Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Today is the last day of 2008. I'm glad. This year has presented me with many challenges. I'm hoping and praying that 2009 will be a much more joyful and positive year. 2008 did bring me some wonderful things-I'll try to think of those. In addition to all the chores I want to get done, I want to try to find time to remember the highlights of 2008 before I head in to work-and more challenges!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Lot

While I am so looking forward to the end of this year-I have a ton to do this week, so I wish this week would last a bit longer. I haven't made my ATCs for the month (due the last day), I haven't started my recipe cards (they're due a week from Friday), the house is a wreck and my folks will be coming up Saturday (weather permitting). I need longer days and more of them not at work. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen! I so wish my kids could do housework!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wii Fit

I got it! My parents gave me a Wii Fit for Christmas. I was excited to try it out-but was too tired and stuffed to try it out when I got home from their house. Although I didn't have time to really get into it, I wanted to set it up before I went to work on Sunday. I synced the board and started my initial profile. I selected my Mii and got started. I put in my height and birth date, then it started analyzing. Suddenly my little Mii wasn't so little anymore. Yup, I'm considered obese. Then it gave me my Wii Fit Age-not good. At least that age doesn't qualify me for social security...but jeesh. Anyway, I set a goal and gave myself a month. We'll see what happens. I tried a balance exercise-but I don't quite get it and consequently didn't do well. Hopefully, I'll figure things out soon. I'm going riding today-so I won't play today...but hopefully I can find time most days to do a little something!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Windy!

The wind is just roaring. I'd call it a blustery day, but it's really more Auntie Em than Winnie the Pooh! The wind blew most of the snow away. Well, the wind, the rain, and the warmth. We hit records yesterday-it was 60 degrees! That's just not right this time of year. There's still some snow around the edges of the property-from the snowplows. And a bit where I piled the shoveled snow on the driveway. But, other than that, it's green lawns! The temperature will be going back down-Monday highs will be in the 30's-and I'm sure more snow will come. I just hope not too much snow. I'm tired of shoveling already!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stuffed!

I just got home from celebrating Christmas with my folks. I'm stuffed! I got there for breakfast-fresh Polish sausage with beet horseradish, rye bread and butter, and warm apples with spices, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Then we opened presents. What loot! For all of us. Highlights for me include Wii Fit (I really need it now!), slippers that look like dogs, a great Charming Tails piece, treats for all the kids (including Harley!), some great t-shirts, a case of Andre champagne, and more. I was really laughing at my final gift from my dad. It's a bright orange hat with earflaps and it has 2 headlights on the brim so you can see where you're going hands free! As hysterical as it is-it's actually quite useful! I also got my birthday present which didn't arrive for my birthday. It's a beautiful lamp with Frederick the cat lounging among books on a bookshelf. I have to find the perfect spot for it. After presents we had potato chips and leek dip and champagne and we watched Christmas episodes of TV shows (including I Love Lucy). Then we had Christmas cookies. We moved from there on to French Onion Soup. Finally it was dinner-salad, mashed potatoes, and phenomenal beef tenderloin in this special gravy. We took a short break then it was chocolate mousse with freshly whipped cream for dessert. We called our Aunt in California, and it was time for me to head home. What a great day. I'm tired, stuffed, and pleased with all my gifts. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Photo Phriday - Boxing Day

I like to keep the Christmas Spirit going at least through Epiphany. I haven't taken all the gifts away from under the tree. Here's Seneca checking out all the loot. Tomorrow I'll visit my folks and we'll exchange gifts. And eat. And eat. And eat some more. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. I hope everyone is enjoying this special day. I'd like to thank everyone for the great Christmas presents I received. Highlights include The Beatles Monopoly Game, A Christmas Story Monopoly Game (You'll shoot your eye out kid!), the Twilight series books, a black horse Webkins, plush rats, candles, bath confetti, and goodies for the kids. I had a Cornish hen and wild rice for lunch and soon I need to start getting ready for work. Enjoy the holiday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve. The Big Day is tomorrow and I can't believe it. I had a nice lunch today and am about to get ready to go to work. I'm going to bring some chruscki to share. I'm just looking forward to coming home after work and relaxing and snacking. I hope you're enjoying the holiday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Palin

I was hoping that Palin would make it to Christmas...but he couldn't do it. Palin died while I was at work last night. He was old and ill, but he seemed to be doing better. His seizures were under control and he seemed to be helping Leon, keeping him warm, snuggling with him. Palin is the last of the brothers I adopted from a wonderful rattery in Ohio. Named after Michael Palin, he loved to explore and was a friendly sweet boy. The above picture is one of my favorites-taken on his second birthday. The one below I just took a few days ago-that's Palin enjoying his Christmas tree. I guess he'll be spending Christmas with Jesus this year. Rest in Peace.

Palin
August 1 2006 - December 22, 2008


Drifts!

This drifting snow will be the death of me. After all the trouble I went through getting home last night, getting up the next day wasn't any better. The snow drifted even more in the yard-blocking the way to the garage. Once I climbed that snowbank I saw the big drift in the middle of the driveway. I shoveled a "good enough" path and headed toward the end of the driveway, That's where I almost started to cry. The snow was up to my waist and it was ice-the stuff from the town plows. I started shoveling away at it...and kept at it. The town plow drove by and I cursed it to myself as I kept shoveling. They say you shouldn't lift the shovel-you should push the snow. How the hell are you supposed to do that when the only place to put the snow is already as high as your chest? So I keep shoveling, and lifting, and although it looks like I've made a dent-there's still a long way to go before my vehicle can even hope of getting through. So I keep at it when I see the town plow coming by again. But they stop. They then tell me to move back. Then the town plow plowed the front of my driveway! Obviously they couldn't get the driveway itself-but they removed the snow they put there! I just had to get a touch further back and I was able to finish. I was so thankful. I was lucky when I came home from work there were no more drifts in the driveway...but I still had to climb a hill to get to the house. Sigh.

Monday, December 22, 2008

SNOW!!!

I had to shovel the driveway again yesterday. Fortunately, there wasn't THAT much additional snow, but I was still out there for over a half hour. As I was leaving work I heard it was COLD and the roads were so-so. Sure enough, it was cold and snowing and...the worst bit...blowing! My co-worker nearly fell on the ice on the way to our cars-but we made it to the parking lot. There wasn't much snow on my car-but whenever I brushed it off, the wind changed direction and blew it right into my face. With a freezing neck (where my scarf didn't cover) I began the drive home. The roads weren't too bad, 4 wheel drive in a few places-but the worst bit was the periodic blowing snow. Already I was dreading what I'd find when I got home. The drifting snow is horrible with the field across from me and I remember getting stuck last year. I turned onto the side street my driveway is on and saw a huge drift in front of my mailbox (opposite side of the street) but my driveway looked OK. I pulled in without a hitch then stopped. A HUGE drift in the middle of the driveway. I daren't risk it. I got opened the garage and climbed the drift-which was up to me knee-and got the shovel. I went at it for a bit, then figured-good enough. I put the shovel back, got into the car, put it in 4 wheel and gunned it! Perfect. No problem. I gathered my stuff and tried to close the garage door. As usual in bad weather, it didn't want to close. OK. I figured I'd put my stuff inside and try again while Barrett was outside. I opened the gate, then stopped, a huge drift lay between me and the door. A drift that was up to my waist. So, I put my stuff down in the garage, got the shovel again and began making a path to my door. Got there and let Barrett out. Made more of a path back to the garage, got my stuff and tried the door again. This time it closed. I noticed that I could no longer feel my hands. (It was 10 degrees.) Barrett and I returned indoors and I poured myself a BIG glass of Southern Comfort, which I'm sipping as I remind myself that I love being back North and I want a white Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

It's snowing and blowing outside-and I have to go to work. The snow is drifting-so I'm sure I have a lot of shoveling to do. I really need to get a snow blower! At any rate, Happy Yule-have a wonderful Winter Solstice.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dug Out!

It took me over an hour, but I dug out the driveway. I should be able to get out...and back in. Now I have the start of a callous on my hand. That might be one reason to have human children-make them shovel the driveway...and do other chores. My kids aren't too helpful when it comes to chores. Barrett just watched me shovel-then tried to get my big holiday light bulb to play with. Unfortunately, he succeeded, and broke it. The dog is obsessed with light bulbs. Anyway, he usually is more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to housework-except he is great at prerinsing the dishes! I'm about to get ready and take Calumet to get her picture taken with Santa Claus. This should be interesting!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo Phriday - Winter Storm!

