Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Trip to the Vet

I took most of the rats to the vet today. Josef has been sneezing more than usual and it's a wetter sound. So he, as well as Snickers, Vito, and Vinnie will be on a round of baytril and Josef will have some doxy as well. The doc wasn't sure about the weird skin thing on Vito-and it turns out he has a matching one on his other side. She aspirated them and said she'd check and give me a call. She called later in the afternoon and it seems that it's a growth on his sebaceous gland. Since they're not bothering them, we'll just let it be.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Windy and Rainy

It was windy and rainy-but, knock on wood, not so bad. And, most importantly, I have power. It's getting cold out there. Yea, I love bundling up in warm sweatshirts. My favorite time of year is here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

High Winds

There's a cold front coming in with high winds expected. I hate high winds. I don't mind storms...but when wind comes in it's just scary. I love my trees...all trees...and hope they stay up. The weather service is warning since trees still have most of their leaves they could be falling (the trees, not just the leaves) and to be prepared for downed power lines. I really hope I don't lose power. My folks are considering getting a generator, maybe I should too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grape Pie

Regional foods are uniquely wonderful. Some of these foods can be found in other places-they just aren't the same, chicken wings, for example. Some regional foods are found in certain areas-small-say Western New York (chicken wings, beef on weck and orange chocolate) or much larger, like Texas (true Tex-Mex) or the South. Some food however is VERY regional. I grew up in Buffalo, but it wasn't until I moved to Rochester (an hour/hour and a half to the East) that I heard of grape pies. I'm so glad I discovered these wonderful pies, which, generally you can only find in the Finger Lakes from Mid September-Mid-October, during the grape harvest. Apparently it all started in Naples, New York when Al Hodges, who owned the Redwood Inn, was looking for a special dessert to attract visitors. He came up with the idea of grape pies and they were a hit. He was making so many and guests began asking for whole pies to take with them that he couldn't keep up. He soon got Irene Bouchard, a local baker, to help out. She made some changes to a recipe from a friend's mother and got to work. That was 1965. Grape pies are still a huge hit-and you still can only find them in the Finger Lakes of New York during grape harvest. I haven't had a grape pie I didn't like-but I had an extraordinary one last year. The Creamery offered these pies made by a local woman-this year I reserved 2 pies, one for me and one for my folks. We picked them up today...if I hadn't reserved them, we wouldn't have gotten them-they were already sold out! If you ever get a chance-have some grape pie, you won't regret it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall Has Arrived

I think fall has arrived. It was chilly going to work yesterday and chilly when I woke up today. I looked at the thermostat-63 degrees inside. Yup, a bit chilly. Since it was only 2PM I figured it would only get colder, so I turned the heat on for the first time of the season. I have it set at 63-so nothing would happen unless it got colder. Well, while cleaning rat cages, the heater kicked on. Fall has arrived.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo Phriday - Aleister

Aleister actually came downstairs this evening!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wake Up Calls

What's the deal? I have my name on the don't call list and I know that don't stop everything. In fact, no one's tried to see me anything in eons. But, lately I'm been getting calls for money from all kinds of people. The annoying thing-now that I'm on nights they call and wake me up! This does NOT make me very happy. Don't call me, don't bother me, if I want to send you money, I will. Leave me alone.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Act

I spend a lot of money on my kids, but because my kids all have 4 legs and tails I don't get any tax breaks. I've always said this was discrimination. While I still can't use them as dependents on my income tax, I may soon be able to claim some of their expenses on my W2 and get a tax break. The following is copied from the ASPCA:

Introduced by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, H.R. 3501—known as the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act—is a federal bill that would reward responsible pet parents by allowing them to keep more money in their pockets come tax time.

We all want to give our animal companions the best care we possibly can, but it seems that pet care costs are always on the rise—and these days, it’s harder than ever to stretch the family budget. That’s why the ASPCA supports H.R. 3501, which would amend U.S. tax code to allow qualifying pet care expenses, including veterinary care, to be tax-deductible.

This means that when you prepare your income taxes, money you spent on pet care that year would count as non-taxable income—and you can deduct up to $3,500 per year!

Please help us support the HAPPY Act, H.R. 3501.

What You Can Do
Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online to send an email to your U.S. representative and urge him or her to support and cosponsor the HAPPY Act, H.R. 3501.

