Thrift trip and bonus water heater photos

I stopped by a smaller thrift store I hadn’t been to in awhile. They were playing David Bowie on the overhead so I took my time.

I didn’t get much, the thrift gods were not with me but they were probably smiling on the woman ahead of me. She had a cart full of stuff, mostly clothes. Everybody was wearing a mask and they limited the number of people in the store. Also no country music, it was a good thrift experience.

Another pair of slip-ons. I think this is becoming my look.
Mug for my son, he can use an extra one at work
FREE! They have a basket full of magazines for free, limit 5. Got these for my mother-in-law in FL, she loves the Oprah.
Less than four bucks. I spent more on a chai this morning.

It was a somewhat difficult week here. The water heater started leaking and soaked the floor and basement. Then the electric went out because the water flooded the breaker. We were without electricity and hot water for about a day, not quite as bad it sounds. The landlady let us plug the fridge into an outside outlet. We could still use the bathroom and wash our hands. We had candles and a giant flashlight that night and natural light during the day.

Black Hole of Oklahoma, where the water heater gave up
New water heater, my crowded closet. Thanks to my daughter-in-law’s quick thinking, a lot of baking soda and the vacuum cleaner my floor isn’t squishy.

Another bored COVID-19 post

I’ve been working from home for 2 weeks and frankly I love it. Being alone at home is easy when you are an introvert and an only child ( I was an only child until I was 15). But like everyone else I am getting bored.

The only thing I would fight people for. Forget toilet paper, this is important.
Birthday pizza. Since we can’t go out my daughter-in-law got pizza from Aldi’s and I celebrated at home. The pizzas were too big for the fridge so she heated them up a day early.
I did leave to take a walk at the river.
Why I worry this could be the apocalypse. I had an actual craving for salad. That’s never happened before.
That’s Mister Lucky to you. I said that aloud while making soup.
Daytime. I love these pants because they have pockets.

I rarely leave the house. Mostly for food, short walks and to pick up my meds, as suggested. I wash my hands more frequently and keep my distance from people, including parking away from other cars. So far so good, I and my household show no symptoms but we are aware that can change. We are watching this unfold across the country and it is easy to get anxious. I try to limit the amount of time I check Twitter and the news. I am watching a lot of Netflix and reading. I’m doing yoga and saying the Rosary, both are calming. And there’s chocolate.

Merry Christmas

We opened our gifts this morning. This card was in my present from my son and daughter-in-law.

Mother Bear,

We enjoy your Chex Mix this time of year when the snowmen fight in the Wal-Mart parking lots (well, not here but maybe somewhere with snow). Here is to an excellent Christmas– less coughing and more cheese dip.

-Santa Bear & Tiger

I wish everyone less coughing and more cheese dip. Merry Christmas.


We went to the zoo on Friday. I took a few dozen random pictures and here they are.

Unfortunately we didn’t see the panda twins. That would be a great name for an anime, Panda Twins. They could solve mysteries and run a snowcone stand.

They gathered together so I could take this picture. The middle one is making sure I do.

The only lion we saw, the others must have been on break.

Someday I hope to be as chill as this deer

It’s a prairie dog eating grass. That’s it.

Same prairie dog realizes he’s being watched

I have to include at least one bear picture

My daughter-in-law and son

This was closed, to my great disappointment

Our.zoo includes turkeys.

And other birds

Generally not a snake fan but this guy was working it

My daughter-in-law is fascinated by the gorilla and he seems to like her too.

Getting a delivery from Amazon, I have been this orangutan.

And these chimps

The last thing we saw on the way out. Not sure what kind of monkey this is but I like the image of the keeper feeding him so carefully.


My dad passed away nine days ago. We were packing and starting to move when it happened. My mind was focused solely on stuffing boxes and how quickly we could move.

On Thursday my sister called to say he had a heart attack and this time was bad. Our dad has had heart attacks before and frankly I wasn’t really concerned at first, he always bounced back. But she added he was on life support. If we could we should come see him.

Bear and I were trying to figure how we could schedule a trip out of town. Then my sister called Friday night, he was gone. They took him off the machines and he slipped away soon after.

