A funny thing happened….

When I woke up this morning my fingers were a little swollen, and the ring on my right hand got stuck. It was a little uncomfortable so while I was driving to work I thought it’d be a good idea to elevate my hand and move my fingers about to try to reduce the swelling. At one point I was stopped at a light and “oh, look! All these people are waving at me!”.


Awards! Awards! Awards!


Today I was honored by TWO fellow bloggers, with TWO different awards!

I’ll be honest… I did a Leibster just last week, and it took me THREE HOURS. And while it was fun, I’m not up to doing another of those just yet. So instead, I’ve decided to make up my own rules.  Then I might just break ’em!

First, thanks to the kind people who nominate me.  You should check out their blogs…

Joeyfully Stated  and  Pinches of Madness

For the Daydreamer award my task is to tell a daydream. My daydreams these days aren’t very entertaining. I find that I can’t buy into a daydream unless it’s realistic, and that takes most of the fun out of it. When I was married, all of my George Clooney fantasies had to start with the death of my husband, for example. So I’ll go back to a favorite daydream from fourth grade, when I wasn’t so picky about things making sense….

In my fourth grade classroom there was a coat rack that ran the length of the room. Little hooks, all in a row. Looking at that coat rack every day made think of a row of little rowboats, moored on the coat rack. I created a scenario in which the school had been flooded… I have no idea why… and each child was given a rowboat to navigate the waters. During class time we would row to our appointed spots and drop anchor. Lunch time, we would all row our boats single file to the cafeteria. The coat rack was for recess.  Everyone would tie off at the coat rack and we’d swim! I spent much of the 1973-74 school year living this nautical daydream.

Pinches of Madness gave me a list of questions.  I love questions!  Here they are, ditifully answered:

1) If you were a unicorn, would you poop rainbows or jelly beans?

I wouldn’t have expected that unicorns poop at all, but if I must poop either rainbows or jelly beans, jelly beans, for sure! How fun would that be? Put your poop in a bowl and watch unsuspecting victims….

2) Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I have one of each. My dog loves me unconditionally, and he’s my best friend. My cat is a selfish fiend. I’m a dog person.

3) What is the one thing that really bothers you?

I would say that the thing that bothers me most is untruthfulness.

4) Would you say no to free ice cream? If so, what horrible event happened in your childhood to make you this way?

I WOULD say no to free ice cream! The horrible event didn’t occur during my childhood, but rather some time later… I got FAT!  Working on that, so no ice cream for me.  😦

5) Which supercar would you be driving right now if you were mega-rich?

If I were mega-rich I probably wouldn’t drive a supercar. I’d be driving an amazing, classic convertible. Maybe an old T-Bird.

6) If you had a swimming pool: Would you fill it with pasta or would you fill it with Coke and then drop a pound of Mentos in it?

I’d rather not have a swimming pool at all, but if I have to have one, fill that baby up with pasta! Sure, that’ll completely wreck my diet, but then I can have some free ice cream!

7) Where would you go for your dream vacation?


8) What is your worst nightmare? I know, that took a dark turn. Plot twist!

If you mean actual nightmares, I have this one recurring nightmare that I can’t explain because it doesn’t really have any identifiable objects in it. There’s just this sensation of something rotating, and as it rotates it grows, and I feel like I should be able to stop it, but I can’t, and it overwhelms me. But if you mean a waking nightmare… rats!  I HATE rats!

9) What makes you smile?

Lots of stuff… everything, if I can find the right way to look at it. I make it a point to smile as much as I can.

10) Who’s the more important person in the world to you?

Right now, it’s Grumpy. My whole life revolves around him, for the duration of his life. After he’s gone, it’ll be ME, ME, ME!!!

Okay, so the next part of my duel-award-mash-up is the part where I don’t nominate anyone, but instead I link to some of my favorite blogs so you can go check ’em out if you want to read some cool stuff.

In no particular order…


How to be Myself

Milk and Whiskey

The Lucky Otter’s Museum of Narcissism

No Facilities 

Adopting James

Kurt Brindley

Jeanne Foguth’s Blog

The Phil Factor

Gluestick Mom


This Hilarious Earth

Northwoods Photographer

Single Family Asylum


And that’s it! I’m not going to tag anyone else, but if you feel like making up your own rules, or answering any of the above questions, or telling about your daydreams, go for it!

