Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So the search begins

You might remember that our much-loved 'vert, pictured here in Florida on one of our vacations, was replaced earlier this spring due to a bad transmission. All things considered, it would have been just too costly to replace.

Now that we've had a few nice days this spring, we're really startin to miss 'er. Bad.

So we've decided that we'd buy another convertible of some type. It doesn't have to be new and it doesn't have to be fancy...a third car that we can tool around in in the nice weather and store in the winter. A "play" car.

Now there happens to be a used-car lot...and I use that term very in our little town. Let's just say that, if one were to pass this particular location, one might mistake it for a junk yard. In fact, it does boast of it's very own junkyard it were.

Ok, so it's a...beagle. But he's pretty ferocious-sounding. Sorta.

Aaaanywho, da Zigmeister happened to spot a 'vert in the lot. A '91 Chrysler Le Baron that looked pretty much like this one...

But, as most of us know, looks can be deceiving...especially when it comes to used cars.

We go to check it out this morning and the owner ambles out, offering Zig a set of keys.

What he says is, "Go ahead and take 'er for a ride." But with a pretty pronounced speech impediment, it sounds more like, "O head n thnake 'er fo a rhide."

The car looks pretty decent. You can tell it's been loved...but not very well taken care of. The top is new...but the back windows (electric, of course) are stuck in the "up" position. The tires aren't bad. It's got a new engine, but since the odometer...nor speedometer, for that matter...doesn't work, we're not sure how many miles is on it.

Ok, so we can deal with all that...after's supposed to be just a play car. We won't be takin any long trips in it.

So da Zigster gets in and tries to start it. It cranks. And cranks. And cranks.

He starts to take the key out to give it back to the guy...and the whole ignition thingy comes out...with the key still stuck in it.

"Whell...schtick it bah in there an thry it agin."

Zig shoves it back into the gaping hole, cranks it again...and it fires right up, sounding like a small version of a jet engine.

Through my hysterical laughter, I say, " least we wouldn't hafta worry about anybody stealing it."

Zig looks at me and asks if I wanna go on the test drive.

I say no...I think it's better that I stay there...with the junkyard beagle and the old guy...just in case he needs someone to come and get him.

I sit in the man-van, smoke a cigarette and wait 10 minutes.

I see him coming back down 29, slow to turn into the lot...and notice...he's not using his turn signal.

Yea. Those don't work, either.

I think we'll keep looking.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Whatta day, whatta day....

...whatta glorious day!

The weather was fabulous, so we headed outside this morning to work on a few "projects". We love projects around here.

First, we manhandled our dining table outside and da Zigster gave it a good sanding. About 6-7 years ago, in my "Kandinsky phase", I painted the tabletop in a brightly-colored abstract, emulating a Kandinsky painting. I was kinda sad to see it go, but it was time. I was gettin tired of it. Now, it's a nice, satiny-finish black.

While he painted, I picked up a fraction of the thirty-gazillion pieces of driftwood that the flood washed into the yard.

Then we headed off to our little local hardware store. I looove that's almost like one of those old-fashioned general stores...they have everything from paint to
  • Anti-Monkey Butt Powder

  • I wish I'd have taken the Flip and done a little video. Next trip, fer sure.

    So we came home and I planted one of our purchases from Geiger's...a little pot of basil. I planted some from seed, but it was growin far too slowly to suit me.

    We hauled the table back in and while Zig spiffed up the deck, I started on our Memorial weekend feast. The other day, while at Schnuck's, I snagged a bag'o mussels and some crab claws. I threw in a handful of shrimp that I already had.

    Add a Caprese salad, some crusty bread to sop up da garlicky-buttery-seafoody juice and Voila! We had a party.

    Before the feeding frenzy.

    After the feeding frenzy.

    I know. It looks like an enormous pile of food for two people. But it takes about three mussels for a good bite and the crab claws weren't much better. And we didn't eat it all. Just enough to stuff ourselves.

    We did have a few visitors during our feast...but they wouldn't stay to eat.

    And, as if our gorgeous view isn't enough, we had this to look at while we chowed.

    Now Ziggy's snoring softly in the recliner...and I'm seriously thinkin about joinin him.


