Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tan Renga Challenge Accepted!

I will be participating in the Tan Renga challenge at Carpe Deim Haiku in May.
The first thing you may be asking is "are you flea-diddly-flipping nuts, Neighbor? Why, just a few days ago, you were spouting about how over poetry and prompts you were!"
However, this is not just poetry.
It's Tanka!
Tanka is one of my favorite forms of poetry.
In a Tan Renga, one partner writes the first stanza (the first three lines) and the other partner writes the second stanza.
Come along if you dare, and join in if you want.
I may also be working on making last month's mess into my first published book of poetry.
Why the hell couldn't I have had interests that pay in this life?
Nobody freaking makes money writing poetry!


Monday, April 29, 2019



I'm watching DIY videos as the house my son and I may be buying needs a lot of work. If we do buy it I will be making a new blog for house stuff and my new crafts and baked goods service.

Inspire Me Monday #225: InstaGC Recommendation

You know those dumpster fire "survey" links which promise you a really cool gift card worth 666 billion zillion Quatloos just for telling them whether you like Amped-Up Mega-Volt Cracky-Cola or Slurm better, and then all you have to do is wallow through an infinite number of pages of crap you don't want, sign up for a silver, gold, and platinum offer of crap you don't need, and give up in disgust after wasting a minimum of an hour of your time on their nonsense?
That's not what this is. I would never promote that sort of low-quality, time-wasting, money-grabbing garbage.
InstaGC is a legitimate GPT site similar to sites such as Cash Crate, Earnably, Fusion Cash, Inbox Dollars or Swagbucks where you earn points for activities such as shopping, taking surveys, or watching videos. You then cash your points out for gift cards. There are many to choose from, so you're sure to find something you'll like.
Click the banner above and you'll get 10 points just for signing up.
May you have a lucrative, productive, and pleasant week.


Friday, April 26, 2019

The Next Big Thing?

Image by Kirk Fisher from Pixabay

Hello People,
I realize this blog has very few visitors, but the few it does have may be wondering what happened to me. Probably not, but you never know. Well, this is what is going on.
My son and I are going to view a very sizable old house that used to be a hotel in a town of 150 people near the Colorado/Wyoming border tomorrow. If there are no deal-breakers, we are going to make an offer on it immediately. My son inherited a bit of money from his great-aunt and the sale of his great-grandparents' property, and he wants to use it to have his own house and stop paying rent.
If all goes well, I will share a picture of the actual place tomorrow. My son is a crafty kind of DIY guy, and I think that I may finally have a chance to really start pursuing my own crafts in this setting, such as making bundt cakes with my Gourmia, which can be shipped or sold at church craft fairs and farmer's markets. I would love to really work for myself and not as a contractor or employee anymore.
It isn't signed, sealed, and delivered at the moment, but if we decide that it's the right move, it will be soon.
I am cautiously hopeful.

My Gourmia may be really busy soon!

Shared with the Birthday Blog Party at Mostly Blogging.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Acceptable Trousers, Enraging Description

I love it when they use real plus size models for plus size clothes!
Which is something that didn't happen here.

So, I needed a new pair of pants and I went online to Walmart.com to see if they had anything my broke ass can afford. I found these pants. Fine and dandy, except I almost didn't buy them because of the size-shaming bullshit in the description.

These White Stag Women's Plus-Size Bend'n Easy Pull-On Pants with Two On-Seam Pockets flatter every figure. You'll look instantly slimmer in these pants! They are made of soft, wrinkle free, 100% polyester woven gabardine. They also feature easy-care machine wash and dry. Plus, there's a gentle stretch elastic waistband, full leg and relaxed cut for maximum comfort and two roomy on-seam hidden pockets that really come in handy! This pair will be the perfect wardrobe builder that goes with everything. Available in Assorted Colors. 

I would love to be able to give one rating to the apparel and another to the description. The pants are fine. They fit. They weren't expensive. That's all great.
Now, as to the product description.
"You'll instantly look slimmer in these pants."
Yes, that is really what I care about. Instantly looking slimmer. There is nothing so important in this world as looking slimmer. It isn't as if I developed an eating disorder when I was just twelve years old because of all the importance placed on looking slimmer.
I am a large person. I am not going to "instantly look slimmer."
It only took me 33 years to get to the point where I could finally start accepting and standing up for myself.
Also, thanks for the thin model for plus-size apparel. It gives me a great idea what these pants will look like on a body like mine--so not.


