Hello World!

Holley Schmolley!  It’s been six-months since my last post.  Where has the time gone!?  First I went back to the fields, become one of the minions, re-entered the workforce, yes, got a job!  After years of looking and then a few months of desperation and just throwing it all to the wind, I stumbled upon a very nice job.  When I say, “Throwing it all to the wind,” I say this because I recently wrote a letter to a company to whom I owe money.  I currently auto-pay them $1.50 a month.  Not much, enough to keep me honest and out of jail.  I wrote to them and said, “Listen, I’ll make a deal with you, if you hire me, I’ll make sure your one of the first I pay off.”  They didn’t take me up on the offer.  When the politicians rave about the drop in the unemployment numbers, they don’t take into account the thousands upon thousands of baby-boomers who have just given up.  Like that boomer who previously held a job as a CEO position.  WOW, they land a minimum wage paying job and it feels like winning lotto.

On another note and veering 360 degrees, I never thought I would be one to contemplate eating cat food (which I haven’t) but I know realize just how many come so critically close to doing it just to survive.  AAaaah, enough with negative and politics.  Just wanted to touch base and thank the world for the good that has come into my life.  With faith, some good karma and perseverance, it too can happen to all of you who may be struggling.  Mind you, I am not out of the woods, far from it, but the biblical weights have lifted off my shoulders.  Tom, Dick and Harry still call.  I most likely will pass onto the wild blue yonder with debt.  Never planned it that way.  Regarding Tom, Dick and Harry – just today I accidentally deleted all the messages on my answering machine, whilst deleting the robo-callers and the jerks still trying to collect on debt from husband #3.  “Mate, he’s gone down unda and he ain’t comin’ back.”   C’est la vie!

Been doing some art and loving it.  Being the year of a horse and a true horse person, it’s as if all the stars aligned and I am inspired to create art non-stop.  (This is where the job thing gets in the way.)  One does what one can do.  Stay strong, keep putting one foot in front of the other and tell yourself you can.   Nobody else has got your back better that good-old-you.  Giddy up!

Maybe I should take one of the Tom, Dick or Harry calls, I haven’t had a real date in quite some time, too busy living life!

Dinner or Slippers?

It’s that time of year when we, with pools in the northeast, look to close them. It is something we usually dread, especially if the weather is nice and the water looks inviting. For me and my pond pool, not the case. I believe the deep end floor drain is clogged and all summer the pool has not been cooperative and I have been short tempered, so the use of the pool, now known as the pool pond has been minimal.  For this reason alone, I decided to close right after labor day and I short-changed on the inputting of the chemicals which everyone knows, will turn the pool into a nice inhabitable pond. For the most part, a very clean pool pond with no weeds and critters, until this week.

When I went out to prepare the pool pond for closure, lo and behold, there was a snake and two frogs. The snake, an innocent garter snake who I tried to catch in the flat skimmer net and he turned and laughed at me. The sucker then went up the skimmer basket hole, with the cover askew, and stuck his neck out to laugh further. I am sure you all heard it. He soon retreated and we played our ‘cat and mouse game’ – but in our case ‘snake and net game.’  After about 45 minutes, he was mine! Just a baby, and being a true animal lover, I let him go into the bushes only to find him in the front yard later when mowing.

Now to contend with the two frogs. These just aren’t any frogs, they are, “Canadian good-looking frog legs for dinner” frogs. (Tastes like chicken.)  I am an outdoors kind of girl, but I don’t think I will be wrapping my hands around these two guys unless it is after they are cooked in butter and garlic, C’est magnifique!  As the draining of the pool continued and my vacuuming efforts continued, they taunted me by swimming around the pool. They too chuckling. If caught, they most likely would break off the skimmer net because they are big enough to wear as slippers, YES, they are that big.  I gave up around 8 PM.  “Enough I shouted, you win!  Until tomorrow that is.”

So, today I have wrangled up two friends with hip boots and together we shall descend into the pool pond to attempt to save them but one last time. The chemicals must go in before the closing and as an animal lover, I will do my best to save them. I also will not eat them. I have eaten frogs legs in France and they do in fact taste like chicken, but I would never go from pond to table with any animal.

Wish me luck!