This sounds like a good bill. Let's make sure it gets passed!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time Flies

I don't know where the time goes. I'm still adjusting to working night shift. I woke up at a decent hour...but haven't done much. I'll figure it out eventually.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saddle Up!

I rode Harley today for the first time since I got hurt at work. It's going to be a long road back. I started out longeing him to work out some excess energy. I needn't have bothered. He was in slow motion to the right. I switched to the left and got after him and he did well. I brought him back in the barn and saddled him up. That in itself is a workout for me as I haven't been lifting much. Thank God I ride English! Harley was being a brat as I got the bridle on too...and he's not short! So there was some stretching there. We got into the arena-and I realized I didn't have my helmet on. Ugh. Back to the barn, halter on over bridle, in cross ties, get helmet, remove halter and back we go again. It took me 3 tries to mount. The first time Harley went up and stood perfectly, but I was taking a while and he scooted his hind end out. Walked him around to the mounting block again-brat immediately bulged out. Gave him a stern what for, pushed him back, and tried again. No problem. We just walked today. My riding instructor was around and she told me, "no jumping today" LOL I said "I don't think we'll even canter", she said I may not even want to trot. So Harley and I walked around-then he got in his dead man walking speed, so I urged him on. He started to trot. I told him just to walk and he did...but those few trot steps told me I'd have to work up to that. We walked about 12 minutes and I dismounted without difficulty. I'm a bit sore, but it wasn't bad. But I have a long way to go to get back where I was. It's almost like starting over. My muscles have to relearn a lot. Still, you need to start somewhere and I took the first steps today.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

George Foreman

I like George Foreman. I always have. I think he's one of the greatest boxers of our time. Heck he came out of retirement and won the World Heavyweight title again...when he was 45! When it comes to boxing, Boom Boom Mancini aside, I prefer to watch the heavyweights and George is one of the great ones. He's also a very funny guy. I mean-who names all of his kids George? I heard a radio interview with him and he was just wonderful. He can sure tell a story (why he named all his kids George for one. I'm still laughing at that. The man has good reasoning even after having his head hit for a living!) However, as great as he is in the boxing world, he means more to me in the kitchen. I adore the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. Eons ago I bought the small George Foreman. That's all I needed. I didn't want or need the one with the bun warmer. Mine was perfect, just the right size for me. The only issue was that it could be a pain to clean. You can't submerse the thing and Lord knows I don't immediately clean things. So after a decade of use my machine is going strong...but it's getting harder to clean. Then I heard that he has a new machine...with removable plates. I can take them out and wash them good. Perfect. I've been waiting-and I finally found it on sale. I now have a new George Foreman Grilling machine. The only issue I have is that it's much bigger than my old one. So, I'll probably use the old one for awhile, until I make space on my counter. It's big-but I think it'll be worth it. Thank you George!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's gotten a bit chilly here. It gets into the 40's at night and was in the 50's til mid afternoon. In fact-we may not have hit 60 today, although it's supposed to be in the mid 70's tomorrow. Perfect weather for me. I have an older house which really keeps the coolness in, and I have windows open-so the house is a bit chilly. I went into the rat room only to find hibernating rats. Everyone was in their teepees, huddled together. Vinnie, Vito, and Paulie never even came out. Of course, Josef and Snickers came out at the prospect of goodies-the others wouldn't budge. I had to laugh and give them some carrots. Josef and Snickers took theirs, the other boys weren't amused. I fed them in teepee and then I closed their window. Poor little ratsickles.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting Through

I'm just getting through the day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Today I had to put my wonderful dog, Barrett, to sleep. His body was riddled with cancer and he was having difficulty breathing. He told me it was time to go. September 9 was the anniversary of the day I got him. We've been together for 13 years. I know he's waiting for me over the rainbow bridge. Til then I have to believe that he's young and healthy again, playing with Brioche, Bandit, Kokishin, and all my rats that have passed. Maybe he can even meet his namesake.

