Armenia, dogs, housekeeping tips, travel

Cleaning mode has ended… now it’s time to leave for Armenia!

Bill got home yesterday at about 2:45 PM. I was in a very pissy mood by that point, because I’d been walking up and down the two flights of stairs in my house for hours, hauling laundry and checking the status of my loads. By the time he came home to get me for our visit to Wiesbaden, I was exhausted and cranky. I’d also just started a load and had one more to go. I didn’t like the idea of walking from the Theater parking garage to the art gallery. I asked Bill if he wouldn’t mind going alone.

He kind of demurred when I suggested that I stay home, because we needed to pick out a frame for my bird painting. He doesn’t trust his own taste. I told him to pick out something neutral, and if he had any concerns, to just email me. He sent me a private message with pictures, and it turned out that the mother of the guy who helped us– no doubt descended from the original owners who started the business in 1905, suggested a red frame. We ended up going with her suggestion! All three paintings will be ready for pick up on November 21st.

The house could still use a lot more cleaning, but we’ve run out of time, and I’ve run out of patience and stamina. On the positive side, the bedroom is much cleaner, and we both slept very well last night. I love fresh sheets, anyway, and I washed all of the bedding, so it smelled really fresh. The actual sheets got washed in the three hour “hygiene” cycle, so they are really clean. And, on the positive side, I didn’t see any evidence of bedbugs when I was cleaning yesterday. Of course, that could mean nothing… but for the next nine days, there will be no way for anything living to feed on us… at least not in this house. Hopefully, we won’t encounter anything creepy or crawly during our travels.

I decided to wash Noyzi’s bedding again as I’m writing this, just because. He’s already on his way to the Hundepension, so he’ll have a nice fresh bed when we all come back on the 19th. I put his bedding on a longer cycle, so maybe it’ll get cleaner.

I think I might start using the hygiene cycle for our sheets more often, since I noticed that they felt cleaner last night. On most days, I don’t do tons of laundry, so it’s no big deal if it takes three hours. Especially if I start the cycle at 5:30 AM, which I usually do.

Noyzi was so cute this morning. Bill made biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and I had one bite left that I didn’t think I could eat. I offered it to Noyzi, who took it very carefully. He tentatively chewed it, then brightened and jauntily wagged his little stubby tail as he was finishing it. Obviously, he approved!

I always marvel at how different Noyzi is than our beagles have been. He doesn’t gobble down food. I think it comes from being born a street dog and knowing instinctively that he has to be careful about what he eats. He often doesn’t eat right when I put food down for him. He eats when he’s hungry. And he doesn’t eat every thing I offer him. I’m sure it’s because some of his ancestors were poisoned. Street dogs are truly fascinating creatures.

Sorry to write such a mundane post today… But then, in my case, deep cleaning isn’t such a mundane activity. I don’t do a lot of it unless I’m motivated somehow. It would probably be a good thing if I were more into cleaning more thoroughly. That way, I could spare myself painful days like yesterday. My Apple Watch says I more than doubled my usual rings. Of course, that’s not saying much these days. In any case, cleaning kept me from worrying too much about our trip tonight.

I can’t believe that in 24 hours, I’ll be back in Yerevan… a city that changed me on so many levels. It’ll be a lot to unpack. If you’re interested in the trip, keep an eye on the travel blog (there’s a link by my heading). I will update as much as possible. As for this blog, will see what transpires. Maybe something will happen… or I’ll finish reading John Stamos’ book before I get back to Germany.

housekeeping tips, Trump, videos

Breaking out in a sweat by washing the sheets…

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to wash the sheets. It’s almost 9:00 AM, so I’ve already finished that chore. Most weeks, I just wash the sheets and pillow cases, but I also have a couple of duvet covers. One of them is easy to wash, because it’s basically like a big pillow case. The other– Comphy brand— is a real pain in the ass. I’m serious. I literally almost closed my exercise ring on my Apple Watch this morning, trying to get the duvet back into the cover properly.

