Thursday, March 31, 2011

Death Comes in Threes

If you have managed to reach this stage in your life and you have not heard the phrase 'Death comes in threes', pray tell, who have you not been talking to?

I heard this phrase growing up in an Italian family.  Every time a famous person died, my mother would say that two more would follow.  I googled the phrase and found lots of posts about it.  Click here for your choice of writings.

Anyway, when I heard that Elizabeth Taylor had died last week, the #3 popped into my head.  Logically thinking, famous people die all the time, but I watched the news to see who would be next.  Three days later it was the announced death of Geraldine Ferraro.  And then, before the week was over, Farley Granger had died.  My mother always said the deaths happened within one week.

When I was growing up, 'Liz' was my favorite actress.  The first picture I saw in a theatre with her as the star was 'Giant' in 1956.  Of course, I had seen several on TV with Bill Kennedy as host on Canadian Channel 9.  My girl friend Karen and I decided that she and Rock Hudson were our favorite actors.  I bought every movie magazine that had a story about her and amassed quite a collection through high school.  I even sent off for an autographed picture.

I have a VHS tape of the movie 'Giant' that was re-issued for the 40th anniversary of the film.  Unfortunately, my tape deck is not hooked up to my large-screen TV and Texas loses a lot on a 13-inch screen, which has a built-in tape deck.

The magazines and pictures are long gone.  We can only keep so much 'stuff' in boxes for our children to dispose of when we pass.  But today, while going through the check-out line in the grocer's, I picked up a copy of People magazine, with a cover story on Liz.  I'll sit back tonight and relive my youth and fascination with a very talented and beautiful woman.  May she and all those other famous people, who gave us pleasure in watching their craft, rest in peace.

And the next time I hear of a famous person passing on, I'll be waiting to hear of two more.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's not much...

But it's enough to make me whine.
I started Fanny Erb tonight.   Love the floss colors.

I was putting off picking fabric and pulling threads, and I realized if I didn't do it today, I wouldn't do it at all.  I was hoping that blogging would in some way force me to continue stitching and I guess it's working.  Doing a larger project than I expected to do may not last - might move to a small - but at least I'm stitching.  As I said before, I have never put a project down and started another, but I may now!   I've cut the stitched part out of the linen piece, thrown a few in the trash, even burned them.  One way or another, they were finished!   I'm a firebug.  Love to make fires outside, which is dangerous when your hair is wild.   I've had to cut off crinkled smelly chunks several times.   Good thing is, when it's wild, you can't tell.  It never dawned on me to use small areas of the unwanted project for unique pieces as Beth Twist did here.
She made a neat fob from an abandoned piece for her giveaway.  And guess what?   I was a runner up!  Her puppy pics are killing me.  
 I found a piece of blue 32 linen and I was thinking about Nash's Peacock Sewing Roll for the second project.

 It calls for 32 and 40 which I don't have so I worked out the chart for both sides being 32, using pale blue and unbleached linen.  The silk matka backing she uses is not available here, so that's another item to blindly order online.  So hard to imagine color and feel from a computer screen but that's the only way I can get wool or silk.   Right now I need a few chunks of chocolate and a towel to dry off.  What will tomorrow bring?  Hopefully, NO MORE SNOW, and a commitment to Fanny.
Thanks for joining my journey.

When Does it Stop???

The following guest opinion of mine appeared in today's Oakland Press.  Since I have received comments that it is 'right on', I thought I would reprint it here.  You may or may not agree. It summarizes some of my previous comments on this blog: 

A recent guest opinion in this paper had the West Bloomfield Township Supervisor and her faithful companion saying 'We are not conflict-oriented..' Really?


Let me begin with the appointment of the Police Chief in the Fall of 2010. The state law clearly says that the Board MAY authorize the supervisor to appoint a police chief, NOT that the supervisor shall appoint. Yet, these same two officials decided to sue the other Township Board members, who were acting in their official capacity as Trustees, for making the appointment. An Oakland County judge ultimately agreed that trustees did not violate any statutes in nominating and appointing a Police Chief, which, by the way, is in accord with our own Township ordinances.

Despite this ruling, the Supervisor has managed to misstate the decision of the Circuit Court at Township meetings. In addition, letters have been written to this paper telling us what a great thing she did in suing and how she was right.

She has stated that her duties cannot be taken away, but MCL 42.10 states, in part: The township board in each charter township shall have power to appoint a township superintendent and may delegate to him any or all of the following functions and duties which functions and duties, unless so delegated, shall be exercised by the supervisor:... What, pray tell, is her interpretation of that statute? To date, the Township has a Department Head or other employee performing every duty of a Supervisor.

More recently, they had a debate on the hiring of a Finance Director who would report to the Township Clerk. MCL Section 41.65 states: The township clerk shall be responsible for the detailed accounting records of the township utilizing the uniform chart of accounts prescribed by the state treasurer. The township clerk shall prepare and maintain the journals and ledgers necessary to reflect the assets, liabilities, fund equities, revenues, and expenditures for each fund of the township. 
This has never been a statutory duty of the Supervisor. Only the budget falls under her purview.

A more recent letter to the editor followed a guest opinion by the Supervisor regarding press releases. The writer was praising the Supervisor and stated that the Clerk may be in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 for sending out press releases. The Act is a Federal Law whose main provision is to prohibit Federal civil servants from engaging in partisan political activity. The Hatch Act also applies by extension to certain employees of state and local governments whose positions are primarily paid for by federal funds.

The operative word here is 'Federal'. Since when is the Clerk's salary, or her Deputy's, paid for with Federal dollars? The only Federal dollars I am aware of are those grants received for Homeland Security after 9/11. Anyway, how is sending out a press release telling residents how much a lawsuit is costing us a partisan political activity?

When both myself and former Trustee Spector spoke at a meeting last year, the Supervisor stated she was not interested in hearing the opinions of former elected officials. That tells me a lot about her regard for taxpayers in West Bloomfield. Criticizing the township attorney in public, arguing with Board members, misstating Court decisions, monopolizing 'Public Comment' to give speeches on her merits, implying that prior boards did not follow the law, authoring and encouraging letters with incorrect statements... When does it stop?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chomping at the Bit?

I am sitting here listening to the news on the radio.  It is not good for my health, but I would need to leave my computer and wander into another room to turn it off.  Instead, I am sitting here blogging and thinking.  The way I figure it, Democrats in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan must be chomping at the bit and foaming at the mouth getting ready for the 2012 elections.

