About Me

My photo

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...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almost time...

to get out the fall decorations!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy birthday, Aggie!

Yep - it's official - Aggie is twelve years old!  I can't believe it - but my sweet cairn is twelve years young today.  She actually came to live with us on December 5, 1998 - but she was just a baby.  See that crazed puppy look?
It was almost Christmas, so she got decorated, too.
Aggie ventures out into the big world - but always on her leash - since cairns are notorious chasers of squirrels and other wildlife.
She posed for a first birthday photograph.
But soon had enough...
Aggie loved to go swimming in my mom's pool.
Tim got Aggie her own raft and boogie board.
She loves her designer collar collection - especially the purple paw print number.  Soon it will be time to put on the Halloween collar!
Aggie met a new friend yesterday - an adorable pug named Chewie.
She got a new toy for her birthday today, but the jury is still out.  I gave it to her and she promptly took it to the living room to hide it from her brother, Peter.  Like a cat would want a chew toy.  She came back and sat next to me - must be waiting for her birthday chicken treat.  Happy birthday, girly!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Spice Cake...

looks pretty on this ME platter - but it should really be Apple Spice Upside-Down Cake.  All of the apples sank to the bottom of the bundt pan!  The flavor is okay, but it's dryer than I would have expected.  Just another one of my culinary experiments...  On Saturday I made a lovely rustic apple tart sweetened with Truvia and a bit of cinnamon.  It was heavenly - and it smelled so good when I took it out of the oven, it never made it to the find a pretty spot to take a photograph stage!  Aggie liked it, too.
See the sunken apples?  I'm not really sure what kind they are - they were firm and sweet - I think I ate or shared all of the honeycrisps!

Monday, September 27, 2010

ME Monday...

 It's Monday again - and I'm sharing two ME Bloom Where You're Planted things from my bathroom.  This is a plaque that's supposed to hang on the wall but it's very heavy and I don't trust nails in drywall.  So I'm using a little wooden easel I have had forever to stand it up on the bathroom vanity.  I love the flower detail!
I love this ME plant stand - and I could kick myself for not buying the fried-egg flower one I saw at the same time.  I usually have the top covered up with a basket of bath supplies, but for the sake of ME Monday, I moved the basket and even dusted the surface!  Now that's ME dedication!
Check out more ME Monday over at Cherry Chick!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday with Peter the Mediocre...

 You mean you wanted to get some work done?
 What?  You want me to move?
 What is that you have there?
 Hmmm...  Doesn't smell like anything I would be interested in...
I think I'll just look out the window now.

Now you can see what I put up with from my junior associate...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arrested Development...

How did I ever miss this show?  I was probably too busy watching movies with Tim - he's a typical male channel surfer who hates commercials and can't stand to watch sitcoms or anything that even remotely resembles a chick flick.  That being said, he would surf the movie channels (we had a satellite dish at the time) and find a movie he'd seen before and then watch it from the middle to the end.  I can't tell you how many partial movies I've seen and pretty much memorized.  I can recite the dialogue from Fargo, Independence Day and Robo Cop (I like it! the idiot criminal shrieks...)  Don't get me wrong, I love movies.  But silly me, I like to watch the whole movie - not just the end.  Anyhow, I was raised on sitcoms.  My dad loved them and since he was in charge of the TV channel - my sister and I alternately served as my dad's remote (I'm showing my age!) - we watched most of the situation comedies that came along.  I loved My Mother the Car, Gilligan's Island, My Favorite Martian - you name it.  I know I missed some during the seventies and eighties due to college and a hectic work schedule - but I have rediscovered comedies over the past several years.  Somehow, I missed Arrested Development.  I caught up on it over the past week on Netflix.  If you haven't seen it, it is hilarious.  I don't think I could even decide which character is the funniest - although I am partial to Buster and George Michael - mainly because while neither of them have a clue, they are probably the sanest members of the family.  Oh, Michael (Jason Bateman) is sane - but this poor guy is stuck with the worst family on earth!  The best part is really the guest stars and the oddball characters they play: Henry Winkler as the clueless attorney, Liza Minelli as the vertigo-plagued neighbor and Charlize Theron as Michael's mentally challenged love interest, to name a few.  The whole story wraps up neatly at the end - but not the way one might imagine.  If you've never seen it, check it out for some great entertainment.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weird dreams...

I know I've probably talked about this before - but where do you think our dreams originate?  Some people think they're random neurons firing in our brains and other people think they are a product of the things preying on our subconscious minds.  I've often wondered if they have something to do with the things we eat before we go to bed - I can't eat peanuts or peanut butter or I will have full-on nightmares!  I wish I could figure this dream out:  the other night I was dreaming that I had nothing to wear as I pawed through a closet full of clothes.  I finally settled on a black skirt, a white sweater and a black & white houndstooth jacket.  Apparently I had gotten a two-week temp job as - wait for it - the Prime Minister of Australia.  Any idea what made me dream that?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm so upset...

