I am berserk · June's stupid life · Pieces of Wisdom

Pieces of Normal Wisdom. Also, In Search of Pine Cones.

Thank heavens most of you do not think you are normal. I am among my people. And I liked that some of you think you ARE normal, but you come here to see my lack of normalcy. That works for me.

In all, 12 of you identified as normal and 36 said you definitely weren't. And yes, I know I have over 100 comments. The rest were you guys coming back and out-abnormaling each other. Y'all kill me.

Some of you said normal was in the eye of the beholder, but I don't know. Is anyone gonna say Joaquim Phoenix is normal? Some people just aren't. Hunter S. Thompson. Not normal. And one of my favorite people ever.

But speaking of things other people do, am I alone in this? Okay, maybe this first part I am alone.

Sometimes I look on my sitemeter to see who is looking at my blog and how they found me. Like, yesterday someone Googled "yellow salamander" and found me. When in the Sam Holy Jehoshaphat did I ever mention a yellow salamander?

At any rate, someone was looking at a post I wrote back in August of 2009, so I looked at it, too. And below is what I saw:

Nursery  "I went to the nursery with my friend The Other June today. Did you ever notice whenever I do something with The Other June, I end up showing a picture of me? Could it be because TOJ does not wish to be photographed? Or is it that I really have no friends and TOJ is my Snufalupagus?

"At any rate, I did buy these gold pine cone Christmas tree ornaments. Because they were necessary."

You guys. I forgot I bought those pine cone tree ornaments! But I DID buy them, in August of 2009! This means I did not use them LAST Christmas, and did not pull them out of my brand-new exciting Rubbermaid tubs THIS Christmas. Somewhere in my house were those ding ding ding and dang shiny pine cones, just waiting to be on display, and not on my ears, but WHERE WERE THEY?

I had to go to bed last night with these pine cones on my mind. Some people have Georgia on their mind. I have pine cones. Oh, I was bothered. I got up this morning and commenced to lookin'. My stupid-arse camera battery died, and I similarly have no idea where my battery charger is, because I removed the charger from the wall to plug in a Christmas tree light that has glitter floating in it, because apparently the baby Jesus was found in a manger of glitter, so obsessed am I with it at this time of year.

The point is, I photographed my search with my iPhone, which was not good, but it is all I have for you.

Determined
Here I am with my coffee, headed to the attic, where I am certain I put the dang pine cones. I say this because I had already searched every nook and cranny down here last night.

What is a "cranny"?

Winalsodetermined
Whenever I head to the attic, Winston emerges from nowhere, because he loves going up there to murder voles. This works for me, as I do not wish to see voles. We have a win/win with Win, here.

Yellowpully
I pulled down the attic stairs, and here is the stupid yellow ribbon Marvin put on the stairs, which is unnecessary because the attic is in easy reach right in the hallway. So all it serves to do is make the steps slippery. Perhaps he is wishing Tony Orlando would come back and he didn't quite understand the rules re the old oak tree.

Please also note the shipping popcorn, as every time we get a box, Marvin opens the attic and TOSSES the empty box up there, resulting in 21048502 boxes full of shipping peanuts falling on you each time you pull down the steps.

Honestly, these had better be the most wonderful glittery pine cones the world has ever seen.

Orderly
My iPhone was delighted to be up in that bright, warm, orderly attic.

I hunched around up there, where it was probably 20 degrees, for probably half an hour, searching through boxes of ridiculousness. We have stuff up there no one will ever need again. Marvin has saved every note he ever took in every class during college. Really? Why?

Then I started getting mad. There was a chair way over yonder, and a chair up here. I started putting chairs with chairs, purses with purses, empty boxes with empty boxes, dead voles with dead voles.

Paper
I found this lovely wrapping paper, and I know it seems like this is a dream sequence, with the blurry photographs, but did I mention the iPhone was happy with me?

Crap
I also threw out a bunch of crap that was just, you know, UP there for no reason. Like, last summer, Marvin made a shark costume out of his car's floor mats? (don't ask) He put the rest of the cut-up floor mat up there. Like he might USE it for something else later.

Finally? FINALLY?

Success
SUCCESS! Oh, how I'd been PINE-ING for these.

They were in a box of stuff to wrap presents, just not CHRISTMAS presents. Why did I think that was a good place to put them?

Lulaluvpines
Tallulah was very interested in their vole-y smelling selves.

A vole is just a mouse with a larger snout, by the way.

