Saturday, February 27, 2010


Do you believe in luck? I'm not sure if I do. Sparky does. He is superstitious like a baseball player. He says that The Misers have none. But very good things have happened to us in the past, for instance our darling daughter Bee. We feel very lucky and fortunate to have adopted her; she is the child that we were meant to have and to raise. But bad things have happen to us as well, such as being terminally employment challenged. Sleeford would say that there is no such thing as good or bad luck, that things just randomly occur in the universe and it's our big human egos that think things happen to us for a reason.
My grandmother was very superstitious, but in a much different way than Sparky. Hers was steeped in religiosity; she made the sign of the cross if anything out of the ordinary happened, like a painting falling off the wall. She claimed such things to be the work of the Devil. And she would have everyone else in the room make the sign of the cross, too. I remember being scared to death of this Devil when I was little, you never knew what He would do next.
Grandma also believed in The Evil Eye, that someone could put a curse on you just by intently staring/glaring at you, which was also scary as hell. And she thought that you could predict the sex of an unborn baby by tying a ring on a string and suspending it above the mother-to-be's stomach. If the ring swings back and forth, you're having a boy. If it is more of a circular motion, then it's a girl. And of course she believed in ghosts, but I kinda agree with her on that one. If you lived in her house, I'm sure you would believe in ghosts too. You see, there was a double murder/suicide in that house!
The people who lived there prior to my grandparents were having extreme marital difficulties. The wife was having an affair and the husband suspected as much. One day he came home early and caught his wife in the act with the other man. He shot them both dead, and then turned the gun on himself. Needless to say, it was a bloody mess. Shortly after this horrendous act, my grandparents bought the house. They got a very good deal on it.
They did not tell any of their children about this violent history. Instead, they gave my mother her own bedroom for the first time in her life. The very same bedroom in which this abhorrent crime occurred! But my mother never knew about it, in fact she didn't find out about it until years later, long after she was out of the house.
I loved that house because I loved the people in it, and I spent a lot of time there in my youth, but nonetheless it gave all of us kids the Heebeegeebees. I swear it was haunted. More than one relative has reported seeing ghosts in that house. But I digress.
Are The Misers unlucky? Is there such a thing? Sparky would say an emphatic YES. I admit that some things have happened recently that make me think that he is right, that we have absolutely no luck at all, and lately Cream has been playing in my head: "Born under a bad sign, I've been down since I began to crawl, and if it wasn't for really bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all." Goddamn it, it's an awful thing to think you're unlucky - it feels like you have no control over your life.
Which makes me inclined to agree with Sleeford. Random things happen, bad and good, and sometime you have control over it and sometimes not. But just in case Sparky is right, I'm going to start wearing a good luck talisman. Because maybe sometimes you really do get lucky. Maybe sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Instead of the wrong place at the wrong time, which has lately been the story of my life. Yes, maybe a lucky amulet would help. After all, we could really use all the help we can get right now.

Friday, February 19, 2010


One of the classes that I'm taking at college right now is an algebra class. Math has never my favorite subject, nor does it come easy for me. I admit that in the past I didn't really care how well I did in math; I never took the time to try to really understand it and I certainly don't remember ever studying. I must have just winged it. I must have just closed my eyes while taking a test and hoped for the best. It's a wonder that I know any math at all. But I somehow must have retained enough to be able to test into a regular college algebra class. Not a beginning one, not an advanced one, but one right smack dab in the middle. An average regular old algebra class. Which is actually pretty damn good for me.
I'm working very hard in this algebra class. I'm reading and re-reading the text book, doing my homework in a timely fashion, participating in class, and studying my ass off. I'm finally understanding it all - which is quite amazing to me. I'm enjoying math for the first time in my life! I'm finding a certain beauty in the orderliness of mathematical equations. In the past I always thought, why learn something I'm never going to use? But now I'm seeing practical, bone fide uses for algebra. Like if I ever want to build a trapezoid out of wood I know I'll have to use this formula to figure out how much lumber to purchase: A=lw+1/2(a+b). It's that simple. I'm sure I'll figure out other uses for math down the road. In the mean time I'm just going to try my best to grasp as much as I can. Learning math is fun!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


This year for Valentine's Day, as I was strapped for money once again, I made my Valentines some Valentines. We had heart shaped waffles for breakfast, and I knitted some hearts and a felted rose out of scrap yarn.
Bee likes the rose the best, and I kind of like the felted grey and blue hearts. Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grand Slam Redux

