Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009-Year in Review

2009 wasn't such a good year for me. I got hurt at work requiring a trip to the ER, much unbelievable pain, and I'm still not right. I missed work for 8 months (not such a bad thing). I was unable to ride my horse for 8 months (bad thing) and still have lots to go to be able to ride as I once did. The worst loss was saying goodbye to my wonderful dog Barrett. We had 13 years together and I was able to be home with him for a good part of his last months-I'm grateful for that. His death and the deaths of Paulie and Vinnie were bad parts. There were good parts. Seeing my Ohio friends, both here and in Ohio. Doing some day trips, alone and with my folks. Seeing my good friend Vinnie 20 years. Celebrating Halloween with my first taste of a ghost hunt. Adding Aquinas, Harrison, and Dylan to the family. Joining my friend and working on a web magazine, writing more...all good things. So here's to 2010-my it be a year of peace, prosperity, and joy! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Eugenics is an interesting and controversial topic. Basically it's the belief of bettering the human species by not allowing people with certain disabilities reproduce and not performing life saving surgeries or otherwise taking herculean efforts to save babies with serious genetic faults. In regards to the infants, the concept was seen as saving them from a lifetime of misery-and, my thought, saving the rest of the population from paying for their care. Forced sterilizations were common in institutions for both the mentally retarded and mentally ill. Eugenics was popular in the 1930s and 1940s and had well known supporters such as Charles Darwin (no surprise there-survival of the fittest and all) and quite surprisingly Helen Keller. Although I'm sure many people will think I'm wrong, or immoral, or going to hell in a hand basket, I agree with a lot of the thought behind eugenics. Some people...many people... should not be allowed to reproduce. I deal with some people who are a complete drain on society and whose existence is a burden to all. Better that they should never have been born. As for some other people, honestly, what quality of life do they have? Of course, this does not mean that all developmentally disabled or mentally ill people fall in this category. Certainly not. A lot of mentally ill people have a great life and make a positive difference in the lives of many. They can and do lead productive lives. But there are others who you see who never had a chance-families riddled with disease, born while their mothers were institutionalized themselves. The problem is-how do you know if the children will be able to lead a great life or just one of pain and suffering. An interesting and volatile question and debate.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sore Throat

I have a sore throat. I've had it for 2 days now. Other than that, I feel fine. Let me amend that statement, my back is still bothering me, but as for cold symptoms-it's just the throat. It's not super sore-like strep throat (I've had that-awful) it's just sore. Hopefully a cold will not follow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bad Back

My back is really bothering me today. It started last evening and feels worse today. I could only ride Harley for just over 10 minutes. It hurt to trot (it usually doesn't) and even walking was bothering me. I put his blanket on and let him out in the pasture to play with his friends. He'll find a Christmas apple from Grandma in his food bucket when he comes back in. I'm going to take a bath and nap before work. Hopefully, I'll feel better.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Christmas

Today was the day I really celebrated Christmas. I drove to my parent's house. As soon as I arrived it started to snow; just lightly so it looked really pretty instead of threatening. We had a delicious breakfast-fresh Polish sausage with beet horseradish, rye bread and butter, peaches with cinnamon and freshly squeezed orange juice. Then it was time to open presents. I got some wonderful things-highlights being an autographed copy of the book Haunted Buffalo, the DVD of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and a case of Andre champagne! ...along with lots of other great stuff. I think my folks liked their gifts too. After basking in the glow of presents we ate potato chips and leek dip while drinking champagne and watching one of Mom's presents-Julie & Julia, a great movie. We called our aunt in California, then ate French onion soup...yummy. I had to take a nap then. After I woke up we had dinner-beef tenderloin in a horseradish wine sauce (phenomenal) with salad and mashed potatoes and gravy. Mom's stunning chocolate mousse for dessert. Then it was time to pack up the car and drive home, listening to Christmas music. Another wonderful Christmas. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. Just remember-it's not over yet! I get so upset when I see Christmas trees out in the garbage the day after Christmas-or shortly thereafter. The twelve days of Christmas refer to the 12 days AFTER Christmas, not the days leading up to it. I plan to party to Epiphany (January 6) AT LEAST. In fact my real Christmas celebration hasn't happened yet. That'll be tomorrow when I visit my folks. So keep Christmas in your heart all year long and your decorations up at least until Epiphany.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Photo Phriday - Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning 2009. I still can't believe it's here. Calumet is checking out the goodies. She made out quite well-and she hasn't even gotten her grandparent's gifts yet!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is here. Probably the most anticipated night of the year. Sadly, I worked last night, will work tonight and tomorrow night. Sigh. The curse of 24/7 professions. I'm going to try to enjoy the holiday. I've been drinking my Cerise (carbonated cherry wine) and munching on ribbon candy. But now it's time to turn off the Christmas tree lights, blow out the candle, and go to bed. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Missed a Day!