How is it possible that in less than three months in 2011, three Republican led states have decided to take on public workers?  First Wisconsin voted against collective bargaining for public employees, then the Michigan Governor decided to suggest a tax on their pensions, and now the Ohio legislature has voted to ban collective bargaining by public employees.

They must think public employees only vote Democratic (wrong) and so the Republican legislators feel they have nothing to lose.  But the way I see things, many, many folks are really independent voters.  Just because they are in a union does not mean they vote as they are told.  And if some of these folks voted for the Republicans, you can be pretty sure they will not do so again.  Plus, I have heard Republicans criticizing the Michigan Governor.

What I want to know is this:  Why is everyone so angry at public employees who are still performing their jobs?  And do these legislators still think they will get quality employees with lower pay and little benefits?  In these cold, Northern states?  Where is the 'quality of life' in that?

I am sure the Democrats are huddled up someplace just watching as these Republicans insert both feet in their mouths.  It's 1996 all over again.

Tax-Friendly States

There has been a lot of mis-information out there about taxes on pensions and income.  Here is a site that has lots of really good information that can help you make decisions on where to retire.

If taxes are your concern, start here:  http://www.topretirements.com/state/most_tax-friendly_states_for_retirement.html  (Michigan is not on the list of best, but is on a list of worst overall.)

There is a lot of information on retirement and the comments from readers are interesting too.  Overall, the site makes a case for deciding what is important to you when making your decision.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I went through my stash looking for another small project and came across a few mediums that I would consider.
I've always loved Elizabeth Moor and she has no border (big plus), but after some reading I found that the first letter in all the verse is over two, the other letters are over one.  Nah.



Moving on, Fanny Erb is promising.  Only four colors of floss and each line is one color.  That's an easy stitch!  The stitches are running, 4-sided, Algerian Eye, and cross.  Not too bad. 


Next is a tiny one from Hinzeit.  Sweet, easy, and quick.  A contender for sure.
And finally, Stacy Nash, 28 count, done in DMC.  Yeah Stacy!!  So today I'll decide  but Elizabeth is definitely 3rd runner up.
 
I'm still not feeling the love though.  I look at all these charts and ..... as much as I love them .... I don't feel the love enough to get excited about starting.  I wondered what I'm doing with all these, especially the monsters.   I don't know.  The menopause moods may be rearing their heads again.   These three finalists shouldn't be any trouble at all so I'll keep on keeping on!   I didn't stitch Gathering Basket into a pincushion yet but I did redo the Beehive.  I used the same steam 'n smash method to flatten it and I like it, even though it's hanging crooked. 

The sun is out but it's bitter cold, and I'm going for groceries and coffee this morning.   I've been craving a nut twisty so I need to steer that buggy away from the good smells section.   It seems I always get a buggy that has wheel problems and those have a mind of their own and are really hard to control. 
Thank you for reading!

TMI

I logged on to the internet his morning to get my email and before I got to my account I saw a headline about Katie Couric's colonoscopy.  No, that is not a misprint. 

I know from watching the Today show many years ago that Ms. Couric's husband died from colon cancer.  He was young and with a family and that is very sad.  I also remember Katie promoting early detection and if memory serves me correctly there was on on-air colonoscopy event.

For me, personally, this is 'too much information'.  TMI.  I'll settle for discussion of procedures and why it is important, but do I really need to know what they found in her colon?  This is the headline:

What We Found in Katie Couric.  The results of her colonoscopy were ...wild. 

It is accompanied by a picture of her in a hospital bed.  I did not click on the video, so you are on your own if you are interested.

So much for 'tell-ALL' books about actors and their families that used to mean the juicy scandals.  Now it includes the real 'inside' story.

If memory serves me correctly, I am due for a colonoscopy this year.  I promise to spare you any and all details.  It's just TMI.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

So Much Work

Someone asked me the other day what my blog was about.  I guess it is about everything and nothing.  I spent a good deal of time today rearranging blog elements.  Actually, the blog is about a lot of time spent trying to make it interesting and attractive. 

I used to have a website.  I must say that writing a blog is much easier than maintaining the site.  The site, which was used for township business before the township set up their own website, had to be kept current.  A blog just rolls along with the old stuff still there.

But it takes a lot of time to write.  And there are so many choices for templates, colors, fonts, gadgets.  It's like another job.  'Cept I don't get paid.  Oh, I know I could 'monetize' the site.  But I hardly have enough readers to make it worthwhile.  Besides, when I check my blog traffic, I am curious as to what anyone in the United Arab Emirates, Russia, or Columbia find of interest, let alone would want to purchase.

To anyone who thinks they would be bored in retirement, I suggest they start blogging about it.  Then at holiday time, instead of those cutesy cards about their year, they can have their blog printed up into book form and given as gifts.  Won't my kids love that next Christmas!

AHA! I think.

One of the first things I did when my husband moved out in 1994 was to hire a heating and cooling company to figure out why my furnace shut off before the house got warm.  We moved in here in 1972 and my husband insisted that there was no problem with the furnace.  Never argue with an engineer.

So, the guy comes and I explain the problem as I see it.  He goes up and down the stairs several times, turns the furnace off and on again, walks around the house and then asks me to join him in the living room, next to the thermostat.  He has me place my hand next to the thermostat on the wall and the wall is roasty, toasty.  He then tells me to move my hand out to the side, in either direction.  The wall is cold.

So, here is what the idiot builder did when he built the house.  He placed the thermostat in front of the vent pipe for the furnace.  The furnace comes on, the vent pipe gets warm, the furnace shuts off, the house stays cold.  Solution, move the thermostat to a new location, in this case, the dining room.

While that solved most of the problems, I still had a front corner bedroom at the farthest run from the furnace that was always colder than the other rooms, sometimes by as much as five degrees.  I had it looked at but every solution offered was to just use a small space heater.  Since the bedroom was on a slab foundation, they said there was not much they could do and they did not think an air-flow booster in the duct would help.

Still, I was always sure that something was blocking air flow across the front of my house.  And I wasn't the only one with problems.  A neighbor in a tri-level house had cold upstairs bedrooms.  In taking apart the stairwell where the ducts travelled, they discovered that the duct work had not been installed completely.  There was a three foot gap!

