Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"So shines a good deed in a weary world." Willy Wonka said it at the end of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and I can say it now. I delayed my after work drink as I had to wait to go to the post office, which doesn't open til 8:30. Although I mailed out all of my Easter cards, I still had to post my Easter box to my goddaughter and her sisters. 8:30 came and off I went. I got to the post office to find the manager explaining that they couldn't transact any business as the computers were all down. It seems the problem started yesterday-the employees can't log onto the postal system computer and nothing can be done. The problem isn't just at my little branch, nor is it just a local problem. Nationwide the US postal system is off line! They were able to do some things yesterday, as they were eventually able to get on-but it's off again, and no clue when it'll be working again. I gasped-"my Easter package won't get there on time". Also, since I work nights I'm going to bed, and when I wake up the post office will be closed, and who knows when they'll be able to work. Understanding my plight (his wife works nights too) the manager used the scale in the lobby-which isn't quite accurate, but close, and guesstimated the price of my box. I then gave him cash and he'll post my box whenever the system comes back on line. If I overpaid-he'll send the change with my letter carrier, if I underpaid I can come back tomorrow and pay the rest. It's nice to know the people and be known (I frequent my post office quite often.) So much for technology. But, praying the system will work at some point today, my Easter presents should make it to Illinois in time.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I had a very confusing night...er day...well, sleep. I kept waking up and wondering if I should be up, if I was late for work, if I could sleep...I'd look at the clock and wonder what it meant. Then, towards the end I was having a very interesting dream. Boy, I wish I could hook up my subconscious, I'd have great TV shows coming out! Then the alarm went off. I snoozed for a while. All in all, it was a very restless sleep. I know I'll be tired at work tonight!
Monday, March 29, 2010
It's a grey, rainy day here; perfect for sleeping, which I am about to do. I had a great morning curling. Gail worked with me before and Sara worked with me after. The coaching is helping. I started the game throwing great...then...not so good. Still, I had several good stones! I did a little running around after-bank and post office. Now I'm going to work on my Easter envelopes, take a bath, then nap before work. If only I didn't have to go there... Sigh.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I admit it. I bought them because they were cute! They were in a little bag at Wegman's-Ojai Pixie Tangerines. These little guys were so cute. Described as "sweet, seedless, and juicy!" they lived up to their promise. Although they included a recipe (tangerine chicken and rice) I just had one plain. It was really sweet. I'm going to have another!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I'm always so tired on my first day off night shift. I only get a few hours of sleep as I switch from a night schedule to days. I hopped in bed immediately after getting home (and giving Seneca her meds and a treat for the rats). I woke up, checked a few things on the computer, had a quick bite to eat, then off I went. I stopped to visit my friend at her store. I got what I needed to make my Easter cards and chatted with her for a bit. Then I filled the car with gas and went to the barn. Boy is Harley shedding! I groomed him for about 45 minutes before I rode him. I was sucky-leaning forward-heels coming up, so he kept breaking. We ended on a great note, however. Then I picked up a few things at the grocery store. It was almost 8PM before I got home! I called Mom, then ate and sat down to watch my Brit Coms, back after 2 weeks of pledge drives on PBS. I'm exhausted, one more show, then bed!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ollie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the early hours of the morning. About a week ago I think he suffered a stroke. He wasn't paralyzed, but he wasn't really moving and he couldn't eat on his own. I'd been feeding him by hand, but he'd perk up and sit up as I held him and he ate. But I think he suffered another stroke while I was at work last night, as I found him dead when I got home this morning. We were never that close, but we bonded this past week-he never wanted to be held, or even petted before. Still, he was a good rat and he will be missed.
