About Me

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

Welcome!

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...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Harvey, the cow-cat...


has gone to Kitty Heaven to be with his recently-departed sisters, Tallulah Belle and Martha Stewart. Harvey, the former Al Catta terrorist, was one of the inbred kitties who was never really very healthy. He was a small cat and prone to ear problems. We called him Youssarian because of his social problems with the other cats. He had become quite unsteady - although he was never terribly coordinated as a young cat - and we think he died of kidney failure. The vet who saw him at the end said that he appeared to be jaundiced. Harvey was a funny guy - he once stole one of Oprah's kittens and my husband came home to find me chasing him around the house, yelling, "Harvey - you little bastard - put that kitten down!" After that incident, Harvey underwent anti-terrorist deprogramming with our head cat, Eddie. Consequently, Harvey learned to mind his manners and gave up his terrorist ways. I am sure that all his brothers and sisters who went before were waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in peace, little Harvey.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Truth in advertising...

is not completely a thing of the past. The Angus Mushroom Swiss burger from McDonald's is actually as good as it looks in all of those ads. It's actually the first fast food fad (say that three times fast) in a long time that actually lives up to the hype! But then again, mushrooms on just about anything would sell it to me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Worth watching...

Okay, I'm not a TV-aholic or anything - but I try not to miss Leverage on TNT. I watched the pilot episode (The Nigerian Job) last summer and I was hooked. Not only does this show have a great premise - a team composed of a hitter, hacker, grifter and thief, all used to working alone, headed up by a former insurance investigator (Timothy Hutton) with more issues than a magazine rack - but pretty good acting as well. The writers are great and I have yet to watch a single episode that made me want to give up on the story and channel-surf. I've been watching Season Two this summer but this weekend, I had a Season One marathon with Aggie, Monty and the DVD player. I saw a couple of episodes that I had missed for some reason - very entertaining. If you haven't seen it, check out the online episodes at TNT. And Sandy, below is the hunky reason I think you should check this show out - if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finished at last...

the bookkeeping and taxes for my neighbor's restaurant for the past three years is done! Now I am working on those boxes under the desk for a lady who owns fourteen rental mobile homes. Yikes! It's two years worth of stuff - and a big mess. I like the puzzle aspect of my work, but sometimes it's nice when someone just brings you a nice, organized file to work with. Cari's box was like that - all organized by month - but it was a lot of data entry work. At last I didn't have to organize it before I could start working on it.
This is as far as I've gotten with this project - I've sorted everything by property and now I have to do each individual property's expenses by year. I did get to use my handy-dandy handheld label machine, so that was fun. I am easily amused... I just don't feel like looking at it anymore today.
Another project I have told myself I must complete before the end of the summer is scanning all of my client e-file and W2 forms and other can't-throw-away stuff for tax year 2008. I was going to move my scanner over by the shredder, but I can't because of the fax line. I just have to figure out a way to get the scanner on a lower level so I can sit down and do the work, instead of standing in front of the machine. A chair might be about the right height - I figure I have about a day's worth of that project, including cataloging everything into my electronic file cabinet. You'd think that someone who writes real paper letters to people wouldn't be so adverse to having paper files, but I love the idea of a paperless office. There's something about seeing three hundred client files reduced to one small box of papers required by the IRS. It's paperwork reduction at its finest!
And this is Otis, our resident rodent. It's amazing the number of people who think he is real when they see him peeking out of his latest hiding spot. He got some rough handling from a few kids during tax season and his tail needed mending. Then Peter the cat got hold of him and tried to unstuff his poor tail, so I finally stitched him up and he is good as new. My husband got him at a place called Fiery Food Junction a couple of years ago and Otis has lived here happily ever after. He doesn't eat much and he is a very tidy pet. Isn't he cute?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Martha Stewart...

has gone to Kitty Heaven. She apparently had a stroke and then continued to have seizures. She went on to her eternal reward on Sunday - where I like to think that all cats get to run and play and sleep - and all those good things that cats love to do. Martha was a funny cat - pretty but sort of cantankerous. Like her namesake, I guess. We adopted her and her sister, Sophie, back in 1997 on a pet adoption Saturday at PetsMart. Eddie, our orange tiger boy, was thrilled - he loves kittens. Sophie is a short-haired calico and much more personable than Martha was. They both loved Ed - as you can see in the picture below of Eddie and Martha trying to squeeze into a basket together. The pretty kitty on the right is Sophie.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One third of the way through the box...

of bookkeeping for Cari's restaurant - finally! That means I've finished 2006 and my goal is to finish 2007 by Sunday. We'll see how that goes... I spent all day yesterday correcting a mess - work that I paid someone else to do last fall for one of my other clients. It really is true after all: if you want something done right, do it yourself. So after about six hours of re-doing all of the 2008 bookkeeping, I saved the file and went home. In the middle of the night, I had a terrible thought - what if it didn't save properly? So this morning, when I opened the file, my worst fears were realized; the file had saved from the point where I deleted the errors - and saved absolutely nothing of the hours of work I did to fix the mess. Needless to say, I've been hard at work on the same thing I did yesterday. Talk about deja vu!

