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...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Paper cutter's elbow!

Okay, I love my Cricut Expression machine, and I used it last year to make my Christmas cards, but it's just more work to use it when you're just cutting squares of paper, so... I've resorted to my trusty Fiskars rotary paper cutter and I've been cutting out the squares for the cards - all weekend long...  As of this moment, I am suffering from what I call paper cutter's elbow.  Stiff shoulder, tired elbow and stiff right hand.  I want to jump head first into a vat of Tylenol!

All right, maybe I didn't cut paper all weekend.  But it sure seemed like it.  I did some meaningful work on Saturday at the office and a client did come in to do his weekly invoices.  The dogs and I watched Quigley Down Under for the umpteenth time - that movie never gets old and neither does Tom Selleck!  I did some writing and then I re-read The Tightwad Gazette looking for money-saving ideas.  Yes, I re-use zip-loc bags but I draw the line at re-using aluminum foil.  You can check out the website here.  On Sunday, we had Big Hug Sunday - that means Mom stays home with Aggie & Monty and we play and snuggle all day.  I know, I know - they probably don't care, but I do.  When I ran out of things to do around the house, we watched Silverado.  I get a kick out of Kevin Kline and Jeff Goldblum trying to be cowboys - but I really enjoy Kevin Costner's stellar performance as an idiot.  I watched both of my Netflix movies (3:10 to Yuma and Journey to the Center of the Earth) on Wednesday and Thursday so I had to resort to movies in my cabinet at home.  Both of those movies were pretty good; I was surprised to learn that 3:10 to Yuma is based on a story by Elmore Leonard!  I am not a big Russell Crowe or Christian Bale fan - and now I want to see the original with Glenn Ford.  Brenda Fraser was his goofy self in Journey to the Center of the Earth - it was entertaining - a great kid movie.  I love him in the Mummy movies - but my favorite is Blast from the Past. - especially when he dances.  Yikes!  Enough movie talk - I'd better get to work!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday...

I wonder how it got that name?  I, for one, am not shopping today.  At all.  For anything.  Anywhere.  I wouldn't, even if I had some extra money to spend.  The stores have had Christmas stuff out since Halloween.  It's deplorable.  Down with commercialism!  When I came to the office this morning, the Target parking lot was full to overflowing at 10:00 am!  I wonder what these retailers would do if we all decided to make homemade gifts one year?

My phone hasn't rung and no one has come in, but I've had lots of time to work on Christmas cards and catch-up work.  I'm in a better mood and so I've decided not to be so bah-humbug this year.  This isn't the first holiday season I've been alone and I am sure it won't be the last.  So, I'm getting out my decorations on Tuesday - I have to wait until at least December first!  A Merry Christmas will be had by all. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for another beautiful day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An amazingly productive day...

For getting a late start, I have had an amazingly productive day so far...  I say, so far, because I have to stop at the store on the way home - and I hate battling the crowd.  I'm just as guilty of waiting until the last minute to get my Thanksgiving stuff, but...  It was raining this morning and I didn't want to get drenched going out to the car, so I putzed around at home for a while.  I toyed with the idea of staying home, but I trudged off to the office, rain or no rain, and I actually got a lot of work done.  And I finally came up with a design I like for my Christmas cards!  I think I kept procrastinating because I didn't really like the stamps I had chosen.  I'd never used them before - so I knew they wouldn't be a repeat - but I just didn't like the whole design.  So, when I was rummaging through my other Christmas stamps, I found one that I haven't used in years - and never for client cards - so I came up with a simple design and I liked it!  I ordered my red card stock today and it will be here on Monday - so this weekend I can work on the embossing part of the card and all of the paper cutting I need to do.  I also found this great (cheap!) source for envelopes online.  Maybe when I have some extra money I'll order some of the cool translucent envelopes.  I sometimes mail my cards in clear envelopes, but the postman looks at me like I'm nuts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alas...

