Tuesday, August 31, 2010


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


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


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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pet Lovers Star Search

I've entered all of my kids in the Pet Lovers Star Search for Rubber Hedgehog. The winning photos will be made into rubber stamps! Please vote for any and all of my kids and, if you would, say why that picture would make a great stamp. Although artists pick the winners (not the majority of votes) it wouldn't hurt to have lots of votes! I didn't win last year, although Barrett and Calumet got special mentions. Let's see what happens this year! 

The first picture of Harley is the last one on page 4 (#100) and the rest are interspersed throughout page 5. Here are their numbers:

Harley 100 & 111
Calumet 106 & 113
Seneca 107 & 112
Aleister 119 & 123 (the first is a baby picture with him and Barrett)
Aquinas & Dylan 104
Aquinas 110
Dylan 115
Harrison 108
Baron, Wallace, & Napoleon 116
Baron & Napoleon 121
Marlin 117
Snickers 118 (a younger picture of my old man rat)

Thanks for looking (and voting) for my kids!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Dog

Some women feel their biological clock ticking. Some get broody wanting a baby. A woman on the radio gets what she calls "old lady baby fever". Me-I have no interest in babies or children, human ones at any rate. I have, however, been getting urges to add to my family. Everywhere I look I see dogs, and kittens, and cute things to buy for them. Many shelters are having adoption marathons and the costs are so low. I want a dog...but since mine have crossed the rainbow bridge, I've gotten comfortable with life without a dog. It's easier. Then I see the wine event where you could take your dog on a walk through the vineyard helping to raise money for a local shelter. Or I see the cutest toy as I pick up cat and rat supplies. I guess I have "old lady doggie fever". Will it pass?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weird Sleep

I'm still trying to get a good days sleep. I'm not sure what's going on. My body has a new game. I go to sleep, sleep for an hour and then wake up. Every time I've gone to sleep, for at least a week now, I've woken up an hour later. Doesn't matter if I'm sleeping in the day, sleeping at night, or taking a nap before work; I'm up in an hour. Oh I go back to sleep, and sometimes I sleep the rest of the night, but, so far not the day. I've been waking up almost every hour or two; which is very unusual for me. Usually, I have no problems sleeping. I don't know if I've got too many thoughts and ideas running through my brain or what, but it's getting exhausting!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Two Great Ideas

I was thinking more about "my wine shop". In addition to selling New York wines, I'd also sell wine magazines and books about wine. Not only would I stock non fiction wine books, but fictional books as well-there are some great wine mysteries out there. I'd include non New York wines in these, non drinkable categories. Perhaps I'd also carry other wine and grape items. I'd have speakers in as well, some wine seminars, as well as tastings. Sadly, I don't have the gumption or the business know how to make this shop a reality...especially in these economic times. But, that led me to my second idea. I could create my wine shop in a book. I could write a mystery series whose heroine owns just such a shop. I can picture the fictional New York town where she resides...the shop could be a former winery that happens to be haunted. Or maybe she moves into a haunted winery later. There should be some romance...perhaps with a charming winemaker. Of course, there will be plenty of zany friends. But who should get killed?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rainy Day Cleaning

The rain came last night and kept coming down, washing away the gardening plans I had with my folks. They stayed home...and so did I. I was actually in the mood for a little cleaning-so I worked on the kitchen. I did make some headway. Mom would be proud, I actually threw some things away! As soon as I finish this blog I plan on washing the floor, then we'll see how much energy and motivation, I have to continue on to something else!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Wine Store