The Wake-up Fairy wars

I had a nemisis in kindergarten. That probably says something terrible about me, but there it is… I had a nemisis. I can’t remember her name now, or anything else about her. I can’t remember why we hated each other, but we were in constant competition for the entire year.

There wasn’t much to compete for in church kindergarten but each day we would have nap time, and the kid who could be the quietest during nap time would be named “The Wake-up Fairy”. It may seem like a dubious honor, but being Wake-up Fairy came with privledges. First, the Wake-up Fairy got to wake up before all of the other children. Then he or she would be given the wake-up wand (which looked remarkably like a yardstick). It was his or her job to tiptoe around the room tapping the little children on the shoulder one by one to wake them up. You got to pick who woke up first, so the Wake-up Fairy had a little bit of power.

Every day my nemisis and I would compete fiercly for the title of Wake-up Fairy. I’m sure it would be a tough contest for most 5 year-olds, but the nemisis and I took it to a level that was untouchable by anyone else in the class. It was the hardest thing I did all day. It was impossible to relax but the slightest movement would be a forfeit, so I would spend nap time lying on my mat with every muscle tensed, stiff as a board, and absolutely motionless. It was rare that I lost. She was weak…maybe she was actually trying to nap.  Whatever the cause, she couldn’t hold a candle to me. I believe I still hold the world record for Wake-up Fairy titles.

So each day. I would tip-toe around the class room, wake-up wand in hand, and I’d wake my classmates one by one, starting with the ones I liked best that day. As I performed by Wake-up Fairy duties, I would keep one eye on the teacher, and as soon as I was able to verify that she was thoroughly distracted, I would wander over to my nemesis and, with a tight grip on my wand, I’d whack her on the head!

Age is just a number…

Enjoying some harmless flirting with a security guard at work, when he hits me with this… he’s “25…almost 26”. He might as well have said “25 going on 26”. Half my age! Of course I had a mild panic attack,  which he attempted to cure by telling me age is just a number. Yes, sweetie… fractions are numbers, too.

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Pancho and Lefty

Last night I posted The other bucket list, and it got a lot of comments.  One of them (from JDAWSGWORDS) began like this…

“I thought of “lefty living in a cheap motel” for some reason…”

Is there a better way to begin a comment than with a line from Pancho and Lefty? I don’t think there could possibly be. It made me think so many thoughts that I lost sleep.

I remember the first time I heard Pancho and Lefty. I loved it right away. I’m not even going to try to explain why. Listen to the song, if you don’t already know. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard recorded a version that always gives me goosebumps. Townes Van Zandt recorded it first (and wrote it), and several others have covered it since. It’s one of those songs that I rarely think of until I’m reminded of it, and then it’s like I’m hearing it again for the first time. I’ll probably listen to it again before I finish this post, and it will give me the same feelings all over again.

At some point I thought, “this would be a good song to learn when I finally get around to learning to play guitar”. And then I realized I had left an important item off the bucket list: learn to play guitar. I’ve had a guitar since about 1982. My first was a beat up old nylon string Alvarez. I wish I still had it. I gave it to my brother when I got my new guitar (a Epiphone steel string acoustic) and in his innocence he attempted to put steel strings on it. It exploded. That would have been about 1999, or 2000. I never learned to play. I never put in the time. Occasionally I would cut off my fingernails and make some noise for a while, but it was never really playing.

Now Grumpy, on the other hand, could play the HELL out of a guitar. He DID put in the time. I think it’s accurate to say he was a master of blues guitar. Maybe the cruelest thing that has happened to him in his illness was losing that. One day he realized his hands could no longer do what he asked them to do, and he took the strings off his guitars for good. A very insignificant effect of that is that I no longer make noise on my guitar. It’s too sad for him. I took the strings off my guitar as well. When Grumpy is gone I will find myself in the strange position of being a very bad guitar player with some very good guitars. I think I’ll give it a try again. I might even take lessons this time.

As I was drifting off to sleep it occurred to be that Lefty would be an excellent name for a dog. I could have this conversation…

person: What’s his name?
me: Lefty
person: Why do you call him Lefty?
me: Pancho and Lefty
person: Where’s Pancho?
me: He died down in Mexico.

