Tuesday, September 11, 2012


When I opened up Facebook today I saw post after post remembering that fateful day 11 years ago: 9-11-01. Then I saw another post from someone that didn't want to remember. I can understand that, sometimes you don't want to remember tragic events, especially if you were directly involved. Then I read the reasoning and became a bit perplexed. This person didn't want to remember because "no country did this" and asks that if you don't commemorate Christian atrocities why commemorate this one. Not one of the many (and believe me there were many) posts I read mentioned war or religion. What was remembered was the heroism of the people involved. I saw no mentions of hate or intolerance, I saw people coming together. The only mention of religion came from this person-a "friend" of a friend. I hadn't intended on writing about 9-11 today, but I'm still stumped by this person's post. What's wrong about commemorating, not a "religious atrocity" but the patriotic heroism of American citizens and first responders?

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I'm excited! My mystery blog is getting lots of page views today, thanks to my interview with Lorraine Bartlett. I'm getting new followers as well. I hope it keeps up! I'm also excited that Licorice is doing better. He's stopped leaking and, although he still has diarrhea, it's starting to try to form. He's only been on meds and special food for 2 days, so I'm hoping he'll keep improving quickly!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Photo Phriday - National Buy a Book Day

Today is National Buy a Book Day. So I did. It was too hard to choose just one however, so I bought two; In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell (the latest in the Witchcraft Series-one of my favorites-it's #4 in the series) and first in a new series, Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRea, a Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery! Go out and support some authors, buy a book (or more) and tell me what you chose!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I just want to help animals. My dream would be to have an animal sanctuary where all sorts of critters could happily live out their days. I'd also become a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in possums, squirrels, and other small mammals. But I'd have to be independently wealthy for that-couldn't work outside the home as I'd have to be there with the animals. So I do what I can and provide a home to a few that need them. Unfortunately, as my vet said this morning, "you can't have a normal pet". (The same thing with my trees and shrubs, sigh.) Sadly, many of my kids have medical issues, including little Licorice, my latest adoption.  But I can provide for them. I don't have (nor want) human children so I don't have that expense. I make good money (unfortunately, in a job I can't stand at the moment) and am able to support these critters. I don't really go out, I don't take vacations (other than day trips) so I can afford helping out. The love I get in return more than makes up for it.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I'm typing this post with a little kitten siting on my lap, purring up a storm. Licorice has to stay in the library for awhile, away from the other cats. He still has diarrhea. But I brought him down to sit with me. He's such a sweet little guy, and, although playful, prefers just sitting and loving on you! We go to the vet tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I've been thinking of adding to the family for some time. Although I was periodically perusing shelter sites, I had kind of decided to wait until Spring. However, Fate always plays a hand. I had gone to Lollypop Farm to adopt Neige and Blizzard, my newest rats, and saw the cutest black cat called Licorice. I left with the rats, but kept thinking about that cat. Every time I looked at the adoptable cats at Lollypop, I saw that he was still available. He was an older cat, and even though I've found it easier to introduce kittens than adults I was seriously thinking of adopting him. Fate stepped in and Lollypop was having a special cat event-all cats were free on Wednesday, and I was actually off work, on vacation. I decided that if he was still there, I'd adopt him. Here comes Fate again-my car died Tuesday and I had no way to get to the shelter. Licorice was adopted that day and I hope he went to a wonderful home. I was lucky though-Lollypop had a contest and I won-I guessed the number of cats adopted that day-132! I got a rental car and Friday I went to pick up my prize. While waiting I looked around at the cats and saw several kittens that hadn't been available Wednesday. I met with a nice white and brown kitten, but we didn't bond. Then I met Kitten #1, a tiny black kitten and fell in love. I decided I'd adopt him, but I wasn't quite prepared to bring him home. Fate stepped in again. The kitten had a rough time, battling a parasite. He still had diarrhea, so they wouldn't release him for adoption. They put him on hold for me and said the clinic would get back to me. I called every few days-he still had diarrhea. Two weeks later I got the call, I could adopt him...but he was still having digestive issues. A vet called me and I spoke to my vet, and I decided to go ahead with the adoption-as fate would have it-I got the day off work. Hopefully, the new Licorice (I really liked that name) will be fit as a fiddle soon. We see my doctor on Tuesday. Soon I'll introduce him to my current kids and hopefully we'll soon be one big happy family!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Shop & Help Animals

I just discovered a page on eBay where you can buy and sell to support nonprofits helping animals big and small. It's called eBay Giving Works. I learned about the page from Big Cats Rescue in Tampa Florida. They just received a check for $10,671.43 from the site! So if you're looking to shop, check it out. Get some goodies for yourself or as a gift and help animals in need at the same time!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Twitter & Blog Promotion

Remember how I said I wasn't going to actively use my new twitter account? Strike that. I want to promote my 2 other blogs and I'm trying to figure out twitter to help. Interested in mysteries? Follow my blog Cozy Up With Kathy. Do you armchair travel? Follow the adventures of my plush rats in Ratkins Deux the World. You can also follow them on Facebook- Ratkins' Travels. Become a follower of both blogs and join them with Networked Blogs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @KatreaderKJK. Thanks!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo Phriday - My New Car

A 2012 Jeep Liberty Sport. The color is called Winter Chill.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's Coming

It's getting darker earlier. The weather has been just brilliant-blue skies, low humidity, temperatures in the 70's. It even is chilly at night. Autumn is coming and I can't wait. Fall is my favorite time of year. I'm happy to say goodbye to the hot weather and embrace the cool, comfortable weather. I'm not quite ready for the winter boots yet-but I'm looking forward to sweatshirts and jackets!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friendly Rental

My rental car is quite friendly. Every time I start it the dashboard lights up and displays "hello" and when I turn it off it says "goodbye". Isn't that nice?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vacation's End

Tonight is the last night of my vacation. How I hate to see it end. It had a fantastic start-America's Grape Country Wine Festival, Brockport Art Fest, fun in Medina, then a lousy middle-Dad not feeling well, car breaking down on the thruway, needing a rental car and a search for a new vehicle, frustrating minor issues Friday with a nice discovery of a new winery, then a decent ending at Wedgefest and another art show, with a quiet relaxing evening home. Unfortunately, I'm still stressed and in need of another vacation. I soooo don't want to return to work tomorrow. The week went by too quickly. Sigh.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I spend too much time on the computer...and my iPad. I have to check on e-mails (multiple accounts), blogs (2 with a 3rd premiering this Sunday), Facebook, Pinterest, Pet Hotel, and more. I certainly didn't need to add Twitter. However, I needed treats to get a lime llama in pet hotel. I won't pay real money (the easy way to get treats) but I could get treats (and get a cute sea urchin) if I showed pictures of my Pet Hotel on my twitter account. So...I created a twitter account. I don't plan on tweeting, or reading the tweets of those I follow (I had to pick several people to follow to set the thing up), but I have it. I wasn't able to use my regular username, but I got something close. So, if you see a tweet from Katreader-it's not me, but should you get one from KatreaderKJK-I've given in and added another technological time sucker to my life. Or I'm trying to get another pet for my hotel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Wolves

Tell the White House: Don't roll back 40 years of wolf protection.

