Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tonight is the night!

Today is Open That Bottle Night where all over the world people celebrate the memories associated with a special bottle of wine that they have been holding on to until that perfect day to uncork it! Well, this couple created this "holiday" where they gave everyone the OK to go ahead and open that bottle, no matter the day-no matter if it is an expensive pour or not, just to celebrate the memories of why the bottle is special! So, Happy Open That Bottle Night! I'll send y'all a toast as I enjoy the 2001 Rodet Chardonnay that we picked up on a Chunnel trip from Paris to London a few years ago. I'll be remembering our day in blanc just outside Notre-Dame, the small red refrigerator, the amazing view from La Tour Eiffell, flower shops, "bon nuit", the twinkling lights along the Champs Elysees, the Germans on the train, pastries....aahh Pariee!

( is the lovely glass I enjoyed.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Project 365-Day 60

This is my new favorite drink from Starbucks-Iced Berry Chai Tea. Leisa got one for me the other day and it was so delicious. It has a slight "bite" to it, like a spice-which is the Chai, but very chai-ey! Hope that makes sense...all I know is I love them and have been back a couple of times to get them.

Tomorrow I am teaching this class at The Doodle. The class is called "Super Cool Tile Frame", formerly known as UTEE Tile Frame. This has been a popular class since my Sisterdear begged me to teach it at the MS Crop 4 Hope last year. Normally a class at WSD is about 12 people, but this one just kept on filling and I have 16 in class tomorrow! Wow! That is the most I've had in quite awhile. It's gonna be fun. I guess I'll have to keep repeating the class if it is this popular.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mitch Hedberg - The Donut

Question from a recent "mem" on a group that I am on:

4. If you could bring any one famous person back to life, who would it be?

My anwser was:
Mitch Hedberg (I miss his jokes...)

Here is one reason why...enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Project 365-D57

Pretty cute baby, huh? Look at how big our Kitty Cat is getting! We went out to Mellow Mushroom last night as a "good-bye" dinner for Charles. He and I split the Jerk pizza with tempah instead of chicken and oh, boy was it spicy! But fantastic. Charles said he had a great time, but was really sad in the end 'cause he is getting lonely up in PA. Anyone need a good house?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Project 365-Days 53-56

I found this book when I was doing some more cleaning. It is a book I got back in the 80's when I dressed in madras prints, wore Espadrilles and Izod shirts, had a the funny nickname of Muffy and carried a fabric purse with wooden handles. Oh so preppy!

Funny shot of Elphaba sitting in one of my dresser drawers sitting on another dresser drawer sitting on an armchair in the overflowing Florida room! That cat loves to find new things to curl up in, on, under...she'll try anything!

Front of a Valentine's Day card I got from Dianne! She has such excellent taste in cards! And right on the money...

Here is the breakdown: On Sunday my nephew and I moved a heavy wardrobe into the second bathroom to make space for the installers. That was the only bathroom with toilet paper and I couldn't reach it. On Monday I forget TP, on Tuesday I buy it while at work and put it and my wallet into one of those $1 shopping bags and leave it at work. Wed I am too sick to go into work. Still no TP. I find exactly $6.35 in my purse/bottom (because my wallet is at work in St. Pete and I don't want to drive 1 hour round trip to get it!) of my car and head to 7-11 for TP and laundry detergent. $6.35 will NOT buy you a small thing of detergent and a single roll of TP. I needed clothes done and I still had some tissues so I get the detergent. On Thurs the carpet installers are coming, but going to call before they get here. So at 9am they show up (no call) and I still do not have any TP! More importantly, I have no means to buy any anyway! Sweet Jackie IMs me and feeling sorry that I am feeling poorly, she offers to bring anything I need by before work. TP!! I need TP! Not only does Jackie show up with rescue paper, but she has decorated the bag she brought them in! Sometimes the craziness of it all astounds me too!

This is the binder I am keeping all my paperwork in from the adoption process. It is a lot of paperwork and with my agency loosing some papers I am keeping a copy of everything!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Need something cool?