September 2008 - March 25 2010
September 2008 - March 25 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I love cheese. Recently I discovered a great item: Bel Gioioso Four Cheese Shred. This container includes freshly shredded Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, and Provolone. I first used it when I made spinach soup; you put it in your bowl just before you eat...it makes the soup! Then I made a delicious treat...and made it even better by adding this mix. Spread butter on a piece of fresh Italian bread. Add garlic salt, minced onion, and Penzey's pasta sprinkles (a mixture of dried herbs). Top with a little bit of the shredded cheese and let it all melt in your toaster oven. Delicious! Try this mix and let me know what delicious treats you can create with it!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Why is it that weekends go by so quickly? I even had a 3 day weekend, but time zoomed by and I didn't get near what I wanted to accomplish done. I did go to Buffalo and visit my dad in the hospital. I did work Harley on 2 days. I curled this morning. I got pants for work...and my water for work lunches. I cleaned Josef and Snicker's cage. So I did accomplish some stuff-I just wish there was more time.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Spring is officially here-at least-the vernal equinox has occurred. Today was nice and sunny, but chillier that it has been. It was only in the low 40's today, while it had gotten up to mid 60's a day or 2 ago. Still, you won't find me complaining. I'm actually laughing at friends in Oklahoma and Texas right now-they got about 8 inches of snow today! And it's all melted away in Western New York. I'm not saying that winter is over, however. I still expect to see some snow flurries and I'm praying that we don't get an April ice storm. But with the equinox, Spring is here and summer won't be far behind. Now I have to get working in the garden!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Migraines suck. I'll never forget the first one I had. I was in class-the first semester of graduate school. I couldn't fathom the pain. My migraines generally last 3 days. I don't see auras, but I have increased sensitivity to noise and especially light. I'm generally nauseous. And then there's the pain. Still, I don't have it near as bad as others. Only once have I had to confine myself to bed. They've gotten better-the prescription medication helps a lot, as does pop and chocolate. I'll probably take another pill before work. I have some days off-so I'd better be able to enjoy them!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Here's wishing everyone the luck of the Irish. I wore my green to work last night-only one other co-worker joined me in the wearing of the green. He's not Irish either-but he's off work tonight and plans to party like he is! I have to work. I didn't get any corned beef either. This'll be the first year in many that I haven't made myself that treat. I didn't even feel like stopping by the grocery store to pick up some luncheon meat. I have to make due with what's in the cupboards...and I'm afraid it's nothing Irish...or exciting. At any rate-I hope you enjoy today, I'm going to bed. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I had such an interesting adventure dream. I wish I could plug my brain into a computer and download my subconscious dream world. Today's dream would make a great movie! I wish it went on longer. Basic story-guy in house (kind of like my grandparents-in that there's a secret way out). He's being chased by bad guys. Gets the kitten and escapes. Meanwhile I'm also looking for him-we do escape together and start driving heading for Canada. He picks up a trunk with necessary supplies-but we know that's suspicious so we stop at Goodwill to pick up suitcases. Can pay by cash and no one will trace it to us. It's run by Salvation Army people. They want our info for census reasons. The hero is taken aback. Lead Salvation guy figures out something's up, but is on our side and gives us his address to use. I look for clothes-we decide to pose as honeymooners and I look for a bridal type traveling outfit...and honeymoon lingerie. Yup, here's the romance, guy doesn't know it, but Salvation guy figures it out and counsels me. I get a ring and hero and I head to Niagara Falls, Canada taking the Rainbow Bridge (lesser used...really it is). He has a contact who will take the car North East and towards Vermont...on the Canadian side. We'll then hide out in a Niagara Falls hotel for a few days. I only wish I knew what happened next. Sadly, I woke up.
Monday, March 15, 2010
As it was daylight savings time this weekend, I had to go around changing the times on clocks. I got the stove, the VCR, my alarm clock, my car, and my watch. The phone and the thermostat never got changed the last go around-so they're in sinc now. The computer and cable box fixed themselves. However, Sunday night when I connected my pedometer to my Nintendo DSi, I saw the time was off by an hour. I couldn't figure out how to change it on the game (Personal Trainer: Walking) then I figured out that I needed to change it on the DSi itself. So that's a new clock to remember to change...I'll probably have to change the Wii too, next time I play. Hmmm wonder if they having a Wii Curling?