    I'm tellin ya...this exciting life we lead is exhausting. heh

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    Sometime between the picnic and the partying...

    ...take just a moment to remember why.

    And after the parties and the picnics are over, please make a donation to
  • Honor Flight

  • I caught the tail end of a piece about this organization on the news tonight and ironically, I read about it again while browsing through the
  • local paper

  • I know times are tough. And I'm certainly not one to urge people to anything. But this is near and dear to my heart...even more to Ziggy's.

    We're losing about 1,000 World War II vets a day. This organization provides trips free of charge for our remaining WWII vets to visit memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

    And Honor Flight isn't stopping with WWII veterans.

    "Subsequent to the World War II veterans, our efforts will then focus on our Korean War and then Vietnam War veterans, honoring them similarly."

    You can donate any amount you want...and you can do it online. Easy-peasy.

    For the price of that hamburger or hot dog...or that Corona or two...that you'll enjoy this weekend, you can help send a vet to Washington.

    That's a damn small price to pay...considering what they did for us.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    They're heeeere

    The night is balmy. The air feels like a cool, silk sheet against my skin. A thin fog hangs over the floodwaters of the Illinois River. The fog is occasionally pierced by the spotlight from a barge, slowly grumbling it's way up the river.

    Hundreds of hidden tree frogs softly shrill a lullaby, punctuated by the occasional splash of a fish.

    Suddenly, the screech of a guitar riff blasted from six-foot tall speakers slices through the river's night song.

  • Summer Camp
  • is here.

    The population of our little town will triple this weekend. We're expecting about 10,000 summer-campers.

    And they're all right across the street.

    Ok, to be more precise, one street and one highway.

    To be honest though, it isn't bad. To be even more honest, I wish I was 20...ok, 30...years younger, 'cause I'd be right in the middle of it. heh

    They're not normal

    I've owned cats my whole life. Or rather, they've owned me.

    But I've never had a pair of cats that are as...bizarre?...neurotic? these two. I bought them a perfectly lovely, plush cat bed. In our living room, there's a big, cushy recliner and a nice soft sofa. Each bedroom has a bed. But do they sleep or otherwise hang out in any of those nice places?

    Hell no.

    Meet Wingnut and Deadbolt. Da boys. Otherwise known as Stewie and Simon.

    Zig's dirty, stinky work clothes are like catnip to 'em.

    They love, love, love to hang out...and sleep...on the loft ladder. It's supposed to hang on a big cleat on the wall, out of the way until we need it. But because da boys love it so much, we leave it down.

    After having fallen asleep on the ladder a time or two...and fallen off...Stewie now braces his head against the rail and snoozes away.

    Stewie also likes our wicker chest in the bedroom. Didja ever try to get cat hair out of a piece of wicker?

    He's also been known to catch forty winks on our table...but the light bothers him.

    "Ewww! Sour!"

    Simon's no slouch when it comes to unusual positions, either.


    "What's for supper, Ma? Got any tuna?"

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    These menopausal mood swings have got to stop

    Good gawdalmighty.

    I bawled most of the way through the Idol finale. But holy shit...whatta show.

    Rod Stewart started me off. He just looked and sounded so...feeble. Damn near broke my heart when he belted...uh...mewled out "Maggie May". One of my most favorite songs ever.

    Why is it that we always think of our music idols as young and vibrant? I suppose it's because we idolized them when we were young and vibrant. Anyway, it made me really sad.

    Oh, and as an aside, was it just me, or did anyone else think Cindy Lauper went into a trance and was tryin to channel Geronimo during "Time After Time"?

    Just when I thought I might be ok, they brought out Carlos Santana...and I lost it again. Santana is fucking awesome. I wanna be his guitar.

    Another aside...Lionel Richie looks better than he used to. Either he's had some work done or he's just one of those men who actually gets better looking as he ages. Oh, he's still ugly. But he used to be damn ugly.

    I totally and completely lost it near the end when Queen showed up and the two boys did "We Are the Champions". See, Queen holds a special little spot in my heart. One of my most favorite things to do in the car is throw in a Queen CD and try to sing along with Freddie as they do "Bohemian Rhapsody". It ain't pretty. That's why I do it in the car. By myself. heh

    Anywho, I'm glad the Idol season is over.

