About Me

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Bookkeeper, tax preparer, cat lady, blogger, organizer, mystery writer.


I've finally decided that I am a writer - all the other things I do just pay the bills. Someone eloquent once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, let's just see about that.

RIP Aggie

RIP Aggie
Aggie was my fifteen-year-old cairn terrier - or maybe I should say I was her 55-year-old person! She was my faithful companion, spoiled rotten and I am still trying to figure out what to do without her.

Peter the Cat...

Peter the Cat...
This is Peter the gingersnap tabby! He's seven years old and has just been promoted to Peter the Very, Very Good. He is working his way up to Peter the Great...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...
Bee is Peter's buddy. He's eight years old and has made himself right at home. I guess cats really do come in pairs or sets of three!

And Jasper makes three!

And Jasper makes three!
Jasper is our new guy - the Cat From Another Place. He's four years old and we think he likes it here - so far, so good!

Buzz about...

Friday, October 30, 2009

That's me in the corner...

That's me in the spotlight, making my Thanksgiving - uh, cards... Okay, so I'm not a lyricist - and I don't have a purple truck, but if I did, well, that would be me. I love pumpkins, don't you? I love the little ones in the market - and I hate when people draw faces on them! They are so perfect all on their own, plump and orange. Oh no, I've said too much - I haven't said enough...
I'd better stop singing while I'm ahead. I do, however, want to sing the praises of my Crop-A-Dile! I can finally set eyelets that look like they're meant to be there, instead of a crumpled, mangled mess. When I first attempted to make my own cards, I spent an inordinate amount of time watching Martha Stewart in all her crafty perfection. No wonder I felt so crappy about my piddling projects! Anyhow, if you ever looked at a Martha by Mail catalog, you were probably as enthralled as I was with all her little, uber-organized, turquoise-labeled kits, guaranteed to make you a domestic diva, just like Martha. I spent $29 on her cute silver-cased eyelet kit, complete with little glass top containers of eyelets, a protective mat for my work surface and its own miniature hammer. Veni, vidi, VISA... Well, too bad there really was no guarantee, because I could never even master punching a hole with the dang thing, let alone set an eyelet. After what seemed like months of experimentation (I'm sure it was really only about a week), I gave up completely and switched to a hole punch and brads. That didn't mean that I stopped looking longingly at cards with eyelets - I had just resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to produce anything remotely as cute. But then - my Crop-A-Dile arrived and life hasn't been the same!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'll admit it...

I like musicals. There's just something about people spontaneously bursting into song, I guess. I mean, it worked for Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor - who apparently spent an inordinate amount of time singing (and dancing) in the rain. And there was always someone just off camera who could toss Elvis a guitar - along with an invisible band and some terrific back-up singers. So while I was never a big ABBA fan, I do like Meryl Streep and I added Mamma Mia! to my Netflix queue - hoping to get it during my free two-week trial period. It came in the mail yesterday and I couldn't wait to get home and watch it. And it was so cute! I mean, aside from the fact that Pierce Brosnan can't sing - it's like he's strangling or something - and that Stellan Skaarsgard shows his naked butt. They managed to work every ABBA hit into the production - I kept waiting for someone to starting belting out, "Do you hear the guns, Fernando?" - but the lyrics didn't quite fit with the story line. However, Meryl Streep was humming Fernando while she was looking for something in the goat house. Cute story, pretty good acting and makes-you-wanna-jump-up-and-dance music - what more can you ask for in a musical?

Too cute!

It's a cairn-lantern! And doesn't it look like Aggie?
NOTE: I didn't carve this pumpkin - alas, my talents lie elsewhere. I just thought it was cute and that the cairn looked like Aggie. Thanks, Kathy, for thinking I was such a great artist!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My sweet babies...