I bought some fresh peaches and raspberries at the farmer's market this morning, so that I could try a new drink creation this evening. With all the wine I have I could have sworn I had some vignoles, but nope-no vignoles. So I went to my liquor store. I thought I'd pick up the Thousand Islands Winery Vignoles, which I enjoyed last week at the wine festival, but, although they carried some Thousand Islands Winery wines, they didn't have the vignoles. They also didn't have the Leonard Oakes Vignoles...which I've also enjoyed. Finally, I found a vignoles from Hunt Country-which I've had before and liked-so I chose that one. Although the store has 1 wall of New York wines there are several wineries I like that they don't carry...and they don't have a lot of the specific wines I enjoy from other wineries that they do sell. I was talking with a guy from Fulkerson Winery and I really enjoyed his Traminette. He also makes a Traminette blend, unfortunately he didn't bring any to the event-so I couldn't try it. When I told him where I lived, he told me my local liquor store carried his wines, but not that blend. He said to request it and hopefully, they'd agree to get it for me. He wished they would carry more of his wines. Since the best way to get wines in liquor stores is to have customers request them, when I went to the store today I did request it. When I mentioned it to the manager he said they'd see, but the store was "New York heavy". Meaning they carried tons of New York wines. New York heavy?!? Hello, we live in the midst of a ton of fantastic wineries and you have only 1 wall of them. There are at least 5 other walls of wines. You should be New York heavy....you should be New York massive! I'd like to own my own wine store carrying only New York wines...although I'd add a few Pennsylvania ones too. I'd try to stock almost all of the wineries and almost all of the wines they make. Of course...I'd need a huge store with a humongous warehouse in order to do that. Still, someone should have a New York wine store!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Phriday - Lounge Pants

My new lounge pants. Don't they look like a 1940's tablecloth? I love them!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I've been hearing rumbling in the distance and now the sky is turning yellow. I think we're going to have a storm!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The day started with staffing screw ups at work (which, fortunately, were happily resolved) and waiting an hour for my grievance to be heard after work-to which personnel never showed. Wasted my hour! And didn't get paid for it either. I finally got home and figured I'd try to put the bagger on my lawn tractor. I got out all of the pieces, yes pieces, and looked at the instructions. "Assembly for this attachment should take the average homeowner with basic technical skills an average of two hours." Two hours?!?! Not putting the bagger on this morning! Did a few computer things and went to bed very tired. Then I woke up almost every hour-not to have to use the bathroom either. I have no idea why I kept waking up. Once the stupid phone rang, sure enough an hour after the last time I woke up. I'm lucky if I got 3 uninterrupted hours of sleep. Now I'm up for the night. Work better be good tonight!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Raspberry & Peaches

I adore raspberries. They are probably my favorite fruit-although lychees may beat them, raspberries are much easier to get. I've recently noticed a trend-putting peaches and raspberries together. I was watching The Best Thing I've Ever Eaten: Crunchy and I heard about a peach pie. They have a regular buttery crust, then put in sliced peaches, then raspberries, then spices and a crumble on top. Mmmmmm. Looked sooo good. With crops being harvest earlier due to this goofy weather-peaches are already out (and raspberries are done). A few local wineries are having peach events (Cayuga Ridge & Long Point) and I wondered if anyone would make a peach raspberry wine. There are lots of raspberry wines, and a few peaches. Hmmm. I wonder if I ask a certain winemaker..... The problem of course, is that the fruits don't ripen at the same time. That may knock out my wine. But I may create my own with a nice white (possibly a vignoles) with fresh peach slices and frozen raspberries. What do you think?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baby Pictures

I found some old baby pictures-pictures of my babies: Baby Barrett and Baby Aleister. Barrett's gone now-it's hard to remember him as the puppy he was. And Aleister! What a scrawny kitten!! We always knew he's be a big boy (he's trimmed down a bit, but he was close to 20 pounds-and he's not fat!) he had big feet. But I forgot how big his eyes were! It's nice going back. Aleister is almost 12 years old now-my baby isn't a baby anymore, but it's nice to look back when he was one!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