    Now when are these friggin mood swings gonna stop?

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    Who knew??

    Anthony Hopkins...Hannibal the Cannibal, hisownself...Sir friggin Anthony Hopkins...

    An American Idol fan??

    Sho'nuf. He's right up front, clappin his ass off.

    Now I don't feel quite so...lame. heh

    Whatta contest. These two finalists can sing they's asses off. I love 'em both...but I think I like Kris just a teeny bit better. Adam's too...just too...perfect. Know what I mean?


    Ok, Adam's version of "Change is Gonna Come" just blew my socks off. Wait. I'm not wearin socks. Well, it woulda.

    Update II:

    Looooved Kris' "What's Goin On". Screw you, Simon.

    Update III

    Kara's song sucketh. Makes me think of the Mother Superior singin "Climb Every Mountain" in The Sound of Music. Adam had a big mountain to climb with that one...and I think he only got halfway.

    Good gawd. Kris didn't make it more than halfway, either.

    They should be shot for makin 'em sing that drivel.

    Read it and weep


    First, there's
  • this

  • PEORIA —
    Two teenage parents pleaded guilty Monday to abusing their 5-month-old son, causing several rib fractures, fractures to the infant's leg and bruising. Chamberlain said more than a dozen ribs were fractured. The child also had a bruise on his face, apparently from Luncsford biting him. The fractures to the ribs, wrist and legs occurred over about a month.

    Then I come home and find
  • this

  • posted at
  • Leslie's

  • A Bakersfield father is accused of biting out one of the eyes of his small child and similarly mutilating the other eye, leaving the child blind.

    Biting the child's eyes out.

    Honest ta gawd. I simply cannot Leslie said, words fail.

    Both of these incidents brought to mind another local
  • case

  • The 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents' house on Feb. 4, strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found in the same position, said Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons during a bond hearing for the parents.

    "He died from starvation due to neglect from these two defendants, his parents," Lyons said. "It's the worst case of child neglect we have seen since the turn of this century."

    I can't think of a punishment bad enough for people that do horrible things to kids. I have no sympathy. No empathy. No understanding. I don't care if they're poor and uneducated...if they're immature and irresponsible and ignorant.

    I simply cannot understand how a person could be so inhumane to a helpless baby. Can. Not. Understand.

    Most animals treat their young far better than some humans do.

    Now here's your public service announcement for the day.

    If you suspect child abuse in Illinois, REPORT it by calling 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)

    It's easy to pick up the phone and call. Because I'm a "mandated reporter", I've had to call several times. The people that man the hotline are nice. They'll ask you to tell them what you've seen or heard...all the details. If they feel the situation is serious enough, they'll send an investigator ASAP.

    "People who report alleged child abuse or neglect in good faith cannot be held liable for damages under criminal or civil law. In addition, their names are not given to the person they name as the abuser or to anyone else unless ordered by a hearing officer or judge. Members of the general public may make reports without giving their names."

    More from the Illinois
  • DCFS site

  • You should call the child abuse hotline whenever you believe that a person who is caring for the child, who lives with the child, or who works with or around children has caused injury or harm or put the child at risk of physical injury as defined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. Some examples include:

    * If you see someone hitting a child with an object.
    * If you see marks on a child's body that do not appear to have been caused by accident.
    * If a child tells you that he or she has been harmed by someone.
    * If a child appears to be undernourished, is dressed inappropriately for the weather, or is young and has been left alone.

    And, Leslie pointed out, sometimes the system fails. Spectacularly. We always hear the horror stories about how badly the system fails. More times than not, it doesn't fail. We rarely hear about those successes, do we? But it can't work at all if we don't use it. If we can save one innocent life...if we can save one baby from suffering...then it's worth it, isn't it?

    Each of us, as human beings, need to take a little responsibility. We need to be a voice for those that don't have one. BE curious. BE nosy. BE pro-active.

    I'm just one giant smiley-face

    Blech! heh

    Not one of my favorite colors, but it pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    You Are Yellow

    You are bright, vibrant, and cheerful. Your energy can take over a room.

    You look on the sunny side of life. You are able to avoid stress, anxiety, and burnout.