What would I ever do without them? When I got home last night they were so glad to see me; I sat down in the big chair and they jumped on top of me, licking like crazy! Of course, they were probably thinking: we saw you bring the WalMart bag in - what did you get for us? There's nothing like a big dose of dog love right when you walk in the door.
As you can see, Monty is not adverse to dressing up for Halloween. They both have sporty little trick or treat collars, but they have been known to wear additional costumes - yikes! Aggie had her Halloween collar first - her dad got it for her at PetsMart one year. I was trying to be thrifty and clip coupons, so I had given Tim a $5 coupon for Science Diet cat food - hoping he'd remember to use it. When he came back out of the store, I reminded him about the coupon and he said, yes, he'd used it. Then he handed me and Aggie a little bag - in which there was a little orange trick or treat collar. So much for my $5 savings - he's spent it on Aggie - lucky dog! She liked the collar (and the attention) - you know how they get when you whip them into a frenzy over not much at all.
When we lived in our old house, the dogs absolutely loved Halloween. Well, Aggie and Monty did anyway - Willie liked to hang back from the door with his blue Kong and just watch. I would put a baby gate in the front door and when the neighborhood kids came up and knocked (our door opened out), Tim or I would answer and Aggie and Monty would rush the door and stand up at the gate to greet the kids - a real novelty for them - the dogs, I mean. Not to be left out, Eddie the cat would sit on the windowsill by the door, too.
So last night I asked them what they wanted to go as for Halloween this year - Aggie thinks she'll just go as Toto again and Monty wants to be a pirate. I'll be sure to take pictures!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another day...

of letting go. First thing this morning, my friend Long and I went to the storage unit to unearth the Hallmark ornament collection. I went through them and saved only the ones with real sentimental value - about thirty - which leaves 183 in these boxes which a gentleman has agreed to purchase from me as a group. I saved out a few others which I think will make some money on eBay; they're either very old or very rare - so we'll see how I do with that. And then, I did the unthinkable - and even at my advanced age, I did it furtively, looking over my shoulder for the ghost of my mother. I took the ornaments I intended to keep out of their original boxes (yikes!) and protective wrapping (horrors!) and I put them in my pretty, holiday fabric-covered sectioned Christmas ornament storage boxes, along with my other oddball yuletide treasures. And it felt good!

When I was at the jeweler's yesterday, we were talking about the whole collectibles market (Dave was big into beanie babies - and Leslie did the whole Barbie thing) and the fact that all the junk we had "invested" in wasn't worth anything! Well, except for Longaberger baskets. It seems that people are still willing to pay for retired baskets on eBay - which I knew, since I had sold lots of them on eBay about ten years ago. So last night, I decided that since I only had five of the ten JW Miniature baskets - what the heck? It's just stuff. So I snapped pictures this morning and listed them on eBay - wish me luck!

And finally, because God has a way of working things out, just when I had given up hope of ever selling Tim's like-new violin, I've had two calls about it today. The first was from a lady whose son plays in the local junior orchestra. He is taking lessons from a violinist who plays with the adult (?) orchestra and he thinks her son is talented enough to merit investing in a good, full-sized violin. She is taking it to the teacher for his opinion on Thursday - so I'll know then if they want it or not. And I just had a call from a lovely girl who actually plays the violin herself and she is interested in it if the first family is not. I'm just glad that this nice violin may actually find a good home!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Letting go...

is the hardest lesson I've ever had to learn. Letting go of my cats is probably the most heartbreaking - worse than letting go of my husband, I think. Isn't that weird? Anyhow, this is where my cats (the five that haven't been adopted out: Eddie, Walter, Louis, Lucie Bee and Sophie) live now - and Tim says they seem to be quite happy on the farm. Apparently they are quite adept at catching small moles - even without claws. Sophie always was something of a serious huntress and Ed, well, he's just Ed, the love of my life. I miss him more than I can say.
I'm also letting go of the idea of ever having a relationship with my sister. They say you should never ask a question you don't already know the answer to, but I had prayed and prayed about how to mend things with my only sibling and when I went to see her (she happened to be in town at my parent's old house) - let's just say it wasn't pretty and I didn't get to talk to her at all. But that's another story, which I know will someday find its way into my writing - it was sad and hilariously funny all at once. And the more I think about it, the funnier it gets. So that's that.

And finally, today I let go of some more of the past; I sold more of my jewelry to help meet my looming financial obligation. It's just stuff, I keep telling myself, but it didn't make it any easier seeing it go. I've only hung on to my emerald engagement ring, a little diamond anniversary ring, a pretty peridot and my favorite amethyst earrings. I mean, how much can you wear at any one time? It was pretty stuff, but it's still just stuff.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Talk about a lesson...

