Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet Miss Cordelia

A lot has happened since my last real blog journal post. My father had a successful battle with cancer, and my youngest brother survived a massive, near-fatal heart attack at the young age of 48. On the upside, my daughter was married in a gorgeous outdoor wedding in Naples, Florida and the following year our middle son and his wife gave us a beautiful granddaughter to love and cherish! 

Meet Cordelia Anne, named from the book series Anne of Green Gables, where Anne wishes aloud that she had a more sophisticated name like "Cordelia". This is out daughter-in-law's all-time favorite book and from when she was just a girl had if she had a daughter she would name her Cordelia. 

She is now 7 months old and getting teeth. I have the honor of babysitting Miss Cordelia two days a week, so she only has to go to daycare three days instead of five, and so I can form a lasting and meaningful relationship with my little grandbaby. I love her so much. 

I'm back...again...for awhile...

After taking a little hiatus from blogging, I am back. As my previous post I wrote about getting sucked into the Facebook and social media black hole, I managed to get myself so sucked in that I accomplished nothing in the two years that I have been away from Blogger. I hadn't done any writing, drawing, painting or anything that I love to do. I just sat and scrolled, and scrolled and scrolled, clicking like and commenting short phrases and words on my friends walls in response to a photo, a funny meme, or political news commentary. I don't even want to add up the time I spent on Facebook in the past two years. It's embarrassing, and not to mention, depressing. It sucks your life, it sucks your time, it drains your brain. So, I am limiting myself to Facebook and putting more time back into the things I used to enjoy, and also someone new in my life. My new little granddaughter, Cordelia Anne.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Back to the real world and things I love

Facebook can be like a self-imposed prison sentence if you let it. I love the fact that I found so many friends from my past that I have reconnected with and am thankful for that. However, I have become totally obsessed with FB and what's happening on the newsfeed that I have been forgetting to live life in the REAL WORLD. 

After sitting in a cube at the office for eight hours a day, I come home and sit in front of a computer for three or four more hours before bed, staring at a screen. Missing the last remaining hours of daylight and the beautiful sunsets, the sounds of the cicadas, the dancing fireflies after dark. I have finally woken up, as I had from religion, and have been rediscovering the things that I used to do. Like READING a book, and writing letters and stories.  I still check out the FB statuses, but have given myself a time limit, and going to try not to get sucked back into it for so many hours a day. Life is passing me by!

I got addicted to Facebook...

But I think I am growing bored with it. I have been spending less and less time on Facebook and more time getting back to my blogs and writing, and my hobbies, and keeping up with my penfriends and actually going outdoors to enjoy the sunshine more often! It's so easy to get sucked into the Facebook thing, and it is a time thief. Stealing hours and hours of time I could be doing something else that I truly enjoy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Christmas 2011

It was a very quiet Christmas this year with Jeff and Mary not being here. But we had a nice visit with the Karr family (none of them have the last name Karr anymore...all girls and all married and grandparents now, their grandchildren all having different last names). There was lots of delicious foods and sweets. Watching the kids is always fun. They are all growing so fast. 

Christmas Day was spent at my parents' house and there was more food, and it was fun getting together again and seeing everyone. With everyone so busy it seems like time is getting away from us way too fast. I can't believe another year is about over and will soon be just memories like all the other years gone past.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Honey badger don't care, honey badger don't give a $hit!

LOL! Mary posted his on FB!

Working woman

How time flies! I hadn't realized I hadn't posted anything here since last November! Since then a lot has changed. Hubby has a new job, I have been working full time since January and we are now landlords and owners of two houses besides the one we live in. 

I work for a publishing company that makes ads for Catholic Church bulletins. I never realized there was even such a thing as advertisements in church bulletins, but apparently it's big business in the Catholic world, enough of it to keep a company of 200 something people employed! 

What do I do there? I am a proofreader and typesetter/ad creator. We make ads for all kinds of businesses from classified list of baby sitters looking for work, to big banks, airlines, funeral homes, restaurants, retail stores of all kinds, grocery stores, and any other kind of business you would find advertised in the newspapers and magazines. 

I like my job. I like the people I work with. However, I don't like the drive much, especially with the rising gasoline prices. I work up near Ohare Airport, and it's a 50+ mile drive. Takes an hour and something to get there and an hour to an hour and a half to get home. LONG days. 

So, that's what I have been up to that is taking my time away from fun stuff, like blogging.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Job hunting

Time seems to be whizzing by, and the race to find jobs for my husband and I before the doors close on his present company is getting more intense and stressful. I miss the old days of applying for jobs where one looked through the newspaper ads, circling those of interest and then printing out a resume, addressing an envelope, and mailing the resume in an addressed and stamped envelope. I don't like this new electronic application process at all. 

I prefer to go in and shake someone's hand and introduce myself and ask to face-to-face and deliver the resume in person. This is the only way a prospective employer will really get an honest first impression of an applicant. Online applications are quite impersonal, and the questionnaires that many companies require you to spend a long time filling out tells nowhere near what an honest and open face-to-face meeting can. 

Once resumes are sent online, it feels as if they are sucked into a black hole of uncertainty. I wonder if many, if not most, of my resumes are being received at all unless I get an automated response "thank you for your resume, we will get in touch with you if we are interested". Most of the time there is no response at all, and I think the "reject letter" is a thing of the past and not a thing most companies concern themselves with doing anymore. Therefore, people are left hanging and maybe even applying for a company multiple times in hopes of them being noticed and considered. 

