Friday, December 31, 2010

Photo Phriday - New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve! May 2011 bring you peace, good health, and happiness!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nearing the End

As we approach the end of 2010, I look back at this year. 2010 was a difficult year. Serious issues with my Dad's health, along with issues at work, made it, all in all, not the best year. Of course, there were some high points as well; good times with friends, the continuation of the Traveling Rat is a new form, the addition of some new rattie family members and more. The start of 2011 will see the continuation of problems, but I can only hope that things will settle down and work out for the best. I'm ready for some happy times!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eggnog

I like eggnog. I don't adore it, but every year I do buy a quart. No, I don't make it from scratch. Usually I drink it as is...not the alcoholic version. I know that it should be made with rum. Today, however, I had it with whipped cream flavored vodka. It was absolutely delicious. The alcohol seemed to cut the thick heaviness of the beverage and the whipped cream taste (yes, you could discern the taste) was absolutely delightful. So go get some eggnog and whipped cream flavored vodka and have yourself a merry little Christmas treat!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Frigid

Although we don't have the blizzard that's stranding travelers-we have frigid temperatures and flurries. I went to the barn this morning, but didn't ride. Although I love cold weather riding-it was a bit much. As I entered the barn, my friend Kim said, "It's 0". All rightie then. I wasn't sure if I was going to ride, but that decided it-it wouldn't have been good for Harley either. I did some after Christmas shopping. What deals I got!!! And I didn't even hit Target! I had lovely leftovers (gotta love beef tenderloin) with tater tots and champagne while watching a Christmas episode of Are You Being Served? Now it's time for book, bath, and bed.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day...and no I wasn't watching the fights on TV. I went to celebrate Christmas with my folks. The weather cooperated and I had dry roads, even though it was a white Christmas and the NYC area has a blizzard! We have old snow and cold temperatures. I had a lovely time, with lovely gifts and wonderful food. I'm glad to be back home, however; in comfy clothes with champagne, cheese and crackers, and Escape to Witch Mountain on TV.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day and that Santa was very good to you. He was wonderful to me...and the holiday isn't over yet. Remember the 12 days of Christmas start today...they don't end! So keep celebrating and keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Photo Phriday - Christmas Eve

Tyskie and the rest of the gang would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

I can't believe it's Christmas Eve Eve. I still haven't found the Christmas Spirit...and I still haven't completed my Christmas preparations! I still have 2 nights of work as well. Sigh. I did manage to accomplish some Christmas traditions, however. In addition to decorating the outside of the house, getting and decorating the tree, and mailing out the Christmas cards and packages I made my annual holiday trek to Oliver's for ribbon candy, watched the important Christmas shows: The Bishop's Wife, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street (the original, thank you very much), A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Year Without A Santa Claus (necessary due to Heat and Cold Misers), and finally, tonight, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Now if I can sneak in The Muppet Christmas Carol....Anyway, I hope you're ready for this holiday-I'm just thankful that the 12 days of Christmas are the days after. Too bad I'm not in Poland-they celebrate til February 2nd. Maybe I'd be ready then!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dog Itch

I've got that itch to get a dog again. I happened to see one, a special Christmas Angel called Gandolf at the Erie County SPCA. (I saw his picture on Facebook, I haven't been prowling shelters...yet...) He's a 10 year old Husky mix. He's lovely...but they don't recommend him around cats. Apparently he'd been barricaded in a room never seeing any other animals and has probably never even seen a cat. He looked like such a good match for me too. I'm sure it's better I don't have a dog again...but still...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting There

I mailed off the last of the Christmas packages this morning. I still can't believe I was so late. Thank heavens for priority mail-they will arrive before Christmas! Instead of riding Harley today I decided to work around the house. We had a good ride yesterday, so I don't feel too bad. In addition to the post office I also made a stop at the bank. Once home again, I took dirty litter to the outside trash and scrubbed out one litter box. I intend to put the Christmas boxes back in the attic so the downstairs looks more presentable. I still have dishes to wash, cages to clean, and another litter box to scrub-but at least I feel I've accomplished some things!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Charm Bracelets

When I was little I had a charm bracelet. In fact, I still have it, although it doesn't fit...as least I don't think so. I have an Italian Charm bracelet-although I don't wear it since Dale fell off. I loved that charm. Now I don't see those types of charms around as much. My Wild Horsefeathers catalog has lots of charms-the regular ones-which are pretty neat; although they have some in a new style of which I'm not that fond. On the radio all I hear is Neil and Gaetano talking about the Camilia bracelet and all the charms you can get for it. I also hear some woman constantly talking about People's Pottery and the Pandora charms you can get. OK. I admit it. I'd like a charm bracelet again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Week?!?!?!

A week from today is Christmas Day. I can hardly fathom it! This month has gone by so quickly. I'm not ready for the holiday. Somehow I still haven't managed to find the Christmas spirit. I'm just not in the mood for my favorite time of year! I still have presents to ship and I haven't begun to wrap the local ones. I haven't done any baking. The inside of the house is barely decorated. But, that's as good as it's going to get this year. At least the outside lights look lovely and the tree is decorated, stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and the manger is out. All the cards have been sent and most of the gifts. Many specials have been watched. I still need to see A Christmas Story. Maybe that'll get me in the mood. I had Chinese Take Away the other day and they had a sign on the door-they'll be open Christmas Day. Hmmm I wonder if they know any Christmas Carols?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Muppet Christmas Carol - One More Sleep Til' Christmas

A great song in probably my favorite version of The Christmas Carol.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Disgusted

Work manages to mess with me again. It's really pitiful when your coworkers and union representatives conspire against you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stressed

I'm stressed. Worried about my folks' health, work, and getting ready for the holidays. I know things will get better, and Christmas will be wonderful, but still. I'm still having fun, when I try to forget everything but the moment. I guess I should try to live with blinkers on-at least for a little while. And completely turn off all thoughts of work when I'm not there (sadly, much easier said than done). I've given up on the tree-it's got some decorations-I'm just not thrilled with it...and I still have to get the star on top. I'll finish the nativity scene and I think that'll be it. It's not worth fussing over it all! I hope your holidays aren't proving too stressful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Kiss

I drove to Buffalo this morning to get a kiss. A very special Christmas kiss.
This is Pocus, a sea lion at the Buffalo Zoo. Yes, he really did kiss me-his mouth to my cheek/chin! His whiskers were so soft! He held the pose for the photograph too.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ribbon Candy

Today I made my Christmas tradition trip to Oliver's Candies in Batavia, NY to pick up ribbon candy and assorted other candy gifts. I love ribbon candy and I think Oliver's makes the best. Sadly, if you don't live nearby-you can't get any. It's extraordinarily delicate-so they won't ship it-and neither will I; all you'd get would be candy shards. I always enjoy going to Oliver's, but Christmastime is the best time to go. First of all, it's the only time you can get ribbon candy (it's purely a seasonal item) and secondly the store is decorated so wonderfully with animated displays in the window-just like the olden days. The workers are so helpful too and the ratio of staff to shoppers was great. I enjoy this annual tradition and intend to keep it going. Do you have a holiday shopping tradition?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photo Phriday - Seneca & Christmas Phabric

"Rat hammocks? Why doesn't she ever make cat hammocks?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snickers

I adopted Snickers from a local rat rescue along with his friend, Josef in February 2008. Snickers was never a cuddly rat. I remember at the rescue, the person there scooped him up in a can and "poured" him into my hands. When he just sat there she remarked, "Wow, you're the first person he hasn't bit". Needless to say, I took the poor young guy with me. Although he never bit me, Snickers wasn't really a friendly rat. He got along well with Josef (who was an absolute love) and tolerated me, although he never liked to be petted or held. Every attempt at introducing him with other boys was a disaster-he attacked all. When Josef crossed the rainbow bridge, Snickers remained alone-still not liking other rats. Amazingly, Snickers lived a long time after Josef's passing, but he crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon. He was 3 years and almost 3 months old-with a huge tumor that he had for months. Just last night I had him out running around the room while I cleaned his cage; yes, he could still get along quite well. In fact, when it came time to put him back, it took me a while for me to find my grumpy old man. I gave him a cuddle (which I could feel him shrug off) and put him in his cage. He found his dentabone, which he grabbed and carried to the top level of his cage. That being said, I was surprised to find him dead this afternoon. He was very old-but he was full of life to the end. I will miss my grumpy old man-but I'm pleased he'll finally be with his buddy, Josef, again.