I came in the office, put my stuff down and checked on the cat. Petey wasn't in his usual hiding place - he was just sitting there. He meowed at me, I filled his food bowl and water dish and off I went to the bathroom. Typical morning - then I heard this horrific crash! I went out to my desk and Pete had apparently tried to jump on the shelf mounted on the wall over my desk. He broke two of my Boyd's bear figures - one survived unscathed - and amazingly the potted plant (it's fake) didn't break when everything fell on my desk next to my computer monitor. The shelf was tilted downward, but didn't come off the wall, thank goodness! I was picking up the mess and realized that the terra cotta plant pot had hit my coaster as it fell. And here's my lesson for today: for the past couple of weeks I've been trying so hard not to let go of things and control everything in my life and just be in charge. I think God used Petey this morning to get my attention and show me that I'm not in charge at all. He broke my I'm In Charge Here coaster that I look at every day, all day - everytime I have a sip!
So I guess it's time to use a different one:

Do you think that there are really people out there who don't believe that God moves in mysterious ways?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More card therapy...

I've been experimenting with color combinations - and I am ashamed to admit that I made an interesting discovery today... Duh! The markers in my Stampin'Up marker set are arranged in color-coordinated groups. I tried using them in said groups on these cards I made this morning and I am amazed at how much better they look than my previous attempts with the same design. Apparently, my internal color wheel is somehow off-kilter. I mean, it's hard to mess up Halloween cards because you just just choose the most garish colors possible - but when I try to coordinate the background paper and the colors - well, sometimes it is not good at all. Hallelujah - I've been healed!

I made banana bread last night - two huge loaves. Why? Well, it's like this: I am a fan of green bananas. Tangy, firm, not-quite-ripe bananas. I can eat three for a meal if they are the perfect un-ripeness. But when they start to turn yellow - heaven forbid - I am finished with them. That used to be okay - Tim wouldn't eat a banana unless it was starting to develop little brown spots (yuck!). At that point, I either wanted to make banana bread or throw them away. Anyhow, now banana bread or the rubbish are my only options. I tried giving my yellow bananas to Richard, but apparently he only eats a half a banana on his cereal every day and four bananas would last him eight days - at which time the last two would no longer be fit for human consumption. And so... I added extra banana to the bread last night and when the dogs and I sampled a still-warm loaf, it turned out quite well - if I don't say so myself. I brought the leftovers to work today. The extra loaf was for my friend with the restaurant three doors down. I figure she might think it's nice to have a treat she didn't have to make herself.

I almost forgot - I watched this really great movie the other night. I had read the book a couple of years ago and I wasn't overly thrilled with it - but the movie was surprisingly good. The Jane Austen Book Club is about a group of friends, old and new, who are weathering different problems and changes in their lives. It's funny and sad and romantic - maybe I just needed to see a chick flick, I don't know. I just really liked it - it's worth watching. In fact, I was tempted to watch it a second time!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breakfast of champions...

or lazy bookkeepers - I'm not sure which. Only in America can you have a corn dog with mustard made to order for breakfast. I used to only eat corn dogs once a year at the county fair - and I ate them all week long. The Kiwanis booth made a small fortune selling them, I think! I do not understand people who ruin a perfectly good corn dog with ketchup, but to each his own. I've had a lifelong love affair with mustard: yellow mustard, brown mustard, crunchy mustard (compliments of my friend Margaret in the UK), honey mustard, horseradish mustard. I even prefer Hellman's Dijonnaise to mayo! I have a whole section in my refrigerator door dedicated to mustard. Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with, um, a frozen corn dog!
I'm having one of those days. I was feeling a bit discouraged yesterday and when I went home I decided to finally read Duma Key by Stephen King - I needed a serious distraction from the current chaos in my mind. I kept starting it and then putting it down - but I ended up reading almost three hundred pages last night, so it did finally hold my interest. I've only had the book for a couple of years! Not one of his best works - I'm looking forward to reading his new book, Under the Dome. At least it calmed my worried mind down so I could sleep last night. Thank you, Mr. King.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, for a quiet mind...