We have no choice but to keep plodding along, emailing our attached resumes, answering sometimes hundreds of redundant questionnaires, and hoping that a human being at some point will actually read and consider our applications.

Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. - Jerry Garcia

I have made up my mind that I will no longer choose the lesser of two evils. From here on out, I will choose and follow what I believe to be right, even if it cannot win.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Just as my husband predicted

My husband told his company several years ago that if they sent their production to China the business would decline and eventually bring on it's own demise. He didn't want to be right, but apparently he has more business sense than the company owners. Sales slipped every year. Quality grew worse and worse. Lost accounts, big ones. Lay-offs. Finally, the owners are forced to sell the company to a large corporation who deals mostly where? Yep...China. They don't want the people however, just the equipment. So, hubby is being let go, all the people at his company are being let go. The regular workers Dec. 17, and the managers "up to" March 31. My husband is a manager, but he isn't holding his breath. They already gave him a wonderful severance pay of $100. Yes, you read that right. $100. That is the severance for 25-30 years of hard work and dedication. Hope he finds a job soon so he can tell them adios.

Glad election's over

I am so glad that the mid-term elections are over. What a mud-slinging fiasco the ads were! None of the ads tell us what the candidate slinging the mud will do to improve the economy, create more jobs, improve health care, military overseas, etc. The candidates just tell us that their opponent is a witch, is not a true Christian, is a baby killer, eats children for breakfast and whatever else they want to dream up. And then they run videos of their opponents making them look terrible, like monsters who are going to get you in the dark. And people actually vote on this type of propaganda? They really believe it? As Sarah Palin says "you betcha" and that's what they are all counting on. American laziness to look up facts for themselves, and to believe whatever is shown on the boob tube. 

I am not so against some balance in government, but it is upsetting when working class individuals will shoot down health care reform, and other programs that help working class individuals! Makes no sense to me at all. So many Americans vote to screw themselves. And based on a couple of issues...abortion and gay marriage. They don't care if they give up the benefits they rush over to get when they get laid off, lose their insurance, etc. They do bellow loudly though when there is talk about taking their Medicare and "Socialist" security away. They don't want to vote for the handouts they cherish. Mind boggling.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Dog days of summer

This has got to be one of the longest, hottest, most humid summers I have experienced in my life. Fortunately, we have air conditioning (though for a couple of weeks we were without any because our old unit broke down finally after fourteen years of loyal service). It's uncomfortable to even sit outside for a few minutes. Everything is moist, and hot. Jon comes home dripping in sweat from his job. He has an air conditioned office, but isn't in it much since he is plant manager and needs to be out where the workers are. I don't know how anyone can work in this stuff in this kind of horrific heat. It's not just Chicagoland that is suffering this summer. Many areas of the country have it much worse and glad we don't live in a southern state where temps are in the triple digits, and then added to it is the heat index with the humidity factored in. 

I am ready for the coolness of autumn, when I can open our windows and let the breezes come in.

Key Largo and Key West

We recently went on vacation to the Florida Keys and I loved it. I anticipated heat and mugginess, but the weather, while it was very warm, it was a lot worse back up here in Chicagoland when we returned. Key Largo was so romantic, just like the songs about it. We rented a room at the Stoneledge Paradise Inn, an old-style 50s-ish motel painted sunset pink with aqua trim. The Inn has its own dock and pier and swimming area in the water. Jon and I sat on a seat on the pier and watched the sun go down as it cast different shades of pastels over the darkening sea.

Key West is excitement while at the same time there is a laid-backness about the town. The highlight of this visit was the tour of Ernest Hemingway's home and all of the six-toed cats that live there. We also had an original sloppy joe sandwich at the original Sloppy Joe's Bar. Then we took a glass-bottom boat excursion, and what a sight that was! Lots of yellow-tailed snapper, saw a couple of baracuda, lots of pretty underwater plants and seaweed, parrot fish, and the water was incredibly turquoise. Beautiful.

Here are some photos.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Our 35th anniversary

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary. When I was young and looking ahead, 35 years seemed like such a long time. It doesn't seem that long at all from the perspective of looking back. We have done so much in our married life, raised three kids, lived several different places, visited so many cool places and had so many exciting experiences. I hope we have many more years ahead of us because there is so much yet that we want to do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Virginia Beach vacation

Jon and I just got back from a much needed vacation at Virginia Beach. On the way we stopped overnight near Pittsburgh and met up with an old Air Force buddy of Jon's, Keith Z and we went to Primanti's for a really different kind of sandwich. This sandwich was invented for workers who didn't have time to sit and eat a full course meal. It's meat, fries, cole slaw and cheese all between two pieces of Italian bread. Here is a picture of it. Yum.

We spent some time with Mary in Richmond and saw the production of Porgy & Bess at the Carpenter Theater. It was pretty good. A bit to "gospelly" for my taste, but good performances, great music. The sets were okay, but due to budget cuts, they had to do the best with what money they had. Mary has been performing in the orchestra for this production of Porgy & Bess in Virginia. She gets to do so many cool things with her trumpet.

We stayed with Mary until Wednesday the 5th and then Jon and I drove to Virgnia Beach where we had reservations at the Best Western Oceanfront. Our room was fantastic with a gorgeous view of the beach and water from our balcony and front windows. We went to dinner at a seafood place called George's on Atlantic Avenue for dinner the first night and got the buffet which offered everything from stuffed flounder, crab legs, and other seafood. My favorite was the crab cakes. Delicious!

