Friday, October 24, 2014


A gray and misty day yesterday afternoon and we were going to lunch. Mark was driving us over to Popeye's Chicken for some of that delicious ghetto food, when all of a sudden traffic came to a complete stop. The light was green but everybody had stopped for a police car that came racing into the intersection with lights flashing. The cop stopped directly in the middle of the intersection, jumped out of his car, and threw up his hands like he was Diana Ross. Who was he stopping traffic for? Some VIP, an ambulance racing to the hospital with a seriously injured patient, maybe the President? The answer is none of the above. It was a funeral procession. We got stopped to allow a bunch of people who couldn't find the cemetery on their own, to run through the red light. I don't think the dead person was in a hurry. It's not like that corpse was late for Saint Peter, and if that cop hadn't allowed the hearse to run the red light, he wasn't going to let the poor soul in. I think this custom of funeral processions taking precedence over the living is insane. Many cars now have GPS units, or Sat/Nav, and if the bereaved are doing it old school, let the funeral parlor print everybody a map to the cemetery. For krissakes, the dead are dead, I'm hungry, Popeye's Chicken is so damn good, and I'm in a hurry.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gone Girl

My neighbor of twenty five years died on Monday morning. The guy next door asked me if I knew that "the old lady across the street" had died. That really grated on my nerves. She wasn't "the old lady across the street" to me, her name was Nonny and she was a good neighbor. She was ninety three years old so you might think it was her time, but I don't. Nonny wasn't ready to die. She went to mass every week until the end, she had excellent mental acuity, and she always was very kind to Mark and me. Nonny worked at Macy's until she was eighty four years old. The only reason she stopped working is because Hurricane Wilma blew Macy's away in 2005. Still, Macy's sent her Friends and Family coupons every once in awhile and Nonny would toddle over to our house and give them to Mark. In return Mark would send me over with homemade cookies, pies, and cakes for her. I only had one bad incident with Nonny. She asked that if I was going up to Publix, would I pick her up some bread and milk. When I returned, I handed her the bread and milk, and she asked how much did she owe me. You have to understand, Nonny reminded me of my mom. I told her not to worry, I couldn't take money from her. She was truly pissed at me for saying that. She told me that she wouldn't ever ask me to pick anything up for her again. She never did. Nonny was very independent.

I truly hate death. I know it's inevitable, and that if nobody died the place would be crawling with humans. Still, one day you're talking to somebody, having a nice conversation and the next day they're gone, gone for good. Those that believe in an afterlife might let it go more easily, but I don't think that way. Death is the end. All the intelligence, all the love, all the art, all the inventiveness contained in that person is lost in a blink of the eye. It's why I cherish life so much. It's the only life we have. So I am sorry to see Nonny go. I'm sorry that I'll never see her gardening in her bathing suit again, I'll never hear her tapping on my front door with a Friends and Family coupon for Mark, and I'm sorry that Chandler will never get to wag his tail at the sight of her again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Busy, Busy

I haven't had a home cooked meal in over a week, and I am so sick of take out Chinese, delivery pizza, and take out Mexican, that I put it in gear yesterday to get that kitchen whipped into shape. Still, even though I finished painting the kitchen, we had Mexican again because it isn't Mark ready yet.
After. Even though it looks like the same cabinets, the lower ones are new.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moth Balls

I wrote about the cats pooping in the front yard a while ago, and how much Chandler relishes those delicious nuggets. One of my sisters suggested mothballs to keep the cats out of the front yard, and although a friend of mine suggested mothballs were poisonous to dogs, I tossed a few handfuls of them out there anyway. I'll just have to be vigilant when I take the dogs out front. So anyway, here are the results of my mothballed front yard experiment. Last night I went out to feed the cats and they both were out front, strolling among the mothballs. They didn't seem the least bit bothered by them. Then this morning when I took the dogs for a walk, I opened the front door, and there was the neighbor's cat lounging among the mothballs. She was laying out in the yard completely at ease while surrounded by the chemical stench of mothballs. So now I have a front yard that the cats are still pooping in, strewn with mothballs, and every time I open the front door it smells like a crazy cat lady's closet.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spackle Pot and Pizza

I am in the final stage of my kitchen remodel, the painting part. You might think painting is an easy job, you would be wrong. Painting the kitchen involves first, the removal of mounds, and mounds of Mark's kitchen gadgets, containers, and utensils. This is no easy task. As of this moment the dining room table and chairs are all covered with crap that I have removed from the kitchen. I then have to tape off all the areas I do not want paint on, Spackle the holes in the wall where Mark had hung everything from a cuckoo clock to a sack of pecans, and then sand down all the Spackle. There is a lot of Spackle because I have tried to cover the wall paper border in preparation for painting over that crap. My biggest problem is that I have to do this all alone. I have no help. No skinny, shopaholic, sidewalk foreman helping me. Just me... and the dogs. Luckily it's hard to see the paint on their mottled colored fur. It's not like when I was young, in my early twenties, and people would throw painting parties. I can remember a number of those. Some people supplied beer and pizza to entice friends to come and help, others supplied pot and pizza, while the truly brilliant would give each guest one amphetamine pill at the door and hand them a paint brush. You cannot entice people my age to come over and help you paint. No amount of promised wine, vodka, or drugs, which at our age would be Crestor, can get your old fart friends to come over and spend a day painting your kitchen. Not even if they live with you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Border Skirmish

I don't know who invented wallpaper, but I hope that person is rotting in hell with the guy who invented Linoleum. When Mark suggested wallpaper years ago, I was skeptical. He assured me that it was a great idea and that he knew how to put wallpaper up. He didn't really, but he put it up on the walls anyway. I found out how horrible it is to remove wallpaper a few years later. Back when we were redoing our kitchen in 2001, wallpaper borders along the top of the wall were very much in style. So as a finishing touch, that is what Mark did. He put up a wallpaper border. Now, thirteen years later, it is my job to remove that thing. "Don't worry." Mark tells me, "I bought that new steam machine. It comes with an attachment for removing wallpaper." There are two problems with the steam machine. First of all, steam turns into water when it hits the wall. It then dribbles down onto everything that you do not want to get wet, including the dogs who think I have torn apart the kitchen for their amusement. Secondly, it doesn't work. I tried and tried, but that wallpaper border would not budge. So I got some of that Dif brand wallpaper remover. I did everything in the instructions that I was told to do. I poked holes in the paper, sprayed the Dif on the wall, and waited twenty minutes. It didn't work. After scraping and scraping, all I got was a mess on the wall. I gave up on the Dif and Googled "How to defeat wallpaper" to find out if there was another way. There is. I will paint over that wallpaper border. According to Google I should cover the paper with a coating of 'joint compound' (write your own joke here), sand it down, paint it with primer, and then paint the room. When I advised Mark of my plans I got this, "Sigh, You never do things right. It's going to look like shit."  That tells me that I'm doing the right thing.