The cat’s away…

How does the mouse play….? NO TV!

  1. Trying to process muddled feelings about the death of another neighbor
  2. Read a book:  “Ghost Country” by Sara Paretsky
  3. Listen to a podcast about introverts
  4. Continue exploring ways to generate work-at-home income
  5. Talk to realtor about house sale

Number 1 is tough. When someone dies, feelings & memories bubble around randomly inside your skull until they pop. There’s no order to the process. It’s very chaotic. He was our very own neighborhood 6’5″ Santa.  He and his wife moved into their house May 1960. That’s my entire life plus 10 months. The man was 82 years old in July and he went two-stepping last weekend with his daughter, same as he did every weekend. She said he’d walk into a room as a stranger and leave with new friends. He was that kind of guy. We attended his 80th birthday party 2 summers ago and it was packed with multiple generations of people from far and wide. His long-time musician friends took turns playing music, there was lots of great food and non-stop laughter. He collected cars. Just ordinary used Detroit autos of all makes and models. No collectible “barn finds” like you sometimes read about. I suspect that a few of them he bought with a sentimental connection in mind, more than any investment value. He could be seen tinkering with a battery in one of them, trying to coax it out for a spin, as he held himself upright with a walker. Once in a while he’d drive past our house real slow in the Firebird and gun the engine, issuing a challenge to the Hub to come out and play. On our walks to the park we’d always stop by if he was outside so he could give our dog Leroy a good scratch and he’d make us laugh while I tended his flower pot. His absence will be keenly felt when we walk to the park now. That makes 2 neighbors lost this week. Autumn claims the weak ones. While I wouldn’t call him “weak”, age had taken this strong man down a few notches. He never let that stop him from enjoying life, and he practically died with his boots on. That’s a fitting end to a life well spent.

Good bye Ardell. We miss you already. Thanks for the memories. Hope you’re hoofin’ in heaven!   ~kb.xo


Kavanaugh for SCOTUS?

close up court courthouse hammer
Photo by Pixabay on

They’ve gone round and round and not made any real progress. Tomorrow, the Judicial Committee votes on whether or not to confirm him.

Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony had the smell of CYA all over it. He had a lot of bullet points. Yet he refused to answer a direct Yes/No question. As “Exhibit A” he referred to his calendar/diary from high school to confirm that his day to day activities kept him “so busy” that he couldn’t have been at the party described in the accusation leveled against him by Dr. Ford.  He sniveled while telling about the “loss of his good name”, the embarrassment to him and his family and his lifelong friendships with women, his pattern of choosing female law clerks, of coaching women teams. He repeatedly mentioned that 65 women put their names on a letter stating that “He’s not that kind of guy”…But none of that convinces me that years ago he wasn’t that kind of guy. The kind of teenager capable of getting sexually aggressive while drinking heavily. Every female has experienced a guy like that. I can tell you from my own experience: it is traumatizing, even if he doesn’t get everything he wants. It still leaves you feeling that you have no control over your own body. That you can be invaded and violated and that you have to accept it. Furthermore, just because he didn’t do it to any of the women who signed a letter on his behalf NOW, doesn’t mean he never did it to anyone, ever.

Unfortunately, I missed the live feed of Dr. Ford’s testimony.  I will find it online so I can hear what she had to say.

At the end of the hearing today, it’s still “She Said”/”He Said”.  She is 100% sure that he is the person who assaulted her at age 15.  He refutes it 100%, and “bears her no ill will”.

[It came up during the hearing that a former roommate stated that Brett drank excessively, sometimes to the point of blackout. How convenient. “I don’t remember, so it didn’t happen”] He denied ever being blackout drunk and tried to mirror the question back on Amy Klobuchar. “Did YOU ever drink until you blacked out?”  (That’s what bullies do – they deflect.)

To my ears, he is using as a shield his solid Catholic upbringing, his role-model parents, an active sports life and his hard work to be excepted to Yale Law School to prove that he just didn’t have the time to go around assaulting girls. He also sounds incredulous that his past is coming back to haunt him just at the entrance to nirvana and the Good Life Forever.

Here’s what abuse victims know: Predators are very skilled chameleons, at deflection, at distortion.

If he becomes the next Supreme Court Judge, let us hope that it will make him a more compassionate judge. To understand intimately what it’s like to be under the hot lights and disbelieved. Doubtful. He’ll more likely just feel more emboldened because he got away with it. The newest member of the club.

His installment on the bench would send a clear message to the women of the United States: You Don’t Matter.  Unfortunately, that’s been the sub-text of our culture for as long as our society has been in existence.  Now more than ever with the Philanderer in Chief at the helm.