I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It wasn't quite what I expected, but I rather enjoyed it. One thing I could really, really relate to is her quest for a quiet mind. Ever had one of those days (or nights) when you could not relax your mind, no matter what you did? I was very tired last night and I didn't even open a book to read - not one line! - I didn't even take my glasses out of my bag. That's unusual for me! I just wanted to go to sleep - the dogs were even quiet. And do you think I could get my thoughts to stop flitting from one thing to another? No. Not for a couple of hours. I think a racing mind is even more tiring than a day of manual labor. I am a world-class worrier, which I know is a big part of my problem, but nothing seems to work when I try to calm my churning thoughts down. Not even praying - and I do that alot.
I was doing okay with a much calmer mind this morning - but by the time I got into the office and sat down at my desk to make my daily to do list, zing! my brain was going a hundred miles an hour again, to the point that I wasn't done with one simple task before I started working on another or thinking about the next one, making trips to the back room and coming back empty-handed because I forgot why I went back there. It's been a productive day so far, but I Wasn't really able to concentrate until after I'd eaten a turkey sandwich for lunch. Any possibility that too much caffeine and not enough breakfast had something to do with this?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The 7 Ups!

My dear friend Kathy from Utah sent me this in an email and it is just too good not to share. I wish the adorable teddy bears with fall leaves would copy, but alas, no such luck. So I'll post a cute picture of my own choosing:

The 7 Ups!

1. Wake Up !!
Decide to have a good day."This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !!
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks."The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance,but the Lord looks at the heart."I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up!!Say nice things and learn to listen.God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking."He who guards his lips guards his soul." Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!!
. . for what you believe in.Stand for something or you will fall for anything. "Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time,we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..." Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !!
. . to the Lord. "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me". Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up !!. . for something higher. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up !! . . your Prayers."Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING." Philippians 4:6

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.He could live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary. Face it, He's crazy about you.
Isn't that the coolest thing? It sure brightened my day when I opened it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Card therapy...

You know what they say about idle hands... Well, I have caught up on all the work that has come my way (except for the third quarter bookkeeping for one of my regular clients) and I kept my hands busy this afternoon making Halloween cards. I can't remember the last time I used this big stamp, but I'm hoping that the people who get the cards won't remember it. Now that I really think about it, I'm not sure if I ever used it before at all! I'm losing my mind, bit by bit, it would seem. I think I like the purple card better than the white. Halloween is a good time to use colors that people wouldn't ordinarily put together, isn't it?

I watched Chicken Run last night. What a scream! Richard had told me about it (we chat endlessly about books and movies) and he checked it out at the library for me. I don't know how Tim and I ever missed seeing it in the theater. I remember seeing the preview, but for some reason we never went to see it. It's a very cute movie and Richard was right - it was like Stalag 17 with poultry. You know, it's funny, until after Tim and I were married, I very seldom went to the movies. When I was a kid, my mother considered anything but a Disney movie at the drive-in a terrible extravagance, so my sister and I were never really allowed to go to the movies with our friends. We usually waited for films to come on television - or we watched old black and white movies, which would explain why I love Alfred Hitchcock and murder mysteries and The Thin Man and film noir. Anyhow, Tim took me to my first ever double feature on July 3, 1996; we saw Independence Day and Eraser. Imagine - two movies in one sitting! After that fateful foray into feature film frivolity, we went to the movies just about every Saturday - and up until I threw away junk in our move, I had the ticket stubs to prove it. We saw sci-fi, thrillers, comedies, shoot-em-ups - you name it. We probably spent a small fortune on popcorn - but what's a movie without something to munch on?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I've had a busy day!

When you pray for work, God sends it! I've had such a slow summer and I have recently been faced with an immense financial need. I wasn't sure how I was going to overcome this obstacle, but I've prayed and prayed for work. And this week has been overwhelming - both with work and thanksgiving for what God has provided me with. I am amazed and humbled - and I am beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel. And I know it's not a train coming from the other direction! Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers which I know were winging in my direction.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Okay, let's try this again...

I read these two really wonderful books last week - and I just have to go on and on about them. The first one, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, transported me to post WWII and the Channel Island of Guernsey. It's hard to talk too much about the book without giving away the plot - but as I began to say in my previous post, I just fell into this book. The characters, setting and well, everything about it is magical. The story is told in a series of letters between a writer, her publisher, strangers the author meets as pen-pals of sorts while writing an article about reading - and surprisingly the story revolves around a character the author never meets at all. I could say it's heartwarming, but that's trite. It's sad and delightful and moving and thought-provoking all rolled into a lovely little paperback. Not to be missed!

