Sunday, December 30, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: The New Years Edition

     It's hard to believe that I've been writing this blog for eleven years! Life has changed...and yet, in some ways, it hasn't. 

After a week spent enjoying family and Christmas, it's time to finish up a few obligations, then get back to work. New Year's Eve: cowboy movies and pizza, and prepping for Hoppin' John. (Black-eyed peas are good eating...and good luck.) On New Year's Day, life is quiet around here. I enjoy getting out the new appointment book and calendar, then filling in birthdays, anniversaries and such. It's a welcome reminder that 2019 is a window to a fresh batch of 365 days. 

Who knows what will happen? We're looking forward to finding out.




Here's a basic recipe for Hoppin' John, via Pioneer Woman's blog; just click on the highlighted part. I use 2 cups of dried black-eyed peas, a hambone, a handful each of chopped green pepper, celery and onion, and lots of garlic. Add water and cook slow in a crockpot at least 5 hours -- up to 8, if possible. Serve over rice. Yummmmm...
     
Doesn't look that great -- but tastes wonderful. (Photo from Pioneer Woman)

'I'm 17...and my parents plan to kick me out of the house on my 18th birthday. I have no license or job. What should I do?' This interesting Quora question begs two questions, besides a lot of interesting (and helpful) advice.
     First: What's the backstory on this? Did said kid contribute to his/her problems before it got this bad?
     Next: the question was asked in 2017. Did this kid actually follow any of the advice -- or was he just looking for sympathy?
      I know...  just being cynical.

What do you do with a healthy cash windfall? Experts' advice ranges from investing in stocks and bonds to replacing an old vehicle. This is from the Daily Mail, a British paper, so expect European-slanted suggestions.


2018's dumbest criminals... An enlightening video.

What REALLY happened to Laura Ingalls Wilder's family during The Long Winter?

Another 'Underground Railroad quilt' tale. Is it true? (Brackman's Civil War Quilts)

Tools to help you with your money  -- 14 of them. Some of these sound a little too good to be true, but hey...  (From The Penny Hoarder)

Yet another 'enlightened' banning by Facebook -- this time for Franklin Graham (founder of Samaritan's Purse), because he dared express a negative opinion. (sigh)

Top ten posts of 2018.  (From ESI Money)  I am really enjoying this new (to me, at least) financial blogger's posts. Including an intriguing idea:

What if you retired -- and lived on a cruise ship? Except --

Twelve reasons why it may not be a good idea. (From Money Magazine)

A Washington state social worker dies...most of his $11 million estate goes to children's charities. His friends had no idea that frugal Alan Naiman was that well-off.

Someone has finally crossed the Antarctic for the first time, alone and unaided!  (A 33-year-old American. Well, he used GPS.) Wow...and he beat the man racing him (a 49-year-old Brit) by only 73 miles.

How to keep from outliving your money in retirement.  Maybe by living on a cruise ship?

Some very funny Geico commercials.
     Including the burning historical question: what if Paul Revere had a cellphone?



Geico's hosting a contest -- fans can vote for their favorite commercial, then win a chance to appear in one. Go here for more info -- deadline is early Feb.

Twenty amazing thrift store finds.  (From Well-Versed)

Ten high-level individuals who had their academic degrees stripped. They aren't the only ones -- Martin Luther King did his share of plagiarizing too, sadly. But he never had his Ph.D. taken away.

Ever heard of a St. Joseph sandwich? It looks delicious. The largest lobster trap float Christmas tree you'll ever see, as well. (Thanks for the road report, One Hundred Dollars A Month)




Eight ways doctors go broke. Some lessons here for us non-medical types, too. (From the White Coat Investor)

Retirees on Social Security need a tax break. So says Liz Weston...and I think she's right.

Ten art pieces by people who were also criminals.  Did you know that Caravaggio spent years in the slammer for murder?  (From Listverse)

California organizers cancel the third Women's March because the attendees are "too overwhelmingly white."  I am not making this up.