Monday, April 22, 2019

40 years packed up! what's inside these time capsule boxes?!?

My friend Pam thinks this would be a dream job.

It certainly wouldn't be 9 to 5 in an office!

Inspire Me Monday #224 + Spread the Kindness #119: Real Cie Reviews: Eighth Grade

This post is a duplicate of my review of this product for Amazon.

4 out of 5 stars

Elsie Fisher does a marvelous job as the insecure, likable Kayla and Josh Hamilton plays his role as the sweet but sometimes irritatingly out-of-touch and overprotective dad perfectly. Kayla's high school mentor Olivia is adorable if a bit clueless. There is the eye-roll-inducing stereotypical pretty mean girl Kennedy, and Kayla's crush Aiden has all the personality of wallpaper paste.
The movie does a nice job of addressing sensitive subject matter such as Kayla's panic attacks. I was a teenager in the late seventies and early eighties, and was unable to discuss my psychological issues with anyone for fear of being placed on a psych ward or dismissed as "seeking attention" or being "overly dramatic." When I read about bipolar disorder (then called manic depression) in my junior year psychology class, I recognized myself in a lot of the symptoms. I approached the subject with the teacher and she told me I couldn't be manic depressive because manic depression was a psychosis and I wasn't psychotic. I would not be properly diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder until I was nearly 40 years old.  If nothing else, movies such as this one approach issues such as panic attacks without pathologizing the person suffering from them.
The movie also does a good job of addressing the pressure on teens, particularly teenage girls, to be sexy and sexually active. Olivia's creepy friend Riley attempts to pressure Kayla into removing her shirt during a game of Truth or Dare when they are alone in his car together, and Kayla's crush Aiden is rumored to have broken up with a previous girlfriend because she wouldn't send him nude photos.
The movie is appropriate for teenagers. Kayla is a relatable character, an ordinary and likable if socially awkward young woman. I found myself thinking that it was a shame for her to waste any time or energy on a shallow, self-absorbed twit like Kennedy or a limp dishrag like Aiden. 
Teens struggling with feeling like they don't fit in and those of us who used to be (and sometimes still are) the odd one out will feel a kinship with Kayla and be proud of her as she learns to stand up for herself.


Also sharing to the Spread the Kindness blog hop on Tuesday April 23, 2019.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Diet Talk Free Easter, Peeps of All Sizes!

Click to Enlarge

Stolen from Cooking With Tenina.

Goodies for your Easter basket

My pledge to you: No fat shaming, thin praising, diet talk, or promotion of weight loss gimmicks or products on my blog EVER!
You are fine just the way you are.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Product Evaluation: Nice 'n' Clean Flushable Wipes

Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pros: Nice 'n' Clean flushable wipes are inexpensive and easy to obtain. They are available from Walmart.com and three packs of sixty are just $5.74.
Cons: There's no way to put this delicately. These wipes leave me with an unpleasant tingling sensation in my tender regions. 

Cottonelle flushable moist wipes are the highest quality. They are very thick and don't leave one wondering if they just wiped with something caustic. They can be purchased through Amazon.com or Walmart.com. They are more expensive than the off-brands. I give Cottonelle moist wipes 5 of 5 stars.
Equate moist wipes are thinner than Cottonelle, but they are of suitable quality and leave the user feeling clean and refreshed rather than unsettled. Equate wipes can be purchased from Walmart.com. Five packs of 48 wipes are priced at $6.28. I give Equate moist wipes 4 of 5 stars.

I will not be purchasing Nice 'n' Clean wipes again. It's a pity because the price is right.