On Tuesday, the Misers headed to Denny's for a FREE Grand Slam breakfast. It seems like this free Grand Slam thing is becoming an annual event with Denny's - last February the Misers also took advantage of their marketing gimmick. This time tho' we went in the afternoon after my classes were out - breakfast for lunch! I gobbled down my scrambled eggs and fluffy pancakes, and Bee ate all of our sausages, dipped in syrup natch. It was pouring down rain when we got there and consequently there was a very short line - we must have waited for a total of ten minutes. Not bad. Especially when you are talking about FREE. The Misers fully intend to take advantage of every free offer that comes our way as we have become even more Miserly these days. It has become a way of life. Go, Misers! (Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little pep talk...)

Monday, February 8, 2010

School Daze

My school started today. That's right, I'm going back to college to learn how to do something useful that will allow me to make some money for a change. A meaningful career that will help me become an integral part of society, also for a change. I'm nervous about this school thing because I'm taking a full load and my classes are hard! I hope I'm smart enough. Also, I'm an OLDER student which is kind of a strange feeling. I'm as old as the instructors, as old as the hills, or maybe even older. Plus, my textbooks weigh a ton. I'm lugging 25 pounds of books around the campus which is not exactly pleasant. That is only four pounds less than what Bee weighs. Bee is way more fun to carry around - at least she is cuddly and snuggly as opposed to my books which are cold and hard. And I can always put her down as she walks perfectly fine on her own (when she's not tired and crabby, that is.) I'm rolling this small library around with me in a carry-on piece of luggage with wheels. I feel a bit silly wheeling this thing around as I kind of keep banging into people with it (or maybe they're just banging into me), but it sure beats lugging it on my back. I'm going to need all of the stick-to-it-ness that I can muster for this higher education thing as it is going to take me awhile (years) to accomplish my goals. Overall, I have to admit, I am very excited about this new challenge. But I'm probably a little bit crazy for doing this...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Henry Heimlich's Maneuver

Have you ever had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on somebody? I've had to. Twice now. And fortunately I know how to do it. The first time I ever did it was years ago on the dog we had before Glenn The Dog, Gus The Dog. Gus was eating something meaty, and he must have been gulping it down instead of taking the time to thoroughly chew it, and it got lodged in his throat. He was lucky that I happened to walk by him right at the moment when he started choking. He looked frantic and had a wild look in his eyes and he wasn't making ANY NOISE. That was the clue for me that we was choking so I got behind him, put my arms around him below his rib cage and did the old Heimlich Maneuver. A wad of meat came flying out of his mouth and lo and behold - he could breathe again! Being a dog he then proceeded to eat the piece of meat that he just spat up, but this time he properly chewed it and all was good again in his little dog world. Prior to that I didn't realize you could do the Heimlich on an animal, I just sort of did it without thinking. And I found out that yes, it even works on animals.
The second time I performed this maneuver was Monday night while we were eating our good dinner and the worst thing that could happen happened; little Bee started choking on a piece of steak. I was in the process of sitting down next to her at the time, and I looked at Sparky who was facing her, and asked if she was really choking. She was waving her hands around and wasn't breathing and like Gus before her she wasn't making ANY NOISE. (For some reason I needed Sparky to confirm the worse for me.) "Yes," he said, "It's go time!" I picked her up, wrapped my arms around her and pushed up with my fist underneath her rib cage. It took a couple of thrusts for the meat to come shooting out, and when it hit the floor Glenn The Dog, being a dog, ate it. The whole thing only lasted about ten seconds but it felt like minutes. When I picked her up I had tunnel vision - I could literally only see her, everything else in the room lost its focus. My heart was hammering furiously in my chest and I remember thinking of what I would try next if the Heimlich Maneuver didn't work. (Turn her upside down and thump her on her back; stick my fingers down her throat to try to fish the offending piece of meat out; call 911!) Luckily it worked like it was supposed to work, and I don't think I've ever been happier in my life. Sparky and I were both in shock and feeling kind of giddy, and I held Bee on my lap through out the rest of dinner. We decided from here on out that Bee should only eat soft foods. Liquid food, food you don't have to chew! But that is highly unlikely, so the next best thing is cut everything up for her into even smaller pieces, and to always remind her to chew, chew, chew. Thank god for Henry Heimlich and his maneuver!