And finally, a poem from my Kalamazoo friend, Patsy. (She said her dad used to quote it around this time of year.)

Twas the day after Christmas and down at the store,
Folks were pushing and shoving as I unlocked the door.
One had a package, another a sack,
I know in a moment they were bringing it back!


Have a great week.



Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sun's Gonna Come Up

    The end of 2018 is a good time to start collecting encouragements to get you through the new year.

Like this song from the Lefevre Quartet:




We live in a crazy world
And it sure can get you down
But the love of God is greater
And it'll never run out

So when you feel like you're at the end of your rope
Don't you ever give up
Keep holding onto to hope...





Thank God for that love -- and that hope.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Frugal Hits & Misses: December 2018 Report

Ah, December. What would we do without this peaceful, serene month of music, gift-giving and the significance of celebrating the Savior's birth?




Except it hasn't quite worked out that way.

The business work I'd planned to finish before Dec. 1st... didn't. (Just a few more to go. Just a few days, and they'll be done. WHEW.) 


I keep thinking of this...

A nice case of flu slowed things down, although we were both recovered by the time The Mama came to visit. Then my time was taken up mostly with her - and getting ready for the festivities. It's been fun, but the Brick and I were grateful for bed each night. 
     Our granddog Karma has been here to keep Charley and Ruby busy. Daughter #2 has spent some time here, too, hanging out with us and playing games with Grams, while Son #1 made an essential trip to see his dad for the holidays. (Grams and Daughter both LOVE to play games -- the Brick and I participate, but mostly halfheartedly.)
     There are other things to be grateful for. The house is reasonably clean, thanks to the Brickworks party on Dec. 16. (I'll pick up and vacuum more after The Mama heads home late in the month.) We got some presents -- and gave some -- but nobody went overboard this year. (None of us had the extra funds to do it, which helped.) The emergency fund is smaller -- but it's still there. We didn't overspend on groceries, and pretty much used what we had for decorating. And we did get some rest.
     I'll take that any day. 




FRUGAL HITS

(Includes some late November items)

*Two book signing gigs this month. They didn't put much in my pocket -- you sell the store's copies, not yours. They were, however, a good opportunity to talk to people and promote The Book. (It continues to do well, by the way.)



*Beef roast $2.02/lb; pork loin chops $1.04/lb -- thank you, Sam's Club. (We also got Christmas trees during that visit for $9.81 each -- one for us, one for Daughter #1.)

*Got a 500 million German mark note from Ebay! Too bad it hasn't been official currency since the 1920s. (Yes, inflation was that bad back then. Read Hemingway's Moveable Feast for proof.)

*Baby shower  presents-- had a set of kids' books (The Boxcar Children) already stashed in my gift box, and bought a few cute outfits at the thrift shop to go with it. (Dropped off a book and large appraisal report at a client's on my way back home -- and saved on mailing costs.)

*Two weeks worth of piano lessons. I'll be starting two new students (maybe three) soon after the new year.



*Visited a bakery outlet in Colorado Springs for bread and doughnuts: about 1/3 regular price, with a free bag of buns thrown in. (The clerk asked another customer if he wanted help. He said that his girlfriend's dog had eaten a whole box of his doughnuts -- so he was buying more, and giftwrapping them for under the tree!)
     I did this on the way home from an appraisal session, so didn't waste gas, either.

*$50 gift card for Outback Steakhouse -- plus two $10 bonus cards free. I just happened to catch this one-day special. Got some gift cards and bonus cards from Red Robin, as well -- but not as many as last year.

*Regifted a few nice things we were given for Christmas -- but won't work for the trailer.

*Tablecloths and more tablecloths:  cloth, $2 and $4.89, plus 75 cents paper, with napkins to match. For The Mama's Christmas, as well as a $10 nativity set. (She griped that she couldn't find her shepherds this season -- now she doesn't have to worry about it.)