I admit I’m still a little numb over a week later. I accept he’s gone. I went to the viewing, the wake, the funeral and the burial. I understand but I don’t feel anything except a small relief. I know he’s not been feeling well, he had trouble standing and walking. I know, I believe he is better off and much happier. I believe in Heaven, a good God, grace and that he is probably hanging out with his brothers and old friends he’s missed. He once mentioned most of the people he knew, including my mother, were dead. So it gives me a little relief thinking he’s not hurting any more. Another thing is once this news is delivered you no longer live in dread of it, its already happening. So we got that going for us.

It’s odd but I thought about this day 2 years ago, nearly to the day. It is and not what I expected.

Estate sale

I took my daughter-in-law to her first estate sale yesterday. It’s not a thing they do in Vietnam and seemed odd to her. But she was game and I told her how my mother-in-law dragged me along with her to these things. So I guess this is a tradition.

We didn’t buy anything. Stuff was nice but the company running the sale didn’t accept credit cards for less than $50. But we got to look around a very nice newish Mcmansion and hear other people’s comments. Most agreed with us about the credit card policy.

I go to these mostly out of curiosity. My mother-in-law admitted she just liked looking at the houses. Rarely did we leave an estate sale with several bags of stuff. I’m a thrift store person, really.

There is one thing I’ve noticed after going to several estate sales. Most have very nice furniture, plush and good quality. But they have thin, ratty looking towels and bed linens. Stained and ancient looking pillows too. The book selection usually sucks.

It occurred to me this dichotomy is probably why I don’t have the big fancy house. I value the wrong things.

I focus on having nice towels and sheets. 100% cotton, Egyptian cotton, Supima and high thread counts are what I like and buy, usually on clearance. Plush soft towels that feel wonderful and take forever to dry, sheets and pillowcases that grow softer over time, that’s my thing. Down pillows, or the good down alternatives are better than the foam and polyester filled versions. Personal comfort is important to me. The stuff that nobody sees.

On the other paw, my furniture is old, hand me down quality. It doesn’t match but it’s functional. It’s spare and won’t impress anyone. I don’t really care, to me a chair is a chair. But it is the stuff people will see.

I stopped at 2 garage sales early this morning while running errands. What I bought.

I can always use an extension cord. 50 cents

Alma mater, OSU. Indian/Native style print, large, 100% cotton (always about that 100% cotton) and a dollar.

Tornado day

Today was the most dangerous day, the entire state was, still is, under tornado and thunderstorm warnings. Did not know this two weeks ago when I chose this as my day off.

I planned to go out of town with my family but as the entire state was under warning it didn’t seem like a good idea. So we went to the mall across town. Not long after we arrived we saw stores closing early.

We came prepared, my daughter-in-law made a bag, a grocery bag, of snacks. Originally for the road trip, we brought it with us. Seemed a shame to leave it. We hung out, walked around to see what was closed and what was still open. Then we had a picnic in the food court. It was almost deserted and nobody cared. I bought drinks at the Cajun place and we checked our phones for updates. So far nothing, just wind. Good.

The cliche “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping ” happened. Stores are closing all around us, people are fleeing, there’s potential disaster outside and I’m buying stuff.

What’s left of the peach slices and salted chocolate caramels. Lady at the candy store told me her husband called and said his bank and the grocery store were closed.

I needed a pillow. Also half price

I rarely buy clothes outside of a thrift store but this looked soothing and comfortable and it was on sale.

It is raining now, and will continue most of the night, according to the Weather Channel. Most of the danger has passed, though there may be flooding. But we can deal with that later.

It is official

Although I have really slacked off (it’s been cold) I have proof I am (was) a runner. Perhaps runner is presumptuous, walker is more honest. Here’s proof I did whatever, for awhile. I lost my first toenail.

Not pretty but now I can add “lost a toenail” to the list, which includes “peed outside.” I’m not doing the Memorial race this year because my future is uncertain. Which means I have no goal or motivation to get up and just go.

