Witty and wise

It occurred to me this morning that this year will be a milestone birthday for me. If I live that long, I will be 75 in October. Now I’m not being negative when I say “if I live that long” but rather pragmatic. I have a dicky heart, a bloopy thing in my stomach that doesn’t belong there (‘bloopy’ is the technical term the doctor used), and the possibility of major surgery coming up soon to remove said bloopy thing.

If I’m around to celebrate that milestone birthday most probably I won’t. None of my milestone birthdays have ever been celebrated. Not my 16th, or my 21st or my 50th or my 65th – I think those are the major ones. Some folks would add in the 30th and 40th but I don’t consider them special. Heck, I think I long ago gave up thinking any birthday was special. You kinda get used to the idea that your birthday, and by extension you, are not special.

Tho to be very honest here, on my 21st birthday a woman in the office I was working in got me a cake – the first birthday cake I could remember. So that was nice. No one else acknowledged that milestone, including my parents. Actually my mother called me the day after, and when I reminded her that my birthday had been the day before she replied “Oh, really? I thought it was today” How does your mother forget your birthday, she was there, right?

And on my 40th birthday the bar/restaurant where I hung out allowed a friend to bring in a birthday cake and the bartender even sent out for a really good bottle of champagne (since they didn’t stock anything he deemed worthy – nice man!)

So I’ve had two birthday cakes in my whole life. Tho, again, that’s only within memory. For all I know there was cake when I was 1 or 2 or 3 or 4…I don’t remember.

Why am I thinking about something that won’t happen until October? Don’t know why about that either. It just crossed my mind. It’s not like I don’t have more important things to occupy my mind, I do. Perhaps that’s why I am projecting six months into the future. Or because I’m amazed that I am this old. That despite all my medical issues, I don’t think of myself as old. And 75 is old. I don’t look in the mirror and see old.

I’m not sure what old is anymore. The boundaries have been pushed a bit on that. I’m certainly not wise tho I must admit I have mellowed – quite a bit, quite a bit. A whole lot of anger is gone. I can talk about my early life without anger. Truly. And that is like amazing to me. And it just happened. I didn’t work at it. Poof! Anger gone. Cool. Took a damn long time but still, take whatever good stuff you can find, right?

I titled this post “Witty and wise” – I am neither, this post is neither but who doesn’t love a bit of alliteration?

Another reason my mother never liked me

I’ve mentioned at various times that I didn’t play with dolls, didn’t have dolls, don’t know why people like dolls. I have no recollection of having a doll(s), yet I have photographic proof that I did. According to my mother, when I was given a doll, the first thing I did was take all the clothes off.  

Then the war began. 

She would re-dress the doll, I would take the clothes off the doll. On, off, on, off. I was told that once I hid the clothes under my bed mattress. I didn’t care about dolls so much that basically I would just drag the unclothed doll around by the arm or the foot…My mother finally gave up on the whole doll thing. I was just an unnatural girl child. 

My mother, on the other hand, loved dolls. When my younger brother started kindergarten my mother went to work at the Ideal Toy Factory. She worked in the doll department as a hair rooter. Every time Ideal came out with a new doll, she bought one. I think the Shirley Temple doll was her pride and joy. But also she was super fond of baby dolls. 
While I had no use for dolls I did loved stuffed animals, that was just the generic term for any kind of soft stuffed toy. Nowadays they call them plushies or stuffies I still call them stuffed animals. I had quite the collection as a child, my father bought them for me.
I still have a few, presents from my husband. Plus I have a few hand puppets (I LOVE puppets).  I have winnowed my toys over the years but I still can’t resist hugging any and all soft, fluffy, stuffed animals. I have resisted buying them but not oohing and ahhing over any I see. 
This reminiscence has been brought to you courtesy of today’s grocery shopping trip where almost every aisle had a display of stuffed bunnies and chicks and even bears, all decked out for Easter. I think Easter may be my favorite holiday only, and because of, all the soft, fluffy stuffies. 
I need a soft fluffy Easter bunny!
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Things that go through my mind when I can't sleep

Last night was pretty much sleepless. I wasn’t feeling sleepy yet I was physically tired. Perhaps it was the pain keeping me from sleeping? Or the late afternoon not-very-deep sleep nap I had.