    It's hard to get you down, and you've rarely been depressed in your life.

    You tend to have a clear mind and an unburdened heart. You try to bring as much light as possible into your life.

    Again, swiped from
  • Jay
  • Monday, May 18, 2009

    The shoes are always the first to go

    The bra's a close second.

    You Are Carefree in Life

    You are the life of the party. You also are completely uninhibited and honest.

    You are the happiest when you are planning and dreaming. You like to live in the future.

    You are sensitive and considerate. You are always putting other people's needs before your own.

    You have found what you want in life and are quite content. You know a lot about yourself.

    Un-surreptitiously swiped from
  • Jay
  • Surf's up!!

    And a big-ass Asian Carp.

    This was shot yesterday afternoon. You can compare this and the one from Saturday and see how much the water has risen. Unlike back in September and again in March, the water seems to be rising a lot slower this time.

    The lot just west of us is sloped just enough that, when it floods, it fills up pretty deep. Deep enough for a few big Asian Carp. They're evidently not very smart...they swim clear up into the shallows and get sorta stuck...then flip and flop until they get back into deeper water.

    The ducks and geese do love it, though. I expect they're feeding on all the worms and nightcrawlers that are trying to escape the water.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    You're gonna need a bigger boat... we got one.

    Here...we go...again.

    Da Zigster's been workin most of the day, makin the boat seaworthy, yankin stuff up outa the yard and movin it to higher ground. I'm pretty sure, by tomorrow morning, we'll be an island again.

    Three major floods within the last eight months. You'd think smarter people would have given up by now, huh?

    Dreaming of the fishies...

    ...that'll soon be in our yard.

    It's not like either of 'em would know what to do with a fish if they caught one.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009


    It's about 9 pm. It's windy, but warm and there's a short break in the multiple thunderstorms we've had all day. I have the front door open. The river's very rough, and I can hear waves breaking on the sea wall.

    If I close my eyes, I'm transported back a few years ago to another warm spring evening. We're in our much-loved Key Largo (just like Bogie and Bacall), sittin under "our" tiki hut on the beach, swiggin a Corona, listening to the waves lap on the shore.


    It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

    If you're a fish. Or a duck.

    Good gawd...for every nice day around here, we're rewarded with three...or four...or five...nasty, cold, rainy days.

    I need some sustained sunshine, dammit!

    While there are lots of gorgeous things blooming, the vibrant colors are dulled into varying shades of gray by the crappy weather. And it's funny...the older I get, the more the weather seems to affect my mood and my energy levels...even the way I think.

    When it's crappy like this, my mind is all slow and sluggish and...blah. Take, fr'instance...blogging. I can't drag a decent post out of the depths of my rain-soaked brain.

    So I'm essentially babbling. (sigh)

    My one bright spot of the day, so far, was tormenting the cat. How friggin sad is that?

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    It's different this time

    I mean it.

    On April 14, I posted about yet another attempt to
  • lose the lard

  • My current attempt isn't so much about not being fat anymore. It's about feeling better and not developing a disease that could eventually lead to me gradually losing bits and pieces of my precious self. I've grown pretty fond of my ickle-bickle toes...not to mention my life.

    So I'm down 10 pounds. And I definitely feel better.

    Fellow blogger,
  • Jen
  • made a comment that's kind of stuck in my mind.
    Somewhere I read "the difference between the fat and the thin is that the thin SOMETIMES give into cravings."

    Now, I don't buy into all the self-analysis crap (didja ever notice that the first part of the word analysis is anal?) when it comes to being fat.

    I'm not an "emotional eater"...I don't eat any more when I'm sad than I do when I'm happy. I haven't stayed fat for all these years because of any kind of "self-protection mechanism". I wasn't abused as a child, sexually or otherwise.
    I've never had much of a problem getting boyfriends...hell, I've been married three times. I've done pretty much anything I wanted to with my life and have never felt like being fat was holding me back...from anything.

    Well, except for wearing a bikini. Believe it or not, there are some things that I just won't do.

    And I certainly don't feel like there's anything lacking in my life. Except for that million bucks I haven't won in the lottery yet.

    I'm fat because I like food and usually don't know when to stop. Period.