The next day we walked along the boardwalk, taking photos. We had breakfast at the pancake house, also on Atlantic Avenue. I got the best cherry pancakes I ever had. Will post some pictures when I get them all uploaded into my computer.

We spent a lot of time lounging in our room, sitting on the balcony watching the waves roll in and out, watching the seagulls dive down to pick up whatever scraps humans left behind for them. In the early morning hours the sun seemed to rise out of the glistening waters and then rose into the sky making golden sparkles across the waves. I took photos of those and will post those, also as soon as I can.

We had dinner the last night at the restaurant on the main level of our hotel. It's called Angelo's and we got a plated dinner at a table by the window with a full view of the ocean and beach. I ordered the trio...scallops, flounder and shrimp with a baked potato and salad. Jon got the strip steak and baked potato. Then we went for a long walk up the boardwalk again, then over to Atlantic Ave. to do some shopping in the tourist traps. Stopped at Dairy Queen for a Buster Bar Blizzard. And then we went in for the night to relax and watch the water till it got dark and we could no longer see the waves. You could still hear them, though.

Was sad to leave the next morning. We ate breakfast in the room. Jon went and got us Subway breakfast sandwiches and I made decaf in the room. We sat by the table at the window and ate our food. Then it was time to pack up and head back to Mary's. I could live there in Virginia Beach, in that hotel room forever. It was so peaceful there.

Now back to reality, which reminds me I need to get off of here and get back to work. Another project started the day we got home.

Lovin' Lady Gaga

I find her videos interesting and bizarre at the same time.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Diagnosing myself

I started having these irregular heartbeats back in January. When they first started happening I thought oh well, palpitations again. They come and go. Well, this time they didn't go! They stayed 24/7 and were more than the usual racing beat or extra beat or skipped beat. It was near constant.

I went to see my regular doctor and she said I had high blood pressure because every time I go in my bp reads high...never mind that every time I go in I am either in pain or sick and that can elevate bp. No, she says I need medicine or I could have a stroke or something. SO, I took the Inderal she prescribed. That's when the irregular heartbeats became a regular thing.

Went off to the cardiologist. He put me on a different beta blocker which didn't do anything except turn me into a zombie. I was butt-draggin' tired all the time. And my pulse was 45! So, he tried adjusting the dosage. All that did was make me a little less sleepy, but the irregular heartbeat never normalized.

Then I saw a gastro doctor and a lung doctor in between. The lung guy found I have a nodule in my right lung that I have to have rescanned in August. Probably a rheumatoid nodule from the RA but he wants to be sure. Then went to a gastro doc who did an endoscopy that would tell if I had ulcers again. Had that done on the 9th of this month and sure enough...ulcers are back and gastritis. He put me on ulcer meds and one of them didn't agree with me...made my throat and food pipe burn...why? The dumbasses never told me I had to DISSOLVE the tablet in water and drink it! It was getting stuck and all the medicine staying in my esophagus!

In the meantime the cardiologist told me to stop the BP med and let things get out of my system before starting another drug. I did that and the heartbeat was still constantly irregular. SO I did some research on my own about GERD, (I also have a hiatus hernia) and heart irregularities and guess what? There IS a connection. So I called the gastro guy again and asked him and he says that he often has patients end up in ER for cardiac symptoms that are triggered by the ulcers and gastritis. There is a nerve that runs from your brain, through your neck and down to the espohagus, heart and other organs. When irritated it can cause heart irregularities. So, he gave me some different medicine and said to stay on a bland diet and guess what? I am happy to report that the irregular heartbeat seems to be settling back to some sort of normalcy...thank goodness.

Sometimes we just have to do the detective work ourselves.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


I've been doing too much Facebooking lately and not paying enough attention to my blogs. Well, I am going to try to be better about that from now on. I have missed writing out full sentences and participating in some intelligent debate.

Facebook is fun, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy keeping tabs on what everyone is doing. It's been great for staying connected. It's also been the source of drama and I have had to witness some of these dramas via my newsfeed wall that I would have been better off not knowing about. What some people write on their Facebook walls boggles the mind. I've witnessed a whole relationship of one couple break up, fall apart, the nasty exchanges, and then the whole mob action against the guy for being a cheater...and then finally, like in the movies...the whole barfy reconciliation.

The games on Facebook are big time wasters. I really do enjoy Yoville, but hate the farms. This is a strange phenomenon. I hate the farms but feel compelled to click, click, click away to "harvest the fruits, vegetables and other things from cartoon fields, trees and animals. Then like I wrote about before, the cartoon cafe where I spend time preparing cartoon dishes for cartoon characters to eat.
I recently started working again online so have to curtail these activities and hopefully this will wean me off of my current FB addiction before it sucks me in even farther.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Anyone else lost in this last season of LOST?

I am becoming impatient. So far, not one question has even remotely been answered. What are the remaining main characters candidates for? What's with the side-by side two time frames flashing back and forth and when are the writers going to tie them together somehow?

What's with the scene of the island being underwater as if it had been sunk? Is one of the "candidates" going to be "elected" or chosen to end the life of the island itself and sink it in the end? What will happen to the characters? Will they all die? Will they all go back to where they were? Will the ending happen in the real world, just like if their lives had gone on and never went to the island?

And what's with last night's boring episode with Locke dragging Sawyer around the island only to lead him to some hole in the cliffs where it looks as if someone had been living there...which I suspect was the dwelling place of Jacob who was killed by Benjamin in the last season.