My friend, Stacey-Loo-Who, (or just plain "Stacey") has an Etsy shop all set up with great cards and mini-albums for sale. If you are looking for a card, a set of cards, a unique themed album or project then you should go check out what this uber talented crafter has to offer! I think she even offers custom made goods on request.
And if you live locally you can check out the classes she teaches at The Doodle. Instead of buying pre-made items, you can actually create them yourself!
Whatever your fancy-homemade or homemade by someone else-go check her out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Project 365-Day 51

This morning before work I had to take G in to get her all checked out from her weekend ordeal and Dr. Barsch said she had hook worms and probably some more parasites in her gut since it was very noisy. She had some meds there and some take home meds. Tonight when I was rubbing her belly I found a tiny scratch. That is all I've found as outward evidence she was down a drain for 4-6 hours!
What a trooper!
What a miracle!!!
I am shocked and thankful every moment that I found her. I am putting together a basket of goodies for that cat and I'm gonna go find it's owners on Thurs. I cannot wait!
I just cannot believe that I found her...

If you live in the Tampa area and are looking for a FANTASTIC vet, you can take my recommendation and check out Dr. Gary Barsch.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Project 365-Days 49-51

Here are a few photos from the last few days...

This photo was taken standing in our driveway looking towards the drain Ginger was down in. You can see it just under the street sign in the center of the pic. How many yards to you think that is away from our house? Not many!

This the spot where we both went in! Ginger slid down the opening, I went through the man-hole opening after the kind Courtesy Patrol officer lifted it off for me.

Here is the step stool that I used to climb down. Notice the grimy footprints on the steps? Those would be mine.

When I went back today to snap some photos, tried to reach my hand in where Ginger fell to show you the bottom of the drain and this is as far in as I could reach. You can make out food wrappers, a broken wine bottle and just gunk!

I am so happy to have my little girl back! I am taking her to the vets tomorrow morning so they can start her on some antibiotics in case she picked up anything while down there.

Lastly...would you consider it cute or pathetic to order your lonesome self a heart-shaped pizza on Valentine's weekend? Whatever your opinion, I did just that! And bought myself my own mini bouquet of flowers. Word on the street is that I need a little romancing! LOL

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another chapter...

Another exciting chapter in The Adventures of Miracle Dog...