I found myself thinking about the word prefix. Now then, a prefix is an affix, which means: “one or more sounds or letters occurring as a bound form attached to the beginning or end of a word, base, or phrase or inserted within a word or base and serving to produce a derivative word or an inflectional form

Pre– those 3 letters are in themselves a prefix, meaning before (See HERE for a list of common prefixes and suffixes).  So the word itself is an example of a prefix. 

Are you confused yet? It’s really simple if you can hold all the definitions in your mind at the same time. 

In my ‘won’t -go-to-sleep’ brain last night my mulling about the word prefix did not include suffixes – that was mentioned in passing but my brain didn’t dwell on it at all.  In the light of today with some memory refreshing research, I stumbled over affix (see above) which also defines suffix, which is attached to the end of a word. 

Since every question and subsequent answer generates more questions, as I was writing this I thought “What is a word that defines itself called?” 

And the answer to that is: autological (“An autological word (also called homological word) is a word that expresses a property that it also possesses (e.g., “word” is a word, “noun” is a noun, “English” is English, “pentasyllabic” has five syllables”)

The opposite of autological is: Heterological – “an autological word is a word that describes itself, and a heterological word is a word that does not describe itself.”

Oh, there’s more but I will spare you. In talking about autological and heterological one falls in the paradox arena, a place from which I can never escape sane. 

Last night’s sleepless mulling, turned into this morning’s trip down the language/grammar rabbit hole and now it’s time to shower and dress and move on to more practical matters.

(I’m so glad I took Latin in high school…)

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Miscellaneous Mishegoss

 ~ I’m not very active on social media, if at all. I have an IG account but since my cat died I haven’t had anything to post there. I have never seen the point to Twitter and the only reason I have an account is so that when when a Tweet is referenced somewhere else I can see what they are talking about. Let’s see what else – Pinterest? I have no idea what the hell that is about. Tik-Tok? Again, no idea what the use of that is. I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know about and, quite frankly, don’t care about. 

Then there is FB – what a waste of space, at least for someone like me. I’ve been on and off FB since it’s inception (and haven’t I spoken about this recently?). Anyway I have deactivated my account, the one under my current name, and opened an account under my birth name. I have no ‘friends’ on this new account it is simply to keep track of a few ‘pages’ that amuse me on a regular basis – The Oatmeal, A Small Fiction, Marty’s Mouse House (don’t ask LOL). 

The reason for the deactivation was a post by someone I ‘know’ that disturbed me very much. I hid the post but I can’t unsee it.  Most of my FB friends, few that they are, share my sensibilities. There are one or two who lean more conservative but they have never been obnoxious, as I hope I’ve never been obnoxious, in sharing memes and such that support our different ways of looking at life. 

But this really nice person either posted themself, or shared someone else’s post, something that is just beyond the pale – so disturbing to me. It is probably not the worst thing ever posted on FB, far from it, but – Ack! I just can’t. 

I don’t normally see a lot of the crap people complain about because I simply don’t have those kinds of friends and I don’t subscribe to any social/political/news/opinion pages. I don’t belong to any groups. But this one post, totally out of the blue, shocked me. Upset me. I don’t want to think about it and yet I can’t unsee it. Distressing. 

~ Some of you that have known me for a long time know about my family history so I won’t go into the background. My niece, a grown woman of 46, has been in touch with me on and off for 20 years. She notified me via Ancestry that my mother had died and when I messaged her back she said she would like to stay in touch – and then – radio silence. That is okay, truly. Our relationships with our mutual family members are very different. Her story is her story, and mine is mine. And they are different. I see no reason to mess with her story.

She fancies herself a writer and has been publishing on Medium for several years. I’ve read her stuff there, and when she writes about family members I often laugh at the misinformation but never comment – again, her story, her experience – not my place to correct what she has been told. 