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

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So, this recession sucks, for me at least.  Some of the big boys and gals are raking in the dough whilst us little chicks are flying under the economy radar.  Way under.  As a result, I have had to cut my own hair now for three years.  I do a really good job of it, NORMALLY.  Yesterday I went to cut my hair, and must have been half-asleep.  I grabbed the black handled thinning shears, and began to grab clumps of hair to thin.  As I peered down into the sink, I noticed large pieces falling into it.  I quickly pulled the scissors from my head and lo and behold, I had grabbed the REGULAR scissors and was just cutting my hair with wild abandonment like a four-year old does with her first encounter with scissors and hair.  YIKES!  My hair was short to begin with, but how would I repair this damage.   I grabbed the correct thinning scissors and began to thin what was left of my hair.  It looks like the spiky punk hairdos so I am okay.  Hey, so what that I am old and have the hairdo of a 22-year-old!  Luckily, hair grows back.

Those Secret Clubs That No-One Talks About

You know that clubs.  The club where you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe but you would never admit it.  The club where you leave the house and forget to brush your teeth and you have a raisin bit from your morning cereal stuck in your tooth.  The club where your skirt is stuck in the back of your panty hose and you exit the lady’s room totally unaware. Lastly, the club where you put on either a shirt or your underwear inside out and don’t realize it until very late in the day.  Real friends would say something.  Others just point and snicker.  Admit it, we’ve all done or belong to one of these clubs.  Welcome to the club.

The new club I started today, “Ladies do have balls.”   I was playing golf and had on cropped pants with no pockets.  Golfers usually carry an extra ball, a ball marker and a tee in a pocket so they don’t have to walk back to the bag or the cart.  Realizing this and with a need to store a spare golf ball, I first put it in my bra.  God only knows what I looked like from a distance, but with the girls checking in at 38 D to begin with, I needed no extra encumbrance when trying to hit that dang little ball.  Therefore, I stuck the spare ball in my pants at my waist, hoping that the undies (not thongs) and the pants would hold it.  I played a hole or two and totally forgot about it until it came rolling down the inner portion of my left thigh, down my left leg and out the bottom of my pants.  THANK Goodness I was playing golf alone!  How does one explain that???  I had a great laugh.  After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no sense of humor!

Velkomin til Íslands

DSC_0469  Well Peeps, just back from a short jaunt to Iceland.  A land of wonderfully nice people who talk very fast and use letters and sounds like nothing that can be found in the U.S.  We gave it the good Old American try – when speaking that is and gave many, many Icelanders a great laugh.

The weather was similar to the Northeast’s for the first week of April.  This was their spring and I hear that summer starts next week.  While walking through the town of Reykjavik, I actually came upon a well routed dandelion and the crocus and other early spring flowers were sprouting.  While there we encountered light snow, rain, heavy rain and some great sunny days.  We did not encounter (to the naked eye) any of the Northern Lights.  Too late in the season and cloudy overhead.  On the evening we drove out in what they call a Jeep Tour, using a Path Finder (way to confuse the Americans), we scouted around for areas that were clear.  The guides radio between each other from their respective locations in the viewing area.  At an area where the Teutonic plates collide – The North American Plate with the European Plate, we stopped and shot some photos.  I kept getting a red glare in my shots.  Several on the trip accused me of clumsily getting my fingers in the way – I was wearing red gloves.  (#redgloveadventure)   I offered up my camera for them to shoot the photo and low-and-behold, they too got a red glare mixed in with the clouds.  The guides told us that although you can’t see the lights with the naked eye, the cameras can pick up the color coming through the lens.  So, although I didn’t see the Northern Lights, my camera had one heck of a time viewing them.

We, my sister and I, did the requisite tourist things, Northern Lights, Icelandic Pony horseback riding and the Blue Lagoon.  In addition to these activities, we managed to save on dinners so we could go out and meet the Icelanders at the clubs and have a wine or beer.  Food, drinking, hotels, clothing – just about everything is very expensive in Iceland.  A liter of gas is 247.50 kr, or $23.00/liter US.  Our ‘Jeep’ guide told us that it costs about $135.00 US to fill the Path Finder tank of 75 liters.  WOW!   Rumor has it they all make good money, so they are quite used to the prices.  Sticker shock for fellow travelers!

The Icelandic pony ride was fun, but being a horse person, I knew why the horses looked as they did – shed season.  If you did not know, you would think you were being given a flea-bitten old horse to ride.  Mangy to say the least.  You could view the ponies grooming one another to help ease the itch of the heavy shedding coat.  I got a 5-gaited horse on the way out, a nice mare that was used for breeding and she was not a slug on the trail, but keen on listening to my leg commands and cues.  She somehow suffered a bloody nose on the trail and the guide of the slower group offered to switch horses with me.  I rode another mare back to the barn from our 1.5 hour trip on the lava paths.  This mare was only 4-gaited.  I wasn’t disappointed at all.  This one was much more sensitive to seat and leg commands and wanted to be up front leading.  Riding any Icelandic is like sitting on a couch but moving.  They are smooth if you know where to place your bum.  They ride with a very long stirrup and leg out straight and extended way past the girth and shoulder/hip line – unlike the traditional rider of the Western or Dressage/Jumper variety.  A great trip!

