Bella Rum

The Dream – Tardy – The Accident

The Dream

It was so cold. Surrounded by my family, I fell asleep on a frozen lake. When I woke, they were gone, and all of the ice touching land had melted. I knew that I would freeze before I could swim to shore, and why had they left me there? Alone? When I woke, I was lying on my back, spread across more than my half of the bed, the ceiling fan going, and not a shred of cover over me.


There have been a couple of problems with my hair appointments recently. My stylist has canceled twice and then again when one of the rescheduled times didn’t work out. I’ve rescheduled each time. She had back issues once and was experiencing severe pain and once, when she rescheduled , the pain medication made her very ill, and then her father-in-law died… once. I had a rescheduled appointment yesterday. I drove down, arrived early and took a seat to wait. I didn’t see her. After a few minutes, I asked a stylist if Brooke was there. “Yes, she’s in the back. What time is your appointment?” She checked and yes, I had an eleven o’clock. A few minutes later, a lady walked in and said she had an eleven o’clock with Brooke. Then our names were asked and guess who had the eleven o’clock? She did. I could have sworn it was my appointment, but they looked at the calendar and my appointment was scheduled the day before. Oh, good grief. I was a little embarrassed as a cast of thousands looked on.

This is the second time this year I’ve missed an appointment (mammogram last time). Need I tell you, the year is young? I never do that. Ever. With the mammogram, I was sick and couldn’t think of anything but cold cloths for my forehead and throat lozenges for my throat. Understandable. But two times? Really? They were so nice and rescheduled for 3:30 the same afternoon.

The Accident

I returned in a biblical rainstorm. It was horrendous. I came upon an accident. The driver had hit the guard rail with the front of his car, flipped around backwards and hit it with the back of his car. He had managed to knock both bumpers off the car. The front bumper was on the ground at the back of the car, and the back bumper was at the front of the car. He had obviously hydroplaned. Well, maybe not obviously, but I concluded as much.

Anyway, I made it to the shop with the deluge still coming down. She cut my too-long hair. When she finished, she refused to accept payment. She said that she had put me to so much trouble by canceling so many times, and I’d been so nice about it and she insisted on giving me a freebie. And insist she did. I could not convince her to let me pay. Nice! She said that if they’d told her I was there earlier, she would have worked me in.

We made a BBQ run on Monday. It was so beautiful: 70º, sunny and blue skies all they way. It felt like springtime as the final patches of snow melted away. Did that groundhog decide that we’re bound for an early spring? I missed it.

Razzle Dazzle Me

I’ve never been as lax about posting since I began blogging over ten years ago. I’m not truly sick, but I still am not 100%. I can’t believe I’m still coughing and feeling tired. H still has a little of it, too, and he has a good immune system. This thing was vicious. At least we’re not contagious any longer. That’s something.

The kids are coming today. I’m so excited to see them. It feels like Christmas was ages ago. I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of January.

I had my mammogram yesterday. My original appointment was scheduled for January 4, but I missed it. Can you believe it? I was sick and I never even thought about it. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. When I rescheduled, they were very nice about it. Yesterday, the technician cracked me up. I told her I couldn’t wait to see my grands this weekend. She said, “Oh, my God. I hate kids.” Just like that. I couldn’t help but laugh at her. Disliking kids is one of those things no one admits out loud. I promised her that she would love her own grands. I told her that other kids would still be obnoxious but not her own. I don’t think she believed me.

I had to go to the grocery store today. As soon as the cashier touched my first item, she sucked air into her lungs and sneezed out a big, frothy spray of snot and spittle on her hand. She then examined it quizzically, as if it were something from another planet. Then, without so much as wiping it off her hand, she started checking the rest of my groceries. I said, “Maybe you could sanitize your hands before you continue.” Her expression told me that she thought that was a plausible idea and
razzleberry piewondered why she hadn’t thought of it. She stepped over to the next register and grabbed the
sanitizer and exclaimed that she didn’t know where that had come from. It’s a wonder we all aren’t sick. She then found a coupon stuck to the outside of my frozen razzleberry (red raspberries & blackberries) pie that saved 75 cents for me. The razzleberry pie is for the kids… of course. Who’d you think it was for?