The killing has been relentless. Last year since Congress delisted wolves in Idaho and handed their lives over to State officials, more than 400 wolves have been killed.
Now the tragedy that swept over Idaho wolves is set to come to Wyoming at the end of this month—unless you and I stop it.
We've seen what happened in Idaho. Urge the President to protect Wyoming's wolves from suffering the same fate.
Help send 100,000 signatures to the White House for wolves by August 31.
Click to go to the Defender's of Wildlife Petition page.

Wolves are not our enemy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yankee Candle

Damn you Yankee Candle. As if I didn't have enough candles, you have to send me your first fall catalog. Fall is my favorite time of year. Just glancing through the catalog I saw over $70 worth of things I wanted...and that didn't even include the candles. And new scents? New scents I really want!?! Harvest Welcome, Apple Pumpkin, Season's Blessings...Come on now. I could easily drop $200. I won't...but I could.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Disappointing Read

I'm so disappointed in the book I'm reading. It's the first in a new cozy series. It features a garden society, and I love gardening, plus I fell in love with the cover. It's a place I'd love to visit. Unfortunately, I don't like the characters. They're childish and, sad to say, behave stupidly. For a gardening mystery there's not much gardening involved. The writing is OK, transitions are a bit abrupt at times, but it's not horrible. I don't want to ever badmouth a book (which is why I'm not giving the title or author here) and it's not a horrible book-some people may quite enjoy it. Perhaps I had too high expectations and the author just couldn't meet them. I sure as heck wish I would have gotten it from the library instead of buying it, but I've learned that first book sales early are crucial to an author continuing the series...and the premise was so promising. I will finish the book-I just can't leave a book, even one I'm not enjoying, unfinished-but I hope it ends soon. There are lots of other books waiting for me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Salt Potatoes

I love salt potatoes. I don't know what it is about those little balls of salty, buttery goodness...well, OK, maybe that's it; they're little balls of salty, buttery goodness. I got some small potatoes at my local farmers' market and fixed just the amount I intended to eat. I put about 4 little potatoes in a medium sized pot, filled it with water and brought to a boil. I also added a bunch of salt to the water. Once they finished cooking, I put the potatoes in a bowl and added butter. Lots of butter. (It's OK, I use Smart Balance-still tastes great) I added a bit more salt and dug in! I had them for dinner last night and again for lunch today. Do you like salt potatoes?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot Hot Hot

It is very hot today. There's even a heat advisory. Since I can't take the heat, I changed my plans. I was going to take a ride on the Arcade Attica Railroad, but too hot for that. Sam and I took an early walk-but he turned back toward home quite quickly. Then I walked to the farmer's market. I got all kinds of goodies-but everyone was already sold out of eggs. I have such a craving for farm fresh eggs. Sigh. Other than moving the sprinkler-I've stayed inside. I've been working on a new Facebook page for Amelia & Cabot Ratkins. I also want to type up some more of my posts for my upcoming Cozy blog (which will debut a week from tomorrow). I've been doing a little tidying up, and watching a little TV (Top Chef Masters, Olympics, The Andy Griffith Show). I may get a little crafting in too. But now...time to move the sprinkler and give Sam a bath! Stay cool everyone!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photo Phriday - Nene Goose

OK, I didn't actually take this picture today...I took it last Saturday. That's my hand and I'm feeding a Nene goose at the Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Sanctuary. These friendly fellows are endangered and on the brink of extinction. How lucky am I, not only to see them, but get to give them a treat as well!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Waking Up Mid Sleep

My sleep pattern has gotten goofy. I'm tired and fall asleep early, but lately I keep waking up. Generally I fall back to sleep quickly...but it's a bit annoying.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Job?

Anyone want to give me a new job? Preferably $65,000 a year or more with health insurance, paid vacation and sick time, pleasant co-workers and supervisors...or at least people who don't actively try to make your life miserable? I have a Masters Degree and supervisory experience. Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Chinese Chicken "Treats"

You want to give your dogs good treats. You also don't want to pay a fortune. You see some neat, healthy looking treats in the store-dried chicken wrapped around some fruit, perhaps-so you buy it. The problem is that lots of dog treats are made in China, and there have been numerous accounts of dogs getting ill, and even dying, from eating these treats. I know I look carefully at the labels now and will refuse to take a chance. I will not buy any treat made in China. You have to be careful though. I saw a package with a US flag on it and bought it. When I looked more closely I saw that it was packaged in the USA-but made in China! Here's a link to the latest USDA Product Safety Information with Questions and Answers Regarding Chicken Jerky Treats from China. It was updated today. Be careful and support US jobs-look for products made in the USA.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Worth it?

Work is very stressful. That's the nature of the job itself. That would be fine...but administration and coworkers are making it miserable. And it's only going to get worse. It could be a wonderful job, even now I quite enjoy it at times...but I don't see it getting better. I can retire in 15 years...I don't know if I can make 15 months. The problem is that I make good money and have great benefits. In fact, I just got a raise. I enjoy my lifestyle, and I'm not willing to give it up. It's by no means exorbitant. I also have health issues and require good insurance...which I have. But I'm not happy, I'm stressed. My hair is falling out (although that could be age and genetics). A former supervisor retired not that long ago due to health issues. Tonight I learned that she's going blind due to complications from diabetes, and that her husband just died. He was only 59. One of my first supervisors at my current job retired a few years ago...he was dead within 2 years. I need to find a balance-a job that won't kill me, but will pay me a good wage and benefits. And make me happy. Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Too Hot

I know that compared to other parts of the world, it's not that bad, but for me it is nightmarishly hot here in WNY. My computer says it's 87 degrees with high humidity. I just stepped outside for a few minutes to let Sam do his business. We came right back in-I could barely breathe. Later on, hoping it'll get a bit cooler, I'll visit Harley and give him a bath. It's just too hot for me to want to even leave the house.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adding to the Orchard

When I bought my home it had 3 lovely old fruit trees, an apple, pear, and cherry. The former owners' neglect, along with age, and bad weather caused me to lose those trees, but I'm slowly adding fruit trees to my land. I put in the apple tree first, then 2 cherry trees, one sweet and one sour. I just bought a pear tree and an apricot tree and they'll be planted tomorrow. I enjoy having my own little orchard, hopefully Mother Nature will help them thrive enough so that I'll have something to harvest!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Month From Today

One month from today I plan to launch my new blog. I look to inform you, inspire you, and make you spend money. What's this blog about? What do you think?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day!