Last week I had all the duct work thoroughly cleaned with one of those truck mounted sytems.  Whatever they did, they must have dislodged the blockage.  Now when I walk into this bedroom where my computer is, I am hit with a blast of warm air.  THAT has never, ever happened before.  The outside wall shows 66 degrees instead of the 59 that it read before.  (Ya gotta love laser temperature readers.  And yes, my thermostat is set at 66 degrees with 50% humidity.)

I'd been looking at insulated siding for this south wall of the house.  Now, maybe, I'll use the money on something else and just repaint the wood.  I hate to say I was always right, but in this case, AHA, I think I was.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What am I Missing?

I was in East Lansing yesterday at the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association Spring Seminar.  I was speaking after lunch and a keynote by Tim Skubick, a hard act to follow for me.  But I also wanted to be there for the first presentation in the morning with State Treasurer Andy Dillon as speaker.  And let's face it, I was curious to hear what everyone else was saying about the budget proposals in Michigan.

I sat there during the day hearing the statement that I had already seen in the press:  How is it fair to have two households earning the same income when the retired senior does not have to pay income tax and the family of four does?

I will refrain from telling you what my business law teacher kept telling my class about 'fair'.  I will ask you why this has so many people upset when we have had unequal property taxation in Michigan since the passage of Proposal A. 

I have lived in my house since 1972.  Many of my neighbors purchased their homes after Prop A and saw their property values uncapped as a result.  Their property taxes were much higher than mine up until the decline that began in 2007.  How has that been fair?  Well, not fair, but it was, and is, the law of the state.

Do they receive more services for their money?  I think not.  And most of them are empty-nesters, so they do not receive the benefits of local education.  We just get to pay the taxes.

The state expenditures are weighted heavily for Medicaid and corrections.  I don't know anyone taking advantage of these programs.  I think that prisoners are a bigger drain on our limited dollars in the state than retired seniors.  I need to pay taxes to provide them with the internet? 

I have never tried any illegal drug.  I am thinking that if I had, my thinking might be as screwed up as some of these other folks and then they might make sense to me.  I know I am missing something very logical here.  I just can't figure out what it is.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving along

Except for the satin stitches in the basket, Gathering Basket is finished. 

  I had problems and removed them several times.  I will either fill it in with X's or change the X's pattern and do small squares of satin.  I also removed the little thingy on the wing.  There were other counting errors so I did a lot of stitch removal on this project.  I haven't aged it yet and not sure if I will.   I also worked on the the last CBU and instead of following the tombstone top, I gave it an angular finish with a little of the backing showing around it, some rick rack, and buttons. 

Think it will stay this way?  Nah.  I was playing around because the color I changed in the design made the Goldenrod rick rack match.   Cute, but I think too cute for the more primitive looking design.  I think I might like the other shape better and it would be really easy to disassemble and change.  So tonight I will be thinking about what small or medium sized project to do next, and what fabric to use in finishing Gathering Basket.  

On another note......for the few of you that emailed about BJ, yes she was on medication for pain and mobility.  We used Previcox but only a half tablet.  Those arthritic drugs are very expensive and not always safe, so we did some research and asked the vet for Tramadol (it's non-steroidal).  She didn't recommend the extended release and ordered 360 pills a month (3 every 4-6 hours) which lasted longer than a month and the Walmart price was only $20.  We only gave her as many as she needed at the time so she rarely got all 3 pills, some times only 1.  She took them for over a year and had no problems.  Huge savings, better pain control, less adverse effects.  For her anyway.  Hope this helps.

ADDED - I finished the basket with regular cross stitches.
And I obviously don't have a good camera!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm Back. And so is Mallard.

I'm back.  But I haven't really gone anywhere.  I just needed a break.  A break from the news.  A break from thinking and writing about it.  A break from blogging, though I've still been talking to folks. That has been enough brain activity for the last week.

Anyway, here I am.  Back.  And so is Mallard Fillmore in the Oakland Press.  I have no idea why he disappeared from the editorial page.  I had seen letters from liberals complaining about his conservative views.  So, don't read the comic if you don't like it.  Just because you get a newspaper does not mean you have to read everything in it.  Let alone agree with or believe everything you read.

The last two days the cartoons have revolved around the new CFL lightbulbs.  I already blogged about this, but not quite so cleverly as Mr. Tinsley.  Today's comic was about starting a car with CFL technology.  I am sure those of you who are my age will still remember the days when we depressed the accelerator and then waited before turning the key to start the car, always being careful not to 'flood the engine'.  I can still hear my father yelling at me.  Mallard envisions cars starting this way again. 

So, welcome back Mallard.  I don't always agree with you, but at least you make me think.  And chuckle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A year ago today.....

we lost our sweet girl.  She was 15, still in good health and playful, but her back legs could no longer hold her.  For a year we used a sling that I made to take her for walks and help her around.  She never lost her hearing, eyesight, or functions, just her back leg muscles.  It was so heartbreaking. Our first Lab knew when it was time for "dad " to come home and watched from the window for his car.  As soon as she saw it coming, she would whimper and run to the door.

This one also knew the time, which I still can't figure out, and she would keep looking at me until I opened the door so she could watch for him to pull into the garage. 









The daily ritual continued with her jumping on the sofa and resting her head on his shoulder while he tried to read the paper.
Her next move was to slide down onto his lap, as if she didn't weigh 95 pounds.  Both our Labs were from the same kennel and BJ's sire was a huge fox red from Scotland.   
She was lovable and affectionate and very attached to hub.  What joy they bring us, and what indescribable sadness when they leave.
We're so sorry we had to let you go....you are loved and missed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wake up!

This is my progress from last evening.  I ripped out the few letters I had completed with 356 and decided to go with the designer's choices of 223 and 152.  Why?  I can't keep waffling every time I have a flash.  From now on, what it is, it is.  If I don't like it, too bad.  I will eventually! 

And after reading Siobhan's comment, I had a good laugh and realized that I was my own worst enemy.  How could I compare what I was doing in DMC to a photo that was done in a different type of thread?  Because back in the old days, DMC was it, and it never registered in my fried brain that it would be anything else.  And the border?  That's what the chart is, so be it.  I don't see any corrections on their web page so it's good enough for me.  And why am I so worried about a few stitches and a different shade of pink, when I end up throwing coffee on it and then torturing it with heat!!!  I woke up!  And I thank you all for your help.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unrequited love

Second post today of my problems with Gathering Basket.  I've been working on it this evening, completed the corrected vines and leaves, and finished the left side border.  It's one stitch off.  The bottom half of the border is indented and I followed the chart.  Is it an error?  Whether it is or not, it looks like one and I need to rip it out and correct it, but not until I complete the design.  Maybe it won't be noticeable?  It doesn't look too bad in the photo but I noticed it right away when I completed that color and set it down.  I love this tiny design but it's not loving me back!