Granted, we have a king sized bed, so that means king sized linens. But Comphy, for some reason, doesn’t make their duvet covers like pillow cases with buttons on the bottom. Instead, there’s this weird pocket like thing that kind of folds over the bottom. It can be very tricky to maneuver the duvet into the cover. Then, once it’s in the cover, I have to find the corners and tie them to the corners of the cover, so the damned thing doesn’t get all balled up when we get in bed.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our Comphy sheets. They’re really comfortable and soft, wash well, and last a long time. They were also quite expensive, because Comphy won’t directly ship to APO, nor would they let me send the sheets to my mother-in-law so she could send them via the US Mail. I ended up paying a lot for the sheets, the duvet, and its cover, and then I had to pay duties. But it’s worth it, because we love the sheets.

Before I had Comphy sheets, I used to sleep on gorgeous cotton sheets that were very comfortable. But the cotton sheets didn’t quite fit the bed properly, because I use a topper. They also needed to be ironed, which I never bothered to do. Comphy sheets don’t need to be ironed, and they are generously sized. I just wish their duvet covers were more straightforward and didn’t require twenty minutes of wrestling.

So there I was, struggling with the duvet cover, working up a sweat, and panting a little bit as I wrestled the duvet. I started thinking maybe it was time I bought a plain old bedspread, which is simple to take care of. Just now, as I wrote that sentence, I remembered the plain white, cotton bedspreads that were common when I was growing up in the 80s. My Uncle Brownlee used to run the Natural Bridge Hotel in Virginia. We used to stay there all the time when I was a kid, especially at Thanksgiving, which is when my family has an annual reunion. I remember the hotel had those simply cotton bedspreads on all of the beds.

One year, for Thanksgiving, we stayed at the hotel. I had brought a friend with me, and we stayed up late watching movies. I woke up the next morning having discovered that somehow– maybe I had a dream or something– I had been sitting up for part of the night and suffered a nosebleed while I was sleeping. I remember that white bedspread that smelled faintly of bleach had my blood all over it. It looked kind of grotesque– bright red against stark white. I was just a kid at the time, but I felt sorry for the housekeeper.

Years later, the hotel’s owners sold off some of its old furniture because it was being redecorated. Somehow, I would up inheriting one of those old bedspreads. I don’t know what I did with it. It’s probably still in storage. I wouldn’t want to put a white bedspread on the bed, anyway. Trying to keep it looking clean would be much worse than wrestling with the duvet cover. I’m surprised the hotel used them, but I guess the white bedspreads were easiest to bleach. That was back when they’d change the sheets every day. Besides, the duvet covers are easier to fit in the washer than a heavy bedspread would be.

As I am writing this post, my Apple Watch just gave me a little buzz and a notification that read, “You’re off to a great start!” Yeah, I’ll say. I had to sit down for a minute as I worked hard to straighten out the duvet so I could put it on the bed. I actually got a bit of an arm workout doing that. Or maybe I’m just woefully out of shape, which is probably more like the whole truth. I’m just glad that particular chore is over with now.

We got a lot of rain yesterday, so Noyzi didn’t get his walk. I think maybe today I’ll make sure he gets one. It’s good for him, and it’s even better for me. I feel like in the wake of the COVID lockdowns, my physical fitness has really gone downhill. I got used to not going out and walking a lot, and it’s now showing up on my body. The one nice thing I miss about our last home in Germany is the huge nature park near our house. Granted, the dogs always came back with ticks all over them, but it was a really nice place to go walking.

Unfortunately, we aren’t as close to a park here. There is a place on the edge of town, but just getting to it is longer than I usually walk. 😉 Maybe it’s time we worked up to doing the longer walks again, but the timing is not so good now. The weather is finally turning to crap. We’re also changing the clocks this weekend.

This is not a very interesting post… I realize I could be writing about the shitshow going on in US politics. I’ve been watching a lot of videos about Trump’s legal woes, as well as the mess in the House of Representatives. But to be very honest, I hate writing about politics. I never cared much about that topic until Trump came on the scene and caused all the chaos that’s going on right now. What’s very sad to me is that it’s so obvious he’s a corrupt, incompetent criminal, and everything around him is falling apart, yet people are still supporting him and insisting that there’s been a witch hunt. I just don’t know what has to happen before people wake up and realize that he’s not fit for leadership. The topic kind of depresses me, so I avoid it until I simply have to write something about it.