Chiho's-Small-Mammal_600w

They stupidly try to hang around our attic every once in awhile, but why? Hello, snowball? This is hell. Three cats.

Tree
There. Seventeen hours and 80 pounds of attic dust in my nethers later, the pine cones are on my tree. If I didn't have a blog, I probably never would have remembered I bought these.

If I didn't have a blog, I might leave the house once in awhile. But why? There's all this glitter to look at in here.

90 thoughts on “Pieces of Normal Wisdom. Also, In Search of Pine Cones.

  1. Dee Dee, sorry I’m so late in responding. What a sweet (ha ha) thing to do! I, um, haven’t left the house in a couple of days, so my RAoK are limited to being nice (or at least non-gripey) to my husband, giving my daughter her phone back, etc. 🙂
    TOTALLY agree with you about the snake thing, too. Every time Pioneer Woman has a picture of a snake on her blog, I wig out and start praying that I won’t dream about that night. CANNOT. STAND. THEM.

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  2. Thank you for the explanation. I was trying to picture a flying cat. Random (love the name) was one good hunter. He would never have gone hungry.

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  3. Sadie – my big black badass cat Random (short for Random Acts of Violence and Destruction), may he rest in peace, caught bats as if it were no big deal. He caught EVERYTHING, at one time or another, and brought it all to me, gift-bearing kitty that he was.
    As for the bats, I witnessed it a couple of times: he would sit out on the open rooftop deck (I lived at the time in this miniscule rooftop illegal jerry-rigged apartment) on top of this built-in bench out there, and just watch the bats swooping around him. At a perfectly timed moment, he would just reach up his talons and snag one. At which point he would come running into the apartment (the door being open in the summer, as there was no other ventilation) gleefully, so pleased with his bad self, and let the thing go near my head. I think he got pleasure seeing what a screaming commotion he caused.

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  4. Forgot to ask Another Unruly-Haired Person, how in the heck did you get live bats out of your house? And how did your cat catch them in the first place? The only bats I’ve seen were always flying in the sky over my head.

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  5. I apologize for my ranting last night as I just had to vent. But, I got better.

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  6. Hulk!
    Ok first RAoK today. I just donated £20 or $30 if you prefer, to the Blue Cross (one of the biggest animal charities in England: http://www.bluecross.org.uk/) to pay for a homeless puppy to stay in a shelter over Christmas.
    And just in case this gets confusing, I live in France now, but I’m English so I’m sharing out my good deeds between my home country and my adopted one!

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  7. Nithya, are you here? Are you ready? I went to a party last week before our local Christmas parade and there was a man there all by himself. Everyone knew everyone else, and he was still all alone. So I went and introduced myself (again — we’ve met twice before) and decided to sit and chat with him. He has a lot of physical/social/psych issues, all of which he gladly shared with me, because I didn’t tune him out although I thought it might be more fun to socialize with others. Anyway, 30 minutes later, I found myself still sitting next to him and letting him talk away. I even let him know I was a nurse, which is usually a sucker invitation to play me an organ recital (“my liver, my gallbladder, etc.”). I left after another 20 minutes because the parade was starting. A friend shared later that Lone Wolf was really cheerful and said that was one of the nicest nights he’d had in a while. So, not the biggest thing, but it’s a start…

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  8. Sadie who was dumb enough to think that was going to be easy. It would have been much quicker to donate directly to the Salvation Army. says:

    Anita, this is Sadie. I feel for you trying to stay calm in the midst of dealing with the doofus associate who should have stayed out of your price adjusting business.
    I don’t know how Duffylou did it dealing with the JCP/Angel website. I was trying to follow her excellent example for my RAoK today, but had to force myself to stay calm and persevere to make the actual purchases for my chosen angel. After what seemed like forever trying to find and select available items, one of the items that I really wanted was out of stock by the time I tried to check out so I had to start the process all over. By then, most of my choices were unavailable. Guess everyone is shopping on their website, hopefully, for other angels. The good news is that I did actually sponsor a six year old girl and purchased clothes, a Barbie doll knockoff (it wasn’t an actual Barbie) and a bracelet that was on her list.
    Sorry, Siren, if I’m sounding grumpy. Don’t want to steal your thunder.

