Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hoping for a wonderful one!


My car crapped out on me this morning, fortunately it was only about 2 blocks from my house. I put my flashers on, made my S.O.S. call, and proceeded to mess with my cell phone so I didn't have to see the people looking at me as they drove past. Ugh.

It's probably just the alternator because it's a BRAND NEW BATTERY! But I digress. The reason I mention it is because even though I won't be getting it fixed until Friday, the car broke down today. During 2008. So I am NOT starting the new year with that kind of luck. I am kissing 2008 good bye with a whimper and a chug, chug bang.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!


MySpace Comments

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When did I become an adult?


jokes10I was thinking today, while I was at work, that I must be a grownup now. Finally. My boss is in another state, always. He is based somewhere else. I work with one other person in an office room, and she is off this week. The other people on my "team" are all over the country. So there is no one there to watch me.


And I still work. jokes03


As I was sitting there I was thinking hmmm, I know people who would be reading a magazine or surfing the Internet or something totally unrelated to their job. But I was working. All alone in my little office room. That's when I came to the conclusion that I must be a grownup now.


I just can't decide if that's a good thing or not.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Why we do a lot of things.


On the phone with a client at work I had to give her my email address so she could send something to me. My work email has my first and last names @ my workplace name. I always spell my last name out because it starts with a B which over the phone could be a D, and it's the kind of name where people go - "huh?"


At some point I said "yeah, I married that name!" to which she replied - "well I married 'Hickey'!" (her last name). We both laughed and I told her that I had divorced mine and she said she had too - and she wondered out loud how come we had kept these married names!

Together we both said "the kids!" More laughter.

I thought our bonding moment was over until she said "but let me tell you what happened. I kept the name and later when my son got married - he took his wife's name!!!"

Damn kids!! Too funny.

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where all my neurosis come into play


I’ve been busy. Sorry I haven’t been here since Christmas but I have been preoccupied. See – I got a new laptop for Christmas. It was a complete surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m not sure that expecting it would have made any difference, but I have been trying really hard to make the transition without melting down.


Remember me? The one who thinks there is a particular order to putting ornaments on a tree and who will spend hours searching for the right icon to use on my blog? If you recall it was an UP ARROW. Not an application or program, an ICON. So yeah. A new computer with none of my files, folders, or applications I have downloaded and paid for and configured … I’m melting …


I have decided that since my regular laptop is only ‘trying’ to die and isn’t dead yet, I can make this transition slowly and hopefully do it right. Moving things from one computer to another has been a challenge for sure, but with the help of some shared network files, a memory card, and some other things I’ve found, I’m making progress. I even made my wallpaper the same as my old laptop in order to keep from hyperventilating when I look at the new one.


There have been plenty of you who have gotten new computers and continue to blog without missing a step. Isn’t there anyone else out there who gets thrown for a loop by new things – even nice brand new shiny things with lots of memory and space and omg – speed?


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On another note – I received the sweetest Christmas card from Heather, at Vanilla Hev’n. Christmas cards are always nice and all, but this one is handmade and one that I had admired on her blog. Plus - she lives in Australia! So, I received a lovely card all the way from there!!! How cool is that???


Thanks Heather!


I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that none of you are as neurotic as me!


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Merry



Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's almost here!!

Going back to work after having a week off is a bit disorienting, but I'm having more trouble at home than at work. Sunday night I was really good. I made sure whatever I needed to do for morning was done early, I was ready for bed early, watched TV and drank some nice hot tea. Without caffeine. I went to bed at about 11:30 which is pretty good for me when I've been staying up late and sleeping in for a week.


Falling asleep took me longer than usual but that was to be expected. What surprised me was waking up at least 3 hours before I needed to get up, and tossing and turning until my alarm went off.


It happened again last night - or maybe I should say - this morning. I was laying there conscious of being awake but thinking things in a dreamlike way. And thinking about things that I don't normally think about, nor do I want to. It's as if my subconscious is taking advantage of my being only half awake to bring up old hurts or choices that during my normal waking hours I have put to rest a long time ago. Throw in new concerns and worries and you get insomnia soup. All this stuff runs through my head and I can't stop it unless I turn on my TV and focus on something else. That's what I did at about 3:00 in the morning today, and I finally fell back to sleep. Just in time to be aware of being awoken from a very satisfyingly deep sleep, by my alarm clock, of course. UGH!!!