For the first time since I started writing this blog I missed a day. I never blogged yesterday. Completely forgot to do it. Didn't even know I missed doing it. Sigh. Well, one day missed since September 13, 2007 isn't too bad! I hope you're all set for the holiday. I'm about as good as I'm going to get. I got my dinner from the grocery store. (I'm going to do something with lamb and wild rice.) Still need to wrap some stuff for my folks, but I won't see them til Sunday anyway. I want to get rid of some of the Christmas boxes and clean Vito's cage-the other boys cages are all ready for Christmas! Then if I can get more cleaning in....we'll see, tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Joyous Yule!

Here's wishing you and yours a most wonderous holiday. Tonight is the Winter Solstice. Enjoy the longest night of the year-Joyous Yule!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Lights

I love seeing all the holiday decorations and Christmas lights. As a kid, one of my favorite holiday activities was hopping in the car and Dad driving so Mom and I could see the Christmas lights. The last 2 years I took Barrett, but sadly, I went alone this year. Not near as fun. Plus it's hard to drive and gawk at the same time. But, I did see some nicely decorated houses before I stopped to get a hot apple cider at Tim Horton's. This one was one of my favorites!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Benefits of Winter Clothing

I had one last Christmas card to mail, so I took it to work with the intention of dropping it in the mailbox on my way home. Well, I got home, got in my pjs, brushed my teeth, and lie in bed when I saw the card peeking out of my book. The Card! I didn't want to wait til Monday-so I got up, slipped on my jeans, threw a sweatshirt on over my nightgown-which I just rolled up a bit), kept my slipper socks on and pulled on my winter boots, coat, scarf and hat and went to the post office to drop off my card. I came home and divested myself of my outerwear, still in my pjs. There are great benefits to winter clothing!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Photo Phriday - Aquinas in his Christmas Tree

While the big live Christmas tree is in the living room, the rats have a small artificial tree in their room. It's decorated with the Charming Tails 12 days of Christmas and gives their room some nice Christmas cheer. I decided to let the babies explore the tree. Here's Aquinas, checking out his first Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


What goes around comes around. I was trying to take a nap before work last night. I was lying quietly and Aleister was on the pillow next to me. I heard a hiss and felt Aleister leave the pillow and come to my other side. I looked at the pillow and there was Seneca, getting comfortable. I thought to myself, "I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you". Sure enough shortly thereafter I heard much louder hissing and swatting. I felt Seneca get up and go to the foot of the bed. I glanced at the pillow to see Callie-looking quite pleased with herself. Yes, what goes around comes around.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Beginning To Look. . . .

The snow is gently falling and it's cold outside. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I had a quick ride with Harley-he had icicles on his muzzle! Now I'm home warming up. Time for a bath and nap before I go back in to work tonight.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting There

The last of the Christmas presents have been shipped. I still have to finish decorating the tree and manger, and put up any other decorations I decide to put out. But now it's time for A Charlie Brown Christmas before I do more editing...with some wine and peanut butter popcorn from Oliver's!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I am traumatized. This morning I had to go to the dentist to repair a chipped filling and a cracked crown. We started with the drilling. Easy peasie. He could drill on me all day, and I couldn't care less. I don't use Novocaine either. Why bother? That hurts more than the drilling. OK we drilled without any problem-heck, I didn't even feel it for the crown, the other was a little sensitive-but certainly no biggie. However, what came next was my personal nightmare. They had to take an impression of my tooth for the crown. I don't deal well with getting those impressions. I have a major gag reflex and when I have to bite down and it oozes all over....hideous. I warned them. The doctor put it in and left and I started gagging and fighting the assistant while trying to get the thing out of my mouth. She had me in a headlock to keep it in. When she finally took it was no good. We had to do it again. Kill me now. The tears were already streaming down my face. We tried again. It was still awful, but doctor stayed a bit longer, holding me down as well and both of them telling me to breathe through my nose. I calmed a bit and he left. She eventually took it out. Better. But they needed to just do a bit more-"just a drop of gloop, it won't be bad", the doc then told me to think of it, not as taking an impression, but this was my mouthpiece and I was getting ready to fight Muhammad Ali. It was still awful, but not as bad. I thought we were done, when she took this caulking gun and squirted goop around my bottom teeth and told me to bite down. What the hell?!?!?! Fortunately that took mere seconds. The poor assistant just shook her head, "You do drilling without Novocaine, but have issues with impressions." I'm weird, what can I say. I go back in January to get the real crown, I have a temporary now.

Then I had to get my glasses fixed. The eye place no longer accepts my insurance, so I had to go to Lenscrafters...which is in the mall...11 days before Christmas. The trauma continues.