The whole temple thing is pretty weird, too. Jack, Kate, Jin, Sahid, and Hurley are all prisoners there at the temple and Sawyer escapes...and Kate and Jin sweet talk the leader of the temple into letting them go after Sawyer. Never would happen. Sawyer would be on his own. Then the confusing flashes of Claire who seems to have taken the place of Rousseau's rustic and armed woman hiding in the jungle character.

Guess I will give it some more time to get going, but I will be really disappointed if this thing doesn't end with excitement and answering questions. I will be really mad that I watched six seasons for nothing.

I'm back

Was away from my online journal here for awhile, but now am back and catching up with some posts. I have started the new year with more medical crap, RA and Lupus flare affecting the heart action, nodule in one lung they are keeping an eye on, and may start a round of Methotrexate in a few weeks if the Prednisone doesn't take care of things. What fun! Wonder if I can get my doctor to write me a prescription for a Caribbean Cruise???

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both good times for us this year. For me and my immediate family, the holiday season is a time for tradition and family. A time for gathering together with friends and loved ones to laugh and have good food together.

The holidays were even more special this year because our daughter Mary came home for a visit for the first time in several years. I really appreciated her taking time out of her busy life to spend a week with us. That week went by all too quickly, too.

Christmas eve in the afternoon we all opened our gifts to each other. We usually wait till Christmas morning out of tradition, but since Mary had a morning trumpet gig the next day, we decided to do it in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. I received some really nice gifts from Jon and my kids this year. Jon and I bought a new receiver as our gift to each other, and we went to see Star Wars in Concert earlier this month. Then he bought me some sweaters, two pair of boot shoes, pajamas and a NuWave cooker. (The thing really works like the informercials show, but that is for another story.) Jason gave me a book that lists 1001 books to read before you die. And Jeff and Whitney gave me diamond stud earrings and a special computer mouse pad with Jon's, Jason, Jeff, Whitney and Mary's pictures on it. It's so neat! Mary gave me a pretty pair of earrings that I can wear with lots of things and oh so nice-smelling body cream and a hand lotion. Very nice gifts. :-) Jon also put together a computer for the livingroom that is now hooked up to our 106" screen tv! Crazy!

Christmas evening we went to some good friends of ours who are like family to us. We have gone there every year since before we were married. They are Jon's "surrogate" family that took care of him when he was little and his mother worked. And grew especially close to them after Jon's parents passed away when he was a teenager. There was so much good food there, as usual. This year it was lasagna, sausage, meatballs, salad, Italian bread and butter. And lots and lots of desserts.

The next day we went to my parents' house for another good meal. Ham and sweet potatoes, sausage, sauerkraut, veggies, rolls, strawberry jello, and cookies galore. My sister was over with her husband and my brother was there with his wife and one of his sons. The weather started turning nasty and my other brother and his family just went home from his in-laws since the weather was getting worse and worse and temperatures were plunging. Got some nice things from Mom and Dad. I got the blue fleece top I wanted and some real nice Bath and Body Works stuff and a cute story book about a mouse. (I love illustrated children's books.)

The weather on the way home was strange. It looked like the arctic at my parents' place, then as we headed west it cleared up and was fine till we got two blocks from home and looked as though we drove through the wall of snow and into a snowglobe. Lucky we made it home before that other storm moved east.

Mary stayed till today and I took her to the airport earlier to go back home. It's always sad to say goodbye. I am so glad she got to come spend the holidays with us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our new village hall

Here is a photo taken by a friend of the new village hall in our town. It's built in a commons area with library, orchestra shell, and other nice things...pond with fountains, walkways, outdoor music speakers, and picnic areas, places for sledding and playgrounds. It's a nice place to live, though our taxes are outrageous!

Today we are having nasty weather. Freezing rain and sometimes snow. Sometimes mixed, sometimes separate. The weather guys say it's supposed to turn to all freezing rain later this evening which should put a nice glassy glaze on everything and hopefully won't seal our vehicles closed.

I still am expecting two presents to be delivered and hope they make it here today. They are already several days overdue. Weird that this time next week will be the last days of 2009.

Waynesville NC in Winter

This photo is reminiscent of the scenes in It's a Wonderful Life. Actually, it is the main street going through Waynesville, North Carolina in the vicinity where my father and his family lived when he was growing up. A local photographer took this among other photos that are just as beautiful as this one after the recent snowstorm that went through the east coast this past week. Our daughter found herself driving through it two days in a row in Virginia and fortunately being from Chicago she knew how to drive in this stuff and didn't end up in a ditch like many folks who are not used to so much white stuff.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow, wind, ice and sub-freezing temps

This image is pretty much how everyone's yards look around us. The winds were really bad yesterday, howling and making the siding buzz in an annoying kind of way. It gets on my nerves pretty quick. We haven't been able to figure out how to prevent the "buzzing" in high winds except for maybe to replace the siding with brick, and who has money for that?

The new windows we installed over the summer are doing their job. We have no drafts at all and despite the cold temperatures, the furnace has not been running a whole lot and it's staying nice and comfortable inside.

Yesterday and all last night we had snow, but today the skies are bright blue and the sun is making the snow sparkle. It's pretty to look at but nothing I like to go out into. I have a cold today so that is another reason to stay indoors. I feel bad for Jon who has to be on the roof at work today for some insane reason.