I could also write about some of the cop videos I’ve been watching lately. I saw one yesterday that was absolutely ridiculous. It involved a tiny Black woman near Atlanta, Georgia who got caught driving under the influence. She was crying and panicking the whole time the cop was dealing with her, even to the point of peeing on herself. The cop was actually really nice to her.

But then when she was arrested and put in the car, she became a complete psycho. She manipulatively played every card she could in an attempt to get out of the DUI charge. It didn’t work, and the cop was still basically professional with her, under the circumstances. I do like it when I see US cops being professional. Unfortunately, sometimes they really aren’t. Anyway… if you have the time and the interest, check this one out… tell me what you think.

This is quite a shitshow…

Other than that, I don’t have a lot to write about today. I think I’m going to sign off, practice guitar, walk Noyzi (if it’s not raining), and maybe later, I might do a music video. Or, I might not. I don’t think anyone cares either way, except for me. 😀

Hope you have a lovely hump day. I’m off like dirty underpants. 😉

housekeeping tips, money, technology, work, YouTube

It’s new appliance week for us… that means a slightly cleaner house!

The featured photo is a screenshot of what I think is the TV we bought. It’s a LG 43 inch “thin” TV… kinda no frills. Cost about $300. What a bargain.

As most of the United States swelters in a heat wave, I’m sitting here in Germany with the air conditioning turned off and the windows closed. Why? Because at the moment, the temperature is hovering at around 53 degrees. That’s very unusual, even for Germany. In about a month, it will probably get chilly for good until the spring.

We had a lot of rain over the weekend, and on Saturday, our washing machine went out of commission. I was also not feeling very well, thanks to too much vino on Friday night. So Bill stayed in and used a grinder to pulverize some barley for his latest beer brewing effort. I watched videos on YouTube, fuming that the TV was acting up.

As I mentioned yesterday, I ordered us a new washer and dryer, and they should be arriving at some point tomorrow. I suspect they’ll be a nice upgrade for us, as they aren’t super cheap, and they’re a little bit bigger than what we’ve been using. Granted, we’re just two people in our household, but having a small washer is not so great when you have to wash the linens or dog bedding.

We also bought a new TV yesterday. This isn’t super exciting, really… We ended up going to AAFES to see what they had, hoping to find something that would fit in the relatively small area where we’d put the last TV. I was shocked to find that aside from one 24 inch computer monitor sized TV by Westinghouse, AAFES had nothing smaller than 43 inches. And they only had one model, an LG… the very same company that made our soon to be departing washer. Actually, we did get nine years of service from the washer. And although it’s a pain to buy new large appliances, buying them usually does result in a lifestyle upgrade. Still, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t wishing I could get one of the 50 inch TV models they had, with the really good, crisp, clear picture. It seems if you want that level of quality, you have to buy a TV that covers your whole wall!

Seriously, though… I grew up with big, boxy, cumbersome TVs. The one we had at our house for decades was a floor model. It was a piece of furniture, in and of itself. It had no remote control, and to get it to work, all you had to do was plug it into the wall and adjust the antenna. Later, we got a cable box for it, so we could watch HBO and such. But to change the channel, you had to haul your ass over to the TV and change it manually… at least until my parents finally bought a VCR, in 1987, and that could also double for remote control purposes.

My parents had a spare TV in the bedroom, but it, too, was one with dials on it that had to be turned manually. It wasn’t until the late 80s that my dad bought my mom a TV with remote capabilities. And none of our TVs were huge, like they are today. I remember, my first week of college, in 1990, the awful roommate I had for just one week had brought a 25 inch TV that I thought was HUGE. That would be considered positively puny by today’s standards.

The TV we brought home yesterday gets pretty bad reviews. It’s still an upgrade over the Philips model TV we’ve had since 2013, if only because it has a better picture and you can connect it to an app. The app, of course, sucks balls. I knew it was going to be a problem when I tried to input my information into the TV itself and it wouldn’t let me set my home country to Germany. But when I downloaded the app, it knew I was in Germany and addressed me in German… and when I made my account, it gave me a button that said, “return to home”. But when I tried to do that, nothing happened.

