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...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Comfort food...

and literary Comfort Food.  I liked Kate Jacobs' Friday Night Knitting Club so much that I checked out her second book - and it was great!  After a dinner of chicken pot pie (no, not from scratch - from Stouffer's and the microwave), Aggie and I settled down to read.  Well, I read and she napped.  What else is new?  If you like to cook, and have watched more than a few shows on The Food Network, you will love this book.  Jacobs develops her characters and story line in the style of Maeve Binchy (I say that a lot about writers, don't I?) and seemingly disparate characters and events all work their way into a neatly tied up ending.  Just like Maeve Binchy.  My canine colleague and I highly recommend this book. 
And chicken pot pie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A book is always better...

than a movie.  Case in point: Made in the USA by Billie Letts - which I read in its entirety as soon as I finished watching Sherlock Holmes.  Should have just kicked back and read a book in the first place!  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed her first book, Where the Heart Is, when I read it years ago and I ran across this one and decided to jump in.  I'm so glad I did - it's written with the same tone and flavor as the first book I read and now I am looking forward to two others she has published over the past few years.  I've never seen the movie based on Where the Heart Is, but I think I am going to add it to my Netflix queue - which is slowly winding down to nothing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some kind of stinker...

I love a mystery.  And a mystery with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - even better.  But what a stinker!  I couldn't even make it all the way through this bomb.  I have loved Robert Downey, Jr. since Heart and Souls - and while I am not a big fan of Jude Law - I was willing to take a chance on this film.  I should have know that anyone with the poor sense to marry Madonna would be incapable of directing a decent detective movie.  The whole setting was bleak and dirty, as I imagine London must have been in the late nineteenth century, but honestly!  I wanted to give everything a good scrubbing.  I watched for about an hour and fifteen minutes and gave up - boring!  I'm going to try to finish it tonight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Okay, I'm seriously spoiled...

and I am having the most amazing vegetable quesadilla for lunch - courtesy of my friendly restauranteur-client, Cari and her magic kitchen.  It's got tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, ripe olives and cheese. 
And it is absolutely divine. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

And I'm back...

We started our staycation in Jackson, Mississippi, home to the incomparable Eudora Welty, by reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  It was excellent - well worth the time.  After a brief nap, we made our way back east to Washington, DC when we watched National Treasure.  We made a brief stop in Philadelphia and ended up in NYC, under the Trinity Church on Wall Street.  But then, you've probably seen the movie.  
 
Next, we winged it to Paris with Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, that wonderful, brooding Irishman Gabriel Byrne and that Leo kid while we watched The Man in the Iron Mask.  Okay, so the Eiffel Tower wasn't there in 1662, but I doubt that the real Aramis was as charismatic as that Jeremy Irons.  And then there's Gabriel Byrne...  I think that this is the only movie I've ever seen where John Malkovich isn't crazy. 
Still not a big fan of that Leo kid.
It was fun - brief, but stress-free.  I was at the office by 7:45 am on Sunday so that I could meet the guy who was installing my replacement AC unit - but he was sick and couldn't come until this afternoon.  Petey and I had a nice visit and I did some work.  When it got too hot to stay here any longer, I took my Netflix fix of Ghost Ship (yes - another Gabriel Byrne movie!) and went home to another quiet afternoon for a brief nap and no phone calls!

I am now happy to report that I have air conditioning at the office again and it is so nice and cool in here.  Just in time to go home!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm heading out...

for a brief staycation.  Just a couple of days - all to myself.  I'm leaving the office early today and dropping by Publix for a few staples.  I'm making meatloaf for dinner tonight, along with roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli and tomato mozzarella salad.  Banana bread for dessert (and the rest of the weekend) - have to use up those ripe bananas... I'm stocking up on Diet Coke and some sliced turkey for Aggie.  I've got books and movies and I'm going to read until the wee hours and sleep late if I feel like it.  And I'm not answering the phone.  So there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I've been minding my own business...

avoiding persons engaged in public urination - and in voicing my objections thereto - and I've decided that it's time for a little staycation.  Ever have one of those days you feel like you're going to come unglued if just one more person asks you a stupid question?  Or if the phone rings one more time?  I'm there.  And I've been there for about a week.  And I really need to do something about it.  Tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Okay, I have a sick sense of humor...

but this is the funniest headline I have seen in a long time:

Man's throat slashed after
objecting to public urination

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sophie, the prodigal cat...