You know I love a good murder mystery and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, serves one up in grand Agatha Christie form. It's the first in a series (yes!) and our detective is eleven-year-old Flavia DeLuce - a precocious little girl with a penchant for poison. No, she's not the murderer - but she suspects several someones near and dear to her as the mystery unravels. It is so well-written, it was hard to put down. And now I can't wait for the next one: The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag. Veddy British.
I also wanted to add a word about my snarky post about my mother-in-law yesterday. Not everything I write about her is snotty - she was just on my nerves after a month long visit after a hurricane destroyed her neighborhood - hers was the only mobile home left standing! We always thought we should rent her out to one of the late-night talk shows so she could dispense wisdom like the Fruitcake Lady. Coulda made a million bucks - or a dollar, at least!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Grandma update - and a funny story...

My mother-in-law, Shirley, has been moved from the hospital back to the nursing home. She is apparently doing pretty well - and there's probably less germs at the nursing home than at the hospital, what with the swine flu overtaking us. I saw a funny sign on the way to work yesterday at the Walgreen's: Flu Shots $25, Bacon $2.00. Guess they're going to eradicate swine flu one way or the other.

I was digging around in some old files and found a funny letter I'd written about Grandma, so I thought I'd share. I'm still looking for the one about Grandma and the Roomba... Here goes:

Okay, my powers of observation have gotten the best of me and I have to vent. It’s actually sort of funny, if you try to picture this. My mother-in-law is a trip. She’s really just this nondescript looking sort of old lady, but it’s her little quirks that are so entertaining – well, sometimes. She has a plethora of sayings that we call Shirley-isms. Here are a few: “I’m just so g-d-damned disgusted I don’t know what to do.” Disgusted about what or by whom, we don’t know, but there you have it. We’ve decided that maybe she doesn’t really know what disgusted means. During moments of silence, when other people say nothing at all: “Oh, sh-t.” When asked for advice: “Well, sh-t in one hand and wish with the other and see which one fills up first.” I don’t think so. And my all time favorite, which I do not understand at all: “You talk like a man with a paper a--hole.” I mean, what can that possibly mean? And what sane person would even say that? Now, reread those gems with the same accent as the Swedish chef on the Muppets, and you have my mother-in-law. You can also throw in some completely unintelligible made-up allegedly Pennsylvania Dutch words – another misnomer I don’t get because they aren’t Dutch at all – they’re German. Why isn’t it Pennsylvania Deutsch? Wouldn’t that make more sense? Anyhow, I try to ignore most things, but there are others that really get to me. During this particular visit, I actually noticed her table manners for the first time. I was horrified, to say the least, but I chalked it up to being completely fizzed over the length of her stay and my uptight upbringing by devotees of Emily Post. Well, it was a dinner to remember. Tim grilled steaks for dinner and much to my surprise, she ate most of hers with her hands. She would saw off a chunk – none of them bite-size and then pick it up in her hands and gnaw on it. I made garlic cheese biscuits and at one point, I saw her stuff an entire half a biscuit into her mouth at one time. I had made a dozen, so there was no shortage, but still... Then – the baked potatoes – which she also ate with her hands – a quarter of a potato at a time, down the hatch. Okay, I admit that in my own home I am not as cognizant of the size bites I take or whether or not I hold my fork properly, but Good Lord! In my worst moments of binging in front of the refrigerator, I have never stuffed my mouth as full as that. My mother would have rapped the woman on the knuckles with her knife! My grandmother would have backhanded her! And then – I set the table with placemats and napkins – don’t most people use those? Anyhow, she wanted a paper towel because “it don’t make sense getting these napkins dirty.” I replied, “They’re washable – we use them all the time.” She just made a face at me and got up to get herself said paper towel. Later Tim said that she always tells him that she doesn’t eat, but he said that when he goes down to her house (an hour away) and takes her out to dinner, she eats everything in sight! What surprised me is that she always looks at what I’ve cooked like it’s a pile of manure that I’ve tried to serve her – and then she eats like there’s no tomorrow – and follows it up with criticism about every part of the meal! All I know is that it’s a damn good thing that I don’t have houseguests on a regular basis. Either that, or I need to loosen up. I think I’ll start with trying to cram a large chunk of potato down my throat… Or someone else’s!

Renewed hope...

I'm trying to think happy thoughts today and nothing makes me happier than my little dog, Aggie. And I may have a solution to my problem - keep on praying!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Two wonderful books...

