken out loud, no not one blinked an eye. So she got out her purse and paid the $60.00 she owed and got her bird and came home in a financial daze.

We all tried not to laugh or criticise, hard as that was. Me wife already knew that farm stand was pricey and she did try to tell her mother before she even went there that they were, but the Dragon didn't want to hear it, therefore, she paid the price for fresh New Hampshire turkey. Yup she did.

May I say when all was eaten and cleaned up, that the price of that bird was not worth it? It had fat under a very tough skin, it didn't taste like a butterball and why should it? There was no injections of buttery richness under the skin. AND it took forever to cook. After several glasses of wine, no one cared how long it took, but it just wasn't what the Dragon had buttered us up to think it would be, while trying to make light of a big waste of her money.

But need I forget, let me get back to Lois. Oh my God, Lois! Lois is a good hearted soul, even if she doesn't like wearing clothes under her ratty old raincoat, but she has a good sense of the jollies and she had us laughing. Everyone but the prim and proper Dragon that is. We had sat down to dinner, said a blessing, toasted our very first Thanksgiving in our new abode and before the hostess could pick up her fork to signal the rest of us to begin, Lois had already dug in and was pretty much on seconds. Maybe that wouldn't have been too bad but unfortunately the sideboard where the turkey platter was resting was behind the Dragon, and Lois showing no shame as we began, had Dragon turning in her seat to pass the platter of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.  back over to her. And once the seconds were on Lois's plate she would hand the dishes back. I particularly enjoyed her having Dragon hold the turkey platter aloft as she selected more meat. The Dragon's sighs were audible but lost on Lois. This, as you can well imagine had us sitting with a very grumpy Dragon and we were all on tenterhooks (all except me mam who had a twinkle in her eye to see how long it would take for the Dragon to blow up at Lois).

It didn't take long, but Lois was oblivious. She made jokes about all the mutterings issuing forth off the Dragon's tongue. She talked about herself dominating the dinner conversation completely. Every time the Dragon tried to change the subject from barn animals (Lois's fav topic) to something more cosmopolitan, Lois would find a way to compare whatever was said with a barnyard situation which was graphically expounded upon by Lois in full animated mode. Yup it was. AND that sort of thing of course, had the kiddos spellbound and asking all kinds of inappropriate questions. Yes indeed!

The best Guido comment was when Lois had finished up telling us how a "coffin bone came right down into the hoof" of a horse she was taking care of, and Guido (not losing a beat) pipes up, "Miss Lois my grandma iz gonna have her bones replaced in the hospice."

He was referring to Dragon's upcoming knee replacement, in hospital. He has no clue what a hospice is but the Dragon knew exactly who he was referring to and looked rather pale and shocked at the word he incorrectly used. The superstitious Dragon then began referring (at first jokingly) that this might be her last Thanksgiving. Well, I don't have to tell you how that flew, me mam after behaving herself most of the dinner took off with that making joke after Irish joke.

"Wot be dat sayin' Gabriel? May ye be in heaven an hour befur da deevil tinks yer dead." And she'd laugh and this I could see as she found more of these pearls, annoyed the Dragon no end. But alas, she was saved when the Dragon tried to change the subject and gain sympathy.

"My diabetes is making my legs ache." The Dragon announced.

Alert as always to other peoples ailments, Guido once again piped up with his two pence.

"If yer weren't obeast yer wouldn't have dat trouble." The young man observed very seriously.

"Obese," Me mam mumbled to me, "the good laddie means obese."

There was total silence in the room as I shushed me mam. I was thinking Guido killed one word with two because obese and beast did apply as far as I was concerned.

Well, the damage was done, the Dragon hasn't spoken to the young "good laddie" for a few days. She chaffed at that comment and may never recover.

The last laugh though may be upon me head, or more appropriately me leg. Just after the Dragon and Big Tony went home and me back to work, I pulled in to me abode (with time change it is dark outside now) and without thinking turned to get me briefcase and as I stepped back to close the car door found I walked into a dirt bike left outside by the entrance. I lost me balance and over backwards I went and I really did a number. I broke the titanium rod in me leg from the fall. The end looked like a golf ball pushing me skin up. The commotion I made brought the whole family out and I was transported to hospital where not only did I have to have me leg reset with new rods, but I torn me knee up with it and had to have a total replacement surgery. I tell ya I be quite a bit certain the Dragon (when she heard) was laughing even though she did threatened to come up and take care of me. Oi!