The remote that comes with the TV also sucks. I think it’s because they have a different remote that you can buy separately– the “magic remote”, which gets mediocre reviews. I don’t really use the TV remote much, anyway, since I have Apple TV. Still, it’s a pain when I need to use the TV remote to upgrade software, or whatever. With Apple TV, the new television works well enough for my purposes, which is mostly watching downloaded movies, YouTube, and Netflix.

We bought a separate stand for the new TV, because it’s on top of my dresser and it came with two “feet”, rather than one large footprint. The single stand works better, because the TV is at an angle, and my dresser is kind of narrow. We have to angle the TV, because we live in a German house with sloping walls/ceilings… which is also why we had to settle for a 43 inch model. A bigger TV wouldn’t have fit in the space, unless we managed to mount it on the wall. Neither Bill nor I have the tools or the handiness quotient to mount the TV on the wall.

I realize I’m doing a fair bit of whining, here. I should be grateful we could afford to buy the TV and were able to find one in a suitable size, on a Sunday, no less. We have a car that was big enough to accommodate the TV and we were strong enough to carry it into the house and up the stairs to the bedroom. And we did use it to watch Airplane! last night, which was fun to see before bedtime. I never get tired of that movie… and thanks to the new screen, I noticed a couple of things I’d never noticed before in the countless times I’ve see Airplane! since 1980, the year it was made. I used to watch it repeatedly on HBO, back in the early 80s.

I did consider ordering a TV on the economy, or just going to Media Markt to buy one. But at some point, we’ll probably move back to the USA, and the TV we got yesterday is a US model. Plus, I was just in a shopping mode yesterday, and I didn’t want to wait until next weekend. Buying a new washer and dryer put me in the mood for a new TV. Somehow, I suspect the new TV won’t last us ten years… but the one we bought wasn’t all that expensive. It was the very last one AAFES had in stock– the only one that wasn’t huge. And the guy had to go in the back and ask the manager if he could sell it, because it didn’t have any price tags on it, or anything. A 50 inch TV might have worked… but it would have been a tight squeeze.

One good thing that came out of yesterday’s adventures was that I finally had a reason to dust. We cleaned up the furniture in the bedroom and even vacuumed behind my dresser, which really needed an evacuation of the many dust bunnies hiding behind it. I also threw away some trash that had been taking up space.

I may call myself the “Overeducated Housewife”, but I’m not really very good at keeping house. I’m a bit of a slob. I’m not a filthy slob, mind you… I clean the toilets, take out the trash, do the dishes, cut the grass, and do laundry, among other things. But I’m not one for dusting every day, washing windows, or vacuuming more than once a week or so, except for special situations, like yesterday. And I don’t spend more than a day a year doing things like cleaning baseboards, scrubbing drawers, or using a toothbrush to clean the grout.

I’m sure our ex landlady really hated that about me. I think she assumed that since I didn’t have a paid job outside of the home, or children to raise, I should have been spending all day keeping her rental house absolutely spotless. My mom kept our house spotless. You’d think I would have inherited that trait from her. Unfortunately, all I got from my mom besides my looks, dry wit, and practicality, is a flair for making music.

I never went to the ex landlady’s house, but Bill told me it was immaculate. Sorry… I just don’t have that level of obsessive compulsiveness, nor do I think for over 1600 euros a month in rent, that should be expected of me. I do like it when things are neat, but unless I stay very vigilant, at my house, they inevitably end up cluttered again. I just don’t care enough about not living in dust, dog hair, and clutter to spend all day preventing it from accumulating. When you live with dogs, constantly trying to keep things super clean is pretty much a pointless exercise, anyway.

I actually think our ex landlady hated a lot of things about me. It showed in the consistently and blatantly disrespectful way she treated me. I’m sure she saw me as fat, stupid, lazy, and slovenly, while the tenant before me was her ideal… and someone, I think, she once thought of as a surrogate daughter. Interestingly enough, I’m still here among the living, and former tenant isn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if ex landlady resents that situation, too. She probably feels abandoned and betrayed, because her “ideal” American tenant offed herself, while the ones she liked a whole lot less are still here, in her country, and doing well enough to buy new appliances.

