Monday, December 31, 2012

Seriously, it's time for a New Year!

2012 provided some wonderful things for me personally, some fabulous things.  But as fall approached .. things starting going downhill, and this year has ended with some incredibly crappy things happening.  Here's hoping that 2013 will bring brand new, shiny, wonderful things for all of us once the corks are popped and confetti thrown.

Wishing you all the very best of new years to come!


Maxine Monday

~ * ~

~ * ~

Thursday, December 27, 2012

THIS IS A CAPTCHA FREE ZONE! Putting my foot down in 2013.

It's almost 2013.  I'm thinking it might be a good time for bloggers out there to stop making their readers prove they are not undesirable commenters and or robots. The way I look at it, when someone comes to my blog they are a guest.  I assume they are gracious visitors and treat them as such.  In other words, I trust first and react after the fact.

If you had your house on the market and were hosting an open house, would you be meeting people at the door and making them prove they could afford to buy your home before you let them in?  Or would you allow them in, let them look around, open cabinets, look in the closets and wish them a lovely day on their way out?

You want people to not only come to your blog, you want them to interact.  You want them to comment.  But when someone takes the time to type out a thoughtful (or funny, snide, provocative, take your pick) comment, why would you then put the onus on them to prove that they are not blog-scum by making them squint and type out a captcha - and sometimes retype (okay I usually get them wrong the first time) before you allow that precious comment to be published?

What that says to many readers is that your blog is not necessarily a friendly place.  That you would inconvenience your readers rather than yourself.  That you really don't care if they comment.  I mean - if you feel the need to moderate, then take the responsibility on yourself and use comment moderation.  A pain in the butt for sure having to approve every comment before they are displayed.  But isn't that better than making all of your readers pay for some occasional visiting trolls or spamming software?

Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm captcha-challenged.  But more than half the time I CAN'T MAKE OUT THE DAMN THING!  Ahem.  It annoys me.
Welcome to my blog!  Stay and visit for a while.  :)

And I'm willing to bet you would get more comments if you would take that word verification off and throw it in the very back of your blog closet.  You don't have to serve tea or some cookies (although how nice would that be?).  But please stop making me beg to comment on your posts.  Because I don't know about you - but lately if I don't get that captcha on the first try - I'm outa there, abandoned comment or no.



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

When your pre-assembled gingerbread house - isn't.

There are some advantages - you get to avoid your own (as well as other people's) artistic expectations of what a perfect little gingerbread house should look like.

.. and it's still yummy anyway!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing you PEACE on Christmas

.. and cats under your tree.  Has to be some kind of good luck, don't you think?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Maxine Monday

~ * ~

~ * ~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ice, anyone?

Do you have a smart phone?  Do you have an ICE app on it?  In Case of Emergency is what it stands for.  I put one on the first screen of my iPhone a couple years ago, thinking it was a good idea but that I would probably never need it.  But as I was crouching on the ceiling of my car and the fireman outside the door was asking me questions about medical conditions and medications - I reached in my purse and handed him my phone with the ICE app open.  I could have answered his questions but it would have taken more time and honestly, at that moment my brain just wasn't going to the names of the meds I take.  If I had been unconscious - I wouldn't have been able to tell them at all.

The app I use is free, very simple, and has places to fill in the info any emergency worker needs to know.  My name and address, my emergency contacts, if I have any medical conditions, if I take any medications and if so - which ones.  All very important if you are in an accident or collapsed because of some kind of physical problem.  I was never sure whether first responders would actually use that type of thing, but they do.  It's not silly to have one on your phone, and very well could save your life.

Just sayin'.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Since being away for 5 days and now being home for 6, Norah has been struggling to get better but also to fit back in where she was before with the other cats.  Especially Riley.  For anyone who has cats you know they can be very weird about a cat being away - or moving into a new home, all of a sudden they act like they have never seen each other before.  They hiss and spit and bristle when one gets close to another.

Riley and Norah have always been cuddle buddies.  But since Norah has been home Riley hasn't wanted anything to do with her.  She would try to come close and he would hiss and even swatted at her once.  Poor Norah was trying to recover from being so sick, and had to deal with this rejection as well.  Today, FINALLY, Riley let her lay with him and even bathed and groomed her a bit.

It's a start.

I think we could all use a bit of cuddling right now.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guess who's home?

