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December 18, 2008

I Heart My SSS

Somewhere in Utah....is my very own Secret Santa! ( I'm over there on the right doin' the Happy Gift Dance) -->


I will not eat the yummmmmy Godiva chocolate before I take pictures.

I will not indulge in a super-size Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with a shot of expresso and flash my gift card at the barrista.....before I take pictures.

I will not fly to Wendy's with my Wendy's gift card (now I'm quivering with anticipation...)

and I cross my heart I won't go to Barnes and Noble and collapse in their comfy couches with a brand-spankin' new book and that box of Godiva goodness....

oh.......how long can I be good......thank you Secret Santa, you rock! I'll post pictures just as soon as this elf gig is over with ~ that Santa is a slave driver! thank you thank you thank you!
gonna have to go and do some snooping....who lives in Utah? hmmmmmmmmmmmm........

December 10, 2008

I Do Not Love Thee Dr. Farranelli

There are things from our past that rise up to remind us of where we have come from, small struggles, little triumphs, happy memories......and some not so happy......

My sincere apologies to the lady whose eardrum I burst by screaming and making gagging noises when I was taking her phone order......and saw this on the scratch paper I was using................

1.75 g O2 occupies 2L @ 1ATM. What is T?

1ATM = T(K)

1.75 g x 1mol O2 / 32gO2 = .0547

Chemistry homework circa 2001.

December 4, 2008

Tis The Season....and a Winner!

There are 577 unread posts in my reader.
There is a two day old turkey drying out in the fridge. We were planning on having a NotThanksgiving dinner here because Thanksgiving was at my sister's house many miles away.
One of the cats has been AWOL for four days. Not good.
CA wrote a song for me to sing while I scout the neighborhood looking for Sprout the idiot nose-biter wonder kitty.

come home sprootle
come home sprootle
come home right now!
Sprootle is such a poodle
come home and we will give you some food-le
poodle poodle poodle come home
sprootle oodle whoodle we miss you very very much.

CA is not four years old. Sprout is not a poodle. Whatever. She's still my baby.

I have not finished decorating the room at Ye Olde Tiny Mansion. Not the J'Ollie House, this one is a real live old mansion. They're having a Home for the Holidays Tour starting TOMORROW. Oh the pressure.... The deadline was yesterday. Ye Olde Tiny Mansions' decorating dictator director is cursing me out. She's probably saying "HECK DARN SHOOT" because she's a very nice person. I'll bet she's saying "faux faux faux" in her head........

I have vodka and no cranberry juice. Could be worse.

I STILL have to get my SSS giftie girl her goods. At least I got a list going on.... and it WILL be done and in the mail, I PROMISE.

OH! AND! BUT! We DO have a winner for the Big Count the Wrinkles Guess the Year contest....


didja guess? ..................

oh, crap, my ten minutes is up.................



Congrats! As soon as Santa quits cracking the whip I'll sneak your goodies out to the mailbox!

December 3, 2008

Signature Magic!

I'm technically challenged, but this is easy and q.u.i.c.k!

I love signatures and personalized blogs. Pictures, bling, all that time-eating fun stuff. Since I'm on blog restriction and only have ten minutes I can share this.

Go to http://www.mylivesignature.com/.

Find "Click here to start."
Then click on "Create a new signature using our wizard."

Clickety-clickety-click. Easy peasy.
Pick a font and font size, the color, and the slope of the signature.
Then you get to a page that says "Signature is ready" and an option that says "Do you want to use this code." Click on that. There are code options for HTML or BB.
Click on "Generate HTML Code"
On the next page it'll show you a Signature Preveiw. And the HTML Code.
At the bottom of the page you'll see "Click here to read how to add your HTML signature in blogs." Clickety-click click. This is a one time add-on so you have to do it every time you post. There are more instructions so you can have your signature show up every time, but I only have ten minutes and must do things repeatedly anyway....OCD can be fun! I'm not going to do the time-consuming stuff but the instructions are on the website so if you can follow them your signature will show up where you want it when you want it. That part looked fairly easy too.
The fun part is that you can do phrases or anything you please! I can't wait to see what Tiffany writes with her wizard pen!
time's up. back to work, the elves are getting cranky and Santa's giving me the stinkeye. Have a great day!

December 2, 2008

Merry SITSmas!

Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus is coming to town early! The SITS girls have put on their Santa hats and come up with a great giveaway & shameless promotion of Busy Mom Businesses!

Jump over to SITS for a whole day of Christmas giveaways & discounts (ahem. Check out J'Ollie Primitives' giveaway and their secret discount code WISHLIST on SITS' blog!)

There are HOURLY Giveaways ALL DAY!

The GRAND PRIZE from the SITSAS is a $200.00 Target gift card! AND you could be a Featured Blogger on their Friday Favorite!

I'll be posting the winner of the count the wrinkles Guess the Year contest tomorrow. (I'm late, I stink, sorry)

Our Christmas wish for you ~ Peace, Love, & Joy

If you're on the SITS bloggy trail, Princess & Pickles is in front of me, and Anna is up next! (Shaking fist at Mr. Linky)

November 26, 2008

Welcome to AnonyBlog!

Somebody mentioned on their blog that they weren't all that ecstatic about the mandatory holiday visiting with in-laws, out-laws, friends and foes. That she needed a private blog to vent about it anonymously. And that she wouldn't mention anything ~ well ~ that could be traced back to the author.

Welcome to AnonyBlog! Got something you want to vent about but you can't because "that person" might read your blog and be offended? Got something to say? Do you just like visiting? Come on over and do a guest post!

The holidays are upon us. We're getting busy. I have ten minutes to jump into BlogLand, read a post, comment, heave myself out of the Office Chair of Doom and get back to work. This means I get ten minutes to post something.

I need blog fodder, people.

Time's up.

November 24, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Somebody's.....Blog!

OK, everybody, join hands and start humming "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" as we record the MotherLode of MeMes!

I would have downloaded a Real Singer from YouTube to do the backup but they were annoying. Sorry Diana Ross, that does include you. talk about being upstaged.....

My fellow nurse Tenakim tagged me for this awesome meme.....I'm so excited that I've put down my paintbrush and plunked down in the Office Chair of Doom....once I sit here there is a good chance that I will not be seen or heard from for several hours.....

Rule 1. List the first ten people who have commented on one of your blog posts.

1.) Mrs. Tee @ My Delighful Home ~ I could be her twin except I don't cook, decorate or even attempt to finish a project.....this girl has Martha Stewart afeared and ascared of being upstaged...

2.) Miss Liberty all the way up in Canada @ Liberty Post ~ Oh.My.Goodness. She's smart, funny, takes photos that will make you drool (ok maybe not THAT photo) To me she is Blogging Nirvana. Go Forth and COMMENT on her awesomeness.

3.) My sentimental favorite, Carolina Girl @ Ramblings of a 30-Something Year Old Single Girl She commented on a post when all I said was "I got nothin", she gave me my first Butt Kicker Award, and she can ramble like no other. Maybe if I butter her up enough I can visit her in sunny South Carolina !