I have a tip for you that I keep forgetting to tell you. Wrap your lettuce in paper towels to keep it fresh. I’ve only tried this with iceberg lettuce, but I think it will work with any type of lettuce. My niece told me about it. I didn’t even put my lettuce in a plastic bag after I wrapped it. I just popped it in the fridge. However, I read an article about 3 ways to store salad greens. They used mixed greens in their experiment and offered three options.

1) Wrap lettuce or loose leaves in paper towels and place in a sealed plastic bag.

2) Insert lettuce in plastic bag and blow a puff of air into the bag and seal it.

3) Line a plastic box with paper towels, place greens in container, place paper towel on top of lettuce and seal container.

The article proclaimed the paper-lined plastic box to be the winner. The leaves were still fresh enough for a salad after 10 days. That isn’t so bad for loose mixed greens.

Have a nice weekend!

Snow and Ice Update

IMG_0996We’re still here and the snow is still coming down. It was all snow yesterday and all ice overnight, but it’s straight (dry) snow now. Thank goodness. Wet snow and ice are the culprits in bringing down trees and power lines. I’ll be a happy camper if we get through without losing power. We got 7 or 8 inches yesterday and we’re supposed to get 3 to 5 inches today, but there are those around us that received quite a bit more. People have been good about listening to the warnings to stay off the roads, and the authorities and media did a good job of informing folks.

This morning, H noticed that our young, consumer neighbor who lives two doors down had all of his snow toys in the driveway. He loves machinery. His house is back on the market, but it still hasn’t sold.

The vegetable-beef soup is delicious. This morning, I filled a couple of containers for the freezer. I only started freezing extras a couple of years ago. Of course, I’ve frozen things before, but got into it in a bigger way a couple of years ago. It’s so convenient to pull a quick dinner out of the freezer when you don’t feel like cooking or when you don’t feel well. Now I often make extra when I make spaghetti sauce, chili, soup, etc. Even stuffed peppers or meat loaf. It’s so easy.

We have a bazillion little birds hopping around in the backyard. H puts any stale bread that we have and sometimes the heels in the freezer. He put some of it out for the birds this morning, and an ear of corn for those pesky squirrels. H has a bigger heart than I do.

H made a beautiful spinach casserole for me this morning. Oh, my gosh. It’s so good.

enjoy the rest of your day

It’s cold and dark. The snow flies later today. The prediction is 16 inches. I have plenty of toilet paper and some extra water. The laundry is caught up, and we have extra ice left over from Christmas. I’m mostly concerned with losing power. It’s a nor’easter and we’re expecting some good wind with this storm, and it’s a full moon. That won’t affect us, but it could be bad for my brother. The tides will be high.

I went to the grocery store on Wednesday. It was a crazy house. I saw one cart piled high – overflowing –  with organic frozen vegetables. Okay. I don’t know how many of those I could eat during a snowstorm, but each to his own. I guess it’s better than a cart full of Fritos. No, my cart was not piled high with Fritos.

I got a few things to make vegetable beef soup. H wanted it, and I haven’t made it once this winter. It’s a good thing to make when you think you might lose power. It’s easy to heat on the Coleman stove. Have I told you that I’m not a good sport when the power goes out? Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m good for three days, then I turn into Norman Bates’ mother. I know she was dead in the movie, but you got the feeling she had not been a stellar person or the sort with whom you’d like to weather a howling snowstorm during a full moon.

Have you noticed that “Have a blessed day” is losing ground to “Enjoy the rest of your day.” I used to get a lot of “blessed day” wishes (I wonder if that’s a Southern thing) from clerks and cashiers and receptionists, but “enjoy the rest of your day” is trending. A couple of days ago, I received two enjoy-the-rest-of-your-days within an hour of each other. I got one from the cashier at the grocery store and one from the receptionist at the hospital – after my lab work. I like it when people are courteous. Mr. Rogers was right about that. It makes things better. Don’t you think that taking your coat off when you come home and pulling on a soft, warm sweater and donning slippers makes the world feel less scary. So does being nice to each other. I miss Mr. Rogers, or the idea of Mr. Rogers.

