Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Manic Monday ~ TRADITION

We had a very nice, quiet Christmas Day. Our friend, Ed, who lives in Sonora, CA (picture to the left) was our houseguest for 2 days. He INSISTED: NO CHRISTMAS GIFTS. Well, sometimes I shop early. So this year we celebrated birthdays, which I thought was appropriate. Instead of cake we had a pecan pie. Ed even brought lobster tails for Christmas… er Birthday Eve dinner.

I met Ed back in the summer of 2002. I was living just north of Sacramento and working for Bill Simon who was, at that time, running for governor of California. Ed grew up in the San Francisco Bay area but moved to Sonora in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 20 years ago to get away from the “drugs” game. He did well in overcoming that addiction. However, when I met him, he still had a love affair with beer. Then one day he said, “No more booze.” And that was the end of that. I do admire him for being able to do that. Anyway, Ed and I became really good friends. When I moved back to Massachusetts in 2003 to take care of my mother we still kept in touch. He even showed up in Reno to be the best man at my wedding in 2004.

This man is a character. He has decided that his alter-persona is that of a moose. In some circles, he is known as Mr. Moose. His email address has Mr. Moose in it and when he calls his ISP with a problem, they indeed do call him Mr. Moose. Of course, we call him “Moosie”. To this day, he visits as often as he can.

I say "as often as he can" because Ed drives a 1979 yellow Cadillac – we call it the land yacht. And we often think this car is on its last leg. When Ed decides to visit, we wait anxiously until he and the car pull into the drive.

I digress… So, Ed insisted on not exchanging Christmas gifts. And this is what he did… the week before Christmas, Ed went to the dollar store and bought about $50 worth of small toys and gifts. Then he took them to the local elementary school in Sonora and donated them for the kids’ Christmas party in his name AND in our names. From this gesture, instigated by our friend Ed, we have decided NOT to exchange Christmas gifts, but to use that money and contribute every year to the Sonora elementary school’s Christmas. After the post I wrote on December 15th, I wondered what y’all would think of me agreeing to do this on a yearly basis. My reasoning in agreeing to this is: who better to know what children need than their teachers? Perhaps this will help me get over my paranoia about being charitable at this time of year. So, this is our plan for beginning a new TRADITION in our small family. And I am extremely happy with the decision.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Calling in "sick" today

Today is Saturday, Dec. 27, the 362nd day of 2008. There are four days left in the year.

On this date:
In 1904, James Barrie's play "Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" opened at the Duke of York's Theater in London.

Today, I am calling in "sick"(of being an adult)...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Doodle Week ~ Wednesday ~ GINGERBREAD

I am really trying to enjoy doodle week. Actually, it is kinda fun... since I have no other planned activities for tonight. I may not get the angel done for tomorrow as we have company arriving in the early afternoon... and the computer will be forgotten for a bit. So with this artistic rendering, I have tried to encompass all 3 of the elements so far this week. Here we have loaf of unsliced gingerbread, in a room with candy cane striped wallpaper and a Christmas Tree.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Did you know that baby candy canes are born without stripes?


How did my mother do it? How did she face this holiday season and come through it without inflicting bodily harm on anyone (specifically me, I was – am - such a witch)? How in the great scheme of all that is Christmas, did she do it? The shopping, the baking, the wrapping, the cleaning, the preparing for and cooking for company and dealing with us kids… how the heck did she do it?

Chris and I finished making four batches of cookies; and I am very pleased about that – oatmeal gumdrop, Baileys Brownies (this was a new idea of mine, use Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of water… oh YUMMMMMMM), chocolate chip, and cut out sugar cookies. And we have sampled them ALL. The menus are planned and, unless appetites have wandered too far through my refrigerator and pantry, all items should be in place. Hmmmm… perhaps I should post the menu on the door of the refrigerator least someone be tempted.

I think all my shopping is done and the gifts are wrapped. When my boys were growing up, I had to save all the wrapping for Christmas Eve. And, I had to remember where the heck I hid everything. (Three boys really could overpower me and get the hidden keys to the hiding places.) Now all I have to do is clean up the guest room for our friend who arrives on Wednesday – that can be done on Tuesday, right? Oh, and then there’s the bathroom… clean that also (check).