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I spent the day with dirty animals. I had heard that Harley outdid himself in the mud the other day. Fortunately, when I got to the barn today, the mud was all dried on him. Still, it took me about 40 minutes to get Harley in decent condition. I wasn't that exacting as I know he'll be outside tomorrow and get filthy all over again. We rode in the indoor arena for about 25 minutes. I sucked today though. He got sugar cubes and the special treat from my Mom for putting up with me today. When I came home I cleaned the rat babies cage. Then I cleaned Ollie. Since he had what I believe was a stroke, he can't clean himself very well-so I helped. I still need to clean Josef and Snickers cage and the litter boxes...and I need a bath too.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
More than halfway through, I discovered that this was Restaurant Week. A neat initiative, participating restaurants offer a 3 course meal for $20.10. I think it's a great incentive to try new restaurants or even new things on a menu. I know I tend to get the same things-especially at special restaurants where you don't often go. When I learned that The Johnson House was participating, I knew I needed to make a reservation! I had dinner there this evening and had a wonderful meal. I started with a cosmopolitan (not included, obviously, but I needed a drink and wanted a treat) and they had fresh warm bread, butter, and a bean mixture (which I never have). The only issue when eating alone at a relatively romantic restaurant-it's pretty dark and reading my book by candlelight was a bit difficult. As for the special meal you had choices for all aspects-appetiser, main dish, and dessert. I chose chicken pot stickers with a Thai cucumber sauce to start. Yummy and quite different. The cucumber sauce was spicy, yet cool. Then I was brought a salad with their fantastic creamy bacon dressing. I love that stuff. I really only had one choice for the main course. I didn't want the chicken and I don't like seafood-so there went the scallops and tilapia, and the beef had shrimp with it. I, therefore went with the pork tenderloin with bourbon glaze. It was good-but a little sweet. I also had their amazing French fries (you MUST get their fries, I don't know what they do to make them so good, perhaps a deal with the devil...). Finally dessert. I must admit-the best was last. I had a chocolate raspberry torte that was incredible. The torte had some sort of light crunch sprinkled on, warm chocolate sauce drizzled over, fresh raspberries on the side and ultimate chocolate raspberry goodness throughout. It was amazing. All that, with tax for $31.35. It was another fantastic meal at The Johnson House.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love plushies! Stuffed animals, plush art, whatever you want to call them, I love them. I recently got back in touch with the Raggy Rat Lady, the wonderful woman who created Amelia Ratkins and makes other wonderful plush rats, and other animals. She clued me in to The Plush Team, a consortium of artists who make plushies. Oh the creativity! It's really a bit of fate as just before she found my blog, I picked up a magazine called Stuffed. No, not a foodie magazine, a plushie one. Even though I don't really sew, I fell in love with the plushie food on the front cover. Imagine my surprise when I saw Raggy Rats featured inside. Then, shortly thereafter I find a reply on a blog post from her. Kismet. Anyway, check out these great artists and get yourself a plushie. After all, you're never too old to cuddle a plushie!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Some days you just want to curl up and hide away, trying to keep life's issues at bay-at least temporarily. Dad had a second surgery today. They fixed the leak, but he's got a major infection, bed sores, and will need another surgery. Mom says he looks horrible and has a tough recovery ahead. The doctors and nurses keep telling her he's doing good-but she has major doubts. I have to go to work and am just not in the mood.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Today was the first day I actually curled. What fun! I got to the club early for some one on one instruction. Lois, and then Tom, helped me tremendously. In fact, I actually got 5 stones in the house. Tom said that was amazing, especially as I just started. It looks like I'm a natural! Who'd've thunk! Obviously, I have so much to learn and practice-but it seems I have a natural ability. Then it was time to actually play a game. We were short of players today, so we had teams of 3, instead of 4. This meant I got an extra stone each end-but we all helped sweep-so I swept a lot. Talk about tiring. I wasn't near as good as I was in practice-I was a bit of a gorilla, throwing too hard. But my lines weren't bad-and for my first time doing it... My team lost, but it was a good game. After the game we all went up and had soup. The skip from the team that beat us bought me a beer. What a great group of people. Everyone was so nice, very helpful and friendly. I'm so glad I joined the club. I'm already starting to feel the ache, but I can't wait til next week!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Blast it all, I still can't use my oven! Remember the post about the mishap? Well, the other day I cleaned the oven with Easy Off. I still saw some blackened parts-but it seemed pretty good. So today I started to preheat it. I wasn't sure if it was my vision being goofy-or if there was a haze in the room. I opened up the oven and smoke came out. Not near as bad as before, but bad enough. I can't bake cookies with a burnt chicken smell. I could call them Louisiana style blackened...but I don't think so. Once the oven cools down I'll respray it and let it sit over night. I'll be taking store bought cookies to my first curling session. Sigh.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