April 1996-September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


When I first stumbled upon the word "steampunk" I said, "What the heck is that?" With a little research I was more informed and infinitely more intrigued. I think steampunk is very cool! So, what is it. Steampunk is an era that never was. It is an alternate reality that combines Victorian England (usually England, at any rate...and sometimes the Edwardian period) with modern technology. Lots of dirigibles and clockwork. It's a time where steam power was the main form of power. The term came into fashion in the 1980's and 1990's, but examples can be found much earlier than that. Steampunk originated as a form of speculative fiction-a sub-genre of science fiction, but can now be found in fashion, jewelry, and even music. If you want to picture steampunk think of HG Wells and the TV show The Wild Wild West. The more I learn about steampunk, the more intrigued I become. I think I need to get some goggles!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Check Up

I went to the doctor today for a regular check up. My blood pressure was actually low. I'll keep an eye on it and he'll see me again in November. My thyroid was normal-but I still don't think the new generic is working right. The doc said to talk with the pharmacist and get them to give me levoxl again. He can only write it for Synthroid or generic. Of course, the synthroid is too expensive and generic-the pharmacy can give me whatever one they want. I have a good rapport with the pharmacy, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not Think

Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and not think about anything. I think I'll take a nap.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Digital Cable

Digital Cable sucks! For years I didn't have cable at all. Then, when I moved into this house, I had to have it-no reception otherwise. So I got a great deal...for a year. The rates steadily increased and now it's a huge chunk of change-and I only have basic cable. A while back my cable went out due to a storm. When I spoke with the guy he said that I could get digital cable for the exact same price as I was currently paying. And no installation fee since the guy was already coming out. So I said OK. Digital cable does have some neat features. I love the guide-you can see what's coming on right on the TV. And I get more channels, including BBC America. Sadly, it seems to show the same things over and over-but I loved Being Human. Too bad the first season was only 6 episodes. Any way, things were fine...until I went back to work. Now I have to tape the shows. Well, my first attempts got nothing but static. Fortunately, a friend told me how to tape-you have to set everything for channel 3-then use the guide to pick the show. OK-but it sometimes cuts off before the whole thing is over. The worst bit-you can't tape one show and watch another. Since it's all channel 3 it can only do one thing at a time. I hate it. I'm tempted to quit the digital cable and go back to regular.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Phriday - 9-11 Remembered

Eight years ago today. Picture courtesy of the National Park Service.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Today I went to get my annual mammogram. I don't understand why women don't want to do this important check. It doesn't hurt a bit...just takes up a bit of your time. Actually, today's test went quite quickly. My appointment was at 11:45 and I arrived about 11:30. I checked in, filled some paperwork, then sat in the outer waiting room. I was called to the back at about 11:45 where I got a locker, changed and waited in the back. By 12:10 the procedure was done (didn't hurt a bit) and I returned to the back room to wait for my results. About a half hour later they called me to say all was well. I changed, made my appointment for next year and left. On the way home I treated my self to an ice cream (blueberry cheesecake, yummm) and was back home by 1:45. So-to all women out there-go get your mammogram-it's easy as pie...or ice cream!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today is a special day. Today is my parent's 48th wedding anniversary. It is my friend's birthday. It is an old friend's kid's birthday. It is the anniversary of the day I got Barrett. It may also be the birthday of new rats. I haven't heard anything yet, but, Flower is due to give birth today and I have first choice of boys. I'm praying for an easy, healthy delivery and hoping for a blazed boy....and really hoping before midnight. It's also 09-09-09. Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BBC Reading List

BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
How do your reading habits stack up?

I can't believe only 6? Didn't those people go to school? I came up with 42. It may be more, but there were some books I wasn't sure if I read or not-so I didn't pick them.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen [ ]
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien [X]
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte [X]
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling [X]
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee [X]
6 The Bible - [X] perhaps not the whole thing...but close enough
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte [X]
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwel [X]
9 Philip Pullman His Dark Materials Series- []
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens [X]

Total: 8

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott [X]
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy []
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller []
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - [] I’ve read most of them, but I cannot swear to all of them.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier [X]
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien [X]
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk []
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger [X]
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger []
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot []

Total: 12

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell []
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald [X]
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens []
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy [ ]
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams [X]
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh []
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky []
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck [X]
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll [X]
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame [X]

Total: 17

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy [ ]
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens []
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis [X]
34 Emma-Jane Austen []
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen []
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe [X]
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein []
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieresx []
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden [X]
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne [X]

Total: 21

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell [X]
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown []
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez []
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving []
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins [X]
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery [X]
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy []
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood []
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding [X]
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan []

Total: 25

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel []
52 Dune - Frank Herbert []
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons []
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen []
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth []
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon []
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens [X]
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley [X]
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon []
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez []

Total: 27

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck [X]
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov []
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt []
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold []
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas []
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac []
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy []
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding [X]
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie []
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville [X]

Total: 30

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens [X]
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker []
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett [X]
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson []
75 Ulysses - James Joyce [X]
76 The Inferno – Dante []
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome []
78 Germinal - Emile Zola []
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery []

Total: 33

80 Possession - AS Byatt []
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens [X]
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell []
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker [X]
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro []
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert [X]
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry []
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White [X]
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom []
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle []
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton []

Total: 37

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad [X]
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery [X]
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks []
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams [X]
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole []
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute []
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas []
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare [X]
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl [X]
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo []

Total: 42

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

I hope everyone is enjoying this Labor Day. I was off last night-so I got up at a "reasonable hour", played briefly on the computer, then went out. I returned some library books then went to see Harley. I longed him for about 20 minutes. He started giving me some attitude, then gave me a really nicely paced trot. When we switched to the left he was really moving. I swear he's been watching Jockeys on TV-he was racing at the canter! It was good to work some energy out of him. After that I gave him a bath-and I wound up filthy! I took him to graze a few minutes, then put him back in his stall. He got an apple for a treat as well. I picked up a few groceries then came home. I had to take a shower and realized that Harley and I both used green apple shampoo today!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I guess it's just adjusting to being back at work and the new sleep pattern, but I'm just "off". I'm not getting stuff done and I don't know where time is going. I was off yesterday and tonight and still I feel like I'm behind. It doesn't help that my back is aching and I have more leg pain. I'm sure I'll get back in a groove soon-but it's annoying at the moment!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I'm trying to get into the rhythm of night shift. I had no trouble staying awake all night, but I'm still not adjusted. Since I'm off tonight I woke only after 4 hours of sleep-so that I can sleep tonight. That didn't quite work. I'm so tired. I accomplished a few things online then I went upstairs to take a bath after I ate. I sprawled across my bed to take my watch and necklace off, then decided to close my eyes for a minute. I was out for a while. Thank heaven's I hadn't started my bath water yet. Of course, the 2 glasses of wine with lunch didn't help. I was going to do some things today. Ha! I can barely function. First day of my weekend shot!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I survived my first day , er, night, back at work. It went fine. We're in a new building-so I have to figure things out, but it's OK. Of course, I'm quickly reminded that some of the people I work with are complete idiots...oh well. I saw some of the patients and they were all very happy to see me, so that made me feel good. Yes, I'm more happy to see more of the patients than most of the staff. My body is still adjusting to the time change...but I'll be fine once I get adjusted. I had to go to sleep as soon as I came home, but I got up after 7.5 hours of sleep with a call from the vet. Seneca's blood work came back fine, so we're to keep the new lower dose. Barrett did fine without me home. He was awake when I got home and was waiting for me. It'll take a while for all of us to adjust, but it'll all work out.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Hours

This is it...I go back to work tonight. I've had a busy day and now I'm just relaxing. I got up quite early, then I couldn't find my paperwork for my blood work which I had hoped to get done this morning. I went to PT (same complex as the blood work-see my plan that went awry?), then went to the store to get the finishing touches of a present, then to the vet to get Seneca's blood work. Both of us needed our thyroids checked-we have opposite issues though. I've been on the computer, but I need to get off, do my Wii Fit and take a bath. I'll probably eat then, then nap before night shift! Hopefully, it'll be a good shift and I'll quickly get back in the swing of things.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Last Day

I'm trying to enjoy my last day before I have to go back to work. I got up early and went to Marjim Manor. On the way home I stopped at an Amish bakery. They now have deli meats and they had fantastic prices-so I got a lot. Too much actually. Oh well, the animals will have tasty treats too. Then I stopped at Brown's Berry Farm for lunch and finished up at Kirby's where I got some fruit. Back home I set up my Nintendo Walking program (I wish I could have imported my Wii fit mii-but I don't have the Wii set for Internet-and I don't know how-I know I'd need a router and who knows what else) and did a load of laundry, which is currently drying on the line outside. I'll have good leftovers for dinner and open up a bottle of champagne for the evening. I wonder if anything good is on TV?