*99-cent bags of fruit: 6 apples and pears, 2 pomegranates, 6 tomatoes. (Yes, they're fruit, too!) Also several limes, some small zucchini...and two-pound bags of unshelled almonds.

*Hosted a recital Dec. 9, along with another teacher. Made little pigs-in-blankets and a big kettle of soup; he brought a huge veggie plate. We both added dessert goodies, and a third person brought flowers to give to the moms. It went great.

*Polished our boots. I need to do this at least one more time, to really get the waterproofing worked into the leather. Our other shoes need it, as well. Maybe during a movie.

*Half-priced Christmas presents...the last few. Found a real steal on Ebay for Daughter #2 and Son #1, and a second present at an extremely low price.


Here's another reasonably-priced option for a present: money and candy bars!


*Had a private harp concert. Fixed an almond cake, cheesecake and some goodies. Asked Brickworks employees, as well as some friends who also enjoy music, and they brought more desserts. This was the Brickworks party for the year -- and it was lovely.

*Six months of free Apple music. (The Brick will cancel after that.)

*$20 and $30 bonuses respectively in our ENT bank accounts. Wow, the credit union doesn't do this!

*Participated in the Paypal/Facebook matching fundraiser 11/27 for Creekside Bible Church -- plus donated a little to Wikipedia.

*A Rustic Christmas celebration, with fancy meal and music entertainment included! We were able to bring two friends with, as well. (Thank you, Lord & Richards.)

*Round steak $2.48/lb -- shrimp skewers $2.50/lb. (The latter made delicious scampi during the Seven Fish Dishes.)

*Goodie packages for two college students. The truffles purchased last month really came in handy for this.

Everyone needs a little surprise in their life.


*German chocolate cake and filet mignon for Son #1's delayed birthday supper...without having to make a special trip to the store.

*Friday freebies: candy, mashed potatoes, grill spices, candle. Thank you, King Soopers, for offering this! They seem to have discontinued the program, though...darn.

*Filled dish soap and bathroom soap containers with dollarstore dish detergent. (Thanks, Frugal Mom in Boise, for reminding me you can do this!)
     I just wish someone would come up with peppermint foot lotion at the dollar store. Really missing this. Can I make it? (The Mama did bring me a bottle of peppermint handsoap she didn't care for...thanks, Mom.)

*Listened to Pandora music for free. We pay some for Sirius in the truck -- but not a lot. It's so nice to listen not only to a wide range of music, including wonderful bluegrass, but my secret pleasure: radio classic shows. (I feel extremely leery of Alexa.)

*Free coupons ($3) for soup -- after a less-than-stellar experience with Campbell's Chunky brand

*Carrot pie for Thanksgiving, instead of pumpkin! (The one can I had was nasty inside...and I hadn't baked the fresh pumpkin yet.)

I will, I will.

*Didn't waste food. Mostly. (See below.) Limp veggies went into pasta dishes or soup. Some fruit went into smoothies. Anything heated up more than once went into the dogs. (We did the same thing with Christmas leftovers.)

*Bought a number of $2 videos from the local library used book room. Gave most as Christmas presents, sold a few on Amazon.

*Fixed buttons, made repairs on clothing that needed it. Caught up (mostly) on ironing...still some shirts and pillowcases to go.

*No Black Friday purchases, except a book. (A lost treasure book for the Brick's Christmas present.). I didn't go out to the stores, either.

*Amazon offered a $5-off-$20 special for books in December. Guess what I used for The Brick's present?

I love books. (from Oprah.com, via Pinterest)

*Sang several times for church. This is such a pleasure that it's worth the extra time commitment. Christmas music has a special beauty, and it's an honor to be helping out.

*Free quilt-related appointment calendar -- from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. (Thank you!) Got a big landscape calendar from the dollar store for Daughter #2 (one for us, too) -- and half-price off on a 'Yoga Dogs' version for our dogwalker Daughter #1.

*Purchased extra stamps -- for us, and for Christmas stockings for the kids and The Mama. 'Forever' stamps are going up 5 cents in mid-January; you should get some now before the price increase.