We’re slacking on the office. I still haven’t painted the trim. We did get the paint and some fresh paint brushes. The guy at Sherwin Williams did not tell us to enjoy the rest of our day, but it’s okay. It doesn’t have to happen every time.

Well, homemade vegetable soup it is. And biscuits. Sixteen inches! We’ll see. That’s a lot for us nowadays. I have to go charge my phone and wash my hair. It’s important to be clean at the beginning of any potential “situation.” But you already know that.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

little by little

I keep thinking I’ll get back to normal, but… Now it’s all about the fatigue. The worst of this mess is over, but the energy still refuses to flow. I have nothing to complain about, though. I still cough a little, but I don’t feel sick, I’m not in pain, and I don’t have a fever anymore. I’m just tired and wimpy.

The office is coming along. We (mostly H) primed and painted everything. Today we will do the trim and try to hang some pictures and move furniture back into place. We’ll see how it goes. It’s been slow going, but we’re not in a race.

When we finish getting things back in place, I want to check out some antique stores. We need one piece for the office. I’d like to find something fairly large that has storage: shelves and drawers. I already saw something at one place, but I got sick before I could do anything about it. It may still be there. We’ll see. If I can’t find something, we’ll consider built-ins.

Sunday was a snowy day. I loved it. No accumulation but nice big flakes all day long. We painted while the food channel and HGTV played in the background. It probably doesn’t sound like much, but it was all my favorite things rolled into one day. There was a marathon of Beachfront Bargain Hunt and Fixer Upper. Ha!

I’m starting to get around to visit everyone. Miss you guys.

Seriously Co-ordinated

Hello. I feel like I need to re-introduce myself. It’s been so long. I believe I’m finally on the mend. I’m still coughing, but breathing better and feeling better. Yesterday, I left the house, and what a beautiful day it was. There was a nip in the air, the sun was shinning and the sky was as blue as blue can be. The air was so fresh. You know how it is when you’ve been sick for a long time. Colors are brighter, air is fresher and lemonade is sweeter. I felt like a recluse stepping outside for the first time after years of self-incarceration. Talk about sensory overload.

My debilitated state does not mean things haven’t been happening around here. Not only have I been trapped in the house, I was subjected to “voluntary” quarantine in my room Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The house was full of men – Jamie, James and Bubba – hammering, sanding, puttying. The last thing I needed was to breathe that dust, but it was all worth it. The walls are up for the new office.

It’s quite a change, but we now have a cozy office where the dining space once was. We will have plenty of room for storage, and my messy desk will be hidden from the front door. The guys did everything except paint. They even installed the quarter round, door facing and chair rail. H was going to do that himself, but he changed his mind. Jamie didn’t even raise the price. H will start painting today. It remains to be seen if I will help.  I’m still not 100%, but it’s hard for me to watch someone else paint. You know how I love to wield a paintbrush.

state of unionDid you notice the welcomed co-ordination at the State of the Union? I couldn’t help but wonder if there were hurried phone calls beforehand – like in seventh grade when you and  your girlfriend decided to wear the same color blouse to school the next day. I thought they all looked quite spiffy together, and Speaker Ryan’s solid tie offered just the right amount of relief to the dashing stripes. Three striped ties would have been over the top, don’t you think? Other countries must have been encouraged to learn that fashion in the U.S. is bipartisan. I know I was.

My blogging schedule will return to normal soon. I know it will.


Trying to Feel Better

When something settles in my lungs, I can’t seem to shake it. I went to the doctor on Wednesday. He prescribed a Z-pack, but I don’t think he’s 100% convinced that it’s bacterial. Neither am I, but it will not go away like a virus eventually should. So. Too bad he couldn’t prescribe a new immune system for me. I’m feeling slightly better, and that is encouraging. I’d love to get out of the house in 2016… other than to go to the doctor. Yesterday I rode to the dump with H — my first outing this year. That’s okay. I love to go the dump and leave all my junk behind.