4,379 hot flashes later...


New project is changed.  It never fails.  I don't know why it happens, but when a really intense hot flash is over, my intentions are quite the opposite.  And if I have several, well it's a real brain dizzy.  This is particularly troubling during a house project and it's a shame what my hub goes through.  Not to mention paint colors.  My hairstylist isn't happy when it happens during a haircut either.  They'll get over it.  So.  I grabbed a small piece of off white linen which looks to be 28, and I love the feel.  It's not wimpy at all and even though all my samplers are on natural/unbleached, I like this change.  I should have been far along but as usual, ran into a problem.  I decided to have some chocolate and a piece of cold smoked kielbasa to calm down.  This idea I had that having to keep my hands clean and occupied for stitching would help me lose weight isn't working.   I'm using up a LOT of soap.  Anyway.....keep in mind that I haven't stitched for 20 years and I'm trying to ease back so I don't get frustrated and quit altogether.  So was I wrong in reading the chart?  The chart shows 3051/3052 for the leaves and vines, which I assumed meant to use one strand of each.  I didn't like it and after completing them, looked very closely at the little photo.
 It looks like the two colors are randomly used throughout, some vines light and some dark.  Is this what it means when two colors are given?   Or does it just appear that way?  It's hard to see in my photo of their little photo.  I took the majority of it out and started over.  I also counted the diamonds carefully on the top border, several times.  SEVERAL times.  When I started doing the top area of the vine, something wasn't right.  How did I end with double the design?  Am I having time lapses and repeating myself?  I know there were several flashes at the time because I remember being outside and scaring the deer.
We have anywhere from 4 to 9 each day, and this one insists on eating at the squirrel's spot, not their regular feeding area.    Back to stitching -
So after I took out the excess border, I decided to change the color of the alphabet.  I'm not a fan of pink although the 220's are really nice shades and it's perfect for this project.  I'm toying with one of these...
But since every element has already been ripped out and redone, why not the alphabet?  On the subject of threads, Siobhan was kind enough to tell me about a sale at Needlecraft-Corner on silks, and there are other discounts also through 3/31.  I found several brands in my stash and have time to play with them and decide what to order before the sale ends.  Maybe I won't even like using silk.  I don't think I will ever use 40 and may need 2 strands for 32 so we'll see.  I have several yards of Scarlet Letter's 30, Cashel 28, and Belfast 32, and I'm comfortable with those counts.  I'm a wimp.  Maybe after I get my stitching mojo, I'll be brave and venture out into the land of 40, but right now that is a scary place.  On another thread.....I used a lot of GAST in the past, and while sorting, came across what appears to me to be a pretty big difference in tone.  I know it's variegated and some times there is a great difference in the shading, but I found several that are really off as a whole.
That's it.  Nothing really interesting.  I do want to thank those of you who are kind enough to read about my journey.  I still don't know where it will lead and if I will ever get back to my big samplers.  I know for sure that Ann Medd and And They Sinned will be offered soon.  I made the mistake years ago of discarding sampler charts and such, thinking I would never do them or had already completed the project.  But these two have no future with me.  Until the 4,380th.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm done

So now I have to pick a fabric and decide how to finish it. Narrowed it to three choices.  I have a green that goes really well with that middle tree, but I think it's too much.  Better stick with the neutrals.
 That blue line along the fabric is a shadow.

My choice right now is the really dark brown that I used on the last project.  But after I eat the stuffed cabbage that is now scenting the whole house, I'll probably change my mind.  If you like kugel, or noodle pudding, I'm posting my recipe soon on the other blog.  I love that stuff.   As for deciding on my next little project, I chose the LA-D-DA  Bird in Hand.
Twenty plus years ago when I was stitching, my wonderful-how-I-miss-them shops didn't even carry silk thread.  Or maybe they did but it was never offered or suggested for kitting.  This design calls for silk and I have a few AVAS, and all of these.....

I never heard of this brand and after much Googling, I couldn't find any conversions other than silk to DMC, not silk to silk.   There is no gray in this line which is the bird's color.  So I don't know if I will start this or not, unless I can find a bluish gray that's suitable.  Wait - I don't have any linen over 32 count so ..... should silk be used only as single strand on higher linen counts?   Maybe I should order a piece of the recommended 35 ct. along with the silk.   I'll have to decide if I will wait for the threads/linen order, proceed with cotton, or pick a different project.  If I continue doing smalls, I should have a nice batch for a Christmas tree.  I like little ornaments and pillows in a wood bowl,  but not with hanging loops, so I'll sew buttons on the back top corners or one in the middle and twist the hanger around them when needed instead of sewing them into the seam.  Then I can display them either way.  I'm sure you've all seen Linda Wallace's sampler tree on Mary Beale's site.  I visited for the first time in a long while and LOVE that little pillow on her "shop" link but I can't find it for sale on her site.  She showcases Christmas stockings stitched by Mary Natwick and they are stunning.  Mary will be featuring another stitcher's Christmas decorations, Carla Michaels, this fall.  If you haven't seen the sampler tree, click on "Linda's trees".  Decision made.  I'm going with Bird in Hand on 30 with DMC.  The longer I screw around picking a design the more apt I will be to set it all aside!  It's not easy to go through all that unmarked linen to find a piece close to what it should be, but with the inventory I have, it's silly to keep buying more linen for small projects.  I will lighten or darken what I have - close enough!!!  Hmm...  I deserve chocolate for all that decision making.

A Conspiracy Theory

Last fall I found a TV show that I really enjoyed watching.  It got my brain going with all of its intrigues.  It was smart, innovative, and original.  Alas, it is no more.

The show was RUBICON on AMC.  It was praised by many critics.  It was an intelligent drama.  Oops.  There are two words to kill a program: 'intelligent drama'.  Heaven forbid we cause anyone to have to think too hard.

Sometimes I  think I must be the last person left on earth who can say she has never seen, 'Dancing with the Stars', 'American Idol', 'The Great Race', or 'Two and a Half Men'.  This is what appeals to the average viewer.  Mindless drivel, IMHO. 

