Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In Which I Am Contrite, Yet Managing A Little Sprightliness In Spite Of Things
After yesterday's Shameful Display of Bitching and Wallowing, I got a good dose of Perspective, courtesy my news addiction. Thanks to NBC Nightly News and the Interwebs, I have been duly Chastised.

Remember last year when my mantra was "Hey! At least my house didn't explode!", referencing my newfound sense of Zen imparted to me by the sudden destruction of a home around the block from me due to a gas leak? Well, I'm trying out a few more New Mantras, and I'd like to see which one you like the best.

1. "Hey! At least an airplane didn't land in my livingroom!" This one is, I know, awfully similar to last year's. But it happened (not in my neighborhood this time), and here is a picture that proves it.

2. "Hey! At least I don't live in Buffalo!" We here in NEO get the phenomenon known as Lake Effect Snow, but Buffalo got it like they were in the middle of the lake. The kind of snow that they got--more than 70 inches in some areas--is beyond snow. It's like having your period, a broken leg, a PAP test, a gall bladder attack, AND a migraine while you're taking thirty-seven toddlers to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party before their naps. The governor needs to call in the National Guard of several states and have them bring flamethrowers. Attached to tanks. Because this:
3. "Hey! At least I have butter!" This one might need some work. While I generally feel grateful for the existence of butter overall, I do feel far more smug about the abundance of it on my grocery shelves right now. Because in Japan, according to one news story, there is a massive shortage of butter due to JAPAN'S EXHAUSTED COWS. "The agriculture ministry has blamed the shortage on a brutally hot summer that affected milk production. The high temperatures left dairy cows simply too exhausted to meet their usual milk quotas." The story goes on to remark that bakeries have started using margarine "in the hope that the slightly inferior taste will be more palatable to customers than the inflated price of cakes and loaves made with butter." DAIRY FARMERS OF AMERICA! JAPAN NEEDS YOUR BUTTER! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! (No one, and I mean NO ONE should ever have to use margarine.)

Koichi Kamoshida/EPA

So!  You pick a mantra while I struggle with my Shame, And I will try to remember the words of Leon Trotsky, revolutionary, who said, "Everything is relative."  He died when an assassin punctured his skull with an ice axe.  Sigh.  Winter....


  1. I thought it was an ice pick.

    But I'm just glad I'm still here to be glad that no small plane has hit my house, etc

  2. Don't apologize, at least you are still blogging! My Blogsy app isn't working and I can't seem to get photos transferred so I've been silent a lot lately. Hang in there, lady!

  3. That snow reminds me of the stories of "The Long Winter", by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Did you read those? Where Pa would dig a tunnel in the snow between the house and the barn, and travel through it in relative comfort, because it provided insulation and he wasn't being swept out into the prairie? Crazy. I've heard that Buffalo is supposed to get 4 or 5 more FEET of snow tonight. INSANE.

    We've had some dairy shortage here, too, though nothing so drastic as the Japanese are suffering. I have a Favorite Brand of milk, and I sometimes buy their butter and eggs as well. Organic Valley, if you're curious. For some reason it's been difficult to find them on the supermarket shelves this autumn, and I asked (via Facebook) what the issue might be. Hot weather, not enough milk from the cows. That made me feel very patient, as I nursed my child way back when, and don't want anyone to be pushed beyond their limitations.

    In the fourth grade, my teacher was home recovering from surgery, and a car ran through their garage into her bedroom. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but you could say, "At least a car didn't plow through my garage into my bedroom while I was recovering from a hysterectomy". And no, it wasn't her car. A stranger plowed all the way through.

  4. AND I forgot to ask if you're going to read the brand new autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder? I can't wait. What I've heard is that this was the first story she wrote about her life, and she couldn't get a publisher, so she went the children's book route instead. So it's darker and more gritty. Can.Not.Wait. But I am waiting, as I would like to get it for Christmas, rather than buying it for myself. Ted has been alerted. ;)

  5. Down with the uncommon cold.
    Hope you are soon butter.
    I had a friend who used to wrap each gift as she bought it, in August or whenever. One year she forgot to put tags on and by Xmas Eve she had forgotten the contents. So, at least we will not be unwrapping and re wrapping our gifts at midnight on Dec 24th.
    Try a little whiskey for the throat?

