Dear Dear Diary
And the award this month for most brilliant civil engineering goes to the Vestal, NY, fire department, for the road in front of the fire station flooding out, and possible flooding of the fire dept itself.
Surviving the floods rather well, personally. Thank goodness for carboys- which I filled with water at the beginning of the fiasco, anticipating the disaster.
Finished the cat portrait quilt, will post a pic anon.
Read this article
about kitten season. Please share it with your friends. It's worth the time.
I hate rebates. I hate "discount cards." I hate special pricing if you carry that company's key tage. I hate coupons. Either the crap is on sale or it's not. Don't make me work for a sale price. When I go to a store and I want to buy a widget, I don't want to look at 6 different widgets with 6 different prices and have to do the math involved if Widget A is normally $40, Widget B is $50 but because there's a rebate for $20, I can buy it for $30 if I want to figure out how to send off for a rebate (which involves receipt, part of the package, some of the bag, and some sort of serial number on the widget itself plus all sorts of personal information up to and including the last time I got laid), but I can buy widget C for $15 if I'm a senior citizen belonging to AARP and AAA, or I can buy Widget D for $20 if I have the Store Discount Card (to apply for which of course I have to fork over another $30 and all of the above mentioned personal information), or I can get Widget E for $10 but only if it's Tuesday. At this point, I actually start to want to buy Widget F, because it's $60, and there's no math involved. I know I am being screwed at that price, but I don't have the suspicion any longer that I could have gotten a better deal. Of course then I have to wait in line behind somebody's grandparent who has to empty her suitcase so she can find her Store Discount Card, AAA card and AARP card, because apparently there's a super secret sale that only she knows about where you can buy Widget G for free. All you have to do is show all of those cards and poop in your pants while you argue with the manager about the price break. And I have to wait. Because there's somebody behind me, with several small children and one is crying, one is trying to pull Widget E from my basket or pick my pocket (alternatively), and one is running up and down and up and down and I wish I was in a hardware store so I could nail the little fucker to the floor.
I love shopping. Does it show?
I am a rock star in my own mind. Just ask my cats. Tom in particular likes to follow me about the house. But if, on the odd chance I am actually alone, I put on my headphones and start singing loudly along with the music that my poor animals cannot hear (or at least, I think they can't) they will come from wherever they may be, and suddenly, I have an audience.
I don't want to think they aren't sure if I'm sick, injured, or simply deranged. I am enjoying the music, and their curious enquiries with noses sniffing cautiously delight me. They will even go as far as to meow or whine at me. I'm sure it isn't my vocal quality at all, which I am vain enough to think quite good.
But I know I can summon them all with a simple song, and it does my heart good.
Some people cry over onions- I cry over strawberries.
In Florida, when I was really young, I'd raid the strawberry beds at home, and then later in the year, at Gram's garden. Mom always got cross because we were ruining our dinner and mashing berries on ourselves.
When we were older and "more responsible" (probably ought to be read as "less likely to eat everything we picked"), we were taken with Mom to the U-pick-em strawberry beds. Hours bent in the hot sun with no shade and no water, and ordered not to even taste the much larger berries. It was unbearable. I still shudder when I drive by these places. I'd rather stop at the stand and hand over a dollar more for the luxury of not bending over myself. My back hurts just thinking about it- and I reflexively reach for the sunscreen.
I knew I was considered adult when I could swap recipes with Mom and Gram. It's like my brother's reaction to his first powertool at Kissmoose- he announced with pride, "Now I know I'm a MAN." I still cannot taste strawberries and cream without Gram's wrinkled face drawn up to the side in her lopsided smile appearing to me. Or Mom's swearing about how we need to freeze these damn berries so we can have enough. We never canned fruit- we always froze it or made jam. I don't know why mom never canned things- it maybe due to Gram's necessary over-zealous canning.
I can't think of strawberries without thinking of Mom or Gram. I used Gram's bone handled paring knife and the mixing bowls from Mom to slice the quart of fresh berries and then cover them with sugar. My kitchen is a working museum. Grab a floating berry, cut off the bits of a different color and the top, slice, grab another one, leaving my mind to wander and my eyes fill with tears.
Strawberry flavoring is a different sort of hell for me though- We were given Strawberry Quick once, and it was new and different than plain milk (which none of us were really fond of). So it was decided by Mom that we kids would now drink nothing but Strawberry Quick mixed with instant milk. She reasoned it would not be likely to go bad, and we would not know it if it did. And it was a lot cheaper. We were forced to endure this for at least 8 years of my childhood. I still can't consider strawberry milk without gagging.
Dessert tonight will be strawberries and cream. I can't wait.
There' a lot of hard things out there that I've tried, and just can't find it in me to do.
I tried teaching. I worked for a while on an MAT (English), but when I student taught, the experience was altogether terrible. Teachers are hamstrung by the board, by the requirements, by the bad parents, and by the students themselves. The students aren't there to learn most of the time and don't understand why the subjects are covered. Sometimes the teacher doesn't know why subjects are being covered. And so many important things are cut from the curricula to dumb it down from what was skipped when they were younger. I know my class was among the last to learn to diagram sentences- my teacher explained that she wasn't allowed to teach it any more. I know I didn't know the names of parts of speech beyond noun, verb, adjective and adverb or what the conjugations of verbs were called until I took foreign languages, Schoolhouse Rock aside. There are supposed to be 8. I can name six if I try- conjunctions and prepositions are the other two...