I hope you have an enjoyable and safe 4th of July. I'm off to work.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - July 4th

With Independence Day tomorrow and hot summer weather bringing thunderstorms, some dogs are in for a scary time. While it may be tempting to bring your dog with you as you celebrate the 4th, keep in mind what's best for him. Fireworks can be scary things-what if your dog panics and runs away? What about the heat? Will your dog really be comfortable with soaring temperatures and crowds? Make sure he's wearing tags, more dogs are lost at this time of year than any other! You're probably better off leaving him home. Odds are your canine companion will be happier there, especially if you have air conditioning and special treat!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fruits of the Season

On Saturday I went to the farmers market and picked up a few things-including blueberries and cherries. I went to my mom's house and she had been to her farmers market and also picked up a few things, including strawberries, sending some home with me. When I got home from work Sunday night I decided to treat myself to the fruits of the season. I cut up some of the strawberries, threw in a handful of blueberries, and pitted some cherries-adding them to the mix. I needed something to drink,so befitting the local harvest and sharing by loved ones, I opened the bottle of Woodbury Vineyards Chocolate with a hint of Cherry wine given to me by my Uncle Steve. What a locavore delight. I admit to adding one ingredient that may not have been local-the whipped cream I added to the fruit. However, I got the Wegman's brand-so at least it was distributed in Rochester!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Why is it that time speeds up on the weekends? There's so much to do and stuff just doesn't get done. Fun stuff, chore stuff, stuff stuff. Too bad I can't work 2 days and be off 5, (and make the same amount of money) maybe then I could catch up. I doubt it-but I'd have better luck!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Blog Coming

I've got a new blog in the works. I know, I know, I don't publish this one regularly anymore. I'm slacking on Amelia's blog as well. But I had a great idea...with a theme. I'm writing several posts ahead of time as well. I also will only post twice a week. What's is all about? You'll just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I'm not young, however, I'm not old. I do have some, relatively minor, health issues and they sometimes impede my ability to do things...or at least do things comfortably and well. Due to a back injury I have a time limit restriction at work. While I can, and do, do everything my job entails, I can't work more than 12 hours a day. That shouldn't be a problem as my shift is 8 hours...but I work for the state. The state that wants you to work 16 hours is not enough people for the following shift show up. Or they want you to attend mandatory training. Such was the case yesterday. I had to go to CPR training. I was overdue and nobody caught it-so I had to go. I got home from my regular shift about midnight and had to be back for training at 8am. Training ran longer than projected, so I didn't get out til 1:30pm. I ran home, (eating a sandwich on the way) let the dog out, and returned for my regular shift. I got to leave at 9:30 (that 12 hour limit), grabbed something more to eat on the way home (still hungry even after eating another sandwich at work). I tried to catch up on the computer-but was too tired and went to bed. Now comes the recovery bit. I slept well, and a bit longer than usual. I still woke up exhausted...and my back hurts. Like I said, I'm not old...but I'm sure not young anymore!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pies and Prejudice

There are so many great mysteries out there with even more new series being published! Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams is the first in A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series and it looks to be just up my alley. A cozy mystery set in Georgia, the book has pies, magic, and murder. Just in time for Independence Day, Pies and Prejudice will be released July 3rd-what a perfect way to celebrate-buy yourself this book. You can even pre-order it...doing that makes publishers sit up and notice so that great series are able to continue. I know I'm looking forward to reading it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Photo Phriday - Phamily

Welcome to the family Neige and Blizzard!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Kitten Season

While the words "kitten season" sound cute-they're really quite horrible. At this time of year thousands of kittens are being born...and there aren't enough homes for all of them. Shelters are filled to overflowing and many can't accept all the kittens coming their way. They do what they can to help as many as possible find good homes with lower, or no, adoption fees, publicity and more. Don't add to the problem-make sure your cats are spayed and neutered. If you can, adopt or foster a cat or kitten...or cats and kittens.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


They say everything is better with bacon. I can't be positive...but I think they're right. I've recently had chocolate covered bacon-delicious. I'm so glad I have more in my fridge. I had bacon peanut caramel ice cream-fantastic. I've heard there's also bacon flavored vodka. I'm not sure about that one...although it would be magnificent in Bloody Marys-but I don't like Blood Marys. If you hear about a unique bacon item-give it a try...and tell me about it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tarot Decks

I love tarot cards. When I lived in Texas I started a pretty good collection of different decks; designs that spoke to me, for whatever reason. I hadn't done anything with my cards in ages, but recently I discovered a new store that has several decks. I always keep an eye out for unusual designs and I found one I just had to have: The Gummy Bear Tarot! How cute is that?!? At that same time a book fell out of the shelf above and into my hands-Tarot of a Moon Garden. Obviously I had to buy that as well. Unfortunately, they didn't have the deck-but they're going to order it for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me. Times have changed. No birthday party, no birthday cake (although I did have a birthday cupcake) and I actually have to go to work. I did enjoy the 2 days leading up to my special day-visiting favorite shops, seeing my folks and going to a festival with them. But there is proof I'm getting older-there are only 5 birthday cards on my mantle and I was worried I'd have no presents to open on my actual birthday-but a package arrived from my friend in England. I'm thrilled though, with all the birthday wishes sent to my Facebook page. Still my birthday is not a big deal...not quite "just another day" but close.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photo Phriday - New Plants

I got some new plants today. Can you tell what they are?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I realize that my blog posts have been MIA lately. I noticed it, tried to get back on track...then let it go even longer than before. For 2 years I posted every single day. Then I missed a day. Then I'd miss a day every once in a while. Then multiple days. Sometimes I run out of time. Sometimes I have nothing to say. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. Sometimes I figure, why bother...who really reads this anyway? Most of the time it's a combination of these reasons. I know it's important to write every day. I'll try to get back on track. Maybe.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Wish

I wish I had a new job. I wish all my animals, my parents, and me, were healthier. I wish I found more time to take care of the things I had, and to act on all the ideas in my brain. I wish I had more money so that I could donate more to so many of the good causes that need it. I wish I wasn't always so tired. I wish I could do more. I wish I didn't have to deal with all the bullshit in my life...well my work. I wish my appliances would stop acting up! (That's a special shout out to the dryer, oven, and toilet.) Thanks to everyone who listens, cares, and the appliances that work properly (especially the wine fridge)! I wish for a lot of things. I truly am grateful for all of the wonderful things I have, but I keep wishing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Phriday - Topsoil

The topsoil arrived. I'm going to use it for my raised bed, to fix some vole damage, and fill in Sam's tunnel to China!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's a shout out to all the moms out there. Thanks for all you do. A special thanks to all the moms whose kids are unable to thank them themselves.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


The party's over...it's back to work. Ugh. I need another week...or 2.

Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm on vacation! I'm having a wonderful time-not doing much of anything! The main reason for my vacation occurred yesterday, when I went to the Cayuga Lake Wine & Herb Fest. Future events include lunch with a friend, the Buffalo Botanical Gardens, and time with my kids. I also hope to get things accomplished around the house-so far that hasn't worked too well. I also hope to make more writing time...that includes blogging. Hopefully, I can make that happen.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sandwich

Tuesday evening at work was so busy that I never got a break. I came home and, fortunately, remembered that I didn't eat and put my sandwich in the fridge to take the next day. Wednesday I got ready for work. When it was almost time to go I got the sandwich and a go-gurt from the fridge and put them, along with an orange and my flavored water in a bag which I hung on the kitchen door knob. I ran upstairs to the bathroom, then put on my coat and gave Sam his marrow bone filled with peanut butter...which he had been "talking" about when I was upstairs. I grabbed my work bag and lunch and was headed out the door when BOOM, the water fell out of the bag along with the go-gurt. I looked down and saw a huge hole in the bag. I had been using the bag for a while and it seemed thin...but where was the orange...and my sandwich? I went back to the kitchen and found the orange...but where was the sandwich? Then I saw the empty baggie. Sam! Apparently, Sam grabbed the bag, made a hole and got the orange and sandwich out-while leaving the bag attached to the door knob. He then removed the sandwich from the baggie and ate it! By that time it was too late to make another sandwich, so I just grabbed the cheese and luncheon meat and stuck that, along with the rest of the loaf of bread in a new bag. So much for preparing my lunch early!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012



I'm still in shock. I came home from work yesterday to find Okocim dead. I have no idea what happened. He was young and hadn't been ill. I saw no signs of trauma. Okocim was a sweet, outgoing boy and I still can't believe he's gone. I'm sure his brother, Grodziskie, and his friends, Tyskie and Zywiec miss him as well.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DVD Burner

While my computer has a cd burner, it does not have a DVD burner. I recently bought a device to convert VHS tapes into DVDs, but need a burner. This weekend I went to Best Buy and got one. However, when I tried to install it today, it aborted the installation, saying, "This software can only be installed with a LG (HLDS) device". What the heck does that mean? After work I'll try again-maybe I need to put the installation CD in the burner and not a regular cd drive. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I remember the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Mama Carlson blamed her son for not being able to wear a watch. My mom doesn't wear a watch either. Apparently, in some women, their body chemistry changes so that it screws up the workings of a quartz watch. Lately, I've been going through watched like there's no tomorrow. I just got it and I look down-the time is off. I am so dependent on wearing a watch. Can I no longer wear them? I have been getting my watches on clearance, however. I'm hoping that they all just have very old batteries. This weekend I'm going to take a few and have their batteries replaced. We'll see what happens then.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Freeze Warning

We've had some really weird weather. Yesterday we broke records reaching into the 80's. Today was very nice and sunny-but the high was only in the 50's and tonight we have a freeze warning. I'm praying for all the fruit trees. This too warm, unseasonable weather, quickly followed by freezing temperatures isn't good!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Golden Nose

This weekend I participated in the Golden Nose Awards. I learned to be a wine judge and was a beginning judge for the Golden Nose competition. The event started last night with a social in the hands on kitchen. We drank wine and munched on wonderful hors d'oeuvres-the deviled eggs were amazing-they had bacon and a spicy tang! I could have eaten the whole pan of dessert-goat cheese and apples with honey baked in puff pastry. Yummm! This morning started bright and early, I had to leave the house at 7:30am! They gave us fruit, muffins, and danish and we began. We received an introduction to wine judging including the six esses for successful wine tasting (can you guess the 6 s words?). We then learned the components of wine and tasted pure versions (straight water, ethanol, acid, sugar, and tannin). The third lecture was about wine flaws and off flavors. We then tasted a flight of different varietals (1 labrusca, 2 hybrids, and 2 vinifera). Then 3 professionals judged 2 wines-which we all tasted and judged as well. We then heard their comments and rankings. After that we broke up into 7 groups. My section had lunch (yummy sandwiches, salad, potato chips, and cookies) then we started judging! Our head judge was Ian Barry, the winemaker at Villa Bellangelo Winery. It was great working with him. My group judged 6 flights (groups) of wines-2 Reisling, 1 Gewurztraminer, 1 Catawba, 1 Pinot Noir, and 1 Port for a total of 22 wines! As taught-we had to spit each one, you can't swallow that many wines and still be functional. It was sad dumping some of that wine...the exception was the wine we awarded double gold-most of us just had to have a little swallow of that Gewurztraminer! A double gold is given when it's a unanimous decision to award gold. It was interesting to see the varied responses each wine gave-on several we ran the gamut in our rankings-from no medal to gold! What was really interesting was that in some cases-people that were polar opposites on some wines-gave the same rating to others! There was a 3 hour break before the awards and a buffet dinner. I decided to come home... stay home. Part of me wanted to return, but I wasn't up for the drive back-if only it was a smidge closer...or the break wasn't as long. Sam is glad I returned home though! I had a great time and learned a lot. I may attend next year as a returning judge. If you have the chance, it's a great opportunity-if you're able to go, take advantage of it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Wesołego Alleluja! I celebrated Easter yesterday with my folks as I have to go to work today. Sam and I drove to my folks house and had the traditional Easter breakfast-fresh Polish sausage, beet horseradish, hard-boiled eggs, rye bread, butter (in the form of a butter lamb), fruit salad, and juice. I went to the cemetery and put flowers on the graves of my grandparents, Aunt Bert, and brother. Back at my folks we opened the champagne and opened our Easter gifts. I got a gorgeous book about cooking and travel in Poland. Then it was time for potato chips and leek dip while watching an Easter episode of The Vicar of Dibley. All morning we also worked on the main course-the duck. What a treat! It was a lot of work, but boy it turned out fantastic. We had duck, salt potatoes, and salad for dinner. For dessert we had a lovely strawberry pie. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sam's Health Issues

My poor dog, Sam, continues to have health problems. The good news is that he doesn't have glaucoma...the bead news is that he has uvitis. He's on Baytril and will return to see the doctor then. Hopefully, things will have improved and he can get his vaccinations. His ears are bad again-so they'll need treatment, and I need to get more medicated shampoo for his weekly bath...his skin condition isn't much better. His joins are bothering him more as well, so I'll probably have to start him on something stronger. Right now he's taking allergy medicine 3 times a day and he just started Baytril for his eye. The cost of Baytril for an 85 pound dog is quite a bit higher than that for a pound and a half rat! Yikes. Hopefully, it will work. Please, keep Sam in your thoughts. Thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Late Again

I used to always be so prepared for the holidays. I'm not sure what happened, but that's no longer the case. My International Easter cards will be late...I'm hoping the other ones will get there in time...especially considering I haven't finished making them yet! I'm close...hopefully I'll post them tomorrow. I'm not even decorating. Hopefully some day I'll get back to being prepared and excited for holidays.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day

My body played an April Fool's joke on me. It kept waking me up. I went to bed...3 hours later I woke up. A half hour after that I was up again. Another hour or two...up. An hour before my alarm...awake. Of course, when I finally had to get up... I didn't want to. Now I'm fairly certain I'll be sleepy at work today. Sigh. I'm ready for vacation!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Out Like a Lion