Monday, April 15, 2019


Hey, Government Jobs, if you can prove to me that you actually read one of my posts, I'll publish your comments. I'm not about to publish what I think are Spam comments, and you can tell your bot thanks for making me have to turn on the stupid verification.
I'm not up to doing an Inspire Me Monday this week. I should be back to it next week.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 13 + Poems in April 2019 Day 13 & 6: Night of the Lepus

Stargazing Rabbit

So, you think a rabbit can't be scary?
Well, Smartypants
Why don't you just try
To go outside
On the Night of the Lepus?
This ain't no Tale of Peter Rabbit, dagnabbit!
I assure you that The Bunnies Are Not In Their Beds
This is The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit
Rabbits and Raindrops?
Try Bunnies and Bloodshed!
Shiver and tremble
Beware and dread
The Night of the Lepus
Is upon us!


Dedicated to DeForest Kelley
A lovely man who appeared in many great productions
And one wonderfully awful one

The book titles I used in the poem are listed below. 
Full disclosure: The links allow the purchase of the books on Amazon, for which I get a small commission. 

I have only attended one fan convention. I went to Star Con back in 1984. I treasure the fact that I was able to hear DeForest Kelley speak. He was a very nice man with a somewhat wicked sense of humor and an unexpected tendency to use salty language. He didn't just talk about Star Trek, he also talked about the Westerns he starred in and laughed about having to reduce the salt in his language when working with Loretta Young, who was a very straight-laced lady.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get his autograph. The poor fellow was suffering from altitude sickness and had to go back to his hotel room. The nasty woman in front of me snidely said that he probably had too much to drink. I had nothing to say to her and thought that if I had to deal with people like her very often, I'd probably be inclined to drink too.
In any case, I'm glad I got to spend time listening to the musings of a person whom I like very well, and I'm glad I got to see the terrible B movie that he was in. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't one of his prouder moments. The Night of the Lepus is not a great classic, but it is one of those movies that's so bad it's good.

Just in case you can't resist having a copy for yourself.

Friday, April 12, 2019

One of my Biggest Fans?

My thoughts on this fan letter are in bold type.

I actually visit your blog constantly and read all your posts which are very interesting.

I am curious to know which of my blogs you follow. I have several of them. (my actual response to this email)

10ion is one of our website and we usually work a lot to really make it much more informative for our viewers. 
But perhaps sometimes you don't work very much and it is less informative for your viewers?

It's all about Home and Outdoor equipments like vacuum cleaner, electric gadgets etc. These types of details will be useful for those who look for the same info. We both of our very own sites are in same niche.
Both of your sites, or are you saying that my blog which you follow and your blog are in the same niche? I don't blog about home and outdoor equipment very much.

We recently offer a FREE complete infographics about "Essentials For Home and Outdoor". If you're interested I am pleased to share it to you to check over.
While I wouldn't mind such a thing, I'm not sure I want to be ordering home and garden equipment from overseas. I'm in the United States. The person writing this email clearly is not. 

Please let us know your views about this mail. 

We'll be expecting your response. 

I asked them which of my blogs they follow. They haven't replied to me yet.

This email smacks of Spam to me. I find that if it looks like Spam, sounds like Spam, and acts like Spam, it's usually Spam.


NaPoWriMo 2019 + A Poem A Day 2019 #7 & #12: Proper Etiquette for Loving a Spoon

Is there proper etiquette to convey
The love for the spoon if I may
Without a good spoon
You could cook midnight to noon
And wind up with soup loathsome and gray


I'm not one of those poets who can just write a poem and then leave the readers to figure it out for themselves. That is not how I roll.
The NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem praising a dull object. The spoon is both blunt and not exactly exciting. However, one must admit that life would suck without spoons.
The Real Toads Prompt #7 was the word etiquette.
The Real Toads Prompt #12 was the concept of love. Probably romantic love, but I'm going to get technical here and argue for the fact that I mention the word love in reference to the dull but necessary spoon.
For those of you who think that I'm a one-trick pony who only writes dark poetry, you now know that I'm a two-trick pony. I write two kinds of poems: dark and silly. I leave you to discern which category this one should be placed in.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