My holiday baking is sadly curtailed by the size of my kitchen and the fact that I gave away my KitchenAid stand mixer.  So I am reduced to making pecan bars from a mix and scooping cookie dough from a refrigerated tub.

Oh well, my heart is in the right place, even if I am lacking in counter space and small appliances.  I made some goodies for my friends Cari and Linda.  I have to stop at the store on the way home tomorrow and get some cheese and milk for my holiday mac & cheese feast, so I will probably just buy a pumpkin pie.  Tim's daughter still has my two prized Longaberger pie plates from two years ago - I don't expect I'll ever see them again.  Don't you hate when people don't return your dishes?  I had made two sour cream apple pecan pies for Christmas at their house - did I say two years ago? - and the pie was well received.  Apparently, so were the pie plates.  Don't mind me, I'm just grumpy today.

Here's the apple pie recipe, if you're so inclined:

CRUST:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cold butter, cut in small pieces
3 to 4 tbsp. cold tap water

FILLING:
3/4 c. sour cream
1 lg. egg
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 lbs. tart apples (Pippins, Granny Smiths or Greenings) peeled, quartered, cored and cut in 1/4 inch thick slices (10 cups)

CRUMB TOPPING:
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. (2 oz.) pecan pieces, chopped coarse

To make crust: mix flour and salt in a medium size bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water over flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring lightly with a fork after each addition to distribute moisture evenly. Press lightly to form a ball. Flatten into a 1 inch thick round. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate about 1 hour until firm enough to roll. Have a 9 inch pie plate ready. Roll out dough; line pie plate.

To make filling: whisk sour cream and egg in a large bowl until blended, whisk in sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in apples. Spread in pie plate, mounding mixture in center.

To make topping: mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium size bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle evenly over filling, then press down lightly. To bake, place oven rack in center of oven; heat to 400 degrees. Bake pie 50 to 60 minutes until topping is dark brown and apples are tender when pierced. (If topping browns too quickly during baking, drape a piece of foil over pie). Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday surprise...

Isn't it nice to start the week off with a surprise?  I was sitting here feeling down in the dumps and first the mailman came in.  He's always cheerful and even though he didn't bring any envelopes with money in them, I did get a new Current catalog, which is fun to look at, even if I don't order anything.  And then, my clients Cari and Linda from Taste of Philly came in with their 2009 bookkeeping - and this adorable cookie jar!  It's that strange green color that I love - and, it has sugar cookies in it...  It was so nice of them - and it really brightened my day.  And I have eaten practically half of one of the bags of sugar cookies from inside.  Yikes! 

I had good intentions to eat responsibly today: I made fresh mozzarella and tomato salad for lunch and invited my friend Richard to stop by on his way to his afternoon job.  He's busy for a retired guy!  It was good, but I had left out the Bermuda onion because they can be a little overwhelming - but it really needed the onion.  I used Newman's Own oil & vinegar dressing - which was very mild - so it needed more spice.  Next time.  Why the vegetables for lunch, you wonder?  Or maybe not.  Anyhow, Saturday before last after the movies with Tim, we went to my favorite barbecue place in the world for dinner.  They have this great fried dill pickle appetizer and I love it!  Anyhow, their special is to pick two meats and two sides - that's dinner.  Well, they have great fried fish, which I always order, and that night I picked fish and chopped pork barbecue.  I was starving, so I ate the fish first and my fries; the black-eyed peas were still hard, not mushy like they are supposed to be.  Anyhow, when I finally had a bite of the pork, that's when I was suddenly consumed with the realization that I was eating cooked flesh.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it tasted so weird to me - and normally I like it.  This from the woman who always buys kosher hot dogs!  I am not really a big meat-eater anyway (not like my husband who would subsist solely on meat) and I couldn't eat another bite of this.  I took it home for Aggie & Monty (waste not, want not) and they liked it, but well after being completely grossed out by the barbecue, I have once again given up eating meat.  About fifteen years ago, I gave up eating meat for about three years.  I did eat fish - but nothing with a face.  I guess fish have faces, but I tried not to think about it and it's hard to know a fish personally.  What set me off back then was reading Diet for a New America about the mistreatment of farm animals.  I have never eaten veal - for that very reason - but after reading that book, I couldn't eat chicken or turkey.  Even when I started eating meat again, I couldn't cook a whole chicken or a turkey because it looked like a bird!  I mean, at least beef doesn't look like a cow.  So anyway, I'm back to avoiding meat.  I'm making a big pan of homemade macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving.  Just think, if the Pilgrims had made mac & cheese for dinner all those years ago, the market for turkeys this time of year would be next to nothing.  Turkey futures would be down, but pasta would be up.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is it Friday already?