But my glasses are fixed, my teeth OK, I'm feeling ill (chills, nausea, etc) so I called in sick. I'm in my comfy clothes and I think I need a drink!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pictures With Santa

Just because I don't have human children doesn't mean I forgo pictures with Santa. Callie has seen Santa every year of her life-this makes visit #4. She was a very good girl, though not too pleased with the whole situation. Amazingly she didn't hiss or scratch this little blonde girl that rushed up to her and started petting her. The mother was a mile away, of course, finally calling to the kid who wouldn't get away from Callie even when we were trying to get the picture (she was in the shot!) As soon as we got the shot, Santa is still holding Calumet, the girl rushes back and gloms on to my poor cat. She was gentle as she pet her, but Jeeze Louise, you don't run up to any cat, let alone a strange cat, hands out to touch. Fortunately, Callie was a lady and didn't do anything and I spirited her away from the who went to antagonize the dogs who were next in line.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Memory

Vinnie died yesterday-but here he is, just last month, enjoying some chicken. I'll write a full memorial soon. He was a good sweet boy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Photo Phriday - My Phavorite Ornament

This little guy is my favorite Christmas ornament. I got him when I was little at a garden center called Sunview around the corner from my house. The store is no longer in business, but I remember going to see all their holiday decorations...and getting those sun catchers you made by pouring the colored crystals in the spaces and baking them. What were they called? Anyway, hope this guy brings you a smile. Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The following was sent to me in a forwarded e-mail and I thought I'd share.

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol.

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

They Moved the Jalepenos!

During work last night the snow began. It was snowing pretty good, looking like 2-3 inches, but it seemed the roads were OK-at least they looked OK from the windows. As the day shift was coming in one person said the roads were fine, just a little slushy. The next person warned me to be very careful driving as she had seen 6 cars off the road and the conditions were very slippery. All rightie then. As I left work however, conditions changed. It was no longer snowing, but raining. And a freezing, sleety rain at that! There wasn't much snow to brush off the car, the rain was melting it away. So I was off-I decided to do my errands anyway. The roads weren't too bad. First stop-grocery store. I actually had a list-some dinner recipes (well ingredients for dishes I thought I could throw together) and some baking supplies. I was looking for the jarred jalapenos and for the life of me could not find them. I was wandering around forever. I found the imported jar ones, but I wanted my regular USA ones. After more wandering (and yes, this was my usual store too) I finally found them. The other end of the aisle with the imported ones, next to the chocolate animals I commented on to myself earlier. Yes, I walked by these jalapenos a few times. But I found them. And bought them. Only to discover a full bottle of them at home. Sigh. Oh well. Back home I unpacked the groceries and took off, once again, to the post office. Another package out along with all but one of my Christmas cards (need an address). Then it was off to the bank to deposit some checks (yea!). I took a few holiday pics, then back to home and bed! A busy morning, no doubt!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Errands and Snow

I have a bunch of running around lined up to do tomorrow morning after work-grocery store, bank, post office-but we're also expecting a brief winter storm. I look forward to the snow so that I can capture it in the holiday photos I'll be taking for the Spartan Opinion Holiday Photo Share (be sure to send yours in too!), but part of me is wondering if I should head out this evening while the roads are clear and dry.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Errand Running

I've been running around all day, trying to accomplish at least some of the things on my list. I was somewhat successful. I visited Harley, got needed food at PetSmart, got more mailing stuff at Walmart, picked up my Rx from Walgreens, mailed off 4 Christmas packages (a few more to go), picked up books from the library. Of course, I forgot to stop at the bank, didn't have time to get my glasses fixed, and didn't do any cleaning or decoration at the house. Nor did I call personnel, find paperwork, reply to some e-mails...hmmm. I was better off just listing the things I did do!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

St. Nicholas Day - Christmas Tree

Happy St. Nicholas Day! I celebrated St. Nicholas Day by getting my Christmas tree! My folks came up and Dad and I went to pick out the tree. We picked this beautiful frasier fir. Mom put the lights on. Callie loves having a tree back in the house. You can see she's already claimed her spot. I'll get the decorations on soon, but tonight I'm wrapping gifts that need to be shipped out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Today I need to be a whirlwind of activity. I need to do lots of cleaning and I need to make room for the arrival of the Christmas tree tomorrow. Fall decorations need to come down and the Christmas boxes need to start their descent from the attic. So much to do...Harley, you may not get a visit today. If only I wasn't so tired.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo Phriday - Christmas Lights

Here's the back of my house. See my new little candy canes lighting the way?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Samantha Stevens

I sure wish I was Samantha Stevens. I could wiggle my nose and the house would be clean and ready to decorate. Of course, if I was Samantha Stevens, I'd be married to Darrin. OK. I wish I was me with the abilities of Samantha Stevens!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spartan Holiday Photo Request

There's a great new web magazine called The Spartan Opinion. They're having a holiday photo contest so I thought I'd spread the word.

Spartan Holiday Photo Request

It’s that time of year. Soon villages, towns, and cities all over the world will be decorating for the holiday season. The Spartan Opinion, as part of its global initiative, wants to share photos of holiday decorations worldwide and we need your help. Once your area is decked out in all its holiday glory, take a picture and send it to us. If you live in one town and work in another, take pictures of both. Visiting a nearby town? Take a picture there too. If you take a trip, send a picture from your destination. Have family and friends that live in different locations? Ask them to send a photo as well. Once you’ve taken your picture e-mail it to:

Please give the following information: 1. In the subject line please write: Spartan Holiday Pictures. In the body of the e-mail, please give your 2. name, 3. e-mail address, 4. the photographer’s name (be it you or a friend or family member-but please, make sure you have permission to use the picture), 5. the location of the photo-city, state or province, and country. If you live in a well knows neighborhood, share that information too, for example: Kensington, Toronto, Ontario, Canada or Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 6. and a description of the photo-Town Square, St. Mary’s Church, Sears Building, etc. and finally 7. the date the picture was taken.