I had intended to make my annual trip to Oliver's to buy ribbon candy this morning. I even planned to take a photo for this Photo-Phriday. The winter storm prevented me! It started snowing about 8:30 AM and hasn't stopped since. The wind is whipping and the roads looks horrible. I'm staying in today. Barrett took one step out and wanted to come back in. He tried again a little later-no doing. He finally couldn't hold out any longer and stayed out to do his business. Later he went out with me to get the mail. We were going to take a drive and look at Christmas lights tonight. Looks like that's out as well. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be better and I can do everything I need to do. It's my last evening off before Christmas and I'm working Christmas Eve and Day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Week

Christmas Day is a week from today. I still have so much to do! Still have 2 packages to ship, the local presents to wrap, 2 presents to finish creating-no, make that 3. I think my vanilla bourbon loaves will be make for New Year's...or Epiphany. Lots of cleaning to do. Lots to do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slow

It was a slow drive home after work last night. After the unbelievable warmth (I wore a short sleeved shirt during my lesson on Monday) the cold soon arrived and the snow followed during work. The streets were newly snow covered coming home. Fortunately, everyone out on the roads was being smart, driving slowly and leaving good space between vehicles. Let's hope people remember this during the coming months. Take your time driving-rush and risk ending up in a ditch...or worse!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How Random IS Random

I copied this idea from my friend, Vinnie.

How Random IS Random

1. Put your iTunes (or iPod or iPhone or iAnything) on shuffle. (Easy for me as I have an iPod Shuffle!)
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Gentle Groove Mother Love Bone
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Feel Syd Barrett
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Plan B Mute Math
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
My Sweet Lord George Harrison
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Under the Milky Way The Church
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Baby Blue Shuffle in D Minor Pink Floyd
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?
Don’t Treat Me Bad Firehouse
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A MATE?
Patience – Guns n Roses
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Come Around Again Jet
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Creepin’ In Norah Jones with Dolly Parton
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
I Can’t Stand the Rain The Committments
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
What Is Life George Harrison
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Candy and a Current Bun – Pink Floyd
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Paranoid Black Sabbath
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Barely Listening Pilot Speed
WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
I Beg Your Pardon Little Charlie and the Nightcats
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
A Pillow of Winds Pink Floyd
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Cat’s in the Cradle Ugly Kid Joe
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Be My Escape Relient K
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Dance Some More Let’s Go Bowling
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
There’s No Way Out of Here David Gilmour
WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Sunshine Aerosmith

Just something to waste time…

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 Days

Aack! 10 days to Christmas. Still so much to do. A lot done, but still, there's more I want to do. Let's see what can be accomplished!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Visit With Santa Claus

Just because I don't have any human children doesn't mean that I don't have to visit Santa. Today I took Barrett for his annual visit with Santa Claus. He was a very good boy. Our visit was almost ruined while we were waiting to pay. A dachshund and a Pomeranian were in a cart ahead of us in line. Barrett was minding his own business when the dachshund started barking at him. Then the idiot woman got the Pomeranian down and let her go to Barrett, where she (the Pomeranian) snapped at Barrett. Not bark, not growl, the little monster tried to bite his face! The bitch human didn't even apologize, just made remarks about her dogs believing they could get mine. Now if Barrett would have retaliated (which he didn't) everyone would have denounced him for attacking a cute little dog, when the little bullies started it. At least the cashier was on my side. A part of me wished I would have said something to the idiot human. Who in their right mind lets their dog go to a strange dog when her companion is already showing aggression? Some people don't deserve to have dogs. I hope she gets bit...or sued. Barrett is fine and afterward we stopped at a gourmet dog treat place and then he had a meatball when we got home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Festival of Lights

This season is called the festival of lights. Indeed many cities have a "Festival of Lights", an area that has been completely decorated with lights and people can walk and/or drive through. When I lived in Austin, Texas it became an annual event to walk with friends through the enchanted Zilker Park and eat at one of the quaint restaurants. Good times. I'm not sure if there's one near me. Next weekend I'll take Barrett and we'll drive around looking at Christmas lights. As for me-I illuminate my place. Outside I don't have much-colored mini lights on the shrubs surrounding the front and side of the house. I also have an illuminated present on the front porch, I put colored lights in the holder at my back door and I have 3 huge plastic light bulbs that are illuminated. But when I'm home, more lights are on. I have green lights in the porch lights out front. I have a bubble light nightlight in the bathroom, an illuminated Snowman in my bedroom, the rats' Christmas tree in their room, the Christmas tree in the living room, mini lights across the mantle, the standing lantern, a Christmas Victorian lantern, and my Grandpa's Santa. All lit up. Yup, I like Christmas lights!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo Phriday - Leon & the Rattie Christmas Tree

This will be Leon's last Christmas. I'm just hoping he makes it to the holiday. This little rattie is ancient (well over 3 years), is losing weight and now has hind end paralysis. But he takes such joy from life. He loved checking out the Christmas tree I have in the rat room. I only have one ornament on so far-I put the Charming Tails 12 Days of Christmas on. Merry Christmas Leon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Furlough Party

This evening I went with the furlough group to a holiday party. This party is organized by a nun named Sister Dismas. She's been organizing this event for 51 years! Sadly, she currently has a bad cold, so while she was there earlier in the day to help set up, she left before the party began. The event started in an auditorium. The Show Choir from Our Lady of Mercy High School performed. Those girls were excellent. I was very impressed and I am a very harsh critic when it comes to singing! The girls did a number, then they led everyone in a Christmas carol, then they did a piece, then everyone, and so forth. What was really nice was that everybody sang! Too many times nobody wants to participate...unless you're in the theatre or mentally ill. Hmmm, major correlation there? It was a nice short program, followed by a brief Christmas story. Then we went to the gym, which our furlough guys had decorated that afternoon. We sat at a nicely decorated table. All the seats had cups filled with candy and the Mercy girls served ice cream, cookies, and punch. Then all the consumers got presents. It was a very nice event and the guys had a really great time...as did I.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Envious

I am envious. Envious of people who really enjoy their work and are able to live comfortably on their earnings. I'm comparing the people who work at Charm City Cakes to me. They love going to work and have a good time there. My job gets me angry more often then not. But it pays a decent wage. I'm able to have a comfortable lifestyle. I'm by no means well off-but I'm not worrying about being able to pay my bills. Why can't I love my work too?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Calumet's Early Christmas Present

You've heard of children trying to find their Christmas presents early...well non-human children are just the same. Callie found her Christmas present today and she brought it out to play. I keep the Christmas presents in the attic. Hers, a hand knit catnip mouse, was in a bag on a box up there. I was up in the attic gathering more Christmas stuff and Callie bounded up, as she usually does. After a while I saw she was downstairs, the other cats were accounted for, so I closed the attic door. I did some other things, then I saw it...on the dining room floor, Callie's mouse. She must have been looking in bags, found it, got it out of the bag, brought it down from the attic, around the hall and downstairs to the dining room. I picked it up and put it on the bookcase, but a little later, I found it on the floor again. For all the hard work she did to get it, I'll let her keep it and won't make her wait until Christmas to have it. Kids!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Qs

I recently received the following as an e-mail, the getting to know you Christmas version, and thought I'd share my responses here.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper. I'm not a very good wrapper, though and I generally don't bother with bows and stuff. I do use bags for odd shaped things.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real!
3. When do you put up the tree? Around the first week in December. This year I'm getting it 12-6.
4. When do you take the tree down? No earlier than Epiphany. Whenever it's too dry after that.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Fisher Price Castle with trap door dropping to a dungeon!
7. Hardest person to buy for? Dad
8. Easiest person to buy for? Me LOL and Trish
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, Charming Tales in a barn handmade by my dad.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I think Mail is important, especially this time of year. I do both though.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Pierced earrings. Don't have pierced ears and never will!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story closely followed by The Bishop's Wife
13. When do you start shopping? All throughout the year
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas Cookies
16. Lights on the tree? Yup. Colored steady. I had to switch from minilights to C7s though because Barrett (my dog) likes to eat the bulbs. Not the wires, just the bulbs.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I like a lot of them. For a good laugh I like The Muppets 12 Days of Christmas, I want a Hippopotamus, and I'm gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas. I like the traditional stuff too.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Stay home. Visit folks (an hour away) whatever day I have off work after Christmas. I'm always working on Christmas Day.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Maybe
20. Angel on the treetop or a star? Plush star with a plush mouse hanging off of it.
21. open presents on Christmas eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve, most Christmas Day, from my folks whenever I get to see them. This year, weather permitting, it'll be the Saturday after Christmas.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Starting too early!
23. What theme or color are you using? No theme or color scheme, just all the Christmas stuff!
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime Rib
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace, joy, health for me and mine and Wii Fit.
26. Do you have a favorite ornament? A plush yeti looking polar bear I've had since I was little.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful joyful season to you my friends!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Some Progress