4.) Carrie @ The Gremlin Wrangler Another awesome photographer. Watch her juggle work, wrangle four home-schooled kids, work and life in general. She sends hilarious letters to her customers that will make you laugh.

5.) Rhea. The one with the rockin' pink cowgirl hat @ Texas Word Tangle. This girl can make cleaning toilets a little more bearable. Obi Wan-Kenobi just gave her a pink light saber to guide her through the darkness...uh, to match that awesome hat.

6.) Mama Kat, the attention-craving poodle over @ Mama's Losin' It. The Queen of Blogdom, Writer's Workshops, and opener of a can of whoop-ass on whatever issue might be bothering her a little. Go see her call the ad execs at Motrin ninny-poops.

7.) and of course the beloved and very-much-missed (she's been on a CRUISE, we should be jealous and green but we love her too stinkin' much) *JJBB*! JillJillBoBill got me hooked when she posted about stealing amybobamey's name...jjbb was all "By this time I am sweating profusely and getting cotton mouth.My worst fear has come true. I am a COPY-CATTER. Only accidentally." What's not to love about jjbb? I wonder if she brought me a souvenier.....

8.) Another All-Time Absolute Hands-Down FAVORITE ~ the sparkling Snooty Primadona! This woman has had several lives in one lifetime. Adventure, drama, tragedy, and joy all wrapped up in one wonderful snooty package. She.Is.Fabulous. AND she cooks like a diva!

9.) Mama Cracked blogs about life and motherhood, frugal finds and big wishes. It's been far too long since I've visited her blog.

10.) whew! Last but but not least is the wonderful Manic Mariah! She weaves such poetic images....dreamy fantasies of lavender and moon dust.....and brings us back to reality with a thump when her bird's butt gets sewn up. If that's not reason enough to visit her, Grandma Pearl is.

***What is your favorite post from #3's blog?

This one.....the First Date Recap. What can I say, I am a huge sucker for romance. *Sigh*

***Has #10 taken any pictures that have moved you?

Too many to count. This one, this one, and this one. I could go on.

***Does #6 reply to comments on their blog?

About as often as I comment on hers, which hasn't been too often lately. When MamaKat has 122 comments every time she posts something, she shouldn't have to return the compliment. She'd never get anything done and would have a terrible case of butt-itis from sitting at the computer all day.

***Which part of Blogland is #2 from?

Canada! I didn't even have to look that one up! yay me!

***If you could give one piece of advice to #7 what would it be?

I would advise her to take all of us on a cruise the next time she gets it in her head that she wants to get on a large boat with no Internet connection.

***Have you ever tried something from #9's blog?

She decorates. I live in a warehouse/zoo. She's frugal. I'm so cheap I don't buy anything that does not ensure survival. She has reveiws for toddler toys. Now those could be fun! BATHTUB CRAYONS! looooove them!

***Has #1 blogged something that inspired you?

Yummy Pumpkin Cake, I mean *bread* A beautiful (clean) kitchen. Gauzy ribbons tied around chairs. I'm so dreamin'. Considering I'm NOT cooking, cleaning or doing anything domestically productive....

***How often do you comment on #4's blog?

I've been kinda sadly lacking in the comments to Carrie department lately. now I kinda feel bad. Pardon me while I go comment.

***Do you wait excitedly for #8 to post?

Heck yes! Because we are all maturt like that. Snooty always has something interesting to say.

***How did #5's blog change your life?

Color. She inspired me to change up the color on my posts. "Cuz it's pretty. Small steps, people, I just learned how to copy & paste last year....

***Do you know any of your 10 bloggers in person?

Not yet!

***Do any of your 10 know each other?

Only in Blog Land, not IRL.

***Out of the 10, which updates more frequently?

They're all frequent, if not DAILY. *One more thing to aspire to*

***Which of the 10 keep you laughing?

Snooty, Mariah, Carolina Girl, JJBB, MamaKat, Rhea and Carrie are all conspiring to make their readers happy. Sometimes so dang happy-you-pee-a-little-or-spit-coffee-on-the-keyboard-happy. Either one is a huge compliment.

***Which of the 10 made you cry (good or bad) tears?

Those guys up there on the last question. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya. Some folks have written so provocatively about their past you just can't help but get a little weepy. Some posts are so funny that I'm crying and laughing and scaring the cats. Often it's in the same post.

Play on, I am played out!

Remember to enter yourself in the contest!

November 20, 2008

Give A Gift, Win A Gift! Guess the Year!

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take just one card and send it to this address.
Pass this on! Sorry for the lengthy amount of info below.

Send a Christmas card to any service member! A card letting them know that they are appreciated means so much. When you are writing your Christmas cards please send one to the address below:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD

Please follow these guidelines to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members.
All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008.
Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage.
Please ensure that all cards are signed.
Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Keep messages short.
Please do not include email or home addresses on the cards.
Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
Phone Cards and Care Packages won't be accepted with the holiday cards. Those wishing to send calling cards or gift cards/certificates should go to http://www.aafes.com/, scroll down to "AAFES Community Connection" and click on "Help Our Troops Call Home."

Go to http://www.americasupportsyou.com/ and click under "Homefront Groups" to find out how to send care packages.

Please pass it on! I'll be posting addresses for our overseas soldiers and sailors soon.

And now for the CONTEST! All you have to do is guess the year this picture was taken.

Easy peasy, right? you could guess that it had been over a week since I took a shower judging by the state of my hair but we won't go there.

Post a comment with your guess. Pre-WWII year guesses do not count and will be frowned upon by the blog administrator. I'm not THAT old.

Anybody coming remotely close within three years of the correct year will have their name thrown into the hat. You can guess the same year that another commenter entered! I might shamelessly copy-dog nikkicrumpet and have my boys Frank and Magoo pick the big winner.....on second thought they'd eat up all of the names so fast there wouldn't be a chance of establishing a winner.

The winner of the Last Known Picture of Linda With a Waistline will be randomly selected on Sunday November 30th.

Fabulous prizes will be dispensed. Chocolate, Christmas goodies, and joy in a box will be sent to the winner. You must have a US address and an email or blog address so I can contact you.

Leave me a comment with your Guess the Year and don't forget! Send a Christmas card to one of our servicemen and women! Good luck!
ETA: Frizzy at Heaven's Gift has Care Package addresses that cover many needs, including blankets, adaptive clothing for wounded servicemen, and supportive technology for our troops. If a card doesn't do enough, please check out the links on her blogsite.

November 18, 2008

Technically Challenged

What I don't know about computers could fill a book. Or a library.

A sixth-grader taught me how to open my own email account and how to get on the internet.
Do not ask a sixth-grader how to compose a new email account address.
I joined a Working Women's Group at church. One of the first things we were asked for was our email address so we could get updates on the next meeting, church fund-raisers and all of the information that we needed.
Lady #1 announced her email address was sadiehawkins@centel.blabla.net.
The next one proudly stated that her address was genesimmons@prominentbankinginstitution.com
So on and so forth. All of them used a real name and a respectable internet provider address.
Me? I had to hang my head in shame and mumble puggylover@hotmail.com .