I don’t know about you guys, but I am exhausted just thinking about all this. Am thinking that a nap is sounding really, really good and it’s still morning. But my naps usually last about 15 minutes then SOMEONE just HAS to ask me a question.
Don’t you see me with my eyes closed and hear me quietly snoring on the sofa?? Don’t ya?? HUH??

P.S. No family member or memory has been damaged in the making of this post… I ‘stole’ all the pictures from the www

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Manic Monday ~ TREE

At the moment, I am at a loss for words.
I don't know what to say about TREEs.
I like this pyramid of snowmen that sorta resembles a TREE.
They are cute and appear to be happy.
Nice for this time of year.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

These are those 'jelly' letters.
I am using them to make sure that noone inadvertently walks through my sliding glass door.
I thought it would be cute if I put them up like an eye chart in the shape of a TREE.
The letters didn't show up in the first picture I took, so I had my son hold up a quilt's lining against the sliding glass door. The sun was shining very brightly that morning and the quilt pattern shown through.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is my Christmas TREE - and I do still call it that.
Hubby and I think that next year we will down-size a bit as this one is getting really old and has the ability to fall apart in a puff of wind. Since I took this picture, there have been some presents magically appearing under the tree. It's begining to look a lot like Christmas around here. Now if I can just keep Gilbert & Sullivan away from them. :o)


Blessings of this season of miracles to all

Olympia Snowe

I got an email about this yesterday...
what a GRAND idea... and I do mean
Meet Olympia Snowe...

The "snowwoman" towering over this village features eyelashes created from discarded skis and bright red lips made from painted car tires. She wears a giant red hat and a 100-foot-long scarf, and her blond tresses are made from rope. She gets a little bling from a snowflake pendant that's 6 feet long.

"She's a beauty. Gotta love those eyelashes," said Robin Zinchuk, executive director of the local chamber of commerce and a chief instigator of the town's offbeat project.

"What does Bethel, Maine, do when it gets tough? We build a snowman!" he said to the muffled applause of mittens and gloves clapping together. "Olympia," named for Maine's senior senator, Olympia Snowe, stands nearly 10 feet taller than "Angus, King of the Mountain," who wasdedicated by the town in 1999. That snowman, named for then-Gov. Angus King, was created by the same folks responsible for Olympia.

Angus, King of the Mountain

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My son Christopher (who lives with us) and I are going make Christmas Cookies this weekend. I shall be surprised if there are many left after Thursday. My mom always made gumdrop cookies. Basically these are oatmeal cookies that have cut-up spiced gum drops in them... sooooooooooo good. We will also make Bailey's brownies, chocolate chip cookies and some cut-out sugar cookies. Anyway... while we are baking away, I will drive my son and hubby nuts playing my new favorite Christmas song... I heard Enya sing this Wednesday or Thursday on Live with Regis and Kelly.


Have you seen the mistletoe, it fills the night with kisses
Have you seen the bright blue star, it fills your heart with wishes
Have you seen the candlelight, it shines from every window
Have you seen the moon above, it lights the sky in silver

Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight and crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night that everyone remembers

Have you heard the boys outside, when all the girls are skating
Have you heard their sweet hearts cry for all this time they’re waiting

Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight and crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night that everyone remembers

Have you seen the children playing, tiny hands are frozen
Have you seen them hurry home, when suddenly its snowing

Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight and crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night that everyone remembers

Have you heard that bells are ringing, ringing at their story
Have you heard the choir singing, glory, glory glory

Friday, December 19, 2008

At the end of August, my oldest son and I drove from Sacramento, CA to Pittsfield, MA.
It took a week to accomplish this.
This picture was taken heading east on I-80 in Wyoming.
The storm cloud, which produced about 100 raindrops, looked like a giant bird swooping down on us.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

End of the Saga

I think I shall hurry this saga along... it definitely is getting tedious. But my thinking brain has not been in gear lately and I wanted to post SOMETHING!!