I made some progress getting ready for Christmas, but there's still so much to do. I've wrapped packed and shipped 4 people's gifts. I still have a few more to ship out (and wrap and pack) and then wrap all the local gifts. I made fudge, want to make my vanilla bourbon loaves. I addressed, put return address labels and stamps on, but still need to sign my Christmas cards, decorate the envelopes and mail them. The tree is up and lights on, still need to decorate it and the rest of the house. I also need to clean and do the regular things. I wonder if I can get the next 2 Thursdays off from work?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

St. Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day!
Today the folks came up and Dad and I went to get my Christmas tree. We chose this beautiful frasier fir. We got it all set up and put the lights on it. I'll decorate it in the next few days. I love having the Christmas tree in the house. Seneca was really checking it out, Barrett hasn't paid it any attention, and Callie hasn't even been down to look at it. Aleister never comes downstairs.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Photo Friday - Fudge

Every year I try to do some holiday baking. I never seem to get around to making cookies (thank Heaven's I have Mom and my friend, Kim, for that) but I do make fudge and my vanilla bourbon loaves. I needed to make the fudge yesterday as I wanted to send some to England. (Yes, Trish, tell Andrew I did it in time this year and he'll have some for Christmas) OK-recipe. That's where I had a problem. The recipe was in my computer's hard drive...my old computer. However, I put all my documents on a CD. No problem. Problem. My new computer's CD drive is not working. OK. Check my binder to see if I had printed out the recipe. No. OK. I knew it came from the Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk label. It wasn't on any new labels (believe me I looked through all the cans at Wegmans) so I checked the website. I found a few fudge recipes-but none looked right. OK. Try to fix the CD drive. I went through all the steps. Still doesn't work. OK. Unhook new computer and hook up old computer. Easy. Turn on and wait. And wait. Realize why I needed new computer. Try to pull up documents. Word not responding. A million pop ups in slow motion about unresponsive program. Finally access one document. Try to print. Old computer doesn't recognize new printer. OK. Try to format new printer. Does not recognize new installation software. OK. Get Internet to open and find e-mail. Send documents to myself. Unhook old computer, hookup new computer. Open e-mail. Click on document which starts to open in Office Word. Word automatically shuts down. Everytime I try. OK. Call Mom. She gives me the recipe and I make the fudge. Sigh. No wonder I never get anything done!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

She did it!

For the past few weeks I've been looking for my nail clippers. I use them to trim Calumet's nails. I've been wanting...make that needing... to trim hers for a while now. They are needle sharp and she still likes to hold on to me. I also need them to trim a hangnail of my own. As I said, I can't find them! Mom said that Callie probably hid them. Last night Callie climbed on my lap and I decided to check her nails-even knowing I couldn't do anything about them without the clippers. Calumet let me look at every nail without even squirming. (She shrieks and writhes when I cut her nails and makes Barrett come running to check that she's OK.) That was the proof I needed. She let me look because she knew I didn't have the clippers. She DID hide them!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Forgot!

I have so much on my mind and so many things to do-I'm getting forgetful. I have a doctor's appointment today, a regular checkup. I got my phone reminder last week, knew I was going Tuesday...yet on the way home from work last night I realized-I never got my blood work done! I get my blood work done ahead of time so that we can discuss it and make any necessary changed to my medication. I completely forgot about it. I didn't write it down and I should have. Oh well. I'll get it drawn after my appointment. How annoying though.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Lights

Thank goodness for timers. I love outside Christmas lights. I love seeing them and I love displaying them myself. I'm so grateful for automatic timers. Since I work the evening shift, I usually leave for work while it's still light. I'd hate to turn the lights on so early, and then leave them on so late. Even if I wasn't working those hours, I'm sure I'd forget to turn them on in time. That's why I love the timers. Everything's set up and the lights automatically turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. I know some people turn off their lights when they go to bed. My folks do. I'd ask you to reconsider. I love being able to see the lights on my way home from work. When I worked night shift as a police officer I enjoyed seeing them on my rounds. So, think it over, and perhaps keep those lights on all night. I'm sure people will enjoy them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taking Turns

The cats sleep on my bed with me. Seneca got in the habit of sleeping on my pillow, above my head. I didn't like this arrangement as she'd often pull my hair while changing positions or try to take the whole pillow. I'd wake up with only an inch of pillow. No deal, cat! I got another human pillow and put that lengthwise next to my pillow. Generally, Aleister will sleep next to me on the left side and Seneca will sleep on the pillow on the right with Calumet at the foot of the bed. However, Seneca and Calumet seem to take turns with the pillow. Seneca slept there last night and Callie did the night before. Sometimes Aleister will sleep there too. Generally they are nice about sharing and taking turns. One night, however, Callie was on the pillow and Seneca came on the bed and looked at her, as if telling her, "get out of my spot". Callie got up and seemed like she was getting off, then got this look on her face like, "Wait a minute. Why should I?" and she reached out, smacked Seneca and lay back down. Seneca went to the foot of the bed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Day

I just got back from Buffalo after spending the day celebrating Thanksgiving with my folks. Everyone who has worked in 24/7 occupations understands that the holiday doesn't necessarily occur on it's regular day-you make it the day you have off of work. For us, today was Turkey Day. We started with breakfast (blueberry and cherry blintzes), then snacks (potato chips with leek dip) and champagne while watching Disney Christmas cartoons and Christmas movies (Miracle on 34th Street-the original in B&W-no colorization nonsense here-and Christmas Vacation). Then on to dinner. The full blown Thanksgiving Meal-turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffed celery, cranberry sauce, jello mold, yams, and peas and carrots. I skipped the last 3 menu items. Then we had a pumpkin ice cream cake. Delicious. Now I'm back home in my pjs, wanting to take a nap, but it's too late for a nap and too early to go to bed! Another Thanksgiving over-Christmas less than a month away!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photo Phriday - The Christmas Season Begins

And so it begins. Today is the official beginning of the Christmas Season. I turned the car radio on to Warm 101.3 where I will enjoy the "holiday gift of music" for the rest of the year. I put the Christmas light timers on "from dawn to dusk" and put out the lit Christmas present and large bulbs. I also changed the white mini lights in my lantern to multicolored. I'd better get in gear and start getting the inside of the house ready. Yea Christmastime!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Here's wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful for so much. Although this has been a difficult year, I really am so lucky to be able to live the life I lead. Thank you to my family and friends. Thanks to my animals: Barrett, Aleister, Seneca, Calumet, Palin, Leon, Josef, Snickers, Vito, Vinnie, Paulie, and Harley. I'm grateful that I have a job (even if I'm none too pleased with it) that allows me to care for all my kids and enjoy my hobbies. I'm so thankful for my wonderful house-even though the bathroom is too small, it doesn't have a dishwasher, and still needs lots of work-I love my home. Thanks too to all of my readers, those I know personally, those I know from this site and others, and those who merely take a glimpse.
Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Love Lucy

I love Lucy. I do. I Love Lucy is one of my favorite TV shows. I always liked it, but I've recently become even more enamored of it. I'm intrigued by the behind the scene story. All the breakthrough tech things they brought to television. I love learning the trivia and more. I also don't really consider it dated. I think it bravely stands the test of time. I'm almost done reading Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball by Stefan Kanter. It's a wonderful biography that starts before Lucille is even born and takes us through her career driven life. I thought it so interesting that through the first part of the book, Lucille Ball was consistently called Lucille. Why not Lucy? That's what everyone calls her. That's what I thought. Actually everybody called her Lucille...until Desi. "I didn't like the name Lucille. That name had been used by other men. 'Lucy' was mine alone." I highly recommend the book. I also intend on reading her autobiography and I'll be on the lookout for Desi's as well. (His is entitled A Book, hers, Love, Lucy.) Next year I'm going to make it a point to take a trip to Jamestown, NY and visit their museum. In the meantime, I intend to watch I Love Lucy Tuesdays through Thursdays before I go to work. Lucy makes life a little brighter. I love Lucy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Driving

It was winter driving conditions coming home from work last night (11:30 PM). There was a mixture of rain and snow falling from the heavens and the ground was slush. The windshield wipers were going and the windows kept wanting to fog up-an stay that way. The roads were a combination slush and snow and were quite slick. Once I got off the highway I had to activate the 4 wheel drive, even then I hit part of an icy patch and felt it. I'm so glad I got my new tires...and new brakes..and I'm grateful that I have 4 wheel drive!