  6. For years, I have comforted myself with the mantra "it is extremely unlikely that I will be eaten by a shark tonight". It works better during a NEO winter than, say, on a Caribbean cruise.

    Hated rival Kent State took seven hours to get to Buffalo for a football game yesterday, normally a three-hour trip. Right now it's not too bad where I am, but I'm still hoping Elderdog Julie doesn't need to go out again tonight.

  7. "There is no butter in Hell." ~ Cold Comfort Farm

    Couldn't help but think of that line as I read about your various complaints and subsequent decision to look on the brighter side of things. One day up, one day down, eh?

    [If you've not seen the [BBC] movie version of the book, it's a delight in an old-fashioned English major-y way.]

  8. Ally Bean--I read the book and was thoroughly entertained. The movie was okay, but not as good. How do I not recall that line? I'll have to view it again, just for that!

    fauxprof--There is Zero Likelihood of that.
    Snow never really arrived here yesterday, despite the forecast. We had lots of cold and wind, and it skirted us and went right to the Primary Snow Belt. Whew! Rick moved the enormous garbage and recycle cans to the deck, so all I have to do is step a bit outside the back door, which makes cleaning out shitboxes much less dreadful.
    Poor Julie! Poor You! Brrrrrrr.

    Mary G--Does whiskey really help? I don't know if we even have anything but rum (allergic), vodka, and gin. Sigh. I have been taking hot water with honey and lemon. I don't know that it has helped.

    "Butter"--good one!

    Your friend was asking for it, getting things done so ridiculously early. AND SHE WAS PUNISHED FOR IT. At that point, I would have had a Christmas Free-for-all.

    j@jj--NO! I had not even heard that there was a LIW autobiography coming out. Thank you for telling me. I will go straightaway to my boyfriend's house (AMAZON.COM) and find it. I, too, will wait and ask for it for Christmas. I read with great enjoyment every single one of the Little House books, over and over again. It is that sort of book series that I wish you would write about your days in Alaska.

    Here in NEO, Home Of Relaxed Cows, we have no dairy shortages. As a matter of fact, whenever I drive down to the lakehouse, I see entire herds of chill bovines strolling and lolling about with very little to do. Even the beef cattle, looking very butch, have not a care in the world.

    Rose--Thank you. I'm sorry that technology has you silenced. Can't you use Blogger's post editor? It's very easy and basic. It's what I use.

    phoebes in sf--I used as my source, and it said "mountaineer's ice axe." I just checked Wikipedia,, and All of them say ice axe as well, the latter specifying "cut-down ice-axe." Perhaps it is a nice distinction.

    Like you, I'm glad to be here, and I'm glad you're here, too!

  9. Those pictures from Buffalo are making me claustrophobic - yikes! And I have a coworker who is supposed to fly home from there tomorrow...

    I know I've shared this on here before, but it's appropriate to mention again that my mom did the wrapping things without putting labels on them one year & yes there WAS a free-for-all. It was great fun!

  10. While there is no butter shortage in Tucson, is it just here that they've doubled the price now that "the season of butter" has arrived? I had to pay $3.99 a pound for the cheap Safeway version. Seems it used to be a lot less expensive a few months back. Perhaps they are paying off the discounted turkeys...

    And literally a couple days ago, I bought a few yams for $1.99 a pound, and of course, today they are $.65! I can't seem to win...

  11. Dean--Butter and other dairy products have spiked a bit, that's true. I'd say they've gone up about 25%, which is insane. But there is no shortage, and like you, I use the store brands for butter. I stock up when it is on sale; I've never had butter "go bad." Freeze it!

    Yes, tis sweet potato season, so they are very cheap. Frozen Honeysuckle turkeys, too, so grab an extra one if you find a smallish one and toss it in the freezer, too. It's too bad we can't freeze cream cheese or sour cream, both of which are cheapo right now also.

    Bug--I remember that anecdote from last year; I still shudder to think of what would happen if two people covet the same present. It could happen in this house with Jared and Sam, and it could have happened (and did!) in my childhood with my older sister Patti and me.

    I get what you mean about the claustrophobia. Just the knowledge that you can't really get out is enough. I get that way on airplanes after a while. It's the loss of control, too, I think. Very unpleasant.


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