Ideally, Kavanaugh will not be the next SCOTUS. This country can, and should, choose better. The Republicans who are in total control of this decision had best consider wisely the ramifications of this vote and the raw rage it will ignite. Remember boys: without the women, you wouldn’t exist.  You Need Us. Treat Us appropriately.


It’s confusing (Take two)

Wow.  I started this post over 2 hours ago. Then….

    • Some robins played Marco Polo in the birdbath outside the kitchen window while I watched, then…
    • Message: ! Saving draft failed.  X,  then...
    • Why failed? Let’s find out why, then…
    • Does Email work?  Ooh, incoming., then…
    • Watch b>b episodes of YouTube: Johnny Carson, Robin Williams & Jonathan Winters together, SNL Top 10 performers list etc., then…
    • Download INFJ Guide, then…  reading…. then, hungry… then, texting, more reading, then…
    • Laundry, then…To-Do List, then
    • Oh yeah…I was writing a post, wasn’t I?  Doh…now I remember, it wouldn’t SAVE! Command C, close the browser window, start over, Paste, DOH!  It saved the Page Menu!!

      So back to the drawing board.

      I want to make note of the conflicting emotions I am experiencing today about selling this house to move to another. Each day that goes by with no resolution to the question, “Should I stay or should I go”? opens a new round of Blanche’s game with me. This game should have a name because we play it so often.  My Turn: I act after weighing the pros & cons of something I am considering.  It’s a process that takes days. When I feel satisfied that I have answered the right question with a thoughtful answer, then it’s Blanche’s turn. [She interrogates me]: “Is a different home really what you want?” “WHY?” “This one is finally the way you like it, and don’t forget: it took 20 years!” “Gonna start all over again, eh?” “Who will fix your car?” “What about the critters?” “You are putting them in danger” “Chester could get lost and eaten by a bear. or a weasel” “What if your dog makes everyone on the road fear & loathe you after he munches on some mini dogs and humans?”  “Where will you buy the food brands you like and/or GF & DF options?” “What if that house has LESS light than this one?” “It has 1 ceiling fan and only 1 air conditioning  unit” “Too much carpet” “Round sinks and NO dishwasher!” “If you don’t get full price, the deal is in jeopardy…you made a Junk Offer too – ya Loser” “You reached too high” “You acted rashly” “You don’t even know what you want” 

      [Her turn ends when she see my shoulders slump, face sag, darkly clouded thought bubbles hovering overhead and I begin muttering to myself as I board the Negative Thought train]

      “Shut Up Blanche!” [but it doesn’t work. She’s gotten to me] “Are you running from or running to?” “Do you think a change of scenery will change the way you operate?”  “What kind of work will you be able to find?” “Do you trust yourself to make a decent decision?”…

      “I win”

Yes. She wins this round. Think I’ll go take a hot shower.   kb.xo


Sometimes, I’m moody

This is one of those times.

I let my anxiety drive the Google box. Bad idea. Kinda like P45 and his Tweets.

By “moody” I mean lo-low to hi-high, or anywhere in between (aka: manic/depression)

For the last 2 days, I’ve been moving to the low end of the spectrum like a kid sliding down a banister. An unfortunate symptom of my declining frame of mind is that I texted our realtor Saturday to ask if we should have an open house (effectively questioning how he does his job). He replied that we’ll pow-wow Monday morning. Then I was both annoyed at being brushed off and embarrassed at my own behavior. You see, I was under the erroneous assumption that they mainly work on weekends. Nope. Wrong again Kb.  One more reason for him to think of me as a problem client. The Hub & I have switched roles. He is now calm and optimistic, I have assumed the role of insomniac worry-wort. Though I try to fight it, mental images flip through my brain causing me anxiety. A few choice ones: Remember Indiana Jones in the Crystal Skull going legs first over a cliff  and clawing the bare ground as he slipped further and further until he was out of sight?  In this scenario, I am Indy; slipping away from the reality of our retirement home. (And possibly my own sanity).

Another image: the way you sometimes awaken from a pleasant dream before it has reached it’s conclusion, “ no…waaaait….I was having such a nice dream. Let me go back to sleep…”

I was so sure that it was where we are meant to be for our next chapter. Could I have been wrong about that too?  Has all this frantic work served to put us deeper in debt and nothing more? We eat out most meals so there’s no mess to clean up. It’s an expensive way to live and feels very like killing time in the starting gate like eager race horses.