Monday, November 24, 2008

So Annoying

Work is so annoying. I was scheduled to go to a class Monday morning, so I'd be off Monday evening. I get to work Sunday and discover I haven't been taken off the schedule, someone else called in, so I can't go to class and need to go to work. That, of course, throws off all my plans. Then everyone was bickering. Just so annoying, I can barely stand it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Things Accomplished

It's almost time to get ready for work. I'm trying a new recipe now (Mediterranean style chicken), then it'll be time to get dressed. I did accomplish quite a bit last night. I finished (almost) my ATCs. I say almost as I have to print the labels and put them on the back-but the cards themselves are done. I also wrapped a bunch of presents. Now I need to find appropriate sized boxes and I'll be another stop closer. I want to mail as many of them as I can around the first of December, which, frighteningly, isn't that far away! The weather, however, has been more like January than November around here. I don't think we got out of the 20s yesterday and around 11PM they said it was 16!!! It's a little warmer today. Well, lunch is at the stage I need to watch carefully-so I'm off.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Almost Over

Today is the last day of my little vacation. I hardly got anything that I had planned to do done. I was going to wrap the Christmas gifts I have to ship and box them all up. Not one present wrapped. I was going to decorate the house for Christmas since I had the time. I took down most of the fall (some I was planning to leave until after Thanksgiving) but no Christmas indoor decorations are up. I did put up the outside lights. I just have to add a few things after Turkey Day. I was going to finish my ATCs for the month and get at least one recipe page done for the swap. I should finish the ATCs tonight, I have some fussy cutting to do and then attach all the pieces. Not even a hint of the recipe swap page done. I was going to start rat introductions. I held Leon while the others sniffed him. No formal introductions started. I haven't even cleaned Josef and Snicker's cage yet. Didn't wash the kitchen floor or do any cleaning for that matter. I did do some laundry. And I mailed all my Thanksgiving cards. In just under 23 hours I'll be back at work, so I have some time left...actually, I just want to take a nap!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Phriday - Sylvester the Salescat

I had to go to my rat's vet today to pick up prescriptions for both Palin and Leon. When I went in I glanced at the handmade cat comforters they had for sale and saw Sylvester, one of the office cats, inside. Apparently, the basket was empty the other day and he made himself at home. When they refilled the basket he just smooshed down the products and made himself comfortable! The people there tell him that those aren't for him, that they're for sale. You can see how that impresses him. I say he gives them a good review!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow Globe

I feel as if I'm in a snow globe. The snow is lightly falling outside. So far I'm staying in. I need to put the rest of the Christmas lights on outside. I should go ride Harley...or at least get groceries. I did a little work on an altered book project...and I need to make a decision about my ATC design. First, however, I'm going to fix lunch and watch I Love Lucy. I love being on vacation!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Light Conspiracy

It's a conspiracy. A Christmas light conspiracy. I swear they make it so the lights only last one season, then you have to buy all new! I bought new lights last year-only two strands now work. Two other strands have only half the lights working. I only buy 100 light strands too. So frustrating! I'm off to buy even more lights, the 7 packs my mom and I bought weren't enough! Grrrr.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter

Winter has arrived! I woke up this morning to snow...lots of snow...including snow covered streets. Fortunately, the roads cleared by the time I left for my lesson and they remained clear while I ran errands. Works for me, as long as the roads are fine it can snow all it wants! I had a great lesson. I thought Harley would really be up (horses tend to get quite frisky in brisk weather) but I could barely get him going. I even had to use the crop! I heard he and his buddies were running around the pasture like maniacs yesterday. I guess he's still tuckered out! But he was listening and I did pretty well. We cantered some very nice circles. I forgot to bring the carrots I got for him, but he got some of the butterscotch treats I keep there. The folks are planning on coming up tomorrow-as long as the roads are fine. I'll wait til the morning, but I guess I'll have to shovel the walk. Yes, winter is here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mini Vacation

I'm on a mini vacation! I was denied yesterday off work, but I'm off for the rest of the week. Yea! Today is my lazy day. My lesson had to be rescheduled for tomorrow so I got to sleep in as late as I wanted with no alarm. Barrett let me sleep in too! I plan on staying in my PJ's all day and goofing around the house. It's snowing, and sticking, so it's a nice day to stay in. I've got a Holiday Sage Yankee Candle burning and I plan to catch up on the TV shows I taped last week, do some crafting, check the outside Christmas lights, clean the rat cages and relax and have fun. Three cheers for vacation time!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Must Have More!

Do you know why stampers have a million stamps and yet always want more? It's because we get these scathingly brilliant ideas, yet, as we go through our multitude of stamps we just can't find what we need! I'm in that state now, I'm trying to design my two pages for my first two recipes (as well as my divider for the section) for the recipe swap. I'm flummoxed. The category is appetizers. My first recipe is a ham roll up with cream cheese and pickle and my second (I think) is a bacon quiche cup. Now I know I won't find a ham roll up or a quiche cup rubber stamp. Maybe some pigs and a pickle? Actually, I just thought of a concept for the roll ups. It's kind of a pinwheel, so circles might work. Hmmmm. The design doesn't have to be food related, but I'd kind of like it to be. Maybe a pinwheel or circle paper with pickle brads? Do they make pickle brads? As for the bacon quiche perhaps a pig in a beret? I have a top hat stamp, but I don't have a beret...I don't think, I do have some unmounted ladies hats, I'll have to check. I do have lots of fruit stamps, tons of beverages, some veggies and herbs. Hmmm, my stamp collection may have to inspire my recipes and not vice versa.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recipe Swap

I joined a Recipe Swap group at my local paper crafting store and we had our first meeting yesterday. We meet once a month for 7 months and we create a recipe book. Yesterday we personalized our album and put together a recipe page the leader designed. Each month we decide on a recipe based on the month's topic (our first is appetizers). Then we design a recipe page and make one for everyone in the group. Since our group was small (4 plus the leader, but one woman is making 2 books) we decided to share 2 recipes a month. So, we need to make 12 pages a month! Then we can bring in some of our goodies, distribute the pages, and make another page designed by the leader the following month. It's nice to get out of the house and the place is only about 10 minutes away, so it's very convenient. It's going to be fun and a lot of work. I'll definitely need to set aside crafting time!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo Phriday - Frederick Douglas

This statue of the great orator Frederick Douglas is located in Highland Park in Rochester, NY. I passed by it on the way home from my doctor's office and thought I'd stop to take a picture.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too Early

On the way home from work last night I saw two places with Christmas lights on! Not just up, illuminated. I fully believe in putting the lights up early-while the weather's decent-but I don't turn them on until the day after Thanksgiving. We're two weeks until Thanksgiving! Maybe the house considered them Thanksgiving lights. They had the bushes adorned in red and white lights. However, the business had snowflakes! Perhaps they just were testing them and didn't realize they'd be on for good. I love Christmas, but let's get to Thanksgiving first!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bags!

I've always tried to be environmentally conscious. Years ago I bought those cloth fabric "earth friendly" bags with which to carry my groceries. I remember them costing about $7 over 15 years ago. Not too many places had them, and gradually they fell out of use. Now more and more stores are promoting fabric bags-and this time the price is right! Most places offer the bags for only $1! And almost everyplace sells them! Of course, this makes a collector's eyes glow! I love these bags and I buy them from everyplace I go! I have some from grocery stores:Wegmans(the sturdiest in my opinion), Tops, and IGA, big stores:Target and Walmart (2 different styles), even a fabric store:JoAnns! My most unique, however, is from a winery. From Heritage Wine Cellars I have a bag that holds 3 wine bottles. They also had ones that carry 2 and 6 bottles. So, if you're looking for an inexpensive gift for me-send me a bag from a store that's local to you! Now...if I can just remember to put the bags in my car and then take them into the stores with me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Days

How can days get to be so confusing? All day Monday I was thinking it was Tuesday. I don't know why. I went to the barn, as I do on Mondays. I wasn't on vacation. But then on Sunday I was thinking I had worked the night before, which I hadn't. This weekend went by so fast for me-maybe that's what screwed me up. Hopefully, my days will return to normal soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

House History

Yesterday afternoon there was a knock at my front door. Oftentimes I'll ignore it, but I decided to answer it. Am I glad I did! There were two guys who said they were in from out of state. It turns out that their grandfather built my house! It was great talking with them. Their grandfather built this place from a catalog in, they think, 1921. It was always a 4 bedroom home (my mom always thought the master bedroom was the whole side of the house and later divided into 2) and the toilet room (which I figured was once a pantry) was always a toilet room. Pretty impressive for 1921, although, having the milk box in the toilet was a bit odd! The space under the sun room was a cistern and they had planned to knock the wall down too-but didn't. They said they saw how the previous owner had let things get rundown and were pleased I was making it so nice. I'm going to send them pictures and they'll do the same. It's so wonderful to discover the history of my house.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fat Free

Some things that are reduced fat and even fat free are good and tasty. Pringles Light fat free sour cream and onion chips are not.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Catalogs

It's that time of year. More and more catalogs are delivered to my mailbox. Not that I'm complaining. I LOVE looking through catalogs. Oftentimes I order from them too, but even if I don't, I enjoy seeing what's out there. Believe me, I get some unique ones-I got one about mushrooms!