As a result of this interrupted sleep I feel like a zombie.


Christmas can't come soon enough for me. I won't get to sleep too late, my daughter will wake up first and head for her stocking. When she tires of being alone she will go wake up my son. I will start to hear them talking quietly in the living room, and hearing the tinkle of the bells on their stockings. When Dani thinks it's 'safe' - she will come and wake me up.

*opening gifts, opening gifts, opening gifts...*

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By afternoon the kids will be showered and ready to go to their grandparents house for the 2nd half of Christmas day. And when they go the house will be quiet. Just me and the kitties. And by then - I will be ready, willing, and able to take a NAP!!


I'm counting the hours. Because it doesn't seem like I'm going to get a full night's sleep anytime soon.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All in a row


Before I put up the Christmas tree, I moved furniture around in my living room. I must have disrupted everything for my cats because now instead of one of them being curled up on a chair, one under a chair in a cat bed, one on the couch and one who knows where - they all seem to think the only place left for them is the couch. I am not sure I have ever seen them all on one piece of furniture at one time, except maybe on all 4 corners of my bed on a morning I have slept late. I managed to get pictures because I don't think it will happen again. None of them get along with Abby, she was last to be brought home, an abandoned kitty that was never socialized and does not like the others anymore than they like her. So - this just doesn't happen.



Click to see bigger



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Friday, December 19, 2008

Please bear with me.

I am attempting to post using Windows Live Writer to see what it has to offer me. I'm hoping it will allow me some more leeway with fonts and underlining, etc. But we will see, I suspect that for anything I gain - I will lose something equally important.


Yesterday I mentioned that some of the lights on my tree had gone out. Being me, I could not ignore it for long. I did the usual walking around the tree shaking the string, wiggling bulbs, etc, to no avail. I tried snaking the offending strings of lights off the tree from under the ornaments and other lights, wasn't going to happen.


Oh yes I did.


I took every single ornament off the tree. I took off almost all of the lights. I started over. I finished at about 9:30 in the evening. ALL the lights are working now. ALL of them. And they will stay that way.


On another note, it is cold here. We got some good snowfall today and it's just under freezing. But tomorrow it's supposed to get down to 2. 2 degrees. Single digits. Single digits really close to zero. Br-r-r!! Which gives me an excuse to post a picture (testing Windows Live Writer again) of old man Riley cat and Norah cuddling on the couch. Or . . . Riley using Norah as a pillow, your call.


warm


Interesting. Has anyone else posted from Windows Live Writer? I am curious to hear what your experiences were, what it has to offer, etc. Because so far - I'm not impressed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sharing is caring, right?


The lights on the top half of my tree have gone out. And this year I followed all the rules, didn't string more than 3 strands attached to each other, yada yada yada. I am compulsive about this stuff, it's all I can do to not pull stuff down and start over. I guess it could be a new project! But - we will see. Right now I am trying to ignore it, stretching my panic reducing muscles.


I have mentioned several times that I do all of my shopping online and I thought I would give you a tiny run-down of some of my experiences.

1. Worst buying experience: Amazon - Yes they have everything. Yes, if you are looking for a book, a DVD, a blender, it's there. But I am tired of all these affiliates they have attached to them, causing the things you buy to be shipped from all over the place with separate shipping charges. Normally if I am shopping in at one place I try to make sure I buy everything I want from there at one time - so I get any kind of combined shipping they offer. It's just not that simple with Amazon anymore.

2. Best surprise of this shopping season: Meijer - Normally I wouldn't have thought to see if Meijer had a website, there is a store a few miles from here where I don't really shop. But I did an Internet search for a particular item and found it at - you guessed it - Meijer! The item is big, and it is heavy. The description said it was available at the store or the website and I thought - holy cow would I be a moron to pay that kind of shipping when the store is so close. Until I saw the "Free shipping on select orders - click for details". I clicked and was given a coupon code for free shipping if I used any form of a Mastercard. I don't have any credit cards, but my debit card is a Mastercard - bingo! So I was able to buy this large item and have it delivered to my door for no more than if I shlepped down to the store and braved the holiday masses for it. I was pleased.