I don’t think I’d ever get tired of that.

Liebster Award!

Thanks so much to Lynn K. Scott of The Pink Herald’s Blog for nominating New Pollyanna for the Liebster Award. I’m always surprised when anyone thinks I have something of value to say, and this was no exception.

Now I have a little bit of homework to do! There are rules to follow… I’m pretty good at following rules, so I expect this will go alright…

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you. (check)
2. Answer the questions given by the nominator.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers, who have less than 200 followers and link them.
4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Here are the questions Lynn sent to me. Spoiler alert… I WILL ramble.

  1. Who is someone you admire and why?   I suppose I’m cheating if I say I try to find something to admire in everybody, but that’s where I have to start. If I’m to pick one person, I’ll say my aunt Netta. She has been to Hell and back in her life, and I’ve never known her to be bitter about any of it. If you knew her history you would say she has every right to be bitter, but she has chosen to be happy instead. When I was a kid I used to wish she was my mother, and in many ways she’s been more of a mother to me than my own ever was.
  2. What is your favorite city?  I hope I haven’t found my favorite city yet. Someday I want to escape this ugly town I live in, and relocate to someplace with history, and archetecture, and charm. But of the cities I know, I’ll say Pittsburgh is my favorite. It has everything I love in a city… beautiful buildings, a colorful past, green spaces, traditions. It has its own unique culture and language. It has neighborhoods that are still distinct neighborhoods. I’m not a sports fan, but I can appreciate sports fans, and Pittsburgh has the best. It has the best fireworks shows ever. It’s the birthplace of more wonderful things than I can even begin to name, and it’s Mr. Rogers’ actual neighborhood!
  3. What did you want to be when you grew up and are you doing that now?  A few years ago I read an article that made this claim: people who do what they wanted to do as a child are happier than people who are doing something else. I read that, and thought, “well, I’m screwed”. I remember, very clearly, being asked that question as a youngster. I remember it because it was uncomfortable for me. I would always say, “I don’t know”, which was the truth! I had no idea what I wanted to be. Grown-ups didn’t like that answer though, so they would insist I come up with something, Finally I got wise, and realized you don’t have to tell the truth when someone asks you that question. I made up something that sounded plausible… maybe I said I wanted to be a teacher… something that no one could object to from a little girl. I remember coming up with the lie, but I can’t recall what the lie was… isn’t that always the way with lies? Later, in high school. I changed my go-to answer from something acceptible to something less acceptible… I said I wanted to be a plumber (it got the desired reaction). I’m not a teacher now, and I’m not a plumber. I STILL don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up.
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  London. I’ve never been there, but if I had the wherewithal I would move there right now, with Grumpy, Nebby and the cat in tow. I fell in love with it in books. Here’s a confession that I’m a bit ashamed of… when I read a line like, “they took a house in Queen Anne Street” I immediately go to Google Streetview and look it up. I take a virtual drive the entire length of the street I’m reading about, and pick out a house that I think might be the one. People who live in London could ACTUALLY GO THERE! How amazing would THAT be?
  5. Name three things you find admiral in a person. Honesty, humor, intelligence.
  6. What is your favorite thing to write about? I’m not creative… I can only write about two things: my opinions and my experiences. My favorites are the funny experiences.
  7. What do you find inspirational? In terms of writing? Hunter S. Thompson. I used to find Dorothy Parker to be inspirational… I don’t know what I was thinking there. Tons of others, but I’m drawing a blank right now.
  8. What was the last random act of kindness you did? Oh, wow… that’s a tough one. I don’t ever set out to do a random act of kindness, or at least I don’t think of it in those terms. Many years ago I decided that it was the duty of every human being to do everything he or she could do for others if the cost to him or her was less than the benefit to someone else. Of course I don’t live up to that standard, but I try to remember to try to do it. I think it’s absolutely essential to do what you can for others when it costs you nothing. Being polite, smiling at someone, opening a door for a mom juggling two babies, letting someone with one item go ahead of you in the store… all absolutely free, and any of those things could be the difference between a good day or a bad day to another person. As I was writing this answer I remembered my last random act of kindness… I stayed and chatted with a clerk in the grocery store this morning because she seemed like she needed to spend some time talking to someone. I really wanted to go home and go to sleep, and we weren’t talking about anything important, but she seemed to need a friend for a little while.
  9. Past or present, if you could meet one person, who would it be and why? Willie Nelson. Because he’s Willie f’n Nelson! But I don’t just want to meet him. I want to hang out with him.
  10. If you could have one “do-over” in life, what would it be? There was a time about 15 years ago when I was sexually harrassed by a VP at a company I worked for. I don’t think I handled it badly… I think I did what you’re supposed to do… but it didn’t work out in my favor. If I could do it over I think I’d skip telling anyone in the company, and instead I’d go straight to his wife. It probably wouldn’t work in my favor either, but at least SHE would have a chance to wring some justice out of him!
  11. Were you surprised to receive this nomination? Floored.