Snickers
September 16 2007 - December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Preparations

Christmas preparations are coming along...slowly, but they're coming along. The tree is up and lights are on it. I hope to decorate it tomorrow. Almost all the Christmas cards are mailed-the last few going out in the morning. The manger is up...but no one's in it yet. I still need to wrap all the presents that need to be shipped...and ship them. I need to decorate inside, and bake (if I get the chance). Of course, I have regular cleaning to do. I'm super tired-shouldn't have had all that wine. I think it's time for bed and a fresh and early start in the morning.

Monday, December 6, 2010

6 Word - Winter Driving

Winter is here, driving certainly sucks!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday with the Horses

This morning I drove out to the Purple Haze Center at Finger Lakes Racetrack. The Purple Haze Center was founded in 2007 as the home for The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program. The center welcomes retired racehorses and finds them new homes and careers. I love their motto-Giving horses a second chance to be winners. Today they held a craft fair to benefit the horses. Since the event was held right in their barn I got to meet these wonderful athletes. I fell for Pure Shanneya. What a gorgeous girl, and a real sweetie too. The boys seemed a little more high strung, they all spooked when a photographer took their picture..or perhaps they were showing their displeasure at Alvin and the Chipmunks, but all the horses were doing really well considering all the goings on. I bought several goodies and was happy to help this great cause.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baby Its Cold Outside - Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart

Next to Steve and Eydie, Rod & Dolly do it best!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time Travel

There are several programs I follow on television. However, sometimes other things are going on that prevent me from watching-like having to leave for work or perhaps even having plans out! Solution-my VCR (yes, I know, old fashioned and out of date-but it works). The problem came when I got digital cable. Now, I can only tape 1 program at a time and I must leave the TV on and set to that station. What a hassle. And what happens if I want 2 shows that follow each other, but are on 2 different stations? And then, sometimes I completely for get to set the VCR. It seems that my cable station has come up with a solution for its digital cable subscribers-time travel. Supposedly, you can watch a show you missed anytime, up to 3 days after it aired. Not all channels are involved, but I saw that Bravo and the Food Network are. (I'm set for Top Chef All Stars and Aarti Party.) I hope the CW, channel 13, and PBS are involved. I haven't tried it out yet-but hopefully it'll work. I'm especially thankful as I'm being forced to switch to evening shift and will consequently miss all of my shows!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snow!

December arrived today and made it known, in no uncertain terms, that winter was here. The day started with continuing rain. It was pouring! There were multiple flood warnings and I saw the runoff and standing water as I drove from work to do some errands. A few minutes after returning home I glanced outside. The pouring rain had turned into big fat snowflakes. And it was coming down hard! When I woke up this evening, I discovered a pretty good accumulation. I was more surprised when I read an e-mail from a friend in England-they had a huge snow storm and everything is at a standstill! Welcome December!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Screwed Again

Work has screwed me again. I got a call, waking me up, of course. Long story short, I'm being moved off night shift. I'm not sure if I'll be going to days or evenings-but I don't want either. I just pray that I'll be able to stay on nights til after Christmas. Why do they always have to mess with me during the holidays?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vince Guaraldi - Little Birdie -

I've always loved this song. Since I'm celebrating Thanksgiving with my folks today, I thought it was appropriate to post it! Happy Turkey Day-whenever you celebrate it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blogs I Read

If you scroll down the right side of my blog you'll see a list of blogs that I read. I'm not sure if anyone looks...but I decided to update the list. You'll see some new blogs and a few that are gone. Although I still follow all of them, I decided to delete those blogs that aren't updated on a regular basis from my page. I hope I haven't offended anyone-but when months go by without a post...still, I'm here when you start posting again. So stay tuned to the Blogs I Read-it may change on a fairly regular basis.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Arlo Guthrie/Alice's Restaurant *

Another Thanksgiving tradition. Sit back for a while and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish everyone a wonderful turkey day. It's just another work day for me-although I did pick up a nice herb stuffed chicken breast from Wegman's, so that'll be a nice dinner along with some cranberry sauce. I'll celebrate with my folks on my day off-and have the traditional turkey day meal then. I do have a lot for which to be thankful: a job that allows me to live a comfortable lifestyle (even though I do hate it), a home of my own (which I just successfully refinanced), 15 wonderful kids (from eldest-Harley, Seneca, Aleister, Calumet, Snickers, Aquinas, Dylan, Harrison, Napoleon, Wallace, Marlin, Grodziskie, Okocim, Zywiec, and Tyskie), great parents, wonderful friends and family and so much more. Thank you for reading my blog-have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler (subscribe if you like this video)



Get into the holiday spirit. This song makes me laugh-I hope you enjoy it too. Oh, I did get the rest of my outdoor lights up!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preparations

I had thought I'd get a jump start on my holiday preparations. No one was coming to the house, so I thought I'd skip Thanksgiving this year and get a head start on Christmas. Well, Thanksgiving is 2 days away and I haven't done any decorating at all! I should finish putting the outside lights on...but I want to go to bed. Of course, it'll be too dark when I wake up. Tomorrow I'll finish-no excuses. As for the inside...sigh. And the rest? I have my cards (got them last year) and picked up Christmas stamps last week. I still need to make my list (check it twice), sign the cards and decorate the envelopes. I need to wrap presents and prepare them for shipping...and do some holiday baking...and a host of other things. Why does time have to move at warp speed?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The 5th Dimension - Wedding Bell Blues - 1969



Marilyn McCoo has an incredible voice. Thanks Mike for reminding me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Lights

I love Christmas lights...although I don't enjoy putting them up or taking them down. In fact, after last season, I left the lights in the bushes. Tonight I decided to hook everything up and see what worked. As you know, I firmly believe there is a scam and that Christmas lights basically only work 1 year. So I started looking for my timers...and couldn't find them. I found the extension cords and the outside Christmas extras, but no timers. After walking back and forth from basement garden room (where they should have been) to the garage (where they might have been) with a few steps in between (you never know where they could wind up) I finally had a thought. I looked at the outlets where I would plug them in and....there they were, still attached to the house. Sigh. I flicked switches and took a look. Actually, a good percentage of the lights came on-although the colors were definitely muted. The East side of the house is all set. The main outages were on the corner as the bushes go around the West side of the house. I picked up a few packages of lights and, although I knew I wouldn't have enough to finish, figured I'd put what I had out. Unfortunately, I discovered that I goofed on 2 of the packages and got white, instead of green cord. Hmmm. Take back to store? Nope, I was on a roll. It'll snow soon anyway. So I put up 4 strands and will get a few more this week. Closer to Thanksgiving I'll put up the outside Christmas extras-the present for the front porch, candy canes for the walkway to my back door, 2 little lit trees, and some lit poofy frond things I saw on sale and couldn't resist. Do you have your Christmas lights up?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Glasses