3. Quickest shipping: Zappos - I bought a pair of shoes there at about 1:30 or 2:00am one Wednesday morning, and actually received the shipment - by 3:30pm THE SAME DAY. And the shipping was FREE. I'm not sure you can beat that.

Fun Finds this year:

perpetual kid - Found some cute stocking stuffers there

Economy Candy
- Found some great candy and didn't have to buy huge bulk amounts

B&H Photo and Video
- Bought some electronics, good prices and free and fast shipping

Oldies but goodies:

Overstock.com
- Bought several things with either really low, or free shipping

See's Candies
- Not gourmet but good chocolate and reasonable prices

Calendars.com - This time of year I always need something from here

Etsy - I bought several things from here this year

I can't mention anywhere else I shopped without giving away what I've bought, but these are some good places to shop. And I'm thinking you could probably buy from Zappos all the way up till 2 days before Christmas and STILL get it on time.

Of course, you can't buy everybody shoes, but I'm just sayin'.


Might have overdone it with the sour cream. Nah!!


Mmm-m-m . . . chili.




I use turkey, can you tell?




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Re-la-a-a-x-ing ...


It's a good day. I officially finished my Christmas shopping on Sunday, including stocking stuff. Last night I wrapped my Mom's gifts and today my son mailed the package for me. I have caught up on my blog reading, I have cats sleeping contentedly next to me and a pot of chili cooking on the stove. Ah-h-h.


Oh, and did I mention I have the whole week off work? Yeah. I do. And after that I still have something like 40 hours I am carrying over until next year. Working for the same company for over 20 years definitely has it's benefits. I don't get paid a
ton of money but I DO get a lot of vacation time. I earn something like 11 hours every 2 weeks. It seems like every time I turn around I have more time to take. I'm not complaining by any means but sometimes I get a little nervous that one day someone is going to call me and say "about all that vacation time we've given you over the years, it was a mistake." But, until someone finds out - I am home this week, it's snowing like the dickens outside, and I have a great view from the couch.


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**Edited to add - I am sure it is because I was showing off that right after posting the above - I had to go out into a raging blizzard because - see that on the TV? I didn't have as much of that kind of sauce as I thought I did. Karma. For sure.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gone Shopping



Must finish THIS weekend.



Friday, December 12, 2008

Another day, another scandal.

Seems like I've been busier this week than I usually am, but I don't think I have been really. I got my tree finished, did the usual stuff I do around the house which is not much on a daily basis, haven't even had to fight with or chase the cats away from the tree much!

Honestly though, I think I'm already exhausted
by this Illinois Governor scandal. Ugh. Our wee little *governor apparently thinks there is a price tag attached to anything and everything, and besides that - he thinks he is some sort of little king. After being taken out of his home in handcuffs Tuesday morning, attending a hearing in the afternoon and then being released, Wednesday morning he kissed his wife good-bye and went to work at the State of Illinois building.

Like nothing had happened.


Because in some ways, I guess nothing did. Politics in Illinois has
always been a game for the big boys, and what Blagojevich lacked in stature he made up for in "testicular virility". His words. But when you've got a lot of nerve without a lot of smarts, and you possess more greed than the average bear, you're bound to get in trouble. Even in Chicago. There is always a politician under investigation but holy hell if you know the feds have been looking at you for years - do you extort money from hospital executives and try to force a newspaper executive to fire some people you don't like - on the phone?? In this digital age? Do you, oh my God, try to SELL the PRESIDENT-ELECT's Senate seat????? Anywhere?

I would like to believe politics in my state can be cleaned up. I can hope it will happen. But Chicago politics has reached the point of being absurd. While the State's Attorney is going before the Illinois Supreme Court trying to get the governor removed from office, and others are calling for his impeachment - at this point all I am really wondering is - who will play Blagojevich on Saturday Night Live this week?

Cause you know it's gonna happen.


* I don't even know if Blagojevich is a tiny man. The way he talks always made me think of munchkins.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Bring it on!


