Thursday, December 27, 2007


I was going to do a post about 2007. I started to compose two lists, one of "Crap I hated" and the other of "magical moments" I wasn't far into this process when I recognized that this was far too depressing an undertaking, and quickly abandoned the idea.

Instead, I will simply share with you that I am writing this blog on a new laptop. My not very old one bit the dust two days before Christmas, and has to be sent somewhere far away, for a very long time, to be repaired. I am less than happy about spending the money. That said, I will need all of you to send back your virtual presents, I simply can't afford to be that generous anymore. I'm sorry, but they all must go back immediately! Noooo, you can keep them, I was just kidding. I can get a second job nights, pole dancing to raise the cash I need. My dogs have been practicing a "who's on first?" routine, they hope to do downtown on weekends, I got some crap for Christmas I can sell on ebay, and my dear old mom is scrubbing floors at night and on weekends.

2008 is going to be wonderful, I can feel it my bones. Something big is coming! I feel optimistic and I have made many of the resolutions on my resolution generator. I added: I will cut down on my use of the f-word in a non-romantic way before breakfast. So I think that's really going to help!

Happy New Year Everyone! I do hope it is the best so far, for everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Virtually Christmas

On a recent visit to I am woman, see me blog I was delighted to see that Lizza had done some virtual shopping for some of her faithful readers. I decided it would be fun to do the same, and here are the results of my cyber shopping trip.

Anon: Since you are such a great fan of birds, as am I, I thought I'd find you a beautiful oil painting of an exotic bird. This is an African Congo Grey painted by Parrot painter Roy Astley Fryer.

Kj: I know that most of the writing you do is on your computer, but for those moments when you don't have your handy laptop with you, I picked you out a beautiful Visconti fountain,, and ball point pen set. I know you'll love it.

Ces: My gift to you is rather selfish. I would love to give you to a lifelong supply of Molskine notebooks so you never have to stop drawing, and writing, and sharing all the beauty that is in your head.

CS: I wanted to find you something that might help you relax and stay healthy. This is all I could come up with.

tsduff: You were easy because I already know exactly what you want.

Heartinsanfrancisco: I thought it would be fun to sneak something into your closet for you to find. Not the woman, just the jacket. It's faux fur of course!

craig d: I wanted to find you something to encourage the hobby you share with your daughter. Sketching cartoon characters.

charlotta-love: In light of your new boyfriend, I thought this splinter removal kit prudent!

dorky dad: To aid in your suffering over the next couple of weeks I found you some bromo-seltzer.

boo7: Since you probably love to spoil those dogs of yours, I thought they might love some sensible shoes. These are for hiking.

wieneke: I have never been to your blog, but I love that you visit mine, so I found you an international trip planner for when you come to visit.

debra kay, I don't know why, but I couldn't control the urge to get you a pony.

I hope everyone enjoys their virtual gifts. I'm exhausted from all this shopping, so I hope it's okay that I didn't wrap anything. Merry Christmas You Guys!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


There are lots of kinds of devotion. There's undying devotion, there's devotion to a cause, a devoted servant, friend or employee. There's even devotion to a blog. I have faltered recently in my bloggish devotion, due in large part to my unyielding devotion to not only the survival, but the strengthening of my small business, and the ability to pay my mortgage. I have missed my Monday Movies review this week, I have slacked off on reading and commenting everyone else's blogs, and I feel TERRIBLE about it.

My life has made a lot of demands on me this past week, and I have been home late, exhausted and completely empty in the creativity department. I hit the blog-wall. I did however answer my phone one morning before I left the house, and heard from the local florist, that they'd been trying to make a delivery for several days. I did notice some tire tracks belonging to some ill-prepared vehicle attempting the steep and snowy ascent that is my driveway. I stopped at the shop de flowers on my way through town, and they pulled a gorgeous bouquet out of the cooler and placed it before me.

I checked to make sure it was really for me. "Who loves me?" I wondered. I grabbed the flowers and took them to the privacy of my vehicle to read the card. Ah, my dear friends kj, and jb, a thank you for helping them out. Aren't friends the best?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh Holy Night for laundry

On my way to my job site this morning, I passed an apartment with wet laundry hanging out on a line on the back balcony. Boy was that Christmasy! I started belting out, "Oh holey socks, the thongs are intertwining, it is the line with clothes that won't dry. The shirts and pants and underwear so shiny, the bras and jeans all damp and badly worn. All of the tees, are iced and slowly melting, the line. the line, oh-oh the line, where clothes are hung."
I do hope you sung that! I'm just curious, do things actually dry in this winter weather?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tis the Season...