Don’t forget to attach your picture, and please, send a high resolution copy.

The best pictures will be posted at The Spartan Opinion and one of the pictures will win "editors pick". Whoever submitted that photo will receive a $50 USD American Express gift certificate. So go out and enjoy the holiday decorations-and don’t forget your camera!

Deadline for submissions is December 21, 2009.

Wintry Welcome December!

A wintry welcome was given to December. While I was doing rounds at work in the early hours of the morning I glanced out the window. I stopped, took some steps back and looked again. It was snowing! It was actually coming down pretty good! When I got outside after work I had to brush off my car-the snow was a heavy wet snow. Everything looked so pretty. The roads were fine, so I enjoyed seeing the return of the white stuff. The day warmed up, so the snow is all gone now. It's supposed to be 50 tomorrow! But it'll be back...and in a few months we'll be cursing it. For now, however, it was a happy reminder of this holiday season!

Monday, November 30, 2009

End of November

I can hardly believe that today is the last day of November. Where does the time go? How will I get everything done my Christmas? day at a time. It was raining, then snowing, then raining today, so I'm getting in the Christmas spirit. I have my car radio set to the Christmas tunes station-so I'm set. Now to start cleaning and making room for the Christmas tree-which I'll get on Sunday. I'm going to try to get an extra day off in the next week or two to help me prepare. Wish me luck there! This week will be busy -I had a doctors appointment this morning, then I have the dentist Wednesday and another stupid work meeting Friday. Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Big Band Christmas

I'm headed out to Buffalo this afternoon to see my dad and cousin in concert. It's Home For Christmas starring John Stevens and the Colored Musicians Club Big Band. I'm ready for some jazzy Christmas music to get me in the mood!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Few Snoozes Too Many

I am annoyed with myself. I worked last night, but I'm off tonight. Therefore I just want to sleep a few hours, so that I can accomplish a bunch of stuff I need to accomplish today and sleep tonight. I set my alarm giving myself 4 hours...not much, but did I mention I have a bunch of stuff I need to accomplish? So, I'm sleeping, phone rings...important call, short, back to sleep-I have about an hour left. Alarm goes off-press snooze, cats cuddle closer. Keep pressing snooze, so tired. I knew I'd be pressing snooze for a while-that's why I set the alarm for 4 hours, not 5. Well, by the time I finally got out of bed it was after 2PM?!?!?! Ugh. And I'm still tired. The new snowplow guy is coming over about 4:30-so I can't do any running around til later. Hopefully, I'll have enough energy to go out and ride Harley. In the meantime I'll try to work on all that stuff!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Photo Phriday - Christmas Wreath

The Christmas wreaths are up, the lit present is on the porch, the new twinkling candy canes lead to the back door, and the outside light switches have been flipped to dusk to dawn. The Christmas Season has officially begun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I have a lot for which to be thankful. Although I have to work today, and I don't like my job, I'm thankful to have a job-especially one with decent wages and benefits. I'm thankful to my family and friends. I'm thankful for my kids, my house, and all that I have. Here's to the official start of the Christmas Season! Let's have a great finish to 2009!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have to leave in a few minutes for a meeting. No one knows what this meeting is about, what it's for, and how we got to be picked to go. Of course, the stupid thing is at 2PM-the middle of my night. I love getting up after not quite 4 (interrupted) hours. How would people who work day shift like to have to attend meetings at 2AM? And who schedules a meeting for the afternoon before Thanksgiving. Yea...they'll really get good participation today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Internet

The Internet is an amazing tool. I've met and "spoken" with people worldwide. I can play games-alone or with people all over the world. I can research things without having to drive to the library. I can read the musings of others, watch their videos, peek into their lives. I also share a bit of mine. It's hard to believe that is was only about 12 years ago that I said, "Internet? Why would I need that?" Oh, how times have changed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Barrett | A Dog Named Christmas

I just entered Barrett in a Hallmark Photo Contest. Please vote in his memory. Thanks!

Barrett Kaminski | A Dog Named Christmas

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Day!

Today I celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents. We started with breakfast-cherry blintzes and orange juice. Yum. Then we went to the cemetery. Actually we went to 3 cemeteries to put flowers on the graves of family and friends. They looked nice. I hope someone will remember me and put flowers on my grave every once in a while. We went back and had Mom's fantastic leek dip with potato chips and champagne while we watched the movie Dave. We all enjoyed it. Pretty soon it was dinner time-a traditional Thanksgiving Feast. We had turkey and stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and special jello mold (not moldy jello-jello made in a mold with fruit and nuts). Mom and I did the dishes, then we all had scrumptious pumpkin ice cream pie. We called California to wish our Aunt a happy holiday and then I drove home. A long day for which I'm quite thankful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Upcoming Feast

Tomorrow I'll be going to Buffalo to celebrate Thanksgiving a bit early. I can't wait for the traditional Turkey Day feast!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Rule