My tree is not finished. My Christmas tree, that is. I am obsessive about all of it, from the lights to the ornaments to centering the tree in front of the window. It's crazy really, I have no business having a tree this size in the house I live in, with mostly grown kids. There are no toddlers running out in the morning all sleep tousled and wide eyed at the spectacle of tree and presents and the miracle of Santa.


The only one wide eyed at my house, is me. And I love my tree! It just takes me a while to get it done. Yesterday I got the tree itself up, the lights on and most of my "base" ornaments. Because you know, there is an order to all of this. Lights, then garland, this year I used strands of big pearl-like beads, then the glass ball ornaments, the glass icicles, and then all the other stuff. And there is a lot of 'other stuff'.

By the time I went to bed last night my hands and my back were aching, but the tree being on a timer - I could see the glow from my room and I was happy. Until I heard my son on his way to the bathroom saying "Cat? Are you in there?"

Andy doesn't talk to the cats. Andy pretty much just ignores the cats, except Norah. He will pet her every once in a while if she puts herself right in front of him at petting level. But for the most part Andy and the cats just co-exist in my house. For him to be addressing a cat directly was worrisome so when I called out to ask what was going on - I was already half out of bed. He thought one of the cats might be in the tree but he wasn't sure.

We both stood there and squinted but nothing moved so Andy continued on to the bathroom. Then the tree gave a little quiver. I knew exactly which one it would be so when I said "Abby . ." very firmly, the tree shook some more. When I said "Abby get out of there!" I saw the tremor move down the tree and a cat plop out onto the floor.

Abby is the evil one. The one who bites. And she is also the one that people would vote most likely to climb a Christmas tree, so I knew it was her. Following her exit I pointed the spray bottle at her. The holiday wars have begun.

Maxine Monday


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Friday, December 5, 2008

Too cold for comfort.


Notice that number in the red box? That's the temperature it feels like here right now. Two degrees. Wasn't it just August yesterday? And 82 degrees?

I don't think I'm ready for this yet. Brrr-r-r-r!!!



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Where crazy cat ladies tend to congregate.


Took the old man Riley cat to the vet yesterday. Actually it's a cat clinic, no dogs or other types of pets around. Had to get his blood checked for his thyroid meds and bonus ( !!! ) they took some mats off him for me. Actually they got all the mats off him.


I AM a crazy cat lady, I have 4 cats. Although I didn't feel quite so insane for having 4 yesterday, one of the receptionists was talking about her 6, and another lady didn't say how many she had but it sounded like the cats rule her roost. Anyway. Three of my cats do not have mats. None. Riley has them all. Had.

Riley is the only one that doesn't groom well these days, and while the vet said that's a product of age I read somewhere that "unkempt fur" is a common symptom of thyroid problems in cats. So Riley has a couple of excuses but regardless of the reasons - he always has nasty mats which he doesn't like messed with. If I try, or my daughter Dani tries, he growls and rolls and bites and is just all around not happy about the process.

Dani and I shaved him once, from the tail to about the middle of the back, removing the greater part of the mats he had at the time. And I have NO IDEA where those pictures are, but you can bet that was one funny looking cat. He didn't seem to mind when it was all over, even though half of him was all pink and naked. Might have even liked it some.

So where am I going with all this? I think I scammed a grooming out of the cat clinic. Last time I brought Riley they removed a couple of mats when they took him back to take blood, since I was a few weeks late with making the appointment I'm sure they thought I was a terrible pet owner. At that visit the tech told me to make sure I make the next appointment on time and promised to get a few more mats off Riley when I brought him back. Sounded like a bribe to me.

Yesterday when they took him back to take his blood I told the tech who was taking him what the other girl had promised last time. She looked at me with the slightest bit of "that's not what your appointment is for" in her eye, but managed a polite "oh, um - okay."

Later when she brought Riley back out she was carrying what looked like a long haired messy guinea pig or something, but it was actually everything she had removed from my cat. Woo hoo!!! She explained how Riley could benefit from a grooming, they have a girl who comes in on Tuesdays so I might want to make an appointment for him sometime. I said okay and inquired about the price. $46.00. I thought yeah, maybe sometime. After I stop having to have blood work done every month on the damn cat.