December 18, 1972

Dearest John:

What a surprise. Today the postman delivered FIVE GOLDEN RINGS, one for every finger on my right hand. You're just impossible, but I love it. Frankly all those bird squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.

All my love, Agnes

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 19, 1972

Dear John:

When I opened the door today there were actually SIX GEESE LAYING on my front steps. So you're back to the birds again, huh? These geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are complaining and I can't sleep through the racket.

Please stop.

Cordially, Alice

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 20, 1972


What's with you and these freaking birds? SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING? What kind of joke is this? There's bird poop all over the house and they never stop the racket. I can't sleep at night and I am a nervous wreck. It's not funny. So stop with these freaking birds!!

Sincerely, Agnes

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 21, 1972

O.K. Buster:

I think I prefer the birds. What the heck am I going to do with 8 MAIDS A MILKING?? It's not enough with all those birds, but the 8 maids had to bring their darn cows - 8 of them! There is manure all over the lawn and I can't move in my own house.

You must think you're really cute... please cut it out.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 22, 1972

Hey Bonehead:

Now there's NINE LADIES DANCING. I don't know why I call those sluts ladies. They've been playing loud music and dancing around all night long. Now the cows can't sleep and they've got diarrhea. My living room is a river of crap. The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn't be condemned.

You'll get yours!!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 23, 1972

You Rotten Jerk:

What's with those TEN LORDS A LEAPING on those maids and ladies? You've turned my home into a brothel. They all got incredibly drunk on the eggnog, ran through the maids. The cows are getting upset and they're stepping all over those screeching birds. I hope you're satisfied, you rotten vicious swine.

I'm calling the police on you !


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 24, 1972

Listen you "#$%*_"

What are you some kind of sadist? Now there’s ELEVEN PIPERS PLAYING. And let me tell you, do they play!! They've never stopped chasing those maids since they got here. All twenty-three of the birds are dead. They've been trampled to death in all the ruckus. What am I going to do? The neighbors have started a petition to evict me.

Your sworn enemy,


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

December 24, 1972

Dear Sir:

This is to acknowledge your latest gift of TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss Agnes McHolstein. The destruction, of course, was total. All correspondence should come to our attention. If you should attempt to reach Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have been instructed to shoot you on sight.

With this letter please find attached a warrant for your arrest.

Happy Holidays,

Law Offices of Dewey, Cheetum & Howe

and, as Paul Harvey says... now you know the rest of the story...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Saga Continues, Day 4

December 17, 1972

Dear John:

Today the postman delivered four calling birds.
Now really, they are beautiful, but don't you think...

enough is enough!!!

You are being too romantic.

Affectionately, Agnes

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Agnes and John, Day 3

December 16, 1972

Dear John:

Oh! Aren't you the extravagant one.
Now I must protest. I don't deserve such generosity...
three French hens.
They are just darling but I must insist, you've been too kind.

All my love, Agnes

... to be continued :o)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Please Sir, I Want Some MORE...

I made rather “Scrooge-ish” comment on Duward Discussion this morning. Jamie posted information regarding the Toys for Tots children’s Christmas drive falling short of their needed goal. Instead of being a Scrooge in her space, I should have chosen to use this space, my space, to let loose (not on the organizations but on the abusers of them – well, maybe a wee bit on the organizations as well). For this, Jamie, I apologize.

One holiday help-line in my community was called the Santa Toy Fund. There were many others including Salvation Army, BCAC, the Christian Center, and several local churches supporting needy families. In addition, Goodwill and Salvation Army made sure the clothing needs were met. There were multiple food pantries as well giving handouts. All you had to do was prove your need – being a welfare recipient was one way, low income another, and the real biggie was receiving AFDC assistance (Aid to Families with Dependent Children).