This is why I am so back on stories, but as I heal (12 weeks of torture in PT) I should have some stories for ya.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

22 November, 2015

Is the Gingerbread Castle for sale?

22 November 2015

R. Linda:

There is no other way to say it, but say it how it is and the sad truth be, this: Dragon has got it into her head that she's moving to New Hampshire. The excuse be that she be tired of people asking what exit she lives off, the traffic on the Garden State is horrendous, too many people, and the weather has changed to a state of drastic. So, time to move!

As this news was sinking into me numb denying brain, I piped up in a squeaky sulking voice, "Why not move to Colorado?"

"Colorado? What's in Colorado?" The Dragon's voice was incredulous.

"Uh . . . R. Linda?" I squeaked.

"Who is R. Linda?" She asked getting annoyed at me.

"Me muse." I said.

Her eyes narrowed and she looked at me like she had no time for me. She waved a hand at me in dismissal. If she had a wand in it, I am sure she'd have reduced yours truly to frog status, ah-ribbit!

"But why?" I moaned to me wife as Dragon left the room.

"Because it is pretty here." She answered, using me own words to describe where I live right back at me.

"Woe is yours truly." I whined.

That was enough for her to get up and leave for more coffee in the kitchen, where the Dragon was busy depanning muffins. It was only me and me Mam in the den. She was sitting looking down at the floor, teacup balanced precariously in her lax fingers, she sighed heavily and I knew she was thinking the same thoughts I was. WHY?

I whispered to her that I was not happy about this development. She sighed back, nodding. Kindred spirits we two, sitting there trying to think how to stop the woman, but neither of us wanted to send our thoughts there. Too much work.

"I knoo," Mam said in a low voice, "you and me will move to Colorado."

"Oh yeah sure, and leave Tonya and the kiddos at the mercy of the dragon lady. We can't do that and if we even hinted at doing that, the Dragon would surround them with legal waggons and we wouldn't stand an arrows chance of getting them out of there."

"Wot?" Mam said looking at me like I had just spoken a string of Chinese.

"Never mind."

I got up and paced from one end of the house to the other. As I came pacing by me mam, who was still sitting where I left her, she pulled at me sleeve and I bent down to hear her whisper, "At least she isn't moving in! In here with us."

I stood up and well yes, yes that was true and there were no homes next to us for sale, though there was one down the way. Oh boy, just down the road, way too close.

"I can see wot yer tinkin'. Dat hoose down da rood." Me mother's Irish was becoming thick as her nerves got more scrambled.

"Its big, it would fit all her fumily in it, she would be within walking distance and she could lord it over er' former neighbours in Jersey that she bought another giant hoose! A giant hoose not far from er' beloved dotter and er' kiddos."

Yup, antique colonial, Currier and Ives, goes back into the woods, BIG enough for a Dragon lair!
I nodded thinking that over. Yes, that be exactly what she'd do. She'd then invite the entire Jersey shore up for a visit and of course, then like a tour guide, she'd walk them to me abode to see how her son-in-law doesn't do yard work, but the three wee kiddos were just so adorable. Yup I could see it all now. And when the Jersey folks went home, she'd join the local garden club and tell them all about what an awful man I be and how I don't do a lick of yard work, etc. Yes, me name would become infamous and everyone would know me business.

"We must stop this!" I said louder than I meant to. But I was in a panic I was. What to do?

Me mam stuck a finger in the air like she was testing for a breeze. I stopped and bent down as she whispered, "YOU must buy dat big hoose. Dat way she can't live dat cloose."

"With what me good looks?" I asked actually entertaining the idea -- that is how desperate I was getting.

"Noo, I will give ye wot ya need." Me mam said nodding. And she was serious, and I be thinking she doesn't have that kind of money. But if she did . . . no, I couldn't but I was sorely tempted. It be true the woman has no sense of what real estate in this country costs, compared to Ireland where everything to someone here would seem a bargain!

Meanwhile, as if me day couldn't get any worse I get this cryptic invite from the Weasil, asking me to fly to Scotland for the annual haggis hunt. Now there be no creature such as a haggis, it be a sheep bladder stuffed with entrails and oatmeal that be cooked and served up with potatoes and turnips and lots of strong whiskey. But for some reason he has got it into his head that it isn't a sheep bladder filled with things most people would not eat, but the finished product comes from a kind of rabbit like creature (a large hare actually) with horns like a reindeer. He even has one mounted in his trophy room. Yes, he has a trophy room! I mean who doesn't? Oi.