On our way home we visited the Blue Lagoon. Luckily we met someone that lived in Iceland and told us to lather up our hair prior to the dip with gobs of hair-conditioner.  This helps protect your hair from the drying effects of the mineral water.  EVEN with gobs on the hair, I came out and washed my hair 4 times and applied hair conditioner 4 times.  My hair after a quick dry was like straw and had this very unique volume to it.  I quite resembled the attachment one has on some vacuums that is used to clean either drapes or furniture, bristly, coarse and just sticking out.

From the frigid wilderness of the lagoon location, we barely caught the bus back to Keflavík – the town where the airport is located – a mere 15 minutes from the Lagoon.  With about 2.74 kr in change, I left the land of smelly fish, wonderfully friendly people and $10 happy hour wine to come home to the U.S.A.  It was pleasant enough to want to return, but next time in summer, say maybe in a week?

Bless, bless, þangað til við hittumst aftur!  – As they say in Icelandic.

Unihemispheric Processing

I guess I have been living under a rock, but I never heard of this before.  I am a right-brain type of person, but really,  using only one-half of your brain so you can sleep and be awake at the same time? Terrestrial mammals do NOT have this capacity, however whales, dolphins, ducks, etc. do have this.

As I understand this, through evolution’s time, us humans might have had the ability to do the same. That basically is, the ability to sleep with one eye open and one-half of our brain awake so as to ward of predators.  For example ducks sleep in a group, perhaps four ducks on a log in the stream, sitting side-by-side.  The two center ducks will sleep with both eyes closed while the two ducks on the end will sleep with one eye open.  The eye that is facing the end of the log, assuming they are perpendicular to the log.  After so much time has passed, they will get up and rotate 180 degrees and let the other side of the brain and that open eye, get (as they say), “Shut Eye.”  Maybe this is where the term comes from.  Then, after more time has passed, the two center sleeping ducks will get up and replace the two ducks on the end.  Fascinating!  This is all based on no fox or predator coming to interrupt their sleep, but if the foxy-fox does come along, they will know because of the two ducks keeping guard.

Mammals in the water do this as they are mammals and must breathe air to survive, so they do Unihemispheric sleeping to stay awake, yet not awake while ‘logging’ on the surface.

The way I see it, Americans or the Japanese will figure out a way to do this or evolve back to this.  Think of it, the average American who works int he corporate world may work 50-60 hours, every dangling their electronic device off their fingers, checking work emails, returning calls, etc.  This same worker then has to come home to be the spouse, feed the kids, play with them, etc.  Where has the time gone?

If this worker could capture rest and sleep on the train, while watching their briefcase or purse, they get more sleep and perhaps more productivity so the top Fortune 100 or 500 companies will require them to work more hours based on this newly acquired way of sleeping.

After all, doesn’t if feel if we are all just mutated hamsters running on the treadmill of life, made to go faster, faster and faster?  Did you ever wonder if we are not the Barbie and Ken dolls of the extra-terrestrial beings from afar?  We are all in one big science lab experiment and they are playing with us.

Sorry God, this is all based on evolution.  There is so much more on this topic and if you are like me I found it quite interesting.  Okay, must run, time for the treadmill of life.  As one of my really smart friends would say, “Intergalactical.”

Some information on this can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763400000397

The Rattenborg review is only guessing, but I think its clear that there is a cost to unihemispheric sleep, even if we don’t know what it is. Cetaceans and birds and perhaps reptiles having unihemispheric sleep are all cases where there are perpetual and strong selection forces that maintain the ability in these animals. Without constant predation experienced by tasty ducks or the vagaries of being an air-breathing underwater mammal, animals quickly lose their ability to sleep with one half their brain, one assumes because the ability to maintain it is particular and easily lost with variation. Modelling work of the hemispheres in sleep indicates that the connections between the hemispheres are modulated between the two modes of sleep – there may be advantages to such brain structures for instance.

Ciao~!

Dung Beetles Disoriented – OMG~!