March is certainly going out like a lion. After some unseasonable warm weather, the cold returned. Last night the snow came back, covering everything. Almost all has melted, but it remains cold. My parents and I went to the Broadway Market for a traditional Easter trip. We got lots of goodies. We had a green Christmas...will we have a white Easter?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting Ready for Spring

The lawn tractor was picked up Tuesday. It's been fixed and tuned up and will be returned tomorrow. The heating/AC people were out today and performed the Spring tuneup. I changed the Cranapple Crisp soap to Fresh Picked Strawberry. Keep in mind...it's currently 39 degrees with a hard freeze and possible snow coming tonight!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have a migraine, a really bad one. I get them often and it started last evening at work. I didn't have my prescription with me, but I took some OTC stuff and was able to keep it at bay. I woke up this morning and it was niggling there. My leg was also acting up. My back injury has caused issues with my left leg. It was kind of cramping, but not really. Then, as I sat, I could actually see the muscles moving underneath my skin?!?!? Freaky. That started feeling more normal, I took my prescription migraine pill, and took Sam for his walk. I started thinking about calling in sick to work. I had stopped at the grocery store after work and was all set for my lunches. I needed to be at work Thursday as I have to fax in the last of my 2011 medical receipts, should I call in just for today? Today and tomorrow? Or just tough it out. We got home and I started feeling worse. The medicine helped with the pain...but I have stiffness in my arms, and feel as if I could vomit at any second. Combined with yesterday's bathroom issues...I called in. I usually don't for my migraines-but this one has knocked me for a loop-and maybe something else is going on with me as well. Lots of people at work are sick. My migraines usually last 3 days-so hopefully I'll be back to normal (well, as normal as I ever am) by Thursday. As soon as the guy comes to pick up my lawn tractor, I'm going back to bed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winter's Back

It looks deceptively warm and sunny outside. It may be sunny, but it's cold, and the wind is biting! It looks like it's 70-as it has been, but it's now 36! Tonight will get down in the 20's. My poor fruit trees. Farmers are in trouble-the unseasonable warm weather convinced fruit trees and flowers to bud...and bloom. This frost could kill them...and the fruit the fruit trees might grow. Let's all hope the crops aren't decimated.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


When technology works, it's amazing. When it doesn't, or you don't know how to use it, it's a pain in the ass! If you read my Friday post, you know my wonderful camera broke and I bought a new one. You may have noticed that I haven't posted a picture from the new camera yet. I was able to take photos...barely...and I uploaded them on the computer. Unfortunately, it uses a new picture system-PMB. I don't get it. I can't figure out how to name the pictures, how to get them in My Pictures (the basic computer pics), or how to lower the resolution. After an online chat with a Sony specialist I was able to set the time and date...but that was after I took the pictures-so those pictures claimed I took them in December 2011. I can't figure out how to move them either. I've wasted so much time trying to figure the darn thing out. Stupid technology. Here's hoping I can figure it out soon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Phriday - No Camera

My wonderful camera died today. I turned it on to take a picture of my daffodils for this post and it made a horrible grinding sound and the screen read to turn it off and on again. Unfortunately, every time I turned it on I got that awful sound. Unlike a lot of people today, I don't have a camera on my smart phone...I don't even have a smart phone! So I bought a new camera today. I'm figuring it out and charging the battery-with any luck I'll be able to post a picture tomorrow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Dog

My dog, Sam, has a skin condition that requires weekly baths. He's not fond of the situation, but he doesn't make a big fuss over it either. I usually go upstairs, take my own bath, then get Sam in. He's taken, however, to not coming upstairs with me when I go to bed...although he's there when I wake up in the morning. Are the stairs bothering him, or is he trying to avoid the bath? Last Friday I went up and he came right up with me. OK, I said, I'll take my bath and then Sam will get his. I drew my bath, but it was a bit hot. So I decided to let it cool for a few minutes and went into the hall. I turned on the light to look for something and patted Sam, who was sleeping in the hall, on the head. The next thing I knew Sam got up, walked into the bathroom and was waiting to get into the tub, the tub currently filled with water and bubbles! What a good dog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Special Funds Needed

It's horrible when an unexpected catastrophic event happens to your animal. Vet costs skyrocket-and, in most cases, there is no insurance. But what happens when these events happen to stray animals or animals in shelters? Lack of money may be a death sentence...but not necessarily. Many rescue organizations have special funds just for emergencies such as these. The Erie County SPCA has the Yelp for Help Fund. Big Dogs Big Hearts had a special Valentine's Day fund for some puppies with Parvo as well as Franklin, a dog who was starving. A few weeks ago Sam and I were looking for a dog in foster care who ran away from training. The dog was found, but had been hit by a car resulting in a shattered femur, pelvis, and internal injuries. GRASP, the rescue organization caring for Haylee has an Angel Fund, so that people can donate for her care, or others that may need medical assistance. Please consider donating to help any of these animals...or look for a similar fund at your local shelter or rescue.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Joyous Ostara! Happy St. Joseph's Day! Spring is officially here. It's an amazing 71 degrees here in WNY. On my walk with Sam today we saw many crocus in bloom and even a few daffodils. What's fantastic around my house is the scent. The wild violets are in bloom on my lawn, perfuming the air. It's delightful. I see the leaves of my tulips, and other things sprouting. There are buds on the lilacs and I'm starting to see hints of yellow on the forsythias. Yes, Spring has sprung!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Hot Out There!

The unseasonable warm weather continues. It's 71 degrees here in WNY. That's just weird...lovely...but, weird. I got warm walking Sam this morning and am worried about this summer. Will it be unbearably hot? I left Texas-I don't want 90 & 100 degree temperatures here. Still, I hope to enjoy this lovely weather while I can. Next week we're supposed to be back in the 50's.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I had a very interesting dream last night. I had been chosen as part of a contest to be a writer for a screenplay. I was specifically chosen by the head writer-Alan Rickman. Alan Rickman wasn't Alan Rickman though-his name was Tony. (Don't ask me?!) So "Tony" and I started working on the script. At one point we flew to an exotic destination for "research". It was a very good dream.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope everyone has their green on and is celebrating St. Patrick's Day-whatever their heritage. I had a lovely day until the early evening. Not that the early evening was bad...but I suddenly don't feel too well. Ugh. Hopefully the Pepto will work quickly. I haven't been able to accomplish much due to those "tummy troubles". Ugh again! At least my body waited til I was back home before causing problems! The day started foggy, but turned absolutely gorgeous. Sam and I had our walk in the fog, but it had cleared by the time I was ready to head out. Wonderful stops at Bath & Body Works (it was their Market Day with great savings and fresh fruit scents for the home), Hedonist Artisan Chocolates (to get my shamrock truffle-with Guinness, Irish Whiskey, and cream), and the discovery of a great new shop-Now and Zen made my day great. I'm cooking Corned Beef for a late dinner to be eaten with the BBC Being Human. What did you do on this holiday?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Forward

Today is the start (or is it the end?) of Daylight Savings Time. We spring forward and subsequently lose an hour. I've already set the upstairs clock forward. When I finish this post I'll change the clock on the phone and stove. The computer will set itself as will the cable box...I think. Tomorrow I'll change the DVD/VCR player...and any watches I can find. I'm going to go to bed early, but since we're losing that hour it really isn't early at all!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Thank God it's Thursday. I have a feeling this evening will be a challenging one at work. Let's just hope it goes by smoothly and quickly. I have a lot to do this weekend-so let's hope I don't get stuck staying late at work and can start my weekend at 11:30pm!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day!