Star Wars in Concert

We went to see the Star Wars in Concert at Chicago's United Center this past Sunday and was an excellent performance of music, lights and video. The kids who attended looked so cute all dressed up in their costumes, and the adults...the Star Wars "nerds" wore authentic-looking costumes which made it fun. While I have enjoyed the Star Wars movies, and the music, I would never go so far as to dress up in a costume for this or any event.

The food at the United Center was outrageous! Jon and I got an individual-sized cheese pizza to share and that was $12 and then a large Sprite was $6.50! We went to eat at Portillo's afterwards and got a beef and cheddar croissant, a regular beef sandwich, large order of fries, large drink and a chocolate cake shake for a dollar less than the piddly lunch at the UC.

Here is a video someone made and put on YouTube of part of the performance. Once the Star Wars production company figures out it is on there it will probaby be removed.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Warm Cinnabon Coffee Cake

This stuff is incredible. Delectable! It was our dessert tonight. Warm from the oven.

Snowflakes in the air

It didn't snow as much as in these photos, but it will come. There were pretty tiny snowflakes floating in the crisp, cold air as my husband and I walked hand and hand across the dark parking lot of the Burrito Loco when we went to dinner last night. The snowflakes were in the air again today as I drove to my doctor's appointment. It looks very lovely coming down so subtly, the flakes melting as soon as they hit the still-warm pavement. But all too soon we will be shoveling heaps of the white stuff again and again while wishing for springtime.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends here. Tomorrow we won't be doing a whole lot of anything. I am making a turkey with all the stuff that goes with it, only on a smaller scale. The only one who will be here is out oldest son because our married son and our daughter-in-law are going to New York to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with her folks. Our daughter is spending Thanksgiving with her boyfriend's family. Mom and Dad are having their first peaceful Thanksgiving alone in 55 years! That should be really enjoyable for them...(though Mom says she misses having us all over and cooking the big traditional meal.)

I look forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving day while the turkey and stuffing bakes in the oven, filling the house with a wonderful delicious smell of sage, onion and poultry seasoning. Then Jon watches football and chills and we all snack on this and that for the rest of the evening. It will be a quiet one this year.


From November 13th through the 22nd we took a ten-day vacation first to see our daughter in Richmond and to see her concert with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and then she performed a recital at the university she teaches at a couple days later. We had a really good time with her and I will post some pictures as soon as I get the film developed. I do have digital ones, too that I have to download.

After we left our daughter's we went to visit my aunt and uncle in North Carolina. North Carolina is such a beautiful state with rounded mountains covered with trees. Of course, at this time of year there are no leaves on the trees and was kind of gloomy the first couple days we were there, but the sun finally came out while we were walking down the street of Mayberry, or really known as Mt. Airy.

We stopped at Snappy Lunch to get a famous pork chop sandwich. North Carolinan's eat slaw on everything. And on this pork chop sandwich comes slaw, chili, mustard, onions tomato and lettuce. Now that may sound bad but after giving it a chance it is pretty darn tasty. Here is a photo of it. If you are ever out in that area, you must stop by and try one of these. MMMM good.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Zombieland on Halloween

Each year I have written here and on my other blogs about how much I loathe Halloween. I have admitted that I am a Halloween Scrooge. It's my second least favorite holiday after 4th of July. Each year we leave the house during trick-or-treat time so we don't have to answer the door to little candy beggars saying "chick er cheet!" and then complain that you only gave them "one" or complain about the kind of candy you give them. Our neighborhood has always been full of spoiled kids who are used to getting candy at home anytime they want it and the good stuff. Not like in the neighborhood I grew up in back in the 50s and 60s where kids were actually happy getting a Dum-Dum sucker.

Well, we put the tenants in charge of the candy dispensing this year, if they wanted to. They didn't want their cars egged so they helped out. And Jon and I went out to get a hamburger at Wendy's and then went to the show to see Zombieland. I was wondering what it was going to be like. Our oldest son Jason said it was great and usually if he says something is good, it is. And he was right. It was hilarious. Woody Harrelson is so funny! All that happens is they blow away zombies, but they have to have "two taps" to make it stick. You have to see the movie to know what that means. The movie is a combination of fakey horror, comedy, light romance, and action. Something for everyone. It was an entertaining movie. I give it a thumbs up.

Virtual cooking, home decorating and shopping and farming...I am exhausted!

Friends and readers, I apologize for such a long delay in posting but seems I have acquired a weird addiction to virtual cooking and apartment decorating in Cafe World and YoVille which are Zynga games that are played via Facebook. In between my real world stuff, I have been whipping up crabmeat souflees, cherry cheesecakes, Voodoo Chicken Salads, spaghetti and other culinary delights all with the click of my pointy finger. Oh if real-life cooking were so easy. This has been exhausting keeping up with the demand of customers coming into the cafe to eat, and not so easy to do. At first this appears to be a cute little children's game that six-year-olds can play, however they might be able to go through the process of choosing a dish and clicking to make it, however the planning of how much food to make and keeping it going to keep your buzz rating up requires calculators! My husband has been my "assistant chef" and he helps with the planning and managed to help me build up enough to expand three times now. It's getting ridiculous though that now I am starting to plan what I do according to when my crumpets will be done! So today, when we went out, I forgot about the buzz rating and just tossed on a few eight hour dishes and figured if I run out of food, oh well. But it wasn't so easy to get out of my mind. I was thinking about all those little cartoon avatars coming in and leaving because they didn't get served! And that affects my buzz rating. I am WAY to far into this crap!

