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Life in May

Life in May

If I had my way I would live in a temperate region. Someplace where I never needed air-conditioning or a heater. I could open my windows and not worry about crime or bugs.

Life would be free and easy and there wouldn’t be any bills to pay or air-conditioning leaks or massive weird bugs that look like a combination of spider, mosquito, and beetle – something I’ve never before seen. It’s also gnat season in my neck of the woods and it’s driving me bonkers as it does every single year.

Stanley has been in full meltdown for the last two days. I had the six month checkup for my A/C unit yesterday afternoon and they found another leak. I’m getting really tired of spending four figures for repairs on a unit that’s only 12 years old. I replaced the A/C in 2007 and it’s been a pain ever since. They showed up at 8:00 this morning and were here for three hours yesterday afternoon. Stanley went to sleep after they left and didn’t wake up until it was time for bed. Being a guard dog takes a toll on you.

Y’all, the joys of home ownership. Raccoons and leaks, broken water lines, foundation repairs, and the roof blowing off. I have learned never to ask that fateful question, “What’s next?” You never, never say that to the House gods. They don’t like you mocking them. They will send you a plague of locusts or the back patio crumbling.

Sometimes you just have to laugh about this stuff because, in the end it’s not important. It’s just annoying.

The bug, though. The bug was something else. Shudder.

It is to Laugh, Y’all

It is to Laugh, Y’all

They are re-doing my street again. Yep. Again. The last time they did it was pre-2017 and Flash had a fit.

Stanley has taken up the role as Barker in Chief. It’s a tad difficult to think when all you can hear is row-ruff-row-row-row-urf-row for a few hours.

Yesterday they coated the street with oil which meant that the street was closed all day. No one could get to our houses. No Fed Ex. No UPS. No Amazon. No mail. No solicitors. No people telling me that I am not saved. Probably no stray dogs, either. Or dog walkers. No kitty cats crossing the street. No ATV riding idiot child. No chickens (yes, chickens). And remember the time we had a horse?

I guess this is my tax dollars at work, but I thought the street still looked pretty good. When I got the notice last week I thought it applied to other streets in the subdivision, not mine. Well, I was wrong. I should have figured that out when they painted the street in front of my house with a symbol. It probably stands for, “Weird writer here. Annoy her as much as you can.”

I’m off to go through my credenza drawers for those really big noise cancelling earphones I rarely wear in case they start up again today. Come to think of it, the last time I wore them was the last time they re-did the street.

But first…

Pick a number between 1 and 100 and put it in the comments, please. I’ll let you know why later today. 🙂

Totally Missed Fiesta

Totally Missed Fiesta

The other day I happened onto a message board where they were asking if anyone had tickets for the Flambeau Parade, the illuminated night parade that’s traditionally the last function of Fiesta.

I said, “Wait. What do you mean, Flambeau? Has Fiesta already started?” Well, it had started and ended and I was somewhere else. Deep in the throes of a book, which is my only excuse.

I don’t participate in Fiesta functions anymore. Too many people, too much beer – that sort of thing. There’s a lot of pageantry surrounding Fiesta, but they sometimes take it WAY too seriously. Like the Order of the Alamo and their crowning of the Queen and her court each year in a ceremony at the Majestic Theater.

You have to admit, however, that the dresses of the court are magnificent. They’re showcased on the parades, with the court (and the Queen) on individual floats with the trains of their dresses falling down behind them. They’re spectacular, especially with all the glittering jewels sparkling in the Texas sunlight.

This year’s theme was America the Beautiful and here are just three of the dresses.

We always seemed to come back to San Antonio when we went overseas. Japan, San Antonio, Canada, San Antonio, France, San Antonio, Italy, San Antonio – so I was able to go to the parades a lot when I was younger. (I didn’t particularly WANT to go, by the way.) When my kids were little I dragged them to a few parades just to satisfy my Mommy Quotient. I used to enjoy the sight of the dresses the most. Now I’d just as soon look at them online.