I try not to think too long and hard about that situation, because I find it nerve wracking and upsetting. I mean, it’s the stuff of novels, what we went through… and maybe someday, I’ll write about it. Especially now that former tenant is no longer monitoring my online activities and trying to tell me what I can and can’t write about on my own space. I did enjoy living in our last town. Sometimes, I even really miss it. But I sure don’t miss the constant fuckery, frequent reprimands and lectures, and regular interruptions of my daily routines… or the fact that in exchange for comparatively low rent (for Germany, anyway– not for the US), we also got a few people who would not, and could not, respect our privacy, even though we were very good about paying ex landlady early and not bothering her unless it was absolutely necessary.

Ah well… that’s what I get for writing a blog that isn’t 100 percent as dull as dishwater. If I just wrote about the lint in my navel, no one would care, except the fetishists. And lots of people don’t like me, for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they wish I’d trade places with former tenant, who was very pretty, athletic, accomplished, and well liked, but apparently was also very troubled and, I fear, quite fake. With me, what you get is what you see, right?

Anyway… tomorrow, I hope Bill will be able to stay home until the delivery guys get here with our new washer and dryer, just to make sure everything gets set up properly. I don’t know if we’ll get nine or more years out of these new appliances. It depends a lot on what happens in the next Presidential election, I guess.

Bill, complaints, modern problems, music, rants

It’s already been kind of an exasperating day…

Like many good children coming of age in the South in the 70s and 80s, I was well-acquainted with the corny hillbilly variety show, Hee Haw, from an early age. This morning, I am thinking of Kenny Rogers’ ex-wife, Marianne Gordon, who starred on that show in the 80s, as a southern belle who regaled everyone with stories about her fictitious daddy, “The Colonel”. She always started her skits off by saying, “It’s been an exasperating day.” That’s kind of how I feel today.

I have to admit, I liked this show. It’s less toxic than ANTM is.

It started with washing the sheets… always a pain in the ass, but especially when I also wash the duvet covers. We also decided to rotate the mattress, to redistribute the lumps in the mattress. My lower back was hurting, so I wasn’t much help. Bill got it turned on his own. Then, I realized the issue probably isn’t the mattress as much as it is the feather topper. It either needs to be replaced, or we need to get used to sleeping without it. Really, we need a new mattress, but it’s not so easy to get an American king sized mattress in Germany.

Then, once I got that mess straightened out, I had to wrestle the duvet into the duvet cover, which is quite an annoying task with a king sized duvet. I managed to do it without breaking out in too much of a sweat.

I sat down to write this morning’s blog post, but then got sidetracked by my music library. A few months ago, I replaced my old computer, but not all of my music moved over on the cloud. Consequently, I’ve got some “greyed out” files on my new computer. I end up having to manually move the music by using an external drive. The files don’t always successfully make it on the external drive, so I have to do it again. It’s a hassle, but worth it to me, because I love my music collection that much. I think I spent about an hour on that today, and I’m not even done with the task. Every day, I move more files, and it seems like the job is never ending.

I finally had to quit moving files, because I was getting so frustrated. It is kind of satisfying to see the greyed out files turn black, though.

I recorded a couple of new songs yesterday. One song went off pretty much perfectly. The other one was a real pain to get right. It’s not actually as perfect as I’d like it to be, but I was determined to get it up yesterday, so I settled for less. I got a comment from someone who thought it was my equipment that caused the issue, but no… it was a psychological issue. You know how, when you try to do something and you mess up, you kind of psych yourself out when you try again? That was me when I was trying to record “All I Have”. I did it nine years ago and it turned out just about perfectly, but no one ever hits that video because it has photos instead of me on camera. Nine years ago, no one watched my channel. Now, I have more people who pay attention to it.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll try again in nine years.

Last night, I found out that a British guy I met in 2011, while on a SeaDream cruise, is going to be joining Bill and me next month on our Regent cruise. He and his wife hung out with us on that cruise and we kept in touch for awhile, but then drifted apart. Looks like we’ll be seeing each other again. What are the odds?

Actually, that kind of stuff happens to me a lot. I have a knack for running into people I either used to know, or who know people I know. Here’s an example. Back in the late 1990s, I waited tables at a nice restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. One day, I waited on a couple with Irish accents. I asked them where they were from, and they said they came from Belfast. I told them I had a friend from there who lived in Newtownards (a suburb). We worked at a tiny Presbyterian church camp in the summer of 1994, then we traveled through Europe with his now wife, who’d also worked at the camp. The couple said, “Was your friend’s name Chris Sheals?”

