Want the Best Deals and the Best Service this Valentine’s Day?

Who doesn’t!

It’s quite simple, really.

Celebrate it next week. You can buy everything for at least half off, and reservations are easier to get.

Some restaurants allow you to get the valentine special if you make the reservations on or before valentine’s, as well. This way couples get the awesome dinner at the special price, and it’s a more intimate “just us” setting.

Plus the restaurant gets to even out their finances, inventory, staffing, and such a bit better, too.

I do not recommend saying, “oh, honey, we’re doing it next week so I can get you twice as much!” This will probably come across as the lame oops, I forgot excuse that it is.

Actually, this time and money saving option of celebrating a week later works for most of the Hallmark Holidays. You know, those created by the greeting card and nifty-gifty industries to bring in more sales between the real holidays. I’m looking at you, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Boss’s Day, Assistant’s Day, and Sweetest Day.

Pi-days, however, stay where they are, March 14th, and November 10th (9th in leap years). Cuz, PI. Same with Infinity Day, 8/8. Nerd holidays have very specific meanings that are completely lost if you do it wrong. Like, who celebrates May the Fourth on May 11th? That’s just silly.

Pixi, Jr, and Me Updates

What a Month

As y’all have probably noticed, not much has been going on with the blog recently. Quite frankly, there’s so much to tell that I’ve been too busy doing it all that there hasn’t been a lot of time or energy left to write about it. I’m sure some will come out in upcoming posts as things progress, hopefully in a more manageable manner.


Sadly, it simply didn’t work out. The rescue took her back, and acknowledged that I’m a good doggy person, but now isn’t the right time. I was spending too much focusing on getting her home-ready, which it turns out isn’t something expected of the foster homes. This is a small, new rescue, meaning the processes and funding are being worked out.

I was quite nervous about Pixi’s happiness, too, because I adored her spirit and snuggles. Thank goodness she was ecstatic to see her foster mom again! This made me feel a lot better, knowing Pixi probably felt like this was more like camp or a vacation from Birgitta, and shouldn’t have any emotional scars from her second failed placement.

Birgitta and her son were quite surprised at the difference in Pixi, noting a larger command vocabulary and significantly improved emotional control. Pixi also went back to the foster home with notes about the training that occurred, and they say they are going to keep it up, because it may help her next placement stick better. She also went home with a humane training collar and some medical notes from the new vet checkup, which included an antibiotic for her cough.

Lastly, we gave Birgitta the bowl that helped Pixi eat more slowly and healthfully. This hound also returned with some scarfing and stealing food training. Given that we had her for under a month, if I recall correctly, these were a lot of welcome changes to a wonderful girl that deserves a loving home.

I’m sad that we can’t be it.

While I adore hounds, my father is very sensitive to them, and her Bassett-ness is something he’d find unacceptable, even though I know he’d also love having her personality in the home.


Now I can re-focus on enjoying Jr’s last days.

That being said, Pixi did some good things for Jr. The competition for food, even though they had separate eating areas, made him eat more. And more importantly, the competition for treats (including those with medication!) made getting his medicine in a lot easier. Meaning we’re back to “picky Jr”. He’s quickly dropping the weight he’d put back on, and is virtually impossible to medicate.

He’s also clearly happy to being an only-dog again, though. He was even all trouncy-bouncy, happy-boy last night. Unfortunately I was too exhausted to enjoy it much.

In the morning, he was far too ouchy, and utterly refused to eat or take his pain meds. He was, however, fully engaged in the morning routine, and stood there, shaking and leaning, eagerly awaiting “pants!”

For some reason, putting pants on is an important event for many Jack Russells, and is not to be missed. Jr’s no exception. He plays with the pant legs before the people legs get in there, and I made sure it was quite the game yesterday. It was heartwarming to see him so happy!

But I knew we’d be gone for a long time, and he’d be sleeping much of the day. We left shortly after putting his t-shirt back on, and got back almost exactly 6 hours later.

He was so happy, and clearly feeling much better! His tail was up, his eyes were bright, and he had too much Jackie stuff to do to bother with silly people things like pettin’s.

After getting a few A&W cheese curds, carefully checking each nibble to make sure mom didn’t put meds in there, he trotted through Old Man Jackie time. Which is a circuit through the house he used to speed through so fast, all you saw was a white blur zipping by, and heard som panting along with his collar jingling.

