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...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Madeline Challenge...

A couple of weeks ago, I got a nice little package in the mail from my friend Madeline.  She had gone to a yard sale and found this bunch of stamps and thought of me.  It's a cute hodge-podge collection of stamps and sentiments.  I thought it would be fun to incorporate them all into a thank-you card.
This morning, Petey said, "Mom - why don't you put these pretzels away and make Madeline that card?"  Apparently, Peter is not the procrastinator that his mother is.  He is one insistent gingersnap kitty cat!
And so I made this deliciously tacky card using all of the stamps.  The paper in the typewriter says Live Laugh Love Much.  I was hoping the star would look like it was shooting out of the machine, too.  Oh well.  The little glittery blurb under the star says Just a Note - but it's hard to tell, even on the real thing.  I even added some bling to the Thinking of You!
I tried to arrange the sentiments inside into a coherent note - not bad!
There was even a Created by stamp for the back - how cool is that?  The finishing touch was the Gone to the Beach stamp - like a company name or something.  I'm going to make her some nice cards to fill the little box I'm recycling back to her - I hope she likes them.  I had fun making the silly card!

Monday, August 30, 2010

ME Monday...

This is a Longaberger Medium Boardwalk basket.  Sort of plain and boring on its own, huh?  Never fear - Mary Engelbreit to the rescue!
Better, right?  I had started making seasonal liners for the purse: Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day - you get the picture.  Then those months like May roll around with no holidays - enter my stash of ME fabric.
The black liner is pretty all-purpose, but I made one out of LHFF, a teapot print, a cherry print, the houses and flowers on the red background and LHFF for Halloween.  Too cute!  I have some ME Christmas fabric and some scotty dog print - don't you think I need liners in those patterns, too?

P.S.  Don't forget to check out more ME Monday over at CherryChick!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Solitary Sunday...

A nice quiet day to yourself is sometimes a good thing.  (Gives you time to think and plot against the sane people.)  This ME illustration is one of my favorites and a great reminder - I have the beautiful ceramic plaque hanging in my bathroom.  Weird spot for it, I know - but then who doesn't contemplate the nature of the universe in the bathroom once in a while?  Aggie and Peter and I had a nice visit first thing this morning - neither of those lazy butts wanted to get up!  No worries or pressing chores for those two.  I, on the other hand, had things to do, places to go, groceries to buy.  Fortunately, not many people to see...

Quick trip to my favorite market this afternoon - I needed some vegetables.  Those great Eat Smart bags of broccoli were on sale - and I had to get some celery, onion and apples for tuna salad.  Milk for my morning Cheerios - stuff like that.  Oh, and the weekly beans for bean salad.  Fighting anemia, one can of beans at a time!  Aggie was also very  happy to see that Mom gave in and got a sub to share for lunch.  Spoiled brats...