Anyway, she hasn’t posted anything, anywhere for over a month. Yes, I follow her social media. She has never gone this long without posting something somewhere. I’m a little worried something is wrong but I will not insinuate myself into her life. She knows I follow her, she knows I would be happy to hear from her, she has chosen to not be in contact (again).  I know, I’m kind of a stalker. Sue me.

~ The vaccination thing Saturday went brilliantly. The whole operation is staffed with volunteers and they were all LOVELY. Then again, most of the people I encounter, wherever I have lived, have been lovely. People are generally kind – something I think we forget on a daily basis because the media is filled with stories of the people who are assholes. 

Then again, people have a tendency to be kind to older folks who walk with canes. 

My husband is, as predicted by me, feeling quite pookie today. I’m experiencing no side effects at all at this time. Who knows, maybe it will hit me tomorrow, or not at all. 

I realize this is all tl;dr but I’m just clearing out my mind to make room for other things to ruminate on. 

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I count things

Whenever I write about odd things I do someone chimes in and says “Hey, me too!” which I find very comforting. I’m not so weird after all – Yay!

I’m a counter. I’m a calculator – as in – determine the amount or number of something mathematically. 

My husband and I take 2 prescription medications each and a number of supplements. I have those pill organizer where you can dole out a weeks worth of pills at a time. Since our prescriptions must be taken morning and night I have two each of the pill organizers – morning and night. My husband’s prescriptions require 2 pills, twice a day. Therefore I am dispensing 7 or 14 pills at a time in each organizer. 

There are 7 boxes in the organizer, all I have to do is drop the required doses in each little box, I don’t need to count. But I do – sometimes silently in my head, sometimes out loud. I dump a bunch of pills in my hand and then count out – One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. The 2-pill doses get counted – two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen as I drop 2 of the pills in each box.  This counting is NOT necessary. Just fill each little box with the proper dose, right? One pill or two. And yet, I count.

Then there is my thing about dates. Oy! If I’m reading anything, book, newspaper article – anything – and a date is given I store that. Say it’s a DOB. Then later on I read that the person did something at age 31, I automatically pull up the DOB from memory, add 31 years and get a new date which I then store in my memory for use later, say when the story then states this person died 37 years after that. Ok, now I have the birth year, the 31st year, and then I add the 37 years and Bingo, I get the year the person died. 

I do this all the time with dates. I’m always putting them in some sort of perspective. If you say “Oh that happened back in ’37” I immediately deduct 1937 from the current year to get however many years have passed. There is no need for this (most of the time). But I can’t help myself. I’ve never even tried to NOT do this. I can carry this whole date thing throughout a entire book. 

I would give you more example but it gets confusing, doesn’t it? This past week in a newspaper column dates and ages and time spans were sprinkled throughout and when I did my mental calculations as I read along they didn’t add it up. That disturbed me. I almost sent in a correction “No, given those dates that person only lived there for 20 years, not 30.” I didn’t but it still is playing in my mind leading to this post. 

I love digital clocks because then I can do precise calculations – it’s now 9:13 and this has to cook for 19 minutes so it will be done at 9:32.  I’m not all that good with telling time using the 24-hour clock so if time is referenced that way of course I have to re-calculate it to 12-hour clock time but I think everyone does that, so not an odd habit. 

If I’m slicing something, and it doesn’t matter in the least how many slices there are, I still count how many slices I make. Why? I’m just taking a big piece and making it smaller – the number doesn’t matter. If I have two big pieces, after I cut up the first one, I will then cut the second one into the same amount of pieces as the first – EVEN THO IT DOESN’T MATTER. 

Am I crazy, or do any of you do this automatic counting thing too?

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I suppose I could be just as annoying as everyone else

 Throughout this whole virus mishegoss I occasionally whined about all the whiners. Aside from a bit of trouble getting bread and milk last March the lockdown and restrictions have had NO affect on my life at all. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Ninguno. 