I hate getting new glasses. I despise picking out frames-how can you tell what the heck you look like when you can't see?!?! Then, when you get your new glasses, you have to adjust to the new prescription. This go around was especially bad for me. I have to get used to, not only a new prescription, but having bifocals as well. Sigh. Yesterday I was continually dizzy and nauseous. Today is better, thankfully. I'm not sure how I like the frames...but at least I can see better, when I don't make myself dizzy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo Phriday - 1st Snowfall

When I got out of work this morning I saw snow on the ground. It was here at home too. Our first accumulation of the season.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

High Risk

I took my folks to the hospital today for Dad's surgical consult. According to the surgeon, he's high risk-"That's why you're seeing me". Due to all the mess created by the surgery in Buffalo, he may have to do in through the side to get to heart, instead of through the chest. Which makes it trickier. But he's done it before. He's done heart transplants, put in artificial ones, and more. The guy seems good...and nice too. I stayed in the waiting room, so I didn't meet him, but from what the folks said, he seems like a good guy. He said he's building a band. Dad will be his second trumpet-he put an artificial heart in another trumpet player! Dad has to go through several tests, both in Buffalo and Rochester, before the surgeon can figure out how he's going to proceed. So Dad may not have the surgery for a while. Both of my parents seemed quite pleased with the hospital. Hopefully he'll get much better care than he did in Buffalo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Travesty

I love ballroom dancing. I love to watch professionals, and I enjoy watching ballroom competition. I was thrilled when Dancing with the Stars came to TV. However, I was not a religious viewer. Too many times I was disgusted by the voting public (as I am with most competition shows where viewers vote). Plus, I often had other things going on. This season I did watch periodically, even more that usual. Last night was the show that showed which 3 couples made it to the finals. Still amazed that Bristol Palin was still in the competition, I was shocked when, in the bottom 2 yet again, yet again, she remained. My face probably mirrored Jennifer Grey's. First, shock. Within moments, shock gave way to disgust and I shut off the TV and left for work. It is an absolute travesty that Brandy was eliminated and Bristol is in the final 3.

Why is it a travesty? Bottom line-Brandy dances very well...Bristol does not. You want more? You got it. First of all the show is Dancing with the Stars. And Bristol Palin is a star how? She got knocked up as an unwed teen and then became an activist for abstinence. OK. Is an activist a star? Maybe...what has she done as an activist? Has she written a book? Done a TV series? Does she even have a web series? Sorry, a blog, if she even has one doesn't count. I have a blog. I am not a star. With the answer to these questions a negative, the only reason people know her name is because of her famous mother...who may be famous, but isn't a star either. She, the mother, is a former governor, a losing candidate for vice presidency, and a basically a nut job working to destroy the environment. So how did Bristol Palin even get on the show? But, get on the show she did. So she danced. And she was lousy. She wasn't a performer and it showed. Yet, each week she remained in the competition-when much better dancers were eliminated...Audrina and Rick are big jump outs to me. Did she improve? Yes, she did. So did everyone else! But, the show is not "the most improved dancer". Nor is it "America's Favorite Dancer" like on So You Think You Can Dance. The winner should be the best dancer-in both technique and performance. Bristol has never been best in either category. "Oh, but she worked so hard." Yea...and so did every other contestant. I don't even want to watch the finale-my disgust is so high. But I must, because I must vote for Jennifer or Kyle. Will it even matter though? I hear there is a glitch in the system allowing people to send hundreds of votes online. Rumor has it that this method of cheating has allowed Bristol to remain on the show. Will they fix the glitch before the finale? Or will the least talented dancer actually win?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Passe

I heard on the radio today that e-mail (at least as we know it today) is passe and will be gone from the masses...like landline phones. I'm sorry I like e-mail...and I have a landline phone. "They" say e-mail is too slow. People want immediate contact. Texting and instant messaging are the way to go. I say, "No Thank You!" I don't want instant contact. While periodically it's nice to IM online-for the most part, I don't want to be bothered. Let me get to you when I want to get to you. As for phones...while Smart phones may be neat-I don't want one! I have a tracfone that I use for emergencies and the rare long distance phone call. People don't know the number...and I don't want them to know it. It's only turned on when I'm traveling and meeting up with people-and sometimes not even then.When I'm out and about, I don't want to stop to talk on the phone. I'll get back to you when I get home-so just leave a message. Yes, I still have an answering machine. Deal with it! I also write letters...on real stationery. I guess I'm just an old curmudgeon who is passe. Guess what. I can live with that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to the Family

I'd like to introduce the newest members of my family, Grodziskie, Okocim, Tyskie, and Zywiec. 














Grodziskie & Okocim are brothers born September 11, 2010. Grodziskie is a Wheaten Burmese and Okocim is a Siamese-seal point, or possibly agouti point.
Tyskie & Zywiec are brothers born October 7 2010. They are the nephews of Aquinas, Dylan, and Harrison. (The babies mom is sister to my boys.) Tyskie is a Black Eyed White and Zywiec is a dalmation. Tyskie is tiny at only 90 grams!!!

Aren't they all so sweet?!?! Can you guess what they are named after?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Priceless

Tolls - $10.30

Gas - $70.00

Baby Ratties - Priceless

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo Phriday - Storm Windows In

With the help of my friend, Kim, I got the storm windows in this morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture...and now it's dark. So....picture coming tomorrow. For now-use your imagination!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. To all of those who have served, I thank you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Landscaping

The landscapers arrived. From afar, Dave was concerned that he was too late to save the arborvitae-but they looked better close up-so we're going to try to transplant. After discussing where to put them, and the 2 cherry trees (1 sweet, 1 sour), and concerns over the apple and ornamental plum I asked if he needed me for anything else. He said, nope, "go to bed". Seeing as it's past my bedtime, I will. It's nice leaving the hard labor to the professionals!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Old

After my visit to my regular doctor I went to the eye doctor. I need bifocals! OMG. I'm old! Then I picked up prescriptions-including a new one for a nasty cough left over from a cold. Turn out my folks use the same thing! Auughhhh I am old! My new glasses should be ready in about 2 weeks. Then I'll need to adjust to bifocals. Ugh. Getting old sucks...but it's better than the alternative!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Got Some-Need More

I got an extra hour...but I really need an extra day. How about an extra week? I actually woke at a decent hour and went to the barn where I worked with my horse. Used some coupons (great deals) and came home. Doing lots of laundry and cleaned the Cheektowaga boys cage. It is nice to just relax....but I need to work on some crafts. I need to figure out the concept for my Thanksgiving Day cards-and make them. I also need to make some cards for a craft show and start a Christmas project that I intended to start a year ago! So, on that note, I'm going to get busy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time Change

Tonight we change our clocks back. I'm looking forward to gaining an hour-heaven's knows I need it! The time chance used to occur earlier-who gets to decide to change the day? For that matter, who gets to decide-hey lets change time around?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Closed

Yesterday evening I signed all the paperwork and closed on the refinancing of my home. I lowered my interest rate a great deal and now have only a 15 year mortgage! Plus, I'll be getting a check and don't have to pay my mortgage until January! As the title lady said, "Merry Christmas"!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

15 Authors

So, who were my 15 authors in 15 minutes from yesterday's post?

1. William Shakespeare
2. Yukio Mishima
3. John Steinbeck
4. Lawrence Ferlinghetti
5. Madeline L'Engle
6. Douglas Adams
7. Elizabeth Peters AKA Barbara Michaels
8. Nikos Kazantzakis
9. A.A. Milne
10. Michael Bond
11. Brian Jacques
12. Edward Eager
13. Kathleen O'Neil Gear & Michael Gear
14. Tony Hillerman
15. Aimee and David Thurlo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Own Disparity

When I lived in Texas I was a member of the Heart of Texas Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Sisters is a wonderful organization that promotes female mystery writers. The truth is that while females write many mysteries, the field is dominated by male authors who receive more press and recognition. There is a disparity and it's not pretty. I am a voracious reader and the majority of books I read are by female authors. However, I noticed a glaring disparity created by myself. Recently I was challenged to list 15 books of great importance to me. Shortly thereafter I was told to list 15 authors that have greatly influenced me in 15 minutes. I came up with my author list and while many authors are on both lists-there are differences. Here's my issue with myself-of the 15 books...only 4 were written by women. Of the 15 authors, again, only 4 were women and of those 4, 2 write with their husbands. Why aren't women featured more predominantly on my lists? Or at least closer to 50/50?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote!