Courtesy Museum of the Weird
Yes, THIS is what the Weasil thinks is a haggis in the wild
Me mam pointed out it be an escape for one of us if Dragon does buy that house. Uh yes, yes it would be, but at that moment I couldn't reckon which was worse. Helping Dragon move into a home much too close to me own OR, going hunting for a creature that exists in the mind of a lunatic for a long weekend. The results would be the same, I'd be coming home to an ensconced Dragon anyway, so the hunt was out.

I did wonder if the childhood memory the Dragon-in-law often regaled me kiddos about was still standing. She told us stories about a place in Hamburg, New Jersey called the Gingerbread Castle, where she was taken as a kid for a tour of the witches castle and upon conclusion, a helping of fresh baked gingerbread with lots of whipped cream. THAT is the place for her. I just know it is. But alas, I was told it does not stand very firmly BUT I think it's for sale! If only I could get those fond memories of her early witchhood flowing, she might go back and buy the place. YES that's it!

Is this perfect or what?
I did bring that subject up or at least tried to. She wouldn't listen, just waved me away and laughed like it was a foolish idea. I will keep trying, I will!

After an hour of worrying, I called the Realtor who sold me my abode. I told her Dragon was going to ring her about house viewings and to not show her anything in me neighbourhood. She laughed. I didn't share her amusement I can tell ya that much! After more hemming and hawing as they say in Vermont, I got a "I'll see what I can do" out of her. I was not encouraged, but I pushed on with the request, could she put a sold sign on the house sign just down the road from me? I already knew Dragon had seen the for sale sign, so maybe . . . no, that couldn't be done because if a buyer was out riding around and saw that house then they wouldn't bother and Mrs. Realtor would be out a sale. SIGH. Besides, she said, that house has been vacant for two years and they'd like to sell it. Oh and by the way, the price on it has come way down. Oh great just the news I didn't want to hear, but then wait -- maybe me mam COULD afford it! How much was it I asked, and the answer was still too pricy.

So I be sitting here dreading the day Dragon comes swooping in on her broomstick to inform us she's found a house. Not just any house, but the one up the road. Eee-yeh. Though I did try to head that off at the pass (as they say in Colorado) and told her, "Yeah I looked at that house, it was filled with fleas, seems former owner had two mastiffs and they were full of fleas." That little nugget made her eyes open wide until me own wife had to interject that we never looked at that house it was much too big and expensive. Thanks Tonya! So I quickly jumped in and said, "I heard that's why it hasn't sold."

Oh yeah, that went over like a lead balloon (like they say in New Jersey) and that was that for now. Any ideas you might have to stop the Dragon lady from moving here, AND looking at homes close to me own would be much appreciated. Meanwhile, I be contemplating that invite to Scotland. Thinking I could get lost in the Highlands for months or years. I could live in the haunted castle that Weasil went ghost hunting in, me mam could smuggle the wife and kiddos up there and the Dragon would wonder what magic trick made us all disappear. I know I be off on a panicked tangent (without the excuse of spicy food). So would you if you had the Dragon lady's shadow about to loom over your house for the rest of your life.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

15 November, 2015

Viva La France!

I believe this says it all.

Courtesy BBC News

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

31 October, 2015

Driving The Captain's Car With The Captain In It This Time

31 October 2015

R. Linda:

Well, I got me wish or curse, as the case may be told. I got a call early this morn, the Captain had a gig down in Massachusetts and would be sailing by me abode on the way home if I liked. I was coffee-less as it were and said, "Sure Captain, sail on in, I'll have the dock ready for the Pearl. Har!" And so it was the Pearl sailed in with the Captain at the helm. I was ordered back inside to get me Captain Hook costume on, but Hook disappeared in the move, so out of the boot of the Pearl the Captain produced Hook's brother Bentley Hook's blue pirate coat, ruff, hat, wig, and SWORD. The sword was the thing, if it wasn't for THAT I wouldn't have dressed up as Hook's younger and better looking bro!

Oh and this was not just any sword, the sword actually made electronic swishing and clanging noises, so you can see THAT was quite a big thing for yours truly.