One of my favorite catalogs came today, What On Earth. They have neat international things as well as classic stuff. I saw a whole page of goodies from the Christmas special, The Year Without A Santa Claus. You know, the one with Snow Miser and Heat Miser. I love those guys. Of course, the tune is now running through my head. In addition to bobble heads and t-shirts of the stepbrothers they had some figure sets. Looking at the picture there were 6 main characters, plus heat and snow minions and other extras. Cute, until I saw the price $59.95. Ouch. Then I saw "per set". Sure enough the group was actually divided in half-so if you wanted everyone (and of course, you need everyone) it would be $120!!! When did toys get so expensive...I guess when they became collectibles!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Flu Shot

I did it. I got the flu shot yesterday. This is the first year I've gotten one. I've always been kind of against it, but I've been so sick this year. Combine that with working where I do, the fact that I could get it for free while on duty. So I went with a coworker and did it. It didn't hurt. My coworker has a sore arm and I'm a bit dizzy, but who knows if it's all psychosomatic. At any rate, I'd better not get sick any more this year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New President!

It's a historic day in the United States as we congratulate our first black president. I hope that Barack Obama is able to help guide our country on a better path. I hope we're finally able to make inroads to help the environment, instead of destroying it. I'm also curious to read more details about the election and see how different states voted, but for now, I'm going to bed. I know these things take time and I must be patient. I just hope Bush doesn't destroy more wildlife before Obama gets sworn in!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!

Go, get out to your polling place and vote! It's not that difficult and it means the world...literally. I cast my vote-go cast yours!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Souls Day

On All Souls Day, I like to take time to remember those who have passed on. To all my animals, friends, and family, you remain in my heart. I'm especially thinking of the recent losses-Gilliam, Flurry, Slipper, and Gus. Also Brioche who died a year ago this summer and Aunt Bert who died on this day. Remember the good times, they support us in the bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

I am tired this All Saints Day. I woke up early to go to a garage sale at my local paper crafting store. These women can be vicious. It was a grab and run and slither in between trying to get the best deals on things people didn't want anymore. I got some great rubber stamps and embellishments. I haven't had time to sort through my loot yet. The folks were already at my house when I returned home. We did a lot of "finish up yard work", prepping for winter. They helped me put up the storm windows. Dad mowed for the last time this year. Mom and I did some raking and pruning. Then Mom and I drove Barrett to a park for a nice walk. Barrett even managed a large obstacle-which I'll write about later. After warming back up a bit at home, we went for lunch. Now I'm just checking things out online and then time for a nap. I'm practically falling asleep as it is. (Thus the delay in writing about Barrett's walk.) I'll choose a saint to think about for this holiday. Do you have a favorite saint?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Photo Phriday - Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I wanted a picture of a black cat with the pumpkin, but, Aleister was not at all cooperative with the photo shoot. Calumet, however, was interested in the pumpkin-so we got a grey cat and a pumpkin. Imagine she's the Grey Lady! I hope everyone has a safe and fun Samhain!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat

My car needed new tires, so I dropped it off last night. My mechanic just called. He was replacing the tires when he discovered my front brakes were just about gone. At least he'll be able to fix everything before I have to leave for work. If it's not one thing...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Snow!

I woke up super early (for me anyway, LOL) to go to a class for work. I looked out my window and saw snow on my garage roof! I just let Barrett back in the house and he's covered in snowflakes. Fortunately, it's melting on the pavement. Brrr. Baby it's cold outside. Fall is here and winter's coming fast!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who is it?


After watching Doctor Who on PBS last week Austin City Limits came on. I was preparing for bed, but left the TV on. I wasn't paying much attention and heard the announcer say Jacob Somebody was on. Then I glanced up and saw Bob Dylan. Only it was Bob Dylan circa 1963. Hat and all. Then he sang. My God! He sounded like Bob Dylan. The voice was a bit more musical, but the inflection was the same. It couldn't be Bob Dylan, but... I was so confused...and amazed. It turns out it was Jakob Dylan-sure enough, Bob Dylan's son!






Monday, October 27, 2008

GI Bug

I went to the doctor today. Apparently, I have the GI bug that's going around. He said I was the 4th person he saw today with it. The virus decided to settle behind my eardrum-thus the dizziness and nausea. He told me to take Tylenol for the chills and fever (the nurse said my temp was normal, but he thought I felt warm), eat bland foods, and get plenty of sleep. I'll probably take tomorrow off of work and well and go back Wednesday for a class. Hopefully, I'll be well soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Raw

This entry may sound disgusting, but it's the truth. I like to eat meat. It's true. I am an animal and lots of animals eat meat. Like a lot of my fellow animals, I like my meat rare-the bloodier the better. In fact, I would love to try steak tartar, if I could find a reputable chef who could make it. At any rate, I bought some beef flank steak that I was going to prepare for lunch. A simple meal-I cut up the beef into bite size pieces, pour on some garlic powder and diced onion, I add a little soy sauce, then I fry it up and serve over rice. I was cutting the meat and it looked so good. I mean ready to eat good. It almost seemed as if I could eat it right like that! I'm not pregnant and I'm fairly certain I'm not possessed by the devil, but I wanted to eat a piece of that meat right then and there. I didn't and right now it's cooking on the stove top. I wonder if it's because I'm sick. Weird.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wine Fridge

I need a bigger wine fridge. I met up with my Ohio friends in Pennsylvania for our yearly Christmas present swap (and we wait until Christmas to open them), lunch, and winery tastings, or should I say sippings. All wineries combined I bought over a case of wine! I generally can only get these wines once a year-so I have to make them last! I believe Mazza makes the best Concord, I love Penn Shore's Kir, then we stopped at 2 wineries where we usually don't stop-Arrowhead and Heritage Cellars and I picked up a bunch at each. Then on my way home I stopped at Sparkling Ponds for their Woman Pleaser. I also hit The Sugar Shack and a dog bakery. Lots of good stuff.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Phriday - Pizza & Wings

The quintessential Western New York Meal!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sick

I have had too much sickness this year. Two days ago at work I started getting chills. Then I was fine. Then I got congested, but not too bad. However, soon the stomach issues began. I went to work yesterday, but felt progressively worse with nausea and lightheadedness. I feel a bit better now. We'll see what happens when I wake up. I may call in sick to work. Everyone there is sick too. The timing just sucks. I have a ton to do Friday and I'm going out of town...heck, out of state, Saturday. Let me be sick Sunday, or preferably, not at all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Trees?!?