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  9. Sadie who was dumb enough to think that was going to be easy. It would have been much quicker to donate directly to the Salvation Army. says:

    Anita, this is Sadie. I feel for you trying to stay calm in the midst of dealing with the doofus associate who should have stayed out of your price adjusting business.
    I don’t know how Duffylou did it dealing with the JCP/Angel website. I was trying to follow her excellent example for my RAoK today, but had to force myself to stay calm and persevere to make the actual purchases for my chosen angel. After what seemed like forever trying to find and select available items, one of the items that I really wanted was out of stock by the time I tried to check out so I had to start the process all over. By then, most of my choices were unavailable. Guess everyone is shopping on their website, hopefully, for other angels. The good news is that I did actually sponsor a six year old girl and purchased clothes, a Barbie doll knockoff (it wasn’t an actual Barbie) and a bracelet that was on her list.
    Sorry, Siren, if I’m sounding grumpy. Don’t want to steal your thunder.

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  10. Sadie who was dumb enough to think that was going to be easy. It would have been much quicker to donate directly to the Salvation Army. says:

    Anita, this is Sadie. I feel for you trying to stay calm in the midst of dealing with the doofus associate who should have stayed out of your price adjusting business.
    I don’t know how Duffylou did it dealing with the JCP/Angel website. I was trying to follow her excellent example for my RAoK today, but had to force myself to stay calm and persevere to make the actual purchases for my chosen angel. After what seemed like forever trying to find and select available items, one of the items that I really wanted was out of stock by the time I tried to check out so I had to start the process all over. By then, most of my choices were unavailable. Guess everyone is shopping on their website, hopefully, for other angels. The good news is that I did actually sponsor a six year old girl and purchased clothes, a Barbie doll knockoff (it wasn’t an actual Barbie) and a bracelet that was on her list.
    Sorry, Siren, if I’m sounding grumpy. Don’t want to steal your thunder.

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  11. Oh carp. I started my first real 9 to 5 job which is actually 8to5 and I’ve completely missed my bye bye pie. I hope my life does not get regelated to weekend reading. Poo.

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  12. My eyes are so blurry today, I thought you wrote Hairy Moles!
    Okay Sadie, I know this isn’t much, but let me say it took all I had to stay calm. I was at Target (are you listening Target Steve?) and was trying to do a price adjustment on some umbrellas that were on sale this week. The associate was having a hard time and I suggested she just return them and I could buy them again. She said yes, that would be easier and proceeded to do so. Then another associate came up to inquire what was going on and said NO, I couldn’t do that. That the umbrellas would have to go back in the restock bin and I could not repurchase them. Both the first associate and myself said HUH? Yep, that’s what happened. She would NOT give them to me, she’d rather throw them in the bin and then walk them out to the floor and restock them. Someone tell me the logic. But I stayed calm and did not make a scene. I went over to Starbucks and bought a fat free white chocolate mint latte and then went and looked for the damn umbrellas. Then continued and blew $125 on gifts.

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  13. Morgan?? Where are you?? I have yet to hear from you and I am so excited to share my other good deed with you!
    I was at the Dollar General again, which was the scene of my first good deed if you read my earlier comment, and the lady in line in front of me did not have enough money to pay for her stuff. She went out to her car to ask her daughter if she had any money. I told the clerk to add my bag of Fritos (with which I was later going to make a scrumptious and also healthy Frito pie for dinner) to the lady’s total and I would pay for it all.
    A young girl came in at that moment with a ten dollar bill and I handed her the bag and told her Merry Christmas! She tried to pay me back with the ten dollar bill but I told her not to worry. She smiled and ran out the door.
    And then I got in the car and read the receipt to see what I had bought her. Here’s what it was:
    one Santa hat
    a bottle of El Guapo cayenne pepper
    Ziploc plastic storage containers
    So here I am saving the world one bottle of cayenne pepper at a time.

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  14. I am still terrified to read comments in case someone mentions the critters. Honestly, breaking out in a sweat over here just thinking about those varmits.
    What I came back for is this. JUNE! I have never ever ever thought you were overweight and still don’t. THAT SAID. You are currently a shadow of your former self. I thoguht you were thin when first seeing that picture of you with the pine cones but conmpared to now? You are a waif! GO GIRL!

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  15. PJ who is trying so hard to get up in my grouchy mojo, I was so grouchy I couldn’t even be a responsible do-gooder buddy and say something appreciative about your good deed. Lucky for me there are other people here who recognized how kind you were to let the poor genius guy off the hook, even though he couldn’t have been that much of a genius if he wasn’t able to explain something properly.
    Okay, honestly? I have no idea what a Genius Bar is, unless it is the kind of candybar a genius enjoys, in which case I’m here to tell you it’s a Charleston Chew.