The other day while driving, I happened to hear a very interesting story.  A government paid grant funded a research on dung beetles.  Dung:  Feces, shit, poop – now you got it.  Dung beetles live on this and when a new pile of dung is discovered, they, or the most industrious of the group, rush to the dung.  They chop or slash off a bit, roll the dung into a ball and then furiously roll it back to their abode, wherever that is.  The problem is that the ‘less-industrious’ of the group, will stage high-jacks of the dung balls en-route to said abode.    Those beetles are the bully-dung beetles and probably carry around a pot belly similar to American beer drinkers and fast-food addicts.  (No offense here.)

So, this government paid grant was funded to see if the dung beetle could find its way home without the stellar/constellations above us.  Yes, turns out the dung beetles find their way around dung and back by following the stars.  Who knew???  What the heck do they do on a cloudy day??!!  (Ah-ha!  Another grant to fund.)

So, as I understand the experiment, the dung beetles were placed in a room with glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling.  They were able to successfully find the dung and back to the dung beetle abode by using said glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceilings.  HOWEVER, (God-forbid) when the crazy scientists moved or removed certain stars, the dung beetles were lost.  Can you just picture them rolling their little dung balls in circles.  The women beetles saying, “Ask for directions!!”  The husband/male dung beetles saying, “No, I know where I am going.”  In addition they don’t have Dungquest or Dunggle-Earth, so they could not find their way home.

I ask you, in all seriousness, where can I find grant money like this?  I am not sure yet what I want to study, but who on earth came up with an idea for this government funded grant?  Millions of Americans are starving and loosing their homes.  I guess this means we all should be able to sit back and rest comfortably because we know what the dung beetles use for navigation instead of Dungquest or Dunggle-Earth.  I don’t think this was rocket science, in fact I know it wasn’t.

p.s. Watch your poop.

Oh, for the love of Pets!

This morning, sitting peacefully at my computer, sipping my morning’s dose of caffeine, this most horrific of smells wanders into the office area.  “Oh no”  I think to myself, River is taking a dump again and it is one heck of a strong one.  His litter box sits relatively close to the office door, but when cleaned regularly, it is not a problem – except when the nasty, smelly, deeds are done.

This morning, the smell was just a bit more unique, more pungent.  I rose from my chair to see his had a little accident on the rug surrounding it and find a stray bit of the looser variety.  He is trying to be the good pet by scratching the run to cover it up.  I run off and get the heavy duty cleaner and a wad of paper towels and clean it up, telling him, “It’s okay.”

I then notice he is sitting in my office taking care of hygiene.  “Good kitty” I think, nothing worse that spots and trails throughout the house.  I look down and notice a shoe-leather diameter strand of errant poop hanging from his butt.  I am thinking, “Poor cat, must have eaten something that didn’t agree with him.”

I gingerly pick him up and rush to the paper towel dispenser to help him.  When, what to my wondering eyes does appear, but a poop covered, 6″ length of brown (duh) ‘something’ get extracted from his butt.  It is obvious to me now that the cat ate a piece of something about 6″ or longer.  I would like to thank my good fortune, that this length foreign string, yarn, leather piece passed with out veterinary assistance.

Gross, yes.  But as a mother you learn to do some of the most unimaginable things.  On this note, I will add this is a first and it was never on a bucket list of to do things.

River is fine, but will be watched that much closer.  “Hey, where did my mouse go….?”

Remember, you got the poop scoop here first.

~Funnyfoddergal~

No nips, No tucks but nippleitus.

Whew, just escaped that frostbite bullet.  I was fortunate enough to be able to change my plans to go to Vermont skiing this week.  Not that I don’t want to ski, but who wants frostbitten toes, nose, fingers, cheeks and anything else it wants to nip?  Not me.  Instead we will be traveling to the Green Mountains in the tepid month of March.

Mind you, nippleitus is still possible.  If you don’t know what this is, ask a guy.  Men can suffer from this affliction also, but it predominantly affects women.  On that note, off to have a hot toddy and a warm fire~!

Stay warm my friends and watch our for nippleitus!

Frostbite will be Nipping More Than My Nose

Frostbite will be Nipping More Than My Nose!

When planning for a ski vacation, the one thing out of your control is the weather. I will be skiing the mountains of Vermont this week, probably during the most freakin, unbearable cold weather of this winter!

I can guarantee you, I will be be taking nips to keep the nips off my nose, toes and any other part that Mr. Frostbite wants to take.

Cheerio and a Nip for you too~!