PSA: Get the Form, Skip the Malware

Image by kai kalhh from Pixabay

Hi, Delivered Ones!
While many of us in the United States will be able to e-file our taxes, some will still have to print and mail forms. 
Do yourself a favor and only print forms from the official irs.gov website.
If you do a search for tax forms online, you'll be returned a lot of results. Not thinking clearly at first, I went to one of these sites and requested a Form 1040.
The download wanted me to attach an extension to Chrome.
I canceled it immediately.
Even some reputable sites (looking at you, Adobe) will try and trick you into putting extensions into your browser. 
I went to the IRS website and downloaded the necessary form.
Now, hopefully, my stupid printer has printed it out properly instead of mangling it somehow.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Introducing the Blog Hops Index and Keeping it Real

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

No, not the kind of hops shown above. Although my son is interested in starting homebrewing once he has a new place.
I want to introduce you to my comprehensive index of blog hops that I participate in. April is my busiest month for blog hops. There are two poetry blog hops, NaPoWriMo and the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Poems in April. Like, one of y'all couldn't do your poems in May or something? There is also the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Then there are the photography blog hops that I at least semi-regularly participate in.
You will notice that most of the blogs on my list are literary or artistic. Some of the blog hops I participate in tend to lean towards fashion, and I feel like the odd one out, which, let's be honest, isn't unusual. I am pretty odd. 
I don't feel like I belong with most of the participants in these blog hops, who share very glamorous photos of themselves in pretty clothes with flawless make-up. I am the opposite of glamorous. I look like an unmade bed on my best day. I am not pretty, and I can't afford pretty clothes. I haven't worn make-up in more than fifteen years. 

I look like this. You can see my endocrine problems in my puffy face with the red patches. I have problems with eczema, which make-up makes worse.
That's my buddy Crowley with me.
The one thing I believe is that nobody has the right to ridicule anybody regardless of how unattractive they may find that person. No, I am not young, thin, or pretty. I still deserve to be treated with common decency and respect.

Image by Jonas Svidras from Pixabay

Still, when you look like I do and you know damn good and well that nobody thinks that looks pretty or fashionable, and you're visiting blogs where the people have photos of themselves looking like the image above, you start feeling like maybe you came from a different planet. 
I used to use self-deprecating "humor" when it came to my physical appearance. I won't do that anymore. Physically speaking, I see other people as physically attractive or neutral. There are no physically ugly people. The ugliness comes out in their personality. A person can look like the physically attractive young woman above and still be an ugly person, or they can look a little bit something like me and still be a genuinely beautiful person. 
I'm not saying that I think that I'm beautiful. That's not something I could ever think. However, as far as looks go, mine are neutral in my eyes, or at least I strive to make them so. Nobody gets to build themselves up by tearing me down anymore. I will rip them a new one without a second thought.

Here is a photo of one of the most beautiful people who has ever existed. Period. 
Eleanor Roosevelt was also quite fashionable, but she cared more about helping people than she did about making herself look pretty. I highly recommend Ken Burns' documentary on The Roosevelts, which I saw on Netflix last month.
Whenever I feel unpretty, which is actually quite often, I remind myself that no-one, including me, has the right to make me feel bad about myself based on my looks. Sometimes that shuts the hateful tapes in my head down enough that I can move on to something else.
You won't find fashion-based blog hops on my list, although some of the blogs on my list feature fashionable people. Only the most beautiful blogs have made the cut! 

This is an ever-growing list. If you're looking for mostly creative but not always fashionable blog hops, consider bookmarking the page!


Monday, April 8, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #222 + Spread the Kindness #117 + Creative Mondays: The Bare Essential Seasonings

Image by Pam Patterson from Pixabay

If I had to get rid of all but the most essential seasonings, I would keep these five things:
Canola Oil
Sea Salt

Although I like coconut sugar for baking, honey is more versatile than sugar and has a better nutritional profile. 
Olive oil is more flavorful than canola oil but sometimes not affordable on a tight budget. Canola oil's mild flavor and budget-friendly price tag make it a versatile and affordable choice.
You can use pretty much any kind of vinegar. If I had to choose just one, I imagine it would be white vinegar, which I also use for cleaning.
Sea salt is far more flavorful than regular table salt, and I don't have to use very much for it to have a strong impact. I use plain old ground black pepper, which is versatile and affordable.
My favorite potato salad recipe contains no mayonnaise. It is made using boiled potatoes and all of the above seasonings except honey. I don't measure them. I use enough canola oil to moisten the potatoes evenly and sea salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. This is the easiest way to make potato salad, and there are never any leftovers. You can add a hard-boiled egg for protein and a little extra flavor.