has returned.  Thank goodness!  She is one of my babies who moved to Pennsylvania with Tim and then to a farm with the cat lady.  She is one of the last five (along with Wally, Louie, Lucie Bee, Ernie - and of course, my boy Eddie) that have not found new homes.  Well, Ernie had a home with a vet along with his brothers Jake and Toby, but they brought him back because the vet's wife couldn't put up with Ernie's nocturnal howling.  Imagine that!  Sophie is thirteen years old and completely declawed.  She is a beautiful calico with a sweet disposition - but she got scared by a cow that got into their part of the barn and Sophie took off for parts unknown.  She was always scared of Aggie - imagine what she must have thought of a cow!  I was very worried about her - and prayed for days that she would come back.  Well, Tim reported to me yesterday that Sophie had finally returned after the cat lady from the farm coaxed her out from under the neighbor's porch with a can of soft cat food.  She apparently seems none the worse for wear, but I am still very thankful that she has returned unharmed. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ray and me...

went for a ride today.  Okay, I know that the grammatically correct version should be Ray and I, but Ray and me just sounded better.  Oh, have I mentioned that I named my car Ray?  I'm trying to like him better - and I think we just haven't really gotten used to each other yet.  When you are accustomed to driving the Ford Motor Company equivalent of a tank, a normal-sized SUV takes a bit of getting used to.  Ray is much smaller, lighter and his engine only has six cylinders.  He doesn't have quite as much get up and go as his predecessor, but we're trying to focus on his good points.  Ray runs, his air conditioner works and I can fill up his tank for a mere $30.  I named him Ray for several reasons - mainly because that's a name I've used a lot over the years.  Remember in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner's wife yells, "Ray!  Dinner!" and Ray Liotta and the rest of the ghost team mock him?  Well, when Tim used to be holed up in his computer room playing that dang World of Warcraft for hours on end, world without end, amen  (I am not exaggerating) the only way I would get his attention to come out and eat dinner, which by the way was terribly overcooked by the time he would actually stop playing and eat, was to scream "Ray! Dinner!" at the top of my lungs.  Worked every time.  Eventually.  I also, over the years, recognized the startling similarities between my husband and Ray Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond fame.  You know how Ray does his best to avoid actually doing anything other than work and what he wants to do?  Well, he and my husband may have been separated at birth.  So that's reason number two.  And finally, given that all of my previous vehicles have been named Bruce (after Springsteen or Willis, take your pick) I asked my friend Dorene for a suggestion as to what to name this new SUV.  She suggested naming it after her late husband, Ray, who was a dear, dear man who loved God and cairn terriers, in that order.  "He'll work hard for you," she said.  So, Ray Isuzu it is.  He's not terribly speedy, but that's a good thing.  We went to the SuperTarget and he waited patiently in the parking lot while I putzed around in the store for a while.  He didn't complain when I loaded the passenger seat up with soda, paper, envelopes and dog food for Aggie.  He didn't say a word when I crammed my old lady cart into the back seat.  He started right up and we chugged across town toward home and found a nice, shady parking spot right in front of the apartment.  Yes, I think Ray and I are going to get along just fine - as long they don't have me committed when I yell, "Ray! Dinner!" at the gas station fuel pump.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Now to start scanning...

Two spent toner cartridges and a network meltdown later, I have this pile of client paperwork to scan for tax year 2009.  I started out so well this year, too.  The first few weeks, I scanned my paperwork at the end of every work day - and then disaster struck - well, not disaster, but certainly inconvenience.  My network scanner refused to work and the papers started to pile up.  Tim finally fixed my network printer and scanner difficulties last weekend when he was in Tampa working on a client project.  Guess what I'll be working on for the next week in between bookkeeping and the odd tax return?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Still working...

on this year's work of stuff from a restaurant client.  It is a complete disaster!  I know it is not going to be finished on time - but his corporate return has been late since March 15 - well before he even called me, so there's nothing to be done about that.  I told him that if he wants the tax return to be correct, it is going to take more than a couple of days.  Fortunately, I am taking him on as a new bookkeeping and payroll client, so 2010 will not be anything like this mess.  I'm just concentrating on getting through the next day with my established clients - my slackers are straggling in...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For me?

My friend Jill made me this gorgeous card - complete with a bookmark!  It's so pretty, I can't bear to tear the bookmark off the side.  She is a cardmarker extraordinaire - you can check out her work here.  I love it when someone takes the time to make me a special card!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am not complaining. I am not complaining...