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  16. The missing dish is going to force me to clean out one of my lower kitchen cabinets. I might have broken it. It’s one of those items seldom used, but now I need it for Christmas.
    Last year I was trying to convince my Mom she needed to part with some old checks. I found the last check my Dad wrote, it was in 1967. She also had the letters she received from the Department of Defense when my Dad was wounded during WWII, that was 1945 and his discharge papers. I’m glad she kept those, because they are treasures to me.

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  17. Siren the Grouchy Do-gooder, You made me do my happy dance with what you did for those kids today. I was a nervous little kid and then taught elementary school for more years than I will say. I always loved the outcast kids the best. Anybody who makes a kid feel safe is a heroine in my book.
    Oh, I’m sorry. Did I ruin that good grouch you had going? You really do that great. Oh, sorry again, didn’t mean to raise your self-esteem.

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  18. KR and Jan, Thanks for taking pity on me. Duh! You guys have fancy drive-thru’s. I just have the usual walk-up. So if I ever went to Chic Fill A or whatever it is called I could definitely do that. I used to do this on a toll road I drove but then they went all automated and you couldn’t just throw in 2 quarters and have it count.

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  19. Paula H&B – I LOVE your soda machine idea. I’m totally doing that!! It’s a small gesture, but you know the next person is going to be so stoked. Down here we call them Coke machines. Doesn’t matter what’s in them – it’s all Coke ’round these parts.
    At this very moment, I have a big pot of baked potato soup cooking. I’m serving my family some and I’m taking some to a neighbor who just had hip surgery.
    Your parents attic sounds like a trip. A few years ago, my father bought a house to renovate from an estate sale situation. They found newspapers in the garage FROM THE 1950s for the love of God! It was like walking through time – day-by-day chronologically for 53 years!!!

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  20. Oh, all right. I’m a moderator at a forum and we have lots of new kids signing up all the time and today I made a point of going and welcoming a few of them, in a way that was mostly nice and only slightly scowly, even though we’re in the middle of a huge reorganization that I’m in charge of and every spare second of my time has been sucked up by moving forum posts all over the place. This is a good deed because the new kids are usually pretty scared people are going to be nasty to them because they come from regular forums where people are nasty to new kids, and it takes a little while before they realize our forum is full of nice people (except me, I mean). That counts right? If that doesn’t count then this game sucks.
    P.S. Don’t be expecting me to come up with something every day, mind you. I only have about a third of a good deed’s worth in me for each day. So by my calculations I’m good until Monday.

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  21. PJ! My good deed of the day is to come on this blog and be a grouch about all this good deed business so that all of you can look at me and view yourselves favorably in comparison. This means I’m helping you all with your self-esteem.

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  22. I like how the Woodland Jumping Mouse has a tail as long as a garden hose.
    Attic? I had to clean out my parents’ attic when they died. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Every canceled check, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER from 1953. Every receipt. No, EVERY receipt. A box labeled “lids” which was just that: plastic lids. No bottoms. Just lids. Don’t get me started.
    Texas Kari, today I Toys for Totted my change again and then after lunch I fed the soda machine so the next person would get a surprise freebie.

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  23. I like how the Woodland Jumping Mouse has a tail as long as a garden hose.
    Attic? I had to clean out my parents’ attic when they died. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Every canceled check, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER from 1953. Every receipt. No, EVERY receipt. A box labeled “lids” which was just that: plastic lids. No bottoms. Just lids. Don’t get me started.
    Texas Kari, today I Toys for Totted my change again and then after lunch I fed the soda machine so the next person would get a surprise freebie.

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  24. I like how the Woodland Jumping Mouse has a tail as long as a garden hose.
    Attic? I had to clean out my parents’ attic when they died. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Every canceled check, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER from 1953. Every receipt. No, EVERY receipt. A box labeled “lids” which was just that: plastic lids. No bottoms. Just lids. Don’t get me started.
    Texas Kari, today I Toys for Totted my change again and then after lunch I fed the soda machine so the next person would get a surprise freebie.

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  25. PJ, Great RAoK. I’m still looking for that opportunity to discretely do something like that, but I guess you have to get out of the house first.

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  26. ROoK: The school where I work is having a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis (a teacher’s newborn was recently diagnosed): Sock it to CF or somesuch – donate and get a sock-shaped cut out to write your name on and decorate.
    There are now 5 “socks” hanging up that say “June’s Mother”.