See, I wanted to be around him for this, because he enjoys it more with his peeps around, and had to be near his path. This meant I was on the couch he can freely get on & off of, and he definitely made use of that! He joined me several times, played with the covers, and then snugged when he was finally tuckered out enough to join mom up on the couch for nappie doo.

Snuggling with Jr

Snuggling with Jr on the couch. Look at him bein’ all toasty under the down throw, and using mom’s leg for a pillow!

A couple hours later, Alex woke us up for Jr’s Last Out, reminded me about the whole nighttime meds thing, and helped me with the sleepy time routine. Mainly this entailed making sure all the right stuff (mostly pillows 😜) was in the right places. I was so tired that he also had to help both of us get up on the bed. See, Jr has an easy and safe way down, but the jump from the bed to the chair is too much for him to come up by himself. Me, on the other hand, well, I just didn’t wanna wake up enough to do all this. Even the two little 2″ steps seemed high.


It was quarterly followup day with the neurosurgeon yesterday (2019.02.11). Which happened right after physical therapy, is just over my max travel limit< and we had 90 minutes to get there, get x-rayed, and get over to the doctor’s office. Which is why I knew we’d be gone a long time, although six hours was more than expected.

The spinal fusion is fused, the entry points are thoroughly closed, and the scars are healing nicely.

Which means … hot tub time!!

Yes, we can set this up again, and it will hopefully help relieve some of the pain going on in both the healing area, and all those messed up from the post-surgical restrictions, known as 2 Pickles and a BLT. I couldn’t push, pull, bend, lift, or twist for three months! Additionally, I was unable to lift my arms above shoulder height, or carry anything over 5#. This means a lot of muscle atrophy and lost flexibility has happened quite quickly.

With these restrictions lifted, I can ease back into the Home Exercise Program for my shoulders, feet, hips, and hands. The knees are unhappy, so I’m hoping we can get a PT script to strengthen them, as well.

I used do a lot of these in the hot tub, because it provides some buoyancy (gentle support) to make it easier to focus on the particular muscles for each exercise and stretch. It also helps relax the other muscles that aren’t being worked at the moment, making recovery easier. Finally, the water provides a gentle resistance. Given how long the tub has gone unused and the chilly weather we’ve had, it may take a week to get it set up and bring the water up a therapeutic temperature.

But we can do it now!

The doctors are keeping me on the no anti-inflammatory medication regimen for now, which is supposed to help things heal faster. I hope so!

It turns out inflammation is the healing process at work. It becomes a problem, however, when the body tries to heal the wrong thing or forgets to shut off, and you end up with a lot of allergies and arthritis. And potentially some bigger issues someday such as lupus or multiple sclerosis.

To celebrate the good news, we treated ourselves to A&W on the way home.

Cheese curds, real chicken strips, and their amazing root beer for the win! Also brought home an order of curds for Jr as briefly mentioned above, and a kid’s menu cheeseburger (no toppings or condiments). Unfortunately, when Alex tried re-starting the car to get back on the road, the battery was dead. Thankfully, it started running again before the tow truck got there. The day was so cold and the roads were so messy that all their trucks were super-busy!

After that, we had to find someplace with public restrooms, and took turns so the car didn’t have to stop running. And wouldn’t ya know it, there was a Tim Horton’s nearby!

Cheese curds, A&W root beer, and Tim Bits. All in one day.

It. Was. Awesome!

Then Alex took the car in to to the local Advance Auto Zone to get the battery replaced pronto. After all, the car is seven years old, and this was still the original! Andrew at the store was wonderful to work with, and Alex was able to get there in time for the replacement to get done without having to shut off the engine again.

But back to the medical stuff. Even with all the good news, I’ve had three doctors hint that I should probably get used to the idea that I’m medically disabled. One actually said it, another said going back to work is an ambitious goal that will probably take years, and the third said our goal is to try to get me back to work someday.

In other words, this is the worst possible time for me to live a country with a government eagerly shutting down social programs. But this is a much bigger rant for another post. Or several posts.

For now, thank goodness, I have housing options, a good credit score, and private disability insurance for five years. Which brings us to why things have been so incredibly busy.

Keeping Busy

In addition to trying to blend Pixi into the household, I’ve been busy applying for all the applicable aid, programs, and grants available through the State of Michigan, Federal Government, and private pharmaceutical companies. I’ve been approved for MedicAid and food stamps, now known as EBT. I’m in the waiting list for the chore grant, meaning the paperwork is submitted, and am waiting for the case worker to have time to come out for the home visit.