Yes, Norah is home.  And man am I tired.  She is wobbly, her back legs are weak and she is on lots of meds.  I slept on the couch last night because she likes to sleep on my bed with me and I didn't want to worry about her going up and down the kitty stairs in the middle of the night.  I did not sleep well, or much.

Tonight I had to give Norah fluids so we improvised.  I warmed the bag and hung it on a laundry hanger.  It actually worked quite well for the job.  Managed to get 3 tablets and 1 capsule down her as well, and she ate a bit of food too.

                Bit blurry and yes, those roses are almost gone.  But it still looks
peaceful for a sick kitty, doesn't it?  
I don't know what's going to happen, if she will bounce back or not.  I know she was super happy when she saw the carrier and was allowed to climb into it - because she knew it meant she was coming home.  For now - I will play nurse for a while and we will see what happens. We've done what we can and if this is as good as she is going to get - it won't be good enough.  A bit more time will tell for sure.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tough stuff!

Norah has always been the quiet kitty, the somewhat timid and skittish one who didn't demand a lot of attention.  I have to admit there are different things I say to the different cats, based on their personalities and traits.  With Norah I have always used a gentle tone of voice and always tell her what a pretty girl she is.  She's my full figured kitty and I relate to that - so you know, I always wanted her to know how beautiful she is.  Are cat people crazy?  I contend they are no crazier than dog people.  Well .. er .. as long as they don't have like .. 17 cats.  But I'm betting that the things any of us say to our pets when we are alone with them would sound crazy to anyone else.
This isn't a eulogy, but Norah is still at the clinic.  The docs removed her IV today for a little while so we could see if her back legs were working any better.  Cats are funny.  You put a harness on them and they fall over as if you've killed them right there.  So with the IV in Norah's front leg, she wasn't trying to walk at all.  Without the IV she was walking a bit, walking and sitting down, walking and sitting down, and sometimes sort of looking like a seal moving across the ice.  I don't have a clue what you would call that kind of movement.  Not exactly scooting .. .  Cute actually, but pretty ineffective.

Her numbers are a little better is some ways and not in others.  We are weighing everything but the bottom line is looming, will I even be able to take her home?  She isn't using the litter box and we don't know if it's her lack of mobility or if she doesn't have control, she has been eating a bit but the food doesn't seem to be moving out of her stomach.  I am afraid she's not doing well.

When I went to see her today she was so happy and full of purrs and snuggles and wanted to be close and mark me as hers over and over.  Her personality is there but her body isn't working right.  I've never had to consider putting an animal down, and I am so hoping it doesn't come to that.  Norah is built for comfort not for speed, but right now she's got neither.  It's just so strange how everything seems to have come together for a perfect storm for her, if one thing gets better but another doesn't .. is it enough?  I don't know.  But we're giving her the best chance we can.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How much is too much?

Not too long ago my oldest brother fell and shattered his elbow.  After surgery and much morphine and rehab, he is still not back to work yet.  My other brother, found out on Thanksgiving day that he had a heart attack sometime in the previous months.  I rolled my car this week.  My brothers and I decided someone really needs to let my sister know her time is coming.

Yesterday before going back to work - amidst dealing with car crash issues and all, I took my full figured kitty Norah, to the vet.  She hadn't been feeling well and her back legs were getting weak again.  The day before I took her she wasn't eating at all, and I was having to bring water to her to get her to drink.  With my accident I had a lot going on, not sure if I was as worried as I should have been but .. spilled milk.  

The visit was pretty alarming.  She was severely dehydrated and had lost 3 lbs. Even for a full figured gal, that's a lot.  She had blood in her urine and her temperature was lower than normal.  The doctor was very concerned and suggested doing blood work and keeping her overnight to keep her on IV fluids to get her on the road to re-hydration. 

My throat went dry and I wanted to cry .. "I don't know if I can afford this."

With my car and Christmas and all that .. it's not a good time.  But what do you do?  Say - put my cat down because I can't afford to treat her?  I have a real problem with that - for me.  I can't judge anyone else.  I want to keep a balance between treating her and being unrealistic and making her more uncomfortable.  I'm not in the DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO KEEP HER ALIVE camp.  While a human knows why they are undergoing treatments that make them sick and uncomfortable, what does an animal know?  They just know that everything feels bad and sucks.  It's definitely quality of life vs. quantity for a pet as far as I am concerned.  So I want to do what we can to treat Norah in a fashion that is reasonable - until such time as the doctor says no, the scale is tipping the other way now.

