Category Archives: Longbits

Pursuing Normal.

Last night, driving home from work, I saw this guy again. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him on the freeway. It’s so weird to me when I see him, I immediately think to where I was when I first saw him and how much has changed. How much better my life is since I first saw him. I want to tell him, “Hey, I’m still here!” Then I think how weird that would be, he very likely doesn’t even know I exist, and certainly doesn’t know that, for some weird reason, he’s a marker in my life. I’m still pursing my “normal” and it looks like he is, too.  Although, if I were to offer him any advice, it’d be to tell him he should try putting the top down on his car.

I noticed the other day that my little purple fan that I have on my desk at work, which I’ve had for years now, didn’t seem like it was directing any air anywhere.  I pondered that for a bit off and on over the last month and distinctly remembered being impressed by how much air it moved in relation to how small it was when I first bought it.  I then realized the blades were dirty.  Impressively so.  I wondered if that made any difference to it’s air movement.  At the very least, I figured cleaning the blades probably would be a good start.  So I spent a few minutes one morning doing so and, wow, yeah.  If you have a fan that doesn’t seem to be effective, try cleaning the blades.  I guess, now that I think about it, that’s probably good advice for anything… clean it.


I thought I’d try a new nail polish last weekend.  You know me and my obsession with red nail polish.  With a toddler in the house, quick drying is a must.  Usually Sally Hansen’s products are pretty amazing… however, not this time. I painted my nails on Sunday afternoon.  These pictures were taken Thursday afternoon.  Looks like I’m still on the hunt for a good, fast drying polish.
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My workplace sells these amazing little wonders in its vending machine.  Knowing how overpriced some of those items are in the vending machine, and since I like them so much, I thought I’d check them out online.  Turns out, the vending machine’s price, at $.85 is a bargain… and, also, apparently, they’re quite the novel item?  They’re made in Austria and sell online for around $1.20 each.  They sure are yummy.
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And, last, but not least, we have some sort of tree around our home that drops these shaped leaves.





Filed under Longbits, Who I am


I was driving home the other day from work and a car changed lanes and got behind me. I saw this in my rearview mirror and have to say, seeing a bumper like that? Well, it caused a bit of concern. Yes, I discriminate about the bumpers that follow me.

This here? This is my most favorite place to be on the freeway. To the left of a semi. Why? Because he won’t be coming over and neither will anyone else from that side.

I’ve heard of a blue moon, a full moon, various slicings of a moon, but can’t recall previously ever seeing a lavender moon. Now I can.

Look! New palm trees! (You can tell by their hair, it’s still up in a ponytail!)

I had no idea school bus drivers posted a sign about doing this. Is this a new thing or have I just been out of the loop for a long time?

And, finally, I saw this sign in a store and although I didn’t buy it, it made me very happy. 🙂

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Change of Seasons.

In our part of the world, I know fall is coming when Halloween City posts classified ad after classified ad for seasonal help in all surrounding cities. Who knew there were so many Halloween City stores? I didn’t.

Also, my HOA sends out notification that they’ll only be heating one pool in our community until October 31st. This year it’s the “upper” pool, which is good I suppose, since that nasty marijuana smell seems to be an intermittently regular visitor at the “lower” pool. So annoying.

Wonderful spice scented candles make their appearance in the stores, along with weird Autumn figures and freaky Halloween decorations, who stand at the end of aisles and stare vacantly at you as you pass them by.

Also, the days are warm but the nights are crisp and cool. Which always makes me want to bake cookies, but not enough to turn the oven on during the day. Quite a conundrum. So I usually end up mixing up the dough and storing it in the fridge or freezer until it cools off for reals.

During my “modified swimming” this weekend, there have been monarch butterflies fluttering around the upper pool. They are so pretty and I could happily watch them flit about all day, dramatic colors and carefree wind carried whimsies.

Beautiful butterflies, beautiful weather, in the sun swims, desire to create things in my oven — simple things I’m celebrating and giving thanks for tonight.

Praying for the safe travels of those I hold close to me (my husband and mom), on separate road trips, but traveling long journeys.