So once dressed and still coffee-less, I was thrown in the passenger side of the Pearl and we were flying like the Dutchman out the drive and onto the country roads where there is usually NO ONE. But today, because I was dressed like a fool, there were lots of people walking dogs or jogging. Yes, but lucky for us they were facing the same direction as we were, so they did not get see the two jolly Roger's in the front seat. UNTIL we came to a little country bistro that specialises in breakfast on down the road. Parking is on both sides of the road, and it being Saturday it was packed. There were people crossing the road and here it is the law one must stop as pedestrians go first! I had to sit there cringing as pointing children and worse, their parents pointed at us all animated curiosity that the license plate indicated it was Captain Jack Sparrow and yes, he did roll down his window and gave a spectacular performance of guiding the gawking and amused public across the road so we could proceed. I am sure that made THEIR day.

I was slumped in me seat while this was going on, hoping no one I knew was in the gawking crowd. Once our path was clear we started on and I told Captain Jack we were good to go for a while because it was highway, one lane, no lights until we hit two towns over. And that light was always green so no fear of stopping, but hark, we were coming up to it when it changed to amber and were too far back to gun the Pearl through (not that the Captain would, seeing how stopping with people in other cars staring doesn't faze him).

So there we were by ourselves, me thanking the heavens until a car on the right pulled into the turn lane next to us and another on the left. We were sandwiched there for a good five minutes and the gawkers on the left sat through the go light because they were too busy trying to get our attention of which I would not let the Captain even look their way for fear of just that happening. Our light changed and off we flew.

I was begging for coffee, I needed it bad. The Captain was all for hitting a pub to brace me up, but it was 10:30 a.m. and well, none open! Thank the good Lord for THAT or he would have stopped. As it was, he was all for stopping at a Whole Foods Store just to be seen inside. I tell ya.

"A little trick or treat, Cappy. I could get us free food if you are inclined." He laughed but he was serious, I just know he was. The answer was DRIVE ON CAPTAIN!

So it was on to Dunks we went and I have to tell you it was a pleasant time it was. We ordered at the drive thru (because there was no way he was getting me out of the Pearl) and we pulled up to three wenches dressed in girly pirate gear. They were surprised to see us at first until they noticed the Captain and then it was everyone who worked there was at the drive thru window to see if that WAS really Johnny Depp ordering coffee and donuts. I tell ya, the Captain made the most of this he did. HE got a free donut and coffee, I had to pay! What is up with that I wanted to know. He told the "wenches" they would make perfect partners for us two pirates and they were all about that. I wanted to hit him with me sword but I was too amazed at this flirting that I just sat there like an idiot with me yammer hanging open.

To add insult to injury I handed him me money, a ten dollar bill and so enamoured of the gushing wenches or because he didn't want to burst their Johnny Depp bubble, he told them to keep the change, me change!!!

Somehow we extracted ourselves from the fawning and flirting, pulling off to drink our coffee and eat a few donuts. I should know the Captain gets high on sugar because when he was done, he got the Pearl in gear and off we sailed down the road, him waving and doffing his Captain tri-cornered hat at all the adoring people. I tell ya the man has no modesty whatsoever. By now we were on a two lane town road. I think most people were still waking up so we were relatively unnoticed unless we pulled up next to them at a light and the Captain did his number on them. Hard to believe I know! Gees.

Incognito didn't last long because we hit a village green and there were people walking to the general store who certainly saw us. The first glance they stop, double take, look again, an uncertain smile comes across their faces, then recognition of who one us looked like, then wide smiles, tentative waves and finally the total abandonment of amusement fills their whole bodies as suddenly the thought hits them, HEY THAT LOOKS LIKE JOHNNY DEPP! HELL, THAT IS JOHNNY DEPP! And they start toward the direction of the car, read the license plate and then ARE CONVINCED R. Linda, that has to be HIM!

Unfortunately for the star struck the Captain be used to all this and knows when to put the boot to the pedal and zoom on out of there leaving them wondering. Yes, he's very good at manoeuvring himself out of what could be long autograph sessions with him denying he is who they hope he is which always ends with them not believing he isn't who they think he is, but says he is not. Oi!

THAT happened when the Captain had a sneezing fit and needed tissues. We pulled up to a Walgreens and he handed me a ten and instructions I should go in and buy him a box of Kleenex and anything else I might want.

"Nooo, why me? You're the one needs the tissues." I pointed out as we sat in front of the store, passersby starting to notice.