Well, what I was going to do today was tackle my cookbook project, but instead...

I worked on my client birthday card mailing for December.  My first year in business, I would address the birthday cards when I did the tax return, put the date where the stamp goes and stick then in my monthly birthday file.  Then all I had to do was slap a stamp on it and mail it at the appropriate time.  Boring, but effective.  That plan sorta got away from me last tax season - and my helper never bothered to do her cards at all - so my birthday greetings went by the wayside for a few months.  Paperwork was not her forte, as much as I like her.  I hate to say this, but if I want things done my way, I guess I am just going to have to do everything myself.  So - I did my November cards the other day and I have finished December today.  I need to make more cards and then I can do January.  Hopefully, I will be caught up by the time tax season comes along and I can go back to my original system.  And yes, I have successfully put off working on the Christmas cards for one more day.  I have, however, typed up my Christmas mailing list to print on clear address labels; I don't think my hands can take all that addressing by hand again this year.  Old Arthur, as my mother-in-law would say.

I finally watched Get Shorty in its entirety.  It was absolutely hilarious!  I tried to get Tim to watch it once a long time ago and he didn't find the first few minutes humorous at all, so we switched to something else.  As I have probably said before, I never thought that John Travolta would amount to anything after Saturday Night Fever or Urban Cowpie.  I have been pleasantly surprised over the past few years - he cracks me up.  His Chili Palmer (I'm not going to say anything more than I have to, if that) is great - and Dennis Farina makes one terrific bad guy, even if his favorite word begins with F.  Of course, I had to watch Be Cool - just to see what happened next - and to see The Rock play a gay bodyguard.  I think I liked the supporting characters better in the second movie, plus John Travolta dances with Uma Thurman.  The funniest part was seeing The Rock (who wants to be a movie star and asks Chili to get him an audition) all dressed up in a blue polyester suit, standing in front of a mirror with big afro hair, smiling and smacking himself on the ass.  I thought I would die.  And then, if that weren't enough, his boss (played to the hilt by Vince Vaughan - who thinks he is black) makes a video of him singing You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man.  I nearly wet my pants.  Some movies really are as funny as the books they are based on.  I hope they paid Elmore Leonard a lot of money.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Busy bee...

birthday cards!  I finally came up with a new design for my client birthday cards - sticking with my bee theme.  The first two years I just used my business logo printed on a card, but I used all of those up (I printed them on my handy-dandy HP color laser printer - which, amazingly, I still haven't had to buy toner cartridges for!) and decided to come up with a new and cuter design.  For fall, I have done the hive and Be Happy on a white vertical card with a lavender background layer (I left my camera home!), but starting with January, I am going back to horizontal so I can run the inside through my other printer for the birthday greeting and add Smith & Associates. Yes, I'm putting off making this year's Christmas cards.  Couldn't you tell?  I have the design in my head, but I have yet to execute a prototype.  I ran across some cards from my first year in business and I'm going to be frugal (um, lazy) and send those to new clients who won't realize they are a repeat.  Sneaky, huh? I guess I'm having flashbacks to last year when I made this complicated card with a holly Cricut cut-out and glitter and well, they were pretty, but a lot of work and I made over three hundred of them - all the same.  It's the OCD thing...  My friend, Jill, who is an excellent cardmaker, makes several different designs every year because she gets bored making the same one over and over.  I've tried, but I can't do it!  There's something wrong with me...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to the salt mine!