I love pugs. But saying "lover" and "hot" in church just seemed w.r.o.n.g.

Then I found eBay.

There was a group of botanical prints that I wanted. Really really wanted. Somebody else wanted it too.
I think the bid was up to fourteen bucks.
I typed in 16.00.
The computer froze.
Typed it in again.
The zeros wouldn't show up.
I banged on that zero key in a desperate attempt to WIN THAT PRINT.
My bid finally showed up.
16 thousand.
The Other Bidder lost.

November 14, 2008

Up Or Down?

Mr Sweetie is a polite and considerate person.


Being polite and considerate he likes to leave the toilet lid in the non-functional but aesthetically pleasing DOWN position.

I'm more in favor of the less aesthetically pleasing but fully functional Leave It Up So I Can Make It There Quick position.

We have two bathrooms. One is conveniently located two giant steps away from the Office. This is very important when I have guzzled forty-eleven cups of coffee before 8 AM.

The other bathroom is about a mile away, further if you've had more than your fair share of caffeine.

Sadly the convenient bathroom is out of comission. First there was a minor leak. Then a big flood.

Do you know the rules of gravity? That "shit rolls down hill" theory?

Water follows the same rules.


My FIL came over yesterday to "fix" the toilet.

Mr. Sweetie elected to have some manly assistance because he has issues with my ability to follow directions. And his two bum shoulders do not appreciate lifting a toilet's weight.

FIL says "Uh-oh"

The subfloor is wet. Because water just had to follow the rules.

The throne is now majestically parked in the middle of the bathroom. The subfloor is drying. Slowly.

Look on the bright side. Now I can finish the paint job I started ten years ago.

Bead board. Wouldn't bead board look GREAT in there? Maybe a new sink too. I never did like that sink.

I think some new towels might be in order. Since the good ones are in a heap on the floor after being used to mop up toilet water. Just sayin'.

Anyway. In the meantime I'm going to have to:
a.) cut down on the coffee (not an option)

b.) run faster (not happening)

vault the dog gate and whiz (heh heh) into the far-away bathroom.

Where the lid is aesthetically.stubbornly.irritatingly. DOWN.

Please God don't let me pee on the seat.

'Cause I'm the Cleaner-Upper and I don't want to go there.

November 13, 2008

Fur Babies

I used to love to travel. The Army had a slogan. FTA. Fun Travel Adventure. Once I joined, I found that FTA stood for a different acronym. I'll leave that one to your imagination. If you can't figure it out I'll email it to you. 'Cuz we only say Faux on this here blog.

One of the places we ended up was Oklahoma. I earned my nursing degree and a divorce decree in Oklahoma. *sing that to a country tune, it's a sure hit*
Hi Tiffany!

My ex didn't want anything. I sure didn't want anything either. I put up a big old MOVING sale in front of the house and sold everything off. One unintentional thing that went with the furniture was my daughter C.A.'s cat. Either she was hiding in the dresser as it went out the door, or she escaped during the Great Furniture Evacuation.

We ended up at the local APL hoping to find Sadie. I think maybe she met the Rottweiler next door but I wouldn't say that to a four-year old. We found.....Wild Bill.
Bill looked like a small bear. I thought he would eat up my precious little daughter.

He didn't. We took him home to Ohio. Clementine came too. (that's Bill on the right with the pearls. W.i.l.d. Bill). (not really, but it could be him)

Years passed. The Zoo got bigger. I'm a sucker for beasties...Mr. Magoo. Sprout. Rosie & Luna. Frank. Pierre. Ollie. There is a NO MORE PETS rule at the J'Ollie Home. Ollie was a rule breaker. Dang him.

WHO brought all of these beasties home? C.A. The one beastie who no longer lives here at least she doesn't live here THIS MINUTE. Things change.
WHO called the other night to say "Guess what? I'm fostering two kitties! They are so stinkin' cuuuuute!" *insert baby talk to stinkin' cute kitties here*

We had a breif but meaningful discussion on the definitions of FOSTERING and KEEPING.


The point to this post? Go to the top left corner. There's a purple button there. Click on it. Go on, click it. There. You've just filled .6 bowls of food in an animal shelter. Clicking that button will take you to a web site. You just click on one more button to feed an animal. For every click the web sponsors will pay for .6 bowls of food. The Food Lady thanks you. The shelter animals thank you. About those two foster kitties.........they will be given as Fabulous Prizes to the first taker.

November 12, 2008

Don't You Hate It When....

You go to the grocery store and fill up your cart with a month's worth of groceries.

well it looks like a month's worth

using your list and your carefully planned monthly menus.

as if yeah right, totally wingin' it on the menu

You *sigh* at the cash register as you surrender your $$$

Take it all home, put it away and feel a sense of accomplishment at once again providing
your family with sustenance ~

late at night looking in the fridge a little whiney voice says

"there's nothing to eat........"

and that little whiney voice is your own?

Yeah, me too.
Shelle over at BlokThoughts is hosting "Don't You Hate It When....." Monday November 17th. Go on over and check her out, and remember to VOTE on Tuesday. For the Don't You Hate It When Winner, not the Prez. Been there done that.

November 11, 2008

Oh No He Didn't

Faux (pronounced /ˈfoʊ/, like "foe") is a French word for false or fake. It is often used in English phrases such as faux pearls, faux fur, and faux pas.

Except when you go to the hardware store with your Significant Other and he picks up a flyer that advertises a FAUX painting class and says........

"hey! a F***K painting class! Sounds like something you might want to try, honey!"

picture me with a faux smile plastered to my face.

If I weren't so cranky hormonally challenged it would have been amusing.

thank goodness the store was full of men who didn't know how to pronounce it either.

November 10, 2008

Please Excuse Me From Monday....

Remember those carefully forged notes we had to take to school to excuse our absences?

Dear Teacher Followers Friends,

Please excuse J'Ollie Linda from school posting today. She is not feeling Jolly. Her head is spinning like Linda Blair from The Excorsist and she is going batshit crazy if anybody so much as asks for a matching pair of socks. She is only being pretend nice to get through the day without hurting any feelings. And her fonts are misbehaving.

too bad that won't get me out of work. Darn.

November 6, 2008

Stealth Mommies

In an effort to remind our children that they have parents who refuse to grow up, here comes a True Story.
My little sister lives about five houses down from me. She has all the cool toys. Nintendo, Wii, the biggest TV on the block....oh. Maybe I should say her hubbie has them. But he shares.

My sisters and their kids were visiting at my house one November evening. It was Indian summer. We were all feeling a little Indian summer fever ~ kind of like spring fever when you feel motivated to get outside and enjoy the weather. The kids took advantage of the warm evening by walking all.the.way. to Stew's house to watch a movie and play with the cool toys.