Maybe the spoiled only child in me is just bubbling to the surface. “WHY must I wait to get what I want??! We did “all the things”….isn’t that enough!?”

Could I be experiencing a form of Rejection? (e.g. “People don’t really want our cute little home. Maybe it’s not as desirable as I thought”, “Why aren’t they showing up to look”?)

The answer to THAT question may be that it’s just too nice outside to go looking at houses.  (As opposed to too lousy, as it was last weekend and most of the week). Either way, time grows short and so does my patience.  Maybe the best thing to do would be to get out of the house, take Leroy and go enjoy this gorgeous day while we can. This weeks merry-go-round of revisited and repeat attempts to resolve administrative/billing issues, all which I thought were completed weeks ago, has pushed me to the brink of cRA-Zee!  Could also explain some of my downward spiral.

On the upside: it’s been a day of peace & quiet in my craft room.  Just me doing a little yoga & meditation, enjoying Pandora and my nail polish while looking out the window with the sun and the breeze and the furry boys napping nearby.

I hope to be forgiven for losing hope. Just wanted to put it down for posterity so that I remember the ups AND the downs of making a major life change. You tend to forget the wrinkles but I choose to remember it all.

Have you ever called the I.R.S.?

My advice to you would be: Don’t.

I’ve been on hold for 13:25, 15:30, 18:41,  … the spectrum of irritation runs the gamut between pre-recorded “teaching moments” interspersed with looped “music” of the blandest sort possible (think Schroeder trying to appease Lucy with his little red Baby’s First Piano accompanied by some goofball fumbling with a bongo while banging on a wood block) and the brain-numbing exercise of searching for a form on the website.  The forms are not organized alphabetically, numerically, by the Dewey decimal system, nor any other method recognizable to literate Americans. 28:51, so far…

Why on earth is the IRS so goddam busy on a random Thursday in September?  Meanwhile, my ass is now numb too as we approach the half-hour mark of waiting.  Today is ALL about waiting….30:56, 35:37

“Our representatives are still helping other customers. Please continue to hold”. 38:04

“If you hang up now and call back, please be advised: Your wait times may increase. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.  Please be patient”

The trouble is, when someone finally DOES answer, I will have to remember my question and be able to articulate it. Politely. 40:22  You don’t want to anger the IRS people; same goes for a tattoo artist. They have the means to   42:28

Will I never achieve a check mark on my Icky To-Do List?!!?  I need a check mark!


clear glass with red sand grainer
Photo by Pixabay on

…and now, a car has pulled up and stopped out front of the window where I sit…

Potential buyer?  Real estate agent?  49:03

54:11.  that’s it.  Uncle.

I gotta get outta this place

It’s a figurative place, more of a condition really, and I dislike everything about it.


After weeks of constantly going hard and “doing” to the point of exhaustion, it’s now become a waiting game. The sudden hard stop is a form of out-of-body experience: sort of like when you are cruising along at speed in a boat when the captain suddenly pulls back hard on the throttle and the boat ceases forward motion quickly, but the water keeps on rushing by and gives the vessel a stern forward shove. Except, we’re not moving forward. Or backward. Or sideways. We’re adrift.  Are we moving?  Are we staying? What can I tell our dog Leroy & cat Chester?  They are very confused by all the strange traffic, the daily relocation of their food bowls and sleeping places and sometimes even leaving home to drive around in the car.  All very unusual and frankly, a little worrisome. These activities run counter to the established rhythm of their animal days of quiet naps, occasional barking, a nibble from the bowl and back to napping until Mom & Dad return home.

The whole situation has the voice in my head (known as “Blanche”) whispering evil things to me such as:

“You’re never leaving this place”  “You’ll die here”  “Why would you leave this place”? “What’s so great about that other house”?   “Do you really want to move away from this lovely little cottage in the woods”?  “…to leave all the neighbors who have started to become friends”?  “It’s going to be difficult”   “You’ll be alone most of the time”  “There’s no good place to walk Leroy unless you load him in the car and drive somewhere”   “Chester may get lost and die alone in the bean field”  “Matt’s drive is going to be  really  l o n g”   “It is all your fault”   “You are being selfish”  “You are not in charge”  “You have driven your poor hub to the brink of insanity” “You will still be Kb., no matter where you live”  “You should have thought this through better before kicking the ball into motion”  “What if the internet is worse than here”?!? “Is that even possible”??  “Why couldn’t you leave well-enough alone”?

yada yada yada… in perpetuity….

SHUT UP BLANCHE!!                           Who asked you anyway?                  kb.xo