I will be moving, probably in May, due to taxes. So my thrifting has slowed down, knowing I need to get rid of instead of accumulating stuff. Also the race is the end of April and I will be packing and doing the drudgery of moving instead of concentrating on training. Some people may be able to do both but my ability to focus is limited.

But it’s not all bad, Tiger is growing bean sprouts and they are thriving.

I took her to the river and made her walk in the cold and wind with me. She was a good sport.

Cho Chang

My cat, she who woke me up at 5am, talked and purred constantly, is gone. I got her in December 2017, right before Christmas and thought she would live with me a few more years even though she was already 13. We would be cranky old ladies together.

She had surgery in September, there were tumors in her abdominal area. Thankfully they were benign but the vet told me they could recur. She fussed to me about her shaved belly but her appetite was good, the next day she was purring and waiting at the door for me when I came home from work.

Then she began hiding in the closet and sitting in the far corner of my room. She allowed me to pet her but not for long. I thought it had to do with Christmas and New Year’s. There were strange people and unfamiliar smells in the house. She did not like changes in her routine and I thought it was her way of saying so. She was also an introvert, another reason we got on well.

But a few days ago she was lying on her back and I saw red sores on her stomach. She wouldn’t let me look at them and retreated to the closet. I took her to the vet two days later. I should have done it the following morning but had to finagle time off from work.

I expected the vet to say she would need some surgery, maybe some drugs and send her home in a day. That was on my mind when I stuffed her in the cat carrier. She resisted it, more than usual. I should have noticed but didn’t.

It was a cold and icy morning, schools and the library were closed. The roads were nearly empty but slick. Cho complained all the way.

The vet hadn’t arrived yet when we got there. The receptionist took the carrier and cooed at Cho. They would call me after the vet looked at her.

I was in the grocery store with my son and daughter-in-law when the call came. The vet told me the sores were tumors. She had them inside, from her belly to under her front arms. They were cancerous. Then she said they could do surgery but it was likely the tumors would grow back. Cho was resting, they gave her pain meds and she was comfortable.

The surgery would be expensive, nearly $2,000. It would be hard on her. She would need meds for pain and antibiotics. She would probably have to do it again, the tumors were growing in her mammary glands. She could remove the tumors but not the glands. Mammary glands ran from her groin to under her arms, small tumors had infected the whole length.

So I thought about this. I hated that I knew the decision was already made. There was only one way to relieve her pain, to make sure the tumors didn’t grow back. I checked my savings even though I knew I didn’t have enough. It was to reassure me I tried, feebly but I tried.

Bear and I went to see her that afternoon. She was more energetic, perhaps anxious but I could tell she felt better. Pain meds were doing the job. He petted her, talked to her then left. I stayed with her awhile. I talked with her, held her awhile and petted her. She scrambled out of my arms and feeling better, started to explore the room. She was looking for a way out.

I had to pick her up when the tech and the vet came in. Cho didn’t resist, she seemed to understand. She tried to shake off the IV and twitched when the tech injected the sedative. Then the second injection. Her little body was still and she slumped after a minute. The vet checked her heartbeat and confirmed she was gone.

I am at that point of grief that hasn’t accepted the finality of death. I know it, I was there but it still hasn’t hit me yet. Even though I cleaned her litterbox and donated her food I feel nothing. Yesterday seems unreal, that it didn’t really happen. In another day or a week it will kick in, when I’ll realize she’s gone.

New baby

My nephew is here! My second nephew, he was born yesterday at 10am.

I left my phone on the charger in the car, we wanted to get to the hospital once we got the all clear from my sister. Bear and I ran errands and were across town when I got a text saying she was ready to have visitors. Part of the delay was my sister’s wishes and part was the hospital. He was born c-section and everything went well but she wanted bonding time, just her and her husband, before anyone else came. So I was eating a cookie at the mall when I got the text.

He is perfect, healthy and rather big. He was born 2 weeks early and weighs 8 lbs 6 oz. His brother called him Zapp before he was born but his parents named him Elijah. He’s still Zapp to me.

We had dinner after, Bear’s treat.