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  27. June, A cranny is a place that is not a nook.
    Tee, don’t you remember the dish that goes with that tray got broken last Christmas when it got knocked off the counter by accident? Unless it was plastic and then I am wrong. It may be in the tippy top cabinet above the refrigerator.
    You guys are really killing me with the funny comments that really weren’t meant to be funny. Like the exploding heart . Then Sadie saying the heart exploding would’ve killed the rat.
    PJ , my heart goes out to you and the tech guy. Sometimes a person must just cry out of frustration.

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  28. PJ, when I pull up to the drive through, the barista gives me my total and then I ask her what the person behind me ordered. I then tell her I am paying for that drink as well. Believe me, I live in fear of the day that person behind me is buying for the entire office and the barista tells me she ordered 17 various drinks. Because then I’m gonna have to be all “oh, ok, um, thnaks, uh, just wondering, uh, yeah, no, um, thanks…”
    After I pay, I usually ask the barista to tell the person Merry Christmas for me.

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  29. PJ you are not stupid! I’m no high class reader, and I don’t know how you’d do it at the Starbucks counter. I’ve always done it at the drive-thru. You just tell them you want to pay for the car behind you, they look at you like you’re stupid, then they look up at the car behind you like you’re still stupid, then you just pay for it. And try to drive away quickly so you won’t get busted.
    RAoK for Summer….are you here? Yesterday my neighbor’s trash can & recycle bin were in the middle of the sidewalk long after they were emptied. It is pretty cold here and she has 3 little kids (one of whom is recovering from leukemia). So I just drug them up through the yard & returned them to their spot for her. Not a big RAoK but it made me happy! And think of June and all her fun commenters.
    Then later at the LEGO store a lady complimented my “Christmas is about Jesus” pin/button that I was wearing and I offered it to her. We argued back & forth, and she finally accepted and put it right on. That made me happy too.
    Actually, I guess taking my 3 kids to the LEGO store on a “Free Build a Christmas Tree” night with 17,825,239 other people should be considered a RAoK too.

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  30. Amy G. I hope you are here today. I did another little bitty RAoK for you yesterday. My two favorite co-workers love my coconut cake. I made one and brought it in for the office. More to come. I’m glad we think alike!
    Also, don’t really care about rodents but I CAN NOT even look at a picture of a snake!! Holy mother of pearl, I would be drop dead if one came up to me!

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  31. Tee, I had the same thought – if Junie needs pine cones, I could have set a sista UP with real ones!
    I am similar to Furry in that I have no real fear of critters. I won’t even let my husband kill spiders in the house! However we have mice in our kitchen this fall (feels like friggin winter to me!) and I am NOT pleased. They gross gross gross me RIGHT out with their pooping and peeing everywhere. I have to clean the stove and counters every ding and dang day just to feel like I can set foot in the kitchen! EWWWWW!
    And, I’m with Jan…If a rat ran up my pant leg? I’d have a coronary ON.THE.SPOT!

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  32. And, that Jan is why the rat did not run up your pant leg! You would have scared him to death when your heart exploded.

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  33. PJ who has, however, asked the waitress for the check for the homeless looking guy in a cheap coffee shop and paid for a sandwich to go. says:

    Okay, Jan and others, I know I am way too literal-minded but, stupid me, how do you pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks line? I mean, are they getting a cup of black decaf or a super-size-me caramel chocolate latte with a muffin? Do you just give $5.00 and assume that covers it? I mean, I really really want to be good this way but I need an instruction sheet.
    God, do you realize how embarrassing it is to ask this question? Now I’m humiliated in front of all June’s high class readers who already know how to be good.

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  34. A question and a comment:
    Question: June? If you know you have voles in the attic why the hell do you not put some D-con up there and kill them all? Your cats aren’t allowed to just wander around unless you are up there, I assume. KILL THEM. How do you walk around and live a normal (heh) life knowing they are up there? I would be a ball of nerves, jumping and tensing at every. single. little. noise I heard from the attic. I would not be able to sleep, I would not be able to eat, I would not be able to function at.all knowing they voles could descend from the attic and kill me at any moment.
    Comment: Furry? How are you still among us? If a FREAKING rat ran up my pant leg, I would fall over dead right there, no goodbyes, no long, drawn out dramatic ending, just flat on my back dead from my heart exploding from fear.