It sure feels like Monday today...  I guess it could have something to do with laying about the house for two days this week already.  I have work to do, but I just can't seem to get it together today.  Petey, the office cat, was glad to see me.  Well, he meowed anyway.  Tim terrorized him a bit on Saturday after the movies.  I wanted help putting FrontLine on Pete to prevent fleas and Tim scared him when he found his hiding spot.  All you could hear was Pete's feet trying to get traction on the wood floor.  He finally scrambled inside the paper cabinet behind my desk and I got him out and held him while Tim put the flea stuff on the back of his neck.  Poor Pete - he's so misunderstood.  I just had lunch (left-over beanie weenies) with my friend, Richard.  He's working on trying to rent out some of his lady-friend's mobile homes for the upcoming winter tourist season.  It is amazing to me what some Yankees will pay for a month or two in a mobile home - just to be in Florida for the winter!

Since it's fall, it's the perfect weather for one-pot dinners.  Here's my recipe for Gourmet Beanie Weenies:

1 12-oz can dark kidney beans
1 12-oz can light kidney beans
1 12-oz can great northern beans
1 12-oz can pinto beans
1 12-oz can chili beans (mildly seasoned)
1 12-oz can garbanzo beans
1 12-oz can black beans (rinsed)
2 12-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
2 16-oz packages kosher hot dogs, sliced

That looks like a lot now that I write it down!  Anyhow, open all the beans and pour out the excess liquid from everything but the chili beans.  Combine the beans in a large pot with the hot dogs.  Add both cans of diced tomatoes, along with the diced onion.  Now here's the part that's up to you: add chili seasoning, salt and pepper to taste - the way you like it.  Some like it hot, so...  Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about an hour.  Just before you are ready to serve dinner, add the rinsed black beans and stir.  If you don't rinse them, it makes the beans ugly and well, no one wants to eat grey food.  Yes, I learned the hard way.  And no matter what you do, or how long you cook it, the garbanzo beans are never going to get mushy.  If you really want to go all out, you can add crumbled italian sausage or sliced smoked kielbasa to the mix.  This is guy food - for those of you who still believe that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  Personally, I think it's through his sternum with an eight-inch stainless steel knife.  I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reading frenzy...

Isn't is great to have a stack of unread books around when you're sick?  I woke up at about five Monday morning with the most horrendous sinus headache - like someone had stuck an ice-cold poker up my left nostril and scrambled things about a bit.  My teeth even hurt!  I had made dinner for Tim on Sunday night (gourmet beanie weenies and a brief visit so I could do his laundry) and didn't sleep well that night, so I attributed part of the headache to lack of sleep and too much thinking.  But the headache didn't let up; it just kept getting worse, so I decided to stay home from the office and self-medicate with Tylenol and benadryl.  Suffice it to say, I finally got some sleep, but no real sinus relief.  I was no better on Tuesday (add upset stomach and other gastrointestinal delights) so I spent another day snuggled up with the dogs in a reading frenzy with all of the Isabel Dalhousie mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith.  I tell you, they are almost as good as the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  He is such an excellent writer - I felt like I'd been transported to Edinburgh.  It was a wonderful diversion from feeling bad and thinking about Tim and that whole situation.  I am almost finished with the last, or should I say latest, book called The Lost Art of Gratitude.  The characters are great and the mysteries aren't murders, so much as mysteries of life to be pondered and solved - or at least resolved.  I wish resolving my own difficulties were as entertaining!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another pair of sole-mates...

Okay, so I'm really into the sock thing...