I have been so busy this morning I haven't had time to think.  Or pee, for that matter.  Busy is a good thing, but I am just about wrung out.  It's hot in here - I have the door open and the fan going.  I just took a quick break to eat lunch because I hadn't eaten anything since yesterday afternoon (stupid tooth!) and the phone has finally stopped ringing.  I will never understand procrastinators, I really won't.  There are only two sure things in this life: death and taxes.  And I have come to the conclusion that some people fear taxes more than the Grim Reaper.  Honestly, people - it's just the IRS!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A (painfully brief) word to the wise...

Avoid eating Twizzlers - or any other sticky candy for that matter - when you have a broken molar in dire need of the attention of your dentist.  But that's another (excruciatingly) long story...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Why don't more people barter?

I traded doing taxes for a neck & shoulder massage today.  It was amazing - and I am so relaxed!  Apparently, I was very tense from hunching over my paperwork and computer screen.  At least seven of my clients are massage therapists and I finally took one of them up on a massage.  Bartering is a great thing!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Another library book...

courtesy of my friend Richard.  He'll read a good book and then share before he has to take it back to the local library.  This one, New Tricks, was about a dog - obviously - but it was an excellent mystery.  I mean, I had my suspicions, but there were a lot of red herrings.  The ending was a surprise - and it ended happily ever after for the humans (well, except for the dead ones) and the dogs, so that was fine by me.  Apparently the author has several other dog mysteries out there, so I am going to check them out.  Light reading, but well written and funny!  The main character and his friend compete with one another in song-talking, as they call it - speaking to one another in song lyrics as conversation.  For example, I stayed up late trying to finish the book, but my head grew heavy and my sight grew dim; I had to stop for the night.  You know, song-talking.  Ha!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I'm thankful for my friends...

I think Long thought I was going to expire from the heat yesterday - so he just came in with a fan.  Bless his generous little heart!  My air conditioning is non-existent, but that is a long story for another day...  He got this great fan at WalMart for only $26!  Guess where I am going after work - to get my own!  He says they use the fan to keep the fumes down in the nail salon and he says within five minutes, with the front and back doors open, the place smells great.  I'm enjoying the breeze - it sure makes eighty degrees more bearable!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Alas, only one bottle...

of Blood Orange soda to be found in the Target this morning!  I stopped on the way to work to buy printer paper - not a good thing to run out of during tax season.  I was horrified to find yesterday afternoon that I was opening the last ream!  There was method to my madness, though, when I decided to buy paper at my favorite store - aside from the 750-sheet packages being only $5.49 each - I went on the hunt for the orange soda.  And, I got to admire some of the Liberty of London collection they have right now - the stationery is to die for - but I was good and didn't buy anything but printer paper, soda and on-sale chewy granola bars (for my clients).  I will definitely be watching for the little red sale stickers on the LoL stationery - I had major visions of embellishing them with stamped images and bling...

Monday, April 05, 2010

A balmy Florida day...

As you can see, I have propped the front door open with my trusty flowerpot with the huge fake African violet inside.  It's so nice outside today - not too cool, not too hot - and I wish Florida were like this all the time.  Unfortunately, summer is coming - although I hope that summer is as mild as winter was cold - for a change!  I had a new client this morning who is on her way to work on a horse ranch in Montana - talk about getting paid for something you love to do - she's going to ride horses all day long!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Another great book...

Well, you can't really click to look inside - I copied the image from Amazon.com (click there for the book information) - but this is a wonderful book.  It's a wonderful story about friendship, first love and family.  I've been trying to read new authors instead of sticking to my old favorites (Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, David Baldacci) and I've read some surprisingly good books.  It's getting me out of the murder mysteries a bit and I have to admit I'm liking just reading fiction for a change.
Even a few chick lit books!

Okay, not to be picky, but I just read the funniest thing.  I've always been a stickler for spelling - and sometimes misspellings are actually pretty hilarious.  I just clicked on this link about spiritually unequal marriage and found this:  The Bible has quite a bit to say about Christians being “unequally yolked”. What does this mean and how big of an issue is it to the church today?  Okay - is this an Easter thing or something about the unfair distribution of easter eggs?  Or did they mean "yoked" as in oxen hitched to a wagon?  I know I shouldn't laugh, but it really tickled my twisted sense of humor.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A nice surprise...

One of my clients just brought me this sweet bouquet of spring flowers!  I love the hot pink mini-carnations and the daisies - and it even has some of my favorite: alstromerias!  It was such a lovely thought; I feel like I'm celebrating Spring.  I had just realized this morning that I forgot to get out any of my Easter things.  I guess it's a little late now for that - I'll just enjoy my pretty bouquet.