America's Grape Country Wine Festival

Yesterday I went to the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk, NY to attend America's Grape Country Wine Festival. I had an AMAZING time. This was the first I've heard of the event, although this is its third year. I plan on going every year from now on! The event is 2 days, but I only went the first day. Let me tell you, next year I'll probably go both days. I didn't get to go to every booth! There were so many wineries...and they were pouring many wines...and healthy portions too! Plus I attended 3 seminars which also served wine...and healthy portions there too! I soooo wanted a Sangria wine slushie from Merritt, but I couldn't as I had to drive home. Ugh. It wasn't just wine either. They had some great food products-sauces, chocolates, nuts, and more. They also had beauty products (grapeseed oil) and even cigars! There was live music (great bands too). The first was a blues band and the second did classic rock. But it was the wineries that really stood out. I wound up missing a lot of my favorites and concentrated on places with which I was unfamiliar. One truly unique one was Pazdar Winery. They produce "unique hand crafted wines with attitude". I've never seen such unusual wines-peppermint, cinnamon...they even have wines made with habenero peppers!!!! A new favorite of mine is Thousand Islands Winery. I really enjoyed talking wine with Craig..who I discovered later is actually the winemaker! I loved all their wines, but, La Crescent and Raspberry Isle really stood out for me. I had a phenomenal day and already can't wait til next year to go again!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wine Exhaustion

Today I went to America's Grape Country Wine Festival and had an amazing time. I met some wonderful people, had some fantastic wine, great food, and learned some new stuff. Unfortunately, even though I got home at a decent hour, the heat, the driving, and all the beverage consumed, has left me with wine exhaustion. I'm off to sleep now and I'll share details tomorrow!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance

Tonight we find out who is America's favorite dancer. Note-it is America's favorite dancer, not best dancer. Finally a show gets it right. After all America is voting, and Americans tend to be stupid. I can say that-I'm an American. When the American public gets to vote for talent shows, it seems that people vote for their favorite-even if their favorite is hideous. (Just look at the starting weeks of most, if not all, seasons of Dancing with the Stars.) The final 3 dancers in So You Think You Can Dance are all very talented, there's no denying that. I'm rooting for Robert. I think he danced better that the others last night. He also actually looks like a man dancing, not a kid. While Lauren is talented, I just don't like her personality. This is America's FAVORITE dancer-and I don't like her. I rooted for Kent at the start, who wouldn't root for a farm boy from Ohio?!? But the gee shucks faces only do so much for me. Sorry all you teenie boppers out there. Last night's routine by Robert to Cool was fantastic! By far, my favorite of the night. I voted for Robert. Let's see who wins!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

All Set...Kind Of

I dropped my car off on the way home from work. I needed a state inspection, as well as an oil change. I kept waking up, worried I'd sleep late, they wouldn't call and leave for the day...leaving me with no vehicle. I finally woke up and said, "forget it". I called-it was ready, so I walked over to pick it up. (The best part of having a mechanic so close.) After picking up the car, I stopped at the John Deere place and got a bagger for my new lawn tractor. It had been leaving unsightly piles of grass all over. I didn't expect to have to pay as much as I did...but what can you do? Then I filled up the car with gas, picked up prescriptions for me and Seneca, and put  the new vehicle registration on my windshield. It was only 5:00, so I tried to lat down and get a little more sleep. No luck. I'm going to be exhausted at work tonight. I was also reminded that I didn't have my mechanic check out my a/c. Oh well, I still accomplished a lot!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My brain has so many interests and I have a million (OK, a gazillion) ideas and plans and things I want to do. Sadly, not much gets done. I need to focus on just a couple. I'm glad I have a long weekend coming up-but it's already filled with (wonderful) things to do!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Odds are you know that today is August 9th. But, did you realize that today is 8-9-10? Too bad I'm not posting this message at 11:12 (and 13 seconds)!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Trailers