And finally, in this odd post of random musings, a quick rant about Craigslist.  Actually, I love the for sale ads.  I've found some incredible bargains and I've sold a thing or two.  It's a great free service and I appreciate it.  If you've never really read them, the for sale ads are also a great source of entertainment.  Like all good English majors, I am a stickler for spelling and grammar.  My husband and I used to look out for misspelled signs in our travels - like our little local diner called The Sliver Spoon.  Or a day care called the Childern's Academy.  And both of those places paid a professional sign company to misspell their signs.  But I digress.  Craigslist is a veritable wellspring of grammar and spelling errors - and I am practically addicted to reading the ads every morning right after the Google News.  My excuse for even looking at the ads is the unlikely possibility that I will find the very thing I need - even though I don't actually know I need it.  Right now I have my eye on an old oak library card catalog, which with a little elbow grease and a new top, would make a great storage cabinet for my multitude of rubber stamps.  Alas - they want altogether too much money for it - and so I lie in wait - that classified ad huntress of the elusive bargain.  But waiting is a good thing - that's how I got the end table with the iron Singer treadle base in my living room for less than half of the original listing price.  But back to the ads - some of the stuff for sale is in really great condition and reasonably priced - and some of the stuff is downright hideous and horrifically overvalued.  People are proud of their used stuff, I can tell you that.  The sellers listing "antiques" are the worst; either the items aren't even close to being antique or the price is outrageous.  Other people use a lot of words telling you how much they paid for the item new and how they'd sell it for the same price if they could - not in so many words, but you get my drift.  I doubt that they ever unload their stuff.  And then there are the charming and often hilarious misspellings.  Do you have a dinning table in your house?  I've seen manicans for sale - and an integer which is allegedly perfect for displaying nicknacks in your living room.  I think they might have mean an etagere - but I can't be sure.  Someone was selling a Dodge Interpid for cheap, too.  Another guy had an antique armour for sale.  I wasn't really sure if it was a suit of armor or an armoire.  An alarming number of individuals cannot distinguish between oak and pine - still others aren't sure how to spell mahogany.  Here are some variations:  mehogany, mahagene and mahahgenny.  I am not kidding.  The job listings are equally amusing - apparently people comment on listings for their former jobs - one guy wanted potential applicants to know that Company X was a hostel work environment.  I wondered if they were actually hostile or if it was some sort of lodging establishment.  Another listing was advertising a position for a cosmotologist; the possibilities for that one were endless.  Were they looking for an astronomer, an astrologist or a cosmetologist?  Yes, I waste a little time every morning amusing myself with the Craigslist by-product of our failing education system: online classified ads.  It's cheap entertainment - you should try it sometime.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Looky! Looky!

Look at what I got from Vicki over at Cherry Chick!  Aren't these note cards just the cutest thing?  Of all the million ME note cards I've had over the years, I've never had this design before.  And they're so me!  Thank you, Vicki, for a lovely surprise.  Your thoughtfulness really made my day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm dreaming of a cold RC...

Apparently, Bing Crosby knew his cola - and so did his horse.  I love vintage ads - and sometimes it seems like RC cola is vintage!  It can be hard to find around here.  It's so hot today - I did some errands and came home and did some work around the house - swept the walk by the front door - and I am pooped out from all this heat and humidity!  And thinking like any true Southerner, if I only had a Royal Crown cola and a moon pie to go with it...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yes, we have no bananas...

since I made banana nut bread out of them.  Too ripe to eat - just right for bread.  I made two big loaves and then delivered them to my friends Cari and Long.  They are so good to me - and baking is just a small way to show my appreciation.  I also made some honey raisin bran muffins.
They were good warm - but I'm not sure about cold.  Sort of dry.  The recipe needs more oil, I think.  I've never been a big bran muffin fan, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.  I've been trying new recipes with honey - and I'm trying to come up with a honey pie crust.  Wouldn't that be good with fresh peach filling?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I needed a laugh...

and a friend of mine tucked this into a note I received in the mail today.
Thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ah, the joy of...

new cotton underwear!  I'll bet you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?  Actually, I bought them way back in February when they were on sale at WalMart - I hadn't bought new undies in a couple of years - and I promptly took them out of the packages, folded them up and put them away in the drawer.  Twelve glorious (well, as glorious as cotton panties can be) pairs of pretty printed and colored underwear - no plain white in sight.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't like to fold laundry and I am in the bad habit of wearing the same t-shirts and jeans over and over again.  I wash a load of clothes, dry them and take clean clothes out of the dryer to wear until it's empty and I have to do laundry again.  And the cycle repeats itself.  And honestly, when you live alone and no one sees your unmentionables except you and the dog, well - what's a few little holes and some worn elastic?  Over the past couple of weeks, I have finally broken down and pitched some pretty unsightly bloomers.  You know that admonition from your mom about always wearing clean underwear in case you get in a wreck?  Well, mine used to add another requirement: no holes.  And so, finally overcome with potential guilt - a sure sign of having been raised by parents with both Catholic and Jewish genes - I did away with all the remaining pairs of underwear which might in the event of an emergency induce severe em-bare-assment.  And I had a lovely, worry-free day wearing a sublime new undergarment fashioned of soft cotton knit printed with pink and orange handbags.  Pure joy.  And as Martha would say: a good thing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ME Monday...