It's leap day! Once every 4 years we get to write February 29, as the date-today is such a day. Will you do anything special today? It's just another day for me...walk the dog, return library books, get gas for the car, and go to work. It's snowing lightly here...I wonder if March will roar in like lion?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Finale

Tonight I'll be showing the final 2 acts of Carmen for my opera group. I can't wait to see their reaction!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best Laid Plans...

You know what they say about the best laid plans. I was going to go to Buffalo to spend the day with my folks. When I woke up, however, I could barely see out of my window. The roads were snow covered and I decided not to make the trip. That gave me the whole day to clean up around the house. Yea...right. After Sam and I returned from our walk I went upstairs and collected a load of laundry. You'd  think I wear 8 pairs of socks a day. I took the basket down to the laundry, but I saw standing water in the sink. That's not good. I put the laundry in the washer, but didn't start it. I took out the drain cover, thinking there was hair stopping the drain. The water still didn't go down. I went back to the second floor to get the plunger. Back to the basement and plunge, plunge, plunge. All I did was make the water black. I emptied most of the water out by buckets, climbing up and down the stairs-emptying them outside. Plunged again. Nothing. I decided to take a break and have lunch before doing the dishes. That's when I turned on the TV and discovered Full Metal Jousting. A second episode followed and I had to watch. Then I decided to do the dishes. I was washing away, when the kitchen sinks decided to stop draining. Ugh. I wrote a letter, called my folks, then a friend. The kitchen sinks drained on their own-but no luck with the basement...even after I tried to auger it. Sigh. I guess I'll be calling the plumber on Monday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Opera Fans

When I decided to introduce my Arts group to opera, I wasn't sure of the response I'd receive. Most people were interested and open minded, eager even, to learn about it. After a pre-opera homework assignment, which I used to see what, if anything, they knew and thought about opera, we began. I started by showing the Gilligan's Island episode, The Producer. (That's the one where they perform Hamlet-the Musical.) Two of the melodies are actually from the opera, Carmen. Then we watched those 2 songs from the opera itself. My patients were hooked. Since then we've had two more meetings-watching Act 1, then Act 2 of Carmen, starring Jonas Kaufmann with Anna Caterina Antonacci in the title role. I'm thrilled as my group loves it! They are soooo in to it. One is mad at Don José, "How could he leave Micaëla for Carmen? Carmen makes him do bad things". Another is trying to figure out if Escamillo is a bad guy (whereupon another patient commented that Carmen was a bad girl) and that if Carmen leaves Don José for Escamillo, Don José "will be really angry". I can't wait til Monday, when we'll watch Acts 3 & 4. I can't wait to see their reactions!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Shelters

Recently I discovered two very disturbing things about local animal shelters. Some of the horrors that animals escape from were happening at the very shelters that were supposed to protect them. What I did not know was that SPCAs have no relation to each other. When concerns were raised about the Niagara County SPCA, the SPCA serving Erie County went in to investigate. And what they found was appalling. I won't go into detail, I couldn't finish reading the report, I was so disgusted. The worst part, I think, was that a huge amount of animals were being killed...and they were not being euthanized, they were being killed. Euthanization is a mercy killing-these animals were being killed in a horrible, painful way-a heart stick. Hopefully, the Niagara County SPCA will cleanse itself of these horrible people (personally, I'd like to torture all the techs who did heart sticks, knowing it's a painful, horrible way to die...and I hope they all die painful, horrible deaths when their time comes). The second incident happened at the Wyoming County SPCA. State police raided the facility where over 400 cats were not receiving proper care. The situation here seems like a hoarding situation. What can we do when the places that are supposed to care for animals don't? Speak out! That's how these situations came to light. Volunteers, former employees, and the public spoke out. The SPCAs were investigated and the animals that could be helped are being helped. Check out your local shelters, make sure the animals are being cared for-and speak out if they're not!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I have been so lucky lately. I've been entering contests...and winning! Today I received my most recent prize, an autographed copy of Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames. Yesterday I received a UPS delivery from Simon and Schuster-another prize Death Drops A Natural Remedies Mystery by Chrystle Fiedler. If you remember, I also won a cookie cutters and decorating supplies, a cheese making kit, going back a bit I also won the book Tender at theBone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth  Reichl and the My Pet is Cuter than Your Pet photo contest. I think I'd better play the lottery!

Monday, February 20, 2012

So Many Books...

I have a t-shirt that reads, "So Many Books, So Little time". That sentiment is so true, especially of late. I follow so many mystery series-and I'm behind in several of them. By following several blogs I'm being introduced to even more authors and their series. It also seems as if publishers are bringing a lot more mystery series to the front than ever before. That's great! But...how will I ever find time to read them all?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not Enough

Two days off is not enough! It's almost time to get back to work, and again, I didn't get nearly enough accomplished. I barely get the necessities done, let alone the extra stuff. Sometimes even the necessities don't get done! Why can't we work 2 days and have 5 days off? With the same pay, of course!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I went to the barn to ride today, but something was wrong with Harley. Thankfully, Kim was still there. While I was tacking him up he seemed as if he was falling asleep in the crossties. He even stumbled. Then in the indoor arena as I had finished tightening his girth and Kim came in and we were talking, when Harley almost fell. I got him walking, then mounted. We took a few steps and we could both hear him breathing. I got off and started walking him around. His nostrils were flared and I could still hear him breathing. He had never done that. We're concerned about colic. This changing weather is scary-it can be very harmful to horses. Kim got Pauline as I continues to walk Harley. He seemed to get a bit better. He was not hot at all (which is good). Kim brought in some hay and he did eat. We left him in the arena. I stayed with him for a while, walking him and making sure he didn't roll. About an hour and 45 minutes later I checked back in. Harley was in his stall drinking and eating hay. Kim called a few hours later-he's doing OK. We're praying it's not colic-he did poop in his stall-a good thing! We're not sure what's wrong, but hopefully he's fine. We'd be grateful for any prayers and healing thoughts you send our way. Thanks!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Photo Phriday - Seneca with a Lion Cut