Now knowing that I’m going to be off work for such as extended time, it’s probably a good idea to add applying for social security disability to the list. Ugh.

And I’ve been finding out which medications are ridiculously expensive, then researching how to afford them. What’s really odd about a lot of these is that they have grants to help if you have private insurance, but not if you have public insurance or have to pay cash. Sorry, but $1800/month for one medication is simply out of reach on a $1500/month income. But when I was making over three times that much, I could get help.

Now that’s just a special kind of stupid.

The eBay store and Amazon inventory are languishing, mostly because people historically don’t buy as much this time of year. And yes, I’ve verified with the IRS that selling home goods purchased for personal use is not defined as income. It’s basically an online garage sale. The Etsy store wasn’t getting much traction, and that’s on hiatus. I’ve also been researching best place to sell used media because Amazon has really clamped down on that, and eBay closed Half.com.

Big companies are so worried about piracy that they’ve made it virtually impossible to sell off your old stuff, even if you obey all the laws. Which is why I pretty much stopped getting new media this past decade or two. I have long believed these millionaires and billionaires don’t need my money as much as I do, and this is even more true now.

There are a couple sites left, and they’re so deep into their specific part of the entertainment industry that each has specialized listing requirements. For example, it’s not enough to list an album. Now it has to be quality graded, and the scratched on codes included so potential buyers know the specific press run, and so on. For a lot of albums, the price is $5 or less, so the effort isn’t worth it, except you don’t know that until you’ve put the time in. And given my ouchy levels, I get one album, cassette, or CD done and have to hobble away to recover. Thankfully the books generally are a lot faster to list. But they’re also heavier, and I have to rely on Alex to bring a couple over to the computer at a time.

Summing Up

So, yeah, more on most of these topics later. For now, I:

  • am sad Pixi is gone and am glad she’s happy
  • love being able to focus on Jr’s last days again, although he got more medications and food in him when she was here
  • am super-busy figuring out how to obtain and make use of the programs and grants available to me, and see why the cycle of poverty is so horrible (you’re too busy being poor to do anything to get out)
  • am still selling stuff to clean out the house to sell the building, preferably before the White House Resident tanks the market again
  • am healing well, and yet probably have to get used to the idea that I’ll never actually be employed full-time (or at all!) again

As usual, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you learned some things along the way.

Hope you have a great day!

Still Finding More Estate Stuffs

Seriously? It’s been two years since starting this process. Two estate sales. Three garage sales. Selling on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. No link because the Etsy store items weren’t moving on the platform. Sold one thing in about 14 months.

Haven’t even started on the garage, and found a whole closet of stuff yesterday.

Called some antiques folks and a couple liquidators. Their concern is that things are picked over and none of the good stuff is left. Hah! If only! Then I’d just call the local VVA and have them pick it all up.

Plus there’s furniture! I don’t think any of these large pieces are on either platform, so I’ll post some pics here in case anyone is interested.

Chested drawers and matching tall dresser for sale. These were purchased by my mom’s parents as a wedding gift for her and my dad in April 1962.

Driftwood Queen-size Bed with Drawers

Driftwood Queen-size Bed with Drawers purchased from Cabela’s in the late 1990s. See matching dresser.

Contemporary whitewash bookshelf

While I doubt true collectors will be interested, this shelf and desk are also available. Sander from the late 1990s, iirc.

Contemporary whitewash bookshelf. Matching corner desk with hutch also available.

Antique round table and 1776 reproduction chairs

Table is from mom’s great grandparents estate, and is likely to be over 100yo. The chairs are official reproductions from Colonial Williamsburg for our country’s bicentennial.
Many furniture and small items available

Dining table, with leaves, and china cabinet with hutch fronwearly 1960s; orange bookcases with lighted shelves from late 1990s; Mirror from early 1980s. Family Lore is that the round table is from the 1890s, but I have no proof of that.

Lovely still life painting in ornate frame

According to my mother, her mother painted this in the late 1970s. According to my father, this was a DIA cast-off given to him by the Detroit Institute of Arts around the same time period. I cannot find a signature and have no idea which story is true.

Nice painting of dog in front of house

According to mom, this was inherited. According to dad, mom fell in love with it at a starving artist sale. I first recall seeing this in the early 1990s.

Gorgeous 1970s grandfathers clock

This gorgeous 1970s grandfathers clock is a family favorite from the early to mid-1970s. Mom said it didn’t work, dad said it was repaired, but we don’t keep it running.