This morning I went to an Open House at the Rochester Curling Club. The event started at 10AM and I arrived about 9:45 AM. The place was mobbed! I parked down the street and waited in line to get in the building-and they had started letting people in early. I signed a release form (apparently, curling can kill you), got some grippers that fit over my sneakers and continued in line. We were greeted by the club president then watched a short video about curling. Then we waited in line to get on the ice, making room for the next group to watch the video. There were a ton of people and more coming in every minute. I guess I'm not the only one who'd become enthralled with curling. Although I was prepared for a long wait, suddenly they asked for any singles. That's me! (People went on the ice in groups of 4,I, of course, was by myself.) So I was in a group with a father and son (kid was probably about 12) and another guy, maybe my age. We started learning to sweep. We were only using half of the sheet. OK. I've said that curling is more a game than a sport. WRONG!!!! Oh my God! Sweeping is hard. I was huffing and puffing-only using half the length of the sheet. Jeeze. Maybe I was too out of shape to curl. Then we went to the next station-learning to deliver the stone. You put your right foot in a starting block thingie, then put your left on top of a slider. The slider is a super slippery thing in the shape of your foot to help you slide and release. We also used a contraption to hold onto to help balance. Let me tell you, it's a lot harder than it looks. We were all falling all over the place, instructors grabbing on to keep us somewhat upright. And we didn't even release the stone! Then the final stop-a full sheet of ice. One would deliver the stone the whole way and 2 would sweep. The guy and I started as sweepers. Of course, none of us had ever thrown a stone-so who knew how much velocity you needed? The father threw first and the guy and I swept, swept, swept...but it wasn't going much of anywhere. It didn't get halfway down. The son had about the same distance. Then it was my turn. OK. Two younger guys were instructing us with another guy at the far end acting as skip, telling us where to deliver the rock. The guy shows me where the skip is pointing and says how to curl the stone there. Huh? "When you release turn your hand so the C on the stone is pointed up." Ohh-OK. So foot in place, other foot on slidey thing, hold on to plastic thing, forward, back and release!!!! Well, my gripper came off my right foot, the slidey thing went forward down the ice, and I was almost flat down. But, my shot was perfect! The one young guy looked at me "that was a great shot". As I stood back up, the other came over and said, "great shot". Huh. And so I decided to become a curler. They actually were having a beginners league-but it was Fridays from 8PM-10PM. Can't do it. Too close to work. Stupid work interfering with life. I asked about other options. I was told they do have a daytime league-one group on Mondays, one on Wednesdays, but I'd have to talk to the people to see if they'd let me in. I was sent off to find Gail. Meanwhile, the place is even more jam packed. You can barely move. Still, I thread my way through the throng to get back to the ice. I talk to Gail (one of the ladies teaching me to sweep) who introduced me to Lois. Lois is in charge of the Monday group and she welcomed me in. In fact, she told me to come early and she'll help me one on one-so I'll have a bit of a clue. So, I joined the Rochester Curling Club! There are only about 4 weeks left in the season, but I'm looking forward to learning a new sport and meeting some new people.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The days are getting longer (even with the shift in the earth's axis). It's now sunny when I leave work and it's generally still light when I wake up. Maybe with more light I'll find more energy and get more things done. Of course, clocks change in about 10 days...
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I recently got a bird feeder and hung it on the same tree that I hang the suet. The first day I saw one squirrel hanging upside down eating the suet and another squirrel stretching to get the birdseed. I'm glad they're enjoying it. Today I saw a squirrel at the feeder and a little bird at the suet. When the squirrel had his fill, little birds got the feeder. I haven't seen my big black birds around. I hope they get to enjoy the feast as well.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The Olympics are over. I must admit I enjoyed this years games and watched more than usual-although I didn't see any of the figure skating. I usually do watch, even with all of the judging bias, but didn't even notice when it was on. I watched a little biathlon, and ski jumping (so proud of The Polish Pilot, Adam Malysz, who won 2 Silver Medals), and a TON of curling, along with bits and pieces of other events. We shouldn't forget the tragedy that started the games, however. I will remember Nodar Kumaritashvili and say a prayer for his family, friends, and country. Despite that horrible loss, the games went on and brought many smiles, some tears, some swearing (stupid Canadian Hockey Team), and new interests (Thomas, John, Jan, Sebastian, et al). Thank you, Canada. You put on a great show.