It's election day-so go out there and vote. I did...even though they're all a bunch of crooks. Sigh. But I voted. I even used the new system. You get a paper ballot and have to fill in the circles, like the old standardized testing. Then you feed it into a machine that reads it. At first the machine wouldn't take my ballot. One volunteer suggested removing the privacy holder-that worked. My vote has been tabulated. Has yours?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone is having a spooktacular Halloween. I spent the day with my animals. I rode Harley earlier, then scrubbed rat cages. Now I'm relaxing, about to prepare some snacks and watch Ghost Hunter's Halloween special, live from my favorite building-Buffalo's Central Terminal. I think I'll start with wine...but I may have some apple cider with whipped cream flavored vodka later. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ghost Walk

I went to the Rochester Ghost Walk presented by the Landmark Society of Western NY tonight. I've been wanting to go for years, and finally went, along with 2 friends. We had a great time.We met up at a church then went out in groups, following a leader carrying a lantern who led us down historic Arnold Park. We stopped at several houses where "ghosts" told us tales of their lives here in Rochester. The houses were absolutely gorgeous. (I need to go back in daylight.) The acting was quite good and the stories very interesting. I got back very late...that's why I'll say goodnight now.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ring Ring

Is it any wonder that people who work night shift can get grumpy and tired due to interrupted sleep? 5 phone calls today. Fortunately, the first one came before I went to bed. It was an important call too. The bank is done with their part of the refinancing and I should expect a call from the title company to arrange for closing. Then I go to bed. Sound asleep. Phone rings. This too, was an important call. My mechanic said my vehicle was ready and I could pick it up at any time. OK. As I try to go back to sleep, phone rings. It's former president Bill Clinton reminding me to vote. Well, a recording of him. As I'm still trying to sleep-phone rings. My OB/GYN's office reminding me of my appointment next week. Forget it! I get up, walk over and get my car, then back home and back to bed. At this point it's only like 3 PM. I'm sleeping good...phone rings. There's silence after I say hello-so figuring it's another stupid election all, I hang up. 7 minutes later my alarm goes off. Needless to say I pressed snooze...a lot! How would you like it if you got multiple phone calls between 1 and 5 AM? That's the equivalent of what we night shifters have to put up with!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To the Vet

I took all the rats to the vet this morning. When Baron had surgery the vet found some little buggies. They're species specific, and easy to treat, but a pain. We got everyone weighed. When I went in the exam room, the receptionist brought in the chart-looking at the names and dates of births, she quietly asked me, in a hesitant voice, "You no longer have Snickers?" I laughed and said, "He's right here!" My old man really is old at over 3 years and a month! Everyone did really well sitting in that little cup getting weighed. Snickers is by far the heaviest, weighing in at 600 grams. Unfortunately, a lot of that is tumor. Sigh. Dylan is next at 484 and the rest are close to that with the lightest being Marlin at 425. I've started washing fabric, but I won't give them their treatment til tomorrow. I have to keep them separated for a few hours-or they'll lick the meds off each other. Then a scrub of all cages. Hopefully this will knock everything out. We have to be ready for the babies coming!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do Nothing

What to do? I'll probably do nothing, and that's probably the best option. Some times, when you procrastinate, or just wait, the opportunity expires. While you haven't made a choice...in a way, you did. So, what's this all about? Ebooks. Lately I've become a bit interested in the Kindle and the iPad. I am, however, old fashioned and I like nothing better than holding an actual book in my hands. Yet, technology does intrigue me. I started doing some research, especially into the kindle-which is much less expensive than the iPad (of course, you can only read on it-unlike the iPad which is almost a computer with Internet.) But, I'd basically come to the conclusion that I would not buy a kindle, or ask for one as a Christmas gift...although I'd love to get one. One of the main reasons, aside from my old fashioned "let me hold a real book" feelings was the cost. As I mentioned before, I don't buy many books-basically because of the cost. And buying books for kindle doesn't save you much money. Basically the ebook costs $1 less than the real book! So I'd decided, pretty much, to stick with my library books, buying an occasional book at an author signing event. What happened, you may ask? I've been in contact with several authors who are actively promoting their ebooks. Some mysteries are hard to find-and some authors have recently gotten their rights back from publishing houses and can sell their backlisted books on their own. In fact, there's a huge sale going on right now: http://backlistebooks.com/ I've received 2 messages from 2 local authors whose books I really like: Lorna Barrett (Lorraine Bartlett, L.L. Bartlett) and P.B. Ryan (Patricia Ryan). I really want to support authors...and some of P.B. Ryan's books are only $2.49 on sale (most kindle books that I've looked at are $6.99) . According to Lorraine Bartlett, you don't need an e-reader to buy these books-you can download them right to your computer and read them there. I definitely have no desire to do that. Reading at my big desktop is no fun. But if you buy an ebook, do you have to pick a version-or do you just buy it and it'll work for all? You see my dilemma. That's why I think I'll do nothing. Sigh.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music

You may have noticed, but I have a new blog category, or tag, called music. In these posts you'll find a Youtube video of a song I like. My goal is to post something every day-but some days I don't have much to say...or the time to say it, so music is my cheat. I hope you'll like the songs I post...and take the time to listen. Generally, it'll be unique and/or older music. Hopefully, I'll open you up to more music choices. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

15 Books in 15 Minutes

15 Books in 15 Minutes

You have fifteen minutes to list the top fifteen books that have influenced you as a person.

I admit-I used more than 15 minutes. The first 10 came easily to mind, but then...these are books that have been with me for a LONG time, I was concentrating on the influencing part. I'm not sure if these influenced me as a person as much as me as a reader, and thinker.

1. OK, I don't know the title or author of this first book-but I still think about it. I checked it out from the school library of St. John the Baptist school where I attended from kindergarden through 4th grade. The book was a large picture book, mainly brown in color and had to do with a dragon. I really wish I knew the name!
2. The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton
3. Half Magic by Edward Eager I adored all of his magic books, this one was the first.
4. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg Who wouldn't want to live in a museum?
5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (the whole series about the Murry and O'Keefe families, this is the first.)
6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
7. The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
8. In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck ( I love all of Steinbeck-but this is one of my favorites-try To a God Unknown and Cannery Row if all you've read is the Grapes of Wrath-which is probably my least favorite.)
9. Madame de Sade by Yukio Mishima OK, it's a play-but it's the work that introduced me to this brilliant writer. His many novels are wonderful, but I really like this play as well as his Noh plays.
10. Earthbound by Rebecca Flanders My first paranormal romance.
11. The 3 Investigators Mystery series, created by Robert Arthur Jr. It started as Alfred Hitchcock Presents the 3 investigators and Arthur wrote the first of the books...the series continued even after Hitchcock's death. This series, along with The Hardy Boys, probably instilled my love of mysteries-especially those with comedy and a touch of the supernatural!
12. The Circle of Light series by Niel Hancock-Greyfox Grimwald is the first. Talking animals, fantasy adventure.
13. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams..and the rest of the "trilogy".
14. Polish American Folk Tales collected by Catherine Harris Ainsworth. Honoring my heritage as well as paranormal study!
15. Redwall By Brian Jacques. The whole Redwall series. I'll never forget Jacques' advice to writers-"paint a picture with words". I hope my writing can do that!