When I got home and let Riley out of his carrier I saw just how handsome and well groomed he was! Not a mat left on him! So basically, I got a grooming for free, and I didn't get bit once. I hadn't intended to put anything over on them but I guess I did a little. Oh well, it was worth it - Riley looks great!

I am waiting for the results of the blood work, and the tech said it was good news - Riley has gained 2 ounces. Ounces! The cat has lost pounds and 2 ounces is good?? I've been feeding the cat everything he wants whenever he wants and he's only gained 2 ounces? Holy cow.

After I left though, it was suggested to me that maybe they weighed him after they took all that fur off of him. How much do you think a guinea pig's worth of cat fur weighs? Cause it looked like at least a pound to me!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She's at it again!

Some of you may remember my daughter having a part in The Vagina Monologues last year. My son and I drove to her college town to see her performance and I believe I pronounced it "fabulous!!!" So I guess it should come as no surprise that Dani has decided to do it again this year.

I've never tried out for any kind of play or performance but apparently sometimes you don't try out for a particular part, you just try out and see what they give you. So yeah, Dani didn't choose her part this year, or last, but this year's part will be more challenging than what she did the first time. More challenging for her to do, and more challenging for a mom to watch. I think.

This year my darling daughter gets to feign about 10 consecutive orgasms of different types and duration, not to mention intensity, on a stage in front of not only her own mother, but her boyfriend's mother as well. Obviously there will be more to her monologue than that but, um, I'm pretty sure what part will get the most attention.

When she told me, all I could do was laugh. She seemed nervous about working it out, how she would do it. What was I going to say? Well Honey, do you want me to help you with your lines? Um, "Sweetie, I have some experience in this area, do you want to know. . ." uh .. NO.

There is a part of me that says - Honey make it as fake and as overdone and funny as you can because you know, otherwise it's kind of uncomfortable and just weird for a parent to see that. I know I know, it's ACTING. But you have to draw the portrayal from somewhere and . . well . . . hmmmm. There is something different about watching someone else in that role than your own daughter. Someone else it's just acting, when it's your own kid - it's private. Or something.

Don't get me wrong. I am not discouraging her at all, and if she wants me there I am sure I will be there. I just might be giggling more this year than last. Nervously. And I tell you what - if she does the part and does it well, I can only be proud of my daughter for successfully tackling a part many would find difficult to do.

But I must admit a bit of discomfort in that it's just a very weird act for a parent to witness. Act. I must remember that part. It's an act. I have till February to get used to the idea. Or - till February to get drunk, whichever works.

I love you Dani!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is just plain dangerous.

I don't need anything to help me waste time. I can find a myriad of ways to be busy for hours at a time without actually doing a thing. I was doing a little bit of Stumbling tonight which is actually fairly rare. Unless I'm Stumbling pictures, but then I'm doing something. Anyway. I found this site this evening. It's dominoes. And it's simply easier to look at than to read about. Here is a link to my domino . . uh . . thingy. I'm in I.T. and just so you know, thingy is an acceptable technical term.
Go look. And then try it. It's kind of like certain potato chips. It's really hard to eat just one.

http://www.drawminos.com/index.html?id=13377

When you see the dominoes (it may take a minute), click play. But please don't blame me if you find an hour has passed and you don't know where it's gone. I have given you a fair warning.


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Your Slogan Should Be



Bettejo. Uncommonly Made, Uncommonly Good.

Give it a try!




Monday, December 1, 2008

Grief

Rob is with God now


I did not know this man, this soldier, but his story has touched me deeply.
Words cannot express, but I thank you Rob.


Maxine Monday



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A prayer for a soldier


I've been following
the blog of a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan at the end of October. I saw a link on a blog (which one I am not sure) and have been reading since the first day his wife started it to keep friends and family informed of her husband's condition. It's been a long road since CPT Rob Yllescas was severely wounded and was sent back to the States to recover. He has never quite regained consciousness but has been making progress none-the-less, even with surgery after surgery after surgery. There has been a set back recently though, and I know Rob's wife and family would appreciate any prayers you have to offer.

I cannot imagine what this family is going through and the only thing I have to offer them is my prayers. I'm hoping you will join me.