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


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


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


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.

August 1 2006 - December 22, 2008


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


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


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.

Gentle Groove Mother Love Bone
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Feel Syd Barrett
Plan B Mute Math
My Sweet Lord George Harrison
Under the Milky Way The Church
Baby Blue Shuffle in D Minor Pink Floyd
Don’t Treat Me Bad Firehouse
Patience – Guns n Roses
Come Around Again Jet
Creepin’ In Norah Jones with Dolly Parton
I Can’t Stand the Rain The Committments
What Is Life George Harrison
Candy and a Current Bun – Pink Floyd
Paranoid Black Sabbath
Barely Listening Pilot Speed
I Beg Your Pardon Little Charlie and the Nightcats
A Pillow of Winds Pink Floyd
Cat’s in the Cradle Ugly Kid Joe
Be My Escape Relient K
Dance Some More Let’s Go Bowling
There’s No Way Out of Here David Gilmour
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 did I.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


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 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.