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  35. A question and a comment:
    Question: June? If you know you have voles in the attic why the hell do you not put some D-con up there and kill them all? Your cats aren’t allowed to just wander around unless you are up there, I assume. KILL THEM. How do you walk around and live a normal (heh) life knowing they are up there? I would be a ball of nerves, jumping and tensing at every. single. little. noise I heard from the attic. I would not be able to sleep, I would not be able to eat, I would not be able to function at.all knowing they voles could descend from the attic and kill me at any moment.
    Comment: Furry? How are you still among us? If a FREAKING rat ran up my pant leg, I would fall over dead right there, no goodbyes, no long, drawn out dramatic ending, just flat on my back dead from my heart exploding from fear.

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  36. A question and a comment:
    Question: June? If you know you have voles in the attic why the hell do you not put some D-con up there and kill them all? Your cats aren’t allowed to just wander around unless you are up there, I assume. KILL THEM. How do you walk around and live a normal (heh) life knowing they are up there? I would be a ball of nerves, jumping and tensing at every. single. little. noise I heard from the attic. I would not be able to sleep, I would not be able to eat, I would not be able to function at.all knowing they voles could descend from the attic and kill me at any moment.
    Comment: Furry? How are you still among us? If a FREAKING rat ran up my pant leg, I would fall over dead right there, no goodbyes, no long, drawn out dramatic ending, just flat on my back dead from my heart exploding from fear.

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  37. Oh LisaPie! When hubby kept insisting that we not keep this one he mentioned the fact that I left the other one out in the cold and then he said it was prolly all frozen and splayed out under the house. I could have killed him – even though I know he was joking…he had to be joking…right? But the Momma Kitty is with her I am sure and under the house is safe from breezes etc…damn it all to hell…I will sit out tonight in the frozen tundra of FL and try to get that last little one too!

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  38. RAoK today… started the day by driving through the Starbuck’s and in honor of my good friends, Kim and Target Steve, I paid for the person behind me.
    I also gathered all of my baby onesies, socks and little, bitty, sweet knit pants and took them to the women and children’s shelter.
    More to come…

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  39. Hahaha, Lee! I have no fear of any beastie, but one day the dogs had something cornered under the wisteria. I went over to check it out. It was a little yellow brown roof rat. He looked terrified. And then he did it. He ran straight to the Furry Godmother and climbed inside my pants leg! Good thing they were flare leg because had to stop at my knee.
    He scurried back down and ran off.
    I tried to wear them after that, but all I could think of is,”Aren’t these the rat jeans?” Yucky.

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  40. Sorry I forgot to include the Angel thing at Penney’s is only going on until the 10th. Just two more days. And yes, the shipping is free if you put the code, MYANGEL in the promo code box.

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  41. Tammi V.V. - whose husband is afraid to stand too still, lest he be deemed superfluous and donated to Goodwill says:

    At least you got to straighten up the attic while looking for them. I love, love, love throwing stuff out that I don’t need/want anymore. Which is a good thing since I also seem to love, love, love buying more stuff!If I start to feel like I don’t want to be bothered tidying up, I just watch an episode of Hoarders. There is no better incentive!

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  42. Tammi V.V. - whose husband is afraid to stand too still, lest he be deemed superfluous and donated to Goodwill says:

    At least you got to straighten up the attic while looking for them. I love, love, love throwing stuff out that I don’t need/want anymore. Which is a good thing since I also seem to love, love, love buying more stuff!If I start to feel like I don’t want to be bothered tidying up, I just watch an episode of Hoarders. There is no better incentive!

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  43. Tammi V.V. - whose husband is afraid to stand too still, lest he be deemed superfluous and donated to Goodwill says:

    At least you got to straighten up the attic while looking for them. I love, love, love throwing stuff out that I don’t need/want anymore. Which is a good thing since I also seem to love, love, love buying more stuff!If I start to feel like I don’t want to be bothered tidying up, I just watch an episode of Hoarders. There is no better incentive!

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  44. Fawn Amber – I finished a RAoK for you. I followed Duffylou’s lead and adopted a 5 month old boy from JC Penney’s Angel Giving Tree. He is getting a winter coat and 2 outfits. I couldn’t find any infant toys in stock at jcp.com so I feel like THAT aunt. You know, the one who only gives socks and underwear.

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  45. Rampaging through the attic looking for missing stuff seems like a very normal thing to do!
    We get shrews in the house once in a while – it’s been a few years cause I remember them running impishly past, mocking me in the dead of the night while I was nursing my babies and couldn’t run away!

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  46. I could hardly get past the word “Vole” and then you had to show ILLUSTRATIONS??????
    Can’t.read.comments. Can’t.stop.shaking.
    TERRIFIED of mice, voles, or anything that resembles those spawn of satan.