Tim is in Tampa this week working on a project for some company that makes reverse osmosis water filtration systems, so he came down on Saturday afternoon and took me to the movies (popcorn, yes!) and dinner (barbecue, during which I was overcome with guilt for eating cooked flesh - but that's another story).  We saw 2012 with love-of-my-life John Cusack, who to my dismay, did not once make that dumbstruck face in the entire movie.  Woody Harrelson played a lunatic, at which he excelled, who had a front row seat when the giant caldera at Yellowstone erupted.  A great movie for disaster lovers!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sock weather!

It may not seem like a big deal for those of you in northern climates, but sock weather is a treat for me!  As soon as it's cool enough, I am digging in my sock drawer for just the right, um, pair.  As you can see, I am a big fan of mismatched socks, which you can find here.  Aggie and Monty got me some - which come in sets of three - a couple of years ago for my birthday (they are great shoppers!) with scotty dogs on them in shades of this pukey green color that I like so much.  My collection has grown a bit since then, as you can see.  I have also been known to wear two different color socks who have lost their sole-mates.  I mean, why waste a perfectly good sock? 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stinker alert!

I don't know what I was thinking when I put this movie on my Netflix queue.  It was an interminable two hours and thirty-nine minutes long.  And I mean long.  And depressing.  Did I mention that it was long?  And it didn't even have Kevin Costner in it, mindlessly dancing with wolves.  I much prefer Brad Pitt in a movie where he invokes his inner half-wit (like Burn After Reading) than what always amount to his feeble attempts at dramatic brilliance in a wooden role written for, say, Keanu Reeves.  Sam Shepard had about five lines and I think Mary-Louise Parker had two - and some screaming.  I'm sitting there trying not to doze off, waiting for the coward Robert Ford to actually assassinate Jesse James when I realize that his whole problem is that he has some sort of unrequited hero/idol worship secret love thing for Jesse.  Too weird for a western - not enough shooting and bank robbing.  I mean, was Jesse James retired or something?  If someone near and dear to you suggests this movie for your Friday night flick, feign the flu or run screaming from the room.  You'll thank me later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I just love...


tangerines. They make me think of my grandmother. When we lived on the farm, we had apples out the wazoo - and as much as I love apples, to this day I cannot eat a McIntosh apple - too soft, too sour and too grainy. I can't even make a pie with them. As the holidays approached, knowing we were sick of eating, picking or even seeing apples, Grandma would buy oranges and tangerines, and I was completely smitten with those small, sweet, easy to peel orbs of orange delight. I didn't even care about the seeds. When she moved to Florida (and we followed several year later), she had a tangerine tree in her yard and I would eat them until I got the hives (I did the same thing during strawberry-picking season in Plant City!). My lips would puff up like I'd been stung by a swarm of citrus-crazed bees! No warning about too much fruit was ever heeded - I was in tangerine heaven. I have since discovered clementines - all of the joy with none of the seeds - but I still enjoy a good tangerine or two or three... And the bee-stung lip look is really in these days!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's a holiday...


and my phone hasn't rung once. I don't even know why I came into the office today - other than the stack of monthly bookkeeping I have to do for three clients. Oh well, today I am Scarlett O'Hara and tomorrow is another day. I'm off to the Publix Supermarket! This is the last day of this week's ad and they have Duke's Mayonnaise on sale - buy one, get one free. Also, Hunt's Tomatoes, Peter Pan peanut butter, Barilla pasta and Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough. I am there! I should probably buy Petey some cat food, too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Now I understand...