*Individual lobsters $6.50 each -- then a second batch, for $4.99 each! These were Christmas dinner; the second batch will be for a dinner for Son #1.

*Dollarstore purchases: to finish off stockings (and stock up on cleaning products, oatmeal cookies and our favorite: chocolate-covered grahams). Deliberately stayed out of stores, except for groceries, otherwise.

*Thrift shop huge Santa candle for $5...plus a few Christmas presents. I also got a hurricane lamp-style snowglobe for $15 after Christmas -- 70% off.

*One long appraisal session, and two short ones.  A little extra income is always nice!




FRUGAL MISSES

*At least $500 deductible to pay for backing into the neighbor's car last month. (Sigh) And it was really a small ding -- but reportedly the hood has to be replaced. This is a kind neighbor I trust, or I'd be making a bigger fuss about the price. (Running it through insurance will help - we haven't had an accident for decades, so hopefully the premiums won't go up.)

*MRIs -- one for me (gimpy knee) and two for the Brick (spine and shoulder issues). Also a few doctor's visits for the Brick, and an ultrasound -- his stomach just does not seem completely well after his appendix and gallbladder went away. A doctor's visit and blood tests for me; it never seems to end. Lesson learned: group these in the same year as much as possible; once your deductible is satisfied, the cost to you will be much less. Even if it means going out in a snowstorm on the last day of the old year, to drive to an MRI appointment...

*Our 2019 insurance premiums have TRIPLED from 2018.  Ouch. And not because of the Brick's medical issues -- this is just what the general Colorado marketplace price was for this coming year.

*Renewed the Brickworks LLC... but late. ($50 penalty) Double ouch. (I've noted this in next year's calendar, so I don't miss the deadline again.)

*Sent a lot of free books to clients -- for several reasons, including Christmas presents.

*Let a large zucchini go bad. Shame on me. A few tomatoes and oranges went the mushy route too, before they could be used. (Some grapes are headed that way, but I can catch them in time.)
    I can do better.

*The heat's on now -- but it's needed. We've had lower temps than usual. Nonetheless, we keep the thermostat low, wear sweaters and use extra blankets (2 quilts at present on our bed). Space heaters and the woodstove also come in handy.

*A performance of the Nutcracker -- $16 tickets (Castle Rock Dance Academy). This may not sound like much to you...but given our current planning, it's a lot. On the other hand,we and The Mama enjoyed it very much.

January begins extensive work on the house, to get it ready for sale in the spring -- including clearing out the pantry and freezer. Use-em-up stories like this one are a real encouragement for this sort of task. Neither of us is looking forward to this -- but it needs to be done.

Here's last year's December report -- and last month's, as well.



Twas the Days After Christmas

...and all through the house...

Thanks, Norman. You're absolutely right. (via Pinterest)



The Mama is still visiting -- she flies home tomorrow morning. I have been hard put to get anything done but the basics: cooking, cleaning, talking and schlepping to various places. More soon - hope your Christmas was a merry one.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I love the tree...the music...and the festivities.

But it's a wonderful time to remember what all this celebrating started with:

The birth of our King.



Merry Christmas.




Saturday, December 22, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: The Earlybird Edition

The tree's up, and decorated. (The Brick did a terrific job.) Cookies are made. (Thanks, Mama.) And I am a toe's-length away from stepping over the finish line, report-wise. 
    I am very tired -- and grateful. Now on to finish up the restoration that the lady will pick up Sunday afternoon. 
    You'll have better things to do on Monday than read this...so here it is for you now. 
     Back to work.

Very funny animal fails.




Cleaning gloves -- with the scrubbers built in! (Well, I was impressed.)

Five creatures found in really strange places. An octopus...on a mountaintop?!?  (From Cracked)

A Christmas miracle -- a story posted every year by Harvest Lane Cottage. And every year, I read it...wonder...and feel a little ashamed that I gripe about such petty things.