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Pets and Cobbler

It was an easy drive into and home from work today. Once on the freeway, I didn’t tap the brakes at all until I was ready to exit. Unheard of in this part of California at those times of the day. I guess a lot of people are taking this week off, and I’m glad. It means a quiet week at work and no traffic.

If today was an indicator, it truly will be a quiet week at work. It will be the perfect week to take care of all those little projects that get set aside due to necessary bigger, more urgent projects.

Fish Whisperer says the hospitalized fish will make it. Actually, what he wrote was, “If you didn’t notice it, she would have been dead by now.” I had asked if the wound is supposed to look like her scales had fallen off and she has an open sore looking thing. He wrote other stuff, but that one sentence in his reply is pretty succinct, I think. So she’s still hospitalized and we’re still working on getting her better.

My other fish in the big tank are all acting neurotic right now and it’s driving me mad. At a time when I’m trying to keep an eye on them to ensure they’re not contracting this fungus, and they’ve all adopted Mr. White’s neuroticism toward the tank light. Oh, haven’t I told you that he’s afraid of the tank light? Been that way since he was a baby. The light comes on and he goes into panic mode trying to find a hiding spot, and now he takes all the other fish with him. How can I see them if they’re all clustered in the corner like koi at feeding time?

It’s times like these, when everything about them seems so stressful, that I wonder why I keep these fish.

Now, poor little Snug has a cold. He’s walking around with a stuffy nose, sniffing with every step he takes, and then lets out these great big sneezes, and his poor eyes are running. It’s so pathetic. He’s seeking me out for snuggles over Tug, which is very unusual. He’s eating and hydrated, and if he stops one of those things (eating or drinking), or gets a fever, I’ll take him in right away. But for now, I think the cold just has to run its course. Poor little guy. He sounds so miserable.

Christmas was nice. We had family time with Tony’s close family on Christmas eve. Christmas morning was lovely with just each other — as we do every year. Christmas afternoon was spent with the larger part of Tony’s family. Also on Christmas eve, we went over to a family friend’s house. They have many desserts (desserts!!) and snack-type things, and oysters. Oysters are big there (not for me, though). In addition to all that, the host was giving away guavas this year. I took a couple of them, she noticed my interest in them and loaded me up with a bag full of them. I didn’t protest.

They’re pretty tart, so not too good for simple snacking. Instead, tonight I made guava cobbler… it is absolutely delicious. I can attest to that, because I didn’t think to take a picture of it until after I’d already helped myself to a healthy-sized serving. The recipe would work well for any tart fruit, I’m thinking. I should have thrown in an apple or two, but didn’t think of it until the guavas were already nearly ready to go into the baking dish.

Hey! What am I doing here? It’s not Thursday, and look at me rambling on…


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Love & Loathe — 12/22/09


* Fish freak outs. I mentioned that our little tank of guppies and tetras is infected with ick, which is a parasite that attaches itself to fish and infects their little bodies and eventually their gills and is just a terrible way for fish to die. I called my Fish Whisperer for reinforcement because we’re losing the little ones left and right.

He made an off hand comment to “make sure your big tank doesn’t get infected.” I laughed it off, because I use a smaller vacuum for the little tank and a big vacuum for the big tank. Plus, I sterilize all the tools with beyond-boiling-hot water after every tank change. But then… I realized that I had just used the small vacuum to clean my cycle tanks and did I sterilize? I don’t know, can’t remember, am sure I did, but do I want to take the risk? And what about the goldfish tank?

So, I spent a couple hours last night sterilizing all the tank tools, siphoning out and refilling the cycle tanks, changing the filters, turning the heaters up to 88°… GAH! GAH!! Damn parasites. *takes deep breath*


* My fish. Otherwise, all the stress I go through for them wouldn’t be worth it.

* That my mom may be arriving here this afternoon.

* Crockpot beef stew… I made some for my mom’s anticipated arrival yesterday. She can have some tonight instead. I believe there is nothing that says “I love you” after a super long trip better than homemade beef stew.

* King Leo Dark Chocolate Crunchy Peppermint Patties. I found these in the Walgreens in Iowa last week. True to form, I found something I love and, of course, they are a specialty, seasonal candy and not every Walgreens has them. Walgreens, you’ve been warned, the hunt is on.