Then there is YoVille. Virtual village with a condo where all 1, 700, 000 of us players live together, and some even have two, three, four or more houses in addition to their condos. This can get crazy out of control. I like it because I can decorate and costs me nothing except little coins I earn my working in the YoVille Sweets Factory...and by doing ridiculous clicking on "buddy's" profiles to get those hidden pots of gold, turning on lights and picking up left presents. I admit I am really too sucked into these games! But they are fun and once they have you, you must keep playing with it. The funniest way to earn coins is to play games. These games of tic-tac-toe or rock-paper-scissors can be quite time consuming but we all have figured a way around that. We "max" each other out, which means we lose on purpose so the other guy gets all the points they are allowed for the games, then they return the favor. It's sort of like virtual prostitution, however since when we all meet up in front of the condo building we type little messages to each other like "max for max?" or "will one of you max me?" Sounds kinky...virtual kinky.

Then there is FarmVille and Farm Town which I did join so my aunt who is almost 70 can have me as a neighbor to increase her ability to do things and to get more money. I can do without the farms. I am bored sick of them and don't care if I expand them or not. But the thing is now, even though I can block it on my FB profile, I can't quit! I am always there. I don't have to play but the farms will turn to weeds...which I really don't care anymore about either. There are people who are absolutely seriously into this stuff and need therapy. These are the ones who use their credit cards to purchase "YoVille dollars" and Cafe World "money" and FarmVille and Farm Town cash. You give them your credit card number and you can get thousands of coins for like $100. And insane people are doing this. And not just kids. These are grown people. I have asked them how they get the Godfather mansion in YoVille and they say they purchase YoVille dollars to get imaginary stuff. I pointed out to some of these people via our little chatting back and forth that they could go buy a REAL outfit or home furnishings for real cash and actually have something tangible. I just don't get it. I would never buy imaginary money with real money to buy imaginary crap in an online game. I really do need to get a grip though. Even though I don't go so far as to charge on my credit card to play these goofy little games, I am spending way too much time on them.Maybe someone will start virtual therapy sessions?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cajun bean soup

Autumn has blown in and cold weather is upon us. The winds were howling last night and I thought the roof was going to be lifted up into the air!

Today, the skies are blue, the fall colors are bright and a crispness fills the chilly air. I love this time of year. I also love my slow cooker.

Cajun bean soup is simmering in my slow cooker as I am writing this. I make it with the 18 bean package, soaked overnight. And then after rinsing this morning, I put in water, diced tomatoes, spices and ham cubes and let it simmer. Then I added the cajun spices after it was cooking for a few hours. And I also added white rice. The air in the house is filled with a yummy spicy aroma. Soups and stews taste even better in cold weather.

Travels to Richmond

Went to visit our daughter in Richmond last week and help her move into her new house where she is living with a couple of new people. A young man owns the house and lives there, along with another young woman. It's a very nice house, though I liked the neighborhood with the park across the street where she moved from. But at least she won't have a jungle and fish ponds to maintain anymore.

We left for our journey right after traffic court in Ottawa. It was the appeal for the traffic ticket Jon got for not moving over for a stopped cop at the side of the road when he did move over. But cops can accuse you and ticket you for whatever they want and it's your word against their's. He lost the appeal, which we expected and that was $250 donation to their corrupt county funds! We shrugged it off though, and didn't let it ruin our trip.

We got to Toledo in time for dinner and checked into the Days Inn there. It was pretty decent. Clean. No pool and hot tub like they advertised, though! We were looking forward to that since we arrived early in the evening. We got up the next morning and drove the rest of the way, and we can always count on it to rain in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It never fails. Fog, pouring rain, wind, stupid drivers who can't drive on wet roads. Wish people if they can't drive in bad weather they would car pool with someone else or stay home!

Got to Mary's in time for dinner there. She had a concert later in the evening, but we had plenty of time to for pizza at a good pizza place in Carytown. It's difficult to find good pizza out east, except for New York city. I love New York style pizza...nice and greasy and thin, thin crust and the pie is divided into triangle slices.

Mary had to go to her concert, her boyfriend Dave was at her house and they were going to go out to a party afterwards so Jon and I checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Courtyard of Marriott for two days and it was very nice. Nice comfy beds with lots of puffy pillows, cable television, workout room, swimming pool, hot tub, and restaurant and snack store. We went to Arby's for a quick dinner and then back to the hotel to chill. I read some of my book, Jon watched cable television and we were quite relaxed. Mary and Dave went to their party at a bar in downtown Richmond and they were witness to a shooting! It happened right there outside of their bar, and they were on the patio of this bar outside. The gunman fired five shots, don't know how many times he hit the guy he was after, but it brought him down and the gunman fled. I'm so glad that Mary and Dave and no one else was hurt. The guy who was shot survived and police did capture the gunman, thank goodness! Mary had invited Jon and I to go along with them and so I was glad we had declined and opted to go to our hotel to rest.

The next day we went over to Mary's house and did some internet and then we went over to the Galaxy Cafe for brunch. I ate my first batter-fried pickle spear and it was so delicious! We also ordered a fried Twinkie with ice cream and four fried Oreo cookies with ice cream and shared it. But we all said once we tasted it we wished we each had one of our own! It was so good. Melted right in your mouth!