Because we're mature and parent-like we thought up a totally lame fun prank. The kids said they were going to watch Halloween or Friday the 13th. Some movie where there's always a boogeyman sneaking up on the unsuspecting fool kid innocently minding their own business.

We were going to scare the beejeezus out of our innocent childrens.

I think it was Big Sis K. "Let's put nylons over our heads and act like we're burglars. We can sneak up to Stew's house and peek in the window and make burglar noises!"

None of us really knew any good burglar noises but we had fun cutting up my stockings and admiring ourselves in the mirror with them pulled over our faces. We thought we looked pretty darn scary.

Stew tends to snort when she laughs. BS K. goes "BWAAAHAAHAAHAAAHAAA" and I sound like I'm choking and gasping for my last breath.Try holding in that kind of noise when the sisters are acting the fool. It ain't easy.
We oh-so-quietly sneaked around the back of Stew's house and ducked under the window. Quick peek ~ innocent children are strewn about the couches, the Scary Movie Music is blasting.....

the plan was to s-l-o-w-l-y rise up and scare the crap out of the kids with our masks and our frightening noises when they saw us at the window.

"BWAAAHAAHAAAHAAAHA.snort.gasp.choke" We lost it. We were too busy laughing to be frightening. Dang.

"Oh. Hi, Mom" said a kid.

and they alllll turned back to the TV like their moms were acting normal.......

which maybe we were.

November 5, 2008

Advice From Dr. Gin and Dr Tonic

Subject: Health Alert for Women
Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness?
Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask yourbartender doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas. Margaritas are the natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.
Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.
You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.
Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had.
Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.
Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or
nursing should not use Margaritas.
However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.
Side effects may include:
- Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration
- Erotic lustfulness
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of clothing
- Loss of money
- Loss of virginity
- Attraction to the same sex
- Table dancing
- Headache
- Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- And a desire to sing Karaoke
WARNING:The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering
when you are not.
WARNING:The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends
over and over again that you love them.
WARNING:The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
WARNING :The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically
converse with members of the opposite sex without
PLEASE NOTE: Extensive research reveals that Appletinis, Cosmopolitans, and Long Island Iced Tea are as effective if not better than Margaritas.
thanks to Big Sis K for the health alert today!

November 4, 2008

Oh No It's A Tissue Post

Mom died eight years ago. It seems like yesterday and it seems like forever.
She was no saint, although her kids like to put her on a pedestal.
She loved us enough to allow us to make our own mistakes, and fix them ourselves.
She loved to laugh and eat ice cream. Simultaneously if possible.
She had a steel backbone and a gold heart.
She knitted mittens and hats for her chemo nurses.
She was a horrible housekeeper who loved to have friends visit.
The closest she ever came to saying "I love you" was "I appreciate you."
We knew it anyway.

money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...

perfect to wear if the employer
or date of her dreams
wants to see her in an hour....

a youth she's content to leave behind...

a past juicy
that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age...

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill
and a black lace bra....

one friend who
always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

a good piece
of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her

matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for
a meal
that will make her guests feel honored...

a feeling of
control over her destiny...

how to quit
a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend
ruining the frindship...

when to try harder
and when to walk away...

that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her childhood may not have been perfect...
but it's over...

what she
would and wouldn't do for love or more...

how to live alone...
even if she doesn't like it...

whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...

where to
be it to her best friend's kitchen table..
or a
charming Inn in the woods.... when her soul needs

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
month...and a year...

Maya Angelou

*"Another thing. If you're missing me I want you to know I'm not missing you.Gone is gone.I never miss anyone or anything because it all becomes a lovely memory. I guard my memories and love them, but I don't get in them and lie down."
Ole Golly Waldenstein*

*from Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"

Mom is having a great time romping around in Heaven with my dad. Every time she'd see a penny on the ground she'd say "Pennies from Heaven!" There's one penny that's been in my driveway for the past eight years. It moves around, but I usually see it somewhere near my car. I like to think it's her way of saying Hi every once in awhile. Hi, Mom!

October 31, 2008

It Was A Wonderful Life

Goodbye, Studs. You'll be missed.

I first got acquainted with you when I was 17.
Working: An Oral History ~"People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do."
I still have that yellowed and dog-eared book with my loopy teen-aged handwriting claiming the book as mine. It's travelled with me to Texas, Germany, Oklahoma and back home to Ohio. It's holding up pretty well for a thirty year old paperback.
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Reflections on Death, Rebirth and Hunger for a Faith.
I've read this one at least ten times since my mom passed. It helps.
Studs Terkel died in his home on October 31st at the age of 96. He spent a great deal of his life listening to people and recording their thoughts.
A lifetime of listening. A legacy of listening in his books.

Happy HalloWhat?

My daughter called this evening to tell me all about her Halloween costume. It was only her eighth call today. Her record is 26 calls but that's because she was at work at the Crisis Center and she'd have to hang up and deal with somebody's problems and then call me back to continue our conversation.

She: "I couldn't find anything at Spooky Central or CrapMart so I ordered a costume online."
Wonderful Mom: "Oh that's nice dear. What did you order?
She: "I'm not a deer. I wish you wouldn't call me deer. I don't have antlers."
WM: (gritting teeth) "Sorry de--honey. What did you order?"
She: "MOOOooooOOMMMM, I TOLD you what I ordered when I ordered it."
WM: "When did you order a costume?"
She: " Last week. Remember?"
WM: "Well, what's it look like?"
She: "I'm emailing you a picture. It's Batgirl but it's not as skeevy as the picture looks. Wait, let me try it on." (rustling and sounds of beer cans unidentified objects falling as she changes into Batgirl ensemble.)

She: "Crappers. The top is fine but the pants would fit a 6-foot-tall man. Oh well, it's going back. It's a dumb costume. Hey BlaBla is on the phone, let me call you back."

*ring ring*

She: Hey Mom, I'm going BlaBla's and we're gonna go to the party. I'm not going to go in a costume unless BlaBla has something I can use, she's got a few."

WM: "What's BlaBla's costume?"

She: "She made her own costume, isn't that cool? She's going as a Korean!"

WM: (what? that's so not PC) "She's going as a Korean?

She: (howling and laughing) "A CRAYON!" (yeah, a kuh-ray-on.)

Oh. Never mind.

October 29, 2008


Ha. Budget. I bought a butt roast because it was on sale. I'd never bought one before (ewww, butt?) but figured it could go in the crock pot...a 10 pound roast. Or it was $10.00. Something like that. Five pounds of fat removal later I am the proud owner of a crock pot full of shredded meat. I still can't get myself to try it.

Budget my butt.

I'm eating peanut butter.

oh ha ha I made a funny peanut butt-er.

ETA we ate it. It really wasn't bad. Considering that it used to be somebody's backside and all.

October 25, 2008

....and I Thought I Had Problems.........

I'll come into the office with a purpose. Usually to get the pen that I left behind, or to check Google stats answer an email.