Many years ago, I was a single parent bringing up three little boys. I realize this was many years ago… not 2008 when our economy is in the pits. [Believe me, today I am extremely grateful for where I am and what I have.] Waaaaaaaay back then, I worked full-time and earned a whole $5.25 an hour. I paid for childcare for my youngest two boys at what was then the Girls’ Club. I paid part of that bill by working the bingo game at the Girls’ Club every other Sunday. During this learning and growing period of my life, there was a Christmas season when I really knew I could not provide much at all for my sons. So I applied for help from the Santa Toy Fund. And you had to apply! And prove that you were needy – in my case, I had to show them some pay stubs. If I remember correctly, you also had to state whether or not you were requesting assistance from another ‘giving’ organization. I am also assuming many people lied and said “NO”; because saying “YES” meant you would receive little to nothing from this organization. So, I got my notice from the Santa Toy Fund that I could pick up my package at such-and-such a place, on such-and-such a day and time. As I stood in line, I did my people-watch thing. Wow! Some of those kids had on NFL or NBA winter jackets – even back then those jackets were NOT cheap! And those kids over there had on those $100 athletic shoes (no way could I call them sneakers or tennis shoes)! What was going on here?? The icing on my cake of indignation was when the gal standing in line in front of me said to the gal in line behind me something along the lines of: I wish this line would go faster, I got other places to go to pick up stuff. THEN… the gal behind me said, “Yeah, me too.” You could have knocked me over with a feather!! Then I got really angry about this. Some people really knew how to work the system. Things haven’t changed much, have they? And I was taught that honesty truly was the best policy… I guess not. My cynicism was born [yes, there were a few other contributions to this cynicism].

Fast forward to this year, 2008. Every year at holiday time, I send a check to the Salvation Army. This year, I wrote the check, the Salvation Army cashed it and sent me another letter that, in essence, said: GIVE MORE!!! Some way to say Thank You. Yes, I do realize these are all computer-generated letters. I get them all year long, but chose to give during the holiday season. All this is getting out of hand. So, I wrote the Salvation Army saying as much. I also asked them to take my name off their mailing list. I will give what I give, when I chose to give it. How much money would they save in postage (even thought it is bulk mail) and paper costs (paper, ink for their prints, etc) if they didn’t portend the neediness of their cause? [More kudos to my cynicism.]

OMG… this could go into a whole other dimension of do all those “free” things that needy organizations send us (personalized note pads, address labels, cards, etc) make us feel obligated to send donations??

OK… I have let off steam. Yes, Jamie, there are indeed so many needy families out there – but how do we know who really is needy? I really need to know that my donation is going to someone who really, really needs it – not to someone who can afford to wear a $150 (I tacked on some $$ for inflation) pair of athletic shoes. Again, I apologize for broadcasting my cynicism in the wrong place.

Agnes and John, Day 2

December 15, 1972

Dearest John:

Today the postman brought your very sweet gift.
Just imagine two turtledoves.
I'm just delighted at your very thoughtful gift.
They are just adorable.

All my love,Agnes

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Manic Monday ~ CANDLE

It is better to light just one little candle,
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need's a tiny spark!

If we'd all say a prayer that the world would be free,
The wonderful dawn of a new day we'll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be!

Let's all light one little candle,
Why stumble on in the dark?
When the day is dark an' dreary,
And your way is hard to find,
Don't let your heart be weary,
Just keep this thought in mind!
It is better to light just one little
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need's a tiny spark!

If we'd all say a prayer that the world would be free,
The wonderful dawn of a new day we'll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be!
What a bright world this would be!

Music by George Mysels,
Lyrics by Joseph Maloy Roach,
Published 1952

Twelve Days of Christmas, Jeff Foxworthy, Agnes, and John

The Twelve Days of Christmas got stuck in my brain when I did a meme this week (I had to recite the 12 gifts). And I do remember that these Twelve Days of Christmas supposedly start on the evening of Christmas Day and last through the evening of Epiphany.

I didn't have to look very far to find some interesting information about these 12 days. This year the total cost of the items has been reported to be $86,609. Another interesting fact stated that "Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829. The Twelve Days of Christmas was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid. Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment. The authorities would not know it was a religious song."