You've heard of movie trailers-you know, those snippets about new movies that get you intrigued so that you go out and see the new film. Did you know that there are now trailers for books? No, not the previews sometimes put at the end of a book to promote the next one in the series, or a book of a similar genre. No, these are video trailers made for books! Visit You Tube, type in book trailers and see what you get! I got a little more specific and searched for cozy mystery book trailers. You can also find trailers on specific author websites and those of publishers. Check some out-you may discover some great new reads!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fresh Fruit

I love being able to go to a farmer's market and get fresh produce right from the grower! Here are some lovely apples and plums that I got. Don't they look good? I also got some potatoes, brown eggs, and cookies-Mary, my Amish friend, was back! Yea. Whenever possible-buy local!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dreaming of Lizards, Rodent, and Dog

I had a weird series of dreams today. I had another restless night, I guess I was worried I wouldn't wake up in time, as I had to wake up early to attend a book signing. Anyway, at one point I was in a store looking at a display of animals for sale. They were mostly snakes and lizards. Then I felt something tugging at my pant leg. I turned to look and it was a capybara! I was petting the guy. Then I sat down to pet him more, wishing someone had a camera. His fur was kind of coming out in clumps and I was worried that he was ill. Suddenly a beautiful dog bounded over and licked me on the face. She was a gorgeous Shepard mix...she kind of looked like my Brioche. A worker came over and said her name was Sarah. I wanted to adopt her and I asked if she liked cats. The worker said, no, she didn't get along with cats. I gave Sarah a hug and told her I couldn't bring her home as I had 3 cats

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Don't Get It

I don't get it. I went to bed, then woke up...I mean wide awake woke up. I looked at the clock-it was only 3 hours since I went to bed. Sigh. I lay there, eventually dosing, but waking every once in a while. At one point I read a chapter of my book, then tried to sleep again. I did fall asleep, but when my alarm finally went off and I was exhausted. Now, why couldn't I be wide awake when my alarm went off?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don't Call Me

I hate when the phone rings and wakes me up. Unfortunately, since I sleep during the day, this happens more often. Now, most people know not to call me, so normally it's a stupid call. I'm on the no call list, which gets rid of most telemarketers, but it doesn't stop charities. Well, charities, don't call me! First of all, I'd never give out my credit card number to someone calling me (and I know who you are because you said so?!). Plus I only have so much money which goes to certain charities-mainly only those having to do with animal welfare and the environment. So I'm sorry people begging for money for children's leukemia, you woke me up, I'm cranky, and I won't give you any money! Don't call me!

Monday, August 2, 2010


When the woman who co-owned my horse, Harley backed out I was terrified that I couldn't keep him on my own. Fortunately, I had just paid off my car-so the money I would have spent on the car went to the horse. Since then I still was kind of looking for someone to half lease him. Aside from a few months last summer (which wasn't the greatest) I hadn't had any luck. There was a good possibility for a summer lease this year. But that fell through-the girl is having major issues-and she recently had a melt down on a lesson horse-and took it out on her. Well, I met her and another girl at the barn today. Boy, after seeing them and how they dealt with the lesson horses, I don't think I'll ever lease Harley. I don't want to put him through other people and their issues. I'll find a way to pay all of his bills myself. Sometimes it's just not worth it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brockport Arts Festival

If there's one summer festival in WNY that I don't want to miss, it's the Brockport Arts Festival. I just got back, and, as always, had a great time. They changed location this year. It used to be right down Main Street, but this year it moved to the SUNY Brockport campus. They also added the 1st annual BBQ & Music Festival...and there was also a car show! Obviously, it was much bigger this year. There were lots of neat vendors and I was able to buy more Christmas gifts, as well as an anniversary present, and a few goodies for me! I had a nice chat with the friendly folks at Design a Tea. If you love tea-you must get some of theirs. The best part...you can design your own flavors! You pick a base tea (black, green, oolong, rooibos) and 1 or 2 flavors. I chose a black tea flavored with caramel and pecan. I just made a batch of it as iced tea-it's fantastic! I love summer festivals-I just wish it wasn't so hot! What's your favorite festival?