OK-what are your 15?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photo Phriday - Phall Colors

My maple tree on this cold (38degree) rainy morning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

X-Large

I always buy my t-shirts in a size XL. I like them roomy, and you never know the cut. However, some larges fit fine...and even a medium or 2, although that's rare nowadays. At any rate, for work I wear plain colored t-shirts that I get for like $2.50 at craft stores. In cooler weather I like to layer a long sleeved t-shirt underneath. Then I bring a hoodie, as they turn the heat way down in the middle of the night. This morning I went to Walmart to get some flavored water that I take for my lunch at work. Anyway, I saw a good price on long sleeved shirts, so I got a red one...in an XL. I need to remember that apparently big people shop at Walmart. Their XLs are really X. I would have been better with a plain L. But, I got it, I'm wearing it, and I'm not taking it back. Better a bit big than too small.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Won!

I follow several blogs and I adore A Garden for the House. Kevin has a great site with lots of wonderful information about plants and gardening-as well as decorating and cooking with those plants. He shares some great recipes too! He recently had lunch with Ruth Reichl. To quote him "Ruth is the former editor of Gourmet Magazine, the former restaurant critic for The New York Times, and the author of 3 best-selling memoirs". He had 2 signed copies of her first memoir, Tender At The Bone and was giving them away! To be eligible you just had to make a comment about your favorite dessert, and subscribe to his blog. I already subscribed...but what dessert to write about? It took me a while (days actually) but I finally wrote and picked my mom's Fresh Strawberry Pie...with mentions of chocolate mousse, bourbon pecan pie, and chocolate chip cookies. (Come on-who can pick just one dessert?!) I'm glad I waited to post my comment. A computer program randomly picked 2 numbers-those posts whose writers would win. I was the second winner! I won!!! Yea me. I can't wait to receive the book-what a wonderful addition to my collection of cooking books!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Overcoming Adversity


It never ceases to amaze me how people and other animals react to horrible things. Some are devastated and never recover, some become bitter and angry, and others go on with a joyful heart. I just read an article about Chipmunk, a little puppy available for adoption at the Erie County Humane Society. Little Chipmunk has had a horrible life. When he was only 24 days old and weighed only 2 pounds, he was surrendered to the shelter after being attacked by a large animal. One of his hind legs was practically destroyed and had to be amputated. Thankfully, he flew through the surgery and recovery with flying colors and has healed nicely. This little guy is full of love and, according to shelter staff, runs like he has 10 legs, instead of 3! When horrible things happen to you, try to think of Chipmunk and overcome the tragedy so you can be ready for a wonderful next chapter!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Where's George?

I don't carry much cash on hand, preferring to pay for just about everything with a credit card. Still, I got some cash from the ATM this weekend as I planned on dining out with friends, going to the Farmer's market, and paying tolls on the thruway-things for which it's better to have cash. SO, this weekend I was giving and receiving paper money. On my way home from Buffalo yesterday I grabbed a single to pay my thruway toll. As I was waiting I stopped and looked at it-it had writing on it. It was labeled as part of a currency tracking project. So I gave another single to the toll keeper and kept this one. Today I went to the site WheresGeorge.com and entered my bill. It turns out this bill started in Amherst, NY and although it went into circulation for the project 191 days ago, I'm the first person to check in with it. I think the whole concept is pretty neat. I'm going to put the bill back in my wallet and pay for something with it. Hopefully, someone else will log it into the system!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Old Friends

This morning I drove to Buffalo for brunch with old friends. I haven't seen these folks since the mid 1980's! I went to high school with 2 of them (although they were a year or 2 ahead of me) and the other was my Rolf. He was Rolf and I was Leisle is a community theatre production of the Sound of Music. I was 15! I also met a college friend of one of the guys-and it turns out she knows another old friend of mine. Small world! While waiting for everyone ( I got there early) I sipped my complimentary mimosa. Then for the meal I had Pannetone French Toast with a cinnamon sauce and marscapone with bacon and a raspberry champagne cocktail. I had a lovely time with great conversation!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Busy Weekend

I have a busy, fun-filled weekend planned. After work I made a stop at the Farmer's Market-unfortunately, my Amish friends weren't there-so no cookies for me. I did pick up some apple cider, potatoes, eggs, and radishes though. Then it was bed time. I woke up and got ready to meet my friend. She came over and I gave her a tour of my garden. Then we went to my friend's craft shop. After spending some time...and money...there we went to Staples-so I could show her what she needed for our cookbook project. Right next door was Bath & Body Shop. I had a coupon-so we stopped in. I was very disappointed in their new holiday scents-still I used my coupon for something else and got a present as well. I was hungry at this point-so we had dinner at the North Chili Family Restaurant. I had the chicken fried steak. Yumm. I relaxed and watched some Brit Coms, but I need to get to bed soon. I have to get up early for another fun day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Earful

I got an earful this evening. It all started last night. I had gone into the attic and Calumet had gone up as well. Of course, she wouldn't come down-so I left the door partially opened all night and went to work. When I got home this morning Callie was downstairs, so when I went upstairs I closed the attic door. I stayed up for a bit, then got ready and went to bed. A few hours later I woke up when I thought I heard something, but I shrugged it off and fell back asleep. A while after that I woke again hearing a very odd noise. It sounded as if something was wrong with the plumbing! Worried about a backing up toilet or some other plumbing nightmare I got up and walked to the bathroom. All looked well, then I turned and opened up the door to the attic. An indignant Calumet came out meowing and yipping and talking. She kept rubbing against me and touching me, talking all the while. She'd poke me, "MOM!!!!! YOU LEFT ME IN THERE!!!!" Nudge, Nudge, "HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO MEEEEEEEE?!?!" Smack, "DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME!!!" After some time of proving that she was there-she went to lay down for a nap! Sorry, Callie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baron

Over the weekend Baron developed a large tumor on his right hind leg. I've dealt with many tumors before-you just have the surgery and remove it-they often come back, but it's a simple and common procedure. I took him to the vet yesterday and left him so that he could have surgery this afternoon. I snapped this picture before I separated him from his brothers, gave him a kiss, and gave him to the vet. The vet called a little while ago. The tumor was super aggressive and  was tied so tightly to a muscle mass that the vet was only able remove part of it, then he kept losing blood. She stopped the surgery. They were trying to raise his body temperature and give him fluids. She hung up and I began to pray. However, she called back-he didn't make it. She kept saying how I was doing the right thing by trying to remove the tumor, as it would only cause him problems...but I am full of regret. It wasn't bothering him yet, I could have had more time with him. He was the sweetest, friendliest, and most outgoing of the Cheektowaga Boys. Yes, he was my favorite of the group, my beautiful blue agouti with the marked face. He was only with me for 5 months, I should have had him for 2 more years. Rest in peace, little one, your loss is deeply felt.

RIP
Baron
1/15/10-10/12/10

Monday, October 11, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month. Today I went for my annual mammogram. The place was packed, but I got to talking with a woman waiting next to me...and another across from me, about the Kindle and iPad. She had both and was showing us all the features. Pretty darn cool. Although I believe in real books...that Kindle is very tempting. At any rate I was called before I knew it, got squished (no big deal...perhaps because I am so big...nonetheless...) and went to wait for my results. Talked with the ladies again and before you knew it-we were all out of there. My boobs are normal and I was out in an hour! So ladies, make sure you get your yearly mammograms-it's no big deal and early detection is important! Guys, make sure you tell the women in your life to get checked! As one shirt says-Save the ta tas!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Binary Day!