I did kindasorta parent for a while. Very tough job but can be rewarding. My niece, who is the closest I'll likely ever come to a daughter, graduated college last May and is now working in summer stock theater- something I never had the guts to try. I'm excessively proud of her. I feel like a nasty person when I scrunch my nose up at that disruptive child and their inattentive parent- I have no right to judge, really, but I'd like to think I'd do better than that! But I feel weird when someone talks about their kids and grandkids around me, because I can only talk about the cats or the dog, and that's not the same thing, really.
And caring for the animals- oh my heart breaks still. I think about Buffy- the white cat declawed and de-fanged and absolutely ferocious with anyone not her owner but the owner died and Buffy came to us. I think about poor Cinnamon who had 28 puppies- she pushed out 4 in the first 48 hours and they died before we could help them, and Wilbur who was puppy #5 to be pushed out of the puppy nest. I had tried to help and bottle raise him, but I didn't know about the warm washcloth thing, and my ignorance killed him. All of Cinnamon's puppies found homes, but poor Cinnamon did not. I remember loading frozen cats wrapped in trashbags, tossing like frizbees onto the big truck to travel to another humane society that had a crematorium. How much of that can anyone take?
I did what I could, and I give when I can, but my heart really goes out to anyone who helps. They are real heroes to me.
Whenever I think about the proposed ban on Gay Marriage, I start frothing at the mouth.
Any argument I have ever heard against Gay marriage invalidates my own. I did not marry with the intent to procreate, provide a stable family unit in which to raise children, for the economic incentives, or for any religious or moral issue. I'd been living with the guy for almost a year when we agreed that we would marry. Heck, he's still the best roommate I've ever had, and better than just a roommate.
One of my friends doesn't like gay marriage because he knew someone who was raised and molested by one of a gay couple. That's hogwash as a protest, because that horror happens in straight couples too. Oddly, my friend is in favor of lesbians- because he thinks that lesbians can't be molesters, and sadly, he's very wrong.
Now I don't want to change *religions* that state gay marriage is anethema unto God. That's no one's business but that church's morals, and I refuse to dictate what a church is holding up as a pillar of their religion. However, marriage has become a secular thing with Justices of the Peace performing ceremonies and places like Pennsylvania where you can get a license that doesn't have an officiant at all (it's called a Quaker license, but you don't have to be a Quaker to use one). The only way to change "marriage" back into the intended religious sacrament is to redefine "marriage" legally as "civil union" for all governmental references. And that right there is the ONLY attack marriage is faced by gay marriages.
Now, I would dearly love to live in a pacifist state where only the hunters had guns and tight gun control laws that helped that. But in reality, the criminals don't pay attention to law- they get guns anyway. For that reason, I'd love to have everyone who is mentally capable learn how to shoot and care for firearms, and I'd love to encourage everyone to have a gun (assuming they keep in practice with said firearm). A fully armed society tends to be a politer society. This is overcorrecting the problem, I realize. But this is similar to the fact that homosexuals are a natural part of God's creation, as humans aren't the only homosexuals out there. Mating for life is also natural. So allowing whatever legal blessings fall on me and my mate as evenly as they fall on Frank and Dick- gosh, that's only fair.
I'm also in favor of legal recognition of polyamory, but I realize for many that's also probably going to far. I'd let people marry their houseplants or pets if you could either of the latter two to voice their consent to the process, and figure out an age of consent. Be happy. Love one another. Encourage young things to grow if you find it in you.
I have a confession to make. I fell in love yesterday.
When Michelle pulled out the little bundle from a cardboard box, wrapped in a small towel for warmth, naturaly I was curious as it wiggled. Then the adorably ugly face popped into view, and that's when I fell in love. The kitten is only 3 weeks old. Michelle and her significant other pulled into their vet's parking lot a week aog Saturday, on a strong impulse. They found a cardboard box sitting on the front porch- and the office was closed and would not be open until Tuesday. Inside the box was the kitten- completely hairless except for her face, eartips, paws and tail, with the eyes still shut. They took the kitten home, warmed her and fed her every two hours. She survived the week (with a trip to the vet's after it opened).
But that was the highlight of my day in the rain, cuddling the kitten and keeping her warm, and giving her the occasional bottle. It was simply delightful, and I wish I had my camera with me for that alone. She's just old enough to try standing, but not actual walking yet, and she's just a teeny bit bigger than my hand.
For irrelevant thought- I woke this morning dreaming my family had moved into Falling Water (the famous house by Frank Lloyd Wright), and I was living in an upstairs apartment. Even odder, I was sharing my digs with my older brother, Jim Carrey. Who, of course, isn't my real brother. I think that was the oddest part of the whole thing, because he was being Mr. Famous Movie Star, worried about the bad press of living with his weird younger sister.
Nobody wants to be that wet, that cold, and that polite for that long.
Ugh. Time for a nap. Then maybe I can have civil conversations.