And then there are the silly song parodies. One such parody being Jeff Foxworthy's "The Twelve Redneck Days of Christmas." These alluring redneck gifts are: Twelve-pack of Bud; Eleven Wrastling tickets; Ten o' Copenhagen; Nine years probation; Eight table dancers; Seven packs of Redman; Six cans of Spam; Five flannel shirts; Four big mud tires; Three shotgun shells; Two hunting dogs... And some parts to a Mustang GT. Quite a different take on the song.

However, my purpose this year is to present the trials and tribulations brought upon the life of a Miss Agnes McHolstein by a starry-eyed suitor, John. (This is actually an email that has circulated the web a few times). The saga begins exactly 36 years ago today.

December 14, 1972

My dearest darling John:

Who ever in the whole world would dream of getting a real Partridge in a Pear Tree? How can I ever express my pleasure? Thank you a hundred times for thinking of me this way.

My love always, Agnes

Please visit again for the continued story of Agnes and John.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

IT Happens on TUESDAY

I don't often pay to see a movie when it is first released. In fact, I pretty much NEVER do. But when this movie came out this summer, I did pay to sit in a theater and see it. Then this fall, I paid not only for myself to see it AGAIN but I also took my daughter-in-law and her friend. It's not much of a plot, but after seeing it... I FELT GOOD!!! It's a fun movie. And now, on Tuesday, I can own it and drive my husband and son absolutely crazy (AGAIN). And true, Pierce Brosnan has not much of a singing voice... but who cares?? IT'S PIERCE BROSNAN !! and he's HOT!! Oh this 60 year old's blood is boiling again.... wwhewwwwwwwwwwwwwww... can ya tell I'm really excited about this Tuesday getting here??? Can ya??? HUH??

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"My First Award," she said blushing.

Today I received this nice little award from Linda of Are We There Yet who received it from a very impressive list of bloggers down the line... I was completely surprised to have this honor bestowed upon “newbee” me… COMPLETELY SURPRISED!!
Before I endeavor to share these 7 facts, I have to admit that, at this point in my blogging life, I have nowhere to go with this. So, if you read it, and want to continue with the tag… consider yourself tagged. If not, here are some facts about “newbee” me…

1. I am a die-hard member of the Red Sox Nation (that’s Boston Red Sox).
2. I LOVE to laugh.
3. I talk to inanimate objects.
4. Sometimes, I sing silly songs to whomever is around – or to nobody at all.
5. I don’t mind being alone; but do not like feeling lonely.
6. I enjoy being creative in a crafty kind of way (crochet; knitting; card making; beading).
7. I have an evil twin (who raises her really ugly self at the most inopportune times).
Thank you Linda.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Panama Canal Cruise ~ some pictures

Our ship docked at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Hubby watching as we leave Acapulco, Mexico

Puerto Quetzel, Guatemala

waiting to enter The Canal ~ Panama City, Panama

14 hours later, we are in the last of the locks

Cartegena, Columbia ~ Pirate ship with the Monarch in back ground

Monarch of the Seas / Freedom of the Seas ~ Miami

Mimi's Monday Meme on Tuesday

I got a really late start on today (Tuesday). I wanted to do this post last night, but let sleep take over my life very early in the evening. So, for fear of ending up in Bloggingham Dungeon full of fruitcake, I must complete this meme as posted at Bloggingham Castle.

Mimi's Betty Boop Meme

1. I am good when I... sit quietly in my corner where I usually fall asleep.

2. I am naughty when I ... let my impulses take hold of my 'rational' thinking.

3. The world would be a better place if people would Deck the Halls with garlands of respect and honesty instead of leafless boughs of hate and lies.

4. Have you ever snuck into the living room in the middle of the night, unwrapped your gifts and wrapped them back just to see what was under the Christmas Tree for you? Ah, no. My energies all went into finding the hiding places so I wouldn't have to deal with that *bleeping* paper and tape.

5. Have you ever been stuck in a chimney? Again, no... but that question does bring back a childhood memory of being stuck in a neighbor's attic. (I'll leave that story as a subject for another post.)

6. Who would you like to stuff in a stocking and why? Let's just say, it would involve stuffing, tying and throwing it in the Potomac River.