I don't know which one to gush about first! They are both excellent reads - and so well written. Did you ever read a book and just fall in? Oh I just can't write about this today - who am I kidding?

I am going through a really horrific time right now. I can't go into detail, but suffice it to say, I am in desperate need of divine intervention in a really big problem - which could result in my losing everything - even my beloved dogs. This problem seems almost insurmountable right now and I cannot even hardly think straight. Please, please pray for me and a quick and favorable solution to my problem. It is a dire need and I feel so alone right now. I know that my friends are praying for me and I am trying to trust that the Lord will make the way smooth for me, but I am so scared. Please, please remember me in your prayers.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oreo cookies - the original mass-produced comfort food...

And double-stuf oreos, well - they're double the comfort. Which makes me think of Phuti Radiphuti and the Double Comfort Furniture Shop in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. Which are, come to think of it, comfort reading at its finest. If anyone had ever told me that I would love reading a detective series set in Botswana - well, I don't think I would have - but I do and I can't wait for the next installment. I just finished reading Alexander McCall Smith's The Girl Who Married a Lion, a wonderful collection of African folk tales - with a brief forward by none other than Mma Ramotswe. One of these days I am going to start reading his other series about Isabel Dalhousie, but for right now I have them secreted away in my reading drawer, along with some old Jean Shepherd books that I've been meaning to re-read after many years. If ever you are seriously in need of a good laugh, read his short story Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss - and you will be whisked back to every disastrous family vacation you ever went on and you will have a renewed appreciation of memories of summer travel in the family station wagon.

Uh-oh - better add this dislcaimer for the FTC: I bought the oreos on my own and no one from Nabisco offered me any enticements to sing the praises of the double-stuf. I am also not acquainted with either Mr. McCall Smith, who is living, or with Mr. Shepherd, who is dead, and have been offered no incentives to make positive comments about their work. There, that should above cover it.

Friday, October 09, 2009

See what happens when I take a day off?

Aggie, the techno-cairn wannabe, stands up to the desk and tip taps away on the keys and posts her own blog entry! I actually have an old photo of her (somewhere!) standing up at my desk in our old house - but I think she was just fascinated with the screen saver. Silly dog! The scratching has subsided to some degree, but I am contemplating allergy shots. I need to take Monty to the vet anyway; it would appear that his tumor has returned, in approximately the same spot. I am hoping that the doctor can do another surgery - but I haven't finished paying for the last one yet! My main worry is that the tumor has returned so quickly following the first surgery - I don't know if the vet will even think another surgery is an option. I keep praying about it, but I don't feel an answer forthcoming. Or maybe just not the answer I want. Please keep a positive thought for my little dog. Hey - amazingly I found the old picture of the incredible typing cairn!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Itz mah turn to write a little...

Mom sed she wuz too bizzy to write a blog today, so I desided to do it. I been skratchin my hairs out so Mom put sum ov that frontlion on me and Monty and we is still skratchin, so we is afraid that we will have to go to the vet to get some alergee shotz. I like to ride in the kar, but Monty don't. I jest don't like what happuns when we getz there. My gramma is in the hospittel but the nurse sed she was doin bedder. I like Gramma, but my brudder Willie (who went to live with some new people who are re tired) didn't like her nohow. He would jest sit and look at her. My mom said it lookt like Willie wanted to say "Don't make any false mooves, old woman!" Sometimes we thought my mom was goin to loose her mind when Gramma staid with us, but I don't think she ever lost it. Not yet, any way. See, I is never too bizzy to write - so check for my speshul cairn updayts now and then. See - I put mah pikcher so you all would know it wuz me writing today. Aggie!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A quick update...

I spoke to Grandma's sister and Tim last night as well as this morning and apparently she is doing quite well. Her sister says she has pneumonia, but Tim said that the ICU nurse didn't mention that - only that she was doing well. Tim talked to Shirley and said she sounded really with it this morning. Thanks for keeping her in your prayers!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A quick prayer request...

Tim called me this morning to let me know that they took his mom from the nursing home to ICU at the local hospital in the middle of the night with congestive heart failure. She was eighty-one in July and she had just started to feel at home at the health care center. She has Alzheimer's - with good days and bad days. Someday I'm going to write a collection of Adventures-With-Grandma short stories - they will be a hoot. Please remember her in your prayers - her name is Shirley. I'm really glad Tim got a chance to go and see her the weekend before last. I know she'd be just as happy to go on to be with Pop, but I don't think Tim is ready for that just yet.

Monday, October 05, 2009

It's Monday and I'm in a mood!

I fixed my crazy clock - isn't it cute? All it needed was a new clock movement (cheaper than I expected) and it's good as new. It had fallen prey to the cats while it was hanging on my office wall at my old house. It was perfect in my pepto-bismol pink office with the Mary Engelbreit border and framed ME prints on the walls. Very cute room - I loved it. Tim paneled the lower half of the walls under the chair rail to avoid hanging the cute ME wallpaper I had for them. If only Aggie hadn't eaten my extremely expensive wool Mary Engelbreit rug when she was a puppy, my office would have qualified for a spot in Home Companion magazine! Oh well...

My mood, however, has nothing to do with my clock or Mary Engelbreit. Did you ever know someone who had exceedingly poor judgment, made incredibly stupid decisions on an almost daily basis and could never see how any of this blatant stupidity was responsible for making their own miserable life a living hell? Well, I have had it up to here (hand way over my head) with this acquaintance who has somehow come to the erroneous conclusion that we are friends and I care one whit about his tumultuous life and paranoid delusions. Honestly, the man is bi-polar and seriously needs to get some professional help, but he is too busy blaming all of his problems on his ex-wife, his father, his employer, the police - I'm sure he'd find a way to blame the President if he could. It's sad, really - and while it is not normally in my nature to be mean, I cannot risk my business or personal reputation on being associated with this idiot. I once worked in the same office where he was a mortgage broker with questionable ethics and I really hoped never to see him again when I opened my own business. Somehow he found me and every interaction I have had with him over the past two years has been a fiasco: he wrote me a bad check, wanted to share the office space (which prompted a resounding NO from me) and his most recent disaster was a run-in with the local police which ended in his arrest. He has deluded himself into thinking that he is a modern-day Job and that God is simply testing him. Yes, I believe that God tests us, but this guy is just a grown man who ought to know better than bringing these things upon himself. This past week, after he was released from his nine day incarceration (about which I heard all of the horrific - and probably imagined - details) he walked from his apartment to my office to use the phone, which I didn't mind, until he called the police hotline to give a tip about some impending drug deal (yikes!) and then called Child Protective Services to threaten the caseworker who wrote a derogatory report about him with regard to custody of his son (his poor ex-wife!). Then he called a bunch of used furniture shops trying to sell the furniture from his rented furnished apartment so that he can raise enough cash to get his car out of impound. I know this sounds like I'm babbling - but that's what the words in my head are doing - frantically running around and around, mentally kicking me for not telling this guy to get lost when he walked in the door. Why can't I just be mean?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Lunchtime project...

I've been working on this project for what seems like forever; I get down to the outlining and I keep putting it aside. I decided to get into craft mode - while I'm waiting to get my sewing machine out of storage - so I thought I'd try and finish this. Some of my framed artwork was water-damaged during my move and I have a frame that I can re-purpose for this project when it's done. All I'll need to do is have it matted and mounted. I have just the spot for this, too! It's hard to see, but under the menagerie of pets, it says Welcome and There's Always Room for One More! Truer words were never spoken - uh, I mean, stitched.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's time!

I love Halloween! All the stores started putting Halloween stuff out in August along with the school supplies, or so it seemed to me. Too early, even for an old witch like me! I try to contain myself until October first - then it's out with the pumpkins and cats and everything orange and black. I just put the pumpkin in my welcome sign on the door and I confess, I got the basket and candles out of the back room yesterday before I went home. I know I have more stuff in storage - which I am hoping to go for another van full of boxes tomorrow afternoon. We even have slightly cooler fall weather! What is it about autumn that's so invigorating?

I inherited this baker's rack from a lady who moved to Texas - isn't it cute? I changed the drawer knobs to Mary Engelbreit beehives - goes with my business logo - and my plan is to use this for handmade cards for sale. Right now it's a great spot for my McCoy flower pots and some baskets that I don't know what to do with - I have that problem a lot! I've also had another bright idea of something to sell, but I have to unearth my sewing machine from storage first to see how long it takes me to make a prototype. More on that later...