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  47. I’m so glad you found those pine cones. I thought you wanted some from the yard and was going to volunteer to send you a truck load.
    I put things away so well I can’t find them. I’m looking for the dish that matches a vegetable tray. Drives me crazy.

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  48. Joy, are you there?
    I just did a RAoK for you. One of my favorite local charities has an Amazon wishlist. Yea! You just look at the things they have and choose things and they will automatically ship to them. This particular charity is all about making sure the less-fortunate children all have a gift to open on Christmas morning. It is completely 100% volunteer based, so you know every penny goes to making someone’s Christmas a little better.
    So I chose a boy and a girl gift and they will be shipped out in your name. Yea!

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  49. Oh Duffylou – sorry I was “away” hehe – had to redo the tree lights that kept going out and you know what fun that is!
    Great RAoK! And they only asked for a snowsuit – how dear is that -I understand your teariness.
    and we’re off to RAoK..

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  50. My son caught a vole one time and brought it in to me, as proud as he could be(he thought it was a mouse). I said “Oh that’s a really nice one. You’d better take him back outside so he can be with his family.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him to kill it. Although he probably would’ve enjoyed that!
    Tony Orlando…how do you think of these things?!

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  51. Siren,
    I went on a mission yesterday, took me three stores to find the spray snow. But now sometime this week the kids and I are going to make snowflakes, tape them to the windows and spray snow the heck out of them. I can’t wait – I’d forgotten how that used to be a big part of our Christmas decorating when I was a kid. Thanks for the snowflake tip. We’ll try it.
    And June, I’m glad you found your pinecones. They look mighty fine there on your tree. Now I want an “after” picture of your attic now that you have it all organized. With your regular camera, not your ghosty camera.

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  52. PJ who does not know a wps from a doc.x from xle from a rtda or rtfa or whatever from an automator and decided to just fall in love with the delete key instead. says:

    Wow, June! That was a real cliff-hanger today. I was reading it while I was waiting for my turn with tech support from the Genius Bar at the Apple store where I overheard one of the guys who worked there say that it is easier to get into Stanford than to get a job at the Apple Store. I think it’s just plain easier these days to get into Stanford than to get ANY job–almost. Still rooting for you to be reemployed so you can re-employ your tea-partier.
    RAoK today: After 30 minutes pretended to understand the young man at the Genius Bar who was trying so hard to communicate with this old lady. We were practically down to sign language and smoke signals. Did NOT speak the same language. I walked out and cried in the parking lot. He was probably crying in the back room. I guess I should have stayed so we could hold each other.

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  53. I was going to ask you what the heck are voles and why are they in your house and then I saw the very helpful diagram you provided.

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  54. I can’t wait any longer I am ready to BUST.
    Yesterday I did my RAoK without leaving the house. Score!
    In Monday’s mail their was my usual sale coupons from JCPenney. When I turned it over the Salvation Army logo was there and it said Angel Giving Tree. The website is jcp.com/angel This is a website where children infant through 11, (I believe) and seniors 65+, list the needs, then the wants of the ‘angel’.
    You can put in the location you’d like to help, zip or city and state and you can choose your age range.
    I picked my angel as an infant boy from Cleveland. The only thing listed on his page was a need. Snowsuit. It touched me deeply that the parent of this child asked for nothing more than a snowsuit for their child.
    I purchased the only boy snowsuit Penney’s had for a boy. And then had fun picking out a few one piece outfits and sleepers. The most fun I had was picking out an appropriate toy for someone his age. My youngest is twenty. I haven’t had to shop in this department for awhile. I found something I believe will be loads of fun as well as educational and help him when he starts to walk to boot!
    Please don’t think I am bragging, as I am not. This simple task took me two hours yesterday as I was having so much fun. I just wish I had more so I could do it again.
    The great thing about this, Penney’s will ship directly to the Salvation Army and you just reference your angel’s ID#. They will deliver your purchases.
    I will still do my random acts of kindness every day, but this was really worth sharing.

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  55. A Christmas card? Mine must have gotten lost in the mail. Remember that rule in grade school. If you’re not going to send everyone an invite to your party then don’t send any at all. I think the coddling police made that one up. But it would be nice if you shared your card with us all here so we can all see how it sealed it.
    And I see no extra space Hulk, see how this sort of stuff drives me crazy?? What are you trying to do to me? I have RAoK to do today!

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  56. If this post didn’t seal it, the Christmas card you sent me did.
    “And how obsessed am I by the extra space between “a” and “Happy”?
    You are not normal.

