Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I guess it’s time for some words and some thoughts about stuff that’s going on. I’m in the lull between my birthday celebrations and Thanksgiving madness. My brother is going to be here tonight to deal with some of Mom's stuff. We leave for Keith's mother's in a few days. I spent most of last week house sitting. It's not really been that much of a "lull."

One thing I learned from my mother is that your birthday really should stretch until the next weekend, which is the way I’ve always tried to do it. My typical birthday modus operandi of hitting every thrift in town, and then some, had a different twist this year. First off, I had no money. Secondly, my thrifting these days is all about finding stuff for the booth, not for me, although I still do pick up a few things here and there that are not intended for resale. Due to these factors, I opted to hit a selected group of thrifts, as opposed to all of them.

I also took a short, but special, trip last weekend. I’ll write more about that later.

Anyway, back to the updates. The bright, crisp days of Fall are upon us. So are the cool, overcast days of Fall. It’s time to break out the outer wear, test the heater, put the warm blanket on the bed, and buy the fixings for hot chocolate and chili.

This is my favorite time of year, and not just because of the old birthday. It’s the time to cram your last days of outdoor activities in before the cold weather starts driving us all indoors. The upcoming holiday season puts a feeling of anticipation and excitement in the air. Spices and baking are eminent. Get ready.

The sunny days are bright enough to make you happy and active, the briskness is such a nice change from heat and humidity, and the overcast days are gloomy enough to bring on some melancholy, but not real sadness. It's like a seasonal respite between the miserable, sticky last days of summer and the upcoming cold and achiness of the winter.

I'm enjoying it immensely.

We went camping last weekend in October. It'll probably be my last trip for the year. I'm not a cold weather camper. Keith will go in the winter, but I'll opt to stay indoors where the warm things are.

We had a good time. Finally getting some rain in the area means that we're finally getting some bursts of fall color. It was cool enough that our pot of chili and spiced wine made the perfect evening combo. It was just a lot of fun.

I've discovered a new use for the blog: dropping hints for gifts! Both the Old 97's CD and the Belinda Carlisle memoir made it my way for my birthday. Pretty cool. Thanks, Keith. I wasn't intending for it to work that way, but it's a nice surprise.

The Old 97's are excellent as always. Saving the book for trip reading. Will have more to say on both later.

The election here was a nail-biter. We returned a strong, unabashedly liberal Democrat to the House, lost the chance to reclaim a Senate seat, and chose the first mayor in decades whose last name doesn't begin with an "A." I have some thoughts about the mayoral stuff for later, but I will say that it's so nice to know that the good people of my state chose to honor Jim Bunning by filling his congressional seat with someone equally as out of touch.

Got tons and tons to do around here before we leave. Hell, make that: before Danny gets here. It's going to be a wild week. I'm taking my laptop with me on the trip and I'll be making some updates from the road. I've got a lot planned for the rest of the year.

The one hard thing about Fall this year is not seeing Mom. We tended to see each other more at the end of the year than any other time due to the holidays. Keith and I always have a Thanksgiving for us here on Thanksgiving Day and another one a couple of days after for us and my mom. It was kind of weird planning only one feast the other day.

it was also strange not calling her on my birthday. Since I turned 40, I'd been calling her and telling her that she was now old enough to have a son who was whatever age I just turned. Couldn't do that this year. It's those little traditions that are all out of whack.

I'm still fighting the urge just about every day to pick up the phone and tell her that Bennie died. It's not right that she doesn't know. We've talked each other through pet deaths for years. She knew Bennie since her kitten days.

We got Bennie's ashes back from the vet and they did them up right. They are using a different company than before, so she came back in a small black velvet bag that had been placed in a nice red wooden box. I've always wanted to do something like that with Basil and Brianna's ashes, but have never been able to bear opening the cardboard boxes we got them back in. I'm glad Bennie was able to get the special treatment.

After fifteen or so years, ATT and I have parted ways on the email front. ATT was my first ISP in the early days. When we went to DSL, they weren't offering it in town yet, so Keith and I both switched to another company that did. I kept the ATT email going through a deal they have where you pay a smaller fee and all you have with them is an email address. I just didn't want to go through the hassle of changing it, given the number of places I used it.

Well, Thursday my email account was suspended because I forgot to update my billing card with them. I called the number they provided on their site to reinstate it and was told that I couldn't reinstate just an email account. I had to order full service. I explained that I didn't need service, just the email address. Person on the phone said they had never heard of that kind of arrangement and that there was no record of an account with my email on it in their system. That pissed me off, given that I'd been paying for almost ten years to keep that address.

So, I decided "to heck with them." It's time for a change. Which means that, on top of everything else, I'm also trying to notify folks and services with my new email address. I lost a lot of my info when the account was suspended, so if you're a correspondent of mine, leave me a note in the comments and I'll send you the new address.