Very old professional negative of Belle Isle in horse & buggy days

Very old professional negative of Belle Isle in horse & buggy days. One of hundreds (thousands?) of professional, historic pictures of Detroit

Printed photo of above Very old professional negative of Belle Isle in horse & buggy days.

Printed photo of above Very old professional negative of Belle Isle in horse & buggy days. One of hundreds (thousands?) of professional, historic pictures of Detroit.

City of Detroit photograph

City of Detroit photograph, age unknown

Zero-G Pillow Set

Probably for personal use, not collecting. Very comfortable pillow set that quickly turns any floor, couch, or bed into a Zero-G, low-stress sleeping or TV watching spot.

Historic pictures of DIA exhibits and items on display

Historic pictures of DIA exhibits and items on display.

1950s - 1960s professional photographic equipment

1950s – 1960s professional photographic equipment – Tecnal Photo Dryer

1950s - 1960s professional photographic equipment - Tecnal Photo Dryer Instructions

1950s – 1960s professional photographic equipment – Tecnal Photo Dryer Instructions

IKEA desks, and computer equipment

Probably for personal or office use, not collectors. Desks only — computer equipment is no longer available.

Pool sharing how-to manual from the early to mid-1900s

My mother’s father was quite the pool player, and literally wrote the book on it. We also have the pool cue shown in the pictures.

Sauder desk that matches bookcase above

Probably for office or personal use, not collectors.

Mid-1980s or early 1990s mirror

I first recall seeing this mirror in the early 1990s, but I do not know it’s age. Just ignore that I’m also in the picture.

Pewter urn

Pewter urn, most likely purchase at Monticello or Colonial Williamsburg where we annually vacationed for years.

Office chair with heat and massage

This comfy office chair is likely from the mid-1990s, and will be purchased for office or personal use. It massages and heats. The donut is long gone.

Extremely comfortable chair of unknown age

Original dark patina is covered with paint. The cushions were replaced in the 1980s, and the webbing underneath before that. Do not know the age or manufacturer.

Comfy MetroChairs purchased in 2017

Most likely for personal or office use. Was originally a set if four, but one didn’t survive a run-in with someone weighing almost 400#. At least two are on wheels, and these fold for easy moving and storage v

Review: Ocean’s 8

I’m getting to catch up on a lot of movies while recovering from surgery, and one finally came to HBO that I’ve particularly been waiting for, Ocean’s 8.

I only had two disappointments. First, the formula is virtually identical to the first all-male Ocean’s 11. It was different enough and so well produced that it was not a big deal. Second, I’ve never liked the actress playing the fence / hoarder. Almost anyone would’ve been better, but McKinnon (GhostBusters) would’ve rocked that roll into orbit.

Otherwise, it’s always fun to watch women being their bada$$ selves, and Sandra Bullock as Clooney’s sister was perfect. The whole “are they just friends or …” subtleties between Bullock and Blanchett were incredibly well done.

Hathaway very slightly overplayed Daphne at the end, making the movie a smidgen less satisfying for me.

The movie got panned so bad there probably won’t be a followup, but if there is, getting a new fence, and somehow roping Julia Roberts into the action would be phenom.

To My Dear Friend Barb

Ya know I love ya, girl. And totally appreciate all your help these past few days while Alex is out taking care of his mom’s three puppies.

But …

Years of training out the window. Y. E. A. R. S.

Jr never ate stuff off the floor without explicit permission. And he certainly never ate sweets. Which may or may not have anything to do with how he got to be 19 with very few health issues.

Until …

Three days with Barb, and he’s totally on-board with “if it hits the ground, it goes to the hound.”

Three. Days.

Now she’s got him eating scones, for dog’s sake. Raspberry. With white chocolate (no theophylline, thank goodness).

Razz. Berry. Scones.

While she stands there giggling, “oops!”

Well, sheesh. He’s 19. So I’ll happily watch him enjoy the scone bits. And (hopefully) remember this if I ever so much as think about asking her to watch a younger pet for me.

Three. Days.

Why isn’t this viral?

Thank you for pointing out an assumption for me, Shelley. So many platforms nowadays automatically create previews that it never occurred to me that WordPress wouldn’t.

The following links to a Twitter video: ‘Is this how you make America great again?’ — Sen. Jon Tester held nothing back in his impassioned speech against Trump’s shutdown.