After returning home from working and then playing at The Doodle around 7pm, I noticed a dead lizard on the living room floor. I hate lizards-especially dead, droopy lizards. So, since my nephew is due to help me around the house tomorrow, I upturned an empty garbage can on it in the hopes that Christopher will dispose of it tomorrow. Next I head to the kitchen to feed all the critters and notice another dead lizard in the kitchen nook. Yuck! I cover him with a Solo cup. The animals are fed and Ginger has been taken out for a quick walk so I am now changing into pj's and pulling together dinner. Lo and behold there is lizard number three in the hallway. Now I am beginning to wonder where all the lizards are coming from. I think that since my FIL has just been here repairing our front door, maybe a few sneaked in past him while the door was off it's hinges. I do not give this another thought except-poor Christopher.
As of today, there is not a lot of furniture in the main part of the house since we are getting new carpet next week and I have been moving all our furniture out into the Florida room. Needless to say, the house is very empty. But the Florida room is overflowing and hard to get around out there, so I have been avoiding that room unless it is to add more stuff from the carpeted areas. All that to tell you that I didn't go into the Florida room until much later in the evening....
There is a cold that is making it's way around my friends and I am trying my darnedest to catch it. So I am not feeling too great and decide to take an Alka Seltzer Nighttime Flu tablet so I will be able to sleep tonight. After eating a quick supper, I head to my scrapbook/computer room to check FaceBook and Yahoo mail for any messages, pick up my knitting project, chug my meds and settle down to watch SNL. Usually by now all the girls are curled up in my bed waiting for me to join them. Since my meds are starting to kick in, I decide to head to bed only to discover that Ginger and Minnie Mae are not in the bed. Only the really good cat, Elphaba, is waiting on me. Curious, I walk through the main house calling out for Ginger and not finding her anywhere. Not on her floor pillows, not on the pile of dirty laundry, not on her blanket, not scrounging for food... Very curious. I walk out to the Florida room to check the last few spots and discover that the back door is standing wide open! In retrospect I guess I should have been worried WHY the backdoor was standing open, but my first and only thought was-GINGER!!?
I rushed out the back door in my pj's, no shoes calling out for her but not finding her in our back or front yard. Not in our neighbor's yard, not out by the lake...nowhere close by. (BTW-Minnie Mae is sitting by the front door waiting to be let in.) Yikes! Panic starts to rise as I run through all the options in my head. Call Charles. What good will that do, but I do it anyway. He reprimands me for leaving the gate open. Walk the streets? I try that first, going around our block and a bit further calling her name, stopping people and cars asking them to look out for a tan Chihuahua. I call our Courtesy Patrol officer and ask him to help me look and being the nice fellow that he is, he was over at my house in no time taking my information and driving around looking. After about 45 minutes of looking on foot I decide to drive around. I spend another 1 1/2 hours driving. I a very fuzzy-headed as the "night time" meds are really kicking in and I think I will have to take Charles' advice and head in to make up fliers to hang up tomorrow.
Prayer. I was doing a lot of praying. I was asking for quiet guidance. I knew that my brain was in panic mode and I was not able to think. Think of where she would go, what she would be sniffing out. What route she might take. I needed to have a quiet brain now and I could freak out later.
I thought I could power through my meds for about another hour and I came in the house, found our crank flashlight and hit the lake's edge behind our house. I walked along the water bumping into all kinds of nocturnal critters, but no Chihuahuas. I rounded a curve in the lake and saw an open field and figured if I started back to the house that would be just about all I could do tonight. I cut through the field and when I got to the sidewalk, I started walking very slow and shaking Ginger's treat container. This noise brought about 5 cats out to the street and were following me like the Pied Piper. They wanted those treats! I know that cats like these treats 'cause Tiny E begs for these whenever Ginger gets them for "good girl-potty". So even in the midst of my crisis, I open the can and gave each of the kitties a treat. This makes them follow me almost all the way back to my house. In fact, they stop following me just about one house away from our house. A car comes by and some of the cats come to my side of the street and some to the other. I am just standing in the street for a few more minutes, deciding if I have another hour left in me, when one of the cats on the other side of the street walks over to the run-off drain to investigate. Here is where the prayer for quiet guidance comes in-I watch that cat look into the drain opening, sniff the air a bit and then jump back as if startled by something below. Quiet guidance. I walk across the street and shine my light down the drain opening and there looking up at me is Ginger! She is standing in a hot mess of grungey gunk! I couldn't believe that I had found her! But, now I have to figure out how to get her out. This is a rain water run off that slopes off the street and it also has a man hole cover over the top. I try that and it is way too heavy for me to lift. So I call the Courtesy Patrol back and tell him that I found Ginger and that I needed help. Again, he was over in no time. He was able to get the man hole cover off, but he and I just stood at the top looking down with the aid of his flashlight to the bottom, both of us thinking that we would never make it down there. I decide to call 911 and they say it is a problem for Animal Control and supply me with their number. I get a recording and hang up frustrated and somehow knowing that it would be up to me to save her. I thought my neigh boor, who has a big work truck with tons of tools and whatnot would be able to help, so at 2am I am pounding on their door for help. While they are putting on clothes, I run to my car knowing that it is always full of crap and maybe something McGuiver-esque will appear. Sitting in my backseat is a step stool that I used the other day and never took out. I grabbed it, ran back to the drain and when it didn't fit, I collapsed it to make it down the hole and re-opened it inside. With flip flops and pj's on, I scrambled down into this filthy, slimy, stinky sewer pit. There were broken bottles, diapers, objects of unknown origins and one shivering Chihuahua at the bottom. I reached the bottom, stepped off the ladder, fumbled around until I got a-hold of Ginger's scruff and pulled! I was up the steps handing Ginger to my neighbor lady and pulling myself out of the sewer shaking and almost in tears! We all hugged, cleaned up the "rescue" equipment and walked back to our houses with happy faces. He asked me how she got outt and it was only then that I realized that my back door had been open. Now I am starting to wonder how it got to be open and how long it had been open. I think that with the number of lizards littering my floors that the door has been open all day. The gate was left open by me, and that is how Ginger got all the way out. There is nothing missing from my house and no one hiding in any closets, so I am going to let the open door remain a mystery.
Once back in the house the smell coming off the two of us was more than I could stand and before I could get out of my clothes I threw up. Let me tell you, it was very gross smelling!! Very gross!!! I got a bath then gave Ginger two baths and one Vallium. She will need the tranquilizer in the hopes that this episode won't trigger any seizures.
Right now "G" is wrapped in an afghan sitting on my lap as I reflect on a question I recently got in one of those "get to know your friends" emails: "Do you believe in the power of prayer?" All I can say about that is that tonight my exact payers were answered and thank the goodness of the universe for listening to my prayers and guiding me to Ginger.

Happy Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's I am thankful, once again, to be lucky to be in love with my best friend!
I love you and miss you sweetie!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Project 365-Day 46 & 47

I got to make the project for WSD's Creative Cafe on Tuesday and I made a card trio. I had 20(ish) people for the the Happy Hour that night and they were all lovin' up on the cards.