I read The Time Traveler's Wife - and honestly, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the time / space paradox of the whole thing. I think I just need to suspend disbelief and all rational scientific thought - it's more a love story than a treatise on time travel. Einstein would have said, "Bah!" and thrown the thing down in disgust. I can't say too much without giving away the plot, such as it is, but I am tempted to go through the book again and make myself a timeline. Hopefully the movie is better - and easier to follow - than the book.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

School supplies...

are some of my favorite things. When I was a kid, I could hardly wait until just before school started because that's when they would put the school supplies out in the stores. Now, it seems like they start stocking the shelves even before school is out for the summer! Target has the best stuff - WalMart has just too much Hannah Montana to suit me. But then again, I'm fifty years old and think they should have Sean Connery folders and Mark Harmon notebooks. I curbed my enthusiasm today by just buying a pack of notebook paper, three composition books (fifty cents each) and a plastic pencil box in pink. Household hint: you know how the dryer sheet box always falls apart and the sheets lose their scent? I'm putting them into the pink pencil box - how's that for ingenuity at the low, low price of seventy-nine cents? And to think I really just went into the store to pick up a bag of Newman's Own dog food for Aggie & Monty...
I know it sometimes seems that I like every book I read. And for the most part, every book has some redeeming value - even if it's only a temporary cure for insomnia. But there are some stinkers out there and I've read a lot of them. Case in point: Patricia Cornwell's Andy Brazil series. When Hornet's Nest was published, like most fans I was waiting with bated breath for yet another Scarpetta thriller. Imagine my disappointment (and no doubt thousands of other faithful readers) when the cast of characters was all new and for some reason, it seemed like Cornwell was trying to be funny - and failing miserably. In fact, it wasn't until much later when I read an interview with the author that I realized that she really was trying to write a humorous murder mystery; I just thought she'd gone round the bend or had developed an alcohol problem. The subsequent Isle of Dogs was just as bad; I don't even remember if there was a third book in the series. Occasionally, other authors seem to tire of writing in the middle of the book and just end it. John Grisham has done this a couple of times and I think he should be slapped and chained to his word processor until he finishes the story properly. I've read other books with great plots, wonderful character development and lots of suspense - but just way too much smut. Nancy Taylor Rosenberg is famous for that - and I finally gave up reading her work. I'm a Raymond Chandler fade-to-black kind of girl - I don't want to read about what happens when the lights go out, I want to imagine it. I want to be entertained in a PG-13 fashion.

Which brings me to Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich, the latest installment in her Stephanie Plum series. Once again, murder and mayhem with a seriously comic style. Her books are always laugh out loud funny - to the point of having to reread passages just to make sure I didn't miss anything! The plot in this book centers around former 'ho, Lula (played in my imagination by Queen Latifah) who witnesses a murder by decapitation and enters a barbecue cook-off. Grandma Mazur is as hilarious as readers have come to expect - she never disappoints. I really enjoy Evanovich's books and amazingly, I almost never read any of them. My husband's friend Jon recommended the Plum series to me ten years ago and I discounted his taste in literature - mainly because he and my husband are devotees of science fiction and fantasy. Their mutual favorite is a strange tome called Spaceling by the late (and probably demented as well as lamented) Doris Piserchia; I read it at my husband's urging and it was, well, weird. I also read Glory Road by Robert Heinlein, a classic, they said. Not for me. I did enjoy Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, but then isn't Fahrenheit 451 required high school reading for everyone? He's a great writer - whatever the subject. I have read some fantasy by Marion Zimmer Bradley and enjoyed it - but for the most part, I'm a murder mystery maven.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Gloom in the room...

It's a typical summer day in Florida - dark and raining - for the time being at least. It's been clouding up and threatening to rain for a couple of hours - and now it's finally here. And there's the thunder. The wind is blowing a bit, too. Petey (the office cat) and I are snug as bugs in a rug. Maybe I'll spend my lunch break reading...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stay-cation...

is a descriptive word. The first time I ever heard it was in an episode of Corner Gas - the one where Brent sits in front of the gas station in a lawn chair, communicating with people only by means of a verbal postcard from wherever he imagines himself to be. Mallorca, for instance. The locals are used to his annual stay-cations, but newcomer Lacey, proprietor of the Ruby, a cafe adjacent to Corner Gas, cannot wrap her mind around Brent's non-travel arrangements. Okay, Canadian humor aside, it's a mildly entertaining show and stay-cation is a great word.
Summer is incredibly slow in my business and I've been taking advantage of the phone not ringing and people not making appointments - or keeping the ones they do make for a stay-cation of my own. I had two days of solitude this weekend; I re-read Busy Bodies by Joan Hess - thinking it was a new release. I couldn't remember having read it before anyway, although I am sure I did. Her latest, Mummy Dearest, was pretty good; Claire Malloy has married Peter Rosen and they went off to Egypt for their honeymoon, taking Caron and Inez and intrigue right along with them. I admire her writing style and her plots are intricate while the action is funny and fairly lighthearted - well, except for the murders. I can't wait until her next Arly Hanks / Maggody book comes out. That series is even funnier than Claire and her gang.
Today, as soon as I finish this post, I am off to WalMart for a few essentials and then back home to my stack of books, one of which promises exotic locales, intrigue and an untimely death or two. What's a stay-cation without vicariously solving a murder?