Sure enough, it was… and it turned out he was their next door neighbor. What are the odds? There are lots of restaurants in Williamsburg, and plenty of waiters. Somehow, they found their way to my section.

Another time, a friend and I crashed at a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer’s apartment in Sofia, Bulgaria for about a week. When we got back to the States, I went to the Peace Corps office in Washington, DC to do some career networking. There wasn’t an event going on, or anything. I just went there on a whim. Sure enough, I ran into that guy whose apartment we crashed in Bulgaria… he was from New York and had come to the office for the same reasons I did. Again, totally unplanned…

And, here’s a final example. In the spring of 1999, I went to the Peace Corps office in DC again, that time with a friend I knew from Peace Corps/Armenia. I had planned to meet that friend. We went into the office and ran into another person from our group, Matt Jensen. And it’s funny that I’m writing this today, because Matt died two years ago in Brooklyn, when someone ran into him and left him for dead. I’ve written about Matt before… and that was the last time I saw him, on that day in the Peace Corps office, completely by chance. Incidentally, we’re still waiting for justice regarding Matt’s death. The wheels of justice are moving way too slow.

Those are just a few examples I can think of offhand of my running into people, but it actually seems to happen to me a lot. I run into people, or find out I know someone another person knows… or I end up connecting them with someone else who has a connection. It seems to be one of my special and more memorable traits. So I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised to be bumping into someone I met years ago on another cruise… My world seems to be particularly small. 😉

Even meeting Bill was kind of like that. We met in a chat room in 1999. In 2001, before we met in person, he went to a convention in Little Rock, Arkansas… where he ran into my aunt’s brother, Ralph. Ralph was a member of the Kansas National Guard, while Bill was in the Arkansas Guard. But Bill wasn’t with the Arkansas people, because he was federalized. Ralph was in the Kansas Guard, but he lives in Virginia… Sure enough, they bumped into each other, and chatted. Later, Ralph told me he’d met my “boyfriend”. I laughed and said he wasn’t my boyfriend. We hadn’t even met in person at that point. Ralph said, “Oh, trust me, he’s your boyfriend. And don’t worry. He’s okay.”

I was nervous about meeting Bill, since we met online. Ralph also had the benefit of being a former Virginia State Trooper, which made him a pretty good judge of character. Twenty years later, you can see that Ralph was right that Bill is “okay”. And I guess he WAS my boyfriend, after all.

Well… I guess I should end this post. I am feeling calmer now, so I guess I’ll practice guitar and take Noyzi for a walk, then maybe make another video, or finish reading my freakin’ book. Later, y’all.

celebrities, housekeeping tips, music, musings, YouTube

“Buck up, baby… the world is your oyster…”

Today’s featured photo was taken while I was walking Noyzi yesterday. I noticed how nice the flowers smelled and snapped a picture.

I’ve been kind of busy this morning, washing my bed linens. Maybe most people wouldn’t think that would be such an onerous task, but it does actually take some time. First off, I have kind of a small washing machine. I bought it in 2014. It holds seven kilograms. If I recall correctly, that was the middle size available. I should have bought one that takes eight kilos, but we were a lot poorer at the time, and I figured that with just two of us, we didn’t need the biggest size. I have no idea if there are bigger ones available now. I guess I could check…

Okay… so according to my very brief check of, a person can now purchase larger washing machines on their website. Looks like they go to at least to ten kilos. But, in 2014, I don’t remember seeing any larger than eight kilos. I remember spending about 375 euros, more or less, on the washer, and another five hundred on a dryer.

Most of the time, they do an adequate job of handling our laundry needs. If I need to do something out of the ordinary, like wash the bathroom rugs, blankets, or duvet covers, I wind up doing several loads. Loads take longer to do here than they do back home in the United States. We have a front loader here, while my machine in the USA is an old fashioned top loader. Consequently, it’s now about 9AM and I’ve been working on that chore since about 5:30. It’s now done, but not without some minor ass pain. Putting duvet covers on duvets is a bit of a hassle, but worth it. Clean bed linens are heavenly.