This the my very first attempt at knitting. It turned out pretty good. Miss Barbara, our knitting instructor, told me to only knit 10 rows, and when all was said and done, it turned out to be a tee-tiny scarf. So here are two of my lovely models.

I have it all packed up and ready to ship off to Kiwi as her Valentine's gift! She will love it up in chilly PA.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Project 365-Day 45

This is the suitcase of a GREAT friend! A friend who goes to Chicago enough to keep me happy with one of my biggest addictions-carmel/cheese popcorn! Somehow, someway Chicago has simply the best popcorn around. You can get it either from Nuts on Clark (above) or from Garretts. My prefrence is the mix of the two flavors and I think I gave Leisa enough for a 2 pound bag. She called and told me she was in line this morning and that Tuesday morning she would deliver our treat to the Doodle! How many hours away is that? TOO MANY! Being the cool gal that she is, she also took a bunch of photos for me so I could scrapbook (add to my p365 album) photos of the store. Here are a few more:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hey Rev. Wishart!

Miss Dee! Just wanted to tell you that Stacey and I found you the perfect bag of sugar when we were at Costco. If you need for us to pick you one up next time we are there, just let one of us know! LOL

Project 365-Day 42

Yesterday was the Crop-A-Doodle at WSD and as usual, we had a great time. I love to cook for a bunch of people and I made these yummy brownie cupcakes. They were regular brownies with chocolate chunks inside. The frosting was Dianne's faux 7-minute frosting with a dark chocolate drizzle. They were sticky, the paper stuck to them, but OH BOY were they delicious. Here is the recipe for the will love it!

Marshmallow Frosting:

½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme

Place the sugar, water and egg whites in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, beating continuously with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the marshmallow crème and beat the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2-5 minutes.
Use at once to frost the cake of your choice.
Makes 3 ½ cups (enough to frost a 2-3 layer cake).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Project 365-Day 31

I was laying my glasses and book down just before going to bed, I realized that my nightstand would make a great p365 photo. I was snuggled in my warm bed all sleepy from reading and had to get up, find the camera, get the flash setting just right and snap a couple of photos. Of course, since we want the photos to look good, I had to remove the ponytail holder, scissors, a couple of bills and dust a few "bunnies" away, but heck! The picture turned out nice! By the time I had the photo, I wasn't sleepy anymore, so I had to pick up my book and glasses again and read some more! Too funny...

Project 52 ??

Some of the girls at The Doodle wanted to do p365, but a) couldn't get a kit and b) didn't want to commit to a photo a day. So the ever clever Dianne took Becky's free downloads and tweaked them in Photoshop to fit her needs and viola Project 52 was born. A photo a week! Kristen and Barbara jumped on the bandwagon and I since I was impressed with this idea I thought I'd share a couple photos from Dianne's book. Pretty cool, huh?

Parmesan Crisps

I have had many requests lately for the super yummy Parmesan Crisps that I have made a bunch of times at The Doodle. Please know that if this is one of my recipes, I don't do measurements-unless baking! So, relax and just wing it.

Parmesan Crisps:

Pita pocket bread (NOT whole wheat, that is important)
Butter, margarine, Smart Balance (whatever you use)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
"Jen's Secret Ingredient" (AKA-Tone's Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning Mix from Sam's)
Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (NOT from the shaky-bottle though)

Use a butter knife to split the pita pockets in half so you have two round circles. Smear butter all over the inside of each of the circles. Sprinkle with salt, seasoning and cheese. Using a pizza cutter, cut each circle into wedges-4, 6, 8...depends on how much you like these folks! Transfer to baking sheet (stone), drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 until crispy.

You can serve these with any dip you like. I usually use the fresh salsa (not from a jar) or hummus.

These are super fast, super yummy and super popular!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Project 365-Day 39

I don't know the journal story behind this photo other than I have been asking Charles to take photos for my p365. I asked him to take photos like the ones I have been taking and he will upload some every now and then. I found this one the other day and thought it was lovely. He did such a nice job on it. This is taken from inside the suite that he is living in up in Pennsylvania. Don't know if I've said this yet, but they are letting Charles use the suite on the Woodhouse campus while I am still down here. It is one of their timber frame constructions and from what I have seen, it is very pretty. This is a little window looking on the snowy scene outside as you head up to the 2nd floor. I really cannot wait to get up there and see Charles & Kiwi and start our new life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Project 365-Day 38