So, with the demise of RUBICON I have come up with my own conspiracy theory.  My thinking is that there are forces in this country that did not like how intelligence gathering and its agency employees were portrayed.   There were some not so nice folks in the series who would go to any lengths to protect their own interests.   I'm probably wrong and it was just poor ratings that cancelled the show.  But I like my theory better.  I'd rather not think that Americans prefer drivel.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WIP's or CBNFBSIP's?

This project should have been completed by now.   Having to rip out the heart flowers and one peacock tail counts as a game delay doesn't it?   She switched tail colors on me!  I made the mistake of looking at the design - not the chart.  Then I got my symbols mixed up - again not checking the chart - and did the wrong color on the flowers.  I'm anxious to move on to my new Stacy Nash or the Blackbird design so I should complete this soon.  I read a lot of stitching blogs and they all seem to have WIP's.  I actually didn't know what that was at first.  I have never not completed a sampler before moving on to another.  I would get frustrated and either change the stitches, the #$%* border (which I always saved for last), or just set it aside for a few days to prevent its violent demise, but always completed it.  That's odd considering I have never completed a house project.  Is there an acronym for completed projects that never met their frame or stuffing? 
CAF?    Completed Awaiting Frame/Finishing 
CBU?   Completed But Unfinished
CAP?   Completed Abandoned Projects
SBU?   Stitched But Unframed/Unfinished
CBNFBSIP?   Completed But Not Finished Because Stitcher Is Procrastinator
That's what I have.  Are they technically WIP's?  

Guess No One wants to follow My Suggestion

Yesterday, I blogged about folks writing and saying things without knowing all the facts.   Today, I sit down with my coffee to read my local paper and there is a letter from an attorney in West Bloomfield berating the four sensible members of the Township Board.

Among the things he says is that the Clerk may be in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 for sending out press releases.  Really?  The Act  is a Federal Law whose main provision is to prohibit Federal civil servants from engaging in partisan political activity.  The Hatch Act also applies by extension to certain employees of state and local governments whose positions are primarily paid for by federal funds.

The operative word here is 'Federal Funds'.  Since when is the Clerk's salary, or her Deputy's, paid for with Federal dollars?  The only Federal dollars I am aware of are those grants received for Homeland Security after 9/11.

Anyway, how is sending out a press release telling residents how much a lawsuit is costing us a partisan political activity?   They are ALL DEMOCRATS!!!

The writer then goes on to say that the Judge has made a decision in favor of the Supervisor and against trustees, who are sending their money to a Township Benevolent Fund to help township residents in need of assistance, instead of filling the pockets of themselves and the IRS.  As of last week, I was still not aware that a decision has been made.

I googled this guy.  (Sometimes I wonder how I ever got along without 'google'.)  The only attorney I could find with his name is a divorce attorney in Sterling Heights.  AHA.  Macomb County.  Tells me a lot. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Too Clever

I love editorial cartoons.  Since not everyone reads the same papers, I thought I would share this one from the local paper with you.


A Waste of Time and Dollars?

I spent two hours yesterday doing my taxes.  That was only time spent entering all the data on TurboTax.  That was after I went through all of my receipts, catalogued everything, and made sure I actually had everything I needed to start.

It got me thinking, yet again, that there has to be a better way to collect taxes.  You go to a store and pay a sales tax.  Once or twice a year you get a property tax bill.  If you have an escrow account for taxes, you do not even have to think about it until Federal tax time.  When I worked for Detroit, my city income tax was deducted from my pay, but it was so straightforward, I never even filed to get my refund of overpayment.  It was too much trouble.

Not so with Federal taxes.  A 'you know what' nightmare.  So much wasted time.  I found this online in Wikipedia:

The cost of preparing and filing all business and personal tax returns is estimated to be $250 to $300 billion each year. According to a 2005 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the efficiency cost of the tax system—the output that is lost over and above the tax itself—is between $240 billion and $600 billion per year.

I am sure we have better uses for those dollars and lost productivity.

A Suggestion

The West Bloomfield Board made it into the papers again this morning.  Above the fold on the front page. Before we have any more letters to the editor, pronouncements at Board meetings, or lawsuits, let's have all citizens of the community, including the Board members and other onlookers, read the following documents and demonstrate that they fully understand what they mean.

Accounting Procedures Manual

Uniform Budget Act

Charter Township Act

It seems that everyone is an expert.  Charter Townships do not get to make their own rules and neither do their citizens.  That's what all these laws and established procedures are for. 

I was on the committee that wrote this latest Accounting Manual and I would hate to think we wrote it only for the benefit of our committee and to fulfill a requirement in the law.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Worst Movie

If you ask me which is the worst movie I have ever seen, all the way through, I would tell you 'The English Patient'.   I saw the entire movie because I went with someone who was actually enjoying it.  Had I gone by myself I would have walked out.

The movie is 162 minutes long.  That was at least 152 minutes longer than I wanted to sit there.  I disliked it from the very beginning.  I just wanted it to end.  It was pure torture for me.

I know you may think this sounds cruel, but if you saw the movie and saw the Seinfeld episode about it, think of me as Elaine.

I mention this because it has taken me two days to watch the movie 'The Next Three Days'.  A friend raved about it.  She must have been on pain medication and really doped up.  This one was only 126 minutes.  They could have done it in a one-hour TV show.  I have never ever used the fast forward button so much.  And it still took me two days.  I don't think I could watch more than 15 minutes at a time.

What I want to know is this:  How did this movie get rated so highly?  What did I miss? 

Someone thinking Like Me

The idea of someone thinking as I do may be scary to some folks.  So be it.  Today's Free Press has a story sub-headed 'Brown: Let civilians do desk, guard jobs'.  Hallelujah!

For the twenty years I was at West Bloomfield I questioned why we had so many public safety folks sitting at desks.  I blogged about this issue last year.

Now comes Councilman Brown in Detroit asking the same questions.  I won't repeat myself and you are probably giving a 'thumbs up' to that.  But we do have to find the most effective use of our public employees and the tax dollars that support them.  Can I at least get a nod in agreement?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oops: Cinnamon Scones

I have been known to make errors in the kitchen.  I used to feel bad about it until I saw goof-ups by professionals that were nearly as bad as mine.  Maybe more so.

My biggest 'oops' was a batch of praline biscotti.  Having spent a considerable amount of time preparing the praline, I finally got the cookies in the oven.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the two long logs on the cookie tray merge into a gooey, messy mass.  Seems that instead of one-half cup of butter, I had used one-half pound of butter.  No saving these creatures.  Into the trash can.