Wouldn't Bonnie and Clyde want to be buried together?  Their relatives think so.

The best meatloaf on the planet -- or so One Hundred Dollars A Month thinks. (It does look good.)
     Tell me, Dear Readers, why hamburger is so dingdang expensive right now! Burger prices here in Colorado are close to steak prices. Granted, the steak's on sale right now, but not at that much of a discount.



A tiny house eviction -- in Boulder, CO. Go figure -- I'm not surprised. Boulderites tend to make a big fuss about being green and living simply in the environment, but often don't follow their own 'rules.' (Our community, much more conservative, tends to refer to the town as "the land of fruits and nuts," for good reason.)

One of the best (and most selfless) makeovers she's done all year.  (From Emily Henderson)

Making a gingerbread house -- start to finish.  Including a recipe. (From Olive, Feta and Ouzo)

Tom Petty -- and the perfect cup of coffee. From his biographer, via Rolling Stone.

101 Stocking Stuffers...that don't cost much.  (From Passionate Penny Pincher) Speaking of that:

Homemade Stocking Stuffers.  (From Meet Penny) Including:

A homemade sleep salve.  (From One Good Thing by Jillee)

Ten amazing things found inside diamonds.  (From Listverse) This one's curious, too:

Ten paranormal events linked to mass tragedies. Including the Red Cross nurse serving sandwiches and coffee near Ground Zero after 9/11...only she wasn't really there.

Five photographers...whose final shots survived them. 

This final roll, from another photographer didn't survive the Mt. St. Helens eruption (see above), is enigmatic, too.

Turning a gumball machine into a snow globe. Granted, not everyone gets their hands on a gumball machine.  (From Little House of Four)





Have a great (and hopefully restful) week.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Say It With Stitches

WWII era sampler...a nice period piece, right?

But wait -- there's more.




(Thanks, Cracked, for sharing 19 Ways Little People Stuck It to The Man.)

A Beer...And A Book

I'll be at the Book Bar in Denver, CO tonight, to sign copies of Ghosts & Legends of Colorado's Front Range...and tell stories.

Stop by from 5-7 p.m; I'd love to see you! P.S. My photographer (the Brick) will also be there to sign copies and keep me company. What a guy.

It's also a great spot for a glass of wine or a beer while you read. Go here for more, plus directions.

What a way to celebrate the winter solstice!



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Great Hunter Strikes Again!

Actually, twice.

Here's Son #1 with an antelope:






And a white-tailed buck.




Imagine a plains state nearby -- that's where he got these.

And what we see when we look at these photos? MEAT. Yum. Antelope in particular is lean, savory and delicious. 


CONGRATULATIONS!

Some Holiday Encouragement

We are big fans of Charles Spurgeon, the 19th century preacher whose words still resonate in our modern world.

His Morning by Morning devotional for today was especially good. I thought you might find it helpful, too.






“The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”

Proverbs 16:33

If the disposal of the lot is the Lord’s whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by him, how much more the events of our entire life—especially when we are told by our blessed Saviour: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered: not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father.” It would bring a holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were always to remember this. It would so relieve your mind from anxiety, that you would be the better able to walk in patience, quiet, and cheerfulness as a Christian should. When a man is anxious he cannot pray with faith; when he is troubled about the world, he cannot serve his Master, his thoughts are serving himself. If you would “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” all things would then be added unto you. You are meddling with Christ’s business, and neglecting your own when you fret about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying “providing” work and forgetting that it is yours to obey. Be wise and attend to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing. Come and survey your Father’s storehouse, and ask whether he will let you starve while he has laid up so great an abundance in his garner? Look at his heart of mercy; see if that can ever prove unkind! Look at his inscrutable wisdom; see if that will ever be at fault. Above all, look up to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while he pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If he remembers even sparrows, will he forget one of the least of his poor children? “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

My soul, rest happy in thy low estate,
Nor hope nor wish to be esteem'd or great;
To take the impress of the Will Divine,
Be that thy glory, and those riches thine.