My dear friend who wishes to remain anonymous, so we'll call her "Hennifer", photographed this sign on her way home from work last night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Movies

Time for my review the best and worst movie I watched this past week. I will be using a six star rating system:
  1. Hated it (wasted 2 whole hours of my life)
  2. Didn't like it
  3. Not bad, but not recommendable
  4. Liked it
  5. Liked it a lot
  6. Loved it (these are the ones I buy)

The best and the worst this week:

The best was Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End

I gave this movie 6 stars, my highest rating. If you liked the first two, the third will not disappoint. I like a movie that doesn't insist I hold on to reality very tightly, and hate anything that couldn't really happen. If you are that kind of person, you probably don't care for any of these movies, but I watch movies to escape, not to increase my factual trivial knowledge hoping to win Jeopardy one day. It has action, betrayal, comedy, all the good stuff. Also, Kiera Knightley has a more prominent role, and does some impressive swashbuckling which I love to see.

The worst was The Last Mimzy. I gave this movie 3 stars. Maybe I expected too much. Its a kid's movie. Sometimes these movies have something for everyone, and sometimes they are strictly for kids. I was guessing from the trailer, that this would be entertaining for young and a little less young alike, but alas, it was weak. The plot was thin, the magical stuff was 'eh, the parents were idiots, you wondered how they got through the day. Maybe okay for kids, but not great for anyone.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me!

I'm almost certain by now, that I've got you all convinced that I have a heart of gold, think only of others, and spend all my spare time doing anonymous good deeds. No? Good, because if there's one thing I am, it's honest. I can not resist buying myself something nice for Christmas every year. It does take the pressure off everyone else to get me something I'll really love, so I do it for them. Okay, I do it for me. Anyhoo...this year I gave myself a new camera, it's just like the one Anon uses to shoot all those pesky birds. Oh, I forgot to mention, I always give myself the gift early too, when I'm in the shopping, or parting with my loot mode. Plus this way, I can kind of surprise myself, and I DO LOVE surprises. Here are a few shots I took on the maiden voyage of my hot new technologically advanced, easy to use, incredibly self-indulgent camera.
If you saw my previous post, first snowthese were taken from the same spot, inside my kitchen door. These are some of the birds that come to my feeders that I did not catch the first time. Mr. Cardinal, the Ms. was here too, but they took off as soon as I started shooting.
A Blue Jay, who tries to get seed out of my little song bird feeder and a Red-bellied woodpecker.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

2 Hot Girls in the Shower #10 - Holiday Episode

Top 10 Burning Christmas Questions

Having a little trouble with the Holiday Season? Is it all coming at you too fast, and you feel you have unanswered questions that are inhibiting your ability to fully enjoy this wondrous time of year? Well, fret no longer. I have conducted a clinical-scientific-double-blond-study, and come up with Not Only the top 10 burning questions, but; due to tireless research, I have unraveled the mysteries, uncovered the answers, and will now unveil them all, just for you.

1. Q. Can reindeer really fly?

A. I had help on this from "2 Hot Girls in the Shower", watch the video.

2. Q. When is the best time to start Christmas Shopping?

A. The best time is the day after Christmas when all the sales are going on, stock up for next year. This can be a drag though for several reasons:

a) The stores are choked with the throngs of people who just don't know how to appreciate toe socks and chia-pets, trying to return their thoughtful gifts for something they don't really need anyway.

b) You can't really be sure you'll still be on speaking terms with some people by Christmastime next year, you don't want to waste all that time and money shopping for them.

c) You've already maxed out all of your credit cards on this Christmas. You need to spend the time looking for a second job, not doing more shopping.

3. Q. Will Santa still come if I'm not sleeping?

A. Yes, as long as you pretend to be asleep. Practice deep regular breathing and REM eye movement for several weeks prior to Christmas to make sure you've got it down. Have someone watch you, or video tape yourself to make sure it's convincing, this is important!

4. Q. What gifts are offensive to people I know well?

A. Gifts that say, I didn't actually think of you specifically, such as:

a) Scented candles, or any candles really

b) Soaps and lotions

c) Tube socks

d) Calenders

e) Fruit cake, preserves, or any food, unless it is a personal favorite, or home made.

f) A Gevalia Coffee Maker

g) A football shaped phone, that they know came free when you got your subscription to Sports Illustrated.

h) Anything that person gave you last year.