It's 10-10-10 so I will wish everyone a Happy Binary Day! I remember all the festivities around 7-7-77. That was an especially fun time as it was my Grandpa's birthday as well. There were all sorts of sales and sidewalk events. However, I don't remember 8-8-88 being anything special. I remember my friends hoping their baby would be born on 9-9-99. (My goddaughter was late, arriving on the16th, but another friend's girl did make it on time.) There doesn't seem to be much fanfare around 10-10-10. It's my unofficial goddaughter's birthday. I wonder what will happen on 11-11-11?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Lennon Tribute In My Life

John Lennon

Today would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. Instead his life was cut short nearly 30 years ago, murdered by a "fan". I remember where I was when I heard the news, I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was in the upstairs bathroom of my parent's house getting ready for school. My mom had the radio on, as she does every morning, and heard the news. Talk about, "I heard the news today...oh, boy". Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?

In memory of John Lennon, imagine today. Remember. And enjoy the music.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Photo Phriday - Flags

Nope, it's not a flag football field. It's my front lawn with all the utility lines flagged so that when the landscapers dig...all will be well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall Shows

The fall TV season has begun and now I have to follow some shows. So far I'm watching America's Next Top Model and Top Chef: Just Desserts on Wednesdays and The Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy on Thursdays. What are you watching?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

It's off to work I go. Actually, due to vacation and illness this will be the first time in 3 weeks that I've worked more than 2 days in a row. Hmmm. I kind of enjoyed that-work 2 days, 7 off, work 2, 7 off, work 2, 5 off. I wish the whole of work could go like that...getting paid full time, of course!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Monty Python Day

It was 41 years ago today that Monty Python's Flying Circus aired...and dare I say, TV was never the same again! BBC America has a nice little piece about the troupe, including some favorite sketches. I'm not sure what my favorite one is...The Lumberjack Song (but don't forget the whole Barbershop prelude, "Cut, cut, cut"), Nudge, Nudge, The Dead Parrot, Johann Gambolputty (de von Ausfern -schplenden -schlitter -crasscrenbon -fried -digger -dangle -dungle -burstein -von -knacker -thrasher -apple -banger -horowitz -ticolensic -grander -knotty -spelltinkle -grandlich -grumblemeyer -spelterwasser -kürstlich -himbleeisen -bahnwagen -gutenabend -bitte -eine -nürnburger -bratwustle -gerspurten -mit -zweimache -luber -hundsfut -gumberaber -shönendanker -kalbsfleisch -mittler -raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm), The Spanish Inquisition (No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!) and oh so many more! Thank you Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, and Graham Chapman for all the wonderful zaniness!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rain

It's a rainy day today with more rain in the forecast. Works for me though. I went to the barn to groom Harley-not enough energy to ride. Now I'm about to lay down before heading back to work. I'm still sick and hardly have any energy, but I must return. Hopefully all will be well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Still Sick

Although I'm feeling better, I'm still sick.  I actually left the house today for the first time since coming home Wednesday morning. I needed a special paper to finish up my Halloween cards and meat! I was only gone for 2 hours-but it wiped me out! I ate a small lunch, then it was back to bed. I napped a long time with my sweet bot Aleister. It's back to work tomorrow, hopefully I'll get my stamina back soon!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wish You Were Here

I just got the cutest postcard from my globetrotting friend, Vinnie. I love it-it has 2 Siberian Husky puppies (just about my favorite) on a Dogsled. But what makes it more special is the postmark. My beautiful Alaskan postcard was postmarked in Honolulu! Love it! Love you too, Vin.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Photo Phriday - Scentbug


This little cutie is a Scentbug. Another gadget to help make your home smell nice..and decorate for the holidays as well. How could I pass him up? I got him a while ago, but just set him up today. You open his mouth and a piece comes out-kind of like the disc drive on your computer. Anyway, you put some drops of fragrance oil on the pad and close his mouth back up. Then you turn on the switch and a battery operated fan diffuses the scent. I have a lovely smelling fragrance called Leaves. I'm not sure how long it lasts, since it is battery operated, but it is nice when you don't want to burn a candle...or for a place where you can't burn one. Plus, I think the little guy is sweet! As for the reviews...it's just for small spaces, so don't expect it to smell up a room like a Yankee Candle, and also don't run it all the time-otherwise I'm sure the batteries will give out soon-and my bat is as quiet as a mouse. Happy October!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good Cats

I have very good cats. I am home sick with a bad cold. Yesterday, Callie was my little nursemaid-sitting on my lap most of the night, checking in to see I was OK, and sleeping close to me all night. Seneca, meanwhile, is making sure the house is OK. I intended to go to work last night, I even made a sandwich to take for lunch. I didn't go to work, and today I decided to have my sandwich for lunch. However, instead of just eating a cold sandwich, I decided to put the salami and cheese in my George Foreman and grill it. As it was cooking I went to the basement to get some ginger ale. While there I got distracted by the dirty lint catcher for the washing machine and was cleaning that out. I was surprised when I saw Seneca. Now, Callie regularly plays in the basement, but Seneca rarely goes-when she does she usually just hangs out on the top of the plastic storage pantry. Instead, she came out and mewed at me. That's when I realized-she came to get me as my sandwich was done. She followed me right up and I was able to save the sandwich. No burned lunch for me. Yes, I have very good cats.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Football

The other day I posted about my little cat, Calumet being a footballer. She has a multitude of toys, but lately that soft little football has been her favorite. The other day I went down to the basement and saw it laying at the bottom of the stairs. The next day I saw it on the second floor, in the library. Today, it's on the first floor near my computer-but close to the kitchen...and not far from the basement stairs. Where will it turn up next?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sick

Last night was my first night back at work after vacation. Things were OK. Then about 4 hours in, I had a sore throat. I was told-you got the gunk-it's been going around. Ugh. I felt fine, other than the throat. But then I had sweats and chills-nothing new, that's the way the heating/cooling system is at work. I went home, did some things and went to bed. I kept waking up and within an hour I knew it was true. I'm sick. I have a tiny fever and a sore throat. But, I'm not feeling too horrible. At least I wasn't sick during my vacation!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Few Hours

I'm entering the last few hours before I have to return to work. Sigh. Since I stayed up late-trapped watching The Haunted on Animal Planet (they need to wait that in the daytime, not late at night) it was difficult to get up on this grey morning. When I left the house for the barn it was drizzling-though it had stopped by the time I got Harley tacked up. He was a pain as I was getting him ready-but once we were in the indoor arena and ready to go-he was ready to work. He was a very good boy, walking with purpose, paying attention at the trot, and getting all correct leads at the canter. We worked doing circles at the canter and he did very well, even though we missed a few cones. After cooling down and brushing off he got to go out in the pasture. I came home, fixed lunch and had a glass of wine. Soon it'll be time for a bath, a nap, and then work. Too bad vacations...paid vacations, mind you...couldn't last forever!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last Day of Vacation

Today was the last day of my vacation. I didn't set my alarm, but managed to wake up at a decent hour. After eating a piece of grape pie (yummmmm) with some grape juice from Hunt Country Vineyard (yummmm) I went shopping. I had some coupons about to expire so I went to the Mall. I rarely go, but the independent Hallmark stores I usually visit have all closed (boo). I got some things there and then went to Yankee Candle-a dangerous place. I've been wanting to get a food processor and found a fantastic deal on one at Macy's. Then a stop at AC Moore to pick up some paper for a project, Mr. Dollar for some inexpensive wrapping paper for my goddaughters. I stocked up at PetSmart (another coupon) and got a great deal on some hoodies for work at JoAnnes. By then I had worked up an appetite and stopped at Taco Bell. Imagine my surprise at about 2 paragraphs into my book I felt a presence. I looked up to see my friend Kim, from the barn. She and her husband had stopped in for a bite before their shopping. We chatted for a while as we ate. I then stopped at the barn to give Harley an appetiser (it was almost his suppertime) and a pet before heading home. Now I'm wrapping presents and relaxing. I sure to hate the thought of going back to work, but tonight I'm going to snack on jalapeno hors d'oeuvres, drink champagne, and enjoy the scent of my Yankee Candle, Cranberry Harvest.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Naples Grape Festival