If I sit down in front of the computer long enough to hit "reply" my sneaky right hand invariably manages to hit the "open new window" button and somebody's blog will appear. How'd that get there? I'll check on just one blog. Then another.
And another.

It's the "Just One Potato Chip Theory" gone cyber.
Betcha can't read just one.

Jen from Buried With Children was nice and left me a comment. I visited her blog for just a minute and travelled on.

I ended up at a little spot aptly named I Am Neurotic.

And I thought I had problems.

I'd never wear shortsleeved shirts when I was a kid because I have pointy elbows.

My sister cuts every teeny tiny bit of white stuff off of whatever she's getting ready to cook for dinner. She thinks it's fat and can't tolerate the idea of swallowing it. But pink and white hamburger is OK. (Hey Stew, that really is fat.) Now I've grossed her out.

One of my friends must drive in the passing lane at all times on the highway. Doing 50 mph.
I found this out by letting her drive ONCE. That was a long trip with many rude-finger salutes from the drivers passing us on the right.

Spending more than a couple of minutes in the kitchen gives Mr. Sweetie the heebie-jeebies. He says it's the critters under his feet. I say it's because I'm going to put an apron on him and make him cook.

One of the dogs cannot go out the front door without sitting down to give himself a good scratching. This creates a doggy traffic jam.

The other dog is darn near blind a little nearsighted. If anything is out of place on the path to the front door he'll invariably run into it. (See above.)

My BFF will not get on a plane. We have driven two days to avoid a four-hour plane trip.

I used to date a blind guy. Going down stairs he'd tap his foot on the step before stepping down to make sure it was there. I find myself doing the same thing years later and I can see perfectly well.

One of the residents in the nursing home I worked at refused to get into an elevator. Ever. She had never been in one and wasn't going to start anytime soon.

Is thumb-twiddling neurotic? I twiddle when I'm the passenger in my daughter's car. It's the only time I do it. Drives her insane.

My brother cannot tolerate large groups of people, even if it's his family. This is the same guy that spent five-plus years on a ship in the Navy with umm large groups of people. He now lives on a tiny tiny island population 143. Hmmmm. Maybe it's just the "family" part that he can't tolerate. (just kidding Al)

What do you do that you can't not do?


I borrowed this from Georgie over at Decisionally Challenged the other day. Pass it on! We want to know all about you!

A is for age: 5-0. I look like I'm 23. Good genes. Bad liar.

B is for burger of choice: Mr Sweeties' backyard grilled monster burgers with pepper jack cheese, cilantro, onions and lotsa spice. If he's cooking I'm not. It's a good thing.

C is for the car I drive: Silver '03 Honda Civic standard shift vrroom vrroom car, total bore-mobile but it is paid off so I love it.

D is for your dog's name: Mr. Magoo & Frank the Tank, the Siamese Twin pugs. They are joined at the hip and sometimes other places.

E is for essential item you use every day: My BFF the computer. Don't leave home without it. Since it's a desktop I never leave.

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: Brothers and Sisters.

G is for favorite game: Backgammon. If I was good enough at it I'd cheat but my fo real BFF can wipe me off the board. She's either a really good cheater or a really good player.

H is for home state: Ohio but our roots are in New England. I love New England from a distance. It's too damn cold up there.

I is for instruments you play: Oh hahahaha. I wish. If I could play I'd go for the piano. And the cello. Both large and intimidating. Like me.

J is for favorite juice: cranberry with a little vodka in it. Or vodka with a little cranberry.

K is for whose bum you'd like to kick: My own. I need to get my bum in gear and accomplish major chores today.

L is for last restaurant at which you ate: It's a toss-up, Applebee's or IHOP with Mr. Sweetie's folks either way. It's been awhile.

M is for your favorite Muppet: I love all Muppets indiscriminately.

N is for number of piercings: 2, one in each ear. I seriously considered getting my belly button pierced by The Bearded Lady when we were in Cape Cod years ago but my belly button was hiding under a roll of (must I say it) fat so I didn't. But CA got hers done.

O is for overnight hospital stays: One appendix, and to birth a 9-pound watermelon. Not on the same day. At least when I had my appendix taken out they still beleived in anesthesia. Not so much when CA was born. "Oh we don't use drugs anymore" the nurses would sing. Yeah, they were saving the good stuff for themselves.

P is for people you were with today: Mr. Sweetie, and CA by phone. We are joined at the hip by the phone.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Read. Blog. Nap.

R is for biggest regret: Not a one. Regrets are for suckers.

S is for status: (Pinching self) Still alive and kicking.

T is for time you woke up today: 7:30

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I'm freakishly strong. (not really but I like to think so.)

V is for vegetable you love: All of them. I'm a vega-holic.

W is for worst habit: Which is worse, smoking or procrastinating?

X is for x-rays you've had: Dental. I should do Mr. Sweetie's ABC's, his Xrays are far more interesting. You name it, there's a picture of it.

Y is for yummy food you ate today: Home made meat loaf sammitch. Coffee. Yum.

Z is for zodiac: Cancer.

October 22, 2008


Yesterday being Monday, or at least for awhile I was thinkin' it was Monday even if it was Tuesday and I was late with the Monday stuff....wait. Yesterday WAS Tuesday, right?

Is it Friday yet?

Anyway. I was saving Monday for Serious Stuff. Like seriously considering reviving my career (ok j.o.b.) as a nurse. I seriously considered it yesterday, seeing how I thought it was Monday and all.

Always start a new project/diet/life changing deals for the beginning of the week. That way you can procrastinate till Monday rolls around again. Or Tuesday. Whatever.

Up until 11 months 22 days and a couple of hours ago I had a real job. I was laid off on Halloween. I knew it was coming; the hospital I worked at was downsizing our unit, and the Powers That Be decreed that LPNs were worthless expendable due for an extended vacation.
I was working two jobs at the time, and Christmas was coming. Job number Two was our barn star business. I anticipated a busy couple of months and was looking forward to having the time to devote to the Season of Shopping. I wasn't planning on doing the shopping, I was lying in wait for customers to come buy stuff from us, which they were obliging enough to do.
Lots and lots of lovely customers.
We had so many orders that we were sleeping for four hours, painting.packing.shipping for as long as we could stand up and speak intelligently ~or at least point and grunt ~ and sleeping for four hours.

Good times.

Springtime was a more modest version of Christmas. I couldn't imagine going back to work. I WAS working. I'm STILL working. I'm the Painting/Packing/Shipping/Accounting/Janitor/Food Lady multi-tasking business guru.

When rumblings of "bailout" and "recession" ballooned into full-on bellowing this fall, folks got less eager to buy things that are more of a want than a need. Orders are a little on the slow side. There are just about enough orders to get by on, but I'm feeling the pinch.


I've been very blessed this year. We've managed to pay our bills, keep groceries in the fridge, and a roof over our heads. Thank You very much, God, I'm grateful.