7. 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 gooooolden rings, 4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tress (whewwww).... Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.... Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, AND Rudolph.

8. On the 13th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 13 more days of patience.

9. Imagine that Santa Claus really does exist for a moment. If the Big Guy could grant you any wish, what would your most hedonistic and self-centered wish be? Take me back to age 35 with the wisdom I have today, the body of Elle Macpherson, and the business sense and money of Donald Trump.

10. When you make your list, do you check it twice and find out who's been naughty or nice or do you just get everybody a box of chocolate covered cherries and call it a day? Either the cherries or Almond Rocca Holiday Peppermint.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


THE picture that will take me on my LIGHT journey is this one…

At this time of year, I reminisce… A LOT – too much. This is my LIGHT. It was made by my father. It has traveled from Massachusetts to California to Massachusetts and back to California. He also made the table that my LIGHT sits on. No matter where I live, they sit somewhere in my home.

My father was born in 1911. His father was the headmaster of a boys’ school in Woodstock, IL – his mother was the Latin teacher there. To say the least, he had an academic upbringing. The only thing I ever remember him bragging about was punching Orson Wells in the nose (Wells went to the same boys' school). Dad was always so rational; we very seldom saw any emotion. He instilled fear of the consequences that could happen if my sister or I misbehaved. I guess he was a good father (I still mull this aspect of him over in my mind from time to time). He provided everything we needed, and I know he loved us – he just had trouble showing it.
He was an electrical engineer with a bachelor’s degree from Purdue and his master’s degree from Iowa State. He has multiple patents registered in his name. My father was very wise with a dollar and after almost 40 years service took an early retirement from General Electric. He is one of the lucky ones; he loved retirement. There was always a summer garden in his back yard – vegetables, fruit and flowers. He and Mom bought a 25-foot trailer and toured the country; when they tired of that they bought a mobile home in Bradenton, Florida to escape the cold Massachusetts winters.
Retirement also gave him the time to develop a craft. He took courses at the local high school and began making small pieces of furniture. He was precise in his wood-working craft. He started by making lamps for all of us. He made Mom a new living room table set… then more end tables, coffee tables, bookcases, lamps. Only once do I remember he had to be driven to the emergency room for a finger repair – he did manage to cut the tip off one of his fingers. Soon after that he was diagnosed with Alzheimers; and Mom thought it best for him not to pursue his craft any longer. Eventually Dad forgot about them being in the garage.

Yes, this is my LIGHT, and it LIGHTS a corner of my home. And tonight I think that if not for Dad and MOM, my life would have been a lot different than it was. They had the courage and desire to adopt this girl without knowing much about her parentage. And I thank them for the LIGHT they gave me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Babby the Cat

In May of 1990, I was the office manager at a long-term care facility in Western Massachusetts. It was the spring of lots of kittens around the nursing home. That is, many of the employees’ pet cats had given birth and now these kittens were free for the taking. My second son had always wanted an orange tiger cat and what do ya know… Ambrosia Marie became a part of our family.

And then, I fell in love. A small little fur-ball curled up in my letter tray and fell asleep as her “mother” was trying to find homes for her brothers and sisters. I named her Tabitha Jane and she came home with me that night. In truth, the name that stuck with her was Babby-cat. She was part Maine Coon cat and had a beautiful long coat and a HUGE bushy tail (which she always managed to swat in my face as she was settling in my lap or on the arm of my chair).

When I moved out to the wild, wild west (er, Sacramento) in 2001, I gave my grandson Jonathan responsibility for her care. Jon held this responsibility very seriously; Babby was his cat (and she knew it). Babby always remembered my voice. On every visit back to see my family, I would sit in a chair in my son’s living room and upon hearing my voice Babby would be on the arm of the chair or in my lap swatting me in the face with that tail.