While Monday was a glorious autumn day, crisp and sunny, Tuesday was a blustery fall day, rainy and cold. After work I went to the grocery store. I pulled up in the dark almost midnight hour and to my amazement in the front display window I saw Christmas trees. Lit Christmas trees. On display. More than a week before Halloween. True, it was cold and we were expecting snow flurries, but, come on!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Litter

People who litter really piss me off. The scenery is lovely, then you see all the trash alongside the road. The worst bit is the jerks who toss their refuse on your property. Empty bottles, candy wrappers, fast food bags, paper cups, papers, and cigarette butts are thrown on my lawn by passersby. It takes a lot of work to make my property look nice and these idiots just destroy it with their litter. Why should I have to clean up after you? Find a trash can or put your garbage in your pocket til you get home. Keep the environment, especially my yard, clean!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Books

I keep track of all of the books I read. Unfortunately, I've misplaced some of these notebooks and slips of paper. Now, in addition to writing them in a notebook, I keep track of them on www.goodreads.com . I wish I had them all in on place though. Oh well, perhaps from this point on...?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

House Prices

I just don't get it. How can people afford to pay so much for a house? I watch some of those shows on HGTV, like My House is Worth What?, House Hunters, and so on. I can't believe some of these houses. They are nightmares and, often due to their location, asking for half a million dollars. Then there are the nice houses, but again the asking price is $300,000 or more. What gets me are the young, first time buyers. "We have a budget of $275,000." How? How can people afford that? I made a good profit from the sale of my first house, but I still couldn't afford more than $100,000 on my second. I make a decent salary, but I couldn't pay a $1,000 month mortgage. It was frustrating as in this area I could have found almost a dream home for under $200,000. At any rate, I'm happy with my home and I'll just continue to shake my head at the prices other people pay. Maybe this is why there's such a housing crisis.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Autumnal Pleasures

What a glorious fall day. There was a chill in the air early this morning...well, there was a chill in the air all day, but especially in the morning. The sun was shining though as I drove my folks out to the Finger Lakes. What a beautiful drive at this time of year. It's always nice, but the leaves were in all their autumnal splendor and it was especially gorgeous. There's not much out there-just fields, grapes, and trees. We went to a few wineries and had a lunch with the most fantastic grape pie. If you've never been to central New York you've probably never had it, but it sure is a treat. I grew up in Western New York and it's not known there-it's one of the best parts of living in this area in the fall. At any rate, the pie here was the best I've ever had. They sold whole pies too and my mom and I were each going to buy one. Unfortunately, they only had one left. Mom got it-but I got a slice from it. Better than nothing! Autumn is my favorite time of year and it's nice to be in this area where I can fully enjoy it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Phriday - Library

Friday is library day. I like to go on the same day, and a day off, so I'll know when books are due and be able to return them. There are 3 libraries nearby that I frequent, but my favorite is across town. They have a great mystery section. I ran out of time today and just went to a close by branch. I was able to find several good books, some new series, as well as some from mystery series with which I need to catch up. I'm just grateful that we have a good library system here-I can't afford to buy all the books I read!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hugs

I read an interesting article. Unfortunately, I don't have it here to give better details. The article was about hugs. It said when you hug someone, you increase a certain hormone that has to do with bonding. Therefore the more you hug someone, the more attached and more "together" you become. I thought that was very interesting. I'm not a very touchy feely person and don't often like to hug others. I guess hugging is very beneficial, maybe I should try it more often. Who have you hugged today?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New One

Just before leaving work a patient got mad at me and had a bit of a temper tantrum. He jumped on his bed and managed to pry his locker from it's bolt on the wall and tried to push it on me. That's a new one. He missed me; just knocked over his dresser and damaged the key box on the wall. What an idiot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Change of Plans

I went to the barn yesterday, but Harley was out in the far pasture. In order to get him I'd have to walk a good distance (no biggie) then open the gate between the far and middle pasture without letting the mares into the far pasture (a little tricky) get Harley (easy) then open the gate to bring him out without any of the other geldings coming along and not let any of the mares in (very difficult). Barb offered to help. I was going to get him, then decided not to ride. I'd go grocery shopping instead and ride Tuesday. So that's what I did. I'm sure Harley liked that decision-he could play and graze all day. I'll make him work today. I just have to make myself get up early!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Indian Summer

It seems as if Indian Summer is here. I turned off the furnace a few days ago and the house is quite comfortable. No waking up to temperatures in the 50's. Actually, I don't think it's even getting that cold outside. We were in the upper 70's yesterday and may be close to 80 today. This weather is absolutely glorious as the humidity has been low and the skies clear. I just hope it doesn't get too hot!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stuff

I have a lot of stuff. I freely admit it. I am a collector, but I am also a pack rat. The problem is that I don't have a place, a proper place, for all of the stuff. I'm working on it-but it's kind of insurmountable. We cleaned the carpets downstairs last week-so everything is off the floors. Great. However, the table tops are piled high. I do my fabric cutting on the dining room table-but there's so much stuff on it, I can't cut fabric! Sorry rats. If I were to get the stuff quickly off the table, it'd wind up on the floor. I need to clear the tables soon for the holidays. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tired Out

Barrett is all tired out. He's napping on his bed right now. He got up early and was so excited to see his grandparents this morning. He got treats, good stuff, AKA people food, too. Grandma brought the animals chicken and in addition Barrett got some of the kabanosi they brought for me, but he still tried to get some of our breakfast sandwiches. Of course Grandma gave him some of hers. Then he was crying and pawing at both of my folks. Mom and I went to the farmer's market and Dad gave him a steak bone. When we returned he was begging for more. Then he wanted to play. Mom and I were hanging curtains and he was bringing his tennis ball and running around the house with it. Then he opened the cabinet and dumped out the garbage...twice. He was full of piss and vinegar. But he's all tuckered out now. My little devil now looks like a little angel.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo Phriday - Fall at the Stable

Today was a beautiful Indian Summer day. After a pleasant ride with Harley I let him graze with me and I took this photo: the colors of autumn with the mares in the far pasture. Here's Harley grazing.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Attraction

Attraction is an interesting thing. There are guys who I find attractive, I may even get to know them and like them...but I just can't picture having sex with them. Not that I necessarily would have or even want to have that opportunity, but do other people experience attraction like that? Even though I'm not looking for a man, every guy I see I automatically categorize: Nope, Possible, Attractive But Not For Me, Attractive I Could See Us Together But Not Really Intimately, Attractive I Could See Us Together in Every Sense of the Word, & OMG How Hot Can You Be?! In time some guys even change categories. Interesting. Is it similar for you?

In case you're wondering the picture above is Methos a character portrayed by Peter Wingfield. He fits into the Attractive I Could See Us Together in Every Sense of the Word category. Maybe even the OMG How Hot Can You Be?! Hmmm, must watch Highlander to see him again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Nice Sandwich

Work has been so busy that lately I've been bringing a sandwich in for lunch, as a microwave meal would take to long to fix and eat. Monday I got some nice luncheon meat and yesterday I made a nice sandwich to take to work. It had turkey and salami and provolone cheese. I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. I had a doctor's appointment before work, and I wouldn't come home in between and I also needed to drop some things off at the post office. I took my nice sandwich out and put it in a bag with flavored water, a granola bar, and some Starbursts and put it on some things on a chair in the kitchen-so it was at table level. A little later I grabbed all the stuff and left for the post office, a little later than I planned. I dropped off the cards and headed to my appointment. I looked over and didn't see my lunch. I must have left it at home. So I stopped home, now I was really later than I wanted to be. I looked-the bag wasn't on the chair. Did I have it in the car all along and just not seen it? I looked on the table-not there. Then I glanced in the dining room. And saw the bag. On the floor. Chewed apart. Sandwich gone. Barrett had eaten my nice sandwich and it was too late to make another one. The peanut butter jar was out so I quickly grabbed 2 sliced of bread and slapped some peanut butter on. Then I really had to make time to get to the doctor. Drat that dog. At least he got to enjoy my nice sandwich.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Purina and Breast Cancer

What do cat chow and breast cancer have in common? I'm not sure, but the two are teamed up to help. Following is a copy of an e-mail a friend from Texas sent me telling about an easy way to donate-without opening your wallet.

If you go to Purina cat chow's web site & take a test on your knowledge of breast cancer, they will donate $1.00 to the Susan G. Komen foundation. The questions are not difficult & you keep going until you guess right.
Only 5 questions. Here's the website:
site:
http://www.catchow.com/pink/?DCMP...HQS=donate
Please pass it along to everyone you know ... thanks!!

I only got 2 questions right. How about you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Heat

Well, I did it. I turned the heat on...and kept it on. However, I set the thermostat for 60 degrees, colder than I normally do for the winter. I give in...but not completely!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Heat

I refused to turn the furnace on. It's too early in the year and the cost is going to be high this winter. However, my folks came up yesterday, so for them I had to turn it on. I turned it back off, but when I woke up this morning, it was again 56 in the house. The rats have dragged fleece bits into their igloos and have barricaded themselves in. The rest of us don't seem to mind. I don't want burst pipes, however. I may decide to set it at like 60 and turn it on. It's almost noon and is 57 in the house. I wonder what it is outside? Probably warmer.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Greed

Is greed the downfall of America? Greedy CEOs screw up Wall Street, yet walk away with million dollar pensions while we in the middle class will have to pay more taxes as we struggle with rising costs. In Buffalo, NY the Buffalo Bills are having a great season (knock on wood) and now Channel 4 wants to charge Time Warner Cable for the games-which are free. The cable company said no, as then they'd have to make the consumers pay more. The TV said OK-no games for your people. As of today, none of the Buffalo fans who have cable can watch the Bills football games. In Rochester, NY buses have lowered their rates so more people will ride. In Buffalo, NY more people are riding buses-so now the buses want to raise their rates. Now I'm all for people getting their fair share-but this is ridiculous. Greed may bring us all to an unpleasant end.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Photo Phriday - Figure

I have always been intrigued by this figure...and it's location.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Job Security

I heard some things that got me a little anxious today. People at work are actually concerned about layoffs. They say not to be too concerned as our job title comes from the jail system and we'd just go to the prisons. But what if I finally get offered another job. And take it. Last one in first one out. Could I actually lose my job? It never seemed possible before. The I got home and got an e-mail from the EAP coordinator at work. Her last day is the 15th. She was part time and now she'll be gone. They stated it was due to budget cuts and her title. It's said the US may be entering another Great Depression. Is it true? Will I be able to maintain my current standard of living? I'm not exorbitant, but I spend a bit. Lots of little things. I'm going to try to just go on and not get too concerned over the issue, but, it has given me pause.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's October!