my family's movie rating system... It's like this: I have an aunt who once lived in California and is an expert on all things Hollywood. She is definitely the one to have on your team when playing the silver screen edition of Trivial Pursuit. A serious movie buff, she can tell you the stars, major plot points and even the director of most movies from about 1939 on. For one reason or another, however, she judges every movie she has seen since 1969 by what she considers the pinnacle of Hollywood cinematic perfection: Midnight Cowboy. I had never seen it, although I once read a humorous essay by Southern writer Bailey White in which her own mother, oddly enough, compared every movie she saw with, you guessed it, Midnight Cowboy. Figuring there had to be something redeeming about that movie, I decided to finally watch it, albeit thirty years late. Apparently in 1969, it was rated X! Yikes! Well, let me tell you, right now it would barely get a PG-13. I could have done without the psychedelic drug references, but I guess that sort of thing was de rigueur in that era. (Hey, did I use that right?) Anyhow, hayseed Jon Voight leaves the sticks for the big city hoping to strike it rich as a man-whore (thank you for that word, Adam Sandler), which he believes to be his one true calling. He meets Dustin Hoffman (who surprisingly did not win an Oscar for his incredible performance), loses all his money, fails to succeed in his chosen profession and ends up taking care of his new-found friend who sadly dies on the bus to Florida. If you could cut out all the gratuitous sex and drug scenes, it is actually an excellent movie about the unlikely friendship between two hapless guys, broke and trying to survive on the streets of New York.

So while I was on my old movie binge, I also decided to watch Easy Rider (which I had never watched in its entirety) - mainly because everyone said how great Jack Nicholson was in the film. Well, it's true, Jack was great. But then, Jack is great in every movie he does. His young self looks like a cross between Dennis Quaid and Tom Cruise - and he is, to my astonishment, quite good-looking. I first discovered Jack as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, where he had perfected that lobotomized wandering-eye look, which detracted considerably from his overall appearance. At any rate, Peter Fonda was his usual beautiful, laid-back man-of-few-words self and Dennis Hooper was a colossal asshat. And, as far as movies go, to quote my aunt and Bailey White's mother, "It was okay, but it was no Midnight Cowboy."

Monday, November 09, 2009

I don't know if it's just anticipation of the holiday season...


but I pulled out my dog-eared copy of Jean Shepherd's In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash this weekend and laughed like crazy at the story upon which the movie A Christmas Story is based. No matter how many times I read it, it's still hilarious. Actually, if you've never had the opportunity to read his work, you should run to the bookstore or the library. His first book is a visit home where he meets a grown-up Flick at the old hometown bar and they reminisce together about events from their childhood. I love the saga of the Bumpus Hounds (actually, Delbert Bumpus and the entire Bumpus clan!) and the leg lamp story (It's a major award!) is great - and I have actually considered buying Tim a giant leg lamp over the years. His second book, which I personally like even better, is called Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories. It's a wonderful collection of stories about the hazards of growing up: vacations, high school crushes, playground bullies - you name it. While I love the title story, the very best one in the book is called Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss (where does he come up with this stuff?); it took me back to every summer family vacation I spent stuffed in the back seat of a sweltering car with my projectile-vomiting sister. His stories also lend themselves well to being read aloud - so keep that in mind for the holiday season - no one is ever too old to listen to a story!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Isn't this too cute?

I found this adorable Debbie Mumm desktop background (and lots more!) here. I like her artwork almost as much as Mary Engelbreit. I said, almost. I love the orange cat! I was actually looking for a country Christmas background, but there aren't any. Maybe soon!
I've been sitting at my craft desk all morning messing around with half-finished cards and I've got this nice little batch ready to put in my window display - for sale! I'm going to make a Busy Bee Cards sign with my Cricut in a little while and put it in the window. If and when I make some money (hopefully before tax season), I'm going to revise my window lettering, add my logo and devote one section of window to Busy Bee Cards & Crafts. I don't know if I already wrote about that or not - I'm losing my mind these days. I hate when I repeat myself!
I finally got all of the seasonal decorations junk that I got out of storage sorted and put away - and what I'm taking to the flea market next month is all together in one place. I'm going back to storage this afternoon (it's finally cool outside!) and get some more. My client, Jonathan, is buying my old washer and dryer, so he's going to help put some stuff in the back of my SUV to bring back to the office. I am determined to finish the "empty the storage unit" project by the first of December! I will get this mess re-organized; I will have an orderly life again!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

One of those days...