If you do the math, Babby-cat will be 19 this spring. That is a very long life for a cat. I drove back to Massachusetts this past fall and had the fleeting thought of bringing her back with me. She never would have survived the trip. So, I have been contemplating getting another cat companion. I got a phone call from my daughter-in-law a little while ago. Babby the Cat passed away quietly in her sleep during the night. Jon had to stay home from school today – he is very sad. My son and Jon will take Babby to a special place where they will cremate our long time friend and Jon will keep her ashes in his room and we will keep the wonderful memories of this amazing creature in hearts always. I never took a digital picture of Babby. I deeply regret that. Now I need to find some tissues and a quiet place to reminisce.

Thanks for stopping by....

Mountain Dew Cake

Mt Dew Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup mountain dew soda
4 eggs1 package coconut cream instant pudding mix (or lemon pudding mix)

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour BUNDT cake pan. Beat together cake mix, oil, Mountain Dew, eggs, and pudding mix. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake in 325ºF oven for 1 hour.

Pour glaze over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (granulated or powdered)
1/4 cup mountain dew
Bring extracts, butter, sugar, and Mountain Dew to a boil and heat until glaze coats a spoon.

Allow cake to cool completely before turning upside onto a plate and cutting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sullivan Is Here

Sullivan arrived about an hour ago. He and Gilbert have been gleefully reunited. It warms my heart to see the brothers happy again.

Sully seems to have had a bit of a problem getting here. I gathered this first by observing the condition of his shipping “home”. And then, after having a heart to heart with him, Sully admitted to being terribly claustrophobic and did attempt to escape on at least one occasion. However, after peering out of the carton and observing his surroundings, he decided that claustrophobia was indeed the better of his options.

Both Gilbert and Sullivan send warm HELLOs and HUGs to Morgen at the Wren’s Nest. They do miss some of their buddies, but thank Morgen for selecting them for this loving home.

And we are soooooooooo happy to have them living here.

44 Presidents

Originally, I posted this yesterday. Then I found the 100 things post which seemed to overwhelm this one. So I now move this to my Thursday post.

I received this in an email the other day. It is an amazing display of history. My apologies if you have seen it before.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

100 Things ?

While dancing around the blog world today, I found this list on the blog of eProf2. Just a little thing to pass time... LOL

To participate, just copy and paste the list in your own blog, and color all of the things YOU have done (mine are in red, but you can use any color you want). AND, of course, I added a few comments. Things you haven't done will be in black. Have fun and if you have your own blog you might want to post your results there for the rest of us to see.


1. Started my own blog very recently
2. Slept under the starsThe first time it was at Girl Scout Camp and on the beach. As an adult, the last time I did I woke up staring at a cow…
3. Played in a bandYeah, but was not very good at it.
4. Visited Hawaiieven got married there ONCE…
5. Watched a meteor showerUnfortunately I was driving a car the one and only time I saw this… oops
6. Given more than I can afford to charityIt really doesn’t hurt that much or for that long
7. Been to Disneyland/world“…land” twice; “…world” only to Epcot
8. Climbed a mountainin 10th grade. It really is only a hill in comparison – Mt. Greylock in Western Mass – 1300 feet.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a soloagain in 10th grade… the Christmas concert
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at seaWhat a sight!! It was while on a cruise through the Panama Canal. Several nights in a row there were brilliant shows. The ship was hit 3 times during one of the storms – caused an electrical problem in the Royal Suite where friends were staying.
14. Taught myself an art from scratchCrochet; playing the clarinet (not a complete success); beading jewelry
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoningOMG YES!!!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – fear of heights prevented that
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fighthubby’s favorite stress reliever (mine too)
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not illI refuse to answer on the ground, etc…
24. Built a snow fortOf course, I’m from the URC (upper right coast) – New England
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse – Mom wouldn’t let me.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - all the time
31. Hit a home run - in baseball, no... in other ways :o)
32. Been on a cruise - just about once a year (sometimes twice)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language – I am totally language challenged
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s DavidDoes the one at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas count?
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-inoh how I miss them
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - only in my mind :o(
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quiltmy life is a quilt :o)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a jobwas one of the biggest traumas in my life
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpoxwhen I was 34 years old… talk about being SICK!
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved onetoo many… I miss my mom so much.
94. Had a baby – Three of them, all boys.
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant