About Me

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I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at jacquelynn.fortner@gmail.com

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pause for the Cause

I need to take a break from the Costa Rica story to catch ya'll up on what has been going on around here as I listen to the Innocent Bystander's playlist for this, the Eve of the holiest day of football season.

There has been widespread panic in Pascagoula and Moss Point for the last few days.  Our local cable company, CableOne, has been in a dispute with their NBC feed, WPMI.  Unbeknownst to us, this dispute has been going on since their contract to renew ran out in December-they got an extension (heh-I said extension) to negotiate which was set to run out January 31st at midnight.  Not a real problem, unless you want to watch the FARKING SUPERBOWL.  Of course, by the time the news-NOT by the damn TV station in question or the asswipes at the cable company-hit our local news station, plans had already been made for parties and meals all centered around said holy event, which suddenly may not be available for our viewing pleasure.  Guess who got all bowed up over this, so that when the IB called the cable company he could barely hear for her ranting and raving and they'd better fucking this and that-ing?  *raises hand*  Oh, yes, that would be me.  

It's all good now, though.  The dispute has not been resolved, but the extension has been extended *pauses for effect*  *laughs hysterically*  *has coughing fit whilst laughing and husband mistakes this for choking and tries to Heimlich me* um?  Oh. *giggles*  Until February 4th, after which point they can take channel 15 and shove it up their ever lovin' *looks around and whispers* asses.  

SO.  The party is ON.  Shingle Mill.  Tomorrow.  5:17pm or whatever mucked up weirdassed time they've decided on for this year.  Covered dish.  So far, the menu will include collard greens, dirty rice, gumbo (for us, at least), mystery casserole, chicken wings, cornbread, assorted dips and chips and crackers and cheeses and tater salads and all kinds of fixin's, so ya'll come now, hear?

Enough of that.  Now we come to confession time.  I don't even know where to begin.

Those of you who have been with me for awhile know that I have three parrots-Nemo, my African Gray (shout out to the Fatherland), Ahab, my maroon bellied conure, and Moby, my autistic dipshit of a green cheeked conure.  None of these birds are sexually dimorphic, which means that you can't tell by looking at them what sex they are-if you want to know, you must have them either surgically sexed or DNA sexed, both of which methods involve at least some measure of pain for the bird.  As we were unwilling to put our birds through that, we have spent the last twelve years with three males as far as we were concerned.

Well, tis spring here in the South (most of the time, anyway) and the ducks are ducking and the bunnies are bunnying, and around here, the birds have been nothing short of squirrelly.  Nemo has been overly friendly, 'good morninging' me twenty to thirty times a day in varying degrees of annoyingness.  The little birds have been all chirpy and cuddly and have been shredding up paper like they have nervous conditions.  Well, guess what?  Right after I hit publish yesterday and went into the kitchen to start my roux for the gumbo, I looked over at the little bird cage and thought "I don't recall giving them a whole grape?" I hollered at the IB and asked him why he'd give them a whole one when I had already cut a couple of them up in their fruit and veggie cup, but then I looked closer and realized that little fooker wasn't green, it was WHITE.  With a smear of blood on it.  AHAB HAD A GRANDEGG!  I guess now I have to call him...er...her...Ahabella?

Now, the birds are of two different species and as responsible pet owners we could not allow this little freak of nature to develop, so I immediately asked the IB to take it outside and bury it (although it was so cute I wanted to wash it off and suck on it for awhile first) (I know.  I'm weird. ^shrug^ Why else do you come here?), which he did post haste.  Now I am consumed with guilt, for I?  Conspired to murder my own grandbird.  I am a certified birdie abortionist by association.  I am going to rot in hell!  (The IB can wrestle with his own conscience.)

Pray for me ya'll.  Pray for me hard.  Not only do I have to worry about my eternal soul, but I also have an unprecedented amount of money (for me) riding on the Superduperbowl.  What's funny though, is that as many sheets as we are on, not one single bet we made has anything to do with who wins the game (although I'm sure that will be rectified by the end of the day today).  They are all based on final scores.  With a little help from all your positive vibes, I may actually be able to at least win back SOME of what we bet.  Party on!  

Friday, January 30, 2009

Final Day in Jaco

Our final day in Jaco was devoted to the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees *hums* and the sta...*whacks self upside the head*  Sorry 'bout that.  Musta been something I...oh, nevermind.  We decided to devote the morning to a little place called NeoFauna, a butterfly farm that also has an indigenous frog and snake collection.  The proceeds from this place go to support a jaguar protection program as the jaguar in Costa Rica are now endangered.  

The guy that gives the tour, Randal, was a charming fellow who spoke fluent English.  He was very knowledgeable about all of the animals in their care, and you could tell that he really loves his work.  He started out by taking us through their collection of frogs and snakes.  The Innocent Bystander was really looking forward to seeing some poison dart frogs, and the first three aquariums held three distinct species of them.

He then showed us his snakes, but they were all in aquariums, so we did not get any good pictures but one.  I can't remember what species this one is, but I do remember thinking I'd like to see some shoes in this pattern. (I know...Shame on me!)

And then there was Mikey.  Mikey is a capuchin monkey that was raised as a pet, but he was being mistreated and was reported to NeoFauna who rescued him.  He was malnourished and in poor health.  He is used to humans, both fortunately (so I got to play with him) and unfortunately (because now he is reliant on them), so once they get him back to health they will have to work on reestablishing him with another group of monkeys who can teach him how to forage and fend for himself before they can release him back into the wild.  He is extremely cute, and his little fingers are just like little baby fingers and so soft.  Randal offered to let me into the enclosure, but I know too much about the little buggers to even consider it.  Also, I thought it was kind of a weird offer if they are trying to ready him to return to the wild, eh?

After we finished with the snakes (which did not take long as neither the IB or I have any interest in them other than knowing that they are behind protective glass) and Mikey, we went into the butterfly enclosure.  Again, we only got good pictures of one species (they just never quit flapping around, damn them!), the owl butterfly which is a beautiful blue on one side and has the face of an owl on the reverse.  The angle we got the owl face at does not do it justice, because when the wings are fully extended it looks just like an owl looking at you.  Really weird.

The last little feller we met was this guy, who is about the most awesome little frog I've ever seen, the red eyed leaf frog.  A picture speaks a thousand words.

All in all, it was a fabulous morning, but then we had an evening cruise on the Jungle Crocodile Safari Tour, a two hour boat ride up the Tarcoles river, where we saw about fifteen crocodiles and between 25-40 species of birds, including Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, Ibis, Amazon Parrots, Kingfishers of several varieties, cranes of about a dozen varieties, and many more that I would have to get my list out to name.  Unfortunately, at that distance you would have to have a telephoto lens to get any pictures worth a flip, so I have nothing *holds out hands plaintively*. We tried, but no point putting up pictures of a bunch of leaves, so go grab your fruit loops box-I saw THAT.  

Well, I've used up naptime, so I'm off to finish the gumbo and make some tater salad, so I guess tomorrow I will tell you about our last day in Costa Rica and my impressions overall.  Pura vida!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mario and Manuel Antonio

When we arrived in Costa Rica we were picked up by a driver who had been arranged for us by Jan and Greg at the hotel.  Mario is a charming fellow who has been driving for them for the five years since the hotel has been open, and were they ever lucky to snap him up!  He is very passionate and knowledgeable about his country, and was careful to speak clearly and slowly so that we two gringos could keep up with the conversation.  He spoke fairly good English, but when he found out we both speak bastardized and butchered Spanish, he decided he was only going to speak Spanish to us unless we really couldn't finger out what he was trying to say.

On the way to the hotel, he took us to this awesome little soda (roadside restaurant) at the top of a mountain looking out over a large valley and off into another set of peaks.  Absolutely stunning views that my pictures don't even come close to doing justice to.  We had a cup of Costa Rican coffee. (Ehh...*waves hand back and forth*...I wasn't that impressed as I prefer a much stronger more bitey coffee, but I had thought to bring along my Splenda and my Italian Sweet Cream Coffeemate so it was drinkable) (no, they do NOT pay me!)

We got back in the car to finish our trip through the mountains, and along the way, Mario introduced us to his companion Igor, a little toy iguana he kept on his dashboard, who will re-enter the story later.  When he dropped us off at the hotel, we told him that we would have Jan and Greg call him to arrange when next to pick us up, as he is their driver for long rides, but local taxis would be our in town transportation.  We did, however, arrange right then for him to pick us up on our last day to return us to San Jose for our flight home.

When we got back from the zipline tour on our first full day in country, we hit the pool for awhile, then headed into Jaco proper.  Jaco is pretty much like any other beach town or tourist town-one main street of tourist shop after tourist shop, selling all manner of towels, bathing suits, jewelry and rosewood carvings.  We don't really 'do' souveniers, but I picked up a couple of little things that would be easily packed, and we found some dinner (excellent fish-mahi mahi and seabass, primarily) and a grocery store to procure our beer for the night (Imperial and Imperial Light substitute remarkably well for Busch and Busch Light in a pinch).  After much discussion and debate with Jan and Greg and some friends of theirs who were down from Canada, we decided to get Mario to take us to Quepos, a town about one and a half hours away, to visit a National Wildlife Refuge there called Manuel Antonio.

It was a beautiful day-perfect for hiking.  We, along with one other couple, hired a guide to take us through the trails.  It was well worth the money.  The guides see things you would NEVER be able to pick out on their own, and they carry these telescopes on tripods, and zero right in on things.  He also does a little lecture, pointing out different plants and fruits and barks and telling us about them in this very dry voice (imagine Ben Stein's monotone with a Spanish accent).  He'd say things like, "In Costa Rica, with this tree, they take the bark and they boil it in the water, then they drink the water.  This is good for headaches." or "In Costa Rica, they take the leaves of this plant, and boil it in the water, then they breath in the steam of this plant.  They do this for three days and it cures the asthma."  Evidently, for every plant in Costa Rica, there is a potion to be made.

We were very fortunate right off to see our second batch of capuchin monkeys (we'd seen a few the day before on the zipline tour briefing) (these are the little white faced monkeys that are used as helpers for wheelchair bound patients).  They are so cute!  We could also hear howler monkeys, which sound just like their name suggests, but we never did get close to them.  We saw iguanas and basilisks (also known as the Jesus Christ lizard because it can 'walk' on water), crabs, bees both of the itty bitty variety that don't sting and the African Killer variety, which were fortunately WAAY up in the trees, bats, sloths (which is really just like saying we saw a couple of wads of hair in a tree because they ain't kiddin' folks-those suckers to not MOVE), a porcupine, and probably ten or so more things I'm forgetting.  It was most definitely a blast.  

After the tour was done, we walked over to a soda on the beach with Mario, who had waited to take us back to the hotel.  We had a lovely open air lunch (all the sodas are pretty much open air) of barbecued pork and chicken, along with yuca which neither of us had ever eaten. Surprise, surprise!  It is just like potato, but with a little more fiber.  Very yummy.  

On the way back to the hotel, Mario told us that he wanted to take a detour and show us something.  He started teasing us about La Sirena, which he expected us to understand as we are big Mana fans (a Latin American band who has a song by that name).  When he finally realized we weren't going to get it, he just said one word and it came to both of us-mermaid. He turned down a series of little secondary roads in a residential area and we came out on the beach.  Out about a hundred yards in the surf was a large rock sticking out of the ocean, and mounted (heh-I said mounted) on top was this statue of a mermaid.  We tried to get pictures, but they did not come out worth a flip, so pfft.  When we got back in the car, Mario kept talking about how sad it was.  I finally asked him what was so sad, and he told me that many people had died surfing in that area because of the rocks scattered under the surf, and that the man who had had the statue built commissioned the artist to give the bronze the face of his daughter, who was one of the victims.  Gave me a piss shiver, that one did.

I think I will quit pushing my luck and close this for now, and finish up the story tomorrow.  I am trying to catch up on your blogs too, and have two, count'em, TWO awards to acknowledge, so this is a busy week for me.  Add to that the Superbowl and the fact that the Innocent Bystander goes back to the Fatherland on Wednesday, and hopefully you'll forgive me for drawing this out so long.  Hasta manana, ya'll!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Canopy Tour

We only had a couple of objectives when we went to Costa Rica.  We wanted to do a canopy tour, and we wanted to see birds and poison dart frogs and wildlife in general.  We decided to focus on one objective a day, and that we would start with the canopy tour.

We got a taxi after talking to the hotel owners (who book all the tours for you, and they have a book of about a million things to do) and went on the Vista Los Suenos (no tilde, dagnabbit) Canopy Tour.  When we first got there, they offered us water, then got us outfitted in our equipment.  Since the IB is so tall, he got a full body harness, but I only got the part that you step into.  These are not exactly the most flattering outfits, but believe me, they are well worth the humiliation of the way they accent your "area". *snort*  After everyone on the tour has arrived and been outfitted, they took us to a platform about two feet off the ground and showed everyone how all of the equipment works and how they will attach us to the ziplines, gave us a little safety briefing, and loaded us all into a little train pulled by a heavy duty tractor.  One of the guides (there are six or eight of them with you) points out different tree types and wildlife on the way up, and gives little tidbits of information on Costa Rica.   He pointed out one tree whose fruit used to be made into a wine.  He said you'd drink one cup of it and be drunk, then wake up the next day with no hangover.  But he said that as soon as you got up and got out into daylight, a chemical reaction would occur and you would be drunk again, so they had to outlaw its manufacture as people were driving and showing up to work drunk.  Sounds like horsechit to me, and I can't find anything on the internet about it, so I don't know what to believe.

After what seemed like an eternity, we got to the top of the mountain where the first platform was set up.  They have this stuff down to a science, folks.  They quickly sent all the guides zipping ahead to get set up on the other platforms, then it was our turns. The Innocent Bystander, who is no fan of heights, unbelievably went first.  I was amazed that he went before me, but I was more amazed that he did not(nor did anyone else) scream. I was next. It is nothing like a roller coaster, and I did not for one minute feel unsafe because of the way they triple hook you onto the cables.  They start off with a short zip that is not too high up, and they progressively get longer and steeper, so we got acclimated to braking before it became really necessary (on some of them you don't brake at all).  There is always a guide on each platform to receive zippers and then hook them onto a cable around the tree that the platform is set up in, so even if you were to fall off the platform, you'd only fall about three feet before your harness would stop your fall.  They also have a secondary braking system on the few zips that are too fast to stop yourself with just the glove.  

May I just say, for the record, that this was the single most exhilarating thing I have ever done that did not end in an orgasm?  It is the most amazing sensation-kinda like those flying dreams I used to have, only in those I was facing down and either flapping my arms or with them out like Superman, and in reality, I was facing up and doing my best to pull my knees to my chest so I would go as fast as possible.  I'm sure that was a loverly image for the guides on the receiving end-my fat arse coming at them in 3D like some misplaced trajectory from hell.  In any case, if you ever, EVER, get a chance to do this, DO IT.  (I know...I said do it!)  You will not regret it, and you will have memories that you CAN take with you!

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Knock Knock

Anybody still in here?  I have missed you all so much, myne friends.

I had a minor meltdown.  I told you all about the Innocent Bystander getting a bit peeved about a post I made.  Since then, whenever I've mentioned sitting down to write, he's gotten this look of distaste on his face or come up with something else we need to do.  Don't get me wrong-he's not being an asshole about it, but his attitude makes me feel stupid for letting it become so important to me.  He is not at all impressed with it, and frankly, it hurts that the person who I care most about in this world has no interest whatsoever in my joy over certain comments or increases in ratings or new friends, because those things DO give me joy.  So, in a rather passive aggressive (in retrospect) attempt to punish myself (or him-I'm not sure which) I did not touch my computer for six days.  I figured if I I get on, I am either writing, reading your posts or doing something blog related, so if I just stayed away, I could avoid the elephant in the room. It was six days of pure torture.  I felt as if I'd experienced a death somehow.  I was miserable.

Then last night, I decided I'd had enough of this nonsense and I got online to check my mail.  I'd recieved an email from my cousin.  I started reading it and thinking, wow, this is pretty good. Then I realized that I had written it as a post on another blog I occasionally post on, Ornery Woman.  And I thought, you know what?  I may write pure crap some days, but sometimes I get it close to alright, and I get a lot of satisfaction in that.  So, Dood, if you are reading this (although he said he's never reading it again), I love you honey, but FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK.  I may never make a penny writing, but it makes me feel good, so go take your damn nap-I don't complain about those or act like those are a waste of time, do I?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crack That Whip!

How I can manage to write anything on this dusty computer is beyond me, but since Dar is standing over me threatening to disown me if I don't post something, I fingered I would at least let ya'll know I'm alive.

I DO plan on posting more about our trip, and I've NOT decided to quit blogging.  I think I just tripped over a bump in the road to Blogsville.  I was traveling along my merry way, minding my own business, when the Unit Innocent Bystander came home last month and threw a verbal monkey wrench into my inner workings.  He had read a certain post in which I explained my aversion to orange extension cords and he expressed concern about my mental health, in a "Are you out of your fucking mind???" kinda way, which seems to have thrown me off kilter.  For some reason, I just don't want to write in front of him now.  If I sit down at my computer with him there, I feel like I'm sitting there nekkid as a jaybird now, with all my soft parts exposed for him to mock.  Kinda takes the wind out of my sails.  I don't like feeling vulnerable.

But, like I said-I do plan on getting back to my daily routine of birds, breakfast and blogging. I miss the feeling of accomplishment I get when I hit that publish post button, and the time I spend giggling over silly pictures as I search for a little something extra to throw in for your bloggy dessert.  And I miss looking forward to your comments-they are the icing on my bloggy cake.  I have come to terms with the fact that the IB will never be able to rely on my blog as a means of early retirement, but it still is important to ME, so I'm not going to let his ridiculing me shame me into giving up writing.  Just sayin'.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pura Vida!

We're baaaa-aaaack! Didja miss me? Didja? Huh? Huh?

We had a blast. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, and the people there are very proud of it and very aware of what a fragile ecological balance beam they must walk to promote tourism but still protect the things that make it so attractive.

I guess you all heard that within an hour of our arrival, the country was hit with a 6.2 tremblar which beats my old record of 4.7. What can I say? We really didn't mean to hurt anyone! Honestly, we were so busy going through customs and immigration we did not even feel it. We were not witness to any destruction other than what we saw on TV as we never went north of San Jose. The only thing I saw that was obvious was a few areas of rock/dirtslides down some of the mountains on the side of the roads.

I'd heard from friends that had been to Costa Rica that the roads were really bad and that it took hours to get anywhere. There is mixed truth to that statement. The primary roads are just fine. The problem there is that the area is so mountainous that you are constantly on a curve, so your speed has to be kept in check. Fortunately for us, we had arranged to have a driver meet us at the airport, so we were able to just enjoy the absolutely breathtaking views around every single curve. I say fortunately, because those secondary roads? The ones where everything you want to get to are on? Holy shit is all I can say. Some of those car rides were as exciting as any roller coaster I've ever been on, and waaaaay more bumpy. The secondary roads are not paved, they are (I guess) just dynamited and bulldozed out of the mountains resulting in the rock version of a dirt road. In any case, I was glad the Innocent Bystander did not decide to try to rent a car and find stuff ourselves, because I think we would have spent much more time in our room than we did if we had.

Our hotel was up at the top a hill accessed by one of those secondary roads. It was a lovely room with a beautiful balcony view of the little surf town Jaco and the Pacific Ocean. The room was completely in tile and was nice and light and airy. The only problem we had was the humidity was so high and the room was not air conditioned, so we were constantly covered in a film of 'glisten' (read SLIME) for me and just plain SWEAT for him. For some reason, when we had researched the climate, we had prepared for the 'cool mountain breezes' and temperatures in the low 70s, max. I had three pairs of cargo pants and one, count'em, ONE pair of shorts. I also only took one package of men's plain white t-shirts thinking "Keep it simple, stupid." Stupid being the operative word in this case. Plain white t-shirt plus chubby curly headed gringo chick fresh out of the shower coated in 'glisten'? Not a purty sight, folks. I had thrown a couple of tank tops in my backpack to sleep in, so I ended up wearing those and doing laundry in the sink at night so it all worked out, but let's just say that my fashion statement for the trip was 'late hamper'.

Vista Hotel Pacifico itself is very small. It is run by a Canadian couple, Jan and Greg, who built it six years ago. There are a total of only nine rooms, so it is very intimate. They have a common area around the pool and office area where they serve a light breakfast of fruit, pastry and breads, yogurt and granola, juice and coffee every morning, so we were able to interact with the other guests, as well as Jan and Greg's dog Mika and their cat Whiskey, while we watched little parrotlets and Quaker parrots and these gorgeous little yellow bellied bandit looking birds that sounded like they were calling "Look at ME". We met people from Canada, Boston, Austria and Germany without ever leaving the hotel, and those were just the ones that spoke English. It was interesting talking with them, particularly the couple from Germany. I think they were rather surprised by us, particularly when they found out we were from 'the South'. Hopefully when they left, they had a different impression of what we, as US Americans, are like than the impression they seemed to have at the beginning, which they said they formed while watching coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

That was something about this vacation. I learned SO much. About the environment, about my husband, and about myself. I learned about relationships between birds and frogs and butterflies and crocodiles and people. I learned that my husband will jump out of a tree down a mountain for me. I learned that I retained MUCH more Spanish than I ever would have given myself credit for. I also learned that we as US Americans, can be very arrogant, and need to pay a LOT more attention to the relationships between ALL these things, including each other.