Seneca's fur is starting to grow in. She looked so silly. But, since she wouldn't groom herself, or let me get her matts out, she got shaved!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I don't particularly care for this holiday of love. I've never had a proper Valentine and this year is no exception. Still, I'm dressed in red and pink. I've had comfort food for lunch including chocolate truffles. I've sent out Valentine's Day cards and got a few back. I put out more birdseed for the squirrels and birds, leaving some on the ground for those that have to wait for leftovers spilled from the feeder. I made a small donation to Big Dogs, Big Hearts for some sweeties needing extra medical care. I guess that's what Valentine's Day is all about-giving a little to make others happy. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012


I'm preparing for my group-tonight we will have our first session about opera! Hopefully, I can find a DVD player as I wish to show the Gilligan's Island episode-The Producer. In it they put on Hamlet-the musical, 2 of the songs happen to be from Bizet's opera Carmen. Then I will show those two songs as they really appear in Carmen. I'm looking forward to it-and hope the patients enjoy it as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The End

This is it. The end of my vacation. WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! In my line of work you really need at least 2 weeks off-the first just to decompress, the second to actually get stuff done. I'm halfway decompressed, but a bit put off with myself that I didn't get more done. So, what did I do on my vacation? I made and mailed my Valentine's Day cards, except for Vinnie's (his is a little special and I haven't posted it yet) and my international ones may not make it in time. I went to a chocolate tasting at Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, a wine tasting at Wine Sense, learned to make chocolate truffles at the New York Wine and Culinary Center, went to a book signing with author Lorraine Bartlett, spent a day with my folks making cookies with my mom, took Sam and spent another day there going through old stuff, stopped at a few favorite stores...but very few, got caught up on my TV shows...those that are available On Demand at any rate (darn you Vampire Diaries), read a lot, discovered and became addicted to Pinterest, and went out to lunch with a friend. Hmmm, that actually sounds like I did a lot...whatever the case, I enjoyed myself, but, I'm ready for another vacation!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photo Phriday - Classroom Kitchen

The classroom at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. I learned how to make chocolate truffles today!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


September 10, 2009 - February 8, 2012

Sadly, my sweet Harrison crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. He had been fine, until a few days ago when I think he had a stroke. He had some hind end paralysis and went quickly downhill after that. Harrison was always a sweet laid back boy who loved giving kisses. He's with his brothers, Aquinas and Dylan, now. His nephews, Tyskie and Zywiec, and well as his friends Grodziskie and Okocim will miss him. I will especially miss this gentle soul.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I don't read reviews. Well, that's not quite true, I don't follow reviews. I've loved many things-movies, books, and more-that have received poor reviews. Bad reviews of things I like tend to piss me off as well. But, like a train wreck, I sometimes have to read. I've been posting some books to my Pinterest board First in the Series. These are the books that started a series I really enjoy. To pin them I go to the Amazon.com page in order to get the picture. There I see the list of reviews...and I see some 1 star reviews...for books I love. Yes, I've been reading some. I know I shouldn't, as they're putting me in a bad mood. Even though I never believe reviews, it pains me to read some of these...and I get mad at the idiots that write some of them-yes some people are idiots and not just because I don't agree with them (although that can be a good indication of idiocy...still). One jerk had the temerity to write, "At any rate, when I start thinking that maybe Agatha Christie was a literary genius, I know I'm reading a very bad mystery novel." Sorry, idiot...Agatha Christie WAS a literary genius! I'm now trying to take deep cleansing breaths...and vowing to write positive reviews for books I enjoy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I have a new addiction-Pinterest. So what is it? It's a virtual pinboard that lets you save and organize things you find on the web. You can also see other people's interests and repin their ideas onto your own boards.  According to the site itself, "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests." Pretty cool. I've discovered new recipes and posted things of my own. I get a kick when people discover my things and pin them to their own boards. At the moment I have 15 boards (topics, if you will) and 7 followers (subscribers, you might call them). A good portion of the fun is checking other people's pins and following them to other people and so on-you never know what you'll find and that's part of the adventure. At the moment you need an invitation to join...but if you can get one, grab it and check out this great site!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day...and Candlemas...and Imbolc!

Today is a big holiday in that there are 3 holidays celebrated today...along with a friend's birthday. The three more popular reasons to celebrate (sorry Trey, hmmm, Trey...see a theme here?) all have to do with the coming spring. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning so that means 6 more weeks of winter. Since we really haven't seen much of a winter yet, I guess that's OK. As the Yankee Candle Company reminded us, today is the midpoint of winter and the day that churches bless all the candles for the year. There's also a saying-"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another fight. If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, Winter won't come again". As for Imbolc, author Laurell K. Hamilton sums it up this way, "Imbolc is the promise of life’s return, not exactly spring, but a measure of hope that spring, and summer, will come, and winter does not last forever." She has a great post about the holiday. So celebrate today. I'll be celebrating-I need to get through this evening at work, then I start vacation!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The End of the Month

It's hard to believe the end of the month is here. I'm glad I decided to take vacation at the beginning of February-I need a break. Hopefully my cold will be gone and I'll start feeling better. I have a few plans, but basically I'm just glad to be off work. I need to make it through 3 more days. Give me strength!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


It's been a frustrating morning. Sam has been whining, I can't find my pedometer-which should be on my nightstand where I thought I put it last night. I've used it for 880 days in a row-today I'll miss it. I went upstairs for a moment and returned to find Sam had eaten the rest of my salad. I'm still sick, but feeling better. I'll go in to work this afternoon and pray for a quick, good shift. I need to get through this week, then I have a week of vacation!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blizzard of 77 Slideshow

35 Years Ago

It was 35 years ago today that it hit; the Blizzard of '77. I was just a kid, so to me it was a great adventure, nothing scary. My main memory is getting to my grandparents house. Normally it was a 5 minute drive-not so this time. My parents and I set off, driving, but we couldn't cross the border between Kenmore and Buffalo. We left the car and set off on foot. When we got to their street we couldn't believe what we saw. In the middle of the road was a mountain of snow, higher than the 2 story houses. I'll never forget that sight! Apparently, the blizzard only brought 6-12 inches of snow with it; it was the 38 inches already there that caused the problem, along with the 30-40 mile an hour winds which buried cars and houses and stranded hundreds...if not thousands. Here are some pictures compiled from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District publication entitled "Operation Snow Go - Blizzard of '77". Here's another site with some great photos. You can also watch some clips on Youtube. If you're on Facebook, like Perry's ice cream and you can see many more pictures and recollections. You can also try their commemorative Blizzard of '77 ice cream-Zero Visibility. I survived the Blizzard of '77...and I have the board game to prove it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sore Throat

The day is getting away from me, but I'm just so pleased I'm not at work. Unfortunately, my migraine has returned and meds aren't kicking in. I also have a feeling I'm coming down with a cold. A sore throat woke me up during the night-and kept me up for a bit. Once I woke it pretty much went away-but it's still lingering a bit. I just want to enjoy this 3 day weekend, make it through next week at work, then a week of vacation! I'd better be healthy then!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peanut Butters