The Naples Grape Festival is a major event in this neck of the woods, and up until this year, I always missed it. This year I made sure of the date and off I went. I had a grape time! I spent most of the day there, arriving just after 10 AM and leaving just after 3:30 PM. The entire valley was filled with all sorts of booths and by noon it seemed as if half the universe had descended into it! Yet, for all the crowds, things ran absolutely smoothly. For the most part, people were patient and courteous. As much as I loved checking out the craft booths, and I got even more Christmas shopping done!-I was really happy about the wine tent. For a fee you were able to get a glass (yes, another to add to my collection) and sample the wines from 13 NY wineries. I was excited to see several wineries with which I wasn't familiar so I could try their wines. I was also pleased to see wineries I know and love. These wineries served a mob today and I have to give a major hand to all the servers. I also met a lovely fellow from GRROWLS, a NY Golden Retriever Rescue. Oscar is a wonderful dog who loved his pets and wasn't shy about pulling me closer for more! If he hadn't already been adopted he may have come home with me! All in all it was a great day and I'm glad I finally experienced the Naples Grape Fest!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo Phriday - The Mansion

This is just a detail of a mansion I've always admired in Buffalo, NY. It was recently sold and they were having an estate sale today. The line was too long though, so I didn't go in.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Footballer

I was at the computer earlier when I heard quite a ruckus. It was coming from the hallway to the basement. BAM! THUD! BAM, BAM THUD! It sounded like a herd of elephants running up and down the basement stairs. BAM BAM! I peeked into the kitchen to see Callie, my smallest cat, emerging from the basement throwing her toy football ahead of her. Yes, my littlest girl is a football player! And this dainty 10 pound girl sounds like an entire offensive line!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Approved

I got the paperwork today. I've been approved for the refinancing of my house. I just have to sign a few papers, write a letter explaining my name on my parents' house, get some info about my window loan and send it all in. I'm just thrilled that I'll be able to pay off my home in 15 years!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Winery Animals

One of the things I love about visiting wineries is meeting the winery animals. So many of these places have pets that enjoy meeting the visitors...or at least tolerate them. There are winery dogs, winery cats, some wineries have dogs and cats, Swedish Hill even has a donkey! After a few years of meeting them, I decided to start taking their pictures. Hmmm. That would make a great book. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that someone beat me to the punch. Sure enough there's a book-Winery Dogs of New York. They don't cover all of the wineries, or even all of the dogs...and there needs to be a Winery Cats of New York. Heck, Marjim Manor has 7 all on its own! At any rate, on the Keuka trail yesterday I met 4 winery dogs, Xena from Barrington Cellars, Max from McGregor Vineyard, Poncho from Yates Cellars, and Hedy at Hunt Country Vineyards. Max and Hedy vanished before I could get photos-but I was able to grab a shot of Poncho and Xena. Max is the only one of the bunch that is in the book. Hunt Country does have a spread, but Hedy isn't pictured. Sadly, Gus, one of the dogs mentioned crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Like Gus, Heddy is a Bernese Mountain Dog and is the official greeter. Aside from the fact that I enjoy their wines, I also love the fact that they support many animal causes. Hedy was adopted from a local rescue, there is an annual walk among the grapes to benefit the Yates County Humane Society, and they also donate a portion of proceeds of their wine Sweet Gus to the Shelter of Hope of the Humane Society of Yates County. So, when you go for that wine tasting, don't forget to keep an eye out for your furry hosts!  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Keuka Lake Wineries

I discovered more wineries today as I participated in the Keuka Lake Wine Trail's Harvest of Food and Wine Event. There are only 8 wineries that participate in the Wine Trail-but there are several others around the lake. Trying to keep to my schedule, I only visited 1 non trail winery, although I had visited another in the past. I had a good time and enjoyed some great food. I'll detail more of my adventure tomorrow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Always Different

There's always something different every time you ride a horse...even the same horse. Three rides ago we were lousy at the trot-great cantering. The next time, I decided to work on our trot. This time the trot was great, yet I was flopping around like a fish at the canter. Harley, however, was wonderful, knowing what I wanted and doing it, even while I was messing up. Then there was today. It started when Harley started messing around at the mounting block. Oh, it's going to be one of those days. I got on and we started to walk...as if we were in a funeral, it's going to be one of those days. We went outside and started to trot. Harley decided to have a coughing fit, mayhaps just trying to get me off balance. We continued to trot-he continued to goof around. I could hear him flapping his lip, he'd break for no reason, generally be a pain. We had been at it for about 10 minutes when I said, out loud, "Forget it-canter!" He immediately stepped into the correct lead and cantered beautifully. From then on, he listened perfectly. We cantered courses, changing leads-he got the correct one every time. He wasn't breaking either...til I started getting tired and my heels started coming up. He, however, was wonderful. So...I started out wanting to clobber him, but he redeemed himself and I again had a most wonderful horse.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Year

Today got off to a pretty good start. Although it took a while to get out of bed on this gloomy morning, I got up and went straight to the barn. Harley and I rode inside as it had just started to pour rain. He actually wanted to work today and we had a good time of it. I really have a wonderful horse. I was a mess at the canter-flopping around like a fish. But Harley just did his job-and helped me out, knowing what I wanted to do. He got lots of treats afterward! A bit later I took Aleister to the vet for his annuals. (Aleister got a good checkup. He has these weird polyps in his ears, but they don't bother him and they'd be painful to remove and come right back. Doc suggested trying some hydrocortisone ointment, so I'll pick some up.) While we were waiting I realized the date. Today is September 16. One year ago today I took Barrett to the vet and helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge. The tears started then and continue now. Barrett was a wonderful dog and I still miss him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Books

I love books. I always have. I'm a voracious reader too; so much so that I'd go broke if I bought all the books I read. Thank Heaven's for the library system. I still used to buy a lot of books though. Due to space, and budget constraints, I now, generally, just read library books. I feel bad though, for the authors I love trying to make a living and periodically I do buy books. Generally, I will go to book signings and buy the book while also getting it signed by the author. I think it's pretty neat. I was out and about today, looking for a gift for my goddaughter and I decided to go into Barnes and Nobles. I found a neat book for her-a mystery with ghosts as well as local history! Then I thought I might pick up a new mystery by an author who befriended me on Facebook. They had one copy left...but as I was reading the back...and the intro...and, OK the first page, I wasn't sure that I'd really like it. There are so many books I truly love that I don't own and I wasn't sure if I'd like this one. Plus, it wasn't signed...so I decided I'd wait and hope a local library will carry it...or perhaps she'll include my area in a future book signing tour. I will admit that I did buy a new mystery. It takes place in a cheese shop-now, how could I refuse that?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Computer Knowledge, or Lack Thereof

I wish I was more computer savvy. I downloaded these pictures, but they are a very high resolution. I want to get transform them to a lower resolution so I can put them on a blog (which limits picture size) but I don't know how to do it. It's very frustrating as I want to get on with this project, but don't have the know how to do it! Ugh.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Faker

Harley is such a faker. I rode him this evening. He was fine walking to the indoor arena and walking around with me riding. Then we started to trot and he continued to break and periodically limp. He had new shoes put on this morning were his feet sore? Nope, he was faking as he didn't want to work. He was perfectly fine walking and cantering. The goober was faking it, trying to get out of work. I made him work a bit and he finally gave up the "poor me, my feet hurt" routine. He is really a good boy, so I can't get mad...the big faker!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Worn Out

I have presents to wrap, things to stamp, recipes to write, loads to clean...and I don't feel like doing anything! The great thing about vacation is that there's always tomorrow...although I hate wasting time. I guess I've done so much these past 3 days that I've now crashed. I will wrap the gifts as I have to mail them tomorrow, but other than that...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vacation!