I have to go pick up El Juevo now, so I will tell you about some of our adventures tomorrow. One of which starts off like this:

Saturday, January 3, 2009


We have been taking it easy the last few days, but at the same time, we've been very busy. We've done some shopping and some loving, some cavorting in our nice odor free shower, some football watching and some drinking.  We've done a whole lot of researching on our upcoming trip, and are both pretty much packed, although we don't leave here until Wednesday evening. 
I still have quite a lot of room in my bag, so I'm sure I'm forgetting something important.

I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  I forgot to post yesterday.  I have an excuse, though-I think I'm coming down with something.  Penis poisoning, most likely.  We will soon find out.  Since the Innocent Bystander's best bud is a schoolteacher and will be going back to school before we get back from our trip, they have decided to do a boy's night out tonight, so Dar has graciously allowed me to spend the night at her house.   We will see if my symptoms improve by distancing myself from the IB.  I have my doubts.  I'll prolly start twitching about midway through our Wii tourney and she'll whip my ass, in which case my diagnosis will be confirmed.

I imagine the next few days will be hectic, what with El Juevo starting his second semester at college and us getting ready for the trip, but I will try to keep you updated.  Things should get back to normal after we get back.  The playoffs will be in full swing, so other than the distraction of the new season of American Idol (hush-I have my weaknesses too!) which I will have to watch in the bedroom, you here in Blogsville will most likely have my undivided attention.  By then I should be able to string two or three sentences together coherently enough to merit your attention.  In the meantime, if you have some free time, check out the Beautifulist over there---->  Or my brain candy.  That should keep you occupied for quite a while!  

*smooches* to all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Aftermath and looking ahead

We got up later than usual this morning.  The birds let us sleep until nine, which is unheard of. (Maybe what was unheard was the birds?)  We got up and took care of them, me downing two full bottles of icy water in the process, which could have been disastrous, but I managed to keep it down.  I knew at that point that there was no way in hell I could look a cup of coffee in the face so I set my hambone on the stove to simmer and told the Innocent Bystander I needed to go lay down.  As he was already laid out on the couch watching football warmup shows, there were no objections, so I went back to bed and slept until one.  Now I feel much mo' betterer, but you'd never guess it by looking at me.  Word to the wise?  Ham?  And beer?  *shakes head* Even with my diuretics my eyes look like two peeholes in the snow and my fingers feel like so many of those little sausages in barbecue sauce dipped in ranch dressing that I carelessly but lovingly let slide down my well lubricated maw.  I might as well have eaten a salt sandwich. With a side of salt.

So.  What am I throwing out with the bathwater that was 2008?

Well, hopefully some of those little sausages.  This holiday season has been very...shall we say caloric?  There are some very padded parts is parts that need to have some of the people worked off of them.  I need to stop spending so much time in front of this computer and more time outside where all the life in this river is.  If I can't commit to exercising, I can at least commit to trying to exercise a little self control.  The IB has many irresistible meal requests that I am going to have to make whilst he is home, and I need to do some forking resisting.  Get it?  Forking?  Eh...I know.  Lame.  Blame it on midnight.  Shame on the moon.

Something else I'm going to try to let go of is my obsessiveness about this blog.  I am no longer going to try to make myself write something every day, at least not for publication.  I was surprised and a little bit saddened last week (not for long-the IB has a way of taking my mind off all things sad, don'tcha know?) when I realized that on that day and a half I took off, my technorati rating went up more than it had the entire previous week.  This is not a job, and I'm certainly not making any money at it-I've been at it for nearly four months and am not even halfway to that magical point that will generate a check, so I need to give myself permission to take a day or two off every week to stop and smell the roses.  

And finally, the news.  I am officially saying a fond farewell to fartwater!  2008 was a year of much progress around here, all thanks to the IB.  We gained a much improved road and bridge last year, as well as a well, but well, that well? *shakes head* Not so well.  Really bad smell.  So the IB took pity on us and yesterday, had installed a most sophisticated water purification system that renders fartwater supposedly of drinking quality, although I am a bit skeptical on that one.  I will give it this-the odor is G.O.N.E.  And when I add detergent to my washer, it doesn't look like I am pouring in orange koolaide powder.  We are still running chlorine through the pipes and such to clean them out, but I can tell that the system is doing what it is supposed to, so I will at least be able to shower in my own home rather than having to go a half mile up the road.  And if I do decide I want a bath rather than a shower?  He also had the same system installed on the house!  Now we have city quality water in not one, but BOTH places!

The upshot is that 2009 has gotten off to a rip roaring start here in paradise.  Bright and shiny and full of possibilities and opportunities.  I will do my best to not waste a single one of them!