"If I go in there mate, I will be mistaken for you know who and never get out. It would be faster and painless YOU do it."

I couldn't find any reasoning not to do his bidding and so I did. Not an eye blinked at me get up. You would think tall men dressed as pirate captains come into Walgreens every day of the year! When I came out I found the Captain signing autographs (whose name he was writing I do not know), and he used me as his excuse to go, citing I had a terrible case of seasickness and he needed to get me home. All this said sounding like Depp and using Jack witticisms at me expense. Much laughter directed at me and off we sailed. I tell ya!

The drive home was uneventful as there was hardly any traffic but the traffic there was DID notice us, unlike the morning traffic that was tooling along, drivers deep in their own thoughts.

So now I know what it is like to be Captain Jack and drive the Pearl around. I would think on Halloween (such is the day) we were not given a second thought, but if it WASN'T Halloween, I bet we would attract lots more attention.

He did tell me he's been pulled over by the police for silly things, just so they can get a gander at him. He has told me ladies get all excited and flushed of face when they pull up and realise who is sitting in the next car over. I can attest this true as it happened several times, especially when we pulled through Wal Mart and had to wait to make a turn and if it was a woman making that turn well golly gee womphers as the Weasil would say, they would actually stop, roll down the window and yell, "JACK! I LOVE YOU JACK!" Oi.

Jack has told me he knows a makeup artist will do a nice job on the Weasil to make him look "exactly" like DiCaprio and we can drive around in a limo next year. Wouldn't that be a thrill he asked me. Well Jack, no, no it would not because for one thing, Weasil would truly get into that and there would be no getting him out of character or home, ever. I would be stuck forever being his chauffeur and I can't imagine the torture THAT would be like. No, this was enough for me. I be not curious any longer how the famous move among the public. I do know I couldn't do it. I couldn't keep up the act that's for darn sure. I'd be too overwrought by the time I got home, I'd be certifiable. More power to the Captain, I guess his personality is adjustable and he enjoys it.

The mind boggles.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

17 October, 2015

Fall in New Hampshire - Beautiful!

17 October 2015

R. Linda:

As a result of the dry September we had in New England, October has burst forth wearing her party colours. The beauty of it all just floored me this year. Usually, New Hampshire is always an autumn guarantee of oohs and ahhs because of the vast amount of trees it has. Since the state is mostly rural, this is not even a thought in the minds of the natives. It has always been beautiful in the autumn and it is naturally expected to be so every fall. But this one, this one is spectacular!

I wish I had a Go-Pro because yesterday on me way to work, the leaves spiralled down doing that dance they do with the wind, and oh the colours! The road was a red carpet so brilliant and bright, the rain shower could not dull the colours. I decided to put a few pics up for you because I just want to share the loveliness that is New Hampshire where I live.

AND, because you have an affinity for Halloween, I have put in some pics of decorations around the way.

Foliage and view first:

Looking toward Manchester, N.H.

Autumn yellows and golds
Pretty drive on N. H. country road
New Hampshire back road

Red, gold and orange

Blue skies - red leaves

Colours at the edge of the woods

Fall Road

Maple dressed for Autumn

Red Carpet

Leaves on a barn floor

Pumpkin bucket topiary

Pumpkin Tree

Red Leaf Path

Pumpkin Children

Floating Jacks

Ghost Pond

Barn Decor

Our ghost and vampire dining table

Mummy in the office

Ghostly dining room

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

03 October, 2015

Here's an awful thought: Can one go without the elixir of the gods for even a day?

03 October 2015

R. Linda:

I often ponder what the world be coming to, but more importantly me ego is wondering what in the world me own world be coming to, especially if the world was to run out of coffee. I tell ya right up front, I'd be totally useless. Coffee be me life blood, me fix. Without it I become someone I don't recognise. Take the other morning, I got up because the dogs were making a ruckus they wanted out, they wanted to be fed, and they simply did not care it was the crack of dawn they were getting me up to satisfy their wants over me want of sleep!

I blindly went about the process of watering and feeding, and letting out. I was then waylaid by the cats, who wanted equal treatment, and so the same thing and THIS did not put me in a good mood. I knew I wouldn't make it back to bed, I was up even if I was in a sleep induced fog.

Enter the old one, shuffling in and muttering did I make the coffee? Well, duh no, no I didn't. I had been quite a bit busy!