5. Q. If I'm not seeing anyone at Christmastime, how can I avoid feeling desperately lonely and suicidal?

A. Keep a sprig of mistle-toe on you at all times. Pull it out and dangle it over your head with a smile, every time you see someone you might like to kiss. If you've just had a spinach salad, skip the smile. Use it in elevators, on the subway, in line at the bank, and in the waiting room at the OBGYN!

6. Q. Are all those new inflatable lawn decorations like snow globes, and Grinch's, and Santa riding a chopper a good idea?

A. No.

7. Q. I don't know what to get for (insert difficult to buy for person's name here).

A. Think of what annoys you most about that person, and you'll have it.

a) He's always smoking those stinky cigars. *Cigars

b) He's lazy. *a recliner (too much money?) a pair of pants with an elastic waist.

c) She's too controlling. *a universal remote

d) She drinks too much. *wine of the month club membership

e) He's unfaithful. *a one-way ticket to Bismarck

f) Picks his nose. *hankies

You get the idea. Remember it's not about making you happy, (except the Bismarck one) it's all about them.

8. Q. What should I wear on Christmas Day?

A. This one is tough for a lot of people. Try to avoid anything that has glitter or sequins applied, or bells sewn right on. Articles of clothing with red flashing LEDs, also a bad idea if you are over 6. I know it's tempting, but please, stop the insanity.

9. Q. What if I don't like a gift I get?

A. a) Pretend you do, in fact you can inform the person that you wanted one of those so much, you already bought one for yourself. Then hope aloud that they still have the receipt.

b) Pretend you do, take it home and stuff in the closet with all the other stinkers just waiting for a white elephant party. Attach a post-it to it, with the name of the person who gave it to you, to avoid number 4.

c) Pretend you do, and drop it in the first Goodwill drop box you see on your way home.

10. Q. Does Santa really know if I've been bad or good?<p> A. Yes, he does but he's very forgiving and generous, so chances are, you'll get what you deserve, especially if you wake up in Bismarck!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Movies

Time for my review the best and worst movie I watched this past week. I will be using a six star rating system:
  1. Hated it (wasted 2 whole hours of my life)
  2. Didn't like it
  3. Not bad, but not recommendable
  4. Liked it
  5. Liked it a lot
  6. Loved it (these are the ones I buy)

Best and Worst:

The best film this week was "The Notebook" I rate it 5 stars. This is a touching look at what true love can overcome, given the chance. It's very well done, and although I don't generally like movies that make me cry, I did thoroughly enjoy this one.

The worst this week was "Noel" I rate it 3 stars. With a cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Penelope' Cruz, and Alan Arkin you'd think it has to be pretty darn good. Well, it felt sappy and saccharin, and used the kind of cheese-coated stuff that would never fly in any other kind of movie, but a Christmas movie.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Putting the Plow on My Truck

Okay, so tomorrow the forecast is snow, with more of the same on Monday, and it's definitely cold enough to stick, so today I went out into the bitter windy weather to hook up my plow. This is the first time I've done it alone, but how hard could it be? Armed with long underwear, boots, gloves, a cap, and boundless optimism I wandered outside to my already heated truck. (remote starter)
I jumped into it and pulled up pretty close to the plow, parked it, got out to look, realigned it, pulled forward, parked it, got out to look...if at this point you're sensing there's a pattern here, you'd be right! There was also lots of raising and lowering the plow by cranking the jack, there was also pushing, kicking, jumping on, a few love taps with a sledge hammer, and finally, one side was in place. To line up the other side there was more driving, raising and lowering the plow, kicking, and you guessed it swearing. I did get it on however and considered that a Win. Yes, it took about the same amount of time it takes some people to shovel their entire driveway, but victories, no matter how small are important to recognize, celebrate, and even blog about.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Can I help who's next?- or- The downfall of customer service

In this country at least, "Can I help who's next?" has become a common phrase. It assaults my ears every time I hear it, like nails on a chalkboard. In the long form it would be, "Can I help who is next?" It's really two questions strung together, "Can I help?", "Who's next?" There are so many other ways to phrase it that would be fine. The two I just mentioned, "Can I help the next person in line?" or, how about that personal touch, "Can I help you?" (look directly at the person you are speaking to). Could customer service go that far? To actually make eye contact?
Another favorite of mine, is when I walk up to a cashier, and without looking up, they blurt out, "Can I help you sir?" Yes, I am a carpenter, I wear work boots, carpenter pants, and sweatshirt, or some other masculine drably colored garb. I'm not particularly curvy, and I have short hair, but I don't smell bad or flash any butt crack. (sorry guys, for that sweeping generalization)
I'm always a bit put off by this however because I feel that the "sir" is thrown in as a measure of respect, yet this person has not even focused on me, and correctly determined my gender. Once they look at me, they get all embarrassed and red, and apologize, and I have to wonder, how often does this happen to this cashier or salesperson? Because it happens to me a lot. I find the best way to respond to this, is simply smile, while burning a hole through their forehead using my evil-eye-heat-vision. Yes, I could dress in pink, and grow my hair, and put a scrunchy in it, but I'd rather be looked at by the people addressing me. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Movies

I like love movies! I watch very little television, but I do have a large pull down movie screen, and projector, a very good sound system and a movie collection of about 400 DVDs so far. I watch several movies a week, and thought I would make a movie review on Mondays, part of my blog. I will review the best and the worst movie I saw this past week. This may bore some of you to tears, but I don't mind! I belong to Netflix and they use a 5 star rating system, which I think is insufficient so I will use a six star system.

  1. Hated it (wasted 2 whole hours of my life)
  2. Didn't like it
  3. Not bad, but not recommendable
  4. Liked it
  5. Liked it a lot
  6. Loved it (these are the ones I buy)

This weeks best and worst:

Stomp the Yard was the best movie this week. I give it 4 stars. The part of this film that I really like is the "stepping" that they do throughout the movie. This is a combination of precision drill team and dance. Since I have done both, it is of particular interest to me. The storyline is eh, okay. If you happened to see Drumline, this is pretty much the same movie; just plug in the different activity. It is possible that if you're not me, or someone exactly like me, you may not enjoy this movie as much as I did. In fact if there had been more stepping and less story, I'd have rated it even higher! Sick.

Fear X is one of the worst pieces of garbage I've sat through in a long time. I give it 2 stars. I'd give it 1, but I have to save 1 for something really offensive, not just plain lame. Plus, I did sit though the whole thing. What made me do it? John Turturro, of course. This guy can really do scary! If you saw Secret Window staring Johnny Depp you know what I'm talking about. He's a good actor overall, so I kept waiting for the movie to start, for him to snap. Well, I was still waiting when the credits started to roll. What a slow moving, non-gripping, cure for insomnia this movie was. In fact, the look on his face on the cover of the DVD jacket is the same look I had on my face for the entire movie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

7 Ways I'm Weird

From one of very most favorite bloggers, Heartinsanfrancisco's blog, Guilty With an Explanation, I have been passively tagged with this meme. I am called upon to describe 7 ways I'm weird, or random facts about me:

1. When I was around 5 years old, I asked my mother; who was my mother before her. (I'm not adopted)

2. I spent about a month homeless, immediately preceding my signing up to join the army. I sneaked into a college dorm late at night behind someone that lived there, and slept in a broom closet. I was up and out very early in the morning before anyone discovered me.

3. Some women followed me from a bar where I worked one night, to my car, and tried to break into it to hurt or kill me. I got the doors locked just in time. They tried to break the windows, then they pulled their car up behind mine to try to trap me, and I saw one pull a shot gun out of the trunk. I took off, over a sidewalk to get away and they chased me in their car through the streets of Hartford. I ran every red light I came to, to try to attract the attention of the police, but nothing. I finally made it back to the bar, and ran back inside, where the 400 pound bouncer, Patrick would protect me.

4. I spent 2 years in Virginia with a bicycle as my only mode of transportation.

5. When I lived in L.A. , I danced in a gay country western meets Las Vegas show girls dance group called The Men and Women of the Midnight Cowboys. We performed at Gay Pride festivals, The San Diego Gay Rodeo, and GLAD media awards.

6. I packed up my life and moved to California without ever having been there. I didn't know anyone, or have a job. I prepaid a month for a room in a house, and had a months worth of rent and grocery money on me.

7. I have an uncanny memory for song lyrics. I learn them very quickly, and don't seem to ever forget them. I can hear a song I haven't heard in over 30 years, and still know the words.

Again, I would like to add; if you would like to do this meme, please consider yourself tagged and have fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First Snow

A treeGoldfinches

A titmouse on the birdbath heater, a snow bird, and a dove.
Another titmouse, and a chickadee.
I woke this morning when my clock radio shattered the silence with of all things, Christmas music! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but this annoyingly early start can make even me, sick of it before it even gets here. I looked up from my warm bed, the house is cold in the morning, and saw snow covering the skylight. Oh bother, I'm really not ready for this. I am working in my workshop today, so I don't need to go anywhere but if I did have to, it would not bode well for me. I haven't yet added hundreds of pounds to the bed of my truck for traction. Of course it's four wheel drive, but it still needs weight in the back. This is something I left off of my earlier post of ways I'd rather not spend my time. Anyhoo, although I bitch and moan about the snow, it is quite beautiful and the birds don't seem to mind it at all. These are a few of the birds in my backyard this morning.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I made some very nice friends this year from my golf league, among them two wonderful women, who have enjoyed spending close to 28 years together. They are clearly still in love and an inspiration. They offered up some relationship advice to me, and I gladly took it.

"When people ask us how we've stayed together so long we tell them it's because of the 4 C's." one of them said.

"Okay, I'll bite, what are they?" I asked.

They told me, and now I'm going to tell you, because after thinking it through, I am sure that they are the necessary ingredients for a successful relationship. I realized how many times I have failed when only three out of the four were strong.

1. Chemistry

2. Compatibility

3. Communication

4. Comedy

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Guilty Six Meme

I was tagged by heartinsanfrancisco while visiting the blog Guilty With an Explanation

6 guilty pleasures no one would suspect me of having:
1. I like to watch Spongebob Squarepants

2. Gaming, I love PS2 games like Kingdom Hearts
3. Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide, the whole pint.
4. Singing at the top of my lungs in the car.
5. Starbucks triple vente sugar free vanilla non-fat latte.
6. Puffing but not inhaling on a big nasty macanudo gold cigar with a glass of port

6 guilty pleasures I wish I had the courage to indulge:
1. Run in and complete a marathon
2. White water kayaking

3. Build a wooden strip canoe
4. Start painting (oils)
5. Skydive
6. Get a tattoo

6 pleasures I once considered guilty but have either abandoned or made peace with:
1. Spending the entire day on a motorcycle ride
2. Enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner even when I dine alone
3. Indulging my shoe fetish
4. Golfing twice a week

5. Season opera tickets
6. Putting my needs ahead of others.

Like heartinsanfrancisco, I would like to add that if you'd like to do this meme, consider yourself tagged. I'll see it when I visit you next!

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Great Uncle Bert

In the beginning of September, I attended a family reunion in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It was my stepfather's father's side of the family. He reconnected with them while I was living in California, and this was my first opportunity to go and meet some of his extended family on his father's side. The setting was beautiful, a large lodge on a private beach in a gigantic privately owned nature reserve.
My stepfather's father has been deceased for many years. Although my stepfather has been part of my life for about 35 years now, long enough for me to call him Dad, I had never met his dad. My Great Uncle Bert was his father's brother. I gravitated to him immediately, and he to me. He was a wonderful old character, in his late eighties, but sharp as a whip. We sat and talked about my vocation, which he'd wished had been his, and building boats. He's done it, and I've always dreamed of doing it, once I retire. I convinced him we should start a company, building hand made wooden strip canoes called "Wickapissa Canoe Company." (That's Maine speak , it's "wicked pisser" which means really cool, with a Maine accent) I really enjoyed meeting, and spending time with him and his wife of 54 years, Jean, who is a total nature buff and in great shape. A couple weeks after the reunion Bert wrote me a letter saying how great it was to meet me, and that I was a grand niece, and he was sure I'd think of him as a great uncle. Bert passed away this weekend. He died from cancer. I'm sure he'd of been around another 15 years if he hadn't had it. I feel cheated that someone I had such a strong connection to, was taken away so quickly, but it cannot compare to the pain of those who've known him a lifetime and lost him. I'd like to do what I think Bert would do at a time like this. Tell a joke, of his, in his Maine accent so you get the full effect:
Henry and Matha have been married fa fottysome yeeahs. One day Henry goes to the docta and says, "Doc, I think Matha's havin some trouble hearin these days, but I don't know watt ta do about it, it's a touchy subject round a(her).
Doc: "Okay Henry, heeahs wattcha do. Get about 50 feet away from Matha, and see if she can hear you, if she can't, move in 10 feet and try again. Keep doin it 'til she heeahs ya, then come let me know how close ya had ta get."
So, that night Henry goes out on the poch off the livin room, about 50 feet away and yells, " Hey Matha, watts fa suppa?" No answer. Henry goes into the livin room where he's about fotty feet away, "Matha, watts fa suppa?" Still no answer. So Henry makes his way inta the dinnin room, where's he's about 30 feet from Matha. This time he cups his hands around his mouth, (Bert does this) "Hey, Matha, Watts fa suppa?" Nothing. Henry's worried, he goes to the doahway of the kitchen , 20 feet away, "Matha, watts fa suppa?" Still nothing. He gets 10 feet from where she's sittin with her back to him and he says, "Matha, I'd like ta know, watts fa suppa?" She replies, "Godammit Henry, fa the fifth time, It's Chicken!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blind Date Falls Flat

I have learned from experience that when your friends set you up, it's usually a disaster, so when I allow this to happen, I go in with very low expectations. In this case the couple that was setting me up was coming along as a double. I enjoy their company, so I knew the evening would not be a complete loss. I was to meet them at the designated restaurant at 6:15. Parking was a headache, and while I was still looking for a spot, I got a flat tire. A tire purchased only 7 months ago. I must have run over a bottle or something. I was in my very large truck I use for my business. I limped it into a parking lot, and left it in a no parking zone. While on the phone with AAA, I walked to the restaurant. They said someone would be there in about an hour, and they'd call me on my cell, so I could meet the guy back at my truck. I figured that would be just about when the food arrived at the table. Would this story be part of the answer to the question, "How did you two meet?"
My friends were there when I got there, and my date arrived soon after. Upon meeting her, I felt like my tire, deflated. Was the flat tire an omen? We all made the best of it, and had a nice meal. I missed the call from AAA, because my ringer was off (oops), so we all walked to my truck after dinner, and no surprises, the tire was still flat. I placed a second call, they said about an hour, I asked them to call me when the driver was close, and we walked to a place for desert. When they called back, one of my friends and I set back out to meet the guy. He could not get my spare tire down, which is a full size tire mounted under the truck bed. He fiddled and waggled around with a long metal rod meant to lower the tire but it wouldn't work. He called someone else, who arrived and also couldn't get the spare down. They determined that the mechanism was broken, no doubt from when I was rear-ended this summer, and had to tow the truck away. About an hour passed while my friend and I stood there witnessing the string of non-events in the cold. The tow truck was a flat bed. Watching the driver try to get my truck on his truck was an event! First he pulled it up with the winch, and my truck was too long. All the way up the back tires were only half on the bed. He had to lower it down and shortened the chain on the winch to pull the truck up really close to the winch. After that, the whole truck was on, so he started to lower the ramp to level it out, and as the tow truck took the weight of my truck, the front tires of the tow truck came right off the ground! That was scary to watch.
I said "Nice to meetcha." to my date, and my friends brought me home, where I remain, stranded. Now can I make the rule? No More Blind Dates!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thanksgiving Day is On the Horizon

Thanksgiving Day with the fam. My Mother always makes a fabulous Thanksgiving meal. I'm usually there in the kitchen with her all day helping to get everything done. Food preparation is and always has been an art for her. She puts all kinds of work and special care into producing a gorgeous dinner with everyone's favorites, and trust me, it's a mamoth undertaking. When my family gets together, it's like a photo shoot for disfunctinality. My older sister won't be there, never is, hasn't participated in being part of the family for some 15 years now. My step-brother comes because his mother is not a good cook. He usually regales us with some biggoted story about the customers at the Stop & Shop where he is the produce manager. He is not amusing, and I have found there is no amount I can drink to make him funny. My younger sister, who was blessed with a very quick but also mean spirited wit, shows up just in time for food, and waits for the opportunity to strike. It always comes, and she makes the first cut. Usually the turkey is still being sliced when this occurs. No one in my family is ill-epuiped to respond to this kind of attack, so there will be a counter, sometimes sharper than the first. Sometimes that will stave off the attack temporarily, but she waits, like a snake in the grass. Often things will escalate until my Mother who has worked so hard, gets upset because we have ruined another perfectly good holiday get together. Sometimes when we're lucky, things can be contained, and no one is mortally wounded. When this happens, we are all very pleased that we made it through a holiday with the fam. (whew)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Falling Back

Did anyone show up early for work today? I am taking a care of Scout, my god dog! She is a very cute little Yorkie mix, and when she's here, I have 3 dogs, small medium and large. She has a habit of waking up at 7:30 every morning and making sure everyone else is up too. We don't want to miss anything. Well, we set the clocks back, but somehow she didn't pick up on that. So, Sunday morning it was wakey wakey at 6:30am. Rise and shine! I have already shared, I'm sure, that I am not a morning person, especially not a Sunday morning person, so she is lucky to be alive. Oh yeah, don't forget about World Peace! The day to blog for peace is the 7th. I posted mine early in case some of you don't know about the peace globe. Go get one and customize it for your blog. Here's a link Be good humans!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Because I Said So!

Whenever I find myself unhappy at my job, I just remember what it was like to feel the way this person felt when they did this. Being your own boss is great!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ready? Set? Winter!

After living in California for 12 years, I'd forgotten all about all there is to do in the fall to prepare for winter's arrival. Life is so much simpler in Cali. I have had to spend every weekend for the last month, completing tasks so I come through it all without freezing, sliding down the driveway to my certain death, and so nothing I own is ruined by the cold, snow and ice! If you see beautiful pictures of New England in the fall, don't think how nice it would be to live here. Just contemplate visiting, perhaps in the fall, when you can enjoy the gorgeous foliage, and not spend days, raking or blowing it off your lawn and driveway. Not that I'm complaining, just adjusting uncomfortably.
Here is a list of ways I'd rather NOT spend my time:
Pay to have 2 cords of wood delivered.
Stack 2 cords of wood.
Blow the leaves out of my yard. Repeat.
Blow the leaves off of my very steep driveway. Repeat.
Station 4 large barrels up the sides of my driveway, and filling them with a sand and salt mixture.
Go to the town sandpile and shovel sand and salt into my truck to fill my barrels.
Clear a space in my basement that has inevidably been filled with something else, so I can take down my deck furniture and store it.
Take down my deck furniture to store it.
Clear my garage, which has become overflow for my workshop, so I can put my convertible away for the winter.
Put my convertible away for the winter. Also add a gas treatment.
Fill up my motorcycle (Lucille) with gas and add a gas treatment, so the gas doesn't turn into kerosene, while she sits for 5-6 months.
Take off Lucille's seat and put the battery tender on her for the winter.
Put the heater in the birdbath.
Shut off the water to the outside spigot and take in the hose.
Get the propane tanks filled.
Put away summer wardrobe to make room for bulky winter clothes.
Get bulky winter clothes out of storage.
Find snow shovels, ice scraper, car brushes etc.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Progress with Blackmail on the Side

Some of progress at my parent's house.
Here are before pictures of the living room and dining room. The 3 rooms upstairs are still underway, but in the final stages. The radiators downstairs were removed, and replaced with baseboard heating. I pulled out the fireplace insert to provide a less efficient but far prettier fireplace. The outside of the house is brick, and there was no insulation, so we had foam insulation pumped in from the inside. This meant holes in the walls, and lots of them. One hole every 10-12 inches in a grid, on all outside walls. Once this one done, I filled the holes, then skim coated all the walls, before priming and painting them. I removed the cheesy looking casing at the top of the walls, and replaced it with a generous crown we had custom milled. The lime green molding in the paneling was pressed with a pattern, so all of that was removed, and replaced with a more appropriate molding for the house.
I think the dog (that's Michael) adds the most warmth to the room. So my Mom picked out a new runner for the stairs and hallway. The estimate for it came in at $2,900. She was really unhappy about that, because she loved the rug she'd found, but she knew that was just too high. She kept saying, it's okay, I'll find something else, but she sounded a little beaten. Finally my Dad said, "Okay, order the runner." I yelled out, I heard that. Mom was really happy, so the next day she called the rug place, and found out she was quoted on some ridiculous 45 foot continuous rug, 13 feet wide, that had to be cut down to 32" for the stairs! The actual rug she needed would only cost $1,100. She was thrilled.
The next day I asked, "How did Dad react when you told him he was saving $1800. on the rug?"
"I didn't tell him, and I'm not going to" she answered. "Now I can get my curtains too."
I laughed, thought a minute, and said, "Don't you mean now we can get our curtains?"