I saw a recipe today for some scones.  Specifically, cinnamon oatmeal scones with raisins.  Now, I have nothing against raisins, but I had some cinnamon chips that I figured I would substitute.  I also had some half-and-half I wanted to use up.  With a few adjustments, I figured I would make the scones.

I got as far as mixing all the ingredients together and thought the dough was kinda wet.  I went back and looked at the original recipe, serves me right for doing stuff from memory, and found that I had doubled the amount of liquid.  OOPS.

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I figured I would bake them and see what happens.  Obviously, I had to increase the baking time.  They spread a little too much, but they looked OK.  And then, 15 minutes after I took them out of the oven, I tasted them.  I had two.  Moist.  Not too sweet.  And I do not want to think how many calories and grams of fat must be in each one.  They do have healthy oatmeal.  Here is the recipe:

CINNAMON OATMEAL SCONES

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (4 1/2 ounces)
1 cup half and half
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 1/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup cinnamon chips
1 tablespoon raw sugar, for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes; cool on wire rack. When oats are cooled, measure out 2 tablespoons and set aside.

2. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Line second baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Whisk half-and-half and egg in large measuring cup until incorporated.  Keep cold until ready to use.

4. Whisk flour, cinnamon, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl until combined. Scatter cold butter evenly over dry ingredients and mix with fingers until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in cooled oats and chips.  If mixture gets warm, place in fridge to chill before baking.

5. Using rubber spatula, fold in cold liquid ingredients until large clumps form. Mix dough by hand in bowl until dough forms cohesive mass.

6. Dust work surface with half of reserved oats and sprinkling of flour, turn dough out onto work surface, and dust top with remaining oats and lightly dust with flour. Gently pat into 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. Dough will be WET. Using bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and set on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle surfaces with 1 tablespoon sugar.

7. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes; cool scones on baking sheet on wire rack 5 minutes, then remove scones to cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Changing the Clocks - Again

I found this video online the other day and it speaks well for why we need to educate our folks a little better than we are doing.  See for yourself.  It's a shame to laugh at the sheer idiocy of a couple answers.

Remember to Spring forward and Fall back.  Simple.  And no, you do not have to do this at 2 AM.

BTW, sorry for the commercial interruption.

A Clarification

Now that my post 'The Bullies Organize' has moved into the top five most-viewed posts on this blog, I just want to clarify something.  I was not the one to call seniors 'bullies'.  That was Nolan Finley's term in the Detroit News.  Please see my blog titled 'Who's the Bully?' on March 6.  Or read the editorial opinion yourself.

A Documentary Worth Seeing

I have an affinity for documentary films.  While realizing that often they can be one-sided, they are still damned interesting in the presentation of their subject matter.

The latest one I have viewed is 'Waiting for 'Superman'".  If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.  If you live here in Michigan, watch it and think about the Governor's proposed budget cuts to education.  Ask yourself where are the budget cuts in the corrections system.

A very interesting fact in the movie is that it would be cheaper to send a child through thirteen years of private school than it would be keep an inmate in jail for four years. 

The documentary also points out the flaws with teacher tenure, one of my biggest peeves going way back to my high school years.  In all fairness, tenure is not just a problem with non-performing teachers, but unions of all kinds protect non-performing workers.  Remember that in one of my former lives I was a union president and saw it up-close.

No successful civilization can prosper without a sound education.  But if we continue to decline in what we teach and demand from our students, we will have more and more of them roaming the streets in gangs and eventually ending up in prison.  Is that where we want our tax dollars to go?

I cried for the children in the movie who have to enter lotteries to get out of their local school and into one that offers them a chance at a better future and standard of living. 

Watch the documentary. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Not again

This is certainly a winter to forget.  I thought they were exaggerating when they predicted this, but just in case, I went to the cemetery yesterday.  Today marks 10 years that we lost Dad, and I wanted to set a new candle.  Hope the torrential rains and winds didn't extinguish it.




So here's my progress.  Slow.  And no closeups!  I changed 613 to 833.

There are so many great blogs of meticulous stitchers. I love to drool over Glenna's perfect stitches and photos.  Her selections and colors are eye candy for sure.  The buns are a plus.  The new blog from In Stitches is really nice.  Lots of photos and info which really helps someone like me - a girl without an LNS.  Yesterday's mail brought me a few goodies I ordered from 1-2-3- Stitch.  I was so surprised at the size of the chart pack!  Love the designs.
I also coffee stained and sewed the last project into a little pillow.  I just used my usual batting, then I used a steam iron to flatten it and get rid of the puffy look.  

I chose a fabric to pick up the brown instead of the house color.  Well, that's it.  It's still snowing.  Hub is a little upset about the snow blower.  I use those cheap rag rugs to throw on the walk and porch to prevent falls.  I just broom the snow off and the texture gives footing. We had a long runway of them when BJ was having difficulty walking and when they were thawed and wet, they cleaned her paws. Well, seems he forgot about one, and it got sucked up into the blower.  It's all tangled in there so I'll be fighting with scissors and utility knife, plus a few choice words.

Retirement Living

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding taxing of retirement income.  Here is a really interesting website that talks all about retirement issues.  Read and judge for yourself where you are better off.  http://retirementliving.com/RLtaxes.html

I just received an email from a fellow retiree who suggests that he was born to be among palm trees and sunshine and suggested that I try it out.  We'll see.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Us Money-grubbing Seniors

So our new Governor thinks that seniors should be taxed on their pensions because they are 'reasonably high users of services.'  I read this statement online last night and have been trying to figure out what services I am using to excess.

I moved into my home in 1972.  I faithfully paid my school taxes.  I did not use the services until 1982 and have not used them since 1999.  Did I get more than my share for paying taxes over the last 39 years?

When I updated my 34 square foot bathroom this year, my township charged me $590 in fees.  For what?  They did NO work at all, other than sending some folks out to look and chat.  And not that they are the only ones to blame because they are only enforcing the state's construction code.

Police services?  I made one report after someone tried to use my credit card in Brooklyn, NY.  Fire services?  Luckily, none since I retired in 2008. 

I am really tired of being portrayed as a bully and a monetary drain on society.  One thing I learned when I was in politics is that just because some idea pops into your head, it is not always a good idea to voice it publicly.