I don’t have to wash the duvet covers as often now, since we lost Arran last month. I’m glad I don’t have to wash them as often, but I sure miss his warm little body at night, and having someone to nap with when I fall asleep trying to read my books. I hope we’ll have a new friend for Noyzi soon, after we take our vacation. I also hope the new buddy is a little more food oriented. When Arran was still here, we had a dog who would help keep the floors clean, if you know what I mean… Well, at least he helped when he was cleaning up crumbs, as opposed to stealth pissing on my favorite rug. 😉

While I was waiting for the wash to be done, I decided to run CleanMyMac. In doing that, I got overzealous and deleted all my cookies, which has meant going through and signing into everything again. Today, I also happen to be getting a bunch of bot spammers trying to subscribe to my blog. There have been six or seven so far… random folks/bots with sketchy email addresses, signing on as “users” of my blog. So I’ve been patiently deleting those “people”/bots, too. As I’ve been doing routine computer maintenance, I’ve been looking at my most recent blog post titles. I realize I must come off as quite a curmudgeon.

I don’t want to be someone who who pushes “toxic positivity”. That’s when a person insists that people “buck up”, when they don’t feel like bucking up. There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking. Sometimes, it can legitimately make things better. However, when someone tells you that you must be positive when you’re not feeling it, then it can be toxic. Lying to yourself about how you really feel isn’t healthy. There are times when “creating your own miracles” isn’t possible. And sometimes, people just get on my nerves, just as I know I get on other people’s nerves.

Like in The Golden Girls, when Rose Nylund gets Dorothy and Sophia to go to a positive thinking group… an example of “toxic positivity”.

It’s hard to keep positive sometimes, especially when you keep up with the news, which is so frequently just “bad” at best, and absolutely tragic at worst. On the other hand, I can’t deny that I have a pretty good life. My biggest problem today was taking care of washing the linens. Now, that’s done… the sun is out, the weather is getting warmer, and I have a vacation to finish planning. Last night, we got to see a video of Bill’s daughter and her adorable kids. She shared a tip on how to clean the Le Creuset Dutch oven we gave her for Christmas. Actually, we probably ought to try her trick on our pots. They’re in need of a good cleaning.

Bill has to go away again at the end of next week. As much as I dread hanging out here alone, at least I don’t have to worry about Arran this time. Last time Bill went TDY, he got home just two days before we had to say goodbye to Arran. This time, it’ll be just Noyzi and me, bored, but basically healthy. And I can spend the time looking for more things to do when we finally go on our much anticipated trip. I look forward to taking more photos, trying new things, and seeing more places I haven’t seen before. That’s a great privilege.

So… in the interest of not being so damned negative all the time, today’s post is relentlessly positive. I also made a couple of new videos yesterday, both of which turned out okay. I heard Linda Ronstadt do a very beautiful version of “I Love You For Sentimental Reasons”, and decided I wanted to try it. I probably ought to record more songs. Most of my musical postings are pretty positive and non-controversial. 😉

I played it for Bill, and he liked it… I must admit, I was inspired by him when I did it.
And then I tried this jaunty tune…

When I made these recordings, I didn’t know that Harry Belafonte was on his way to shoving off the mortal coil. He died yesterday, having lived to be 96 years old. Against all odds, he managed to have a truly extraordinary life, affecting and entertaining multitudes of people. When I heard that he’d passed, I was immediately reminded of a song a dear college friend and I used to sing a lot during our college days. I didn’t know this song before I met Donna, but now it reminds me of her…

Two friends having fun performing…

What does Harry Belafonte have to do with yesterday’s musical stylings by yours truly? Well… the two songs I did were both sung by Nat King Cole; the second was actually written by him. And as you can see from the video above, Nat King Cole collaborated with Harry Belafonte, too. Isn’t it funny how things are connected?

Anyway… I don’t have much else to write about today. I’d really like to finish the book I’ve been trying to read for the past couple of weeks. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be ready to review it. I’ll just “think positive” that I’ll manage to complete that task. I’ve got others I want to get to before I, myself, join Harry Belafonte in the Heavenly Choir…

So, have a nice hump day, y’all. 😉