But the Accounting, Janitorial, Human Resources, and Food Lady Departments are all sorrowfully shaking their heads and saying "Get a job already."

Maybe just a little job. Part-time. Now if I could just remember what day it is so I could show up at work on the right one..........

I want to give a shout out to The Nester. She's one of my favorite decorating bloggers. She's also a shameless promoter of all things handmade and mom-made. Today's promotion is Handmade Holiday. Head on over to her site here, join in the fun, festivities and giveaways that she's sponsoring, and check out the mass amount of goodies that moms are making!

October 17, 2008

The Letter for Today Is......


what do I say when I wake up at 4:30 AM to find that the sheets must be changed because those "Have a Happy Period" fools marketing execs are big fat liars?


the letter r is brought to you today by the letters P, M, and s.

October 13, 2008

New Meds

Dammitol: Relieves stress and aggravation. Dammitol works best in those sticky situations when you've
a: stepped in dog poop
b: spilled coffee down your last clean work shirt
c: locked yourself out of the house, leaving the keys and the baby inside.
d: all of the above. Simultaneously.

Dorkoff: Spray liberally when the office nerd/gossip/borrower steps into your cubicle to drone on endlessly about boring topics, or to borrow your last Hershey's Kiss. You know who they are.

Asspirin: take two now and then to ward off the headache you feel coming on when the kids are throwing all of the expired Halloween candy into your WalMart cart, falling out of the cart, or screaming hysterically that they neeeeed a new ______ (insert current neeeeed here).

Banishmint: Just like Tic-Tacs with a yummy Xanax middle! Take as many as needed and lock the kids in their rooms until they can behave.

RageStoppR: The instant cure for road rage! Just pull out this handy-dandy little device, aim and shoot at the car that just cut you off. It looks like a tiny bow and arrow, but it packs a wallop when used appropriately. Please use responsibly. Aim only at the back tire, not at the driver. Experience with driving hands-free is suggested.

Auntie Flo's All Natural Remedy: An elixer of calming chocolate, compounded with Banishmint and Asspirin. Take as needed, lie down for three days and get over it. Repeat monthly.

Life Savors: available in your favorite flavor. Pop one in your mouth, stop for a moment and appreciate the world around you. Take frequently. Can be habit-forming.

WhatNot: Apply liberally to your hubbie's ears. Instantly eliminiates that annoying "What?" when you mention the Chore List.

WhyNot: Safe for small children. Tastes like candy. Can be given as needed. Effective in preventing questions like "why are you so fat, Mommy?" "Why is that lady's butt so big Mommy?" "Why isn't she wearing underpants Mommy?"

October 8, 2008

Think Pink

So many of us have been touched by the dreaded C-word. So many of us have become warriors in the battle to eradicate it.

My new bloggy friend at Nana's Box is sponsoring a series of giveaways in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Nana’s Box is a nonprofit service committed to providing a photo box to cancer patients who are undergoing treatment. Nana's Box offers this service to the individual patient with the help and support of families, and those volunteers interested in the emotional support of cancer patients."
If you've never sat through chemo, radiation, or the endless rounds of medical appointments associated with cancer, remember those that have. It's tough. Having a tangible link to family and friends can be a real life-saver in more ways than one. A photo box gives patients undergoing treatment something to focus on other than the reason they're sitting in the waiting room, the chemo room, or the lab.
You can go to her site here to make a donation, or to enter the giveaway. There are two count 'em TWO giveaways each month through January. There are tons of fabulous prizes, and all that is requested is a comment and a link to Nana's Box. A donation would be greatly appreciated too.

J'Ollie Primitives is donating a 24-inch Barn Star to Nana's cause. You get to choose any color, and yes, we can custom paint a pink barn star just for you.

JillJillBoBill has donated her boobs. She is such a giving person. She demonstrates How To Do A Breast Exam With Your Shirt On here. And yes, she will work for shoes.
Feel yourself up. Check the ladies every month. If you haven't had your mammogram lately, get it done. If your health insurance is limited or non existent, contact your local Community Resource Center to get information on free or reduced-charge mammograms. Having your boobs squished in a waffle iron is well worth knowing that you won't need to go through the torment of treatment for breast cancer.
think pink!

October 7, 2008

It Was A Dark And Scary Night....

Insane Mama is having a Halloween contest! Write about Halloween, link back to her, and win fabulous prizes!

The following is a true story and not to be confused with an overly stimulated imagination.

It was October of '77. I was 19 and dumb as a box of rocks naive. My sister who wasn't much smarter had married, had a baby, divorced and moved back to Ohio. She needed a room mate.
I was elected, having cheated on the "move out on your eighteenth birthday" rule.
We moved into the top half of an old o.l.d. circa 1910 house in an old neighborhood. The lower floor was occupied by a nut job kooky lady named Bonnie & her three little kids.

There was only one entry door to the house. Come inside and go straight, run into Bonnie's apartment door. Take a right and pound up the 28 wooden stairs, there's our apartment door.

Sister K liked to have a bit of a social life. When I'd come home from my social life, she'd go out, leaving me with her one-year-old. He was a good sleeper and he didn't seem to mind the arrangement. I was a good sleeper too and rarely knew when she was sneaking out leaving if I'd already gone to bed.
Well. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was back in the theatre to celebrate Halloween. I'd never seen a scary movie before. Boyfriend took me. It was v.e.r.y. s.c.a.r.y.
Boyfriend took me home. I made him check the tiny apartment. Twice.
Sister K didn't seem to be there.
Nobody was there.
Just me. After midnight. Time for the ghosties and goblins to roam.
I went to bed and literally hid under the covers. And eventually fell asleep against my better judgement.
Know what a chainsaw sounds like? VaROMMM VaROMMMMM VAROMMMMMMM
I woke up to that noise.
It was loud and getting louder. And closer.
I was scared shitless.
I'm pretty sure I was still a virgin then but I digress.
I gathered up all the blankets off of my bed and ran for the living room. It was the longest and scariest ten-foot run in my pitifully short life.
I hid between the couch and the wall, covered with blankets, pretending I was a load of laundry. I prayed that the chainsaw-wielding beast downstairs would have no interest in laundry.
What seemed like an eternity later ~ it was more like 3 minutes ~ I heard K thumping up the stairs with the baby. Creeeeaaak goes the key in the lock.

"K-k-k-k-k-k-k? Is that you?" I managed to squeak.
"What are you doing?" It WAS her.
she scared the Chainsaw Guy away, was my logic. But he might come back.......
"Bwaaa-hahahahahaha!!!!!!! Bonnie was vaccuuming the foyer!!!!!! Bwa-hahahahahaaaah!" K was laughing so hard she could hardly get the words out. It's 2 o'clock in the morning. She's cleaning house at 2 AM?

I have yet to live it down.

October 5, 2008

Leaking, Spewing, and Random Stuff

hee hee NASCAR DAY......we'll see if any actual work is accomplished by Mr Sweetie. He's recording the WHOLE DAY so I can pester him to get things done and he can watch it later.