Many seniors have something many young families do not have:  Disposable income.  We can spend it in Michigan, or if we are such a drain, we can take it and spend it elsewhere.  The choice of what policy is going to be followed is now up to our legislators.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Cure worse than the Condition

Last week on Monday I did something to irritate my lower back while in my yoga class.  The pain was nothing new.  I've had lumbar problems since 1993 and now osteoarthritis is making it worse.  It doesn't take much effort for me to mess it up.

After a week of not getting any better and losing sleep to boot, I finally called the doctor for an appointment.  Verifying that nothing new was wrong, just likely a twist too far, we discussed medications to make me feel better while I heal. 

They've given me flexeril before and I said 'no thanks' to that.  I could barely get out of bed while taking it.  So, my doctor prescribed a different, less potent, muscle relaxant.  She suggested I try ibuprofen again for pain, but that makes me very ill with stomach problems, so she prescribed an opioid instead. 

I took one of each pill yesterday afternoon and another dose at bedtime.  A dose this morning at 7 and another at noon.  By 12:30 I was sick.  Really sick.  No pain anymore, but feeling worse than I did without the meds.

The side effects listed for both meds include upset stomach, nausea, flushing, drowsiness.  There were more side effects, including headache, but luckily I only experienced the four I listed.  I was miserable.  I couldn't wait to get back in the bed.

I slept for three hours.  I've been up and down several times since waking and am afraid to take any more meds now that I have started to feel human again.  The patient information says that the symptoms may persist for a few days while my body gets used to the medication.

Well, I was in pain before and not able to move that easily, but at least I could move.  With the medication I felt like I had a bad case of the flu and I couldn't move because I couldn't stay awake.

The wonders of modern medicine make me wonder.  I think I'll go back to Tylenol and heat packs and let nature take its course.

The 'Bullies' Organize

Please join us for a rally at the Michigan State Capitol!

AARP Michigan is hosting a rally in reaction to a State Budget proposal presented by the Governor that calls for over $1 billion in tax increases on retirees, seniors and the working poor, while cutting quality-of-life programs and services by $1.2 billion and giving businesses a $1.8 billion tax cut. AARP believes this budget is an all out attack on older Michiganders. We believe what our members are getting in this plan is a much higher tax bill and reduced services. This plan would raise taxes on 1.1 million seniors in exchange for a business tax cut, while also reducing spending for public schools and universities, police and fire fighters, local road repairs and other vital programs and services. This is unfair and unacceptable!
Join us!
It’s Not Fair! Rally

Location: Michigan State Capitol Building, east steps
Corner of Michigan Avenue and Capitol Avenue
Lansing
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

No way Hannah Way

I went through my small sampler charts, looking for one that wouldn't frustrate or discourage me.  This little gem was chosen.
R&R Reproductions.  This is one of the earliest dated samplers (1749) in the Valentine Museum, Richmond, VA, done by a very young child.  Cute little thing.    
Until I read further..
 I hate the Queen.









And further yet........
This child will certainly test my patience.  Seven step cross?  At her age?  Are you kidding me?  Sorry Hannah Way...no way.  Not now.  Back to the stash......I wish I had more donuts.  (See my other blog.)







After a chocolate break.........

That didn't take long.  Goode Huswife's Pennsylvania Beehive Sampler.  My sewing box is ready to go. 

Except for the linen.  Uh-oh...

                           
 
This is the left side of a 10" deep 5' wide 
drawer.

Here's the center......
And this is the right side.  Too bad the majority have no color labels.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tid-Bits

1.  According to today's Oakland Press, St. Clair Shores brought a former assessor out of retirement to get them through tax season.  The guy, who is only 57 years old and retired in 2003, is having trouble learning voice mail and how to operate the copy machine.  Really?  He actually said that?  No copy machines or voice mail in 2003?  This place is in Michigan isn't it?  Makes me wonder about the assessments there. 

2.  Seems West Bloomfield is at it again (Oakland Press).  This time it's about the use of the Township's heron logo which was adopted back when I was on the Board.  It went on our business cards and stationery.  Seems a couple of new officials changed their business cards and removed the heron and placed their pictures on the cards instead.  The first time I saw one I laughed and said they looked like realtor business cards.  Anyway, the Board voted 'nix' on that and everyone will use the standard design.  I'm glad I missed that live discussion.  Good for the Board.  Voters do not really need to know what we look like in order to make an intelligent decision in the voting booth.  Can you say 'self-promotion' at taxpayers' expense?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

France, the Middle East, Wisconsin - Coming soon to a town near you

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.   ---- from Les Miserables

I've been sitting here since seven this evening watching a PBS presentation of a 25th anniversary production of  'Les Miserables'.  It has been so enjoyable I decided to buy a ticket to the Fisher Theater production in a few weeks.

So, I'm listening to the lyrics.  Not singing along as I am wont to do, but really listening.  And I hear the above lyric and think, 'Oh my.  Sounds like something they should sing in Wisconsin.  Or maybe soon in Lansing.'

So, while I am online to find tickets I google 'Les Miz' and find that apparently the folks in Wisconsin have already decided that this is a good song for their cause.  See for yourself.  And notice the youthful faces.  Reminds me of my youth and makes me want to make a picket sign. 

Who's the Bully?

OK.  I got all the way to page 25A, from page 17A, in the last twenty minutes.  You know, I should have just started a fire with the newspaper.  Or went out and bought a birdcage with bird attached.

Enter the Detroit News Editorial Editor Nolan Finley.  'Grit needed to win budget fight'.

Mr. Finley refers to senior citizens as 'the biggest lobbying bully'

Wow.  I said the other say that I had been called worse things than a sissy.  Actually, I had another 'B' word in mind, but now I guess I can add a new 'B' word.  He says we are raising 'holy hell'

OMG.  My rebellious college days must be coming back.  Is there an SDS rally scheduled somewhere?  (My sociology class had to attend one at Wayne when I was there.)

Mr. Finley goes on to say that the Governor's 'got to get all 26 GOP senators in a small room and bang on them until they're straightened out'. 

A double OMG.  What is this?  The reincarnation of some long lost dictator? 

The other day a friend of mine said that when she and her husband were in college all the journalism majors were the campus pot-heads.  I'm beginning to think she is right.  They must be smokin' somethin'.  How else to explain calling seniors 'bullies' while telling the Governor to bully the legislators?  OMG.

Unfair Justification for a Tax Increase

It is now after 3:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday and I just finished reading the front section of today's Detroit Free Press.  I go it out of my mailbox at 6:30 this morning, but when I saw the front page listing not one or two, but at least ten different articles on the Governor's budget, I took the first three sections of the paper and said 'Later'.  Now, 'later' has arrived.