Amen, Chuck. 

P.S. Morning by Morning (or Evening by Evening) is free to subscribe to. Click here to add it to your life.  
      It's worth it. 





Tuesday, December 18, 2018

They May Be Fruity Enough...

You might want to think twice about getting your favorite person a fruit basket.

One Hundred Dollars A Month 's Mavis pointed out the Problem of Fruit -- particularly those Fruit of the Month subscriptions, in her daily blog -- 

And by golly, she's right! 





 I wouldn't mind a lovely basket of pears now and then, but at least a few can -- and do -- spoil before we scarf them down. Fruit is not something most people say, "oh goody!" Then take 5 or 6 at a time. 

Although we should.


Even when the basket's this purdy, thanks to the Crafting Chicks.



Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Cleaning -- and a Concert

It has been a busy week -- and weekend. Besides working on reports and other business stuff (almost caught up!), we've been cleaning house in preparation for The Mama's visit this week. After emptying the vacuum for the fifth time, thanks to doghair, the Brick started to wonder: How ARE Charley and Ruby generating all this loose fur??
     Last night, we invited friends over for dessert. 
    Then the Brick got an early Christmas present. 
A Worship Team friend made a visit -- with her harp! Candlelight playing on the intent faces of people we love, and music swirling over and around us. Trinity played for more than an hour, all sorts of Christmas carols -- it was wonderful. 
     If you know someone who plays well, consider asking them for a private concert. Their fees are usually quite reasonable, and it's an unusual surprise for a music-lover. The Brick loved it. Our friends loved it. I did, too.





Typing this afternoon in a reasonably-clean house is an extra pleasure. But I still have reports to finish -- and The Mama's room to clean up before tomorrow. (The Brick will be putting up our tree -- a $9.81 buy from Sam's Club.) 
       Better get to it. Meanwhile:

J.D. Roth's European trip -- mid-visit. Makes me wistful for Austria, where I lived during a summer in college, with cousins Tim and Joanie. And the real Christkindl Markts.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" goes back on the charts! Actually, on Sirius it never came off...we've been hearing it a lot. (Is its frequency an unconscious 'stuff you' comment being made by the programming staff? And why aren't people fussing about 'Santa Baby,' which is just as sexy?)
    Update:  One station, in protest, plays the song for two solid hours. Nonstop.

A man discovers his toothbrush holder is a 4,000-year-old pot, as well. Whoops.

The biggest yellow diamond ever -- discovered in Canada.

Is this American really Princess Diana's aunt?  She says so. Yet another chapter in the 'blood is thicker than water' book.

Weird stuff people found while cleaning up after a friend's or family member's death. Some real doozies here.

"My favorite Vlogmas channels." If you enjoy knitting and the glories of yarn, these Youtube channels are for you. (From Diary of A Stay-at Home Mom)

Geographic arbitrage.  Weird name, intriguing way of saving.

Two climbers' bodies are found in the Himalayas -- thirty years after they disappeared. A roll of film was found on one body -- hopefully, it can be processed. Shades of George Mallory...

Another entry from the Department of "Missing, Now Found:" Bones found in a basement turn out to be those of a man who supposedly walked out on his family in 1961. His son used the services of radar imaging...and a psychic.

An intriguing interview with Bruce Springsteen: "All you need to do is risk being yourself." From the interview:

Some people might say, “What are you talking about? You’re Bruce f--- Springsteen! How do you not know who you are?”
He drops his chin into his chest and then smiles and looks up. “Bruce f--- Springsteen is a creation. So it’s somewhat liquid—even though at this point you would imagine I have it pretty nailed down. But sometimes not necessarily...you’re in search of things like everybody else. Identity is a slippery thing no matter how long you’ve been at it. Parts of yourself can appear—like, whoa, who was that guy? Oh, he’s in the car with everybody else, but he doesn’t show his head too often... At the end of the day, identity is a construct we build to make ourselves feel at ease and at peace and reasonably stable in the world...In being, there’s a whole variety of wild and untamed things that remain in us. You bump into those in the night, and you can scare yourself.”
Fruity baked oatmeal. Maybe a holiday morning dish? (From The Frugal Girl)





A bunch of recipes -- 42 of them -- that start with frozen meatballs.  (From Taste of Home)

Ten recipes for busy times -- each takes less than 30 minutes.  (From Cheapskate Cook)

The best cooking advice you've ever receivedDozens of answers via Quora.