Loving this weather, it's so nice & crisp & cool....I'm going to have to devote some serious weeding time to the gardens out back so I can put them to bed. they.are.a.mess. Have been wanting to power wash the house too, because it is a dirtydirty house....I bought a teeny tiny (cheap) power washer several many years ago and it does do a great job, however it must be USED in order to be effective.....

Leaky List ~New Leak: the toilet in the bathroom right across from "the office" has a broken wax ring so it can't be used till "we" fix it. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a puddle around the base and thought that Mr Sweetie was not aiming well when he got up to go in the middle of the night. I eventually got around to cleaning the bathroom and when I flushed the magic toilet cleaning stuff saw that there was a leak at the base.....so Mr Sweetie is not to blame. Problem is now if/when I have eleventy-two cups of coffee each and every morning I have to run through the house to the little bathroom which is far far away when you have to pee..... I'm hoping that "we" can fix the leaky toilet on our own. Last year the water main or whatever the big pipe under the house is called sprang a major leak and had to be replaced. Eight-plus hours of labor, a new trap door to access the pipe, new parts, and a bill that I'm still paying off. Major emergency credit card expenditure. Crap. We could have spent a week in Cape Cod for the amount of money that leak cost.

Old Leaker: Clementine has been using the floor register right.next.to.her.cat.box. to pee in. Apparently it's just too much bother to hoist her arthritic little booty over the lip of the cat box unless she has to poop. How did I make this discovery? By turning on the furnace one night before bedtime and coming out to the Cat Box Room/family room to the scent of Eau de Peau the next morning. The ductwork has been scrubbed, sprayed with anti-Eau de Peau and still there is a lingering peau factor....I'm hoping it's just my imagination. Peau.

Silly Leaker: Sprout came into the painting room the other day, his favorite place to nest ~ in my mile high fabric stash ~ not allowed. I whacked his backside with a paint stick to shoo him out of there and did not realize until after whacking him that I had just USED the stick to (duh) stir paint with....by the time I tracked him down he had licked the paint off of his backside and was spewing yellow foam. He got a face wash and a butt wash to get the paint off, then I had to follow the trails of paint and wash them off the floor....peau. Reminded me of Wild Bill. For some reason he liked toothpaste. When she was brushing her teeth CA would feed him a little toothpaste and he'd foam at the mouth. Very amusing. I can't say that it ever did anything for his stinky cat breath.

She Denies Any Knowledge of Leaking: CA called me the other day and asked me if a back ache would indicate a kidney infection. She said "just Google it or go to WebMD MOOOoooOOOOmmm" when I asked her if she had this or that symptom....because I'm Doctor Nurse and I KNOW these things. So I read off all of the WebMD symptoms to her. Which I coulda done without actually looking them up because I'm SUCH a know-it-all.She would neither admit or deny having any such symptom, just said that her back hurt. She called later to say that she was at work when she called earlier and that she couldn't really go into detail because there were PEOPLE there that were listening to her conversation. Then she went into detail. Which I could have done without. TMI.

End of Leaky List. I hope.

Mom used to give us a little tinkly bell when we were sick and on the couch. We could ring the bell instead of yelling "MOOOoooOOOOmmm" so she could tell that the Sick Child was in dire need of something and that it wasn't one of the Healthy Children yelling. Sick Children were responded to. Healthy Children were not. If you were healthy enough to yell you were not sick enough to lie around. When CA was little I gave her the same bell to ring when she was sick. When she was officially sick enough (with the TMI UTI) to lie on her own couch in her own apartment she called to say "I wish I had a bell." There will be a bell in the mail tomorrow. God knows who's going to answer it since she is officially a BigGirl and living on her own. But a bell is a start. Maybe she can train Mr. Wii to answer it. (Her current BF) He has a Wii. Or I thought he did. Apparently he had borrowed it from somebody else. But she still kicks Wii Bowling butt. And he's keeping the name because I like it. OK, it's noon and I really must get to WORK. Business is still slow. Not good. Enough said about that for one day.

P.S. It's long past noon, and I still haven't been able to talk my handsome assistant into posting pictures of the Leakies. This will have to do. I'll wrestle the camera to the ground / figure out the techie stuff this week. Promise.


That's 700 billion. Oops. Thanks for not noticing. Or denouncing me for a complete financial idiot if you did notice.

If it was in my checkbook I mighta caught it. Especially when that last $230,000,000 check bounced.

Back to our regularly scheduled very occasional hopefully funny posting.

September 29, 2008

No Bailout

It's all the Democrat's fault.
It's all the Republican's fault.
It can't be the fault of predatory lenders, the financial leaders of our country, or Lehman Brothers.
It can't be the fault of the wage earner who bought a home that they couldn't possibly afford if they were being realistic.
The proposal to tax the population of the U.S.A. for 70 billion dollars has failed. For now.
Listening to George Bush's speech a few days ago got my goat. "We are going to bail out yet another tottering institution so that the great American people can get more credit." And owe more money.
Isn't that what got us into trouble in the first place?

September 14, 2008

Retail Therapy II ~ Thank You, I Feel Much Better Now

Awesome. Totally Awesome.

Precious Daughter should be writing this post just to tell you how much she rocks but she had to high-tail it back to College Town for a date with Mr. Wii and the Wii Parental Units.

I didn't know Mr. Wii's Christian name for several weeks. All I heard was "I'm going to go kick butt playing Wii Bowling with this guy."

Mr. Wii rocks, even though she did kick his butt with her Wii bowling skills.

Anyway, PD is a shopping barracuda.

We went here:

She parlayed a returned tote bag into a pile of Coach booty.

An umbrella for her, a little wristlet purse for ummm her, and the rare and elusive Legacy Leigh, which legend has it retails for mucho mucho dinero, if you can find one.

They are so rare and elusive I can't find a picture of one without stealing it from eBay.

the pictures weren't good so I didn't steal any That would be wrong.

Because I begged and pleaded and cried I'm such a good mom she bought me a red
tote bag. The total? $17.00. Her returned tote bag had been a gift so that didn't count. We were just so full of ourselves delighted that we just had to go the the Gap, where she tried on and discarded sixty-eight outfits in five minutes while I stood empty-handed in the long check-out line, piled twenty-two outfits into my arms and tried on a few more things while I shuffled along the checkout dead zone, appearing only to whip out her debit card as I fell across reached the magic cash register.

Bag stuffed with Gap Goodies: under a hundred bucks. Way under.
Watching PD using her debit card instead of pickpocketing mine? Priceless!

Two dresses and a belt, a quick tour of the chocolate store where we did.not.buy.any.chocolate ~ it wasn't on sale and we wanted stuff on sale ~ a whirlwind tour of
Eddie Bauer, where I scored my own bag o' goodies for Christmas gifties at 70% off, thank you, and we were done.

I thought.

The diamond store. Ack. Twenty minutes, a credit card application for the extra 10% off and PD has bought herself a pair of twinkly rings.