Also sharing with Spread the Kindness #117 on Tuesday, April 9 at www.shelbeeontheedge.com
Shelbee is a real sweetheart, and also drop dead fashionable. (Unlike me, the anti-fashion broad.) You should check out her blog. Sadly, her blog has an overly aggressive spam filter which always eats my comments. :-(
I would recommend never checking out my blog for fashion advice. Just sayin'.
Sharing with Creative Monday, a blog hop which is new to me.

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 8: Just Another Day

Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

Pull up to the curb
The customer is waiting
"Here's your food," I say


I don't think it gets more bare-bones than this.
And now this is a Haibun.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Cie's Sunday Wrap-Up 7 April 2019

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay
The week went a little bit something like this

For the good news, my son and I finished clearing out a very expensive storage unit and getting a storage unit at about half the cost for just as much space. Check out my post on StorQuest here.
In other good news, my son's dad (my ex-husband) is out of the hospital, but his health is still a bit precarious. Hopefully, the doctors will be able to get his cardiac issues under control. He also has previously undiagnosed diabetes.
We ended up firing the second real estate agent in the space of a week. The first one was mostly unresponsive. She also sent my call directly to voice mail and never got back to me, at which point, I was done dealing with her.
Enter New Real Estate Agent. Young, type A personality, a real go-getter. Which, as it turns out, is not necessarily a good thing. You can read the details of the interaction which caused me to kick this guy to the curb here.
After contacting the company that the agent worked for, he apologized to me, but in his apology, he made the rather odd statement that he thought that questioning my credibility would motivate me to move faster, and it backfired. Well, no shit it backfired, Sunny Jim! Did you watch American Psycho and mistake it for a business training video? 
Or maybe this agent read "The Fart of the Deal" by Lord Dampnut's ghostwriter. Because, truth time, we all know Lord Dampnut didn't write that or any other book. That buffoon is only capable of spewing out his 140 toxic characters on Twitter. 
Seriously, in what universe is questioning your client's credibility a smart tactic for motivating them to do anything except tell you to catch the next bus to Fuckoffanddieville or Kissmyasstown?
When I spoke to my ex-husband, he sounded like a shell of himself. He was on his way to a doctor's appointment. It was shortly after speaking to him that I received the confounding message from the real estate agent which caused me to respond with "we are done here."
Seriously, even if you think the client is the biggest idiot who ever walked the Earth, you sure as hell aren't going to close a deal with them by insulting them!
In other news, I have been watching cooking shows on Netflix. I'm thinking about trying portobello mushrooms in my cooking as a replacement for meat. The only meat that's at all affordable in my area is pork loin. Fish is overly expensive and, in a landlocked state, think about the quality. Beef is insanely expensive. Chicken is expensive and usually doesn't taste very good. Turkey is the sort of thing that I only want limited amounts of. 
The quality of meat is kind of awful these days. I end up using the slow cooker to tenderize the fuck out of it and then I pour barbecue sauce on it. The mushrooms might be a nice change of pace. Maybe I could stir them up with some seasoned tofu cubes for protein since tofu tends to absorb the flavor of whatever is being cooked with it.
I'm also saving money to buy a pressure cooker. I'd like to make my own small-batch preserves instead of spending an arm and a leg on preserves at the grocery store. 
I hope your week has been less stressful than mine. Maybe next week will be better.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Crap Not To Do as a Real Estate Agent: Accuse Your Client of Lying