    Aaaanyway, simple as it was, Jen's comment was the closest thing I've had to an a-ha! moment.

    So the last couple-three weeks has been all about occasionally giving in to those cravings. And maybe more importantly, not beating myself up over doing so.

    I'm still doing the caveman thing. Mostly meat, fish and fresh or frozen veggies. Salads. The occasional potato. Popcorn for snacking. "Real" food. Food that you can recognize as coming from the earth...growing or living.

    I've tried to eliminate as much processed crap as I can, along with refined flour products. I'm convinced that things like that are not only what make me fat, but what make me feel bad....sluggish and bloaty and just...bad. And food that, no doubt, was the cause of my higher-than-normal blood glucose levels.

    But yea...the occasional cheezy-poof or two has wandered it's way into my mouth.

    But then I stop and think...I haven't noticed a cheezy-poof plant growing anywhere in the I don't eat the whole bag.

    Now that I'm feeling better, I think it's time for that
  • bicycle
  • that I didn't get for Christmas.

    Yea, I know. I'll probably look like a circus bear, ridin a tricycle.

    But trust's better than seein me in a bikini.

    Saturday, May 02, 2009

    Damn you, HGTV!

    A couple months ago, I saw one of those
  • shade sails
  • on one of those "decorating" shows on HGTV, and I thought to myself, "Self, that's exactly what we need for our deck."

    Da Zigster thought it looked pretty perfect, too. We have a big umbrella for our table, but it just wasn't enough shade when the sun (remember that big, hot yellow thing in the sky that we haven't seen in weeks and weeks?) beat down on the deck. It was supposed to be easy-peasy to put up, too.

    I figured it'd take us a couple hours and then we'd be sittin on our perfectly shaded deck, sippin gin and tonics, watchin the river go by.

    As we all know, though...picturing somethin in your head isn't exactly how it usually turns out.

    Soooo, after one internet order, one trip to the local hardware store, two "fights", three...count 'em...three trips to Lowe's and three or four rainy weekends, we finally have a little shade on on our much-loved deck.

    It's kinda hard for me to believe, but Ziggy and I actually had a couple of....ah...disagreements...over this little DIY project. We've been together now for damn near eight years, and this is the first time we've ever had anything close to an argument.

    And both of 'em happened in Lowe's. Frankly, he was bein a dick. The first disagreement happened because we separated, each of us to get a specific item. We were to meet back up at the checkout area. Well, there's more than one checkout area. He waited at the lumber end...I, on the other hand, waited at the "regular" end. Needless to say, we both waited a long damn time, cursing the other under our respective breaths.

    Well, gawddammit...he didn't specify which checkout.

    Today's argument started over a fuckin parkin place. I drove because he'd gotten hot and had a little...ah...refreshment whilst workin on the deck. He told me to park by the "exit" so he wouldn't hafta haul the 12' 2x4 clear through the store. Fine. I parked by the exit.

    But again...he failed to specify exactly which exit.

    And, of course, he waited until we were halfway across the parkin lot to voice his displeasure at the particular exit I'd chosen.


    So aaaanywho, he worked his little ass off when we got home and finished 'er up.

    At which point, what little sun that did appear today, disappeared behind the clouds, never to be seen again.


    After all that, I guess da Zigster deserves a little R & R.

    1 Coolaroo Sun Shade Sail - 100 bucks.
    1 trip to Geiger's - 20 bucks.
    3 trips to Lowe's - 50 bucks.

    Takin your husband's picture whilst snoring in the recliner after being an ass - Priceless.

    Friday, May 01, 2009

    Lights! Camera! Action!

    My name is Pammy...but you can call me "Quentin".

    One of my first attempts at a YouTube vid... picked up by
  • The Illinois Bureau of Tourism's YouTube site

  • I wonder if director's chairs come in faux-leopard?

    Did you know...

    ...that the light filtering in through our bedroom window looks pretty much the same at 7:20 am as it does as 7:20 pm?

    Of course you didn't. And neither did I. Especially after that friggin five hour nap I just woke up from.

    "Wha...? When...? Uh...wait. FUCK! I've overslept...I'm gonna be late for work! Wait. What day is this?"

    Befuddled? You betcher ass.