And it's silly, really.  See this little devotional flip calendar?  Well, I've had it since I was in high school and I look at it every day.  I usually put it in a spot that it will catch my attention.  After I moved the office home, I ran out of space on my desk and moved it to the laundry closet.  I do laundry every day, so I thought, good spot for it there on top of the dryer.  Wrong...  I just went to put laundry in the dryer only to discover that the wildly vibrating washing machine had knocked a bin of fabric over onto the spray bottle of wrinkle relaxer and it leaked out all over the dryer.  My little calendar absorbed almost all of the liquid!  I've had it for at least 35 years and I know I will never find another one.  The first thing I did after I cleaned up the mess was get online to look for the Ladies Home Bible League in South Holland, Illinois.  Nothing.  Then I searched for devotional flip calendar.  Nothing.  I feel like crying.  Isn't that dumb?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If only...

it were so easy.  But I tell you, prayer is the only thing that works.  I saw myself heading for full-on worry mode today and I just prayed for God to take the burden away from me.  Within a couple of hours, two of my wayward clients called and made appointments to bring their 2009 tax paperwork by so they can file by October 15th!  I am also going to start doing bookkeeping and payroll for the longtime landscaping client who has finally realized that this once-a-year thing isn't working to his advantage.  I know there are doubters who think that the new work is just a coincidence, but I know it isn't. 


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A little late for Yom Kippur...

but I baked this great honey raisin bran bread for breakfast today.  I think I've finally gotten the texture right and enough oil to keep it from being dry.  Aggie actually spit out a raisin when she had a bite!  I was half tempted to put some apples in it, but I think I'll make a Honeycrisp Apple Tart tomorrow to share.  I've been indulging in those wonderful apples my friends brought me from Wisconsin - for lunch and dinner.  They told me the Honeycrisps wouldn't keep as long as the others, so guess which ones I've been eating...

Monday, September 20, 2010

ME Monday...

and I need to learn to be a better photographer.  Well, if you click the picture you can see everything better.  I love the ME Get Over It and Get On With It statue - my husband gave it to me for my birthday once during a particularly trying time in my life.  I have had the little grey scottie dog figure forever - and it reminds me of Aggie.  The white ceramic dog in the photo was mine when I was a little girl and I ran across it again when I was putting stuff away in the closet.  That one reminds me of Monty.
My ME Here's My Heart girl is standing guard next to the sewing area in my bedroom.  She's been dragged around the house a few times by an overly zealous cairn terrier.  None the worse for wear.
Remember to check out ME Monday over at Cherry Chick!

Apples!

My friends Tom & Allen just came back from a vacation in Wisconsin - and they came bearing gifts!  I have a lovely, fragrant bag of fresh-picked Honeycrisp, Cortland and Lura Red apples!  I ate one of the Cortlands for dessert after my lunchtime tuna sandwich and it was wonderful!  Juicy, crisp, sweet!
Thank you, guys!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mama and the blue bargain bras...