New rule. When a bill comes in the mail I will immediately open it and place it on my computer keyboard. I will then pay the bill as soon as I get online.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nothing Much

I 'd like to write something interesting every day. But some days, I don't have much to say. Today is one of those days. I need to think about dinner, set the VCR, then watch the finale of America's Next Top Model. I hope Laura wins!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Absurd New Cancer Guideline

I heard something absolutely ridiculous on the radio this morning. Some government study is now saying that women should wait until they're 50 to get their first mammogram and then get it every 2 years after that. At the moment, the guideline is to get your first, a baseline, at around 35, then once a year once you hit 40. That's the way it should be. Waiting til 50 is ridiculous-and a possible death sentence. I friend of mine has breast cancer-she's 45. Heck, one of the morning DJs waited to get her 1st mammogram until she was 41 or so-they found cancer. She underwent treatment and is currently cancer free. If she'd waited til 50-she'd be dead. Early detection is the key to cancer. I'm wondering is this is just a trick to get women not to go-so the government and insurance won't be paying for it. When I got my baseline in my late 30's they found something. Thank God it was benign, but you bet your boots I'm getting it checked every year. With the new guidelines will my insurance no longer cover it? Will I have to go to Canada to get a yearly mammogram? What are the odds this study was made by a bunch of men? Be strong, be firm, fight the absurdity and get your mammograms! It could save your life.

Monday, November 16, 2009


About 6 months ago I decided I'd prove my doctor wrong. Although I'm on, and have been on, cholesterol medication, my cholesterol levels were rising. When he asked about fast food, I estimated 4 times a month. Often on my day off, when running errands I'd stop for fast food. I didn't have huge meals either. If I went to MacDonald's I'd get a Happy Meal, either a plain cheeseburger or a 4 piece chicken nuggets and fries and usually a light lemonade. If it was Taco Bell I'd get their cheesy potatoes and a 89 cent meat tortilla. Nothing major. Well, once like every 3-4 months I'd get a Baconator from Wendy's. Yea. I know that one put some nails in my coffin. But, still. Certainly the fast food wasn't effecting my cholesterol that much. So I figured I'd have no fast food at all! Well, my next visit came, but we didn't do blood work. So....3 more months, still no fast food. Today I went and we checked my cholesterol levels. While my good isn't as good as it could be, my bad is good and my combined dropped. It dropped a lot. It went from 211 to 179. Hmmm. Perhaps my doctor was right after all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'm not afraid of the dark. I like the dark. Heck, I work night shift. Doing things in darkness doesn't bother me. However, now that autumn is here it gets dark early. Very early. I look out and think it must be 9PM...or at least 7PM, nope, it's 5:30PM. That's plenty of time to go out and do stuff. But, I'm cozy and comfortable in the house. I don't want to go out. Sorry Harley, I'm staying home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time Betweem Holidays

What has happened to the holidays? Or, I should say, the time between the holidays. Maybe it was a child's perspective...but I remember Trick or Treating, then quite a wait until Turkey Day, and then, a bit after that, the start of the Christmas season. Now Christmas displays are in the store before Halloween and Thanksgiving seems to get lost in the shuffle. I got scared yesterday when I realized that Christmas is like 40 days away! There's so much to do...but it's not Thanksgiving yet. Why should I be concerned over decorating for Christmas when I'm not even prepared for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Photo Phriday - Phrost

It was 21 degrees F when I came home from work this morning. Everything was covered with frost.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Health Insurance

I just read the "benefits" for my health insurance for next year. What benefits!! All co-pays are going up-by a pretty penny too. And some things aren't being covered at all. I hope I never need to be air vac's somewhere-it's no longer covered. I was worried I put too much in my flex spending account-next year shouldn't be a problem. Now if I can just find more of this years receipts. . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I heard back from Patrick at BPI. They cleaned up the audio from my EVP. It was just someone whispering from the group. De-bunked. Damn people whispering. I need to do a proper EVP session-no group fun nonsense.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back to the Grocery Store

Lately it seems as if I am constantly going to the store. I need to pick up something for dinner. I need to pick up lunches for work. I forgot the hot sauce this morning, so I'll need to go back. I think I need to do one huge grocery shopping trip.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Smell of Summer

I woke this morning to the smell of summer. I had opened my windows a bit to welcome some of the unseasonably warm weather and freshen up the house a bit. When I woke this morning, it smelled just like a summer day. It got to about 70, a truly gorgeous day. I had a nice ride with Harley and even gave him a shower afterward. I thought we'd be done showering for the season, but it was warm enough, so we indulged. We need to enjoy the weather while we can. It's supposed to cool back down to regular November temperatures starting tomorrow. I love the fall, but this glimpse back at summer sure was nice.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stuff To Do

Another weekend almost over and not near what I wanted to accomplish done. Still, lunged Harley yesterday and will ride him tomorrow. I got more Christmas lights up-need to go buy more tomorrow, I have lots of shrubbery. The weather is absolutely gorgeous-who'd have thunk I'd be putting up Christmas lights in a short sleeved shirt in November-when I'm back in WNY, not in Texas! Tomorrow will be near 70! The End must be near!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another Diner

A while back I wrote about the corn I hung out for the squirrels. While I never saw any squirrels, one little chipmunk sure enjoyed it! The other day I hung up the last corn cob I had. When I returned home from work in the morning, a bunch of birds flew off as I drove in the driveway. As I was getting out of the car I heard a squawking. I quietly peered out to see a blue jay. He was perched on the corn, then he grabbed a kernel, and flew off with it. So I guess the birds enjoyed the corn as much as the chipmunk. I wonder if any squirrels ever got some?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photo Phriday - Rat Babies!

