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...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lemonade Makin' Mama...

got me thinking about hymns - and about my favorite, which is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, written in 1758.  I've always loved the melody and the fact that it lends itself well to being sung a capella.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
 
I realized that most of my favorites are really what one would classify as American folk hymns.  What's your favorite hymn?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wonderful reading...

If you like writers who develop characters in the style of Maeve Binchy and you love to cook, then this book is for you.  The writer's style is very similar to Binchy's - mainly the way her characters interact and how their stories become entwined - and it's very lyrically written.  It made me want to put the book down and cook something.  Well, almost.  I had to finish reading the book first.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Resting my mind...

at night after a long day of numbers running around in my head - and I chose to watch the new George Clooney DVD - what was I thinking?  It was funny, but not nearly as funny as I'd hoped and if you don't know what a Jedi is and why it's so funny that Ewan McGregor's character didn't know what a Jedi was, well, it wasn't really very funny at all.  Jeff Bridges, on the other hand, makes a great hippie type, man.  But then, we all knew that from watching The Big Lebowski.  Kevin Spacey is an adequate bad guy.  The sad thing is, the story the movie is based on is probably true.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hi, I'm Joe Isuzu...

And the winner is a cute little 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport.
It runs, has new tires, air-conditioning and it's in great shape.
Best of all, I could afford it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A change of pace...


Time for a blog re-design...  I have this print on the wall by my desk and it always makes me smile.  I've only offended one New Yorker with it - so far.  Aggie and I are serious Mary Engelbreit fans - as if you couldn't tell by now! - and since spring is fast arriving - we've switched to this cherry theme for a while.  Actually, the ME cherry file folder on my desk inspired me to search out a cherry background and banner for our blog.  And actually - I'm really trying to occupy my mind with something other than the search for a different vehicle...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ford Expedition - RIP

Well, it's time to say goodbye to an old, faithful friend.  My 1998 Ford Expedition has died an untimely death.  Well, it's grip on life was tenuous at best, but this is certainly not the best time for it to go and take one last, shuddering breath and drop dead on me.  I noticed a funny noise on the way to work yesterday from the bank and by the time I got to the office it had overheated completely and the oil light was flashing.  I had it towed to the garage (thank goodness for AAA!) and they later advised me that the situation was indeed terminal.  The only fix was an engine transplant to the tune of $7,000 - which of course I do not have and do not see any wisdom whatsoever is trying to resucitate a twelve-year-old SUV with almost 200,000 miles on it.  I can't complain - I've had only a few minor problems with it.  I used to climb inside every morning and pat the dashboard while thanking Mr. Ford for starting up yet another day.
Aggie loves going for a ride - and she won't even get to say good-bye.  Cari's boyfriend has a similar model and year Expedition and he wants to buy it for parts.  Time to hunt for a serviceable used vehicle...
Aggie says it had better be sporty enough for her to be seen about town in!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Divine intervention...

I can't remember if I used this graphic before, but if I have - well, it bears repeating.  I am thankful every day for the blessings that God has showered upon me - many of them in time of great need.  Even more when I'm feeling absolutely desperate.  I've been concerned lately about moving my office home in July and how I am going to make enough money every month to just keep going.  Well, yesterday, God sent me yet another opportunity - a tax client who wants me to do something for them on a monthly basis.  And I thought to myself: well, there's the electric bill.  I love how God looks out for the little things in our lives.  That thought has made today's events a little easier; I'm dealing with an unexpected auto repair right now.  I had the oil changed a couple of weeks ago - just routine service, I thought - and have had nothing but trouble since.  Today the SUV overheated terribly and the engine started making a funny noise.  The man from AAA (sounds like The Man from U.N.C.L.E, huh?) just towed it to the nice garage that helped me with my small key problem last fall.  That unexpected repair wasn't nearly as costly as I had imagined (worried!) it would be and I am praying that today's problem is of the same, low-cost variety.  Yes, everything is a blessing in disguise - I just need to keep reminding myself...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thin mint revenge...

Aggie and I - well, mostly me - ate a whole box of Thin Mints this weekend.   I had gotten them for Tim, along with an extra bottle of blood orange soda because he loves it, for when he was supposed to come and visit us week before last.  He was apparently too busy to drive down from Tampa during the two weeks that he was there, so we decided not to save his treats for him.  It's not like I even know when we will see him again.  I don't know why I let it bother me; it sure doesn't bother him.  All that sugar didn't do anything for my mood, either. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yo-yos!

I love the kind that spin on a string, too - but aren't these yo-yo flowers great?  I have an age-old pillow made of flour sack fabric yo-yos that was my grandmother's - it's one of my greatest treasures.  I think that these are the cutest idea I've seen in a while!  Makes me want to stitch some up...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lost in Austen...


Exactly.  See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Three things today...

Top o' the mornin' to ye!

We watched Did You Hear About the Morgans? last night.  It was typical Hugh Grant fare - hesitantly funny, I call his demeanor - and the bonus was Sam Elliott as the Wyoming US Marshal who watched over the Morgans in Witness Protection.  Mary Steenburgen was great as his gun-loving wife.