Hooray, Hooray, I'm on vacation! Vacation actually started yesterday at about 7:06 AM as I nearly ran getting away from work. It was so busy, I didn't even post a blog! The day was cool, dark, and rainy-perfect for sleeping-which made it very hard to wake up and get out of bed early-so I didn't. I called the folks to wish them a happy anniversary (49 years!), thought of my friend who was celebrating her 50th birthday!, and remembered my sweet Barrett-who came into my life 14 years ago, also on September 9th. Then I was getting ready to go out. I met my friend Kim and we went out for dinner, then to her ceramics class. We had a great time-I worked on a new project, not ceramics, but it requires firing in a kiln. You'll see the results some day...but not soon, they'll be Christmas gifts. Anyway, by the time I got home it was after 10, I had a headache starting up, and I decided to just take a hot bath and get to bed. So I did. I'm off to start today's round of fun, so I'll post again later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Almost There

I just have to get through one more night at work...then I'm on vacation. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little Rolls

I love artisan breads. The only problem is that I hate to eat a whole loaf of the stuff. Wegman's has solved that issue...at least with some flavors. I bought some pre-made burgers and went to get 2 rolls. I glanced over and saw multiple little rolls, in wonderful flavors. There were kalamata olive rolls, rosemary, and today I saw pretzel rolls. These little guys are absolutely delicious. And they make for a nice taste, without worrying about eating a whole loaf of bread before it goes stale, nor deciding only one flavor!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Appraisal

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm refinancing the house. As part of that the house had to be appraised. The appraiser was late, but did come out and was quick. He was concerned that there was no railing on the roof of the sun room since there is a door to it. He said that banks get nervous that a little kid could fall off and sue. No kids here. He did like it better since the door has a bolt and there's a storm door as well. I asked him what the value was and he said he couldn't discuss it at all. He did say that he has to do research yet too-I guess see what homes are selling for here. Oh well, nothing to do now, but wait.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spending Mood

I'm in a spending mood. Yankee Candle is having a sale online...another site has body sprays and such on sale, I want, want, want. But...I just spent over $300 on that stupid bagger (which I may try to return) and I need to buy a new wine fridge. At least I was good at Walmart, I just got what I went for-flavored water for work, some make up that I was running low on, (OK, plus a new eyeliner) toilet paper (always good to have on hand!), and sandwich baggies. OK I did get some little storage containers for my rubber stamping supplies as well as a pencil holder and binder clips for the rat cages-but they were on clearance! So I think I did quite well!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Frustrated

I am frustrated. Lately I seem to get frustrated quite a lot! I tried to mow the front yard, so my Dad wouldn't have to do too much tomorrow. Apparently, my mower only likes to run in drought conditions. Even though the grass was dry-it had rained last night, so my machine thought it was too wet and everything clogged up and the stupid thing decided not to run. Of course, this happened at the front far corner of my house-so I had to push it all the way to the back. The addition of the bagger makes pushing very difficult. Anyway, it's a big pain. Now it's 6:30, I feel like I've accomplished nothing and have a ton left to do. FRUSTRATED!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Busy Busy

I am busy, busy, busy. My mortgage agent received the last of my paperwork, so that's done. The appraiser is coming Monday, so I need to clean, clean, clean. The good thing-I asked about how long he'd take and he said "30 minutes". So that's quick! I had to pick up Cabot this evening and I need to mail him out tomorrow-so he gets to the ship in time to see Alaska! I'm late making a birthday card for my friend in Tokyo-it's her 50th, so I need to do something special! I also have to make another birthday card and an anniversary card. And clean. And mow at least part of the lawn. And I MUST work Harley this weekend. And clean. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First of the Month

It's another first of the month. September...autumn is coming, and coming quickly. It works for me as fall is my favorite season. Still, time is passing quickly. I'm trying to clean in preparation for the appraiser. He called today and set the appointment for Monday. I wasn't thinking (he woke me up, of course) and after I hung up I realized that Monday is Labor Day. It makes no difference to me, but he may want to reschedule. My mortgage agent says she won't her from the underwriter for about 2 weeks. So things are coming along.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Refinance

I just started the process to refinance my house. I know I've been paying too high an interest rate, but hadn't done anything about it. I got a letter from my mortgage company about refinancing, so I gave them a call and said, "do it", before I could procrastinate any more. If everything goes well I should be paying about $30 more each month-but lowering my interest rate to 4.125% AND only having a 15 year mortgage! Kind of exciting, really. I started the application by phone, then sent her a bunch of signed documents. I should get a call to set up an appraisal in a few days. I have to get cleaning! YIKES!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bagger

It was very frustrating...but I did it. I attached the bagger to my lawn tractor. Upon first looking at the instructions I read, "it should take your average homeowner with average technical skills 2 hours to complete". 2 hours?!? I put that away. A few days later, I decided to try. Step 1 affix the screen to the holes in the tabs in the hopper. OK...what holes? There were no holes in the tabs! Everyone was saying, take it to the store and have them do it. I gave up and went...but they were going to charge $75! I just spent about $2000 from them and they wanted to charge me that much?!? He asked-did you affix anything to the mower? No, step 1 was attaching the screen and there are no holes!!! So he told me to go around back and a mechanic came out. He looked at it-you're right, there are no holes! I knew it was defective. He took it in the back, drilled in the appropriate holes and affixed the screen for me. As I waited, I read the rest of the instructions. Ugh. He came out and then showed me how to put the rest of it together (doing what he could for me). Did they want to charge you $75? This is what you do... I went home and was able to put the hopper together, with only a few issues. But then I had to put the chutes on. No go. Back I went. A different guy showed me how to do it. (Another section had to be lifted up and brute force used.) Back home. It was difficult, but I pried the other piece up, forced it in and pulled the elastic over-which was very hard-thank goodness I'm strong! Then I tried it out and...it worked! I need to get a wrench for small spaces and tighten up a few screws...but it's good to go...and I did it my own Damn self...with a little help, but no charge.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Girly?

I am not a girly girl. Never have been, never will be. In fact, only recently have I deigned to wear pink...but it's never a first choice. I don't like dolls either, and I'm not into a lot of bling and glam. However, there are some things that may be considered girly that are must haves. Stuffed animals. Love them. Will always have them and want more! Pretty smelly things! OK, a while back I read a post from a friend that hated receiving scented lotions and soaps and stuff. Not me-I love good smelly things. I adore candles, lotions, bubble baths, soaps, body sprays, and home fragrance stuff. The only issue could be me not liking the given scent. Generally I love fruit scents, autumnal, Christmassy, some floral, quite a lot of things really-just no coconut! I currently have a pomegranate lemonade candle burning, have fresh grapefruit body spray on as well as rain kissed leaves lotion! They may be girly, but I'm perfectly happy with a gift of scented lotions, gels, candles, and such!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not Working

This was a day of things not working. I wanted to go to my friend's shop, hopefully to pick up Cabot. No answer and her voice mailbox is full. I tried to assemble the bagger for my lawn tractor. The first step is to attach the screen via straps to the holes in the tabs of the hopper. However, THERE ARE NO HOLES IN THE TABS!!!! Then I mowed a bit without the bagger. Mower died. Won't restart. The thought is it's clogged with wet grass. I worked at clearing all the grass out of the underside of the mower. It still won't start. Ugh. Hopefully, it'll all dry out by tomorrow when the folks come up and work fine. Fingers crossed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Photo Phriday - Bulk Rolls

Look what I picked up at the grocery store this morning.