For Norah, her blood work is bad, she still isn't doing well today.  But she does look a bit better than yesterday and even showed a little interest in food - and the doc doesn't think it's time to give up.  So, even though I have to scramble to figure out how to pay for it - we aren't pulling the plug.

After visiting with Norah and speaking with the doctor this evening, I was teary and sad and put my forehead down on the exam table when I remembered I still had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up injection syringes for Jakie.  Really? .. what else? 

To be continued .. I hope.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Y'know that song 'Roll to Me'?

Pretty sure Del Amitri didn't mean IN my vehicle.  Sigh-h-h.

Things I may or may not have said –

To the police and fire fighters surrounding me when I crawled out  of my over-turned car :
  "okay guys – I’m really not used to being the center of attention like this!”
To the paramedics on the suggestion that I go to the hospital even though I felt okay:
  “yeah, that seems like a good idea.  Besides, I need a ride.”
To the emergency room nurse when asked where I was when the accident took place:
   “I don’t know, I was wherever the lady told me to be” referring to my GPS.
To the other ER nurse for informational purposes:
   “I am wearing clean underwear but my legs are not shaved.”
And later, to God”
  “I don’t know what I did to deserve that protection, but thank you very much.”

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

I like red meat, I cannot lie.

Knowing I was going to dinner at a restaurant I wasn't familiar with tonight, I hopped on the internet last night to see what was on the menu.  I'm notoriously indecisive when it comes to big selections of food, so getting an idea ahead of time seemed like a good idea.  Turned out the selection wasn't huge so I wouldn't have a problem choosing, but it was rather expensive.  I mean I guess everything is expensive compared to the Taco Bell menu.  Heh.  This is what I chose:
Ribeye Bone-In, Aged 28 Days, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes 18 oz. 45
Now first of all, I'm so smart I thought a ribeye was a smaller cut of meat.  I don't know why, but that was what was in my head.  Garlic mashed potatoes, yum!  I thought 18 dollars was a pretty good price for a nice steak and I didn't want something big, no fries, no soup and salad and bread and all that.  Keep it simple or I can't eat it all anyway.

Wasn't I surprised when adding a glass of wine to my meal brought my portion of the bill to 50 dollars!  For 50 bucks I should have known that meat's name.  I should have put my arm around it, romanced it a bit, said sweet things to it.  But maybe I should have read the menu correctly and noticed it was 18 ounces (SMALL??) and not 18 dollars.  What did I think the '45' meant?  I'm guilty of skimming and not reading fully.  My fault.

It WAS done perfectly, very tender, and the Bearnaise was awesome.  Not complaining, just demonstrating how amazingly air headed I can be.  And I guess I must be pretty special to myself because tonight?  I bought myself the most expensive meal on the menu.  Yay me!

* Wait a minute.  Aged 28 days???  50 bucks and the meat was OLD???  Sheesh.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

My family is just weird.

Sometime Thanksgiving morning, I received an email from one of my brothers.  One brother lives on the east coast and the other lives on the west so I wasn't seeing either of them for the holiday so an email wouldn't be unexpected.  But this one was.  After a short statement about a real estate issue he went on to say: would appear that I have had a heart attack. Cath tomorrow to access damage...will advise. 

Well, okay then!

After a flurry of emails on my part, I finally spoke to him today.  He's good, the heart attack was actually probably a few months ago, but some symptoms showed up that sent him to the ER yesterday.  He has had more tests and is working out a treatment plan with a cardiologist and his primary care physician.  Does not look like surgery will be indicated, which is good news.  He says he is listening to his doctors - I just hope he's better at taking care of himself than he is at informing people!

But then - that's my family!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Owning it.

I haven't been reading and commenting on a lot of blogs lately, and there are many blogs that I subscribe to that I rarely if ever comment on at all.  One of those is Parisienne Farmgirl.  Angela writes about home, gardening, cooking, design, all with a french vibe.  She has small children, loves her chicken coop (well - she will when she gets her new one put together) and she just launched a digital magazine.  She is unabashedly Christian, a conservative and totally pro-life.  Sometimes (gasp) she writes about politics.  The night before the election (don't even try to ask which one) she put up a post with some fun red lipsticks and titled it "Go Red!"  And for that, she woke up the next day to vile, hate filled comments about how she'd change her views if one of her kids were raped, and worse.