Wait a minute.

I thought college kids lived on Ramen Noodles and that boys bought girls diamonds.

Not this chickie. She's working two jobs and sometimes three, she's a full-time student paying her own way and maintaining a decent grade point average. She has an awesome boyfriend who is under no obligation to supply her with twinklies.

She's not all about the material stuff, even if she is a shop-a-holic. She's a great kid turning into a real live grown-up.

Wer'e going to have to talk about her starting a retirement account.

For her mom.

September 12, 2008

Ollie's Big Adventure

Last night was fun.


I was getting the house put to bed, you know, locking up and turning out lights when there was a crash in the kitchen. One of those "oh crap, something's just broken into a million little pieces and it's probably your favorite ugly lime-green coffee cup" crashes.

The crash was followed by our youngest cat, Ollie, streaking through the house like his tail was on fire. He'd somehow jettisoned a full sugar bowl across the counter. Kaboom.

Sigh. Out with the vaccuum cleaner.

Suck up contents of ex-sugar bowl. Put away vaccuum. Go find Ollie.

Locate Ollie. Ollie has a m.o.u.s.e. He is very possessive of his little toys friends. We have five yes five cats. No self-respecting mouse should even consider stepping their nasty little ugly scary feet in this house.

We had a minor population explosion of mousies last winter. Even one-eyed Luna and fat cat Rosie managed to bag themselves a mouse and act all hunter-ish and proud of themselves. Earned their keep, they did. More than decorative, they were. Grrr. Mighty hunters.

Last winter, Ollie's first two mice were dispatched without a lot of fuss on his part. Find 'em, kill, 'em, get mad when we'd Mr. Sweetie would take it away and throw it in the garbage. Outside. As far away as possible from me. I'm far too busy screaming and standing on chairs.

Ollie figured out that dead mice made for a really short game. He decided to play catch-and- release. Catch a mouse, run through the house with it clenched in his jaws, drop it in a room where he'd never catch it again, and watch the Food Lady scream.

Last night was no different. Except that he did manage to catch it a second time. Mr Sweetie had had several many a couple of beers and was all wrapped up in talking to his buddy online. He was supposed to be keeping an eye on Ollie and his toy friend but he was having some difficulty in understanding his obligation to do so.

"Where's Ollie and the mouse?", said the chickenshit I.

"Well you know if I go chasing him he'll hide and he'll drop the thing and you'll scream louder." , he said.


He heaved himself out of his chair and pretended to go looking for them.


"Oh. I dunno. Want me to go find them?"

Communication skills are seriously lacking here.

Crash bang in the bathroom. In the tub. Ewwww. I'll never take a bath again. Ewwwww. There's a mouse in my TUB.

ewwww ewww ewww.

Then I saw it. The answer to my phobia prayers. The vaccuum cleaner. With a 6-foot-long hose thing attached to it. And a three-foot metal wand. Desperate times, desperate measures. Turn on the vaccuum. March into the scary bathroom. Aim shoot suck running mouse into vaccuum. Run screaming. Mr Sweetie to the rescue, takes vaccuum bag out of vaccuum and tosses it out in the garbage pail.

Funny. I didn't know he knew how to turn the vaccuum off, or take the bag out. Hmmm. Maybe he's smarter than he lets on when it comes to technical things like the dishwasher. Hmmmm.

Ollie is still mad at us for kicking his friend out. Just wait till next time.


August 27, 2008

It Was This Big

Yesterday was a pretty good day. All caught up with work and ready to do some catch up on the yard work. My neighbors can testify that yard work does not get done as often as they would like here at the J'Ollie Home. We live on a nice corner lot. When I moved back here several many years ago (this is my childhood home; my then four-year-old and I moved in with my mom after her dad and I split up) I was in my 30's, full of beans and plans. I started a garden with the help of my nephew.

It was a fairly big garden, I'm guessing 20 x 30 feet. Full of coreopsis, coneflowers, lilies, and roses. Lots of other pretties. I liked that garden so much that I thought a few more garden beds would be even better.

Eight more. Big ones.

"Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

Starting projects is my specialty. Maintaining and completing them is altogether a different matter. Gardens require a lot of maintainance. Working full time is not conducive to having the energy to maintain a whole lotta flowery real estate. I am jealous of admire folks with beatifully maintained gardens.

The gardens have really gone to pot. Not that kind of pot. We've been down-sizing the gardens in a desperate attempt to make it look a little more civilized and easier to maintain. The deer have been very helpful in pruning back all the stuff I'm trying to keep. Weeds? Nah...they don't eat no stinkin' weeds.....just the lilies and the good stuff. I wish they liked ivy as much as they liked my Stargazers.

We have the Ivy From You-Know-Where. It's that pretty English ivy that graces old brick buildings. Pretty till you get a closer look and realize that it's prying the siding away from the house, it's weasled its way under the windows, up to the top of the chimney, and will soon very soon will be sneaking down the chimney through the fireplace and into the living room where it will smother the cats and cover Mr. Sweetie any other inanimate objects in pretty green clingy foliage.

Fall is coming. I want to use the fireplace. I want chestnuts roasting on a open fire and some schmaltzy romance and a beer or two while we warm our toes. I want to toast marshmallows.

The Green Beast must be destroyed.

This Old House recently had an episode that featured a couple of homeowners renovating their gorgeous old three-story manor. Part of the renovation included ripping out all the the old ivy that was destroying the stucco. Two women, grabbing vines at the base of the house and r-r-r-r-r-ipping it off all the way past the second floor. As they stand on the ground. Easy schmeasy.

Right. Did I mention we have ivy on steroids?

We started at the bottom and ripped and tore and cussed and climbed a 10-foot ladder and ripped some more. Leaving about 20-odd feet of ivy dangling from the upper half of the chimney laughing and taunting us.

This is gonna mean somebody has to get a really really tall ladder and climb to the top of the chimney to tear off off the tons of remaining ivy. Or hop on the roof and sneak up on it from behind.

This is a job for Handy Man. Mr Sweetie is many things but he is not Handy Man. He is n.o.t. a.l.l.o.w.e.d. to climb ladders. He already broke his neck once. Once is enough.

I am not Handy Man either. I wouldn't mind climbing a really really tall ladder as long as there was a soft place to land when I look down and get dizzy and fall off of the ladder. I wouldn't mind climbing the roof if I had Spider Man's webby stuff shooting out of my sleeves. Maybe I could strike up an aquaintance with one of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Or some tall guy at the grocery store. Tall guys are always very obliging when a short lady asks them if they could reach her the Buffalo Wings way up on the top shelf of the freezer.

"Hello, would you mind grabbing that bag of frozen tater tots on the top shelf for me? thankyouverymuch. Oh, and by the way, would you come home with me and spend a few hours ripping ivy off of my chimney? No? There's a basketball game this afternoon? Darn."

Team Ivy: 1 Team J'Ollie: 0

That score is gonna change.