And finally...

Why do we think it's okay to fertilize organic vegetables with cow manure - and mulch our flower beds with nutrient rich materials, but it's somehow unsanitary to let dog poop decompose in our yards?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Irish jokes...

I've received a plethora of emails today with Irish jokes.  Here's the best one:

An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut . The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.
He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?'
'Just water,' says the priest.
The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'
The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!'

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another new flavor...

Pepsi Max with lime - and zero calories.
I had good intentions this weekend - I took my camera home and was going to take pictures of my new place (since I've finally gotten everything put away!) but all I ended up photographing was an ever-wiggling Aggie and this Pepsi on the kitchen counter.  It's actually quite good, for Pepsi.  I'm a Diet Coke diva.
She's faster than digital technology!

And check out this hilarious movie - I watched it twice.  It's a very fast-paced comedy and I missed some of the key points the first time around.  Very neatly-wrapped up ending, too.  And it didn't hurt that Sam Elliott plays a hitman known as The Mormon.  The film festival continues tomorrow with Did You Hear About the Morgans?  - stay tuned...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is the Bronze Star for bravery?

Well, if it is, then Peter deserves one.  He has ventured up on the desk! 
Of course, I was the only one in the office, but still...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dapper Derek Dumbass and the lint-laden drainpipe...

Okay - I'll admit that it's my fault that the washer drainpipe was clogged.  I washed two chenille throws that I had no business washing and the lint from said throws was everywhere - it is no small wonder that the washer drain was clogged.  I was truly amazed that the thing didn't blow up.  It was clogged so badly the washer wouldn't even drain - just kept flashing F21 on the front panel.  I wrung the stupid throws out by hand and put them in the dryer where they basically disintegrated into lint and small green fibers.  I promptly bagged what was left of the throws for the trash and had to vacuum out the dryer!  That was Sunday afternoon.  On Monday morning, I promptly called the condo office and put in a maintenance request.  When I had heard nothing as of Wednesday afternoon, I called again.  They promised me that they would see to my washer problem (at this point it's a debacle...) first thing Thursday - today - morning.  Well, at a little after three, the appointed maintenance man, if you could even call him that, knocked on my door.  He was spotlessly clean, immaculately coiffed and jumped to the side like a girl when Aggie tried to greet him in her classic cairn way.  I mentally named him Derek and directed him to the laundry closet.  He was carrying the manual for the washer as he minced across the living room in his polo shirt and pressed khaki shorts.  He became Dapper Derek at that point when I realized he was wearing top-siders and no socks. He proceeded to push buttons and unplug the washing machine, all the while consulting his pristine Sears Kenmore manual.  That's when he became Dapper Derek Dumbass.  There's just something about watching a mere mortal man flounder about helplessly trying to fix something simple that just brings out the snippiness in me.   A snip, my grandmother used to call me.  Well, I couldn't help myself.  "I know what's wrong with it," I said, a bit sarcastically.  He turned and looked at me.  "The drainpipe is clogged.  That's what F21 means."  I added helpfully, "I looked it up online."  He gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.  "I'll have to go look up how to fix it," he said and started for the door.  There was no way I was letting this guy get away so quickly after having waited almost all day for his arrival - I couldn't afford to waste another day at home during tax season.  "I already know how to fix it," I replied.  "You take off the bottom panel on the front."  He started to speak and I interrupted him.  "There are just three screws."  And then I saw the panic on his face.  He might have to get dirty.  Or ruin his manicure.  Honestly, if you were a prissy guy, would you even take a job as a maintenance man?  When I call for a repairman, I want a dirty, unkempt guy.  I want someone who looks like he's been working.  Not some clean preppy guy whose name probably is Derek.  Just then there was another knock on the door.  "Come in!" I said, hanging on to Aggie's leash.  Thank you, Lord!  It was Sean, the regular dirty maintenance guy who knows everything.  He greeted Aggie with a pat on the head and a "Hey there, varmint."  He and Derek conferred briefly and then Sean went out to get the shop-vac to get the water out of the washing machine and drain the clogged pipe.  After a few minutes of expert maintenance conducted almost single-handedly by the unkempt regular guy, the job was done.  Sean even tightened my doorknob on the way out the door.  It's a pity we can't just contact the right maintenance guy for the job directly, instead of having to put in a request and take our chances with the repairman lottery.  All's well that ends well, I guess.  Now I just have to catch up on the laundry!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thinking deep, theological thoughts...