For years I enjoyed the Mary Engelbreit page-a-day calendar - oddly enough, I haven't had one in forever - and I would faithfully clip the artwork or quote from the page and save it.  Because I love school supplies, and these composition books, I frequently use the ME clippings to decorate the front of my to-do list books.  Cute, huh?
I love my ME desktop backgrounds - free at the ME website
I also like the Mother Goose screensaver!

P.S.  Check out more ME Monday at Cherry Chick!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What was I thinking?

I forgot that school starts tomorrow - and I made the colossal mistake of going to WalMart...  Sometimes I am just brain dead.  I needed to buy a new iron - sewing and my little travel iron just don't mix.  I am in the middle of making my bathroom shower rod valance and the steam function of that travel iron is virtually non-existent.  So, off I went to WalMart - since that's the cheapest place to buy an iron - and once I got inside, I was completely gobsmacked by the sheer number of people milling about.  One would never have guessed by looking at the parking lot.  Now, I love school supplies as much as any eager fifth-grader but I have no one to buy them for and I still haven't used all of the notebook paper I bought last year in a moment of weakness.  I will tell you, however, that those plastic pencil boxes make a great holder for dryer sheets - you know how flimsy those dryer sheet packages can be - so I do have some justification, albeit flimsy, for occasionally buying school supplies.  So after braving the crowd (in a handy little ride-around cart!) I found an adequate steam iron (for only $6.64!) and picked up a ream of printer paper - can't run out of that.  And while I was there, since one can never have too much Diet Coke on hand - a resolution I made after I'd been out of soda for three days and stuck in the house with no means of getting to a store to support my artificially-sweetened carbonated beverage habit - I headed toward the grocery department.  Again, what was I thinking?  I had to traverse the children's clothing section which was an absolute madhouse.  There were parents and kids everywhere, arguing over what to buy.  I mean, did you ever argue with your parents about school clothes they were paying for?  I think not.  The selection provided two choices: school uniforms or child-size gangbanger/slut clothing.  Nothing in between, unfortunately.  No wonder schools are adopting uniform policies - given that all the little boys show up with their over-large pants hanging off their butts and the girls all look like mini-tramp versions of Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus.  God help us all.  See - another reason why I am not a mother.  I hung a right through the footwear department and hit the soda aisle where I found Diet RC for the low, low price of eighty-eight cents for a two-liter bottle.  Works for me.  Zoom - back up the main aisle to the checkouts.  Where I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Amazingly, when I finally got to the cash register, the lovely girl was very pleasant and not stressed out by the crowd and long lines at all.  That was a nice surprise - even if the throng clamoring for school supplies in a crowded WalMart wasn't.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Free at last!

Ray and I went for a little spin on Friday night after Long replaced his starter.  We celebrated with a Route44 drink from Sonic - it's really the rabbit poop ice I love.  I was happy to get out of the house (and get a fountain soda!) and Ray was happy to get the dust blown off his hood after sitting for a week in his spot outside my window.  I've resolved not to speak ugly to him any more; we are finally a team.  I missed spending time with him last week!
In our travels this morning, we went to one of my favorite places - Publix - where we stocked up on the necessities: Diet Coke, cat food and a few other staples.  And who can resist getting a sub or wrap at the Publix deli?  Roast beef was the special this week - and since I'm always conscious of the whole anemia thing, I got a wrap to share with Aggie and Peter for lunch.  I do get sick of beans, you know. Eating a little meat is a good thing, now and then.  Ha!  Ariela told me that beets are high in iron, but I am just not there yet.  Tuna four packs were on sale buy one get one free, so we are having a tuna fest this week - tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna melt...  I love a sale!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lord, I am thankful for today...

and for all of its blessings: I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, food to eat and the companionship of sweetest little dog and and the most persnickety cat in the whole world.  I am thankful for my dear friend Ariela who came by with a lovely lunch of salad and pizza on Tuesday.  I am thankful for the two friends who called me out of the blue this week and made two long evenings a little less lonely.  I am thankful for my faithful client and friend Jonathan who was willing to pay me early this month and for my friend Richard who picked up the part for my car and then drove me to the bank.  I am thankful for the Pad Thai I had for lunch and for someone to eat with besides Aggie - as much as I love her - and that Richard speaks in complete sentences and doesn't beg for food from my plate.  I am grateful for the check that awaited me in my mailbox upon my return home.  I am especially thankful for my friend Long who in a matter of minutes changed the starter on my little car - a potentially huge repair that only cost me $47.93.  I've spent much of the last week feeling a little sorry for myself and worrying about stuff I have no control over.  Sometimes it's a good thing to just calm your mind, let the worry go and count your many blessings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh, the sun'll come out...

tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow - there'll be sun.
Just thinkin' about tomorrow, clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow,
'til there's none.
Tomorrow, tomorrow - I love you tomorrow - you're only a day away.
Here's hoping the week improves!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I iz a membir of the CIA...

an for thoz uv yous who dont know, thatz the Cairn Intellajunts Ageinsee.  My mom got aggervated with the puter last night.  She wanted to wach the latess epasoad of Memfis Beet and it wouldnt work.  So she gave up after she cald the puter a bad name and smact the mous thing down.  I think shez jest sick uv bein stuck in the house this week.  So wile she wuz readin a book cald Scents an Scentsabilidy - which I dont get cuz she dont uze her noz noway nohow - not like a dog duz - I got on the puter and fixt it up for her.  It was cuz she dizabulled all the poppups and the TNT shows is poppups.  Thatz all - no big deel.  Wile I wuz at it, I chainjd the glob lay out to three collums and then I put sum mor bee stuf on the glob here.  I thinks itz preddy cyute.  Thats ware the Cairn Intellajunts comes in.  She dont know what all I know.  I has a blak belt in ankul biting and that meens I have a rank uv whippersnapper in the CIA.  See, all this cyuteniss iz a grate disguys.  I am speshally traned in Hoamland Sekuritee.  Nobuddy getz by this cairn, beleev yous me.
I gotta go - we iz havin spugetty for dinner.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thanks a whole latte...

to Linda at Linda's Life Journal for the wonderful surprise in my mailbox today!  I was thrilled to find this lovely hand-painted card and a nice note.  I just love it and I can't wait to get it framed and hang it on my kitchen wall next to the teapot.  She does such amazing work - be sure to check out her blog.  It just really made my day!  You'd think Florida would have nicer weather in the summer, but it's been dreary all day long and now it's pouring down rain!  No work on my screened porch today...  I need to quit calling it a lanai because Yankees and Midwesterners don't know what that is.  
I guess I could work on the new pillow covers for the living room...  Film at eleven.

Monday, August 16, 2010

ME Monday...

One of my favorite ME things is her illustrated My Symphony.  Not only is the poem beautiful, so are her wonderful illustrations.
Aggie and I have this great ME cherry notepaper for putting notes in the crafts we sell.
And the third ME thing for today:
my college roommate's name is Anne Estelle.  Really.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday project...

Remember those pillow covers that didn't look so great in the living room after all?  Pink just can't make brown leather girly, but it can brighten up a sad little screened porch.  I made a cushion for the seat of my old oak bench with some matching fabric, made some new pillow forms for the covers - and voila! - a place to sit outside.  I need to find some sort of little table for the corner there - I have a Mary Engelbreit plant stand, but it's too cute where it is in the bathroom.  The space also needs a weather-proof area rug.  I'll keep pondering...  Did you know that it's cheaper to buy two $2.50 bed pillows from WalMart and turn them each into two pillows than it is to buy ready-made pillow forms - or even a bag of fiber fill?  Just a thrifty tip...
I had to engineer a way to keep my silk ginkgo tree upright - the wind keeps blowing it over.  The last straw was when it broke my pretty green Smith & Hawken pot (on sale for $5 at Target a couple of years ago - I got two green ones and a red one).  I'm going to switch the broken pot out for the other good green one and then flip the broken one over - broken side to the wall - and use it as a stand for my vintage look fan ($12 on sale at WalMart).  And - time to start rotating my ME flags by season - I have a whole bunch of them!  Unfortunately, when I took these photos it had clouded up to rain - that's summer in Florida for you. More screened porch updates this weekend, hopefully!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's always something...

and this is the something that makes your car start.  And when it quits, all you hear is a click and you have to buy a new one.