It's October! The holiday season is practically here. The weather is a bit cooler and it's been gray and rainy for days-today being no exception. I have to turn the lights on in the daytime so I can see in the house! I need to finish decorating for fall so I can get the decoration boxes back in the attic. The folks are coming up Saturday and we're going to clean the carpets, so I have to get everything off the floor. I also need to wrap some Christmas presents. I'm meeting my Ohio friends in Pennsylvania later this month and we swap gifts then. But, more about that later. There's so much to do and I feel this season will be going by quickly. I'm glad I got a head start on my Halloween cards! I'd better get lunch going, then it'll be time to go to work.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gilliam

Gilliam
August 1, 2006-September 30, 2008
Gilliam crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. He had been sick, but was improving greatly. I heard no breathing difficulties for weeks and his appetite was back. In fact, early this morning he stole a yogie from his brother's mouth. Twice. Needless to say, I was shocked to find his body. He led a good life with me. He was a sweet rat with a gentle disposition. His brother, Palin, and I, and Leon, will miss him greatly.

Where?

I saw a commercial that asked, "Where do you want to be?" While it's a legitimate question that I'm asked personally time to time, it's one to which I don't have a good answer. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10? I don't know. I don't have a goal. Should I? Perhaps. I know a few things. Where do I want to be? Here, in my current home. I have no plan or desire to leave. With my animals. I know they will cross the rainbow bridge in time and others will become a part of my life, but some animals will always be a part of my life. Will I always have a horse? I'm not sure. Will I always have a dog? Maybe, maybe not. Will I always have cats and rats? Yes. Any other species? Perhaps. A husband? Doubtful. Human children? Hell no. And I've been saying that forever. Job? I pray not the one I have now. I just can't see myself working as muscle when I'm 55, let alone by the time I'm able to retire. Maybe I'll get permission to use a cane and be able to whack patients with it. Doubtful. What job will I have? Wish I knew. But I do know that, for the most part, I really like my life. I truly enjoy my time away from work, at home doing the many things I enjoy-crafting, reading, goofing off on the computer, watching TV, collecting, corresponding with friends and family, having fun. Where do I want to be? I don't know, but I do know I intend to have fun getting there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Yumm

A while ago I got this great fancy jam from Hurd Orchards. I had this great idea. I got these plain sugar cookies and then spread a little jam on top. Yumm. Try it yourself, just make sure it's a fresh cookie and a good quality jam.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Building While Destroying

I don't get it. The US economy sucks. Houses are selling at an all time low (well, maybe not all time, but you get the picture) and foreclosures are rampant. Why is it then, that developers are destroying our green spaces, beautiful forests, and agricultural sites, to build new developments? Cookie Cutter houses with association fees, rules, and community mailboxes, that you couldn't pay me to live in. It's disgusting. I also saw green space knocked down for a new, tiny, shopping center. But, get this, there's a sign saying "now leasing". So they ruined the land, built the buildings and don't even have anyone to move it. They did the same thing a few blocks up and that place is still empty. "Build it and they will come" my sweet bippie! Leave some green space. Stop stupid development.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barktober Fest 2008

I made it! Today was the day. The biggest fundraiser of the year for Lollypop Farm, my local Humane Society. With the help of family, friends, and co-workers I raised $530!!!! Thanks so much to everyone who supported me, I couldn't have done it without you! I don't know the final figures, but my team raised over $1200!! I'm curious how much was raised totally, we'll find out soon, I'm sure. I had a lot of fun today as well. The weather didn't completely cooperate. It started raining and drizzly, then got humid and overcast. The walk was a mile and a half, it was quite beautiful as a good portion of it was spend it the woods, however there were huge hills. It was tiring! There were tons of people and lots of dogs! There were water stations all over with dog bowls filled for the pooches. There was lots of other stuff going on as well. Tents with booths selling mainly dog related merchandise, although there was some cat stuff (I got a homemade catnip toy), and services. Lots of free swag too-Barrett got 3 frisbees! I also won at Tombola-Barrett got a pair of dog boots for the snow! Since I was part of a team I got free sandwiches, but for everyone else they were selling hot dogs and hamburgers with profits benefiting Lollypop. There was also fun obedience trials, agility, and contests-people who looked like their pet, costume, and dogs bobbing for hot dogs. They also had beer-for a donation. I tried Dundee's Pale Bock Lager. Delicious. It's a local beer manufactured by the High Falls Brewing Company. All in all a wonderful day for a wonderful cause!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Photo Phriday - Fall Fundraiser

Barktober Fest is one sign that fall is rapidly approaching-these trees are another. Autumn is encroaching on summer. These trees are proof that fall has begun.I'd like to thank everyone that has sponsored me in my walk for the animals, Barktober Fest at Lollypop Farm. Tomorrow's walk is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Humane Society, which relies on public donations to survive. Today is the last day to contribute for me, so if you haven't done so yet, please, sponsor me and help me help the animals.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Made it!

I made it through my first day back at work. It was busy and active with several camelots (emergency calls), restraints, and more hands on. I'm glad I only work one more day before I have 2 days off. I'm not looking forward to working a full week. Work is rough and it's certainly no better than when I left. There are so many issues going on it's not even funny. Oh well. I'm going to relax and watch the shows I taped while I was at work. One of them anyway. Right after I pour a glass of wine and make a snack.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to Work

It's back to work today. I have to leave a bit early to return my Doctor Who DVDs to the library and get to work a bit early to catch up on stuff. I did get some things accomplished at home while I was off, not near what I would have liked, but still. I just went out to water some plants and the yard looks nice. There's just something about a freshly mowed lawn. Everything looks crisp and clean, even the weeds! It's time to fix lunch and watch I Love Lucy, then get ready for work. Here's hoping for a good evening.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Last Day

Today is my last day off, I return to work tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to it, I'm just trying to avoid thinking about it and enjoy this day. My folks were up this morning, bringing delightful breakfast sandwiches from my dad's little store. (No, he doesn't own it, it's just a little place he found.) We worked in the yard and I must say the front looks great. Of course, it isn't finished, heck, a garden is never finished. But it looks nice. The ground was too hard to easily transplant the hydrangea, so that'll wait for another time. I always wanted a blue hydrangea at the front of my house. But the soil makes it pink and the plant just doesn't seem happy there. It's never really flourished. At some point we'll move it in back, closer to my limelight hydrangea which loves its location. We had a nice lunch, then they left and I did some errands. Now I'm home washing new fabric that I don't need for the rats. I'm going to relax and craft this evening-and pretty soon crack open a bottle of wine.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Mine

I used to own half a horse-now I own a whole one. When I got to the barn for my lesson I found most of Harley's other owner's stuff gone. She left a note and a check for some of October's board saying that's all she could afford. So, he's all mine now. I'm going to cut back on my lessons, taking one every other week to save money. At least my car is paid off, so that monthly bill is gone. However, I just had over $800 in car repairs and close to the same in vet bills recently. Still, I plan on keeping Harley. I just hope I can find someone to half lease him soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lazy Day

What a lazy day. It's grey, chilly, and rainy and I plan on staying in my pjs all day! I've cleaned rat cages, made a nice lunch (grilled cheese with that nice Onion Cheddar cheese from Chautauqua, onion rings, iced tea, and Amish Butterscotch Nut bread, also from Chautauqua), added some photos to the Christopher Eccleston Spot on Fanpop and that's it. I'm going to make some cards next. I also plan on making a nice dinner. It's just such a lazy day. The kids are all napping. Speaking of napping...no, must create!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chautauqua