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
James Russell Lowell

The other day a friend of mine said that she doesn't like the idea of God testing us.  She said that she doesn't think He has time to sit around thinking of things to throw our way with which to test our mettle.  I asked her if she thought God had time to watch over us and send good things our way.  "Well, of course," was her reply.  I asked her why she thought He had time for that but not time to test us.  All I got was a puzzled glance.  She admitted that she just didn't really like the idea of a God who would test our faithfulness.  "I just don't like the word test," she said.  I suggested that maybe God challenges us to make the right choices and in doing so, helps us to become better people.  She decided that she could live with an occasional challenge from above more easily than she could a test.  The whole idea of challenges from God got me thinking about how everything, from little challenges to major hurdles, is really a blessing in disguise - like James Russell Lowell's thoughts about weeds and flowers.  I've made more than my fair share of wrong choices in what were surely tests from God , but I'm learning to make the right choices much more often. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

If I could just kick the habit...

of daily Diet Coke, I'd switch to italian soda.  Same habit, I guess - different flavor.  I love the Archer Farms Blood Orange Soda from Target, but they don't always have it.  I got a bottle the other day ($2.47! - another reason why I haven't made the switch...) and I was just enjoying a refreshing beverage on ice.   Hmph - sounds funnier when David Letterman says it.  Well, I actually think he says adult beverage, in which I very rarely, if ever, indulge.  Okay, everything is funnier when David Letterman says it.  Another small sip - oh yes...  That is just too good for words.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I'm not complaining...

mind you, because it will be hotter than a June bride in a feather bed before we know it,
but is it even going to warm up just a little?  This is Florida, for heaven's sake!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Better with age...

just like Sean Connery, don't you think?  We are having a Sam Elliott film festival at my house right now.  Last night Aggie and I watched Road House for the umpteenth time.  Who could even think Patrick Swayze, may he rest in peace, was even worthy of second look with Sam Elliott around?  The best part of that whole movie was Sam Elliott dancing in the diner with Kelly Lynch.  When she walks away, he's leaning over with that look on his face and says, "That girl has altogether too many brains to have an ass like that."  The quintessential Elliott.  We watched Ghost Rider on Thursday night - I'm not a Nicholas Cage fan, but any movie with Sam Elliott in it, even for a minute, is worth watching.  I've always wondered if he's as nice as he is seriously good-looking - and well, sexy.  It might just be the voice, but he's got that whole silver hair thing going on too.  And the mustache.  And that look.  You know the one.  Sigh.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Serious cuteness...

You know how when you start a new business you have all sorts of ideas - most of which never come to fruition?  Well, I was going to have shirts with my beehive logo on them.  One thing led to another and things didn't start out as well as I had hoped and these lovely shirts languished in my store room for almost two years.  I had all but forgotten about the idea when one of my favorite clients who has a consignment shop told me that she got a new embroidery machine.  The aha! moment arrived at last...  I asked her if she would be interested in doing a beehive logo for me - this was last fall, mind you - and she said to let her play around and see what she could come up with.  When she dropped her tax stuff off last month, I gave her the shirts and I have been waiting with anticipation for the finished product.  And look!  They're here!  Aren't the beehive and bees just the cutest thing?  She had to create the design from several different pictures and digitize it, but I think they look absolutely wonderful.  She said it was a great learning experience; she had always thought that creating her own design would be too hard, but she was proud of the results, too.  It looks great on the purple, doesn't it?
This shirt is actually that sort of pukey-green I like, but it's hard to tell.  Maybe it's more of a sage green.
The pink is very pale - even more so next to the purple.  I think she did a wonderful job - even if I am only going to get to wear them to the office until July.  It's not like I'm going to change my logo after I'm working from home.  And it goes with the Busy Bee Cards theme, too.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Aggie is driving me nuts...

I love my little dog.  Wasn't she the cutest puppy?
Our cat Louie (no tail - sweet boy!) was her first friend.  She would dawdle around outside when she went out to go potty and to get her to go inside, all I had to say was, "Louie's waiting!" and in she'd run.
Most of the cats, like Frodo (el cow-cat grande) here, would just ignore her.
She is always full of surprises.  Actually, I think she likes to have her picture taken.
She also thinks that cairns belong on tables.  She would wait by the door for her dad to come home.  Or maybe it was just to be close to her leash and little LL Bean backpack.  Yes, she would actually carry her treats to Grandma's house in her backpack.  Too cute for words.

But... her allergies are acting up - dry skin from the dry air with the heat on lately, I guess - and she is scratching like mad!  I've given her benadryl and sprayed her with benadryl anti-itch spray to no avail.  I guess we are going to have to go for an allergy shot.  The itch-itch-itch and the follow-up lick-lick-lick is driving me crazy!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Menopause - not for everyone...


Don't they make this look like something you ought to join?  Like the DAR or something?  Kinda makes you want to start an all-girl rock band called The Hot Flashes...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Maybe my sense of humor is out of whack...

but I didn't think that this movie was all that funny.  In fact, parts of it were downright sad.  I will have to say that there are times when it would be absolutely refreshing to say exactly what I am thinking - and there are also times when I am incredibly thankful that people cannot hear what I am thinking.  Case in point - my last client on Friday, who is a study in bitterness.  I've been mulling the whole interminably long hour she was here over and over again and I feel a diatribe on bitterness coming on.  First, however, I will have to introduce the Chihuahua and her dead poodle, Pepito, to you, dear readers.  And I can't even begin to think about them today.  Suffice it to say, La Chihuahua is a long story for another day.  Stay tuned...