Here are my new babies-Dylan peering at the camera, Harrison stretching up, and Aquinas looking down. They are all such sweet baby boys!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Won't Do It

I am not getting a dog. I'm finally adjusting to not having a dog and so I am not adopting another dog at this time. I was just trying to help a co-worker who wanted to volunteer to work with miniature horses. I was showing her places I knew that had horses that might be looking for help and eventually went to the Lollypop Farm site. Then she wanted to look at dogs. Then I saw Zeus. Zeus is an old dog. A big, black, mixed breed. Zeus is 10 years old and weighs over 100 pounds. An old dog looking for a place to retire. But, I'm not going to do it. I pray Zeus finds a nice quiet home in his last years...but I won't do it. No.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wrong Address?

I may have made an e-mail goof. I e-mailed BPI a few days ago and haven't heard back yet. I looked at their card today and saw the e-mail address. Hmmm. Only one "i" at the start. Did I put an extra "i" in there? Did they not get my e-mail? Or are they just too busy? Or are they waiting til the audio is cleaned up. The e-mail didn't come back to me as undeliverable. Should I re e-mail?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas Light Theory

My dad came up with a theory about why my Christmas lights only work for a year, then are dead when I try to use them again. Perhaps they will only light for a certain number of hours. Since I have them on from dusk to dawn from the day after Thanksgiving to sometime after January 6th, it is a possibility. I work my lights hard. But still, you'd think they'd last a bit longer. Anyone else have any ideas?

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls Day -Halloween EVP at Marjim Manor

Today is All Souls Day; what better day to describe my adventures at Marjim Manor this Halloween. As you may recall, I went to an event called Lewis' Ghost Hunt at Marjim Manor this Halloween. There was food, wine, tarot reading, and a talk and mini ghost hunt led by Buffalo Paranormal Investigators (BPI). When I first got there I felt the cold on my knees again. I think Duke was saying hello. Then later I nearly had a heart attack when I saw a German Shepard walk into the room. Duke! A full bodied canine apparition that looked completely solid. Well, the dog was completely solid. She was a she and a live dog-not Duke. But I'd never seen a dog there before and somehow I knew that Duke was a German Shepard, without being told. That night it was confirmed that Duke was a German Shepard. Cool. When it came time for the hunt we, the guests, broke up into groups with one member of BPI. I was with Pat, co-founder of the group, and we got to go to the basement first. I've never been in the basement, but BPI has caught some things down there, as has TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). We did an EVP session. I asked if Dr. Ring was there. I said that I knew he was a doctor of nervous disorders in Buffalo and told him that I worked with people with nervous disorders in Rochester. I wondered if he had any advice. We didn't hear anything. Later I asked again. We tried to get knocks-nothing. Some people felt cold spots-but nothing much registered on the equipment. At one point my right ankle felt a bit cool. I said it was OK to touch me. Nothing. Pat then asked the spirit to touch my arm, that I had said it was OK. The entire group took 2 steps away from me...but I didn't feel anything. We then switched out and went to the porch. We decided to listed to the recorder to see if we got anything. We did. After I asked Dr. Ring for advice...we heard a reply. Couldn't make out the words, but there was a definite response. When I asked again...another reply. Maybe Dr. Ring has some good advice for me. BPI will clean up the tape-I can't wait to hear it again! A spirit spoke to me!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day Outdoor Clean up

Today is All Saint's Day. My folks came up to help with some outdoor chores. The storm windows are now up and the Christmas lights along the side street are up. Don't worry, I don't illuminate them until the day after Thanksgiving! We had the same frustrating problem as we do every year-hardly any of the previous years lights work! Will someone explain the issue here? Only one strand out of over 12 worked, 2 others half of the line lit-the other half was dead. I had 2 new packs-which worked. We put new fuses in-nada! Do I have to buy brand new lights every year??? Ugh. Mom also planted a cute little yew by my garage and we prepped the garden tractor for the winter-I just need to bring the battery in, as well as the plant sprays.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It's a dark, dreary, rainy day-perfect for Halloween! I've been getting into the spirit. Yesterday I went to a book reading with Jo Lynne Valerie and we talked about ghosts. I'll write more about that event in a later post. Tonight I'll be going to Marjim Manor on a ghost hunt! Buffalo Paranormal will be there along with a tarot reader and, of course, wine. Who knows, maybe Lewis Merritt will make an appearance-or one of the other spirits that reside there. I hope I get to pet Duke again. I didn't have time to create a costume-so I'm not sure what I'll wear. Wherever you are tonight I hope you have a fun and safe evening. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I went to a wake this evening. It was for a former co-worker; my first supervisor where I currently work. He's only been retired for 3 years. We're not sure the cause of death. He'd had some health issues, but we didn't think anything life threatening. At any rate, he looked good. I met some co-workers there and paid my respects. We didn't stay long. It was a good turnout.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Where does the time go? So much to do. yet not much gets done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feeder Corn

