Thursday, July 25, 2013

Get Me Off This Carousel!

Ugh. I watched "Carousel" the other night. What a terrible movie! (Spoilers ahead!)

The film is lovely to look at and I like a couple of the songs very much. (I am not a big fan of "You'll Never Walk Alone" though and most people love it so obviously I am an aberration!)

But the storyline? Ye gods.

Billy Bigelow (as played by Gordon MacRae) is a horrible person with no redeeming qualities that I can see (besides his good looks which are really those of Mr. MacRae). His job is a carnival barker. He loses that job and never gets another because he has "no skills" according to his wife. The one job offer he gets he turns down flat. And his big plan to make money is to participate in a robbery and then move to San Francisco.

It does not go well. We know this from the start because Billy is shown polishing stars in a Heaven-like place so you know he'll die at some point during his flashback story.

You have to wonder what Julie Jordan (as portrayed by Shirley Jones) sees in him besides a physical attraction. Once they get married it's revealed that Billy has hit Julie because he was angry. Supposedly this only happened once but everyone refers to Billy beating his wife.

So Billy is a big ass and Julie looks just like you'd expect a downtrodden wife to look. It's a shame because Shirley Jones is so young and pretty that you want her Julie to smile and laugh rather than brood and be afraid of Billy.

Then when Billy comes down from Heaven to spend a day helping his 15-year-old daughter Louise he ends up hitting her too!

But she tells her mother it felt like a kiss, not a slap. Here's the exchange between them:

"But is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you hard like that - real loud and hard, and it not hurt you at all?"
"It is possible dear, for someone to hit you, hit you hard, and it not hurt at all."

Ugh, again.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting for Results

I had a mammogram last Friday. While the procedure is not what I'd call enjoyable, I don't mind the discomfort involved.

What I mind is the wait for the results!

In the old days you had to wait about a week for a postcard to arrive before you could breathe that sigh of relief. (Or curse your luck and start in on the extra rounds of mammogram closeups, sonograms and biopsies for one boob or the other. Fun.)

I wonder if they still do this. Privacy laws for health-related things are fairly strict. They must have switched to an envelope system rather than a postcard. Because your mail deliverer doesn't need to see your results before you do! "Good morning, Mrs. Smith! I see your boobs are still cancer-free!"

Luckily, my results are all available online within a couple of days --- no more postcards or envelopes arriving a week later! --- as long as I go through the Sutter doctors. (When I have lost weight I always like to log in and look at the graph with the line going down!)

Anyway, my results are in and I can breathe a sigh of relief for another year! Yay!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Searching for the Perfect House

Turns out, there really is no such thing. Too expensive. Needs too much work. Too old. Weird layout. Doesn't get cable. So many possibilities to pooh pooh!

We went to three open houses on Sunday and each one was just a bit odd.

The first was a one-story, five bedroom place in Rohnert Park. There were three bedrooms down one hall and the other two bedrooms were on the other side of the house. It turns out they were added on. The hallway was barely wider than my hips. (Yeah, yeah, keep your snotty comments to yourself!)

So that was kind of odd. But then there was the laundry room. It was a small rectangular room with a sink (a fun feature we've never had in a house and would come in handy for rat cage cleaning day) and a counter and shelves.

The thing is, if you actually put a washer and dryer into the room there would be maybe two feet between the appliances and the counter! There would be no actual room for a (wide hipped) person to get laundry in or out of the dryer! And you'd have to lift the washer and dryer OVER the sink and the counter. (Obviously the counter would need to be removed for the laundry room to even become functional!)

The other two house had issues too but the one that stuck out the most to me were the ovens. They were so small the Keebler Elves would disdain them! What always cracks me up about these small ovens is how the realtor always tells you how much fun it will be to go shopping for new ovenware!

SERIOUSLY?!!! I already have a collection of ovenware that I have no desire to downsize! Including the turkey roasting pan I bought a couple of years ago. Which will not fit into those wee ovens. CPA Boy may be Keebler Elf size (CPA Boy says, "Hey! Wait a minute now!") but we want a regular size oven! Or two!

We actually have two normal-size ovens in our current home. The people who sold us our house had replaced all the appliances and they replaced the microwave/oven combo for an oven/oven combo. We had to purchase our own microwave. Except for the counterspace the microwave takes up we love having the double ovens.