Here’s a link to see them all.

Who I Am

Who I Am

This morning I wrote a post about a baby who lived only forty minutes after her birth and how that story made me cry. Then I compared that beautiful tribute I’d read from a member of her family to the video of pro-Planned Parenthood protesters here in San Antonio who bragged about having abortions.

I deleted that blog post just as I’ve deleted most other blog posts that touched on controversial subjects. Recently, I deleted 94 out of 200 draft posts on my site. That’s how much I censor myself.

Yet I’m a woman who believes passionately in certain things. I have very strong political views. I love my country deeply. I was an Air Force dependent, active duty Navy, and married to a Marine. It is difficult for me, sometimes, to keep my mouth shut and not to post about certain things. The more insane the world gets the harder it is.

You can always tell when I’m having a difficult time because I will go radio silent for days.

You see, I’m a writer. That pretty much defines who I am. I tell stories and I love telling stories. The one I’m working on right now, for example, excites me so much that I can barely wait to start work every morning.

So, I have to ask myself what’s more important to me? The identity my strong opinions gives me or my identity as a writer? There are times when it’s almost a tossup, frankly. More and more lately I’ve felt that it was necessary for me to stand up and say: this is who I am. This is who Karen Ranney really is. I’ve gotten the feeling that we’re reaching critical mass, that the time has come for people of conscience to declare themselves, for us to say, “No more,” when it comes to certain things.

So let me put it to you this way. If it’s a choice of life over death I choose life. If it’s a choice between being crazy or sane I choose sanity. (And sanity isn’t that difficult to define, lately.) If it’s a choice between tolerance and violence I choose tolerance. If it’s a choice between facts and feelings I choose facts. If I must choose between being a victim or being an independent, rational, thinking human being who accepts responsibility for the stupidity or validity of every choice I’ve ever made, I will take the latter, thank you.

After this post I will once more retreat to the mild mannered writer I appear to be most of the time. Just know that there’s a thumping heart beneath each post. If there’s something stupid, hideous, anti-American, or just plain wrong happening in the world I probably know about it and I’m no doubt ranting silently. However, I’ll try to keep my true nature under wraps for the most part.

I just thought it was important that you know who I am. Karen Ranney, teller of stories and passionate woman.

Dental Issues, Ugh

Dental Issues, Ugh

I don’t know about you, but dental issues are way up there on my Oh No, I Have to Do That? list. In other words, ugh.

I have implants because of a car accident I was in years ago. They have worked perfectly for years. However, I cracked – at least that’s what it feels like – part of a bridge a week ago and I’ve been nursing it along until I can find another prosthodontist. My brilliant dentist retired, so it’s been a case of calling, researching, calling, etc.

Today is the day I will trot off to the new person with my nerves of steel. Not. Stanley is going to the day care, so hopefully all will be well there. I swear, if anyone is rude to me I’m tempted to say something right back to them. If I can talk, that is.

Curses, foiled again.

How do you feel about the dentist?

Get the Hell Out

Get the Hell Out

A woman is missing in San Antonio. Her husband is considered a suspect. Unfortunately, the authorities don’t believe that she’s still alive. 

I bring up this story for one reason: her friends have come forward to say that she told them that if anything happened to her it was the husband’s doing.

I have, unfortunately, some experience with being in an abusive relationship. I won’t go into all the gory details because I’m not a victim, have never been a victim, and will never be a victim. Trotting out the whole story strikes me as being part of the victim mindset. Just trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about.

If a friend or a family member or an acquaintance or a work colleague or someone on a plane/train/subway ever makes that comment to you, tell them to get the hell out, NOW! If you’re in that situation, RUN. When someone gives you an indication that you’re in danger, believe them. Act on it. Don’t wait around thinking that there will be a happy ending.

And don’t, for the love of all that’s holy, think that awful things can’t happen to you. They can. They do.