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  57. Sadie who wonders if she will find the hidden gifts by Christmas. Depends on how hard she looks since they are not in the obvious places. says:

    Sometimes I think I am the world’s champion at hiding things from myself. I’m still trying to find gifts I bought just last month. Unfortunately, they are in very small boxes so could be anywhere.
    As for voles and moles, our cat loved to hunt for voles before she left us for the Happy Hunting Grounds. Now our dog can hear the moles in their tunnels in the ground. I think moles are larger and fatter than voles. At least, from the ones I’ve seen.

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  58. Sadie who wonders if she will find the hidden gifts by Christmas. Depends on how hard she looks since they are not in the obvious places. says:

    Sometimes I think I am the world’s champion at hiding things from myself. I’m still trying to find gifts I bought just last month. Unfortunately, they are in very small boxes so could be anywhere.
    As for voles and moles, our cat loved to hunt for voles before she left us for the Happy Hunting Grounds. Now our dog can hear the moles in their tunnels in the ground. I think moles are larger and fatter than voles. At least, from the ones I’ve seen.

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  59. Sadie who wonders if she will find the hidden gifts by Christmas. Depends on how hard she looks since they are not in the obvious places. says:

    Sometimes I think I am the world’s champion at hiding things from myself. I’m still trying to find gifts I bought just last month. Unfortunately, they are in very small boxes so could be anywhere.
    As for voles and moles, our cat loved to hunt for voles before she left us for the Happy Hunting Grounds. Now our dog can hear the moles in their tunnels in the ground. I think moles are larger and fatter than voles. At least, from the ones I’ve seen.

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  60. You were buying Christmas decorations in August?
    Wow. That’s dedication.
    We’re going all-out this year and making paper snowflakes. I LOVE making paper snowflakes. I’m a paper-snowflake-making machine.
    P.S. Fold them in thirds! That’s the secret.

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  61. Eeew. I guess we had voles last fall instead of mice. We caught 13. 13. I’m serious. How did we sleep at night? Anyway my husband crawled around in the snow on his back sealing the whole house up with that insulating foam stuff, and this year so far we have none (knock on wood). Anyway, love the pinecone things. They’d match my tree perfectly if you decide you get tired of them….

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  62. Mrs. Oh,
    I have been worrying about the one remaining kitten that you haven’t been able to catch yet. Without the others to keep it warm, it might not have made it through the night. I know, you can only do what you can do. But I have been thinking lots and lots of positive thoughts for that little one.

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  63. I’m still super glad that you found your shiny pinecones, now what if those rodents are the correct size…. are we concerned? When in all actuality there are large mutant rodents in hiding.
    The yellow tape is caution tape, just in case you take a tumble…. like your neighbor.

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  64. I’m still super glad that you found your shiny pinecones, now what if those rodents are the correct size…. are we concerned? When in all actuality there are large mutant rodents in hiding.
    The yellow tape is caution tape, just in case you take a tumble…. like your neighbor.

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  65. I’m still super glad that you found your shiny pinecones, now what if those rodents are the correct size…. are we concerned? When in all actuality there are large mutant rodents in hiding.
    The yellow tape is caution tape, just in case you take a tumble…. like your neighbor.

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  66. Thank goodness a post! I was worried Marv hung a poinsettia flag outside your front stoop as well to signify your passing after a dreadful attic stair fall!
    We used to get fruit rats in our attic every winter until we chopped that fruit tree down – which by the by never once produced a single piece of fruit. They would climb the tree and shimmy on over by way of the cable wires going into the house like they were the flying Wolendas.
    And finally Tobey is saying I can NOT keep the latest baby kitty I rescued. I think Tobey is the one that might have to go…

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  67. I said I was normal yesterday but I also ‘file’ things away in what I think is a logical and safe spot only to never see them again until I’m looking for something totally unrelated. Like I would have put the glittery pinecones in with the hot chocolate mix for whatever reason. So maybe I’m just a strange kind of ‘normal’.
    And be glad that Winson murders the voles and doesn’t bring them downstairs still alive so they run wild in your house. We had a cat that liked to bring in critters like mice, chipmunks, etc. and then he would let them go inside the house. You don’t know fun till you’ve been awakened at 2:00 in the morning by a chipmunk screaming and running over your head looking for a hiding place.

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  68. I love your glittery tree. Now it’s in perfect harmony with the shiny gold pine cones.
    Elizabeth? Are you here today? I have my RAoK to report.

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