* I spent way too much time on Sunday painting my nails like candy canes. Not perfect, but I love them.

* Our bird spent hours just hanging out and cuddling with us this past weekend.

* Squirrels eating peanuts.

* Birds on a wire. I don’t know why, but I love this. Probably wouldn’t be wise to park under them, though.

* Experiments. So, I told you I bought green bags and that so far I’ve been really impressed with them? I decided to conduct an experiment with a carrot. I put a carrot in the bag the day I bought the green bags, which was the week of 11/10/09. Yesterday I took the carrot out, it hadn’t gone soft or bendy, but when I sliced it open, here’s how it looked. It had holes in half of it. Kind of cool, huh?

One Last Thing…

I guess I could go on and on this week. I apparently have a lot of things on my mind. But I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas.

We hope your holidays are blessed beyond belief.


Filed under Kid Substitutes, Longbits, Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe — 12/15/09

… the travel edition!


* People who stop in the middle of doorways of public places to regroup or organize their belongings. This is always a pet peeve of mine, but even more so this time of year when stores are so busy. One selfish, thoughtless person can cause huge foot traffic jams.

* Jet lag.

* Packing and unpacking.


* How thoughtful and considerate people seemed to be in the town my aunt lives. I’ve never met so many friendly strangers!

* My aunt and uncle. I was startled to learn that they’ve been married 52 years this year. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how their marriage works — they each have a clearly defined role, know what’s expected of each other and they report in with each other throughout the day. Beyond that, they are each their own person with their own interests and are interested in the other’s life but not to the extent they want to control it. I love how they are with each other and I loved the time I spent with them.

* Sleep schedule boot camp — my aunt and uncle retire to bed early and rise early. Willingly. Because they want to. If I didn’t get my butt to bed, I was left feeling sleep deprived when 4:30 AM came along and the hosts were up and at ’em for the day. We’ll see how long my new and improved schedule lasts, now won’t we?

* Family picture albums and the stories behind the pictures.

* That I had great compatibility with my seat mates on all my flights.

One Last Thing:

On my journey home today, the plane had just landed in Las Vegas and we were 15-20 minutes early. Seemed to be a recurring theme for my trip, the pilot coming on and saying, “We’re ____ minutes early landing! Oopsie!” Yes, he really did say “oopsie.”

Anyway, so we’d just landed, and were early, except the pilot advised us that there had been a security breach in the terminal and none of the planes were leaving, so we didn’t have a gate.

I’d been “holding it” because I hate using the airplane bathrooms and had strategically rationed my liquids to make it to the airport’s restroom. However, facing an unknown indeterminate amount of tarmac time, the tempo in my bladder increased so that I couldn’t focus on anything but that. I waited a minute to observe the activity or, rather, the inactivity, at the five possible gates we were facing. I determined it would likely be awhile, so I got up to go to the bathroom.

The flight attendant looked askance at me, and I informed her that I needed to use the facilities. To which she replied, “Well, I can’t tell you no, but I do have to tell the guys (nodded her head toward the cockpit) that you’re in the bathroom.”

As if that would intimidate my bladder? I shrugged and said, “I have to go, soooo…” And in I went.

Now, let me tell you, there is nothing like trying to use an airplane toilet while under duress, knowing that the pilot and co-pilot know that there is a renegade passenger using the bathroom. For all I knew, if they got the go ahead to get to a gate, they might have to inform the tower that they can’t move because “we have a passenger using the facilities.” Wouldn’t THAT just be great. I’d have a black mark on my perfect bathroom scorecard.

It finally started, a little trickle, and then I realized that I had to go poop, too. In for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose. Not only am I the renegade passenger, but I’m the renegade pooper! Fastest poop I ever pooped, let me tell you.

Upon returning to my seat, I was pleased to note that the same amount of inactivity was occurring at the gates, so my flagrant fragrance of the facilities had not been broadcast to the persons beyond the front of my own plane. At least someone had had movement.

After my layover in Vegas, I did make it home safely and it goes without saying, I suppose, that it’s good to be home and able to use my own bathrooms.


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