Tunnels discovered in Ybor City, FL.  I love a good tunnel story.

A rat in the vending machine! I'll bet they threw out all of those chip bags...

All sorts of DIY seasoning mixes. Think Christmas presents. (From One Hundred Dollars A Month)

Crusader-era gold coins found in Israel.  

Some interesting Crusader-related discoveries have been made during the past years, including some interesting 900-year-old jewelry, found in a Crusader castle.

Insanely cool pictures taken by drones.

Debt IS an emergency!  (From Mr. Money Mustache)

Gift ideas the the non-crafty person can make.  (From Living Richly in Retirement)

The best life hacks for poor peopleTons of Reddit contributions here... and some good advice. (Skip all the stuff about drugs and scoring cheap marijuana, and you'll get through it even faster. As one person pointed out, the people who didn't smoke kept their minds clear enough to figure a way out of poverty --the others smoked to forget it. Which would you prefer?)

A copycat version of Arby's Sauce. I loooovvve Arby's Sauce.  (From Bachelor on the Cheap)

   Both Charley and Ruby 'attended' the concert last night. Ruby, unimpressed, made the rounds ot the audience to be petted and admired. Charley, on the other hand, spent most of his time lying close to the harp, licking himself and panting. Then he hauled out a bone and started gnawing on it. The stinker.

Hey, either you're a music-lover...or you're not.

"Too bad he can't chew in time to the music," friend Jon commented. 

Have a good week.





Saturday, December 15, 2018

Holiday Things I REALLY Don't Understand

After an afternoon of trying to do errands, I need more silliness.

Holiday-related things I REALLY don't understand.

First stop today was the post office, which was jammed. Why? Because the machine in the lobby had a broken faceplate. (Someone punched it, the clerk told me.) A brand-new system, introduced smack dab in the middle of the holidays. On a machine that was nearly impossible to make work properly. (I know. I tried, before someone else expressed their opinion about it.) 
    So instead of two ways to get your stamps, everyone had to stand in line. Kudos to whatever P.O. genius came up with that decision.

Next was King Soopers, which was equally busy. I felt a little better, coming out -- particularly when I passed Mrs. Santa, dressed for the day with green and red-striped tights, with two of her kid elves tagging along. (Husband, coming in behind, was not dressed for the occasion.)

    So that's where they go before Christmas Eve.

(You know how much I enjoy these weird bits, anyways. On with the show.)


This National Lampoon Christmas Vacation decoration has caused plenty of consternation.








No doubt you'll get your wish...

Personally, I prefer animal conflicts on all my Christmas cards.

 One of those cool mugs that shows a different scene after it heats up. Only...





So THAT's where you put your tree, when you're not sure...





Gingerbread house before...


Gingerbread House after (darn icing, anyway)




Ice marbles before... you make them with balloons.


Ice marbles after -- or maybe this is a crime scene.




I'm guessing this has something to do with El Caganer, otherwise known as The Squatter.
Just seems to fit with the next holiday display.   (Yes, I'm being rude.)

Update: When 'Mitchell Is Moving' moved his blog last month, El Caganer didn't go with him! 
Here's the post, in case you're curious.




Rudolph fall down go boom...

I don't even want to know.

What IS Santa doing to those pancakes?


Underpants Christmas lights.


Thanks, Bored Panda, Good Housekeeping, Bestlife Online and Huffington Post, for contributing to the lunacy.