Tuesday, September 30, 2008


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.


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


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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eye Doctor

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor for my regular checkup. My left eye is really bad, so I did lots of extra tests. They also took a picture of my eyeball. Pretty cool actually. They finally sorted out a new prescription for me and I got to pick out new frames. Some people enjoy this aspect of the eye doctor visit. Me? I think it's the worst part...even worse than the glaucoma puff of air. You take off your glasses and try on new ones...but these new ones don't have a prescription in (obviously) so you can't really see how you look. You press you nose to the mirror to try and get a better view. Then they come off and you try a new pair. You repeat this process until you start to get motion sickness from your vision going off and on and then you can't remember which glasses look best! Finally an assistant comes up and limits your choices to a small rack that your insurance will cover-unless you were so taken with one of the other frames you really couldn't see and want to pay the difference. Out of desperation you finally take one of the last frames and hope when your prescription comes in they look OK. At least that's what happens to me. Hopefully I made a good choice, we'll see (literally) in a week to 10 days.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Special Day

September 9th is a very special day for a few reasons. Today is my friend Ruby's birthday. Today is also my parent's anniversary. And 12 years ago today, Barrett joined my family. I already gave my folks their gift, and sent Ruby's card all the way to Tokyo, so today I'll be celebrating with Barrett. He'll be getting lots of treats and we'll take a drive together and go for a walk. Party!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mac 'n' Cheese

Sometimes nothing tastes better than some macaroni and cheese. A wonderful comfort food, it's easy to fix (I cheat and use a packet) and I discovered a new treat to make it even better. I cook bacon, then add it to the mac 'n' cheese. Delicious. After all, almost everything tastes better with bacon!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Old Fashioned

I guess you could call me old fashioned. I'm working around the house and watching a movie I've seen a million times as well: Pollyanna. This is a good movie. It's enjoyable yet has an important message. Some people may call it old fashioned and out of date. They don't make movies like this anymore and that's a shame. I think the world would be a better place if more people watched this type of movie, at least once in a while. Call me old fashioned if you will, it's not necessarily a bad thing!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


My folks and I were doing some outside work this morning. The plan was to move the stones surrounding the front portion of my garden out and enlarge the area and Dad was going to install his light (the one he's been working on for weeks). First Mom and I started to dig, but surprisingly, the ground was too hard. OK, we wouldn't move the hydrangea, but we could still move the stones. We pulled them up and started arranging them when my mom saw a flying insect. She couldn't tell what it was, but was concerned. She got a nasty bite from a yellowjacket at my place a few weeks ago. Then I saw another one. Yup-yellowjackets. They had an underground nest right where we were working. We moved back and I sprayed the place, but our work for that area was done for the day. I'll spray again at dusk.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Photo Phriday - Kittens!

Aren't they just the sweetest things?! These little ones are barn kittens. No, I did not bring any of them home with me. No, I am not going to bring any home with me. But, after treating Harley's gash I did cuddle one of them for a bit. How can they not make you smile?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Gilliam isn't doing too well. He's lost a lot of weight and his breathing is a bit labored. We went to the vet yesterday and he's on Baytril. Unfortunately, he doesn't want to take his meds. This is very unusual behavior for him as he usually loves the banana flavored medicine. I even mixed some blueberry syrup in. He'll take a lick or two, but that's it. Fortunately, he doesn't need to take much, but he just has no desire to eat much. Yesterday he chowed down on some berry crumble dog dessert and spaghetti. This morning, he didn't want spaghetti. He finally did eat some. He's 2 years and a month, so he is elderly, but he's not that old. I'm hoping he can stay with me a bit longer. Ancient rat Leon is fine as is Palin, Gilliam's remaining brother. The little boys, Josef and Snickers are fine as well. So, please send good healing thoughts for Gilliam. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The other night I went out in the backyard with Barrett. The sky was so clear, I could see tons of stars shimmering in the night sky. It was truly beautiful. I found the big dipper, at least, it looked like what I think the big dipper looks like, but couldn't make out any other constellations. It was an inspiring sight.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stuffed Animals

I admit it. I love stuffed animals. Always have, always will. In my opinion, you can never be too old for a stuffed animal. A few years ago, my friend Mark gave me one of my favorite presents of all time-a plush bunny dressed in a Chinese outfit named Lo Mein who he made for me at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Since that time I have received 2 more build-a-bear animals as gifts (a limited edition black and white cat named Bandit and a chestnut horse named Whiskey) and have bought 2 for myself (a duck born this leap year day named Quackers-I had a fever when I named her, what can I say-and a limited edition orange cat with a jack o'lantern pattern named Pumpkin Spice). I also received a belated birthday present in the mail today. Included were 2 stuffed animals-a cat with a plush mouse wearing a sweater saying "I love my mouse" and a mouse with a plush cat and a sweater saying "I love my kitty". Wonderful! Last Christmas those same friends gave me a Webkins husky. He's so soft. I don't go online and play, I'm too busy with Neopets, but I love him-and they have so many cute animals. I saw a Webkins bat, goldfish, and eagle, among others and I was sorely tempted. I remained strong, after all I had just bought Pumpkin Spice and I need to save money for my real animals. So, if you ever wonder what gift I'd enjoy-you couldn't go wrong with a stuffed animal. If you don't have one, go out and get one for yourself, and if you do have one, grab him or her and give him a cuddle. You'll feel much better!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

I can't believe that today is the first day of September and that it's Labor Day! For all intents and purposes summer is over. I intend on spending the day laboring around the house. There's a ton to do. I've got a load of laundry in now and I'll hang that out on the line soon enough. It's a gorgeous day out, so I may do some gardening too. I have a bunch of cards I need to make also. I'd like to ride Harley as well, but I may do that this evening. I'm not sure how hot it's supposed to get today. Right now he may be in the far pasture and it'd be very difficult to get him if the girls are in the middle pasture. The mares can be quite pushy, plus they all have been in heat. Yes, I think I'll wait.