Starting this week I have been pre-planning each days worth of meals. I am trying to follow a more healthy lifestyle and I'm using the "You" doctors (Dr.s Roizen and Oz) as inspiration. They suggest the 6 mini meals a day and I map a whole week out ahead of time. I have been trying to cook some/most of the meals on my days off so I don't have to cook from scratch when I get home from work. This was tonight's meal and let me tell you it was yummy! Blackened salmon, roasted green beans, citrus couscous salad and whole wheat/flax bread (w/ Smart Balance). I couldn't wait to take a photo before I snagged a bite from the bread! The couscous salad is really good and is one of the recipes from the Real Age website. Thought I'd share it with y'all.

Citrusy Couscous Salad with Olives:

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat couscous
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped scallions, (4 scallions)
1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives, (12 olives)
1 navel orange, peeled, sectioned and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Stir together couscous, orange juice concentrate, oil, mustard, thyme, orange zest and salt in a large bowl. Stir in boiling water, cover and set aside until the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
2. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add parsley, scallions, olives, diced orange and lemon juice; toss to blend. Season with pepper


Monday, February 2, 2009

Project 365-Day 36

Stacey took this photo while we were shopping in JoAnns for knitting supplies. Yep. We are going to try to knit! Miss Barbara at WSD is a great knitter and has offered to teach some of us, so we had to go pick out our supplies. The choices! Did we like the fuzzy stuff with all the different colors woven in? Super soft vs. regular? Debbie Mumm has knitting yarn? Cool! It was great fun poking all the yarn in the bins dreaming of the scarves we are gonna make. I was more than a little excited to get started, so once I was home I went out on the net to find some videos to show me how it's done. Normally I am a fine crafter. My hands do what my brain tells it to do. "Normally" does not apply to knitting. My fingers don't seem to work. I am all over casting on. I got that down. Downtown like Bobby Brown! But the actual knit stitch... Under the knot-hold both needles with one hand-wrap the yarn around one needle-push through and catch the yarn from the underside-push off the loop from one needle to the other. Huh? I think I've got it, but what about tension? How tight do you pull the yarn? How loose do you leave the loop? What happens when you've taken the stitches out so many times the yarn actually tears apart? Oh! Why didn't I just wait for the lessons with Miss Barbara? I have this sad little swatch of maybe 6 rows that is so dopey looking I couldn't bear to share the photo. Big 'ole holes I could stick my finger through where there shouldn't be any hole. Loops of yarn where the others in it's row are nice and tidy. And nobody told me that my back muscles would tense all up from knitting! Knitting is a workout! I hope my brain and hands are getting along the next day I pick up those blasted needles.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, which took a whole life to develop and market -- the quips, the witticisms, the slant adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears, their tears confused with their diamond earrings, their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat, their response and your performance twinned. The jokes over the phone. The memories packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act. Who will do it again? That's it: no one; imitators and descendants aren't the same.
-John Updike
(March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009)

Eddie Izzard-Cake or Death

I simply adore Eddie Izzard! Have since I saw his HBO special many years ago called, Dressed to Kill. Charles and I took a trip to NYC just to see him while he was doing his Circle tour. We went with Sisterdear and her husband, Brian. It was kind-of a funny conversation trying to convince Sisterdear to come to the show with us...

"We are coming up to the city to see Eddie Izzard. Do you and Brian wanna go?"
"Who is Eddie Izzard?"
"He is the Brittish comedian from that great HBO special."
"Never heard of him. What's he like? Will we like him?"
"Ummm....he uses the f-word a lot."
"He does a lot of historical bits in his act. Some of it hard to follow if you're not a history fan."
"His accent is thick and he uses Brittish slang quite a bit. You'd be able to follow if you watch BritComs."
"Um. We watch some of those."
"You should probally know he is a transvestite."
"A transvestite. You know-dresses in ladies clothes."
"On stage? All the time? What?"
"I dunno. Just a ladies pantsuit the last time I saw him on stage. It was a cool pantsuit if that helps! And he is VERY funny! Really...VERY funny!"
"And he wears makeup."
"I've got to check with Brian."

They ended up coming with us and a really funny note here is that I am glad that I preped them, 'cause not only did Ed come out in drag, but he was sporting a new padded bra! Priceless...
Eddie has been in the "Ocean's" movies, Valkyrie, My Super Ex-Girlfriend and stars in TV's The Riches.

In case you still don't know him here is what he looks like man vs. woman!