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! 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 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!