Angela didn't deserve those comments or the hate.  Why has it come to this?  In her blog post after the election and in response to those comments she said - she has something to lose by putting her views out there.  Her blog is part of her business for goodness sakes.  I admire that she stands up and stands behind her beliefs regardless of what it could cost her.

Again, why?  Why has it come to this?

It has become acceptable in our country to be completely INtolerant of Christians, conservatives, and OMG - people who are pro-life.  The world has turned upside down, what once would have been considered a virtue is now reviled.  And on the internet the facelessness of it all makes it so easy that it encourages the spewing of vitriol at others they disagree with by people who would never be that way face to face.  And the attacks are so personal!

I am a conservative.  Some might say - rabidly so.  I generally stay away from politics here because I did not want to offend anyone.  I even created an alter-ego and started a blog dedicated to nothing but politics called Disinformation you Deserve.  I have Twitter accounts in my own name, and as "Janie Lynn". We are the same people.

This blog will not turn into a political blog.  But if people like Angela who has something to lose by voicing her beliefs is willing to do so, I need to be willing to be true to myself the same way.

I'm owning it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

IV electronics

Plugging my laptop in when the battery was low the other night, I happened to see my Kindle on a table on the other side of the couch, and realized it needed to be charged.  I found the cord and plugged it into my laptop.  I went into the kitchen and picked up my cell phone to put it in my purse when I saw it too, was on low battery.  I took that into the living room and plugged it into the USB on the opposite side of the laptop to charge.  Back to the kitchen I went to drop my bluetooth into the side pocket of my purse when I remembered hearing it warn "talk time, 1 hour" earlier in the day.  I plugged that into an outlet in the kitchen.

Blink.  Blink.

Did I miss anything?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Unseen dangers and bad judgment.

My new job has hazards I never really gave any thought to before.  See this nice intersection here?  See that red light there?  Right after this photo was snapped, a green arrow appeared there, and a car pulled into that right lane and turned the corner on the arrow.

Unfortunately, by the time I followed that other car and zipped around that corner myself (quickly, I might add) the arrow had disappeared.  Ahem.  Quite clearly.  Heh.

A hundred bucks a pop for these kinds of tickets, not to mention endangering the general public.

DOH!  My bad.

**actually it looks like I've got the pictures out of order which means that arrow was even longer gone than I thought when I went through it.  YIKES!

Maxine Monday

~ * ~

~ * ~

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Recipe! Chicken Infused Biscuit Mass!

What?  You haven't heard of it before?  Me neither.  But I made it none the less.


It's what happens when your crock pot is too small (apparently) for the recipe you are following, and when you use big honkin' biscuits instead of the puny store brand I guess.  It was supposed to be chicken and dumplings but when it started seeping out and over the edges of the crock pot and had to be transferred into the oven in a casserole dish, I had to recognize the aggressiveness of big biscuits.  It was a little like one of those old black and white horror flicks .. The Blob, maybe.  They took over the chicken, the broth and soup, they sopped up all the liquid and sucked the chicken into them.  I understand the concept of bread soaking up liquid but these biscuits took over the crock pot and then the casserole dish to the point that this recipe turned out to be more of a loaf.

For the record the recipe called for 3 tins of biscuits and when my son brought home the ginormous ones I only used 2.  I cut them into quarters as the recipe directed.  I thought that would be an appropriate amount considering they were larger than your average biscuits.  Heh.

It had good flavor though.  For real.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

In control.

Seeing lots of these lately.

Signs telling me where to go .. even when my GPS identifies the location I'm supposed to be at as a parking garage ... 

I'm learning tricks to remembering where I park - thank goodness for my phone!

The inside of my car is more familiar to me than ever before, and my my GPS is my friend.

Sometimes I get to do this in the middle of the day.  I'm learning to sit in a restaurant (Denny's is TOO a restaurant!) alone and enjoy the experience.

And at home - I am still trying to convince myself that I will finally get why other people like coffee so much - by setting it up in an appealing manner.  The verdict is still out on that one.

I've gone a little clock crazy..

am taking care of my itty bitty winged kitty -

I've been accepted into an I.T. certification program, and the smell of baked apples is wafting through my house.

All in all I would say - life is good.