Of course the question is, you have a perfectly nice house, why do you want to move?

Well, we don't WANT to, really, but we think it would be better to have a one-story house and a place where there's NO homeowners' association!

CPA Boy does not go up stairs easily so that's the main reason. But I hate the HOA. That's the other reason.

When you buy a home in an HOA you get disclosures informing you of all the rules and regulations you will need to follow once you move in. So it's not like I didn't know any of this going in but reading about something and living with it are two different things!

We cannot park a car on the street from midnight to 7 am. Why? It's the rule. When we first lived here we only had two cars and a two-car garage. Now we have three cars and the same two-car garage. The Boy parks behind me every night. When I go out I need to move his car first so I can get mine out of the garage.

And now one of the board members of the HOA is on a mission to keep cars from parking in DRIVEWAYS overnight. Until The Boy moves out --- insert huge laugh here! --- we will always have 3 cars and a two-car garage. I'm not sure what the board member plans to make us do about this.

We can't plant anything in the front or back yards without getting permission first. We can only select from a tiny selection of colors when we paint our house. We need to get a parking permit for overnight guests which costs $25 and is only good for 2 weeks. (An issue when CPA Boy's sister was staying here while her husband was in the hospital for several weeks.)

What we'd really like to do is buy the large dinosaur sculpture and put it in the corner of our yard so it looks down on the golfers who pass by on the golf path next to our house. But it's not allowed. Nothing should be visible over your fence in case anybody might see it. Or something.

When we first moved in there was a very large tree out front that had a large branch failure which hit our garage and driveway. It was pure hell trying to get permission to remove the tree which our arborist (yes, we have an arborist. Doesn't everyone?!) said would only have more branch failures. The tree was a 15-year-old ornamental pear, not a protected redwood or anything. (We were actually supposed to replace it with another tree but I haven't decided which kind of tree to plant. It will take a few more years of deliberating I fear.)

And the latest thing the HOA wants to do is put homes in groups of 6 or 8 and make us all responsible for each other in case of an emergency. They will let us know what supplies we are supposed to have on hand and so on. (I have nothing against helping my fellow neighbors in an emergency, by the way.)

Nobody likes a nanny state. We live in a nanny HOA.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Do We Even NEED Pinkie Fingers?

Yes. Yes, we do. Not that you'd know from my actions over the last couple of years.

Almost two years ago I badly sliced my left pinkie finger while pitting an avocado. And I mean badly: Four stitches and some nerve damage.

The worst part: it cost just over $3,000! (Insurance doesn't kick in until we pay large deductibles.)

It was one of those really stupid things. We had just purchased some new knives and I was used to my old, dull knives. Not a good combo.

I still make guacamole from scratch but I tend to order it in restaurants more frequently. WAY cheaper than an emergency room visit.

And did I mention that the numbing shots before the stitches hurt worse than the cut itself?

Add in the embarrassment of showing up at the ER in my "around the house, don't go out in public" clothes and then actually running into people you know in the waiting room.

Classic.

But that was then. This is now.

Monday night I was slicing cucumbers into the salad bowl using the mandolin slicer. I hadn't used it before and I was trying to gauge cucumber slice thickness and was reaching for the device that holds the food while you slice it. But something went wrong and I sliced  my RIGHT pinkie finger quite badly on the mandolin blade.

This was not a situation that called for stitches so no emergency room visit this time. (I really should get dressed up when I make dinner. Just in case. Apparently.) But it bled for hours. I'm still nauseous at the thought.

I decided to visit one of the nurse practitioners at my doctor's office to get it checked out yesterday. (We have long since reached our insurance deductible this year so there should be no extra cost for this office visit.)

I made her laugh with my litany of body parts I like about myself and how each one has let me down and that obviously my life lesson this month is to stop being vain about my youthful-looking hands.

(See? It's an illness: Hand vanity, a.k.a. Kelly Syndrome!)

She said it was akin to a burn and would heal fine. I got some antibiotic cream to use. And I keep my pinkie delicately extended so I don't hit the bandage (it's still pretty sore).

Luckily I've run out of pinkie fingers to scar. Two major wounds in two years is plenty.