Thank God we’re on one floor.

I plan to feel better soon. Hope all of you are well.


First Post of 2016 – 31 Words

Still sick.

Yesterday, H took down the tree and fireplace decorations. There are only a few inside decorations left.

I will get around to seeing you guys eventually.

Happy New Year!

How Will You Usher in 2016

I’ve meant to show this to you.IMG_0720It rained all night and all day for several days.

I took this photo of my patio a few days before Christmas. The ground could  not hold another drop. 

I don’t have an honest-to-goodness New Year’s post in me. That would take a little contemplation and perspective. I’m still feeling punky and need to be over there on the couch, and that’s exactly where I’m headed in a few minutes. H is feeling better. I (selfishly) am happy about this because it means he can fetch me a hotdog. You know, a metaphorical hotdog: ginger ale, soup, toast, tissues, etc. My buddy.

Yesterday, I managed to do three loads of laundry – mostly sheets and towels – but it took most of the day. I took my time. H helped me fold. He is for taking down the inside decorations today. That’s a little ambitious for me. I’m usually all about taking them down early, but I think I’ll be more “up” for it tomorrow, both literally and figuratively. We’ll see.

It’s been a good year for us. Twenty-fifteen was a year of change and action. We planned a lot, made a lot of decisions and acted on those decisions. Much of it was out of my comfort zone, but most of it turned out well. I have no regrets. We feel fortunate. I have to mention the Grand Trio. As anyone who reads this blog knows, they are the biggest part of our happiness.

I hope 2016 will be as good to us and to you as 2015 was to us. The beginning of the New Year will most probably wash over us while we sleep. What about you? How will you usher in 2016? However you greet the New Year, I wish you peace, health and happiness, friends! May 2016 be kind to us all.

With a Whimper

IMG_0810Note the bare feet.

Whoosh! And Christmas comes to a close for 2015.

I’m sick. So is H. Sore throats, coughing. It had to happen. Between all the pushing for the holidays, and three sick children who came to roost with us for five days, how could anyone escape unscathed? When they arrived, only one was still coughing. The other two were on the mend, but they had passed it around to each other, including their parents, and they couldn’t help but pass it on to us.

My grandson is in second grade. A joke he heard at school: If someone knocks on your door, it isn’t Santa. It’s ISIS.
Lovely. I guess everything we say and see and do percolates down to them.

 IMG_0834She doesn’t look like a wanted poster, does she?

The little one, a.k.a. the precious, adorable, loving one, decorated the carpet in their room with her older sister’s stamps and stamp pads. She stamped away with abandon before her crime was discovered. Her parents were not happy. Her older sister told me that she once found one of her My Little Pony dolls naked and scalped. Four adults in the house and not one of us noticed her project. Her mother cleaned it up and all looks normal again. The carpets are original to this house, but when we moved in, I decided not to replace the one in their room. I’m a genius! Don’t you think I’m a genius?

After the kids left and before I collapsed into a 2-hour nap, I managed to make a huge pot of turkey hash. I also held back enough turkey and stuffing for one more meal. I will not have to cook for a few days. Hopefully I will be a wholly functioning person by then.

Today will be divided between the couch and the bed. I plan to lounge, nap, sip Emergen-C and watch mindless television that requires no more than two brain cells for comprehension.

All joking aside about the little one, we had a fantastic time. Everyone seemed happy. H and my son took the older ones to see Star Wars. The kids played outside everyday because the temps were in the seventies. It was gorgeous. The lawn is speckled with broadleaf weeds because of the warmth. That has never happened this time of year — ever.

Things will be quiet until after New Year’s Day. I don’t think I should invite anyone over until I feel better. For now, I’m slackin’ like the biggest slacker you’ve ever known, and I plan to slack my way into the New Year. How about you?


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