My nominees, in alphabetical order…

And some questions for the nominees. I’m keeping them simple, so please feel free to elaborate as you like.

1. What’s your favorite cartoon?

2. Do you prefer reading/writing fiction or non-fiction?

3. Do you have pets?

4. What are you currently trying to change in your life?

5. What was your first car?

6. What was your favorite class in school?

7. Name 5 movies I should watch.

8. How do you typically celebrate your birthday?

9. Which of the 3 stooges do you most closely resemble?

10. What is your favorite late-night snack?

11. Tell us a joke you could tell to a 5-year-old.

And that (aside from notifying some people) concludes my homework.  I hope my nominees will find their homework to be as pleasant as mine, Thanks again to Lynn!

Where do my notifications go?

I’m still new to WordPress, and so far I don’t have any complaints… except this one: why do I not get all of my notifications?! The little bell lights up, and I see there’s something new, and I always do my best to at least “like” the comments, since someone was good enough to bother to read my little blog and to take the time to say something about it. I appreciate that so much, and of course I want people to know it. But then I find comments that I never saw in my notifications! Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? So far I have a small blog, so it isn’t terribly hard to go back and read all of the comments on every post to find the ones I missed, but I can see it getting to be a chore. And I don’t want to overlook any.

Am I the only one? Is there a way to make it stop?

The other bucket list

It sounds morbid, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a list of things I plan to do after Grumpy kicks the bucket. It’s part of living with someone who is terminally ill. Life becomes about him. You have to wait your turn. And so, without even wanting to, you find that you’ve made a list of things to do… after. These are some of my things, in no particular order.

1) Buy a house. Sometimes I like to fool myself into thinking I can do this while Grumpy is still alive, but that won’t happen. He doesn’t want to live in the kind of house I want. I don’t want to buy the kind of house he’d be willing to live in. And he doesn’t want to move. He’s dug in. So for now I just save my money, and dream of the little house I’ll buy someday.

2) Spoil my dog rotten. Some people would say that I’m already doing this, but Nebby has to live with someone who is in a tremendous amount of pain, and that can be hard on a dog. If Nebby outlives Grumpy, I’m going to make it all up to him.

3) Get rid of all the furniture and start over. Most of it was Grumpy’s. Some of it I never liked in the first place, and most of it has suffered from life with Grumpy. He spills stuff. He used to start fires. There’s been some damage. There might be a few items that I’ll keep, but most of it will be gone as soon as that can be arranged. I want small furniture… no huge couches, desks or beds. I want things that I can rearrange myself if I feel like it. And I want old things. Small, old furniture for my small, old house.

4) Visit my brother. He lives in another state. I can’t travel now. When I can, I’d like to go see my little brother for a week or so. Nebby will be coming with me.

5) Start making quilts again. To be clear, I never finished a quilt in my life, but I like piecing quilt tops. I want to do some more of that.

6) Make rosaries. It’s been a long time since I’ve been what you might call a good Catholic, but I always loved making rosaries. I like making the cheap, plastic give-away rosaries, and occasionally I like making a nice one. I miss it.

7) Volunteer at an animal shelter. I think Nebby could do this with me. And we might even take in foster pets, if the cat can handle it.

8) Turn off the TV, possibly for good. I might even put it away in a closet.

9) Replace the flatware. Why does no one understand that you can’t stack a plate on top of another plate with a fork in between? My flatware is all bent. I hate it. It’s pointless to replace it now, but when I’m on my own I’ll be getting new, unbent utinsils.

10) Learn how to make friends, and make some. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull this one off, but it’s worth a shot.