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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've been wrapping Christmas presents. A little early, you say? Not really. Tomorrow I'm meeting my friends from Ohio for our annual meeting in Pennsylvania. We eat at a great restaurant, stop at a few wineries, and exchange our Christmas presents. We don't open them...just pass them over to save on shipping. I don't have everything ready, but I'm going to Cleveland in 2 weeks-so I can give more then. At any rate, I'm off to wrap more and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I went to the neurosurgeon today. Work demanded it and it was a waste of both my time and his. There's nothing more medically that can be done for me. He doesn't think surgery will help. He doesn't need to see me again. He dictated a note saying I'm permanently partially disabled and can't work long hours. I can work my shift and, even though it hurts, I'll even work half of the next. But I can't work 16 hours at this time. We'll see what work has to say about it. I don't have the paperwork yet. I have a call in to the lawyer, just in case.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Sometimes it just sucks being a woman.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Interrupted Sleep

It is fairly rare that I receive phone calls. Today was an annoying exception. I stayed up til about 9AM as I wanted to call a place I found about washing horse blankets and I didn't want to call too early. I got a machine, left a message, and went to bed. The ringing phone woke me from sleep, I expected the horse blanket was Walgreens-my prescription is ready for pick up. Back to sleep. Phone rings...Defender's of Wildlife thanks me for my gift-but can I give monthly donations, sorry, no. Back to sleep. Phone rings. Horse blanket lady. Arrangements made. Back to sleep. Phone rings. Are you kidding me? A reminder about my doctors appointment on Thursday. Needless to say I didn't get very good sleep. Sigh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time with Harley

I had a nice ride with Harley today. I was able to go for 15 minutes and actually did 1 lap at a posting trot. We started at a sitting trot-that definitely wasn't good! But the posting trot was fine. I start getting sore about 12 minutes in, but I want to try and push myself a little bit. The indoor arena was set up nicely with lots of obstacles so we had fun walking different patterns. Harley also enjoyed the apple I gave him afterward from his grandma! He also said to tell everyone to be prepared for a long cold winter. His winter coat is already coming in quite thick. There has been a major difference in just a week!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

St. Francis of Assisi

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. Known for his love of animals, St. Francis is a favorite saint of mine. I have a small statue of him in my garden, marking the cemetery. In the past I have taken some of my kids to be blessed. Actually, the rats do the best with getting blessed! I didn't realize today was the day-maybe next year I'll make a point to find a church doing animal blessings; sadly, not all of them do. So give your furry friends a special hug and treat today-your finned, scaled, and feathered ones too and those hairless breeds-and the wild ones outside. Consider making a donation to an animal welfare group. Today, remember the animals and how they bless our lives!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Banned Books

There, where one burn books, one in the end burns men. ~ Heinrich Heine

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms. (

At least 42 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century ( have been the target of ban attempts. Visit for more information on book bans and challenges.

X The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
X The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
X The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
X To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
X The Color Purple by Alice Walker
X Ulysses by James Joyce
Beloved by Toni Morrison
X The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
X 1984 by George Orwell
Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
X Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
X Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
X The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
X A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
X Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son by Richard Wright
X One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
X For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
X The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
X In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Sons and Lovers by D.H.Lawrence Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
X A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
X The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I may have read a few more, but wasn't sure so I didn't check them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Getting mandated sucks. No matter how long you're forced to stay-it's all too long. It's pointless to hope management will ever get its act together.