Above is a screenshot of a message from the real estate agent that I just fired.
My son is looking for a home. He has a certain amount of cash which is in a trust fund controlled by his father. His father has been in the hospital for the last eight days with cardiac problems and complications from diabetes. He does not have a phone with great service. But unlike the agent claims, it is a working number. It simply does not have voice mail.
Even if the agent thinks the client is nothing but a clown, it is customer service 101 to state things politely. All he had to do was say that until we could get proof of funds, he couldn't continue to ask the listing agent to hold onto the property.
I told him that I didn't appreciate being accused of lying, and we were done.
I fired our previous real estate agent because she never bothered arranging to show any properties, never answered emails, and on one occasion sent me straight to voice mail and never got back to me. I'm not interested in having a toxic high school romance.
I contacted the company that the agent who sent the above rude message works for. Somebody needs to tell him that you cannot talk to people the way he talked to me.
Update on this situation: I said specifically that I didn't want the agent fired, but someone needs to speak with him about his behavior in this matter because it's not right for him to be speaking to clients this way. The agent apologized to me and I said that we were going with a different agency at this point but I appreciated his apology. I also admonished him never to speak to another client the way he spoke to me and said that it was always better to err on the side of politeness.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Crap Not To Do In Your Marketing Campaign: Use Terms Like "Bonkers"

Image by Natalie Gi from Pixabay

"Are you bonkers?"
This is how an email I received recently from someone trying to sell me on a system (which is probably a scam) began.

I'm sorry, but I've got to ask…

Are you bonkers??

I don't mean to cause offence…

But I've told you about this huge $70 BILLION 'viral cash' event before and you HAVEN'T taken action to get involved (despite the free nature of this).

Now, fair enough if you're not interested in using a 'Viral Cash App' that can automate your stay-at-home lifestyle, banking you huge piles of moolah like this…

Yes, that's $799.51 in a single day…

But I get it… not everyone can be 'bothered' to take 30 minutes to set this up (despite it's pretty much 'autopilot' after that)...

If that's you and you can't be bothered, you'll probably want to unsubscribe from my emails.

I mean, my mission goal here is to bring you opps that help you break out of the 9-5, slave-wage mindset and start making an automated, 'set-and-forget' income from home...

And this isn't the 'golden ticket' for that... this is the 'DIAMOND TICKET'.

Don't hang about… hit that link above and give it a try.

And before you ask...

This has NOTHING to do with bitcoin or cryptos…

NOTHING to do with paid advertising...

And NOTHING to do with taking boring surveys…

This is something new and completely different.

In fact, I think the secret behind it could shock you...

Click here to see how the 'Viral Cash App' can return you $799.51 in a single day now.

Best wishes,

Simon Sultana

Here was my reply when asked why I was unsubscribing from this individual's mailing list:

Dude, using terms like "bonkers" is incredibly rude and insensitive. As it happens, I am disabled and have three mental health diagnoses on top of all the physical ones. Not exactly the best way to do business. I hope you develop a modicum of sensitivity for people who may be struggling in ways you can't possibly understand.

A closing thought:
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A second closing thought:
I may or may not be "bonkers." But you're definitely a joker.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #221: Is Allulose a Better Sugar?

Image by Sabrina Ripke from Pixabay

This is a copy of the actual comment that I sent to allulose.org

I found out about allulose while taking a survey regarding sweeteners. As a diabetic, I am concerned about excess carbohydrates and I do feel that there is too much added sugar in most foods. 
However, the rhetoric about OMGTEHOBEEESITEEEECRISIS is discouraging. There are healthy and unhealthy people of all sizes. Size normativity as a be-all-and-end-all actually discourages exercise and better eating habits in the long run when they don't result in weight loss. 
A Health at Every Size paradigm is a much more effective approach. It doesn't say to people "you have only succeeded if you manage to weigh less than an arbitrary number on the scale."
I intend to give allulose a try seeing as it appears to be a natural product. I do not do well with artificial sweeteners. Aspartame gives me headaches. Sucralose gives me headaches, digestive problems, and elevates my blood pressure. Saccharine just plain tastes terrible. Stevia, which is a natural product, is fine in drinks but doesn't really work well in baking.
I am a blogger with a small but hopefully growing audience. I intend to write about my findings after trying allulose. I hope it is as good as it sounds. If it is, it would be a wonderful thing for those of us living with diabetes or who simply wish to reduce our sugar consumption--regardless of whether or not we ever lose a single ounce.

Who does not believe that any size is better than any other