Last week I was at my nursery when I saw a bushel of feeder corn. Dave, my landscaper and owner of the place, said my squirrels would love it. He suggested I tie the corn to something, otherwise the squirrels would run off with the corn and I couldn't see their antics. So I bought a couple ears and when I came home tied one to the inside of my fence, by the gate. A few days went by with no interest. I was thinking of tying it to the outside of the fence-but when I came home from my trip to Cleveland-I found the corn husk on the ground on the inside of the fence. Every kernel had been eaten off! So Monday I tied up a new one. When I came home this morning I saw that the ear had been twisted and the part now sticking out near the driveway was picked clean. When I left to go to the post office a few minutes later I saw a little chipmunk running off on the other side of the garage, looking back at the corn. Hmmm. Maybe not a squirrel treat. When I came back I saw a squirrel near the apple tree, but a chipmunk was near the corn. He saw me, and ran up and through the fence to the inside. I came in-then looked out the window to see the corncob
moving. Sure enough the chipmunk was climbing on it. What fun he had. He was swinging upside down, munching on that corn. Within an hour he had taken the corn off the twine and was eating it on the ground. I'm so glad he enjoyed it. He was the only animal I saw eating it-I think I'm going to create one fat chipmunk! I'll wait a bit before putting another ear out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome Babies!

I'd like to welcome the newest babies to my home: Aquinas, Dylan, and Harrison. I think the markings on Aquinas' head look just like a tonsure-so I named him after St. Thomas Aquinas, who also had a tonsure. I'll call him Quin for short. The name Quin reminds me of the song-Quin the Eskimo by Bob Dylan...thus Dylan. When I was considering names for these 3 boys I also considered my 3 favorite guitarists-Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, and George Harrison-the rats would be Page, Perry, and Harrison. But, I went with the tonsure thing, and the related Dylan...but Harrison kept sticking to Boy #1-so he's Harrison. So who's who? You have Aquinas & Dylan in the tunnel (Aquinas on the left, Dylan slightly behind him) and Harrison peering over the ledge!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Home Safely

I just got home from a long drive with my new babies. They are so sweet! I'm too tired and hungry to write now-but I'll tell about my Ohio adventures soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I have a gazillion night shirts-do you think I can find one, other than the one I wore last night???? Grrr.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo Phriday - Cage Prep

I still need to hang hammocks and tubes-but this is the cage for the new babies I'll be getting soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm still tired. Although I've been back on night shift for over a month, I still haven't fully adjusted. I seem to need more sleep, and then I'm still tired. I don't accomplish anything aside from work, and on my first day off I'm still recovering. Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things before too long!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When you know you have to do the dishes once you get up, it's hard to get out of bed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vampire Soulmate

Who is Your Vampire Soulmate?

More on The Vampire Diaries. Created by BuddyTV

Interesting-do all vampires have souls? I do tend toward the bad boy with a heart-Josef in Moonlighting, you could say Spike (although I'd probably pick Angel), and I'm starting to really like Damon from The Vampire Diaries. As for Spike...I guess accents and liking long black coats got me him!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Heating Check Up

I had my heating check up today. All is well. I had my regular guy come out, he's been taking care of the system for 6 years. He came in, looked concerned and asked why the kitchen door was open. Obviously, he didn't hear any barking when he knocked either; actually, he's never had to knock before. I told him that Barrett had died...and, of course, I started crying. He's a dog person too, so he understood.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

$1500 Flashlight

I went to Buffalo today to pick up my car. It's all fixed and winterized. If you remember from my earlier post, my car died on the thruway last week. The radiator cracked, the antifreeze leaked out causing the car to overheat. It overheated so much that the radiator burst open and the engine head ruptured as well. I should have paid more attention to the check gauges light that had been going on and off periodically. I never saw the temperature car going up, and my regular mechanic was on vacation for over a month; so I waited...too long. I also never saw a leak. But, what caused the original crack that started all this damage? My dad's mechanic found a metal flashlight lodged against the radiator. The metal grating against the plastic eventually caused the crack, which began the leak, and so on. I don't have a small metal flashlight and I certainly didn't leave it inside the hood of the car. The only way it could have gotten there was from my mechanic, leaving it there. I think I need $1500 worth of car care from him!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I grew up in Western New York. I was raised speaking English. In school I studied French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. Although I am of Polish descent, I do not speak Polish. I bemoaned this fact when I found myself working with a friend who was from Poland. Oh the fun we could have had if we could have spoken Polish together...with no one else able to understand. Still, I know a few words and phrases as well as a prayer. What is interesting is that there are some words that I say in Polish and have difficulty with the English. Today I was at Tops grocery store and I saw they had ready made golabki. The sign, however, was turned and I couldn't see the price. I knew the food probably wasn't labeled golabki-but I couldn't think of the English. SO I asked the kid behind the counter how much the golabki cost. "The what?" I pointed it out and apologized for not knowing the English. The kid was nice and inquisitive about the term I used. I got my golabki (a cabbage roll stuffed with ground meat and rice in a tomato based sauce) and left. There are other words too. I also call a durszlak a durszlak, not a colander. I think it's kind of interesting. Oh, the golabki was OK-not near as good as my babcia's though.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Photo Phriday - Callie Balances