Before I go to work, or leave for Buffalo, I give Sam a peanut butter filled marrow bone. Sometimes warm, usually frozen. He enjoys it and it keeps him busy. With his "peanut butters" he couldn't care less that I'm leaving. He's whining now...I think he knows it's close to time for him to get his treat.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of Black Water Dragon

Gong Xi Fa Ca! Wishing you prosperity at the start of this new year-the lunar new year. This year is the year of the dragon and I hope it brings great things.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Be sure to put out some extra food for these cute fellows and enjoy their antics. I put a new peanut suet cake in the holder and filled up the "bird" feeder.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Raise Awareness Wednesday - Wildlife Rehabilitaion

I'd like to share the wonderful work that wildlife rehabilitators do. These wonderful people, who rarely get notice or donations, help those critters that many people don't think about. Here's a site that gives information and can help you find a local rehabber: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


January 15, 2010 - January 16, 2012

When I got home from work last night I discovered that Wallace had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Wallace was the last of the Cheektowaga Boys, surrendered to a rescue after an "animal husbandry project". Wallace was the most timid of the bunch, but over time he blossomed into a loving boy-always looking for a cuddle. Those boys were never healthy, but Wallace seemed to be doing the best-looking great until recently. His death was sudden though, and unexpected. I'm grateful for the time we had together. I'll miss you Wallace, but now you can play with your brothers again.

Monday, January 16, 2012


It's MLK Day, but I have to work. What about you?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Siberian Husky Mixes

Although neither my Brioche (who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge), nor my Sam look like a traditional Siberian Husky-I was told when I adopted each that they were Siberian Husky mixes. Brioche was supposedly Siberian Husky/White Shepherd and Sam a Siberian Husky mix (personally I think he has some Setter in him as well-but that's a guess). I adopted Brioche in Texas, but eventually we moved to New York state and she got to experience winter...and snow. At that point I became convinced that Brioche was indeed part Siberian Husky. She loved the snow and would just stand in it and stare, enjoying the cold. Sam is exactly the same way. Just before bed I let him out for his last business of the night, he does it, but then doesn't want to come in. He stands, in a drift, and stares; while I'm bundled up in the single degree temps!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I love to learn. I've always said that if I was independently wealthy I'd just keep going to school. I have so many varied interests as well. Time, however, is a bit of an enemy. It seems all I do is sleep, work, take care of the kids, and run errands. I haven't crafted in a while-although I have a few projects I need to start. However, I've decided to take 2 classes. In February I'll be going to the New York Wine & Culinary Center to take a one day class to learn how to make chocolate truffles! I've also applied to take part in an online writing course: Kiss Me or Kill Me: Writing Cozy Mysteries 101 for Romance Writers. Linda O. Johnston, a favorite author, is teaching the course through the Orange County Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. I admit...I'm not a romance writer, but I read them, and I'm looking forward to learning.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've been laughing a bit as I hear of snow covering my friends in Oklahoma and Texas, when all I have here in WNY is rain and balmy temperatures in the 40's. That's about to change, however. Friday is supposed to still be warm...but snow coming and Saturday the high will only be in the teens. We even have a winter weather advisory starting tomorrow. Nothing major, just things getting back to normal for this time of year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Offically Over..Kind Of

Since yesterday was Epiphany the Christmas Season is officially over. Since I'm off work tonight, I'll keep the outside lights on tonight so that I can enjoy them, but this will be the last night. I'll remove the outdoor extras tomorrow, and get to the lights soon. The weather is perfect for removing them-it's too warm for January. As for the indoor stuff...not sure. The tree may stay another week. We'll see. In Poland the Christmas Season lasts all the way until Candlemas-so I have til February 2nd!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I went to the dentist this morning for my 6 month cleaning. No cavities...but plenty of gum inflammation. I admit, I don't floss as regularly as I should. It was also recommended that I use an electric toothbrush. My mouth is quite tight and it's difficult to clean everything-the electric is supposed to clean much better than a manual brush ever could. We also talked about my lost tooth. They're recommending a bridge. I don't mind not having the tooth-you can't see it anyway, but the ones next to it are slowly starting to shift and the one under it is getting higher-trying to fill the gap. In time this could become problematic. My insurance apparently will cover the whole thing-so I suppose I should have it done while I still have it! I haven't made the appointment yet...but I guess I should just resign myself to getting it done. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I feel drained. I may be coming down with something-but I'm fighting it off. I don't feel too bad, just tired and drained...and periodically a little dizzy and nauseous. I woke up with a sore throat yesterday-but that quickly went away. I got to bed earlier than usual last night. I'll have to do so the next 2 nights as I have to get up early Thursday for a dentist appointment and Friday to drive an hour and a half away for a mandated state doctor's appointment. Ugh.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Want a Cookie?

I never did any holiday baking, although I may do some winter baking. Fortunately, I was the recipient of homemade cookies from my mom and a friend. I did see some wonderful cookie recipes I'd love to try.  I subscribed to a few holiday cookies of the day e-mails and I was even involved in a Christmas Cookie Contest at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I submitted 2 of my grandmother's recipes and one was chosen as a finalist-Raspberry Rollups. The results-a tie! Raspberry Rollups tied Spicy Gingerbread Cookies. We're now in a runoff. My recipe is a bit behind, but it's close with 2 days left to vote. Did you do any holiday baking? Did you try some new recipes, stick with the old reliables, or a little of both?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wacky Weather

We had a green Christmas this year and the temperature on New Year's Eve was in the mid 40's. Very strange for this time of year in WNY. New Year's day started pretty warm as well as Sam and I went on our walk, but by the time I got to work the wind started picking up and the temperature started to drop. It also started to rain. Halfway though the evening the winds got wild (we had a wind advisory) and it got colder. As I left work it was windy and drizzly. I co-worker coming in for the next shift warned me to drive carefully and "keep both hands on the steering wheel". It didn't see that bad as I walked to my car...but then I started to drive. The drizzle turned into snain-that wet stuff that looks like snow, but doesn't accumulate and acts more like rain. The snaining continued and the winds picked up. At a stop light I saw sheets of snain! I got on the highway and the snain soon turned to snow-and the winds buffeted my car. Both hands on the wheel. At least the roads were clear...until I started to get close to home. The roads were becoming snow covered and the snow was coming at me...until I was about 5 minutes from home. The snow stopped and all was clear, windy, but clear. This morning it's about 32. There's a small amount of snow-but roads and sidewalks are clear. However, we're under a lake effect snow warning. It's going to start snowing this evening and through tomorrow. Tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 14. It'll be a short walk tomorrow Sam!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year! I usually spend time on New Year's Eve reviewing the past year. I didn't do that this year, at least not in depth. Instead I'd like to take time today to focus on the upcoming new year. I'm not making any resolutions-but there are a few things I'd like to try to do. Write more. Since being forced onto evening shift, I haven't written much of anything. I'd like to write more-including more work on my book! Get the house in order-and try to keep it that way. Find more joy in work...even if that means finding a new job...if that's even possible. Here's hoping 2012 brings much joy and happiness. Happy New year!