First, let me say that I had received notice last week that the Lt. Governor was going to address the House Tax Policy Committee regarding the Governor's budget.  I opted to stay home rather than drive to Lansing to listen to the messenger. 

Fast forward to today and there on page 17A is a 'POLI-BITES' titled 'Engler poster boy for need to tax pensions'.   Shame on you Mr. Calley.  Nothing like a little distortion of public pensions to make a point.  Apparently, our former legislator and Governor has two public pensions totalling $186,200 a year and a seven figure salary.  Calley asked if he really needed a 'tax-free' pension.  (Good for Mr. Engler for landing a seven figure salary in his new job. I'm guessing he has to pay taxes on it in whatever jurisdiction it is earned.)

First, I would like to know why he has two pensions when he only worked for one employer for 37 years.  Seems the State has a problem there.  And an automatic annual increase of 4% every year?  Health care after six years?  Lansing needs to get their own house (and senate) in order before they strike out at public employees.

Let's start by looking at the public employees I know best - those in West Bloomfield.  There is no pension credit for more than thirty years of service.  General Office employees can only receive a maximum of 60% of their final average salary and police and fire are capped at 80%.  Work forty years as a police officer and retire?  You get 80% of your final average compensation.  The same you would have gotten at 30 years.  Leave with thirty years of seniority as an office clerk and are only 50 years old?  No retiree health care for you.  You must stay until you are 55 to get it.  And if you leave at 55 and take your pension, it will be at a reduced amount.  And I know of no one who ever left with a six-figure pension.  I certainly didn't.  Not even close.

As for the annual increase, the cost of living for West Bloomfield pensions is tied to a Federal clerical index.  Last year it went down and this year the increase was barely noticeable.

They way I see it, some legislators in the past rewarded themselves with nice pensions and perks and now the new guys in town want everyone who was busy teaching their children, catching their criminals, and fighting their fires to ante up and pay the piper. 

For the Lt. Governor to complain that the State is not getting money on the pension of Mr. Engler and use that as justification for taxing all pensions is unfair.  Seems like he and newspaper reporters love to point out all of the high pensions payed to a select few individuals.  And the public loves to hear it and complain that they do not want to pay for public pensions.

What I want to know is, where are the articles on folks complaining about the high salaries payed to sports figures.  Is the public not paying their salaries?  Tickets to games?  Advertising costs rolled into merchandise you buy with their names on it?  Would you rather pay the salary and pension of the man pulling you out of a burning house or a crushed car or the salary of the guy running the football down the field?  Just asking.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tax Time is When?

I do my own taxes.  I always have.  They are not that complicated, with the exception of one year a long time ago when I sold some stock and had to report a long history of buy and sell prices.  Anyway, now with TurboTax even a cave man can do it.

So, at the end of January I was still missing some info I needed.  My broker had informed me that it would be another two weeks before I had my statement in the mail, but that I could download it sooner online.  I actually knew exactly what would be on it, but still wanted the copy for my records. 

Eventually, I thought I had everything and then yesterday I received a notice from my bank telling me that what they sent me was incorrect.  They also informed me that what they reported on my statements during the year was incorrect, so don't use that figure.  Another two weeks and I should have a corrected statement.

I think I am just going to start entering my information.  I'll fill in the blanks before the due date.  Hopefully, I won't be one of those people running to the post office to drop it off in time. 

Hey, it's my refund and I need it now.

Where's My Pen?

This morning's Oakland Press has a story about missing equipment in Independence Township.  Seems that a tractor and an aerator have gone missing.  The story reminded me of 'things that went missing' when I was at West Bloomfield. 

I had a practice of leaving my very nice Cross pen on my desktop each night when I left for home.  It was always right there when I came in the next morning so I could write up all of my bank transfers and investments.

One morning I sat at my desk, went to grab the pen, and it was GONE.  I looked everywhere.  I even asked my counter staff up in the front of the office to look and see if I had left it on someone else's desk.  No luck.

Being more than a little upset (read loud), other co-workers heard me.  They then informed me that they too had items missing.  One was missing a pair of ladies slacks that were on a coat rack in the hall.  The other was missing her sports bra which was in her gym bag in her office.

I put a call in to the person in charge of the outside cleaning crew (my suspicious nature arises) at Town Hall.  We did a little investigating (too many crime shows) and found out that other departments also had problems.  A digital camera, a stepladder, and some make-up were also missing.

At this point we involved the Police Department.  And we fired the cleaning company.

We came up with some interesting scenarios for someone who steals a ladder, camera, ladies clothes and make-up, and a pen.  You are free to come up with your own stories.

As for Independence, you have to admit that a tractor is a little big to stuff in your pocket or make a quick getaway in. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Speaking of Ice

In mid-March of 1968, I was walking to the bus stop on my way to Detroit General Hospital and managed to find the very last piece of ice in the entire City of Detroit.  I not only found it, I slipped on it. 

In a 'never say die' moment, I got up and continued my walk to the bus stop.  I got on the bus and rode from Eight Mile and Gratiot to St. Antoine and Gratiot.  When I went to stand up, I could barely balance.  I struggled off the bus and realized there was no way I was going to make my way to the hospital, two blocks away.  Something was definitely wrong.

I hailed a cab, got in and told the driver where I was going.  He turned around and looked at me and said 'Lady, you're two blocks away'.  I told him I knew where I was, but could not walk there.  I then told him to drive me to the ER entrance. 

Once we got there, like two seconds later, I told him to go into the building, make a right into the blood bank and tell one of my co-workers to get a wheelchair.  Next thing I knew they were all streaming out of the building to get me into the ER.

Well, it was a busy morning and no one could get around to taking care of me.  So, I stayed in the chair, pushed my way around the lab, and busied myself typing and cross-matching blood. 

Eventually a doctor showed up, had me get an x-ray, and later informed me that I had indeed broken my tibia, about two inches above the ankle.  More waiting for someone to have time to set the leg.  Well, I was in a walking cast for the next four weeks.

I don't know if you have ever taken a bad fall on ice, but to this day, almost 43 years later, I am still terrified of being out on icy walks.  When there was ice on the drive on trash day a few weeks ago, I loaded up the trunk of my car and drove down the driveway.  Just call me a sissy.  I can take it.  I've been called worse.