And one last story: I did a search on the Internet about treating the injury. I found one message board where the husband was describing his wife's injury which was just like mine (pinkie, mandolin) and he included a link to the YouTube video of the injury! There was a warning about "lots of blood". Ya think?

Because when you are bleeding and in pain, nothing helps like whipping out the smart phone to record the whole thing. I need to remember that next time. Guh.

And my favorite quote from the search? "I bought a mandolin --- but they didn't say there'd be blood!"

Monday, July 8, 2013

Twitchy

Ugh! Every once in a while I get a twitchy eyelid. And it lasts for DAYS. So irritating. I'm pretty sure it's some sort of a stress-related issue (likely due to a possible house sale and purchase). Gotta say it's better than a stress-related migraine!

CPA Boy and I looked at three houses on Friday. One we ruled out pretty quickly: a small house on an acre of property. The house itself is cute (real estate speak for small) but they are asking $850,000 for it! And it's a modular home which means you order the pieces and it all gets put together on site. (Manuafactured homes are those on wheels like you'd find in trailer parks, modular homes are pre-fab.) Seems a little pricey!

Another one we looked at had a pool and a poolhouse that obviously served as an apartment for a teenage daughter. It was a mess! The house itself was nice but unfortunately was a two-story where the garage was on the ground level and most of the living quarters on the upper level. Sorry, CPA Boy, no pool for you!

The third house we visited was huge with a great backyard. Lots of deck, little yard maintenance. And a grape arbor! With grapes! The inside needs some work as it was built in 1987; the kitchen looks it. But it has possibilities.

Tomorrow we look at a few more houses, two in Novato which is about 15 miles south of here. I guess we'll see.

Next week CPA Boy is flying to audit a client in Maryland.

No wonder my eyelid is twitchy!

And PS: My best friend Lady Chardonnay made me a Kelly avatar a while ago which I FINALLY uploaded to my blog site. Isn't it cute?! (She's holding an Oscar award while standing next to a pile of books.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Case of the Disappearing Teenager

The Boy just turned 20 a couple of days ago. His dad and I were out looking at houses and when when we got back our son came out of his room, said goodbye and left for the whole day. He hung out with his best friend Red Beard (and Red Beard's parents).

We didn't do anything for The Boy's birthday because there was no boy around.

(Okay, we wallowed just a little bit about the fact that we have a 20-year-old son but that's it.)

(Okay, we also had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.)

Our son is in the phase of his life where hanging out with his parents is anathema. He'd rather hang out with his friend's parents. Sigh.

I have heard from other parents of boys that they break away and then come back around and appreciate their parents again. I look forward to that day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

And the Heat Goes On...

Ugh. It has been HOT for over a week now. This is the longest heat wave I can remember around here.

Our weather in Petaluma is generally wonderful during the summers. We have cool nights in the 50s and warm days, usually in the 70s and 80s. And lots of fog too.

As for high heat, we experience several heat waves during the summer usually lasting about 3 to 4 days where temperatures reach into the 90s and occasional low 100s. But the nights are still generally cool and give you and your house a chance to recover from the heat of the day.

THIS heat wave has included very warm nights. This makes a difference to the temperature in the house because the heat just builds and builds. (We really need to install some attic vents because it's so well insulated up there the heat never escapes.)

The only real comfort comes in staying directly under a ceiling fan and when you feel you can't take it anymore, there's air conditioning!

In order for the upstairs to be remotely comfortable the air condition needs to stay on for HOURS. I am way too cheap to do that! So I have avoided my office for a week. Hence, the lack of blog posting.

Today is supposed to get to a high in the low 90s and last night was definitely cooler thanks to a wonderful ocean breeze (we are about 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean).

Yesterday Pops and I did our usual shopping but we started at 8 instead of 10. It was actually really nice to be in stores because they were practically empty. We think earlier shopping may be the way to go.

Meanwhile we are still looking at houses and seeing very little to excite us. We are going to look at a couple of places on Friday though. We have already looked at one of them during an open house but the owner was also the realtor and he followed us around like a bad smell. So we glanced about and left. I'm not sure if he thought we'd steal something or if he was just trying to be "helpful". This time either he won't be there or our agent can keep him occupied while we look around.

I'm off to get a few more upstairs things done before it gets too hot up here!