Sure, sure, I’ve put off an eye exam and re-scheduled my opthamologist appointment (those are two different things in my world, my opthamologist doesn’t do refraction exams). Somehow eye exams are a little too up-close and personal. My poor husband has had only two professional haircuts in this past year. I’ve done a little hair housekeeping for him, and as for myself, I always cut my on hair so no change there. 

First it was all about getting tested for the virus, then last December when the first vaccines became available, there was this crazy frenzied (is that redundant?) bitching and moaning about how hard it was to score some drugs. Fast forward into January and then the beginning of February and there was the crowing and bragging and the Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Booing of those who got their vaccinations. Oy! It really annoyed me. 

I didn’t register us (my husband and I, both 74 years old with underlying medical conditions) until the beginning of February. A week after I registered with the county the state hi-jacked the vaccination system. Supposedly those who had registered with their counties would get automatically rolled into the state registration. I checked, we weren’t, so I registered again, that was about 2 weeks ago. 

Last week the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved – a one and done vaccine. My husband said – “I want that one”. I said “We’ll take what we get but we probably won’t get an appointment until May or June, so…”

Last night I checked my email around 7:20pm and there was an email from the state health department – we were being offered vaccination appointments. Not only that but at the top of the list of the three locations we could access was a place about a half-mile away and it was dispensing the J&J vaccine. Score. 

I immediately made my husband turn on his computer and access his email and he had the same one. I had him accept the invitation and we got consecutive appointments. Saturday, March 6th, 11:30am and 11:45am. I was so excited! 

So now I know what all all those nanny-nanny-boo-boo people were feeling. This morning my excitement has abated. It is all just ho-hum. My only concern is what time to leave the house to get there on time but not too early because despite the vaccination location being a mere ten minute walk from here we will have to take an Uber – my husband can’t walk that far – and you never know how long it will take for an Uber to respond – especially when we are going such a short distance. 

Have I now joined the ranks of the annoying?

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Sunrise, Sunset, Some Junk

~ I’ve noticed the days get longer, well, the day doesn’t get any longer, still 24 hours, but it gets dark later in the day. I’m writing this at 6:30am and it is still dark out, the sun isn’t up yet, well it is but from where I live I can’t see it yet. Daylight Savings Time will soon be upon us and I hate it. 

Not just the PITA that changing all the clocks is, but that sunset comes later in the day. That it is light out until close to 8pm. And that the sunrise is also later in the day. I like the sun and the light early in the day. While I am not a morning person, it seems, for some unknown reason, that I get up, feeling rested, quite early. This morning I was out of bed at 4:45am (don’t you just love digital clocks?) 

The birds were late this morning, the mourning doves didn’t begin hooting until about a half hour ago, the cawing crows mere minutes ago. They are late. All through the Winter the birds were busy and noisy by 5am. 

I like the sun to be setting by 6pm. By 7 it should be almost gone. 7pm is night time, it should be dark. Our apartment faces West so we enjoy the sunsets but never see the moon and afternoons our apartment is flooded with light – which is nice but in the Summer it’s too much too late. 

I like light in the morning. I like to wake up to light. And with this weird new schedule of mine, getting up so early, it is even more imperative to me that I have the sun in the morning and the moon at night. And yes, that’s a song! 

~ Pop Tarts.  They have their own web site it seems. I didn’t grow up with pop tarts, and I can’t remember when I first ate one. They are the most junkiest of junk food, and unlike other junk food, they don’t even taste good. Two pieces of cardboard with the most artificial tasting artificial filling. Some have some gross rock hard crud coating them which is described as frosting.  And yet – 

I find myself craving Pop Tarts. I do toast them, then make slits in them and add butter. Oh yum! No, not yum, Not yum at all.  They are gross and disgusting. They are sugary cardboard crap. They are a total waste of my precious daily calorie count. I WILL NOT succumb to my irrational craving for them. 

And yet, I find myself craving Pop Tarts. What the hell is wrong with me? 

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