Ever have a memory just hit you from out of the blue (pun intended)?  I was folding laundry this morning - yes, actually folding it up! - and I remembered these awful blue bras I had when I was in high school.  It was the 1970s and I was not cool.  Not in the least.  I wasn't really a slave to fashion; all I cared about was marginally fitting in, since I really spent most of my time with my nose in a book.  Anyhow, my parents sent us to a private school with lots of rich kids and my nerdy self was pretty low on the social scale.  It didn't help that my mom, who sewed beautifully and made most of our clothes, had a fashion sense stuck in the 1950s - when she was in high school.  Mama didn't like t-shirts; therefore we were not allowed to wear t-shirts, or even like them, for that matter.  My wardrobe consisted mainly of peasant dresses, blue jeans and my mother's favorite: blouses from Grant's.  Most of these blouses were white or pastel colors.  I hated them, but it's hard to be picky when you don't buy your own clothes and you live with the queen of bargain hunters.  To make matters worse, I also come from a long line of well-endowed women.  My maternal grandmother and her sisters were all at least a 32DD - and my great-aunt who aspired to ice-skating fame was a 32F.  And so - most of my mother's lingerie purchases were based on support and durability.  God help the other women in line at a Playtex sale!  We wore Playtex 18-Hour bras until they were practically threadbare and then replaced with yet another model - always white.  My sister called them iron bras.  Well, one summer before school started, Mama took us to the JC Penney store downtown.  It was really sort of a JC Penney catalog outlet, but they had good prices on some pretty odd-lot merchandise.  Once, when shopping alone one day after school (I was supposed to be at my dad's office), I dared to spend part of my allowance on a pair of nylon hip hugger underwear with pink smiley faces; Mama was mortified and lectured me for days on how nice girls don't wear a) nylon panties, 2) hip hugger panties and D) underwear with smiley faces printed on them.  So my secretly rebellious self wore those things as often as possible - after all, it was my hard-earned dollar.  But I digress...  Hoping to find similar bargains on that back-to-school shopping trip, I couldn't wait to get to the store.  Suffice it to say that my excitement was short-lived when the only bargain to be found that day were three wretched, robin's egg blue MaidenForm bras in just my size.  Not a Playtex 18-Hour iron bra in sight.  My mother went on and on about how well these would hold up - both in terms of support and daily wear - and the die was cast.  I became the proud owner of three blue back-to-school bras.  And remember those blouses my mom was so fond of?  Well, these hideous blue bras on my pale as a ghost skin showed through everything.  Although my mother continually assured me that my unmentionables weren't noticeable, a lot of other people sure noticed them and made more than a few mentions of that fact.  I hated those damn blue bras and I prayed every day that they would just wear out and I could go back to a plain white iron bra.  Mama got her money's worth - those things lasted a whole school year and then some!   

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lazy Saturday...

I love a good nerd comedy.  I love The Big Bang Theory and it irks me that I can't watch it online anywhere.  Netflix doesn't even have it yet.  However, while I was looking for a way to waste time something to watch on Saturday, I remembered that Richard had told me how funny Better Off Ted was.  I think I had actually watched the pilot episode way back when I had cable and so I thought, what the heck?  If you have never seen it, and you love a well-written nerd comedy, then this show is for you.  All of the characters are great, but Portia de Rossi steals the show as iron-lady boss Veronica Palmer.  She is at the same time brilliant and obtuse - and totally self-absorbed - but underneath it all, she has a heart.  Phil and Lem, the two brilliant lab geeks, can invent just about anything - after a fashion.  The dialogue is a riot and each episode contains a commercial for Veridian Dynamics at some point where they tout the company's latest technology.  My favorite is - and I can't even type this without giggling - a "new generation of hurricane-proof dogs."  I mean, was there an old one?  Ted, the main character, is the boss who wants everyone to like him.  He is attracted to Linda, a product tester,  who basically serves as the company's ethical compass.  Well, most of the time.  Better Off Ted is one of those unfortunately short-lived well-written shows that can't seem to snare an audience.  Except after they're cancelled.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thank you!

to everyone for the birthday greetings and good wishes!  My dear friend, Carolyn, sent me this adorable card and doesn't it look like Monty?  I also got the cutest e-card from Cherry Chick with a ginger tabby who looked a lot like Petey.  I had a pretty nice day - Aggie dictated a brief arf history lesson to me and I renewed both my drivers' license and car tag.  We had a turkey sub from Publix for lunch - one of our favorite meals! - and then watched two Clint Eastwood movies: Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can.  I had forgotten how funny Clyde the orangutan was and I simply adore Ruth Gordon.  Now that's a feisty old lady!  I will have to admit that yes, Clint Eastwood can get in touch with his inner moron - case in point: kissing an ape.  My dad loved both those movies - and that made me enjoy them all the more this time around.  A good laugh is a good thing now and then.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arf hisstery...

Sum uv yousz mite think that the ownly famuss cairn wuz Toto frum the Wizzerd uv Oz.  Think again, peepul.  Heerz a breef lessin in arf hisstery.  At the bugginning uv tiem, the wiled cairns roamded and roold the Scottish Hi Lands.  Affder they invayded and konkered Your Rope, there wuz cairns all over.

Leahnardoe Duh Vinchy had a cairn an he paynted her with that famuss Moana Leesa lady.  She gotz that smerky look on her fayce cuz she's the ownly lady in Iddally with a cairn.
Vinscent Van Go had three cairns who liekt to go out at nite with him wile he paynted.  This cairn reely liekt the eyerisses.  They wuz glad Vinscent leff there eerz aloan. 


Sum uther guy paynted Saynt Francis with cairns and sum uther anumulls.  See how the cairns iz the moast impourtant.  Saynt Francis sed so.

Clod Moanay liekt his cairn so mutch he paynted her with the watter lillees.

Affder cairns came to Amareika, some guy naymded Grant Wud paynted these ole peepul with there cairn.  See, there iz lotz uv famuss cairns.  Now yousz guys know all aboud it.