Mary's concert at the Carpenter Center was at three so we changed and went there. The performance was Carmina Burana complete with orchestra, adult and children's choruses. It was spectacular. The theater is beautiful. There is a deep blue night sky painted on the ceiling and walls and the sides have arches to see though, as you can see from the photo here to the left. It's my favorite color of blue. The concert was magnificent. My ears after felt as if we had just heard a heavy metal rock concert. Spectacular, just awesome.

That evening we went to Kroger and got fried chicken, salad, rolls, potato skins and brownies and took it back to Mary's to eat. It was a good meal and a fraction of the cost of going to a restaurant. And probably a fraction of the salt. I still have to watch my salt intake and after eating at Galaxy earlier, to eat out again that same day would have made me sick.

We went back to our hotel around nine, and took showers, watched some t.v and fell asleep.The next morning we were up early since we had to check out. We had to switch hotels because Courtyard was doubling their rate on weekdays, which is ridiculous. Isn't a rented room at the half price better than an empty room for no money? Oh well...their loss. We went over to the Best Western and checked in and it was very nice, even nicer than the Marriott. Wish we would have stayed there the entire time. Free hot breakfast, plush comforter and lots of pillows.

That day was moving day for Mary. She borrowed a friend's van and Jon and Dave got most of the bigger stuff over to the new place real quick. We were done moving stuff by noon, but the clean up took awhile. And we took another Galaxy break and got the fried Twinkies and Oreos again. Yum. I got a grilled cheese instead of a big burger the second visit since that would be just too much to eat two days in a row. But had to have those fried pickles, and fried goodies once more. We went back to Mary's house again to clean and wait for the landlord. Then Mary and Dave decided to go back to her new place and Jon and I went back to our hotel and then we get a call from Mary asking if Jon has the key to her friend's van! No...David had it last. Dave said he put it in his pocket and it must have fallen out. They retraced their steps and didn't find it. But luckily, the friend had an extra key after all, after all that time spent looking.

The last day we were there we simply hung out at Mary's new house. She had taken Dave to the airport for him to go back home early in the morning, so we all slept late. Jon and I had breakfast at the hotel. And then when we went to Mary's Jon worked on fixing her bike most of the day. He always finds something to work on everywhere we go. Mr. Fixit.

We went to Carytown Burgers for dinner and while they were ordering I went into CVS to get an itch stick for all the damn mosquito bites I got on moving day in that jungle of a yard over at that place. I looked like I had chicken pox I had so many! Jon ordered burgers for all of us and cheese fries, saying he thought I would like them, when in fact it was he who wanted them, not me. He can never say he wants bad food for himself. He has to say that I want it, makes him feel less like a piggie or something!

After taking Mary home, we sat and talked awhile and then we hit the road. We had hotel reservations in Hagerstown, Maryland and didn't want to be getting there too late. Saying goodbye is always hard and I managed not to cry this time, but still my heart felt heavy having to leave my daughter again.

Driving through D.C. at that time wasn't too bad. Driving through D.C. at rush hour is hell, and why we wanted to get on the other side of D.C. to avoid the morning rush. We got stuck in construction traffic about 20 miles outside of Hagerstown. So, Jon tells me to call the motel, an Econolodge, and tell them that we are on our way but stuck in traffic. It was about 9:30 p.m. An Indian guy answered and I usually don't have a hard time understanding people, but I did with him. I was getting frustrated because he kept saying the word "cancel" and I kept saying "no cancel!" and so handed the phone to Jon who managed to communicate with him that we were indeed coming and to keep our room for us. When we got there the we found ourselves feeling like we walked into a hotel in India. The furnishings, draperies, wall hangings, pictures were all Indian. It was very interesting, but also quite odd for an Econolodge to be decorated this way. The whole place smelled of curry, which many people would like. It wasn't repulsive, but Jon isn't keen on curry and it bothered him. We went up to our room in elevators that seemed like they hadn't been updated since the 60s. It shook and rumbled up to the fourth floor. When we opened the door to our room, we could see the cold wind and drizzle blowing in the opened window, no screen. The room was clean, but the carpet was now wet in that area. We closed the window, and drapes, and took showers and went to sleep on the too-short beds. It was a place to sleep and was clean, and quiet so that was good.

We drove all the next day, stopping at Tim Horton's in Toledo for dinner of soup and chili (Jon had the chili) and then made good time on the rest of the way home. It was good to sleep in my own comfortable bed. There is no place like home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fickle washing machine

Yesterday afternoon I carried a load of towels downstairs and put them into the washer and closed the door. I then poured in the liquid detergent into the proper place, and then the fabric softener and pushed the power button and the power came on. Then I pushed "start" and the digital read-out blinked F 01 over and over. Uh, oh...I groaned. What now! So I switched it off, opened the door, closed the door and tried it again....and F 01, F 01, F 01....

Went upstairs and found the manual. It says if it shows F 01 to first try unplugging the unit for two minutes and plug back in and try to set it. Did that and still F 01, F 01, F 01.

I left it for hubby. He was not happy having to deal with this problem with a washer that is only a year old. So, he tried all the stuff I did. Then he found the electrical prints online and saw that he had to take the whole thing apart to get to the circuit board so left it for today. He got up this morning and went downstairs to work on it and decided to try to see if it worked and guess what? It works...for now. But who knows what mood it will be in tomorrow.