I just got back from Chautauqua where I spent the day with my folks. They went up Friday and will be staying until Sunday. We didn't go to The Chautauqua Institute, which is a really neat place, but we saw and did a lot and Mom and I got tons of Christmas shopping done! Yea. Mom read about Cross Roads in a Buffalo newspaper as a great day trip. We both heartily agree-it was wonderful and Mom declares that a visit to Cross Roads is now a yearly event. Cross Roads is three buildings filled with vendors selling all kinds of goodies, including lots of local crafts and food. We both got so much stuff-and the prices were really reasonable. I won't say what I got, but people receiving the stuff won't be disappointed. After leaving I was a bit disappointed-the daylily farm was closed. I was really looking forward to seeing that. Oh well. We went to a new winery, Noble Winery and a great cheese shop. The weather cooperated too-it was a gorgeous sunny day with temperatures in the low 70's. A great day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Photo Phriday - Statue

This statue can be found in Corn Hill Landing along the Genesee River in Rochester, NY.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Concept

One of the most difficult things about card making is coming up with the concept. It gets even more difficult when time becomes an issue. You have to make a birthday card and it needs to be mailed tomorrow. What to do? You may have several standby ideas-but have you used them for this person already? Sometimes you can get inspired-by a rubber stamp, or maybe a piece of paper, or just an idea. The thing to remember is that a concept is just an informal, general idea. Once you get the concept the details may change. I was lucky. I got the concept for my Halloween card early. Actually I had one concept...but then I got a new rubber stamp and a new concept-which I love. Looking through other items I had provided the next step. I wound up getting a new stamp for the interior, then another, even better one. I'm partway through making the cards and it's not even October. I also got the concept for my Thanksgiving cards. This one came as a design layout. Then I thought of some stamps I had that would fit. Then I found the perfect paper. Things may change a bit, but the concept is there. It's great being a head of the game. Actually, I have a bunch of ideas going through my head right now. I have to write the ideas down so I don't forget about them. I'd better get crafting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sore!

We're more than halfway through September. The weather here is just gorgeous, sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's. I'm pooped today. I did some yard work. Weeding, moving dirt, moving rocks, removing grass, using preem (or is it preen), watering, mulching. I'm sore! Plus I have a migraine. Yuck. The yard looks nice though. I'm doing computer work, then some crafting before dinner and TV. My programs are on tonight-who'll be eliminated?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Technical Ignorance

I plead technical ignorance. I'm somewhat adept at technical things - I can program my VCR so that has to count for something. Although, do people (other than me) still use VCRs? Hmmm. At any rate, now that I have a website I've joined some fanlistings. These are sites that list people who are fans of certain things. Once accepted you get a little icon to put on your website. I've joined 4 such fanlistings. Aside from no icon yet Michael Palin, you can look down the side of my site and see Severus Snape, The Ninth Doctor Who, and Josef from Moonlight. However, usually when you see these icons you can click on them and go to the fanlisting site. Mine don't do that. Also I have them one under another. But they're small and I'd like them next to each other. At least 2 of them. Michael Palin's I can't even figure out how to get my picture! Can anyone help?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wind Damage

The wind was blowing so hard last night that it kept me awake. I woke up this morning to see my poor Japanese Maple. I know it was dead, but it gave a nice structural element to the garden and it was supporting the deadly nightshade, which had taken and was growing. It's gone now; the tree, the nightshade is still attached and alive! Fortunately, the only other damage was inconsequential, toppled garden pots and decoration, little flag out of the ground, lantern knocked over-but not smashed. Still, I'm grateful that the only loss was the maple, which had to come down at some point. Now to find a new home for the deadly nightshade!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Year 2

I did it! When I started this blog I said that I would try to post something every day. I did! Yesterday was actually the year anniversary of this blog. Yes, my first post was September 13, 2007. It's hard to believe I've been posting for a full year.

I thought I'd give a little update of things going on here. Gilliam is doing much better. He's still old and underweight, but his breathing is better and he loves eating grapes. Palin, his brother, had a disturbing incident last evening. I had just put him back in his cage after cleaning it and I believe he had a seizure. He was on the top level, he screwed up his face and started falling about. I put my hand near him, to make sure he stayed on the balcony. He rocked and almost did somersaults. A few moments later he seemed perfectly fine. He ate a lab block and started to groom himself. Weird. I also discovered what I think is the start of a tumor. We can just hope for the best. Leon, the ancient one, is well as are the youngsters, Josef and Snickers. Barrett is fine as is Seneca-who enjoys taking her medicine as I hide it in really good food. Callie comes up and gets some too-so she's happy. Aleister had a good check at the vets, although, as usual, he started pulling out the fur by his injection sites. Still, this year was better than usual. I'm determined to keep Harley and have decided not to worry so much about it. His other owner is the one who wants out, but isn't doing a thing about it. Let her worry and try to sort it all out. Harley has a nasty gash on his side, but it seems to be healing well, it doesn't bother him a bit...except when I put ointment on it. Even then, he's gotten much better with it! The folks are doing well. They're taking a little trip next week. I'll join them for one day. As for me...I'm doing all right. There's lots of work in the house and garden to be done, but things are looking pretty good.

Thanks for reading and here's a toast to the second year of Katreader's Rat's Nest-Cheers!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Valentown Museum

Today I visited the Valentown Museum in Victor, NY. Levi Valentine got a hot tip that a railroad line would be headed right through his potato farm. In 1879 he began construction of a retail and commercial center for the town. The first floor housed a general store where you could find anything you'd possibly need as well as a meat market, harness shop, bakery, cobbler shop, and large meeting room. The second floor was the educational floor where music and theatre were taught as well as housing a business school for young men. The third floor was the ballroom where the ceiling soared twice as high as the other floors to aid the acoustics. The basement could stable 80 horses while the owners enjoyed what was basically the mall! Unfortunately, the railroad company went bankrupt 40 miles short of Valentown.

Today Valentown is a museum housing many items found in the shop years ago. When they closed up shop in 1910 they left almost everything behind. My tour guide showed me 100 year old coffee beans. It's interesting to see these items and seeing the history (including a flag damaged during the civil war, a revolutionary cannon ball, a desk from land company from the 1700's, tons of shoes-not reproductions either) but there's more to it than that. It seems that the Valentown museum is also home to several spirits. Valentown is haunted.

Although my tour guide who grew up in the area and has worked around the museum for decades (he's 80 years old!) didn't mention ghosts, I did spend some time talking with a woman who helped me with my purchases (had to get a t-shirt and book about the hauntings). You see, while I was there I had a paranormal experience. As Herb was showing me around the general store portion of the building I encountered a cold spot near the meat locker (which is now a ladies room). It felt as if I entered a little air conditioned area. There is no air conditioning or heating system for that matter. When I went back after the tour the air temperature was normal. The woman helping me check out was also having lots of unusual problems. It was almost as if some unseen person wanted to keep me there longer. The calculator wasn't working right and then I mentioned the cold spot. She told me of other peoples experiences. Then I felt freezing cold-but just my knees. I had been thinking how warm it was-now my knees were freezing. The rest of me was warm. I mentioned it to her. The temperature returned to normal and I met Carol, the author of The Ghost City of Valentown:Haunting Tales of Valentown Museum. When I told her where I felt the cold spots she said that she usually got goose bumps there. Then the woman helping me showed me some pictures she took a while back in the attic. I saw the orbs, then I saw a full body apparition. Oh My God! Amazing. I took a bunch of photos, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Although while taking some interior shots I kept seeing a straight blue line-but I could only see it looking through the lens. It didn't show up in the pictures, or to our eyes. When we turned off all the lights, however, it vanished. So it must have been some sort of reflection or refraction or something. When I was looking through my picture of the outside, however, I noticed something in the second story window. It could have been a volunteer, or it could have been a ghost. I'm not sure which.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photo Phriday - Mums

My folks came up this morning and Mom brought me these gorgeous mums. We didn't plant them, as it's raining quite hard. I'll put them in the front of the house near the topiary rose of sharon once the weather gets a bit better. Fall is coming!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No Fair!

I was having the most wonderful dream. Chris Eccleston had just told me I was "gorgeous". His words. That's a quote mind you. I couldn't believe it, even in my dream, and said, "What?" He replied, "I said you were ug..." then he grinned and said, "you heard what I said". Then, I WOKE UP! Aurggg. I wanted more. I have no idea why I woke up. No alarm. Barrett wasn't barking or poking me to get up. Aleister and Seneca were both asleep. Who knows where Callie was. It was only 7:30 AM. No fair. Want more romantic dreams with Chris Eccleston. Grrr, waking up. I went back to sleep, but couldn't get him back. Damn.