I was feeling blue and trying to decide what to do this morning when a good friend called me and instantly cheered me up. She and I had a brief discussion about our respective dysfunctional families and I immediately thought of this great Mary Engelbreit illustration. My goal for the day - the week - the month!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Kevin and more decorations...


to get off the shelf in the back room - that's why I love this time of year! The pumpkins do double-duty for two holidays - and just when I'm tired of them, it's time for Christmas! This is my friend Long's son, Kevin, last year at about this time. He was in kindergarten and driving his teacher absolutely bonkers! As you might imagine, English is not his first language and he was having some trouble adjusting - but it's amazing what a difference a year makes. He is now doing great in school and only driving his parents crazy. He has more energy than about three kids and that brain is always going. Kevin used to come and visit me after school for a little while every day (before he became consumed by his GameBoy) - and his chatter drove my husband nuts. I said, "Honey, that kid talks from the time he wakes up in the morning until he goes to sleep at night. I guess I can give his poor parents a break for an hour every day." A couple of weeks ago, Kevin had a mishap at home. His dad had warned him not to play with his basketball inside (they live in a small apartment), but while his mom was sewing, Kevin decided to go for a shot from the foul line or something and his basketball crashed into the 55-gallon fish tank - glass and water went everywhere! A terrified Kevin locked himself in his bedroom and wouldn't come out. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, but he hid out the whole time his mom and dad cleaned up the mess and rescued the fish. They said he didn't speak all evening and the next morning, he got up and got dressed and went and stood by the door until it was time to go to school. Long said they lectured him about not obeying the rules and how seriously he could have been injured. Kevin was appropriately contrite and apologized. Well, that lasted about two days. On the third day, Kevin came home from school and announced to his dad that he had been thinking. If his father had bought a better fish tank stand, instead of building one himself, Kevin reasoned, it wouldn't have fallen over when the basketball hit the tank. I asked Long how he kept a straight face when Kevin told him this; he said it was hard, but he and Thao got a good laugh out of it later when Kevin was asleep. That is one funny kid.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

One mean snake...

Yikes! I was walking down the sidewalk from my SUV to the apartment yesterday afternoon and I heard this rattling sound on my left. I looked over and there was one mean snake coiled up to strike, rattling his tail in the mulch. I almost jumped out of my skin (and nearly wet my pants!) - I looked him over for markings and checked his tail for rattles - but he was just an ordinary black snake. I must have startled him - but I kept going as fast as I could, considering my hands were full of handbag, ginger ale and my cane - which I was considering using as a weapon if he had, in that evil lurking snake-like way, decided to follow me. You know how strange scenarios start running through your head - in slow motion - I could smack him with the cane and he could slither right up to my hand - or I could try and fling him away with the end of it and he'd hang on and drop off on my head - or wait, wait - I could miss him completely and he would fly through the air as I imagine all snakes can and sink his fangs into my knee... Fortunately, I went one way and he went the other, but I was still seriously freaked out. Which is ridiculously irrational coming from the person who as a teenager once rescued an inert black snake from the middle of the road (he had apparently been stunned by a car) and put it in the bathtub for my father to deal with the following morning. I don't know what I was thinking then, but there was the added bonus of scaring the living daylights out of my mother, so I guess that's probably why I shoved Mr. Black Snake into a box and brought him home. In my old age, however, I have given up my snake rescue ways - now I just want to be wherever snakes are not.

Monday, November 02, 2009

An affair to remember...

or don't I wish... I was sick all weekend - I don't know if it was the flu or just a miserable sinus problem, but I didn't leave the apartment all day Saturday or Sunday. The dogs and I ended up having a western film festival: we watched The Shadow Riders, The Long Riders, Quigley Down Under, Conagher, Monte Walsh, Silverado - well, you get the picture. And I had this epiphany - I've been in love with Tom Selleck for almost thirty years! If only our paths had crossed... I always liked Magnum, PI but I think he makes an even better cowboy. And a movie with him and Sam Elliott as cowboys is twice as good! Anyway, there's nothing like Tom Selleck (and his gun and his horse) in all his technicolor glory to cheer you up when you're feelin' poorly!