Calumet prepares to dismount after her balance beam routine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day-the topic Climate Change.This topic is actually quite important to me-and it should be important to all humanity. After you've read my piece, please check out other blogs participating in this event. You can find more about it at:

I was amazed and devastated to learn that polar bears could become extinct, at least in the wild, by the end of the century. The polar icecaps are melting. Polar bears are finding it difficult to hunt prey. The distance between ice flows is so great that polar bears are drowning. The survival rate of cubs is dropping. The plight of the polar bear is due to climate change. We’ve caused the problem and we should do all we can to rectify the situation. The government needs to step up-but you can do things on your own. Every little bit helps. Use ENERGY STAR products. Have your heating and cooling systems checked annually. Change those filters! Make sure your vehicle tires are properly inflated. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If you don’t have to drive-don’t. Walk, bike, or take public transportation when possible. Do what you can, when you can to help save our environment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Timely Complaints

Sometimes it pays to complain to the right people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Critter Nation

Ever since it's release my rat friends have been raving about the Critter Nation, a cage by Midwest. There was an online sale and I decided to get the cage. I should have stuck with Martin's. The huge thing arrived. It was huge and heavy. I was barely able to get it in the house! I opened it in the kitchen and took it piece by piece upstairs. There wasn't enough room in the rat room-so I started putting it together in the library. It's on casters, so I'd just wheel it across the hall when I rearranged the rat room. The thing was a nightmare to put together. Then I discovered that 3 of the 4 side panels had major issues. The next day I called Midwest. Right on the instructions it says to call them if there's a problem. When I described the damage, they said it sounded like freight damage and I had to call the place where I got it. Of course, they couldn't just send me the 3 panels, oh no. I had to take apart everything I had put together, bring it all downstairs and repack it. They'd then take it away. However, since I'll be getting babies, I didn't want to wait to get a new cage-so I ordered and paid for another one and will get paid back from the first one once the "investigation" is over. This arrangement took over an hour with multiple phone calls to both the online store and the manufacturer. I missed the UPS man twice. On the third time he took the old one and gave me the new one. I put it together last night. It was still a pain. I had to use pliers as the tabs and things were bent out of shape. I also wound up with 2 extra pieces. I have no idea where they go and I hope the monstrosity is safe without them. I need to make room in the rat room and put the thing in there and rearrange. On the whole , it was a nightmare and I DON'T recommend the Critter Nation!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day. I feel, however, that Columbus was more of a villain than a hero. While many people celebrate, especially in Italian-American communities, many protest. He didn't discover America. He was a lousy governor (fired for mismanagement). And he decimated the native nations he encountered. Not my idea of a hero.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Break Down!

The check gauges light has been going on and off in my car for awhile now. I would have taken the car in-but my mechanic's been on vacation. For over a month! He came back Thursday and I wanted him to check out my car Friday-but he couldn't get me in until Monday. Today was the day I drove to Pennsylvania to meet up with my Ohio friends. We had a nice time, but I was anxious to get home and we didn't do much together. I drove up route 5 a bit and at a last stop I noticed the car had a burning smell to it. Oh, please, just let me get home. I got on the thruway at Silver Creek. I'm going along when I start to hear a metallic clicking sound. Uh oh. Then the check engine light starts blinking and I have difficulty maintaining my speed. I see a sign-1 mile to the Eden/Angola exit. I make it to the exit and then see white smoke coming from the hood of the car. It's a small exit-with only one toll worker, so I stop for the car ahead of me. Then I can't start. Then I do start with a huge cloud of smoke and a squeal from the car. The toll worker, whom I can barely see for the smoke, tells me to pull into their parking lot. Oncoming cars stop and let me through. I stopped and popped the hood, though I didn't open it. A brownish green gunk was oozing from the front of the car and well as underneath. I call my folks to get the address for their mechanic as he's closer then call AAA. I didn't have to wait long. He asked where I wanted to go and I told him I had 2 choices-my mechanic near Rochester and my dad's in North Tonawanda. He asked what kind of AAA I had, I said just basic and he replied, "You want to go to North Tonawanda". AAA covered the pick up and the first 5 miles, but after that it's $4.50 a mile! NT is not close to Angola-but it's closer than NC! My mom met me there and then she told me I called then just in time. They were leaving in 10 minutes for a banquet. I felt sooooo guilty. I completely forgot about it and they were so looking forward to going. Mom took me to their place, then I took her car and drove home. We'll see what happens. The tow truck guy said it looked like the antifreeze hose blew...but when I told him more, he said the engine could be toast. Ugh.