She pulled up a stool and planted her elbows on the counter top, head in hands as if she had a headache and does nothing! I be starting to feel the insult of me doing everything for everyone. I grabbed the coffee pot, filled it with water, then fumbled for the coffee filters, slapped one in the coffee thingee and then grabbed the canister of coffee and what ho! NO FREAKING COFFEE. I was near beside meself I tell ya. How could this happen? We had coffee yesterday, then it dawned on me. The old woman (since arriving upon these shores) has developed the penchant for many cups of the black gold every hour on the hour and makes at least five pots a day, which she has the luxury of sipping at her leisure.

EMPTY!!! Oh the horror.
I turned to her speaking of the unfairness of not replacing the coffee, as she was still sitting slumped over the counter, eyes closed when I realised the sound I was hearing was her snoring! Yes, R. Linda she didn't have the decency to seem me reaction to the empty and horrifying thought that there would be no coffee that morning. Nor, did she hear that I was blaming her! No one was there to see the angst as I clutched the coffee measurer to me chest as if in heart attack mode, me breathing was hyperventilation at it's best, with no appreciative audience. The dogs and cats were out and SHE was out all asleep and SNORING like this situation was of no dire consequence. I tell ya!

I threw the measurer in the sink with a bang and that woke her with a start.

"Oh coffee be ready?" She asked blinking.

"No, coffee be not ready, there be no coffee because someone, I won't mention who, has drunk it all and did not replace it."

Nothing, not a stir, just sat there blinking at me like she had never seen me before in her entire life.

I sat across the counter staring at her as she blinked her way to sinking her head on her arms, on the counter and either she was feigning sleep or really back at it. I was about to shake her awake when the cheery wife enters with good mornings all around and if not for that I wouldn't have known the status of me mam, but that she gave herself away with a muffled "good morning'."

I explained the coffee situation in halting sentences trying to keep the tears from spilling over me face, as the pain of knowing I had to start me day coffee-less was more than staring me right in the face or in this case, empty cup. This explanation of a coffee hound's flagrant misuse of coffee, who was sitting across from me, brought that particular person to semi-conscientiousness as she mumbled her protests and said how I got her started on loving that beverage so therefore, it was all me fault!

The wife pulled a fast one and took herself off by covertly opening the side door where we could not see or hear her existing the bickering abode as she did not like mother/son confrontations and there have been some doozies! It took us two hours to discover the wife had left us on our own.

"Maybe she went for coffee," Mam suggested all hopeful.

"No, she went shopping, she does that when we bicker if you haven't noticed." I said pointing out the set of copper jello molds she decorated the kitchen with, the set of new cutlery we did not need, the new door mats, the set of wooden spoons, and the new curtains (we also did not need). That tell ya how many argys me and Mam have had?

Well, to make a very long coffee-less day short, Tonya did not appear until 5 p.m. Meanwhile, mam and I sat at the counter in our pyjamas, bickering. When Tonya appeared, she greeted us with, "Look what I bought Bickersons!"

She bought a Kurig coffee maker which lit the two of us still sleepy people up, only to find she forgot the K cups. How does that happen? She had picked up tea and hot chocolate K cups no coffee! I was near beside meself as she went back to the car to check for coffee K cups. She thought she bought some, so maybe they fell out of the bag.

I knew that would be too good to be true and as we two coffee-less wonders waited for her to come back the snipping started again.

"I tink wit dis ting she bought you will horde da cuppy tings." Mam threw at me.

We didn't even have it set up, we had no coffee k cups and already I was being accused of doing what she probably had in mind to do herself, I tell ya!

Tonya returned with a cup of Dunk's coffee in hand and wow did mam and I perk up. She took the last sip and announced she had not bought the coffee k cups. WHO DOES THAT TO SUFFERING PEOPLE? Stands there making a terrible announcement all the while holding a cup of joe and when asked if she had the wherewithal to buy US a cup, was told no, she thought by now we had gone out and gotten coffee. AS IF!

"Do you mean we are still out of coffee for tomorrow?" She asked.

I could have killed the cat I was so angry at her. DUH we are both still in pyjamas, does it look like we are wired? So no, we have not been out of the house.

She had put the Styro cup down. I grabbed it before me mam could get her arthritic hands around it and flipped off the lid. There at the bottom was one single drop! If I was not in coffee hell all day, I would have lifted the cup up to me mouth and let that last precious drop cruise into me waiting mouth, but because I could not focus, as the result of no coffee I tried to put me tongue inside the cup trying to lap up that last drop and of course me tongue isn't 8" long and couldn't do it! Even me mam groaned at me inability to get that last drop.