It seems that they make these product to fall apart or stop working after the warranty date so you have to go buy a new one. But why would they think we would want to go back and buy one of their products then? Probably no one cares anymore. They just want to make the product as cheaply as they can, charge us high prices and make huge profits and don't care if some of them stop working. They have our money already so who cares. And they think we are going to pay them for service calls on top of it, which many people do. But not these people. Jon can usually repair anything electrical, and if we can't we won't be buying another Kenmore!

Muse - Bliss

A band Helga got me to listen to...awesome video. Reminds me of my blogname. Thanks Helga!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to me....

I am now the age of the average speed limit. 55 How did I get this old? Where did all the time go?

I like the way Blogger puts a birthday cake at the B logo for your birthday...cute.

A couple of my friends also have birthdays all within a couple of days of each other. My friend Dodie turned 55 yesterday, but Robbin turned 55 on Sept 1st. And all my other friends are either 55 already or are turning 55 before the end of the year. My best friend Pam turned 63 -- though you don't seem that old, Pam ;-)

Hubby got me a yellow cake with light chocolate buttercream frosting, pink flowers and pink writing that says Happy Birthday... which I am going to go cut and serve here in a few minutes. Yum.

It's always something

We have had cable internet and television for some time now and we went with the cable because we didn't want bulky boxes and stuff sitting around. The cable is nice and neat, no bunches of cables, etc. to deal with.

Well, now the cable company informed us that as of September 29th we need to have digital boxes and adapters installed on all of our televisions or else we are going to lose more than 20 stations that are going to digital.

The woman on the phone at the cable company told me that I could go over to this office at a nearby town and pick up the equipment, so that is what I did. I got there and the guy says they don't have them there and told me to go to this other town 30 miles away! I told him that I wasn't going to be driving around the planet trying to track down boxes I shouldn't need. Everything was supposed to come via the cable.

While I was talking to the guy at the counter, this man behind me said he was there for the same thing. Someone on the phone from the cable company told him to come over there and get this digital boxes!

Then the guy behind the counter says that we can have them shipped to our houses. I said why didn't the woman on the phone tell us that? Why did she send us over to pick them up at a place that doesn't have them? So, I phoned the cable company again from right there and set it up to have our digital boxes delivered. When at the end of the call she asked "anything else I can do for you?" I said, "Why don't you inform your customer service reps not to be sending people over to a place to pick up digital equipment when they don't have it there." and she just thanked me and told me to have a nice day. I have a feeling that my message will never be passed on.

So, hubby opens the box when it arrives. It has very, very short cables to connect the box to the tv, and also the power cables are quite short. SO, this is going to cost more money out of our pockets to buy cables that are long enough and some sort of jacks to make sure we get the right reception. What a bunch of crap!

Satellite dish is sounding better and better.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Labor Day weekend

I hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing weekend and hope those of you who have to work will find time to fit in some enjoyment, too. What are Jon and I doing? Not much, just relaxing since we have the house to ourselves. We did do some work around here yesterday, finishing some more projects, installing new screens for the new windows. We did some shopping, including grocery shopping after we went out for breakfast yesterday. We just went to Denny's and I behaved myself and got the scrambled egg whites, plain English muffin, crispy bacon, and ate part of my hash browns and a small OJ and a cup of decaf. Jon got the whole shebang with the pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and a large orange juice. If I get breakfast out I have to get either pancakes or eggs but never both together. That's just way too much food.

Today didn't do a whole lot. Jon had to go out to the store again. We did go out for lunch to our favorite pizza buffet at Chicago Dough Company where they have the worlds best buttery cinnamon sticks that are drizzled with white icing and hot out of the oven. Forget the rest of the food, I just want a plate of these things!

Besides the noise of the cicadas and crickets, we also have to endure our neighbors inflatable jumping thing they put up in their back yard for all the kids and grandkids that will be at their backyard hoopla for the weekend. Not only do you have screaming kids, but there is also the constant running of the motor that keeps the jumping house inflated. Makes me tempted to go see if we still have that old game of jarts...that put a nice hole in our swimming pool one time, and I am sure it could bring down one of these vinyl rugrat traps in no time. (I'm so evil.)

These people who live behind us have too many kids. I don't know whose are whose over there anymore. The couple who owns the house are my and Jon's ages and they have grown kids, school age kids and now it looks like toddlers...also some of their grown kids have kids now so it's a regular free for all over there all the time. The father is often drunk and yells and screams at all the kids, sometimes smacking one of them if he loses his temper. I don't know if he is screaming at a kid or a grandkid. Doesn't matt
er, his behavior is obviously because he is drunk and probably all those kids really get on his nerves...but hey, that's what happens when you worship the Pope and as Monty Python sings "every sperm is sacred".

Soon it will be winter and everyone will be hibernating in their homes and it will be so quiet there won't even be any birds around except for the little winter birds that do not migrate. Then all will be peaceful, and calm...but I will miss those summer sounds I complain about now. I will NOT miss the sound of the family with the herd of kids, however. They are too obnoxious for words.

Loudest insects on planet?

This is a cicada. It's amazing how much noise only one of these critters can make. The decibel is unbelievable. And where there is a chorus of them, like there always is in late summer it can be quiet deafening. It's nearly impossible to try to sit outside and have any type of conversation while these things are going at it. The cicada along with the cricket choruses are also annoying when trying to fall asleep...unless the windows are shut tightly and the a/c on, which has been out house most of summer. Now I want to enjoy the cool evening breezes and while that is wonderful, we have to put up with the bug noise.

Does anyone know of any insects that are louder than a cicada?