Well, that did it, I'll show Tonya. I took the left over Brussel sprouts (which I hate and she likes), threw them in the microwave and then ate every last one of them!

"I hope you're happy now that you have a vitamin rush probably going on, on an empty stomach no less, Mister." Said she.

"I be so." Said I as defiantly as I could.

I swiped me keys off the counter, put me slippers on and in full pyjama kit I was off to me car to drive to Dunken Donuts. Not because I had finally caved in for coffee craziness, it was because the taste of the Brussel sprouts was so yucky I couldn't stand it. I wasn't about to down a gallon of water in front of a smirking Tonya to kill the taste, so in me brainless haze I thought driving away the next best thing. See THIS is what happens when there is no coffee in the morning, brain does not work. And worse it causes you to do stupid things like eat Brussel sprouts when you don't even like them.

I noticed I needed petrol and was thinking I'd get me cuppa joe, some bags of dark roast for later and tomorrow, and then fill the old motor up with it's own brand of coffee. But as I pulled in to the petrol station/Dunken Donuts, I became vaguely aware of the sound of bing, bing, bing, which I had heard almost all the way to Dunks. It was the motor telling me it was on empty. I stopped and debated for not even a nanosecond that first was coffee, second was petrol. I pulled up to the drive thru and was two feet from the order microphone when me car died. Yes, if freaking died! Angry now, I got out and slammed the door shut, walked up to the order mic and gave me order. I walked around to the pick up window, much to the surprise of the workers inside, who noticed the outfit or lack of, got me two bags of coffee, gave me two cups (yes, I bought one for the old coot) and then walked over to the curb and sat down to enjoy and savour me cuppa.

Meanwhile, I am hearing the honking of horns when I realised there was a long line of cars in the drive thru line and they were honking at me empty motor. Nothing I could do about that I thought, still not thoroughly awake. I was still in need of coffee, so I started on the one I had bought me mam. As I was sitting on me curb, savouring, I saw a tow-truck, but I gave it no mind, and soon after I hear it coming around the building and what is it hauling? You guessed it, me petrol empty Saturn!

That got me awake with a jolt. I could have (had I been thinking clearly) gone over to the petrol station and got someone to steer the motor while I pushed it to a petrol dispenser. NOW I was going to be paying a 5 yard tow bill! REALLY? Oh yes, really. I went over to the station and they asked where I had been, and then handed me a bill for $150.00 towing charge and informed me they did me a favour before someone called the police and I got a fine for obstructing the flow of traffic through a drive thru (a coffee drive thru at that) and an impound fee. REALLY?! I mean REALLY REALLY? WOW. That was all I could say.

I vaguely wondered why they were looking at me funny and it wasn't until I was home, I realised what I was wearing. I was still in me PJ's and slippers!

I wrote out a cheque, had them gas up the motor, paid for that, and laid rubber taking off out of there. I was so furious, I hadn't realised I left me two bags of paid for coffee on the curb outside Dunks. I was so embarrassed (yes, the brain was kicking in) I did not drive back because I knew that bags of ground roast would be GONE! So when I got home empty handed, me mam was ready for me. Oh yes she was. It wasn't pretty I can tell ya that much!

Having disowned me as a son, she (still in her pyjamas), got in her Mini and off she went for a Turbo coffee and she probably bought the same two bags of dark roast, because the girl at the checkout said she just happened to have two bags left by some crazy absent minded customer who was dressed in pyjamas can you believe it. The girl stopped talking when she realised what she was looking at. An old lady in HER pyjamas! Uh huh. Mam told Tonya because of her Irish accent she goes inside because it takes an age of repeating herself at the drive thru. She said service was great, but the people that worked there were strange. They were looking at her funny. This said in the middle of the kitchen, her in pyjamas with fuzzy slippers and an old bathrobe, sipping her Turbo, completely oblivious.

I am sure she will realise WHY the Dunk's people were staring at her and the girl cut herself off abruptly when she comes down from the wired, bustling, coffee charged jolt her brain is currently experiencing. Me house is the cleanest I've ever seen it, she's somehow managed six loads of wash in two hours, and the floors shine so much they look like mirrors. I would love to laugh at her, but I did the same thing pyjama-wise and worse. So we won't be going there.

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